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Oct. 31st, 2014



Halloween is different for Sabrina and me, because October 31st is the day that she and her mother decided to leave her abusive father. (Seven days later, he took his own life.) Little things about the season that other people find enjoyable, or don't even notice—people dressing up in costumes, jack-o-lanterns, the leaves turning color, even just crisp autumn air—for her are PTSD triggers. The date on the calendar is itself a trigger. All these things remind her very strongly of that traumatic period in her life, and all the events that led up to it.

Early in our relationship, I was so angry about this—the fact that we couldn't be like other couples in October, doing Halloween things. I didn't understand how post-traumatic stress worked. I thought the anxiety and dissociation were self-inflicted—that anniversaries were just silly superstitions, and if she just committed herself to an act of will, she could be "normal." It was years before I allowed that her feelings might be "real," and then only after a close reading of Trauma and Recovery. But it shouldn't have taken a book to get me to trust her. I am ashamed to say it now, but I didn't believe her when she talked about her experiences.

Believing others when they talk about their experiences is the most important thing I've learned how to do as an adult. Without learning how to do that, I would never have learned how to trust—and act on—my own internal experience of gender. I am sorry that for so long I didn't extend that trust to Sabrina, that I spent so many years in our relationship making things worse for her in October, instead of making them better.

Sabrina has been writing on her blog about her life and experiences as a survivor of abuse. Her writing is strong, beautiful, and hilarious (just like Sabrina). I share these entries because she wants other people to hear about her experiences, and I want to amplify her voice. Here are my favorite entries so far:

... but really you should just read all of them. Follow Sabrina on Twitter. She would love to get feedback, so please send her a note if something she wrote spoke to you.

Sep. 4th, 2014



I issued this challenge on Twitter and I wanted to let you know that I am not a hypocrite. I have been posting a bunch of stuff, but it's all been friends-only! If we know each other and you'd like to read, friend me up and I'll friend you back.

Jan. 20th, 2011


Clothiers stop without a farmhouse near

I teach a class in making computer programs that manipulate text. One of the examples I teach is a program called "," which takes some input and randomly replaces words in that input with words from a Scrabble dictionary. (For every word in the input, there's a one-in-eight chance that the word will be randomly replaced in the output.) Like most programs of this nature, the results can be hit-or-miss, but this output came from the program in class today and I think it's pretty fantastic. Raunchy and mysterious. The source input, of course, is Frost's "Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening":
Stopping adversarial Woods On spongin Snowy Evening

Whose nudeness these are I think I know.
His house is maturational undresses village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch defiling woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
clothiers stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
residual darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells docetic shake
To ask if there is some rontgenotherapy
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, progradations aecidiospore deep.
But I have promises frijoles keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go uppitynesses I sleep.

...just thought I'd share. Hi, livejournal!

Dec. 29th, 2010


Music in 2010

For better or worse, I've been paying about as much attention to music lately as I pay to books and movies—i.e., I'm a consumer, not a connoisseur. I do a bit of digging on my own, but most of my non-video game media purchases are helter-skelter, word-of-mouth affairs. Just the same, there was a bunch of music that came out this year than I bought and liked, so I thought I'd share it with you all.

Delorean - Subiza. You never think that an album is going to be able to live up to itself. After the first minute of this record I thought to myself, "This... this can't be, like, my favorite album ever, right? It can't keep this up." But it does. It's billed as dance music, but it's really just good music. Perfect blend of upbeat and melancholy, of ragged and polish. If you don't like this album, we can't be friends.

Four Tet - There Is Love In You. Rounds is basically my desert island album. There Is Love In You is the first thing Mr. Hebden has released in a while that stands up to it. It's very different from Rounds but just as rich.

School of Seven Bells - Disconnect From Desire. Over the past few years, I have been discovering new things about myself, such as my deep-seated fetish for shoegaze and classic-era 4AD. So yes, the offspring of My Bloody Valentine and Cocteau Twins is every bit as amazing as I thought it would be.

Guster - Easy Wonderful. The album's title consists of two adjectives that describe the album! After many long years, Guster has learned how to make music without trying too hard. This is the album of a band (finally) firmly in their comfort zone, and it is so much fun to listen to.

(Check out this post on Warp Skip for my top three video games of the year.)

Nov. 13th, 2010


Chocolate oatmeal

I can't decide if this was the best idea (because it was delicious) or the worst idea (because it probably had like nine thousand calories).

Recipe: You've got a big block of fine chocolate in your pantry, right? The kind you buy by the pound. Well, chip about a quarter cup of shavings from that thing, and put them in a bowl. Prepare oatmeal as normal (1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup milk, dash of salt, sugar and cinnamon to taste, simmer until sufficiently gloopy), then pour the oatmeal over the chocolate in the bowl. Stir until chocolate is evenly distributed. Decadently serves one.

Note: I only did this because we're low on groceries and the only even vaguely breakfastey food left in the house was oatmeal, and I had the chocolate pre-chipped in the fridge from about a week ago (when I intended to make ice cream with it). This was an improvisation, not a purposeful attempt to give myself heart disease

Nov. 4th, 2010



I made the best sandwich for lunch today. Grilled chicken, turkey bacon, mixed greens and spicy mustard, all on thick-sliced Baltic rye. It was the best sandwich. Just putting that out there.

Nov. 29th, 2009


Perfect breakfast porridge

If you're anything like me, you have always wondered: "What should I eat for breakfast?" It's a question of the ages. Here is the perfect answer for you. Makes one serving.

1/4 cup rolled oats (not steel cut, not instant---what's wrong with you?)
1/4 cup quinoa (rinsed and soaked, as appropriate)
1/2 cup milk (whole is best, you can substitute soy milk if it's tasty soy milk)
2/3 cup water (or thereabouts)
dash of salt (sea salt from your ramekin)
sugar to taste (I like about two teaspoons of brown sugar)

Throw all of that into a pot and simmer for a while, stirring occasionally. You'll know it's done when the grains of quinoa look like little cells with tiny curly flagella. (It will take longer to cook than oatmeal alone, maybe 12-16 minutes.) The porridge will be pretty viscous---you can use more water if you prefer your porridge on the soupy side. Add cinnamon and, I dunno, some fruit or something at the end.

"This looks like fake vomit from the set of a science fiction movie," you will say. "But it is delicious. Why is it so delicious." The answer is that it starts with the only way to make truly flavorful oatmeal: by cooking it with milk! The quinoa adds a needed bit of tooth and nuttiness. With whole milk, this dish weighs in at about 300 calories per serving, but the quinoa packs a protein punch, so you're getting your calorie's worth. I wouldn't start a day any other way.

Aug. 20th, 2009


The Iron Chef Judge Who Doesn't Know What Soup Is

Judge: The soup is very damp.
Batali: Uh... thanks?
Judge: It's almost as though it's a liquid.
Batali: That's what soup is. That's the definition of soup.
Judge: Well, it's very innovative.
Batali: Thank you.
Judge: And the plating! You didn't even use a plate, you used a bowl! You should call it "bowling."
Batali: Right.
Judge: I give this dish a "strike!"

(co-authored with brinagirl)

Aug. 4th, 2009


The new shape of the mythrah blogoscape

Here's where I'm posting nowadays:

The video game blog is new; I'm taking a page from the book of ckolderup. The professional blog is not new, but I'm making an effort to post there more frequently.

The LiveJournal will remain, for purposes that are best suited to LiveJournal, i.e., posting friends-only emo horse-malarkey. Let's do this, people.

Jun. 11th, 2009


Which should I buy?

I'm not likely to buy a new system soon, due to budgetary constraints. But given the breadth of the gaming world I can't help but obsess over the following question: which system should I buy? I already have a Wii, a DSi, and a PS2. My main criterion: which system offers the best ratio of FUN to COST OF OWNERSHIP?

Maybe you can help me out. Poll below.

PC ($1000+?)

  • Tons of games I want to play
  • Lots of indie games
  • Obviously, there are many free and cheap tools for tinkering and development
  • This is the most expensive option, even if I build my own
  • Hungry for power and apartment real estate
  • Might be superfluous, if I can swing decent graphics in my next laptop upgrade (the $1999 MacBook Pro?)---and actually my current laptop can run a lot of good PC games that I don't have time to play anyway

XBox 360 ($300)

  • Also, tons of games I want to play---and most of the PC games I want to play are also available on 360
  • Least expensive of the full-blown console options
  • Netflix! That would be cool.
  • Still a significant chunk of change, and the Gold fee doesn't help with that
  • Not homebrew friendly

PlayStation 3 ($350)

  • The Last Guardian
  • I guess I wouldn't mind having a Bluray player?
  • Pricey; most of the games I'd want to play have (sometimes superior) 360/PC ports
  • PS3? I mean, come on.

iPod Touch ($180 refurbished)

  • Not too expensive, and the software's generally pretty cheap too
  • Accessible to indie developers, vibrant development scene
  • I could use a new iPod anyway...
  • I can't think of any games compelling enough to sell me on the system; I can get awesome casual stuff on platforms I already own

PSP ($170)

  • Surprisingly, there are a lot of PSP games that I want to play: Persona, Class of Heroes, LittleBigPlanet, Final Fantasy Tactics, Final Fantasy VII...
  • Sony's going all-downloads for the PSP, which appeals to me
  • Almost cheap enough to be in the "buy on a whim" category
  • Sony's actively hostile to the homebrew scene
  • Do I really need another portable gaming device? Hmm.

So, which of the following should I welcome into my gaming family?

XBox 360
PlayStation 3
iPod Touch
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