The aftermath of Moomin's party lasted till noon. We hung out and played a few games of "Hey! That's MY Fish!", a game of penguins jumping on ice floes. Moomin came with me to SuperSillyDorkHouse, where I doodled around with wikis and various software demos & talking with people, and lured whump and cyn to come there and hang out. It was very barcampy but without a schedule or organization. I expected that towards midnight it would be more party-ish, but instead it just got more intense and the people passed out across their glowing laptops weren't even drunk. They just hacked themselves into a coma. That was cool.
Sunday, hanging out in the morning with Rook and Moomin, graded papers in a burst of intensity, talked with my uncle, dropped Moomin off at Squid's house and felt a sudden pang that maybe her stress level was too high for me to be doing that (weight of stress of extra kid responsibility against Moomin being there as a playdate for Iz actually being helpful...) Then to drop off some things for a friend at Borderlands bookstore, met Caraja, bookstore, brunch, got a couple of things at Buffalo Exchange. I had a wild feeling like I could buy anything and not feel bad or guilty.... Anyway, I got a cub scout shirt that fit me perfectly! And a see through beige tank top with black lace on it, made of basically very thin kleenex-like silk, perfect for the summer... and a pink thing from the 80s that is beyond horrible... and a cheap belt because my jeans were falling off. Caraja and I walked to Progressive Grounds. (Ritual was way too crowded.) Some earnest white people in the cafe asked us if we "feel safe living in that neighborhood" and I didn't feel like getting into it but the whole way of describing a neighborhood as "safe" strikes me as fucked up and frankly I feel safe whereever I go, so fuck that question which always gets asked of women. (Actually I feel like turning it around and asking people if they feel "safe" in their heterosexual nuclear families? Because being in one is more dangerous for women and girls than walking on the street at night by themselves.) And that was too complicated to go into to the earnest Unitarians or non profit helpy people with notepads and pecils and lattes, and so I just said something noncommittal and acted busy, as did Caraja who seemed full of her own unspoken response such as "Dumbasses, do yo think I feel "safe" anywhere I'm walking on the streets in the same way you do, as a transwoman?" though she like me acts with fearlessness and goes everywhere anytime.
I talked about work and my thing with xyzzy, and she told me her most recent naughty adventures plus stuff about her possible next novel/project. At some point I realized I was doing that annoying thing where I interrupt her way too often and she is not interruptible. I am most used to talking with people to whom interrupting and having conversational stacks is normal and in fact a sign of excitement and interest, and I tend to forget that to her, it comes off as rude, beyond rude, and not listening. That was a significant part of our relationship difficulty. anyway she nicely walked back with me to the bookstore to help carry my overly heavy backpack that I had... somehow... filled with books! At 5 or so met up with xyzzy and we drove around in a touristy way for a while going over the bridge and through town and down the big hill with the very twisty road, and thence to a fancyish hotel in the middle of crackland. If you want a very cute funky hotel for a tryst, then I recommend it... I like how the hotel's site describes the vivid experience you'll have only steps away from shopping; for some of those steps you'll step over homeless guys having seizures on the sidewalk. (Of course, I felt just as "safe" as I do anywhere else.) I worry a bit that I'm jumping into things, but I seem to be, or already have, so, there it is. And it was nice.
Yesterday I was going to grade papers and catch up with everything, and I didn't -- instead I got sucked up into thinking about K. Sierra and the surrounding issues and people and posts and I pounded out my immediate polemical reaction, which was a very no fear thing. People were calling me and im-ing and emailing and every few minutes there was a new issue to think about. What that meant for me - I felt I *had* to respond and if I didn't my silence would be notable and questionable. But I'm still reacting, still in the process of reacting and thinking. And I see other people coming across it and starting the same chain of reaction. What that means for me is that what I think about it is still evolving. I began considering harder the tangle of allegations and the way that was done, and it strikes me as a major mistake that is understandable in mid-freakout, but I would hope that in a bit there would be an apology on her side too for some of that. Also, I began to consider WWS. And I don't think anonymity is bad. YOu know what really chaps my hide at the moment.... "I nuked the entire site rather than censor any individual." WTF.... that's so dumb and annoying. Rather than exercise judgment, negotiate, or... *gasp* "censor" (apparently using any editorial judgment less than nuking a site is censorship? in what sophomoric libertarian-ass universe?), go off in a giant pout and take down a whole site, so that people will then respond as if an even bigger censorship had occurred. So when I write someone and say "Hey, those photoshops of me freak me out, I think they're wrong, please take them down, they cross the line" rather than do that, a whole group site disappears? I like anonymous snark and when people have said mean-ass snarky things about me, it pisses me off but I'm okay with it. Sometimes it's even interesting or makes me think; i'm open to criticism and to take it seriously. And I know I risk it on a large scale, the more I write and am online. I agree with MJ that the solution is more openness and wider openness; if everyone's vulnerable to it then there will be more pressure not to do it. On the other hand I agree that the pressure to be nice and civil all the time (especially to Cuddly Nice Popular People) is annoying and must be bucked. C.L.'s response just reminds me of an ex I had who, if I voiced any objection to a plan, would cancel the whole plan in a snit, like, if I said maybe I'd rather have thai food than indian, that place is a bit too loud... she'd stomp her foot and say "FINE. Then we just won't go ANYWHERE, you always DO this... you don't APPRECIATE me..." and would turn around and drive home in a horrible tense silence. That kind of thing ends up being quite abusive emotionally because you know that the mildest of objections or requests could result in the destruction of everything... There are many layers of truth, in other words. I can respond again, and it will be very different from what I said yesterday. But, my no fear message is important, as is the support for her, and I'll let it stand for a bit. Plus I need to work now. So I'll come back to it tonight. (When I should, again, be grading papers.)