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Tue, 24 Nov 2015

Salut Salon

I don't really remember where or how I stumbled upon these four women so I'm sorry that I can't give credit where credit is due, and I even do believe that I started writing a blog entry about them already somewhere. Anyway, I want to present you today Salut Salon. They might play classic instruments, but not in a classic way. But see and hear yourself:

  • Wettstreit zu viert: This is the first that I stumbled upon that did catch my attention. Lovely interpretation of classic tunes and sweet mixup.
  • Ievan Polkka: I love the catchy tune—and their interpretation of the song.
  • We'll Meet Again: While the history of the song might not be so laughable the giggling of them is just contagious. :)

So like always, enjoy!

/music | permanent link | Comments: 1

Wed, 14 Oct 2015

Post DebConf15

There are some things that I didn't mention in my sort-of quickly written entry about DebConf15. So first things first. When I received the mail about the room allocation I was at first confused. I was put into a room with other ladies, which I didn't expect. Granted, two of the other three names were people that knew me since a while, but it still felt like a mistake might have happened. But after a while I realized what has happened: It wasn't a mistake, it was intentional, I was finally recognized as woman for the room allocation too, which made me extremely happy. I was just just concerned about the third person who would be in our room who doesn't know me yet and whether it would make them feel uncomfortable. In the end, that was no trouble at all.

I felt so empowered and more accepted than ever in this community. And when finally being on-site there another thing happened with me. I started to use the women's restroom. Up to now I usually had the feeling of "it's fine for me to use the male one, and I don't want other women to feel uncomfortable", but somehow, with a skirt on, it in the end made me feeling uncomfortable. Additionally, there were only three times in total when I used the male toilet (and one was on the boat for the daytrip), and every single time of it I felt extremely uncomfortable with it, like others might think I'm just faking it. It at least in my mind doesn't help with accepting me as female when I go to the male restroom. And it's not a Good choice! as a woman did put it during the conference dinner when there was a longer queue infront of the male restroom. It's not so much of a choice over here. But I give her the doubt of not knowing how important these little steps became to me over time.

Totally unrelated to the restroom question but interestingly featuring it a fair bit I was made aware of the Assigned Male cartoon. I instantly fell in love with it, and in case you want to enlighten yourself a bit more about how some things you might say or do get received by trans people, be very much invited to read it. Sophie is currently on European tour with her book, unfortunately Vienna/Austria doesn't seem to be part of europe in that respect so I hope someone will be able to visit one of her stations to pick up a book for me ...

And then there was also a small inofficial Nail Polish BoF going on at DebConf. I left it on my fingers for the next two weeks, totally in love with it. Unfortunately the nail polish I got for myself after DebConf had a rather big brush so I wasn't able to work on it, I failed miserably.

... which brings me to the empowerment that DebConf meant for me this year, and the time since. Given that I left the nail polish on I even took the comfort in being myself to go to work in my skirt on a more regular basis. Also, a very nice friend did visit me and we went lipstick shopping. I loved the color she chose, even though in the meantime it isn't visible enough for me and I guess I'll get another one rather sooner than later.

Also, about what I mentioned in my last blog post was that my name change within the Debian project was granted. A quick update on that is that also now my GPG key got replaced. I guess it's finally time for me to write a gpg transition statement, even though I don't follow those myself. I still prefer meeting up with people face-to-face for signing their new keys. But given that it's called a transition statement makes it more appealing to me on that grounds. :)

And I got invited to a local podcast show. Actually I know the person who does the podcast since several years already, he's also part of the local free software community who attends various events, and he does a podcast since several years now called Biertaucher (named after cooling the beer in a fountain). It is held in German language, so if you don't understand German you might want to skip these links.
In the first episode that I joined in I talked about DebConf. Afterwards we were sitting together and talking about that they would like to have more social topics too, not just technical things. So we took that chance and talked in Biertaucher #221 about Polyamory, which was a quite interesting experience. The host intentionally asked questions coming from a quite ignorant point of view, but it went nice. We were three poly people sharing our views and insight how it works for us.
Then there was Biertaucher #223 where it was just me and one of the hosts. We didn't had much to talk about from the past week, so we agreed to talk about Transgender in the end. Granted, it's mostly my personal story, but I guess I got some important topics addressed in a useful way.

And, after getting my name changed in Debian, I thought about what it might take to get my name changed officially, too (as if it could get more official than using it throughout my work environment, both payed and voluntary, but ...). I covered that in the podcast, but mostly it is either quite expensive or requires me to change my gender in the register of births, which require a lot of other hassles that include psychiatry. Or, settle for a so-called "gender neutral" name as first name, which both doesn't sound very convincing somehow ... Only time can tell I guess.

Guess that's enough for now, if I forgot something I might come back to it. :)

One last note: I consider the Debian project a very welcoming one, and that can only work for a fair amount of people if the tone is right. So yes, I wholeheartly agree with the Code of Conduct. And I'm very disappointed to see that there are still people in the project that are advocating for a freedom of expression, so to say. Respectful communication with each other is a must in a bigger community to make it work, not something that might be a nice to have, and calling someone names and ridiculing them for stating that is absolutely not acceptable. I encourage those people to watch How to Throughly Offend and Insult People in Open Source presentation (or at least read the slides) that Gina Likins gave earlier this year. It might give them an idea why it's important to communicate respectful with each other, and that includes banning degrading terms like "SJW" from your vocabulary because it actually speaks a lot more about your own attitude than about the one of the person you use it for.

/personal | permanent link | Comments: 8

Wed, 09 Sep 2015


It's time for some new music. And given that this artist was suggested to me at least twice by different people I guess I finally have to feature her. This time it's about Sookee, a rapper from Berlin with queer-feministic background. I guess if you listen and see the first song you might know why she was suggested to me, and also why I consider her an important artist to share. So without further delay, here are the songs:

As you can see, Sookee isn't just some artist but transports a lot of messages. And even when you might not understand them because they are in German I hope you get the concept nevertheless. :)


/music | permanent link | Comments: 0

Fri, 21 Aug 2015


I tried to start to write this blog entry like I usually do: Type along what goes through my mind and see where I'm heading. This won't work out right now for various reasons, mostly because there is so much going on that I don't have the time to finish that in a reasonable time and I want to publish this today still. So please excuse me for being way more brief than I usually am, and hopefully I'll find the time to expand some things when asked or come back to that later.

Part of the reason of me being short on time is different stuff going on in my private life which requires additional attention. A small part of this is also something that I hinted in a former blog entry: I switched my job in June. I really was looking forward to this. I made them aware of what the name Rhonda means to me and it's definitely extremely nice to be addressed with female pronouns at work. And also I'm back in a system administration job which means there is an interest overlap with my work on Debian, so a win-win situation on sooo many levels!

I'm at DebConf15 since almost two weeks now. On my way here I was complimented on my outfit by a security guard at the Vienna airport which surprised me but definitely made my day. I was wearing one of these baggy hippie pants (which was sent to me by a fine lady I met at MiniDebConf Bucharest) but pulled up the leg parts to the knees so it could be perceived as a skirt instead. Since I came here I was pretty busy with taking care of DCschedule bot adjustments (like, changing topic and twittering from @DebConf at the start of the talks), helping out with the video team when I noticed there was a lack of people (which is a hint for that you might want to help with the video team in the future too, it's important for remote people but also for yourself because you can't attend multiple sessions at the same time).

And I have to repeat myself, this is the place I feel home amongst my extended family, even though I it still is sometimes for me to get to speak up in certain groups. I though believe it's more an issue of certain individuals taking up a lot of space in discussions without giving (more shy) people in the round the space to also join in. I guess it might be the time that we need a session on dominant talking patterns for next year and how to work against them. I absolutely enjoyed such a session during last year's FemCamp in Vienna which set the tone for the rest of the conference, and it was simply great.

And then there was the DebConf Poetry Night. I'm kinda disappointed with the outcome this year. It wasn't able to attract as much people anticipated, which I to some degree account to me not making people aware of it well enough, overlapping with a really great band playing at the same time in competition, and even though the place where we did it sounded like a good idea at first, it didn't had enough light for someone to read something from a book (but that was solved through smartphone lights). I know that most people did enjoy it, so it was good to do it, but I'm still a fair bit disappointed with the outcome and will try to work on improving on that grounds for next year. :)

With all this going on there unfortunately wasn't as much time as I would have liked to spend with people I haven't seen for a long time, or new people I haven't met yet. Given that this year's DebConf had an height in attendees (526 being here at certain times during the two weeks, and just today someone new arrived too, so that doesn't even have to be the final number) it makes it a bit painful to have picked up so many tasks and thus lost some chances to socialize as much as I would have liked to.

So, if you are still here and have the feeling we should have talked more, please look for me. As Bdale pointed out correctly in the New to DebConf BoF (paraphrased): When you see us DebConf old timers speaking to someone else and you feel like you don't want to disturb, please do disturb and speak to us. I always enjoyed to get to know new people. This for me always is one of the important aspects of DebConf.

Also, I am very very happy to have received feedback from different people about both my tweets and my blog, thank you a lot of that. It is really motivating to keep going.

So, lets enjoy the last few hours of DebConf!

Another last side notice: While my old name in the Debian LDAP did manage to find some wrongly displayed names in the DebConf website, like for speakers, or volunteers, it was clear to me that having it exposed through SSO.debian.org isn't really something I appreciate. So I took the chance and spoke to Luca from the DSA team right here today, and ... got it fixed. I love it! Next step is getting my gpg key exchanged, RT ticket is coming up. :)

/debian | permanent link | Comments: 2

Wed, 20 May 2015


I wrote well over one year ago about Earthlings. It really did have some impact on my life. Nowadays I try to avoid animal products where possible, especially for my food. And in the context of vegan information that I tracked I stumbled upon a great band from Germany: Berge. They recently started a deal with their record label which says that if they receive one million clicks within the next two weeks on their song 10.000 Tränen their record label is going to donate 10.000,- euros to a German animal rights organization. Reason enough for me to share this band with you! :)
(For those who are puzzled by the original upload date of the video: Don't let yourself get confused, the call for it is from this monday)

  • 10.000 Tränen: This is the song that needs the views. It's a nice tune and great lyrics to think about. Even though its in German it got English subtitles. :)
  • Schauen was passiert: In the light of 10.000 Tränen it was hard for me to select other songs, but this one sounds nice. "Let's see what happens". :)
  • Meer aus Farben: I love colors. And I hate the fact that most conference shirts are black only. Or that it seems to be impossible to find colorful clothes and shoes for tall women.

Like always, enjoy!

/music | permanent link | Comments: 3

Wed, 15 Apr 2015


Sometimes one stumbles upon stuff that touches one deeply. Granted, the topic of the first video from the artist I want to present you now did touch me naturally. But it made me take a closer look. This is about HollySiz. Yes, yet another French singer, but fortunately (for me) she sings mostly in English. :)

So here are the songs:

  • The Light: At first I wasn't even aware it's a music video. And the story is strong. I'm uncertain on the story of Nils Pickert did inspire the video, but it's lovely to see people getting it right. The parents job is to support their kid in finding their own identity instead of defining it for them.
  • Better Than Yesterday: In the light of The Light everything else looks antique. So what's better as a video that actually does look antique. ;)
  • Tricky Game (feat. Sianna): I somehow like this version of the song better because it contains rap. But that might be just me. A catchy beat anyway.

Like always, enjoy! And take good care of your kids if you happen to have some.

/music | permanent link | Comments: 0

Sun, 22 Mar 2015


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. :)

  • Kein Platz für Zweifel: The title track from her last album.
  • 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.

Like always, enjoy!

/music | permanent link | Comments: 0

Fri, 20 Feb 2015

Queer-Positive Songs

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!

/music | permanent link | Comments: 16

Wed, 11 Feb 2015


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. :)
  • Eblouie Par La Nuit: This song simply gives me goose bumps. Pure emotions.

I hope you can enjoy her as much as I do.

/music | permanent link | Comments: 1

Fri, 16 Jan 2015


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. :)

/personal | permanent link | Comments: 3

Sat, 03 Jan 2015


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:

Like always, enjoy!

/music | permanent link | Comments: 0

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