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Things I want to take with me

-Yarn (post not-black sweater amounts on destash groups)
-Knitting tools
-Picture of the columns, family photos
-Craftsman bottle opener
-Panda onesies
-Star Trek action figures
-All my hoodies except the purple fuzzy one
-Wicca cookbook
-Captain Marvel 100th Issue special edition
-Lancelot the Dragon
-Fergus the Spike Plant
-Candles and candlestick
-Laptop and peripherals
-All clothes and shoes
-Hand painted mugs
-Copper measuring cups
-Wooden bowl (and matching tray? Ehh)
-Jewelry and perfume, wooden jewelry box
-Board games: King's Blood, Dominion
-All toiletries
-North Face backpack (get Sandy to get his stuff out of it and give it back)
-Pink blanket
-Books: Accounting dictionary, religious texts, ICAS regulations, Something Wicked This Way Comes, How to Live Safely in a Science Fiction Universe, Chronicles of Amber, The End of Mr Y, How the Scots Invented the Modern World, Red Mars, Death and Taxes, War for the Oaks. Fables, Freakangels. Also sort through knitting books and magazines.
-Bathrobe and slippers
-Purple duvet cover

Get rid of everything else.

Save to offload at Conpulsion assuming I'm still in the country: Rifle, tentacle, larp hammer, larp dagger, other board games, other comics, gaming books

Thanksgiving Battle Plan

Guests: 8
Mom (no red meat)
Kali (vegetarian)

Turkey Crown, cooked with butter and bacon
Turkey drumsticks
Sweet potato fries
Cranberry sauce
Green beans with slivered almonds
Stuffing (Kali & Eowyn will bring)
Mashed Potatoes (Julie will bring)
Buttermilk Biscuits (Kali & Eowyn will try, bake myself if not)
Stuffed mushrooms (Kali & Eowyn will bring)
Pumpkin Pie

-Wine (need red, Sandy & Mom will go shopping Thursday)
-Beer (some in fridge, pick up more sometime Thursday)
-Softs (shloer/fruit juice, Nick to bring "the greatest selection of non-alcoholic beverages you have ever laid eyes upon")
-Hot chocolate with dessert (dark chocolate and milk in ASDA order, see if Sandy has time to do this)

-After work, go to Real Foods to purchase Libby's pumpkin pie filling and Tesco for Cranberry sauce
-Check whether more serving dishes are required
-Cook quiche for Sandy's work

-During day, call New Club and pay for mom's stay, email her total bill so she can reimburse through PNC account
-Make 2x pumpkin pies and refrigerate
-Clean kitchen


-Check mom's flight time
-Weight lifting with Jo, 7 PM
-Sandy to clean guest room

-Morning: Gwen receives Asda order and starts cooking, Sandy goes wine shopping with Mom when she arrives
-Cooking, order to start:

  -Turkey drumsticks
  -Buttermilk biscuits (if required)
  -Sweet potato fries
  -Green beans
-Sandy to pick up Julie, Kali, Eowyn, chairs and food in cab
-Mom wants to be involved and awake so send her out for any last minute things we've forgotten (beer, black pepper), have her catch up with Christine
-House open from early afternoon: Sandy to sort out cheese and nibbles
-Serving at 1830


Sleep. Eat leftovers. See movie in afternoon with Mom, send her out drinking in evening, go to Nick's friend's birthday party.

Bi Visibility Day

Cross-posted from my facebook - and I'm setting this one to public, no less.

Today is bisexual visibility day. So, for anyone who doesn't know, or who suspects but hasn't had it confirmed:

Yes, I'm bisexual.

I want to address a couple of myths...

-Myth 1: There are no male bisexuals. (Yes, there really are. More LGBT men identify as gay than bi over multiple studies - but there is, I think, more pressure for men to appear straight. Bisexual men have an "easier" time of this than homosexual men do, I think.)

-Myth 2: Bisexuality is a phase. Bisexuals are experimenting, or haven't had the courage to come out as "actually gay" yet. Most people grow out of it. (Nope. There's nothing wrong with experimenting, but bisexuality isn't a phase. Most people settle down with one person, but that doesn't mean they "finally chose" to be straight or gay.)

-Myth 3: Bisexuals are all greedy sluts, likely to cheat, and usually have STDs. (Nope. No more or less true than anyone else.)

-Myth 4: Bisexuals who date someone of the same sex are just waiting for someone better of the opposite sex to come along. (There are jerks of all sexualities. But no. This one just makes me sad.)

-Myth 5: Bisexuals are attracted to cisgendered men and women only. (Nope. The "bi" in bisexual doesn't limit to two genders. Plenty of bisexuals are attracted to trans* people, genderfluid people, agender people...)

And I wanted to tell a couple of truths...

-Over 40% of bisexual people have considered suicide.

-27.6% of bisexual people live in poverty.

-Almost HALF of bisexual women are survivors of rape. After all, bi girls are up for anything, right? By contrast, in the same study that found this, 13% of straight women and 17% of lesbians reported being rape survivors. (Worth noting: there are similarly horrifying statistics on the victimisation of trans* people. I'm not including them here because I'm talking about sexuality, not gender.)

Bisexual visibility day is necessary because of a phenomenon called "bisexual erasure". It is easy to believe that bisexuals don't exist - after all, if a woman marries another woman, mightn't you assume she's a lesbian? And if you're a bisexual amongst people who are homophobic, mightn't you just play straight? And when you think of "bisexual", what you might imagine are girls making out at parties to excite their boyfriends - easily dismissed as a phase or "actually straight".

I believe that being told that our sexuality doesn't exist, or that it means we're sluts, or somehow untrustworthy, contribute to the problems I mentioned above. And it's not just the straight community that does this - the rest of the gay community has a love/hate relationship with bi people, too. So, you know. Have you hugged your bi friend today?

Anyway, thanks for listening. Love you guys.

Some links:

Bi visibility day website:

UK Bicon 2014: http://www.bicon2014.org.uk/

NYT article "Yes, I really am bisexual. Deal with it.": http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/28/fashion/yes-i-really-am-bisexual-deal-with-it.html?pagewanted=all&_r=1&

San Francisco Human Rights Commission LGBT Advisory Committee report - "Bisexual Invisibility: Impacts and Reccomendations": http://www.sf-hrc.org/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=989

Edinburgh LGBT Centre for Health and Wellbeing: http://www.lgbthealth.org.uk/

cheers to orev and bobbie for this one

This be the Verse, by Philip Larkin

They fuck you up, your mum and dad.
They may not mean to, but they do.
They give you all the faults they had
And add some extra, just for you.

But they were fucked up in their turn
By fools in old-style hats and coats,
Who half the time were soppy-stern
And half at one another's throats.

Man hands on misery to man.
It deepens like a coastal shelf.
Get out as early as you can,
And don't have any kids yourself.

Causegirl strikes again

Over the last couple of months I have taken to walking around the city, commuting on foot or bike instead of by bus. The weather has been great, after all. I like it. It's calming, which I need. I can read trashy fantasy novels as I walk along, or go out of my way just for the sake of a fun ride. I've also been blipping intermittently.

So I've been taking a lot more notice of pretty things in the city. Buildings, 'skylines', statues. Especially statues. Edinburgh has a ton of statues, and monuments, and plaques, and stuff. But I noticed not a whole lot of them were to/of women. There's "Mother & Child" on Lothian Road, which is lovely and everything, but was pretty much the only one I could name off the top of my head. But you've got statues of dudes all over the place. Particular dudes, who did stuff, not just archetypical dudes we want to celebrate because yay they're good at fathering or something. (Although I would totally support a "Father & Child" statue.) Also animals and random stuff like huge feet. More of those than women.

One of the things I adore about Edinburgh is how it has these tangled, multi-level, non-Euclidean streets and staircases. Edinburgh is a hyperbolic plane which intersects itself. And for all that I've been walking around more, I still haven't been changing my route much. So I figured I probably just hadn't noticed the lady-statues. They would be tucked into corners, popping out creepily at night, appearing at some street level you didn't realize could possibly be viewed from your position, in typical Edinburgh fashion. That was what I figured. That would be fine. Way better than not being there.

But last weekend I kind of started to doubt this, so I googled around a little bit and found this list. And there are some monuments to ladies I missed. But not many. Queen Victoria on Leith Walk (I'd totally forgotten about her), and two monuments that I hadn't known were dedicated to women. Also some lady-statues in the Gallery of Modern Art, but I'm only really counting stuff that I might pass on a walk. Or more importantly that, say, a 12 year old girl might pass on a walk. It's Wikipedia, and it says it's not a complete list, but even so there are way more dude-statues I didn't know about than lady-statues I didn't know about. There's at least ten times as many dudes on that list. And most stuff put up recently (last 20-30 years) has been dudes and animals.

Not cool.

I found this website, which is more encouraging. It was nice to see that I'm not the only one who thinks this isn't okay. And there is a lot more stuff listed on that website. But a lot of it is stuff like... this woman has a plaque on a building over here, this stained glass window depicts a female saint, this school is named after that lady, this little monument is to both Robert Burns and his wife. (Because with 3 monuments to him, hey, let's stick his wife's name on one, why not.) Which is good stuff, but not very visible unless you happen to go to that school or give birth in the Elsie Inglis ward.

I posted the list on facebook asking if there were any lady-statues that had been missed. I mostly just got Dave mansplaining about how people didn't know much about the achievements of women and it's not very easy to get a statue put up, and complaining when Sandy & I used the word "mansplain". (Someday there will be a messy intersection of Dave, myself, and a bread knife. I have held off thus far because he's one of Sandy's good friends.) But he did at least push me to DO something about it.

So, because I clearly don't have enough to do, I wrote a short letter pointing out the problem and asking what would be involved in getting something put up if I could do the fundraising. I emailed it to my MP Sheila Gilmore, the local council's Culture guy Richard Lewis, all 8 MSPs listed for Edinburgh East, and a generic "contact us about Monuments" box on the council website.

Thus far, the office of Neil Findlay MSP has gotten back to me saying that they try not to duplicate stuff, and thus Kezia Dugdale MSP specifically will get back to me on behalf of the rest. Sheila Gilmore's office has also gotten back to me and put me in touch with Councillor Andrew Burns, who is apparently the leader of the Council, and has responsibility for equalities issues. So a little bit of delegating so far, but response times have been good, which is neat. I'm hopeful.

Actually getting a statue of someone put up would be a pretty huge project, though. In fundraising alone... you're talking tens of thousands of pounds for a bronze statue, for instance. So I'm wondering what else could be done. Murals seem more achievable and more likely to actually get looked at rather than just blanked as someone walks past.

In the meantime I'm thinking about maybe walking around and blipping all the little monuments to women that are on that map.

Employee Handbook

There are some really basic things that I wish everyone was immediately taught when they entered the workplace. I should clarify immediately that these are not all things which I have encountered among my co-workers or clients. Some of them are actually about me. So in the unlikely event that any of my co-workers or clients find this and get annoyed that I'm saying you don't know things which you DO know - chances are that I am not actually talking about you.

Some basics...Collapse )


Death of a giant

What I said on facebook:

"Iain Banks has died. I am... really, really sad. One of my all time favorite authors. He created beautiful, fantastic, mind-blowing worlds and characters - the universe that everyone who has read his books wants to live in. My first introduction to real sci-fi. And that was just when he was writing sci-fi at all. I can count on one hand the authors who have managed to draw me in so completely when they WEREN'T writing sci-fi/fantasy.

Not to mention, a stand-up guy and an absolute giant for Scotland. I'll miss you, Mr Banks, way more than is entirely reasonable."

What I didn't say on facebook: This man and his works had a pretty huge influence on me. I came to Scotland to leave behind, well... the fact that relatively young men who do great works are sometimes robbed of their last 30 years by cancer. I found his books and escaped into the Culture, and from there, all the other worlds and fantasies I now love and see the real world through. It was healing and formative. And he's gone. It's always the great young ones. ha.

I am actually, honest to god crying right now. I completely broke down when I realized he had still missed the release of The Quarry by about ten days, even though they brought it forward for him.

quick thing

I have been getting so many spam comments, I'm going to make comments moderated on this journal from now on.

Edit: Having taken a look at the settings, friends will still be able to post immediately.

Edit 2: Hilarious! I got a spam comment.
Whole lotta self-loathing going on today

To This Day

Earlier this evening Sandy started watching this video while I was over on the bed.

I thought the first minute or so was kind of funny. Then it started talking about some interesting stuff. I came over to watch it with him.

It didn't take me long to well up and I was quite literally sobbing through the entire second half of this video.

I have never read, watched or listened to anything that has had that effect on me before. None of the novels I love, none of the poetry or music which has inspired me in the past, none of the movies or videos or TV shows which have made me cry have ever struck a chord nearly as deep as this did. This poet... he gets it.

Go look at this.