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October 22nd, 2012 (06:42 am)

Happy birthday to my friend Kelly, who would have been 40 years old today. She died of colon cancer just over 7 years ago, exactly one month before her 33rd birthday.

Life is precious, and more fragile than we ever realize. None of us knows how much time we'll be allowed to have on this earth, in this life. Make the most of the time you have.

It's autumn now, and for most of the people who can read this, the trees are changing and the weather is cooler. If you can, go outside today, even if it's just for a few minutes, and take a little time to enjoy all the beautiful things the world has for you to enjoy while you can. This year is here only now, this season will happen just once, the trees will look the way they do today and never again, and all the people in your life who you get to love are yours to love today and who knows if they'll be there tomorrow? So live with joy and love with all you are. You'll never have a second chance to try.

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"The Cat in the Kitchen"

October 17th, 2012 (10:32 am)
awake

current mood: awake

The Cat in the Kitchen
by Robert Bly

For Donald Hall

Have you heard about the boy who walked by
The black water? I won’t say much more.
Let’s wait a few years. It wanted to be entered.
Sometimes a man walks by a pond, and a hand
Reaches out and pulls him in.
There was no
Intention, exactly. The pond was lonely, or needed
Calcium, bones would do. What happened then?
It was a little like the night wind, which is soft,
And moves slowly, sighing like an old woman
In her kitchen late at night, moving pans
About, lighting a fire, making some food for the cat.

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Newly-spayed Nemo

July 12th, 2012 (06:49 am)
Tags:



She HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATES the cone of shame. HATES. But after several hours, she finally calmed down enough to sulk herself into a nap.

In the weirdest goddamn way conceivable.

And I HAAAAAAAATE stressing her so much, but she WOULD NOT stop biting/tugging at her stitches, so the cone of shame had to go on and STAY on no matter what kind of tantrums she threw over it.

At least she doesn't seem to have any problems taking her medicine, she's eating and drinking normally, she's as hyperactive as any kitten, and in a little over a week, this will all be over and she'll forget it ever happened soon enough.

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A Tendency to Shine

July 11th, 2012 (10:05 am)

This reminds me of my friend Jesse. A LOT.

"A Tendency to Shine"
by Adyashanti

If you prefer smoke over fire
then get up now and leave.
For I do not intend to perfume
your mind's clothing
with more sooty knowledge.

No, I have something else in mind.
Today I hold a flame in my left hand
and a sword in my right.
There will be no damage control today.

For God is in a mood
to plunder your riches and
fling you nakedly
into such breathtaking poverty
that all that will be left of you
will be a tendency to shine.

So don't just sit around this flame
choking on your mind.
For this is no campfire song
to mindlessly mantra yourself to sleep with.

Jump now into the space
between thoughts
and exit this dream
before I burn the damn place down.

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Dreamwidth

June 14th, 2012 (11:37 pm)
working

current location: in the office, by the filing cabinets
current mood: working
current song: The Decemberists, "O Valencia!"

So... I have a Dreamwidth account now. Obviously. I mean, I've had one for a while, apparently, because when I typed in my usual user name and password it totally logged me in, but like... I actually REMEMBER that I have one now? Yeah. And hey, I figured out how to make it crosspost to LJ! This is normally a feature I kind of detest but since LJ is becoming an increasingly annoying site to use, I might as well hop on the bandwagon and put stuff here as well.

That's really all I have to say here. Dreamwidth. I'm on it. When I remember to be. Coolcoolcool.

This entry was crossposted from http://gethenian.dreamwidth.org/1217.html by means of a complex system of gears and levers run by a squirrel-powered perpetual motion machine and operated by volunteer Buddhist robots. The establishment thanks you for leaving all lolcat-themed items with the attendant dressed as a mince pie in the lobby before commenting. Ovaltine. Burma-Shave.

Dancing with Jackals [userpic]

"Not From This Anger"

June 7th, 2012 (09:38 pm)
gloomy

current mood: gloomy

Not From This Anger
by Dylan Thomas

Not from this anger, anticlimax after
Refusal struck her loin and the lame flower
Bent like a beast to lap the singular floods
In a land strapped by hunger
Shall she receive a bellyful of weeds
And bear those tendril hands I touch across
The agonized, two seas.

Behind my head a square of sky sags over
The circular smile tossed from lover to lover
And the golden ball spins out of the skies;
Not from this anger after
Refusal struck like a bell under water
Shall her smile breed that mouth, behind the mirror,
That burns along my eyes.

Dancing with Jackals [userpic]

Now I'm going to give you a brief tour of where I work.

June 5th, 2012 (04:06 am)
Tags: ,

You may have heard I got a job. When last I babbled at the internet from here, I was waiting to hear back from the bosses about when they wanted me to do training and start working.

Well, I did my training day on Sunday.... which is usually a slow day but this Sunday for whatever reason we had customers wandering in all day, so even though I had both my bosses and another trainee in the shop with me all day, there was never a moment to sit down or stop DOING THINGS. It was exhausting.

Today was a lot less hectic. When I got in, we finished unloading a new delivery of seed, my boss Amy gave me a "tour" of our pole-building system, how it works and all the different kinds of parts you can buy to construct customized poles to hang birdfeeders and other stuff on, and after that... I was left completely to my own devices, which is how I'll be working every day I'm in for all of my shift except the hour or so I overlap with whoever works the morning shift.

So I had the shop entirely to myself today for about 4 hours once Brad and Amy left. Around 5 hours is going to be approximately my usual time I spend being the only employee in the store on most days. So far, I really enjoy working like that. I can call Brad or Amy if a customer has a question I can't answer or if I can't remember how to do something on the computer, but that's going to normally be the extent of my having anyone else to help me. I like being left to my own devices to look after the store and deal with the customers without being micromanaged and criticized or having to babysit annoying or lazy coworkers like I've had to do at other jobs.

I decided to take some pictures of my store when I had a few minutes of down time today, so you can see what kind of place I'm working in:

Large photos reside herein.Collapse )

So there you go. It's a small shop but it's the perfect size for the amount of customers we get and the fact that they mostly want to buy bulk birdseed and feeders (I still don't know why we have an entire display devoted to socks). I've been told most of our other locations are larger, but I've never been to any of them so I can't say by how much.

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Kittens!

May 31st, 2012 (07:39 pm)
Tags: ,


This is mama-cat Ernie napping with all four babies. The black one closest to her is River, the tabby lying next to her is Spock, the stripey one curled up is Yoda, and the scruffy yawning one is Nemo.

The kittens turned 10 weeks old yesterday. Once they reach 12 weeks, three of them will be going to a local no-kill shelter that has agreed to evaluate them for adoptability and take them in if they pass... which they should have absolutely no problem doing with flying colors, since we've spent a lot of time socializing them.

The one who will be staying here and remaining with me when I move out sometime in the next year or two is Nemo. This is my first experience caring for kittens from birth so I'm really pleased at how much she's bonded with me. She comes when I call her now. If she feels like it, of course. ;) She's the most "independent" of the litter -- which is to say everyone in the house now has noticed her tendency to not really give two shits what her mom or siblings are doing, she'll join them if she wants to but she's just as likely to do her own thing somewhere else. We'll often see her lounging around on the porch when the other kittens and Ernie are nowhere in sight (we have a long hedge of very old juniper bushes running about 40' along one side of our property -- the cats go hide in it when it gets really hot). She's also befriended our other formerly-feral outdoor kitty, Ash, who will now allow Nemo to sleep with her. I've seen Ash help "kittensit" the whole pack, but usually she just sits at a distance and keeps an eye on them... I've only ever seen her curl up with and even groom Nemo.

Bilbo remains... cautiously accepting of her, too. His behavior with her is consistent -- whenever we bring her inside, he'll come over and investigate her, sniff her and even touch noses with her, then he'll kind of slink off a little ways and do that thing where he's pretending to ignore her but totally not. The last two times I've had her inside, after I took her back out he actually went LOOKING for her and... was kind of mewing in a way I can only assume was him calling for her or something. I've never seen him behave like that before, so I'm just guessing that's what he was doing. I've tried to stick them both on neighboring chairs and given them treats so they associate each other with scritches and noms, but Bilbo oddly tends to lose interest in treats when she's around. He'll eat one or two then hop off the chair, sniff her, and slink across the room to not-ignore her again. I'm not sure what to make of that. I THINK it's some kind of parental-like instinct... like he's leaving food for the baby then guarding her... but I really have no idea. As for Nemo, she'll accept his curiosity to a point but still seems intimidated by him and will hiss at him if he spends too much time giving his attention to her. That's... understandable. Bilbo is a MASSIVELY huge mainecoon cat. He's a good 20 lbs of feline with long poofy fur on top of it. If you draped his tail over Nemo, you wouldn't know she was there at all. To her, it must be like being a Muggle and having Hagrid appear out of nowhere and stick his face into hers and just go ">O.O<?"

Dancing with Jackals [userpic]

Badger dream

May 29th, 2012 (07:14 pm)
curious

current mood: curious

As far as I can remember, I have never had a dream that was specifically about my totem (Badger). This one was interesting especially since it taught me something about the animals that I did not know.


My dream:

I was on a dock overlooking a large, calm, shallow lake or bay... or it could have been part of a river that just opened up a lot. It was hot, so I decided to go swimming. As I waded into the water, I saw a very young badger skip into it from some reeds and begin to swim. Concerned for its safety, I went towards it, then saw its mother follow. My first reaction was confusion, because I thought badgers could not swim. Then, as I watched them, it became humorously obvious -- of COURSE they can swim! Their thick coats help keep them afloat and those huge front paws and strong arms move them through the water as easily as they move through the earth!

(That is the part that turned out to be true -- I looked it up and apparently they CAN swim every bit as well as I saw them do so in my dream.)

My second thought was to be worried that the mother badger would be distressed by my presence near her baby and become aggressive, so I stooped low and stayed still, allowing them to choose to swim past me. As they showed no fear or aggression, I decided to swim with them. I felt like they "recognized" me as one of them. Though the water seemed still, I could feel currents beneath the surface carrying me with them, and played with the baby a little, holding his or her (I wasn't sure which) paws in mine and letting them swim through my fingers.

As they approached the shore some distance from where we had set off, the bottom of the water got closer to my feet and I was afraid to walk on it because... I've always been afraid of there being sharp things or crawly stuff with pincers underwater that could hurt me. But I needed to go into shallower water so I finally put my feet down and found nothing harmful there, just the gently waving plants.

The badgers left. I started to walk back towards the dock and passed what looked like a river flowing away from the open water into a forest. It was flowing downhill... not like a waterfall, just a gentle slope that was subtly twisted in a weird way, like the surface was obeying gravity in a different direction than it should have been... I knew I couldn't follow that water because it could harm me. Instead I dove into a tunnel formed by a hedge along the edge of the water and scooted along a concrete curb on my belly until I came to some long black pipes, which I swung and slid down like giant railings or those hand-swings on children's playgrounds, but much larger. When I got to the bottom, my father was there. He told me I shouldn't swim in that water because it was "dirty." I found that odd and idiotic, since clearly these pipes had to be much dirtier than the clear water above us... and what did getting dirty matter anyway? Dirt couldn't hurt me.

Dancing with Jackals [userpic]

The Hunger Games

April 13th, 2012 (03:52 am)

Dear Everyone I Know: If you haven't read The Hunger Games for some reason, you need to. Oh my god, you need to.

My mom bought all three books for me on my Kindle. I started reading the first one yesterday at around 3 pm. I finished it about 6 or 7 hours later. I began the 2nd book today. I'm 66% through it. Because everything everyone ever told me about how good it was was true, and more.

Here, finally, is a "fad" book whose passion is deserved. I'm exactly 2/3 through the second book and I'm just blown away by the masterful subtlety and poignancy of this author's work. It's not just a good story. It's a good story that is MINDBLOWINGLY well-told. This isn't some Harry Potter thing where there are too many characters and half of them end up dead or written off because the author got bored with them. This is a beautiful, intricate, well-thought-out story that carries itself consistently and manages to keep its really big bombshell plot points surprising and affecting.

You know what... this is one of very, very few times I can ever say... the second book so far is better than the first. And I KNOW a lot of you have read the first book or seen the movie and know how strong that story is and how powerful some moments in it are.

It gets better. Like... you won't even believe how much better it gets.

And the thing I really love most about this? It doesn't feel like this emotional manipulation bullcrap like so many authors and moviemakers pull specifically formulated to pull at an audience's heartstrings. That does nothing for me. This is different. This feels genuine. This feels intelligent and unexpected and real. This is something extraordinary. Here is a story that builds a very real, very vivid world with a cast of very individually fascinating characters. No part of these books feels like wading through side-story to get to the meat of the good stuff. It's all good. It's all important. It really creates a feeling of desperation and hopelessness and yet also at the same time, hope... the best kind of situation, where the characters you REALLY care about aren't perfect, but you're rooting for them, and their situation is so far beyond their immediate comprehension, but they still have power, and they still score little victories and suffer little defeats in a way that makes you ravenous for more.

I am sorry I ever doubted anyone who told me about these books. They are truly, truly worthy of all the praise they are given.

Dancing with Jackals [userpic]

A Message From A Person To Other People -- You Need To Be Rational

April 8th, 2012 (12:40 am)

This post is in response to an article here: A Message To Women From A Man: You Are Not “Crazy”

Full text under the cutCollapse )


My reply:

The real problem with this article is how strongly it reinforces ideas about gender roles and divisions between men and women.

The truth is that both men and women CAN be victims of "gaslighting" and, in my experience, pretty equally ARE. And the results are pretty equally detrimental to an individual. There needs to be a sequel to this article titles "A Message From a Woman To Men: You Are Not A Pussy." Because as often as women may be told that their emotional outbursts are irrational, men are told that the only emotions it's okay for them to have are anger and lust.

The truth is that PEOPLE are emotional and sometimes they do overreact to things. And that's okay, sometimes. Sometimes, a person is under a lot of stress and something seemingly insignificant sets them off. It happens. To everybody. Sometimes that results in them behaving in a way that could be viewed as abusive or dismissive towards their friends and families and partners. Sometimes these friends and families and partners will respond to outbursts by informing a person that they are behaving irrationally. And in a way, they're right. It isn't "rational" to start crying over burnt toast when the real problem is that you're behind on your bills, you're overworked, sleep-deprived, you're worried about the economy or politics or whatever, insert a list of almost infinite daily issues that can compile and stress a person out. People have inappropriate emotional responses when they feel helpless and frustrated and aren't able to productively deal with the OTHER things causing them emotional stress.

But, as with all things in life, there is a balance to be struck. If a person reacts inappropriately to something occasionally, that's normal. Some people actually respond better to being told that their behavior is uncalled for than they would to being coddled. Some people are the opposite. I think most people are some variation of a cross between the two -- they would benefit from being told to calm the F down in some situations, and from being catered to and comforted in others. Since no one is psychic, none of us can ever be able to know with absolute certainty the correct way to respond to another person's emotional outbursts in the "correct" way for a given situation. No matter how much you love and respect another person, sometimes you will react wrongly and hurt them or anger them further. Women do it to men, men do it to women, women do it to women, men do it to men, and people whose identities fall outside the gender binary do it, too. Everyone in the world is both a victim and a perpetrator here.

Back to the idea of balance -- yes, it's normal and probably healthy to have seemingly irrational emotional outbursts from time to time. The frequency of this is a function of the amount of stress a person is under and what coping skills and outlets they have for it, generally. But if someone does this regularly enough that seemingly inappropriate responses to emotional triggers can be called "habitual," there IS a problem. That person IS wrong to behave that way, and it is NOT wrong to try to make them aware of this. Depending on the reasons for their behavior, it may also not be EFFECTIVE to try to make them aware of it, but it's a natural drive for people to react to a persistent problem aggressively -- by rebelling against its cause, trying to find a way to make it change.

There are many, many reasons why a person might be in a "habit" of responding to emotional triggers with inappropriate intensity. What this article has failed to address is not just that a person's BEHAVIOR to be inappropriate, but it is, in fact, possible for a person's actual emotions to be wrong, no matter how they behave in response to them.

This is not a popular frame of mind. I have almost always seen people insist with religious fervor that it is always wrong to tell someone else that what they're feeling is wrong. Feelings must always be accepted and validated, right? Well... no. There's a problem with that. Consider children. They are born with basically two emotional modes running: they are quiet and content when their needs are met, and they scream and wail and cry and thrash about when their needs are not met. This behavior continues in varying degrees for a number of years as they grow older. Every parent with children past infancy is familiar with temper tantrums. Everyone who lives and works with children is responsible for helping them learn to react appropriately. That doesn't just mean changing their behavior. That DOES mean guiding them to change how they FEEL about things. As children, being told that we could not have a toy we wanted FELT like being punched in the soul. Our entire worlds crumbled. It was a deep and affecting tragedy. As adults, we understand that sometimes we don't get things we want. We may feel a twinge of disappointment. We may feel somewhat more than a twinge, depending on the personal or monetary value of the thing we cannot have. But rational adults have learned that they don't get what they want all the time and, with the exception of extreme examples, they do not FEEL a sense of deeply emotionally stirring loss when they realize they can't have something they would enjoy having. Rational adults are able to process and prioritize in ways children cannot. Rational adults do not USUALLY have fits of anger or grief over minor inconveniences. Barring external circumstances, rational adults do not FEEL much more than minor annoyance over minor inconveniences.

Regarding external circumstances... these are, of course, much more numerous than simply the compounded stress idea explained above. There are many disorders that might cause an adult to be unable to process emotions properly. But rational adults should be able to recognize that their reactions are inappropriate and seek treatment, learn coping methods... Yes, it's true that many of the potential causes of inappropriate emotional responses cannot be cured and treatments for all psychological problems, and psychological problems stemming from physical problems, are all basically experimental approaches to an individual's needs with the guidance of someone else's expertise and instincts based on experience. This is why we humans are, for the most part, equipped with the potential to feel or understand sympathy, empathy, charity, mercy -- to understand and factor in other people's handicaps when dealing with them.

But this article isn't ABOUT dealing with people who have medical detriments to responding appropriately to emotional triggers. This article is about people who haven't learned to do so... and people who have, but are treated as if they haven't.

Note again that throughout this entire article, I say "people." Not "men," not "women," but "people." The generalizations I draw are not linked to sex or gender. Everyone feels. Everyone's feelings are measured against cultural norms and held accountable to varying degrees when they do not meet established standards of normalcy. And that IS a correct and proper thing to do when dealing with adults.

It is wrong to undermine a person's feelings or responses to those feelings when your behavior stems from a desire to exert authority over someone. It is wrong to fail to recognize valid and rational feelings in another person because they express them differently than you would, or because something about them makes you feel that they are different from you -- whether that is an attitude about their sex, gender, sexuality, age, or any number of other things.

But it is RIGHT for people to seek to correct behavior and emotions that do not hold up to the standards of self-control that adults are expected to learn and maintain. None of us are ever "finished" as people. Even "rational adults" can be wrong. And often are. But we have the same obligation to each other that we have towards children -- it is everyone's job to continually reinforce the standards of appropriate emotional responses and behaviors. It is equally everyone's right and within everyone's ability to defend themselves or to seek other opinions and either validate themselves or confirm that they were in the wrong. Ultimately, the greatest wrong that exists with regards to people's failure to communicate with or respond correctly to other people is when that failure comes from a lack of respect. When we believe another person is beneath ourselves is when we do the greatest and most lasting harm to one another. This is not an issue of men vs. women. This is an issue of every individual's standards of respect, patience, and understanding for every other individual. When we fail to respect another person, it is not because we are men or women, it is because we are wrong. If any of us have failed to learn the difference between rationality and cruelty, or found some way to justify the latter, it is because society has failed to provide a standard that holds all people as equally deserving of both humane accountability and humane tolerance.

Dancing with Jackals [userpic]

RIP Adrienne Rich

March 28th, 2012 (07:02 pm)
sad

current mood: sad

The strain of being born
over and over has torn your smile into pieces
Often I have seen it broken
and then re-membered
and wondered how a beauty
so anarch, so ungelded
will be cared for in this world.
I want to hand you this
leaflet streaming with rain or tears
but the words coming clear
something you might find crushed into your hand
after passing a barricade
and stuff in your raincoat pocket.
I want this to reach you
who told me once that poetry is nothing sacred
--no more sacred that is
than other things in your life--
to answer yes, if life is uncorrupted
no better poetry is wanted.


--from "Leaflets"
by Adrienne Rich


If you don't know who she is, you need to, especially if you give a shit about feminism and GLBT interests.

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Updated list: Ven's online video resume

March 1st, 2012 (12:07 am)

Updated list

Not sure I got everything but I'm going to try to be more dilligent about updating this regularly.

Dancing with Jackals [userpic]

"The Quiet World" by Jeffrey McDaniel

February 17th, 2012 (04:47 pm)

in an effort to get people to look
into each other's eyes more,
the government has decided
to allot each person exactly one hundred
and sixty-seven words, per day.


when the phone rings, i put it to my ear
without saying hello. in the restaurant
i point at the chicken noodle soup.
i am adjusting well to the new way.


late at night, i call my long distance lover,
and proudly say i only used fifty-nine today.
i saved the rest for you.


when she doesn't respond,
i know she's used up all her words,
so i slowly whisper i love you
thirty-two and a third times.
after that, we just sit on the line
and listen to each other breathe.

Dancing with Jackals [userpic]

More good music, for your brains. Frank Turner, "The Ballad of Me and My Friends"




Everybody's got themselves a plan,
Everybody thinks they'll be the man,
including the girls.
The musicians who lack the friends to form a band
are singer-songwriters,
The rest of us are DJ's or
official club photographers.

And tonight I'm playing another Nambucca show,
So I'm going through my phonebook, texting everyone I know,
And quite a few I don't, whose numbers found their way into my phone,
But they might come along anyway, you never really know.

None of this is going anywhere –
Pretty soon we'll all be old,
And no one left alive will really care
About our glory days, when we sold our souls.

But if you're all about the destination,
then take a fucking flight.
We're going nowhere slowly,
but we're enjoying all the sights.

And we're definitely going to hell,
But we'll have all the best stories to tell.
Yes we're definitely going to hell,
But we'll have all the best stories to tell.

Dancing with Jackals [userpic]

Stuff I have for sale

January 26th, 2012 (06:20 am)

So here's the thing. I need cash. I need it kind of a lot. I am selling some stuff. The stuff is this:

~Schechter Damien-6 electric guitar -- virtually unplayed, like new condition -- retail for this instrument is in the $570 range, I'm asking $550 AND that comes with a strap and a soft case.

~Valencia VG-30R Spanish-made acoustic guitar custom fitted for a strap. She's had one string replaced but is in otherwise practically new condition. Her sound is deep and resonant and very lovely. I'm asking $230 for the guitar and a strap (no case, sorry).

~This Macy's crap jewelry -- peridot and teeny diamonds, earring and pendant set, retails for $100, I'm asking $50. This set has never been worn because I can't have piercings and the pendant just doesn't suit me. Price on this is negotiable.

I may be putting other things up for sale soon, books, maybe some games, we'll see.

If you're interested in any of these items, email me at friarsghost@gmail.com . First come first serve. I'm sorry but I can't take payments in installments or reserve items, I really do need the money right now.

Here is a photo of the guitars for sale. The ones listed above are Dulcinea and Damien. Dinosaur and Dolina have been sold already and Deanna is not for sale.

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MAGFest highlights!

January 10th, 2012 (06:59 am)

The last of my post-MAGFest travellers is on his way home finally.

This is my second con ever, second year at MAGFest. The venue was new and grand... I think it is the biggest building I have ever been in. I've never before been in a place where it can take half an hour just walking from one part of the building to another.

Last year was controlled madness in a much smaller space. I attended a lot more panels and spent a lot more time in other people's rooms just hanging out or partying. This year I attended only two panels (or three, kinda). I did SOME room-hopping but spent much less time in those rooms. I also did a lot of work, from helping people commute to helping film various things. I only really got to explore the dealers' room really thoroughly on one day, and never got to the gaming room at all (again). As usual, only about half the things I had planned were actually accomplished, but I think that's true for everyone at every con.

Initially this year, MAGFest was less fun and more an increasing spiral of stress and chaos until the last day. In the first three days there were pockets of fun and productivity but overall I felt overworked, drained, and often out of the loop or at loose ends. Just like last year, Sunday ended up being the best day, with the most fun being had after the con officially ended.

Highlights:

~I got to finally meet a lot of people in person who I've built up close friendships with online over the past months.
~I got recognized by a few people and asked for autographs, which was pretty cool.
~I helped Diamanda film what will be a truly hilarious crossover episode.
~I joined a group of about 40 people one evening to go see Tintin at the local ghetto theater. Our group ended up being the only people there, so we happily spent the entire time riffing the movie. I was at an open-to-the-audience riffing panel last year that went ABYSMALLY badly, but for some reason (maybe because most people there knew each other, or knew OF each other), this was a lot more controlled and a truly hilarious and fun experience.
~I got poked in the hat by Sad Panda, and finger-smooched on the nose by Welshy, and hugged by a whole lot of other people, many of whom I didn't expect to recognize me (Nash and Ed Glaser being the most surprising ones).
~I got to meet Leo (That Sci-Fi Guy), whose show I really like. He was a very cool dude.
~I got to finally meet and hang out with Mike Bennett (PhilBuni), who I now consider an even better friend than before and have huge respect for his talent as a performer and comedian and all around cool guy.
~I didn't get a chance to sing at the CA RockBand panel thingy, but later that night, after we'd all pretty much finished with the room parties, I did get to show off my ability to sing for about 6 or 7 people (including Kyle, who I don't think was even aware of the actual extent of my abilities) in a very acoustically rich lobby space. I've always been passionate about singing, but it's always been rare for me to get any real recognition for it, and it's been YEARS since the last time I was able to milk anyone for a positive response, so it was really, really, REALLY awesome to have just that one moment when, almost like a goddamn Disney cartoon, I launched into a song giving it my all and everyone just shut right the hell up and almost kind of went :O at me. Because no matter how many times I've said I can sing, I don't really feel like anyone got that I seriously wasn't kidding until right then.
~I got to meet my unknown-times-removed cousin who I actually met through TGWTG fandom as opposed to through family connections.
~Myself and a few of the very last stragglers after the con accosted one of the volunteer staff girls in the lobby at around 2 am and spent over an hour building up this comedic routine in which we all played along at claiming to be her hallucinations and just bounced off one another in our performance for this one girl until she just about fell over laughing multiple times. The size of the audience didn't matter because we were all just having such a fantastic time working with each other as entertainers.
~I had dinner at a place called Nandos with a bunch of my friends and colleagues. It was delicious and a lot of fun.
~I found that in this community, weird as we all are, if you're in a really bad situation, there will always be someone who comes through for you and is willing to give you something you really desperately need. There was one day when I was basically just DESTROYED by being stressed out of my mind, having no sleep, not eating for about 36 hours, and having no money left to buy food with. Almost as soon as I posted that over Twitter, someone (Sean Fausz, as it happens, who is an incredibly awesome and generous guy) messaged me to offer some free pizza, much-needed companionship, and gave me some money he found on the floor, which I used later to buy another meal and put a few gallons of gas in my car. I seriously cannot thank him enough for that, since his giving me a meal is the only thing that kept me on my feet and able to drive for the rest of that day, the time I spent in his room and out of the chaos of the con kept me sane, and the cash he did not have to give me and probably could have used himself let me keep my car running and stay hydrated and fed when I otherwise wouldn't have been. He also helped me get a battery and film into an old camera I'm trying to fix up to teach myself to do non-digital photography.
~I met a couple of producers whose work I had only ever heard mentioned in passing. They (Vangelus and Count Jackula) were both SUCH great guys to hang out with and I'll be viewing their shows soon, I already have them up on other internet tabs.
~After everyone else from the con had left, I got to spend several long hours of quality, in-depth discussion time with my good friend and "twin" Demoversi. and I still feel like we barely scratched the surface of all the shit we could have discussed until our throats were raw. We spent so much time walking and talking and got into such emotionally exhausting shit, we both ended up sleeping until around 6 pm Monday. It was so, so necessary.

Dancing with Jackals [userpic]

Weird New Agey Pagan Shit Here

January 6th, 2012 (05:38 am)

About a month or two ago, I bought myself two "grounding stones" to use primarily when reading Tarot but also when doing any spiritual ritual. I have acquired an additional three as a gift.

Completely by accident; both the stones I chose without knowing their meanings and the ones given to me by someone who doesn't believe in that shit much less know what crystal properties are on a metaphysical level happen to have oddly specific complementary properties that balance each other and are useful SPECIFICALLY for Tarot reading.

The first two, my grounding stones, are both polished smooth and large enough to fit in my palms and feel heavy and solid and present in my hands. One is blue tiger's eye, the other is opalite. Blue tiger's eye is specifically grounding, while opalite is a stone of transcendence. Opalite supposedly boosts one's sex drive while blue tiger's eye calms it. In both ways, the stones sort of "cancel each other out" if you will and create perfect balance. Opalite is additionally useful for verbalizing secret or hidden feelings and helps to make sense of psychically-received communication of all kinds. Tarot uses those same hidden feelings to address a querent's issues, and an ability to pick up and translate that communication is essential to the job of the reader.

The other three stones are small, slightly differently sized fluorite octahedrons. Fluorite links groups together through common purpose, helps to maintain an attitude of impartiality, processes information to link what is known and what is learned. Green fluorite specifically brings information from the subconscious mind and accesses intuition. Relative to the cards -- a querent and a reader must be linked in common purpose; the reader must remain impartial and convey only what the cards reveal, but must also be able to interpret the information and make a cohesive, sensible whole out of it. These are also grounding stones.

I obviously can't shuffle and deal cards with two large stones in my hands, but I do hold them for a few moments before I deal and read, sometimes ask the querent to hold them or pass them over their body with my hands then place them beside the cards when they're laid out. The fluorite I think I will use only to crown the spread instead of flank it. As the querent is usually sitting across from me, placing three fluorite crystals between us in that way should be even more powerful because they are in the best physical position to act on the energies linking us to one single purpose -- the reading of the cards.

I hope to be able to test these tomorrow. In the meantime I may try one reading before I pass out tonight, but given my state of exhaustion I know it may be hard to gauge the cards' accuracy or my ability to read.

whee...

Dancing with Jackals [userpic]

My sister made me the BEST. HAT. EVER.

December 31st, 2011 (03:30 pm)
Tags: ,



"I am the Golux, and not a mere Device!"

From James Thurber's The 13 Clocks.

Dancing with Jackals [userpic]

TGWTG stuff update or whatever

November 27th, 2011 (03:58 am)

Totally updated this. Totally.