The summer weather was miserably hot here, but the temperature has suddenly dropped. Fall is not quite here, it's supposed to get hot again, but right now, it feels deliciously cool. I'm ready for leaves dropping and pumpkin foods. The cats started sleeping on the bed again, only two, one on each side of my hips, because if you can't stop The Person from rolling over, what is the point of sleeping on the bed?
I'm hoping to spend some quality computer time this weekend and catch up on comments, but first I must spend some time on my neglected garden. Just... hi!
I'm finally bouncing back from my last bout of chemo, which was last Monday, a week and a half ago. Worst one yet, whoo! It was compounded by the cold I caught from my student employee. I guess I was lucky to make it through without getting sick thus far, immunocompromised as I am. Whatever, at least I'm feeling better now, and the metallic grossness in my mouth is beginning to dissipate. And I [hopefully, hopefully] just have one more to go. \0/
Also...my eyelashes are beginning to grow back, which is so great. You guys have no idea how important eyelashes are, and I don't mean just aesthetically, though that is nice [and to me, almost as pleasing as the hair on my scalp]. They really do protect your eyes from dust and grit. If I didn't wear glasses most of the time I'd be tearing up constantly from all the crud in them.
The mornings are lovely and brisk. It's almost October! And almost time to start decorating the office for Halloween. SO EXCITED. Halloween is the BEST. This year, because we share space with IT now that our new building is in the process of construction, we are joining forces. They usually go crazy with spiderwebs, and I usually do full-on Gothic, so that'll be fun. I will pull all my post-mortem framed photos out of storage, and all my black spray-painted flowers and gilt candelabra and skulls and black drapery and little velvet and glitter and feathery ravens. We have a lot less surface area this year, but we'll make it work. :D
I still have my summer clothes out because it's still in the high eighties and low 90s during the day, but next week it's supposed to get down into the low seventies! Oh my goodness. Of course then we'll get hit by a wave of nothing but 93 degree weather.
This weekend, at least, I intend to transition from spring/summer to fall/winter perfumes. CAN'T WAIT. My fall/winter perfumes are a thousand times more awesome anyhoo.
My older sister and I went to see Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan in the cinema the day before I had my last chemo. I hadn't seen it in...oh, at LEAST fifteen years, I imagine. I forgot how good it was, though I had to close my eyes at the parts with the worms, AAAAAGH. And...were those really Ricardo Montalban's pecs? Once and for all. Cause if they were, he was cut, man. It was SO much better than Into Darkness. Sorry Benny! I love you and all, but there were years of history behind STII and genuine relationships behind the drama. I had tears pouring down my face at the end, and then, of course, I had to go home and watch the best vid ever.
In other...fashion news, a few days ago a girl came in wearing shorts that revealed the entire bottom half of her ass. Now, I genuinely want to not give a fuck about other people's fashion choices, and I don't consider myself terribly prudish, but I couldn't stop boggling. I mean, she had a nice ass and everything, so props for that...? But this was the ENTIRE BOTTOM HALF OF HER ASS. I mean, she might as well have worn a thong and left it at that. No bueno, muchacha. You're not on Spring Break. -___-
Speaking of Benny, I saw the trailer for The Current War and it looks sort of, um, boring. I'll go to see it, and I hope it's good, but I'm skeptical. If even a trailer is deadly dull, I'm terrified for the prospects of the actual movie. But I have a MoviePass, so movies are a lot cheaper if I go to see more nowadays. I am looking forward to seeing The Child in Time, though. That looks good, even though I'm not generally a fan of Ian MacEwan.
I think BC is hotter when he does flashy roles like Sherlock. I thought the same about Ewan McGregor - I loved him way more in roles like Obi-Wan and Curt Wild than in roles where he played a writer or a reporter or whatever. I suppose that says more about me and my preferences than about the actors I like.
I started watching The Defenders and got bored after the third one. I realized I was really only watching for Matt Murdock and there wasn't enough of him in it to satisfy me. If someone makes a Matt-only edit, LMK. Oh, and if they included Sigourney Weaver and Rosario Dawson that would be cool too, but the rest of them, meh. I don't even care about Jessica Jones anymore. :-/ I don't know what happened. It feels like it's trying too hard or something to be edgy, and I can't stand the dull-as-Wonder-Bread guy who plays Iron Fist at ALL.
God, I sound so cranky. I don't mean to dump on it, I just don't think it's for me anymore. :(
So, I decided to wear a wig today, because it's been freezing in the office, and a wig is way warmer than a bandana or scarf. I could wear a woolly hat, but I've got the wig, might as well wear it. And one of my death cafe pals, a cancer survivor, had a wig she never wore, so she gave it to me, so now I have two. ( Pics under cut )
I wrote last night - 1500 words! It would be great to finish my chapter this evening. I'm close to completing my CP story. I feel so guilty for taking so damn long with it. :-/
At my therapist's recommendation, I am taking up the heavy bag in order to purge some anger. I have obtained an empty canvas punching bag from one of the guys at work - need to fill it with cotton rags or old towels or blankets or something, which won't be a problem - yay thrift stores. And, I have purchased MMA gloves and liners...in PINK. Of course in pink! I want to hang the bag outside, but I'll have to wrap it in a tarp or something so it doesn't get all gross. Not that we get a lot of rain or snow, sheesh.
I'm looking forward to it. I need this, mentally. And honestly, I could use the upper body workout. I literally do NOTHING for my upper body. I need a power playlist.
I suppose that's all the news that's fit to print for now. Hope you're all having a wonderful day and night.
So I called Weight Watchers. Those buggers lied. When I got to my goal, it was a given that if you got there, and then gained weight, you would be charged a maximum of your beginning fee. For me this would be 4.00 per meeting. And you had a lifetime membership for getting to goal. When I called they could not find my membership THROUGH THREE INQUIRIES. You know what those pirates say now? 14.50 per meeting, or more depending on the location. Liars. Liars. Liars.
Then I called Jenny Craig. They found my membership just fine. The only problem I have with them.is the evil cheesecake, and the young, skinny "counselors". No warm fuzzies there, but the food is good.
So as of Monday, I am back to a food program. I need it.
Title: When Good Men Behave Badly: Change Your Behaviour, Change Your Relationships
Author: David B. Wexler, Ph.D.
ISBN: ISBN-13 978-1-57224-346-0
“When Good Men Behave Badly” focuses on men’s feelings of helplessness, powerlessness, and perceived threats to identity that can lead to acting badly in otherwise good men with good values, who want to make good choices instead of being emotionally hijacked by their limbic system. It offers these men acknowledgement and an understanding of their emotional life with the goal of equipping them with new behavioural options.
CONTENT WARNING: This book contains examples of domestic violence and examples of derogatory language
This is a self-help book for middle-aged, white, cis-men written by a middle-aged, white, cis-man. On the one hand, this framing is useful because this to create a tone of (white) men talking to (white) men about shared experiences which may be difficult for women (and others) to have sympathy for when they are on the receiving end of the described bad behaviour. On the other hand, the advice is very binary oriented (men and women only), heteronormative (heterosexual and monogamous assumptions), and doesn’t discern between different groups of men (one size fits all *sigh*). It doesn’t specifically state that it is about white men, but with a white man on the cover… it doesn’t do anything to move away from white men as the default. I’m agender, I don’t exist in this book.
Speaking of the cover… I hate it. My edition has a white man in a dress shirt holding flowers behind his back. My mind jumps to the assumption that the man is in the “doghouse”. A focus group somewhere may have determined that this is brilliant marketing, but it makes me cringe. The irony of the cover is that the book warns of the importance of perception by telling the story of one of the author’s clients, who had a great session with him, but never returned to therapy after the author recommended a book that had the phrase “verbal abuse” in the title.
“When Good Men Behave Badly” is a relatively short book (199 pages + references) that overviews and introduces a selection of ideas, explanations, exercises, and suggestions. It uses examples heavily (see content warning) and fiction examples which may be dated (I don’t recognize most of them, but that didn’t make much of a difference to understanding). This is introductory material. If you want to go into the topics in depth you will have to follow up with other material  or seek out a therapist familiar with men’s issues.
1. Good Men and Broken Mirrors — Introduces mirroring, broken mirrors, and twinning through the concept of selfobjects (someone or something that helps us feel cohesive). How the broken mirror experience can trigger acting out.
2. The Power of Women — What men are taught [by toxic masculinity] to expect from women and how emotional dependancy on women for missing needs can lead to resentment or withdrawal, and a perception that they have power over men.
3. Fathers and Sons: Curses and Blessings — How fathers may expect sons to be positive mirrors, react to them as broken mirrors when they don’t measure up, and what this does to boys.
4. Midlife, Affairs, and Projections —What people do when there is a gap between what is and what they expected in their life. This talks about self-awareness, distress tolerance, taking responsibility and how these can help when it feels like something is missing.
5. Men’s Brains —What it is like to be hijacked by your limbic system and the effects of anger. Some strategies for dealing with these.
6. Odysseus, Relational Heroism, and Imaginary Crimes — How to be a Relational Hero through self-awareness, preparation, and doing things differently. How to let go of Imaginary Crimes.
7. Guy Talk —How men talk to themselves and other men, and how that sets the frame for behaviour.
8. What Women Can Do —For those women who read the book, a short chapter on dealing with men (and raising boys) within the context of the author’s “good men” hypothesis with some concrete “try these” ideas. It also recognizes that there are men who are dangerous and not just behaving badly.
This is a book about how toxic masculinity fucks over men.
“When Good Men Behave Badly” presents itself mainly as a relationship repair guide, but it is more about how men can have better relationships with themselves through self-awareness, emotional regulation, and understanding the influences of masculinity in themselves… improved romantic and family relationships is a (very positive) side-effect of being able to navigate one’s internal landscape without being capsized or swamped. I think it is important to healing and growth that men have acknowledgement of their feelings of helplessness, powerlessness, and missing needs, and I like that this book acknowledges this as something that women do for men while at the same time pointing out that disowning responsibility for those needs ultimately undermines the ability to get them met. I like that the author manages to navigate recognizing the subjective reality of these feelings while disassembling the idea that it is women’s job (and men are helpless) to emotionally regulate men. The author strongly believes in men’s positive ability to learn how to regulate and manage their emotional needs well.
That said, as an agender person who is regularly misgendered as a woman, I’m struggling to find a way to get this book into the hands of the men I think who would benefit from it (possibly even enjoy it), without giving the impression that I think they are broken and harmful people. The book goes in a much different direction than that, but that doesn’t matter if first impressions means they don’t get past the cover. Even beyond the usual problems with giving self-help books to people, I think it may be especially difficult, due to the topic, for a woman to give this book to a man without it being potentially perceived (accurately or inaccurately) as shaming. That is unfortunate.
I think, therefore, that this is a book for men to read and then share with other men in an act of twinship mirroring.
 One of Wexler’s areas of specialty is domestic abuse. He has a number of other books on the topic as well as a book about men in therapy, which (according to the blurb I read) apparently does deal with groups of men other than white cis-men.
 Such as the work of Terrence Real (author of “I Don’t Want To Talk About It” a book on male depression) which is quoted and referenced in this book.
 Being known as someone who reads a staggering number of self-help/psychology books does help diffuse this “I’m giving this to you because you’re broken” vibe, but still… “Hey! I found this fabulous book on [insert taboo topic here] that I think you will love and get lots out of!” isn’t a great party topic for most people. My friends have figured out how to run with it, but they are also used to seeing books on conflict or trauma (for example) on my coffee table.
 Self-help books don’t make good gifts folks. They are specifically aimed at fixing people and giving them will *always* have an underlying message that needs to be managed. I love self-help books but there are books on my shelf that just sit there unread specifically because of the framing of their gifting.
Disclaimer: I am not a therapist, a doctor, or a professional reviewer. I do, however, own and enjoy reading a staggering number of self-help books and I have opinions. Lots of opinions. One of these opinions is that the underlying assumptions in “self-improvement” and “self-help” books should be unpacked. These reviews may or may not do that, but I will try to acknowledge both some of the potentially useful and potentially problematic aspects of the books I review.
They had several separate fields of study, such as the effects on children, the effects on eyesight, metabolism and circulatory dynamics, biochemistry, etc. They smuggled some of the results to a doctor outside the ghetto, and had the rest hidden to be excavated after the war. The results were published, although it seems they were never put to much use, from what I can gather.
Hebrew Wiki has an article on it, but there aren't links to any other languages. Someone in Columbia university [pdf] gave a paper or lecture on the research (in English). There is precious little material otherwise that I could find on either google or scholar.google, and there is a little more in French. I have never heard of this before that I can recall. I found it accidentally reading on refeeding syndrome, which was apparently first observed clinically in that research; many people died at the end of WWII when liberated from the camps because of lack of knowledge of this syndrome.
They should have taught us that. They should have told us how, even in the worst of conditions, people aren't only brave, they are also smart.
Welcome to due South Seekrit Santa 2017!
Signups are now open, so grab your due South love and get ready to figure out what you can offer and what you'd like to request.
This gift exchange is being run through the Archive Of Our Own, so please read all the rules and the FAQ, which will explain how to register. If anything is unclear, please email dsss dot admin at gmail dot com.
If you don't have an account at AO3, please email dsss dot admin at gmail dot com for an invite.
The deadline for registration is Friday 13 Oct 2017 11:59AM CDT! Mods will post a signup reminder or two, with a final reminder 12 hours before the deadline. Once the deadline passes, registration will be closed and late registrations will not be accepted.
In the interest of simplicity, all deadlines are per US Central Time, aka Chicago Time. To keep track of when deadlines are in your time zone, you may find it helpful to add FoxClocks to your Firefox add-ons, or bookmark the world clock.
Two adjustments to the rules this year:
1) We are requiring everyone to make 2 separate requests (increased from previous years’ minimum of 1).
2) If you default on your assignment (that is, do not complete it by the deadline AND do not contact the mods before the deadline), you will not be allowed to participate in dSSS next year.
This is the comm to watch for ongoing administrative announcements, beta and pinch-hit volunteer posts, and fun stuff like the "guess the creators" game; all announcements will be mirrored to the .
Your mods this year are desireearmfeldt,ride_4ever, andsquidgiepdx.
Please feel free to repost this information far and wide!ETA: We're still seeing a bug in the AO3 sign-up sheet that we've had in the past and don't know how to fix: in the Requests panel, Relationships section, if you click on the button to view all the relationships, it shows you all the characters instead. Auto-complete still works fine, you can still enter relationships in the text box. But for some reason, the list is not viewable.
ETA: Due to a set-up error, Optional Tags are available only for Offers and not for Requests. Feel free to use the Optional Details section of the Request to include any information about elements/tropes you're particularly interested in seeing.
This link should take you to the audio player for The Moth, cued to a story, "Who Can You Trust", 12 minutes long.
The Moth, if you didn't know, is an organization that supports storytelling – solo spoken word prose – true stories. This story is told by Dr. Mary-Clare King, the discoverer of BRC1. It concerns a most extraordinary week in her life, when pretty much everything went absurdly wrong and right at all once. It is by turns appalling and amazing and touching and throughout hilarious.
It's worth hearing her tell herself before the live audience. But if you prefer transcript, that's here – but even the link is a spoiler.
I was really doing fine without this knowledge. Ignorance can be bliss.
I'm very grateful that I'm off tomorrow for a long weekend with friends and expect to do nothing more strenuous then maybe a stroll around the block. And some mild stretching.
Not having any joy of google. Does anybody recognize it?
DragonCon was a bit less enthusiastic than usual, partly due to storm worries on both sides (CS had her "evacu-vacation" flight out of Houston changed four or five times in as many days courtesy of Harvey, which was its own shitshow of stress despite not resulting in any property damage on her end, fortunately).
I haven't had a decent workout in damn near six weeks.