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Jacqueline's journal

Jacqueline A. Lott Ashwell
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My journal is pretty much (unsurprisingly) a reflection of who I am.
So before you ask to be added to my friends list, here's a bit about me:

  • I am a woman who embraces the wild places of the planet, who tries her best to live with intention, and who votes not only in elections but also with her wallet whenever possible.

  • "Live with intention? What's that mean?"

    I try to be present in every moment and give thought to my actions. Am I being honest? Am I giving my best? Is what I'm about to do going to unnecessarily harm another person or the planet on which I depend for my life? If so, is there a feasible alternative?

    This manifests itself in a lot of subtle ways, some of which people may not actually notice. The bits that seem to both drive my friends crazy while at the same time inspiring them tend to do with environmentally-conscious living... I tend toward a generally organic diet, to include (mostly wild) meat taken only from ecologically-sustainable sources in generally nondestructive ways. I will tick people off (unintentionally) at parties by side-stepping the laziness of their paper plates and plastic cutlery, go into their cabinets, and use the durable stuff, with a promise to clean up after myself before I leave. Wherever people are willing to overlook the sometimes over-zealous health codes, I try to bring my own reusable container to a restaurant if I know I'm getting take-away or left-overs. I don't use disposable chopsticks and will result to eating with a fork in Chinese restaurants, even if it makes me look uncool. Stuff like that. Little things that I wish everybody did.

    It's not me being holier than thou (or anybody else), it's about doing what I think is right. It does tend to make life a touch more stressful, but it also makes it more satisfying.

    Anyway. Moving on....

  • I work in natural and cultural resource conservation. I work too much, something I struggle with, but I love what I do so much that it makes it difficult to set a firm boundary. Despite the fact that I'm... um... (okay I'll use the word) a workaholic, I don't post about work much if at all, even on filters, unless it's something I'd say to the general public.

  • "Since you don't post about work, what do you post about?"

    My outside interests, of which there are (perhaps too) many...

    • I enjoy playing, writing, testing, and reviewing interactive fiction, otherwise known as IF. I organize an annual IF competition called IntroComp, as well as a weekly IF gaming group called ClubFloyd.

    • I like to read. I collect (generally recycled) books in a quite obsessive way, and the library in our home now has over 1500 volumes. We're trying to downsize it. Sorta.

    • I love language. Not only the pace and flow of English, how words work together, but other languages as well. I'm somewhat fluent in French, and have spoken it most of my life, but I tinker a bit with a few other languages as well. I'm big on communication, and deeply believe that not only do things get lost in translation, but it's only polite to speak to people on their own terms whenever possible.

    • So far as other mental pursuits, I still enjoy my favorite fields that I studied at university: archaeology and forensic anthropology, anatomy, theoretical physics, biology and ecology.

    • I love music and getting lost in music. These days I tend toward ambient, orchestral groove, trip hop... stuff like that. I'm also a very big fan of bluegrass (mostly classic, but some of the new stuff is good, like The Biscuit Burners and Dan Tyminski). I'm fond of classical and modern orchestral music. I'm... well, I'm really not opposed to too much musically, except for perhaps new country; I blame my distaste for new country on the fact that I worked in a country music radio station for a few years as a teenager, and I think I hit the saturation point... ugh.

      And I probably couldn't save face with some folks if I didn't mention that my favorite group of the 1980s was Asia, that John Wetton remains my favorite male vocalist, and that I once organized a concert in Alaska for one of the original members of the group (Geoff Downes of, among other things, Video Killed the Radio Star fame).

    • I'm a regular practitioner of Kripalu and Yin Hatha Yoga, and I lead a community yoga class once a week in my community. As comes with a life of intention and a yoga practice, I meditate a great deal. I also try to work out regularly, though it seems these days I don't always succeed.

    • I pay very close attention to current global events, but don't listen to the standard information sources upon which (unfortunately) most Americans rely. I try to be an active citizen of the world, write to the appropriate government entity if something really matters to me, and vote whenever I'm given the opportunity. I wish I lived in a country that truly had more than two political parties. While I see the often necessary role of civil disobedience, I'm not in a position to go there myself, because I've too much at stake. But I admire the boldness and freedom of those who cross that line, because without those people we wouldn't have half the civil rights we enjoy today.

    • My soul resides out of doors in the beautiful untouched places of the world, and many of my posts focus on landscape and nature photography. I'm also particularly drawn to photography of old, dilapidated buildings or interesting (generally historic) architecture. If you want to peruse photographs without wading through my archives, check out the photography section of my website and my deviantART page. I haven't been updating those too much recently, but they'll give you a taste of what I do.

    • I am often excessively geeky and post with some frequency on gaming, both modern and retro. These days it seems that I'm playing a lot of board/card/rpg type stuff as well. My husband and I occasionally post snarky reviews of video games, a practice which people for some reason seem to like.

    • As you may have figured out by now (if you're still actually reading this), I have too many interests, spread myself so thin that I can't possible enjoy any one of them as deeply as I'd really prefer, and generally have way too many irons in the fire. I am paradoxical in that I'm quite content with doing nothing, and yet wish that there were 48 hours in a day. I would prefer it if I didn't have to waste time sleeping, except that I love to sleep and try to get a full night's rest every single night.

  • What else is important to know about me?

    • Location, location, location. I move around with some frequency due to my job. This means that a lot of my dearest friends I only see online... they're the circle of friends that remain with me, no matter where I go. I love that the Internet allows for this, and am glad that society is slowly starting to move beyond the idea that having online friends is "weird" or "antisocial" or "dangerous." I met my husband online. Lots of friends of mine met their spouses online. Heck, my mother met her husband online. ...And none of those examples were the result of dating sites, just people finding each other through common interests, in much the same way you'd meet somebody at the library or the gym or church or, well, a local bar.

    • Apropos of location, location, location, I travel quite a bit... some for work, some for me. I get hung up on places I like and revisit them at the expense of exploring new horizons. I've lived for long periods of time in southeastern (semi-Bush) Alaska, eastern Tennessee, and central Illinois; I've lived for shorter periods of time in England (Cambridge and Bishop's Castle), Georgia (on the coast), and South Carolina (a tiny place called Mountain Rest). Through travel, I'm pretty familiar with parts of France, lots of England, vast swaths of the United States, some of Quebec and all of the Yukon (but very little in-between) in Canada, bits of eastern Mexico, bits of the central ("south") Pacific (most notably the Republic of the Marshall Islands), and bits of the Caribbean (most notably Haiti). I have a lot of decent photographs from these places on file that I've yet to share with people here, but hope to at some point.

    • Places I'd most like to visit before I die: the childhood home of my husband in Botswana, Petra in Jordan, the pyramids of Egypt, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, summertime in Antarctica, the Galapagos, the moon or perhaps Mars (though my husband thinks that's crazytalk, and to be fair I'm probably too old to get to Mars, but I haven't yet written off visiting the moon at some point). I'm sad about my apparent inability to visit several places in the world due to violence and strife or political issues, such as Iraq or Iran or the Congo, but then, I've been to Haiti and it was wonderful, despite its unfortunate reputation.

    • I have two adopted and quirky cats and a very diminutive (somewhat immortal) frog.

    • I am married to the ever-handsome, talented, and amazing maga_dogg, aka Sam.

    • Oh, and yeah... I'm long-winded; I start way too many sentences with "So," omit the grammatical subject far too often (how I wish English were more like Spanish in that regard!), and am over-fond of parentheses, ellipses, m-dashes, and semi-colons.

      Sorry about those quirks, but it's just how I am.

A word about filters. Should you have an account and get on my friends list, I maintain a few filters, one for creative endeavors, one for fitness, and one for religion/spirituality. Contact me if you think you're interested in any of those filters by sending me an e-mail at isquiesque at livejournal dot com.

Please note that I don't friend every person who asks. If I did, then there'd be little point in friends-locking my entries. I often post unlocked entries, so you're welcome to follow even if I don't friend you back. It's nothing personal, I just like to know my audience, and I'm following way too many people/feeds/communities as it is. But, um... please don't allow this disclaimer to keep you from asking, either!

Two final notes for the curious:
  • An explanation behind the username Isquiesque can be found by visiting this page.

  • Most of my themed icons, which consist of cartoon characters altered to look at bit like me, are an homage to John Allison's wonderful webcomic, Scary Go Round. Yes, they are altered and used with his express permission... I've even commissioned him to draw a couple icons for me in cases where I couldn't find quite the right image to match something I post about frequently (my Tree Hugger and Yoga icons). Thanks, John.

Oh, and because it's LiveJournal and you need an Is Love thing on your user info page...

John William Waterhouse is Love

Thanks to missy42 for the colorbar.
(John William Waterhouse is my favorite artist ever...)


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