Monday, July 30, 2012

Put In My Token, Rode the Tilt-a Whirl, and I Was Giggling and Dizzy

Tomorrow I am going to the fair with a group of my friends. Its exciting for me, because I haven't been in probably four years, and before that its only been off and on since I was a teenager.

Until recently I was unaware of how many people had never experienced a fair. I always took it for granted that people knew what I was talking about, would have childhood memories of the fair, would appreciate it the way I do. I was wrong.

Even within my circle of acquaintance I have discovered a serious lack of fair knowledge. This, to me, is a travesty. So I have set out with a couple of pictures and my own personal knowledge to educate you.

The fair is something promoted by the county every summer. Its a big gathering that combines livestock and vegetation shows with arts competition and midway excitement. Its a big to-do here in my area of the country. Remember Charlotte's Web? Wilbur was shown at a fair.

There's plenty of animals to look at too, everything from horses of all breeds to cattle and sheep. There's other critters too- mules and goats and chickens and stuff. All of them judged like a dog would be at a dog show. The ribbons are all posted in their pens, and you can see the winners when you walk through the stables on the back half of the fair grounds.

There's also competitions in photography and artwork, handicrafts and cooking. You can see, and sometimes taste, jellies, jams, pies and cakes all made with an eye for winning one of the blue ribbons. In the same arena that there's food, flower and vegetable competitions there's people selling all kinds of wares- necklaces, knives, makeup, home spa systems, life insurance- you name it. Its fun to walk around and collect the free pens and back scratchers, combs and kazoos they all pass out. In the middle there's a graphologist who will analyze your handwriting and tell you all about your personality. There's city and county betterment associations who want donations. Booths where you can win prizes for a price, and the proceeds benefit charity. There's also any number of politicians vying for your vote, and I don't remember going in an election year, so maybe we will avoid that area.

There's also a grandstand where every night a concert or show of some sort takes place. There's stuff there during the day too, local bands and talent competitions. Their fun to watch and listen to. This year there's a truck and tractor pull, a "drifting" exhibition on the raceway, Glenn Campbell is preforming on his farewell tour, and country music star Deirks Bently is preforming. In past years there's been more hard rock in the lineup...I remember there being some bands that I wanted to see, although not so much this year.

To be honest, though, the midway is probably my favorite part. I love the rides, despite the fact that there are always people who tell you about a cousin of a sister-in-law of a friend who's aunt died on this or that ride because it was poorly put together. Yeah, the structures are temporary. But the people who have been doing the fair midway for our county have been doing it almost as long as I have been alive. I have never seen an accident at our fair, or heard of one. On top of that, I happen to like the non-inside out rides, more like the ferris wheel and the scrambler. I like the ones that take you in circles and make it to where centrifugal force pushes you to the outside and you squash your seat mate. This thing on the left? Forget it. I went one year and rode something like that and was terrified the whole damn time. Don't get me wrong, there's a few dangerous ones I like, but I usually stick to the bunny slopes. The fair runs high on giant swings and things that simply lift you three or four stories in the air and spin you in open space until you puke. Not my style. And the really scary stuff? I'll save that for an amusement park. I won't ride a fair roller coaster, but you bet I'll get in the bumper boats or the bumper cars.

Scattered all along this midway full of terrifying and awesome rides is a ton of midway games, where you can play slot like machines to win pocket knives, toss golf balls into fishbowls to win knives, throw darts at balloons or shoot water pistols into a target to win giant stuffed animals you have no use for. Do you need any of those things? No, not really, but its a good time anyway.  And nothing really shows someone you love them like winning them a teddy bear or stuffed tiger twice their size, right?

I'm particularly partial to the duck pond, run by one of the local charities, where you use nets to catch brightly colored rubber ducks. Each one corresponds with a prize. I always seem to get turtle wax, I'm not sure why. I also usually get some sort of ice cream bar, some mardi gras style beads, a comb or a hair brush...oh, lots of stuff. I love it, and each duck wins something. I almost always spend twenty bucks on duck nets, and come away with a bunch of nothing, but its the thought that counts. The money goes to charity and I always have a fun time playing. Its great to see the little old men who run the thing calling "a lovely necklace for the lady! Throw in an ice cream too...she's awfully pretty!" I get just a huge kick out of it.

And for all of you out there who think that wrath and lust are my big sins, take a moment to appreciate the time of the year for me where gluttony takes the wheel. Everywhere, and I mean everywhere, there are food carts with things tempting me to eat. Everyone makes fun of me because I normally eat myself sick, and I'll ride more rides and then keep eating. But I can't say no!

There's an old fashioned, honest to goddess A&W Root Beer Stand that still sells pint jugs of root beer with the little plastic animals on the edge of the jug. Just like in the fifties. To some patrons, its a throwback to their childhood, to me, its a way of experiencing something every person in my family has loved for as long as I can remember. And with that root beer, there's no question, you have to get a foot long corn dog. They're so good! And the last time I went I finally broke down and ate it with mustard, the way you're supposed to, instead of with ketchup and it was delicious.

Outside of the A&W there's stands selling burgers, nachos, philly cheesesteak sandwiches. There's an air conditioned (!) Hiland Dairy store where you can sit and eat ice cream and burgers like a malt shop. You can find really, really good barbeque everywhere, even a chicken friend steak sandwich. And that's just a start. There's farmers who roast whole ears of corn and then shuck them for you, dipping them in hot butter and letting you sprinkle on whatever seasoning strikes your fancy (and there's always at least two dozen kinds). Potato twisters, where they take the potato, spiral it along a stick and fry it, are not to be missed. Giant blooming onions that are crispy golden brown on the outside and soft on the inside....and they all taste better because they're at the fair. Its a universal truth.

And Sweets! Oh, if you have a sweet tooth you're in the right place. Cotton candy, ice cream, snow cones, candied and caramel apples (they're different things, I promise)  are everywhere you turn. They'll make you funnel cakes with cherry soda batter or whip up pineapple juice like its frozen yogurt. And they deep fry everything! Oreo cookies, twinkies, cheesecake, even Snickers bars are not safe from the deep fryers and the sticks. And man, are they good. I have to keep eating the proteins like burgers so I don't give myself a diabetic coma from the sweets. The main show center always has a candy seller where you can buy saltwater taffy and other candies by the pound. The last time I went we bought four pounds and only made it home with two...I can't say no to hand squeezed lemonade and limeades. I don't want to.

I will eat my way through the fair this year the same as I do every other year. I'll stay until I've tried everything once, and then I'll grab a caramel apple a second time on my way out to the car. Its so much fun.

Now, I would be remiss to make it sound perfect. Its not. August is the hottest month for us. Tomorrow it will probably be 110 degrees again. It won't be pretty. The trash will smell, the asphalt and the oil from the machines will flat out stink, and there will be people like me there, eating too much and getting sick the minute they hit a ride just a little too hard. Some of the people are rude, or classless or backwoods. It takes all kinds, and all kinds go to the fair. Everywhere I turn I'll see teenagers making out, and I haven't been once that I haven't seen some girl's underwear or lack of on a ride since I was old enough to notice.

The parking's atrocious and I'll pay as much to park as I do to get in. (Or how much a ticket costs, Sakura got us free entry this year.) Again, all the money goes to local charities and youth organizations, so its hard to argue, but its insane all the same. The food will be outrageous. I'll pay dearly for all my favorite snacks. If we don't blow at least a hundred on games, I'll be shocked. But, that's part of the fun. Its why I haven't been in the last few years. Money is scarce and the fair is expensive. It will be crowded and hot, and my clothes, whichever ones I wear, will be ruined. To ride the rides I'll break down and buy an armband for $20 so I don't have to pay per ride. After three rides it will have paid for itself. And I'll ride more than three rides.

There will be irresponsible parents everywhere. Children running unchecked, teenagers being rude. There will be people who cut in line and people who stare at my group of friends. I will be able to wallpaper my bathroom with religious pamphlets and stock my cabinets with vials of emu oil. My feet will hurt, I will stink, because my deodorant will surely not hold up. It will be intense.

But when the fireworks go off at sunset, when my arms are full of useless toys, my neck aches and even my eyes are sunburned, it will be worth it. I'll look at Kitten, Oscelot, Sakura and Flyguy, and I'll be so happy, full and blissed out, I won't care.

The fair, after all, only comes once a year.
I'll be back with a full account.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

You Have A Drumstick and your Brain Starts Tickin'

I was scrolling through facebook earlier and saw one of my cousins had posted a picture of President Obama on her facebook wall with the following quote: "You may be a liberal if you hold your fast food restaurants to a higher moral standard than your president."


First, I'd like to say, I'm already sick of this whole Chick-Fil-A debacle/scandal/whatever. I am. You know what? The conservatives are right- they have every right to give money to whomever they want. And the Liberals are right- we have a right not to give them business as a way of protesting that. Hell there's even groups out there saying lets all go and be gay (gay, but appropriate) at Chick-fil-A once a month as a peaceful way of protesting their beliefs. Everyone is within their rights to say and do these things. Let's agree to disagree.


I do not agree with active descrimination against anyone for any reason. I am especially opposed to the oppression of homosexuals since I am one. In case I haven't mentioned it, to all my readers- I am a lesbian. I'm a lesbian because I was born that way. It is not my choice. But I'll tell you something, if I had a choice, I would still choose the wonderful woman whom I married. I would. I couldn't have made a better choice. And we have been married for nearly three years now and we are very happy. I digress. Discrimination is bad. Violence against people who believe things differently from you? Bad. Killing and actively promoting the killing of people simply because their beliefs are not yours? Very, Very Bad.

In case you're interested, this was my response:

Or you may be a liberal if you feel like people are allowed to make their own choices but your choice involves not financially supporting a company that actively promotes discrimination and violence against you. I'm not normally snarky on facebook- you're allowed your own opinions, but remember this: every time you eat at Chick-fil-a you are supporting a company that donates money to organizations who want to see me beaten, killed and actively denied civil rights. You're my family, and I love you, but if you think that's okay, I'd rather you unfriend me. Because regardless of your personal choices, I would never say it was okay for someone to do those things to you.
Direct, to the point, and me not being as angry as I felt. Because here's what I really think- I think its annoying that she posts tons of conservative stuff on facebook. But that's her right. I said that a few posts ago. I don't agree with her on politics. That's okay. We're grown adults. We don't have to agree. But to see someone I spent many a day of my childhood actively choosing to support discrimination against me and the people I love most in public absolutely enrages me. I'm beyond hurt. I am beyond disappointed. I'm pissed. 
I never, NEVER, say shit like that to members of my family. I would never, NEVER, say something so disrespectful and hurtful to people that I know and love. I try not to be like that with people I don't like. Why would I say something like that to someone I'm supposed to love? 
Now, don't get me wrong. I haven't seen her in a long time. We're not super close. But I keep track of what's going on in her life. I ask my grandma about her. And when she sent me a friend request on FB I accepted it, because I hate how my family isn't close the way it used to be. Still- its really, really disrespectful. 
I never told her, when she got home from her tour in Iraq that I thought it was terrible that she was over there, fighting people who didn't ask us to come, killing people who had no choice about how they lived under a dictator. I didn't tell her I felt like it was wrong that she was fighting a war started by a president who should have been looking out for his country but was instead looking out for his own legacy...I didn't. I didn't because I know that she was re-upped more than once. I know that it was hard on her, her family, her kids. I didn't because those are her beliefs and her choices. And I sure as shit now don't post hateful things about the military online. I respect our military. I respect my grandfather and all the other members of my family who fought in wars that actually meant something. I know some wonderful men and women now who are in our armed forces and are lending their talents and lives to our country admirably. I would never be so hurtful. Never. 
But I'd like to remind her- being in the military? Her choice. Going to war? Her choice. Me being gay? Not my choice. That's how god made me.  

I could go on for hours about how I think our President is a very moral man. How much good he has done for our country, and especially for people like me. It would be a waste of time. Probably she won't vote for him because of what he did for me. I can see my partner in the hospital now. They can't throw her out when I am sick. DADT has been repealed once and for all and all the people like me in the military don't have to hide so they can use their talents to support a country they love that may not love them quite so much. Like I said- waste of time. 

I just feel like there's so many other things in this world we could be worried about. Instead, here we are, myself among them, fighting about love, and who has the right to love, and who doesn't. It seems like such a waste.

Its even more sad to me that however much someone in my family might disagree with my lifestyle, they would feel like its okay for people to actively discriminate against and hurt me. 

Thank you, to my friends and family who choose to love and support me just as I am. I appreciate it. I love you all too. 


Thursday, July 26, 2012

You Rhapsodize About Beauty and My Eyes Glaze

Well, I'm back from Tulsa and I had a great time. Traveling with Kitten's mom was a real treat, and she's a photographer so I remembered to keep the camera out. I got a lot of great photos on this trip.

The drive down was easy, and we went immediately to the Gilcrese Museum to see the George Washington Exhibit. It was really cool. In part because I got to see a lot of our first president's personal artifacts. Like his famous teeth- which we made of ivory and other people's teeth- not wood like legend tells us. We also got to see a lot of his books and personal effects, which I really liked.

I also enjoyed that the museum had teamed up with the History Channel to find out what he really looked like. They did all sorts of research and reconstructions that led them to make three life size models of him, one in his early twenties, one of him during the revolutionary war and one when he took office. I have to say- he was a strapping fellow, who was pretty good looking. And at six foot two inches, really tall for the time period. He looks like a person who could lead armies.

What was most interesting to me was he was actually more interesting in being a private citizen. And he was an inventor in his own right- creating amazing farm innovations that effected the American farm industry for years. I learned a lot.

The museum also had beautiful gardens and a significant amount of native and central american artifacts. I wish I could have taken some photos there. The gallery with the Mexican ceremonial masks was both fascinating and a little scary.

After, we headed to the hotel. We had a somewhat lackluster dinner at a chain restaurant and then spent a good three hours in the hotel pool. We had it to ourselves, for the most part, and it was awesome to play around and act silly with each other. Kitten's mom stayed with us, and sat poolside to appreciate our antics. She was absorbed in Condoleeza Rice's memoir, and it was interesting to hear what she was reading- every now and again she would call me over to have me listen to a passage. I love that about her.

We had planned on going out to one of the local lesbian bars, but when the time came we found we were content to stay in the room and watch television and read. We ended up staying up until midnight- way past everyone's bedtime- to watch house hunters and house hunters international. WE got a kick out of it.

The next morning we skipped the terrible hotel breakfast and passed a couple of hours at a local breakfast restaurant while we waited for the Philbrook Museum of Art to open. We talked about a lot of things, my mother's impending birthday among them. It was really sweet because Kitten's mom got all choked up when I was talking about my struggle every year to find something I think she would like, and how I feel like I almost always fail. She told me as her daughter, it would mean the world just to know how much thought and effort I put into it. That meant a lot to me. I think sometimes that maybe she thinks I'm this pseudo-intellectual flake who talks to much and thinks too little....but apparently I was wrong.

When we got to the Philbrook we retrieved our cameras the minute we discovered as long as we didn't use a flash we could take pictures. We spent about an hour in the top garden taking pictures of everything until the heat drove us inside. One hundred degrees will keep even the most ardent garden lover indoors. Which broke my heart, because there were about 22 and a half acres I didn't get to see.

The museum itself was a work of art, and I loved it. The building was originally a plantation style home that was converted into a museum from an endowment by the original owning family. So historucally speaking, the house was an exhibit all on its own.

I discovered I really love statues, and while the Raphealite and other Renaissance paintings were wonderful, and I loved the other art, it was the statues that kept me there for long periods of time. I loved that the "security guards" were all like mini curators, and whether they were old and wrinkled or young and tattooed, they all had something interesting to contribute to my experience. One of them took me behind a locked door to see the inner workings of the huge pipe organ, and showed me how the family had the music piped through the house- a 1920's version of surround sound. Another one suggested I come back in the fall, to appreciate the gardens as the leaves changed.

My favorite, though, was a young man who crept up on me while I was admiring what was certainly my favorite statue. It was a carving in marble or Eros and Anteros (Love, and his brother, Requited love) fighting over a heart. One of them is holding the other back from stomping on a heart. It was tiny and beautiful. I loved it. When he came in he told me it was his favorite piece in the museum. I told him he had good taste. He promised he would leave me to contemplate it on my own, but he asked me to think about which one I thought was the one going to stomp on the tiny heart- love or requited love. He pointed out the artist never says who is who. He smiled, and left me there with my mind blown in front of those two little cherubs, warring over that forlorn heart.

I don't think I could ever forget that moment.

Suffice to say, it was a beautiful time. If you are pals with me on facebook, you can go look at all the awesome stuff I saw, because I took copious pictures.

I'm off to dress for work, but I couldn't go without telling you how much fun I had. My brain is swallowed up with beauty and art.

Incidentally, the photo- that's at the Philbrook. You can see the museum reflected in the water. I'm on the right, Kitten on the left and Oscelot in the front.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Where The Wind Comes Sweeping Down the Plain

Tomorrow I am taking my two days off of work as a mini vacation. Me, the girls and Kitten's mom are going to drive to Tulsa, Oklahoma for an over-nighter. I'm actually pretty excited about the whole thing, to tell the truth. We don't take a lot of time off in the summer. Its usually the busy season at work, and we have our vacation in November normally. But a day or two out of town is always nice.

Now, I know Tulsa doesn't sound like a very exotic place to go, so why did we choose it? Because we're geeks. One of the museums in Tulsa is showing an exhibit of artifacts that belonged to George Washington. I'm always interested in history of any sort, and much to my shame, I'm shakier on American history than I am on just about any other kind. Ancient history I have down. I know more about the Tudor dynasty than any president the US has ever had. So this excursion will be both interesting and fun for me. I think I'll learn a lot while we're there. And I've never had a road trip with Kitten's mom and she's a pretty interesting lady. It should be a good time.

Kitten has looked up a couple of lady oriented bars in the neighborhood, and there's some good eating nearby. On our second day we're going to take in an art museum, so I think I'll be culturally richer after this little excursion. We are, of course, not doing anything outside. I plan on spending the rest of my free time in the hotel pool, which is indoors. I can hardly imagine it, but its hotter in Oklahoma than it is in Missouri, which is saying something since we hit 100 degrees today. But the forecast for tomorrow says it will be 105 without the heat index, so indoors it is. We may do a bit of walking, but not much, I can tell you, in that heat. I packed light, lots of light skirts and a dress that barely hits my knees, but I still don't want to be outside for too long. I like warm, but I hate hot.

Sakura is going to be sweet and hang out at the house for the next two days to watch our furry kids and make sure they don't have any wild parties or anything. So I've got nothing to worry about on that score. Work, surely, will make it without me. I'm not too worried there.

I plan on picking up something to bring back for Flyguy and Sakura as a surprise. Well, Sakura reads here, so maybe he won't be too stunned, but it will be nice all the same. I was figuring while we were down there that I might run into some sort of interesting art thing, maybe a photography thing Flyguy might like. He's into that sort of stuff. He's planning on coming to see me Wednesday night when we come back. I'm looking forward to it, I haven't seen him as much lately as I would like. And I want him to know he's my favorite fellow.

Speaking of fellows, we've got a new one at work that I quite like. Actually, everyone likes him. He's smart, he's funny, he's hardworking and he talks more than me, so he's easy to get to know. The girls are all sorts of in a fever over him because he's good looking. Frankly, he's not my type, but I like that he reads, and has good taste in movies. He likes to be outdoors and he's both a dog and a cat person. We're planning on having a Christmas in August party soon (rather like our Thanksgiving in February we had) and he's already been invited. The guys at work all have a huge man crush on him. He makes his own beer, works as a welder by day and in general is all things good and manly in their eyes. I get a kick out of it.

Yesterday when he got off there was a whole flock of guys crowded around him after he changed so he could have a beer. It was amusing as hell. Turns out he ended up spending the evening with one of our cooks and his girlfriend as their house, so it looks like he's in all the way around. I'm going to call him Mannie, by the way. So when I chat about him, that's who I'm talking about. I was teasing him today about how he's all the rage at Casa right now. He was laughing about it. He mentioned he might just post his number next to the schedule and see what happens, since I allege at least half the staff has a crush on him. It made me like him even more.

What I think is strange is the similarities between him and Flyguy. If I weren't suspicious that Flyguy is a little jealous of him, I would say they would get along well. But then, maybe he's just jealous because this guy is so similar to him in interest. Or maybe he's as good at spotting the new staff crush as I am. There's never any telling. But when I went to tell him goodbye last Saturday I sat next to him and said I was leaving, but not without telling my favorite fellow goodbye, and he casually glanced behind him at Mannie, who was at the bar getting a drink and said drily "Well, he's right there..." Apparently the store isn't big enough for the two of them...I resisted the urge to roll my eyes, and rather told him that I meant him, of course, he's always going to be my favorite fellow...

Still, if Flyguy can get over his hangups, I'm certain they'd get along. They do share a lot of hobbies, I know because I talk about Flyguy to everyone, including Mannie. Ah, well. I'd chalk it up to feminine rivalry...

Either way, I'll be interested to see how everything plays out. It is what it is, etc, etc...Life, for certain, won't be boring for the next week or so. Especially now that I have another person to chat to and be silly with. I like new friends. I always like new friends, who doesn't? Its likely I will post all the man drama here, because to me, its endlessly amusing. Women are meant to be the ones who are like this, but I've found the men can be just as bad. Indeed, the guys at Casa B are almost all as high maintenance as the women, if not more so.

Give me a day, or two, and I'll be back with lots of photos, history and interesting tidbits for you, I am sure. The next two days are the start of an adventure, if only a mini one.

Find something new and exciting to love. I know I am...
I'm headed west. Where are you headed?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

So I Can Finally See Where You Go When You're Gone

I don't think there's any denying now that I love  surveys. Some of the ones on the internet ask things I would never think to blog about but they are things I think are worth sharing with you. I don't know how you all feel about them, but until you tell me they annoy the hell out of you, I figure I can keep posting them.

Honestly, I like that they give me something to post about on days when I am too tired to think of something to write about, but I still feel like sharing. Today, I actually have things I would like to tell you about, but since I started this post last night and never got to finish it because I was massively tired, I thought I would finish here before I told you all my news. So, first- survey, and then, if we aren't too tired, maybe i'll post something about my day. Yes?

Off we go. (by the way, I did take the time, for your comfort and mine, to get rid of the formatting. Also I didn't bother numbering, because really, who cares?)

What is more difficult for you, looking into someones eyes when you are telling someone how you feel, or looking into someones eyes when they are telling you how they feel?
 I don't think its difficult to look into someone's eyes period, but that may just be me. I think the hardest time if when you're telling someone something difficult, like bad news. But then, that's the best time to be direct isn't it?

You are at the doctor’s office and he has just informed you that you have approximately one month to live. Do you tell anyone/everyone you are going to die? What do you do with your remaining days? Would you be afraid?
I would tell the people I love. I would quit my job and try to find all the things I wanted to do before I died and do them. Of course, I'm the kind of person who inherently will choose not to believe something just because I'm told. My grandmother was told to get her affairs in order when I was 15 because of her cancer. She's still, you know. And no, I don't think I'd be afraid. Not too much anyway. 

You can have one of the following two things. Which do you choose? Why? Love and Trust.
I think that you can't have love without trust, so you'd have to choose trust. But then, I think that anything you trust is something you can love. I'd choose trust if I had to, but I believe the two can never be mutually exclusive. 

 Your best friend confesses that he/she has feelings for you more than just friendship. He/she is falling in love with you. What do you (or did you) do/say?
This is always a difficult situation. I think you have to talk about your feelings with them. I would have to explain why its not a possibility. I think you do what you have to to move on with a relationship with that person. I know that's a hard place to be. Fortunately, I don't think Perpet will ever fall in love with me, and Flyguy knows better. I hope I never have to deal with that situation, because I assume I would end up losing a friend. There's never a good way to end that conversation. 

Think of the last person who you know that died. You have the chance to give them 1 hour of life back, but you have to give up one year of yours. Do you do it? Why or Why not?
No. The last person I know who died was my great grandmother, and she wouldn't have been happy in that one hour. It was her time. As a general rule, I think its advisable to live the best life you can while you have it, and die happy with your choices. One hour won't make a difference no matter how many years I give up of my own life. 

 Are you the kind of friend that you would want to have as a friend?
Yeah, I am. 

When was the last time you told someone HONESTLY how you felt regardless of how difficult it was for you to say? Who was it? What did you have to tell the person?
I do that all the time. I think its why my friends love me and why everyone else likes me very little. I can't waste time thinking about whether or not I'm going to hurt someone with the truth. Its not like me to lie about things. AS for recently, I had a talk with Hedgewitch like that. I won't tell you what it was about, because its her business, but it was a hard talk to have. 

 What would be (or what was) harder for you to tell a member of the opposite sex, you love them or that you do not love them back?
Its always harder to tell someone you don't love them. Love is always a wonderful thing to share. 

What do you think would be the hardest thing for you to give up? Why would it be hard to lose?
If we aren't talking about people? I assume you know the answer to that...I think I would have a hard time giving up reading for pleasure. It brings me a lot of joy and it helps me to relax. I also think it improves my sense of culture and personal awareness. 

 Excluding romantic love, when was the last time you told someone you loved them. Who were they to you?
This week, I told Flyguy, Sakura and Felix I love them. They're my friends. And of course I do. They're important to me. 

Imagine it is a dark night, you are alone, it is raining outside, you hear someone walking around outside your window. WHO do you wish was there with you?
Kitten. She makes me feel safer than anyone. 

 Would you give a homeless person CPR if they were dying? Why or Why not?
Yes. Every person deserves to be saved if they can be. It doesn't matter who they are. Life is not the entitlement of only the rich or beautiful.

 Are you old fashioned?
Yes, in some ways I very much am, despite my very modern love life. I believe marriage is for life. I believe that ladies should act as such. I expect men to be gentlemen. I prefer skirts and dresses to pants. I believe in speaking when you're spoken to, and giving elders respect. I like the morals of the older era, as a general rule. I think just because you have modern sensibilities does not mean you cant have good manners. If that makes me old fashioned, then yes, I am.

 When was the last time you were nice to someone and did NOT expect anything in return for it?
This afternoon.

Which would you choose, true love with a guarantee of a broken heart, or never loved at all? Why?
True love. I'd rather know what love really is. What's a heart worth if it can't be broken?

Are you young at heart, or an old soul?
Both. I think I'm very lively at heart, but I also know my soul has been around a very long time. I think sometimes that makes me meloncholy, and I think sometimes it contributes to my sense of being jaded, but I like myself that way.

What makes someone a best friend?
Always being honest. Telling you what you need to hear, even when it hurts. Loving you unconditionally. Treating you with respect, but not reverence. Someone who can make you laugh. Someone who can hold you when you cry, who's willing to cry with you. Someone you are willing to be honest with. Someone you can trust with more than your life. Someone who can keep your secrets. Someone who wants you to keep theirs. Always being there, no matter what. Someone who supports you and your decisions, but will tell you when they are bad ones. Someone who motivates you to be better. Someone who inspires you. Someone who will share your dreams with you.

What’s more important in a relationship: physical attraction or emotional connection?
Emotional connection. Sometimes that's enough to stimulate a physical attraction. But attraction never means instant connection. Never.

Name a movie that you knew would be terrible just from reading the title.
What holiday do you most look forward to?

How is the relationship between you and your parents?
I don't know my father. My mother and I have an interesting relationship because I treat her like a peer. I have for a long time. I struggle sometimes to respect her, but I never have to work to love her. I always have a hard time understanding her motivations. Its been easier in the last few years, but it hasn't always. I can say she is generally more supportive than she used to be.

Name a song that never fails to make you happy.
Party in the USA, Miley Cyrus. We heard it all the time on our honeymoon, so I always think of that when I hear it.

You know at least one person named Michael. Tell me about him.
He works at Casa Bueno. His girlfriend is super sweet. He likes airplanes, especially old ones. He likes the color purple. He has facial hair.

If you could pick anywhere to live the rest of your life, where would it be?
Portland Oregon.

Can money buy happiness?
No. But it does make things easier.

Do you drink? Smoke? Do drugs? Why, or why not?
I drink on occasion but never to excess because i used to have a drinking problem, plus it jacks up my blood sugar. I do smoke. I like the taste of tobacco. I especially like smoking hookahs. I don't do drugs. I used to. But I don't know. I have been clean for over a decade and I plan to keep it that way. I almost killed myself doing them. Its a terrible thing.

Where was your favorite place to go when you were a little kid?
There's giant train yards in my city and when I was little I used to have my grandfather take me to go see the trains. I don't live too far from them now, and it still makes me happy to drive by them and see them. They make me think of him. Also, I don't know why, I love trains.

Have you ever spent a night in the hospital?
Oh, lord, too many times to list. Yes. Yes I have.

Do you enjoy being with only one or two friends, or with a large group of people?
I like a medium sized group of intimate friends. I hate large groups of strangers but i love having all the people I love near me. Sometimes my house gets pretty full as a result. But I still love it.

If your partner wanted to wait until marriage before having sex, would you stay in that relationship?
Yes, if they were up front with me about it. If I really loved them, and I wanted to be in a relationship with them, then they would be worth waiting for. Why else date a person?

Do you believe in a god?

Would you call yourself/your family “middle class?”
Lower middle class probably, but yes.

If you could give up your car and never have to drive again, would you?
Yes. I don't particularly like driving myself. Now, I would be happy to give up my car and have someone else drive me...or live in a city that I could use the public transportation. I'd be alright with that.

What’s your “quirkiest” habit?
I have no personal space with my friends. I am very touchy feely. So I think that's my most obvious quirk. Its hard to take, if you don't really love me. I also read at the dinner table if no one else is there...

What is “normal?” Are you normal?
I don't think there is such a thing, but if there is, I suspect I am not. I don't think I would want to be.

Someone close to you is dying. You have the choice to let this person live for 10 more years, but if you do, you cause the death of 10 strangers. You don’t have to see them die. Do you take the offer?
No. Its not my choice to make, first. Second, I don't know who or what those people might be capable of. I am not god. I cannot decide the fate of other people. It wouldn't be right, and if I loved the person dying, I wouldn't be able to make a rational decision.

Would you rather be in a relationship after the honeymoon period ends, or be single?
Be in the relationship. That's when the real relationship starts.

Is it possible for guys and girls to be just friends?
Yes. I am proof of that.

When you’re alone in your own home, do you walk around naked?

What gets you out of bed in the morning?
My alarm. Philosophically? I have another day to experience and grow. I have more life to live and more to contribute to the world. I have to get up, or I'm letting myself down.

Do you want to have more friends than you have right now?
I want more close friends, always. Just more people in my life? Not if they aren't going to be something special.

What’s the best route to your heart?
Honesty. Unique beauty. Vulnerability and strength.

Have you ever met someone through the internet, then met them in real life?
Yes. And I have a few more I'd like to meet in person.

What do you use more often: your intuition or logical reasoning?
Depends on the day. I'm so in tune with my intuition, I don't notice it most days. So probably it. But I think I'm a pretty rational person too.

Do you know what makes you happy?
My friends. My partners. A good book. A beautiful sunset or sunrise. A new experience. My life makes me pretty happy, actually.

What is the nicest compliment you’ve ever been given?
Um? I've been given quite a few that struck me. I think the one I was most flattered by was someone once told me I was "incandescent" and that was definitely one that made me blush, though they probably don't know that until right about now...

Often, people will ask how your last relationship ended. I want to know how it began.
I was rebounding from the end of a long term one and I made a terrible decision. I mistook interest for affection and like for love. I thought that pretense was real beauty and that huge character flaws were simple weaknesses.

Early bird or night owl?
Early bird by habit, night owl by choice.

Are there any childhood possessions you still hold on to?
I still have my first doll.

Give me an unpopular opinion you have.
I believe that respect is earned. Thusly, I hold an unpopular opinion in this part of the country that just because you were in the military doesn't mean you deserve respect. What you did while you were in it was. I know some terrible things that have happened while people were serving. Those things don't deserve respect. I know some amazing things that have happened, and those people do. But respect, wherever it comes from, should be earned, not automatically given. 

What is your ethnic heritage?
My father's family are second generation emigrants from Britain. My mother's side of the family is almost completely Irish. 

Do you believe in luck?
I believe you make your own luck.

Have you ever risked a friendship by telling someone you liked them?

Do you practice what you preach?
I try to, but I'm not perfect.

Are you hard-headed?
Yes. Very.

Do you often skip breakfast?
No, but my breakfast is often very unhealthy.

How do you know what true love is?

Would you want to know the exact date and time you were going to die?
Where is “home” for you?
With Kitten.

Do you want to be perfect?
No. Its good, because I can't be.  I'm a raging perfectionist, though, so I know how it feels to struggle to be your very best, and i do want to be that.
What have you never tried, but would really like to someday? What’s holding you back?
Surfing. I don't live near an ocean.

Give me the story of your life in six words. 
I mess up. But I'm learning. 

What eye color do you find sexiest?
Rich. I like brown for the most part, but a pair of deep, rich eyes in any color is beautiful.

  Pirates or ninjas? Why? 
Pirates. The clothes are more fun. The pay is better. So are the girls.

  What's your most favorite part of your body? 
My mouth.

  What's your most favorite part of your personality? 
My bluntness.

  Have you ever watched the Superbowl all the way through? 
Yes. I like football.

  Have you ever watched any major sporting event drunk? 

  Margarine or butter? Which did you grow up with?
Butter. I grew up with margarine. But I like butter.

  Whole, skim, 1%, or 2% milk? (Did you know they make 1 1/2% milk?) 
One Percent. Everything else tastes either fatty, or like water. And yes, I did.

  Which continents have you been on? 
North America, Europe, and I don't know what the middle east counts as. Maybe Asia?

  Would you wear a rainbow jacket? A neon yellow sweater? Checkered pants? 
Yes, no, yes.

  Longest plane ride you've ever been on? 
Fourteen hours. I flew from New York to Kuwait.

 Would you buy a sweater covered in kitten pictures? Would you wear it if someone gave it you for free? 
Yes and yes.

Favorite kind of bean? Kidney? Black? Pinto?
Green? Haha. I like all kinds of beans.

How far can you throw a baseball?
Pretty far. From the back of the field to home, at least, which is how far you need to be able to throw it, right?

If you had to move to another country, where would you move? 
A relationship with love or one with sex?
Both, I hope.

 Do you eat enough vegetables? 
I don't eat too many. But yeah, i think I do.

Do you swear in front of your parents? 
Yes. I do.

Coolest thing you've ever been for Halloween? 
I went as Marie Antoinette one year. I hand made the ballgown and it was seriously epic. Six bistles, cream silk and black velvet, I even made a gigantic powdered wig with macaroni (a hair style) birds flying around it. I loved that thing. 

Can you walk well in high heels? 
I can run in high heels, so yes.

When was the last time you cried? Why?
Last night. I was in pain.

Are you happy?

Have you ever cheated on your partner?
Yes, and I don't regret it because now I'm married to the person I cheated on him with. And she's the best thing that ever happened to me.

 Who do you spend crazy moments with?
Most of the time, Flyguy.

What kind of music do you listen to?
Anything good.
 Are you over your past?
For the most part, yes. I have moved on, but I don't forget.

 Do you have troubles sleeping at night?

 From whom was the last text message you received?

 Do you have any phobias?
heights, spiders...yeah. I'm trying to overcome both of those. Egg timers, which I just can't explain....

 Did you try to change for a person?
Yes and every time it didn't work. The new guy at work (who I'm going to have to name, soon) has a tattoo with the words "i would rather be hated for what I am, than be loved for what I am not" I couldn't agree more.

Would you go back to your previous relationship?

Do people praise you for your looks?
Not normally, no. But then. I'm not super good looking, am I? Kitten and Oscelot do, but they're supposed to, aren't they?
Did you fall for someone you shouldn’t?
I have before, yes.

 Have you ever done something bad but you don’t regret?

Have you ever thought of killing yourself?
I did a long time ago, but I haven't felt that way for a very long time, thank lord and lady for that. I love and respect myself and my life now.

 Can you live without internet?
I imagine I could, although I'd be annoyed by it.

 Are you good at holding back your tears?
Not especially.

 Are you a crybaby?

 Have you ever experienced being hysterical?

 What kind of person are you?
I don't know. I suppose that's the point of these surveys isnt it? To find out more about myself. I'd like to think I'm a good person, and an honest one. Outside of that, everything is semantics. Hell, somedays I am neither nice or good, so...

Have you ever been jealous?
Oh yeah

 Do you have trust issues?
Yes, I do.

Who’s the person who first comes to your mind when someone mentions “love”?

 Do you think all the pain is worth it?
All my past pain? Yeah. It is. I like myself now. I wouldn't be that if it weren't for those things. I think you have to make pain worth it, because you have to keep living either way.

 How do you look right now?
I'm wearing my glasses, my hair is curly not straight, I'm wearing a green and orange and brown peasant skirt and my feet are dirty from watering my garden in sandals. How that looks to anyone else is a mystery to me.

Did you ever feel like you’re not good enough?
I feel that way all the time. Part of being a perfectionist I suppose.

Well, there you have it friends. I made it through a massive barrage of questions. Kudos to you if you kept up this long. I'm impressed.

Do you have any questions you'd like me to answer? I'd be much more interested to tell you things you'd like to know...

Friday, July 20, 2012

If I Hear One More Time About A Fool's Right To His Tool's Of Rage...

I have to get a few things off my chest about Facebook.

I want to preface this with the thought that I normally love facebook. I use it all the time, I think its a great way to stay in touch with people you might not get to see as often as you like and reconnect, or just plain connect, with people that you love. I like Facebook and the concept behind it.

Lately, I hate Facebook.

If I were a normal person, or the average FB user, I suppose I would be posting this there under my notes section. But, you see, I am seriously tired of FB drama. And honestly, I like updates and notes, but I think me venting about things that make me crazy belongs here, where people have to make an effort to come and read it, and they aren't inundated with my opinions without having a choice. And there, my friends, is the thing that is making me crazy. Well, its threefold, really.

First, and I'll totally confess to Sakura venting this to me first, and I agree with him. I am sick of those stupid E-cards. Yeah, some of them are witty. Most of them aren't. Most of them are bitchy and whiney, not funny. And more of a problem, people are posting them so frequently now that they are taking the place of true humor and wit on FB, which was something that I really loved about that space. Now, I have reposted a couple, I won't lie. But I don't post five or six a day, which is what some people on my friends list are doing. What irritates me is that the people I am friends with, for the most part, are a very intelligent, very amusing group of people. I don't need E-cards to know that. Honestly, I like their own brand of humor much better. I actually spend enough time scrolling past them that sometimes I miss an important post I actually wanted to read. That's annoying.

Second, and I know- I know I swear- that its election year...but I'm tired of politics. I normally take my civic duty very seriously, and I'm to the point now I don't even want to vote because I'm sick of listening to all of it. Its not even November yet. And while I am a liberal, its not just the conservatives that are making me nuts. Its everyone. I don't care anymore that Mitt Romney got a huge tax break on his therapy horse. I don't care if George Bush is still your idea of a great president. I don't care if you hate President Obama's healthcare plan. I don't. Because your opinions are not mine. You are not going to change my mind about my political views with a meme or a photo or a rant on FB any more than you would change them with a political attack ad on television. I'm a smart woman. I know there's two sides to every coin, and frankly I find it insulting that you believe that posting that crap is going to be enough to change my mind without me fact checking or looking into the issue more.

And forget even just the election stuff, I'm tired of political posts in general. I'm gay and I am sick of pro-gay, pro-gay marriage posts. I'm sick of abortion posts and women's health posts. Do I care about these things? Yes. But I am so tired of facing a barrage of posts about it on my news feed every morning. I'd like to point out that posting a picture on FB is not the same thing as being politically active. You want to do something to make a difference? You want change? Form a political action group. Join an existing one. Write to your congressperson (do you know who your local and state reps are? I bet you can't name them without a google search. I can.) Organize a rally. Make some sort of actual contribution to the cause or shut the hell up. Honestly. When is the last time you attended a city council meeting? Do you know where your local party office is? When was the last time you took advantage of the days at the State Capitol when constituents can go visit their representatives. When's the last time you actually took the time to research the legalities of the bills that you so vehemently oppose? Not recently, I'd bet.

Do something. Do anything. And then post on my wall about how you got something going. Then we'll talk about whether or not my politics line up with yours and whether or not I feel like helping out your cause. But for the love of every thing good and holy stop wasting my time with statistics your blindly reposted or facts you can't bother to check. I'm sick of them all.

Finally, and lord and lady knows I will offend someone here- I'm sick of religion on FB. I'm tired of flame wars over who loves or doesn't love Jesus. I'm tired of having to defend my faith to people who are supposed to be my friends. And while I love you and respect your religious path- I'm frankly quite sick of waking up every morning to a come to god post or twelve. You find inspiration in your religion? Awesome. You want to post a quote from a guru or a bible verse that makes your day better? You do that. Do you want to "witness" to all of your friends in FB land by posting a picture of Jesus on the cross with a huge note underneath about how you don't want them to go to hell if they haven't come to god yet? Spare me. Do that in person. With the person you are trying to reach. Because if like begets like, most of your friends are looking past that post anyway. Those of us of different religions are probably rolling our eyes, because its insulting that you would post something that guilts us into becoming a member of your faith so *you* don't have to suffer by us going to hell. Honestly, if our sensibilities were that weak, why bother being acquainted to a person like that at all? 

Don't get me wrong, I love religion. I especially love mine. And I truly believe that if your religion is your comfort, that's wonderful for you. I post pagan things now and again because I know they inspire me and they inspire my friends. But not once, NEVER, will you see me posting a "become a pagan so your next incarnation doesn't suck" meme with instructions on how to become a witch underneath it. That's stupid. I want the people who are religious to be happy with their religion. But don't insult me, especially on a daily basis, with posts about how sad you are I'm eternally damned, asking me to come to god. Because frankly, if I weren't already of a spiritual path of my choosing, the conclusion I would draw is that all the people of your faith are dogmatic nags.

And while we're talking about both religion and politics, lets just get this out in the open. They don't mix. And frankly, I don't care what faith you are, it doesn't get to dictate my political decisions. And you know, I hate calling them out, but the protestants are especially bad about this. I never hear Muslims or Jews saying pork should be outlawed. Or how their religions are older, so maybe their more important than any other religion. It seems the exclusive right of protestants to tell all of us how wring we are. Truthfully, I think the Muslims in the US are too busy hiding and trying to fight for the political freedoms they were guaranteed when this country was founded to be busy with any other political agenda. And for the love of Jesus and every other deity read your god blessed history books and check out the founding father's real philosophies behind the founding of the United States. They did not form our government to be a Protestant state. They didn't. And frankly, the moment the US becomes a protestant state, I'm out. I'll find somewhere else to live. That's not me being petulant. That's me choosing to emigrate to a new country where I can have religious freedom. Sound familiar? Yeah, I thought so.

So the next time you're on FB and you post about how abortion is wrong or how gays shouldn't marry or whatever else political issue you're just dying to change my opinion about- give me a good reason that has nothing to do with your religion. Because its probably not mine. And if it is, well, I'm still going to look long and hard at the facts before I make a choice on what to believe.

I know that I sound hard and bitter. I know that me making all of these statements is my way of making a political statement and religious statement myself. I do. Here's the thing, though. You're here and you're reading this by choice. You choose to listen to my opinion. I didn't type it in all caps on facebook. I didn't tag you in a post about it so it would show up on your wall, in your news feed and in your notifications. I let you make the decision to come here and listen to me rant. And that's all I want. A morning where I wake up and I don't feel compelled to hide someone in my news feed because I am friends with them, and I do want to connect with them, but I can't stand the thought of one more political rant, religious pontification or stupid ass E-card. Let that be my choice.

And I know, I know, I've got someone somewhere who will say "I can post whatever I want and if you don't like it go ahead and unfriend me." Okay. I will. Because it just goes to reinforce the fact that my opinion isn't as special as your opinion. Truthfully, I probably really like or love you if I haven't hidden you or taken you off my friend list. If you don't like that I don't care for all of your posts? You let me know. I probably need to reconsider whether you should be my friend or not anyway. I respect your right to your opinion, even if I don't like it or agree with it. Even when it irritates me. Which is why I'm here, and not on your wall posting snotty comments about your opinions to you. I deserve that too. That's all I'm saying.

Right. I'm off my soap box. I'll post something nicer next time. But I had to have my moment, because some people are truly ruining something that I used to like. I like too few things (especially mainstream, networky type things) to let someone ruin it for me.

Have fun posting y'all.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

I'll Be Your Number One With a Bullet

So everyone who knows me knows that I'm a little bit vain. Okay, a lot bit vain. One of my favorite things to do, especially in the summer when its nice (or scorching hot) outside is to run around and take pictures. Usually of my and my sweeties and my friends.

I recently had the idea that it would be a lot of fun to do some pictures inspired by the "trash the dress" wedding photo trend and wear an evening gown, or some other fantastic outfit, and go get messy and take pictures in it in the more urban areas of my city. Or go take pictures in the really rural part of my city. Either way, I like the idea of juxtaposing something fantastic or whimsical or formal with something that is not inherently those things.

I asked Flyguy to help me out because he's a really talented photographer. Well, I've seen a lot of the stuff he does and I really love it. I like the way he looks at the world, and when I look at his photos I notice he sees things differently than I do. Its part of what makes me love him.

So last night we went out and did a trial run with my digital camera (well, he brought his camera too, but he was shooting black and white film, so I won't see the results of that for a while) and we traipsed around the downtown and had a good time. Well, I had a great time because not only was he satisfying my vanity by taking my picture, but I haven't gotten to see him lately, so having him for company was spectacular. We left at about six in the evening, and we got home about nine. I'll mention, the later hour was ostensibly to make sure it was cool enough outside. It was still over ninety the whole time.

Anyway, we got a lot of fun stuff on film. Also, he was a total hero for me. He didn't seem to notice at all the strange looks he was getting while we walked around. I don't blame people for staring, a guy in street clothes running around with a woman in a white evening gown in the middle of a warehouse district is rather odd.

So, I thought I would share a few of the pictures he took so you could see them (and me) and tell me what you think.

 This one is actually maybe a baseball's throw from my house. Its at an old train overpass, and I love the greenery that grows all over the old wooden beams. I was surprised when Flyguy chose this angle as opposed to showing more of the beam work. I suppose you can figure out that I let him make the decisions, now that I see what he was aiming for. I should never second guess him.
 I love this photo. I will say this, it was a bit of a hike up those rocks to the top, and I was dodging broken glass most of the time. Flyguy, though, was balancing halfway down the hill braced on a baby tree. So I shouldn't complain. The picture is pretty cool too.

I should also note the heels I wore I selected for comfort. I have blisters everywhere today. The day was rougher on them, though, I ended up breaking the straps off them before the night was out. Made for a long and interesting limp home, though.

Incidentally, Kitten bought those heels for me when we went on our honeymoon, three years ago. So they lasted a good long while, as far as heels go- especially when you consider how rough I am on my shoes.
 The rock idea was all Flyguys. I like it. He did express a wish my dress had more movement. I've made a mental note to buy a dress with a train next time.

Flyguy noted later when we were looking at the pictures that it would be a matter of nothing to cut the dress off and make it short. He's probably right, although before I do that, I think I want to cover the whole thing in mud.

My aunt Dancer was on facebook and saw these and was exclaiming over me trashing such a pretty dress. I imagine you might be thinking the same thing. No worries. I only paid $20 for it. So if I do eventually ruin it...well, it wasn't expensive. Even if it was- is the dress or the photos less beautiful because of the price? I think not.
 I love this photo like you wouldn't believe. For some reason, it really strikes me as a portrait more than a snapshot. If there were ever a photo taken of me that expressed how I feel sometimes, this would be it. I think its telling that my burgeoning sunburn is starting to show, and it seems appropriate somehow. 
 This is one of Flyguy's favorites. I am not sure why. Although, I will admit, I never would have thought that faded ass boring graffiti would stand out so much in the photo. I really like that it does. This is somewhere under one of the underpasses in my town. It gets me giggling, there's a huge no trespassing sign at the entrance to this tunnel. I'm pretty strait laced, so I made Flyguy promise that he's bail me out if we got arrested for trespassing. He reassured me that he's down there all the time and no one cares. Of course he is...
 This photo was such a relief to me, because by this time my feet hurt and the water was cold and it was ninety degrees. I was looking forward to this part anyway, because I wanted to see what the dress would do wet.

Also, that's my natural hair color in the sunlight. Anyone who tells me I don't have red in my hair from here on out will be referred to this picture.
 Flyguy's foot makes a cameo in this pic. We got some interesting looks doing these. I feel like Ophelia when I look at this picture.

There were some kids (well, teenagers) at this park and one of them said something to Flyguy. He told me later that he asked how his porn shoot was going. Flyguy said good. Then the kid asked why he didn't have me take off my clothes. Flyguy just gave him one of his enigmatic smiles. Its part of why I like him. I would have mouthed off.

I was rather amused by the girls in the park who kept giving me looks like I was in some sort of fairy tale. One asked me before I got wet if I was going to get into the water. When I told her yes, she grinned really big. I noticed she stuck around to watch me get into the waterfall. It was funny to me, especially how she was sighing, like she was seeing something special.

I like this photo because it looks really old fashioned. Also, my hair is drying out and is all sorts of messy and curly. I like that. Its how I normally look.

This field is behind a warehouse near my home, and I didn't even think about it as a spot for pictures. It looks like a bunch of overgrown weeds to me. Again, I defer to Flyguy's opinion of how to take photos from here on out.

Kitten really likes this picture too. She's says I look pretty in it.

So...there you have it. Another post completely dedicated to me being really, really vain. I did think it was interesting, because it rather gave me a chance to see how someone else looks at me, and looks at everything around me. I'll be interested to see how the black and whites come out, and I'll be interested to see what we do with future photo playtimes. We've got an outfit all lined up for Kitten for the next go around. I'll like to see some pictures of us together. Oscelot has to pick out an outfit too.

Be warned, you might see more of these in the future.

Have a good day everyone. Find something beautiful and love it.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

If you had just one question

Right, so its been a great couple of days off for me, and tonight I spent the evening with Flyguy taking photos and attempting to trash an evening gown. Apparently soaking it in chlorinated water and crawling all over railroad tracks didn't do the trick, so I get to play in it again sometime. Fun stuff.

I'm currently waiting on all of those photos to upload onto my facebook, so I thought I'd play a little game and answer some questions posted on Sakura's blog. Enjoy.  

1. Would you have sex with the last person you text messaged? 
The last person I text messaged was Flyguy, and despite the fact that he is enormously attractive, wonderful and everything a man should be- no. Despite to fact everyone at our work seems to think we already I like him far too much to ruin a relationship with him by sleeping with him. Also, I'm married. So a big no.   

2. You talked to an ex today, correct?
No. Although beloved was supposed to call me yesterday about taking care of her dogs and cats this weekend. I'll bet Reba found someone else to do it. Again. either way, answer is no. 

3. Have you taken someones virginity?
Yes. Several. No I won't tell you who.  

4. Is trust a big issue for you?

5. Did you hang out with the person you like recently?
Yes. I hung out with her today. 

I give up on getting rid of the auto format bullet points. Sorry.  

6. What are you excited for? 

I'm excited to go to Tulsa next week to see the George washington exhibit. I'm excited to have a good day tomorrow. Lots of things excite me.   
7. What happened tonight?
I hung out with Flyguy.
8. Do you think it’s disgusting when girls get really wasted? 
I think its disgusting when anyone gets really wasted. 
9. Is confidence cute?
10. What is the last beverage you had?
An off brand cola

11. How many people of the opposite sex do you fully trust?
Four. Sakura, Flyguy, Dad and Swiss.  

12. Do you own a pair of skinny jeans? 
13. What are you gonna do Saturday night? 
Come home and relax I hope

14. What are you going to spend money on next?
Bills probably
  • 15. Are you going out with the last person you kissed?
  • Yes 
  • 16. Do you think you’ll change in the next 3 months?
  • I hope so. I've got a lot of things I want to change, anyway 
  • 17. Who do you feel most comfortable talking to about anything?
  • Kitten. Flyguy. Sakura. Oscelot
  • 18. The last time you felt broken?
  • Right before I met Kitten 
  • 19. Have you had sex today?
  • Yes 
  • 20. Are you starting to realize anything?
  • Not at the moment, no.  
  • 21. Are you in a good mood?
  • Very 
  • 22. Would you ever want to swim with sharks?
  • I have, and it was nice. Well, the manta rays scared me more, lets put it that way.  
  • 23. Are your eyes the same color as your dad’s?
  • I don't know 
  • 24. What do you want right this second?
  • A cigarette 
  • 25. What would you say if the person you love/like kissed another girl/boy?
  • It would depend on who it was, and why they did it.  
  • 26. Is your current hair color your natural hair color?
  • Yes 
  • 27. Would you be able to date someone who doesn’t make you laugh?
  • No. I need someone who can make me smile.  
  • 28. What was the last thing that made you laugh?
  • Kitten said something...I don't remember what it was.  
  • 29. Do you really, truly miss someone right now?
  • Yes, I do.  
  • 30. Does everyone deserve a second chance?
  • I think it depends on the person and what they've done. I'm not a very forgiving person, so I'm a bad person to ask about it. I think I should try to give someone another chance, but I'm also honest enough with myself to say sometimes they don't deserve it, or I might not give it. 
  • 31. Honestly, do you hate the last boy you were talking to?
  • No, I love the last boy I was talking to.  
  • 32. Does the person you have feelings for right now, know you do?
  • I hope so, she married me.  
  • 33. Are you one of those people who never drinks soda?
  • Nope. Drinking one right now.  
  • 34. Listening to?
  • The sound of my box fan.  
  • 35. Do you ever write in pencil anymore?
  • Yes I do. 
  • 36. Do you know where the last person you kissed is?
  • Yes I do.  
  • 37. Do you believe in love at first sight?
  • No. I believe in like and lust at first sight. Love needs more than a look.  
  • 38. Who did you last call?
  • My mother 
  • 39. Who was the last person you danced with?
  • Kitten 
  • 40. Why did you kiss the last person you kissed?
  • Because I love them 
  • 41. When was the last time you ate a cupcake?
  • About a month ago 
  • 42. Did you hug/kiss one of your parents today?
  • Not today 
  • 43. Ever embarrass yourself in front of a crush?
  • Doest this happen to everyone? 
  • 44. Do you tan in the nude?
  • I don't tan 
  • 45. If you could, would you take back your last kiss?
  • What's with the kisses? No, I wouldn't. I try to never kiss if I think I might want to take it back.  
  • 46. Did you talk to someone until you fell asleep last night?
  • No, but I held someone until they fell asleep.  
  • 47. Who was the last person to call you?
  • My mom 
  • 48. Do you sing in the shower?
  • If the radio is on and the song is good. 
  • 49. Do you dance in the car?
  • Yes 
  • 50. Ever used a bow and arrow?
  • No, but I want to learn 
  • 51. Last time you got a portrait taken by a photographer?
  • A real photgrapher? That I paid? In high school. A good photographer that is talented? Tonight.  
  • 52. Do you think musicals are cheesy?
  • No, I love them. 
  • 53. Is Christmas stressful?
  • No. Well, my family is stressful, so sometimes yes. But I celebrate Yule, and that isn't stressful at all.  
  • 54. Ever eat a pierogi?
  • No- but Shorty makes them and I would try one.  
  • 55. Favorite type of fruit pie?
  • Strawberry 
  • 56. Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid?
  • Ballerina, rock star, librarian 
  • 57. Do you believe in ghosts?
  • Yes 
  • 58. Ever have a Deja-vu feeling?
  • All the time. I'm psychic 
  • 59. Take a vitamin daily?
  • Nope. I tried to once, and ended up throwing out half the bottle.  
  • 60. Wear slippers?
  • Not often 
  • 61. Wear a bath robe?
  • I wear a kimono, does that count? 
  • 62. What do you wear to bed?
  • Nothing. I get tangled up in clothes if I sleep in them.  
  • 63. First concert?
  • All4One when I was 14 
  • 64. Wal-Mart, Target or Kmart?
  • Depends on what I'm buying 
  • 65. Nike or Adidas?
  • Sketchers 
  • 66. Cheetos Or Fritos?
  • Oh god no... 
  • 67. Peanuts or Sunflower seeds?
  • I'm allergic to peanuts 
  • 68. Favorite Taylor Swift song?
  • Oh, Lord. Um, I like Sparks Fly and Love Story. Go on- judge me.  
  • 69. Ever take dance lessons?
  • Yes 
  • 70. Is there a profession you picture your future spouse doing?
  • Yes. Well, one I can see my spouse doing.  
  • 71. Can you curl your tongue?
  • Yes 
  • 72. Ever won a spelling bee?
  • No. I can't spell. If you've ever read this blog you know that.  
  • 73. Have you ever cried because you were so happy?
  • Yes 
  • 74. What is your favorite book?
  • Oh, lord, look at my interests. I have several. The correct answer I suppose would be a good one.  
  • 75. Do you study better with or without music?
  • With 
  • 76. Regularly burn incense?
  • Yes. All the time. Comes with the territory.  
  • 77. Ever been in love?
  • Yes. Am in love right now.  
  • 78. Who would you like to see in concert?
  • Oh- we were talking about this last night. (I saw James Taylor last night) I want to see Brandi Carlile on her new tour. Indigo Girls. Ani Difranco. Barry Manilow. Elton John. Taylor Swift. Madonna (if it were still the 90's) There's a ton of artists I'd like to see.  
  • 79. What was the last concert you saw?
  • James Taylor. Last night. It was awesome.  
  • 80. Hot tea or cold tea?
  • Yes. But I love hot tea.  
  • 81. Tea or coffee?
  • Tea 
  • 82. Favorite type of cookie?
  • Tea cookies.  
  • 83. Can you swim well?
  • Yes. I'm an excellent swimmer.  
  • 84. Can you hold your breath without holding your nose?
  • Yes.  
  • 85. Are you patient?
  • Not as often as I wish i was.  
  • 86. DJ or band, at a wedding?
  • A good DJ 
  • 87. Ever won a contest?
  • Yes.  
  • 88. Ever have plastic surgery?
  • No 
  • 89. Which are better black or green olives?
  • I hate olives unless they are oil.  
  • 90. Opinions on sex before marriage?
  • Use protection, don't be stupid.  
  • 91. Best room for a fireplace?
  • Living room 
  • 92. Do you want to get married?
  • I am married. Would I like to be legally married? Yes.  
  • There you go. Lots of bulletted information.  

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

If God Had A Face, What Would It Look Like?

I can say without doubt that this post is of the complete opposite tenor of my previous one, but there you have it.

I've been doing more reading this week on Wicca and the history of Wicca. I've also spent much more time looking at older traditions of my religion, including Gardenarian and Alexandrian Wicca. I have to say, its really not to my tastes, and its given me a completely new perspective on my religion as a whole.

I have to first say, in all honesty, I truly believe there is no such thing as one right path, even in Wicca. I think that spirituality is something that is fluid and has to relate to the person who is practicing that particular form of spirituality. When I blog, in the following, that I don't particularly care for something, it isn't me saying it is wrong, only that it doesn't resonate for me. This does not mean I feel the people who use such practices should change, or that they are bad, or anything like that. It only means I relate differently. I still respect the founders of these traditions because they have done much for my religion as a whole, and their contributions are both large and valuable.

Rather than boring you with a history lesson, I will instead direct you to information concerning Gardinarian Wicca and Alexandrian Wicca. Feel free to read up, it will give you a much better idea of where I am coming from with regard to my thoughts. In fact, it might also give you a good background to look into Janet and Stewart Ferrar as well, as most of my thoughts have come from reading their excellent books on witchcraft: The Witches' Bible, The Witches' God, and The Witches' Goddess. They are wonderful, well written, informative books. If you are interested in learning more about the general history of Wicca, both in its more ancient forms and in its modern incarnations, I would suggest reading Drawing Down the Moon by Margot Adler, an excellent journalist and practicing pagan.

I will also add, in case you've missed any of my other posts about wicca, that I (along with Sakura, Kitten and Oscelot) am a tradition head for a new form of wicca. Or I should say, if my coven ever hives, I will be. A tradition head simply means that I have founded my own coven and that I (and by I, I mean our group) have created an eclectic coven that operates on its own principles and beliefs within the Wiccan framework. Should, and I hope it does, our coven ever grow past 13 members it will "hive" or split off from the original coven, practicing under new leadership the same things the current coven does, acting as a "daughter coven" which would relate to the older, original coven. The hope is, of course, to have several hives, and a large group of practitioners that relate to your particular brand of wicca because it brings them joy and comfort.

That said, I've had a lot of food for thought in the last couple of days. Part of this is a direct result of reading these books and becoming more intimately acquainted with the particulars of Gardenarian and Alexandrian rituals and coven practice. They really aren't my style. Part of that is that there is a certain ancientness and solemnity surrounding their ritual. Part of it is that it is very solid, there is no change. The ritual for Beltane, for example, is the same every year, and so on for all of the holidays. That, also, is not to my tastes. There is also a certain...I don't know...feel you get from the books I've been reading that while we are all very open about agreeing there is no one right path, the authors of the book feel that if there were one right path to be chosen, it would be theirs. It almost borders on dogma.

As you know, I am a very take it or leave it kind of person. Whenever we have people approach us about joining the coven or wanting to know more about it, I am very open about our ideas and practices. If they like what they hear, we can talk further. If they don't, well, I appreciate their time and we all move on with no hard feelings. I don't believe there is room for dogma in any reasonable religion, because you have to be concerned with other things. I don't have time to fight about whether I am right or wrong, I only need to know that I and my coven feel right about our practice. That has to be enough. We have other things to think about- like living good lives, and playing by the rules, etc. I'm all for theological discussion, but I am not into argument. I don't have the energy for it. Two people can be philosophically very different and agree to respect each others opinion even when they don't see eye to eye.

There was one passage in particular very early in the book (The Witch's Bible) which in specific gave me that impression:

"Interestingly, what Doreen Valiente has done for Gardenarian Wicca in Witchcraft for Tomorrow, Raymond Buckland has done for another tradition, Saxon Wicca, in The Tree, The Complete Book of Saxon Witchcraft. That, too, includes a simple but comprehensive Book of Shadows and procedures for self-initiation and the founding of your own coven. We found many of the rituals in The Tree admirable, though we were less happy about its eight Festival rites, which are even scantier than in the Gardinarian Book of Shadows, and amount to little more than brief spoken declamations; they are based on the idea that the Goddess rules the summer, from Beltaine to Samhain, and the God the winter, from Damhain to Beltaine- a concept to which we cannot attune ourselves. Persephone, who withdraws to the underworld in winter, is only one aspect of the Goddess- a fact which her legend emphasizes by making her the daughter of the Great Mother.

However, to each his own; it is presumptuous to be too dogmatic, from the outside, about other traditions of the Craft. What matters is that anyone who wants to follow the Wiccan path but cannot get in touch with an established coven, now has two valid Wiccan traditions open to him in published form." (The Witches' Bible, p.29)

To me, this passage gave the impression that because the Saxon tradition chose to focus on Persephone as an archetype, and that wasn't really the authors' thing, that they were probably wrong. I wasn't a fan of the phrase "Too dogmatic from the outside" because I don't think you should be too dogmatic at all. It seems as though its maybe more acceptable to them to badmouth other traditions only within the privacy of the coven circle. It goes, to me, directly against one of the basic laws of the Craft "do not gossip or speak evil of other witches." Maybe I'm wrong there. I could be.

Anyway, with that at the outset of my studying, I felt a little unsettled with the book, and wondered how I would feel in relation to their other ideas. I won't bore you with a chapter by chapter analysis of the book, you can read it if you want to. I will say that I did enjoy looking at the basic rituals for all of the holidays, and for how they are relevant to them.

It was not for me.

I believe, very firmly, that wicca is an experiential religion. I think that interaction with god (and by god I of course mean the god, goddess or great spirit, The All, or however you express divinity) is something that is personal and has to relate directly to you. I think there are things that make less sense as a modern witch in some of these traditions than they would if we were still living at the turn of the century. Do I believe that god has existed since before time, is ancient and ageless and perfect? Yep, I sure do. Do I believe that this god is the only god there is? No.

I dislike the idea that god has to be some bearded man in the sky, or some crone sitting on a throne in a castle made of clouds. I see them that way, but I see god as both constant and ever changing. Because god is in everything, and everything changes, then god must change too. How else can he be relevant in a modern age? I think this is why some witches are into ceremonial magick, which involves pop culture references, because it is something relevant that relates to them. To me, its not something I am ready for, because I am more immersed in the things around me than pop culture, but I understand it from the view that we must see god in all places, rather than in one.

To me, the idea that god can only be spoken to in flowery, old fashioned language is an insult to the deity. They created the world which we live in, and have watched and existed in the changes that humans manifest. They would surely understand this blog post as well as they would a Shakespearean sonnet, right? (Maybe better, who writes in sonnets but bards?)

I have a hard time accepting that just because a way of doing things is older, or has been done more often, means it is better or works more effectively. Sometimes this is true. Sometimes not at all. Experience, then, is the only test of what really works for a person.

Another thing that I found irksome was the implication that if you were not living in the country it was hard to be in touch with the earth and the seasons. This is particularly insulting because we practice an earth based religion where the cycle of the seasons marks the turn of our year, our lives, and gives significance to our holidays. To tell me that if I can only view the change of the fall into winter from my window at my house in town rather than seeing my field frost in the country makes me less attuned to the earth, is the same as telling me that because I drive a car, I cannot relate to the feeling of walking or riding a bicycle or a horse. That's silly. Its condescending to say that when I note to myself that its time to get out the winter sweaters and scarves that this is my only way of marking the passing of the seasons is purely insulting. I may not have fields but I have a yard, and gardens and parks and lakes very close to me. My garden may be small, but it is mine, and I tend it with as much love as I would a whole crop of wheat.

My relationship to the earth, indeed, is one I could argue is as strong, or more strong, than a country person's because I crave the earth more- having less access to it on a moment to moment basis. I appreciate the fruits from my garden more, because I am not always able to have them. They are wonderful to me, and I understand the barrenness that comes with Lammas, Mabon and the dark months better, because I have less to store and enjoy during those times. Don't I count the months in which I wait to seed start? Don't I wait, too, for the blooming of my first flower in the spring?

Maybe I am wrongly indignant, but to me, saying "poor little city witch, you'll never feel the seasons the way I do" is hurtful and marginalizes my experience with the earth as a witch because I am not fortunate to have the means to live on a giant farm or commune. This is not the path for everyone. And to marginalize that path because it is not yours? I call it hubris.

There are other things, too, that bother me. Grated, this book was written in 1981, and those traditions were founded long before the gay liberation movement, or even the women's right's movement, but there is a distinct distaste projected in the book for gay covens and gay coven members. They say they do indeed, have gay friends, and gay coven members, but the coven members were only allowed in when they were able to "assume the role of their actual gender when in a Wiccan context."  Thsi could of course lead to a lengthy discourse on whether or not a person's actual gender is their sex organs or what is in their soul, but lets all agree to what is obvious- I think that's a silly thing to require.

I also seem to feel more than a little reverse discrimination in the idea of these forms of wicca, and its something that bothers me deeply. I do know that I practice a goddess centered religion. As the High Priestess of my coven, I am the supreme authority, and the High Priest is second to me. In our mythology, the mother goddess never dies, whereas the father god is sacrificed twice a year for the sake of fertility (that's an oversimplification, but you get the gist of it). However, it seems wrong to me not to recognize further the polarity of nature. Is there not light and dark, day and night, frost and fire, god and goddess? Everything has a mate, a match, an opposite. This, to me, seems something that should hold true in the religious structure as well.

Sakura, who I am blessed to work with, is our High Priest. He is my dear friend and partner in this spiritual journey. In other traditions of wicca, it is not uncommon for a husband and wife to be high priest and priestess. However, we are both gay. I can say though, he and I understand each other fully, and there is no question in my mind of how we ever need proceed. It is an excellent partnership based on trust and love. His contributions to our tradition are no less significant than mine. It bothers me that as a priest of the wicca, he may be accorded the honor of "strapping on the sword" which is his right as a High Priest and a tradition head. It is his symbol of manhood and strength, and of the gifts of the god. I may wear a garter, with buckles for each of my daughter covens, and it is my honor and right as a High Priestess and tradition head to do so. What upsets me is that I may also strap on the sword. But Sakura may not wear a garter, because he is a male. I suppose this is to signify that while a woman can imbibe and even imitate the strength of a man by using an imitation phallus, a male may never understand the female experience because he cannot get rid of his penis.

I call bullshit. What about Oscelot, who has both sets of chromosomes, though she has a female's body? What does she do? May she only strap on the sword, because of her Y chromosome? I find it puzzling. I do see, with respect to Dianic Wicaa, which is all female, the need for a woman to strap on the sword. But what happens in an all male coven? Do such covens even exist? They surely must...but I have never heard of them. I would be interested to see what they do in such a situation. Polarity, to me, and the recognition of balance, seems so much more important.

The only other thing which I truly disagree with is the opinion of working skyclad, or naked. Now, I completely agree that if you want to and you have a private place to practice, its your right. I mean, it goes without saying you can raise great energy when you are not working with clothes- there is less between you and the rest of the universe. But there was implied that working with clothes on, choosing not to be skyclad was a result of three things- the first, vanity. If you are thinking of how you feel  naked, you are more concerned with how you look than how your soul looks. The next is prudery, which I won't even argue, because you can read the post I made before this and know I'm not a prude. Finally, there is the implication that modesty is something that is imposed upon all of us by the patriarchal society that we live in. The man, they say, is trying to keep me covered.

I disagree completely. If my body, in its divinity, is something I regard as a beauty and a mystery, my source of power, why would I reveal that to someone? Even within the sacred circle, where I am with my most trusted spiritual family, I feel as though my understanding of myself and my divinity is mine alone, as their body and their divinity is theirs. Do I choose to share that with some of my circle, certainly. I am married to Kitten and I am lovers with Oscelot. however, it is only upon deep spiritual connection that I would choose to make the jump from physical connection to spiritual connection with regards to my body. As it is, I only do that with Kitten, and that's my private business.

I am not ashamed of myself. Yes, I am vain, but not so that I would be thinking of whether or not my coven thinks my thighs are fat. They seem them often enough when I wear skirts, or my underwear or whatever. I trust them to see me as I am. I don't need to be naked to touch the divine. The divine is already within the body, and in touch with me, whether I am clothed or not. And, though it may seem bold to say so, I trust my ability to raise power with my clothes on just fine.

So what has all this reflection done for me? It has made me more determined than ever to found a tradition of wicca, and to work with other traditions of wicca, who have the spiritual best in mind for their covens, where the relevance of deity is something that comes from both a modern and ancient perspective. I want to be a tradition where there is equal respect for all aspects of deity, and recognition of polarity in all places, not just in form or thought.

As I said, I am not saying they are wrong. It works for them, and practice is the only way to know whether or not something will work for you. I simply think it does not work for me, and I felt like I wanted to write about why. As I mentioned, I have great respect for the traditions I have mentioned. I have great respect for the authors in question. Without them, I would not have the tools I have now to form my own ideas and opinions. I will even confess that parts of my eclectic tradition draw from their traditions. But not all of them. Not even most of them.

I am much more clear, now, though, as to what direction I would like to take my coven. I know where I feel I have more growth to make, and where I can work to do more for the development of our spirituality and philosophy. For that, I am very thankful.

I hope my little rant has been interesting, or at least enlightening or entertaining for you.


A note, I obviously do not own Janet and Stewart Ferrar, any of their books or covens. I do not have claim to Alexandrian or Gardinarian or Saxon witchcraft. In general, nothing is my own except my coven and my opinions. I do, however, encourage you to read them in full to get a full picture of their ideas and thoughts, as this is merely my reflections and impressions of their work. Their ideas are their own, which I respect. I have no intention of offending or misusing any of their works, and this post was made with the intention of expressing my love of the Craft, harming none.