Most of my more-personal (yet still often vague) journaling is locked, for anyone reading along at home. My feeeeeeelings filter is probably super out of date, since I haven't really used LJ for two years.

List of things that currently make me cry

Most songs in 3/3, going through South San Francisco on BART or Caltrain, glasses cleaning cloths, lactaid pills, bats, peppers, matadores, picnics, Charles Dickens books, holidays, squids, half of the locations in San Francisco. Cookies. Yeah, pretty much a lot of things. Also cop cars, but that's a whole other thing, sort of.
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Today, I was walking home in the perfect San Francisco day, sunny with a cold breeze, eating one of the sweetest cherries ever, and I felt so perfect happy. It made me think of how it's not just tempting to believe in a god or a spirit because it's scary to think of the state of not being, but it's also tempting to feel blessed and to have something to thank, sometimes. (It could be that words like "blessed" for that feeling, or almost even "lucky", which is what I try to use when the word that comes to mind is "blessed", shape our cognition in that way.)

And then I thought of how despicable I think it is when people give in to that feeling, knowing that others in the world are miserable through circumstances. Feeling lucky is delightful, and I wish to savor it, but thinking something that could give me that perfect moment and give others starvation and abuse is somewhere between sickeningly myopic and self-centered to the point of evil. (This is, of course, an emotional reaction, quite aside from the intellectual vapidness of believing a thing without evidence.)

I'm just political that way. But man, I've had a lovely day. Fight the power. Be excellent to each other.


Here's the re-finished c. 1901 gown, which I made for the Edwardian Ball. I changed the sad eyelets for buttonholes and entirely remade the sleeves so that I could raise my arms to dance, and wore it on April 28th, and actually got some pictures. They are non-great pictures taken from my phone, mostly. But there they are! My 5-minute Gibson Girl when my hair was too clean isn't so photogenic, but it was really OK in person. In the last picture you can see the true color of the fabric.

leopard head

Sewing update

I got one of my proposed sewing projects for this year done (by that special hobby-costumer's definition of "done"). I wore it to the Edwardian Ball. It was slightly un-done due to a broken grommeter, though I fully feel it would have been done-done if not for that. The closure needs to be re-done, but I was happy with how it turned out. I don't have any pictures of the ribbon work on the back/train, but here's a few pictures of bits of it from the Edwardian Ball.

This outfit is a fairly authentic late victorian/early edwardian gown, appropriate to 1895-1905ish.

Dear fellow atheists and skeptics,

These are some things that we should stop saying, in my opinion, part 1.

"I don't BELIEVE in evolution. I accept it."

The common usage of the word "believe" does not in fact imply believe without cause, nor believe without evidence. It means you think that's how things are. I believe my hair is green. I believe I will not start eating steak any time soon. I believe that complex life forms arose slowly from earlier lifeforms due to a change in genetic frequency over time driven by natural selection. Choosing to use "accept" in place of "believe" when you use your own words seems totally reasonable, but derailing a conversation if someone asks you if you "believe in evolution" is in my opinion obnoxious and unhelpful. It ignores both dictionary definition and common usage of the word without any helpful clarification.

"Burden of proof"

Seriously, can we stop using the term "burden of proof" when talking about the existence or non-existence of god(s) and other supernatural things? "Burden of proof" arose as a legal term. Am I suddenly switching horses from my opinion from above in regards to using terms as they have naturally evolved? I don't believe I am. (See what I did there?)

Burden of proof as a legal concept has little to do with establishing objective truth. Rather, it is about who is accepted as being correct in the absence of reasonably compelling evidence for or against something. The idea of burden of proof is ethical and not ontological.

I would not apply this to "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." I concur with that quote and concept. However, the "burden of proof" retains part of its legal roots while abandoning the realization that it does not argue for or against ontological truths. If no one is attempting to convince anyone else of anything, the idea of a burden of proof is absurd. Theists enjoy insisting that the burden of proof is on the skeptic to prove that god(s) do[esn|n]'t exist. Simply repeating the opposite back at then isn't helpful. "I fail to see any evidence of any gods, so I do not believe that any exist until some evidence indicates them" comes across very differently - and indeed is conceptually different - to "The burden of proof is on YOU to prove that gods DO exist!" The latter doesn't reasonably present the reason for your lack of belief but instead treads lightly into the ground of making the argument personal. Bringing up a burden of proof in the case of someone emotionally insisting that you must believe is reasonable, but because the argument is not about discussing the nature of existence but only the nature of insistence about one person's beliefs.

Now accepting counter-arguments about the utility of using these two items.
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My grandfather is probably dying today. He had congestive heart failure, and they pulled the plug on CPAP about an hour ago.

He had a stroke that left him unable to form long-term memories (as in more than a few minutes at a time) a few years ago, and I mentally mourned him then. I still cried when my dad called me this morning, somewhat surprising to myself. I was close with my grandfather once upon a time, but as mentioned I felt that I had already dealt with mourning.

I'm probably going to Atlanta for the funeral, and it's the "for the funeral" part that's getting me. I hate funerals. I don't do funerals. I haven't been to one since I was about 10. I don't find them helpful. I'm going to see my brother primarily and my cousin who has asked me to go. I really, honestly don't want to go to the service itself, and I don't do things just because they are done. My grandparents are both atheists, so I would probably find the funeral more palatable than others I was forced to attend (and in fact I have never been to a funeral where "forced to attend" was not the truth), but I probably still don't want to go. This is as close as I will have come to engaging in what other people consider to be compulsory family-of-origin activities. I'm generally happy to let people go to hell if they want me to do things for no reason but that I'm supposed to, but going to see people and then possibly dealing with other/the same people giving me crap about not attending a ritual I don't like is not high on my emotional priorities list.

I'm actually waiting to hear back from my brother about timing, and it may end up that we don't go during the time when the actual service is happening.
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leopard head

Sewing ambitions

I'm quite sure that I'll not get around to making every ensemble to which I aspire, but I'm starting out planning big. What actually happens happens. I really haven't made a full ensemble from scratch since the Edwardian ball last year (and technically I wore a blouse I already had as the under top piece, so that wasn't quite from scratch). I've made a few new things here and there, combined with old, and stuck in my fancy ball endeavors to the generic historically-inspired ahistorical formal dress (pretty much full ballgown skirts possibly with ruffles and overskirts, and corsets as outerwear). In a perfect world, here's my plans for the forseeable future:

*Formal ensemble that's not designed around being dancable. Possibly an Edwardian hobble-style skirt. Lots of beads and shinies. Probably to be outrageously classically gothic. Ideal completion date in 2.5 weeks. LET'S GO.
*Edwardian tea gown (leaning towards removable lace high-necked underlayer which can be worn for a tea gown and not worn to double as a ball gown)
*Robe de style with panniers evening gown(this will go into the inspired-by, since even though the robe de style outline is more shapely than the tubular chemise as far as 20s styles go, the dropwaist with lack of princess seams is still not flattering on an hourglass, and bias-cutting fabric for a seamless cling didn't really come in until the 30s)
*Authentic mid-Victorian-style cupcake gown, with day and evening bodices, cage crinoline
*Authentic late-victorian evening gown with swishy waterfall bustle
*Slightly silly fairy princess dress (already designed and mostly drafted) (ideal completion by halloween ball)
*Khaki tailcoat and khaki-coordinating waistcoat for "fairy hunter" ensemble (ideal completion by halloween ball)
*Tudor men's ensemble with longer bloomers, jacket, shirt, etc. (ideal completion by Midsummer Night's Dream ball)
*Tudor-inspired piecemeal ensemble with conical stays, high ruffle collar, tiny Henry VIII poofy pants. (ideal completion by Midsummer Night's Dream ball)
*New tightlacer undergarment corset that fits my current measurements. While ideal completion is ASAP, since I've finally reversed the extreme weightgain of the last 1.5 years (up 50 lbs, then down 10), I'm going to see if this continues just a bit more before going for this.
*Scattered non-formal, non-costume everyday wear. Like, some clothes I just want to wear. I'd love to actually make at least one garment per month, in happy puppy land.
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