Title: Sunset (The Tequila Sunrise Remix)
Fandom: Harry Potter
Characters/pairing: Rose/Weasley/Draco Malfoy
Warnings: Age difference
Summary: Rose grows up hating Draco Malfoy. Then she meets him.
AN: A remix of chantefable’s Tequila Sunrise. Her story is from Draco’s POV, mine from Rose’s.
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1. Talk about the first ship you ever had.
Way before fanfiction; Aragorn/Eowyn. My father read The Lord of the Rings for me when I was eight, and I was deeply disappointed when Arwen showed up, as I had hardly noticed her before. Fanfiction-wise it was Captain Hook/Wendy Darling.
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It had sold out and then got discontinued (naturally) … and so, even though I love how yummy it smells, I use it very sparingly so I can have it longer.
It’ll be a sad candle day when I finally use up the Italy Espresso candle, but at least I have the Coffee one and Cocoa one to take it’s place now.
Title: When Good Men Behave Badly: Change Your Behaviour, Change Your Relationships
Author: David B. Wexler, Ph.D.
ISBN: ISBN-13 978-1-57224-346-0
“When Good Men Behave Badly” focuses on men’s feelings of helplessness, powerlessness, and perceived threats to identity that can lead to acting badly in otherwise good men with good values, who want to make good choices instead of being emotionally hijacked by their limbic system. It offers these men acknowledgement and an understanding of their emotional life with the goal of equipping them with new behavioural options.
CONTENT WARNING: This book contains examples of domestic violence and examples of derogatory language
This is a self-help book for middle-aged, white, cis-men written by a middle-aged, white, cis-man. On the one hand, this framing is useful because this to create a tone of (white) men talking to (white) men about shared experiences which may be difficult for women (and others) to have sympathy for when they are on the receiving end of the described bad behaviour. On the other hand, the advice is very binary oriented (men and women only), heteronormative (heterosexual and monogamous assumptions), and doesn’t discern between different groups of men (one size fits all *sigh*). It doesn’t specifically state that it is about white men, but with a white man on the cover… it doesn’t do anything to move away from white men as the default. I’m agender, I don’t exist in this book.
Speaking of the cover… I hate it. My edition has a white man in a dress shirt holding flowers behind his back. My mind jumps to the assumption that the man is in the “doghouse”. A focus group somewhere may have determined that this is brilliant marketing, but it makes me cringe. The irony of the cover is that the book warns of the importance of perception by telling the story of one of the author’s clients, who had a great session with him, but never returned to therapy after the author recommended a book that had the phrase “verbal abuse” in the title.
“When Good Men Behave Badly” is a relatively short book (199 pages + references) that overviews and introduces a selection of ideas, explanations, exercises, and suggestions. It uses examples heavily (see content warning) and fiction examples which may be dated (I don’t recognize most of them, but that didn’t make much of a difference to understanding). This is introductory material. If you want to go into the topics in depth you will have to follow up with other material  or seek out a therapist familiar with men’s issues.
1. Good Men and Broken Mirrors — Introduces mirroring, broken mirrors, and twinning through the concept of selfobjects (someone or something that helps us feel cohesive). How the broken mirror experience can trigger acting out.
2. The Power of Women — What men are taught [by toxic masculinity] to expect from women and how emotional dependancy on women for missing needs can lead to resentment or withdrawal, and a perception that they have power over men.
3. Fathers and Sons: Curses and Blessings — How fathers may expect sons to be positive mirrors, react to them as broken mirrors when they don’t measure up, and what this does to boys.
4. Midlife, Affairs, and Projections —What people do when there is a gap between what is and what they expected in their life. This talks about self-awareness, distress tolerance, taking responsibility and how these can help when it feels like something is missing.
5. Men’s Brains —What it is like to be hijacked by your limbic system and the effects of anger. Some strategies for dealing with these.
6. Odysseus, Relational Heroism, and Imaginary Crimes — How to be a Relational Hero through self-awareness, preparation, and doing things differently. How to let go of Imaginary Crimes.
7. Guy Talk —How men talk to themselves and other men, and how that sets the frame for behaviour.
8. What Women Can Do —For those women who read the book, a short chapter on dealing with men (and raising boys) within the context of the author’s “good men” hypothesis with some concrete “try these” ideas. It also recognizes that there are men who are dangerous and not just behaving badly.
This is a book about how toxic masculinity fucks over men.
“When Good Men Behave Badly” presents itself mainly as a relationship repair guide, but it is more about how men can have better relationships with themselves through self-awareness, emotional regulation, and understanding the influences of masculinity in themselves… improved romantic and family relationships is a (very positive) side-effect of being able to navigate one’s internal landscape without being capsized or swamped. I think it is important to healing and growth that men have acknowledgement of their feelings of helplessness, powerlessness, and missing needs, and I like that this book acknowledges this as something that women do for men while at the same time pointing out that disowning responsibility for those needs ultimately undermines the ability to get them met. I like that the author manages to navigate recognizing the subjective reality of these feelings while disassembling the idea that it is women’s job (and men are helpless) to emotionally regulate men. The author strongly believes in men’s positive ability to learn how to regulate and manage their emotional needs well.
That said, as an agender person who is regularly misgendered as a woman, I’m struggling to find a way to get this book into the hands of the men I think who would benefit from it (possibly even enjoy it), without giving the impression that I think they are broken and harmful people. The book goes in a much different direction than that, but that doesn’t matter if first impressions means they don’t get past the cover. Even beyond the usual problems with giving self-help books to people, I think it may be especially difficult, due to the topic, for a woman to give this book to a man without it being potentially perceived (accurately or inaccurately) as shaming. That is unfortunate.
I think, therefore, that this is a book for men to read and then share with other men in an act of twinship mirroring.
 One of Wexler’s areas of specialty is domestic abuse. He has a number of other books on the topic as well as a book about men in therapy, which (according to the blurb I read) apparently does deal with groups of men other than white cis-men.
 Such as the work of Terrence Real (author of “I Don’t Want To Talk About It” a book on male depression) which is quoted and referenced in this book.
 Being known as someone who reads a staggering number of self-help/psychology books does help diffuse this “I’m giving this to you because you’re broken” vibe, but still… “Hey! I found this fabulous book on [insert taboo topic here] that I think you will love and get lots out of!” isn’t a great party topic for most people. My friends have figured out how to run with it, but they are also used to seeing books on conflict or trauma (for example) on my coffee table.
 Self-help books don’t make good gifts folks. They are specifically aimed at fixing people and giving them will *always* have an underlying message that needs to be managed. I love self-help books but there are books on my shelf that just sit there unread specifically because of the framing of their gifting.
Disclaimer: I am not a therapist, a doctor, or a professional reviewer. I do, however, own and enjoy reading a staggering number of self-help books and I have opinions. Lots of opinions. One of these opinions is that the underlying assumptions in “self-improvement” and “self-help” books should be unpacked. These reviews may or may not do that, but I will try to acknowledge both some of the potentially useful and potentially problematic aspects of the books I review.
Title: Mr Childermass Calls [a remix]
Fandom: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Word Count: 3044
Characters/pairing: John Childermass/Arabella Strange
Warnings: Dubious Consent, Grief/Mourning, Implied/Referenced Rape/Non-con
Summary: John Childermass, on business in Venice, calls on the Greysteel household, but only Arabella is at home.
I find that when days vastly resembled each other I forget to come here and write. To be fair, during the same ol’ same ol’ weeks it probably would seem like someone just went wacky and hit the re-post button over and over if I did. No one wants that.
So I will attempt to catch you all up in my daily ho-hums in this post….
Let’s see (I’ll just skip past the usual household chore rambles for this, shall I):
- Oh! I can’t recall if I mentioned in older posts or not, but my car is totally paid off now (as of July 14th). So no more monthly car payments for us. Aaron’s car was paid off the year prior, so… now we just need to figure out the best way to smush the mortgage with out lots of penalties …. smush smush
- Aaron’s mom was supposed to be over for a two week visit at the beginning of September because she had time scheduled off at work, but caught a nasty flu and couldn’t make it. And so she’ll be over mid October for a weeks visit instead.
- So far the deer are staying out of the fenced area I made. So I actually have a few tall Canna plants growing in there right now, as well as gladiolus and mini roses!! In a last ditch effort to get ‘something’ to grow a while back (when the fence bits first went up) I had scattered some left over tomato and pepper seeds any where/every where. One pepper seed seems to have germinated next to the big Canna, and has flowers on it. I am staggered. That, to me, is amazingly cool.
- I seem to have killed off my poor iceland poppy plant. But I think the seeds from it have sprouted in a few spots, so maybe all is not lost?
- This year has been pretty smokey and miserable outside due to all of the fires around the US and here, and so for once I can honestly say I am looking forward to the rainy days of Fall.
- Inside the house I have been continuing the downsize of useless clutter.
- It’s going well, although I’ve pretty much given up on the donation place I used to use. They have been a no-show at least four times (Probably more than that, but I am feeling generous). And so now I just post things to the local FB group when I want to get rid of it. More of a hassle, as things take several days (or more) to be gone, and not everyone who says they will show up does. But hey, it get’s the stuff gone sooner than that donation truck, so at this point I’ll take it.
- We upgraded the TV in the bedroom to a 55″ one. I’m the only one that really watches TV in the house, so no beaking about how TV’s shouldn’t be in the bedroom because blah blah blah please. Aaron’s not a big TV watching person, period. We generally don’t watch TV when we are hanging out together, unless we have decided to watch a film, and so there is no intimacy issue there. =P
- The old TV from our bedroom has been moved to the guestroom now, and the old guestroom TV will be donated some time soon.
- I’ve also been rearranging most of the rooms in the house. Aaron’s office and the exercise room still need a bit of a reorganize. But the rabbits live down there with him, and we don’t want to really change their space just yet. So that will be left alone for the time being.
- I’ve been taking various barely used shelves and stands, ones where the sole use seemed to be as a clutter catcher, and tried to find them a more useful spot in the house. If I couldn’t find a spot where they were more than a clutter catcher, then I posted them on the FB group to get rid of. I also went through the damn clutter piles and got rid of what was just a waste of space.
- I got a few small profile comfy chairs for the downstairs front room, moved around a couple of the larger comfy chairs so that there is seating in Aaron’s office, and one more place to sit in the upstairs livingroom now. It’s funny, we had lots of shelves/bookcases scattered about the house .. but very few places to actually sit and read. I don’t know what that was about, but it’s been remedied now.
- I downsized my nail polish collection, and made some local ladies on FB very happy in the process. My collection is now half the size, which is still quite massive. I also went through all of the makeup and passed most of those on to them as well.
- I’m winding down a bit more on the whole go crazy and decorate everything outside on holidays thing, too. We’re at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac, most of the neighbors before us don’t decorate, and so decorating to the nines is just too much for too few views. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’ll still do it. The people across the street do enjoy it. But I won’t be going as crazy as I would have if we still lived on a busier road. I will be going through the boxes of that stuff and getting rid of what ever has not been used in years of holidays (I’m looking at you ‘skinnier me’ halloween costumes.. time to go bye bye.)
- Bongo kitty is still reacting well to the pills that keep him alive. One and a half pills every day. So he may see another couple years through with us. Knock wood. He’s more of a cuddle bug these days. He will play with his toys for a bit, but it wears him out pretty fast, and so he doesn’t bother most times. As the weather changes his joints get a bit more creaky, and so there are some failed jump attempts here and there. We just lift him up to whatever chair he was trying for, and he happily nestles down for a nap.
- Our lop rabbits have become slobs of sorts. And so they keep us on their toes more than a few times daily as they potty wherever they please and proceed to lay in it if we are not quick enough to catch it. Bunny baths are becoming a regular thing. Cocoa Banana is still a sweet gentleman dwarf bunny, and we have no such troubles with him.
- Since moving here we’ve gotten at least six new families moving into the neighborhood. So far we’ve been lucky and they’ve been pretty nice people (even the bear ignorant ones are nice, they just are not used to living near wildlife yet is all). Just recently a house a few doors down just sold, but we have no idea who has purchased it yet. Fingers crossed it’s more good people.
- Oh, The people who purchased the empty lot beside us have been visiting there and spending the day there every now and again. Trying to get a feel for the space as they plan their new home setup, I assume. They recently brought their camp trailer and set it up, and so we’re getting a mini preview of what it’ll be like with neighbors there. Still have lots of deer that go through there, even when the new neighbors are hanging out, and so at least for now that isn’t changing.
I can’t think of anything else at the moment to add, and so I best post this. I can always continue on page 2, as it were, if I think of more.
Regardless, I still am quite giddy that they are filming a movie here in our little town right at this very moment.
The crews have been set up in the area for a few days now, and have just been quietly filming in various areas in the town core. We’ve even passed their set-ups a few times as we went to get groceries or pet supplies, and it’s all fairly quiet and laid back. No Parker Posey or Ken Jeong sightings for me, but that is to be expected when you prefer holing up at home. XD
I am looking forward to the photo’s others who are more outgoing may share… but Canadians are mostly a polite sort, and so there may not be a whole lot of impromptu star pics being strewn about the internets after this all has wrapped up.
There is a cute spot on the news with Parker Posey being interviewed with an adorable puppers in her arms. She is standing near the Evergreen mall, which is walking distance from our place. –
So that is pretty cool. I love that she usually has her dog with her in the photos I have seen so far. Such a cutie.
I’m not sure when they will be wrapping up the filming, but it’s been pretty neat having them here, even if I am living vicariously through others experiences.
Added Thursday, Sept 14th :
Latest I've heard, now they have moved on to the 17 mile pub heading out of town, so they may be done wandering the streets of Sooke already *lol*
It looks like it was out and about raiding the neighbors can at about 3am, and went back and forth with it’s pillages.
At around 5am the camera’s show our raccoon babies rooting around in the messes a bit. And not long after that we were waking up for the morning. When I did my usual glance out the window I saw the mess the had left us over night.
I couldn’t stand seeing the mess all over, and so I donned some disposable gloves and grabbed a garbage bag and cleaned up the mess once I’d had a cuppa.
The neighbors, whose garbage it was, were not awake yet. And since it was garbage day, I tried to bundle up everything the best I could. Then I just propped their garbage can and kitchen scrap bucket back up. I threw what I could back into it, and then taped a note to the remaining big bag I had filled saying what had happened so they’d see it when they went outside to bring the trash can to the curb.
Hopefully they will start storing the garbage bags in their garage until garbage day (which is what we do) after this. It’s quite gross cleaning up old decaying trash. bleh
If anyone is interested - Wrath of Khan on Fandango. We (or I) will be discussing this on Terror for sure. So excited!