Archive for the ‘Dear Diary’ Category

No, voting for Hillary Clinton is not the same as voting for Donald Trump

Posted by ON in Dear Diary

(Spoiler warning: this is oriented toward lefty folks who somehow think voting for Hillary Clinton is the same as voting for Donald Drumpf.)

Here’s the thing:

My personal politics lean in the direction of democratic socialism, (and tip a bit into some parts of social anarchism.) I have a long history that led me to where I am politically, just as you no-doubt have a history that led you to yours.

In recent years I came to the shocking realization that my politics are all fine and good in my head, but are worthless applied to the real world unless I make an effort to educate myself on the intersectional experiences of people who are … not me.

I can scream all day about my pet issues, but if I’m not listening to people with different life experiences from mine, if I don’t consider how my “ideal” solutions effect people who didn’t win the white-guy lottery, well, then I’m not promoting democratic socialism, social anarchism, or hippie let’s-all-just-love-each-other-ism.

If I do that then all I’m proposing is Works-for-Middle-Class-White-Guy politics.

So, yes, I supported Bernie Sanders with both time and money. I like his message and I liked how he held himself in the primaries.

But, to make sure I knew what I was talking about, I looked up his voting record and his speeches. He and I don’t agree on everything, and I don’t like every choice he’s made, but generally he seems great.

That said, when Senator Sanders lost the primary to former Secretary of State Clinton, to make sure I wasn’t talking out of my ass, I did the same research on her voting record and speeches.

She and I don’t agree on everything, and I don’t like every choice she’s made, but guess what?

She’s a liberal-leaning moderate, one who has put incredible work into causes and social changes I very much agree with.

For a succinct history of her voting record, I’d suggest this short read:

It’s fine if you’re put off by the scandals, but maybe you should make sure you’re informed on what actually happened.

A short synopsis:

If you’re concerned that Clinton is “in the pocket” of corporate interests, I’d suggest you look how she stacks up against other politicians you like:

If your reaction to Hillary Clinton is based on yelling you’ve heard on the internet, maybe you should do a little more research.

While you’re at it, maybe look at your reactions to Hillary Clinton, maybe ask yourself, “Would I be this worked up if this was a man?”

So, whatever, decide what you’re going to decide and do what you’re going to do. But I truly hope you’re thinking about how your choices will effect people of various social identities, as race, gender, sexuality, and class. If you’re in a political snit because you didn’t get the exact person you wanted this one time, maybe it’s time to start thinking more long term, and for the benefit of a more diverse group of people.

As a democratic socialist/social anarchist, I have plenty of concerns about america’s voting system, capitalism, corporate personhood, on and on and on.

But as much as I’d love to always get my way every election, I’m not compromising when I vote for Hillary Clinton. I’m not holding my nose when I vote for a liberal-moderate with a ton of experience, good ideas, and a decent voting record. I’m voting for the best available person for the job … and then I’m getting back to work, trying to influence positive social change (and hopefully continuing to educate myself on intersectional solutions.)

If you’re a lefty-oriented person who somehow thinks voting for Hillary Clinton is the same as voting for Donald Drumpf, please consider the effort it will take to mobilize and influence a liberal-moderate who you probably disagree with on some issues.

Versus what it would take to influence this guy:

My Sasquan Worldcon 2015 Schedule

Hey y’all,

I’ll be panelling and reading at this year’s Worldcon. Here’s my schedule!

Steampunk: Aesthetics vs. Content

Thursday 15:00 – 15:45, 302AB (CC)

Steampunk is known for being pretty, but what about real content? Is it that dramatically different from other genres? Or are most steampunk stories like one genre with a veneer of steampunk?

Writing Diverse Characters

Thursday 16:00 – 16:45, Spokane Falls Suite A/B (Doubletree)

There was a time when most science fiction writers were geeky white guys with military experience, so most of their characters tended to be geeky, white guys with military experience…including often the aliens. What are some of the tricks to creating diverse charcters? What are some better examples of fiction with diverse, well-written characters?

Reading – Grá Linnaea

Friday 14:30 – 15:00, 301 (CC)

Come hear me read, yo!

What Prose Writers Can Learn From Comics

Friday 15:00 – 15:45, Spokane Falls Suite A/B (Doubletree)

Prose and comic writing are different. How a prose writer can apply some of the techniques from comics to help them become a better writer.

Conversations I have with my cat – Part 7

CAT: This door is closed!

ME: Honey, I’m trying to write.

CAT: This door is closed and I am on the other side of the door!

ME: Trying to write! That’s why I closed the door.

CAT: Door! Is! Closed!

ME: The whole reason I got an office was so I could close the door when I need to write!

CAT: Door!

30 Minutes later

CAT: The door continues to be closed despite my many protestations!


Kidney Stone Update

Posted by ON in Dear Diary

Oh yeah, that emergency room visit I mentioned…

So it went like this: my abdomen started aching, and then eventually so did my *ahem* balls. Elina was on me to make a doctor’s appointment, but I got a little dude about it and decided to wait it out. After a week (*ahem* or so) of duding, it wasn’t going away. In fact, it was getting worse. So, to get Elina off my back I said I’d make a doctor’s appointment on Monday.

We needed some stuff for the new house, (OMG, did I mention we bought a house??!?) so I drove out to Ikea for a cliche Ikea-New-House pilgrimage.

I was only there for a bit before I realized my abdomen (and balls) really hurt.

Still floating in a haze of dudeliness, I promised myself that I’d go to an Urgent Care, but I had this cart full of house crap, and I couldn’t just abandon it, right? In the checkout line I started looking up the closest Urgent Care.

But, you know, I realized I was hungry, so I thought I’d grab some food while I looked. One lovely veggie-burger later, I realized that I had possibly made a misstep by waiting this long. By the time I finished eating, things REALLY hurt.

I texted Elina and drove to an Urgent Care. While talking to to nurse at the desk, I nearly passed out from the pain and had to go into the bathroom to throw up. They sent me to the real Emergency Room.

Sometime later, with an IV in my arm, a variety of drugs in my system, and with an ultrasound of my belly, they informed me that all the pain was me passing a stone in my right kidney. Fortunately it seemed to be gone now.

Less fortunately, they discovered another stone in my left kidney.

An ultrasound, X-ray, and CT scan later, they confirmed a 1cm by 1cm by 2cm kidney stone (shaped like a bullet!) and two smaller fragments in my left kidney.

The stone is too large to do Shockwave lithotripsy (sitting in a pool and breaking that shit up with ultrasonic sound!), which unfortunately leaves Ureteroscopy and Laser Lithotripsy (going through the urinary tract ( ! D: ! ) with a tube and exploding the stone,) or Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy (making an incision through my back into my kidney and inserting a small tube/vacuum to break up the stones and suck up most of the pieces.) Whew.

After speaking with a surgeon, we’ve decided to go with the through-the-back option, (the stone is so large that the urinary tract option has the added danger of leaving tons stone debris along my tract, which would need a second and possibly third procedure.)

I’ll be having surgery February 9th. They’ll put me under. I’ll have to spend at least one, possibly two nights in the hospital and will have a week of painful bed recovery at home. There’ll be a stent from my bladder to my kidney. Three weeks after the surgery I’ll have to go back in and have it removed (by way of a method so horrifying that I can’t get myself to write it down.)

If everything goes to plan, I should be in pretty good shape about 4 weeks after the surgery. Whew.

I’m kind of freaking out, but generally trying to get on with my life.

Companies I lie to.

Posted by ON in Dear Diary

Usual disclaimer: It’s been forever, dusting off this thing, lot going on, yadda yadda yadda…

So we moved into the new house. (New House?!??) and right after the move, after I got out of the hospital (hospital?!??) we set up our new internet service with CenturyLink.

For the record, this isn’t going to be a rousing endorsement CenturyLink. They’ve screwed up literally every step of the process of setting up our internet. Billing installation, everything.

They’ve even sent me three letters, three different letters informing me that my credit rating is zero, the letter literally has 000. The letter(s) go on to explain that the reason I’ve had to pay a large (unspecified) deposit is because of my impossibly low credit rating. 000.

So, there’s two problems here, but fortunately they cancel each other out. The first is … I have an amazing credit rating. I don’t know how exactly, but somewhere along the line I accidentally got all adult and ending up with awesome credit. If I were chatting with the folks at CenturyLink, I’d motion around me to the house I just bought. (Zero credit rating tends to make such things a little tricky.)

The other problem is they haven’t actually charged me a deposit. As far as I can tell the whole series of letters is CenturyLink trolling me. I guess as long as they don’t actually bill me for this deposit, I’ll just play along and pretend to write them invisible checks for its unspecified amount.

All of which is to say, I’m much happier with CenturyLink than Comcast. When we moved out of the apartment, I called Comcast and said, “We want to end our service.”

The guy indignantly asked why, and I said, “We’re leaving the country, we don’t know when we’ll be back and we don’t know where we’ll be living next.”

And boom, the guy only tried to talk me out of it two more times, a mere twenty minutes of typical-Comcast-employee-desperation later, and we were free forever. Fuck Comcast.

Now I’m just biding my time till Google Fiber shows up.

Oh yeah, about the house and the hospital and the last year … I realized that I’ve been having trouble getting back into blogging because there’s SO MUCH TO SAY, so I figured I should just jump in and get a post out there. I’ll try to catch you up as I go.