mijan: (Kirk: o hai!)
Remember my post earlier about my trip to Dallas?

Well... I'll be in Denver from May 17th to the 20th, this time on pleasure, not business. And, as we know, that's also the weekend of the Star Trek movie release.

Anyone in Denver? Anyone up for getting together? Anyone interested in seeing Star Trek together sometime that weekend? Hell, even Monday is available. :D
mijan: (Default)
Are you a geneticist? Are you a GOOD geneticist? Are you creative and like to think outside the box? Do you have any particular skills in genetic modification in plants?

I might have a one-in-a-million job connection for you.

Bachelor's degree, Master's degree, or Doctorate degree - doesn't matter. This guy cares more about your abilities and creativity than the actual degree you have, as long as you've got the academic and personal background to justify an interview.

If you (or someone you know) is a geneticist with a very strong academic background and a penchant for original thinking, send me a private message. Yes, I'm serious.

JOB.

Feb. 28th, 2013 04:42 pm
mijan: (To Boldly Go...)
So... I met with Chocolate Guy today... and he offered me a job, and I accepted. It's a unique job with decent pay. I will put my 100% into the job and give it all I've got. I never do things in half-measure.

In the meantime, I'm going to look at volunteering for a local smaller fire department on weekends or days off. I did tell the Chocolate Boss (as I'll call him online for now) about my desire to do volunteer EMS for now. He seems okay with this.

Even if I get the Fire Department job, it won't start until October. I needed a job now anyway. I was going to blow through all of my scant savings soon if I didn't. I will apply to the KCKFD in the meantime and see what happens. If I get in... then I'll make my decision of which way to go with my career.

As for the donations for LASIK - if I even want to apply for the KCKFD, I would still need LASIK. However, depending on when I start getting paid, I will no longer be broke, and will be able to afford more of it myself. I'd still have to do a payment plan for the LASIK, but with a job, I should be able to get financing, which I couldn't before. THEREFORE... I am offering to refund anyone who wants me to refund them. I don't want to take people's money without true need, and it is only fair that I offer this.

So... if you want/need the donation back, please don't hesitate to ask. Contact me privately. I kept all of the PayPal money in PayPal (just in case something like this happened) so that all I need to do is to hit the "refund" button to send the money back to you. Don't feel weird about asking. I still deeply appreciate the sentiment. If you want me to keep the money and use it for LASIK, I won't insult you by turning down the gift either. It is still deeply appreciated. I'm not rich, but if I start getting paid soon, I won't be broke either. Up to you, no strings attached. And if you're still interested in having me write fic for a ficathon and still want to throw money into the pot... I promise you a most excellent fic. :D

I feel that this is the right thing for me to do. I still haven't given up on my dreams of an EMS career... but for now, I think this is right. ♥
mijan: (Kirk: o hai!)
Fundraiser totals update!

Currently, we've got $1075 on the GiveForward site, and $1321.55 on PayPal, for a whopping total of $2396.55.

Continuing to maintain transparency, here are the donations on PayPal:

A.J.D. - $100
K.L. - $50
N.W. - $10
Anon. - $100
E.M. - $50
A.Z. - $50
H.T. - $118
C.S. - $60
W.Y. - $500
S.S. - $100
C.S. - $50
C.S. - $40
N.O. - $22
C.R. - $28
C.P. - $50

I'm still waiting on the last Lasik place to see if I qualify for one of their studies. If I do, I can get a discount. That's the place where I want to get this done. I feel like they're the best and most trustworthy. I'll keep you guys posted on that. If I qualify, I'm going to try to have it done before the middle of March.

My ficathon is going well. I've posted two fics, and I'm working on a third. I'm also offering haircuts and massages to my local friends in exchange for donations.

In other news, last night, I finished my final clinical rotation last night. I drove through the snowstorm to get there, and had a good and interesting rotation, considering that it was fairly quiet in the ER that night. I really like helping people. However, seeing as I got home at 1:30 in the morning, I'm exhausted. I think I'm going to go suck down some coffee and try to feel human again.

Much love, everyone. ♥
mijan: (Default)
Another fundraiser totals update!

Currently, we've got $950 on the GiveForward site, and $1181.55 on PayPal, for a whopping total of $2131.55.

Continuing to maintain transparency, here are the donations on PayPal:

A.J.D. - $100
K.L. - $50
N.W. - $10
Anon. - $100
E.M. - $50
A.Z. - $50
H.T. - $118
C.S. - $60
W.Y. - $500
S.S. - $100
C.S. - $50

My fanfic auction is going well. I've completed and posted one fic, and I'm almost done with my second. I have several more in the works. Have a fanfic kink you want filled? Allow me to indulge your fantasies with your favorite characters.

I'm still almost $2000 away from the total amount for the procedure, but the closer I get to it, the better chance I have of being able to cover the difference myself. I have one more screening with another place on Monday (I like having options), and then I'll make the best decision based on quality AND price.

Thank you, guys. I really feel like this is going to happen. ♥

Also, in other news, I've been working on paying it forward already. In the past 24 hours, I've dug out three neighbors' driveways and front paths, and six cars stuck on my street. Midwesterners don't necessarily know how to handle this much snow, and I was afraid people would have heart attacks trying to shovel out for themselves. Besides, I actually LIKE shoveling. I felt really good about it. I like helping people when I can.
mijan: (To Boldly Go...)
Fundraiser totals update!

Currently, we've got $825 on the GiveForward site, and $471.55 on PayPal, for a whopping total of $1296.55.

As promised, I'm doing my best to keep full transparency here. I know you guys trust me (otherwise you wouldn't be doing this), but I want to be fully transparent. You can see the individual donations on the GiveForward site, and here are the donations on PayPal:

A.J.D. - $100
K.L. - $50
N.W. - $10
Anon. - $100
E.M. - $50
A.Z. - $50
H.T. - $118

I'm using people's initials for the sake of accountability, unless they ask me to use their name or screen name, or ask me to keep them totally anonymous.

Also, my fanfic auction is open! Have a fanfic kink you want filled? Allow me to indulge your fantasies with your favorite characters.

Again... thank you, guys. I talked to my therapist about this today. I had a hard time not crying. My mind is seriously blown here.
mijan: (Kirk: o hai!)
Ever found yourself in a situation where you desperately wanted to express the degree of gratitude you're really feeling, but you can't because this is the internet, and all of your thoughts are distilled down to pixelated characters? Yeah, that's where I am right now.

As a brief recap to those who are just now joining this crazy little saga... I discovered last week that in order to even be ELIGIBLE for the fire department (my dream job), I need to have UN-corrected vision of 20/100 or better. (See post HERE for that little outburst of desolation.) My vision without my glasses or contacts is far worse than 20/800. The only way for me to even have a chance at this is to get Lasik. Because of the way my eyes are, I don't qualify for the cheapest version of Lasik - I'd have to get the more expensive one. It's $4000. (Note: I am going for another screening test at another place on Wednesday, and they might be less expensive.) And... I'm unemployed.

To be blunt... I have the world's most incredible friends. One of my buddies started a fund-raiser. (Details HERE.)

Currently, we've raised $430 on GiveForward (the fundraiser page that my friend started), and $160 by direct donation to PayPal. That's $590 towards $4000 in just a couple of days. I'm seriously blown away here, and I'm starting to think that this might really happen.

At the same time, I'm not going to just sit back. As I said in the previous post, I'm willing to do things in exchange for donations. (Mind out of the gutter, folks.) If you want, I will "pay it forward" and make a donation in your name to the charity of your choice when I'm a paramedic. However, more immediately... I'm going to start a fanfic exchange. I'll have that post up shortly.

In the meantime, thank you again. Seriously. Words on the internet just aren't enough to express that.
mijan: (Kirk: Gotta be fucking kidding me)
Aaah, you know what time it is. The Family Research Council (a homophobic organization in bed with the National Organization for Marriage and other fundamentalist dominionist Christian groups) had their head honcho post this piece of trash on CNN.com:

Apparently, Jesus was a free market supporter. Christ for Capitalism! WHEEE!!!

This is such a juicy piece of religion-twisting-for-propaganda. I've seen stuff like this in recent months - lots of folks pretending that Jesus was a pro-capitalism financial cheerleader. It's hilarious. Did you see that billboard? Yeah, that sort of shit.

See, just because I left the Jesus Fan Club years ago doesn't mean I don't remember all those years of Bible studies. I also happen to have a mother (Hi, Mom!) who was the odd combination of rational and religious. So... for being raised in the Jesus Fan Club, I had a very practical application of it. Science was reality. Religion is morality (sorta). But anyway...

This article twists one of the parables. Go on, read the article.

...

I said read it. Otherwise, how else will you know what I'm ranting about?

Read it? Good. So... here's what I want to say to the knucklehead who wrote this:

The parable of the King giving the minas to his servants wasn't about monetary profits. The parable was about growing the numbers of followers, making a spiritual investment, and also making the most of the gifts God gave to you such as your intelligence and compassion.

As far as the business of making money was concerned... wasn't Jesus the guy who threw the merchants out of the temple? Didn't he say (regarding money and taxes), "Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's?" Didn't he say, "Sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor?"

And... doesn't the Bible condemn usury? It does. Repeatedly. You see, we don't have a capitalist system. We have a corporatist system, and our entire financial structure is based on the lending of money at interest... a practice condemned in multiple places in the Bible. In fact, the Bible is significantly clearer on its stance against usury than "hot button" issues like gays and abortion. Go on... do a search for "Bible usury." Those two words will bring you plenty of references.

The Bible specifically condemns usury in regards to lending money to the poor. Good followers of God are supposed to lend money to those in need, but NOT at interest. NEVER at interest. Not to the poor, nor to family or friends. And if you charge interest to a wealthy person in a business transaction, the interest rate must not be excessive. Have you seen the interest rates on credit cards? THAT is usury, NOT free market as Jesus would have recognized it.

Of course, I'm not Christian. Wise man said, "I like your Christ, but I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ." Well, just because I'm not part of the Jesus fan club doesn't mean I can't read and comprehend. It doesn't stop me from holding your own behavior up against the religion YOU CLAIM and seeing whether or not you're full of shit. And having come from a Christian background and knowing your religion inside and out, I KNOW YOUR HYPOCRISY. It's an ugly, ugly thing you have going.

Someday, you're going to have to accept that the biggest reason (other than the Constitution) that we're not a Christian nation is because a nation that actually followed Christ wouldn't treat the poor, the sick, the hungry, the homeless, the outcasts, and strangers as we treat them. And as for OWS... yeah, Jesus would have been down in the Occupy Wall Street protests. Not just protesting along with them, but leading them through the lobbies of the huge corporate banks and throwing out the CEO's who are raking the poor people of the nation over the coals. Jesus would condemn the entire mortgage industry, the credit card companies, and all those making money through the exploits of usury and investment trading. Jesus would be a socialist.

Talk about an inconvenient truth.

The point is that we're dealing with people who have no qualms about manipulating and completely twisting the nation's dominant religion in order to sway public policy in the most insidious way. The point is that people listen to this shit. It's bad enough that people want to base public policy on ANY religion... but once there are no rules, and the religion can be bent to the whims of the people in power, completely gutting ANY positive message that the religion once had... we're in trouble.

So... in conclusion, I bring back this oldie-but-goody. Take it away, Stephen:

“If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn't help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we've got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don't want to do it.”
― Stephen Colbert
mijan: (To Boldly Go...)
Hey all! It's time for the USS Macchiato's annual holiday party!

This year, I'm trying to see if we can launch something a little bit special, a little bit crazy. The PLANNING POST is up, so go over there ASAP and respond to the poll. Help us pick a date. Let's get this party started!

Hailing frequencies open!

mijan: (Kirk is Awesome)
81 words

typing test



I thought I'd never learn to type. Apparently, I'm not half bad.

Also, life has been weird lately, hence my lack of posting. How is everyone?
mijan: (Kirk Jizzed)
Awareness is good. The extreme reach of breast cancer awareness (everything is fucking PINK right now) sometimes irks me slightly, and makes me feel like the real health message of breast cancer awareness gets lost in the marketing gimmicks. (Yes, they're marketing gimmicks, and companies make more money off of them.)

But this? This is hilarious. I LOL'ed. Seriously LOL'ed.




Now I want to slash every person in that vid.

Shatner.

Jul. 17th, 2011 08:51 pm
mijan: (A ship and a star to steer her by)
I met William Shatner today.

I managed to get in line to ask him question during his presentation at the convention, and was close enough to the front of the line that I got to the microphone.

I asked him the question I've wanted to ask the man for years -- in short, does his portrayal of Kirk mean something to him (beyond just a paycheck), and what aspect of his role in Star Trek does he want to be remembered for. I told him that his role as Kirk had an influence on my military career.

He asked for me to tell him about that, in more detail. I said it was a long story and didn't want to monopolize the microphone. He said to break it down into one-liners and tell the story anyway. So I did. A very abbreviated version, but I told my story, and explained the key things that Kirk did or said that had the most direct impacts on my life and career.

The Shat had a moment. He really did. I watched as the wall came down, and he looked at me as I told this story, with this look of complete enthrallment on his face.

And yes, the wall came down. He talked about how he talked with Patrick Stewart, who spoke of his role as Captain of the Enterprise with pride, and said that yes, the role meant something more than just a paycheck and a simple sci-fi role, and that it matters. And that hearing it from another "serious" actor like Patrick Stewart made him think about it, and reconsider.  And that he started hearing the stories from fans who have been deeply inspired.

And he said that after the original series was over, people would shout out to him, "Beam me up, Scotty," and stuff like that, and he started to wonder if people were mocking him. And suddenly, I understood why Shatner would be defensive and stand-offish to fans. It makes sense.

We chatted back and forth, and he held out his hand and asked me to come up and shake his hand. He gave me a strong, warm handshake, and I looked at him, and I just wanted to give him a hug. So I asked.

He pulled me up on stage and gave me a hug that felt like the sort of hug you give to a friend you haven't see in years but miss dearly. And I said in his ear, "Thank you." And he said, "Thank you."



(By the way, he isn't tall.)



I cried. I think he got misty eyed. Everyone in the room had a moment.

I'm still a bit in shock.


I've said many times that I wasn't sure what I thought of Shatner. I'd heard enough stories back and forth, positive and negative, that I didn't know what to think. I said that I would reserve judgement until I met him for myself.

I've met him now. And I have nothing but love for the man.

mijan: (Kirk: o hai!)
Okay, it's a Saturday. You know what that means: PARTY. Impromptu party seems to be brewing at my house. There are already six of us here. Three more are coming. The more, the merrier.

COME ON OVER!
mijan: (Default)

I am signal-boosting the following message for my friend lunalovegoddess.  Please, if you're in any position to help her cats, consider it:

________________________________________________________________

As of Saturday, we won't be able to live on the boat and we'll have to go to a homeless shelter. Which means finding a temporary home for our two cats. Please spread the word that I need someone who would be willing to foster them in the RI or MA area while we get on our feet again. I don't want to relinquish them to an animal shelter. They are as much family as our kids.

TaunWe: 8yr old chocolate point Siamese, mellow, lapcat
Leia: 8 yr old bengal, energetic and loving
Both cats are up-to-date on shots and I have their health documents. Leia tends towards some digestive complaints when switching foods, but otherwise, they are very healthy. Right now, I am almost out of food and I have no money left, so this is pretty dire.

It kills me to have to do this, but I want what is best for them and I just don't have enough time. As we intend to reclaim them once we find an apartment, this is a last resort measure. Please spread the word and let me know.

brendaleeellis724@hotmail.com
mijan: (Captain Speaking (CP in Unstoppable))
This is just a reminder to all the local-ish Star Trek lovelies on my list here:

Next Saturday, the 19th of March, is the date of our next USS Macchiato party!  The crew will be converging on the Captain's Quarters (my house) for an afternoon and evening of fun!  The kicker on this whole event?  Our First Officer is back in town!  Anticipate the following:

- Pot luck dinner.  I'll be making my (in)famous chili.  Bring something to share! 
- DS9 episodes, plus whatever else we decide to watch.
- Green people.  I bought extra high-grade body color, and will happily turn people into Orions.
- Bourbon.  Really good bourbon.

Also, I've completely finished turning my basement into a proper party room.  Carpet, comfy futons, central heating that actually covers the basement, and the television is downstairs.  We have enough space for the entire crew to sack out on cushy futons while watching episodes and movies now!  The upstairs living room will be non-TV socializing space.  Plus, with a total of four futons and an air mattress in the house, anyone who wants to stay over will have plenty of sleeping space.

PLEASE RSVP HERE.

NOTE: Also, as most of you know, even though [livejournal.com profile] mizuno_caitlin  is here in the USA right now, she's made her home in Japan.  We're grateful that she's safe, but this is a reminder of how small the world is, and how we really do need to take care of each other.   I'm going to be putting a coffee can for donations near the door.  I know that not everyone in the crew has a lot of money, and that our economy here at home is pretty tight, but if you wish to put in anything (even pocket change), we'll send the full amount to the Red Cross to help with the recovery effort.
mijan: (UU Rainbow Dignity and Worth of EVERY Pe)
Here's a short (two minute) video, in which a few key statistics about gender inequality worldwide are given with striking directness, and the dynamic of gender bias is illustrated with equal starkness by Daniel Craig.  You should watch it.



Now that you've watched it... take a peek at this article, which rips apart the misogyny displayed by the MRA ("men's rights") bigots in response to the video.    

Anyway, kudos to Daniel Craig.  My respect to the people who made this video.  I hope people will process the information presented therein.  And a giant "fuck you" to the MRA bigots.
mijan: (A Ship and a Star to steer her by)
This morning, the crew of the space shuttle Discovery got a wake-up call from the Captain of the USS Enterprise

Story HERE on CNN.

Granted, I still can't get REAL news stories from CNN.com, but in the meantime, at least I got something relevant to my interests today.
mijan: (Bones/Hypospray = OTP)
Finally, a story on CNN that is relevant to my interests on multiple levels.

This is a story of a young couple, both doctors. One of them does emergency medicine and trauma surgery. You know that whole worst-nightmare scenario that we love to put into fanfiction? Where Jim is dying and Bones has to save him? Sometimes, those sorts of things really happen. Read this story of these two young people. It's intense, but I think that's the sort of thing that reminds us of how important life is.

"Saving a Life: A Doctor's Duty -- a Husband's, too."
mijan: (CP: huh?)
CNN is featuring this article:

Are Whites Racially Oppressed?

First, please note that CNN is not actually saying that whites are/aren't oppressed.  They're saying that growing numbers of white people are viewing themselves as oppressed. 

And yeah, I've noticed that "help, help! I'm being oppressed" bullshit from a growing number of white people... PARTICULARLY the affluent, white, straight, Christian males.  (Oh dear, SO oppressed, aren't they?)  It's really disturbing to see that just because certain people aren't quite as far ahead as they used to be just on the basis of their race, they are deluded enough to think that their slightly reduced privilege is actually oppression. 

The article is a mish-mash of opinions and bleating from various people.  I'd laugh at this as a piece of satire, except I know these people are actually serious.
mijan: (Real McCoy)
So I was doing my usual morning routine -  drinking my coffee while I check my work e-mail, respond to important messages, check my schedule, and then do a quick check of headlines on CNN.  I typically check the main page, the US news, World news, Technology, and then the Health news.  90% of the "Health" news is mindless dribble, but every so often there's a fascinating new study gets posted.  Even though CNN's analysis of the study is usually pathetic, I'll at least hear that the study HAPPENED, and then I can go find the actual paper in a medical journal or publication.  And sometimes, one story links to another story on another news site about medical research.

Today, I found this:
http://articles.latimes.com/2011/feb/28/news/la-heb-alzheimers-from-your-mother-is-worse-20110228

I clicked on the article, and it said that the work was done by researchers here at the University of Kansas Medical Center.  Yeah, that's where I work.  And I know some of the folks over in neurology... including one of my fellow Star Trek buddies.  And then I read this quote from the article:
"The researchers said they don’t know why Alzheimer’s appears to be more aggressive when inherited from one’s mother instead of one’s father. Perhaps it’s related to mitochondrial DNA, which is inherited only from one’s mother and which may be responsible for faulty glucose metabolism in brain tissue affected by Alzheimer’s, they wrote."

Russ, my Trekkie friend, works specifically on cellular metabolism as it relates to Alzheimer's and other degenerative neurological diseases.  That caught my attention.  So, I printed out a copy of the article and stopped by his office on my way back from doing a chemical inventory in another lab.  And lo and behold, it was his research! 

Russ is a sorta adjunct member of the USS Macchiato.  Busy man with a family, and thus he hasn't been to one of our get-togethers, but he's a true-blue, to-the-core Trekkie.  I named one of the characters from "Crossfire," the neurologist from Starfleet Medical "Admiral Swerdlow," after him, and now I call him the Admiral.  He seems to get a kick out of it.  I swear, the man is going to invent tri-ox compound, just so he can say that he did. 

He printed out a copy of the research paper so I can read it in full.  It's quite fascinating.

So... here's to a fellow Trekkie, doing great things!  I think Dr. McCoy would be proud.

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