how do I stop automatic payments to LJ?

I look at my account status page, which is where I'm supposedly able to stop payments. It indicates that I'm a paid member with autopayments. I can buy automatic or manual payments, but I have no option to change the card or to halt payments. Help?

Boy has started third grade. It was a relief to finish second grade; the teacher was so rigid about behavioral expectations and even after he improved his behavior and his choices, she still looked constantly for infractions. She was a good teacher, but a total throwback to the "children should be seen and not heard" mentality. If she had kids, she'd probably make them sit still and study their catechism on Sundays.

Business is horribly busy. I am a basket case half the time from the stress. It will be such a relief when this month is over. October is already booked but not to the extent that Sept is. I need to hire someone who can do photography, listing, production, and maybe social media, but I am doubtful about finding someone with all those skills and I don't have time to train them anyway. I need to clone myself, only with less neuroses about photography.

little boy

I kind of forgot about LJ for a month or two while I was drowning in work. Hi!

Last Halloween, I bought the boy a Jedi robe for his costume. He fell in love with Lord of the Rings in Feb, particularly Gandalf. Now he wears the robe constantly--to the grocery store, out walking the dog, playing with friends, etc. He also carries a walking staff/wizard staff at every opportunity.

A few days ago, we were walking in the park, and two different groups of people commented on the robe. "Hey, I think Obi-Wan is following us." "Cool costume, are you Harry Hogwarts?" As we were walking away, boy said, "Everyone thinks that I'm wearing a costume, but they don't know that it's just my normal clothes."

There is a preschooler down the street who worships the boy. Whenever he goes by in the bike trailer, I hear him saying the boy's name excitedly. We were driving past his house, and saw him wearing a long playsilk tied around his neck (closest he could come to a cloak, I think) and carrying a stick. Just like boy--it was adorable.

I have some handspun Gotland (same fiber used to make the elven cloaks in the movies) and I promised to make boy a hooded cloak. Hope I have enough yarn.


One of my favorite pieces this Christmas was "Come, Emmanuel" by Matthew Prins. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel is probably my favorite Advent/Christmas hymn, and this arrangement gives me chills. I like how it quotes three different melodies. When it's played well, anyway. We bungled it pretty badly at our Friday night performance, and for the first time ever I got completely lost during a performance. Sort of a problem when you carry the melody for the last third of the piece.

Anyway, it's pretty awesome. Give it a listen. Played with mallets only.

Come, Emmanuel

My other favorite piece was by Joel Raney. It's pretty different from what we usually play, and had some pretty tricky bell changes. But I always prefer harder music.

The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came


My mother has called a couple of times in the last week, so we gave her a call back. Turns out that she spent the day in the hospital getting some extreme dizziness checked out (they think it's fluid in the inner ear, so probably nothing serious).

Anyway, she asked to talk to little boy, and then got back on the phone with me. Started talking about how she hasn't been able to sleep since the massacre at Newtown, and then totally lost her shit. I couldn't understand a lot of what she was saying through her sobs, but there was all this stuff surfacing about how my sister never had kids and I've only had one and that's okay but this is her only grandchild and and and. The phone connection broke because their phone is acting weird, but we haven't told little boy about the massacre and he was sitting in the room with me and the whole thing was hard. I was a mess on Friday and I really don't need to go back there right now.


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election day

The get out the vote effort actually made it on foot to my house this year. Since moving to this state in 1994, I've always lived in progressive neighborhoods in progressive cities, and the state itself is generally carried by the liberal, literate urban population centers, so usually only the local city and county council candidates come around. Last night we came home from dinner to find the Democrats had left a GOTV doorhanger and local literature. Maybe it's the gubernatorial race that's got them concerned; that one is too close to call.

I almost went Republican on that one, which would be the first time I've gone Republican in a statewide race since William Weld vs. John Silber. But then I read his candidate statement, where he said that govt doesn't create jobs, the private sector does. In this county, the top two employers are the public university and the county, followed by retail chains that pay minimum wage. Let's not forget the huge federal military presence here, either, or the defense contractors in this state. Yeah, I call bullshit on that. I'd intended to vote for him, because he's done a good job as AG and I was hoping the Republican Party would get the message to put up more moderate candidates instead of the crazypants they've tried to inflict on us the last five election cycles. But when he spouted untruths that toed the party line, I got pissed off.

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dumb people

stop whining, please


I just want to tell her to STFU. Instead of whining about how she's not in the UT alumni network, or how unfair it is that black and Hispanic kids with similar academic records got into UT but she didn't, maybe she could have reflected on how she could have worked harder in high school. Or she could have applied to transfer in after a freshman year somewhere else.

No, instead, she decides to sue the university, all the way up to the Supreme Court. Because poor her, her whole fucking life is now ruined because she had to go to LSU instead of UT.

Why is SCOTUS even hearing this case? How many times do we have to have rulings on affirmative action? And why does it even matter to her anymore? 

It is a fact that if you are white in this country, you automatically have a leg up on blacks and Hispanics. For her to pretend otherwise is either incredibly ignorant or willfully stupid. When law enforcement talks about racial profiling, they are not talking about catching all the white Canadians who are in this country illegally (e.g., they are the 2nd biggest illegal immigrant group in California). They are not talking about finding and stopping the next Timothy McVeigh. They are talking about brown people.
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I can never not work because I have a deeply-ingrained need to have my own money. I don't have any childhood baggage about it, so my best guess is that it says "independence" to me. I never feel trapped or not my own person when I have my own income.

That said, I feel more and more like a freeloader in my marriage, when logically my brain says I don't need to feel that way. I paid for a big percentage of our mutual life for the first four years of marriage (and prior to that), and more than my share for the next six. I never thought about it that way or held any sort of grudge or sense of superiority over it; it just happened to be the way things were.

The shoe has been on the other foot these last two years. I was okay with it the first year of full-time dyeing because I knew it would take some time to build the business.

But this year--I feel like if I'm going to work this hard and have the business gobble up the rest of my life, I ought to be making more. On the one hand, it's manual labor with a physical cap on what I can produce and a luxury product during a recession and what the hell did I expect? On the other hand, flexibility to hang out with my kid and getting out of the soul-killing mire that was my last job was absolutely worth it. And a big chunk of our mutual retirement funds are from me, plus I have a pension, so I'll be making up for my current lack of money in about 20 years, if not sooner.

I have been trying to do more of the housework and such as an attempt to make up for my drop in financial contribution to the health of the household, but let's face it, I am a sucky housekeeper. I can ensure clean clothes and clean dishes, and a healthy dinner at home 60%-75% of the time, but the clutter ...! I absolutely suck at picking up random crap because I never have a place to put it. If something has a home, I can get it there. If I need to decide what to do with it, forget it. It stays in a pile on the table.

We'll see how the rest of the year goes. This month was my biggest online sales month ever. Went 50% (!!) over my sales target, thanks to a confluence of factors--blog mentions, a kickass (if I say so myself) ad, podcasters. I think I'm getting to a certain critical mass now where, if I can keep up my volume of listings while not hurting my show inventory, I can start seeing some amazing results.

Something has to give, though. I'm starting to think about Plan B, which is good because it will always ensure that I've got enough satisfaction with what I'm doing to stay with it, instead of being trapped in a rut.

Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality

I read the first HP book back when kiddo was a baby, and was turned off by the idea that a kid who had been raised in a closet for 11 years could possibly turn out to be so normal. It just seemed so unrealistic. (Yes, I can suspend disbelief for a world where magic works, but not for one where psychological damage doesn't happen to an abused child.)

This summer, I needed some MP3 audiobooks from my library, and saw that HP was available, so I thought, well, I need to listen to something and it might as well be that. The second book was sort of eh, but I still hadn't found anything better and I did like the reader (Jim Dale) a lot, so I kept going.

I ended listening to the entire series and liked it. Dale is a really terrific reader, who brought so much to the dialogue, and I think he is the reason why I like the books. (Heavens knows it's not Rowling's writing; her prose is sort of repetitive, I didn't like her typographical quirks when I glanced at a paper copy in a bookstore, and her characterization is a little flat.) And as a whole--as a series--the books are quite strong. You can tell that Rowling plotted the entire series after the first book, and that she knows where she's going and what she wants each book to contribute to the overall storyline. George R. R. Martin, take note!

It may be the most brutal coming-of-age story I've ever read. Rowling systematically dismantles every single support in Harry's life. Not sure what the meta message is there: don't count on adults? The only people you can rely on are your friends?

Anyway, I came across this fanfiction--an interpretation of the story from the standpoint of a Harry with a little more critical thinking skills. I liked it--some very funny bits. "Are you PC or NPC?" I laughed out loud. I'm only about 10 chapters in but I recommend it!


Alif the Unseen

It's 4 a.m. and the only reason I'm not still reading this book is that my eyes are watering too much from tiredness. Run don't walk to the nearest copy and start reading. The review blurb says "a combination of Neal Stephenson and Philip Pullman" but that doesn't nearly cover it. This book is so smart yet so compelling, not a burden to read like you're trying to improve your mind. I hope the ending won't disappoint.

Her blog is pretty good too, from what I've seen. I liked her post on feminists. gwillowwilson.com, check it out, yo.

parenting milestone

I've hit a milestone: grounding my kid for the first time, at age 7. He'd been playing with a friend a couple of doors down for a couple of hours, when he came home and said his friend's family was going for a walk in the park; could he take the dog? I said no, we had to leave soon to go pick up dinner. I said that an hour ago, that would've been fine, but now we had to leave.

Apparently the boy took that as meaning that the dog couldn't go, but he could. When he left, I thought it was to tell his friend that he couldn't go, but no, he left for the park. Really?? You thought that I had to take the DOG to get dinner?

When he finally showed up an hour later, I told him he was grounded--no playdates tomorrow. I've already cancelled the one that we'd set up, and he won't be allowed to play with anyone else, either.

I don't think I'm being unfair. Am I?