lunadelcorvo: (Saucy Vintage Lady)
So my first grad film class was Thursday. Apparently, each student takes a class in which they lead discussion on the chapters read for that class, beginning with the very second class. When the prof asked for volunteers, naturally, no one said anything, so I volunteered. For one thing, I do this stuff every day; I'm really just not intimidated by getting up in front of a class-roomful of strangers. And second, I will always go first if possible - the bar is low, and then you're done, and can sit back and smirk at everyone else's nerves.

So my topic is the very first years of film, from the 1890s up to about 1920. Very interesting, actually. Of course, the first thing (well, maybe not the FIRST, but pretty early) I thought of was "What about the porn?" I mean, whenever mankind has come up with a new technology, someone almost immediately thinks of a way to adapt it to sex. It happened with photography, it happened with the internet, it probably happened when the first person realized he cold make a picture by dragging a stick through the mud. But the textbook was utterly silent on the subject. (Well, they mentioned that early films were used in vaudeville shows, and that people found the "flickers" to be disreputable overall, but that's it.)

Curious (as a good scholar ought to be) I did some digging, and found out that I was right. From the first mechanical flip-card machines (mutoscopes), to the first loop-film players (kinetoscopes) adult content was not only there, but according to some, the only reason these things got enough money to stick around. And once longer films came out - whoo-boy! Ain't nothing out there on the internet today that they weren't filming from the get-go; gay, straight, group, you name it! There is some serious, hard-core stuff out there from as early as 1905!

What's really funny, is that these shaky, silent, black and white films, raunchy as they are, still have a bit of that sense of innocence that early film has. (Well, OK, the one where the guy is getting a blowjob and his mustache falls off, which he hastily hides behind his arm and reattaches, never missing a beat *might* have something to do with this...) But it's kind of funny overall. Not sure it would work as porn in this day and age, but still, pretty interesting.

The real dilemma, of course, if whether I mention this in my class discussion! Watch this space.....
lunadelcorvo: (Medieval Scholar)
Just got my official notice of classes for fall, and I picked up an extra for this coming semester, which is always a boon to the pocketbook!

So, for Spring I'm teaching (freshman) Theories of Religion and Development of Christianity (wherein I more or less throw the whole kit and kaboodle right under the bus!)

In Fall, it will be (freshman) Utopia/Dystopia and Development of Christianity, and (junior) Self, Place & Culture.

And for my own courses, I'm taking another foundation course, Comm Theory, along with an advanced topics course called "The Movie is the Message," dealing with social and cultural messages in film. I suspect I can do all sorts of interesting things with that! The theory should be...interesting. I have my misgivings about rampant theory-using generally (as I discussed a while back here), but I still tend to be far more conversant in theoretical areas than the "social sciences" aspects of communication as a discipline. However, the prof is as purely social science oriented as you can get, which should add some spice to the conversation.

Combine that with the tendency of Comm to kidnap theory from other disciplines without ever owning up to it, and my own tendency to recognize from whence the ideas have come ("Hey, wait a sec! That's Sartre's intersubjectivity!" or "That's Foucault's perpetual spirals pf power and pleasure!" statements have so far been met with rather blank stares...), ought to make for a really interesting semester....

Tally ho! Off to write my syllabi!
lunadelcorvo: (Casavir (NWN2))
1. What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before?

Started a second Masters? Ok, maybe cheating there. Let's see, I took my kid to Panama, and to his first SF convention.

2. Did you keep your new years' resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

As I've said before I don't make resolutions. Sweeping declarations once a year are not match for true growth.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Not close, but a few aquiantances.

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Happily, no.

5. What countries did you visit?

Panama, again. Hoping to expand that list this coming year!

6. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?

A true democracy, silence from the religious right, a few academic conferences to present at.

7. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory?

None really. There's the elections, and then the usual birthdays and anniversaries, but that's about it.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Teaching three classes in the same semester I undertook a new MA in a completely unfamiliar discipline, and doing a damn good job all around, if I do say so myself!

9. What was your biggest failure?

I dunno, really. I feel pretty good about this last year on my own behalf. Some less than stellar stuff was done around me, but I don't know that I feel like I have an real failures n my scoresheet this year.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Bout of flu, and some insane allergies (fuck you very much, global warming!) but big stuff, no.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

My new MacBook Pro and iPad, likely.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?

The family has been very congenial, in-laws included. Hubby has had his moments, but generally has been awesome, as always. The Niblet is 12 and shows it on occasion, but he's still an awesome 12-year old 99% of the time. So I'd say Kudos all 'round.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?

Aside from the entire right wing of government and the population? Well, we have a grandmother that really needs to go into nursing care, but she and her husband are just too damned stubborn, and I think it's a bad situation for her. So Papaw's behavior on that count is pretty dismal, but that's about it for personal stuff.

14. Where did most of your money go?

Living, mostly. I did drop almost 7 grand in one go at the Apple Store, for new computers for me and hubby. (I though the sales kid was going to keel over: "I need two MacBook pros, and two iPads, top of the line." "Uhhhh...OK." LOL)

16. What song will always remind you of 2012?

Oddly, probably "Roll a D-6" and "I'm the One That's Cool."

17. Compared to this time last year, you are:

Thinner or fatter: Same, I think.

Richer or poorer: Also about the same. Maybe a smidge better off.

Happier or sadder: Offhand, I don't recall being too unhappy last year, so I'll say the same, and consider it a good thing!

18. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Traveling, my own academic writing/research, I can't think of much else.

19. What do you wish you'd done less of?

Suffering from brutal allergy/asthma and heat.

20. How will you be spending Christmas?

We spent it at home with family, and it was wonderful.

21. What was your favorite month of 2012?

No clue. Maybe December?

22. Did you fall in love in 2012?

Always with my son and hubby, every day!

23. How many one-night stands?

None!

24. What was your favorite TV program?

Bones, Supernatural, Enterprise

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn't hate this time last year?

Maybe a few politicians....

26. What was the best book you read?

Discovery of Witches & Shadow of Night for fun, Figure of Beatrice in Dante for academia.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Um.... don't know. I guess I'm pretty established in my tastes.

28. What did you want and get?

Classes! And a new laptop.

29. What did you want and not get?

More classes, a new bed.

30. What was your favorite film of this year?

I didn't see many (I rarely do, in fact) but I liked Avengers and Skyfall.

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

A lady never tells, and I had classes all day and in the evening. So a nice dinner was about all we had time for.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

It was already pretty satisfying.

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2012?

Same as always; autumn palette, sorta boho, sorta funky, sorta classic. Rich textures, deep warm jewel-tones, lots of details.

34. What kept you sane?

I didn't actually have too many threats to my sanity, so that wasn't exactly a memorable mechanism. Winning the election kept me from wigging out, though!

35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?

I rediscovered my love of David Bowie, and crushed on a few fictional characters. *cough*Dean Winchester*cough*

36. What political issue stirred you the most?

Women's reproductive rights, marriage equality, separation of church and state, the environment/global warming, and general ass-hattery of the right.

37. Who did you miss?

Mom, always, and my family.

38. Who were the best new people you met?

I met some really wonderful faculty in my new department that I'm looking forward to working with more.

39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2012:

What you don't start will never get done; breathe (OK, that last one's a repeat, but always useful).

40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year:

"You may be tan and fit and rich but you're a tool; now I'm the one that's cool."
lunadelcorvo: (Xmas Cocoa)
So I totally blew the holiday advent meme. I blame my finals, my student's finals, then my husband's student's finals (which I ended up grading for him, as he was in Panama.) No sooner had I plowed through all that, but my son came down with a horrible flu, into which I followed almost immediately. We're both finally getting clear of that (barring a nasty, soupy, lingering cough) and have been scrambling like mad to get caught up on all the holiday stuff around the house.

So, holiday meme kind of fell off the end of the list. I did get cards sent out though, possibly even in time for delivery tomorrow!

Around here, I got the tree up and trimmed, shopping done and loot wrapped, fruitcake baked, bourbon balls and first two batches of cookies done. I think I"m almost caught up!

I am also pooped! Talk to all you lovely folks tomorrow!
lunadelcorvo: (Xmas-Father Christmas Polar Bear)
December 9th

Tell us your most treasured gift you have ever gotten or given.

I think I did that a couple posts up. Beyond that, I'm going to get all cornball here and say my son, my husband, my lovely home, and the pleasure of doing something I really love. Not really Christmas gifts per se, but the most treasured gifts I have ever gotten, for sure.

December 10th
Include in your post your wish list meme. While you're at it, take some time to go through your friend's list and see their lists. If there is something you can grant, do it. Even though it will be late the Christmas spirit will last a little longer for him/her.

OK, here is my "general audiences" Amazon Wishlist. (The others are mostly all long, exhaustive lists of things related to academic subjects, of compelling interest to no one but a crazed medievalist....) Don't feel obligated, either- having all you wonderful folks as my friends is also an amazing, all-year-round kind of gift!
lunadelcorvo: (Default)
I don't really honor the religious, miracle message of Hanukkah and more than I do that of Christmas, but I do have great affection for many aspects of Jewish cultural heritage and history. So to that end, I wish one and all a joyous Hanukkah, whether it's your cultural background or not!

Chag Chanuka Sameach!

lunadelcorvo: (Xmas-Snowfall)
(Yes, this is a repost of last year's entry for this day. But I find it highly doubtful that this answer will ever change....)

This is easy. When I was seven, I think, my grandparents and my mom made me a castle. Not a silly little toy castle. This was the most amazing thing you could imagine, to say nothing of the astonished wonder of a child.

It stood four feet high, fashioned from a wooden bookshelf. Three floors, carpeted staircases, chandeliers, a garden, a balcony, stained glass windows, a tower. A ballroom with tiled floors and thrones for the kind and queen. The royal bedroom, in red and purple velvet and brocade. The princesses' room, green and gold and just a hint of pink. In the round, crenelated tower, a witch, a spinning wheel, and a little half-round bench hand-carved by my grandfather. There were two princes, two princesses, the king, queen, the king's brother. There was a witch, a giant, and a fairy. Each one had clothing made by hand. There was a horse and carriage and a garden with trees, a cobbled path and a fountain with water lilies. Every inch of the outside was lovingly carved into stones, even the fronts of the drawers that made up the bottom of the shelf.

When I came down Christmas morning, there it sat, nearly as tall as I was, gleaming, the lights shimmering from the golds and silvers, from the metallic brocades and the crystal chandeliers. When I went back to school in January, we were to write a story about our favorite present, and draw a picture. I got in trouble for making things up, and when the teacher called my mom to report me, my mom had to set her straight.

I have only two very poor photos of it, and, I am sorry to say, I no longer have it. When I had to move to California, I donated it to a children's museum. I came back a year later, and they had sold it. I have no idea where it is, or who now has this rare treasure crafted by the hands of my family. But there has never been a handmade gift like that one....
lunadelcorvo: (Xmas Cocoa)
I'm tempted to say Witch's Brew, gently warmed, and be done with it (Hey, it's late, and I've been grading for hours!). Instead, I will be even lazier, and recap my cocoa process (not exactly a recipe, but close enough; did I mention it's late?)

In a huge mug (I like at least 16 oz!) put three teaspoons sugar (rough, heaping, hastily scooped out of the sugar bowl - let's not get meticulous here!), and a teaspoon cocoa powder (make it the good stuff - Ghirardelli, Godiva, Rapunzel, etc.). Add a teensy pinch of cinnamon, a teensier pinch of salt, and a tiny drible of milk - just enough to mix it up into a thick syrup. ONLY THEN do you add milk to top it up, stirring madly all the while. Pop in the nuker for two or three minutes (depending on your micro, and how hot you like it) and top according to your preference. My personal choice is marshmallows and a candy cane, but whipped cream works just as well. (So does a healthy splash of schnapps or other festive liqueur!)

Bon chance! Having just enjoyed a cuppa the very same (with the schnapps option), I'm off to beddies! Sweet dreams, visions of sugarplums and all that!
lunadelcorvo: (Xmas Cocoa)
No, actually, it's going really well! In my classes, I turned in the 'Giant Research Prospectus from You-Know-Where (TM) and gave the accompanying presentation. Got my grades back, and perfect scores on both! Ah-boo-yah! Finished that class with 359 our of 395 possible points! I guess I can handle this COMM stuff after all! One more grade to get in my other class, but I have no real concerns there, either. Last class for that one meets at the professor's house, which should be very nice!

I am buried in papers to grade for my own classes though! Final total will be something like 40 8-10page research papers, and as many essay final exams. (Maybe I need to look into scantron exams after all.....) But I'll get through it, and overall, my classes are wrapping up really nicely! I've had a lot of students tell me they've enjoyed it, which is always a real bonus for an instructor!

Enough of that - off to grade, and then to turn in course proposals for Fall '13! Egad! Cheers!
lunadelcorvo: (Xmas-Joy of the Season)
One rather unexpected benefit of teaching at a small, private, and—most pertinent to my point—Catholic university is that, unlike my large, public, state uni, they are free to put Christmas stuff absolutely everywhere! And I love it!

I'm really all for the whole separation of church and state, and I support 100% atheists and people of other faiths in their efforts to prevent Christian messages from being subsidized by government money, or presented with the weight of government behind them (After all, a manger on the court house lawn says nothing encouraging about justice for the non-Christian). I think "Happy Holidays" is a perfectly appropriate greeting, and I think the "War on Christmas" is hyperbolic, histrionic horse-$hit! However, I have always decorated with gusto for the holidays, and still do.

Though a child of wholly atheist parents, I grew up with the most Christmas-loving family you could ask for. Lights, tree, cookies and goodies; the works. I learned all the carols, secular and religious. Heck, my grandmother's two favorite carols were "O Holy Night" and "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," and she was the most aggressively non-religious woman I've ever known. We even had the three wisemen on our credenza, and a manger scene (hand-painted by my mom and grandma [oh how I wish I had that now!]) under our tree. And I never thought anything of it; it was no different than pumpkins on halloween, or bunnies on Easter. In fact, I was actually floored when my husband said our neighbors would assume we're Christian because of the lights on the porch! It's not like I have a manger on my lawn (as we do three houses down) - it's just lights and candy canes!

So I find myself, atheist as I am, very happy to be surrounded by lights and trees and holiday frou-frou at my uni. I can count no less than five lit and decorated (indoor) trees I see on my daily rounds of teaching and attending classes.
Granted, I might not be so tickled by this had my small, private, Catholic university ever prevented me from teaching as I saw fit. But my first classes were on the history of Christianity, whereupon I more or less threw the church (specifically Catholic pre-reformation, and in general terms thereafter) under a large, ideological bus. And, characteristically of academia, I know several of the faculty, from adjuncts to higher ups, who are also atheists, and have never had any difficulty for it. So I have to give them large kudos for that. And I get the happy benefit - an open teaching environment, and shiny holiday lights!
lunadelcorvo: (Xmas-Peace Angel)
(Behind again - I plead finals!)

Today's offering is another recipe. I'll post another cookie recipe once I get baking, but for now:

Saké Mushroom Veggie-Stuffing

This fantastic stuffing (or dressing, if you prefer) is simplicity itself, gets raves every year, and is actually healthy. low-fat and meat-free!

Croutons (1 large loaf of whole wheat bread, cubed, and dried; 40 mins in a very low oven does the trick; leave them in until you're ready for them. They must be totally dry!)
Medium bunch of celery
2 medium-largeish onions
Small container fresh mushrooms (I like portobellos, but buttons work fine, too)
1 cup veggie broth
1 cup sake (yes, Japanese rice wine - trust me on this!)
1/4 cup soy sauce
Seasonings as you like (I use marjoram, sage, garlic, pepper, and a teensy dash of rosemary)

Combine sake, broth and soy sauce, mix in seasonings.
Dice up the veggies (I use the celery all the way up to the leaves - the leaves add greens and a nice nutty zing) and soak in the broth mixture at least an hour (overnight is great if you can plan ahead)
Just before baking, mix the croutons into the mixture.

Bake covered 45-60 mins in a medium oven (300 or so) and enjoy!

(This goes great with a Qorn roast, baked with a similar mix of broth and sake, with big chunks of onion and carrot baked alongside. I also add a handful of juniper berries and a drizzle of honey or maple syrup to the roast. Yum!)

I need a cooking icon!
lunadelcorvo: (Xmas-Rudolph)
Wow - I have quite a few.

A Christmas StoryI love this movie, still. It reminds me of the Milwaukee Christmases of my childhood; there's a smidge of my grandfather in the Old Man, to be sure! The last few years we've gotten to see this on stage, which was wonderful, but alas, this year was the last year.

A Christmas Carol Again, I love to see this on stage when we can, but for the telly, Patrick Stewart's version is by far my favorite - brilliant!

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, et. al. All of the wonderful Rankin bass holiday specials are just so much a part of Christmas from when I was little - Jack Frost, Kris Kringle, the Heat Miser, and of course, Rudolph, Cornelius, Hermey, Clarice and the rest....

While You Were Sleeping I'm only rarely a sucker for the rom/com, but I love Sandra Bullock, and this one is a holiday staple. (I like Serendipity, too, but not as much!)

The Nightmare Before Christmas I can never decide if this is a Halloween movie, or a Christmas one. Either way, I love it.

Honorable Mentions: Edward Scissorhands, The Snowman, Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, The Original Grinch, The Muppet Christmas Carol, Scrooged.
lunadelcorvo: (Xmas Cocoa)
I'm going to be writing cards this week, so if you want a card, please comment here or message me with your address. If you've moved this year, please make sure I have your current address!

Thanks!

Whee!!!! - I love December!!!!!
lunadelcorvo: (Xmas-Father Christmas Polar Bear)
Dec 1st: Recipe: Old-World Cranberry Sauce

1 Bag fresh organic cranberries (washed)
1/4 cup sugar (turbinado works best!)
1 Tbls fresh-grated orange zest
2 Tbls (abut 1/2 an 'airline' sized bottle' of berry liqueur (Chambord works wonderfully!)
Small pinch cinnamon

Toss the berries in a pot, add cold water to cover. Add all the rest and let is simmer until the berries begin to pop. Stir often, gently 'mushing' some of the berries (leave some whole!) Once its the right consistency, say 1/3 of the berries still whole, pour into a pretty bowl and chill for 2-3 hours. (This also makes the house smell heavenly!)

Dec 2nd: Favorite Holiday Craft

Truthfully, I don't have "a" favorite holiday craft. I do all sorts of things, and what crafty things I do tends to depend on what I need, or the spirit of the moment. I will relink to the info for my Christmas gift boxes (HERE). Otherwise, it really depends. If I have time to do any holiday crafty things this year, I promise to post how-tos, but it won't be until the last of my grading is done!
lunadelcorvo: (Can it be A time now?)
Good news is, it might actually end sometime soon-ish!

I certainly hope so, because I'm getting grouchier all the time! LOL Last night, I told a student I woud not grade her draft until she fixed the footnotes that were appearing on the bottom of every stinking page! (I even sent her a "let me google that for you" link on how to do footnotes in Word. Sheesh! This is college, people, college! So understandable, but perhaps not my finest moment as a prof....

I'll get something like 45 research papers on the 5th, and 45 exams over the next week to grade, so I expect my eyeballs to fall out in short order. (For someone who became a humanities prof, I sure as heck hate grading papers! o-O)

Still, both classes are more or less going well, and my half-term adult nurses bunch are doing swimmingly! (But a full semester class in exactly 8 class period! yowza!)

I'm nearing the end of my own classwork, too, thanks be! Finished off the huge, soul-crushing research prospectus tonight. Now I have to practice the presentation of same for tomorrow evening, and that class is done! (Well, I have to show up to listen to the rest next time, but *I'm* done...)

And for the other one, I have a draft coming back to which I expect only very minor tweaks, and then that's done, barring a last class at the prof (who is also the COMM dean)'s home. This is likely to include wine and food, so I'm down with that!

Then full on to the holidaze! Wheeee!

Look for the Xmas/Yule card post soon! :D
lunadelcorvo: (Elizabeth Warren)
"Look: The modern national Republican party is a hot mess, a simmering pot of angry reactionaries driven by selfishness and willful ignorance, whose guiding star is not governance but power, and whose policies and practices are tuned to build an oligarchy, not nurture a democracy. Its economic policies are charitably described as nonsense and its social policies are vicious; for a party which parades its association with Jesus around like a fetish, it is notably lacking in the simple compassion of the Christ. There is so little I find good or useful in the current national GOP, intellectually, philosophically or politically, that I genuinely look on it with despair and wonder when or if the grown-ups are ever going to come back to it. Before anyone leaps up to say that the modern Democratic Party has problems of its own, know that I do not disagree. But if your practical choices for governance of the country are between the marginally competent and the actively malicious, you go with the marginally competent.more here, if you want to read the whole thing )

I didn't write the above, but I wholeheartedly agree with it. It is much like Bill Maher's astute assessment: "There is a big difference between a disappointing friend and a deadly enemy. Of course the Democrats are disappointing. That's what makes them Democrats. If they were any more frustrating they'd be your relatives. But in this country they are all that stands between you and darkest night. You know why their symbol is the letter 'D'? Because it's a grade that means good enough, but just barely. You know why the Republican symbol is 'R'? Because it's the noise a pirate makes when he robs you and feeds you to a shark."

Don't love Obama? Fine. But DO NOT stay home on Nov. 6th" - do not hand us over to the actively malicious GOP because Obama isn't quite as wonderful as you'd hoped in 2008. Welcome to real life - few things are as wonderful as we hope. Jobs, grocery stores, cars, vacations, you name it - life is a constant balance between expectation and disappointment. But you can't sit out life, you have to make choices, find the best alternatives and work with them. You can't sit out the political process* because it isn't all you want it to be either. Do we need to drastically overhaul the electoral system? Hell yes! Should we outgrow the two-party hegemony? Long overdue! But does that excuse each and every person from the responsibility of participating in the system in the meantime? Hell no!

Go vote, and vote Obama!

(* and like it or not, at this point, a third party vote might as well be staying home. Do I like this? No. Is it the reality? Yes. Imagine if all the 3rd party votes in 2000 had gone to Gore.... It sucks, yes, but [once again, welcome to real life], a 3rd party vote might as well be gift-wrapped for the GOP.)
lunadelcorvo: (Kim Possible)
Romney & the GOP keep saying Obama hasn't done anything, that he doesn't have a record to run on. Well, here's a list of what he HAS done. It's a pretty damned amazing list of really important accomplishments (especially considering he's has a Congress with the stated goal of obstructing his every move).

Read the list and tell me - doesn't it make you want to see what we can accomplish if we let him finish his to-do list?

1. The first bill President Obama signed was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, to help women fight back when they don't get equal pay for equal work.

2. His Recovery Act supported millions of jobs and helped to stave off a second Great Depression.

3. He pushed for and won middle-class tax cuts that benefitted every American worker, and saved the typical family $3,600 in taxes over the last four years.

4. President Obama rescued the auto industry, and now GM and Chrysler are healthier than they've ever been. The American auto industry has added nearly a quarter of a million jobs since June 2009 -- and they most likely wouldn't exist right now without President Obama's leadership.

5. He doubled funding for Pell Grants, helping to make college more affordable for nearly 10 million families.

6. His student loan reform ended billions in subsidies to banks serving as middlemen and reinvested those savings directly into students.

7. The President established the American Opportunity Tax Credit, worth up to $10,000 over four years of college.

8. His Race to the Top Initiative helped spur nearly every state to raise academic standards.

9. His tax cuts, social-welfare programs, and economic policies lifted nearly 7 million Americans above the federal poverty line in 2010.

10. President Obama has signed 18 tax cuts for small businesses since taking office.

11. We've seen 5.2 million new private-sector jobs over the last 31 months.

12. The unemployment rate is at the lowest level since President Obama took office.

13. Health care reform -- passed after decades of failed attempts by every previous President -- provides affordable health coverage to every American and will lower premiums by an average of $2,000 per family by 2019.

14. Obamacare expanded access to lifesaving preventive care such as cancer screenings and immunizations with no out-of-pocket costs for 54 million Americans.

15. Obamacare ends insurance discrimination against the 129 million Americans with pre-existing conditions.

16. Because of Obamacare, over 3 million more young adults have health insurance today than would if the new law hadn't passed.

17. The parents of over 17 million children with pre-existing conditions no longer have to worry that their children will be denied coverage.

18. President Obama has ordered the overhaul of federal government regulations to make them smarter, practical, and more efficient. Just a fraction of these commonsense initiatives will help save businesses $10 billion in the next five years alone.

19. His historic investments in clean energy have helped more than double the amount of electricity we obtain from wind and solar sources and helped increase biofuel production to its highest level in history.

20. President Obama is doubling fuel efficiency standards, which will save drivers more than $8,000 at the gas pump, not to mention lessen the impact of automobiles on our environment.

21. President Obama has taken unprecedented action to address climate change, reaching historic international agreements to curb carbon emissions, and taking action here at home to reduce carbon pollution from our vehicles and promote clean energy production.

22. He has taken historic action to protect our environment -- signing one of the largest expansions of protected wilderness in a generation and putting in place standards to reduce toxic air pollution that will save thousands of lives.

23. President Obama fought for and won landmark Wall Street reform that reins in the abuses that led to the financial crisis and ends the era of taxpayer bailouts and "too big to fail."

24. Wall Street reform created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the nation's first federal agency focused solely on consumer financial protection -- and the Bureau is already protecting families from unfair and abusive financial practices from Wall Street banks and shadowy corners of the financial industry.

25. As part of President Obama's commitment to transparency, the White House has posted its visitor records online for the first time ever.

26. President Obama's all-of-the-above approach to energy has helped cut the United States' dependence on foreign oil to its lowest level in 20 years.

27. President Obama responsibly ended the war in Iraq.

28. He announced a plan to end the war in Afghanistan and transition security responsibility to the Afghan people.

29. President Obama sent the largest security assistance package to Israel in history and funded the Iron Dome system, which is protecting Israeli homes and schools from rocket attacks.

30. President Obama rallied the international community to implement the toughest sanctions on Iran in history.

31. Through the President's historic increases in Veterans Affairs funding, he has expanded and improved healthcare and job training access for our returning veterans.

32. President Obama negotiated the New START Treaty with Russia to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in both countries. At the same time, he also secured commitments from dozens of other countries to lock down nuclear materials.

33. His administration naturalized 11,146 military service members as U.S. citizens in 2010; more than in any year since 1955.

34. President Obama set a bold new plan for the future of NASA space exploration, using the skill and ability of the private sector for short trips to the International Space Station, while building a new vehicle for exploration of distant space, and doing everything in his power to support the economy on Florida's Space Coast.

35. President Obama recognizes that tourism is one of America's largest economic engines; he's worked to encourage international visitors to come here, maintaining our security while keeping millions of Americans in good, paying jobs.

36. He has affirmed his personal support of marriage equality, directed the Justice Department to stop defending DOMA in federal courts, and took the practical and compassionate step of extending hospital visitation rights to same-sex partners.

37. He fought for and won the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell, allowing gay and lesbian members of the military to serve openly for the first time in history.

38. When Congress failed to fix our broken immigration system, his administration did everything in its power to improve it, streamlining the legal immigration process and announcing a policy that lifts the shadow of deportation from hard working young immigrants brought to the U.S. as children.

39. Oh, and he gave the order to send troops in after Osama Bin Laden -- and has decimated al-Qaeda's senior leadership.
lunadelcorvo: (Writing Manuscript)
So, plan on seeing me here a LOT more, and on LJ more or less not at all. I haven't been posting too much there lately, though I've been trying to do more of it (kinda). However, I read my f-list almost every day. Well, if LJ has their way with their latest insanity, that will be that. And in any case, LJ doesn't really deserve the attention - they have made it clear they don't care what their users want.

So, the move to DW is more or less final this time. Old habits and all, but I'll manage. I'll still crosspost for a while, but eventually, I will likely just f-lock that account, and leave a public notice directing anyone here. I hope to see all of my LJ friends here, too.

So what's up with all of you?
lunadelcorvo: (Grrrrr!)
I don't want to be a drama-llama, but I think LJ has really screwed the pooch this time, and I'm done.

Read the lj_news posts here: http://news.livejournal.com/144003.html
and here: http://lj-releases.livejournal.com/79480.html

The upshot of this is: no matter what your layout is, you will now HAVE TO read your friends page in the default, ugly, LJ eye-wrenching blue and white site style. Had your layout customized for easy reading? Tough. Huge swatch of blank white space with dark type gives you a headache? Buy some fucking aspirin, sucker, 'cause we don't care. Spent hours laboring to get you layout just how you want it, so it makes you happy, is aesthetically pleasing to your soul? Too bad, aesthetics of for sissies; read it our way.

If that's not enough, LJ is also implementing a 'pay to promote' scheme, whereby you can pay to have your entries fasttracked to the top of your friends' reading pages. Oh, and if you've ever had your computer or browser lock up from one of those "infinite scrolling"sites like FB or tumblr? Get used to it, because LJ friends pages will now feature infinite scrolling.

If you think it sucks, comment on one of those pages, and/or fill out this poll: http://foxfirefey.livejournal.com/302406.html.

Be warned, however, that LJ will flatly ignore you, like it has flatly ignored user outrage (and exodus) over every other lame-brained "update" they've crammed down our throats over the years....

So yeah, if this is implemented, I think I am finally out, done, gone. DW full-time. (And damn, I wish I had never gotten a perm account!)

:::ETA::: I'm not honestly sure this isn't what they want; for US/European users to leave. Read this: http://www.dailydot.com/news/livejournal-shut-down-us-office/

End of an era of my life.... So, where can I find you all on Dreamwidth? I'm at http://lunadelcorvo.dreamwidth.org/. Come on over and visit. THey are still invite-free, so anyone can sign up. If you've been putting it off, I think now is the time.
lunadelcorvo: (Can it be A time now?)
(*Did you know at one point I thought this was pronounced 'me-me,' and I thought it was because 'memes' were usually posts about oneself....)

So, triva aside, this is one of those "What do you call things where you live" language memes. As a northern transplant to the almost-mostly-sorta south, I tend to have an odd mix of linguistic influences. But these fascinate me, so I'd love to hear your responses, too!
1. A body of water, smaller than a river, contained within relatively narrow banks.
Creek or stream, sometimes brook (never crick!)

2. What the thing you push around the grocery store is called.
Shopping cart or just cart

3. A metal container to carry a meal in.
Lunchbox

4. The thing that you cook bacon and eggs in.
Frying pan

5. The piece of furniture that seats three people.
Sofa when it was in the fancy living room you never sat in, couch when you lounge on it and play games (or loveseat if the 3 are friendly!) Funny thing, I can remember my grandmother calling it the davenport.

6. The device on the outside of the house that carries rain off the roof.
Gutters & downspouts

7. The covered area outside a house where people sit in the evening.
Porch

8. Carbonated, sweetened, non-alcoholic beverages.
Soda

9. A flat, round breakfast food served with syrup.
Pancake

10. A long sandwich designed to be a whole meal in itself.
Sub (sometimes hoagie when I was younger, not recently)

11. The piece of clothing worn by men at the beach.
Trunks

12. Shoes worn for sports.
I usually specify by sport i.e.: running shoes, fencing shoes, basketball shoes, etc. (odd, considering I am not very sports-oriented)

13. Putting a room in order.
Pick up, clean up, or straighten

14. A flying insect that glows in the dark.
Firefly

15. The little insect that curls up into a ball.
Sowbug, or potato bug

16. The children's playground equipment where one kid sits on one side and goes up while the other sits on the other side and goes down.
Teeter-totter (I don't even know how to spell it, but that's what I grew up calling it! LOL)

17. How do you eat your pizza?
By hand, point first, mostly flat, except for a little bend to keep the goodies from falling off. Not folded!

18. What's it called when private citizens put up signs and sell their used stuff?
Yard sale, garage sale, rummage sale (I use these interchangeably, with no real pattern I can discern)

19. What's the evening meal?
Dinner

20. The thing under a house where the furnace and perhaps a rec room are?
Basement

21. What do you call the thing that you can get water out of to drink in public places?
Water fountain, now. Spent the first 20 years of my life calling it a bubbler, though!

22. The name of the machine that gives you money from your bank account and the card you use to get it out?
ATM for the machine, Debit or ATM card

23. What you ask for at the end of a meal in a restaurant to find out how much you owe?
Check

24. What you store your jumper cables and spare tire in?
Trunk

25. Where you pick up medication?
Pharmacy or Drug Store

26. Where you get water from in the sink?
Faucet

27. The highest setting on your car's lights?
Brights

28. Footwear made up of a sole and a single piece of material that goes across the top of your foot?
Sandals

29. Eggs cooked where the yolk is still liquid?
Runny? I am NOT a fan of eggs, so I generally don't cook them.
So what are your linguistic quirks?
lunadelcorvo: (Academic Terms)
I still, despite my resolve, have not been posting as much. For one thing, I don't really have much to add to the political discourse these days. I mean, really, the satire pretty much writes itself these days. And I have gotten a little burned out on it. One can only keep up the incredulity and outrage for so long. Call if outrage fatigue, if you will. Sadly, I think this is one reason the whackos get away with as much as they do. They spring something outrageous, everyone goes apeshit, so they wait out the uproar and then do it anyway.

Classes are going pretty well. It's funny how I have the same exact class as last fall, still with 1st semester incoming freshman, and it's a whole different dynamic. They talk! It's pretty wonderful, really. It's also funny how little different juniors are from freshman, which is somewhat less wonderful. Reading the first round of essays by my 300s was, I must confess, a bit of a let-down.

Then there's my own classes. Feels weird being a student again. Of course the fact that I am really in no sense in tune with this discipline doesn't help. Comm tends to lead the pack in trying to emulate hard science, which is a methodology I don't speak. I mean, I get it, and when it comes to things like global warming, reproductive legislation (how wrong is it that this is even a term?) evolution, etc., I'm all in favor of it. I'm just not convinced statistics, focus groups, and data tabulation have much use in studying Dante, ya know?....

Alas, just as I get typing a real entry, the alarm reminds me it's off to class..... Cheers, all!
lunadelcorvo: (Autumn Golden)
Snagged from [livejournal.com profile] hope_guides_me (I'm guessing this is a 'bold if it's true' thing, based on what she bolded.)

I am a boy.
I am a girl.
I am shorter than 5’4.
I think I’m ugly.
I have many scars.
I tan easily.
I wish my hair was a different color.
I have friends who have never seen my natural hair color.
I have a tattoo.
I want a tattoo.
I am self-conscious about my body.
I’ve been told I’m attractive by a complete stranger.
I have more than 2 piercings.
I have a piercing in a place other than my ears.
The rest here! )
lunadelcorvo: (Bored Now)
I took this 8 years ago - these are my answers from today; some have changed, and a lot have not.
Yet another fun & festive questionnaire.... I don't know why I like these dizzy things so much - maybe I don't have enough people to talk to..... maybe I just like to expound about myself waaaay too much! Anyway, here goes:

LOOOOONG Questionnaire )
lunadelcorvo: (I will taunt you!)
A few months ago, I met up with an old friend from way back in my early days in the SF Con & Ren Faire scene. It was so great to look back to the books we read, the things we valued... *enter needle screeching over the record* Turns out she'd gone far right GOP/Tea Party. The following is an open letter to her, and all those like her. (And yes, a few of you may know to whom this letter was originally penned, but I suspect even more know someone to whom you've felt similar sentiment.)
(Cut for length) )
lunadelcorvo: (Casavir (NWN2))
Part of the problem with my posting here lately is that I'm not doing much to post about.

So, let's see. I finished making a regency era outfit for a gentleman friend of mine, who serves tea at a Jane Austen festival. It kind of got my sewing bug up and active, which is good, since I am contemplating actually making a costume for WindyCon. (I am terribly excited about this costume, even though I know I will be very lucky if more than 3 or 4 people will recognize it. Story of my life - people rarely get my 'brilliant' cultural references. Sigh.)

Yes, in November I am going to WindyCon, a huge SF con in Chicago. This was my home turf back in the day, so it will be both interesting and strange to be there again. I am taking the Niblet and it will be his first con, so he's very excite. I really hope it will be the way I remember it. Hubby is going, too, and I don't know how that will play out. He went with me once, years ago, and spent most of his time being irritated at all my friends and the flirtation/innuendo going on. And he's never been quite as fannish as I have always been, or it seems, as my son has become. We'll see.

I have been writing a lot lately, and even have a couple short pieces up around the 'net. (If anyone is interested in Neverwinter Night-inspired semi-smutty fanfic, let me know. I'll spare the rest of you.) I am also working on a larger piece, originally intended as an exploration of the characters in the game, but it has grown to novel length. (Literally, 65K and still going). And here I though NaNoWriMo would be hard, but I've spun this out in about three weeks, though I am far from done. (I may have to NaNo this year...)

I am getting ready to tech a one week summer camp on graphic design to middle school students next week. I know this stuff cold, but I"ve never taught middle school kids, so it should be interesting. It pays well, and summers are lean, so it's worth it no matter how it goes. WIsh me luck.

In fall, I will be teaching three classes (one freshman-level, two junior, one of those an accelerated night course), and taking two. (Hmmm, given that, and since both WindyCon AND NaNo hit in November, maybe that won't work after all. What a stupid month to have NaNo! LOL)

Lastly, my garden is in a shambles because it is just too f-ing hot to get out there and muck about with it. And that's about all of it.
lunadelcorvo: (Casavir (NWN2))
Yes, I did it. I got a tattoo! (Not quite believing that yet, actually!)

MyNWN!
*dances happily*
lunadelcorvo: (Casavir (NWN2))
A lot of people whose opinions I respect are actually quite furious that the PPACA/Affordable Care Act/Obamacare was upheld. Their chief complaint seems to be the objection to only one thing: that the government requires individual citizens to purchase a product form a corporation, and can penalize that citizen for failure to do so.

This is also accompanied by the concern that there are no minimum standards for that product, and no protections from things like price-gouging, and corporate abuse of a 'captive market.'

Well, no, not really. There ARE standards and protections, as well as expetions and subsidies for low income Americans. There are also provisions that make employer-provided care easier for small companies to offer, and which make basic care co-pay-free and therefore far more accessible. Here's what it REALLY does:
  1. Guaranteed issue and partial community rating will require insurers to offer the same premium to all applicants of the same age and geographical location without regard to most pre-existing conditions (excluding tobacco use). This means that while all Americans are required to purchase coverage, they cannot be denied coverage for pre-existing conditions. This is HUGE.
  2. A shared responsibility requirement, commonly called an individual mandate, requires that all persons not covered by an employer sponsored health plan, Medicaid, Medicare or other public insurance programs, purchase and comply with an approved private insurance policy or pay a penalty, unless the applicable individual is a member of a recognized religious sect exempted by the Internal Revenue Service, or waived in cases of financial hardship. Insurers must be approved, and exemptions will exist for those in financial distress.
  3. Medicaid eligibility is expanded to include all individuals and families with incomes up to 133% of the poverty level along with a simplified CHIP enrollment process. This expanded eligibility means that many who can't afford coverage, even under the ACA, will still be covered.
  4. Health insurance exchanges will commence operation in each state, offering a marketplace where individuals and small businesses can compare policies and premiums, and buy insurance (with a government subsidy if eligible). Again, there will be assistance with coverage, and active steps toward fostering actual market competition to offer better services.
  5. Low income persons and families above the Medicaid level and up to 400% of the federal poverty level will receive federal subsidies[27] on a sliding scale if they choose to purchase insurance via an exchange (persons at 150% of the poverty level would be subsidized such that their premium cost would be of 2% of income or $50 a month for a family of 4). Can we really argue that $50 for a family of four is abusive, especially when set against the grim realities of the millions of uninsured who have no coverage at all?
  6. Minimum standards for health insurance policies are to be established and annual and lifetime coverage caps will be banned. Minimum standards, there they are. These standars mean that no, companies will not be able to offer pointless 'compliance only' policies that do not actually provide for health care. (I wish auto insurance had the same standards!)
  7. Firms employing 50 or more people but not offering health insurance will also pay a shared responsibility requirement if the government has had to subsidize an employee's health care. This will help more people get coverage through employers, reducing the number forced to purchase health coverage privately.
  8. Very small businesses will be able to get subsidies if they purchase insurance through an exchange. As above.
  9. Co-payments, co-insurance, and deductibles are to be eliminated for select health care insurance benefits considered to be part of an "essential benefits package" for Level A or Level B preventive care. It's a no brainer that basic preventive care is essential to cutting costs of lifelong health care AND improving overall health and quality of life; this will make that basic care much more easily accessible to those who need it most.
  10. Changes are enacted that allow a restructuring of Medicare reimbursement from "fee-for-service" to "bundled payments."
  11. Additional support is provided for medical research and the National Institutes of Health.
I do understand the concerns about government forcing private citizens to purchase a product, but I think that to argue that this is the first step towards any corporation or industry being able to obtain similar positioning is a massive slippery slope. The ACA is NOT the first step towards 'government mandated' purchase of sneakers, cigarettes, or anything else.

(No, the icon has no relevance except *pretty!*)
lunadelcorvo: (Default)
Good heavens' people! Does LJ even *want* customers anymore? *headdesk*

Well, other than that rant, not much going on here. Niblet finished Shakespeare camp, where he spent two weeks working on acting, improv, etc. and having a thoroughly grand time. The two-week camp finished with an abridged production of Midsummer Night's Dream, where the kids chose their favorite acts, and re-wrote the dialog to reflect their understanding of its meaning, but framing it in their own context. So for example, when Helena and Hermia fight, the unfriend each other on Facebook. It was awesome!

Niblet played Lysander (one of the two lovers) and Operon, King of the Fairies. He did great! I know I am biased (parent's job, after all) but I really think he had the most presence of anyone on stage. I think I have an actor on my hands!

Otherwise, we are resting up from the amazing Midsummer party at a friend's house, hiding from the heat, and generally taking it easy. Oh, and I am selling two tracotrs on eBay. Uh, yeah, you read that right, LOL. DH works with an organic farm doing this and that, ond one of the things that needed doing was unloading two tractors. Being the resident eBay queen, this became my job. But hey, I get a handsome cut, so sure, I can sell tractors. So if you ever wanted a tractor, I can hook you up here!

Oh and I am playing the living daylights out of Neverwinter Nights 2. Love it, love it love it!
lunadelcorvo: (Dreaming)
Still here, reading and not saying much. I've had a whole lot going on lately, both within and without my noggin. More on serious stuff another time.

So, I have this tendency to fall in love with fictional characters. It's sort of a serial monogamy of fiction crushes. I know I'm not alone, and overall, I think it's a good thing. I am the sort of person who tends to live in my own head quite a bit, and it can get lonely rattling about in my skull. It's nice to have playmates in there. Rich inner life and all that, yeah?

For the first time I think ever, I have two crushes going on at once, and one of them is even inspiring a vast outpouring of writing. Well, that has actually happened a lot, it's just almost never resulted in any *actual* writing happening. This time, pages are appearing before my very eyes. Very exciting stuff, that.

So, is it odd to fic ship a PC and NPC from a video game? (My Google results tell me no, it is far from unusual.) Nevertheless, it's interesting spinning out this story. Like all my stories (and even my dreams), it has a soundtrack, too. I can half see myself putting it out there, with a playlist on Last FM coded by chapter. When I do things, I do tend to go whole hog, it seems....

Anyway, odd as it sounds, that's the biggest thing (well, second biggest; if you know you know, and that's going pretty well all in all), going on with me right now. Summer is such an odd kind of limbo for me, but I like it. It lets me indulge in all these strange inward travels I take, chase dreams, explore new spaces with a warm breeze at my back. Isn't that what summer is for?

(My, aren't I all artsy and pretentious today? ;)
lunadelcorvo: (Grrrrr!)
Good god, what a joke! Will LJ NEVER stop screwing us over with poorly executed garbage?! Here is my submission to support about this, because I am too pissed to write any more ATM.
1. Roughly 1/3 of the pictures that were supposed to to have migrated are not there. They show as blanks squares in the gallery, and when I click 'original' it gives me a page of HTML (code, not rendered HTML) saying 'this pic was moved to...' These are not duplicate images, they are just not there. Some of them tell me the name of the image that was there, some don't. Am I supposed to guess?

2. I had several galleries which had sub-galleries - for examples, the gallery 'Panama' had several galleries broken into different areas of Panama. Now they are all at the same level. So there are no 'nested' albums now? No way to group related sets of images?! Seriously? You call this an improvement?

3. Minor, but this is exactly the kind of thing that should have been corrected BEFORE this went live - When browsing albums, the pane on the left shows the 'selected' or current album, the pane an on the right shows all the albums. So I page over to say page 4/6, and open a new album. But look, the album list reset to page 1/6. That is really, really stupid. To go over and check security on galleries, I have to page over in the list every. single. time. Yes, it's minor, compared to the other, more fatal flaws above, but it's an example of the kind of poorly thought-out, careless, sloppy work LJ turns out these days.

In summary, I am so, so SO, sorry I paid for a permanent account. I know my voice as a user means nothing because I can no longer threaten to withhold my almighty dollar. But I am vocal, and really, really, pissed. And plenty of other people are pissed, too. Maybe you hadn't noticed the steadily mounting numbers of people leaving to go to Dreamwidth, or just giving up on the journaling model altogether?

P.S. That nice little message saying I could view a detailed log of the migration (so maybe I could actually figure out what got lost in this mess)? That link takes me to 'Page not found.' OMG, LJ, you fail SO hard these days!
lunadelcorvo: (Quixotic Klimt Forest)
The Niblet has been accepted into a super Middle School program! The school district changed our home school after we bought our hose, and placed us in an awful Middle School. So we had to apply to a 'magnet program' to get into the school a block away from where I teach. He had to get recommendations, write an essay - it was practically like applying to college! But he got in, and I am so proud of him! It's a great program that really plays to his academic strengths. And by the end of next year, the program will be accredited as part of the International Baccalaureate (http://www.ibo.org/)!

In other news, Niblet and I are going to Panama this year, and he is terribly excited. About the trip, but also because he gets to miss the last week and a half of school! Turns out we can handle this as an 'academic enrichment absence,' which will be perfect as he head into his International Studies Magnet Program!

On the topic of the Niblet, I spent last Thursday chaperoning an all-day field trip by the entire fifth grade. Whew! What a day that was! The morning on a riverboat (paddle-wheeler, even), followed by a movie at the performing arts center, then a four block walk to the history museum for a scavenger hunt through time. It was a lot of fun, but I have 12 kids under my personal supervision (Niblet included) and by the end of it, we were exhausted!

I gave my final today, and returned the graded research papers. Pretty mixed batch this time - a few good ones and some....wow. Now I just have stack of finals to grade and I'm done with another semester! Seems easier on this side of the desk, at least this time of the semester! When I'm agonizing over how to get through everything I need to get through, or how to fill up all my class time it's...less so.

I was dismayed to find we had something like quarter sized hail, but as it turns out, the garden didn't take too much damage. Lost a few been sproutlings, but nothing else. Even my newly leafing roses seem unscathed.

This came about during a rather odd show we all went to see. A show consisting of performing cats. yes, you read that right, performing house-cats. The Amazing Acro-Cats! It was very strange, much like one light expect from a troupe of performing cats! There was even a band, the RockCats, which consisted of four cats and a chicken. Yes, a chicken. Entertaining, but very, very, strange.

Other than that, not too much to report....
lunadelcorvo: (Keys)
(I would have sworn I posted this a few weeks ago, but LJ does its crazy LJ stuff, and when I looked the other day, poof! Who knows? So my pardon if you've seen this before, and enjoy if you haven't!)

Comment on this post and I will list seven things I want you to talk about. They might make sense or they might be totally random. Then post that list, with your commentary, on your journal. Other people can get lists from you and the meme merrily perpetuates itself.

These are my questions from [livejournal.com profile] primitivepeople:

1. Pens - tell me why you love them.

I love pens (by which I take it you mean fountain pens) because they bring a bit of simplicity and elegance to something that has otherwise become a throw-away thing, especially now in the days of e-mail and texting. A Bic may be a bit less fleeting than a text, but only barely. A fountain pen is anything but fleeting. Filling, cleaning, caring for a fountain pen is a soothing ritual, and the richness of a good (not even necessarily expensive) pen makes writing a sensual pleasure. Not only can a good pen last one a lifetime, but it makes writing a conscious act, which (for me, at least), lends a bit of gravitas to not only my words, but even to my handwriting itself. And then there's the colors! I've lost count of the inks I've accumulated, but I have access to many times more colors than any ballpoint can ever offer. Add to that the fun of seeing how each ink behaves in a certain pen - the combinations are endless. Hey, anything that makes me itch to pull out a pen and write, even if it's a grocery list, has to be a good thing!

2. What's your favourite item of clothing?

Huh. I'm emptied to say that it's the perfect jacket I haven't found yet, but I guess that would be cheating, huh? I suppose I don't really have one favorite thing - I'm not really much of a clothes horse for one thing. I also tend to have 'momentary favorites,' which vary on my mood, the weather, and so on. Right now I'm digging a quilted patchwork Thai sill jacket, and a favorite pair of jeans, which are embellished with a sort of Indian-style paisley pattern up the outside of the leg. Give it a few weeks of the warm weather, though, and it will change again, I'm sure...

3. What author do you most admire, and why?

Wow, another one I'm torn on! I'm tempted to say Dante Alighieri, because of my abiding love for the Comedia- it's such a complex and nuanced depiction of the 'zeitgeist' of his time. I've only begun to get a glimpse of the depth of Dante's work, for all the time I've spent on it. BUT, even for all of that, I'm going to have to go with Orwell, for not to dissimilar reasons. Orwell's grasp of culture, of society in all its glory and its squalor, of humanity itself, may be unmatched in any language to date. That he didn't live long enough to comment on our own era is entirely our loss, and given Orwell's passion for truth, doubtless his gain.

4. If you could change one thing about the world, forever, what would it be?

If I could simply wish it so, I would ensure that every human being was taught and able to use reason, critical thinking, sound logic and evidence based thinking, and would, as a result choose to reject ALL forms of superstition, prejudice, narrow-mindedness, and ignorance. (Not reaching, am I?)

5. Revolution or evolution? Which is best for society?

Both in their proper place, I expect. Evolution is preferred I think, but, among beings conscious of the process, evolution takes courage, honesty, and active willingness to embrace change. Consequently, I think we often fail to evolve just when we need it most. And that's when revolution comes in. It's hard, ugly, and painful, but then again, so is evolution, just maybe in smaller doses. Maybe it's the difference between taking the bandage off slowly or quickly? In any case, we may be due for a bit revolution; if we can't gently shake out the tangle we're stuck in, we may have to yank ourselves out...

6. Tell me about the greatest holiday/vacation you've ever taken.

I haven't done many, but I suppose I'd say my 'seven-countries/28-days' trip to Europe back in high-school. Brussels, Rothenburg, Munich, Salzburg, Venice, Rome, Paris, London - it was amazing. Of course, 75% of the trip was wasted on my callow, clueless, teenage self, but even so I learned a lot, saw even more, and can't wait to go back. Next to that, my forays to Florida or LA. can't really hold up, though Panama comes close. At least I got a lot more depth from Panama, being all grow'd up and all….

7. What are you most proud of?

Easy! In order: My son, my academic career, all the amazing things my husband has done, and after that…. maybe my garden? Or, more like the fact that I've built it all myself. I'm also ridiculously proud of the fact that I can use a drill and hammer better than sot guys I know.
lunadelcorvo: (Summer Violets)
I read every day, but I find it seems to take ever so much less time than it used to. Well, OK, I'll toss a post out here, maybe it will spur a blogging renaissance!

Really, I've been out in the yard most every day that I'm not teaching, and some of those days, too! The food garden is going great - it's almost all planted and starting off nicely. This years crops will, if all goes well, include several kinds of lettuce, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, radishes, kohlrabi, celery, kale, mustard greens, green beans, lima beans, cucumbers, green and red peppers, 5 varieties of tomatoes, and pumpkins. I'm still trying to find a spot to toss in some squash, too. I also have loads of herbs, many of which came back strong from last year. I have chive, sage, oregano, two mints, tarragon, rosemary, thyme, parsley, savory, lavender, chamomile, and catnip.


For the flower garden and the beds on front, I've scattered some of the perennial herbs there instead of the raised beds. There they can spread all they like, and not crowd out the edibles. I've also planted four old English roses (an Eglantyne, an Alnwyck and two Crocus Roses (That's the Eglantyne pictured here). I am so anxious to see how they develop! I have the four grouped around the birdbath, with asian lillies in front, the lilac to one side, and a reddish-pink Knockout Rose (that I'm not actually too fond of, but it was a gift) on the other, and assorted this and that in front. I even found a small patchouli! How awesome if that really takes off!

And along the ugly chain fence (on the side where the redneck neighbor parks his tow trucks - yuk!) I'm putting in a hedgerow of double pink and blush Knockout Roses. My shade garden is sort of languishing because the soil back there is awful, but it's limping along. The bleeding hearts and lillies of the valley came back when I'd have sworn they were done for. I've been composting and mulching the bejayzuz out of it, so if I can keep them going this summer, I think by next the soil will have started to get better. (Go, worms!) The foxglove and monkshood seem to be going like gangbusters, though - yay! (Yes, it's a rather toxic little garden patch....)

But perhaps the best gardening news of all: Niblet is old enough to cut the grass! W00t! We don't have much, and are working on mulching over a lot of that, but until then, it's no longer my job! Yay!

More on non-gardening topics soon, promise, and pics as soon as things start coming up!
lunadelcorvo: (Ganesha Remover of Obstacles)
I need to tweak with the details a little, but I have a general composition I think I really like. It's got Ganesha together with a pentacle and a Latin motto meaning 'I will fear no evil.' (Yeah, total mix of worlds/cultures - that's kind of a me thing, actually...)

Ganesha is a long-time favorite of mine, and something that has been sort of a theme for me for over a decade, so I'm pretty comfortable getting him on my bod. The pent and motto are loosely adapted from SPN, yes, yes, it's true. But I've wanted to incorporate a pent somehow as long as I've been considering ink, so I'm OK with that. The notion that it is (in the SPN world) a talisman against demon 'possession' to me makes it a talisman against being 'taken over' by my own demons - doubt, complacency, self-sabotage, etc. Since a tatt is, for me, about taking power over my self-expression and reminding myself of my strengths, it works. (And evoking a bit of ass-kicking in the face of evil isn't a bad thing either.) TV tie-in notwithstanding, it's an expression of the pentacle's meaning my non-theist, skeptic little heart can jive with. The motto seems to go along with Ganesh - he's all about removing obstacles, and my obstacles tend to be fear-based (rational or otherwise). That's a snippet in Latin from the Vulgate adds a dash of the medieval, which is obviously apropos in my case.

So what do you think? I'm totally going to sit on this for a couple months at least, to be sure I can live with seeing it for like ever, but I welcome comments....
lunadelcorvo: (Red hair falling like rain)
I am back to working in the garden, and I think things are really developing this year. I have been building on the beginnings I made last year, and doing some new projects as well, And I have four English roses coming in the next few weeks - I can't wait! I also can't move without groaning in pain. Takes a while to get those muscles toned up, say October. Still, loving it!

Also loving Supernatural. Yes, I know, I'm way late to the party; much of my f-list has loved this show for ages. *shrug* I usually don't have cable TV, and I tend to discover these things on Netflix. (And yes, I will find something I like and blast through it in a matter of a week or two, then be annoyed until a new season gets added.) Incidentally, I swear this has no bearing on the sudden changes to my iPod playlists, honest. I felt a sudden need to listen to classic rock in the car with the windows down just because, that's why. It has absolutely nothing to do with Dean Winchester. *facepalm* Gawd, I'm such a dork!

The cats are getting along better when they get along, but fighting harder when the fight. Which is always about 45 minutes before I have to be awake on any given day. If I didn't have carpet in the bedroom, I might just start keeping a spray bottle of water beside my bed. Hell, I might anyway.

Do you ever feel you have an altogether different person inside you is asleep most of the time, but sometimes wakes up and freaks out and says "OMG! What the hell are you doing with my life?" Not to say that I am unhappy, I'm not - life is awesome these days. Just...sometimes it feels like some little part of me got mixed up in the wash with a completely different person or something.

Getting a 90" x 90" piece of muslin with crazy quilt scraps pinned to it (even just a corner of it) to go this way and that way under a 'civilian' sewing machine is a total bitch. I miss access to industrial machines!

I am seriously jonesing for a dirty Sapphire martini. Oh, and Johnson, get your butt over here! (I did say it would be random)
lunadelcorvo: (Oceania)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] jennybliss at All U.S. Internet Providers will be policing downloads by July 12, 2012
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] marguerite_26 at All U.S. Internet Providers will be policing downloads by July 12, 2012
I'm seeing variations of this all over my flist and damn, it does not look good.

(this is an edited version of [livejournal.com profile] lk737's post here)

According to this article, dated March 15, 2012:
http://www.digitaltrends.com/webnews/major-isps-turn-into-copyright-police-by-july-says-riaa/

"File-sharers, beware: By July 12, major US Internet service providers (ISPs) will voluntarily begin serving as copyright police for the entertainment industry, according to Cary Sherman, chief executive of the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The so-called “six-strikes” plan is said to be one of the most effective anti-piracy efforts ever established in the US."

The article goes on to give details. After six notices, internet providers will decide to throttle a person's internet speed, or cut it off altogether. No more downloading eps of your favorite shows for vidding, gifs, or fanfiction art. No more downloading screencaps possibly.

Fox news confirms this:
http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/03/17/us-isps-become-copyright-cops-starting-july-12/

Youtube video explaining this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H5OG0R-yS-c



Well, it's nice to know all that SOPA protesting made a difference.... I'm hoping this is misinformation or hype, but it wouldn't surprise me if it were not. I'll post updates if I see anything new on this.
lunadelcorvo: (Existential)
I know I do this from time to time, but as more folks migrate over here/there (crossposting makes relational adjectives a dicey proposition) I want to make sure I don't lose anyone.

I'm not leaving LJ, but I am trying to be on both regularly, so if you're on DW, let me know!
lunadelcorvo: (Medieval Facepalm)
LJ's Writer's block: What's the weirdest question you've ever been asked?"

"Is it true you sacrifice goats?"

No lie, seriously. In high school somehow people got the idea I was some kind of devil worshipper. (Honestly, one little game of assassin, and people jump to all kinds of conclusions!) It was amusing at first, but it got old fast. So eventually some little bimbo (you know, poofy, floofy, squealing type) caught me on a rather bad day, so I glared at her and snarled "Only when I can't find a VIRGIN!!" She literally did a 'Home Alone' and ran away as fast as her pooky little pink sneakers would carry her. That may have been my first, genuine, audible, leave-a-red-mark facepalm. Sure, it's funny now, but the principal was not amused (though he totally understood my frustration...). On the upside, they left me alone after that....
lunadelcorvo: (Demons I get People are crazy)
This is posted on Slacktivist, but I just HAD to share. Below is a screen cap from Left Behind II: Tribulation Force. This is one of the crappy movies based on the equally crappy, but wildly popular 'Left Behind' books by Tim LaHaye, all about the horrors of the apocalyptic nightmare those of us 'left behind' will endure after the 'righteous' are raptured up to heaven. In addition to comprising nearly a dozen novels which glory in violence and bloody chaos, they exhibit about as much literary quality and depth as Twilight. Apparently the movies follow the books quite closely, in all regards.



In this scene, we see a sign in Jerusalem, showing a message in English and Hebrew. Except, they didn't translate the message into Hebrew. They transliterated it. Well, sort of. They took the Hebrew letters to match the English sounds (dalet (ך) for 'd,' beth (ב) for 'b,' and so on) and strung them together letter for letter. This would be nonsense to any Hebrew reader under the best of circumstances; Hebrew phonetics don't work the same way. (Actually, they probably just tried to change it to a Hebrew font...) However, they also made one really, really, huge mistake (even bigger than just swapping out letters). Hebrew reads from right to left, not left to right. So it's not Hebrew, and it's backwards.

(*Seriously, maybe I should make this a weekly item. Goodness knows there's plenty of fodder out there....)
lunadelcorvo: (Civil liberties)
From ZDnet:
PayPal’s new aggressive campaign wants to stop independent e-book publishers that use its service from including certain kinds of erotic content in their catalogs.

On Saturday February 18, PayPal began threatening indie book publishers and distributors with immediate deactivation of the businesses' accounts if they did not remove books containing certain sexual themes - namely, specific sexual fantasies that PayPal does not approve of.

PayPal told indie e-book publishers and retailers - such as AllRomance, Smashwords, Excessica and Bookstrand - that if they didn't remove the offending literature from their catalogs within a few days of notification, PayPal would close their accounts....
Read the article HERE.

Whatever your stand on erotica, porn, whatever, the fact remains that this kind of manipulation of markets is absolutely unacceptable, and if not stopped here will establish precedent for similar draconian limits in the future. PayPal operates like a bank. Just like your bank honoring your check, or your Visa card company, they process transactions between merchants and buyers. Imagine if your bank told you they would no longer process payments at certain retailers? Or if they said 'Sorry, we won't handle payments for this type of item.' You may not like porn, or sex toys, or rainbow kitten calendars, but as long as they are legal items, it doesn't mean it's OK for a financial institution to tell you you cannot spend your money on them, or retailers that they can't sell them.

Now I realize that this may sound like the classic slippery slope. However, this is how the Right has operated for decades. Find some out of the way place and try Move X. If it isn't stopped, try it somewhere else. Pretty soon you have legal precedent. The Right is all about incremental warfare. Look at the abortion battle - they gave up on forward assault on Roe a long time ago. Instead, they have found hundreds of ways to come at it sideways, from parental consent to the width of clinic hallways. Having observed this for so long, I think it is not at all unreasonable to ask, if this move by PayPal flies, what's to say it will only be erotica that payment processors are allowed to censor?

What would stop them from deciding they won't process payments for booksellers who sell 'subversive' literature? Why stop at books? Is it really so hard to imagine big banks, in cooperation with GOP insanity (of which we've seen plenty recently), deciding not to process credit card transactions to Planned Parenthood? Or payments for contraception? Or any of a zillion other things they may decide they don't like?

I don't know as I write this if there are petitions or actions pending on this, but if there are, I'll add them here. If there aren't, I'll start them. meanwhile, I encourage everyone who uses PayPal to contact them now, and tell them censorship is never acceptable.
ETA: There is some indication (unproven as yet) that this is being instigated BY credit card companies, and PP is the first big processor to be feeling pressure towards censorship from above. In which case, damn I hate being right....
ETA 2: Some good links for more info and petitions are below:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/7/stop-internet-censorship/
http://www.change.org/petitions/stop-censorship-2
lunadelcorvo: (Default)
1. My user name is Luna delCorvo because it's Italian for Ravenmoon!.

Ok, that's probably not enough. Well, it IS Italian for Ravenmoon. But that matters because Ravenmoon (ok, "raven_moon"), is the username I've used on LJ for oodles of years now. It comes from back in my 'OMG, I want to be so uber-gawth' days (thankfully behind me - I look dreadful in black, really). Back then I wanted a pagan-ish, wicca-ish, goth-ish name for a blog which I started on Blogger, then moved to a webspace, then finally to LJ. I've considered renames SO many tmes, but it sort of stuck. Once I started on DW, I wanted something new, but not entirely, so Italian!

2. My name is not listed here because it's really distinctive, and I like SOME divide between here and RL.

Really, I rarely post photos of me, of my kid, and I try to avoid real names, places, etc. I don't always succeed, but I really don't see the need to plaster my real identity all over the 'net. After all, I started this thing (well, the LJ originally) to have a place that was apart from my life. I have IRL friends here, but I still keep this as sort of my 'other' place.

I will say, though, that my name is said (by my mom) to be Scots Gaelic, but I have always suspected there was more Middle Earth than Midlothian in my moniker.... However, one doesn't call mom a liar, and I love my name, so it's all good. (Though I sometimes notice those folks who are *really* into Tolkien look at me sort of funny....)

3. My Journal and Friends page are my username/'Voices in the ether' because what else?.

Actually, here on DW, it's just "lunadelcorvo | Recent Entries." Odd, I'll have to see where to change that. On LJ, it's ": : : R A V E N M O O N : : :" Not terribly original, but I like it. It has a sort of Charles Rennie Mackintosh look if you squint just so.... I had a subtitle, "Meus vita somnium quod umbra" (my life of dreams and shadows) but that seems a relic of those aforementioned gawf days, so let's leave that lie, shall we? The friends page is 'Voices in the Ether,' because really, that what we are out here, isn't it? And the idea fascinates me.

4. My default user pic is the one up there ^ because it's sort of me?

OK, maybe me as I really really wish I looked. But I have the red hair, and the medieval streak a mile wide... (I even ended up in a rusty-gold bliaut for Halloween a couple years back.) Let's just say it's an approximation of my inner self?

How about you?
lunadelcorvo: (Widget)
In other news, we have a second cat! Why? Well, for one thing, the vet recommended it when we were concerned about Widget, our adolescent rebel, being a bit too wild. And of course, I'm a sucker for a fuzzy face. I saw this really sweet cat at the adoption center at the local pet supply way back before Christmas. I was really taken with her then, but.... I hemmed and hawed. I wasn't ready.

We go to different locations of the same local chain, so I didn't get back there until last week. And sure enough, the poor thing was still there! (Apparently they have a really hard time adopting our black cats - I guess people are still scared of them or something. Oi!) I almost took her on the spot, but I decided I needed to sleep on it, to say nothing of consulting the husband. He gave the OK, so back I went, and one week ago today, Midnight joined our family!

She's a medium-haired mixed breed, all black, about a year old. Poor dear hadn't had any vet care until she was surrendered by her former owner (along with two others) because they couldn't afford to keep them. I'm really grateful they at least gave them up, and didn't dump them! Midnight was the last of the three to need a home, and I'm really happy she's our! She's a sweet, cuddly thing, purrs at the drop of a hat. She's still pretty hostile (if totally unafraid) of Widget, even though he's a good bit bigger than she is (she's tiny!). But Widget seems to just want to play, so I think they'll work it out fine. Here she is:
Midnight
Midnight
Second day, and she seems quite at home already. No too fond of Widget, our other cat though....
Portrait of a Princess
Portrait of a Princess
She's a pretty lady, and she knows it! She's also tiny! She's at her full adult size, and she doesn't even top 9 pounds!
Widget
Widget
And the boy of the house is getting to be a big, handsome boy! He's so cute with Midnight; he follows her around everywhere, and jumps a foot if she so much as looks back over her shoulder at him. I think he's OK with her, and just wants to play....
lunadelcorvo: (Foucault discourse)
(They are gonna get good and riled over this one!) I recently assigned an essay where my students have to advance a position either in agreement or disagreement with Calvin's Predestination. I have gotten a couple of questions, and my classes have struggled with this essay in the past, so I decided to give them some nudges. It's a care theological question, and one which, to my mind, exposes some of the inherently irrational nature of 'traditional' thinking on the subject of God. So I thought I'd share:

"In response to a student question on Essay 3, I thought is might be helpful to share part of my response.

Consider the augments for predestination we have discussed in class, according to Calvin's Formulation (Total Depravity, Unconditional Election, Irresistible Grace, Limited Atonement, Perseverance of Saints) as well as anything you have learned or experienced that seems to argue against it. Then choose a position, and argue it using the critical thinking with which we began our course. Regardless of which side you choose, however, you need to argue your case from a logical, rational, critically-based position, not solely from a faith perspective. Naturally, your position may be informed by your experiences or things you have learned, but one cannot make a rational argument based only on belief.

As you proceed be careful; whether you argue for or against predestination, you must address the very real questions and corollaries that each a position entails. If you argue for predestination, it follows that one does not have the choice to believe or not believe; that too is predestined. Effectual calling turns you to belief irresistibly, you cannot 'not believe.' This is a very different thing than feeling you are a believer because you have been raised to be a believer, or feel strongly about your belief.

If one is predestined to be as you are today, are you in effect, 'running on a rail,' following a course set out for you? Are you able to deviate from that course? If you argue for predestination, you must also defend the fact that you are unable to deviate from the course set out for you, much as a train cannot deviate from its track. You may regard decisions along the way as forks in the track, but remember, it is not the train that chooses which route it will take, but the switcher, who routes trains where he wants them to go. Similarly, if salvation is predestined, and grace is irresistible, you do not choose which route you will take; the Holy Spirit moves you in that direction irresistibly. This does in effect deny free will, or at least functional free will (e.g. you can want to deviate from the course set out for you all you like, but you cannot actually do so).

Consider, too, how the notion of God having a plan for each individual life interacts with predestination. Is God's plan for you like those rails, from which you cannot deviate? Or do you have the free will to choose only among possible routes on those tracks? What if you choose a path that does not take you to your predestined destination? Could you even choose such a route? Or is it God's plan a 'plan' in the same way that we might make vacation plans, only to be foiled by the unexpected? Can things turn out differently than God plans them? Can we 'surprise' God? Can we 'foil' God's plans, by will or by accident? If we cannot, can we really say we have free will?

But if we can make choices which God does not expect, does not desire, or did not plan, then we are back to Elie Wiesel's question in the face of the Holocaust, and that of Europe in the face of the Black Death - if God is not in control, then why call him God? If we have the free will to act in ways that God does not anticipate, can we say that God is omniscient? If we have the ability to do things God does not want us to do, or to violate his plan, is he omnipotent? Certainly we would think God's plans far better devised than our own, so how could they go wrong merely because of choices we humans might make? If the fate of each soul is NOT predestined, is God able to save all humans, but chooses not to? Or is he unable to? These are some questions you must address if you argue against predestination.

Remember, these are difficult questions, and theologians have debated them for centuries. However, as scholars and thinkers, as people with curiosity and intellectual honesty, we cannot choose to back down from questions because they are difficult. We cannot simply shrug our shoulders, call it a mystery and walk away. Don't feel you need to solve the riddle (you'd be the first in human history to do so), but reflect on the problem with reason and critical thinking, not faith. Remember, for the purposes of our course, we approach questions as thinkers, not believers."

(P.S. I will take this chance to strongly urge each and every one of you to read Max Weber's Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. It is an absolutely seminal work, and one that I think is of supreme importance an relevance in Western Society, now more than ever. It's a dense read, but worth the work. Really. Go, buy it now! :D
lunadelcorvo: (Oceania)
Everyone is screaming their heads off about Obama's mandate that employer-provided health insurance include contraception, as though this is some new innovation/outrage (depending on which side you're screaming from). Thing is, it's not new. more than half US states already HAVE such a mandate, and others come very close. So while this will be helpful in making all states follow the same policy, it's not new. In fact, it seems that, not only are a majority of Catholics in favor of contraception (on account of living in the real world, no doubt), most major Catholic universities and hospitals already comply with the standards Obama set out.

OK, so the Right having conniptions over something as if it's new is, well, nothing new. And it did seem like taking this stance was a good move for Obama, helping provide a (minor) boost to his popularity on the progressive (to say nothing of female) end of the spectrum. However, what I find both fascinating and disturbing is that now Obama is talking about 'accommodation' on the birth control issue.

How completely f'ed up would it be, if after staging this mandate as though it were breaking bold new ground, and then offering 'accommodation,' Obama actually managed to end up with a net loss in terms of women's access to healthcare and contraception? Watch this one closely folks - Orwellian political theater doesn't get any better than this. Now, does anyone remember what the chocolate ration was last week?
lunadelcorvo: (It's All A Damned Lie!)
What Can You Do To Avoid Monsanto's New, Deadlier Neurotoxic Sweetener? Very Little

Read about Monsanto's new aspertame replacement: 'neotame.' It's sweeter, deadlier, and has no labeling requirements at all. None. It can show up in meat (and maybe milk?) as it's fed to cattle, it can show up in both conventional and organic products. About the only place it will never show up is on a label. Bon appetit!
lunadelcorvo: (I'm going to write can't help it)
What Can You Do To Avoid Monsanto's New, Deadlier Neurotoxic Sweetener? Very Little

Read about Monsanto's new aspertame replacement: 'neotame.' It's sweeter, deadlier, and has no labeling requirements at all. None. It can show up in meat (and maybe milk?) as it's fed to cattle, it can show up in both conventional and organic products. About the only place it will never show up is on a label. Bon appetit!
lunadelcorvo: (Episode badly written)
A very funny, witty, and spot on post from Daily Kos.
If there is one thing America is still very, very good at, it is moralizing about sex. Long after the manufacturing jobs have all left America, and after we have drilled out the last drop of oil, and after we've abandoned Arizona to either climate change or some new mutant form of racist old people, we'll still have at least two major industries. The first is the fast food industry, which will never die. The second is the omnipresent industry of deciding who should have sex, when they are allowed to have it, and how much they should be punished for it.

So this was a good week in America. We were able to have lots and lots of conversations about Our Great Defining Issue, the only one that really seems to motivate us anymore. No jobs? Yeah, Congress might get around to that someday. Economy sucks? Meh. Hey, I think we're still at war, right? I think? Hmm, hard to tell. But start talking about penises and vaginas, and everyone in political discourse immediately wants in on that. That's right in our wheelhouse. We're good at moralizing about other people having sex.


Read the rest here at Daily Kos.
lunadelcorvo: (Reason is out to lunch)
::I'm reposting this in light of the recent surge* in Santorum's popularity over the last few states.::

(The list is not mine, it comes to you courtesy of ThinkProgress.org; the original article is HERE.)

1) ANNUL ALL SAME-SEX MARRIAGES: Arguing that gay relationships “destabilize” society, Santorum wouldn’t offer any legal protections to gay relationships and has pledged to annul all same-sex marriages if elected president. During his 99-country tour of Iowa, Santorum frequently compared same-sex relationships to inanimate objects like trees, basketballs, beer, and paper towels and even tried to blame the economic crisis on gay people. As Santorum explained back in August, religious people have a constitutional right to discriminate against gays: “We have a right the Constitution of religious liberty but now the courts have created a super-right that’s above a right that’s actually in the Constitution, and that’s of sexual liberty. And I think that’s a wrong, that’s a destructive element.”

2) ‘I’M FOR INCOME INEQUALITY’: “They talk about income inequality. I’m for income inequality,” Santorum said during an event in Pella, Iowa in December. “I think some people should make more than other people, because some people work harder and have better ideas and take more risk, and they should be rewarded for it. I have no problem with income inequality.”

3) CONTRACEPTION IS ‘A LICENSE TO DO THINGS’: Santorum has pledged to repeal all federal funding for contraception and allow the states to outlaw birth control, insisting that “it’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”

4) GAY SOLDIERS ‘CAUSE PROBLEMS FOR PEOPLE LIVING IN CLOSE QUARTERS’: During an appearance on Fox News Sunday in October, Santorum defended his support for Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell by arguing that gay soldiers would disrupt the military because “they’re in close quarters, they live with people, they obviously shower with people.” He also suggested that “there are people who were gay and lived the gay lifestyle and aren’t anymore.”

5) OBAMA SHOULD OPPOSE ABORTION BECAUSE HE’S BLACK: During an appearance on Christian television in January, Santorum said he was surprised that President Obama didn’t know when life began — given his skin color. “I find it almost remarkable for a black man to say ‘now we are going to decide who are people and who are not people,” he explained.

6) WE DON’T NEED FOOD STAMPS BECAUSE OBESITY RATES ARE SO HIGH: Speaking in Le Mars, Iowa in December, Santorum promised to significantly reduce federal funding for food stamps, arguing that the nation’s increasing obesity rates render the program unnecessary.

7) ABORTION EXCEPTIONS TO PROTECT WOMEN’S HEALTH ARE ‘PHONY’: While discussing his track record as a champion of the partial birth abortion ban in June, Santorum dismissed exceptions other senators wanted to carve out to protect the life and health of mothers, calling such exceptions “phony.” “They wanted a health exception, which of course is a phony exception which would make the ban ineffective,” he said.

8) HEALTH [CARE] REFORM WILL KILL MY CHILD: Santorum, who claims that Obamacare motivated him to run for president, told reporters in April that his daughter Bella — who was born with a genetic abnormality — wouldn’t survive in a country with “socialized medicine.” “Children like Bella are not given the treatment that other children are given.”

9) UNINSURED AMERICANS SHOULD SPEND LESS ON CELL-PHONE BILLS: During a meeting with the editorial board of the Des Moines Register in August, Santorum said that people who can’t afford health care should stop whining about the high costs of medical treatments and medications and spend less on non essentials. Answering a question about the uninsured, Santorum explained that health care, like a car, is a luxury resource that is rationed by society and recalled the story of a woman who said she was spending $200 a month on life-saving prescriptions. Santorum told her to stop complaining and instead lower her cable and cell phone bills.

10) INSURERS SHOULD DISCRIMINATE AGAINST PEOPLE WITH PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS: Santorum sounded like a representative from the health insurance industry when he addressed a small group of high school students in Merrimack, New Hampshire in December. The former Pennsylvania senator not only defended insurers for denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions, he also argued that individuals who are sick should pay higher premiums because they cost more money to insure.
Now, I don't really think Santorum is going to be the nominee. (Then again, taken individually, I'm not sure I can actually see any of them as an actual presidential candidate, but one of them must be. I just think this one is a little more outrageous than most.) However, I think that his near-miss in Iowa is informative on many levels. In 2008, Huckabee won Iowa, and look where that got him. Nevertheless, now, as then, I think that as non-predictive as these early caucuses may be, they bear noting, in that they tell us something about where the discussion ranges, about whether or not there are actual people who will go so far as to say "I think this is the best man to be the President of the United States."

Regardless of whether Santorum is as current in two month's time as Huckabee was in his turn after Iowa, he got this far. So did Ron Paul, come to mention it (whole post on that another time). I have tried to refrain from primary commentary (it's hardly been needed - all this lot needs is microphones, and the satire writes itself!), but I have been watching all of the GOP hopefuls and what they have been saying in the primaries (because we will, of course hear a totally different tune from whoever ends up the actual candidate. It's good to have notes to look back on to see what they've said to their own...)

What are your thoughts on Iowa, the primary at large, and the upcoming Nov 2012 election?

(*Why is it that so many, many words just sound *wrong* when used vis a vis Santorum?)

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Things I need to remember:
• Asking for help is not, as it turns out, fatal.
• Laughing is easier than pulling your hair out, and doesn't have the unfortunate side effect of making you look like a plague victim.
• Even the biggest tasks can be defeated if taken a bit at a time.
• I can write a paper the night before it's due, but the results are not all they could be.
• Be thorough, but focused.
• Trust yourself.
• Honesty, always.

Historians are the Cassandras of the Humanities

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