Archive for June, 2009

LJ feed (hopefully) going away.

Thursday, June 25th, 2009

I just filed a support request with the LiveJournal folks to take down the words_end feed account. If you’d like to follow this blog on LJ, please steer your awesome selves towards the w0rds3nd user.


this is what i do for work

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

I’m at Digital Humanities 2009, my home conference, the place that actually feels like home. The people are fantastic, the energy is high but not crazy, and the entertainment is made of awesome. Tonight, about 300 of us (literally) went to a crab shack.

I’ve been blogging the conference–or at least, the sessions I’ve managed to attend. The posts are here; if you’ve been wondering why exactly I’m in love with my somewhat obscure (and yet pervasive and important to all of us, whether we know it or not) profession, this is a good way to find out what excites me about digital humanities.

Oh, and hey, I was lightning-interviewed! Now I have had 1m4s of my 15m of fame.

then, some days are perfect

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

Life’s been tough lately. Another bout of non-communication with partner-that-was, about which I can do nothing. Missed communications with loved ones—happily, these being much more fixable, since they involve people who’ll talk to me. Utter dearth of sunshine, most of the time, and decidedly non-summer-like weather.

I could go on (and on), and tell you about the lightbox I got back out in June, and the several draft posts I haven’t made yet (among them one about my not-quite-ADD brain, and why the not-quite part is hard). But instead I’ll trap a little bit of today in amber, because it was perfect.

Never mind that yesterday gave it a run for its money. Yesterday I’d woken up gloriously late, and finally gotten all the parts of my tent in one place and set up and hosed off, ridding the thing of 95% of its playa dust quotient, just in time for a camping trip this weekend. Never mind yesterday, most of which is a tad too personal for this venue. Today.

Today I woke up at 7 (don’t ask). Had breakfast with coffee and quiet sleepy laughter with housemates. Unpacked and moved around some of the stuff that was cluttering the living room, slowly, minding how the house feels to me. (Like home, is how.)

Just before ten I was at Moosecasa, getting quite the reception from two very excited small girls. We took off a half hour later, the three of us, me and two three-year-olds, for Chestnut Farms, from where I get my CSA meat. They had an open barn today. There were goats and chickens and cows and pigs and sheep and baaaaaaaby animals, and they were so warm and soft, and the world was ringing with birdsong, and.

And it was a two-hour drive each way, and that went pretty much perfectly, even though everyone got tired at the end. Trips like this with one adult and two inquisitive, smart, engaged children are a complete toss-up, and this was my lucky day. We talked until we were hoarse, sang songs, listened to Puff the Magic Dragon like half a dozen times, and I got the best small-girl radio from the back of the car. Having the two of them entertaining each other was, I think, most entertaining for me.

We came home, tired. Cee and I got to spend time together, quietly. Three small children and six adults frolicked in a backyard exploding with the gorgeous fruits of gardening, eating cherries and a couple of almost-ripe mulberries and maybe even a strawberry. I came home and cooked dinner, and ate it with People of the House.

I’m exhausted, and for once, my soul is light-filled and well-fed.

National health care and how we elect people

Thursday, June 11th, 2009

This has been sitting in my blog as a draft for a couple of weeks. It’ll be old news by now, but healthcare is a long-range political issue, and Lawrence Lessig and Joe Trippi‘s latest project Change Congress is still pursuing it, and I think it’s worth a read.

In short: Nebraska’s Senator Ben Nelson opposes to Obama’s health care reform work. Obama is all, hey, we got a broken system. Maybe we should rethink children’s health insurance and also how completely unaffordable COBRA is and what we can do about it, and, you know. Health. It’s one of those most precious resources.

And Nelson is all, Obama is trying to hurt private health insurers by making health insurance public! Socialized medicine! What next, THE FROG PLAGUE?

…Huh. What do you know, Nelson has received quite a bit of fundraising money from private health insurance companies. The article I link to here has Nelson attacking back, but he doesn’t seem to refute the donations.

Healthcare is a tricky and complex issue, and I’ve got no rosy sunglasses on about socialized healthcare. But this isn’t about public health insurance, it’s about elections. Frankly, anyone dismissing an organization run by Lessig and Trippi as a “special interest group” running “a fundraising gimmick” is automatically suspect in my book. And the vehemence of Nelson’s language combined with his considerable extremely-special-interest funding makes me want to go march somewhere and put flowers in these people’s fountain pens. It wouldn’t help, though.

So, how about changing election rules? How about entirely publicly funded election campaigns? Can you imagine how things might go when advertising time is roughly equal and people have to really think before they hurl insults at each other? What if no special interests got to financially contribute to a campaign? Wouldn’t that be nice? I think that’d be nice.

(Edited Friday 12 June to add this update from Lessig on the Nelson thing.)