February 25th, 2010


The discomfort

Today I feel much less upset. And I want to thank everyone who had a role in helping with that - not everyone who did reads this, but I thank them anyway.

There are lots of issues when you start to deconstruct something like the feeling of "safe". When you interact with a large group of people for a long period of time, incidents happen, histories occur, friendships are made and broken. Many situations occur in the context of alcohol. One of the issues that I have been talking about IRL is the issue that if you don't feel safe, you are not in a place to express that you don't feel safe. It's one of those horrible catch-22s. You don't feel able to tell someone about how you're feeling *because* you don't feel safe to do so.

Which makes it hard for anyone to help you out.

The other issue, for me at least, is I find it very hard to tell people, especially my friends, that something they are doing is making me feel uncomfortable. So I'm going to take this opportunity, amongst all this talk about safe spaces, to say that everybody's ideas of boundaries and what is comfortable fpr them are different and just because we think our behaviour is harmless, does not mean that we are not the cause discomfort or unease to someone else. Also, just because they don't tell you does not mean that they do not feel uncomfortable.

Personally, I am not a very touchy-feely person. I don't like to be pounced on (especially from behind) or touched without warning. I find room parties to be stressful at times, if it means I have to press up against people who I don't really know that well or don't want to be sitting thigh to thigh with. I find it threatening when people who are intoxicated start to feel more relaxed and comfortable about touching people (and thus me) around them (happens maybe more than people think it does). I tend to avoid attending room parties that look really packed with people because I had a bad experience in a mosh pit at Green Day once and I can't cope with the claustrophia anymore of 20 - 50 people in one of those hotel rooms. I start to feel sick and faint.

And I am not a person who feels comfortable giving and receiving hugs. You may know this from having interacted with me but it make me feel uncomfortable. I think I probably only hug my very closest of friends and even then, it's mostly for big events like going on a jet plane or something. I often get stressed out trying to think about how I can avoid a flurry of hugs in all directions, without looking like some kind of stiff board. And for a very very long time, when I was really suffering with my OCD, I really hated being kissed on my cheek. And especially (still) hate being kissed by people who do that "oops I missed your cheek and got your mouth" thing - seriously! This has happened to me a few times, and sometimes by repeat offenders. At Swancon or Swancon related things. It still boggles me how people think that you don't notice that and like what... enjoyed it? It makes my skin crawl.

I feel guilty for not having said some of this earlier but hate to hurt people's feelings, so I let myself feel uncomfortable instead. But I think if I am going to be honest, and speak out about safe spaces, I need to say what I feel unsafe about.

And in thinking through all of the above, and in reading what others have written on the subject, I've been thinking about my own behaviour and how I might cause other people to feel uncomfortable (maybe in other ways). I think it's important to realise that we share this space and that we all have a right to feel and, create a feeling of, safety within it and that we can only achieve that when each of us is looking to play our own role in that. I know how I am going to behave differently at this Swancon.


Birthday Extravaganza!

Onto nicer things! Tonight begins my long weekend of birthday extravaganza!!! I was going to have some kind of something to celebrate but by the time I looked in my diary for this weekend, I felt like, well, what was planned was enough. Enough for me to feel happy and loved and joyful.

Tonight I am off to see 13 MOST BEAUTIFUL ... SONGS FOR ANDY WARHOL'S SCREEN TESTS with kathrynlinge. She is currently flying back to Perth as we speak and will hop off the plane and join me for predinner drinks. I shall try and find something in a pretty glass and I shall be wearing The Shoes!

Blurb for the show:
Between 1964 and 1966, pop icon Andy Warhol shot roughly 500 'screen tests' at The Factory, his famed New York studio. Shot in black and white in uninterrupted takes, these four-minute scenes open a window into a dynamically creative era in America.

New York indie songwriters Dean & Britta (formerly of Luna) perform original and cover songs that perfectly suit the mood of each film. Music ranges from dreamy, swirling pop to ominous instrumentals for dancer Freddy Herko, who fell to his death a few weeks after shooting his film, to a blazing version of a rare Velvet Underground song for a young Lou Reed.

And because I refuse to be embarrassed about it ... Saturday is my 34th birthday. Yay me. And I am really enjoying my 30s *grins*.

ball of yarn

charm quilting

Firstly, Benji would like to say thanks for inquiring after his health, don't you always feel better when you sleep in your mum's bed? And don't you hate people who talk for their pets?

But he does seem much better today.

Ever wondered what makes a squeaky toy squeak? I have a doggie whose main goal is to dissect every toy he gets in order to get to the squeaky. He's done it in a couple of hours and sometimes left it to take several weeks or months. I think this one, right here in his mouth, came from the chicken (who he dacked early on). But, I keep buying the squeaky toys because he does love playing with them first and then he gets much job from de-squeaking them and when he has one of those, he eats less of my books.

Here is my charm quilt so far. So ... I'm not much one for having lots of colours and things looking too "crazy quilt" so, doing an actual crazy quilt is a bit challenging. I keep wanting it to keep order and look ... structured? I'm currently still trying to keep the hexagons in not just colours (or sets) but also tone. We'll see how I go. I'm also wanting to sew hexagons in as soon as I have them but am aware that will mean less uniformity across the work. catundra pulled me out lots of triangle shaped scraps when I was there the other day and I have been having fun trying to piece out some more to go in.

I think this is project is going to be for my queen size bed. This would be my first bedspread type project, though the monochrome tumbling blocks is supposed to be that size too (it's intended for the wall though). I'd vaguely like it to have 2010 pieces, somewhat riffing off the millennium charm quilts. But we'll see.