capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
By the way: This is a different melody than the one you’re probably used to, but as I understand it, this is the tune that Burns had in mind when he wrote the words down in the eighteenth century (and in this performance, there are also a couple of verses sung in Gaelic. so if you all of a sudden don’t understand what they’re singing, don’t worry [probably]).

Lyrics behind here. )
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
Is to write some sort of Year-in-Review thing-a-ma-bob.

... But I'm just not feeling it.

So have another monster picture I drew back in January, 2014, with my compliments and thanks for your friendship (both collective and individual):

jan-11-14 monst

(Description: Ballpoint pen drawing of a round-bodied, bird-like, monster standing in profile, with a stubby wing, a single human leg and foot, a toothy beak with human-like nostrils, and a medium-length plumed tail. It is standing next to a flower whose blossom echoes the shape of the plume on its tail. Dated 01/11/14)
capriuni: The 12th Doctor Clara, captioned: "Can I talk about Planets, now?" (Planets)
Audrey's in her room, watching a DVD of Deep Space Nine (just the other end of a very short hallway from this office). I'm kinda half-eavesdropping. I remember liking it a lot, years ago, when I watched it during its first broadcast run (I haven't watched it since, that I remember).

I recognize the voices of the main characters, and the theme (and incidental) music, but ...

Commander Sisko is sounding a lot more authoritarian and quicker to bellow than I remember. As a matter of fact, every character is sounding rather shouty to me, from this end of the hall.

And I can't remember if I even noticed that aspect, back in the day. And if I did, if it grated on my nerves the way it does now...

But it does remind me that the whole Star Trek universe is built around the quasi-military establishment of The Federation.

capriuni: A watercolor sketch of a small green troll with blue eyes (Eloise 2)
If I were following the current Internet Meme, I'd save this for #ThrowbackThursday. But Saturday is "Doctor Who Day," and I can't think of a better time to post these pieces.

Some context: I originally posted these two pieces of writing on the usenet newsgroup Rec.Arts.Drwho (aka "RADW") during the deepest, darkest time of the "Doctor Who Wilderness Years" (remember Usenet? It was the only game in town for "social networking" before "Social Networking" had a name).

First, I believe this is the first thing I ever posted to RADW, on September, 29, 1999. I'd been lurking there for a week or two, fresh from reading the novelization of "Ghostlight," and realizing just how much the character of the Doctor enriched my life. The discussion (some would say "Flamewar") dominating the threads at that time was about whether the Doctor was womb-born, and half-human (as put forth in the "TV Movie"), or whether he was fully alien, and had been genetically engineered on a "Loom" (as had been put forth in a recent series of original novels).

Mushy, OTT, love letter to Rec.Arts.DrWho )

Second bits of context:

A) Rec.Arts.DrWho and its sibling newsgroup, Alt.Drwho.Creative, are the only places on the Internet where I've found the socio-linguistic habit of naming trolls by specific prefixes -- as "Pro-" or "Anti-" 'Tribes;' for some reason I still can't quite discern, the most deeply entrenched flamewar was a three-sided conflict between the Pro-Troughton, Pro-Pertwee, and Anti-McCoy trolls. B) There was a particular thread, intended to embarrass and shame the trolls into good behavior, I think, called "The Weekly Stats," which listed each thread title in descending order, according to how many posts it contained. The following post (originally written March 12, 2000) makes reference to both these things (it also contains my first attempt at Doctor Who fanfic):

What it means to be a 'Pro-Fun' Troll )

Final Thoughts )
capriuni: Text: "an honorable retreat ... not with bag and baggage, yet scrip and scrippage. (Scrippage)
(From my Camp NaNoWriMo project):


I navigate the steepness of the path
As gravel slides beneath my rolling wheels,
To join the stranger standing on the bank,
And share, in silence, the beauty of this place.
The curve of Highlands across the river's breadth,
The murmur of the water against stone,
The golden blush of light that fills the sky,
All this helps me forget the ticking clock.
Read more... )
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (question)
A couple of old photos of Mother, that I'd like to preserve, so I scanned them. Unfortunately, neither have any indications of a definitive date. Which I would especially like for the second photo.

Audrey thought that, because that second photo is clearly an official event, the historical information must be around somewhere. And maybe I could try looking online. (What she doesn't realize is that Philipstown, NY has been pretty much run with all the professionalism of a private hobby for the last 130 years, or so...).

Good News: The City does have a website! \o/
Bad News: The dates posted on all city blog posts are from 2009. /o\

What do you think my chances are of talking to an actual human being who can answer my questions, if I try calling the town clerk and asking someone to look up information on something that happened close to 30 years ago?

Yeah... Not getting my hopes up.

That second photo: does it look more like 1980, '88, or '90, to you guys?

two medium-large pictures behind cut )
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
In my last post on this subject, I stated my discomfort with the current cultural discussions of "Bullying, and What to Do About It," because, in my experience, it's the adults who form the largest segment of the bullying population, and that children, on the whole, are more tolerant, and no one seems to be talking about that part of the equation. This entry started out as what I thought would be one brief sentence in a reply to a reply to that post... and then it kept getting bigger, and I realized it should be its own thing:

... I know: I've seen the reports, and the candid filming of behavior on playgrounds and in lunch rooms, so I know that childhood bullying exists. But it's still my deep is my deep gut feeling that adults are far worse sinners as far as bullying goes. I don't think I will ever shake it completely. And I think this is a direct result of growing up, from birth, with Disability Disprivilege.

You see, what I've seen, from the time of my earliest memories, is that a very great (if not a vast majority) number of people who work in the "Disability Services" sector -- from young adults taking summer jobs at "special" camps, to Special Ed teachers, physical therapists, and social workers, all the way up to administrators of disability services at city and county levels -- are drawn to the field because they are bullies.

First off, they know that the job title on their business card is enough to earn them adulation from their community (for making such a noble and charitable sacrifice on behalf of those poor unfortunates). So they get near global reinforcement that their view of the world is the one true view (and this is precisely what bullies have been trying to prove to the rest of the world since they uttered their first insult in preschool).

And second, and perhaps more important, it puts them in position of control over other people's lives, and gives them an air of expertise, and the power to make up the rules of the game. So, for example, when they tell parents of a disabled child: "Johnny will never be able to read at grade level, anyway, so we'll just pull him out of class during English, so we can at least train him to walk normally as possible," most parents just take their word for it (and any quick survey of "rehabilitation and treatment" literature will reveal that the appearance of normalcy is the number one measure of "quality of life").

If Johnny, himself, tries to complain or protest, he gets stuck with the label "Resistant to Treatment," and "Disobedient," and gets punished and put in isolation.

And because of how the Rehabilitation Complex is organized, my parents, who were incredibly supportive of me, and did everything they could to reinforce my sense of self-worth, were outnumbered by these "Experts and Professionals" by about four to one.


Meanwhile, in grade school, I couldn't run and play hopscotch or jump rope with the rest of my class. And so I spent recess on the sidelines, sitting in the shade of the big oak tree.

And before you start listening for the sentimental strains of the violin, underscoring the "loneliness and isolation of the crippled child's life," consider this:

The children who were bullies -- who were afraid of and disgusted by any whiff of difference -- knew that no amount of insults or punches could shame me out of my wheelchair, so they stayed the hell away, rather than catch my cooties. And the kids who were interested in who I was as a person, who liked wordplay and imagination games (and perhaps, sensed that I came armed with my own Bully-repellent force field) came over to play with me of their own accord. And together, we made up our own games, where everyone was an equal participant.

So, in my life, my interactions with the Adult Population were always skewed toward the bullies-and-thugs end of the spectrum, and those with the Child Population were always skewed toward the Incredibly Nice and Ridiculously Creative end of the spectrum.

So -- yeah. In the ongoing "What to do About Bullies" discussions, my instinct is going to be to side with the kids, as "my tribe."
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
Anyway, so at the end of July: I made a list of Na'Arts I wanted to make in the month of August. The very first thing I wrote for that list was:

A hand-drawn sketch of my own, bare, feet (they are the part of my body I am least comfortable with, and I want to get more comfortable with them) Problem: Getting a way so I can actually see them while in a position to draw them...

So this post is ALL the THOUGHTS and FEELS about that, that I just didn't have the energy to post on the day I did the picture:

cut for those who are disturbed by images of feet (500 x 402 pixels) )

Okay, so it's one foot, instead of both feet... 'Cause ... Do you know how hard it is to get a clear view of your own feet when you're holding a clipboard in your lap?! Ahem. Anyway, yes...

I'm not sure if it's clear from this perspective, but my feet are "clenched" -- my instep is almost hemispherical, with my toes curled under; if the bones of my feet had the same range of motion as the bones in my hands, my feet would be clenched fists. The angle between my foot and lower leg is actually less than 90 degrees. Here - this picture, illustrating the full, normal, range of motion for the human foot shows what I mean: my feet are stuck in the full UP position -- if someone pulled really hard, they might be able to get my feet to budge down a millimeter, but not without me swearing bloody murder at them, 'cause OW. That dark line I drew around the top of my instep is no exaggeration -- it really is deep crease where the sun (or the library chandelier) don't shine.

I used to be more self-conscious over my feet's weird crooks and creases. But that's no longer the main reason I'm ambivalent toward them now. (As my friends know, I'm perfectly willing to be weird). And I'm even cool about their spasticity and its discomfort most of the time.

'It's just that...' -- Cut for your scrolling pleasure )

The thing that I love about drawing from life, by hand, is that in order to do it well, you have to slow down, and really look carefully at the thing (or part of yourself) that's in front of your eyes -- not your memories of it, or prejudices about it -- but what's really, actually there in the present moment (Which is why drawing from life is better than drawing from a photograph). So I'll probably do another foot picture or three. I'd love to get in front of a full-length mirror, so I can draw the whole of me, either nude or not (my feet are almost always nude, except in public). But I don't have such a mirror, yet.

This was going to be a much longer post... but writing this (with breaks for dinner and snack) has taken me five hours. So there may or may not be a part 2...

Oh, and here are the other things on the list, with links where applicable: )
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
From the very first season of Sesame Street, sung by Big Bird (Music by Joe Raposo; Lyrics by Raposo and Jon Stone):


Synopsis: Big Bird mistakes the Alphabet for a single long word, and he pronounces it like so:


Visual creepiness and/or disturbed nostalgia warning: they hadn't yet settled on Big Bird's proper look yet, and his head is disturbingly small in proportion to his beak and the rest of his body; you can almost see Carrol Spinney's hand and wrist inside the body suit.

Still a great song though... And the scary thing? I'm pretty sure I remember seeing this early version, back when it aired for the very first time; I would have been well past my sixth birthday (but not yet "six-and-a-half").

Lyrics from & my augmentations: )

*That is: "Hard-G; long-E"
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
These Mother's / Father's Days always make me feel a little bit bitter, because A) they remind me that I no longer have either parent in my life, anymore, B) both my parents were scornful of the Greeting Card Industry's commercialization of parenthood while they were alive, anyway, and C) Google's horrible gender-normative animated "doodles" make me want to "GRAH!"

However, as I was toddling to bed, turning out lights, after midnight (with these thoughts fresh in my mind), something caught my eye, and I found this photo had slipped from between some books on the shelf, probably, and had fallen onto the floor. So I took it As A Sign that maybe I should Celebrate Anyway, because, dammit: Celebrations are Good on Principle! So:

Happy Father's Day, Everyone!* )

*(If your biological father does not deserve celebrating, for his own sake, celebrate surviving him).
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
This is something that's been fermenting in my brain, lately, that I have not gotten around to posting (I don't think? If I have, please excuse the repeat):

An adherent to the Medical Model believes that "eliminating disability" means curing or treating all the symptoms.

Whereas an adherent to the Social Model (specifically Yours Truly) believes that "eliminating disability" means:

"Allowing all people the freedom to do everything they can do, without shaming them for what they can not do.

Now, that light bulb clicked on a few weeks ago. This morning a second light bulb clicked on regarding the definition of "Shaming":

The noun "Shame" is the emotional pain you feel when you believe (either correctly or incorrectly) that something you've done, or something you are, is Wrong.

The (transitive) verb "To Shame" is what other people do when you don't feel pain about what you've done, or who you are, but they feel you should, so they do everything in their power to convince you to change your mind. And it takes a lot of practice and a good circle of kith and kin (mostly kith) to withstand all that.

I, for example (as my kith know), feel no shame about my disability. But even so, I cannot deny that this visit to our local fine art museum was a fine example of "shaming, the (transitive) verb":

A visit to the Chrysler Museum [yes, the same people as the car company], January 23, 2008 [originally posted to my LJ the next day] )
And no, for the record, I have not gone back since.

It's that social shaming that makes "The Disabled" a distinct (i.e. second -- or third) Class within the society, and what makes Disability an Issue to Deal with instead of just a Difference to Live with.

And eliminating that class distinction within human cultures is what the Social Model of Disability Means to Me...
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
Okay, so I've been posting a bunch under my "Signed Languages" filter, which most of you are not on, because it's a small subset of my circles... but twice, recently, under that filter, I claimed to have learned ASL from Dr. Larry Flesicher (who died in 2009). And then, today, I decided to Google the "ASL, S.U.N.Y. Stony Brook, 1991" to see what I could find about him.

...And it turns out, I learned ASL from Dr. Larry Forestal, who is still very much alive and kicking... Ooops? Um, in my defense, this was twenty years ago? and I don't think we called him by his last name anyway (since we were first year foreign language students, and clueless as all get out)? And I may have been reading the news of Dr. Flesicher's death online, without my glasses?

Anyway, Look what I found! ... I made it into The New York Times! (not by name... But I was one of the "more than 30 students [who] held a protest earlier [that] month," mentioned in the article). The full article is behind the cut. I'm posting this out-of-filter, because there are several teachers, former teachers, and soon-to-be-teachers in my circles, so the subject might appeal on those grounds.

Campus Life: SUNY, Stony Brook; Sign Language: Foreign Or Merely an Easy A? (New York Times, May 26, 1991) )

I knew the anti-ASL argument was bogus at the time... I don't know how many students actually did get A's. But we were given work in that class... And no, we didn't "speak," but we were required to sign in class.

But now that I've followed along with people working as college and university instructors, I really know their argument was bogus:

"Too many students get A's!"

(actually, you counted wrong)

"Well, it's American Language... That's not foreign!"

(But Navajo is?)

"Well, it's only taught by Adjunct Professors! Everyone knows they're not real scholars."
That last one is the kicker, ain't it? Especially since, I bet, every one of the tenured professors making that argument back then were Adjunct Professors, once upon a time...
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
The Steadfast Tin Soldier (The disabled would be happiest 'with their own kind')

With an Addendum: in that post, I mention I wheelchair using guy that often came 'round my college (his mother worked in Admissions, iirc), and that rumor had it he had recently been an actor with Tom Cruise in Born on the Fourth of July, which had just come out.

At the time, he was studying for his fourth attempt at the Bar, to become a lawyer.

... After I wrote my post, I decided to look him up on, to see if I could recognize his name, and if he had, in fact, been in the movie. Sure enough, "Paraplegic #1 (Miami bar)" was listed has having graduated from a Newburgh, New York high school... And this guy was a Newburgh native. So there, I was reminded that his name was Kevin (McGuire).

And from there, I Googled him.]

Turns out, he's got his law degree now, and is CEO of his own company, as a consultant for corporations on ADA law.

Good on ya, Kevin!

(I still doubt we would have been a "good couple," even if we do both use wheelchairs).

His Website: McGuire Associates
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The other day, I was looking around YouTube for a Douglas Adams interview clip where he said he hated dystopian fiction, because we what we create in reality comes out of what we imagine. And I wanted to cite that in a post talking about why I like (most) "Holiday" stories on TV -- both the annual specials that are aired each year, and the Holiday themed episode of regular series.


I could not find it.

What I did find was an upload of an hour-long documentary interview with him, for the South Bank Show, from 1992 (in six parts).

What's extra nifty about it is that while he and the interviewer are in the sitting room having their conversation, Adams's fictional characters are milling around the other rooms of the house, listening in, and rolling their eyes.

This is Part 5, and it's the one that makes me the happiest of all, because this is the bit where Douglas Adams talks about how other creatures besides humans are also intelligent, and their perceptions of the world are just as valid as our own, and this is also the bit where Ford Prefect explains to Arthur Dent how the relationship between Authors and Characters work...

And what he says reminds me an awful lot of what Dad and I would talk about, late into the night. And so it kind of fills that Lonely Hole I've got, right now.

So I thought I'd share it:

transcript to follow, bit by bit, probably )
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (question)
When I was a Teen, and in my early 20s (~1980s), and Mother and I would attend politically / protest-oriented events, a common phrase we'd see printed on tee-shirts was "Shameless Agitator."

And I got to wondering: is there a specific historical context for this phrase? Was it a common epithet thrown around in newspapers to refer to Suffragettes, for example? Or labor leaders? Can it be traced back to a particular quote?

Bit of random, personal trivia: Once, one of us (either it was I, or my mother, who then shared with me), misread one of those shirts as "Shameless Alligator," which then became a running joke between us until the end of her life. That memory recently came back to me, and that's what's gotten me curious about this...
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
Last evening, I wrote (under a locked post):

And this is why even good rom-coms are like psychological Chinese Restaurant food: make me feel all happy and rosy while I'm watching them, but leave me depressed and lonely an hour later... Especially when the hero is a creative/artistic outcast, such as Danny Kaye so often played [Did he play a performer / actor in every one of his movies?],* because that's the character type I most often identify with, myself...

And, almost as soon as I wrote that, I realized that all those years in my late teens and early twenties (when I was venturing out of my parents' world, and still in contact with other people on a daily basis), I'd been mistaken. Back in the day, when I was watching those sentimental love stories, I was taking it at face value that I was being entranced by the idea of such an artist type falling in love with me -- and it wasn't until I wrote it out, in a half-sleep state, that instead of wishing for the hero, I was identifying with the hero.

Oh, Subconscious, you tricksy rascal! Twenty years later than I could have actually used that knowledge... Why I oughta ...!

*Checks -- maybe not Every, but close:

Buzzy Bellow / Edwin Dingle (1945) -- Nightclub entertainer / "bookworm" (geek); Walter Mitty (1947) -- a writer of pulp fiction; Hobart Frisbee (1948)-- A music professor[ Georgi (1949) -- a song/dance man for a medicine show; Jack Martin (1951) -- a caberet entertainer; Hans Christian Andersen (1952) -- writer, again; Jerry Morgan (1954) -- vaudville vantriloquist; Hubert Hawkins (1955) -- ex-carnival dancer turned minstrel, turned jester. ...And so forth. His full filmography is here (I'm hungry, and tired of typing)
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
So -- last night, just before midnight, I found YouTube's movie channel... And managed to find one old Danny Kaye movie (The Inspector General); it was 101 minutes, plus about 5 minutes of pausing for commercials (still better than watching on TV).

And when it was over, did I toddle off to bed? No, of course not. That would have been sensible. No, I decided that the Danny Kaye movie I really wanted to watch again was The Court Jester (1956). So I went hunting through regular YouTube for fan-uploaded clips.

By the time I was pulling the covers up over my head, the dawn was breaking. By the time I woke up again, mid-morning, I realized something: I miss the classic movies not just because they're still harking back to the theatrical traditions, with the way they're framed, and sung and danced, but because, visually, they're beautiful to look at. The colors on the old film was more muted, natural, and rich. The colors (and focus) of modern movies --even when I like the scripts, and characters, and it's a romcom or a drama (never mind all the ones that try to be in-your-face) I find painful, in comparison.

To show you what I mean, here's a brief clip from The Inspector General -- 1949 (The love song scene). Granted, this is set in a Eastern-European town run by a league of corrupt officials, so it's meant to be drab. Still, it's almost black and white compared to what they put in theaters today:

And here's a longer scene (with set-up leading to the song -- how to get the infant true heir to the throne away from the clutches of the evil usurper king) from The Court Jester -- 1956. This is a much brighter movie (with higher tech film, no doubt), but these scenes still strike me almost like a oil painting, in terms of color and tone -- much deeper and golden-hazy. You know?

Anyway, enjoy!
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
[Breaking News: The "Folk Process" traced and documented! "Old Aesop Tale" a first or second generation Hybrid! Is this as big as documented proof of evolution? Maybe!]

[personal profile] trouble traced one parent: The Blind Man and the Lame Man. [ profile] pedanther traced the other: The Man, His Son, and His Donkey.

Both stories were on the same site (i.e. a Web version of a single book): Aesop's Fables, by J. (Jenny) H. Stickney, originally published in 1915. There are only 21 stories listed between the one and the other -- so, in a paper-printed book, less than a dozen pages between them.

My mother was born in 1934. I bet Aesop's Fables was on her family bookshelf -- or perhaps even more likely, the local library (Schoolhouse or public) -- and mother, in her youth, wolfed down several stories in one sitting, the way you do, when the stories are short and witty and wry.

Years later, when I came along, she remembered both stories, but her memory mushed them together, and she couldn't go back to check the source.

Hee! Bonus glimpse into my mother's childhood! *\o/*

The Old News )
capriuni: A black field crossed by five parallel lighting bolts in blue, gold, green, red, and purple (Default)
In my last (f'locked) post, I admitted to craving seeing old episodes of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood again, and not having much luck with the finding of any of good quality.

But I did find an archival interview of him for an oral history of the early days of television, in nine parts -- and each part is half an hour -- dudes and dudettes, that's 4 and a half hours of sitting down and talking about the minutiae of your life. That must have been exhausting for him.

Anyway, I thought maybe that some of you (even if you're from somewhere else in this wide world besides the U.S. or Canada, and don't know "Mister Rogers" from "John Q. Public") might be entertained by tales of the early days of live TV, when hand-painted scenery and wobbly sets were the rule of the day.

So I'm sharing it. :-)

Fred Rogers -- Archive Interview (part 4 of 9) -- In this part, he's talking mostly about The Children's Corner on WQED in Pittsburgh, 1954-1961.

The interview was conducted in 1999. Fred Rogers retired from television in 2000. The last new episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood aired in 2001. He died of stomach cancer in 2003. :-(


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