I’m Unexpectedly Entertaining

Not like funny ha ha or dramatic or anything like that sort of entertaining, alas. A very dear friend from Oregon has arrived, and I haven’t got anything pre-written, so I’m afraid it’s the cat for you lot again.

I got her with her eyes open, for once:

It was a sunbeam sort of day. We haven’t had many of those. And she was annoyed because I’d had the audacity to make some sort of noise.

I’m afraid she finds me a failure as a personal assistant. Sigh.

Anyway, whilst I’m busy, do go entertain yourself watching Jen take on the Burzynski Clinic and leave nothing but scorched earth and perhaps a few melted syringes behind.

Oh, Yes. Yes, This Makes Me Happy

Yeah, so I wasn’t having a good night: noisy neighbors, totally blocked, gloomy about various and sundry, just about to give it up as a bad job and go straight to bed. But, y’know, I’d got YouTube pulled up, and there was that Tristania song I hadn’t heard in a while, and then an Epica song I’d never known existed, and then, and then… Long story short, I ended up on a gallop through some new symphonic metal. I’ve discovered a few new bands I believe I’m falling desperately in love with. And then I found this:

I love Tchaikovsky. I love metal. Combining the two has made me a very happy Dana indeed. I even got some writing done. Amazing what an infusion of fresh music can do for the creative process, isn’t it just?

This is life, people. It may suck sometimes, but it certainly has its moments. And sometimes a moment is all you need.

Dana’s Dojo: Talking Heads

Today in the Dojo: choosing the right spokesperson and keeping the voices from turning your multiple POV masterpiece into Babble-on.


The problem with a Cast of Thousands is that everybody wants to be a star. When you choose the third person point of view, limited or not, you open the door to a flood of potential narrators, all of whom want to tell the world about their part in the drama. Some of them just seem to want to tell the world about their drama, and be dramatic doing it. It’s like wading into the crowd at a big premier with a camera crew and a microphone: people who would have been content to be part of the background are suddenly pushing themselves into the lens, grabbing the microphone, and telling all.

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You’re Under No Obligation to Read This

I didn’t even mean to post it. It’s just a person pouring out pain on the internet. But if you want a look at what it means to deal with mental illness, then you can read on. If not, amuse yourself with my cat, partake of the other excellent offerings on the toobz, and wait for Los Links.

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I’m Running Late. Have a Cat.

I’ve spent most of the day on the phone with various family members. The problem with getting in touch with people you haven’t spoken to in years is that you get caught up in catching up, and then all your cunning plans for finishing Los Links go right out the door. I could do it tonight, but I’m not gonna. Got fiction writing to do.

I’ll have them out sometime during the day. In the meantime, I shall distract you once again with my cute cat.

This is her idea of being an aid to the creative process. Isn’t she cute? You can even, if you look closely, spot the bright white spot on my arm where she bit me once. She is the reason I will never ever own a tiger or other wild cat. That temptation, never strong, ended the day we were playing and she nearly bit my arm in half during a moment of enthusiasm.

People wonder why I love such a violent little beast. But I mean, really, it’s hard not to love this face:

And she doesn’t bite nearly so hard as she used to. She’s merely quasi-evil now.

Mental Illness Strikes Home. Again.

Funny we should be having this conversation about skepticism and mental illness now. I called my mother for her birthday today, and it’s clear she’s on her way to another psychotic break.

We’ve been down this road a thousand times. She’s severely bipolar, and her medications frequently stop working. She ends up anxious and paranoid and confused. It’s painful to watch. There’s nothing you can do except ensure she’s getting treatment. They’ll probably hospitalize her soon to stabilize her, and for a while, she’ll be okay. Then the vicious cycle will begin again.

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Grab Some Tissues and Watch This. Then Take Action.

JT Eberhard, my darlings. One of the bravest fucking human beings I know. Watch his Skepticon IV talk and read his post.

I’ve got nothing much to add to this. I wrote up a whole big post on it once and then never posted it, because honestly, my occasional tussles with depression are stubbed toes compared to what others go through. It may not always be like that. Bipolar disorder runs in my family right alongside the heart disease and cancer and Alzheimer’s. I’ve learned to watch the highs and lows with minute attention, because it’s off to the doctor the instant they cease to be within normal range. I refuse to go through what my mother did, descending into a hell we didn’t know enough to rescue her from until it was almost too late.

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Near Seattle? Bored? I Haz Solutionz For Ye

So, you don’t shop (or you’re done shopping), you’re sick of hanging round the house looking at relatives and leftover turkey, and you’d like to go do something interesting with your life. Possibly even with your relatives.

I haz things for ye.

Burien Little Theatre’s Inspecting Carol opens this weekend. Saturday’s date night will get you two-for-one tickets if you order by email or phone. I believe Sunday’s sold out, but the play’s on until December 18th, so you’ve got a little time. It looks hysterical – don’t miss it. I’ll be going either next Sunday or the one after – if you’re interested in heading down there with me, let me know, and we’ll make a day of it.

On Monday night, the Forum on Science and Ethics Policy has an event you might want to partake of:

FOSEP will co-host the Science on Tap talk on November 28th at 7pm at Ravenna Third Place Pub. A clinical veterinarian from SNBL (Preclinical Services for Drug Development) USA will present “Drug Safety and Animal Research – No safe alternatives”. This presentation will discuss why animals are needed for certain laboratory studies and the role of alternative solutions in animal research. Please note, that this talk does not reflect the views of FOSEP or its members in line with our non-advocacy position; however, we are excited to work with Science on Tap!

I’m hoping to make it, but I’d dedicated this weekend to the gods of NaNo. Even an atheist doesn’t fuck with them. But we’ll see if I can negotiate a temporary release.

So there you go. Things to do! People to see! Fun to be had!

As for my non-Seattle area readers, I’m afraid all you can do is look on us with envy. That, or find local events of your very own.

Cleared for Adventuring

I’m afraid I shall have to negotiate joint custody for my car.

Most people don’t end up with these dilemmas. It’s hard enough to find one mechanic you trust, much less two. I have a mechanic I adore – Jay’s Kirkland Autocare. They’ve always done a fantastic job with no fuss and bother. Plus, they have a view of the Olympic Mountains nearby, and they’re right by the heart of downtown Kirkland, where there’s Earthlight, one of my favorite rock shops in the universe. And Lake Washington is within walking distance. I can even get my hair done. There’s nowhere better to drop ye olde auto off on a warm day.

However, they were booked solid for the week when my car threw a spectacular tantrum on Tuesday night. I have this thing about being without transportation – I hates it. And I was afraid, due to the fact that the engine had died, the steering and ignition completely locked, and the thing put on a rather amazing light show, that this repair was going to take time anyway. So I called round, and ended up having it towed to Ali’s in Woodinville. Mind you, this is Wednesday morning, right before Thanksgiving. They had openings, and they would’ve sent a mechanic to have a look at it where it had broken down if they hadn’t been too busy to spare one. Srsly. Gotta love that.

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