11/22/08 04:39 - 26ºF - ID#46797
Anyway. Apologies in advance to all the (e:peeps) whose real names I've no idea of. Unlike on Myspace, all the roller girls are there under their real names, and it's just plain weird.
Incidentally I hurt my tailbone at practice last Sunday and I'm still in pain. Wah. So I'm a grumpy bitch on top of it all.
Location: Buffalo, NY
11/21/08 07:40 - 24ºF - ID#46790
I ask because (e:zobar) is doing it right now, because he had like half an hour to kill. I do it when I'm really at a loss for what to do next, and it helps me a lot in remembering long-term goals, and also in sort of keeping me connected to the me of the past.
I don't know, I just think it's kind of funny. But why write it in the first place if you're not going to read it again later? But then, when I'm reading it, I usually feel like kind of a freak. ...
Anyway. Z just looked over and said, "Are you blogging about reading old blogs?"
Ha. Perhaps we know one another too well.
So here's one for you: is it weirder to reread your own old blogs, or to go and reread someone else's? Food for thought.
I must get back to work. I'm stuck around 10,000 words in NaNoWriMo, have about 8 hours of embroidery and 3 hours of stenciling work to do before Sunday, have dishes to do, cooking to do, and laundry to do, and am way sleep deprived on top of that. Bleh!!!
Location: Buffalo, NY
11/11/08 11:44 - ID#46644
Oy. So I'm trying to figure out what my options are for sharing this thing. Looks like burning it to a DVD is really my only choice. But it's only 4 minutes long so I feel like a tool making a DVD of it.
I was wondering how to post a video on here... but I'm thinking perhaps it's too big for that too. I don't know what to do. It's a bummer.
I did not come here to post about that. I came here to laugh my ass off at the Mormons.
PLEASANT GROVE CITY, Utah - Across the street from City Hall here sits a small park with about a dozen donated buildings and objects - a wishing well, a millstone from the city's first flour mill and an imposing red granite monument inscribed with the Ten Commandments.
Thirty miles to the north, in Salt Lake City, adherents of a religion called Summum gather in a wood and metal pyramid hard by Interstate 15 to meditate on their Seven Aphorisms, fortified by an alcoholic sacramental nectar they produce and surrounded by mummified animals.
In 2003, the president of the Summum church wrote to the mayor here with a proposal: the church wanted to erect a monument inscribed with the Seven Aphorisms in the city park, "similar in size and nature" to the one devoted to the Ten Commandments.
The city declined, a lawsuit followed and a federal appeals court ruled that the First Amendment required the city to display the Summum monument. The Supreme Court on Wednesday will hear arguments in the case, which could produce the most important free speech decision of the term.
Oh, first they hate non-traditional marriages except for their own, and now they hate wacko pseudoChristian sects except for their own! Have fun, you fucking hypocrites.
I hope they're wetting their Magic Underpants right now. Enjoy your mummified animals, Pleasant Grove City.
Location: Buffalo, NY
11/09/08 09:48 - 35ºF - ID#46623
I didn't say I'd given UP.
Here, to inspire y'all, or make you run screaming, I'm going to post an excerpt of my novel-in-progress. This one of the new bits, not the polished bits, so it's not edited or anything, and might have some typos. But there it is. A new novel in the making.
Er, this is kind of as far as I got, too. But I know what's supposed to happen next. I just have to... write it. Which is the hard part.
The weather turned miserable in the afternoon, and we stopped to set up camp, rigging as weatherproof a shelter as we could manage and pulling the blankets, packs, and tack off the horses to keep it all dry. Their coats, unencumbered, would shed water well enough in the steady drenching rain.
I seized my opportunity to test Feliks's leadership, which was part of my mission on this particular patrol: he was to be groomed to replace me in these southward territories, and free me to return to the capital, my martial training complete, to become my brother's Protector, as he in turn was groomed to take our father's place as King. It would not be long now until Galjis grew old enough to turn over the more active pursuits of kingship to his heir, and in these more active pursuits Talus would need a god-touched bodyguard, ready to make that final blood sacrifice. I had not been born yet when my precedessor, my paternal uncle, had spilled his heart's blood in a great fountain down the steps of the king's feasting hall, and with his dying breath had put a knife in the eye of his brother's would-be assassin. Three years older than I was now, and my father a new-crowned king.
So I put Feliks in charge of the evening's sentry rota, and put myself on the afternoon watch of the southward road. I rigged myself a nice windbreak of pine boughs and had settled in for a nice meditative reflection, only to have the wind shift and the skies open, drenching me thoroughly. By the time I managed to re-rig the windbreak, I had been soaked through my second-best cloak, and had cause to thoroughly regret not retrieving my best one from Callonia.
My relief arrived at dark, just as I had given up on ever feeling my toes again, and I gratefully limped back toward the encampment. They had made a lean-to and were all squeezed under it, with a good fire going at the opening of the shelter. The wagon stood off a little ways, serving as a wind-break for the horses, who huddled together with their heads down, unconcerned but not contented either.
Feliks met me before I passed the wagon, and the look on his face was grim. "You an idiot," he said, the dialect so thick in his speech I could barely understand him. This was always a bad sign.
"Well?" I said, exasperated. It was nothing I hadn't already called myself, and worse. "What's to be done about it?"
"Don't be such an idiot," he suggested.
"I can't exactly help it," I snapped, and went to move past him.
He grabbed my arm. "You could make an attempt," he said.
"I am what I am," I said. He'd always been on my side, in any previous altercation, so I didn't know what to make of this.
"You don't have to be rude about it," he said. "You've got her all ashamed like, she don't know if what she done is really wrong, and thinks maybe you think she dirty."
"I never said that," I protested.
"You ain't said nothing," Feliks said darkly, and let go of my arm to stalk away. But he stopped short, his demeanor changing, and with my neck prickling I turned to look at what he had fixed his gaze upon so blankly.
There was a man standing there, a tall yellow-haired man, taller than I was, and thinner, his narrow shoulders held in an awkward position that suggested perhaps he was injured. He wasn't looking at us. The rain wasn't wetting him. His lips moved urgently; I couldn't understand him. I had seen him before. He had spoken words I didn't hear, had touched my face with bloody fingers in my sleep.
"You see that," Feliks whispered to me.
"Liv," I whispered. A ghost.
"Not just any Liv," Feliks whispered. I started to turn my head to look at him, but then I saw the second ghost.
It was my red-haired woman, the one who haunted my dreams every morning. She wasn't injured, she was holding out her arms as though there were an infant or small child in them, hip tilted to support the weight, but there was nothing visible there. She was speaking to him, looking distraught. He shook his head, answered her; his face was stern and grim.
She looked stricken. He leaned forward, touching her face, kissed her efficiently and pulled back as if to go, but paused. He was looking at her arms, where the child should be. Feliks's hand found my arm again, gripping tightly just above my elbow, as if he thought I would turn away. The man put his hand to the empty place in her arms, his expression softer, but then he turned away. I stared fixedly at that empty space; there had been blood on his hand.
I couldn't look away. The woman pulled her cloak up, covering the empty space, and vanished. I stood staring at the space where she had been, where the child she had moved too convincingly to pantomime should have been. Feliks did not let go of my arm for some minutes, and when he did, he shook my shoulder.
"Captain," he said.
"What," I whispered, staring at the same space. A smear of blood, I thought, on my face.
"You saw all that," Feliks said.
"Did you see a child?" I asked.
"A child," I said. "Was there a child in her arms, or not?"
"Yes," Feliks said hesitantly. "A little one. Yellow hair."
"I couldn't see it," I said. "She was holding nothing-- but like there was something there." I still couldn't take my eyes off the spot. "What does that mean?" I demanded, shaking my head and tearing myself away to stare at Feliks. I was unnerved, and that made me angry, a strange little panicky anger fluttering in my gut. "What does that mean?"
Feliks's eyebrows were raised, his face much too calm. "I don't think I can answer that," he said.
Location: Buffalo, NY
11/08/08 12:45 - 48ºF - ID#46604
NaNo: not so good. Also, picture!
The first day (I started on the 2nd) I wrote like 275 words.
The second day I added another 850 or so to the total. OK.
The third day, I racked up a pretty decent 3000 words or so.
And then I haven't touched the document since. I've been busy as hell. Too much shit to do. And then I got stricken into this awful funk of depression for no reason. (Anyone who says you just got to snap out of it can go snap themselves, man. Sometimes it just hits.) I have depressive tendencies, but they don't last long enough or actually stop me from really functioning, so I haven't needed to seek therapy or pharmaceuticals. I know how bad it could get, and so I'm grateful that in my case it never gets any worse. Family members have had worse problems-- an uncle on one side, the grandma on the other-- but neither needed treatment until later in life, so I know to watch out for that, and to be careful not to become dependent on alcohol because that's also been an extended-family pattern. (Thank God no one in my immediate family has suffered like that.)
So I'm just not getting much done. Gotta clean the house today, have a busy weekend ahead. But I know me. I can do 10,000 words in two days, if I'm in the right mood. So I just need to wait for the mood, and free time, to coincide.
Anyway. And now, for something completely different.
My older sister, the one who was in the Army, is the one who has the baby, who just had heart surgery and is doing very well now thank you.
Her husband is a Good Ol' Boy from Natchez, Mississippi. In the past, he and I have Had Our Differences over politics.
I was sort of looking forward to and sort of dreading Thanksgiving, because I know my father was dead set against Obama, and I knew the brother-in-law has his own set of Differences. I like a good argument, but it can get heated.
So I was totally bowled over when my sister sent this photo, of her husband and child.
HOW CUTE IS THAT.
Baby has decided he wants his momma, hence the face and the gesture, but to me it looks like a gang sign. Like, he's in some secret babies-for-Obama gang and he's throwing the sign. I like my theory better.
edit: Agh! Why isn't it working? Wait, now it is!
OK, let me know if it isn't.
Location: Buffalo, NY
11/05/08 11:15 - 58ºF - ID#46553
"An American novelist who won the Prix de Rome and is spending the year at the American Academy in Rome sent this report of American election night, Italian style:
"We stayed up all night. The first returns weren't due until one in the morning, but no one could sleep, or some people slept for an hour or two and woke around midnight and came downstairs where some other fellows had set up a party in the high-ceilinged Salone. Popcorn, chocolate chip cookies, chianti, olives, vodka, beer. The TV was set to CNN. People wandered down in their pajamas; others wore suits. Pennsylvania was called around two in the morning and the room broke into cautious cheers. A few of us drank café correto (espresso with grappa) to stay awake; others played pool to pass the still-nervous hours. The president of the academy came in--Carmela Franklin lives next door--wearing slippers and pajamas. The sky was just turning light outside when Obama came on the stage in Chicago. We ran upstairs and woke up the kitchen's executive chef. Everyone in the salone sat glued to the TV. A lot of us were crying. Outside seagulls were flying over Gianicolo in the dawn. It was a beautiful morning, marbled blue skies. The Tiber a grey ribbon. Even the armed guards across the street who protect the US embassy to the Holy See said, buon giorno, and then added an enthusiastic "Obama!""
Location: Buffalo, NY
11/05/08 10:50 - 58ºF - ID#46550
Obama on Gay Rights
So what happened is that the Yes on 8 campaign sent out a mailer featuring Sen. Obama's photo, implying that Obama endorses it. This pissed off Obama's campaign something fierce. The mailer was targeted toward undecided African-American voters.
"The mailer, from the Proposition 8 campaign, twists Sen. Obama's comments about marriage to suggest support for the unfair initiative -- when just the opposite is true. In a June 29 letter to the Alice B. Toklas Democratic Club, Sen. Obama wrote that he opposes the "divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution." "
Obama's letter, exerpted:
"As the Democratic nominee for President, I am proud to join with and support the LGBT community in an effort to set our nation on a course that recognizes LGBT Americans with full equality under the law...And that is why I oppose the divisive and discriminatory efforts to amend the California Constitution, and similar efforts to amend the U.S. Constitution or those of other states. For too long, issues of LGBT rights have been exploited by those seeking to divide us. It's time to move beyond polarization and live up to our founding promise of equality by treating all our citizens with dignity and respect. This is no less than a core issue about who we are as Democrats and as Americans."
The campaign then released a statement:
"Senators Obama and Biden have made clear their commitment to fighting for equal rights for all Americans whether it's by granting LGBT Americans all the civil rights and benefits available to heterosexual couples, or repealing 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell," said a statement issued by campaign spokesman Ben LaBolt. "Senator Obama has already announced that the Obama-Biden ticket opposes Proposition 8 and similar discriminatory constitutional amendments that could roll back the civil rights he and Senator Biden strongly believe should be afforded to all Americans."
This was on Oct 31st.
So. Maybe Prop 8 passed in CA, and similar measures in FL and AZ, but at LEAST the President-elect was goaded into making a definitive statement.
As we all know, a president's legislative actions have little to do with what he actually believes, and everything to do with the political climate. Clinton voted yes on the "Don't Ask Don't Tell" bullshit because he knew that he could not afford to take a stand on it, as it would severely lessen his chances in the upcoming election. Obama seems, at the moment, to have a very strong footing, and a sturdy platform upon which to stand. He has a lot of principles and has made a lot of statements.
Some of them are going to get thrown under a bus.
Which will get thrown under a bus strongly depends on how things go in the lead-up to his actually taking over the Presidency.
Homosexual rights have been one of the issues most likely to get thrown under the bus by politicians for decades now, because they remain so controversial-- either you have a firm grasp of both logic and biology, or you don't.
But here's hoping that we've reached the tipping point. Here's hoping we've reached the time when, finally, homosexual rights are too important, and understood as such by enough people, that they won't be the thing that gets chucked in to make room for whatever thing it is that the Democrats really need support for.
Because just as feminism benefits men, because all humans suffer in a patriarchy (both oppressors and oppressed are cheapened by the system!), so homosexual rights benefit heterosexuals as well. Demystifying marriage, and removing the artificial privelege associated with heterosexual marriages, will only serve to strengthen the actual institution of marriage. If it is no longer the default, then it becomes a much more meaningful choice.
Also it's totally retarded to insist that you don't believe in sex discrimination or racism but faggots are just wrong. Come the fuck on-- if you're a bigot, you're a bigot.
Location: Buffalo, NY
11/04/08 03:38 - 67ºF - ID#46520
first tuesday of november
Someone on my Livejournal friends-of-friends list uploaded that song and "Eyes On The Prize" in honor of today's election, which made me cry.
Keep your eyes on the prize
hold on, hold on
Hold on, hold on
Keep your eyes on the prize
("Eyes" is a prettier song but it was 6 mb and I can only upload up to 5 here.)
To put things in perspective, here are the other things that made me cry today. I cry easily, especially today for some reason.
- My friend Kat, a reporter in Schenectady, posting an essay about what it's like to vote when you're a journalist. 364 days a year, she says, we are not allowed an opinion, and must put our feelings into a little box and leave it on the shelf, and write objectively with no opinions, about politics, about everything. For one perfect moment, behind that curtain, I get to have a say. I get to have an opinion. And it gets to count.
- This article in the Christian Science Monitor.
My Wife Made Me Canvass For Obama. A man who voted for G.H.W. Bush twice and G.W.B. once gets dragged out by his wife, and learns something. I've learned that this election is about the heart of America. It's about the young people who are losing hope and the old people who have been forgotten.
- This poem by Seigfried Sassoon:
When you are standing at your hero's grave,
Or near some homeless village where he died,
Remember, through your heart's rekindling pride,
The German soldiers who were loyal and brave.
Men fought like brutes; and hideous things were done;
And you have nourished hatred, harsh and blind.
But in that Golgotha perhaps you'll find
The mothers of the men who killed your son.
- The sound of the lever-action voting machines, resounding in the elementary school gymnasium with a sudden swooshing clack as a vote was literally cast with a sweeping gesture of the voter's arm, finalizing those little choices each lever signified. It's such a profound noise. I didn't know I cared about it. I didn't know I'd recognize it. But I could hear it from down the hall, and it made me cry a little.
- This photo, referred to by Colin Powell when he criticized McCain's responses to Obama being a Muslim.
Elsheba Khan at the grave of her son, Specialist Kareem Rashad Sultan Khan.
Is he less of a patriot than you, Senator McCain, because he died of his wounds and you did not???? He was twenty fucking years old, and had been waiting since 9/11 to be old enough to join the Army so he could help.
I would have voted for you in 2000, Senator McCain, but you have squandered and squandered and squandered everything I believed in that you stood for since then. You make me sick now, you disingenous and sick, sick old man.
I admit. I was not a huge fan of Obama. I have known about him since '04, have had friends predicting his eventual ascendancy, and I looked into him a bit. I found him smug. I find many of his followers smug and virtually intolerable.
He is literally African-American, and has something that most of the so-called African-Americans in this country don't have: he got to go to Africa and see his father and grandfather's graves. Most black Americans have been here so long, many through decades of slavery, and most black American politicans rose up through the Civil Rights movement of the '60s. Obama didn't live in the US yet when MLK was shot. (My father was in the 1st Armored Division, which suppressed the riots in Chicago after this event. For whatever perspective that gives.)
I do find Obama to be occasionally smug. That crack about Hillary where he implied she was on the rag: I could have strangled him.
But I think it is important not to underestimate this. Most of the presidents we've had have come from a very select group. Most of them have been members of the same small denomination of Christians. I've always been cynical about the idea that "anyone could be President".
So the idea that the biracial son of a teenage mom and an actual from-Africa African, who has eaten government cheese and worn out the soles of his shoes campaigning-- it's compelling. No matter how much of an insider he really is, how much a product of his party's machine, at least he's something different. Even if it's an illusion of difference-- how much does that mean??
The very fact that the final rundown for the Democratic nominee was between a woman-- a woman!! and a biracial man-- no matter how much the fact remains that they were both products of the same machine that has fed us the same homogenized pabulum of priveleged elite politicians-- the very illusion of difference has meant so much, to so many people.
It's not smugness, to most of us.
It means that the thing that makes us different, that makes us not white men, that very thing can no longer, by itself, be viewed as a legitimate obstacle. It should no longer mean that we don't try. It will still mean that we're less likely to succeed. But it should no longer be believed, on its own, that this thing, this difference, is in itself an insurmountable obstacle.
(Should I here admit that, as a Roman Catholic, I'm actually a tiny bit excited about Biden, just from a demographic point of view? He's the first and only since JFK, who basically had to forswear his Catholicism in order to be a serious candidate.)
Aside: I don't find Palin particularly empowering. She is the kind of exemplar that makes you embarrassed to be remotely identifiable with her, the worst sort of hypocrite-- so pregnancies are only a private family matter if it's your daughter, and not if it's me?-- but that's a rant for another time. At least the GOP took Hillary seriously enough to offer us a marionette in her place? I guess?
The President him- or herself does not make or break the nation. We survived Buchanan (at the cost of 600,000 American soldiers ) , we'll probably survive Bush. We'll undoubtedly survive whoever we get this next time.
So, though I don't agree with all his policies, and can't promise I won't gnash my teeth repeatedly over the next four years (knock on wood; I'd rather gnash my teeth at him than at That Other One) I do find him a much-lesser of two evils. He probably won't make it illegal for me to make decisions about my body. He might make it possible for me to actually get timely healthcare in a reasonably affordable fashion. He probably won't make outright outlaws of my gay friends who want to own property and raise children together. (Maybe. He may not help them either, but at least it's unlikely he'll try to fuck things up worse for them.)
And what's more: he doesn't fill my European friends and relatives with creeping crawling horror and revulsion. I lost friends over Bush, even when I cried that I hadn't voted for him: he just disgusted them so much.
Maybe I can go abroad again without pretending to be Canadian.
I know it's vain. But a world that thinks our President is kind of cool is a lot less likely to launch more terrorist attacks against us than a world that thinks our President is a second-generation imperialist pigdog asshole dictator wannabe.
It would just be nice, for a change, to have someone who didn't routinely feast upon his own feet during public discourse. Is that so wrong?
Location: Buffalo, NY
11/03/08 10:25 - 54ºF - ID#46490
NaNoWriMo update 1
I'm doing all I can not to cheat.
And on that note, it is the 3rd and I have written precisely:
Location: Buffalo, NY
11/02/08 10:54 - 43ºF - ID#46483
Dear Red States (fixed formatting)
I posted about this on LJ but thought that y'all here would enjoy it too.
Someone sent my sister this forward and she read it to me today, and I just about pissed myself laughing.
Dear Red States:
If you manage to steal this election too we've decided we're leaving. We intend to form our own country, and we're taking the other Blue States with us. In case you aren't aware, that includes California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois and all the Northeast. We believe this split will be beneficial to the nation, and especially to the people of the new country of New California.
To sum up briefly: You get Texas, Oklahoma and all the slave states. We get stem cell research and the best beaches.
We get the Statue of Liberty. You get Dollywood.
We get Intel and Microsoft. You get WorldCom.
We get Harvard. You get Ole' Miss.
We get 85% of America's venture capital and entrepreneurs. You
We get two-thirds of the tax revenue, you get to make the red
states pay their fair share.
Since our aggregate divorce rate is 22% lower than the Christian Coalition's, we get a bunch of happy families.
You get a bunch of single moms.
Please be aware that Nuevo California will be pro-choice and anti-war, and we're going to want all our citizens back from Iraq at once. If you need people to fight, ask your evangelicals. They have kids they're apparently willing to send to their deaths for no purpose, and they don't care if you won't show pictures of their children's caskets coming home. We do wish you success in Iraq , and hope that the WMDs turn up, but we're not willing to spend our resources in Bush's Quagmire.
With the Blue States in hand, we will have firm control of 80% of the country's fresh water, more than 90% of the pineapple and lettuce, 92% of the nation's fresh fruit, 95% of America's quality wines, 90% of all cheese, 90% of the high tech industry, 95% of the corn and soybeans (thanks Iowa!), most of the U.S. low-sulfur coal, all living redwoods, sequoias and condors, all the Ivy and Seven Sister schools plus Stanford, Cal Tech and MIT.
With the Red States, on the other hand, you will have to cope with 88% of all obese Americans (and their projected health care costs), 92% of all U.S. mosquitoes, nearly 100% of the tornadoes, 90% of the hurricanes, 99% of all Southern Baptists, virtually 100% of all televangelists, Rush Limbaugh, Bob Jones University, Clemson and the University of Georgia.
We get Hollywood and Yosemite, thank you.
Additionally, 38% of those in the Red states believe Jonah was actually swallowed by a whale, 62% believe life is sacred unless we're discussing the war, the death penalty or gun laws, 44% say that evolution is only a theory, 53% that Saddam was involved in 9/11 and 61% of you crazy bastards believe you are people with higher morals then we lefties.
Finally, we're taking the good pot, too. You can have that dirt weed they grow in Mexico.
It's complete fantasy, sadly. Not the statistics-- those are, as far as I can tell, perfectly accurate. But the idea that you can actually split red states and blue states apart along neat and tidy state lines.
Palin bought into this complete fabrication when she made the asinine blunder of referring to certain states as more American than others. Bitch, please. Not only does my state have 171 years of seniority over yours as a part of this Union of states, but for your information as recently as the 2006 Senate races no less than three of the counties went completely red. Yes. New York.
This is the 2006 version of that famous Purple America map: pure red is 100% Republican, pure blue is 100% Democrat, and in between it is proportionally hued in more or less-blue or red shades of purple according to the percentage of Democrat or Republican vote results.
There are no 100% red states. Nor are there 100% blue states. Some of them are pretty deep-hued one way or the other, but none are completely monolithically pure.
The idea that there is a "great silent majority" is complete horse shit.
As is the idea, sadly, that we could have another mass secession. We can't do any more than joke about it. And if you're that enamored of the idea... maybe you should be voting libertarian. Not that you want to hear it from me, but really. State's rights, baby!!
(Incidentally, that's actually what the Civil War was ostensibly about.)
Location: Buffalo, NY
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