Archive | June 2011

Elton John may have said Saturday night was alright for fighting but it was last night in our neighborhood. We had screeching from all directions and in several languages. I’m thinking of introducing a referendum for the next ballot. If you are going to fight outside in summer where the whole world has to hear it you have to do it in English so the whole neighborhood can get some entertainment value out of it and know if they need to call the police. When some one is screaming in Russian or Hebrew it all sounds bad.

And the elderly woman across the street who screams at her whole family has a voice that could double as the family’s cheese grater either that or etch pictures on glass shower doors for free. She has an amazingly awful voice to listen to and you can’t understand a single thing. I suspect she got that way from many years of being ignored and hasn’t bothered to notice ramping up in pitch an loudness hasn’t worked.

When the neighbors to the south started up at 2:30 am I almost started screaming myself.

One of my other lessons in bad taste in partners has sent me two friend requests in the last week, one for Linkedin and one for Goodreads. This one was a real prize. After I was with her for 2 years and left her because it was getting too weird and dangerous she was allegedly diagnosed with multiple personality disorder which actually made some sense since I never knew who was going to be there. I finally got to weirded out and left and she called me for months afterwards crying she didn’t understand why I had left. At first I would explain and then I would just hang up after I gave up. And now she wants to be friends? Already made that mistake once and that turned out horribly not doing it again! Luckily I don’t think she has found the LiveJournal or Facebook sites yet.

Our internet has been off for a few days so I apologize for the silence.

It gave me a chance to do some editing of the next paperback of stories and try to decide what to put in it. I also had a chance to come up with some more ideas to try and work out in my head so there may be more stories soon if they are good enough.


Thoughts on Midsummer

Today we are just past Summer Solstice and Midsummer’s Eve. A time when we sit halfway from Winter’s long night and enjoying the length and warmth of the days.

It’s a time of magic as Shakespeare well knew and a time of joy in being alive in this world and our beautiful planet. This is the time of the Green ones, the lord and lady of the woods. Rejoice in the world of the Green Man and the Green Woman. They are in the fullness of their powers now.

We can see the fruits of our labours just ahead at harvest time and we can take stock of our choices in our lives. Our choices have led us here and our choices define us. We can say others have made choices for us but we chose to go along with those choices for whatever reason and so we did choose.

Every day we can choose to be creators or destroyers, we can choose to be helpers or hinderers. We can choose to take joy in those around us that we love or we can live in premature darkness anticipating the winter and never reaching out to the joys and magic of summer. Ahead of us soon is the taking stock and giving thanks. Behind us was the planting and hope for new growth but now is that time of growth and we need to rejoice and be here now the dark will come soon enough with out dwelling in it before it gets here.

Take a walk in the woods. Take a night time stroll in the warmth of the welcoming evening. Enjoy the feel of cool water on hot skin. Remember to breathe and welcome the breathing of those around us. Choose to live and to be in the moment in this place, on this earth. Be here now!

A lovely day!

Ever have a day so perfect and lovely you had to keep it to yourself just for a bit? That was my yesterday. I don’t know whether it was it was because it was Summer Solstice or not but it was magical. It turned out K had kept my being there a surprise from her parents. I’ve never made any one cry just because I was there before. Lovely and a bit disturbing at the same time but I made her mom cry she was so happy to see me. Enie is kind of my second mom. Enie and George knew my parents before they were married when they all hung out in a big group at my parent’s church and Enie has always been there with love. Enie doesn’t judge even when she might want to, she may say something to your mother but she just loves you when she is with you. I’d forgotten what kind of gift that could be, there are very few people in your life that will love you just because you are you when you meet them cherish them because they are few and far between.

Enie said seeing me was like having my mom and dad back for her. For me not always a good thing but her for her it was special and I was glad to be able to give her that gift.

We went out to breakfast with them and had a wonderful time. Enie wants to read my books and was great for my ego in remembering how I loved words and writing stories and told me she was a poet, something I hadn’t known before. It was great to share memories of Carlsbad with K and her parents and I got to meet one of her sons.

Sometimes I can’t believe how old my childhood friends kids are, They were on their way to AZ this morning to see their first great-grandchild from K’s little sister who was Alison’s friend growing up. Funny because I still remember us all as tiny kids playing in the sand at Carlsbad not grown up with kids,

George was his great quiet Swedish shelf and I could tell he wasn’t quite sure he liked the subtitle of the Lonely Little Star since that version says it’s pagan stories for children of all ages. He just said the word pagan an nothing else so I’d love to know what he was thinking.

Anyways it was a lovely day and to have it on Solstice, a day of celebration of the light made it even more magical!

Pretty funny since I already do

table width=350 align=center border=0 cellspacing=0 cellpadding=2>

You Should Take Up Jewelry Making

You are a unique person, both on the inside and outside. You love to show of your creative style.
You enjoy variety and new challenges. You’re always looking to shake things up a bit.

You are constantly changing, adapting, and remixing. You entertain yourself by reinventing yourself.
You can be a bit of an attention seeker. You don’t want anyone to forget about you.

Wish me luck today, I’m walking into the lion’s den. I wish it was as simple as a job interview but it isn’t. My evangelical Catholic (isn’t that a contradiction in terms?) childhood friend has invited me to brunch with her parents. He is a retired Presbyterian minister and his wife was my mom’s best friend and they rode to choir rehearsal together every Thursday night for probably 30 years. I just hope I’m not walking into some weird Christian intervention and not just a nice brunch of crepes with old friends.

I’m still trying to wrap my mind around the way K has gone from a reserved Presbyterian to rabid pro-lifer that believes every bit of codswallop the Catholic church spews out. We were raised to think and investigate and NOT do that so it should be interesting.

I just want to be calm and a representative of my spiritual practices and not an argumentative harpie. Will see….

I am an archivist

One of the things I’ve always loved to do is take pictures of my friends. Now I realize I was doing something more than just take pictures. If I hadn’t taken so many pictures of camp a lot of memories for a lot of people. Moments that would have been lost to the depths of time if my camera hadn’t caught an ephemeral moment of time. I stopped taking pictures at one point because I felt I was missing the moments because I hadn’t learned to stay engaged and the camera was seeing the moments not me.

Over the years that has changed and due to the invention of digital cameras I don’t have to worry about the expense or waste of film. If it’s out of focus I can discard it and go one unless it has some information that feels valid to keep for some reason.

And now a record is being kept of the pagan community. Even now when sp many choose to stay hidden there really isn’t a record of who we are and how live and play. I keep a visual record of our rituals and our altars. And over the years I’ve learned I am not the camera and I can still participate with a whole heart while recording. Even if you don’t see my face I am still there and I am being in those moments and not outside of them. Learning to be a priestess taught me that and it teaches me every day.

Twenty years after camp we look at our pictures and recall with love our memories of idyllic summers spent playing on our mountain. Twenty years from now TOILA will have a record of the Los Angeles pagan community and the Faires when community came together to pass some time. We can see our elders and the new ones emerging. We’ll have pictures of those who pass to the other sides and we’ll have a record of some damn good times.

I love trying to capture the energy of the day, to capture the light in people’s eyes and souls. This is such a gift to my soul to see those moments and the people I love and to see how we embrace the world at least in this place fearlessly, fiercely and with love and I am blessed.

Don’t quote scripture if you don’t know where it’s been

I found this article wildly amusing because it is so true. When I was at Prudential people figured out I was a witch because of the holidays I took and it was no big deal until a holy roller got promoted into the department. I was taking the day off after Halloween that year and she made some remark about witches that started everybody in the room laughing at her and she became my enemy instantly because they laughed at her not knowing. (For the record, I never told anyone and outed myself before they figured it out and asked which led to some pretty cool discussions)

From then on it was her main aim in life to make me miserable. She went to our Director and reported that she felt threatened by my wearing a pentagram which was always tucked inside my shirt and not worn on the outside. It didn’t matter to the Director who was a close friend from the same church down in South Central LA. She wrote me up for making a terrorist threat.

This was not helped by the fact that she was always quoting scripture and quoting it incorrectly 99% of the time. I used to love to correct her scripture and tell her where she could look to get the correct verse. Or that the translation was incorrect when she quoted “That shalt not suffer a witch to live” by pointing out that the Hebrew was generally translated poisoner not witch and when she said “Even the devil can quote scripture” I told her that that was the “Merchant of Venice” by Shakespeare and not any where in the Bible. This really fried her and when one day they were trying to find something in the Bible to quote at me while sitting behind me and I told them where to find it they really, really weren’t happy but that at least stopped in my hearing.

This made her find two other like minded souls to start praying over my desk and they went through my Disney page a day desk calendar and removed all the witches from it.

Needless to say my life was miserable for a while and while I could have suffered in silence I really don’t think it would have made a bit of difference to Melrene because she had been laughed at which wasn’t even my fault but she made the rest of the dept’s life hell in other ways like telling them in my hearing that they couldn’t talk to me or people would think they had gone white and berating them all the time.

This didn’t stop until Aetna bought Prudential Healthcare and new HR took over and since they kept making a big deal about being inclusive of everyone I took action. I got up my courage because I figured it couldn’t get any worse and told what was happening. And it actually worked. They sent the Director to sensitivity training and when it didn’t stop they took away all her supervisory tasks and she ended up quitting. Melrene got hauled off to HR and ended up somewhere else and I got the write up out of my personnel file.

You really shouldn’t quote scripture if you don’t know exactly where it’s from and what the correct translation is AND know it better than the person you are quoting it at.

Please don’t ask me to sign your petition on animal research

Someone in their 20’s asked me to sign a petition against animal research and testing. They were lucky I only said “no” and walked away. They were lucky they didn’t get the lecture that always comes to mind and they were lucky that there has been animal research. They aren’t old enough to remember sharing a classroom with kids before there were vaccines tested on animals. They don’t remember the three deaf kids and a blind kid being in their sixth grade class. That was if those kids were mainstreamed at all. In Glendale they were but the kids with polio and CP had to go to Home School. They were the only elementary kids that rode a bus.

When I was a kid there was no polio vaccine. I remember lining up at school for my sugar cube with the bright pink splash of vaccine on it. I remember getting the shot series when the sugar cubes were deemed ineffective. I remember the girl whose mom taped her hearing aid to the top of her head between her pigtails and the think wires to the hearing aids in her ears because her mother like mine had had rubella. I remember Steve and his stylus and Braille template and later his Braille typewriter. They don’t remember asking him to go with our group on Grad Night because no one else had asked him to be in their group. The only male with 15 girls.

I remember my experimental eye surgery in 1961 something that I’m sure they tested on a pig since they had the most human like eyes because my mom had German measles.. I remember having the mumps on one side and two weeks later getting them again on the other side. Two weeks after that Cam got the mumps and then two weeks after that I got the chicken poxes and the he did. Now a days that doesn’t happen. And there were a lot of little boys rendered sterile because of those diseases.

They don’t think that the reason their still have a grandmother who is walking is because of joint replacements tested on animals. They don’t remember riding in Mrs H’s lap in her chariot because she had had polio and didn’t want us to fear people in wheelchairs. They don’t remember the furious testing on mouse cells to come up with the cause for gay men dying of an unknown thing they were calling GRID 30 years ago this week.

They are very lucky to have gotten the benefit of measles, mumps, chicken pox, polio and rubella shots. They aren’t dead and they can hear and see. They can walk and talk and think. Their mothers got those vaccines too when they were small and before they were born she may have gotten an amniocentesis to make sure they were fine. Another procedure tested on an animal before a human and if there was something wrong now they can do surgery while the baby is still in the womb. Another procedure tested on an animal first.

So please don’t ask me to be against animal research and testing when you wouldn’t be standing there to ask me without it.