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Packing more things

Packing things always tends to send me into something approaching panic. It definitely drops me into a very delicate state and I find myself really depressed, so it's hard to focus on actually putting things in boxes. It's not like there's a huge amount of other stuff to pack here beyond kitchen things and random bits, but today I packed up about half a dozen small boxes of fragile and/or decorative things and carried them out to the garage. It was wrenching because I know that I have to get it all done in the next two months. I realized that two months from today, I will be stepping off a plane in Italy, and everything has to be done and dealt with by then. No exceptions. Everything.

This week I'll take care of the power of attorney. I have to check in with my realtor about what can and can't be turned off here when I leave - do I close my account with PUD for the electricity? I know I have to deal with my phone, though I'll have about two months left with my AT&T contract. I've already talked to them about that and have some idea of what to do. I have to talk to my credit card creditors and the credit union and have mail forwarded and ... everything. I'm feeling overwhelmed.

Everything must be packed for shipping or sold or given away or tossed out or recycled.

I did discover that my desktop will hold everything that is on my external backup drive. I've been keeping my music library there rather than on the computer because I'd previously been using it with my old laptop and there wasn't as much storage on it. So that'll be one less thing to worry about. I won't have to figure out whether I should take the external drive along or if I would lose some of my data if I didn't. I just have to shift it all over to the desktop before I go; mostly that'll be the iTunes library, which will be a fairly simple operation.

I talked with some of the folks on #writechat today about the relocation, and about writing, even though I'm not really doing a whole lot that qualifies as writing lately due to everything else happening in my life. Irish class was today but I begged out except for just hanging out with everyone because I was too fried from packing even that little bit to really focus. I told them about the appointment at the consulate and the probability that I'll be moving, and they were all very happy and excited for me, and understood my problems focusing these days.

Laundry was put away. Dishes were done. I talked for a while with random_nexus on skype. Tentative beginnings of scheduling are happening for the run to my storage unit with some friends. I'm holding it together as best I can. I'm now sure how I'm even managing to do that right now.

I'm trying to remember to breathe.

stressing out for no reason

I've got a tentative offer for a roomshare at Steamcon, but only for one night. gra_is_stor and ingvisson are heading for San Francisco tomorrow for an Irish immersion week and I'm taking care of her kittehz.

I spent time working on my Italian today. Sometimes I feel like I'm doing okay, other times I feel like I'm completely hopeless. I definitely feel utterly hopeless with my Irish, which was also this evening.

Still no word back from my brother, but I think he's supposed to be talking to the person from the Questura today, so maybe I'll hear something tomorrow. The deadline for him getting the paperwork to me is getting tight, and I don't know how long it will take him to mail the stuff to me from Italy via his base post office.

I sent an email query to the insurance place I'm going to sign up with asking what I need to do for that. The guy should get back to me tomorrow sometime. I need to find a place nearby where I can get passport photos for my visa application. Things I still have to do are these:

1. cashier's check for the visa application fee (will get it before I go to SFO)
2. overseas medical insurance (have a source, will get it just before I go to SFO)
3. passport type photo
4. formal invitation form letter from my brother (in process)

I'm feeling creaky and depressed, but that's not terribly unusual. I had the happy light on for a few hours this afternoon and that seemed to help at least a little. I wanted to do a little more packing stuff today but didn't get to it. Maybe tomorrow.

Day two at the EBC

Too tired to really comment much, but I will say that my favorite session of the conference, bar none, was the presentation on comic books as grimoires done by the good folks who own The Dreaming comics in the University District. I talked to more folks today, snarked a bit about a presentation early in the day and, sadly, missed Isidora Forrest's Isis presentation because it was the morning session.

After the final session of the day, Carlos Melgoza, who was photographing the event, did a bunch of portrait stuff of any of the attendees who wanted to have their picture taken. Apparently it's part of a history project to document practitioners in the community, though I didn't get all the details. I got some photos taken and he said he'd email me some links when they were uploaded. They'll probably be part of a flickr stream from the conference, but I'll post links when I get them.

When ingvisson and I got back, Irish class had only started about 15 minutes prior. I made some dinner while class went on; I was too tired and fried to really participate, but I did listen while I was eating. I've been continuing practice online with my Italian language and feel like I've been making some progress, though it's particularly slow without people to talk with. I'm recognizing more things and picking up things a little better for listening, which is good.

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week I have appointments at the VA. Thursday I'll be hauling my comics collection over to Comics Dungeon in Wallingford after my VA appointment. Busy Erynn is busy.
Today was mostly quiet. I hung out in #writechat and #poetparty on twitter for a while today, talking with other writers and poets. That's always fun and helps get my mind off of some of the more immediate, stressful things in my life.

I got a call shortly after noon from a realtor who wanted to bring some clients over at 5:15pm which, of course, I was happy to have happen. They came and actually stayed about half an hour, while I hung around on the bench at the top of the parking lot in the sunshine, reading a book. Most people come and look around and stay about ten minutes at most, because a little two bedroom condo doesn't take much time to examine, so I'm hoping that this means they are interested in the place and that perhaps I'll get an offer sometime soon. No guarantee, of course, but it would be nice.

I got a canned response from the USDA veterinarian's office saying that my email had been forwarded to their export department for an answer, but I expect I'll hear from them next week. I was pretty surprised to get an answer of any kind today, given it's Sunday on a holiday weekend.

There was also a brief email exchange with mael_brigde , who was just checking in to see how I was doing. We exchanged virtual hugs over our respective stresses. I suspect we both needed it a lot.

Irish class happened, though class was small today as most everyone was off for the holidays.

I'm feeling stressed out and harried, even though nothing in particular is going badly at the moment. I guess I just fear things going badly and am having preemptive angst and anxiety.

Email was sent off to gra_is_stor 's friend who offered to help with the consulate interview makeover. Granted, my appointment is supposed to be from 11:15am to 11:30am, so it's all of 15 minutes, but that is a damned important 15 minutes, so making a good impression counts for a lot. Gods only know if it will actually happen within that window, but I will be there by 11am and wait patiently, with book in hand if need be, until my name is called and I shuffle off to a window to be judged on my worthiness to adorn Italian soil.

I think tomorrow I will try washing out the dog's travel crate, sorting more kitchen stuff, and sorting through my clothing to get rid of stuff that doesn't fit or that is no longer in wearable shape due to mangled seams and whatnot.

Quiet at home

Today mostly consisted of some cooking (I roasted a chicken) and Irish class. There was a little dishwashing, and a lot of online researchy stuff for Italy, but not a lot of physical activity.

Mostly right now I'm feeling a bit downhearted. It's not serious, just the current limbo, and concerns about dealing with the DoDC+3 in Italy. My brother lives in a tiny apartment on a farm with a bunch of other animals and I'm really concerned about how my poor little guy is going to deal with that. I worry that I might have to give him up, though my brother says it's okay to bring him. I would hate to bring Chris over and then have something go badly wrong when I get there, considering how aggressive he is around other animals.

Tomorrow I might go down to Seattle for the queer Pagan meetup. It sounds like gra_is_stor and ingvisson are up for it, and there might be a stop at Galway Traders.

Right now, though, I just want to curl up in a little stress ball in a corner somewhere. Not useful.

A place for the con, yay!

Thanks to the wonderful and awesome stolen_tea and his roommate, I have now got a place to stay on the hill within walking distance of the con! I really appreciate it, and thank you both for your willingness to give me a little space and make my life a bit easier!

Irish class went pretty well for me today, which was a pleasant change from how things have been lately, what with the exhaustion and my inability to focus much. I spent a fair bit of the day considering more stuff for the visa application and thinking about what to say in my letter to my brother. Beyond that, I didn't do much. It was nice to have a day where I wasn't really doing anything physical, or too emotionally draining. I'm thinking my next project for thinning things out will be going through the glassware in my cabinets - I have about a bazillion vases and really only use a couple of them regularly, so I need to sort them and put the ones I'm not keeping out in the garage for sale or some other method of disposal.

Dealing with the kitchen cabinets is going to be a bit of a challenge. It's not that there are a lot of them, but deciding what I need to keep and what to get rid of is going to be a bit of a challenge. Some things I've used a lot, but not very recently. I'm not entirely certain if I should get rid of them or not, though I will probably err more toward the "get rid of" end of the equation. If I'm in a studio or a small one bedroom in Capitol Hill, I'm unlikely to be inviting ten people over and making a whole turkey dinner again anytime soon. That narrows down the amount of stuff I actually need to keep.

Then there's the "yes, I'm keeping these, but should I pack them or should I leave them out because I might need them again before I have to move?" issue. You wouldn't think sorting through kitchenware would be such a complicated issue.

Anyway, exhaustion. It is eating my brain. As are the insomnigrackles. I need to slay a few and try to get some sleep.

A somewhat slower day

I did a little bit of stuff around the house today and hauled one thing out to the garage, but mostly I was waiting for Qi and Dana to drop the day bed by. They did so about 3pm, I think, and I spent some time after that putting it together so I'll have a place to sleep tonight. It'll be more comfortable than the air mattress on the floor, thankfully. It'll also be easier to get the couch out around it, if someone buys it.

Irish class was a little easier on me this week than last, as I wasn't feeling well and had been really really stressed with all the cleaning and packing that had to be done. I still feel like I'm doing miserably badly at it, but I'm making an effort at least.

I got a note back from someone I'd contacted about replacing the burnt out heater from the living room. He's going to order the unit for me and get back to me about when he can come over and replace it, then that'll be another item checked off my list of stuff to do for the condo sale. The installation itself is really only a matter of turning off the circuit breaker, wiring the thing in, and reinstalling the grill over it, then turning the power back on. It shouldn't take more than about 15 minutes; this should cost me a little under $300. I should also hear back from the HOA's contractor about the bathroom repairs this week.

Thursday is group at the VA, then the Loreena McKinnett concert. It will be at the zoo, with festival seating, so I'll be bringing the camp chairs and some blankets, as well as my jacket, for when evening falls and it gets colder out.

I'm going to call my neurology doc this week and ask about the MRI results. The tech said they'd be ready to look at later that afternoon, but I don't know how long it will take for the images to get through the system and to the docs for examination. Anyway, can't hurt to ask.

In which more piles are shuffled

I spent a fair bit of the day today too dizzy to sit up too much, but got things done anyway. I walked down to the mail outlet and posted the next-to-last box from all the folks who have bought books from me. I'm still waiting to hear back from Geordie, because he wants stuff shipped to Canada and it's going to cost damned near as much as the books did to ship it. I may just have to hang onto it until he gets back from Spain and comes to visit.

Yesterday was Irish class, and some further book shuffling, and I packed three more boxes of poetry books. I've got another shelf of poetry to go and then I start on the poetics and writing shelves. Today I put all the cds in boxes and stacked them, then cleared all the books off most of the surfaces here in the living room, stacking them on the floor in somewhat more orderly piles. I've got a few more piles to go but needed a break.

I wrote a couple of thousand words yesterday in my fic but nothing today because it was a little much for me, though I did a bunch of work on my Italian, both online and some basic grammar exercises.

Due to a bank thing (it worked out in my favor) I spent half an hour or so on hold and talking to people at BECU. All is well, but it was a bit of a surprise. I cancelled the dvd portion of my Netflix account and am sending the last dvd back to them. I just haven't had time to watch it and I don't want anything to get lost while I'm in the middle of all this; I sometimes watch things streaming, even if they don't have everything available at the moment. That bit is a little frustrating.

The contractor called about the water damage in the guest bathroom, and they are sending somebody out at 2pm on Friday to have a look and make an estimate for the condo association. I still have heard nothing back from the realtors (if nothing by Wednesday I'm doing a web search on people who specialize in short sales and getting someone on board for real). I called Mary and will be trying to get my books down to her in West Seattle. gra_is_stor didn't have time today, won't tomorrow, and Wednesday through Friday are going to be busy for me. It's looking like I won't get this stuff out of here until next week sometime. ingvisson has still been driving Sol's car, and that broke down, so he can't help with this.

After everything else, I ordered an Italian dictionary of the not-pocket variety so that I can actually read the entries a little better, and so that I'll have somewhat more vocabulary to work with as I'm learning. I spoke briefly to an old fandom friend and will be giving him a bunch of X-Files/LGM stuff that I don't want to just let go off into the aether; I do have to get rid of it for space purposes but I'll feel better having it go to a fellow fan. I may end up doing the same with all the SGA stuff I collected.

So anyway, lots of tiny things done. I know I'm making progress but it feels like I'm moving in geological time. Glaciers move faster. I remind myself that I'm fighting this huge physical issue on top of all the other crap I usually deal with, so I'm really doing pretty well. Still, I'm way too easily depressed of late because of how stressful things are, and having to depend on everyone else's schedules and situations in order to accomplish things.

A few more details

Today I talked to Sally, my next door neighbor, to ask if the HOA had any openings for renting a unit. She said she wasn't sure but she thought it was possible, and to talk to the property manager, so I emailed him about it. If I were able to rent the place out rather than sell it, I wouldn't have to take a huge financial loss by selling the condo. From what I have so far seen, rental income (so long as you are not actually managing the property) counts as "passive income" that doesn't count against your disability income because you are still too disabled to work. It would basically rent out to cover the mortgage and HOA with a little left over for whatever property management service I hired to do the deed, and for any potential repairs that might become necessary.

I'm currently in the process of gathering the information I need to fill out the appropriate visa form. I won't start filling things out until I'm pretty well along in the process of getting the condo ready for rental or sale. I suspect dealing with the condo will take longer than actually dealing with the visa itself, but I could be wrong. My passport doesn't expire until 2015, so I have ample time to deal with this at the moment.

In addition to this, we had Irish class tonight, and I've written a bit more in the story I'm working on. I'll be starting the next chapter before I go to bed or tomorrow.

Mostly writing

Today and yesterday I've mostly been working on fic, as it's about all my brain can handle right now. Irish class was yesterday and that went okay. I picked out the poems I'm reading on June 2nd in NYC and revised that list after an email exchange with Sheela. Talked with Dom about arrival and departure times and confirmed a few things about my stay there. Beyond that, I'm not really up to much. I've been working on online Italian lessons and doing okay. Hopefully some of it sticks. The dizziness continues unabated.

Progress, and not

I got a text back from one of my NYC friends that I contacted and he will be happy to have me stay and to show me around the city a bit if I need to get out there for the Lammys. witchchild says that she wants to come to NYC to see me if I'm there, so that would be fantastic, too.

I got to go to the monthly Krakens steampunk social this evening with some friends, which I enjoyed. We talked about travel and politics and social responsibility and stuff like that. I talked about some of the changes in my life happening because of the constant dizziness. I'm not at the point of making an actual decision at the moment, but I am giving some serious thought to moving to Venice, where everyone walks, if I have to sell my place and move anyway. I've spent the last couple of weeks doing a lot of research into the idea and, while the paperwork would likely be a nightmare (when is bureaucracy not?) it does look doable. Toward that end, I was pointed to Duolinguo, a language-learning site that you can use to learn Italian, Spanish, German, French, Portuguese, and English. It's a pretty straightforward system and I've been playing around with it today for a while. Italian looks a lot easier than Irish, at least, in that it's a pretty regular looking romance language.

On the down side of things, I'm still feeling pretty crap and very tired. The dizziness makes it hard to focus for very long on anything, so even with relatively easy language lessons, it's something that turns my brain to much after about 15 minutes and I have to struggle beyond that. This, of course, is why I'm not working on my Brigid book for the moment. I need to get more used to dealing with this in order to focus on serious stuff. But maybe taking little bits of language work a few times a week -- between this and Irish -- I can work back up to being able to focus on my nonfiction.

One of the things that I would usually do for stress relief is meditation, which usually has a breathing component for me, but deep breathing is one of the things that makes the dizziness a little worse, so it's kind of counterproductive at the moment. I find that terribly frustrating. Actually, everything about this right now is very frustrating. Still, I'm doing my best to carry on. Sorry I'm going on so much about it lately. I'm trying to keep things in perspective.

Getting out of the house

Once again sleep did not find me until it was already light out, but at least I spent the night working on the story I'm doing. I made some pretty good progress last night and will probably do some more writing tonight, crawling into bed with my laptop.

The weather was absolutely gorgeous today, up in the 70s - it's still 54 here at the moment, which is about what it's been in the daytime of late. gra_is_stor came by and picked me up so we could go get groceries. I asked if she'd haul me to the mall so I could get some new jeans, as one of my pairs died a couple of weeks ago and the one I'm wearing now is about to give up the ghost as well.

Some of what I did ended up being standing waiting in one place for some time, which was more exhausting than I would have thought. The dizziness is still making things like that hard on me, and I was pretty fried when we got back to my place. She took her groceries home then came back over for a little bit to watch an episode of Raffles with me. Gods the innuendo in that show. I'm sure it wasn't directly intended but wow. Damned near inescapable and hilarious at the same time. Needless to say, I'm rather enjoying the whole thing.

Tomorrow (today really) is Irish class in the evening. Monday I have an audiology appointment. Saturday is the Sherlock Seattle picnic and the last of the season's Medieval Women's Choir concerts, presenting music by Hildegard of Bingen. Tuesday is the monthly steampunk social that most folks actually attend -- I don't know yet if I'll be going. It will depend on whether I can get a ride. I don't know if a place has been set for it or if it'll be at the AFK again. I'll have to check with folks and ask.

I'm still thinking a lot about what I need to do if things don't go well for me with the medical stuff. I'm spending too much time frustrated and depressed about it. That said, I'm doing my best to keep on doing what needs to be done; I'm staying as positive as I can, but contemplating any change like this is pretty overwhelming. I have plots and ideas, though. We'll see what happens.

A day at the VA

So today I got strapped into a chair in a pitch-black booth with heavy goggles over my eyes. I was spun around, had lights flashed around in front of my eyes, and a variety of other things which left me very queasy as well as much more dizzy than I was when I walked in the door. Cold and warm air were squirted into my ears. Other things were done.

Current end result: my ears both respond kind of differently though both are within normal parameters. They are fine when tested by themselves but for some reason they are not working properly together, and that's what's making me dizzy. The why has not yet been figured out.

I have an appointment to talk with a doc on May 17th, which is about three weeks. I was told that if it's a benign positional vertigo thing, it should resolve spontaneously within three to six months of onset, which still includes probably an awful lot of Not Driving. This is currently inconvenient but my best-case scenario.

If it is for some reason migraine-related, things are not looking quite so positive. That would mean they have to figure out how to actually treat my migraines (and the related dizziness), and the system has shown no particular useful response to that as yet. I get very sick on pretty much everything they have given me in the past and the best I can do for them is knock the pain back some with tylenol with codeine and wait them out. My hope for an actual resolution if that is the case is vanishingly small, as I have very little faith in the VA's neurology clinic regarding migraine treatment. If they can't do anything about it, I may have to regard this as essentially permanent, though I don't want to have to consider it that way just yet.

Needless to say, I was really wiped out by the time I got done at the audiology clinic. I staggered down to the travel office with gra_is_stor to pick up my cash, then we stopped at an Indian place for a little dinner (at 5pm it was my first meal since about midnight last night, due to instructions not to eat for 4 hours prior to the appointment), and grabbed a few things for dinner with Denny & Rebecca tomorrow. I crashed pretty hard for a while and will probably be going back to bed again soonish anyway.

In really cool news, gra_is_stor got asked to record an Irish lullaby with nathan_fhtagn . I had hoped to get the two of them in the same place with an opportunity to talk about music in hopes that something like this might happen eventually, so yay for success, and go go gadget networking skills! She's off to Portland tomorrow morning for an Irish immersion course over the weekend. I'm sure I'll hear more about this project as it develops.

I'm actually really glad that, even when I feel like complete and utter crap, I manage to get a few things done with happy results.

Doing stuff despite the crap

Despite the fact that I'm continuing on with the dizziness and that it's remaining quite uncomfortable, I've been able to maintain at least a little bit of my social life. I got a ride out to one of the local steampunk social things, that being a small gathering for one of our folks who has been deployed for the last several months and was back for a few days before he's off again until December. Sadly, gra_is_stor wasn't able to go along, as she wasn't feeling well, but a ride was arranged nonetheless. Yesterday one of the local Mensa folks gave me a ride to the monthly gathering, which has moved up to Shoreline - there was a presentation on resources for figuring out the veracity of information on the internet. I knew about some of the available resources, but did learn a few things, so that was pretty good.

The Everett Irish lessons are happening on Sundays, and the venue has flaked out on us so they have been permanently moved to my place until further notice. Next week there won't be a class, as our two teachers (gra_is_stor and ingvisson ) are going down to Portland for an immersion weekend.

Talked to my mom briefly today because she emailed about going to Atlanta and worrying about crossing the river before it floods. I was worried that it was a severe weather thing, but it's just that her husband is going to a ship's reunion that's happening there this coming week. No emergencies, yay! They should be leaving first thing in the morning. I'm guessing they're actually probably already on the road, given the time difference.

The dizziness is getting increasingly frustrating and depressing, but I am doing my best to just carry on. Thanks to everyone who has expressed support privately, or in other places on the web. You are greatly appreciated.

In other news, the Esoteric Book Conference is now selling memberships. The date is September 14-15 and I've ordered my membership. Sherlock Seattle has its dates (October 4-6 at the Broadway Performance Hall again) and will be selling memberships beginning early in May. These, at least, are some cool things to look forward to.


I've not been keeping up with this as I usually do, mostly due to health issues and busy-ness. I feel like I've been running in circles with the health stuff, but I have felt slightly less dizzy most of the last two days. I was feeling cautiously confident enough today to drive over to Alderwood (entirely on surface streets) to get a new laptop, which I had been contemplating for several months. The iPad is useful for a lot of things, but not for actual serious writing when I am away from home. I love the desktop and it's big screen, but I obviously can't haul it around with me, so the answer was to get new laptop. I got a MacBook Air and have transferred a fair amount of the stuff from the desktop onto it, but am going to have to install Word the long way round by attaching the laptop to the desktop and using the desktop's cd/dvd drive. This can be done it just takes a little bit of workaround through a sharing utility. It's not something I've done before but the instructions are reasonably clear.

I did okay with the drive. I was also going to go into REI and get a liner for my sleeping bag, but they are currently having their 20% off sale and the place was packed to the gills. The line for checkout was at least 20 people long both times I poked my head in to look, on my way to the Apple store and after I'd had some sushi. I'll just order one online, as I don't have to have it until I'll be heading east. I figure that I am going to have to soak myself in bug repellent through the midwest if I'm camping and I'd rather not get it all over the inside of my sleeping bag if I don't have to. Liners can be taken out and washed very easily, where down sleeping bags are somewhat less amenable to this process.

I can't say as I quite want to brave I5 right now, as I am still experiencing dizziness, and I don't know if it will intensify unexpectedly. (This is why it is "unexpected.")

I've been having ear stuffiness and a low-grade ache in my left ear, along with some tinny qualities under speech or music that has happened a couple of times for a few minutes. It's been disconcerting.

Yesterday gra_is_stor and I went to see Benjamin Bagby perform Beowulf, and we had a lovely time. We saw mimerki and joyful_storm and their partners, and I think I recognized but didn't talk to one of the gals from the Sherlock Seattle group. I got a copy of the Beowulf dvd after the performance. I was really glad I went, even though I was feeling pretty crappy Saturday. I'd paid a lot for our tickets and had been wanting to see this for years, so it was worth the effort to get down there.

The venue for Irish class has flaked out on us and so the class this evening was held here at my place at the last minute. We may need to continue doing this for a while. Since both gra_is_stor and ingvisson either do or will have keys while I am back east, they can continue to use my place if need be when I'm gone.

Mom called and left a message this morning while I was still asleep, though we probably wouldn't have talked long if I had been up to answer. She's been dealing with bronchitis and laryngitis again, though she sounded better in the message than she did when I talked to her last week or so. She was just wondering if I was doing okay, which I mostly am.

Saturday I also got my reading glasses, which work just fine. I'm pleased with both pairs and am glad that I got them, even if vision wasn't necessarily part of what has been causing the dizziness. We'll see what happens when I get into the VA on the 15th for the hearing tests.

I'm still not feeling focused enough to do nonfiction writing, so I have been working a little more on the fic I was writing earlier this week. It's progressing nicely. I was just about on top of it enough to participate okay in Irish class, though not quite where I'd actually like to be in terms of brain-fog. At least I'm able to do something; it's been really frustrating to feel too out of it and too dizzy to focus on anything at all. I can't even tell you how much I hate feeling like I can't do anything.

Come what may, I will get out to the east coast. Even if I have to drive more slowly than I usually would, I am going to get there.

A bit more Brigid stuff

Aside from Irish class this evening, I spent some time today digging out more of my Brigid sources and material related to some of the things I want to cover in the flamekeeping book. I scribbled more notes, and now the table is covered with books and photocopies. I know I'm not doing a lot on any given day, but I'm at least getting a little done on a semi-regular basis.

One of the things I did was order a copy of Kim McCone's Pagan Past and Christian Present in Early Irish Literature. I had to order it through ABE from Germany. It was the cheapest copy I could find, which means that inclusive of postage I'm paying just under a hundred dollars for it. I saw copies listed for I think up to about £800 (I don't even want to think about it), so I can't complain too much about what I've had to pay here. It'll take a while to arrive, though.

In a little bit I'm going to drag myself into the kitchen and make a rhubarb cobbler. I wasn't feeling up to doing much today until just a little while ago. The time change is not something that makes me happy, but I bitch about it every year. I'll need to haul out the ladder and change the clock on the wall sometime soonish as well. Probably tomorrow.

For those in the Seattle area who might be interested, Leon and Allen are doing Shivaratri at Travelers tomorrow evening at 7pm. They told me to pass the word to interested parties. I might go, if I have enough brain cells to drive that far. I won't be able to decide until tomorrow sometime.

Trying to catch up a little

As you might guess from the infrequency of my posts recently, I'm still trying to recover from PCon and all that stuff. I'm tired and achy and breaking in the new boots is adding extra aches that I don't really need, but there's really only one way to actually get them broken in, and that's by wearing them for a while on a frequent basis. (That said, they are really awesome boots.)

Since gra_is_stor has started doing Irish language lessons just down the street here on Sunday evenings, I've started taking classes again. I've been too out of it to get down to Seattle much on days when I'm not actually dealing with a VA appointment, unless I have several things I'm doing on the same day.

I'm dealing with a lot of brain fog since I got home. Tiredness will do that, and really kind of aggravates it. The Everett Pagan meetup was pretty good. I knew several of the folks who came, which was nice. It's easier for me to be in a group when I know more people. One of the folks who came is a Russian guy practicing Slavic Paganism. He was pretty interesting, and showed us a necklace he'd made of his god and goddess, which was some really beautifully carved and polished wood. It'll be nice to talk with him more and learn about what he's doing.

The Medieval Women's Choir concert was lovely, as usual. ingvisson came along with us and seemed to quite enjoy himself. We really need to get tickets to the upcoming Beowulf performance with Benjamin Bagby, as it was again advertised on the back of the MWC program. I've wanted to see him perform this for years.

I've not had the focus to make further notes toward my Brigid book outline, but I'll be trying to do that later this week again. Tomorrow is the steampunk social, and I'll need to make plans toward my tea & whisky St Patricks Day thing with the Air Krakens. I'm not looking for a large group, so I'll be restricting attendance to about a dozen people.

Yesterday I emailed mom, as I owed her a response to a couple of her emails. I called a couple of weeks ago, I think, but I hadn't been posting regularly, so mom, I just didn't want you to worry that I'd fallen off the edge of the continent or something. I'm trying to keep up with things without stressing out too much.

There's a new Cadfael waiting to be viewed when gra_is_stor has enough time to come by for it. We had considered watching it last week but didn't quite find the time for it. Both of us are feeling pretty worn down, and she's doing allergy treatments that mean she's feeling crappier than usual recently.

Once I get more of my brain functioning than just the brain stem, I have emails that I need to answer. Sleep has been a precarious and rare commodity of late, more so than usual. It means I'm feeling more scattered than normal, as well. Probably contributes considerably to the brain fog.

Garuda and Irish class

I took Garuda in today to have the brakes and tires checked, and needed the front brake pads replaced. The rear brakes are fine for now, but I'm guessing that if the front pads needed replacing, I'll end up needing to do the rear ones before I head east in May. This is okay, as I expect to have to do maintenance periodically, and I'd really rather be sure my parts are all in order before taking mountain passes.

I talked to the postal carrier today and pre-signed a slip in case he delivers my meds from the VA when I'm away, so that he can just put them in my box and Brianna can bring them inside for me. Yay!

Today gra_is_stor finally announced details for her Everett Irish language classes. Her notice is reproduced here, as she said it should be passed along for all those interested.

Hi Everyone,

Once again, if you can read this, you have expressed some interest to me in learning the Irish language in Everett. I got final details worked out! Classes will begin on Sunday, March 3rd, at 7pm. Cost will be $40/month. Here's my official announcement:

In March 2013, we will be starting a new beginners' class in our Irish language class series at 11525 19th Ave SE, Everett, WA. This is a lovely new location, right across from beautiful Silver Lake, with lots of free parking and near a major bus depot as well.

The Irish language is called "Gaeilge" in its own tongue, and sometimes referred to as "Gaelic", "Irish", or "Irish Gaelic" in English, depending on the context. It is in the Celtic language family, in the Goidelic (Gaelic) branch, and is one of 3 living Gaelic languages.

The new class will be held on Sunday evenings from 7pm to 8pm. Cost is $40/month, usually paid at the beginning of the month, but we can work out other arrangements for those who need them.

Students are not required to buy any particular books or other learning tools, as class materials are provided. We may also direct students to internet resources, and can answer questions about any sources you find questionable.

I also made a Facebook event, for those who use it, here: https://www.facebook.com/events/487384801326144/?context=create. It's a public event, so you can add yourself, and invite other people. :)

If you have any questions, please let me know, and I look forward to seeing you in class!


P.S. I should mention, "we" here is not the royal we. ;) My friend Charles is likely to co-teach with me. He's also my co-teacher in Seattle.

This place is just down the block from where I live. I will most likely be taking the class as it's much easier for me to get to than Seattle, and I suspect Sunday evenings will, just generally, be easier on me for a lot of reasons.

In the continuing saga of changing out my glasses when I'm not reading, using the regular glasses instead of the bifocals has really made a huge difference and I'm certain now that it was eyestrain causing the stab-me-in-the-eye-with-a-spike migraine pain I was suffering for a couple of weeks at a time. It's a relief to know that it wasn't some organic problem, just strain.

Since I was dealing with the car for a few hours longer than I quite expected to today, I haven't yet sorted through the photos for my PCon presentation, but will be taking some time this evening to finish up the physical presentation stuff for the Irish Healing Deities session. Tomorrow I don't have any plans beyond getting out to buy a bag of dog food, so I will do the photo sorting then. I picked up a Sharpie today so that I would have something of an appropriate size to write things to be read from across the room on my large pad of sketch paper. It's time to sit and write down a ludicrous number of names in large letters.

Shrinkage and unintentional Irish

I got a number of things done this morning before leaving for my VA appointment. Sorted through some of the piles of paper on my desk and recycled things, took out recycling, got and sorted through the three boxes of my stuff I sent home from Italy. I pulled some of the books I'll need for the ogam presentation off the shelves and put them on the desk where I can work with them. Ordered a few copies of Circle of Stones and will be taking a couple down to Edge to sell to Robert there when they arrive.

My session with Tracy was pretty good today. I'm really tired but I absolutely expected that. After the VA, I went over to Elliott Bay Cafe and had a little snack. While waiting to meet meddevi , I worked out the outline for the Esoteric Book Conference presentation, with a rough estimate of about how many images I'm going to need for the graphics portion of the program. I need to send something off to Jeff, and I also need to remember to email the EBC people and make sure that I asked for tech assist with a projector and whatnot.

Once we were done chatting, I went and grabbed a little dinner, then wandered down to Edge, where I talked with Robert briefly and ran into gra_is_stor . I'd forgotten that Irish class was tonight. I had another errand to run (picking up more green dye, as I'm almost out), then came back to go to the last part of the class. While at Edge, I picked up the two volumes of Geosophia by Jake Stratton-Kent, which explores the possible Greek origins of the European Grimoire tradition. Looks like some fascinating stuff.

After class, I drove ingvisson to Mill Creek, where he could catch the bus home - it was about ten minutes behind us, so he wouldn't have to wait long. joyful_storm emailed me (I'd been meaning to email her this evening) about getting together soon so she can get the stuff she carried back from Ireland for me into my hands. It includes a very nice book of Irish verb paradigms that will be really useful for the Irish class, along with water from the two Kildare Brigid's wells, among other things.

The ritual of the lotus was completed this evening when I got home. Tomorrow is my flamekeeping shift, and I'll try to spend some time fleshing out the EBC presentation outline and defining exactly which images I'm going to need and how to source them.

Tired Erynn is about to crawl off to bed. Busy day tomorrow, but one spent here at home.

Continuing to keep on

Last night I had a pretty rough time and still didn't feel too well when I got up this afternoon. I wasn't up to heading down to Seattle for Irish class, but I did manage to get a few things done.

Firstly, this came in the mail today:

CoS has arrived!

I gave a copy to gra_is_stor before she left, so that she can work on sound files for the Gaelic in the book. I have one copy set aside for my publisher, who are wanting to have a give-away of a signed copy to drum up some publicity. I told them I'd do it so I got an extra copy for that. And there are five for me to take down to California.

I didn't get a whole lot of writing done today for the pilgrimage, but I did get the ogam part of the first day's meditation together, on the letters Lus and Dair. I still need to work on a lot of stuff, but now I have a pattern for the rest of the days and it shouldn't be hard to do one quick page for each day, to be combined with the three cauldrons meditation. Rituals still need to be written, but as I get the meditations together, that'll help me decide how to handle the details of the various rituals we're doing.

I also figured out how to turn a .doc file into an .epub, at least in a really rudimentary way, so that I could slap some stuff onto my iPad to read without having to sit at a computer. That took a lot less time and effort than I was expecting.

Both mythworker and the Ashland Hostel got back to me, so I'm taken care of for lodging on the trip down and back. I still need to talk to seanthedruid - I'm pretty sure he'd said I can stay with him and his family the night before the festival, but I want to be certain, so I need to shoot him an email to confirm. It'll be easier to drive into Sacramento and head out to Truckee from there than come in a day early to the campsite. An extra night in the heat will be nice before I go up into the alpine reaches. I don't think he's back from Massachusetts yet, but I'll email him tomorrow.

Also tomorrow is an IRC chat with the Sisterhood of Avalon people. Last time I tried it, my awful net connect made it nearly impossible. This should be a lot more doable. They were happy with what little we got last time, at least. I'm hoping I'll feel better by then, as I'm still kind of under the weather.

Getting it together

I finally got my act together today to send off a response to the kind person on the Isle of Man with some questions that she might be able to answer. It was about a page and a half long (I had a fair few questions).

Before Irish class today, I got some stuff sorted for the actual format of the daily writing exercises for the pilgrimage. Bits will need to be scripted, but it'll follow the same pattern every day so that folks will have a stable practice to work with while we travel. I also got a brief note back from vyviane about the dream incubation outline, so I'll proceed with working that out, too.

Tomorrow I have an appointment with the women's clinic to talk with them about pain meds for while I'm in Europe. I expect I'm going to need something stronger than OTC tylenol on a fairly regular basis, considering how much hiking around and dealing with the stress of traveling in unfamiliar places I'll be doing. Having a scrip will make things so much easier. Then it's the usual Thursday group, and off to Travelers afterwards. I'll be taking along stuff to work with on the pilgrimage material. With luck, I won't have too much socializing going on. I love talking to my friends when I'm there, but I also really need to get things done and put together so I can let go of some of my worries around working on the pilgrimage material. Time's getting short.

I've got laundry in the dryer at the moment. When that's done, I'm off to bed.

In which things do not go quite as expected

I had been hoping to sleep later this morning, but the DoDC+3 got me out of bed at 11:30 wanting to go out. I hauled him around and then checked email and stuff, after which Geordie and I went for a walk around the lake. It was raining, but not too awfully, though I couldn't find my windbreaker - I think I know where it is, but I haven't had a chance to look there yet. Anyway, I came home kind of soaked and changed the wet bits of my clothes.

Geordie had a Greyhound ticket for 4:50 so I took him down to the station at about 4:20. We got to talking and the next thing we knew, he'd missed his bus, so I drove him up to Blaine and dropped him at the Subway there. The wait at the border here was over an hour and a half, and wasn't nearly that on the Canadian side, so his mom came down to pick him up. The drive up wasn't too bad. We continued our conversation and I stayed for a little bit to grab a sandwich at the Subway, but the weather on the way back, from about Bellingham to a little north of the casino was pouring down rain pretty viciously off and on. By the time I got back to Everett, it had pretty nearly stopped.

I'd been hoping to do some writing today, but really couldn't quite get to it. I'm feeling slightly like I'm coming down with something, but am hoping that if I manage to put myself into bed here shortly, I might be doing okay tomorrow. I'll be heading up to Mount Vernon to meet alfrecht for his birthday, with man_of_snows . I've got man_of_snows 's chapbook for him to sign. Probably won't be making it to the AFK for steampunkery, but one never knows. I'll ping the list tomorrow to let them know that I might be late if I make it at all.

gra_is_stor will be up tomorrow for her band practice, but she has a key so if I'm not here, she can let herself in and out. I'll definitely be home by the time she's back from rehearsal. With luck, both of us will be feeling better, as we've both been under the weather lately.

In the past couple of days I've run into somebody over on Tumblr who speaks Irish (and is from somewhere in Offaly), so we've been having a rather rudimentary conversation. I'm not that good at it, but I'm working on it. It's nice to be able to try to use it a bit between classes.

And now, off to bed. Gotta be in Mount Vernon tomorrow by 3pm.

Mostly a placeholder

Still alive. Had a pretty good, if achy, day. Spent time with Geordie and gra_is_stor and went to the Irish class. Finished reading Mandragora. Got group at the VA tomorrow.

Tired. A little chilly once it got dark, though it was pretty glorious today while the sun was out. Am really kind of thinking of not doing anything at all on Friday, as I'm pretty worn down, and I'll be out of the house early on Saturday and Sunday.

First off - I was nowhere near Seattle today, though I had friends downtown during the rioting. ingvisson had headed off before gra_is_stor and I got up. I could hardly sleep last night because I hurt too much, so I ended up getting up about 3am and staying up until around 6:30, though I think I got a little sleep between then and noon when the alarm went off. Ish. I think I remember getting one of those fecking robocalls from the VA reminding me of my Thursday appointment around 9:30, which is precisely why I turn my damned phone off most of the time.

While I didn't get a callback from Comcast today, somebody claiming to be from Comcast left a name and contact address on yesterday's entry, so I have sent a brief inquiry to that address to see if it's genuine or some weird phishing thing. If it seems legit I'll talk to them, but I'm not going to be giving any information that can be used for evil - no passwords, no financial information, etc. Anyway, we'll see what happens.

I re-read my essay in Disability and Religious Diversity last night while I wasn't feeling well, because I had to go over to UW Bothell today and talk at the class. This time I had the building and room numbers, so I actually got there a little ahead of time, as I had intended last time when I did this. The class was good. It's always difficult to talk about PTSD and sexual trauma in front of a group, but so few people are willing to do these things that any open discussion of it can only help to awaken people to the scope of the problem. I felt like I did a good job, at least, and a couple of people came up to talk with me briefly afterwards. It's always pretty emotionally draining to do something like that and I'm vaguely headachey at the moment.

When I got out of the class, I headed over to the AFK for the evening's steampunkery. I had enough time to be mostly done with dinner by the time folks started arriving. We chose a date for the Cthulhu film festival here (The Call of Cthulhu and A Whisperer in Darkness) -- folks will be coming on Sunday, August MAY 13th from 5-9pm, (August? wtf was I thinking?) which should provide enough time for both movies and some socializing. I need to send out a couple of separate emails, but the Steamrats list has been notified. I've asked for RSVPs so that I know how many people I'll need to stuff into my space.

Tomorrow I think I only have Irish class, which means going down to Seattle, but that should be after the worst of rush hour is over with heading south, given that class is at 7pm. I'm hoping I'll get at least a little sleep tonight at some point.

Multiple frustrations, but an okay day anyway

I had Comcast come in and do an installation again. The modem I bought didn't work so I'll take it back to BestBuy and get a new one that should. I'm currently using the Comcast-provided one for a few days. The installer called and was able to come a couple of hours early, but that was unfortunately overshadowed by the fact that I CANNOT SEND SEANET EMAIL FROM MY COMPUTER over Comcast. I spent two hours on the phone with Comcast tech and half an hour or so with Seanet's tech, and nothing is working. I can still happily send emails over the AT&T wireless, but I can't send anything out either hardwired into the Comcast modem or via the wireless router. I'm extremely frustrated by this.

The Comcast tech is supposed to call me back on Saturday (the first day that he's there and I'm actually home while he's in the office) to see about doing more troubleshooting, but we have tried everything. I'm not at all angry with him; he went above and beyond in terms of trying different things in order to help me figure out what the hell is happening here and nothing was working. He was awesome. Sadly, it is definitely a Comcast issue, because I didn't have any trouble sending out email until the Comcast internet was installed. We shall see what happens. If it doesn't work, I'm going to be getting something out of them as a concession for having to use a different wireless account to send email from the email account I've had since 1995 that has never failed me before.

Because of all the time I spent with tech support today, I wasn't able to go for my walk around the lake. It was raining most of the day, though, so I'm not too awfully perturbed, but I do want to make a habit of it.

At about 6:40 I headed over to the AFK and hung out there. One of the Air Krakens came by for a little while, but I spent most of my time talking with Drew and one of the cooks. It was a really pleasant evening, and I must say that on a stressful day, the application of a little alcohol sometimes helps. I do feel much better having had a couple of drinks and will dive back into stress and stupidity on Saturday.

Yesterday's research netted me a street view of the entryway to the campsite I'll be staying at on the Isle of Man, as well as a view of the location for the web cafe in Douglas. I'm feeling more confident being able to have a look around before I go there. While, on the one hand, satellite surveillance is awfully creepy for a lot of reasons, the ability to have the same view as someone standing in the street to look at the entry of a business or the driveway of a campsite half a world away before I actually go there is so immensely helpful. It's weird how tech can be at the same time both wonderful and terrifying.

gra_is_stor is here for the evening after her band practice. She's got to pick up an out of town friend tomorrow at the airport at 11, so she'll be leaving before I do tomorrow. She did say, though, that since I picked up the tab for Saturday's showing of Metropolis, she would be willing to spring for tickets to the 70th anniversary showing of Casablanca on Thursday. It's showing at 3 or 4 cinemas around the area, but it's being shown nationwide Thursday evening at 7pm with commentary and behind-the-scenes stuff, sponsored by Turner Classic Movies. It'll probably be pretty cool. She thinks her friend might be willing to come with us, so that would be really nice to see it with them.

Tomorrow, along with shrinkage, is Irish class and there might be further pummeling from Patrick. If that's the case, I hope it doesn't do a number on my shoulder again, like it did last week.

VA annoyances, yay.

I called the VA today, hoping to get some answers. Once again, the phone rang until the operator picked it up again. The second time he sent it through, it was eventually picked up. I asked to talk to the travel coordinator but I'd been given to the travel desk, and the guy there (whose voice I recognized) said that he was the travel coordinator. Lying through his teeth, obviously. He asked for my last name and when I told him, he asked me three times if it was my LAST name.

Yes, fuck you very much. I do happen to know my own last name.

After a ludicrous amount of unnecessary explanation, I was told I had to go and have a means test done (I've done them before, thank you) and that I also apparently need a waiver so that they don't take out the $6 a visit co-pay. I will go in early tomorrow, fill out the forms, and get a god damned waiver in writing so that I can wave it at them every time they try to take money out. And I am going to find out how to get every penny back that they owe me for all those co-pays that they've taken out since I started going to the travel office to get compensation.

Anyway, severely annoying.

I discovered by watching my downloads of files over the past couple of days that I have an average download speed of under 25 kbps. UNDER 25 kbps. This is less than dialup. It's also ludicrous. Of course, AT&T doesn't guarantee fuckall. Comcast appears to (of course) have a monopoly on non-wireless in Everett. I'm still looking for alternatives, but have no idea if I'm going to find anything. As you might guess, I pretty much hate everything right now.

I did go to Irish class, where we covered basic counting from 0-10 (which I already knew, but hey, I got chocolate out of it), then I went up to gra_is_stor 's place, where Patrick worked on my neck and shoulders for about an hour. He worked on her as well, then I drove him downtown to his office (he's a night security supervisor).

While I was waiting for Irish class, I hung out at Kaladi Brothers and had some tea and tried to find the original Brigid's Well on Google Maps and Google Earth. I found the road sign for the one the church had constructed in the 1950s, but the original is off the Google Maps grid. Google Earth doesn't register anything for either of them, though there are photos of Brigid's Well tagged on either side of the road where the newer well is located, both of which are from the new well. Everything I can find says the two of them are very close together, pretty much just across the street and down from one another, but I can't find a fix on the earlier one at all. The notes saying where it is online are nearly useless, not really giving any idea of the actual area where one might find it. (Everything says "it's across the street from the carpark for the Irish National Stud Farm and the Japanese Gardens. Apparently "across the street" actually means down a road across from the car park and then down another road. Technically speaking, yeah, it's across the street, but it's not on the same road at all.) There must be somebody somewhere with a GPS location on it. *grr*

I am ranty and grumpy and generally not fit company for human beings. I do hope that changes by tomorrow or some poor VA clerk is going to get an earful.

Working on pilgrimage stuff

I called the VA office today and they said I needed to talk to the travel coordinator at the Seattle VA, which I will do next time I'm down at the hospital there. I might go down a few hours before my Irish class tomorrow and see if I can talk to someone in person. I tried calling the office, but the phone rang off the hook. There wasn't even a voice mail. Typical.

For several hours today, I felt very restless and anxious for no reason in particular. Nothing seemed to help much. It took a while for me to be able to focus enough to start working on pilgrimage stuff again - or anything else, for that matter. I printed out the notes for the opening and closing ritual and scribbled a few further notes on them. I took a look at Crossing the Circle at the Holy Wells of Ireland again and remembered why I have it on the foo shelf instead of the folklore shelf. *sigh* Way too much "Celtic tree astrology" crap in it.

I went over to the AFK for the Tuesday steampunk social, but was the only one in attendance. One person said he wasn't feeling well, and another who expressed some interest said it was a little far to go on short notice, so he'd probably be up next week. That was cool, because that meant I could spend my time there working on my notes. I did a fair bit of websurfing finding sites relevant to what I needed, and got a few texts from ogam , who wanted to know if there was going to be something next year at PantheaCon about the pilgrimage. I noted that joyful_storm wanted to propose a panel on pilgrimage, which sent him into the happy bear dance, but leavened that statement with the fact that PCon would have to actually approve the proposal for it to happen.

Much of what I was dealing with this evening were sites regarding the caves at Kesh Corran, which have a fair bit of mythic resonance with some of the themes we're dealing with during our journey. I also looked at different traditions regarding ritual at holy wells that are outside of the specifically Christian context and found some useful stuff.

The email list for the pilgrimage group is up though only a couple of posts have gone up yet. I should probably ask if folks want to do the opening ritual at the more well-known Brigid's well in Kildare, or the smaller, original well. I'm kind of leaning toward the original one, though we'll obviously want to visit both. Notes and outlining for the opening ritual are going well, though I haven't got a formal outline or anything of a script as yet. It won't be long or anything, but I do want to have something to work from beyond the scattered notes when we get there.

One of the things I'm considering doing on the pilgrimage is a dream incubation ritual for those who want to, after we've done our incubation ritual at Carrowkeel. It wouldn't have to be long or involved, just a small ritual to ask for dreams to follow up on anything we might have got from the incubation ritual. I'm guessing it would have a fair chance of kicking more loose, particularly for those who might have been on the edge of something but not got clear material at the incubation ritual itself. Having a night to sleep on it in a ritual fashion would probably be very useful for everyone with an interest, and will likely give more depth to everyone's experience. I think doing some work with different types of incubatory ritual would also be a useful experience.

I ran into CJ at the AFK tonight; she used to work there. She said she'd moved in with her fiancee recently, which means she's now living in the same condos that I am, in one of the other buildings. I told her she should drop by some afternoon if she has time, and we could watch a bad movie together or something. She's working two jobs now and hasn't a lot of time, but seems pretty pleased with life.

And I'm much more tired tonight than I had expected, so I'm going to crawl off to bed shortly.

In which I contemplate a knee brace

I woke today about halfway through the Sunday #writechat, which was rather slow and sparsely attended, presumably because it was Easter Sunday and a fair few people were off doing things with family rather than hanging about yattering with fellow writers. Still, I had fun as I usually do. It's an enjoyable crowd.

Laundry was done while I was chatting, then I tossed myself into some clothing and went for a walk around the lake. It was a lovely, warm 68f today, and partly sunny, so it was pretty much ideal for a walk. I very much enjoyed it, and the park was pretty crowded, as you might expect on such a day. My knee was twinging a bit as I went. It wasn't enough to stop me, but it was fairly creaky. I'm probably going to want to talk to the VA about getting a knee brace sometime soon. If I'm going to walk, especially if I'm hiking overseas, I'd like to be a little more sure the knee isn't going to give out on me at an inconvenient moment - not that there's a convenient moment for joints collapsing, but you know what I mean.

Last night I'd walked over to the Safeway and picked up a few things, including a couple of lamb chops, one of which I had for dinner tonight with some asparagus, brown rice, jerusalem artichokes, and a glass of Boujoulais, which suited it quite well. It was all very tasty, and I hadn't really felt much up to cooking recently because I'd been too tired and there wasn't a lot here that I really felt like eating, nor was there much beyond pasta or a can of beans that was just something I could do quickly and without a fair bit of effort. I dislike having so little energy, but I've been taking B vitamins again and it seems to be helping a bit with that. Sadly, it doesn't do jack for the insomnigrackles.

druid_medb emailed back about Eight Winds and was very much into opening up the discussion, but I think she took it as being potentially rather more than I'd have the bandwidth to help out with. She suggested maybe a ritual (a tentative suggestion), but I don't have it in me to deal with something that involved before I leave in July. I suggested maybe we could do something at PantheaCon next year instead, considering this is pretty heavy duty stuff and I don't have the skills to deal with it if somebody goes all splodey on us. She certainly has more than I do, but I don't think Eight Winds this year is the right time or place. We'd need a lot more time and preparation to pull something viable together. That said, I do think it's an excellent idea to consider for another time and place. Depending on what's going on next year, maybe at Eight Winds in 2013 instead.

This evening I did some more work on the links document for the pilgrimage preparation. I've got something for all the various places we are (or might be) going, and most of the deities and other figures we might deal with as well, so we'll see if this is what Vyviane had in mind when she asked for something. We'll talk on Tuesday at some point, so I don't have too much longer to wait and see if I need to deal with this differently.

Monday is the CR schmooze. I guess the idea is dealing with a definition of cosmology. I'm not in charge of this ride, so I'm not too terribly worried about it. I've got other things to keep my brain spinning its wheels. I'm also meeting thewronghands for tea afterwards for a little bit, pursuant to a conversation elsejournal. Wednesday is Irish class, Thursday is group at the VA (which I should actually get to this time, gods willing) and probably meeting isquiesque afterwards. I may also be seeing another friend, but am not so certain on that one. I was supposed to see her last Thursday but something came up and she asked to reschedule for this week. Saturday is a birthday party, Sunday is the Great Spring Ceremony at the Shinto shrine and a chat with some of the people from Sisterhood of Avalon. All in all, a pretty full week. I hope I have the braincells.

Irish class and yet more work

The day started late-ish, around 2pm, but the pseudo-posole from the crockpot was nicely done when I got up and was very yummy for breakfast. gra_is_stor is still under the weather, so ingvisson took over the class tonight and we did a lot of "what is ___?" and did identification of items in the room - door, wall, ceiling, pen, chair, etc. Basic stuff, but a more conversational style rather than word-list style, which was how I'd originally been taught (much to my dismay, as word lists don't help me actually speak a language).

I looked over a few possibilities for the Circle of Stones cover today and sent in my opinion. It seems that Taylor, Storm, and I all favored the same base image, and Storm was going to send the artist a contract to do the cover work for us. Things are moving along apace.

After class, I hauled ingvisson most of the way home, though we had dinner together at an Indian restaurant near the Central Market where he had to do some grocery shopping and catch his bus. Once I got home, I started in on compiling a list of links for source materials on the sites we're visiting, and mythological figures associated with those sites, as well as a few of the tales associated with some of them.

mythworker posted a bit about the pilgrimage today on The Wild Hunt in his weekly links roundup, for which I am very grateful. With luck, we may have a full roster for the pilgrimage. I'm both thrilled and terrified by the whole thing, but working hard on making sure it will be a wonderful experience, both spiritually and creatively, for the folks who join us.

I also checked out the website for the Festival Interceltique de Lorient. The site is in French, but my browser offered to translate it to English for me, and it looks pretty damned amazing. I hope we'll be able to spend some time there while I'm in Brittany. A fair number of the performances are free at several of the locations, and the tickets for some of the other performances don't seem unreasonable at all.
Last night I didn't actually get to sleep until about 9am this morning. That was a lot more annoying than usual. I honestly tried dealing with it. I went to bed about 5am, but just couldn't get to sleep. I woke about noon, then tried to sleep again, and stayed in bed until a little after 2pm, finally just giving up. I had a few things to do and couldn't really lie around any longer.

I did some research on places for the pilgrimage, though not enough. I'm supposed to be putting together some readings and links for the pilgrimage packet (due this week, but everything's been running at least a week behind the schedule that was initially set), but only got to the point of opening a doc to put the stuff in and plugging the URL for it into the shared scheduling document for Vyviane. I'll do some more work on it tomorrow, hopefully after I've had a little more sleep.

This evening I went over to the AFK to hang out with the steampunks. Five of us showed up and we had a lovely time. We talked about upcoming projects - one of the gals was describing some of what she's working on for SteamCon this year, and it sounds awesome. I caught a couple of them up with some of the work I've been doing, and more info about how the pilgrimage planning has been going. Disappointment was expressed that I hadn't brought the new ogam set along to show off, so perhaps next time I'll take it with me.

The conversation took a turn toward the Lovecraftian (as you do) and I mentioned that I'd ordered the Whisperer in Darkness DVD, which should arrive soonish. I proposed a Lovecraft viewing party at my place where we can watch both of the HP Lovecraft Historical Society movies of an evening. One of the waitstaff lives down the street from me, and if he's off for the evening we schedule it on, he might come by too. He's not familiar with the mythos, but he's the sort who would probably appreciate the movies anyway. I was also pointed to a short story that was a wonderfully creepy Lovecraft meets Doctor Strangelove sort of cold war nuclear Chtulhian horror thing, very well done. I need to figure out a way to get Late Bloomer, the Lovecraftian short, onto a DVD to play for everyone, as my computer screen just isn't going to cut it for half a dozen or so viewers.

gra_is_stor isn't feeling well, so she skipped out on band practice tonight. I sent her a text to see if we're having Irish class tomorrow, but she hasn't replied, and I suspect she's probably still not going to be up to it. If that's the case, I'll just stay home and get more work done on the pilgrimage packet materials.

Overall, it was a good but not terribly productive day. Given that it started with a stark lack of sleep, I can't complain too much.

What day is it?

September 2015



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