Jan. 1st, 2017

catsittingstill: (Default)
So here is the deal. By now you probably all know that Livejournal's servers have moved to Russia.

There was a time I wouldn't have cared. Russia wasn't our enemy anymore and if they were, the US government would keep them from getting up to much mischief. That was Before. You know, back when the US elections, if imperfect, were at least not a toy of a Republican party that colludes with a Russian dictator and perverts the FBI for their own political ends. A Republican party that will now have control of the White House, the Senate, and the House of Representatives (and fairly shortly the Supreme Court too, unless Ruth Bader Ginsberg can hold out longer than I think she can.)

As it is the LJ-Russia-Putin-Trump-FBI connections are just too much for me to stomach. So LiveJournal can fuck off. My Dreamwidth posts will no longer automatically cross-post. I may still read here for a while or I may not.

If you want to read what I post (I have admittedly not been posting much and you're quite within your rights not to care what I have to say in the future) you can do so at catsittingstill.dreamwidth.org.

If you want me to add you to my reading circle there you can comment with your DW handle on this post in Dreamwidth.

Goodbye and good luck.
catsittingstill: (Default)
First post that isn't connected to LJ. Goodbye LJ. Damn I miss what you used to be.

So I wrote a song year before last when the cowards in this country were freaking out over the prospect of letting in (Muslim) refugees from war-torn countries. I wanted to fight their imaginary terrors and help them back to reality or at least bravery again. It's called The Golden Door and it's about the Statue of Liberty and the idea of the USA as a nation of immigrants, made stronger by the infusions of many cultures over the years.

I don't seem to have posted the lyrics anywhere, which isn't like me, so I'll do it here now.

The Golden Door
lyrics by Catherine Faber and Emma Lazarus
melody by Catherine Faber 2015
youtube video here  (I may have an actual mp3 recording I can post somewhere if people want one.  I'll check later.)

   C                 G           C              F
My parents came from Holland, a better life to find,
Dm                F            G
Full of hope, as many came before.
        C                                     F          
In the flower of their youth they left their families behind
    Dm           F              G 
To make a new together on this shore.
C                            F        G     C
Two among the thousands who sought a wider sky
      G            C             F
Where Liberty has made a welcome here;
     C                             F                  C
She stands in New York Harbor and holds this message high
     F                G                    C
Its meaning somewhat tarnished, but still clear:

              C               F
Give me your tired      your poor
      Dm             F                   G
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free
     C                               Em
The wretched refuse of your teaming shore
      Dm                 Em               F
Send these the homeless tempest tossed to me
   Dm              F              G
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

Some came here for adventure, and some to look for gold
And some in chains, with all that that entails.
From all our imperfections, a nation did unfold, 
For home is where the heart at last prevails.
Words in every language, skin of every hue
Where these got slender welcome, that's our shame,
For folk of every country gave Liberty her due
Each brought their dish to potluck as they came

America is mighty, too strong to yield to fear
We don't bend beneath some bloodstained thumb.   
People fleeing carnage should find safe harbor here
Their children strengthen what we will become.
Let voice on voice be lifted in welcome and in song
Immigrants have built this country's crown.
We still proclaim the message that stood so high so long.
Nor will Liberty's proud tablet tumble down.


Anyway, this turned out to be quite popular (for "for me" values of "quite popular") even with some of the people in this area--weirdly enough since most of them were Trump voters. (I actually have a mental model for how this might work but let's not go there right now; I'm not at my best today and perhaps I am being unfair.)

I have been asked for it a couple of times since the election and have mostly been able to gget out of singing it. It is particularly heartbreaking when somone I know damn well voted Trump asks for it. Like, didn't they fucking LISTEN to it?

Last night I got asked for it again. The person who did it wasn't a Trump voter. They are just as dismayed by him as I am. They meant well. So I tried to sing it. I mean, I *did* sing it, which is kind of impressive, since I began leaking tears by the second line and shut my eyes and played without the music, leaking tears through the whole thing and still managed to actually sing, which suggests my vocal control is better than I thought and also I have that song pretty well memorized, both the lyrics and the countermelody, so all the work I put in on it paid off.

Which is a huge fucking pity because I'm not going to sing it again. It's not true. It turns out it never was true. And I had to stop here and blow my nose I a couple of times and I can barely see what I am typing.

It's not fucking true and I am not going to stand here and sing bullshit anymore so that Trump voters can pretend that everything is okay and they didn't smash something important and precious.

So here are the new words.

A Statue’s Resignation
Lyrics and melody by Cat Faber 2016
(TTO The Golden Door by Cat Faber)

By the bitter water I stand upon the shore
Beside a shining city sprung from clay
I’m cold inside, and hollow, and now I feel it more
For never was that fitter than today.
A majority they weren’t, but now their will is shown:
They cast me off. No longer on their side
I stand in New York Harbor, abandoned and alone
A symbol of a shining dream that died.

For I am tired, heartsore.
Though huddled masses crowd around my knee
They are no longer welcome on this shore
Where fear and hate now govern what will be,
Douse my lamp, and bar the golden door.

I’m just an empty symbol—my people made it true,
As far as we were ever truly great.
By work and strife and struggle, a better life they grew
And won their place, but now rise those who hate
Anyone who’s different, preferring to believe
They aren’t human, or they don’t belong,
And don’t deserve equality—t’would make a statue grieve
You’d think that they had never heard my song

Now I am tired, heartsore.
Though huddled masses crowd around my knee
They are no longer welcome on this shore
Where fear and hate now govern what will be,
Douse my lamp, and bar the golden door.

You think me whining loser—a useless copper scold--
Well, prove me wrong; the chance is yours to seize.
Give welcome to the stranger; I hear that you were told
To shelter and protect the least of these,
Till everyone is safe here to love, and work, and dream,
Shaded by their fig tree’s tender stem.
That’s not a thing accomplished by a small resentful scheme
To take your country “back”--away--from them.

But I am tired, heartsore.
Though huddled masses crowd around my knee
They are no longer welcome on this shore
Where fear and hate now govern what will be,
Douse my lamp, and bar the golden door.
I will not be your symbol anymore.
catsittingstill: (Default)
I went to a song circle at Lois's house last night. I went to a song circle at Gail's house today. So that kind of nicely bookended the end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 with music, which is great because I intend to keep doing music / do more music in 2017. I'm happy about that.

I also got a new computer (the old one was nearly six years old and it's starting to get a little eccentric) the day before yesterday, transferred my files and stuff over and played with it a bit yesterday and today started its very first backup disc (baby's first backup.). I was seriously expecting it to take hours, because that's how long backing up the old computer took. But the new computer has USB-C instead of USB outlets. And the backup--from scratch--took 45 minutes. So, relatively painless. I guess this was why Apple decided it would be worth Dongle Hell as everyone switches over. I obviously thought Dongle Hell wasn't going to be too bad, since I went ahead and bought a computer with USB-C, but I'm pleased to note the improvement in data transfer speed I got for it.

Also the new hard drive came with two cords--one for USB-C outlets and one for USB outlets. Which is kind of cool, because the latter cord has a USB-C outlet on one end and a USB outlet on the other, meaning it takes the place of an old cord *plus* a dongle. I'm going to save that one.

Also-also, I made two partitions on the new hard drive--one for Time Machine backups (which are compressed) and one for uncompressed files. The disk utility program on my new mac wouldn't partition the drive. That tab was just greyed out and nothing I could think of would change that. We eventually plugged the new drive into Kip's computer and partitioned it there. But I hope they get disk utility fixed; it's not a good thing that it doesn't work properly.

I'm going to need some new things--one example would be an external CD/DVD drive to let me rip CDs because I still get a lot of my music the old fashioned way. But I'm waiting a while to work out exactly what.

I'm trying to decide whether to give my new computer a new name or just port the old name over to the new computer along with all the files...

I haven't made a lot of New Year's Resolutions but here are some things I'm going to try to do every day.
1) meditate.
2) practice music.
3) exercise.

And in Trump accountability land, I quit trying for most of the month of December. I have no excuse. But part of keeping doing something is keeping re-starting something when you quit by mistake, so I'm re-starting.
Today I e-mailed Radio City Music Hall and the producers of the Rockettes to encourage them to stick to their policy that the women working in the Rockettes do not have to perform at the Trump inaugural unless they actually want to.

I got the e-mail addresses from a post by Connie Willis. I'll type them in here for your convenience if you want to join me.
Feedbackradiocity@MSG.com
J.Dolan@msg.com
Jill.DeForte@msg.com
larry.sedwick@msg.com

It's a small thing but something I can do on a Sunday. Begin as you mean to go on.

Now I had better meditate and do some sit-ups or something :-)

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