Thursday, December 16, 2004

Percolating like thick coffee

Many thoughts in my brain, some deep some shallow. Having the worst time getting any of it into coherant form.

Feeling very lonely today, even though I know my beloved will be here until Sunday.

A few small edits to make to my story. What do you *do* when a Hugo nominee says "this is damn good, go forth and get it published!"? Friend or not, he knows from writing, and his praise really made me re-evaluate my thought of myself as a cruddy writer.

I mean, I tossed that thing out in a few hours, it *can't* ge good, right? When did I get myself into this rut of thinking nothing I did was worthy of anything?

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Deadlines

Well, this is it. The last week to get the apartment packed up. Tomorrow I get to Hunt Down Boxes. The Mousie is increasingly stressed and volatile, which makes for a stressed an volitile mommy. Poor buglet really doesn't understand what's happenening. And I haven't heard *anything* for DDS up in Seattle yet. *fret*.

I'm... ambivilant about Seattle. It's not at all a comfortable city like Portland is. Adobe, however, kicketh much ass, and I was all geeky fangirl at being shown around. Emphasised the regret of never having finished my Graphic Design degree. That's probably why I've been kicking out so much in my deviantart account. Blade brought me the Illustrator and Photopshop CIBs to work with. Maybe eventually I'll consider taking the Adobe Certified Expert tests.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Fortuitous Postings

Because timing is everything, this essay on Christian Fundamentalism & Politics came across my desktop. And before you protest that it's just another non-Christian spouting things he doesn't understand, let me reassure you that this is a scholarly, well thought out, thought provoking work. Thoughs should be provoked on a regular basis, angry bees, not so much.

Christians in the Hands of an Angry God
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Conclusion


I offer these up for friendly perusal. Unfortunately I'm going to be focused on packing (gah Seattle move)for a while, so I'll not be able to dive into any really deep discussion. Feel free to carry on on your own.

A Perfect God

(from a conversation with rsjm)
There's probably no way to express my thoughts on sin without offending, so I'm sorry in advance.

A perfect god doesn't need sin. Nor does god need worship or sacrifice or dietary laws any of those other things humans do to try and show god (and themselves) that they believe.

What most people think of as sins, are either just rules made by priests and leaders as ways to keep the population in line, making them think the way the people in power want them to, or rules we make for ourselves so we feel we're in step with 'God's Will'. Even the Ten Commandments boil down to the concept "play nice". It's a simple truth. Play nice.

Why would a perfect god care if you wear your hair long, or eat meat on Friday or not, or if you've ever been married before? Why would god care about my sex life? These things are so far beneath god. A perfect god takes us one on one, yet sees us as part of the whole. A perfect god has no need to judge or punish, because those things are human concepts. A perfect god sees and measures us in ways we can't possibly imagine. And a perfect god can reach into us, reguardless of what we believe.

I think what we, as humans, can do, is find that spark of the perfect god inside of us. Each of us will find it in different ways. R's found it in Christianity, and it's good for him. Even an internet bystander like me can see that joy and strength it brings to his life. He's reached the spark. And there are places you can go, churches, mosques, forest shrines, rivers, where you can feel the tangible warmth of that spark, even if it's not a place of faith for you.

I feel it is wrongwrongwrong to follow a religious path that brings you no joy, and doesn't cause that upwelling of spirit. If following your path's steps doesn't make you feel closer to god, on a personal level, then you need to re-examine your path.

Father Greeley talks about it in his books (from a Catholic perspective) as a "passionate love affair with God". If you're not feeling that, you've not found god.

When I touch that spark it is the most powerful, amazing, all encompassing sence of warmth, peace and perfection you can possibly imagine. My heart and soul knows I've touched eternity. I know, and I believe with my whole being in that spark, I'm just still learning how I want to express my connection to that spark in an outward way.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

"If this is a trial of my abilities, the gods have an overinflated sense of my importance"

God never gives you anything you can't handle.


I've heard this several times recently, and frankly, it pisses me off. I know it comes from a position of wanting to confort, and acknowledge someones inner strength, but like some of the things said to people after birth losses... it's just damn annoying.

It sets this bar of "Well *God* thinks you can do this, so why aren't you?" It lays down a framework for feeling like a failure, fo feeling ashamed that you're not 'handling' it.

How does someone who's having a difficult time with a situation feel safe turning to their community, and saying "I need help", if there's this perception that we can take whatever the universe dishes out at us?

Friday, October 15, 2004

The Word of God

From desert cliff and mountaintop we trace the wide design,
Strike-slip fault and overthrust and syn and anticline...
We gaze upon creation where erosion makes it known,
And count the countless aeons in the banding of the stone.
Odd, long-vanished creatures and their tracks & shells are found;
Where truth has left its sketches on the slate below the ground.
The patient stone can speak, if we but listen when it talks.
Humans wrote the Bible; God wrote the rocks.

There are those who name the stars, who watch the sky by night,
Seeking out the darkest place, to better see the light.
Long ago, when torture broke the remnant of his will,
Galileo recanted, but the Earth is moving still
High above the mountaintops, where only distance bars,
The truth has left its footprints in the dust between the stars.
We may watch and study or may shudder and deny,
Humans wrote the Bible; God wrote the sky.

By stem and root and branch we trace, by feather, fang and fur,
How the living things that are descend from things that were.
The moss, the kelp, the zebrafish, the very mice and flies,
These tiny, humble, wordless things -- how shall they tell us lies?
We are kin to beasts; no other answer can we bring.
The truth has left its fingerprints on every living thing.
Remember, should you have to choose between them in the strife,
Humans wrote the Bible; God wrote life.

And we who listen to the stars, or walk the dusty grade
Or break the very atoms down to see how they are made,
Or study cells, or living things, seek truth with open hand.
The profoundest act of worship is to try to understand.
Deep in flower and in flesh, in star and soil and seed,
The truth has left its living word for anyone to read.
So turn and look where best you think the story is unfurled.
Humans wrote the Bible; God wrote the world.

-- Catherine Faber

Friday, September 24, 2004

Bush flip-flops

In 2000, the Democrats were wrong to treat terrorism as a major threat. In 2004, it is Bush's number 1 priority.

In 2000, the Democrats were wrong to have US troops overseas. In 2004 Bush says that it is absolutely necessary.

In 2001, Bush thought that cooperation with our allies was a mistake. In 2004 Bush is begging them for help.

In 2000, Bush thought that the Star Wars missile defense program was a top priority. In 2004, it no longer matters.

In 2001, Bush was courting the Taliban with gifts. In 2002, he attacked them. In 2003, his mind wandered elsewhere.

In 2001, Bush thought that the best way to fight the threat of terrorism was to ignore it and go on vacation. In 2004, Bush thinks
that the best way to fight the threat of terrorism is to ignore it and attack uninvolved countries. And go on vacation.

In 2000, Bush claimed that education was a top priority. In 2004, George W. Bush proposed drastic cutbacks in education spending.

In April 2001, George W. Bush claimed the bipartisan anti-terrorism bill was a mistake. In October of 2001, he complained that it needed
to be implemented immediately.

In April 2003, George W. Bush claimed that Iraq was mission accomplished. In 2004, 600 dead American soldiers later, George W.
Bush claims that Iraq is mission accomplished.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

We're not in Lake Wobegon Anymore

If you can't trust Garrison Keillor to talk straight... who can you?

We're Not in Lake Wobegon Anymore

By Garrison Keillor

August 26, 2004


Something has gone seriously haywire with the Republican Party. Once, it was the party of pragmatic Main Street businessmen in steel-rimmed spectacles who decried profligacy and waste, were devoted to their communities and supported the sort of prosperity that raises all ships. They were good-hearted people who vanquished the gnarlier elements of their party, the paranoid Roosevelt-haters, the flat Earthers and Prohibitionists, the antipapist antiforeigner element.

The genial Eisenhower was their man, a genuine American hero of D-Day, who made it OK for reasonable people to vote Republican. He brought the Korean War to a stalemate, produced the Interstate Highway System, declined to rescue the French colonial army in Vietnam, and gave us a period of peace and prosperity, in which (oddly) American arts and letters flourished and higher education burgeoned and there was a degree of plain decency in the country. Fifties Republicans were giants compared to today's.

Richard Nixon was the last Republican leader to feel a Christian obligation toward the poor.


In the years between Nixon and Newt Gingrich, the party migrated southward down the Twisting Trail of Rhetoric and sneered at the idea of public service and became the Scourge of Liberalism, the Great Crusade Against the Sixties, the Death Star of Government, a gang of pirates that diverted and fascinated the media by their sheer chutzpah, such as the misty-eyed flag-waving of Ronald Reagan who, while George McGovern flew bombers in World War II, too k a pass and made training films in Long Beach.


The Nixon moderate vanished like the passenger pigeon, purged by a legion of angry white men who rose to power on pure punk politics. "Bipartisanship is another term of date rape," says Grover Norquist, the Sid Vicious of the GOP. "I don't want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub." The boy has Oedipal problems and government is his daddy.

The party of Lincoln and Liberty was transmogrified into the party of hairy-backed swamp developers and corporate shills, faith-based economists, fundamentalist bullies with Bibles, Christians of convenience, freelance racists, misanthropic frat boys, shrieking midgets of AM radio, tax cheats, nihilists in golf pants, brownshirts in pinstripes, sweatshop tycoons, hacks, fakirs, aggressive dorks, Lamborghini libertarians, people who believe Neil Armstrong's moonwalk was filmed in Roswell, New Mexico, little honkers out to diminish the rest of us, Newt's evil spawn and their Etch-A-Sketch president, a dull and rigid man suspicious of the free flow of information and of secular institutions, whose philosophy is a jumble of badly sutured body parts trying to walk.

Republicans: The No.1 reason the rest of the world thinks we're deaf, dumb and dangerous.

Rich ironies abound! Lies pop up like toadstools in the forest! Wild swine crowd round the public trough! Outrageous gerrymandering! Pocket lining on a massive scale! Paid lobbyists sit in committee rooms and write legislation to alleviate the suffering of billionaires!

Hypocrisies shine like cat turds in the moonlight! O Mark Twain, where art thou at this hour? Arise and behold the Gilded Age reincarnated gaudier than ever, upholding great wealth as the sure sign of Divine Grace.

Here in 2004, George W. Bush is running for reelection on a platform of tragedy the single greatest fai lure of national defense in our history, the attacks of 9/11 in which 19 men with box cutters put this nation into a tailspin, a failure the details of which the White House fought to keep secret even as it ran the country into hock up to the hubcaps, thanks to generous tax cuts for the well-fixed, hoping to lead us into a box canyon of debt that will render government impotent, even as we engage in a war against a small country that was undertaken for the president's personal satisfaction but sold to the American public on the basis of brazen misinformation, a war whose purpose is to distract us from an enormous transfer of wealth taking place in this country, flowing upward, and the deception is working beautifully.

The concentration of wealth and power in the hands of the few is the death knell of democracy. No republic in the history of humanity has survived this.

The election of 2004 will say something about what happens to ours.

The omens are not good.

Our beloved land has been fogged with fear --- fear, the greatest political strategy ever. An ominous silence, distant sirens, a drumbeat of whispered warnings and alarms to keep the public uneasy and silence he opposition. And in a time of vague fear, you can appoint mullet-brained judges, strip the bark off the Constitution, eviscerate federal regulatory agencies, bring public education to a standstill, stupefy the press, lavish gorgeous tax breaks on the rich.

There is a stink drifting through this election year. It isn't the Florida recount or the Supreme Court decision. No, it's 9/11 that we keep coming back to. It wasn't the end of innocence, or a turning point in our history, or a cosmic occurrence, it was an event, a lapse of security. And patriotism shouldn't prevent people from asking hard questions of the man who was purportedly in charge of national security at the time.

Whenever I think of those New Yorkers hurrying along Park Place or getting off the No.1 Broadway local, hustling toward their office on the 90th floor, the morning paper under their arms, I think of that non-reader George W. Bush and how he hopes to exploit those people with a little economic uptick, maybe the capture of Osama, cruise to victory in November and proceed to get some serious nation-changing done in his second term.

This year, as in the past, Republicans will portray us Democrats as embittered academics, desiccated Unitarians, whacked-out hippies and communards, people who talk to telephone poles, the party of the Deadheads. They will wave enormous flags and wow over and over the footage of firemen in the wreckage of the World Trade Center and bodies being carried out and they will lie about their economic policies with astonishing enthusiasm.

The Union is what needs defending this year. Government of Enron and by Halliburton and for the Southern Baptists is not the same as what Lincoln spoke of. This gang of Pithecanthropus Republicanii has humbugged us to death on terrorism and tax cuts for the comfy and school prayer and flag burning and claimed the right to know what books we read and to dump their sewage upstream from the town and clear-cut the forests and gut the IRS and mark up the Constitution on behalf of intolerance and promote the corporate takeover of the public airwaves and to hell with anybody who opposes them.

This is a great country, and it wasn't made so by angry people. We have a sacred duty to bequeath it to our grandchildren in better shape than however we found it. We have a long way to go and we're not getting any younger.

Dante said that the hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who in time of crisis remain neutral, so I have spoken my piece, and thank you, dear reader. It's a beautiful world, rain or shine, and there is more to life than winning.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Acts of Creation

I love watching the cd come together under my hands. It's such a rush to have all the elements in my head become reality on the screen. I wish I had that same luck with writing. I see pictures, and I have trouble translating them to words... but given the right tools, the pictures in my head do come to life.

I think everyone is going to be very pleased with this new iteration. I'm forging ahead without the full team, because I don't want to waste my time catherding.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Abyss

The idea that suicide is selfish has always, honestly, made me feel sad for the people who say it. That's the (understandable) anger and hurt response of the people left behind.

Having been at that point myself, and talked with many other near-suicides, I can safely say that being selfish is the last thing on your mind. For most of us, dying was the most *selfless* thing we could think of doing. Not only were we trying to end our pain, but the pain of the people around us who had to 'deal' with us. How much better the world would be, were we not in it!

Suicide is a breakdown of the self-preservation instinct. How a person gets to that point varies, but I've explained it like this...

Imagine you're walking a road, and the road leads to an arid, barren land. There is nothing but dry, empty wasteland as far as the eye can see. Occasionally, unexpectedly, there is an oasis, and you can rest there, but eventually the call of the road always sets you to walking.

So you walk, focused on the empty landscape streching out endlessly before you. You grow thirsty, hungry, weak. Every step is a struggle for body and soul. Suddenly, without any warning at all, you find yourself steps away from a bottomless chasm. You turn to go back, and are confronted with a seemingly endless wall that has spring up behind you. You may hear voices urging you to safety, feel hands reaching to pull you over the wall, but to you they are ghost sounds, mirages of the heat and your mind.

Trapped between wall and chasm, you must chose...claw your weakend self over that wall, or step into the abyss.

That's suicide. And really, only someone who's been deep into that wasteland can understand it. Some people come back and fight against anyone else wanting to die. Some of their methods are effective, some of them aren't, and hold echos of the hurt they felt, and the anger that was projected onto them by the people around them.

And some of us see somoene wanting to die, and nod, and say "We know how you feel. We can't stop you, it is your right, but know that you aren't completely trapped." Maybe they will hear our voice as they stand by the chasm. Maybe we can find the sledgehammer that will break through their wall.

Suicide is selfish? Sometimes my response to that is mindnumbing *anger*. How dare they judge us that way. How much more selfish is it to tell someone they must be in pain, they must ache, body mind and soul, just so you won't lose them? Are you at the core of their hurt? Do you know why they want to die? Then don't presume to know what motivates them into that chasm. Do everything you can to help them back from the edge, but guilt and blame and anger is *not* the way to be heard.

Monday, August 30, 2004

P'rrrrrrrrrrrrr

Yeesha Kitten

Conflict of Interest

Lets talk a bit about privacy vs. support systems.

Over in livejournal, you have the ability to set up filters so that certain posts can only be seen by the people you allow to view that post. Many people, myself included, use this feature to discuss sensitive issues with trusted friends.

A is currently being lambasted by B for having a 'not B' filter. B (who discovered the filter because A forgot to log off) says it's an invasion of their privacy, and is horribly offended that A is taking about their issues to people.

My question is, then, who is A supposed to talk to, and how? It's vitally important for human beings to have a support network that they can go to when they've hit a rocky space. This includes being able to talk about issues you're having with a significant other. Outside perspectives, second opinions, just a shoulder to vent on... all of these things are *nessicary* for the person to be able to go back and work on those issues effectively.

I can see asking for privacy on details, but even then, you need to be able to talk things out. Being angry that your SO has a circle of friends they can communicate with, even if it is through LJ, strikes me as selfish.


Wednesday, August 25, 2004

gleh, politics

I tend to hate politics. In general, I think the entire government of the US needs an overhaul. When facts get ignored for money, and religion wins out over legality, things need a change.

Neither candidate for president is particularily promising, although in looking at Kerry's position on issues I pay attention to, I like his stand far more than Bush's.

And I have yet to get a good answer to the question I keep asking Bush supporters...

Give me 5 things he's done in the past 4 years that were good for America.

And not this retorical "America is safer" chaff, either. How is America safer? Why?

What about the economy? We've gone from having a budget surplus, to the bigest deficit in decades? Unemployment is up, jobs are getting 'outsourced' right and left. The 'middle class' can barely make ends meet, and heaven help you if you try to live off of under 40K a year in this country.

The enviroment? Bush made it clear that money is more important by refusing the Koyoto treaty, rolling back enviromental protections, and ignoring the most basic scientific facts in favor of lobbiest dollars.

Personally, I'll vote Kerry, because the idea of another round of Bush makes me cringe.


Thursday, August 19, 2004

Gee, thanks

You know, it's a bit disheartening when you realize that someone's commitment to their gaming buddies is stronger than their commitment to you, their girlfriend.

The same guy who won't cancel game night for anything but an emergency, sees nothing wrong with canceling my only night out of the house to help with someone's car.

Timely, isn't it, given that theres a discussion about MMOs and their impact on peoples commitments. And while his scheduled games are usualy tabletop RPGs, his weekends are often taken up by LAN parties, and those always take priority.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Hello there...

I figured I should put in a bit of an intro for the intrepid 'net explorers...

You might have guessed that this isn't my usual bloggieness. I usualy blog elsewhere, but that's full of enough stress and strain and weirdness that I fear the Myst community would implode of shock. I you ask nicely, I might let you in there :)

On the surface I'm an average mother of 3. Until you notice that you rarely see my older two kids, and my life is nothing like average. See, the painfully adoribibble pixie like toddler you see around me is a mutant. No, I'm not joking. Somewhere one of her genes mutated, or got lost, or something... so things don't work quite like they should. Hopefuly at puberty she'll develop a useful mutant power, but for now we lose a whole lot of sleep and a lot of things get broken.

Away went my dreams of becoming a midwife... now I'm a social worker, nursing assistant, government lobbyist, secretary and recordkeeper with no paycheck.

In my wee bits of spare time, I'm busy reading, and reading, and reading. And occasionaly sewing then reading. Oh, and doing nifty stuff in the Myst communnnniiittyyy, and snuggling my husband and/or sweeties.

Note to Self

Playing tag in 3D enviroment is Bad for Eleris.

woooozzzzyyyyyyy. Wagh.

However, dancing to someone singing over voice chat is good.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Well, we'll see.

Sent a long email off to Mr. VIP of Marketing, asking for thumbs on several projects. We'll see what he says. I suspect his reaction is going to be "Oh god, her again". Somehow, despite the enthusiasm from semi-official sources, I feel like I'm imposing on their company. In a creepy stalker-leechy sort of way.

But, dammit, I'm good at what I do, and I want to do it. All my catherding and graphic skills are just sitting around here mouldering anyhow.

It's not about money. And the next person who says "are they paying you?" is getting thwapped. It's about knowing the heart and soul of the universe, and celebrating that.

Yeah, so I'm obsessed.

I've been thinking about weighing in on Mysterium stuff, too... but again, I feel like I'll get the 'who's this n00b' looks. My ego is the size of a pea sometimes. How much experience do I have with running events/gatherings/conventions? So why am I all nervous?

Sunday, August 15, 2004

Oi.

Just found out that we may be taking over publications for a semi-major (read 1600-2000 people) convention. While this is not a complete disaster, it is a bit of a trial by fire. It looks good on the resume. Eleri, Freelance Jill of All Trades. I can design a cd covers, tshirts or buttons, make soap, cat herd people and organize events, or I can help you birth babies. I make a good paperweight, too.

I am highly amused at people griping over the evolution of a universe created by a few guys in a garage. Something that they never expected to span 11 years of creativity and multiple medias. Because, by ghu, they should have known back in that garage exactly how they wanted everything in the universe to work.

But then again, I am a very easy person to please, really. I wasn't horrified by Faramir being tempted by the ring, nor Hermione being the one to stand up to Sirrius. Things are as they are, and all I ask is a few Ages and a Linking Book to steer me by.

The Demo Team is shaping up, although I am Highly Nervous at not having a response from the VIP of Marketing yet. His blessing is a big shiny nessecity.

Speaking of shiny... Dude. Firefly.

Friday, August 13, 2004

I have managed to end up with an actual blog. How interesting. We'll see what I end up putting in here.