erynn: Gaelic merman image (OBEY THE FIST!)
I had a good session with my shrink today and got a lot of angry flailing done. The reason I had a lot of angry flailing was because the neurology clinic called me up a little after 1pm and said "oh the doc who is seeing you wants to see one of her regular patients instead so can you come in tomorrow at 10am to see a different doc?" If it had been a medical emergency, I might understand, but it was not in any way presented as that. I explained in great detail that I had zero control over my own transportation and that rescheduling with no notice at all like this was impossible because it involved not just me but whoever it was that was supposed to be driving me to the VA. And that one of the friends who drives me to these things had his car break down so I did not have alternative transport. And that I lived in Everett. And that I'd had to sell my fucking car because I can no longer drive myself. We will not even mention how neither I nor the people who drive me everywhere are morning people.

I told them that if they'd called me last week about rescheduling I might actually have been able to do something about it. The clerk mumbled and said they'd see what could be done and they'd get back to me. After I finished up at the travel office at about 4:15 this afternoon, I called the neurology clinic and the clerk said "oh, yeah, well we've left the appointment at 2pm." Nice of them to let me know.

There was a great deal of fury and rage, but things are back to what passes for normal and I won't have to wait another couple of months to get into neurology. The doc, however, is going to hear from me when I see her tomorrow. They insist that we are supposed to give them 24 hours notice if we are not coming or if we need to change our appointment. I did not get even that much time. I don't care if she sees me and does an evaluation and passes me on to somebody else, but I could not just drop things and go "oh yeah, I will now disrupt the life of the person who is doing me a huge favor by driving me 25 miles to come to this appointment on no notice, thank you very much."

Aside from that, I barely made it to my shrink appointment on time, and there was some kerfuffle about getting me home after the appointment that meant I took the 510 bus from downtown Seattle so that I would not be arriving here after midnight instead of the usual time. Anyway I got home about 7:30 and tried to deal with my woozy head. Nothing else got done today, but at least I managed to get through the day.

So anyway, tomorrow is neurology at 2pm, and then there will be a Bach lute concert in the evening. Maybe Friday I will get some more packing and some writing done.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Misogyny)
I attempted galettes today. I need to actually sift the buckwheat flour, because the stuff I have has the little bits of husk in it from when it was ground, and it is slightly annoying in the finished galette. I also need some practice getting them thinner and flipping them so they don't break apart. They tasted pretty good, though.

I've finished the basic digging through books that I'd planned for my healing deities presentation. I have five pages of notes, plus the text of one poem that I do plan on using as part of the presentation. I have 32 named figures and half a dozen or more unnamed ones who are mentioned as doing something that heals themselves or another person, or who are invoked as a part of a healing procedure or ritual. It's been quite interesting. Tomorrow, when I'm not dealing with Brianna's moving stuff in, I'll be working on an outline.

I'm ranting a bit here, but it's not that long. )
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 [livejournal.com 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 (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 (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 [livejournal.com 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, [livejournal.com 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 (all your books!)
I went through and finished up most of the copyediting end of Circle of Stones today. It doesn't mean everything is done -- a lot of formatting needs to be done, but I'm leaving most of that for the editor to deal with. Typesetting and graphic design isn't my department.

I've done a very tiny amount of editing on the text itself, mostly a couple of corrections of gramatical errors and such. I don't intend to rewrite the book. I am, however, going to have to redo the bibliography and footnotes with proper forms for cites and bibliographical information. That's going to be annoying with the footnotes. The bibliography isn't very long, though, so that won't be too much effort.

I added a section to the text for the Preface and am about a paragraph into that at the moment. I will admit that for about fifteen minutes today, I was severely tempted to pick up a fanfic challenge prompt and work on that, but I have this project to finish and I'd like to get an essay out for Mandragora on sacred poetry in some capacity before the October deadline. That'll take some thought to get a premise together. I also need to put together a proposal or two for PCon for next year, though that will be considerably less effort.

The call for papers I posted earlier today for the Journal of Bisexuality is so very annoyingly worded. I've been having a conversation with several folks in the comments there about the ways in which there is Great Wrongness in the Force where said cfp is concerned. If you have any interest, drop by and give it a poke. I'd love to hear your take on the points that we've raised.

Today on one of the email lists I'm on, someone was talking about why they are not a Celtic Reconstructionist. Fair enough, I've never thought anyone had to be. Unfortunately, this person's arguments were that all CRs are positing some kind of fictional historical pan-Celticism, that the movement is tied to the IRA, and that we're so hung up on linguistics that we don't bother with anything else (but that we, despite this apparent fetish with language, don't realize that P-Celtic and Q-Celtic are different language groups that are not necessarily mutually intelligible). Oh, and we ignore everything but Roman writings, apparently. I've had debatesarguments with this person in the past, and she's still just as annoying about it. We went back and forth a couple of times before she retired for the night. She's apparently looking at this as a pleasant debate. I'm looking at it as a misrepresentation of my spiritual community.

My primary annoyance is that she insists we're all like this, rather than allowing for the fact that, sure, some individuals might be doing one or more of the things on her list, but that we are not some monolithic religious group where everyone agrees. It's like saying all Heathens have political ties to Stormfront or something.

Tomorrow I'm heading over to Bj and SJ's place with [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor, who met the two of them this past winter at a party. There will be food. There might be hot-tubbage. There is a high probability of Munchkin Cthulhu, or perhaps Monty Python Fluxx.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Illya "Missed it by this much")
Mostly, I suspect it was because I was tired. I didn't sleep well last night and my stomach was kind of upset. I'm hoping it'll be a bit better tonight.

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

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

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

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

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

Well, okay, so most of the western world doesn't, but that doesn't mean I think it's right for people not to give a shit. I'll just have to do better to make up for the other people of about my age.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Breakin' Ur Geasa)
Yesterday I picked up a whiteboard and markers and whatnot to go with it for the CR schmooze. We are moving up in the world. ;) The whiteboard even got used last night for its intended purpose of illustrating the spelling of words in Irish! Whee! There was a good bit of looking things up in the eDIL, as well.

I'm in the midst of a meds shift for the whole migrane prophylactic thing, so I wasn't exactly at the top of my game, and [livejournal.com profile] wire_mother did most of the talking on our topics for the night -- virtues, ethics, early Irish law, and the structure of society. He spent the majority of the time on law and social structure, where I would have emphasized the whole virtues and ethics and how we can actually apply this to our lives right now, but this is what happens when one's brain isn't operating optimally. I think folks got a good bit out of it, but probably not as much as I would have liked to see them getting.

Several folks were unable to make it; one of our people had surgery April 1st and a few others were not feeling well enough to brave the rain and wind that we've been having lately. I usually pick up [livejournal.com profile] wire_mother at the ferry downtown but wasn't up to dealing with the downtown maze and traffic, so begged out. [livejournal.com profile] joyful_storm met me at Travelers for chai before we headed over to Edge (I found a good on-street parking spot half a block from Edge when I got there around 5pm), and we had a nice chat about a variety of things, from wine to how she's been dealing with the plants and gardening in her back yard.

Post-schmooze dinner was a fair bit of talk on politics, particularly snarking on "Libertarians" of the "I've got mine, fuck everyone else in this generation and all those to come" variety that are so common in the US right now. Needless to say, that sort of attitude isn't in line with any healthy set of virtues from any society. Note that I said "healthy," as in "geared to the survival of community and the human species."

Wednesday I have shrinkage coming up, then the Everett steampunks meetup. Friday I'll be popping over to the AFK to hang with my Everett druidy friends. Saturday I'm carpooling out with other Abney Park fans to Spokane for their show, to come back on Sunday. I should do another couple of loads of laundry today and do the dishes if I have the energy for it, or perhaps the other way around, as being able to get into the sink and having clean things to eat from is more important than the laundry at the moment.

And now, off to cope with my day.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Feminist dialectic brings 'em)
Today saw the last editing run on the statement just previously posted. I talked with [livejournal.com profile] activegnome about it at AFK this evening and got another stamp of approval with a request for permission to pass it to all and sundry, which I happily granted. I hope people will spread it far and wide, and that it makes at least some difference in the community and the dialogue that arose regarding the gender fu incident. It's so much broader than just what happened at PantheaCon this year. I'm conscious of the fact that I have at least some small influence in the broader Pagan communities, even if it's only by virtue of having been around since 1984 and knowing a lot of people. I try to use my powers for good when I can.

My brother was refused unemployment today because he doesn't have his most recent DD-214. He's feeling angry and frustrated and I wish I could help in some way. He's going down to McChord tomorrow to talk to people about access to a particular Air Force computer system (I'm a little fuzzy on the details but I'm under the impression it has something to do with a jobs database), and will talk to personnel about getting the DD-214. I'm hoping they'll be able to get him a copy without having to wait for weeks for it. It would probably ease his frustration some to be able to at least have a little income until he manages to find work.

Tomorrow I'll be seeing [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht, who's coming down from Anacortes. He's spending some time tomorrow afternoon in Seattle with [livejournal.com profile] sebastian_lvx and then coming up here to crash on the couch and hang with us until my birthday party on Sunday. It's looking like 20ish people or so will probably be coming over the course of the evening (party starts at 6), but one can never really be sure with these things. Thankfully, Sunday evening should be quiet at the AFK, and we shouldn't have trouble finding seats for everyone, even though I've only told them I had a dozen or so people coming. I explained that I had no way of knowing until people actually showed up.

And now, tired Erynn is tired. I'm going to try to get some sleep tonight, as yesterday I didn't get to bed until after 5am, and the DoDC+3 woke me up at 12:30, bouncing on me wanting to go out. He's already hauled off to bed, the little blighter. He never has problems sleeping for some reason.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Failure TRex)
I didn't get out to the concert today. Between exhaustion and a constant drift of snow all day long, I wasn't up to braving the situation. It wasn't too bad until evening started coming on and the snow began sticking more. We eventually had about half an inch, though some of it's already gone. The temp has risen from a daytime 27f to about 30f right now, so perhaps tomorrow the weather will be better, though more snow is predicted both here and in Seattle. If we do get more snow, I'm likely to miss the matinee of "The Brothers Size" as well, which will be disappointing, but not a tragedy. Due to a gift certificate, I only paid $8 for the ticket, unlike the approximately $20 for tonight's concert ticket.

I really should have known I would feel like this when I got home; I always do. It takes weeks for me to really get any energy back after I've done a long trip like this. I manage to stick it out until I get home, then the body just says "okay, home again, screw it all" and keels over.

Yesterday's mail had brought me a bottle of the same blood pressure meds (in a lower dose) that my doc had previously prescribed for allegedly preventing migraines. This was prescribed by a doc whose name I don't recognize and I'm presuming it's somebody in the neurology clinic who didn't bother to read the damned record where it said the drug DID NOT WORK. I'm annoyed. I left a message on the women's clinic voicemail about it and anticipate that I'll hear something on Monday. They sent me a letter asking me to make a new appointment anyway.

Thankfully, since I stopped taking their various drugs in an attempt to head off the migraines, I haven't had one that wasn't a part of the usual pattern. Unlike all the drug-triggered ones I'd been having. *headdesk* I have to wonder if these people have a clue at all.

Given that the DoDC+3 bounced on me and woke me up at 8am this morning, I'll probably be going to bed early tonight. I hope it'll help.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Insane Membrane!)
Today my 10 copies of the ogam book arrived for the con. Yay for efficient shipping! That'll make things easier for me while I'm down there. Further planning has been done for scheduling and who's staying where, when. [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht, are you in need of space before/after the con? What's our situation with you down in SF/San Jose? We can find space for you if necessary, but we need to know what your current plans are.

In creepy-assed news, a kindergarten kid in Palatka, Florida (where my dad lives) somehow got hold of a loaded .22 caliber pistol and dropped the damned thing during his class. Fucking irresponsible adults. The gun didn't go off and nobody was hurt, thank all the gods.

Next Wednesday's steampunk meetup is on the calendar at the AFK, along with Phil and Kaja Foglio doing a book signing at 8pm for their newest Girl Genius release.

It looks like my friend will be staying until February 3rd -- he's got a place lined up, but it won't be open until then. I'm okay with this. He's very quiet, and I don't think I have anyone coming to visit overnight before then.

Tomorrow evening I'll be popping over to the AFK to hang with some of the local druids, as I did last Friday. Happy Erynn is happy.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Bowie's disappointed in you)
I'd wanted to go down and pick up my pocket watch today, but woke about 3:30 this afternoon with another brewing migraine, this one worse than yesterday's. For a while, it was at the mild spike in the head stage, but slathering my head with some migraine-combatting essential oils (peppermint, eucalyptus, cajeput, lavender & vetiver) kicked it back enough to at least tolerate. I wasn't up for leaving the house except for doggly necessities, though. For a while, it was an open question as to whether I'd be able to put anything in the tum beyond some tea, but by early evening I felt well enough to have some of yesterday's cauliflower curry.

Tomorrow is that talk on mysticism and Italian poetry, and I'm hoping to be up to leaving the house, though I'm not certain this particular migraine cycle isn't related to the cold front that's been here for the past few days, coinciding with evil hormones. Anyway, I'm hoping I'll be doing better tomorrow and can both pick up my watch and pop down to the UW to drop off some books and catch the lecture.

The annual amulet burning ceremony is out at the Shinto shrine this Sunday. With any luck, I'll be well enough to get out there, too. If I do manage to, I might be able to catch some lunch at the Greek place in Granite Falls with [livejournal.com profile] mimerki and [livejournal.com profile] varina8, pending an answer back from [livejournal.com profile] varina8. I last saw them when [livejournal.com profile] thewronghands was in town and would love to see them again.

In the realm of serious WTFery, some fundie fruitcake has decided that the mysterious deaths of all those red-winged blackbirds was caused by the repeal of DADT.



Yeah. I know. That's about what I thought, too. *headdesk* The stupidity of human beings never ceases to amaze me. Do all those horrifying, deadly storms that whip through the Bible belt mean that God hates Southern Baptists?
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Pills Cure Art)
So I took those blood pressure pills that the doc prescribed for me for preventing migraines. Getting up and doing anything at all was really hard today, and even minimal effort left me tired and dizzy, but I rather expected that. I won't be taking any tomorrow until I get home from the CR schmooze, because I don't want to drive in that condition, but I'll give it a week or so to see if the effect evens out a little. I know that it can take a while to do so.

Other than that, today was bill paying and not much of anything else. I wanted to go down to the drug store and get printer cartridges so that I could print a couple of things, but my head was too messed up to get that far on foot and I didn't trust myself to drive. I stayed home all day, but I did make myself a lamb shank tagine with some salted key lime that was very tasty. At the moment, the shank bone is on the stove being turned into broth for soup.

I sent off the Thoth story that I posted here some months ago for the Scribing Ibis anthology, as Rebecca had requested. Submissions opened on January 1st, and she was quite tickled to get the thing. Although it was written quite a while back, it's still something that will be published this year, so it was my first acceptance of 2011. Yay me!

I got an email from SJ this afternoon about some problems with my character for the next gaming session. As usual, it was a problem with the points. I thought we were okay but it turns out that when Bj kept telling me I still had some points, I actually didn't, and I had to hack out a goodly chunk of what I'd got down on paper. Math phobia rears its ugly head again. Luckily, SJ sent me the spreadsheet with everything fixed on it, so I won't have to mess around with anything else until we get new points after our first session. I love gaming, but I hate having to deal with this sort of thing -- sometimes it quite literally makes me nauseous because of the whole math anxiety thing. Sj's answer:

take 1.5 tylenol with 5/8 of an advil in 9/11 of a 17-oz glass of water along with .3 teaspoon and 1/7 tablespoon of baking soda.

works every time.

or maybe that's the cause math trauma spell.


Personally, I'm going with "cause math trauma spell" rather than fixing it. Not to mention the whole "allergic to Advil" thing.

Today was the start of my flamekeeping shift and the altar is lit. I got a series of texts from my friend James in Sacramento this evening telling me his grandmother had passed away tonight and talking about a thing that happened to him in ritual when she died. He says he's hoping to either come to PantheaCon or to Eight Winds this year so we can see each other again. Sadly, I know several people who have lost relatives in the past few days.

I'm hoping to get to bed sometime soonish, though I will at the very least make it into Seattle for the schmooze tomorrow. I may not be terribly present for the discussion, but I'll physically be there.
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 (It's raining)
Today was about as migrainey as yesterday. Thankfully, I really didn't have to do very much. I made a trip down to the Safeway and the postal place, only to find I hadn't actually collected [livejournal.com profile] qorinda's zip code to send out the phone, so I had to bring that back. I have the info now and will be able to mail it out tomorrow, but I felt like an idiot. Migraines do cause me to be of very little brain, sadly.

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

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

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

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

The irony of all this coming down on a day that people have been highlighting as one of solidarity with the queer community and all their repetition of "it gets better" is rather sharp, don't you think?
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
I got an email today from the Million Tiny Pictures project that they have mailed out the camera to me. This is the photography project I mentioned a couple of weeks ago where people document their lives with 24 photos, and I'm looking forward to playing around with the idea and seeing where it goes. I know a few of the things I want to photograph and am hoping that they'll turn out. My plan is to do most of the photos with a tripod if possible due to the way my hands shake. I'd hate for all 24 photos to be blurry! Breaking a few brains for scrambled thoughts... )
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
I've never actually been into the conservatory up in Volunteer Park before. I've seen the outside, of course, but every time I've been nearby it's been closed or I've been busy with other things. Today, because we had some time before the queer Pagan meetup, I checked to see if the place was open. In fact, this was opening day and I got a chance to go into this little Victorian marvel. It was a delightful place and filled with wonderful floral scents. Due to the holiday the gift shop area wasn't open, but I peeked in through the glass door. They sell plants, gardening books, and other planty-things.

I didn't have my camera with me today, but the phone does have a camera function and so that's where these bits came from. Three photos below the cut. )
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Failure TRex)
Over on Ian Corrigan's blog, John Michael Greer has been tracing more and more instances of outright plagiarism in Steve Akins's alleged "Ancient Celtic Bible". "Rowan Wildewood", who posted a fawning interview with Akins and may well be Akins himself, has backed further and further from the "it's a real ancient book" and into "well it's pretty and I like it". Which is great if you're into supporting plagiarists as your spiritual teachers.

I do not understand the penchant in some portions of the Pagan community to take up the defense of people who are forgers and plagiarists, who insist that "any book can be inspiring" and that it's just fine for people to steal the writings of others, file off a few of the serial numbers, and claim that work for their own. If they're inspired by what's been stolen, why not go to the original sources from which the plagiarist is stealing? Surely that would be more satisfying and less supporting of known frauds. Particularly when, as this particular fraud, the "translator" is known to be a fan of Hitler, a member of Stormfront, and a rabid, foam at the mouth anti-Semite. I would think those, in and of themselves, would be enough to separate him from polite company. He attempts to present this as simple "conservative" viewpoints, but I have friends who are social conservatives and racism, sexism, anti-Semitism, and homophobia are not a part of their lives and agendas.

I honestly believe that the impulse to tolerate situations like this is not unlike the willingness I've seen in the larger Pagan community to tolerate organizations that embezzle money from their members, Priests and Priestesses who abuse members of their groups, and Pagans who molest kids because "we shouldn't take these things to the law". Just because in some traditions we take oaths not to take other members of the Craft to secular authorities, it doesn't mean that we should ignore blatantly illegal activity that harms others. That oath was intended to keep people from turning each other in for merely being Pagan, not to protect criminals from their actions. And Akins selling his patch-job as an ancient Irish holy book when he's stolen whacking chunks of it from modern sources is, make no mistake, a criminal act that can and does harm innocents who are looking for genuine sources of Celtic spirituality without enough knowledge or wide enough reading to know that they're being played for fools.

If those who know about the plagiarism and forgery do not speak out about it because "it's inspiring", they are acting in complicity with Akins. Or, as a friend's trad would have it, "with the fool no season spend, nor be counted as his friend."

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