Category Archives: scream back

What’s So Hard About A T-Shirt?

Okay, time to crowdsource a bit.

I’d feel bad about this, but man, ya’ll don’t know how many emails asking polyphasic questions I fielded this weekend.  Seriously.  (Also, apologies to those of you who had to wait a few days for me to get around to answering you…I did my best, I promise!)

So, MY question to YOU is…

What’s a cheap, reasonable way to get a T-shirt made?

Because I love t-shirts and I have a pretty serious crapton of T-shirt designs made — mostly snarky things, things that I personally want to buy and wear, but I’m hoping to be able to offer them to others, too.  Mostly because it feels kind of stupid to design and make a T-shirt just so I can buy it myself!

Here are some details on where I’m at:

  • I used to use GoodStorm and I loved it.  They were cheap, fast, and way ethical.  Then they got bought out by Zazzle, which is none of those things.
  • Specifically Zazzle’s prices are STUPID expensive, and not only wouldn’t I pay them, I’d be embarrassed to ask anyone else to.  Same with CafePress.  I need to be able to offer a not-horrible-quality simple shirt for $20 or less, or no deal.  (GoodStorm let me do it for under $15.)
  • I’m not an artist, just a snark-machine.   So good design tools are a plus, but not an absolute necessity.  I can do pretty much everything by designing and uploading a simple .png, or something similar.
  • I can’t afford to buy in bulk.  Unfortunately this means screenprinting is generally out, though I do like the quality of it better than digital printing.

So there you have it…if you know of a good T-shirt company that does POD at reasonable prices, I’d love to hear from you!

Thanks, Internet!  You remain my favoritest collective consciousness ever.

Dragons Without Borders: Proceeds to Benefit “Silence is the Enemy”

Well, well, well!   Look at this!  Writing has been polished, scary new things have been done with microphones (oh shush, you), and mad panic and Wild Disclaiming has been engaged in in public…and now it’s time.

I’m telling you, if this wasn’t for a good cause I’d have scared myself out of it ten times by now.  But Silence is the Enemy is an important cause on so many levels:

  • it seeks to raise awareness on a global scale about the problem of mass rape in war-torn countries, which, if successful, could save the lives and mental health of thousands upon thousands of innocent women and girls;
  • it funnels money to Doctors Without Borders, one of the very few organizations providing front-line medical and crisis care for the victims of this and other atrocities;
  • and it’s making the point, and giving us all a chance to get behind the point, that rape is not okay no matter what. Even when the women affected are dirt poor, brown-skinned adolescents — people the media would have us believe are the least newsworthy people in the world, just about — it’s still not okay and we are not okay with letting it pass in silence.

For many of us in the global community, supporting the Silence is the Enemy movement is the best chance we’ve ever had to step up and make it known that we are not okay with letting these rapes go ignored, and that we are not willing to do nothing, even when the governments and the media of the world have provided us with basically no options for speaking up or helping out.  I, for one, am profoundly grateful for the opportunity to have a chance to meaningfully speak up.

So that’s what I’ve done — spoken up.  I’ve never recorded an audio version of one of my stories before, and in spite of having been published in print several times, let me tell ya, this was pretty terrifying.  But the nice thing about an opportunity like this is that even if my performance is awful and ruins my chances to ever work in audio format again, it’ll still have been worth it.  Yay!

Here it is, then — my previously-unpublished story, titled DRAGONS WITHOUT BORDERS, in DRM-free MP3 format here and OGG format here.  (The .mp3 file is almost twice the size, FYI.  They’re both high-quality recordings, and thank you again to my husband for the fantastic editing work!)

The story runs nearly half an hour.  Let me know if you like it!

I’m not setting a price for this piece, though obviously I put quite a few hours of work into it.  Instead, I’m providing this handy “DONATE” button below, and I’m asking you to please give what you can afford.  I will pass all of the proceeds along to Doctors Without Borders in the name of the Silence is the Enemy campaign. You can donate using your PayPal account or any credit card.









If you can’t donate anything, please consider posting a link to this in your  blog, journal, Twitter feed or what have you.

Thanks, everyone!  It’s meant a lot to me personally to be able to do this.  I really appreciate your attention and support.

Mid-week Shaolin Workout Update

A couple things that have occurred to me as I’ve been working through Section Two of the Shaolin Workout:

(There are actually four sections, by the way, not five as I thought before.)

  1. The stretches definitely do get easier, and more quickly than I’d expected.  I can now pretty much blaze through the first section; the easy ones are nigh effortless, and the hard ones are getting faster and easier every time.
  2. There are stretches in this section that assume that you can start in a full lotus position! SERIOUSLY now, that’s a little much!  (Or perhaps I’m stung because I was so proud a few months ago to realize I could do a half-lotus…)
  3. My knees & ankles tend to hate me for a few hours after I do this workout…they get a lot cracklier than normal…but then, a few hours after that, they stop crackling altogether, which is pretty much a first for me — I’ve always had crackly knees!  Also, while I’ve had plenty of pain in my legs, back, etc., there’s been no pain in my knees from these exercises, which also surprises me.
  4. I wonder if they add instructions like “And if you can, tuck your toes under your chin!” just to give us all a good chuckle?  I wouldn’t put that past a monk…  ;)

Definitely stretchier than I was — plus the moves I added today are getting into “complex and cool and make me look like Jet Li” territory.  Yay!

Know Thyself: How Homo Are You?

Perhaps Know Thyself (KT) polls will become a regular feature…it’s so important to really put time and effort into understanding your own darker corners, and there are so many questions that are so easy to avoid…like this one:

How Homo Are You?

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I think society makes this question way too easy for most people to avoid, by giving the usual possible answers as “all”, “half” or “none”.  Those might be good basic answers for teenagers to wrestle with, but they’re insanely oversimplified if you’re talking about almost any sexually-active adult human being.  The barely-defined, simplified labels let us rest on our social laurels, confident that now that we’ve grabbed a tag (“gay”, “straight”, “bi”), we can tuck it away and be done thinking about it.

Not in my book, yo.  One of the fundamental principles of Knowing Thyself is that the harder a question is to ask, the more important it probably is that you answer it. Easy questions like “do you prefer the city or the country”  won’t tell you half what you’ll learn about yourself by honestly answering something really prickly.  (And as topics go, sex is almost always prickly!)

For me, Knowing Thyself is half about development, and half about knowing where the wasp in the room is.  For a topical example, when I thought I was simply “straight”, it upset me greatly when I found myself thinking or responding in ways that didn’t fit that label.  (And it’s not about lifestyle — a normal adult is going to encounter things that challenge them sexually.  All living a restrictive lifestyle will do is make it harder to deal with some challenges when they come — whereas knowing yourself will make it easier.)

Approaching the question honestly, I realized that I am in fact about 10% homo — a percentage I mostly arrived at by gut feeling, but which I can sum up as “I automatically fixate on men, am happy in a hetero marriage, and could probably go my whole life without acting on my attraction to women…but it is there.”  Having that realization really let me relax and not worry about it…Which is great because obviously it’s nothing to worry about!

So there’s another fundamental principle:  The known is always less scary than the unknown, and fear of ourselves is never helpful.

In slightly-related news, this is a rather shallow, but interesting, article on how species that have designated “non-reproducing” members have a gigantic evolutionary advantage.  You can’t draw any real conclusions about people from the article, but it’s still a neat idea.

Non-Reproducing Organisms Vital to Species Success | Wired Science

(I didn’t actually write this in response to California’s recent stupidity, but I would like to take the opportunity here to extend them a hearty middle finger and a Certificate of BassAckwardness!)

Goofy Things to Choose From

So, I’ve been thinking–

[NO oh god no not that pleeeeeze NO RUN RUN RUN IT'S THINKING OHMYGOD HELP US NOOOO!]

–ahem, that Polyphasism and Random Blather isn’t nearly enough to offer as illustrious a group as yourselves.  And I really want to have room for creative (read: even stranger) writing here; so I was thinking a weekly thing maybe?  A small thing; there’s no room in my schedule to be serializing novels or whatnot.  So…

Among the following List of Things I May Possibly Accomplish, which do you most think you’d like to see?  (If there are several, select “Deathmatch” and tell me who won in the comments.)

(Yes, I am in a goofy mood.  It’s pre-Karma for the week I’m about to have at work.)

(gosh, now that I look, the main literary effect of my getting goofy is that the capitalization goes totally random.  weird.)

(Anyway.  POLL:)

Chaosopher or Stablologist?

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No Lesser Evil: Health Insurance

Health insurance is something I don’t explode about very much here, but in case you haven’t guessed yet, I have a lot more Internal ‘Splody than I have time to type.  ;)  In real life, both of my parents have medical backgrounds — one very much so — and I live in a state where health care is a bad joke, from Medicaid on up to vile money-grabbing hospital policies, so actually I rant quite a bit about this, at least offline.

I’m your typical humanist, I suppose.  I’m in favor of universally-provided health care, and I think that capitalist corporations are supremely poorly suited to provide it.  That doesn’t necessarily mean that governments should; but whoever does, their primary stated concern should not be profit — it should be health.  This, I think, is one of those painfully obvious things that doesn’t get said enough.

There isn’t much that I can do to uphold my own beliefs in the real world, though.  I’m not rich enough to pay for medical care on my own, or to buy private health insurance (the cost for just myself and my husband would be as much as my rent), and I fell into the huge pool of full-time family-supporting workers who aren’t provided health insurance years ago.  I study up on natural, home-brewed medicine for everything I can safely treat on my own (as you’ve probably noticed), and we try to practice good prevention and stay healthy in my family, and the rest of the time we cross our fingers and wait for some stupid accident to decimate our life savings, all hail America.

But enough about me — what about you guys?  Tick the poll, and tell everybody what you think in the comments.

Do you have Health Insurance?
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Good Reasons to Scream At Me

Okay, you people.  You’ve screamed, and I’ve answered…sorta.  I’m kinda stubborn sometimes.  (Pisces.  Harder to herd than a couple of wet fish, or so I hear.)

Anyway, some of you screamed about wanting the option to get email updates when there are new comments on posts that you’re involved in spewing your thoughts all over — this is now possible.  You’ll see an option to "subscribe to comments" below the box you write your comments in.  Someone please tell me if this works, since I can’t subscribe to comments on posts I wrote.  ;)  It seems happy, though.

ALL of you are screaming about the stupid "Internal Server Error".  I’m working my butt off on that.  I’ve found evidence in my error logs of what’s wrong, but I have no idea where it’s coming from.  (Something is referencing a ": /home/virtual/site18/fst/var/www/html/print.css", which of course does not exist, and that, I believe, is what’s throwing the error.  However, as of yet, I haven’t found any reference to that in any of my site’s files.  *sigh*)  So, hopefully that will be fixed soon; thanks in advance for not taking any terrible revenge on me in the meantime.

Also, if all has gone well, I should have polls now.  If so, that’s another darn good reason to scream (especially if you hate polls, ‘cuz I love ‘em.)  So…Let’s see:

What human wins the award for coming closest to The Truth?
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Okay…that’s ugly for now, but it works.  (If I don’t blockquote it, you can’t see any of the radio buttons…why is a mystery to me.  But screw it; for now it works.  I’ll worry about making it prettier later.)

So now you can also scream at me by taking my (frequently ridiculous) polls, too.  Yay!

Okay, back to work on the stupid error.

If you’d like anything else, people, the best way to get it is to SCREAM.  Grab a megaphone and climb on top of your roof for best results.  Ignore those cops; they’re just not very Net-savvy.  ;)