erynn: Gaelic merman image (Ganesha)
After group at the VA today, I hung out at Travelers and started making a list of the deities and heroes I need to address for the session at PCon in February. I ended up quickly reading through 2MT on my phone to collate a list of the figures associated with healing there, but I know there are other resources I'll have to go through.

When I got home, I posted an inquiry on my FB about the problems I'm having with Google Maps and trying to plot out a multi-stop trip. One person suggested MapQuest, which works much more easily but doesn't recognize my mom's address as existing. It can get me to her town, and I can use Google Maps for the bit from the highway to her place, as that program does actually know where it is when I tell it how to look. I tried working with my GPS on the project, but that doesn't do multi-destination trips either. I can, however, probably use it from point to point for realtime directions, though I will have to see if it can find mom's place. That will require my going outside, though, (when the weather is very slightly warmer - it's 27f right now) because it can't find the satellites from inside my place. I don't want to stand around outside in sub-freezing weather while the damned thing spends ten minutes trying to think.

At least I feel like I'm making a little progress on this stuff. I'll probably get a call tomorrow from the Ashland Hostel to take my information for my bed there on my way to PCon. That'll be another thing accomplished.

A bit of stressful stuff. Possibly triggery. )
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Liberty & Justice OTP)

Monday March 26, previously confidential documents of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM), an antigay group that opposes marriage equality, were ordered unsealed by the Maine courts as part of an ongoing investigation by the State of Maine into NOM's finance activities in that state

among the statements found:

“The strategic goal of this project is to drive a wedge between gays and blacks—two key Democratic constituencies. Find, equip, energize and connect African American spokespeople for marriage, develop a media campaign around their objections to gay marriage as a civil right; provoke the gay marriage base into responding by denouncing these spokesmen and women as bigots…”

Another passage:

"The Latino vote in America is a key swing vote, and will be so even more so in the future, both because of demographic growth and inherent uncertainty: Will the process of assimilation to the dominant Anglo culture lead Hispanics to abandon traditional family values? We must interrupt this process of assimilation by making support for marriage a key badge of Latino identity - a symbol of resistance to inappropriate assimilation."
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Inis Man)
I had a rather bizarre half-asleep experience last night. There were a couple of thumps on the mattress I was sleeping on and I looked up to see a large white shape with a curvy white "neck" coming up out of it. My brain went "swan" and then went "that's too small to be a swan, it must be a snow goose." The next immediate thought was "how the hell did a goose get into the house?!?!!?"

It was Fintan's kitty ass and his curvy tail on the chair above me. *headdesk*

I'm happy to report that, when last seen, [ profile] mael_brigde was doing very well. She was hoping to go off for a meditation session, I think, when I ducked out a little before 10am this morning. Her mom had returned from a relative's house, and I packed up Garuda to go.

There was about a half hour to 40 minute wait at the border. When I got there, the border guard (who wasn't hostile, just fucking clueless) asked how I have the time to come up and take care of a friend during the middle of the week. I said I was a disabled vet. This usually stops their questions. Sadly, he was ex military and wanted the gory details. I gave him as little as possible and spent the rest of the trip back fuming and furious. He had apparently never actually met anyone who had been sexually assaulted in the military and wanted to know about the whole thing. I mean, I give him props for wanting to learn about it but it's very bad form to ask a random woman at the border about being assaulted, thank you very much. Way to be all triggery and shit.

[ profile] gra_is_stor was still asleep when I got here but got up because, of course, the DoDC+3 went ballistic when I put the key in the door. He was exceedingly excited to see me. (She was pretty happy too, I must say.) I dealt with my stuff, grabbed a shower and changed my clothes (it was too chilly this morning at [ profile] mael_brigde's before I left, and I didn't want to keep her when she needed to leave), then we curled up on the couch and watched Big Trouble in Little China and giggled hysterically.

I grabbed some teriyaki chicken for lunch/dinner and [ profile] gra_is_stor practiced her harp while I pulled together some of the pilgrimage stuff and dealt with emails and whatnot that needed attention when I got home. I spent time in chat with an AT&T rep asking questions about overseas phone and options and now know what to do while I'm in Europe for short phone calls and text messages. I won't be getting a data plan, but the phone calls will be .99 a minute (except in Prague, where they will be $1.39 a minute) and outgoing texts will be .25 each (.50 in Prague, all incoming are free). That means I can take my own phone with me and not worry about having to deal with finding one over there for when I have to arrange to meet people. I'll just have to keep things as brief as possible, but for me that's rarely a problem with the phone.

I've sent off emails to [ profile] fififolle and [ profile] eydimork about transportation issues and options, and will be contacting [ profile] tdancinghands regarding the Prague end of things for picking me up at the airport sometime soon. I've checked out airfares (EasyJet) from Liverpool to Paris and from Paris to Prague, and can do both for a total of just under $200. Getting from Paris to Vennes is a detail I'm having to ask [ profile] eydimork about, as the website for the train was in French and they don't book tickets until about 3 months out anyway.

I did finally get a date for the Dublin to Douglas end of things after the pilgrimage. They sail once a week and I can make the trip on July 22nd, so I bought a ticket for that trip. I'll buy the Douglas to Liverpool for the 29th when I hear back from [ profile] fififolle about travel options from Liverpool to Cockermouth. There are several sailings a day from Douglas to Liverpool, so I just need to figure out what time things need to happen in order to (a) get there on the ferry Manannán and (b) get to reasonable transportation to get me to Cockermouth. This is in progress.

I've contacted a B&B in Penrith for the overnight there to meet Stephen, the ceramics artist, at Potfest in the Pens, then back to Liverpool for the trip to Paris. Once again, train schedules are not available until 8-12 weeks before booking, so I haven't a way to tell just yet what will be available when, though I do have a target time for the Liverpool to Paris flight. Once I've got things more closely nailed down, I'll book the EasyJet flights. Their carry-on dimensions are slightly more generous than RyanAir's so that's good by me.

I've got a short list of questions for the folks at Rick Steves' Travel in Edmonds tomorrow. My appointment is 4pm.

Why do I feel like a grownup?
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Everything Hurts)
Today's VA visit was accompanied by a migraine. It wasn't an awful one, but it was enough to be very annoying. When I went down to the travel office, it was the land of clusterfuck. I did collect for several different trips this week and last, but when I tried to collect for yesterday, I was told that I was in the system as a no-show and the guy behind the window wouldn't even look at the chit the group coordinator had given me yesterday for the travel office so I could collect my funds. Needless to say, I'll be phoning the woman tomorrow to ask her why the fuck I was in the system as a no-show and demanding to be entered into the system properly. If you get enough no-shows on your record, they stop providing you with medical services, so this isn't just a matter of $18 for gas money. Naturally, the headache didn't make it any more pleasant, and I got out of the travel office rather later than usual because of the clusterfuckery.

I had been planning on stopping at Travelers this afternoon, but [ profile] gra_is_stor was in the midst of making herself some dinner, so I went up there instead and stayed until about 7pm, when the traffic had calmed sufficiently. When I got home, I took a tramadol and the migraine has eased up somewhat. I'll take another when I go to bed and hope that it will help.

Tomorrow I have to pop down into Everett to pick up my Docs.

Other things accomplished today include my fic going up to 40,900 words, and having put together a short bit for the Occupy Writers website, based on a comment I'd posted to Jason's Wild Hunt editorial on the Occupy movement. It may take a few days to get posted to the site, but they are asking for contributions from writers to talk about their experiences with the movement, in prose or poetry, comic strips or vignettes. They say What kind of writing is up to you, but we’re especially interested in hearing accounts, in any form, of your experiences at Occupy camps and protests around the world. It has pieces by writers like Ursula LeGuin (a paragraph about Occupy Portland), Anne Waldman (a series of poems about Occupy Wall Street), Judith Butler (the text of what she said at Occupy Wall Street), and Lemony Snickett (13 Observations). Over 2,000 writers are signatories on the website. Not bad company, really.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (GONZO!)
I went down to Seattle today for the VA spirituality group and had a pretty good session. It's been very foggy recently (definitely winter now, thanks) but we got a little sun during some of the session. I skipped dealing with the travel office today, as the group info won't actually be input until tomorrow. I'll pick up my travel funds next week.

This meant I got up to the hill earlier than usual. I hauled a bag of candle holders and 200 tealights over to the Occupy Seattle Sanctuary. I know they are supposedly scheduled to be evicted from Seattle Central Community College tonight, but I haven't yet seen any reports from Occupy Seattle indicating that this has happened. I hope everyone is safe and well.

After that, I grabbed a chai and thali for dinner at Travelers and then popped over to [ profile] gra_is_stor's place to pick her up for the weekend. We had plans to go catch the new Muppet movie tonight, and went to the 9:10 showing. We were the only people in the theatre, so hey, private showing for only $21! (It still seems like a hell of a lot for a movie to me, but I'm old, so what do I know?) We endured a lot of commercials and useless crap, though one of the things we did see was a bit we thought was going to be a recruiting ad and turned out to be a public info spot for the VA about PTSD and veterans services, so yay for not being warmongers at a kid's movie.

I enjoyed the movie, though I was rather disappointed that there was no obligatory Statler and Waldorf appearance at the end of the credits. Damn you Disney! You are made of FAIL! There should always be Statler and Waldorf at the end, heckling! [ profile] gra_is_stor reports that one of the songs in the middle of the movie is officially going to have to be her roommate's theme song. I was very amused.

It was nice to see so many of my favorite muppets doing weird shit again, though.

I can't remember if I mentioned, but a day or two ago I also got my photos back from [ profile] fullcontactmuse. I'm going to be burning a cd of them for my mom and mailing them off to her as soon as I can get my act together to do so.

I didn't do any writing today, but I didn't really expect to.

In other news, I am deeply disappointed that both of Washington's senators voted for the defense authorization bill that includes a section authorizing the indefinite military detention of American citizens in direct conflict with the constitution. Obama has said he would veto this bill. I can only hope he actually follows through on that. Quite frankly, I'm more terrified of my government potentially detaining me indefinitely, irradiating or groping me at airports, and taking away more and more of my rights than I am of al Qaeda. I am much more likely to be harmed by those things than by a random terrorist.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Brighid's cross)
My essay for Mandragora, "Burying the Poet: Brigid, Poetry and the Visionary in Gaelic Poetic Traditions," is finished at 3156 words and has been sent off to [ profile] finnchuill and [ profile] alfrecht for their comments and suggestions. Finally! I think I've done pretty well with it, and now I can turn my attentions to finishing up details for the Samhain ritual that I have to deal with. Tomorrow is the CR schmooze business meeting, my VA yoga group, and picking up [ profile] gra_is_stor before we deal with Steamcon this weekend.

I was just glad to get the writing for this one out of the way. I still have an article to do for Phosphorus, but I may not get that finished before the end of the month (I'm thinking probably not, in fact). I have no idea if I'm going to be able to get that one together in that short a time. I've hardly got more than a paragraph or two in it at the moment. It's such a huge and messy topic that it can be hard to tackle, even if I do have one particular example I'm working from.

I went over to the AFK tonight to have dinner with Herb and one of his spawn. We had a pretty good time, and some yummy foods. I won't be there tomorrow for the weekly steampunk social, obviously.

Politics make me crazy. Topeka, Kansas has repealed its domestic violence laws to try to save money. Screw saving people's lives.

Mississipi has proposed a measure that will make fertilized ova "persons" under the law and may well criminalize miscarriage.

Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with people? Get the hell out of my fucking uterus, damn it! For a bunch of people who claim they want government out of their lives, they sure love to jam it up women's vaginas.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (boycott amazon)
Amazon has an apps store. They have been featuring free apps and telling the public they're paying developers 20% of the usual price. Surprise, surprise. It's a lie. They're not paying the developers anything. And then they discount the app.

If you're picking up free apps from Amazon thinking that you're helping out the developers, you're not.

Highlights from the blog post:

What makes us mad though is the public perception that Amazon pays developers to be featured. Every single person we asked on Twitter or via email thought they were helping developers out, and getting a free application. Amazon does nothing to dispel these rumours, in fact they put really restrictive clauses at the bottom of their emails, saying that no one is even allowed to discuss these back door deals they are doing. But that’s not our only beef with Amazon:

Lengthy review times of anywhere up to 2 weeks (I’ve lost count of the amount of emails from people asking why our Google Market app is newer)

Amazon gets to set the price of your app to whatever they want, without any input from you, or even the chance to reject their price

Amazon re-writes your description, and in ours they even made up things like ‘add up to 100 podcasts’. No idea where on earth they got that number from

Amazon don’t provide error reports like Google do making it hard to fix errors

They don’t yet support Google’s new multiple APK initiative

Amazon pays far later than Google does, and to date we haven’t received any cheques from them, even though we are listed as being ‘payed’

US Only

Much less real-time sales information than Google

Update: (and this one surprised us) you can’t remove apps from their store! You have to ask them for permission via an email. Every other store lets you remove apps from sale.

Thanks again for being so sucktastic, Amazon.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Illya "Missed it by this much")
Mostly, I suspect it was because I was tired. I didn't sleep well last night and my stomach was kind of upset. I'm hoping it'll be a bit better tonight.

I got email today from the contractor saying that they'll pay for the broken Brigid statue, which is good because I'd ordered a replacement yesterday. I sent them the amount (slightly less than the $100 I was asking for, even with postage, because the replacement was on sale) and they will mail me a check Monday. I'm very grateful that this has finally been resolved.

The lamb curry I started last night was very tasty. Even the sib liked it -- with a little yogurt added, it wasn't too spicy for him. He's heading over to Bj and SJ's tomorrow to do some work for them. I'm not sure when he'll be back tomorrow afternoon, but he's glad to have something to do.

We watched most of the first half of Venture Brothers season four today, which was pretty damned hilarious in that sick, wrong, and twisted way that VB tends to be. Depending on the sib, we may watch a little more tomorrow as well.

I did get a little writing done, but not on any of the important stuff. We'll see if I can focus a bit tomorrow on the whole thing. I did note that my friend P.S.V. Lupus is on Thorn Coyle's podcast this week, though I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet. Probably tomorrow while the sib is away, I think.

I got another offer from the AARP today. Knowing that they actually have discounts on things I might occasionally use, I went over to the website. There's an awful lot of vaguely creepy conservatism there. The article they had about environmentalism and green consumerism pretty much concludes, "it's too expensive and it doesn't matter anyway, so I'm not doing it." *headdesk* Gods, I just don't want to be associated with that. How can people just not give a shit?

Well, okay, so most of the western world doesn't, but that doesn't mean I think it's right for people not to give a shit. I'll just have to do better to make up for the other people of about my age.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (get pagan sinfest)
Over on [ profile] cadmus's LJ, he notes that he'd been on the Pagan Scholars email list again recently. Apparently, did you know, all modern Paganism is derived from Wicca and nobody is doing anything that isn't Wiccan. At least according to Fritz Muntean. Needless to say, calling Fritz on it led to his being booted from the list.

Aside from anything else, Fritz's arrogance in claiming that nobody who isn't Wiccan is actually doing anything is pretty astonishing.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (gir explode)
When I got out today to drop by the store, I found that I had accidentally left my bank card at the AFK last night. It was an accident -- there was some confusion about the bill and the card got forgotten in the shuffle. I picked it up this afternoon without any trouble. It was behind the bar. I don't think anyone messed with it but I'll keep an eye on my account regardless.

I had been going to head down to Seattle to see Caera, but she had been dealing with some health issues and when I texted her to let her know I was going to be late, she said she'd spaced it entirely, so I ended up not having to drive south today. I'll just see her on Monday to pick up the books from her.

Cut for local drahmah. )


Mar. 1st, 2011 12:16 am
erynn: Gaelic merman image (lynx seek)
Today consisted primarily of following a number of conversations in progress online over the events at PantheaCon involving the barring of some transwomen from a ritual that was not marked as being for cisgendered women only. Parts of the conversation are, of course, spiraling out of control, with people who have heard only rumors of the events making all kinds of proclamations about their views on the issue. I was particularly appalled by Z Budapest's comments in one blog regarding the incident. Her response denies that transwomen are women at all, and treats them as male infiltrators attempting to usurp women's mysteries in language that is actively offensive. What respect I had for her in the past has vanished in the face of this; it angers me and it makes me very sad, because it hurts so many people.

I see some aspects of this in the dialogue that took place a couple of years ago around Brigid and flamekeeping. The issues, at least in regards to transwomen, are the same; it's why I argue for a broader inclusion and why I don't think that gender has to matter with this particular type of ritual. The whole discussion affects a broad segment of the Pagan community on many levels, and I don't think that people should be doing penis-checks at the door unless they've given fair warning that the space is supposed to be for a particular subset of human beings ahead of time. Of course, we see the other side of this in the arguments about women in the priesthood in many Christian sects, as well, and the arguments against such exclusions of women are many and just.

On the positive side, I made a rhubarb cobbler this evening. It is exceedingly tasty and was particularly good while it was still nice and warm.

ETA: I just got a comment from [ profile] sixtail about the situation. Here is what's happening at the moment:

As one of the senior programming staff of PantheaCon, the programming lead on duty during the ritual in question and one of the people that directly handled the fallout at the convention itself I want folks to know that we're working on this from both the programming department as well as directly with the con chair to find the best answer possible. has our current statement, approved by the con chair on the issue.

Thank you, [ profile] sixtail and all those working on resolving the situation. Please note that [ profile] sixtail is a personal LJ, not to be swamped for the purpose of discussing PCon issues. Thank you for respecting personal boundaries here.

A long day

Dec. 16th, 2010 12:02 am
erynn: Gaelic merman image (It's raining)
The past few days have been kind of rough because of Monday's migraine, but I've also been dealing with a fairly high level of stress and anxiety the past couple of months. Today for the first time in a very long time I went in and sniffled on my shrink over the whole thing. I think I've worked through some of it after talking with her, but sometimes it's just hard to feel like I'm doing anything worthwhile. Yes, I know that I am and I know that I have a lot of friends who love me and that I'm a pretty cool person, but this isn't about reality, it's about the brain weasels.

I called dental while I was waiting to get in to see Tracy and have an appointment with them again. That, at least, was reasonably easy.

At Travelers today I ran into [ profile] sebastian_lvx and we chatted for the better part of an hour while he was between jobs. It was a delight to see him and spend time with him and I felt considerably better afterwards. He said some things I kind of needed to hear, though I hadn't been looking for them specifically. After he departed, [ profile] varina8 wandered in for a chai, just before I met Caera (whose LJ nick I'm not sure of). Caera is recently moved to Seattle from the Boston area by way of the Bay Area and has been looking for a CR community. She turned out to be made of awesome with awesomesauce and awesome sprinkles, so it was really lovely to spend time with her this evening at the schmooze organizational meeting.

We got a good bit of stuff sorted tonight for the upcoming schmoozes, as well as some preliminary plans set in place for Imbolc. I'll be having goose here on the 24th, for those local who want to come and join me, though I'd like a confirm in advance if you're interested. I only have space for so many. I know that [ profile] sebastian_lvx and [ profile] lakmiseiru were interested in coming. [ profile] anthea7 and [ profile] mintofthewater were also wanting to come up and Caera might come just to hang out and have other food, as she's vegetarian. There will be bad movies and good company.

Depending on how much energy I have, I might go to the queer Pagan meetup tomorrow evening down in Seattle, but I was planning on being there Friday for Stian's birthday, and that's an awful lot of time spent in Seattle this week so far already. Saturday is gaming. I need a little breathing space, really. And I also need to spend a little time digging through my files for a couple of things for the CR schmooze readings to supply them to Mint when we get together again.

I've been invited to come check out the Everett druid meetup group, as a part of my quest to find actual local folks for community. Although druidy stuff per se isn't really my cuppa, I'll very likely show up just to check things out. Last time I went to an Everett Pagan meetup-y thing, it didn't really impress me much, but that was a couple of years ago and not the same group of people, from what I understand.

[ profile] alfrecht reports that Rachel Bromwich, the editor and translator of Trioedd Ynys Prydein aka "The Welsh Triads," died today in Aberystwyth, Wales. It's a sad loss for Celtic scholarship.

On the DADT front, the House today passed a bill that would rescind Don't Ask Don't tell. It has been passed to the Senate, but there are so many Republican fuckwads there that I'm not confident it will pass. Please write or call your senators if you're a US citizen. This is an important issue. I will admit that I was of two minds about the defense appropriations bill that was voted down earlier this month. I do not approve of the wars or the spending that's associated with them. They are the biggest drain on the US economy in existence, and one of the least just things about American society in general, and in that sense killing the defense bill was useful. I'm glad that we'll get to see DADT dealt with on its own merits, rather than being wrapped up in billions of dollars for killing Afghanis and Iraqis -- because no matter what the government tells you, we're still in Iraq, they're just not calling it a war anymore.

Some justice needs to be done, and that doesn't involve tax cuts for billionaires. Taxes are the only way we're going to get out of the immense debt that our country owes to places like China these days. We can't go on like this. The Republicans don't give a shit and the Democrats are too chickenshit to do anything about it. It makes me angry and frustrated. Tax cuts are not going to help our country in the least and it's time people figured that out.

Fuck DC. And I don't mean the comics company.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (It's raining)
I spent a good chunk of today over at Bj and SJ's place with [ profile] herbmcsidhe finishing up the insane-making details of my DQ character for our upcoming game. I'm used to the GURPS buy things with these points type system. DQ does have a points based system as well, but it's put together very differently and Bj likes to use a spreadsheet system that leaves me thoroughly confused. Between the spreadsheet issues and Erynn's number-phobia, I was having a rather stressful time with the whole thing. I struggled through it all and the character will be fun to play, but it's a lot to go through when I've been stressing pretty hard to begin with lately. Rain all day for the trip out and back didn't help much either.

I finally got the issue with the HOA resolved. Yes, they put the check in the wrong account. I do still owe the money, but it wasn't actually the money for the special assessment, it was the money from the increase in the regular HOA dues. Complicated handwaving, but now things are set right and I'll just come up with it in two or three installments after the beginning of the year. I don't mind admitting when I've messed up (regular HOA messup), but I hate people blaming me for something I didn't actually do (nonpayment of special assessment). The amount is the same, but the actual cause being determined settled my mind about the whole thing. I'm not thrilled but I'm on board with it.

I discovered today why it is that the pocket watch isn't working properly. The tiny second hand at the bottom of the watchface sticks up just a little over the divot it's supposed to fit in and the hour hand gets caught on it, which stops everything. I need to take it in and have the ends bent down just enough that the hour hand will pass over them without catching, and that should fix everything just fine, rather than needing to have its innards messed about with again. Since I know exactly what's wrong and all it will take is unscrewing the crystal and having somebody with steady hands bend a teensy piece of metal, it shouldn't cost much. I doubt it will even take very much time, and there's a watch repair place just up the street across from the Fred Meyer, so I can maybe head over there tomorrow afternoon and see if they can do it for me then.

I'm angry that the Republicans (all but one of them) voted against the bill with the end of DADT in it. I'm not surprised. Bastards.

Thankfully, I don't have anything at all planned for tomorrow or Saturday. Sunday is my Brigid shift and the Shinto ceremony. Between the weather, the stress, and my body chemistry I've been feeling really down lately, but I'm hoping a couple of down days and maybe getting the watch fixed will help me feel a bit better.

Cut for odd dream. )
erynn: Gaelic merman image (angry tiger)

OCCULT KABBALAH TAROT WICCA MASONIC GNOSTIC HERMETIC - eBay (item 370462019062 end time Dec-05-10 17:10:26 PST)

If you are an author or ever contributed to the PODSNet BBS system or had something included in the "Riders of the Crystal Well BOS", aka the PODSNet BOS, aka "the Internet BOS" you should check to see if your work is included, and if it is, file your DCMA takedown requests.

Many of the books in this collection are currently in-print works of living authors. Please pass the word far and wide and get this removed from Ebay and other possible websites.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Bowie's disappointed in you)
In doing a google on my ogam book, I found that there are about half a dozen torrents for downloading it. I have no idea if any of the files are actually complete, but I've emailed the service where my book is allegedly being hosted and asked them to remove the files, as well as emailing Storm and [ profile] lupabitch to alert them to the situation.

It's not like I make a lot of money on this. If you value small presses and good quality work, please don't download small press books from sites like this. I didn't authorize this, nor did my publisher. Everyone's struggling in this economy and even a few actual book sales help a lot.

ETA: [ profile] lupabitch says the files are all viruses and other electronic ickies, as are the other Immanion/Megalithica titles she found there. Sadly, a Polish website has got one of her books uploaded. I think she's waiting for a resolution on that one.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (writy medievalist)
This afternoon I met [ profile] lakmiseiru at Travelers, where we did some mutual writing support. It was lovely to catch up with her again, after missing her presence at Samhain. She thanked me for posting about the new TSA scanners, as some of those medical cautions apply to her personally. I have a few new links today about the situation.

In one case, a traveler on the way to Canada got a bunch of folks to opt out of the whole thing, so the TSA started just sending people through the usual metal detector.

On the other hand, a journalist filmed a TSA agent groping his three-year-old daughter while the poor kid is screaming and frantic. The link leads to a youtube news report with some footage of the situation that might be triggery for some. Americans have spent years trying to teach their kids to not let strangers touch them to help avoid sexual abuse of children. Do we now have to tell kids that, really, it's okay to let strangers in uniform touch them even if nobody else can? TSA isn't even refusing to hire individuals convicted of sexual assault/harassment unless it was rape, according to [ profile] lysana's Gather article. Just what we need, convicted sexual offenders doing "enhanced patdowns." Do you really want somebody convicted of sexually assaulting someone to stick their hand in your crotch? But oh, it wasn't rape, so that's okay.

One thing I've seen advocated frequently lately is the "Israelification" of security at American airports. On the one hand, a lot of this makes some good sense -- deal with a bomb threat by reducing the potential of any bomb to actually harm anyone, not by evacuating the entire damned airport. On the other hand, it's not like Israel doesn't assume every Arab or Muslim is a terrorist, and we don't need that at all. Their human rights abuses are a matter of public record. On a third appendage, behavioral profiling means that people who act nervous or "weird" are going to be the ones singled out for strip searches, body cavity searches, and other intrusive procedures. As someone with PTSD who experiences something approaching full-blown anxiety attacks every time I have to cross the border into Canada these days, I can practically guarantee that I and most other folks with anxiety disorders or PTSD are likely to be swept into that net on a regular basis because we're "nervous." I can't say as I'm thrilled with that idea in the least.

Combine all this with people advocating a National Opt-Out Day on Wednesday, November 24th, the day before Thanksgiving, on one of the heaviest travel days of the year, and we could be looking at a complete collapse of air travel over the period of a couple of days. At the very least, travel that day is likely to be even more time-consuming and annoying than usual. With any luck, this sort of thing will start to hurt airline pocketbooks when people refuse to fly or cause immense delays of flights due to TSA's practices. If you do travel by air and you do feel you've been mistreated, the ACLU is taking a survey, and you can report your experience there, and the TSA's own website has this to say about reporting civil rights abuses, for all that's worth:

How can you report a civil rights or civil liberties complaint? There are a number of ways in which you can report a concern. You can pursue any of the following steps.

During travel: While you are still at the checkpoint, you can ask to speak with a supervisor about the incident. You can also ask to speak with the Customer Service Manager for the airport. Depending on the time of day during which you are traveling or the size of the airport, the Customer Service Manager may not be readily accessible to you at the airport.

After traveling: You may contact the External Compliance Division of TSA's Office of Civil Rights and Liberties to file a complaint.

Our mailing address is:
Transportation Security Administration
Office of Civil Rights and Liberties (TSA-6)
External Compliance Division
601 S. 12th Street
Arlington, VA 20598
Our email address is:

You may also contact the Department of Homeland Security's Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties to file a complaint. The Department's procedures for filing and handling complaints can be found at:

At any rate, things don't look like they're going to be calming down anytime soon, so if you have any other choices for travel, I'd strongly suggest you exercise them.

I spent a couple of hours with [ profile] lakmiseiru aside from our TSA discussion. Not only did we chat and have chai together, we both got a little writing done. I started out today at about 250-ish words and ended at just over 2,000, so I feel like I've been productive. We started out at Travelers, then moved over to Kaladi when Travelers closed. I ended up driving all over looking for parking and ended up on 11th near the John St. end of Cal Anderson park, so I had rather a walk to get down to Kaladi. When they closed at 8:30, I said goodnight to her and dropped in at Elliott Bay Books to hang out a little longer and see if I could crank out just a bit more writing. It felt pretty good to sit in the cafe there; it's a pleasant atmosphere, and being in a bookshop is always a happymaking thing for me.

I'm not terribly pleased with what I have so far for the essay, but at least it's getting some of this set down. I put in placeholder footnotes and I need to look up the references and to plug in quotes. I got a request from [ profile] mael_brigde asking if she could see the article when I'm done, and I said I'd send it to her before I did the final editing stuff to see what she thought. That'll be a week or two yet, though, I suspect. The way I'm feeling about it right now, I'll be sending it off to [ profile] alfrecht and asking him for advice before I'm satisfied with how it's working, but that will be when it's closer to finished as well.

I'm feeling way too busy and overwhelmed this week. I'll probably be spending the next two evening poking at my writing too, hoping to get something more together before SteamCon.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Illya "Missed it by this much")
Some charmingly cowardly anonymous Christian posted a comment to my post about Dan Savage with a list of biblical verses about God hating things. Said Christian ended its comment with:

"Do a word search of hate and synonyms and all forms of the word; the Bible is clear: God hates the vast majority of people.

Those are not billions of Martians in hell, dummy!"

Given that there are no Martians (aside from [ profile] martianmooncrab, of course) and that I'm not exactly given to believe in hell, this is a completely nonsensical statement. But really, why would I want to be a part of a religion where hate is the main focus? This sort of thing isn't exactly going to be a compelling argument for anyone to actually want to join, is it?

Oh, wait, maybe it is. If you're a bigot and an asshole.

This is why the "delete comment" option exists.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (It's raining)
Today was about as migrainey as yesterday. Thankfully, I really didn't have to do very much. I made a trip down to the Safeway and the postal place, only to find I hadn't actually collected [ profile] qorinda's zip code to send out the phone, so I had to bring that back. I have the info now and will be able to mail it out tomorrow, but I felt like an idiot. Migraines do cause me to be of very little brain, sadly.

The trip to the grocery store involved getting a few things so that [ profile] yiaya and I could make berbere paste today, and she came by in the evening for us to do just this. The recipe makes a bunch of the stuff, so it's always good to do it for at least two people so that we can share it. Once the paste was made, I tossed together some doro wat and we fried some plantains, and had a little dinner, accompanied by the documentary In the Mirror of Maya Deren, which proved quite fascinating. Once that was finished, [ profile] yiaya headed home and I spent time putting the kitchen back in order.

I received an email from SIFF that the SIFF Cinema would be playing the complete version of Metropolis this week, so I picked up a ticket for tomorrow evening's showing, with live music by the Alloy Orchestra, which should prove fun. I'll be down at the Seattle Center for the 7:30 show tomorrow evening and probably stop down in Ballard to Floating Leaves to try some of the new roasted Dong Ding that Shiuwen says has arrived this week.

Sadly, as expected, the Obama administration is apparently filing an appeal against the court decision to halt the enforcement of DADT. The law has been reinstated as an appeals court has demanded a delay i the injuction against DADT. Once again, we're getting screwed over.

My friend [ profile] gwynn_aaron talked about listening to NPR this evening and the interview with Robert Maginnis, a retired Lt Col, who was going on about how if DADT was struck down, people would leave the military and there might be further trouble with recruitment. Oh, those poor bigots, having to serve with openly queer people instead of the ones they're currently serving with who have been forced into the closet. Like Gwynn, I think the military would be immensely better off if those Christian bigots all got up and left, thank you. We don't need that kind of bullshit in the military.

The irony of all this coming down on a day that people have been highlighting as one of solidarity with the queer community and all their repetition of "it gets better" is rather sharp, don't you think?
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
I called Half Price and talked to the assistant manager on duty there. I didn't even have to go down to Seattle. He said they'd take care of it. Yay.

This afternoon, [ profile] alfrecht dropped by and, after dinner over at Clay Pot in Mill Creek, we went to the Kenmore Community Center for the [ profile] s00j concert with Tricky Pixie. It was fun and alligators were had. He'll be off at OMG:30 tomorrow morning to head for Marysville to teach his Saturday class.

There's a possibility that I can have [ profile] passionandsoul by tomorrow for tea in the evening, w00t!

Sunday is my flamekeeping shift and Monday night my brother comes into SeaTac at about 11pm. I'm all excitipated.

That is all.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
You remember that parking ticket I got for parking at Half Price Books while I was in the OPEN store? The one the management said they'd get cancelled?

I just got a notice in the mail from Diamond attempting to collect on it.

I am exceedingly angry.


erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)

September 2013



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