Saturday, June 24, 2017

Another Pride posting

Another Pride posting, with kudos to someone RantWoman has been very grateful for editing help for newsletter articles from:

Blind Poet reads poem about Vision

The Youtube Video by itself.

The First Openly Trans Mayor in TX, Trump Country

Apropos Current study and Seasoning in RantWoman's Meeting and in NPYM:

Woman with long blond hair, bright red lipstick, and a red dress
Jess Hurtz, Mayor of New Hope TX

What it's like to be the first openly Trans Mayor in TX

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Gratitudes of the Day / weekend

RantWoman needs to note today's gratitudes.

Melon gratitude: RantWoman allowed herself the terrifying indulgence last week when she had a ride home of buying a whole watermelon on tope of the whole cantaloupe ripening on her counter. By Saturday morning the cantaloupe smelled ripe enough to be tasty and went into the refrigerator. RantWoman's gratitude: RantWoman's transportation and transportation ingenuity on Saturday worked out brilliantly. Instead of acquiring some kind of potluck contribution on the way between one early afternoon meeting and an evening potluck, RantWoman got to go HOME and bless her potluck buddies with substantial quantities of melon, served ironically as appetizer because of all the other things to feast on at the potluck.

Shoe gratitude: RantWoman's cellulitis issues continue to improve substantially. Much less swelling. Much less but unfortunately not zero skin crustiness. RantWoman has been glad for a few days to be able to put socks on without nearly as much stress as before. Today it was SHOES. RantWoman was able to put on a lovely pair of tie oxfords that are new enough not to have the inside of the heels worn out. The shoes are still too stiff to wear very long so RantWoman had to change back into the sandals she has been wearing. Oh well.

Rant Gratitudes: RantWoman gets to be grateful, in extreme peculiar gratitude mode for three opportunities to rant about things to do with disability and electronic communication, opportunities that need more time and focus than RantWoman is going to get to ahead of other things also in queue. Bless us oh Lord and all this abundance.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Erasure? Intersectionality? Generalized electronic discontent

Spoiler alert: after some of the points below emerged from worship-sharing and discussion of the NPYM minute on welcoming people of all genders, Meeting for Business pretty much yawned and approved the minute as worded. Then RantWoman went home and still could not quiet herself on themes exercising her. There WILL Be another opportunity to have a crack at wordsmithing during Annual Session. How strongly will RantWoman be led to invest time?

RantWoman has been digesting the results of recent worship-sharing during Meeting for Business in connection with NPYM's process of seasoning a minute about including and welcoming people of all genders.

The short version: despite important education, RantWoman is grappling with a sense of ERASURE.

ERASURE? Look, it's REALLY important that new people get to learn and grapple with concepts. Yeah, and RantWoman thinks there is history and struggle and the whole reason we have a whole lot more and different vocabulary than previous decades to talk about concepts is exactly because of STRUGGLE.

Erasure of history: RantWoman is a little surprised that so far, RantWoman has not received any documents that look at history of work on transgender issues within NPYM. RantWoman knows there IS history and that it is important. RantWoman has ZERO leading to look up for instance in the 1993 edition of our Faith and Practice  and reiterate herself but does admit that she would find it really nice both to be able to find assorted documents cited in this process either on her own Meeting's website or easily located on the Yearly meeting website. Will RantWoman dig out of her email archives and insist...for the benefit of the whole community having one place to go? Stay tuned.

Erasure of other Quaker connections. RantWoman can absolutely see why a big city like Portland (or Seattle) might have as many or more resources close at hand as a Quaker organization like FLGBTQC, but RantWoman finds it a little unsettling that so far no version of a minute on welcoming people of all genders mentions using resources both in one's area and in the wider Quaker world.

Erasure of Quaker diversity. RantWoman thinks monthly meetings and worship groups are not automatically going to be able to make real a desire to welcome people of all genders. In fact, RantWoman thinks NPYM might be well-served simply by calling on Monthly Meetings and Worship groups to support one another in ongoing discernment and in helping to support discernment by individual members or attenders regardless of whether their Monthly Meeting or Worship Group has been able to unite with this minute.

Consider documents available on the NPYM website. Multiple communications from RantWoman's Meeting say things like "go look up the materials on the website.

RantWoman thinks there are more materials. RantWoman thinks it would be really nice if the materials could be grouped together and found easily with a search engine.

Then there is the matter of how to reflect discussion.
For example, the passage here required considerable exercise:

"We extend our loving care to people of all genders, including, but not limited to,
transgender, genderqueer, cisgender, gender fluid, agender, gender non-conforming and
intersex persons, their families and friends. We will continue to educate ourselves and
our communities and take appropriate action to bring about a more equal world."

Some Friends thought it would be fine simply to say "...people of all genders."

Other Friends know people who claim every single label listed, who get threatened, harassed, and killed because of those labels, and could feel erased if every word is not included.

RantWoman's offerings in subsequent conversations:

Look, there is nothing like an hour and a half car ride with Conflict is a Gift of God friend in walking Dictionary mode to make clear that the words listed above are a snapshot in time. RantWoman does not remember all the details of the car ride conversation, but the gist: in previous decades there were all sorts of other labels. Not recognizing those labels among one's elders CAN BE a form of erasure or missed opportunity to peer back into old struggles.

RantWoman in language nerd mode is happy to understand and try to track what exactly every single term, old and new, means.

Unfortunately, RantWoman also sometimes operates in Data mode. In data mode, a database table allowing people to choose Male, Female, and Other may be as much as can be managed in a given situation. Of COURSE this is not adequate and data collection to reflect full diversity has to happen. But it also reflects realities in the lives of trans people RantWoman knows, some of whom are mentioned in this blog. Feel free to ask RantWoman for details because postings are not well tagged.

Examples with the additional comment that the last 3 peple also involve disabilities of some kind:

Someone RantWoman knows because of his work. He transitioned over the time RantWoman has known him. Some of the time he is happy to talk about transgender issues. Some of the time he just wants to get his job done and it falls to rantWoman to discourage others from misgendering him or to comment in the right tone about a new voice or other changes.

One of the brave and gutsy women in a long-ago post called Community Teas about Rape and Violence. This woman is unlikely ever to have her insurance approve desired surgery and having identity documents muddled actually sometimes seems to be helpful for navigating rules related to housing and other services. She also has language access issues.

Another Friend in RantWoman's quarterly meeting who has expressed questions about gender identity but whose monthly Meeting, RantWoman would never mind being wrong, would probably be overwhelmed on top of other family issues.

A gutsy blind woman RantWoman sometimes collaborates with about transportation matters. Another blind Quaker was her family's  Services for the Blind ase manager, and not always with happy effect. Blind Transpo Collaborator cannot even really have centered conversations about transgender issues because the conversation gets short-circuited by her experience being sexually assaulted in a restroom, almost certainly be a non-trans person.

RantWoman tried to have an email exchange with a young trans person RantWoman is very glad to have in our community. The conversation got a little short-circuited because RantWoman said, well, honestly, SOMETIMES clumping LOTS of different gender identity issues into one category, name yet to be determined seems TO RANTWOMAN a little like dumping all the range of people's visual experiences associated with blindness into the label "blind." Sometimes Blind is the labe that fits best  and RantWoman has too much else to do to fuss in endless detail.

But that is RantWoman and now RantWoman's meanderings are available for the hole world, not just one on one conversations.

In the Light.


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

We Stand With Our Muslim Neighbors and / or clean a refrigerator

RantWoman comments on the We Stand With Our Muslim Neighbors #counterQACTHate event and that other #MarchAgainstSharia thing.

RantWoman offers these wonderful pictures with great appreciation to South Seattle Friends for making the banner.

We Stand with our Muslim Neighbors signs
Quakers for Peace and Justice Banner

RantWoman unapologetically reprints these pictures without asking because they were taken at a public event likely to have been photographed by heaven knows who else.

Two smiling Quakers

RantWoman mostly just did not get her act together to get out the door in time to attend herself. RantWoman begs indulgence for additional reasons:

--RantWoman spent some time, not very much, but a little familiarizing herself with the lines of thinking propounded by those other people who rallied at City Hall Plaza. RantWoman could find NOTHING in their literature she found agreeable. RantWoman wonders why the Seattle Times article she saw quoted representative after representative of the group and found not a word for the We Stand with Our Muslim Neighbors voices who had such wonderful talking points. RantWoman thanks KUOW for doing a much better job in this regard.

More Quakers more signs

--RantWoman candidly feels absolutely no moral imperative to be as fearless about demonstrations as Blind Roommate was in college. This is only one of RantWoman's efforts to liberate herself of expectations about being Wonder Blind Person.

--RantWoman also found herself energized enough to FINALLY round up and ship out some terrifying science projects that had lingered LONG in RantWoman's refrigerator.

--RantWoman was charmed and amused by accounts of glitter and silly string, appalled by someone who was seen with a gun, and just peeved by the people who after the event was winding down thought having a colossal brawl in Occidental Park would be the perfect way to send a message of peace and law to the world.

Blessed Ramadan to all who observe, again.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

When The Little Quaker Book of De-Clutter Won't Cut it.

For Bad Friends when The Little Quaker Book of De-Clutter  won't quite cut it.

Warning: strong language and reference to bikinis.

RantWoman does not give a flying  ... if you are bored of accessibility matters moments:
1. The link above is to the Kindle eBook edition of the book. People who need p-p-print and cannot deal with monstrous global company or use their search engine are invited to call their library or ask a friend or visit their last remaining neighborhood bookseller.

2. A gee-whiz RantWoman item about Youtube keyboard controls
Info from other blog about YouTube Keyboard controls RantWoman, again does not give a flying ... about readers who find this information distracting, unnecessary, irrelevant... For RantWoman and many of her groupies the keyboard controls are MUCH easier to deal with than mouse functions.

3. Sighted readers who really need something visual to help herd them through spoken content. There is awesome Death by Powerpoint material in the background. RantWoman's screen reader does not read it and RantWoman's visual experience may or may not interact. Be grateful RantWoman did interact enough to call it to people's attention.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Gratitudes: Friday Edition

Peculiar Gratitudes, Friday Edition

RantWoman appreciates the awesome opportunity to binge-watch Inclusive design #ID24 videos on Youtube. use your search bar. There are LOTS of them

Who knew Paul Ryan had such comedic gift?
Trump is new at government and does not know not to obstruct justice

The Still Didn't Get the Memo on Email Immoderation has achieved some stunning "successes." Stay tuned for further details. Hold in the Light.

RantWoman finally has enough energy back to go places AND mop her kitchen floor. Next stop: wrangling the science projects in the refrigerator. Unless...RantWoman has secretly been wondering whether there is ANY faint possibility that the science projects will evolve into enough of a sentient being to do a better job than the current Tweeter in Chief.  (shhh, RantWoman, NO.)

RantWoman's leg infection has GREATLY improved. The crusty scabby spots are getting smaller. RantWoman can now wear her most exuberant support stockings and not her favorite sandals but some perfectly fine ones. RantWoman HATES the entire subject of cellulitis partly because of too many rounds of watching Little Sister deal with it before she started to get serious about taking better care at the first sign of trouble. RantWoman is grateful that Little Sister and RantMom can handle details in email because family conversation patterns mean RantWoman will barely get two words out before someone plows in and talks over whatever RantWoman is trying to say. Sometimes there are also exploding people elements. Enough said for now.

اعلان زين رمضان A Blessed Ramadan 2017

RantWoman offers this video with wishes to all who are observing for a blessed Ramadan.

RantWoman's wishes go equally to the women of Saudi Arabia who have to commit civil disobedience to drive, to the real women behind stories such as Khaled Hosseini's A thousand Splendid Suns, and to women, many highly educated who choose to wear hijab  as a sign of their faith.

RantWoman's wishes go to immigrant parents struggling to raise children in new cultures and to the second generations, caught between their parents' worldviews and the challenges and disappointments of new countries.

RantWoman's wishes go to the speakers of many different languages who board the bus near the largest mosque in Seattle and to all the different national and religious strands woven across the whole of the muslim world.

A Blessed Ramadan to all; may we all understand each other better, uphold our different beliefs and ways of worshipping, and make community in the face of global challenges and international intrigues.

Link that includes video and text description / English translation

Thursday, June 8, 2017

From the Church Council of Greater Seattle

This item is posted here because of links to several valuable resources

Standing with our
Muslim Neighbors
Dear Friends,

We realize there has been a lot of changing information about this Saturday, June 10th, and an upcoming rally (now at Seattle City Hall plaza, 600 4th Ave.) by Act for America, which is recognized by Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group, along with some counter-presences to support our Muslim neighbors. While faith leaders have been involved in conversations with an ad hoc group planning a counter-presence this Saturday, the Church Council of Greater Seattle, the Faith Action Network, and other faith organizations have decided not to sign on organizationally to a counter rally.

While solidarity with our Muslim neighbors has been lifted up as a primary value in planning for the counter-presence there, we realize that there will be a diversity of voices and expressions in how that counter-presence manifests itself, which may or may not be consistent with public vigils that local faith communities have traditionally convened. We appreciate the significant thoughtfulness and conversation in planning among people and groups, some of whom have been meeting for the first time. That being said, we want to share some options for faith community members who will participate downtown or who choose to express solidarity in other ways.

We offer the following list of possibilities to Stand with Our Muslim Neighbors before/during/after Saturday, June 10th:

The most important thing is we are there for one purpose, one message:
We Stand with Our Muslim Neighbors.
Whatever happens on Saturday will have the greatest impact on their communities.

Between now and Saturday:
  • Contact the media as people of faith, with op-eds and letters to the editor. These can be sent to:;; or to name a few. Please let us know if you are willing to do media interviews. Please see and share with your networks these wonderful faith leaders speaking on KING 5 Tuesday night
  • Please download signs (letter size or ledger size) to be displayed publicly in your faith communities/homes/cars/businesses, to show your support. We want to leaflet the city with this message, during our Muslim neighbors’ holy month of Ramadan.
  • A sign delegation is planning to go out in downtown Seattle and ask businesses to post these signs on Friday 6/9, 10:30 AM-12:30 PM; please contact Rev. Mike Denton or FAN at 206-625-9790 if you’d like to be part of that effort.
On Saturday, join with other faith community members to be OBSERVERS or LEAFLETTERS:
  • Meet at Plymouth Church on 6th and Seneca at 8:45 am to finalize the plan and walk to the site of the Act for America rally. Our purpose is to be a presence of peace and non-violence, observing what is happening, and perhaps documenting by social media. Leafletters will share an information sheet that describes the positive contributions of our American Muslim neighbors and what Sharia Law really is, and also counters the Islamophobia the rally is trying to spread. FAN Governing Board Co-Chair Rev. Carol Jensen will be the contact point for Leafletters: Contact or 206-625-9790 before 5pm on Friday and they'll put you in touch with Carol.
After Saturday:
  • Check out the Combating Islamophobia Action and Resource List shared with the Church Council from our local Muslim partners.
  • Get to know your Muslim neighbors through interfaith Iftar dinners during Ramadan; see this list for the Puget Sound area
  • Continue reaching out to media in your community.
  • Visible gatherings and education opportunities for faith leaders and faith communities about countering Islamophobia will be held after Ramadan. Stay tuned!
Church Council of Greater Seattle | (206) 525-1213 |
Church Council of Greater Seattle | 4820 S. Morgan St., Seattle, WA 98118

Memorial: Sarah M

Sarah/Sallie McElroy

A Life of Action and Spiritual Growth
June 1, 1935 - April 19, 2017

Gathering of Remembrance at
University Friends Meeting, Seattle
June 3, 2017 - 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Starting at 2:00 pm in Meeting Room

Welcome to this Memorial, which reflects both Quaker and Buddhist Ways.

Reading of the Quaker Meeting Memorial Minute.

Impermanence and letting go

Silent Meditation and Worship

Speaking from the silence

Reflections by family and friends



A moment of closing meditation

At 3:00 pm in Social Hall

Gather for conversation and light refreshment.
If you would like to make a donation in memory of Sarah's life, she would be happy for your

consideration of:

- University Friends Meeting in Seattle (

- Seattle Insight Meditation Society (

- Nonviolent Peaceforce, US Office, St. Paul, MN (

- or similar organization promoting peace and social justice.

RantWoman could not attend this memorial and offers these notes in humble appreciation of Sarah's gifts to our community.

RantWoman is VERY grateful to Friends who responded to a request after worship for nuggets from the memorial.

Okay, so the request came with the following peculiar honesty confessions, topically phrased in context of other messages that day

--RantWoman had not realized that Sarah was in her early 80's!

--One of RantWoman's arguments with God and with various people in RantWoman's life who do Buddhist practice: too much Buddhism makes rantWoman want to punch someone. God and RantWoman are still sitting with what that problem is supposed to teach.

--RantWoman remembers Sarah as kind of challenging and insistent or clear in her positions.

--Despite RantWoman's personal vexations about Buddhism, it somehow made RantWoman glad to know that Sarah also had a Buddhist community.

Among the nuggets shared that stick with RantWoman:

RantWoman found Sarah a challenge sometimes. Like many good Quaker memorials, ministry came with both love and honesty. Someone from Sarah's Buddhist community recounted various moments of Sarah sticking to strong opinions. One moment was about where to go have tea and whether the workers were treated well. To Sarah it was never just tea.

One Friend commented about how nice it was to have a memorial with other people who get the concept of sitting in silence.

RantWoman is very glad to know Sarah had a care committee and did not just drop dead without telling anyone. RantWoman is also glad the care committee was composed of other people and is glad to know the work was appreciated.

May the strength of Sarah's light live on among the rest of us.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Tuesday Gratitudes

RantWoman's peculiar gratitudes for today:

Awhile ago RantWoman heard radio broadcasts about two different figures filling journals with the details of daily life. RantWoman does not aspire to be Andy Warhol but is touched to think of people putting lots of Woody Guthrie's reflections to music. RantWoman does not particularly promise anything headed in a musical direction but does feel steadied a little in her need to fill this blog with words.

It's Tuesday, Korean Lunch day for the local Korean Seniors Association. The seniors come to the same building where the Friendly Neighborhood Center for Extreme Computing  is. Some days there is a Korean-speaking social worker. The seniors eat lunch. The olfactory experience is variable; RantWoman greatly hopes the aromas just mean "Don't mess with people's comfort food!"

A clump of different size and skin tone hands
It's Tuesday, the day a now-deceased denizen of used to volunteer. His customer service skills were, um, uneven, and over time RantWoman collected considerable data about his struggles with spina bifida and his family or origin and various vexatious realities. A further,  somewhat redundant blog post and a repeat of a cool image in his memory.

RantWoman has recovered enough from nasty cellulitis in one leg to be able to put on both socks and shoes she has not worn for the duration of the infection. This improvement cuts down dramatically on the time needed to fuss about shoes and socks.  This is good also because the socks RantWoman has been wearing are all still damp from laundering yesterday. RantWoman has been wearing shoes with various over-worn spots that RantWoman does not think should be overdone with skin that is blistery and seepy so it is good to be back to better shoes.  The antibiotics are working. There is still more swelling than normal, and the skin looks ugly. The skin looks ugly but not ugly in a way that involves pus or that seems to need more care than good non allergenic lotion. RantWoman gets to be grateful to have what she needs in that department.

RamntWoman has other riffs percolating and gets to be grateful for time maybe to fuss further with them. But Not Now. Now RantWoman gets to prepare for a meeting!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Fellowship of Friends of African Descent GoFundMe Campaign to support trip to Ghana

Go Fund Me page to support a life-changing trip to Ghana. Please support as you are led.

The Fellowship of Friends of African Descent (FoFAD) plans to travel to Accra, Ghana to visit Quakers at Hill House Monthly Meeting. We are raising funds to enable Friends who need financial assistance to travel to Ghana.


Support: At our 2016 annual gathering, we reaffirmed our purpose to uplift Quakers of African Descent around the world. We are equally committed to including young people on this trip, and members of the Peace Leadership and Arts Camp of Chester will join us.

Connect: Cross-cultural experiences are central to our Quaker Peace Testimony in helping create a world with greater mutual respect and understanding. As we come together with Ghanaian Friends in worship and fellowship, we seek to further the bonds of friendship, thereby strengthening our global community.

Learn: On this journey, we have the opportunity to travel historical and ecological trails. We will visit World Heritage Sites that played significant roles in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, including the “door of no return.” Also planned is a trip to a rain forest where we will learn about medicinal plants and the endangered species in the region.

About us:

The Fellowship of Friends of African Descent was formed out of a desire that Black Quakers know each other. Because of racial and economic inequalities in the United States, African Americans earn on average 75% of what our white counterparts make. In an effort to make the Fellowship’s Ghana trip more accessible to our members, we are raising funds to enable Friends who need financial assistance to travel to Ghana.

Please help make this once-in-a-lifetime experience possible for Friends in need.

In Gratitude and In the Spirit,
Members of the Fellowship

Monday, May 29, 2017

Retreat: Let's Do it AGAIN!

Warning: RantWoman reminds her readers of her Blog as Quaker Journal model of blogging. RantWoman does not even pretend that every word written here is a paragon of well-edited let alone centered communication. It is DATA. Sometimes RantWoman manages an excessively plain English to Quakerese filter, but this cannot be guaranteed. RantWoman and God have continuing dialogue about this; RantWoman recommends that readers who have a problem with this also sit with it, take it up with God, choose your favorite language, COPE.

Recipe for RantWoman Retreat Bliss NOT

Annoying Voice Friend whose drill sergeant delivery and regional speech patterns make the nails on chalkboard Woman Trying to Project Authority edge of her voice even worse. RantWoman does not know a kind way to say this much less any good speech coach tips that might help. Hold the Problem in the Light.

Terribly Earnest Friend whose notes RantWoman will be interested in reading

I’m (STILL) Not Interested in Your Thought Processes Friend who seems NOT to have learned anything in HOW many years since another retreat planning effort.

More members of committee RantWoman does not feel called to further characterize.

Charming moments:

Billing as "community building." Demographics of event: about 80% people older than RantWoman, 20% people younger. RantWoman thinks the community might be more like 35% people younger and plenty of people older. Estimates offered without further commentary.

Scratch that. Sure of course the people who were there were great, but what were ... hoping for????

Pair off and respond to queries basically about what makes people feel connected to each other. Then tell the room about your partner’s responses. Don’t pair off with your spouse (Duh!) or the person next to you even if the person is a newcomer who someone else is going to zoom in and grab anyway. Omitted: don’t pair off with the person you have been working with for 50+ years. THANK YOU to Clerk for finding RantWoman and sparing her the need to negotiate visual fog though the connect with different people thing...

What the HELL? Why should RantWoman think retreat at Quaker Meeting is going to be any different than dodge ball on the playground? But thank you again to clerk...! And Hallelujah! At least this exercise was in a room big enough  that chattering pairs right next to each other did not drown each other out.

Notes were taken.  There were common themes.  RantWoman will await notes though shared car rides, committee service,  sharing meals and potluck groups, worship sharing, activities such as gardening, common connections to communities outside Meeting stick in RantWoman’s mind, along with actually having a conversation with people one worships with.

Specifically mentioned as NOT necessarily being helpful: coffee hour! Hallelujah! RantWoman can kind of make coffee hour work for short hug and greet moments but is glad to learn she is not the only person with this problem.

An item RantWoman did not hear but that wandered into her mind while composing: planning events together.

Also stuck in RantWoman's mind: a comment calling RantWoman AGAIN to try to elder...  That is not a hold the problem in the Light issue, more light, be very careful with the RantWoman Inner Blowtorch. But the day was young and the inner blowtorch topic MAY need just to live in email!

The We Must All Sing TOGETHER exercise.
And walk around the room LOOKING at each other.

The first problem with this exercise.
This is supposed to be FUN

The second problem. RantWoman is having this visceral reaction: We Must All Sing TOGETHER is to RantWoman, excessively plain English to Quakerese filter completely offline here, CRAP THEOLOGY. Unity is a beautiful thing. It comes from God, the holy spirit, whatever is beyond us as individuals. It is not something that people can be beaten into with a drill sergeant voice and enough earnestness.

The THIRD Problem: Remember Bowl? What Bowl?   The wellspring of RantWoman terrors about being forced to sing is probably not going to go away and well-meaning earnest figures certain of their good intentions are NO bleeping HELP. In fact, that just makes matters worse!

The FOURTH Problem: just because RantWoman is in a miserable upset, too upset to talk state of mind does NOT mean RantWoman will want to go outside. Even if RantWoman were able to still fears about plowing into people, RantWoman's willingness to tolerate being led around is way below any minimum that might be reasonable in the first place. In the second place, RantWoman somehow feels this generous sense of offering people around her opportunities just to Cope!

For the record, RantWoman appreciates that two different topical people have asked RantWoman her perspective on this retreat. RantWoman appreciates being asked, but RantWoman is posting here so that anyone who wants can interact in RantWoman's own words.

Happy Interacting!

Retreat Bliss: the after dinner edition: contra dancing

RantWoman always approves of live bands and a good caller. RantWoman expects that they got properly paid but has not asked.

RantWoman thanks everyone who kept trying to drag RantWoman out to dance.  RantWoman directs everyone to the same mobility while blind tirade as above. To repeat: RantWoman is legally blind and built like a linebacker. RantWoman has more than enough appreciation for physics to register paths to serious damage intended or not. Add opportunities for colliding with limbs from all the over and under. YOU try contra dancing while blind-folded. RantWoman was definitely into the music. RantWoman got from the fog and blur that the calls mostly seemed to be working. The music was great accompaniment to RantWoman’s next increment of geopolitical Twitter fix. And that was sufficient for the day.

Please hold the whole circus in the Light.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Nutella Kale Neighborliness North Korea

This message being composed under the influence of Nutella and breakfast oatmeal. RantWoman cannot rule out the possibility that rather than unmitigated experience of the divine this intersection of God and gluttony simply reflects an overdose of sugar, chocolate, fat and fiber.

RantWoman meant to compose gratitudes yesterday., These are leftover gratitudes along with a fresh morning delivery via NPR and the Queen of Spades purring on RntWoman's shoulder.

Nutella. Need RantWoman say more?

Two Russian kale plants brought home from RantWoman's beloved potluck group.

Pot big enough, RantWoman whope to hold full-grown Russian Kale plants.
The temerity to commit small-scale civil disobedience and grow Russian kale plants on the balcony across RantWoman's hall. True there is risk a favority neighbor might adopt a plant in support of weekly visits from their extended family, but RantWoman can live with that level of neighborliness.

A sign RanWoman saw on her way home. RantWoman’s phone refused to cooperate about photographic documentation but the sign said in English, Spanish and Arabic, No Matter where you are from, we are glad to have you as our neighbor.

Okay, RantWoman KNOWS this is a weird one,but:  N Korea, that weird geopolitical lubricant between counterposed empires. Nothing to make it famous except nukes and rocket tests. And a dictator with weird hair, an exhausting political ideology and an economic system that leaves people on the brink of starvation even without sanctions for excessive militarism.
But wait. Is North Korea behind the Wanna Cry malware now causing global vexation for people and organizations still running XP and people who for various reasons do not fly to install every Windows upgrade that comes along?

Is WannaCry a mutant reproduction of some cybernetic DNA dribbling into the wild from the NSA? Is it some kind of guerilla effort to map places still running XP?

OR is WannaCry just some wacko way of observing Global Accessibility Awareness Day because it gives RantWoman the opportunity to rant about accessibility: not breaking some or another accessibility issue is a very big reason but not the only one that large organizations do not rush to install every update emanating from the great Redmond software giant.

Despite the scale of the vexation, how malicious is it? It is easily disabled. Few people have made the requested Bitcoin payments and the Bitcoin payment path is easily trackable.

Is it at least better than missile tests? THINK of all the disruption and at bargain rates. The British NHS. The Chinese government. The body that administers driver's licenses in the Russian Federation... WAY better than missile tests!

To top things off, here's the latest deal offered by the Queen of S[aces: I will scratch your legs after breakfast. I will bite and scratch when you accidentally pet my ouchy spots. Bot don't worry I will protect you from N Korea.

Um CAT, don't you have some pigeons to chase on the window ledge or something?

State of Society--almost

State of the Society Report
University Friends Meeting
Draft April 30, 2017

[Annotated after Meeting For Business; RantWoman expects there should be a link for a final version at some point. Uses of “spiritual:” 6, down from 14. Shared mirth with drafters about going overboard even worse as a joke.  MUCH improved but RantWoman thinks excess verbiage could still be eradicated. RantWoman also still crabby because of tensions about mentioning matters beyond Meeting’s walls. RantWoman not crabby? Take her temperature!]

University Friends Meeting (UFM) strives to live and act in accordance with Quaker testimonies and practices, and to build a caring Meeting community. While there is much to say about the work and state of our Meeting, this report emphasizes the interests and concerns related to the spiritual health of UFM.

The current number of adult members is 141, which is a net gain of one adult member in 2016. UFMprovides the opportunity for its members and attenders to balance their busy lives and spiritual needs.

We regularly have three meetings for worship each week. The 11:00 o’clock meeting on Sunday
mornings typically has an attendance of 40 to 70. It is a meeting with the most vocal ministry, and is attended by a mix of newer members and attenders, members with younger children who take advantage of the preschool and First‐Day School offerings, and many long time members. The 9:30 meeting typically has an attendance of 15 to 30, many of whom seek a deeper worshipful experience with less vocal ministry. There is also a Wednesday night meeting for worship which typically has attendance in the single digits.

The quality of worship is generally considered to be good. When problems with worship are recognized, steps are taken to restore a worshipful atmosphere. At the conclusion of the 9:30 meeting, Friends introduce themselves and may share concerns or experiences that are important to them. At the conclusion of the 11:00 o’clock meeting, there is a time for sharing joys and sorrows that do not rise to the level of vocal ministry during the meeting for worship proper. As the Meeting has become accustomed to this practice the time spent in worship has become more centered as there is now a separate time for sharing other concerns.

A number of UFM members have participated in Quaker spiritual enrichment programs such as Way of the Spirit, Woman’s Theological Conference, Quarterly and/or Yearly Meetings, and local and national Quaker organizations. This has deepened the spiritual experience for our entire Meeting. Another way we deepen our community is through worship/sharing groups that meet for several months. Our preschool program, First‐Day School program, and Junior Friends program enrich the lives of our children and teens while allowing parents time to attend to their own needs in meeting for worship. [Elders? Senior citizens?]

We have a relatively high number of attenders who have varying familiarity with Quaker worship and practices. Maintaining the quality of worship is a challenge at times when there are a relatively large number of attenders new to Quaker worship. The majority of our members come from white middle class backgrounds. We are challenged with how to build a Friends’ community which embraces the cultural diversity of our region. We have had some attenders from minorities who have worshipped with us frequently for several months, even joining a committee only to decide that we were not the religious community that they wanted to call home.

[This paragraph makes RantWoman cringe on multiple grounds. RantWoman is VERY grateful for a number of comments during Meeting for Business. RantWoman is unclear what was actually decided about wording but remembers comments about various reasons people do not feel they fit in and based on Rantwoman’s fixation on linguistic diversity a count of how many different languages people in Meeting speak at home]

UFM recently had an all‐meeting retreat in which members shared their memories of how they lived their faith during trying times. UFMs Adult Religious Education committee is sponsoring a month of follow‐up programs to this retreat. This committee continues to be a valued source of information, discussion, and spiritual nourishment for our community, covering a wide variety of Quaker and social issues every Sunday morning. Our community is becoming more aware of issues and concerns of transgender and other gender nonconforming people. An upcoming program will be UFM’s first formal step in seasoning the minute proposed for Yearly Meeting action on Gender Inclusivity.

The two long term ministries of UFM have been our QuEST (Quaker Experiential Service and Training) program and hosting of a SHARE (Seattle Housing and Resource Effort) homeless shelter. UFM sponsors QuEST fellows who live as a community in our building called Quaker House and work at non‐profit agencies. A spiritual mentorship program was implemented to enhance support to our QuEST fellows.

The SHARE organization temporarily closed its shelter system during 2016 due to funding cuts [and organizational concerns. Government] Funding was recently restored, but the UFM shelter did not reopen. The Meeting is now considering our options with how best to proceed with our homelessness ministry. [Added wording about availability of two Travelers Rooms]

Over this past year we completed many maintenance projects and repairs to our aging meeting house. The worship room was completely upgraded this year. We anticipate the loss of our long time tenants American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) and Global Gardens Preschool. This creates an opportunity to determine how to best utilize our whole property (including Quaker House) and examine our ministries in the changing University District. We have appointed an Ad Hoc Campus Discernment Committee to explore how we may best use our property. The maintenance of the physical plant of our campus will continue to be a stress to our Meeting’s energy and finances.
The Meeting has several part time employees, some of whom have been with us for many years. Our meeting has begun discussing potential changes to our personnel structure that might more effectively meet the Meeting’s needs. This has proven to be a challenging discussion due to many factors, including concerns about current employees losing their job, as well as interpersonal conflicts within our community. Working through these issues can be an important opportunity for healing and growth within UFM.

UFM continues to be challenged with adequately filling our committee rosters with people willing to commit their time and energy. We have had previously active and valued members who have been clerks of committees, and then have stopped being active in the Meeting at the end of their terms. UFM has benefitted from their valuable service. It is possible that they needed respite from a heavy workload. However, there are feelings that their work is not appreciated or is criticized in ways that are hurtful. UFM has become increasingly concerned about the way we communicate with one another, and is also working to make an environment where bullying is not tolerated. It is our intention to deal with all involved in a supportive and loving way with the hope that all parties may come to an understanding and either resolve or embrace their differences. As a community we try to be more affirming of the valuable contributions that each person makes. Like all human endeavors this is a work in progress.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Mothers Day Nephew Couch

There is a teenager on this couch.
Couch, Irrepressible Nephew

The teenager is 6’4” long. The couch is not.

When the teenager is awake he talks of salt water fish tanks, planned summer trips, his spring break trip with his church to build houses in Tijuana.

There is a girlfriend who was not seen today.

This is the teenager’s mother, Little Sister.

Little Sister

The teenager's dad Brother in Law was not looking to be photographed.

Little Sister was in awesome enough humor this past week to get help and rearrange her apartment to make her living area way friendlier and cut WAY down on trip and fall hazards. Little Sister invited RantWoman and RantMom over for Mother’s Day.

Little Sister supplied lasagna, salad, garlic bread that was NOT too burned to eat—if RantWoman had been hungry enough to want garlic bread. RantWoman supplied homemade ratatouille.

Good will supplied all around. Sister fights negligible and laughable.

It was lovely.

Thanks Sis for being an Amazing Mom. Thanks for working so hard to do things differently than our parents did.  THANKS for keeping one of my favorite thoughts real: The great thing about being Auntie is that you get to give the kid BACK.

RantMom and her childhood as well as the RantChildren get a separate post.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

How Not to Laugh at Jeff Sessions

Some of RantWoman's strategies for TRYING to maintain Quakerly centeredness in the interwebs during the current regime:

Find a way to bring people together. On Twitter, RantWoman for better or worse maintains public lists of people she groups together. Some of RantWoman's lists are more clearly focused than others. That point is a problem for a different message. Here are RantWoman strategies for TRYING to find that of God in what comes through her Twitter feed:

Talk about cats. Once a week RantWoman posts some kind of picture of She Who Has Dominion Over RantWoman's Household, aka the Queen of Spades. People whose first Twitter encounter with RantWoman is about cats go into the Cats list. The Cats list includes people with LOTS of different other affiliations and interests.

Quakers get their own list, but everyone else that vaguely mentions religion in their first encounter goes in the same list. So far, despite HUGE diversity in perspectives no explosions have occurred.

Don't engage Trumpoids and trolls. Just pray for them. Too many #alternativefacts and a certain tone automatically get people sent to the I pray for you list.

Find a way to laugh. RantWoman regularly finds balm in the work of comedians. RantWoman does not find every comedic emanation entirely congenial. RantWoman even concedes room for "That's NOT Funny" dialogues. Still RantWoman finds much to appreciate.

Consider this item for instance.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Restrooms for all Genders but please wash your hands!

RantWoman's Meeting has been interacting with a minute working its way through NPYM about inclusion of people of all genders.

The Still Didn't Get The Memo Committee on Email (and other Electronic) Immoderation is seasoning a massive temper tantrum about matters electronic and this topic. Hold that problem in the Light, along with general light-holding of people dipping toes into various challenging topics.

For one thing some weighty but not fully techno-enthralled Friends insist that because technology does not speak to their spiritual condition, it cannot possibly speak to anyone else's condition either. This blog contains a number of items relevant to people of all genders. They are not tagged reasonably but possibly can be found under the tag Equality.  Somewhere on The NPYM website  and also in RantWoman's PRIVATE non shareably viewable lurk some relevant materials. RantWoman regrettably is not going to look them up because she does not have time today for the temper tantrum that the quest will require; RantWoman is also keenly aware of other available gateways to said badly needed temper tantrum. So back to brownie points for working on welcoming people of all genders.

Here is an excerpt from the announcement about an informational program.

Ingersoll Gender Center program for UFM, Sunday, May 7
Educational Session on Gender presented by the Ingersoll Gender Center.
Sunday, May 7, 12:30 – 3 PM
A board member, Karter Booher, from the Ingersoll Gender Center will lead our  educational session from 1:00 – 3:00 after a lunch snack. The mission of the Center, founded in 1979, is to support transgender people in their growth and well-being. They provide “support, education, advocacy and a wide array of resources for people interested in gender identity issues.” They “promoteunderstanding, awareness and acceptance of gender diversity.” We will have a chance to ask all those puzzling questions.

(Cue another temper tantrum about matters electronic: Ingersoll Center website is also getting updated. Use your search engine if this link does not get you there )

The event at RantWoman's Meeting has already occurred. Like all good discussions of matters involving all genders, at some point conversation headed for the restroom. In honor of that, RantWoman first offers an item that came to her via Facebook awhile ago:

It would be more fun just to have this image as tactile graphics
Whatever (gender / ability)
Just Please Wash Your Hands
Restrooms were by far not the only topic discussed. RamtWoman managed not to need to reminisce about the entire lecture in a grad school operations research class devoted to restrooms and how long people of different genders take in restrooms. The conversation did not get stuck, thanks partly to very firm interrupting, on matters of design and cleanliness, but an interesting question came up.

RantWoman's meeting has two single stall restrooms with tactile signs that look something like the sign below minus the braille.
Example sign for wheelchair accessible unisex bathroom

A question came up: are those signs too insistent on the gender binary.

The presenter said "Why don't you ask the people among you...?"

RantWoman offers a peculiar comment from Seattle. RantWoman has been hanging out with some blind people one of whom jokes about "ADA inspections" of the restrooms in the venue where we hang out. RantWoman has not asked for a verdict. RantWoman has an opinion, but would also offer a City of Seattle Civil Rights Inspection based on the following moments circumstances which make RantWoman proud to live in Seattle.

Despite proclamations from our mayor, RantWoman's experience in Seattle varies.

RantWoman quite likes signs on single seat restrooms that say things like "Restroom for Humans." RantWoman personally will not check if visitors from UFO's also need restrooms but so far no reports have surfaced...

Some venues do not do any better about the City of Seattle Of Seattle perspective than they do about ADA matters such as reasonableness for wheelchairs of different sizes or ADA standards for signage. Lots of people cope anyway. Enough said for now?

Friday, May 5, 2017

Guns Spirits Gratitudes

“…guns in my head and they won’t go. Spirits in my head and they won’t go…”

Oh HELL, if RantWoman has an earworm wriggling, just post the topical video. Do not fret TOO much or overanalyze or …; just let the performance speak to one’s condition.


 Now to the matter at hand: gratitude, or gratitude as served up around Planet RantWoman:

 RantWoman considers the discipline of gratitude a great good thing, most of the time, except when RantWoman is seasoning  possibility of needing to be grateful for overabundance of things to howl and yowl about. Hold the overabundance in the Light. Decide whether or not it would be a blessing for RantWoman to fill the interwebs with her current list.


Gratitudes of the day:

 Speaking of overabundance, even though it is several days past Blogging Against Disableism Day, #Badd2017 , RantWoman still has PLENTY to say.

 RantWoman has a wonderful comparatively large jar of ground cumin. RantWoman had not been able to locate it in her cupboard for several weeks. RantWoman is grateful to have found the jar while moving things on her counter. #cookingwhileblind.

 Despite the best efforts of not one but TWO bicyclists, RantWoman managed to avoid subjecting said bicyclists to more physics experiments than they were counting on. One was just riding without any kind of bell near a bus stop in one of Seattle’s new (Annoying as …) protected bike lanes  in a direction RantWoman had not been expecting bicyclists. Now RantWoman gets to be grateful she knows to expect bicyclists coming from that direction. The second executed a right turn right in front of RantWoman as RantWoman was crossing a street WITH THE LIGHT. Bicyclist almost got caught on Ambassador Thwack. RantWoman is not sufficiently grateful that Clueless Bicyclist did not splatter himself all over that pavement, but RantWoman is at least grateful she did not need to hang around and deal with PAPERWORK.

 RantWoman was nowhere near any of THREE gun incidents in her ‘hood in the last several days. If RantWoman needs things that sound like gunfire, though, RantWoman gets to remind herself to be grateful for the model of Accessible Pedestrian signal installed on the corner nearest her abode.

Two of the three gun incidents occurred near favorit RantWoman calorie hazards. RantWoman is supposed to be grateful to be spared the temptations to visit said calorie hazards. RantWoman is grateful to be resourceful about calorie hazards in other parts of town if calories are needed during the height of police crime scene investigation.

RantWoman visited one of the crime scenes the next day, partly out of commercial neighborhood solidarity and partly because RantWoman wanted specific favorite calorie options. RantWoman is grateful the business was operating at its usual level of funkiness and that there was nothing left over from the night before to gawk at in the parking lot.

“…spirits in my head and they won’t go…”
Obligatory  Quaker  Mystical experiences?
An increment of time winnowing a list of mental health provider optionss?
Reminder just to shut up and listen to music sometimes?
All of the above!

There. Now please appreciate RantWoman’s gratitudes and RantWoman will resume her efforts at spiritual housekeeping.