An etherealgirl's Adventures in Cyberland

Friday, September 30, 2005

welcome to my moment of zen

Ok, so here's the proof that I am a dork. You can expect to see more of this, every opportunity that I get. I'm seriously thinking about trying to find a JP photo to post daily and reference it as, der, The Daily Page, er, how about A Page a Day...

Um, ok, well this is like the quiz obsession. Happiness for me is the glimpse of a Certain Sexagenarian Guitar God reaffirming that some beautiful things are still alright in my world. So forgive my self-indulgence:

jimmy page in rio 09-21-05 and forever my joy
Another Rio image from September 21st courtesy of Yahoo! News and via this cool little site.

They've also linked to Ross Halfin's latest photo session with Jp in New York on the 25th, now on page 6 of the JP photo archive housed there. Have I mentioned lately that I reallly lurve Ross Halfin? Check out the funny RP related story on the September 29th entry, BTW. And for those who don't know who Noddy "fuckin" Holder is, and really wanna know, google it and be enlightened. I've got the whole scene in my head and I just cannot stop laughing.... egos shattered everywhere, but my heroes clearly have a well-placed ability to laugh at themselves. :-)

And for the aural equivalent of my joy, please imagine the sounds of White Summer/Black Mountainside hanging in the air.

Encapsulated into those sweet sensations, it is easy for me to find my center and to remember that, after all, life is very, very good....

Just finished reading through my latest Mojo, though, and it's a bittersweet one, commemorating the life and death of John Bonham (September 25, 1980) that brings me crashing back down to earth again; life is bitter, life is sweet. Just one of the many reasons that I have come to completely dread September, a month that long ago was one of my favourites, unmatched in crisp, colourful beauty and poised between the bounty of luxuriously lazy summer days and the invigorating breath of fresh air blank-pages and endless possibilities of autumn.

I dread September these days just about as much as I dread listening to the latest news and remembering that this isn't some nightmare we're collectively experiencing; no, this is supposed to be our collective reality.

Well, I OBJECT, damn it. If I've gotta live through this, then I'm gonna take a few minutes every day to lose myself in all the beautiful people and places and things that keep me sane and recover my joy. One listen to Over the Hills and Far Away can reduce the world and all its problems to a momentary trifle; nothing can touch the momentary bliss that washes over me at the sound of the beautiful acoustic guitar intro and lifts me into a place of perfection that cannot be marred by the sorrows and the harsh ugly realities of a world gone mad. Nothing can touch that place, if only for a moment. I'd be crazy not to give into moments like those as often as I can.

And so in my heart The Song Remains the Same... ever and always... amen....

Posted by etherealfire :: 10:43 AM :: 3 Comments:

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i woulda sworn i was a dork

Pure Nerd
60% Nerd, 43% Geek, 39% Dork
For The Record:

A Nerd is someone who is passionate about learning/being smart/academia.

A Geek is someone who is passionate about some particular area or subject, often an obscure or difficult one.

A Dork is someone who has difficulty with common social expectations/interactions.

You scored better than half in Nerd, earning you the title of: Pure Nerd.

The times, they are a-changing. It used to be that being exceptionally smart led to being unpopular, which would ultimately lead to picking up all of the traits and tendences associated with the "dork." No-longer.

Being smart isn't as socially crippling as it once was, and even more so as you get older: eventually being a Pure Nerd will likely be replaced with the following label: Purely Successful.


My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 55% on nerdiness
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 76% on geekosity
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 63% on dork points
Link: The Nerd? Geek? or Dork? Test written by donathos on Ok Cupid

found via Chew Toys

These quizzes are lifesavers, giving me something completely inane to divert my attention, if only temporarily, from the endless supply of depressing news.

This is my apologetic way of confessing that you can expect to see alot of this on my blog (along with anything else I can find to balance the more depressing items) from now on; although I've always been a sucker for them, I'm craving this sort of distraction even more these days.

Posted by etherealfire :: 10:22 AM :: 3 Comments:

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chatsworth area still on fire

But Cooler weather may help firefighters.

The fire started Wednesday afternoon near Chatsworth, northwest of Los Angeles, and was quickly spread by the Santa Ana winds from the northwest.

Los Angeles County and Ventura County have declared a state of local disaster to formalize aid with other agencies and to help recuperate the costs of fighting the massive fire.

Yesterday and the day before were incredibly hot days (due no doubt to the Santa Ana winds) and while today does feel a bit cooler, right now I'm praying for rain.

Posted by etherealfire :: 9:39 AM :: 0 Comments:

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

in japan, even the manholes are beautiful

and the frangipani gallery has the gorgeous images to prove it.

Something about Japan has always called to me aesthetically and... spiritually, I guess, for lack of a better word. Japanese culture excels in combining form, function, simplicity and beauty.

miyajima sunset
Sunset at Miyajima by Alexander Warnolf (alebeh)
The famous red toori at Miyajima photographed at sunset.

courtesy of alebeh's gallery at stock.xchng

Posted by etherealfire :: 5:21 PM :: 2 Comments:

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color quiz

found via Janet at Fond of Elves!

ColorQuiz.comI took the free personality test!

"Longs for a tender and sympathetic bond and for a ..."

Click here to read the rest of the results.

Here's the whole thing:

Existing Situation

The situation is difficult and she is trying to persist in her objectives against resistance. Finds it necessary to conceal her intentions as an added precaution, in order to disarm the opposition.

Stress Sources

Wants freedom to follow her own convictions and principles, to achieve respect as an individual in her own right. Desires to avail herself of every possible opportunity without having to submit to limitations or restrictions.

Restrained Characteristics

Wants to broaden her fields of activity and insists that her hopes and ideas are realistic. Distressed by the fear that she may be prevented from doing what she wants; needs both peaceful conditions and quiet reassurance to restore her confidence.

Very exacting in the standards she applies to her choice of a partner and seeking a rather unrealistic perfection in her sex life.

Desired Objective

Longs for a tender and sympathetic bond and for a situation of idealized harmony. Has an imperative need for tenderness and affection. Susceptible to anything esthetic.

Actual Problem

Seeks to avoid criticism and to prevent restriction of her freedom to act, and to decide for herself by the exercise of great personal charm in her dealings with others.

Actual Problem #2

Greatly impressed by the unique, by originality, and by individuals of outstanding characteristics. Tries to emulate the characteristics she admires and to display originality in her own personality.

I gotta say honestly, this was scarily on target...

Posted by etherealfire :: 3:50 PM :: 2 Comments:

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8 meter squid photographed in action

Tony at Milk River Blog's got a link to a story about a giant squid that has been photographed by Japanese scientists; go check it out here. Amazing!

Posted by etherealfire :: 2:34 PM :: 3 Comments:

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massive young galaxies and singing sand dunes

Massive young galaxy surprises astronomers:

A massive galaxy has been discovered early in the history of the universe, a time when such mature galaxies were not thought to exist. The find calls into question current thinking on galaxy formation.

The galaxy, HUDF-JD2, is one of the most distant ever observed. Its light, captured by the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, began its journey towards Earth a mere 800 million years after the Big Bang.

"That's a very short timescale to form such a massive galaxy," says Bahram Mobasher, an astronomer with the European Space Agency and the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore, Maryland, US.

The time when stars and galaxies first formed is "a holy grail that many people are hunting for in astronomy," says John Huchra, an astronomer with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, US.

More here.

Dunes Tunes... the greatest hits:

IT MIGHT not knock Coldplay or Kanye West off the top of charts, but physicists who say they have cracked the riddle of "singing" sand dunes are compiling a CD of sand music. The team say their new theory allows them to predict the notes that different dunes will make.

Sand dunes in certain parts of the world are notorious for the noises they make as sand avalanches down their sides. Some emit low powerful booms, others sound like drum rolls or galloping horses, and some are even tuneful. These dune songs have been reported to last for up to 15 minutes and can sound as loud as a low-flying aeroplane. Physicists know it is the avalanches that set the grains humming, but the precise mechanism has remained controversial (New Scientist, 18 December 2004, p 8).

HUDF-JD2 galaxy
HUDF-JD2 galaxy courtesy Hubblesite Gallery

Both reports via New Scientist

Posted by etherealfire :: 1:27 PM :: 2 Comments:

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armchair archeology with google

Enthusiast uses Google to reveal Roman ruins:

Using satellite images from Google Maps and Google Earth, an Italian computer programmer has stumbled upon the remains of an ancient villa. Luca Mori was studying maps of the region around his town of Sorbolo, near Parma, when he noticed a prominent, oval, shaded form more than 500 metres long. It was the meander of an ancient river, visible because former watercourses absorb different amounts of moisture from the air than their surroundings do.

How cool is that??? :-) Just another reason to love the internet!

And finding stories like this one (also found at Biology News) is another!

When it comes to working out the relationships between ancient languages, grammar is more enlightening than vocabulary, scientists say.

There are some 300 language families in the world today. Researchers have long studied similarities between the words in different languages to try to work out how they are related. But the rate of change in languages means that this method really only works back to 10,000 years ago.

Homo sapiens evolved more than a hundred thousand years ago and by 10,000 years ago had already settled around the globe. So researchers are keen to peer further back in time to see how language evolved and spread.

To do this, Michael Dunn and colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics in Germany decided to look at grammar.

Read the whole thing here!

Links via Pagan News and Pentacle Magazine Online

Posted by etherealfire :: 12:56 PM :: 0 Comments:

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standing up to fundamentalist bullies

Bill Moyers explains why "Fundamentalist bullies cannot be appeased; they must be confronted"; In These Times piece, Reckoning with the God Squad.

The radical religious right has succeeded in taking over one of America’s great political parties-the country is not yet a theocracy but the Republican Party is-and they are driving American politics, using God as a battering ram on almost every issue: crime and punishment, foreign policy, health care, taxation, energy, regulation, social services and so on.

They have brought intensity, organization, and anger to the public square. They use the language of faith to demonize political opponents, mislead and misinform voters, censor writers and artists, ostracize dissenters, and marginalize the poor. These are the foot soldiers in a political holy war financed by wealthy economic interests and guided by savvy partisan operatives who know that couching political ambition in religious rhetoric can ignite the passion of followers.

Posted by etherealfire :: 11:54 AM :: 0 Comments:

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an eco New Orleans

Timothy Lange at Grist Magazine has some ideas about What New Orleans could look like the second time around in Big Dreams for the Big Easy.

Some estimates put the cost of rebuilding the city and its neighbors at $150 billion -- seven times more than the total amount the feds spent on the nation's 10 most expensive previous natural disasters. Eco New Orleans would cost even more, take longer, and require forming a plethora of public-private enterprises and overcoming immense ideological obstacles. But if we as Americans are unwilling to spend the time and money to rebuild New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast with environmental concerns taking a front seat, then we're as self-interestedly myopic as the administration that couldn't pry itself out of vacation mode to save people's lives.

Posted by etherealfire :: 11:39 AM :: 0 Comments:

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delayed justice

Well, it finally happened: Delay indicted in campaign finance probe. After 5 years of ongoing Republican-related scandals, someone is finally being held accountable.

I eagerly await news of Rove's and Frist's indictments next. And as for this utterly corrupt and highly incompetent administration? Democratic Underground gives supposition on the weighty matter.

Posted by etherealfire :: 10:24 AM :: 0 Comments:

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the almost daily quiz distraction

mystery key
You are a mysterious little brass key. Everyone
knows you open something, but no one is quite
sure what. Don't worry, though; as long as
people keep trying, they'll eventually figure
out what you have to offer.

What sort of key are you and what do you unlock?
brought to you by Quizilla

via Marching to a Different Bagpiper

Posted by etherealfire :: 7:11 AM :: 3 Comments:

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Tuesday, September 27, 2005

i asked you not to tell me that :-(

I just emerged from my cave, evidently the last one to know about this sad news till only moments ago (discovered while reading other blogs):

Get Smart Star Adams Dies

agent 99 & 86 back in the day

image via scoop diamond galleries

Lots and lots of bad news all around but this one hurts just a little bit more, maybe because, as with the loss of Bob Denver, another one of my childhood icons has left us here to deal with the mess we are all drowning in, and it feels so lonely... like all the laughter has evaporated right along with their passing.

Posted by etherealfire :: 2:56 PM :: 3 Comments:

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Saturday, September 24, 2005

an american tragedy

Tholos of Athena has some powerful words and images relating to our modern day tragedy that describes our rudderless leadership in Poisoned Altars.

George W. Bush will not be accused of patricide or maternal incest; he is not guilty of such crimes, of course. This man, whose banality surpasses all presidential frontiers, can clearly be nothing more than the half-assed imitation of a tragic figure. Deficiencies of judgment, corruption and deception, and a shallow barbarism are the hallmarks of his White House. Tragic Oedipus at least had real issues; the President on the other hand, seems like a flimsy patchwork of gimmicks, evasion, and disinformation. The marvel and shame is that such a psychologically damaged man could have risen to the presidency twice.

Read it all here.

Posted by etherealfire :: 6:40 AM :: 3 Comments:

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the politics test

You are a

Social Liberal
(70% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(8% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid

found via Where the Dolphins Play

Posted by etherealfire :: 6:32 AM :: 2 Comments:

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scott o rama gave me a fever

a boogie fever for Verve Remixed 3!

Have a listen here.

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Friday, September 23, 2005

never too late

Never too late to find your authentic voice, your gift, your life path. Facing down the 2nd half of my life, I try to remind myself of that fact; and it has become the underlying theme of it, sometimes a small almost imperceptible whisper, sometimes more of a worrying, incessant sort of nagging.

That's why I found Deborah Straw's piece, May Sarton's Gift especially compelling today:

Through Sarton’s example, I became more able to develop and share my talents by daring to write about what matters. May wrote unflinchingly about cancer; about infidelity; about depression; about hatred and prejudice; about friends and animals dying; about feeling suicidal. She made me realize through many of her poems and her journal entries, in particular, that these were legitimate topics about which to write, that there was an audience for them. She came out of the closet in her novel Mrs. Stevens Hears the Mermaids Singing(1965) when it was unfashionable to do so and suffered professional repercussions, but she did it. She taught me that daily life and relationships, in many ways, are what really matter in this life; the way we lead our lives and treat others influences and defines our mental and physical health.

I discovered, as had Sarton, that writing down my thoughts and shaping and revising them into some cogent form ordered my world. I realized what was important, and what I needed to focus on. I discovered what I felt and thought about a number of issues that, prior to knowing Sarton, I might not have recognized as so pressing in my life.

Get all the rest of it here.

Posted by etherealfire :: 12:08 PM :: 0 Comments:

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gorgeous 3d poser art site is a visually stunning Artist site. Her poser art gallery currently features lots of beautiful art with an autumn-y ambience. Everything is just gorgeous there ~ go check it out!

Posted by etherealfire :: 10:33 AM :: 0 Comments:

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You Are A: Squirrel!

sqirrelSquirrels are quick and cheerful animals who spend their time scurrying, scavenging, and playing. As a squirrel, you are often seen jumping happily from branch to branch up in the treetops. Squirrels are foragers searching for nuts and seeds, and they are social animals often seen chasing and playing with other squirrels.

You were almost a: Kitten or a Monkey
You are least like a: Groundhog or a DucklingDiscover What Cute Animal You Are!

LOL! This result took me back, waaaaaay back in the day... back when I was 19 and waitressing. My boss used to call me "squirrel". When I asked him why, he said it was because I scampered rather than walked. I did move quickly... but then again, it was a restaurant after all. But I think I was skittish, though. The food industry was NOT for me and I couldn't wait to get outta there. :-)

Lord, I was a terrible waitress...

found via Dawn Is Me

Posted by etherealfire :: 9:58 AM :: 4 Comments:

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Thursday, September 22, 2005

national zoo's baby love

DC Media Girl already posted this major cuteness but I couldn't resist linking to it as well:

Washington Plans Exhibit for Baby Panda

national zoo's beautiful baby boy

This photo provided by the National Zoo shows the 10-week-old male giant panda cub at the National Zoo in Washington, Monday, Sept. 19, 2005 where he received his sixth health exam. The cub, born on July 9, now weighs 9.57 pounds and is 22.51 inches long. (AP Photo/Jessie Cohen, National Zoo)

Photo Credit: AP Photo

Posted by etherealfire :: 9:45 AM :: 3 Comments:

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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

more jimmy photos

courtesy of Led news:

09-21-05: Jimmy Page is made an honorary citizen of Rio de Janeiro

Here's one of three; go check out the others plus a clip here!

Posted by etherealfire :: 9:22 PM :: 2 Comments:

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i love you, Jimmy Page!!!

...and yes, I love your beautiful, kind-hearted wifey, too...

Another hurricane is on its way, and our soldiers and Iraqi citizens keep dying every day. There is nothing but bad, sad, hopeless news everywhere we turn.

Truthfully, I completely live for beautiful moments of positive news like this. That it involves you doesn't surprise me in the least but it just makes my heart all the gladder for it. Thank you and Bless you for making my day once again, when I needed it the most!!!

Zep's Page shows whole lotta love for poor Rio kids
RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Former Led Zeppelin guitarist
Jimmy Page has been made an honorary citizen of Rio de Janeiro for his work with underprivileged kids in the Brazilian city.

Page was presented with the honor at a ceremony on Tuesday at Casa Jimmy (Jimmy's House), a facility set up in 1997 in the Rio district of Santa Teresa with funds from the veteran rocker.

"The greatest satisfaction is not the decoration. It is knowing that I am able to help someone who needs help," Page said.

There goes my hero....

Read it all here.

09-21-05 Jimmy Page with Fakhir Ali Aljamaly

Former Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page (L) poses with Fakhir Ali Aljamaly, a member of Iraq's wheelchair team, during the peace ceremony at the Christ the Redeemer statue atop the Corcovado mountain in Rio de Janeiro September 21, 2005. Page was made an honorary citizen of Rio for his work with underprivileged children there. The Iraq team is in town to participate in the 2005 World Wheelchair Games. (Bruno Domingos/Reuters)

More reports here

Posted by etherealfire :: 8:20 PM :: 3 Comments:

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gamma ray afterglow reaches earth

Star Death Beacon at the Edge of the Universe

An Italian team of astronomers has observed the afterglow of a Gamma-Ray Burst that is the farthest known ever. With a measured redshift of 6.3, the light from this very remote astronomical source has taken 12,700 million years to reach us. It is thus seen when the Universe was less than 900 million years old, or less than 7 percent its present age.

More reports here:

Gamma-Ray Burst Smashes a Record

Gamma-Ray Burst took 12,700 million years to touch our earth

Gamma Ray Burst Most Distant Yet

Posted by etherealfire :: 8:03 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Monday, September 19, 2005

speaking of winged creatures

I just got finished posting and then went off to do some much-anticipated blog surfing of some of my fav blogs and immediately had a moment of synchonicity... or seredipidty... or both.

Tony at Milkriver Blog has posted some amazing photos of an exotic winged creature I'd never seen before, a Diaphania cf. hyalinata, aka a Melonworm Moth. Awesome images! Go check them out!

Posted by etherealfire :: 8:07 PM :: 3 Comments:

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monarch fall migration begins

Though I've never seen one in progress, the Monarch Fall Migration to Mexico and parts of California is currently underway. A bit of information about their over-wintering sites can be found here.

This site has alot of information pertaining about tracking the Fall Migration happening throughout North America.

The journey of these delicate yet amazingly enduring beauties is an inspiring testament to the adaptability and hardiness of nature when allowed to follow its course unimpeded; a passage from Monarch Watch that just completely blows me away:

In all the world, no butterflies migrate like the Monarchs of North America. They travel much farther than all other tropical butterflies, up to three thousand miles. They are the only butterflies to make such a long, two way migration every year. Amazingly, they fly in masses to the same winter roosts, often to the exact same trees. Their migration is more the type we expect from birds or whales. However, unlike birds and whales, individuals only make the round-trip once. It is their children's grandchildren that return south the following fall.

In the natural world, nothing is impossible!

monach on lavender flower

image courtesy of Teens for Planet Earth

Posted by etherealfire :: 7:37 PM :: 2 Comments:

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Sunday, September 18, 2005

a corporate history primer

John Hanchette's commentary at Niagara Falls Reporter Opinion gives a well-written, clear, concise history of the American Corporate takeover with Mountain Views: Corporations Now Running the Show:

According to Warren, after the Revolutionary War, the Founding Fathers and leaders of the newly independent colonies were totally unlike today's presidents. The early chief executives of states and members of Congress "kept businesses on a short leash."

You couldn't obtain a corporate charter unless 1) you specifically served the public good by building a road or digging a canal or the like, and 2) gained the specific approval of your state's legislature. Your corporate status was not good forever, and unlike today, your corporation, under pain of revocation of charter:

* Could not give campaign contributions;
* Could not own shares in other corporations;
* Could not lobby elected officials.

These, of course, are all common practices today, routinely accepted by those we select to lead us and by the public at large. How far we have strayed from the original wisdom of our founders.

What changed all that? The Civil War -- and guess who? One of the faces on Mount Rushmore.

Abraham Lincoln realized, in order to win that conflict and save the Union, he had to keep a steady supply of militarily usable goods and materials flowing. Warren quotes Thom Hartmann, author of "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights" in describing how "Lincoln had to loosen those restrictions and restraints on corporate behavior. It was his intention to tighten them back up again after the war, but he was assassinated."

Guess what? Slavery played a role. Three years after the Civil War, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution was approved, and it ensured due process and equal protection to every citizen under the law. Sure, it was passed to protect the slaves who had been freed, but corporations cleverly twisted that landmark amendment's meaning to give themselves "personhood."

Link via a post by not_over_it at the Air America Al Franken Blog.

Posted by etherealfire :: 12:01 AM :: 0 Comments:

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Saturday, September 17, 2005

unconditional love ~ Full Moon in Pisces

Harvest Full Moon
Saturday, September 17, 2005
7:01 PM PDT / 10:01 PM EDT
Sun is Virgo, 25° 16'
Moon is Pisces, 25° 16'

Yesterday at the dinner table, waxing hysterically over "the terrible situation we find ourselves in", I dug myself into a hole of paranoid blustering so deep that my hubby and daughter actually had to leave the room. I think it was to keep from laughing in front of my face to be honest but I also think that they were embarrassed to watch me working myself into a great big tantrum of no return about things that we have little or no control over anyway.

So maybe it wasn't too much of a big surprise to find this little gem in my emailbox (dated for today's full moon):


Make sure you don't fall into a fantasy world as you lead the defense against the problems you face. It's not that your fears are totally the result of illusions, but you must monitor your own levels of paranoia. Take on the obstacles as they come, but don't build tiny molehills into impassable mountains.

Too bad I hadn't read that bit of great advice before I launched into my deranged soliloquy (hopefully it might have helped but I guess I'll never really know); and then also there was an email pointing to April Elliott Kent's latest essay (also Full Moon related) which once again nails it, capturing the essence of the energies that are running high and bringing so many of us down!

You can read her very wise words which are all about Letting Go of the Rope.

In astrology full moons are little mini-harvests, the culmination of that which we have reaped in a month's time; since this is the harvest moon it takes on an even greater symbolic significance and in view of what we have just experienced in recent events, the Full Moon in compassionate Pisces trying to balance out the emotionally overwhelming feelings we are literally drowning in with the more critical and exacting letter-of-the-law type judgment of the Virgo Sun.

Lunar Living Astrology has a really good little esoteric snapshot of the vibe of this particular Full Moon for astrological~minded among us.

It pays to take a big deep breath right now and try to collect myself. It helps to remind myself that everybody is being affected by the polarizing effects of this powerful oppositional energy, none more so than the people within our already completely polarized nation. People are speaking from their fears and many things that we say right now may not be particularly rational.

I won't bore you or embarrass myself with some of the things I said last night, but I will take advantage of pointing out some of the irrationality that I have heard lately ~ there are people out there actually espousing the idea that the $2000 debit cards are being spent by people who can't be sure of their next month's housing situation ~ on Louis Vuitton bags... yeah, I'm finding that one a bit hard to swallow; because 2 people evidently did it, it becomes the so-called mindset that all the victims are doing it. Amanda at Pandagon's got a lucid take on that whole mess. Don't believe that people would use this report as a reason to demonize or blame the group of victims as a whole? The woman Al Franken spoke to on Friday who gets her news and information from a right wing radio show seemed to think that this event was the norm and great justification for her disparaging attitude towards an entire group of displaced people. Just one example of a million more reactions based on fear and distrust of others.

Likewise, we have all been mirrors reflecting our collective anger and pain at each other; playing that blame game as the administration and their minion like to call it.

It's impossible not to feel outraged by what has just happened. It's even harder for each side to let go of those long-building hard feelings of mistrust and suspicion, the demonizatio of the other, no matter which side of the fence you happen to be sitting on. But I think there comes a time when we've got to pull back, if only for a moment and catch our collective breath, before we are all consumed by the bitterness and rage that threatens to over-take our very hope, our very sanity.

It doesn't mean that we should silence our voices of justified questions or stop taking appropriate action; nothing good will ever come of that, and much of what is wrong right now may very well be due to keeping silent when we should have been asking lots and lots of questions. But it just might mean that maybe (at least in my case), it is becoming increasingly important to balance those moments, to ensure that fear and anger doesn't become the over-riding emotions that drive those questions or actions. When it starts to get to be too much, I've got to be able to find a way to step out of that moment and just witness it; if my emotions run roughshod over that moment I'm going to lose something precious within myself.

I am believer of this: if we are not very careful we will become that which we hate. It is, in fact, that hatred, that emotionally irrational state that binds us to that which we despise, just as surely as if we had taken a blood oath with it. It's one of those karmic ironies in life. It is the biggest, the hardest, the most heartbreaking lesson we have to learn. How to keep our most powerful negative emotions from destroying everything in our path, including ourselves, even if that emotional response feels justified.

Unconditional love is the hardest thing we will ever have to learn to give, but not one of us is going to get a pass on it. Until we can learn to give into it, not one of us will be free from this Hell on Earth that we have created. No amount of transparently false proclamations that we hate the sin, but love the sinner will excuse us from this lesson. The Full Moon in Pisces is a symbolic reminder of that.

Posted by etherealfire :: 8:19 PM :: 4 Comments:

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Thursday, September 15, 2005

wish i was here

I'm loving my latest desktop, putting me in that anticipatory autumny mood that I relish most:

Courtesy of Bay 13 Desktops. This site has tons of gorgeous desktop images but the pages do have a tendency to take a while to load, just as a head's up. Actually I think the page that was fairly slow load was the unsorted one though because it basically has everything there.

Posted by etherealfire :: 8:44 PM :: 4 Comments:

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born to be worn!

I'm asking for this for Christmas!!! And I'm pretty sure I'm gonna get it too! YAY!!!!

But wait!!! I wonder if I wait a little longer, if it will get even smaller and hold even more music???? Ah, but I don't think I wanna wait that long.

TenthMile saw it first (but decided on the predecessor though - see her post) and I just followed her linkie there.

Posted by etherealfire :: 8:17 PM :: 2 Comments:

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right-wing myths about katrina debunked

I'm glad to find this has finally been put together: Think Progress has compiled and Debunked the always timely and highly predictable Right-Wing Mythmaking Project, this one focused on Hurricane Katrina.

Right-Wing Myths About Katrina, Debunked

There are a lot of right-wing myths about Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. ThinkProgress has created this guide to help you set the record straight.

CLAIM — STATE AND LOCAL OFFICIALS WERE MOSTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR FAILURES: “White House Shifts Blame to State and Local Officials” [Washington Post, 9/4/05]

FACT – BUSH PUT FEMA IN CHARGE OF EFFORT BEFORE KATRINA STRUCK: “Specifically, FEMA is authorized to identify, mobilize, and provide at its discretion, equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency.” [White House, 8/27/05]

FACT — FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ABLE TO ACT WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM STATES: The Wall Street Journal: “Mr. Chertoff activated the National Response Plan last Tuesday by declaring the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina an ‘Incident of National Significance.’ The plan, which was rolled out to much fanfare in January, essentially enables Washington to move federal assets to the disaster without waiting for requests from state officials.” [Wall Street Journal, 9/13/05]

CLAIM — NO ONE COULD HAVE PREDICTED BREACHED LEVEES: On ABC’s Good Morning America, Bush said, “I don’t think anyone anticipated the breach of the levees.” [Good Morning America, 9/1/05]

FACT — LEVEE BREACH PREDICTED REPEATEDLY: Responding to Bush’s comments on Meet the Press, Dr. Ivor Van Heerden of the LSU Hurricane Center “I didn’t buy that because, you know, we had discussed on numerous occasions that a worst-case scenario would be if we had one of these major hurricanes and then we lost the levee systems.” A White House advisor sat in on the “Hurricane Pam Exercise,” a computer simulation of the possible effects of a Category 3 hurricane on New Orleans. The exercise found that “…a storm like Hurricane Pam would: cause flooding that would leave 300,000 people trapped in New Orleans, many of whom would not have private transportation for evacuation.” [Meet the Press, 9/11/05]

CLAIM — GOV. BLANCO DELAYED STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARATION: In a Sept. 4 Washington Post article, which was corrected hours later, an anonymous Bush administration source claimed Governor Blanco had not yet declared a state of emergency in Louisiana. The Post reported, “As of Saturday, Blanco still had not declared a state of emergency, the senior Bush official said.” [Washington Post, 9/4/05]

FACT — GOV. KATHLEEN BLANCO DECLARED A STATE OF EMERGENCY IN LOUISIANA ON AUGUST 26: Three days prior to when Katrina made landfall. [Office of the Governor, 8/26/05]

CLAIM — GOVERNORS WANTED FEMA TO BE WEAK: Brit Hume: “FEMA, first of all, is not a first responder. FEMA is basically a tiny little agency that has been kept weak. And you know why it’s been kept weak? The governors want it that way.” [Fox News Sunday, 9/11/05]

FACT — STATE OFFICIAL COMPLAINED ABOUT WEAKENING OF FEMA UNDER BUSH: “State and local disaster-relief officials have been complaining about the lack of federal involvement in emergency response for some time. Trina Sheets, the executive director of the National Emergency Management Association, which represents local emergency personnel, told Salon that “since the Department of Homeland Security was established there has been a steady degradation of the capabilities.” [Salon, 9/7/05]

CLAIM — RESIDENTS WHO REMAINED IN NEW ORLEANS ARE TO BLAME FOR NOT EVACUATING: Sen. Rick Santorum said, “I mean, you have people who don’t heed those warnings and then put people at risk as a result of not heeding those warnings. There may be a need to look at tougher penalties on those who decide to ride it out and understand that there are consequences to not leaving.” [Associated Press, 9/6/05]

FACT — MOST RESIDENTS WHO REMAINED COULDN’T AFFORD TO LEAVE: New York Times: “The victims, they note, were largely black and poor, those who toiled in the background of the tourist havens, living in tumbledown neighborhoods that were long known to be vulnerable to disaster if the levees failed. Without so much as a car or bus fare to escape ahead of time, they found themselves left behind by a failure to plan for their rescue should the dreaded day ever arrive.” [New York Times, 9/2/05]

CLAIM — BUSH “STRUCK THE RIGHT BALANCE” BETWEEN HIRING POLITICAL CRONIES AND EXPERIENCED PROFESSIONALS: Vice President Cheney said Bush had “struck the right balance between political appointees and career professionals to oversee the relief efforts.” [AP, 9/8/05]

FACT — MOST TOP FEMA OFFICIALS WERE POLITICAL HACKS: “Five of eight top Federal Emergency Management Agency officials came to their posts with virtually no experience in handling disasters.” [Washington Post, 9/9/05]

CLAIM — MAYOR NAGIN LEFT 2,000 SCHOOL BUSES BEHIND IN THE FLOOD: Sean Hannity said, “You would have thought that the 2,000 buses, school buses, that sat in the yards would have been used to help those people that were incapable of getting out on their own, but none of that had happened locally.” [Hannity and Colmes, 9/6/05]

FACT — NEW ORLEANS HAD LESS THAN 300 WORKING SCHOOL BUSES: “The [Orleans Parish school] district owns 324 buses but 70 are broken down.” [New Orleans Times-Picayune, 9/5/05]

CLAIM: LOCAL OFFICIALS DESERVE BLAME FOR LACK OF EVACUATION BUSES : Rick Santorum claimed, “Many didn’t have cars … And that really was a failure on the part of local officials in not making transportation available to get people out.” [Times Leader, 9/6/05]

FACT: LOUISIANA NATIONAL GUARD REQUESTED 700 BUSES FROM FEMA FOR EVACUATIONS, FEMA ONLY SENT 100: The Boston Globe reported, “On Sunday, the day before the storm, the Louisiana National Guard asked FEMA for 700 buses to evacuate people. It received only 100.” [Boston Globe, 9/11/05]

CLAIM — MILITARY NOT STRETCHED THIN BY IRAQ: President Bush said, “We’ve got plenty of troops to do both. Let me just — let me just talk about that again. I’ve answered this question before, and you can speak to General Honore if you care to. He’s the military man on the ground. It is preposterous to claim that the engagement in Iraq meant there wasn’t enough troops here, just pure and simple.” [White House, 9/12/05]

FACT — MILITARY LEADERS SAY IRAQ HAMPERED THEIR EFFORTS AFTER KATRINA: National Guard Chief Lt. Gen. Steven Blum said, “Had that (Mississippi and Louisiana) brigade been at home and not in Iraq, their expertise and capabilities could have been brought to bear.” The Washington Post reported “In Louisiana and Mississippi, civilian and military leaders said the response to the hurricane was delayed by the absence of the Mississippi National Guard’s 155th Infantry Brigade and Louisiana’s 256th Infantry Brigade, each with thousands of troops in Iraq.” [AP, 9/10/05, Washington Post, 9/10/05]

CLAIM: NEWSPAPERS REPORTED NEW ORLEANS HAD BEEN SPARED SIGNIFICANT HURRICANE DAMAGE: Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff said, “I remember on Tuesday morning picking up newspapers and I saw headlines, ‘New Orleans Dodged The Bullet.’” [Meet the Press, 9/4/05]

FACT: HEADLINES ACROSS THE COUNTRY ANNOUNCED “CATASTROPHIC” DAMAGE TO NEW ORLEANS: The Tuesday, August 30th edition of the Times-Picayune led with a banner headline reading, “CATASTROPHIC: Storm Surge Swamps 9th Ward, St. Bernard; Lakeview Levee Breach Threatens to Inundate City.” Dozens of other major newspapers led with headlines describing Katrina’s horrifying aftermath. [Times-Picayune, 8/30/05; Newseum via Wonkette]

link via Current Era Blog

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light and shadow and perspective

Please go to Corpus Callosum and Contemplate This!

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ancient burial route to pyramid found

Scottish 'Indiana Jones' finds ancient burial path:

A VETERAN archaeologist, hailed as Scotland's "Indiana Jones", has discovered one of Egypt's most elusive ancient sites 3,000 years after it was buried in the desert sand.

Ian Mathieson, 78, director of Saqqara Geophysical Survey Project, has located part of a seven-mile ceremonial burial route to the Step Pyramid of Djoser, near Cairo.

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the thing that scares me most

It's the main reason I never wanted to live in Southern California... and wouldn't you know we picked a doozy of a spot to live. Don't get me wrong, Fullerton is one of the nicest places in the area. I love the community, the small town feel to the place. But Fullerton is located on part of the Puente Hills Blind-Thrust Fault and a worst case scenario of a 7.2 or larger earthquake along that fault line at the wrong time of day would be a national nightmare along the lines of the Katrina Hurricane Disaster in NOLA and the Gulf Coast.

Southern California could suffer the most deadly and damaging natural disaster in U.S. history if the Puente Hills fault zone beneath Orange and Los Angeles counties ruptured and produced a magnitude 7.2 or larger earthquake, scientists said Wednesday.

As many as 18,000 people could die and 120,000 people could be injured if the poorly understood fault broke on a weekday afternoon, researchers said during a news conference led by the U.S. Geological Survey. Economic losses could surpass $250 billion, dwarfing the $44 billion in damage caused by the 1994 Northridge quake.

"This is an absolute worst-case scenario," said Ned Field, a USGS researcher who teamed with the Southern California Earthquake Center in Los Angeles to produce a range of damage estimates published in the journal Earthquake Spectra.

"This is a very rare type of event; the odds of dying of a heart attack are much higher," Field said. "But the fault has produced four quakes in the magnitude-7.2-to-7.5 range during the past 11,000 years. We ran damage scenarios because this fault lies beneath a very urban area."

More of Gary Robbins OC Register Online Report: On Dangerous Ground.

Or check out this report, which I believe does not have the annoying "registration issue" involved:

As was the case with Katrina, experts say the federal government hasn't done enough to prepare.

"There's not enough money to carry out the research and implementation programs that need to be put into place," said Susan Tubbesing, executive director of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute in Oakland, Calif. "If funds were available, if these were higher priorities, these kinds of things could be addressed now — before an earthquake."

California has been hit by significant quakes about every 15 years over the past century. Experts say there's a better-than 60 percent chance that a quake with a magnitude around 6.7 will hit Southern California or the Bay Area within decades.

"The reality is when you have a disaster of that proportion, you need the federal government," Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said Wednesday in Washington, where he was meeting with federal officials. "I think the question is, is the federal government prepared to provide the resources that we need? I think that, clearly, by what we've seen in Louisiana, the jury's out."

The original report is from May and I've known about it for quite awhile but it is all the more frightening now, after witnessing the recent FEMA debacle.

And something I realized a long time ago, really after only a few weeks of living here, I mean viscerally (and with dawning horror) understood as we headed back to Albuquerque for a visit: nobody gets out of this place quickly under the best of circumstances... what is the likelihood of most anybody getting out of here quickly AT ALL in a dire emergency? Not something I like to ponder. Not at all...

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bob denver dies at 70

and so does a precious little piece of my childhood. Yep, this is late and a bit of old news, and just one more thing I couldn't handle posting a couple of days ago. I know it's all been written and said by now, but I just had to commemorate the passing of one who was an iconic comfort-fixture in my childhood.

Like a million other kids (of probably more than one generation) I can remember the sight and sounds of Gilligan's Island (and I Love Lucy and Get Smart and Green Acres and Star Trek AND Lost in Space) as happy background noise to homework assignments and after-school snacks. Dobie Gillis was a bit before my time but I was lucky enough to catch a few of those shows much later on in life thanks to Nickelodeon. But for me Bob Denver was and will always be mine, and everybody's ultimate (Little) Buddy.

Losing Bob Denver is like losing the best goofy big brother anybody could ever have. Goodbye innocent days and half-forgotten dreams. Goodbye belly laughs untouched by the big big and all too real grownup world. Goodbye, Gilligan. May your world now be full of coconut cream pies and all things beautiful. Thanks for the memories and the sweet sweet smiles. Thanks for being a part of some of the best memories of childhood.

Smooth sailing forever and ever, little buddy
image courtesy of Gilligan's

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coz evidently it's all about MOI!

LOL! Well, it is, true enough... :-P

piggy jpeg
You are Miss Piggy.
You are talented and the center of attention. At
least you'd like to think you are. You're
really just a pig.

"Moi", "Moi" and
"Women Who Run With Frogs And The Frogs Who
Better Wise Up Quick"

"To Have and Have More"

If it's expensive, it fits.

Eyes, eyebrows, eyelashes, nose, cheeks, hair,
ears, neck, shoulders, arms, elbows, hands,
fingers, legs, knees, ankles, feet, toes and so
on and so forth.

Singing, Dancing, Directing, Producing, Writing,
Starring, and Being Famous.

What Muppet are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I'm embarrassed to say I forgot where I found the link to the quiz now. It was the result of surfing the other night but when it came right down to posting it on my blog, I couldn't make myself do it right then. So I copied the code and the image but like a dork I forgot to copy the link of the kind blog where I found it. Sorry about that. :-(

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Wednesday, September 14, 2005

take the kyoto protocol into your own hands

Portland, Oregon has done it. We as individuals can do it too! Calculate Your Greener Future via Rose Miller at Utne Online.

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bach, batatas... and homework

The dearth of posts lately can be explained, at least partly, by the obligation of homework. I'm also finding it a bit difficult to engage in the more frivolous netsurfing that I usually indulge in with joyous abandon; whicn, in turn leads to links and commentary here.

I did spend some time surfing for links about one of my fav subjects, Easter Island, the other day because I couldn't remember if I'd ever read anything definitive about DNA testing to prove that the Islanders were Polynesian rather than Incan - turns out they are in fact Melanesian rather than of South American origin though there is still the intriguing, mysterious origin of that amazing stone wall at Ahu Vinapu that is so reminiscent of the precise stone work prevalent in Andean culture; that and the presence of sweet potatoes (errr, actually the original name is batata a plant that originates in South America, some 2500 miles away).

About a million links later, I was in heaven and as always, learned a bunch of new and interesting little things to keep me happily preoccupied, for the evening anyway. I thought about posting something then, too, but I couldn't bring myself to do it because my blog reminds me of everything that is depressing me right now, so I let it go for another day.

Tonight I've been (trying) to study and listening to Bach, always good for the structured sort of orderly beauty, the very sort of thing that gives one a small if intangible sense of security in an an otherwise insecure and unpredictable world; currently in the heavenly midst of an enchanting Brandenburg Concerto #6 and all's right within my very small piece of the world... for the moment anyway.

Anyway, revisiting Rapa Nui is probably not the smartest idea when one considers the inevitable tragedy it ended up being for a once thriving community; but I suppose I'm not surprised that my mind was there in view of the Katrina tragedy. Just another reminder of the fragility of our place, our presence in the grand scheme of things. If we cannot learn to bow to nature, to live wisely within her parameters, and to prepare and plan for the moments of inevitable potential destruction, then we will always end up paying the price.

Our beautiful New Orleans, our beautiful Gulf Coast is a shared natural resource and a shared national responsibility. Our government let down those who trusted in our ability to protect them. How we could not have been prepared for this potential inevitability I will never understand....

And now, with Hurricane Ophelia bearing down on the Carolinas it is hard not to be worried sick over what will happen next. The worst part of all of this is that the Hurricane season is only just now coming into full swing.

I'm praying and hoping hard that we don't get hit hard with anymore natural disasters this autumn. I'm honestly wondering how we will be able to withstand another one, in view of what we have just witnessed in the way of emergency preparedness and in view of our economic/financial situation.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

the daily show covers the evolutionary war

this week with their hard-hitting series... Evolution, Schmevolution.

And OneGoodMove has the first clip here!

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Sunday, September 11, 2005

faith, hope and courage

Today I'm going to light a candle, say a prayer, remember those who have moved on, and those who have been left behind. Shed more tears, the endless river of tears I have been crying these days. But I won't forget to smile at the beauty of the day. I won't hesitate to laugh with joyous abandon at any gift or opportunity the day provides. And I will not lie down, give up or die. I am a citizen of a great country full of great people. We may have lost our way sometimes, we may have fallen down, but we will never give into fear and we will never give up on the goodness in ourselves, in each other, in our brothers and sisters around the world.

I thought a light went out, but now the candle shines.
I thought my tears wouldn't stop, then I dried my eyes.
And after all of this, the truth that holds me here,
Is that this emptiness is something not to fear.
Yeah, I'll keep wondering how we know where we belong,
After all the journeys made, and the journeys yet to come.
When I feel like giving up instead of going on,
Somewhere in between.

~~~Mary Chapin Carpenter

I never want to forget the email Forrester Church told me about — sent by a doomed employee in the World Trade Center who, just before his life was over, wrote: "Thank you for being such a great friend."

I never want to forget the man and woman holding hands as they leap together to their death.

I never want to forget those firemen who just kept going up. They just kept going up.

And I never want to forget what Forrester said of this disaster — that the very worst of which human beings are capable can bring out the very best.

I've learned a few things in my 67 years. One thing I've learned is that the Kingdom of the Human Heart is large. In addition to hate, it contains courage. In response to the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, my parents' generation waged and won a great war, then came home to establish a more prosperous and just America. I inherited the benefits of their courage. So did you. The ordeal was great, but prevail they did. We will, too, if we rise to the spiritual and moral challenge of survival.

~~~ Bill Moyers

The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

~~~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Adversity is like a strong wind. It tears away from us all but the things that cannot be torn, so that we see ourselves as we really are.

~~~Arthur Golden

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, 'I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.' You must do the thing you think you cannot do.

~~~ Eleanor Roosevelt

This is the way of peace: Overcome evil with good, falsehood with truth, and hatred with love.

~~~ Peace Pilgrim

No one's lost and no one's missing
No more parting just hugs and kissing
And all these stars are just for wishing
In my heaven

~~~ Mary Chapin Carpenter

May we all of us, in America and abroad, may we find some peace and comfort today. May we never lose our spirit and our faith and our hope for the future. We are all that we've got. But that could be everything we ever wanted and needed if we could just have a little faith in each other and a little courage to commit to it.

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Saturday, September 10, 2005

beloved pets are katrina's victims too

People are not the only casualties of Hurricane Katrina. And as a caring and civilized nation, not only must we care for our people but also the other victims of this horrendous disaster.

I'm begging all those with compassionate hearts to please sign this petition urging that animals are included in future disaster responses.

Many of the people who refused to leave New Orleans did so because they couldn't bear to leave their beloved pets behind and did not have the resources to do so. I know that there are many, many of us who would feel exactly the same way in the same circumstances. In a truly compassionate and civilized society, the idea of any sentient being purposely being left behind would be unthinkable. We claim to care about our poor, our children, our pets and our environment.

As a nation we need to begin putting our money where our mouths are and ensure that every family, every man, woman, child, every living creature that we can possible save can be saved. Thanks so much to everyone for their generosity to others. When we reach out to others we are really reaching out to ourselves, because we are all one.

Bless you all!

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hurricane katrina direct relief blog

Lovely Grace at I am Dr. Laura's Worst Nightmare has set up Hurricane Katrina Direct Relief Blog with handy dandy supply list pages like this one as well as a downloadable list of the shelters in need!

On the eve of September 11th when we are once again reminded of the vulnerability of those in need, this is another opportunity for each of us to help in whatever way we can!

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alvaro's katrina photojournal

Frank at i flipflop has a link to an amazing photojournal of one person's account of Hurricane Katrina. You can check it out here.

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Friday, September 09, 2005


The thing that I will fight to the end for; the thing that I am most grateful for right now:

are that my own babies are safe and sound tonight.

My heart breaks for those who cannot say the same...

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there but for the grace of god...

I got an email from my mom today; a follow up about the family that we have (somewhat distant relatives - cousins on my mom's side of the family) in New Orleans who have been reunited but only after several days of not knowing where other members of the family were...

Norma Rae and Carl are in what they think is a nursing home or other medical facility; Carl needed a nursing home. Their daughter Marcia and her husband evacuated together, but their daughter Michelle worked in a facility for the developmentally disabled, and she was evacuated with that group, but her husband and 2 children were evacuated from their home, so there were several days that she didn't know where they were or if they were OK. However, the day after I emailed you, they all were accounted for. I am not sure if they all were able to contact each other, but a family member who was looking for them all established where they were.

They've been through hell this past week... and yet they are one of the luckier families to get through this horror... because at least they have all come out of it alive and reunited.

I had to take a moratorium from the news and from my blog and even pretty much being online the past couple of days. I hoped it would help. But I don't know what will help... any of us... once the ugly spin machine goes into full swing again.

It sickens me. I find it hard to even read about it, much less post about it... but I also find it impossible to ignore what is going on. What is going on simply cannot be ignored; it has to be watched and reported and called out. As the man they'd like to have me believe is my President is so very fond of saying: "it's hard work."

It's also ugly, demoralizing and heartbreaking work. And HOW I WISH it wasn't necessary for our citizens to have to engage in it. But this corrupt breakdown of government, the one that is supposed to exist of the people, by the people, for the people ~ and that's you and me, people - WE ARE THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - we are the heart and soul of this nation and responsible for keeping her accountable and protecting her from harmful corruption and deceit ~ this breakdown of government is leaving every citizen only one option: speak out or forever hold your piece of truth and watch liberty die.

I've just had enough. I just can't bear much more of the disgrace that this administration has brought to our nation. Hasn't the rest of the country had enough of this? I'll say it again. I don't want revenge. I'm not looking for retribution (although I couldn't blame some people if they did feel that way).

I just want this unelected, uninformed, ill-equipped, unqualified and highly incompetent administration to stand down. Get up, get out, go. Give us our country back. Count our votes. Listen to our voices. Represent your people. Protect and serve your people. If you can't do that, you haven't earned the right to sit in the highest office in the land.

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Tuesday, September 06, 2005

the classic dames test

Katharine Hepburn

You scored 28% grit, 19% wit, 47% flair, & 28% class!

You are the fabulously quirky and independent woman of character. You go your own way, follow your own drummer, take your own lead. You stand head and shoulders next to your partner, but you are perfectly willing and able to stand alone. Others might be more classically beautiful or conventionally woman-like, but you possess a more fundamental common sense and off-kilter charm, making interesting men fall at your feet. You can pick them up or leave them there as you see fit. You share the screen with the likes of Spencer Tracy and Cary Grant, thinking men who like strong women.

Find out what kind of classic leading man you'd make by taking the Classic Leading Man Test.

My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 33% on grit
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 0% on wit
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 83% on flair
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 50% on class
Link: The Classic Dames Test written by gidgetgoes on Ok Cupid

Yikes! That was a painfully low wit factor; but I can't complain about the result since Katharine Hepburn is one of my two favourite actresses of all time (the other one is Bette Davis... naturally!)

snagged quiz via The Green Knight who ended up with my classic dream guy result: Jimmy Stewart; alas, his Jimmy is already taken... belonging to the very lovely Myrna Loy. ;-) What a happy find this quiz was! I can't sleep and I needed something lighthearted to distract me for a moment or two.

Posted by etherealfire :: 2:00 AM :: 3 Comments:

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Monday, September 05, 2005

ok i lied

but Keith Olbermann's latest bloggermann post, The 'city' of Louisiana is simply a must-read:

No one is suggesting that mayors or governors in the afflicted areas, nor the federal government, should be able to stop hurricanes. Lord knows, no one is suggesting that we should ever prioritize levee improvement for a below-sea-level city, ahead of $454 million worth of trophy bridges for the politicians of Alaska.

But, nationally, these are leaders who won re-election last year largely by portraying their opponents as incapable of keeping the country safe. These are leaders who regularly pressure the news media in this country to report the reopening of a school or a power station in Iraq, and defies its citizens not to stand up and cheer. Yet they couldn't even keep one school or power station from being devastated by infrastructure collapse in New Orleans — even though the government had heard all the "chatter" from the scientists and city planners and hurricane centers and some group whose purposes the government couldn't quite discern... a group called The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

And most chillingly of all, this is the Law and Order and Terror government. It promised protection — or at least amelioration — against all threats: conventional, radiological, or biological.

It has just proved that it cannot save its citizens from a biological weapon called standing water.

Read the whole thing here.

Posted by etherealfire :: 6:44 PM :: 3 Comments:

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some katrina-related links for today

and then... I've got to stop for awhile and focus on something else for a bit before I completely lose what's left of my sanity.

The Carpetbagger Report has a BBC link to report Northern Command isn't happy:

When the BBC noted the criticism of the government's slow response, Lt. Commander Kelly explained that NorthCom was ready to go well in advance of Katrina making landfall, but suggested the president didn't make the right call at the right time.

"Northcom started planning before the storm even hit. We were ready when it hit Florida, because, as you remember, it hit the bottom part of Florida, and then we were planning once it was pointed towards the Gulf Coast.

"So, what we did, we activated what we call 'defense coordinating officers' to work with the states to say, 'OK, what do you think you will need?' And we set up staging bases that could be started.

"We had the USS Bataan sailing almost behind the hurricane so once the hurricane made landfall, its search and rescue helicopters could be available almost immediately So, we had things ready.

"The only caveat is: we have to wait until the president authorizes us to do so. The laws of the United States say that the military can't just act in this fashion; we have to wait for the president to give us permission."

found like so many other links of late, via the fantastic Crooks and Liars

And it didn't take very long for it to become Time to "Swift Boat" [the] NorthCom Commander who made this brave statement.

Meanwhile... I can't help noticing what a different a state makes:

Read Billmon's Where there's a will

Deputy chief: New Orleans 'completely destroyed'

little girl with flag draped around her
a father drapes his little girl with the flag to provide some shade; image found at CNN's Storm Survivors Gallery about halfway down on this page

Posted by etherealfire :: 6:19 PM :: 2 Comments:

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the common bond ~ of hate: a religious fundamentalist virtue?

Thicker than blood or water, stronger than compassion or reason, hatred is the bond between these three groups, the glue that holds together their very reason for being:


Iraq's al Qaeda says Katrina is "wrath of God"-Web.

Salon report: Is Katrina God's punishment for abortion? via dKOS.

It just never ceases to amaze me how God manages to be credited as the source of some of the most jingoistic, bigotted and utterly hateful ideology around... and so completely reflects the mindset of those who claim to be evangelizing his every word, thought and deed. If I didn't know better I'd simply have to conclude that God is really some small minded testosterone-fueled, fearful, to say nothing of being a hateful, little miscreant instead of an omnipresent, omnipotent, wise and limitlessly loving compassionate father.

Funny thing though; the God they profess to know so well is as alien to me as the ideology they claim comes from the source. Because my relationship and understanding of God just does NOT match up with this vile and reprehensible portrayal of God at all. The God I've come to understand is much bigger than all of that; why do these people want to make God so unbelievably petty, so... small, in the very worst sense of the word. The irony of all this, though, is how the so-called differences between these groups are completely overshadowed by how completely alike they are in the ways that matter the most.

Hmmm, wasn't it Jesus himself (Son of God to one group, and the greatest prophet who ever lived to the other) who said, "and by their fruits, ye shall know them."

Indeed we do. And some very strange, very rotten fruit it is...

Posted by etherealfire :: 4:05 PM :: 3 Comments:

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Sunday, September 04, 2005

chief justice william rehnquist dies at 80

More bad news to wind up a a week of bad news.

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family... and with the fate of our Supreme Court.

Posted by etherealfire :: 12:44 AM :: 0 Comments:

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Saturday, September 03, 2005

mayor daley shocked as feds reject aid

story here:

A visibly angry Mayor Daley said the city had offered emergency, medical and technical help to the federal government as early as Sunday to assist people in the areas stricken by Hurricane Katrina, but as of Friday, the only things the feds said they wanted was a single tank truck.

That truck, which the Federal Emergency Management Agency requested to support an Illinois-based medical team, was en route Friday.

In the last few days I have been reading belligerent statements in some rightwing blogs about the lack of assistance coming from the rest of the world. As usual, nothing could be further from the truth:

France, Cuba, Venezuela among those offering aid.

The United States, which has the world's largest economy, lags behind other rich nations in the percentage of its giving to nations in Africa, the world's poorest continent.

By Friday, offers had been received from Armenia, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Belgium, Britain, Canada, China, Colombia, Cuba, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, France, Germany, Greece, Georgia, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Hungary, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, the Philippines, Portugal, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Venezuela and the United Arab Emirates.

Why the hold up in accepting aid? Why the hold up in getting those poor people rescued in the first place? Why did the delays occur long enough to allow the situation to devolve into the additional crisis of having to deal with looters?

It just really doesn't make any sense at all.

Posted by etherealfire :: 10:42 PM :: 0 Comments:

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air america public voicemail

Received this information from my Care2 Network Messaging System and I wanted to pass the information along:

Air America Public Voicemail
Air America Radio's Public Voicemail is a way for disconnected people to communicate in the wake of Katrina.

Here's how it works:

Call the toll-free number above, enter your everyday phone number, and then record a message. Other people who know your everyday phone number (even if it doesn't work anymore) can call Emergency Voicemail, enter the phone number they associate with you, and hear your message.

You can also search for messages left by people whose phone numbers you know. Air America Radio will leave Public Voicemail in service for as long as this crisis continues. You can call it whenever you are trying to locate someone, or if you are trying to be found.

Obviously, for this to work, people need to know about it so please forward the number to as many people as you can. You can find out more about Katrina and the affected areas at

Air America Radio brings you Emergency VoiceMail in conjunction with VoodooVox.

Also, if you’re looking for a way to help personally, Civic Action, formerly known as, launched a new web site yesterday, Hurricane asking its 3.3 million members and the public to post any available housing for the thousands of people left homeless by Hurricane Katrina. The organization will directly connect evacuees with volunteer hosts, and also provide the housing information to the Red Cross and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Spread the word!

Posted by etherealfire :: 2:54 PM :: 0 Comments:

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Friday, September 02, 2005

as coast guard arrives, new orleans hanging by a thread

Story here.

Time Photo Essay of Hurricane Katrina Aftermath.

Posted by etherealfire :: 4:12 PM :: 0 Comments:

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the mayor of new orleans is livid

and who can blame him? Crooks and Liars has the link to the righteously angry mayor's audio here.

Posted by etherealfire :: 10:46 AM :: 4 Comments:

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how could this have happened in my america?

Hunter at the Daily Kos has some powerful words about the nightmare that New Orleans has devolved into.

We have witnessed two disasters this week. The first was an act of nature. The second was not. The second disaster, still ongoing, is unforgivable.

That's the only word that comes to mind, a word I keep repeating to myself. These deaths, these men, these women, these infants dying now in these hours didn't have to happen. They did not have to die waiting for convoys to gather outside their city or for reservists to stand alongside their shattered police forces. They did not have to wait in darkness and fear for help to arrive, only to struggle for days without that help ever coming.

This is not politics. This is not partisanship.

This is unforgivable.

Read the entire heartbreaking diary at dKos.

I still can't believe this. I just can't wrap my head around the things I've read, I've heard, I've seen the last few days. Nothing in our national past has prepared me for the shock of this: I never could have dreamed that this could have happened in my country. In other less fortunate, 3rd world countries, lacking the resources, yes. But not the United States of America. How can it have come to this?

Posted by etherealfire :: 12:33 AM :: 2 Comments:

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Thursday, September 01, 2005

more useful resource linkies related to Katrina

can be found at The Tattered Coat.

Posted by etherealfire :: 4:43 PM :: 2 Comments:

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hurricane housing information

Although it is likely that those that need this information most will be hard-pressed to get it, I wanted to add this post as one of many on line providing MoveOn.Org's Hurricane Housing Information as just one more possible opportunity for those who might need the info and those who might have nearby shelter to provide to those in need.

I pray that those that need this help will find a way to access the information and find a way to get there. For those kind and generous hearts who are providing this assistance, God the Mother and Father Blesses each and every one of you and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Link found via grannyinsanity and thanks and blessings to her for posting it; just wanted to continue spreading the word!

Posted by etherealfire :: 2:34 PM :: 2 Comments:

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madness and mayhem

I can't believe what I've been reading and hearing. And I just feel so frustrated and angry and helpless. I can't help thinking that in nearby states there is food and water and shelter that could be accessible to these people, if only they could get out.

I'm aware that with the reports of violence and mayhem occuring in several pockets of the city, that it just makes all rescue attempts nearly impossible. But it is hard to believe that this could actually be happening.

This post is just simply to express my complete despair and sorrow and frustration over the whole thing. I wish there was more that I could do. No amount of donations and long distance worrying is going to help, I know. So we keep praying for a swift and effective rescue for all the victims who are by now hanging on by their very last thread.

I just can't believe this is happening...

Posted by etherealfire :: 12:56 PM :: 2 Comments:

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