20070820

Stuff and things, including an important update

So it's not even 8:00am on a Monday. Bleh. I've been up for about 3 hours now, and you can imagine how awesome that is. But on the bright side, I got up early enough to turn off the yoghurt I made last night (from fresh culture! - lactis, bulgaricus, bifidus, and acidophilis! mmmm...) and now I'm at work 1.5 hours early.

First and foremost, let this serve as an important announcement. Peat and I will not be getting married on October 13th. No, the wedding's not off, just postponed.

That is to say, it got to be the end of August and we kind looked at each other over the weekend and said "Aw, crap. It's in a month and a half and we haven't even sent out invitations yet. How do you feel about a spring wedding?" So anyway, we're rescheduling. I'm not sure when yet, but springish. Maybe mid-May?

So one other major breakthrough: I finally managed to stretch my ears again! For those of you who don't know, I had stretched my ears up to 4g so that I coul put in 6g jade plugs, but the plugs were so concave that they shrunk up and I couldn't get them out again! I like them, but I was a little worried I'd be stuck with them indefinitely. But anyway, last night I decided (not for the first time, but for the first time successfully) to do something about it, and found a couple of particularly flat 10g tapers and put them in, with lots of vitamin E, next to the jade plugs. that kind of hurt and sucked, mostly because they weren't a uniform shape and my ear felt pinched. Anyway, about an hour later, I tried to take out the plugs, but still to no avail, so taking advantage of the slight stretching I got from the 10g tapers, I moved up to 8g, and oddly, they weren't as uncomfortable as the 10g. Don't get me wrong - they were still plenty uncomfortable. But finally, after a couple hours, I got the jade plugs out and put a 4g taper back in. I'm going to give them a few days to mellow out before i try going any bigger, but next goal is 2g. Actually, I'd like to be at 0g by the time I'm 30, which gives me about 11 days. I think I can do it, but we'll see how it goes and what my ears tell me as the process goes on.

In other bright news, in my effort not to be a gigantic fat ass by the time I'm 30, I've lost nearly 10 pounds since my really low point back around June. Don't get me wrong - I could still stand to lose about 40, but let's just start with what we have.

I also got rid of my mohawk last night ... [wistful sigh]... It was fun, and I'll probably do it again next summer, but when it comes right down to it, it was just a pain in the neck to maintain it, and I'm plum out of the only product that could actually make it stand up straight, and I don't know where to get more. Plus, the students return in 10 days and I have to start looking more like a 30-year-old supervisor and less like a 20-something punk. Although ideally I strive to look like both, simultaneously. One drawback to having a mohawk all summer - I have a big white tan line right down the middle of my head!

I've been thinking a lot about this turning 30 thing, and I'm starting to accept it, albeit on my own terms. One thing I've been thinking about is getting another tattoo. I wish I had the foggiest idea what I wanted to get, though. I've also been thinking of getting my septum repierced with a retainer (ya know, supervisor and all), but I haven't quite decided yet.

Oh, and in the spirit of pagan holidays, this one wasn't so much misappropriated, but this is the solar term known as The End of Heat, and boy is that ever true. After three weeks of 90s and no rain, it's been pissy and cold since Thursday, and today there is a projected high of 60. It's not supposed to get above the 70s again in the foreseeable forecast. Not that I'm complaining - that month of 90s sucked. On the downside, it's supposed to rain the whole time, which is partially nice, since we need it, but we've recovered from the draught over the weekend and now we're just getting inundated. Just about everything south of here has already been declared a disaster zone, and 10 people are dead or missing just since yesterday because of massive flooding of most of southern Minnesota.

Anyway, back to work with me. I have 24 hours to churn out a kick-ass image for the Journal computers, write up instructions for installing Symantec AntiVirus and the VPN client for the incoming students, and clean my cluttered desk.

20070806

Lammas/Lughnassadh

Lammas/Lughnassadh In my continuing series on misappropriated pagan holidays, Happy Lammas, the Catholic version of Lughnassadh, roughly translated from the Language of Superfluous Letters That May or May Not Have Any Relation to the Sound They Make, a.k.a. Irish, as "The Murder of Lugh," (pronounced, depending on what pagan you're talking to or which county in Ireland you're from, as ['lu.na.sa].

The short version of the history behind this particular holiday has to do with the changing of the seasons from summer to fall (as this is the midpoint of summer - the astrological equivalent of 15 degrees Leo, which is directly between the summer solstice (0 degrees Cancer) and the autumnal equinox (0 degrees Libra). That's about as far into it as I get, because I'm a Virgo, and I like numbers and facts and things that I can make lists of. However, the Celtic legend is the story of Lugh (or Llew, in welsh), which is about all I can say about that, since I'm not a celtic-style pagan. I also haven't got a clue what the Catholic version of the holiday entails. But that's the mathematics of it.

A subject with which I am a bit more familiar, however, is this holiday's equivalent in Taoism, which is the day on the Solar calendar known as Li Qiu (??), or the beginning of Fall. The Chinese calendar reckons seasons one step back from the western way of thinking, in that the beginning of fall is at lughnassadh and the autumnal equinox is then considered the middle of fall. Samhain, equivalently, is considered the beginning of winter, and I think at least those Minnesotans among us can confirm that winter does not hold off until December 21st.

The Chinese Solar calendar is divided up into essentially 24 sections of approximately 15 days each. Every third section is what we western pagans might consider one of the quarters or cross-quarters, although the Chinese have traditionally been a lot more specific/obsessive-compulsive about their actual dates, and they quite cleanly and neatly correspond to every 5th degree of the Earth's path around the sun. Therefore, while we might say that Imbolc/Candlemas falls on February 2nd, Li Chun (??) actually falls on the mathematical midpoint of Aquarius, which is usually around the 4th, give or take a day; Samhain we tend to celebrate on October 31st, but the crossquarter is generally November 7th; etc.

On another note, Happy Birthday, Grandma!

20070804

I35 Bridge, continued

So the President was here today to survey the damage by helicopter. Actually, according to this morning's news, the two helicopters flying around contained:

George W. Bush
Tim Pawlenty
Amy Klobuchar
Norm Coleman
Keith Elison
Michelle Bachman
RT Rybak

All the forces of Good and Evil, hovering around right outside my window. It made the hair on the back of my neck stand up.

20070803

35W Bridge Collapse

I figured I should put this out there and let everyone know that I'm okay and everybody I know is okay. They were back up to 6 dead this morning, but they're expecting that number to increase significantly today when they start pulling cars out of the river. Their immediate objective is to "only pull out cars containing bodies."

Personally, I lucked out big time just due to the fact that it was hot and I decided to take the bus home instead of my usual walking route, which would have taken me directly under the bridge at that time. I've done the calculations in my mind a thousand times now, and I'm fairly sure that if I had walked home as usual, I would have been either directly underneath it or within 20 feet either side when it fell. Here's to being lazy.