Big Industries are not your enemy, and when you say they are you hurt feelings

THIS! Or specifically, the middle part of the post. QFT, "Are companies profit motivated? Sure.But nearly every big company that has behaved badly has been brought down by an insider. You might be able to get a few people corrupt enough to misbehave, but they will be found out."

People who work for "Big Pharma," Monsanto, USDA, FDA, DowAgro, RoundUp, etc are by and large and in the overwhelming majority GOOD PEOPLE. I gotta say, every time I see a "Big Pharma/Monsanto/GMO's are the DEVIL and everyone who works for them is corrupt!" type post I roll my eyes. Or if it comes from a friend whose opinion I feelings are hurt. I have worked in the pharmaceutical industry for 10 years and never once seen someone suggest we hide or corrupt data, and have on MULTIPLE occasions seen people stand up and say that something needs more testing even if it means delaying a project or making deadlines be missed. Ethical people abound in this industry, and I know that a lot of us do this work because we feel GOOD that the work we do contributes to the health and improvement of others (be they human or animal).

Ditto this idea when people post that farmers are "fat cats living off farming subsidies and they don't understand what they do by planting GMO crops." I look at my in-laws and I think about MY FUTURE where I will be a full-time farmer within the next decade...and my feelings are hurt. Farming is a LOT of work. Government subsidies have conditions, such as being good stewards of the land and doing work to help prevent erosion, water table contamination, pest infestation, etc. We have to attend furthering education classes on how to mix, use, apply, store, and handle the chemicals used to make sure we are safe for our own sakes and for the environment and health of eventual consumers. It isn't just the hard physical labor and long hours; it is paying attention to market prices even when on vacation, constantly monitoring the weather, stress and anxiety over almost everything from spring through fall as you watch the crops grow and then hopefully get them harvested. It is missed birthday parties and weddings because you have to work the fields. It is getting up at midnight to help a sow give birth while still in your pajamas.

Ugh. I want to go on, but I need to focus on a project at work.


Because I'm not shy.

Yesterday I had about 6.5 hours of "false labor." I started having contractions around 2am Monday morning, and they were about 5 minutes apart and lasting 30 seconds each pretty much from go. We went to the hospital around 6am and went through Maternity Triage. I was hooked up to a fetal heartbeat monitor and a contraction monitor for two hours, and they checked my progress. My dilation didn't change over the two hours, and the contractions were not strong enough and not lasting long enough for me to be admitted, so they sent me home to let things progress. From the moment I walked out the door of the hospital the contractions stopped and I haven't had one since. *shrug*

They were definitely real contractions, not just the Braxton-Hicks "practice contractions," as they were down lower and felt much different. They did increase in pain/intensity as time went on...and then they just stopped. This isn't uncommon or a bad thing, it is just my experience and part of our story. Now we go back to the waiting game, and wonder when things will start for real.

I'm not sad/scared/worried about all this, I know that this is not uncommon. I just wish it had been real. I want to hold my little boy. I want to see him safe and sound and healthy and have the answers to all the unknowns like "when will he come?" and "how long will I be in labor?" I want to have control, damnit!

Soon. I grok it will come with waiting.

Grant Alexander, New Job

Well, we have found out that the baby is a boy. His name will be Grant Alexander Edwards, and his due date is September 2nd (Labor Day!).

I'm rediculously happy and excited about this kid. Like, if I think about all the small things and the big things that are going to happen in my life about him I get excited and bouncy and can't calm down, and sometimes I get so happy I cry. When I imagine him wrapping his fist around my finger, I lose it. When I imagine lecturing him on why we don't touch the hot stove, I smile and also worry because he's a kid and what if he doesn't listen and omgthislivingbeingismyresponsibilitytocareforandraise. **deep breath**

I have felt him start to move around inside me, feels like little burbles in my lower abdomen. Not quite like gas, as it is short and punctuated in the sensation. Gas is like a lingering pressure or rumbling. And the other day Gregg felt him move a couple times, just little staccato kicks/bumps against the palm of his hand, but Gregg felt it. I cried then, because I was so happy. I'd been looking forward to that moment ever since I found out I was pregnant, and it was wonderful.

As to the new drags out. We have to get a health and safety report for me, first, that will state what compounds/reagents I am allowed to handle in the lab. Anything that is a reproductive hazard or has unknown toxicity I won't handle. And most of the drug compounds are going to fall in that category. *sigh* So, I might be stuck doing desk work and verifying documents for the next four months, which will be rough. I want to get in the lab and PLAY, damnit! We're figuring out a few lab things I'll be able to do no matter what, qualifying instruments using caffeine solutions, for example. I'll get to work in there some, but I might not get to do method development work for a while.

Aside from the "can't do any work" part I'm really happy so far. The commute of 3 miles is AMAZING, and the coworkers are all great. I share a cubicle with a fellow RPG player, so we talk shop and games some. I've found a group of guys that play card games during lunch every Friday and have become part of that group, which is awesome. I need to introduce them to some of the games I know. I think I'll be happy here.

I'm working on myself

I'm working on myself. On not being so petty, and on not making fun of others as much (especially in areas where something doesn't matter). I'm trying to call others out on it, as well. To point out that they are just being petty/snarky/hurtful and they are mocking things that do not matter. I'm trying to be more positive, to let the small things go, and to encourage others to do the same.

So what if that woman at work was wearing high waters? So what if the guy who pointed it out to you also wears them a lot? Doesn't change who they are, the quality of their work, or if you like them as a person. And it would probably hurt their feelings if they heard you laughing at them.
So what if someone asked an asinine question? Answer it, and move on. Don't stress out over it.

I'm not saying I'll never make fun of someone again, or be critical of others. For example, last weekend some friends were joking and laughing at a nickname others have for an event they attend. It was such a small thing to make fun of, and I called them out on it. They then went on to discuss some of the policies of the event itself, and the things they were telling me about were ridiculous and over-worked/over-thought/going too far yeah I laughed at the things that were really out there. Things that would bother me if someone tried to apply them to me.

Holding onto small hurts, petty jealousies, old grudges, and insignificant slights is not worth my time or energy. Why hold onto those bad feelings and angst, when I can ignore them and let them go and focus on all the Good things in my life instead?

So. That. If you catch me being petty or small, please call me out on it. I want to be better.


Why is it that because I'm pregnant people suddenly are interested in--and feel they must ask me about--my health and physical well-being? This thing growing inside me means you suddenly care where you never did before? They aren't asking to be invasive or rude, and I'm not angry about it...I'm just confuzzled. Then again, I realize I have done the same thing to those I have known who were pregnant.

Also...Flying Spaghetti Monster help the first person who touches my stomach without asking permission. Just because I'm pregnant does not mean that my body is suddenly something you get to touch at will. My personal space did not change because I'm knocked up, so don't you dare assume you get to touch me. I have already told my father this, when he poked at me at New Years. I will tell others. If I INVITE you to touch or feel my stomach, that is fine. But you don't get to reach your hand towards me and touch me just because I'm a mom-to-be.

The End of an Era...and a Campaign

On September 9, 2007 Mike ran a tabletop session using the Palladium Heroes Unlimited rules and setting for myself, Skud, and Jess. In the coming weeks Tommie, Brandie, and Kevin joined us as regular players. Over the next few years Tim, Wes, Thomas, Ceilidh, Riley, Michelle, Josh, Monica, Gregg, Jade, and Cal all joined us for at least one session. It became the "Impact, Inc" campaign, and it has been my longest running tabletop campaign, and only the second campaign that I was part of seeing through to completion. Any other campaigns either fizzled out, or while they hit a good stopping point there was still a lot left undone and unresolved. At first we played this one weekly, then monthly, then every few months. We wrapped it up this past weekend, but the last time we played before that was January 2012. The last time before that had been around March 2011 I think. Some players had moved away and it became hard to play frequently, but none of us gave up on seeing it through.

This campaign has been a Big Deal for me. Some of the best roleplay, stories, and scenarios I've ever been part of in any roleplaying experience. Epic battles. Petty character squabbles. Hilarious moments. Huge story arcs, fighting repeat enemies while traveling through time and dimensions. Small stories and episodes. Falling in love. Falling out of love. Betrayal. Victory. Frustration. Defeat.

I'm not going to bother typing up what all happened, I have that recorded in the paper journals I kept as we went through the game. What I will do is celebrate the game. Because it was GOOD. And we did it. We wrapped it all up, and we won. Some smaller stories and personal storylines never were told in-game, but those can be resolved in our daydreams. Kind of like the expanded universe comic books for a TV series that has ended, where the fans get to find out what else happened.

I'll have nostalgia for the game. I'll miss the roleplay and the excitement of preparing to play. But I'm also completely satisfied with how it ended. We defeated the two major villains that had been our enemies throughout, saved the world, stopped a god, some of us found love, and most of us found peace with our fates and paths.

It was a Good Game.
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(Entire content of this post stolen from a friend, LJ User fallen_scholar, having corrected one spelling error)

As colleges are wont to do, Earlham College, a small liberal arts institution in Richmond, Indiana, is working on building a new arts facility and a new science facility, and providing "naming opportunites" for major contriubtors.

One of the more illustrious recent alumni to come from Earlham is Michael C. Hall, award-winning actor and star of both "Dexter" and "Six Feet Under."

Against all reason, one of the "naming opportunites" is for the Science facility's Cadaver Storage Room.

The Venn diagram for "graduate from a small, midwestern liberal arts college" and "enjoys cleverly named rooms" is pretty well just a circle. (Probably second only to "enjoys rooms with pun-based names," but the adjacent Earlham Cemetary was already founded by the Pine-Coffins, so it's hard to beat that ((though, of course, if Mr. Michael C. Hall himself wanted to get himself and his warchest behind the effort, you could end up with the science building named "Hall Hall").

In very short order, other alumni started an attempt to crowdsource the necessary funds.

Memory Lane

As I've been going through the house and sifting my belongings out of the collective Stuff, I've had a lot of Memory Lane moments. Many of them tied to gaming, and my friends over the last decade. Some of the physical things I'm keeping, because they either still mean too much to me or because they're useful in other ways. Others I've taken a moment to cherish, then placed in the trash.

Highlights of memory lane:
--Anime Crystal Willowbrook's helmet and sword. I worked HARD on that costume, and I looked damn good. Someone had to represent the nearly naked power armor anime girl! The helmet was in good shape, but too small to be a realistic bike helmet or serve another purpose. The sword still lights up, but didn't make the *ting* noise when I pressed the button. I kept the sword, figuring a kid would like it because it flashes, and trashed the helmet. I remember getting Kevin Melloy to help me figure out the ideograms to write out Crystal's name on the helmet, carefully painting them on in gold acrylic and cursing when I made a mistake. And working on putting together the anime Laughing Tom outfit, including F.O.E.S.W.A.T.H. 2.0. Mike still has the shoulder pads in the garage.
--several pairs of sunglasses that I used to wear when playing Charisma Giovanni.
--a decorated wooden box, once given to me by Ashley from Columbus. It was an IC gift from her Brujah to Cynthia Muldoon, my Toreador fop
--an old pair of my prescription glasses with clip-on sunglasses. Looking at photos of me from college, I had them at least my Freshman year of college, which means they were likely my glasses my senior year of high school. I put them on, and didn’t trust myself to try to walk. DAMN my left eye had bad vision! Makes me so glad my parents got me LASIK as a college graduation gift.
--Dale Deering’s Boots—I kept them. The vinyl is cracked and pathetic, they are completely scuffed up…but I couldn’t throw them away. Not yet.
--my Snow Weasel puppet, from KANAR—I had modified a stuffed dog toy to look like a snow weasel, which I then used as a marionette style puppet for an entire KANAR session as we did a dungeon delve. Strong memories from that one, made me want to play KANAR again.
--the cloth tabard I made as a copy of my leather one from Journeyman Leather, complete with trim and the tree logo painted on the back. I spent HOURS making that damn thing, as I wanted a cloth copy to wear in bad weather so my costume would be consistent but I wouldn’t have to get my expensive leather piece befouled. Later, Shannon borrowed it for her costume so we could match.
--the plastic baseball bat I carried as Crystal Willowbrook, to represent my chimerical sword. In character it was a wood/real bat, but there were concerns about me carrying a real bat around the IMU so I used the plastic one for “safety.” Oh, Changeling.
--the pink feather boa I’ve had since my senior year of high school, one of the lucky tokens we carried to our various Fine Arts Academic Team competitions. With it came memories of candy corn, hand gestures for Bierstadt, the sensation of a 4 week old Sharpei puppy climbing in my lap, the music of Aaron Copland’s “Rodeo,” Monticello, raku pottery, more candy, laughing, matching dresses, and the pride of being Captain of my State Championship team my senior year.
--My flute, and an old electronic metronome and tuning instrument I got in middle school. The flute needs new pads, it last got new ones my Junior year of high school (which was 14 or so years ago). I can still play out a B-flat chromatic scale, but not as fast as I once could. Muscle memory is awesome! Simple songs and notes are still within my grasp, but the high and low octave notes have faded from memory.
--the Tuck and Roll dolls from “A Bug’s Life” that I bought in high school. An impulse buy back then, but still fun toys now. They send IR beams back and forth and “talk” to each other, have phrases they’ll say when you press buttons, and if you stack them together they sing a song and giggle and shake. I’ll put batteries in them soon, they should still work. I used them as chimerical companions at the Valpo game’s historical session they ran in Lafayette, the one set the day of the Resurgence. Me, k8, Higgins, and Oz played childlings together. And we were THE BEST CHILDLINGS EVER! To this day I have NO clue what the plot and story for the “grown-ups” was, because we spent the day playing hide-and-go-seek, tag, and just laughing and goofing off. Like kids do, because worrying is for grown-ups.
--the little wooden sword my brother Neal once had made for him, so he could stick it in a foam stone and have The Sword In The Stone
--the babydoll I used for my Richmond Changeling game--and later the Changeling game headed by Margaret—to represent my character’s baby. The eshu character (Sharra bot Ersavat) had a baby who had one blue and one brown eye, so I had painted the eye on the doll an appropriate color. I even still have the little cloth doll that Sara’s character had made for me IC, which also has one painted eye.
--the floral metal tin with scraps of nice paper that I used to use when Cynthia Muldoon was Harpy. I tracked status on individual sheets of paper, loose inside the tin. I had four or five metallic gel pens to write with, and made a big deal of selecting the “right” piece of paper to match a character before recording their status.
--the turtle shell I found while playing KANAR, and that I carried IC every game after that. Too awesome a prop to have, what with playing a dirt-elf druid. *grin* Also found the white sea-shells that I found out in Morgan-Monroe, and once used to bullshit my way into convincing some PCs to stay on the trail and keep going even when they thought we might die.
--the Free Companions Banner I sewed. A bittersweet memory, that. Mike is keeping it.
--the Free Companions plaque I made, using a woodburning pen and a LOT of patience. I kept it, and have it hanging on a wall in the garage. I put too much work into it to throw it away.
--my little leather bag with my Teifi makeup.