Monday, October 27, 2008

I can't believe the news today

My life has been abnormally busy lately, and my writing energies have been focused elsewhere, but I hope to soon return to blogging on a more regular basis. For now, here is a picture of the pumpkin I carved today, inspired by PZ Myers and his obsession with squid. Also, a link to the place my writing energy has ended up: Crow Woman House, a blog about the end of the world. I'm having fun writing melodramatic fiction.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

washed the dirt off our intentions

Some days I think the only thing keeping me from selling my soul for half an hour of physical comfort- rested, warm, free of pain- is that the devil isn't interested in buying. I start to wish I could remember what it's like to not be in pain, and I get to feeling sorry for myself, and tell myself stories about how brave and determined I am just because I make an effort to stay alive.

Days like this, I don't get a lot of writing, or thinking, done. Obviously. But I have been reading books by Terry Pratchett (Hogfather most recently) and its possible that someday I may be out of this funk.

Yesterday I got a postcard from Elizabeth, which brightened my day. I also had an appointment with VA Voc Rehab in Seattle to see if they'll agree that being able to work ten hours a week as a tutor or something is a goal worth paying my college tuition to achieve, and they didn't say no outright. Which is sort of good, although it means I have to go in for another appointment next week after gathering information on certifications and employment prospects, which, quite frankly, sounds exhausting enough that I almost want to cry. Driving into Seattle for any reason is a horrible horrible task. But hey, its still a good thing, and maybe I'll take the bus.

I just wish I wasn't so tired.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

WA for Obama

I just got back from a volunteer training meeting run by the local WA for Obama office. There were a ridiculous number of people there- the room could have held 40 comfortably, and there were at least 100 people packed in there, spilling out the door onto the sidewalk. It was crazy, but in a good way. I volunteered to phone bank and/or canvas for a few hours every Wednesday evening from now until the election, and I'm thinking I may volunteer on election day also. Although, I guess Washington is changing from polls to mail-in ballots, so everyone has the option to do either and the guy at the training said estimates are that 75% of people will vote by mail. So maybe election day doesn't matter that much.

One thing that I'm hoping to get involved with is get out the vote efforts at college campuses, my own campus in particular. College students are more liberal and aware of current events than most people, but have trouble getting to the polls when they need to, so I would be excited to help with that. Especially since I get the impression that GOTV events on campus might involve sitting behind a table, not walking around neighborhoods, so anything that means less pain for me would be nice.

I'm also considering writing a letter or email or something that I could send out to people to let them know some of the issues that I think are really in Obama's favor, like his suggestion to sponsor a federal study to investigate the problems people with disabilities have finishing school and finding jobs and possible solutions, his proposals to support new combat vets coming home with brain injuries and PTSD, and his suggestion to start a federal program like the Peace Corp that employs young people in jobs that improve their community in exchange for college scholarships. Maybe it would be a bit snobby, but so many people I know just don't know the details of the issues that this election will decide. A lot of this stuff is very detailed and most people don't have the time to find out what their candidates really propose... but maybe I would come off as an elitist know-it-all. I dunno.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

My sister's cat, Annie, having valiantly fought and subdued this gardening glove, carried its corpse to the back door as a gift to her favorite humans.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

class notes

I am genuinely amazed that someone employed in teaching science is as bad at science as my geology teacher. Interesting science-y tidbits I have caught her mangling in class this week:

Silicon is a metal, which is why we use it for electronics.

This isn't true, silicon is not a metal. It is one of the most common elements on earth, and is found in a multitude of minerals and mineraloids, including sand and glass. Silicate elements are used in many applications, from computing to soap to non-stick cookware.

Electrons don't have any mass because they move at the speed of light.

This also isn't true. Electrons are subatomic particles with a mass of 1/1836 of a proton; they are very light, obviously, but they do have mass and are matter, not energy. Additionally, the speed at which electrons travel can approach the speed of light in a vacuum but never reach it. Electrons are considered to be fundamental particles with no substructure, and have an electric charge that is negative and equally strong as the positive charge in protons, which is key for electromagnetism. Many other exciting facts about electrons can be found at!

It's amazing how useful the Internet is. What did people with shitty teachers do before it was possible to Google things that sound wrong?