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To start off, let me be clear: I generally loathe politicians on an equal opportunity basis. Okay, maybe there's a slightly more special place of loathing in my heart for the Constitution Party, those folks are kinda scary. But otherwise, Democrat, Republican, Green, Libertarian...whatever. I tend to be especially annoyed by party-line voters, be they constituents voting for candidates or politicians voting on...well, whatever they're voting on. Because party-line voting is pretty much synonymous with "I can't think for myself and don't really care about the people I represent" if you ask me. (Note: Just because one agrees with the party doesn't automatically make it party-line in my mind. Fine, blurry lines and all that.)

But right now, I have a general hatred towards Republicans. Read on.

That said...

So, as you might know, before we moved to Oregon, I talked to several people in Maryland's unemployment to verify that if I were to move, I would have continued eligibility, that leaving the state wasn't going to hurt me and all that. No, I was told. I would have continued eligibility. I just had to keep complying with the rules- you know, look for a job, file every two weeks, all that nonsense. And I was told not only that, but I was already approved to have unemployment eligibility through at least sometime in February- longer, if any more extensions were put into effect, but no less than that. Three different people told me this. Each time I asked, very carefully, if there was anyhting else I needed to take into account, was there anyhtign else that could affect or interrupt my unemployment eligibility?

I was told no, absolutely not. I would just need to remember that when I got notice of one tier of my extended unemployment ending, that I would need to call in and talk to them, whereupon they would hit a button in the system, and I would roll over to the next tier. Nothing else? Nope, that's it, good luck to you.

Except, they were wrong. You see, what all these fine people FAILED TO TELL ME was that my continued eligibility was dependent on congress periodically voting to renew the extension. Now, I saw a number of notices about this on the Maryland unemployment website, but until the most recent one, those things have been VERY misleadingly worded- there was nothing in any of the notices to make me think that they applied to anyone who has already even approved for the extended unemployment. What's there now is only slightly better- it's only obvious that it applies to you if it's already happened to you.

So anyway...I went to pick up my unemployment payment last week...and it wasn't there. I called Maryland, and found out that it was suspended because congress hadn't voted to extend it yet, but if they do, it will be released shortly. Did I mention that I never got a letter saying "Oh, by the way, they haven't renewed the bill so you're going to lose your benefits in a couple of weeks".

Was that too fucking much to ask? Well, I did get a letter- later the day that I found out that it was gone.

Long story short, we've got a bit of money saved so far. We ended up going and applying for food stamps. Gavin's disability overs our rent, so we didn't have a whole lot to worry about- but still, we had to worry about it.

Thankfully, it was passed earlier this week to renew the bill. I might not get my money for filed weeks until sometime next week, but hey, at least I'm going to get it.

Which brings me to the subject of my rant. See...I've been reading news articles about this now that I have the internet again, and I've seen clips of stuff in the news. The bill passed by vote? Two? Because every single member of the Republican party, except for two voted against it.

Some of them have been in the news whining that they're being portrayed as heartless meanies and they don't understand why people are so upset. They only opposed the bill because they disagreed with the source of the unemployment funds.

Is that all it is now? Well gee whiz sparky, why in the fuck didn't you try to introduce your own bill suggesting that? Why don't you publicly denounce some of the shit your colleagues are saying?

Or are you completely clueless to the other members of your party who have been shown on the news saying things like...

Several Republicans have suggested that extending the benefits would give workers less cause to seek jobs. "Continuing to pay people unemployment compensation is a disincentive for them to seek new work," Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) said earlier this spring.

(From here:

Some additional gems:

During a door-to-door tour of Elizabethtown, Lancaster County businesses today, Corbett said “the jobs are there,” but that many people are purposely remaining unemployed, in order to collect benefits. He says he’s heard this from business owners across Pennsylvania. “One of the issues, and I hear it repeatedly – one of the individuals said, ‘I can’t get workers. People don’t want to come back to work while they still have unemployment.’’ He said. “They’re literally telling him, ‘I’ll come back to work when unemployment runs out.’ That’s becoming a problem.” Found here, complete with sound recording

And from Rand Paul (R-KY) "As bad as it sounds, ultimately we do have to sometimes accept a wage that's less than we had at our previous job in order to get back to work and allow the economy to get started again," he said. "Nobody likes that, but it may be one of the tough love things that has to happen." Here, again with recording.

And then there's Last Friday, Bauer told an audience in South Carolina that his grandmother told him "as a small child to quit feeding stray animals. You know why? Because they breed."

He compared this to receiving assistance from the government, which he said is "facilitating the problem if you give an animal or a person ample food supply. They will reproduce, especially ones that don't think too much further than that. And so what you've got to do is you've got to curtail that type of behavior. They don't know any better."
from Lieutenant Governor Andre Bauer of South Carolina. He's since made some vague gestures that are supposed to look like an apology, I guess. It seems, Andre that people who are poor or unemployed really don't like being compared to animals who don't know any better. Shocker, that, eh? But you know, what should a rich asshole like you have to be surprised about when your comments aren't met favorably?

A clip from his apology is almost as good: "I never intended to tie people to animals," he said, before...tying people to animals: "If you have a cat, if you take it in your house and feed it and love it, what happens when you go out of town?"

The fuck????? Sir, I hope you have no pets. Because if you do, and you can't reach the logical conclusion of getting someone to come and feed your cat, or boarding it at a kennel when you're going to be away, you should be immediately charged with endangering animals. Oh, and by the way, unemployment- it's like a pet-sitter. When you're out of work, unemployment feeds you while you look for work. See what I did there? I'd brag about out-clevering a politician, but that's not much to brag about.

In June, Nevada Senate nominee Sharron Angle said that "what has happened is the system of entitlement has caused us to have a spoilage with our ability to go out and get a job." She added: "They keep extending these unemployment benefits to the point where people are afraid to go out and get a job because the job doesn't pay as much as the unemployment benefit does."

Also from the same site:

Back in May, Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) said that Congress needs to think twice about continuing unemployment benefits "because you're out of the recession, you're starting to see growth and you're clearly going to dampen the capacity of that growth if you basically keep an economy that encourages people to, rather than go out and look for work, to stay on unemployment. Yes, it's important to do that up to a certain level, but at some point you've got to acknowledge that we're not Europe." (Found here)

And from Tom DeLay: DeLay praised Bunning, and added that "there's some studies that have been done that shows that people stay on unemployment compensation and they don't look for a job until two or three weeks before they know the benefits are going to run out."

Crowley pointed out that saying "people are unemployed because they want to be" is a "hard sell."

DeLay responded: "Well, it is the truth."
(Here, with video)

You know, it must be so nice to be so easily able to pass judgment on people's economic situation when you've never been there yourself. I know that not all American politicians are particularly rich, and some even come from a working class background but I also know that plenty of them have never had to work or wonder where their next meal, or next week's meals were going to come from.

I know that there are some people who take advantage of the system, but you know, things can be done about that. You can, say, require people to keep records of their job hunt in order to maintain benefits and verify them- to a certain extent anyway, employers only keep applications and resumes on file for so long, but, you know, spot-checking can go a long way to dealing with this. Requiring people to register with the states department of labor workforce development office- or whatever you call it in each state- and spend a certain amount of time in those offices, or on their website looking for suitable jobs is something else that can be done.

I'm also really pissed off about the ones who are all "You should just take a job, any job and shut up and get off unemployment!" you know, in Baltimore, I couldn't even apply for most jobs that I cam across because they didn't pay enough? Well I could have...if I wanted to live in a hole in the wall in Coppin Heights with no electricity. And I don't mean "I want more money!" I mean I wouldn't have been able to pay my rent and the few bills that Gavin and I have or buy groceries. And we don't have a car, or kids or credit cards or medical bills or any other extra expenses. Nevermind what other people may have. I can tell you that it's a different story now- Minimum wage in Oregon is higher and living expenses are lower, so there are a LOT more jobs that I can apply for- and am. Don't fucking assume that people aren't taking jobs because they just want more money.

And the crack about unemployment paying more than jobs- in a lot of cases, no, it really doesn't. How much you get is dependent on how much you've made in the last four fiscal quarters, with the highest quarter thrown out and the other three averaged out. Or something like that.

Don't you people even fucking know how this unemployment thing works? guess not.

Gawds. As Gavin has said, even if Obama does everything else wrong for the rest of his presidency, I will be continually grateful that he made the assholes in congress go back and re-vote on this.

If you think this is unfounded and I'm just a republican-hating bleeding heart liberal whatever, please find me a democrat who's had shit like this to say. Please.
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Can't remember if I mentioned getting a summons a few weeks back, but I was called for jury duty. Joy!

It turned out to be a far cry less painful than I was afraid it might be. There were several rooms where they were showing movies- idiotic movies that should never have been made. Hello, Monster in Law. And there was a quiet room. I decided to take my chances there. Signs posted admonished against any speaking at all, and the um...jury candidate babysitters informed us that they were listening in on all rooms, so they would know what was going on. Not to mention security cameras and all that jazz.

Despite all this, knowing how people are in this city, I was afraid that I would end up in a room full of blathering idiots. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that people actually followed directions and shut the hell up. Woohoo! I took a backpack full of books with me, plus my ipod. Spent most of the day in a reasonably comfortable chair, listening to music in blissful quiet. Oh, and the guy sitting across from me looked like Topher Grace's long lost twin. That was a little weird.

The main irritations were people getting really noisy after lunch- I was just about to issue a general "Hey, don't you people read the signs? I and the rest of us came to this room for a reason" when they finally all shut up again. And a security guard telling me I was acting weird.

Wanna know why? I was looking up at a stained glass dome. See...the inside of the Baltimoe courthouse is really pretty. Three s a lot of gorgeous marble and granite carvings and Doric style columns and mosaic floors...and a stained glass domed ceiling above one of the marble stairways. During the lunch break, I was walking around a couple of the hallways (They told us where we were and were not allowed to be, so I wasn't in an off-limits area or anyhting like that.) A guard walking by asked what I was doing (As if it would be so hard to tell by the fact that I was standing by the steps (not in anyone's way), looking up at the elaborate stained glass work above my head) and I said just that, that I was looking at the dome and commented that architecture and art history interested me, and there was quite a bit to see in the building. He then informed me that since he had checked my bags when I came in, he knew I was there for jury duty and that I didn't have any weapons on me that I was going to do anything, but that I should be careful because it was weird and might arouse suspicion.

Sadly, this isn't the first time I've heard things like this- taking an interest in the aesthetics of a public building makes people think you're a terrorist or criminal or something.

The guard was rather sadly mistaken though when he said that they'd checked my bags so he knew I wasn't carrying anything I shouldn't be- I had a backpack with four zipper compartments and a couple of smaller inner pockets. They barely glanced into the main large compartment and saw some books. A weapon could easily have gotten in that building just by being stuck between the books or at the bottom of my bag or in a smaller pocket. They didn't even run the bags through the metal detector that everyone has to walk through- they take your bag on the counter, you walk through the detector, they glance in your bag and they hand it to you on the other side. When I left and came back at lunch they didn't even do that, just waved me around the detector.

Yeah, you're smart. And you're worried about how weird it seems that I was looking at a pretty ceiling? Oh, the idiocy. You don't really bother with the most basic of security measures, but you get all suspicious at someone's appreciation of a work of art. What the fuck is wrong with this?


Towards the end of the day, a large segment of the jury pool (yours truly included) were called in for selection. There were probably about a hundred and fifty of us there, and the woman sitting next to me kept saying every few seconds that the whole process should be over in five minutes and why the hell was it taking so long? Gah, why couldn't she just shut up. I was actually impressed that their system actually seemed to be going rather efficiently. Maybe not as well as I could imagine I would do, but hey, I couldn't find a whole lot to complain about, idiots sitting near me aside, of course. After the first few minutes, about the only thing keeping me from smacking her was the presence of so many witnesses, cameras and law enforcement officials in the room and even that was a pretty loose tether after a while.

I am reasonably sure that I was going to be one of the people picked for the jury- I was one of the few people that I noticed who didn't stand up to give a "yes" response to any of their weeding-out questions. But in the middle of all that, they suddenly dismissed everyone back to the playpens holding rooms without warning or explanation. After we got back there, someone said it was because the prosecuting attorney had pictures of the defendant at the crime scene sitting out in the open (did I mention, it was an attempted murder/assualt case? Yeah.) I actually saw one of the pictures, but it was just a big green blob. Looked like someone had pointed the camera straight down at a patch of grass and took the shot. But yeah, potentially biasing. So...we were all dismissed. Guess that trial won't be starting on the scheduled date.

So...jury duty. Yeah. I did some reading, began a little writing, spent most of the time being not bothered by all the people. Got paid fifteen bucks for my trouble.
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And by a past life, I mean high school and into college. (Only thirteen years ago, but it really does feel like another life.) But not much past that. Photography hung on the longest. Unfortunately, I don't think my camera works anymore- whenever I put a roll of film into it, it either winds it to the end immediately, or does so as soon as I snap the first picture. I loved that camera.

Painting was the other medium I was somewhat good at. I haven't painted since I took an intro to painting class in college- which I dropped mid-semester for a number of reasons, including the fact that I learned that I absolutely loathe working with oil paint. Let me tell you how much I hated it. Even in a very well-ventilated studio, it smelled like death. And then there was the need to use things like turpentine to get it off my skin- I really didn't like that. It kinda scared me when my plastic palette knife dissolved.

But please, give me acrylics any day and watch me do a little dance. I loved painting with acrylics, which was what I used in high school (mostly, when I wasn't doing water color or the rare thing with temperas which I wasn't a big fan of either, but I would take over oils any day and twice on Sunday.

I've been missing painting for a long time. Every now and then, I go to an art store and look at paint, brushes and canvas. I'm...I dunno, a serious nerd or something about color, I like just looking at all of the different colors of paint in the tubes. I have a favorite white paint- I did anyway, and I have no reason to think that it's changed. Titanium white, thanks. In high school, if you asked me my favorite color, I was very likely to answer "dioxazine purple" or "phthalocyanine green" (it kinda switched between the two) because those were the exact shades that were my favorite color at the time. Hell, I knew the names of many paint colors off the top of my head better than my art teachers, and was really picky. (Me: "Hey, Mr. Hoff, are there any more tubes of alizarin crimson in the supply closet? I just emptied this one." Mr Hoff: "Umm what crimson? Here, take this." Me: "That's napthol crimson. Any more alizarin?" Mr Hoff (looking at me like I've lost my mind): "What is wrong with you? I know this is art, but really, what is wrong with you?" Yes, that conversation actually took place sometime in my junior year.)

I do this, and I want to paint again. I get so ridiculously sad. The last couple of times I've done this, I've been close to crying. Yeah, it's kinda sad.

but I have decided once and for all that I am getting some paints. I found a set the other day that I want. Liquitex Basics 36 tube set, It was about $33 at the one art store near me. Then I came home and started poking around online. Yay for google shopping- I found the same set on Amazon for $27...and then I found the Liquitex Basics 48-color set for the same price on yet another website today. Needless to say, I am ordering it. Will probably start by picking up a sketchbook of canvas paper to begin with, and maybe some small canvas panels (which are very inexpensive, thankfully.) and will need some brushes.

I figure for a while, I'll probably just play around with mixing up bits of colors and seeing what I get. That used to be my favorite thing. I could get sidetracked for an entire class just mixing up new colors and trying them out on scraps of paper.

And that was before I even discovered interference paints.

I used to have sheets and sheets of paper with blobs and splotches of colors I tried out, mixed with other colors, thinned with water (acrylics make great water colors too!), dusted with salt and then scraped it off when the paint dried, I used to write down the combination of paints that I used to create the colors, and my best guess on the ratios so I could recreate them...why are you looking at me funny?

Ummm....anyway. Yeah. I wouldn't be surprised if I were to use up an entire paint set just doing that again.

At the art store yesterday, I also found this paper that looked like it was made from green leaves and felt like fine cotton. It made me think so much of Dionysus, I'm trying to come up with something I could do to have a reason to buy a sheet of the stuff. I kept wanting to go back to the shelf and pet the paper, it really felt nice. Um...yeah. Stop looking at me like that.

In other news, as I was leaving the apartment building today to run to 7-11, someone moving in next door had just put boxes and boxes of stuff out with a "free" sign on the sidewalk that they wanted to get rid of. I was one of the first people there, and really cleaned up. I snagged us an XBox with three controllers, a playstation with a controller, memory card, and a really nice carrying bag, a camcoder in a case with a tripod, a sewing machine, a Battleship game, an Italian language video course, a small lunch-sized cooler, a printer and a couple of candle holders, including one that looks like some sort of pewter-ish metal with grapevines all over it (Gavin and I have been discussing what to do for anthesteria). After that, we went down to the Harbor and were discussing, amongst other things, our former roommate, Dominic who we haven't heard from in a while. As we were going to check out printer cartridges at Best Buy, who did we run into? He's supposed to send me some information on census jobs- he just took the test for them and I guess was told they're still hiring. So...let's hope that the good things today continue to roll on.

I also finally ordered a copy of Fritz Graf's Apollo, so that should be here soon, woohoo!

Right at the moment, I'm feeling pretty good about things. The weather has been pretty good- it was amazing yesterday. Not quite as warm today but still nice enough that I went out wearing only a hooded shirt over my clothing. It's supposed to be in the 40's and 50's for at least the next ten days, according to the weather service.

Oh, and my mom finally called and has picked a date to try to come down to visit- the day before Easter. This is assuming that my sister doesn't go into labor (Oh yeah, don't think I ever mentioned, my sister's having another kid.)

Speaking of kids- I just recently finished my first-ever baby blanket, for Gavin's sister. I crocheted it from granny squares. It kinda looks like a quilt- will have to take pictures. And am now making one for my sister. But I'm knitting it.

I think that's it for now, this post is long enough, don'tchathink?
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If things have gotta change,
well that's cool with me,
we'll just light the fuse and then get away,
hell yeah...

Things are just...happening lately. In addition to losing my job back in August, and being just a step ahead of the mass pagan exodus in the last week or so when I left the grove last month, I am now going to be leaving Neos Alexandria and Neokoroi, and my ADF membership, which runs out this month, will not be renewed.

After a whole lotta whathefuckery and some really appalling moments last week (if you know what I'm talking about, you don't need any more explanation. If you don't know what I'm talking about, trust me you're far better off that way.) I think things are calming down.

Also, I've pared my friends list way down. For the most part, people that I cut were either people who haven't posted in over a year, people who I haven't talked to in a ridiculously long time, and a few folks that I couldn't even remember who they were. I will probably eventually shave a few more off, but things stand as they are for the moment. If I've kept you around, it's either because we have a lot in common, you're otherwise interesting, or my own diabolical reasons (or some combination thereof).

I'm mildly surprised to find myself pretty much stress-free over all this at this point, aside from a lot of eye-rolling and restraining myself from giving a few people a piece of my mind. (Well, job search stuff aside, but even that could be a lot worse.)
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Someone posted this question on a forum that I frequent. when I first saw it, I ignored it because well, unless you're working in a system with some measurable benchmarks (degrees in Traditional Wicca, for example) there's no way of reasonably answering this. Then after a while, the thought of terms of "advancement" and not "being advanced" came t mind, along with yet more thinking about the last year, and how so much has changed for me spiritually. It definitely didn't come cheap and easy. This was my answer:

Let me just state, first off, that I have no idea what "advanced" really is. I have found that my religious practice and views are not particularly similar to a vast majority of other pagans that I've encountered (referring now to my strictly personal religious practice, not my group affiliation with ADF) and I seem to hold some rather unusual views and experiences of my gods, so that narrows down more there, so there's not much to compare to, even if I were interested in comparing. As a result, in my little world, "advanced" is entirely self-referential, I am farther along now than I was a month ago or a year ago. It's advancement, not being advanced.

In the last year, I would say that I've advanced much. Shortly after the fall equinox last year, a lot of things started changing drastically for me. I was introduced much more closely- and dramatically- to a couple of gods. I gained a completely new view of Apollo, to whom I've been devoted for some time now, not a view that I'd never known before, but one with which I was previously only aware of on a strictly intellectual basis, I gained a very sudden, up close, personal and traumatic familiarity with that view, with that, my life changed rather drastically in a few months time.

A year later, my life is far better in many ways. I'm living in a much better place. I'm involved in a romantic relationship with elements that I never believed in before it happened to me. I'm so much happier overall. While I was never particularly unhealthy, I know that I am healthier than I was, physically and mentally.

All it cost me was a chunk of my self-identity, my "place" (Where I thought I was, what I thought I was doing, I was beginning ADF's Clergy Training Program after about eight years of being called to serve as clergy and then taking the steps to train as such, then realize I was doing the wrong thing), my sense of belonging to my grove, where I had been involved heavily for three years, a bout of depression and mourning, a large chunk of what had been my social life, and for a time, my happiness. I felt lost and aimless for months.

I have a difficult time relating to a lot of people in many ways. Not because OMG Im sooooo speshul, but because I think I'm coming from a very different place than a lot of people. I can't think of too many people who would be at all interested in living my life. Basically, my religion is the primary thing in my life. (That includes my relationship with my girlfriend One of the first things that we determined at the beginning of the relationship was that religion came before anything else fpr each of us, including each other. This probably sounds crazy to a lot of folks, possibly even harsh or cruel, but it works out for both of us, and is a condition that rarely needs to be invoked.) Sometime in the middle of last winter, I realized with a bit of a start one day that were I Christian with the sort of devotion I hold, I would very possibly be strongly considering becoming a nun. Knowing that no similar option is available to me, and growing more and more discontent with my job and some of the things that were happening there, that threw me into a period of time where everything was wrong, nothing was right and well, as I said, I was just lost.

This wasn't the first time I've had to deal with complete and drastic change like that brought on by religious/spiritual things. The cost was rather heavy, involved a lot of stress and upheaval. After a while, certain things fell into place, other things came up, they got all crazy and then they calmed down again. The last two months have been very low-stress and happy, but I'm not expecting that to last forever, I know the process is going to repeat and I'm going to have to deal with more of it on the way to wherever I'm going. what cost? For me, it was just about everything that's important to me, some of it on a temporary basis, some of it permanently.
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It's funny how a year of constant change makes stuff that I would have thought of as utterly insane this time last year actually make some sense.

I think I'm finally adjusting to myself, I'm finding equilibrium in some things while doing more balancing out on a limb with others. Some of the interesting part of this weekend involved giving voice to some thoughts about myself that less than a year ago, I never told anyone and only laughed at myself about them because they were so absurd. But now, not so absurd. Unlikely couple as we may be, can I just say, the girlfriend, she groks Teh Crayzee.

I'm still working on this idea. It involves me, how I see myself, relate to the world, and relate to the gods. If I can express my thoughts coherently, I might post it.
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So...I've been thinking.

Yeah, I know. Don't do that, it always leads to trouble. Oh well, too late, what's done is done.

Religion. Yeah, I know I haven't written much about that in several months. Not that it hasn't been on my has, constantly. It never leaves. (Well, maybe it does for a few minutes when...oh nevermind, y'all don't want to hear me bitch about how frustrated I get when something gets stuck in my teeth and I can't get it out and don't have a toothbrush handy or a toothpick or dental floss and OMG I really hate raspberry seeds sometimes...uh, yeah :-P)

Anyways. So it's recently occurred to me that the grove's Lughnassagh ritual is this weekend. No, I lie, I knew that for a while now, but what's just occurred to me is that the next ritual after that is the fall equinox.

I've had myself in a kind of limbo with grove involvement for quite a while now. Cut because reading this will take almost as long )
Ye, gads it's been crazy. I still don't have it all figured out, but I'm a lot more okay with things than I have been in a while.

And if I can manage to get it in before I leave the office, there might be another post on the woo filter to save those who don't care to read such things from rolling their eyes right out of their heads.
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I think life is pretty decent at the moment. Aside from a bit of an issue with Dominic yesterday which is an inconvenience but not the end of the world, things really are pretty good.

The "OMG I've got a girlfriend!" dust is settling quite well. We haven't killed each other anyway. After being roommates for a year and a half, if we haven't by now, there's a decent chance we'll make it a few weeks at least before the murdering starts. Well...there was some talk of knife violence last night... (All in er, fun, I swear! Uh, yeah that's it....hehehehehe) Nothing too crazy has happened since Tuesday/Wednesday two weeks ago.

Reading (okay, re-reading) some fiction in the form of Kushiel's Justice, also now have a copy of Iron Angel up next. Can't say it enough times....just cannot wait for Kushiel's Mercy- got about a month to go now.

Finally figured out how to assign different colored lights to individual contacts on my phone. Feel a little irked that I couldn't figure it out without looking it up, but it was kinda non-obvious. So...whatever. it was pretty simple once I found it. I also found out that there was a bronze version of my phone available, but AT&T doesn't offer it. I might have gotten it instead of pink otherwise. Oh well, I'm cool with the pink.

Oh, and my nails are growing again. There are actual white bits on the tips. I should paint them so as to keep from biting.

And work is good, only a very small handful of emails in the box. Otherwise, things are quiet (Including Tiffany's normally incessant yapping. Sorry that she's sick, not sorry that it's keeping her quiet.)

Other than that...things really are quite uneventful. No complaints here.
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The life I had a year ago is not the life I have now.

Hell, the life I had at the beginning of the year is not the life I have now.

The mind, it doth boggle.
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I think the weather definitely has an effect on my mood...I'm feeling a lot better in the last day and a half than I have in a while. I wasn't miserable to be sitting at work the other night with no one to talk to at four in the morning to distract me from my thoughts.

Don't worry though, life is still in a state of flux, I still don't know what's what in a lot of ways, and while I thought when it happened that dropping clergy training was The Big Bomb, but now, I'm pretty sure that it wasn't it, but was leading up to something else. (No, I don't know what. It hasn't happened yet.)

In other, somewhat related news, (Some folks already know this. I've been talking selectively about it. And by "selectively", I mean everyone but you. You just aren't good enough to know until I make the public post, bitch. Neener Neener Neener.) I'm looking at moving to the west coast, probably in about a year or just over that. (Oh yeah, Gavin's going too :-P ) I'm hoping to go out there sometime this summer for a few days, we're interested in Eugene, Oregon and I'm also hoping to harass my brother in Portland. This all came out of one of our long, ponderous conversations about how nothing seems to be right anymore. She asked if I ever thought of just leaving...which I had a million times. A week later, we were actually and seriously discussing the possibility. I took some time, gave it some serious consideration to be sure it wasn't just a "really cool idea, woohoo!" and the more i thought about it, the more concrete it became, and I realized that it fit a pattern with my life and if that pattern hold true, I'll be there in about a year.

Anyway...time to be getting going. Need to go to the post office and various other places.
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Friday, Dionysus, at home, Shiraz )

Saturday, Apollo, at the grove, Sauvignon Blanc )

And that, folks, was my weekend. Well, the major happenings of it anyway. Minor details include overhearing a story about someone named Shaqueesha (Taking a guess on the spelling. Where on earth do they get these names?) Having two people simultaneously back into me, one on each side, at Barnes and Noble- I swear, it couldn't have been better-times if it was choreographed. Smacking my elbow into the living room wall (Okay kids, stucco bits in sensitive elbow hurt) and getting headbutted in the boobs and then in the nose by Chrissy. Oh, and making smores post-ritual on Saturday night.
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So I've realized more and more over the last year or so that I largely define myself by my religion and related interests. Anymore, a large percentage of my time is devoted to such things. Most of my friends are somehow connected to my religious life. It's constantly what's on my mind. At work, most of my time is actually spent reading and at times writing about just such things. (Quick, who actually knows what I do for a living? Oh, nevermind. I actually do mention it enough that I think most folks know.) And looking forward, I can only really see it taking up more and more of my life in the future.

Not that I'm complaining, mind you. I'm perfectly okay with the idea.

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking to [ profile] needa one night, and conversation drifted into the subject of dating, and whether I found it crucial to be with someone of the same religion.

Maybe it's kinda dumb, but this conversation quickly became very uncomfortable in my mind. It was a little much when combined with the fact that the realization of attraction for someone had just hit me like the proverbial ton of runaway lead mack trucks only a few hours earlier. (Okay, so I had actually realized it a while ago, and continually ignored it/brushed it off for several reasons. And then it just did one of those numbers where it punches me in the face and forces me to confront it. Or at least admit it to myself, cause so far there's been no actual "confrontation". Just a whole lot of facial contortions while pondering the thought and what to do.)

Wiskey tango fuck does one thing have to do with another? Hell if I know. Oh yeah...the idea of relationships plus the life-consuming religion thing. Gaaaaah. It's complicated! And it's only hypothetical! How the hell does that translate to real life?

I think it all comes back to one thing...I know that it's not exactly realistic to be willing to venture outside of my religion- Baltimore's not exactly hopping with Hellenics, I think that I and the roommate comprise a third to a half of the population- but anyone that I ever do end up in a relationship with will need to have an active understanding (or a pretty damned strong acceptance) of where I'm coming from. Otherwise, it just won't work.

In other news, I bit two fingernails off tonight. Time for nail polish again.

Um...I need to start finding other things to occupy my brain at work. Maybe I should try crime novels or word-search puzzles. Or maybe I should go back to day shift. Was I this dramatically ponderous when I didn't have 12 hours of silence at a stretch to be alone with my thoughts???


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July 2013



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