Ice Storm, Selfie (No Eye Contact,) Snowball 

We got 8 inches of snow in my part of Austin, Texas yesterday. We're lucky to still have power, and have plenty of provisions to keep us fed with the roads shut down.

We did try and have a little fun, considering that my partner has never played in snow.

I put the "stud" in "astudingly bad at spelling".

@kiesa I will keep my eyes peeled, though, in case I see something that might help explain GamerGate & social gatekeeping to a younger audience.

@kiesa I hadn't planned to read it, but got a copy for free.

The whole thing is a nerdy 8 year old's empowerment fantasy, which makes it even sadder as something written by a grown adult.

It's full of just the worst, worst crap:
An awful author-insert lead character, who earns love by working out for a chapter
Women who are just rewards for the protagonist. (Only he can see through their birthmark and 10 extra pounds to the hot girl underneath.)
Japanese twins who only talk about honor.

@kiesa As far as suggestions, maybe Terry Pratchett's Discworld or Douglas Adam's Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy? Those might still be outside of his age range in writing style, but not in content. Discworld has a sub-series targeted towards younger readers called Tiffany Aching.

Neither is going to be perfectly diverse, still being written by white, middle-aged, British men, but they at least have stronger characters, positive lessons, and a legitimate sense of humor.

Now for RP1...

We've been mulling over the idea of moving to North Carolina to be near my family, but I told my partner that if we did I'd want to replace all of my drinkin' jars with upcycled Topo Chico bottles. Y'know, to bring the spirit of eating breakfast tacos in downtown Austin from a greasy food truck next to your concert venue at 11PM with us.

She made me this for our anniversary. 😭

After having so much fun designing bits and bobs for another card, I've decided to maybe try actually designing my own ideas.

This is my current WIP, a tear-away hidden message card. I used it for on-demand affirmations, and it could make for a cute, random coupon-book style thing, but I think it would also be fun as a prop for tabletop RPGs (like a physical deck of many cards.)

@andymonium D'awww, thank you! Definitely been spending the down time at work just testing yarn and gluing strategies.

@Hayling I am insanely happy with how it came out. The base idea for the card was in my head, but the pop-up pattern itself is someone else's and really made it extra adorable.

I def-def-deeeefinitely need to see if I can find some resources for designing pop-ups or foldable structures, because I cannot stop thinking about it.

There we go! I...
* readjusted the base to actually fit correctly,
* moved the window kitten so they could reflect off the koi pond
* add a layer of cut paper ripples
* added tissue paper curtains with little yarn tie-backs

Now I just need to draw on their house number and glue some bushes on the other side.

In-Progress Crafting!
Trying to make my friends a "congrats on the new house" card. I learned some valuable lessons about foil embossing and vinyl (don't) and taught myself a lot of Inkscape (enough to break things.)

The execution needs another iteration, but damn if the idea isn't exactly what I'd hoped for.

How in the name over everloving hell do you manage to lose a giant-ass trackball but not the teeny-tiny dongle it uses?

The weirdest sexual harassment training question that I've actually seen in real life 

Greg finds out that Allison moonlights as a porn start. He decides to decorate the office he shares with Jonathan with posters of her films. He asks if Allison can sign them for him.

Is this sexual harassment?

No! Allison is not ashamed of her role in those films. Greg did not hang them to shame her, but because he's a fan. Jonathan is also okay with them, as are the other employees at the company.

Do you:
A) Point out the team's conversation is inappropriate, making your quirky and over-caffeinated boss Elena feel like she can't properly manage the team even thought she's clearly on the edge of a nervous breakdown?

B) Ignore the remarks and resume the planning meeting, even though it makes the gay, genius engineer Greg lose the self-confidence he's been building by working out, the only glimmer of hope he has after the passing of his long-term partner?

C) Try to fight the ninja

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They apparently went all out on this year's sexual harassment training. It's a fully written, acted, and interactive choose your own adventure. Like with fully-developed characters with their own motivations and character arcs? This is wild.

Healthcare stuff, negative 

@InternetEh I am so incredibly lucky to have had my refill go through on the 29th last year (even though it was early) because I'm am still having to call my insurance and my doctor multiple times a day trying to get it through this year. I'm sorry you're also dealing with it Because. It. Suuuuuuucks.

Calling all lesbians, bis, pans and all queers 

@InternetEh *descends from a zip line*

For fun, shorter stories:
All Out: The No-Longer Secret Stories of Queer Teens Throughout The Ages (There's also a follow up, Out Now, but I haven't read it myself.)

If female-identifying, time-travelling robot supersoldiers count:
This Is How You Lose The Time War

If m/m is okay:
Felix Every After (love, love, love it)
Carry On

While I'm on the subject, if someone who does identify as genderfluid can tell me how to cope with feeling like I'd look ridiculous with pierced ears one week, but feeling like I'll literally die if I don't get them pierced the next, I'd appreciate some gosh dang protips.

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My partner and I had our long-overdue-since-the-move check-in. Like honestly 3 hours of hard, emotional talking.

At the end I finally sat down, gritted my teeth and put to words my weird and fluctuating relationship with gender. And how I needed room in my life to explore it and express it.

"Baby... do you have any idea how badly I've wanted to take you dress shopping? Oh! I've got whole bag of dresses I was going to donate that might fit you."

(Whatever, I'm not crying, you're crying. 😭) It's honestly worth the extra gold pieces.

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