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Please forgive the hiatus in posting and moderation.

Mr. Awkward’s bipolar disorder has gone into full “I AM UR JERKBRAIN TRYING TO ANNIHILATE U” mode and this week he checked himself into the hospital. He’s safe, and getting treatment that he needs, but I’m not gonna lie – the whole process of getting him in was GODAWFUL and dehumanizing and maximally anxiety-making and I need some down-time. I’ve closed all currently-running discussions and I’m taking the question mailbox offline temporarily.

People have been asking me what they can do, so, here’s some stuff you can do:

  1. If you’re in the United States, and you can vote, VOTE LIKE HIS LIFE DEPENDS ON IT. I elaborated here. And here. Without the Affordable Care Act, especially the protections for pre-existing conditions and for treating mental health care the same as physical health care, he (and I) lose access to meaningful treatment. He needs access to a psychiatrist and medications to be a no-brainer, easy to access, without stress or negotiation or having to ration medications, literally to stay alive.
  2. *I promised him a dinner at his favorite Tex-Mex restaurant, Uncle Julio’s, in exchange for every hour we had to wait in the ER before actually getting him admitted. I owe him TWENTY TWO dinners. Does anyone have a connect at Uncle Julio’s who can get us a discount or a million gift-cards?
  3. I can’t really read emails or concerned tweets right now, even nice ones. Thanks for understanding.

If you’ve ever had to go to the hospital for a mental health crisis, or take someone there, my thoughts are with you. It’s the hardest thing.

Accurate summation of historical events:

badplacecolumbus

Image description: A meme from The Good Place, where Janet explains that Columbus is in the bad place because of all the raping, slave trade, and genocide.

Two years ago today:

walkingaway.jpg

A newly wed Captain Awkward & Mr. Awkward walk back down the aisle while family & friends watch. Photo by Eric Lipe. Fun fact: When you get your wedding photos back and the photographer has made some of them black & white, it’s their way of saying “Nailed it!”

Kittens:

snuggletown

Daniel Striped Tiger, front, and Henrietta Pussycat, back, are getting CRIMINALLY large.

Hello readers,

You can submit questions at the Patreon thread (advantage: you get more than 280 characters and first dibs) or on Twitter (@CAwkward, #awkwardfriday). Submissions close at noon. FYI answers will slide slightly later today and probably won’t be updated piece by piece since I have a last minute appointment at noon. Like, everything will get answered today, but if you’re planning to refresh over your lunch hour you might be disappointed. Comments open when the whole thread is posted.

In other news, I’m reading the true story of the person who inspired the Darth Vader Boyfriend tag on my site at You’re Being Ridiculous at Uncommon Ground in Edgewater tonight, and some tickets are still available as of this morning, come & see! The venue is accessible, the food is great, the lineup for the rest of the shows tomorrow and next weekend is also great (I’m gonna try to go tomorrow and see Lily Be & Clarence, two of my favorite Chicago storytellers. We couldn’t all be on the same bill or the awesomeness would shut down the city).

In other news: Kittens.

snuggles

Image description: Two brown tabby kittens snuggling the everloving shit out of each other. Daniel is on his back with his belly exposed, Henrietta is spooning him.

henrietta

Image: Henrietta, a classic brown tabby kitten, looking all elegant and fierce as she lounges in a window.

daniel.jpg

Image: Daniel Tiger, a “mackerel” tabby kitten, hanging out on his round ball toy and staring into camera with his pretty green eyes.

Ok, let’s do this!

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My new coworkers are seriously interfering with my productivity.

henriettaanddaniel

Image: Two tiny brown tabby kittens, one lying down and one stalking/lurking in the back.

They’re here.

Meet Henrietta Pussycat (back, with the darker markings) and Daniel Striped Tiger (lying down), adopted via the wonderful Feline Friends Chicago fostering rescue. Check out the tiny watch they photoshopped on Daniel to make him more like his puppet namesake! Obviously he had to keep that name, so Nutella here became Henrietta for the full Mr. Rogers experience.

Daily (hourly?) updates on Twitter whenever they hold still long enough to photograph.

 

Content note: There are mentions of suicide later in this post and also some very US-specific political stuff.

I promise not to turn this blog into an all politics, all US health-care policy all the time site, but this couldn’t be more important or personal to me. I could not in good conscience neglect the platform that this site and this community has given me to speak. Thank you for reading.

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If you’re here because you saw my talk on constructive criticism at work at GOTO Chicago yesterday, welcome! I really enjoyed meeting so many of you and I’m interested to adapt the talk to make it more applicable. Thank you for letting the weird art kid come play in your sandbox. Edited to Add: My slides and video should be available through the conference site soon, but you can also access a pdf here if you like: PeepasGOTOMay1 [/Edit]

I’m going to be thinking about Erin Horáková’s essay about the collective retconning of Captain Kirk for a while. Disclaimer: I am a mere Padawan learner in the lore of Trek, so your comments about the details of the episodes and the character might go over my head. Things I really love:

  • Her portrait of Kirk as quite a lovely, thoughtful, dutiful person (vs. the “Chest Manbeast:Ultimate Rebel” he’s become a shorthand for) made me want to go back and watch.
  • The idea that the Boring Guy You Meet At Bad Parties is part of “a vast eldritch horror sitting in another dimension that extrudes its thousand tentacles into our own, and that each one of This Guy is merely an insignificant manifestation of the beast: they couldn’t all be so boring in precisely the same way by chance, surely.”
  • The discussion of Dickens and Helen Keller and Norman Rockwell and the way stories get updated and remanufactured to erase their radical roots and ideas. We love a truth-teller and a rebel and a hero, as long as their radical acts are safely in the past and can have the edges sanded off for the “nation-building, heritage-canonising costume drama adaptations.
  • This sentence:Robinson Crusoe is a dull, badly-written, racist pile of shit (and it’s “the first novel” like I’m Romy and it’s my high school reunion and I invented the post-it note).” I don’t know you, Erin Horáková, but I think I like you.
  • And finally, this:

“Thus it becomes a matter of reclaiming texts via attentive reading. In the post-truth world, attention is a skill. Reading is a skill. We must vigilantly listen to the hum of the currents of power running through texts and their interpretations, to actions and their spin. We must insist upon reality in order to meaningfully and morally do the work of relativistic interpretation: there are four lights, for fuck’s sake. We do have to have stories, and so we need to be able to see them. It’s important both to add marginal voices to canons and conversations and to protect the marginal elements already there from conservative erosion, for the sake of accuracy, artistic quality, and politics. We need to have access to their resources and to be able to use our own, not to host within ourselves an enemy that occludes all we see, that drains the progressive potential of everything we have access to. What good things we have done ought to be preserved. There are histories of resistance, large and small, that we ought not to lose; that we cannot afford to lose.”

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