lydamorehouse: (shield)
 Today, democracy looks like a mad scientist (photo credit to Curtis Johnson, Stand Up Minnesota.)



My own sign was less clever, but I did manage to make one before I left for the March for Science (Saint Paul, Minnesota):

400

This march was smaller than the Women's March, but there was still a HUGE turn out.  I can't believe the reports that are only counting us at 10,000. I would easily have said 50 or 60 thousand.  I went with Mason and his friend Rosemary and her mom (and a friend of her mom's).  We were able to get fairly close to the Cathedral to be dropped off.  We could even have found parking, but the plan was for a drop-off. It may be that with the nice weather, a lot more people were finding non-car ways of getting to the march.  I know that my friend Naomi biked, and she reported that she could hardly find a spot to lock her bike.  Given that this march took place on Earth Day, I wouldn't be surprised if a large number of people biked in (there was still snow on the ground for the Women's March.)

The signs were all amazing. So many math puns. 

As I remarked to Rosemary's mom, it was impressive how "on theme" everyone was.  I mean, there were a couple of re-treads. I saw at least one: "Things are so bad, the Introverts are here!" and one or two on the overarching theme of Trump Sucks, which could have been recycled from the Women's March.  But, from what I saw, science really was the main theme. The T-Rexes were there. Someone (people, probably,) had a giant wholly mammoth puppet.  Lab coats seemed to be a bigger theme than the knitted "brain" hats (which were meant to the be science version of the pussy hats.)    

The sun was bright.  It was actually kind of hot, despite the typical Spring-like weather.  Me and the kids gave up early (the acoustics for the speakers were still really very bad) and we hopped on the light rail and went to Ichiddo Ramen for some sustenance.  Then we light railed it the rest of the way home.  

It was a good march, I'd say.  Am I fired up to keep fighting?  I hope so.  I hope everyone there is still making all the calls and sending the postcards.  We must continue to resist!

Via la revolution!
lydamorehouse: (nic & coffee)
It's kind of grim and rainy out again this morning.  I spent almost two hours at Hy-Vee this morning.  That's the last time I go THIS LONG without doing my basic staples shopping. On the other hand, our pantry is now stocked with All The Things.  Ah, tomato soup again!

Mason is supposed to have a baseball game tonight, but I wonder if it will be cancelled due to weather.  As the person who will have to sit on the cold bleachers, I really, really hope it is.  If not, I'm bringing not only a PARKA, but also a thermos of hot chocolate.  Maybe some blankets, too.

This weekend is the March for Science.  I'm looking forward to it, because I have not been very good in the last few weeks about keeping on top of my congress-critters and local legislators. I think the last thing I did was the town hall, and there's still SO MUCH stuff to fight.  Still, I try to remind myself that this is neither a sprint NOR a marathon; it's a relay race. It's okay to hand the baton to someone else and let them run with it for a while. 

I depressed myself listening to the results from the Ossoff race in Georgia, especially the news of the midnight hour (almost literally) voting machine "glitch."  I can't help but feel that we were robbed of a straight-up win. The truth is, we'll never know, but the doubts will ALWAYS linger, especially since he had a clear lead before for the "corrupted" memory card was found. Shit like that makes me lose faith.  

I mean, yes, there was a groundswell movement. Yes, he nearly did it... but, what's that going to matter, if people start to worry that their votes aren't being legitimately counted? And, Georgia isn't the only place. We never even got a decent recount of Wisconsin, Michigan or Pennsylvania, despite best efforts.

ARGH.

So.... I've been reading a lot of comic books.  I've been working my way through the Hugo nominated graphic novels. So far, I read Ms. Marvel: Super Famous (Vol. 3), Black Panther: Nation Under Our Feet (vol. 1), Vision: A Little Worse Than a Man (vol. 1) and  Vision: Little Better Than a Beast (Vol.2), and Paper Girls (Vol 1.).  I started Montress: Awakening (Vol. 1), which has been interesting so far. The only one I haven't tried to get is Saga (Vol. 6) because I suspect I'd need to read the other 5 volumes to know what's going on. Pretty much everyone says I should be reading Saga, anyway, but I'm not and I'm being obstinate about starting it for some reason, probably the whole "eh, but all the cool kids are doing it, so it can't be that great." After all, I finally got around to trying Bitch Planet, and I could have done without.  Not at ALL what I was hoping for there and absolutely NOT worth the hype.

I have all the Hugo nominee novels at home, but I have not been able to really get into any of them.  As I was telling a friend of mine the other day, I go through these periods where I read a LOT of novels and other times when my brain can only handle shorter, graphic stuff.  I've been in that second phase lately.  Like, I'll sit down with a book in my lap and two seconds later I've set it down and wandered off.  The thing about graphic novels is that in two seconds, I've read half of it, so it's no as much a strain to continue on for however many more seconds it takes to finish the thing.

I also haven't been able to write much.  I'm THIS close to finishing the latest installment in my long-running Byakuya/Renji fan fic, but I just haven't been motivated to keep on with it.

I blame Trump.
lydamorehouse: (ichigo being adorbs)
 My weekend was pretty good.  As I mentioned earlier, I was invited sort of last minute to do a signing at the Holiday Geek Expo.  The only time I really had available was early Sunday morning, but that worked pretty well.  There wasn't a huge amount of foot traffic, but I had a secret weapon:  I was giving away my books.

I have an overabundance of copies of RESURRECTION CODE.  That book was the one that was published by Mad Norwegian Press and when they reverted rights to me, they shipped me, like, three or four boxes of printed books.  Each box contains about 40 books, so that's a lot of books not only taking up room in my already cluttered house, but which I have to count as "inventory" for my taxes every year.  I could have taken the books to sell; I am set-up to charge sales tax.  I don't, however, have a smart phone equipped with "Square" or whichever lovely small business app I should really have, and so I would have had to have cash on hand AND MAKE CHANGE, which I dread.  

Plus, let's be honest.  I've been kicking around the Twin Cities a LONG time now.  I'm sure there are plenty of people who have never read a word I've written. HOWEVER, I'm not likely to run into those people at a very geek-specific event run by a lot of the folks connected with CONvergence, now am I?  So, giving the books away seemed like a lovely way to get rid of them.  Who can resist a FREE... well, anything? Even a second copy of a book you already have seems like a good deal when it's FREE.

I ended up being able to give away at least half of them. The books I couldn't give away, Anton took.  I told him to give them away to charities or as freebies at cons or use them for doorstops for all I cared.  I mean, don't get me wrong.  RESURRECTION CODE is a lovely book. I just don't need boxes and boxes and boxes of them cluttering up my house, is all.

So, that was Geek Expo. 

I came home and picked up Mason who has been agitating for a haircut ever since he started swim team.  His hair was not only starting to curl at his ears (something which *I*  find adorable, but which he hates,) but also the constant chlorine exposure was making it kind of frizzed and frazzled looking.  That took up all the time I had before rushing back out to Claddaugh to finally meet up with my contact at Quatrefoil, Nanette.

Nanette and I had a lovely talk. I have no idea if I impressed her or not, but she did invite me to the next board meeting and talked a lot about what kind of commitment being a board member would entail.  So, that felt cool. When I was talking to my friend Josey about this position, she said something that's been sticking in my mind a lot.  "It's such a grown-up position!"  It really it. Being a board member of a non-profit?  That's like totally something people who are ADULT do.

In all seriousness, I do think supporting a queer library is super-important right now in this time of ever growing darkness. If we are saved at all, it will be not only by our history and out stories, but also locally--city by city, county by county.  One of the things I learned about Quatrefoil that I didn't know, was that they now have a space that they can offer to any GLBTQ+ group that needs one. (I don't think they charge, but you'd have to double-check. I just went and it's not terribly obvious from their website.  But I did just discover they have a monthly D&D group!! What? Why did no one tell me THIS!!????)  

Otherwise, I've been doing a lot of letter writing.  My membership in International Pen Friends nets me 15 names of people all over the world, as I think I've written about here before.  That's a LOT of letters.  Plus, I'm discovering that this does NOT seem to be a one-to-one exchange.  For instance, on Saturday I got a letter from a woman in Germany who was _not_on my list.  So... my thinking is that I may be getting an additional fifteen pen friends... ?? .... Eep!  But, I will say, the letter from Germany was pretty cool. The woman who wrote is about my age and LOVES stickers and fun paper and she inspired me to get crafty and make my own stationary from the scrapbooking supplies we have leftover from Shawn's mostly-brief foray into scrapbooking.  I may have had WAY too much fun doing that yesterday.  It's also amazing to me how doing silly little artistic things like this actually brightens my mood.  Highly recommend as aggressive self-care during the Orange One's reign.  

Speaking of, my friend Theo Lorenz has made a lovely "Aggressive Self-Care Coloring Book" to help you survive the end of 2016 and onward: https://gumroad.com/l/YyBkJ  This is a "pay what you want" project, so your self-care doesn't have to come at a steep price!  it's a print-your-own, so it won't make a good stocking stuffer unless you get crafty yourself, but... you might just need to hide under a blanket, turn off the news, and color while more horrific cabinet posts are filled by people less qualified to run the country than you are...!
lydamorehouse: (shield)
 I'm still incredibly shaken by this election.  

The only upside to my nerves is that I've been walking away from social media to do busy work. With the weather being unseasonably warm (another sign of the impending apocalypse), I've been raking all the leaves.  We have one maple tree, the one out front, that has very broad leaves that refuse to fall until mid-Novemeber regardless.  Normally, this means the leaves fall on snow.  Most years I end up having to rake them in spring and by then the baby-shoots of grass have suffocated.  

This year, I got most of them up. I also put to bed gardens that I ignored most of the rainy summer, too.  

Though it was colder than usual yesterday, I got anxious again and worked on finishing the front. Our neighbor James said asked me how I was. James is an African-American photographer.  He's married to Katherine, a white woman, who a anthropology professor at Hamline.  They have an adult daughter, Mali, who is of course mixed race.  At first I lied. I said the thing you're supposed to say, "I'm fine." Then, I thought, "No, you know, I'm really not and I should say so."  James and Katherine and Mali have as much at stake as Shawn and Mason and me.  So, I said, "Actually, the election has made me sick."  At first he dismissed it with a, "Don't even start," which I completely respect.  A lot of people I know are in the hiding phase. They've left social media for good or are just out of evens (for the moment.)

Later, James came back to chat a little. Even though he's black, he seems to be taking the "wait and see" approach.  James is very much a dyed-in-the-wool liberal, whose politics have been shifting center with the rest of the party.  Both he and Katherine are very middle class.  Or at least they're 'professorial class' with aspirations towards middle.  We'd previously had an "anybody but Hillary" conversation.  So even though I'm sure he voted against Trump, I'm not sure he voted for Hillary, if you know what I mean. I don't think he's the type to go third party, but even if he did, I wouldn't blame him.  I blame the people who didn't show up.  I blame the people who blocked voters from voting. 

Even so, we both agreed Trump's election was beyond tragic. I told him about my plans to volunteer.  He nodded, but his air was one of cynicism.  Again, given that he's African-American I can hardly disagree with his experience or tell him to have hope, when I see so little myself.

I waved good-bye and told him to stay safe.

Another neighbor, one I didn't know, came strolling by. We'd shared a few 'hellos' but nothing else. Our conversation stayed mostly to the weather and the never-ending task of yard work. There was something about the guy, though, that made me think maybe he was family.  So, again when we said good-bye, I impulsively added, "Hey, stay safe."

He looked a tiny bit shocked (he was white), but said, "You, too!"

I didn't think much more of it, other than to wonder if I was going to just add 'stay safe' to my good-bye rituals from then on out.  But I was just about finished with the front (I swear I was out there almost two hours), when here came the same neighbor again. He had another guy in tow, and I instantly thought, "OH! that's going to be his partner!"

Sure enough.  My chatty neighbor was Michael and I was introduced to Jon, his partner. They came down, ostensibly to go to the gym (a YMCA is at the end of our block on the other side of University), but really wanted to find out if we were family, too.  So I introduced myself and said, "and I live here with my wife Shawn and our son Mason." It was nice. We exchanged business cards and commiserated.  We talked about rumors of violence; I told them about the very real violence that happened at the bookstore.  We worried about their next door neighbors, an extended Somali family and I found out the guy I've been waving to and saying hello to for years is named Mohammad.

He walks very slowly with a cane and because he pauses a lot to rest, I've always gone out of my way to wave and say hello.  He doesn't have a lot of English, but we still manage pleasantries. And one day he worked up to saying 'Beautiful day!" which was just so wonderful. I wish there was some kind of "OMG I'm so NOT one of them" gift basket I could bring to all my neighbors like Mohammad, you know?

But the point is, the one nice thing that's happened is that now we know two more of our neighbors by name.  We've made plans to get together for coffee or deserts or just to say 'hey, still here. Still alive' to each other... and who knows, maybe start the revolution.
lydamorehouse: (ichigo being adorbs)
I met a friend of mine for lunch today at the Midtown Global Market and I was tell him that for me election fatigue has a lot to do with the fact that my eye starts to twitch any time someone in my various social media says something about "Killary" or posts nonsense about how there's no difference between the two candidates.  

He looked a little shocked and said, "You know Trump supporters?"

I don't really *know* the people on my feed who support Trump, but I have a number of them, actually. I don't actually screen my Facebook (or Twitter) friends terribly much. If someone asks for a friend request, I usually assume that they're a reader and grant it.  Of course, I've been burned by this open door policy.  I've had my share of robots that I've had to cull.  I had one guy, recently, attempt to chat with me in a very pushy way that made me unfriend him instantly.  

But what's interesting to me about this is that another friend of mine was talking about actively trying to push outside of the bubble so that she doesn't always get the same 'message' on social media. I respect that, absolutely.  But, I find plenty of it without having to look too far. 

And they're tiring.

I let myself get drawn into an argument today with a guy who hoped that "when Kilary" is elected that she sends all the militant extremist immigrants to live in my neighborhood. I told him he didn't have to lay that curse on me, I already live it. My town is highly populated by Muslims and it's fine here among the Somali immigrants.  He should come.  The food is FANTASTIC.  And the taxes that the immigrant workers pay have been funding all sorts of amazing things.  My child is growing up as a minority of white kids in his school (no joke, only 6% of the students at Washington Technical identify as Caucasian) and his education is not at risk, in fact, Washington boasts a very high secondary education placement.  

But you can say these things over and over and the other side is immune. They've been immunized against the truth by a culture that distrusts actual facts. You can tell them that, no, those figures about how much immigrants cost taxpayers are actually from discredited sources and propagated by actual hate groups, but they don't care.  They're not swayed by your "liberal truth," as though truth can be partisan.  It's only become partisan because one side so blatantly ignores it.

And that's tiring.

I was listening to This American Life's podcast, "Will I Know Anyone At This Party?"  (https://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/600/will-i-know-anyone-at-this-party)The whole section about St. Cloud is fairly horrifying.  But I was really struck by the fact that apparently there's a rumor going around St. Cloud that Somali are ruining rental properties by trying to grow crops indoors.  What hit me about this is that was LITERALLY the EXACT same thing I heard about the Hmong immigrants who were moving into LaCrosse, Wisconsin, when I was growing up there. I don't really know what this fear represents. That new immigrants are hicks?  Are we meant to be snickering in our sleeves while clucking our tongues? 

And this is tiring, because I told my friends in the 70s that the Hmong were fine neighbors and that there were no more welfare cheaters among their ranks than among any others.

*sigh*

And who knows what's even going to happen tomorrow.  Is hate going to win?
lydamorehouse: (Default)
Seen the Samuel L. Jackson video, "Wake the F*ck Up!"?

Well, I did.

I woke the f*ck up just now, quite literally, in a cold sweat. My stomach was in such a knot, I actually felt vomit at the back of my throat. When I went to bed, there was no clear winner for US President, and I fell asleep to begin with only because I'd only allowed to look at the results once yesterday. Unfortunately, that was when Romney was in the lead and... well, I honestly just decided to shut down and hide until it was all over.

All I can say?

OH THANK GOD!

And, fingers crossed, here in Minnesota both ammendments appear to have been defeated and, if God(dess) truly loves us, Bachmann will lose her seat in the recount. But, OMG, I'll take Batshit Bachmann if I can have all the rest.

It's probably hard to express how sick I've felt all day today. For reasons having entirely to do with the marriage proposal, this election felt very, very personal to me. My state was attempting to legalize discrimination -- they wanted to change the state constitution of Minnesota so that it was okay to NEVER, EVER recognize a marriage other than the heteronormative ones.

And it's been far, far too close.

My god there are a lot of haters out there. And they hate *me.* But it seems as though we may have taken back our state senate as well, and, again, if that turns out to be true, and we really have defeated this amendment, there is a small glimmer of hope that eventually the state ban on gay marriage could be overturned in my lifetime (and possibly even within some decent amount of time, like say five years.) In which case, I invite you all to our wedding. I never planned on marrying Shawn. I'm so old school that I never (in Shawn's words) felt we needed to "ape the patriarchy." And, my thought is, after twenty-six years, if it "ain't broke, don't fix it." Some of the automatic rights would be phenomenal, but Shawn and I have done our legal best to do what we can with the system as it exists today. But Mason has asked us to do it if such a thing should ever become legal. It's important to him that his non-traditional family not be quite so damn non-traditional any more. He wants to be able to say, "Yeah, my moms are married. Just like your mom and dad." (Though, the heck? Plenty of "normal" kids can't say their parents are still married, or ever married....) But, the point is, we promised to get married for Mason. Let's hope this is one step toward that goal.

Ugh, I could still puke at the thought. It hasn't made quite as bit a stink as the marriage amendment here, but the voter ID ammendment, also on the ballot in Minnestoa, was, most certainly, defeated. I was worried that with all the focus on marriage equality that this one might slip by people's attention. Minnesota has historically had some of the best voter turn out in the nation. That would have changed, and given some of the margins by which we've won (and lost) some seats, every single vote counts here. Think: Al Franken. Pray: Michele Bachamann.

I'm not sure I'm going to be able to go back to bed, despite what appears to be good news all around. I have a bunch of projects that could use the extra hours of my attention and I may just give up and give in to writing my proposals for the Loft classes I might like to teach, as well as getting a jump start on today's NaNoWriMo count. There's also my Captain America in space proposal that's been languishing while I geared up for NaNo, and I chatted with my agent yesterday about sending some of my previously rejected Tate proposals elsewhere and now I'm charged with dusting those off and seeing if any of them are worth doing that with.

That's plenty to keep me busy until the family wakes up at 6 am. Plus, from what I gather from my Facebook feed, all y'all have been up this whole time. We might as well ALL be crispy and exhausted when the work day starts, eh?
lydamorehouse: (Default)
I should probably not post somewhat inarticulate political rants. Thanks for all the thoughtful responses. My main issue is that I just don't want to see us give away the next election to the bad guys just because we're mad at the moderate guys. I wish we could elect people more to the left, instead of having to choose the least offensive of the offensive people, you know?

Anyway, speaking of health care reform, I'm still sick. I'm fairly certain I have some sort of bronchial type infection. If I'm still sick on Monday, I'm going to pop into a Minute Clinic and see if they think I ought to be taking drugs of some sort.

I'm probably not going to die, however. Yesterday Mason and I went sleding and even though I had to take a few breaks, I did really well. I should think that if I wasn't getting enough oxygen, I would have passed out or something. :-) The slopes at Como were... well, let me just paint a picture for you: snow, rain, freeze = rock hard mounds of bumpy, slippery bits. Going down those hills on our plastic saucer went something like this: "Yippee, ow! ow! ow! ow! ow! ow! Aaaaaaggghh!"

Then we lay at the bottom of the hill battered and bruised, and Mason pipes up, "Let's do it again." So off we went to "Yipppee! ow! ow! ow! ow!" again. My back is mostly recovered. I did promise Mason that as long as it was nice out, we'd go again, although today we might try a different (less steep) hill and use the inflatable raft type deal my folks bought Mason for Solstice.

In writing news, I'm wrapping up the revisions for Tate's ALMOST TO DIE FOR. I still have a rather large scene to write, but I'm hoping to get a chance to work on that today. I'd really like to have those done and shipped off by the end of the year.

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