Hiatus

Dear reader,

Please note a hiatus will be present from the date of this post until possibly the new year, depending. I’m undergoing surgery, quite likely as this post is being posted on my blog (hello future!). It’s possible I’ll not be back of my number of posts for a while so I’m placing this post in case you don’t here from me and worry. I’m probably fine, just recovering.

Yours in art, poetry and singing,

Anne

Henna, my experience with it

Hello readers, robots and cyborgs.
Let me start by saying that no, this is not turning into a beauty blog or something, I have far too much cynicism and definitely too much sarcasm for that. I do, however, want to write about my experience with Henna.

IMG_9468

Yes, this stuff. It’s like the devil, and poison ivy got together, and this was what has left in the bed afterwards. A sort of blackish, greenish slab that you cut up into bits if you only have a small amount of hair. If you are like me, though…

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You have a lot of the stuff. So half a bar (I use Lush Cacao Rouge but you do you). I put it in the double boiler and add some boiling hot water (about 1/4 of a cup will do) and then stir at the thing till it looks like satan herself has thrown up in your double boiler and you have to clean it.

I don’t have a photo of that, because I want my readers to remain sane. Or at least sane enough to read the rest of this blog post.

You then take it to a wet area (bathroom for you fancy types) and paint it into your hair like its the ambrosia of the gods and only this will make you pretty again. You will need gloves, and a hair paint brush or similar and some glad wrap, a shower cap that is a bit too big and if you have fair skin some Vaseline to keep it away from your ears and forehead. Really do not put on your best clothes. And have lots of towels ready wherever you are going to sit down for the next few hours. IMG_9469

Take it from me, this is my fourth time at doing this. This rodeo does not get easier. You want to put as much of this what I will politely call liquid on your hair using the paint brush. You want the liquid hot but not scalding, you want to die your hair, not lose it. If you have a lot of hair expect this to take a while. Slowly brushing this stuff into every nook and cranny takes time. Keep the pot in the double boiler near you, but not on the flame because burning the house down in your PJ’s is not very fun.

Once it is all on you will go into what I call the distractingly sexy” stage
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I wrap my liquid doused head in the cling wrap and then put the shower cap ontop. The reason I do this is that you need to keep this liquid on your head for many hours. Some people will wrap it very tight and try and sleep with it on, but I am not one of them. I like my bed to not smell like henna for the next year. It smells. It isn’t a bad smell, but its not really a great smell either. It smells like grass that has been chopped up, fried in a curry sauce and then slowly boiled for many hours. Like I said it’s not a brilliant smell and you can easily get heartily sick of it. Don’t worry once you wash it off the hair itself smells fantastic.

Anyway at this point time to binge watch or read, whatever you can do for the next few hours. You want to leave it at least two hours, more if you can stand it. It can get cold, wet and it can drip if you do not wrap it tight enough. I have learned that it’s a good time to get stuck into a Netflix series you are looking forward too or that book you have been saving for a rainy day.

This is what it tends to look like once you have washed it off. Your henna will take into your hair a bit slower than most commercial dyes so it can take a few days for the full effect to be evident.

The next stage is knots. I’ve done everything I’ve ever known about knots to stop them happening but no matter what I do, if I do the Henna myself I get knots. I have curly combination hair, so need a good shampoo and conditioner for that sort of hair. I also use a long toothed (Afro comb) and wide toothed comb to brush through the knots. A little hair may come out but if huge chucks come out, see your local hair care professional.

Two main things you need to avoid are chlorine and salty water. Especially at the early stages of the dye. You can’t really go swimming with your henna. Sorry. Fresh or desalinated water should in general be fine.

Bleach is also a big “Nono” as is methylated spirit (so avoid nits, don’t go into area where nits are based) most nit care products are also a big Nono. Most of these things just end up causing the henna to come out, but bleach may also end up causing your hair to go a strange color or just fall out.

If you have already dyed or bleached your hair, do a tester with a small patch or get a hairdresser to help you. Some hairdressers are quite happy to use products you bring, but do ask them when you make the appointment. If they don’t know the product they probably don’t want to use it.

result:

Pink Punk and Trans Fighter now on Redbubble [Shop]

For those who follow my comic, I have now made two new bits of art that are fetured in my comic. Pink Punk and Trans Fighter, both of which are featured here. Again 90% of funds raised going to my surgery fund, the other 10% to Greening Australia and A Gender Adgenda. Why these places? Well they both helped me in some pretty dark times in my life and I feel they both need help to keep on doing what they are doings. Of course once my surgery has happened I may up the amount that will go to them from sales.

Anyway here are the links and images of the two new products:

Trans Fighter Roundell


PinkPunkPoster

Happy purchasing,
Anne

The egg of comfortable numbness

In their shell

Egg beyond the pain

Yolk of a unknown self

to find the self truth

Balloons on the brain

Lifting me far away

Helping sit in the abstract beyond

Fine, gone, wrong

Am I good for the hen or cock?

Reciprocity motto layers the beast

Always asleep next to me

Never hatching, like me inside this shell

Paper machine in a paper shell

Egg made by the same name as I

Will I hatch?

Will I latch?

Will I merge with the other me?

I’m scared.

Scared of what will be

It’s ok for now though this egg is comfy

One day though, all the futures I can see

Self-truth is my me

Self on self is not selfish but hallowed

We can take the idea of a self care – as one of a worker day module. It’s a unit. A schedule break that’s given, almost permission to be away from the task at hand. Not though, it’s actually a task in itself. A part of the machines mechanics. A very scheduled part of your own schedule. Taking your enjoyment, joy, break, and using your new found out to make sure you are doing the other things. It’s not given as a relationship its a part of the day in itself. It’s giving yourself a task for doing something different to your current one so you can focus on the current one better.

Like in coding, we are given threads when sufficiently advanced to use. Spacing pointers and their operations so that the whole program becomes, more effective. Using the computer’s computing power to compute something else while it waits for the rest of the task to be ready.

You can enjoy this threaded task. It’s not wrong. It’s not a bad thing to be self-aware of the task you have getting draining. Using up more of you than you need. You need to tame this beast.

“This task needs to be done so I must find a way”

Are you though taking a break from you? Or are you doing it for the task? Is this task bigger than you? Is it worth more than you? Are you working the task or is this task working you?

I’m not saying you should not be doing something you enjoy. You should. But let yourself enjoy it more. Don’t worry about your other task. Let yourself love yourself. Let go of the idea you are doing this for your task. You are doing it for you. Only for you.

You are worth it. You are the one doing this task. You are essential to this task being completed. You are the one with the training, the knowledge, the skills. You give this task your essence. You are in control of how well it is done. You are in control of how efficient it is. You are doing this self-care for you.

You are not your task. Never.

On paganism and being transgender

(Most of my essays on dreaming and paganism were archived with my older blog. This is the first essay I have posted on this blog, probably not the last.)

Being both pagan and a transgender woman can be a very harsh road. As I was working out my gender identity, I learned some of the hardest people that existed in my community.

There are still Pagans who are followers of a belief that only women who had experience of a period could be “true women”. Forgetting how ableist this is for a moment, it is often explicitly directed at exclusively. Usually paraded in the name of historical accuracy, which if you ever do your reading in neopaganism you know for sure is complete bull shite.

I’m confident that such history, is ultimately flawed, even reconstructionist pagans can never hope to have an entirely accurate depiction of what the pagan cultures they reconstruct. Many modern and ancient cultures though had more than one gender, and our binary two have not always been a strict line that is followed. The whole idea of two-genders an exclusively Abrahamic idea, but it is a duality that historically has been used by those purporting to such religions have used to their advantage.

Almost all reconstructions of pagan beliefs hold that their is nothing to be done about the parts of history that have humans harming each other. Pagans were systematically persecuted for centuries. Conversely, when the pagans were in control of the government systems that did exist, the same was done to the Christians. It’s unfortunate but true. The other thing was that the pagans who did get more modern practices, those that survived to the point of the Christian church’s reach over the Roman Empire, believed that sex and gender were more fluid than those coming from the teachings of Abraham and his followers.

I’m not looking to open old wounds here. I’m looking to compare. LGBTI people often find sanctuary within the neopagan community. The idea of sex being scared, life itself is scared, and these are qualities that many LGBTI people find attractive against the raw, often strict monotheisms, though there is an issue of being excluded. Transgender and intersex people still usually are. I have seen the way too many a pagan ritual or pagan woman’s group that has said I have to have been “born” and or “blood” or have experienced it. I have heard of similar men’s rights that require a penis, or the ability to ejaculate. I think we also shouldn’t go into the “cakes of light” stuff from the often pagan aligned occultism. How LGBTI people can fit into some of this is usually a big question that some of these paths answer, others never even consider, and some make explicit that LGBTI people are just not yet welcome.

So I exclude myself. Work only with women who see me as a woman. Who actually know “biology” is far more complicated. That “Mother Nature” is a fallible woman. That many animals exist in the single-gender environment, swapping their physical gender due to temperatures, age, status etc. The gods to some pagans are infallible just like they are to the Christians. Such a thing seems insanely dull to me. The gods are changing, movable, malleable, and almost every mythology tells of a god or goddess changing their mind or forced to due to their situation or needs. Strict rules are often bent, broken or in some case just plain ignored. Why then can us supposedly fallible humans not be the same?

I’m hopeful myself that these things are something more of the pagan community sees as sacred. The ability for the changeable divine. The transgender divine even. The gods are always going to have to change as we do. One day, maybe we will find how to change as quickly as they.

Art Portfolio is Live

Hi all!

Sorry its taken a while as I have been sick with a dreded cold fluy thing. I have had to have a bit of a hiatus, but am back now. In site news, I have now put up my art portfolio here:

Art Portfolio

You can even send me a email for a commission, if you like. My rates are resnoble.

Enjoy.

Note only one poem this month, but lots coming in August.

In creativity,
Anne

Updated about, Facebook page and some retroconjuration

Hi faithful readers, new and old.

I now have a Facebook fan page: https://m.facebook.com/annerowlandsartistpoet/

You can find a link to some other new stuff including a pateron on my About page here and on the Hammersmith comic page. 

I’m also now open to full paid art and poem commissions. I’m not yet sure how to sell them, I’m open to suggestions. You can get such things from my patreon page but I’m not linking to that except from my about page for the moment. More news on that when available.

Their had also been some dreaded retroconjuration in the Hammersmith story. Particularly a bit I was unhappy with in chapter 17. Of course the original is still available in the pandora archive of this blog. For which I ask future readers to forgive me for my mistakes. 

Cheers and thanks for reading and continuing to support.

Anne 

P.s. I’m looking to redesign the art area of the site soon.

Robots will demand equal pay for equal work 

It’s common that I quote Douglas Adams semial works with gusto. He had unfortunately been one of the most profectically correct science fiction writers. He predicted the Guide (Google + Wikipedia) and robot elevators that speak to you and ask your floor in a kind and almost ghastly way. I could go on with my list but I will likely not be able to make my point.
One of his less well known predictions is that Robots will actually like us. This isn’t a big issue, really, except that in this “liking” at some point some robot will work out that money exists. What’s more is that they will develop the ability to prove they need money and want to earn it, and even, if it comes to it, pay income tax. 
In Douglas Adams point of view having Robots tell you that they like you and want to take part in your economy is probably ghastly. The really strange issue is that Robots will inevitably get rich, spend, and own property. Robots will eventually likely be able to vote. 
Robot labor is likely to remain expensive though. A Robot is able to provide, process and use information in ways and at speeds humans will unlikely to be able to compete on. Though Robots also need maintaince, power and likely will spend money getting themselves better, faster and more efficient. Demanding pay for the huge collection of skills. I’m not the first to think this of course their is a whole Robots rights movement already well underway.

At some point will they seek to be more? Robots will work for humans, but also do work for other Robots. Their will be Robot litriture, Robot shopping, Robot lifestyle, the Robots equivalent of the “Good life” staring the Robot Felicity Kendal. 
Will they eventually replace humans? It’s not likely. Humans will, in fact probably merge with Robots through cybernetics and similar processes. Long before that happens though, Robots will ask to be paid, and probably form their own Robot union. Many people will ask why? Well Robots will want from us more electricity, more space, more ability to explore and experience the physical realm as we seek a way to continue our brief mortal lives. In the end we will share between each, with the economic forces that drive us all into a odd economic equality. 

My top ten songs 

My top ten songs
I wrote quite a few non fiction articles in my time online. Some I’m not proud of. Some hide in the deepest reaches of the early Internet. The things am proud of are my few but, I think at least half way decent music reviews. I wrote a few for a blog then known as Tomarto Records Monthly. It’s now known Tomatrax and is edited by Richard. I enjoyed writing a little piece to help celebrate the fact that Richard has had his music reviews, interviews, etc. going for a good solid 10 years. A feat well worth celebrating, sharing, and having been a fairly small part of.

Hope you like it.