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 (Wile E WTF)
So today I woke up to an email from Google telling me that the account associated with my seanet email address had its password changed. That account was never used for anything other than admin on my Searching for Imbas blog; I'd forgotten the password some time ago and had never done anything with it, so the blog is actually administered from my gmail account. I attempted to go and get control of the seanet Google account back but could not because I couldn't remember when the account was created or when the last time I'd logged into it was. I went and removed it from the Blogger account, though.

Later today I got an email from Google Play saying that somebody in Tacoma had ordered something from them. The Visa used was not an account number I am familiar with. After a couple of hours of searching various Google websites and help pages, I called to try to have the order cancelled. The help desk person said they'd do that if they could.

Several hours later, I got another email saying the thing had shipped. I called again and tried once again to explain things to people. I got shuffled over to Google Wallet, which is a service I have never used. After a lengthy struggle, I managed to convey that I had not ordered the item, that the address it was being shipped to was not mine, the credit card was either not mine or had expired years ago, and that I wanted any and all Google accounts associated with my seanet address deleted. I think that might have finally been accomplished. I was very clear with them that I had nothing to do with this order and, if they get defrauded because of it, I am in no way responsible for any costs associated with the mess.

My actual seanet email account and website appear to be fine, but if you get any emails from me from my seanet account that don't actually sound like they are from me? Let me know because there might have been further consequences of this incident. As far as I know, there should be no issue, but I just want people to be aware of what happened.

I've been feeling like complete crap the past couple of days anyway, and the depression is getting to me pretty badly. I talked last night to [ profile] man_of_snows and today to [ profile] ogam about different aspects of things I'm struggling with, which was nice. Skype text chat is pretty useful when the system actually bothers to send the messages. Sometimes they seem to just get stuck in the great bit bucket in the sky.

I'm doing my best, but it's hard right now. Not knowing what's happening or how to alleviate the problem is confusing and frightening, and the dizziness compounds the usual fibro fog to a truly awful degree. Sometimes simple conversations can get a little confusing. If I find out that the dizziness is permanent, at least that's a place I can work from. Not knowing is the hardest part of this.

And I feel like I'm complaining a lot here lately, for which I apologize. I know this isn't anything more than really inconvenient in an absolute sense. Yes, it may change my life in some extreme ways, but things could be a lot worse. That said, it's still pretty frightening. The kinds of changes I may have to contemplate are far-reaching and I wish I didn't have to think about them. Today's confusion and stress really just made things worse, but I'm doing my best to talk to people and keep on top of things.

Sometimes, however, a hug would be really nice.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (asclepius rod)
I've been having dizzy spells off and on since around the beginning of the year. The usually haven't lasted very long but they have been vaguely annoying. I had a couple while driving home from California after PCon, but they didn't last long enough to be much of a bother.

Today while I was driving down to the VA I had one that hit me pretty hard, and it was rather scary, but I got down there okay. It had eased up but not abated by the time I was done with my group. I went by the women's clinic to see if one of the docs was in but nobody was there, so the gal at the desk suggested I go over to the ER.

I talked to the nurse there, and they did an EKG, which turned out fine, as she thought it would. We talked about some things it could possibly be but eliminated things like a stroke (no problems with limb movement, eye tracking, numbness) or an upper respiratory infection (I haven't had one). It could be anything from high blood pressure (it was high, but I was having anxiety today and then there was the whole driving with dizziness through Seattle traffic) to arterial problems to who really knows what. I was told to make an appointment with my doc for some screening stuff and told not to drive until the docs can figure out what's going on. The nurse told me that if they don't actually find anything organically wrong that's probably the best possible outcome, because in cases where a person is having inexplicable dizziness, "what's wrong" may well be something pretty bad.

I am wondering if it may have something to do with my glasses. My usual ones really need a change, and the bifocals give me migraines from eyestrain if I wear them for too long. I'm not going to worry about anything unless/until I really have to, but I do have to figure out a way to get down to NorwesCon for Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (when I have panels and such) if I'm still not driving weekend after next.

Saturday I had a meetup I want to go to, but I doubt I'll be able to get there. I'm going to call the VA tomorrow and try to make an appointment but I won't likely get in until at least next week. Brianna came down to pick me up today with her friend JT, so she drove me and my car home. We had dinner (I had pizza for pi day) then watched an episode of Cadfael with [ profile] gra_is_stor. I'm still feeling dizzy off and on. Mostly it's not too bad, but it does occasionally get briefly worse.

If anyone wants to put in some words with healing deity(ies) of your choice, it would be appreciated.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Ogma)
I spent a goodly chunk of this evening delving about in books, looking up potential healing deities and other figures, and found quite a number listed here and there. I'm still chasing down some others. I found a note that may be of interest to [ profile] alfrecht and will be typing up a quick quote and sending it off to him in a little bit.

In pursuit of some of my research I have had cause to attempt to read Táin Bó Flidhais: "The Mayo Táin" by Stephen Dunford. I have a sneaking suspicion that he stabbed a thesaurus and let it bleed out onto the pages. It isn't pretty. It gets the story across, but his language is labored and not at all imitative of Early and Middle Irish tales. He cannot resist using some verbal detritus or other when a simple (or even a poetic) word will do. Here, for your delectation, is a sample sentence from this overwrought monstrosity:

Then, as her bosom throbbed and heaved with the quick deleterious pulsation and palsy of grief, and with her fair and beautiful face blanched with streaming tears, her ululating yowls of lamentation echoing united and multitudinous across the landscape, falling and rising in lingering cadences, Flidhais commenced a doleful and remorseful dirge in which she ruefully recalled and recounted every worthy action of her deceased husband and of his hallowed and atavistic progenitors.

As you can see, not much to recommend this version. It is, mercifully, slim.

[ profile] gra_is_stor's mom and one of her sisters will be in town shortly. Her mom may come to the Abney Park show with us tomorrow, and they will both probably join us on Sunday for the bad movie festival. We'll be viewing the two Dr Phibes movies and Mars Attacks. It should be fun.

Dishes were done. Food was had. Research was compiled. All in all, not a bad day.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (writy pooped)
I spent a lot of yesterday dredging my way through Corpus Inscriptionum Insularum Celticarum looking for illustrations of several ogam inscriptions that may have had "magical" uses. It's a pretty damned huge book, and only a few were suitable, but finding them was necessary.

Finally having finished looking through the manuscript for Fireflies, I sent off my approval for the final text. Now it just needs to go through layout and cover design. I still haven't done much of anything in terms of publicity stuff. Gods, I hate having to approach people about my work. There are moments when being an introvert and having anxiety issues sucks deeply. I'm always half-terrified about saying "hey, would you like to review my book or interview me for your blog" about things like this.

Today, along with #writechat, I finished typing up the outline for my Esoteric Book Conference presentation. Jeff's supposed to come by Thursday to help me with the PowerPoint part of the thing, and I want to have as many of the illustrations available as possible. With this sort of thing, the temptation to DO ALL THE THINGS is a little difficult, as I have a whole 45 minutes for the presentation. It's going to be essential to cover things reasonably quickly while still doing a decent job of it. The outline is less than a page as it stands, but I haven't filled in the details as yet, with dates and such. And I still have to pull together a reference list of the various books and such that I'm consulting.

I tried dipping into The Poet's Ogam today and am still finding it awfully brain-breaking. I fear attempting to address his system when I'm having a hard time figuring out what he's on about with a lot of this stuff. I know a lot of it is experimental. I have no idea if he's actually done 90% of what he's writing about. I wish I was more into/versed in chaos magic, Enochian, or Thelema. I've read some about all of those things, but they're really not my thing, so it's hard for me to get into his work.

At least with Ian's work, it's not really my style, but I was there for and participated in one of his rituals and can see the mechanics of it and where he intends to go with it, even if he's not really got there yet. That part I can comment on reasonably easily, being more familiar with the thought processes and the techniques. Most of John-Paul's stuff just leaves me scratching my head. I'm going to have to drag myself through at least some of the book without the brain cells leaking out my ears if I'm going to speak about it with any clarity at all.

In both cases, I can at least pull illustrations and say "here's some stuff, it looks interesting and is based on things that many of you will be familiar with," and hope that will cover a lot of my own shortcomings in understanding. I'll be mentioning ogam "gematria" as well, or at least ogam as a basis for numerology. I'll mention in passing that there was a guy spamming my FB page with his alleged "Gaelic" gematria system and that he's not the only one who has played with the idea. I don't remember the guy's name and am not going to bother trying to remember because I still have no intention of promoting his work or letting him use my space as a springboard for his own agenda.

I'll talk a little about divination and show examples of some of the various types of decks and other ogam divination systems out there, as I do have a fair collection of them at this point. I need to remember to drag out the boxes later this evening before I go to bed. Photos will need to be taken.

Tomorrow morning I have a VA appointment and have to remember to take a stack of papers in with me. I have to schedule a tit squish, which requires referral from the Women's Clinic, and dental wants me in for x-rays, so I need to go up to the dental clinic and schedule something. I am not thrilled with a 10:30am medical appointment, but podiatry only does morning clinics. Suckage. We hates it we does my preciousss.

My brain, it is currently barely functional.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Schroedinger kills you maybe)
Today was my group day at the VA. I left at the usual time and saw on one of the reader boards above I5 that there was a major accident on the highway through downtown Seattle. It advised taking 405 to bypass the area but, sadly, I was in the far left lane, and the reader board is right on top of the 405 exit, so there was no way to actually take its advice. Traffic was okay until we got to the 71st/65th St exit, where it came to a near standstill. Things crawled along for a very very long time and I finally got off the freeway on the left side exit for the 520 bridge, where I could take the one exit before the bridge out to the Montlake Cut. This ran me up over Capitol Hill and I got myself down onto the bypass to I90 and I5 south toward the Columbian Way/West Seattle Bridge exit. It was still snarled and miserable, and I could see that a semi and at least one car had been involved in something very messy right at the I90 ramp. The cops and semi trucks backing up to put them onto the bypass.

It took me 2 hours to make what is usually about a 45 minute trip, and that was taking the roundabout way that should have got me past most of it. I hesitate to think how long it would have taken if I'd stayed on I5. I probably should have just gone up MLK and around the back way entirely, but I was sure the road would have been clear by the time I got to the I90 ramp.

I made it in to my group five minutes before the group ended, but at least I got marked as present, so I'll be compensated for the travel funds next week when I go in.

On the way home tonight, I drove past a car with its engine on fire just north of the 164th exit. There were two other cars stopped to help, so I didn't bother -- I do carry a fire extinguisher in my trunk. It's the first time I've ever actually seen a car on fire outside of a movie. Very weird experience.

Anyway, it was a really awful day for driving. I'm glad I got to Seattle and back safely.

Last week at the queer Pagan meetup, [ profile] circularruins gave me a postcard for The Occultural Film Series: Magick in Cinema With Brian Butler. That was this evening at 7pm at the Northwest Film Forum on 12th. I spent a little time at Travelers after I got out of the VA, then wandered up to catch the series with him. The series was sponsored in part by the Esoteric Book Conference. I was rather looking forward to seeing some of this, as I'd seen parts of one of the films this past year at the Conference as part of a documentary on Cameron; the film excerpted was called Wormwood Star. I'd been intrigued enough by the excerpts to want to see the whole thing (10 minutes).

The program was three films by Brian Butler, Death Posture, Night of Pan, and Union of Opposites, Curtis Harrington's previously mentioned Wormwood Star, Mirror Animations by Harry Smith, Kenneth Anger's Brush of Baphomet, and the 1968 The Invasion of the Thunderbolt Pagoda by Ira Cohen.

Of the first three, I thought Night of Pan (7 minutes) was probably the most interesting, though some of it struck me as more unintentionally humorous than anything. There were some interesting visuals, fascinating props, and some really amazing and striking makeup on a couple of the actors, but I was left with the impression that part of the impetus for these three films was boobies. Part of Night of Pan was shot on location at Boleskine House at Loch Ness in Scotland, which had been a residence of Aleister Crowley for a while.

Of the other films, I think Wormwood Star appealed to me the most, giving us a look at Cameron's artwork, almost all of which she burned after its magical purpose had been served. Part of the soundtrack of the film is her reading from her poetry.

Harry Smith's Mirror Animations (10 mins) was interesting but amusing in a rather Terry Gilliam kind of way. Given that it was produced in 1979, I'm not sure this was unintentional. It's entirely possible that Gilliam's work on Monty Python's Flying Circus might have been an influence. It was saturated with qabalistic imagery and hands in different Buddhist mudras. I found it fascinating and relatively enjoyable.

Brush of Baphomet was interesting really only because of its subject being an exhibition of Aleister Crowley's paintings from the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. These paintings had apparently been undiscovered in a private collection until very recently. The focus of the film dwelt on the intense colors and textures of the paintings. The 4 minute film was produced in 2008.

The longest of the films, and the final one of the evening, was The Invasion of the Thunderbolt Pagoda. Some of its imagery was interesting, but a lot of it was wildly experimental and seemed more intended to replicate the effects of a bad acid trip. I found the soundtrack particularly grating, out of an entire series of films with bad soundtracks designed to encourage migraines. Some of the costuming was quite interesting, and apparently parts of the film were done with heavy use of mylar for reflective surfaces. It was very kaleidoscopic, and I was fairly certain that something like mylar was being used, as the reflections were too fluid in motion to be foil. Technically speaking, some of it was really interesting, but mostly it just seemed overly chaotic to me. I don't mind surrealist stuff, but I prefer it not be tracked with loud, screechy noise.

All the films had a fairly surrealist feel to them. Almost all the soundtracks were discordant and irritating to my ears. Brian Butler was, himself, on hand for the screening and did a short Q&A afterwards, where he talked a little about the films, and about the process of making his own. His process seemed rather haphazard, in that he intended things to go in one direction and found himself ending up somewhere entirely else.

The film program descriptions are as follows:

Death Posture (4 mins, 2011) Originally inspired by the Hanged Man card in the Tarot, this film explores the parallels of death and contact with alien intelligence in an abstract manner.

Night of Pan (7 mins, 2009) This film illustrates a specific spiritual experience. A magician encounters the void that separates the human mind from divine consciousness and in turn faces the mad god. Shot on location in Los Angeles and Loch Ness, Scotland.

Union of Opposites (14 mins, 2012) A personal journey through the unconscious. Shot in January 2012 on location in Malibu.

Wormwood Star (Curtis Harrington, 10 mins, 1955) Curtis Harrington's portrait of Cameron, the widow of JPL scientist and magician Jack Parsons. A rare documentation of Cameron's artwork, most of which was later destroyed.

Mirror Animations (Harry Smith, 10 mins, 1979) "You shouldn't be looking at this as a continuity. Film Frames are hieroglyphs, even when they look like actuality. You should think of the individual frame, always, as a glyph, then you'll understand what cinema is about." - Harry Smith

Brush of Baphomet (Kenneth Anger, 4 mins, 2008) A short film documenting the paintings of Aleister Crowley at the Palais de Tokyo exhibition in Paris.

The Invasion of the Thunderbolt Pagoda (Ira Cohen, 22 mins, 1968) Intensely psychedelic film shot in Ira Cohen's famous studio with Mylar walls. "It's like going on an ecstatic journey to another planet, full of magical beings, animals, and plants." - Ira Cohen

After the program, [ profile] circularruins and I went over to the Odd Fellows restaurant, situated in an old Odd Fellows Lodge building. The food there is good and the atmosphere loud and bustling but quite convivial. We had a good conversation about divination methods, app development, the films, and the suggested potential for a second series of short films specifically focused on women in magic, brought up by the woman who hosted the program.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Breakin' Ur Geasa)
Today was the podcast adventure. It was kind of "obnoxious talk radio" done Pagan, but the conversation in the chatroom was okay. Some of my friends showed up and asked good questions and made some good comments. The hosts were nice to me, but were very RAR WE DO NOT AGREE WITH PEOPLE about things. That said, they actually tended more to agree with what I said than not, so their generalizations about What CRs Do apparently didn't much apply to me, despite that I'm a CR. It was interesting, at least. Some of what I said was repeated on the air, as they'd said would probably happen, though I think some of it was a bit lost in translation, if you will.

Two of the three hosts are Heathens, and they do regard the CR community as kin of a sort, which isn't too uncommon. I have pretty good relationships with the Heathens in my life. We've got a lot in common as reconstructionists, after all. I'm not sure where the hosts were getting the idea that the worship of some of the major "pan-Celtic" deities (Lug, etc) was somehow a Wiccan influence. They were talking about how this sort of thing was all the druids and wasn't what the tribes did at all, which I can't really agree with. They were all "we are so tribal" and not really explaining what that meant. Not really my thing. I don't necessarily identify as a druid most of the time unless I'm fulfilling that function in my community, but the CR community interacts with a much more diverse selection of deities than they seem to think it does.

One of the women had apparently written a CR book that got slammed by some of the CR community online, and she was rather sore about it. There was a fair bit of snarking about that. I hadn't read it and she didn't mention the title that I recall, so I seriously doubt I'd read it, but I know that a lot of the self-published stuff out there isn't very good quality, sad to say.

As a result of this, however, [ profile] vyviane suggested that I do a chat session with women from the Sisterhood of Avalon so that they'll have a better idea of my take on Brigid and what I'm like. Perhaps this would bring in a few more folks for the pilgrimage, which would be lovely. As of yesterday, we have seven of twelve potential openings spoken for. That means there are only five places left, so if you're interested, please do get in touch with her so that you can get in on it. It's going to be a really fantastic thing and I'm looking forward to it so immensely.

Tomorrow I'll be heading up to Vancouver to help out [ profile] mael_bridge for a few days, after her surgery on the 15th. I'll be heading out in late morning and will be returning Thursday afternoon. I'd like to avoid rush hour on both ends if possible, so I'll most likely be leaving by about 11am and departing Vancouver by 1pm on Thursday so as to be home by about 4, if all goes well and the border doesn't suck like a bilge pump. I still have to pack tonight, and figure out what I'll be taking for writing and for keeping myself entertained while she snoozes. I'll be having dinner with Bruce and Heather, though we haven't got the details worked out yet. I'll call them when I get up there, after I've dropped stuff and checked in with [ profile] mael_bridge and seen that she's doing okay.

Chances are I'll be able to update regularly. She has internet access, and I know there are cafes with wireless nearby as well. I may be a little slow in responding to emails, though. I'll try to remember to post a quick note before I head out the door.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (extra meds)
Not much got done today beyond a couple of twitter chats. I did walk down to the store and get a few things, including some desperately-needed plain black tea. I have buckets and buckets of oolong, but a lot of the time I just want something like English Breakfast with cream, and oolong doesn't quite cut it for that. I've been migrainey off and on all day, though I'm doing all right at the moment. Sleep is unlikely to come at any point soon.

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

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

It is entirely possible I am using some of this as an excuse to not do my outline for PCon.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Orpheus Oh Noes!)
I'm at Kaladi Brothers using theirs. My wireless thingummy died a miserable death. ATT is sending me a new one. It'll be here in a day or two, as I paid $15 for the St. Expedite service.

The heater guy called. The replacement is going to cost me over $250. I can't afford that right now, but thankfully the place can still be heated without it, no problem. It will wait.

If you don't hear from me for a couple of days, it's because I haven't been able to get somewhere with tubes.
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 [ 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! [ 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 [ 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 (writy pooped)
The only thing I managed to do today was order in pizza. From next door. Because I was too exhausted to walk that far.

I had ordered The Poet's Ogam: A Living Magical Tradition by John-Paul Patton from Lulu with their 20% off veterans day coupon and it arrived today. (My copy of Datura still has not.) Some of it looks interesting. Some of it looks like he was taking way too many Enochian tablets with his lunch.

I am going to bed. Later, y'all.
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 [ 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, [ 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 (Brighid's cross)
My essay for Mandragora, "Burying the Poet: Brigid, Poetry and the Visionary in Gaelic Poetic Traditions," is finished at 3156 words and has been sent off to [ profile] finnchuill and [ profile] alfrecht for their comments and suggestions. Finally! I think I've done pretty well with it, and now I can turn my attentions to finishing up details for the Samhain ritual that I have to deal with. Tomorrow is the CR schmooze business meeting, my VA yoga group, and picking up [ profile] gra_is_stor before we deal with Steamcon this weekend.

I was just glad to get the writing for this one out of the way. I still have an article to do for Phosphorus, but I may not get that finished before the end of the month (I'm thinking probably not, in fact). I have no idea if I'm going to be able to get that one together in that short a time. I've hardly got more than a paragraph or two in it at the moment. It's such a huge and messy topic that it can be hard to tackle, even if I do have one particular example I'm working from.

I went over to the AFK tonight to have dinner with Herb and one of his spawn. We had a pretty good time, and some yummy foods. I won't be there tomorrow for the weekly steampunk social, obviously.

Politics make me crazy. Topeka, Kansas has repealed its domestic violence laws to try to save money. Screw saving people's lives.

Mississipi has proposed a measure that will make fertilized ova "persons" under the law and may well criminalize miscarriage.

Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with people? Get the hell out of my fucking uterus, damn it! For a bunch of people who claim they want government out of their lives, they sure love to jam it up women's vaginas.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Insane Membrane!)
From an article in the Huffington Post:

Much condescending media chatter about Occupy Wall Street centers on its "lack of demands." Well, there are definitely people in Zuccotti Park talking about concrete demands, and I believe which of these come forward will be important. But what kinds of demands should they be? Consider this: The publication of 'reasonable policy demands' par excellence is the Economist (incidentally, Adbusters's "Big Ideas" issues were specifically meant as a rejoinder to the Economist's annual year-end idea roundups). In its recent issue trying to address the terrible sense of economic stagnation that has ignited the Wall Street protests, the Economist stated plainly that it saw no alternative to a "hollowing out" of the U.S. economy, with good jobs vanishing and inequality continuing to soar. Its sensible proposal for readers who couldn't magically join the elite? "One strategy could be to find a high-flyer and stick close... The time-poor new rich are generating demand for household staff, and this sort of work can be very well paid." I kid you not. The actual advice to young people is, 'Have you considered a career as a servant?'

And people wonder about anger and frustration among those who can't find work?
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Patrick's Lorica)
I got email from my mom about the situation in western Massachusetts. I'm not going to post much, just a couple of sentences about places I'm familiar with. I will preface this with the fact that, as far as we know, all the family and friends are safe so far.

Shattuckville is under 16 feet of water, the BRIDGE OF FLOWERS is under water, as is the iron bridge between Buckland and Shelburne Falls.

Apparently much of the Mohawk Trail (Rt 2) is underwater, and there's some problem with one of the dams on the Deerfield River.

Pretty scary shit.

Stay safe, everyone.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (Brigid Poet)
I've been making further progress on the Queering the Flame essay today, getting myself into page 13. I'm hoping to push as far as, possibly, 15 pages tonight before I go to bed. Last night I discovered another sacred fire (tended by men) that destroyed someone who defiled it, in a life of Saint Ciaran, which was cited in passing in a book I had on Irish archaeology by R. A. S. Macalister. I ended up chasing down the reference and got a really excellent quote from another Macalister book that was, happily, on Project Gutenberg. The fire in question wasn't said to be a perpetual flame, but it was very specifically a sacred flame, and one which punished the malfeasant young man who violated it.

I also ran across a thoroughly bizarre little incident that related two black snails turning into wolves, which I turned over to [ profile] alfrecht, who had not seen it before. I mean, really -- snails? This tale involved a very paranoid St. Cormac running away from snails because he knew they were shapeshifted wolves. But imagine "running away" from snails. It beggars the brain. I have to wonder what drugs this guy was on!

I printed out the article in progress so that I could take a look at it, and scribbled a bunch of notes and corrections on the hard copy, pointing out places where I need to smooth out transitions, and where I need to expand. The current draft cuts off far short of where I wanted to go. There are several points that I have yet to make regarding perceptions of gender of religious women in early Christian Ireland, following some of Lisa M. Bitel's arguments from Land of Women. I've also traced down a couple of the hard references I had previously found to cross-dressing and to the relaxing of gender restrictions surrounding the Brídeog processions in some areas of Ireland where they were originally girls-only. It's interesting that in some places the processions were cross-dressed men and women, or men and disguised women, and in other places they were girls-only that eventually opened to participation by boys. There seems to be a great deal more fluidity here than might appear on the surface.

Sometime soon I'll be ready to add a discussion of male poets gendering as female in their relationships with their patrons as a significant aspect of this, given Brigid's patronage of poets. It seems like a salient point for the argument, certainly. I have one of the references in the stack of photocopies on my desk, but will probably need to find a couple more; I know they exist.

I'm nowhere near tired as yet, so will continue on with my writing for a few more hours tonight. Earlier today I watched Pia do some more of her artwork online; it's always amazing to watch her. When I have some available funds I'll commission another couple of pieces from her. I can't this month, as my funds are thin until August 1st, but next month I should be able to do so if she still has a slot open for this batch. Insomnigrackles as Totems! I shall hang it over my bed and make offerings to the little bastards in hopes of them leaving me the fuck alone.

Sadly, my right hip continues to ache like a sumbitch. This has been probably three days so far, but if I try to medicate for it, the meds knock me for a loop and I can't focus enough to write, so I've been sitting around most of the day feeling like I've got a blade stuck in my hip joint. I'll take something for it when I go to bed and can afford to let the tramadol do its worst. In the meantime, more writing.
erynn: Gaelic merman image (GIR likes FOOD!)
I went over to the Navy support complex to pick up [ profile] alfrecht after his first class of the quarter and hauled him back here early this afternoon. I'd got a call from [ profile] mael_brigde and I don't think she'll be making it down to Seattle for the schmooze on Monday, so at the moment it's looking like it's only the three of us here at the house.

We had steamers for dinner this evening, mostly mussels but some clams, and corn on the cob with some rosemary diamante bread. It was exceedingly tasty. After dinner I showed the guys a couple of episodes of due South, which neither of them had seen before. Very amusing stuff, both the pilot episode and the first ep of season three, where the new Ray was introduced.

After we watched that, I made ladoos. The whole rolling them together process was a little more annoying than I'd have liked -- they're slightly crumbly when they're done right, so getting them to stick together was a bit of a chore. I also made berbere paste and then some mesir wat (Ethiopian lentils), which we'll have tomorrow once we get home from the steampunk tea, with doro wat, that I will make then. The lentils are actually usually better the next day, while the chicken is fine just as you make it. I also have some yummy mustard greens to go along with the whole thing.

The day today was absolutely gorgeous, with fabulously warm, sunny weather. It's almost 2am right now and it's still 57f, which is warmer than it's been most of the days recently. Sadly, the DoDC+3 got a little full of himself and was a pill today. When I tried to take his collar while he was going ballistic at one of the dogs outside, he turned and bit me. He didn't break the skin, but I do have a couple of little tooth-sized bruises on the back of my hand. This is frustrating and not at all a good thing; I'm not sure what to do about it. I made him stay in his cage for several hours after that until I had calmed down.

Weather for tomorrow looks to be about mid-70s and mostly sunny, so I'm very much looking forward to getting together with the local steampunks. Tea! Ladoos! Sunshine!
erynn: Gaelic merman image (extra meds)
Today was the final session of the writing group at the VA. I'd pulled some stuff together for that and headed down early so that I could stop by the women's clinic to get my follow-up appointment about the migraine meds and schedule another appointment as well. It was a good thing I went early, because there was an accident on I-5 that slowed down traffic considerably. How the VA gave me a panic attack. Yay. )
erynn: Gaelic merman image (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 (Default)

September 2013



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