Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

Imbolc 2023

May the reawakening of the world bring with it the reawakening of good things you thought gone forever. Blessed Be!

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Diary #655

As I wrote last week, I’m trying to give myself permission to get back to the projects slowly now that Christmas is over; I’m thinking of it as a kind of trial run for next winter, when I want to put any big projects on hiatus for about four months and restrict myself to normal chores, holiday stuff, writing, and any emergencies or semi-emergencies that might arise.  When I look at that list I have to smirk at myself a bit, because it’s already as much as many people consider normal work; the writing and its attendant research & upkeep occupy 4-6 hours of every day, and regular chores (including meal prep) are another ≈ 2 hours.  On a typical day I’m occupied with set tasks (including stuff like eating and personal hygiene) from about 9 AM to 9 PM, and in the summer I’m doing well to stop by 10 PM.  Even on Sundays the only break in the pace is that the only blog writing I do is this weekly diary, and in summer that’s not always true because I need to catch up on whatever writing got crowded out of its proper place earlier in the week due to the longer summer days and the extra work that comes with them.  So it’s kind of a big deal that I’m also trying to make myself take Sundays “off” (ie, only the minimum writing plus basic chores and pressing stuff, except the weeks I need to drive into Seattle on Sunday for Monday appointments); once the annex project is basically done and I can get my financial situation a little more stable, I should be able to swing light duty on Sundays and the 12 days of Christmas, plus no big projects in winter, without too much guilt.  After all, even roses need a little time off to recharge.

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They’re trying to kill me, they’re trying to kill me.  –  Akeem Terrell

I’m sure most of y’all are already very familiar with most of The Pointer Sisters’ hits, but were you aware that they had recorded this one for Sesame Street?  The links above the video were provided by Jesse Walker (x3), Cop Crisis (x3), and Mike Siegel, in that order.

From the Archives

I find paywalls distasteful, and so many people find this blog valuable as a resource I just can’t bring myself to install one.  Furthermore, I find ad delivery services (whose content I have no say over) even more distasteful.  But as I’m now semi-retired from sex work, I can’t self-sponsor this blog by myself any longer.  So if you value my writing enough that you would pay to see it if it were paywalled, please consider subscribing; there are four different levels to fit all budgets.  Or if that doesn’t work for you, please consider showing your generosity with a one-time donation; you can Paypal to maggiemcneill@earthlink.net or else email me at the same address to make other arrangements.  Thanks so much!

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Regular readers know that every Friday the Thirteenth, I ask those who aren’t sex workers to stand up for us.  If you’re one of them, you already know the sorts of things I’m going to say; if you aren’t, you can simply go back and read the essay for the August 2021 occurence, which contained quotes and links for every occurence of this particular day and date combination.  And if you value all the work I’ve done fighting for sex workers over the past 14 years, a concrete sign of that (via continuing subscription or one-time donation) would not only be deeply appreciated, but also provide vital resources for the continuance of that work.

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Diary #654

Since Friday was Little Christmas, I took the decorations down and put them away; next, the tree went out to the fence, where we stack brush and the like to keep naughty animals from trying to go under.  Then it’s vacuuming up all the remaining needles, and mopping the floor before finally moving the table back to its normal angle, and the living room was back to the way it looks for 7/8 of the year.  De-Yuling the house is always just a little sad, but this year it felt a bit more so than usual; I actually managed to take it relatively easy during the holiday this year, so I suppose part of me is reluctant to go back to the usual level of activity.  But that’s really a good thing because, as everyone in my life is constantly reminding me, I work much too hard anyway.  I still have far too much to do on the annex project to just blow it off for the rest of the winter, but I’n not going to drive myself like I did last winter; I can keep that promise pretty easily because I’m not trying to get a roof in place or pig-proof a fence.  The remaining tasks for the annex are mostly small indoor ones: I need to finish the bathroom; install the wood-burning stove; help Jae with the decor; plane down several door frames so they don’t stick when the wood swells in wet weather; fix a small leak in the hot tub plumbing; close up a few gaps where rain blows in under the eaves; finish up the vestibule outside the bathroom; seal the shop roof and the annex roof join with Durabak; finish the main atrium floor and the lower deck; and a number of other similar tasks.  But if that sounds like a lot to you, take a look back at the diaries and annex columns for the first few months of last year and you’ll see it’s small potatoes in comparison; even at a more leisurely pace, I don’t think I’ll have trouble getting the entire project wrapped up before my birthday this year.  And then next winter, I’ll be able to relax and enjoy the thing without feeling as though I owe myself a full afternoon of work every day.

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If you don’t understand why this witch is carrying a sackful of toys, I suggest you consult my column from this day in 2015, which also (not by coincidence) contains links to the columns for the previous four years.  That should give you all the information you need to understand why I’m wishing some of my readers a Merry Christmas, some a Good Epiphany and others a Happy King Day, and welcoming all of you to the Carnival season!

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Diary #653

I’ve been really lazy since recovering from the flu.  Of course I mean lazy by Maggie standards, which means I’ve still done all my chores and a lot of holiday cooking, and even did a little work on the new bathroom.  But I’ve used the short days and monsoon rains as excuses to avoid doing a number of things I probably could’ve done, and I feel surprisingly OK about that.  About two years ago I decided that November through February aren’t conducive to major projects around here, and that going forward I would not try to schedule anything requiring large amounts of outdoor time due to the rain, cold, and gloom.  But then we got very little done on the annex in the summer of 2021, which meant I felt compelled to make up for it over the following winter; on top of that, I had to improve my fencing in order to keep Cicero from going over to the neighbors’ every day.  If you’re a regular reader, you already know that I habitually push myself much too hard, and I think it really caught up with me in the past few months; given that, and the fact that I had already designated the monsoon season as off-time, I must’ve unconsciously given myself permission to relax a bit more than usual.  So on New Year’s Eve I set out a small spread of meat, cheese, crackers and cookies, made myself a glass of strongly-spiked eggnog, took enough edibles to feel really good about the world, and put on some concert videos; here’s hoping that heralds a much more relaxed, low-stress 2023 for me.

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You can’t always get what you want.  –  Mick Jagger

People would be a lot happier if they could truly learn the difference between “I want” and “I reasonably expect to get in the actual world that exists”.  Corollary: “Follow your dreams” is text for a Hallmark card or a poster on a ’70s teenager’s wall, not serious life advice for adults with a realistic view of the world.  Like most people, I started out as more emotional than rational; unlike most, I learned to actually become rational rather than merely convincing myself that my irrational wants, desires, “dreams”, etc were not only actually rational, but that I “deserved” to get what I wanted and had the “right” to use violence, either directly or by the State acting on my behalf.  I wasn’t able to accomplish this due to some superhuman cognitive capacity or divinely-granted moral superiority, but rather because childishness ideas about “fairness” were ground out of me by the world at a fairly early age, and when I was 13 I realized that I had to adapt or die.  If anything, my pragmatism was the result of a disability rather than a superior ability:  I was absolutely unable to deceive myself in order to conform to either square society or “normal” nerd society, so I had to find the only strategy that ever could’ve worked for a brain like mine.

January second has always been an important day in my life; over the years, a number of life-changing events have happened on the date or very soon thereafter.  So over the last decade, it has gradually developed into a day when I think about the Big Picture.  Coincidentally, this song was only about a decade old when I recognized the wisdom in it; if you don’t really dig what I’m trying to tell you, perhaps Mick can make it a bit more clear.

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New Year’s Day 2023

Happy New Year, dear readers!

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Soon the government will recognize that its manufactured hysteria has accomplished all it is likely to accomplish, and shift the money it has flushed down the “sex trafficking” toilet to some new civil-rights-destroying boondoggle.  –  “New Year’s Eve 2019

I think it’s time to officially call it at last: “sex trafficking” hysteria is moribund.  While politicians still often include it in lists of fake reasons you should surrender all of your civil liberties to the latest police-statery, and spokespigs still oink about it (while making furtive movements in their pants) to justify pogroms against sex workers, and local news outlets which happily dance to their cop masters’ discordant tunes still parrot whatever they’re told about it (no matter how jaw-droppingly stupid), the public has, for the most part, lost interest in the mainstream version of the myth; those who still believe have largely adopted the more extreme “QAnon” branch of the hysteria, like the drug users of prohibitionist dogma who inevitably move from “softer” drugs to “harder” ones in search of ever-more-elusive thrills.  But politicians better at reading the room have moved on to other folk devils (including “domestic terrorism” and “obscenity”, depending upon which schoolyard team they belong to); big-city cops have largely returned to their favorite excuses for violence, drugs and poverty; and national news outlets have for the most part shifted to debunking the wackier aspects of the mythology, pretending it all started with Trump in 2017, and relying on Americans’ fabulously-poor collective memory to escape blame for amplifying and disseminating the panic in the first place in order to sell ads.  This does not mean fascists, prohibitionists, and other violent busybodies will stop attacking sex workers; these creatures act according to their natures, and can always be counted on to use every power at their disposal to inflict as much suffering as possible on those weaker than they are.  When the last iteration of “sex trafficking” hysteria died in the 1920s, the laws it spawned remained and are still being used to persecute people for thoughtcrime to this very day; the laws passed over the past 20 years will likewise long outlive the moral panic which spawned them.  Furthermore, the old excuses such as “crime” and “quality of life” never went away, and the new war on porn is more than enough to inflict carnage on a demimonde which heavily shifted toward online manifestations during the pandemic.  But the puritans’ and oppressors’ spotlight is no longer as focused directly on whores as it has been for a generation; public support for police violence is lower than it has been in years; religious fanatics have broadened their focus to include all sexual expression; carceral feminists are too busy fighting the recriminalization of abortion to attack other women for wrongthink; and some politicians have finally recognized that sex workers vote.  So I’m not breaking out the champagne or anything, but even slight progess is progress, and the less prohibitionist noise we have to shout over, the more clearly sex workers can get our message out to those who need to hear it.

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