netmouse: (Default)
2017-05-14 08:03 am

Those percentiles


Looking for my college transcript in my files, I just ran across the printed report of my 1996 General GRE results. Verbal 740, Analytical 750, and Quantitative 690. (All my standardized test scores are also online, here.)

I was reminded that being better than 98-99% of other test takers in my verbal score has simply been a fact of life since... whenever it was that I first started taking them. Third grade, I think (at which point I tested at a high school graduate level) And I am remembering a conversation, walking across the Grinnell Campus, about these GRE test scores.

I was disappointed that my Quantitative score was only 690.

My boyfriend couldn't understand my disappointment. He pointed out that my Quantitative score was better than 79% percent of other people who took the GRE, which is all people applying for grad school. That was an achievement, was his point, and he wasn't wrong. I cheered up a little at the time, but I still can't shake the overall sense that I am (comparatively) weak in math.

I honestly wonder if this is an overlooked component to why perfectly smart middle school girls tend to self-evaluate as "not that good in math" at the same ability level where boys are more likely to be proud of their math skills. Boy are less likely to have had strong linguistic skills from an early age, so they don't have that portion of their own skill set and self-confidence to compare their math skills to.

netmouse: (Photographer Anne)
2017-05-11 08:16 pm

The National Museum of African American History and Culture

Last week I traveled to DC on a group excursion I arranged with timed passes to see the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Our timed Entry was 12:45 and we toured the Capitol building first so we were a bit rushed with lunch and getting there on time. Our group was part people from the NAACP exec, part people from Crispus Attucks Association and the Goodridge Freedom Center, and then also two local museum members, who had arranged the capital tour and also for us to tour the NMAAHC with the head of Collections, who apparently doesn't actually give tours, so it was a very special opportunity.

I'm still processing my reaction to the museum. The outside is gorgeous. The inner lobby had a couple art pieces installed in it that just left me feeling puzzled as to their point or connection to anything else, and in talking to other members of the group, that reaction seemed shared. We spent a bunch of time on the bottom floor, which has to do with the beginning of the colonies and slave trade. I feel like I could have taken a full day to go through each floor, and still not have seen and heard all there was to see and hear. They have a couple of whole cabins that have been relocated into the museum. They have a Tuskegee airplane. There is so much. A lot of it I have already studied in the past 6 years, but some of it was still new.

My friend Serena and I spent some time in the gift shop. Lots of books. Some odd things. Like, they have a book of paper dolls of Michelle Obama and her clothes, but the representations of her and her fashion do not do either justice. I commented on that to Serena, and she agreed and felt it was clearly not the work of an African American artist. There were several odd notes like that. There were places in the historical displays were I was sorry they left things out. Only so much space, right?

I will have to go back a few times to take it all in, and plus it is going to change. There was a whole exhibit hall that's not open yet. Lots to see.

Speaking of seeing, Here are some pictures from the trip
netmouse: (I can love you)
2017-05-04 09:09 pm

Might heart breaks for the Gay People Dying in Chechnya

I am so sad to hear about people being killed and tortured and imprisoned in Chechnya (and the world around) for being gay.

Is this another holocaust?

Why now?
netmouse: (thoughtful)
2017-05-04 12:38 pm

Showered with love and understanding

In June of 2001 I was married. I had two bridal showers - one formal, with relatives, and one less formal, with only chosen family besides my mother. I have recently been going back through pictures from the wedding as well as my journal from that time period (written on paper, all old-fashioned, like), and I wanted to share this with people who know me:

2001 Bridal Shower at Lucy's

[click on the picture to see the rest of the album]

On Sunday, June 10, 2001, I was the special guest at a brunch bridal shower hosted by some of my mom's best friends, at the home of Michael and Lucy Miller, in Ann Arbor. Then and now, I was struck by how amazing these women were, and how lucky I've been, to have had them in my life since I was little. They were not surrogate mothers, nor did I think of them as Aunts. They were, and are, the central network of my lifelong extended family, our closest friends. As long as I can remember, their homes and hearts have been open to me, and I have learned how to treat and get along with others, how to joke, play, dance, discuss, and live life, by their example almost as much as from my own parents.

(Other women who played that role in my life but were not present were Sue Downey, Gena Lovett, Martha McClatchey, Ina [Keyes] Wesenberg, Jane [Goldman] McGehee, Pat Hackley, and Ellen MacDonald. And I shall never forget Marci Gersh, who died some years ago.)

According to my journal, the hostesses were Lucy Miller, Cathie Dries, and Edi Bletcher, and guests present included myself, my mom, Anna Miller, Sandy and Anna Krecic, Penny McDonald, Tanja Vandervoo, Noel Winkler, and Suzanne Taylor. My friend Ann Cheng also attended, who had driven over for the weekend with me from Waterloo, Ontario, where I was still finishing my master's degree.

My journal also makes note of the food: Cheese and bread and wine and water, and then a delicious lunch of pasta (angel hair, w/pinenuts, artichoke hearts, garlic, mini zuchini slices, fresh dill w/oil & vinegar & lemon juice), grilled turkey breast (marinated in Montreal steak sauce, grilled by Tom Bletcher over hickory & cedar chips), fancy breads, and a dark greens salad. Lucy also put out a plate of pea pods and cherries, which looked pretty, with sesame seeds scattered over the peas and the cherries around the outside. And for dessert Cathie had made a cheesecake. That was served with fresh blueberries and raspberries and kiwi on top and on the side with optional raspberry sauce.

After lunch was presents, and they had me tell everyone how I knew the person whose gift I was opening. After general presents I got a recipe book, which included recipes from people who couldn't come, like Pat Hackley. Aimee McDonald was "reportedly in Chicago at the gala opening of Davy Rothbart's new magazine and couldn't come, but she sent a card which I'll have to re-read later 'cause it made me cry."

I have been through a divorce and many moves since that lovely Sunday, and let stuff go with each of those events as well as when I merged my life with Brian's. I no longer have all of the gifts from this event, but I still have that recipe book. Including a very spicy recipe from Aimee that warns the cook to be careful not to catch the kitchen on fire with the spicy hot oil. :) As you can tell from that book, and from what I wrote in my journal, they also helped teach me a love of food, and of sharing it with others.

I am so very thankful to have all these women in my life. I simply cannot express how much it means to me.
netmouse: (dancing)
2017-05-02 04:12 pm

(no subject)

I didn't realize the footers with the links to dreamwidth were not showing up on posts crossposted to LJ. This should be corrected now.
netmouse: (amused)
2017-05-02 12:40 pm

Updating my Website at Netmouse.com

I just applied for a job, and as part of that, updated my website at netmouse.com.

While doing that, I updated a sort of ongoing log of my major activities, which is over at this page on how I've spent my time.

I also changed references to livejournal so they now refer here to netmouse.dreamwidth.org

If you are curious about me, because I am new to you or just in general, that page has a lot in it about who I am and what I have done.

I am actively looking for short term freelance work, part-time work, or possibly full time work. If you have any opportunities you think I should consider, please reach out. Thanks!
netmouse: (koi)
2017-04-25 02:11 pm

Testing - moving to Dreamwidth

Hello folks at Dreamwidth! I am switching my posting to here.

This is due to the recent change in terms of service at Livejournal. I have had this account here on DW for a long time, but I haven't really used it much. I am hoping there will be a resurgence of use and enough of a community here to support my being active on Dreamwidth.

I have imported my content from LJ (in DW, under Organize->Import Content) and will be cross-posting to LJ from DW automagically.

This post is partly to see if that is working.
netmouse: (Life)
2017-03-09 02:38 pm

Head feels like it's in blankets, even when I walk around.

Lying in bed, trying to get over my recent illness, I started to feel like I was actually hiding from the world. Not something I want to be doing.

netmouse: (Life)
2017-03-06 09:25 am
Entry tags:

March already. Huh.

I have spent the first part of March feverishly doing laundry. Not feverishly as in fast, but as in, I have a fever and laundry is about all I can manage.

Actually, the first day of March I was still in Michigan, on a lovely visit with my parents, but I could tell that I'd caught a cold.

The second day in March I got us packed out of there and sheparded myself and Rosie home on a fairly direct noon flight. Then I fell over, while Brian took the kiddo kite flying. I dragged myself out of bed to eat soup and go to my history writer's group, which only meets quarterly, after which I was done.

The next few days are kind of a feverish blur. I ache all over, including my eye sockets. My cough, though rare, sounds horrid, and wracks my whole body. I could tell I was still not well last night, when I took to bed early and did not read, but rather simply turned out the light and crashed.

Today I put breakfast on the table, got folks out the door, did dishes, and *then* laid down, a huge improvement.

If only I had wings and had just flown a marathon, it would provide a much more interesting story as to why those parts of my back are so sore.
netmouse: (Life)
2017-02-15 11:00 am

HelloFresh: Not Worth It

Mini-review: Hellofresh: Not worth it.
Details: A few weeks ago I got a half-off coupon to try meals-in-a-box service HelloFresh for a week (two meals), so we did. Then we canceled it, and I don't recommend it.

The ingredients were, in fact, very fresh, and well-packed. Really well packed. Lots of extra packaging well packed. Didn't feel at all environmentally responsible.
The meals were mildly tasty but not anything to jump up and down about. Our recipe list came with three recipes, but we only got two meals. I tried making the last recipe as well, and it wasn't very good either.
This was not a time-saver. Each meal took at *least* an hour to prepare. If you are a foodie and already have gourmet tools in your kitchen (which we do), food prep was all do-able, but it was not simple, and it was work-intensive.
The meals were also not to my liking in terms of balance, meat-veggie-starch-wise. More rice than we needed for four servings, not enough vegetables for it to be a complete meal.
Finally, although the web site advertised you could select your recipes, _after_ I chose the family package, I found out that only with the classic package can you choose your meals. Our first two meal options were pork sliders and a beef stir-fry. I don't usually eat beef, so I wanted to swap that out, but it wasn't an option. and it didn't look possible to change our package. That was a bummer.

So all in all? Got us to cook some different things in the week. Didn't really save us time, still cost a bit more than usual per meal, even at _half-off_. Definitely not worth it from our perspective.

We canceled our subscription immediately.
netmouse: (listening)
2016-09-19 10:20 pm

free memberships to Boskone; note on gaming cons

Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] kate_nepveu at free memberships to Boskone; note on gaming cons
Originally posted at Con or Bust by Kate Nepveu. All comments must be made there.

Fans of color/non-white fans, the following new free memberships are available now, first-come first serve:



  • Boskone, February 17-19, 2017, Boston, MA, USA. Boskone is an annual science fiction convention, the oldest in New England. Its 2017 Guests are: Guest of Honor: Brandon Sanderson; Official Artist: Dave Seeley; Special Guest: Maryelizabeth Yturralde; Featured Filkers: The Fabulous Lorraine & Lojo Russo; Hal Clement Science Speaker: Milton Davis; and NESFA Press Guest: Ken MacLeod.

    Boskone has donated two memberships to Con or Bust.




To learn how to request assistance, see the Request Assistance page. For the most up-to-date list of cons to which assistance is available, see the Upcoming Cons page.


Finally, a note on gaming cons: Con or Bust is semi-regularly asked whether it can distribute donated memberships to cons solely focused on gaming. Unfortunately, Con or Bust doesn’t have the resources to expand to gaming cons, and so we’ve had to decline these generous offers. But our friends at I Need Diverse Games — newly set up as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization! — are delighted to accept donated memberships to gaming cons to distribute to POC/LGBTQIA/Disabled/other marginalized people. Please check out their assistance page for details!

netmouse: (Anubis)
2016-08-28 12:08 pm
Entry tags:

Rosie's... 3rd 6th birthday party

Rosie turned 6 this year, and as usual she has a birthday Season rather than one party. On her birthday proper, it was a Thursday and she had dance class, so she just opened presents from us and Grandparents, had dinner with me and her dad, and Uncle Chris skyped in to join in singing Happy Birthday before she blew out six candles stuck in a slice of cheesecake.

That Friday her aunt Sarah flew in for a visit, so Saturday we had a sort of "family" party with some close friends, and we had a small ice cream cake with strawberries, and another round of singing and presents. And having Sarah visit was a gift in and of itself.

TODAY we have the "friends from school" chaos, I mean, party, and it's going to be here at the house as well. It would have been easier to go to Chuck e Cheese or a similar place like most of her classmates have done, but once we got a house with a pool she had her heart set on a pool party, so we have a lifeguard friend coming over as well as 8-10 school friends, and we got a Slip and Slide type slide which we still haven't set up yet, in case the pool gets boring. There's still a big pile of boxes in the living room but I worked hard the last few days getting boxes *out* of the playroom downstairs and setting it up with toys, and Brian installed the cat door to the utility room, so we can lock them out of that, so I'm hoping the kids will pretty much stay out of the living room because it's boring compared to the pool, the sun room, and the play room.

I just really hope no one sprains or breaks an ankle or anything, because the yard is full of trip hazards we haven't resolved yet. And the party starts in 3 hours and I'm still cleaning.

I'm trying not to freak out, though. Or as I imagine Chuck Wendig might write, "I'm not freaking out! YOU'RE freaking out. Just shut UP over there with your stupid 'freak-out' face."

Cupcakes are made and will be frosted once Brian and Rosie get home. I'm going to get back to sweeping and vacuuming, and then we will put up decorations.

Wish us luck!
netmouse: (smiling over laptop)
2016-08-21 08:32 am

NorthAmericon '17 will be the next NASFIC!

Because of the nature of my smoffing, my participation in fandom is not always very visible, but it continues. I am proud to have been part of the bidcom for the next North American Science Fiction Convention.

Early this year I had to ratchet that participation way down due to other things in life, but I was still the person holding the webhosting account where the website was, so last week Pablo contacted me about helping move the website to being under a new domain name, in case we won. I already had a busy week coming up --Rosie's 6th birthday, my sister coming to visit, painting and cleaning yet to do in the new house to get ready, but there is family, and there is familia de corazon, so I stayed up late friday night completing the migration to http://northamericon17.com

I'd never migrated a Wordpress install to a new URL before. For Detcon1 we just created a new site from scratch. Thankfully Dreamhost had a page of instructions, and I'd gotten the 'this info takes time to propogate' steps done earlier. I hit a couple snags, but their online chat accessible support folk were terrific, and I got it done. Just a small cog in the wheel, but it's still nice to do my part.

I'm very pleased the convention is going to Puerto Rico and I'm proud of our guests of honor. It was both a disapointing yet also cool moment to realize we had to take Nalo Hopkinson off the long list of prospective GoHs because *she was already a Worldcon Guest of Honor* for next year. Go Helsinki. :) Despite that, our Guest list is really rockin' and I know it will be a great con.

Pablo and I are also hoping this will be a good opportunity to finally get the Latin American Fan Fund rolling, so if you're interested in helping with that, please let me know.
netmouse: (Stitch)
2016-05-18 03:06 pm

Has anyone taken the Challenge?

In February 2015, K. Tempest Bradford issued A Challenge: Stop Reading White Straight Cis Male Authors for One Year.

Did any of you try that? Or something close?

If you're still looking for things to read, there's a list at the bottom of that article, or you can subscribe to Tempest's web series on her Challenge page.

I sometimes post reviews of what I'm reading on Goodreads. I will try to make more mentions of things here.

What are you reading?

What did you read in the past year that maybe changed your perspective on things?
netmouse: (listening)
2016-05-15 05:32 pm

Just back from the Front

Still fighting in the War against Garlic Mustard.

Take no prisoners!

No, wait. Take lots of Prisoners! Lock them up and throw them in the trash!
netmouse: (Life)
2016-05-13 07:44 am

Rapid costuming

Huzzah. Last night my 5-y-o announced she wanted to wear her Rey costume to free dress Friday today, so I stayed up late making a velcro extension for the bottom of the two built-in "belts", because the bottom belt was clearly sized for girls whose hips are if anything more narrow than their waist. The extender kind of looks like a hot mess, stitching wise, to put the velcro on, but it is DONE!
netmouse: (Life)
2016-05-12 11:16 am
Entry tags:

SF Bios - moving from print to online

One of the projects I have not posted on here about is SFbios.com -- as with many projects, this is one I have mad phases of great progress on, then periods that slow or where I am frustratingly unable to make time for it.

If you have collections of old con program books, especially ones you edited or wrote for or otherwise have digitally but even just hard copy, I'd love help identifying gems to put up on the site.

We need to know the author. Aside from that, all bios published in sf convention program books are potential fodder.

Some cons have digital archives. Most do not. If you run across something by someone you know I encourage you to go ahead and ask them if we can reprint it on sfbios.com - one of the slowest parts of the process is getting permission. If you can forward me a message from them, giving permission, we're a long part of the way there.
netmouse: (Life)
2016-02-05 10:06 pm

Being overly empathetic is not a disability. But it could be a psychological dysfunction.

So, yesterday I read a post by Jim Hines reacting to a column by Amy Sterling Casil called "We are All Disabled." The original post has since been taken down, as you'll see at the top of Jim's post, and an apology has been put up by SFSignal, which published the piece. I didn't feel moved to post about it by Jim's commentary, which seemed pretty complete in and of itself, but then I read this commentary by Foz Meadows, and it caused a completely different thought process, which I thought I would share. (originally composed as a comment on Foz's blog entry)

Though I had read other commentary on this piece, it was only when I read your story about the comment you made when you were young and maybe more of an asshole that I cast my mind back to how I myself thought I was highly empathetic when I was a teenager. The phrase I used at that time was that I was an "empathic receiver."

Come to think of it, that was not long after I read _To Ride Pegasus_and was generally engaged with the idea of someone's being an empath. As in a number of stories I read, it did not always feel like a positive thing to be so affected by other people's feelings. In particular as I became sexually active, I had a hard time telling if I was actually excited/doing what I wanted, or if I was just echoing the other person's desires. I felt like I could actively draw energy off someone else, if I tried, but had no way of dampening the effect (aside from physically leaving) if an empathic projector I was involved with was unhappy.

Now, as an adult, I understand that what I was suffering from is known as a dysfunctional pattern of behavior and thought. It's psychology, and it's not a disability, but it is hard to change. The most closely related named dysfunctional pattern that I know of is called co-dependence.

Co-dependence is not narcissism, as another reader suggested above, rather it is a behavior pattern in which you have been trained to focus your attention outward. To try to anticipate what other people want and feel. At the same time there is a tendency *not* to state what you want or need, but to expect other people to "read" it from you, the way you would try to, and if they fail to do it you often conclude that they don't care or don't want to. Just like the OA, talking about her conversation with the autistic person, projected onto him an uncaring attitude despite the way she did not tell him what she was thinking and feeling.

As I grew older, I have continued to struggle to *know* what I want and how I feel, and to express those things, despite being raised in a family culture that has often presented serious backlash if I ask for something significant, while at the same time implying I should care more about how others feel than how I do.

I understand how this young woman has come across as a big asshole, and I agree with Jim Hines that her essay was really misguided and wrong. But I also hope people might consider her description of her own lived experience with a little more sympathy. And I hope she gets a good counselor, who can teach her how to set boundaries and learn to pay attention to other's feelings when appropriate, but also to ask what those feelings are and talk about your own feelings. To understand that none of us can actually read the minds and feelings of others - that even if you feel bizarrely good at it a lot of the time, it's better to cultivate behaviors of talking about things - asking and telling. It is only through discussion that you can become aware of when you're wrong. And you will be.

Because there are no real empaths. That's just science fiction.
netmouse: (Life)
2015-11-10 10:03 am
Entry tags:

Music in my Life

This morning I was feeling better than I have for a long time, and found myself singing in the shower. "Somewhere that's Green" from Little Shop of Horrors, the jazz classic "Four", followed by "We'll be Together Again" (this is how you sliiiide your voice, kids), and finally a bit of fun scatting! Mike Grace and Betsy King (my high school Jazz and Voice teachers) would have been proud. And I bet Mike would have been surprised. He really had to twist my arm to get me to scat improv in class.

The ability to sing, and yes, to improvise, has been a treasure, and for me it's also something I grew up with. Music has just always been a big part of my life. As I was reminded when, half an hour later, I was looking for a file on my computer and came across one titled "Essay on Music" from 2004. It was written like an email TO someone that I saved, but I no longer remember to whom, and anyway I thought I would share it more generally. It's about me in 2004, not me now, but these little glimpses of my past self are interesting.

a bit of an essay on Music...

You asked me a couple times this past weekend what music I like, and I never really answered. I was thinking about it this morning and thought I would type up those thoughts. It's not a simple subject, as my tastes in music are as diverse as my interests in everything else.

I was raised on a steady diet of Rush, Pink Floyd, Deep Purple, The Doors, U2, Talking Heads, Yes, Aerosmith, Aretha Franklin, The Pointer Sisters, Tina Turner, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna, Mozart, The Beatles, Paul Simon, Paul Winter, Fleetwood Mac, ZZ Top, Janis Joplin, Lena Horne, Billy Holiday, and of course Bill Cosby, included because the music of laughter is one I most miss in the seasons when it is rare, and we had more of his albums in the house than we had of any other single artist.

Oldies such as are compiled in the soundtracks to The Big Chill, Stand By Me, and Good Morning Vietnam were also popular around the house and are still favorites of mine. When I say steady diet, I mean it - there is rarely an occasion or meal when the family gathers together when there is not music on, and often loudly; we might use Aerosmith to wake the house during the holidays, for example. Every birthday or other occasion sees gifts of music; there is a lot more jazz and classical material than I have suggested so far, and other material harder to classify, like Blue Man Group.

In my family, all of us sing and all of us dance. I danced a hundred times to the soundtracks of Footloose, Fame, and Flashdance, to Michael and Janet Jackson, Depeche Mode, and other artists named above. WHAM, Billy Joel, Phil Collins, Pat Benatar, and Huey Louis and the News also come to mind. I enjoy Musical soundtracks, and can sing a lot of songs from many of them. Favorites include Chess, Blues in the Night, Les Miserables, Free to Be You and Me, The Sound of Music, and Peter Pan (I don't know that much about taking care of kids, but I can sing to them). My dad played self-taught piano of the boogy-woogy and jazz varieties, and rock and roll on the drums. My feet could keep up with any rhythm, more facile than my hands even, sometimes. I never got that far learning any other instrument than my own body and voice.

As I headed into college, I further developed tastes for Queen, They Might Be Giants, REM, Sarah Vaughan, Indigo Girls, Tori Amos and Loreena McKennit, Santana, Cake, Chopin, and others. I learned to sing Rachmaninoff and several bawdy ballads, and continued to be touched by the soundtrack of The Color Purple. I really like driving to the soundtrack of The Matrix.

I have become particularly fond of certain selections by Joan Osbourne, Greg Brown, Randy Newman, Boiled in Lead, and The Proclaimers, and I appreciate the musical taste of Quentin Tarantino. Steven Brust did a song called "Neil Gaiman Pastiche # 27" that I like a lot...

Currently, I most commonly dance to Pat Benatar, Shania Twain, Music from Moulin Rouge, and Pink. I think you might like some tracks from Pink: Try This. I was pleased to discover that Right Said Fred: Up and Shania Twain: Up! are both sexy, danceable albums. Seems appropriate, what with nearly the same name and all.

When I try to think of a favorite, Paul Simon comes to mind. I never got into Simon and Garfunkel but rather prefer his solo albums, especially Still Crazy After All These Years, and Graceland. Simon probably laid down the base of whatever spirituality I have, since I was raised by two slightly pagan agnostics, and he gave me some of the language with which I relate to love. I once used "Goodbye" to split up with my boyfriend. He's really been very influential on me...

This is the story of how we begin to remember.
This is the powerful pulsing of love in the vein.
This is the dream of falling and calling your name out --
These are the roots of rhythm, and the roots of rhythm remain.
netmouse: (Life)
2015-09-11 08:33 am

I know I'm not necessarily expected to comment or have an opinion on this, but...

I'm really tired of seeing over the top, demeaning posts about Kim Davis.

I mean, I have nothing but disdain for the politicians who are using her to rally their troops (especially the ones who keep forgetting to get permissions from musicians before using their work as fight/victory songs). They are manipulative, spiritually ugly people fomenting hate and divisiveness.

But fundamentally, Kim Davis was doing something called passive resistance. And if you want to politely refuse to do something that's morally objectionable to you and go to jail for it, I think that's an ok way to protest something. Much better than yelling at people, or shooting them.

A lot of people are talking about how she swore to uphold the constitution when she was elected, and follow the laws. And from the perspective of those of us who ALWAYS believed that the constitution's guarantee of equal rights should be interpreted as extending to all people in the country, for all aspects of the law including marriage, it looks like she then refused to do that - refused to do her job.

But it doesn't take much stretching to understand that from her perspective, interpretation of the law and the constitution *changed* while she was in office, and was not the same as what she swore to abide by and protect.

I see people dissecting her life, suggesting that because she has been married and divorced multiple times it is hypocritical of her to treat marriage as something special. But I've been divorced and remarried, and I don't think that has damaged either my ability or my right to define my own opinion of marriage as an institution.

People have criticized her religious views because she only became devoted to them recently, but I think, if someone has had such a shitty life, and they find a doctrine that seems to improve things significantly, it only makes sense that they would try to adhere to that doctrine firmly. A relatively new faith probably even more than any other, if it seems to have saved them from a worse situation. Sometimes people struggle to find a path, and something that can guide you helps.

I hold the people who teach and spread that doctrine responsible for including the message that behavior I see as loving and fine is somehow morally deviant and inappropriate. I resent that they teach that, and I disagree with their ethics. I know plenty of people who believe themselves to be devout Christians who don't interpret the texts of their faith that way, and I have studied the text and discussions of it and found the arguments against homosexuality based on it weak or nonexistent, myself (especially once you look at the original text, before it was translated).

But I don't think that's a valid reason to hate on someone's hair style or personal lack of beauty. If camera crews descended on you some random day at work, look beautiful you might not, either.

And "furthermore, she ugly!" does not really forward the cause of civil rights.

Please, give it a break.