girlfriends (projectile cute!)


Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday kimkali
Happy birthday to you!

Twenty-nine years ago today the world became an immeasurably better place for your presence in it.

You are fantabulous.

Love always,
Me (and the Sheeps, who demand capitalisation)
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    birds singing (for kimmy, of course)
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May old acquaintance be forgot.

I do not want to be friends with or associate with those who perpetrate by action or condone by inaction abominable and unconscionable behaviour, attitude, dishonesty, disingenousness, agendas, and betrayal. For starters.

If this is not you, I am open to being incorrect about tangential individuals; you can contact me if this is the case, but don't expect me to trust you. At least initially.
star light star bright

Another way for Americans to phone me.

Evidently, there is a company in Iowa called Future Phone offering free international phone calls to 40 different countries, including to the UK. One only pays whatever it would cost them to call Iowa normally, so for those who have inclusive long-distance plans it would be a free call and for others it would just be charged as domestic long-distance. Calls can be made from a cellphone or landline. They only allow calls to landlines and not mobiles from some countries (not sure if the UK is included in that) but I'm not sure if that's true for the UK.

So none of you Americans have any excuse not to call me anymore! :P

I don't know anyone who has used it (I heard about it in expats) but reviews from reputable sources (including the New York Times) say it's legitimate and actually works. Let me know what you think if you try it out?
all smiles and bemusement

At least these ones are moderately interesting.

I am currently experiencing a particular bad bout of insomnia, having laid in bed for hours getting more and more frustrated at the lack of dreamscape. There's so much running through my head but I'm not actually awake enough to do anything productive, so you get some memes instead. I was tagged for these by avariael back in January of this year.

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British politics

E-Petition for Overturning Blood Ban

Sign a petition for removing the ban on gay and bisexual men donating blood in the UK
(And, one would assume, removing the ban for women who have had sex with gay or bisexual men.)

It's not the most well-written petition I've seen. I wonder where the statistic that there would be 1/100th more of a risk of blood-borne infection in transfusions if gay and bi men were allowed to donate came from and I don't think that really helps this particular cause, nor do I think it's helpful to have grammatical errors within the details.

I also think that the signatories should be checked better as I doubt "Madonna Ciccone" signed (isn't it Ciccione and doesn't she use Ritchie these days anyway?) and "Everyone has Aids" is not a real name.

Concerns aside, I think this is a worthwhile petition. It certainly can only help remove the National Blood Service (NBS) ban or it will do nothing at all; it's not going to hinder other organisations and individuals who are trying to get the ban overturned. It is something that's long overdue. I personally would like to be able to donate blood without having to lie about it -- which I refuse to do.

So I've signed the petition and I hope you do as well. (As long as you are a citizen or resident of the UK; citizens living overseas do count, so all you British expats should sign as well!)
all smiles and bemusement

US Election Results: That's All She Wrote

As if you didn't already know, Allen has conceded defeat in Virginia which means that the Democrats will now control the Senate.

wendolen has posted some amusing images here (with links to more in the comments).

As an explanation for their "thumpin'", the Republicans blame election losses on Democrats.
Republican officials are blaming tonight's GOP losses on Democrats, who they claim have engaged in a wide variety of "aggressive, premeditated, anti-Republican campaigns" over the past six-to-18 months. "We have evidence of a well-organized, well-funded series of operations designed specifically to undermine our message, depict our past performance in a negative light, and drive Republicans out of office," said Republican National Committee chairman Ken Mehlman, who accused an organization called the Democratic National Committee of spearheading the nationwide effort. "There are reports of television spots, print ads, even volunteers going door-to-door encouraging citizens to vote against us." Acknowledging that the "damage has already been done," Mehlman is seeking a promise from Democrats to never again engage in similar practices.

No, I wouldn't have known it was The Onion either if I hadn't looked. And I remember the days when it was a print newspaper, available for free from a green plastic machine in Harvard Square, and nothing it said could possibly have been mistaken for reality...

I'm not a Democrat -- I have no party affiliation and I'm further left-libertarian than they are -- but I am pleased by the events of the past few days and I now have at least some hope that the US can be turned back from the brink of catastrophe.
American politics

US Election Results: Almost Over

Democrat Jon Tester has been called as the victor in Montana after one recount! That means that the Democrats currently have fifty seats to the Republicans fourty-nine; however, since the tie-breaking vote is the Leader of the Senate which is the Vice President, the Democrats have to take Virginia to have a majority. Democrat Webb has won in Virginia but it is so close that an automatic recount has occurred and there could be more recounts. It'll probably be the end of November by the time we know for certain who is in control of the Senate. It might even be December. That said, I think I shall assume that Democrats have taken both legislative branches.

Donald Rumsfeld has just announced that he is going to resign as Defense Secretary. AWESOME.

Nationally, I found out that ballot questions banning same-sex marriages passed in seven states -- Colorado, Idaho, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, and Wisconsin. It is too close to call in Arizona. I feel a little bit of sadness for my native country over this; bigotry should never be written into state constitutions. The legalisation of medical marijuana or marijuana as a whole failed in all states which had that on the ballot as well, which is most unfortunate for Nevada given the way their process for ballot questions works. I wish people would see that the only lives they can control are their own.

In Massachusetts, I'm not surprised by any of the results. Democrats for everyone I voted for and no on all the ballot questions, although Question 3 was close. Sometimes I wonder why I bother voting there; people vote no on the questions without knowing what they are and Democrats always win the seats.

Food for thought on the House: if the President and Vice President both happen to die whilst still holding office, the Speaker of the House becomes President. Come January, that will be Nancy Pelosi. Just sayin'.

I think I am somewhat running out of steam.