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I'm not usually around on Wednesdays, and then when I'm catching up on the weekend and seeing your posts about what you're reading, I tend not to post because it's not Wednesday, but a while back, I decided to just post when I post. I want to have a log of what I read, and this is as good a place as any to keep it.

Recently finished:

N. K. Jemisin, The Fifth Season. Gorgeous, complex, highly readable, magically real, utterly wrenching in places but purely enjoyable all the way through.

Natalie Goldberg, Thunder and Lightning. I like her writing about writing and zen. I am more aware of issues of privilege than I used to be, so I'm less enamored of her presumption that everyone can do the kind of writing practice she prefers, but still, I got a lot from the book, and it's directly responsible for the fact that I'm writing again. Remind me never to do NaNo again -- every time I do it, I end up quitting writing for a long time. This time, it was nearly a year. But then, that happened after I finished my degree, too.

Currently Reading:

Octavia Butler, Kindred
Sherman Alexie, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

On the TBR pile:

Mary Karr, The Art of Memoir
Anna Newell Jones, The Spender's Guide to Debt-free Living
re-read Steve Kowit, In the Palm of Your Hand
serene: liberty-justice is my femslash (liberty justice)
[Edit: Bill @PenzeysSpices responded immediately to point me to this: which acknowledges some of my concerns. Thanks, Bill! I still think it should be a part of all discussions, not just the background info.]

Just got an email from Penzeys (my fave spice company) that included these lines:

2021 will mark the quadricentennial of our country's first Thanksgiving, celebrated with the harvest of 1621. As we count down to 2021, our hope is to promote Thanksgiving 400 as a reminder that America was not born July 4th 1776— that was us declaring our adulthood. America was truly born over the summer of 1621 in the extraordinary kindness of the Wampanoag people towards those delivered on their shores by the Mayflower. Through their example, the Wampanoag people set in motion a nation much different than any nation before or since. A nation that would not only welcome in newcomers, but also work to help them succeed.

My response:

Usually, I'm right there with you on these initiatives of yours. LOVE the love campaign, and the veterans cooking, and oh my gosh, so happy about the pro-science messages and efforts.

But Thanksgiving. We weren't immigrants to this country. We were conquerors. We were warmly accepted, yes, and then we killed everyone in sight. And took their land. And are still refusing to give them basic civil rights.

This country does not welcome newcomers unless they're white and have money. Otherwise, it vilifies them, makes them "illegal," and denies them the human rights of health care, a living wage, and often even the sanctity of keeping their families together.

Please reconsider praising the first Thanksgiving without acknowledging that it was the beginning of a campaign of domination by white Europeans over the indigenous people of this land who were already here and should have been allowed to live in peace.

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Fifteen years ago today, I made my first entry in this journal (at LiveJournal at the time). It was my 35th birthday (which makes today my 50th). Some changes:

Read more... )

My life right now is hard in different ways from before, but it's also joyful in the same ways, and peaceful in about equal measure. I like who I am. I like the people I surround myself with for the most part. Onward!

Oh, and...

Sep. 4th, 2016 08:03 pm
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If you're on Habitica, I hope you'll either join my party or invite me to yours: 31941fa3-01cd-4e60-a23e-864c330f3cd9
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I know it's supposed to be Wednesdays that we do this, but I'm rarely on here on weeknights, so I decided to do it while I'm thinking of it.


  • A gorgeous short story by [personal profile] ljgeoff

  • The Fifth Season, N. K. Jemisin—beautiful so far

  • Not much else

This got long )

Heading off to catch up on everyone's posts, including last Wednesday's.
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Just joined a habit/chore game/rpg thingy, (Habitica) and noticed the avatars can have wheelchairs. Cool, huh? (In the "It's a start" kind of way, of course.)
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Ganked from [personal profile] firecat, along with at least one of her answers.

1. Do you like blue cheese? Only in certain moods.
Read more... )
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When it was important to me that there be a Green Party in California, I worked for it. Collected signatures, got the party on the ballot, attended platform conventions in Santa Cruz, marched, made posters, talked people's ears off about proportional representation, etc.

When it was important to me that Obama win the presidency, and that diverse voices be heard in the election, I got out the vote -- registered ex-felons and others, went on neighborhood canvas runs with like-minded folks, talked people's ears off about his platform and record.

It's important to me that a billionaire fascist with no sense of honesty and decency, who is completely unsuited to rule a company, much less a nation state, not win against arguably the most qualified candidate who's ever run for the office. I don't always agree with Secretary Clinton's decisions around foreign policy, and I think she has moments of tone-deafness that make me cringe (on Twitter, you can see me cringe), but she's qualified to do the job. She's a stateswoman. She's presidential. And she isn't a nazi, misogynist, jingoistic, foul sack of shit.

I'm in California, so I'm trying to figure out how to help make sure she wins -- and then after she wins, that Trump and his rabid minions don't foment unrest in the country.

Some ideas I've had so far. Thoughts welcome.

* donate to her campaign and/or DNC and/or MoveOn and/or...?
* go to battleground states and help get out the vote (not sure I have the wherewithal to do this, but I'm considering it)
* phone bank in said states (again, not sure I have it in me, but it's an option)
* Your Idea Here

I can't just sit and watch this happen. I have to do what I can do. Not sure what that is yet. But I have to do it.


Jul. 7th, 2016 09:34 pm
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It just took me 260 posts to catch up with y'all. Thank you for being so productive in your entertaining-Serene duties!

Long week, but SO much easier since my co-worker returned from vacation (I was covering some of their duties while they were gone).

Gonna see about getting my succulent garden planted this weekend. Also, will work on dad's website, and go sing karaoke with him and the Non-Wicked Stepmother on Saturday night.

And naps. Lots of naps. Thank goodness it's the weekend. Sorry if you have to work on Friday.
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From SundayStealing, via [personal profile] hobbitbabe, with some of her answers kept/stolen.

When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper?
I don't even remember. Long, long time.

Can you change the oil on a car?
Yes, but after a while, I realized it wasn't really cost-effective for me to do it myself.

Ever gotten a speeding ticket?

Run out of gas?

Favorite kind of sandwich?
I don't do sandwich-monogamy.
Tomato and mayo on soft wheat bread, with or without avocado and/or alfalfa sprouts. Butter is acceptable in place of or in addition to butter.
Egg salad on white with celery and [green] onion and mayonnaise, nothing else.
Grilled cheese.

Best thing to eat for breakfast?
Eggs florentine, maybe? Anything with hollandaise. Fried potatoes and onions. Ooh, blintzes! Leftover dinner food. Anything but cold pizza.

What is your usual bedtime?
Some time between 10 and 11.

Are you lazy?
About some things.

When you were a kid, what did you dress up as for Halloween?
I honestly don't have any idea. Can't remember.

Do you have any magazine subscriptions?
Yes. AARP, Cooking Light. From time to time, I sub to Vegetarian Times, Poets & Writers, and Writer's Digest. And my university sends me the alumni magazine, if that counts. And KPBS sends me the one for contributors.

Which are better, legos or lincoln logs?
I like 'em both.

Are you stubborn?
About some things. Mostly, I'm pretty flexible.

Who is better, Leno or Letterman?
I find Letterman (problematic fave) hilarious, and Leno annoys me like nails on chalkboards.

Ever watch soap operas?
In high school, during the summers, I watched three hours a day. One Life to Live, All My Children, and General Hospital. This was during Luke & Laura's young "courtship."

Afraid of heights?
Some. Nervous about them always, genuinely phobic about it when I feel I'm in an unprotected high place (side of a mountain, high building without sufficient railing, etc.).

Sing in the car?
SO much. Even did it a little on my vlog the other day:

Dance in the shower?
No. I'm an accident waiting to happen. That would end badly.

Dance in the car?

Ever used a gun?
Yes, in JROTC.

Do you think musicals are cheesy?
Some are. I love them.

Is Christmas stressful?
Not any more.

Ever eat a pierogi?
Oh yes. Love them.

Major annoyance right now?
That I have to go to work in 20 minutes.

Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid?
Singer. That's it.

Do you believe in ghosts?
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Up since 4 for no good reason. Enjoying the quiet of a solitary Sunday. These are the times when I want to catch up with my peeps, so I've read your posts (haven't commented much, but I'm listening. Lisa, I love how you notice things about all your kids).

I've been spending a lot of time on SparkPeople lately, working on my food/exercise program (a.k.a. diet, but not for weight-loss, because ew). It's working (i.e., my blood is no longer testing as prediabetic, and I'm reducing my heart meds a little at a time with doctor supervision), so it benefits me to make it as fun as possible, which means a fair bit of online socializing, which is the bulk of my social life and has been for, wow, almost 18 years now (I got online in mid-1998).

Wiscon folks are being chatty on Twitter and it sounds really great, but considering who my friends are, it makes me wonder how things are in the background and how my friends who aren't going any more are feeling today. I want to hug you all.

Work is decent. Without the old boss, things are much calmer in my area, except when I stick my foot in my mouth and cause myself anxiety, but usually, things are good. I'm really good at working. That's something I don't always give myself credit for. I kind of suck at the social end of it, but the customer service part, I rock at, and the paperwork part is my STAR THING.

Mom is still dealing with major major pain issues and there's not much that can be done for a variety of reasons, so we (meaning she, I, James) try to keep her distracted and happy as much as possible. I foresee a time not too long from now when she'll decide it's not worth it any more. I will cope with that as best I can if/when it comes. This paragraph doesn't lend itself to language. There is much unsaid.

I haven't been writing. I'm not sure why. When there's time, I play my game or hang out online, and I just have no desire to write. I don't even really feel bad about it, though I do seem to be happier when I'm producing at least poems. But lately, just can't be arsed.

Enjoying (if that is the right word) Top of the Lake, but I love Elizabeth Moss and the kind of gritty police drama it's shaping up to be (I'm on the second episode), so it is a natural for me.

James is still obsessed with home shows, and that led to his new obsession, our house. It was apparently built by an artist/architect who turns out to be kind of interesting, and the house itself was a marvel when he built it in 1948/9, so James has become Mr. Research Man, constantly finding new bits of information about the guy. If you're awesome at finding out stuff about dead people and want to join the puzzle, let me know and I'll shoot you the guy's name. Since he got a lot of press that included our address, I don't want to just say it here.

The kid finished her first semester of college!! She thinks she got mostly As and a B. Either way, she finished!! It's not something she loves, but she chose to do it, and she finished. Super proud!

Dad and I are still working on, and he retired yesterday from his in-person teaching job (he still teaches a bunch of online classes), so he'll have more time for it soon. And I'll have Fridays off starting next week, so we're going to work on it together. If you want to learn college-level electronics online for cheap, let me know and I'll hook you up with some free coupons for his courses.

Hm, what else. Sister is still in jail. Nephew is still lackadaisically looking for work and living off his dad and my mom. I still miss the Bay Area and my peeps there (especially Guy, of course). I'm reading a little, cooking a little, staring into space a lot. My pain and dizziness are bad enough to make me tired and sad, but not any worse than that. I get a lot of joy out of little things, and my entire life feels like it's in a holding pattern while we live this stage of our life as well and as usefully as we know how.

Oh, and Black Twitter is still one of my most favorite things in all the world. And Captain Awkward. And YoIsThisRacist. And my game (Two Dots).

Much love, my lovelies.
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Was just reading a nice update post from a friend I see a lot of online, and it was really good to hear the details of what she's been up to. That made me want to give an update, too. I will put it under cut tags, because I'm feeling chatty.

We've been in San Diego for 18 months )

Personal/family stuff )

Dream job stuff )

Day job stuff )

Health stuff )
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Let's see how much energy I have left for this. It's not a grudging obligation; it's just that I am really tired and may peter out.


Mostly just poking around on Wattpad. I haven't found much great there. Any suggestions?


Still posting weekly on Wattpad, a poem and a chapter of fiction on Monday and Friday, respectively. Or is it the other way around?


Finishing a Poirot re-watch with James working through S1 of Jessica Jones with James. The occatsional Hamilton-related YouTube Video.


What do you think? All Hamilton, all the time.


Two dots. Still. Also a little Befuddled, I think it's called, which is a word game.


Feb. 26th, 2016 05:07 am
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Awoke at 4 to a random sound that my brain processed as something hitting the house. It was probably just someone closing a door in the house somewhere -- it's a big house. I also had the beginnings of a migraine, so it could've been exploding head syndrome, which I do get sometimes, and which is one of the coolest-named benign pschophysiological things ever (if you know of others, tell me -- cool names for shit are my lifeblood).

Anyway. Four in the morning.

Because of the impending migraine, I took aspirin and caffeine, and if I go back to sleep, I will doom myself to a full-blown migraine, so instead I have turned down the brightness on my monitor and settled in with DW/LJ and my "Right-hand Man" earworm to do a nice long update, which I haven't done in some time, and which will be under a series of cuts.

1a: Work babble )

1b. Residency, a.k.a. Work Babble Two )

Starting to get the migraine nausea, so I'm having trouble concentrating. I think I'll cut this short for now and pick it up later. Have a good weekend, my lovelies!
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I don't feel like being all organized about the media consumption list, the way I usually am. I am listening to a lot of "Hamilton," reading some stuff here and there, including a fair bit of bad writing on Wattpad and some that's good.

My job is super-intense these days (though much less bad since the mass exodus), so I am left with little intellectual energy at the end of the day. I usually sit and play Two Dots while James and I watch whatever thing we're rewatching -- currently, it's the Suchet "Poirot."

I was just telling [personal profile] wild_irises that my reading goes in fits and starts. Lately, I'm not reading much, and then I'll go through a period when I'm finishing a book a day and reading everywhere and at all times. The plus side of not reading much is that I'm writing a fair bit, including a new novel that I'm putting out a chapter at a time on Wattpad. I don't expect it will be super-great, but it feels good to make something, so I'll see how it goes.

What's the best thing you've read lately?
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Had a long weekend. Did a lot of writing and editing and almost no reading. I'm writing some poems and my second novel, and having a moderate amount of fun doing it.


I've put down the murder mystery. I do that sometimes. Maybe I'll get back to it. Next up is Six-gun Snow White, by Cat Valente. Haven't started it yet. The only reading I've done in a week is the AARP magazine and a bunch of social media.


Hamilton, of course. And now, the soundtrack's in my car, so whenever I'm alone in there, it's on. I also really love the Musicality covers of the songs, which are on YouTube. Musicality is a high-school music group.


Two Dots. I don't have any other games on my phone or tablet these days.


James and I re-watched all the old Mummy movies, and then the modern trilogy. Then Airplane. Then last night it was Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The animation/live-action tricks are still really fun to watch. They did it so well.

Jessica Jones with the kid. I had to actually go seek out spoilers, because this villain stresses me out and I had to know the ending. It's not especially because of the rape stuff, but I'm really uneasy with a villain with as much power as Kilgrave has, and with any show (e.g. the Hulk, the Prisoner) in which the hero keeps striving and striving and never winning.

Beyonce's Formation video is perfect and I wish everyone would watch it.

I watched a few minutes of the Grammys online (we don't have broadcast TV): the Hamilton bit, Beyonce's brief speech, and Kendrick Lamar's performance. Powerful.


Feb. 15th, 2016 12:25 pm
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Are you on Wattpad? I'm going to be sharing some of my writing there, and I'd like to follow yours, as well.

Current pub schedule is a poem on Mondays and a chapter of my new novel on Fridays.
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To my single friends: You are loved and valuable, in and of yourself.

That said, Avon Romance and Carina Press are giving away a romance e-book to people who join their mailing list, and the deadline is tomorrow, and I know a lot of my friends like romances, so I just thought I'd leave you the link, even though I'd rather not do it on this day because, well, this day is fraught for a lot of people. This is not an ad; I have no connection with the companies involved.
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The student I mentor has an urgent need for info about humanitarian visas from Mexico to the U.S. Her family is dealing with a violent relative and they're divided by a border that only my student can cross. Any help/advice super-welcome. Am googling, as well.
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Are you going to FOGcon, or hoping to? Is the ticket price an impediment to going? If yes, please let me know and I'll give you one or both of our tickets. We paid $60 each, and you can have them for free, or you can pay me whatever you want to pay. I'll let you decide based on your personal situation, no questions asked. Just let me know in comments or message or email. I'll edit this post when both tickets are gone.


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October 2016

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