Overdue updations.

Ever heard that word before, “updation”? It was a neologism my husband learned from his computer programming colleagues back in Silicon Valley. As of this typing, the internet is currently torn between declaring it “not a word” and “totally a word, in India”. More than half of my husband’s coworkers at the time were from various parts of South and Southeast Asia, so there we are. I kind of like the sound of it, but I understand if it causes too much pain to the prescriptivists out there.

If you follow this blog at all regularly, you’ll have seen its most recent updates were ones posted automatically from Audioboo, the latest microblogging platform I’ve joined online. Audioboo predates Vine.co, if memory serves, and it’s basically to audio what Vine is to video. Sure, it records a longer span of time, but you know what they say about a picture being worth a thousand words.

I joined Audioboo as preparation for starting a podcast, the first episode of which I’ve just recorded and have waiting in the editing suite. It will feature a rotating cast of some of my friends in the Wellington Ink Slingers writing group; topics covered include individual writing projects, books and comics we’re reading, book-to-film adaptations we’re looking forward to or dreading, and general nerdery that shoots off from such discussions.

Other updates:  the baby my husband helped conceive through sperm donation was born back in February, and she’s an absolute delight to her mothers, her older sister, and anyone who enjoys funny food-stained baby pics. (You’d think if you’d seen one, you’d seen them all, but she does make pretty uniquely hilarious faces in some of hers.)

It was a year in early July since we’d gotten the news of my best friend’s passing (eulogized here by one of her musical heroes and friends, Alan Wilder). It still isn’t easy to think about or talk about, but it’s not as raw as it used to be. The cosmic unfairness of it all will never be okay for me; I could meditate for years, dedicate myself to seeing the world through a lens of compassion and equanimity, and come thisclose to achieving perfect oneness with the universe, only to remember how she was taken from us, and I would dash it all to pieces and weep all over again. It will never be okay, and I’m just coming to accept that it won’t. But at least I have the memory of her, I have some small tokens (her songs, a necklace, photos and chats), and I have the dubious honor of letting countless people I’ve never met know (via them finding my blog) that Michelle “Raven” Floyd, aka Fugue Satori, aka Madeleine Hatter is no longer with us, and the world is poorer for it.

Beyond the personal scale, my adopted country of New Zealand passed its Marriage Equality Bill through Parliament in April. While there was rightfully much rejoicing, my comrades in The Queer Avengers recognized the need to not let the groundswell of support and enthusiasm die, and surfed the idea for the Beyond conference, described here as:

In the wake of the parliamentary win for marriage rights, this conference aims to look beyond marriage towards an inclusive movement for gender and sexual liberation.

With a mixture of presentations, panels and workshops, the conference aims to address the lived experiences of queer/trans people in relation to identity, race, disability, the media, healthcare, parenting, education and imprisonment (among others).”

There will be one or two lighter events, like Quoir (queer choir) and my own workshop (on the practice of “glitterbombing” and other forms of “craftivism”. The whole weekend is worth checking out, and seeing how it’s coming up in less than two weeks (Oct 11-13), register ASAP and come along if you’re in Wellington and want to be educated and/or entertained.

Also in NZ news, the big digital TV changeover moves inexorably on, and this weekend it claimed the lower North Island. Meaning that if you didn’t go through the process of getting the right box or aerial or similar device hooked up, your telly now shows nothing but static. I’m not bothered for the most part; the only channel I watched with any regularity was MaoriTV, which is like the best parts of PBS and NPR with 99% less white liberal navel-gazing, and which is also entirely available to watch online. So I can catch up on Journey to the West, local and global documentaries, news shows and educational programmes on their site.

The only thing I get that FOMO feeling about is the live-tweet fest that takes over my Twitter feed every Monday night under the hashtag #NativeAffairs, when the independent news show of the same name airs and gets all my online Kiwi mates talking about what’s going on in politics, what river or beach is currently polluted and what’s (not) being done about it, what new hope there is for a NZ family or school… vastly different to the boring, shallow, infuriating or pointlessly scaremongering crap that most mainstream news peddles at us. So I might bother the landlord to get us set up to receive digital TV, if only for that one channel.

Back to the personal, briefly: I’m going to see the doctor soon, and possibly a specialist, since my husband and I Had The Talk about starting a family a few months ago, and just going off the medications I was already doesn’t seem to have born fruit yet. Might I have to go on different ones? We’ll see.

Ta for now.

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