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Sunday, November 18th, 2012
12:03 am - oddities and coincidences [eyes of the world]
I wasn't really expecting to have the day off tomorrow, but it worked out in the end. So very excited about sleeping in past 6:30 am! So, if I've got the day off tomorrow, that means tonight was my evening to go out and do a thing; it was a ~13 hour workday and exhausting, but Sarah texted asking if I wanted to go out to a show. (With homemade dinner first! Perfect. Otherwise I may well have eaten leftovers and passed out at home at 8pm.) It's Nola Fringe Festival this week, and sadly I missed one of the shows I'd wanted to see, but this one turned out to be fantastic: Fringe, Fishnets, Feathers, and Felt: The Hurricane Party. You know it's a good show when you come home with your cheeks sore from grinning and laughing. As advertised, there were indeed Puppets! Dancing Girls! Live Jazz! Comedy! and Meschiya Lake! Also, it had probably the most charming palmetto bugs (i.e. giant cockroaches) I've seen -- I much prefer palmetto bugs when they are actually dancing girls in iridescent brown-gold lamé costumes, and then when they're not only dancing girls but also the stagehands. Take note, New Orleans: please have all the insects that invade my rooms turn out to be mischievous dancing girls in shiny costumes.
There were also charming swing-dancing Jailbirds in stripy crow costumes, Caroline Fourmy (being much more vaudeville-hilarious than in the bits behind that link, which are her + her jazz band) and the Camel Toe Lady Steppers. I do love this town.

Two nights ago, at the food-truck shindig atop the deserted strip mall, there was another 80s-vintage wood-paneled station wagon in the parking lot, and I was all excited because I've seen all of maybe 1 or 2 others in all of New Orleans. Today, there was another (different, and maybe even 70s-era given the profile and color scheme) wagon parked up on Carrollton, near where I live.

Also, while driving home, a song / spoken-word piece came on the radio (on WWOZ, of course) that I have only heard in two places: played live by a band called Stark Raving Chandler in a tiny bar in Charleston on a poetry slam night, once; and on the CD that I bought from them that evening...oh, what, 15 years ago? Something like that. A strange experience, to be driving (in a slightly-older version of the wagon I was driving back then, also coincidentally) and have Chris Chandler suddenly come on the radio with a meandering piece about history and truth and time, following someone doing a cover of Leonard Cohen's "Everybody Knows".

Tomorrow's the po'boy festival (there is always some kind of festival here; often several at once), and it's conveniently just down the street from my house. If I'm up early enough to dodge the crowds, I'll wander down there. I heard rumor of a shrimp remoulade po'boy, and various other rare po'boy sandwich creations. (Also, daylight! I could be outdoors in it! Amazing.)

So, first, sleep. Lots to get done tomorrow (sadly, much more than "eating po'boys in the sun").

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Monday, August 24th, 2009
10:35 pm - Suggestions for speakers on LGBTQ health & domestic violence issues? [eotw]
I'm helping to organize UCSF's conference on domestic violence for healthcare students/professionals this year, and we're looking for more speakers. In particular, we'd like to have someone (or someones!) come present on & lead discussion about domestic violence issues in LGBTQetc communities. As medical students, we get very little training on domestic violence, and this is part of how we make up for that gap...because it's something that all of us will deal with as physicians. The conference is also not just for med students; all of the schools at UCSF are invited, and in the past we've had speakers from a wide range of healthcare/policy/social-work/etc fields.

I know some of y'all know more about this than I do, are more connected, and/or know more people doing work in the field. If you have any ideas, suggestions for speakers, suggestions for organizations to contact for speakers, or just thoughts about what healthcare students need to know about domestic violence...please let me know! Leaving comments here works, or you can contact me via email (first.last (at) gmail, or this username (at) livejournal).

(Also, I don't know exactly how much funding we have, but it's not huge. So we're looking for speakers from around the Bay Area, and if we can offer an honorarium, it's likely to be small. The conference is October 17th. And if you're interested in coming to the conference, I'm pretty sure the registration is open to non-students.)

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Thursday, June 11th, 2009
8:36 am - Signal-boosting: LGBTQ Health Care Fairness Survey
From the Director of UCSF's LGBT Resource Center:
"The UCSF LGBT Resource Center has partnered with Lambda Legal and other groups to survey as many LGBT people as possible about their health care needs and experiences--as you know, securing knowledgeable, sensitive care for LGBT people is a big part of the LGBT Center’s work!
So I’m writing to ask if you would take 5-10 minutes to fill out this national Health Care Fairness Survey:

http://www.lambdalegal.org/healthsurvey (English)

http://www.lambdalegal.org/sondeosalud (Spanish)

We especially need to hear from people of color, transgender people, seniors, youth (18 and older) and other members of our communities who are often underrepresented—so please don’t hesitate to send word of the survey far and wide. The results will do a great deal to advance our advocacy for equitable, competent health care—thanks so much for being part of this important work!"

From Lambda Legal:
"As a part of our health care fairness campaign, Lambda Legal is conducting a national survey to document the unique health care experiences and needs of LGBT people and people living with HIV. We will then use this information to educate politicians and other decision makers about the specific problems health care reform must address."

From me:
It's not perfect, but it's much better than many LGBT/etc surveys I've seen, and it asks important questions. Also note that they're looking for data from people living with HIV (LGBT or no) as well as LGBTQ folks generally. Please take the survey if applicable, and forward it on as much as possible. There's a lot of change that needs to be made, and gathering good data is essential.

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Friday, August 22nd, 2008
4:14 pm - know anyone who's looking for a place to live in Oakland?
Are any of y'all househunting or know someone who's looking for a place to live in Oakland?

I'm moving out of my kickass apartment and I'd love to find someone to take my room. I'm planning to move out around Sept 3, so someone to move in around then would be great, and any help you can give towards finding that person would be much much appreciated.

Quick house details:
It's a 2br/1ba apartment near 42nd & Broadway in north Oakland. The room's a decent size (10' x 11', I think, with a big closet and extra bit by the door), there's a small-but-entirely-functional kitchen, huge bathroom, and the common space is big and wide-open and gets lots of good light. It's in a 4-unit building with laundry downstairs and a little shady patio in back. Easy walking distance to Rockridge and MacArthur BART, ~3 blocks away from the 24-hr Safeway/Longs on 51st, and easy walking distance to the Piedmont St. and Rockridge neighborhood shops/restaurants/bars/etc. The neighborhood's one where I don't worry about wandering around alone late at night, which is nice.

I'll be moving out sometime around September 3rd, so finding someone to move in ASAP after that would be great. Rent is $622, deposit is $750, utility bills include water, PG&E, and internet. My current housemate, Chris, is staying in the apartment. He's a programmer who moved out here from Boston a year ago to go to school for acupuncture; he can be occasionally odd (I have odd friends? Really?), but he's a good guy and a fine housemate. Living with a massage therapist who's happy to have someone around to practice on is also Not A Bad Thing.

It's been a great place for me to live for the past three years, and I'm going to miss it.

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Friday, February 29th, 2008
9:28 am - knitted cat toys and crafty things to benefit animal rescue
signal-boosting for eilonwy, who's got a bunch of her hand-made knit cat toys and other crafty goodness in her Etsy shop:

All proceeds from items sold during the month of February will be donated to AZ RESCUE (a non-profit animal rescue organization which takes dogs and cats off of the kill-lists at other shelters and finds them homes, more information at www.azrescue.org).

Today's the last day, so if you know a feline who might appreciate a catnip robot (or mouse, to be more traditional) poke on over there. She's also got a neat black-and-silver zigzag-pattern bag.

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Wednesday, December 26th, 2007
6:39 pm - solstice and sunrise
I'm off to the woods again for a bit, then down to the Gulf Coast. I had a moment of quiet to myself for the solstice, and this year I'll be watching the sunrise on the first day of the new year from a beach on the edge of the Gulf instead of out by the Atlantic. As usual, I've got scraps and threads of thoughts, but haven't been keeping up with lj or made much time for writing...and right now, I need to get back on the road so that I'm not trying to drive the twisty highways past midnight. ("A bit late for that," says the Monty-Python-esque voice in my head, rolling its eyes.)

So, in lieu of my own words, I'm offering a friend's. This is taken wholly from tamnonlinear's winter solstice post, because she keeps on articulating thoughts that bounce around in my head, echo my own patchworks, set up such lovely resonances.



Thoughts for the dark of the year:

Live with the understanding that the choices you make matter.

We are at the time when the turn of the seasons is about to reach the longest night of the year. It's a good time to think about the paths we take in dark places, and how we guide ourselves.

Live not as if you might die tomorrow (though it's good to live a fearless life, now and again), but as if you will live a hundred more, building on the actions you choose now.

Live with the understanding of the power of that, and the beautiful responsibility that goes with it.

It matters.

This is not a scolding or a lecture, though those tones are present. This is a call to understand the wonder and beauty of connection, the joy in knowing we can make a difference, on being the pebble in the landslide, the butterfly flapping its wings in a foreign land, the saving grace that alters the moment.

We matter.

People will tell you to live without hesitation, leap without looking, as if these were synonymous with joy and bravery, as if consequence-free living was the only way to have what you want.

Life matters.

I'm telling you it is not so. Look when you're leaping, not to hold back from leaping, but so you're at least aiming for something, seeing what is around you that makes the leap (and even the fall, if it comes) worth it. Take the daring action not in ignorance of the consequences, but knowing, embracing, encouraging the change it will bring. There is bravery in taking the action with the knowledge of what it means and what it costs, and in doing so making the statement that it is important and vital. There is pride, without arrogance, in accomplishing a task with the full knowledge of what it entails and why it is worth risking and worth doing. There are tasks we cannot set aside or ignore, as a matter of being fully adult people.

Choices matter.

Assume there will be consequence, and believe in the ability of things to change for the better by chosen action. Believe yourself to be of the strength and integrity to handle that, to be someone who can not only stand but can soar, who can not only pull their weight but add strength to the rest of the world as well, by encouraging the connections that require commitment and consistency. Have the integrity to stand by your actions, the morality to know your choices define you, and live with that not as a limit but a support, as part of the basis of living a significant life.

Be foolish and frivolous and spontaneous, not out of thoughtlessness, but out of the wisdom of knowing the value of these things as well, knowing them as part of loving the world's complexity, not rejecting it as meaningless.

Living without forethought may sound spontaneous, but in the end it's a form of cowardice. It's denying your own power, your own ability, the importance of others, the very things in the end that makes life rich and strong and achingly beautiful.

This is not a weight. If you think that consequence and responsibility is a burden, you've missed the greatest joys in life. There is a wonderful, soul-shaking beauty to the thought that you can make someone's life better, you can save something that might be lost, you can understand and educate and change. You can be part of what alters the world. Your existence is of significance. Live with and within that truth. It is the difference between merely reacting and truly responding, carrying the understanding of your own part in the dance of it all.

It's frighteningly hard at times to accept this, and sometimes it's as simple and easy as choosing to hold a door, say a kind word, give a little money to a charity, leave a space for a someone else, allow room for a wild creature, take a moment to consider a course, evaluate your place in the scheme of things. It is the big actions as well, though those come along less frequently, and require rejecting the weakness of saying that you are not one to choose.

This is the balance of life.

It is a beautiful thing.

Choose well.

Encourage the light.

Shine with it.

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Tuesday, October 30th, 2007
1:46 pm - an All Hallow's Eve Eve treat
from tamnonlinear, who writes the good kind of stories:

Seven Things That Never Happened to Tam Lin.

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Sunday, September 23rd, 2007
11:37 pm - Bay Area PSA: evictions & bulldozers at the Albany Landfill, protest tomorrow
also, before i sleep, this came in from asarwate:

it sounds like there's going to be a mass eviction and "cleanup" at the Albany Landfill, starting tomorrow morning and running for the next two weeks. there is a protest planned, starting at 9am.

i will likely go down that way whenever i get up & moving tomorrow. the Albany Landfill is one of my favorite places here, part of what makes me glad to live nearby; the loss of that space and art and community would be a great one.

text of the announcement of what"s going on & tomorrow"s protestCollapse )

-- contact info for Albany's Mayor, Vice Mayor, & Councilmembers here.
-- archive of stencil art from the Albany Landfill (& elsewhere)
-- photos from the Albany Landfill, article from Bay Nature
-- the documentary about the encampment and art at the Albany Landfill: Bum's Paradise

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Tuesday, August 21st, 2007
12:35 pm - and now for something completely different...
for jencallisto, a brief photographic interlude of yaks and other mysterious creatures.

a tiny herd of purple yaksCollapse )

more yaks, an aardvark for good measure, and a mystery creature (pangolin!) thrown in for free.Collapse )

i just liked this picture.Collapse )

a critical mass of tiny plastic yaks.Collapse )

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Thursday, July 19th, 2007
12:27 pm - Brain Weasel Stomping Day
from tamnonlinear, because i heartily approve of the idea, and because i've definitely got brain weasels that are in serious need of a stompdown.
and dedicated, perhaps, to my good friend emofraggle, who has taught me a hell of a lot about the little pieces of human interaction that make life a better place.

Wow - what is it in the air lately? Post after filtered post about how everyone is feeling alone, disconnected, unwanted. It's not like this is one or two people - it's like a rash all over my friends list the past few days. Male, female, betwixt, undecided, unconcerned...it seems to be an equal opportunity Brain Weasel.

Clearly, something needs to be done. I think we need to have a Brain Weasel Stomping Day.

The problem, as I've noted before, is "it's easier to see the Weasels when they're eating someone else's brain." So this is my call to my friends list, and to your friends list, and beyond. This Friday, make an effort to squish someone's Brain Weasel. (And hell, not just this Friday. Do it this weekend, do it when you think of it, do it when you're having a rough day or a good day, do it on alternate Tuesdays...just get out your jackboots and go on a grand weasel-stomp!)

Have a crush on someone? Post a flirty comment in their journal. Admire someone's skills? Post a comment about it. Just think a person is nifty? Now is the time to tell them. Doesn't matter if the post your commenting to doesn't have much to do with your comment. Just post those good thoughts. Trust me. People will appreciate it.

Do this for everyone - not just those you suspect are feeling down (After all, you might not be on their Brain Weasel filter). Take a few minutes and help launch people into the weekend with a smile. And...who knows? Maybe sharing how others make you happy will make you a bit more cheerful in return.


(...and, of course, the image that comes to mind is that of Spider Jerusalem, with that devil-mania grin, ready to go out monstering...)

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Friday, June 1st, 2007
11:47 am - bay area traffic question
quick question: can anyone tell me how bad traffic usually is on a weekday (Friday) morning, on 101S from the Mission down to South San Francisco?

(trying to estimate driving time to get from fyfer's to an MCAT test center at 6:30-7am. google maps claims it's ~8.5 miles, and 15 minutes.)

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Monday, April 2nd, 2007
7:22 pm - [booklog 2007]
19. & 20. Control of Nature and Table of Contents, John McPhee. both excellent, and deserving of the far more thorough write-up that i'm not going to do right now.

21. The Big Over Easy, Jasper Fforde. wasn't as impressed by this one as by his other books, but it was a fun light read anyhow.

22. The Revenge of Hothead Paisan, Diane DiMassa. this one's got a couple of the pages/monologues i most like, and as always is a much-needed bit of catharsis and thinking-about-things.

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Tuesday, March 6th, 2007
11:53 pm - [booklog 2007]
i feel like i've misplaced some books, that i must've done more reading than this. mostly, though, i think i haven't been reading because i feel like if i've got time to read books for pleasure, i should be studying.

in any case, these were in the stack of recently-read books:

11. Encounters with the Archdruid, John McPhee. fantastic book. essentially, it is stories created by taking three different men -- a mining engineer, a resort developer (one who developed part of Hilton Head, and who attempted to develop Cumberland Island in Georgia), and a Western dam-builder -- out into the wilderness with a fellow named David Brower, "the most militant conservationist in the world." ("militant" is not the word i'd use, except perhaps philosophically. he's passionate and he's powerful, influential.) each story involves facts, politics, deeply-held beliefs, perspectives from each side, and also the interaction of strong personalities.

i've got two more of his books, Control of Nature and Table of Contents, in progress.

12. & 13. The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists and In an Adventure with Ahab, Gideon Defoe. two books in one, set antiparallel. extremely silly. along with the McPhee books, a loan from longueur. thank you!

14. PoMoSexuals -- Challenging Assumptions About Gender and Identity, edited by Carol Queen & Lawrence Schimel. the title-word makes me twitch, but the book itself was a good read in the right way, poking at my brain and making me think about things. written in 1997, and perhaps more than anything else it makes me want to know more of what's being written and thought and said right now. Pat Califia's essay ("Identity Sedition and Pornography") made me go demand that the internet tell me more, so i wandered off through mazes of interviews and essays and articles from the past ten years. other especially good bits: Kate Bornstein's preface ("Queer Theory and Shopping"), Dorothy Allison's story, which i'd read before in one of her collections but still love, and the essays by D. Travers Scott, Carol Queen, Jill Nagle, David Harrison, Riki Anne Wilchins...well, and really all of it, even the bits that didn't resonate as clearly, was very much worth reading.
mmmmm, gender theory.

15. Holidays on Ice, David Sedaris. a quick read and funny, if often painfully so. *laugh* kinda reminded me of George Saunders' CivilWarLand in Bad Decline in parts.

16. & 17. Kaplan MCAT Physical Sciences and Biological Sciences Review Notes, because that's what i've been slogging through for weeks, and i want to mark down that progress somehow.

18. The Bride Wore Black Leather...and he looked fabulous!, Drew Campbell. Tagline: "An etiquette guide for the rest of us." Some bits of it still pissed me off, but most of the basic principles were reasonable and flexible enough, and it was at least mostly an amusing read.

my stack of books-i'm-reading and books-i-want-to-read is getting rather high, especially since i picked up three more from J & ravenslost this evening.

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Monday, February 12th, 2007
5:46 pm - just one small moment
i'm at home, typing with tea and toast in front of the big windows, and outside everything is soaking in a deep rose light. the holly-berries, the red motorbike, the fallen petals of the little tree-shaped camellia across the street, they all glow like props on a theater stage. and the bare tips of the treebranches are a deep and almost violent red, catching this light on all their intricate rainwet surfaces.

the sunset is behind me, behind the house and the long rows of streets, the streetlights just starting to fire up, behind the huge graceful crane-giraffes in the port of Oakland, each one lit up with its own brilliant constellation and surrounded by the deep yellow flashes of sodium-lights. and the sunset is even farther than that, beyond the bay and the hills of the city, travelling on across the western ocean.

and in front of me is the rainstorm that came down through the hills this afternoon, brushing aside the bright mid-afternoon in-between-the-showers sunshine and laying down a thorough slant of grey rain. the deep grey is shading to blues now, with the sun fading, and only the very tips of that one tree are catching the last bit of sideways rose light.

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Friday, February 9th, 2007
8:56 pm - [booklog 2007]
9. & 10. The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts and Señor Vivo and the Coca Lord, Louis de Bernieres. intricate, funny novels set somewhere in South America; stories of people and villages and families, with a dash of santeria and magical-realism thrown in for good measure. and now i want to read everything else he's written, except that longueur just lent me two John McPhee books and something about pirates and scientists, so those will be next.

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Wednesday, February 7th, 2007
3:58 pm - ...Bueller?
This journal of mine is due for some poking-at soon. The bits about why and how I'm using it are mine to figure out, but as it's to some extent functioning as a broadcast medium, it would be interesting to know who's reading it, and why. (Also, it's been feeling kinda crickets-and-tumbleweeds lately, and that makes me wonder about these things.)

So, then: are you reading this? Poke in, say hi, tell me why if you feel like it, tell me a story, tell me your thoughts. Ask me a question or three.

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Thursday, February 1st, 2007
10:07 pm - two loaves of simple bread
mostly for my own notes. makes two fair-sized loaves of tasty bread.
recipe behind the cut...Collapse )

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Monday, January 29th, 2007
4:03 pm - [booklog 2007]
some of these are from the end of 2006, but i stopped keeping track, so i'm tacking the ones that i remember on here.

1. Falling Free, Lois McMaster Bujold. i have a vague memory of writing this one up already, but couldn't find the entry, so here you go. good sci-fi, and lots of badass industrial metalworking in space.

2. A Deepness in the Sky, Vernor Vinge. one of those books that's been on the should-read-this list for awhile. i liked it, but wished he hadn't tied everything up quite so neatly at the end.

3. The Moor's Last Sigh, Salman Rushdie. read this one over the course of a very busy week or two, so my memory of it is a little scattered, but i enjoyed it very much. intricate and strange.

4. Next, Michael Chrichton. a gift from my grandmother; i think it wasn't quite the book she was expecting it to be. the usual pop-science thriller. there were some interesting thought-experiment bits, if you can get past the plot holes and egregious science errors.

5. JTHM: Director's Cut & Squee, Jhonen Vasquez. a great way to spend a saturday morning. i swear. doesn't leave you misanthropic and wanting to hide in your closet and smash things, not at all.

6. Eragon, Christopher Paolini. escapist brain-candy for a difficult cross-country flight. (though not as difficult as it might've been, since for the first time i got bumped to first class for the ATL-SFO leg.)

7. Books of Magic, Neil Gaiman et al. good stuff, a gift from violin. i've seen other books from the series in my favorite used-bookstore; anyone know if they're any good?

8. Animal Dreams, Barbara Kingsolver. a re-re-read, but she's still one of my favorite authors.

...and that's all i can remember for now.

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Monday, January 22nd, 2007
11:37 am - penguin notes
courtesy of mrcairo: did you know that it was Penguin Awareness Day two days ago? i bet you didn't! and, in case you missed it and somehow managed to not spend the day in a tux wearing funny plumage and doing little penguin-dances, April 25th is World Penguin Day.

and in other news, the cheese crackers in the Berkeley Bowl bulk-food section come in many fascinating marine-related shapes: frogs, crabs, dolphins (or perhaps porpoises), starfish, little blobby things that might be turtles, little blobby things that might be shells, and of course...penguins!

penguins are the new monkeys.

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Monday, December 18th, 2006
12:03 am - bio-geek amusement
a footnote to the vertebrate limb development chapter, in the NCBI online edition of S. Gilbert's Developmental Biology text:

*When referring to the hand, one has an orderly set of names to specify each digit (digitus pollicis, d. indicis, d. medius, d. annularis, and d. minimus, respectively, from thumb to little finger). No such nomenclature exists for the pedal digits, but the plan proposed by Phillips (1991) has much merit. The pedal digits, from hallux to small toe, would be named porcellus fori, p. domi, p. carnivorus, p. non voratus, and p. plorans domi, respectively.

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