Turin, and off to Greece

Whitman: not all who wander
Spent the last couple of days in Turin with some friends. I got home this evening and have been getting ready to head down to the ferry dock to head off to Greece for a week. I'll be gone until July 9th, but probably not "back" until the 10th.

I took a bunch of photos in Turin that I haven't looked at yet, but I downloaded them onto the computer so I wouldn't be concerned about any possibility of losing them if anything happened to my camera. I'll sort through them, and there will be a blog post, when I return home again.

Right now, I mostly feel fried to a crisp. Once I'm actually on the ferry, I'll see if I can get a little sleep.

There's a free online poetry course

Brigid Poet
Yep, free online poetry course right here. I signed up, even though it starts tomorrow and I'll be out of town and mostly away from the intertubes until July 10th. You can catch up if you're not on it right away.

Went out to get more new clothes today, with an Italian artist friend. She's very talkative and has rather different taste than I do, but I'm trying to dress for stiflingly hot weather, and I have no idea how to do that, given that I've lived in a fog-factory for most of the last 30 years. Time to try some new things.

Helped out with an ogam workshop at the Triskell Celtic music festival, met a bunch of cool Pagan-y type people, and have been having a pretty good time, though right now I'm pretty exhausted from running around in the heat all day shopping. (ugh, shopping)

Soon, Torino and Greece.
Music by Leonardo
I have a new post up on my blog about what I've been up to recently. There are a bunch of photos, so go have a look!

The Triskell Celtic festival is small but pretty good. I heard a couple of bands, there were some good merchant booths, and there's food up there. I also met some local Pagans and talked with one of them for a while last night. I'll be heading up again this evening with a few of my books to let them have a look at what I do. I've also been doing a little work on the wikitravel page for Trieste. There was some stuff there about restaurants and whatnot, but it was all from maybe 2007, the last time someone visited. I've been adding new stuff, though I'm not going to even try to correct price information about hotels and restaurants.

My brother was here for a couple of days to help out with some stuff around the house, and to check out the location of the ferry dock. He'll be back on the 28th so I can hop on the train to Torino on the 29th. We hung up a mosquito net so that if more of the little fuckers get into the room, they won't be able to feast on my precious bodily fluids quite so easily. The last one that got in (ONE) nailed me a couple of times a night for nearly a week before I squashed it. Apparently some species can live up to two weeks. *shudder*

On ferries and traveling

Whitman: not all who wander
Today I picked up my physical tickets for the ferry to Greece and found out exactly where I have to go to check in and get on the boat. It's not Molo 4 up here by my house but Molo 7 down on the other side of the city. It's a long-ish walk, so I'll end up taking a cab, as I have to be there by about 5:30am on the day of departure.

I've had two different reports about whether or not I can get to Ithaka from Patras or if I have to take a bus down to Kylini and take a ferry to another island first, then to Ithaka from there. I can't really find out for certain until I arrive in Patras. In either case, I might end up arriving on Ithaka in the middle of the night.

I have a hotel room in Patras for the night of the 3rd but am not sure now if I will be able to use it; that will depend on whether I need to take a bus and what port I leave from. In any case, I won't be able to find out until I arrive. The room is reserved but it's only €25 for the night, so it's not a huge loss if I have to bail on it. I would regret losing the money, but better to have it available for me if I need it.

I will admit I dislike it when things like this are so far out of my control. I like to have travel plans settled beforehand unless, for some reason, I have an open return. I don't in this case, as I have a ferry back to Trieste to board at a particular time and date.

I walked down to Molo 4 earlier today trying to figure out where to go. The woman at the gate had no idea, so I went inside and spoke to someone at a car rental desk. She sent me over to Piazza Sant'Antonio Nuovo (where the AIA is) to a travel agency there; it's where you pick up your tickets for Minoan Lines, and is in the Greek Consulate. I spoke to the lady there while I was getting my ticket, and she gave me the details. We spoke about the issues I was having with finding a route to Ithaka from Patras and said that I could talk to one of the travel agencies near the ferry port when I got to Patras and could get accurate information about whether or not I could get a ferry from Patras or would have to take a bus, so at least that much is certain. It could turn out to be a little convoluted, but such is life. I will get there eventually!

Things to do before my next trip

Whitman: not all who wander
Buy food/water for the train and the ferry (much cheaper that way)
Pack a small bag for Torino and a backpack for Greece
Notify my bank & credit cards for international travel (and check balances)
Try to finish resolving the Patras / Ithaka leg of the trip
Find dramamine just in case - I don't tend to get motion sick but the dizziness might have changed things
Mosquito repellent
Wander over to the ferry terminal to see what I need to do about picking up the ticket the morning of my trip (I have to be there at least 2 hours early that day - about 4am)
Buy a pair of shorts for the ferry, and a couple of loose short-sleeved shirts for going into churches & such (they don't let you in if you're wearing a tank top)
Pay my July rent
Get a bottle of local wine for Stephen & Peter
Make sure camera batteries are all charged up (and take charger & converter plug)
Put more money on the phone and make sure I add the one week international service

Can anybody think of/suggest anything I might be missing?

Can haz furniture

The chairs and sofa were delivered today! The sofa was immediately claimed by the DoDC+3. Of course.


There's a lot of light here, despite the fact that it was a dim, overcast day. Can you imagine what this will be like on sunny days?

Holy shit, I'm going to Greece

Whitman: not all who wander
While I still don't have the tickets for the final leg of the journey because the ticketing website used by the company (a conglomerate of Greek ferry lines) doesn't seem to work for me, I have tickets from Trieste to Patras, which is on the mainland near Ithaka. I'll be able to catch a ferry to the island and probably can buy a ticket at the terminal if necessary, though I have an email in to the company. I'm hoping I'll hear back from them Monday or Tuesday, given that I doubt their offices are open on Sunday.

I've got a new post up on my Italy blog about the week, and the weirdness of trying to buy ferry tickets online. I will admit that not having an actual ticket and being uncertain of how to get from the terminal on Ithaka out to visit with my friends in Kioni is very anxiety-producing. There are two terminals on Ithaka that can be reached from Patras according to the 2014 schedule for the ferry line in question. One of them arrives on the island around midnight (no thanks) but is the reasonably sized town of Vathi. The other arrives in the mid-afternoon but it looks on the map like it's just the ferry terminal at Pisaetos, and a small villa up the hill from there. I'm hoping that cabs and a bus will be available upon the ferry's arrival so that I can get out to Kioni somehow. Or at least to Vathi, the larger town.

Of course, not being able to check things out very well online means I have no real idea what to expect upon arrival. Mostly, confusion, I suspect. Anyway, I've spent the money for the initial tickets, and I'll be going to see Dan's talk in Torino on June 30th as well. That means I'll be on the train the 29th and again on the 1st, then on a ferry on July 2nd. It does mean I'll save a lot of money over flying to any of these places.

Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Food thing!

GIR likes FOOD!
An addendum to the previous post about my day. One of the women I was talking with at the AIA today took me over to one of the local Slovenian markets. She's Croatian and she showed me all kinds of neat things and told me about what things were. They had venison, they had sour cream, they had all kinds of cool stuff that I'd never heard of before, and things that I would love to try, like nettle syrup or pickled cabbage leaves for a Croatian stuffed cabbage leaf recipe. I would have been completely mystified without her help.

They also have bulk wine on tap (presumably local), by the liter, bring your own bottles. This whole thing is genuinely exciting. They apparently have a frequently changing selection of game meat - including stuff like squirrel and wild boar. She said a lot of what they sell is cheaper than at the Italian supermarkets. I'm definitely going there when supplies get a little lower in my fridge this weekend.

It rained briefly this afternoon in slow, fat drops from a sunny sky. It did lower the temperature slightly, though didn't do anything about the humidity. The clouds are coming in now and it's probably going to be raining again, more in earnest, in the next hour or so.

On doctors and the healthcare system

As I rather expected, the information I got was not exactly applicable to me. They would in fact allow me to join the healthcare system, but I would be paying a percentage of my annual income rather than the smaller amount that I'd seen from the class. It would be about $1,000 more than what I'm paying for my insurance, so I'll keep that. It's not like I can't afford it, particularly after the condo sale is final and I'm no longer paying the HOA fees. I did, however, get assigned to a female doctor who speaks what the lady at the Tessera Sanitaria assures us is good English. Her office is about a 45 minute walk from here not far from the Barcola but I should be able to get within about a 5 minute walk to her office by bus, I just need to investigate which route number goes there. Anything going out to the Barcola should be fine. I need to make an appointment with her for an initial visit, but I'll worry about that next week.

Today I signed up for the Italian for foreigners class that starts in September, along with another woman I talked to at the AIA today. She's Croatian and speaks several languages, but not what she considers enough Italian. She has more than me, but I'm not sure how much more. We went after that to have some lunch.

I messed up my back pretty badly the other day, so yesterday I went to a place and got a half hour massage for my back. It was €30 for the half hour and, while it didn't thoroughly fix the problem, it did help quite a bit. I'm still hurting today, but not nearly so badly. With luck I'll be pretty much back to normal in the next day or two.

My brother notified me today that he'd been called by the furniture place, and my chairs and loveseat are supposed to be delivered on the 16th, sometime between 1-5pm. Next Monday night I will have furniture! It'll be so nice to have comfy places to sit. <3

And my last class of two

Orpheus I see...
Today's class, three hours, covered work and tax issues, health care, school for kids, and rental/ownership of property. I am actually eligible to sign up for Italian health care and won't have to continue to pay for external insurance unless I want to, from what I could gather from the information provided. I will have to pay an annual fee, but that fee is about $525 a year (if the class information was up to date), versus the $198 a month ($2375 a year) I'm paying for insurance through Cigna right now; I think Italian healthcare will also provide more services than what I'm paying for through Cigna. There are some fees for some services, but between the monthly payments and any deductibles, it is likely to be significantly less expensive regardless, and the VA will still pay any fees for anything service-connected, so that will be even less expense in the long run.

If I were working in Italy, signing up for health care would be free. They do have some types of disability services but I don't know exactly what those are or if I am in any way eligible. It's something I would have to look into.

Due to budget issues, the provided Italian for foreigners classes probably aren't free anymore, but the fee is apparently only €10 for the class series. Their class for A-1 level is 100 hours, for A-2 level is 80 hours. Above that they do have more substantial fees, because A-2 is the level required by law for receiving permanent residence in Italy. They said I can sign up anytime and start the next session, which will be when the school year starts in September. When the time for the class comes around, they give you a placement test so they can determine which class to put you in. I told them I'd already taken a 20-hour class, and that I was working with a friend who is studying to teach Italian as a second language, and they were quite pleased with this.

They also handed us a short paper/comic on the integration agreement (in Italian) that explains in simpler language than the agreement itself, what the agreement commits you to. I could read about 1/2 to 3/4 of it and got the gist of the rest, I think. The Questura did give me a copy of the agreement itself in English as well as Italian, so I already was aware of what I'd signed up for. There was a little more information there about being able to track the various points that you're supposed to accumulate by registering for a website. Anyway, I'm going along pretty well so far, I think.

Overall, the classes were useful, if stilted and boring. The two people they had presenting the material were very obviously reading from a teleprompter, and doing a bad job of it. Once again, there were places where there was supposed to be a slide and one didn't appear, or where they said one thing and the slide was a repeat of a previous one (more than once). It was a bit surreal in places, actually.

The school where the classes were held is where the language lessons will happen. They also offer classes in English, German, Spanish, and Slovenian, as well as things like art and architecture, and other stuff for personal development. I suspect it won't be hideously expensive to study another language, but I really do need to get my Italian in order. It would be nice to pick up German again, though. Having a vague clue about Slovenian would also be useful around here.

Jim says he'll be on the road in my direction by 8:30 tomorrow morning for our trip to the Tessera Sanitaria.

Midnight, and it's 79f.

Tired Erynn is tired. Not headachy anymore, but still having some problems with the back and shoulders. With any luck that should clear up in another couple of days at most.

A class and a continuing headache

I didn't sleep well last night. Part of the headache problem was hauling around way too much stuff in my pack yesterday, which did terrible things to my back and neck. I'm doing better this evening, but this morning I definitely felt like crap. By the time I got to the school where the class is being held, It was mostly under control but still not great.

The class was two hours today and three hours tomorrow. They actually have it on DVD that's shown in the class, and it's available in 20 languages, so it was, for the most part, pretty easy to deal with. Some of the explanations of things about the Italian constitution went by way too fast to make notes on, and some of the slides illustrating things weren't actually what they were talking about at that moment, but overall it wasn't too bad. I did learn that, according to the 2008 census, there were 13,000 people identifying as Pagan in Italy, which was kind of cool. They were discussing the variety of religions found in the country.

When I got home, I looked up a copy of the Italian constitution in English online and read through it (I skimmed some of the more boring bits). It's actually pretty progressive, at least on paper - much more so in a lot of ways than the US constitution. Equality for women is specifically mentioned, among other things. I know stuff doesn't always play out in practice the way it comes across on paper, but it's a pretty good effort, written just after WWII, so the formation of any Fascist political party is forbidden by law. Considering the most recent EU elections, and how far to the right some of Europe is moving, Italy's liberal-leaning election results were encouraging.

The school building had a list of several Italian for foreigners classes on the wall; they were student lists, so obviously they were classes in progress. The classes are provided for free, so I'll be asking about them when I talk to the women who is in charge of the English-speaking bit of this class. (There are three of us in the section.)

Most of what got covered today was the constitution and immigration processes, which of course we've already dealt with for the most part, seeing as we're there taking the class. They did talk a little about renewal processes for one's Permesso di Soggiorno, but they really only covered visa and immigration issues for the most common categories of people coming to Italy - work visas, student visas, and family visas. Mine is not among those categories. I'm going to have to talk to someone more familiar with my particular sort of issues when it comes time to renew my Permesso. Tomorrow they'll be dealing with things like healthcare, taxes, and such, and I'm pretty sure that those sessions won't really cover my specific situation either.

Wednesday Jim is supposed to be here to help out with the health care thing. Friday my Italian teacher and her husband are having an open house/party and invited me to come. She borrowed the copy of my poetry book from the American library (Giulia had donated a copy) last week, so I'm curious what she thinks of it. As a part of yesterday's exercises for Italian practice, Giulia had brought an exercise to fill in particular proper forms of verbs and such - she'd translated part of one of my poems! I was very amused.

feeling slightly craptacular

ow. Robertson Davies
Yay, more headache today. I'm hoping it will go away by tomorrow, as Monday and Tuesday I have a class from 2-7pm. Thankfully, it's only those two days. Even if I'm migraineing my ass will be in that chair so that I don't have to worry about dealing with it again.

The past couple of days, Giulia has been helping me with my Italian. We did about 90 minutes each day. Because she speaks more English than Luisella, my previous Italian teacher, I'm getting better explanations of things, which has been really helpful.

Wednesday my brother's supposed to be out so we can go to the health office and get me into the system.

And shortly I will take myself and my headache to bed to see if I can head off a potential migraine tomorrow.

A new photo blog post

Apparently the #1day12pics thing happens monthly on twitter, so I participated. Photos from my day at the link!

Giulia has been learning to teach Italian as a second language and needs someone to be her guinea pig. I need a lot more work on my Italian. This is convenient for both of us. We got together this evening and spent about 90 minutes working on it together, then went to dinner with her boyfriend.

An excellent day.

all exhausted and stuff

writy pooped
I did a blog post early this week about the Giro d'Italia, a bicycle race that has been going mostly annually since the early 20th century. I believe this one was its 97th iteration. Lots of photos there, though the post itself isn't terribly long.

News in brief: a cop came by to verify my residence on Saturday and the papers have now been filled out. The class I had to reschedule because I would be in Seattle is happening Monday and Tuesday. My brother will be here Wednesday to help me deal with the medical bureaucracy and sign me up for a doctor. The humidity here is a lot more than in Seattle, so it feels much hotter than I'm used to, even if it's just in the 70s. It's supposed to get up to about 90 in the next few days. I have no idea how that'll work out, but we'll see.

One of my friends took me over to a gelato place I've been by any number of times, about a block from the waterfront. They have apricot-rosemary and peach-basil gelato and both of these things are to die for. OMG foodporn yes. Today's post brought me a copy of the CSANA Yearbook 2: Identifying the 'Celtic,' which has a short article on Brigid and whether or not the saint is genuinely a continuation of a goddess tradition, among a few others that look interesting and useful.

After not really having worn skirts for years (with the exception of kilts, which are not skirts dammit), the hot weather has driven me to find a few for the coming summer. It's difficult, though thankfully not impossible, to find lightweight skirts that are not way too short or entirely floofy and floral. I've got three now. I'm going to need that cool air around my body as the summer progresses.

Apparently, the second lender on my condo has finally approved the idea of the short sale, so with any luck things will be moving along on that soon. I've been sending copies of documents and new bank statements and whatnot and have again had to sign extension documents and such. I'll be glad when it's finally over. I'm sure the poor gal who's trying to buy the place will be, as well. I hope she's there for the summer, as it's a lovely place when the weather gets hot, what with the lake right there.

Sleep has been nearly nonexistent, possibly in part because of the heat. This has left me quite exhausted, as noted above. Last night I didn't get to bed until at least 5am but I've fortunately not had to be anywhere. Yesterday I got a chance to talk to a woman who is currently living in Florida (she was back here for a week or so visiting) and who has been a local queer community activist. She gave me some contact information for three different groups here so that I'll have people to socialize with who are not all straight. It'll be interesting to see how community works here. People aren't very out for a variety of reasons but she says there are a lot of queer people in town. She did say two of the groups are primarily young people who are pretty party oriented, but the other is an activism and cultural activities group with a somewhat older demographic.

This morning I sent four poems off for the anthology I'd been working toward. I wanted to have written a few more so that I could send five that I'd chosen from a larger body of work but, as you can probably imagine, life being what it is has had a somewhat stifling influence on my writing for at least a little while. I'm hoping to get more into it again soon, as things honestly are getting a bit more settled. I'm supposed to get furniture delivered sometime in the next week or so for the library, which will also help -- it'll be nice to have somewhere more comfortable to sit than my computer desk chair or my bed. The kitchen chairs aren't comfortable in the least, so they can't really be counted as more than a place to park your ass until you can find a better place for it.

And now, it being about 11pm, I'm going to try to actually get a little sleep tonight.

CFP: Women as Monstrous

Feminist dialectic brings &#39;em
This looks like a good opportunity to address the history of how we got here.

A new CFP for the Texas Medieval Association:

Session: Monstrous Women in the Middle Ages


Organizers: Pamela Patton (Southern Methodist University) and Andrea Nichols (University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

Presiders: Pamela Patton and Andrea Nichols

In Nomadic Subjects (1994), Rosi Braidotti wrote: “Woman, as sign of difference, is monstrous.” In the medieval world, a similar notion was explored in multiple medieval cultures by works—visual, verbal, and performative—that assert the exceptionality of female bodies, communities, and practices against a male norm. In line with this year’s Texas Medieval Association (TEMA) theme “Interdisciplinarity in the Age of Relevance," MEARCSTAPA invites papers that focus upon the instances in which women are presented as either literal or figurative monsters, as found in images or texts from medieval Europe and contiguous cultures in Africa and Asia. We seek to explore, in particular, how the conjunction of gender and monstrosity introduced issues of sexualization, exoticism, or vilification revealing of larger societal anxieties. By bringing together cases from multiple disciplines, time frames, and geographies, this panel aims to provide a more global view of monstrous women and the issues that surround them.

Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words, with a brief bio, to andrea.nichols@huskers.unl.edu by September 1, 2014.

For more information on TEMA, see http://www.texasmedieval.org/

For more information on MEARCSTAPA, see http://www.mearcstapa.org/wp/


just so tired of it

I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about. The media has been all over it the past several days and, as always, nothing will happen. It aches in a place deep in my soul but right now I just don't have the energy to deal with it, to fight, to really even say anything. I'll feel better again in a while, but right now everywhere I turn online is drowning in it. Women die and no one cares. I'm sick of it. I'm too emotionally exhausted by it all for rage. I'm glad I'm not living in the US anymore because this is just getting worse over there. It's no bed of roses anywhere else, but the pure sticking fingers in the ears going "lalala I can't hear you" of the whole thing is sickening.


CFP: Material Culture of Magic

Magical Sigils
Call For Chapters - The Material Culture of Magic

Book project, ed. by Dr Antje Bosselmann-Ruickbie and Dr Leo Ruickbie

Magic is a wide field of research comprising what we might call the occult, paranormal events, anomalous experience, spirituality and other phenomena throughout human history. However, research has often been focused more narrowly on the historical analysis of written sources, or the anthropology and occasionally sociology of practitioners and their communities, for example. What is often overlooked are the physical artifacts of magic themselves.

In all areas of research, ‘material culture’ is becoming increasingly important – the ‘material turn’ as it has been labelled. This is particularly the case for disciplines that traditionally have not focused on object studies but on theory such as historical or social sciences. However, it is self-evident that the objects emerging from a culture provide valuable information on societies and their history. This is also and particularly the case for magic and related phenomena. Magic, especially, became divorced from its concrete expressions as academic study focused on problems of rationality and functionalist explanation.

When studying magic it is crucial to look at the objects that have been produced and what purpose they had, who made them and in what period, whether they represent only a certain historical period or are a long-lasting phenomenon, etc. This volume hence aims to ‘re-materialise’ magic, to re-anchor it in the physical things that constitute ‘magic’ and recover the social lives, even biographies, of these things.

The envisaged academic book aims to cover a wide range of subjects, periods, geographical areas, as well as methods: firstly, because an interdisciplinary approach is essential to adequately encompass the subject; secondly, to investigate whether similar objects were used in different cultures in parallel or over a long period; and thirdly, to serve as a starting point for future research. This will be the first book on the material culture of magic and consequently has the potential to become a foundational text.

Therefore, we invite contributors from different disciplines such as anthropology, archaeology, art history, ethnology, folklore, parapsychology, religious studies, sociology and others. Subjects could be, for example, case studies focusing on particular objects, museum collections, or mass market items labelled as magical; analysis of classes of embodied magical functions, such as charms, amulets, talismans, magical jewellery, icons, relics, poppets (Voodoo dolls), etc.; consideration of classes of materials, such as bone, wood, metal, precious and semi-precious stones, etc. In addition, it is important to understand people-object relations, spatial-temporal aspects of magical objects, the dialectics of transference (projection and introjection), the role of narratives and social performance, cultural trajectories, and the processes of commodification and fetishisation (reification). These can be addressed in a variety of contexts from traditional religion to popular culture, and historically situated anywhere from prehistory to the present day.

Any physical representation of magical ideation or anything imbued with supernatural meanings by its creator, such as found objects, animal/human parts, and man-made artefacts, can be considered in this context. What matters is a central focus on the physicality of the magical object; its material existence.
The volume will present an overview of current research in this field. It will comprise approximately 20 of the best and most relevant contributions on this subject. Contributors will be asked to submit a finished chapter of around 6,000 words (inc. references) with publication planned for 2015.

In the first instance, an abstract of no more than 300 words should be sent, together with a brief biography, to the editors before 1 August 2014 at Bosselmann-Ruickbie@uni-mainz.de. We are also happy to answer any questions.

In order to get the best possible response, we would appreciate your help in re-distributing this call for chapters. Email it to colleagues, other relevant mailing lists, or print it out and stick it up on the department noticeboard!


Dr Antje Bosselmann-Ruickbie is a lecturer in the Department for Christian Archaeology and Byzantine Art History, Institute for Art History and Musicology, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz, Germany.

Dr Leo Ruickbie is the published author of several books, as well as the editor of the Paranormal Review, the magazine of the Society for Psychical Research, and a Committee Member of the Gesellschaft für Anomalistik (Society for Anomalistics).


A brief update on the condo situation

No, it still hasn't been sold, even though I have a buyer. It's been about six months now that this has been in process. I got an email about two hours ago saying that the lender wanted April and May's BECU statements and my 2014 Social Security award letter. By Friday.

April, sure, no problem. I can download the PDF from the BECU website. May? MAY DOES NOT EVEN END UNTIL SATURDAY. I won't have the May statement until the 16th, just like it comes out on the 16th of every month. Unless they expect time travel, they can suck it.

I get an SSDI benefits statement each year, but not an award letter, but I am figuring that's what they mean. Regardless, either I didn't receive it in the mail or it has been misplaced, so I can't scan it and send it to them. I can't go online to request it from Social Security because I have to have a US phone number to verify my residence address, which I don't have. Which means I will have to do this either by phone, or by post, which could take months. I'll try to call them a little later tonight, but there are a lot of things they will not let you do over the phone. It's not like I can just pop down to the Social Security office and get a printout.

Anyway, I've tried explaining this and we'll see what happens.

A blog update and all that stuff

GIR likes FOOD!
Here's my blog update, with tons of photos from my wine tasting trip yesterday! All the photos. And the sunburn. And the vanishingly rare sight of me in a skirt.
Feminist dialectic brings &#39;em
2014—15 Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship
September 5, 2014
5:00 pm

Sponsored by the Center for the Study of Women in Society, Robert D. Clark Honors College, and University of Oregon Libraries Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA).

Purpose: The intention of the Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship is to encourage research within collections in the area of feminist science fiction. The UO Libraries Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA) houses the papers of authors Ursula K. Le Guin, Joanna Russ, Kate Wilhelm, Suzette Haden Elgin, Sally Miller Gearhart, Kate Elliot, Molly Gloss, Laurie Marks, and Jessica Salmonson, along with Damon Knight. SCUA is also in the process of acquiring the papers of James Tiptree, Jr. and other key feminist science fiction authors. For more about these collections, visit http://library.uoregon.edu/node/3524.

Fellowship description: This award supports travel for the purpose of research on, and work with, the papers of feminist science fiction authors housed in SCUA. These short-term research fellowships are open to undergraduates, master’s and doctoral students, postdoctoral scholars, college and university faculty at every rank, and independent scholars working in feminist science fiction. In 2014, $3,000 will be awarded to conduct research within these collections. The fellowship selection committee will include representatives from the Center for the Study of Women in Society (CSWS), Robert D. Clark Honors College (CHC), and SCUA.

Fellows will:

Complete their research at the University of Oregon within a year of award notification;
Submit a 1,000-word (maximum) essay on their research topic to CSWS for possible inclusion in publications;
Meet with representatives from CSWS, CHC, and SCUA during their visit to Eugene;
Submit a separate paragraph to CSWS documenting the specific collections consulted during the fellowship;
Submit a copy of their final project or publication to CSWS;
Acknowledge the Le Guin Feminist Science Fiction Fellowship and its sponsors (CSWS, CHC, and SCUA) in all publications resulting from the research fellowship.

Applicants must submit by September 5, 2014:

A 1,000-word (maximum) proposal that describes the project for which these collections will be consulted, as well as the role that the applicant expects these collections will play in the project;
An anticipated budget for the research visit;
A two-page curriculum vitae or resume;
Full contact information;
Two letters of recommendation.

Applications (as PDF attachments) and questions should be emailed to Peggy McConnell, CSWS Accountant (peggym@uoregon.edu).

Pilgrimage photo book in PDF format now

For a long time, I've been meaning to offer a much less expensive format for my Ireland pilgrimage photo book, but Lulu essentially makes it impossible to change formats from hardbound to softbound without redoing the entire thing. I didn't have the time or the patience to deal with that, so instead I used the PDF file for the hardbound to turn it into a PDF ebook, for sale for $1.99 on Lulu. Pilgrimage: A Journey to Ireland and the Isle of Man

I'm sorry it's taken so long to do this. Even getting this format dealt with has taken several hours of frustration from my afternoon and evening. If you're interested in seeing the photos and reading the bits of story there, but not concerned about having a physical book in hand, please do grab this version!
Here's a blog post with some catching up about my past 10 days or so, including a batch of photos of the Barcola from my walk yesterday. It was a really gorgeous day, as is today - warm and sunny and partly cloudy.


CFP: Snark!

Orpheus I see...

Title: Cornering the Snarket: Sarcasm and Snark in Medieval Literature,
Co-Editors: Alan Baragona and Elizabeth L. Rambo

From the litotes of Old English poetry to the layered ironies of Chaucer, the subtle ironies of the Provencal trobairitz, and the less subtle insultatis of the milites characters in medieval drama, the rhetorical trope of ironia is well-trod territory. However, sarcasmos, the “flesh tearing” subset of ironia, is notoriously difficult to identify in a written text, because it relies so much on the tone of a speaking voice. However, there are instances in medieval texts where the combination of circumstance and word choice make it absolutely clear that the speaker, whether a character or a narrator, is being unambiguously sarcastic.

We are soliciting essays about literature in any genre and every language of the European Middle Ages that identify and analyze instances of such unambiguous sarcasm. Essays should address questions such as what clues the writers give us that sarcasm is at work, how prominently sarcasm appears in particular cultures or specific genres, whether it shows up mostly in the mouths of characters or of narrators, what role it plays in building character or theme, and how sarcasm conforms to the Christian milieu of medieval Europe.

We are also looking for essays on significant historical instances of sarcasm from any period or culture in the European Middle Ages, including political, social, and legal history. Essays should address how sarcasm was identified and what attitudes were towards it, what its importance was to the particular historical incident or to the cultural mores of the time and place, and what the social, political, or legal consequences were that led to its being preserved in the records.

Please send an abstract of your proposed essay to sabaragona@gmail.com and elrambo@gmail.com no later than July 15, 2014.


In which there are visits

I spent yesterday and the day before with my brother, and the two days before that with a Harvard literature professor and his partner, who are traveling around Italy at the moment. I acted as tour guide for the Harvard folks for a couple of days and had a really lovely time hanging out with them. They really enjoyed Trieste.

I still have not had the cops by to verify my residence. They're supposedly going to do so by the end of next week. In order to sign up for health care here, I have to go to a particular office which is open three days a week in the mornings (of course), so that can't be done until I've had my residence verified.

This afternoon I was over at the AIA helping out with some cooking for tomorrow's volunteer appreciation dinner. I'll go back tomorrow to help out again; we got a lot done, but it was definitely a two day process. The DoDC+3 is still adjusting to city life. He's doing okay but is a little stressed out by all the traffic. It's taking him time to get used to the whole thing, as there really wasn't much where we lived before, at least not where we usually walked.

I've not been online a lot in the past week or so, and have been reading actual books. At the moment I'm tackling Stratton-Kent on the goetia, which has been rather interesting. I'm also reading a much shorter book on witch's flying ointment, which I have been perusing for some inspiration toward the poems I'd promised for an anthology due at the end of June. I need a few more poems in order to have things to choose from, and writing has just not been happening of late. I'm behind on my email correspondence but will try to catch up in the next couple of days. I'm kind of frustrated by the lack of words coming out of my skull.

My last Italian class was Monday, but I'll be looking for another class once I've dealt with more of the bureaucratic stuff for my residence here. I'm working out how to get to Ithaca (the island, not the city in New York) for a couple of days in July. Too many things to do, not enough time, at the moment.

The evil bleeding has stopped for the moment, which is a relief. I'm hoping it won't just start up again in a few days, but we'll see what happens. When one is Of A Certain Age, things get weirder than usual with one's bodily systems.

And now, I must walk the DoDC+3 then go grab a few things at the grocery store before it closes at 8.

Catching up on my Italy blog

Here's the link to my blog, with photos!

Musicians, Duino castle, the Bavisela marathon, and other stuff too.


Catching up a bit

Sorry I've been away from here for so long. I've been exhausted and busy and when I got back to Italy I was completely fried, put down by a migraine, and am still not quite where I'd like to be physically, but am working on it.

Today I went to the Questura and got my official Permesso di Soggiorno. Tomorrow morning I'm going down to the anagraphic office to get my carta d'identita. After that, I'll tackle getting the dog registered, when I can get my brother back in town for the day. I think that's a little more than I can handle on my own.

A little health tmiCollapse )

The DoDC+3, and a new blog post

Whitman: not all who wander
Yesterday was take the dog to the vet day. Things took a lot longer than I was expecting, mostly because the paperwork was unfamiliar and there was a lot of it. Poor little woobie didn't even want to get out of the car when we took him back to Patrick's. He wanted to go home with me. I wanted him to, but gra_is_stor has two cats and that just would not work. We may well spend Wednesday night in a hotel near SeaTac so we don't have to get the dog early and drive all that way in rush hour traffic.

I have to call Lufthansa and make sure I know exactly where to take the dog when I check in. I don't know if I take him to the ticket counter or elsewhere. I need to be sure I've got all the other detail ducks in a row as well.

And here's a new post about my time so far in Seattle and Everett! Enjoy.

Safely in Seattle

Whitman: not all who wander
Got in yesterday, today I got myself a Seattle mail forwarding service. Had a great evening with a lot of friends at Travelers. Really tired and heading for bed shortly.


writy medievalist
While working on some notes and bits for my Brigid book today, I found that I needed one of my references books that didn't seem to be on my shelf. It's a small, thin book, and I figured it was probably, therefore, in the pile of photocopies next to my desk. I was correct. That, however, led to sorting through the entire pile and putting things into discrete categories so that I have all my Brigid materials more accessible.

I have a big pile of stuff regarding Suibhne and geilta, another for Manannán, and a couple of smaller but still substantial piles of material on ogam and on cosmology. There was a fair bit of stuff on poetry and poetics, but a lot of it went into either the Brigid or Suibhne piles for obvious reasons. I haven't sorted through the photocopies that are actually in binders, but I probably should at some point. I must have All The Research Things! Among other things this, means the space next to my desk is clear for the DoDC+3's crate when I get him here.

I also did a little packing (underwear, socks) for my upcoming trip, and did my laundry today. This means I've spent the entire day indoors, but I did need to get these things done, and still have a lot yet to do.

A bit of writing

writy Watson
I did some writing last night and today on my fic, about 3,000 words. Considering how spotty my writing has been of late, this was a pretty good feeling.

Aside from that, not much happening. Worked a little at the library today to finish up the project I was doing before my departure.

Nothing more to say tonight aside from stress continues to stress me out. yay. Hope you are all less fussed than me.

What day is it?

September 2014



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