urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
I felt like I needed a bath in Clorox after making the mistake of reading some comments on a commentary piece by Renee Martin at the Guardian, "On Canada's 'Highway of Tears': Violence against indigenous women is not only a crime, but a reflection of Canada's refusal to repudiate its colonial history".

Yeah, I usually avoid comments on larger news sites. I almost wish I had this time. I have noticed hostility before whenever colonialism is brought up, but the attempts at derailing and nastiness on this one are something special. (Throw together misogyny, willful ignorance*, and enduring colonial racism, and that's not really a surprise.) They seem bent on proving her main point:
These murders and disappearances will only be seen as the great loss that they are when Canadians acknowledge the value each indigenous woman has.


The way defensiveness and general arsiness overrides any sense of humanity is probably what bothered me the most. No colonialist attitudes there! *headdesk*

An example of the kind of internal sense even the not-so-blatantly-trolly ones make:
The cases mention raise several points for me -

1) Truck drivers and the roads they operate on are inextricably linked with the murder of lone, vulnerable women. This is true the world over.

2) Women from ethnic minorities are more likely to be poor and therefore more likely to be victims of this type of crime either because they are sex workers or because they are put in position where the only means of transport avaiable is hitch-hiking. Again, this is true the world over.

3) The Highway of Tears does not demonstrate Canada's "failure to stem the tide of violence that aboriginal women face". Rather, these are isolated and extreme cases. I'm sure most of the violence committed against these women is perpetrated by partners and family members who are themselves indigenous.

4) There is no clear, tenable link between these crimes and Canada's "colonial past". That's a leap too far.


Yeah. You get a lot of poor, desperate indigenous (now minority) women spontaneously appearing out of thin air to get killed by their Own Kind, or inevitably by truck drivers, in some kind of economic and social vacuum--no colonialism required. And that was from one of the less blatantly trolly comments.

And this isn't even the Daily Fail.

_____________

* Like the bit that says:
According to the US Department of Justice, in at least 86 per cent of the reported cases of rape or sexual assault against American Indian and Alaska Native women, survivors report that the perpetrators are non-Native men. [similar holds for stalking, etc.- U.]

Sexual violence against Indigenous women is the result of a number of factors including a history of widespread and egregious human rights violations against Indigenous peoples in the USA. Indigenous women were raped by settlers and soldiers in many infamous episodes including during the Trail of Tears and the Long Walk. Such attacks were not random or individual; they were tools of conquest and colonization. The underlying attitudes towards Indigenous peoples that supported these human rights violations committed against them continue to be present in society and culture in the USA. They contribute to the present high rates of sexual violence perpetrated against Indigenous women and help to shield their attackers from justice.


Those factors don't somehow vanish once you cross the Canadian border. And with the hateful denialist shit that people feel like it's OK to say, no damned wonder the situation is the way it is.
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
Good news, in a way: it looks like we're staying put in London, after all the stress and fuss. Prospective Employer has at least given a verbal offer with a starting date (in January) now, and he felt like it was firm enough to announce.

Which, although we were planning to relocate to Dublin by train and ferry, brings me around to the TSA mess. I am very, very glad that no further flying will be necessary in the foreseeable future, especially into and out of the US. (We were originally supposed to move to the Bay Area, and I did not feel like I could reasonably refuse.) It will take very special circumstances indeed to get me back into an airport, and that's with my whole family across the Atlantic. I am really not looking forward to the levels of alienation that might result if something should happen to my grandmother. I'm honestly not sure I could force myself to venture into an airport.

I really, really hated flying already )


On a good day, I'm the monkey, and that's before anyone tries to touch me:



In airport situations, I'm kind of amazed I haven't bitten anyone yet. Biting is not good, but neither is the way they frequently deal with customers.

None of the personal concerns have changed (except I am, if anything, having more tics lately), but even more petty tyrant behavior and anxiety from that has been thrown in. Which makes me even more concerned about melting down and maybe starting bellowing, screeching, and hitting people I shouldn't if they touch me. Especially since I have gotten patted down more than randomly flying in the US, since both my knees are held together with screws--and I'm not sure I could do the expected deferential body language if I tried. I have seen some excellent points raised about the added distress for sexual assault/abuse survivors (and trans* people). Below are a couple of links talking about that.

Protest vs. power-tripping authoritarianism? )

Back to the PTSD-related stuff, there's also one at The Wild Hunt, PNC-Minnesota: Rape Survivor Devastated by TSA Enhanced Pat Down.

I found the regular patdowns--not even the "let's use a more intrusive kind to try to humiliate anyone who refuses the scanners" kind--a bit triggering from that kind of survivor perspective. But, one commenter there puts a finger on an aspect I find even more disturbing (and which makes me more likely to have the kind of violent PTSD reaction that will get me arrested):
If it is made absolutely clear that their profits drop with more TSA invasive maneuvers, they might have to treat you like a customer again, instead of like an inmate in an asylum.


I'm not sure about the first part of that sentence, but yeah. It's the same kind of bad institutional behavior, trying to control people through threats of humiliation and violence of one kind or another. Getting herded around an airport under not-so-subtle threats, dehumanized at pretty much every opportunity, and punitively "searched"/intrusively touched is very much like being locked up "for your own good" in a psych hospital. (US prisons don't even bother to pretend it's for your benefit and safety--not that I've ever been in one.) I have been punitively treated in the same kinds of ways in hospital settings as a minor (not only psych, either), and felt if anything more violated and helpless from those abuses of power than from blatant sexual assault by individuals who don't actually have that institution-backed level of power over other individuals. I am still amazed that the majority of the travelling public have put up with it to the extent that they have.

But, a friend also pointed out the Milgram experiment; then there's the Asch conformity experiments and Carney Landis: The Scourge of Rats Everywhere. My own experiences (and who knows, maybe neurology) have made me very demand resistant and distrusting of authority-for-authority's-sake. On one level, I understand the motivations there, but on most others, I just boggle.

And another good observation from the comments at The Wild Hunt:
As for private screenings? If you're behind a curtain or a door, someone is very likely to have you get naked.

So why is the TSA all about naked-or-grope? Would you like to get naked or be groped? People talk about how nobody wants to see you naked, but when it comes down to it, yes they do. And punitive groping, as described above? Just another rush of power for the people with arbitrary levels of authority.

Petty tyrants don't have to hurt you, they just like to.


Unfortunately, that does seem to be just about all the explanation of dynamics required in a lot of cases. See also the Stanford Prison Experiment--people who did not start out behaving like petty tyrants will do so, under the right "Us vs. Them" institutional conditions. And what have you got to hide, anyway? *facepalm*

Overall, this sounds very pessimistic, but I truly can't see the situation improving anytime soon. What I can see is the TSA-as-institution escalating things as people make more noise about the kind of treatment they're getting, to show that they can.
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
Thank goodness for double glazing, though it's warm enough that I need some of the windows open.

The lot across the side street has been up for sale for a while now; ATM it's a parking lot and storage buildings of some sort. I guess development plans are in the works now, because a crew is out there taking down all the trees along the edge closest to us. We're getting at least 100dB on the patio, probably louder--besides the chainsaws, it sounds like they've got a giant diesel wood chipper going. And the acoustics are strange out there, making it sound louder out back than it probably does over there. (Besides my irritation because the trees were pleasant, and there's little enough green in Romford already!)

Max doesn't like it, Feist is scared, and it woke me up through the usual earplugs. They've been at it since before 9:00. By now, they've got most of the trees down. But, I'm more annoyed at this being a sign of construction soon to come. As disturbed as I am by noise and disruption, I was hoping we'd have moved before they started demolishing things and building another block of flats over there. Guess not. :/

Bit of a shame the earplugs aren't feasible when I'm up and moving around. Probably thanks to having a wonky enough vestibular system already, trying to walk with them in makes me dizzy and nauseated and prone to falling over. Ah well. At least right now there isn't much going on in the right frequency range to get the too-many-eardrum-perforations hyperacusis in my right ear driving me nuts.

Edit: Just about as I hit submit, the noise stopped. I was hoping they were finished, but there are still a couple of trees and the wood chipper truck over there. I guess it's time for lunch. I really, really wish I had some Xanax.

View across the street, with a tree and the wood chipper truck

There was a row of trees to the left, mostly blocking view of the ugly storage shed things.
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
I am probably coming across as pup-obsessed lately, but this has been taking up most of my available time and energy.

Right now I am having some serious troubles with that newfound emotional regulation thing. (To the point that I have an eye twitch and a splitting headache, and my back is firing itself up again.) People are definitely upstairs, have been talking and laughing up there for a while now, and I recognized Neighbor Weasel's voice.

In a way, I am extremely pissed off that anybody could just dump their puppy with the neighbors, and not even check on him when they come home. (Twice now.) OTOH, I am glad he seems that disinterested, besides a chickenshit. Not only do I not want to turn the pup back over to someone I was within a hair of calling the RSPCA on, I do not trust myself to deal with the guy face-to-face right now. At all. Unless I want to get extremely mean-mouthed at the very least, and very possibly pop him upside the head, neither of which anyone needs.

Now I should probably go and get a hopefully relaxing cup of tea and some pain relief and valerian-based stuff. And try to stop grinding my teeth. ;)

Edit: For "turn the pup back over", read "get into probably a fight and quite possibly legal difficulties over refusing to give the pup back". Which was more what I meant.
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
I am beginning to think that we've got a second dog, looking for one or not.


Our little houseguest. Complete with bone shards and a dish towel he managed to get hold of. ;)

Saturday evening, New Upstairs Neighbor (whose name I never even caught) asked us if we'd mind puppysitting overnight so he could go to his girlfriend's. No, not a problem at all. He said he'd be back in the afternoon yesterday; there's still no sign of him.

Pup is a nice pup, and has really been enjoying having an older dog to play with and more human attention. Max has been remarkably tolerant of Hyper Pup. My problem? Totally with his human. Somehow I doubt the guy got hit by a bus over the weekend, and is lying in the hospital somewhere.

Especially since it was hard not to notice that he's been dissatisfied lately, with the way he's been standing out on his deck and loudly complaining at friends on the phone. (Sometimes on speakerphone.) Apparently, it's to the point that he felt a need to tell Ingvar about it when he brought back a tool he'd borrowed and asked us to dogsit. He's been living up there not much over a month now, and his wife and toddler have left. Pup was apparently intended for the kid (new puppies and toddlers? not the best combo), and I can't help but suspect that he was expecting his wife to take care of Pup. He was saying that he wasn't well set up to look after a dog, and from what I've seen he hasn't been doing a great job of it lately. And losing his temper easily, apparently doing some displacement, and yelling at the poor thing. Yeah, I was paying close attention that it didn't tip over into kicking and the like. :-| Guy named a Staffie puppy "Rage", not the greatest sign ever. He was also telling Ingvar that he wanted to move back in closer to London, very soon. And New Girlfriend's dogs don't get along with Pup.

In retrospect, I'm not surprised he took off for a longer period of time. :-|

Oh yeah, and he didn't mention that pup, who looks to be about four months old, isn't house-trained. When he's outside, he'll go outside, but if he's in the house he'll just stop and squat so quickly it's really hard to get to him in time to move him outside. I'd had some suspicions about why pup has been spending so much time tied up outside on their deck, and yep. I have washed three loads with towels so far. And am not about to start in earnest into the process of teaching him to go out if he's going back upstairs. (I was hoping he'd get the idea reinforced by watching Max do so, but not so far.)

So, my overall impression? When he eventually comes back, to get his stuff if nothing else, Neighbor Guy may well want Pup to stay here. It would no doubt be a better setup for Pup, if not very considerate to us. At all. And the way he's been dealing with Pup lately, I would rather Pup not go back up there, rather inconvenient or no.

At this point, I have absolutely no idea what to say to the guy whenever he shows back up. Without losing it and yelling, myself--or being stiffly polite to keep from doing so--that is. I mean, really. How do you respond to that kind of behavior, without getting into a fight or coming across as a doormat?!

I'm trying not to worry about this, and focus on keeping both Max (lots of extra attention!) and Pup happy for now. Not much has changed for the cats, at least.

Update: Color me shocked. Unless the white van in his parking space belongs to somebody else, he's been back to collect it.
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
Just a too-late note to some of my fellow bus passengers, on my way home a little while ago:

Not that it is any of your business why I am taking up one of the precious disabled seats, but, believe it or not, I am less able to stand when I am lugging home enough shopping that I have to fold my cane up and shove it in a bag. That sticklike object with a wooden handle at the top, which should be clearly visible while you're disapprovingly scrutinizing me? Yep. If I were even marginally capable of giving over my seat to an elderly person, I would do so.

I don't see you getting up. On either occasion you choose to glare at me. I guess a display of disapproval magically opens up a seat.

You, Mr. Where's The Fire, still yakking on your phone there? You really needn't be staring and scrunching your brows like that. I watched you shoulder a guy on crutches out of the way, paying no attention whatsoever to your surroundings in your rush to, erm, sit on a bus. *scratches head*

The change of expressions when I drag the cane out for balance (yes, while sitting) on a lurching bus? No thanks. The previous filthy, distasteful looks were bad enough; the exaggerated looks of sympathy are at least as insulting. Nobody should have to openly display a mobility aid to pass muster; bus seat policing is not your job. Really. And, yes, people really can appear to be fairly young and in a certain kind of corn-fed rude health, and still have trouble standing up on a moving bus. For any variety of reasons. And it's none of your business why.

Frustration

Jul. 6th, 2010 05:19 pm
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
I'm having a serious disability frustration day today.

The neighbor who called the council on us over our previously-messy patio has, indeed, been gone. Yay! But, over the weekend we got new upstairs neighbors. I'm relieved that they do seem to be pleasant enough, but now I get to readjust to the noise overhead. I'm very aware that it's not them, it's me. It's mostly just normal walking-around sounds--with a running toddler--but they keep startling me. It doesn't help that even having people walking around over my head is only something that's been happening the past five years or so; guess I'm additionally spoiled by detached houses.

I didn't sleep well this morning, even with the usual earplugs, so am groggy and more prone to overload and pain amplification today. It's hard to concentrate on doing much. And I keep jerking and tensing muscles (the SSRI-triggered bruxism has gone wild), so the myofascial situation is not at all happy. Sometimes I get really, really tired of the combo of sensory issues and hypervigilance. With any luck, I'll adjust to the sounds within a few days.

Also, with any luck, I'll get past the "if I can hear them, they can hear me" hangup, and stop trying so hard to keep my verbal tics under wraps or at least quieter. That is very stressful, in itself, especially when you're at home where this is usually not a concern. I still seem to have a lot of internalized shame going over the Tourette-type stuff, and at some level still don't want people to think I'm weirder than they might already. It doesn't help that we did have a horrible neighbor up there before who honestly started trying to bully me with her stereo whenever [personal profile] vatine wasn't home, for whatever reason, so I really don't want to do anything to "set off" the new folks. (Ridiculous/victim-blaming/futile as it is.)

The really frustrating bit, though? After they talked to me off their balcony/deck a few times, I have been avoiding going into that part of the house. And I have been enjoying spending time on the patio in the sun, enjoying the plants and the pond, to decompress lately.

The thing is, I want to be a good neighbor and not come across as rude, and I really didn't mind, say, lending them the socket set to take the packing bolts off their new washing machine. But that kind of interaction with people I don't know is hard for me on a good day. Which this has not been, so far, for those purposes. The auditory processing goes haywire when I'm tired and overloaded, which makes for extra joy. And avoidance. My brain still has to work overtime to make sense out of Estuary English, too.

It also just hit me a few minutes ago that my nerves are probably even more shot because I have been avoiding going back there to smoke. (Yes, I am well aware that it's lousy for my health in a lot of ways.) Nicotine withdrawal is probably not improving my general sense of wellbeing.

Sometimes I get really frustrated, especially when things I was always made to feel ashamed of get in the way of doing what I want/need to do. It is a relief, in a way, knowing now that I really can't help it and this is not a matter of Not Trying Hard Enough to be socialize on other people's terms. OTOH, it's not entirely comfortable being reminded that these are real problems, and trying harder won't help me look more "functional". Talk about shame: Damn, that is really just the way I'm made! ;) And that even if I don't kick myself so much over just not having the gift of gab, other people are still prone to putting some funky interpretations on it.

I am also frustrated because sometimes I just don't have enough spoons available to try to come up with workarounds for things that I can usually work around. So, I'm trying just to distract myself with music, and roll with things instead of catastrophizing.

I was going to write something along somewhat similar lines, inspired by a couple of posts I ran across: The Class Dynamics of DIY Clothing at Red Vinyl Shoes, and craft pr0n and how it’s killing America at Underbellie. But, the spoons won't stretch right now. Maybe I'll get to it later. At any rate, the problem is not just classism, but also ableism. And internalized ableism, in my case. I keep feeling like crap and getting frustrated because I can't do nearly as much art/craft/DIY stuff as I would like to and keep feeling like I ought to do. (Though coming more from a DIY-from-necessity background.)
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
I got a little more excitement than I was bargaining for, right after I woke up. (Thanks again, sleep drunkenness! Which can actually last for hours.) Disruptions to my morning--well, noonish, nocturnal as I tend to be--routine are not easy to deal with.

Bare description:

Wake up. Lurch into the kitchen to make coffee. Open patio door to let Max out. Go back into the other part of the house for my temporarily misplaced glasses. Hall door to the kitchen and TV room will not open. Jiggle at jammed latch, curse. Scan for shoes, settle on fuzzy bedroom slippers. Snag spare front door keys, shuffle around the outside of the house--through tall grass and a couple of overgrown elders (with bugs-crawling-on-me phobia)--muttering all the way. Stretch up in clumsy arabesque, reach arm through rose bush to unlatch back gate from the outside. Luckily, patio door is open.

Max gets excited, seeing me going in and out of the gate without him. Repeatedly. At least the gate opens inward, so he can jump up on the unlatched gate to his heart's delight without opening it.

Turn the kettle back on for coffee. Realize I need to go to the bathroom. Find sandals, go back around house. Get tripped by the Mirrors kitty on the way. Snag screwdriver to remove the door handles while I'm there.

Finally get water into the coffee press. Blink repeatedly while slurping the sweet, sweet nectar. Tackle door handle; some genius has painted over stripped screw heads. Naturally, most of the tools are in the other part of the house. Go around house again in search of the Dremel, which turns out to have been lurking in the TV room all along. Remove a couple of unstripped screws on the other side of the plate while I'm there. Back on the other side, try to cut stubborn screw heads off. Poor dog dashes outside in alarm. Fail miserably, because they're fairly flush to the plate. Get fleck of paint in eye. Break the one suitable cutting disk on that side of the house, give the Dremel attempt up as a bad job.

Go back around the house to fetch a small crowbar. Start on that side of the door. Indeed, a steel crowbar trumps a brittle wrought iron aluminum painted to look like wrought iron door plate. Hadn't intended to break it into pieces, but that freed it from the stuck screws! Go back around the house, and pry at the other plate, while Max watches dubiously through the patio door.

At some point in this whole process, strain my already tight iliopsoas, for that extra-fun "groin pull plus thrown-out back" effect.

Finally get the handles off, latch is still stuck. End up jimmying the door open with the crowbar, wishing I'd just tried that first. :/ Luckily, manage not to damage either the door or the doorframe beyond a few minor scratches. Finally finish my coffee.

We may have to keep that door shut with a doorstop temporarily, since we still need to keep Max and the cats separated so he doesn't chase them, but at least it is now open. That should work over the weekend, since [personal profile] vatine is heading off for a long weekend in Sweden tomorrow and I don't want to try to install a new door handle and latch. Since he's on call this week and needs to get home fairly directly, a stop for pain relief is looking more pressing ATM than obtaining a new door latch. :(

And this unexpected morning dance could have been a lot worse: we could be living upstairs. And we did have suitable tools around, where I could find them.
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
I made the mistake of baggying and leaving Heenara hair oil in overnight. I like the stuff, but its initially pleasant smell got so overwhelming that it kept waking me up! It probably didn't help that, thick as my (not-quite-shoulder-length) hair is, I had to use about 1/4 of a bottle--even clipping sections up and trying to get it mostly on the scalp. Lotta hair in the way, still. I ended up getting out of bed about 3 hours earlier than intended, and had to go wash it out even before coffee got made.

My hair did seem to like it, though.

So, now I'm feeling like a particularly overload-prone zombie (thanks, "sleep drunkenness"!), and need to get out shopping before long. I am still not fond of UK Sunday opening hours, oh my no. After I get back, it's nap time. Then, maybe I won't be so grouchy. ;)

Oh yes, I am also trying to ignore another little surprise this morning: some garbage on the patio. This time, it's not a gift from the upstairs neighbor--actually, I think he's gone! *crossing fingers*--but from a bag-ripping fox. Max was inside when it happened, overnight, and I've stood there and watched foxes do that before. :-| I like the urban foxes, and they need to eat too, but I really am fonder of them when they aren't strewing garbage around my patio. At least none of it is actively smelly.


Not mine, but the BBC's. Couldn't resist a foxy photo. ;)

With the sciatica finally calming down a bit, I am so not bending over to pick that up today. (Part of the point of the trip out is to get some more pain relief!) Ingvar is in Reading helping some friends move their shop today. So, I guess he will also have a lovely surprise when he gets home tonight. :/
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
Ingvar and I met up at the station on his way in from work, and we went to pick up the new glasses.

There had been some bizarre problem with his sunglasses, something about the level of extra-thin lenses he'd picked not working with the frame size. He actually stopped in yesterday to find out what was going on with them, and had to pick new frames for the sunglasses, because even the not-quite-so-high-index tinted ones wouldn't work in the initial frames. Still, he was under the impression that the regular glasses had arrived. As it turns out, they also had to switch his regular lenses for the not-quite-so-high-index ones, and they weren't there yet either. Too bad they didn't catch the conflict before sending the order off to be made up. At least that's £30 per lens refund due, IIRC.

Both of my pairs were there. After trying them on, I'm really not looking forward to putting them on in the morning as the optician suggested. I've been wearing glasses for 25+ years now, and this is the worst prescription change so far. It had been about three and a half years, and I wish I could find the old prescription to compare. (Naturally, Ingvar's old one is handily tacked on the kitchen bulletin board, and mine has been devoured by the Diopter Gnome.) In past, I've expected to have a headache, dizziness, nausea, and lurch around like a drunken sailor who hasn't gotten his land legs back, for about a week. That I was expecting, with the astigmatism changes in particular.

With these, wearing them for a couple of minutes made me feel like someone had jammed a rusty nail into my left eye socket, and a couple more into the cheekbone. (I just double checked that the sunglasses were the same, and it happened again!) Very unhappy muscles there. I am also having the problems with worse-than-nothing blurriness through the lens which changed a lot more (the left) as mentioned here; that person described the sensation well: "The right lens is perfect, but when I look through both lenses, it feels like some one just punched me square in the face." In a particularly nauseating way.

The left eye also feels like it's getting pulled toward my nose.

Extra fun with strabismus and eye strain )

My wonky vestibular system and some other visual processing weirdness are no doubt also involved, and I seem pretty sensitive to input changes.

At any rate, I was hoping they would check to make sure the lens was, indeed, the proper prescription before we left, but I have trouble dealing with things like that. It's frustrating. They saw I was having problems, and apparently did not find the reaction unusual with the prescription/eyeball-shape change. (Yay, shapeshifting eyeballs! :/) The suggestion? I should put them on in again in the morning when I haven't been wearing the old glasses all day, and wear them as much as possible to adjust. And come back in a week or so if it hasn't improved.

With any luck, it won't feel as awful when there is not already a day's worth of muscle strain and fatigue on the left side.

Has anyone else had this kind of thing happen with a new prescription, with myopia and/or astigmatism changes--and the right prescription? ;) If so, how long did it take your eyes and brain to adjust?

Gosh. Exotropia and fear mongering. )

Edit: I tried to play around with an interesting-looking blur simulator, based on entering a prescription. That didn't work so well with mine, which gave "beyond simulation range". Odd. Apparently it "[s]imulates prescriptions from +5 to -5 for the spherical error and +5 to -5 for astigmatism."

Glasses.

May. 12th, 2010 03:18 pm
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
I really need to get new glasses. The ones I'm wearing now are several years out of date, with several big scratches as well as diabetes thrown in for extra prescription-changing fun. My sunglasses are from the prescription before that, and are making me dizzy and headachy with basically no depth perception. I think the regular ones have been helping the migraines along recently. Sounds like time to take advantage of a 2-for-1 deal at Specsavers, eh?

The thing is, my relationship with eyeglasses and trying to choose new frames is more complicated than it ought to be. I really, really dislike trying to find frames that might just about work. Similar to Margaret Cho's observations, "My skull is such – that is a memorable phrase isn’t it and worth repeating – my skull is such that a normal pair of glasses will not fit my head...The anger that I have right now is directed toward those who make, design and market glasses, which are probably essential to all people at one time or another, specifically not for – a skull like mine – if you will – a skull as such. So fuck all y’all."

I am not Asian. Still, I am tempted to give the more reasonable migration hypotheses some credence, since pretty much my whole skull seems to be "wrong"-shaped in the same ways. Yep, it's the skull that's wrong.


Could Thayendanegea/"Joseph Brant" have kept up a pair of glasses to save his life? He had enough to deal with already. It may be very different and lower-level stuff, but so do I. There's a somewhat eerie resemblance going.

Nobody in my family can keep a pair of glasses up, what with the low nose bridges and big, flat faces with high cheekbones. Nary a soul. And most of us wear them.

Persistent fun with glasses. And, finally, enter Asian Fit frames--Asianness optional! )

Still, I am really honked off that something as basic as suitable glasses frames for non-European faces are still so hard to find, and you have to pay extra to get them. If you are in the very limited geographical areas where they are even available at this point, without paying $700 for Japanese designer frames--which may or may not be suitable for your own non-European (i.e., typical of most of the world) features. It pisses me off that I have very little chance of finding frames that fit where I am living now, when I need new glasses.

I know that a lot of people of African descent have exactly the same trouble with glasses and noses. So, out of curiosity, I tried to find out if anybody had thought to cater to that particular market--roughly 12.3% of the 2000 US population, besides those whose ancestors "passed" but who still have characteristically African nose shapes. (Like a number of my relatives, actually.) That would make economic sense, right? Hell, there's a substantial untapped non-European market here in the UK, some with "low" (as compared to whose?) nose bridges. Could certain ideologies be trumping even enlightened self-interest here?

Not too surprisingly, I couldn't find anything. Nada.

The closest I ran across was frames designed for people with Down Syndrome, which is good in itself, but not really what I was looking for. The designer's patent application, which I ran across initially, points out: "There have heretofore been no eyeglass frames made specifically for people with Down syndrome according to research which has been done on this topic, and likewise no eyeglass frames for people with similar facial characteristics* and for those with a depressed nasal bridge or low set noses including those individuals of African descent and Asian descent. About 87% of children with Down syndrome require glasses."

Unfortunately, I can well imagine that, attitudes still being what they are, not many other people with "low" noses are buying these. They are also mainly available through online ordering, without trying them on. This strikes me as a serious accessibility issue.

Appallingly, searching on terms like "African nose bridge eyewear" (or "glasses"), I kept getting results with individual Black people talking about not being able to keep their glasses up, designs surface styled to appeal to, say, hip hop aesthetics--and ones shilling rhinoplasty. Try it, if you want boiling blood.

Never mind the rather large potential market for glasses that fit, apparently you can get shit injected into your bridge "(so the glasses will not slide down on the nose)". Ack. "People who could greatly benefit from a non-surgical rhinoplasty are people who would typically get nasal implants to augment their noses, such as Asians, African-American, or Hispanic patients."

That's a pretty big part of the population, just looking at the US (and neglecting us non-Hispanic Indian types). "Typically", I would prefer to be able to buy usable, suitably designed assistive devices so that I can see, rather than to "augment" my nose into a state some people find more acceptable. But, maybe that's just me.

If making money is the main goal**, why might I think there's more profit to be made overall from necessary products people can use than from "ethnic rhinoplasty" ("Anyone who seeks a new shape for the nose and who has nasal features typical of their ethnic group is a candidate")? Interesting what products and services are deemed necessary.

Gah.

_____________

* Like me, apparently; Carrie Buck came from a similar Tutelo background, and that photo looked like we could have been sisters. Gotta love the attitudes that produced the "Mongoloid" label! ('But there’s more! The man for whom Down Syndrome is named, John Langdon Down, claimed in 1866 that the facial characteristics of people with Trisomy 21 represented a genetic regression, because Caucasians should not have “Asian” facial features.'--excellent piece, [personal profile] meloukhia!)

I had basically no nose bridge as a kid. Not only is that generally treated as a highly unattractive characteristic, but throw in some nasty stereotypes, and such features still get people diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome--"due to a bias in diagnosis that occurs because of a lack of knowledge of the regular morphological features of Native Americans", Asians, and apparently an awful lot of adoptees from the former Soviet Union. Indeed, "a flattened midfacial area" is only "flattened" in comparison to some expected state (reasonable or otherwise), and that description reflects the idea that there really is something wrong with our skulls.

So, yeah, the glasses frames aggravation is only a fairly piddling symptom.

** And I'm not saying that's a good thing, at all. It sure does get used as an excuse a lot, though it breaks down kinda quickly under scrutiny in many cases.
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
I am beginning to wonder if some upwind neighbors are thinking, "Gee, it's a lovely afternoon, I think I'll go start a fire." Yes, they are burning some kind of wood again, and I think it's the same people. This time it's a big enough fire that I can hear some crackling from the patio.

Currently lurking in this end of the house, since my eyes start burning and itching when I go into the part directly downwind of the fire. Max is not overly happy about this, but Punkin is. The cats usually don't get as much attention as any of us would like during the day. Punkin is in my lap now, and very smug about it. :)

Whether I like it or not, it's past time to get an appointment with the GP for more allergy/asthma/migraine treatment. This is getting ridiculous. Some of the spasmy muscles will probably calm down once they're not getting racked by frequent coughing fits*--and I would rather avoid going through another year of at least daily "sinus" migraines. Urgh.

After we move (and insurance kicks in for preexisting stuff!), I am even tempted to pursue allergy shots again. I swore never again, but the series I had before did help for years. For now, some Singulair and migraine meds would help a lot. I may try adding loratadine again, in case it helps some (definitely not enough on its own). This is already getting old.

Ah well. With any luck, the smoke will clear some soon. Maybe I should take something for my head and some extra antihistamines with coffee, and try to head it off to some extent. No pun intended.

Maybe I can find something to post about when I'm in a better mood. *g*
_____________

* The kind that have scared multiple doctors. Ones without barrel chests and asthma, that is. My lower back is not happy with them, either, never mind the chest and shoulders. Possibly worse? It only occurred to me the last time I had asthma gone crazy from a cold that this might be exactly what's been keeping the back "bad" for the past 15 years. Your chronic cough may be truly chronic when... *facepalm*
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
Oh my. At least our local MP is out sweating for votes. Literally. We've currently got a particularly loud campaign vehicle crawling around the neighborhood, followed on foot by Andrew Rosindell and three other guys in suits.

"Hello, Esher Avenue! Your Conservative candidate, Andrew Rosindell, is here to answer your questions today in Esher Avenue!" Rinse, repeat ad nauseam, turn onto another street.

If I could vote in the UK, and had felt any urge to vote Conservative anyway, he'd have just shot himself in the foot.

The din. Ye gods, the din.

Smoke

Apr. 23rd, 2010 04:10 pm
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
Argh. Someone in the neighborhood decided to wait until (a) it's relatively dry out there, (b) allergies are already choking me, and (c) it's too warm to close all the windows, to burn garden debris.

OK, so they had no reason to know that "hay fever" is a paltry description for what some people downwind are experiencing, but they were surely aware it hasn't rained in a while. I wouldn't burn stuff out there at the moment. Then again, I'm used to not being able to burn things at least half the year, much less in a rather densely populated area.

Hmm, I really should try to get a fresh inhaler soon. 'Tis the season for maple pollen.

Just needed to rant a bit!
urocyon: Grey fox crossing a stream (Default)
I am trying not to get too worked up, not wanting to turn into the Petty Neighborhood Crank, but I'm definitely irritated right now.

New Upstairs Neighbor has been dropping more food wrappers onto our walled patio. This is the second day in a row I've had to pick them up. He goes out on his deck/balcony with his phone and some snack food, then just throws the wrappers over the side. I've seen him out there eating stuff, right above where I keep finding rubbish. It seems highly unlikely that passers by are venturing off the sidewalk and across our parking area just to put trash over or under our gate. It hasn't blown in.

This would not be nearly as aggravating if he weren't the same one who called the council in over our messy patio.

It's hard not to see some jerky passive-aggressive behavior there. I was hoping he'd stop it once things were cleaned up, but apparently not. I guess he has to punish us for making him call the council. Or something. I would be more willing to attribute it to carelessness if he didn't keep waiting until (a) he's seen one of us outside, and (b) nobody is looking, to throw his crap off the deck. More than once, I've gone inside for a few minutes, with him on the deck, then come back to find trash out there.

In a way, it's darkly amusing in its lack of subtlety.

[personal profile] vatine was half-tempted to put the last crisp packet through his letterbox, but I don't want to escalate things, especially while dealing with someone who's already demonstrated a lousy style of dealing with conflict. That kind of response is probably more what he expects. I've just been trying not to gnash my teeth too much, and chucking his wrappers over the wall into his own garden, where they would have landed if our patio weren't there.

Ah well. I really don't want to let this have the intended annoying effect. Having lived with controlling, passive-aggressive people, I have a little more compassion (talk about making your own life miserable!), but am also even more prone to irritation at that kind of behavior. I can't say I'll be sorry to move away from this guy's pettiness. It's too easy to start feeling similarly petty, and that's one hell of a way to live.

The whole "call the council" strategy made me think of a semi-interesting piece I ran across yesterday: Feeling for the Edge of your Imagination: finding ways not to call the police.

I am trying to bear in mind that I've got some extra tendency toward hostility going here, thanks to the mismatch in conditioned responses to the idea of calling in *any* authorities. Still, I really wish more people would stop and think about what they are doing.

September 2011

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