beowabbit: (Pol: Duck and Cover)
This is copied from Facebook; it makes a better LJ post, actually.

Roughly once a day these days, I read or hear about some piece of Islamophobia that I mean to mention here, but I usually don’t actually carve out the time to do it.

What I heard on NPR this morning was much smaller than most of them, merely a turn of phrase by a reporter who was probably trying to be honest, fair, and inoffensive. Discussing the upcoming GOP debate, he said that one thing that was sure to come up was “the Muslim question”. In the context of Donald Trump’s xenophobia and its political implications, those words made some sense, but given the current tenor of political discourse in this country, it was hard not to be reminded of the phrase “die Judenfrage”, and hearing “the Muslim question” in serious reporting in 2015 gave me chills.

I haven’t read news reports about tonight’s debate yet, but some of what Trump says to defend his hideous, un-American plan to discriminate against people based solely on their religion starts with the assumption that the U.S. government’s policy of sending American citizens of Japanese ancestry in much of the country to internment camps during WWII was justified! I thought that the general consensus since, oh, I dunno, 1960 or maybe 1970 was that it was an appalling unconstitutional blot on American history that must never be allowed to happen again.

It’s bizarre that an America with an African American president and same-sex marriage legal nationwide (neither of which I was 100% sure would be possible in my lifetime 20 or 30 years ago) has had its Overton window dragged so far in the direction of racism and bigotry.

A friend of mine pointed me at this article about an event which is more typical of the things get my blood boiling these days than the three clumsy but probably not malicious words quoted above:

If You See Something, Say Something (It's Not About What You Think It Is)

There’s an apocryphal story (but with some seed of truth) that the occupying Nazis ordered the Jews of Denmark to wear yellow Stars of David, and the King of Denmark declared that all Danes should wear them and wore one himself, and the Nazis backed down. That didn’t happen, but the King of Denmark (and many ordinary Danish gentiles) did in fact oppose Nazi racism as much as they could, and I would encourage all my non-Muslim friends to read https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_X_of_Denmark and http://www.snopes.com/history/govern/yellowstars.asp for inspiration against the day (I hope it never comes) when all decent Americans need to pin yellow crescents to our clothing.

This is friends-only because, honestly, I don’t feel entirely safe getting it spread across the Internet with my name attached. But feel free to copy and paste publicly or privately without attribution.
beowabbit: (Me: on Ferris wheel 2012-09-09)
Apologies for the fact that I haven’t been reading LJ any more, but this thing I just posted on Facebook was important enough, and enough like the longer-form writing that my social media life used to be about, that I wanted to post it here too.

I am doing so well just a day after getting my wisdom teeth out. I can tell there’s a little aching if I pay attention to it, but (as long as I don’t have Grape Nuts for breakfast and nachos for lunch) if I didn’t know I’d had my wisdom teeth out yesterday, I wouldn’t realize anything was wrong.

Thanks so very much to [livejournal.com profile] cathijosephine and [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom for taking such epically good care of me. And special thanks to [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom for representing at the Davis Square equal marriage celebration; I wish I could have been there. [livejournal.com profile] cathijosephine came with me to the procedure, brought me home afterwards, took my slight mania in stride, and showed me entertaining stuff on Netflix. Then [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom came over with epic quantities of ice cream and we all watched most of The Wizard of Oz until we got sleepy.

This morning, we tried out [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom’s wonderful idea of taking prepackaged biscuit dough, putting dimples in the top, and spooning in preserves before baking them. Best breakfast ever! Then [livejournal.com profile] cathijosephine and I finished The Wizard of Oz while [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom (who has it completely memorized) planted beans on the mounds with our corn (already knee high before the Fourth of July) and pumpkins.

[livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom and I are shortly headed out to the hardware store to get some screws of an appropriate length to put our “The Wuzzles” sign up on the house, and ceramic pots to put the basil and the blueberry bush I got last weekend in. (Our experiment with pesto from homegrown basil last year was a huge success, and we intend to repeat it.)

If you have a phobia about aspects of surgery or injury, don’t read further. Short version: Everything’s fine! )
beowabbit: (Me: shadow against sand under ripples)
Just heard (thanks to a phone call from [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom, who’s also safe and sound) about the explosions at the Boston Marathon. I wanted to let everybody know I’ve been spending this holiday resting and catching up at home and I’m safe; I haven’t been anywhere near the Marathon.

I’m terribly sad for the injured, of course, and hope nobody dies.
beowabbit: (Travel: 1933 Ford)
After the fabulous closing night of Lysistrata and a wonderful birthday party for [livejournal.com profile] surrealestate and DD's darling Tadpole, [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom and I were crossing the street this evening when we were hit by a car. It was making a left turn into the street we were crossing; the driver had probably slowed for the turn but didn't seem to slow at all to avoid hitting us; he did pull over a ways down the block and come back. There were lots of witnesses, among them [livejournal.com profile] anomie666 who happened to be on a bus that was passing and who stayed with us through the whole evening. He is a wonderful person and he deserves a medal and some really good Scotch.

All the emergency vehicles (at least two police cars, a fire truck, an ambulance, and eventually the tow truck to take away the driver's car since he left in other accommodation) had enough flashing colored lights for a Somerville Christmas. We declined the ambulance since we were just a few blocks from the hospital and the paramedics wanted to put us in back and neck braces and that seemed over the top (neither of us had hit our heads or had spine pain). [livejournal.com profile] anomie666 walked with us to the hospital.

The ER experience was quite good; everybody was very nice and we were treated very well. We both got lots of X-rays. I got the brunt of the impact, but I'm just banged up a lot and swollen and bruised. [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom has a small fracture in her elbow (a radial head fracture), probably from when she landed. (I was thrown over the hood of the car, into [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom who was also clipped by the car.) They gave her a splint and a sling, which is going to be a hassle for a while. We're both on industrial-strength ibuprofen and I'll be icing for a while. (Fortunately, [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom had some bags of edamame in the freezer. :-)

Well, it wasn't the evening we were expecting, but at least we spent it together. [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom, I love you through thick and thin.
beowabbit: (Me: shadow against sand under ripples)
[livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom's sweet cat Ben Ben died this evening. We'd spent all weekend together, and Sunday after a concert and dinner in Harvard Square I went to Quincy and she went to Somerville. When she got home she found him blind and unable to stand. While I was trying to work out cab and Zipcar arrangements to get to Davis quickly and get him to Angell, he died in her arms. He was an old cat and had a wonderful run and died at home, and he was begging for treats and enjoying life until the last few hours. He had been in notable decline, though, so it wasn't a suprise.

(We took the body to Angell for cremation. It's a wonderful, wonderful animal hospital run by wonderful kind caring people and we're very lucky to live somewhere where that kind of veterinary care is available 24/7/365.)

Goodbye, Ben!
beowabbit: (Me: on Ferris wheel 2012-09-09)
For those who didn't see this on Facebook, which was the only place I could sort of get to last night: [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom and I are stuck in Quincy. Power went out around 9 last night. Heat and hot water stayed on a while but went out (maybe the pilot light blew out?) sometime overnight. I've been shovelling for when the travel ban is lifted (or when I decide we'll freeze if we stay here or I can't manage without my CPAP machine for another night). I've got maybe another hour's shovelling before I'd be able to get the car out; I'm taking a break.

(Another issue about driving anywhere is: Where would I find a place to park? Really wish the T were running.)

Had virtually no internet on my phone until I thought to come up to the second floor bedroom (which is warmer, anyway); up here I have enough to post to LJ and SSH to my mail server.

I'm leaving my phone off most of the time, but feel free to text if you want to get in touch with me.

Hope y'all're staying dry, warm, loved, and safe. Me, for now I'm settling for loved and safe.
beowabbit: (Local: Stata Center)
I thought my day was full and interesting before the six datacenters in my building (along with a big chunk of the rest of Cambridge, and most of the rest of MIT) lost power. That happened around four thirty. Power came back around six thirty, and we all dived into bringing servers and services back up. I got home around eleven thirty.

One of the highlights of the time while we were waiting for power to come back was watching my boss and another of my colleagues pry open an elevator door so that the people who’d been trapped in it for about an hour could get out.

[livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom’s building on campus lost power too, but since she didn’t have to babysit a whole bunch of servers as they eventually came up, I think that meant she ended up going home earlier than expected, rather than later than expected. (The T was running during most of the power outage, I gather.)

It was an adventure. I like my adventures in moderation.
beowabbit: (Default)
My mother [livejournal.com profile] silverlibre has been in town visiting for a bit over a week, and it’s been wonderful! Lots of wonderful home-cooked meals (mostly due to her, although we all collaborated on the Thanksgiving dinner, and [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom’s Thanksgiving turkey was wonderful, and lots of wonderful things to do and see and talk about. I don’t have time to do it justice, but here are a few of the highlights:

Seeing [livejournal.com profile] zendzian in Mister Roberts at the Concord Players. (We didn’t much like the play itself — meaning the script —, but the acting was great, and the sets were truly impressive, and I’d love to see some more of their productions.)

Thanksgiving dinner was epic. [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom and [livejournal.com profile] silverlibre and I had a fabulous time preparing food, and then we had a couple guests over and ate it. Thanks to our guests (who brought some yummy pickle and roasted sweet potatoes and pie for the feast).

We had a lovely time out playing board games with friends on Friday. Need to do more than that. A highlight of that was seeing [livejournal.com profile] tamoroso; much to my surprise, it turned out that he and my mother had never met, and he’s really good people.

Today, we went to the Museum of Science, and had a blast. The Mammoths and Mastodons exhibit they have up at the moment is definitely worth seeing; we learned a lot. And we saw a nifty film about caving for extremophiles in the Omni theater. Before it they showed an interesting little propaganda film about how wonderful New England is, which was a bit strange but kind of fun — regional chauvinism for the win.

After that, we went to the Union Oyster House, which [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom had been to before but I (and [livejournal.com profile] silverlibre) hadn’t. The food was very good; definitely worth the price. Made me want to eat more fish.

We still have time with [livejournal.com profile] surrealestate and DD and Tadpole to look forward to, and dinner with [livejournal.com profile] cathijosephine (who’s been on a road trip to New Orleans for the last couple weeks, but fortunately will be overlapping with [livejournal.com profile] silverlibre for a couple days).

Life is feeling pretty good lately.
beowabbit: (Travel: 1933 Ford)
[livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom and I are home after a really wonderful trip! The drive down was slow in places (in part because of one bad accident we passed), and we ended up arriving many hours after we’d hoped to, but we made it OK. We had a really wonderful time with [livejournal.com profile] bcat1 and S. and the twins. And they had a rite of passage while we were there — we gave them their vuvuzelas!

They are such adorable, sweet, smart children, and we had a great time with them. Also with S. and [livejournal.com profile] bcat1. We got lots of time with lots of various combinations and it was great. Oh, and I got to meet a cousin of mine who was also there visiting, who is a very nifty and interesting person.

The drive back home was quicker and easier and very relaxed. I love travelling with [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom; she’s a delightful travelling companion and we always have a lovely time together.

OK, very nearly ready to fall down go boom. I am not caught up on social media and may well not catch up, so let me know if there’s anything important I’ve missed.
beowabbit: (Me: playing as a toddler in London’s Hyd)
It’s after midnight Eastern Time, so I’m going to call that good enough to wish [livejournal.com profile] silverlibre a happy birthday. I love you. Thank you for being my mother. I got very very lucky.
beowabbit: (Local: Quincy house pre-purchase)
Welcome to [livejournal.com profile] weegoddess, who is renting a room from me for the next three months. I am really pleased about this! Yay for a wonderful and delightful housemate! And Chickenfinger is thrilled with the extra company.

She arrived last night, but I wasn’t home until this afternoon, when we spent some time rearranging the kitchen to make some space for her stuff. I threw out the two boxes of sugar which were solid blocks, so now I only have three boxes of sugar (and two bags). And the three unopened cartons of bread crumbs are now all together, next to the opened one. Consolidation! (Also, I am unlikely to wonder, “Mare’s coming over tomorrow; do I have any sugar for her coffee?” or ”I might want to make a meatloaf sometime this week; do I have any breadcrumbs?” for at least a week or two.)

Bent

2012-09-15 12:25
beowabbit: (Me: shadow against sand under ripples)
No time to do it justice, but [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom and I saw Theatre@First’s production of Bent last night, and it was incredibly powerful and moving and truly spectacular. It’s about gay men in Nazi Berlin and Dachau, and it’s just as intense as you might imagine. The acting was stunning. You may not be able to sit through the whole thing, but you should try.

The New England Theater Geek has a review. If you’re not sure whether you can handle it, Wikipedia has a summary of the plot (with spoilers, of course).
beowabbit: (Food: Christmas dinner at my sister's)
[livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom had our customary wuzzleversary dinner at Mother Anna’s last night. We got drenched on our way to the restaurant, but the food more than made up for it. [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom had manicotti (whereof I did not partake because it was covered in tomato sauce); I had utterly wonderful mushroom tortellini with artichoke hearts and wild mushrooms in a Gorgonzola sauce. We also both had dangerously rich garlic bread with cheese. It was a wonderful meal to celebrate a spectacular relationship. I love you, sweetie-pie!
beowabbit: (People: me with plumtreeblossom May 2007)
My darling [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom are embarking on our seventh year together today. It just keeps getting better. Happy sixth wuzzleversary, love, and here’s to many more! I love you.
beowabbit: (Travel: airplane silhouette)
I’d been meaning to post some more detail about the visitation and the funeral for some time, but at this point I don’t know when I’m going to get that much time and energy, so I’ll just say that [livejournal.com profile] ka9sqb’s funeral was lovely and moving and just about perfect. The officiant did a wonderful job, and lots of people who had been close to [livejournal.com profile] ka9sqb got up and told beautiful stories about him and his impact on our lives. A metaphor the officiant used, which I really liked, was the wonderful quilt that [livejournal.com profile] ka9sqb had woven of the people in his life. He had such wide interests, and he could talk to anybody about anything and sound (and be!) knowledgeable and engaged. And at the funeral, that quilt was very obvious.

Other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, I was very glad to be able to show [livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom where I’d grown up, and introduce her to so many of my relatives and old friends and family friends and friends of [livejournal.com profile] ka9sqb’s. It was her first time in corn country, where the sky spans a hundred and eighty degrees. And on Tuesday (as part of a little tour of the town and the campus), we stopped in at the very pretty university library where I spent so many happy hours as a child and young adult. (As well as reading library books there, I used to take my own books there to sit and read, because it was quiet and pleasant and air conditioned.) That was a special sort of warm nostalgia for me.

Don

2012-07-17 00:49
beowabbit: (Me: shadow against sand under ripples)
I thought I had posted this to Facebook earlier, but I don’t see it now. Apologies if Facebook folks see this twice.

After we carried the coffin from the hearse to the grave, John S., another one of the pallbearers, said to me “We always told Don we’d be the last ones to let him down.” And we were. Thank you, John. And take care, Don.
beowabbit: (Me: shadow against sand under ripples)
I just finished writing my remarks for the funeral tomorrow and don’t have time to do today justice, but I had to say that hundreds of people came through today to celebrate Don at his visitation. So many people loved and appreciated him! It was open-casket, so he was there looking dapper and handsome as always, but you could tell it wasn’t really him any more, because the kindly but impish smile was missing. But, sometimes through tears, you could see it in the faces of the people he touched.
beowabbit: (Me: shadow against sand under ripples)
My wonderful stepfather Don, beloved partner of my mother Ruth for several decades, and man I was proud to call father by choice rather than accident, died suddenly this morning of a sudden massive heart attack. He was active, busy, happy, and enjoying life and love to the end. We should all be so lucky.

Donald H. Johnson, 1943-2012.

I will probably post more here when/if I have time (perhaps filtered), but I wanted to get something here as soon as I could. I’m shaken but doing well and so glad and proud for the life he lived. My mother and sister seem to be doing OK so far (although I don’t think it’s really hit any of us yet). I’m so glad he lived to see his grandchildren, my sister’s twins.

Here’s a brief article by the public radio station where he worked for (as the article says) 20 years. It includes audio of a story of his, which was a nice touch; he started working there when I was still living at home, and it was always good to hear his rich warm familiar voice on the radio.

[livejournal.com profile] plumtreeblossom and I will almost certainly be going out to the funeral and to see my mother. I’ve long wanted to show her where I grew up. This is not how I wanted to do it.
beowabbit: (Local: I-93 South to Quincy)
(On the train, a few hours late for my date with my wuzzle.)

Yay, the plumbing's back! Turns out the gas company didn't break the sewer pipe when they replaced the gas line; the road crew broke it when they put in the lovely new granite curb. (That makes me feel slightly less guilty about all of the trouble for my neighbour — it'd have happened whether I needed my gas line fixed or not.)

Hot showers are a joy!

While I was waiting for the all-clear, I called and had a lovely long chat with my parents, [livejournal.com profile] silverlibre and [livejournal.com profile] ka9sqb. Remind me to post about oak pipes and prairie fires when I have a chance.
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