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I don't talk about this much. It's actually kind of embarrassing. I mean, I joke around all the time that my Tennessee relatives are throwbacks and inbred hillbillies still fighting the Civil War, but sometimes it goes deeper than that. Some of my aunts and uncles are good people - they love the simple country lives they live, they help other people out, they provide boundless compassion and hospitality. But some of them, despite all the Southern comforts, are whack-jobs. I don't have high hopes for my mental and emotional health, simply because the genetic deck seems unfairly stacked against me.

When I was living with my aunt & uncle in Tennessee, I was seeing a therapist for 'anger issues'. Things had gotten nasty in my aunt's house - but looking back, I don't think it was anything too unusual. I was 13 going on 100, feeling like no one wanted me around, and filled with angst.

My therapist almost had me removed from my aunt's home & committed to a youth facility. I didn't even know about it until after I had been rushed onto a plane and sent to live with my sister Jody here in Vegas. I couldn't even go back to Tennessee til I was 18 because there was basically a warrant out with the Department of Mental Health or something like that. Part of the committal was for my own safety - the therapist saw me the day after my aunt hit me upside the head with a cast iron saucepan, the day after I'd revealed to my aunt that I'd lost my virginity. Part of it was because of the drinking & suspected drug use.

Another part of it I didn't find out until years later. My aunt and uncle had been speaking to some of the members of their church - many of whom were Middle Eastern and North African. They had suggested they see a certain gynecologist, one who still performed female circumcisions and cliterodectomies. Of course, it was all to provide relief from nymphomania and sexual hyperactivity. My aunt had discussed this 'treatment option' with my therapist, unbeknownst to me. My therapist didn't say anything to me about it, probably because she figured she would have been reading about a family being murdered in their sleep by a 13-year old madwoman.

Yeah, even in the 80s, that kind of sexist Victorian mindset still existed - and it was my aunt, a female relative, who was spear-heading the decision to have it done to me. Apparently, the attitude that sexual pleasure is unhealthy for girls still exists today. I don't just get white-middle-class-righteous anger when I hear about that kind of thing. I get defensive whenever I hear about FGM, or that pediatric urologist doing what he's doing. I feel personally threatened by it. It horrifies me on an inner level when I hear about little girls having done to them what I managed to escape. I don't know what kind of set-up my aunt & uncle would have arranged that would have led me to letting some doctor perform some kind of random surgery on me. From what I understand, a lot of what would happen is that the girl would be told she would be getting her tonsils or appendix removed & the cliterodectomy would be done at the same time. At 13, though, I was wary and uncomfortable around medical staff. Even dentists. I was extremely suspicious. My aunt probably would have had to slip me a mickey at dinner or something & I'd have woken up in the hospital, clit-less.

Now I'm like, fuck it, give me the knock-out juice, mainly because I'm a pharm-head, but back then, just two years after being hit by the car & all the crap I went through in the hospital and during my long, drawn-out recovery - it would have been impossible to convince me that I was sick or needed some body part removed (it would have been doubly hard because while living with my aunt & uncle, I didn't get check-ups. I think I saw the dentist once with them, and spent a few hours in an ER getting an earring removed from inside my infected ear lobe). That and I knew where my clit was and what it was for. I wasn't some 5-year old who had just discovered the joys of running around nude or something. I was sexually educated and I would have definitely missed it if I woke up without it (Hel's bells, masturbation was one of my few extracurricular activities while I was in the hospital after my car accident. Stolen orgasms kept me sane, and it was fun fucking with the nurses who would come running when the heart & blood pressure monitors would all go off).

What still bothers me about it is how everything was done behind my back. My aunt & uncle, the people at their church, the doctor, the therapist - even though she was my advocate - all kept me out of the loop over the entire thing. No one sat me down to talk to me about it. No one ever sat me down and talked to me about my behavior even. Other than the therapist, no one wanted to know why I was angry and violent and destructive. My aunt & uncle just assumed that removing the most obvious organ of my physical sexuality would somehow turn me into a meek, well-behaved obedient little girl. Their church members passed judgment on me without even knowing anything about me - determined that I was too free, too outspoken, too wild for a proper girl. There was no consultation with me and the surgeon - he would just be doing something that was apparently routine to him. Bits & pieces of it all just filtered down to me over the years, passed from one family member to another, until I got the whole story.
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The first memories I have of big news as a child were Elvis dying & the Jonestown incident. I heard about serial killers a lot, too. Ted Bundy & the Hillside killers, mostly, but also BTK, and later there was the Green River Killer and the Nightstalker. There was still talk of the Manson murders and the Zodiac killer in the early to mid-70s (especially because my family lived in southern California).

I call the years of my early childhood the Season of the Wolf.

Looking back, even with all that going on, my parents were not inclined to stress the whole don't talk to strangers ethic on me. None of that be home before dark, either - during the summer time my friends and I would still be yard-hopping at midnight. Maybe it was because the serial killers were interested in grown women and there were no strings of missing children at the same time. It might have been because I was a naturally skittish kid. I also think it's indicative of my parents' relative disinterest in having a child, or at least my mother's disinterest - my dad wasn't home much.
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Hee hee... the one I had when I was little had bat wings. I took mine everywhere.

Dragon-horse-thingie toy



For just $10 + s/h, I could reclaim a bit of my childhood. Lol.
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Click the scary Hitler picture to make it go. It's WWII... in l331 speak.

Wtf? U hax!

Sweet, I gots tanks!
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I'm sitting here with Nessie wrapped around my neck. Yeah, I know, it's the last thing you're supposed to do with a snake... but I can feel his slow even heartbeats under my jaw and feel him breathing. He's warm from his lamp and musky. Thinking about souls and cities and manufactured items... thinking about how the past links to the present, and this is definitely one of those archetypal images that have been handed down for millennia - the woman and the serpent. All I need is an apple... or maybe a pomegranate.   
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In my quest to find out what types of paint I could use on a skin drum head, I ran across some more useless trivia. It's something I've always wondered about. The British infantry used to take kids into battle with them who were just there to play a drum. I always wondered, "Why would an otherwise sane and logical race of tacticians insist on taking a drummer-boy into battle, and then get all upset when he was killed?"

The 'little drummer boys' passed signals along the ranks. It all makes sense now. The Brits should have given their drummer-boys some damn armor, and maybe a gun or at least a bayonet... something. Jeeze. Sending a defenseless kid into a battle w/a drum.

Reminds me of Jody's experience in the Army. She was a woman, and she joined the Mechanics Corp. Because she joined the Army, she had to go through marksmanship training (which she did earn a nice medal for, btw). However, had she made it through Basic, she would not be issued any firearms because even though the Mechanics Corps may have to go to the frontline in a hostile environment, they weren't allowed to carry firearms. What really makes this funny, though, is in the late 1970's, the U. S. Army wasn't all politically correct - women couldn't go to the frontline under any circumstance because they might be pregnant. Jody told me at one point during her marksmanship training, she asked the commanding officer about all this & he just stood there shaking his head.. especially when she asked him, "So if an enemy soldier attacks me while I'm changing the tire on a Jeep, what am I supposed to do - throw my tire iron at him?"
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Sitting here watching That 70's Show. Foreman, Hyde, Kelso & Fez are all sitting in the circle, smoking pot & Kelso's talking about a Russian death ray that's pointed at the White House. Now, the other three are trying to explain to him that it's just a story in a comic book, but Kelso ends up calling the White House to 'warn' them of this supposed threat.

Well, they all end up completely paranoid & end up destroying a vacuum cleaner Foreman's mom had ordered. It was actually a very funny episode the first time I saw it. Today I told Rob that I kind of felt sorry for the people who had to answer phones back then for various government agencies. There were a lot of stoned people roaming around in the 60's & 70's. I mean, yeah, me & Eric spent many a drunken evening calling people in the phone book who happened to be named 'Bud Weiser' or 'Jack Daniels', asking them stupid drunken things like, "Hey, do you come in 5 litre bottles?" Imagine a whole bunch of stoned paranoid people calling government agencies over a decade - that's the real reason pot & LSD are illegal.

In other news, Rob's mom faceplanted in her backyard today - we were supposed to go out for Mother's Day tomorrow, but she's got a fat lip & a black eye now. I went to physical therapy and got a haircut. Trimmed my bangs, anyway.

Equality

Dec. 5th, 2006 06:15 pm
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For history, I had to watch a newsreel on Martin Luther King, jr.'s I Have A Dream speech. Listening to him, one can understand exactly how powerful an old-time gospel preacher's voice can become. MLK was an incredible orator - when the camera panned over the audience, you could see how many grown men were brought to tears, how many women had that rapt bordering-on-sexual expression on their faces as they watched him. The language he used made me squirm inside, though. Every time he said 'negro' (only you could hear the capital 'N' - 'Negro') I winced. Every time he said something like, 'the Negro man must throw off the shackles of oppression', I wondered to myself, 'what about the Negro woman?' It's just further proof to me about the sacredness of words & the innate power of language. Somehow, the Spanish word for 'black', 'negro', has become a symbol of political incorrectness.

It got me thinking, about 'equality', though. I do not think that everyone actually wants to be treated just like everyone else. I think people want their individuality celebrated and respected. I mean, yes, women want to receive the same pay as men for performing the same job. Blacks want to be able to eat in the same restaurants & ride in the same section of the train as whites. Other than some of my throwback Tennessee relatives, no one wants segregation - it's just a stupid, inefficient concept.

However... when it comes to something like Affirmative Action - does anyone really want a promotion just because they are a minority/female/disabled? Or do they want a promotion because they honestly deserve it & worked hard to get it? I'm sure it pisses people off when they have busted their asses in school, gotten good grades, put in all the applications, done the footwork... and someone else gets admitted to a college because they're a different color or gender - and they can't speak English coherently. I imagine that when Affirmative Action went into affect, it may have been the best solution to a problem that was widespread. Black people couldn't get the same jobs as white people because they were black. Women weren't honestly considered for promotions because they were women. Affirmative Action also leads to abuse - my sister tells her kids to put their ethnicity as 'Native American or Alaskan' on applications because they are both maybe 1/8 Native American. She tells me I should take advantage of it, too, because our mom was French Canadien, which has that mixture of indigenous Native Canadien in it. Just for the record, I don't - when I have to fill out the racial profile on a County government application, I put 'Caucasian/white'. I don't know what tribe my mother's people originally came from, but I know that they are far, far removed from their heritage, except maybe for one cousin I have who married a Blackfoot & lives on a reservation.

I'm not griping for my own sake - I don't go out for promotions to managerial positions because I prefer working in my Cubicle o'Doom rather than being on the front lines. I like the notion that I technically make more than the supervisors because they're salaried, work 9-hour shifts & have to pay their own insurance costs, while I work a 40-hour week, get OT pay, I pay my Union dues & the Union pays for my insurance... it's a pretty sweet deal, and I don't have to deal w/the angry public.

I think I'm just kind of annoyed right now. All this crap about Wal-Mart's return to 'Merry Christmas' is getting them sued for cultural insensitivity... so they asked their employees to visually profile patrons to determine the proper holiday greeting. I'm a Union member, so I'm not even supposed to shop at Wal-Mart, but damned if I'm going to pay Target's prices - or try to find a K-Mart anymore. If I owned a retail outlet here in America, you know what I'd do? I'd stop making a big deal out of any holiday. I'd take the Jehovah's Witness stance on the celebration of holidays. If I wanted to throw a sale because my store was in a second-quarter slump, I'd throw a sale. Black Friday is fine - it's the day after Thanksgiving, biggest shopping day of the year for Americans. Thanksgiving also isn't a religious holiday - it's a civic holiday. Same with Labor Day, Memorial Day, Veteran's Day. Veteran's & Memorial Days are even kind of controversial because, well, there are people who protest wars & those days memorialize veterans & active service people. Labor Day could be considered controversial, too - it's a celebration of the worker, and in places like Germany it's kind of like Hallowe'en, allied w/May Day/Walpurgisnacht celebrations. It's a day that commemorates the freedom of the working class & leaves the Big Business employer feeling left out. In the modern economy, celebrating cultural differences is great for business, but Gods forbid you make anyone feel left out or ignored. Do a Mother's Day sale - well, what about single fathers who have to go grocery shopping on Mother's Day? Father's day sales leave out single moms. Grandparent's Day - well, what about moms & dads? There is no 'Children's Day', except maybe for Christmas, but Christmas is a veritable socio-religious timebomb for retail outlets. How does Christmas sales & decor make Jewish people feel? Or Hindus? Or Satanists? Do you know how many people I've seen playing WoW who misspell the Lord of Darkness' name in their character names? I've seen at least one 'Sonofsanta' on each server on which I've played. Not to mention 'Santaswhelp' or 'Santasspawn'... I always feel bad for dyslexic Satanists during Christmas. It's probably quite confusing.

I'd better stop now. I don't quite remember where I was going with this when I started.
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Strawberries & Grape
You scored 27 bittersweet, 68 shade tolerance, 39 nutrients needs, and 31 prickly factor!
Sweet, charming and hardy, nothing annoys you, and nothing about you annoys other fruit. You like the sun ALL the time, but don't need a lot of nurturing to get through the day.




My test tracked 4 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:


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You scored higher than 32% on prickly factor
Link: The What Kind of Fruit Are You Test written by smileyes37 on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test


At least I got my last internet scavenger hunt finished for my history class. It was a comparison of the Watts riots of 1965 & the Detroit/Newark riots of 1967. What's kind of amusing in that sick sort of way is that the Watts riots and the Newark riots were both sparked by the same thing that set off the Rodney King riots of 1992 - an arrest of a black driver, and witnesses felt as though the police were being too rough on the guys they were arresting. In the case of the Newark arrest (like the Rodney King incident), yes, the cops did beat the living crap out of John Smith - he had to be taken out the back entrance of the police office to a hospital. It's hard to believe that the Rodney King riots were 13 years ago. I had a booth at the Gemco indoor swapmeet when they happened. Morons broke the plate glass windows at the front of the store as all us vendors were headed out the back doors in a panic. Reading about the Watts riots made me feel old again. Watts wasn't fully recovered (it still really isn't - Crenshaw Street? C'mon...) - but in like, 1977, 10 years after the riots, the place still had this atmosphere of some post-war or post-apocalyptic cityscape.
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In 1898, a book called 'Futility' was written by Morgan Robertson. It was the tale of a 45,000-ton, 800-foot British ocean liner called 'Titan' (the book was edited in 1912 to make it 70,000 tons). Titan had two masts and three propellers, could hold 3000 people (but at the time of its sinking, only had about 2000 people aboard), didn't have enough life boats (24 boats for 3000 people)... and struck an ice 'beach' on its starboard side (possibly the result of a large chunk of glacier sloughing into the ocean, or an iceberg flipping over) in April of its third voyage.

This book was written 14 years before the Titanic sunk. Now, the Titanic, much like the Titan, was a 60,000-ton, 880-foot long British ocean liner, with two masts & three propellers, passenger capacity of 3000, too few life boats (20 for 3000 passengers)... and had 2200 people aboard when it struck an iceberg on its starboard side & sank - in April.

I got these little factoids from Alberto Villoldo, PhD.'s 'Mending the Past & Healing the Future with Soul Retrieval'. Now, this book talks about how time doesn't go in a straight line - the past informing and shaping the future in a continuous one-way flow, but that time is fluid - the future can influence the past, what we do now influences the past and future, etc. Basic stuff, really. So when talking about 'Futility, the author proposed that the author foresaw the Titanic disaster. (I was thinking maybe in some way, the author caused the disaster). I also looked up information on his other book, 'Beyond the Spectrum', written in 1914. It described a war between the U.S. & Japan... in which Japan launched sneak attacks against the U.S. in the Philippines & Hawaii. It involved a weapon that produced intense heat and light causing facial burns and blindness.

Weird stuff out there in the world.
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For my history class, we're supposed to watch a film about the testimony of the concentration camp survivors. All this week, I've been trying to 'get around to it'. Every time I sit at the computer, I think to myself, "I've got to watch this film"... and then I end up screwing off on MySpace or OkCupid or playing WoW. There's always e-mail to check or something else to research, (Hel, I've even worked on math!) and then it's 9:30 in the morning and therefore bedtime, & I think to myself that movie is not the last imagery I want in my head before sleeping... or it's 8 at night and I've got to go to work... in other words, I've been finding every excuse to NOT watch the film.

So I finally said 'fuck it, I'm not watching it'. I wrote my instructor a note to that effect, and I'm taking the big fat 0.

I don't even know why I can't watch the movie. The concept fills me with dread, and I can't take not knowing why something bothers me so badly. I mean, yeah, I'm depressed but I'm always depressed - not a valid excuse there. Yeah, I'm gonna be on the rag in a week, and my emotions have been closer to the surface the past coupla months during 'this time of the month', but that's definitely not a valid excuse. PMS? Me, use PMS as an excuse for anything? Hardly. (Unless it was getting out of gymnastics during PE when I had squeamish male coaches - I could get my period to last an entire quarter sometimes, heh...)(This morning, I was in the EDR eating my breakfast of shrimp cocktail & tortellini salad & the news was on. They were talking about the fire in Esperanza, CA. A man was on, talking about how he knew he had lost animals in the fire - horses, cattle, & he couldn't save his neighbor's animals - he started crying. I started crying. I literally can't stand to watch a grown man cry - I can't remember what grown man was crying last month, but I cried for that, too. Getting older sucks). I can't even say that being Pagan is the reason... Yes, the Veil is very thin, yes, crap has been roaming around the house, no I don't need any extra ghosts, but that's not the reason. I can't even say that I don't want to see starved, naked dead piled in mass graves - because everyone knows I am a great fan of goresites & Rotten.com. I groove on dead people & freaks of nature. Call me sick, twisted, morbid, whatever - I like long walks on the beach, candlelit dinners & poking dead things with a stick.

I think what it really comes down to is that I'm tired of history. I'm tired of hearing about how base and cruel people are. I'm tired of shootings, stabbings and arson. I'm tired of intolerance and prejudice and ignorance. I'm tired of genocide. I'm tired of the decay of the human spirit. Everyone seems to think that at heart, people are good - but every page in the history books says the opposite. There's a semi-famous quote from the liberation of one of the camps, I don't know if it was Bergen-Belsen, Dachau or Auschwitz, but one of the prisoners asked an American soldier, "What took you so long?" Do you really know what took us so long? No one cared. The inmates of the concentration camps were the last thing on WWII's to-do list. It's sad, but it's true.

The truth has worn me down.
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I'm currently reading (one chapter behind where I should be, as a matter of fact) about WWI. This particular book focuses more on trends in history, which is a nice break from my high school history books that listed interminable battles & dates & places & generals. However, it's been bad for my conspiracy-theory addiction because it all seems so familiar...

Just some generalities. WWI was the first war to introduce large-scale chemical & biological warfare. In the aftermath of WWI, there was widespread famine and a flu epidemic that killed over 21 million people. Odd, huh, that following a war that introduced biological warfare, a flu epidemic would pop up and kill off more people than died in the war itself. In articles & discussions of the new bird flu, some have mentioned that the epidemic of WWI was a strain of bird flu. Kind of convenient...

In the beginning of WWI, before the US became involved, like 1917 - 1918, there was a general anti-German sentiment that carried over into German immigrants needing to 'Americanize' their last names (this lasting sentiment affected my own paternal grandparents, who upon entering the country in 1935 went from being the 'Dreisbeck von Schmidts' to being the 'Smiths' & my own father, whose name was originally 'Karal Dreisbeck von Schmidt' becoming 'Charles Wayne Smith' - from shirt-tail Prussian royalty to potential serial killer in one easy step). Anyway, prior to the war, the rich German culture of the time was homogenized... 'Hamburger sandwiches' became 'Liberty sandwiches', 'sauerkraut' became 'Liberty cabbage', etc. & so forth. Would you like some 'Freedom Fries' with that 'Liberty Sandwich'?

The revolution of S. African workers against British imperialism - because of the registration of Muslim & Hindu people by the British government.

I've got a lot of respect for some of the hell-raisers of the time, tho. 'Mother' Mary Jones, a pro-union organizer who went to jail at 83 for her speech at Ludlow, CO. Jeannette Rankin, the first woman Congressperson - she voted against declaring war on Germany in WWI, upon her re-election in 1940, she was the only Congressperson to vote against declaring war on Japan in 1941 (thereby ending her political career) - and she was arrested at the age of 85 in 1968 when she marched on Washington D.C. to protest the Vietnam 'police action'. I really like poor ol' Eugene V. Debs, one of the most charismatic Union organizers the world has ever seen. This guy spent a lot of time in prison. During WWI, the U. S. government suspended many of our civil liberties - like the right to assemble & the right to free speech. They passd the Espionage Act in 1918 that illegalized any act deemed 'sabotage' - anything that hinted at the possible failure of our military or any slight indication of 'radical' political thought, which included Unions & Socialism.

I was telling Rob some of my thoughts on the synchronicity of WWI, and how teaching people history is futile, because if you look at the broad expanse of time, we keep repeating ourselves. We keep making the same mistakes. Rob's kind of worried because of things he's heard - scientists trying to open a mini-black hole in a lab, quantum colliders, teleportation, that 2012 radiation-belt thing... Things that seem like they're right out of a sci-fi movie, but are actually happening here & now. Ever since I read 'The Universe in a Nutshell', I've almost been noticing how dimensions do constantly shift and change - not by much, maybe only by a millisecond, or a single atom-space, but it's weird little things that are out of place, fluid events that may or may not have happened (Rob's favorite test is: "Milton Berle - alive or dead?"), items that are not where I put them two seconds ago.

He's also been worried about Bush wanting to invade everyone all at the same time - N. Korea, Iran, Iraq, etc. & so forth. Some of these countries will defend themselves fiercely, and they are so isolated and insular that they may not think of the global ramifications of their retalitory actions - Hel, we act that way, too, and we're supposedly a global power. When I was telling him about the coincidental famine & flu epidemic that followed the Great War, he just looked at me & said, "It's going to get bad, isn't it?"

I usually try not to think about the future. It's a vague, foggy place, and everything we do every minute changes things that will happen or won't happen... I'm better when it's just right here, right now, in this moment, perfect in this time and space... but I've been forced to look back so my mind is also looking ahead. Maybe we won't have to worry too much because some foolish scientists will suddenly find themselves on the event horizon of a point singularity that has grown out of their control. Or maybe someone's quantum collider will merge a few dimensions in an unexpected way & open the Imajica - or one of Stephen King's less pleasant tourist traps.

But instead of sitting here worrying about things I cannot change, I need to do my homework.

A prayer for us all:
Around the fire
May the Sacred Three
Save,
Shield,
Surround
The hearth
The house,
The household,
This eve,
This night,
Oh! This eve,
This night,
And every night,
Each single night,
So may it be.
- Traditional Celtic Samhain blessing
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Been out of the house over the past few days, shopping for Rob's clothes, mostly. Feeling that autumn melancholy sweep over me like it does every year. Thinking about the slow, inexorable passage of time, the ticking of the clock, counting out my mortal span.

The root of mortal, mori, means death. As mortal beings, we are not living, we are dying. Like the year itself, growing old, passing on.

Looking at my greying hair, wondering if I should give up on the vanity of dying it. Rob's right, tho - if we're out together, people will ask if I'm his mother, or they'll think he's a very unattractive gigolo or something. I guess I'll give it another few years, see if I'm tired of shopping for new colors when I'm 35.

I started thinking about how I occasionally step out of linear time to go somewhere else. Fold the map, so to speak, stop the clock. Wherever it is I go when I do that, time is longer there than it is here. Maybe that's why I feel so much older than I am, why my hair is so much greyer than it should be, why it started to grey when I was 12... About 2 years after I consciously recognized myself as Pagan.

And of all the time I spend outside of time, I seem to waste it on making sure I get to work on time, waste it on making it to appointments, waste it on getting someplace here faster than the local physics allow.

Thinking about all the time that has left gaps in my memory - no memory of being here, like when I got hit by the car. I spent a week of local time somewhere else, and that's time I'll never retrieve.

I bought a pedometer today, mainly because the doctor wants me to walk an hour every day at a brisk pace. I keep telling people I do a tremendous amount of brisk walking at work, but I honestly don't know how much walking that really is. So now, as well as tracking the minutes of my life, one sweep of the second hand at a time, I'll also be tuning into my steps. Briskly going nowhere, same as usual.

Anyway, been doing school crap, trying to make Java programs work, math math math, reading The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, reading about all my ethnobotanical heroes before they became tenured at Harvard & Yale, before the Grateful Dead, before Vietnam... watching an old film of Bob Dylan, watching history fly by. 5 years since September 11, 2001. 100 years since Mohandas K. Gandhi.

I'm so tired.

Fear Again

Aug. 26th, 2006 08:04 am
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I may be afraid of my own house.

I may be afraid of the dark.

I may be afraid that I am completely, stark raving mad sometimes. Like real mad, like schizophrenia-mad.

I may be afraid of growing older & becoming too infirm to choose my own death.

But I am not afraid of terrorists, terrorism, bombs, plots, Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, Hezbollah, airline security breaches or any of the multitudinous things the media has been telling me to be afraid of lately.

I tell you what I am afraid of - I am afraid of fear. I am afraid of hysteria and panic. I am afraid of what happens when a government and its politicians know that the people they 'serve' are afraid and on the verge of panic.

Maybe it's because, for lack of a firmer label, I am a witch. Maybe one of my past lives was during the Spanish Inquisition or the witch trials of the Middle Ages... or maybe I once lived during the McCarthy era when there was a Communist in every closet. Maybe it's because I grew up in the Cold War... Maybe it's my imagination telling me that I do indeed still have an imagination & some creativity.

I made the mistake of watching the news this morning. On the news, they showed footage of a man sitting behind a desk & other men coming up to him. I wasn't paying very close attention - I had cous cous salad in front of me, and blintzes, so I was a bit distracted. They may have been raising a hand or signing a document, I don't honestly know. However, when the smiling blonde lady came on & said, "Even though you can't hear it, these men are pledging allegiance to Osama bin Laden & Al-Qaeda." I looked up then, fast enough that my neck creaked. I wondered, "if we can't hear it, how exactly do we, the viewers, know for certain what these men are involved in?" Then I looked around at the other diners in the EDR. Everyone was watching the news intently & beginning to discuss what they had just seen. They were all relieved to learn that the 'man behind the desk' was a covert FBI operative. Everyone was suddenly afraid of this 'terrorist cell' revealed to them by some woman with an incredible amount of hairspray on her head. I came to the startling and depressing realization that I was probably the only person questioning what I was watching.

Question everything.
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Every year for the past 5 years, my inbox has been literally bombarded by people sending me 9/11 trivia. Friends, coworkers, people I have nominal e-mail penpal relationships with, people who have seen me on other people's e-mail lists, people I don't even know or people who have changed their e-mail addresses to names I don't recognize... basically, 10 years worth of e-mail correspondents all send me the same collection of 9/11 anecdotes and blurbs.

I don't forward a single piece of it, mainly because it's all numerology and weird coincidents and synchronicities and patriotic flag-waving propaganda.

Anyway, here's the gist of what I have to say. I just learned this. It's proven, historical fact. A hundred years ago, on September 11th, 1906, Mahatma Gandhi began his nonviolent resistance to British Imperialism.

One man can make a difference.

How do we want to spend the next century?
What will our world look like in a hundred years?
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Watched 'Lord of War' tonight. Good movie. I like Nicholas Cage more & more. Sitting there thinking that the events in the movie seemed familiar, kept thinking about the whole sordid Iran-Contra affair.

How I remember stuff:

Sometime in 1986 I was at school in Glendora, CA, in biology class of all things, when the Challenger shuttle exploded. They lowered the flag halfway down the flagpole.

The Tiananmen Massacre happened in June of 1989. I was right there with MTV, in the den of my aunt's house in Tennessee, in the rocking chair. I think it was raining.

The Iran-Contra trials were going on over the Summer of 1989. Me & Anita (one of my dad's girlfriends) were sitting in a nail shop, getting manicures & pedicures, & the t.v. was on. We were all engrossed in Oliver North.

The Berlin Wall came down in November of 1989. Once again, I watched it on MTV, complete w/David Hasselhoff of all horribly-chosen hosts, sitting in the den in my aunt's house in Tennessee, in the rocking chair. It was raining outside again, and the den had that gloomy darkness that I really enjoyed.

The Gulf War was the tail end of '90 into '91. Sitting in the living room of the yellow house in Winlock, WA w/Liz (aka 'my dad's psycho-bitch girlfriend from Hell') & my dad. Strangely enough, I think they were playing Yatzee w/the t.v. playing in the background. I remember seeing tracers in the night-vision green & black...

September 11, 2001. I was at work. Someone came into guest services & said that a freak accident had happened - a plane crashed into the World Trade Center tower. All of us ended up in the breakroom to find out that it wasn't an accident. On the way home, me & Rob listened to the morning crew at KOMP utter noises of disbelief & pain as they listened to an AM news station. It's the quietest I've ever heard the KOMP morning crew.

Thinking to myself a lot lately about being a little kid in K-Mart & seeing a sign that said "We hire people with hooks". Now signs like that would be illegal, but back then they were quite the tribute to the disabled. Didn't matter why the person had a hook - they could have been a factory worker, a commercial fisher or a Vietnam victim - K-Mart would hire them. That must have been a comforting thought in the crunch times of the early 70's.

When...

Jan. 28th, 2006 05:40 pm
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a stupid old Def Leppard song makes you cry, there is definitely something wrong. And it is also time to turn the CD off & get out of the shower.

I got a warning notice that the yearly 'Simply the Best' banquet is going to be held sometime in February. Here's what my Chinese-fortune-cookie-like Yahoo! horrorscope had to say: Your last accomplishment got you noticed. Say 'yes' to an invite from the big boss.

Also, it's the 20th anniversary of the Challenger shuttle explosion. Damn, I am getting old.
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Why does the mil insist on giving me things that I do not want and can not use? I have told her, point blank, "Please do not give me anymore stuff, no more things, nothing. Period." You think after the Great Kitchen Table War of 1995 - 1997 that she would have gotten the point.

So first, for our anniversary came the bigscreen t.v. Granted, being the technowhore that I am, I am still a bit awed. However, since we've gotten WoW, do you know how much t.v. I've actually watched, including movies? Possibly a total of 24 hrs. worth since the end of September. Mostly FMA & Samurai Shamploo. And I think our old t.v., the monster that it is, actually has a better picture.

Rob's mom keeps trying to give me fancy China sets, place settings, tablecloths, etc. & so forth, and I keep telling her, "We do not entertain. Period. No more dishes or table settings, please."

The other day she gave me a silver set. Silver plate, about 50 years old, to be exact. It also has Rob's baby spoons in it. Why? Why me?
1) I will never use this, not in a million years. It's silver plate, which means it is a bitch to clean.
2) We don't entertain. Do you know who has seen this house since we got it? Rob's folks, Rob's sister & now-husband, Jody, and I think Lisa, Aurren & was it Anya? Yeah, had to have been. At any rate, I didn't feed any of those people. Rob's parents bring their own bottles of water - they won't drink out of any of my glasses. The snakes, you know, spew toxins into the air on such a regular basis that it's a wonder they even walk into the house.

She always gives us these things with the stipulation: "You cannot sell this or give it away, you have to keep it." It pisses me off because I know at least 10 people right off the top of my head who would absolutely love a 50-year old silver plate set (less Rob's baby spoons). Not to mention all those e-Bayers out there. If you're going to give someone something, let go of the damned thing first.

Plus, I get this nasty feeling anytime she tries to foist some other bit of family heirloomage off on me, that unsaid, "I was going to give this to Tania, but she's seeing that black person, so here, you can have it." It can leave any kind of gift with a bad taste in the mouth.

Ah well. I'm sort of, with my back turned, listening/watching something on the history channel about some Roman named Archimedes. He invented a working odometer. The Greeks & Romans amaze me - the were such logical, practical, scientific people, but they were still able to worship their deities without conflict between the spiritual and the everyday. Why can't modern people do the same? And they never burned, hanged or stoned anyone for being a witch or heretic - they usually lauded inventors who created practical & useful things.

N'zambi

Jun. 19th, 2005 10:23 pm
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Last night at work I actually roamed around the front desk, talking to people... it was odd. When I first walked out there, Valentina & Kelly were engaged in a heated debate about political correctness & tolerance. Valentina is 18, Kelly is in her 40's. Valentina is fairly enlightened, but she is also very young. I can see both sides clearly, but I tend to agree more w/Valentina's stance on things, especially when it comes to the separation of church & state, & the need for religious & social tolerance. Kelly is willing to consider new things, but she gets frustrated by change and what she sees as going through unnecessary backflips to make small groups of vastly different people happy. We all do. You get older & new things begin to get scary & intimidating. It's harder to keep up & it's harder to stay open-minded. Valentina has a lot of energy, she's got this diehard sort of 'If you want something that you feel will make you happy badly enough, you will sacrifice everything to obtain it." I told her to write it down & lock it away til she's 35. Not because she's right & we're wrong, or that we're right & she's wrong, but simply because a person can change a lot between 18 & 35. Your worldview & priorities change drastically. Especially being as she's female & will probably eventually want & create small screaming things.

Later, she, Duane & I were talking about how a person's priorities can change. Duane's in his 50's, slowly creeping up on retirement. So his priorities are even different from Kelly's, mine, and drastically different than Valentina's. He told her that about 25 years ago, she & we wouldn't even be able to sit at the same table & have the conversation. Not because she wouldn't have even been a twinkle in her daddy's eye at that point, but because she's Russian. Anyone remember the Cold War? Duane was in the military, helping the US Armed Forces destroy the 'Russian threat' & bringing down communism. I watched the Wall come down live on MTV, complete w/Pink Floyd & David Hasselhoff. It was one of the defining events of my teenaged life. Watching them destroy the Berlin Wall & bring the world a little closer together. Learning that the Soviet Union was no longer the enemy, but simply Russia... No more East or West Germany, but simply Germany. Duane remembers the walls being built, I remember the walls coming down, and Valentina? She says, "Oh, all that" with a dismissive wave of her hand. The whole conversation just made me feel old. Valentina feels that America's gross consumerism is the root of all evil & unhappiness, but yet when you ask her why she's going to college, it's so she can be a psychologist & make lots of money, have a couple of nice cars & a couple of nice houses.

Went to the Indoor Swapmeet today. Stayed up this morning. My knees hurt so bad it's indescribable. Sometimes I feel that when I bend my legs, the end of my thighbone is going to pop right out of the skin. But, wtf, we got out of the house. And we got some slow, leisurely exercise. Walked & walked for a good 3 hrs. Ate the nuts, played w/the toys, looked at stuff. I got a dream catcher & some oils. Played w/a dragon singing bowl, and a regular singing bowl at the Tibetan stand. The dragon bowls at the Swapmeet were about $40 - $60 less than from the online shops, and about $100 less than from The Pyramid Collection catalog. I'm really trying not to buy any knick-knacks til we move. I think today sort of defined it for me & Rob. We kept seeing some really interesting stuff, but we both kept saying, "No, we'd just have to move it." No matter how ill-advised it is, whether we end up crawling back to Vegas in poverty & defeat, we're probably going to be moving to Washington w/in the next year. I've gotten a stay of execution from the Ex for at least 120 days, and after that, it's only going to be another 4 months til I get vested, so I'm thinking, 'I can work out on the line for 4 months. What's 4 months?' I will go & get FMLA & just work the 4 months and then we will leave.
Right now I feel like I look hideous. The Paxil made me break out so bad. I feel like Quasimodo. Went & got some more Benziclin (yeesh, it’s freaking expensive, but it’s good to my face) & the break-out is clearing up. I have gotten so bored trying to kill extra time at work that I will probably start going out front for an hour or so each night. I just really haven’t wanted anyone to look at me over the past month or so. They’ve had a lot of people working in guest services, mainly because they’ve been training Enrico. I look through that office door & see all those people sitting there & just want to turn around & go home. I don’t even want to be physically close to anyone. I’ve been feeling so alien inside that… well, I feel like this guy who was in both an H. P. Lovecraft story & a Stephen King short story… He was cursed. If he came into physical contact w/anyone they would die. As a result, he held himself very aloof & stand-offish, and only a few people understood his problem. Of course, in the H. P. story, because of the time it was written in, the man became sort of a pariah, like a leper. In SK’s story, people treated him like he had a mental illness, but were usually respectful of his wishes to not touch or be touched. In both stories, tho, the man eventually committed suicide by shaking his own hands. I feel like that guy.

At least I’ve been sleeping. Deep, peaceful sleep. I slept so good this afternoon. We were both pretty wiped because of the heat. It felt good but at the same time, the blast furnace of the sun just sucks the energy right out of me. Next week I’ve got to go to the doc again, try another anti-depressant & get my Elavil refilled. Maybe a slightly lower dose, too. I still feel like my soul is sitting in a small jar somewhere inaccessible, and no one will give me access to salt. Of course, I don’t even know what the salt is that will free my ti bon ange.

Almanac...

Jun. 10th, 2005 09:10 am
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If I could only spell... anyway, 313 years ago today, Bridgette Bishop became the first person to be executed as a witch in Salem, MA.

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