say hello to my little friend

going dazzling
Not finished yet! Shading to come. Done by Joseph Aloi who is the loveliest person ever.




Thoughts on NVC

that's how we roll
A friend posted a critique of NVC earlier, asking for the opinion of her friends who practice it. I read the post, thought, "I don't know what NVC is, but this list is a good summary of things to help a victim of emotional abuse acknoweldge that they ARE being abused and that they don't have to tolerate it." Then I read a definition of NVC, and I realized this is something that I've practiced for a long time, and that has led me into some of the traps that the critique was cautioning against. It brings up a lot of feelings, so here are my thoughts on the matter.

This is a long one.Collapse )

One could easily write a book on this. Again, I'm not an expert, but I AM experienced and I have gotten much better at these things in recent years. I am definitely not denying the validity of the post's criticisms. I think she raises many valuable concerns and gives a lot of good advice. However, I think that these concerns are about pitfalls that result from improper understanding or use of NVC techniques. They are reminders of the need for community and feedback from valued advisors, not a reason to completely disregard a useful tool. Everyone's mileage will vary, of course, so use tools as you see fit for yourself.

When I was screwing myself over with poorly used NVC techniques, I switched back to all direct approach, all the time (or as I like to call it, the "eat a bag of dicks" method). This helped me in some ways, in the interim, but of course it caused a lot of fights, so it wasn't saving me any stress. I feel much better now that I have properly re-learned NVC techniques while simultaneously giving myself permission to set boundaries.


going dazzling
Also, FYI, I have a tumblr now, which I basically use as my own form of "twit longer." I don't always want to restrict comments on links to, like, 50 characters.

My person tumblr is

I started the personal one because I've been running a bad tattoo blog,

And on that front, I got a new tattoo almost a month ago, from Rose Hardy! It was the single most excruciating experience of my life but it's pretty now.

At the time of this break, I just wanted to be left to die in peace. No such luck.

and here it is all finished:

on the 3 of Swords

going dazzling
Follow up on the tattoo artist hunt: turns out that Mike Moses is going back to Ohio...uh, right about now (he has a new shop opening in Feb). So, that pretty much narrows it down to Seth (unless I find someone else I love, before I get a consult). Seth is almost undoubtedly more expensive, but flying to Ohio would quickly make up the difference in the money...

The next piece I'm going to get, after this one is done, is a 3 of Swords in the ditch on my left arm. I think I want to ask Ron Henry Wells (at Three Kings) to come up with his own take on the symbol. He's a great artist that my current artist, Cyn Rudzis, suggested I check out. (He does some amazing Twin Peaks inspired stuff!)

While thinking about it, I started making notes on the various significances of the 3 of Swords, and what I found was really interesting. Here are my notes and my ruminating on them:

The most common 3 of Swords image is certainly the Rider-Waite, but the Thoth (shown right) is also pretty on point IMO:
Rider-Waite, 3 of SwordsThoth 3 of swords

The common, simple explanation is that it represents pain and sorrow. More precisely, it can suggest painful realizations, things that are difficult to accept. (In the tarot, swords represent intellect -- rational insight/knowledge/wisdom.) The Thoth tarot takes a more meta, Gnostic approach to sorrow, suggesting it in the sense of, “The price we all pay to be alive,” or the 1st noble truth that all sentient beings suffer. You'll notice that the R-W card has dark clouds, and many R-W based decks are drawn so that the sky becomes clear far on the horizon (perhaps indicating the transformative/enlightening power of accepting ones painful circumstances), and the Thoth has shattered glass.

This card is associated with Saturn in Libra, which symbolizes austerity at its most pointed/focused (Saturn is exalted in Libra, meaning, this is where its attributes are at its most potent), as well as karmic balance (as Saturn is the planet of justice/karma). In the tarot, the 3 of a suit represents the element at its maximum, its fullest realization. So you have the keenest insight/knowledge combined with Saturn, always a severe influence, at its most severe. Crowley associates the 3 of Swords with Binah (from the Kabbalistic tree of life). In physiological representations of the Tree, Binah is visualized as the heart, left hemisphere of the brain, and/or the left eye. (Its counterpart, Chokhma, is conceived of as the right brain -- together, they create a whole. It’s also associated with the color green.

Binah embodies Understanding, and is also associated with joy. Binah is a feminine sephira and is described as a womb. To elaborate on its pairing with Chokhmah, Chokhmah embodies wisdom and intelligence, and is considering the cosmic father. Chokhmah is also called "the beginning," and evidently, in the Biblical Hebrew, where Genesis reads, "In the beginning," it uses the word "chokhmah." Binah and Chokhmah form an eternal cycle, and mother and father unite to give rise to the physical universe. (Binah and Chokhmah are the 2nd and 3rd sephirot from the top of the Tree of Life, below Keter, which is basically the Unknowable Meaning of Everything, the most abstract and intangible of all the sephirot; as you progress down the tree, the emanations become more worldly--except in Da'at, the center of the tree, and the place where all 10 emanations of the tree unite.)

Binah consists of two parts: the cosmic (“higher”) mother and comprehension. The sword in the tarot separates these parts, indicating that rational insight cannot be incorporated into one’s being; or, that you are cut off from understanding any higher truths, you are limited to the mundane and tangible. Binah is feminine. Saturn, of course, is masculine. So you have life-giving, rational mother juxtaposed with stern, disciplinarian father. This gives the 3 of Swords an unusual balance, IMO. On the one hand, the Masculine power disrupts feminine power, preventing it from being fulfilled. Swords are phallic and Binah is often described as a womb, so it is interesting that the phallus here is not inseminating, UNLESS you consider the card’s parallel with Genesis. Then the disruption of Binah's Understanding is actually creation: when the masculine and feminine unite in the 3 of Swords, it gives rise to the human condition, the elevation from simple animal existence to self-consciousness. (Meaning, creates the condition of being able to experience suffering.)

In that light, the shattered glass imagery of the Thoth card is interesting. It's clearly a fracturing of a whole, and jagged, painful pieces -- but a broken window is also a barrier that has been removed. As for the R-W background of clouds, a downpout isn't merely gloomy, but a veil that prevents one from seeing into the distance.

Music 101

Oh hai guys, I updated my semi-pro music blog. ("semi pro" in that I try not to swear and there are no dick jokes.)

Have you ever wondered how someone sets about composing a piece of music? Well, I try to explain here. I'm sure there's a lot I couldn't cover, so if anyone has any followup questions, feel free.

If you've asked me a Music 101 question in the past, I haven't forgotten!

my thoughts on the Mad Men finale and Pete

going dazzling
There are vague spoilers here but nothing major.

Another season finale ends with Don pissing me off. Keep it in your pants and see a therapist, for christ's sake. Megan is not going to leave you because she gets her own career! (I know he didn't do anything, but the point is, he's thinking about it again.)

I wrote this comment, quickly, in response to Tom & Lorenzo's review (relevant portion quoted at the beginning). [] What do you all think?

And having [Pete] deliver a suspiciously poignant and well-written monologue explaining his actions and then having Trudy give him exactly what he’s wanted all season, an apartment in the city, felt a bit too much like the whole arc had just been wrapped up in a bow.

I see his getting the apartment differently. I think Pete's story line was driven home by his crying in the elevator, "I have nothing." The point is that he has EVERYTHING and he still isn't happy. He's wealthy, successful, good at his job, has (or had) a great relationship with his wife, finally has a kid, etc. He is not disadvantaged in any conceivable way, except where his own petulant entitlement causes him problems. The episode even ends with Pete pointing out that he has arrived at the same level as Don (which, clearly, also parallels where Don's life was in season 1--it was no accident that the first time we saw Pete's house, for a moment we thought it was Don's!). So Trudy consenting to let him have his apartment was the final nail -- he's gotten everything he's asked for, except for an escape from his life. (Note that he expressed disdain toward people who would resort to suicide as being unable/unwilling to solve problems, while he makes no effort to solve problems himself.)

Some of my friends have mentioned feeling sorry for him. I love Pete as a character, but I sure as hell am not sympathetic. I don't think we're supposed to feel sorry for him, specifically, beyond whatever pity we might feel for people who have been entrapped by the American Dream. The 50s and early 60s are famous for their consumer culture, and I suspect Pete is where the fallout of that is being worked into the show.

Or something along those lines. These are all half formed ideas, but I do feel sure that the point of Pete's story this season is to give him everything, and show that it will never be enough.

christen me for the entertainment industry

I dazzle myself
I was just looking through memos on my phone and I came across something I jotted down immediately upon waking, several weeks ago. I wrote a haiku about Twilight/Edward Cullen in my sleep. In a dream, I was in a cafe writing in a notebook, and this is what I wrote down:

I have bad hair
and a tight, knitted mouth
for saying stupid things

Thank you, thank you. (Technically, the first line in the dream was "I have bad hair and a comb," but it works better in abbreviated form.)

I am contemplating returning to the world of DJing. If you were me and you wanted a DJ name, which of the following, if any, would you choose?

Poll #1836212 DJ names

What should I call myself?

Professor Sunshine
Professor Moonshine
Professor Midnight
E Mixolydian

other suggestions

I'm pretty sure I've forgotten one of the ideas I had, but that will do for now.

ETA: Looking at poll results so far, you guys share my two favorites. But you're not helping me decide between them, as so far the answers are 50/50. :-\


I need to talk about mad men.

bitches ain't shit
Can we talk about Mad Men? Please?


I generally like and agree with Tom and Lorenzo's reviews. Here is their review of this week's episode, "Far Away Places."

I agree with it the main review, but not with everything they say in comments. I REALLY need to talk about what the hell is going on, but it's obvious that public fora are not the place for it, because I don't think half of the viewers understand some of the basic psychology. I definitely am not always right about what Weiner is aiming for, but the it's clear that I have a different, and I think more correct, sense of the SM elements of the show than a lot of commenters do. (Commenters who call these dynamics "sick" or think Peggy is "psychopathic" for giving a hand job and going back to work high.)

I don't have time to write a whole, well-thought essay on this episode, so here are my hastily recorded thoughts. Read more...Collapse )


I'm having a house warming party this weekend and I made a flyer! I know...all...of you are elsewhere, but you'd be invited if you were in town.

'Tree of Life'

adder I shall return
More musing on Tree of Life, which is a film you should go see.

I swear my LJ isn't just a dumping ground for links to my other blog now. I've been sick and with a hurt back for the last week, and busy on top of that, so not a lot of brain power going around.


going dazzling
Runnin' Thangs

Latest Month

September 2014

Internal Navigation


RSS Atom
Powered by
Designed by Tiffany Chow