Just FYI, this LJ is mostly friends-only, just now. (Watch, I say that, and I'll start posting in the clear again soon.)

I do add people some. But mostly on my own volition. But feel free to say hi.

Edit, 9/16/11 -- As predicted, I'm now posting mostly in the clear. Well, anyway, hi.

update on two recent SF brangles

I was following along on these and commenting and so on, so I figure, since I'm posting otherwise, I can post on this, too.

A) WisCon is working on its general approach to harassment, and in specific what it's going to do about Jim Frenkel. (Who is a serial harasser, in addition to being a (former) SF editor. And probably a perfectly nice person in other ways.) Update here.

Edited to note: My sarcasm didn't come through. Not such a nice guy, Mr. Frenkel.

b) As it turns out, not only was Marian Zimmer Bradley a big ol' enabler of her husband Walter Breen (who was serial child molester), but apparently, she engaged in such behaviors herself.

...I'm kind of speechless about this one, to be honest.

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ciiiircle of life

A) My brother got married. Very schizophrenic experience. The rehearsal dinner was at the ridiculously ornate Colonial Dames house, and then the wedding itself was Quaker, with the emphasis on simplicity that implies, and with a traditional Quaker potluck afterwards.

b) My cousin Sonia, who I appear never to have written about in here, died, same day my brother got married. She was 91 (or possibly 92), a Quaker herself, lived in Chadds Ford (Pennsylvania) forever, originally English, kept the UK in her heart, was incredibly gentle and kind, missed her husband (who died ~15 years ago), and basically died of being old. (Since dying of being old takes awhile, her three sons got to be there when she went.) She lived in PA and I didn't, so I never got to be with her frequently, but she was a wonderful person and I loved her. She had memory problems something fierce, last 5 years or so, and they caused her great anxiety, so in some ways it's a kindness she's gone, but I'll still miss her.

I will maybe try to write more about both later, but I only just found out about Sonia, so I'm both rattled and sad.

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letter I just sent.

Context: Sens. Lindsey Graham & John McCain have called for Boston bombing suspect to be held as enemy combatant, without Miranda warnings or appointment of counsel.

Dear Mr. Obama,

As an American, I understand completely the to protect our country by finding out as much information as possible about the recent Boston bombing, and whether there are further threats connected to it. However, as an American, I also find it absolutely incumbent on us to treat an American citizen with the rights and privileges owed to him.

Yes, absolutely, investigate. But treat Mr. Tsarnaev as an American citizen – since he is. Do not cede his rights to Senators McCain and Graham, who wish to treat him as an 'enemy combatant.' We are Americans, and if we expect to remain worthy of the name, we must accord our fellow citizens the rights owed to them as free citizens of a country founded on the rule of law.

I am a Bostonian, and I am angry. But I am also a Bostonian who wishes justice done.

Thank you,


Terrifically useless letter, but made me feel better. (Oh, hi, DW, I forgot to use you to crosspost to LJ.)
Edit: Actually, now that I think about it, he's an immigrant post-birth. IS he a citizen?

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I went to bed very late

...and woke up earlier than expected. And Calluna's stuck at work. (She had an overnight shift, and basically, roads are shut down to the extent possible, which means no taxis and no public transit.)

But otherwise I'm just fiiiiine, although life is suddenly surreal, what with Chechnyan bombers. The hell?

Oh, hello LJ.

It didn't occur to me to check in immediately because, as a long-time Bostonian, I never get anywhere near the Marathon route on Marathon Monday, because it is one giant cluster.

Anyway, hi, not hurt, not injured, just pretty angry. (MY city. No injuring my city, dammit.)

I went to High School three blocks from there, always had school (unlike the rest of Boston) on Patriot's Day, had to slog through Marathon people to get home.

This is weird.

ETA: Calluna's fine, too. (Again, the idea of her being anywhere near the Marathon route was so weird to me I forgot to mention it.)

Veterans/Remembrance/Armistice Day.

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Lt. Col. John McCrae, 1915. (With his original handwriting.)

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weddings and funerals

So I went to Calluna's cousin V's wedding on Sunday. (My mom, upon hearing about this a week or so ago, thought a minute and said, "Oh, they're Jewish, right." It had somehow escaped me that most Christianish weddings are on Saturday.)

She married a nice Jewish guy. (Don't know if he can keep up with her. Hope so.) Very nice wedding, very Newage Jew, honoring and reinterpreting traditions to fit the new social mores. I bet they're Reconstructionist. I should look the rabbi up later.


So we're at the reception, /at which/, may I just note (since the rest of this is bitching), V made care to seat Calluna's mom and Calluna Quite Far Apart. (Calluna doesn't talk to her mom for good and sufficient reasons of abuse and insanity.) Finally, someone learns!

I think the main table had assigned seating, but the subsidiary tables had catch as catch can, so I sat next to Calluna, and also next to Calluna's aunt J's sister T. (Who is I guess officially no relation of Calluna's now that Calluna's uncle and aunt J are both dead, but anyway.) Calluna was sitting next to the niecelets (her brother's daughters), so she got to play with them. I sort of interviewed T. (Which is how I think of the "ask questions and follow the answers" version of company politeness.)

T made a thing about how she is socially inept and not very good with crowds, which I am now wondering was an excuse to get me alone, since she was mostly OK otherwise, but actually, no, she was pretty anxious at various points, so nevermind. Also I hate doubting motives. She's not someone I'd have dinner with voluntarily, but she was nice enough. (Though she did go, "Oh, Calluna's mother isn't sitting with us?" with baffled regret, at the beginning of dinner, which, given later events, /was/ complete fishing bullshit, but I forgive her that.)

Anyway: Calluna went to get food, and T immediately buttonholed me and asked, "Why does Calluna not talk to her mother?"

...I suppose it's good they're only talking to me about it now? (As opposed to some other times I can mention.)

Calluna successfully did not talk to her mom at all this time, and while there may have been some times where it was potentially possible, the power of ignoring and /not making eye contact/ is a strong one.

Anyway, I'm determined to give no one anything that they want in this kind of conversation, though I'd love to get some things that /I/ want out on the table, so I did the "It's complicated, and it's hard," non-answer dance, and T continued the greatest hits routine by saying that C's mom doesn't know why C doesn't talk to her. To which I said, "This is not the right time or place to talk about it," because it really isn't. "But I think that if she really thinks about it, she can figure it out." Because, also, yes.

This sentence got repeated a few times with a few minor variations, since T had a dance routine set up, too.

(Side note: Given that I believe Calluna's version of events, there are several different interpretations of why Calluna's mom doesn't get why Calluna cut off contact, ranging from deliberate lying on Calluna's mom's part, to reconstructing reality to suit her needs; I really do think it's that Calluna's mom is just really good at lying to herself and constructing her own reality. Non-insane people do this /all the time/, through the best motives, and if you're insane, as Calluna's mom is, you're even better at it. So it's not that Calluna's mom is trying to pull the wool over people's eyes, it's that she really does believe that she's Very Wronged, by now.)

I also said that this was not the right time to try and force rapprochement, and that this sort of thing had happened at weddings, funerals, and at Calluna's uncle's /death bed/, and T didn't quite hear me (I later learned she's mildly deaf, but at the time I just thought she was being mildly dense on purpose, and I was GOING to make the damn point), and said, "Oh, no, when have people tried to push it?" and I said, "Her niece's funeral. Her uncle's funeral. Her uncle's /death bed/, which was really extremely hard to deal with." And paused, and added, "...And also right now," and she said, "Oh, no, I'm not trying to do that!"

I just kind of looked at her.

At some point during this conversation, she explained that it was hard for her because, (BINGO!!!), she and her daughter are not in contact, either. I asked why, and she said something like, "She says something happened that I know couldn't have, I was there and I saw it," or something very close to that. Otherwise known as, 'She contends she was molested and she can't have been,' if I am any judge of situations, and I /really really am/.

I got a little off-message by the end, and tried to concoct a 'It's hard for me to imagine the lengths I would have to be driven to to cut off contact with my mother,' thing (with the added unspoken blinkenleitzen of, "SO WHY, do you think, would C have had to do it with HER mother?"), but it kind of ran aground on her being deafish and my not quite having organized the thought beforehand. It basically turned into, "I love my mother, and we're in contact, don't worry," thing, instead, which is also a useful message (neither of us are monsters who are just abandoning parents left and right, /say/), but not quite what I had intended out of it.

I'm just... I mean. I get it. But I'm also tired of it. Because C's mom is retired, and doesn't have close family other than C's brother (who is in Thailand most of the time), so she has the time and energy to propagandize her version of things down this branch of the family's throat (or, to quote a friend, "It's the best mantle of victimhood she can don and she WORKS IT like she's on Ru Paul's Drag Race."). But given that, there's no damn chance to even get on the friggin' agenda. So the family narrative is that C is not talking to her mother for no good reason, and if they Care Enough at her, things Will Change. Fft.

OTOH, V clearly does get it. (Or possibly, V just doesn't want drama at her wedding. WHICH, I would add, /has never/ come from our end of things.) Either way, that's at least something.

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Brief LJing about LJ.

I cannot even begin to iterate the problems with the new comment style, though a Becky over here does a pretty good job. (Honestly, it's not that ugly, overall, I just am tired of their using scripts for everything and its brother, which will gum up slower computers and so on and so forth. The icon thing in particular (where you have to see/load them all in order to choose one) is just silly. My computer at work won't be able to cope with that at /all/.)

In any case, if you still want to see comments in your own style (and have, say, subject lines for your comments), there is a solution.

See, they globally un-set a tiny little setting. To fix it, go to and set "Disable customized comment pages for your journal" back to "No".

(This seems a fairly important thing to globally un-set, but hey.)

Thanks to Rosefox.

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