awfulhorrid: (Archaeopteryx)
If anyone needs a gift for [livejournal.com profile] bookwurm, I point you towards today's* Shirt.Woot. (Size: Men's L)

They say it's a dinosaur, but I mean really ... what do they know from dragons?

* Today being Saturday, 24-November-2012. If this isn't the current date, the above link won't help you.
awfulhorrid: (Caffeine Molecule)
I just returned home from a trip to North Carolina to visit family. This is the first time I've done that by myself in more than ten years and I promise it will be the last. Frankly I just can't take visiting there anymore without someone from the civilized world to ground me. I understand that NC isn't the worst of the Southern states, but visiting there is very much like stepping back in time several decades. More aptly, it's like visiting another country.

This is more or less how I survived the trip without screaming at people or just saying "fuck this" and packing up and leaving. After a few days, I finally decided that the best way to handle the situation is to think of the South as if they'd managed to secede back in 1861. I wasn't visiting the Southern states of the United States of America, I was visiting the Confederate States of America! That made things so much more understandable. The cultural differences suddenly made a lot more sense, as does the language differences, the shoddy education standards, the failure to understand some common facts about the United States ... even the relative technological failings, differences in laws(*) and customs. If we figure the CSA as teetering on the brink of being a third world country (as evidenced by the poverty and unemployment rate) much of the rampant social injustice and backwards social norms which often accompanies this state is explained quite nicely.

This view isn't perfect, of course. Many of the things associated with travel to an actual foreign nation aren't there - currency differences, passports, an actual separate government, and other things. Of course there are plenty of countries where you can freely spend US dollars without conversion and you didn't need a passport when visiting Canada until fairly recently. The most glaring problem with this idea is, unfortunately, that the CSA gets to vote in our elections and has many painful candidates running for office at this very moment. I guess I should just be thankful that it was so easy to immigrate out of there when I did!

--

OK look, I love my family there; I really do. I am just very much aware of the fact that NC is no longer my home and hasn't been in many decades. My mother simply cannot grasp this and therefore I cringed every time she said something about me being 'home.' Of course I also cringed every time she spouted forth with her increasingly racist language, something else she seemed incapable of grasping.



(* - Apparently there is a state law that televisions much be turned on anytime someone is in the same room with one.)
awfulhorrid: (Wood Spirit)
After this quarter's finals next week, I've got a break of two weeks. My dad has been in pretty bad shape the last year or so and [livejournal.com profile] bookwurm and I had been going back and forth on driving down to NC to visit him, my mother, and my grandmother for a few days. After a lot of consideration I'd finally come to the conclusion that this was a trip we probably shouldn't take since we're pretty stressed financially right now. Then I talked to dad on the phone ... The short version is that the cancer that resulted in the operation to remove 2/3 of a lung has now turned up in his lymph nodes. We decided that perhaps we'd better go to visit this break after all.

Of course this doesn't mean our financial situation has magically cleared up. I'm looking for a way to raise some money for the trip (or to cover things after we return.) To this end, I'm putting up an offer of custom walking stick / staff making. I've got a good pile of material that's been drying for several years now ready to be turned into staffs or walking sticks. I have a few stain colors available, mostly brown to black, and I can do some carving - although my skills are mostly characters or line work. (Sorry, I'm not quite up to figures yet!) I can even mount a marble in the tip for that classic Wizard look.

My starting price for a staff is $40. For a higher donation, I'll do much more customization. Heck, even for $40 I'll try to give you what you want! I make no promise for speed, though, but I'll try my best. I also do other woodwork and toy making - some people seem to enjoy my floggers and impact toys! My prices there vary quite a bit, but if you ask me about it, I might be able to do it.

My paypal account is (barbarian)(at)(ripco)(dot)(com).

Example of my work - a shillelagh: http://pics.livejournal.com/awfulhorrid/gallery/0001dr08
awfulhorrid: (polyflag)
I am writing a thesis for my Composition I class with a topic of "Families in Contemporary Society." My working thesis statement is fairly simple: "Traditional marriage does not fit the needs of all potential relationships in contemporary society." I'm considering aspects of same gender relationships and polyamorous ones, but I'm also looking at problems faced by people who just plain don't want to be married for whatever reason. Odd that I should run into one of these myself yesterday.

I've been meaning to list [livejournal.com profile] bookwurm as my Medical Power of Attorney for quite some time now and the research I've been doing for my paper reminded me of this. When I was asked about filing some advance directive paperwork during my last VA visit, I took it as a sign and set an appointment. I thought I might have trouble with the social worker when filing the paperwork since I put "significant other" as my relationship with both my primary and secondary designated MPoA, but honestly she didn't even raise an eyebrow. Ten minutes after I walked into the office, I had everything signed, filed, and witnessed without a hitch. We briefly discussed my plan of distributing my living will directives to my family of choice, which she thought to be a sound plan. She made the additional suggestion that I list a secondary emergency contact with the front desk.

That, of course, is where I encountered the problem. I've dealt with one of the receptionists before--she's one of the reasons I decided it was a good idea to list a MPoA. I was happy to see that she was busy so I'd be talking with one of the other ones, but of course as I start giving him my information to add a second emergency contact, the first one comes over and tries to start the same old song and dance about how my emergency contact needs to be a blood relative. I don't even let her finish the sentence. "Yes, I can list her as my emergency contact. She's also my power of attorney." The one taking the information waved off the other one, apparently not wanting to be in the middle of the argument.

So let me get this straight: I can list my girlfriend (significant other) as my medical power of attorney without the least bit of resistance, but you'll try to keep me from making her my emergency contact? WTF? My 'blood relatives' don't even live in the same time zone as I do, nor would I trust them to respect my wishes about life support equipment. I can understand suggesting that the emergency contact being such a relative, but when I say "thank you for the suggestion, but this is my emergency contact" them you just need to back off.

I can only imagine trying to list a same gender partner. I'm quite sure they don't have a form for that!

WOOF!

Oct. 17th, 2009 10:48 am
awfulhorrid: (Love my coffee)
[livejournal.com profile] bookwurm said that nothing new had shown up on her LJ 'short list' so I'm just helping her out!

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