Outrage of the Day: Lesbians Barred From Graduating

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"Two female high school students in Oklahoma are firing back at their school for refusing to let them graduate after discovering the two are a couple.

According to KWTV News, 18-year-old Melissa McKenzie said she was kicked out of Del City High School in Del City, Okla., at the beginning of the semester when the principal found out she was living with her girlfriend instead of her family. The principal then told her if she returned to her family's home, she would be welcomed back to school."
Fun fact, a commenter on The Advocate left contact information for Del City school administrators. Copied and pasted for your pleasure:

Principal Gina Hill Main Office (405)677-5777 extension: 129 ghill@mid-del.k12.ok.us 1st

Assistant Principal - Seniors Main Office (405)677-5777 extension: 128 jbenardello@mid-del.k12.ok.us

Assistant Principal Philip Crawford - Juniors South Office (405)677-5777 extension: 135 pcrawford@mid-del.k12.ok.us

Assistant Principal Leslie Berger - Sophomores Sophomore Office (405)677-5777 lberger@mid-del.k12.ok.us

Academic Assistant Principal Robert Gilstrap Academic Coach Office (405)677-5777 extension:140 rgilstrap@mid-del.k12.ok.us

Assistant Principal Danette Hall - Freshmen Freshmen Office (405)677-5777 dhall@mid-del.k12.ok.us

Arts and Sciences Social Day in Adiantum, An Tir

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For those of you in Oregon's Willamette Valley, Adiantum is hosting an Arts and Sciences Social Day this Saturday at the Santa Clara Church of Christ from 10 am to 5 pm.
Brigit of Guernsey is holding one of her fabulous dye workshops, starting at 11. If you ever have an opportunity to dye with her, do it! I met her at the Underwear Party (no, not that kind. Get your mind out of the gutter). It was my first ever A&S Day, and I was focusing on making my underwear and playing with Idonia's spinning wheel, rather than the other classes. Towards the end of the day, she shoved a skein of wool at me and told me to go dye it. I looked at her in confusion and sheepishly admitted that I did not have any cash on me for her materials fee. She said not to worry about it because she couldn't bear seeing the rest of the dye go to waste. As a newbie, I was thrilled with her generosity and willingness to drag shy folk along to play with wool and boiling pots.
Idonia is teaching a class on veils with handrolled hems from 1-2 pm. Considering the abominable attempts I've made, I'm going to take it. She is marvelously patient and knowledgeable, which are invaluable qualities in an A&S Minister. Heck, she puts up with me when I seem to forget how to do fingerloop braiding and has to reteach me at every single event.
Then there's dancing, which is nowhere near as difficult as it may appear. Every event that I have been to that has had dancing has had at least an instruction period for newcomers and those who need a refresher. Not to mention that partners and neighbours are more than willing to help guide you along. And gentlemen, you don't have to "lead" like you do in modern dances!Period dances were essentially the equivalent of speed-dating, so if you don't like your partner all you have to do is wait one rotation and you get a new one. Or one will cut in, which is probably the most entertaining part and can get quite competitive.
And then you get to fling candy confections with mini-catapults! A friend of mine has objections to using marshmallows for ammunition, afraid that this will only contribute to the SCA's already somewhat negative reputation in modern society. Because of safety, the projectiles have to be lightweight and blunt. What could be safer than tiny, edible pillows? They are also cheap and biodegradable. The only alternative I can think of is to wrap paper balls in tape, but that's more of an investment in both time and money. Plus, I think that it's a great way of getting kids involved as well. Besides, how many of us were introduced to engineering in physics classes by devising protection for eggs flung off of a roof? (By the way, if you devise a suspension system with rubberbands, make sure that there isn't enough slack for the egg to bounce against the container). If the potential publicity surrounding this particular event focuses on flying marshmallows above all else, then we've got bigger problems.
Hope to see you there!

Ninja Squirrels

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Today's post is brought to you by fevered delirium. Now remember, boys and girls, when using communal stethoscopes ALWAYS disinfect the earpieces first.

I have an extremely overactive imagination. As such, I have been forbidden from ever watching scary movies. Unless they are in the mood to be scared because of my jumps and screams, which evidently helps frighten them in ways that cinema can't.

I was living in downtown Eugene when my partner at the time and I went to see The Village. On the way back, I thought about how I do not conform to my society's standards and boundaries. That was sufficient impetus to conjure my own personal bogeyman. So by the time that he dropped me off at the curb, sprinting 25 feet across the tiny yard mud-wrestling arena in flip-flops and long, tight skirt seemed like a good idea. A kind neighbour, who spoke little English, summoned my roommates from their Bacchanal celebrations to haul me off to the ER, where I had to browbeat them into taking x-rays to confirm that I was correct in that two bones in my ankle had snapped like green twigs and that I wasn't overreacting to a sprain.

That was just a Shyamalan movie. Now, if it's anything involving zombies, I turn into a gibbering pile of paranoia clutching my sword and wondering why I seem to be the only one in this podunk town who doesn't own enough firepower to defend themselves when Obama comes 'round to revoke the second amendment.Zombieland is one of the scariest movies ever because it includes many of my terrors: public restrooms, clowns, and crappy processed snacks.

If I am anywhere for any length of time, I automatically assess the defensive capabilities and survival supplies in case of zombie apocalypse. As much as I'd love to watch The Walking Dead, I am more fond of sleeping ever again. A former boss thought I was joking, until I told him that the warehouse was theoretically a fortress, but lacked weaponry, food, and water. He started to back away slowly when I mused aloud as to what equipment and product could be altered for optimal decapitation.

When visiting friends and leaving after sunset, I ask them to escort me to my car. Now, I don't tell them the real reason because that just sounds crazy. (Crazy, until I'm holed up in the woods in my very own treehouse and enough ordinance to take out a one horse town). Sometimes they will assume that I'm afraid of axe-murdering rapists. If they start looking like they think I'm coocoo for cocoa puffs, I tell them it's ninja squirrels.

See, they're fucking scary.

Don't be fooled by that cute, fluffy tail. That's just there to lull you into a false sense of security so they can gnaw your flesh with those huge teeth. Come to think of it, they're just as bad as zombies, only quicker and with ninja moves.

Holy shit! Zombie squirrel!1!!1!

Here in the Pacific Northwest, ninja squirrels are a serious threat. The problem is that there isn't enough education about them. They are less well-known than Sasquatch and more so than gangs of geese and blackberry ooze monsters. Please pass this along to raise ninja squirrel awareness.

Never again.

Return of the War on Christmas

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Let's start off with a heartwarming tale of terrorist threats. I love how they use the term "blasphemous" when the modern trappings of Christmas originated from us "filthy" Pagans.
Defend Christmas is an interesting website that isn't necessarily what it sounds like. It's obviously run by Christians and includes ways of making sure that "Christmas" isn't completely stamped out of public life. I do not agree with everything that they say, but they do emphasize not shoving it down other peoples' throats and how to include everyone else. While their agenda does make me uneasy, it is nice to see a non-rabid example of the War on Christmas rhetoric.

Socialist America?

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Ultimately, we're really not as great as we think we are, with stats pulled from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
If that wasn't enough evidence for you, how about the fact that women's (especially marginalized) programs are usually the first ones to have their funding cut? Oh, and the Simpson-Bowles recommendations are basically that people should pay more out of pocket for their own health care and retirement.

Packing for an Event

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Yes, that is my car. Yes, everything you see was both needed and used between myself and a friend who carpooled to Egil's this year. And I only packed a cotehardie (didn't have much garb of my own yet). Yes, that is the Army blanket cloak.

First, what do you need? Food, water, clothes, and shelter at the very least. Make a prioritized packing list including every single thing you can think of, once you have that you can start paring down unnecessary items. What do you need to be comfortable? This isn't "proper" camping where you are expected to rough it; SCAdians take pride in overpacking. Do you have a portable project? In what activities will you be participating? Once you're on site, you most likely won't want to make a store run. Packing lists you find online can be helpful in that they may include things that you did not consider, but do not rely on them. Use your favourite as a starting point and create your own master list that fits your needs. Mine is an Excel sheet that I tweak each time depending on the weather, length of the event, and what I plan on doing while there.

If you have a household, coordinate so that you can cut down on your packing. For example, is there a kitchen buy-in? Who has the largest and best day shade? Will someone be in charge of the firepit?

Do not pack so that you cannot unpack by yourself. Sure you can cram all your cast-iron into one Rubbermaid tub, but is that really a good idea? While most people are willing to help, they may very well be busy setting up camp themselves. Do not automatically expect assistance in unloading. If you do get it, remember what your mother told you: say thank you and offer to help them in return.

When you go to pack up the car, consider how you pack it. If you will arrive after dark, make sure that your tent and light source (I highly recommend a headlamp) are easily reached. You don't want to unload your garb, kitchen gear, and fighter kit just to set up your tent. Economize your space, thinking of it as Tetris in 3D. You would be amazed at what I can fit into my Buick Regal.
That's William de Nancy, pretending to pout over being crammed in such a tiny space. Or maybe it was fear over my driving, can't remember which. And yes, he did ride to the event like that. Packed in like that, not the pouting.
You will invariably both overpack and forget something important. One of my Innmates with the Inn of the Blue Boot actually forgot to pack garb for September Crown. I have consistently neglected to purchase an air mattress pump, but have been able to borrow one at every event this year. Somone will have a fully stocked first aid kit. Don't worry. Unless you forgot your medications. Then worry. A lot.

Inspirational Equality

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There is a growing movement of SCAdians who support inspirational equality, or allowing same-sex couples to enter Crown as contender and consort. At September Crown processional, Maestro Eduardo Lucrezia and Mistress Ariel de Courtenay organized a faction of An Tirians wearing purple armbands and bearing a letter of petition to Their Majesties. I am proud to say that I was one of them.
One of the most ridiculous arguments I have heard against the change is, is that it has no basis in history as previously homosexuals had to hide their sexuality. Even if that were the case (and I am not going to bother searching for evidence to the contrary), our anachronism is creative. There are practices which we do not involve in our re-creation, most notably institutional misogyny and racism. Not to mention, I won't be burned at the stake for being a witch (or hung, since my persona lived in Ireland).
There is no logical argument against the change. None.
"O, in futurum gradum faciat praeteritus antequam praesentem."

The Salvation Army is Anti-Gay

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First of all, only 89% of the donated money goes towards charity work, which is pretty standard, actually. The rest goes towards funding their other... projects. This is why I find other charities to donate to, and then they wonder why donations are down.
Some alternatives are:
Local food banks
While these organizations may not be perfect, they don't have an agenda... that I know of.

November is...

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National Adoption Month. Currently, there are over 115,000 children in the United States awaiting adoption.

My Son is Gay at Nerdy Apple

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A 5 year old and his mom are harrassed by allegedly Christian women because her son wanted to dress up as a female character on Halloween. Halloween for crying out loud. The fact that it's a Christian pre-school is really beside the point, as this could have easily happened in a secular setting. Boys have been suspended for simply having long hair in public schools. Possibly my favourite quote from the post is:
"...I am not worried that your son will grow up to be an actual ninja so back off."

'Non-Toxic' Scented Products Emit Toxins

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"From hair products to laundry detergents to diapers, we live in a world of fragrance that might be making us sick, suggests a new study, even when those scents come from products that claim to be natural and pure.

In an analysis of 25 of the most commonly used scented products -- including ones labeled "organic," "natural" or "non-toxic" -- scientists identified at least 133 chemicals wafting off of them. A quarter of those chemicals were classified as hazardous or toxic. Virtually none were listed on product labels."
Unfortunately, this comes as no surprise. This is why I always read the labels of even the organic products I buy.

55 Funniest Signs From the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear

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One of my favourites.

There are just too many good ones to share here.