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samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Thursday, October 31st, 2013 10:09 pm
In fabulous news G. only had aggressive diffuse large B cell lymphoma and we're now in cycle 3 of 6 of chemotherapy - did you know you're not supposed to kiss babies when you're full of chemo drugs? I've now been to the Emergency Department of three different hospitals and hung out in four - very good knitting opportunities. I feel like I should get frequent flyer points or a 'patient transfer' sticker for my car or something.

We're in the market for a good henna painter / tattooist what with the hair loss and excellent canvas space emerging. Any recommendations?
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Tuesday, August 20th, 2013 10:48 pm
In a burst of unwelcome news my close friend G. got diagnosed with aggressive diffuse large B cell lymphoma ("cureable") and possible double hit lymphoma ("poor prognosis"). We're waiting on further analysis to find out which one it is. On the plus side G. is stage 1, the specialist is kind of awesome, and it turns out you can access life insurance in these kinds of situations. We're about to embark on the Good Ship Chemotherapy - at least G. is. I plan to hang out in a supportive way, knit amusing hats and mine the internet for the last 10 years worth of adorable animal videos.

We spent most of today in hospital for an unrelated health emergency which resulted in [personal profile] maharetr collecting G.'s car from where it was left this morning, and the QFHC realising to our dismay that none of us can figure out how to put it in reverse. *hums relevant song* We managed to get it tucked away on our verge using the Elvish power of Shoving (thought to be lost before the end of the Second Age) and are experiencing a small amount of car related shame.

I am pulling back on 'stuff' in general and volunteer activities in specific since between job hunting, doing my last MBA unit and supporting G.  I'm feeling stretched.

If you have any good suggestions for knitted or crocheted hats I'd love to hear them.
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Friday, May 3rd, 2013 10:06 pm
The Australian Marriage Equality org is looking for someone who could donate some of their time. They are all kinds of lovely and if I knew how to I would be volunteering myself.

Web Developers

We are seeking web developers who are proficient in WordPress, PHP, MySQL, HTML, jQuery/JavaScript, HTML, CSS, and API integration. Also needed is an general understanding of linux hosting environments, basic networking, and DNS. But if you only know some of these its ok – we can find something for you. Even if you can only spare just 5 hours a week you would help us in a big way.

We use Trello to manage our web project workload, so multiple web developers can work at once and you get to choose the job that suits your abilities and the amount of time you have available.

Please contact AME National Secretary Jay Allen
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Wednesday, February 6th, 2013 08:57 am
Part of me is sad it took me this many years to get the hang of it. The rest of me is just pleased I’ve had the experience of being able to deal with it with kindness, and no lingering unhappy feelings on my part (my main goal).

I have found – through a lot of (unwilling) experimentation – that ignoring is not fruitful, humour or retaliation escalates, and angry responses express how I feel, but have no positive impact on the other person. Worse, since their goal is to enrage me and enjoy it, I have helped them with their goal and reinforced their awful behavior.

This time though, this time I was calm and safe (enough) that I could make eye contact and say hey, that feels like fun for you, but when you taunt someone to make them angry it’s called bullying. I am lucky that this was enough to dissolve the situation and for the first time when it was over I wasn’t still left vibrating with helpless rage.

This has been a work in progress for what feels like my whole life. I grew up in a household where it was normal and ‘hilarious’ to poke people with sharp verbal sticks. I then moved on to a ‘witty’ social group at university where scoring points for being verbally sharp was a marker of social status. I’ve since selected for people whose sense of humour is not cruelty based and who value kindness over verbal social competition. It’s taken me years to build that community and I still have certain… instincts shall we say both in attack and defense. I am trying to learn how to let them go.

I owe a lot to the people who have loved me and made it possible to be safe without constant verbal self-defense. [personal profile] transcendancing  for example is profoundly skilled in this area and her delicacy and care have patched parts of my soul. [personal profile] maharetr  is a constant, gentle presence whose openness to dialogue I am grateful for every day. *beams* [personal profile] chaosmanor  and [personal profile] cupidsbow  who form the rest of my household are also profoundly safe people, meaning my home is not just hilarious and full of robots, but is also a haven. I'm also incredibly lucky in that my father has grown into a person who is profoundly kind and gentle, I did not expect it.

An excellent resource for describing the feminist-baiting dynamic is The Terrible Bargain We Have Regretfully Struck which identifies it clearly as bullying – a word that now carries considerable weight in work environments I have been in, and am now part of.
samvara: Photo of a fox looking thoughtful and text "Someone should do something... Oh... I'm someone" (Do something)
Tuesday, January 8th, 2013 08:39 pm
Not my story to tell, so let's talk in generalities. For what it's worth, you can tell me. I won't judge you, or them, even of you are 'them' (I will tell you your behaviour is unacceptable and work with you to find better ways to behave). Because I want you to be OK, and I want your life to be OK. Because no-one should be hurt or afraid and one of our responsibilities as grownups is to find ways to be that don't harm the people around us. Or anyone really.
  • No, it's never OK
  • Not even if it 'only' happens every now and then
  • Nope, not even if they are really sorry after
  • Never, especially if they are the co-parent of your kids
  • Nuh-uh, you can't provoke someone into being violent - they are responsible for their own actions just as you are responsible for yours.
Yes, it's scary looking at the loss of a relationship. It's also scary living in a relationship where someone feels entitled to hurt you when they can't cope. This is unacceptable.
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Thursday, December 13th, 2012 11:30 am
My beloved [personal profile] transcendancing is moving across the country, her stuff and her car are going too so we are making a road trip of it in late January.

If you want a postcard from somewhere on the way now is the time give me a postal address!

Roadtrip route
samvara: Photo of a fox looking thoughtful and text "Someone should do something... Oh... I'm someone" (Do something)
Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 07:46 pm
Yeah so plans for Sunday involve "a positive, family-friendly gathering to stand up for our vision for clean energy" - who else is coming?

Where: Perth Cultural Centre - James St Mall (note: location has changed!)
When: 11am Sunday June 5
Please share this event with your friends by clicking here.
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Thursday, April 7th, 2011 08:31 am
Found stuck to my work monitor this morning, it would be faintly creepy except [personal profile] japester now works in the building.

Found stuck to my work monitor this morning

One of the unexpected side affects of doing Leadership Effectiveness this Trimester is that I often drive home reflecting on how awesome [personal profile] maharetr and [personal profile] chaosmanor are. By the time I got home last night the only way I could think to express it was to cuddle them.
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Tuesday, February 1st, 2011 03:37 pm
Heading home from work yesterday I hit a moment of conscience when a loudly fighting guy and girl now designated A and B burst out of the tiny deli near my local train station and did a sort of angry yo-yo thing in and around the corner. I usually hang about if something like that flares up near me (presumed couples fighting) on the theory that at the very least having a witness doesn't hurt.

A dude further down the road and I hung about and observed for a little then wandered back to find the deli guy (F) with overturned chairs. The crowd of shouting people expanded to A & B plus 3 more guys (C, D & E) and included such winning phrases as ‘I’m not afraid to hit girls!” (C) My brother is going to get you!” (B) “He had a knife!” (A) the always awesome “I had to defend myself!” (F) and my personal favourite: “this is why we left Africa!” (D?)

I have no idea who started what; it vaguely seemed to be about someone (B? C?) wanting money from someone and B telling A off a lot but mostly it seemed shouty. We hung about and said soothing things like “Are you OK?” “I’m uncomfortable with all the threats of physical violence here” and “Would you like me to call the police?’ until eventually it wound down and the shouty people wandered off and caught a train. One of the guys (D?) did some sort of complicated but obviously peace-making handshaking ritual with Deli guy who was tiny and later said A & B had come in and A had tried to ‘fight him.’

I’m not sure what a really skillful intervention would look like, mostly I just provided uninvolved calmness - any suggestions on how to handle situations like this in the future?
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Tuesday, November 16th, 2010 01:36 pm
[personal profile] maharetr and [personal profile] transcendancing and I were discussing the way Aussie culture has some revolting stuff floating around this particular concept. Today a lady called me a ‘good girl’ and I thought about the number of times I’ve been called that (not many) and what makes me feel like one.

Good Girl!
  • Helping older ladies with knee problems pick up their lunch after it fell on the floor
  • Being kind to my friends
  • Listening to people when they need to talk
  • Doing my (tedious) laundry and cleaning my desk
  • Exercising when I want to sloth
  • Eating food of the colour green
Not a Good Girl :(
  • Lying to self or other people
  • Punishing other people for not being like me
  • Not controlling myself when I’m irritable
  • That thing that happened with the eggs… and that thing with the mirror
  • Being thoughtless and seeing that reflected in other people suffering as a result
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Sunday, October 31st, 2010 07:37 pm
  • Home sick on Monday and then Thursday, body was not happy :(
  • Reclaim the Night Rally, my first - I'm uncomfortable with the idea that the night is extra dangerous to women but think protesting against sexual violence to women is important
  • Bought a kayak and went for a paddle as the sun went down on the Canning River - was fabulous and I'm so happy I got her.
  • 4.5 hour haircut - I've got a 65cm ponytail in a bag and BRIGHT PINK hair
  • Pride! House Martian [personal profile] chaosmanor participated dressed as as nun; this later led to some spirited shouting from a man in a taxi, the new house slogan is "No touching, the Nun says No!". [personal profile] maharetr[personal profile] transcendancing and I supportively went out for dinner and provided squee
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Thursday, October 28th, 2010 07:25 am
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Wednesday, September 29th, 2010 02:14 pm
I mapped out what I could see of the Elizabeth Moon / Wiscon discussion happening as part of my Ethics unit - I’m really impressed at how people are speaking and what I see as the values being expressed. It seemed to me that a critical value is that people should speak and not be silenced and that this core assumption then drove a lot of the ensuing discussion about who / when / where.

This is a first draft based on a reasonably quick pass through so please feel free to question / correct / improve if you feel it’s not accurate or appropriate.

Idea Sketch - first draft
First draft in Idea Sketch )
Instaviz - second draft
Second draft in Instaviz )
ETA: popplet third draft
Third draft in popplet - v3.1 actually )

I also ended up reviewing three mind mapping apps for the ipad.
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Saturday, September 18th, 2010 08:33 am
This year's guest of honour for wiscon had some things to say about immigrants and 'civilized persons' which has in turn been followed up by some discussion about silencing and choosing not to do it. I respect this :)

To cheer me up (and possibly you) here is that lovely Kodak 'apology' again.
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Thursday, June 24th, 2010 07:41 am
Prime Minister Gillard

...bloodless Parliament House coup.

ETA: We have a ranga PM! And, you know, the first female leader of Australia.
ETA: [livejournal.com profile] missyjack's lovely summary
samvara: Photo of a fox looking thoughtful and text "Someone should do something... Oh... I'm someone" (Do something)
Sunday, May 16th, 2010 12:05 pm
I’ve been holding off doing this, I don’t feel like I have any new to say but given the Wincon related discussion and an incident at work recently it seems better to speak than not to.

[personal profile] chaosmanor, [personal profile] transcendancing and [personal profile] callistra and myself have created a DW community to act as a home to further discussion after Safe Spaces at Cons 2010. [community profile] liminal_boundaries is where I (and others) will be posting.

My co-panellists and I propose to host discussions about anything and everything to do with boundaries, negotiating those boundaries, safe spaces, maintaining relationships and you know, anything else that crops up. Some stuff will be posted publicly, other stuff will be members only, so as to maintain a safe space for discussion.

You are invited and welcome to participate (or, you know, lurk if that's more your speed.) We ask that you treat topics and participants with respect and kindness, and that you bring with you a willingness to look within as well as without :)

I'll be posting (members only) semi-regular outlines of specific situations and inviting discussion. I'm interested in any scenarios people would like to propose for workshopping and can be contacted via DW messaging, comments or email me on black0samvara at gmail dot com.

1Swancon2009
Safe Spaces at Cons mp3, 56:08 mins & 51.4MB (right-click and save). A broad introduction to and discussion of social etiquette at fan conventions.
samvara: Photo of Modesty Blaise with text "All this and brains as well" (Default)
Saturday, March 13th, 2010 01:45 pm
Happy, happy night with R. and [personal profile] maharetr with dinner in Fremantle followed by Mama Kin at the Art Centre and conversation at San Churro to finish.
  • The music: I love this woman's voice, her songs, her attitude and her presence
  • The food: lime brulee tart is the most seductive, incredible food
I feel like someone who needs more sleep but in a very 'time well spent' sort of way. I'm gonna curl up and purr.