erynn: Gaelic merman image (angry tiger)
Comcast left a voicemail message at 8:30 this morning, after I had explicitly instructed them not to call me until after noon. The voicemail was a tech telling me to do EXACTLY THE SAME THING EVERY OTHER TECH TOLD ME TO DO.

At 11:30, when I got up, I called Comcast. I talked to a tech and asked to speak to a supervisor. I asked how long it would take them to get back to me. She said about an hour. Two hours later, no callback. I called Comcast again and spoke to a tech, asking to speak to a supervisor. The tech attempted to tell me to do AGAIN what every other tech had told me to do. I said no, I wanted to talk to a supervisor, thank you very much. I was put on hold for 20 minutes. I hung up. I called Comcast again and spoke to ANOTHER tech and told him that I was going to speak to a supervisor. He said a ticket had already been put in and the supervisor had 24 hours in which to call me back. He attempted to tell me AGAIN what every other tech told me and I told him to STOP because I had already heard it and I wanted to talk to a supervisor. He put me on hold and came back a couple of minutes later said he couldn't get through to one.

I took the Comcast modem back to their service center in Lynnwood and talked to a guy at the desk. Guy at the desk asked a couple of questions, took the modem, and made an appointment for a tech to come out to my house on Friday and try to find out/fix what's wrong. He wrote a note on my receipt saying to prorate a credit for the time when I have NOT been getting the modem speed I am paying for (less than 20m when I am paying the bucks for 50m), and initialed said note. I'm supposed to see the tech between 1-3pm on Friday.

I went to get some lunch and decided that, while I was no longer in a frothing rage, I was not fit to be company for human beings today. Eating didn't help the stress headache, but I did feel slightly better.

The post brought the tax assessment for my condo for this year. The enclosed info notes that, as a disabled veteran at 100%, I can apply for a property tax exemption, which I wasn't aware I could do, and I can apply for a back exemption for the three years previous (if I am reading it properly). I dig out my files of my bills and such from 2009-2012 and have a minor panic attack dealing with the forms. They are currently partially filled out. I have dug out my VA award letter from 2000 saying I am 100% disabled. I have to find my SSDI statements for each of those years, as that is the only income they count, seeing as I don't really have any other income at this point. Their cutoff for income is $35,000 for an exemption. I qualify for the highest level of exemption (60% on my property taxes, and exemption from levies).

Dealing with the papers, even to the point of just filling out part of them, has left me a shaking wreck. I know the papers are just paper. I know the numbers are just a very simple string of digits. Dealing with the government and paperwork on any level does this to me and I'm not entirely certain how to not have a freaking panic attack. Now that I'm typing this, I've actually remembered I have some meds for moments like this and I'm going to go take one and see if that will help with the whole heart trying to make its way out of my chest feeling and the dizziness.

This, gentlebeings, is why Erynn does not play well with employment. Spending an hour on the phone with fucking idiots and filling out government paperwork leaves me completely useless for hours. Tomorrow I'm heading down to the VA for my usual Thursday appointment. I hope I'm up to leaving the house. I will still have to fill out the other papers at some point and take them down to the County offices in Everett to see a clerk at a desk and have them make photocopies of the relevant SSDI and VA forms, as well as get the clerk's signature and file everything properly. I have no idea how long it will be until I get a check from them, or how that will affect my mortgage payment every month. I am not looking forward to this.

Overall, the idea that I can get a huge whacking chunk of my taxes back for the past few years is awesome news. My body, however, does not believe me when I tell it this.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (d'oh!)
I got a callback from Comcast today, before noon, so it went to my voicemail. When I called them, I got a young guy who tried to walk me through the same shit as before, as though no other tech had ever thought of them previously and I was possibly too stupid to have followed directions if they had. He said he would have someone else call me back tomorrow before I leave the house, or later this week, but not on Thursday, given I'm away then. Next time I speak with anyone I'm demanding a supervisor and telling them to just cut my bill by the amount I'm paying to AT&T and call it done. It's a pain, but there doesn't seem to be fuckall they can do about it.

This evening I went with [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor and [livejournal.com profile] ingvisson to a small Beltaine celebration out in Arlington. It rained copiously, but we dashed between the bonfires anyway. It was a pleasant evening, given that I wasn't feeling all that well. Today has been a very down day (hormones, we hates them we does my preciousss), but I had fun anyway. When I got home, I made dolmas for dinner. It was 12:30 by the time I got them into the oven, but they were done with already mostly-cooked rice and lamb, so I only had to have them in the oven for half an hour. They were very tasty, though. Most of them are now sitting in the fridge for later.

Tomorrow I'm heading over to Nicole's class for 3:30, then to the AFK for the steampunk social. I'm not even going to try to think beyond that right now.

[livejournal.com profile] ingvisson accidentally caffienated the DoDC+3 (he left a tea mug on the floor where he was sitting when he got up and didn't think about picking it up before the dog got into it) and the beast was slightly overstimulated. He's currently in his crate, gnawing a bone and contemplating life. I'm hoping he'll be mellower in a few minutes when I head for bed.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Liberty & Justice OTP)
http://www.hrc.org/nomexposed/entry/must-read#.T3ILLSNGyQk

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 (extra meds)
Not much got done today beyond a couple of twitter chats. I did walk down to the store and get a few things, including some desperately-needed plain black tea. I have buckets and buckets of oolong, but a lot of the time I just want something like English Breakfast with cream, and oolong doesn't quite cut it for that. I've been migrainey off and on all day, though I'm doing all right at the moment. Sleep is unlikely to come at any point soon.

I've been poking around with one of my fics on AO3 that has tossed in half a page of blank space in its EPUB format for no discernible reason. I've looked at the html and it should be fine, but it isn't. I have no freaking clue why. Nothing else is wrong with the document, just that half a page blank space. It is driving me nuts. It displays properly on AO3, and so do all the other fics I've downloaded as EPUBs. My brain hurts.

I roasted a chicken - the store had them at buy one get one free prices today, so I bought two. After I pulled off what I wanted for dinner, I turned the rest of that one into soup. The other one will get hacked up tomorrow and put into the freezer in parts for later. Soup goooooood. Especially when I feel crappy.

It is entirely possible I am using some of this as an excuse to not do my outline for PCon.
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 (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 [livejournal.com profile] finnchuill and [livejournal.com 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 [livejournal.com 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 (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 (writy medievalist)
This afternoon I met [livejournal.com 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 [livejournal.com 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:
TSA.OCR-ExternalCompliance@dhs.gov

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: http://www.dhs.gov/xabout/structure/editorial_0373.shtm.


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 [livejournal.com 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 [livejournal.com 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 [livejournal.com 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 (Northwest forest)
I my day today doing errands. I sent out the phone to [livejournal.com profile] qorinda and a couple of things to [livejournal.com profile] lwood as I'd promised. I stopped for some teriyaki on my way to deal with grocery shopping. I stopped at three places, including a walk down to Safeway later this evening for a few things I couldn't get where I'd stopped previously.

After reading about one woman's being essentially sexually assaulted (he groped her crotch and her breasts) in front of a line of people by a male TSA agent for refusing a body scan with new equipment that produces hazardous levels of radiation and shows you to the "security" officers naked, my dislike for flying has pretty much solidified. I tend to prefer driving because it gives me a lot more control, I can take what I want without worrying about some security person thinking it's "dangerous" and taking it away, and I don't have to subject myself to the general misery that air travel has become. If I go overseas, I'll obviously have to fly, but I may just drive to Vancouver and fly out from there, as I don't think they're quite so fucked up about the whole thing yet.

With this in mind, I've emailed the folks at the Desert Magic festival and asked if they are willing to just pay me for gas and a few nights in a cheap motel for my way down and back next spring. It'll cost me about the same monetarily as flying and I'll feel immensely better about it. Yes, it takes a lot longer, but my peace of mind is worth the time, and I'm fortunate enough to have the option. It does mean getting a dog sitter for a longer period of time, but something can probably be worked out by early May, when the festival takes place.

I was pleased when I got a pretty much immediate response saying yes, they'd be fine with doing that. I just want to thank them for being considerate and flexible about this whole thing. Having a history of abuse and sexual assault, I really don't want somebody's hand in my crotch unless I've specifically invited them to put it there. I especially don't want it there when the TSA admits that these "enhanced patdowns" are specifically intended to humiliate and intimidate anyone who doesn't want to be bombarded with dangerous levels of radiation.

Considering the fact that some smugglers transport things in their bodies, does this mean that mandatory x-rays and body cavity searches are next? Where is this fucked up stupidity going to stop?
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)
Apparently a porn producer, Ed Decker, was running an ad on the Seattle area Craigslist claiming to be a Wiccan and Druid, looking for a young, pretty woman to be a nude altar for Gardnerian rituals.

Here's the stuff that went down on Seattle Pagan regarding it. )
erynn: Gaelic merman image (lwood's Breakin' Ur Geasa)
Talked to my shrink this morning for a bit on the phone, and she was just as appalled as everyone else. She thinks my plan to talk to various patient advocates and to write formal complaints (including copies of the FDA regulation) along with my letters is a good idea. I'll be making separate complaints to the UW clinic, the VA, and SCCA.

I'll probably cc my congresscritter on the letter to UW as well, as they appear to be the ones most at fault in this situation.

When I'm down in Seattle tomorrow for my appointment, I'll make a point to stop in at the patient advocate's office at the SCCA because I'll already be in the building.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (vive_le_iconses Wilde Sin)
Taken from this webpage. So much for "within our guidelines." Unless, of course, the SCCA's guidelines are less stringent than the federal government's.

Bureaucratese here )

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