Gay Rights/Human Rights

"Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands?" - Ernest Gaines

We would like to know who really believes in gay rights on LiveJournal. There is no bribe of a miracle or anything like that. If you truly believe in gay rights, then repost this and title the post as "Gay Rights". If you don't believe in gay rights, then just ignore this. Thanks.
However, let me amend this. I support equal rights for all humans, save dictators, tyrants and certain criminals. I don't care what your gender or orientation is, you should be given the same civil rights as anyone else in this country, and in others, as long as you're willing to treat others the same way.

Unfortunately, ordinary folks' rights are being curtailed in the US right now--habeus corpus for instance--and as mdlbear says, makes the issue of gay rights look almost small potatoes next to it.

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okay, an acceptable color.
gacked from a number of MysticDreams folk.
Mind you it is only ONE of the acceptable Marina colors, as it is not a bluey-green. It is however, my birthstone color.
Anitra dancing

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It's hot, it's blasted hot,
and what do you know, it's going to be hot tonight
I'd sleep but I'm too hot
and airconditioning doesn't exist at work!

Two nights now, it's been 20 degrees cooler at night in Palo Alto/Atherton than at home. I arrive to soup heat.
Sitting up to one's neck in the pool cools one off for only so long, and I can't sleep there, not being an aquatic mammal.

The woman who always wants her water without ice is not overfilling bottles and glasses with ice. Besides, in the non a/c house, it'll only last about 10 minutes or so before the ice has completely melted.


In other news, our friend rowanf has successfully has her appendix out, and is resting comfortably at home, with the aid of pain meds, I suspect. They did have to go in through one of her tatts, but they were very careful in sewing back up.

On the job front, I was found to be too informal for the classical music series that was to have me working evenings and weekends until mid-August. Oh, well. That's me, not reverent enough to people I have no idea of their importance to someone else without explicit information. At least most of the folks on the phone seem to like warm&sparkly.

The upside of that is that I'll be able to make rituals I wasn't going to attend working weekends. I'm just sorry oceandusk is going to have to take my place because she's a known positive quantity.

There needs to be an In'n'Out Burger place nearer the Stanford campus. The nearest one I know of is at Rengstorff and the 101. Took me 45 minutes to get there after work (oceandusk said she could really use one of their cheeseburgers, and JeniW piped up and said she'd like some, too, as she was working that night.) I only minded that it took me so long so that they didn't get their burgers earlier. Maybe going south on 101 would have been faster, but no, I had to take an alternate route!

So mr_kurt is away again, and I'm waiting up for his "I've landed" call. It's too hot to get close to him except in the pool, but I still miss him when he's not home to come to bed next to me.

Ah, well, upstairs it is. Perhaps it'll be cool enough tonight to sleep long enough, even if I have to do it by myself.


Ten Top Trivia Tips about Marina!

  1. Marina can live for up to a week without a head!
  2. In the kingdom of Bhutan, all citizens officially become marina on New Year's Day.
  3. Marina will give a higher yield if milked when listening to music!
  4. In Vermont, the ratio of cows to marina is 10:1.
  5. Human beings are the only animals that copulate while facing marina!
  6. If you lace marina from the inside to the outside, the fit will be snugger around your big toe!
  7. Long ago, the people of Nicaragua believed that if they threw marina into a volcano it would stop erupting.
  8. Neil Armstrong first stepped on marina with his left foot.
  9. Marina, from the movie of the same name, had green blood.
  10. Marina can sleep with one eye open.
I am interested in - do tell me about
Anitra dancing

The British Anti-Burglar Brigade

I have negelcted to say how enjoyable the British Anti-Burglar Brigade, sometimes known as Simon & Mary (aka sbisson and marypcb) has been. Off and on in March (and recently in May), they showed up for a day or more, wandering hither, thither and yon (that must make us Hither) while being helpful guests, capable of entertaining themselves (whether it was work or other friends, LJ and not, to visit; or places to see) or being delightful conversationalists while present, happily eating leftovers when they arrived late and famished, just as happy to eat freshly-prepared food when dinner was timely.

While they announce freely that the burglars have arrived, they seem to bring something with them, rather than take things away (aside from photographs and good memories, one hopes). We get interesting bottles of wine for the most part--whether for the packaging (as in one HP wine!) or the contents (my rosepetal wine from Lurgashall winery in Britain).

We always enjoy seeing them when they are in the area. One of these days, we hope to return the favor.
Anitra dancing

Conflicting emotions: failure and failing parents

On January 18th this year, I wrote much of the essay below for a friend on Femrel, Wendlyn Alter, whose father needed more attention that she could possibly give while working full time to support them both.

I swear, the hardest thing on earth is to be responsible for another person's safety and life-in-general. Doesn't matter if the person is older, younger, or the same as as you are. Sometimes it feels as if there are NO right answers.

All we can ever do is our best, and guilt about what we might have done better keeps us from the job at hand, with the facts at hand. Someone remind me of this when I need it, right?

It is never "failure" to ask for assistance when needed. It is failure to believe one can do it all by oneself, and then fail both the other person and oneself for pride's sake. It's the one thing that's kept me and others in the running for Best X of the Year, as opposed to not even making the first qualifying round.

You, Wendlyn, and also many others, struggle against overwhelming-to-most odds and circumstances and come out alive and reasonably sane
BECAUSE YOU ASK FOR HELP when it's called for, and

I broke down in tears at the thought of a mood cycle a week, with a two day crash on the weekends this last autumn. I am so afraid of this [bipolar] disorder crippling me--or the medications for it doing so--that I often fear what the next day will bring. I get better only because I want to so badly, and I have a psychiatrist who works the med changes for me, and a therapist who sees what I can't voice or comprehend just yet. Without those two women, no other support would be enough, and no support would be no different.
It is strength to ask for help when the task is more than you can face alone.
It's a mitzvah to let your friends help...and there's a whole set of industries needing your help to survive (laugh, it's a joke).

Remember Wendlyn, my mother was no less unhappy nor any happier when she was transferred to the nursing home after 6 years at home. My sister's health improved drastically. My mother had better care, and my sister began discovering life again. My mother would have been 82 today. She spent 10 years in a prison of her body. My sister was showing signs of being in a worse prison. It is no sin to wish to outlive your father. It is not surprising when ANYONE discovers an Alzheimer's patient is farther along than realized, because they have some coping mechanisms, and the changes are gradual, usually.

It doesn't have to happen to you--and your dad was happy at the place you visited. He'll be well taken care of whether you're working out of town or in; any crisis will be dealt with competently and swiftly, and he'll be able to do things with you that are fun for both of you. People who understand Alzheimer's will be there, and they can help YOU with his Alzheimer's, too. The center should have social workers for that. They will help you understand and process what you know.
[As it turned out the facility went sour and other arrangements have been made for the next 6 months or so]

People who judge people about nursing homes and the parents therein have generally never been in the situation where they had, solo, to deal with a parent incapacitated and unaware. I wouldn't wish it on an enemy, but many folk who never did anyone wrong have to deal with this awful choice, the situations coming out of that choice, and we have no social rituals for people to follow when one's parents go so badly downhill. We seldom live close enough anymore--it was bad enough for me in Northern California, when my mother and sister were in San Diego: a friend of mine, silme, from a couple of Loreena McKennitt-centric lists has an ocean to cross.

It is very hard visiting a body whose spirit, once familiar and joined to the body, is no longer there. Because I was not wrapped up in weekly visits or daily presence, my mother's body was just that. The person I'd known was no longer there, and I didn't particularly like the current spirit because she made my sister's life a living hell. Carol, however, was indeed wrapped up in every detail of our mother's existence. The only thing I knew to do was to support her in her support of our mom. She got the Mother's Day cards and suchlike as well. It wasn't enough--it might not have been enough if I'd been in the same area. I wasn't working, but I had a kid to rear and a household to run. Ideally, you'd have a caregiver or two, at least two siblings living in or near to take care of the parent, and more money than the parent made in a lifetime to care for said parent--as if that happens more than a quarter of the time! My mother's care cost more a month than her best working salary and my sister's salary put together. No wonder so many people go for stripping the assets and going for a Medicare-fundable facility--their other choice is to bankrupt themselves and be unable to live in their own home, through no financial fault of their own. From what I hear, catastrophic longterm care policies are ripoffs.

What are you supposed to do when your willingness to care exceeds your ability? When the person has changed so much that you don't know them, and they might not know you--and they're going to outlive you if you try to care for them yourself? These days, those aging parents so lovingly and erroneously portrayed in ads and talk shows? Have a good time finding them. Most are often living longer in frail circumstances, and you could care for them for a decade or more, being worn down by caring for someone who will never outgrow the need, who will never grow UP but only waste slowly. If a couple gets to the stage where each of them needs care, they often cannot find a place in the same nursing home--they must go to separate facilities. This is what my uncle and aunt faced. Their only daughter lives close enough to where they were to take them in and care for them as needed (aunt with Alzheimer's, uncle with cardio pulmonary issues AND diabetes), getting the money they would have given to stay in a nursing home. The children there, their grandkids, are old enough to help, being late in high school or early in college. This is not the usual setup.

I have another friend from both those lists who has more than one personality in his head. It's not the same as first there was this parent-of-memory, and now you have this stranger with no connection, save in the body, to the older personality. Very, very seldom does the aging parent's personality change go for the better. I know one only, and her offspring are very, very lucky.

The docile but fragile older parent who needs little additional care is a small minority of those who are incapacitated by disease or accident. Their children will never know, nor understand, what others of their generation go through.
Anitra dancing

Introduction for the FlameKeepers community

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I began seeking to learn about and to dedicate myself to Brighid-of-the-many-spellings this January. Another Goddess I seek to know better is Pomona--well, I went to Pomona College, in the midst of what used to be citrus orchards, and I seem to have fruits, nuts, and citrus in my garden, along with lots of roses. I will never have an anonymous, generic garden if I can help it.

I am a student of a NROOGD elder named Nette, and live in the midst of what used to be known as The Valley of Heart's Delight. These days silicon chips and their industries have supplanted the orchards.

Hear this, South Dakota Legislature!

I would have an abortion. The circumstances under which I would, might, have, or might have chosen to have an abortion are nobody's business but mine and those I choose to tell. They are not the business of any government. I do not accept the proposition that the state and/or my sexual partner(s) should have any say over when and if I choose to bear a child. I do not accept any sovereignty over my body and my reproductive organs but my own. If faced with the situation, I will do everything feasible to help other women and girls I know exercise their rights to safely terminate a pregnancy if they so choose. When a state treats women and girls as chattel, it is they that commit a crime.

If you agree, please place the preceding paragraph in your journal. Then use the following link to send a message to South Dakota's governor: If you agree, please place the preceding paragraph in your journal. Then use the following link to send a message to South Dakota's governor: Planned Parenthood's take action page.

And thanks, from me, from silme, and from all of us who benefit from women's sovereignty over their own bodies.

A memorial for a former employer, Elizabeth Springer Wrigley, from 1998

I got a call on 28 January 1998, just as we were about to cake my son, turned 4 (chucked the car seat, moved to a booster). I found that a former boss of mine, Elizabeth S. Wrigley of the Francis Bacon Library & Foundation in Claremont CA USA had died on 26th April 1997. As with many fiercely independent folk, when her health began to fail, she hired help and began to push friends away, not wishing them to see her and perhaps to think less of her because of illness.

Her attorney had been trying to find me from information written in 1987, before I married (but someone overlooked going to the Library across the street, or to my Alumni Office, or even the Library's mailing list, as she had certainly known where I lived and had even seen Arthur), due to a small bequest.

It is always a shock to me to get a call or a letter addressed to my birth name, unused since January of 1984, and it gets my attention and gets my brain jumping to conclusions. When the PI got to the part about had I lived in Claremont, I was unfortunately aware of Elizabeth's failing health from finding out about the Library having been closed in 1995 (only found out because I got a list of books the Huntington didn't need, from a local bookseller handling the matter), and leapt to the correct conclusion. Oddly enough, a listmember from the Ramblin' Rovers (Silly Wizard) is working on the accession/cataloging of the collections from the FBL at the Huntington.

I have some great memories of my time and the Bacon, and time with Elizabeth, and I have acquired some of her speech patterns, and I am grateful for all the ideas and people she exposed me to, traits she encouraged in me (and those she attempted to correct, as well!). The kindling for my Samhain fire this year will be the NYT crosswords I'd been saving for her when I got time to write.

She led an amazing life, was a surrogate aunt to me, and a wonderful boss who I will always regret having to leave so that I could pay more than just rent and food with my salary (non-profits, gotta love 'em). I expect I like Diana Trent of Waiting for God because Elizabeth resembles her in spirit.

I tired to find her people back east--extended family, but got nowhere. I know she was originally from Pittsburgh PA, graduated from the Univ. of Pittsburgh. I believe she was an only child (but I have a vague idea of a niece), and her father was a civil engineer who travelled widely for his work--Elizabveth spoke of having an amah in India. If there is an email address for the Univ. of Pittsburgh alumni office, that would help. She was married to Oliver Kenneth Wrigley, who died in the late 70s in the LA area (they lived in Temple City).

I wrote a letter to the attorney/executor asking about her (extended) family, but he had no records to indicate any--and that may mean nothing at all.

It also turns out that her remains remained in his office, as no-one yet asked felt up to the task of discreetly scattering her ashes on Mt. Baldy, above Claremont. I volunteered to do this when the weather improved, on the anniversary of her death. Doing this did not hit my ick-buttons or any prohibitions that I knew of, and I considered it an honor. I think Julie Robinson-Zurek (the cataloger hired when I was there) scattered the ashes on 23 or 26 April 1998.

She is one of the "ancestors" I call in circle to join us in work, as I think she would have been happy to participate in rituals. Her memorial tree is a Queen Elizabeth Standard (aka tree rose) bred by Walter Lammerts (who has a niece who lived in Temple City, as well) in honour of Queen Elizabeth II of England. Between her and Elizabeth Moberly, it was certain that some form of Elizabeth would have been part of any daughter's name, should I have borne one.

Elizabeth Springer Wrigley, 4 October 1914 (or -15) - 26 April 1997

Cast your eyes to the ocean, Cast your soul to the sea,
When the darkness seems endless, please remember me, please remember me.
(Loreena McKennitt)