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[personal profile] siderea
By Marge Piercy

The courage to let go of the door, the handle.
The courage to shed the familiar walls whose very
stains and leaks are comfortable as the little moles
of the upper arm; stains that recall a feast,
a child’s naughtiness, a loud blattering storm
that slapped the roof hard, pouring through.

The courage to abandon the graves dug into the hill,
the small bones of children and the brittle bones
of the old whose marrow hunger had stolen;
the courage to desert the tree planted and only
begun to bear; the riverside where promises were
shaped; the street where their empty pots were broken.

The courage to leave the place whose language you learned
as early as your own, whose customs however dan-
gerous or demeaning, bind you like a halter
you have learned to pull inside, to move your load;
the land fertile with the blood spilled on it;
the roads mapped and annotated for survival.

The courage to walk out of the pain that is known
into the pain that cannot be imagined,
mapless, walking into the wilderness, going
barefoot with a canteen into the desert;
stuffed in the stinking hold of a rotting ship
sailing off the map into dragons’ mouths,

Cathay, India, Siberia, goldeneh medina*
leaving bodies by the way like abandoned treasure.
So they walked out of Egypt. So they bribed their way
out of Russia under loads of straw; so they steamed
out of the bloody smoking charnelhouse of Europe
on overloaded freighters forbidden all ports—

out of pain into death or freedom or a different
painful dignity, into squalor and politics.
We Jews are all born of wanderers, with shoes
under our pillows and a memory of blood that is ours
raining down. We honor only those Jews who changed
tonight, those who chose the desert over bondage,

who walked into the strange and became strangers
and gave birth to children who could look down
on them standing on their shoulders for having
been slaves. We honor those who let go of every-
thing but freedom, who ran, who revolted, who fought,
who became other by saving themselves.

* "Goldeneh medina", Yiddish, literally "Golden Land", idiomatically America


Apr. 18th, 2019 03:25 pm
legionseagle: (Default)
[personal profile] legionseagle
Title: Tales out of School
Rating: Teen and up
Warnings: CNTW
Fandom: Lanyon Archive

Summary: The Mods of the Lanyon Archive thought they had seen it all. But that was before Joe Wright replaced Guillermo Del Toro as the director of Mistress of Her Trade.

A small Easter tribute for [personal profile] lilliburlero

Tales out of School
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
From CBS News:
Dozens charged in major opioid bust across U.S.
By Brian Pascus
Updated on: April 17, 2019 / 10:36 PM / CBS News

Dozens of people, including 53 medical professionals, have been charged for their alleged participation in the illegal prescription and distribution of opioids and other narcotics, Justice Department and Department of Health and Human Services officials said Wednesday. Federal law enforcement and health officials held a press conference in Cincinnati where they announced charges resulting from the Appalachian Regional Prescription Opioid Strike Force takedown operation that began only four months ago.
[...] According to the indictment, one pharmacy in Dayton, Ohio prescribed over 1.75 million opioid pills
Wait what. Pharmacies can prescribe? Is that a thing? I thought the whole point of pharmacists existing was to separate the prescribing of drugs from the selling of drugs to eliminate the conflict of interest?
The indictment states one doctor in the Western District of Tennessee, who called himself the "Rock Doc," would exchange opioids and benzodiazepines with patients in return for sexual favors.
This is your friendly reminder that if a physician is prescribing medications to someone, the recipient of that prescription is that physician's patient, and a physician having sexual contact with a patient is, depending on jurisdiction, somewhere on the continuum from profoundly unethical to frankly felonious. Further, that someone with an addiction is someone with a mental illness that makes them desperate for relief. This is not an exchange for sexual favors, this is a medical professional sexually extorting the vulnerable mentally ill. Jesus Fucking Christ. This is like saying that a manager "exchanged promotions with subordinates for sexual favors", only worse. There is no sense in which this is a meeting of equals in which consent can obtain.

But all that said, turns out this "Rock Doc" person is not a physician. From The Tennessean:
Young, 43, a Tennessee nurse practitioner who called himself 'Rock Doc' and once piloted a reality show about his Jackson clinic, was indicted with federal drug trafficking charges this week, accused of trading drugs for sex.
*rolls eyes* Do NPs get to prescribe unsupervised in TN? Or is there some physician whose license this was done under?
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
I received an email today from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ( with the subject line "Sandbox: Your email address and username have changed." and the text "If you did not make or request this change, or the new email address/username is incorrect, please contact us immediately at (855) 411-2372."

And, as long-time readers may remember, I use plus-addressing, and of course I had used a unique tag when I had opened an account (to complain about BoA, actually) with the CFPB years ago, and, yes, the tag in the email address was correct. Whoever it was who was emailing me had access to the CFPB's corpus of complainant email addresses.

I read the header, and there was a lot about in there, and a SPF soft fail. There were no malicious urls hidden in the body and the phone number was correct, so *shrug* I called the CFPB.

They were very abashed and apologetic. And "knew about the issue". No, they weren't compromised; yes, "the emails had been sent in error".

[health, me] Technical Difficulties

Apr. 17th, 2019 12:07 am
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
I am experiencing some technical difficulties with my body: I'm having some RSI problems with my arms, and also I seem to have injured a leg. The remaining limb aint none to happy with the resultant distribution of labor.

My various hurt bits seem to improve if I don't use them. But everything in my life seems to consist of either keyboarding/writing or going somewhere. Argh.

[labor, MA] Peapod Update

Apr. 16th, 2019 11:56 pm
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Peapod has no delivery times available until Sunday April 28. This suggests either an abundance of caution, or they don't think the Stop and Shop strike is being resolved any time in the next week and a half.

They're still aggressively advertising their new delivery discount deals, which one cannot presently elect. I'm guessing that was preprogrammed in advance, or maybe there's areas they're still delivering in? Their notification text suggests that.
Also, it was updated:
Important information regarding order availability.

We are experiencing some service disruptions within your service area due to a result of current negotiations between UFCW unions and Stop&Shop. If you are looking to place an order, delivery and pick-up times may be limited. Please check the Delivery Times page to see current availability for your specific location.

We know our customers rely on us. We’re working hard to ensure that we can continue to serve the communities that we operate in and we hope to be back to full service availability as quickly as possible. We genuinely appreciate your business and thank you for your patience.

If you have any questions about a scheduled order, please call or email Peapod Customer Care on 800-5-PEAPOD (800-573-2763) or

Bad news all round

Apr. 15th, 2019 10:40 pm
legionseagle: (Default)
[personal profile] legionseagle
Awful news from Paris, and I pray that the firefighter reported to have been severely injured makes a full recovery, and that as much of the structure can be saved as possible. Certainly the efforts of les pompiers de Paris seem to have been heroic beyond measure.

But that isn't what this post is about.

This morning, when I came into work, my colleague and team head took me aside and told me that he had been told, by a credible source, that his and my former Baker and McKenzie colleague, Paul Rawlinson, had died.

A quick Google search showed that his Wikipedia page (because as the former global head, stepping down it was hoped temporarily about six months ago because of "exhaustion", he was certainly deemed "notable") was now in the past tense. The news was, in the course of the morning, confirmed by the Law Society Gazette and various other sources.

A horrible blow, and one coming almost out of the blue.

Paul was the son of a father from Lancashire and a mother from Italy, and therefore united two extraordinary blessings (if people think he may have had some influence on a certain character in Lust Over Pendle, I'll not deny it.) He had enormous charm, a wit of steel and a finished ability to laugh at himself. He once got a bunch of people on whom he was serving an Anton Piller order (or, rather, supervising its service -- I was doing the London end) to offer to run out to get him fish and chips ("Eh, lad, you must be starving"), and only turned the offer down, with deep regret, when the solicitor he was supervising kicked him hard on the ankle.

He, I and a B&M partner once ended up at 2am sat side by side like owls on the hoods of telephone kiosks in the middle of Covent Garden, after a sensational victory in Court, improvising riffs off Julius Caesar (he loved Casca: something about his response to Cassius' line "Will you sup with me?"* struck him as quintessentially Lancashire, and for that reason both hilarious and true.)

On the eve of INTA one year many years ago three of the four B&M IP partners were sitting in a black cab outside 100 New Bridge Street, waiting for Harry who was -- of course -- having one last phone call inside. Paul strolled back along a sunlit street from the pub where we'd all been lunching, leant inside the window, and said, in the hearing of all the partners and three or four of the more senior juniors on the team, me included, "Dashed good of you, Russell, to volunteer to be the suicide bomber."**

Last time I saw him it was at Baker & McKenzie's offices a couple of years ago; there was an alumni "do" on and we were drinking champagne. He looked gaunt, and I worried a little about it, but he was as vivid as ever, and he still hadn't -- entirely -- lost his accent.

Requiem aeternam, et lux perpetua luceat eam.

PS He was a most devoted fan of Manchester City, so any candles lighted to a 2-0 at the Eithad this week would be most appreciated.

*"Ay, if I be alive and your mind hold and your dinner worth the eating."

** Russell Lewin preceded Paul both in rising to be head of B&M London from the IP team, and in dying young.
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea "Thank you for your business. We look forward to preparing your
tax return next year."

You do? Then why did you fuckers print "SELF-PREPARED" all over the tax return I just had you, uh, "prepare".

So what, exactly, is the IRS's definition of a professional tax preparer, such that something like FreeTaxUSA – or its better known competitors TurboTax, TaxAct, H&R Block at Home, etc – isn't one?

I mean, I understand the logic at one point might have been, "Well, it's just software, a tool, that the user uses to prepare a tax return, unlike hiring a professional to interrogate you for your financial information, answer your questions about what needs to happen and what the tax laws say, advise you on how to minimize your taxes, or generate the actual documents you sign and send to the IRS/state equiv." Except not only does the tool do a bunch of those things, these tools all come with access to documentation and even human interactions to provide all the rest of that. There doesn't seem to be any daylight left between what a human tax preparer does and what these software tools + their customer support humans do.

Is this just one of those things where the real sole difference is that the software companies just disavow legal responsibility as "tax preparers", and are allowed to get away with it by buying Congress?

[me, taxes] Taxes done

Apr. 14th, 2019 11:08 pm
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
Done, phew! My Federal taxes took longer than expected because I didn't know about the Qualified Business Income Deduction, which doesn't turn to out play gracefully with multiple Schedule Cs - or at least the implementation at doesn't handle it gracefully.

Also, I duly made my first quarter estimated tax payments, both IRS and DOR.

Good lord the DOR's web interface sucks. For anybody else trying to do this, the obvious "Make a Payment" link on the home page has maybe nothing to do making tax payments at all; you can't use it for estimated tax payments, certainly. Every damn time I have to look up in the FAQ how to find the interface for making tax payments, which is different.

I did not in any way expect that the bank account I set up last Tuesday would be up and running sufficiently that I would be paying my Q1 estimated taxes out of it today, but here we are. Paypal turned around the set up process of linking the account faster than they ever have in my experience, and the transfers I made via Paypal from old bank account to new cleared in about 24 hours each. The money was all sitting in my new account waiting to go yesterday - Saturday, four days after the account was opened. So, *shrug*. What the hell. I was all prepared to use the old account, but it wasn't necessary.


Apr. 14th, 2019 02:34 pm
marinarusalka: (Default)
[personal profile] marinarusalka
Last night, The Boy and I attended a performance of Traditional Georgian polyphonic music, an event we only knew about because the performers’ manager is a distant cousin of mine. It was a really fascinating experience, different from anything I’ve ever heard before. I wish I had a background in music so that I could describe it in an informed way, but I don’t. To me, the singing sounded like a strange but gorgeous mix of Gregorian chanting and yodeling. The singers all had amazing breath control, too — I’m pretty sure I would pass out if I attempted anything similar.

The first half of the concert took place in a very pretty Serbian Orthodox Church, and the second half was in the church ‘s social hall. The whole thing had a very intimate, informal feel. Definitely an experience worth having.

“pictures” )
siderea: (Default)
[personal profile] siderea
0) Stop & Shop workers are on strike. Support the workers! Do no cross the picket lines and shop somewhere else until management comes to terms.

1) What Peapod management said about the strike (from
Peapod, the online delivery company that partners with Stop & Shop, told customers Thursday that the strike should not affects its services, but would inform them “if for some reason an issue arises.” Peapod is owned by the same parent company as Stop & Shop, Dutch grocery giant Ahold Delhaize.
What is actually happening on right now:

Notification on Peapod 4/12/19 (technically about 1am 4/13/19).  Transcription:  Important information regarding order availability. We are experienceing some service disruptions with your delivery area. If you are looking to place an order, delivery times are limited. Please check the Delivery Times page to see current availability. For customers expecting completed orders, you should have received details via email, call and/or text regarding your order status. Thank you for your patience.

"Please check the Delivery Times page to see current availability"? Okay...

Screenshot of Peapod scheduler interface, showing "sold out" availability on Sunday, two days from taken.
Screenshot of Peapod scheduler interface, showing "sold out" availability later on Sunday, two days from taken.
Screenshot of Peapod scheduler interface, showing "sold out" availability on Monday, three days from taken.
Screenshot of Peapod scheduler interface, showing "sold out" availability on Tuesday, four days from taken.
Screenshot of Peapod scheduler interface, showing "sold out" availability on Wednesday, five days from taken.


Not that I had any intention of booking my regular – or any – order. I just logged in to fire off a note to customer service expressing solidarity with the union and letting them know I was observing the strike, and having done that, saw the service outage notification and decided to share.


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March 2019


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