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Apparently my lj did import to dreamwidth, back in April. So here I will try out crossposting. It's funny, g plus has come along in the meanwhile, making this seem less vital.

For those who might recall last week's bomb scare, today there are even MORE firetrucks out there blocking the same end of block, and black smoke coming out of the second story of a tall house. Happy heat wave fighting, o SJ fire fighters! Safety to all.

Someday I have to learn or disable some of the touchpad functions on the netbook. It makes me crazy, I'm constantly typing in the wrong place. My shoulder's tired o; the typing anyhow. ;-)
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I am sad to hear today (on the excellent Coode Street podcast), that Diana Wynne Jones has passed. I loved many of her books, and always planned to go read some more. Still do.

Always thought that her books would make a fine basis for a contemporary kid's fantasy movies.

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The first San Jose Transgender Day of Visibility was a success! By pretty much any measure, save maybe timeliness (much to my own disappointment!). We had 60 or so people in theDeFrank's Grand Ballroom. Nori Herras was the DeFrank staffer on duty that night, not to mention one of my star guests; she does SO much work for the local transgender community. And she was patient and helpful for the event, an extra plus.

We had fun! We started off with the short film "Gender Busters" by
Sam Berliner, a graduate student; it's a fun super-hero style piece. "Spiral Transitions," by  Ewan Duarte, another grad student, was a personal story of transition, focusing on the mom's process (and her art!). From there we moved into a discussion panel, including Nori, the two film producers, and myself. The guys answered lots of questions about their films, and we finished up speculating about where we would like transgender people to be in ten years.

Next we watched *
Trannymals Go to Court," by Dylan Vade, Esq., and Abe Bernard. And everyone found out why there were googly eyes on some of the cupcakes. Speaking of food - we had a lot of treats! Many people donated pretty tasty sweets. All tips received were donated to the DeFrank. It was great to see people chatting and munching between 'stage' activities. Community was one of the goals - we made it happen, at least for a moment.

The drag performances were on next! Tam LaFey performed a dramatic, spot-on Stevie Nicks classic, complete with spike heels and gracefully curving fringe shawls. Members of the
Gender Queer Society Troup did rockin' "Dirty King" piece, taking turns strutting. It was great fun.

Adam Speckler, trans and out assistant to
CA State Assemblymember Bill Monning, gave a brief legistlative overview of local interest, including AB 887 on Gender Equality, and AB 433, the Vital Statistics Modernization Act. Both could have real impact on the daily life of CA trans people. As Adam urged, get involved in local politics and you can make a real difference!

Finally, [livejournal.com profile] inflectionpoint read a closing poem for us,
How To Make Love to a Trans Person, by Gabe Moses (I know some of the people who attended will want that reference!). Go read it for a taste of the energy!

Many people contributed, from attendees who arrived early (due to a mistake on the DeFrank's calendar), and helped sort out balloons and flowers, to [livejournal.com profile] kingwyatt who agreed somewhat last minute to be my A/V man; he got us through some challenges. Some of my South Bay Trans Men contributed muscle power and food and coffee prep, and [livejournal.com profile] kproche and [livejournal.com profile] attrembl loaned me a sound system! Thank you everyone who helped. 

Thanks also to all of the people who attended! Friends came even from  - gasp! - the city! How cool is that? It was much easier having friends' faces in the audience.

A number of folks came up and introduced themselves to me; some on request - people I hadn't met yet but who wanted to help out and be there. I thought I'd have more time to chat, silly me for imaging I would. Folks seemed to understand I was flying from this to that. Or so I hope!

I would do this again.

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what: Transgender Day of Visibility; a day to celebrate trans folks!
  - short films by trans film makers-  performances by the Gender Queer Society Troupe and TamLa Fey - 
  - a report from Adam Stickler (assistant to a CA assemblyman) - interactive panel discussion; ask your questions, participate! -

when: Thursday, March 31, 7-9pm

where: Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center Ballroom; 938 The Alameda, San Jose

cost: none!

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via Circle of Dionysos by DKCowan on 2/27/11

"What is forgotten is that “those people” are out there every day questioning the norm and so removing societal barriers for finding and expressing one’s true self for everyone.  If it were not for “those people,” then the “normal gays” of today would still be considered “those people.”  The cultural shift that “those people” enact is both more enduring and more profound  than any short term political battles that may be lost because of them. So honor your freaks, your transfolk, your drag kings and queens,  the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, the leather daddies, and the dykes on bikes, for without them there could be no movement, no removal of obstacles."
"One must be memorable before one can become an icon.  Which of your icons is most memorable?  A congressman from Massachusetts?  No.  A former boy band member who was outed by his boyfriend?  No.  A round-bellied, dog shit eating Drag Queen who called herself Divine?  Now that one has possibilities."

I was attracted to Ganesh long ago, and started collecting the occasional image of him, despite naving only a college overview of Hinduism. Because he was about doorways, and reading, and guarding. Because he's a bit Other. And has cool clothes. The Circle of Dionysius' 'Yes They Are!' ritual theater on queer deities is awesome. Go read the whole thing, and catch the performance if you get the opportunity!

clip clop!

Mar. 25th, 2011 09:23 am
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Happy Birthday, [info]galtine1!
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From Rich Hanson's JOT today...

" The frequent discrepancy between the rewards you expected to get from a want, and what it actually feels like to fulfill it. Similarly, notice that the anticipated pain from the things you want to avoid - especially things that would be good for you to open to or go after - is usually worse than the discomfort you actually feel. In effect, your brain is routinely lying to you, promising more pleasure and more pain than you will actually experience. The reason is that the pleasure and pain circuits of the brain are ancient and primitive, and they manipulated our ancestors to do things for their survival by overselling them about apparent opportunities and over-frightening them about apparent risks."

The mix of bringing science into Buddhist (or any other) practice delights me.

And desire is so frigging huge, desire particulary when it's about wanting/avoiding, rather than expressing. As others have been, I've been looking at fear (touch-and-go) a lot lately. It's interesting to add this to the mix. 

I like the JOTs (it's a weekly thing); they often have practical application. He also has a Skillful Means wiki, which is pretty interesting.


Mar. 23rd, 2011 03:03 pm
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Some of my personal Feri work led me to another round of self-work on LGBT stuff in my own life a month or so ago (yea Amethyst Pentacle!). With a focus on 'visibility.' Despite being an organizer and all that, I still had some itchy spots. Probably always will, yadda yadda.

And now I've got the Trans Day of Visibility event coming up, and people are contacting me out of the woodwork! New therapists looking to learn, or to find help for young FTMs. New film makers. A guy who is a legislative assistant asked if he could speak. Not to mention having a couple of drag performances. And more. 

Maybe this will be an opportunity for me to learn more myself, perhaps find a segue into some new career paths. Who knows. I feel pretty proud of it all, really, and it hasn't even happened yet.

OTOH, I still have to connect with friends to get the sound system, and relearn how to use it, and order and pick up coffee for that evening, and make a script, and make sure the projector will work, and find all of the film dvds... :-)

Transgender Day of Visibility
Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center, 938 The Alameda, San Jose
March 31st, 7-9pm
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Yeah, you're not surprised the Hebrew God had a wife, Ashera. She was pretty much edited out. Interesting new finds from Discovery.

It is weird stuff like this makes me so happy? ;-)
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Happy birthday dinogrl and jorhett! May your cups never empty!
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Would be great. Save I doubt we'll be able to see it around here. rain rain rain.

Still, a nice way to slip into spring! Maybe we'll get lucky.

From the pagan news in Minnesota.
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from: A Small Shrine of Antinous. Thirdly, I found out via a friend that a prehistoric site in Scotland, which is currently threatened with destruction, and has been in more-or-less continuous usage for a long time in terms of ritual/folk significance, is seeking assistance. Here is the information/an article on the site in question (which I’ve heard elsewhere has similarities to a certain ritual ascribed to a group of Gaulish women on an island in relation to Dionysos according to Strabo, if I am not mistaken, involving a re-roofing of the house each year)…

Glenlyon Hydro threat to Celtic Heritage
by Jamie Grant, Secretary of the Glen Lyon History Society

Planning was recently lodged for four new run of the river hydro schemes on the Auch Estate in Glenlyon. One of these proposed scheme in Gleann Cailliche threatens an ancient and uninterrupted link to our Celtic heritage.

I have lived in Glenlyon, known in Gaelic as Gleann Dubh nan Garbh Clac (the crooked Glen of the Stones),for the past ten years. During this time there is one remote spot that I have loved to visit more than any other. To reach it you have to drive to the road’s end at Pubil, where the Lubreoch hydro-electric dam holds back the waters of Loch Lyon. From here a small track skirts the north shore of the loch, into the Glen’s most westerly marches.

This land between Loch Lyon and the Bridge of Orchy feels truly wild. Miles from anywhere the mountains, scored with tumbling burns, take complete hold over the landscape. Scramble to the summit of Beinn á Chreachinon a clear day and you can see the Ben Lawers massif, Rannoch Moor, Glen Coe and even the humped cap of Ben Nevis in the far distance.

But it isn’t just the views and rare arctic-alpine habitats that make this area so special. Tucked away in Gleann Cailliche, a hidden glen of boggy heath and mist, is the ancient shrine of Tigh nam Bodach. The shrine is made up of a modest stone structure that houses a family of bell shaped water stones from the river bed of the Lyon.

The largest represents the Cailleach (old woman), accompanied by the Bodach (old man) and their daughter, Nighean.

The Tigh nam Bodach is recognized as the oldest uninterrupted pre-Christian ritual in Britain, some say in all of Europe. For centuries the family of stones have been taken out of their house every spring and facing down the Glen. At the beginning of November they are carefully shut back up inside their house, where they shelter through the winter. The ritual coincides with the two great Celtic fire festivals, Beltaneand Samhain, and once echoed the annual migrations of the Highland cattle to and from the summer shielings.

The shielings may be long abandoned, but the practice of tending to the stones is still observed to this day. Residents and other visitors who know of the stones also walk to the site throughout the year. The Tigh nam Bodachis a unique part of Glenlyon’s heritage and an unbroken connection to our Celtic ancestors.

The Cailleach, or divine goddess, is a potent force in Celtic folklore. First recorded as the Cailleach Bhéarra of the Beara peninsula in southern Ireland, she was once revered across Ireland and Scotland. Commonly associated with wild nature and landscape, the Cailleach is credited with creating Scotland’s elemental fringes (including the Hebrides). A local legend says that Loch Tay was formed when she forgot to leave a flagstone lid on a magical spring well.

A fearsome Cailleach was said to live onPerthshire’s Beinn à Ghlotha. In legend she was a terrifying hag that could take the form of any wild animal and loved nothing more than drowning travellers in pools of water with the lure of false treasure. Glenlyon’s Cailleach is more benign, remembered for looking over the cattle that once grazed these high grounds. ‘Strange and terrible’ things are said to happen to anyone who dares disturbs her wintering grounds in Gleann Cailliche.

Planning permission was recently lodged for four hydro electric schemes that will forever transform the Gleann Caillicheand the surrounding landscape. Existing tracks will be upgraded to take heavy traffic. Power houses will be constructed, borrow pits dug and fresh tracks will be carved into the steeply sided slopes to weirs. An overhead power line will be run past the Tigh nam Bodach and down the side of Loch Lyon.

And what will become of the Tigh nam Bodach? No doubt a condition will state that the stones aren’t touched. The shrine will be cordoned off with a strip of high vis tape while the diggers work the surrounding ground. What the planners are unlikely to appreciate, for all their cleverly worded ‘mitigation measures,’ is that the Cailleach represents the whole landscape.

Of course these run of the river schemes have their benefits. They generate much needed renewable energy to help tackle climate change. They are far less visually intrusive than vast onshore windfarms. They also help support cash strapped estates at time of financial uncertainty. But for all the positives I am still convinced that a few of our wildest places should be kept free of industrial development. Surely Gleann Cailliche, with its unbroken link to our deep past, is one of them.

We would do well to remember that in Celtic legends the goddess of the wilds was not immortal. In one old tale from Mull the Cailleach immersed herself in the waters of Loch Bàevery one hundred years to replenish her youth and beauty. As she descended one morning out of the hills to take the loch’s elixir of life she heard the bark of a shepherd’s collie (representing the domestication of animals
and landscape). Pausing to listen, her hundred years timed out and she stumbled and died just short of the water’s edge.

To me the development that has finally reached the Tigh nam Bodach after centuries of seclusion in these remote hills is symptomatic of what is happening in so many of Scotland’s wildest places. Listen carefully and you might just hear the collie’s bark in The Crooked Glen of the Stones.

Send an email to developmentmanagement@pkc.gov.uk (quoting the reference 11/00061) if you wish to object to the Allt Cailliche Hydro Scheme. The closing date for comment is the 18th of March. Plans for all four schemes are available on the Perth and Kinross council’s website (www.pkc.co.uk).

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You were born during a Third Quarter moon

This phase occurs in the middle of the moon's waning phases, after the full moon and before the new moon.

- what it says about you -

You like to make up your own mind. You may find it hard to relate to mainstream opinions on issues, and you definitely don't always like what's popular. You can work out solutions and give birth to big ideas when left to yourself, and other people will be impressed with your conclusions even if they're not sure how you arrived at them.

What phase was the moon at on your birthday? Find out at Spacefem.com

have to admit, it's interesting.
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Doctors without Borders.

Here's a link my pagan friends in particular may like, it notes that the donation is from pagans: http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/Pagan-Community/doctors-without-borders

But however you get there, Doctors without Borders have an excellent track record, and are already at work in Japan.
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You may remember, back around Thanksgiving, a huge number of boys and young men were accused - via cell phone video - of raping an 11 year old. They moved from one building to another, and continued the assault.

Here are some of the quotes from the New York Times article on the topic today:

“It’s just destroyed our community,” said Sheila Harrison, 48, a hospital worker who says she knows several of the defendants. “These boys have to live with this the rest of their lives.”

(nothing on the girl living with it)

"They said she dressed older than her age, wearing makeup and fashions more appropriate to a woman in her 20s. She would hang out with teenage boys at a playground, some said." 
“Where was her mother? What was her mother thinking?” said Ms. Harrison, one of a handful of neighbors who would speak on the record.
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There are a lot of *amazing* as well as horrifying posts in the blogosphere right now, in response to, or in this case re-brought up, the exclusion of trans women at a Lilith ritual at Pantheacon this year (Patheacon is awesome!). The communication problem (not advertised correctly) has been apologized for, etc etc.

But this post says it so well; I think Lilith would be pleased*: the seam of skin and scales. It's from 2007. 

*It's not my place to tell others what to believe/how to express their spirituality, but I delight in broadening the view. Nasty witch boy me!


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