Quiz: What Kind of Liberal Are You?

My Liberal Identity

You are a Social Justice Crusader, also known as a rights activist. You believe in equality, fairness, and preventing neo-Confederate conservative troglodytes from rolling back fifty years of civil rights gains.

Take the quiz at
About.com Political Humor

I just got into LJ. I'm guessing that there are still people who are locked out, mostly because I don't want to believe that I was the last one in :)

Huh. Lady Gaga is performing on So You Think You Can Dance as I type this. It's the first time I've seen her perform. OK, she's good, but I don't get the adulation. But then I'm old. And speaking of SYTYCD, I am loving this season. Melanie! Marko! Sasha! Tadd! That's my top four, and I'd be happy with either Melanie or Sasha winning. No, I take that back. I think Melanie should win. Did you see that leap she did last night? It literally took my breath away. The courage and passion that took - it boggles my mind.

We had a surprise baby yesterday. Conchita had a little boy! It didn't seem like she was in labor, so Dar and I took off into Waterloo to run a bunch of errands. We were about 15 minutes away on our way home when Dar got the call that a new cria was seen in the pasture. Uh-oh! We zoomed home to find this lovely brown baby boy. It was a hot and humid day, and he was dehydrated but otherwise OK. Dar got him back up to speed with liquids, and today he's nursing like a champ and trotting around checking everything out. I have pictures which I will try to post.

We got the heat wave up here, too. That surprised my brother; he thought we never got hot weather. Ha! Would that it were so. With the humidity, the temps were around 100 each day. Most of the time we had at least a breeze, sometimes a wind, but then there were the calm days when it was just grueling to move. Doing that many days without access to a/c took a toll. Dar (who has chiari) was having some brutal headaches due to the humidity; I was having a hard time dealing with the heat because of lupus. But we did it, and the alpacas made it through, too. Today was massively humid, but at least it was mostly cloudy so the temperatures didn't go as high as they could have.

Don't I lead a fascinating life?

I'm about halfway through A Dance with Dragons. It's certainly the darkest of the books, and I find that it can't be the last thing I read before I try to go to sleep. I switch over to the City Watch books from Terry Pratchett before I nod off, because I'd rather dream of the Night Watch than the Night's Watch. Although I would kill for a collaboration between Pratchett and Martin on a crossover between those two groups. Vimes and Carrot on the Wall! Nobby, Colon, and Sam! Gaspode and Ghost! C'mon - it's perfect :) Seriously, I wish I had my writing joint back, because that would make for some great stories.

I just heard tonight that HBO will only commit to 10 episodes per season because of the intricacies of the production. My heart sank. There is no way they can do the series that slowly. The stories expand and intertwine and diverge and add so many new characters that it will take a decade to get even most of it in, and there is no way they can follow the arcs with Arya and Bran over that length of time. The young actors are going to age way past the point that they continue to play those characters. Ah, it makes me sad.

Other things. I drove Dar to a nearby farm to check on a pair of alpacas who had been doing poorly in early spring. What a cool place it turned out to be. The couple who live there love animals, so they have their own little menagerie. There were the two alpacas (who are doing very well now), two llamas (one of whom seems to be pretty pregnant, much to the surprise of the owners), a donkey, a pony, pigs, cattle, chickens, two farm cats, a newly adopted quartet of the cutest kittens ever, and an older girl dog named Spot who has the patience of a saint. One of the kittens took to Spot like a magnet to metal; at one point the kitten had wrapped all four of her legs around one of Spot's front legs, and used it to hoist herself up enough to chew on Spot's ear. Spot just kind of sighed and took it. BTW, Spot looks to be a beagle/basset hound mix. Kind of soulful-looking and low to the ground. It was adorable. All of the animals are well cared for, and outside of the alpacas who have their own fenced-in enclosure next to everyone else, all live peaceably with each other. It was fun to visit.

And what the hell is going on back in the States? I've been following things pretty closely, and I can barely believe that things have come to this pass so quickly. I don't understand why the Democrats won't stand up to the Republicans. The conservatives have trashed the country that I knew, and they seem intent on bringing it to a total collapse. Why won't someone stop them? There are still a few moderate Republicans left, and even the bluest of Blue Dog Dems should be sicked and frightened by the rapid attacks - and victories! - against women's rights, workers' rights, and the basics of a compassionate civil society. I'm heartbroken.

OK, now I have to shake this off somehow. City Watch to the rescue, I think. I just bought Jingo. Maybe I'll just leaf through the book and find the pages that have Lady Sybil in them. Truth be told, she's my favorite character of them all. I adore her, and I cherish Pratchett for bringing her to life.

Yup, that's the note to end on. (On which to end, OK?) Heh.
I'm not even going to pretend to segue smoothly from one subject to the next, so let's bring out those numbers.

1. We had our first open house for the consortium last weekend. That would be the Abstract Alpaca Consortium, btw. I think there are nine alpaca breeders/farms who are members (I can't remember exactly); we pool our sheared fleece and share the costs for processing (at Deb's mill), production of end products, and marketing, and we split the profits according to a formula that hurts my brain to think about. We do a number of shows around the year where we can sell said products. The group decided to try selling at an open house at the mill: Tour the mill and meet the alpacas! I wasn't that optimistic about it, but we had a great Saturday. Lots of tours, lots of sales. I was happy to be proven wrong. Sunday was much slower, mostly due to bad weather, but still worth the time and effort. Cold as Antarctica, though, let me tell you. The alpacas were adorable and kindly did not spit at or kick the occasional stupid person.

2. I haven't seen my rheumatologist in well over a year. When I got my health card renewed last June, I was finally able to make an appointment - for today, December 8. Yesterday I got a call from the hospital canceling my appointment, because the mayor was shutting down the city of London, ON today due to the unholy amount of snow they'd received in the past few days. And on into today. Over 100 cm/40 in. so far. Actually, I had called the office earlier in the day yesterday to cancel my appointment anyway, because the driving conditions were supposed to be hellish today. It's a two-hour trip each way on a good day; my appointment was at 8:30AM which means - with the weather - I would have had to leave at the latest 6AM this morning in the snow and the dark. Uh . . . no. So now I wait for them to reschedule everyone who had appointments today and hope that the next time it will be a snow-free drive.

3. I broke my left foot, probably several weeks ago. It had been swollen and hurting me to walk on it for a while, but my left side is all screwed up anyway, so I thought it was arthritis or lupus or something. I finally had Dar look at it, and she determined that it was most probably a broken and chipped metatarsal and the chip has moved to the base of my foot which is why both my toe and the bottom of my foot hurt so much when I walk. I tried staying off it as much as possible for a few days, and that helped. But today and the next few days will bring much walking, so that's how that goes.

4. In hand with #1, we also have an alpaca collective. Did I ever explain all of this to you? I don't think so. It's the Alpaca Breeders Collective of Ontario, and we're a non-profit group who have come together to share expertise, make communal, cost-effective purchases, and spread knowledge about alpacas and alpaca husbandry. (Go ahead, make the jokes.) Everyone in the consortium is part of the collective, but the reverse in not true. This is why during shearing season (late May to late June), we're usually off every weekend at a member farm of the collective helping with the shearing. It's worked out well.

5. All of my favorite TV shows have either been canceled (Caprica! Terriers!) or have ended/are ending for the season. Boardwalk Empire. The Walking Dead. Dexter. America's Next Top Model. (Hush up.) Whatever shall I do? I've just caught the Criminal Minds bug, so I'm catching that on reruns, although there have been a few that I've had to turn off because, really . . . There can be some sick stuff on that show. As to new shows, I'm already signed on to pre-hate Camelot. "A retelling of the famous story," my ass. They're going to destroy it! Merlin was hard enough to take, but this is going to be - Ninjas of the Round Table or some shite like that. Now with extra gore! I plan to be miserable about it for simply ages and ages. Hey, everyone needs a hobby.

6. It's been snowing every day for a week now. Not a big amount at any one time, but it's built up. And the temperatures are way below normal for this time of year, even in Canada. This does not bode well for the coming winter, methinks. On the upside, the $5 winter coat I bought at a consignment store is really nice and warm. I bought it in autumn, and I wasn't sure how it would be during cold weather, but I'm happy to say that it's a keeper.

7. I'm glad that some of the Dems are joining the progressives and finally bringing out the pitchforks and torches and going after Obama for his constant caving in to the Republicans. And that's all I can say without having my blood pressure hit the stratosphere.
I am out of practice with this updating of the LJ thing. I was commenting to my friend [livejournal.com profile] sffan that I think about updating every day. I'll start writing the post in my head, and then when I think of typing it all up, I feel overcome with fatigue. Yes, it's been that bad at times. But today I slog onward! Slog, mays! Slog!

The latest cria count is twelve babies under four months old, and two more due any day now. Cinnamon Girl (our pregnant suri) gave us a fright over the weekend with constant moaning and continued rapid, labored breathing. We were out there checking on her every few hours, but the crisis seems to have passed as of yesterday. We're thinking that the cria was in the wrong position but has since righted itself. Octavia (Deb's pregnant huacaya) is at an astounding 390 days of gestation. (Alpacas run around an average of 345-355 days.) We're afraid that this is going to be a very difficult birth for her. The other girls who have gone over 360 days have all had to have human intervention to get their crias delivered. We just have to wait and hope.

I'm . . . unsettled. I hate what is happening back home with the rising anti-Muslim demonstrations across the US. I remember the Civil Rights movement, the violence and hatred that surrounded it. I've read about the internment camps for Japanese-Americans during WWII; I know that my German-American family was investigated at that time, too. Scapegoats. Bigotry. They're always with us, but I never thought to see that virulence again in my lifetime. How naive was that, huh? There's a massive demonstration planned for 9/11 at Ground Zero. It's going to be terrible. It's as if this mosque that is not a mosque has become the crucible into which all the hateful elements have been been poured to seethe and finally erupt. I have no idea what to do; I feel so helpless.

See? This is why I don't update that often - and now I bet you're thankful :)

OK, let's talk cats. We have three (Rocky, Holmes, and Pixel); they were indoor/outdoor cats at our last place, but they're indoor only now. Bring on - - - The Orange Cat From Across The Street (screw proper capitalization)! Orange Cat has been traipsing around the property since the snow disappeared, but OC (unknown gender) stayed out in the fields or the empty paddocks, in sight of the alpacas (and causing them to alarm alarmingly) or lounged under the bushes in front. The past few days, though, OC has taken to coming up on the porch and peering in through the door, or - better yet - climbing the screen door. This apparently sets Pixel off into a frenzy of defensive cattishness with much hissing and poofing of her ginormous tail. I have no idea what OC is up to, but Dar is wondering if OC is a pregnant female looking for a place to have her litter. Like maybe on our back porch. Kitties! Oh dear God! I am helpless in the face of kitties, and we have our limit now. Please don't let it be kitties. I'll keep y'all informed.

On the health front, I'm still dealing with frequent, rolling bouts of massive fatigue. Very strange. More worrisome is that my eyesight is getting noticeably and speedily worse. I haven't been able to get in again to see the ophthalmologist to whom I was originally referred; I've called and I've stopped at the office in person - it's impossible to get his secretary to give me a freaking appointment. I'm going to see my PCP in two weeks and get her to refer me to a different ophthalmologist, one who I'd seen several years ago. I'm hoping to get in to see him pretty quickly, too. I don't ask for much, do I? Heh.

Dar is still getting chemo for her low iron. It's not as successful this round as it was initially, so she has to go back for a fourth session next week. The nurse said it could be because she was sick with a bad cold for over a week, and that could have suppressed her bone marrow production of red blood cells. Or it could be that the bleeding in her stomach has worsened. I'm at the point where I say we get in the car and drive to the States to get it seen to, because the doctors in this area have been dicking around for over two years now.

And again I'm back in the badness. Really, the main saving grace of these days is looking out my bedroom window and seeing the crias being crias. They play, they run, they bother their moms (and the other crias' moms), they snooze. If I had the right equipment, I'd set up a cria-cam so you all could share in the fun. And it's not just the crias, to be honest. Several times over the weekend I'd just wander out to the barn to hang out with the girls and the babies. I was telling Dar that I wish we could put a cot out there or a folding chair, but there's not enough room to stash something like that in the barn right now. We're rather overflowing with alpacas, and that's not a bad thing.
1. No crias yet. Yay! Dar comes home tomorrow night, and then they can start popping out the baby alpacas.

2. Our baby Hailey - a week old today - is growing like a lovely little weed. She's steadily gaining weight, and she's a terror on four legs out in the pasture. I'm not sure how much longer I'll be able to catch her to weigh her, which suits her just fine.

3. Remember little Saffron? Dee says that she turned a corner the next day, and her body is able to adjust her blood sugar without her crashing every few minutes. Saffron is still living in the house, and apparently Dee is wondering how much house she's going to have left by the time the little girl goes back to the barn. She's running and jumping and into everything :) She's still completely a bottle baby, and that's a tough chore for the humans there, because she has to be fed every few hours. In three weeks she should be able to start eating grain and grass, and they can start cutting back on the bottle feedings. Ideally, her mom would take her back, but apparently that's only the case 30% of the time. Stranger things have happened, though, so everyone is hoping for the best.

4. We're back into summer weather here. It was 80F/25C today, which is much, much better than the cold and snow going on in other parts of North America. I have no complaints. (I know!)

5. I'm watching Rachel Maddow as I'm typing this, and have I mentioned how much I love having an out butch dyke on my TV with a very respected and successful news commentary show? Because I love it a lot. She is adorkable. She's doing a segment on the street in DC, and she's without makeup and wearing a rugby shirt and a hoodie; her hair is not coiffed. And again - adorkable! (For her, I'll even give the hoodie a pass. Sort of.)

6. The situation in AZ just keeps getting more fascist. Now they've banned ethnic studies. And they're firing teachers who speak with a strong accent. Bishop Desmond Tutu speaks to it with his usual grace, eloquence, and truth.
From Politico (which is a major right-wing blog):

Republicans invited Obama to appear at their annual conference; the president accepted — and then surprised them by asking that cameras and reporters be allowed into the room.

Republicans immediately agreed to the request, but they may be regretting it now.

Again and again, Obama turned the Republicans questions against them — accusing them of obstructing legislation for political purposes and offering solutions that won’t work.

From everything I've read, Obama just decimated them. This is what I want from my president. Tonight from 8-10PM on MSNBC Rachel Maddow, Keith Olbermann, and (unfortunately) Chris Matthews will be replaying the whole Q&A - not in sound bytes but in long segments - and then, as KO said in blog, "cutting back to the studio to see which one of our jaws can drop the closest to the floor." Ha!

God, I hope this change of tactic is permanent, and Obama and the Dems stop running and acquiescing to what is right-wing propaganda. I've read a quote where he calls them on their bullshit about portraying healthcare reform as a Bolshevik plot to endanger the country. Yes!

I was psyched for Caprica and Dollhouse tonight, but this . . . this is real life. It's more than real life - it's history playing out right in front of us. I wouldn't miss it for the world.
Well, I've got a copy of the SOTU drinking game on my laptop and a bottle of Panama Jack's cream wine next to me. Let the games begin!
ABC re-aired the last episodes of Lost before the big final season begins next week. Psyched! So. Freakin'. PSYCHED. I don't want to wish my life away, but really . . . next Tuesday can't come soon enough.

I slept the morning away (mostly), and I'm feeling better for it. I'm still having more than usual balance problems - don't know what the hell that's about - but overall it's going better today than yesterday. Can't argue with that.

We had a few days of above-freezing temperatures, but today winter came back with plummeting temps and snow. I was so thankful that I didn't have to be on the road in this weather. I'm always happy when winter is behind us, but even more so now I anxiously await the return of clear, dry roads.

The odds are good that I'll be getting some short-term copy editing/proofreading jobs through the graphics firm where Mark works. I'm excited about bringing in some money, no matter how short-term the job may end up being. I've been doing some editing and proofing for Deb and her business, and while I'm happy to help, it's all been voluntary. It'll be good to be able to contribute some cash to the household eventually.

I'm going to grit my teeth and watch the State of the Union address tomorrow. Never have I seen a president throw away such promise so quickly. But I'll be there.
I'm having a difficult time articulating how angry, sad, and frightened I am by today's SCOTUS verdict on Citizens United v. FEC. We've just seen the US handed over to the corporations. We were mostly heading toward a plutocracy anyway, and this just cleared the way and put up the barricades behind its march. Or now it's more of a stroll.

I feel like we've just walked into a piece of fiction. Something along the lines of 1984 or V for Vendetta or maybe Brazil. Corporations are now individuals. War is peace. Socialism=fascism=communism. Language is hostage to political cant.

I love America. I know its faults, and I believe in its possibilities. I used to, anyway. After these past few months, I'm feeling despondent. I know people who believe the lies that the likes of Glenn Beck spread. They take it at face value. They're fertile ground for the big glossy ad campaigns that the insurance companies and the energy companies will be spinning. I'm sure that they're ramping up as I write this.

Air America, the progressive radio station, filed for bankruptcy today. They just couldn't find the big funding necessary to keep them afloat. Not many progressive multi-millionaires out there. I'm waiting for Rachel Maddow and Keith Olbermann to be muzzled by their corporate owner, GE.

I was an activist for a lot of years. Up the people and all that. We meant it. We worked for it. And for a while we achieved it. I don't even know if that's possible anymore.

As I said . . . despondent.
Guiliani - former mayor of New York city - has proclaimed that there were no terror attacks on America under Bush's administration. None. No 9/11/01, no shoe bomber, no anthrax attacks. And he said it all with a straight face. And the interviewer never challenged him.

How do you counter such willful deceit? How do you live with yourself being so willfully mendacious?
I got an H1N1 vaccination today, and the process really wasn't that bad. The clinic was scheduled to run from 1-7PM, but I knew about the very long lines and hundreds of people turned away in Toronto and other cities so I showed up at 10AM. There was a sign on the door that said pretty much "Don't even think about trying to come through this door before 1PM!" So I left :) I came back a little before 1; there were about 60 people ahead of me and a line rapidly growing behind me. The doors opened at 1, and I have to say that things went pretty smoothly. I was out of there in less than an hour. One woman was turned away while I was there because she was over 65 and didn't have a chronic condition. She was pretty pissed. I was surprised that there weren't more people, but then I realized that none of the Mennonite families had shown up; that would have easily doubled the number of people trying to get inside. Maybe even tripled. Big, big families in the Mennonite community.

I know some people on my flist have tried to get the vaccination and weren't able to. I'm really sorry about that, and I hope you stay flu free until more vaccine shows up.

I finally got my temporary registration on Monday, but Dar had to call in the big guns before that happened. As in the chairman of the Canadian Insurance Bureau, who is also an acquaintance of hers. One call and bam . . . they couldn't get this stuff completed fast enough. It pisses me off that it takes that kind of pressure. What about all the people who aren't fortunate enough to be able to call on powerful people? They're just left dangling.

The easiest part of the whole process so far was dealing with the Motor Vehicle people. The woman was great! We were in and out in a jiff. Of course we can't let this be a completely smooth process, can we? I need to get an emissions test on the car before I can get it registered. I have a half tank of very old gas that I need to run off before I get it tested. I also have four brand new tires on the car - three of which have leaky valves. So I have to keep running into town to put air in them. I wanted just to be able to go for a long drive to run through the gas, but I don't trust the air pressure. I also want to get the car registered asap, so I don't want it stuck back in the garage waiting for tire repairs again while the time on my temporary registration runs out. Why can't it ever go smooth?

There are two things I think y'all should check out.

1. A piece by Melissa McEwan about the defeat of gay marriage rights in Maine. This country is not, and never has been, well-served by leaving the civil rights of the minority in the hands of the majority. Putting that up to a vote which is subject to deeply held prejudice is ruling not by democracy, but by mob mentality. I was shocked by Prop 8 in CA; I was shocked by the decision in ME. I can't believe that I'm still this naive about the majority view of homosexuals in America.

2. On a much lighter note: The Dodge Viper is one macho machine, right? Not so much.
1. The new cria has a name: Echo. She's nursing like a crazy little thing (at last) and has taken to fits of galloping as baby crias are wont to do. She's adorable. [livejournal.com profile] darlong has some very cute pictures of her taken today in her stylish purple cria coat, but I don't think she's posted them yet.

2. Cinnamon Girl still hasn't delivered although she's certainly ready. Dar thinks that one of the cria's legs isn't in position, and CG is trying to manipulate it so it's corrected. We're really hoping that tomorrow is the day.

3. I saw the first 10 minutes and the last 10 minutes of Supernatural. Obviously I've missed some important stuff in the middle. I hope to catch the rerun this weekend. Or I can just glean it all from what I assume are going to be the squeeing posts on my flist tomorrow :)

4. And speaking of TV, did you know that that wacky Fox TV network is going to go out on a limb and finance a new show that's - get this - a mix of Western and scifi? Who'd ever watch something like that? They must be crazy! God, I still hate. them. so. much.

5. And more TV, but this is very cool. Next year there's going to be an auction of Lost memorabilia. Sawyer's glasses! (I figure [livejournal.com profile] sparky77 will be all over that.) Hurley's winning lottery ticket! Passports. Dharma uniforms worn by the guys back in time! The freakin' hatch!! I'm not a collector, but babies, some of that stuff makes me drool with greed and envy.

6. I watched Obama's speech last night, and if nothing else, I have to say that damn, he is one eloquent speaker. I was very, very pleased to see that he was promoting a public option as part of the package, but I still think that he's giving too much to the insurance carriers. And what can one say about the Republican response? Churlish is one word that comes to mind. (Oh, many others come to mind, too, but I'm trying to keep my anger under control since I want to go to sleep after I post this.)

7. Too late. Now I'm pissed again. I should take the advice of Terry on True Blood: "I can't listen to politicians no more. My head explodes."

8. I will end on an up note. I will! Ummmmmmm. OK - Chloe was chasing a frog across the back yard. He was hopping and dodging to save his life (literally), getting some real air time with those jumps. I distracted her long enough for the frog to escape, but I have to admit that it looked very, very funny. I have the feeling that the frog was not as amused, but he lives to hop another day.
Let's start this with a big ol' Happy Birthday to [livejournal.com profile] vchrusch! Hope you had a lovely day, Phil! Are still having one, in fact, since you're three two hours behind us. (Thanks, Tobes *g*) Yay!

We had another showing tonight. Things needed a more intense freshening-up, so it was a day filled with cleaning. We're all pooped. The prospective buyers spent an hour, which seems to be the minimum time people spend looking the place over. They were kind of hard to read, so there's no real sense that we'll be going four for four (four viewings, four offers).

I'm saddened by Ted Kennedy's passing. I certainly had some issues with him and his personal life - Chappaquiddick, getting his nephew off from rape charges - but he was a damn fine senator and a hell of a liberal. The phrase noblesse oblige always brought him first to my mind. He was born into privilege, but he accepted that as a responsibility as well as a blessing. I hope that his death galvanizes the Dems - most pointedly Obama - to finally pull their heads out of their asses and push through the health care reforms that Kennedy pursued throughout his political life and which we as a nation so greatly need.
1. We have another showing tomorrow night. A few days ago there was a rather snazzy red car that made a few drive-bys and then stopped dead in the road in front of the house for a few minutes. I figure it's the driver of said snazzy red car. Also yesterday that older Mennonite farmer rang the doorbell again to see if the house had been sold yet. Apparently it's the Mennonite way (among the older orders) to watch for houses to that aren't sold before their listing contract ends; when they see the listing drop off the radar and the For Sale sign come down, they swoop in and make their own deal without having to go through realtors. Clever. But it's not going to work with us, because we have three offers so far.

2. I got in to see my doctor on short notice today because I believe I have a sinus infection. Dar concurs. Unfortunately my doctor disagreed. First I had to wait for 90 minutes because she was on call for the ER at the small hospital where the clinic was held today, and then we butted heads for about another 10 minutes about giving me antibiotics. Look, I get that they can be over-prescribed. I'm very careful about not using antibacterial soaps and creams and such. But in this case - being on an immunosuppressant that retards my body's ability to fight infection - I'm willing to take the chance. Not my doctor, though. So she gave me a steroid nasal spray and told me to give it about 10 days to work. Dar was fit to be tied. We'll both be keeping a close eye on this just in case.

3. Ozzie, our youngest alpaca, apparently got himself a pet. There's a little frog that got into one of the wading pools we have out for the herd, and Dar said Ozzie is simply beside himself with delight to have a little splashy playmate. He'll dip his nose in and then leap with joy when the frog jumps around. How cute is that?

4. I spend a lot of time reading up on the insanity going on back home with the hate and the fear and the threats and the mob mentality. I want to get into it here, but I just can't because I won't be able to stop ranting. Maybe in a few days but not now.
I've really only seen one person on my flist post about this, and that's [livejournal.com profile] castleisland. I've been thinking about it a lot, but I haven't been able to put what I'm feeling into words. Perhaps that's because the issue is so enormous for me that I couldn't be succinct. Perhaps because I'm so awash in emotion that I don't have room for words. Happily I just read an open letter sent to Obama's transition team and his inauguration committee that perfectly captures what I would hope to say to him, to you all. It's written by a blogger I greatly admire, who goes by the handle of Portly Dyke. If you would take the time, I'd greatly appreciate it if you would read her letter.

Thank you.
A. Jane fell off of the railing on the deck and into a big pile of snow. She wasn't hurt, but the snow was so deep around her that she couldn't find a way back up onto the deck. I did a little rescue mission out to the back to retrieve the silly cat.

B. I'm paying today for the busy day I had yesterday, not that I moved mountains or anything. I did use the snow blower, and that got wacky. I'm a bit dyslexic, and the snow blower is controlled by varying combinations of six levers, three on each handle; you might be able to see how problems could arise. At one point I almost ran over myself in reverse :) Along the way I also did the snow blowing equivalent of spitting into the wind and ended up covered head to toe in wet snow. Fun! But I got it done, and the driveway and walk looked all clear and tidy - right up until it dropped another three inches on us overnight. It. Snows. Every. Freaking. Day.

C. I finished The Two Towers last night. Aragorn! Theoden King! Eowyn! I could go on exclaiming, but you get the idea. It's my favorite of the three movies, and considering how much I love the other two, that's saying a lot. I should clarify that I really don't like the Ents sequences, but the Rohirrim more than make up for those, and the Battle at Helm's Deep still blows my mind every time I see it. Just masterful film making.

D. I've been nodding off a lot today due to fatigue, but Dar did rouse me to watch the CNN breaking news about the debacle in IL. How stupidly, unbelievably arrogant can one man get? I did laugh, though, when they had Mayor Daly on screen not looking at the camera and playing innocent. He's a hell of a lot smarter than Blago, but you could see that he was running with the interior mantra: "God, don't let me be on those tapes. God, don't let me be on those tapes." Hee. I wonder who was trying to buy the Senate seat that Blago was auctioning off? And even though it's clear that Obama was not involved, I'm sure the right wing nut brigade is going to take this and run with it throughout Obama's term.

E. I haven't even started my Christmas shopping, and I don't know when I will get the chance to do that. I've never been this late ever. I can't even work up any angst over it. I think my Angsto-meter has maxed out. Win! Of a sort :)

F. I received some interesting recommendations for new reading material, so thank you to those who chimed in. I probably won't actually get to do any reading until after the holidays now, but I have some good choices. I think I'm going to track down a copy of The Discovery of Heaven by Harry Mulisch. While it doesn't sound as if it is either light or fluffy, it certainly has a lot of what interests me: historical fiction, theology, WWII and the Holocaust. And if that's just way too heavy for me now, then I'm off to start on the Eyre Affair books and/or Tanya Huff's Keeper trilogy and the Dresden books. Or maybe I'll just keep mainlining the LOTR movies :)

G. Q drove me into Waterloo yesterday to see my neurologist, Dr. Bashir Dr. Mendonca. He agrees with my self-assessment that the peripheral neuropathy I have waxes and wanes depending on my stress and fatigue levels, and there's not really too much to be done about it except deal with it. I don't have to go back to him until June. Yay! Not that I ever minded going to see him, because he is such a nice young man (as my mother would say.)

H. And while we're on the medical thing, I seem to be losing my voice. I've lost the upper register except for a whisper that's very difficult for me to get out. When I call for the cats to see if any of them are still outside, I sound like Mercedes McCambridge doing her Exorcist schtick. It's no wonder that they don't come traipsing gaily back. "I'm not goin' up there! She's gonna puke pea soup all over me!" Mendonca doesn't believe that the cause is neurological, so it's probably one of the autoimmune nasties. Thanks, AIs; I've been meaning to brush up on my sign language!

I. Against my better judgment and all that I hold dear, I've actually started watching House on a semi-regular basis. I like this group of assistants much better than the original crew, and I like them better in their current roles than when they were battling with House all of the time. I think it's another sign of my personal Apocalypse.

J. I haven't seen the alpacas in a week, and I miss them.
I'm still elated for America that Obama won. I expect I'll be plenty pissed off at him at times, but I also expect that he'll make me proud more often than not. What does not make me proud is that "ban gay marriage" amendments passed in a number of states, most famously in California. Legislating discrimination against fellow Americans. Way to go! Everyone who voted for that should be deeply ashamed. Should be, but I doubt that they will be. They're lacking a basic empathy, they're over their heads in fear and prejudice. A pox on them all.

At least in CA, the language of the amendment leaves a huge hole that an appeal can barrel its way through. It will still be fight, I'm sure, and in the meantime no more gay couples will be allowed to marry (it's infuriating to write that), although current marriages will still be recognized. Maybe the fervor of hope and change can be applied to my fellow gays and lesbians. It would be nice to be considered full citizens for once.

*shakes it off*

Anyway, I made it outside to the paddocks today for the first time in about a week, and I took a slew of pictures, only a few of which I'm posting here.
Come see how the crias have grown. )
The past two days have been lovely, with bright sun, mild temperatures and cool breezes. It's not going to last too much longer, so I'm enjoying it while I can.

You'd think that our uber pregnant alpacas would take advantage of the gorgeous weather to have their crias already, but you'd be wrong. Dar and I are out there looking for signs: did Conchita just jerk her tail up? Did Gertie just have a contraction? Oooh, look - she's on the poo pile! That's the biggie - frequent trips to the poo pile. We spend an inordinate amount of time watching them poo, half expecting to see "nose and toes" following right behind. So to speak.

I did the all of the outside chores tonight by myself for the first time in months. (Dar was out helping Oliver.) Usually I have to leave something unfinished, but tonight I was able to bull my way through. I'm not saying I wasn't tired and hot and dripping sweat by the end, but I did it, and it felt great. I'm down to just 5mg of prednisone a day, and I think that has something to do with it. I still have loads of aches and pains, but I don't feel as sick as I was feeling on the higher doses. My legs are still wobbly, but again not to the degree that they used to be. Now if I can get past the fatigue, I might be able to rescue some of my old life, and won't that be grand :)

Have you seen the line-up for the new season of The Amazing Race? I am so rooting for the hippie couple. I've named them Team Deadhead :) There's also a geek team made up of a couple guys into comic books who met at a scifi con. Dar said that one of the guys is the showrunner for ComicCon. Woo!

The buzz is that Obama is going to name Hillary as his VP. I'm surprisingly excited about that considering that when it was first brought up as a possibility I thought it was a bad deal for her. But if she's happy, I'm happy. Assuming she's his pick, of course, and it isn't Biden. Not that I would mind Biden.

Aaaand Sleep just came up and whacked me across the head. Night all.

August 2015

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