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 (Illya "Missed it by this much")
The display on my laptop started giving me trouble earlier this week in some very annoying ways. It was also not letting anyone log into the guest account for absolutely no reason at all. Both of these things struck me as being bad signs of things to come, so I went out and got myself a new iMac. Given that I have an iPad, I don't really need a laptop anymore, and the desktop is actually inside the monitor, which is large enough for me to read comfortably rather than having to squint down and mess around with the bifocals a lot. We won't talk about how it's a lot better ergonomically than a laptop...

I spent more time today going to and from Seattle than I wanted to -- the tit squish was scheduled for 2:40 and I forgot that it was the Friday of a long holiday weekend. Traffic was pretty bad, though it could certainly have been hella worse. Sadly, it just meant that most of my day was taken up with dealing with that, and I forgot to eat until very late. I got back from the appointment, got really frustrated with the laptop, and went to the mall to get the new computer. I had to wait for 20 minutes or so for someone to help because apparently the Alderwood store was short-staffed due to a Bellevue store opening up, and half the staff was over there helping out and finishing training new people. Anyway, by the time I got back, I was having the shakes from low blood sugar. I ordered a pizza.

Transferring over the data from the laptop to the new computer was finished just about the time I finished eating, and [ profile] gra_is_stor arrived about five minutes after that. She brought the last of the stuff from Ireland that I'd asked [ profile] joyful_storm to bring home for me, so now everything is accounted for.

Tomorrow we'll most likely go berry picking, as the salal berries are looking quite nice this year. She has an inflatable boat that we might play with out on the lake if we're feeling up to it, but she wants to go down into Seattle for the queer milonga tomorrow and I'm really not up to tango tomorrow. I did inherit a couple of pairs of dance shoes from Sol, but tango makes my hips hurt a lot, so I think I'm going to stick with swing.

I'm considering taking the rest of my royalties from Immanion (no they did NOT pay for the computer, it wasn't nearly enough by long shot) and getting a couple of piercings done that I've been contemplating for a long time. That, though will require having [ profile] gra_is_stor drive for me and hold my hand because ow fuck ow that will hurt.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (all your books!)
The VA sent me an appointment for podiatry in the mail today, which is scheduled for 8:30am on July 9th. I called and left them a message that I was going to be on a plane that day, thank you, and they should call me soon, but NOT BEFORE NOON to reschedule. I am so not going to an 8:30 appointment. I would have to be up by 6am to get there in time, given rush hour traffic and all the crap that entails for a trip in from Everett. There is No Fucking Way I am going to have an appointment at that hour. If they only have a morning clinic, I will have the very last appointment of the morning, thanks very much. I had told the gal who was sending the referral in to have them CALL ME first, but of course this is the VA and they don't actually listen. yay.

I sent off the payment for my UK train tickets to [ profile] fififolle, who received it today. That finishes up all the travel stuff for my trip except the Isle of Man, where I'll probably get a bus pass for the week.

Last night I also finally got around to answering an email from a young woman (presumably, from what I could get from the email address name) who was asking me about centralizing CR and making One Big Website with Everything On It where info would be sorted and reliable and folks could buy books that were published about CR and... sigh It's a great dream, but that's just never going to happen. The original Celtic cultures were never a unity and it's completely unrealistic to expect CR Paganism to manifest unity when we all worship different deities, our rituals are going to be different, and there are different cultures involved. I wish the online community was a little less acrimonious, but the only way anything is going to get done is by people actually doing them instead of sitting around online talking about it and telling everyone else how UnCeltic they are. Stuff like this doesn't spring up overnight, anything involving an organization that publishes is going to have to deal with nonprofit laws, and it would take a lot of volunteer effort that never quite seems to be forthcoming. Anyone who wants to see organizations and groups start, even if they are not a scholar and don't want to be one, is just going to have to step up to the plate and start organizing things. It's not magically going to happen by wishing. But I have given that particular rant many a time before. I hope I was at least encouraging to her about finding her talents and contributing to the community as best she's able.

Today I spent some time talking on Skype (texting actually) with [ profile] vyviane about pilgrimage stuff and sorted through some things. I sent her a link for the doc where I have a bunch of research links and stuff for some of the sites we're visiting, and where I'll be adding more things as I find them in the next few days. I also wrote up part of a document for the list on three cauldrons meditations that will be the basis for the daily work we'll do before the writing prompts each morning. I would have spent more time on it, but I needed to get down into Everett to pick up my guests and have dinner with them, then we came back here and watched the Lovecraft movies, which were greatly enjoyed. She did note that airfare from Boston or New York into Dublin is, I believe, just under $1,000 for a round trip right now, so if anyone was wondering if cheaper airfare might make going on the pilgrimage possible, now would be the time to consider tickets and coming along!

ETA: [ profile] vyviane says "I found tons of 1,000 RT from all over the place via Air Lingus and Expedia has a couple 811 and 864 RT from Boston and New York City!"

Further work was done on dealing with the specific themes and readings for each day's meditations and travel. I still need to dig through some books to find appropriate poems, but that's tomorrow's job.

I was delighted to discover that the Celtic Scholar's Reviews blog had posted a very positive review of Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom a few days ago, giving it a very high recommendation. Her reviews tend to be honest and clear about a book's flaws, as well as its positive points, and she was really quite pleased with my work.

Thursday I've scheduled a chat with the Sisterhood of Avalon again, given that the last one was pretty much utterly defeated by a lousy internet connect. I'm looking forward to it, as it was so messed up last time. Apparently they really enjoyed what little I did get through to everyone, so it'll be nice to be able to actually talk to them realtime instead of with those hideous delays and signal drops.

Monday is the CR schmooze, and Jeff is going to be doing a presentation on deity imagery on Celtic coins. He's really into numismatics and will have illustrations and such. It should be fun.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Failure TRex)
I had Comcast come in and do an installation again. The modem I bought didn't work so I'll take it back to BestBuy and get a new one that should. I'm currently using the Comcast-provided one for a few days. The installer called and was able to come a couple of hours early, but that was unfortunately overshadowed by the fact that I CANNOT SEND SEANET EMAIL FROM MY COMPUTER over Comcast. I spent two hours on the phone with Comcast tech and half an hour or so with Seanet's tech, and nothing is working. I can still happily send emails over the AT&T wireless, but I can't send anything out either hardwired into the Comcast modem or via the wireless router. I'm extremely frustrated by this.

The Comcast tech is supposed to call me back on Saturday (the first day that he's there and I'm actually home while he's in the office) to see about doing more troubleshooting, but we have tried everything. I'm not at all angry with him; he went above and beyond in terms of trying different things in order to help me figure out what the hell is happening here and nothing was working. He was awesome. Sadly, it is definitely a Comcast issue, because I didn't have any trouble sending out email until the Comcast internet was installed. We shall see what happens. If it doesn't work, I'm going to be getting something out of them as a concession for having to use a different wireless account to send email from the email account I've had since 1995 that has never failed me before.

Because of all the time I spent with tech support today, I wasn't able to go for my walk around the lake. It was raining most of the day, though, so I'm not too awfully perturbed, but I do want to make a habit of it.

At about 6:40 I headed over to the AFK and hung out there. One of the Air Krakens came by for a little while, but I spent most of my time talking with Drew and one of the cooks. It was a really pleasant evening, and I must say that on a stressful day, the application of a little alcohol sometimes helps. I do feel much better having had a couple of drinks and will dive back into stress and stupidity on Saturday.

Yesterday's research netted me a street view of the entryway to the campsite I'll be staying at on the Isle of Man, as well as a view of the location for the web cafe in Douglas. I'm feeling more confident being able to have a look around before I go there. While, on the one hand, satellite surveillance is awfully creepy for a lot of reasons, the ability to have the same view as someone standing in the street to look at the entry of a business or the driveway of a campsite half a world away before I actually go there is so immensely helpful. It's weird how tech can be at the same time both wonderful and terrifying.

[ profile] gra_is_stor is here for the evening after her band practice. She's got to pick up an out of town friend tomorrow at the airport at 11, so she'll be leaving before I do tomorrow. She did say, though, that since I picked up the tab for Saturday's showing of Metropolis, she would be willing to spring for tickets to the 70th anniversary showing of Casablanca on Thursday. It's showing at 3 or 4 cinemas around the area, but it's being shown nationwide Thursday evening at 7pm with commentary and behind-the-scenes stuff, sponsored by Turner Classic Movies. It'll probably be pretty cool. She thinks her friend might be willing to come with us, so that would be really nice to see it with them.

Tomorrow, along with shrinkage, is Irish class and there might be further pummeling from Patrick. If that's the case, I hope it doesn't do a number on my shoulder again, like it did last week.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Illya "Missed it by this much")
I called the VA today, hoping to get some answers. Once again, the phone rang until the operator picked it up again. The second time he sent it through, it was eventually picked up. I asked to talk to the travel coordinator but I'd been given to the travel desk, and the guy there (whose voice I recognized) said that he was the travel coordinator. Lying through his teeth, obviously. He asked for my last name and when I told him, he asked me three times if it was my LAST name.

Yes, fuck you very much. I do happen to know my own last name.

After a ludicrous amount of unnecessary explanation, I was told I had to go and have a means test done (I've done them before, thank you) and that I also apparently need a waiver so that they don't take out the $6 a visit co-pay. I will go in early tomorrow, fill out the forms, and get a god damned waiver in writing so that I can wave it at them every time they try to take money out. And I am going to find out how to get every penny back that they owe me for all those co-pays that they've taken out since I started going to the travel office to get compensation.

Anyway, severely annoying.

I discovered by watching my downloads of files over the past couple of days that I have an average download speed of under 25 kbps. UNDER 25 kbps. This is less than dialup. It's also ludicrous. Of course, AT&T doesn't guarantee fuckall. Comcast appears to (of course) have a monopoly on non-wireless in Everett. I'm still looking for alternatives, but have no idea if I'm going to find anything. As you might guess, I pretty much hate everything right now.

I did go to Irish class, where we covered basic counting from 0-10 (which I already knew, but hey, I got chocolate out of it), then I went up to [ profile] gra_is_stor's place, where Patrick worked on my neck and shoulders for about an hour. He worked on her as well, then I drove him downtown to his office (he's a night security supervisor).

While I was waiting for Irish class, I hung out at Kaladi Brothers and had some tea and tried to find the original Brigid's Well on Google Maps and Google Earth. I found the road sign for the one the church had constructed in the 1950s, but the original is off the Google Maps grid. Google Earth doesn't register anything for either of them, though there are photos of Brigid's Well tagged on either side of the road where the newer well is located, both of which are from the new well. Everything I can find says the two of them are very close together, pretty much just across the street and down from one another, but I can't find a fix on the earlier one at all. The notes saying where it is online are nearly useless, not really giving any idea of the actual area where one might find it. (Everything says "it's across the street from the carpark for the Irish National Stud Farm and the Japanese Gardens. Apparently "across the street" actually means down a road across from the car park and then down another road. Technically speaking, yeah, it's across the street, but it's not on the same road at all.) There must be somebody somewhere with a GPS location on it. *grr*

I am ranty and grumpy and generally not fit company for human beings. I do hope that changes by tomorrow or some poor VA clerk is going to get an earful.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (asclepius rod) put out this little notice:

Study Finds PTSD Gene Link

Week of April 16, 2012

Stars and Stripes reports that a recent study has identified the genes that are linked to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). "The existence of a study population with clear genetic links, common family histories, and exposure to a single trauma allowed researchers an unusual opportunity to distill information about genes' role in PTSD," said UCLA psychiatrist Armen K. Goenjian, who led the study. An abstract of the study is available in the April 5, 2012 online edition of the Journal of Affective Disorders.

And, of course, the study is much more ambiguous than this. I don't doubt that at some point, however, they'll try denying PTSD compensation to people based on genetic traits that might suggest predisposition to PTSD.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (gull)
Today I woke up feeling like utter crap. Headache, cramps, creaky neck and shoulders, and just a general malaise. I downed enough tylenol and tea to help slightly and spent a good bit of time working on some self-massage under the back edge of the skull and along the spine in my neck to ease it somewhat. A hot shower helped slightly more, but I was still feeling pretty crappy when I left to go to my appointment in Edmonds. The trip was longer than usual due to an accident on I-5 than I hadn't been aware of until I already got onto the freeway, so I arrived there about ten minutes before my appointment, which was pressing it a little more than I had wanted to, but at least I wasn't late.

Apparently my preparation for the travel consult was pretty good, as I had a lot of the work done already. I am totally a research geek and a websearch maven, so that was only reasonable. She answered several questions for me, and said that for the ones she didn't have answers for, if I found answers to let her know so that she could give them to others if they also asked them. I definitely found it worth the money I'd paid - she found me a flight that gets me much closer to [ profile] eydimork (Rennes) than the flight to Paris, and only costs me $30 more, so it saves me the train fare entirely for that part of the trip which, if the €46 fare estimated from a late-March date on the same route is to be believed, saves me about $40 just on train fare alone. Sadly, Flybe does not seem to like any of my credit cards and is asking for information that, apparently, US credit cards don't have on them. I mean, WTF is an "issue number"?

I've checked in with my friend the ceramics artist and, yes, he'll be in Penrith on August 2nd, so I've reserved (but not yet paid for) a B&B for that night. In looking at a flight from Manchester to Renne instead of Liverpool to Paris, I can stay an extra night in Penrith for about $30 less than staying at a hotel at the Manchester airport would cost me, and an early morning train will get me to the airport with time to spare on August 4th, so that means I can not only see Potfest for as long as I'd like on the 3rd without feeling rushed, I can also explore the local stone circles and whatnot. The train from Penrith to Manchester appears to be about ₤9 or so, if the online information I could find is accurate. The flight is later in the day than the one from Liverpool to Paris, as well, so that means even taking the train from Penrith, I can sleep in slightly later than I'd have to just to catch the Liverpool to Paris flight from an airport hotel. Overall, a total win in my book.

I'm checking in with [ profile] eydimork to be certain before I book any flights for this leg of the trip. I've also asked about the possibility of getting in a day earlier than initially planned from Douglas to Liverpool on the ferry (28th instead of 29th July) so that I can visit with [ profile] hagazusa and her Welsh Pwny for a bit before I head off to see [ profile] fififolle, and there's a possibility that we might all be able to get together. Once again, I need to make sure everything is okay with both of them before any final decisions are made and any tickets are got. Anyway, things are shaping up very nicely at the moment. (Update: Paris to Prague is booked, and there is apparently a huge Celtic music festival in Brittany the week I'll be there. How awesome is that?)

After the travel consultant, I went over to REI to ask a few questions and see about getting some of the last things I will need for my camping trip (useful for all camping trips, but particularly necessary for lightness for the Isle of Man trip). I brought along a note regarding the research I'd done on sleeping pads and asked one of the young guys about what would work best for someone with my particular issues. They did in fact have samples out that one could lie on to test them, and he showed me one that he said was the best combination of warmth and cushion for the weight. As one might expect for fancy backpacking stuff, it was a bit pricey, but I had a 20% off member's coupon, so that saved me a fair bit. I needed it regardless, and I'll get years of use out of it, so it was worth making the investment. I was unable to resolve a question about what to do regarding a backpacking camp stove on the Isle of Man, as apparently Europe uses butane for stove fuel rather than propane, and the connections are different, so I might need to check out an outdoor supplies store when I get to Douglas and pick one up there, due to not being able to carry fuel canisters on a plane for obvious reasons. I know that there are some varieties (more expensive) that will use all liquid/gas fuel types, and that might be the way I'd need to go.

Anyway, I'm dealing with flight booking frustrations from Manchester to Rennes right now and seeing if I can go in through a backdoor somewhere. Feh. The sound you hear is my head meeting my desk.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Breakin' Ur Geasa)
Today was the podcast adventure. It was kind of "obnoxious talk radio" done Pagan, but the conversation in the chatroom was okay. Some of my friends showed up and asked good questions and made some good comments. The hosts were nice to me, but were very RAR WE DO NOT AGREE WITH PEOPLE about things. That said, they actually tended more to agree with what I said than not, so their generalizations about What CRs Do apparently didn't much apply to me, despite that I'm a CR. It was interesting, at least. Some of what I said was repeated on the air, as they'd said would probably happen, though I think some of it was a bit lost in translation, if you will.

Two of the three hosts are Heathens, and they do regard the CR community as kin of a sort, which isn't too uncommon. I have pretty good relationships with the Heathens in my life. We've got a lot in common as reconstructionists, after all. I'm not sure where the hosts were getting the idea that the worship of some of the major "pan-Celtic" deities (Lug, etc) was somehow a Wiccan influence. They were talking about how this sort of thing was all the druids and wasn't what the tribes did at all, which I can't really agree with. They were all "we are so tribal" and not really explaining what that meant. Not really my thing. I don't necessarily identify as a druid most of the time unless I'm fulfilling that function in my community, but the CR community interacts with a much more diverse selection of deities than they seem to think it does.

One of the women had apparently written a CR book that got slammed by some of the CR community online, and she was rather sore about it. There was a fair bit of snarking about that. I hadn't read it and she didn't mention the title that I recall, so I seriously doubt I'd read it, but I know that a lot of the self-published stuff out there isn't very good quality, sad to say.

As a result of this, however, [ profile] vyviane suggested that I do a chat session with women from the Sisterhood of Avalon so that they'll have a better idea of my take on Brigid and what I'm like. Perhaps this would bring in a few more folks for the pilgrimage, which would be lovely. As of yesterday, we have seven of twelve potential openings spoken for. That means there are only five places left, so if you're interested, please do get in touch with her so that you can get in on it. It's going to be a really fantastic thing and I'm looking forward to it so immensely.

Tomorrow I'll be heading up to Vancouver to help out [ profile] mael_bridge for a few days, after her surgery on the 15th. I'll be heading out in late morning and will be returning Thursday afternoon. I'd like to avoid rush hour on both ends if possible, so I'll most likely be leaving by about 11am and departing Vancouver by 1pm on Thursday so as to be home by about 4, if all goes well and the border doesn't suck like a bilge pump. I still have to pack tonight, and figure out what I'll be taking for writing and for keeping myself entertained while she snoozes. I'll be having dinner with Bruce and Heather, though we haven't got the details worked out yet. I'll call them when I get up there, after I've dropped stuff and checked in with [ profile] mael_bridge and seen that she's doing okay.

Chances are I'll be able to update regularly. She has internet access, and I know there are cafes with wireless nearby as well. I may be a little slow in responding to emails, though. I'll try to remember to post a quick note before I head out the door.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (writy pooped)
Today I went through the Circle of Stones file and turned the endnotes into footnotes. While I was at it, I killed off some of the scanner-induced errors that slipped through my previous bout of copy-editing, and italicized things that got unitalicized in the swap from my original file to the one Taylor was editing. It was painstaking work, and more than I really wanted to be doing today, but it had to be finished. I fiddled with a few other things as well, but there's a fair bit of layout left to do, and that's really not my job. Tay says we're still on for a May release date at this point. This, though, was a huge load off my mind and a massive responsibility shifted off to the publisher. I probably won't have to deal with it much more before the book is released.

Dishes got done, trash got hauled out, a post on preparing for pilgrimage got written, more plugging for the pilgrimage happened, further emails were sent that needed to be dealt with. I continued to make plans surrounding the Isle of Man portion of the pilgrimage. [ profile] vyviane reports that we now have four signups and two potentials, so things are proceeding apace. I requested a list from her of the stuff from our PantheaCon lunch meeting that I agreed to do before the pilgrimage gets up and running so that I can work on it soon.

The old computer had its memory excised then wiped. The clean machine will be delivered to [ profile] ingvisson on Wednesday if all goes well. I didn't reinstall OS X because it wanted me to hook the computer up to the internet and I wasn't in the mood to deal with it, so I left the disc in and just shut it down. When it reboots, it'll ask him to deal with all that.

Tomorrow is the steampunk social at the AFK.
Wednesday I have shrinkage and might or might not make the Irish class, have a computer to deliver.
Thursday is the VA spirituality group.
Saturday [ profile] gra_is_stor and I are heading out to Port Townsend for the Victorian seance and murder mystery party, which means I'll be missing the Medieval Women's Choir concert on Sunday afternoon -- if anyone wants my ticket in reserved seating, let me know ASAP.
Monday is the CR schmooze.

I am way too fucking busy. My entire body aches like crazy. Can somebody surgically remove my body pain and exhaustion, please? Either that or tell me what I can safely cut from my schedule that won't affect everything else in my life. It's like pulling a thread in a knitted sweater -- one tug and everything unravels. Sadly, my sleep has been all out of whack and I've been going to bed after 3 and getting up between 10:30 and 11am. I'm hoping that won't happen tomorrow, as I really desperately need some genuine sleep. Insomnigrackles, they are No Fun At All.

With any luck, I can rest a little tomorrow before hauling over to the AFK to hang with the steampunks and catch up on the last few weeks that I've been away.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Magical Sigils)
Today I hauled [ profile] gra_is_stor and M back to Seattle then met [ profile] thewronghands and [ profile] mimerki very briefly at Remedy Teas to deliver a copy of [ profile] dpaxson's The Way of the Oracle (signed of course) to TWH. Immediately having done that, I headed back north to pick up [ profile] ingvisson and a hard drive enclosure, which it turned out I didn't actually need, due to the fact that the drive I already have did in fact have a USB2 port on it and I had a cable in one of my boxes that I could use.

Stuff and things were transferred, but I haven't yet been able to move my old mail to my new computer. I've got the mailboxes, but none of the contents. The computer itself currently has two conflicting admin accounts, and the two are talking to one another only minimally, so I may have to erase the new computer entirely, transfer the information, and then reinstall OSX Lion and the extra bits that [ profile] lwood had given me in order for everything to work together harmoniously and without two admin accounts snarking at each other across the great divide.

I got teriyaki chicken for the two of us while we futzed with things and poked at manuals, then I took the unused drive case I'd got in California back to the local Best Buy for my money back, and hauled [ profile] ingvisson back to his place, whereupon I came home and synched the new phone with my iTunes so that it has everything on it that it's supposed to. I'll deal with synching the iPad tomorrow.

The cloud did in fact eventually download the email that I'd saved onto my iPad, so that bit works, but I'm still kind of flustered about the potential loss of all my other emails and the information in them. We'll see what happens. I still have the old computer here, deciding to hang onto it until the entire transfer is dealt with, then I'll give it to [ profile] ingvisson, as it will be a fairly significant upgrade to his system.

I'm still busy trying to adjust the settings on this critter so that it does what it's supposed to. Some of the new OS's settings and habits are a little odd to me, but I'll adjust. I'm just glad I have some time to myself in the next few days. I am so entirely peopled out I can hardly handle it. Tomorrow is my flamekeeping shift. That should help me settle back in a little more. Getting back into my ritual routine should be a comfort. I need to do some work in the incubation chamber as well, as Himself noted to me during the Echtra, Immram and Aisling workshop. I didn't really get into journeyspace beyond being told to hit the incubation chamber when I got home; I was too distracted by the room and the people to try to go deep, but the workshop wasn't designed for folks like me, it was designed around beginners to journeying, and I think for that it did a pretty good job.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Eggplant)
I tried to post this last night but the intertubes failed me. I will now attempt to reconstruct what I posted because most of this thing was eaten by the Aether Elves.

Overall, the day was a really good one. I got my neck cracked, which helped with the headaches but didn't do much for the shoulders and some particular spots in my neck. Conversations were had with many friends and acquaintances. I went to the Pagans and Media panel, which mostly wasn't actually about media issues at all but rather talked around the Z and transphobia controversy from last year's con.

I grabbed a meal with Gus, had lunch with Vyviane and Jhenah where we planned our day by day itinerary for the pilgrimage, and had dinner with about 10 of my friends and new acquaintainces after the end of [ profile] alfrecht's final workshop of the night.

My own Brigid and Sarasvati workshop went very well, with lots of good questions and discussion. Sadly, my experience was a bit marred by a woman who came up to me afterward; she asked initially if I taught anywhere. I said that I only taught at Pagan events because I didn't have any degrees. That question led to the inevitable question of what I actually do for a living. I noted I live on a VA disability pension, whereupon she declared "you don't look disabled." Things rather went downhill from there, resulting in her insisting that my fibro would go away if I would just have a good cry about 15 times a day and let out all that emotional stress. She was standing way too close and in my face about it, which was making me uncomfortable on top of her wrongheaded insistence that weeping was some sort of miracle cure. She also had the temerity to demand several times that I stand and deliver poetry to her because if I write it, I must be able to instantly produce it or that I had my entire corpus of poems memorized.

I may be a fili in the sense that I am a poet working, in a sense, within the early Gaelic tradition, but that doesn't mean I do on-demand extemporaneous poems for random strangers who have been offending me. It's a much more complicated process than that. There was, of course, also the "I know you better than you know yourself" moment in our conversation where she insisted that I was about to cry and should just let it out -- she could see it behind my eyes and would be oh so honored if I'd release all that emotion in front of her.

The only emotion I was trying not to release at that time was a boot to the fucking head.

When we had to vacate the room for the next setup, she asked if she could have dinner with me and I told her, entirely truthfully, that I was going to another session right afterwards ([ profile] alfrecht's queer Celtic deities session) that happened to be right there as the next session in the same room.

Dinner was, happily, taken up with good friends and a talk with a young Marine from San Diego whom Tagh had been telling about some of my/our work in the Seattle community regarding the warrior rituals and the geilt phenomenon. That, and a concurrent discussion of Pagan history and such, went on until about 2:30am, whereupon I decamped to my room.

This morning, checkout, then going to [ profile] finnchuill's session on Immram, Echtra, and Aisling.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (d'oh!)
I'm still feeling like absolute crap. [ profile] gra_is_stor came up so that I could actually run the errand I needed to for tomorrow's craft day, but I'm not sure I'm even going to be able to get down there. She can take the stuff with her if need be, so that's not a crisis, it's just hideously annoying. I'm hoping I'll be okay by Sunday, because I want to go to the Shinto shrine for Setsubun (soybean tossing) and our Imbolc is Sunday evening.

My computer (a 2008-ish MacBook) seems to be starting with the erratic behavior one expects of a computer soon to go splah. The bluetooth trackpad I'm using sometimes responds to a right click but not a left click, and refuses to activate anything on the dock, which it should do on a rollover. It's doing everything it's supposed to when connected to [ profile] gra_is_stor's beast, so I'm thinking this is a computer issue, not a trackpad issue. I did a PRAM reset and that didn't do jack as far as the trackpad was concerned. I'm probably going to leave my computer running now, to make sure that everything works like it's supposed to, until I get back from PCon, because I can't afford $1,200 for a new computer right now. (Yes, I do actually want to get another Mac, thanks.)

As to the military fucking up, Madigan Army Hospital is in the news yet again. A couple of docs have been suspended for interfering with PTSD diagnoses. Story below the cut. )
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Breakin' Ur Geasa)
I was up way too late last night and the DoDC+3 woke me with a persistent nose to the face at about 11:30am, when I'd had maybe four hours of actual sleep. I pushed him off and managed to stay in bed for another hour or so, but had things to do today, so I ended up getting my butt out of bed and moving on.

Today was the CR schmooze's Burns Night party, and I was delighted to spend time with my friends, but I was definitely dragging. I actually went as far as lying down for a while as the rest of the group talked and waited for those who were going to be a little later. It helped some, but not really enough. We had dinner (haggis, neeps and tatties, salad, oat bannocks, chocolate, and - yay - Ardbeg) and hung out talking for a fair while before I was too tired to really handle staying in a crowd anymore. About 9pm I noted that I was about done in, so I headed north and gave Charles a ride home.

rantiness below the cut )
erynn: Gaelic merman image (d'oh!)
I think that kind of describes my entire day.

I woke to the news of a $250+ repair for my heater. I found out my wireless was dead. I spent an hour on the phone with ATT and left the house late for my appointment at the VA. I got there just barely on time, after having had to route around a traffic jam. I dashed into the group room panting for breath and frazzled to a pip.

After I got out of the group, I didn't bother to go to the travel office. It would have been too awful to contemplate. I went to Kaladi Brothers and used their internet to post the fic I'd been working on after I caught up with my email. That took me most of an hour, and I finished just in time to run to Greenwood for the CR schmooze business meeting. Where two people were an hour late, but that was okay because I needed time to catch my breath.

After the meeting, I took the DoDC+3 out, downed some leftovers (I'd had two cups of tea, a cup of herbal tea and a scone all day) and headed out to deal with the rest of my intertubes over at the AFK. Where bad karaoke is taking place. I'm done with the stuff I needed to do. I had something actually dinnerlike and a pint of Blackthorn. I'm doing a little better now and getting ready to head home.

I'll probably be back here for at least a little while tomorrow to check email and cope with the world online, but plan on taking advantage of my enforced intertubes fast by working on my stuff for PantheaCon and making some edits to the Imbolc ritual as discussed at the meeting tonight.

Snow is apparently expected in the Seattle area tonight/tomorrow, from what I've heard. It's currently 34f in Everett. I'm hoping the white stuff won't come down. Ugh. That would be sucktastic.

And now, home again. I hope your day was a hella lot better than mine was.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Ganesha)
I had a really mixed day today. My VA appointment went quickly, but the travel office wasn't moving at all. We sat for half an hour and hardly got more than six numbers called, and then nobody was at the windows at all. I was at least 30 numbers back and had to meet [ profile] bearfairie and one of her covensisters who had been up from the Bay (and down from Alberta). I ditched the line and will get my travel funds another day.

[ profile] gra_is_stor and I then headed over to Travelers, where we met them, and also saw [ profile] nathan_fhtagn, who was meeting a friend for chai. I got to talk with him for about ten minutes before we had to leave to go to Araya's, but he'll be back at Travelers on Thursday to catch up with [ profile] fullcontactmuse before her burlesque show, so I will probably see both of them on Thursday after my group.

Dinner was lovely and [ profile] joyful_storm was able to join us for dinner, as was [ profile] sebastian_lvx, who came along with [ profile] alfrecht We spent a couple of hours at dinner, having a wonderful time talking and catching up, then I gave [ profile] joyful_storm a ride home and brought [ profile] alfrecht and [ profile] gra_is_stor up here. He will need to catch a bus back up to Anacortes about 7:30 tomorrow morning, but [ profile] gra_is_stor will be here with me for several days.

When I got home, I had email from [ profile] mael_brigde, who said that she was diagnosed with a sarcoma of some sort today. I emailed her back asking for more details, and she called me up. We talked for a while and I told her that if she needed somebody up there for support to let me know. She hasn't got much for support there right now, as one of her people is out of town for two months, and her ex-girlfriend, who often helps out with a lot of things, is having some severe problems with vertigo that are keeping her from being able to do much of anything right now. Anyway, I may need to go up to Vancouver without much notice for a few days to help her out or give her rides or something. She would welcome prayers or healing work from friends and acquaintances, so please keep her in your thoughts. She has been a dear friend for many years, and is the founder of the Daughters of the Flame, so prayers to Brigid are particularly appreciated.

Not long after that, I was able to have a chat with my brother in Baghdad. He says he will be leaving there Friday, spending four days in Kuwait, and then heading home to Italy. I'm glad he's nearly out of there. He did say that Aviano may be giving him some military time when he gets back (which will put him closer to getting that last 150 days for retirement), but he hasn't got any details for that as yet, so he's not sure what will be happening. I'll keep folks updated. He told me he'd text me when he got in so that I could mail him all the stuff that's been stacking up here for him.

A couple of days ago I mentioned that P. Sufenas Virius Lupus had finally published Devotio Antinoo: The Doctor's Notes, Volume One about the spiritual practices of the Ekklesía Antínoou. What I forgot to note is that I have two rituals published in the book, for the Festivals of the Lion and the Lotus. So this is yet another publication for me this year!

Devotio Antinoo: The Doctor's Notes

You can get it at Createspace.

Needless to say, no writing at all has been done today.

I just want everyone to be happy, healthy, and safe.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (gir explode)
I woke up today with a migraine, though that's eased up now. I'm doing much better and think I will probably be fine for my talk to the class tomorrow. I did dishes and some laundry and am still pretty tired, but I suspect that's as much migraine hangover as anything else. Unfortunately, by the time I was feeling well enough to do anything, I was just not going to make it to the party.

I want to plug a couple of friends here. First, it's [ profile] lupabitch's birthday, and she says this is how you can make her birthday awesome! Lots of pictures here, and some very silly things.

If you are a Seattle local and have been looking for a portrait photographer, [ profile] fullcontactmuse is having a half-off sale, and it's quite a deal! Check it out!

After I get out of the class tomorrow, I'm off to the AFK for the Tuesday steampunk social. The Wayward Cafe has re-opened, so the Monday Steamvents will, most likely, be reconsolidating there after having been dispersed to several locations since it shut down in Greenwood after the fires there. Capitol Hill will also be having a first and third Mondays steampunk meetup at Elliott Bay Books now, so if you're on the Hill and not into going out to Roosevelt for the Steamvent, you have an alternative much closer in.

I finished reading Disability and Religious Diversity today. Most of it was pretty interesting, though the assumptions in a few of the chapters made me want to smack my head on a desk. This isn't too unusual when dealing with mainstream religions. I was particularly struck by the way that people so often seem to assume that a chronic illness or disability is somehow the "fault" of the person suffering from that condition. I don't just see that in mainstream religions -- I run into it in Paganism as well. It most often manifests as "we all choose our incarnations and you must have chosen to manifest with these problems" or "if you were really spiritual enough, you could heal yourself," or some variant of "you could use herbs instead of western medicine and it would cure you" or "with enough positive thinking everything would be all right."

One of the things that has annoyed me immensely about the yoga group at the VA has been that every single yoga instructor there (I have interacted with three of them so far) said "I had fibromyalgia and yoga cured it," as though they are expecting me to miraculously get well if I just practice enough yoga. I'm sure they think they are giving me some "hope" regarding my situation, but they're not. Yes, yoga and Tai Chi have helped somewhat in the past, but I would by no means regard those occasional and temporary improvements as a "cure" of any sort. Of course, I'm sure that my anger and frustration with the whole thing would just be seen as "resistance to healing" and "hanging on to" my fibromyalgia for some idiotic reason. There are some people for whom fibro just goes away for some mysterious reason that no one can identify. Sometimes it stays away. Sometimes it comes back again later. I think I'm doing damned good to be able to function as well as I do on just a few tylenol a day instead of being on the methadone cocktail the VA wanted to put me on some years back.

Other people's definitions and expectations are as much of an impediment sometimes as physical pain. Reading about the way some of the other authors in the anthology have had to deal with various religions' judgments of them for their disabilities just exacerbated that background hum of annoyance. Darla, one of the editors, recounts that she was told by an acupuncturist that Chinese religion says people with diseases and disabilities were, essentially, paying off karma for misdeeds in previous lives. She was told by an airline employee that if she just prayed to Jesus hard enough, her sins would be washed away and she wouldn't be blind anymore. I mean seriously, WTF? And Pagans play the same stupid bullshit blame the victim games with this sort of thing. I think it's ludicrous and disgusting and I wish to hell they'd just grow the fuck up and realize that human bodies FAIL sometimes and there's nothing that can be done to "cure" them. Sometimes you just have to live with it, even if it's painful or difficult or impairing. It's not because you need to learn a lesson (though learning something from it can be useful, regardless). It's not because you deserve to be punished for something in some other life. It's not because you are somehow evil or flawed. It just happens because, you know, sometimes things just do.

This rant was brought to you by the letters WTF.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (lynx seek)
I did a short blog post on Searching for Imbas today, giving an update of some of my writing and noting that I'd be at the Esoteric Book Conference this weekend. I called and left a brief message for my mom, passing along a message from the sib.

I am currently trying like hell to find the dates of some Irish manuscripts for my "Queering the Flame" essay. While the Silva Gadelica is awesome for translating a bunch of texts, it doesn't give jack shit for information about manuscript dating. This is me smacking my head against a desk.

I need food. I also need to write more.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Orpheus I see...)
My day started rather earlier than expected when the DoDC+3 decided he needed to go out Right Now at 6:30 in the morning. I ran into my next-door neighbor at the door, who said, "isn't this awfully early for you to be up?"

I was standing there in my jammies and bathrobe with my eyes glued closed and mumbled something, staggering out to let the dog get his constitutional on. Fortunately, it didn't take long and I was back in bed only a few minutes later. I woke up again about noon, a much more reasonable and humane time of day.

Once I was functional, I took [ profile] gra_is_stor back into Seattle. We stopped in the U District at a local dance shop to see what they had for shoes. Nothing they had was at all suitable for what I wanted, so I didn't get anything. I'm currently considering what to do, with advice from [ profile] gra_is_stor and some of her friends. Considering that I don't want to spend an ungodly amount on a pair of dance shoes, I'm going to have to explore other options at the moment.

We headed up to the Hill, where we grabbed lunch at Mirch Masala. We'd been going to head for B&O, so that we could visit them again before they closed (the building has finally actually been slated for destruction), but they're closed on Tuesdays. We walked back up to Broadway and had something else. After lunch, we dropped her stuff off at her apartment, then went down to Travelers for a chai and visited with Jonice at Edge for a while.

Mom emailed, saying that she was in New Hampshire now and had to have a tooth pulled this morning. Deric's funeral will be Saturday and they'll be driving home on Sunday. It should take them about three days.

Upon returning home, I got a ticket for the Esoteric Book Conference taking place next week, including getting into the concert they'll be having Saturday night. Looks pretty amazing, and though some of the presentations don't look all that interesting to me, there are a number of sessions with or about women magicians that ought to be well worth checking out. I'll be seeing quite a few of my friends there at one point or another, as several of them are presenting at the conference again this year. I also got a ticket for the Soriah show at El Corazon the weekend afterwards.

When I was done with that stuff, I finished reading [ profile] brandywilliams's The Woman Magician -- really fascinating and, in a number of places, quite moving. I got sniffly at a couple of points in the ritual liturgies; I can only imagine it would be more powerful being performed as opposed to merely being read silently from the page.

Late this evening I saw a tweet from Hugo House about a deadline for next year's women's writing residencies at Hedgebrook, over on Whidbey Island. I thought it might be an ideal environment for working on my next book, on Brigidine flamekeeping and Brigid's Irregulars. One of the things required was a writing sample, so I used a poem and an excerpt from my Queering the Flame essay. In doing a copy and paste and creating a PDF file for the sample, I realized that I had not previously actually seen [ profile] mael_brigde's comments in the file. For some reason when I opened it initially, the comments were invisible. Now I need to go back and look at them all with a different view of the document and see what she had to say and where I might want to edit and re-send the text to [ profile] alfrecht. *headdesk*

Anyway, needless to say, I've been really busy today with all of this stuff. Tomorrow I have my annual tit squish appointment down in Seattle, then [ profile] perclexed and I will be getting together for dinner and probably heading over to the AFK for a bit. It'll be good to see her again; I haven't seen her in ages, probably not since we were actually working on the hermetic astrology material a few years back. It's well past time we got together again.

Sadly, I'm not in the least bit tired, but I really need to head for bed shortly so that I can get up and be ready for my appointment tomorrow in the early afternoon. It's at 3:15, which means I'll be dealing with rush hour traffic on the way back home. I'm hoping I won't be at the facility for long, but am not holding my breath.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Brighid's cross)
I was doing okay today. After the work on my back yesterday, I woke up with some achy bits but they were further down than the area that got worked on, so I think it was partly that I was able to feel something other than the ache between my shoulders for a change.

I hauled Garuda over to the mechanic today for an oil change and they showed me some rubber parts that have pretty much rotted away that need to be replaced before I head to California later this month. They ordered them today and I'll be heading over there tomorrow afternoon to have them replaced. Not hideously expensive, thankfully. The work shouldn't take more than an hour or so.

Today is my flamekeeping shift and the altar is lit. I'll be cataloguing books again here shortly.

In other realms, Scarlet Imprint, one of the publishers I work with, has issued a statement about occultists, racism, and fascism that I think is both timely and important. Please drop by and read. This is important stuff about Black Front Press and Troy Southgate. Several of the comments are worth reading, as well as the short blog post I've linked to.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (extra meds)
Today was the final session of the writing group at the VA. I'd pulled some stuff together for that and headed down early so that I could stop by the women's clinic to get my follow-up appointment about the migraine meds and schedule another appointment as well. It was a good thing I went early, because there was an accident on I-5 that slowed down traffic considerably. How the VA gave me a panic attack. Yay. )


erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)

September 2013



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