Thursday, October 1, 2009

now with less hermityness

It's going to be kind of a busy weekend. Friday evening I'll be having drinks with three women with names that are a variations on the historical name Maryām. I offered to temporarily borrow the name Marion from my grandmother, to minimize confusion.

Saturday is more of a mixed bag. At 10 we've got a memorial service to attend, for a dear friend who passed away this week. My heart is breaking for her family and friends, as we've lost a beautiful, vibrant woman in the prime of her life.

I'll be going from there to K's house. She's petsitting for several dogs, but has to be out for the day. So I'm coming to give the pups a break outside and some people company for a few hours. The pups won't mind if I'm in a quiet mood, after the memorial. They'll just be happy to have a person around. And pups are so full of life, it will be a happy way for me to reconnect to joy after saying goodbye to our friend.

Then dinner at the St. Paul Tea House with my Mister and some new friends who are curious about my Mister's favorite Szechuan dish, boiled fish in spicy Szechuan broth. We're always happy to introduce more folks to the Tea House. And the last get-together with one of these particular friends was a fun occasion.

Yes, folks, after being a virtual hermit over the last two years, I'm getting out and being social. Thank FSM for the current combo of medications and acupuncture.

Sunday will need to be a day of house chores and unpacking. I'm hoping this level of energy I'm rolling on stays consistent, so I can get at least one room presentable. I actually love the "nesting" aspect of unpacking. It's just been too exhausting to get much done. The ear stabby J stuck me with a week and a half ago is still doing well, and I've been sleeping better due to the lower pain levels.

For those of you playing along at home, my Mister has been doing job interviews, and getting promising feedback from several of them. All digits crossed for a good match, and preferably soon.

Speaking of the ASP needles (my ear stabbies) I've been getting so much relief from, here's an article I found via the NIH on their use in a trial in Nigeria. Fascinating stuff. I spoke to my local acupuncturist and she said she won't use them due to a fear of infection, since they stay in your ear when you're no longer under her observation. Fortunately, J gave my Mister the info he needs to be able to use them on me when needed.

But I'd like to find a good acupuncturist in the MN Twin Cities area who does use them, so I have someone to recommend people to. I've had a number of people ask me about my sudden improvement, and then follow up by asking where they - or a loved one - can try a the treatment. Sure, it doesn't work for everyone. But when it does work, Wow!

Ok... break's over. Back to the grindstone.

Friday, September 11, 2009

health care

Arizona has a proposed constitutional amendment (to be voted on in 2010) which would nullify a national health care system from operating in the state. - Wikipedia

Wow. I haven't looked further into the subject of this amendment of Arizona's, but I do have to assume they've got an exception for Medicare and Medicaid.

Found out today via Minnesota Public Radio that our (MN's) governor, Tim Pawlenty, is a Tenther. Wish that surprised me.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty says he may invoke state sovereignty to keep Minnesota from fully participating in a health care reform plan, if passed by Congress and signed by President Barack Obama.

"Depending on what the federal government comes out with here, asserting the 10th Amendment may be a viable option," Pawlenty said...

Pawlenty, who is considered a potential candidate for President in 2012, said Thursday he and other Republican governors will get more assertive about raising the 10th Amendment.

"I think we can see hopefully see a resurgence in claims and maybe even bring up lawsuits if need be," he added.

Full article here

On the home front, we just paid close to $1,000 to COBRA for getting our health insurance continued, now that my Mister is out of work. We're only paying $300 a month for our COBRA insurance, for the moment, thanks to it being subsidized. But we had to fork out the amount for the time that it took to get COBRA started, while the paperwork was still in limbo. During that time I had some expensive prescriptions to pay for, and an office visit. Eventually, those bills will be partially reimbursed. Hopefully. But it is frustrating that during the time when we most need insurance, we had more out of pocket medical expenses than ever.

I don't use my own employer's health insurance because it's expensive and not very good. Though, if the Mister gets offered a job that doesn't have adequate health insurance, I guess we'll go with me being covered by mine and him being covered by his, or something of the sort. Assuming whatever job he gets offers any.

I can't thank my family enough for the support they've given us while the Mister looks for a new job. This all came on the tail end of lots of repairs to both our house and the townhouse, so we were not in a good position to deal with it. Bad timing, but thanks to family, it could have been so much worse.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

I've got an imaginary soap box

I've got an imaginary soap box, and I'm going to use it.

One of the arguments that I hear used as justification for defining marriage as "one man and one woman" is that the whole purpose for marriage is the production of, care of, and setting a good example for offspring. That particular argument gets my fracking goat in a much bigger way than people who argue based on their religious beliefs.

Religious beliefs are all well and good, but I'm talking about the government and legal rights here. And people who use the argument that procreation is the foundation of marriage are often doing so to appeal to people they know aren't going to buy into the religion argument.

I've got gay friends who are raising children without the benefit of the legal rights a marriage license would provide. Surely, under the "marriage is for the family/children argument", they have more right to legal marriage than I do.

Some of my gay friends who have children were married during the all-too-brief window when marriage licenses were available to homosexual couples in California. Some states now recognize their marriages. Some states don't. Some never did. Mommy and Mommy - or Daddy and Daddy - are married in part of our country but not in other parts. What does that say to their children about the importance of the institution of marriage? Seems to me that if we really valued marriage as a civil institution, it would be too important to allow it to be tainted by discrimination. *

To take the argument to an extreme, if society's need for bearing of and providing a stable environment for children is the whole reason for marriage, I suppose I should have divorced my Mister as soon as I was medically no longer capable of producing a child. Here he is, still of suitable breeding age, and legally bound to a woman who can't validate the union by bearing him any babies. What kind of a marriage is that? Surely I should be ashamed of myself as a citizen, since I'm preventing him from contributing to the population, as is his duty to the nation, and to his genetic line.

At very least, I suppose, we should all be forced to sign an agreement to either breed or adopt within [X] time period, in order to qualify for a marriage license. And if that sounds ridiculous to you, let me say that denying loving gay couples the legal protections for their union that straight couples are allowed seems equally as ridiculous to me.

*Remember, I don't care if your religion recognizes their marriages (or mine for that matter) as valid. Our government currently regulates marriages. Arguing about semantics just delays the correction of an injustice. It is just not going to happen that you're going to "get government out of the marriage business" any time in the foreseeable future. So lets focus on what we do have - which is marriage licenses - and get us a step closer to that dream of "liberty and justice for all". Legalize those marriage licenses for gay couples - just as they're legal for elderly straight couples; 80 year old men marrying 20 year old women couples; straight couples who don't intend to have children; straight couples who are obviously headed for divorce but they're getting married anyway; and myriad other sets of straight couples who don't fit the profile of the perfectly mated breeding pair of conformist citizens.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


Nurk: The Strange, Surprising Adventures of a (Somewhat) Brave Shrew Nurk: The Strange, Surprising Adventures of a (Somewhat) Brave Shrew

I ordered Nurk sight-unseen, as a fan of Ursula Vernon's art and her blog, and I wasn't disappointed.

It's a delightful story about Nurkus Aurelious Alonzo Electron Maximilian Shrew. Most folks just call him Nurk. He is the Bilbo Baggins of this adventure tale, and I fell in love with him immediately.

Though paced for children, Vernon's writing is clever enough for any adult with a well developed sense of whimsy to enjoy thoroughly, and the vocabulary level isn't at all childish.

I'm likely to re-read this story many times over the coming years.

Review copied here from my review at

Monday, May 4, 2009

#teapix Blogged

A bit of fun news.

The Twitter #teapix event triggered by Neil Gaiman was blogged at and my Four Teapots of the Apocalypse was used as an example.

I'm still having fun surfing the other entries and seeing what other folks have been submitting. Much creativity to be found among Gaiman fans. Surprised? Not hardly.

Take that, Monday!

(Typed while humming the tune to the song All My Internet Friends by Amanda French.)

edit: Ok... fangirl time... more fun than being blogged,
Neil Gaiman left his Twitter Mark on my image post on Twitpic.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Mr B Peach

close encounters by pockafwye
So, I dreamed about one of my oldest friends three times last night.

Once in a very surreal, sci-fi-esque setting kind of dream in which he was a prince, a misfit, and also responsible for saving civilization - though nobody knew that last bit. That dream went on for hours. I woke up once in the middle of it, fell back to sleep, and the thing kept on going from where it left off.

The second dream was me dreaming about blogging about the first dream, and trying to figure out what name to use so he'd know I meant him, and others would know I didn't mean them. I settled on Mr. B. Peach.

The third dream was very much like a cross between an episode of Heroes and the book Dark Genesis: The Birth of the Psi Corps, by Gregory Keyes. A bunch of us had "abilities" as they'd say in Heroes, which always seemed to also include telepathy of one level or another. Mr. Peach had been captured and sent to a "boarding school", which was a brainwashing facility, where the "students" were held until they could be rendered effectively "normal". The whole story revolved around getting him out of there, and getting him safe. He had some kind of sensitivity to strong sunlight - not all sunlight, just the really bright stuff. By the end, there had been a certain amount of blowing things up, skulking around in a maze, practicing using the telepathic skills to coordinate our escape, and riding around in a very old pickup truck - not necessarily in that order.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


I'm spending a big chunk of this weekend dog-sitting while some good friends are out of town for a wedding. Maxine is the easiest dog there is to hang out with, so it's no hardship. But, what's the one thing you expect to find when you arrive at someone's house to dog-sit?

A dog, maybe?

I know Maxine. So when I walked into the house and she didn't greet me at the door, it seemed odd. I checked around the house. I checked the back yard. No Max. I checked the gate to the yard - shut tight.

I checked for a note saying she was out with someone else. Nothing. No ransom note, either, for that matter. I started composing the phone conversation in my head... "I've just arrived and I've already lost Maxine." Wasn't liking my options. Decided it was better to keep looking.

To my huge relief, before I had a chance to panic, one of the neighbors showed up with Maxine and her food bowl. She'd felt sorry for Max being alone all day until I got there, so she'd brought Max over to her house.

I thanked the neighbor without letting on that I'd been about ready to jump in my car and start combing the neighborhood.

The rest of the weekend has been much less exciting, so far, and I'm all for keeping it that way.

We took a trip to my house to help my Mister with some yard work, and Maxine was a very well behaved guest. I've spent some time learning a few new techniques in photoshop. Browsed the interwebs. Gave Maxine lots of loves and pettings. And tomorrow I expect to spend the morning reading more of The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman (and providing more pets and lovies for Max, of course).