Monday, August 30, 2010

Just Stop Already

I'm getting sick unto death of all the "marijuana is evil and causes evil to come forth" nonsense that is plaguing the airways these days. I turned away from the final commercials of the CSI:Miami tonight because the cause of the fatal accident? Hiding MJ under the hood. This led to cutting the power steering line (which I have to say, as someone who has pillaged through an engine compartment with tools and duct tape, is totally bogus with regards to hiding a dime bag) which led his underage sister into crashing a car and killing two people. It's only the MJ that makes it a crime. Otherwise, it's just tragedy.

But really, how much longer do we have to hear crap about the demon weed? I even wrote into the local radio station after 3 solid weeks of hearing about "major marijuana busts!!!!" when we're just **two months shy from pretty well legalizing it. The point of view I expressed what that if the growers are paying for their own water and electricity for plants grown on their own land, as their neighbor, I don't care. I care when someone grows crops on parkland, just as I would be upset with someone growing commercial strawberries or grazing cattle there without permission. And I care when we waste police and prison resources on this.

Giant ass rant after the jump.

Maybe This Time

Maybe this time
- I won't go so long between blog posts, especially when I have material
- I'll actually sign up on facebook, where people live these days
- I'll figure out why I'm getting extra cranky at work.

Maybe This Time also the title of Jennifer Crusie's first solo novel since Bet Me. If the link to her blog and books wasn't enough, here's a quick interview about the book. I think she has one of the best pro-women voices in romance, or literature generally. That she also does good snark and has quirky characters who know happiness when it bites them on the ass makes her a great read. In this case she's added ghosts, doing a fresh take on The Turn of the Screw. I haven't got a clue what they'll be like, but I'm picturing nearly-headless Nick in attitude.

Barnes and Noble didn't offer a pre-order for my nook, so I bought a hardcopy from Amazon. With the free shipping, it may still take a while, so I might be sitting in the B&N with my nook, reading what I can while I'm there.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Orange Stars

I was trying to think of a title that references "lucky", but I may have found my next tattoo... I'm inordinately fond of 5 pointed star tattoos, particularly the ones around Kat Von D's left eye. I can't really see myself tattooing my face with stars, but I could find someplace. And maybe I should get some orange in it.

As I was relaxing tonight in one of the dozen or more "foot massage" places that has popped up in my town (I know of a dozen, I hear there are more) and charges $20 for an hour's relaxation I thought about how lucky I am. I was able to go do this when I felt iffy. I broke myself taking a walk. I managed to bruise the bones in my big toe by, um, walking around in shoes that weren't perfectly comfortable.

Then, knowing that my existing Chaco sandals are one of the few shoes I can wear without inserts, I was able to buy more via who has free return shipping if they don't fit exactly as I'm expecting.

And I have this cheap little netbook and an expensive cable connection that allows me to surf the web from Already Pretty to Whorange to I'm Revolting who posted a picture of Abby Walton's funky painted fingernails that I was able to emulate after "rehydrating" a couple old colors with the butyl acetate/ethyl acetate mix I was able to buy at the store next to the Trader Joe's (since I can't get it from my chemist friend anymore... and TJ's doesn't carry my favorite sundried tomato bruschetta topping or frozen black raspberries anymore either. I can still buy my favorite Pop-Secret Homestyle snack sized microwave popcorn.)

So, there are minor slights. But I'm learning hip-hop dance routines despite the toe, have enough money this year to ease up and get things I need when I need them, even if they aren't on sale, and there are all these fabulous people out there curating links on blog sites so I can follow the most bizzare but interesting things instead of sleeping. I'd just like to acknowledge how cool this all is.

Monday, August 9, 2010

American Cuisine

There are not really any pictures from rafting - I have the pic I bought of me looking too serious in the big rapid, and maybe my friend who'd brought a disposable camera will send some shots my way, but while that's lingering, let's look at food. Turns out I'm not the only home canner this year. I brought a jar of plum jam and my friend had made apricot and strawberry. Funnily enough, they're all in different sized jars. Breakfast was delightful, like so.

jam selection, coffee, tea, toast, hummus

There are more pictures of happiness thru food if you click through.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Do, Done, Did

I've been racking up some pictures to share, and it's about time to have something happiness related and not political, so here goes.

First, the pop-art pins I selected from grandma's vast collection of costume jewelry have been mounted and put on display!
pins and frogs, images on lime green wall

For the rest of the pictures,

Friday, August 6, 2010

Yes We K(ag)an

For the first time evah, there will be three women on the Supreme Court!! Thank you President Obama, and all the senators who voted to confirm her.

Back when Roberts got confirmed (and how the hell he came in as freshman judge to take over the head spot I'll never know), it was after the Harriet Meyers fiasco. Harriet Meyers was, from the start, a feint. They offered her up knowing that, while a smart lawyer, she didn't have the right qualifications to be a constitutional judge in this day and age. They offered her up so that they could say "see, we nominated a woman, but you threw her out, and now here's the white man we wanted to put in there all along." It was, frankly, sickening to watch. And so blatant I'm surprised there aren't books out about it.

There are many reasons we need diversity on the bench, but the biggest one is that our populace is diverse. Most of us value the melting pot nature of our country and society. But it's true that laws don't affect us equally. Someone who has a different perspective of how people are treated under the law based on color, gender, etc... can add to the discussion before a final decision is crafted in a way that someone from the majority may never think to even question. Back to Gavin DeBecker's quote (paraphrased):
Men's biggest fear on a date is that a woman will laugh at him.
Women's biggest fear on a date is that a man will kill her.
This type of thing leads to a difference in experience and that experience needs a voice in the law. I think Elena Kagan will be a good legal voice.

Plus, I've also read that once a minority hits about 30% representation in a group that's when their opinions are attributed to them as persons, and not to everyone from that group. It will be possible now to have more dissent between the women on the court, and their opinions less likely to be dismissed as "just a woman".

Kagan has had an impressive legal and educational history. I don't think I'll always agree with her (although my friends and I cheered her on, not knowing who she was, back when I was at college down the street from her's and she helped block the military recruiting on campus) but I don't have to. I do trust that she knows the constitution, knows law, and knows how to think. She seems like the sort who will try to look out for everybody. She may fail sometimes, but on the whole, I'm optimistic.

To everyone who thinks that two women nominees in a row is too many, recall that every woman who has ever been appointed has been so since I was in the third grade, and I'm not old. Before then, there had never been a woman on the court. That's funky to think about.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Bending Toward Justice

Prop 8, the vote to disallow my gay friends and neighbors to marry in CA, has been overturned without equivocation! There is a stay on the decision until friday, at which time the Judge will hear arguments for whether or not to continue the stay until the appeal. Now, or at least pretty soon, I can tell all my lesbian techs back in MA about job opportunities out here.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


So it seems like every time I turn around something else is causing me to have restless leg (RLS) problems. Most notable are allergy meds. Despite taking 12mg of chlorpheniramine every night for a third of my life, for the last couple years, it gives me RLS. I can take it to help me (a) breathe and (b) sleep, but I have to wash it down with tonic water to cut the leg jitters or I can't sleep.

I've been having a lot of trouble sleeping recently, as well as getting angry a lot, and I think I've figured out that it comes from the OTC Safeway brand Zyrtec. WTF? I've taken Zyrtec and generic Zyrtec before and not noticed anything out of the ordinary, but I took it for about 3 weeks in a row this time and it was like I turned into a stranger. Yeah, I'm used to not sleeping right, but this was excessive. I tried not taking it for a couple days, got the sniffles, took it again, and had not only bad sleep (waking up constantly, enough to regain consciousness every 40 minutes at least) but the next day I got *so*angry* I could barely see straight (even with my special eyes). It took me a while to realize that what was making me toss and turn in bed was actually restless leg syndrome but I finally figured it out. Add the Angry? I'm off that sauce.

Over the weekend, I got several extremely itchy bug bites. The ones that didn't get meat-tenderizered early still itch. (The later, treated ones are gone already.) They were keeping me up, despite the anti-itch cream, so I took Benadryl. I've had mixed results from Benadryl (diphenhydramine) before - in that it makes me sleepy, but not. But it knocks the allergic reaction six ways to sunday, so sometimes it's worth it. Last night? Not worth it.

After a long drive and not-sober weekend, I drove out to Pasadena for a booksigning last night. It was wicked fun (even though I didn't get my eBook signed...) and I'm glad I went but I was pooped. I was in bed by 10:45. I was taking benadryl by 11:30. I was up, jumping around shaking my legs from 12:45 to 3:30 this morning. I'd get up, drink a few ounces of tonic and try to sleep only to be wrenched from sleep by nerves in my legs that would not freaking stop until I got up and marched around, jiggling my right leg. The tonic did nothing, I just had to wait 4-5 hours for it to wear off. I was a total wreck today.

I took a few minutes at work to look up RLS and it turns out that Benadryl is a well known RLS multiplier. Yay. But Zyrtec? And chlortrimeton? ugh. I wonder if the allergy shots are making me more likely to flare up because some alcoholic beverages' breakdown products give me RLS about 4 hours after I drink them, as well. The magical internet advice fairies also suggest taking iron and/or magnesium supplements. I do tend to run low on iron and have been craving MEAT recently, so I figure that's worth a try as well. Anyone else have ideas? When my quinine fails me, I'm lost. And tired.

To top that off, my jet-flush toilet has a leaky valve. The part is cheap but has to be mailed to me, so I have to turn the supply valve on and off for a few more days. I'm too tired to cope with that but what can you do.

I'll check back in a bit with the regularly scheduled happiness posts, but until then, it's all cranky.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Teva Tan

Technically, my sandals are Chacos, so it's a Chaco Tan, but Teva Tan is both alliterative and better known. I had been tanning for a couple weeks prior to the trip to get my skin less likely to fry in the sun. It worked so well, along with my heavy handed reapplications of sunscreen, and wearing of a hat that I'm a little disappointed that I don't have more color! But I have some and in reality land, I'm thrilled not to be burning.

The Cache Creek rafting trip this year was fantastic. I got to hang out with friends, got to meet new people, see rafters from previous years, and get wet. Recently I've gotten really nervous in advance of rafting trips where I'm sure I'm going to die - and this is not the way I want to go. But I sit my ass in the boat and I'm perfectly comfortable. It's strange and the yo-yo of emotions from "this isn't a good idea, you should feel sick about it" to "wow, this is an awesome way to spend time with friends and nature and look! I can steer this raft!" keeps me a little off keel. Next time, I'm going to try and prevent the psych-out so the sum total of emotion over the trip is more positive. (Despite all my readings that it's the boundary conditions of the trip that set your memories and feelings of it.)

My reasons not to be afraid:
  • I'm pretty comfortable in water.
  • I can swim, well.
  • I wear my lifejacket religiously.
  • I can steer a small boat reasonably well and these 2-man kayaks are inflatable.
  • My friend in front is a strong and competent boater as well .
  • And this river is mild enough to do a lot of it drunk and backward. So we do.

There was no shortage of intoxication this year. The question came up on sunday morning if 10:30 AM was too early for a second beer... My personal level was a sustained buzz for most of the day with a bit of a crash around dinner time, making the whole day really quite pleasant. It turns out I yell (whoops and hollers yelling) when I'm well lubricated.

The trip was also great because the water was high enough to make it more fun. Last year was spent getting an ab workout scootching over various rocky shallows. This year there was more bobbing and flying over big water waves. The weather was lovely. Quite warm, but not freakishly hot - exactly a good temperature to be in the water. The water was chilly when we first got in, but not cold and for any part after the first 10 seconds felt great. We spent most of the weekend wet. I packed very little but took everything I needed. Someone else came with 100 cans of beer and was good about sharing... I think even the guy who split his head open on a tree branch had a great time. (I'm pretty sure that was our only scary injury, and he got it messing around in a tough rapid and still insists he "won" whatever bogus contest he and his boatmate were messing around with...) It think the age range for our 40 person group (not all of whom I met) was 21 to 51 or so. Mostly I hung out with a core group of 10 or 14 people who stuck together, when possible, down the river, shooting water at each other and sharing beverages.

Anyhow, I wish I hadn't spent all that energy making myself sick with worry beforehand because the trip was good, good fun. It was lovely to be away with friends, even with the 800 mile round trip drive with some portions of heavy traffic. (It's a beautiful drive, for what that's worth.) Maybe I'll see you there next year?!?