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well crap

I just talked to my brother. He says it's best to take an inventory of everything (including at least the number of books and the titles of the valuable ones) and take photos of stuff before shipping things overseas. For claim purposes if necessary.

Which means unpacking and repacking every box.

I am not going to deal with this until I come back from Italy to do the moving. I was planning on two weeks back here at that time, but I might need three if it's going to be "you must inventory every item".

Further research

I spent a goodly chunk of this evening delving about in books, looking up potential healing deities and other figures, and found quite a number listed here and there. I'm still chasing down some others. I found a note that may be of interest to alfrecht and will be typing up a quick quote and sending it off to him in a little bit.

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

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

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

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

Dishes were done. Food was had. Research was compiled. All in all, not a bad day.

Busy yet not

Yesterday was mostly quiet, though I did go out to the AFK. I did more planning for the east coast trip both last night and today, and I also made my reservation with the Ashland Hostel for my trip down to PCon in February.

Sadly, Ruby Sara isn't in Chicago anymore, as she's moved back down to Texas. This, however, means I can take toll-free roads around Chicago rather than driving through. I will have an opportunity to visit with the awesome storyfan in KZoo, though, which I'm very much looking forward to. We've been writing in the same fandoms off and on for some years now. I put in a note to Owen in Providence about visiting the NECTW folks there on my way from Plymouth down to NYC.

I have a few folks to visit in NYC, one of whom will be out here later this month. I need to start making a list of places I intend to visit while I'm on the road.

While I was in Europe, I was defeated by my camera's continuous shot setting and finally, today, got it figured out. It's not nearly as fast as my previous camera, but it will do. I missed a fair bit of stuff that I would have liked to get while I was overseas because I couldn't figure out how to turn on the multiple shots function. At least now I will be able to do a little better. It does make a huge difference, given how much my hands shake. I really rely on that setting to compensate for the muscle tremors.

Today I've been having more of the "left eyeball feels splodey" headache. It's not quite bad enough to be disabling and I suspect that it had to do with the snow that came today. It only just now got down to 32f, but it had been raining/snowing much of the day. The streets and the parking lot are clear, but the cars and the grass do still have a little snow on them. I'm sure it will be gone by tomorrow, unless we get more tonight.

Tomorrow is the first of our 10-week VA group sessions in the new year. They know I will be gone for a couple of weeks in February, as I always am, but I wouldn't want to miss tomorrow's session due to either a migraine or snow. Either would be horribly annoying.

I spent a little of today giving thought to compiling my list of Irish deities/heroes who have some association with healing. I haven't actually set pen to paper yet, but have been dredging through my memory banks to get a few listed, along with the context. The headache, though, has made most things a little more laborious than they really ought to be. Staying focused is hard.

Posty McPosterson

My britpicker got back to me today, the final edits to the fic were made, and it got posted. It is currently enjoying a great deal of happy fandom love on the archive where it's been placed.

Laundry was done, chickpeas were cooked, curry was made, and that's about it for yours truly today.

Tomorrow is the VA, then a little time hanging out at Travelers afterwards. I'm a bit headachey and am hoping that I won't be migraining tomorrow. I think it's a possibility.

Overall, I'm very pleased with myself, if aching too much.

The day was not what expected

The tea I thought was happening today is actually set for tomorrow. I set my alarm for noon when I didn't have to and texted the person about 1:20 only to be reminded it was Tuesday. That dealt with, I went over to gra_is_stor's place, where I hung out with her and ingvisson and put together most of a computer armoire. When we broke to take the DoDC+3 to the vet, ingvisson headed home. The DoDC+3 behaved more or less well enough until we got to the nail trimming portion of the experience. He got really frantic and bitey, so we left the shortest of his claws alone (only one) and scheduled a dental for him next month. I've never taken him in for any dental work and it looks like he may lose the two front lower teeth because they're very loose. His claws will get trimmed to a normal length while he's under for the dental work.

Upon finishing up the canine torture, I dropped him home, grabbed something quick to eat, and went back over to gra_is_stor's place to finish up the furniture assembly. Upon finishing that up, one of her cats came up and I petted it, only to find it was having... intestinal issues. I will just say that there is no greater love anyone can have for their girlfriend than helping her clean up her poop-encrusted cat. *shudder*

Home again after that, but too tired to finish up the writing I was going to do today. Tomorrow, tea for an hour or so, then steampunkery in the evening, but I'll try to finish up the publicity piece between tea and steam.

All in all, a very tiring day.

Exhausting but fruitful

Today's major project was meeting up online with Jhenah and vyviane, which was about a three hour conference chat as we worked out when and how things were happening. It was a good thing we did this, because I'd accidentally been left out of the loop for a change/shift in the schedule that left me going into a panic until they said that they'd take care of that day and we're just shifting two days of stuff from the schedule I'd been given into one day. It'll make for a rather more full day than I'd quite anticipated, with two different sets of readings/writing exercises, but I think I can live with that. I will probably want/need a down day by that point in the pilgrimage anyway, so it all worked out okay.

I did the outline for the incubation rituals today and shared that, and all the other outlines/exercises/rituals with them that I'd done so far. They've approved everything with only a couple of logistical changes that are perfectly okay by me. The last thing I have to do is write up the closing ritual; for the extra day/theme bit that we're doing, I can write up a quick ogam meditation to go with that so they can use it in more or less the same pattern I was using for the other days and places. They said they'd get back to me on that.

This basically means I have the opening ritual, all of my days of meditations and writing exercises, the incubation and dream incubation rituals, and the Airmed ritual pretty much finished, so only the closing rite needs to be really worried about now. Everything else is fine-tuning and expansion, and a lot of it can just be done from an outline rather than being something strictly scripted. The opening and closing rituals are more along the lines of "needs a script" while the others are just a series of events where everyone participates and contributes to the making of the ritual as it is happening. I still need to send stuff off to joyful_storm for her to look over. I'll try to remember that tomorrow while I'm working on the closing ritual.

I think I'm a little better at dealing with sudden (to me) changes when I'm actually in a place where we're right there and things have changed and we just have to get on with it, than with something where I accidentally got left out of the loop. Mostly it was a function of the fact that I don't actually read Facebook, and some of the things were discussed there and not actually on the pilgrimage list.

In other news, over on the Aedicula Antinoi blog, there was a post about the hero-feast of Suibhne Geilt, and my work in the Disability and Religious Diversity anthology was mentioned pretty prominently. I was really pleased by this. I didn't do a ritual for it today, but working on the pilgrimage was a lot of what has been necessary, and I suspect a panic attack was a suitable event for a day dedicated to a poet-madman. ;)

Also today I got an email from Hiraeth Press with the proof of the upcoming issue of Written River, featuring three of my poems as a preview of Fireflies at Absolute Zero, due out this fall. This is due for release on the 20th of June, with a publication date for the hard copy of the magazine due next week, so I'll let you know as soon as I hear anything, so if you want a paper copy you can actually get one. I'll be getting at least one myself.

alfrecht sent me an essay he did on syncretisms of Minerva, which he'd mentioned yesterday when I saw him. It concerns some possible syncretisms with Brigid, and a mention of a Sulis perpetual flame that I hadn't heard about before, so I'm going to be looking those bits up when I have time and bandwidth, and possibly adding mention of them to my Queering the Flame essay for the Queer Magic anthology. He says that should be ready by end of the year-ish, if all goes well. It'll be nice to have that done. I'm very much looking forward to having that material available, as I think it's important. I read the essay and found it informative, as his work always tends to be. Some good and useful stuff there and I'll have to dig a little more deeply into it when I get home.

I spent time in #writechat today, and also did a load of laundry. I managed to have the wherewithal to do a little bit of soup from duck broth I had in the freezer, French green lentils, cashew pieces, dried salal berries, a little bit of fenugreek seed, and some sambar powder. I topped it with a couple of small scoops of yogurt and it was really very good. I was quite pleased.

Overall, a pretty good day (except for the panic attack part) and I got a ton of stuff done.

In which readings are chosen

I finished choosing readings today. That took several hours and dredging through several dozen books of poetry for thing on the themes that I wanted to explore. All this for three poems, today. My shoulders and back are a mess from all of it and I've just finished sipping a lovely gin & tonic (Hendricks, which is really my preferred gin these days) so I'm not hurting quite so badly.

In addition to all of this, I sent off the links and selections from the Dindshenechas and such to the list, broken down into each day's destinations and themes. It was a fairly hefty chunk of stuff, which is why I sent it in seven posts, so they could be dealt with one at a time when folks wanted to. I also sent them my essay from Mandragora with a link and a request for them to buy the paperback or the ebook edition if they liked the material, so I'm hoping that'll generate a few sales, at least.

joyful_storm emailed asked if I wanted to go do some shopping for travel clothes (lightweight stuff that can be easily laundered in a sink and will dry quickly), so that's what I'll be doing for a few hours this weekend. I do need to get stuff that will be lightweight and manageable for my carryon bag.

The podiatry clinic finally called back and I've rescheduled an appointment for late August. I need to remember to get x-rays before I go in, but I'll have enough time when I get home to do that. I may just go in early next Wednesday before my shrinkage and deal with it then.

Tomorrow I'll be working on transcribing the poems I've chosen for the readings and putting them into a little booklet with the various meditations and writing exercises so that I'll have a reference and won't have to haul a stack of books with me when I'm traveling. I'm still hoping to hear back from Jhenah soon so that we can talk rituals and whatnot. I need to know what she will want/be able to do while we're over there so I know how much other stuff I need to work on.

Thanks to blindwebster, I now have crash space in Sacramento before the festival. This means I won't be spending an extra night out at the campsite, where it's bloody cold at night. Not that I dislike camping or the company I'd be in, but I would like to at least enjoy one nice, warm night in California before I freeze my buns off in a tent. It'll be nice to visit with her, as well, as I only ever get to see her briefly at PantheaCon every year, if our paths happen to cross.

I appreciate everyone's kind words and encouragement lately. I never feel like I'm going to do things right when it comes to a big, important presentation. I know I tend to feel overwhelmed when I'm planning for PantheaCon, and this is larger than that by a magnitude of a bunch, even counting that year when I did eight sessions/rituals/panels over the long weekend. This is a week solid of Erynn being on pretty much all the time. I'm worried about being up to it. I know for the most part I'll probably be okay, but I think everybody here has guessed that I want to dazzle folks and be the absolute best at what I'm doing, and that may well be where I fall down. *sigh* My expectations for myself are always about ten times higher than everyone else's.

And now, to curl up with some fic and try to rest my neck and shoulders a bit, for they are achey sumbitches.

Today's work

This morning I got an email from Jhenah about some of the files I've sent, so I'm glad that some response has been received. We're supposed to set up a time to talk about stuff and plan out some rituals. I just sent her an email with my timeframe for getting things done so that we can set a date as soon as possible.

Jhenah was asking about the context for the ogam materials I'd sent and I explained what I wanted to do with them, and how I envisioned the morning activities going as far as reading, meditation, writing prompts, and a short period of free-writing (or art) for those who are wanting to do them. It should help with planning for each day so that we'll know about how much time we need to have between getting up and getting out the door for our daily travels.

One of the things I found online last night while looking for something else was a photo that said it was the Stone of "Manau" in Clackmannan, Scotland. The sign at the stone says that it was dedicated to Manannan, but it isn't in situ. It was placed on top of a pillar (originally a local standing stone) in 1833, apparently. The person recording the information said that the report might not be true (there are apparently other explanations for the name of the town [one reading is "Manannan's Stone"], for instance), but it's certainly interesting and, at some point, I'd like to see it for myself.

Looking for thematic readings for each day has been challenging, but I found three today, which leaves me with only three more readings to deal with. Once I've talked to Jhenah, we can work out some of the ritual stuff, though I am probably going to work on outlining things, at least in rough, as soon as I can. I was pleased to have got three together today. I'll need to copy or transcribe the readings for each day once I've got them all together. I'll put each day's material into a file for that day so that I can print them out, or perhaps transfer them over to my iPad so that I don't have to carry extra weight in my bag. I'm still trying to figure out logistics for all of this.

gra_is_stor met me over at the AFK this evening after she was done at the place she's moving into. I was already done with dinner and none of the steampunks had showed up (I wasn't really expecting them to, but I really needed a break), and then we came back here. We just got done watching an episode of Cadfael, given that it was short and didn't require massive amounts of brain to deal with. Mike, one of the servers at the AFK, wanted to get together with us before I headed out, so I gave him my card and told him to send me his contact info. He says if I'm down in Seattle for Pride weekend, maybe we can catch him and his partner there. I doubt that will be the case, but I will be in Seattle next Wednesday for my shrink appointment, so perhaps then, if he's not working.
The VA sent me an appointment for podiatry in the mail today, which is scheduled for 8:30am on July 9th. I called and left them a message that I was going to be on a plane that day, thank you, and they should call me soon, but NOT BEFORE NOON to reschedule. I am so not going to an 8:30 appointment. I would have to be up by 6am to get there in time, given rush hour traffic and all the crap that entails for a trip in from Everett. There is No Fucking Way I am going to have an appointment at that hour. If they only have a morning clinic, I will have the very last appointment of the morning, thanks very much. I had told the gal who was sending the referral in to have them CALL ME first, but of course this is the VA and they don't actually listen. yay.

I sent off the payment for my UK train tickets to fififolle, who received it today. That finishes up all the travel stuff for my trip except the Isle of Man, where I'll probably get a bus pass for the week.

Last night I also finally got around to answering an email from a young woman (presumably, from what I could get from the email address name) who was asking me about centralizing CR and making One Big Website with Everything On It where info would be sorted and reliable and folks could buy books that were published about CR and... sigh It's a great dream, but that's just never going to happen. The original Celtic cultures were never a unity and it's completely unrealistic to expect CR Paganism to manifest unity when we all worship different deities, our rituals are going to be different, and there are different cultures involved. I wish the online community was a little less acrimonious, but the only way anything is going to get done is by people actually doing them instead of sitting around online talking about it and telling everyone else how UnCeltic they are. Stuff like this doesn't spring up overnight, anything involving an organization that publishes is going to have to deal with nonprofit laws, and it would take a lot of volunteer effort that never quite seems to be forthcoming. Anyone who wants to see organizations and groups start, even if they are not a scholar and don't want to be one, is just going to have to step up to the plate and start organizing things. It's not magically going to happen by wishing. But I have given that particular rant many a time before. I hope I was at least encouraging to her about finding her talents and contributing to the community as best she's able.

Today I spent some time talking on Skype (texting actually) with vyviane about pilgrimage stuff and sorted through some things. I sent her a link for the doc where I have a bunch of research links and stuff for some of the sites we're visiting, and where I'll be adding more things as I find them in the next few days. I also wrote up part of a document for the list on three cauldrons meditations that will be the basis for the daily work we'll do before the writing prompts each morning. I would have spent more time on it, but I needed to get down into Everett to pick up my guests and have dinner with them, then we came back here and watched the Lovecraft movies, which were greatly enjoyed. She did note that airfare from Boston or New York into Dublin is, I believe, just under $1,000 for a round trip right now, so if anyone was wondering if cheaper airfare might make going on the pilgrimage possible, now would be the time to consider tickets and coming along!

ETA: vyviane says "I found tons of 1,000 RT from all over the place via Air Lingus and Expedia has a couple 811 and 864 RT from Boston and New York City!"

Further work was done on dealing with the specific themes and readings for each day's meditations and travel. I still need to dig through some books to find appropriate poems, but that's tomorrow's job.

I was delighted to discover that the Celtic Scholar's Reviews blog had posted a very positive review of Ogam: Weaving Word Wisdom a few days ago, giving it a very high recommendation. Her reviews tend to be honest and clear about a book's flaws, as well as its positive points, and she was really quite pleased with my work.

Thursday I've scheduled a chat with the Sisterhood of Avalon again, given that the last one was pretty much utterly defeated by a lousy internet connect. I'm looking forward to it, as it was so messed up last time. Apparently they really enjoyed what little I did get through to everyone, so it'll be nice to be able to actually talk to them realtime instead of with those hideous delays and signal drops.

Monday is the CR schmooze, and Jeff is going to be doing a presentation on deity imagery on Celtic coins. He's really into numismatics and will have illustrations and such. It should be fun.
I'd intended to spend more time today working on the pilgrimage stuff. I did, indeed, get to do that, but I didn't spend as much time on it as I wanted. I was hanging out with some folks in a livestream chatting a bit while one of them was working on fan art stuff. It was, as usual, a lot of fun.

Since the DoDC+3 was out of kibble, I walked down to the Safeway this afternoon. It was in the 60s here, and felt lovely and warm while the sun was out. Later in the afternoon we got a single rumble of thunder (which is about all the storms tend to do here most of the time) and a soaking but brief rainstorm, then it cleared up again. The sky this evening was peach and fuschia in the lowering western clouds.

I went through the emails on the pilgrimage list and checked out what I had already posted (and some of what others had posted) for resources and suggested/recommended reading, then spent some time adding to that list in a Word file so that I can remember what exactly has been sent and what still needs to be posted. I definitely need to post links to the various stories associated with the different sites we'll be visiting, and links to the archaeological and folkloric material that can be found online. There's still so much to do.

Given that I received several requests, I've requested five more copies of Circle of Stones to take with me next month to Eight Winds so that people can buy them from me. I still don't much care for doing direct sales myself, but it will provide some gas money, given that it's gone about $4.10 a gallon here at even the cheapest places, and California will be even more expensive. The very kind folks who invite me every year do send me some travel funds, but with the price of gas the way it is, a little extra from other sources won't go amiss.

On the Searching for Imbas blog, I also did a post about the release of the second edition of Circle of Stones, talking a bit about the context and a few other things, so it's more than just "hey, it's published again."

Okay, looking at this, I suppose I did get some work done today despite my futzing about with fandom. Damn, I keep forgetting how much one can do, even when they feel like crap.

Not quite the day I had planned

That's okay, though, as I actually managed to get a fair bit done. I'd been planning to go to a party with gra_is_stor, but she had something come up, and I was feeling very achy and migrainey anyway, so we mutually decided that we'd stay put where we were.

It took several hours for me to feel like something vaguely human, but I worked on the Circle of Stones galley and got it back to my publisher and editor. I will admit that my examination was very superficial. I couldn't have looked for remaining typos if you'd paid me; I just didn't have anything like enough focus. I also received both of the remaining review blurbs for the cover today and sent them along as well. I'm very excited by what everyone had to say, and am deeply grateful to my friends for being willing to write them up at such short notice.

The other thing that I did today was purchase my train ticket from Rennes to the de Gaulle airport in Paris. Sadly, I won't be able to spend any time in the city - the train station is apparently right there at the airport and I'll be dashing off to check in for my flight to Prague. I'm relieved to get that done at last, though. Now the only remaining transportation issues are trains in England, which aren't available as yet.

I also did some consolidating of names of people I'm doing things for over there, including prayers at the wells and whatnot. I've got a request for a trees or plants field guide from a good friend, and am happy to do that for her, given that wandering through bookshops is high on my list of Things To Do while I'm not otherwise occupied.

Tomorrow I'm heading down to Seattle for Metropolis. The showing is at 12:30 and I'll need to set my alarm to be up by 9am. We'll probably watch the movie, grab some lunch, and then I'll head home, as I can't imagine I'm going to feel a whole lot better tomorrow than I did today. I've rested my shoulder enough off and on today that it's no longer agonizing, but it's still pretty painful, and it's (sadly) not the only thing bothering me. I really ought to do laundry when I get home tomorrow, too. I'd been wanting to do some today but wasn't even feeling up to hauling the basket from the bedroom out to the laundry closet. Dealing with wet clothes and then contemplating the whole drying and putting them away schtick was really too much. Making food and washing dishes was about the extent of the physical activity I was up for today.

Since I have to get up early tomorrow, I ought to get a last bit of food and take my pills, then drop myself into the bed. I'm pretty sure going to Seattle tomorrow is likely to be exhausting.

Status update of updateyness

Current status of travel and lodging:

Ferry from Dublin to Douglas: Done

Ferry from Douglas to Liverpool: Within the next two days, most likely. I'm working out final details on whats and wheres with fififolle and hagazusa as to who I'm seeing exactly when during the first day or two of my visit there. Once they have coordinated our kaffe klatsch, I'll purchase my ticket.

Bus from Cockermouth to Penrith: Will most likely just need to to the station, get a ticket, and get on the bus. I have a schedule from last year (all that was available online) that gives rough times and routes, which will probably be pretty accurate within an hour or so. Have to wait on that one until I'm in-country.

The B&B I talked to in Penrith only had one night available. She very kindly referred me to several others on the same street where I could try to get a room for two nights in the same place. I tried to book a room online in the B&B pretty much right next door and the website kept returning a blank page when I got to the "pay us now" portion. Trouble report was sent to the website (not the actual B&B website, they're booking through a central booking site). Response from helpdesk: "Try it again." I told them I'd tried it three times already, thanks, and nothing was working, do they have further recommendations. Awaiting a response.

Inquiry was sent via email to a third B&B slightly further down the street in case the second one is unable to come through due to problems with the website. Awaiting a response.

Flybe flight from Manchester to Rennes has been booked, thanks to the goddesslike intervention of fififolle. I was having the worst trouble getting their website to take any of my various cards. It rejected everything I attempted, no matter what I did. She booked the flight for me and I have sent her the money via PayPal. It's already in her hands. Verdict: SUCCESS!

EasyJet flight from Paris to Prague booked, no trouble at all. That takes care of the necessary flights in Europe. Yay!

Trains: Can't be booked yet. I need one from Penrith to Manchester Airport (looks like it will be quite cheap) and one from Rennes to Paris (more expensive, but certainly reasonable). Will have to keep checking back and deal with it closer to the date. Status: temporarily on hold.

Laundry: finished for the night.

Conference with vyviane to deal with flights to Ireland and from Venice (or the environs) tentatively scheduled for Sunday afternoon my time. By the end of that, we should have tickets for Seattle to Dublin and Venice to Seattle handled.

Still moving. How? Who has a clue.

Today I went through the Circle of Stones file and turned the endnotes into footnotes. While I was at it, I killed off some of the scanner-induced errors that slipped through my previous bout of copy-editing, and italicized things that got unitalicized in the swap from my original file to the one Taylor was editing. It was painstaking work, and more than I really wanted to be doing today, but it had to be finished. I fiddled with a few other things as well, but there's a fair bit of layout left to do, and that's really not my job. Tay says we're still on for a May release date at this point. This, though, was a huge load off my mind and a massive responsibility shifted off to the publisher. I probably won't have to deal with it much more before the book is released.

Dishes got done, trash got hauled out, a post on preparing for pilgrimage got written, more plugging for the pilgrimage happened, further emails were sent that needed to be dealt with. I continued to make plans surrounding the Isle of Man portion of the pilgrimage. vyviane reports that we now have four signups and two potentials, so things are proceeding apace. I requested a list from her of the stuff from our PantheaCon lunch meeting that I agreed to do before the pilgrimage gets up and running so that I can work on it soon.

The old computer had its memory excised then wiped. The clean machine will be delivered to ingvisson on Wednesday if all goes well. I didn't reinstall OS X because it wanted me to hook the computer up to the internet and I wasn't in the mood to deal with it, so I left the disc in and just shut it down. When it reboots, it'll ask him to deal with all that.

Tomorrow is the steampunk social at the AFK.
Wednesday I have shrinkage and might or might not make the Irish class, have a computer to deliver.
Thursday is the VA spirituality group.
Saturday gra_is_stor and I are heading out to Port Townsend for the Victorian seance and murder mystery party, which means I'll be missing the Medieval Women's Choir concert on Sunday afternoon -- if anyone wants my ticket in reserved seating, let me know ASAP.
Monday is the CR schmooze.

I am way too fucking busy. My entire body aches like crazy. Can somebody surgically remove my body pain and exhaustion, please? Either that or tell me what I can safely cut from my schedule that won't affect everything else in my life. It's like pulling a thread in a knitted sweater -- one tug and everything unravels. Sadly, my sleep has been all out of whack and I've been going to bed after 3 and getting up between 10:30 and 11am. I'm hoping that won't happen tomorrow, as I really desperately need some genuine sleep. Insomnigrackles, they are No Fun At All.

With any luck, I can rest a little tomorrow before hauling over to the AFK to hang with the steampunks and catch up on the last few weeks that I've been away.
I spent most of today dealing with computer issues. Some of them required getting down into actual *nix level commands to deal with, sadly. It is a very good thing that my dear lwood was available via text and Skype (with viewing of my computer screen) so that things could be fixt and dealt with. Although it took hours, we have FIXED ALL THE THINGS! Everything is working as it should, though I will need to get a new and much larger backup drive to deal with the new and much larger computer. The new drive is about 250gig and I'd want to get something larger so as to not have this happen for quite a while again. If anyone has recommendations for a good, stable brand, I will be completely composed of aural appendages.

I am in a very brain-hurty space. This sort of work comes with some pretty extreme stress for me, and I'm aching in my shoulders as I'm trying to relax from it, so the tension headache isn't even slightly surprising. I was briefly contemplating taking anxiety meds to calm down after all was said and done.

Things started with a trip to the AFK for an ethernet connect. I wasn't sure how long it would take, and they had a group reserving the Red Room (where all the ethernet connects are) for 90 minutes from when I arrived. I said I'd do what I could with the time I had and see what needed to be done. Software updates were downloaded and the system rebooted to give me a clean install of OS 10.6.8 - it took me about 50 minutes, all told. I created an admin account with an identical name and password to the old machine.

Once that was done, I did a restore from the backup drive. Which didn't want to copy my Erynn user account onto the new computer. I told it to overwrite the one here and created an admin account known to some as Tim so that I had an emergency backdoor if needed (it was), and the restore from backup simply didn't transfer anything for the Erynn account at all. I had to transfer those files entirely separately once the original Erynn account on this machine was zapped. Then began the permissions and passwords problems. Big ones. They rivaled the Titanic in size and scope in pretty much every sense, including taking on water and sinking. That took a few hours to resolve, but resolution was actually achieved; this included resorting to sneakernet to move my old keychain passwords file directly from the old computer to the new one via USB drive and then taking time to Fix Things manually and by brute force. I may not be a haxx0r, but I am at least clueful and can follow instructions Reel Gud.

Tim is still on the computer and if all is okay for the next couple of weeks, I shall no doubt excise him. Epic meta was achieved when the computer's random user icon assigned to Tim was... LIPS.

I should be able to completely zap the old computer and hand it off to ingvisson sometime soon.

For a happier bit of my day, I spent time spamming the intertubes with info on the upcoming Ireland pilgrimage. Please feel free to pass the word along. We need a minimum of six to get this off the ground. We're looking at purchasing plane tickets next week, with my departure from Seattle on July 9th to Dublin, and return to Seattle from Venice on August 15th, so that I can spend the sib's birthday with him.

Now I just have to figure out how to stop the touchpad on the laptop from responding while the bluetooth touchpad is connected. That, however, is a task for another day.

Bits and pieces

Today I hauled gra_is_stor and M back to Seattle then met thewronghands and mimerki very briefly at Remedy Teas to deliver a copy of dpaxson's The Way of the Oracle (signed of course) to TWH. Immediately having done that, I headed back north to pick up ingvisson and a hard drive enclosure, which it turned out I didn't actually need, due to the fact that the drive I already have did in fact have a USB2 port on it and I had a cable in one of my boxes that I could use.

Stuff and things were transferred, but I haven't yet been able to move my old mail to my new computer. I've got the mailboxes, but none of the contents. The computer itself currently has two conflicting admin accounts, and the two are talking to one another only minimally, so I may have to erase the new computer entirely, transfer the information, and then reinstall OSX Lion and the extra bits that lwood had given me in order for everything to work together harmoniously and without two admin accounts snarking at each other across the great divide.

I got teriyaki chicken for the two of us while we futzed with things and poked at manuals, then I took the unused drive case I'd got in California back to the local Best Buy for my money back, and hauled ingvisson back to his place, whereupon I came home and synched the new phone with my iTunes so that it has everything on it that it's supposed to. I'll deal with synching the iPad tomorrow.

The cloud did in fact eventually download the email that I'd saved onto my iPad, so that bit works, but I'm still kind of flustered about the potential loss of all my other emails and the information in them. We'll see what happens. I still have the old computer here, deciding to hang onto it until the entire transfer is dealt with, then I'll give it to ingvisson, as it will be a fairly significant upgrade to his system.

I'm still busy trying to adjust the settings on this critter so that it does what it's supposed to. Some of the new OS's settings and habits are a little odd to me, but I'll adjust. I'm just glad I have some time to myself in the next few days. I am so entirely peopled out I can hardly handle it. Tomorrow is my flamekeeping shift. That should help me settle back in a little more. Getting back into my ritual routine should be a comfort. I need to do some work in the incubation chamber as well, as Himself noted to me during the Echtra, Immram and Aisling workshop. I didn't really get into journeyspace beyond being told to hit the incubation chamber when I got home; I was too distracted by the room and the people to try to go deep, but the workshop wasn't designed for folks like me, it was designed around beginners to journeying, and I think for that it did a pretty good job.
For a huge chunk of the day I had spaced that it was Sunday and not Monday and so was having a full-on freak out that I wasn't going to get things together in time for leaving Tuesday morning. Once this was resolved, I was able to take a breath and get my act together. I now have the necessary information together for the Brigid and Sarasvati discussion and only have to put together the reading list. There will be a total of 4 pages of handout for that session. The ritual session will be more like 7, but in all cases I'll be dealing with double-sided pages, so as to save on paper. It'll cut down on the copy count.

I am still left with packing and a ton of dishes to do before I head down to Seattle tomorrow for the schmooze and to pick up gra_is_stor and M, but I'm feeling much calmer now that I have the vast bulk of my work out of the way.

There were a bunch of computer problems this afternoon and evening that left me kind of flustered, but things are functioning more or less normally again and I was able to do printouts of everything I needed to. I'll be able to print out the reading list as well.

I have heard back from a campsite on the Isle of Man and will be able to reserve a space there in July. Now I'm dealing with figuring out tent rental and things of that nature. The place they recommended to me has tents for 5+ to 10+ people for rent without anything smaller on their website. The site did say to inquire if you wanted anything not on the site, so I asked about a smaller backpacking tent or a 2-person tent instead of something that immense, which I honestly would not need. If that's not going to work, I may look at having my own stuff shipped over and then ship it back when I'm done with it. I'm not sure yet. It might be less expensive than renting a huge tent I don't need.

Things are starting to shape up, though at this point I'm not sure how much expense all of this will be. I'm trying to save my pennies as much as I can. With any luck, by then I'll have enough saved up to deal with most of it. When I was talking with mythworker about the trip and that I'd be working on research for my Brigid book, he was going "oh, you should totally monetize this, put a PayPal button up on your website and offer to do prayers at holy wells or tie ribbons on sacred thorn trees or something while you're over there." I feel so weird about the thought. Does anyone actually think that would be a good idea? I mean, I would be willing to do stuff like that for people, but I'd feel awfully strange about saying "send me money to support my trip and I'll do this for you."

Anyway, I've got a fair amount of time between now and my departure date. I've got time to think things over and work out what, if anything, I'm going to do with the idea, and to continue making my plans and getting a better idea of travel costs and stuff.

And now, back to work. I have a reading list to create.
Not much got done today beyond a couple of twitter chats. I did walk down to the store and get a few things, including some desperately-needed plain black tea. I have buckets and buckets of oolong, but a lot of the time I just want something like English Breakfast with cream, and oolong doesn't quite cut it for that. I've been migrainey off and on all day, though I'm doing all right at the moment. Sleep is unlikely to come at any point soon.

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

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

It is entirely possible I am using some of this as an excuse to not do my outline for PCon.

Tired and cranky are my middle names

I was up way too late last night and the DoDC+3 woke me with a persistent nose to the face at about 11:30am, when I'd had maybe four hours of actual sleep. I pushed him off and managed to stay in bed for another hour or so, but had things to do today, so I ended up getting my butt out of bed and moving on.

Today was the CR schmooze's Burns Night party, and I was delighted to spend time with my friends, but I was definitely dragging. I actually went as far as lying down for a while as the rest of the group talked and waited for those who were going to be a little later. It helped some, but not really enough. We had dinner (haggis, neeps and tatties, salad, oat bannocks, chocolate, and - yay - Ardbeg) and hung out talking for a fair while before I was too tired to really handle staying in a crowd anymore. About 9pm I noted that I was about done in, so I headed north and gave Charles a ride home.

rantiness below the cutCollapse )

omg karaoke

I was subjected to karaoke tonight by gra_is_stor and friends. I think I might have recognized six songs tonight, out of the several dozen we listened to. A couple of people could actually sing, including the DJ, but it was pretty tragic, made bearable only by three gin and tonics. I suppose one could say I had fun, but that was mostly because I was there with my sweetie and a couple of other friends, not because the music was any good. Or even recognizable. I stopped listening to pop music in about the mid-80s, so anything after that is pretty much a mystery to me. If they'd been singing in Gaelic I'd have had a far better chance of recognizing songs. Hell, if they'd been singing in medieval Latin, I'd have had an easier time of it.

Anyway, I survived. I made gra_is_stor drive because I knew I would require fortification to get through the evening. $3 well drinks are good enough incentive to sit and cope.

I sent off an inquiry to Hugo House today about potentially setting up a reading there when Fireflies at Absolute Zero comes out. They want more information, so I sent them off to my publisher, and they're coping with the rest of it. I find the whole thing utterly terrifying, but it's part of the whole publishing a book business, so I have to cope with it. I also talked to Keely Hyslop, a poet from the Bay Area that I met via twitter, who will be up here in late March, about possibly doing a reading together somewhere. That would be fun. She wrote poetry about pirates, so hey, that's gotta be awesome!

Tomorrow, steampunk meetup. Wednesday, shrinkage and Irish language class. Thursday, group at the VA. Friday... umm... I think there was something Friday. Gaming at the AFK maybe.

My week, let me show you it.

Word count

85,700-ish words, and I think I'm done. Now to shuffle things off to my beta.

Today was writing, dropping by the AFK to see friends and play Pirate Fluxx (and a few other games), then back home again for more writing. I figured I'd get the story done soon; writing did occur and I'm glad I got it together finally. I spent all night last night until about 7:30am editing and adding a bit here and a bit there. Today was mostly new work, through the last two major scenes. Once my beta pokes it with her editing stick, I can do any last revisions and loose it on an unsuspecting populace. Then I'll be able to deal with the Imbolc ritual, outlines for two PantheaCon workshops, and other stuff that needs to be done ASAP.

And, like the Lost Skeleton, I sleep now.
Today's VA visit was accompanied by a migraine. It wasn't an awful one, but it was enough to be very annoying. When I went down to the travel office, it was the land of clusterfuck. I did collect for several different trips this week and last, but when I tried to collect for yesterday, I was told that I was in the system as a no-show and the guy behind the window wouldn't even look at the chit the group coordinator had given me yesterday for the travel office so I could collect my funds. Needless to say, I'll be phoning the woman tomorrow to ask her why the fuck I was in the system as a no-show and demanding to be entered into the system properly. If you get enough no-shows on your record, they stop providing you with medical services, so this isn't just a matter of $18 for gas money. Naturally, the headache didn't make it any more pleasant, and I got out of the travel office rather later than usual because of the clusterfuckery.

I had been planning on stopping at Travelers this afternoon, but gra_is_stor was in the midst of making herself some dinner, so I went up there instead and stayed until about 7pm, when the traffic had calmed sufficiently. When I got home, I took a tramadol and the migraine has eased up somewhat. I'll take another when I go to bed and hope that it will help.

Tomorrow I have to pop down into Everett to pick up my Docs.

Other things accomplished today include my fic going up to 40,900 words, and having put together a short bit for the Occupy Writers website, based on a comment I'd posted to Jason's Wild Hunt editorial on the Occupy movement. It may take a few days to get posted to the site, but they are asking for contributions from writers to talk about their experiences with the movement, in prose or poetry, comic strips or vignettes. They say What kind of writing is up to you, but we’re especially interested in hearing accounts, in any form, of your experiences at Occupy camps and protests around the world. It has pieces by writers like Ursula LeGuin (a paragraph about Occupy Portland), Anne Waldman (a series of poems about Occupy Wall Street), Judith Butler (the text of what she said at Occupy Wall Street), and Lemony Snickett (13 Observations). Over 2,000 writers are signatories on the website. Not bad company, really.

Pre-occupied

The Seattle Times has been looking into the incident of the young woman who allegedly miscarried after being pepper-sprayed by Seattle police during an Occupy action. It's looking more and more like there was no miscarriage and she probably wasn't pregnant at all. From what the article says -- and I have to note that I'm not capable of diagnosing anyone of anything -- it's possible that she has some mental illness issues that could be influencing this claim, and that it may not be the first time she's made this sort of claim.

Whatever the truth is here, we have to remember that not everyone involved with a global political movement is involved for the same reasons, and that it does not in any way diminish the egregious violence of police response to peaceful protesters with pepper spray. I wanted to link this here so that people would be aware that I've seen this and know that my previous post mentioning the situation was made before this information was brought forward.

This afternoon I went down to an Occupy Everett planning meeting for an event they are calling "Roccupy Everett" where they intend to have Dorli Rainey, the 84 year old woman who was also pepper sprayed, come up as the featured speaker. They are currently looking for musical acts and other entertainments. The catch is, they want to put this together by December 3rd. I think it's awfully soon -- all of ten days -- for them to get anything significant together, but I volunteered to help out with media/publicity, in terms of helping out with proofing material, assisting in finding media outlets for the other two people on the committee to contact, and making sure that the publicity material is at least reasonably well-written. I doubt that I will make it to the actual event, but I can at least help out in some small measure.

Vivian McPeak, who has been running Hempfest here in Seattle for the last 20 years, came up and talked about his experience as an activist in all that time and had some very useful things to say. He was, he said, used to talking to a much younger crowd that those of us assembled this evening. The Occupy Seattle crowd tends to be much younger. Pretty much everyone at the meeting this evening was middle-aged-ish. We met in a coffee house and bookshop that is in the same space Gathering Grove used to be. I think they may even still have some of the same books; they certainly have a similar vibe, if not nearly so visibly Pagan.

I had to leave the meeting about half an hour early, given that I was starting to develop a migraine. Low blood sugar combined with florescent lights was probably what did it. I came home and ate something and am doing better. I also tossed the turkey breast into the oven and roasted that for tomorrow at gra_is_stor's place. It turned out delightfully tender and juicy, and I had stuffed the body cavity with rosemary and sage, which has lent a nice flavor to the meat. I made some gravy and now all of it is in the fridge awaiting transportation.

When I get home tomorrow, the bones and what meat that was close to the bone will be going into the pot to make some turkey soup.

A couple of days ago I got the new Abney Park cd, which I ripped today and transferred over to my iPod. I listened to it and, while I'm really not as enamored of it as most of their previous stuff, they do have some nice new acoustic arrangements of older songs, and you can actually hear the lyrics in some of them a bit better, so this is good.

I am tired, but not terribly sleepy at the moment. I will probably try putting myself into bed and reading for a while to see if that will help. Tomorrow I have to be in Seattle by around 4pm for foodage.
I woke up today with a migraine, though that's eased up now. I'm doing much better and think I will probably be fine for my talk to the class tomorrow. I did dishes and some laundry and am still pretty tired, but I suspect that's as much migraine hangover as anything else. Unfortunately, by the time I was feeling well enough to do anything, I was just not going to make it to the party.

I want to plug a couple of friends here. First, it's lupagreenwolf's birthday, and she says this is how you can make her birthday awesome! Lots of pictures here, and some very silly things.

If you are a Seattle local and have been looking for a portrait photographer, fullcontactmuse is having a half-off sale, and it's quite a deal! Check it out!

After I get out of the class tomorrow, I'm off to the AFK for the Tuesday steampunk social. The Wayward Cafe has re-opened, so the Monday Steamvents will, most likely, be reconsolidating there after having been dispersed to several locations since it shut down in Greenwood after the fires there. Capitol Hill will also be having a first and third Mondays steampunk meetup at Elliott Bay Books now, so if you're on the Hill and not into going out to Roosevelt for the Steamvent, you have an alternative much closer in.

I finished reading Disability and Religious Diversity today. Most of it was pretty interesting, though the assumptions in a few of the chapters made me want to smack my head on a desk. This isn't too unusual when dealing with mainstream religions. I was particularly struck by the way that people so often seem to assume that a chronic illness or disability is somehow the "fault" of the person suffering from that condition. I don't just see that in mainstream religions -- I run into it in Paganism as well. It most often manifests as "we all choose our incarnations and you must have chosen to manifest with these problems" or "if you were really spiritual enough, you could heal yourself," or some variant of "you could use herbs instead of western medicine and it would cure you" or "with enough positive thinking everything would be all right."

One of the things that has annoyed me immensely about the yoga group at the VA has been that every single yoga instructor there (I have interacted with three of them so far) said "I had fibromyalgia and yoga cured it," as though they are expecting me to miraculously get well if I just practice enough yoga. I'm sure they think they are giving me some "hope" regarding my situation, but they're not. Yes, yoga and Tai Chi have helped somewhat in the past, but I would by no means regard those occasional and temporary improvements as a "cure" of any sort. Of course, I'm sure that my anger and frustration with the whole thing would just be seen as "resistance to healing" and "hanging on to" my fibromyalgia for some idiotic reason. There are some people for whom fibro just goes away for some mysterious reason that no one can identify. Sometimes it stays away. Sometimes it comes back again later. I think I'm doing damned good to be able to function as well as I do on just a few tylenol a day instead of being on the methadone cocktail the VA wanted to put me on some years back.

Other people's definitions and expectations are as much of an impediment sometimes as physical pain. Reading about the way some of the other authors in the anthology have had to deal with various religions' judgments of them for their disabilities just exacerbated that background hum of annoyance. Darla, one of the editors, recounts that she was told by an acupuncturist that Chinese religion says people with diseases and disabilities were, essentially, paying off karma for misdeeds in previous lives. She was told by an airline employee that if she just prayed to Jesus hard enough, her sins would be washed away and she wouldn't be blind anymore. I mean seriously, WTF? And Pagans play the same stupid bullshit blame the victim games with this sort of thing. I think it's ludicrous and disgusting and I wish to hell they'd just grow the fuck up and realize that human bodies FAIL sometimes and there's nothing that can be done to "cure" them. Sometimes you just have to live with it, even if it's painful or difficult or impairing. It's not because you need to learn a lesson (though learning something from it can be useful, regardless). It's not because you deserve to be punished for something in some other life. It's not because you are somehow evil or flawed. It just happens because, you know, sometimes things just do.

This rant was brought to you by the letters WTF.

Oh glee. Republicans.

Republican Presidential wannabee Jon Huntsman wants to tax people on Social Security and disabled veterans while giving tax cuts to billionaires. What a fucking surprise.

On the bright side, nine people showed for the Everett steampunks tonight, and we had a pretty good time chatting and catching up. Miss Cherries Jubilee, in charge of Captain Nemo's Ball at this year's Steamcon, was soliciting donations to make sure the ball can be put together. She was given seven whole days to raise $500; she's nearly there, but the deadline was tonight. She said if she can't raise it today, she'll do an auction to raise the rest of the money. I didn't have any cash (my pension check doesn't come in until after midnight), but I did donate one of my three copies of The Scribing Ibis (signed) to her auction.

When I got home, there was a cute little tree frog sitting on my doorstep.

I got invited to Maizie's potluck on Sunday, which I will very likely attend. gra_is_stor will probably be up this weekend also. If all goes well, I'll pick her up on Friday night before we go to the Mercury, then we'll attend the Queer Milonga on Saturday, and she'll stay until the CR Schmooze on Monday.

I'm hoping to sleep in tomorrow and catch up on a little rest, as I've been pretty busy of late.

Spooky Mens Chorale: "Swedish Folk Song"

It is to giggle hysterically.

Mystification

The ritual took place this evening as scheduled, and we had two assistai, the postulant, alfrecht and myself in attendance. After that, I drove the new mystes home and dropped alfrecht at his cousin's place for the night.

Tomorrow I'm giving my talk on military women's issues at 1:30, alfrecht's is at 3pm, and martianmooncrab is coming along with me. I hadn't been clear on that until a few minutes ago because she hadn't actually said she was coming and I was confuzzled. Anyway, she will be there for immoral support, much to my relief.

alfrecht and I dropped into Powells today after I picked him up at the train station, then we grabbed a little lunch. I haven't had any dinner as yet, but there is a hunk of strawberry-rhubarb pie in the fridge with my name on it, dammit! Oh, and there should be other food as well.

I'll be going back to Powells again to pick up a couple of things I had to leave today. (My check comes in at midnight tonight, you see...) There will be food. And probably a panic attack, but we'll work hard on holding that off until after I've actually spoken. At least I can pretty much go directly from my talk to alfrecht's werewolf talk and turn my brain off for a bit.

The schedule, on the whole, looks like fun. I'm pleased that I'll be able to get in for two days of it. I am, however, desperately looking forward to getting home when all is said and done.

Camera! (My parts hurt)

Yep, I left my camera at mythworker's place in Eugene, so I drove back there today to get it. I had a lovely dinner (lunch for me) with him and his wife, and we talked for a bit before I turned around and headed back to martianmooncrab's. She and I just got back from a late dinner at Bugatti's. It was tasty.

The sib pinged me and said he's safely on the Cape now, and looking around for housing.

I hurt everywhere and am still exhausted. Tomorrow I'm picking up alfrecht at the train station, then we're hanging out in Portland at Powells for a few hours until it's Mystification time, about 6:30. After that, who knows? (It's a mystery!)

And now, I'm taking pills and collapsing in a heap.

Getting ready for the trip

I spent a good bit of today running around dealing with minor this and that for camping gear. I finally got a box I can keep most of it in when it's not in use, which will make it both much easier to haul around, and easier to store in the garage when I'm done with it. I picked up a few odds and ends that I needed and then the sib and I had Indian for dinner. It was beautiful and sunny and warm and I was quite delighted with the weather.

He hadn't been to REI before, so I hauled him through the co-op, as well has having taken him to one of the local sports/camping shops that's usually cheaper, though without anything like as good a selection of stuff.

My motel reservation is made for Redding for my trip south. I've been looking at lodgings at Crater Lake, and there are campsites up there, which is probably how I'll handle it, as the closer in stuff to the park is all fancy cabins and whatnot, which I can't afford. Camping in the park will be awesomely cheap, however. Free for me to get in and half price for the campsite, so it's about $8 for me to set up the tent for the night.

I'll be picking up alfrecht in the afternoon. The sib will be down in Olympia for most of the day. It's supposed to rain, so we may be moving the ritual indoors, depending on how things are looking toward dusk.

Still no progress on the outline for the Mensa AG.

Still not outlining

I'm having a really hard time just putting pen to paper and roughing out the outline for the Mensa talk. I got some requested emails today with articles Tracy sent me that deal with some of the statistical stuff within and outside the VA, but I don't want to read all of them, just skim them for things that might be necessary. I really kind of feel like I need to sit down with somebody pretty much holding my hand (not physically, but just in the being in the same room and helping me with it sense) while I do this thing. I suspect part of me thinks that if I keep putting it off, it won't be real. I knew this was going to be hard, but I had hoped it might not be as hard as this. This does not mean that I in any way intend to back out of it, just that dealing with it is very difficult for me. I'm hoping that alfrecht and maybe martianmooncrab might be with me at the talk itself -- I can at least get martianmooncrab in for the day on Friday if she'd like to come and be moral support.

The baklava I made today was very tasty. I kept a couple of pieces each for me and the sib and hauled the rest over to the next door neighbor's place and dropped it off with her. She was totally thrilled. I just did a quick zip in and out.

A little later in the evening, I got a ping from fullcontactmuse, who asked if I wanted to drop by AFK when she got out of dance class at 9:15, so I headed over there. What we didn't realize was that it was karaoke night. It was... painful. And we got rickrolled while we were at it. Painful. Very very painful. Apparently Thursdays are the new karaoke night, but they also were bringing in some new DJ equipment tonight as well, and plan to have music in the bar to help counteract the karaoke for those folks who want to be there on a Thursday evening without having to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous off-key ear-mangling. At least if there's something on the bar side, it should be tolerable.

Saturday is the Midsummer ritual and I'm supposed to pick up alfrecht that afternoon after he's done teaching. The sib says he may leave Monday if the paperwork he's waiting on arrives in time. I'm planning on leaving Tuesday and maybe catching lunch with martianmooncrab on my way south, as per usual.

One of the things that a little extra time between leaving California and the need to arrive in Portland promises is a trip up to finally see Crater Lake. I've been in the PNW since 1981 and I haven't been there yet. When I'm traveling, I'm usually all about getting from A to B as quickly as possible and I think it's time that I softened up on that a little and actually tried to enjoy some of the sights between here and there. It'll add one extra night to the trip, but I can do that. I've always wanted to see the place, so it's time I did so. There will be photos. :D

I did not journal today

Mostly, I suspect it was because I was tired. I didn't sleep well last night and my stomach was kind of upset. I'm hoping it'll be a bit better tonight.

I got email today from the contractor saying that they'll pay for the broken Brigid statue, which is good because I'd ordered a replacement yesterday. I sent them the amount (slightly less than the $100 I was asking for, even with postage, because the replacement was on sale) and they will mail me a check Monday. I'm very grateful that this has finally been resolved.

The lamb curry I started last night was very tasty. Even the sib liked it -- with a little yogurt added, it wasn't too spicy for him. He's heading over to Bj and SJ's tomorrow to do some work for them. I'm not sure when he'll be back tomorrow afternoon, but he's glad to have something to do.

We watched most of the first half of Venture Brothers season four today, which was pretty damned hilarious in that sick, wrong, and twisted way that VB tends to be. Depending on the sib, we may watch a little more tomorrow as well.

I did get a little writing done, but not on any of the important stuff. We'll see if I can focus a bit tomorrow on the whole thing. I did note that my friend P.S.V. Lupus is on Thorn Coyle's podcast this week, though I haven't had a chance to listen to it yet. Probably tomorrow while the sib is away, I think.

I got another offer from the AARP today. Knowing that they actually have discounts on things I might occasionally use, I went over to the website. There's an awful lot of vaguely creepy conservatism there. The article they had about environmentalism and green consumerism pretty much concludes, "it's too expensive and it doesn't matter anyway, so I'm not doing it." *headdesk* Gods, I just don't want to be associated with that. How can people just not give a shit?

Well, okay, so most of the western world doesn't, but that doesn't mean I think it's right for people not to give a shit. I'll just have to do better to make up for the other people of about my age.

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