Monday, December 30, 2013

Scraps of happiness

In the last year I started filling up a small jar with little scraps of paper. The bits of paper were full of good things that had happened, and I'd intended to read them all on solstice.

Unfortunately I was sick on solstice, so that didn't happen. (Then I got better, only to get sick again. Dangit! This has not been a great last couple of weeks.) Now it's almost New Years Eve, and I'm finally getting around to looking at what good things happened in the last year.

I didn't write everything down, so this is hardly an exhaustive list. Here's most of what I found in the jar.

Duck pond with Murray, visited a farm where I got blackberry honey. -- summer 2013

Discovered that Murray can pick out the perfect pair of sneakers for me.-- summer 2013

Finished inspecting cells at work. -- summer 2013 [this was a special assignment that I was very happy to finish]

I was hired on to a temp job -- 6/14/2013

Murray and I had Valentine's dinner together at [a favorite restaurant] ♡ -- 2/15/2013

The smell of fresh rain at night -- 8/22/2013

Drank a whole Guinness, realized I'm developing good taste. The one drink made me tipsy. -- 3/16/13

Portland Highland Games -- 7/20/13

Beka is recovering. She's more active, and takes her meds more quickly. :) -- 12/31/2012 [this one is painful to read since she then took a turn for the worst and we lost her]

Birthday date with Murray-- 3/9/2013

Figured out how to clean the honey jar -- soak the lid in hot water, then wet a paper towel with hot water and wrap it around the rim. -- 1/25/13

Sabine, Kora, and Aniki move in together -- 3/6/2013 [and then were separated...but oh well!]

Temp job got extended -- 6/13

Started my new job -- 6/17/13

Sabine is recovered from her spay and is off her meds :) -- 3/3/2013

Got my first bra fitting -- 3/29/2013 [I know, I know...I can't believe I waited until age twenty-four, and it turns out that a properly fitted bra makes a HUGE difference]

Had my first Guinness. -- 3/16/2013

Drank my first cup of black coffee. -- 4/4/2013

I brought home Kora and Aniki. -- 2/1/2013

Got my birthday presents from The Belly Dancer-- 2/3/2013

I reached 200 blog posts on Dancing With Fey -- 2/11/2013

Learned how to hand wash bras -- spring 2013

Spring has sprung! -- 3/8/2013 [I don't care what the calendar says, when it feels like spring it's spring]

I could make a few comments on the previous year based on what I wrote on those scraps of paper, but I'll leave it at that for now.

Scraps of happiness

Monday, December 9, 2013

Snow in Portland

Ah, snow. That wonderful white fluffy stuff that wrecks havoc in Portland almost every winter.

It's pretty easy to tell who's local and who isn't when the white stuff appears. The locals freak out, start canceling plans, and ask how our lives can continue while it lasts. Those from out of state hurt their sides from laughing and point out that it's not even a whole inch of snow on the ground.

The problem is, we don't know how to drive in snow. I've even seen a bus driver pushing down on the gas pedal to get traction while stuck, and I'm pretty sure they're supposed to know better than that. After all, bus drivers drive for a living.

Disclaimer: I have yet to drive in snow. In theory I know what to do, but I don't know how well that would translate into practice. In a way I'm glad to be taking the bus to work regularly.

We had our first snow Thursday night, and it was a very dry snow that was lovely. Yeah, my hands were freezing while I waited at the bus stop Friday morning, but I mostly didn't care since I was watching at how the snow blew around in the street. I'd heard about that, but I didn't know it could really happen! :)

There's supposed to be more snow tomorrow. It remains to be seen how much trouble it'll cause this time, in a state where we don't know what to do about snow.

In the meantime, enjoy a song. It's Let it Snow, Star Trek style. I kept thinking about it last Friday.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Getting Bi: my thoughts

I just finished the second edition of Getting Bi: Voices of Bisexuals Around the World edited by Robyn Ochs and Sarah E. Rowley. It took me a little while to work my way through it because of mixed feelings, but I must say that it's an excellent book.

It's exactly what the title sounds like. The editors looked around to find bisexuals -- and those who do not identify as bi, but who are not monosexual -- from around the world to write on various topics related to our sexual orientations. This book is mostly a compilation of what others have contributed, with some notes and comments provided by the editors.

The book is four years old, but it presents what I suspect is a good snap shot of what bisexuality looks like in the world. It shows what being bi means to us, what we do about our orientation, and how we interact with the world. Since we are such a diverse group there is of course a lot of variety. Some who have always known, others who took some time to figure it out. Monogamous bis, those who are polyamorous, and also those who do outright cheat. Some who call themselves bisexual, others who don't label themselves. Some who have friends and family that are accepting, some who aren't so lucky. And of course, the chapter where bisexuals are defining what the word means has differing opinions.

If nothing else, this book shows the variety in the bi world. And that it's pretty pointless to make assumptions and stereotype people, since yeah some will fall into those stereotypes, but many others don't.

On a more personal note, I had to step away from the book for a little while. It was painful for me to read about those who take a while to figure out they're bi because of initially believing that bisexuality doesn't exist. It happens, and is inevitably going to be part of any work like this, but I found it unpleasant to read about. Probably because I've been there myself. I suspect that any bisexual will find parts that make them uncomfortable, though this isn't meant as a warning to avoid it.

I have to say, it's a good book. I especially have to recommend a small section at the end titled If You Think Your Child May Be Bisexual by Robert L. Barton. It looks excellent for anyone who has just found out that a loved one is bi, but is written to provide recommendations for how to parent a bisexual child. Barton points out some issues that bis often face and which parents should be aware of, he clarifies a few common misconceptions, and encourages both learning about bisexuality and communication with the child.

Although I would not suggest Getting Bi as the only book for someone who is learning about bisexuality, it is certainly a good option. And it provides many other resources to look into, from fiction and non-fiction books to organizations and websites.


Book cover

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Asking questions, maybe getting answers

I've continued to wonder how it took me so darned long to figure out I'm bi, and while reading a book on bisexuality this evening a possible answer occurred to me. Or maybe I should say, part of a possible answer occurred to me.

Reminder: I questioned my orientation some when I was 19, returned to lying to myself and insisting "I'm straight!!!", then when I was almost 23 I finally came stomping out of the closet and was upset with myself for not knowing it sooner.

Ok, so I guess I wasn't stomping out of the closet. After all, it took me about six months to tell my boyfriend. Don't ask me why, I really don't know. Probably because I was uncomfortable with myself at first, and then didn't see why it should be a big deal.

But back to why and how I fought being bisexual for so long, and lied to myself that I was straight. I think it basically comes down to two assumptions I had.

1) To begin with I believed that everyone was straight or gay. You liked guys or girls. I obviously liked guys, as was the norm, so I couldn't possibly be into girls.

Looking at it now, that was some pretty narrow thinking for me. Then again, it's what a lot of people assume. Plus, I was so busy struggling with ADHD and a speech disorder (I couldn't even say my own name correctly!) that I may have subconsciously tried to avoid being different in any additional way when I hit puberty.

2) I thought that everyone just knew their sexual orientation up front. I couldn't understand why people would have to spend time questioning it, or how they could even change their labels.

This second fact means that even once I learned about (and finally believed in) the existence of bisexuality, I was unable to apply the new found knowledge to myself despite my obvious attraction to my own gender. Heck, I even remember thinking things like "Why am I getting nervous around this beautiful girl like I do around cute guys? It's the same sort of feelings, but that's impossible. I'm straight!" That I wasn't should have been obvious, but I couldn't even consider it.

As you may have guessed from the last paragraph, I did deny the existence of bisexuality when I first learned about it. I don't remember who told me about it or when, but I thought it was a joke. Probably because it wasn't someone coming out to me, but rather someone telling me about this weird (to me) thing. I'm glad I can say, though, that I didn't doubt it when a friend came out to me as pansexual. Was I stunned? Yes. Did I argue? No. I took it for granted that someone would know their own sexual orientation.

...and while maybe not the whole of the answer to my original question, that last little bit is probably the biggest reason why it took me so long to come out to myself.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

To turkey or not to turkey?

It seems that most people are surprised when I say that my family doesn't eat turkey for Thanksgiving. Sure, I guess it's sort of traditional. But why bother when no one in the family is really wild about it? We used to serve it regardless, but there were a couple things that made us give up on it.

Tall One stopped eating turkey at a young age because he chased one on a school field trip, and apparently decided that they're too nice to be eaten. He doesn't remember this, but maybe that incident had more of an impact than anyone realized since he's now vegetarian. Not that this stops us from putting meat on the table, but that's one less person the delicious dead animal flesh (actually, muscle I think) would be for.

I guess I'm the one who started the whole vegetarian thing, though. Not that I'd intended to start anything. I was the first to turn vegetarian, for ethical reasons. Then mom and Tall One converted, and though mom tried it twice she couldn't stick with it for health reasons. Eventually my own dietary needs changed and I also gave up being vegetarian, so now my brother is the lone vegetarian in the family. Still, there was one Thanksgiving during which all three of us were vegetarian, and since dad wasn't overly concerned about turkey I think that was the first time without it.

Since then, we just haven't seen the point of it when other things are yummier. You know, like roast beef. Yummy roast beef served with baked potatoes and plenty of seasoning, especially garlic...dangit I'm making myself drool. There was also macaroni and cheese that mom cooked today, but I wasn't interested in any of that.

What do you eat for Thanksgiving? Why? Do you stick to the traditional food, make your own traditions, or just eat whatever the you feel like eating?

Spoiled rotten princess

Apparently it isn't Thanksgiving unless Saphira is on the table. Dad spoils that cat, and both of my parents were feeding her meat during the meal.

I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving, and were lucky enough to get the day off!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Migraine check list

When I'm having a migraine I often don't remember exactly what will help me the most. This is probably because my migraines vary wildly...from mild ones that I might not mention to my supervisor, to those that put me in bed for the day. As such, my treatment methods change depending on how bad it is, so I think it's understandable that I don't remember what to do at times. After having one of those "why didn't I think to do this earlier???" moments during my last migraine I decided to make a check list for future reference. Here it is.

1) Caffeine. Caffeine is my friend. It can help migraines, and if I don't get my usual caffeine fix that can make matters worse.

2) Warning: possible TMI. Eat plenty of protein and some red meat before my period. Although I am also getting migraines at other times in the last several months, they have come without fail during my periods since May. As such, it's been suggested to me that giving my body exactly what it needs during this time may help with the migraines. Additionally, it's a good idea to actually pay attention to when my periods will be so I can actually remember to do this.

Side note: All my body is doing is getting rid of an unfertilized egg. Why does it have to be so darn dramatic about it? Dangit.

3) Massage peppermint oil into my temples and the back of my neck. Even if it doesn't always help it still smells nice.

4) See the chiropractor if the migraine isn't a mild one. Or even if it is. This guy has proven that he can help. Also, if I'm too miserable to go, that's a sign I really need to.

5) That nice prescription strength Ibuprofen the doc gave me, and/or regular Tylenol. They aren't always necessary and may not work as well as the caffeine, but are useful when the headache pain is bad.

6) Dark chocolate and wine. It seems like I ought to be avoiding alcohol while I've got a migraine, but I tried it once out of desperation and it seemed to help. Also, dark chocolate helps everything.

7) A heating pad for my forehead and/or neck.

8) When lying in bed with a pounding headache that makes any movement a bad thing, getting plenty of water is still important. Even if it hurts to sit up enough to drink. Minor dehydration is never fun, and is even worse on top of a migraine. Getting this lesson once was quite enough.

9) The vitamin B and magnesium pills daily. Too early to say if they'll help, but they certainly aren't hurting me.

10) This one is easy to remember if it's an issue...sunglasses when I'm sensitive to light. Which sometimes I'm not. It's unpredictable. But it's good to always keep them on me, just in case.

11) Never try to predict how a migraine will go, or what symptoms I'll have. Though seeing little blue lights and having some sort of headache are pretty much a given. Odds are it'll be mild, but the migraines seem to delight in surprising me.

Don't tell me that the last one isn't a tip for how to deal with migraines.

You may notice that meds, other than the regular pain medicine and the supplements, are completely absent from this list. I've tried three medications -- two prescription and one over the counter -- and all had bad side effects. After the last one gave me minor chest pains (sad to say it's not the first medication to do that) I gave up. I just seem to be having bad luck with medications in the last couple years.

Do you do anything for migraines that isn't on this list? I'm definitely open to suggestions.

Staggered Swirl

This photo seemed appropriate for a post about migraines. I was going to go with a kaleidoscope, but decided that an optical illusion seemed like a better idea.

Monday, November 25, 2013

New goal

My new goal: to read a novel in a single day more often.

It doesn't have to be every week. It doesn't have to be every month. But I need to find time, or make time, every few months.

In my last post I mentioned I was reading Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. What I didn't mention was that I was trying to read it as quickly as possible so that I could finish it before seeing the movie on Sunday with the boyfriend. This translated to me starting it Friday evening, finishing it at 1am Sunday morning, and then watching it about nine hours later.

Then today I realized that I was in an unusually good mood, and also that I was greatly enjoying telling people that I'd spent half my weekend reading. I sort of suspect that there's a connection.

By the way, although I am usually not a huge fan of movie adaptations, I do like what they did with this movie.

Old Books by Petr Kratochvil

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Embarrassing songs and Whispersync

Last evening I was talking about how to share music and (what really interested me) audiobooks through iTunes with my brother. This came up because I wanted to read Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins and found out that Tall One has the audiobook through iTunes on his iPhone.

Ok, so we sort of like iThingies in this family.

While discussing whether I could get the audiobook from Tall One in a way that doesn't involve stealing borrowing his iPhone, we both wound up pausing to try to remember if we have any embarrassing music that might be revealed through sharing. After a moment of thought, I said that I think the only embarrassing song I have is The Vegetables, which is one I know he already has. Because, Hank Green. Mom was unfamiliar with this song so we played it for her, and then I figured I may as well share it here as well. Because...well, no real because. Other than maybe Hank Green, again. Let's just say that that's a good enough reason.



After determining that the only way for me to listen to my brother's copy of the audiobook would be for me to steal his iPhone, and after an offer from my mom to let me borrow her iPad so that I can read her (actually, dad's) Kindle copy of it, I decided to just buy my own Kindle copy to read on my iPhone. (Writing this post, I realize that there may be too many iThingy devices in this household.) That is when I discovered Whispersync.

With Whispersync you can buy a Kindle book, and then get the Audible copy of it at a serious discount. Then, to make it even better, Kindle and Audible can sync the book and audiobook versions for you to easily switch between reading and listening.

I've been wishing for a while that something like this existed, and I may have gotten a little overexcited when I discovered it. Or maybe a lot overexcited. Um, I actually dreamed about Whispersync last night. Does that tell you how happy I am?

Happy enough to take a break from listening to Catching Fire to write about how I found Whispersync.

Now back to my book. Which, by the way, has already made me cry once. You know a book's good when that happen.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans Day

For some reason it's always been awkward for me to say thank you on Veterans Day. I don't know why, it just always has been. But since dating a vet it's become more important for me to figure out how to deal with that awkwardness and say thanks.

So, all vets, thank you.

Maybe I could write a longer post, but I'll keep this one short and sweet.

Detail Of American Flag by Petr Kratochvil

The above post is what I wrote last year. Since I wasn't sure what to write this year I figured I may as well copy and paste.

And yes, I know this post is rather late in the day. But I've been a bit busy spending the day with my favorite vet, the boyfriend. Let's just say that I've learned some restaurants give good discounts to vets on this day, which I think is really nice of them.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Visiting OMSI

Into the bowels of OMSI...

The bowels

Ok, so the public isn't actually allowed down there, as far as I know. But there's a hole in the floor so we can see it, and they've painted most everything bright colors. So even though we're not allowed down there our eyes can go visiting. Wait, that sounds creepy...

OMSI is the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, and I used to go there a lot when I was younger. Once my brother and I went there three days in a row, actually. Why? Because mom's computer crashed, which sort of got in the way of her lesson plans in homeschooling us. So, of course, her short term solution was daily field trips to OMSI. The staff started to recognize us that week. :)

I hadn't been there in a few years, but went yesterday with the boyfriend. It was as fun as I remembered. I got just a few photos (not the ton I would have taken when I was younger...I did tend to get trigger happy with the camera back then) that I wanted to share here.

It wants to give you mouth hugs

A certain someone managed to guess that this was an allosaurus skull while I was still looking the black paint on the teeth. What I found most fascinating was that you could see that new teeth were growing in.

Side note/question: why does the spell check want to change "allosaurus" to "stegosaurus"?

Kitty skulls

I'm not sure what the one on the left is, but on the right is a bobcat skull. I love cats, and want to cuddle a bobcat, so I had to get a photo.

Of course, if I ever did get to cuddle a bobcat, the end result would likely be highly unpleasant...

The Falcon!

Not sure why they had Legos creations of Star Wars ships and fighters, but I'm not complaining.

The bowels, again

I got more than one photo of the bowels of OMSI. Just because they're so pretty. :)

More bowels

The boyfriend and I also saw a planetarium show about what's going on in our skies right now. I'd forgotten, there's currently a comet up there. It's visible on the horizon close to dawn, but you can't currently see it with the naked eye. I'm hoping it becomes more visible in the next few weeks.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

BARBERSHOP MUSIC!!!

Some people think that Barbershop music is old fashioned, something that those old people do, or as  a bit eccentric. Ok, so maybe the last one is true. Ok, maybe I should change that last one to Barbershop being a lot eccentric, and then it'd be true. But hey, eccentric can be fun.

I haven't done Barbershop music in a few years, but in talking music with someone today I found myself trying to explain that it is fun. I eventually said I'd find some good YouTubes of Barbershop music, which I'd like to share here. Because, why not?



It turns out that I made this playlist a few years ago and then forgot about it. This evening I pared it down to the best, and I think it's a pretty good introduction to Barbershop.

Dang I'd forgotten how much I love the music...I'll probably be finding more excellent music to add to this playlist. It really needs more than a mere seven videos.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Samhain

I admit it, I'm one of those Pagans who requests time off from work for Samhain. And this year I decided that I may as well make it a four day weekend, so I also requested Friday off. Happily, I got off the days I requested.

As I said yesterday this was perhaps the best Samhain/Halloween I've had. Which may be a little strange since we didn't get any trick-or-treaters at my parent's house, and I didn't dress up. However, I did spend the day with my wonderful boyfriend. We watched some movies, including some old Halloween episodes from the Simpsons. He'd also said that he wanted to read me some Edgar Allan Poe poetry, and I said that I will not argue with my boyfriend wanting to read me Poe on Halloween.

Of course, Samhain is also a time to remember those who have passed in the last year. And this year I remember...

Socks, an elderly cat who finally needed to be helped on his way in January. He was a very interesting cat, who liked to bite yet somehow was very sweet. My parents got him for me when I was young, but was eventually more attached to mom than to me. Still, towards the end, he took to sleeping on the foot of my bed and then under it.

Beka, a pet rat who had been very sick and who I'd still hoped to save. We lost her the day after Socks. I remember her stealing an acorn off my altar and bringing it back to me before munching on it, and also that she would lick my face when I cried. She was absolutely lovely.

Grandma, who passed just a couple weeks ago. She'd been in hospice so it wasn't a surprise, and we had known she was in her final days. Still, I'm not sure how to deal with it. I've finally realized that mixed in with my grief is resentment, since she'd never seemed really interested in meeting my brother and me, though she said she was proud of us and loved us. Regardless, it's hitting me hard, as evidenced by the fact that my migraines started within a week after she first went into hospice last May. It took me until the migraine that developed when we knew she was in her final days to make the connection, though.

Great-grandma Sadie, who died before I was born. Towards the end grandma said her mom had visited her and told her that she would be home soon. I also want to mention that I was the first girl born in the family after grandma Sadie died, and am named for her. I've got the name Sarita instead of Sadie though because she apparently hated her name, and both of these names are forms of Sarah.

I also spent some of Samhain spinning yarn. I don't know why, but it somehow seems appropriate to create things on that day. Maybe because even though all lives eventually end the world still goes on, and making things is a good way to remind myself of that.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Solar Eclipses

I had been really excited to know that there would be a solar eclipse Sunday...but became somewhat less excited when I found out that it won't be visible to me in the Pacific Northwest. Dangit. However, if you're in eastern America, south Europe, or Africa, you're probably in luck.

In my disappointment I decided to check out where the solar eclipses should occur in the next 5,000 years, but was appeased by what I found by 2017 and looked no further. First of all, I found out about a partial eclipse I will likely see almost a year from now on October 23rd, 2014. Even more happily, there will be a total solar eclipse on August 21st, 2017. This one will not literally be visible from my backyard, but in terms of travel it's almost in my backyard. Assuming I'm still living in Portland then, I'll only have to drive a few hours to see it.

The hard bit about seeing a solar eclipse will be reminding myself not to look directly at the sun, unless I have special eye wear. I may use the pinhole method for viewing the eclipse, which is what I did on June 10th, 2002 for a partial solar eclipse.

And now, just for kicks, and because I dug it out (ok, not much digging was involved, it was easy to find) to check the date, here's what I wrote in my diary that day about the eclipse. I won't spare you my horrid spelling, but I will skip over the non eclipse related stuff, including my major crush on Aximili from the Animorphs book series.

June 10th, 2002 Monday

There's going to be a partel solar eclips today!

It will start at 5:00pm, an hour from now.

Later

I made two pin-hole cameras to watch the solar-eclips through. I'm going to see multipul imiges because I've made more than one hole in them. I've made one with elunemin foil, & one with white paper.

I can't wait for the solar eclips. I wish it were a total solar eclips. I plan to take pictures of the imiges I get. It starts in just under 40 minuets! It'll last just 2 hours. 

Anything to do with space amazes me.

Later

The Partial Solar Eclips was so beatiful!

I took lot's of pictures of it's reflection in some water, although none of those pictures came out. It was the pin-hole pictures that did come out.

Mom says that she once took a picture of a partial solar eclips reflected in a swimming pool, but but she lost them. 

Back to today...

Maybe I need to find other excuses to share excerpts from my old diaries. For some odd reason I find it hilarious to type out my horrid spelling mistakes from when I was 13. It was also amusing to read that one hot dream (actually not so hot in retrospect) I had about Aximili in which we were talking music.

In other news, I probably had the best Samhain ever yesterday. The post about that will go up tomorrow though, because I just felt like writing the solar eclipse one first.

Partial Solar Eclipse

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Samhain Eve

I had a wonderful idea for a blog post this morning...but I forgot it. Lousy memory. I know it was a good idea too. Dangit.

So instead, this Samhain eve I will be sharing the song Samhain Eve by Damh the Bard. Good timing, don't you think?



Funny thing, this is the song that introduced me to Damh the Bard, and I found it while looking for songs about winter solstice. Not sure how that happened.

I find that I don't understand everything in the Bard's songs, for example here I'm still trying to figure out who the Raven Witch is. (If anyone does know, feel free to tell me!) But I do enjoy his music. A lot. :)

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Getting the wrong idea

It always puzzled me that some people might not know their sexual orientation. After all, it's such a core part of who and what we are. Why does it take some people a while to figure things out?

I've continued to ponder this question since coming out as bi to myself in early 2012. In some ways I feel like I still don't understand why it takes some people a while to figure things out, but at the same time I think I've finally figured out that cultural norms are a part of it.

We're taught from a young age that people are straight. Or if they aren't straight, they're gay. Either way, monosexual. So if a girl is very clearly into guys (as I definitely was), there's no way she can also be into girls. Right?

In pondering the question how can we not know?? I keep coming back to a particular memory from my time singing in a choir. I'm not going to say this is the one event that made me take so darned long to figure out I'm bi. I won't even say that the adult involved is a bad person for it, though she was certainly clueless. (As are so many.) But it's one example of the monosexual norm being pushed on a bisexual, which is far too common, and which makes for a lot of confusion in so many bisexuals while we're figuring out what the heck we are.

I've sung in a few choirs, and this particular one was a homeschool family choir during my teens. At various times my mom and/or brother also sang in it, though I don't remember if either of them were in it when this happened. They probably were unaware of this incident. And if they did know, they'll have forgotten it. It was really minor, on the surface.

We were singing a song called Grandma's Feather Bed, and there was a brief spoken solo. I'll put the some of the lyrics here, with the solo I wanted in italics.
But if I ever had to make a choice,
I guess it ought-a be said
that I'd trade 'em all
plus the gal down the road
for Grandma's feather bed.
I'd trade 'em all plus the gal down the road...
Now maybe I should think twice 
'bout the gal down the road.
I thought the spoken solo was seriously amusing, and requested that I have it. The director refused to consider giving it to me, simply because "We don't want people getting the wrong idea about you."

I've tried for many other solos that were given to others. This is the only one that stands out in my memory.

The sad thing is that while making an effort to ensure that other people wouldn't get the wrong idea about me, the director herself had the wrong idea about me. And, because of having the wrong idea about me, she pushed monosexuality (and specifically heterosexuality) on someone who was really bi. And in the process, she may have created more confusion where there was plenty enough confusion already.

Again, I won't say that this single event is what made me insist I was straight for so long. But it's one example of our society assuming everyone is monosexual, which is a problematic tendency.

On a more lighthearted note, here's the song in question. The brief spoken solo I wanted is missing from this rendition, so I guess it was just a quirk added in to the arrangement that the choir director got hold of.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Kokopelle

I don't feel in the mood for actual writing, but since I do want to post something I decided to share photos of Kokopelle keeping me company during my worst migraines.

I love that he keeps me company when I feel too bad to have anything to do with the world. And yes, I did get bored enough a couple times to take a few photos of him despite the pain.





I made the patchwork quilt that's in the last two photos. Quite a bit of it is from old clothes and scraps from old projects.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Grandma

It was while mom and I were on our way to visit grandma last evening that I got a text from dad: the hospice nurse had called him, but didn't leave a message. I suppose we all knew what it could mean, though I told myself that grandma's condition had probably simply worsened.

But when we arrived and someone greeted us by telling us how sorry she was, I knew I'd been wrong.

Grandma passed at 6:45pm, about an hour before mom and I arrived to see her. When we looked in on her she had a Santa Clause blanket I'd never seen before over her, the white flowers the chaplain had left that morning were still by her bed, and there was restful music playing on her radio. Maybe it was classical...I actually can't remember. I think it's the first time I've heard the radio playing in her room there.

If this post seems detached, it's because I'm still in the period of time where it hasn't hit me yet that she's gone. I guess I'm still processing things.

Monday, October 14, 2013

When I look out my window

Today I'm turning to a prompt from www.writerswrite.com for inspiration. Their Facebook page is here, and it's where I found this prompt.

Prompt: What do you see when you look out your window?

A lot of blue sky. There are a power lines in the way, which is sort of annoying but then again, what would we do without them? Because I'm sitting I can only see the top of the house across the street, with its grey roof and a small chimney on the left side. I know that if I stood up I'd see signs of the house being cleaned up, maybe in preparation to sell. Really, I'm not sure what they're doing with the house, but they've been doing it for a while.

I also see a couple of HAM radio towers that are in this neighbor's back yard, which are a bit shorter than the trees. (It's perhaps strange that my dad doesn't have more to do with this person, since he's also into radio. So is the person right next to us, in fact. I hope the other neighbors don't mind our towers.) I also see quite a few trees, most of which I don't have a name for. Certainly there is pine, fir, perhaps cedar, and one or two oaks. But there are others I don't know. Quite a few of them have turned, or are turning, yellow. The others are either evergreens or still hanging on to their green leaves for as long as possible.

There's more to see if I turn around completely, since I do after all have two windows in my bedroom. But that feels like too much trouble.

In other news...

I've written before about my grandma being in hospice. She seems to be in her final days. I've taken off work due to a migraine, which fortunately has improved thanks to the chiropractor's magic hands. I'll be going to see grandma this afternoon, and I guess you could say that in the meantime I'm writing as a way to cope.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Samhain

I'm not in the mood to write much today, but I do want to share a song that I've been saving to share this month.

A Samhain song by Heather Alexander.



There is at least one more Samhain song to follow later this month.

For those who are unfamiliar with this Pagan holiday, it's a time when the veil between this world and the other is thin. Therefore one might say that it is a time of great spookiness, and it's also a time to honor the dead. And although I don't often think of it, judging from this song it is also a celebration of finally finishing up the harvest.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

LGB Books

Sometimes I'm not sure when to put a post on my book blog, or when to put it here. One new example of where I've been uncertain is on the topic of LGBT books, where I'm talking about a book, but I also sort of want to discuss LGBT (specially the B) issues here. Because it's sort of a personal topic for me, and this is my personal blog.

Then it occurred to me...why not post such posts in both places?

Not all of my LGBT posts will make it on to my book blog, since not all of them about books. But they will all be here. And I'm overdoing the italics right now, but oh well. I'm tired.

So here's a post I just put up over at my book blog.

... ... ...

I've been reading a bit on LGBT lately (admittedly mostly about the LGB and less about the T), and wanted to share my thoughts on two of the books I've looked at recently. There's another one I'm almost through with that I'll probably write about on here soon.


Journey Out book cover

The Journey Out: A Guide for and about Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Teens
by Rachel Pollack and Cheryl Schwartz

This is actually what made me decide to write about these books. It's the book that was the nudge into getting me to accept that I'm bi in early 2012. But I couldn't remember its contents, let alone what about it finally made me come out to myself. So I finally decided to check it out from the library again. And now I'm writing about it for future reference!

First, and obviously, the book is written for teens and young adults. It's meant as an introduction to the topic, and I think it does a pretty good job.

They cover such issues as how it can be difficult to come out to yourself as LGB, how to come out to others, what makes a good relationship, what the signs are of a bad/abusive relationship, safer sex, health, how your orientation doesn't mean that you have to give up your spirituality, and a bit of LGB history...among other things.

I think my favorite thing about the book is that they got input from teens and young adults, and we see what these young people have to say throughout the book. Another good thing is that the authors are optimistic without being unrealistic. They encourage teens to seek help if they need it, but acknowledge that it can be difficult for some to find an adult who won't judge.

My two complaints would both be on how the book handles bisexuality. For one thing, the authors define it as "feeling attraction and affection towards both men and women" (3). On one hand, this is a common definition. But it's problematic in that it overlooks the fact that some people don't identify as either male or female, and/or who are physically in between. (Yes, I've been reading Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution by Shiri Eisner. More on that in another post.) I'd be less bothered by this if the authors acknowledged that gender isn't as binary as is usually believed, and mentioned pansexuality as another possibility as a sexual orientation. Unfortunately, they didn't do this. My other complaint is that they don't address issues specific to bis, although they do mention us throughout the book. Which is not unappreciated, I will say.

Overall though, a good book. And one I would recommend to someone who's trying to figure things out.

I still don't know what it was about this book that nudged me out of the closet. I guess I was ready to step out of it anyways.

Bisexual Option book cover

The Bisexual Option
Second edition
by Fritz Klein, MD

Disclaimer: I only got partway through the second chapter before putting the book down. I'll explain that in a minute. First though, what I took away that's positive.

I already knew that the Kinsey Scale is flawed. (For what it is, click here. As for how it's flawed, that's a topic for another post, probably on my main blog. Or you can just ask Google.) I've heard this quite a few times before, but I've never known anyone to recommend a better system.

And now, I find the Klein Sexual Orientation Grid.

This grid takes into account differences between the past and present, as well as what you consider the ideal. (Why should there be an ideal?) It also differentiates between things such as sexual attraction and emotional attraction. I'd known that if you're putting numbers on these things they can come out a bit different, but I'd never seen anyone else acknowledge it before. Maybe I wasn't looking in the right places, or maybe I wasn't paying attention. Either way, it was nice to find this grid.

The grid isn't without its flaws, but it is more flexible than the Kinsey Scale.

Now, on to what sunk the book for me.

First, the name is problematic, though I was determined to overlook that. I mean, hey. Bisexuality isn't an option. There are people who wouldn't be bi if they had an option about it. I don't know if Klein actually meant to suggest that we have a choice, but the title is certainly misleading.

Second, Klein started discussing gender identity in the second chapter. Which is awesome, except for his ideas on it: "If an infant is brought up as one gender, he or she will develop that gender identity, even if it is opposite of the infant's true chromosomal, gonadal, or hormonal sex" (24). He goes on to say that our gender is programmed in the first 18 months of our lives, and that "Before that 18-month point of no return, any child can be programmed toward male or female self-identity, despite the child's true biological nature" (25). Um...I really don't think so. Just ask anyone who's transgender.

The book is dated. First release was in 1993, second edition being in 2012. I would have expected that bit of transphobia to be edited out by the 2012 edition.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Pinball (and Retro Gaming Expo)

I had forgotten how much pinball is.

During the weekend I went to the Portland Retro Gaming Expo with the boyfriend. They had all kinds of cool stuff there: tournaments, things for sale, people in cosplay costume, video arcade games...and pinball. Possibly best of all, everything was on free play. We were able to play whatever we liked despite having no quarters on us.

Unfortunately I didn't get any photos since I forgot my phone at home (no idea how I did that), but I guess that means that I just got to focus on playing pinball rather than figuring out how to get good photos.

I also found a Super Nintendo that a vendor had set up so that people could play Donkey Kong. I may have gotten a wee bit over excited. That game and gaming system was my introduction to video games, so I got a little caught up (only briefly) playing it and remembering when I was first figuring out this whole video game concept with my younger brother. Actually, a certain someone may have said that he finally knew how gaming widows felt after I latched on to the Super Nintendo controller. Which was amusing since I spent considerably less time with Donkey Kong than I did with pinball.

Then again, I did seriously consider buying that Super Nintendo, whereas I merely fantasized about buying a pinball machine.

Our time there was fun, and convinced me that I ought to find a place where I can play pinball when I feel like it. Fortunately a couple of coworkers suggested a place with lots of pinball machines, so it looks like pinball may be in my near future.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Good healthcare

I've been in pain a lot lately, and I don't feel like listing everything that's been wrong. Fortunately there isn't anything in particular that's serious, but I've had a few bad days and everything is adding up.

On the up side, I've had a couple good experiences with my healthcare recently, and to cheer myself up I want to share them.

The eye doctor

Due to the visual aura I have with my migraines I was sent to the eye doctor, just to check things out and make sure that my eyes are fine. And yes, they're perfectly healthy. Which is definitely good news.

Funny thing was, whoever I spoke to when making the appointment put me down for a regular eye exam. This was despite me explaining the reason for my needing the appointment. So the eye doc only expected to check my vision, and do a couple other simple tests. She certainly didn't expect to need to take the time to dilate my eyes and discuss my migraines.

It was late in the afternoon and I suspect the doc had to stay late to do what I needed, but she did it. I cannot say how much I appreciate that. And when she found that my prescription has changed just slightly from when I got my previous lenses about nine months ago, she worked things so that I got new glasses at no cost.

How nice can someone get?

The chiropractor

When I was about twelve years old a swing set basically collapsed on top of me. I hit the ground hard, and things weren't pleasant. Since then I've had back problems on and off, with it mostly being fine but sometimes getting bad. In the past couple weeks it's been bad, even reducing me to crying on one day out of pain and frustration. Finally a certain someone (ok, my boyfriend) firmly suggested that I see a chiropractor, which is something I've never done before. After bit of hesitation, I decided to see one after work yesterday.

...why have I never seen one before???

I'm hardly pain free yet, but there's a definite improvement. I'll be going back a few times as I recover from this particular case of my back's grumpiness, and I suspect that I'll be checking in with one regularly to keep my back's bad moods under control.

It might not be a stretch to say that a good chiropractor will change my life.

Empty Swing

ps. Despite that injury, I still love swing sets. They're excellent stress relievers. :)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

They're stealing my gummy bears

Mom had a favorite coffee shop when I was young. It was locally owned, and in a convenient location for our family. Unfortunately it closed down, but fortunately it reopened recently. Under a different name, but apparently in the same place and run by the same people. And presumably the coffee tastes the same, though we haven't put that to the test yet.

Although I wasn't a coffee drinker as a kid, I have very fond memories of this place. I loved their hot chocolate, and if the baristas knew the drink was for a kid they would put gummy bears on the lid. Delicious hot chocolate. Yummy gummy bears.

However...

...a certain someone would steal those gummy bears. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that mom took the gummy bears to give to my younger brother, since he doesn't drink hot chocolate. So he got the gummy bears, and I got the hot chocolate. Which I prefer anyways, and I don't recall being bothered by this fact at the time, but that's beside the point.

He stole my gummy bears.

This discussion came up recently when I shared the news that the coffee shop was back in business, and mom promised to buy me gummy bears to make up for all those Tall One stole.

Let's just say that now mom is in on stealing my gummy bears.

I hope she buys me lots of hot chocolate to make up for it. Or coffee, now that I'm a coffee drinker.

Coffee

Monday, September 9, 2013

Bi vs. Pan

At one time I defined bisexual as being attracted to men and women. At that time I also defined pansexual as someone for whom gender doesn't play a role in who they are attracted to.

Since then I've learned a bit more about the history of the words, seen some infighting as to their definitions (really, people...really), and have had questions about whether the above definition of "bisexual" actually excludes the trans community.

Long story short: my understanding of the term "bisexual" has changed.

Apparently it's mostly us youngsters who define bisexual the way I did, whereas the older generation usually defines bisexual as being attracted to your own gender and others. (Here the "bi" doesn't mean "two genders," it means your own and other gender presentations. Just an important little detail.) This ultimately means the same as pansexuality in terms of who you can fall in love with. The difference is in the approach, which can cause heated arguments.

It was when I was on the verge of coming out as pansexual that I rethought things. (Oh, wait, I may have actually outed myself as pan in a bi Facebook group...fortunately no one complained.) After a bit of consideration, I wound up being more comfortable with the definition of bisexual that the older generation uses, and returning to identifying as bi.

Of course I will continue to consider the definitions of these words. After all, our language is still evolving, and there is still debate about what we should be called. Ten years from now I may call myself something else entirely, some word that no one has yet dreamed up. Or I may accept being called this new word, but still refer to myself as bi. Perhaps all the various "non-bi but not-monosexual" terms will have disappeared, and we'll all call ourselves bisexual. Ok, so I sort of doubt that last one will happen.

Yes, I realize that I'm addressing issues that will leave anyone not involved in the bisexual community asking "Wait...um...what?" And that will probably be most of my readers. I'm raising various questions that I'm not answering in this post. Why was I concerned about the definition of bisexual excluding trans individuals? Why did my definition of the meaning of "bisexual" change, rather than me just switching to me calling myself pansexual as I was on the verge of doing? (Actually, I'm not sure that I can explain the timing on that one...) What are all these other "non-bi but not-monosexual" terms that I refer to? Why is there an argument about what we should call ourselves? Is this worth arguing about?

And the why the heck are people so worked up over this?

This particular post is just to address my own changed understanding of what bisexuality means, something that I thought was important before writing any more about LGBT topics. The other questions can be topics for future posts. I do want it noted, however, that even though I think that we do need to reach a consensus eventually, I am not going to take it personally when someone uses words differently than me.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

On spinning yarn

I still have some roving lying around that is begging to be spun. In particular there was (was...note the past tense) some lovely pink roving that was an absolute joy to work with, and after spinning half of it I somehow came up with the idea of photographing each step to share here.

This isn't really a how to post, it's just sharing photos of the various steps. 

First, how it looked to start with.


Of course I had to open it up before I could begin to do anything with it. I measured it at 26 inches by 21 inches, in case anyone is interested.


That would be a bit much to take directly to the spinning wheel, so I tore it into strips. If the strips have a name, I've either forgotten or never learned it. My proper training on the wheel was a bit limited, unfortunately.

Or maybe it's still called roving...?


There's still a bit of yarn from several previous projects on the bobbin. They're sort of important to starting any new project, since I attach the new roving onto them to spin.

If the yarn isn't there then I either need to find yarn somewhere else that I can (hopefully) attach my work to, or I have to start it off by hand. Which I've done. And it's annoying.


Here you can see where I've got the new yarn attached to the old. The new is the thinner stuff.


Ta da! The bobbin is full. Magic. :)


Here's the newly spun stuff next to what I had previously spun.


I wrap the yarn around my hand to make it into a ball. The trick seems to be to keep your fingers open as wide as possible, since the yarn tends to pull the fingers together...which can get awkward.


The finished thing. :)

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Migraines

Warning: frustrated rant ahead.

Last year it was an undiagnosed health problem. It involved nausea, appetite loss, and inevitably weight loss. Eventually that cleared up, as mysteriously as it had arrived.

This year it seems to be migraines. And I'm getting rather frustrated.

My first one was in May, and they've been monthly since then. I had one the first weekend after I started work, and it's the only one that was super painful like you always hear about. Fortunately, because of timing, I didn't have to call in sick.

Random fun fact: migraines aren't always super painful.

But even when they aren't excruciating, they can be a problem. I'm finding that my migraines can include a visual aura, confusion during onset, aching eyes (I didn't even know that was possible), sensitivity to light (not sure why that one surprised me), and some amount of nausea. My aura is usually blue lights, but not always. Between all of these things (oh, and unpleasant side effects of migraine meds...don't get me started there) I stayed in pajamas for two days last week.

After the worst of the migraine was gone I suffered mild headaches daily. Not enough to stop me from getting out and about, but enough that I decided Advil is my friend.

And then...last night.

It appears my migraine returned. It's been mild, and not enough to keep me home: a manageable headache with some aura last evening and today. I don't want to call it a migraine, but I suspect I'd be kidding myself if I said otherwise. And I'm frustrated because I hadn't even fully recovered from the last one. Also (warning: possible TMI ahead), my period had seemed to be the trigger each month, which it definitely can't be now since that ended last Saturday.

So. I'm rather frustrated with my body for doing weird things to me that I don't understand. At least when the migraines were coinciding with my period that made them seem mildly predictable, even though they treated me differently each time. So I'm getting particularly frustrated with it today.

And yes, I'm talking to the doctor. I'd been hoping to find some preventative treatment, but if they aren't only happening during my period now I don't know if that's possible.

[/rant]

I'd actually forgotten how therapeutic writing is...I sort of don't want to hit the "Publish" button since this is a rather depressing post, but I think clicking it will also be therapeutic. So please forgive me for being depressing.

Hopefully I'll have other more cheerful posts up soon. I do have some writing ideas, I just need to get myself out of this brain dead state I seem to be in when it comes to writing. Oh, writer's block...is that what it's called? Yeah, I guess this thing has a name...

I've never said this before that I can recall, but if anyone has suggestions for what I should write about let me know. If I have actual suggestions/requests, as opposed to ideas that are just floating around in my head, that may help get me writing again.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

It would make work more interesting...

One of my (varied) tasks at my job is doing inventory on old records, and while noting down the destruction dates on boxes I keep imagining certain lines from Lord of the Rings. I somehow suspect that people would look at me funny, though, if I started yelling "Cast it into the fire! Destroy it!" while I'm taking inventory.

Yeah, that would go over well...

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Youth

Put this under the category of things I find funny about our culture.

Someone asked me my age the other day, and she seemed surprised at how young I am when I told her I'm twenty-four. Yet when I asked if I seem older, and she was somewhat quick to say that I look young.

I've written before that it seems funny to me for us to be so obsessed with youth, and for gray hair and wrinkles to be bad things. And...and although I want to write about it, I'm not sure what else to say. It just seems sort of sad.

But on a related note, if youth is so prized, why are some waiters so apologetic about wanting to see my ID when I order a drink with my meal? Ok, yeah, sometimes people don't have their ID (or are actually underage) and get irate. It still seems like it ought to be a compliment, considering.

Thus are my random ramblings this evening.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The ducking autocorrect

I actually resorted to profanity a few days ago.

Without going into details, let's just say that I wound up sleep deprived for a very stupid reason, and I was maybe a little ticked. In trying to discuss and resolve the situation I actually resorted to using a few bad words to express my frustration.

That's where I learned that my iPhone's autocorrect doesn't exactly exactly approve of me using profanity. For one thing, it turned fucking into ducking. Which doesn't make any sense at all, especially since I'm sure I spelled it correctly. It also pulled a John Green and turned a (misspelled) bad word into Dickinson. Which I may have found more amusing if I weren't half asleep despite the two coffees I think I had drunk by that time.

Moral of the story? My autocorrect may try to make me say some rather inappropriate things at times, and even succeed in doing so on occasion, but it disapproves when I try to say bad things myself.

I think my iPhone has double standards.

The good news is that I've caught up on sleep, the profanity inducing situation seems to have been resolved, and my supervisor at work was very understanding about me being a zombie that day.

Duck by X posid

And now, a duck. Since autocorrect would probably approve. And if it doesn't, it can go to he'll.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Cheerful Private Jake

In the game Dungeons and Dragons there is one very interesting guard known as Private Jake. When I first encountered him I found the conversation very amusing, and to this day I still find him quite entertaining. Or rather, I enjoy one of the several possible conversations...I can also just ask him where things/people are, or something equally boring. I don't even remember what now, it's so dull.

At first I was able to resist sharing his charms, but now I'm afraid that I've broken down and had to jot down the conversation to share here.

It should be noted that he guards the sewers, and looks exceedingly cheerful. You'd think he were out for drinks with his friends, or ogling ladies in low cut dresses, he looks so happy.

Private Jake: Good day, citizen!

Me: Why are you in such a good mood?

PJ: Why, I'm serving the city! What could make a man happier than doing a necessary job, and doing it well?

Me: You're knee deep in bodily waste -- besieged by kobolds and worse. This doesn't bother you?

PJ: Heavenly Host, no! There's a lot of history and beauty in these tunnels. I sleep well at night knowing that I'm helping keep Stormreach safe.

Me: Wow, I'm... inspired. Really. Keep up the good work.

There's an alternate way to end the exchange, involving a comment about his smell and him sleeping alone. But I figured I should pretend like I'm nicer than that.

The sewers

For some reason I didn't get a screen shot of Private Jake, but I did get this one in the sewers. Parts of it are slightly grand. No idea why. I'm sure Private Jake would be happy to explain it all to me, and would do so very enthusiastically.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Stealing the spoon

At first it was difficult to convince my younger rats to take their meds. We put their medication in muffins, jam, peanut butter, bacon...basically anything we could think of. The problem was probably with the fact that they weren't sure whether treats were actually food, so it didn't really work too well to hide their meds in treats. (It even took them time to figure out that bacon was edible...how sad is that?) I had to resort to force feeding them meds on more than one occasion, which was not a pleasant experience for anyone involved.

But now, that's changed.

Now, they've finally figured out what treats are. And they have figured out that they like ice cream. In fact, they like it a lot. The only time they've hurt me was when I had ice cream on my fingers. And these are the girls who are normally so gentle no matter what I offer them.

Niki is currently on meds for some weird skin problem. (Maybe ringworm, we're waiting for test results back. In any case, it's improving.) I give it to her twice a day, and of course I also have to give a treat to her cage mate Kora.

I've been hiding the medication in coffee ice cream. I know, this may not be the brightest idea in the world. I mean, ice cream already has a lot of sugar, and I'm going to assume there's some small amount of caffeine in it too. I only give them a little, but by the time I finish medicating Niki I've got two rats on sugar (and maybe caffeine) highs. And this happens twice a day.

Hey, I'm just glad Niki is taking her meds.

Oh, but does the post title say something about a spoon being stolen?

A couple nights ago Kora was so enthusiastic about her ice cream that after she had licked the spoon clean, she pulled it out of my hand. She dragged it off to a corner of her cage, and seemed to think that a close examination of the handle would reveal more ice cream.

I thought it was adorable beyond words, especially since the part of it that had actually held ice cream was hanging out of the cage wires. Photographic evidence is below.

Rats. Just when I think they can't get more adorable, they manage to top themselves.

Kora and her prize

Monday, August 5, 2013

Recent lessons in life...

...or maybe lessons that I only recently understood.

1) When I work full time I can get distracted from writing. I think it happened with my first full time job, and it's happening again with this one.

(This needs to change. The distracted bit, not the working bit.)

2) Giving the rats coffee ice cream may be a mistake, but I cannot find it in me to regret this choice.

3) Maybe I shouldn't have tried to move on past the "easy" and/or "boring" parts of Dungeons and Dragons so quickly. That could be why things got so hard that I gave up for a while.

(Don't ask how I deemed certain quests "boring"...sometimes I astound myself.)

4) Tea is good. Tea is very good.

5) Push ups make it easier to lift heavy boxes at work. Duh.

6) While I don't get hungover on gin and tonic, beer is another story. This is an experience I do NOT want to repeat.

7) I miss my apartment.

I may expound on some of these lessons soon.

Detail Of A Cup With Tea by Petr Kratochvil

Monday, July 29, 2013

That darned cat

Mom agreed to take my kitty, Kokopelle, to the vet for his checkup today. Unfortunately for everyone involved, however, he was uncooperative.

For the record, this cat has always been very easy for me to get into a carrier. It may not be his absolute favorite place in the world, but he has actually been known to willingly walk into it when I take it down and then bring him to it.

Yep, you read that right. I'll take the carrier out before retrieving Kokopelle. And he actually behaves himself for me.

So you can imagine my surprise when mom told me the trouble she'd had. Her story went something along the lines of "Well, I took the carrier down before locating Kokopelle, and I may have said the v word to your brother...the cat hid under your brother's bed, and has been there since before the appointment at two o'clock." She took a bit longer to explain it, but that's what it boiled down to.

Before you say that it should be easy to get a cat out from under Tall One's bed, let me tell you about this bed. It's a water bed, and the center of it is very solidly on the ground. And since it's pushed up against a corner in my brother's room, this creates a sort of hallway (to nowhere) that the cats can hide in where we can't reach them. Yes, Tall One has blocked it off, but apparently this is the second time that Kokopelle has managed to get into it.

I was all for leaving Kokopelle to his own devices, and letting him come out when he felt like it. He'd been there hours already, and I doubted that he would come out just because I asked him to. But it was (maybe a tad firmly) suggested to me that Tall One might not appreciate my cat being under his bed, so I decided to make a half hearted try at retrieving him.

...Kokopelle came out in about a minute once I got down on my hands and knees and kinda, sorta, called to him.

I think everyone is a bit irritated at the fur ball. And the fur ball in question is currently lying in the middle of my bedroom floor, looking somewhat smug.

A very pleased Kokopelle

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Random acts of kindness

I went to the Portland Highland Games last weekend. They were a lot of fun, and I'm thinking I can turn the day into a couple of blog posts. I normally haven't done that in the past, and I don't think I've even written about all the Games I've attended. But the Portland Games were the only ones I could attend this year, so I may as well savor them.

One of the cool things about the Games is that there's too much to see and do. This can be a bit frustrating, since it's impossible to be everywhere you want to be at once. But it's also awesome to be able to choose between athletic competitions, pipe bands, Highland dancing, non-pipe bands, sheep dog trial demonstrations....oh, and vendors. The vendors are fun to browse.

I think it was at the Highland Games that I discovered the art of Jen Delyth. There's usually a booth of hers at them, and she does amazing Celtic artwork. If I had a ton of money to blow on just one vendor at the Games, it would be on her stuff.

The Lugh window sticker at my old home, during a thunderstorm

You can also see it here
Last week I started my day at the Portland Games by wandering around the vendors briefly before getting some food. (I'd had coffee, but no food yet. Priorities, you know.) I wasn't ready to buy, but was definitely browsing, and taking note of places to revisit later. When I got to Jen Delyth's booth I decided that I would have to buy a replacement for the Lugh -- or Lleu, as they spell it -- window sticker I had up in my old apartment. It didn't survive my taking it down, which was unsurprising but a little saddening.

One of the guys working the booth started a conversation with me. I learned a few random things about Scottish type stuff from him, including that his clan's tartan has a hideous bright shade of orange in it when modern dyes are used. I guess it's not always a good idea to make colors as bright as possible, just because you can. After a few minutes of talking to him my hunger convinced me that I needed to go in search of food, but I said I'd be back later.

When I returned that afternoon I went straight for the Lugh window sticker, and it was the same guy I'd talked to that morning who took my money. Or rather...he tried to take my money.

There's a bit of a problem with my debit card, which is that the magnetic strip is temperamental. It's no problem if someone can (and is willing to) enter the number on the card manually, but with the iPad he was using that wasn't an option. And I didn't have any cash on me.

I was disappointed, but after he'd been swiping my card for more than a minute I finally told him not to worry about it. I said I would probably get money from someone later and come back then. That's when he surprised me by telling me to just take the $5 window sticker and that I could come back later if I got the money.

Um, wow. I didn't know people actually did nice things like that.

Fortunately I was eventually able to get cash from mom, and I returned to pay. The kindness I'd been shown encouraged me to also spend a bit more than I'd really wanted to on a nice shirt I'd been drooling over. It has Danu on it and is quite lovely. I figure if the people there will be so nice to customers, and that since the artwork there is so lovely, I may as well spend a bit extra on Jen Delyth's stuff, especially if I'm going to insist on indulging myself occasionally.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Tuna Salad

I'm not abandoning this blog. Honest I'm not. I'm just...distracted.

I thought I'd share a recipe for tuna salad. It's one I learned years ago from my mom, and for ages it was the only fish dish I considered edible. Of course, the "fish diet" my doctor put me on for my wacky cholesterol has forced me to expand my horizons and realize that fish and sea food aren't so bad after all. (Except for cat fish. I don't think that's ever edible.) Since I've only shared one other fish recipe, I figured it was about time for me to share another.

It can be enhanced with chopped apples or nuts, or anything else you think would go well in it. I've even tried mushrooms. I usually just fix it as shown here, though. And it's really convenient to put together in the evening and take it to work the next day.

Ingredients

Ingredients

Packet of tuna
Mayo
Sweet relish
Dill relish
Lemon juice

Instructions

Put your tuna in a bowl, and add a large spoon of mayo. This can be adjusted to taste.

(Actually, everything can be adjusted to taste.)

Add mayo

Add the rest of the ingredients, to taste. I go a bit heavy on the lemon, light on the sweet relish, and heavy again on the dill relish. I actually added more dill after stirring in everything in the following photo.

Ingredients about to be mixed

And it's as simple as that! Really easy, but it can take some tweaking before you figure out how you really like it. And again, you can try adding nuts and other stuff to it.

Ta da! Done

I guess you can eat it straight like this, but you can also put it on crackers (it's lovely on saltines) or on a sandwich.

The birth of a sandwich

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Thoughts...

We will have rulings tomorrow on Prop. 8 and DOMA.

And...this has got me thinking.

I've thought about marriage equality laws in terms of what they mean to other people. But I hadn't thought about them in terms of what they mean to me as a bisexual.

I'm dating a man, and I've never gone out with a woman, so I guess I've taken certain things for granted. Things like certain legal rights and how they apply to me. But in the last few days it really properly hit me that the law will treat me differently, based on whether I am with a man or a woman. And because I'm bisexual, I could have easily found myself with a woman.

...I know I could say more profound things about how the rulings will affect same sex couples, but I think I'd mostly be repeating things that my readers already know. And I know there are other bisexuals in opposite gender relationships who will consider themselves lucky to have fallen in love with the "correct gender," because it means they at least have the option of certain legal rights with their partner.

But of course, there are also bisexuals in same sex relationships who desperately want to marry and can't. Not to mention the gays who are screwed no matter who they fall in love with...

And thus are my thoughts after a long day, when it's too close to my bedtime.

Liberty and Justice have a hot make-out session

From VisibleFriends.net

Don't Liberty and Justice make a cute couple?