tree crits house for x$000

kagome (crystalmirage)
For friends who aren't following me on Facebook, we had a Derecho storm (that's like a tornado except it's a straight line) through our area and we were badly hit. A tree got thrown onto my roof and punctured the roof in 7 places. Roofer is telling us that we will absolutely need a complete new roof, and also that the wooden underlayer to our roof is rotten through-- apparently it's been that way for a long time, way before we bought the house. The roof isn't pitched steeply enough to repel snow and ice, that's what they think caused the rot. The roofer is going to ask for new roof and new underlayer, but we have no idea what our coverage will be like-- will find out tomorrow when meet w/insurance adjuster. It will, however, consume our savings without fixing the things we need to fix, and will probably need family help to get through it all. Not fun!

We have no power (currently hanging out at R's company, which has a/c, power, and ICE WATER, WOO!) and may not for a couple more days. Lost everything in the fridge and freezer, obviously, and what really sucks is that the worst of the water that fell through the roof hit my Wicca/Pagan/occult bookshelf-- not the books I set aside to sell (those, ironically, are fine) but the ones I've been collecting for 20+ years. We we grabbing and tossing aside as fast as we could while holding buckets up to the smashed roof, but I don't know how many books will come out ok.

We're surviving, trying to keep spirits up. What's most frustrating is that Rob is contractless again. There are two hopefuls for contracts, I'm crossing my fingers because I don't need to say it's the worst possible time for job loss.

How did all of you do w/the storms?

This entry was originally posted at http://northern-light.dreamwidth.org/220870.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Happy Yule!

spiderweb (avatarfish)
Hail to all of my friends on the Longest Night, may the returning light of the new year bring better tidings to all of us.

(On a personal note, I don't think I've ever *felt* Yule as strongly as I do this year. I'm getting a hell of a head-thwapping from the Gods to seriously and thoroughly change my life. So I think 2012 will be a heck of an interesting year, I just hope not "interesting" in the very bad way that 2011 was.)

This entry was originally posted at http://northern-light.dreamwidth.org/1078.html. Please comment there using OpenID.

Deathwing death cinematic

spiderweb (avatarfish)


WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT SHIT I JUST WATCHED? (On YT, obviously, as I don't raid.)

Spoiler text, highlight to read: Green Jesus is now having a baby and that's the future of Azeroth? The aspects are now mortal because they say so? What the hell? Haven't they canonized him enough?

Blizzard, what is this fuckery? You're really making me want to join the Skyrim legions, you know.

Originally posted at Dreamwidth. Comment on whichever you'd like. :)

Tags:

killing the Big Bad

spiderweb (avatarfish)
Here's a fiction question for you all: When, after the long wait and confrontations with lesser villains, you finally get the big climactic confrontation against the Big Bad, how much does it matter to you how it dies?

Does the fight have to be huge in scope? And ending?

I'm half considering having mine taken out, after a long tense confrontation and the trading of some supernatural blows, by a sniper's bullet. (A very particular sniper, who is herself pretty important in the story.) Half of me says, like some wild Hollywood director, "not big enough!" but the other half argues that it would be nice, for once, to see a super-powered adversary killed by an ordinary means. (Always did want to see someone snipe Voldemort...) Especially after a lot of angsting about how to kill him without harming anything else around him. "Bang!" *plop*

Just made me curious about the larger question of how people feel about villain confrontations in SFF in general.

REVIEW: A Dance With Dragons

spiderweb (avatarfish)
Haven't posted anywhere in a million years, hopefully this will change.

Warning: Some of this is spoilery.

I like GRRM for his systematic demolishing of fantasy tropes that really, when you think about it (if you think about it) don't make a lot of sense. This remains, IMO, this book's best strength. So here's the scoreboard, as I see itCollapse )

Originally posted at Dreamwidth. Comment on whichever you'd like. :)

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soldier PTSD ad

snow bench (roxicons)
I saw an ad for the Wounded Warrior Project on my TV tonight, with a soldier who lost an arm in the war talking about his PTSD and "don't suffer in silence" as a slogan.

I can't find it on YouTube or I'd link it, but I thought it was a good thing to see and a good thing for the average American to see-- it'd be nice if there was more understanding and respect for people with PTSD, both soldiers and civilians.

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Reeeeeeeach!

halo brotherhood
wabbitseason couldn't make the Ren Faire last weekend, so we went out and got Reach instead. New canon, squee! Have done the first two campaign missions so far and a ton of solo and co-op Firefight. So if you're playing, please don't spoil me with anything about the campaign past the meeting with Halsey (Halsey! In game! And she's completely badass!).

So far I'm still getting a feel for the weapon changes and the way they've changed things around. Like my controller, having RB be melee just fucked with my head so much that I had to change it back. Kept walking up to jackals and wondering why B did nothing!

Love: the needle rifle! Actually, pretty much all the Covie weapons, especially the higher capacity needlers. Seeing Halsey in game! The scenery is gorgeous. The knowledge that you're fighting a completely losing battle really means something when you're playing. The Skirmishers! They're like Super Fashionable Jackals, or something. The fact that you don't have to go skull-hunting all over again. That you can get PVP medals in Firefight! We'd otherwise never, ever see Killionaire or Killimanjaro.

Don't love: The music, and I never thought I'd say that about a Halo game. I found the music on the first level to be completely intrusive and just not epic. I hope it gets better.

The team, yet. IDK, maybe they'll grow on me. I just find myself missing John and Cortana a lot more than I expected to, and I don't know these new Spartans.

The new armor abilities, or at least some of them. Like the jet pack, love the new bubble shield, hate the camo and the lock-- still not sure what you're supposed to do with abilities that only work when you *don't move*, unless you're in co-op and you're sniping?

Hunters. I haven't figured them out yet! Okay, did they change the rear hitbox on them or something? Because we melee'd one of them on the first level and he went down fast, and the rest are being obnoxiously hard. I don't know if we're not hitting them in the right place, or with the right weapons, or what. They're unusually pesty.

The lack of understandable enemy voices. I know, they're supposed to be scarier and more alien, and they are. I just miss the snarky Grunt comments. I still kind of want to adopt them, though. :)

So, Halo players, what do you think of Reach?

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Ugh.

kitty nooo
"Eat Pray Love" is now a movie, I think I just threw up in my mouth a little. And "from the creator of Glee", how completely not surprising. One of my least favorite books in the world becomes a movie from the person responsible for my single least favorite scripted show in the world.

I'd rather watch a marathon of Twilight films for the next week straight than two minutes of that thing.

Going from terribly offensive movies to just so-terrible-it's-hilarious TV, is anyone else watching "The Gates"? "Her succubus nature hasn't yet emerged"-- I just about fell over laughing at that line. And right after I said "they've got vampires, werewolves, and witches on this thing, what else are they going to shoehorn into it? At least the cop!son's girlfriend is also a mundane..." Succubus. Teenager. Top that, SMeyer! (I guess when she graduates she'll get a whip and her own warlock to summon her into Azeroth?)

I can't believe Robert Hewitt Wolfe is attached to that disaster. He's producing this mess that I can't look away from, and JMS is wrecking Wonder Woman. Dang. :(

BTW, what the holy hell did they do to "Lie To Me"? That show was must-watch for me, but this season is just unmitigated awful. I feel like I'm watching bad fanfic of it instead of the show it used to be. Someone on TWOP said that it felt to them like Fox is trying to turn Lightman into House, and that nailed it perfectly. I'm a pretty tolerant viewer when it comes to suspension of disbelief, and I've said "oh, come ON!" at some point in every episode I've watched since it came back on. I may have to just take it off my season pass list, I don't want to watch another good show flush itself.

I've also given up on So You Think You Can Dance. I loved that show so much, but I can't handle any more of Nigel and Mia. She's so unreservedly pompous and cruel and he's so jaw-droppingly racist that it completely eclipses the dancing. Every season it's another rehash of "let's put people who aren't contemporary on the show, and then quickly eliminate them as soon as we can" that I wonder why they even bother. And Sonya Tayeh hasn't done anything as good as "The Garden" since, Tyce's Broadway is unwatchable, and WTF putting them in *animal costumes* for an African dance?

At least Burn Notice is still good-- better than it was last season, I think. I love Jesse, and Fiona and Madeline's criticism of Michael has been completely spot on.

Can't wait till the normal season gets here.

hi, new people!

cupcakes (angelheav)
Here, have a cupcake icon. :)

So... about the post I made earlier tonight... rants that build up over months come out even rantier than I usually am, I'm not usually *quite* that bad, I don't think...

Anyway, welcome!

Pagan tithing

freedom
(A friend on Facebook put up a really interesting post on tithing, and she linked to the article I'm about to address in it. I wish I could address and link to her post, but proper blogging etiquette is to give a linkback in that post to here, so that she and her commenters, if they wish, can comment here. But I really, REALLY do not want this account linked to my real-name one on Facebook (if you follow me on both, please respect this and don't ever mention this username there) because I discuss a number of fairly sensitive issues here and value the privacy of my pseudonymity. Her post, I think, was a better one than this article and a whole heck less frivolous, but you works with what you gots, and this is what I've got to work with.)

So, should Pagans tithe to their parent grove/coven/organization/Hof? Here is the article I'm commenting on, have a look at what they suggest a Pagan tithe could be used for:

# Pay college tuition for a Pagan child. How can education not improve the world?
# Join or start an investment club that uses socially-responsible screening or shareholder activism which meets your goals.
# Use it to make up the difference to buy recycled, free-range, organic, hormone-free, sweatshopless dolphin-safe stuff that usually costs more than you can justify spending.
# Give it to homeless people.
# Take in a stray animal.
# Donate to your favorite charity.
# Adopt a polar bear.
# Spend the dollars at Pagan businesses.


It's actually a pretty good representation of why I think tithing is a lousy idea in the broad at this point in the development of organized neo-Paganism-- it's unfocused, and some of it is fantastically frivolous. I've got a lot of thoughts about this, let's see if I can pin it down a bit more.

MoreCollapse )

check these scamming SOBs!

boomstick
So my mother is in a nursing home temporarily for physical rehab therapy, right? First the doctor & discharge planner at the hospital said she'd be there a week. And I get that this is a guesstimate, but still, they thought it would be *very* short term. Important thing of note: Medicare will pay for the first 20 days, so long as doctors agree that she needs the rehab (as opposed to "doesn't need the rehab but isn't safe to go home alone"). After 20 days, they start having to draw down the patient's liquid cash reserves until a certain point is reached where Medicaid can be applied for and take over.

Right, so. My mother asks today when the hell she's getting out of there, and they tell her the 11th. She has a righteous fit, tells them that she was told she'd only be there a week, and why would they keep her that long? Social worker who said this goes and talks to supervisors, comes back and tells my mother that they changed their mind and she's going home on Wednesday. Woohoo!

But here's the thing... I did the math. From the day she arrived until the 11th would be... guess. If you said "20 days exactly", you win the gold prize. Scamming little fuckers, they want to wring every last dime out of Medicare before they discharge her, regardless of whether she's fit enough to go home. That seriously pisses me off!

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no, we're not all on one path

freedom
I really, really like this article on the Wild Hunt blog discussing an editorial in the Boston Globe by author Stephen Prothero about the dangers of "godthink", the idea that all religions are essentially the same:

“The gods of Hinduism are not the same as the orishas of Yoruba religion or the immortals of Daoism. To pretend that they are is to refuse to take seriously the beliefs and practices of ordinary religious folk who for centuries have had no problem distinguishing the Nicene Creed of Christianity from the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism from the Shahadah of Islam. It is also to lose sight of the unique beauty of each of the world’s religions. But this lumping of the world’s religions into one megareligion is not just false and condescending, it is also a threat. How can we make sense of the ongoing conflict in Kashmir if we pretend that Hinduism and Islam are one and the same? Or of the impasse in the Middle East, if we pretend that there are no fundamental disagreements between Judaism, Christianity, and Islam?”

I couldn't agree more. I've never been comfortable with this idea that seems to come up any time I tell a Christian friend, co-worker, or family member that I'm a Pagan: "that's fine, we're all on separate paths to the same mountain anyway". And I twitch in my seat, aware that they've just managed to erase my religion *and* pin me such that if I object, I look like the intolerant one. I'm loath to commit the intersectional sin of using another oppression as metaphor, but it is a bit like "I don't see race, we're all humans anyway". Well, yes, we are, but some of us are, in this culture, more "equal" than others. As in we're not treated as equals at all, and to pretend we are is a particularly dangerous fantasy that lets the majority live in comfort believing themselves to be tolerant, while not doing anything to address the core inequity that they've just papered over with a blithe statement like that.

We're not the same. We're not on different paths to the same mountain, we're on different paths to *different mountains*, with different cultures, different traditions, different values, and different Gods. I know you don't want to acknowledge difference, if you see it, you have to realize that as much as you wish otherwise, we're not all the same, you're sharing the world with a lot of people who may not want what you want or value what you value.

I've been building up to a rant about this for a long time, that entirely too many Christians-- even Christians who are savvy to other -isms-- can't accept the reality that their religion is privileged in this society. You've got a worship house for your religion on every street corner, every schoolchild knows your religious stories, your holidays are mandatory government closings, your religion is mandatory for a President to be elected in this country, and there is widespread, institutional discrimination and oppression of people who belong to religions that aren't yours. Hell, even debates with atheists are oriented around your religion, religions with other paradigms might as well not exist at all in these discussions. I frankly don't know how in the good Earth you can miss this! Or why you get so astonishingly angry when a non-Christian points it out, or says that no, people on the internet being mean and mocking to Christians and Christianity simply isn't the same thing as Muslims being detained or arrested, Pagans losing custody of their children, and members of Yoruba-derived African Traditional Religions being hounded by police and neighborhood associations for practicing their faiths. You do not have to fear losing everything you value simply because you're Christian, not in the US.

That's not an attack on you, that's the everyday reality that people who aren't Christian are perfectly well aware of-- and if you care about issues of privilege, you should be aware of it too. You have an immense amount of power, you'd be doing a world of good if you used that position of power to affirm, be conscious of, and celebrate difference. Don't say we're all on the same path, don't elide what makes us different. Don't simply make a token gesture of tolerance, pat yourself on the back, and think you're done. Learn about our religions (we have to learn about yours, just to exist in this culture), stand up for our religious freedom and fight against religious discrimination. Be aware of the effect you have on other people.

I'm probably going to get in trouble for this post, but this is something that's been bugging me for a long time.

I still has panda and mouse

cute (icons_whispered)
TY to everyone who voted in my silly poll yesterday! Trash has been taken out, and the panda and mouse are still here. The mouse is sitting in a shipping box waiting for my mom to be allowed to go back to her apartment (I'll tell her the internet voted!), and I'll start asking around to different charities when I have a moment for the panda (and a couple of other stuffed critters that I wouldn't mind downsizing, long as they have a chance to go to a home rather than a landfill).

I owe my husband an apology for calling him too lazy to bag them-- turns out that he didn't bag them because he was trying to come up with a way to save them without getting in trouble with me! He couldn't bear to toss them either but didn't want me to get angry about it. D'aww! See, this is why I married this guy! :D

BTW, speaking of stuffed animals, we now both have a wind rider cub plushie of our own. It's funny how they're not quite identical, mine has a more wide-open mouth. (LOL @ the big mouth going to the extrovert!) Mine's named Ogar, and his is named Cairne (we'll miss you, CowChief!).

The *rest* of the stuff, though... while he's gone, the week I take off will be spent ruthlessly going through all his hoarded papers in his office in an attempt to apply some discipline. BTW, anyone know what the standard is for keeping bills these days? Once they're recorded as paid, you can ditch them, right? (Unless kept for tax purposes, obviously.)

fate of panda and mouse is in YOUR hands!

kitty nooo
I am, apparently, that silly person in the infamous IKEA lamp ad. In the process of uncluttering my living room, I put two stuffed animals on the "trash" pile. Trash doesn't go out till tomorrow night, and my husband won't take all the boxes and crap out till then. And he's too lazy to put the fucking things in a bag. So every. single. time. I walk into the kitchen, there they are. Looking all mournful. They even fell such that one looks like he's holding the other. AWWW! :'(

They aren't, and never were, favorites of mine. They were gifts from my mother about 15 years ago. One is a two-foot floppy panda with a beach shirt and beach hat. The other is a 1' stuffed mouse with ginormous ears and a Christmas sweater and santa hat. I think it's possible that the reason I don't care for them is that I don't like stuffed animals in clothing-- it's much more her taste than mine. These two have been in a pile of clutter for years, and I've tried both Freecycle and Salvation Army to no avail-- nobody seems to want them.

I thought I was cool with chucking them, but the more I think about them in a landfill and a dirty garbage truck, the sadder I get. It's ridiculous, but I've got this *thing* about stuffed animals. I tweeted about this, and got one "rescue them!" and one "chuck them, you don't need more clutter!"-- so I leave it to you to determine their fate. No pressure, really!

Poll #1556780 save them, or trash them?
Open to: All, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 15

Save the stuffed critters? Or save my uncluttered living room?

View Answers
Animals! Throwing cute stuffed critters out in the rain is bad, you meanie!
2 (13.3%)
Living room! You don't need more clutter, stop being sentimental over stuffed critters that aren't your favorites to begin with
2 (13.3%)
Keep looking for a charity for the panda and mail the mouse to your mother. It might cheer her up.
10 (66.7%)
Send one or both to me! I'll even pay you for the shipping.
0 (0.0%)
Something else, that I will explain in the comments
1 (6.7%)

pantsless Pagans

spiderweb (avatarfish)
Folkish Asatru says stupid things, film at 11. Otherwise known as oh dear god, why did I read the comments?

We've got feminism is all about special rights and women afraid of being treated like men, people proud to be white, omg European people are so threatened and white pride is just like black pride, the head of the Asatru Folk Alliance saying how non-racist he is but is completely unwilling to answer people debunking him, racist Pagans *don't exist* (love that one), it's easy to find and avoid racism in Paganism, and on and on. And a POC who notes that she's both Scots/German and African descended, and does she not have the right to call upon the Celtic gods of her heritage? (AFA guy won't answer that either.) I'd like these people to answer this: who's closer to the Gods of their heritage, a POC who was born and raised in Scandinavia, or me, a third-generation American whose grandparents fiercely believed in assimilation to the point of trying to avoid practicing any traditions from Europe that they might have inherited when their parents immigrated? The logic behind folkishness is just functionally silly.

All in the name of Pagans standing united for our rights to worship freely. I'm thinking that's a great sentiment, but I care just as much that someone is a decent frakking human being as I do that they're also a Pagan human being. We have a duty to educate ourselves about privilege and repudiate this kind of racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist bullshit that's pushing people who don't experience these privileges (particularly POC) out of Paganism. Until we can face up to that, I just think this Pagan alliance thing is... IDK, phony? Pointless? I mean, Christian privilege is a reality too, and oppression of non-Christian religions is real, but we're not doing ourselves any favors by talking up equality and being so unwilling to practice it. And I really love McNally's utter cheek in equating himself to a NA activist.

hee!

spiderweb (avatarfish)
This is funny even if you don't follow Petter Northug or skiing in general. All you need to know is that he's a Norwegian Olympic gold-medal cross-country skier, and he's scary, scary good. And pretty damn arrogant about it, though he's so disarming it's cute. So, on to the parody, which an awesome person subtitled in English:



LOL Counterstrike!

Tags:

getting to know you meme

wide open world
I don't often post memes, but since I've got a few new people on my flist (hi, new people!) and one of them posted this, I figured "sure, why not?" I messed with a couple of the questions, to make them more interesting.

1. Here's a list of 35 things. If you're up for it, and short and sweet is fine.

2. Comment here with your answers and repost the questionnaire on your own journal (if you want)...

Questions and more questions!Collapse )

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it's the Pagan Persecution Polka!

good and bad (iconsbycurtana)
Yes, it's not trivial that the circle set aside at the Air Force Academy in Colorado for ritual and worship ceremonies by members of Pagan religions was vandalized with a large cross, particularly because of the context (long history of discrimination there against members of minority religions, commandant lost his job because of it, located somewhere that's a HQ for large Dominionist group). It's a move intended to scare people out of exercising the right to worship in peace.

But oh my freaking Gods, Pagans, dial it down a notch, will you? I swear, give white people a reason to whine about persecution and it's like the whole damn world came crashing down (and yet they're always the same people to whine that other oppressed groups need to stop being "PC" and bootstrap their way to success), complete with accusations of treason, mention of fifth columns, dogs & RA cats living together, mass hysteria, and oh yeah, comparisons between internet trolls and Martin Luther King. And lots and lots of hypocrisy.Collapse )

Then, after a parade of silliness of this sort, the blog owner finally steps in and starts deleting comments. Not banning the idiots calling for violent response and holy war and all of this other horseshit, but limply deleting a couple of comments and telling people to pretty please stop fighting now, kids. Thereby ensuring to anyone who looks at what's out there as *the* primary Pagan news outlet that Pagans are crazy.

On the whole revolution thing, though, they've got a point... an awful lot of Neo-Pagans are really revolting.

Dell computers

storm (khushi_icons)
Watching what's happening to multiple people on flist/Twitter-- this is too late to help them, but might help someone else.

If you buy a Dell computer, buy the upgraded warranty and ESPECIALLY buy the premium tech support. Yes, it's almost $200 more for each, but it's better than buying a whole new machine. It's also better than having to go through their horrid voice-tree phone system and talking to an overseas, underpaid tech support person who isn't certified by Dell and may or may not know anything whatsoever about your machine or the software you're running on it. Dell computers are shit, they break more than they work. That combo will mean the difference between a broken PC and trying to fix it yourself (or ship it back to them, provided you're still under warranty and can even get through to a human being), and a certified tech taking your call without waiting and dispatching a repair guy to your house to personally fix whatever is wrong with it within three days after your call.

Extended warranties are usually unnecessary upselling for a lot of products, but for Dells, they're *really necessary*. This is the best money I ever spent, without exception-- I have already used this service four times with the laptop I bought in August. I hate seeing people left hanging with broken laptops because they didn't buy these two services, so maybe this PSA will help someone who's thinking of getting a new computer.

filming of a book trailer

bottle path (khushi_icons)
This is just the coolest thing ever! hagazusa, one of the lovely people on my flist, is a published author who has a book coming out soon that's historical fiction of the Pendle Witches in Lancashire, UK. (And is, I think, one of the only novels I've heard of concerning witch trials that *doesn't* have me calling bullshit. I know how solid her historical knowledge and interest is, and I know her research is impeccable. It's definitely not a "OMG NEVER AGAIN THE BURNING TIMES" screed like others I've read.)

In any event, her publisher sent out a film crew to create a trailer for her book! She blogs about the filming process here. Fascinating read, with a haunting photo of the area that inspired the book. This is just too cool, what an awesome experience to have!

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