kshandra: long-haired woman silhouetted against a stormy sky (Bad)
One of the friends I made in the heyday of pundit fandom wrote an amazing dystopian AU several years ago called The 28th Amendment, taking place in a world where McCain (with Huckabee as his running-mate) won the 2008 election, only to die two months after the Inauguration; the titular Amendment "states that America is and always has been a Christian nation and her laws must therefore be in harmony with God's Laws", specifically outlawing marriage equality and abortion. The story includes Real-Person Slash, which I've grown less okay with as I age, but that's really beside the point here (save that some of you may not want to read it if that isn't your cup of tea). The 28th 'verse has been haunting me in these final weeks leading up to the election, for obvious reasons.

The author tweeted this morning, wondering how she had woken up in her own story.

I almost couldn't get out of bed today. I finally managed about five minutes before I was supposed to be at work, because, as Doug put it last night, "babies are still pooping," and we need my paycheck more than ever now. There's been a fair amount of gallows humor in the office, and I imagine the mood will be even more somber as our drivers (black, Latin@, and Asian) return.

Copied from a comment I left elsewhere on DW:

[personal profile] gridlore will die, no two ways about it, without the Medicare expansion. He'll die, and I'll wind up having to file bankruptcy because there's no way in HELL I can afford his medical care. (Assuming I can afford my own, which isn't guaranteed, despite having coverage through my employer. So maybe we'll BOTH be dead, and it won't fucking matter anymore.)

We'll go on. We have to. I just wish I had the first idea how.
kshandra: Keith Olbermann & Rachel Maddow (Smart is Sexy)

We have a whiteboard that lives on our refrigerator; [personal profile] gridlore wrote "FLORIDA! FLORIDA! FLORIDA!" on it yesterday. My productivity at work was atrocious as I kept scrolling through #PantsuitNation posts. I got home and started cooking ground beef for the Ultimate Taco Tuesday.

But I'm not the confident person I was when I posted that picture this morning. I'm fucking scared. For my husband, who will - no two ways about it - DIE if Trump takes office and overturns the ACA. For my sister and her wife, both for being queer and for being an interracial couple. For all the people I know and love who will be literally and figuratively in danger under a Trump administration.

Prove me wrong, America. Shatter the glass ceiling tonight. America is already great - let's make it better.
kshandra: jointed teddy bear, standing upright, wearing a faux-leather flying helmet and jacket, goggles, and "silk" scarf (Aviator)
Today's post comes courtesy of [personal profile] lilalanor: "Maybe your favourite photos you took in Turkey and why? (I am always here for people explaining beloved travel photos I don't know)"

I am hoping to actually get my act together enough to post more reflections on the trip as a whole this month, using the postcards we sent home as a rough outline, but I'll start with this.

Our first full day in Istanbul, we took the Big Bus Golden Horn route. One of the stops listed on the route was a place called Miniaturk. We weren't entirely sure what the appeal of a scale-model version of Istanbul was supposed to be when we had the opportunity to see the real thing, but we figured it'd be a good place to get off the bus for a while.

This place was incredible. Each of the models has a barcode reader on a stand next to it; you are handed a card coded for your preferred language along with your ticket, and the reader spits out a prerecorded history of the landmark in question. The model of Ataturk Olympic Stadium had buttons you could push to play the fight songs for the Big Three (none of whom call the stadium home, but that's beside the point). The airport model has an Airbus 321 that taxis around the tarmac. The park doesn't limit itself to Istanbul, either, with models of famous landmarks throughout the region. (In this video of the Fairy Chimneys of Cappadocia, you can hear the recordings I was talking about.)

We were easily there for three hours, and would have stayed longer if we'd been able to figure out the cafeteria, but we were still getting the hang of the local currency. We kept saying to each other "Okay, we'll look at this one last thing and then head for the bus stop," then turning the corner and shouting "OMG look what's over there!"

We were helpers!

And then there were the kids...

We were approached by two different groups of 10-11 year olds, the girls in this photo and a group of boys. They were working on an assignment for their English class and had to ask tourists about their stay in the country. They were absolutely charming, and their collective grasp of the language was almost embarrassing to me. I sure as hell wasn't fluent in a language that had almost no commonalities with my native tongue at that age!

[personal profile] gridlore and I have been fantasizing about going back to Istanbul almost since we got off the plane at SFO; we had just gotten really good at the city when it was time to come home. And we've been escaping into that fantasy more and more as we get closer to Election Day, pricing out airfare and hotels (we've found an adorable boutique hotel for half of what we paid for the big-name chain we stayed at in April). Short of a lottery win, it ain't gonna happen, but if it does, we are devoting a full day to Miniaturk.


Nov. 6th, 2016 02:44 pm
kshandra: The Burning Man effigy, lit in blue neon, arms by his sides; an orange half-moon is visible over his shoulder. (Default)
Today's post is a serious cop-out, but I have NOT been kind to my body this weekend (I'm not designed to run on nothing but leftover Halloween candy, no matter what I might want to do), and it's catching up to me. There's still laundry that needs doing, but right now I think I just need to lie down and be miserable for a while.
kshandra: Toby Ziegler, marker in hand, holding a sign that has been doctored to read "Obama f/o/r IS THE President" (West Wing Obama)
votingselfieOur local library was hosting Early Voting this weekend, so [personal profile] gridlore and I took advantage of the fact this afternoon. (I'm actually registered permanent absentee in the state of CA, but my mail-in ballot disappeared almost the instant I brought it into the house this year...) Voting was open 12-5, and we left the house around 1pm.

I regretted not leaving sooner the instant we pulled into the driveway.

I was just out of frame to the right when Doug took this photo. There were another ~30 people ahead of us just to get into the building, and then the queue doubled back on itself twice before we finally got into The Room Where It Happens. The line was still this long when we left, an hour or so after we first got in line.

One of the women ahead of us was juuuuust skirting the edge of electioneering by wearing a "Not today, patriarchy" t-shirt. Not being quite as confident and/or confrontational, I settled for my Reason for the Season shirt; Doug wore an infantry-themed shirt and was thanked for his service more than once.

Once we got to the front of the queue, the process went quickly enough; we'd made a point of marking our sample ballots before we left the house, so we didn't have to spend any time trying to remember which proposition meant what, which two props cancelled each other out, etc.

As we left, there was a fellow resplendent in Chicago Cubs gear; Doug gave him a "Go, Cubs, Go" (which we both admit is better than our own fight song), and I greeted him with "Hey, Ernie, let's win two!" Which got me a big smile and a "Right?!" in return.

In all, the long wait left us both basically trashed for the rest of the day, but this was well worth the investment of our energy.

Now, we wait.
kshandra: The Burning Man effigy, lit in blue neon, arms by his sides; an orange half-moon is visible over his shoulder. (Default)
Today's topic comes from [livejournal.com profile] bkwrrm_tx: If money weren't an issue, what would you like to be doing for a living?

I'd go back to working at a movie theater. And I'd specifically look for an art house that still uses analog projectors. One of the more frivolous items on the Lottery List that [personal profile] gridlore and I keep in our heads has always been to buy and restore one of the old classic movie palaces for this very reason. There's just something soothing about the sound to me. And I enjoyed all the fiddly bits of the job - assembling trailer reels, threading the film, even splicing breaks.

The job certainly has its drawbacks and nightmares - I had a 70mm print brain-wrap on me once, and I can still see the booth floor when I close my eyes over 20 years later - but it hits all the right buttons in my brain.
kshandra: White text on a blue button: "Better watch now, because things could go wrong in a hurry." (Keith - Better Watch Now)
Today's topic comes from [livejournal.com profile] silkensteel: Pull three tarot cards at random. Rather than their being "past, present, future" have them be "beginning, middle, end." Pull a fourth, what facet of your life does it remind you of? Apply the cards to the beginning, middle and end of that facet - what do you see?

Because it suits my nature, and because "three cards together, then a parting shot" is my usual pattern when working with this particular deck, I'm using Morgan's Tarot for this.

Beginning: TRY TO RELAX
Trying and relaxing oppose each other, so the real meaning of the card is, "Relax, don't try."
You may feel that you are being manipulated by a higher, more clever intelligence. In reality, nobody is doing anything to anybody. We're all here together, although the rational conscious may not realize it.
The inspiration for this card was a three-year-old child's response to a question about what he would like to model out of the clay he had been given.
Dualism is an illusion. The events on earth reflect the events in heaven. Man and Woman contain the pattern of the universe.
"As above, so below" is quoted from the Emerald Tablet, which is the summary of the alchemical work as revealed to Hermes Trismegistes, an ancient sage of unknown origin.

...well, I may need some time to figure out how this reading fits into the specific context I was given for this entry, but if that three-card spread doesn't sum up my adult life as a whole, I'll eat my shoes. ;-)
kshandra: Cartoon: Garfield face-down in his cat bed, a single Z in a word balloon over his head (Z)
Every once in a while, something actually goes right.

As the few of you who have been to either iteration of Offhand Manor are aware of, [personal profile] gridlore and I have had a futon in our living room for a number of years. The cushion was a hand-me-over from somewhere, and has never been comfortable enough to actually use as a couch. It was moderately better as a sleeping surface - [livejournal.com profile] blueashke or [livejournal.com profile] eleri can correct me on that if I'm wrong - but the padding wasn't thick enough to keep one's legs from hitting the frame and cutting off circulation. We've made it work, sort of, with stacks of other blankets, sleeping bags, and the cushion from Doug's late, lamented papasan chair, but that really only made half of it tolerable.

But, of course, we're Broke™, so actually investing in a new cushion was nowhere near our priority list. I've been periodically checking Craigslist for decent looking ones, and hit paydirt yesterday. It was only a year old, largely unused in a spare room, and the original owner had kept it in a mattress protector the entire time, so it was in immaculate condition when I arrived. He helped me load it into the back of the truck (he had a set of these that I am GOING to get for myself, because they made it so much easier!), I rolled home, and Doug and I managed to Tetris it into the living room.

The new cushion is so thick it almost didn't fold in the middle to fit on the frame. (This was not helped by the fact that we dropped it on top of the old cushion; we'll wrangle it better this weekend.) It also landed tag-side-up, despite our best efforts when pulling it out of the truckbed, but this at least meant I could check the manufacturer's info.

Some searching this morning, and it seems that I managed to score one of these. Manufactured within 200 miles of my home, in March of 2014.


I'm gonna be spending a lot more time sitting on the couch with Doug, now...
kshandra: figurine of a teddybear seated at an office desk, looking at a computer (ComputerBear)
NaBloPoMo November 2016

I've been looking at my social media presence as a whole over the past few...um, years?...and realizing that I've become an echo chamber. Sharing links on Facebook, retweets, likes and reblogs on Tumblr - but original content has been thin on the ground. Hell, I didn't even manage to blog about a trip halfway around the world in a timely fashion.

So I'm making a commitment to post original content every day for the entire month of November. [personal profile] gridlore is doing Nanowrimo, so we can be partners in this insanity.

And what will I post? That's at least partly up to you. Taking a cue from [livejournal.com profile] fragbert, I'm going to put a list behind the cut tag, and will take suggestions from the audience. You can give me a prompt with or without a specific date, and I'll update the list as they come in. If I don't have a prompt for a particular day, I'll check the latest Writing Lab prompts, or give you bullet points about my day, or something.

Back here )

For those of you coming to visit from the Official Blogroll, welcome! To crib from my intro post for my aborted attempt at LJ Idol in 2013: I'm K`shandra (not legally, but I'll answer to it in public at least as readily as I do my birth name). Life long San Francisco Bay Area resident, married since 1991 to the aforementioned [personal profile] gridlore, also a Bay Area native. I'm morbidly obese and middle aged; I trend toward the introverted side of ambiversion, and self identify as a recovering depressive (directly analogous, IMO&E, to being a recovering alcoholic). My passions are science fiction conventions and Burning Man, both attending and volunteering; my current Default World boss is someone I work with in the desert. I have too many stuffed animals and not enough bookshelves, too many half-finished craft projects and not enough hours in the day to finish them.

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