1/8/11: New year, new obsession, new banner. :P

Locked by friendly; c'mon in brother
Dear LiveJournal,

Well, my friend. We've had a good run. My life would be infinitely different without you; I have met incredible people here, had some amazing discussions, and became myself during my time with you. As an LGBTQ individual, I no longer feel comfortable giving my money to an organization that is actively moving towards curbing my rights of free speech and identity.

Consequently, I am moving this journal to dreamwidth. The copy of this journal will be at burying_songs over there.

Thanks for the community we had here, friends. It literally changed my life and I am forever grateful. ♥

- sd
As I am currently investigating leaving my corporeal state entirely and becoming merely a digital version of myself, I am too busy to write an original post.

Holiday Cards 2013 2014 2015 2016!

I know a lot of people don't like to send/receive cards during the holidays because of cost/the environment. I am not one of those people. Yes, I care about my lack of cash and the trees, but winter is dark and sad enough as it is; having a little joy arrive in the post is a bright light for me. I find it's also a nice way to connect with folks I maybe have been lax in speaking with over the rest of the year.

You know the drill; leave your name and address in a screened comment (even if you don't like to send cards, I would still like to send one to you. ♥). Even if you think I have your address, please give it to me again because my mind is a sieve.
I've been talking on and off with [livejournal.com profile] bentastic the last week or so, and he reminded me about this place and why at one time I really loved it. Journaling, whether privately, or in a public venue like this has always helped me work through my more complicated thoughts & emotions, and I would like to get back into it. As I type more quickly than I write these days, I might be doing so here, regardless of readship or lack thereof.

So. That happened. A lot has been written about the National Travesty that occurred on November 8th, 2016, by people far more knowledgeable and eloquent than me. It was a terrible week; I personally fell into deep anxiety-fueled despair and became suicidal. I lost all sense of hope and was searching for an easy way to just not feel all the sadness and fear that had taken its place.

More )

Anyway. That's a lot of words for a Saturday night. I hope you are all taking care of yourselves; drinking lots of water; giving & receiving lots of hugs; getting lots of sleep. I'm thinking about you and want you know that I'm here if you need to talk. ♥
Crossposting from my tumblr, because this is important.

Okay.

I’ve talked about this on here a lot. But I think it’s important, so I’m going to talk about it one. more. time.

Reading about what’s happening in places like North Carolina and Virginia where folks are being harassed while trying to vote, or in some cases–I’m looking at you, NC–not being allowed to vote at all despite having stood in line for hours for the opportunity to do so, I’ve been feeling really despondent and frustrated–and I know my feelings cannot possibly be as strong as those of the folks actually experiencing this sort of bullshit.

I’ve been lucky in that my home state of Oregon has had vote-by-mail since 1998, two years before my first Presidential election as part of the voting public. I have never experienced a polling place or the unique gauntlet one must run to cast one’s vote. On the flip side, I’ve never gotten to wear an I Voted sticker, so you’ve got that going for you.

Voting by mail is incredibly easy. The county sends you your ballot by mail, generally two weeks before the election, and a voter information magazine that lays out all the candidates for every position as well as all the ballot measures. There is additional information enclosed as well, including yes & no arguments of varying length from community members/interests regarding said ballot measures. You can read these, you certainly don’t have to.

You fill out your ballot. You stick it in the unnecessary privacy envelope. You stick the unnecessary privacy envelope into the outer envelope. You sign the outer envelope. You drop said envelope into your mailbox or at a ballot drop-box in your general vicinity at your convenience. We had to queue behind a total of two cars ahead of us as the drop box location this year. It took less time than it does waiting in a fast-food drive-through queue.

My favorite thing about mail-in voting is that I have the time and the resources to make an educated, calm decision. I’m not stressed because I’ve been standing in line for 5/6/7 hours, listening to people around me complain, being made uneasy by dudes with guns (because this is apparently a thing that will now be happening; GO AMERICA!!). I’m not hungry, I’m not tired (any more so than usual); I am clear-headed and ready to fully consider all of my options and the measures before me.

We generally vote as a family; the folks & I sit down and read through all the local candidates with whom we’re unfamiliar. We discuss the ballot measures in great detail–we usually have differing opinions on at least two per election–and after our discussions we vote our consciences privately.

Oregon’s voting record per election is generally around 70%. The national voting record is somewhere in the neighborhood of 33%. Mail-in ballots increasing voting. Voting “fraud” is a joke and a lie that Republicans have been perpetrating forever in order to discourage or disenfranchise voters (particularly voters of color) from participating in the election process. Our long-time senator, Ron Wyden, has been fighting for mail-in voting for the whole of the United States for almost as long as he’s been in office. It still hasn’t come to pass.

WHAT I AM SAYING IS THIS: The only reason mail-in ballots aren’t the standard across the country is because the GOP knows that it will increase voter turnout. Increased voter turnout is bad for conservatives.

WHAT YOU CAN DO: I believe that getting mail-in ballots in every state is the best way to prevent an election like this one we’re suffering through right now from happening again in the future. Call or write to your congressperson; tell them you want to get mail-in ballots in your state. Or, do what Oregonians did and create a Citizen’s Initiative to get it enacted.

I’m sorry that everyone doesn’t have it as easy as I do when it comes to voting. But please, please, please go out and do it on Tuesday (if you haven’t done it already).

This is important. This is your future.
I know you've been on tenterhooks wondering if I'm lazy enough to shamelessly repost this from last year. The answer to this burning question is, of course, YES.

Holiday Cards 2013 2014 2015!

I know a lot of people don't like to send/receive cards during the holidays because of cost/the environment. I am not one of those people. Yes, I care about my lack of cash and the trees, but winter is dark and sad enough as it is; having a little joy arrive in the post is a bright light for me. I find it's also a nice way to connect with folks I maybe have been lax in speaking with over the rest of the year.

You know the drill; leave your name and address in a screened comment (even if you don't like to send cards, I would still like to send one to you. ♥). Even if you think I have your address, please give it to me again because my mind is a sieve.

I hope everyone has a safe, happy Thanksgiving this coming weekend.

ps - If I have sent you a package before, there is a 100% chance I will be doing so again unless you specifically ask me not to. Please bear this in mind when providing me with your addresses.
Marvel, those few of you who remain on LJ, as I shamelessly repost my post from last year!

Holiday Cards 2013 2014!

I know a lot of people don't like to send/receive cards during the holidays because of cost/the environment. I am not one of those people. Yes, I care about my lack of cash and the trees, but winter is dark and sad enough as it is; having a little joy arrive in the post is a bright light for me. I find it's also a nice way to connect with folks I maybe have been lax in speaking with over the rest of the year.

You know the drill; leave your name and address in a screened comment (even if you don't like to send cards, I would still like to send one to you. ♥). Even if you think I have your address, please give it to me again because my mind is a sieve.

I hope everyone has a safe, happy Thanksgiving this coming weekend.

ps - If I have sent you a package before, there is a 100% chance I will be doing so again unless you specifically ask me not to. Please bear this in mind when providing me with your addresses.

In Memoriam

Jun. 1st, 2014 02:10 pm
One of the unfortunate results of being a conscious objector to Facebook & Facebook culture is that you miss important information on a semi-regular basis. Yesterday while driving up to Salem, Berg passed along the news that our high school choral director, David Pool, had passed away earlier this week. While this was not necessarily unexpected--Pool was a long-time smoker, who suffered from diabetes, shingles and a variety of other ailments in the years that I knew him--it still came as a blow. My friend Francesca (another one of Pool's ex-students) & I had been trying to arrange a coffee date for weeks, and I had just been thinking about him again the other day.

I sang for Mr. Pool--or, Pool, as we were encouraged to call him--for the four years that I was at Crescent Valley High school, and I credit him as the inspiration and impetus for the positive changes I made in my life and in my person during those years. Having arrived at CV from a disastrous middle school experience (basically, I was flunking out due to lack of interest, depression and general laziness, but because of Budget Issues, I wasn't held back), I had been given a "new start" in HS, but by the end of my Freshman year, I didn't seem to be heading in a different direction. That year I was in Singers, the "lowest" of the four choirs at CV. By this point, I had been singing in Heart of the Valley Children's choirs since third grade, and while I had a decent opinion of my vocal talents, I was not expecting to move beyond Women's Treble Choir (the next step up from Singers) for my Sophomore year, especially since I didn't feel that my year end audition for Pool had gone particularly well.

Instead, when I checked the choral postings a few days later, I discovered that I, along with two other freshmen gals with whom I'd previously had little to no contact, had bypassed both Treble and Concert choirs and had been placed in the Women's Chamber Choir, the "apex" of our high school choral hierarchy. This group was comprised of 16 women that first year, mostly Seniors, and Theresa, Alyson and I were the very youngest of the bunch. To this day I don't know exactly what Pool saw that made him give me a chance, as I was mousy, aloof and generally silent if we weren't singing, but I'm eternally grateful that he did, because this changed my life. Being in the Chamber and Concert choirs that year not only allowed me to use my musical strengths to their best purpose, but it provided me with excellent role models in the form of my dear Chamber sisters, and laid on my shoulders a responsibility for excellence that hadn't been previously present, which allowed me to take a leadership role during my Junior and Senior years and made me a mentor to younger Chamber girls as they arrived.

Chamber Choir was different because it wasn't just about the music, it was about the community. These girls became my second family; I loved them all dearly, and they taught me a great deal about myself. When trying to explain it to other people, I try to avoid using the word "sorority," but that's maybe the closest. We sang together for an hour and a half, five days a week, and we all had to work together to make it the best it could be. Pool expected a great deal from us, and he gave us a great deal in return. He was an enthusiastic and charismatic leader, a man who prized feeling and interpretation over exactitude and who would often devote entire daily lessons to poetry and/or discussions on an idea or thought related to whatever piece we were working on. He read poetry to us often, his expressive, musical voice introducing us to artists & writers we might not otherwise have encountered. He had favorite "sayings" & stories which he would repeat on a yearly basis, fables & lessons that would shape not just my artistic adventures but my spiritual and soulful strivings as well.

Pool's beloved wife, Jan, was ill for as long as I knew them, and she grew increasingly feeble as the years progressed. By my senior year, Pool was often absent for long periods of time, and I became the default student director/music librarian of the Concert & Chamber choirs. I spent a great deal of time with Pool outside of class hours, organizing events related to our three yearly concerts, helping with end of the year auditions, and just hanging out. My immediate family lives far away from our relatives, and Pool became a kind of substitute grandparent/uncle for me; I prized his opinion over anyone else's.

I would recognize this same depth of devotion in a majority of his other former students when, in 2001 (the same year I graduated), Pool retired, and we held a celebration in his honor in our school theater. It was packed with folks eager to give their testimony to this man who had touched so many lives. I get teary just thinking about it now.

That is how I like to remember Mr. Pool. I did remain in contact with him for a number of years beyond graduation, but after Jan's death in 2008, his health started to take a sharp turn downward, and I hadn't seen him for many years when I heard the news of his death. I keep waiting for there to be some word regarding a memorial service. I need to mourn with other people who knew this wonderful man. He was a mentor, a teacher in the truest sense of the word, and one of the most important people in my life. I will miss him greatly. ♥
I almost joined ONTD today because I find it hilariously/sadly ironic that in this post wherein they discuss Exene Cervenka's recent cray-cray conspiracy theories, a majority of the comments made by allllllllllll these women who for the last week have been saying stuff like, "WE'RE PEOPLE! WE DON'T NEED TO BE DEFINED BY MEN! IT'S SOOOOOOOO DISRESPECTFUL AND AGGRAVATING!" break down like this:

Commenter A: Who is this nobody?
Commenter B: She's Viggo Mortensen's ex-wife.

Or MAYBE, instead of defining her by a relationship which ended OVER TWENTY YEARS AGO, GDI, you could inform the uninformed that she was a tornado of creativity, one of the Godmothers of Punk, and one of the more important women in rock in roll history.

But, no. Let's go with Aragorn's ex. That's much simpler. And certainly not contributing to the institutionalized patriarchy at all.

(PRIMAL SCREAM)

FINALLY.

May. 19th, 2014 12:18 pm
Michael McShane strikes down Oregon's gay marriage ban!

OREGON FINALLY HAS MARRIAGE EQUALITY! \o/

Do any of you have small, portable speakers for your iPhone/iPad? I'm looking for a set to take to NYC in May; my Amazon browsing has offered up a number of options and I was wondering if anyone on here had an opinion?
Holiday Cards 2013

I know a lot of people don't like to send/receive cards during the holidays because of cost/the environment. I am not one of those people. Yes, I care about my lack of cash and the trees, but winter is dark and sad enough as it is; having a little joy arrive in the post is a bright light for me. I find it's also a nice way to connect with folks I maybe have been lax in speaking with over the rest of the year.

You know the drill; leave your name and address in a screened comment (even if you don't like to send cards, I would still like to send one to you. ♥). Even if you think I have your address, please give it to me again because my mind is a sieve.

I hope everyone has a safe, happy Thanksgiving this coming weekend.
In a unexpected, overwhelming and bizarre turn of events, on Monday I found myself in possession of a 4th generation iPad of my very own. I've been waffling over whether or not to get some sort of tablet for awhile--it's not anything that I needed or necessarily really wanted, but on the last few holidays I've been on, the folks around me have had them (or laptop equivalents) and the constant exposure to them created more of an interest than I'd previously expressed--but the decision was taken out of my hands and now I have this thing that I don't particularly know what to do with.

So, as always, I turn to you, Trusted Internet (and real life) friends: Do any of you have iPads (or iPhones), and if so, what are you favorite applications (I really really REALLY hate the "word" "apps." I just hate it. Ugh)? What do you use this hardware for? Is there a livejournal application that is worth the money they want for it?

GIVE ME YOUR KNOWLEDGE. Please and thank you. ♥

(I am very excited to try this Face Time thing out, but am skeptical about it's feasibility)
from [livejournal.com profile] missyjack

Misha just mentioned at the All Hell breaks Loose Con in Sydney, that it looked like Ben Edlund would not be returning to the SPN writing team next season, and would be going to work on Kripke's Revolution.

Yep, probably officially Done with Supernatural next season. You are welcome to defriend me now.

I know that Edlund has been controversial, but I do think that he's produced some of the best episodes this show has had. I'll tell you what--(this was going to go on a massive post I need to make sometime soon, but it fits just as well here)--we've been in the process of catching up on SPN--we've got five episodes from this season left; just watched "Freaks & Geeks" last night--and I've noticed something: I had been really lukewarm-to-outright-dislike about most of the episodes this season, but a handful that we've recently watched, I've really enjoyed. Those handful were "LAARP and the Real Girl", "As Time Goes By", "Everybody Hates Hitler" (yep, I liked the Nazi episode; sue me), and "Trial & Error." I also enjoyed "Mans Best Friend with Benefits" and "Remember the Titans", but mostly because it was nice to see another strong black woman on the show who didn't die (MBF), and I like it when I can guess the lore/situation literally before the title shot (Titans). And you know what I realized all of these episodes had in common? No. one, none of them involved Castiel or that horribly portrayed Naomi character, and no. two, only one of them was written by Robbie Thompson (and it really surprised me to learn he was responsible for LAARP).

It's not that I don't like Castiel. I like Castiel fine. I just hate hate HAAAAAAAATE his storyline this season. Hate. And I'm enjoying the "monsters of the week" episodes much more than the angel myth-arc this season.

I think Thompson is a pretty lazy writer, a suspicion bolstered by the fact that pretty much the entirety of "Goodbye Stranger" was cribbed from already existing episodes of the show. The scenes between Castiel & Naomi were extremely reminiscent of the scenes between Dean & Cas & Zachariah at the end of season four, and the whole Castiel-Dean beat down scene was almost A COMPLETE RECREATION OF THE BIG FINAL FIGHT IN THE FINALE OF SEASON FIVE. He even took a famous line from LotR: RotK and adjusted a few words and stuck in final scene between Dean & Sam in the car. Lazy. Do you think I've not been watching this show for the past eight seasons, Mr. Thompson? Because I have. I remember. And I resent you trying to transfer the feelings I had for that confrontation between Sam & Dean in season five to Castiel & Dean here in season eight, because it dilutes the impact of the original scene while also not allowing me to form any sort of emotional attachment to the latter. Well done.

If nothing else, Edlund has lived with these characters for a very long time. He's familiar with them in a way Thompson couldn't hope to be (I've never liked anyone else writing Castiel, to be honest. I think Ben should be entirely in charge of all the Castiel scenes forever), and with each exit of the old writers, new ones are brought in. New writers like Robbie Thompson.

/my two cents

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