This is going to be a different year.
Toby is quite unwell, probably because he's honestly quite old. I don't know how old he is, considering he is a rescue dog, but I'm estimating he's going on 12 years old. He's got bad cataracts, and his hearing is going. He also coughs constantly, which I know is more than uncomfortable for him. But he's also been having seizures. They're few and far between but, since I have seizures myself, I know that's no way to live. I can't afford to take him to the vet and pay for whatever treatments will stave off the inevitability of his death, so I'm saving up for euthanasia.
When this happens, I will be without an animal companion for the first time since 1981.
I won't be getting another one.
My belief has always been that, if you can't afford to properly take care of all your family members, "pets" included, you shouldn't take on new members. It's one of the reasons I support abortion, and the main reason I will not adopt another cat, dog, hedgehog, fish, bird, or llama. Another consideration is my health. It's not getting any better, to say the least, and a fur friend deserves better than someone who barely gets out of bet more often than I'd care to admit.
I'm still in the process of sizing up my life, current situation, and possible future situations. While others dream while never using the tools at their fingertips, I look around to find no more tools for me to utilise, so I've chosen pragmatism over folly, because I have never liked to dream without an arsenal at hand to achieve those dreams. Maybe it's a Virgo thing, maybe it's a holdover from my childhood, where I watched the dreamers in my family fall victim to their dreams, and become delusional shells.
I need to stay true to myself, my beliefs, my experience, and my convictions.
After examining the events of the past few years, I've reduced the litmus test to the path I've chosen to take from hereon to this: Does this make any relevant difference to anything, and will it? If the answer to that question is "no", I will disregard the issue before me, whatever or whomever it is.
I was born into a world that was preset to reject me. I've made some friends over the years, but more acquaintances than anything. I am an afterthought to most, and a mild, forgettable entertainment to a few more. When I was younger, I had hoped to change that, and was bothered to think that my efforts to change my role in this world would amount to nothing. I'm older and wiser now. And I've come to realise that nothing, nothing, ever really changes but one's own beliefs and ethics. You have to stay true to those, and fuck everything and everyone else.
That said, in 2019, I'm no longer writing. For decades, I wrote for two primary reasons: to get the stories rambling around in my head onto paper and to bring others some kind of happiness with those stories. To a degree, I believe I succeeded with my fanfic and The Vampire Relics. But the stories have stopped telling themselves to me. Hell, even Cadmus has gone to ground. Ever since the 2016 Presidential election, my ability to write - anything - came to an abrupt halt. I've been too consumed with fear and outrage to even properly function as a writer, even as a blogger. There have been short periods where that wasn't the case, but they are so brief (an hour here, a few minutes there), there do nothing but serve to frustrate, so why bother? I'm distressed enough as is, I don't need any more stress by trying force something that will not happen.
Facebook. I tried to leave Facebook in 2017, and ended up in jail as a result. So I went back, but I rarely post anything personal over there. As far as I'm concerned, Facebook is a tool to share political opinions, jokes, and memes, pretty much as a de facto welfare check, so there won't be any coming to my door. But my connection to Facebook ends there. It's not important. Nothing is.
Really, the only thing that makes me feel even remotely alive now, is the momentary rage I feel at what's happening to my country. But I can't even volunteer, protest, or do anything of meaning to try to change it. The only thing I look forward to, is seeing that orange Fascist bastard get ousted from Washington DC and, hopefully, thrown in prison, but then I stop to think that he'll only be replaced with something worse eventually. It never ends. But the churning in my guts about it is wearing me down, and I feel that 2019 will find me looking at the mess from a cosmic point of view, and sinking into a comfortable ambivalence. Of course, that doesn't mean I won't drop my connection with anyone I discover is a Trumpist, friend or no. I've long been in the process of withdrawing from others, so being outed as a Trumpist will only speed up what's bound to eventually happen. If you want rid of me quickly, go MAGA on me, and we'll seal the deal.
I'd like to talk about other "big changes" in 2019, but my life is so insular, boring, and unchanging big changes can't really happen, now can they?
This is going to be a different year.
In the past few months, I've come to the realisation that my passion for everything in this world adds up to exactly zero. I've long had a litmus test that, if there was a song - most-usually something from Shriekback - that has yet to be heard, or a movie or book that has not been released, that I find myself even remotely anticipating, there was still something left for me to cling to.
There is nothing now.
I just find myself waiting to tie up loose ends so I can exit an existence that holds no joy, much less any shred of solace or resolve. I'm waiting to vote in November, and I'm waiting for Toby, who is old and in poor health, and whom I cannot take to the doctor, to (hopefully) pass as peacefully and painlessly as possible.
The world is meant for worthier souls, for those who have something, anything, to contribute. I'm told in a myriad of ways that I am a redundancy. I don't give a shit what others think of me. I thumb my nose at those who believe the world would be better off without me and those like me; however, I am not a fan of discomfort and joylessness.
Thanks to botched dentures, I've eaten nothing but cottage cheese and mashed potatoes for three years. My insomnia is as bad as ever, Aunt Tudi's voice loud and in my face every night. There's no position I can get in that allows me a modicum of physical comfort. My seizures are now affecting my bladder and bowels. Everything bores me. The only emotion I can honestly say I can easily identify is rage, which is no way to live.
Everyone deserves at least a little bit of peace in their lives. And everyone has a right to pursue that peace in the manner afforded them. If another tries to take that away, what kind of monster is s/he? Sometimes, the highest expression of love and respect is honouring the needs of their friends and family. Do you have that kind of honour, or are you as selfish as almost every other human?
When I was five years old, my parents split acrimoniously. The Father Unit did not handle it well at all, given his mental health issues. The Mother Unit was almost instantly out of the picture for a variety of reasons. The good thing was that I had bonded with Aunt Tudi, in particular, and with Granny. They were the ones who spirited me away from the house when the shit hit the fan. They were the ones who comforted me in the following days. But, because the Father Unit was my biological parent, his rights were considered before anyone else's, and he got custody of me for two weeks. I remember every detail of being taken from Aunt Tudi and Granny, of sitting in the back of the station wagon, my hands pressed against the window, weeping from a broken heart, and abject terror. I didn't know what was going on. My short life was in a shambles, and I desperately looked for the crimes I had committed to deserve this punishment. For the duration of my time with Daddy, he did not allow me to see Aunt Tudi and Granny, even though we drove over there four times over the course of two weeks. He made me stay in the car. My evenings consisted of his railing against Mama, and me counting the woven threads in the back of the couch. I cite this as the beginning of my OCPD where, to this day, I catch myself counting inconsequential things, just because. I saw Mama once during this time. He took me to where she was staying, and I begged her to come back, just to make things normal again. Obviously, that didn't happen. On the way back home from that visit, my dad got to crying so hard listening to Lobo's "Me & You & a Dog Named Boo", he lost control of the vehicle, and we almost had a fatal car accident. Honestly, I still wish we had.
Even though things turned out okay - my dad got some psych help, and I was returned to Aunt Tudi and Granny, who eventually adopted me - that separation and the associated crises endured at that time have clung to me like an undead skin of mistrust and isolation. My experience with other humans over the years only served to compound my feeling of separateness and, to this day, I am very aware of my walking wounded status, stemming from this profound upheaval in my life. Even my relationship with David is being affected, because I can't bring myself to let all my walls down. Honestly, I am not even sure I know how to pull them down anymore.
Why do I write about this, you may ask. I write about it, because I see over 2000 kids who, at the age of 50, will probably be struggling to act "normally" in a supposedly "normal" society, when their sense of normal was eradicated at their most vulnerable. This has nothing to do with politics, with social issues, or even human rights. It's deeper than that. What the Trump administration has done is damage the souls and spirits of the least of our species. It wasn't done because of mental/emotional lack of judgment, like with my dad, but with intention. How many of these kids, if they grow to be my age, look back at this time in their lives and wish they had perished on the journey to America, just like I do thinking back to that car ride from visiting Mama?
This isn't unethical behaviour. This isn't inhumane. This isn't even criminal. It is the very definition of sin and, if there is a god and he has a hell, it is my sincerest wish to watch every one of the perpetrators and supporters of this atrocity bust those gates wide open to infest the only place fit for them.
The other day, David and I went to Wine Express to get some Irish Cream and Sangria. They didn't have his brand of Sangria, however, so the only thing we got was the Irish Cream, for which I was springing. He found his brand at Publix a short while later. Anyway, we went to the counter to check out, and I handed the guy my debit card and ID. He barely looked at me, but carried on polite small talk with David. Once my card cleared, he handed it to David, and said, "You have a good day, sir." It was as though it pained him to even acknowledge my presence. I was so taken aback, I didn't point out the blatant rudeness then, but I fully intend on going back there to buy something else, when I can afford it. If the same thing happens again, I'm making a scene, getting an apology, and maybe even some free product. Fuck that shit.
Yet another one.
- WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Nope.
- WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? It's been a while. I can't remember.
- DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Not anymore.
- WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Tomato.
- DO YOU HAVE KIDS? I've never been hungry enough to grow my own meat.
- IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON, WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? That's a good question.
- DO YOU USE SARCASM? I speak it fluently.
- DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Affirmative.
- WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Only if Donald Trump were on the platform with me and it was the only way to get the fuck away from him.
- WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? Grape Nuts.
- DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? I wear Birkenstocks.
- WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Ben & Jerry's Wavy Gravy
- WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? What symbols they may be wearing.
- RED OR PINK? Red. WHAT IS YOUR LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? My health.
- WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? Aunt Tudi.
- DO YOU WANT EVERYONE TO COMPLETE THIS LIST? It'd be nice to see others' answers, but it's not a major thing.
- WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Grey pants, black socks.
- WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? CNN streaming.
- IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Crimson.
- FAVORITE SMELLS? Egyptian Musk, Frankincense, Gasoline, Vick's Vaporub, Wood fire.
- WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? The Harpist.
- DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? It wasn't sent to me.
- FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Martial Arts and Winter Sports.
- HAIR COLOR? Brown
- EYE COLOR? Silver blue.
- DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? No.
- FAVORITE FOOD? Potatoes.
- SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Scary movies. There's no such thing as a happy ending.
- LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Boogie Nights.
- WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Plaid.
Having been about a month overdue for a haircut, I decided to try the salon at Walmart, since I needed to go there anyway to get my month's supplies and a handful of groceries.
This was a mistake. A big one.
Despite my showing the stylist a picture of my regular haircut, and giving detailed descriptions of what I wanted - a combination Pixie/Boy cut - she pretty much buzzed me everywhere except right in front. The hair on the crown of my head is so short, it will not lie down. I've got tufts of hair sticking out everywhere, and the overall shape of the cut makes my head look funny as hell.
I take comfort in the fact that it will grow out, and I won't have to get another haircut for an extra month, but I'm also more than a little irked that I'm going to have go out in public looking like I've got a serious case of radiation poisoning.
What the hell is up with a stylist who botches a 'do even after being given visual and verbal guides? Needless to say, I won't be going back to Walmart for my hair-cutting needs. Sure, it was relatively cheap, but the cut lives up to the old adage, you get what you pay for. Apparently, I paid for Full Follicle Massacre.
Hell, I may just surrender to the Mad Maxian style, get me some mousse, and spike my hair up even more until it grows out enough to lie down on its own. For now, though, I'm looking forward to every day in February being a fucking bad hair day.
In Her poorly-patched cloak, held together by threads,
She is walking the pathways of her ancient people,
Where all the cloakmakers are fearful to tread.
And She whispers Her poetry in the ears of the Songchild
Teaches of wood to the Child of the Tree
She bestows healing secrets to the Herbchild and Rootchild
And guards for the Holychild, Her own mystery.
The cloakmakers cover her with their own shadow
But their raiment of ignorance does not hide the need
Of her people who see her not as cloakéd Saint Bridget,
But the silver-clad triple divinity, Brighid.
So this was inspired by Brian Froud and Dave Matthews. You figure it out.
The soul of the Selkie I see in your eyes,
The depths of the oceans, the dreams of the skies,
The mystery of ages, the holiest strains of
The chants of the sages in November rains.
On cliffs above Greymere I seek out your song,
Weaving an ebb tide and floating on foam.
You answer me graciously with storm clouds and wind,
And the music of nature your sea lions send.
So beautiful are you, O Son of the Sea!
Calling the wave forth to crash into me.
The spirit, the vision, the Magick I hear
For the love of the Selkie on the Cliffs of Greymere.
~ 11 November, 1996
I found some of my old poetry books, and came across this one poem, dated January 12, 1995. Uh...
NEW WORLD ORDER
I have seen the future, it's hands raised in salute
to an ancient, evil power dressed in a business suit.
And I heard the people choking on the fumes of industry
as the freshly-fired ovens burned away diversity.
I have seen the future in the eyes of every child
denied their human dignity, and destined to grow wild
in the streets of dying cities, in their spirits, hearts, and minds,
in the nightmares of their music, brutal acts of every kind.
I have seen the future and its endless stain of slums,
where the law men batter citizens and make them worship guns.
I see us moving toward it now with every new disgrace.
Big Brother builds a New World for his victims to embrace.
How long before the cameras see us staring at ourselves
and screaming at the ghosts we see for fear they come from Hell?
Perhaps that's where we're going.
Perhaps that's what I dread.
In the New World Order, we'll be jealous of the dead.
12 January, 1995
It’s been about a year since we launched our campaign to haul Shriekback out of the sanctuary of the studio and back under the bright lights of the stage. Our Kickstarter pledgers responded magnificently, enabling us to exceed our original Phase 1 target and giving us the resources to assemble our 8-piece dream-team, fine tune it through intensive rehearsals and start delivering live shows that we and our loyal supporters can feel proud to be part of. We had a resounding success at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire and have taken our first steps into Europe. So far, so good…
Now, though, it’s time for Phase 2, which is turning out to be bigger than we thought. Getting an 8-piece band to America, with all the visa, travel and accommodation that that entails, is proving to be jaw-droppingly expensive. Once more, and more than ever, we need your help to deliver this crucial part of our long-term plan. Our intention is to be playing in America in June, on a short but wide-ranging tour that will enable as many of you as possible to see the band in action. Dates are yet to be finalised, but it is likely that we’ll be playing about six shows, split between the east and west coasts with a couple in between. Apologies to all our Canadian friends but we just couldn't get the fees there. Next time, we hope.
We know this is a Big Ask and we want your contributions to go as far as possible. To do this, we want to offer rewards that are not so much based on physical product (records and T-shirts, for example), as one lesson from our Phase 1 campaign was that manufacturing, shipping and other costs can eat up a big chunk of your generous contributions. Aside from rewards like exclusive downloads, we want, above all, to make this personal – entry to shows, backstage and other access, opportunities to spend time with the band: this is, after all, what the campaign is about – getting Shriekback to you.
When we started Phase 1 of this project, a year ago, we said “the riskiest part is the first part; there’s a lot of expensive inertia to overcome”. We’ve demonstrated that Shriekback Live in 2018 is a viable and exciting animal. However, it’s also a big and hungry one. We have achieved our first goal, which was to be able to function self-sufficiently as a live band in the UK and Europe. The next challenge is to take this beast to America, and, to be frank, it’s a much bigger challenge, economically, than we thought. We’ve looked at every way to deliver this large-scale payload as efficiently as we can; these are how the final numbers stack up. Yes, we’re asking a lot from you, but we believe in what we’re doing and, from what you’ve told us, we believe you want to see and hear it. So, how about it? What are you doing in June? Let’s go.
RISKS AND CHALLENGES
We think the last crowdfunded initiative speaks for itself. We have an experienced team and we've been doing this stuff for a while. Have no fear - if we get the cash, there will be joyous times ahead.
Please click on the image to go check out Shriekback's Kickstarter page to see their video about the proposed American concerts and to make a pledge for musical excellence today!
Thursdays get me down. Why? Because they are the only day that feels like it should be Friday, but isn't, yet it is too late in the week to resign yourself to the bitter fate of what is called a "work week." Why do we enslave ourselves to the notion of such trivial and fabricated ideas?
The good news, however, is that it's raining. And the temperature is at a more sane level. Here's a look outside my window at approximately 11 AM, Eastern.
For quite a few days, the temperature never made it anywhere close to freezing during the warmest part of the day. As a result, David's well-water froze as if he lived on the moon Europa, which isn't too very far off from Fountain Inn. He's been collecting water from my pad, and showering here during this difficult time. One pipe near the well actually burst, but it wasn't a life-changing, bank-breaking ordeal, so he was lucky there.
I've been doing my laundry at his place but, obviously, no clothes were being washed during this deep freeze, so now I'm dealing with Chinese-laundry-level cleaning to do. Luckily, I'll be able to address that later on, since I'm heading for D's this afternoon. We're having a laundry-themed pyjama party that will end with his hauling my butt to the doctor tomorrow morning. I'm going to be harassing her for some topical stye ointment. Don't ask, just nod in agreement and move on. Whilst partying with dirty clothes, I'm guessing we'll finish up the movie, Splice. After that, maybe we'll check out some Riverdale. David seems to think it would behove me to visually ingest this television show. Since I used to really be into Archie Comics, and I've heard some nice dark things about this interpretation, I'm not at all averse to the suggestion. We shall see. I still need to catch him up on Breaking Bad, so there's that as well.
Not to mention he's gotten me started on building LEGOs. Fucking LEGOs. When I was a kid, I always wanted to get into LEGO, but we just couldn't afford it. Now, I'm 50, and I built my very first LEGO just the other night. One super-awesome Wonder Woman. I took a picture, but I got a message from D later, letting me know I'd forgotten her. I explained that I assumed he was just letting me put her together. Apparently, if you assemble a LEGO, it's yours. Do they imprint? Who knew?
Anyway, it's Thursday, and it's raining, so that makes it a good Thursday. Good Thursdays are rare. The only way this could be a better Thursday would be if Robert Mueller had Donald Trump, his family, and every last one of his allies and supporters arrested and publicly shamed. Guess that's too much to ask at this precise mo, though.
Now, let's get down to the nitty-gritty and do this survey thang.
- HOW TALL ARE YOU? 5 feet, 5 inches.
- WHAT COLOR ARE YOUR EYES? Silver-blue
- DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS AND / OR GLASSES? No, but I need to, desperately.
- DO YOU WEAR BRACES? No.
- WHAT IS YOUR FASHION STYLE? Hobbit.
- WHEN WERE YOU BORN? 10 September
- HOW OLD ARE YOU? 50
- DO YOU HAVE ANY SIBLINGS? No.
- WHAT KIND OF STUDENT WERE YOU? Dedicated.
- WHAT WERE YOUR FAVORITE SUBJECTS? English and History
- WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE MOVIES? Lord of the Rings, Fargo, Boogie Nights, Silence of the Lambs, Donnie Darko, Paul, Star Wars
- WHAT ARE YOU FAVORITE PASTIMES? Honing my rage.
- DO YOU HAVE ANY REGRETS? Who doesn't?
- WHAT IS YOUR DREAM JOB? Being paid to try out sleep aids.
- WOULD YOU LIKE TO GET MARRIED? Nope.
- DO YOU WANT KIDS? HOW MANY? NONOHELLNO
- HOW MANY COUNTRIES HAVE YOU VISITED? Two.
- WHAT WAS YOUR SCARIEST DREAM? Being eaten alive by a giant snake.
- DO YOU HAVE A BOYFRIEND / GIRLFRIEND / SIGNIFICANT OTHER? I'm guessing so.
- YOUR PLAYLIST ON SHUFFLE AND WITHOUT SKIPPING LIST THE FIRST 15 SONGS
- When the Man Comes Around - Johnny Cash
- Brand New Key - Melanie
- Rhyme & Reason - Dave Matthews Band
- Year of the Cat - Al Stewart
- The Quick and the Daft - Electric Light Orchestra
- Down Yn Ôl - Plethyn
- The Dreamer - Ahrix
- I Will Remember You - Sarah McLachlan
- Flowers become Screens - Delerium
- Call It Love - Poco
- Learning to Fly - Ask for Joy
- Between Two Points - The Glitch Mob
- Veridis Quo - Daft Punk
- I Feel You in My Soul - Nusound
- Winning - Santana
Because she has a higher-tiered membership that allows her access to international records, Julie McLaughlin is being kind enough to assist me in building my Ancestry family tree. Tonight, she identified one of the individuals I knew had died in Auschwitz during the Holocaust.
I had always known I had relatives who had fallen victim to the wave of Nazism that enveloped much of Europe in the early 20th Century but, until now, I'd never been able to afford a name to these people. Honestly, other than Aunt Flora, I don't know if I have anymore casualties to the Holocaust. I hope not, but I don't know for certain at this time. And, to be realistic, I don't think anyone of European Jewish descent doesn't have at least one relative who ran afoul of Nazi hate-train in the early 20th Century.
What I do know, is that my support for groups like Antifa is not misguided. I have always been a keen proponent of Nazi-punching, not only because Nazis deserve punching - and so much more, but also because of my own deep-seated connection to the rotten fruits of Nazi labour. There is no such thing as a decent or "fine" - in the words of our Hitler-wannabe supreme leader Drumpf - Nazi. They are motherfucking psychopaths with an absence of anything remotely redeemable, and they deserve whatever they get in the public forum.
Records like this also drive my disgust for the ongoing conservative Israeli policy. It is as if the Jewish nation has learnt nothing from our own oppression, and seem hellbent on repeating the same atrocities that were visited upon our people, on the Arabic Palestinians. What goes around, comes around, Netanyahu. If we find ourselves in another Shoah, you and your ilk surely are one of the main reasons why. We need to break this cycle of oppression, lest it revisit us, this time most-deservedly.
Do I sound extreme? Yes. Do I rage at our current plight? HELL YES. Who wouldn't? It is time to either call a halt to this vicious cycle of hatred, or hasten the extinction of our species, so that the hatred is eradicated by proxy. Let the Earth heal and reclaim a natural order. The abomination of Shoah and atrocities like it, are a distinctly human aberration. We have the choice to rise above it, or surrender to the inevitability of our resultant extinction. The choice is ours. Let Flora, and those like her, guide your decisions. And let them be wise ones, for the love of god - or whatever.
Thanks to the slightly uncomfortable cold weather, D and I resorted to wearing hats to keep our brainpans from collecting permafrost. It turns out, such activity turns us into Pop Culture icons. For reference, please take a gander at Charlie's legendary Winter cap. As for my headgear, I'm thinking it speaks for itself.
Over the years, I've tossed around various ideas, mainly to myself, of potential business ventures. My longtime favourite was The Granola Bar, a health-food coffee and gift shop. Well, no more. In a sublime moment of epiphany, I have found my business calling, in the form of the mighty, mighty llama, and its propensity for pronking. What? You don't know from pronking? Let me enlighten you. Check out this gif.
That is a llama pronking. Ain't he just cute as fuck?
Now, since I love All Things British, it only stands to reason that I would turn this adorable pastime into the name of a proper English pub. And, so it goes. All I need now is several hundred thousand dollars and some business-savvy partners to make my dream come true. So, who's on board? Who wants a piece of The Pronking Llama? I've already made the sign, so that's ninety percent of the battle fought and won, amirite?
Bold what applies;
I AM: outgoing, a sister, overwhelmed, helpful, kind, overweight, tall, caring, a shopaholic, energetic, hopeful, smart, over 18, religious, sexually active, a mother, a good singer, ugly, insecure, a natural blonde, a leader, shy, inquisitive, determined, thirsty, frustrated, registered to vote, independent, hungry, self-conscious, a hard worker, skinny, paranoid, in love, a college/uni student, a dreamer, a movie buff, usually happy, easily entertained, quiet, a daddy’s girl, a smoker, employed, happy with my life, anxious, a pothead, healthy, on a desktop.
I HAVE: an iphone, a laptop, anxiety, drugs, a tumblr, an addiction, a dog, my own car, a degree, a job, trust issues, a temper, a brother, a big house, blue eyes, a lot of clothes, a twin bed, a big family, netflix, to pee, odd taste in music, a large book collection, fast internet, a big imagination, my license, curly hair, a small butt, short hair, a messy room, acne, a phobia, big boobs, a medical condition, an awkward smile, some kind of collection, taken over 1,000 surveys, a personal blog that nobody sees but me, gotten lost while driving, been to warped tour, big feet, bills to pay, a lot of strong opinions, a pool, an xbox, a cold, a lot of music, more than two piercings.
I WANT: a boyfriend, more money, a better body, to adopt, to move out, a new computer, to lose weight, something I cannot have, food, a baby, my hair to grow out, a new life, to be more confident, a tattoo, fast food, alcohol, more friends, to go on vacation, to see a new movie coming out, to go shopping, a new phone, a piercing, concert tickets, someone to hang out with, to start working out, to be famous, to see a certain someone, more clothes, to donate blood, bigger boobs, someone to cuddle with, a job, smaller thighs, to learn how to play an instrument, my favorite band to release a new album, someone to love, a new pet, to go to sleep, to grow up, to change something about my personality, breakfast food, them to make a new pokemon game, a new ipod, a popsicle, to learn a new skill, to be more organized, to go to college, someone to bring me breakfast in bed.
I THINK: abortion is wrong, xanga is dying (it’s dead), I’ll die young, I’m a good person, too often, I’m going to hell, pickles are gross, a lot of popular things are overrated, God is real, people underestimate me, my taste in music is perfect, I need a new layout, I’m pretty responsible, gay marriage should be legal, I’m going to dye my hair soon, I’m funny, I’m going to make a huge decision soon, my parents hate me, I’m pretty, I have a mental disorder, I annoy people, something is seriously wrong with me, of better days, a lot of Disney Channel stars grow up to be trash, The Hunger Games is overrated, the best things in life are free, popular music is pretty awful, I could be a vegan, I’ll make a good mother, I spend too much money on clothes, I’m too good for guys my age, I worry too much, goths are scary, the survey community is dying, politics are stupid, foreign languages are interesting, hipsters are annoying, bolding surveys are the best, everything is better with cheese, Twilight is overrated, I will be alone forever, I might go to bed soon, I may try something new soon, I’m pretty boring, I may never stop taking surveys, McDonald’s is gross, celebrities are overpaid, people use me a lot, Valentine’s Day is a joke, nobody is truly original.
I LOVE: animals, shopping, cooking, going to concerts, jewelry,glitter, reading, bright colors, make up, taking pictures, hot showers, texting, going to the theater, children, anime, being girly, working out, my life, where I live, summer, fruit, candles, photography, eating, learning, rainy days, walking, painting my nails, doing my hair, music, xanga, facebook, feeling needed, getting comments, tumblr, helping others, volunteering, cuddling, chewing gum, youtube, dresses, touch screens, decorating, writing, finding money in my pockets, Comedy Central.
I HATE: cleaning, driving, big crowds, politics, religion, my period, musicals, talking on the phone, crying, fast food, going to the doctor, meat, vegetables, sitcoms, my body, my life, my parents, long fingernails, bad grammar, cocky people, being single, facial hair, having no signal, losing, working, doing the dishes, bugs, children, straight edge kids, racists, going to the dentist, going to school, arguing, hospitals, being pale, having scars, hot weather, wearing socks, listening to the radio, animal cruelty, having stubbly legs, stretched ears, wearing glasses, when nobody texts me back, anime, having nothing to do, when I have stray hairs stuck to my shirt, waiting, bad hair days.
Behold my official First Blog Post of 2018. In keeping with my eternal obsession with filling out useless surveys, my 2018 maiden voyage will feed that beast in fine fashion.
1 - Who was the last person you texted? xevokitty
2 - When is your birthday? 10 September.
3 - Who do you want to be with right now? Jesus.
4 - What sports do you play? Flambodious Butt-Walking.
5 - Who is the first person in your contacts? Aki Dreaming
6 - What is your favorite song as of the moment? "The Promise" by When In Rome.
7 - If you were stranded on an island, who do you wish to be with? Neil deGrasse Tyson. He'd know what to do in such a situation.
8 - What do you feel right now? A tad chilly.
9 - What chocolate is your favorite? Super-rich milk chocolate.
10 - How many boyfriends/girlfriends did you have? Four, but one of those is on repeat.
11 - Why did you create a Tumblr account? To store all my Tim Roth Tutorials in one spot.
12 - Who is your favorite blogger? My journaling friends on LJ and Dreamwidth.
13 - Where do you want to be right now? England. Always England.
14 - What do you want to be in the future? Dead? I'll get some good sleep, finally.
15 - When was the last time you cried? Why? When I lost Smidgen in July 2017.
16 - Are you happy? Happy-ish, I guess.
17 - Whom do you miss? Aunt Tudi.
18 - If you were given a chance, would you like to have a different life? Oh yeah!
19 - What was the best thing you were given? A second chance.
20 - Who was the last person who called you? David.
21 - What is your favorite dish? Anything having to do with potatoes.
22 - Who is your bestfriend? I really don't have one anymore.
23 - What is your biggest regret? Not being more patient with Aunt Tudi.
24 - Have you ever cheated on your partner? Nope.
25 - Who do you spend crazy moments with? Define crazy.
26 - Name someone pretty. Barry Andrews. Dude is a total Elf, and you can't tell me otherwise, so don't even try.
27 - Who was the last person you hugged? David.
28 - What kind of music do you listen to? Everything, but I do have a weakness for EDM.
29 - Are you over your past? NEVER!
30 - Who is the last person in your contacts? Travis.
31 - What kind of person do you want to date? Someone who is not terrible and doesn't make me want to murder them.
32 - Do you have troubles sleeping at night? Most of the time.
33 - From whom was the last text message you received? xevokitty
34 - What do you prefer, jeans or skirt? Jeans.
35 - How’s your heart? Doctor says it's strong, despite my efforts.
36 - Did you ever have a girlfriend/boyfriend whose name starts with a “J”? No.
37 - Do you like someone as of the moment? Sure.
38 - What would you want to say to your latest ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend? I wouldn't.
39 - Do you have any phobias? Myriapodophobia
40 - Did you try to change for a person? When I was young and dumb. Fuck that shit now.
41 - What’s the nicest thing have you given to someone? The trip to England to Aunt Tudi.
42 - Would you go back to your previous relationship? I kinda have?
43 - Are you in a good or bad mood? This is trick question, isn't it?
44 - Name someone you can’t live without. Stephen King.
45 - Describe your dream date. No such thing.
46 - Describe your dream wedding. No such thing.
47 - How many roses did you receive last Valentine’s? I've never gotten roses on Valentine's.
48 - Have you ever been kissed? Yes.
49 - How long is your longest relationship? Six years.
50 - Do you regret your past? Yes, parts of it.
51 - Can you do something stupid for someone else? I don't anyone else to do stupid shit.
52 - Have you ever cried over someone? Yes.
53 - Do you have a grudge against anyone? I'm a Sith, so what do you think?
54 - Are you a crybaby? Aw, HELL naw!
55 - Do people praise you for your looks? They have on occasion.
56 - Did you fall for someone you shouldn’t? HAHAHAHAHA! yes.
57 - Have you ever done something bad but you don’t regret? Many things.
58 - Do you like getting hurt? Not emotionally.
59 - Does anyone hate you? Probably.
60 - Did you slap anyone whose name starts with an “R”? Who wrote this survey, Theresa Caputo? No.
61 - What hair color do you prefer? On others, dark brown and black. On myself, green.
62 - If you can change anything about yourself, what is it? My health.
63 - Do you love someone as of the moment? I love my Tribe.
64 - Have you ever thought of killing yourself? Suicidal Ideation is a bit of a hobby.
65 - Do you have issues with somebody in your school? I had issues with almost everyone in school.
66 - Can you live without internet? NO. NONONONONO.
67 - What’s the song that reminds you of your special someone? Stolen Kiss by Ronan Hardiman.
68 - Are you good at holding back your tears? I'm an expert.
69 - Are you crazy? Aren't we all?
70 - Have you ever experienced being hysterical? Indeed, I have.
71 - Are you a KPOP fan? A casual one.
72 - Do you study hard? I never had to, for some reason.
73 - Have you ever sacrificed something important to you for someone you love? Yes.
74 - Did you ever have a kiss under the moonlight? Yes.
75 - Have you ever ridden a boat? Yes.
76 - Did you have an accident last year? Other than falling repeatedly, no.
77 - What kind of person are you? Professional Misanthrope.
78 - Have you ever thought of killing someone? Yes, O yes.
79 - Have you ever been jealous? Once upon a time.
80 - How can you prove your love to someone? Unconditional, non-judgmental support.
81 - What are you thinking right now? How I'm kind of regretting filling this out now, but I refuse to quit.
82 - Who is the 6th person in your contacts? Matt fucking Anderson.
83 - Do you have any memories you want to erase? 6 November, 2002.
84 - Have you been hurt so bad that you can’t find words to explain how you feel? Absolutely.
85 - Did you ever badmouth someone? When do I not?
86 - Have you ever had an argument with someone? Who the hell hasn't?
87 - Do you have trust issues? HELL YES.
88 - Are you broken-hearted? I have been.
89 - Who’s the person who first comes to your mind when someone mentions “love”? Serena Williams.
90 - Do you think all the pain is worth it? I am withholding judgment for now.
91 - Do you believe in the phrase “If it’s meant to be, it will be”? YES.
92 - Who do you want to marry? I don't believe in marriage.
93 - Do you believe in destiny? I do believe in destiny.
94 - Have you ever thought “I already found my soulmate”? The more accurate statement would be "I already know my soulmate."
95 - How do you look right now? Like roadkill.
96 - Do you believe that first true love never dies? No.
97 - Have you found your true love? Is there really such a thing?
98 - What should you be doing right now? The Lambada.
99 - Name one of your ex-boyfriends/ex-girlfriends. Lewis Boyd.
100 - Did you ever feel like you’re not good enough? No doubt.
It should be of note that I did not read through this survey before answering it in real time. This is how I prefer to do surveys, 'cos I think you get a more a honest, or at least a more entertaining, collection of responses. I may do a search later for a political survey, just for shits and giggles, 'cos I have the feeling my answers to something like that may set the roof on fire.
One of my crowning accomplishments of the past 20 years is achieving an almost Zen level of not giving a fuck. Sure, I still have my moments, and my biggest weakness is that O so magical dynamic duo of maximum angst, religion and politics, but everything and everyone else can just hop off to hell for all I care. This public service message has been brought to you by the letter F and this super-cool image of Santiago, giving no Vampiric fucks.
What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?
Finagled my own apartment.
Did you keep your New Years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
Didn't have any. For 2018, I have some goals, or maybe a to-do list, but no resolutions.
Did anyone close to you give birth?
Not that I know of. I tend not to associate with breeders.
What countries did you visit?
South Carolina could be considered a country unto itself, but no, I guess I did not visit any countries this year.
What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?
What date from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
February 26th, the New Moon, and when I rededicated myself to my spiritual path, after years of absence of heart.
What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Getting away from the toxic environment in which I lived in San Diego.
What was your biggest failure?
Not being able to save Smidgen.
Did you suffer illness or injury?
Seizures. Fucking seizures. And the bruises that result. And migraines.
What was the best thing you bought?
My portable altar.
Whose behavior merited celebration this year?
My fellow Resistors.
Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?
Fucking Donald J. Trump. First, I was depressed. Then, I became appalled. Even though I'm still appalled, now I'm just generally angry as all Sith Hell.
Where did most of your money go?
What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Hangin' with the Harpist, which is just bizarre in and of itself.
What song will always remind you of 2017?
Compared to this time last year, are you:
Happier, angrier, loved, more determined, fatter.
What do you wish you had done more of?
What do you wish you'd done less of?
How did you spend Christmas?
At home alone, then with the Harpist later, going into Boxing Day.
How will you be spending New Year’s?
I plan on chilling at the pad.
What did you want and get?
How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?
Same as it always was: Hippie Nerd Chic.
What political issue stirred you the most?
The further sinking of the US into Christo-Fascist Quicksand.
Who did you miss?
I don't believe in resolutions, because they are self-sabotaging prophecies. Just my opinion. But I do have some goals this year, one very important one, as it affects pretty much every part of my life. So here goes.
- I'm going to get rid of a lot of the movies I own. After living in a hoarding environment for almost four years, my inclination for minimalism has only grown stronger. The litmus test for what I give up is, if I haven't watched the movie in over a year, I'm not going to miss it, and it's history. I'll be making a list of what I'm purging and offering the films to anyone who may want them. Given my finances, I'll have to ask for the price of mailing the package (I have mailers, so that's not an issue) and, for that, I am sorry, but I'll be happy to rehome these flix to my homies, or strangers who reach out in response. Whatever is left is going to Horizon Records to be sold for whatever they offer me.
- I am restarting my Yoga. Over the past few months, I've neglected this, and I am feeling the effects. My joints are a nightmare, and my pain levels are sometimes out of control. I've also gained some weight, for a couple of reasons: lack of exercise and eating habits, which will be addressed below. I'm adding Surya Namaskar, because it looks doable in my current physical state, and it's mentioned in Shriekback's song, Sticky Jazz. Hey, I'm nothing if not irrationally loyal.
- I have to pay off the ADSAP bill, which exceeds $1000, and has to be resolved by January 2019. My aim is to have it paid off by October, Goddess-willing.
- I need to get my lost Social Security Card replaced, so I can finally get a South Carolina ID and insure that I'll be able to vote come November, because that shit's important, more so than ever, I'd say!
- I'm going to work on being more trusting and not to over-think things. By nature, I am an analyst. Combine that with too many betrayals of trust in the past, and you have a combination that creates an excellent KGB agent, but not so much a good friend or companion. Since I will never be recruited to the KGB, I need to focus on relationships, or I'm going to end up being more alone than I already am. Included in this goal is to stop focusing on the blatant exclusion by my local family. As that Frozen chick says, I need to let it go.
- Last, but hardly least, I need to get new dentures. The first set I got was a study in Supreme Fuckery, especially considering how much they cost. Despite several "fixes", they were too big and severely unaligned, so much so I have never been able to chew with them. It has only gotten worse, after I lost more weight and my gums shrank, making them even bigger. They even prevent me from singing, and I still have trouble speaking! Since 2015, I've been on a soft diet, comprised mainly of soup, cottage cheese, and smoothies. I have only worn the dentures for cosmetic purposes, but I can only wear them for brief periods of time, because they're so painful. If I wear them longer than 12 or so hours, they rip up my gums and cheeks, and then I have to deal with bleeding and sores. It's been a nightmare. When I was in California, depressed and having a lack of access to proper food preparation methods, my weight was not affected by my diet. Yeah, I'd fall out more often than not, from poor nutrition issues, but what I was eating didn't affect my weight. Now that I have a more normal situation when it comes to food, I don't have the the finances to get healthier choices that I could eat, so my limited food choices, combined with reduced activity, I'm gaining weight. The good news, though, is I haven't fallen out but maybe a half dozen times this year! Regardless, my diet is not the healthiest in the world. I now have high cholesterol that the doctor says diet can change, but I can't change my diet until I'm able to expand my options, and I can't expand my options until I'm able to actually chew food. I'm not sure how I'll be able to gather the funds for the dentures I need, considering the godawful ADSAP bill, but finding a way is of great importance, overshadowing all the other goals on this list. Wish me luck!
I have noticed how many of the breakfast places like IHOP, Waffle House, and Eggs Up offer options like scattered, smothered, and covered. Then, I got to thinking it'd be cool to start up my own little breakfast nook and provide even more of these options, just going a step - or three - further. What these would mean, I have yet to discern. If you have any ideas, or if you have an option suggestion, I encourage you to let me know in the comments. So, without further ado, let's have Breakfast in Hell. All plates can be served with the following options:
- Rode Hard and Put up Wet
- Slapped Repeatedly
- Charged with a Felony
- Held back a Year
- Cooked by Joss Whedon
I may revisit this and add more as they come to me. I may not. Who the hell knows?
My deepest apologies to Weird Al Yankovic.
I'd rather spend eternity eating shards of broken glass
than eat Christmas breakfast with you.
I'd rather get a hundred thousand paper cuts on my face
than eat Christmas breakfast with you.
I'd rather have my blood sucked out by leeches,
Shove an ice pick under a toenail or two,
I'd rather clean all the bathrooms in Grand Central Station with my tongue
than eat Christmas breakfast with you.
Yes, I'd rather jump naked on a huge pile of thumbtacks,
Or stick my nostrils together with Krazy Glue,
I'd rather dive into a swimming pool filled with double-edged razor blades
than eat Christmas breakfast with you.
I'd rather rip out my heart out of my ribcage with my bare hands
and then throw it on the floor and stomp on it 'til I die...
than eat Christmas breakfast with you.
He’s dating the Hulk.
David couldn’t open the bottle of Sangria, so I stepped in to save the day. He declared that he was dating the Hulk. I did not realise we were actually dating, nor did I realise how strong I am. Then again, I did “inspire” a coworker to become an amateur weight lifter by being able to bend a hardcore spring.
Do I have a tale to tell…
Let’s start from the beginning. On a cold December night in 2012, I got a horrific migraine. It was my third in a week. I had already been to the e/r once with the first one and the doctor had prescribed me a medication I’d never heard of to take home in case I had another.
It worked for the second one. For this one, however, it did not. So, even though I was still not supposed to be driving from my previous seizure incident, and was really kind of afraid to - which is why I don’t drive now - I got in the car to go back to the hospital.
I was stopped by a policeman on the way and he charged me with a DUI. It turns out the medication was a barbiturate. I had to pay a fine and sign up for ADSAP classes, even though I had decided driving was not going to be in my future. I did all of that. I attended all the classes I could before moving to California, which I informed them I was doing. Everything seemed okay.
Fast-forward to 2017. Last week, I decided to take an Internet holiday. Just delete everything so there’d be no temptation, and limit myself to just Netflix and Hulu, if I got bored with doing non-Net stuff. Everything was fine and I figured I’d return to social media in a couple of weeks.
Then, on Sunday, there came a knock at the door. It was a policeman. He was there doing a welfare check on me. He said some friends were concerned because I had disappeared from the Internet. I told him I was fine, and everything seemed to be copacetic as he checked my ID to verify I was the one he was sent to check on.
That’s when things went pear-shaped. It turns out, I had a three-year-old outstanding bench warrant for contempt of court, for failing to enroll in ADSAP. I explained to him that I did enroll and attend, but didn’t finish because of the move. Since I still have my California ID, he believed me, but said I still had to explain that to the judge, so I was handcuffed and carted off to rendezvous with a Spartanburg officer, who took me to that county’s detention facility. He, too, was certain I’d be released as soon as I explained the situation to the judge.
The judge said I had to reach out to the judge who originally ruled on my DUI and, until I heard back from him, I would be spending my days and nights in the pokey for the next three to four weeks.
Once I was transferred to my pod, as they call it, and told my cellmates what had happened and what the judge suggested I do, they all said that it was pretty much hopeless. Once you’re in the system, no one will listen to you, so I may as well make myself comfortable. I did not listen, though. I had to at least try.
Monday morning, I logged on to their kiosk and wrote out my story to the judge. Even though I didn’t think it would do any good, I figured I would give it a shot nonetheless. I was as eloquent, polite, and precise as possible. The guard told me that the judge would have three days to respond to my request. I doubted it would turn out in my favour.
But, this morning, I was summoned to court, and the judge explained to me that I would have to re-enroll in ADSAP, even though I no longer drive, because that’s the “law”. I have until the 17th to do so. He released me on my own recognizance since I have never been in trouble before or after the night of the migraine from hell.
And there you have it. The lessons here are clear:
1) Don’t try to drive anywhere with a migraine after taking medicine you’re not familiar with.
2) Don’t take an ‘okay’ as okay over the phone from anyone associated with the “system”. Get it in writing, in triplicate, and keep that shit forever.
3) Don’t listen to what others are telling you when your gut is advising otherwise. Your inner sense knows best.
4) Don’t ever ever EVER fucking delete your Facebook account, or you may end up in an episode of Orange is the New Black.
In conclusion, I had no idea that, upon moving back to South Carolina, the Upstate's welcome wagon doubles as the paddy wagon. Sheesh...
I've been keeping track of the Boston "Free Speech" rally, and have been deeply moved by the people's reaction to the Fascists who wanted to repeat their putrid behaviour exibited in Charlottesville. According to reports, around 100 Nazis showed up to face around 40,000 pissed off Bostonians. This is beyond my cynical comprehension. And it occurred to me: Perhaps Donald Trump is actually making America great again. His reprehensible platform and those who stand with him have finally woken decent Americans from their long dystopian sleep. I still feel like it's too late to stop the Hard Right Train to Hell, but I am deeply heartened by the swell of souls rising up to oppose this horror. When the rally comes to my area, I'll be doing the same thing, trust me. I shall resist until change comes, or I shall die trying! Maybe, just maybe, if we can turn this bullshit around, America will be better than ever. And all because of Donald Trump. So yeah, let's make America great again! Get out and punch motherfucking Nazis until they run home to their basements crying!
Since I went into seclusion over Smidgen's death, so much bullshit has happened, I just don't know how to properly process it in an acceptable word format. I've been reduced to forwarding news stories and memes, and posting brief interludes of shock and horror at the dismantling of my country. Now, I could share everything I post on Facebook here, but I don't know if that would be something people would want to see, so I leave it to whomever reads this. Do you want me to rant and rave in images and micro-blogs here on the Cliffs, or shall I reserve that for Facebook and Twitter?
In the meantime, if you're wondering what I feel like being so speechless when I'm typically the one who won't shut, just reference this gif of John Cusack. Verily, he is my spirit animal.
She passed peacefully. Her eyes turned black afterward, but she still had that angel face. After days, she finally voided her bladder in death. It was a huge amount of urine.
I gave everything that belonged to Smidgen, to Cameron and Cindy. I’m going to scatter Smidgen’s ashes on the hill where she was born, and I’ve save one of her claw sheaths to keep in my Pentagram locket.
I’m numb. Really, the only thing that has been on my mind for days is how I wish Toby would pass now, so I could just go away, too. Death doesn’t suck. Living afterwards is what is so horrific.
I don’t think I have ever made a comprehensive list of the influences that helped in the creation of Cadmus Pariah. If I can explain without sounding like an utter loon, I will also write out my reasons for their involvement in Cadmus. The list is really not in any order, except for the first three or so, which are ridiculously obvious and I’d just be a prat if I didn’t put them first. So, without further ado.
- Barry Andrews: Well, duh. He gave Cadmus his looks. Aunt Tudi thought Barry had the most angelic face she’d ever seen. That, combined with a half-sleep nightmare that involved him, heavily influenced Cadmus’ appearance and dichotomous demeanour.
- Carl Marsh: Carl Marsh gave Cadmus his name. Think about it. He was the collected companion of the menace of Barry’s priest in the video for Nemesis. That knowing stoicism he exuded gave Cadmus the needed cap to his misunderstood rage, and is often the only thing that keeps the Pariah from falling into mindless depravity.
- Tim Curry (in character as Gaal from Earth 2): Gaal was a manipulator and a murderer with a silver tongue. He gravitated to endearments like “pet” and “poppet”. His voice, along with Barry’s dramatic whisper on many of Shriekback’s best songs, comprise what Cadmus sounds like in my mind.
- Ed Kowalczyk: Cadmus became a hardcore hedonist thanks to Ed Kowalczyk of the band Live. His performance in their video for the song “Freaks”, along with the fact that his nails were painted, was like a Cabaret for the damned. It was perfect. Before Tom Hardy, I wanted Ed Kowalczyk to play Cadmus in my movie.
- Tom Hardy: This was an odd one, because Cadmus was already fully-formed and developed by the time Tom Hardy railroaded into my world. I see my stories as movies in my head and, before Mr. Hardy, Cadmus’ appearance was a very effeminate, Egyptian, alien version of Barry Andrews. Then I saw Star Trek: Nemesis (aptly named) and beheld one of the best actors to come along in a very long time accurately interpret the ravages of child abuse on a young adult, and BOOM, he was anchored to Cadmus. As a result, Cadmus adopted a more sullen affect, at times, and was also graced with an eloquent viciousness, devoid of any bothersome conscience, because conscience was for the weak. Tom Hardy also allowed Cadmus to properly express anger with dignity, inadvertently contributing what I called his “crazy eye” to my character. Cadmus’ change of mood, indicated by just a single subtle expression, can turn a situation of civility into one of slaughter in literally the blink of an eye.
- Annie Lennox: Her techno-domme persona has pretty much affected all aspects of my writing and character creation, but she touched Cadmus in particular with her stoic command of everything around her in the “Sweet Dreams” video, combined with her perfect androgynous image. I’ve never put Cadmus Pariah in a suit before but, if I ever do, it will be because of Annie Lennox.
- Rob Dougan: His song “Clubbed to Death” teamed up with Shriekback’s “Deeply Lined Up” to create thematic sound of Cadmus Pariah’s soul. Everything and everyone belongs to him, and he dispenses with his possessions as he sees fit.
- Darth Maul: Prior to The Phantom Menace, Cadmus was devoid of any sexuality. He was a creature of destruction, not affection, love, or lust. Then came Maul. Wrapped in dark flowing robes that were incredibly Cadmusian, this soft-spoken warrior was a physical poet. His poise and grace enhanced Cadmus Pariah, and gave him the ability to experience sexual gratification.
- Pryrates: From Tad Williams’ trilogy, Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, Pryrates was the red priest who dabbled heavily in dark magick and alchemy, eventually uniting with the Storm King in his quest for dominion. Like Cadmus, Pryrates is small and bald, but his fierceness and determination affected the development of my character, and I must admit the influence. Pryrates is the reason Cadmus maintains an altar, despite his lack of faith.
- Pinhead: This should be obvious to anyone. My Cadmus aspires to reach the levels of poetry and slaughter Pinhead has wrought in the written world. Everything about him is beauty, dread, desire, and suffering. It is Pinhead who inspired Cadmus to say, “Survival is the parchment upon which the Law of Nature is Inscribed.” Like Cadmus, Pinhead is dedicated to his ideal, his focus is an exercise in perfection. He, along with Barry, gave Cadmus his eloquence.
- Hannibal Lecter: His command of the language deeply inspired the development of Cadmus. Also, his abiity to manipulate through nothing but words is something I felt Cadmus would be perfect at doing. There is also the Shriekback/Hannibal connection that gives me episodes of frisson. I love it.
- Randall Flagg: I admit that my fascination with Randall Flagg is probably incredibly unhealthy but, when I read The Stand in 1980, I was drawn into this charismatic entity, and his spirit dwelt within me for a decade before Cadmus was born. Randall Flagg is a natural leader and a master manipulator. He exudes the perfect combination of fright and desire. This absolutely influenced Cadmus Pariah.
I’m sure there are other influences that I just can’t think of right now, but these folks/characters are the core. Writers often say that their characters are figments of the imagination and not based on any real person, but I beg to differ. We write what we know, and we are constantly bombarded with inspirations and influences. It’s inevitable that they come out in our compositions. In my opinion, it’s perfectly natural, and the primary method by which information is passed on from one generation to another.
After a long absence, Rob Dougan's Clubbed to Death decided to make a special appearance on my iTunes. Where Rob Dougan goes, Cadmus Pariah follows. That said, this drabble fell out. I still feel horrible about his childhood, but Cadmus wouldn't be Cadmus, were it not for Nissius of Rome.
The young Gaelic Tarma kept his dark head bent in silence, his hair hanging in his huge liquid eyes, as they shimmered like stars from the agony. He would not even dare a single tremour of any muscle in his frail, white body. He knew that this, just like everything in his life, was a test, a trial, and that every tribulation he survived would make his small body impenetrable to any ill, and would sharpen his mind to diamond precision. When the time came, all this woe and horror would transform into a glorious power, and that power would be all his.
The strap drew another red gash across Cadmar’s exposed back, the fourteenth one. Just six more to go, and Cadmar would be left to his own devices for the rest of the night, to hunt and replenish his strength. That is, if he did not lose consciousness. Should he succumb to the pain and blood loss, he would go hungry that night, and receive 25 lashes at sundown the next sundown. Each night he could not withstand the trial added five more lashes the next night, until he hardened to it, accepted it, welcomed it.
Cadmar welcomed the night when his power would eclipse that of his master, Nissius for, on that night, it would be his head bowed in silence, awash in the ecstasy of suffering known only to the Elect.The old man spoke of Hell in the after life, delighted in promising Cadmar an eternity of what the Elf already had a bellyful of on Earth. But Cadmar did not believe him. Cadmar was learning that you create your own hell, just as you create heaven, right here, right now. And he believed his current hell was well=deserved, for Cadmar was not yet strong enough to remove himself from it. Once he was, Cadmar planned to create his heaven, awash in the blood of this filthy creature of the Apostate. And he would continue to build his heaven on Earth. His bricks would be bones and his mortar the very marrow of the creation itself.
I’m going through it right now. I know I’ve been pretty quiet for about a week. I pushed myself to be more social than I have been in years, in the hope that it might buoy me from what felt like an imminent major depressive dip. Thanks to the combination empathy and introversion, what might have been just psychological became physical, and I ended up catching yet another cold.
An unexpected expense wiped my account during my absence from Teh Intarwebz, so I’ve been subsisting on four cans of soup, and a box of cereal during all this. The financial scare and my shite health made my dip probably ten times worse than it would have been, had I just kept to myself. I know now that the whole social thing is going to have to come slowly for me. I can’t just fall back into it, because I was never that social to begin with!
I’m afraid I won’t be able to afford any of this. I’m adrift in a situation where my travel options are very limited, which cuts into any monies I might need for basic things like, oh, food. If you have $20, but it’s gonna cost $10+ to get to a store and back, you’re not going to have money to buy much of anything, and then you’re screwed for food and transportation. I have to admit, my thoughts are bleak at the moment, and my vision of even the near future is clouded with worry, fear, and loneliness.
But at least I’m in a clean place for now.
And so the day has come.
With the revelation of the New Moon, a new era is dawning on my beloved online journal. As it should be common knowledge amongst people who have long followed my various adventures and rants, I've been in the process of moving operations from LiveJournal to Dreamwidth.
After an extended absence from journaling, I returned to LJ to find portions of it in disrepair, and the climate it once enjoyed denigrated and anaemic. it's been more than a little depressing to see a once thriving community deteriorate before your eyes, and that is the primary reason why I am leaving. It's painful to watch, so I have chosen to no longer look.
It would be a lie to say I will not miss LiveJournal, but my remaining here will not bring back the LJ I came to know and love. That place is long gone, and it's hard to navigate through all the weeds that have overgrown this digital garden. My departure is long overdue, and so I go.
If you wish to continue reading my ramblings, I have set up housekeeping at Dreamwidth, under the same name, The Cliffs of Insanity. You can click the title here in the text, or the image below, to be taken there. If you subscribe to me, I promise to reciprocate! I look forward to seeing you over on the new Cliffs, and to many more years of interaction, sharing, venting, and being as creative as possible, with my friends and Tribe.
Over the past few days, I've been struggling to assemble furniture. One piece was a bedside table, and the other was a chest of drawer. The bedside table wasn't too bad, because it was small. The chest of drawers, however, was an entirely different matter. The instructions noted that two people were needed to put the bloody thing together. The problem is, there's only one of me. The solution to this problem is, I'm ambidextrous and can also use my feet like a fucking spider monkey. After two days of struggle, and many breaks so I wouldn't lose my temper or my mind, I was finally successful! And that was with an injured hand, thanks to a fall a few days ago. One shelf of the chest of drawers is a little loose because I had some issues with the dowels. This is nothing that a little bit of Krazy Glue won't rectify. When I was a tiny tot, one of my favourite things on Earth was to hammer nails into wood.
Even though I couldn't build anything to save my life, I do like the concept of crafts and putting things together, and my hammer skills, however rudimentary, are still present, even from my days as a four-year-old. I can't help but admit I'm a tad proud of myself.
Achieving something I should not have been able to on my own gives me hope that I can figure out how to reattach the doors to the CD/DVD cabinet Janice gave me, along with a small knick-knack shelf I'm planning on using for some of my books. If I can get the doors properly affixed, I can finally unpack some of my CDs and DVDs. Most of what I have left to unpack are my media and books. And I have tons more of that than I have room, so my number one priority is shelving. I have found shelving that is sufficient for books and media, and should definitely allow me to finish unpacking and get the rooms of my pad sorted and cleared off all these boxes and storage containers. Of course, I've added this item to my Happy Housewarming for the Minimalist with NOTHING Amazon Wishlist, and I've put it at the top of my needs. As it stands, I have no doubt I'll be able to put the shelves together by myself. It's amazing the things of which you find yourself capable, when your options are limited.
Apparently, I have two end tables en route, and they require some assembly as well. Once I have them put together, I will have more room for books, albeit only two or three per table, plus a place to finally set my living room lamps! Eventually, I will need an accent table or something so I'll have a place for the big-ass fugly lamp I've been clinging to since Granny bought it for $5.00 in 1977. It needs to be rewired and a lampshade, though, so I'm in no rush for the table. In the meantime, I'm gonna keep on keepin' on, and take advantage of the shelves with which I am currently blessed.
One of the things that is imperative for a happy, healthy dog and, as a result, a happy, healthy dog parent, is establishing a routine. In fact, it is probably the most important thing about a dog/human relationship in our modern times.
That is the one thing I did not have in San Diego. As a result, I had a dog who was utterly confused as to what was expected of him, and seemed hellbent on pissing in the house at every given opportunity. His habits degenerated from going out when he wished and doing his business outside, to going outside and just waiting to come back in, at which time he would then relieve himself. I had to invest in puppy pads every single month, and keep them all over the bedroom floor. It was a disgusting situation for everyone involved.
There were a number of factors as to why this was the case. First, the area in which we lived in San Diego was at the bottom of a series of canyons. With my health issues, walking in the neighbourhood was exceedingly difficult on the best of days. On top of that, with my depression out of control, I had zero motivation to step out of my room, much less the house. Matt had set up a very long leash system that allowed Toby access to the entire front yard, where he even had enough room to run to play fetch, which he did a lot of with Matt. (One thing I can say about Matt is, he is very good with animals for the most part. I don't agree with his hard-on for César Milan, but Matt has a huge heart when it comes to animals, and he and Toby were best buds for four years. I really believe there was a chance Toby would not have survived our time out there, had it not been for Matt.) If no one was out there with him, though, Toby would do nothing but sit by the door, waiting to come back inside. Matt would let him in and play with him out in the living room but, instead of letting him back out to use the bathroom before sending him back to me, he'd just put him in my room, where Toby would then relieve himself, since he hadn't been out in a while. Thanks to the humans around him, Toby developed horrible habits and appeared to delight in doing the exact opposite of what was expected of him at any given time. At some point, I just gave up and kept a puppy pad carpet on the bedroom floor, and let the unruly boys do whatever the fuck they wanted. None of it really mattered.
During the move, Toby was thrown into even more upheaval, and his behaviour got worse. Whenever critters are thrown into uncertain situations and unfamiliar environments, they do exactly what small children do - they act out. With dogs, their acting out often comes in the form of reprehensible bathroom behaviour. Toby was marking anything and everything, both outside and indoors. Nothing I did seemed to stop him, no matter how often I took him outside. When we were staying with Janice, I thought she was going to have to be committed there a couple of times, especially when Elvis - Blake's little Chihuahua - and Toby were together. Elvis wouldn't stop humping everyone, and Toby wouldn't stop marking to show his ownership of and dominance over all which he surveyed. Truly, it has been a nightmare.
The first day were were in the new pad, Toby had a couple of mishaps in the apartment. Thankfully, he chose the side of Smidgen's litter box. I cleaned it up easily, and thanked the Mighties that Toby didn't choose to soil the carpet! That very day, I started him on a schedule, taking him out every two hours the first couple of days. The landscape here at Stonesthrow is relatively level and a 100% improvement when it comes to being walkable. Plus, there's a dog park that allows Toby to freely roam as he chooses, instead of always being tethered to his crippled companion. By the time the first week was up, we had established a set schedule that works for us both. In the morning, we go out around 6:30 am, then 10:15, 2 PM, 6 PM, and sometime between 9 and 10 PM. Toby swiftly embraced the schedule, and has readily adopted it to his internal clock.
After four years of excremental horror, there have been no more bathroom incidences since we have settled into the new place. Plus, I'm getting more exercise than I have in ages, as well. The ability to move more without excessive pain, or the threat of blacking out from over-exertion in a landscape hostile to the mobility-challenged. I downloaded an exercise app the other day, because I was curious to see how much I'm walking with Toby each day. After using it these past few days, I'm pleased to report that I'm averaging between 2 and 3 miles each day. After storm season is over with, and there's not a threat of being drenched only moments after you were strolling under the sun, I intend to expand our wandering out to the main roads like Pleasantburg Drive. I don't really need to lose weight, but I do need to build back my muscle, and Toby definitely could slim down a little, after spending years being fed gobs of people food and living a sedentary lifestyle.
I am amazed that it took basically just a week to turn Toby around. His breakthroughs have also been my breakthroughs, because the increased activity has helped me manage my depression which, in turn, allowed me to stick to the new routine, and actually look forward to mine and Toby's times out of doors.
Coming back to the Southeast has been the wisest and healthiest decision I could have made for myself, Toby, and Smidgen. No regrets!
Despite breaking into a clumsy trot, pinwheeling his arms in an attempt not to succumb to his boot toe catching on a rise in the sidewalk pavement, Flint felt himself topple in slow motion, sprawling across The Osmond Family’s star on Hollywood Boulevard.
“So much for Vampiric grace,” Flint grumbled, pulling himself from the ground as tourists studiously ignored the spectacle before them. Why were there so many tourists out at 2 in the morning? Flint wondered. Raising his voice to where he could be heard, Flint groused, “Hey, shows over, eh? Pictures’ll cost you extra!”
The tourists widened their berth around the irked Vampire, as he brushed the grime from an outfit that already looked grimy and unkempt. The clothes weren’t dirty, they were just old, well-worn, and much too large for Flint’s slight frame. It was his wardrobe that was responsible for his fall, because the size discrepancies weren’t reserved to just Flint’s threads, but also his shoes. Flint’s proper shoe size was between a 9 and 10, depending on the make of the shoe. The boots on his feet were size 13, and the sole of the left boot was loose and floppy. Flint called it his rubber flapjack.
Satisfied with sorting himself after the tumble, Flint reached into one of his overcoat pockets and pulled out a wretched-looking cigarette, along with an even worse-looking book of matches. Without moving from the middle of the sidewalk, Flint struck a match, and cupped it to the cigarette, taking a long drag, then exhaling slowly toward the night sky.
Out of the corner of his eye, Flint caught the disapproving glare of bearded young man approaching him, probably on his way to the subway station nearby, given his non-tourist appearance. He was in just the perfect mood to not let the silent judgement go without comment.
“Calm down, it’s not like I’m a corporation belching filth into the air around the clock. I think you’ll survive having to pass me on your way to whatever hipster convention is eagerly awaiting your arrival. They surely can’t get started with their hardcore smugness without your retro arse in attendance!”
The man stopped in his tracks, his scowl deepening. But when Flint flashed his fangs in a predatory smile, the scowl turned to dismay, and the young man hastened away, no longer concerned with the peril to his lungs. Funny how people forgot minor dangers to their person, when they realised their throat could well be on the cutting board. Flint chuckled, his mood buoyed by the brief encounter. He began to walk again, puffing away and humming to himself.
It’s been an interesting few days.
I’ve been trying to unpack and do laundry, but have been battling where to put what, because I’m having problems getting this chest of drawers and side table put together, and I’m unsure where to place the shelves until I get the couch and have it in the proper position. So I’m just sort of in a move-in suspended animation until tomorrow, when I’m scheduled to finally get the couch.
As I unpack and sort stuff, I learn of the things that I need and don’t yet have. Like a broom. I’ve already asked that someone revoke my Witch Card, because this shit is off the hook. Who has ever heard of a Witch without a broom? I was going to use the Swiffer one kind soul sent to me, but I forgot the sweeper needs batteries, so all I can do until I get to a store is just look at it, and look at the floors that won’t be getting cleaned for another couple of days. Oy vey!
On Wednesday, a maintenance dude came to refurbish my tub and sink. At first, I was told that Toby, Smidgen, and I would have to be gone for four hours after he had used the paint, but he seemed to think that the complex people were being overly-cautious. He did warn that the paint had a strong odour, but that was fine, because I liked it once he used it. Then again, I love the smell of gasoline, so I'm a bit of an olfactory mutant. He got to work sanding the tub down, as he waited for his boss to bring the paint he needed. She brought it after about two hours, but she brought the wrong paint, and what the dude needed was all the way in Simpsonville. He asked if he could return the following morning, and I said yes. He had to leave all his equipment in the apartment overnight, so I kept a couple of lights on, so I wouldn’t end up falling and breaking my face, or arse, or something else I might need. He returned the next day and finished the job shortly after Noon. Right now, I’m super-ripe and look atrocious, because I haven’t had a shower in over 48 hours now. It’s currently 11:30, so I have less than an hour to go until I can clean up my act.
Yesterday, Micah was swung by to pick up some incense I had for them, and give me some quarters for bills, so I can do laundry. Stonesthrow has an on-site laundromat, but the machines only accept quarters, and they have no bill changer. I found a drink machine in the gym this morning, and thought that might be an option for when I don’t have quarters or a way to get quarters, but the drink machine won’t take my bills! Frustration is too weak a word for this situation…. Anyway, a few hours before Micah was to arrive, my phone died. I figured it just needed to be charged. But it wouldn’t come on, even after an hour of charging. Nothing I did would make it show any sign of life. I panicked. With my health issues, not having a phone is not an option.
Thankfully, Micah was kind enough to haul my butt to AT&T, where I was prepared to bite the bullet and sign a contract, so I could get a new phone. Everything was in order, until they asked for my identification, which I lost, along with my social security card, in the move across country. The only way I can get a new phone, the service agent said, was to order it online. Shiiiiiit! But she did try this one wee trick to see if there was any hope for the phone, and the battery symbol popped up on the screen. She explained that, sometimes, phones just get locked up and, if you press the power and home buttons at the same time, it can reboot them, and they are okay. She suggested I take the phone home, hook it up, and do the reboot.
So, it appears I don’t need a new phone after all. I just need to learn every clever tip and trick having to do with the iPhone 5s, and I need to do it as soon as fucking possible, before I find myself in a panicked state, simply because I’m ignunt.
Anyway, it was great meeting and hanging out with Micah, whom I initially met online through my friend Cameron. They are a delightful person, and I’m really looking forward to watching them perform in an outdoor production of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in which they play Puck! Cameron, Cindy, and I were originally scheduled to go to the Saturday production, but Cameron is now thinking it’ll be Sunday, instead, which works better for me, considering I’m supposed to be getting that couch on Saturday. Back to Micah, we share a fascination for the Arabic language and alphabet. They are learning Arabic in school and seemed pleased when I told them that my original Rhyllan alphabet was inspired by the Arabic alphabet. (I really need to turn Rhyllan and Tarmian Tarmi am Tynillim into digital fonts, but I’ll have to wait to get a printer/scanner for that.) Micah is a brilliant person, and exudes a deep kindness. Toby could not get close enough to them when they were here. When they found out I was a Witch, they expressed some interest in learning more about Wicca, since their brother had recently been talking about it as well. Once I have all my gear unpacked and have the apartment in order enough to where I can cast a Circle to my satisfaction, I'm going to invite Micah, and anyone else who might want to participate, to an open Esbat ritual. By then, I'll have furniture for people to sit on, and receptacles out of which they can eat and drink!
I find it telling that I have only been back in South Carolina a month, and I’ve already made a new friend in Micah, and a potential new friend and neighbour, whom I met a couple of days ago. Her name is Christa, and she stopped me as I was walking to the mail box, because she spotted my Pentagram pendant. She’s moving in later on this month, and she’s an herbalist/acupuncturist who has dabbled in Wicca in the past. She wants to get together once she’s settled. I spent four years in San Diego and only made a tiny handful of friends right at the end of my stay in the area. It isn’t that San Diegans aren’t friendly, this is about me. I have to admit I was unwilling to get out there and be proactively social. To be honest, I think that if I had remained in San Diego, I would have become a shut-in, because my social anxiety out there was out the roof. I don’t know why, but I intend to suss it out over time, because I think it’s important to know the reasons behind my inability to interact with others there, when I don’t seem to have a problem with it here. If I discover the roots of this behaviour, I can work to rectify it in the future.
Thanks to my Tribe, another very happy difficulty I’m having with getting unpacked and organised, is I keep getting more packages, which means I’m inundated with boxes, which are getting in the way of unpacking more boxes. I’m not complaining, I think it’s ironic and hilarious! For now, I’m holding on to the better-made boxes, and have put out the word that they are available to anyone who needs them, for whatever. If I haven’t heard anything by Saturday evening, I’m beginning the arduous task of breaking them all down and taking them to the recycling bin across the way.
Speaking of Tribe and new friends, I’ve also connected with a local artist, who has created a piece of art for the new pad. I’m looking forward to meeting Modesto and seeing the barn he has drawn. I had told him to make anything he felt would be good for me and, even though we’ve never met, he decided on a barn. I have a weakness for barns and, especially, lighthouses, so this was perfect. I’m thinking the barn will go in the dining room. I can’t wait to meet Modesto, with whom I hope to work in the future to create an all-inclusive artistic community for the Upstate of South Carolina. I’m in the market for other art, as well. I’m hoping Janice will paint me a lighthouse, when her life settles down enough to where she can get back to her painting. Also, I’ve found this print representing my patron Goddess, Lilith, that I’m keen on putting in the living room. I also want to get a Tolkien-focused piece of art for the living room. The other picture I want to put up is the picture of Jesus that Granny painted when I was just a baby. I grew up believing he was a hippie whose eyes followed me when I moved, and I would flash him the peace sign at least once a day and say, “Peace, brother!” I left the painting behind when I went to San Diego, because I was afraid it would be damaged in the move. Now that I’m back, I’m reclaiming it from all the stuff I still have stored in the old house. Of course, my Shriekback poster will eventually be gracing the bedroom wall. As for the hall and bathroom, I’m not sure yet what, if anything, I’ll do in the decor department. Despite my accrual of a shit=tonne of stuff in a very short period of time, I still consider myself a minimalist!
Smidgen vomited day before yesterday, and did so again overnight, but she seems to be doing well, other than those two incidences. Rene is insisting I stick with the plan of taking her back to Dr. Patch next week, so I’m going to swallow my pride to acquiesce. If it were me, or a situation that did not involve a living entity, I would just wait to address the issue when I could afford it, but that’s not the case, so off we go to the vet’s office one day next week! And, actually, as I was writing this, she vomited again. It was clear fluid with a light yellow tinge to it, so I’m a tad worried that her liver is not doing as well as I had initially hoped.
I’m out of milk and sugar, so I checked to see if the Instacart service was available in this area. It is! So I’m having my milk, sugar, and a couple of other items I needed, delivered in a couple of hours. Since I’m waiting on this, I’m postponing my shower until after s/he has come and gone.
For the past two weeks, I’ve been watching nothing but the Tolkien films. This occurs occasionally, in my Arda-saturated world. The tales JRR Tolkien shared with the world are as ingrained in me, in my soul, as they are in anyone who has ever been moved by a myth or a legend. These are stories as old as time, at least as it is perceived by humankind. You can call it ancestral memory, cellular memory, genetic memory, whatever it is, the remembering experienced by people when immersed in the epic accounts of a nation or race is what drives every generation to redefine the stories to fit their times, and to make sense of the world in which they find themselves.
On the recommendation of my sixth grade English teacher’s son, who was a year my senior, I checked out The Hobbit from the school library, and absorbed it in three days. Before I returned it to school, I read it again, this time more slowly, taking a week. I loved it, but hated the musical abomination that was the Rankin-Bass adaptation. Normally, I loved their TV specials. Not so with their version of The Hobbit. I did, however, love Return of the King, primarily because of Glenn Yarbrough's beautiful song, "Roads Go Ever On."
Even though I had loved the book, it didn’t compel me to pick up The Lord of the Rings, which Gregg also recommended, or The Silmarillion, of which I doubt Gregg was aware, based simply upon his age and how difficult it was to be privy to information, literature, music - basically everything - that wasn’t in the realm of the commonplace. LOTR and The Hobbit were popular enough to be well-known and easily-obtainable in the South. The Silmarillion, on the other hand, had only been published for approximately two years at that time. Even if Gregg knew about it, it was highly doubtful the school library had book!
On the day I took my SAT, in my senior year of high school, Aunt Tudi found a box set, which I still have, of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit at a yard sale she and Granny visited while they waited on me to finish my test. I still did not read LOTR. I was busy with other things at the time, like getting through my last year in high school, preparing for college, and writing this odd collection of mythic stories that were born out of my lighthearted science fiction shorts, originally inspired by the Electric Light Orchestra’s Time album.
In my first year of college, my Humanities professor was impressed with my assignments and asked if I was a writer. I told him I wrote stories and poetry, and had been active in the literary and drama clubs in high school. He asked to see some of work, so I opted to share with him some of the stories of the Rhyllans, and how they came to be.
A week later, Dr. Miller, who happened to be a Tolkien scholar who had taught classes on the old professor's works, asked if I had read The Silmarillion. When I asked why, he informed me that I could be sued for some of the material I had written, if I ever tried to clean it up and get it published. I did not understand but, instead of reading The Silmarillion, I opted to read The Lord of the Rings, under the incorrect assumption that it came before The Silmarillion. Publishing-wise, it did, but I was thinking of the timeline of the narratives themselves.
Of course, I fell in love with The Lord of the Rings, and promptly went to B. Dalton Books and purchased a copy of The Silmarillion, which I still have. When I read the Ainulindalë and Valaquenta, I finally understood Dr. Miller’s warning, and I reconciled with the fact that my Rhyllan myths would never be published in any complete capacity. The one thing I couldn’t understand was why I was unable to make myself change much of anything in my myths, even though their current incarnation would get me chased around by the Tolkien posse.
This is where I want to make it very clear that I am, by no means, comparing my writing to that of JRR Tolkien’s, who far surpasses the greatness of the likes of Clive Barker, and he greatly surpasses even my wildest dreams of scribal skill. The essence of the stories, in particular the Music of Creation and the diminishing of the Dėaghydge, was exceedingly Tolkienesque. Even the Goddess Kessilon, the Dėaghyden Star Goddess, was nearly identical to Varda, albeit a tad more sci-fi in her relationship to the stars. My mind was boggled, and it still is, even though I came to learn the root of the similiarities.
It wasn’t until three years later, when I began to study theology and various theories, one of which was genetic memory, that I understood the connection between my stories and those of JRR Tolkien’s. It wasn’t a connection that involved just myself and Mr. Tolkien; it was one that encompassed a great swathe of the Fantasy literary world and the whole of human myth, be it supposedly dead myths of ancient Greece and Sumeria, or the living religions like Hinduism and Judaism. They are all retellings of a very tiny collection of stories that speak of humanity’s commonality. And the connection doesn’t affect just nations or tribes, or even families; they affect individuals. We all have the capacity, and often the compulsion, to create our own personal myths. This is what I was doing with the Rhyllan folk, and their sister races, the Tarmi and the Thranodiena ~ all three of whom comprised the descendants of the divine Dėaghydhe.
In 1993, I was tasked with deciding on a Craft name, because I had decided to become a Dedicant in the Temple Hecate Triskele. I opted for Tinhuviel, adding the “h” for numerological purposes. Artanis was a name for the Tarmian Goddess of the flora and fauna, tightly connected with bears, owls, and lizards. It wasn’t until about a year later, I discovered that Artanis is also Galadriel’s father-name! So this is why I feel that Tolkien’s works aren’t simply fiction. They have an ancient magick within them. They have the power to bring people together and, sadly, because of their religious nature, they also have the power to pull them apart. Such is the way with spiritual works. JRR Tolkien wanted to create a mythology for England. He certainly did that, but he did so much more. He enriched the mythologies of people around the world, so much so, that scientists have named an entire ancient human race after one of his own. That speaks volumes to me, and it should to any student of JRR Tolkien’s work, or human memory in general.
I know it’s an impossibility, but I would love to know the origins of the stories that are obviously of such great import to our species, that they have been retold for thousands of years, and are as beloved today as they were from time immemorial, with no small thanks to JRR Tolkien.
Yesterday, I called Charter Communications to set up Internet service, after AT&T fucked up every order I set up with them. Like, every single one. The gentleman I spoke with told me the technician would be at my pad between 8 and 9 AM. While I was out with Toby's morning walk, I got an automated call from Spectrum, informing me that the tech was en route. It was a quarter til 8. Toby and I hied our way back to the pad and about 10 minutes later, Chase the Spectrum Tech was standing, smiling, at my door. It was 8:06! He had everything set up within 30 minutes, and even checked with the other tech in the van to see if he had a lighter or matches for me. I haven't the ability to make fire at the moment, so I'm starting to feel like Naoh!
Thanks to my wacked-out health, there was an incident last Sunday that landed me in an extended stay hotel until yesterday morning. As documented on my Facebook, I ended up with Blake's cold a couple of weeks ago. Since 2015, I don't just get to have a simple cold and be done with it, no. I end up with secondary infections and my sleep patterns and behaviour are almost always affected. That means I sleepwalk. After the cold began to wane, I developed some sort of viral infection under my tongue. I caved and went to the doctor about that last Friday. He gave me some lidocaine for the pain and told me to ride it out for about a week, at which time, it should be getting better. But it wasn't just that. A knot - infection? lymph gland? who knows? - began growing behind my left ear. I felt generally unwell. The next thing I remember, Janice is driving me to Crossland Suites. She thought I had over-taken some of my medication and, when she couldn't find it in my stuff, was not going to be convinced otherwise. I was so sick and out of it, I was incapable of explaining what I had done with my meds, and had no way to show her that all was in order, because I'd repacked everything a couple of days prior, along with the meds I'd had moved from San Diego to here. It was an effort in poor organisation. The next day, I Uber'd to the closest CVS and had them check my temp at the minute clinic. My throat was on fire, and I felt delusional, and couldn't think straight. I had a fever of 103. I got some aspirin and juice, and went back to the hotel to die. Then I lost my voice for three days.
Fortunately, I began to recover from this nightmare on Thursday. Friday was the big day of the move, so I had to be at least marginally functional! When Friday came, my voice was back, my mouth had recovered almost completely, and my throat was only a little scratchy. I was still weak and underwhelmed, but I was present and accounted for.
It's been slow going like you wouldn't believe with the unpacking process. I don't have furniture to put things on, and I don't want to put stuff on the floor, in the event Toby decides he wants to mark something, like an asshole, so I'm having to pick and choose what I pull out for right now. Today, I wanted to smudge the apartment, and set up a little bit of sacred space in the bedroom, but I can't find my supplies and incense. I've gone through everything and can't find an inkling of Witchery anywhere. But I did find the prescriptions I'd consolidated! I called Janice to let her know and, when I see her, I'm gonna show her what I'd done and why it looked so bad, when she went to check on my medicinal intake. I also apologised for acting so wonky. I really could not help it, though!
Yesterday, I got a delivery of cheese garlic bread and a Pepsi, which I have been subsisting on for almost 24 hours. About an hour ago, I did something I had not done since 2013: I used a pot and cooked soup on a real stove. To most, I guess this is no big deal but, for me, it's truly a momentous occasion that means several things. It means that I'm more self-sufficient now that I have been in years. It means I can begin to eat properly and have more variety in my life as a crap foodie. It means that I am going to save a huge amount of money on food, because I have so much storage space, a whole damned fridge, and the ability to prepare food rather than depending on prepackaged junk food. Cooking that soup on a stove top, in my own pot, with my own spoon, means that I am free. It also means that Gordon Ramsay will have one more vegetarian pseudo-cook to rail at for existing, and daring to darken the sacred doors of a kitchen!
Of course, I could not have gotten to this mini-milestone, had it not been for the kind souls of my Tribe and our extended clan. Were I able, I would cook up a flipping cauldron of soup and share it with you all, as we party as hard as a pack of introverts could!
When Janice realised a few hours ago that I had put my feelers out for a twin/half bed, she told me that I could have hers, which is in pretty much brand new condition. She is wanting to get rid of the bed, because she has a new suit with a larger bed that's better support to her ailing back. Fine with me! I was pleased. Feelin' groovy. Paul Simon was prepared to serenade me!
Then, about an hour after that good news, I got a call from JoLee at Stonesthrow. I could tell by the tone of her voice things weren't good, before she even had the chance to say, "We've got a little issue with the apartment."
But it wasn't a bad thing at all, except for a brief delay in when I'll move in. JoLee went on to explain that the apartment would not be ready until Friday, June the 9th, three days after my initial move-in date. I told her that would be fine, it was not a really big deal, 'cos I knew Janice wouldn't mind me staying a few extra days. That's when JoLee told me that the property manager had taken off the pet deposit, as well as the monthly pet rent, for one of the furkids, to make up for any inconvenience the delay might have caused me.
But wait, there's more! Because my move-in date changed, I had to contact the power company and AT&T to change my utilities transfer and Internet installation date. It was whilst chatting with an agent at ATT.com, it was revealed that the price of $30 the first agent I'd spoken with had locked in for me had not actually been locked in, and I was designated in the system to be paying $40 a month for Internet, after paying my $99 installation fee.
But the agent told me he could correct the mistake, that my promised price was good. The problem was, the system wouldn't let him change anything about the order, so he had to cancel it. That's when things got really good. Not only did he place me a new order for the 9th of June, but he also waived the installation fee, for the inconvenience of the botched first order! I have confirmation of the new arrangements in email and chat.
Thanks to these folks wanting to ensure I wasn't upset about [not] being inconvenienced, I now have fundage for groceries in June (and stuff to cook them in and eat them on, thanks to my Tribe, you know who you are!), barring any unforeseen horror stories lurking in the shadows of chance.
In the event you're wondering whether or not you're experiencing déja vu, you're not. It was suggested to me that I should switch to the Amazon Wishlist, rather than Wal-mart, as my options would be greater and oft-times cheaper, so that is what I have done. You can click on the wee picture to the left to be taken to mah list. Thank you for your time, patience, and willingness to read this far!
The past few days have seen a good friend post several Pink Floyd songs to his Facebook timeline, a news story on Roger Waters' unsurprisingly politicized concert tour and, just now, my iTunes essentially saying, "Okay, asshole, the universe is telling you to listen to the Floyd, so I guess I'll just put you back in cosmic line. Motherfucker..."
There are often reasons for why I choose not to listen to certain songs or bands at certain times. One reason is because of the memories associated with them. Another is because of the pain of musical empathy. Pink Floyd falls into that category, so I have to be careful of my mood and mindset before I partake of the auditory manna that is Pink Floyd.
What exactly is this thing I call musical empathy? Basically, it's when I feel the message of the music so deeply that I become that music. I got a double dose of musical empathy with Pink Floyd. Even though I'd heard their music before, I didn't really get into them until I was given a 45 RPM of 'On the Turning Away' by Uncle Michael in 1986. While I was reading an article in Rolling Stone about Pink Floyd, the next 45 that dropped on my record player just happened to be that record. I heard the song for the first time whilst reading about Syd Barrett's descent into madness for the first time. What are the odds? I felt his story so deeply, so jarringly, I felt like I was losing my mind.
It didn't help when, just a few months later, I would meet the man who would be my closest friend for 25 years, and he was very heavily into the band, particularly 'The Wall'. I saw the movie for the first time with him. We ended up memorising every single vocal noise on the album and the movie soundtrack. There were times when we'd spend almost every evening after work, watching and acting out the film, or just listening to the album and singing along. It was a beautiful time, but also a dangerous one, for me. I was too immersed in it all, and my first bad bout with depression occurred right around this time. It would be a few years before I was diagnosed with depressive disorder, but I think Pink Floyd awoke some long-slumbering serpent that may not have reared its head for a long time to come, if ever.
Do I regret my relationship with Pink Floyd? Only when my mood prevents me from listening to them. This past week has seen me in "one of my turns", so listening just wasn't an option, until today. So now I'm bingeing and it sounds and feels oh so very good!
Tomorrow evening, I will be ending this campaign. I'm keeping it up long enough to make sure anyone who is interested in my last update, gets a chance to read it. In a jaw-dropping rally to help Smidgen, members of my Tribe and their friends pushed me past my goal to rehome, *and* sent gravy outside the realms of GoFundMe, which went to pay for Smidgen's healthcare and her new prescription diet. All of you have no idea how humbled I am to have you in my life, and I hope to do the same for you when you need it, or even want it! You have been kinder to me in my time of emergency than some of my closest family, which merely confirms my belief that you make your family. You're mine.
Why do people get so schmaltzy about a woman's behaviour the moment she brings a child into this world? It has nothing to do with love, and everything to do with chemistry. Most women are hard-wired to experience a deep, unbreakable love and connection to the child they just bore, because mammals are programmed to experience such joy to ensure the protection and care for the new life. Women, in general, have this instinct. Some women, like myself, do not.
But when I see people get all squishy over the normally natural instincts of a female caught up in the heady miasma of birth, it makes me sad that so many are oblivious to the science surrounding it, and prefer to attribute some mystical love-fest to the proceedings. Let the woman be what she is in her moment. Don't decorate the experience with obsolete beliefs. She's doing the exact same thing a mother cat does when she removes her babies' placentas and cleans them vigourously. Her instincts, in the form of love, which is a collection of chemicals triggered by childbirth, dictate that she does this, just like most women are desperate to hold their newborns to their breasts.
Don't get me wrong. I honour the customs that surround childbirth. I sympathise with the mystic traditions that have been born out of the birthing process. I understand and sense the work of the Goddess in such events. But I also know that science has explained a lot of what we once thought divine in nature, and that's something that we cannot deny.
Be happy for the new mother, if she is indeed happy to be one. Celebrate with her. Enjoy the customs and traditions you practice in regard to pregnancy and birth. Just do so from an informed position, rather than from one of superstition and ignorance. Yes, she is in love. Yes, she is glowing with joy. And yes, she's enjoying a high from a cocktail of chemicals that demand she feel these things, for the well-being of her newborn child.
Walter White will tell you the same goddamn thing.
If I am correct in my forecast of the final eradication of the republic of the United States, those of us who are, have very little time left to truly speak out against the current atrocities and the coming abominations.
After I am finally settled in the new pad, I plan on getting more involved, hands-on, locally. Until that's possible, I'm doing what I can online. That means telling people as often as I can what the true nature of these fake Christians is, how they can fight it (while they still can), and what resources they need to research my dire warnings for themselves. It also means standing up to Donald Drumpf and his fascist regime, using the same weapon he uses to disseminate his vile propaganda: Twitter.
I try to troll him at least once a day. I'm hoping everyone who reads this and see the examples of my efforts, decides to do the same thing. Maybe if he's trolled enough, he'll shut his tweeting pie-hole. Maybe his insecurity from reading such responses to his activities will cause his blood pressure to shoot up and give him a fatal stroke. Better yet, maybe he'll finally lose his mind from all the pressure, and take out his entire administration and family before he offs himself. I don't see a more ideal way of draining the fucking swamp in Washington DC.
But the pushback has to start now because, as I said, I doubt we have much time to freely express ourselves in this country. The clock has been ticking since the evangelicals began blurring the line between church and state, beginning in 1980. That clock is running out of time.
So my weak trickle has dried up, and I am still short $240. I've already resigned myself to the fact that I'm probably going to go hungry in June; however, it's nothing new, really, considering I went hungry a good bit of the time in San Diego, thanks to having no access to food. Things will still be better eventually! I've attached a screencap from my move-in letter, of the expenses I owe. It adds up to almost exactly $1500. If you want to help with my GoFundMe Campaign, just click the picture with all those scary expenses to be taken to my page. Also, please share with everyone you know. Even if you can't contribute, sharing with those who might can would also be a great boon. I'm seriously considering launching another campaign for Smidgen. She lost all power in her back legs this morning. It was only for about 30 seconds, but any amount of time in that condition is simply unacceptable. Yep, I'm not thrilled with what life is handing me and mine, right now, but we shall follow the mantra of the great Gloria Gaynor, and we will survive.
Well, I have decided. June 24th will be the last day I cross-post to LiveJournal. That's New Moon, and I wish to begin many things anew on that day. Bringing LJ to a close and making the complete transition to Dreamwidth will be one of those major things. The move is bittersweet to say the least. I've been with LJ since June of 2002, making my 15 year anniversary a little under two weeks away. The old Cliffs is like your Granny's cardigan sweater: raggedy, but the most comfortable thing you've ever worn. At least, that's how I've felt about it for a very long time. I'll miss it, but it's time to move on, and Dreamwidth's platform is quite functional, providing me with most of what I need in a blog. It appears that 2017 is truly the Year of Great Change. Let's hope it's not also the Year of Great Upheaval. We're already living under the Chinese curse of "interesting times." Let's hope the only other big changes are nothing more than a journal transition made by an obscure (at best) blogger from the ass end of nowhere.
Groups of Animals Are Collected into a Knot of Nouns
But let's face it, there's not much fun in saying Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis, the scientific moniker for the green sea urchin. Plus, it's damned hard to pronounce.
|Bitterns - a Sedge|
Buzzards - a Wake
Bobolinks - a Chain
Coots - a Cover
Cormorants - a Gulp
Cranes - a Sedge
Crows - a Murder
Doves - a Dule, Arc, or Pitying
Ducks - a Raft, Paddling, or Badling
Eagles - a Convocation or Aerie
Emus - a Mob
Finches - a Charm
Flamingos - a Stand
Geese - a Gaggle or Skein
Grouse - a Pack
Hawks - a Cast, Kettle, or Boil
Herons - a Sedge or Siege
Jays - a Party or Scold
Lapwings - a Deceit
Larks - an Exaltation or Ascension
Mallards - a Sord
Magpies - a Tiding or Gulp
Nightingales - a Watch
Owls - a Parliament
Parrots - a Company or Pandemonium
Partridges - a Covey
Peacocks - an Ostentation
Pheasants - a Nide, Nye, or Bouquet
Plovers - a Congregation
Quail - a Bevy
Rooks - a Building
Ravens - an Unkindness
Snipe - a Walk or Wisp
Sparrows - a Host
Starlings - a Murmuration
Storks - a Mustering
Swallows - a Flight
Swans - a Bevy or Wedge
Teal - a Spring
Turkeys - a Rafter
Widgeons - a Company
Woodcocks - a Fall
Woodpeckers - Descent
|Apes - a Shrewdness|
Asses - a Pace
Badgers - a Cete
Bears - a Sloth or Sleuth
Buffalo - an Obstinancy
Camels - a Caravan
Cats - a Clowder or Pounce
Cows - a Kine
Elephants - a Memory
Elk - a Gang
Ferrets - a Business
Foxes - a Leash or Skulk
Giraffes - a Tower
Goats -a Tribe
Hares - a Down or Husk
Hippopotamuses - a Bloat
Hyaenas - a Cackle
Kangaroos - a Troop
Leopards - a Leap
Martens - a Richness
Moles - a Labour
Monkeys - a Barrel
Mules - a Span or Barren
Otters - a Romp
Oxen - a Yoke
Pigs - a Drift, Drove, or Sounder
Polecats - a Chine
Porcupines - a Prickle
Possums - a Passel
Prairie Dogs - a Coterie
Rabbits - a Warren
Raccoons - a Gaze
Rhinoceroses - a Crash
Seals - a Pod
Squirrels - a Dray or Scurry
Tigers - a Streak or an Ambush
Whales - a Gam
Wolves - a Rout
Wombats - a Wisdom
Zebras - a Zeal
|Ants - a Colony|
Bees - a Grist or Swarm
Butterflies - a Flutter
Caterpillars - an Army
Cockroaches - an Intrusion
Flies - a Business
Gnats - a Horde
Grasshoppers - a Cloud
Jellyfish - a Smack
Lice - a Flock
Locusts - a Plague
Spiders - a Clutter
Wasps - a Pladge
|Barracuda - a Battery|
Bass - a Shoal
Goldfish - a Cloud
Herring - an Army
Salmon - a Run
Sharks - a Shiver
Trout - a Hover
|REPTILES AND AMPHIBIANS|
|Alligators - a Congregation|
Crocodiles - a Bask or Float
Frogs - an Army
Lizards - a Lounge
Toads - a Knot
Turtles - a Bale or Dole
Rattlesnakes - a Rhumba