Friday the 13th was my day. In so many different ways. I received a package which was addressed to Rhonda D'Vine with a special hoodie in it. The person at the post office desk asked me whether it was for my partner, my response was a (cowardly) "no, it's my pseudonym" but that settled any further questions and I got my package.
Later I received an email which made me hyper happy (but which I can't share right now, potentially later).
In the evening there was the WortMacht FemSlam (WordMight FemSlam) poetry slam to which the host asked me to attend just the day before. I was hyper nervous about it. The room was fully packed, there were even quite some people who didn't have a place to sit and were standing at the side. I presented Mermaids because I wasn't able to write anything new on the topic. One would think I am attached enough to the poem by now to not be nervous about it, but it was the environment that made my legs shake like hell while presenting. Gladly I hope it wasn't possible to see it enough under my skirt, but given that it was the first time that I presented it in my home town instead of the "anonymous" internet made me extra anxious. In the end I ended up in place 5 of 7 attendees, which I consider a success given that it was the only text presented in English and not in typical poetry slam style.
(Small addition to the last part: I've been yesterday to the Free Hugs Vienna event at the Schloss Schönbrunn, and one of the people I hugged told me I know you, I've seen you at the FemSlam!. That was extra sweet. :))
I'm happy that I was notified about the FemSlam on such short notice, it was a great experience. So today's entry goes out to the host of that event. This is about Yasmo. One can just be envious about what she already accomplished in her still young life. And she is definitely someone to watch out for in the years to come. I have to excuse to my readers who don't understand German yet again, but I'll get back to something English next time, I promise. :)
Wer hat Angst vorm weißen Mann: Most straight-to-the-point line of the lyrics is Wie kann es sein, dass es immer noch diesen Jolly-Buntstift gibt, der "Hautfarbe" heißt?" (How is it possible that there is still this jolly crayon called "colour of the skin"?)
Wo kommst du her?: Not a song but one of her great slam poetry texts that I love since I first heard it.
Just recently I stumbled upon one of these songs again and thought to myself: Are there more out there? With these songs I mean songs that could from its lyrics be considered queer-positive. Lyrics that cointain parts that speak about queer topics. To get you an idea of what I mean here are three songs as examples:
Saft by Die Fantastischen Vier: The excert from the lyrics I am refering to is: "doch im Grunde sucht jeder Mann eine Frau // Wobei so mancher Mann besser mit Männern kann // und so manche Frau lässt lieber Frauen ran" ("but basically every man looks for a woman // though some man prefer men // and some women prefer women").
Liebe schmeckt gut by Grossstadtgeflüster: Here the lyrics go like "Manche lieben sich selber // manche lieben unerkannt // manche drei oder fünf" ("some love themself // some love in secrecy // some three or five"). For a stereo sound version of the song watch this video instead, but I love the video. :)
Mein schönstes Kleid by Früchte des Zorns: This song is so much me. It starts off with "Eines Tages werd ich aus dem Haus geh'n und ich trag mein schönstes Kleid" ("One day I'll go out and I'll wear my most beautiful dress" sung by a male voice). I was made aware of it after the Poetry Night at debconf12 in Nicaragua. As long as people still think of people like me as "a dude in a dress" there is a lot work to do to fight transphobia and gain tolerance and acceptance.
Do you have further examples for me? I know that I already mentioned another one in my blog entry about Garbage for a start. I am aware that there probably are dedicated bands that out of their own history do a lot songs in that direction, but I also want to hear about songs in which it is only mentioned in a side note and not made the central topic of the whole song, making it an absolutely normal random by-note.
Like always, enjoy—and I'm looking forward to your suggestions!
It is time for some more music. This woman was introduced to me by a friend who actually understands what she sings about, because she sings in French. Regardless, her voice and feeling for music touched me deep, so today I want to present to you Zaz (homepage seems French only). Like mentioned, she sings in French, and her connection with the Chanson genre brought her (deserved) comparison with the great Édith Piaf.
Without further ado, here are the songs:
La Fée: I think this was the first song I heard from her and caught me.
Je Veux: This live version of the song shows how much of a charming person she is and that she simply enjoys music. :)
I stumbled upon this site thanks to Helga: Parable of the Polygons. On the site you can interactively find out how harmless choices can make a harmful world. I found it quite eye opening. And what most catched me but isn't part of the site is that only unhappy polygons are willing to move. Those who are just ok with their neighbourhood but not really happy about it aren't willing to move. Which made me try it out in my own way: Trying to create the most diverse possible environment by temporarily making as many polygons unhappy to find out if it's possible to make as many polygons happy in the long run as possible.
... which is actually part of the way I see my own life. I always sort-of tried to confront people to think. I mean, it's not that common that you see a by-the-looks male person wearing a skirt. And ... since I moved out in July into a small intermediate flat and thus a new neighbourhood, I found the confidence (in parts also to be attributed to the confidence built up at these fine feministic conferences) to walk my hometown in a skirt. Only on some few occations, when meeting up with friends, mostly at evening/night, but it was always a nice experience. And I only felt once uncomfortable to be honest, when there was a probably right-winged skinhead at the subway station. Too many other people around, so I tried to avoid eye contact, but it didn't feel good.
Diversity is something that society needs. In all aspects. Also within the Debian project. I believe strongly in that there can't be much of innovation and moving forward if all people do think the same direction. That only means that potential alternative paths won't even get considered, and potentially get lost. That's one of the core parts of what makes the Free Software community lively and useful. People try different approaches, and in the end there will be adopters of what they believe is the better project. Projects pop up every now and then, others starve because of loss of interest, users not picking it up, developers spending their time on other stuff, and that's absolutely fine too. There is always something to be learned even from those situations.
Speaking of diversity, there is this protest going on later today because the boss of a cafe here in Vienna considered it a good idea to kick out a lesbian couple because they kissed each other for greeting and told them that they don't have a place for their "otherness" in her traditional viennese cafe and they rather should take it to a brothel. She excused yesterday for her tone that she used, she said she should have been more relaxed—as the CEO of that cafe. Which literally means that she only exused for the tone she used in her role, but not at all for the message she transported. So meh, hope there will be many people at the protest. Yes, there is some anti discrimination law around, but that only covers the workplace, and not service areas. Welcome to Austria.
On the upside, court striked down ban on same-sex couple adoption just the other day. Hopefully there is still hope for this country. :)
Happy New Year everyone! How did you celebrate the year change? I've been at the Seestadt Aspern listening to electric:indigo (who is also part of the open:sounds project powered by artists of the female:pressure collective), watching a show called "Laser-City", enjoying the really chilly air.
With so much female power mentioned in the former paragraph, it is almost hard to find a matching artist/band to present you today. Almost I said, because Beth Ditto and her band Gossip are definitely up for the challenge. That woman is pure power and has a uniquely great voice. They are definitely worth listening into closer, and here are my suggestions:
I do hang out in #debian-women on IRC, which shouldn't be much of a surprise after my last blog entry about my Feminist Year. And for readers of my blog it also shouldn't be much of a surprise that Music is an important part of my life. Recently a colleague from Debian though asked me in said IRC channel about whether I can recommend some female artists or bands. Which got me looking through my recommendations so far, and actually, there weren't many of those in here, unfortunately. So I definitely want to work on that because there are so many female singers, songwriters and bands out there that I totally would like to share with the broader audience.
I want to start out with a strong female voice who was introduced to me by another strong woman—thanks for that! Fiona Apple definitely has her own style and is something special, she stands out. Here are my suggestions:
Hot Knife: This was the song I was introduced to her with. And I love the kettledrum rhythm and sound.
Criminal: Definitely a different sound, but it was the song that won her a Grammy.
Not About Love: Such a lovely composition. I do love the way she plays the piano.
Actually I was working already on a different music blog entry, but I want to get this one out. I was invited to join the Organic Dancefloor last thursday. And it was a really great experience. A lot of nice people enjoying a dance evening of sort of improvisational traditional folk dancing with influences from different parts of europe. Three bands playing throughout the evening. I definitely plan to go there again. :)
Which brings me to the band I want to present you now. They also play sort-of traditional songs, or at least with traditional instruments, and are also quite danceable to. This is about The Pogues. And these are the songs that I do enjoy listening to every now and then:
Medley: Don't meddle with the Medley. Rather dance to it.
If someone would have told me that I would visit three feminist events this year I would have slowly nodded at them and responded with "yeah, sure..." not believing it. But sometimes things take their own turns.
It all started with the Debian Women Mini-Debconf in Barcelona. The organizers did ask me how they have to word the call for papers so that I would feel invited to give a speech, which felt very welcoming and nice. So we settled for "people who identify themselves as female". Due to private circumstances I didn't prepare well for my talk, but I hope it was still worth it. The next interesting part though happened later when there were lightning talks. Someone on IRC asked why there are male people in the lightning talks, which was explicitly allowed for them only. This also felt very very nice, to be honest, that my talk wasn't questioned. Those are amongst the reasons why I wrote My place is here, my home is Debconf.
Second event I went to was the FemCamp Wien. It was my first event that was a barcamp, I didn't know what to expect organization wise. Topic-wise it was set about Queer Feminism. And it was the first event that I went to which had a policy. Granted, there was an extremely silly written part in it, which naturally ended up in a shit storm on twitter (which people from both sides did manage very badly, which disappointed me). Denying that there is sexism against cis-males is just a bad idea, but the background of it was that this wasn't the topic of this event. The background of the policy was that usually barcamps but events in general aren't considered that save of a place for certain people, and that this barcamp wanted to make it clear that people usually shying away from such events in the fear of harassment can feel at home there.
And what can I say, this absolutely was the right thing to do. I never felt any more welcomed and included in any event, including Debian events—sorry to say that so frankly. Making it clear through the policy that everyone is on the same boat with addressing each other respectfully totally managed to do exactly that. The first session of the event about dominant talk patterns and how to work around or against them also made sure that the rest of the event was giving shy people a chance to speak up and feel comfortable, too. And the range of the sessions that were held was simply great. This was the event that I came up with the pattern that I have to define the quality of an event on the sessions that I'm unable to attend. The thing that hurt me most in the afterthought was that I couldn't attend the session about minorities within minorities. :/
Last but not least I attended AdaCamp Berlin. This was a small unconference/barcamp dedicated to increase women's participation in open technology and culture named after Ada Lovelace who is considered the first programmer. It was a small event with only 50 slots for people who identify as women. So I was totally hyper when I received the mail that was accepted. It was another event with a policy, and at first reading it looked strange. But given that there are people who are allergic to ingredients of scents, it made sense to raise awareness of that topic. And given that women are facing a fair amount of harassment in the IT and at events, it also makes sense to remind people to behave. After all it was a general policy for all AdaCamps, not for this specific one with only women.
I enjoyed the event. Totally. And that's not only because I was able to meet up with a dear friend who I haven't talked to in years, literally. I enjoyed the environment, and the sessions that were going on. And quite similar to the FemCamp, it started off with a session that helped a lot for the rest of the event. This time it was about the Impostor Syndrome which is extremely common for women in IT. And what can I say, I found myself in one of the slides, given that I just tweeted the day before that I doubted to belong there. Frankly spoken, it even crossed my mind that I was only accepted so that at least one trans person is there. Which is pretty much what the impostor syndrome is all about, isn't it. But when I was there, it did feel right. And we had great sessions that I truly enjoyed. And I have to thank one lady once again for her great definition on feminism that she brought up during one session, which is roughly that feminism for her isn't about gender but equality of all people regardless their sexes or gender definition. It's about dropping this whole binary thinking. I couldn't agree more.
All in all, I totally enjoyed these events, and hope that I'll be able to attend more next year. From what I grasped all three of them think of doing it again, the FemCamp Vienna already has the date announced at the end of this year's event, so I am looking forward to meet most of these fine ladies again, if faith permits. And keep in mind, there will always be critics and haters out there, but given that thy wouldn't think of attending such an event anyway in the first place, don't get wound up about it. They just try to talk you down.
P.S.: Ah, almost forgot about one thing to mention, which also helps a lot to reduce some barrier for people to attend: The catering during the day and for lunch both at FemCamp and AdaCamp (there was no organized catering at the Debian Women Mini-Debconf) did take off the need for people to ask about whether there could be food without meat and dairy products by offering mostly Vegan food in the first place, even without having to query the participants. Often enough people otherwise choose to go out of the event or bring their own food instead of asking for it, so this is an extremely welcoming move, too. Way to go!
Yesterday I managed to get the last ticket from the waitinglist for the premiere of Trans Gender Moves. It is a play about the lives of three people: A transman, a transwoman and an intersexual person. They tell stories from their life, their process of finding their own identity over time. With in parts amusing anecdotes and ones that gets you thinking I can just wholeheartly encourage you to watch it if you have the chance to. It will still be shown the next few days, potentially extending depending on the requests for tickets, from what I've been told by one of the actors.
The most funny moment for me though was when I was talking with one of the actors about that it really touched me that I was told that one of them will be moving into into the same building I will be moving into in two year's time. Unfortunately that will be delayed a bit because they found me thinks field hamster or the likes in the ground and have to wait until spring for them to move. :/
After a long time a new irssi upstream release hit the archive. While the most notable change in 0.8.16 was DNSSEC DANE support which is enabled (for linux, src:dnsval has issues to get compiled on kFreeBSD), the most visible change in 0.8.17 was addition of support for both 256 colors and truecolor. While the former can be used directly, for the later you have to explicitly switch the setting colors_ansi_24bit to on. A terminal support it is needed for that though. To test the 256 color support, your terminal has to support it, your TERM environment variable has to be properly set, and you can test it with the newly added /cubes alias. If you have an existing configuration, look at the Testing new Irssi wiki page which helps you get that alias amongst giving other useful tipps, too.
The package currently only lives in unstable, but once it did flow over to testing I will update it in wheezy-backports, too.
This year's debconf in portland will happen without me being there. As much as I would love to be at home again, I won't be able to afford it. As much as I'd liked to help to keep portland weird, a discussion led to the feeling that I'm not welcome there and along that lines made me miss the deadline for sponsorship request due to not being very motivated to push for it because of that. And without sponsorship I won't be able to afford it, given that I need to save up for my upcoming move.
This also means I won't be able to host the Poetry Night. I hope that someone will be picking up that ball and continue it. Personally I am more motivated than ever to start writing again, given that there is currently a Bus Bim Slam (Bus Tram Slam) happening over here in Vienna and I try to attend as much stations as possible, and there will be a Diary Slam during this year's FemCamp Vienna.
I'm indifferent on whether the Debconf Poetry Night should be recorded or not. On the one hand it would be great to see people performing, on the other hand it might shy away certain personal poems that one wouldn't want to have out in the wild. Whoever picks it up, think about that part.
I wish everyone luck in Portland, and I'm looking forward to yet another great job by the video team so I can follow a few talks from at home. It sort of breaks my heart to not be able to hug you lot this year, and I wish you a great conference. We'll meet again next year in Heidelberg!
Recently I was wearing my Free Hugs shirt to different Free Software meetings, and I came up with the idea if we are advocating the Free in Software specificly, why not come up with Free Hugging Guidelines, too. So here they are, from now on considered to be named the RFHG.
Your hugs may not restrict any party from passing on the hugs they received from you.
The hugs must be possible to be perceived and understandable in complete. You are not allowed to use any special techniques that can not be perceived.
Your hugs must be allowed to be modified, and must allow the modified forms of your hugs to be distributed under the same terms as they received them.
Integrity of The Author's Source Code
While you are allowed to pass on the hugs in modified form, you are not allowed to modify the DNA of the original person you received the hugs from. Genetic modification is out of the scope of the RFHG.
No Discrimination Against Persons or Groups
While we acknowledge that you might not feel willing to hug everyone, you must apply rules that do not distinquish by rules which would violate The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Furthermore, you have the right to not hug a person if you are not in the mood for it. Please refrain from wearing any Free Hugs markers at those times though.
No Discrimination Against Fields of Endeavor
The hugs can not be restricted to be used in a specific field of endeavor. For example, you may not restrict the hugs from being passed on only in times of sorrow.
Distribution of Hugs
The rights attached to the hugs must apply to all to whom the hugs are redistributed without the need for execution of an additional license by those parties.
Hugs Must Not Be Specific to Rhonda
The rights attached to the hugs must not depend on the hugs being related to Rhonda. If the hugs are extracted from Rhonda and used or distributed without Rhonda nearby but otherwise within the terms of the hug's permissions, all parties to whom the hugs are distributed should have the same rights as those that are granted in conjunction with Rhonda.
Hugs Must Not Contaminate Other People
If you are contagious (e.g. got the flu, or worse) you have to apply appropriate counter measures to not transfer your illness with your hugs.
One last note: If you feel like it you don't have to wait until I wear my Free Hugs shirt again. I am fine with receiving (or giving) hugs like almost always. Surprise me. I at least know then that you read the RFHG. :)
I'm moving. Well, not right here, right now. Rather less than two years. But I already know what my flat will look like and was able to influence that decision. And there will be more to influence, like what to do with common rooms in the builing, or what to put in the garden (voting for climbing facilities for my son of course!). It's this kind of co-housing project where you already know your neighbours beforehand and can find common grounds for decisions like that.
The co-housing project I'm moving to is called Que[e]rbau. And it will be living up to its name. It is specificly aimed at people who live tolerance and acceptance, and also potentially live an sorta alternative lifestyle, defining their own identity; but not limited to those. There also will be conventional families living there who specificly don't want to raise their kids in a conservative environment.
When I told about this plan to someone they asked me if I really want to do that. Their concerns were with respect to my son and if the house wouldn't become a target. I was puzzled at first, given that we have the Rainbow Parade, the Life Ball and most of all the Rosa Lila Villa since several years in Vienna and I'm not aware of any bigger disturbances it causes, rather the opposite.
After thinking a while about it it sounded a bit for the wish of a Don't Ask Don't Tell environment. Recently there was this great documentary done by Vice on youtube about YoungandGayinPutin's Russia (watch all five parts of it, it's worth it). In the light of that I don't think hiding does improve the situation, rather the opposite. Not speaking about it doesn't improve acceptance. And actually, I was approached by at least one person during the Debian Women MiniDebconf about how brave I am considered. I'm not sure if it really is brave, I just don't want to lie to myself anymore, and I very rarely had troubles through that. The more open and natural you behave, the less confrontation area you leave left, and people notice that.
Not totally unrelated to that, I created myself a new gpg key. It doesn't carry my official name anymore but just the name I prefer to be addressed with: Rhonda. It also carries a last name you might not have heard yet (it was adopted on the Discworld MUD several years ago, even before I wrote Mermaids; actually in connection with the person who partly triggered the poem), that's the reason I added a plain Rhonda UID to it for those who aren't aware of the last name. I will submit that key to keysigning parties from now on, and it of course is up to you if you feel comfortable with signing it.
A good friend just yesterday sent me a link to a one and a half hour lasting live concert of 2CELLOS. And wow, I was deeply impressed. Terrific! Even Sir Elton John approves. Have to share them with you, too. :)
This is something different. It is something special. She is something special. I don't even remember how I stumbled upon her, actually. I think it was some suggested video somehow.
I feel deeply sorry for those who don't understand German. But that's the way it is, the text is in German. And it's touching. Take your time, listen to it in a relaxed environment, when you don't have any distraction.
One Day/Reckoning: I didn't expect what I was about to see—or rather hear. But it made me instantly look for more from her.
Erwachsen werden: The oldest video I was able to find about her. It sounds a bit strange of trying to go back to the roots for a phenomenon that just started a few years ago, but there you are.
There you are. And I'm sorry for those who don't understand German, but I don't want to hold this back from the others. And I am definitely looking forward to hear more from her. Hopefully she helps me motivate myself to write something new for the upcoming debconf and hold yet another poetry night there. And hopefully it also motivates others to join in.
It's almost a month since I last blogged something, and one of my new year's resolution is to change that, a bit. Let's see how it goes.
I've been listening a lot to this great band from Sweden recently again, put all their songs onto my mobile phone. It might sound weird because they have a rather aggressive style, both soundwise but also lyricswise, but it helps me to get things off my chest and stay relaxed in the rest of my life.
The band I want to present to you was already twice mentioned in some other articles of my blog I noticed, but this is the proper post about them: I'm talking about Clawfinger. They came up in the nineties during the crossover phase and did blend in pretty well, but it's mostly their direct and political statements they carry in their lyrics that did let them stand out.
One warning though: the direct language they use might be considered blunt and maybe even offensive by some. The message behind it though should rather get you thinking of your own doings if you consider it to be offensive. Here are the songs:
What Are You Afraid Of: Most people would have probably gone with their first hit for the topic, but I think this song transports the point extremely well too: It's just a color and I'm color blind, the only color I know is the color of my mind. There's only one race and that's the human race, and every human being's got the right to feel save.
The Faggot In You: Well, it's like Coyote Too twittered or Andy Singer drew it. Get over it and think about what actually stirs these emotions in you. If you're so sure and you feel secure about yourself and your reality, then why do you need reject and refuse where other people stand sexually?
Life Will Kill You: Let's face the fact, it will. ... and given the choice between your own life and death I suggest that you cherish the time you have left 'cause time waits for noone and we're all growing older. Life for today, not for a future that might never come.
Like always, enjoy! And maybe also think about it a bit. :)
Tuesday was a really nice evening. A few weeks ago I found a poster about the concert of [dunkelbunt], and got my ticket only on monday. I was told by the ticket sellers that they still have plenty left. In the end when I turned up at the event at tuesday though the concert hall was fully packed with people and I was told that it actually was sold out. There wasn't much place inside the hall left, so I mostly stood in the doorway to the bar area and enjoyed the music from there.
If you listen to their songs you might get an idea why the music catched me and I started to let the music move my body, literally. It's a great feeling after a tough day, and there were some other nice people around which let the same happen to them so it did feel less awkward for me.
Anyway, if you want to find out if their music can do the same to you, here are some songs to listen to:
The Chocolate Butterfly: This was actually the first song that got me interested in them which was playing on a local radio station.
Cinnamon Girl: One of the reasons why [dunkelbunt] is put into the electro swing genre. :)
Schlawiener: The title is a pun, a mix between "Schlawiner" (smooth operator) and "Wiener" (Viennese).
If you have been in Vienna over the last few weeks, you probably have seen it: there was an URL crayoned throughout the city at several places. Noone standing next to it telling you anything about it, just the address. Plain and simple. The address said earthlings.com (or rather, earthlings.de, but it's actually the same).
Curious as I am, I wondered what it's about. And obviously, it wasn't too hard to find out. It's a documentary. But I don't want to say too much about it, I guess I let your own curiosity lead you. All that I want to say is that I consider it worth seeing. And especially worth seeing it through to the end. Definitely got me thinking.
Thanks to the unknown people over here in Vienna who made it possible for me to stumble upon it.
And now for something completely different. No, this blog entry isn't about the great Monty Python's, even though they definitely deserve to be brought to the attention of the still unenlightened. This is about something completely different music style wise.
This is about Caravan Palace. I was recently introduced to this band, and I must say, they definitely have the swing. Just listen to them and feel your feed starting to move along.
Suzy: The first video that I listened to, and it definitely got me interested, as you can see.
Jolie Coquine: The kind of swing our (grand?)parents did listen and dance to. I definitely feel it in my legs, too.
There is still a lot of things going on inside me and turning, and I'd like to share two words that I grow attached to, one a fair amount longer now than the other, but both are terms that I seem to had lacking in my vocabulary which I tried to explain in a different way. After finding out about them, I noticed that both what I felt and believed were actual things that were not totally uncommon concepts, even though most people wouldn't know about them.
The first term that I stumbled upon years ago was the term of pansexuality. (Do not dare to read the German Wikipedia article. It's ridiculous wrong, insulting and shows that they don't understand the topic at all.) I always had issues to explain my intimate preference to others. Especially after they found out about me being female on the inside. Questions arose (if they understood that I'm open about these things when I post the poem publicly) along the lines of "what are you now: gay, lesbian, hetero—and if the latter, what does that mean?". My usual answer was that I fall in love with people, not with their bodies, and that things will eventually work out if meant to be. And thus even though I love my "Bi" shirt, it doesn't really describe properly how I swing, so to say.
The latter term I discovered just recently. A friend of mine with whom I chat every now and then told me about it, and when we met again last autumn, they wore a button of the Italian community for Polyamory (I so much prefer the Italian logo to the "widely used symbol", to be honest). It was an eye opening moment for me. I often mentioned to people that I felt like I have a big heart, being able to store multiple people in it. It always puzzled me that when I'm together with someone (and I always was faithful) why I should feel bad and especially keep it a secret when there is someone else who touches my heart, too. Society seems to see this already as a breach of trust, no matter whether it gets pursued or not, just the thought is enough. But it never changed anything with respect to the person I was together with, so what's the deal? Finding out about this term explained so much to me and made a lot of sense. It is about honesty and communication, which I see lagging in a lot of relationships these days...
So here you are, getting another inside view on me. And I'm sure that there will be again the one or the other person who considers to use this as ammunition against me, but you know, being open about it acts as a shield. It's not embarrassing for me, never was. And like always, I hope that I can help others feeling similar being lost for words or an understanding that it's not as weird as it might feel.
I know it's been ages since I last blogged anything at all. To some degree I had a down phase, but I hope to get out of it. It's nice to see that there are people out there who give me a prod every now and then, and don't let me drown. Thanks, most of you probably know that I mean exactly you, and in case you are uncertain, you probably are meant if you contact me every now and then.
Anyway, if you remember that I blogged about Lindsey Stirling last year and you started to follow her you might have already stumbled upon the next band I'd like to present. I'm speaking of Pentatonix. These five humans have terrific voices that they use in a very special way that is quite unique.
I don't want to delay the songs I want to present to you any longer, so here they are:
Dear users and supporters of the backports service!
The Backports Team is pleased to announce the next important step on getting backports more integrated. People who are reading debian-infrastructure-announce will have seen that there was an archive maintenance last weekend: starting with wheezy-backports the packages will be accessible from the regular pool instead of a separate one, and all backports uploads will be processed through the regular upload queue (including those for squeeze-backports and squeeze-backports-sloppy).
What exactly does that mean for you? For users of wheezy, the sources.list entry will be different, a simple substitute of squeeze for wheezy won't work. The new format is:
deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian/ wheezy-backports main
So it is debian instead of debian-backports, and offered through the regular mirror network. Feel invited to check your regular mirror if it carries backports and pull from there.
What does it mean for contributing developers? Uploads for backports are no longer to be pushed to backports-master but to ftp.upload.debian.org, like any other regular package. Also, given that the packages are served from the same archive install there is no need to include the original tarball in the upload any longer because the archive knows it (Squeeze and beyond).
Also, given that the upload goes to the same upload queue, there is only one keyring used anymore, so no more pain with expired or replaced keys. We though still keep the rule of adding your UID to an ACL list (this also includes DM additions). This is mostly only to give us the chance to remind you that uploads to backports are directly available for installation onto stable systems and you thus should take special care there. We carefully tried to take over the old ACLs, in case you can't upload anymore, please tell us so we can look into the issue.
I've mentioned wheezy-backports (and squeeze-backports-sloppy) a few times here already, and you might wonder when it will be available. Technically, it is available from now on. Practically, while you could already upload to it, the set up of the buildd network is more painful than expected, so please allow the Buildd Team some days for setting them up.
The upload rules for wheezy-backports are the same: packages that are in the next suite are accepted. Given that Jessie isn't created yet, we want you to think about whether the package you want to upload will go into Jessie final, and that you are taking a closer look once Jessie is created and the package entered there about the upgradeability. For the time until the suite is available, you can see this as relaxed upload rule.
The same goes for squeeze-backports-sloppy: packages from two suites after Squeeze are acceptable, which turns it into the same relaxed rule as wheezy-backports above. Please also keep in mind that uploads to squeeze-backports-sloppy usually should be accompanied by uploads to wheezy-backports so people are able to upgrade from squeeze-backports-sloppy to wheezy with wheezy-backports.
Finally, we want to thank the FTP-Master Team for their fine work on making this happen.
We had in total fourteen participants. The number of release-critical bugreports touched and processed is not clear, but over 100 bugreports were looked at and either got comments added for clearification, maintainer pinged, unblock requests filed or already filed ones noted down, or NMUed. Given that we are in freeze since a while now and many easy bugreports already squashed by those who aim for a daily fix, I consider this impressive.
There is also the point that we managed to get some people involved that didn't consider themself techy enough to be of help. On the contrary, they were a great help on checking these bugreports with analyzing the discussions in some lengthy bugreports and upstream bug trackers, or trying to reproduce some issues. I can just hope that the weekend left an impression deep enough to keep them in the boat.
All in all, I'm quite pleased of the outcome, especially in the light of severalotherevents catching the interest of potential participants which were going on at the same weekend. Thanks to all the people that stumbled by, and I am looking forward to maybe having another BSP at some point, but then I hope to not clash with so many other events. Thanks!
Sometimes one stumbles upon artists by accident and immediately falls in love with them. A link to a video from Lindsey Stirling was dropped in a chat I was paying attention to at that time, and it immediately touched me. She's got style, and she's got great videos.
Speaking of videos, here they are:
Electric Daisy Violin: This was the song that was dropped. And it touched me, especially her dressing style. Maybe her legs will also catch your attention like they did to me. :)
Crystallize: The subtitle Dubstep Violin of this video is what describes her style best. Great play.
This poem was triggered by a discussion with a special person—not special in the sense I address in the poem though.
My life's hating me
But it is not a one-way:
I'm hating my life
Hate being special
I know I can help others
But what about me?
All quite supportive
Respect for my openness
Though, no step further
No clue how to handle me
Afraid to ask me
Hooking up with me?
Just scolding words left
Want to be normal
Maybe I'll lie to myself
Though that won't work out
I am what I am
And sometimes it just pains me:
Hate being special
I'm hating my life
But it is not a one-way:
My life's hating me
Please refrain from asking whether I feel fine, I am in good mood. :) But I haven't written anything in a way too long time, I noticed how little actually during selecting poems for the International Poetry Night during debconf. So I picked up the idea and caressed it until I came up with the above piece about with which I am quite happy. Think about it, and ... try to enjoy.
Wheezy is coming closer to the release, there though are still way too many release critical bugreports outstanding for it. Squeeze has already been released, but it has collected even more release critical bugreports than wheezy since. To be able to reduce these amounts I will be at the Linuxhotel in Essen at the weekend from 23rd to 25th of November, and it would be a great pleasure if I could convince you to join me in this effort.
As readers of my blog might assume, my main aim will be those RC bugs affecting squeeze and I would be happy if some people interested to work on those could join me, I plan to give a quick quick explanation about the version tracking of the BTS and why we should care about stable too, but the event will definitely not be limited to squeeze RC bugs. Also, it will be a good chance to improve your key stats for the web of trust in case your GnuPG key hasn't got enough signatures yet or you want to transition to a stronger one.
Please read the Community page of the Linuxhotel for what they offer for accommodation in case you want to use their lodging. Personally I'll go for the two-bed room with breakfast option, but you are of course free to bring your own sleeping bag and mat if you want to cut short on the expenses.
In case of any questions, feel free to ask me right ahead. It would be great if we could help both our stable release and the next stable release during the weekend, and if you could join in! Please add yourself to the wiki page about the BSP.
Things happened as they liked to happen: the video streaming setup for debconf still was giving me a bit of headaches, and suddenly it was too late to print out the poem because I didn't even had CUPS installed on my new laptop. Also, having reread it recently I noticed that it wasn't flowing too well, so I was uncertain whether it would be possible to properly perform it.
I attended nevertheless. It was rather cosy in El Panal, but still a fair amount of people there. And to my surprise, quite a lot of Debian people were presenting poetry. Some in Spanish, some in English, but also one in Japanese, one in German and even one Esperanto. I had the feeling that I really should present something too. I still was extremely nervous, but during the day I had opened some of my poems in the browser, so I started to write down The Girl and the Boy, and when Fito called me to the microphone, I think most people were able to tell how nervous I was about it.
But it went well. It even went so well that I felt the need to perform another poem. I chose that's what friends are for, quickly scribbling it down in bad light. The choice was easy, given that it is one that means a lot to me and that an haiku already got presented. It was really a nice experience to not only write these poems and publishing them on deviantART and in my blog, but also to present them to a live audience.
Then there was a break. Actually I thought it was over already, but they started a second round. And I somehow liked the way it worked out, so I started to dig for something else to present. I settled for Strange—and Jonathan insisted on translating it into Spanish and present that version, too. His version wasn't in Haiku style, but I think it still was a very nice idea. It seem to have been received well, but given that I don't speak Spanish I can only hope he was able to catch the feelings that I did put into this short piece. I am confident he did well. :)
As final piece I settled for another short piece, this time it was in German, Wahre Liebe. I think I was able to transport the feelings of it with adding pauses in certain spots, although I fear most people didn't get it because it was ... well, in German.
Again, a fair amount of the people who presented poetry were from Debian, actually more than half of it I think. And I am wondering: When will the CfP for next year's debconf open so we can try to establish this event as regular debconf event? And who knows, maybe I'll find the courage then to perform Mermaids.
It's almost seven years now since I wrote/published Mermaids. It was an important step in my life, confessing publicly what I've found out about myself, how I feel and identify myself. It definitely has been a certain turning point in my life.
A year later, there was the Debconf6 in Mexico, which was just as important. I was wearing a skirt for the first time, and that for the whole duration of the two weeks. It was an enormous feeling of freedom, and I knew I was feeling at home. That was also the time I shaved off my beard.
And since? Well, I sort of limited myself to these two weeks every year. Debconf is my haven, Debconf is my home. Here I allow myself to be myself. Debian is my family. And like in every family, there are people who won't understand, but that doesn't matter. I feel comfortable to express myself in this crowd in the way I feel.
Being abroad seems to help with the confidence, and it seems like it also shines through. I haven't had lots of strange looks. To the contrary, when I went with a skirt to a homosexual acceptance event at home in Vienna, there was a group of gays who were pointing and laughing. Quite an interesting experience, one would assume that people who are wanting more acceptance would be more acceptable and tolerant themselves...
But, I don't think I will ever take the step toward actually turning my body into a female one. It was an important step for me to find out about my inner self, and it actually managed to make me accept my male body; even though I can totally relate to people not being able to understand this—both people not in the situation and people being in the situation and needing the physical adjustment to be able to be happy again. But this is what and how I am: Contents may vary from packaging.
This though has an inherited problem: as I am not (usually) heading for a female appearance (besides my skirt during Debconf), people keep addressing me with a male pronoun, even, or rather especially when using my nick Rhonda. This is something that I consider a fair bit disturbing, especially when it comes from people that I consider to address with the term friends. One would assume that people who you share a fair bit of private life with would be the ones who can understand and relate better than others. But that's where we are, and I also can understand the troubles: I'm not giving them much visual help for fixing their thoughts.
I found the confidence in my body, and like most of you know, I have a son I dearly love (and miss like hell these two weeks), so I know how to use the tools it comes with, frankly spoken. But I won't go the road to adjust my body to be a female one instead, just to convince people that I really am the female person that I identify as. It might be hard for you to understand that, it might be hard for you to accept it—it is also hard for me, to fight for the acceptance that I thought are an inherent part of the term friendship.
I have deepest respect for the people who feel the requirement and have the strength to adjust their body to their mind. It though just isn't the road for me. I already have enough uncertainties in my life to cope with, and I don't need another one to deal with, related to that I might not be able to accept my body after the transition than I am able to accept it now. It's just not important enough for me to find my place. My place is here, my home is Debconf.
This is the third summary of my squeeze RC bug squashing. If you take a look at the bug graph you will notice that the blue line went up a bit over a two week's period. I would like to claim that confirming the samhain RC bug 618728 did cost me the time (I actually gave it the time to finish), but the real reason was that I was looking at other stuff. I came back with a vengeance though, so here is the list of the bugs squashed for squeeze since the last report:
This is the second entry in my series about squeeze release critical bug squashing. In response to my last blog post it was asked whether this is proper release critical bug squashing. Indeed there haven't been any patches or upload involved in this, only BTS handling, but this doesn't mean that these bugs weren't considered to be affecting squeeze. You can see this effort currently as weeding out the "wrong" bugs so that the list gets more useful and actually be able to ask maintainers to address the real issues.
You can at least see in this graph that the blue line is going down constantly since the year change instead of rising up like before. And I hope I will be able to keep it below the green line for a while still. Also thanks to the release-team and ftpmasters that it was possible to keep the massbugs about waf binary blob not being preferred source for modification out of affecting squeeze and ignore it for the current stable release—the required changes for those would rather be a fair bit intrusive for a stable update.
I am glad that I managed to keep it up and even have a nice margin in case I can't put any effort into it some day but still have more bugs squashed than days there are in the year so far. Currently I am at 60 bugs in 39 days. This gives a warm feeling. :)
The following announce is lazily copied from Paul Wise's announce. There is only one thing I like to add: the screenshots that are submitted and collected on screenshots.debian.net are visible on the packages websites (both Debian and Ubuntu) and are also used by the software-center package, so they help people to get a first impression of the package they might want to install.
Have you ever wondered how to start getting involved in Debian/Ubuntu? Do you enjoy discovering new games and playing them? You might want to come to the games screenshot party! We hope that the party will be a fun, easy, low-commitment way to get involved.
If you are interested in attending, please add your availability to the poll linked from the announcement so that we can get some idea of attendance and when is a good time for the people who are interested.
Look forward to lots of game playing, screenshots and merry time, hope to see you all there!
As sort of new year's resolution I started picking up the habit to work on release critical bugreports for squeeze again. The number is way to high to be healthy, but at least it is (still) below the amount of release critical bugreports for unstable.
It will be an uneven fight because it seems that there are quite some people working on weeding out release critical bugreports in unstable, but those who are interested in weeding out releasing critical bugreports in stable seems to be limited, even though it is one of our supported releases and thus should receive quite some attention, at least by the corresponding package maintainers themself.
No, my blog isn't dead, and neither is me. It's just that way too many things happened since this year's debconf that got me a bit off tracks. I managed to do daily business like keeping my packages in shape and the backports queue low, and that was mostly it.
No clue if that will change anytime soon, but I guess I would like to keep you updated with an event where you can meet me next week: There will be the Global 2000 Birthday Party going on in the WUK on Thursday 20th, so if you happen to be in Vienna at that time, drop by and enjoy some great bands.
... which brings me to one of the local bands from Vienna: Heinz aus Wien. They are around for well over 10 years now and are still rocking quite well. Here are some examples of their songs, like always:
Another month, another Games Team IRC Meeting happening. This time it was decided to have it again on Sunday, the time was set to 10 am UTC. To find out the time in your localtime, issue date -d '2011-06-26 10:00 UTC' in your shell. The agenda can be seen as always in the wiki.
If the time or agenda doesn't fit your ideas, feel free to join our mailinglist to be informed about the discussion of agenda and time for the next meeting and raise your voice at that time. Please notice that the agenda isn't final yet, you can still drop your ideas for that.
Enjoy, and join if you care about improving games packaging in Debian and influence future development!
This is a very special person. He is a very well known songwriter, at least in German language countries because he sings in German. He was that special kind of person with his lyrics when I was still a kid, and is still around continuing to write his songs in his very own special way. This person is Reinhard Mey, and if you understand German and have missed him so far, you have missed a lot.
The songs that I present to you are special in the way that they are all contained in the special compilation titled Mein Apfelbäumchen. The dedication he wrote for the album is also very special:
Ich glaube, Kinder zu haben ist das aufregendste Abenteuer, das wir erleben können. Es ist der schwerste Beruf und die größte Herausforderung, die ich mir denken kann, und die glücklichste Erfahrung zugleich. Ich bin dankbar dafür! Dies sind die Lieder, die ich bis heute dafür geschrieben habe. Mein Anteil aus dem Erlös dieser Schallplatte gebe ich der Hilfe für krebskranke Kinder.
Rough translation: I believe that having kids is the most exciting adventure that we can undergo. It is the hardest job and the biggest challenge that I can think of, and at the same time the happiest experience. I'm thankful for it! These are the songs that I wrote up to today for it. My part of the revenues of this record go to Help for children with cancer.
So here are the songs:
Mein Apfelbäumchen: The song that gave this compilation its title. Extremely touching, and it manages regularly to wet my eyes... Absolutely lovely.
Keine ruhige Minute: This is actually a live version of the song with a longer introduction that is worth listening to on its own.
Menschenjunges: A thoughtful song about the thoughts when seeing your kid for the first time.
Enjoy! And if you feel like it, support these kind of special people.
Whenever someone asked me about a calendar application, especially for the textmode, I always encouraged them to give pal a try. I always loved the looks of it, the interactive mode is helpful, it has HTML output format to inject the calendar into a webpage, mail output format for a daily reminder cronjob, and other useful features. I even created a file with the Austrian holidays for it which got included in the original project for the benefit of all its users.
If you haven't tried it yet and are looking for a calendar tool with support for very flexible recurring events and categories, this might be a good look.
I am still happy with pal, though someone recently suggested a different tool on IRC, and that was wyrd. From a quick glance it looked promising, so I started to dig into it. My first task was to convert the former mentioned pal file for the Austrian holidays into remind format. remind is the backend for wyrd, and its definition language seems to be extremely powerful. It though took me a while to figure out how to put in Easter date related events into it, the examples weren't really hinting me in the right direction. This is part of what I am using now: REM [trigger(easterdate(current())-47)] +6 TAG noweight MSG Faschingsdienstag %b
The look and view of wyrd is different to pal in several ways. Where the granularity of pal is a pure day view, wyrd scales in hours (or half, quarter thereof). Also, wyrd offers the possibility to color the days differently by busy level. Of course it's possible to exempt tasks from adding weight to a day. pal on the other hand is able to color events differently by category.
Decide yourself what you actually need, test it, and ... enjoy!
Sometimes people will tell you what you should do. Sometimes they will even shout at you for simply asking a question on why they want something done because it isn't clear just from itself. And others likes to jump the boat and join in just for the fun of it...
Gladly, this is MY life, and I choose how much abuse I'm willing to take, especially for a voluntary work that I didn't even enroll for but got put into. Sometimes through my dedication to getting quality into things and seeing that others simply neglect these areas, but they need to get addressed anyway, no matter how little respect is shown for people investing in these boring areas.
The topic of It's MY Life is an old one and thus it is no surprise that a fair amount of songs surrounding it popped up over time. In my previous blog entry I wrote about different interpretations, some responses seem to hint that I wasn't clear enough about that I really meant different interpretations of the same lyrics, not just regular cover versions.
The following set of songs is special in a different sense: It is about the same song title and thus does also cover different bands.
No Doubt: This is the band that Gwen Stefani got known through.
Bon Jovi: No matter what you might think about Bon Jovi, they for sure wrote some pretty touching songs.
Like always, enjoy! And think about how you interact with others. I know that I'm sometimes crossing a line myself too, no one is perfect. What though makes the difference is the willingness to learn, and especially: To excuse. But in the end: It's MY life!