Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 Reading List

Holy crap, y'all.  I can't believe it's New Year's Eve again.  Which means it's once again time to make you a list of what I've been reading.  It's a long one.  I've spent a lot of time with my nose buried in the ereader this year.  My goal was 295 books, and I'm not going to make that.  But I'd say 280 is pretty damn good!  My favorites are in bold.

1. No Souvenirs- K.A. Mitchell
2. Between You and Me- Willa Okati
3. Talker's Graduation- Amy Lane
4. Slings and Arrows- Josh Lanyon
5. The Captain's Man- Scarlet Blackwell
6. Cheating Chance- James Buchanan
7. One Wild Wish- Devon Rhodes
8. A Lady Awakened- Cecilia Grant (I don't remember much about it now, but I know I really liked it at the time.)
9. No Quarter- Christine d'Abo
10. First You Fall- Scott Sherman
11. Equilibrium- Katey Hawthorne
12. Brazen- Jordan Castillo Price
13. Frost Fair- Erastes
14. Cover Me- L.A. Witt
15. Moonlight Becomes You- Piper Vaughn, M.J. O'Shea
16. Striker- KyAnn Waters
17. Death Trick- Richard Stevenson
18. Dangerous Ground- Josh Lanyon
19. Payback- Jordan Castillo Price
20. Paradise Found- Hunter Raines
21. Moolah and Moonshine- Jordan Castillo Price
22. Riot Boy- Katey Hawthorne - I loved rocker bad boy Brady and laid back Etienne.
23. Other People's Weddings- Josh Lanyon
24. Body Art- Jordan Castillo Price
25. Where You Least Expect It- M. Durango
26. Spanish Fly Guy- Jordan Castillo Price
27. Gym Daddy- Grant Storm
28. Pretty Ugly- Jordan Castillo Price- This was a standout for me within a series of interconnected
29. Bad Boyfriend- K.A. Mitchell- I loved this one. Eli is such a great character, and he and Quinn seem
           to fit together so well. Their kink was hot, and Eli really helped Quinn cut through the bs with his
           adopted family.
30. Make You Sweat- Pia Veleno
31. Sometimes It's Fate- Angela S. Stone
32. The Letter Z- Marie Sexton
33. Pisces: From Behind That Locked Door- Pepper Espinoza
34. Her to Dads- Ariel Tachna
35. The Psychic and the Sleuth- Bonnie Dee
36. Sort of Stranger Than Fiction- Josh Lanyon
37. Sauntering Vaguely Downward- Nessa L. Warin- This one was interested because it took place at
            DragonCon in Atlanta. The guys were sweet, and I was glad when they worked it out. But the
            setting and all the activity going on around them was fun.
38. Whitetail Rock- Anne Tenino- I love Anne, and I thought this story was great fun.  But the characters
             also dealt with painful issues, like race and the fear of being fetishized vs being loved.
39. Caught Running- Abigail Roux, Madeleine Urban
40. Change of Heart- Mary Calmes
41. Collared- Kari Gregg- An intense BDSM set in the near future where environmental changes have
              cranked human aggression up to 11, except for a few rare individuals.  Hard to explain, but it was
              really good.
42. A Shared Range- Andrew Grey
43. The Male Room- Carolyn Levine Topol
44. Take My Picture- Giselle Ellis
45. My Heart is Within You- Marguerite Labbe
46. Dar and Greg- Bobby Michaels
47. Getting Dumped, Part 1- Tawna Fenske
48. Thief of Hearts: Tempted in Thailand- E.M. Lynley
49. Demonglass- Rachel Hawkins
50. A Troubled Range- Andrew Grey
51. The Mister Trophy- Frank Tuttle
52. Private Dicks- Katie Allen
53. Snared- J.L. Merrow
54. Chasing Seth- J.R. Loveless
55. Frost Moon- Anthony Francis- An Urban Fantasy with some unique elements.
56. It's Not Shakespeare- Amy Lane
57. A Chip in His Shoulder- L.A. Witt
58. A Vintage Affair- Josh Lanyon
59. Boys of Summer- Cooper Davis
60. Urban Shaman- Lyn Gala- M/M romantic suspense, with some unusual paranormal elements. Hoping
               there will be a sequel at some point.
61. Seduce Me at Sunrise- Lisa Kleypas
62. Unshakeable Faith- Lisa Worrell
63. Close to Me- Katrina Strauss
64. Cinder- Marie Sexton
65. One More Wish- Devon Rhodes
66. Clouds and Rain- Zahra Owens
67. Black Blades- Ginn Hale
68. Nature of the Beast- Amylea Lyn
69. Foxe Hunt- Haley Walsh
70. Foreshock- Kari Gregg
71. One Less Stiff at the Funeral- Sean Kennedy
72. The Island- Lisa Henry- Really intense, with physical and psychological torture, but so good.
73. Critic's Choice- Josh Lanyon
74. Le Jazz Hot- Clancy Nacht, Thursday Euclid
75. Nowhere Ranch- Heidi Cullinan
76. In the Strangest Places- Willa Okati
77. Sex, Lies, & Edelweiss- J.L. Merrow
78. My Only Home- Pepper Espinoza
79. Once a Marine- Cat Grant
80. One Good Hand- Rowan McBride
81. The Captain's Beloved- Scarlet Blackwell
82. Dawn in the Orchard- Cooper West
83. Circle of Change- Laney Cairo- This was an incredible book. An Inspirational (Pagan), with a m/m
                     romance and a trans* main character. So sensitively handled.
84. Fugly- K.Z. Snow
85. Frat Boy and Toppy- Anne Tenino- Funny, emotional, with the most hilarious coming out scene I've
                     ever read. If you haven't read Anne Tenino yet, start here!
86. Amaranth & Ash- Jessica Freely
87. Ride With Me- Ruthie Knox- A fantastic, independent heroine and a hero who was protective while
                      still respecting her. Best m/f I've read in a while.
88. Blood Howl- Robin Saxon
89. Blacker Than Black- Rhi Etzweiler- Romance, Urban Fantasy with a new kind of vampire, a really
                      excellent read. Looking forward to future books.
90. A Private Gentleman- Heidi Cullinan- Kind of heartbreaking, but fantastic, too.
91. The White Knight- Josh Lanyon
92. Wishink Well- Jordan Castillo Price- Another fantastic novella in the Petit Morts series.
93. I, Omega- Kari Gregg
94. Our December- Diane Adams
95. Nobody's Hero- Katey Hawthorne
96. Sagittarius Blues- Katrina Strauss
97. Girl From Mars- Julie Cohen
98. Clear Water- Amy Lane- Just a really good story
99. Master of the Mountain- Cherise Sinclair
100. Out of the Blue- Josh Lanyon
101. Handle With Care- Josephine Myles
102. Sympathy- Jordan Castillo Price
103. Reckless Seduction- Amanda Young
104. Grown Men- Damon Suede
105. Wight Mischief- J.L. Merrow
106. A+E 4ever- ilike merey- My first graphic novel, a couple of teens dealing with gender and sexuality.
                  I don't think graphic novels are really for me, but it was still quite good.
107. A Bar Tender Tale- Melanie Tushmore
108. Super Sock Man- Amy Lane
109. Happily Neverafter- Jordan Castillo Price
110. According to Hoyle- Abigail Roux
111. The Naked Truth- Lilly Cain
112. The Wishing Cup- J.M. Gryffyn
113. Domination- Chris Owen, Jodi Payne
114. The Gathering- Scott Sherman
115. When I Fall- Belinda McBride
116. Accidentally in Love- Jane Davitt
117. Witches' Blood- Ginn Hale
118. Chasing Smoke- K.A. Mitchell
119. Beginnings and Ends- Suzanne Brockmann
120. The Seduction of Phaeton Black- Jillian Stone
121. Bone Idol- Paige Turner
122. Second You Sin- Scott Sherman- The second Kevin Connor mystery. I just love Kevin!
123. Bewitched by Bella's Brother- Amy Lane
124. City Falcon- Feliz Faber
125. Behind Iron Lace- Mercy Celeste
126. Life Lessons- Kaje Harper- Great m/m romantic suspense
127. The Hunting Moon- Evelyn Shepherd
128. Beautiful Disaster- J.M. Snyder
129. A Queer and Pleasant Danger- Kate Bornstein
130. An Oral Fixation- Piper Vaughn- A great story about two guys finally getting their chance together.
131. Dharma Cafe- Jessica Freely
132. One Small Thing- Piper Vaughn, M.J. O'Shea- An unexpected baby, a guy with serious anxiety,
                         and a really sweet story.
133. One Night in LA- Sue Holston
134. London Eye- Clare London
135. Slow Summer Kisses- Shannon Stacey
136. Last Stop- Lou Harper
137. Blind Items- Kate McMurray
138. Duty & Devotion- Tere Michaels
139. Used, Rare, & Limited Editions- Chris Owen
140. Dancing With the Tide- Neil Plakcy
141. The Tea Demon- Cornelia Grey
142. Lovers and Other Strangers- Josh Lanyon
143. The Fix- Anne Tenino
144. A Little Bite of Magic- M.J. O'Shea
145. Spirits and Second Chances- Sean Kennedy
146. Paris A to Z- Marie Sexton
147. Waterways- Kyell Gold
148. Hawk's Landing- Carol Lynne
149. Spell Cat- Tara Lain- I'd never heard of Tara until I met her at RT this spring. I've really enjoyed her
                        books, especially this one.
150. Old Poison- Josh Lanyon
151. Academic Pursuits- Lou Harper
152. Asher's Invention- Coleen Kwan
153. A Matter of Time, Vol 1- Mary Calmes
154. Taxes and TARDIS- N.R. Walker
155. Pit Road- Anah Crow, Dianne Fox
156. Forever in One Second- Finn Marlowe
157. At Piper's Point- Ethan Day
158. What Hides Inside- Ally Blue
159. Just Desserts- Josh Lanyon
160. Defying the Odds- Kele Moon
161. Pearl- Kelly Rand- This is short, but there's a huge amount of story here, without feeling rushed.
162. Yearning- Amy Lane
163. A Note in the Margin- Isabelle Rowan
164. Volley Balls- Tara Lain
165. Easy- Ally Blue
166. Claimed- Evangeline Anderson
167. Country Mouse- Amy Lane, Aleksandr Voinov
168. Shattered Glass- Dani Alexander
169. Cost of Repairs- A.M. Arthur
170. You Can Leave Your Hat On- Lena Matthews
171. Hard Tail- J.L. Merrow
172. Taurus: All That You Do- Jamie Craig
173. Out of the Fire- Ariel Tachna
174. Salad on the Side- Karenna Colcroft
175. Windows in Time- M. Jules Aedin- A mystery, a bit of a ghost story, gender stuff. Really good.
176. Bound by Blood- Jourdan Lane
177. Kaden's Colors- Ryan Loveless
178. Hanging Loose- Lou Harper
179. The Luckiest- Piper Vaughn, M.J. O'Shea
180. Actually, I'm Gay- Roxy Harte
181. Loose Change- Sean Kennedy
182. Chasing the Mailman- Amber Redd
183. A Matter of Time, Vol 2- Mary Calmes
184. Don't Look Back- Josh Lanyon
185. One Good Year- Rowan McBride
186. The Druid Stone- Heidi Belleau, Violetta Vane- Fantasy, romance, big bad guys, time travel.
187. But My Boyfriend Is- K.A. Mitchell
188. Blood Will Tell- Kyra Cornelius Kramer
189. Media Naranja- Clare London
190. Spell Bound- Rachel Hawkins
191. Immortal Coil- Jordan Castillo Price
192. Where Nerves End- L.A. Witt
193. Sticks & Stones- Abigail Roux, Madeleine Urban
194. Hell Cop- Astrid Amara, Nicole Kimberling, Ginn Hale
195. Flat-Out Sexy- Erin McCarthy
196. Boys in the Band- B.A. Tortuga
197. This Rough Magic- Josh Lanyon
198. All He Ever Needed- Shannon Stacey
199. Discipline- Chris Owen, Jodi Payne
200. Truth or Dare- Jenna Byrnes
201. Brookstreet: Thief- Ava March
202. Love Means... No Shame- Andrew Grey
203. The Dangers of Fairy Compacts- Katey Hawthorne
204. Life as a Fairy Thrall- Katey Hawthorne
205. Born to Darkness- Suzanne Brockmann
206. Champion- Jet Mykles
207. Pressure Head- J.L. Merrow- Another excellent Merrow
208. Gasp!- Z.A. Maxfield- A spoiled mess of a rockstar and a soldier trying to find a place for himself
                      outside of the military. Not perfect, but a fun read.
209. Third You Die- Scott Sherman- The third, and possibly final, Kevin Connor mystery. (sniffle)
210. Moving in Rhythm- Dev Bentham
211. Twilight- Ally Blue
212. Eighth Grade Bites- Heather Brewer
213. Boy Meets Boy- David Levithan
214. The Flesh Cartel #1: Capture- Rachel Haimowitz, Heidi Belleau- Rape, torture, dark, intense.
                       Definitely not for everyone. First of a serial.
215. My Regelence Rake- J.L. Langley
216. The Kraken's Mirror- Maureen O. Betita
217. Song of Oestend- Marie Sexton- Alternate history western, supernatural, romance. Amazing.
218. Marathon Cowboys- Sarah Black
219. The Hot Floor- Josephine Myles- Fantastic menage story, tons of emotion & vulnerability. And hot!
220. Curious?: A Woman's Introduction to Gay Romance- Amy Lane, et al
221. Second Hand- Heidi Cullinan, Marie Sexton
222. Death Comes As the End- Agatha Christie
223. Just Like Heaven- Julia Quinn- Not much meat to the story, but it was great fun.
224. Cop Out- K.C. Burn
225. Slight of Hand- Katrina Strauss
226. Love. Hypothetically- Anne Tenino
227. Mind Magic- Poppy Dennison
228. Magpie- Kim Dare- Really interesting take on shifter culture, with BDSM. Loved Kane.
229. The Courage to Love- Samantha Kane
230. Phonebook- Amy Lane
231. Raising the Stakes- Amy Lane
232. Insta-Love- Josephine Myles
233. Art of Death- Ana Bosch
234. Closer- Ally Blue
235. In Service- Mima
236. Heart Trouble- Josh Lanyon
237. College Boys- Daisy Harris
238. Fire Balls- Tara Lain- A twink who's tougher than he looks and a firefighter who has to find his
239. Twice by Chance- Susan Laine
240. Strawberries and the Beast- April Moone
241. Adder- Ally Blue
242. The Gravedigger's Brawl- Abigail Roux- Spooky ghost story and a great romance.
243. The Gathering- Kelley Armstrong
244. The Flesh Cartel #2: Auction- Rachel Haimowitz, Heidi Belleau- Even more intense and violent
                       than the first one.
245. Pets, Book 1: Sparkling- Mike Shade
246. Admiring Anna- Kim Dare
247. Saviours of Oestend- Marie Sexton- Sequel to Song of Oestend. Fantastic.
248. Brush With Catastrophe- Tara Lain
249. Used, Rare, and Custom Jobs- Chris Owen
250. Boats in the Night- Josephine Myles- Just good stuff.
251. Blood Relations- K.C. Burn
252. By the River- Katey Hawthorne
253. Silent Night- Deanna Raybourn
254. Without Reservations- J.L. Langley
255. The Good Thief- James Buchanan
256. Lesson Learned- Lillian Francis
257. Be Bad, For Goodness Sake- Tara Lain
258. Riptide Rentboys: The 2012 Collection- Rachel Haimowitz, et al
259. Unacceptable Risk- Kaje Harper
260. One True Thing- Piper Vaughn, M.J. O'Shea
261. Puppy, Car, and Snow- Amy Lane
262. Feeling Hot- Elle Kennedy
263. Doctor Who: The Angel's Kiss- Justin Richards
264. How to Raise an Honest Rabbit- Amy Lane
265. Conduct Unbecoming- L.A. Witt- Military romance set on Okinawa post-DADT repeal.
266. Season For Surrender- Theresa Romain
267. Cherish- Tere Michaels
268. The Long Way Home- Z.A. Maxfield- Fantastic supernatural romantic suspense.
269. I Don't: A Christmas Wish- Kari Gregg- Some really painful stuff, but also funny and well done.
270. Stuff: Compulsive Hoarding and the Meaning of Things- Randy O. Frost
271. Snow Balls- Tara Lain
272. Miracle of the Bellskis- Astrid Amara
273. Knitter in His Natural Habitat- Amy Lane
274. Borderline- T.A. Chase
275. Outlaw Marriages: The Hidden Histories of Fifteen Extraordinary Same-Sex Couples- Rodger
276. Before He Cheats- Kim Dare
277. O Come All Ye Kinky- Joey W. Hill, et al
278. Turkey in the Snow- Amy Lane
279. You Melted Me- Kari Gregg
280. Something Like Summer- Jay Bell

And I don't know if I'll finish in time, but if I do, Cold Days by Jim Butcher will be book 281.  And so far it's fantastic, so it will be another bolded one!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Donation 2012

Last year I knit my brother a pair of warm house socks for Christmas.  I had some yarn leftover, so I decided to knit a hat.  And since I didn't have anyone in particular who needed a hat, I decided to donate it somewhere.  And then, because this is me we're talking about, it kind of snowballed.

Here's that first hat:

And here's a picture of my 2012 knitted donation:

Final count was 3 scarves, 2 cowls, 2 pair of fingerless mitts, and 33 hats.  40 items all together.  Woot!  Ten items went to Trinity Place, a ten bed shelter in New York City for homeless LGBTQ youth.  The rest went to Ruth Ellis Center, an organization in Detroit that has both a drop-in center and residential programs for LGBTQ youth.  Ruth Ellis estimates that there are 800 homeless teens in Detroit on any given day.  The situation in NYC is even worse.  According to this article, as of 2008 there were approximately 3,800 homeless youth in NYC, but the city had only 250 shelter beds reserved for teens.  Some knitting doesn't mean much in the face of those kinds of numbers, but hopefully these things will mean something to the 40 people who get them.

I'm already plotting my donation for next year.  I give cash when I can, which isn't as often as I'd like.  But in the meantime I have a cabinet full of yarn and all the time in the world.  For 2013 I hope to be able to donate 100 hats.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My Facebook Comment to Heterosexual Awareness Month

because they will delete it and block me any minute:

The "attack on marriage" (aka EQUALITY) does not cause suicide. Bullying and hate cause suicide. You really want to have an affect on the suicide rate? Stop pretending that heterosexuals are the injured party when it's the LGBTQ community that's being denied basic human rights. And stop telling kids that it's OK to bully and harass people who are different from themselves.

Heterosexual Awareness Month.  Yeah, right.  Like anyone, anywhere missed the fact that heterosexual people exist.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

I Have Decided

All right, I've hit my limit.  I've been puttering around, saying I want to get this done.  But this is it.  I've decided that my room is going to be completely redone-- painted, new carpet, new linens and widow dressings, new furniture bought and assembled-- by my birthday.  That gives me just about two months to get it all done.  Fortunately, I pretty much know what I want.  I haven't looked at paint chips yet, but I know I want lemon yellow walls.  (So much more cheerful than the sort of gray-ish lavender I have now.)

I want this bedding set.

This TV stand/media storage.

This glass-fronted bookcase for yarn storage, except in white.  (I'm showing you the black version so you can see the frosted pattern on the doors.)

And possibly a second bookcase, without the doors, just for more storage.

I'll also have to figure out stuff like lighting-- there's an overhead light, but it's the most horrendous, depressing thing you've ever seen.  I literally wince every time I have to turn the overhead light on.  And I'll need to figure out something about the carpet.  It's a weird lavender color.  I've never replaced carpet before, and I have no idea how much it will cost.  Maybe I'll just give it a good professional cleaning and look at the floor as little as possible.

And of course I have to clean out all the crap so I can get to the walls and carpet.  But believe it or not, I've been making some minor, but encouraging progress.  So I'm going to keep plugging away, hopefully at a faster pace.

Because I'm really sick of existing like this, and I want a livable space.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Inching Forward

Hey, everybody.  I haven't posted for a while.  I'm mostly hanging around on twitter these days.  140 characters fits my lifestyle better than a whole blog.  Generally speaking, not much happens to talk about.

There have been some changes recently, though.  Last week I saw the new GI after having a colonoscopy in early July.  (Nothing dire, they just like to take a peek at the insides every once in a while to make sure there aren't any nasty surprises.)  He reviewed all my files, and we discussed, and bottom line is that I'll be starting Humira as soon as we can get it approved by insurance.  I've known this was coming for a while.  I'm hopeful that the new med will mean an improvement in my health and quality of life.  But I'm kind of dreading it, too.  The last big med I was on was Remicade.  It's an IV drug, which was no big deal.  (I got over my discomfort with IVs after spending 2 weeks in the hospital five years ago.)  Someone else does all the work.  All the patient has to do is sit there and wait for it to finish dripping.  Humira is a self-injection.  I'm going to have to get over my squeamishness and learn to stick myself.  It'll be an injector pen, like an epi-pen, so nowhere near as bad as it could be.  But I'm kind of underwhelmed by the idea anyway.

The other new thing is a bit more positive.  I went to the Y today and signed up for a membership.  I'm *finally* going to start going to water arthritis classes again.  The next class is Wednesday afternoon, so barring surprise!period (which wouldn't totally shock me-- my cycle has been running at about 25 days lately, but I'm hoping it will at least wait until the weekend), I hope to be back in the pool then.

Also, Troub hasn't been doing so well lately.  He's not eating much, and when he does eat he pukes it back up about half the time.  The vet thinks his allergy to his food has finally gotten to be too much.  We switched to a different food, which helped for a while, but now he doesn't want to eat either brand.  And he hasn't been getting his steroid, because the only way we could get it in him was to squirt it on his food.  No eating, no steroid.  Without the steroid it's become obvious that he has arthritis problems.  I talked to the vet again this morning, and she wants me to significantly up his steroid dosage.  Somehow.  My brother is coming over shortly to see if he can get it in him.  He likes my brother.  He (the cat, not my brother) has been hiding, first in my parents' closet and then under my bed, since he spotted me with the syringe this morning.  The really frustrating part is that he used to *love* his medicine.  And then all the sudden he decided he didn't like it any more.  (I get it from a special veterinary compounding pharmacy, and it's tuna flavored.  We're going to refill in chicken flavor and see if he likes that any better.)

So that's all the scary, positive, frustrating news around here.  At this rate, I'll have more news in another couple months.  In the meantime, look for me on twitter.  I'll be the one making smartass comments and retweeting stuff.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Bridegroom- It's Important, Y'all

Linda Bloodworth-Thomason (you might recognize her name as the producer of the TV show Designing Women) has turned to Kickstarter to try to finance a documentary on a pretty damn important subject.

Tom Bridegroom died in an accident last year.  His family, who greeted his coming out with guns and violence, took his body and his things from his home in California and disappeared with them, back to Indiana.  His partner, Shane, who he shared a mortgage and a business with, had no legal right to any information about what happened after the accident or the disposition of his property.  He flew to Indiana for the funeral and was told that Tom's father and uncle planned to attack him if he showed up.

This is what can happen when the law prevents consenting adults in committed relationships from legally marrying each other.  It's devastating.  It's wrong.  And it needs to stop.  If you've got a couple extra bucks to donate toward getting this documentary made about Tom and Shane and the harm that these homophobic laws do, please consider it.  Right now they have another $150,000 to raise, and 14 days to do it in.  And please spread the word.  This is a story that needs to be told.

Friday, May 4, 2012

This is Why I am a Liberal

Yesterday someone that I internet-know posted with great excitement.  A few months ago she wrote President Obama, and she received a letter back.  She was over the moon at the time.  And then she read the  interview with the President in Rolling Stone magazine, and was thrilled to pieces all over again.  Apparently, the President remembered her letter all these months later:

It must help to get a break, though, given how stressful and demanding the job is. 
You generally don't hear in the press about what goes right, but you do hear it from the people who were impacted by it. I tell you, not a day passes where somewhere, somehow, I don't hear about something we've done that's really touched somebody directly. Somebody writes and says, "I'm 25 years old, and because of health care reform, I was able to stay on my parents' plan and ended up getting a checkup, and it turned out that I had a tumor and it was caught early, and I just want you to know that treatment is going well, and I really think this health care bill saved my life."

Read more:
 Politics can seem pretty damn ephemeral sometimes.  It's about ideas, philosophies, morals and ideals.  But the outcome of all that arguing is actual policy that affects actual human beings.  Human beings like my internet friend, who might be dying by degrees right now instead of cancer free.  It's easy to say, "no way.  It's too expensive.  Not my money," when it's all just numbers on a page.  But what do you say when it's your family, your child or your nephew or your niece who was saved by the provision of the Health Care Reform Act that allowed them to stay on their parents' insurance to age 26?  Was it still too expensive then?  Was it too much to pay when it was the cashier who rings up your groceries every Tuesday night?  Or the guy who does such a good job with your lawn every week?  The lady who teaches your child's preschool class.  The courier driver who delivers your important business documents.  All people who are unlikely to have employer sponsored medical insurance.  All people who could potentially be under 26 and eligible to remain on their parents' insurance.  Are you willing to look any of those people in the face and tell them that they don't deserve insurance coverage?

I'm not.  I happen to believe that everyone deserves affordable medical coverage.  Remember that old saw "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure"?  Well, this is our ounce of prevention.  We make sure everyone has medical coverage.  People stay healthy.  They stay productive.  You catch problems early, like my internet friend, and they get taken care of before there's a major, life altering problem.  No one goes bankrupt trying to save their own lives, or the lives of family members.  People get timely treatment, and disease outbreaks are stopped sooner.  Other people having access to decent medical care is a benefit to us all.  It's not a luxury item.  It's a necessity.

I want policies that save lives, not endanger them.  I want policies that ensure freedoms, not strip them away.  I want policies that guarantee equality for all.  After all, the Declaration of Independence says, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."  To deny equal treatment under the law is to betray the Declaration of Independence, one of the documents that we as Americans hold dear.

Policies that save lives, ensure freedom, and guarantee equality.  Once again, we're talking ideals.  On a personal level, these are policies that allow everyone access to affordable health care.  They allow us to choose, with the help of our doctors, the medical options that are best for us, without interference.  They allow loving couples to marry and adopt children, without regard to sexual orientation.  They ensure that a woman, hired for the same position and doing the same work as a man, receives the same pay.

Policies affect people.  If they're not affecting people in a positive way, they don't need to be our policies any more.  "Government of the people, by the people, for the people."  Not what benefits corporations or religions, but what benefits We the People.

That's why I'm a liberal.  Because I'm sick of watching our politicians create laws that harm the general public, and refuse to pass laws that would help us.  My name is Joan Q. Public, and I would like my government back now, please.

Friday, April 20, 2012

24 Hour Read-A-Thon

Doesn't that sound delicious?  Twenty-four hours of nothing but reading books, any books you want.  That's pretty much my idea of heaven.  I just heard about this a few minutes ago, so I haven't had time to make elaborate plans or anything.  (There are people on twitter who are baking right now, so that they have special snacks for the read-a-thon.  Baking!)  But here is a selection of possible books for tomorrow's word orgy:

Obviously, I'm not going to get all these read in 24 hours.  In fact, I may wake up tomorrow and pick something entirely different to read.  But these are at least a start.

If you want to sign up for the read-a-thon, too, you can do that here.

Oh, happy day.  Books!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Embrace the Rainbow, Baby!

I can't believe I haven't mentioned this here yet, but I have a new project.  Since late February or so I've been a moderator at a website called Embrace the Rainbow.  Our mission is to educate the public, especially the m/m romance community, about the issues faced by trans*/genderqueer/questioning individuals.  You should check it out.  We haven't been around long, but there's good information there and lots more good stuff to come.

The thing I suggest you check right away is this post.  Not only is it my first post on the site, but it's also a big, multi-author giveaway!  It was nerve-wracking and also kind of fun to contact all those authors and ask them to participate.  Everyone was great about it, though, and as you can see there are a lot of books up for grabs.  You've only got until midnight EDT tonight (Wednesday) to enter though, so you'd better do it fast!

I'll keep this short so you can go check the site.  I'm working on my RT post, and I'll probably put that one up tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Big Day

It's been a long day, and let me tell you-- I am TIRED.

First, I went to the doctor.  She's going to give me one more round of antibiotics, this time a different one, to see if whatever is going on in my left boob clears up.  If not, she's sending me to a specialized breast surgeon.  She seems to be leaning away from infection and more toward inflammatory something or other going on in there.  With the Crohn's and the inflammatory joint stuff, I wouldn't be surprised if I've developed some weird, auto-immune breast issue.  I asked if that was a possibility, and she didn't deny it.  But she wasn't aware of any auto-immune diseases that affect the breast.  (Neither am I, but since there are about a million auto-immune diseases out there, it's not surprising that there's one I'm unfamiliar with.)  The impression I got from her was that she's concerned, if this antibiotic doesn't work, that it might be inflammatory breast cancer.  That's pretty aggressive, and not something you want to get.  I asked if it was possible for the mammogram to come out clear and still have inflammatory breast cancer.  She said it is, if it's just inflammatory, and there's no lump.  So kind of waiting it out.  If RT weren't next week, I'd probably go ahead and go to the surgeon to get it checked out instead of trying this third round of antibiotics.  But at least with RT coming up, I've got something to focus on other than ol' lefty.

In more positive news, I drove today for the first time in over a year.  There was no real reason why I haven't driven in the last year.  I just don't go anywhere much, and 90% of the time when I leave the house it's to go somewhere with my parents anyway.  So I just don't drive.  Plus, I don't own a car, so driving means taking Mom or Dad's car.  It was really uncomfortable there for a while, although I was perfectly comfortable behind the wheel today.  So yay!

After the doctor's office I went to Walmart to fill my prescription and get some last minute stuff for RT.  I really wore myself out, but I had a good time!  Check out this fabulous bag I got!  (The Cherries among us will appreciate it.)  And it was super cheap-- 88 cents!  The next time this bag sees the light of day, it will be filled with goodies at RT.

And here is a picture of the little gadget cozy I knit this weekend to cover up my mp3 player/wifi/fake smart phone thingie.  I'd take a picture of it with the gadget in it, but my gadget is my camera, so....

The cozy won't protect it from any hard knocks, but hopefully it will keep the screen from getting all scratched up in my purse as it gets carted around next week.  And I'll try to remember to take lots of pictures, so you get to see all the wonderful readers and writers I meet.

I think that's all the big news for right now.  I have some other good stuff to talk about, and I'll try to get to that this week, before I leave for RT.

Lip Balm Flavor of the Day: Cat Pee

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Change Would Do You Good

So.  I was looking around a couple weeks ago and realized that my "online presence" is pretty scattered.  I regularly use about four different handles, which is kind of ridiculous.  So now I'm consolidating.  Everything else has been shifted to "fibrobabe", but I've been dragging my feet about the blog.  I was able to get, and now I'm going to attempt to move all the old bektold stuff to the new blog.  This may or may not be successful.  My tech skills aren't exactly top notch.  If something weird happens, nobody panic!  I'll figure it out eventually.  But in the meantime, feel free to send a few extra FGBVs my way!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Grrr again

It's been less than a week since I finished my second round of antibiotics, and my boob is all red and swollen again. I had a massage yesterday, and after a while lying on my stomach was agony. I'm going to have to go back to the doctor this week. In amongst all the chores and errands I need to complete next week so I can go to RT the week after.

Damn it, boob. Not cool.

Sunday, March 25, 2012


I'm just playing around, trying to see if I can blog from my little device thingie. If you're seeing this,it worked! Good news for any attempted blogging at RT in a few weeks.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sock Problems

Nothing much to see here.  I just need to post a couple of pictures so I can in turn post them on my knitting forum.  Unless of course someone knows how to repair this.  It's my mom's first pair of handknit socks, and she's very sad.  :(

Monday, March 12, 2012

Update- Sorry Everybody!

Sorry, everyone!  Didn't mean to leave you hanging.  The mammogram went very well.  It didn't hurt at all.  So no excuses-- get the girls checked!

The report came back clear, with nothing to report.  I'm almost finished with my course of antibiotics, and I've got a call in to my doctor to get a refill.  I'm still a little pink, a little swollen, a little tender, but nothing like I was.  Hopefully, a few more days on the antibiotic and I'll be back to normal.

And on the positive side, I now have a baseline mammogram.  That could be helpful in the future, considering I have a family history of breast cancer.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Nervous Update

I had my appointment today with my doctor.  There's definitely something going on in there.  She thinks it might be a cyst or mastitis.  She sent me home with a prescription for antibiotics, and I have an appointment for Tuesday afternoon for a mammogram and an ultrasound if necessary.  Her office should get the results within 24 hours, so hopefully I'll have some answers Wednesday afternoon.  In the meantime, if it's an infection the antibiotic should have it on the mend.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Just a heads up-- this is going to be weird and filled with Too Much Information.  Continue at your own risk.

I need to call the doctor tomorrow.  There is something strange going on with my left breast.  The nipple and areola are swollen and sore.  Every once in a while I'll move and feel a sharp, tearing pain.  Any pressure against the breast causes a slightly duller, aching pain.  There's no discoloration or discharge.  It's not warm to the touch the way you might expect from infection or inflammation.

So I did the dumbest thing a person can do-- I googled.  My first thought, a yeast infection, sounds unlikely.  If it were bacterial it sounds like I'd probably be having a systemic reaction, which I'm not.  The thing that's left is inflammatory breast cancer, one of the most sudden and aggressive forms of breast cancer.

That's right, folks.  I've diagnosed myself with breast cancer off the internet.  To be fair, I have a family history of breast cancer, and the medications I've been on for Crohn's give me an increased risk of all kinds of cancer.  And no, I don't really think I have breast cancer based on a few web pages.  But it is concerning.  Also, it really fucking hurts.  So I'm calling my doctor tomorrow and getting it checked out.

FGBVs, please.

Update: I have an appointment to see my doctor on Friday at 12:30.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Because I Really Needed Another Project

Look what arrived on my doorstep today!  Lots and lots of yarn.  I've been feeling the need to knit for charity for a few months now.  But not just any charity.  I've been wanting to knit for homeless LGBT youth.

Did you know that somewhere between 5 and 10% of youth in the US identify as LGBT, but 20-40% of homeless youth are LGBT?  Approximately 26% of LGBT kids are kicked out of their homes when they come out.  They are also significantly more likely to be sexually assaulted, become addicted to drugs, to be forced to turn to sex work for survival, or to attempt suicide.  They're even more at risk for abuse from shelter staff than their heterosexual counterparts.  (That there is any abuse of anyone by shelter staff makes me sick to my stomach.)

These are kids who need help.  They need to know that there are people out there who care about them.  And they need to be warm.  So I'm knitting for them.  Right now I'm positively obsessed with hats.  I've knit two in the last two days, and I have two more that I knit in January with the intention to donate.  All that yarn in the picture above will be hats soon.  After that there will be scarves and cowls and fingerless mitts.

So far I have one place identified to send these items-- Larkin Street Youth Services in San Francisco.  There's a woman who collects knit and crochet donations all year long to go into holiday gift packages for the kids.  I've also contacted an LGBT youth center here in Indianapolis to see if they have a need for hats and scarves for their clients, or know of a program in the area that does.  (I'd really like to keep at least some of this local.)  And I've found programs in Iowa, Michigan, New York, and Nevada that look like they could use handknits.  I'll have to contact them and see if they have any specific needs or guidelines for donations.

If you know of any LGBT programs in your area that could use handknits, please let me know and I'll add them to my list to contact.  And please, consider making a few yourself if you're crafty, or finding other ways to support this population.  They sure as hell need all the kindness and support they can get.

And now, I'm going to cast on for another hat.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Frog in a Party Hat

I finished a new knitting project tonight.  Don't adjust your screens, it really is this bright.

OK, maybe the color doesn't come through really well in this picture, but trust me, it's BRIGHT.

The pattern is Sockhead, and the name of the colorway is Frog in a Party Dress, so I've named this Frog in a Party Hat.  It's nice and cozy, but not so heavy that I couldn't wear it in spring or fall as a fashion statement.  (You know me, I'm all about the fashion statement.)  I'm quite satisfied with this hat, and I expect that there will be more Sockheads to come.  And I already have plans for the leftover yarn, of which there is a fair bit.  A book of sock patterns came in the mail today, and there's a really cute one that calls for just a little bit of a contrasting color.  This pink and green yarn should be almost a shock of color against a black yarn.  Or maybe  it will work against some deep purple I have in my stash.  We'll see.

My brother and sister-in-law came for dinner tonight.  Jer's birthday is in mid-February, and he very humbly requested another pair of heavy house socks.  He asked for a pair for Christmas, and he loves them so much that he hasn't been willing to skip wearing them around the house long enough to get them washed!  Clearly, this is a guy who needs at least one more warm pair of handknit socks.

Lip Balm of the Day: Pink Cake

Sunday, January 22, 2012

The Collage

I finally got my act together and assembled the collage for the story I'm doing for Fast Draft!  Here's the picture:

I'm sure the text is too small to read, so the top one is a quote from the beginning of The Hobbit.  It says:

This is a story of how a Baggins had an adventure, and found himself doing and saying things altogether unexpected.  He may have lost the neighbors' respect, but he gained-- well, you will see whether he gained anything in the end.

The other one says:

"Nothing Happens without risk."  Anne Packard

It's on a magnetic board, and the round things are all magnets I made for the collage.  Some are just pictures, but most of them say something, like "Keep Calm and Rock On" or "Keep Calm and Do It Anyway".  A couple are Big Bag quotes, including "I'm clearly too evolved for driving" and "I am not crazy, my mother had me tested".

The pictures all represent a character or group of characters or some aspect of the story.  The big 3 is to remind me that in stories, things often happen in threes.  So if I'm stuck, look for something that needs to repeat.

I guess that's it.  If you have any questions about any of the images, or can't tell what they are (the overall picture may be a little small if you don't already know what you're looking at), just ask.

I've already procrastinated the day away, so I'm going to go poke at a blank page and see if I can't at least rack up a few words before bed.

Lip Balm of the Day: White Cranberry

Friday, January 13, 2012

Pick a Color, Any Color

I've bleached a stripe in my hair for maximum color impact.  Now I just need to settle on which color I want to use!  (Bear in mind that the rest of my hair is now a deep auburn.  She went more chocolate brown and less red this time.  Next time I think I'll have her scale back on the brown and add a bit more red.)

So, here are the choices I'm looking at.

After Midnight Blue

Purple Haze

Ultra Violet

Electric Lizard

Shocking Blue

New Rose

Pretty Flamingo

I know I want the green, but I'm torn on the others.  I like them ALL, but several of them are pretty close, and it wouldn't necessarily make sense to buy them all at once.  What do you think?  Which ones should I go for?

Update: Just for Julie (and her sister), I've edited so that we're talking about hair color, not dye.  The weather has been yuck, so I haven't had a chance to go out and get anything yet.  I know I definitely want Electric Lizard and Shocking Blue, but I'm thinking I might go for some Purple Haze or Pretty Flamingo, too.  Kind of depends on what I can find and how expensive it all is.

Monday, January 9, 2012

2011 Wordle

I meant to post this last week sometime, but you know how stuff gets away from me.  It's a Wordle of the titles and authors of all the books I read in 2011.  Pretty clear who made my "most read" list, huh?

Wordle: Reading List 2011

Sorry it's so small.  If you click on it, you'll go to the Wordle page with a larger image.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Coolest Card EVAR!

Check this out!  I got the coolest card in the mail today.

Does that not just rock?  I think this one is going to have to go on my permanent magnet board, once I get the damn thing hung again.

In other news, I don't have much news.  I'm reading A Lady Awakened by Cecilia Grant, which is pretty amazing so far.  There's been a lot of buzz about this one, and if the rest stays as good as what I've read so far, it will be totally deserving.  I'll let you know how it goes.

I saw on twitter that Candace Havens is getting ready to run another Fast Draft class, and I'm seriously considering signing up.  Has anyone taken it?  Any advice?  Apparently the idea of the class is that you're supposed to write 5,000 words a day, so at the end of the two weeks, you should have a 70,000 word first draft.  That's one unusually long m/m romance, or quite possibly two average-ish length ones.  I'm not sure if I'm up for that kind of pressure, but it sure would be a kick in the ass to get writing.  And the class is only $20, so it's not like it's a huge financial investment.  (Although a significant time investment if I'm really going to do it.)

As far as the rest of my resolutions go, the cleaning one isn't going exactly as I planned, but I am making progress.  Today was trash day, and I managed to ditch a whole trash bag full of crap.

I have the next knitting project for myself planned out, but I'm trying to wrap up a few ongoing projects before I start it.

The "read less" resolution is in the toilet.  I looked at my little red book, and as of the first of the year I only had 295 books to read to reach 1,000 since I started logging them.  I think I'd rather hit 1,000 this year, so 295 is my new goal.  I have, however, managed to not buy a book for 5 whole days.  That's pretty good for me lately.

Let's see.  What else?  I haven't done any exercise since that little bout on the Wii last week.  I haven't bothered with the picture a day thing, either, although I'm still enjoying taking pictures with my Samsung thingie.  Mostly of the cat.

I think that's everything new and interesting.  Or even not so interesting.  I'm not even wearing any lip balm today!

Monday, January 2, 2012

What I Want

I think this picture expresses pretty perfectly what I want for myself in 2012.

I used to dream.  I dreamed that I'd at least walk, if not run, the Disney marathon.  I dreamed of settling down and raising a family.  I dreamed of being a published author someday.  And I worked toward those dreams.  I trained for that marathon, and I did a lot of 5k's and even one 10k, although the marathon never happened for me.  I kept my eyes open for the right guy, the one I'd want to raise a family with, and I never found him.  Or, I should say. I haven't found him yet, although the hard realities of my life make never having had those kids more of a blessing than a regret.  And until I got sick and discouraged and, let's face it, depressed, I worked on my writing, too.

It's time for me to discover what my dreams are again, to believe in them, and to start working toward making them a reality.  I know I still want to be a published author, maybe more now than before, with some of those other dreams gone.  So that's the one I'm going to work on right now.  I'm not entirely sure *how* I'm going to work on it.  I feel like I've got a whole set of muscles that have forgotten how to move.  Is there such a thing as author's therapy?  Writer's rehab?  If so, I need to check myself in for an inpatient program!  Short of that, I need to start flexing those creative muscles again, playing with ideas and possibilities, laying the groundwork in my head for putting words on paper.

I'm going to wear those pendants as much as possible this year, to remind myself to Dream and Believe.  Dream and Believe and then Act.  It doesn't get you where you want to be if you don't have all three.