afterthree: (sierra)
Just got a call from the Surgery Coordinator of my plastic surgeon, and I now -- finally -- actually have a tentative date for my breast reduction: September 29, 2010.

It's amazing how things with dates attached to them are suddenly way more real. It's been so long since I started this process, what with changing doctors (and most importantly changing receptionists who advocated over the phone for me and actually got the first consult) and then the actual formal waiting list. Something like four years (the first two of those were largely unneccessary, mostly caused by poor administration), and now this thing actually has a date.

I'm shocked by how emotional this is making me. There may be a world post-September where some clothing fits me properly, where trying on dresses doesn't make me feel hopeless and freakishly shaped, where my back doesn't hurt every morning or every evening, and where jogging and other high-impact sports might actually be comfortable, realistic fitness options. This is like... wow. It's like magic.

I am thrilled, excited, joyfull, terrified, and shaking just a little. This touches so many pieces of me in so many ways: physical, emotional, psychological and sexual. I've been talking about this hypothetical for so long I've become somewhat blasé about it, and now it's all fresh and real again.

afterthree: (x-ray glasses)
The bullet point method is apparently becoming my preferred way of updating the internets about my life.
  • Working on one project at work this week instead of several, and suddenly I can focus again. Don't get me wrong, I can multi-task with the best of 'em, but multi-tasking always results in a loss of some productivity by necessity. Having the chance to spend an entire week working almost exclusively on a single project is great, a nice change from the last couple of weeks where I've been all over the place. I am a wireframing machine right now. :D

  • I cross-posted my recap of the last Criminal Minds episode to afterthree.net, and while tidying up the language it also expanded a little. I am too lazy to edit the LJ version to include the new/modified content, mostly because I know if I do, I'll just keep adding to it. The circle has to stop somewhere.

  • Thinking about trying to start a feminist meetup in Edmonton. I spend a considerable amount of my online time reading feministy articles and meta, and I think it would be lovely to hang out in person with some like-minded people in a pub and talk feminist meta and issues. I've been looking for a meetup like this that already exists in Edmonton, but no luck so far. I'm not really sure how to go about organizing something like this or even finding local feminists whom might be interested, as I've had trouble even locating local feminist groups. Probably tracking down someone in Women's Studies at the UofA would be a good place to start, yes?

  • The next Edmonton Pecha Kucha night has been announced, and the call for presenters is out. I'm trying to come up with something to present. Any thoughts?

    Pecha Kucha Night was originally designed as an event in Tokyo for designers to network and show their work, and the presentation style is simple: 20 images x 20 seconds. It's since expanded to something like 300 cities in the world, and is no longer a design-centric event: often there is a theme of the night, but in general the presentations are wide and vairied. The last Edmonton Pecha Kucha event was almost entirely comprised of businesses or organizations presenting varying degrees of marketing material (and as a result was mostly awful with only a couple of really good presentations), but I really love the format.

  • Threw my first frisbee of the season last night! \o/ Went to Rundle Park to play Frisbee Golf with various friends, and did (I think) much better at it than I did last summer. Also possibly playing Ultimate Frisbee again this year on a casual basis. There's a group of local people who meetup every Wednesday and play for fun, which is right up my alley.
afterthree: (would you like to go for a ride)
Oh hey LJ, how you doin'? I know I've been ignoring you lately, but I don't mean anything by it, really. *pets*
  • Doctor Who! :D Non-Spoilery Quick Hit: I enjoyed it, though I thought it was too long and kinda dragged. What can I say, I love me some firm structure and a little less window-dressing, even if it's character based. I'm fascinated by Amy (and given this is a Moffatt female, I'm kinda shocked about that), and am enjoying Eleven so far. Also love the new style of direction/cinematography and hope that sticks around. Most exciting bit? That I don't have to wait 6+ months for a new episode! Hurrah for a proper Who season! *hugs season five*

  • Went to the Muse concert last Monday, and it was all kinds of epic win. I was on the floor, which I'd never been before, and while at times it was a little anxiety-ridden (like when the high guy in front of me started waving his lit joint around willy-nilly) it was a great show. Part of its greatness was my proximity to the stage, and the ability to actually see some of the details, including the musician's faces. Also awesome was Silversun Pickups opening for them. :D




  • Have finished season 2 of 24. It wasn't nearly as good as season 1, and I found myself getting a bit bored, especially in the last handful of episodes, which is probably not the way things are supposed to go. The first season had a very personal story to anchor it, something definitely lacking in the second season. It's harder to identify with large-scale stakes than with one or two people in peril, which probably explains a lot about the human race in general. Wars don't affect us the same way one person we know dying tragically does. Sort of a quality over quantity argument, in the most callous terms. I have heard seasons 3 thru 5 are the best ones, though, so I'll keep watching.

  • Have watched all of season 1 and 2 of Big Bang Theory, and I'm still digesting it. It's definitely hilarious, but whoa does it not even ever come close to passing the Bechdel test. I can't decide if it's supporting or subverting gender and nerd stereotypes: I'm leaning more to the first with occassional appearance of the second depending on the character and the situation. The character of Howard is deeply problematic on so many OH BAD levels, but at the same time I say that I see that's what they're trying to do there: sometimes they succeed and sometimes they don't, largely depending on the female component of whatever story is being told. There are many things about the character of Penny I really like, and the friendship between Penny and Sheldon is often really interesting. Leonard is by far the least interesting part of the entire show, and seems mostly there as the backboard to bounce Sheldon off of. There may or may not be meta about this in my future, but I'd appreciate being pointed in the direction of any existing meta y'all have seen about this show.

  • Saw "How to Train Your Dragon" and it's excellent. Two thumbs up. If you're a cat person, the dragons will be particularly amusing. Most bemusing was how all the young Vikings have American accents and the adult Vikings have Scottish accents. I assume that's some sort of 'coming of age' rite. ;)

  • Busy week at work last week, and another this week. This week should be more fun, though. Wireframes and functinal specification documents FTW!

  • Have been listening to several of the Skeptically Speaking podcasts that cross over into my interests (and a few that don't, but I'm one of those people who will happily watch/listen to documentaries and interviews about paint drying if it's delivered with passion and enthusiasm). As someone who is guilty of researching anything and often everything, the Skeptic movement is interesting. Sometimes the science gets WAY too deep for my brain, but I like the focus on critical thinking and logic-based analysis. It's caused me think a little harder about a few things I might not have otherwise.

  • Four day Easter weekend was full of family and food, but not the traditional Easter fair. Birthday dinner at Sister's house, then Easter combined with Grandparent's 60th Anniversary at a restaurant on Saturday. As a result I have not had my ham dinner, and dammit I wants one! :( I'm thinking of buying my own ham tomorrow, just to fill the void.

  • I need some season 5 Who icons, but as yet haven't had much time to look for them. Please comment with your favourite ones and expect stealing. :D
afterthree: (Default)
Ready? GO!
  • For a weekend that I went into with literally nothing planned, it sure ended up being a highly social one. There were a few hours on Saturday afternoon and late Sunday night where it was just me and some laundry, but mostly I was out all weekend. Drinks on Friday, tea and antiquing with [profile] ymp on Saturday afternoon (got some awesome ice cream bowls and yummy new tea), #yegswap and other things resulting in iPhone LJ posting on Saturday night, and #codejoes on Sunday. (For all the uninitiated: the # signals an event conceived of, organized and promoted mostly via Twitter, events which appear often in Edmonton and many of which I attend. I feel the # is an important part of the event name.) Fun + productive weekend. \o/

  • I am going to Muse next Monday. This is great, but not nearly as awesome as the fact that Silversun Pickups are opening. I admit I'm more interested in them than Muse, though I'm sure Muse will be good, too. XD

  • Doctor Who Season 5 premier party? Friend iamo is hosting, and I'm sure it will be awesome. I'm getting really pumped for the new season what with all the trailers we've had released in the last few weeks. :D This probably means my reaction post/recap won't be out until later, since right after that I have my grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary to go to.

  • Getting new professional photos of me done, probably next week. Not headshots per se (I don't do enough SM work to really need them for theatre anymore), but some personality and professional shots for online purposes like blogging and whatnot, because I'm using ones that are a few years old right now and would like them to be more up to date. Also I'll be speaking at a couple of events in the fall, and likely will need updated ones anyway. Not 100% sure what the plan/setting for them is yet-- the photographer and I are tossing thoughts back and forth over Facebook, and likely we'll be in the Edmonton downtown area somewhere. Any ideas? Visually, what would scream 'Chelle' to you? No idea is too crazy (unless it involves running or death-defying stunts of some kind: I am not an action hero, wish though I might).

  • New default user icon! Because Garcia is awesome, but mostly because I love screwing with the flist. XD
afterthree: (so not good garcia)
From the internet departments of Fail and WTF:

Margaret Wente from the Globe and Mail wants to inform you blogging is 'guy stuff'.

Oh really? Women don't blog, eh? Given this startling revelation, I'm forced to wonder how it happened that 95% of my flist is female. Are you all lying to me? You are, aren't you? All of you must be men, because women don't blog. Right?

As a female and a blogger (since 2002!) I wasn't sure whether to roll my eyes or pull out the flame-thrower: it's obvious Wente has no idea what she's talking about and didn't bother to perform even cursory research (completely oblivious to the Huffington Post, the mommy-blogger phenomenom; even a Google search for "female blogger" brings up over six million results), so instinctually I feel lulz are the appropriate response. Who knew isolated, anecdotal evidence was all it took to be a journalist these days? Clearly I have chosen the wrong career.

I especially adore the unintentional irony of this quote:
"MAS (male answer syndrome) also explains why men are so quick to have opinions on subjects they know little or nothing about."

Nothing like a little 'pot-calling-kettle', eh?

After reading the whole of this appaulingly sexist article, though, I feel like the flamethrower isn't such a bad response after all. Wente claims:
Women never held peeing contests. Perhaps that helps explain why women tend to be more restrained and less concerned with public displays of prowess. We are just as interested in listening as in talking, and more interested in relationships than scoring points. We also tend to lack the public confidence that comes so easily to many men.

Are these things cultural? Not entirely, perhaps not even mostly. For most of my adult life, I was almost struck dumb in the presence of strangers. I managed to complete five years of university without raising my hand, and the idea of a dinner party used to make me faint. Several of my female friends tell similar stories. No matter how brilliant they were, they lacked the confidence to express themselves in public.

Apparently women, when we bother to have opinons, are too meek and scared a mild-mannered to speak them. Girls don't raise their hands in class, feel daunted at the mere idea of networking a room or attending a dinner party, and remain mute in the presence of strangers. Given this summary, I wonder how my fellow females ever even dare to make it out the door in the morning.

I especially enjoy how she claims this phenomenon isn't cultural, as if it has nothing to do with the way our cultural programming tells women to shut up and look pretty, but is somehow pre-programmed into our gender.

There is both win and fail in the comments.

I sit on the edge of my seat waiting for Wente's next riveting installment, titled 'Why Don't Women Tweet?' given she has the same amount of expertise in the Twittersphere as she does the blogosphere.
afterthree: (typewriter keys)
After having worked with a lot of different people and -- now -- several different companies building websites, I would like to let the rest of the world know something that I see as obvious but is apparently a massive surprise to others.

Website content is not a 'feature': for the user, it is the entire point of your website.

People don't come to your website to see good design or a good user interface; these are all important things to have, yes, but in the end what those things get you is goodwill and happier repeat visitors. What users come for -- the reason they click a link or search for you -- is to see your content. To read the words. And watch videos or look at pictures, yes, but mostly to read what you have to say about whatever it is you do.

If you don't have content on your site -- good, text-based content -- then you don't have a good website.

I cannot stress this enough: unless you're work is primarily based in photography or video, what people are ultimately looking for is information that can only be communcated via words. And even if you are a photographer or an artist or a video producer, once they look at all your pretty they're going to want to know things that take words to communicate, things like 'who' and 'where' and 'how much'.

Good content takes time. A lot of time. Time to plan, time to create, and time to markup and format. Content is almost always the biggest time-spend, no matter whether it's being created from scratch or migrated from one platform to another. Trust me on this.

I have spent days, weeks, months and even years working on content pre-launch. I have written it from scratch. I have formatted it with any number of markup tools and languages in lists and tables and columns. I have copy/pasted more times than is possible to count. I have tagged content, catagorized content, pagenated content and aggregated content.

I have some expertise in this. So when I say with 100% certainty that whatever amount of time you've budgeted for content is not enough, you know I'm not pulling your leg.

The other thing good content takes is writers. And not just any writer, but a copy-writer. Preferably one with web copywriting and SEO experience, because writing for the web is different than writing for any other medium, just like writing a newspaper ad is different from writing a commercial is different from writing a book.

You should never just slap something up in online spaces, but that's what happens all the time; things need to be adapted. In print you write and design around turning pages; on the web, it's all about scrolling down. Print that can be read comfortably on paper is too small or too big on screen. Words in graphic elements can't be seen by search engines, and either the graphics need to be rebuilt with searchable text over background images or appropriate alt and title tags need to be added.

Remember also that content is never 'finished'. There's no 'done' like there is with design. Content changes, expands, and expires. There is nothing more frustrating to users than old, outdated, inaccurate, or stale content. Good content is always current content. Keeping archives of content is great practice, but the most important stuff you've got is the stuff that's relevant now: online content is always about 'now', and the first place new content should be available is from your website. If updates happen in other mediums before they make it to your online sites and media, then you're doing it wrong.

Here endeth the lesson.

Usually

Mar. 4th, 2010 03:05 pm
afterthree: (pouty face)
Usually I am efficient. Usually I am on top of things. Usually I don't make mistakes, or babble, or have to do things twice just to get them right.

I swear usually I am all of those things.

Except, apparently, today.

Today, I am everything flailing and bumbling and awkward. Today I am Captain Correction. In order to be usually awesome, I apparently have to store up all those tiny bits of daily fail, and today the valve burst and we are in full-force Fail Flood mode. I advise everyone to get to high ground.

God, today cannot be over soon enough. *sigh*

afterthree: (no wait i'm always right)
Jason Kenney, notorious for his anti-gay-marriage opinions, is apparently responsible for pulling sections of the Canadian citizenship guide about the rights of homosexuals in Canada. This includes references to homosexuality being decriminalized in 1969, that the Charter of Rights and Freedoms forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation, and that same-sex marriage was legalized nationally in 2005. The reason he gives for pulling the mention? Brevity. Apparently those mentions bogged down the 63-page guide.

Uh-huh.

This is not my Canada, either, Mr. Kenney. I'd like for new people looking to make Canada home to A) know that, if they identify with the LGBT community, our country supports them and recognizes them with full rights by law; and B) if they don't identify with that group and have problems with it, the Canadian legal system doesn't condone discrimination or hate. I'm not saying I need an 8 page treatise, but the 50 words Kenney axed seems pretty petty.

afterthree: (Default)
I wish I was making this up, but I am absolutely not.

Apparently our country has so appauled Texan journalist Gil Lebreton that he felt likening the Vancouver 2010 Olympic games to the games held in Berlin at the height of the Nazi's control over Germany was the best possible comparison.

"Canada wanted to hold a party, and the Canadians did. The gold medals only seemed to fuel them.

Team Canada hockey jerseys became the uniform of the streets. Maple leafs were either hanging or on clothing everywhere.

One thing I never saw: a simple flag or shirt with the five Olympic rings. Not anywhere. After 15 Olympics, that was a first.

I didn't attend the '36 Olympics, but I've seen the pictures. Swastikas everywhere."

After which he dutifully followed with a 'no political reference is meant" note. Just in case someone gets confused by him comparing Canada to Nazi Germany, and -- golly -- why would they?

His major complaints are our overt patriotism, including having the gall to wear Canadian hockey team jerseys and other Canadian clothing in public, on TV, and in the stands. He freely admits he has no idea the awful coverage NBC gave to the Olympics in general, but curses Canadian newspapers featuring Canadian athletes rather than those under-appreciated American and European ones. Yes, Gil. How dare Canadian media spotlight Canadian athletes at the Canadian-hosted Winter Olympics! The sheer nerve!

Well. Forgive us for daring to put winning Canadian athletes on the front covers of our newspapers and at the front of the daily highlights of our sportscasts. I'm certain the Americans were busy featuring all the non-American winning athletes on the covers of their news media and in the first thirty seconds of their news broadcasts, so clearly something dreadful was overlooked. Terribly sorry not to have fangirled Americans while you were here, we should have realized you wanted to know what they were up to and would only bother looking at the front page.

Jeff Lee of the Vancouver Sun offers his response to Gil Lebreton, and thank GOD for it:

What bugs me most about this whole affair is that Lebreton came here and shat on Canadian hospitality as if only Americans have a right to feel patriotic. If we are normally the polite society, the people who say "sorry" and "please" and "thank you" and "you're welcome" then does he think we won't speak out and object when he makes such inane statements as suggesting we suffer from a "classic Canadian inferiority complex." (And just what does that mean anyway? Classic? As in maple syrup or Canadian bacon?) Likening us to Nazis? What was that you put in your drink? A double dose of Sour-me-mash?

Listen, Gil. I get it. You were probably hard up for a column on deadline. You thought you'd be clever. You figured you could smack the nice little Canadians around and nobody would object. After all, what are we gonna do? March down to Washington. D.C. and burn down the White House again? What, you think people up here don't read? Have a gander at my chain's newspapers and you'll see that we had better than 30 people involved delivering comprehensive news of all of the Olympic events, especially those not won by Canadians. If in these Games we also celebrated our Canadian successes, should we be ashamed of that

Bolded emphasis mine.

And good ol' Gil? He wants us to know that offending Canada wasn't intentional. Because gosh darn, who'd a thunk folk these days could get so twisted up over being compared to Nazis? Pshaw! We Canadians sure are sensitive about this kind of thing, aren't we?

You know what? I'm going to be unCanadian right now and not apolgoize anymore. I'm not going to apologize for winning 14 gold medals, the most in the Olympic Winter Games history, and I'm not going to apolgize for celebrating it as loudly as I can either. I refuse to apologize for the awesome TV and online streaming CTV coverage of the Olympics that featured Canadian games when it had to choose because it's our network and when 90% of your viewing audience is Canadian that's what you show. I will not apologize for our newspapers and newscasters singing our athletes praises the days they won medals, which happened to be every day of the Olympics but one, because again that's what 90% of those media outlet's audience wants to hear. I categorically decline to apologize that for two weeks Canadian content outstaged, outshone, and outgunned American content in Canada and around the world, and that for once it was Canadian flags that was top of mind globally instead of American ones. I will not apologize for the amazing 14 medals won by Canadian women or the 11 won by Canadian men, or the gold won by ice dance pair Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir. I absolutely refuse to apologize for Canada's heartfelt embrace of Joannie Rochette, for the women who celebrated hockey gold in true Canadian form with beer and cigars, for Jon Montgomery's cry of joyeous triumph from the podium, or for a nation that celebrated men's hockey gold on the streets.

I refuse to apologize, world. At least about this, at least right now. Because my country is just as awesome as any of yours, because my national pride deserves to be showcased and highlighted, too, and because for once in my 27 years every time I turned on the TV or listened to the radio my ears and eyes were greeted by the voices and faces of fellow Canadians across our country united by our love of this nation, our love of sport, and our encouragement of our athletes.

My name is Rachelle, and I am Canadian. I won't apologise for that, either.

afterthree: (nerdgasms)
Also! YOU MUST WATCH THIS IMMEDIATELY.



OK Go continues to be the uncontested master of the music video, bring the world this the most AWESOME RUBE GOLDBERG DEVICE EVER CREATED.

afterthree: (gonna be so awesome donna)
Yup, it's that time again fandom friends:

I missed most of this last year, but I'm all over it for 2010! XD
afterthree: (bleep bleep)
Prepare for bullet points!
  • Still in honeymoon phase re: new laptop. I just want to use it all the time because it's so wonderful. Velcro Cat much protests this shiny silver thing that has lately taken his spot on my lap, though we're figuring out a compromise where he spralls next to my leg and gets scratchies and belly rubs while I can do basic trackpad-heavy keyboard-lite tasks. Velcro Cat is also cranky because I haven't been home much. There are reasons for that, but I get the feeling he doesn't much care for them. :P

  • Olympics! I continue to watch more curling than is probably good for me, while still making a little bit of time to watch various other sports. I, like my fellow countrymen, had my spirit crushed -- crushed I say -- by the Game That Shall Not Be Mentioned. We did, however, kick some Russian ass. \o/ I must find a location not my home to watch the hockey finals on Sunday, because my wireless connection can't handle the speed. I also have a few thinky-thoughts about Canada, our unique brand of patriotism, the whole Win the Podium campaign, and all the wacky press and bemusement, but I'm waiting until the event is over.

  • Twitter hastags are creeping into my everyday text and email life. This is either awesome or awful. Both maybe? #uhoh

  • I has a formspring. Ask me something!

  • Sister has found a wedding dress! *squee* It is exciting and she looks amazing in it. Dressing her up in fancy white dresses was fun times. :D

  • I worked the easiest art modelling gig ever on Monday night. They were doing extreme perspective drawings so I just layed on my back on a platform for three hours and slept. The drawings were cool to look at after; because of the way I was positioned, my feet too up nearly half the page.

  • I had a spectacular Tuesday night, though I stayed up way too late on a school night. Totally worth it, though. :D

  • This weekend is music weekend! Going to a guitar concert on Friday night and the symphony on Saturday night, both with my father. Both will be awesome. :D

  • There are many substantial posts on other topics other than Life and Times of Me, but I never seem to have any time to post them. :/ Certainly not when I first hear about them and they're really relevant, and then they just sit in my delicious account gathering dust because they're old news. *sad*

  • Went to see Sweeney Todd at the Citadel last night. WOW SO AWESOME. The design was just... *giddy with joy*. And the costumes were amazing. I experienced the show in one part delight and two parts green envy for wishing I'd worked on it. Also? Sondheim WINS. The music makes me smile uncontrollably.

  • I'm so out of the loop with S5 Doctor Who spoilers and I'm pretty okay with that. I trust [profile] _thirty2flavors to keep me in the loop when it comes to anything truly cracktastic.
afterthree: (ten demands an explaination for this bul)
Dear Curling:

Why do I start watching you?

How are you so addicting? How?

No, seriously. HOW?

I don't understand half of what goes on or 80% of what is said, and yet I am riveted.

It must be a Canada thing, yes? In the blood somehow. Like lycanthropy or something.

I can't control it. It's not my fault.

Right?

Confused,
Chelle


*continues to watch curling*


*does not blink*

afterthree: (typewriter)
By doing this in my own journal instead of in [profile] penny_lane_42's comments I'm probably turning this into a meme, but it's kind of awesome and I think deserving of meme status.

The idea is that we all watch different shows, even when we all watch the same ones. BtVS and Joss fan [profile] penny_lane_42 posted about the shows she's watching, and got my thinking about the ones I watch.

When it looked like I was watching Gargoyles I was actually watching Blond, Bland Gentlemen Have More Fun Serving Amoral Megalomaniacs, and The Magnificent Seven was absolutely The Con Man with a Soft, Mushy Centre he Resents.

What appeared to be a book about a boy named Harry Potter was in fact The Baggage of Severus Snape and A Werewolf Tries Very Hard Not To Be Happy, For Everyone Else's Sake. The last could of books were also Dumbledore Plays Wizard Chess and You Are All His Pieces.

From the beginning, The West Wing was Lemon Lyman and his Quirkily Brilliant and Impervious Assistant Fall In Love with the occasional CJ Is Awesomer Than Pretty Much Everybody, Bitter, Angry, Sad Toby Tries to Save the World with Words, and Jed and Leo: It's Good Friends Who Keep Us Sane spinoffs. The first two seasons are definitely Dialogue That Plays Like Music, and that show was the first one that made me realize dialogue can be just as flexible and brilliant and god-damn evocative as narration.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer was primarily I Love Allegory and Metaphor Like You Cannot Even Believe and Important Stories in Dark Places. Season Two became A Librarian Was Not How I Thought I'd End Up, But Somewhere Where I Was Always Headed, while Season Three was The Mayor and Faith Need Each Other, and Are Good People Gone Astray, Really. Season Four was, to my surprise, mostly When Did Xander Become So God Damn Brilliant, and Why Didn't I Notice Until Now?. Season Five was definitely My Sister is More Important than the World Entire, and That Is Just Fact so Live With It, and Season Six I watched Buffy Learns to Feel Again after getting Really Good at Not. In the end, it turned out I was also watching A Girl Who Forgets How To Be a Girl Because she Has To Be a Man the whole time.

When I watched Doctor Who with David Tennant I was watching The Loneliest Man in the Universe Searches for Distraction That Usually Makes it Worse. When Season Four started it absolutely became Donna is Awesome and the Doctor Needs Her More Than Anyone Else in the Universe. I also admit to watching the Unashamed Sci Fi Crack is Cracktastic Win show on a regular basis and loving it the most.

Torchwood was mostly Torchwood Makes Everything Worse, But In a Good and Often Hilarious Way but also sometimes Sex and Love and All the Awkward, Strange, Niggly Spaces In Between Make Us Human. CoE was, by and large, Gwen Finds Her Awesome.

I watch Criminal Minds for Garcia Is My Hero In All Ways, but also for Women, Even When They're Victims, Are Not Just Victims and Playing With Gender Roles and Identities in Smart Ways.

Dollhouse started out as Victor and Sierra and Nothing Else Matters, but then suddenly and wonderfully became Topher Doesn't Want to Hurt Anyone Else But Can't Help It Because That's Who He Is.

There are others, of course. I could go on forever, but these are the ones that leap immediately to mind. What shows within shows have you watched? What tinted glasses do you wear when you watch or listen or read the stories you do? I'm intrigued by this discussion and by discovering other people's points of view.

afterthree: (thumbs up master)
Over the last week, Dreamwidth has come under fire from some organized trolls with ties to hate speech organizations, posing as concerned parent organizations in an attempt to convince Dreamwidth's merchant processor and upstream provider that they are hosting child pornography. There have also been several phishing attempts (setting up sites that look like Dreamwidth in order to obtain user's passwords.

PayPal, the merchant processor, has requested Dreamwidth remove the "offending" entries, and Dreamwidth has refuesed to do so. As a result, they're on the hunt for a new merchant to accept credit cards. For those with accounts expiring in the next week or two, Dreamwidth is happily providing those people with a one-month extension of paid service while they set up with a new payment processing merchant.

I wrote a post some time ago about Dreamwidth, why I was interested in the service, and how I thought their no-ads model might work out better for its fandom users particularly. This is the first major test of those principles, and so far the Dreamwidth team is passing with flying colours. I am extremely pleased and impressed.

afterthree: (doctor points)
I feel as thought I haven't posted very much in January. This is because I haven't. :P There are several half-written posts sitting all over the place, but I never seem to have the time to finish them.

But there is stuff! So I'm bringing the bullet points:

  • Fandom friends! Once again there's a fandom charity event taking place, this time to raise funds to help people in Haiti. Last time we had a fandom charity event we raised quite a lot of dollars, so check out [community profile] help_haiti for neat fandom things being auctioned off. Also! If you remember, the Christmas before last I made some terribly cute Harry Potter plushies. These little guys are fun to make, so I've put one/a pair on auction at [community profile] help_haiti; check my thread here.


  • Last week Facebook banned Calgary transman Dominic Scaia from Facebook for posting a post-op photo of his bare chest. The photo did not break any of Facebook's Terms of Service that I can tell. It was neither excessively gory nor sexual in any way.

    It's unclear what bothered Facebook about Dominic's photos. Section 3.7 of its Terms of Service regulates that content not be "hateful, threatening, pornographic" or contain "nudity or graphic or gratuitous violence." It's clear a male chest falls into none of these categories. Scaia says, "They were from two-and-a-half weeks post-op and included my face. I was holding the camera from above, my chest was bare and I was wearing jeans. None of the photos were in the least bit gory."

    Facebook does not moderate photographs individually. They rely on users to report offensive content. The only people who could view Scaia's pictures were friends that he'd added to his account. He'd had the photos up for a week without a problem. The evening before he was banned, Dominic accepted a friend request from a young, flirtatious girl. He thinks she looked through his photos and discovered that the cute boy she'd added was not born physically male, choosing then to report his account.

    It's there where things become confusing. It's Facebook's policy to remove photos that are deemed offensive and to send a warning. It is not the company's policy to disable accounts over photos. This does not mean that Facebook has a rule of banning transgender people, it means that one staff moderator made the grossly misinformed choice to ban his account.


    Over 6,000 people have joined a Facebook group in an attempt to raise awareness about this. Today, Scaia finally received a reply back from Facebook, saying his photos were in violation of the Terms of Service. His account has been reinstated, but all his post-surgery photos have been removed, and he has been sternly told not to upload photos of "that sort" again, saying: "photos containing nudity or other graphic or sexually suggestive content are not allowed".Local radio show Gaywire has published an open letter to Facebook. Xtra.ca has an article with one of the photos in question here.

    Any signal boosting would be appreciated. Facebook is a major social networking site and a major photo-sharing site that many trans people -- including Scaia -- use for advocacy and sharing personal stories and experiences with other transmen and women, and sharing post-op photos is part of that sharing. This was a transphobic knee-jerk reaction by a company after one transphobic user reported the image. There was no warning; the account was immediately frozen. It took Facebook over a week to respond to questions and un-freeze the account. This is not cool on many levels.
afterthree: (edmond kicking ass)
I have kinda forgotten what it's like to have a job I genuinely enjoy doing. I take less breaks because -- WHOA CONCEPT -- I like my job and my company and thus am posting less. It surprises nobody that I post mostly from work. :P

So! Security Theatre continues:


  • TheStar.com asks how can we make our airports more like Israel's, which handles far greater terror threats with far less inconvenience. "At Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, screening is done in 30 minutes." The basic gist? Training airport security and personnel what a suspicious person actually looks and behaves like, and having them look for -- WHAT A CONCEPT -- that.

    "But here it is done completely, absolutely 180 degrees differently than it is done in North America," Sela said.

    "First, it's fast – there's almost no line. That's because they're not looking for liquids, they're not looking at your shoes. They're not looking for everything they look for in North America. They just look at you," said Sela. "Even today with the heightened security in North America, they will check your items to death. But they will never look at you, at how you behave. They will never look into your eyes ... and that's how you figure out the bad guys from the good guys."


    This kind of behavioral profiling I don't object to, especially if the people doing the profiling are actually thoroughly trained on what to look for.

  • Everybody's talking about the Backscatter X-rays apparently being implemented all over. The ones that break child pornography laws. And how will non-binary gendered people be affected by this? They say only "same sex" people will view the scans in a separate room not visible to the public, but what about trans, intersexed and gender queer people? What kinds of scrutiny will a trans-man come under when scans reveal female genitalia? Because what I'm sure these people want in their life is even more of this.

  • The TSA has withdrawn their subpoenas on the two bloggers who posted the new rules on Boxing Day and apologized for their strong-arm tactics. They've also promised to resolve issues one of the bloggers has been having with his laptop ever since the agents seized it to image the hard drive. This doesn't really pacify me toward the TSA at all.

  • Canadian airlines might have to break Canadian privacy laws to enforce the new TSA rules that would force them to collect the name, gender and birth date of every Canadian who flies through American airspace, even if their planes don't touch the ground in the States. If Canadian privacy laws change because of this shit, I am going to freak the FUCK out. Canada has comparably fantastic privacy laws and has managed to retain them through the last decade, and if that changes because of an underwear bomb.... Anyway. Unsurprisingly, a Muslim woman from Nova Scotia has already been refused entry to the US after being questioned for four hours and fingerprinted for trying to do something as threatening as visit her husband.


afterthree: (holding hands)
It is the afternoon of New Years Eve. I am at work turning legal documents into web-friendly HTML documents and need a little break from all those UL and OL tags before I go a little cross-eyed. Also, it's almost a new decade! The oughts are nearly done with! It seems appropriate to go back and have a little look at the things that have happened to me during the last decade, if only to act as a little time capsule of that part of my life.

My Life in Summary, From 2000 to 2009 )

There are many other little tiny things that fit inbetween and overlap across those bigger things up there that have made me who I am right now and who I'd like to be during the next decade. Laid out like that with sentences and commas and periods, it seems a little scattershot and transitionless, and maybe it was in places. I have learned new things about the world, about my place in it, and about me and how my brain works. I created the person I thought I wanted to be, for good or ill, and now I think it's time to start over again. Maybe not completely, maybe not entirely, but there are some things I chose to become that I find don't fit the way I thought they would now that I'm wearing them.

But that's a post for tomorrow and a new decade. Happy New Year, all! May those who have struggled through 2009 find something better in 2010, and may those who succeeded in 2009 continue to do so as we enter the next chapter of the 21st century.

afterthree: (what - alan shore)
Today I saw both:

A) a man wearing no less than five scarves, and
B) a man wearing shorts.

Canada is sometimes a strange place.

afterthree: (just put it in brotp)
I feel as thought it's been a while since I did a meme. Therefore here is the first sentence of my first entry from every month last year (otherwise known as That Meme Everyone Else Is Doing).

2009 in summary via first sentences )

2009 was, over all, pretty good to me, what with the new job, moving into the Charming Apartment of Win, and adopting Velcro-Cat. I certainly posted more in 2009 than I ever have before, that's for sure.

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afterthree

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