coraa: (at tara in this fateful hour)
If you don't read Slacktivist, you probably should. In addition to a wonderful, thoughtful, and occasionally hilarious page-by-page takedown of the Left Behind series -- which is worth reading from the beginning in the archives, and what drew me to Slacktivist in the first place -- Fred Clark occasionally writes luminous pieces like this one:

Our Trespasses.

It's about immigration, and health care, and the Lord's Prayer, and grace, and fear, and forgiveness, and obligation. Quote:

There's this prayer we Christians say in church, at every service, whenever we get together. We recite it in unison, usually, and we've all got it memorized. We call it "The Lord's Prayer," because Jesus himself taught it to us and told us to pray it. Sometimes we call it the "Our Father," since that's how it starts.

Most of this prayer is comforting and reassuring, like the 23rd Psalm. "Give us this day our daily bread," we pray. "And deliver us from evil." Daily bread and deliverance, that's nice.

But then there's this other phrase which, when we listen to ourselves saying it, is the scariest part of any given Sunday. "Forgive us our trespasses," we pray, "as we forgive those who trespass against us."

That's disturbingly conditional. It's almost contractual. The conditions laid out there are crystal clear and explicit, but we tend to recoil from them. We pray this one prayer more than any other, but every other prayer omits this quid pro quo. "Forgive us according to thy infinite mercy," we pray, or "according to your boundless grace," or "for Jesus' sake," or "in Jesus' name." Straight-up, unconditional, one-way forgiveness is what we ask for in every other prayer. Apart from our recitation of that one prayer, you'll rarely ever hear us ask that this be conditional -- "Forgive us as we forgive others."


(Fred Clark is one of those people who gives me hope: he was raised Evangelical, is still Christian, and speaks of the issues of mainstream Christianity with intelligence, compassion, and justice. He tackles the hypocrisies and excesses of modern mainstream Christianity without losing his understanding and sympathy for the individual people involved -- and yet without softening what he has to say -- and he's smart and articulate while he does so.)
coraa: (cooking)
Here's a bento that looks amazing.

(I realize that a lot of bento look amazing, but this one is particularly incredible. Go see.)
coraa: (food love)
First, via Making Light, an interesting talk on Where do people find the time?. As Patrick Nielsen Hayden summarizes, it's about "gin, television, the 'cognitive surplus,' and the true answer to the annoying question in the title..." I nodded a lot, also: grinned. Video, worksafe.

Second, a recipe. Potstickers, or gyoza, or jiaozi, or pan-fried wonton things. Technically, gyoza/jiaozi are made with a different dough than wonton skins, but wonton skins are readily available to me, so I use them. I make no claim as to authenticity at all, but they taste good.

Potstickers )
coraa: (serious face)
I was going to shut up about this now, but this is too useful and true and excellent not to share.

From [livejournal.com profile] synecdochic, Don't Be That Guy. Where That Guy is the guy who sets off women's creepdar (and often rightly so). How to recognize what behaviors you might have that make you look like an entitled creep, how not to do them, and how to back up women who are encountering them without making yourself creepy in the process. Covers such topics as I-deserve-your-attention entitlement, but-I'm-a-feminist-so-I-deserve-some-tail-too entitlement, why "no" doesn't mean "maybe" and why you might think it does, why you may want to avoid being a Man Who Explains Things, why it's okay to fuck up but not okay to get dismissive, and why "men can be raped, too!" is a non-starter of an argument.

Yeah, these aren't creepiness flags that Every Woman Everywhere find creepy -- but I can tell you that they're dead-on accurate for me, at least, and I know I'm not the only one.

Also, as a follow-up to the Back Each Other Up pledge, via [livejournal.com profile] shaysdays, a post on how women can back up or 'rescue' other women without putting themselves in a dangerous situation (as might happen if they confront a creeptastic guy directly), and also on how to spot body language that means 'I do not want to talk to this guy or even look at him but I'm too polite and/or frightened to actually say so or walk away.'

Most of the how-to-back-up tips there are more appropriate for women rescuing women (the body-language tips are generally applicable) -- it's trickier for men to do so, because so many women (including me!) have had one of two bad experiences. Either a guy tries to 'rescue' me in a way that's actually alpha male posturing, faux-chivalric 'I shall rescue you and then surely you will bestow a kiss upon your knight' stuff, which is ew. You shouldn't try to get a woman away from a creep so that she'll pay attention to you instead. OR: guys leaping straight into trying to Solve The Problem and chase the other guy away before they even determine that I want to be rescued -- at which point it gets directly into I Know Better Than You, Helpless Female territory. [livejournal.com profile] synechdochic's suggestion for how a guy can back up a woman is brilliant: he should join the conversation and start talking to the guy, thus providing a distraction and allowing the woman to more easily make her excuses and escape. That way, if she was enjoying talking to potential-creep, she can continue, and if she wants to get away, she can.

At some point I'm going to pull together my post on Hugs Of Inappropriate Length (kind of like the more gropetastic cousin to Rodents Of Unusual Size), but not today. Today I'm making earrings and writing a story.
coraa: (moonshade)
Ever thought about reading the independent graphic novel series Elfquest? It's now available free and legit online, as part of the Elfquest 30th Anniversary celebration.

It's hard to sum up Elfquest in a way that doesn't make it sound vaguely stupid, which it isn't. It's about elves who ride wolves, who are driven from their forest home and thereafter quest to find a new home and to reunite all the scattered tribes of elves. The main thing to know about it, though, is that it's gorgeous -- at least, the parts of it that are drawn by Weny Pini, the co-creator. Seriously, the major reason to read Elfquest is because it's beautiful, the second reason is because it has a ton of likeable and interesting characters (including Nightfall, who fits into my favored Ass-Kicking Female Character archetype, and Strongbow, who was an adolescent crush nearly as embarrassing now as my crush on Radu), and the third reason is because the plot is strong enough to be engaging.

I can wholeheartedly recommend the Original Quest, written by Richard and Wendy and drawn by Wendy Pini, which is conveniently also entirely uploaded. (The later series are being put up a few issues at a time over the course of this year.) If you read and like that, it's worth going on to Siege at Blue Mountain and Kings of the Broken Wheel, which are also written and drawn by the Pinis, and if you like those you can delve into the less-sure territory of stuff that's partly written or drawn by someone else. (If you get that far and want recs for what's worthwhile and what isn't, I can do that. Some of them are nearly as good as the original -- the first chunk of Hidden Years is excellent indeed -- and some, well, aren't.)

But basically, it's beautiful, it's worth reading, and at least for 2008, it's free. (And if you are familiar with EQ already, note that the Original Quest version on the website is the new, 'definitive' recolor, and very pretty indeed.)
coraa: (Default)
Making Light has a wonderful roundup-post of amateur political videos on the Internet. It was the first time I'd ever seen Will.i.am's "Yes We Can" (pro-Obama), which is pretty damn impressive, but the whole sweep of them (the roundup includes an array of candidates, though Obama gets the most coverage) is interesting -- some impressive, some heartfelt, some unintentionally hilarious, all very interesting.

Viva l'internet.

EDIT: Oh my god, one of the video-making groups is called "Headbangers for Huckabee." I die.

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