Chocolate Box Reveals!

Feb. 23rd, 2017 09:55 am
sanguinity: woodcut by M.C. Escher, "Snakes" (Default)
[personal profile] sanguinity
During nominations, I threw Gentlemen of the Road into the tagset on a whim, fully expecting nothing to come of it, and guess what? I actually got a Gentlemen of the Road story! Yay!
Aftermath of the Debacle at Tergeste by [archiveofourown.org profile] opalmatrix
Gentlemen of the Road - Michael Chabon
Amram/Zelikman
Fugitives, Huddling for Warmth, Arguing, Pre-Slash, Pre-Canon
948 words, teen, no warnings apply
In which they argue about that debacle at Tergeste for the first time.

It's a lovely, grumpy, cranky, devoted bit of H/C, riffing on one of my favorite passages from the book, and it made me smile from ear-to-ear. It still does.

...and after a last-minute change of plans, I wrote:
Mr Green and the Adventure of the Ten Gallon Hat by [archiveofourown.org profile] sanguinity
My Dearly Beloved Detective
Shirley Holmes/Jane Watson; Mr Green
Humor, Post-Canon, Fix-It
1300 words, general audiences, no warnings apply
Jane Watson runs away from the circus to become a detective again.

My Dearly Beloved Detective is a Russian film in which Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson are fictional, and people keep coming to 221B in search of their help. A detective agency was installed on the premises to serve the apparent need, and the two strongest candidates for the positions were a pair of women, Shirley Holmes and Jane Watson. The film is an absurdist musical with a tragi-comic heart, and has frequent shout-outs to the Soviet-made Lenfilm series of a few years earlier. It's available on youtube with English fan-made subtitles.

There's been a lovely little explosion of works for the film over the past year (if we can call eight works an explosion, which I will), and I thought I'd try my hand at adding an absurdist, semi-comic work to the bunch. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] garonne for last minute beta and britpick!
[personal profile] yendi
Amazon's got a one-day sale offering $8.62 off any $50 order (celebrating a Harris Poll ranking). Only available for another six hours, so grab it while you can.

The kindness of strangers

Feb. 21st, 2017 02:29 pm
owlectomy: A squashed panda sewing a squashed panda (Default)
[personal profile] owlectomy
#1 - My debit card slipped out of my pocket as I was riding my bicycle but someone turned it in to the bank.

#2 - A couple of bolts fell off my bike rack, making it too shaky to ride with. Took it into the bike shop and they fixed it FOR FREE.

#3 - I was so occupied with running around here and there and unlocking and locking my bike up that I somehow went into the food co-op without locking my bike up. When I came out it was still sitting there by the bike rack.

three things make a post

Feb. 19th, 2017 08:25 pm
grrlpup: (rose)
[personal profile] grrlpup
  1. Primroses in pots are for sale at the grocery store, and skunk cabbage is up in the canyon. Daphne is on the verge of blooming.

skunk cabbage up and starting to bloom, streamside

2. I’m reading Esther Hautzig’s The Endless Steppe. I don’t think I read it as a child after all; it was one of those books that was always in the background, at the school library and classroom collections and garage sales. Strawberry Girl was another one, maybe I should try that next. Anyway, The Endless Steppe has the fascination of autobiography combined with the comfort of knowing it’s also a middle-grade book and there’s a limit to how terrible things will get in it. A limit lower than the one in Between Shades of Gray, which surprised me a couple of times with character deaths.

A browse at Wikipedia told me that Esther Hautzig’s daughter Deborah Hautzig wrote a novel I liked in junior high, Second Star to the Right— a fictionalized account of her anorexia. She’s written an afterword–1998 but new to me– that I’m going to read as soon as I post this. I do appreciate it when authors make new forewords and afterwords available online.

3. I was in a “must under no circumstances run out of tea” mood and placed an order at Stash, my hometown tea outfit. I tried Black Forest Black Tea and have come to the conclusion that cocoa shells do not provide what I consider to be a chocolatey flavor. It’s earthy and not terrible or anything, but not what I had in mind. I still have high hopes for Breakfast In Paris– black tea, lavender, bergamot, and vanilla.

This post also appears at read write run repeat. Comments read and welcomed in either place!

Another Test Entry: Please Ignore

Feb. 15th, 2017 03:05 pm
[personal profile] jazzyjj
It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. It's a neighborly day in the beautihood.

Why CBT Is Bad

Feb. 14th, 2017 09:02 am
tim: text: "I'm not offended, I'm defiant" (defiant)
[personal profile] tim
Cognitive-behavioral therapy often gets pushed, to the exclusion of all other therapy modalities, for a range of mental health issues: depression, anxiety, insomnia, phobias, addiction.

I can't speak to how well it works for all of those issues, but one of the things wrong with it -- not with it, rather, but with the privileged place it's been given in the current medical model of mental health issues -- is that it's close to useless for people with a trauma history, and trauma is the underlying cause of all five issues I mentioned for many people. (I could write a separate post on why it's been given that privileged place, but I'll leave that to your imagination for now.) I am not a medical or mental health professional, just someone with a lifetime of personal experience.

[personal profile] azurelunatic's post about being prescribed a CBT workshop for insomnia is a great example. When I read it, I thought about my own sleep issues and how useless every behavioral approach -- both CBT-type approaches, and "sleep hygiene"-style approaches -- have been for it.

I have obstructive sleep apnea, so no behavioral approach can address the fact that untreated, I wake up more tired than I was when I went to bed, because I wake up many times an hour unable to breathe. But the main issue is that my body learned when I was a child that sleep was dangerous, and neither cognitive nor behavioral approaches can make my body unlearn that -- it's something I learned before I was developmentally able to use cognition or to reflect on my behavior.

As a child, I had an abusive parent who would force me to go to bed hours before I was actually ready to go to sleep, because she thought it was good for children to be on a regular sleep schedule. (Or because she wanted to control somebody and doing things to children that are generally believed to be for their own good is a socially acceptable way to do it. I don't really know.) So I learned that sleep meant lying in bed for hours, awake and intensely bored but not allowed to get up and do anything. When I got a little older I would get up and night and go into a walk-in closet in our apartment and read for as long as I could get away with it. When my mother figured out I was doing this, she unscrewed the light bulb. I learned to associate sleep, as well as going to bed early, both with an abusive parent who I knew was incapable of knowing what was good for me, and with hours of boredom and anxiety.

Therapists (and others) who apply CBT simplistically would tell me that the lasting, physical residue of these years are "cognitive distortions" that I need to reason my way out of. They would be wrong, because there's nothing distorted about mechanisms I learned in order to keep myself safe. Being awake is safer than being asleep in an environment that is dangerous for you, and for a child, there's nothing more dangerous than an environment that contains an alternately intrusive and inattentive caregiver and nobody else.

It's safe for me to relax now, and has been for the past twenty years, but because trauma changes your body in chemical and physical ways, just telling myself that won't make me go to sleep. I use chemical solutions to a chemical problem: medication. Maybe someday, I'll have had enough trauma therapy that I won't need it as often. But in the meantime, I'll be able to get enough rest and avoid some of the constant physical stress that arises from inadequate sleep.

CBT is politically attractive because it individualizes responsibility . Better to blame people's suffering on their own cognitive distortions, and teach them that they need to do work to overcome them (under capitalism, any solution that gives already-overworked people more work to do gets conferred with near-religious levels of praise), than to recognize that abuse culture harms people in long-lasting ways. If we recognized that many parenting practices widely considered to be non-abusive, or even helpful, in this culture are actually traumatic, we'd have to rethink a lot. Better to avoid confronting that by privatizing trauma and recasting it as individual pathology, ignoring the patterns in front of us.

Mental health is (I suspect) not the default state of human existence in the first place -- our brains are complicated and have too many failure modes for that. But in a society that depends on denial -- of the lasting effects of slavery (denial of the effects on white people, mostly), of the violence done by income inequality, and of the corrosiveness of toxic masculinity -- self-awareness is rebellion, and thus it's not surprising that to find therapies that foster it rather than providing a few tools to be economically productive while hurting inside, we often have to look outside the mainstream.
[personal profile] jazzyjj
A lot of great things have happened to me throughout my life. However, one event that stands out for me is getting my MacBook Air. My parents gave it to me for Christmas in 2013. Actually the MacBook Air that I tried out at our local Apple store is the very same one on which I am typing this. I was a Windows user for a very long time, and was rather skeptical about switching. But I'm glad I went with my instincts and my parents' advice. This is a great little machine. Contrary to what some people who have visual impairments think, Apple is very dedicated and committed to making their products accessible to all.
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