Monthly Archives: March 2013

So your facebook icon is now an equals sign; Your homework

Supporting gay people is easy, right? You just have to put up an equals sign on your facebook and you’re done, right?

Ha. Hahahahaha. No.

First, here’s a quiz.

Did you put up the sign just because your friends did?

Do you routinely- or even ever- say or do homophobic things? This includes calling people faggots. In case you weren’t sure. Or saying no homo. Or getting grossed out when a gay person touches you. Or voting libertarian or republican. Or hating gay people.

Do you only want gay people to be able to marry so your pet gay men can marry eachother and be all cute and have a quaint little wedding where everyone is fabulous in dresses regardless of what they actually want and you and the rest of the “Faghags” get to be bridesmaids and it’s just like your yaoi fanfiction?

Do you only want gay people to be able to marry so Hot Lesbians will marry eachother and then have sex with/near you inexplicably?

Would you be disturbed or even bothered if someone you know came out as gay?

Is changing your facebook icon the only thing you would ever be willing to do to support me and people like me?

 

If you answered yes to any of those, you fail. You’re a faux ally. I don’t need your support, and I don’t want your support. Your support is fake and bitter and it makes me wary of you because you might turn one moment from my support-via-facebook-icon to the person who thinks I’m an icky dyke who is totally going to gay you up, or whatever it’s supposed to be.

If you answered no to all of those, congratulations! You have homework.

 

Go out. Go out and help. When you hear someone say something hateful, speak up, because I can’t. Because when people say hateful things around me I start to say something, then I wonder if it will make them realize I’m gay, then I wonder how they’d react if I outed myself, if I should out myself, what they would do if they knew I was gay, how they would treat me, if they would hurt me, if I should just lie and say I’m just gay supportive, if that would hurt even worse… and once all of that has run through my head the chance has passed and it’s too late, but the chance will come again soon, and the same thing will happen, because it always happens, because none of the privileged, safe straight people say anything. Nobody ever says anything. Nobody ever has said anything. Ever.

I have literally never had anyone stand up for me or for whoever else around me is gay when someone used my identity as a joke, as an insult, as a threat. Ever. And now suddenly supporting me is a fad so all these pro-gay people are coming out of the woodwork who apparently didn’t exist before.

So prove that this isn’t just a fad, and actually support me. Actually make this world a place where I can feel comfortable being who I am, where I don’t have to quietly bite my tongue and deal with it when I’m the butt of someone’s joke because everyone else is supporting me.

And if you want to use facebook to do that? Fine. Find something real to do, though. Replace your equals sign with the picture of your duck face or you drinking or your genitalia or whatever passes as a facebook photo these days, and start calling out the people who say homophobic things. Challenge the people who go on Romney rants, tell people that their behavior isn’t acceptable, start posting statuses of the homophobic things you’ve countered so people know you’re actually doing something, actually make it clear to gay people that you really care and really support us.

 

But don’t just change your icon and declare yourself an ally. Change the goddamned culture.

I’m forsaking technology

This morning I woke up, and I decided to play minecraft on my laptop.

And in doing so I realized that really, truly, I hate the shit out of technology. Not because it glitches and fucks up, but because it does so in ways that should be reserved for the ironic punishments of hell.

I’m pretty good with technology. It hates me with a passion though, meaning that I have a hilariously horrible streak of always buying defective technology. My computer now came with a video card that melted the instant I used it, which was replaced with another, higher end fucked up video card that gave me a nigh unfixable error message that didn’t even give you clues to what was wrong and was only fixed after years and months of hell, and even now, it still just doesn’t work the way that a high end desktop that’s been majorly fixed twice (okay, a lot more than twice) should work.

As in, I have an annoying laptop that just… it was an impulse buy, a rebound after my one and only love in all of technology, an eee pc, died because even though it was the greatest little computer I’d ever known, I bought the one out of fuck who knows how many that had a defective, computer-melting battery. Anyways, this laptop, with a video card I’d never even heard of and 4gb of ram that I think I bought from walmart still for more money than it was ever worth, runs minecraft better than my desktop.

 

Or so I thought. Because after fixing a  few easy problems- which I’m good at doing- and almost getting minecraft to work perfectly… “Display driver stopped responding and has recovered”

That error message being the same one that plagued my desktop for years, refusing to yield to any fix thrown at it until some obscure fix was found somewhere that I don’t remember.

 

And I looked at my now frozen minecraft, and my perfectly normal looking task manager that indicated no errors, and with complete serenity thought “Fuck this.”

 

And yes, I mostly meant “fuck trying to run minecraft on this rebound computer, I hate you laptop.” But, deep inside, I also meant “really, fuck technology.”

 

Because, really, fuck  technology. I’ve wanted to pursue it as a career for so long and it baffles me now to think why. Except, I know why. Because I’m good at it. Not with it, no, because I have a horrible reverse midas touch. But I can pick up programming languages really quickly, and I know quite well how to troubleshoot problems and work out solutions to things. I make ridiculous stuff out of redstone on minecraft, using logic gates and memory cells and all kind of ridiculous nonsense. Math and science have always been my strong points. I’ve got all the requirements to be an engineer or a programmer.

Except any joy or passion towards the field.  Yes, I do like robotics, and I do like it when programs work out and when I can create interesting things. But I also have this fear that some day I would perfect a robot with completely human intelligence, and mid-sentence it would stop and stare and I would look into its eyes and there would be a message saying “display driver has stopped and has recovered.” And then I would just stop right there too and curl up and cry. Forever.

 

And then there’s something else that I’m good at, that doesn’t hate me with a passion or make me loathe it, and that’s art. I actually enjoy making art, and it never gives me display driver errors. In fact, art almost never gives you random errors with no clear cause. I even have an actual passion for it- I’ve spent a full day, from 9am to 6:30pm in a metal workshop, just working endlessly on a project and only going home because the open lab was closed. I can actually have a desire to pick up crocheting or spinning, and I’ll actually start up new drawings for no reason other than being bored. If I start working on electronics or programming, I’m either bored or manic at 3 in the morning, or guilty about not working on it more. Mostly the latter.

And here’s another thing with art that technology utterly fails at; There’s actually smooth progression with art, where you can look at the drawings someone, [i]anyone[/i] made when they were two and when they’re 20 and there will be improvement, even if it’s slight. Things start shitty and progressively get better, with actually improvement always being made. Yes, shit can hit the fan art-wise, but that usually happens in the beginning and as time passing the fan has less and less shit and some day you might check out the fan and there isn’t any shit to be seen, just beautiful glistening fan. With technology, you start off with that beautiful fan and it slowly transmutes into shit. It doesn’t even bother to be hit with it. Sometimes it isn’t even slow, sometimes you go straight from beautiful and new to utter shit overnight and nothing can tell you why. I can’t say I’ve ever suddenly start trying to draw or crochet and I forgot how to move my hands overnight.

 

Of course, actual careers in art aren’t anywhere near as well paying or readily available as those in engineering or technology. Those fields have plenty of open positions that are high paying… but the same can be said of, say, prostitution or organ selling. And I’m relatively sure there’s less sexism in both of those combined than there is in engineering. Not that I’ve got anything against people who want to do any three of those things, I just feel like reserving my right to not be in a career that makes me want to cry all the time, or that is prostitution or black market organ trades.

And yes, it’s possible to keep art as a hobby and have a sad, life-hatey job like everyone else besides artists do apparently. But I can also have a career that makes me happy and a hobby that’s annoying that I can do when it isn’t annoying. Because if I actually got the one technology career I want, dealing in robotics, I would actually be more of a danger for suddenly turning on everyone and going berserk and killing everything than anything I make.

A crochet pattern! Octagon Net Stockings (pattern trial run)

This post has nothing to do with Atheism or Feminism or slow descents into madness or any of my typical topics. Instead, it’s about crochet! However, I will still categorize it under Feminism because LOOK AT MY LEGS, SSSSSSSSSSSSSS

I made these socks. These very long, very rainbow-y socks. This is their pattern, for a test run of my pattern making abilities because I want to be able to sell crochet patterns through etsy, while simultaneously not getting angry emails about how non-understandable my patterns are.

Crocheted octagon-net topless stocking

RainbowLegs

Pattern notes:

  • These stockings are topless, meaning they have no elastic or cuff to hold them up, and require a sock garter/garter belt/clips/other imaginative sock-holding device to stay up.
  • the four sts at the ends of the toe cap should be the first st you crochet in one row in the round, the two “middle” sts you would crochet in one row in the round, and the last st you would crochet. “first and last” stitches will be right next to each other as will middle stitches.
  • The toes of these socks are angled to fit toes more  exactly, so don’t be surprised when your toe cap is angled and not totally flat as you work these rows.
  • An octagon row counts as 6 st up for arch padding, or two complete rows of ch 6, dc and ch 5, sc 3 joined together.
  • For feet smaller than a women’s 8/men’s 6, ch 6 can be changed to ch 5 or ch 4 for the arch netting
  • when you make the netting for the leg, I would only recommend doing the “loosen your chain” option if you are making these socks for yourself, so that you may test the width on your own legs.
  • All shoe sizes are US

Less common stitches:

dc2tog: yo, insert hook into st. yo, pull through. yo, insert into next st, yo, pull through. yo, pull through first 4 loops on hook, yo, pull through rest of the hoops.

Yarn: 80 grams/~400 yards sock weight yarn, any color, for socks that reach thigh-high.

Gauge: 13 rows, 14 stitches across of sc should be approximately 2″x2″, which can be achieved using sock weight yarn and a G hook. If you’re making these for yourself, you don’t have to worry about gauge so much as how well it works on your feet. Chains should be tight.

Size: Using the outlined gauge and default numbers (no modificiations) these socks will fit a women’s size 8/men’s size 6 foot slightly loosely, 15 inch calves snugly with plenty of stretching room, and go 22 inches up the leg to stretch around 24 inch thighs with a little room still to stretch.

Toe Cap:

1- Ch 15

2- sc in the “top” of ch closest to the hook, sc across (15st)

3- turn piece upsidedown,  and repeat row 2 in the “bottom” of the ch 15, to begin forming the toe cap – (30st)

4, 5- begin crocheting in the round. inc in the two st at each end of the toe cap (4 inc total, first and last and middle stitches). repeat once around for row 5 (38st)

6 – 13- inc in the two st at one end of the toe cap (2 inc total, just first and last OR middle sts. Use different sts for each sock- if one sock is first and last, the other should be middle sts). Repeat 7 more times (54 st) This should make a toe cap wide enough for a women’s size 8/men’s size 6 foot. For a smaller or larger foot, you can add or remove repeats. For your own foot, repeat  this row until the toe cap is as wide as the width of your toes.

14 – 21- sc around for 8 rows. You can also increase or reduce this number as you feel necessary. (54st)

Arch padding and netting:

22-24 sc for 27, or half of your st count at the end of the last row if you altered the increase number. turn. repeat two more times for three rows of 27 up in total. Do not turn at the end of the last row (27)

25- ch 6, skip 3 on the sts “below” the rows of 3 and dc. repeat 5 times or until you’re 3 st from the end of the “below” row.  ch 6 and sc onto the near end of the 3 rows of 27. This should give you a total of 7 little “bumps” if you started with 54st in your toe cap (the default)

26-28- repeat rows 22-24 for another 3 rows of 27

29- ch 2, sc onto the 3rd ch of the closest ch 6. Sc for 3. ch 5, and sc onto the 3rd chain of the next ch 6. Sc for 3 again. Repeat the pattern of ch 5, sc 3 until the end of the row of ch 6. ch 2, sc onto the near end of the 3 rows of ch 27.

30-45- repeat rows 22- 29. for row 25, dc onto the middle of the ch 5 of the row below.  You should have the same number of bumps as in the first row 25. Repeat two more times (3 octagon rows total) for a sock that will fit a women’s size 8/men’s size 6 foot. For smaller feet, do not decrease the amount of octagon rows but decrease the ch 6 to a ch 5 or ch 4. For feet larger than size 9/7, begin adding more octagon rows. A good formula to go by would be one octagon row for every two sizes above 8/6

Be sure to end the rows with a ch5/sc 3 row, not a ch 6/dc row.

Heel:

46-57- for a sock with a 27 st padding, sc across for 26, turn, leaving the last sc unworked. Repeat this pattern (sc across one less than the row, leave last sc unworked, turn) 11 more times or until 15 st remain on top (12 total times) (15)

58- sc across, sc2tog the space under the st and the next st down. sl st to the bottom of the st to smooth the edge. Turn. Repeat this pattern of “picking up” sts until the whole heel is picked back up and you have the number of sts “active” that you started with at row 46

Netting:

59- turn, ch8. Skip 2, dc2tog. *ch6, dc2tog.* Repeat the pattern between *’s until you are 9 to 12 st from the end of the heel.  If you started with 27 st, make the last dc2tog a regular dc. Otherwise:

If you have 12 st to go until the end, do three more skip 2, dc2tog as normal

if you have 11 st, change the last (of three) skip 2, dc2togs into a skip2, dc

if you have 10 st, change the last two (of three) skip 2, dc2togs into a skip2, dc

if you have 9 st, change all three skip 2, dc2togs into skip2, dcs

This way you should end the heel with the last st at the end of the heel.

ch 4, dc onto the top of the nearest ch 5 from the arch pad/netting rows. Repeat this pattern, making the ch 4 a ch 6 until you dc onto the last ch 5. ch 4, sl st onto the second ch of the ch 8. bind off.

leg:

60- slst onto the second ch of the middle-most ch6/dc on the back of the heel.* sc 3, ch5. sc onto the second ch of the next ch 6. Repeat from the * around until you meet back up with the first sc 3 you made.  sc 3 across.  sl st into the middle of the nearest ch 5. ch 8. ^dc onto the middle of the next ch 5. ch6. repeat from the ^ around until you meet with the initial ch8, and slst onto the second ch of the ch 8. sc 2 up onto the ch8, turn, ch 5, and join to second ch of the next ch 6. Continue on with the pattern after the *.

61-64- continue on with the pattern established in row 60.

65-71- continue on with the netting pattern, increasing the amount of each ch by 1 (i.e. dc, ch6  becomes dc, ch7). Alternately, loosen your ch 6/ch5 sts to allow for greater width

72-77 continue on with the netting pattern, increasing the amount of each ch by 1 again (ch 7 now ch 8, etc) and increasing the sc 3 to sc 4. Alternately, loosen your ch6/ch5 st more.