This turns out to be purely decorative, and not after all a way of communicating with extra-terrestials
There's also a rather grand main building, with the Latin motto "QUAECUNQUE SUNT VERA" inscribed on the front. For this is a Christian foundation, as its English name (Tokyo Woman's Christian University) makes clear, even though the "Christian" bit is dropped in Japanese translation.
There are trees (木), groves (林) and woods (森) (who said that kanji were hard to learn?), and although these come with matching mosquitoes I think it's well worth it. It certainly doesn't feel like the middle of one of the world's great metropoles. In some ways it resembles my idea of an American liberal arts college, although before you use this as a reliable reference you should remember that my ideas of American liberal arts colleges derive entirely from having read The Secret History and Tam Lin. Unlike a typical liberal arts college, this university appears (as far as I can tell) not to be a hub for ritual murder, whether inspired by Dionysian frenzy or the need to pay a tithe to hell, and as far as I'm concerned this is a plus. On the contrary, they take rather paternalistic care of their students, locking the gates at 11pm each evening (though nothing as extreme as the broken glass and razor wire I saw surrounding the female dorms in a Christian university in Taiwan a few years ago). Even I, when I leave the campus, have to hand my key over the guards (there are usually at least two) and pick it up again on my return - perhaps five minutes later, after a dash to the combini. I'm not sure what purpose is served by this requirement, but the guards are always very cheerful and polite, so I can't resent it.
The area is neither central Tokyo nor the suburbs, but a sweet spot somewhere in between. Turning left from the main gate the streets are quiet, with houses, family restaurants, antique and bookshops. There are people milling about, but no sense of city hustle, and more bicycles than cars. Here it is at about 7pm on my first evening, with dusk already falling in the abrupt Asian manner:
In the other direction is fashionable Kichijouji, a far more bustling place, for shopping by day or eating by night. Here's where you need to go if you want to eat a curry doughnut, which I intend to do as soon as may be:
On my first full day in Japan, though, I contented myself with buying a yukata and all the trimmings - something I've wanted for a long time. I placed myself in the hands of a very friendly department store assistant, and luckily it was one of those days when my Japanese was flowing pretty well (it varies greatly). She walked me through the process of putting on the underdress, the yukata itself, the obi, the geta (alas! my feet are so large that I had to get men's ones), and then set me up with accessories - a flower for the hair, and of course one of those terribly useful baskets.
I hesitate to say how much all that cost, but suffice it to say that it sated my desire to shop for at least a day.
"They order these things better in Japan" Dept. A useful feature of Japanese supermarkets is that, rather than put the food into your shopping bags at the checkout, potentially holding up other customers as you do so, they provide tables where you can take your shopping basket/trolley after you've paid, and put things in bags at your leisure - rather like the tables in airport security where you can sort out your possessions after they've been through the scanner. A simple idea, but a good one - which I noticed only having held everyone up at the checkout putting things in bags, of course.
On the other hand, here at Toukyou Joshi Dai I seem to be a celebrity:
Let's hope I live up to the billing.
During the week, baked a loaf of the Shipton Mill 3 Malts and Sunflower Organic Brown Flour.
Friday supper: Gujerati khichchari - absentmindedly used ground cumin rather than cumin seed but I don't think the effect was disastrous.
Saturday breakfast rolls: the adaptable soft rolls recipe, 2:2:1 strong white/wholemeal/dark rye flours with maple sugar and sour cherries.
Today's lunch: redfish fillets rubbed with Cajun seasoning, brushed with milk and egg and coated in panko crumbs, panfried in olive oil, served with steamed samphire tossed in butter and baby leeks healthy-grilled in avocado oil and splashed with gooseberry vinegar.
The title novella tells of the adventures of revolutionary leader Jane Saint as she travels through an alternate dimension or astral plane, seeking to find a way to make a fundamental change to the natures of men and women which will allow humanity to move towards a more equal society. She moves through a shifting and often symbolic landscape, helped variously by an alchemist and his wife, a philosophical talking dog, a griffin-demon hybrid creature, Joan of Arc, and her own daughters; her adventures are absurdist and surreal and told with a great deal of subtle wit and humour.
The other stories are much shorter. 'Woe, Blight and, in Heaven, Laughs' is a rather grim postapocalyptic reworking of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs; 'Gordon's Women' is a more cheerful variant on the total-male-domination-secret-female-
Definitely worth a read if you happen across a copy.
( check the titles )
Preparations (tiny sketch)
( sketch )
( embroidery )
The things we keep in our lives...
( candle )
Seen in a shop...
( silver skull in dome )
Buttons (a homage to Neil Gaiman's "Other Mother" in Coraline)...
( buttoned up skull )
Found on the side wall of Tesco...
( Grafitti )
I finished two fics yesterday. Well, one is certainly done, barring a thorough proofread. It's gen, so that's not nearly as hard to arrange as it might otherwise be. The other needs a second opinion if I can find someone willing given the moderately obscure fandom and the explicit and potentially squicky content. I've got a couple of people I can ask, but I was a little too fried last night to do it.
We went out for frozen lemonade at Sweetwaters last night. Sweetwaters gives coupons to the middle schools to hand out to every child who gets at least three A's on their final report card, and the school put the coupons in the envelopes with the report cards. Cordelia got hers and got a cinnamon roll. I got a frozen lemonade and a chocolate croissant. Scott got a ginger tea.
We finished that up a little after 8:00, and as we were just across the street from Plum Market, we went over there for the half price bakery goods.
It's been very cool, in the low 70s, so Scott opened a lot of our windows early yesterday afternoon. They stayed open all night and are still open. I don't think this relates to my sneezing because that didn't start until the windows had been open for about twenty hours.
Cordelia has been doing movie marathons. She's currently got about a dozen DVDs from the library. Of course, mostly what she's been doing is listening to her Hamilton CDs over and over (those were a gift from Scott's brother and his family). We listened to a little of that in the car last night, on the way to and from Sweetwaters. I still can't say that it does anything for me, but I'm glad Cordelia has something she's really passionate about.
Both of our Time Capsule storage drives are insisting that they're too full to allow backups. The program is supposed to delete old backups as needed in order to keep making current backups, and we have backups going back at least two years. At this point, anything from 2015 can absolutely go. One of the drives has a terabyte of storage, and the other has three. We have no idea what's going on to make them say they only have a few megabytes of space left. Scott thinks that wiping them is probably going to be necessary. We'll start with just one in case we need the backups on the other before we have clean backups on the first. Scott keeps saying that he needs a lot of time to do this and then getting cranky with me when I mention that it needs to be done (and later today he will be more cranky because I didn't make him do it while he had time).
Maybe he can figure out how to get Cordelia's laptop to backup via Time Machine, too. We've never managed that, and at this point, she's actually got stuff she'd be devastated to lose. It wasn't so important when she was seven.
We all struggled with the heat this week. This house does a good cross-breeze when such a thing is worth doing - this week that was usually from approx 9pm to 7am, so a lot of opening and closing windows and doors according to temperature and people being awake. We acquired a standing fan to help. I did a lot of waking up about 5am to open things and then droop back on my bed waiting for the breeze to help. I think I'd be a lot less resentful of the lost sleep if I'd been able to be productive with the time, but no.
I went out to a PARTY yesterday and enjoyed catching up with people, and being introduced to Subjective Guess Who? This is played using the standard board game set, but you can only ask questions which have no objective answer - some memorable ones from last night included "Have they ever played World of Warcraft?" and "Are they a morning person?". The kibbitzing from the audience is the best part.
Going to the party was utterly self-indulgent given the state of my studying since the election. Today will probably not include much studying either, as plans already include: taking C to see Transformers: The Last Knight, attempting to get some sandals beforehand, getting in my weekly call to my mother before she gets on a bus to San Francisco, and making the cheating version of Tudor costume for C's class trip to Kentwell this week.
I’ll tell you:
The first character I first fell in love with: The character I never expected to love as much as I do now: The character everyone else loves that I don’t: The character I love that everyone else hates: The character I used to love but don’t any longer:The character I would totally smooch: The character I’d want to be like: The character I’d slap: A pairing that I love:A pairing that I despise:
TRUE TEA: What do you think about Truscum?
[Full Video Here]
SUBSCRIBE to Kat Blaque : http://bit.ly/1D3jwSF
It really has nothing to do with being a gatekeeper, @katblaque. The reason a lot of trans people are concerned with whether or not someone is experiencing dysphoria isn’t as a way to determine whether or not they’re “legitimately” trans or “authentically” trans - it’s because these people who don’t experience dysphoria literally have a very different concept of what it is to be trans and shouldn’t be allowed to speak for all of us. A person that identifies as trans but doesn’t experience dysphoria is going to have a completely different definition of what it is to be trans and that definition is not going to line up with trans people who live their lives with and experience a constant gender dysphoria.
Their appropriation of our terminology and our condition/state of being whatever you want to call it as trans people is actively harming the way we are perceived by people who don’t know a lot about trans issues. It’s actively harming our ability to transition and our safety by making relations with cisgendered people, even those within the LGBT community more strained. People who claim they’re trans without experiencing dysphoria are a lot like the Rachel Dolezal’s of the trans world; they want all the perceived “perks” of being trans without actually having to experience what it is we go through and what we live with.
@thesocialjusticecourier Speaking as one of those people, you’re correct in the narrow view that trans people who do not have dysphoria have a different concept of what it is to be trans than you.
You are incorrect in that you presume we want to speak for you or that our definition does not contain yours.
Transness is nebulous and ambiguous. There is more than one way to be trans. Being trans and experiencing dysphoria is one such way. Being trans and no longer experiencing dysphoria because you’ve begun transition/have transitioned is another. Being trans and not having begun transition is another. Being trans and not being interested in transition is another. None of these are more or less of a priority than the rest.
The moment you use the word ‘appropriation’ you are making a gatekeeping argument. The moment you bring up Rachel Dolezal you are implying that some people are faking their identity. It is impossible to make that argument without necessarily implying that some people call theirselves trans when they shouldn’t, and asserting yourself as an authority on who they are. You can say that it has nothing to do with gatekeeping, and maybe you can even believe it, but the fact remains that your argument assumes as part of its foundation that there is one true way to be trans. You can’t turn people away from the city without keeping the gate.
The argument from perception, however unintentionally, makes the common mistake of legitimizing the transphobe’s argument. Many transphobic people tell all trans people they’re faking, that they’re appropriating terms they shouldn’t, that they want the ‘perks’ of being something without knowing what it’s like to be that thing. You might recognize it if I swap ‘transness’ with ‘sex’. It’s the TERF party line.
And the counterargument to this is ‘yes, but not all of us’?
And you think this helps your chances of becoming recognized as valid?
I keep becoming reminded of an admittedly problematic joke that I’m going to adapt for this situation: Person A walks up to person B and asks them if they would do something for five dollars. Person B says no. Person A then raises the hypothetical price to ten million dollars. Person B thinks about it, and says yes. Person A says, what about twenty dollars, and person B, indignant, says ‘what kind of person do you think I am?’
Person A replies, ‘We’ve established what kind of person you are. Now we’re just haggling over the price.’
The TERF argument wants to see all trans people violently eradicated. Your argument merely wants to see some trans people violently eradicated. All you’re doing is haggling over the price.
I don’t care how special-snowflake tumblrina nondysphoric made-up-gender bunself-pronouned you are, you get through the gate, because we do not tell people how to experience their own gender. I don’t care how beneficial it seems to throw vulnerable members of our group under the bus — and they are vulnerable, so vulnerable that we’re not even in agreement that they deserve our help, let alone what cis people will do to them on top of that — in exchange for more safety or security or whatever benefit you think we might get from it.
Because again, you’re just haggling over the price. And if we do throw this contingent of trans people under the bus, guess what, we still have one group that wants to eradicate all trans people, and they’ve partially succeeded, and the new group is going to have a vulnerable radical fringe to attack next. If you shave off the bunself-pronoun-users, you still have general nondysphorics. If you shave off the nondysphorics, you still have nonbinary people. If you shave them off, you just have binary, dysphoric, trans people. Eventually, perhaps, gay and lesbian organizations don’t feel so bad about dropping the T from their support, and we’re out in the wilderness. The group of acceptable trans people gets smaller and easier to ignore, oppress, and control.
And you’re probably looking at that and going, hey, wait, I wouldn’t want to go that far. And you’re right. You don’t want to go that far. They do. The TERFs and transphobes of the world, the ones you’re trying to appease. They do.
And you’re helping them get what they want.
Think about that for a moment, will you? Think about what it really means to accept the premise that some trans people are fakers appropriating their identity.
And then name your price.
This is such a well written response that I cosign completely.
She's been wanting lots of hugs and cuddling and reassurance that I'll always be there for her. She's also afraid any time she lets herself stop and think (mostly in the evenings). Her days have been pretty full, but she comes home and tells me that, even though she had fun, she missed me horribly. I think she's got some sort of worry that, if she's not checking up on me regularly, I'll just vanish.
I finally listened to the voicemail Cordelia's psychiatrist left. She says that the Celexa ought to stay at a steady level for twenty four hours on a single dose and that this may mean the dose is too low. Cordelia is afraid of upping the dose because she's connected her tiredness to the medication. I need to call the doctor back on Monday to discuss it.
Cordelia has more or less mastered swallowing small pills. Last night, she asked what I take for cramps, and I gave her a naproxen. It took her two swallows to get it down, but she did, and she was astonished to discover that it did help.
Her report card came today. It's all A's with an A+ in gym and an A- in algebra. Cordelia's of the opinion that they can't have counted the algebra final in that grade because she thinks that would have taken her down to B+ or even B range. I can't tell from PowerSchool whether or not she's right. It doesn't actually matter. B grades are good, too, and that particular class has been nasty for all the students due to the teacher not being very good.
Scott had to work 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. today. We got a call from the shift supervisor about half an hour after Scott went to bed. The guy wanted to make sure Scott knew he had to come in. He kept stumbling over what he was saying and talking in circles. I'm pretty sure that he had a script in mind for the call and that I blew it up by saying that Scott was in bed and couldn't come to the phone. Scott identified the caller simply based on my description of the guy's confusion.
I ended up staying up a bit later than I meant to because the writing was working well. For some reason, just the thought of needing to go to bed makes me able to produce words and plot and all of that. I think I slept a solid eight hours once I did go to bed, so there's that. I kind of want to go back to bed, though.
Scott has Monday scheduled off because it's our anniversary. I have a couple of minor errands that will be much easier if someone gives me a ride, so we'll deal with those. The rest of the day is ours. Cordelia is now saying that Scott and I should celebrate however we want, including without her, because it's our day. (She said something on the order of "I wasn't involved in your wedding.") This is a change from years past. I don't know that we'll leave her at home, but it's nice that, if we did, she'd be okay with it.
I am fairly hmmmm about this piece on empaths, and wonder if some of those consultant empaths are employing the cold-reading tricks attributed to psychics, but buried in it is actually an interrogation of how useful quivering responsiveness to emotion is and the suggestion that 'empathy alone is not a reliable way of coming to a moral decision', and
Empathy is not action. It’s much more useful to be knowledgable about what’s happening so you can effect structural change. If everybody’s swimming in a sea of feelings, it’s an impediment to action.
And possibly somehow related to this, on the advantages of scheduling over spontaneity.
See also, review here of Selfie by Will Storr: 'This engaging book links the ‘self-esteem’ industry to Ayn Rand and neoliberalism. But is the selfie-taking generation unusually narcissistic?'. And is there not something problematic about making a big deal out of a single young woman who takes a lot of selfies? (shoutout here to Carol Dyhouse's Girl Trouble and the constant motif of young women's behaviour epitomising what is supposedly wrong with These Here Modern Times.)
And in Dept of, Countering National Stereotypes, the French minister who wants sexual harassment fines and is annoyed by the cultural myths about Frenchwomen.
Born in 1799, Anna Atkins captured plants, shells and algae in ghostly wisps and ravishing blues. Why isn’t she famous? - how long have you got to listen to my answer?
A book on hares which is, it sounds like, more about hares than the writer's journey and epiphany from their encounter with nature
Normally when there's morning chaos, I know which animal to blame (and this generally seems like Charlotte-style mischief), but I'm not sure all the animals didn't work together. Thankfully, it doesn't look like they ate a ton of the food in either case (I'm not sure Nicky even realized his treats had been opened).
Remember, folks: Having pets is good for your emotional health!