erynn: Gaelic merman image (GIR likes FOOD!)
Aside from setting up the RSS feed for Occupy PNC, I didn't do much today. There was a little cooking, but no cleaning up anything. I'd considered doing dishes and laundry but wasn't much up to it. I did make a Moroccan style chicken with salted kumquats and olives thing, and popped a frozen pumpkin pie in the oven. The pie is still slightly warm.

I was annoyed that I had to get into a bottle today by way of a wrench, given that my hands don't have enough of a grip to be able to open things like that without help. I swear, there's vacuum sealing, and there's supergluing the fucker shut.

I wrote for a while today and am currently at close on 49,000 words at the moment. Feels good to accomplish something.

Mom tells me Al has had eye surgery for retinal tears and such and that he's got to cope with the post-surgical treatment for the next couple of weeks. It sounds like a massive pain in the ass, but at least he'll still be able to see. She's supposed to finally get high-speed internet tomorrow, so that's something good, at least. My brother says he is down to single digit days left in Baghdad and that he will be going home to Italy when he gets out of there. He says he's looking forward to sleeping at home in his own bed again soon. I'm massively relieved for him.

Tomorrow is my evil VA appointment. I'm going in a little early to pick up [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor, who is going to come with me for moral support, then we're meeting folks at Travelers and heading over to Araya's Place for dinner with them afterwards. She and [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht will be coming up here with me for the night. I have two further VA appointments after that this week as well -- yoga and the spirituality group.

Tired creaky bits are tired and creaky. It's time for bed.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Feminist dialectic brings 'em)
The Pagan Newswire Collective has started a new project, the Occupy Pagans and Heathens blog. I've set up an RSS feed for it on LiveJournal at [livejournal.com profile] occupypnc for those who are interested.

The feed has not picked up the three posted articles yet, but should update at some point today.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Sarasvati)
Today I went to a couple of presentations. First up was the Paganism and New Media panel. [livejournal.com profile] mythworker did a presentation on this last year; this was, I think, more sophisticated and covered a broader territory, as well as bringing in new approaches. The panelists included Thorn Coyle, Star from Patheos.com, a board member from Cherry Hill Seminary, and one of the tech people from Llewellyn, with [livejournal.com profile] mythworker as the moderator. One of the issues addressed this year was e-publishing, which hadn't really been brought up last year at all that I recall. I noted the issues I'd had with Circle of Stones being in and out of print, and how the print edition goes for ridiculous prices online, while I'm now selling a PDF of the book for the original cover price, yet folks still want hardcopy -- they buy the PDF, but I can completely understand the desire for paper copy.

The second panel I went to today was the presentation "Are Hindus Pagans/Are Pagans Hindus," offered by four Hindu practitioners from a national Hindu association. I thought it was an extremely positive and interesting presentation. Topics addressed included the history of Hinduism in America, spiritual similarities between Hinduism and Paganism (pluralism was the watchword of the panel), common cause between Hindus and the Pagan community regarding American culture and western culture generally, in terms of coerced conversions, activism, political involvement, and civil and human rights, and an examination of how we can work together. Issues of potential cultural appropriation were also addressed; this was seen as a problem if it was a commercial appropriation, but when Pagans approach Hindu deities as sincerely interested parties for spiritual purposes, the panel's attitude was that the deities are big enough to be just fine with being approached by non-Hindus.

There was a good deal to think about in the presentations and I was impressed with the speakers. They seemed very interested in working together with the Pagan communities to strengthen all our positions in resisting oppression by the monotheist majority when it seeks to marginalize or actively destroy our communities. It has not been unusual for poor Hindus in India to be bribed into conversion -- "we'll send your children to a good college, we'll give you medical care, we'll feed you if you convert." Yet this conversion is then taken to an extreme, where the new converts, who are really only going into it to try to make life a little better for their families, are coerced into desecrating not just their own altars at home, but the altars of their families or even their local temples. This sort of thing is completely disgusting, but it's not at all unusual behavior for evangelical Christian missionaries in Asia, India, and Africa. It's not at all unlike what has happened to the Native peoples in North America, where cultures were destroyed, children stolen from their homes, and entire groups of people slaughtered.

I think there's a lot of really good work to be done between the Pagan and Hindu communities in the future. I was absolutely delighted to see a strong Hindu presence here this year and hope that they'll continue coming to meet with us at PCon and under other circumstances, creating strong ties between all our communities as we all struggle for our rights as spiritual and religious minorities in a mostly-monotheist society. We need to dismantle the privilege that Christianity has in the United States; its status should be one of many, not the dominant force in American society. We cannot be equal when one religion is more equal than all the others. It's a continuation of the same aggressive, disrespectful force that allows military chaplains to believe they're simply exercising their freedom of speech when they attempt to force deathbed conversions on non-Christians and atheists. To quote from the Christian Post article, "Birch informed the audience that he would oblige to help them with their faith but would not withhold himself from helping a dying soldier or a soldier with no faith get right with God."

After the panels, I headed up to spend some time with the Sisterhood of Avalon folks, talking with them about some potential ideas for pilgrimage themes and places. It turns out that one of the gals I was talking to is an old friend of [livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm from Atlanta, and she wandered in while I was talking. One of the ideas I was suggesting was a Sequana pilgrimage, dealing with that Goddess and the shrines and artifacts at the source of the Seine river; since [livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm had gone to the Seine a couple of years ago to find information about Sequana and had already been to many of the sites, I thought she would have some excellent suggestions for this, and I think both of them are going to talk this over. They're also talking about proposing a Pagan pilgrimage panel for next year's con, which I think would be a fantastic idea.

Eventually, I had to go get ready for the 11pm Bakkhoi Antinoou ritual drama. I got dressed up in the most bling anyone is ever likely to see me in for a very long time, with my brocade silk jacket, one of my shiny silk scarves in iridescent colors, sparkly bracelets, and lots of green silk. It was pretty spiffy, if I may say so myself. The play involved the death of Antinous, and the Otherworld happenings surrounding his deification. We had a ton of fun, and I think the audience did as well. Tomorrow morning at 11am we have the "Antinous is Not Just for Pretty Boys" panel, consisting of several of the mystai of the Ekklesía. It'll include me, [livejournal.com profile] ogam, [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht, and [livejournal.com profile] tristissima talking about the various ways we deal with Antinous, and what the whole thing means to us, considering the general impression of Antinoan cultus is that it's supposedly only for young pretty gay guys. None of us actually fit that particular model, of course. A lot of people ask what Antinous would have to do with them, given that they're not gay men, but most of them would never ask what Brigid would have to do with them if they're not women who are poets, smiths, and healers. I think it's a paradigm issue, really.

And now, to try to get some sleep. It's nearly 3am and I have to be up and about at some ungodsly hour tomorrow.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Have you seen this wizard?)
I didn't have a chance to get anywhere near the free wifi last night with my computer. I was dashing about in a state of utter insanity catching up with people and doing things.

We actually did get here in time for [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht's Three Kinds of Truth workshop, which was even better than the Reader's Digest Condensed Version I got back at home before we left. Definitely worth attending, with much food for thought.

I spent a good bit of time up at the ADF suite, and actually dashed through the merchant's room before they closed. I picked up a lovely copy of The Festival of Lughnasa hardbound, so that I could replace the photocopies I have. I was thrilled!

There have been dozens of driveby hugs as everyone has been dashing from place to place, with a few chances to sit down and actually have food with people as well.

That rascal [livejournal.com profile] ogam made a ribbon this year that says in Irish script and ogam "is Erynn mo banfhile" ("Erynn is my poetess", which is a riff on the old "Jesus is my druid" thing). He's been passing them out to my friends with glee. I was told by several of the ADF folks that I must get some from him to pass out to people here. I wondered if that didn't smack a little of hubris. I about died laughing over the whole thing. Anyway, that's the fan club thing I was babbling about last night.

When I was up with the ADF folks, I was gifted with two gorgeous sets of ogam staves, one in purpleheart wood and the other in madrona wood. They are absolutely lovely! Many thanks to [livejournal.com profile] tis_caitlin for her kindness and exceeding generosity!

Today at 1:30 I'll be at [livejournal.com profile] finnchuill's poetry workshop. At 5pm there's a reception for the Pagan Newswire Collective up in the COG suite that I need to be at, then at 7pm is my talk on Living a CR Path.

I'll post tomorrow's schedule when I get closer to tomorrow. Busy Erynn is BUSY! (and loving it!)
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Everything Hurts)
I called today and made an appointment to get Garuda's oil changed tomorrow afternoon, so that's no problem. Later in the evening, I'll be at [livejournal.com profile] passionandsoul's class and then taking him over to the Grind.

Friday I may be having dinner at Kalia's with [livejournal.com profile] ravenlaughing, if she responds with a yes.

Tonight I went over to the AFK and spent time with some of the steampunks, and bought a couple of books from Phil Foglio. It was a lovely evening. Before I headed over to the AFK, I dropped into a game shop at the Everett Mall and picked up a copy of Monty Python Fluxx, and we played that this evening. There was a good deal of laughing, as one might expect when Outrageous Accents are invoked. The wireless situation at AFK has shifted again -- wireless is once again available, with a daily posted password in the establishment. It was a sensible solution on all counts. Oh, and there's a new guy being trained as waitstaff who goes by Gir. He has a Gir tattoo on his leg. I am deeply amused.

My creakyparts are creaky. I started on the bc pills today and did not take any of the tylenol I would have. Needless to say, I am exceedingly creaky, headachy, crampy, and just plain fucking miserable. I didn't have time or energy for trying to get in touch with the patient rep at the VA, but I'll do that early next week sometime. I may be meeting [livejournal.com profile] lakmiseiru for chai on Tuesday afternoon, so I'll try to get into the VA that day to talk to the rep. Consolidating things into one trip would be the easiest way to do it.

I got in touch with [livejournal.com profile] mythworker, who said I don't absolutely have to be at the 9am PNC thing, though he's encouraging us to be there for the Q&A session. There will apparently be a meet & greet on Sunday during dinner which he says would be the best time for me to show up, so I'll definitely shoot for that and see if my brain is leaking out my ears or not for the 9am slot. I'll do my best to make it then, too, but I can't really promise.

Of more import regarding the AFK is the fact that I'm going to actually arrange to have my birthday party there on March 27th. I've already talked to Kayla and just need to get it onto the schedule with them formally. They'll do catering type stuff there, so that makes it a hell of a lot easier on me, not having to actually rent a venue. I know Everett is kind of out of the way for a lot of my friends, but with two month's notice, I figure people can make arrangements to get there that evening if they really want to show up and celebrate with me. I was pretty shocked when Kayla swore that she thought I wasn't a day over 30. I mean, seriously, and she wasn't just yanking my chain with that.

Anyway, watch this space for more info on the party. I'll offer more as details emerge.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (10 ceirt)
Passing this on from the PNC list:

I'm doing research into the subject of domestic abuse in the Pagan community as a whole and the Heathen community in particular. I'm looking for abuse survivors who feel comfortable with discussing their experiences. All interviews are being conducted in the strictest of confidence. All interview subjects' identities will remain anonymous.

If anyone knows someone in the community who is willing to participate please give them my email at rsmith@myself.com and to include some mention of the PNC in the subject line.

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