In the corner you can see a plant on a milkcrate (those are my milkcrate cubbies) at some point I’ll upgrade to ‘real furniture’ but I have a fondness for milkcrates I will not deny. Not pictured, I have two chairs, one is a kneeling chair and one is a rolly chair, bungee style that ET has lent me. It is glorious. My most recent upgrade was the humidifier. It’s real nice. The wooden box my laptop is on was an upgrade from a cardboard box. It is all coming together, slowly but surely.
I’m sharing because I’m proud of it. I haven’t blogged in a bit.
I am teaching a course at the Missouri iSchool. It is online and I’m finding it rather wonderful. Grading is hard, but the students are wonderful and the content is compelling and fun to teach.
I chose not to make my kombucha bubbly, by not snapping the lid all the way down. The kombucha formed a scoby on top and it looks pretty weird. In the video my house mate Rose talks the science and I poke the scoby with a stick.
Halloween is ET’s favorite holiday. It is my second favorite. I carved the above cat butt pumpkin.
Our pandemic house guest (house mate? Is that upgrade automatic after visiting since February?) carved this:
A few of the pumpkins were sourced from Eckerts farm. They have apple picking and pretty good social distancing / mask requirements. A few of the pumpkins came from a shop down the road, flowers and weeds, which accommodated us with curbside pumpkin purchasing.
Last night ET and I went on a wonderful drive to see various decorated houses around the city.
I had a sheet up between two rooms. It was not a great look, but functional. The curtain hardware had broken, and look ago (in the before times) been abandoned. I cobbled together new hardware and cut and sewed beautiful silk sari material I had no plan for to make this:
I’m pleased. Scavenged and hand crafted and unique and functional and frugal.
My heart is warmed by so many friends denouncing white supremacy. I denounce it. I also acknowledge that I have profited from white supremacy. The system is rigged, and it is rigged in my favor. I can’t absolve myself from profiting in a rigged system by simply denouncing white supremacy. I must also acknowledge that our society isn’t only historically racist, but that it is currently racist, and I must work to change that. I won’t hold being a woman as a shield to deny the ways American social norms are rigged in my favor.
I am trying my best to go beyond being just NOT racist. I actively strive to be ANTI-racist. It hurts to think about how what I have isn’t just because I’ve earned it, but because the game isn’t fair. So, I am finding ways to work to make the world more just.
If you think the quality of a person can be divined from their race, their gender, their sexuality, you’re a shitty person who is wrong and I am happy to stand in opposition to you and your shitty beliefs.
We have to work together to dismantle injustice in our society. We have to acknowledge it for the problem it is. We have to acknowledge who it profits and how. I’m happy to loudly denounce white supremacy and to act against it as I can. I’m glad so many of my friends are standing up against it too.
I was in an argument ages ago, about how I condone violence against racists. Specifically, how I applaud people who punch them. I was asked how much assault do I condone against them? I answered that I think a person assaulting a nazi should do only so much damage that they can continue to lead their lives. I flippantly answered that they should do as much as they wish, but stop before they can’t later in life choose to run an online anti-nazi craft shop.
I do think racists can reform, grow, and get past their hateful views. Some people help racists grow with propaganda, religion, even friendship, and some people help them with their fists. There are many avenues to encourage change. I’m horrified how emboldened racists are to share their views. I am ashamed that I am unlikely to punch a nazi, because I think society is stronger when racists are afraid.
a million years ago it was a day of hard things I don’t remember the things but I remember the exhaustion my apartment didn’t have water I was tired you invited me over you ran a bath you gave me a glass of wine I soaked and your cats looked at me curious and worried and one of them let me pet ’em, not minding the water and that moment is one I can call upon at whim I revisit how cared for I felt how when you said “it’s no trouble” I believed you how I let go, and I just soaked
I soaked and your cats looked after me and you looked after me and it was magic
Taking the race question off of applications doesn’t help, it makes it so white people can think even less about their role in systematic oppression.
There is box I want banned.
Me? I’m doing my best to provide and share intellectual resources. I’m studying and crying about the past, the atrocities of the present. Feeling sad about how shock dissipates, as the past and present echo, horrors feel predictable. Arguing with friends but mostly avoiding bigots. Writing poetry when I can’t not. Sometimes I protest, but not as much I feel I could. I still have more first-hand experience than most of my ivory tower peers. Honestly, mostly I hide. I hide out of fear of the state / the ugliness of police / the intensity of the feeling of protest and sense of community that overwhelms me. Right now? I hide because there is a plague. Often, I vote and worry I’m doing nothing.
Okay, I’ll explain it. First, a visual aid: a picture of myself and my paternal grandmother.
I have a joke about my first name: it is spelled Helena, but I take the He off because smash the patriarchy. Also, Helena is for Hell.
When I was little I didn’t want to be called any cute nicknames. I only accepted awesome nicknames, like monster and maggot. I have my grandmother’s name Margaret as my middle name. Margaret is for Maggot.