Bunnies Addendum (For the Buffy Fans)

Like Anne, Lurking Feminist Harpy & Support Staff said: “Bunnies aren’t just cute like everybody supposes!”

No. Indeed they are not.

Image is a demotivational poster showing an adorable baby white bunny. Caption says "Evil doesn't always look the part."

Anne has done well to listen to the wisdom of Anya, who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of bunnies.

Lyrics for them as don’t or can’t watch the video:

Giles: I’ve got a theory that it’s a demon! A dancing demon? No something isn’t right there.

Willow: I’ve got a theory some kid is dreaming, and we’re all stuck inside his wacky Broadway nightmare.

Xander: I’ve got a theory we should work this out.

Anya, Tara & Willow: It’s getting eerie what’s this cheery singing all about?

Xander: It could be witches, some evil witches! Which is ridiculous ’cause witches they were persecuted. Wicca good and love the earth and women power and I’ll be over here.

Anya: I’ve got a theory, it could be bunnies!

Tara: I’ve got a theory-

Anya: Bunnies aren’t just cute like everyone supposes. They got them hoppy legs and twitchy little noses, and what’s with all the carrots!? What do they need such good eyesight for anyway!? Bunnies, bunnies, it must be bunnies!! Or maybe midgets…

Willow: I’ve got a theory we should work this fast

Willow & Giles: Because it clearly could get serious before it’s passed.

Buffy: I’ve got a theory, it doesn’t matter. What can’t we face if we’re together? What’s in this place that we can’t weather. Apocalypse? We’ve all been there. The same old trips, why should we care?

All: What can’t we do if we get in it. We’ll work it through within a minute. We have to try, we’ll pay the price. It’s do or die.

Buffy: Hey I’ve died twice.

All: What can’t we face if we’re together.

Giles: What can’t we face?

Buffy, Anya, Willow, Tara & Xander: What’s in this place that we can’t weather?

Giles: If we’re together

All: There’s nothing we can’t face

Anya: Except for bunnies…

Image is a demotivational poster showing a brown and white rabbit sitting up with its front paws together in a plotting stance. Caption says, "Evil Bunny. The world had better prepare."

Can Someone With Bollywood Knowledge Please Tell Me WTF’s Going On Here?

I miss Nami and Janhavi. They used to drag me to their houses to watch Bollywood films. I’d sit there watching people in very colorful costumes swirl around, and I’d listen to some very energetic songs, and be thoroughly mystified as to what was happening and why my friends were laughing their asses off. But then they’d pause the video and explain. For a few minutes, at least, I’d be able to vaguely follow the action, until it all got away from me again and I was left sitting like an ignorant lump until next they paused to enlighten me. One thing was for sure: anything I ever wanted or needed to know about Bollywood movies, I only needed to ask them.

But we’ve lost touch. And I haven’t many friends now who are in to Bollywood. And I haven’t been able to catch my friend R, who is a fan, outside of work for a while. So this video has thoroughly flummoxed me.

I know this must be several scenes from a film, but I haven’t the foggiest which film. I know there was a battle, and that was obviously Kali collecting blood in a bowl (hi, Kali! You’ll always be one of my favorite goddesses). I think the young dude looking on like a derp might be Krishna. And I know whoever the big brute at the end is got subjected to a mighty lecture before being finished off by the main goddess there. Outside of that, I can’t puzzle it out. I don’t know what events led to this, or what the lecture was about, or who everybody was. I have no idea if the song at all matches the clip. And I’m not sure why I’m intrigued, but I am.

So if any of you are Bollywood fans and can step in to take up Nami and Janhavi’s movie-‘splaining role, I’d love that very much. Also, you could, if you like, educate me as to your favorite films. Especially really good musicals.

Thank you, my darlings!

 

Goddess going after a god with a trident. I don't know who she is, but I bloody love her style.

Goddess going after a god with a trident. I don’t know who she is, but I bloody love her style.

Sunday Song: Assholes

So last week saw us treated to Elan Gale’s made-up saga, in which a woman annoyed people and he, Bwave Hewo, descended from the dizzying heights of being responsible for shit-sandwich television such as The Bachelor and proceeded to demonstrate how he believes that bullying sick women will make our social ills go away. Also, he seemed to have some idea he was doing the staff being bawled out by his imaginary woman a favor.

This is wrong on so very many levels.

Firstly: The fact he did this as a little light entertainment/publicity stunt on a holiday weekend shows he’s a first-rate shithead – as if we couldn’t already guess that from his teevee programs.

Secondly, as a thought problem, it sends the message that in these situations, asshole behavior + even more asshole behavior = harmony. This math does not work in the world outside Mr. Gale’s head.

Thirdly, Mr. Gale has set a terrible example for his followers, who now believe it’s heroic to be a misogynistic asshole to random women in unflattering pants and medical masks. His situation may be fiction, but life often imitates art (or piss-poor versions thereof), and we humans do take lessons and morals from stories. So do expect an uptick in asshole behavior from onlookers in all sorts of tense situations, plus much tweeting about what Bwave, Bwave Hewoes they are. Thanks to you, Mr. Gale, the world has just become that much more measurably worse.

Fourthly, even his stated objective fails: he claims to want to make things better by punishing a woman for being an asshole to staff. And I’m sure most of us agree that it would be nice not to reward assholes. However, as a person who has worked in all manner of retail, customer service, and technical support fields, I can tell you that having one asshole customer poked and prodded and annoyed by another asshole customer only makes the situation far worse for the poor staff member caught in the shit-flinging. More shit is sailing, and the original asshole now has a hemorrhoid. How happy is your asshole when it’s got one of those? How much more miserable does it make you? Yeah.

 

Image is of a cat smacking a small dog in the face. Caption says, "Good day, sir. I said GOOD DAY!"

The Elan Gale school of politeness.

Put it like this: if I were a zookeeper being harassed by a rather irritated tiger at feeding time, the last damn thing I need is some dumbshit in the audience deciding that what would really help the situation is to start pelting it with rocks. One or both of us is likely to get mauled, the poor tiger will feel completely justified as well as infinitely put out, and there’s no way the situation’s going to end happily for anyone except those who like their visits to the zoo to include bloody chunks of flesh being flung every which way.

So, fans of the Elan Gale method of making service people’s lives better: don’t. Just don’t. Sit down, shut the fuck up, and let the professional (helpful hint: this is not you) handle the situation. If this isn’t exciting enough for you, please go find a therapist who can explore the reasons why you may be such a terrible person and help you modify your behavior to become less of one.

And if you really want to help? Try gently defusing the original asshole. Or wait until that asshole has departed, and give the staff member some sympathy.

Now let us have some songs that rather perfectly describe Mr. Gale and his ilk.

Sunday Song: Very

According to my cat, it is very very cold. Tis the season wherein she stops disdaining my lap and begins to demand it, except when I’m in a room that’s less well-heated than another, in which case she’s curled up as tight as she can get in a nice warm bed.

We’ve been spending a lot more time together lately. It began whilst I was sick, and spending more time than usual in bed reading and dozing. She saw this as a prime opportunity to have her lap and her warm cozy room, too, and would plop down atop me for a long session of purring and snuggles. She looks smug about it, too. She knows all about feline paralysis and the causing thereof.

Her habits haven’t changed now I’m better. She just zips into position more quickly, before I have an opportunity to get up and become productive, causing a lot of lost work at home. We spent most of the last two Fridays this way, with her plopped atop me, so busy being happy that I couldn’t possibly ruin her contentment by demanding a life of my own. On the first Friday, though, she moved to the foot of the bed, where she could settle in to the down blankets and gaze at me with a just-you-wait wink of the eye.

Kitteh on the bed, being very happeh.

Kitteh on the bed, being very happeh.

Later, we had a wee nap, with her curled up tight beside my pillow. And then, of course, just as I was about to emerge from our warm cocoon and become productive, she decided she needed my tummy.

Kitteh curled up on a nice warm mommie belleh and several down blankets.

Kitteh curled up on a nice warm mommie belleh and several down blankets.

She had her little face planted in the topmost blankie, which was killer adorable.

Kitteh loves her blankie.

Kitteh loves her blankie.

And you really can’t move when a nineteen year-old homicidal felid is being that precious. So I gave up and just continued reading. There are worse ways to spend a cold evening. Which is apparently her opinion, as well, as the following Friday was spent nearly exclusively with me providing a warm space for her to lie upon.

On the one hand, the house is a disaster. On the other, I’m getting really really good at writing from odd angles…

The bitter-cold weather outside and the loving warm kitty inside rather reminds me of one of my favorite Moby songs, which I share with you here.

Vote for One of Our Own!

Begin super-sekrit communiqué from our own RQ:

I just need your vote, via Twitter or Facebook.

As I may or may not have mentioned previously, my choir is planning a trip to Canada in the summer of next year, for the Canadian Latvian Song and Dance Festival (program here, that’s us on July 4th). So, one of the local breweries here (Cēsu alus, no comments) is running a competition for local groups of singers/dancers to win a rather large sum of money, which we, the choir, would put towards our trip next year – either for plane tickets, or for sight-seeing in Canada (since that costs money, too, and for the vast majority of choir members, this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to get to North America).

So, please, if you have a Twitter or Facebook account, go here and vote (Click ja to say you’re over 18, then click on ‘Balsot’ at the top, then look for Jauniešu kora SONORE dalība XIV Latviešu Dziesmu svētkos Kanādā, Hamiltonā and click Balsot again), from each account, every day (I’ll be putting out reminders until you’re all sick of me). Please. This would mean a lot to me and my fellow choir members, as it would reduce a lot of the stress and financial worry currently causing doubts in some members.
If anyone doubts our skill, I can re-post some of our music – and I’ll (hopefully) have new music/video after this weekend (amateur choir finals on the 29th).

Anyway, if you can help out, muchas gracias! *hugs*

End super-sekrit communiqué.

Right, simple enough. Let’s get ready to vote! First, a song for motivational purposes:

RQ says that’s a “Latvian epic poem about dead heroes rising again, classic Latvian choir fare and a favourite at any possible venue, no matter how badly performed – one of those songs everyone thinks they know by memory until they actually have to sing it.”

Right. That should have you warmed up a bit. Let’s move on to a “traditional Latvian song about bread and working hard to get it.” We can all identify, even if we don’t understand a word, right?

Right? Now, let’s have “Latvia’s unofficial national anthem, traditional song about going home and getting the girl – now a drinking song because it’s fun to sing off-key.” I like a song that’s fun to sing off-key, because despite the concert choir training twenty years ago, I am still better at singing off-key…

Okay, that should have you thoroughly ready to jump on a Latvian site and attempt to upvote RQ’s choir, I should hope. Happy voting!

Sunday Song: I’m Alive

Here’s another one for you bagpipe aficionados. I actually found it a long time ago, then forgot which it was, then didn’t listen to that part of my playlist for ages, then got a pleasant surprise when I finally did that bit. And I was all like, “Oh, hai, I’d better do that as the Sunday Song for my bagpipe loving peeps.” So here ’tis:

In keeping with our “alive” theme, here’s a lovely song by Katra with alive in the chorus.

I love Katra. They make me a deeply happy human.

Sunday Song: Something That May Leave You Traumatized for Life

But the geology in the background is spectacular in this one.

I stumbled across that accidentally, and stared in disbelief for a moment (YouTube had recommended it as similar to some symphonic metal thing, and I was wondering what crack machine intelligence smokes). Then the geology got to me, and there’s just something about that song that makes it not bad. Actually kinda good.

I’ve had a day much like that video: fun, but bizarre. I’ll tell you one thing: assembling a desk chair with a gay man can be one hell of an exercise in innuendo. Which reminds me of another song:

Yeah, the double entendre was flying fast and thick. Once we’d cracked one joke, we couldn’t say anything else without it being twisted. That’s what I love about my gay friends. We can let go and have so much fun. The things Zog and I used to do at karaoke… well, let’s just say they would have been seriously misconstrued if everyone didn’t know his orientation. Then there was the raunchy fun time on stage at Rocky Horror. Those were the days.

And I’d like to thank Cori for doing up my desk chair. Even though I never got to see it the way one normally sees office furniture, I do have to say, assembly has never ever been quite so unique.

Sunday Song: Love, Fate, Fertility, and Bagpipes

So as some folks celebrate a pagan holiday stuffed uncomfortably in a Christian suit, and some of us resist (or fail to resist) the urge to eat horrid hollow chocolate animals for old time’s sake, and the more adventurous among us wait for the Peeps to go half price so we can find ever more interesting things to do with them, I figure it’s time to get back to the real reason for the season: fertility! Well, spring and new life and sowing crops and such. I would encourage all of you with enthusiastic partners to (safely!) make like bunnies in honor of this season. Or, if you prefer and you live somewhere that’s experiencing the first flush of spring, get out and admire the new life springing (ha) up everywhere. In other words, if you have a chance to haz a happy, go seize it. I certainly intend to, once I’m done being extraordinarily lazy.

But first, let’s remember a Norse goddess of love, fertility, and fate, mostly because this song has got bagpipes in it and I know you lot love bagpipes.

Right. Now you’ve had your bagpipage, go play.

Sunday Song: Out of the Dark

Now that I’ve gone and gotten treatment, I’ll tell you the story of the Dark.

I’ve always been subject to black moods. Getting raped at 18 didn’t help, I’m sure. But those moods were always transient, usually correlated to known issues like severe stress, and predictable. They didn’t affect my day-to-day functioning all that much, and I could always find my way out. I just joined up with the part of my brain that was laughing into the darkness and walked out on it. I’d change up my routine, do whatever altered my mood toward happy, and the Dark would go.

So I wasn’t overly concerned when I began to slide in January. Vaguely and pervasively sad in Seattle in the middle of winter, during a time of high stress at work and home? Whee, SAD! Yay, environmental triggers! Time to take a break, then, watch some Agatha Christie, do busy work, wait for the Dark to go away.

But it started getting darker. Day-to-day stuff got harder. Little obstacles I’d normally hop over became insurmountable. Nothing I did worked; I lost the ability to enjoy things I loved, including the ability to talk to people I love. Sometimes, if it was short and simple and didn’t require lots of emotional energy, I could handle a quick reply to their emails. But generally not. Friendships have an emotional component, and it’s hard to handle emotions when yours are trying to kill you.

I could go to work, and do good work. I regained my ability to blog. I could manage some research. By the time those things were done, however, I was spent. Nothing left for anything else.

When February came, and no change, I decided, “Fuck this shit.” If the Dark wouldn’t go away on its own, I’d get someone to escort it out. Only, it had me backed into a corner. I literally could not pick up the phone to make an appointment. It wasn’t that I didn’t want treatment. I did, desperately. But I didn’t have the stamina to handle the phone call to a doctor I’d never seen, explaining the situation to someone, figuring out a time I could make it, getting in the car and driving there… Maybe tomorrow I’d have it. Always tomorrow.

Nope.

Greta Christina wrote up a piece on her depression around then, and I recognized it. Standing in front of a mirror. That gave me courage, and a measure of peace. But still no strength. Maybe tomorrow.

Starspider and I talked about it. She monitored the situation, did exactly what I needed: gave me space until it became clear I couldn’t take care of my business, and then set a date to frog-march me into the doctor. Sometimes, you need a friend to do that, grab you and drag you out of the corner, run to get the bouncer so the Dark can be thrown out.

That week, things got bad at work. So bad I wanted to smoke. So bad I almost begged a cigarette. So bad that the craving, the sheer physical need, returned with a vengeance. And it was like an escape hatch had opened. What, other than Chantix, do they prescribe for smoking cessation down in our clinic? Wellbutrin! An anti-depressant. The Bouncer.

I could have my supervisor make an appointment for the clinic. So I did. Getting to a doctor’s office was a nearly-insurmountable obstacle, but downstairs I could do. So down the stairs I went. I kissed the prescription slip when I got it. Filled it that night, the instant I got off work. Waited for the drug to reach therapeutic levels.

The urge to smoke vanished first. Then, gradually, the Dark began backing off. The Bouncer now has it firmly by the scruff of the neck, and it’s on the way out the door, giving the occasional kick or scream. The insurmountable obstacles have shrunk to mountains; soon, they’ll be molehills. I’ll get to the proper doctor before this prescription runs out. I’ll have a professional monitoring the situation and ensuring a continuous supply of magic happy pills. (And these really are magic. I’m just two weeks in, not enough time for them to fully work, but I’ve got enormous energy and drive, like I haven’t had since November. And I’m writing fiction again for the first time in well over a year. Soon, probably, I’ll be able to handle all that and social obligations. Seriously amazing. That’s just a pill with no therapy. I bloody love science.)

Getting treatment for my SAD brain is no more bothersome than getting treatment for severe muscle spasms, say, or a chronic heart problem that didn’t require medication before, but does now. My mother saw herself as a failure when she was forced to go on medication. She’d been taught that mental illness was “all in her head.” We’re fortunate that she learned otherwise, because we learned together it’s okay to get help for a malfunctioning brain. I’m glad so many good people have shared their own stories, so that when it came time to get help getting rid of the Dark, I could do so without stigma.

There’s an answer to those who continue to insist it’s all in our heads. Sure is! My head is where I keep my brain, and it’s my brain that needs a medical assist to function properly. You know what else is “all in your head”? Brain tumors. I wouldn’t hesitate to treat one of those. I’m not hesitating to treat my brain disorder.

I want out of the dark. I’m getting there fast. (And so will Seattle, come spring, which is coming along with a quickness.)

I’m sharing this story so that there’s one more voice in the chorus saying that shit happens to the brain, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. You can’t control it any more than you can will away cancer. Sometimes, it’s just like a little cold, and passes on its own. But sometimes, it’s serious, and serious treatment is required.. So if you need help, go right ahead and get it. Even if it’s by slightly nefarious means. Even if you need help getting help. Do what you can to get yourself healthy, just like you would for any other ailment.

And you well folk? If you see a friend backed into a corner, help them out. Don’t nag them. Just ask what they need, and offer to help overcome some of those obstacles, and stand with them.

There’s absolutely no reason for anyone to stay in the Dark.

(Bonus video for those who prefer originals: the Falco version of “Out of the Dark.”)

That Feeling of Tension Released in Victory

So you know those times when you’re sitting there restless for no damn reason, and you’re messing about trying to find something that will hold your attention, and suddenly you remember there was this one song you used to listen to years ago that you really liked, but you couldn’t remember the title? And so you go haring off after it, hoping you remembered the artist right but after the first three not-it songs you’re not sure. And then you remember the title, but it turns out that whoever did your mix album put the wrong title, so that song that you thought is it ain’t it. And you’d give up, except by now hearing that song again is the most important thing ever, so you slog on, becoming tense and despairing and desperate. And then, victory!

Yes? No? Well, even if you’ve never experienced that particular sequence of events, you may enjoy this song anyway. It’s Octavia Sperati, and the song turns out to be called “Guilty Am I.”

At least now I’ll remember it always. Also, the cover art for the album is awesome.

Grace Submerged album cover.

Grace Submerged album cover.

And then – and then, as a special bonus, linked from another Octavia Sperati video, what do I find but a video I’ve been trying to find for at least a year now, ever since it vanished from my playlist. Huzzah!

Well played, YouTube. Well played indeed.