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Story Cataloguing

This post will serve as an organizational tool to link all blurbs and drabbles of various stories to for reference. I'll be constantly updating and linking from this post and to this post for various writing communities.

Writing Cataloging AhoyCollapse )

Note: Unless specified by a designation to a writing prompt community, all of these entries are friends-locked and you must be friended to this LJ to read them.

TWI: todays_word_is
RT: runaway_tales

A is for Atheism

 I am participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge where you aim to post every weekday with a topical post from letters of the alphabet.  

I didn't come to atheism lightly, nor did I arrive quickly.

It started in middle and high school when I was the Perfect Little Christian Girl (TM). I was a lector/intercessor at my church, I was a part of the youth group, I sang in the choir every sunday, I participated in the Christmas Pageant, I attended Youth shut-in events, I went to a National Youth Event in Indiana, I even served on the highly competitive Diocesan Youth Council for the state of Connecticut and planned youth events for youth in the Episcopal Church.

Some of you might ask, where did it all go wrong?! Or, what changed? The answer is little things. Little changes that built up and became big changes when I looked back. In short, I evolved.

In attending these youth events, I experienced a more Charismatic worship experience where the people around me were so fully engaged in what we were doing (song and worship) that at some events it even had a pentecostal feel and people would 'feel the holy spirit to be saved again'. I never felt that and I always wondered if something was wrong with me. Sure, the music was inspiring, but I never felt "moved". And then, returning to my Episcopal Church, where parishioners recited their parts of the service by rote so much that it blended together into this drone of sound that had no feeling, no emotion, I was left feeling rather cheated by it all. Why were these people at church if they didn't even have the enthusiasm for what they were saying? Why didn't I have the enthusiasm like the rest of my peers? It left a sour taste in my mouth.
I started taking more and more science courses. I loved science, biology specifically, and I struggled with what the bible said about creation and it's 2 conflicting stories and what the data said about evolution. I read essays and thought I found my answer, someone suggesting that 7 days isn't a literal 7 days, it's relative. People who wrote the bible didn't have the capacity to understand millions of years. So I didn't take the creation story literally, but then a niggling thought occurred. If I was interpreting everything else literally but not that part, was that honest to myself? Was that honest to my god?
The answer was 'it wasn't' . I began to question more of the bible. As I went to college I became more worldly. I learned more about what people did in the name of religion, and what religion did to people. From there, I decided that I was spiritual, but chose not to identify with any religion. I did participate in some activities with the Protestant Campus Ministry but was not an active member (though I did enjoy their dinners!).

At that point it didn't take long for me to realize that I wasn't even worshiping a god of any kind. I had stopped being a theist, let alone a monotheist. I had an appreciation of the beauty of nature, but when I looked at it, I more saw the amazingness that was the interconnectedness of biology and ecology and the vast beauty and sheer awesomeness of the universe. I didn't see a creator. I saw nature. I saw DNA. I saw evolution, the big bang. 

It was in graduate school when I finally identified as atheist. It's been a long and winding road. If ever there is evidence of a deity, I am open to changing my mind, because I am a scientist and that's what scientists do. I deal in facts. I do not deal in faith.

Some part of our being knows this is where we came from. We long to return. And we can. Because the cosmos is also within us. We're made of star-stuff. We are a way for the cosmos to know itself.
Carl Sagan

This entry was originally posted at http://fishwithfeet.dreamwidth.org/212939.html. Feel free to comment where you see fit.


2011 Winner NaNo  

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Shannon Peters Clinic at Traumhof

This is going to get long, pictures and video are included.

Thoughts back hereCollapse )

This entry is public.
Eric and I had agreed that when we moved to Washington, one of our goals would be to do a hike every week. We knew that in order to start the new habits, we'd have to jump in right away and that's what we did on Saturday. Amusingly enough, we had both picked out the same hike location from two different guide books. It had appeared to be visually the nearest hike to our area, was not so long as it would be bad for us jumping in cold and had only slight elevation changes (compared to the rest of the area...) and was listed as being hikable in all seasons.

We braved the mall on Black Friday and participated in the gross consumerism as we purchased new hiking boots from REI (my new favorite store!) The hike commenced on Saturday. We got a bit of a late start as we signed paperwork and got keys to the apartment that morning. There was some concern that we might not finish the hike before dusk fell (and the parking lot got locked up) so we hustled out to the area. It only took about 30 min and along the way I saw some towns where I wouldn't mind owning a house. Anyway, on to the hike details!


6.4 mile hike round trip, just outside of Granite Falls, 700" elevation to startCollapse )

Cut to hopefully save some of your friend's page. But you needed one picture to draw you in ;P
This... is going to be long.

Once Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert announced their Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear, Eric and I knew we wanted to go. Eric has gotten more politically active lately and while this wasn't meant to be a political rally, the purpose of it was something that we both feel strongly about. Plus we've become huge Stewart and Colbert fans. I've been trying to get tickets to take Eric to a show in NYC but so far I've not had much luck in acquiring tickets. But back to the Rally. We knew we wanted to go. We also knew a road trip would be do-able since it was only 12 hours, and paying for gas and a hotel would end up being cheaper than paying for flights and a hotel. I was only worried briefly if we would be able to go if Boeing's start dates had interfered. But that quickly proved to not be the case.
A LOOOONG entry behind the cutCollapse )

We made it home by 11:30, checked email and facebook then crashed. Eric has work, only 3 weeks left now (OH MY GOD!) and it's down to moving preparations for me.

I really can't wait to hear from SNBL. I started testing out my explanation for what I'd be doing this past weekend and it's sufficiently vague that people are impressed but have no idea that I might be an affront to their animal rights feelings. I really want that job.

I think I'll make a separate post with pictures, because this is so long, but if you have me friended on facebook they are all up there.

Also... omg Nano. That's another post. But can we say Zombies, Pirates, Vampires and humanoid insects in space? YES WE CAN!


Moving appears to be imminent. Eric received an unofficial offer from Boeing for a job in Everett, Washington so it's looking like a cross country move will be happening. This is mucho exciting as I was trying REALLY hard to convince myself that settling for Maryland would have been okay. And I had, I'd figured out a bunch of things I could do and work towards but now... Washington state! Not Washington DC! I'm so excited.

He received an email two weeks ago stating that they wanted to extend him an offer but also wanted to give him relocation so he had to fill out more paperwork. At the beginning of this week when he contacted the person who'd originally emailed him, she told him that HR had all the paperwork and that we should hear by the end of this week!

I... hate waiting. I've been waiting for this since June. I really want to know what we're doing and in what timeline we're doing it so I can really push to get a job for myself.

Tentative plan is this:

Boeing will likely want him to start right away. They are going to pay for the moving company, who will come and pack us up (liability in case things break). We will fly out to Washington with the cats and hopefully my old roommate Cheryl will be able to watch them for a few days. Or we'll stick them in the apartment we'll be renting and have her just go and check on them.

Boeing should (and I can't confirm this until we have the stupid offer) pay for 2 months of rent, that leaves 2 months left on our lease here which we can easily cover if the landlord won't let us break early. Then we pack up my car with whatever we can and whatever hasn't fit into the truck, sell Eric's car, and take off for a cross country road trip.

All this will probably happen by the end of October, beginning of November. SO!

Tentative plan:

View Larger Map

I want to stop in Birmingham to see a friend. It might be cool to stop in Nashville and do a touristy thing or two before moving on. We drive past Land Between the Lakes which looks like it might be a cool place to stop and do a hike to stretch our legs (in Tennessee). And maybe after passing through St. Louis stop at the Weldon Spring Conservation Area.

The next stop I think would be cool is the Squaw Creek Wildlife Refuge, there should be a lot of migratory birds there when we stop by if I'm reading the information right. Alternatively, just up the road is Indian Cave State Park in Nebraska which looks niftier but is on the other side of the Missouri River and might be a bit more out of the way to get to ... But after that we're just driving north along the Missouri River until we get to Sioux Falls South Dakota and then... WEST! West through the Badlands and into the Black Hills. I'm totally stoked about this as I've been to the Black Hills before and they are GORGEOUS. We can stop and see the Presidents but sadly it looks like we're passing too far north to stop at Wind Cave *sadface* We will be going by Deadwood, which is a hilarious town. But a for sure stop will have to be Devil's Tower in Wyoming and we will look for the secret military base as we hike around it *grin*

We'll have to stop in the Bighorn National Forest as we're driving across it and then... YELLOWSTONE! Seriously, we planned this trip for the sole purpose of hitting up Yellowstone. I want to go before it explodes. We'll miss the Grand Tetons but at this point we'll be living significantly closer so we can always come back and visit again. Into Montana, at which point it appears as though a whole portion of the trip is in and out of national parks. Score! Across the tippy top of Idaho and Washington State, across the Cascades... and BAM! We've arrived!

Can you tell I'm excited?

Recent Artwork for your enjoyment

Put behind a cut to spare your friends page. I'll add an explanation of characters whenever possible.

Yaaaaay creativeness!Collapse )

To my North American non-Canadian friends, Happy Independence Day. I did not watch fireworks. I did watch Independence Day. Eric quoted the movie about 4-5 seconds ahead.

Good morning. In less than an hour, aircraft from here will join others from around the world. And you will be launching the largest aerial battle in the history of mankind. "Mankind." That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it's fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom... Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution... but from annihilation. We are fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: "We will not go quietly into the night!" We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!