But for now, I need to go make sawdust... so TTFN!
But for now, I need to go make sawdust... so TTFN!
Saturday, May 21 is the day for getting furniture and boxes out of my row house in Baltimore onto a truck, so that said furniture and boxes can be moved to Virginia. I need some strong and willing backs to help with the truck loading, and am willing to compensate helpers with food and drink. If you are up for this, please leave a comment on this blog entry, send me a private message on Facebook or Twitter, or send me an e-mail.
Thank you very much in advance for your help. I promise this time that possessions will actually be in boxes to be loaded on the truck prior to the start of loading.
The last time I made a post of substance, it was about how someone incredibly special had entered my life. Since then the story of this evolving relationship and how incredibly happy I've been these past few months has largely been chronicled in short bursts on my Facebook page or on Twitter. Apparently there are some details that have fallen through the cracks, quite likely because I'm sometimes obtuse, or because following other people's life sagas through social networks is like drinking from a fire hose, or because I've just simply omitted those details. At any rate, ( I reckon I owe everyone an update, which is behind the cut... )
Obviously there are many details I have left out, and the devil is in the details, so I'm sure there will be questions. I might even answer a few. Maybe. But either way, thanks for listening.
This is not MY personal story... that will come later.
There is a move afoot in the nation -driven by the GOP - to repeal the new health care laws, to protect corporate interests, to defend against fear-mongering (and stupid) cries of "socialism!", and to ensure that people are forced to choose between keeping a roof over their heads or getting necessary health care.
This movement is killing people.
Think I'm overstating the fact?
Ask the friends and family of writer/reviewer Melissa Mia Hall, who died of a heart attack last week because she was so terrified of medical bills, she didn't go see a doctor who could have saved her life.
One person. Not the only one. That could have been me. Yeah, I have access to insurance -- I live in New York City, which is freelancer-friendly, and have access to freelancer advocacy groups. Through them, I can pay over $400/month ($5,760/year) as a single, healthy woman, so that if I go to the hospital I'm not driven to bankruptcy. But a doctor's appointment - a routine physical - can still cost me several hundred dollars each visit. So unless something's terribly wrong? I won't go.
Someone who lives in a state where there is no Freelancer's Guild or MediaBistro to put together an insurance plan for freelancers? Someone who has been laid off or downsized, and can barely make ends meet? SoL.
That could be you. That could be your best friend. That could be someone you've never met. That could be any of us - because there are people out there who think that taking care their neighbor is someone else's problem.
No. It's our responsibility. All of us, together. As a nation.
EtA: Nobody is trying to put insurance companies out of business. They will always be able to offer a better plan for a premium. We simply want to ensure that every citizen - from infant to senior citizen - doesn't have to choose between medical care, and keeping a roof over their heads, or having enough to eat.
We're trying to get this to go viral. Pass it along:
This entry was originally posted at http://acelightning.dreamwidth.org/13657
Daecabhir is Tolkien Elvish for "Lord of the Leaping Shadows", which was given to me by a High Elf whom I used to surprise online a long, long time ago when 300 baud dial-up was the fastest speed possible for mere mortals
Thank you good sir, wherever you may be. You gave me quite a conversation piece, that has become my online identity.
Good morning everyone... yes, I'm alive, although I think someone passed along the Faire equivalent of con crud. Not that lack of sleep during the past week coupled with a break-neck schedule would make me susceptible to random germs at all. Nope, not a bit.
So, I reckon some of you might be wondering why I chose now of all times to clear away the dusty cobwebs from my journal. ( Read More, If You Dare... )
*tap* *tap* *tap*
So, I saw this thing over here in the corner gathering dust. I remember when I couldn't go a day without it (and then there was the intervention, the therapy and the meds, but I'm all better now, really), and now I notice I haven't done anything with it in over a year, FFS. So I'm gonna dust it off, apply some juice, and see if it still works.
*tap* *tap* *tap*
Just nod if you can hear me...
A fellow Shambhalian posted a summary of the turn of events surrounding Joshua Bell and an experiment in perception formulated by Gene Weingarten of the Washington Post (for which the Washington Post won a Pulitzer in 2007) played out by the world reknowned violinist at the L'Efant Plaza Metro station. A few years old though this story may be, it is nonetheless still a relevant study in how often we are just too busy, too wrapped up in ourselves, to insulated from the world around us to notice true beauty when it presents itself.
Which it does, in so many ways, in every moment of our lives.
The text of a representative e-mail about this story, along with corroborating evidence, is available on Snopes. Take a moment to read and reflect. Then go out and actually look, listen, feel, smell and even taste your world, if only for a moment.
The first book in J.C. Hutchins' "7th Son" trilogy gets reviewed by Publisher's Weekly (hint: they like it), and J.C. wants his fans to bask in the awesomeness that is their grass roots support for his vreative efforts.
J.C. has posted the Publishers Weekly review on his site, along with his heartfelt thanks to the many fans who made the Dead Tree Edition possible.
After a marathon packing, loading, driving and unloading session, I am for all intents and purposes moved out of the ex-house in Fredneck. About 3/4 filled a 17 foot truck (filled it end to end, but not top to bottom), and now there is very little bare floor space in the storage unit or the first floor of my row house. But it is done, and even though we're exhausted I think both ravynmaniac and I will be much happier now that this monkey is off our collective backs.
I'll be back in Fredneck the weekend of September 26 to get a load of electronics recycling carted, and to pick up "remainders", and I've now got a large amount of stuff to sort through. Not to mention a post brewing about my ephiphany this weekend on the topic of material possessions. But we've passed a major milestone, and for that I am gratefiul.
So, here's where things stand with me in brief:
- I have returned from Wisconsin. It was time well spent, and I was sad to leave, but at the same time I was happy to be home. Highlights of the visit included reading bedtime stories to niece and nephew, spending time in the park, playing Arkham Horror with scubaninja and his wife, and meeting Twitter pal HappiForever.
- Work has been eating me alive, with high priority deliverables that involve components outside of our control. Never mind the fact that I seem to be spending the majority of my time managing technical resources, project deliverables and documentation rather than doing techie things.
- Quite bluntly, the house is a fscking wreck. I need downtime which I ain't gonna get, so I'm going to be Commander Cranky Pants until such time as the clutter is managed. Getting a handle on it is one of this weekend's challenges.
- Tomorrow I will be attempting to gather up my remaining possessions from the ex-house in Fredneck, such that no more running back and forth across the state is required. Some pre-sorting needs to occur to avoid brining things that don't need to come with me (hello Goodwill, recycling and Mr. Dumpster), but there will still be items that end up in self-storage for dealing with later.
- This weekend I return my focus to meditation practice, study and contemplation. I am coordinating Shambhala Level I training next weekend, and the new companion class for five Tuesday evenings after that. I've needed something to give me a push in the direction of leaning into my practice, and this is the ticket.
- Otherwise, life is the usual kind of expected chaos. There are many loose ends, bills and other oddiments that need to be addressed. In other words, SNAFU.
Did you know that Lisa Snellings has a store on Etsy? Well, she does. All sorts of very cool creations from Lisa Snellings and various Strange Studios collaborators can be found at http://strangestudios.etsy.com.
If you are any kind of decent, compassionate human being you will go to the Strange Studios Etsy store right now and plunk down your hard earned cash for awesome Poppets and other manifestations of Lisa Snellings. Support the Lisa, and keep me from spending my bank account on cool stuff!
p.s., don't forget that Lisa Snellings still has auctions on eBay!
Today's post is brought to you by the deiightfully nommy taste of New Glarus Brewing Company's Uff-da. I am in Wisconsin visiting my cousin, which is about the only reason why I can enjoy this fine Bock. It wasn't on the production schedule, so I despaired of getting to have some on this visit, but 'lo it did appear in a divine light at Woodman's in Madison. scubaninja have been sampling the many noteworthy brews here in his adopted home state.
This has turned out to be the vacation I needed, even if I didn't realize that I needed it. I'm spending a litle under a week with scubaninja and his family out here in Wisconsin. It's been almost six years since the last time I came out to see them, and it's been good to just hang out with scubaninja, his wife, my two nieces and nephew. I'll be posting some pictures once I get back - it seems that in the mad dash to throw things into my bags before heading out to BWI at O'dark-ugly on Thursday morning, I did not toss my sync cable in the bag. Go me.
So what have I done with my vacation? Sampled a number of beers, visited my cousin's two places of work (the university and the dive shop), toured the New Glarus brewery (where I sampled more beer), eaten cheese curds (fried and fresh) and frozen custard, accompanied my nieces and nephew to a bithday party at a local park, watched quite possibly the worst movie EVAR (Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus, which literally stunk on ice) after which an infusion of Futurama and South Park was required to erase the stank, visited the zoo in Madison, walked around outside a whole bunch, and generally have taken it easy. The weather's been sunny but chilly, which suits me just fine after several weeks of breathing warm liquid air in Bawlmer.
The time spent with the kids has ben great... yes, they have their moments, but generally speaking they've been wonderful to be around. Friday night I read "The Monster at the End of this Book" as a bedtime story as narrated by Grover, Dark Jedi Master at scubaninja's proddding, I played video games as well as spent some time sitting on top of a grassy hill with my nephew, tickled, carried and teased my niece, and taken pictures of many smiling faces. The birthday party on Saturday was outside at a local park, where I was able to just sort of relax into the waves of energy coming from a group of kids and parents just enjoying a crisp sunny afternoon at the playground.
In point of fact, perhaps I should end it here, for now, and maybe go for a walk. It's a lovely day, too lovely to sit here typing at a computer. TTFN
I know I haven't exactly been forthcoming with detals about my move from Fredneck to Bawlmer, including the simple detail that I have moved to Bawlmer. So in concise bullet form I give you details of a sort:( Nitpicky details on how things have progressed behind the cut... )
So where am I in Bawlmer? On S. Potomac Street between Baltimore and Lombard. Highlandtown, hon. Near Canton, but most definitely Highlandtown. About four or five blocks from the BSFS building. About 20 minutes from work (where I am spending way too much time) and 20 minutes from the meditation center (where I am spending way too little time), in one of those "borderline" neighborhoods. If you've lived in Bawlmer, you knoiw what I mean by that,
I haven't had much time to settle in, but observations are popping in my head from time to time, soi you will likly see more posts. Until then, youse have a good one, k hon?
I swear, some days I am just downright clueless. Case in point: the phone rings at my desk at work, at a time when I should have been thinking about going home rather than digging in to beat my head against a wall for a few hours. Distracted, I pick up the phone.
Voice on phone: Hey Greg
Me, trying to place voice on phone: Hey
Voice on phone: It's Hymie
Me, clueless: Hey Hymie
Hymie: Are you sitting down?
Me, still clueless: Yeah...
Hymie, probably not verbatim: I just found out that Hal died
Me: Oh no.
Me, after an awkward pause: Well congratulations, I'm at a total fucking loss words
That Hal would have passed away isn't actually all that surporising. His health hasn't actually been the best over the past year, and last week he'd been taken to Johns Hopkins after his fifth heart attack, where they inserted a stent into a collapsed artery. He was doing self-dialysis four times a day, taking a full apothecary of medicines on a daily basis, and had suffered from a bout of black outs and falling incidents last December. His body had probably just decided enough was enough and phoned home (an e-mail I received a little later from Keith Levy, the president of GCOM, appeared to confirm by way of Hal's son Evan that heart attack #6 had been the coup de grace, but we're still waiting on the official word).
These facts notwithstanding, I felt like I'd just been hollowed out with a wooden spoon. I spoke with Hymie for a couple minutes more, probably subconciously trying to find some ground in the mundane details associated with finding out what happened, working out details of how to notify mutual friends, and making sure that I'm in the loop with regards to memorial services, etc. After I hung up, I dialed ravynmaniac to let her know about Hal before I sent an e-mail to our gaming group's list, missing out on the fact that Hymie could only have acquired my work number via ravynmaniac - not that it wasn't blatantly obvious that she'd heard the news when she answered the phone.
Following that bit of awkwardness, I started an e-mail to our gaming group list, and after the first sentence I just started to fall apart right there at my desk. I didn't particularly care if one of the few co-workers left in the office came by and witnessed me sobbing openly over my keyboard. The reality of the situation had started to settle in - I and many others had lost a good friend, and that neither I nor anyone else would have the opportunity to learn another game from Hal Haag in this lifetime. A big fucking hole had been created, and I was feeling it right in my solar plexus.
I met Hal through my involvement in Balticomn and BSFS, and for the most part we got on like a couiple of thieves. We both loved games of all varieties, had a low tolerance for bullshit, took great joy in deflating the egos of those who suffered from delusions of adequacy, and shared a similarly wicked sense of humor. My memories of Hal are many and varied, from the game of Carcassone at Noreascon 4 that cemented Hal's almost outright refusal to take yellow playing pieces in any game, to the two of us sitting on folding chairs on the first floor of my recently rented row house here in Baltimore chatting about anything and nothing after he'd come by with several bundles of the infamous Baxter boxes so that I could pack more stuff at the ex-house in Fredneck. That was a month ago, and that was the last time I saw Hal or spoke with him directly.
Words can't really express the kind of loss I am (and probably many others are) feeling right now. Hal introduced untold numbers of people to the joys of board and card games, patiently explained and demonstrated the mechanics of more games that I could count (albeit sometimes incorrectly, but that was half the fun), and was extremely generous with his time and effort for his friends - all of which gave him a great deal of pleasure. There were few things more likely to perk one up than the look of sheer mischief on Hal's face that came with the discovery of a new game that was too good not to share, and his delight at simply playing games without concern for winning or losing was quite contagious.
I could go on and on about what made Hal a good friend, a good person, and just plain fun to be around. But none of those words would really do him justice, and he'd probably tell me I full of shit anyway were he to read them. About the only way I can do justice to his memory at the moment is to drink a beer or two in his name, and play games at his wake. I suspect that I won't be the only one.
I just had one of those moments where I notice something for the first time, and I feel incredibly dense. Embarrassingly dense. Deplete uranium dense.
So I'm checking out the furniture in the bedroom of my current digs, looking for a good candidate drawer to take with me today to put up against the wall in the bedroom of my new digs to make sure the colors don't totally clash.
And then I notice it. I've only had this furniture in my possession for 21+ years. Walked past it every day that I have woken up in my bedroom during those past 21+ years. Multiple times a day.
The chest of drawers is from a completely different set of furniture than the dresser and nightstands.
Although the colors are in the same general spectrum (vintage 1960's bland), they are completely and totally different. Different colors, different style and color of knobs / grips, different texture veneers, different design (straight vs. curved).
FFS, I knew I was unobservant, but OMFG.