erynn: Gaelic merman image (Feminist dialectic brings 'em)
Today I got papers from the Social Security Administration proving my SSDI income for the last five years, and got myself fingerprinted for the FBI criminal check the Italian consulate requires for the visa. I've filled out the form and stuffed everything in an envelope and will try to mail it out tomorrow.

More things were sorted through today, and some of yesterday's sorted stuff was handed over to [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor for taking over to a thrift shop. I did laundry and I also decommissioned the incubation chamber. I'll need to put the shelves and rails back into the closet this week, but that will be a two-person job.

US politics was insane today, but it looks like Texas might have been saved from a really hideous anti-abortion bill that would have shut down a bunch of clinics that provided health care for people with low income. Because of course your average old white Republican fundamentalist Christian men don't give a flying fuck about anyone but themselves. Voting rights for people of color have once again been damaged. Native people's rights to their own children are threatened. And tomorrow the Supreme Court gets to decide whether or not queer people have the same rights to marry as straight people.

I want to hit things, but this is not unusual when dealing with American politics.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Orpheus I see...)
I did a little writing on a fic today (I should crack 10,000 words before I go to bed shortly), hung out with some friends on livestream, and did a little cooking. Aside from that, my day was really quiet, which I needed.

I have to go to bed soon because I've committed to walking with Veterans For Peace at the Auburn veteran's day parade. It's one of the largest in the country and the VFP had been informed this year that they would not be able to march, not because of any violations of parade rules, but because the Auburn organizers didn't like the idea of veterans interested in peace. This morning, a court ruled that they had to allow the VFP to participate on first amendment grounds, so the local chapter is asking to have as many members as possible show up. I'll have to get up hours earlier than I usually do to be able to get to Auburn by 10:30am awake enough to cope.

The weather right now is 31f, and it will likely be quite cold tomorrow, so I'm going to have to consider what I want to wear for the parade. It will need to be warm enough for when I'm not moving, but not all sweaty when I'm walking. I have a few ideas, but I'm also planning on layering a few things and taking off a sweater or whatever if I don't actually need it. It's more my legs than my upper body that I'm concerned about, as they tend to get colder, but I do have a silk underlayer that I'll be putting on.

Tomorrow evening, if my legs haven't fallen off, I'm supposed to go out dancing with [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor. We'll see how I hold up. Anyway, sleep soon. I've heard there will be press coverage of the parade due to the first amendment issues, so who knows, I might be in some of the parade shots on tv tomorrow night.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Feminist dialectic brings 'em)
After starting the day with a mild headache, things got rather a bit better. I was feeling fairly anxious over the elections, but I do that every time we have one. National elections tend to be much more stressful than local ones, but this one turned out reasonably well as these things go, at least in my opinion.

There's still a lot to be concerned about - drone strikes, privacy issues, indefinite detention, trans* rights, bringing people home from Afghanistan, among others. Yet we still have a president who is mostly in favor of civil rights, marriage equality has made some headway, and the right of adults over 21 to use marijuana if they wish to has apparently been passed. I'm not going to have to worry quite so much about the viciously anti-woman Republican agenda taking away the rights I've had for most of my life. Some measures apparently passed that I'm not thrilled with, but I wasn't expecting as much good news as I did get, so I'll suck it up and deal, as always.

This evening I'd been planning to go over to Picadilly Circus and hang out with the steampunks, saving any potential panic attacks for after I got home. About 8:30 local time, the presidential race was called for Obama, which meant I could defer the panic attack on that issue for another four years. I hung out with my steampunk friends for a couple of hours, then briefly visited with [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor for a little while when I got home.

Due to the headache and not feeling that great when I got up, I deferred getting my hair cut. I'm hoping that I'll manage it tomorrow. It really is getting unpleasantly unruly. It's definitely getting into my eyes.

Mom called today and we spoke briefly. My brother and my friend in England both received their copies of Fireflies. So far, everyone seems to like it. This pleases me.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (get pagan sinfest)
Today [livejournal.com profile] fififolle and I went (with her daughter) off to mail out my camping gear. It cost a little more than I expected, but significantly less by a factor of about 10 than having to actually replace the gear, and still somewhat less than paying for checking extra bags on two short European flights. Worth it, I think. I wasn't able to fit the hiking poles into the box, but we have a shipping tube that they will fit into and I'm sure they will cost significantly less to ship on their own. That will probably happen tomorrow sometime.

After the post office visit, we came back home for a bit. It rained a lot today but when it started to let up, we went out to visit the Castlerigg standing stones, which are about 20-ish minutes from here. It was a fairly impressive set of stones, but right next to the road, so it was crawling with tourists so much that there was even an ice cream truck out there. I did get a little booklet on some of the stone circles of Cumbria. There are apparently 50 or so of them, and about 20 are covered in the book, with color pictures and a little blurb about each of them. I thought it was a nice little guide.

I spent the evening having an interesting conversation with [livejournal.com profile] fififolle's husband about world politics and life in the US. He said he hadn't really ever had a chance to talk to an American about life there and what things are like. We'd both been in the military, though he'd broken his arm around the time he enlisted, and so was out within about 90 days. I talked about how the military had radicalized me, about growing up rural and not particularly well-off, about stuff like the social safety net, and why it might be that Americans tend to vote against their own best interests on some things. We talked about guns and violence, and the differences between local, state, and federal law enforcement and how they differ. I talked a little about being a bit croggled when American fans wrote fic where UK police were carrying guns as a matter of course (which really doesn't happen here).

We talked about the legacy of empire and the cold war, and about Scottish independence (he and [livejournal.com profile] fififolle are both from Scotland). We talked a little about Native American nations and cultures and the complexities of Native nations as essentially client states within the US land mass, and the cultural similarities between them and the Scots and Irish and Welsh who had their languages beat out of them and their cultures destroyed by imperial ambitions. I thought it was a pretty good conversation. When we ran out of steam, we turned the Olympics on for a bit and watched some gynmastics and some badminton.

Tomorrow [livejournal.com profile] fififolle and I may do some hill walking if I feel up to it. I'm kind of crampy tonight and will have to see how I'm doing in the morning when I get up. If the cramps continue I probably won't be up for a climb, but might be up for something more gentle. I know that there were some nice waterfalls along the route in from [livejournal.com profile] hagazusa's place yesterday that are probably in a reasonable distance, and perhaps we can to see some of those. I took some photos at Castlerigg, and her daughter took pics of the two of us together. She also took a picture of me with Dave (it's kind of a joke, but I'll show you when I have the photos) at one of the stones in the circle.

Dinner was a lovely curry and some wine. She also made very tasty portabello mushrooms with goat cheese and a little sauteed green onion as a starter. Very very yummy. My tum is doing much better after a couple of days of not eating at random restaurants, and with much less stress on my system. I was glad to accomplish what I did, but it was also nice to have a slow day where there wasn't much I had to be concerned with. The rest of my laundry (what I was wearing yesterday while the rest of it was being washed) has been dealt with. Once everything is dry and rolled up, we'll have to weigh the backpack and make sure it's under the 22 pound limit for carry-ons. I've got a couple of more days where before I head for Penrith and the Potfest - I'll be checking into the B&B on August 2nd in the late afternoon. I've been talkiung to Stephen, who is finishing up his preparations and sent me a photo of his adorable puppy, and we're looking forward to meeting next weekend.

Overall, a good day, even with lots of heavy rains. We've had some sun and a little warmth, and I'm looking forward to seeing what tomorrow will bring!
erynn: Gaelic merman image (get pagan sinfest)
Today [livejournal.com profile] fififolle and I went (with her daughter) off to mail out my camping gear. It cost a little more than I expected, but significantly less by a factor of about 10 than having to actually replace the gear, and still somewhat less than paying for checking extra bags on two short European flights. Worth it, I think. I wasn't able to fit the hiking poles into the box, but we have a shipping tube that they will fit into and I'm sure they will cost significantly less to ship on their own. That will probably happen tomorrow sometime.

After the post office visit, we came back home for a bit. It rained a lot today but when it started to let up, we went out to visit the Castlerigg standing stones, which are about 20-ish minutes from here. It was a fairly impressive set of stones, but right next to the road, so it was crawling with tourists so much that there was even an ice cream truck out there. I did get a little booklet on some of the stone circles of Cumbria. There are apparently 50 or so of them, and about 20 are covered in the book, with color pictures and a little blurb about each of them. I thought it was a nice little guide.

I spent the evening having an interesting conversation with [livejournal.com profile] fififolle's husband about world politics and life in the US. He said he hadn't really ever had a chance to talk to an American about life there and what things are like. We'd both been in the military, though he'd broken his arm around the time he enlisted, and so was out within about 90 days. I talked about how the military had radicalized me, about growing up rural and not particularly well-off, about stuff like the social safety net, and why it might be that Americans tend to vote against their own best interests on some things. We talked about guns and violence, and the differences between local, state, and federal law enforcement and how they differ. I talked a little about being a bit croggled when American fans wrote fic where UK police were carrying guns as a matter of course (which really doesn't happen here).

We talked about the legacy of empire and the cold war, and about Scottish independence (he and [livejournal.com profile] fififolle are both from Scotland). We talked a little about Native American nations and cultures and the complexities of Native nations as essentially client states within the US land mass, and the cultural similarities between them and the Scots and Irish and Welsh who had their languages beat out of them and their cultures destroyed by imperial ambitions. I thought it was a pretty good conversation. When we ran out of steam, we turned the Olympics on for a bit and watched some gynmastics and some badminton.

Tomorrow [livejournal.com profile] fififolle and I may do some hill walking if I feel up to it. I'm kind of crampy tonight and will have to see how I'm doing in the morning when I get up. If the cramps continue I probably won't be up for a climb, but might be up for something more gentle. I know that there were some nice waterfalls along the route in from [livejournal.com profile] hagazusa's place yesterday that are probably in a reasonable distance, and perhaps we can to see some of those. I took some photos at Castlerigg, and her daughter took pics of the two of us together. She also took a picture of me with Dave (it's kind of a joke, but I'll show you when I have the photos) at one of the stones in the circle.

Dinner was a lovely curry and some wine. She also made very tasty portabello mushrooms with goat cheese and a little sauteed green onion as a starter. Very very yummy. My tum is doing much better after a couple of days of not eating at random restaurants, and with much less stress on my system. I was glad to accomplish what I did, but it was also nice to have a slow day where there wasn't much I had to be concerned with. The rest of my laundry (what I was wearing yesterday while the rest of it was being washed) has been dealt with. Once everything is dry and rolled up, we'll have to weigh the backpack and make sure it's under the 22 pound limit for carry-ons. I've got a couple of more days where before I head for Penrith and the Potfest - I'll be checking into the B&B on August 2nd in the late afternoon. I've been talkiung to Stephen, who is finishing up his preparations and sent me a photo of his adorable puppy, and we're looking forward to meeting next weekend.

Overall, a good day, even with lots of heavy rains. We've had some sun and a little warmth, and I'm looking forward to seeing what tomorrow will bring!
erynn: Gaelic merman image (d'oh!)
I'm still feeling like absolute crap. [livejournal.com 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 [livejournal.com 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 (Liberty & Justice OTP)
The Washington State senate just passed the marriage equality bill, 28-21.

Thank you to the legislators who voted on the right side of history tonight.
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 (gir explode)
If you're reading this, you're probably already aware of SOPA/PIPA so I won't reiterate. Please do say something to your governmental "public servants." Pretty much every website I use regularly would be devastated by the legislation if it passed, my own included.

We got probably five or so inches of snow today. It stopped snowing mid-afternoon and hasn't started again yet, but it's started up in Seattle already and will probably hit here sometime in the next few hours. Weather reports are predicting "the worst snow in a couple of decades" with possibly a foot or more falling in the next day or so.

I had my next-door neighbor over for dinner tonight. She's been doing a lot of snow shoveling when I'm not really able to, which I deeply appreciate, given that I slipped on this stuff a few years back and broke an arm. She was really happy to be invited and said it was nice to be appreciated for what she's doing. I just wish I could contribute more to the effort.

Earlier this evening I had to take another tramadol; I am going to presume that this was yet another weather-related headache like the one I had the other day. I'm doing okay, but it's annoying to hurt like that.

My shrink called early this afternoon to cancel for tomorrow because of the weather. We've moved the appointment to next week. I'm probably going to call tomorrow to cancel for Thursday, as well. I also asked in the appropriate place whether there are contingency plans for Saturday's Sisters of Seshat initiation.

[livejournal.com profile] lwood pinged me today and said that Eli and Don won't be at PCon this year, so we will be sharing a room rather than a suite with Diana. I'm okay with this, and it will cut down more on expenses, which all of us will appreciate. It's easy enough to get a roll-in bed if we need one.

I've printed out the manuscript for Fireflies at Absolute Zero and have edited about a third of it. I'm still thinking about the dedication page. Tomorrow will be more editing, and I'll probably do more tonight before I go to bed, as well.

I'm not going anywhere until this whole weather situation has resolved. I hope those of you who are required to be out in it will be careful and stay safe and warm.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Feminist dialectic brings 'em)
I had known that Occupy Everett was being evicted tomorrow, but the county moved up the schedule on getting them out, and was not going to allow them access to any of the dumpsters or recycle or other resources tomorrow, so they put out a call for folks to come down today and pick up things that had been donated, and help with clearing out whatever could be done this afternoon.

I went down to pick up the camp chair and the five-gallon water bag I'd left for them to use and ended up helping out with some of the cleanup for an hour or so. KSER, the local public radio station, was doing a live broadcast from the encampment this afternoon at 4pm. The guy hosting the show said it was the first time they'd ever done a show outside the studio, and he and his assistant seemed pretty interested in everything that was going on. Everybody was asked if we wanted to be interviewed on the radio. I figured why not, so I spoke to the woman taking names. She asked what I wanted to talk about and I noted that veterans issues were important to me. I ended up being the second person they interviewed, for maybe three minutes.

I stayed for a while after that, but it was getting colder and darker and eventually I was shivering. Everyone said I did a good job and was pleased with what I'd said. I'm told that the show will be archived on the KSER website at some point and hope that I'll be able to link you to it when I find out it's up. I spent a bit of time while I was there talking to someone who worked for the city. Zie declined to be interviewed on air due to concerns for their job and potential conflict of interest, which I could respect. We had a good conversation, but I had to leave because I was just freezing. I hadn't expected to stay nearly so long so I hadn't worn my long wool coat or a heavy sweater. I'd intended to stay maybe half an hour and help out a little, but ended up being there for nearly 90 minutes, by which time I was too cold to stay any longer.

Staying that long was probably a mistake. I wrapped myself up in warm things when I got home, made myself some hot tea, and some dinner, but I'm still not feeling quite right. I'm really exhausted and aching, and I'm hoping I don't come down with a cold. With any luck, getting some rest tonight will help. I will probably actually sleep before 5am tonight.

I also got a call this evening from [livejournal.com profile] mael_brigde with an update on her condition. She will need surgery but they caught this quite early while the tumor is very small and, if she is lucky, she won't need chemo or radiation. She's got an MRI appointment for January 9th (the day of the next CR Schmooze) and hopes to come down for a couple of days shortly after that if all goes well, before she has to go into surgery again. At the moment, provided the MRI results are good, she has an excellent prognosis and I'm definitely pulling for that to be the case.

Between all that, I got another 2,000-ish words done on my fic, leaving me currently at 65,300 and going. I might write for a little longer before I go to bed, given that the muse is being kind to me at the moment, but I'm awfully tired and am not sure how much longer I'm going to last.

Tomorrow night, Hatsumode at the shrine. I doubt I'm going to be up to going down to Seattle for any dancing, given how I'm feeling right now. Sunday is the steampunk tea party. I need to pay bills tomorrow (January's VA check came in last night) so that I don't have to worry about it later.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Feminist dialectic brings 'em)
Most of the day today I stayed home with [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor. She hasn't been feeling well the past several days, but was at least doing a little better today. She did stuff and practiced her harp, and I played a lot of Plants vs Zombies, and had a consult with my partner-in-fic online, though Random was interrupted regularly by stuff on her end. Plotty bits were done.

This evening I went down to talk to some of the Occupy Everett folks. The encampment is being removed (entirely peacefully) Friday, but the community tent will be staying as an information point for folks to come and learn about the movement and for distribution of info about events and actions happening in the community. The meeting was specifically to deal with some publicity stuff. One guy wanted to do cds with some photos on them. I'm not really up on that sort of thing, but we did figure that we needed a little info sheet (with black & white photos) on who Occupy Everett is and what the main points of whole thing are about. We've got one guy on that project, and I said I'd take the photos (I copied them to my laptop), review them, and put together a calendar for next year with the photos and some information about a dozen of the main points we're working on. The info sheet needs to be done end of the week or so; the calendar project can take a little longer than that. We'll just do it through Lulu.com so that we can link to it through the Occupy Everett website and let folks order it, as well as having some on hand through the community tent. I spent about 90 minutes there -- we had six people show for the meeting and, given it was a very last-minute thing, I think that wasn't too bad.

I'm not hugely talented with graphics, but I can probably put something reasonable together with one of the templates there online. I did, however, have to go through probably 700 or so photos to find things that were actually in focus enough and of reasonable enough quality with enough interest to potentially be a part of photo collages or individual images for the cover and for twelve months. I ditched the ones that didn't look too useful to me so as to save room on my laptop's hard drive. Once the photos are all dealt with and uploaded to Lulu for the project, I can delete the rest of them as well.

Tomorrow, Geordie's coming down from Vancouver. I'm picking him up at the Everett bus depot at 2:15. I also have to remember to call the VA and talk with Julia about canceling the yoga thing. Tomorrow evening is also the steampunk social. [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor will be off with some musicians working on musical things and then, I believe, heading back home to Seattle.

Overall, a pretty quiet day.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Earth: where I keep my stuff!)
Via [livejournal.com profile] tdancinghands, a page with some material on the NDAA from the Portland Wiki. It links to actual texts of the legislation, and to several articles from the Huffington Post, so take those particular links for what they might be worth.

I didn't go to yoga today, as I was too creaky first thing when the alarm went off. I did go later for my monthly shrinkage, however. Even just an hour makes a huge difference to me in how much I can cope with in any given day. I didn't sleep well last night, being crampy all night long from my VA visit yesterday. The dog was restless as well, which didn't help. At this point, I'm contemplating dropping the yoga group because, while I'm mostly enjoying the yoga itself, I'm just not up to being in Seattle by 2pm most days. I usually do 3pm appointments by choice when I have the ability to choose.

We went to Travelers after I got out of the VA, where we met Patrick, then we headed off for the CR monthly business meeting. We got the first quarter of the year sorted, and I have to work on writing the Imbolc ritual. I've uploaded the two files I told people that I would put on the list for folks who wanted to read more stuff about the geilta and PTSD. We also decided that we were going to permanently move the schmooze back to second Mondays of the month -- we'd been doing first Mondays because [livejournal.com profile] wire_mother already had a commitment that night, which doesn't exist anymore, so the second Monday is probably better for everyone anyway. First Monday tends to conflict with holy days at the beginnings of the month.

Tomorrow I have my spirituality group, then hanging out for a bit at Travelers until the traffic clears a little. Friday [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor will be heading over to the AFK with me to meet with Gary and Melody and a few other folks for food and some gaming. Saturday is the Medieval Women's Choir concert and Sunday is the new Sherlock Holmes with the steampunks.

I really need to breathe. Thursday and/or Friday I have to do laundry. I really don't want to go about naked in this weather.

Breathing. Breathing is good.
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 (Shinto shrine)
I crawled out of bed this morning at the ungodly (for me) hour of 9am so that I could be out in time to get to the Shinto shrine for the ceremony today. I was tired, but it was a very nice morning anyway, and when I got to the shrine I saw [livejournal.com profile] mimerki, [livejournal.com profile] varina8 and [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht there. The first two named were seated on the floor, while [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht found a seat in the row of chairs in front of me. I didn't really get to talk much with any of them until after the ceremony, when there was mochi-making. Gods, there is nothing like fresh mochi made by actually pounding the rice -- the stuff made from mochi flour just cannot compare.

I didn't go out to the Inari shrine today. Possibly next time I'm out there, though maybe not, given I was planning on going out for the midnight New Years ceremony and it'll be too dark to want to deal with the path out there. Anyway, next time I get the opportunity, I'll take a walk out there.

After the shrine, I came home and did a little in #writechat. It was pretty slow today, only a few of us there. One guy was ranting about how all writers these days are shit because they want to be loved and they listen to other people. He wants to make ART, even if people hate it.

I am of the opinion that making art is work that requires study and practice, along with the development of one's own voice as a writer. But a lot of that work comes through imitation of other styles as you learn the tools of the craft. You have to know how and why some things work in order to try something new. Musicians don't play jazz without first learning their scales, so why should it be any different for writers? Of course, I'm probably one of those writers who insists upon being loved and adored by all and sundry, therefore sacrificing my artistic integrity.

Later in the afternoon I took myself over to Firewheel Books and met with a couple of folks to do some basics of WordPress. We spent about an hour, and now we have two people who can log in and have a basic competence on the differences between posts and pages, making a post sticky, adding links to the sidebar, and adding items to the calendar.

Got home before 7pm and had a little dinner. I've also been doing some writing today as well. I'm currently at 46,000 words and will probably write some more tonight before I go to bed. Monday I'm not planning on doing anything. There is the west coast port shutdown planned with Occupy Seattle, but I'm going to be in Seattle three days next week already, so I'm not keen on adding a fourth. I wish everyone luck, though, and safety in the endeavor.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (ow. Robertson Davies)
I didn't feel well enough to go down to Seattle today. Everything ached with a vengeance. I was up around noonish and pinged [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor about the fact that I wasn't going to show and then went back to bed for a few hours. I got up again at 4:30 but didn't revive at all. I went next door to Amante's for dinner because I just couldn't face life, the universe, or anything, and had some rosemary chicken ravioli. Eventually I was alert enough to be able to deal with the dishes. 8:30pm saw me out the door to deal with my grocery shopping for the month over at Central Market. That took me about an hour.

Upon my return, I futzed with the Occupy Everett site some more, fixing a few of the obnoxious problems that I wasn't able to deal with last night. I think I have enough of a clue now to be able to address most of the basic stuff that the other site admins are going to want to do with it. I've figured out the calendar system so that I can get both single and recurring events on there without difficulty, as well as adding things to the calendar as I could find them on the OE Facebook page. I have a few ideas for other pages we may want to add so that things can be easily found by anyone wanting to find them.

I'm planning on being at the Shinto shrine tomorrow morning for the ceremony, then back here for a bit to rest up before I head over to Firewheel for the 5pm meeting with the OE web admin folks.

In doing a little more looking around regarding the Defense legislation that was approved and will be sent to Obama, which people are saying gives the military permission to hold US citizens on US soil, here is the actual text, which does not actually say that:

SEC. 1032 . REQUIREMENT FOR MILITARY CUSTODY.

(a) Custody Pending Disposition Under Law of War-
(1) IN GENERAL- Except as provided in paragraph (4), the Armed Forces of the United States shall hold a person described in paragraph (2) who is captured in the course of hostilities authorized by the Authorization for Use of Military Force (Public Law 107-40) in military custody pending disposition under the law of war.
(2) COVERED PERSONS- The requirement in paragraph (1) shall apply to any person whose detention is authorized under section 1031 who is determined—
(A) to be a member of, or part of, al-Qaeda or an associated force that acts in coordination with or pursuant to the direction of al-Qaeda; and
(B) to have participated in the course of planning or carrying out an attack or attempted attack against the United States or its coalition partners.
(3) DISPOSITION UNDER LAW OF WAR- For purposes of this subsection, the disposition of a person under the law of war has the meaning given in section 1031(c), except that no transfer otherwise described in paragraph (4) of that section shall be made unless consistent with the requirements of section 1033.
(4) WAIVER FOR NATIONAL SECURITY- The Secretary of Defense may, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Director of National Intelligence, waive the requirement of paragraph (1) if the Secretary submits to Congress a certification in writing that such a waiver is in the national security interests of the United States.
(b) Applicability to United States Citizens and Lawful Resident Aliens-
(1) UNITED STATES CITIZENS- The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to citizens of the United States.
(2) LAWFUL RESIDENT ALIENS- The requirement to detain a person in military custody under this section does not extend to a lawful resident alien of the United States on the basis of conduct taking place within the United States, except to the extent permitted by the Constitution of the United States.



National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012 (Engrossed in Senate [Passed Senate] - ES) Sec. 1032


Whether or not any of this is particularly right is another question entirely, but at least it doesn't say that the military has absolute discretion to imprison anyone at any time for any purpose. It is at least somewhat mollifying.

Today's mail brought my annual Social Security notification, and for the first time in several years I'll actually be getting a little more money in my check. That will be a relief. I'm still trying to kill some of my credit card debt, and this and the VA pension both go up for 2012. I've also made the final payment on the condo special assessment for the decks, which frees up more of my budget to deal with those damned credit cards. I swear I shall get rid of another one of them this coming year. The one with the lowest interest is about 9% and the highest is around 24%, which is insane. That's the one I'm working on right now.

A little writing got done today on the fic. It is approximately 44,000 words now. Busy Erynn is busy.

GAH!

Dec. 7th, 2011 01:53 am
erynn: Gaelic merman image (AAAAAIIIGHH!)
I have a horrible feeling I'm supposed to be doing something Friday and cannot for the life of me remember what it is. There is nothing on my calendar for that day, but this may just mean that I have forgotten to add it to my list of Stuff.

Tomorrow, yoga and hanging out at Travelers. I will probably be seeing [livejournal.com profile] sebastian_lvx there when I'm done at the VA.

Thursday, spirituality group at the VA. Possibly talking to folks at Occupy Seattle at the Sanctuary tent, depending on what's happening there. They have been given an eviction order that is apparently supposed to happen mid-day Friday sometime, so I'm sure things will be in chaos.

Friday is ??? I also don't know if I've committed to do something over the weekend, for I have no brain and therefore must weep.

At the moment, if there are no actual plans and this is just my hyperactive anxiety gland, I will WRITE dammit. I have a ton of stuff to work on.

Today I went over to Occupy Everett and helped set up a large banner, then went with them over to Firewheel for part of a meeting on Occupy's role in protesting and trying to prevent foreclosures on people's homes. Occupy Seattle and Occupy Tacoma just yesterday helped prevent the eviction of a family who actually had money to pay the mortgage but with whom the bank was refusing to work. There's a lot of hinky stuff going on. There was an attorney at the meeting this evening who was talking about the issues, laws being proposed in other states to help alleviate the problem, and what local legislation might be proposed, along with thoughts on actions here locally.

After that, it was over to the AFK for the steampunk social. One other gal showed up and we had a lovely talk about all kinds of things, from steampunk costuming and props to the SCA to Plants vs Zombies to bad movies. All in all, it was a pretty good day.

Just as a heads up, Jason from Wild Hunt did a really good, thoughtful editorial on Pagans and the Occupy movement. It is well worth reading if you've not done so already.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Feminist dialectic brings 'em)
Just in case you thought the Occupy movement was ineffective:

How Republicans are being taught to talk about Occupy Wall Street
By Chris Moody

Political Reporter, The Ticket, Dec 1, 2011

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Republican Governors Association met this week in Florida to give GOP state executives a chance to rejuvenate, strategize and team-build. But during a plenary session on Wednesday, one question kept coming up: How can Republicans do a better job of talking about Occupy Wall Street?

"I'm so scared of this anti-Wall Street effort. I'm frightened to death," said Frank Luntz, a Republican strategist and one of the nation's foremost experts on crafting the perfect political message. "They're having an impact on what the American people think of capitalism."

Luntz offered tips on how Republicans could discuss the grievances of the Occupiers, and help the governors better handle all these new questions from constituents about "income inequality" and "paying your fair share."

Yahoo News sat in on the session, and counted 10 do's and don'ts from Luntz covering how Republicans should fight back by changing the way they discuss the movement.

1. Don't say 'capitalism.'

"I'm trying to get that word removed and we're replacing it with either 'economic freedom' or 'free market,' " Luntz said. "The public . . . still prefers capitalism to socialism, but they think capitalism is immoral. And if we're seen as defenders of quote, Wall Street, end quote, we've got a problem."

2. Don't say that the government 'taxes the rich.' Instead, tell them that the government 'takes from the rich.'

"If you talk about raising taxes on the rich," the public responds favorably, Luntz cautioned. But "if you talk about government taking the money from hardworking Americans, the public says no. Taxing, the public will say yes."

3. Republicans should forget about winning the battle over the 'middle class.' Call them 'hardworking taxpayers.'

"They cannot win if the fight is on hardworking taxpayers. We can say we defend the 'middle class' and the public will say, I'm not sure about that. But defending 'hardworking taxpayers' and Republicans have the advantage."

4. Don't talk about 'jobs.' Talk about 'careers.'

"Everyone in this room talks about 'jobs,'" Luntz said. "Watch this."

He then asked everyone to raise their hand if they want a "job." Few hands went up. Then he asked who wants a "career." Almost every hand was raised.

"So why are we talking about jobs?"

5. Don't say 'government spending.' Call it 'waste.'

"It's not about 'government spending.' It's about 'waste.' That's what makes people angry."

6. Don't ever say you're willing to 'compromise.'

"If you talk about 'compromise,' they'll say you're selling out. Your side doesn't want you to 'compromise.' What you use in that to replace it with is 'cooperation.' It means the same thing. But cooperation means you stick to your principles but still get the job done. Compromise says that you're selling out those principles."

7. The three most important words you can say to an Occupier: 'I get it.'

"First off, here are three words for you all: 'I get it.' . . . 'I get that you're angry. I get that you've seen inequality. I get that you want to fix the system."

Then, he instructed, offer Republican solutions to the problem.

8. Out: 'Entrepreneur.' In: 'Job creator.'

Use the phrases "small business owners" and "job creators" instead of "entrepreneurs" and "innovators."

9. Don't ever ask anyone to 'sacrifice.'

"There isn't an American today in November of 2011 who doesn't think they've already sacrificed. If you tell them you want them to 'sacrifice,' they're going to be be pretty angry at you. You talk about how 'we're all in this together.' We either succeed together or we fail together."

10. Always blame Washington.

Tell them, "You shouldn't be occupying Wall Street, you should be occupying Washington. You should occupy the White House because it's the policies over the past few years that have created this problem."

BONUS:

Don't say 'bonus!'

Luntz advised that if they give their employees an income boost during the holiday season, they should never refer to it as a "bonus."

"If you give out a bonus at a time of financial hardship, you're going to make people angry. It's 'pay for performance.'"
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 [livejournal.com 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! [livejournal.com 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 [livejournal.com 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 (Insane: What's Your Excuse?)
The Seattle Times has been looking into the incident of the young woman who allegedly miscarried after being pepper-sprayed by Seattle police during an Occupy action. It's looking more and more like there was no miscarriage and she probably wasn't pregnant at all. From what the article says -- and I have to note that I'm not capable of diagnosing anyone of anything -- it's possible that she has some mental illness issues that could be influencing this claim, and that it may not be the first time she's made this sort of claim.

Whatever the truth is here, we have to remember that not everyone involved with a global political movement is involved for the same reasons, and that it does not in any way diminish the egregious violence of police response to peaceful protesters with pepper spray. I wanted to link this here so that people would be aware that I've seen this and know that my previous post mentioning the situation was made before this information was brought forward.

This afternoon I went down to an Occupy Everett planning meeting for an event they are calling "Roccupy Everett" where they intend to have Dorli Rainey, the 84 year old woman who was also pepper sprayed, come up as the featured speaker. They are currently looking for musical acts and other entertainments. The catch is, they want to put this together by December 3rd. I think it's awfully soon -- all of ten days -- for them to get anything significant together, but I volunteered to help out with media/publicity, in terms of helping out with proofing material, assisting in finding media outlets for the other two people on the committee to contact, and making sure that the publicity material is at least reasonably well-written. I doubt that I will make it to the actual event, but I can at least help out in some small measure.

Vivian McPeak, who has been running Hempfest here in Seattle for the last 20 years, came up and talked about his experience as an activist in all that time and had some very useful things to say. He was, he said, used to talking to a much younger crowd that those of us assembled this evening. The Occupy Seattle crowd tends to be much younger. Pretty much everyone at the meeting this evening was middle-aged-ish. We met in a coffee house and bookshop that is in the same space Gathering Grove used to be. I think they may even still have some of the same books; they certainly have a similar vibe, if not nearly so visibly Pagan.

I had to leave the meeting about half an hour early, given that I was starting to develop a migraine. Low blood sugar combined with florescent lights was probably what did it. I came home and ate something and am doing better. I also tossed the turkey breast into the oven and roasted that for tomorrow at [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor's place. It turned out delightfully tender and juicy, and I had stuffed the body cavity with rosemary and sage, which has lent a nice flavor to the meat. I made some gravy and now all of it is in the fridge awaiting transportation.

When I get home tomorrow, the bones and what meat that was close to the bone will be going into the pot to make some turkey soup.

A couple of days ago I got the new Abney Park cd, which I ripped today and transferred over to my iPod. I listened to it and, while I'm really not as enamored of it as most of their previous stuff, they do have some nice new acoustic arrangements of older songs, and you can actually hear the lyrics in some of them a bit better, so this is good.

I am tired, but not terribly sleepy at the moment. I will probably try putting myself into bed and reading for a while to see if that will help. Tomorrow I have to be in Seattle by around 4pm for foodage.

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