Rhonda's Blog                    
Mainpage Disclaimer

Fri, 05 Dec 2014

Fiona Apple

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.

Like always, enjoy!

/music | permanent link | Comments: 0

Wed, 19 Nov 2014

The Pogues

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.
  • Fairytale of New York: Well, we're almost in the season for it. :)
  • Streams of Whiskey: Also quite the style of song that they are known for and party with at concerts.

Like always, enjoy!

/music | permanent link | Comments: 2

Wed, 29 Oct 2014

Feminist Year

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!

/personal | permanent link | Comments: 2

Sat, 18 Oct 2014

Trans Gender Moves

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. :/

/personal | permanent link | Comments: 5

Fri, 17 Oct 2014

New Irssi

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.


/debian | permanent link | Comments: 0

Fri, 06 Jun 2014

No Portland

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!

/debian | permanent link | Comments: 3

Fri, 09 May 2014

Rhonda's Free Hugging Guidelines

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.

  1. Free Redistribution

    Your hugs may not restrict any party from passing on the hugs they received from you.

  2. Source Code

    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.

  3. Derived Works

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Example Hugs

    This Group Hug modification and of course the Free Hugs Campaign are great examples of what we consider Free.

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. :)

Like always, enjoy!

/personal | permanent link | Comments: 3

Fri, 25 Apr 2014


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 Young and Gay in Putin'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.

/personal | permanent link | Comments: 0

Thu, 03 Apr 2014


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. :)


P.S.: I sooo love them also for their pun in their second album title, In2ition. :D

/music | permanent link | Comments: 2

Fri, 24 Jan 2014

Julia Engelmann

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.

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.

/haiku | permanent link | Comments: 0

Thu, 09 Jan 2014


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. :)

/music | permanent link | Comments: 4

If you want to syndicate this blog, feel free to do so.
This list contains the feeds that I follow:

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat


©opyright 1999++ by Rhonda
[rss feed]

[html by vim] [graphics by gimp]

[generated by wml]

[powered by blosxom]