Wednesday, December 21, 2005

A Solstice Homecoming

Happy Solstice everyone! Tonight I got one of the greatest gifts any expat could get for solstice, the feeling of home. My friend Stacy invited me to her friend Fang’s house for her celebration.

I walked onto a porch festooned with prayer flags; in the windows candles burned, shaded by randomly hung tapestries.

The walls were covered in bookshelves, books of every imaginable kind, vintage and subject were shelved according to no order. Why? Because this was Chaos. She even answered the phone “Chaos”.

There were men dressed in skirts and/or velour in the living room near the food stuffs. There were all sorts of people I’d like to get to know better. A really funny guy named Bumblebee, a ton of other people whose names I’ve forgotten. One guy had a brand of the Chinese symbol for peace on his arm. I asked if he had a Cthulhu on his ass, and he nearly showed me. Lots of computer people, some BDSM people, just people of every sort except the kind you try to avoid at any cost.

They even had a holiday tree, which was a sculpture of chicken wire, xmas lights, and pulsating neon fiber optic lightlines programmed to flash in a particular sequence. It was unlike anything I’d ever seen, and perfect for the venue. It was built mostly by a very slim Asian man in a yellow turtleneck and a dog collar.

There was a fire pit in the back yard with someone simultaneously playing two drums and a didjeridoo. Fang handed me a flask and said “single malt”? I grinned and asked what version. She replied “Laphroig, 12”. Oh dear god, that stuff had a kick to it. She then spit a mouthful on the fire to welcome the ancestors and poured the dregs in the mud for Mother Earth. Then twenty people simultaneously said “Huzzah!” I nearly fainted.

The place reminded me of a place I used to frequent in Minneapolis called “the hippie house”. This place had more order, oddly enough, but the minute I heard a faint bootleg of the Dead playing on the sound system as I browsed through “Toward a Critique of Foucault” I knew I was “home”.

I was so grateful I just about cried. Meaka had wished me a Happy Solstice earlier in the day, and I just missed her intensely. I’d been talking to another pagan friend about Mayday in Minneapolis, and realizing there ARE some things I miss. I miss the wheel of the year, every season in its place and celebrated there.

Tonight, I got a little bit of that back, and it was lovely. I could even sit and watch the fire, knowing I wasn’t going to freeze to death doing it.

I got to geek out and be outgeeked, and bond with people just because we were us. I’ve missed that.

Sometimes I think I’ve been an outcast so long I’ve grown unsure of what to do when shown welcome. I’ve forgotten how to leap since that 3000-mile leap that got me here. I’ve grown to mistrust my judgment, given the last two disastrous dating experiences.

I’m finally in a group of relationships that are all based on communication, imagine that! It’s not traditional or monogamous, but it’s a hell of a lot healthier than the “traditional, monogamous” crap I’ve been dealing with since….er…..puberty. [Except the professor, she was neither traditional nor particularly monogamous, but the rest of that story should go to the publisher, first. Y’all will have to wait]

I had stopped looking for other geeks, and all of a sudden I am flush with geekery everywhere. I had stopped looking for somewhat sane polyamory, and then found it.

I think I’m going to stop looking for fiscal sanity next, you never know, maybe I’ll get it. Unfortunately, this underscores just how inappropriate the Bible is to my life. What works for me is “Don’t seek, and ye shall find.”

So celebrate what you celebrate, but remember it all started with the fire burning deep in the night, hoping the sun will come back tomorrow.

Merry Solstice to ye! Huzzah!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Badphairy’s Computer Odyssey 2005

I usually let my computer take care of itself. I defrag it every so often and remove old files once every five years or so. I still image my drive at least once a year, and use anti-spyware goodies.

However, I set up all my scheduled cleaning activities more than three years ago, and
can’t always remember what the settings were. Thus, when Norton’s CleanSweep popped up, helpfully asking to delete unneeded files, I let it. Since I was in the program, I decided to do some basic unscheduled upkeep.

It has a little button that will let you locate all your allegedly “duplicate” (dll.) files. Dll files are the thingummies which actually run the drivers that allow your software to control your hardware. They also allow software to run itself. This is as close to a technical explanation as I can give without sounding like C-Threepio.

Now, according to CleanSweep, sometimes there are more than one copy of a specific dll file that is sitting on your hard drive, taking up space. CleanSweep would like to help you with your problem.


I did, and it was not pretty. Luckily, I did allow Norton to make a backup of all the files I planned on deleting. Then I deleted them. Then the fit hit the shan.

All of a sudden my modem didn’t work. I couldn’t fark, download my e-mail, upload my writing, nothing. This is the sort of happening that makes the end user break out in a cold sweat. Not only have you done something stupid, you have no idea if you’ve done something irrevocably stupid. If it’s not irrevocable, when you go to your geek friends for help, prepare for several minutes of loud laughter once you have explained what you’ve done. *sigh*

I went to use the Windows troubleshooter. Windows Help wouldn’t load. Why? The dll file that runs it had been deleted. Hey, weren’t these supposed to be duplicate files? Nope, CleanSweep deleted the only copy of about half my dll files. Most of my hardware refused to work fully, some of it refused to work at all.

I remanded the souls of all Norton programmers to the least comfortable place I could imagine (Salt Lake City) there to dwell in pain and teetotality in their mother’s basements forever and aye. Polecat barstids.

I managed to Explore my way into Norton’s backup file. Unfortunately, it required a version of itself to decode said file, which I could not access from outside the program shell. Grrrrrrr.

I gave up and tried to see if some of my games still worked. They did, thankfully. I talked to a friend with computer skillz the following day. We decided that the most important part was the modem, since if I could get that running, I could scream for help all over the Net. As she was downloading the software I needed to run my modem, I found the correct path through the Norton shell to restore all the deleted files from the backup I’d made.

Huzzah! Success, and without much ridicule. One cannot ask for more if one is dumb enough to do this in the first place.

So, Lessons learned:

1. Do not delete dll files! The amount of space they take up is minimal, and the amount of trouble caused by their lack is legion and frustrating.

2. If you are going to delete files whose last three letters (after the dot) are unknown to you, either don’t do it or make a backup.

3. Figure out how to use your various backup programs. I have BackWeb, which allegedly has my latest build on file. Unfortunately, said file is located on the Net. Without a modem, it might as well have not existed.

4. Cultivate geek friends! I can NOT stress this enough. I didn’t actually need my friend to solve this problem, but her calm, reassuring logical mind on the other end of the phone line was very important to my ensuing success.

In conclusion, when a file loads itself and asks helpfully if it should do things, tell it no, and go back to what you were doing. You’ll be glad you did.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Panther Pussy -- Not in a Good Way

I tried to ignore the Panthers cheerleader story (which is basically every straight man’s dream, cheerleaders having sex with each other *gasp*), but it’s gotten too good. Now some unrelated chick (jealous?) is suing one of them for punching her? (Yeehaw, catfight!!)

First off, you interrupt two actual lesbians having sex in a bathroom stall, and you’re probably going to get more than one eyeful. I think interrupting is inexcusable, especially without a warning shot or at least a wicked phlegmy throat clearing.

Even more egregious, the punchee is suing for $15K? How long has she been going to Joan Rivers’ plastic surgeon? 15 thousand dollars is an awful lot of money. I have seen nowhere any evidence of broken teeth, or as is more likely, fractured acrylic nails.

I’m sorry but no self-respecting lesbian would sue for this much money for getting punched once, unless it involved major reconstructive surgery afterward. In fact, the alleged victim Melissa Holden admits “It swelled immediately and turned purple.” Not, “my eye fell out onto my cheek and I had to use duct tape to hold it in while I drove myself to the hospital”. She obviously does not understand the concept of the “bar fight,” nor the concept of “bragging about the bar fight.”

No, no, the whole point of getting in the way of someone’s fist (dumbass thing to do if’n ya ask me), is to brag about said swollen purple trophy the next day. I mean, come on, you’re a lesbian. You can always say “Waal, we were at the Applebee’s and this stupid frat boy’s looking at my woman’s ass. He got me once, here in the eye, then I cleaned his clock, repaired it, reset it, and sent him on his way back to clock-obfuscation class, and what’s more I’ll repeat said actions the next time I see him again, too!”

As long as your girlfriend agrees to swoon and dimple every time you say it, it’s free beers for you for the foreseeable future. The court case may be for 15k, but a story like that can last a lifetime if managed carefully.

No, this idiot Melissa person is obviously not just a femme, but a straight one. I’m learning to love the gay femmes; the straight ones, not so much.

I can’t believe there are this many straight women who are this clueless about lesbians. This is obviously not a scenario in which any of these women are lesbians. Why? Because they are obviously oblivious to the rules. What rules? Come with me, children, Mama’s gon’ tell you some very important information.

Badphairy’s Rules of Lesbian Sex and Barfighting ™:
Rule 1. Do not talk about Lesbian Sex in Bars (unless men are paying you).
Rule 2. Do not interrupt Lesbians Having Sex in Bars.
Rule 3. Someday It Will Be Your Turn.
Rule 3. Following Rule 2, Will Make Rule 3 More Probable.
Rule 4. No Matter What Happened, By Tomorrow You Will Have Won and Orgasmed.
Rule 5. Rule 4 Does Not Change.

Now, do you see how these three women are not lesbians in any way shape or form? No one has declared herself the winner thus all three are LOSERS. There is a completely un-bragged about black eye (the horror). And NO MEN ARE PAYING FOR THIS MASTURBATION FODDER!

We simply cannot allow this situation to continue. The only thing we can do is an all out media blitz. So, find the cutest lesbians of all body types, and videotape them having sex. Mail them to me, and we’ll saturate the media with images some lesbian (namely me) is getting paid for…to once and for all attempt to educate the American public on the subject of real lesbians having sex, vs. straight girls attention-whore-mongering.

Or I’ll just end up with the largest collection of actual lesbian pornography in the world. What’s not to like? I’ll charge for ahem “entry” to a website of some sort, and we can use the money for “things beneficial to the lesbian community”, yes that’s sufficiently vague.

In any case, send me video, for I need to get the images of these three drunken straight girls behaving badly out of my mind.

Thank you in advance, for my viewing pleasure.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Two Little Words: "Gay Agenda"

I have been struck lately by two words that seem bandied about fairly often, but for
which I fail to find a definition that agrees with its context. The phrase of which I speak is the “gay agenda”.

Now, the reason we’re going over this in part, is that we’re going to gear up for the midterm Senate elections over the next year, and I want to talk about what this phrase means now, so you’ll know when you hear it used later. Just let it wash over you, it’ll be okay.

The “gay agenda” is notoriously difficult to pin down. The American Heritage Dictionary returned “Search Results for “gay agenda”: No documents match the query.” Definition is likewise not found at Merriam Webster’s site

As a last resort, I tried and got an answer, sort of.

“A conspiracy theorists lame idea that all gays are out to get straights and convert them. Unfortunately all the gay agenda really is, is a program to promote understanding of homosexuality. Or as to put it by 1 gay man like myself TO BE LEFT ALONE. Christians obsess on the gay agenda constantly.”

Example (given in definition) :
“Homophobe #1 “Did you hear about the gay agenda’s plans to take over Washington?” “Homophobe #2 “OMG if that happens we'll all have to fuck men.”

I greatly enjoyed the sarcasm, but since the author of this definition is already preaching to the choir, I tried another tack. I entered “The ‘Gay Agenda’, list” into Google. It returned “Results 1 - 10 of about 105,000 for The "Gay Agenda", list. (0.29 seconds)” I waded through the first page of results. Did I find a more explicit definition than UrbanDic?

Nope. So, I applied some random skull sweat. What would the gay agenda be? Well, we want to vote. We can do that. Excellent.

We want to be able to gather in public places. Hmm, well, in adult groups we’re pretty safe, alone not so much (RIP Gwen Araujo). Many gay youth have prevailed in lawsuits against schools that tried to restrict them forming clubs that are tolerant of gays, gay parents, and hopefully the musical as an art form. (We can always hope.)

Those schools who banned all school clubs so they could specifically ban a gay school club, have found themselves providing the rest of the nation a textbook demonstration of nose-cutting for face-spiting purposes. Heckuva job y’all, please do keep it up. Many of our children are learning valuable lessons in hypocrisy and Pyrrhic victory from your sterling example. Thank you.

Apparently, a bunch of us want to get married. Because I am known as the world’s worst predictor of modern trends, I probably said a decade ago, “Never in my lifetime.” I am overjoyed to announce my complete and total wrongitude, phallaciousness, and general mistakeliciousness on this issue. As of publication, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Washington will perform same-sex weddings under state aegis. Nearly half of the remaining U.S. states explicitly outlaw same, however, these are probably all unconstitutional. When the Supreme Court will take the case, and whether individual rights will matter much to that body at that time remains to be seen.

Other Supreme Court cases either pending or soon to be…Canadian-wed gay civil rights. U.S. citizens suing to get their foreign same-sex spouses citizenship, gay Arabs applying for refugee status in the U.S. (from U.S. supported regime(s), Mormons hitching their wagons to the “redefining marriage” star under the “three or more consenting adults” claim. Oh, the cans of worms explode with delight. I find it a tad odd that religious righties like Pat Robertson and his ilk that claim gay marriage is a slippery slope to marrying puppies, are having their prophecies fulfilled by even more right-wing fundie Mormons, yet they blame it all on the Gay Agenda.

Let us join hands and collectively say, “Huh?”

Statistics show we want to adopt kids, our partners’ or just kids in general. Arkansas, Mississippi, Utah and Florida ban adoption by gays. Florida also continues to have the absolutely worst record of foster care and adoption oversight in the nation. I guess if the choices are “would you like orphan children a: drowned or b: adopted by gays, the State of Florida urges you to support drowned toddlers. I really, truly wish I were exaggerating:

Lena Cumberbatch, 36, of 5957 Wentworth Circle S in Jacksonville, Florida was bathing Latiana when she pushed the baby's head under water while at least two other children watched her murder the baby. The baby died from drowing and blunt head trauma. Cumberbatch had a total of 8 children in her home, four were foster children and four her own ranging in ages from 2 months to 10 years old.

Keith Cumberbatch, her husband, was not at home during the incident but was later questioned by police but not charged. Lena was lead from the home in tears just after the toddlers death and taken in for questioning. All seven remaining children were taken from the four bedroom home and placed in the states care.

However, Virginia, Tennessee and Arkansas all rejected gay adoption bans. Two steps forward, one step back.

Strangely enough looking at the issues: adoption, marriage, citizenship, and free assembly, these all look like civil rights, don’t they? If the issue walks and quacks like a duck, why bother calling it a red herring like the “Gay Agenda”?

Civil rights aren’t “special” rights if you don’t consider yourself particularly special. They’re for everyone.

We have the same agenda that everyone in America has, the very definition of the dream, to spend our lives in liberty to pursue such happiness as we can. If that’s the Gay Agenda, not only is it doing just fine, I’ll happily pursue it to the extent I’m legally allowed.