Corona-Blogging 4

If I focus on crossposting/rewriting posts, I don’t have to think about how the coronavirus pandemic is still ongoing, right?

Pillowfort:

  • #hitching post – #1 (June 6th), #2 (June 12th), #3 (June 20th), #4 (June 26th)
  • Responding to AUREA’s ‘The Importance of Representation’ here.
  • Repost – Discussing White Deaf Privilege (copied the title of the video shared). US focused discussion of Black Deaf and White Deaf history. Interviewee includes lived experiences with racism and talks about current events as well.

I went from thinking that it was a little bit weird to have been affected by a particular solarpunk to anarchy cluster of blogs to already recognizing mutual aid and being able to link to resources at the start of the pandemic to posting/reblogging a few intro anarchy explanations for people confused by the claim that anarchists were to blame for XYZ at a Black Lives Matter protest. I went from seeing police and prison abolition content from anarchists to seeing a lot of people talking about this. (They don’t need me to do this, but I’m plugging Kite Line’s episode Beyond Reform, which talks about some people combining different reform ideas with abolition phrasing in less than helpful ways.) It’s a lot.

Yeah, I’m aware that I haven’t been posting here on WordPress much. I also didn’t exactly do the June theme for the Carnival of Aros [here]. As a heads up, July’s probably not going to be horribly active on the posting front. Towards the end of June, I came down with Something, and I’m uploading this particular post a few days late because I’m still in the Eh Zone. Fingers crossed, it will go the fuck away on its own in about a week.

Corona-Blogging 3

I’ve mostly done behind-the-scenes stuff this month {written for May 2020, but posted in June}. In no particular order:

I worked out placeholder summaries from fic notes for Ophiuchus Ch 23 and the four Parts of the Darkling series.

I got through spontaneously eye leaking. Fuck pollen, and fluctuating weather (the potential for snow Mother’s Day weekend and then 80*F the next week), and this stye.

In the process of writing the long post about aro diversity and trauma (the one that talked about caedromantic), I poked around on Pillowfort (PF). I’ve seen some tumblr and WordPress posts link to posts and comments on PF before, but I haven’t really done a lot of browsing before now. {ETA: I made a fort, and I started working on crossposting/rewriting old Carnival entries.}

Some other notes on what’s happened this month:

Unfortunately, Ohio is attempting what it calls a ‘Responsible Restart’ plan.

Ohio rolled out a form for employers to report employees refusing to work, which was variably called a ‘snitchform’ or ‘snitchline’ because this could lead to those employees being unable to claim unemployment insurance (more or less punishing them for not returning to work).

More than one hacker kept a script that could flood the form with junk data going until the form was removed while it’s “under revision pending policy references” [direct quote from Covid-19 Fraud website; accurate as of May 25th].

{May 25th, 2020: The killing of George Floyd.}

Corona-Blogging 2

April: ‘I will carefully allocate my time, energy, and attention so I will not burnout’, I say while doing the exact opposite and being unable to focus longer than it takes to reblog a tumblr post.

Also: A minor, easily manageable thing that needed repaired that could wait until the Stay at Home Order eased was discovered by my grandmother, who promptly turned it into a shitshow (and no less than four unnecessary trips to the store), which was why I didn’t tell her in the first place.

No, I will not be taking questions about this. She already makes unnecessary trips for groceries (sometimes multiple times a week), recently revealed that she hasn’t worn a mask on any prior trip (“because no one else in the store wears them”), and in all likelihood, she will be the one who introduces the coronavirus into our household. (Unless she repeats any of the insults from that one yelling match with Mom. Then Mom will probably snap and drive Grandma to “her favorite child” to shelter in place with him.)

In other news, I made an attempt at compiling information about the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation & Correction (DRC) and the DRC’s response to coronavirus/Covid-19 for a separate organization. I tried to keep up with updating a Google doc shared with the person in charge of the volunteer email, but I ran out of steam (last updated in mid-April). I’m not sure if they were already getting Ohio info, have a backlog of prison info to go through, are running short on their volunteers to go through multiple states worth of info, or had something else come up, but I’m not sure if compiling info, well, helped.

I shared a portion of it in this tumblr post (minus the longest portion with contact info for the regional directors and each prison). Contains: Where to call and links to go to for keeping up to date (including the static link to the pdf with daily prison testing updates), a list of Covid-19 changes (ex. when visitation was stopped), ACLU email hotline (covid19@acluohio.org), and the official Communication with Next of Kin policy regarding sharing medical info (you don’t have to be related, but you have to be on the form as their next of kin).

Apparently, there was a phone zap in April [tweet]. Apparently, there was this whole ‘Action April’ effort that started out with a tweet storm in the first part of April [public Google doc]. Apparently, Twitter is where things are at. If you’re lucky, maybe Facebook (ex. upcoming webinar on 19th).

Summary of April: I guess I tried?

One Spark.

“This is the one thing we should remember through all of this. We may have been comfortable and happy with the way things were, but upheaval was always just around the corner. The sheer amount of shit that we’ve been slogging through for years was the reminder we needed that this was bound to happen, even if we wanted to pretend it wouldn’t. The warning signs were all around us, we just needed to see them even if we didn’t want to.

Have a crisis of faith; have a meltdown; have a good or shitty cry; do it up. And once you’ve finished with all of that, maybe you’ll go back to your religious or spiritual tradition with a renewed fervor or maybe you’ll say fuck it and move on. Whatever the case may be, you are the spark of your own faith and only you can light, relight, or blow it out.

Just have patience. Just remember that the shit is far from over. Just remember that there will be more lulls where religion is easy and more slogs where it gets harder. Just remember that you are the only one who can definitively say what does and doesn’t work for you.

And maybe, when all of this is over and things are moving forward again, you’ll take out your faith and see the cracks where it weathered out this storm and marvel at the little light you had with you this whole time.”

Mystical Bewilderment

As a kid, I had a host of strange ideas about God and faith. I don’t rightly know where most of them came from. They certainly didn’t sound like anything mentioned at the pulpit or in Sunday school. But they were mine and I wore them secretly like a cloak around my throat that could choke me if the strings were drawn too tightly.

I believed that God was a cloud. He lived there too because that’s where Heaven was. Not in space or in another dimension, but in the soft pale blue sky of a beautiful spring day. And He, Himself, was a shapeless cloud that lived in the sky, peering down upon His creation. Sometimes I worried that dark gray clouds and slate colored thunderhead meant he was angry just like the sky looked.

Prayers could only be heard in church. You could supplement your desires with prayers…

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Why post a placeholder chapter?

I am aware that ao3 has a Fannish Next of Kin policy and private arrangements have been made between fans before that policy came into place, but the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic of 2020 and the potential for dying from COVID-19 complications (potentially incredibly quickly) has prompted a temporary measure on my part – a placeholder chapter for a WIP.

As of writing this [May 6 – 8], I’ve only been 26 for a few months now, and that’s still considered relatively young to be concerned with ‘estate’ planning. Most people I’ve done a soft inquiry with don’t really consider making some sort of will until certain life milestones I have not reached (having children, owning a house, having enough money for descendants to squabble over, etc.). Honestly, I don’t have very much in the way of tangible, physical items to bequeath to someone, and I don’t have the money for an official will and testament. Even if I did, I’m honestly having trouble picturing myself explaining to my biological family that I’ve got a Drarry longfic, Severus Fix-It, etc. that I didn’t finish updating while alive, and I’d like someone to post a summary of how the fic ends.

Due to the speed at which a COVID-19 death can occur, and the inherent reliance upon in-person people notifying others, I cannot guarantee that friends I communicate with online will find out about my death unless they’re a long-distance Facebook friend. I can’t guarantee that any fannish in-person friends would be able to access my laptop or successfully access my Google docs during this pandemic quarantine. I can’t guarantee that my family will have the patience to abide by a fannish request list that may involve giving out passwords to apparent strangers, for starters. Be that as it may, I do have the current ability to upload a placeholder chapter.

In the event that I’m lucky enough to not have COVID-19 or I don’t have complications (a mild case that doesn’t involve death), I fully intend to write out the end of my fics, which may deviate from the placeholder summaries. In the event that I’m not lucky, I have backdated posts that summarize the endings for the following:

I may add links to additional summaries if I think it may be necessary. All summary posts and this explanation post will be backdated to prevent spamming followers with notification emails.

Corona-Blogging

Initial Reactions (Late Feb)

Some people try to be comforting that healthy (they often mean young) people are less likely to have severe complications, but I don’t know how that’s comforting when I know chronically ill people (plenty of whom are not in the elderly category). Some of them are Big Name Bloggers, so we don’t personally know each other, but I do have online friends/acquaintances who are very aware that they’re being talked about as acceptable losses (1, 2). (That sucks, fam.)

It’s different kinds of frustrating for disabled and chronically ill people who are finding out that an accommodation they tried to ask for or cause they’ve been trying to change before all this is getting addressed now (#AccessibilityForAbleds; #DisabledAndSaltyAF). Remote working actually isn’t impossible (x). E-learning may not be getting rolled out perfectly due to the rush, but it’s also not impossible (x). I think certain food establishments that are still open for to-go service have reintroduced plastic straws after all that fuss about wanting to get rid of them.

And like the whole social distancing thing. Some disabled and chronically ill folks either can’t access sites, don’t have accommodations at events, or need to stay at home for other reasons. They’ve been struggling with social isolation and cabin fever for a lot longer than this (years, even decades), and they’ve already had to rehaul how they stay in touch with people because they can’t rely solely on in-person activities. It’s not like everyone’s being an ass, but is it really that hard to not tell disabled and chronically ill folks that you could never live their life directly to them?

Peer Unrest (Early March)

I fell off the wagon, in a manner of speaking, when it comes to utilizing my dual theatre degrees. I got two (2) Bachelors of Fine Arts and not much to show from them. However, loads of my fellow undergrads and grads have gone on to do theatrical work. They’re acting, doing tech work for small theatres, going on the road with traveling productions, some are in the concert/music side of tech (still traveling), and I’ve probably forgotten some others. They’re scattered all over – LA, Chicago, New York, Cleveland, slightly smaller but well-known for certain theatres or fests towns, and I don’t think anyone’s still abroad.

Some of them are doing the side hustle game, so they may not be solely employed by a theatrical gig, but lemme tell ya, the coronavirus sucker punched my peers. While some have their side hustles or day jobs that are still holding up or can be done from home, others have been thrown a serious curveball. Like, Actors’ Equity and IATSE – the two big unions for actors and techies, respectively – have put out statements calling for relief aid curveball. Like, some small theatres might bounce back if the strict quarantine measures are only in place for a few months, but that’s not a guarantee. (Not to mention, the timeline for how long we have to do this quarantine thing keeps shifting.)

Obligatory plug: Covid-19 & Freelance Artist Resources. Mutual aid groups: US (Canadian links at the bottom), UK, Germany, and other international. Safety Practices For Mutual Aid, Food, And Supply Distribution During The Coronavirus Outbreak (*not* direct care of Covid-19 patients).

Shit Hits The Fan (Mid-March)

You remember that “I am once again asking for your financial support” Sanders image that got turned into a brief meme? Well, I am once again reminding you I live in Ohio.

The state where there was a lot of confusion about whether we were still going to be allowed to hold in-person voting on March 17th, and at the eleventh hour, Governor DeWine was able to cancel the primary due to the Health Director declaring a health emergency. Officially, it’s been rescheduled to June 2nd. On the one hand, people in Cuyahoga county were probably breathing a sigh of relief [Cleveland], but on the other hand, could that have been any more confusing?

In addition to an insufferable tunnel vision on OSU and Columbus (if you don’t live far enough away to get Cincy or Cleveland foci), we are also dealing with: supposedly leading the way in shutting certain things down for social distancing, just following others’ lead on shutting other things down, and oh yeah, some people don’t want abortion to be considered an essential service that’s allowed to use PPE [link]. Just a fun quarantine.

Quasi-Acceptance (March 22 — )

Autoimmune condition: When your immune system is janky and tries to light the house on fire to kill a spider, which manifests in something happening to your body (psoriasis can cause plaques). It’s probably in overdrive if you’re not taking something that suppresses some part (or the whole system). Not being medicated is kinda-sorta-maybe better than being on an immunosuppressant, but y’know, the inflammation and various symptoms of your condition might mean you’re not exactly in tip-top shape even if you’re not immunosuppressed. So, fingers crossed and knock on wood that you don’t get the brand new virus going around.

No, I will not be thinking about anything else that might constitute an underlying medical condition rendering me more “vulnerable” to Covid-19 complications. This is enough to publicly worry about. This should be enough for certain relatives to take the coronavirus seriously. This is enough. My anxiety may or may not have ascended to the level of fake calmness. I guess we’ll see.

Also, today [3.22] has seen a lot of sharing of homemade masks, whether that’s for collective efforts for medical personnel or people suggesting these for people at home (who can then donate the actual N95 masks they have). Here’s a popular tumblr post (based around a particular hospital asking for donations with a youtube tutorial), the Forbes article linked in this submission (hashtags, who to connect with to donate any N95 masks you panic-bought, patterns for making your own mask, other open source projects for other medical supplies in short supply), a collection of studies looking at the efficiency of handmade masks and which material to use, and one of many tutorials. I’m not pressuring anyone to do this. There have also been a lot of posts about how we may not have the spoons to take on projects while under quarantine, and I know it’s not like everyone already has sewing skills or tools, including a stash of appropriate fabric and elastic. I’m, hopefully, passing on info that may help or inform someone.

Spinning in Squircles

#1: Family

Having my grandmother move in before we were expecting her to and her tendency to bulldoze everything into being her way are exhausting. I can’t believe I once thought my anger was hidden away beneath numbness, never to be felt again.

#2: Fannish

That vagueblogged fanfic challenge is over in the sense that authors have been revealed and awards given out. I’ve gone back and forth on splitting the original submission and revised ending into two separate fics, but as of now, it’s just a two chapter fic. Because a private FB group is involved, I anonymized the comments that were posted there instead of on ao3 in this post, and I didn’t reveal admin names in the awards post here.

#3: Writer’s Block

Carnival prompts, AAW, ASAW, AroWriMo, fic drafts and WIPs, etc. I got nothing. I can’t focus. It’s like my tires are stuck in the mud, and I’m just spinning without moving.

#4: Sunna & Solarpunk

Generally, I’ve associated a lot of solarpunk content with Sunna, but I can’t say that some of the Vanir don’t sneak in on certain topics (Frey and gardening, as a major example). After the weird, not fully attached to my body feeling while hearing about the hippogriff shit surrounding the president and him wanting to start a war with Iran, I reevaluated which blogs were inactive and followed some new solarpunk blogs. I can’t guarantee exactly what I can do in my living space and community, but it feels a little less like I’m at the mercy of what life is throwing at me.

#5: RIP Windows 7

My family got me a new laptop because my old one couldn’t handle an upgrade. Honestly, I’m not a real big fan of Windows 10 or this new laptop’s setup, but I’ll adjust eventually. I’m pretty sure I got Cortana to stop talking to me, so that helped. My old one was bought way back in the summer of 2012 before I started undergrad, and all things considered, it’s up there in laptop years. It deserves semi-retirement (Linux Lite 4.8).

{polite swearing}

Do I have any memory of what was in that draft that was published instead of previewed (again)? Nope. I have no idea what was in “To Write”. Hope it wasn’t horrible.

Am I having issues with the CoA posts? Yup. While I would like to finish them and post them at some point, I’m just not seeing it happening in time for the carnivals.

Am I seriously considering drafting elsewhere to see if I can reduce premature posting here on WP? Yeah. I’m not sure why it’s hitting now after years of not having this issue, but I’m already very tired of this mistake.

A small bouquet of oopsie-daisies

This post is brought to you by the small space between preview and publish.

I’m aware I probably got the attention of the WP bloggers whose pieces were linked in that first draft that was posted too early, and I’m aware that might not have made sense for any followers reading the post in an email where I didn’t have sections finished. (I’ll absolutely put a heading or list somewhere without completely filling in the section, so there were randomly empty fic placeholders, I’m sure.)

Draft 2.0 will hopefully roll out a bit more smoothly. I hadn’t made up my mind before accidentally posting, but I was debating splitting the a-spec adjacent narratives in some of my fanfic plots into an aro (clearly marked for the Carnival) and an ace post. I figured it might be easier on the eyes than one super long post, but I also hadn’t factored in what might need a warning for squicks, triggers, and repulsed/averse readers yet.

Lent (iii)

While I found it interesting to read some of the pages on Queer Saints when doing research for part of a play (working title Judas Kiss), I don’t really have a personal investment in reconciling centuries of shifting historical attitudes with being a queer Christian. I took my dog out of that fight years ago because it didn’t seem like I could reconcile traditional church messages with being queer (and other reasons), and I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about that elsewhere when explaining how I wound up in pagan and polytheist circles. I know in one of my chats with my QT dead that I was prompted to dig into some of my Christianity inflicted wounds surrounding this, but unfortunately, it’s not exactly an unheard of experience, so I’m not currently going to go find it to share here.

Some parts of my family were/have been involved with the United Methodist Church, and as of drafting this out (6 March), it’s not that far from a big announcement that made national news about the UMC voting to uphold its ban on same-sex marriage and ordaining queer individuals [link]. The decision passed in a 53 percent to 47 percent vote, and there are questions about some sort of split being possible because it’s not a clear cut ‘everybody agrees’ matter. When I look at some of these Queer Christian perspectives, I think of people who are not yet my ancestors, my living Queer siblings, who don’t want their answer to religious conflict to be walking away.

I can’t deny that I personally had to go through an anti-Christian phase as a teen, in order to work out some of the baggage and scabbing wounds, but I’ve been trying to do better. I had a dear friend in high school who was an ally and quite Catholic, and I know the Catholic girl I had a crush on had a different kind of struggle because she didn’t want to stop being Catholic. (Sometimes looking back at who you’ve known and crushed on certainly answers why you have occasional bouts of blasphemy kink.) I don’t have the space to list off all of the Christians I’ve encountered or know who actually are queer themselves or queer accepting, but needless to say, they do exist. Trying to not poke fun at Christians isn’t going to absolve my QT dead of their respective wounds, but sometimes, letting those instances slide is a moment of acknowledging their complexity.