Saturday, December 31, 2005

Spawn of Eleri

time for some cute kid pics.

(note the product placement. Usually his shirt says "Adobe" on it somewhere.)



They are 15, 12, and 5, respectively. Tiffer lives with my parents, and Pookie lives with her dad.

Friday, December 30, 2005

What's to do in UU

So here's my question, other than to hang out and chat about things, what else is going on that would entice me to travel back underground?

Well, while there is no new content or ages happening, people have gotten very creative in finding things to do while they're hanging out underground. There's often live music, games, events, celebrations (there was even an IC wedding once)

And, given the recent IC activity on the DRC site, everyones talking about the future.

Quote of the Day

Does Aslan make us draw parallels to Christ? Sure, especially the whole risen from the dead following the sacrifice, but then again he rips the Queen's face off, which is decidedly not turning the other cheek. It is, in fact, eating the cheek of another.

dotsahveht D'ni

We will be holding ORIENTATIONS, to introduce people to the dotsahveht D'ni concept, on three different shards:

Tapestry Shard Jan. 4th, 4pm pacific
L.A.S.T. Shard Jan. 5th, 5pm Pacific
Great Tree Shard Jan. 6th, 3pm Pacific
Taperstry Shard Jan. 7th, 11am Pacific

These orientations will take place by the Great Library of D'ni. Please come early if you need to make an avatar and collect your KI.

The hope is that people will attend the orientations, get an idea of what dotsahveht D'ni means, and how it works, and then carry that to their home shards and start dotsahveht D'ni there. Tapestry Shard will have a dotsahveht D'ni neighborhood, that will have regular gatherings on Mondays, and will be open to all for In Cavern conversation. With the recent activity on the DRC forums, and the return of IC there, now is the time to dust off our skills!

dotsahvet D'ni webpage

Thursday, December 29, 2005


My name is back up on the Birthing From Within mentor listing, and I should be getting my packet of level one materials soon. I've polished up my work webpage, and I'm all set. Bring on the pregnant women!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

That sound you heard...

Was me screetching in shock/glee/hysteria.

There's STUFF happening on the DRC site. I swear my heart just stopped for a bit.

*falls into drooling fangirlness*

*ahem* well yes... back to your regularly scheduled decorum.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Unchecked Power

...The result is that the president's wartime powers, with its armies, battles, victories, and congressional declarations, now extend to the rhetorical "War on Terror": a war with no fronts, no boundaries, no opposing army, and -- most ominously -- no knowable "victory." Investigations, arrests and trials are not tools of war. But according to the Yoo memo, the president can define war however he chooses, and remain "at war" for as long as he chooses...

...Unchecked presidential power has nothing to do with how much you either love or hate George W. Bush. You have to imagine this power in the hands of the person you most don't want to see as president, whether it be Dick Cheney or Hillary Rodham Clinton, Michael Moore or Ann Coulter.

From Bruce Schneier's blog, discussing the security implications of the recent spying issue.

Bruce brings up a vital point. This is much less about Bush having this power, it's about any president, any leader, having this power. If we let something as funadmental as the Fourth Amendment get chipped away at, what else will start to happen? Things like THIS OHIO LAW, which "would let police arrest people in public places who will not give their names, address and birth dates, even if they are not doing anything wrong."

Can I see your papers Citizen? Really, if you've done nothing illegal, there's nothing to fear, it's all for your own good, you see, and National Security.

I believe Rev. Martin Niemöller's WWII verse is appropriate:
Als die Nazis die Kommunisten holten,
habe ich geschwiegen;
ich war ja kein Kommunist.

Als sie die Sozialdemokraten einsperrten,
habe ich geschwiegen;
ich war ja kein Sozialdemokrat.

Als sie die Gewerkschafter holten,
habe ich nicht protestiert;
ich war ja kein Gewerkschafter.

Als sie die Juden holten,
habe ich nicht protestiert;
ich war ja kein Jude.

Als sie mich holten,
gab es keinen mehr, der protestierte.
When they came for the communists,
I remained silent;
I was not a communist.

When they locked up the social democrats,
I remained silent;
I was not a social democrat.

When they came for the trade unionists,
I did not speak out;
I was not a trade unionist.

When they came for the Jews,
I did not speak out;
I was not a Jew.

When they came for me,
there was no one left to speak out.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Side Effect of the War? Economy? Apathy?

Toys for Tots has just about run out of Toys. Dozens of nonprofit agencies in King and Pierce counties that rely on donated toys and gifts collected by U.S. Marine volunteers have been told there will fewer toys available for Christmas or none at all. The numbers define the problem: By this time in previous years, Marines had collected as many as 300,000 toys. This year, the number is barely 60,000!

This makes me very sad.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

C is for COOKIE!

Today is Cookie Baking Frenzy Day!
My mostly-virgin oven (it's had a heat-and-eat meal in it) at the new house will be inaugerated with the baking of holiday goodies.
On tap are Orange Teacakes, Caramel Popcorn Balls, Soft Ginger Cookies and Gingerbread Men. Might try to squeeze some Maple Crescents in there, too.

And considering I need to make about umpteen dozen of each, we'll be busy long into the night.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Follow up to the snark

I am not offended when someone wishes me a "Merry Christmas", nor when someone says "God bless you" or offers me their prayers. I take it in the spirit in which it is offered, that someone wishes me well, and holds me in their good thoughts. How could I be offended by this? The more good wishes going around, the better. I mean the same thing when I tell someone "Blessed be."

What bugs me is that here you have a group, who's beliefs are plastered all over everything, who dominate the winter season from pretty much October to Jan, and they're crying "Help! Help! We're being oppressed!". Oppressed? Because other people have stood up and said "You know, it's not just you. Some of us have been celebrating winter holy days since before Jesus was a twinkle in his mother's virgin eye." You have got to be kidding me. It's not about excluding Christmas, it's about including the rest of us.

Morning Snark

I'll belive that Christianity is an oppressed religion, and that there's a "War on Christmas", when Jews, Muslims and Pagans get their major holidays off work without asking, and when the stores have just as many menorahs for sale in October as they do Christmas tree ornaments.

The only 'war' on here, is to force Christanity to admit they aren't the only game in town, and that they can't pretend the rest of us don't exist anymore. Heads up guys, Christmas was put in December, because the pagans and the heathens were already partying and celebrating.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Huffed and puffed and blew...

People are all up in arms about Washington's new smoking ban. "How dare they" the smokers cry "How dare they make us stand 25 feet from a doorway? It's arbitraty, it's unfair!"

Yup, it's a pretty arbitrary number. Perhaps I'd have more sympathy if I had met more smokers who actually gave a damn about the people around them. I can't even start to count the number of times I've had to go through a gauntlet of smoke, just to go inside a building, or how many times I've had smoke blown at me deliberately, just because. Or the cluster of smokers on a sidewalk who make you walk through them to get anywhere.

I'm all for the right for you to do what ever you want with your body. You want to fill your lungs with soot and tar, that's peachy keen with me. But the right for you to pollute your body ends where my body begins, and that includes my being able to breathe.

And while we're at it, lets extend that to people who wear too much perfume. If I can smell you from 5 feet away, you're stinky. You want your scent to lightly waft, not roil over the area like a Chernobyl fallout cloud.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

More thinking

When I get to thinking theologistically (is that even a word?!? Cause if it's not, it should be, it's the logistics of theology) my brain starts going into overdrive.

I make no bones about the fact that I consider myself a pagan, that my chosen method of religious celebration is neo-pagan with Discordian tendancies, and that I see deities from many cultures are archtypal manifestations of a unknowable higher power.

One of my pet projects has been learning more about Jesus outside of the Christian doctrine. Many pagans are Jesusphobic. They have no problems revering Buddah as divine, or Zeus, or Morrigan, but the idea of Jesus as a divinity cheeses them off.

In many ways it's fall out from years of Christian Manifest Destiny. You have to admit that overall, Christianity has been less than allowing when it comes to other religions in their same space, and that a good chunk of their history involved stamping out people who didn't think like they do, sometimes violently. Plays Well With Others doesn't show up on Christianity's report card that often.

It also stems from the fact that most pagans are previous Christians, who left the religion because it didn't work for them. We're just now starting to see second-generation pagans (like my son). So for many pagans, seeing Jesus as deity, is like going back to the faith that, for many of them, was restrictive, opressive, judgemental and cruel.

So finding ways to find Jesus' core message, one that is relevant and relatelable for pagans, outside of the Paulistic and Reformative doctrine that grew millenia after the man preached, is a challenge, at best. One source of information is the discussion over Quelle (or 'source'), the 'Gospel of Q'.

While still controversial, the concepts presented by the possibility of Q are based in sound Biblical scholarship, that the Gospels, as presented in the modern Bible, are not contemporary to Jesus, and that they are most likely based on earlier descriptions of Jesus and his works. (Debates of how much of the Gospels are add-ons after the fact, to fill out Jesus' life story, and enhance his divinity, are left to more educated people than I.)

And now I've been babbling, and my brain has run out of steam for a bit. I'll get back to this after Mousie goes to school...

Thinking out loud again

This post over in Just Chance got me to thinking (uh oh, thought before caffine...)
There's an insinuation, especially in atheistic circles, that to belive in a higher power is to shut down portions of your brain. People with any sort of faith are sneered at, with a pitying look, as if they feel sorry for their primitive thought. And while I think that holds true for some people (arguably the people who weren't using much grey matter to begin with), it glosses over all the people with both intelligence and faith.

This doesn't mean I'm exempt from that judgement, at all. I know I've looked at other people and been contemptuous of beliefs that I thought were two steps removed from thinking that the sun is pulled through the sky on a chariot. But that's part of my journey, to learn to not sneer at things I don't belive in, even as I ask people to not sneer at me.

It reminds me of when I somehow got distracted by an episode of the 700 Club (*shudder*), where they were watching some Hindu festival that involved washing an the Ganges, and the conversation went something like:
"And here they're washing in the pollution filled river, which they think is holy and bathing in it will bring them good fortune."
"Oh, they really belive that, those poor people!"

My reaction (and this was when I was much further back on my journey of tolerance than I am now) was "Dude, you belive in a guy who's mom was impregnated by your deity, and then rose from the dead." I was offended by their 'look at the poor stupid primitives with their heathen beliefs', because I can't see any difference between beliving that a river is sacred, and beliving that someone died and rose again, or a goddess who's daughter is kidnapped to the underworld, or a trickster coyote bringing fire to humans, or a Flying Spaghetti Monster.

I belive, quite strongly, that all of these things can be little truths, within a larger Truth that is Divine. What matters is what it brings to the person who belives in it. It's a bit like the Christian idea of a very personal relationship with God and Jesus; that the doctrine is less important than how you connect with God. I think that whatever religion you follow, if you don't feel it as a connection to [Insert Deity Name(s) Here], then you might be looking in the wrong place.

The point of this, way back when I started typing, is that faith doesn't equal stupid, and you can have your beliefs (or lack thereof), but it's not a good idea to look down on other people, because when you come right down to it, it all sounds like something out of a good fantasy novel, and unless someone manages to get God to come down here and have an open dialogue with everyone, us humans won't ever really know which bits of the stories were Divinely authored.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Tis' the Season

Time for me to plug my favorite charity
ModestNeeds.Org - Small Change. A World Of Difference.
From the FAQ:
Modest Needs is a charitable organization reaching out to the people that conventional philanthropy has forgotten: hard working individuals and families who suddenly find themselves faced with a small, unexpected expense that threatens their ability to remain self-sufficient - the unexpected car repair, the unanticipated visit to the doctor, the unusually large winter heating bill.

At Modest Needs, compassionate persons whose lives have been touched by kindness pass that kindness on to individuals and families struggling to remain self-sufficient despite a temporary financial setback. We do this because we've all been there, and we all believe that no hard-working person should ever be forced to choose, for example, between seeing a doctor and putting food on the table.

Modest Needs is proud to be the one and only licensed charity in North America serving otherwise self-sufficient individuals and families who find themselves in temporary financial distress. Our work has been featured on NBC's Today Show, CNN, CBS' Early Show, NPR's Morning Edition, in People Magazine, USA Today, and in countless other media outlets across the globe.
Religious tolerance means:
To extend religious freedom to people of all religions, even though you sincerely disagree with their beliefs and/or practices.

Religious freedom means that you can:
Believe, worship and witness as you wish;
Change your beliefs or religion; and
Join with others to express your beliefs.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Found this quote in an old LJ post.

If you don't, for any reason, find yourself able to respect me, have compassion for me, or believe in my essential goodness and worth as a person, get out of my life now.

I think that about sums it up. If you can't be that way towards someone, or at least treat them as if you feel that way, then you shouldn't be around them.

Friday, December 02, 2005


Today I am wading through the wild world of Stock Options and capital gain taxes. I haven't quite figured out why I pay taxes when I buy the things, and again when I sell them. When did we become white collar enough to worry about things like stock options and capital gains?!? Tax time is gonna be bizzare this year.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Ok, so it's been forever since I posted, and people were actually paying attention. Things have turned around enough in life that I'm not in so much of a funk, although it took a huge amount of work and bootstrapping. We bought a house, and are moving slowly, I'm going back to Mentoring childbirth classes after the first of the year, and Mirriam has a diagnosis. Of sorts. Technically it's unofficial, because we have to wait until the research paper is published, but it's been confirmed that she has a very rare version of Smith-Magenis Syndrome. She was tested for the classic SMS deletion over 2 years agon, and it came out negative, and for the microdeletion. But two different teams have found a mutation. Yay for cutting end genetic research, hmm?

So, hopefully, I'll remember to post more of my deep thoughts here.

Friday, April 29, 2005

Reevaluate, Reasses Rearrange

I'm doing a lot of REing in my life it seems. So far the process moves like molasses in Antartica, so I have no clue if any progress is being made.

I do however, realize I now have 3 weblogs/journal type thingies, not including the randomocity I toss up on Bird & Baby. Strangely enough, I can't find a good reason to kill any of them.

This one is my thoughtful blog. LJ is my day to day be myself blog, and the tezhme one is the keep the family informed blog.

Friday, March 18, 2005

In which Eleri's brain does a hard 180.

Growing up, I heard a constant message of 'almost-but-not-quite'. From school to theatre to home, every effort I made failed to meet peoples expectations. My best wasn't good enough.

I developed a very clear understanding of myself as a perpetual slacker/failure/second best. Every aspect of my life was goverened by the assumption that I needed to do *more*. This was reenforced in my adult life by my (ex) husbands treatment of me, the continuous setbacks to any life planning I tried to do, and the living arrangements for my kids.

With the arrival of Mirriam, and the reality of her disabilities, the increased strain on my life has only served to emphasise my idea of myself as incapable of functioning like a real adult. I woke up each morning convinced that no one else would be crying daily, no one else would be subsisting off of McDonalds and tv dinners. I was sure that there were parents out there who could do all the things Miri needed, and I was just to lazy.

So I'm finding it difficult to reconcile my self perception, with the one I hear on a daily basis now. From family, from friends, from general aquantances, to professionals, the general thread is that I'm "coping with things that would make a lesser mortal break". There is a part of my brain that says "No sh*t, idiot. 4 years with a disabled kid with minimal support, plus divorce and moving and new jobs and crisii galore? Heck yeah everyone else would go nuts."... but the majority of my head is convinced that somehow I should be able to juggle 24/7 care and housekeeping and secretarial duties, and family advocacy, and and and and... I've convinced myself that even Rosanne would be a better housekeeper, more stable mother, more loving wife, better girlfriend, than I am.

So the question now is, how to restructure my thinking of myself. Unfortunatly, at this point I am running on negative fuel, and my ability to function is severly impared. Hopefuly some urgent phonecalls in the right places will help. I want more than anything to avoid foster care placement for Miri, but my needs are critical, else I will be unable to care for her. Which, as you might guess, doesn't do anything to undermine my self image as Failure Parent.

There are parent support groups around, although I've been relucatnt to attend. One, because Miri remains undiagnosed, so finding the appropriate support group is problematic. Two, I am afraid of attending and having my failure image supported, by being surrounded by parents who *aren't* falling apart. Although I know this is unrealistic, it still shackles me.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Wisdom from someone else

From my friend BF:
You know how sometimes you kill a little time on LJ by reading your friend's LJs and clicking on the names of people who reply to them? No one you know, just that little tickle of curiousity? I did it tonight and now I'm...

I don't know what I am, exactly. Not mad, per se, but a little sad and a little righteous and all on a stranger's behalf.

There's this guy, and he's had a life that's a bit rough around the edges.He's no knight in shining armor, what I read of his LJ suggests the very idea would get you a snort of disbelief and a weary headshake.

He took a pretty heavy hit recently. He's coping. But then someone from his former life showed up and wanted to talk.

The friend had found God. And for one reason or another he thought this guy should be told to find God too. Okay, people get these ideas, I can deal.

But then he told this guy that the reason he'd lost what he'd lost was because he didn't know God, that God was going to keep taking good things and good people away from him until he came to God.

And I sat there and stared at the screen for a minute and I said, " God is not a shake down artist." I said it pretty loudly, which confused the dog and then I said some bad words.

I don't care if you are a follower of Jesus or G-d or Zeus the Thunderer. But I'm saying right now that if your God is the kind of penny ante knee breaker who takes joy from people to make them do what He/She/It wants, then, damn, but your God is too small. That's a God of Thuggery. That's a God who runs a three card monte, a God who does business off the back of a truck somewhere. That's a small idea of God, a God crammed in a box limited by the mind of the one doing the cramming. That's an idea of God that doesn't tell me much about God, but tells me a whole lot about the person who holds the idea. For starters it makes me wonder if maybe he found this God-idea in a mirror.

The problem with a God-idea like that is it can keep people from trying to find their own idea of God. Because, you know, if they get told God is the kind of Person who takes joy and love away, why would any one in their right mind go looking for Him? Or Her, for that matter. There's enough pain in the world, I don't need to go around bringing myself to the attention of God, if that's what God is.

I don't think that's what God is. I only have a finite and fallible human mind, so I don't even pretend I can grasp or understand all of God. But the pieces of God I can understand don't take joy away. They don't make me feel worthless or bad or unloved. And they sure as hell don't pull this kind of skulking "Mighty nice life you got there, too bad if something happened to it" protection racket.

If I were God I'd be pretty unhappy with people who talked that way about me. I know God is a better Person than I am, though, because I hear that kind of crap all the time and there's never a big old zot of lightening and a smoking crater where the talkers used to be.

Response from JP:
Of course it will force a person to adopt a religion. I mean, *everyone* really knows that God exists, so they know d**n well that bad things will keep happening if they don't turn to God, who, in His infinite mercy and love, will torture them for all eternity if they don't decide they love the Master who keeps kicking His favorite dogs all day...

The 'best' part about this, thinking that God causes all this suffering, is it lets you completely ignore the message Jesus brought... why work to help the "unrighteous"? I mean, sure, Jesus said to love each other, to take care of the poor, the sick, and otherwise disadvantaged... but *obviously* he didn't mean to do so if it was *their* fault, for not believing in God, right?

So convert them first, and if they don't want to convert to your religion of deep love and compassion, f**k 'em.

Ahem. Pardon the language. I feel a bit strongly about this.

Many of those people reject one of C. S. Lewis' big laws about logic and theology: "Nonsense does not cease to be nonsense simply because it's about the divine".

This, in a nutshell, is why I'm not one of the Big Three religions. I refuse to believe that God is an abusive parent, who can treat you badly just to 'test' how much you love Him, make your life miserable on a whim, or to prove a point, or you may have done something to displease Him, even if you have no clue what it was. I refuse to believe that God's whole purpose in the universe is to *make people like him* and get them to *do what he says*, all on the promise of an 'eternal reward' that we have to trust we're going to get.