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22 February 2013 @ 01:42 am

This is a Russian campaign against Article 6.13.1 (of the Code of Administrative Offences of the Russian Federation), the federal bill which is to ban the “propaganda of homosexuality among minors”. You can enjoy the full insanity of the bill in English here. It was already approved by their Parliament in its first reading, and has two more readings to pass.

So the Love is Legal site is where people’s photos and accompanying messages opposing the bill and supporting the Russian LGBT community are posted. I asked one of the Russian activists if I could join the campaign, and he gladly gave me his permission. I sent my photo and my message to the campaign’s email address, and this is the end result:

My message is in Russian (thanks to ilupin for the editing), so I’m translating it into English for you.

I am a volunteer who works with gay teenagers. I know from experience what it’s like to talk an underage boy out of killing himself over the Internet.

For such teenagers, the information that they are perfectly normal and no worse than the others can be literally life-saving. They need information and educational resources, and not protection from the “propaganda” of what is absurd to propagandize. They need to know that they are not alone on this planet. I am against Article 6.13.1.

Darina Ivanova

ETA: I'm making this post "sticky" for some time because I think it's important.

23 November 2015 @ 03:44 am
I've honestly lost track of how long it has been since I started a massive attempt to clean, tidy up and properly organize this room I live it. It may have been more than a month now.

The big autumn cleaning as such wasn't so much of a trouble; it took time and energy, of course, but it didn't feel overwhelming and depressing.

De-cluttering and organizing has been another matter altogether, as I had left the aftermath of all those knitting projects at once (I haven't yet managed to post photos of some of September/October's projects on Ravelry, let alone the social networks) get out of control, and there were unfinished projects, printed patterns, yarns, tools and crafts supplies (OMG all those mixed up beads!) everywhere. It didn't make it any easier that I wanted to organize even the smallest scraps of yarn (I use those to make pom poms) into an actual system instead of just throwing them into bags and throwing the bags into some cabinet or drawer. And of course there was the accumulating clutter of daily life (OMG pieces of paper with work notes of all sorts!), the out-of-season clothes to sort out and put away (or repair first, or just throw away), and the clutter inside wardrobes, drawers and cabinets that didn't leave room for usable objects. Ouch!

Organizing the yarns and craft supplies alone took me forever, but I'm now mostly done with it. But I’m still slowly and methodically going through the horrors of de-cluttering *sigh*. That’s why I’m very grateful from discovering the Discardia page.

It’s a little too first-world middle-class-y for second-world me, but the message that I appreciate most of all is “Don’t try to do everything at once”. It would indeed be too overwhelming to try to get rid of the debris of months, or sometimes years (OMG the incredible long-forgotten stuff I’ve been finding in a certain cabinet!), in a day or two. So at least I don’t beat up myself up if I don’t do much on any given day, or even deliberately give myself a break. I just do my best concentrate on the task at hand each time. And yes, starting with the most easily identifiable garbage of whatever area I’m cleaning up helps a lot.

I have no illusions about myself; as a creative person, I love chaos, and I thrive on it. The struggle is to reduce the chaos to that bearable level at which 1. I know where everything is and 2. it’s easy to tidy up the room for one of those family gatherings that are going to start next months.

And no, I don’t want to take any photos of the mess at any stage of cleaning it up. :P
Current Mood: determined
17 November 2015 @ 03:42 am

"A song that offers some peace in what is a very messed up world," said, the friend who send me the link to this video.

I don't know if it's odd to find this particular song comforting, , but we both did last night, in the middle of all the madness on Facebook after the terrorist atacks in France, with people quarelling unfriending each other over profile photos with the Frnech flag on them, which some Bulgarians viewed as extremely unpatriotic, in addition to the "insert country here" argument cropping up in at least three languages.

Some of that maddness is still going on, and I said a few choice work to one of those "patriots" myself tonight, but that's not the point right now. I'll only say that I'm done with tolerating the bashing of Bulgarians who have done some very real charity or volunteer work by the Patriots of Empty Talk whose patriotism conists of never displaying foreign flags on their profile pictures.

What really matters here and now is that this song that helped me to finaly be able to cry last night as I mourned the innocent vicitms of that war in both France of Syria.

13 November 2015 @ 03:08 am
Photos from 16 September - wow, it took me almost two months to post them! :P . Well, actually less because I had to some of the photos out of Boian first, but still... I took the trouble of editing them and uploading them to Photobucket, and then something in my suddenly crazy busy life distracted me, and I totally forgot to post them.

So, that was the day on which I went to the city of Burgas and got to see Boian and the sea, and even spent a whole 10 minutes in the water before I got fully dressed because the wind was too cold for me. It was a very nice surprise that he preserved most of that day for me, so we spent a whole six hours together. :) We only took photos of the beach, the sea and the nearby area, so this is all you get to see.

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... and I only now noticed that guy fishing in the background on the left side. LOL
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More of the seaCollapse )
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Boian managed to fall asleep on the beach while I was having my quick dip in the sea. When I got out, there was that middle-aged guy all alone on the beach who wouldn't stop staring at me in my swimsuit as if I was the sexiest woman on earth. Then Boian woke up after I had already got dressed, and I whispered to him about that guy, and Boian looked at him far from discreetly (he said he couldn't look look discreetly into the distance with his poor eyesight anyway). Then we focused our attention on each other, and when I looked in the direction of my "admirer" again, he had disappeared! We had a good laugh at him getting scared of my "husband". :)

I had gathered my hair in a bun to prevent it from getting wet in the sea, so it had become a complete mess. After I got dressed, I let it loose with the intention of tying it into a presentable ponytail, but Boian liked me with my hair loose so much that I left it like that, and I didn't even try to comb it because that would have been of no use in that wind. It still amuses me to think that I wore my hair loose to look good to a gay man, Kinsey 6 gay. :)

Before we headed for the bus station, we went to a little cafe by the beach, and I had fried potatoes with grated cheese on them, which is a typical meal here, but not something to typically have with one's coffee. The wind blew some of the cheese onto the table, so it's visible in the photos.

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Current Mood: happyhappy
04 November 2015 @ 01:45 am

A fast and easy knit this time, for a change. :)

From this pattern: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/carrots-with-greens

"Just one carrot for all three of us? Well, at least it's a big one." photo DSC06279 2 rav_zps22feesvg.jpg

07 October 2015 @ 01:59 am
The second bloom on the same branch; it was smaller, but it was still nice while it lasted (photo from 29 September).

Alas, that plant hasn't produced any more blooms since.There is another branch that looked promising, but I think the weather is now too cool for new flower buds.

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07 October 2015 @ 01:33 am
I knitted this hat as a test for this pattern: Margo's Hat by Amee Alexander.

And then I was asked to make a pair of matching booties for one of our charities, and I had to more or less design them myself (I used the textured stitch from the hat pattern in the purple strip):

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I don't know how much of them I could claim as my own design even without that stitch; the general structure goes back to at least two patterns that are too old to be traced to any original sources.

I struggled very hard to incorporate the colour combination from the hat (which was my own idea) into the booties,and there was plenty of unravelling until I was happy with it.
Current Mood: accomplished
03 October 2015 @ 10:55 pm
"Dear tilia_tomentosa,
As you may already know, starting today all About.com forums will be permanently shut down. While we always strive to provide our users with the very best experience for connecting with Expert ideas, answers, and inspiration, we have determined that supporting forums isn’t a viable option for our company anymore."
So the Gay life forum is now officially dead, and there is no archive or anything. The forum administrator warned us about this development in late August, but even the most dedicated volunteers* already knew that the way About had handled the forums for I can't remember how much time was killing them even more successfully than Facebook taking over. And yes, some of you have seen my last public moderator message, which was on Facebook, to add to the irony.
*Yes, there were more dedicated people than me, the ones who stayed as regular participants when I started spending too much of my time and energy elsewhere to have much to spare for the forum, so I relied on them to message me when I was needed as a moderator... and then even they gave up.
I feel it was somehow oddly appropriate of whoever wrote that email to call me my user name (yes, same as here) in this email I received last night, although I was known as "Darina" for most of my time as a forum member, and especially as a moderator. If my warrior side had a name of her own, that would be Tilia, and it's only oddly suitable that it means "linden" in Latin, which is kinda romantic. :)
Current Mood: pensivepensive
I now offer relationship advice for gay male teenagers or young adults. It's typically some version of "Run away from that guy as fast as you can". :P

Alas, contrary to popular conspiracy-theorist beliefs in my country, George Soros doesn't pay me anything for my services.
Current Mood: amusedamused
25 September 2015 @ 03:32 am
From this pattern: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mirabel-the-fish

It was supposed to be something like a wallet or pencil case, but I turned it into a stuffed toy with the designer's permission (it was a test, so I did have to ask for permission) because I didn't want to try my barely existent machine-sewing skills on it. My mother was very amused with the idea of lending me her sewing machine and leaving me to try it on my own, but I thought I needed some serious practice on something even simpler and preferably not hand-knitted.

And then Imade two more fromawildly coloured self-patterning yarn instead of the original stripes.

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Details and work-in-progress photosCollapse )

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These two are being sold for charity, but alas, we can't afford to send them abroad because we don't earn anything for ourselves from our knitted or crocheted items.