Miserable sort of day.

Been reconsidering how I use Twitter, wondering if I should adjust my use-patterns. Structurally it does not support mindfulness.

Maybe restrict my direct use to socialising and lightheartedness. If there is any serious news or activism or science stuff, I can either write a post about it and maybe link that, or else stick to reading only. That way if I have something to say in response to something I see then I say it in a form and on a platform that supports actual commentary and not just compressed snippery.

Good alternative to spamming people with a stream of stuff they don't find interesting or even do find actively annoying. As Tess said when I brought this up with her: “Twitter is good for sharing things, light conversation, as well as short broadcasts.[...] Twitter only supports one form of interaction by design. It's not meant to be a blogging platform.”

I called a place about organising hair removal on the 18th and left a message; they still have not gotten back to me. On Monday I will try calling another place and hopefully they will answer their phone.

Thinking about this reminded me that I had put out a call for assistance in finding resources, some means of locating places that did hair removal and were known to be trans friendly but had gotten zero response. Friends and loved ones I talk to online directly did help me search out and assess places from their web presences, but my call for help itself may as well have gone into the void; no one with any knowledge of the local scene or otherwise responded, nor did anyone who doesn't know me directly pass it on. Very disheartening, very upsetting.

So I am wondering if I should try and create a website that covers at least resources for New South Wales, with information on how trans positive a given service or location may be based on people's experiences.

I don't want to do any such thing, and would rather pass it on to someone else at the first opportunity. But I got silence when I asked for someone to point me to such a thing, and I couldn't find any when I searched myself that gave me useful information, so maybe there is no such thing and there probably ought to be.

Trying to think what I would need to do in order to get it operational. Would have to secure a domain name (something that makes sense to anyone who would be looking for it), hosting, some sort of platform to actually build the thing out of.

Trying to brainstorm what sort of content would need to be covered. Obviously the thing I was originally searching for - places that provide hair removal services and trans friendliness thereof. Other doctors, endocrinologists and otherwise. Shelters; can possibly contact those and get official policy on. Official stances on the law and transitioning (discrimination protections and limitations, change of name or gender markers), participating in sport (language on that Australian Sports Commission page is not great). Having trouble thinking what else but there is probably a whole lot of stuff I am overlooking. Of course then I would need to solicit input from the same silent void I didn't get help from in order to populate a lot of this information. So maybe it is a dead end.

Probably get abandoned and come to nothing, like anything else I ever attempt.

Watched The 99 Episode 3: “Jabbar, The Powerful”. Bit amused by how the new character recruitment in this episode plays out like a conversion narrative, almost like something out of a Chick Tract. Girl who has been living on the street acquires a Noor stone and uses it to make a living for herself as an arena fighter. One of the hero characters is trying to persuade her to join them and use her powers for the good of all rather than personal gain, and ends up throwing himself in front of the pain wave generated by one of his allies in their fight (misguided attempt to help him out), and spare her its effects. To this she explicitly says no one has ever done anything nice for her before. That was what struck me as like those narratives, where the convertee has never had the subject of conversion introduced to em before, and is so amazed by the idea that ey converts on the spot.

As it turns out, this recruitment wasn't the actual pivotal point of the episode like I'd thought it was, and the story actually turns on a cliffhanger at the end. This probably explains why her joining them, despite seeming to be the focus for so much of it is actually so abrupt and leaves room for the new twist at the end.

Watched Silverwing Episode 11: “Strange Batfellows”. I was expecting this show to have the characters journeying through a variety of environments, encountering new characters and situations each time, and while there technically is that, I am surprised by how quickly it settled onto a small number of recurring antagonists who are present every time, no matter how far, fast or desperately these protagonist bats fly.

Watched Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan with Ami. Mostly we were discussing what we liked about it as a film and what we thought was well done, as a contrast to things we dislike in newer films. In this case especially newer Star Trek films. A lot in relation to how it fits in with the Hero's Journey and how Khan's and Kirk's arcs relate to each other, but also other aspects like pacing - there were plenty of slow, conversational scenes, sometimes quite tense, that there don't seem to be as many of in new films, but yet the film overall is quite fast-paced and compact. Relatively little could be trimmed without harming the impact, and there is almost no spectacle for the sake of spectacle, especially by modern standards. We also noticed a lot of details which I think neither of us had picked up on from previous viewings, such as the colours distinguishing crew departments on the uniforms under the jackets everyone was wearing, or a lot of details of facial expression. One of the best examples of the latter is Chekhov's creepy stare into space when the rest of the crew find him; it isn't clear if it's solely due to trauma or what else might be going on.

It was also just a lot of fun watching a film I actually like and getting to discuss it with Ami. So often when I watch things these days my criticisms outweigh my praise to the extent I sometimes wonder if I am still capable of enjoying things without reservation, especially new things. I still have some nitpicks with Wrath of Khan, mostly astronomy details, but for me the net balance is strong enjoyment of both story and craft.

We also touched on a few other films in our conversation, such as how if you strip away the special effects and the pseudo-philosophic deepities of The Matrix there is still a decent story underneat, well told. Or the contrast in conveyance of dramatic and narrative significance for the duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Vader in the original Star Wars film vs. the complete lack of same for the duel between Obi-Wan Kenobi and Darth Maul in The Phantom Menace - he's a sith, whatever that is, we're jedi, whatever that is, it's our mission to fight each other. I think that latter came up in context of the effectiveness of scenes like the Kobayashi Maru scenario at the beginning of The Wrath of Khan. We don't need a lengthy exposition on the details of the Neutral Zone or who Klingons are; it's clear from the small details that are dropped and the visuals, etc., that there is a treaty with a hostile power being violated and that's all we need to know for the scene as it plays out.

Also also, continue to very much enjoy the soundtrack. Would like to acquire soundtracks for most of the original series films someday.

I only got around to posting the diary entry I wrote in LyX today. It came out a lot better than I feared. The only clean-up I had to do was putting back in font details for emphasis (on which topic, thinking elsewhere I will switch to bold for titles and retain italics for emphasis, instead of having italics doing double duty). Biggest problem is that with LyX's focus on document structure and formatting ease I can't e.g. leave a space between my paragraphs to separate my thoughts and flit around between topics before drawing them together for organisation later. Not without delineating sections formally. So that may ultimately be an incentive for me to switch back to Notepad++ again.

Watched Grimm S2E13. Bit of humour at the beginning with the lead's friend urging him not to get into a precipitous confrontation when his phone rings and the lead - in his role as cop - is called in to investigate a quadruple homicide. His friend: “See? Your life isn't so bad”. Then he points out the location and gets “Oh, that quadruple homicide” because it is, of course, the assailants they fought off and killed at the end of the previous episode.

Episode is getting to the pointy end of the season, I think, so this one is less exceedingly aggravating with the people not talking honestly with each other when they really should be honest with each other. Or understanding that people are ensorcelled and perhaps that is a situation which should be dealt with as a magic thing rather than treating those affected as clear-minded and responsible.

Show seems to rely on being frustration-driven? As it proceeds toward a state of sensibility and communication relief at these developments is mistaken for satisfaction. Passable.

Because I missed diarying yesterday, and because in this case I find it interesting enough to do so (don't plan on doing this every time, who knows what will happen), some listening I did on my drive to / from work. Skip over the 2005 Philosopher's Zone episode on the work of Quine, as philosophy is not-so my 'thing', and being only a couple of episodes into that program I think all I am up for is listening and getting, I hope, my bearings.

Listened to an episode of Planetary Radio from December 2002 mainly interviewing a scientist behind the SETI@Home program. It was strange listening to this for the first time in 2013 and realising that at the time this originally aired I was a student of astronomy in a course that touched frequently on SETI - this radio program would have been very relevant to my studies. A sense of dislocation, perhaps, of what might have been.

I find the music they use very reminiscent of Sim City, by the way. It's cute and amusing.

On the way back I listened to the first part of a series from the Australian Music Unit on the group Continuum Sax. Tend to think of myself as someone who does not like brass instruments (their colours are too yellow-red and 'hot') but I quite liked the focal piece played in this instalment, “Dreams you might not come back from”.

Lastly was part of the Podcastle story “For Fear of Dragons” by Carrie Vaughn which, being only part-way through I couldn't say too much on. It felt woman-authored, in a textural way, touching on details and in ways which seem more characteristic of stories by women and bringing a stronger sense of personal reality to the story. Despite this it also felt more like... a 'story told in a world without dragons'? Not a story in the sense of a sequence of events happening in a self-consistent world that has developed as itself, but rather as a tale told of a fictional realm. This is no strike against it, and we have yet to see how it plays out so perhaps this feeling shall be changed.