Sunday Song: Love, Fate, Fertility, and Bagpipes

So as some folks celebrate a pagan holiday stuffed uncomfortably in a Christian suit, and some of us resist (or fail to resist) the urge to eat horrid hollow chocolate animals for old time’s sake, and the more adventurous among us wait for the Peeps to go half price so we can find ever more interesting things to do with them, I figure it’s time to get back to the real reason for the season: fertility! Well, spring and new life and sowing crops and such. I would encourage all of you with enthusiastic partners to (safely!) make like bunnies in honor of this season. Or, if you prefer and you live somewhere that’s experiencing the first flush of spring, get out and admire the new life springing (ha) up everywhere. In other words, if you have a chance to haz a happy, go seize it. I certainly intend to, once I’m done being extraordinarily lazy.

But first, let’s remember a Norse goddess of love, fertility, and fate, mostly because this song has got bagpipes in it and I know you lot love bagpipes.

Right. Now you’ve had your bagpipage, go play.

You Can Haz Easter Bunny

Ah, Easter! The time of year when devout Christian folks celebrate an impossible sequence of events, and the rest of us sometimes engage in some of the pagan rituals incorporated into the holiday, especially if we have kiddos. I won’t be hunting any eggs myself, but I got you a bunny.

Wild bunny at North Creek.

Wild bunny at North Creek.

Sorry it’s not chocolate. But it’s cute and fluffy and sweet.

Ducklings have a little something to do with Easter for some reason, don’t they? Excellent. Have the cutest baby duckie I’ve got.

Baby duckie along North Creek.

Baby duckie along North Creek.

I know, right? You’re welcome.

I may celebrate later today by reading the Easter stories in my Skeptic’s Annotated Bible. Or not. It’s supposed to be nearly seventy degrees and sunny. I may just go sit outside with a notebook for a few hours and soak up the sun. I like celebrating life like that. I’ll read what Steve Wells has to say about Easter later.

Have a happy day, my darlings. I hope it’s filled with lots of delicious and fun things, just as every day should be.

Cantina Quote o’ the Week: Mignon McLaughlin

Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers.

Mignon McLaughlin

I haven’t got a Mignon in any of my stories yet, but after reading some of Mignon McLaughlin’s Neurotic’s Notebook lines, I think maybe I should. She’d be sharing a name with a person with a ready pen and a keen ability to cut through bullshit and smokescreens to the truth.

It’s hard to get a sense of her from anything except her writing. She was born in 1913, lived through two world wars and two teenage boys (do I repeat myself?), wrote for Vogue, Redbook, Cosmopolitan and other magazines, became a Managing Editor of Glamour, co-wrote a play with her husband, wrote two books full of aphorisms that are sometimes almost painful in their truth. She had a clear view of gender relations, and religion-wise, seems to have talked herself into a cautious agnosticism – although she had no problem telling God he could do better.

I like to remember the above quote when I see society react to those pushing for a better world. I think it pays to remember that many of the people we venerate now weren’t so venerated in their lifetime, when they were shaking up the status quo. It helps to remember that, when the pushback against equality for women and people of color and LGBTQ folk and so many others becomes vicious and discouraging. Someday, if we never give up, some among us who fought for change will be the dead troublemakers our descendants honor. And there will be a whole new set of troublemakers pushing the boundaries further than we can dream.


Adventures with Cumulative Trauma Disorders

I finally gave in and saw a doctor about my horrible wrists. The verdict: thumb tendonitis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and possible arthritis in the finger joints. Whee! This means the doctor pulled me off of typing duty until I’ve seen a neurosurgeon, and I get to navigate the byzantine byways of our company’s medical leave and accommodation policies.

This should be fun.

I loves me nice, comforting ACE bandages, but they're no longer enough.

I loves me nice, comforting ACE bandages, but they’re no longer enough.

We’re not sure yet if I’m going to need surgery. [Read more…]

Now I Wanna Go to Church…

No, seriously. I do. I even have my Bible:

Mah very own Skeptic's Annotated Bible. I loves it and it is mine. My own. My - wait...

Mah very own Skeptic’s Annotated Bible. I loves it and it is mine. My own. My – wait…

I seriously do love my Skeptic’s Annotated Bible. I cackled when it came in the mail, and immediately took pictures of it, then took it out of its clear plastic wrapper and took more pictures, then I took it to bed and promptly began reading. About forty-seven seconds later, I had an almost overwhelming urge to go to church. I want to find the most Bible-believing biblical literalist church possible, and sit there with my big ochre bible, and innocently thumb through it. “Excuse me, Pastor, did you just say God wants us to be saved? But what about here in Second Thessalonians 2:11 and 12, where it says God will make us believe lies so that we’re damned? How does that work?” Cue puzzled but beatific smile. [Read more…]

New at Rosetta Stones: A Pioneering Geographer Named After My Old Home State

I think you’re going to adore Zonia Baber. I do. She’s fantastic. I wish I could be like her when I grow up, and I wish I could have met her, and I’m glad I got to know about her. Go have a read-through and tell me if you feel the same.

(And yes, her name really was Arizona. Those of us from Arizona have that extra incentive to think she’s the best, but really, it’s not like anything more was needed.)

New at Rosetta Stones: Wherein I Introduce Our Series on Women in the Geosciences.

And ’tis an awesome introduction. You should totally check it out. Here’s a taste to whet your appetite (or possibly apatite. Ha):

Geology has many fathers, and we know them well. But few of us can name its mothers. Mothers who sacrificed far more than most of the men did – many women could only succeed in the geosciences if they remained unmarried and childless (and some organizations, like the British Geological Survey, made that a formal requirement). They fought discrimination and doubt. They worked hard for a fraction of the recognition their male colleagues got. Despite all the decks stacked against them, they made important contributions to our knowledge of the world. Forgetting the women who left us geoscience legacies is intolerable. We need to remember.

Read the rest. And stay tuned: tomorrow, we get our first profile. Huzzah! I think you’ll love her as much as I do.

Interesting Times II

Here’s the news we’ve all been waiting for: the results of the investigation. Huzzah! After running their cherry-picked* interview statements past Legal and HR, the most that management could manage was a counseling notice for insubordination. As far as punishments go, it’s like a slap on the back of the hand and a giggled, “You naughty girl, stahp!” I’m wondering if that’s because Legal said something like, “WTF? Are you trying to get sued for millions?” [Read more…]

Interesting Times

So Friday was a bit of a strange day. It started with management splitting up my former manager’s team and parceling us out other managers. It continued with me filing an ethics complaint because of my concerns over the legality of his firing. It concluded with them suspending me with pay “pending investigation.” Investigating what? They wouldn’t say. Not to me, and not to the union steward. Why did they suspend me, then? They said they were investigating to find that out. True fucking story. What they appeared to be doing is getting me out of the way while they attempted to find something they could use to intimidate me into silence. That’s certainly how it seemed. [Read more…]

Sign to Save Amina

So here’s a thing that shouldn’t be happening: a young woman posts a picture of herself topless with the slogan “my body belongs to me, and is not the source of anyone’s honour” has been kidnapped “for her own good” and condemned to death by a cleric who thinks boobs and defiance are terrible things to display.

There is a petition here for those who would like to inform her government that neither of these things are at all acceptable. International pressure may help protect and save her from harm.

Also, April 4th will be the International Day to Defend Amina. Maryam Namazie has many excellent suggestions for doing so.

Let’s help make this shit stop.

Image courtesy Maryam Namazie.

Image courtesy Maryam Namazie.