Updates on Moving, Why I’ll Be Scarce for a Bit Longer

Oh, my darlings, this is hard.

I’ve had to sit myself down and have some stern talks about reality lately. Like, the fact we can’t live alone anymore isn’t a personal failure – almost no one in the Seattle area working the kinds of job I worked can afford housing by themselves anymore, hence a huge explosion in the roommate market. Even if I’d stayed with Ye Olde Day Jobe, I’d have had to get a roommie. But it’s hard. I’ve been independent for so long that it feels like major fail to be crawling into a home with other people. [Read more…]

The Supremes Got it Right! And a Timely Reminder that Elections Matter

ZOMG YOU GUYS! WE CAN GO TO ALL THE SAME-SEX WEDDINGS!!! SOME OF US CAN EVEN GET MARRIED AT THEM!!!!!!

I hope you’re satisfied, my QUILTBAG friends.

See, I’d hoped to protect you from this shit. Y’know, like, having to buy a ring, and pop the question, and choose the date, and venue, and get a cake (which we all know can go horrifically wrong, even if you’re baker loves same-sex weddings), and deal with all the family drama what with Aunt Margaret not talking to Cousin Leslie anymore, and then the humdrum ordinariness of married life, and the house, and the kids, and the bills, and the harsh reality of what “til death” and “in sickness and in health” really means. I’d thought you had a good deal, avoiding all that shit. It was kinda like back in the nineties when we thought the military wasn’t accepting pagans, and I was really glad, because I didn’t want any of my pagan friends to die in some bullshit war. I was against same-sex marriage before I was for it, because I figured you didn’t need the aggravation. But, since you wanted it so very much, I changed my mind, just like I did with my pagan friends who wanted to serve our country without having to hide who they are. And I’m getting happily drunk for you right now.

I’m still not sure why some of ya’ll want to sign up for the military when you don’t have to, but I’m old enough now to see why marriage is a big deal, and I’m just sorry it took so fucking long for our country to say, “Oh, hell. If you want it, go on, you crazy kids! Get hitched!”

Even if some of you crazy kids aren’t exactly kids, on account of having to wait so damn long. [Read more…]

Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education XIII: Wherein We Dive into Dominion

Ah, ocean exploration. Tis true, we know less of the ocean deeps than we do the surface of Mars. Tis also true that creationists know less of it than scientists do. But they believe oceans are “so essential to biblical dominion,” so Earth Sciences 4th Edition plans to take us exploring.

They blurb the chapter by waxing eloquent over how mysterious the ocean is. There’s been a Mysterious Sound detected by underwater microphones, even, which they say “scientists think come from an animal larger than the blue whale.” As per usual, creationists haven’t got much of a clue as to what scientists actually think. It could be an animal larger than a blue whale, but it could also be ice calving, or an animal smaller than a blue whale, but really talented at making low-frequency noises. It could even be Cthulu snoring. But NOAA’s pretty sure now that it was actually just an icequake, and they were just joshing about the possibility of it being a mysterious maclargehuge animal.

Now, why would creationists cling to the large animal theory? [Read more…]

‘Today is a Good Day to Deny': The American Right Wing Refusal to Face Facts

I hope it’s only in America that a young white man can walk into a historic black church, tell the black people inside he’s there to kill them because they’re black, murder nine black people, tell the police he murdered them because they’re black, and publish a manifesto explaining he’s killing black people because they’re black… and end up with right wing blowhards claiming the crime has nothing to do with racism. People, if racism can’t be defined in part as “murdering a bunch of people because they’re black,” it’s time we strike the sapiens from our species’ name. We’re in no way wise if we can’t recognize the blatant racism that drove this horrific crime.

Image is nine photographs of the idividuals murdered in Charleston. The women are on the sides, the men down the middle.

The nine people murdered in Emmanuel AME Church. Via Ophelia Benson.

[Read more…]

Thank You, Everyone! We Appear to be Domiciled!

I say appear to be, because the process of finding a new place to live has been so fraught that I probably won’t feel like we’ve got a home until we’ve been living there for about ten years. But we did it! We found a place! Alas, the awesome atheist feminist was snagged before we could claim him, but Misha and I are moving to a beautiful old Lake City home that has a HUGE backyard. We’re moving in with a selection of eclectic artist types who understand the vagaries of the freelance life. It’s going to be wooville what with the shaman/accupuncturist in the place downstairs, but hey, as long as he’s not promising he can cure cancer, that should be all right, too. [Read more…]

“Now is the time we raise our voices”

In light of the Tim Hunt saga, now seems to be a good time to rerun this piece. I’m hoping to free up some time to write up some fresh stuff for ye – in the few scattered minutes where I’ve not been obsessing over finding a place to live and how to get rid of a ridiculous number of books, I’ve had Thoughts about privileged people’s responses to both Hunt’s sexist asshattery and the appalling slaughter in Charleston. I hope to share them coherently soon. Right now, I’m just wanting to grab certain people – almost inevitably white men – by the lapels, and shake them and shout at them until some sense penetrates.

One thing I will say is: good. I’m glad they’re whining about witch hunts. I’m glad they’ve been rocked back on their heels by the volume and effectiveness of the response. I’m glad they’re clutching at any excuse to avoid facing the reality that they’re losing. They’re losing their assumed and unquestioned superiority. They are being forced to share, and they can’t stand it. They’re being required to behave, and it’s outraging them. They’re facing actual consequences, and they have no idea why, or how to deal with it. They’re having to confront some damned ugly facts about how society works, and they’re completely horrified. Good. The louder they howl, the more they protest, deny, and try to accuse and redirect, the clearer it becomes we’re getting through to them, and it’s making them more uncomfortable than they’ve ever been in their clueless, privileged little lives.

This is why we raise our voices. This is why it’s essential that we never stop. Not until they’ve finished howling their wretched little lungs out, and are finally ready to listen. Then, only then, we might have a chance to speak without having to shout.

Read this. Read all of it. If you’re very busy and must read it later, read this bit right now. [Read more…]

Can You Spread the Word? Misha and I Need a Home!

I’ve been scarce because I’ve been desperately trying to find a place for Misha and I to move to. Every lead so far has dried up. It’s hard to find housing round here on short notice when your income is variable! It doesn’t matter what your rental history is, or how much you’ve got in the bank.

I’ve swallowed my pride and posted an ad on Craigslist. Please help us out, and spread that link as far and wide as you can. Even if you’re not in the area, someone reading your feed may be. Every share helps!

If you know of a place Misha and I can stay, either a forever home or a place we can crash while looking, please let us know. We’d be forever grateful!

Thank you for your help again, my darlings! I’ll be back to blogging on the regular as soon as things are more settled.

Image shows Me and Misha together. Misha has her little head on me shoulder.

The lady and the kitty who need a happy home.

Visiting Mount St. Helens This Summer? Getcher Guides Right Here!

Oh, hai, it’s getting to be that time of year when you’ve got a greater than 10% chance to actually see Mount St. Helens when you visit! Were you planning a trip to the Pacific Northwest? Wanting to swing by and visit our most explosive attraction? June-October is the time to do it!

You’ll want guides, too! I’ve got some for ye. Best part is, they’re totally free! Download them before you go, and make sure you give yourself some time to read up before you arrive. There’s so very much to see and do, even if you end up visiting on a day when the volcano itself is hiding behind clouds.

Mount St. Helens in May of 2014.

Mount St. Helens in May of 2014.

Do you only have a single day? My very own guide to the west-side approach to Mount St. Helens may be just the ticket. Yeah, it looks like a lot, but you can easily do it all in a single bound, even if you’re traveling from Seattle or Portland.

I’m afraid I can’t guide you around the rest of the mountain yet, but Barbara and Robert Decker’s slender but eminently useful guide can steer you right. You can view an online copy here, but be sure to pick up a paper copy while you’re visiting. It’s available in all the gift shops and has an abundance of lovely color photos.

For those who are looking for more in-depth geology, make sure you do not forget to download Roadside Geology of Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument and Vicinity by Patrick T. Pringle. This guide is the most recent I’ve found, and contains details on numerous approaches to the volcano. It’s packed with delicious geology.

Then download a copy of Road guide to volcanic deposits of Mount St. Helens and vicinity, Washington by Michael P. Doukas. This one’s got you covered for both east and west-side approaches.

I know. Those last two are a bit technical, and none of them except the first include Dana’s super-awesome snark. But they’ll steer you to some great stuff. And next year, possibly sooner, fates willing, thee shall have a wonderfully modern, snarky, photo-filled guide to the west side written by your very own Dana Hunter. Soon after that, thee shall have your very own Dana-authored book about the May 18, 1980 eruption, which will be a revised and expanded version of the series we have going on here at this very blog. I am working on both as we speak! Look, I even have a handy meme for you to print out and keep posted somewhere prominent so you can reassure yourself that it’s really really happening.

Image is a slightly expanded crop of me with Mount St. Helens from May 2007. Caption reads, "Yes, I am indeed writing a Mount St. Helens book!"

For serious, folks, I am.

I made it because bunches of you have been hounding me about authoring a Mount St. Helens book, and I figured a little visual confirmation would help. Besides, this is a special photo, because it’s from the only time I’ve ever been to Mount St. Helens when it’s erupting. Seriously, it’s erupting, right behind me! You can read all about that right here.

That should get you started. Please do let me know if you have any specific requests for the future guide – input definitely welcome! And have an awesome visit. I know I’m partial, but I sincerely believe this is one of the best active volcanoes to play around in the world.

A Study in Volcanics: 5 Reasons You Gotta Visit Mount Baker

Outside of Glacier Peak, Mount Baker seems to be the least-regarded of the I-5 corridor volcanoes. Mounts Hood, Helens, and Rainier seem to suck up all the ooing-and-awing oxygen. Baker, not as much.

But it repays attention. For one, it’s active. For two, it’s not monitored closely enough. For three, it’s got a surprising amount of various volcanic deposits all visible during a leisurely trip up Mount Baker Highway. You don’t even have to get an early start. [Read more…]

Fleeing Marriage – Escape Chapter 5: “Linda’s Flight to Freedom”

I informed you last week, after that relatively light chapter of Escape, that we’d be right back into the horror show. People, it’s bad. You might want to grab a mouth guard, because you’re going to be spitting nails and gnashing your teeth to nubs. Content notice for emotional abuse, creepy old men, stalking, spiritual abuse, and coerced marriage.

We’re plunged eyebrow-deep in awful right from the first paragraph, when we learn that a creep in his fifties has been stalking Carolyn’s seventeen year-old sister, Linda. He reports to her father things he disapproves of: her skirt’s too short one day, her heels too high another, and why did she comb her hair differently today?

The girls’ mother, Nurylon, is incensed enough to tell her husband “that she didn’t trust this man.” This does zero good: [Read more…]