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[food|repost] Open dinner in Houston, TX today, Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

This is a repost, in case you missed the announcement previously.

I am in Houston right now along with Dad and Lisa Costello for second opinions at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. I have declared an open dinner in Houston, TX today, Wednesday, March 6th, 2013. We’ll meet at 6 pm at:

Dimassi’s Mediterranean Buffet
8236 Kirby Drive,
Houston, TX 77054
Ph: 713-526-5111
[ Google Maps ]

If you think you’re going to be there, let me know so I can get a rough headcount. Also, should M.D. Anderson add appointments to my schedule which cause a conflict with this dinner, then I can let you know.

[food|repost] Open dinner in Houston, TX on Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

This is a repost, in case you missed the announcement of a dinner later this week.

I will be in Houston next week along with Dad and Lisa Costello for second opinions at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. As I’ll be in Texas much of the week, I am declaring an open dinner in Houston, TX on Wednesday, March 6th, 2013. We’ll meet at 6 pm at:

Dimassi’s Mediterranean Buffet
8236 Kirby Drive,
Houston, TX 77054
Ph: 713-526-5111
[ Google Maps ]

If you think you’re going to be there, let me know so I can get a rough headcount. Also, should M.D. Anderson add appointments to my schedule which cause a conflict with this dinner, then I can let you know.

[conventions|repost] Announcing JayCon XIII

Every year, some people tell me that I need to announce JayCon early so they can get it in on their calendars. Every year, some people tell me I need to announce JayCon later, because they don’t plan that far ahead. Sometimes, these are the same people. So starting now, and going on through the spring, I will be reposting this announcement with occasional edits or updates as needed.

In celebration of my natal anniversary, JayCon XIII, my 13th annual 37th birthday party, is Saturday, June 15th, 2013 from 2 to 5 pm at the Flying Pie in SE Portland. We’re partying because I was born, and because I have beat cancer again and again and again.

If you can read this, you’re invited. Prior JayCon experience not required.

Also, if you’re coming from out of town, and you think I might not be aware of that, please contact me. There are some limited capacity extended festivities from Friday to Sunday.

Flying Pie Pizzeria
7804 SE Stark Street
Portland, 97215
(503) 254-2016
http://www.flying-pie.com/
[ Google Maps ]

As is traditional for JayCon, Paul M. Carpentier is specifically not invited.

[books|repost] Kalimpura reading March 8th, 2013

Health permitting, I’ll be reading from KalimpuraPowell’s | BN ] on Friday, March 8th, at the Powell’s Cedar Hills location. This will be my one and only formal public event for the book due to my continued battle with cancer.

As is usual, I’ll have an open dinner from 5 pm to 6:30 pm, at McMenamins Cedar Hills, at the north end of the same retail complex Powell’s is in. If you’re planning to come to the dinner, please do let me know in comments or via email so I can include you in the headcount.

Due to chemotherapy, I’ve cancelled all my other convention and workshop appearances through this summer (at least), so if you want to see me on the hoof and Hawaiian clad, this is your only chance. Due to the reduced chemotherapy prescription I’m embarking on, this will be the first of a small series of public events and appearances I’ll be doing this spring, and into the summer if my health holds up. Hope to see you there.

[politics|repost] Voting totals, the myth of the Golden Age, and the righteous independence of America’s beautiful minds

Something worth remembering, depending on how the election plays out tomorrow. In 2000 Bush lost the popular vote (0.5MM less than Gore) but won the Electoral College. This was just fine with the GOP back then.

I am absolutely certain the justly famed intellectual consistency of the conservative movement will prevail should Obama win tomorrow on the same terms. After, conservatives are about nothing if they’re not about principle.


This is a repost of something from several years ago, because it seems highly relevant to tomorrow’s election

So much of conservatism and libertarianism thought seems to rely on the myth of the Golden Age. This is the basis of William F. Buckley’s famous declaration to “stand athwart history, yelling Stop” — the idea that things were better than they are, and that change is dangerous. It’s a fundamentally emotional proposition, that strikes me as driven more by fear than any sense of opportunity or growth.

In this morning’s link salad I included a wonderfully idiotic bit of Golden Age myth making, courtesy of The Edge of the American West. Which reminds me of a woman I worked with years ago, back in the mid-1990s.

She was about 30 at the time, divorced, living with her boyfriend who worked shifts in emergency services. She was an art director at the ad agency where I ran IT and production. She lived in a conservative exurb of Austin, attended an Evangelical megachurch on Sundays, and came in every Monday grumbling about how liberals were ruining America, about the Clintons and their crimes, and whatever else her preacher had railed about the day before from the pulpit. Her constant theme was how much better things were in the 1950s when the streets were safe, everybody had jobs, and America was powerful and secure.

I finally got fed up with this and asked her how much she knew about the 1950s. Did she know anything about the African-American experience in those days? What about other non-whites? The unemployed? When I pointed out that in the 1950s she wouldn’t have had the job she did because it would have been given to a man who needed to feed his family, and that she wouldn’t have been allowed in the door of her church as a divorced woman living in sin with another man, she got upset with me and said that wasn’t what she meant.

She wanted the good parts of the myth of the Golden Age without having to acknowledge or accept the prices people paid for them. I’ll bet good money this woman today is a Sarah Palin fan and a Tea Party member, because that’s the depth of thinking I see from conservative America even now. Not all conservatives everywhere, but from those in political power and those with media voices.

I still think about her sometimes, because how the heck do I, as a liberal-progressive, even get her to see where her own thinking goes awry? She’s like those Christians who demand literal subservience to Biblical truth, except for the inconvenient parts. There’s no logic or coherent philosophy, only wishful thinking wrapped in justification.

Some of it is education and worldliness. One reason academia and journalism are so stereotypically liberal is people in those disciplines generally have to look at the world critically and think about the facts on the ground; at least if they’re going about it properly. It’s difficult to maintain my friend’s level of denial and wishful thinking while engaging in intellectual honesty. Contemporary conservatism is a lot more about denial and wishful thinking than it is about intellectual honesty — look at the issues that drive votes: evolution denial; gun fantasies; fears of gays; climate change denial; magical thinking on taxes.

The myth of the Golden Age is as old as history. Children were always more respectful, the language always more well spoken, and times always better in the previous generation. But confusing the myth of the Golden Age with the reality of life is misplaced at best.

How to address that? Surely not through my rantings. But I’m not sure how to be more thoughtful in the right ways.

Added in November, 2012: The really weird thing about conservative longing for the past is it skips over their own recent political history quite conveniently. Anybody who cares in the slightest about fiscal policy, national security, defense, jobs or the economy cannot possibly want to return to the policies of the Bush administration, which manifestly failed on all those fronts by any objective measure. Yet this is precisely what Romney is running on — a return to and intensification of those same failed policies.


From a related post in 2007, I also produce this squib, which I believe has a lot of relevance to current conservative attitudes:

[info]safewrite mentioned in comments to one of my recent posts a bumpersticker which read “Imagine the world without liberals.” I think that’s a fabulous idea. You’d also have to imagine a world where women didn’t have the vote, couldn’t own property, couldn’t get divorced without their husband’s full agreement, where there were no protections from or recourse for domestic violence, where there were no weekends, 40-hour work weeks or paid vacation, no child labor laws, no workplace safety standards or workmen’s comp, no clean air and water requirements, and a whole lot of other evils of liberalism. ETA: All of which were strongly opposed by conservatives, many of them with outright violence in their day.

I think even the most dyed-in-the-wool Bush conservative would just as soon enjoy many of those benefits.

The conservative movement, especially the Tea Party, really are the People’s Front of Judea, aren’t they?


[repost|food] Open dinner in Baltimore, MD (last call)

I am now in Baltimore, MD for a second opinion cancer consultation at Johns Hopkins Friday, September 7th. I am declaring an Open Dinner here in Baltimore this evening, Tuesday, September 4th. We’ll meet at 7 pm at Ryan’s Daughter, an Irish pub on East Belvedere Avenue in north Baltimore.

This will be my last open dinner before at least May of next year.

Please let me know if you think you’ll be there.

Also, if you’ve already responded, I don’t need you to reply again. These reposts are because people always tell me later, “Oh, if I’d only known you were going to be there!”

[repost|food] Open dinner in Baltimore, MD

I will be in Baltimore, MD after Worldcon, for a second opinion cancer consultation at Johns Hopkins Friday, September 7th. I am declaring an Open Dinner in Baltimore the evening of Tuesday, September 4th — the day after Labor Day. We’ll meet at 7 pm at Ryan’s Daughter, an Irish pub on East Belvedere Avenue in north Baltimore.

This will be my last open dinner before at least May of next year.

Please let me know if you think you’ll be there.

Also, if you’ve already responded, I don’t need you to reply again. These reposts are because people always tell me later, “Oh, if I’d only known you were going to be there!”

[repost|food] Open dinner in Baltimore, MD

I will be in Baltimore, MD after Worldcon, for a second opinion cancer consultation at Johns Hopkins Friday, September 7th. I am declaring an Open Dinner in Baltimore the evening of Tuesday, September 4th — the day after Labor Day. We’ll meet at 7 pm at Ryan’s Daughter, an Irish pub on East Belvedere Avenue in north Baltimore.

This will be my last open dinner before at least May of next year.

Please let me know if you think you’ll be there.

[repost|food] Open dinner in Baltimore, MD

I will be in Baltimore, MD after Worldcon, for a second opinion cancer consultation at Johns Hopkins Friday, September 7th. I am declaring an Open Dinner in Baltimore the evening of Tuesday, September 4th — the day after Labor Day. We’ll meet at 7 pm at Ryan’s Daughter, an Irish pub on East Belvedere Avenue in north Baltimore.

This will be my last open dinner before at least May of next year.

Please let me know if you think you’ll be there.