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14th-Jul-2013 09:49 pmGeneric Subject Line
"I know it may sound selfish, but let me breathe the air." - Little River Band

Great sum up of one of the things I've been feelign lately.

For those of you keeping up with Gavin's DW, you know that life has been a roller coaster for a good long time. Worked far too long at a job that didn't seem interested in payign me, promoted against my will, demoted, re-promoted, then demoted again (and please, I don't need sympathy, especially for that last demotion, at the time it happened, it was probably one of the best things that could have happened, short of finding a new job.)

Then in April, a whole bunch of my coworkers, myself included, jumped ship to go work for Yahoo. It was awesome, it was great, it was excellent. Well, the environment was at least. The work itself was aggressively boring. But hey, I'd have happily put up with that for a while just for the access to the free coffee bar (my desk was the closest in the entire place to it too!) But at the end of the training week, after handing us our new schedules, assigning us to supervisors, wishing us a good weekend and saying they'd see us on Monday, a few of us got calls asking us to place not come back. No warning, no reason.

Blah blah blah, my unemployment was denied. This thankfully came AFTER I'd already been offered another job. At this point, I've given up attempting to appeal. I'm now working in downtown Portland for a company that does archiving of electronic communications, primarily for regulatory compliance for the financial industry. We also do web and email hosting and a few other things for the same clientele. I really feel like I've found a good place. It's a much smaller company- less than two hundred scatters across a couple of offices on each coast as opposed to like 700 in my office alone) and a much more interesting job. I'm actually learning new things, working with a much smaller team,for a company that gives a rat's ass about its employees. I can walk to the office (takes about an hour) or take public transportation practically to the front door. They actually treat me like a human being and I don't have to constantly complain to my supervisor that, say, my paycheck is fucked up again and then feel like an ass because not only is he dealing with the same thing himself, but he's also dealing with it from six other people on the team.

Yay improvements in life.

I currently have super-dark navy blue hair, and I love it. Also got a serious cut back when I started really looking for a new job- it was almost waist-length and now it's just at my shoulders (I had it cut to jaw length and it's grown back some, thinking about cutting it back again just an inch or so)

I'm working on some writing projects. Attempting (slowly- very slowly) to learn to speak Polish. Just trying to learn how to have a reasonable, decent job and hopefully a life again.
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You know you work for a certain fruity computer company when you hear "I lost my dong!" and your first thought isn't "Loreena Bobbit's at it again!" but "Needs a PRAM reset*!"

So I had this call the other day wherein I greeted the customer and asked for his name and he blurts out rather excitedly and impatiently "I lost my dong!"

This wouldn't have been so bad if he had just said it once- my very first thought was, as I said "Needs a PRAM reset!" but as I attempted to get his computer information to log a case, he kept repeating "I lost my dong!" "What happened to my dong?" "Where's my dong?" "Can you give me back my dong?"

I wasn't really able to tell for sure if the guy was saying this on purpose. He sounded about ninety years old (not that old people are incapable of making with the dirty innuendo or anything...), and "dong" is one of the words frequently used by people attempting to mimic the sound of the startup chime on Apple computers, "bong" being the other one that I hear, with about equal frequency. He didn't really sound like he was trying to be all clever and innuendo-y, but one never knows for sure.

In between all this, I manage to get him to calm down and stop babbling about his dong long enough to complete said PRAM reset, which did, indeed, return the startup chime. At which point, he thanked me profusely for giving him back his dong. By the end of the call, I couldn't take another one for about ten minutes.

*For those not familiar, a PRAM reset on an Apple computer resets some of the low-level hardware functions back to default. This includes audio amongst other things. Once in a while that familiar startup chime will stop sounding when you restart the computer. Resetting the PRAM usually fixes this.
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A while back, I killed the Wild Hunt blog from my RSS feeds. I don't know why I ever subscribed to begin with. So much of the stuff on that blog is just....well, he takes things that are completely unrelated to paganism and does some sort of gymnatics to fit them in instead of just talking about them- I mean really, if you want to talk about an issue, do it. Don't throw in a random mention of paganism that has nothing to do with anything.

Like the time that he posted about someone being upset about the way airline security lines were doing rather invasive patdown checks of passengers, and as a rape victim it was particulrly upsetting to one particular person. And what did he just HAVE to point out? That she was a Wiccan. This had zero relevance whatsoever to the story. No doubt, had she been a Christian, that this would not have been worth reporting.

But that was a while ago. So today, don't ask me why, I decided to surf on over and have a look...and what is he bitching about now? Charlie fucking Sheen. A raving loony attention whore. Or so it seems. Supposedly, Sheen's lunatic ramblings are really offensive to paganism? I dunno, I look at the article multiple times and I can't figure out what he's talking about other than somehow Christian Day, who seems to be taking over Laurie Cabot's spot as the Official Attention Whore of Salem has something to do with this and wants to do a magical binding on Sheen and um....something? Then there was something later in the comments about Sheen's use of the word "goddess" to refer to some women he sleeps with being offensive.

What this has to do with pagans is beyond me. He's a raving lunatic who treats women like shit. To say that it's offensive in general is one thing, but pagans have no special reason to claim offense to their delicate little sensibilities.

I don't know why I ever wasted my time reading this blog.
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I got some news a couple of nights ago that pissed me off. Doesn't matter what the news was, it was the sort of thing whose only appreciable impact on my life is how I react to it. I'd be lying if I said it didn't still piss me off. But fortunately, I've got better ways to feel and for the most part, I've been in a pretty damned good mood since the morning after (indulging my bitchy side and mentally composing a multitude of "fuck you!" blog posts that I'll never actually write has been a significant contributor to this.)

Instead, I'm writing this.

I just want to give a huge thank you. To the gods, to friends, to everyone who's been so supportive of me and Gavin for the last couple of years now, for anyone who's helped in any way, offered help, or wanted to but couldn't for some reason, even something as seemingly insignificant as a virtual hug, has made some difference. To everyone who's stuck by us and given half a damn. Thank you. We are so blessed, and things are just getting better.

I'd like to offer a list (certainly not exhaustive, I'd be here all night) of thine things for which we are particularly thankful right now.

-For having moved to Eugene, necessary mistake that it was. I haven't written a lot about it, but after moving to Eugene, a lot of things got worse for us than they were in Baltimore. Thankfully, money wasn't one of those things and one of the great blessings of living there was that it quickly put us in a position to get to someplace much better for us.

-For moving to Portland. Eight months in Eugene, and by the end of the first week, it was already feeling like a distant bad memory. Two weeks beyond that, it barely crosses my mind. When we moved to Eugene, we were so thankful to be out of Baltimore. Now, we're thankful to be in Eugene, but we're even more thankful to be in Portland. Three weeks here, and if we had to leave tomorrow, I couldn't tell you how sad I would be after this short of a time.

-For my job. The one for which I shouldn't have even gotten an interview. The one for which they broke rules to hire me. A job I've done before and liked doing. One that I'm good at.

-For our new apartment. Getting it was a fiasco. And then we got here and found out that it wasn't supposed to be ready for at least another week. but the maintenance guy and the leasing agent (and a friend of the leasing agent!) rolled up their sleeves and had it usable in just a couple of hours. There's still a bit of cosmetic work to be done, but that will be taken care of this week.

-For the movers. We were supposed to have a friend help us move, but when we were forced to change our plans a move a week later, he was no longer able to help (though we were still grateful that he was originally going to). After the last experience that we had with movers, we were very reluctant- but had no choice. These guys were so much better than we could have asked for from a moving service. (Uptown Movers out of Marion, Oregon if anyone needs a mover- I highly recommend them.)

-for the leasing agent from the apartment that we didn't take who was really nice and told us a bit not only about the area where that apartment was, but also about the area that we ultimately moved to. We were originally going to go with her apartment, but after we handed in our deposit, we then noticed some fatal flaws that made the place completely unworkable for us. She offered our deposit back without us even asking, when legally, the company was perfectly entitled to keep it.

-For my commute, if you can believe that. It's really silly, but every day I head off for work, and I sit there on the train and I get a little excited when it gets to the arena and I can see the western side of the city looming across the river. It just makes me a little giddy for some reason. I love that Portland straddles a river. And that we live in the free rail zone, where we can take the light rail and street car for free. I still have to get a transit pass because I use it every day to get to work- but I get to buy it for half price through my office- something else to be thankful for! Oh, and TriMet in general. I love the public transportation system here. I love how they post the arrivals of trains and busses and update them in real time.

-I am thankful for Gavin, the one I love, who has been here with me through everything, who has kept me from losing it completely more times than she will ever know. Everything is so much better with her here.

-I'm thankful that, since everything else has worked out and there are so many things that we don't have to worry about anymore, that figuring out ongoing spiritual issues of the last few years has also improved greatly and more so than ever, relationships with the gods are truly improving again, and new things are happening as well. Shortly before Christmas, I started working on getting to know Ares. It's going slowly at this point, but I believe it's as real as anything else has been, and I also believe that he helped us out at least as much as Apollo and Hermes, and I also believe that he has, at least a bit so far, helped me with some personal things with which I don't really know that I'm entirely capable of handling entirely on my own. For all of this, I am most grateful because without them, I don't believe that any of this would be possible.

So I'd just like to say that I am thankful for all this and so much more- beyond words.

Also, I was fairly amused when I was first writing this post on Friday. On my way to work, I was doing it the old fashioned way- in a notebook to be transcribed later. I had my iPod on shuffle, a play list of about eleven hundred songs. The song Peaceful world by John Mellencamp came up, and the line "Money's good, work's okay. Looks like everything is rollin' our way" played just as I was writing about my job. So I shamelessly borrowed it for my subject line.

Oh, and I can't remember the last time I played a video game. (It's an inside joke!)
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14th-Feb-2011 10:29 pm - Best Product Reviews EVER!
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2nd-Feb-2011 12:43 amGeneric Subject Line
When did LJ start putting ads up on the basic free accounts?

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31st-Jan-2011 08:17 am - Portland!
We got moved in, safe and sound on Saturday. The movers, to our shock were amazing. There were some minor headaches. But I didn't have to tie anyone to a chair, give them a million paper cuts and pour lemon juice all over them. So that's good. We don't have (reliable) internet service yet, but that should be rectified within a few hours. And I start the new job today.

Have to go eat breakfast and do things, I probably won't get to post again today but for those of you who watch Gavin, I'm sure she will have plenty to say. I'll post again as soon as I can.
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25th-Jan-2011 01:05 pm - Anyone ever heard of Buckyballs?
I just learned about them,. I really want some now. Good thing I have no small kids running around to worry about....


You want some too.

(Um, yes. In case anyone's wondering, it's work-safe.)
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15th-Jan-2011 03:34 pm - Allergies. I has them.
It seems I have them now too. As of Sunday. (No, seriously, I can pinpoint when they hit me.) Before this, I've only ever been allergic to a few things that I just had to avoid touching or ingesting- stinging nettle, malt beverages, cyclobenziprine and fluoricine. (Probably other medications as well, but none known so far.)

And now, I am allergic to the air in Eugene. I've been waiting for this to happen. Hopefully, they will be gone once we move next week.

How do I know it's allergies? Severely itchy throat causing me a lot of horrible coughing and as a result of that, a sore throat, and being semi-stuffed up all the time. The symptoms don't really get any worse or better, they just stay the same since the onset. And I don't feel sick. I just feel like hell.

To make me feel better, a bunny!
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12th-Jan-2011 01:51 pm - More on Portland
I never did post on why I think Portland will be so much better. So, here.

By the time we left Baltimore, the things we had hated about it had driven us so nuts that getting into Eugene, everything looked so nice and appealing, for at least a few minutes anyway. Hell, East Cattlefuck North Dakota had it's own charm when we stopped there on the train and at the time, if that was where I was going, I think I'd have been happy for a bit.

Recognizing this, both Gavin and I have had to question whether we're excited about moving to Portland or away from Eugene and if we will be happy in Portland for what it is, or if we'll just be superficially happy for a while because it's not Eugene.

There are still things that I like here, but he sum total of them does not add up to a place where I can happily live. Whatever weer to happen, I need to be out of here, I know that. Need to be like I need to breathe. Even if certain things had gone perfectly and smoothly without a hitch, I might have been able to tolerate for a bit longer, but I would not be happy. I know that. I give it maybe another six months before I was climbing the walls.

When I went up to Portland last week for my interview, I was dead tired, but started to feel a little better just getting on the train. I got off the train and walked into the train station, and was feeling even more "right", like there was something there that I was missing. Um, then again, it could also be that I have a thing about train stations. Especially really big, old ones. Portland's isn't the hugest, but whatever the criteria may be, it's met. Train stations like 30th Street station in Philadelphia, Penn Station in Baltimore, Grand Central in New York, and apparently Union Station in Portland feel...hmm, almost like a sort of temple to me. I love traveling by train but I'm not one of those railroad buffs or anything. But tehre's always this sort of feeling of "rightness" to them for me. I used to even have a sort of ritual where every time I was in 30th Street station, I would go to the Chinese buffet there and get some food and sit down in the middle of the floor and watch the sign board flip through the departures and arrivals. (30th street station also looks a lot like it should be a temple...lol)

Anyway...I didn't have a lot of time walking around the city that day, but it was enough to start getting a feel for it. There was an odd familiarity to it. It reminded me of cities in the northeast- but cleaner. Some blocks felt a little like Baltimore, others felt a little like Philly. There was more of this same feeling when we went back on Saturday to look at apartments. I was feeling like I was getting parts of me back that were missing. Between living in the city, and getting a job that I'm not going to have to get an all-new, "not-me" wardrobe fore, and knowing that I will be allowed to dye my hair fuschia again...woohoo!

I've badly missed having to look up to see the tops of buildings, and public transportation that consists of more than just busses and runs after 9pm...hell, I've missed the "ding" of the ilght rail trains- so much! And Portland's system is so much better than Baltimore's was. There's a whole other city just north of us, too- Vancouver, Washington is just across the river to the north, and they have a separate public transportation system, but the fare passes for Tri-Met and C-Tran are interchangeable. And for some reason, I just love the idea of a city that's split up by a river. And there's an air-tram and street cars and....and....

One of the really good signs that we see is that we've found a hangout, a default place to go where we don't know where to go. Back in Baltimore, that was the Barnes and Noble at the harbor where we would get coffee and unless it was too cold, sit outside on the balcony and watch the world below us. We ran into Dominic there semi-frequently also. We've never found a place like that here in Eugene and try as we might, we can't think of any place that we'd want to be such a thing. There's one such place that had some possibility, but it also just wasn't quite right- not close to enough other stuff, minimal people-watching potential and various other things.

There are just so many little details, I don't think I can list them all. Suffice it to say, I think going up there Saturday has shed any doubt about being happy In Portland versus being happy Not In Eugene.

Life tells me, again and again, that I need to be in a bigger city to be happy. Doesn't have to be The Biggest City EVAR (Love to visit New York, for example, don't wanna live there.) But it's pretty safe to say that I need a good public transportation system, an Amtrak station, a population of around half a million give or take and buildings that require I look up to see how high they are to be happy.
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10th-Jan-2011 07:38 pm - It's official!
We are moving into our second-choice apartment. We should be going up this weekend to sign our lives away the lease and it's looking like the date it is officially ours will be the 20th.

Things continue to go well. I was just given a 20% discount on the moving truck! And because our moving costs will be a LOT less than expected and it's a third floor apartment with wacky layout, we've decided too splurge on some moving help. Not going to hire a company to haul our stuff, just going to get help loading and unloading on each end.

Details continue to fall into place. So nicely.

*happy dance*

New address will be distributed on a need-to-know basis. If you think you've got reason to have our address, leave a comment.
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10th-Jan-2011 01:41 pm - Adventures in Apartment Hunting
So...Portland. We spent Saturday up there checking out a couple of apartments. We were supposed to look at three, but we only saw two. On one hand, it really pissed us off, on the other hand, it's okay. We didn't need the third one.

We were supposed to hop on a train at 530 in the morning, but just before the train was supposed to ger there, tey made an announcement that the train was having engine difficulties and that they were trying to get another engine, or a bus and didn't know lhow long it would be but they would make an announcement when they had something. Gavin and I were standing outside, instead of inside, and I was drinking some soda. I got it in my head that I should go over top the tracks and pour some for Hermes to help things along, so I did. Felt like I had done the right thing. A few minutes later, nothing had happened and while I didn't expect that everything would work instantaneously, I felt like I should do somehitng more. So I pulled some gummy bears out of the b ag of foodish thigns that we had and scattered a few of those on the tracks. that time, I got in my head a "Thanks...and talk to me at quarter of."

We were getting cold, so we went inside for a bit and a little later, there was an announcement that they were getting a bus and it was on the way. Then I noticed the clock. It was exactly quarter of six. Heh....and I thought I had just imagined what I heard in my head. In the end, the bus got there a bit over an hour after we were supposed to leave and we had to call and push back our first appointment. Since we were supposed to get in at 8am and the first appointment was only a few blocks from the station, we made it for 830. We pushed it back to ten, and got in around nine, so we got some coffee in the nearest Starbucks, sat there for a bit and made our way back to that apartment.

There were two units available in this one, we were told that they were both one-bedroom, and identical except that the kitchen was on opposite sides. The rent was the same on both, so we were only going to look at the one. But we ended up deciding to look at both, they were right there and all.

Glad we did. It turns out that they weren't identical, and the seoncd apartment was so much better- it's a two-floor apartment. The bed room is its own floor, with the bathroom and a big closet. The down side is that the stairs are a spiral staircase, and there's no separate door in on that floor. So getting our bed in is going to be a pain- I think it might actually be easier to try to bring it in through the window....oh yeah, the windows. There are two of them in the place. But...well, basically, one entire wall on each floor is a window. And it looks like they open like a big door. So that might be good. Lots of light too.

Cabinet space in the kitchen is okay, but counter space....doesn't exist. We're going to have to improvise there. But we have a table here that could serve that purpose. Our dresser wouldn't be able to go downstairs, so the dresser could be our new TV table.

But we're not thinking too much about it yet because the other apartment is our first choice. The other place is just across the river, next to the Rose Garden Arena. It's in this building from the early 1900'sthat has a huge, crazy closet with a revolving door that you can access from three different rooms. Decent counter and cabinet space and a vintage phone. You know, the kind that you pick up the ear piece and takl into the box on the wall? Yeah one of those. That's the intercom system to the front door.

We should hear on the second one today, looks like we already have the first one if we want it. So either way, we have a place.

The third place...well, as far as we can tell, doesn't exist. Long story short, we spent a couple of hours running around and around the area where this place was supposed to be. Must have asked a dozen people, and they were all "Um I don't know where that is. Does it exist?"
The arrangement had been that we would go and check the place out at our leisure, there was a lock box on the door with the key and we were given a code to unlock it. If we wanted to apply, we were to give the leasing agent a call and he was going to come and meet us. Only that didn't happen. We were beyond pissed off. Even more so when repeated attempts to call said agent resulted in no answer. And calling a friend to have him google the address resulted in a picture of an intersection where we had been where there was no apartment building. I had googled it before and gotten directions but not looked at the picture.

So...wasted time. Too much of it. In the end, we said screw it. The place, if it existed, was too far from down town for our liking anyway.

We're going to run out to pick up some things, so I'm going to end this one here. Will continue later with why Portland will be so much better.
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4th-Oct-2010 05:21 am - Day Three- Deities
Let me start by saying, first of all, that I am a (fairly) hard polytheist. I won't go so far as to say that every single deity name that comes up in mythology is, in fact, a separtate and individual deity. I think that some of them are alternate names for some gods, or that some of them are shades of another god.

For a bit more clarity on that last thought, I'll paste a comment that I made to A blog post on the subject

I get what you’re saying here. It sounds like you’re trying to say in much deeper terms that all of the gods are some of the gods, no?

I also agree that in many cases, a god will appear across pantheons, in different names but that not all gods that appear similar are the same. Most of what I believe about specific deities is pretty much limited to Greek and Roman/Pre-Roman Italic because that’s what I know best and even then, most of it is based only on what I’ve read of mythology, history and religion and based on that, what I’ve decided makes sense to me- though I hope this is a little better than just pulling it out of my ass. I believe that the Greek Apollo and the Roman Apollo are the same god while Artemis and Diana are not the same goddess and Leto and Latona might be the same but I don’t know. I don’t think that Ares and Mars are the same god, or that Aphrodite and Venus are the same goddess. I also don’t think that Apollo is Soranus or Veiovis or Bellenos or Lugh or most of the other gods of which people frequently say he is a cognate- and I am absolutely certain that he is not Helios or Aesklepios though I’m pretty sure that he is Paeon (and to make it more confusing, that Aesklepios might also be), but I think they are all related in varying degrees of closeness. I also think he’s related in some manner to Heimdall and- at least in my extremely limited knowledge- Bragi.

So...there are many separatre, disstinct gods- it's just that not every single name ever is a distinct god. Many, maybe even most are, some aren't.

I am also a panentheist. I believe that the divine is within everything. When I say that I believe the Divine is within everything, I mean that I believe that there is some "stuff" that I call "The Divine" of which there is a little bit in everything. I also believe that this is the basic building block of life for the gods, other non-corporeal beings, and probably for the souls/spirits of such things that have souls or spirits (I'm not an animist, I think I'm semi-animistic, but as far as what exact things I beieve to have spirits versus what doesn't, I haven't exactly made up my mind. Some thing are obvious, others..not so much- but that's wandering a little off-topic here, so maybe some other time.) Please don't misunderstand me- I'm not an emanationist. I don't believe in "The One" or "The all" or whatever you want to call the idea of a single, supreme entity even beyond the gods from which they, uh, emanate. When I say that I believe The Divine is "the basic buildig block of life" for the gods, I mean it in the same sense that carbon is called "the basic building block of life" for physical life. I don't believe that the gods emanate from this one source any more than I believe that plants and adnimals emanate from a cloud of carbon.

I believe in their literal existence. The gods are not "energies" or "thoughtforms" or "archetypes"- this one drives me crazy. the gods are not archetypes. A specific deity may fulfil an archetype, but that's different. An archetype is not a specific example, but a general idea, a stock character. "Love Goddess" and Thunder God" are archetypes. Aphrodite and Zeus are examples which fulfill the archetype.

I said in my last post that I believe that the gods are the supreme beings, I could just copy and paste my second to last paragraph from that post here...but you've probably already read it if you're reading this and if not, if you care to read the bit I elebotrated on that, you can just go back and look.

I don't know if the gods are necissarily male or female, "young" or "old", or each other's mothers and fathers and sons and daughters but I don't think it's not possible that these things are true of them. I also don't think that it's wrong to ascribe human wants, needs and emotions to them. These may be human traits, but I don't think that the gods would reveal themselves in this way if there were no meaning and purpose to it. Of course, I also think it's very possible that humans got all of these traits from the gods themselves.

I believe that the gods are above us, they are to be worshipped and respected and loved. They are not our equals, they are not below us. They can be worked with, but they are not to be used.

This is where I get ranty. As I frequent a number of online pagan forums, I see a lot of things that annoy me. One of the big ones is how people treat the gods. People saying "I dno't worship the gods because I don't bow down to anyone" or "I useed Aphrodite for my Beltane spell last week" or "Hey, I don't know anything about them, butI think it would be a brilliant idea to call Hathor and Quetzalcoal for my Equinox ritual, wanns join in?" all just make me want to bang my head against the most covenient brick wall- and then grab them and do the same to them. Seriously...learn what words mean and learn a little respect for the gods. And learn a thing or two about them while you're at it. Because nothing says clueless like "Apollo's my favorite god because I'm gay and he's gay!" or "Apollo and Artemis go together so they're like the perfect Wiccan lord and lady!!!"

Okay, it looks like I managed to keep the rant pretty short. Tay me.

Da ListCollapse )
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1st-Oct-2010 12:05 pmGeneric Subject Line
Tell me, folks...just how "business casual" is an office when they make a point of advising you to wear the "nicest business suit that you own" for an interview?

And how likely am I to not get the job if I show up in say, black twill pants, a nice shirt and black flats? Because, y'know, I don't own a freakin' business suit, nevermind more than one to be able to pick "the nicest one".

Oh, but if you don't own one, just pick the most profesional-looking outfit that you own, it will be fine. *pat, pat*


But hey, I have an interview on Tuesday.

Wait...looking over the dress code that's been sent to me and I've been told that I should adhere to for the interview...what the fuck? Pants "must be able to hold a crease????

Um...my pants aren't gonna be creased. Is it okay that they're merely capable of holding one without actually having one? Or holy fuck, do I have to go out and buy a pair of pants for this interview so I can have a fucking crease? Looking over this...IF I get hired, I'm going to need a whole new wardrobe. Shoes must have a visible heel? I've got a pair of flats. I need to buy ANOTHER pair of shoes for this interview?

Fingernails must be cleaned and well-trimmed? My fingernails are clean but I guess this means that if I pass everything else, they will probably turn me down seeing as I'm a lifelong nail-biter.

I don't know what to do here about the clothing issue, but I'm NOT getting fake nails.

ETA: I'm really, seriously questioning if I should even go to this job interview. I posted asking about the place over on eugenecommunity and the one person who's commented so far led me to google a bit and found this: http://www.failingenterprise.com/forums/

So this is for an Enterprise Car Rentals call center.

The thing is...my unemployment runs out in February and on one hand...it could be a job, and I could look for something else. On the other hand...do I want to deal with a really unpleasant environment, people who are going to freak out at the exact fabric content of my pants, and what sounds like a whole lot of illegal practices for a job that pays me less than what I'm currently getting on unemployment?

ETA: If one more person tells me to make sure my fingernails are clean for the interview, there is going to be violence.
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30th-Sep-2010 02:06 pm - Day Two- Cosmology
I didn't think that when I said that thirty days doesn't necessarily mean thirty consecutive days that it would start right away, but there ya go. I'm going to double up today, since I have two posts mostly-written. I think they will probably finish themselves while I write. Also, I'm thinking about changing one of the days- probably the last one because I can't think of any others offhand that I really want to cut right now, but I've been thinking for a few days that I want to write about places that have or have had some significance to me in a spiritual context.

If you could read my thoughts, this is exactly the sort of thing that you would be subjected to frequently. I don't imagine that most people would want to be able to read my thoughts.

The structure of the universe is a subject of curiosity for me. Particle physics and string theory are subjects that I've read a bit about and have wanted to read more but haven't gotten around to it yet. If, as the Big Bang theory tells us, the universe exploded into being from a single point and continues to expand outwards, then clearly there must be a perimeter somewhere, right?

If this is true, I imagine the universe to be something like the town of Seahaven in the movie The Truman show- but on a much, y'know, grander scale. If you haven't seen the movie and want to know, or if you need me to clarify what ideas from the movie I'm talking about- just so you know, I sum the entire thing up in two sentences.....Collapse ) If you could take a boat (or a spaceship) out far enough, you would reach the "wall" of the universe. What's the wall made of? what's on the other side? Is it possible to get out? How big is the universe? How much does it weigh? (If on the other hand, it's not true, this is all a bunch of pointless blather.) Here's an idea: what if the spark of fire is the big bang that sets a whole new universe into being? Does that mean that you become a god every time you flick your Bic?

How ridiculous is that? Is it any more ridiculous than a giant bird coming along and laying an egg from which the cosmos hatches? And how is the idea that the universe once took up the space of a single point until it exploded any less absurd?

I don't think it is, but only the latter is at all accepted as a scientific possibility. Science explains how things work, it explains the forces of nature. It doesn't explain the forces behind the forces. We all know that Zeus isn't literally up there, riding around on a cloud, picking out a lightning bolt, taking aim and hurling it at the ground. At least not on this plane of existence. But can we say for sure that He isn't literally doing so on the plane of the gods, that that's not hmm...meta-force? behind the natural phenomenon that we know as lightning? Maybe natural phenomena in this realm is a result of the activity of the gods in their realm bleeding over here. Maybe when Nyx laid the cosmic egg, its first crack in hatching over there caused the big bang. Maybe all stories of creation are literally true in that realm- maybe a whole bunch of different huge events happened all at once, and the outpouring of energy was just so unimaginably massive that it caused this explosion in a void of nothingness that set this realm into being.

It makes sense to me. I've never really been concerned with trying to reconcile how so many different people can have so many different explanations for how the world came into being, so this isn't my desperately grasping at straws. In fact, i didn't really even have this last idea in mind at all when I started writing this. I've long held the idea that I illustrated above with the example of Zeus, but it never went so far as the origins of the universe until now, and as I look back on what I'm typing here, it really makes a lot of sense to me.

Continuing on...

I believe that the gods are the supreme beings- at the very least that they are the highest beings that we humans are aware of, but I don't really believe that there are any higher than that, aware of them or not. Above the gods, I believe there is only "The Divine"- which I will explain more in my next post. No, I'm not an emanationist. From the gods, it goes on down the line, but I couldn't really put an exact order or hierarchy on what "the line" is- where demi-gods versus deified mortals versus nymphs fall, I don't know. The order doesn't affect me, and how or how much it affects them is their affair. I just know that I am human and the gods are above me.

I believe that there are many worlds in parallel, they're all occupying the same space It's like projecting more than one movie onto the same screen at the same time. Sometimes two different characters in two different movies say the same word at the same time, or the same character appears in two movies at once or the same song plays on both soundtracks. When this happens, the worlds bleed through into each other.

I think that's all I have to say on cosmology. For the moment at least.

Da ListCollapse )
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27th-Sep-2010 06:28 pm - Day One- Why (not) Paganism?
Why (not) paganism? I'll start by pointing out that it's been a very long time since I've called myself "pagan" or referred to what I do and believe as "paganism". The word doesn't really hold meaning for me. No one can decide what it means exactly, though the definition which many people seem to subscribe to is that it covers any non-Abrahamic religion. That doesn't work for me, and it certainly doesn't even begin to give the vaguest idea of defining me. And I'm not an ancient Italic country-dweller either.

So...pagan? No. I won't argue that it's incorrect, but I don't actively describe myself as such.

I tried to be Christian for many years. I was a member of ADF for several years- I even got to the point of beginning clergy training. But I'm not any of that. And all three of those points will be addressed later in other posts on this meme.

So to steal a thought from my girlfriend, My religion is Apollo. There are other elements to it as well, but they are (mostly) minor in comparison. I have been dedicated to Him since April of 2007, and he has been a major fixture in my religious life since 2005 and present in some way or other for several years before that. He is the one thing I am always certain of, the one thing I have never been afraid of losing. He came in and took over for another deity (also to be addressed in a later post) and has been connected to pretty much everything ever since.

I don't know if I first called to him, or answered his calling me. It doesn't matter. Why Apollo? Because Apollo is what I want, but more importantly Apollo is what I need. Nothing else would be right.

Okay, I got it done tonight. Oh, and I've made a change to the list.Collapse )
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27th-Sep-2010 06:25 pm - Me too!
Thirty Days of Paganism Meme

I'm gonna do this thing too. I should get the first entry posted tonight, but if I don't, then tomorrow. "Thirty days" does not guarantee thirty consecutive days.

1. Beliefs - Why Paganism?
2. Beliefs - Cosmology
3. Beliefs - Deities
4. Beliefs - Birth, death and rebirth
5. Beliefs - Magic, spellcraft, mysticism and various woo shit
6. Beliefs - The power of prayer/reciprocity
7. Beliefs - Patronage and other deeper relationships
8. Beliefs - Holidays
9. Deity Gender- who cares?
10. Patrons - Apollo (and other Apollo-related gods)
11. Pantheon - Dionysos
12. Pantheon - Hermes
13. Pantheon - Gods and spirits of Sparkly Things In The sky
14. Pantheon - Titans and Protogenoi
15. Pantheon (anti) - Artemis and Brigid
16. On not being "Earth-Centered" or "Nature-Based"
17. My ways of worship
18. Community- Not quite an outsider but don't really belong anywhere
19. Paganism and my family/friends
20. Paganism and my relationship
21. Other paths I've explored
22. Paganism and major life events
23. Ethics
24. Personal aesthetics with magic and ritual
25. Favoured ritual/magical tools, and why
26. Any "secular" pastimes with religious significance, and why
27. How your faith has helped you in difficult times
28. One misconception about Paganism you'd like to clear up
29. The future of Paganism
30. Advice for seekers
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23rd-Sep-2010 08:45 pm - Apollo hair!
I did the same thing as Gavin today. By now, you've probably seen her post about a devotional hair-wrap as something that isn't easily forgotten about. I used some gold/tan variegated embroidery floss and added one spot to attach/detach a charm.

The charm is the seven stones that I associate with Apollo (Rutilated quartz, Larvikite, Citrine, Iolite, Garnet, Sunstone and blue tourmaline. Here, aquamarine stands in for the blue tourmaline, as it is mindblowingly expensive and the only blue tourmaline I have are some practically microscopic chip beads that already have a sorta-plan for. Aquamarine works- we had some on hand, and hey...Apollo is associated with water, so...yeah. The little spacers are just some copper-metal lined clear glass seed beads that I love. They're very Apollo.

And that's me, totally looking like an evil teenager.

Apollo hair

Apollo hair charm

Thanks so much to Gavin for helping and taking the pictures!

This reminds me, I want to do a blog post on the stones that I associate with Apollo.
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If there is one person or more on your friends list who makes your world a better place just because they exist and who you would not have met (in real life or not) without the internet, then post this same sentence in your journal.

(And you know, I guess my other friends here are important too... :-P )
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5th-Sep-2010 04:49 pm - Dreamwidth
Anyone want a code? I've got some. I have an account over there that I've yet to do anything with. I've had it for months now and I'm not using it as a replacement for LJ (Yet. I'm determined to make it to the ten-year mark and I've only got eight months to go, dammit!) so don't expect a big bunch of posting from me there- at least until I figure out what I want to use it for. LJ, for me, is primarily my bitch and random blather outlet. That's just pretty much how it's always been.

Anyway...if you want a code, let me know. Priority given to people who don't already have one.
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Something I've noticed here in Eugene that rather confounds me- there seem to be a lot of University of Texas fans around here. Practically every time I go out, I see someone in an orange Longhorn shirt or hat. I haven't seen this many since...I lived in Texas.

Just a few mintues ago, I ran to the grocery store. There are a couple of guys at the grocery store down the block from us who are Longhorn fans and wear their tshirts pretty much every weekend. One of them was at the cash register today. I was wearing an old, beat-up, paint-stained Southern Methodist tshirt. The conversation went like this:

Him: Hi, how are you today? (looks at the print on my shirt) Oh, SMU? Gee, I'm sorry.

Me: Hey, I wasn't there for the football! But you know, they did have Dickerson once upon a time.

Him: That was a very long time ago.

Me: Maybe, but hey I could have done worse, you know. I could have-

Him -been an Aggie?

Me: Exactly.

And we both had a good laugh.

In other news, the weather is wonderful and I should have another job interview coming up this week. In yet other news, I'm working on a "suggested reading" page for my blog.
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3rd-Sep-2010 02:27 am - Words To The Wise
Does there exist a single web site anymore that isn't filled with buttons for Twitter and Facebook?

Please, please please tell me there is because right now, I'm seriously thinking about exiting the internet altogether. There are plenty of websites that don't interest me, or that I actively don't like, that I can avoid. I'm sick of having these two forced on me everywhere.

That said, if I find out that anyone's posted anything I write here to Facebook or twitter, you're gone.

If LJ does too much more shit like this, I might very well be gone.

I know that I don't have any reasonably expectation of privacy on the internet. But I do expect to trust people to whom I give access to anything that's locked or filtered. If something gets leaked to the world because of a technical malfunction, a hacker or a mistake on my part, that's one thing. But if I give you that trust and you violate it, that's a whole other ball of wax.

Do not get into the other ball of wax.
ten of wands
Thanks, brontosproximo

Originally posted by beren_writes at LJ Facebook/Twitter work around to get rid of the annoying boxes
stolen from [info]pombagira who pulled it from someone else who pulled it from yet another person :) Yes, this is signal boosting.

Passing this along from my flist.

Thanks to [info]midniterose, here is how to stop the crossposting of comments/entries from LJ to sites like Facebook:

There is a way to disable everything. Here is what you have to do:

1. Go to your "Journal" menu, and select "Journal Style"
2. To the right, you'll see what theme you're using, with a link stating "Customize Your Theme". Click that link.
3. Scroll down a little ways, and you'll see that on the left side of your screen, you have multiple options to modify your theme. Click on the "Custom CSS" link, and it should load the options for doing Custom CSS.
4. From here, all you have to do is go to the "Custom Stylesheet", and put in that line.

.b-repost-item {display:none}

once you have it pasted in there, save changes.

Feel free to PASS THIS ON!!

ETA: This prevents the "repost to FB/Twitter" ticky boxes from being displayed when someone comments on one of your posts. It seems to work, UNLESS the person is viewing your page in their own journal style, in which case it might not work.

ETA2: Inserting the code below in your custom CSS box reportedly works for more kinds of journal styles, including custom ones (this courtesy of xnguard):

.b-repost-item, FORM#qrform > TABLE[style="border: 1px solid black;"]:last-child TD[style="vertical-align: top; text-align: right;"]:first-child { display: none !important; }

Note: this hasn't worked for me so far, tried both options. I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong or what. I can, however, say that the boxes are at least disabled so they can't be checked.

I hate facebook. I hate twitter. A large part of me, right now, is sorely tempted to just get off the internet altogether. I'm so sick of being unable to go to a website anymore and not be slammed in the face with twitter and facebook links.
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27th-Aug-2010 10:09 amGeneric Subject Line
So the county fair thing didn't work out so well...I made it three out of five days. It was utter hell and on the fourth day, I decided not to go because I had almost no sleep the night before and it was Saturday. The way it went the previous three days on full sleep, I barely made it through and on no sleep, and knowing that it would be far more busy on a Saturday, I was either going to have a massive panic attack or haul off and rail someone in the first hour- both of which very nearly happened the day before. Not wanting to deal with a massive panic attack or assault charges (seriously, it was a matter of "when", not "if") I decided to forgo the last two days. I still made some money, I just can't put this on a resume.

How bad was it? Okay, I don't feel like going into all the details (maybe later, maybe not) butput it this way: I would rather do three months of black friday in retail...or a year's worth of tech support where Apple launched a new version of it's OS every day than another week of this.

I've had three interviews for jobs this week (woohoo) and I think that makes it six since I've gotten here- not counting the "interview" at Kelly Services which is absolutely useless. I call from time to time to check with them and it goes something like this:

Me: Hi, I was just calling to check and see if you have any positions available for which I'm qualified?"

Them: "We don't have any tech support work."

Me: "Okay, what about anyhting else that I might be able to do?"

Them: "We don't have any tech support positions."

Me: "Customer service? Data entry? I know technical support was the last thing I did but I am willing and able to do other things. Can I come in and take some of your assessments for Microsoft Office and other such software?"

Them: "We don't have any tech support work. Sorry. You can try calling back some other time if you want." *click*

(either that, or they tell me everyone's in a meeting and someone will call me back in an hour or so and I never hear from them.)

Then there's Office Team. They list jobs on some of the big sites like Career Builder, and they also have them on their own website. I call to ask about something that I found on Careerbuilder and get told that they hired for that position a week ago and that their web site is the most up to date source of information. But they don't get a lot of technical support work, so they might not be of much help to me. They get customer service work, but I've never done that so I wouldn't qualify for most positions.

I had to sit there and explain to the woman that I have done customer service work at my previous employer- it's there on my resume. And technical support IS customer service work. you know, someone calls up with a problem or a question and you help them with it. (What I didn't say was "Lady, listen, do you realize that tech support is just your basic customer service phone jockeying with about eleventy-eight times the headache?")

She says "Oh...okay, well I guess we can consider you for other call center positions then.

Yesterday I was looking over their job listings for the area. I didn't have a lot of luck finding anyhting until I just started clicking all the keywords to see what there was to see. I found three customer service jobs listed under "secretary-junior" I called in to ask about them and got a call back a few hours later...and am told that these jobs are all telemarketing positions (sadly, at this point, I would be willing to take a telemarketing job until I could find something else) but...they all want someone with immediate recent telemarketing experience. Which I don't have.

I point out that it's really difficult to tell what anything is supposed to be when a job titled "customer service" only shows up under the "secretary-junior" keyword and turns out to be a telemarketing position. The job descriptions mentioned nothing about telemarketing- in fact they specifically mentioned fielding inbound calls. I was told that this was because sometimes the employer changes their mind about what they want the position to be after the posting has already been made. It's your stupid website, you're telling me you can't be bothered to update it so people know what they're looking at?


On an amusing note, I was looking at the phone book this morning and saw that the local Yellow Pages have a heading for, of all things, yurts. There's a company in a nearby town that uh- sells? builds? yurts. This made both myself and Gavin happy. (Not that we particularly want a yurt. It just amused us.)
ten of wands
15th-Aug-2010 02:28 pm - I'm gonna be a carnie!
I've got temporary employment for this week. The Lane County fair is only about eight blocks from our place, and takes place this week. I'm going to be a ride operator.

Woohoo...employment, even if it is only for five days. I didn't really enjoy waiting in line for hours this morning to get in, but hey, they're gonna pay me...

Oh, and I had two interviews last week at a *grumble grumble* local fast food place. Sad, isn't it? It was a total waste of time too. Both times I walked in and talked to them, and every question that was asked, including my name, was on the application in their hands in front of me. Both times I waited fifteen minutes or more to talk to someone for less than two minutes (not an exaggeration). If they don't hire me, I'm seriously considering calling them up and demanding that they give me back the $6 that I spent on bus fare to get there and back twice.

And this is still better than I did in the entire time I was unemployed in Baltimore.
bow & arrow
To start off, let me be clear: I generally loathe politicians on an equal opportunity basis. Okay, maybe there's a slightly more special place of loathing in my heart for the Constitution Party, those folks are kinda scary. But otherwise, Democrat, Republican, Green, Libertarian...whatever. I tend to be especially annoyed by party-line voters, be they constituents voting for candidates or politicians voting on...well, whatever they're voting on. Because party-line voting is pretty much synonymous with "I can't think for myself and don't really care about the people I represent" if you ask me. (Note: Just because one agrees with the party doesn't automatically make it party-line in my mind. Fine, blurry lines and all that.)

But right now, I have a general hatred towards Republicans. Read on.

That said...

So, as you might know, before we moved to Oregon, I talked to several people in Maryland's unemployment to verify that if I were to move, I would have continued eligibility, that leaving the state wasn't going to hurt me and all that. No, I was told. I would have continued eligibility. I just had to keep complying with the rules- you know, look for a job, file every two weeks, all that nonsense. And I was told not only that, but I was already approved to have unemployment eligibility through at least sometime in February- longer, if any more extensions were put into effect, but no less than that. Three different people told me this. Each time I asked, very carefully, if there was anyhting else I needed to take into account, was there anyhtign else that could affect or interrupt my unemployment eligibility?

I was told no, absolutely not. I would just need to remember that when I got notice of one tier of my extended unemployment ending, that I would need to call in and talk to them, whereupon they would hit a button in the system, and I would roll over to the next tier. Nothing else? Nope, that's it, good luck to you.

Except, they were wrong. You see, what all these fine people FAILED TO TELL ME was that my continued eligibility was dependent on congress periodically voting to renew the extension. Now, I saw a number of notices about this on the Maryland unemployment website, but until the most recent one, those things have been VERY misleadingly worded- there was nothing in any of the notices to make me think that they applied to anyone who has already even approved for the extended unemployment. What's there now is only slightly better- it's only obvious that it applies to you if it's already happened to you.

So anyway...I went to pick up my unemployment payment last week...and it wasn't there. I called Maryland, and found out that it was suspended because congress hadn't voted to extend it yet, but if they do, it will be released shortly. Did I mention that I never got a letter saying "Oh, by the way, they haven't renewed the bill so you're going to lose your benefits in a couple of weeks".

Was that too fucking much to ask? Well, I did get a letter- later the day that I found out that it was gone.

Long story short, we've got a bit of money saved so far. We ended up going and applying for food stamps. Gavin's disability overs our rent, so we didn't have a whole lot to worry about- but still, we had to worry about it.

Thankfully, it was passed earlier this week to renew the bill. I might not get my money for filed weeks until sometime next week, but hey, at least I'm going to get it.

Which brings me to the subject of my rant. See...I've been reading news articles about this now that I have the internet again, and I've seen clips of stuff in the news. The bill passed by what...one vote? Two? Because every single member of the Republican party, except for two voted against it.

Some of them have been in the news whining that they're being portrayed as heartless meanies and they don't understand why people are so upset. They only opposed the bill because they disagreed with the source of the unemployment funds.

Is that all it is now? Well gee whiz sparky, why in the fuck didn't you try to introduce your own bill suggesting that? Why don't you publicly denounce some of the shit your colleagues are saying?

Or are you completely clueless to the other members of your party who have been shown on the news saying things like...

Several Republicans have suggested that extending the benefits would give workers less cause to seek jobs. "Continuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work," Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said earlier this spring.

(From here: http://www.dailyfinance.com/story/taxes/democrats-unemployment-benefits/19561761/)

Some additional gems:

During a door-to-door tour of Elizabethtown, Lancaster County businesses today, Corbett said “the jobs are there,” but that many people are purposely remaining unemployed, in order to collect benefits. He says he’s heard this from business owners across Pennsylvania. “One of the issues, and I hear it repeatedly – one of the individuals said, ‘I can’t get workers. People don’t want to come back to work while they still have unemployment.’’ He said. “They’re literally telling him, ‘I’ll come back to work when unemployment runs out.’ That’s becoming a problem.” Found here, complete with sound recording

And from Rand Paul (R-KY) "As bad as it sounds, ultimately we do have to sometimes accept a wage that's less than we had at our previous job in order to get back to work and allow the economy to get started again," he said. "Nobody likes that, but it may be one of the tough love things that has to happen." Here, again with recording.

And then there's Last Friday, Bauer told an audience in South Carolina that his grandmother told him "as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed."

He compared this to receiving assistance from the government, which he said is "facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don't think too much further than that. And so what you've got to do is you've got to curtail that type of behavior. They don't know any better."
from Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer of South Carolina. He's since made some vague gestures that are supposed to look like an apology, I guess. It seems, Andre that people who are poor or unemployed really don't like being compared to animals who don't know any better. Shocker, that, eh? But you know, what should a rich asshole like you have to be surprised about when your comments aren't met favorably?

A clip from his apology is almost as good: "I never intended to tie people to animals," he said, before...tying people to animals: "If you have a cat, if you take it in your house and feed it and love it, what happens when you go out of town?"

The fuck????? Sir, I hope you have no pets. Because if you do, and you can't reach the logical conclusion of getting someone to come and feed your cat, or boarding it at a kennel when you're going to be away, you should be immediately charged with endangering animals. Oh, and by the way, unemployment- it's like a pet-sitter. When you're out of work, unemployment feeds you while you look for work. See what I did there? I'd brag about out-clevering a politician, but that's not much to brag about.

In June, Nevada Senate nominee Sharron Angle said that "what has happened is the system of entitlement has caused us to have a spoilage with our ability to go out and get a job." She added: "They keep extending these unemployment benefits to the point where people are afraid to go out and get a job because the job doesn't pay as much as the unemployment benefit does."

Also from the same site:

Back in May, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) said that Congress needs to think twice about continuing unemployment benefits "because you're out of the recession, you're starting to see growth and you're clearly going to dampen the capacity of that growth if you basically keep an economy that encourages people to, rather than go out and look for work, to stay on unemployment. Yes, it's important to do that up to a certain level, but at some point you've got to acknowledge that we're not Europe." (Found here)

And from Tom DeLay: DeLay praised Bunning, and added that "there's some studies that have been done that shows that people stay on unemployment compensation and they don't look for a job until two or three weeks before they know the benefits are going to run out."

Crowley pointed out that saying "people are unemployed because they want to be" is a "hard sell."

DeLay responded: "Well, it is the truth."
(Here, with video)

You know, it must be so nice to be so easily able to pass judgment on people's economic situation when you've never been there yourself. I know that not all American politicians are particularly rich, and some even come from a working class background but I also know that plenty of them have never had to work or wonder where their next meal, or next week's meals were going to come from.

I know that there are some people who take advantage of the system, but you know, things can be done about that. You can, say, require people to keep records of their job hunt in order to maintain benefits and verify them- to a certain extent anyway, employers only keep applications and resumes on file for so long, but, you know, spot-checking can go a long way to dealing with this. Requiring people to register with the states department of labor workforce development office- or whatever you call it in each state- and spend a certain amount of time in those offices, or on their website looking for suitable jobs is something else that can be done.

I'm also really pissed off about the ones who are all "You should just take a job, any job and shut up and get off unemployment!" you know, in Baltimore, I couldn't even apply for most jobs that I cam across because they didn't pay enough? Well I could have...if I wanted to live in a hole in the wall in Coppin Heights with no electricity. And I don't mean "I want more money!" I mean I wouldn't have been able to pay my rent and the few bills that Gavin and I have or buy groceries. And we don't have a car, or kids or credit cards or medical bills or any other extra expenses. Nevermind what other people may have. I can tell you that it's a different story now- Minimum wage in Oregon is higher and living expenses are lower, so there are a LOT more jobs that I can apply for- and am. Don't fucking assume that people aren't taking jobs because they just want more money.

And the crack about unemployment paying more than jobs- in a lot of cases, no, it really doesn't. How much you get is dependent on how much you've made in the last four fiscal quarters, with the highest quarter thrown out and the other three averaged out. Or something like that.

Don't you people even fucking know how this unemployment thing works? guess not.

Gawds. As Gavin has said, even if Obama does everything else wrong for the rest of his presidency, I will be continually grateful that he made the assholes in congress go back and re-vote on this.

If you think this is unfounded and I'm just a republican-hating bleeding heart liberal whatever, please find me a democrat who's had shit like this to say. Please.
bow & arrow
24th-Jul-2010 04:31 amGeneric Subject Line
So one day early this week I dropped a stack of applications off at the mall. Today, I got an email from The Duck Store (an off-campus branch of a store owned by the University of Oregon) to arrange an interview.

I got it a little too late to actually be abe to talk to someone, but I did call and leave a message. Hopefully, I'll be able to talk to someone on Monday.

Cross your fingers for me, folks. This would be the first job interview I've even managed to get since I've been laid off- nearly a year ago now- (unless you want to count the couple of failed contacts with recruiters that went nowhere.)

I needs me some employments, dammit!
bow & arrow
23rd-Jul-2010 09:13 am - *tap tap* Is this thing on?
Got internet access at home now. It only cost me about a hundred bucks, not to mention a truly brain-melting marathon phone session with Hewlett Packard to get the part number for the computer power cord. Now to file the claim against the moving company...

To give you a sample of the joy I experienced in talking to technical support, I offer you a snippet of dialog:

Me: Hello, yes I'm calling because I have an older desktop computer. I recently moved across the country and the power cord was thrown out by the movers, so I need to know if I can get a new one.

Tech support: "Okay, so you're calling because you're computer won't start up? Tell me, is the power cord plugged in?"

I think we had three different versions of this exchange before he got what I was asking. Why oh why is this so difficult? It's not exactly brain surgery. Hell, it isn't even putting a bandaid on a paper cut. I was also transferred to roughly five different people and given no fewer than three different part numbers before I got someone who could just say "Okay, this is the computer you got, based on teh serial number, this is the part that you need. We don't have it, but here are the phone numbers for two different places where you can order it."

Why couldn't I just have that guy first?

In other news...I'm still looking for a job, but as lacking as I still am in the job department, it's looking a lot better thyan it was in Baltimore. Hell, there are far more jobs I can even just apply for since we can live on a lot less money here.

In the meantime, we just had a week of headache as my unemployment was pulled with no warning as congress, in all its infinite er, congressional capacity, hemmed, hawed, took a vacation and then filibustered on whether or not to continue emergency unemployment extensions. There will probably be a forthcoming rant no this subject. For the moment, let me just say that I fucking hate party-line voters, and at the moment, the republican party as a whole (don't bitch me out til you've heard my rant on this. Across-the-board large-group loathing is not generally my thing and this includes political parties. Oh, wait, I do generally loathe politicians across the board. Anyway...hold your fire. I've been in the mood to bitch about this subject for a while, and now I have a broader audience again, I don't need to worry that I'm just going to drive poor Gavin nuts :-P There may also be bitching about my mother. Maybe.)

So anyway, that's the general idea for the immediate moment. More later.
bow & arrow
24th-Jun-2010 05:53 pm - Still alive...I promise!
We have internet service at home. Really! We uh...just don't have a computer right now. Or a monitor. Well, we have a computer. And a monitor. But we sorta don't have power cords for them.

Why is that you ask? *kill kill kill*

The moving company continues to screw us, even a month after our move. See, we only just unpacked the computer when we got internet service installed and wouldn'tchaknowit, the asstards somehow managed to NOT pack the power cords that were CONNECTED to the computer and monitor- as in, they removed them and didn't put them in the box. No way this is an accident- especially on the computer, there is a catch on the power adapter that you have to press it to relase it, and then you have to give it a really good pull because that thing had a tight connection.

And then when I called to file a claim, the butthead of a dispatcher tried to blaim it on me, suggesting that I might have thrown the cords out with the packing material. Nevermind that the packing material was all sitting next to me and the fucking power brick weighs several pounds- it would be kinda hard to just accidentally get mixed in with some cardboard and padding materials and not be noticed.

Erg, so I have to replace the monitor cord- which will be about seven bucks, and the computer power adapter- which as far as I can tell, right now I can get from one supplier in Florida and is going to run me about a hundred and twenty-five- and I'm not counting on it being easy to get reimbursed by the moving company- if they ever do at all. (Yes, complaints will be filed with the Better Business Bureau. No need to tell me.)

This is only one of the minor details in how this supposedly great moving company has screwed us. Then there's our futon...

Will be ordering the new adapter early next week. Hopefully, will have everything hooked up again by the end of next week.

Oh, and I'm getting a new cell phone number. I should be letting anyone who needs to know about the new number as soon as I have the phone, but, like my new address, if you think you have reason to have the number and I don't contact you myself, drop me an email.

That's all for the moment.
ten of wands
24th-May-2010 05:33 pm - Alive and well...
..and on the west coast!

Don't have internet at home yet- probably waiting another few weeks for that, until then...library! Moving was a rather spectacular clusterfuck- everything fell to pieces in the final hours. But we're here.

I'll check thigns as I can. If there's anything anyone wants to draw attention to, leave a comment or drop me an email. Otherwise, I'll go back through my friends list as soon as I can.

Phone number is the same for the time being, if you think you have reason for me to give you my new address, drop me an email and I'll review your request :-P
bow & arrow
Fanfiction: Do you love it or hate it, or are you totally indifferent? Why?

Loathe it. I've dropped people from my friends list because they posted nothing but fanfic. I won't join any communities that allow fanfic. I have friends who write and read it, and tend to have a lot more tolerance for people who either put it on a filter that I can opt out of, put it all behind a cut, or very clearly label it so that I can just pretend it's not there.

It's really disturbing though, when I can't tell if you're talking about your fandoms or talking about real life- and I've known a few people like that. You start reading an entry, and it looks like an account of something going on in real life until three paragraphs in, you suddenly realize that it's not real.

Won't get started on slash fic...I don't have the time. Maybe after I've made my way across the country and have some time to rant at leisure. If I start now, I'll probably still be going when the movers get here tomorrow.

In short, I hate it.

Disclamer: If you're on my friends list and you post fanfic, clearly, I don't have a problem with how you do it because you're still here, so none of this is commentary on you.
bow & arrow
7th-May-2010 11:35 am - Winding down....
We've found a place. For those of you who follow chironcentaur's journal, you know how we...sorta had some issues. Namely, almost not having the money to move at all...and then having, er, fun finding a place.

for serious, folks, it was one big clusterfuck after another. We applied for one place- one that we were told wasn't on the market, no one was being told about it, we just happened to be looking for a place that matched its description. Then after applying, we were told that it was given to someone else. They said "Hey, no big deal! We'll have other apartments available, should know more in a few days!"

Calls went unanswered and unreturned. No fee to apply there, so it cost us aggravation, but not money.

Then I found an ad for another place tat we ended up applying for. Said right up front that we had three cats, were told that it was cool, no problemo and wouldn't disqualify us. The guy didn't have a computer to email the application, so we printed it out and overnighted it with the application fee. All told, we spent nearly $100 to apply to this place. A week later, we FINALLY find out that the cats are a problem after all. Gaaaaah.

The third apartment that we applied for is, most thankfully, ours. Now we just have to get out there. We're looking at leaving in about a week. Waiting for confirmation on the apartment number, then I'll put out a call for anyone who needs the address to email me.

I've been avoiding posting about all this mostly because I'm trying to keep my stress level as low as possible, and I'm sorta afraid that writing endless bitchings online will just make it worse. So far, with a few minor spikes, I'm pretty calm.

I'll post more when there's more to post.
bow & arrow
7th-May-2010 09:11 am - Awwwww Fuck No.
Probably bad: They're making a movie adaptation of Kerouac's On The Road.

Absolutely, positively, without a doubt in the world bad: That twit from the fucking sparkle-sparkle-weenie vampire movies is gonna be in it.


This will not end well.

I've read I think six of Kerouac's books, and with the exception of Maggie Cassidy which featured one of the most annoyingly boring main characters I can ever remember reading about, I loved them. For the record though, On the Road isn't my favorite of his books- it's The Town and The City, which I have been seriously considering rereading. I think that that one would make for a better film adaptation, but it would never happen- how many people have heard of on the Road? Yeah, now how many people have heard of the Town and The City?

(Of course, a film adaptation would probably still suck.)
ten of wands
29th-Apr-2010 08:00 pm - Thew Vatican Mythographers?
Does anyone know where I might find a copy of the works of the Vatican Mythographers- that doesn't cost $65?
bow & arrow
29th-Apr-2010 06:04 pm - New blog post
Just made a new post over at the blog. http://painandlight.wordpress.com/2010/04/29/fluidity-of-theisms/

Just a little bit of me musing about my beliefs, and how there is a certain fluidity to them that I don't quite understand.
bow & arrow
29th-Apr-2010 03:16 pmGeneric Subject Line
Is anyone else having a problem getting to google and/or gmail today?
bow & arrow
27th-Apr-2010 12:03 pm - Let's Blow This Popsicle Stand...
So...it's official (okay, it was official before but now it's officially official, okay?) Gavn and I are moving to Oregon.

We don't have an exact date yet, but it should be early next month. We're hoping to have an approval tomorrow on an apartment. But we've got a pretty good idea of how we're going to work things.

We were going to rent a car and trailer and get someone to drive out and buy her a plane ticket back...but that sorta fell through when we realized that you're not allowed to hook up trailers to rental vehicles. So um...yeah.

So plan B involves a moving company (costing a whole lot less than we expected it to- we're going to be able to get most of our stuff out there for about $1200, and that's with a BBB accredited moving company with an A- rating.)

We're going to have to ship out our bed separately because we NEED a bed, and it will take at least ten days for our stuff to get out there- possibly as much as three weeks, but they tell me that that's a very rare instance, usually only happening in a case of a truck breaking down and needing to transfer things to other trucks) Sending our mattress and box spring will also cost less than we expected- the estimate was $150 with UPS- and I think it's going to be a bit less than that, as I overestimated the size, and I'm also pretty sure I overestimated the weight of the mattress and box spring. But that has a five-day guaranteed delivery, if we ship it out a day or two before we leave, and sleep on the futon mattress for the last night or two, we should have it when we get out there.

The cats we're going to have to fly out. Also costing a lot less than we expected, at $421 for all three cats. The cost for carriers will be separate. And we'll have to take them to the vet, but nothing we can't handle. We're going to ship them ahead of us, and bluedolfyn and gallowsqueen have offered to house them on the other end until we get out there a couple of days later.

Gavin and I are going to go out by train. Three days on a train, should be interesting. We're also going to end up taking some stuff with us on the train- this will reduce the amount of stuff that we need to send with the movers, thus reducing the cost of using the moving company. We can each check three pieces of luggage for free (and you can check boxes as luggage) and up to three additional for $10 each- so there's up to six pieces each, and we'll probably use some of the big Rubbermaid storage containers that we have for that- they're under the maximum size, and we just have to make sure they weigh less than fifty pounds- that shouldn't be a problem.

This move has been far too long in coming, but it's almost here. It's a little overwhelming, and the last couple of days have been far too stressful, but at least it's happening.
bow & arrow
24th-Apr-2010 05:58 amGeneric Subject Line
As I mentioned the other day, I've set up a dreamwidth account. I'm not entirely sure what I'm going to do with it just yet- I initially set it up mostly to check out the site and its service, but fear not I've got no plans to abandon LJ.

It is very likely that anything I post there will be cross-posted to LJ as well. I have been playing around with it this morning, and found that I can cross-post entries and make use of LJ filters after posting.

If you want to find me over there...drop me a message.
bow & arrow
23rd-Apr-2010 11:30 amGeneric Subject Line
Today, I celebrate two years (two years officially at least) with chironcentaur, my love, sent to me as a gift from the gods. We've had some rough moments, and I'm sure there will be more in the future, but no matter what, I love you. I thank Hermes and Apollo for you, and will be here with you forever.

Happy anniversary, love!
bow & arrow
So tonight, I ventured over to the 24-hour Rite Aid, a short walk from the apartment. Before I left, I checked the weather to get the temperature. Weather Channel website said it was foggy. I went out and saw no fog. I call shenanigans. Very quickly though, I realized that, despite not being foggy, it *felt* foggy- you know how it feels when you go outside on a foggy night? Yeah, like that, except no fog in sight.

Initially, I was thinking about fog and foggy nights, which led me to remember some foggy evenings back in Lancaster, and wondering what happened to a small book of photos I had taken- many of them from a rainy, foggy night (including one that led just about everyone who saw it to make some comment about there needing to be a Bat Signal shining into the sky) and that led to me thinking of one of the few things that I actually miss about Lancaster being the random little alleys which often contain little shops or interesting corners and how there's nothing like that here in Baltimore...and somehow that made me think of one of the places that I really liked there, which I just won't find anywhere else- St James cemetery, which is this little cemetery in the middle of Lancaster, on the walled in grounds of an old Episcopal church (one of the oldest Episcopal churches in the country...a number of historical figures such as George Ross are buried on the grounds...sadly, there are no good pictures online to post.)

I don't know how my thoughts progressed from one to the other, really but it went from St James cemetery to thinking about the grove, and one of the things that I really miss about the grove. I was thinking about how I used to often sleep over at the grove, either the night before or the night after a ritual, and how, much as I am not a morning person, one thing I really liked doing there was waking up early and lighting all the candles, getting things ready before people showed up.

At the time, I thought of it more as a clergy-related thing, that I was doing this for the people who would later be there- and likely it was partially that. But now that I think of this, I really think it was more a matter of doing it for the various and assorted gods and spirits that were there. This was the one case, aside from rituals, where despite not really having a connection to most of them, I actually actively felt them around me, and felt that I was really doing something.

So now I'm thinking more about how to bring that to us here...we've had our own little temple room here in the apartment, but we just haven't been treating it so fully as a temple as we could. I think it will be easier to do after moving, if we really actively work on setting up the new place with this in mind, I think this could make a significant difference.

In other news, while at Rite Aid, I was accosted by another customer. She was trying to find something- I have no idea what she was talking about, she just kept talking about something called "shine". This particular Rite Aid is severely understaffed- no matter what time of day you go in, you can count on waiting 15-20 minutes in line and if I knew what she was talking about, I would have just told her if I knew. But I didn't, and I tried to tell her that I didn't work there and she started freaking out and threatening to get me fired. I thought for a minute that she was going to physically attack me. Thankfully, a security guard was nearby and told her that she had to calm down or he would call the cops. It took a few minutes, and I had to explain to him what had happened. I escaped a bit weirded out, but otherwise unscathed.

In yet other news, I've now got a dreamwidth account. Just in the "still checking it out" stage, what I use it for is yet to be determined but fear not, I'm not going to make my LJ readership subscribe to yet another service that they don't want to add to read my stuff.
stone apollo
21st-Apr-2010 10:02 pm - Writer's Block: Too scary!!
Was there something you were afraid of as a child that just seems silly to you now?

Um...so when I was a little kid, I was terrified of Dan Rather and Tom Brokaw. When I saw them on TV, I would run out of the room and refuse to come back until they were gone.

I was also, to a smaller extent, afraid of Paul Harvey, but I heard a lot less of him on the radio than I saw of Dan rather or Tom Brokaw on TV.
you didn't see that
21st-Apr-2010 01:14 am - Holy fucking spam gods, Batman...
Two weeks ago, I got another email from Tim the Avon Lady, as I mentioned in my last LJ post. I sent him an email telling him to knock it the fuck off because I really didn't feel like going through the corporate phone directory to call Avon and report it since previous unsubscribe attempts had failed. He didn't respond to me, but I didn't get an email last week (they always come on Wednesdays)...but I just got another one.

So...it looks like part of my day tomorrow is going to be devoted to calling Avon's headquarters and figuring out who the hell I need to talk to to get him to cease and desist because, as I've said before, I don't particularly appreciate receiving sales emails from someone who has harassed and ridiculed a number of my friends and I have no problem telling them why I'm not just going to ignore it and delete them.

Is anyone else getting Avon sales emails from him?
ten of wands
10th-Apr-2010 12:15 am - *grumble*
I am again receiving emails from Tim, the Avon Lady, as of Wednesday.

I sent him an email demanding that he remove me from the list immediately and not send any more. He hasn't responded. Hopefully, I just won't get another email.

I was going to contact Avon directly, but when I tried to track down that information...well, they don't have a nice little contact form or anything ;ole that on their website. they have a snail mail address and phone number for their whole freakin' headquarters in Manhattan.

So I guess my next step will be to call them up and wade through the company directory until I get ahold of someone who can tell me who I need to talk to to get one of their representatives, with whom I have previously had problems with- to stop sending me promotional emails.
ten of wands
I'd really like top read this article...


The Absorption Hypothesis: Learning to Hear God in Evangelical Christianity

ABSTRACT In this article, we use a combination of ethnographic data and empirical methods to identify a process called "absorption," which may be involved in contemporary Christian evangelical prayer practice (and in the practices of other religions). The ethnographer worked with an interdisciplinary team to identify people with a proclivity for "absorption." Those who seemed to have this proclivity were more likely to report sharper mental images, greater focus, and more unusual spiritual experience. The more they prayed, the more likely they were to have these experiences and to embrace fully the local representation of God. Our results emphasize learning, a social process to which individuals respond in variable ways, and they suggest that interpretation, proclivity, and practice are all important in understanding religious experience. This approach builds on but differs from the approach to religion within the culture-and-cognition school.
bow & arrow
30th-Mar-2010 05:35 pm - Meme Sheepage!
I will give you a colour. List ten things that you <3 that are your colour.*

vanirpriestess gave me black.


1. Gavin and all the accoutrements thereof. (Especially her black leather trench coat!)
2. My black shirt that is very sadly on it's way out- it's just going to give up and turn to dust any minute now. *cries*
3. my iPod
4. the night sky in remote places
5. black forest cake
6. my black velvet pants
7. coffee (okay, it's technically not black, and I usually put milk or cream in it, but I'm running out of things here.)
8. the tattoo of the text of the 21st homeric hymn on my shoulders
9. black and white photography
10. the song Blue Skies Black by the Grand Street Cryers
bow &amp; arrow
Dear Renee,
Thank You for applying for the post, We wish you all the best for your candidature and hope you would join us soon in a rich and rewarding journey.

We have always recived a overwhelming response to out Job postings on Craigs List and to cope with the numbers involved, and to ascertain a certain level of aptitude we have tied up with a few companies to perform a sort of " National Benchmark IQ Test " ( pls note this has no bearing on your Job related skills which would be ascertained by your detailed resume, this test is just a broad test of your General IQ), we try and use this test score along with your Qualifications and experience to arrive at the right candidates for the first Qualifying stage.

This is a sort of informal and fun way at arriving at a certain level of aptitude and intelligence.We hope that this unorthodox but effective way would help us draw the best talent to our organisation.

Please go to the website mentioned below, where you will find step by step instrictions:

You would require a mobile phone number to undertake this test and would need to confirm the Pin number recived via text on the website.

Please note also that once you have taken the test we may call you on the mobile Number provided to verify your test score so obtained.

I thank you again for your interest in the position and look forward to further interaction.

Mr . Leonard Hover
Senior Manager ( HRM),
G and Gray Inc

So...who can catch what's wrong with this picture?

Oh my god, I fucking hate people that pull this shit. Seriously, they should be subjected to a lot of pain and forced to subscribe to their own fraudulent "services" and pay for them for life.
ten of wands
28th-Mar-2010 07:12 pm - I hate people.
*sigh* Made a rather egregious error today, it seems. Silly, silly me. I made a post to a community in reference to moving across the country with cats...and I got almost a hundred responses. Many of them were in some way lecturing me about how bad and irresponsible I am to move from Baltimore to Oregon, and how I should stay here and find a job (Oh wait, there's one behind the sofa, it was there the whole- oh, nevermind. It was just the cat.) and accusing me of planning to loaf around while my unemployment runs blah blah blah blah. Then there was the super-special "you won't find a job here because you're not an Oregon native. We don't like outsiders coming in and you'll just be seen as stealing jobs from the locals!" (Wow, I never knew that interstate relocation was so akin to illegal immigration!) The moderators came in and started deleting some of the more obnoxious ones- they deleted at least 35 posts, maybe a few more than that even.

And then wouldn't you know it, one of the uh, best commentors (is that a word?) came back and accused me of deleting posts- that is after another accused me of having "no interest in dissenting opinion". *sigh* People had gone way past "dissenting opinion"- Dear asshole, here's the line of dissent, and here is you and a bunch of others pole vaulting waaaaaaaaay over it. (A moderator has since posted to let them know that it was them deleting the posts.)

Seriously people, you had no ground on which to make judgement calls like that on my situation and then lecture me like I'm some fucktard who just went "Yuk yuk, know what would be really fun? We should move to Oregon and sit around with our fingers in our nose for a year!"

Yeah, I probably won't be making any other posts anytime soon in that community. Because clearly, people there don't know how to answer the question that was asked- and someone said flat out that I shouldn't have said anything about where I'm moving to or from or why, or any other details except for the exact question that I wanted people to answer, therefor people being jerks is all my fault.

Yup, I asked for it.
i&#39;m a genius
27th-Mar-2010 10:18 pmGeneric Subject Line
So I keep seeing all these posts all over the place- on LJ, forums and stuff about Earth Hour and how everyone's supposed to turn off stuff for an hour tonight because it's going to do so much to save the planet.

But really, how many of those people are going to be sitting there counting the seconds on their watches or cell phones or whatever and at the stroke of sixty minutes, turn it all right back on and then hop on the computer and tell everyone how great they did because they turned it all off for an hour?

Why bother, really? How many of those people are going to even do what's necessary to make their stuff actually stop drawing power- that is to say unplug every fucking thing because nothing really tuns off anymore, it just goes to standby.

Really, as Gavin said, it's like putting a bandaid on a decapitation (and as I added, taking it off an hour later.)

People who get all smug and self-righteous when they make a cute little gesture at doing something are so irritating. Kinda reminds me of the time that I was on the light rail going to work one afternoon when the people in the seat ahead of me were going on and on about how great they were because they took the light rail when they left work that day for lunch instead of driving and how they're really doing so much to help the planet for taking that train ride- and in the same breath going on and on about how hard it is to find a decent parking space in the city for an Expedition or a Suburban or some equally huge gas guzzler that most people just really have no need for.

Can't we just eliminate the stupid people from the population? That would eliminate most of the damage being done to the environment right there. It would also cut down on the damage being continually done to my brain. Bonus!
i&#39;m a genius
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