azurelunatic: A baji-naji symbol.  (baji-naji)
In 1999, I was trying college for the first time. (It wouldn't end well, but that was another story.) I was still a Duct Tape Sword Guy, so I had a smallish duct tape sword. It had become a little battered, but my dear friends BJ and Shawn had given it to me, so it had sentimental value. One night I was up late, hanging out with the midnight crowd down in the lobby. I had my duct tape sword with me.

"Hey, can I see that?" some guy asked. He seemed friendly, I'd seen him around, and some of the other guys had had a go with the duct tape sword. I handed it over.

He snapped the duct tape sword over his knee and walked off.


In 2003-ish, I'd broken up with a boyfriend but we were still on good terms, and I'd made friends with lady he was seeing off and on. He babysat for my roommate's kindergarten-ish age kid when there weren't any adults of the household available. He sometimes played around on my computer while he was over.

One day his lady friend IMed me to let me know that while he was on my computer, he'd seen a chat log between her and me that I'd saved to my journal (as was my habit, since I made up for a somewhat flaky memory with electronics, and my journal was the least likely to die a horrible electronic death). He'd read the chat log, broken into her journal, given himself access to a filtered entry of hers, left a wounded comment on the entry, and showed himself out again.


Some years ago, I was having a casual conversation with a close friend. The topic of a mutual mentor came up. "Do you think he's a good man?" they asked me out of the blue. I replied, hedging slightly over a particular character flaw, but I eventually said that I thought he was a good man.

My friend sort of drew up short. "... You don't know," they realized.

At which point I learned some things about this mentor which I will never unlearn.



I thought the social contract would protect my sports equipment. I had no clue that my ex-boyfriend would betray my trust to betray his girlfriend's trust in that way. I had never dreamed that this mentor would have done anything of that sort or to that scale.

I was looking, just now, for the account that someone I know wrote about a conversation she tends to have with friends with kids. The toddler is reluctant to interact, and the parent encourages, apologizes. "Oh, no need to apologize, it's healthy." "Oh, it's not like you're a stranger..." "Fun fact-- ... oh, you didn't know..."

Humans tend to hold on hard to the idea that since you can spot some untrustworthy dickweeds from a mile away, it follows that you should be able to spot most untrustworthy dickweeds with enough observation and vigilance. Never mind that false positives crowd the field, and people are quick to reassure you: Oh, he's fine, he's my friend, he's okay, I'm safe around him so you're safe around him. Never mind that sometimes it's just chance, and a disinclination to carry textbooks, that keeps you from being alone and unobserved in the presence of the wrong person.


Every assessment of trust I make carries two values: my trust of that person on that axis, and my confidence in my assessment.

I trust that this dude will not be extraordinarily reckless with my sword; he probably won't use it to stab passing strangers, but he might whack at me or these guys a bit. Confidence: well, I've only seen him in passing and for a grand total of about 5 minutes, but he doesn't look like a jerk. Call it 60%?

I trust that my ex will take good care of my nephew, and won't allow the apartment to get trashed while I'm gone. I trust that he won't install malware on my laptop. Confidence: we were together for a couple months and I still wanted to keep him as a friend even though the spark wasn't there, so 95%.

I trust that this guy will be a good mentor and teach my group lots of important things about technology. He will probably not straight-up murder us, if the class pisses him off we'll have enough warning to get out of there. Confidence: there have been no previous reports of murder, and he seems friendly when he's having a good day. 80%.

I was right. He didn't stab anybody with my sword. He didn't neglect my nephew or let the cat trash the apartment or install malware. He did teach us a lot of things, and he didn't murder anybody. And I never saw any of it coming.


There have been plenty of people who showed obvious warning signs, and some of them, I never offered the chance to betray my trust. Dude with a history of cheating, perhaps we should not date. Dude who is making various generally violent comments and leering at me on the bus, maybe I'm not going to show you what my actual bus stop is. Girl with the history of bullying, like hell am I going to tell you something personal about myself just because you asked me.


It's the ones who surprise you that you worry about, after.

So there I am at work, and there's a thing and it looks like a little red flag, waving in the breeze. Not a big one, not the sort of banner that you can grab a handful of and wave it at all your friends and say "This is a flag, it's made of nylon or something, it's really shiny and thin and bright red and it will wave in the breeze if you can find a pole to run it up. This is a flag, and it's red." Just a little one. It might even be orange, or brown. You can't quite tell.

What if he turned out to be untrustworthy? says the back of the head, listing off the times that someone with no apparent red flags fucked up your life, for hours or days or years. What accesses does this guy have? What are his powers? How easy would it be to defeat him? You discount the protestations of trust from people who know him, even if they do have a pretty convincing reason for that flag to be there legitimately. You once defended someone who proved themselves unworthy of it. Some people may hide the flags around their friends, and the ones who hide it are more dangerous, because they know what they're doing.

What's the realistic worst-case scenario? the little voice presses. How screwed are we?
azurelunatic: Animated woman's gloved hand dripping with her own blood.  (bleeding)
Contains: passing mention of disordered behaviors, a great deal about process in dealing with a mental minefield; self-denigrating behavior of third parties; body image, as influenced by the unthinking words of third parties; meta about insults with homophobic and misogynistic examples as well as the body-shaming stuff.
Read more... )
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azurelunatic: Delicate blown glass perfume bottle with clear and shiny blue glass.  (perfume)
Yet again, in early November, I stumbled into a forum with US-mainstream-culture women talking about makeup, and whether we need or don't need it. Context involved comparing candid celebrity photos with the same celebrity all done up for an event. Appearance stuff, and rage. )
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azurelunatic: Upstretched hands bound at the wrist and chained. (wrists)
Nearly two months later, I'm finally coherent enough to post this, which has been holding up a lot of my other writing, since this has been at the top of the stack.

Okay, we are having a round of You Obviously Do Not Share My Kink But How Fucking Dare You Dismiss Me And Mine.

Scenario: a QUILTBAG event (ok so far) is scheduled opposite (uh-oh) Folsom Street Fair (erk).

I went to Folsom Street Fair last year with a bunch of friends. I realized that I liked it a lot. This year I went with a smaller group of friends. It's not everyone's bag of tea. But even if I wind up going alone, I will probably go next year, because it is my bag of tea.

Now, it's a couple days beforehand. I have already decided and declared that I am going to Folsom. Poking at Facebook to declare that I am going to Folsom (to a carefully-selected subgroup of Facebook -- my newly-created QUILTBAG list plus a handful of other locals), I discover that there is in fact a QUILTBAG-activist athletic and fundraising event scheduled in conflict.

I rant a bit. )

Scheduling an activist event opposite a party that's held to the same schedule for years? NOT SMART. Especially when the overlap is high. COMPLAINING ABOUT IT, USING DISMISSIVE LANGUAGE? Argh.
azurelunatic: Seated baby in incubator shell with electrodes.  (Cyteen)
I was once amazingly offended (and the only reason I was offended and angered rather than hurt was because the world I live in has made me arm myself against this), in a fashion that I don't often get, by some Cyteen fanfic. In it, Ari II, Florian II, and Catlin II are exploring their relationship, but Catlin is reluctant to enter a sexual relationship with Ari, because apparently in that fan-author's interpretation of that universe, female homosexual behavior is seen as wrong and gross, and Catlin has internalized this concept. But she tries it anyway, and what do you know, OT3. And I was filled with horrid, angry, slappy rage, and utter surprise that the author could have even thought to take that choice of interpretation for that universe.

I'm sure I do go on. )
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azurelunatic: panic button.  (panic)
I disagree with the assertion that it's common courtesy to reply to all comments left in your journal, and I suspect that this is a matter of spoons/scale in some cases.

If it's a comment left by someone who you have a relationship with, then it is probably courteous to respond, unless the comment is clearly a no-replies-needed sort of thing.

If it's a comment as part of a conversational thread by some people who are talking to each other (and they just happen to be in your space doing so), then your overt presence in the thread can be taken as intrusive and ... over-attentive. Like the party host who attaches to a pair who are getting to know each other better and butts in.

If it's a comment from someone with whom one has no current relationship, I view it as entirely up to the host whether they respond to it or not. It is generally nice to, but I view that as "it is appreciated and gracious, but not-responding is still a socially valid option", rather than "not responding is rude".

This is especially so when it's a comment from someone who has never interacted with you before and they don't say where they're coming from, or part of a storm of comments originating from someone else's link to your journal, particularly when it's a link from a source that you're not involved in, or a source that's actively hostile. If your entry has just gone viral, you are absolved of all responsibility for responding to every damn thing that J. Random Internet User has to say about it. If you're a professional, sometimes you have to choose between actually doing what you do, or replying to all the people trying to talk to you. (Though a mass-response, like a new entry with "Hello to the entire internet who just dropped by to comment; your support is appreciated, thank you" is nice.)


Let me say that a little louder: a person contacting me does not oblige me to spend my time on them in return. Their desire to create a relationship, even the tenuous relationship of a mutually commenting interaction, does not oblige me to give them that relationship. I'm not obliged to respond to spammers, I'm not obliged to respond to people adding me on Twitter, I'm not obliged to respond to people I don't know saying "me too" on an entry of mine, I'm not obliged to respond to someone trying to troll me or start a fight.

I can speak in public without committing myself to acknowledge or respond to every person who has something to tell me about what I just said.

If I hampered myself with that restriction, I would never have posted any of my widely-linked entries in public. I make an effort to respond to most reasonable comments, and I apologize if it takes me longer than I think necessary -- but I would never make an absolute commitment to respond to all comments, I would never endanger my health in order to respond to all comments, I would never let responding to all comments stand in the way of my actual duties or getting the stuff that is in my head out of it.


It's also different in communities in some cases; things like [site community profile] dw_suggestions or [livejournal.com profile] suggestions are going to feature people coming by months and years later and adding to the discussion, and saying the same things and no, you're really not obligated to reply to every suggestions-commenter ever. The community's maintainers/administrators are the ultimate host in a community.

It is nice to maintain a consistent framework for replies, but it really varies on what you're using your journal for, and whether it just exploded because the entire internet dropped by.
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azurelunatic: funny t-shirt: "I am a bomb technician: if you see me running, try to keep up." (bomb tech)
[This time, the secret meaning to the "bomb tech" icon is that I need a proper Mythbusters/explosions icon. Though I suppose the XKCD Bad Idea icon comes close.]


7:04 AM 4/18/2010
Have joined [community profile] bunny_support, though mine come in CRACKY FLOCKS sometimes.

7:15 AM 4/18/2010
Okay, I have no idea what these little gummy things are, but they're not actually penguins. See, penguins do have eyes, and little stubby wings, and feet, and cute little bellies, but penguins have *a beak*. They do not have a nose and a great big smile. Perhaps it's time for another bewildered letter about accuracy in packaging.

They're sweeter than your average gummy bear.

Read more... )

6:12 AM 4/19/2010
Some crankiness kicked off by reading http://www.alternet.org/health/143187
crankiness )

10:23 AM 4/19/2010
Writing an author's note in the form of a FAQ file for the back of Home Movies from the Cutting-Room Floor, Read more... )

12:25 PM 4/19/2010
Located fascinating comm. Introduced myself. Introduced lubenotlube. Pulled some of the examples found there and put them into the base.
http://community.livejournal.com/badlubeday/8681.html

Crankiness continued. )


1:22 PM 4/19/2010
(edited for relevant and context)

[13:22] thewhiteowl> http://thereifixedit.com/2010/04/19/epic-kludge-photopermanent-candle
[13:22] thewhiteowl> don't try this at home, kids
[13:31] Azz> oh dear, now I have this mental image of Adam Savage (@donttrythis) trying to write with one of those (in silver, on blue paper).
[13:31] exor674> Azz: while on fire?
[13:32] Azz> while on fire.
[13:33] Azz> (the marker on fire, not Adam)
[13:33] exor674> aw but flaming adams sound fun
[13:34] Azz> one might get a flaming Adam *from* that, but he wouldn't start out on fire, the marker would.
[13:35] thewhiteowl> 'flaming Adams' makes me think of Adam Lambert
[13:37] SporkyRat> Owl: He's def. flaming.
[13:37] Azz> ... great, now I have an AU in my head where Adam Lambert is the Mythbuster, and Adam Savage is the Idol.
[13:38] Azz> THANKS GUYS.
[13:38] sofiaviolet> Azz: I love your brain.
[13:40] Azz> and Mythbuster!Lambert is famous for setting stuff on fire (flaming in more than one way!) and Idol!Savage loves pyrotechnics...

7:24 PM 4/19/2010
TIME FOR TEAPATTY WITH IRC. THOUGH I THINK EVERYONE HAS BEEN INTIMIDATED INTO SILENCE. WOOPS.
ALSO, MUD IS STILL NOT LUBE.

8:45 PM 4/19/2010
Also freedom of religion in the US, oh ha ha ha: http://elorie.livejournal.com/1370425.html

7:59 AM 4/20/2010
OH MY GOD THIS IS GOING TO BE SWEET.
http://changelog.dreamwidth.org/570686.html

8:35 AM 4/20/2010
[personal profile] ase has has invented a hilarious game called "Beat the Bus".

8:57 AM 4/20/2010
Safe-To-Eat Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough
http://omnomnom.dreamwidth.org/56375.html

2:23 PM 4/20/2010
Today has been caffeine and various forms of housework.

11:27 PM 4/20/2010
GLEE MAKES ME GLEEFUL OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMGOMGOMGOMG.
I managed to escape the wrath of JD and Teshypants by not actually singing aloud to the episode, since it was all Madonna songs, which means I had a fighting chance of having them memorized. (And when they switched up the arrangement and had different lyrics in different places, it tripped me up.) So I was lip-synching, with full diapragm action. The result? HIGH AS A FUCKING KITE MAN. (OH GOD I THINK I'M FALLING / OUT OF THE SKY / I CLOSE MY EYES / HEAVEN HELP ME...)

So wouldn't it be hilarious to dance a first dance with $spouse at your wedding to "Like A Virgin"? :D :D :D :D (oh Connie, get out of my head, sweetie, your squee is sometimes not helpful.) (that's does-not-exist-in-this-universe Connie, not [livejournal.com profile] intrepia, heh. :-P )
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070223/ap_on_re_us/gay_marriage_schools -- Go, judge. Yay!

...However, dear parents, your bright idea of pulling your kids from class? First of all, unless your kids are the SOCIAL PARIAH of class, they will learn what it was that they were supposed to have learned from the teacher, except as taught by their peers. With color commentary, probably with rude slang, and really, you don't want to see a sixth-grader's idea of an anatomically correct drawing of genitalia.

Pulling from class, unless it's for an unambiguously positive reason (like gifted & talented class) is an embarrassment. It singles you out from the other kids, and unless you have the kids sufficiently under your thumb that they will believe what you want them to believe without question (which you're unlikely to do if they're around their peer group and have been learning about the many ways that parents lie to you) they may not view being singled out and not learning something as a good thing. If they're academically lazy, they may like the idea. If they have inspiring teachers, and the rest of the kids are doing something that they're excluded from, they'll probably be feeling humiliated and cheated out of an enjoyable learning experience.

When they come back to the class, they are going to ask their friends what they missed. Their friends are going to tell them. If it's something that they consider not worth that much parental reaction, they're going to be wondering what the big deal is. I know if my parents barred me from learning something in school, I would not feel comfortable asking them about that topic, because they would have demonstrated to me that they were not comfortable with the idea of me knowing this. That would discourage me from asking them about it. I'd ask my friends, maybe my teacher, and might poke around in the library.

If you're going to teach your kids your way vs. the way that school plans to teach them, for goodness sake, do it beforehand. That way the kid will have already been exposed to the topic, and their first impression will be of your presentation of it, rather than whatever the fuck their classmate says.
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azurelunatic: a modification of the Oxidizer hazard label reading 'Caution Flaming Asshole'  (flaming)
(via [livejournal.com profile] dduane) Christians Sue for Right Not to Tolerate Policies

Warning: disconnected ramble

BJ had these smug little "Yooo-uuu're going to Hee-llllll" T-shirts that he'd gotten through his church. They were intended to be friendly reminders that sin is real and hell is real and unless you step smartly, you're DOOMED! He wore them to work. He wouldn't listen to me about how much I hated them. When work told him to cut it the fuck out, he complained bitterly to me. He didn't get no sympathy from me, because I was the one who bloody well complained to work about the shirts in the first place. I kept hoping that the washing machine would eat them.

News flash: Orientation, whether it's genetic, developed, or both, is a deeply fundamental part of someone's being. It's not something you can turn off and on. It is something that you can repress, ignore, embrace, be discreet about, shout from the rooftops, exaggerate, or just go with the flow. Any specific religion is less inherently part of a person's being than sexuality is, even though it was taught to you as Right and the Only Way from when you were in the cradle on up, though there seems to be a common need among many people to have religion.

"Lifestyle" is ... good gods. The flamboyant metropolitan campy flaming gay thing is a lifestyle. The flaming public anti-gay activist is also a lifestyle. Those people had to choose to take that dark underside of their personality public. It's not an acceptable choice. It's wrong. They can think anything they like in the privacy of their own heads and their little private groups, but inflicting their lifestyle on the rest of us is unacceptable.

That's how it looks from the other way around, you inexplicable things.

If you're going to fight for the "right" to harass people, damn straight I will fight to harass you right back. Which is why campuses develop anti-harassment policies, because this could escalate to the point of violence and rioting.
azurelunatic: A glittery black pin badge with a blue holographic star in the middle. (Default)
Seen it all over: help get a Planned Parenthood on the rez in SD! http://community.livejournal.com/be_bold/212948.html (this isn't the original; the original's in someone's personal journal somewhere.)

[livejournal.com profile] divalion: No More Mr. Nice Guy
(with supplemental http://www.heartless-bitches.com/rants/niceguys/ng.shtml re-pointed-out by [livejournal.com profile] elorie)


And my take...

Read more... )

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Azure Jane Lunatic (Azz) 🌺

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