erynn: Gaelic merman image (Join the Illuminati!)
The wind was up today and the power got knocked out for maybe half an hour. It wasn't gone long, but it was slightly disconcerting. Given that my wireless is currently battery operated, this meant I could remain online even through the outage - not a thing I could do when I had a cable modem and a wireless router. It's the one advantage to the system I currently use.

I got first draft sample cover art for the Circle of Stones reprint today. The idea is okay, but the execution leaves rather a bit to be desired, as one might expect from a first draft. Comments were sent back and forth between myself, Taylor, and Storm, and we'll have Andy do another draft and see how that goes. I was kind of "yeah, it's okay. meh." It didn't grab me, but it didn't give me a visceral Oh Fuck No the way the first draft cover for the ogam book did, so I figure we're headed in the right direction.

I had fun at the Irish class today, wherein songs were sung and key phrases like "I don't understand" and "maybe" were practiced. ;)

After Irish class, [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor and I went over to Caffe Vita for the queer Pagan meetup, where I caught up with folks I haven't seen in quite some time. Greg, Black Cat, Craigula, Jimbo, and Jay were all there. Also in attendance (though I didn't really get a chance to talk to her) was Nancy, whom I hadn't seen since around the time I was dating my third husband, so that's probably been nearly since dinosaurs roamed the earth. I introduced [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor around to everyone I knew and we chatted and I squeed about Ireland and Europe and upcoming publications and all that.

Once the group started to break up, half a dozen of us went up the street to a little bar and snacks place, which was okay if a bit hipster for my tastes. We hung out and talked for probably another hour before I had to get on the road to get home to Everett.

In the past few days I'd been hearing about yet another eyerolling kerfuffle in the online CR community, where some folks are apparently claiming anyone who isn't Reading Books and Being A Scholar ZOMG isn't really practicing CR, which is patent bullshit as far as I'm concerned. The whole idea behind this was that eventually people wouldn't have to be scholars and build it all themselves. Eventually there would come a time when there would be rituals and communities and people could just come and participate and be a part of the CR movement, no matter what their level of "academic" involvement. I think that it was put pretty well on the Mo Thearmann blog, though she did say one thing that I would take at least slight issue with:

You can't attend a gathering and then shut CR off for the remainder of the year. Also, if you are CR on Monday, Ásatrú on Tuesday, Wiccan on Wednesday, Hellenic on Thursday ad nauseam, then you are not fully CR because you are setting aside the CR worldview to practice— or dabble, really— in others.

I'm someone who practices multiple traditions. My primary spiritual identity is as a fili within a CR tradition, but I am also a Shinto practitioner, a mystes and luperca in the Ekklesía Antínoou, and a number of other things that I don't mysteriously stop being when I am practicing a CR path. Nor do I suddenly stop being a member of the Shinto shrine or lose my affiliation with Antinous and his community when I am teaching or doing ritual within the CR community. I understand why "dabbling" would be problematic, but I also know that many people operating in a genuinely polytheist paradigm are capable of working within a number of traditions at the same time. How long does one have to practice something for it to no longer be "dabbling"? Whose criteria do we use? What determines how many spiritual practices a person can have and still legitimately be considered a member of the CR movement?

I've already been declared a heretic by some, I know. That said, I'm writing books and publishing essays and teaching at festivals, and people associate my name with the CR movement. I don't accept the idea that I might somehow not be legitimate because I also choose to worship other deities and practice other paths along with my primary practice. My life is broader, richer, and more complex than that. I take all of it seriously, even if I would never consider myself, for instance, an expert on Shinto. I don't have to be in order to be a shrine member and to go to the seasonal festivals.

Anyway, that's my rant for the evening. Let's not dismiss people just because we may not practice in the same way they do. Yes, there are boundaries. No, CR is not an exclusive path that people must practice while forsaking all others. No, you do not have to have a degree in Celtic Studies to practice a CR spirituality.

Thank you and good night.
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 (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 (writy pooped)
Today was yoga at the VA. I also had to deal with the women's clinic there, as they had sent me a note a couple of weeks ago that I should call them and schedule an appointment with a new doc. I had tried calling a few times, but they never even answered the phone, so I went in there today in person to deal with it. I had in initially made an appointment a month or two ago, which they called and told me to cancel because they intended to have me seen by a different doc who wasn't in the clinic yet.

It turns out that this new doc they wanted me to see only does a morning clinic, so I wasted all this time waiting around and getting frustrated with nobody answering the phones. I'm supposed to see the one I've scheduled for later this month; part of my issue has been that I used the last tramadol (prescribed to me for migraines since the migraine-specific stuff makes me feel like I've been hit by a truck while having cardiac arrest, and doesn't actually stop the migraines anyway) last week. Nina had only given me a scrip for one fill, and the pharmacy won't renew a scrip unless it has an approval from your doc. I mean, it makes sense, but it's not like I've had a doc I could go to for the last several months who could renew the prescription.

Anyway, I'm hoping this will be resolved by the end of the month, but it does mean that the week of the 28th I get to spend three days in a row going down to the VA for crap. I'm not thrilled. Further nattering here. )
erynn: Gaelic merman image (gir explode)
I didn't write today, but it wasn't a complete fail. I did get some advice on working on my Preserving Shrine webpage from the person who said she'd help me out, and did update it myself now that I have a clue what I'm supposed to look for. I still have some work to do there, but I've fixed the broken link for my ogam book, removed the calendar item that has gone past, and redirected links to my publications page over to my Searching for Imbas publications page. I have a lot of other work to do, but those were the major things that desperately needed dealing with Right Now. I think I still need to add a link for the ebook edition of my ogam book; I can't remember if I did already. Brain holds stuff like a steel sieve. I know what I did was work, but it feels like I didn't accomplish much.

I just got back from a trip over to the grocery store -- I have guests coming this weekend and need to be able to feed them something. I didn't get everything I needed but I at least got enough that we'll have a reasonable choice for what to do. I got a call from mom today but the phone didn't ring. Sometimes the reception here is spotty and calls don't come through. Sorry mom! I'll try calling you tomorrow.

The person I had the discussion with about ebooks yesterday came over to my LJ and started to reply to people, then deleted his comments and his account. He declared elsenet that he'd deleted his LJ because he wasn't "an emo teen or a Russian." He had declared in his conversation with me yesterday that if I asked anybody, at least 90% of everyone would agree with him that ebooks should be free if you buy a print copy. Strangely, zero percent of the people who actually responded to my post thought ebooks should be free if you bought a print copy. Unsurprisingly, the people responding are pretty much all artists, musicians, journalists, and writers. You know, the folks who are most affected by theft of electronic media. Funny how that works. I still maintain that just because you can find files of stuff out there for free doesn't mean you should steal other people's work.

Anyway, I had no creative energy at all today. I watched a dvd of Russian animation, but dealing with CSS and HTML for several hours was enough to burn everything else out of my brain. I'd say I'll try to write tomorrow, but that's kind of unlikely. Maybe I will get some reading and research done. If I do, I'll count it as good for the moment. In the evening I'll be heading out for dinner with steampunks then picking up [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor. Sunday, Geordie's coming down from Vancouver on the 2:15 into Everett and we'll pick him up down at the depot. Monday is the CR schmooze.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (all your books!)
This evening I went with [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor to the Seattle Asian Art Museum for a reading by two Chinese poets and the release of the anthology Push Open the Window: Contemporary Poetry from China. I headed down early because it was a warm, sunny day, and spent an hour or so sitting at a picnic table in the park while reading essays from Heroic Poets and Poetic Heroes and taking copious research notes. About 6:30, [livejournal.com profile] gra_is_stor met me in Volunteer Park and we headed into the museum for the reading. We were actually the first people seated and one of the guys from Copper Canyon Press came over to talk with us. I told him that I'd been looking forward to the reading and that I'd heard about it through Copper Canyon and Elliott Bay's email. He expressed appreciation for poetry readers and I said that I ought to like reading poetry, given that I was a poet and had a wall full of poetry books at home. I noted I would have loved to purchase the anthology, but was flat broke at the end of the month. He said he'd give me a copy -- and he actually did! I was quite delighted, so thank you Joseph Bednarik of Copper Canyon for your kindness! I was able to get the book signed by the two poets at the end of the evening as well.

The reading itself was fascinating and I learned quite a bit about Chinese poetry, particularly from Xi Chuan's introductions to some of the poems he read by other poets in the anthology. He has quite a sense of humor and some of his work was very amusing; he read one from the anthology and two other pieces from one of his other works. His answer to Nietzsche was particularly funny, I thought. Zhou Zan is an advocate of women's poetry in China and has been the editor of the women's poetry journal Wings for many years, as well as being a poet and the translator of some of the poetry of Margaret Atwood. She read her own poems and several poems from the anthology by other women poets.

I talked briefly to the poets when I got my copy of the anthology signed. They were asking for people's names so that they could personalize them and I wrote mine down briefly because it's an unusual spelling. They asked what kind of a name it was and I said it was Irish but spelled funny. They said that it could actually be construed as a Chinese name with a rough translation of something like "your plough," which I thought was pretty funny. Perhaps I cultivate the fields of memory.

My contract from Hiraeth arrived today. I just need to make sure they use my whole name in the contract (if they send me an editable pdf I can correct it myself) and sign and date the thing and we are go for a 2012 publication! The date is yet to be determined, but definitely next year. We'd been discussing autumn, but that decision will be up to the press when they have next year's schedule together. It's early yet to tell.

I got into a lengthy conversation/rant in twitter today with one of my friends about ebooks. He was complaining that he'd spent $50 on a book and wanted the ebook of it for free. His argument was that he'd already paid for the book so why should he have to pay for a second format?

My answer was that if he wanted a hardbound and a paperback, he'd have to pay for both of those formats. If he wanted an audiobook, he'd end up paying for that, too. He argued that an audiobook required people to actually read the book, and therefore it was worth something. Apparently he believes that there is either no work or no intrinsic value in an ebook, and therefore he shouldn't have to pay for it. He did accuse me of being greedy and wanting people to pay multiple times for the same material.

If an author wants to package a print and ebook copy as the same sale, more power to them. If they want to give things away for free, I'm fine with that. On the other hand, an author's work is worth something, no matter what format it's in.

He pulled someone else into the discussion and then asked me if I wanted to do away with used bookshops, too. I said that, in the end analysis, someone had actually paid for the books in the used bookshop at one point, unless the books were remaindered. Of course, with the rise of print on demand publishing, remainders may soon be a thing of the past, so any book in a used bookshop would of necessity have been previously paid for. Yet nobody walks into a used bookshop and walks out with a bag full of free books -- you do pay for them used.

What about libraries? I was asked. They're stealing a ton of revenue from authors, too. Isn't it really just the same if you buy a cd and upload the sound file to a website where anyone can download it? Aren't you just sharing it the same way you would a library book?

No, not really. A library pays for the copy and loans it out, but it always comes back. If you keep the library book, they charge you late fees and, eventually, a replacement fee if you don't return it. Regardless of what happens, there is only one copy -- paid for -- running around. The author still got paid for it. If you buy a cd and rip it, then upload it so all your friends can have it, it's no longer one copy of something, it's a dozen copies or a thousand copies, or ten thousand copies, and the artist never sees a penny of any of those. He felt that making copies was not an ethical problem at all because it's not a copy of something physical, it's just bits in the aether. But it's still someone's hard work and they deserve to be compensated, no matter how many copies we're talking about.

He then went on to say that just because the publishers are screwing the authors, does that mean the readers should get screwed too? I asked him why the authors and readers couldn't get together to change the way that major publishers do things, and he had no answer for that. Major publishers are making money at the expense of both authors and readers; small presses and independent authors are barely scraping by most of the time. But apparently I'm tilting at windmills for caring about the people who are actually writing.

He said if writing paid so badly, nobody should try to make a living at it. Authors should negotiate better contracts -- yet the publisher holds almost all the power in those situations, and a writer isn't necessarily going to get a better deal at some other publisher. Self-publishing is still very poorly regarded because so much of it is crap. Being able to be published by an actual press is still a meaningful thing, even if the technology is enabling individuals to publish their own work. If they're able to do a professional job without a publisher, more power to them. I've self-published before. I prefer to let somebody else do the bulk of the publishing work, so I do my best to have material that is good enough for someone else to want to publish it.

All that said, I don't think that's the point -- my point is that if nobody pays the authors, authors are going to have to stop writing for publication because they're going to have to be earning their living some other way. They won't have the time or the energy to write at all anymore, or they will write far less than they already do. Writers, musicians, and artists still have to pay rent and pay the bills, they still have to eat and maybe occasionally get some medical care. They have to buy clothes and put gas in the car if they have one. The work of artists and musicians and writers isn't worthless or valueless and there is no reason they should be expected to work for free. The vast majority of writers I know either work at other jobs as well as writing, or they have some other means of income. Most of them don't make a living writing. I certainly don't, but I have a pension that means I'm able to write and not worry about starving to death.

I don't think that copyright should extend beyond an author's death. That serves only the publishing house or the corporation that owns it, not the author.

I don't have nearly as much of an issue with, for instance, a homeless kid who is desperate for music or for something to read downloading a copy of something for free. They don't have anything to spend, and I would just as soon give somebody like that a copy with the hope that it will make their lives a little more comfortable, or at least tolerable.

I do have a problem with a person who has a job and can afford what he needs (including a $50 book) complaining about having to spend a few more dollars for another copy of the same material. Just because you have an entire library of paper books and want to replace them doesn't entitle you to free electronic copies any more than having a collection of VHS tapes entitled you to free DVDs when they came out.

I was told that the world disagreed and was voting with their feet, that I was tilting at windmills. (When have I ever not been tilting at windmills?) I was told that I was really just supporting a model created by publishers that didn't serve readers or authors. Laws don't matter, he said.

Maybe, maybe not. I still advocate paying authors for the work they do. Nobody should be forced to work for free.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (bealtinne fire)
I talked to one of the folks on the condo board today, who doesn't think the board can actually do anything. She said to talk to the guy at our property management service, who happens to be friends with the contractors. Yeah, I doubt that's gonna help much. Anyway...

I picked up some supplies today for our Beltaine feast. Mostly it was enough rhubarb for cobbler for 12, with cream to put on it for them that wants it. I also picked up wood for the ritual fire. It was damp, given that it's been raining off and on for just about forever here of late. I've got it in Garuda's trunk, in hopes that it can dry a little in there before we have to try to burn it.

I'll be hauling our harper and her harp up from wherever in Seattle she lives out to the house where we're having the ritual, and then home again afterwards, in addition to bringing [livejournal.com profile] mael_brigde along.

The sib had a phone interview for a job on a base on Cape Cod somewhere. He said it went okay, but has no idea whether he'll get the position or not. I'm keeping the fingers crossed and all that other juju. This afternoon there was laundry and more Venture Brothers, up to the end of season two. Oh, how exciting my life is.

Tomorrow, I will be actually doing the baking of cobbler and whatnot. That part will be fun, and I may have enough to do a smaller one just for me and the sib here at home as well. I'm supposed to also do just some rhubarb, for the member of our merry crew who is gluten-intolerant. That I'm certainly capable of doing.

And now, I'm going to attempt some sleep. Tired is just really kicking my arse at the moment.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (get pagan sinfest)
Over on [livejournal.com profile] cadmus's LJ, he notes that he'd been on the Pagan Scholars email list again recently. Apparently, did you know, all modern Paganism is derived from Wicca and nobody is doing anything that isn't Wiccan. At least according to Fritz Muntean. Needless to say, calling Fritz on it led to his being booted from the list.

Aside from anything else, Fritz's arrogance in claiming that nobody who isn't Wiccan is actually doing anything is pretty astonishing.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (gir explode)
When I got out today to drop by the store, I found that I had accidentally left my bank card at the AFK last night. It was an accident -- there was some confusion about the bill and the card got forgotten in the shuffle. I picked it up this afternoon without any trouble. It was behind the bar. I don't think anyone messed with it but I'll keep an eye on my account regardless.

I had been going to head down to Seattle to see Caera, but she had been dealing with some health issues and when I texted her to let her know I was going to be late, she said she'd spaced it entirely, so I ended up not having to drive south today. I'll just see her on Monday to pick up the books from her.

Cut for local drahmah. )
erynn: Gaelic merman image (gir explode)
The keys didn't turn up today at the valet shack at the VA. I spoke to the sup a couple of times on the phone. I've also had a locksmith come in to replace the doorknob lock and rekey the deadbolt. It cost more than what I was told on the phone, but I am under the impression that the woman who answered was not understanding my questions when I asked her about an estimate. I paid about $150 for the procedure after I'd been told approximately $70; the locksmith said she probably meant per lock (I had to have two dealt with). I could see that being an issue.

He was at first a little confused about why I'd want to change the locks but I explained that, like most people, I leave my car's registration in my glove box, and yeah, the state does in fact put the address the car is registered to on the paperwork. It wouldn't take more than a minute for someone to find it and copy the address down. He admitted at that point that, yes, it was in fact a legitimate concern.

I was told the valet service would pay for it, though I had given the sup the quote I had been given. I have the receipt so I can take it down to him when I go in next week, and explain the situation to him. He'll give me a check for what I had to spend. It's not like I'm trying to have a whole new electronic security system installed or anything. I went with the cheapest alternative I could get that would do the job.

[livejournal.com profile] evilbusdriver moved out today, which took a sum total of about five minutes, as he didn't have much here to begin with. I wish him the absolute best, and some quiet time to settle in with his kitties!

This evening I popped over to the AFK to have a cuppa tea with [livejournal.com profile] activegnome, who had finished up with one of her dance classes. We talked a little about the situation at PCon and the surrounding issues of trans inclusion, then moved on to a bunch of other topics, including getting her to do some photos of me for publicity stuff, and some of her upcoming performances. She's got twelve new photos going up at the Night Kitchen soon -- this week, I think -- so if you're in the area, go see them!

Tomorrow I'll be over at the AFK again for the Everett Druid Meetup. We'll see how that goes. They'll be discussing where they're likely to meet on a regular basis. There was some (to me) senseless drama around trying out the AFK, where one guy (I think the guy who started the meetup group) seems to have some issues with gamer culture and appears to think that having a druid meetup at a gamer geek bar means that people aren't taking their spirituality seriously enough. I'm not sure what's going on there, but I found it a little awkward, given that I'm both a gamer and a deeply spiritual person, and I don't see any conflict or any implication at all that the venue means we're not taking what we do seriously or that we regard it as some D&D thing. Anyway, I'll have a better idea of what the hell is going on after tomorrow, and can decide at that point what, if anything, I need to do.

Anyway, a ton of laundry to do tomorrow before I head out to the meetup. Oy. Work! Work! The only joy is duty!

A long day

Dec. 16th, 2010 12:02 am
erynn: Gaelic merman image (It's raining)
The past few days have been kind of rough because of Monday's migraine, but I've also been dealing with a fairly high level of stress and anxiety the past couple of months. Today for the first time in a very long time I went in and sniffled on my shrink over the whole thing. I think I've worked through some of it after talking with her, but sometimes it's just hard to feel like I'm doing anything worthwhile. Yes, I know that I am and I know that I have a lot of friends who love me and that I'm a pretty cool person, but this isn't about reality, it's about the brain weasels.

I called dental while I was waiting to get in to see Tracy and have an appointment with them again. That, at least, was reasonably easy.

At Travelers today I ran into [livejournal.com profile] sebastian_lvx and we chatted for the better part of an hour while he was between jobs. It was a delight to see him and spend time with him and I felt considerably better afterwards. He said some things I kind of needed to hear, though I hadn't been looking for them specifically. After he departed, [livejournal.com profile] varina8 wandered in for a chai, just before I met Caera (whose LJ nick I'm not sure of). Caera is recently moved to Seattle from the Boston area by way of the Bay Area and has been looking for a CR community. She turned out to be made of awesome with awesomesauce and awesome sprinkles, so it was really lovely to spend time with her this evening at the schmooze organizational meeting.

We got a good bit of stuff sorted tonight for the upcoming schmoozes, as well as some preliminary plans set in place for Imbolc. I'll be having goose here on the 24th, for those local who want to come and join me, though I'd like a confirm in advance if you're interested. I only have space for so many. I know that [livejournal.com profile] sebastian_lvx and [livejournal.com profile] lakmiseiru were interested in coming. [livejournal.com profile] anthea7 and [livejournal.com profile] mintofthewater were also wanting to come up and Caera might come just to hang out and have other food, as she's vegetarian. There will be bad movies and good company.

Depending on how much energy I have, I might go to the queer Pagan meetup tomorrow evening down in Seattle, but I was planning on being there Friday for Stian's birthday, and that's an awful lot of time spent in Seattle this week so far already. Saturday is gaming. I need a little breathing space, really. And I also need to spend a little time digging through my files for a couple of things for the CR schmooze readings to supply them to Mint when we get together again.

I've been invited to come check out the Everett druid meetup group, as a part of my quest to find actual local folks for community. Although druidy stuff per se isn't really my cuppa, I'll very likely show up just to check things out. Last time I went to an Everett Pagan meetup-y thing, it didn't really impress me much, but that was a couple of years ago and not the same group of people, from what I understand.

[livejournal.com profile] alfrecht reports that Rachel Bromwich, the editor and translator of Trioedd Ynys Prydein aka "The Welsh Triads," died today in Aberystwyth, Wales. It's a sad loss for Celtic scholarship.

On the DADT front, the House today passed a bill that would rescind Don't Ask Don't tell. It has been passed to the Senate, but there are so many Republican fuckwads there that I'm not confident it will pass. Please write or call your senators if you're a US citizen. This is an important issue. I will admit that I was of two minds about the defense appropriations bill that was voted down earlier this month. I do not approve of the wars or the spending that's associated with them. They are the biggest drain on the US economy in existence, and one of the least just things about American society in general, and in that sense killing the defense bill was useful. I'm glad that we'll get to see DADT dealt with on its own merits, rather than being wrapped up in billions of dollars for killing Afghanis and Iraqis -- because no matter what the government tells you, we're still in Iraq, they're just not calling it a war anymore.

Some justice needs to be done, and that doesn't involve tax cuts for billionaires. Taxes are the only way we're going to get out of the immense debt that our country owes to places like China these days. We can't go on like this. The Republicans don't give a shit and the Democrats are too chickenshit to do anything about it. It makes me angry and frustrated. Tax cuts are not going to help our country in the least and it's time people figured that out.

Fuck DC. And I don't mean the comics company.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Illya "Missed it by this much")
Some charmingly cowardly anonymous Christian posted a comment to my post about Dan Savage with a list of biblical verses about God hating things. Said Christian ended its comment with:

"Do a word search of hate and synonyms and all forms of the word; the Bible is clear: God hates the vast majority of people.

Those are not billions of Martians in hell, dummy!"

Given that there are no Martians (aside from [livejournal.com profile] martianmooncrab, of course) and that I'm not exactly given to believe in hell, this is a completely nonsensical statement. But really, why would I want to be a part of a religion where hate is the main focus? This sort of thing isn't exactly going to be a compelling argument for anyone to actually want to join, is it?

Oh, wait, maybe it is. If you're a bigot and an asshole.

This is why the "delete comment" option exists.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Wile E WTF)
Let me preface this by saying I had a fantastic time, as I always do when (a) in Portland or (b) at an Abney Park show. But I had a really strange experience at the club.

I was leaning on a pillar, having a lovely time, watching the crowd between acts. A tall, blond woman pointed a camera at me and said "smile!" I did. Nothing unusual there. She came up and showed me the picture.

"This is what you look like," she said. "You should smile. It's a great show. You should be having a good time."

I was a bit too gobsmacked to respond. Quite frankly, I was having a fabulous time, though I will admit that I hurt like a sonofabitch because I'd been dancing. Fibro and chronic pain will do that to a body, but I'm used to that and I try not to let it harsh my buzz, as it were. Leaning on a pillar and having a bit of a rest is sort of required by the midpoint of any show with more than one act.

I was hanging with friends and schmoozing and I have Portland friends to stay with and had spent several hours at Powells and, all in all, it had been a stellar day on every level. I have no idea why this woman thought I wasn't having a good time, or why she chose to approach me in that way, but it was awfully awkward.

If anyone has any thoughts or advice about how to gracefully handle such a situation in the unlikely event it happens again, I'd be quite eager to hear it.

On second thought, it's not the only time I've been told to "have fun" by someone who thought they knew what fun looked like. Some years back at a Jimmy Buffett show in the Tacoma Dome a guy behind me told me I *had to dance dammit*, even though I was leaning on a cane because at that point I could barely walk without one. Dance was slightly beyond me at that time in my life, and I really didn't need to be dancing to have fun.

Seriously, what is with some people's kids?

*sigh*

ERYNN HAD A FANTABULOUS TIME! I did. Really. Even if I didn't have a huge grin plastered to my face every second.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
Ever have one of those days where, despite the fact that things are going pretty well, you just feel like crap anyway? I'm having one of those. )
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
Today was a trip to the VA for the spirituality group. The room we meet in is kind of scruffy (being the VA this isn't at all unexpected) but was recently decorated for the holidays. With entirely Christmas stuff. For a multi-racial, multi-religious clientele. I didn't say anything about it last week, but I realized toward the end of group today that I was profoundly uncomfortable sitting in this Christian-normative space when at least three people in the group (one of whom is the chaplain, another is the psychiatrist) are non-Christians. Sure, some folks enjoy the holidays, yet it's also a well-known stressor for folks. I brought up the decorations and my discomfort and, not all that surprisingly, many of the other women in the group added their own reactions. Only two of the six women in group today said they actually liked it. More murbling below. )
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This afternoon I went out to Applebees for their free veterans day dinner for military folk. As you might imagine, it was packed to the gills. I was there about 4pm and waited nearly half an hour for a seat. There was still a considerable clutch of folks waiting at the door when I left. I imagine it's massively crowded all day, but the staff seemed to be holding up reasonably well. It's not the type of place I usually go to -- joe-bob American food like Denny's but more upscale and with a bar. The food was okay, though, and free is always nice.

I'd been planning to write today. I did do some reading, having finally found the Nora Chadwick Geilt article. During the search process I managed to pull a back muscle somehow. (The project did involve shifting several large stacks of books to look at the stacks of paper beneath them.) After I shifted the books around and griped about my back hurting, I sat down to read the book on Armagh etc and nearly fell asleep with my nose in it, so I took that as a hint to go grab a nap, as I've been feeling under the weather a bit of late. Rest is better than succumbing to a cold or a flu, so I might as well.

I slept for about 3 or 4 hours then got up and dug around in some file folders I'd put in a bookshelf near my desk. It was in this stack that I found the Chadwick article. I read the whole thing (again). I think after all this time a few of her arguments are a bit questionable as she stretches the definition of geilt a bit and treats Suibhne as a possibly-historical character, which I most sincerely doubt is the case. There's also an article in that same folder that I need to read about geilt as a loan-word into Norse. This is something Chadwick touches on in a couple of places, but the article was written long after her publication. At any rate, I think I'm still more in the "research" than the "writing" phase of this.

I need some better etymological stuff than the paragraph or two from Chadwick. I'm thinking maybe Nagy tackled it in his Fionn book but I can't remember for sure.

Just as a coincidence, [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht tells me that a doctoral dissertation currently in review is up as a PDF on the web that addresses geilt, so he's sending me the PDF and the link for it. Yay for more topical reading!
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
I'm getting ready to head for bed, it being after 2am and myself being tired (though not terribly sleepy at the moment, damned insomnigrackles). Once I get in the dark, things should sort themselves at least a little.

Given the bits of opening paragraphs I have for the article so far, I know which bits I need to look at for my research for tomorrow's writing. With any luck I'll be able to get a page or so done. Length limit is 30 double-spaced pages, so that's about 15-ish pages at single-spaced. I'll worry about formating after I've got my act together.

I need to drag out my copy of the Nora Chadwick Geilt article, among other things. There's some etymology I need to chase down that I'm pretty sure is in there, among other sources. The linguistic valences of "geilt" and its cognates in related languages are both interesting and pertinent to what I'll be presenting.

I wish I was less worried about this.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
I forget sometimes just how depressed I get for no damned reason when the season heads into the dark. Drivel about life under here. )
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Default)
I'm still having a lot of trouble with my back and shoulder, most likely from all the sitting around at the computer I've been doing lately. It's probably the arms of the chair being too high -- they're set as low as possible but it's still a little much for the keyboard height at my desk. I may need to consider getting a new chair sometime soon. Some of my range of motion is getting a little tricky lately and that needs to be attended to.

In the past couple of days the Nemeton list has returned to life, along with the usual accompanying wank that happens. It seems inevitable, but I'm doing my best to stay out of most of it. I just find it frustrating and stressful and I really don't need that. Keeping my focus on my writing and the other work I do offline tends to help.

Monday will be the CR schmooze but it's also the day when I'll be getting at least a chunk of my new ink. I'm feeling a bit of a need to do some spiritual focus on that, given its significance on a number of levels. I'm thinking about spending some time in the incubation chamber tonight for the purpose.

Lately I've been feeling like all my impetus to write has left. This happens sometimes and I just need to focus a little and sit down with it, even if just to make some notes. Sometimes that'll help kick start things. It's quite possible that the ache behind my scapula has been a contributory cause for this. It's hard to focus on writing when my shoulder hurts this much. Tylenol doesn't really make a dent and I can't take anything else or I break out in hives. No fun. Getting out of the house to do my writing does help and now that September has started I was able to put gas in the car again. I still have to do the oil change after my trip to California this summer. I should really call and make an appointment with my mechanics for that.

I'm feeling a distinct need for some Seattle energy today. I might go down there tonight or tomorrow just to hang out for a while. [livejournal.com profile] alfrecht seems to think this is a fine idea, so it'll probably be pho and hanging out at Caffe Vita upstairs where the coffee fumes won't kill me.

Off to shower and get dressed. (Yes, I've been writing this in my jammies.)

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