Last Minute Costuming for ChiFi

Always with the last minute hiccups and fixes. Thanks to a delivery that didn’t arrive on time, this is my night:

Me sitting my bathroom in a bra and jeans, concentrating on cutting a piece of shiny black material.

But it’s okay because the costume is going to be awesome.

The Hubby and I are getting on a train at 8:03am tomorrow morning and heading to Chicago for the science fiction/fantasy convention, ChiFi. I’m excited to be taking part in the “Chicago SkepchickCon” organized by the incredibly awesome Jamie Bernstein. And I’m excited to be taking a train. After a bunch of airline travel last year, Amtrak is going to be like riding first class!

I’m a panelist on Ask A Scientist and I’m moderating a handful of others. It should be a fun time – check back for photos and stories.

…and to see what that costume I’m working on turns out to be!

Anti-Gay? Thanks for letting me know!

Last week RawStory reported on Oklahoma Democratic state Rep. Emily Virgin’s amendment to the outlandish and outrageous proposed Oklahoma Religious Freedom Act. Freaking RFRAs are popping up every which way this year. In the case of this particular one, certain wedding businesses would be allowed to deny services to anyone they don’t like just ‘cuz. Err…I mean – religious freedomz!!!

Rep. Virgin’s amendment would require that bigots clearly post their bigotry in a manner that would let potential patrons know which brand of bigotry they would be supporting by shopping with any particular store. From Rawstory:

The amendment to HB1371 introduced by Virgin on Tuesday would require religious businesses to come out of the closet.

“Any person not wanting to participate in any of the activities set forth in subsection A of this section based on sexual orientation, gender identity or race of either party to the marriage shall post notice of such refusal in a manner clearly visible to the public in all places of business, including websites,” the amendment states.

“The notice may refer to the person’s religious beliefs, but shall state specifically which couples the business does not serve by referring to a refusal based upon sexual orientation, gender identity or race.”

Yes! Please do let me know if I will be boycotting your shop. How convenient for me!

This is, of course, a stop gap. I cannot wait for us to cycle out of this ridiculous popularity of the “religious freedom” defense of asshattery. Soon? Please?

Pregnancy Doesn’t Have To Be A Crisis

I just spent the last twenty minutes digging through the website of a “pregnancy and family resource center” located here in the Twin Cities. The organization that I was reading about looks like they have a pretty decent program, focusing on providing prenatal care, helping with getting medical insurance, providing physical resources (cribs, clothes, diapers, food, etc.), support groups, referrals to mental health programs and housing programs, and life skills and job skills training. Because you know where this is going, dear reader, there was of course the conspicuous lack of “abortion” or “pregnancy termination” referral in the many services that the group offers. I finally found the language I was looking for in one of the testimonial videos in which they advertise that they offer prayer and talk about “women in crisis.” [Read more…]

Penzeys Spices Is Pro-Science!

I mean, like, really pro-science. Like, write-a-manifesto/rant/call to action pro-science. The email at the bottom of the blog was sent out on March 3rd to members of the Penzeys Spices mailing list.

Penzeys Spices is a local (midwest) spice company. There is a location here in Uptown Minneapolis and I currently have six jars of their products in my pantry – which now gives me an extra happy. [Read more…]

Die Laughing – An Interview with Tim Wick

This weekend a very special, very weird event will take place at the DoubleTree in Bloomington, Minnesota: Die Laughing 2: Laugh Harder, a 50 hour comedy marathon fundraiser for Fearless Comedy Productions.

The Hubby and I attended last year’s Die Laughing fundraiser and had a pretty darn good time. The highlight was getting a noseharp from MST3K’s Kevin Murphy, and hearing him play noseharp, play ukelele and sing a lyrical version of the Game of Thrones intro song. But then there were all of the local comedians, the improv, the sweet silent auctions, the sleep deprivation. It was a heck of a weekend.

And this weekend they’re coming coming back for more. This Friday at 7pm the intrepid members of Fearless Comedy and their guests will kick off the 3000-minute event. This year I’m volunteering at the box office; I’m excited to support a group that has provided me with many laughs and entertainment over the past year.  [Read more…]

Cons and Cons and Cons, Oh My!

Whew – It has been a month for conventions!

First and most exciting: The Secular Women Work Kickstarter was fully funded on the 19th. Congratulations and thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make this A Thing That Is Going To Happen! I am ready to work and be inspired. And I guess this means that I get to add one more thing to my 2014 con schedule. Yipee!

Also in February I attended SuperCon and Con of the North. I played a lot of board games at those two. I taught some, and learned some, and a few were added to my ever-growing need-to-own list, including Templar, Downfall of Pompeii and Machi Koro. [Read more…]

Secular Women Work Conference – 3 Days Left!

I am an activist. I believe that change is possible, and that the way to make change happen is to get involved. The manifestation of “involvement” looks different for every person, but I believe that everyone has something to contribute: a story to share, a financial contribution, a vote, time, a helping hand. When we choose to become involved, we become activists.

While everyone can be an activist, a lot of us wonder how to get there, or if what we’re doing is really “activism.” It helps to have a community of people who share our goals, who we can seek out when we have questions, a desire to share resources, or if we’re looking to get our foot in the door to discover how we want to contribute and where we want to focus our efforts. [Read more…]