Oct. 21st, 2016 10:16 am
asher553: (Default)
What with all the internet skullduggery going on of late, this seems like a good time to renew this open invite to LJ/DW friends. If you want to connect or stay in touch outside of DW/LJ, feel free to comment or inbox me and we can exchange contact info. For those who are into snail mail, I'll include my new address.
asher553: (Default)
Marjory Asher was a friend and sometime girlfriend with whom I shared a birthday and a name. We stayed in touch after I left Portland, but I hadn't heard back from her for months. Now I know why.

I'll post a little more later. Right now I'm just stunned. It's been almost a year since she left us; don't know why it took me that long to do a google on her, but there you go.


She was found in the Willamette River.

"It has been determined that she did not fall."
asher553: (Default)
... and dodging the dog poop with [profile] silverseabear  and [personal profile] stigmatic! I had a wonderful, fabulous Saturday afternoon in a part of San Francisco that I'd missed out on before with these two. It was great meeting you both in the flesh!
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So I got up at my usual 5am after getting to sleep at about 1am. But I slept about an hour earlier in the evening yesterday. So I should get through the day all right.

Nothing quite like getting all your bills paid at 1 in the morning!

The new job is going better than I first thought it would, and the work day generally goes pretty quickly. They let you wear headphones on the job, which is nice, and it allows me to study my Arabic and Farsi while working.

Going to finally, really and truly, finish writing that new chapter to The Queen's Courtesan today. I'm taking my writing pad on my coffee breaks.

I've been getting traffic on the Stephanie tribute site, which is immensely gratifying.

Finished editing and tagging all my old entries.

[ profile] stilken's comment got me to thinking about the intersections between my LJ life and the rest of my-life-in-the-world. More later .....
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Just recently I was reminded of how pleasant - and how rare - it is to have a nice, comfortable, warm conversation with someone.

Also, how much easier it is to sleep when there's someone to say good night to.

Well, anyway, I've got to try to shut my eyes for a little bit because I've got that fun job again tomorrow.
asher553: (Default)
I'm still scanning documents for a pittance, but it's going well.

Highlight of the weekend was a lovely e-mail conversation with somebody last night. (Really, I *will* get that IM thing going on soon!)

Other than that, another day, another dollar. Happy Presidents' Day and all that stuff.
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The new job is keeping me pretty busy, but it's going well.

Michael Totten is posting about his most recent trip to Lebanon. Here's his interview with Walid Jumblatt and his analysis of Lebanese politics after the Hariri assassination (which happened two years ago today). MJT's Israeli friend Michael Oren is going to be appearing at Powell's Books this Friday night at 7:30, and I'm going. Michael T. has invited me to hang out with him and the Israeli author after the event. I was hoping Michael W., who's a prof at Portland State and very interested in Israeli and Middle Eastern events, would be able to join us; but it probably would have been too many Michaels in one place anyway.

Promising myself I'm going to do some creative stuff before I go to bed tonight. TQC is still stuck at Chapter 29. One more chapter will round out Part III and give me a chance to set up the next part of the storyline. Chapter 30 will probably take a look at Gilkesh politics as seen through the eyes of Earth Intel. In the next section I want to develop Kathris and Amira's relationship some more, provide an inside look at the workings of Singularity, explore a planet (Darkhaven) which I've so far only alluded to, and introduce one more character ... who will play an important role in the story.

Oh, and I promise there will be some sex scenes soon.

Valentine's Day? Well, I could give you a lot of high-flown rhetoric about commercialism and the cheapening of human relationships ... but I'll just fess up and say I'm embittered. Grrrrr.

So there.

Happy Valentine's Day anyway.
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Last night I saw Rabbi Greenberg at PSU - my second time seeing him in three days, after catching him at the private event on Sunday. He is awesome. I won't try to summarize his talks here, but I'm glad he is out there and working for change.

Tonight I'm meeting a friend who's a prof at PSU. He helped put together the RSG appearance. Should be exciting conversation and it'll be good catching up.

Tomorrow ... job interview!
asher553: (Default)
At the culinary academy, do they have a recipe for Cottage Cheese Thighs?

(h/t [ profile] plumerai)
asher553: (Default)
So, here's a random roundup of randomness.

Update on the friend in California:  No info.  I called her phone but her voicemail was full, so I sent an e-mail asking her to kindly call me when she is up to it.  So far, no word back.  I'll mail a get-well card by postal tomorrow, but otherwise I'm waiting until I hear back from her.

How I spent my day:  Learning the names of the Presidents of the United States.  Yeah, I know - why Presidents and not labor leaders, suffragettes, civil rights leaders, etc.?  Well why not Presidents.  You've got to start somewhere.  I'm reading the Wikipedia bios to get a sense of who they were and what they contributed.  Hopefully I'm laying the foundations for a deeper study of American history, which I would like to undertake soon.

The Governor's Ball was great.  My friend picked me up and we got there exactly on time.  She knew a few people there because she's active in the Democratic Party in Oregon; I, obviously, am not, but I enjoyed the event.  And as I posted before, I do like Kulongoski, voted for him, and endorsed him on my website.

Last week's Torah portion, as I posted earlier, was Vayechi, the last parasha of Genesis.  One of the themes of this reading is the promise of Joseph to bury the bones of his father Jacob (alias Israel) not in Egypt, but in the land of Canaan (alias Israel).  This is the source of the tradition, and of the Hebrew idiom, for kindness shown to the dead - hesed shel emet in Hebrew, "true kindness" because it cannot be repaid.

UPDATE:  I just heard back from her (California friend) and she is OK but resting up.  And she does have a boyfriend.  (Boo hoo.)  But I'll still be getting together with her to put together a compilation of Stephanie's stuff.  And this ties in with where I'm going here - because I think the respect shown to the departed is repaid, not tangibly but with their presence in our lives.

[personal profile] metaphorge has posted some pictures from Auschwitz.  Go take a look. 
Auschwitz II (Birkenau) is the camp that many people know simply as "Auschwitz". It was the site of imprisonment of hundreds of thousands, and of the killing of over one million people, mainly Jews but also large numbers of Poles, and Gypsies.

Birkenau was largely destroyed by the Nazis in an attempt to cover up their crimes, so little remains except the chimneys for most of the buildings that the prisoners were kept in. The scale of the place is astonishing; as you can see from the photo, the chimneys stretch on as far as the eye can see across the sprawling 440 acre complex.

Bear in mind that three-quarters of the prisoners who were sent to Birkenau were gassed within a few hours of arrival, so all of these buildings were needed to house only the remaining quarter, who were utlized as slave labor in nearby industrial plants.
That's all for now. 
asher553: (Default)
Been quite a year.

I'll tell you what, I'm glad to see that Saddam finally met his end. As some of you already know, I served with the Marine Corps in the 1990-91 campaign and I was sorry we didn't get rid of the son of a bitch then. Well, now he's gone. For those who want to know more, there's information on atrocities in Ba'athist Iraq here and information on Saddam Hussein here.

Thursday night I had drinks with Michael. He just got back from his latest trip to Beirut, where he spent three and a half weeks this time. (Last time he was there for six months.) He said Nasrallah's Hezbollah had come extremely close - much closer than the media report - to toppling the Seniora government. In Lebanon, he says, there's a saying: "No victors, no vanquished." I guess that was the principle that kept Nasrallah from stepping over that last line.

Closer to home, my trip back to Connecticut was an incredibly healing and vitalizing experience. Saw a lot of old friends at the high school reunion, and renewed ties with some relatives in northeastern Connecticut. Two weeks in the boondocks of New England was a welcome change from my little apartment in downtown Portland.

The day after Thanksgiving, I got an e-mail from an old girlfriend of my sister's, from back in high school, who's now living in the Bay Area. I'd contacted her more than a year ago but never really expected to hear back from her. So now, out of the blue, she gets in touch and we really hit it off. I'm hoping to get together with her when I go down to visit California in January.

But I just spoke with her on the phone, and she's in the hospital.

More under a friends cut.

Stuff, etc.

Dec. 4th, 2006 06:29 am
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Last day in Putnam! I'm flying home tomorrow - homeward bound, leavin' on a jet plane, etc. Two weeks of rest, relaxation, and being spoiled rotten by relatives was just about right. Now I'm ready to go back to normal life.

LiveJournal seems to be working *almost* reliably this morning.

[ profile] heyfoureyes - I love pen and paper. It forces me to slow down. Also easier to keep track of work and revisions. Different product? Yes, I think so. I'm going back to drafting in longhand for new episodes of TQC - never mind the enormous mountain of notes I've already generated - because it makes me more conscious of the work.

BTW, a while back you were asking about single-gender societies in SF. Did I mention the short story "Breathmoss" by Ian McLeod? I thought it was quite well done.

[ profile] heldc - It's baaaaaack!


Dec. 2nd, 2006 09:12 am
asher553: (Default)
Dear friend on my f-list who just wrote a long self-hating post,

Please stop! You do not deserve to be hated by anybody. If you are having problems with your family, try to work it out.

Yes, it is true that you deserve to live! And it's also true that life puts us in situations (or we put ourselves in situations) where we have to do difficult things and make hard decisions. That's not because we were meant to suffer, but because we were meant to LIVE LIFE, and that necessarily means that we must suffer sometimes.

Don't troll yourself. If you feel you did somebody wrong (and that's hard for me to believe beause I know you're a beautiful, wonderful person - but you are human too), then forgive yourself first. I say forgive yourself first because you have to be okay with yourself in order to do whatever else may be required. You know, the oxygen mask on the airplane thing ...

Get some rest (something tells me you've been working too hard) and a good meal, and then take another look at life. I don't know what your specific situation is and I won't presume to give you advice on it. But I do know that it's sad when adult family members don't get along; and I know that family conflicts can heal, even if it takes time.

PS - Even a limbo stick needs to have a little fun (NSFW) every now and then.
asher553: (Default)
I just friended a whole bunch more people at semi-random.

W00t! My prospects for getting to Connecticut for Thanksgiving and High School Reunion just got a whole lot brighter: I found out that a credit card I thought was maxed out had, in fact, a ZERO BALANCE on it, and five hundred beautiful dollars in credit available. Booking ticket tomorrow, G-d willing!

I am promising myself I will post at least one new episode in The Queen's Courtesan this weekend. For you newcomers, it is a lesbian-themed sci-fi serial, and does NOT feature blue-skinned alien women with three breasts.

I've been dorking around with my LJ settings the last couple of days. I really like the "Expressive" templates but apparently there's a bug in the code that prevents me from using any friends-page links while I'm signed in. Do PC users have this problem too, or is it only a Mac thing? (And yes, it happens on Firefox as well as Safari.) Anyway, I'm back to approximately where I was before and will probably leave well enough alone.

Got more stuff I want to post on soon.
asher553: (Default)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY [ profile] lilphish!
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Soooo, how long has it been since I posted here?

Work has kept me busy and exhausted, but it's a good thing. I am working for the County in the department that licenses adult foster homes (i.e. care for the elderly). I'm not involved with the caregiving aspect, I just handle some of the paperwork - but it's rewarding and fun, and I work with a great group of people. Oh, and the pay is quite decent. This isn't a permanent gig, just until the gal I'm filling in for gets back from maternity leave.

I want to do some new creative stuff this week. Haven't posted anything new to my Flickr page and I want to. Camera needs batteries because I've been to cheap and too stupid to spring for a rechargeable battery. But even without use of my camera, there's lots of stuff I can do with my scanner and Photoshop, plus those fun plots in Mathematica and Maple.

On the program for today: Morning - meet friend for coffee at the Red & Black Café; afternoon - clean the apartment and rest up. Monday after work I'm hoping to meet up with an old friend who's in town.

Oh and the other big news: Some time in the next four weeks or so, I need to scrape up the airfare for a ticket to Connecticut around Thanksgiving time. I want to visit some relatives back there (plus the gorgeous second cousin I've had a mad crush on since age six), and also this year my high school class is having a reunion and I want to go! Funny, because I wanted to have nothing to do with those a-holes for a good many years after graduation. But you know, sometimes you need to re-connect with your past. And I guess it is a measure of the fact that I'm fairly happy with my life today, that I want to do this.

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