little_tristan: (Default)
I wish Protestants would stop using the term Immaculate Conception. It's peculiarly Catholic doctrine and they don't know what it means. It sounds good but they're really just perpetuating the confusion.

I also wish Supernatural had come up with a different word for what they call purgatory. Purgatory is a real word. It has a long history and a well-defined meaning. The place they're talking about is not it. So far as I can tell, their purgatory is purely an invention for the show--given that the monsters who go there don't exist--so they could have made up a name for it rather than appropriating an unrelated word.

These things don't offend me as a Catholic. They offend me as a student of the English language.

The atmospheric pressure is changing. It's killing my sinuses and I want to go to bed. This is the only time I still miss Steve. But I don't miss being lifted at arm's length.

There was another dust-up with the arch-nemesis this morning. He got all petty about the amount of stuff I had cluttering up the counter in "his" bathroom. (A bottle of body wash, a bottle of hair oil, a razor and a box of replacement blades.) I was taking the dogs out and found my things in a box of trash he'd gathered up and left on the shower chair in the hall.

He said of course I could put the important stuff back in the bathroom, but where? Not on the counter. He just cleaned it! And the medicine cabinet is too shallow and the shelves too close together, and he just cleaned the windowsill, too, and his stuff is under the sink, but I can put it anywhere else if I just tell him where!

I assumed it was a rhetorical question. He did suggest that, since I use those things so rarely, I should just leave them on the chair. In the hall. That gets knocked over at least twice a week by me or the dogs (or Russell, in the dark).

That seemed to be the one last humiliation that it was still possible to avoid, so I took my stuff to my room and am trying to figure out a way to transport it back and forth easily enough that Mark won't get pissed off every single time I take a shower. Or worse, put it back in the bathroom (where it belongs) so I can pick it all out of the trash again in a couple weeks.

In less cranky news, stamps came today so I'm going to mail holiday cards tomorrow. It'll be a good project while I wait for Tammy. This week I'm going to ask her to do the stuff I felt too guilty to ask for last week, since I felt too guilty to ask anyone else, either.

There were two Discover magazines in the mail. I just subscribed a few weeks ago and recently got the November issue. Today I got December and January/February. I forgot they do that, use up as many of the issues you've paid for as they can with ones already printed. It's cost-saving without being a complete ripoff. At least to me. I like missing out on as few as possible.

Sort of on a whim, I subscribed to Mother Jones yesterday. I wasn't even sure what it was until I saw it on Amazon. If asked, I'd have guessed newspaper. I've seen it sourced in a lot of really interesting articles on the web and their information generally holds up. I'm hoping it's less pretentious than The New Yorker. The a-n makes me read some of the articles and explain them to him. He only knows what about half the words mean. It takes forever.

(Off, crankypants! Get back!)

Hours later, my headache is mostly gone and there is promise of food soon. Not food that I love, but certainly edible and nutritious food. If Ranger steals another pork chop right off the broiler pan, I'll try to get a picture.
little_tristan: (Fireworks)
Like many other members of Romney's 47% of Democrats guaranteed to vote for Obama to get handouts, we still had to go to bed on time so the boys could go to work today. The numbers weren't looking good when we turned off the tv. I missed all my evening shows to watch the coverage and it was very scary. I even forgot to tweet clever things about it after a while. And surprised myself by remembering after I was in bed that I hadn't written my MiniNaNo quota. Or even thought about it at all after the East Coast polls started closing.

I'd have got up and finished somehow if I could have done without bothering Mark. As it is I just settled in with the CNN website on my phone. They had a very nice little graphic page showing the electoral totals, and the returns from battleground states.* It was too intense refreshing the page constantly and watching Wisconsin swing in the wind, so I alternated reading Douglas Adams in the Kindle app.** I was able to finish The Restaurant at the End of the Universe and make decent headway in Life, the Universe, and Everything.

About five minutes after checking CNN for the last time, fireworks starting going off up the street. I switched back and saw that President Obama had passed 270, meaning I could finally sleep. Mark had asked me not to wake him up unless I really couldn't contain myself, so I meant not to bother him. Fortunately(?) the fireworks woke him for me. Honestly, I think he slept better after that, too.

Today I must actually write. I'm feeling somewhat failurey for punting yesterday and consoling myself with the idea that it must have been a good excuse. Over the last three months or so I've gotten better at thinking about things. I've entirely stopped staring blankly at walls for hours at a stretch missing mom.*** My brain is still too crowded, but most of the important thoughts get to the front for roll call on time. So it's noteworthy that I must be writing something didn't even pop in to say goodbye before shoving off for the day. Possibly it knocked and GOBama, GOBama didn't answer. I'll be sure to have a word with both of them after I take care of smoke, smoke, smoke, who is really getting up my nose at the moment.

This morning I found this man who said some words about infinity. My non-writing project for the day will be trying to figure out why anyone on YouTube would dislike him.


*I still think that reporters must've been paid for each use of the word battleground. I also hope that ambulances were standing by near college campuses to assist students playing battleground shots, as they were all quite likely comatose by 5 pm Pacific.

**It really is nice having a phone, a computer, and two well-lit books in bed without taking up much space. Imagine trying that twenty years ago. It would have been terrible for Mr. Sloane who, being a cat, is obligated to block access to everything at once.

***I still miss her, but now I can multi-task it. It's sort of a continuous low hum in the back of my mind, rather than a great grey emptiness that swallows all other thoughts. So that's a break.
little_tristan: (Gilead Gunslingers)
Mark and I finally got our new Gunslinger t-shirts this week. This one here. He wore his to work yesterday and reported a funny conversation with a co-worker.

Co-worker: What's that on your shirt?
Mark: (Politely) What does it look like?
Co-worker: Um, it looks like a guy running away, in a desert, while a guy with a gun chases him.
Mark: Yep, that's what it is.
Co-worker: Huh. That's--uh--different from your usual shirts.
Mark: There's more to life than science, dude.
Co-worker: (Walks away quickly, looking back over his shoulder every few steps.)

I'm wearing mine today, but no one will see it. Unless I get a package and the mailman makes me open the door. That could happen.:)

Tammy was over yesterday. She's becoming one of my favorite visitors, and not just for the dusting. She was asking about my books so I gave her a copy of The Bedlam Boys. She's one of the few people who might possibly like the sequel, so I'm kind of looking forward to that. I do wish people would judge Bedlam's Child by the cover. [personal profile] speak_me_fair's art is worth buying it for.

The boys are at work today assembling the new machine. They've been doing that during their free time (ha, ha, what free time) at work all week, but today no one else is there so it'll go faster. Sucks not having them around, but at least we got to sleep late. And they took Willow, so Ranger gets the day off if no one else does.

MiniNaNo is going well. I think I like being forced to write every day, but in small amounts that no one has to see. Of course it's only day three. And I haven't started today's yet. But the first two days were awesome.:D

And in five days the election will be over and I can safely return to FaceBook! And leave the house. Because, dude, I so don't want to know anymore about how my neighbors are voting.
little_tristan: (Fist With Hardon)
A few months ago I read on FB about an extreme right wing hate group (recognized as such by the Southern Poverty Law Center) called Florida Family Association that was calling for people to contact Disney World and tell them to end their de facto "Gay Day". Since they so helpfully provided the email addresses of a dozen high level Disney execs and form letter, I changed the subject line and the entire text of the message and sent it on.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, maybe), that got me on the FFA's mailing list and now I hear about their hateful campaigns almost daily. Mostly they hate gays and Muslims, but they'll lash out at anything that threatens their frighteningly tiny world view.

Last week they emailed to tell me that President Obama was hosting an Islamic prayer service at the Democratic National Convention, while declining the offer of a blessing from the Catholic Timothy Cardinal Dolan. We were encouraged to sign a petition and email any number of people to put a stop to this "outrage". I didn't bother, of course. If the President wants some Muslims praying, he can have them. And I'm Catholic, but from what I've heard about Cardinal Dolan, I wouldn't accept his offer to bless my lawn.

What's important here is that a few days ago, the Florida Family Fucktards emailed again to congratulate their little cult of haters for their part in getting the situation rectified. As in, the Muslims are out and the Cardinal is in. Yay! Extremist right wing conservative religious bullying wins again!

Except that's not what happened. At all. The real story is here at Snopes. Right where the aforementioned extremist right wing conservative religious bullies will never see it. Five bucks and the fic of your choice to anyone who can get me the Florida Family Association's mailing list.
little_tristan: (Kitten Glowing Kitten is Glowing)
Looking at my last update, I notice that things didn't go exactly as planned. It was chilly Tuesday so I paid the shop rent and blew off going to Lowe's. I did that Wednesday instead. It was a good trip out on the bus and a sucky one back, as the driver did a touch and go rolling stop and didn't pick me up. I was all pissed and walked home, with a stop at Harvest Fresh (which we call the hippy grocery store) where they actually have a build your own salad bar, to go, priced by the pound. I bought about 12 oz of my favorite veggies and took it home to eat.

Sadly, I also lost my sunglasses either in the store or on the street right outside it. For those who haven't met me yet, I can't actually see outside without some kind of shades. We're not sure exactly what the deal is, probably an MD related muscle weakness, but since sunglasses make it manageable, I don't worry about it. It was a hard walk home, though.

The good news is that Mark put the new lockset in the side door that night. He also installed the heavy-duty hasp inside the basement door and put my favorite big lock on it. And, just for my peace of mind, a smaller, lighter hasp on the kitchen side of the upstairs basement door. I close it and hang the open lock on it when we go to bed, just because I feel better. It's really there in case I actually hear someone in the basement, so I can lock them in and have a few minutes to get out of the house. Or if Steve actually comes back for his stuff, I'll lock it while he's in the house, if for no other reason than to openly display my distrust. I actually want him to come back and see that all the doors are locked against him now. That's how hurt I am. (We're also using a hasp to secure the back-shop door from the inside, but I fasten it with a carabiner. We don't have a key to the lock that's lying around out there and the a-n might decide to use it.)

But enough of that. Heather came over yesterday and we went out on foot to do a bunch of errands. The first being a stop at Ross for new sunglasses. I wore a visor and only looked at the ground two feet ahead, but it was still grueling. Still, I can only buy them at Ross. I don't think it's snobbery, I've owned dozens of pairs of shades of every type and price range, and the mid-level designer ones are just the best. I can always find a style that suits my face and the lenses are top quality. The dollar store ones Heather likes just reduce everything to shadow, and the blue-blockers reflect too much. But Ross always has something that looks good and lets me see clearly in any light, for around $10. I think I'm wearing Steve Madden now. In a few years, when they've been lost, or dropped and run over (the usual CoD), I get to go back and pick out another pair. I love an excuse to shop.

Another good excuse is winter! Heather's been collecting school clothes for her kids on all our trips, so after we looked at all the cool stuff we couldn't justify actually buying, I was able to justify a really amazing knit scarf in a kind of round scallop pattern that I've never seen before. It feels like angora, although it was probably way too inexpensive to actually be, so I had to have it. Even though it's green. But it's a really dark, neutral, moss in the forest shadows green, so I think it'll fit in nicely with the black/white/grey thing I have going on. And when CL needed socks, I discovered knee high Hello Kittys in grey/black and red/black. On clearance! So much warm, soft kittyness for my legs this year! Heather got shoes for the kids and it was over to Safeway for some lunch from the deli.

Then we crossed over to Walmart so she could get pull-ups for the baby (has anyone else noticed how they've racially diversified the diaper section? Let's hope it hits the big kid clothes soon) and some keys for the new doorknob. Russ and I each had one, but we needed more for Mark, Heather, and the a-n. Who, thank dog, forgot his momentary obsession with having keys for all the padlocks we're installing. His excuse? There might be a fire. I asked him why he'd want to get into the basement in case of fire--if the fire was down there, keeping the door closed would be a good idea, containment-wise, and he'd just fall down the unbelievable lethal stairs anyway--and he lost his shit, as always. Luckily the forgetting stuff worked for me this time. Almost makes up for the incredibly demented story he made up the other night about Steve stealing cash from him.*

Okay, then we went to Goodwill and I found FOUR heavy skirts for winter. One all black, one black and grey checked, one grey with black roses, and one that's just grey. I think all of them except the one with roses will look good with the Kitty socks, too. Heather found some more clothes for the kids, including an unlicensed knockoff HK dress for CL, which is just as adorable as it can be. It's kind of an old-fashioned party dress style with a long puffed skirt and a sash that ties in back. Thinking about it now, I suspect it was handmade by one of the local Hispanic woman for a little girl's party. You can tell it's not real Sanrio because HK has a cute little smiley mouth. I'd post pix but Heather has strict rules about her kids' pictures online. It's not allowed. Ever. Okay, I guess she has one strict rule. (Except for that one on my FB where her son is a week old and I'm wearing him a body sling and you can't even see his face. My friend took that pic and it's a work of art.)

We stopped at the park on the way back so the kids could run around some and then came home to confirm the news Mark gave me over the phone at Goodwill: that some punk-ass, uninsured, fucktard had hit Heather's van, my mommy's van, while it was safely and legally parked in front of our house. He'd assured me that it wasn't bad, that the other car had taken a lot more damage, and she definitely shouldn't worry. But of course we did.

Mark was right, though. There's a little scuff on the door below the trim where it says Venture, and sadly she's determined that it goes down to the primer, but she knows a guy who can fix it. We have good insurance on it since she hasn't changed the title, but she's scared they'll total it out because it's 8 years old and she'll have to buy the kind of crap car they'll assume hers is because they didn't know my mom.

Apparently what happened is someone backed into the driver's door in some kind of hatchback or mini-van/SUV thing and the side mirror punched out their big, overly-tinted rear window. It was easily the blackest glass I've ever seen outside an art studio and Heather swept up at least ten pounds of it. She said it's either medical grade or was bought out of state because Oregon doesn't allow that much tint.

Personally I think we're lucky the person who lost all that glass didn't get out and smash one of Heather's windows just out of spite. It must've been tempting.

The neighbors across the street said they didn't see it happen and they had no idea who it was. They heard the crash but the other car was gone when they got outside. This is, of course, a complete lie. They're always outside or in the front room looking out the windows. They see everything. And the only way the angles could have worked is if the other car was, you know, backing out of their driveway. (Interestingly, the woman I talked to kept calling the driver "she", which is grammatically unusual when referring to an unsub. Most people say either "he" or "they".) They're pot dealers and alcoholics, good friends of Steve's although yesterday was the first time I'd ever spoken to them, and they have random drunks and stoners staggering in and out of there in their black-windowed bass thumpers all hours of the day and night. There were three visitors' cars in the drive when I was talking to them. Now we're waiting to see, purely out of curiosity, which of the regulars stays away for a couple days, or comes back in a different car.

The last thing we did was sort my clothes again. Heather takes away everything I don't want and gives it to her friends, or a thrift store, or makes it into something else. This time I added two purple t-shirts that I don't wear because of the company logos so she can make them into necklaces for me. I love her t-shirt necklaces, I just don't have one yet. No one knows how she does it, but she can make anything out of anything else. I'm using a shopping bag that she sewed from a plastic bag of Purina Chicken Chow. She gets all my dog and cat chow bags, of course, and I get a shopping bag for every 5 bags I give her. Anyway, sorting out the bin of old stuff gave us a place to put the new winter stuff. When it's time to wear it, the strapless shirts and short skirts of summer will go into the bin and the heavy skirts and fuzzy sweaters of winter will come out. Maybe this winter won't be so bad if I feel pretty.


*Okay, yes, Steve's a thief. Yes, he stole some money from my purse a few weeks after he moved in and I chose to let it go that once. But I know the old man's story is bullshit because we all remember the bait money he left on his desk until it actually got dusty, like dried up cheese in an old mouse trap. The boys eventually took it to relieve everyone of the humiliation of continually trying to entrap a member of the household in such an obvious way. The best part? The old fart coincidentally put the $10 piece of cheese out a week or so after Steve actually did steal from me, which I never told anyone about, but he surely believed I would. I smile a little when I imagine how that must have felt.
little_tristan: (Otters Significant Otters)
Heather and I have been doing so much lately, I'm not sure I can remember it all. She was great about being over here as much as possible, even on Monday and Tuesday when it was unexpected. CL had some whining issues, but we kept them out in the front yard with the sidewalk chalk and bubbles as much as we could. It sucked being sick, but I did get to nap a couple times.

Mark and I are working out a check-in system so I'll be marginally safer at home alone. I set a reminder on my phone to tell me to text him every hour (unpaid advertisement: the Alarmed app for iPhone is a freaking steal at .99). If I don't text by ten after, he calls me. If I don't answer, he lets it ring through to voicemail three times and then either comes home or sends Heather, whichever works best for them. We've been doing it all week as a trial run and it's working out pretty well. Heather wants them to take me to work once a twice a week, too, so she can pick me up and take me to her house, or shopping (there's a second hand clothes store that sells everything by the pound; I really want to check that out), or over to her friend's where they make jewelry.

We went to the county fair on Wednesday and I got to make earrings with Maggie, whom I met at Turkey Rama. She sells a lot of silver and turquoise and I was looking for earrings to match Mark's necklace. I found some that were the right shade of green, but they had red accents And cost $56. She said she'd bring green beads to the fair and make simple earrings for a lower price ($16). But when I found her, she wanted to show me how to make them myself so I got a quick lesson. And a huge discount (paid $5), since she was having so much fun. I actually made one of them myself and even Mark was impressed by the quality and color of the stones. She also whipped up a pair of pearl ones to match a bracelet I was wearing and gave them to me for free. She's kind of a recruiter, I guess, and wants me to start making my own. I think it sounds like a big investment and a lot of work, but I'll try it out with Heather's friends, at least. It would be kind of neat to make exactly what I want. Assuming I can figure out what that is.:)

We also did the regular fair stuff: ate corndogs and elephant ears, petted all the horses in the stables, watched the English style riders warm up in the outdoor ring before their show (one boy of about 11 or 12 was riding the most beautiful mule I've ever seen and doing a fine job of it), and let the kids go on a couple rides. Cousin Iola (Heather's aunt) came along, and our friend Caitlin, who also makes jewelry, so chasing the kids wasn't as bad as it could have been.

I didn't especially like leaving Steve at the house alone after he was fired, but he spent most of the day out walking around. When we left the fair, Heather took me to the doctor and everyone else went to the park. Dr. B was open to the idea of increasing my Depakote so I'm taking it 3 times a day instead of 2. He also thinks my sinus thing is allergies rather than a virus or bacteria, although there does seem to be some bacterial action going on. It's getting better, though, so we decided against antibiotics for now. Instead he prescribed a nasal allergy mist that I'm really excited about.

Today is kind of a low-key, work around the house day. The boys are doing their inventing thing while I rest and watch Criminal Minds DVDs. Tomorrow we're going to the big airshow in Hillsboro to see some WWII fighters and the USAF Thunderbirds. It'll be our first actual complete day off as a family in years. Unfortunately it's also supposed to be the hottest day of the year so far with a high of 101, but if it sucks we can always leave. And maybe get a milkshake from the Burgerville across from the airport.

It's nice having our house back.
little_tristan: (Hamster Spaghetti)
Mostly an excuse to break out my new userpic. But I did say I would say something about the book club meeting last weekend. I still don't quite know what to say, except that it was weird. Like, hamster at a horse show weird. The women were lovely but intimidating. We met at Judy's house out in the country, but not like the country where I grew up, with farms and grain fields. This was Tasteful Country, with winding paved driveways, fishponds and fountains in the front yard, casual weekend outfits that cost more than everything I own (combined), and extremely polite horses looking picturesque along the roads. When we weren't talking about my book, they were talking about the various countries they'd visited so far this year and the places they'll be going before they return to teaching and antique store managing and whatever else tasteful, educated people do. It was hardcore.

These people read my book. They talked about it among themselves. Then they served deli food from an adorable cafe in town while I talked about it. Not being educated, I've never had to present a paper or defend a thesis, but I did get to analyze the exterior symbols of my heart and soul with people who had opinions about it. I sort of wish I'd become an engineer or a physicist. You know, something easy.

Hopefully one day I'll have recovered enough to remember what was actually said. Or maybe it's better if I don't.

The rest of the week was up and down. The weather's been great so I've gone out as much as possible. Steve's been a good sport about it and I've been letting him get away as much as possible. Thursday the boys hired him away to work on their machine and Friday he left early in the morning to go camping. The boys have been home since Wednesday so they can get lots of work done. I haven't really seen them much, but Mark let me pick the colors for his touch screen controller last night. It's terribly difficult programming and I'm very proud of him.

This coming week Steve's supposed to be finishing up at the shop. I'm supposed to go with him where I can be properly supervised, but I feel bad about it. It'd be a good chance for him to not be near me, but I think he's scared of Mark or something. It drives me crazy when people don't talk. All I can do is guess and I never guess positively.

Friday morning I got a call from the bank letting me know that they'd been alerted, either by a merchant or law enforcement (she didn't know or wouldn't say which) that my debit card number had been compromised. I assume an ATM camera caught Steve using it and reading the PIN off his hand or something but without more information I couldn't risk it. So they're sending me a new card and I just won't have one until it gets here. Whine. Except I still have Russell's from the grocery store.

The wheelchair repairman came over and explained why I have to use a crap-ass controller forever, but maybe not with an external view screen. Those are for people who can't move or raise their heads to look at the box and the salesman was just being a dick when he made me take it. And why not? He was a dick about everything else. I'm using my old chair now and it's kind of nice. Like a proper exoskeleton should be.

Last night I decided to look for my step-grandma whom I haven't seen or heard from in about ten years. She moved to CA to be near her kids and grandkids, and probably great great grandkids by now. I found her, but it turns out she died nine months ago. That was kind of a bummer. I mean, she was only technically my grandma from 1980 to 1994 (my dad stopped counting when his dad died in '87; I give her until she remarried and moved away), but still.

I don't know if I'm getting depressed again or if it's just PMS. Either way, there's a pint of Ben and Jerry's in the freezer that should help.
little_tristan: (Riptide Murray wrong)
Why don't they get their terminology right? The detectives and district attorney keep referring to nude photos of a 16 or 17 year old girl as "kiddie porn" that will soon end up on the internet where it will fall into the hands of "pedophiles".

Okay, I don't know the exact term for naked teenage porn. Underage? It is that. But it's not kiddie porn and pedophiles aren't interested in teenagers. They're interested in children who haven't reached puberty and are lacking secondary sexual characteristics like body hair and breasts. Shouldn't the Special Victims Unit, being all elite and all, know the difference? And shouldn't the writers, since they're preaching and "educating" the population like every episode is a seminar on crime statistics, make some effort not to spread misinformation?

I had the misfortune of knowing a pedophile once. I saw the kind of porn he liked. A seventeen year old seems downright reasonable in comparison. At least she looks like an adult.
little_tristan: (Ranger)
The Back Story: Ranger wears a heavy purple nylon collar with a plastic/metal squeeze clasp. Willow, who is much smaller but way more determined to dominate, likes to grab said collar and try to drag Ray around with it. Sometimes she gets hold of the clasp and unfastens it (presumably by accident, but with a Border Collie you can never be completely sure). The result is someone searching the back yard (they wrestle all day but the collar only comes off outside), recovering it, and putting it back on.

What Happened This Time: Ranger came inside yesterday evening sans collar. Mark searched the yard twice with no success. Just now I was letting the dogs out and the collar was lying at the bottom of the ramp outside the sliding door, on the floor of the shop. Now, since he walked right by there 4 times yesterday, and I checked the shop itself twice, that means it wasn't there last night. One of the dogs must've picked it up in the yard earlier this morning and left it there when they came inside.

The Question: Do dogs think about their collars, and if they do, what do they think? Do they regard these colorful bits of nylon as theirs, something that belongs to, or is a part of, them? I could see that, since the collars smell strongly of the dogs that wear them. But at the same time, they come off. And they can be resisted. Still, dogs favor their own things, so Ranger could have brought it to the door because it's hers.

The other option is that the dogs see the collars as belonging to us. Something that we put on them for reasons of our own and that they respect because they (the collars) aren't particularly annoying. A cat will get annoyed and pull one off as a matter of principle, but I've never seen a dog do that. In this case, whichever dog returned it to the shop could be thought of as returning it to me.

I suspect the most likely answer is that they were playing with it, keep away or tug of war or something, and one of them just incidentally carried it as far as the ramp before getting bored. Or dropping it in the excitement of getting back in the house. But I'm curious if anyone else has thought about this at all.
little_tristan: (St8 Against Hate)
For about 20 years I've been wondering about the way gay men and women are labeled. See what I just said there? Gay men and women, as in gay men and gay women. Because gay means homosexual, right? And homosexual applies to both groups, male and female. So why are they separated into two groups: gays and lesbians, or gay men and lesbians? Doesn't this imply that "gay" means "homosexual man", therefore making male the default and female something separate?

I'm finally bringing this up because I just found out that it was women who pushed for the inclusion of the word lesbian. I'd always assumed it was the result of men trying to distance themselves from the women. (Sort of like that co-ed label that so annoys me. The schools are co-education, but only the female students are called co-eds, implying that the males are the "real" students and the females are the "co-students", secondary and less significant, like backup students.) So what was the thinking there? What made gay women insist on another, strictly female, term, thus surrendering the more general and inclusive "gay" to the men?

Any book recs on the evolution of LGBTQI terminology/language would be most welcome, too.
little_tristan: (Kitten Hug Me)


Yes, I thought the headline was snark, too, and then I read the article here on Jezebel, and what do you know? Glow in the dark kittens may well be the future.
little_tristan: (Firefly Bright Kaylee)
Good things that are happening: Willow is a month away from being an official dog! We consider 6 months to be a dog, since that's when she'll be spayed, get her rabies vaccine, and be licensed with the county. We're all very relieved to have gotten her through the delicate puppy months, and today she's going to the dog park for the first time. I'll try to get pictures. She doesn't often hold still anymore, but we have a new highspeed camera. Here's a foretaste, with Ranger... )

Last weekend we celebrated Sister's birthday with a Hello Kitty cake, baked by Bruder and decorated (under my supervision, of course) by Cousin H, who also delivered. That, I got a picture of. )

Yesterday I got the information packet on my new sponsored child. [livejournal.com profile] barancoire will be glad to know they gave me a girl this time--Veronica, of Kenya. She's not quite 12, so we should have many years to get to know each other.

Also last weekend, we solved our major fuel crisis. The boys were spending nearly $400 a month on gas to drive back and forth to work in either the F-150 or the Econoline, and after two years, we'd had quite enough of it. So we've been looking for a Volkswagen diesel pickup--one of the old ones from the early 80s that gets 45 mpg and runs forever. Then when Cousin H was driving me home from Sister's, we just happened to spot one parked on the street with a for sale sign in the windshield. She got the phone number, and long story short, we went back the next day and bought it. (There's actually kind of a funny story there where the three of us were trying to figure out how to get the cash on a Saturday afternoon in a town that doesn't even have a branch of our bank, and ended up at a foreign ATM using all three of our cards to withdraw the maximum amount allowed on each. Luckily he took a check for the rest, so we didn't have to go back.:)

So the boys have been driving it all week and couldn't be happier. Well, the radio doesn't work, and the glass fell out of the passenger side wing window when Bruder tried to open it, and shattered all over the highway. But you have to expect these little difficulties with second (or third or tenth) hand cars. The important thing is they've driven it all week on one tank of diesel, and it has an electric oil pan heater to help get it started in the winter. Last pic, I promise... )

Also, after absolutely wallowing in Marian Call songs and Firefly eps all week, I think I need to write a fic. I never expected to, but it might happen.
little_tristan: (Riptide Murray Thinky)
Some of you probably read the book review I wrote a while back for Mara Leveritt's Devil's Knot, the true story of three dead children and the teenagers convicted of killing them. I made no secret, here in the relative safety of my LJ page, of the fact that I believe the teenagers are innocent, the investigation and prosecution were totally bogus, and the trial judge was a biased sack of crap. But it took me a solid week to make up my mind to buy a Free the West Memphis 3 bumper sticker from the website
set up to support them (http://www.wm3.org/), where all proceeds go to fund the young men's continuing appeals. (They don't get free attorneys for appeals, and having been in prison since they were 17 and 18 years old, they have no money with which to fight.) It wasn't the cost of the sticker that was holding me back, it was the fact that if I bought it, I would want to display it. And since I don't drive, all stickers worth buying go on my wheelchair. I'll come back to this in a second.

If you're a Christian, and probably even if you're not, you've surely gotten those emails full of fake miracles and crap (I'm a Christian, but there's believing and then there's just plain making shit up, okay? And that story about the girl who didn't get raped because she heard a voice warning her not to walk down an alley and some other, presumably more deserving, girl got raped instead? are made up), that always end the same. "If you're not ashamed of Jesus, you'll forward this to everyone you know. For Jesus says if you're ashamed of me on earth, I'll be ashamed of you before our Father in Heaven." So the upshot is, if you don't spam everyone you know with the made-up tear-jerker/vaguely threatening email, that means you're ashamed of being a Christian and you'll go to hell.

What does this have to do with the WM3? I'm getting to that. I had my last wheelchair for 5 years and covered it pretty thoroughly with a variety of stickers. Many of them were religious in nature. One just said Papist (that's right, we're taking it back), one had a Rosary and said "Call home. Your mother hasn't heard from you in decades", one was a Virgin of Guadalupe, and one was just a replication of an Eastern Orthodox icon that I like. I got them all from Cafe Press and never thought twice about sticking them on there. Right now I just have a little St. Jude, but I intend to get another Virgin of Guadalupe soon. It's not just Catholic, it shows support for the Mexicans, which I also have never had a problem advertising.

But yesterday, when I was plotting where to locate the WM3 sticker, after holding onto it for another week once it finally arrived, I realized that this is the hardest thing I've ever felt compelled to publicly come out in favor of. Not that anyone in Oregon cares about an 18 year old crime in Arkansas, but what if they did? What if someone accosted me on the street with the traditional cry of, "What about the victims' families? Don't they deserve to be left in peace?" I know my answer to that, but I don't do well in face to face confrontations, so I would probably handle it badly. If they yell at me, I'll just cry. (My answer, however, is that the families deserve to have the right people incarcerated, and if it was my child mutilated and murdered, I'd want a hell of a lot more proof before I started sleeping through the night again.)

So my point? Being a Christian in this country is really easy. People don't accost you on the street for that, although Fundamentalists will sometimes get on you for advertising Catholicism. I just argue Bible verses with them until I get bored and then go home. Non-Christians typically fall into one of two groups: those who don't give a crap what your religion is, and those who disrespect all religious people to the point where they don't think you're worth arguing with. The same way I don't bother arguing with anti-evolutionists who think a valid point is, "If we're descended from monkeys, why are there still monkeys?" (Seriously. A woman in my church uses that line and thinks that when the other person doesn't answer, that means she's won. I'm pretty sure it just means her opponent has given her up as terminally stupid.)

Anyway, that's my revelation for the week. Of all the things I support, Christianity is the easiest. Wrongfully convicted prisoners is the hardest. And, in my small city, gay rights and legalizing pot fall somewhere in the middle. So forwarding those emails is just a waste of time. Standing up and saying you're a Christan isn't just allowed, or easy, it's practically required. You certainly can't get to be POTUS without a letter from your pastor. And even then, when the opposition can't come up with anything real to use against you, they can always call you an atheist. Or worse, a Muslim. It's standing up for beliefs that aren't shared (or at least respected/ignored) by the entire country that's a little bit hard.

Maybe no one around here has ever heard of Damien Echols and his childhood friends, but maybe they have. Maybe I'll actually be called upon to defend something I believe. Maybe it'll be good for me. But I'm not sure I could do it in Arkansas, and I am ashamed of that.
little_tristan: (Remmington Steele Sleeping)
Bruder didn't feel at all better yesterday. He did scarf down three times the recommended dose of meclizine (my fault--I should have known he couldn't read the box) and that stopped the vomiting, but he still couldn't walk without holding onto my chair. Around eleven, I started trying to get him in with an ear/nose/throat doctor who might be able to fix it (a guy from work had his head vibrated by a specialist and said it fixed it within seconds), but no one was available. Our doctor said he needed to go to the ER, but he wouldn't go alone and getting wheelchair transport with no notice is impossible in this town. The cripple bus was scheduled too tight and the only cab company to have a lift van suddenly doesn't anymore. I guess the assumption is that sick cripples take ambulances and leave their chairs at home, and sick ambulators don't really need them along. Anyway, the meclizine finally kicked in good around noon so he drove us himself, with me watching for traffic so he didn't have to turn his head.
This is where it gets good )
little_tristan: (Riptide Geek On)
I spent all day yesterday getting my new computer set up and everything transfered, which was surprisingly easy. I used a program called PC Mover, which, in spite of coming with an ethernet cable that couldn't be plugged into either machine, worked really well. (We bought a USB cable.) And when I get an adapter for one of the monitors, I'll be able to run two. I'm very excited about that.:)

But Napster doesn't work. Any Napster users who might know more about it, please ring in. It appears to work, but the tracks it plays are pretty random. Nothing in my Windows Media Player works--they all give me the message that says they're Napster tracks and a newer version is available so I should delete it from my hard disk and download it again. What's really funny is that it says that IN Napster, too. I search for a track, click play, and it tells me there's a newer version so I should delete it and re-download. When it's not downloaded, and I'm trying to play it IN Napster. It also says that when I try to play purchased tracks, which should always work. So I sent them an email (it says I can contact them by phone, but the link with which to do so is missing), but I don't have high hopes. They've never replied to one of my help request emails before.

This is why I never can get completely away from actual CDs. They just don't give you this kind of crap.

Everything else went surprisingly well, though. It was possibly the least traumatic computer move of my life--possibly because we did it before my old machine died. PC Mover put my desktop together about like it was, with the correct wallpaper but too many shortcuts, so I'm deleting those. And for a while this morning I couldn't click hyperlinks in emails, but there was an easy fix for that at Microsoft.com. Semagic seems to have not transfered all of my files, but those might reappear later, like they did when I updated it last time. Or I can get them off the old computer.

So it's really just the huge Napster headache weighing on me. I mean, I have thousands of downloaded tracks and the idea of redownloading them all makes me want to cry. (Literally. I'm not strong.) And that's even assuming I can. Right now, they won't play no matter what I do. But I'm back online!
little_tristan: (Riptide Murray Look it Up)
Real Fact #736: More babies are born at night than during the day.

Really? I'm assuming this is based on actual birth records, but anecdotally, I can say that the babies in my family are generally born during what I would call daytime. (11:36 am for me, early afternoon for my sister and all of my recent cousins.)

But how do they categorize night and day? Is it light and dark? But that would mean a greater number of babies born in winter would be born at night (shorter days), and more summer babies would be born during the day. Is there a set timespan, like on our phone plan where free evening minutes are from seven pm to seven am? In our house, it's considered night around five in the afternoon and day starts about 3:30 in the morning, which most people consider to be the middle of the night. Whereas I bitch at people who call me at eight pm because that's the middle of the night to us.

I guess what I'm getting at is these Snapple caps need a website where we can enter the Real Fact number and get a deeper explanation. Or a Wiki link, at least. Because this isn't like the snails only having one tooth thing. I'm going to need references.

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