Learning to Shut Up and Listen

How hard is it for relatively* privileged people to just shut up and listen when people talk about the way society shits on them? I’ll be honest: Really fucking hard. And yet there’s nothing actually easier.

B and I were talking about that yesterday while we were waiting for our gyros. I’d just read a great article about why white people shouldn’t wear dredlocks, and he was all offended by the notion that white folk can’t have any hairstyle they want. Why shouldn’t they?

That knee-jerk response comes so easily to those of us near the top of the privilege heap. [Read more…]

Well, That Volcano’s Nekkid

Saturday’s excursion to Mount St. Helens with Suzanne was a complete success. Well, it feels like it was even though we didn’t make it to both of the visitor’s centers I wanted to scope out. That ended up not mattering a bit because we had so much fun. Wish you were there!

Image is a selfie of Suzanne, who is flashing a peace sign, and me smiling in front of Mount St. Helens.

Suzanne, moi, et Mount St. Helens.

Suzanne was kind enough to drive, so I got to lookie-Lou the whole way up. We realized when we got close that Mount St. Helens wasn’t just a dirty girl – she was almost completely nude! She only had a few tiny patches of snow clinging to her. We pulled off at the Elk Rock Viewpoint and had a long look. You can see how nekkid she is. Even Mount Adams, lurking over the ridge to the left there, has been stripped of much of its snow cover. This heat wave is srs bidness! [Read more…]

Mount St. Helens is a Dirty Girl!

Friday certainly was challenging. I woke up late, for starters. That didn’t bother me too much – I wouldn’t get as much as I’d like to do done, but surely I could still do lots! I was on the road by just after two. Then I had to turn around because I’d remembered every bag aside from the camera bag. Still, I’d caught that within a few blocks, so no worries! Traffic into downtown Seattle sucked, but it always does. Still no worries.

But traffic remained not just bad, but atrocious, all the way past Olympia. It took me over three hours to do a drive that normally would take me an hour and change. I didn’t get down to Castle Rock until seven. Gah. I’d meant to explore some bits I’d never seen before, but all I had time for was a walk around Silver Lake. Happily, Mount St. Helens was completely visible, so I could get you a volcano! [Read more…]

Unidentified Flying Dinosaur: Baker Beauty

No, I didn’t make it to Mount St. Helens today. Didn’t have set plans, of course, and Misha was actually being super-sweet. She decided to cuddle upon my lap in the 90° heat. Well, when your kitty is over 21 and you know time is short, when she wants to cuddle, you cuddle. So we did. And then Boo was busy on the bathmat, giving herself a bath, when I attempted to take a shower. And then Pipa wanted a walk. And then I went to get the car serviced, and then bought cat litter, and ended up leaving my tablet at the store, but happily some wonderful soul turned it in to customer service, so that was a little bit of all right. By the end of all that, though, I was done, and hadn’t even packed yet, so I decided I’d risk the party. I’m currently in the yard listening to a dude relate how he was interviewed by the FBI as an Unabomer suspect. This is an interesting bunch. The music’s good, too.

Yes, that is correct. I am so devoted to you, my darlings, that I blog for you during a party. That’s love, that is! Also, they’ve just started asking me what the word is for a flock of birds that swoops and divides and comes together again. They think murmuration. Damn it, Jim, I know rocks, not birds! I have no idea. So it’s over to you! There’s a bonus UFD sort of thing.

Anyway. I have prepared for you a UFD we saw at Mount Baker, so you will get a few pretty photos in a volcanic setting. [Read more…]

On the Necessity of Being a Good Trans Ally, and Links to Some Trans Resources

I’ve watched with increasing dismay as a person I admired very much, whose blog I read first thing every day, failed spectacularly to understand why her actions over the past year and more have been upsetting to trans women. I’m about to leave on a trip, so that’s as far into that quagmire as I’m wading for the moment. There’s something more important for me to say, anyway:

Yes.

Trans women are women. Full stop.

Moreover, they are women who face misogyny of a particularly virulent kind. [Read more…]

I Am Abandoning Y’all For My Favorite Volcano. Yes, Again.

Between various things going on both in my personal life and online, my ability to cope with people is nearing absolute zero. Alas, our house is being invaded by a great many people starting tonight. I may stick around for the big par-tay, but I am most definitely cutting out for the rest of the weekend. Already got me reservations at a nice little place on the Lewis River, don’t I just? Already made plans to explore the air-conditioned wonders of the various west-side Mount St. Helens visitors’ centers with Suzanne, haven’t I? Ja, you betcha! [Read more…]

Happy International Tiger Day! We’re Celebrating With Pretty Tigers and Tiger’s Eye

It’s International Tiger Day! The fifth annual, in fact – July 29th was designated as a day to bring attention to tiger conservation by the St. Petersburg Tiger Summit back in 2010. Tigers are in serious need of help: we’ve lost 97% or more of our wild tigers in the last century. There may be as few as 3,000 left in the wild. They’re in the worst shape of any of the big cats. Which is sad, because tigers are awesome!

I mean, just look at the beautiful Sumatran tigers at Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium: [Read more…]

Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck is More Like a Delay

B and I love Amy Schumer, so we had high hopes for Trainwreck. We even braved a packed house to see it on Sunday, when we’d normally wait until a few weeks after opening.

We enjoyed it, but neither one of us was bowled over by it. There were plenty of funny lines, and everyone in the theatre howled several times, so if you’re looking for a good, light rom-com, it’s a great choice. But it’s basically a standard of the genre. I was hoping for something more revolutionary. Amy does reverse a few tropes: it’s her character who’s playing the field, and the dudes who want the commitment. There are some truly hilarious moments, like the baby shower for her sister, where she gets to shock a lot of very sheltered people who make the mistake of deciding to play some confession game. LeBron James is pretty awesome as himself. In fact, there are many sports cameos, so you’ll enjoy that if you’re in to that sort of thing. [Read more…]

Dear FSM, I Am a Skeptic Living in a House of Woo

Just so you know, I do love the new roomies, and the house is awesome, and most of the people I’ve met have been quite interesting. There are even many science-oriented ones! But there is also so much woo, I am not even kidding. I mean, we’re living atop a shaman, what could you expect?

Image is Buzz Lightyear with his hand on Woody's shoulder and the other hand reaching out as if showing the world. Woody looks appalled. Caption says, "Woo. Woo everywhere."

It’s quite awkward, being the resident skeptic. [Read more…]