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This is my crazy life
Life is good
Yes, I'm still alive. I know I haven't been posting much recently, so here's the short-version update:

  • New job - Yes, I have a new job. I have no idea how it's going. Ask me again in three months or so. I'm always hypercritical of myself when I first start a position, so I've decided that I'm not allowed to assess how things are going for at least three months. We shall see.
  • The commute - Lovely. No complaints at all. I keep making all of my connections perfectly. Do the buses and subways really come as often as they seem? (They seem to come absolutely constantly.)
  • The house - Dear gods, do we need an electrician. I'm nearly ready to go with the $35K guy (if we could get him) just to get the bloody wiring DONE. I cannot stand another summer of heat with no air conditioning. Air is mandatory.
  • Poi - Poi! Poi! Poi! Poi! Poi! Yes, I've decided I love playing with poi. I'm trying to resist buying pretty shiny poi until I'm actually sure this hobby is going to stick, and all the while my brain keeps saying,"Poi! Fun! Shiny!" The resisting is working about as well as you might expect.
  • The long weekend - Lovely, lazy, fabulous. The only downside was my failure to get myself to Hadley's at dinner time for one of their fabulous portobello quinoa pecan burgers. I think I may rectify that tonight.
  • Organizing - I sorted through all of my clothes this weekend. I tried on every single thing I own, and only the attractive clothes that fit and don't need mending went back into the closet and drawers. Everything else either went (1) out of the house, (2) into the mending box or (3) into storage until I either change size again or decide I've waited long enough. Now, every time I go to get dressed, every single thing I put my hands to makes me feel lovely. Like this absolutely gorgeous new dress I have on today.
So, in short, life is very good.

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    ...brightness is nothing; it is in the heart that the values lie. I wish I could make him understand that a loving good heart is riches, and riches enough, and that without it intellect is poverty.

    - Mark Twain, "Eve's Diary"

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Okay, so you know that the usual rule is that the police can't just stop you on the street and ask you to provide identification or explain what you're doing? Well, under the Ontario Public Works Protection Act, there has always been an exception for people who go on railroads, gasworks, waterworks, electrical generation power works, or other "public works" as defined in the Act.

The rule, in a public work, is that you have to "comply with a request or direction" made by a "guard" who has been designated under the Act. This includes a request to provide identification or leave the area. If you don't, you will be subject to a fine of up to $500 or up to two months in prison.

Well the bloody government has gone and designated a big chunk of downtown Toronto as a public work for the next three days!

From now until June 28th, if you refuse to provide identification while you're in the zone, or refuse to "comply with a request or direction" made by a guard under the Public Works Protection Act, then you can go to jail for up to two months and be liable to a fine of up to $500.

I am so angry I cannot begin to explain it. Those buggers have passed a new regulation with penal consequences without bloody well publishing it in the Ontario Gazette. They're planning to publish it NEXT WEEK after it bloody well expires. I am furious.

The whole theory behind the rule that "ignorance of the law is no excuse" is that the laws are out there, published, and you're supposed to keep up with the ones that apply to you.

I'm not even sure this regulation is constitutional. But it's currently in effect, and the police will be acting on it. So be aware: if you're in the following area, you have to do what the nice officers say, or they can haul you away and put you in a cage

The areaCollapse )
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I have a friend who shall remain nameless who wanted to post a poll but who doesn't have a paid account. Thus, this is totally not my fault:

Poll #1508257 Come as you are

I identify as female, and I masturbate, on average:

less than once a year
about once a year
about twice a year
about three times a year
about four times a year
about once a month
about once a week
more than once a week, but less than once a day
once a day
more than once a day
it varies too much to say
other, and I will explain in the comments

Edit: I adore the fact that I had four responses in less than 30 seconds. I love my friends.
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I'm hearing some concerns from my friends about the H1N1 vaccine. People don't seem to have all the information about the vaccine, and are trying to make decisions about their health based on hearsay. Not so good. So here are some good sources of information about H1N1 and the vaccine.

Now, I'm going to start by assuming that our government is not flat-out lying to us. (If you're one of the folks who distrusts the Harper government so much that you think they may just be making things up here, I'll point out that the provinces are also highly involved in pandemic planning and the vaccine roll-out. You can check federal statements against provincial ones, if you're concerned about accuracy. In many cases, you can also check the statements against those made in peer-reviewed scientific journals such as The Lancet. Here is The Lancet's H1N1 resource page.)

Here is the federal Public Health Agency of Canada's site on H1N1.

Here is the Ontario site.

Now, here are some of the specific concerns I've heard from my friends, together with some answers:

The H1N1 vaccine hasn"t been properly tested.Collapse )

I"m worried about side effectsCollapse )

There"s the thing in the vaccine, not the vaccine itself, but some other stuff, and I hear it"s never been tested or approved for use in humans.Collapse )

If adjuvants are so safe, why aren"t they recommended for pregnant women?Collapse )

I don"t need the vaccine. That"s just for high-risk people.Collapse )

There"s mercury in the vaccine. That"s dangerous.Collapse )

Of course, it's your health and your decision. Deciding whether to get vaccinated is a personal choice. But if you bloody well don't get vaccinated[1] and then you die, I am going to be seriously pissed off.

I like you, and I want to keep you around.

[1] Assuming you're not contraindicated.
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Signal-boosting for the lovely zingerella:

Want to march in Toronto's Pride Parade this year? Come join us.

Who: All queer-identified folk, of whatever flavour. We're pretty random. (If you're wondering whether this includes you, then yes, it does.)

Where: Meet up at Bloor Street east of Church. Look for the chalk mark on the ground that says "M321".

When: Sunday June 28th, gathering around 1 or 1:30 p.m. for a 2 p.m. start. Do please come early so we can teach you the hand signals the Parade officials will be using to direct traffic.

How: Wear your sunscreen and most fabulous outfit, and come find us. The group numbers will be chalked on the ground. Look for group M321, or the Random Queers banner. Be sure to bring lots of water.

Why: We've all got our own reasons, but here's a good one: because it's a helluva lot of fun, and way less crowded than watching the parade from the crowds.

Note: We will not have a wagon this year, so you'll need to carry everything you bring. Choose wisely, and make sure you include water. I think that's all you need to know, but updates will be posted to our Facebook group Random Queers.

Also, we have cookies.
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Happy birthday to much_ado, International Woman of Mystery:

Wishing you a happy day, and a year full of fun, friends, family and very very few weasels.
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Last year, I had a few friends over for cider and cookies and singing winter songs. We had Christmas carols and Solstice rounds and Hanukkah songs and really any kind of festive winter song that people could come up with. Cthulhu was invoked several times. (Heh. My spell-checker wants to translate "Cthulhu" into "Catholic".)

I've been thinking about doing it again, but the December calendar is already getting kind of crazy. So let's see if this might work.

Are you interested? When are you free? A poll.Collapse )
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Okay, this is a bit odd, but even though we had more people saying Tuesday would definitely work for them, when you add up the folks who can definitely make it with those who may, Thursday seems to be the better choice. Plus, I'd like to favour the people who already regularly attend Games Night, so that seems to tend toward Thursdays. Sorry, Tuesday folks!

So now I just need to pick which Thursday we're going to go with. I'm already booked on the third Thursday of each month, so here are you choices. Choose wisely!

Edit: I'm a goof. Turns out I'm also already booked on the second Thursday of every month. So, basically, we're down to either the first Thursday or the fourth.

Which of the following definitely work for you?

1st Thursday of the month
2nd Thursday of the month
4th Thursday of the month

In addition to the days that definitely work, which of the following MAY work for you?

1st Thursday of the month
2nd Thursday of the month
4th Thursday of the month

If one of these days may or may not work, please explain why (expand in comments if necessary).

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Right. Most folks probably remember that the Pride Parade will be on Sunday, June 29th. But did you know that the deadline to register a group is this coming Friday (i.e. Friday the 23rd)?

I'll be registering a group again this year, but I need to know approximately how many of us there will be, and we need to pick a name. Thus, the poll.

Just for the record, "Steamy Queers" was initially intended to imply a steampunk theme, but could work quite nicely with another array of costumes. Also, there's no way in hell I am dressing up as a Gay Garden Gnome, but someone suggested that as our theme, so it's on the poll. Other suggestions are most welcome.

The Pride PollCollapse )

Oh, and in case you're wondering, the plan is to have a people-powered group again this year (no truck). But I'm trying to figure out a way to share the load of carrying the water. Because we really don't want to get dehydrated again, and I'm beginning to wonder whether it's physically possible to carry enough water, comfortably, to get through the parade. Maybe we could get some sort of bicycle with a trailer for the water?
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