eruthros: Delenn building the crystal machine in season 1  of B5, captioned "foreshadowing" (B5 - Delenn incredible foreshadowing)
This is a post I started writing a while ago, and put off finishing for ages because describing bodies is hard. A lot of things have changed since I wrote this, but the basic premise hasn't.

The whole post is full of ableism (including internalized ableism). The fourth part also contains cultural appropriation + racist exoticizing.

1. My back aches )


2. The first thing my mom said to me when I mentioned vicodin )


3. It takes me thirty minutes to get into bed )


4. ... and I threw out all the narcotics )


5. I wake up the next morning and I feel a little bit better )


6. You need to tell me whenever you get a prescription for opiates! )


7. I'll take some tomorrow )


8. This clinic does not prescribe narcotics for any reason. )


9. I take vicodin. )

um, WHAT?

Sep. 20th, 2011 11:51 am
eruthros: Aang from Avatar:TLA facepalming (Avatar - facepalming aang)
I haven't been paying much attention to the new tv schedule, and I had mostly dismissed Alphas as soon as I saw ... anything about it (fyi it started airing in July). But the detention center in the show is in upstate New York, so I keep seeing links about it. Which is how I came across this interview with Zak Penn in which he talks about the premise and characters of Alphas:

disability fail, half of the tv tropes pages on disability especially disability superpowers, mostly about the autism spectrum )
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
I'm at the Madison airport waiting for my flight. (I have just learned that visibility is below minimum takeoff levels, whee.) And so I was poking around looking for more information on when I found the airport's page on "Special Needs." Ready?
Skycaps can transport passengers both to the ticket desk and through security to the gate. It is best to contact your airline in advance if you will need special assistance at the airport, whether departing or arriving.

If you prefer to transport a person with disabilities into the terminal yourself, wheelchairs are generally available for use inside Door 2.
And the whole page is like that: I am a person with disabilities. I am not "you."
Park in short term parking, close by on the ramp, pick up a wheelchair (or ask for Skycap assistance) and transport the passenger from short term parking into the terminal.
At no point on the page does it indicate that PWD might, in fact, have their own wheelchairs. That they might prefer to use. In order to, you know, transport themselves.
eruthros: Toph from Avatar: TLA preparing for battle (Avatar - toph getting ready)
The good:
I spent Friday night decompressing from fail in what turns out to be a really great way: [personal profile] livrelibre came over, we had alcohol and dinner and talked vehemently about intersectionality and anti-oppression work and all the recent fails, and then we stopped talking about them and played Lego Star Wars. Here is the thing about Lego Star Wars: it doesn't matter if you get killed, because you just reconstitute out of legos, and the basic goal of nearly every level is to smash, lightsaber, shoot, or slap basically all of the set decoration. We spent two hours going "oh, man, I'm going to get those fences! take THAT, fences! and the planter over there! and then I'm going to punch down this wall." It was very soothing in a simulated-destruction kind of way. I destroyed many decorative sconces.

And then Saturday I suddenly decided that I wanted a bison burger (idek), so [personal profile] livrelibre and I went out and talked about anti-oppression and meta and porn and tv and computers in public spaces, instead. (The conversation about computers was partly prompted by hearing other people arguing heatedly about macs versus pcs and going, huh, we could try having an intense conversation about other kinds of fandoms for a change. We didn't manage to be very vehement, though.)

And I decided to try going to the Sunday farmer's market instead of the Saturday one -- the Saturday one is (almost) year-round and is bigger, so some farmers can't get stalls there. And it was awesome, I want to go to the Sunday market every week. I think that the Sunday market shopping population is maybe 10% of the Saturday one, which meant that I didn't have to tuck my cane away because people walked into it, and I didn't have to push to get to the front of stalls, and I could buy prepared food without standing in hideous lines. And I discovered several new farmers, including people who do locally produced raw soft cheese. I saw a new cheese stall and went over to check it out, and then was so startled that before I even said hello I said "... it's soft!" I think the cheesemaker thought it was a complaint, because she explained that it was only semi-soft in other weather. And it was tasty, and I brought it home, and I am so excited about it because I'd thought we only had cheddar-like and gouda-like and blue cheese here. Plus I bought sugar snap peas (and then ate all of them with lunch) and black cap wild raspberries and many cherries for [personal profile] thingswithwings to turn into tarts when she gets back to the US, and warm-from-the-oven sourdough multigrain bread, and sprouted lentils and chickpeas, and shelling peas. There are noms in my future.

Less good:
I didn't get to some graphics stuff that I meant to do this weekend.

Let me just say, cab drivers, I am sometimes willing to spend $5 to get a lift home from the farmer's market when my feet hurt and it's hot out and I'm concerned about the cheese. But I am not willing to spend $5 and have to endure a conversation with you about why I'm wearing a brace, what the brace is for, how long I have to wear it, does it have anything to do with the cane, gosh pity pity, tell me more details. No. Just: no. I tried terse and uninformative, then I tried I-don't-want-to-talk-about-it, and the cab driver was still like "oh, but come on, it's got to be a great story." Fuck off, dude.

For reasons I don't understand, I watched Babylon 5 today instead of the Doctor Who season finale. *shrugs*
eruthros: closeup on apples, text "fruit porn" (fruit porn - apples)
1. So the other day I was all, hey, I've always wanted to try goat's milk ice cream! I hear that it is tasty! And Twings was like, I've been craving strawberry ice cream lately, why don't we get some? So we did. And we brought it home. And then there was this suspicious brown layer in it that smelled vinegary, and, yes, as it turns out we accidentally bought "Strawberry Darling: Swirls of Balsamico with Strawberries in Sweet Cream." And I'm pretty open to foodieness, but, just, no. Balsamic vinegar is not supposed be mixed with guar gum and turned into a sticky caramel-like swirl in strawberry ice cream. I tasted it because I wasn't going to be like, no never! And, yes, it tasted like strawberries and balsamic vinegar, but in entirely the wrong proportions -- way too much vinegar, ugh, not at all like the way people sometimes serve strawberries to intensify the strawberry flavor. In short, LaLoo's strawberry goat's milk ice cream? Not recommended.

2. I have uploaded cards for [community profile] kink_bingo, we finished and posted the [community profile] kink_wiki yesterday and I've got to let it go, I've just got a few tags left to rename or merge or split, we're not posting anything today, and I am taking the day off. I am going to read some fic and eat bonbons. I have been like 1000 words into [personal profile] leupagus's Only Good For Legends Star Trek AOS AU for two weeks now, and I'm darn well going to finish it. And I'm going to read some remixes, too. And maybe order brownies for delivery or something. Anyway, there is fic in my future, and I plan to enjoy it.

Also there is Avatar: the Last Airbender, which I am kind of mainlining.

3. Yesterday there was briefly a [personal profile] toft! Which was nice! But she was just passing through. We did watch two episodes of Mythbusters, though.

4. And nonetheless she handily helped me replace my laptop keyboard hurrah. It took two tries to get the keyboard in right, but now ... whoah! It's all new and shiny! And it has a page up key! Also I was very happy to have [personal profile] toft and [personal profile] thingswithwings help, because the tiny tiny screws and the tiny tiny screwdriver and the tiny tiny connections are so not within my skills.

5. I am cranky at having to pace my life around my joints. Like, today I went out to buy groceries to make dinner, and because I walked too much yesterday that is the limit of my up for today, so I can't make said dinner. Even though I got stuff to make vegetarian pasta sauce and now I really want some.

6. Also I am sick of negative-pressure doors (the kind intended to keep the air conditioning in) when they don't have buttons to open them. I had to struggle out of the coffee shop today with a "pass the cane to the other hand, dangle it from wrist strap because also carrying groceries and coffee, hip-check the bar to open the latch, shoulder-bump the door to break the negative pressure, catch the closing door on the shoulder and lean full weight into it" maneuver. Which is too much maneuver for me. *cranky*

7. Also some jerk was like "hurry the fuck up, bitch" at me when I was crossing the street. OH MAN SORRY TO BE IN YOUR CAR'S WAY, DUDE! I mean, god forbid you wait ten more seconds to make a right hand turn! I know waiting for a lady with a cane is like the worst thing that has ever happened to you! Hey, wait a minute, do I maybe have the right of way here? OH YES I DO.
eruthros: Ivanova from B5 saying "boom boom boom boom" to Londo -- angry icon!! (B5 - Ivanova boom)
A thing that really bothers me about all the recent air security talk is the assumption of certain kinds of "normal" bodies -- air security is merely an inconvenience to everyone, not an impossibility, because all bodies can do the things we ask.

So here are some problems with proposed air security rules, some people who are left out )
eruthros: Ivanova from B5 saying "boom boom boom boom" to Londo -- angry icon!! (B5 - Ivanova boom)
I had a morning full of casual ableism, overheard on the street and on the bus and in PT. I'm a bus-eavesdropper, and bus social-pattern-watcher; sometimes it's really fascinating, and sometimes it really sucks. Today was ... sort of both.

Conversations reproduced under the cut because they include ableist language )
eruthros: Ivanova from B5 saying "boom boom boom boom" to Londo -- angry icon!! (B5 - Ivanova boom)
Here is a thing that makes me really sad: this sign [note: link contains image of Holocaust victims], at the anti-health care march in Washington D.C. today. Which, okay, is horrifying enough as a piece of political rhetoric, if you presume that the people in question don't believe in it, it's horrifying enough as a parallel between mostly-white mostly-Christian Americans who don't want health care and, you know, the torture and deaths of Jewish and Romani and homosexual folks, but what really horrifies and depresses me is the idea that the person holding that sign, the person waving that sign around, might not just be doing it as political rhetoric, might actually believe in that comparison. How horrifying is it to think about the mostly-white mostly-Christian mostly-conservative anti-health care folks imagining themselves to be the same as Jews and Romani and queer folks in Nazi Germany? To think about what they must believe to make this comparison in all seriousness? To make the comparison between socialized medicine and genocide? I am just "..."

Also, linking to the above at Think Progress reminded me of how much I hate reading comments on progressive blogs. I skim the front pages of a number of progressive blogs, and I usually don't read the comments -- there are so few blogs that think about intersectionality, that really try to keep out the misogyny and the homophobia and the transmisogyny and the racism and the ablism. I read the comments on this post about a racist sign in an Georgia bar a while ago, though, and just -- this is exactly it, this is exactly the problem. Here are some things I learned about the TRUTH about racism from reading comments, which I have put behind a cut because they hit just about every -ism ever )
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
I had a computer problem recently -- a recurring video GPU error, which meant a problem in the motherboard. Which, argh, but the computer is still under warranty, and I have at-home service. So a guy came over and replaced my motherboard (twice, long story involving service tags), and then there was a video display problem with lines on the screen indicating a connection problem with the last motherboard, so a different guy came over and replaced the LCD and the motherboard (again).

And, here is the thing: the second guy tried to convince me that there wasn't a problem after he replaced the LCD, because he didn't want to replace the motherboard. He didn't come out and say "oh, there isn't a problem," but he said things like "I don't see any lines" and "that's supposed to be there, it's part of the background texture," and "I don't think that will fix it, but I guuuuessss I could trrrrry," heaving a great sigh like this wasn't his job and he wasn't getting paid for it.

I find that sort of thing very difficult; it's hard for me to say, in the face of expert authority, "No. There is still a problem. Fix it." But I did, this time; I said "I still see lines." He said, "that's probably a screen resolution issue." I said, "No, this is the screen resolution I've always been set at, and there wasn't a problem until the most recent motherboard." He said, "It probably won't fix it." I said, "Try anyway." And finally he said, "okay, I'll put a new motherboard in."

Unsurprisingly, this fixed the problem.

***

I sometimes think about the way that people who are considered "experts," people who know more about the system than I am presumed to know, use social pressure and body language and leading questions to push me into denying my own experience.

And so my (white, male, expert) doctor says, "oh, that shouldn't hurt" casually, and I start to doubt myself: did it really hurt? Was it just uncomfortable? Or he says, "But you feel the pain when you're sitting down, too?" in an incredulous tone of voice, and I doubt myself: do I feel the pain when I sit down? Am I making too much of it?

I have joint and muscle pain. I have it pretty much all the time. My physical therapist is like, look, my goal is to get you down to maybe a two or a three on the scale of pain for general walking; we can't aim for no pain at all. And despite that, despite my lived experience, despite the fact that I am here in this body feeling this thing, seeing this thing, hearing my joints pop, I begin to wonder: Do I feel that? Is that pain there? Are those symptoms real? Am I complaining too much? (Hysterical, whining, weak, complaining, silly.)

And I don't think (most) doctors know how much they push people into denying their bodily experience. I don't think they're aware of the degree to which their prompting pushes people out of their bodies, makes them say: no, I don't see that. When my doctor says "and it's getting better?" I want to say yes; when my doctor says "but it's no big deal, right?" I want to say yes; when my doctor frowns when he pushes at my joints, looks dubious, looks skeptical, and then says "it's fine when I do this?" I want to say yes. Sometimes I do, sometimes I find myself saying "oh, yes" and "of course not" and "it's fine," and at the time I feel like it's fine, like it's normal, like it's no big deal -- and I feel that way because I have been pushed to ignore my body. I've believed what he's telling me, instead of believing what I feel. And I don't think most doctors know that they do it at all, let alone that they most often direct that kind of skepticism, that kind of attempt to get people to believe them instead of their own bodily experience, at women and people of color and queer folks and people with chronic pain. I don't think they know that when they say, oh, no, I'm sure you don't need stronger painkillers, and I say okay, that there is any sort of power dynamic there, that I am telling anything other than the truth -- that the truth I am telling is their truth.

I don't think (most) doctors know what it feels like, two hours later, to stop and say: yes, yes I saw that, it was there all along, why did I deny it; I felt that pain, my knee hurt, I wanted to ask more questions. And to stop and wonder: why didn't I? Why didn't I stand up to him? (Stupid, pushover, weak, silly.) Now I have to make another appointment, now I have to wait two more weeks, now I will feel even stupider going in and saying, yes, there is a problem, make it better -- even though maybe next time, I'll do it again, say yes again when I want to say no, I can still see the lines on the screen, they're right there, stop telling me I don't see them, they're right fucking there.
eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
I was reading Mary Roach's Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex at a cafe for funsies this morning. And I was reading along, mostly enjoying it -- she mostly describes the science of sex in a funny and lighthearted and not-too-thoughtful but at least not-too-painful way. (Barring things like "men do X" and "women do Y" and the corresponding conflation of culture+biology. Since that happens all over the place in reproductive science, I was pretty sure I'd find it here too, and was prepared to put up with it.) When all of a sudden:

In which Roach sexually assaults a patient and has no ethical problem with it -- note that I'll be quoting her description of the assault under here )

In which Roach seems to have disability issues )

I am not really prepared to read her chapter called "What Would Allah Say?" after the above. I can't imagine why.

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eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (Default)
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