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2017-07-27 08:56 pm

(no subject)

 I can't recall who was talking here recently about a production of Euripides' The Trojan Women in which Cassandra wore a "chic, though torn*" Comme Des Garçons garment, but as a result I ended up stumbling across this essay on the 1997 Spring/Summer collection, "Body Meets Dress Dress Meets Body," AKA the "Lumps and Bumps" collection.

The essay, which deals with the collection, ableism, butoh dance, orientalism, and at least two horror movies, also mentions Arabelle Sicardi, who I began following on Tumblr a while back and quite admire. Curious as to whether one could also relate this to the hospitalglam tumblr – where the chronically ill reappropriate fashion imagery as morale boost/satire/protest.

At least some of my interest in the body acceptance movement comes from the other side of the coin – I’m (so far) in pretty good health and with a socially-acceptable appearance, and I *know* how little effort I put into this.** It stands to reason that people with the opposite experience deserve equal respect (or more).

* A CDG dress would likely be torn by design anyway
**My attitude towards my body can pretty much be summed up as a truce whose terms are “don’t bother me, and I won’t starve you or make you run for no good reason.”

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2017-07-27 01:20 pm
Entry tags:

Notes towards an art project

Medusa mask drawn on a mirror in lipstick (installation)

Photos of apotropaic medusa masks drawn in lipstick on bathroom mirrors

The gorgon heads that form the bases of the columns in the Basilica Cistern


Bathrooms as locus of clean vs. dirty



That should be Cloacina (goddess of the main sewer in Rome, and originally Etruscan)

The current gender/bathroom debate largely ignores the existence of trans men – this is a fight over who counts as women, using women’s “safety” as the excuse.

ETA --

Monstrous femininity, glamour, purity taboos and magical protection

Also selfies/masks, if photographed (human face hidden behind camera)

If drawn on a public washroom mirror, must clean off after photograph so as not to add to the burden of the janitorial staff

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2017-07-26 08:27 pm

(no subject)

  A co-worker asked the other day whether I’d ever wanted to do something because I read about it in a book. She’s been reading Haruki Murakami’s The Wind-up Bird Chronicle and is feeling oddly tempted by the thought of curling up in a dry well.
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2017-07-25 08:03 pm

(no subject)

 Went to the ROM on the weekend - the photo exhibit "The Family Camera" is quite good. I especially liked the home movies of the Indian-by-way-of-Australia family who'd moved to a Quebec mining town in the late 'sixties; it was about ten years earlier and Quebec rather than the Maritimes, but much of the imagery was familiar, including the small-town Santa Claus parade filmed on a grey, overcast afternoon.

The exhibit fit the theme of the weekend -- Andrew had been looking for a photo of his family in front of 505 Queen West, so he could establish that his mom had made the number sign (he'd come across an article about the property which claimed the sign had been commissioned by Dan Ackroyd, who'd lived there after them.) He hasn't turned it up yet, and we'd gone out as he was beginning to feel depressed remembering Peggy.

        *         *        *          *        *

It's another week at work where everyone who can give me directions or answer my questions is out of the office. 

Andrew's been binge-rewatching Farscape. I'd remembered correctly that it was weird, but I'd forgotten how wild Paul Goddard's performance was as Stark.
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2017-07-15 08:32 am

a trained and detached, and not unsympathetic, mind

 Finished reading Many Dimensions (1931) yesterday. I've been trying to ration Charles Williams' novels, given that there's only a half-dozen. This one rates pretty high: moustache-twirling villain gets his hands on the Stone of Solomon! Time travel as trap! A mystical artifact whose powers include being infinitely reproduceable! Tetragrammaton! Heroic self-sacrifice! Kinky subtext!

No, really -- it might be because I looked up Williams and came across some stuff about his personal life, but the two main characters, Chief Justice Lord Arglay and his devoted secretary, Chloe Burnett; well, the villain just assumes they're sleeping together, the reader knows they aren't, but I really do think they're in some kind of non-physical but mutually satisfying D/S relationship. This is an important plot point, since in one chapter Lord Arglay is able to draw on the bond between them to free Chloe from Sir Gile's attempted mind-control and on the other hand, Chloe's ability to freely submit to someone/thing she respects and loves* makes her the only person able to wield the Stone properly, because unlike everyone else, she doesn't try to impose her own will upon it. 

* She's generally a people-pleaser, but when her Nice Guy(TM) boyfriend Frank tries to nag her into lending him the Stone so he can pass his exams, she refuses.
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2017-07-12 07:44 pm

Griping Here So I Don't Gripe On Facebook

 zzszzzzzAz (Nana stepped on the keyboard.)

I seem to recall that in the past, I could see my Facebook friends' conversations, but couldn't join in unless I was friended to the OP. Has that changed? Lately I've seen some friends have to ask who the FOAF was who'd showed up on their wall and begun arguing vehemently with them.

Today I had to unfriend a high school acquaintance for this reason; he reacted by sending a PM saying he'd only friended me because he missed our late mutual friend Angus, and that I was "poisoning" his memories. Pretty much confirmed that cutting ties was a good idea, but it hurt that he dragged Angus into it.

Now I'm going to be wondering how safe it is to comment on anyone's FB post, if I'm forming a link to let anyone on my flist join in. I may have to go through it and pare down.

ETA -- reread his comments and it looks as though my friend's account might be set to allows FOFs to comment, but I'd still better think about who I might be bringing along when I comment.
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2017-07-04 07:43 am
Entry tags:

Weekend Report

 Stayed in on actual Canada Day due to weather, but we had a friend over on Sunday and met another for lunch on Monday, so that was more socializing than usual. Also binge-watched the most recent season of Doctor Who, and knit a hat.
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2017-06-24 05:54 pm
Entry tags:

It Is Warmer Below

 I saw a reproduction of this poster today in a restaurant downtown, after the Dyke March*. It wasn't the first time I'd noticed, but it always pleases me because it looks like it was designed by a go-getting young demon in some 1920s British fantasy novel that successfully blends comedy and the numinous:

During which we sat next to a lady wearing rainbow ruffled leggings and this backpack.
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2017-06-22 01:05 pm
Entry tags:

Lunch Break Post

 Not sure how I got to this topic, but I’ve been thinking about the variants I’ve been seeing lately on “realistic textures on a distorted form.” The least grotesque are the oil paintings (I think they're oil paintings) of Popeye. At the other end of the scale the most terrifying examples are those that start from children’s drawings. I think we’re dealing with two forms of distortion here – young kids’ drawing are typically “unrealistic” due to inexperience and fine motor skills that haven’t fully matured yet; adult cartoonists’ drawings are *distilled* realism.
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2017-06-20 01:10 pm


 I'd been hoping my numerous screw-ups at my last job were due to overwork, but today my co-worker asked me why I'd renamed a file and not only could I not explain why, I had no memory of even having done it. Beginning again to wonder why I do this and how long till they lose patience.

ETA -- Sorry about that, I'm feeling a little better now.
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2017-06-15 08:52 pm

Blood and Noise and Endless Poetry

 I suppose it was only a matter of time before someone wrote a Jeeves and Wooster/Blackadder crossover, but I must say the Apollo/Hyacinthos took me by surprise, as did the the mix of fluff and angst and very little actual silliness. Fanfic affords a view straight into other people's ids; depending on how well one's enthusiasms align with theirs, the experience is either horrifying or wonderful -- for me, this was more the latter (TW for trench warfare...)

Blood and Blooms
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2017-06-03 12:44 pm

Weekend Update

 Spent the morning and am currently spending the early afternoon running around on various errands, pausing variously to help someone womanhandle a massive area rug at the dry cleaners, buy stuff at the United Church rummage sale at Bathurst and College, and swat (with pool noodles and a rubber chicken) a volunteer masked up as Pepe the Frog at the anti-Islamophobia demo.
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2017-06-03 12:07 am
Entry tags:

Wonder Woman

Waiting for a bus after seeing Wonder Woman with Andrew and the Diners. Andrew already wants to see it again on Sunday. I knew Gadot would be note-perfect, but I liked Pine as Steve Trevor much better than as Kirk; and the supporting cast were all fabulous, especially David Thespis, and Elena Anaya who seems to have been put there as a fic prompt for handful_ofdust -- she bears some resemblance to Rosa Steinberg of A Scent of New-Mown Hay. There's a great scene about three-quarters in, where Steve attempts to seduce her, and nearly succeeds, because he's clearly done enough research to know how to appeal to a genius chemist who's also fundamentally a pyromaniac.
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2017-05-29 12:20 am
Entry tags:

Dream Journal (epic fragment)

 Just woke from inclomplete dream in which I was somehow channelling a certain spider man. Not Peter Parker.
There was a lot of dream-plot that led up to this, and I can't recall it now. He liked gold makeup -- makeup generally-- and some particular perfume that in the manner of dreams happened to be to hand. I was wearing a skirt, but neither this nor the makeup appeared to make any difference in the subsequent series of events as to what gender (and I suspect, race) others perceived me as. I still don't know what the overall plan was, as I was just following along. I swaggered into a bar (we seemed to be near a university campus) where a young man asked me for a favour -- he was trying to catch the eye of a woman across the room. I sat down beside him as his slightly sleazy best friend wing man, and waved her over, saying someone had bought me a drink and it was now my obligation to keep the chain going. I introduced my man, asked her my name, didn't really give mine. She was on to me, or mostly, but it didn't matter as she was genuinely liking him, and they began chatting. Privately I knew I didn't have any cash on me, and briefly toyed with the idea of putting their drinks on the credit card another man further down the bar was being rather careless with; but I slipped out, figuring I'd done what he'd asked and he could cover the drinks himself. I continued walking, looking for a place to change. I fumbled the shades I'd been wearing and eventually put on a pair of my waking-life glasses, the serious squarish frames.  There's some sort of sloppy bit here where I was dodging in and out of stairwells trying to avoid someone I worried might recognize me, and then I was in some sort of hospital.
,Oh, are you the overnight attendant they sent for?" asked a woman behind a reception desk.  "The patient's just upstairs." 
"Third floor?"
"Yes, that's the one." As I got in the elevator I said to myself: "And now, I am going to steal a Kandinsky." I had no idea how, or why. In the elevator I felt my expression and stance turning dorky and sincere. My hair was short in the dream, but it was at this point I remembered I was in a skirt. I guessed no one in the bar had noticed because I was sitting down.The patient was a dying old man, of course. We talked. I forget about what. Then I went looking for a washroom and wandered into a sort of lounge, into which I was followed by a smiling man who said that this area was a sort of private club for staff and important donors only, so unless I was planning to join or give the hospital some money.... As I turned to exit I saw the Kandinsky on the wall. Except, this being a dream, it was a Grosz, or something very like. I left the private lounge and strutted around the corridors, getting quietly angry at the hospital. In the background I could hear the man and others beginning to phone their higher ups, worriedly confessing that they'd somehow insulted a member of the staff, a senior professor, by mistaking him for a dementia patient who'd wandered in. I was just wondering how, even as a miffed senior professor, I was going to parley this into being allowed to take home the Kandinsky/Grosz, when I woke up. I'm still not sure how the old man factored into this, although I'm beginning to suspect he, or his family, had once owned the painting. I'm still not sure if this was all still part of the scheme to get that guy and girl from the opening bar together. Anyway, I'm grateful and enough for what I can recall, and wary enough of my ability to still have even that in the morning, to get up and type this all down.
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2017-05-27 05:11 pm
Entry tags:

Thrift Shop

 I've been having good luck at the local thrift store the past two weeks, but it's mainly been wool stuff so I keep having to take it in for dry cleaning -- then again, a pair of dress pants for $5 + $17 to have them taken in + $10 or so for cleaning and pressing is still a great deal. 

Today I found a plaid jacket and skirt for $10. The label is in German, the style suggests early-to-mid 1960s, and it's very well made -- the plaid design lines up along the seams in that way you rarely see any more. The one odd thing is that the skirt is unhemmed, which makes me wonder whether it was ever actually worn. I doubt I can wear jacket and skirt together at the office without looking too dressed up (or like a Mad Men cosplayer), but they ought to work as separates.

Also I got a much newer top, patterned silk on the front with a silk jersey tshirt back, but Nana stole it as a bed. I told her she's a little Sybarite and retrieved it undamaged when she grew restless.

ETA -- pix of the top:

E2A -- the suit:

moon_custafer: (Default)
2017-05-25 07:46 am

(no subject)

 So, I am once again in employment. It's for a company that manufactures binoculars, night-vision goggles and other visual equipment for various military and police forces, which feels a bit weird in the current climate -- we don't make guns, but we make the sights for the guns. OTOH, since I don't actually dispute that my country and others should have their own armies, and those armies equipment, so refusing on principle to work for a manufacturer of such would be like refusing to work for a butcher shop while still eating meat.

In any case, I suspect the job is less unethical, when you get right down to it,  than the one I did years ago writing personal profiles for real-estate agents.

The company itself strikes me as rather interesting -- founded by a Russian immigrant, they got charged a few years back with scamming the US military. The lawyer they hired was a guy from Toronto, son of Hungarian-Jewish holocaust survivors, who mostly did civil-rights cases; and after a long trial (during the course of which he had a heart attack) he exonerated them completely. I think there was some evidence they'd been framed by a rival manufacturer or something. They subsequently hired him as CEO. I chatted with him a bit yesterday on the morning coffee break. He reminds me of Stanley Tucci. Oh, and he's also director of the Jane Goodall Foundation. 

I have no idea what I'm letting myself in for (other than a lot of proofreading, which is what I've been doing the past couple of days), but I expect it will at least be interesting.
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2017-05-19 10:42 am
Entry tags:

Dream Report

 Awoke from a dream I spent some time trying to recapture. I can remember the atmosphere between than the details -- there was a treehouse, or something, a haunting, a security guard, 1940s music. I was climbing to a window with a bunch of cherries held between my teeth. Anthony Perkins was trapped inside the dial of a watch? I think at one point I drew a sketch of Boris Karloff. There seemed to be rather a lot of men of types I find attractive aesthetically but not sexually, so it wasn't an erotic dream, exactly. It was a dream of exquisite longing, of arousal without focus.

I'm beginning to think my orientation should be described as "persnickety."
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2017-05-15 09:13 pm
Entry tags:

Job Hunt Report

Job interview seemed to go reasonably well -- the "interview" part was shorter than usual, and I think I did ok on the "prove you actually have the skills" part (photograph a product, clean the pictures up in Photoshop, layout a spec sheet in InDesign.)

The product was a pair of range-finder binoculars: this is a company that makes night-vision goggles, heat-imaging equipment, and laser rifle sights; mostly for various military and police forces. I probably ought to be wrestling with my conscience over this, but really I suspect the job I used to have writing promotional articles for real-estate agents was ethically worse.

I did a little research on the company beforehand -- if they are evil, they're at least interestingly evil -- like, Ra's al Ghul-type stuff. There may be chimps armed with laser beams in my future if they hire me.