March 28, 2020

We need real money badly.

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:10 pm by chavisory

Hi everybody–I know this is a hard time for a lot of people, especially those of us who have suddenly lost work. But Mel and Laura, whose work and advocacy has been absolutely integral to the autistic and disability rights communities for decades, urgently need help right now, and if there’s anything you can send their way, it would mean the world to me.

Cussin' and Discussin'

I am going to run out of crucial meds. This is me shamelessly begging for money. You can paypal it to webmuskie@gmail.com. It needs to be real money, not a gift card, because we have to use it at the pharmacy. If the pharmacy is open. And it needs to be a whole lot of money because meds are expensive and we are running out of ones that will keep me alive. Also we really need respite. Laura says a few more days of this could kill her, having to take care of me. I keep trying to take a load off her but somehow making more work for her. This isn’t sustainable and we are trying to survive. So I have no shame in begging, something is massively messed up with my benefits I have no access to them. Please help please someone help ideally lots of people help…

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March 26, 2020

On the surreal experience of reading an out-of-date Smithsonian magazine in November of 2019

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 4:47 pm by chavisory

Every year for Christmas, for years and years, my grandmother gave me a subscription to Smithsonian Magazine rather than a more conventional present, and being a nerd with very little storage space, I appreciated this.

Being a nerd who also doesn’t have a lot of spare time, this gift also accumulated into quite the backlog of unread issues.

The last several months I’ve been attempting to commit to taking more mental downtime for myself, and also working on getting through my stack of unread Smithsonians, and so often while I’m cooking or waiting for water to boil, I’ll just choose one at random.

And that is how I came to be reading one night, standing in my kitchen, about NASA’s Journey to Mars project, whose first test flight would launch an unmanned capsule called the Orion beyond the moon and back, in the year 2018.

And for a second, it felt very seriously as if I had fallen through a wormhole or slipped into some kind of alternate timeline, or fallen asleep for too long and woken up in an unfamiliar future.

Because I remembered nothing, no media coverage or publicity whatsoever, about a test flight of an impending mission to Mars having been flown in the year 2018.

I checked the date on the cover: May of 2016.

So as late as the spring of 2016, we were roughly on track to be executing an eventually manned mission to Mars, in the foreseeable future.

It felt kind of like reading a sci-fi novel written decades ago, about all the stuff that was supposed to have been invented or accomplished by the year in which you’re currently reading the novel and laughing because that’s not what happened, only more unnerving and much less funny.

I wondered if it had still happened. Or whether NASA had had its budgets for things like this slashed, positions eliminated, development of the necessary science set back by decades?

Surely, if it had happened, it would have been bigger news? We’d all be talking about this, right?

Then again, maybe not. Given the situation.

Or maybe it was delayed not by budget cuts or political meddling, but just by normal engineering problems, and in the face of everything else, that was just never going to make the news and the whole thing slipped quietly out of collective consciousness, waiting for a better time.

The last couple of years virtually everyone I know has been walking around with this sense that time is broken. Too much is happening too fast to keep up with. We’re dealing with assimilating a volume of information basically unprecedented in human history, ecological events of inhuman proportion occurring on human timescales. We don’t know what day it is. We don’t know what happened this morning as opposed to last week. It feels like time is fractured, like something has gone very badly wrong on a fundamental level, but we could never prove it, only keep telling each other, “No, it didn’t used to be like this.”

Holding that magazine felt like holding hard evidence. Like having found a newspaper clipping from in alternate future.

Like a light left on, shining under the door back to the right one.

I wonder if that future is still there somehow.

If we could still get back.

*

(I did actually look up what’s going on right now with the Journey to Mars project, and while it’s not quite on schedule as laid out in the 2016 article, it is still progressing! In the summer of 2019, a second successful test of the Orion capsule’s Launch Abort system was completed, with the next milestone being to return astronauts to the moon!

“In effect, NASA successfully demonstrated that the Orion spacecraft’s LAS can outrun a rocket and pull its astronaut crew to safety in case something goes wrong during launch. As Kirasich indicated, the test is another milestone in the agency’s preparation for returning to the Moon and making the ‘Journey to Mars.'”)

March 17, 2020

Little altar

Posted in City life tagged , , at 10:54 pm by chavisory

IMG_0877In order to maintain some kind of routine and sense of time while we’re all isolated and out of work, and also get outside at least a little bit as safely as possible, I’m trying to go for a walk in the park both early in the morning and late in the evening every day. I failed this morning and slept late. But last night I went out and found this whimsical shrine to I don’t know who or what.

March 6, 2020

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , , , at 1:16 pm by chavisory

There’s been a dynamic this primary season, and this is adapted from a Facebook post that I made yesterday minutes before Elizabeth Warren had officially announced the end of her campaign, but it’s something I feel the need to say something about.

And I don’t have numbers or statistics to throw out here, this is my personal, anecdotal experience; however, it has been …rather notable to me.

Throughout this long primary campaign, and especially in the last couple of days, I have heard, repeatedly, from various people and from only slightly different groups of people, that Elizabeth Warren supporters needed to drop our vote for her and support Bernie if we wanted a real progressive candidate, or to drop our vote for her and vote Biden if we really wanted to win in the general election, but either way, to “stop splitting the vote.”

I have never, not once, not one single time, heard a Warren supporter or campaign volunteer arguing that supporters of any other candidate had any kind of an obligation to drop support for their candidate and get behind ours instead for whatever reason we said.

And that’s not why I decided to support her in the first place, but God, did I appreciate it.

I think that there is something that people making these arguments about our obligation to fall in line for a candidate do not maybe understand, which is just how much girls like me hear stuff like this, and just how tired we are of it.

Like, however many times growing up you think I got told that my duty was to just go along with what somebody else wanted of me, that I needed to stop being inconvenient and make things easier on other people, that I just needed to understand that other people didn’t think like me, that I needed to be “realistic” and not fight for what I really wanted… multiply it by about ten.

No, really. However often you think it was, it was more.

(And, incidentally, if you were or are a person doing this? You have never been the only one. Other people were, and are, doing it, too. I was getting this everywhere. If you thought you were the first person ever to tell a stubborn little girl some hard “truths” about how the world worked, that it would never change for people like me? Guess what. You weren’t. You’re not. You’re just one more. In all likelihood, you are not some brave truth-teller in that girl’s life. You’re just a bully.

I want you to know that.)

I am completely immune to it, in terms of my decision-making. I have been hearing it for so long, you don’t even understand.

But it hasn’t stopped making me so. angry. And it will not make me view your candidate in a more favorable light.

Elizabeth Warren suspended her campaign this week. I am sad. I am disappointed. But I was never not ready for this news, I was never not thinking about how I would vote and who I’d support if she didn’t win the nomination. “Loving Elizabeth Warren means planning for America to break your heart,” as Monica Hesse put it in the Washington Post. Because, again, there is almost nothing I’m more used to than the fact that what is obvious to me is not what’s obvious to most people. That’s the water I’ve been breathing since the day I was born.

There is nothing I need to be told again less than “You have to understand that most people aren’t like you, Emily.”

I know. Trust me, I know.

And I can handle that, I can handle losing honestly, if that’s what happened. If it was just that too many people disagreed with me about who the strongest and most prepared candidate was, and not that they fell victim to some sneering, defeatist, self-fulfilling prophecy about how she could never win anyway, so why bother trying?

If that’s what it was, I’m not sure I can handle it.

Bernie Sanders is most likely my second choice. I never even took my Birdie sticker off of my laptop after the 2016 primaries, because I was not embarrassed of having supported Bernie or the reasons why I did. I am not going to have be sold very hard on voting for him again. But I am going to do so on the strength of his long Senate service, of his being right about the Iraq war when a lot of other basically decent people were wrong, on the trust that constituents from his home state testify to having in his integrity, and what I hear is a really, really good disability policy.

It will not be because of anyone who told me I needed to give up and fall in line because they said so.