Twin Peaks: Snoqualmie

January 6th, 2021

On 9/11/2001, the United States was attacked from without by Al-Qaeda terrorists.

Yesterday, January 6th, 2021, we were attacked from within by extremists born on our own soil.

I'm still almost too stunned to write. Radical supporters of Donald Trump invaded the Capitol. They erected a gallows. They had weapons, and flex cuffs (zip tie restraints). I assume the latter were intended to restrain hostages. Fortunately, Congress was successfully evacuated before they breached the chambers of the House and Senate, thanks to the courage of several Capitol police officers, including Eugene Goodman. Had that not occurred, this would likely have been far, far worse than the four (and counting - some are badly injured and in uncertain condition) who died.

Trump himself encouraged them. Yes, the President of the United States encouraged an attack on its own government. And he wouldn't call out the National Guard to restore order. Vice President Pence had to do that.

I feel sick seeing my country in this place.

The terrorists managed to stop the certification of the Electoral College results for a time. It resumed, and Biden was formally recognized as President-Elect.

But the damage . . . blood on busts of former leaders. Items stolen or broken. And so few arrests. There's a lot of suspicion about some members of the police right now, as well as how far up the chain this goes.

We look incredibly weak to foreign powers right now.

Trump and all those who aided and abetted him - Graham, McConnell, Cruz, Hawley, Cotton, Nunes, Jordan, Hice, Greene, and more - all are responsible for permanently damaging America's reputation.

He is our permanent stain, like Hitler is for Germany.

The Cabinet has, thus far, been too cowardly to invoke the 25th Amendment. Many of them have resigned today, rather than be anything resembling a responsible adult.

Democratic members of the House and Senate are pushing for impeachment. I don't know if there's time.

I have never seen a worse disaster for the United States. I didn't think I'd live long enough to see us fall.

But as Trump's election shows, as the way people have behaved during the pandemic shows . . . I do not live in the country I thought I lived in. So many of my fellow citizens are not who I thought they were.

And while a majority of us just elected Biden, and Georgia, my state, just elected two Democratic senators, giving control of the Senate back to the Democrats . . .  it's just a majority. It should have been an utter landslide, a complete repudiation of Trump.

It wasn't.

And I honestly have no idea how to fix it.

Maybe ranked choice voting would be a start at bringing us back together, but it seems like a Band-Aid on open heart surgery.

And as I write this, the pandemic rages worse than ever. This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
Twin Peaks: Snoqualmie

Booking time with myself

The only thing I dislike about Dreamwidth is that it lacks an Android app. This is a surprisingly big hindrance to posting regular journal updates, because it means I have to be sitting in front of my home PC to do so. My time at home is pretty limited, so this is a significant hurdle.

However, I think it's important to make time for myself in this way. In the past few years, I've made New Year's resolutions to read a certain number of books and/or watch a certain number of films of my choosing, and I've succeeded. While those do qualify as personal enrichment, I think having a space just to process my thoughts is even more important, so keeping this journal up-to-date is my resolution for 2020. Social media like Twitter really doesn't get it done: there's a lot I can't say there. It's for quick conversations, rather than deep analysis. I feel like the world has gotten away from long-form composition to its detriment. It's like we can't even think in anything but sound bites anymore.

And most people are just so thoughtless and inconsiderate . . . it's like they either don't know or don't care about the fact that they're broadcasting to everyone.

Anyway, enough ranting.

Yesterday, I finally got to finish The Mandalorian.I thought it was decent; perhaps a tad overrated. I found some plot holes. I do think it felt more like Star Wars than The Rise of Skywalker, although I didn't detest that movie the way so many did. I thought it was okay - better than some of the previous films; not as good as others. Mostly, however, I'm simply grateful to have had time this past weekend to binge watch a little TV. I have had zero down time since the beginning of November. It was meaningful to just have some personal space.

I'm not looking forward to driving in to work tomorrow. There are a ton of things to be squeezed into the first week back, and mine is shorter than everyone else's because I have jury duty on Friday. It couldn't have come at a worse time in terms of scheduling. I'm in Group 1, so there's no way in the world I won't have to go downtown.

It's funny - I feel like I need to relearn how to journal.

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LotR: samwise namarie

Beginning 2019

I brought my keyboard in to work on Friday specifically so I could compose a post during my lunch break and copy and paste it to Dreamwidth when I got home later. I was going to write all about what I've been doing the past few months: getting a WordPress blog installed for atlepicurean, getting a phpBB board up and running for my book club, as well as one for the Owl forums. I was going to tell you about the holidays,about almost meeting my goal of seeing 12 movies of my choosing in 2018 (last year's resolution), about attending a painting class and scheduling a knitting class at JoAnn Fabrics in March so I can finally learn after so many attempts, and more.

And then I got into work and learned that a co-worker, the guy who'd been my team lead when I arrived at my current company and started in support, has died. He was only 43.

And then my sister called to tell me that Dad called her (he'd tried to reach me first, but I was in the bathroom) to share the results of Thursday morning's doctor's appointment.

It's now Sunday morning. I'm in SC, and I've been caring for Dad since I got to the hospital at 12:30 pm on Friday. Things are okay. He was admitted to Lexington Medical Center this past Thursday with a general diagnosis of bradycardia (low heart rate). More specifically, the cardiologist thinks he could have Sick Sinus Syndrome.

They let him go home Friday night around 8 pm. I was worried about his ability to keep up with the Holter heart monitor they gave him, but he's doing mostly okay with it so far.

I need to get back to caregiving, but wanted to post this before it grew a full beard instead of just stubble. :) This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
Twin Peaks: Snoqualmie

Farewell, Anthony Bourdain

My husband didn't mean to wake me up at 5 am with his trip to the bathroom, but he did. Then, the cats decided it was time to play, and started scratching at the door to the bonus room off the master bedroom. I got up to put them out, and after that activity, I couldn't go back to sleep.

This meant I had about 4.5 hours of sleep when the alarm actually went off.

I often check Twitter before I shower and start my day. Our bedroom is very dark, and the light from the phone helps to wake me up. Today, with the aforementioned lack of sleep,  I was particularly groggy.

I saw people posting that Tony Bourdain had died, but no one in my feed had yet mentioned why, so I looked up his name in a search engine and clicked the first link that had a picture.

I finished the article. Suicide. Found by his close friend, Eric Ripert.

When I reached the end of the piece, as luck would have it, I'd scrolled down enough to glimpse the first two comments.

They are awful. Things like: "That's one way to get out of a CNN contract," and "He didn't have the love of Jesus in his heart so he's not going to heaven," etc.

I am shocked, but I scroll down a smidge further, believing optimistically that perhaps the most recent comments just happened to be a couple of trolls.

No. The comments get worse as I go on.

And then, in my bleary state, I realize that the search engine click took me to Fox News.

Fox News is not credible journalism, but many of its viewers are far, far worse. The ones responding to this story apparently delighted in forming an ugly online mob.

What is the matter with these people, that they would react to the death of another human being this way? Why be so unnecessarily unkind? Whatever happened to, "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all?"

Bourdain wasn't a genocidal dictator, a person for whom a "glad they're gone" reaction would still be uncharitable, but at least very understandable. He was a food journalist and an entertainer. He was someone who was open to new experiences, and he shared them via television with many folks who'd never get the opportunity to see the parts of the world he did. He wrote a very entertaining book, Kitchen Confidential, about the back of the house in a restaurant, a place that many of us never see. His was one of the first books I read when I was toying with the idea of being a food writer, and I've never forgotten his honest, wry observations. I also read Medium Raw, which wasn't quite as good, but was still enjoyable. If I happened to land on No Reservations or Parts Unknown while channel surfing, I usually stayed and watched.

He wasn't a politician. He didn't vote against a pork-barrel spending bill that would benefit your state. Why the vitriol? Why be poisonous? What possible good does it do to be horrible on the internet about a dead man who brought so many people a lot of joy, both as a cook and as a food journalist?

I admired Bourdain's refreshing candor and humility. He loved street food. He didn't care if he was eating a corn dog as long as it was a really well-executed corn dog. I loved how generous he was with praise for people that he felt were delivering excellence -- not just famous chefs, but the hard-working people behind the scenes, often immigrant workers.

He reminded us how food brings people together, and the myopia necessary for some people not to see that both baffles and saddens me.

Tony Bourdain, I am among the many who will miss you. Thank you for your matter-of-fact reporting and witty storytelling. Thank you for sharing your flawed, relatable humanity with us while you were here.

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Twin Peaks: Snoqualmie

Current on The Americans

FX has a frustratingly tight streaming window, so I've been pushing to finish The Americans before they pull it today. I made it, and I really enjoyed this season. I was a little surprised by the resolution (or lack thereof) of Henry's story line. I thought they'd likely give that a definite "Yes," but I was wrong, and that's okay -- the unpredictability of this show is part of what makes it so strong, even in its fifth season.

I'm current on:

  • The Americans (complete for this season)
  • American Gods (complete for this season)
  • Legion (complete for this season)
  • The Originals (complete for this season as of 7/6/2017)
  • RuPaul's Drag Race (complete for this season, which I really liked)
  • Twin Peaks (the return)
I must remember to keep an eye out for Midnight, Texas on July 24th. Orphan Black has returned, but I'm still behind on last season. I'd sort of like to watch S2 of The Expanse. Lord knows when I'll get to anything else.

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Current television consumption

Stuff on which I'm current, since that's the shortest list:
  • American Gods
  • Legion
  • RuPaul's Drag Race
  • Twin Peaks (the return)
Shows on which I'm behind, but trying to catch up:
  • The Americans (10 episodes behind, but actively working on this one)
  • The Flash (3 episodes behind)
  • The Originals (3 eps behind)
  • Feud: Bette and Joan (7 eps behind - FX has pulled it from its web site. I've no idea why they set such short viewing windows. Who knows when I'll finish it?)
Shows on which I'm a season or more behind (mostly due to two DVRs failing us):
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
  • Arrow
  • The Expanse
  • Gotham
  • Legends of Tomorrow
  • Orphan Black
Shows I want to watch but haven't started (I'm sure there are many more I'm just not thinking of right now):
  • Sense8
  • Supernatural
  • Westworld

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Twin Peaks: Snoqualmie

Twin Peaks is back

It has been a very stressful day (two hours on the phone with zero results from Dell -- their customer service now beats AT&T and Netflix for being the worst I have ever encountered). However, I did want to say that one of my favorite shows in the whole world (see default user icon) has returned.

Collapse )

Addendum: I just cancelled the entire order with Dell. I was that frustrated. I lost three hours chasing around with them on the phone, talking with people in India some of the time, but most of it spent on hold. I'm back to the drawing board for a good gaming laptop that isn't hideous.

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Twin Peaks: Snoqualmie

Gay concentration camps in Chechnya

Gay men are being held for weeks; at least three have died. Some who have been returned to their families are "barely alive" after being severely beaten.

It is important to note that this is being done with the official support of the government: Ramzan A. Kadyrov is the head of the Chechen republic. Here's an excerpt from Wikipedia's entry about him:

In April 2017, reports emerged that gay men in Chechnya were being arrested, detained in concentration camps, and tortured as part of a region-wide pogrom.[11] Russian President Putin said on May 5th, that he would personally ask the Russian Prosecutor General and Interior Ministry to help Kremlin rights ombudswoman Tatyana Moskalkova check the reported abuse. [12] It is reported that Kadyrov has promised to "eliminate" the gay population of deeply conservative, Muslim Chechnya before the Islamic holy month of Ramadan starts, at the end of May 2017.[13]

Here is an except from Wikipedia's page on gay concentration camps in Chechnya.

Since February 2017, over 100 male residents of the Chechen Republic (part of the Russian Federation) assumed to be gay or bisexual have been rounded up, detained and tortured by authorities on account of their sexual orientation.[1] These crackdowns have been described as part of a systemic anti-LGBT purge in the region. The men have been held and allegedly tortured in what human rights groups and eyewitnesses have called concentration camps.[2][3]

Allegations were initially reported in Novaya Gazeta on April 1, 2017[4] a Russian-language opposition newspaper, which reported that over 100 men have allegedly been detained and tortured and at least three people have died in an extrajudicial killing. The paper, citing its sources in the Chechen special services, called the wave of detentions a "prophylactic sweep."[4][5] The journalist who first reported on the subject has gone into hiding,[6][7] There have been calls for reprisals for journalists reporting on the situation.[8]

Chechnya and Russian authorities have denied any knowledge about the arrests. In response, the Russian LGBT Network is attempting to assist those who are threatened to evacuate from Chechyna.[9][10] Human rights groups and foreign governments have called upon Russia and Chechyna to put an end to the internments.[11]

The New York Times reported the following on 04/21/2017, corroborated by the Human Rights Watch:

Maksim said it had started with a chat room conversation with “a very good old friend who is also gay,” and who suggested that they meet at an apartment. When Maksim arrived, however, he was greeted not by his friend but by agents who beat him. Later, they strapped him to a chair, attached electrical wires to his hands with alligator clips and began an interrogation.

“They yelled, ‘Who else do you know?’” Maksim said, and zapped him with current from time to time. “It was unbearably painful; I was hanging on with my last strength,” he added. “But I didn’t tell them anything.”

Homosexuality is taboo in Chechnya and the mostly Muslim surrounding areas of the Caucasus region in southern Russia. “This society is highly homophobic,” said Ekaterina L. Sokiryanskaya, Russia project director for the International Crisis Group and an authority on Chechnya. “Homosexuality is condemned. It is believed Islam considers it a great sin.”

Ways to help:

  • Sign this petition created by Amnesty International.
  • Use this contact form to e-mail the Russian embassy to your country.
  • E-mail the Russian LGBT network directly at to find out how you can do more to help.
  • Get involved in your community by finding out about local protests of the horrors currently happening in Chechnya. Spread awareness among your friends and family.
  • Donate to the Rossiykaya LGBT Network


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Twin Peaks: Snoqualmie

I do not consent

Dear SUP, current owners of LiveJournal:

I am a citizen of the United States. I am stating publicly, here and now, that I do not consent to the new Terms of Service that were implemented with no e-mail, no warning, and no notice whatsoever on 04/04/2017.

I am a Permanent paid user. I've had this account since well before you took ownership, and money changed hands. I expect what I paid for to be honored. It is my understanding that those servers are still in the USA, but even if they aren't, I do not consent to the altering of the legal contract that was made originally with Danga Interactive, and then honored by Six Apart.

Many people I know have now moved to Dreamwidth. SUP has damaged LiveJournal's brand by handling customer relations so poorly.
Twin Peaks: Snoqualmie

Farewell, Starman

I am not sure why, even two days later, the death of David Bowie makes me so damned sad.

When I first heard the news, I tweeted:

David Bowie is gone? Impossible. Surely it's another theatric, another reinvention, a new incarnation? My heart is full of wishful disbelief.

And I went and hugged my Labyrinth worm plushie for a bit while a hot tear or two escaped.

A user with the handle EwaSR tweeted:

I still feel like I would if someone had told me Mount Everest had died. "Well that's stupid, that's not how mountains work."

And that was exactly it. The wrongness of Bowie's death is that ... somehow, I don't quite know how, but I think on some level, he convinced everyone that he was a magical alien or Goblin King; that he was a creature who fell to earth.

And this one from Commander Chris Hadfield, the Canadian astronaut who performed "Space Oddity" while in orbit above our planet:

Ashes to ashes, dust to stardust. Your brilliance inspired us all. Goodbye Starman.

I keep getting choked up about this man I never met.

And I ask myself, "Am I more emotional since losing Mom? I was upset about Michael Jackson, but it didn't feel like this."

Maybe it's the planning ... the fact that he wrote Blackstar, his final album, when he knew he was dying. He prepared. He planned. He was deliberate and in control of his image at all times, and he left us a gift.

I feel sorriest for his 16 year old daughter. He will not see her milestones. I know he and Iman set firm boundaries on their privacy, and I applaud them for it. I hope she had a lot of time with her dad.

And while I feel sorriest for her, I feel an ineffable sorrow for the rest of us. Like a really important human left. Not because he was famous, but because he made being different okay for an awful lot of us out there. Not just okay - cool, even.

I don't know. It's hard to explain. I just know that I've cried a number of times about it. As one cartoon said, "The stars look very different today."

He really mattered, even if he was just a talented musician with amazing costumes. He used these guises to teach us. How we reacted to them said a lot about his elegance and grandeur, and spoke volumes about our secret selves.

In the video for "Lazarus," he enters a closet at the end. I like to pretend that he's heading off to Narnia to see his friend, Tilda Swinton, the Ice Witch.

And this reimagining of the scene from one of the Men in Black movies:

"You do know David Bowie is dead, right?"
"No, Bowie is not dead. He just went home."

May God's love be with you on your journey, Major Tom.