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Tossing our mortarboards into the air

OK, that helped. It did.

Professor-In-Chief Obama just gave us his best commencement speech and is sending us graduates out into the cruel, cruel world.

Where was Sasha though?

Sooooo it's looking more likely than ever that Trump might be impeached sooner than later. Four years of putting up with Pence . . . will that be more bearable . . . maybe--I dunno. All the health in the world to RBG, please.

May it be 2 years of an obstructionist minority Democratic Congress followed in 2018 with an effective Democratic majority. Thursdays I can make my phone calls . . .

I need some new SNL skits.

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To the Professor!

Happy Birthday to Professor Tolkien! Thank you for the worlds you created that we love to dream and play in. In his honor, I bring you some tree spam.

First, a mallorn:
Pics of a beech from November. The Professor would be happy to know this beech is in the woods behind the Catholic church on my way down to the lake.

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Happy Birthday, Ny!

A very happy birthday to sweet browngirl!!! This calls for some lovely mermaid spam!!!


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Howard Shore article

There's an interesting retrospective article on Howard Shore in the Washington Post today I thought some of you might enjoy. I did not know he started out doing music for SNL.

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Adequate New Year!!!

Good riddance to 2016!!! *eyes 2017 suspiciously* 2017, behave yourself. We are ALL keeping an eye on you, every damned minute. 2017, you got no where to go but up. The bar is so very low. Surprise us pleasantly, ok?

As you can see Tuxie is really excited about New Years Eve. This is how we're partying here.

I wouldn't have gotten through 2016 without you my dear friends here. Thank you. <3 <3 <3

Happy New Year to you!!! May 2017 go easy on us all.

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Memoriam to General Leia and Carrie Fisher

I couldn't do a memorial post to Carrie Fisher earlier this week due to LJ shenanigans and I'm still feeling the need, so here it is. I'm just so sad to see her go so young with so much left to write and act and enjoy. Besides looking forward to seeing her play General Leia some more, and I know we already have her filmed for the next film, I read The Guardian newspaper and was looking forward to seeing her agony aunt column. Looking through pics of her, it really looked like she was becoming more and more comfortable with herself over the last few years and I wish she got to enjoy more of the fruits of her long, hard slog through mental illness to come into her own.


I came to take for granted what her iconic role as Princess Leia meant to me back when I was 15, as for so many young women of my generation.

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Birthday Wishes!

Happy Birthday, gabi_fics!!! May your birthday be as fun and full of love as when the bunch of us went around the lake together this spring!



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Happy Fooder1 Birthday!!!

A very happy birthday to the most excellent Fooder1 [personal profile] baranduin!!! I hope you are spending a relaxing evening with warm Harry floof, and even Harry himself, and wonderful birthday treats. :-D

Moo and Tuxie would like to send their greetings--take it away, you two:

Moo: Happy Birthday, Baranduin!!! I woke up from my nap just to say that. You should be honored. Hey, King of the Mountain! You going to wish Baranduin a happy birthday?

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Election Integrity Yay!!!

Wisconsin Election Board just received the Green Party's petition for a recount!!! Whew--I was getting worried--not 20 minutes to go! And the funding is up over $5.1 million now. Yay!!! Thank you so much for your bravery, Jill Stein! Now we have to hope that Wisconsin courts or legislature can't and won't block it in any way.

And Trump hasn't twitted his displeasure because he doesn't want this news to be the top most talked about headline news for days, allowing the idea that he might have stolen the election to become mainstream. And this happening right after the NYT got him to disavow his most rambunctious Nazi followers--darn, what bad timing for him! :-P

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/216721.html with comment count unavailablecomments

Happy T-Day and Happy Election Audits!

Happy Thanksgiving Day! I hope all who celebrate are having a good one. And to those who don't, OK, you can have a good day too. I'm so grateful to have all my friends here--I'm not sure how you all fit yourselves into my tiny macbook air, but I'm glad you did. <3

Another October pic I took by the lake.

I had a yummy T-Day meal with [personal profile] zlabya and her DH and her BF. I made my signature salad, and she made a yummy chicken, sweet potato casserole, and apple crisp. Excellent company to hang out with.

Auditing the Vote

If you missed the news, Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for US President started raising funds yesterday to audit and recount the votes in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Best comment ever reported as seen on twitter by ambree40: lanyard @lanyardigan 8h8 hours ago: Please, God: like Gollum, let Jill Stein have a totally unforeseen and critical purpose. :-D

I contributed yesterday and watching it grow has been so exciting--they're up to $4.3 million and counting. Go here if you want to contribute or just watch the donations flood in.

A decade back I was following the voting integrity push, belonged to Common Cause, and presented a paper to Congresspeople involved in the movement. When I canvassed for John Kerry down in Florida on election weekend, I listened to poll workers who saw voting machines flip their votes from Kerry to Bush.

We've made great strides in creating a paper trail in many districts in this country to check these problems, but paper backup ballots don't do any good if you never audit and take a look at them. It's just a gigantic green flag to hackers, Russian gov't connected or from anywhere, if they know we're not verifying the optical scanners by checking some of the paper ballots. We should be auditing a sampling of ballots in every state before we announce the count, and we should get used to not having instant gratification and wait a week or 3 before announcing a winner, as grueling as it would have felt to do that this year.

So, without getting my hopes too high that they will find something that will overturn the horrid results of this election (but seeing that Trump has a pattern of doing the things he accuses others of and Bannon is involved with data-mining operations, how could we not check this out), the recount here is just a needed thing to ensure the integrity of the vote. As long as we're having elections close enough that one side wins the electors and the other side the popular vote, vote audits should be made an automatic procedure through legislation. We're doing a good thing here, whatever the outcome of the recount.

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/216488.html with comment count unavailablecomments
I know this is a return to the denial and bargaining phase of grief, but a bunch of sites are picking up this story now, and whether or not it is a hoax, making the phone call is worth a shot. The count is so close in these states, and they haven't finished Michigan's count yet. Right now at 11pm ET the 202 number is busy, but you can get right through to the 1-800 number--I got through immediately--maybe it is easier to connect late in the evening and off hours and read the script below:

Please take one minute and call/email the DOJ -Department of Justice- : 1-800-253-3931 (press 5) or 202-353-1555 (leave message)

email: voting.section@usdoj.gov

"My name is [first last name], I'm calling from [city],[state] to respectfully request you pursue an investigation into voter suppression, Russian collusion and FBI interference with the 2016 presidential election. Please issue an injunction until a thorough investigation can take place."

The point is to provide the DOJ with numbers so they can say X number of Americans want an injunction. Short, sweet, polite does the trick.

Thank you to [personal profile] ithiliana

Here's an article on the issue.

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Happy Birthday, Cali_se!

Happy Birthday, cali_se!!! I hope it's the beginning of a year full of magic for you!!!

Greenbelt Lake, late October.

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Happy Birthday, Mererid!

I'm so sorry this is a day late post, hon, but I wanted to wish a very happy birthday to my dearest friend [personal profile] mererid!!! I hope the birthday dinner was excellent and you're having a good Sunday. I still have many pics from my trip out there last February that I haven't posted yet, so here's a couple:

Sabino Canyon in the Catalina Mountains, northeast Tucson.

A little barrel cactus in Tucson Desert Museum Park.

*many hugs* <3

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Fraudster Elect--Fraudster Elect--Fraudster Elect--Fraudster Elect--Fraudster Elect--Fraudster Elect

What the cast of Hamilton said to Pence last night was fabulous and well done and beautiful, and all over the front pages of all the news outlets, but why, oh why has mention of the fact that our President Elect just paid a settlement of $25 million for fraud and stealing millions from hopeful US victims already disappeared from the front page and headlines of the Washington Post?

PRESIDENT ELECT TRUMP COMMITTED FRAUD. FRAUDSTER ELECT TRUMP. His lawyer's spin that he would have won if he fought it is bogus--a settlement is acceptance that he is guilty as charged.

We must not allow the facts to be buried, and this one needs to be highlighted as his conflict of interests are investigated and he tries to take the US and the whole world for a ride.

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/215548.html with comment count unavailablecomments
George Takei is wonderful, as usual, and writes the definitive op-ed on why what Trump backer Chris Higbie said was so evil. I'm also impressed and fangrrling Megyn Kelly, whose interview with Higbie is linked in Takei's essay, for not letting that comment slip by and highlighting it with the full loathing it deserves and that even any Fox News lover will get. There's a reason Trump tried to take her down, and he failed because she stood up to him, and she's being fabulous and making some changes in Fox News and what their viewers are exposed to. We'll see where she goes from here, but I'm glad to see her on our side for the present and that gives me hope.

I'm also glad Higbie went there and connected the Muslim registry plan with internment camps for us so we didn't have to--thank you, Higbie!!! This gives Dems and civil liberties advocates much more leverage to defeat Trump's plans to make Muslim Americans second class citizens. So go ahead, keep working with loose tongued bigots--make our day.

What Trump is doing with setting his cabinet is not going to fly when he is dealing with Congress and has to learn to share power with the other boys and girls, and that's when things will get really interesting. I'm hopeful it will go about as well as how he's run his businesses. And I am really hoping for big time buyer's remorse in 2018 from the mostly white minority of the public that voted for him and the Republicans he may or may not work with. When the buyer's remorse sets in, I expect they will start taking note of the disgusting things Trump and his minions are saying a little more, not a lot, but a little.

Also, I don't think the argument will really fly, but here's a petition urging the appointment of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court you can sign. I really wish people were in the streets protesting in the spring when McConnell made clear the Republicans would block any appointment the President made, no matter how far to the right he bended--it would have been a more useful time than now, but any time is a start.

So I'm more hopeful on the political front today and I've got a Tuxie curled up next to me, took a beautiful walk around the lake, and will join a friend to see a local band play around the corner this evening. Yay Froday, my dears! <3

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From a great snarky op-ed in the Washington Post about Steve Bannon by Alexandra Petri:

I have no doubt that a real racist sexist chauvinist white supremacist will be easy to spot. “I am coming for minorities now,” he will say. “I am an actual racist. I am, literally, Hitler, or at the very least Goebbels.”

Read the whole piece here. It's fun and thinky. And no, no giving him a chance--he's made himself perfectly clear already where he stands and it's hateful and a danger to democracy.

I called my Congresspeople, Senator Barbara Mikulski and Rep Steny Hoyer today to ask them to protest the appointment of Steve Bannon, that he has every right to publish alt-right screeds, but I do not want him in my government and how frightened to the core his being there makes me. As lbilover said we cannot allow them to normalize what Trump is doing, let alone white supremacists and neo-nazis as viable representatives of our democracy.

If you are feeling as anxious as me, please call your Congresspeople:


Thanks to [personal profile] rydra_wong for the quick links and she has many more good links on why it is better to call than email our Congresspeople or sign petitions, why it is better to call them at their state offices rather than the above linked DC offices, and script ideas in her post here. But just stick to calling the DC offices if doing the extra work to get the state offices will delay you or use up more spoons than you have.

Funding suggestions if you can spare it:

Good organizations to contribute to for protecting all of us and especially our most vulnerable and immediately threatened Dreamer kids and Muslim Americans are the ACLU, Southern Poverty Law Center, and the Anti-Defamation League.

And since I've been seeing sexist arguments on the left that it's too risky now to run a woman for president in the immediate future, block that noise and if you have more funds, contribute to Emily's List. Since Christian extremists have long been normalized in US government and are now in control, Planned Parenthood needs funds now more than ever.

Feel free to post other suggestions in comments.

Also posted at http://lavendertook.dreamwidth.org/215038.html with comment count unavailablecomments

November Farewell

I'm really sad about the untimely passing of Gwen Ifill. Her voice was part of the soundtrack for my maturing political awareness. What a hard week to pass on, but probably a hastener for letting go. Safe passage and rest in peace.

Light Beyond the Gate. Yesterday's sunset by the lake before the moonrise.

I watched the President's press conference, and his looking like he was controlling himself from laughing at how unprepared Trump is was kind of heartening, his "just wait--he wont' know what hit him" look. I really hope infighting will render him and his cabinet ineffectual in a way that lessons the harm they will try to enact. Hope is all we have.

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Super Moon Birthday!!!

A very happy birthday to my dear exuberant friend ekaterin24 aka [personal profile] zlabya!!!! I'm so glad we've gotten to be friends the last year--having you nearby makes my life so much better and fuller. I hope you've had a great birthday. Here is a sparkler tree for you as a birthday candle on an earth cake:

A tulip poplar pretending to be one of Gandalf's fireworks--the one behind the fire station I told you to look up at, but taken a week ago. And here's your birthday moon:

The supermoon rising over Greenbelt Lake a quarter hour after sunset this evening. Not that I can tell if it's any bigger than a regular full moon. If you look really close, you can see a gray dot along the shoreline a half inch from the left side of the pic--that's a great blue heron who just landed.

I also want to wish a happy belated birthday to just_ann_now! I hope it was a good one and there's a closer supermoon pic below for you.

Today I went to a brunch and movie in DC with my Jewish Lesbian group--it wound up being just 2 of us. But kibitzing over brunch and seeing a good movie was just what I needed today. We saw Denial with Rachel Weisz. It's about the 1996 trial in the UK between historian Deborah Lipstadt and Holocaust denier David Irving who was claiming libel against her. Wonderfully paced and well done.

I listened to interviews with Bernie Sanders and Michael Moore about the election on the radio on the way home, and they were calming. Then I took a walk and snapped the above supermoon pic and the one below the cut. So a much better day than the rest of the post-election week (excepting a lovely walk with [profile] zblaya on Friday and talking with ya'll.)

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Brain Fog

I've been moving around in a fog and just can't get it together. I swam today and have no idea how many laps I did in 45 minutes--just couldn't keep track. And I've been getting to bed too late and up too late. Poor kitties. I will get myself to bed on time tonight and try to get myself back on schedule and hopefully that will help and I can put myself back together. I have no idea what stage of grief this is. I'm a slow processor. Others still in the same place?

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Kingmaker: a dark political ficlet

Just wrote a short ficlet about a meeting between Trump and his handlers November 9th and what the dynamic might be. It's pretty dark. Trigger warning for PG bondage imagery.

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Oddly Comforting News About Non-voters

If the stats are good in this article (and that's a big "if" until we see more discussion on and examination of this, and the results are still not all in), only 55% of eligible voters bothered to vote in this election--the lowest turnout in 20 years.

The good news is that only a quarter of eligible voters voted for Trump, so less than a quarter of the population. So 3/4 of the US did not approve Trump nor wanted him. Most USians just stood by in their not-my-problem-field and let it happen. Which is really the US I know. And it's oddly comforting.

At least I will be oddly comforted by the part that was not the result of voter suppression efforts that kept people of color from getting to the polls. And I really want to find out who is doing the best work to investigate all cases of voter suppression and donate--I suspect that would be the Southern Poverty Law Center, but maybe there's another organization working on this. Any ideas, flisties?

So keep in mind that most people will stand by and do nothing if the Trumpies come for us, but there are still more of us who are working to resist than there are Trumpies since Hillary did win the popular vote. Trump only represents 1/4 of our voting public, not nearly a half of the voters. I am really relieved that this could be the result of low turnout and apathy and not a surge of new voters coming out of the woodwork. The shadow is a passing thing. But only if we work to discourage more nonvoters to join his ranks.

Our best hope is that some of these nonvoters are surprised and horrified by Trump's win enough and all he and his minions do to horrify us all further that a few of them will come out and join us for midterm elections in 2018 and get rid of Trump and Pence in 2020.

Do not stop harping on the fact that Hillary won the popular vote every chance you get and a slim amount of voters could have changed the electoral vote. Every vote really does count. We only need a few of them to wake up out of their stupors to get our country back in 4 years. We need to keep ringing the alarms and help pull them out of bed.

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Prodding the Press

If you have the spoons, we need to prod the press because they are lazy and myopic, and Trump's people know how to prod them, but Dem's aren't so good at it.

I just copied and sent that list of hate incidents with it's reference links compiled by momsrising.org that I posted here last night and sent it to the Washington Post under their contact email for story ideas. Maybe someone at that org has done that, but maybe not.

If you have the spoons, you can do the same with your regional or national news outlets of your choice by looking up their contact emails. It's worth a try. They're reporting on violence at anti-Trump rallies, but not presenting this info because it takes work and tracking to compile these incidents and make the connections.

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Just got this list of several incidents of violence and harassment happening all around the US from a momsrising.org email. Click on the first link under the cut to sign a petition calling on Trump to basically call off his dogs. The bottom links are to the sites listing the incidents. Pass on. Be vigilant, my friends.

And trigger warning--this is upsetting stuff, but inform yourself if you can . . .Collapse )

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Triptych for Tree

Happy Birthday, lovethosehobbit!!! I hope it's a great one. Bet moving to the leftmost peninsula off the mainland of this country in a blue state never felt like a better idea! You are one smart woman! May it be the best birthday ever to start off a great year for you.

Here are 3 pics from the lake here for you, from a couple of weeks ago, when the world was still young:


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The Worst of the US Prevails

There are so many horrible and deplorable white people and misogynists in this country and they won last night.

And let's not fall for the classist narrative that a lot of the press is upholding. Do not ignore that statistics show that the backbone of Trump's support is the same as Republicans have always had--wealthy people of varying education levels, mostly white men and the women who love and are related to them, and their only concern is to not pay taxes. They do not care who gets thrown under the bus as long as they keep all their stuff. They are supported by poor white people who hope to be them one day, but they are not the backbone--the wealthy and well off are and they are very quiet about what they are doing. They do not attend political rallies--they make phone calls and transfer money.

We have to go on and look out for each other and those more vulnerable than us. It's going to be harder still for a while. The fight continues.

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Come on, come on, come on, comm on . . . excruciating.

Sorry, Fight Song just doesn't cut it. Listens to Le Tigre's I'm with Her again. Thank you to [personal profile] baranduin for first bringing it to my attention. This song really needs more play.

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A Mallorn in Every Shire

We are in need of magic today, so I went down to the lake at the day's last light and found the Lady of the Golden Wood had gifted my shire with a mallorn, and you can see its reflection in her mirror, an image of hope. We need that last light. As the Galadhrim of Lothlorien say, if the Sindarin here is correct, amin naa yassen he`.


That would be translated, of course, as "I'm with her" in the Common tongue.

May all our shires be gifted with golden trees of hope tomorrow. Sleep well, my flist. <3

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More October still

Our leaves peaked Friday and are past peak today. So there's as much brown and bare as color now, but there's still a lot of color and green still yet to turn. It's been a beautiful week here. This pic is from 2 weeks ago:


Cats: Tuxie is doing well. I succeeded in doing 2 blood glucose curves on him a couple of weeks back--the first day was really high, but he was just getting over whatever digestive upset he had--whether it was from a lot of bad food or a virus. The next day, his values were very normal and his tests at the vet went well, except for raised pancreatic values, like me and Moo had. I need to start spot checking him, but I wanted his ears to recover from the pin cushion I had made of them. It's been great to see him climbing both cat trees again and he's been a cuddle bun. Moo is still being a painfully slow eater who I have to monitor for a good hour or so in the morning and evening so her food doesn't get devoured by the Tuxie monster--good thing they're cute.

Health: I had a tooth pulled and just got the sutures out yesterday. In 3 weeks I'll have an implant put in. I'm on celebrex for my foot and pinched neck nerve pain. I've had a couple of podiatrist appointments, am sleeping with a night splint on my left foot, which is helping, and getting orthotics made. More appointments to go. The neuropathy in my left arm from the pinched neck nerve is still troublesome, but the celebrex is helping with the pain some. Unless it gets a lot better in the next couple of weeks, I'll probably need to do some traction therapy for it this winter to try to stretch the neck discs some, after I get through with the dentist and podiatrist. I'm just not sure what that's going to require time-wise and whether I'll have enough work leave time for it. The hot flash and anxiety problems are ongoing.

I met up with a science fiction meet-up group for lunch at the Museum of the American Indians cafe in DC. I had my first fry bread, but it wasn't hot, so not that good--will have to get fresher fry bread sometime. I even had breakfast at Denny's that morning for my full Thomas-Builds-the-Fire experience, but driving into DC made me nervous, and my anxiety level was a little high to make the day fun, what with the election and my personal chemistry. There were beautiful beaded clips in the gift shop that made me think of deluxvivens. I've been thinking of her quite a bit lately. I really miss her. Walks in the autumn beauty and framing pics of it, snuggling cats, and good novels remain the best medicine for me. And watching SNL election skits online really helps.

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The Last Light

So here's 2 of the pics I took this evening right before sunset. Which do you like better--the first one with the bit of water and sky or the closer one below? I can't decide.


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More Late Afternoon Autumn Light

I have so many comments to answer and posts to catch up on, but I'm trying to post an autumn pic each day for a while first. So here's today's:

Late afternoon golds with a splash of orange on the east end of the lake. I love that carved out old tree bole on the trunk to the left. You've seen pics of it before, and you'll see plenty more.

My apartment building is just surrounded by a riot of colors--the leaves seem to be peaking now. We've had a fair amount of brownout, but I think this is being the prettiest autumn we've had in this area for a few years. Just north and west of us seems to be a lot more brownout, as I observed on my drive to Westminster, but down here near the DC swamp lands in the Chesapeake, Potomac, and Anacostia basin, we're getting good fall colors. My commute along the eastern part of the Beltway has been gorgeous this week as well. Being out in this magnificence is the only thing that keeps the election panic at bay--cats and reading help as well--so I'm getting what walks I can between work and med appointments. I hope you're all hanging int here. *hugs you all*

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LGBTIQH, bingo&amp;sam, together, bingo, f/s
Lavender Took

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