badstar: (Default)
If you actually read this post (and I won't blame you at all if you don't), please, I beg of you, do not try to address my issue of figuring out the ADF stuff with respect to what's going on in my own brain, that's not what I'm writing about here, and for reasons you will see below, I am liable to knee-jerk and rip your head off. Nothing personal but people have really aggravated me today.

In reference to this post:

So recently, in my attempts to figure out why I'm waffling so much on ADF and the IP for the last year, it finally dawned on me how much my experience with getting my DP approved has bothered me. I know I bitched about it plenty. I know I've said it made me mad, but I don't think I've really realized just how much until now. There is another person on my friends list, who shall remain anonymous unless he chooses to identify himself, who has been having communications issues with the clergy training program and has been writing about it on occasion. I've followed these writings wit interest. And after knowing other people who have had issues in the higher study programs too, one of the big issues in my mind is that I pretty much know that it's going to be the DP over again and on a grander scale- since the DP was one big submission, but the IP is multiple segments submitted separately. It's a lot more writing, so a lot more potential for repeat performances.

Finally, last night I got it in my head to make a post to [ profile] adf. Now...I think I did a reasonable job of being very clear that I did not expect the impossible and that I understand that this is all volunteer-based. I also think I did a decent enough job of making it perfectly clear that The issue that I was posting about was the *only* question that I could not answer for myself.

So I express concern about such points as:

Having submitted my work already approved, but when it got re-reviewed (which to my understanding was just to be a once-over to make sure that everything was okay since I was the first DP for Caryn to review), the reviewer (Whose name I don't know and after this debacle, don't expect I ever will) had questions about my work but didn't bother to ask me- who wrote it all in the first place- or Caryn- who okayed it but took it to Raven Mann who also didn't bother to ask me or Caryn, but took it to the clergy council- well, took the questions, but not the actual work being questioned.)

Once I submitted my DP for review yet again for the CTP, I was asked to do some additional work on three essays, but no specifics given, basically just "add to this kthxbye". On the first two, I guess I got lucky, they were accepted without question on re-submission. The third, however, came back to me three times. The first two times, no specifics were given and it was weeks between sending them off and hearing back, never even got a "Received your essay, will review it as soon as possible" notice. Finally, on the third try, I was told what was wanted.

Now, for running on volunteer power, you'd think people would want to be as efficient as possible right? I mean, wouldn't it make sense to have added the one additional sentence to the first request for additional work on the essay so I could get right to the point to begin with? There would be a couple of times that they wouldn't have had to reread the essay, a couple of times that they wouldn't have had to think about it, a coupe of times where they wouldn't have to email it back to me. But no, they wasted their time and mine, and at the time, because of this one essay and the crappy communication, I was ready to give up. If I wasn't accepted wen I was, that would have been it.

I don't want to go through this again. I know someone working on the CTP who would submit her work and not hear anything for months, and get no reply when she emailed asking for a status update. I know someone working on it who gets his work rejected with no explaination why when it is comparable to other work that was accepted. I don't want to be in this spot.

So I made the post linked above, and the reaction is to blast me over the volunteer issue, to lecture me about how people have their own lives and how they can only do so much. Bitch, please. I don't expect a volunteer to work miracles. I expect that if I'm doing a study program and someone has volunteered to review my work that they will at the very least acknowledge when they receive it and let me know that they will be getting to it. I expect that if something happens to delay things, that they will have the courtesy to let me know. A two-sentence email "Hey, I was going to sit down with this last night but my kid got sick, I'll need a few more days" takes roughly thirty seconds to write (at least as I type) and lets me know that they're not ignoring me. Hey, if something comes up, I understand, but where my work is concerned, I expect to be kept in the loop.

This is not unreasonable. This isn't brain surgery, people. Hell, it isn't even rocket science.

Then there were several people who asked me what it was that I wanted out of ADF anyway. This was completely beside the point. I don't need help figuring that out. I mentioned my questioning of what I'm doing to give an idea of why I was posing what I did.

Another individual...and this one really pissed me off, came back with "Oh, maybe you just had a bad personal experience" and proceeded to tell me about her own experience and how she had to wait, but hew reviewer actually bothered to COMMUNICATE with her and ASK her the questions that they had oh my god someone was doing their fucking job, even if it was a little slow. Well golly geee yee fucking ha it must be nice! Oh, and it was a learning experience for you, it made you think. Well then I guess you're just a better dedicant than me. Here, please have a fucking cookie, would you prefer snickerdoodle or chocolate fucking chip?

Another person accused me of being antagonistic. Listen, if you have a better way to describe my experience and express concern about how many other people are having similar experiences and about the possibility of going through it all again than feel free to rewrite my post with sunshine and butterflies and send it to me so I can repost it to your liking. Because I can't think of a better way to say what I had to say. I was very clear that I understand that people have lives to deal with and all that. I was very clear as to what my concerns are. I was very calm and civil and I even went back and edited myself several times to make sure that I wasn't sounding like I intended to rip people up for this.

I thank the people who actually had constructive and understanding things to say, or who will when they're able to respond. It's good to know that some people are actually bothering to read what I've said and respond to that, not what they've imagined it to be in their little brains.
badstar: (Default)
Dear Baltimore,

What the hell is the deal with you people? Seriously. Mother's day was a month ago. There's no reason that random strangers in the street should still be wishing me happy mother's day. For serious, it's really old now. Knock it off.

Aside from that, why the fuck must it be assumed that because I am a female of childbearing age, that it means that I am a mother or am looking smilingly forward to the prospect of being one in the near future? It's not like anyone has ever seen me gaze longingly and sigh wistfully at the sight of a little bundle of er, joy. Stop it. Just cut it the hell out already.

Really irritated,


So seriously, today on the way to the grove, some random guy walked up to me and wished me a happy belated mother's day. My bus was pulling up and I didn't want to miss it, so I didn't launch into a tirade, however difficult it was to resist.

Additionally, I heard him say as I got on the bus "You don't need to have kids to be a mother, you just need to be female."

Oh hell no.

Look. World. I'm not a mother. I have no interest in being a mother, I have no plans to have kids and I am thankful that I have a girlfriend who is even more actively disinterested in having kids than I am.

I am not a mother. I am an aunt. I am cool with that. I love my nieces. But for the love of Bob, that is NOT the same as being a fricken mother.

I'm now past the point of taking assumed good intentions into account. I'm really irritated by it. This isn't even a few days later, it's a blasted month.

I did get a little ironic amusement though, seeing a woman speaking to a man who appeared to be a stranger, and wishing him an early happy father's day, saying he didn't need kids to be a father, if he ever even babysat some kids, then he was a father. (If anyone cares, the guy didn't protest)
badstar: (Default)
Okay, so I totally get the whole thing about not wanting people to spoil the ending for you...but I am getting a little irritated with seeing constant reminders everywhere of people to warn about spoilers and "you'd better not ruin it for me" and all that, as if people have nothing better to write about and the world will end or something. I actually saw somewhere (no, no one on my friends list) where someone threatened to never again speak to anyone who spoiled the ending for the book or movie (they didn't seem to be joking, though whether they are or not, there are people that would seriously do such a thing.) Maybe it's not the height of politeness to purposely spoil the ending of the story for people, but there are far worse transgressions that one can make. For serious. There's a point where it stops being fun and starts being...I dunno, a bit excessive.

I'm really starting to feel the return of the "I hate the very idea of Harry Potter" sentiment that I felt back when I actively refused to read the books or see the movies. Because I'm just so sick of hearing about it, much like I was then. That whole Lancaster YMCA triathlon making news in Hong Kong debacle just instilled a very active disinterest in me for several years.

Yeah, I like the books and the movies, they're cool. But oh my gawds folks, there are plenty of other books and movies that are just as good and better. Go obsess about some of those for a few minutes.

Ya know, I knew who died at the end of Half Blood Prince before I read it. Ya know what? It didn't ruin the book for me...there was so much more to it than OMG! *name* died! If I happen to inadvertently find out about the ending of Deathly Hallows before I get to read it, it's not gonna spoil it for me and I sure as hell am not going to quit talking to someone over it.

Like I said, I like the books...but maybe now that the last book is coming out, the world can find something else to obsess over.
badstar: (off my planet)
This Paris Hilton thing makes my brain bleed.

OMG! You get caught drunk driving, you get punished. It's not rocket science. Take some responsifuckingbility for yourself. I don't care who you are or how much money you have. why is it so hard to understand that drunk driving is illegal? And it's not one of those things that are stupidly illegal, it's illegal for a reason. Because it kills people.

How simply this all could have been avoided- you get blitzed, you don't get behind the wheel of a vehicle, you don't get stopped for drunk driving, judge never orders you to jail, the rest of the world doesn't have to be constantly subjected to every little update of your pathetic little self-centered, think-you're-better-than-everyone-else-and-the-law-doesn't-apply-to-you drama.

Serve the time and get over it. Take a fucking cue from Martha Stewart. (I can't believe I'm saying that. I can't stand Martha. But she did the time she was sentenced for. If there were any appeals against it, I never heard about it. Minimal drama. I do have to have a degree of respect for that. We heard when she went in, we heard when she got out, game over.
badstar: (Default)
Stress and blah aside, there was some good stuff this weekend. I got to see both of my nieces, which was fun. I haven't seen Ashlyn in...gah...was it 2005 or 2004 that I saw her at Christmas?

Hmm...would have been 2005, because it was AFTER Mike and Anthony brought her and Samantha down to go to the aquarium, and I was living a few blocks down the street then.

Kid is huge. She's 5 but she looks like she's 7 or 8. Almost as tall as Samantha who is 7, but she also looks older than 5 in the face. And she talks older than a 5 year old.

And I got to go camping with friends on Saturday night at the Highland Farms Beltane campout.

I wasn't particularly impressed with the ritual, but I've never been a fan of Wiccan ritual structure, and mixing ADF with Wiccan just does wacky thigns in my mind. I understand why it was done, but I don't like it. I'm glad there was no circle casting.

I was one of the first people at the top of the hill, since I rode up in the truck with Dennis, Anna and a couple of others. And there were a couple of people drumming up I had fun dancing for a good half hour before the ritual started. Everyone expected it to get super-cold, but it didn't. Good thing, since I was wearing a tank top and skirt.

There was a nice little bonfire lit as part of the ritual. It wasn't huge, but it was nice. And whenever the wind blew up, it would stir up plumes of sparks. I kept getting closer and closer to the fire...and then right at the end of the praise offerings, I made my way a bit closer, just as Caryn was asking if anyone yet had offerings. I hadn't planned for any, I was just getting closer to the fire, but I think Caryn mistook that for an indication that I had somethign in mind, though I didn't realize that she was talking to me at first because I didn't think I'd done anythign to draw the attention to myself. I'd not planned to do anything for several reasons- the nature of the ritual, community building, is not somethign that I wholly object to, but of that particular community, I have so far been a rare visitor. Also, I like to do somethign tangible for offerings. I have no objection to others speaking in praise, but I personally prefer to be making an actual offering of some sort- which may or may not be accompanied by some speaking. And also because I was just so scattered this weekend.

Well, I was kinda put on the spot. And I had nuffin'. But (ritual briefs aside) I am reasonably good at speaking off the cuff in public. And I was on the spot, and people were looking at me, so I said "Okay, sure, I'll go."

And at that point, a couple of people asked me if I was going to spin fire (more on that in a minute)

So I thought for about half a second, and said something like

"I speak in praise and thanks to Apollo, for bringing me to the point where I am in my life,
And to Hestia of the hearth, who is not only the hearth, but who is the fire itself, and to Polyhymnia who inspires out sacred words, and Terpsichore who inspires us to dance...and to the gods, I give praise to the gods." the point when I said "and to Hestia...", a huge flurry of sparks blew up from the fire. Which was really cool.

Oh, and Tracy made chocolate runes for everyone. My rune was sigel (not sure if I spelled that right...? The one that looks like a lightning bolt.)

And then later on waiting in line for food, I saw two former coworkers- one whom I'd not seen since Samhain 2005 who told me that he'd started to cry a little when I'd spoken. (I didn't know what to say to that, I don't think I've ever made anyone cry in a good way before) and then a bit later, another former coworker, Adam, came up and said hi, and for the life of me, I couldn't figure out who he was. Very familiar face, but no name came to mind. When he told me who he was, it was really obvious...but the problem was that he didn't have 8-inch-tall spiky blue hair sticking out in every direction as he did when he was in the office. Ah well, it's nice to run into people sometimes.

And there was lots of dancing and drumming around the smaller fire afterwards. I danced so much that my abs still hurt. Not far from the fire, under a shade structure, someone had set up a little travelling Hindu temple with altars and shrines and carpets laid down, and incense and candles, and was offering Sanskrit blessings of prosperity and wealth and inviting people to drum and dance inside the "temple". It was quite magical.

And I really, REALLY wished that I'd had the staff with me.

Speaking of which....

So, I spin fire. Everyone knows that. And I mean everyone knows that. Apparently, that would include people I've never met or even seen before.

I mentioned how people asked me in the circle if I was going to spin. BEfore the ritual started, when I had just gotten to the circle, I walked past a small group of people who were some of the few folks up there. I didn't know them, never seen them before, but I heard as I went past "That's the girl that did the fire invocation or something like that last year at Beltane at Cedarlight grove. I heard she had fire in the middle of the circle."
A bit ranty... )

I was hoping that there might be another spinner there who would let me borrow their equipment- staff, poi, fingers, fans, whatever. But there wasn't.

But I did dance plenty, and surprised several folks with the fact that the only bellydance classes I ever took were Sara's tribal class in Catonsville a few years ago which was only for about 2 months.

I still need to find a decent bellydance class. We'll see what my options are next month when my schedule changes and my raise takes effect.
badstar: (various gods)
Y'all remember that big mess when Verizon told me that I didn't have to pay all sorts of fees and stuff for installation...and then slapped me with a $100 bill (the kind I have to pay, not the kind that I can spend)

...and then I called 'em up and bitched and they said that they would remove all those fees from my account?

Well, I got a letter on Tuesday (mind you I didn't get this latter til I got home at like 7pm) saying that I owed those fees after all. And that If I didn't pay them within 10 days of the letter, my service would be terminated, sent for collection and charged another $150 for early termination. Oh and they included this month's service in that bill.

So Wednesday I called Verizon to bitch to the billing department. They say there's nothing on the record about me not having to pay the fees and all that fun stuff (I didn't have documentation either, except for what I wrote down. I had asked them to send me an updated bill at the time and they said they couldn't. I also had never been given docimentation of not having to pay fees when I signed up, despite having been told that I would recieve it.

So I talked to a very nice, very helpful lady and explained the situation...and after some doing, she put me on hold for a couple of minutes and came back and told me that if I just paid what is due for the month, she would do some research, and I could call back in a few days and any necessary information would be noted on my account. Thing is, I still needed to pay the month due by yesterday, or there was nothing she could do. I explained again about not even gettingthis letter until roughly 36 hours before the cutoff, and that I don't have a credti card or bank card (long story) to pay immediately, and could I pay it in person somewhere? (Cause hey, fine...I had to pay that part anyway) and she said no, but then after a few seconds ased to put me on hold, then came back a minute later and said that I could take it to a Verizon Wireless store and pay in person there. Okay...there's one in Towson. So last night I go up to Towson and walked up to the Verizon Wireless place and hand them my bill and cash, and tell them what was going on and they just gave me a blank look and said "We can't do that."

They were really really nice and even tried caling the billing department for me, but it was already closed. They told me that they would love to take care of it for me, but Verizon Wireless and Verizon Landline services are two different companies and they would have no way to process it though. on my break I need to call Verizon and bitch to them and try to get them to fix it and either not shut off the internet at all, or get them to turn it back on. Caue this mess is their fault.

(That is...turn it back on until we find a new internet provider...)

Seriously. Comcast has a decent deal going on right now. If not Comcast, there's Cavalier, who also has a decent deal. Can't get Earthlink unless we want satellite service...which is $70/month...and insanely expensive to get installed. Like, hundreds of dollars.

So Jesse, Steph, Nicole and I have to figure out what service we want out of those two. Steph and Nicole are making not-so-subtle gestures about wanting cable...and me, I could care less right now. I just want internet in the house, and I don't want to deal with Verizon anymore.


Just talked to someone in the billing department. This parson I talked to, Miss Williams, was all kinds of nice and pleasant and stuff and said that the DSL has not been shut down, and there is no termination note on my account- anywhere, ever and if I just mail in what I owe for the curent service, I'll be fine. She didn't know anything about the past due fees, and didn't see anyhitng on the account about it and has no idea why I recieved a letter. She confirmed that it is not possible to pay the DSL bill at a Verizon Wireless store and that there are no notes on my account from Wednesday.

She did, however say that she was noting everything we discussed on my account and gave me a confirmation number. *Bangs head on wall* seems that our service is not in danger of being turned off right now.
badstar: (various gods)
So...I'm on an email list (several of them actually, but for now- one in particular) where I had mentioned the book I just posted a review for and also happened to make a comment that it drives me berserk to see words purposefully misspelled to make a point or further an agenda, examples in question: the misspelling of "woman": "womyn", "wimmin", and worst/cheesiest of all "wombyn" (Someone else suggested "we-moon", which made my eyes bleed).

...and of course I was admonished for saying such things because "some need it to determine their own empowerment" (actually accused of putting down people, which I never did). Sorry but I'd have to say that if someone *needs* purposeful misspellings and can't find their "empowerment" through more substantial means, there's a problem.

I agree that a LOT of gross injustices have been commeitted...and continue to be committed, and something needs to be done, but something this superficial is not going to help anyone. Call me crazy, but purposefully misspelling a word isn't going to provide anything besides perhaps a momentary "so there", you can't tell me that your status is being equalized because you spell it "womyn" or "herstory" and I hypothesize that it may be more detrimental than helpful because a lot of people just aren't going to take you seriously if you insist on misspelling a perfectly valid word. (Myself included)

(By the way, here's a bit of etymology:

A Dictionary Of Euphemisms And Other Doubletalk, by Hugh Rawson, has this (among other things) to say about the word "woman":

"Woman" itself has a curious history, which may be of some consolation to female readers, since it shows that they are not, linguistically at least, derivatives of the other sex. "Woman," superficial appearance to the contrary, does not come from "man," but from the Old English "wif-mann," where "wif" meant "female" and "mann" meant a human being of either sex. As late as 1752, the philosopher David Hume could use "man" in the original sense, when contending that "...there is in all men, both male and female, a desire and power of generation more active than is ever universally exerted." What happened as the language evolved, of course, was that males gradually arrogated the generic "mann" to themselves, while the old word for female, "wif," was diminished into wife, [...] Today, some men still insist that when they use "man" in such constructions as "The proper study of Mankind is Man," or "Man is a tool-making animal," they do not intend to imply that their sex is the superior, but they are fighting the tide of our time.)

The word "woman" does not opress women.

And hey...I wonder how many feminists actually know that the word "vagina" was a Latin word for "sword sheath"???
badstar: (thought)
I've come to a conclusion. Somewhere and with some individuals in the pagan world, an understanding of personal preference versus actual tradtion needs to be established.

Actualy, I came to that conclusion a long time ago. I've dropped bits and thoughts here and there, but now it has its own post.

So my subject is "Traditional Pagan Stuff". And by stuff, I mostly mean clothing. I was reading an article earlier about a couple's handfasting, where I saw this line: "...amid dozens of wellwishers in traditional pagan regalia."

And later, describing the clothing wore by the couple getting married, and the woman's son:

"a couture dress, which her mum helped to customise together with homemade "Weddington Boots" made from white wellies adorned with Swarovski crystals and lines of pearls.

Tony wore a pirate suit, as did Rebecca's five-year-old son Bracken

The story contains a picture, a rather smal one. As far as I can tell, "traditional pagan regalia" consists of SCA or Ren Faire garb.

You want a costume wedding with pirates and Ren Faire garb? Sounds like fun! If I were invited to such a wedding, I'd go in costume and have a blast. A pagan handfasting on top of that? Spiffy! "Traditional pagan"? Not so much, skippy.

At best, this sort of costuming is a replica of "traditional" of certain people from a certain time period in a certain region. In many cases, it's not an accurate replica. I'm not the historical costume nazi, so I'll leave that thought alone.

At worst, it's fun and fasntasy passed off as "history".

But back to "replica of "traditional" of certain people from a certain time period in a certain region"'s just that. Pagans did not have an exclusive hold on this type of clothing. In any given past time period, there was a certain style of fashionable dress. There was sometimes but not always fashion as segregated by religion (best examples offhand...I'm not sure if the Amish and Conservative Mennonite forms of dress today were in place in the past, and if so how different they dressed from others in the same geographical area. I' sure there are some better examples. In this, I'm speaking of the common layperson, not clergy or others of specifically religious vocation, like nuns and monks.) People were simply wearing what was in at the time. If they had been alive in this day and age, very likely the same people would run around in jeans, tshirts and Nikes. You don't see Christians getting laced into bodices like they're going to an SCA event for church. (I'm not comparing the two religions here, just saying...Christians in that time period dressed in that way too).

I have heard some people criticize those who feel the need to wear Ren Faire type clothing to pagan ritual as being ridiculous or making a mockery of the occasion. I'm not sure I go that far...and I've seen a ritual done where *everyone* was dressed in costume. It looked really cool. And far be it from me to criticize individualism, but I do have to ask if everyone else is wearing contemporary clothing...why? In the end though, it's your choice. If that's what you want and no one else in the ritual minds....okay.

I DO however question those who feel the *need* to forgo contemporary dress for ritual.

If it's because you think its "traditional" or "historically accurate? I refer you to the above statements, and I remind you that back in Ye Olde Dayes, those who practiced "Ye Olde Religion" (And by Ye Olde Religion", I don't mean Wicca) wore what was contemporary for their time. I would also ask, if it's "historical" or "traditional" why on earth you're dressed up like the 1400s to honor the gods of ancient Greece or Rome. If you're so concerned with historical accuracy, go put on a toga. And while we're at it...most people in the Renaissance times, at least publically were Christian.

A non-clothing concern is with "stuff". My best example (The only one offhand that I can easily reference, unfortunately I don't have a copy of the book to cite a page number) is from Deborah Lipp's Elements Of Ritual: Earth Air Fire And Water in the Wiccan Circle. In this book, Lipp tells us that we shoud not use glass dishes in ritual...they are "too modern".

Glass! Glass has been around for oh geez...a really long time. They had glass in Rome. they had glass before that. Hell, obsidian- which comes from volcanoes is a NATURALLY-MADE FORM OF GLASS. According to Wikipedia, glass blowing originated in the first centurey BC. Glass is old. Really really old.

My point? Don't tout your personal preference as "traditional" or "historical" unless it actually is. And don't say that a substance thats been around for gillions of years is "too modern". If you don't like the dish...just don't use it. If you think the particular style of a specific piece is "too modern" by all means, style can be too modern, too ancient, too quiet, too loud. But those are subjective and not to be imposed on others. Myself, I really like glass.

(Here's a link to another op-ed piece regarding the Ren Faire garb thing...
Medieval Clothing And Wiccan Ritual In This Day And Age)

crossposting this on my own journal and a couple of communities.
badstar: (Default)
Damn. I lied. Or am still refusing to admit to myself. Maybe both. I don't know.

Becca asked me a question (scroll back a couple of posts) about what sort of wedding I would want to have.

That's usually the sort of question I find a way to change the subject on really quickly his time I didn't. And then Rob and Suzy are getting married (Congratualations you two!!!), and then another friend was just talking about how he's thinking of proposing to his girlfriend. And I'm so happy for these other people.

And I just reaized that the last time I've felt the way I do right now was was back at Christmas when my sister got engaged. (Not to say that this sort of issue has ALWAYS been what caused me to feel like this, but it's what's on my mind now.)

Am I jealous of people? I can't honestly say more than "I don't know"

I know that it does bother me that I'm 27 and have never met anyone that I would consider being in a really serious relationship with. Which, I guess, is just adult speak for "I've never had a boyfriend", but saying that is really junior-highish. And desperate-sounding.

It's not pathetic or desperate or at all bad to say "Gee I would like to meet someone that I could share my time and interests with, and maybe someday fall in love with them. Or not."

But somehow, when a statement like that comes from my mind, it's wrong.

Haven't I done enough proving to myself that I don't *need* anyone? What I *want* is a possibility.

Am I being too picky? Or, is some little part in my mind just dismissing everyone I meet saying "You don't *need* that. You're okay by yourself." I just can't get over the memories of all the giggly junior high and high school girls and "I want a boyfriend." and "Oh my god, you're not going out with anyone" in like...6th and 7th grade. Where yeah....the guy two rows over in history sure was cute but "Oh no I'm 13 and I don't have a boyfriend. Gee, I think i'll get over it."

I don't know. Just writing this, I want to delete it because I'm making these thoughts known. If you've been reading my journal for any length of time, you may have noticed that I may post that so and so is hot, cute otherwise goodlooking, or flirting with someone. Which never goes anywhere. And the extremely occasional first date which just...goes nowhere. Outside of that....I never think or talk about the future in terms of there possibily being someone else there. It's *me*, or *I*. There's never even a hypothetical *if*

I don't think that's what I want. But I don't know. And like I said, I have yet to meet anyone that I would even think of that sort of possibility with.

badstar: (taunt you)
Me: ok...this elements of ritual book...interesting, good pracical advice, but damn, she's a little too picky about some things

Mea: hwoso?

Me: athames are black-handled. never wear a watch during ritual, it's inappropriate because time doesn't exists...don't use glass dishes, they're too modern

Mea: screw her!

Me: i dunno about you, but i know plenty of people withathames that are something other than black

Mea: yup

Me: and the whole glass dish thing??? WTF is wrong with modernity??? i's what we are. what is so wrong wit contemporary? it's the same issue i take with people who insist on wearing en faire garb to every ritual

er, ren raire

bah, i can't type. i give up

Mea: its all good

Me: it just...arg, it annoys me to no end

Mea: me too

Me: do people think the gods are so offended by glass? and contemporary clothing?

Me: yes

Me:personally, i really dig glass. and glass has been around forever.

Mea: Isis will smite me if I don't wear my Moresca Bodice and use my black athame

and remove my hello kitty watch

Me: it's not a modern thing

what does Bast think of hello kitty?

Mea: that's a good question

postd to LJ

Me: hehehe

if you're going egyptian, is it really appropriate to wear a european-style bodice?

(more about the book mentioned later when i finish reading it)
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Yes. Let's replace some non-religious books in public school libraries with specifically-religious books. It's one thing to put another series of books on the shelves next to each other. It's a completely different thing to have one replace another. No. No. No.

I'd rather not have the Left Behind books in public school libraries...but I wouldn't insist that they'd be banned any sooner than I'd call for banning books like Susan Cooper's Dark Is Rising Books. Or Harry Potter. They're all fiction.

“Maybe parents should be parents and read the book first,” Davis said. “If they find it fun, exciting and adventurous, like thousands of people across the world, then they should allow their children to read it, in school or out.”
Mallory said she has been contacted by other Christian parents who were concerned about the content of the books. On her complaint form, she suggested they be replaced by C.S. Lewis’s “Chronicles of Narnia” series or Tim LaHaye’s “Left Behind: the Kids” series.
She admitted that she has not read the book series partially because “they’re really very long and I have four kids.”
“I’ve put a lot of work into what I’ve studied and read. I think it would be hypocritical for me to read all the books, honestly. I don’t agree with what’s in them. I don’t have to read an entire pornographic magazine to know it’s obscene,” Mallory said.
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Reading this story- safe for work. )got me thinking...again.

The ACLU. Does anyone think that sometimes maybe they really go too far? Like about a year and a half ago, they went and threatened to sue a city in CA (forget which city...yes, i'm being lazy at the moment) to remove an image of a mission building with a cross on top from the city's seal claiming it was a matter of Separation of Church and State. As I recall, it wasn't an issue that anyone had ever complained about. And an image of the Roman goddess Pomona stayed where she was, also on the seal. The city voluntarily changed the design rather than have a lawsuit. The mission building was a reference to some of the local history. But if the mission building with the cross had to go, why was the Roman goddess okay?

It seems that everywhere you turn around, the ACLU is suing someone over something. Now the article that I cut into this post has a lot of its facts insanely wrong. The Darla Wynne case was brought about because the town of Great Falls, SC would not allow opening prayer for town council meetings from anyone of a "minority religion", and they were quite insistent on praying in the name of Jesus. This particular resident wanted to offer another, general prayer but was denied on the basis of being "of a minority religion". There was one point in time where she was making a presentation or speaking at one of the meetinsgs...something like that...where she said she objected to the prayer...she was told to stand outside until the prayer was over...she did and then was not allowed to make the presentation because she was not in the room when the prayer was given and the meeting was opened. She sued, she won and the city appealed to higher courts.

This is the sort of thing that needs to be fought.

But little things...a city's seal with images that reference history? If nothing else, it's a ridiculously frivolous waste of taxpayers dollars for all of the instances in which the city would need to change their seal. ( thanks to the magic that is Wikipedia..the city is Redlands, CA. They also did the same to Los Angeles County. The Wikipedia article on the ACLU is quite informative.)

I really do wonder sometimes if they don't have people purposely looking for stuff to sue over as the article cut in above alleges.

So yeah...down with frivolous lawsuits. And while my personal opinion is that the writer of the above article is smoking some Really Good Crack (TM), he gives a point or two to think about.
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But hey, there's an empty soapbox and hey, I got a thing or two to say that doesn't seem to get addressed very much otherwise.

edit: I wrote this on a lunch break. It is imperfect, it is flawed. It in no way constitutes my entire body of thought on the matter. There may be some less than perfectly coherent spots. Some specific aspects of the issue I haven't addressed. If anyhting I say doesn't make sense to you or seems incomplete, please feel free to ask me to clarify or give more complete thought.

With all this talk about abortions being banned....why does not one even bother to discuss the prevention of getting pregnant in the first place? It seems like no one wants to even discuss what causes and prevents pregnancy to begin with

(Please note: the following does not in any way have anyhting to do with cases of rape, incest, life in danger, baby going to be born massively incapacitated, etc...I am talking about girls/women getting pregant and just...not wanting a baby. But please, do read everything before you bitch me out for not being 100% gung-ho abortions for all on demand all the time all the way.)

Birth control folks! No it's not 100% but damned if it doesn't decrease your chances of getting pregnant significantly. And you know what? If you use multiple cuts those remaining chances! The pill and a condom. Topical spermicide. Diaphragm. Whatever. There are options. If something forgot the pill, the condom breaks...whatever...go to your doctor. Get the fricken morning after pill. (Yes, I know about issues with its availability in certain areas, not everyon has the money for it, etc. That's another rant for another time. My lunch break is only so long.) but do something. don't have sex without at LEAST one form of birth control. guys, wear a condom. Every time. Girls, pick your method.

Oh yeah and there's the other one, the one that always works. Don't have sex. People seem to lose sight of the fact that one of the primary functions of sex is...drumroll please...TO MAKE BABIES. So yeah, There's always that risk that the mission will be accomplished. If you can't or are not willing to take the risks...give it some serious thought before you go home with that hot guy from the club and drop trou. Girls, you HAVE the final say, you HAVE control over your bodies. If someone forces you to have's a crime.

Abstinence-only sex ed has got to be one of the most irresponsible ideas I've ever heard of. No matter what you tell them, threaten them with facts, statistics, risks's gonna happen. If people are going to do what people are going to do, lets make sure the right information on how to effectively minimize pregnancy and disease gets out. Preach abstinence all you want in schools- I have no problem with that as long as it's fact based (i.e. "Abstinence WILL keep you from getting pregnant." not "Having sex before marriage is evil so don't have sex.") Emphasize it all you want, but give the correct information on risk reduction. It's not safe sex. It is safer but nothing is absolutely foolproof. ('Cept abstinence, y'know?)

And abortion is not a means of birth control. Well, okay if you want to argue literalisms it is. But it should not be used along the lines of condoms and the pill.

I have mixed thoughts on abortion in general. Yes, it is killing a living being. I'm not arguing that it can survive independently, or does life begin at conception or birth...but you cannot refute that the baby is *alive* What I think needs to be done as some people put it, make it safe and RARE. Reduce the number of unwanted/unplanned pregnancies before they happen...take some "control over your body" already.
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My apologies for not saying this earlier...but it's probably Not Safe For Work...I got away with it in my offce, but they're pretty loose about what we do on lunch.

A nude Britney Spears on a bearskin rug while giving birth to her firstborn marks a ‘first’ for Pro-Life. Pop-star Britney Spears is the “ideal” model for Pro-Life and the subject of a dedication at Capla Kesting Fine Art in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg gallery district, in what is proclaimed the first Pro-Life monument to birth, in April.

Dedication of the life-sized statue celebrates the recent birth of Spears’ baby boy, Sean, and applauds her decision of placing family before career. “A superstar at Britney’s young age having a child is rare in today’s celebrity culture. This dedication honors Britney for the rarity of her choice and bravery of her decision,” said gallery co-director, Lincoln Capla. The dedication includes materials provided by Manhattan Right To Life Committee.

“Monument to Pro-Life: The Birth of Sean Preston,” believed Pro-Life’s first monument to the ‘act of giving birth,’ is purportedly an idealized depiction of Britney in delivery. Natural aspects of Spears’ pregnancy, like lactiferous breasts and protruding naval, compliment a posterior view that depicts widened hips for birthing and reveals the crowning of baby Sean’s head.

The monument also acknowledges the pop-diva’s pin-up past by showing Spears seductively posed on all fours atop a bearskin rug with back arched, pelvis thrust upward, as she clutches the bear’s ears with ‘water-retentive’ hands.

“Britney provides inspiration for those struggling with the ‘right choice’,” said artist Daniel Edwards, recipient of a 2005 Bartlebooth award from London’s The Art Newspaper. “She was number one with Google last year, with good reason --- people are inspired by the beauty of a pregnant woman,” said Edwards.

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So I really hate to see it when people don't have enough money for food, clothes, rent etc...especially when they have kids. On Sunday coming back from the Grove with Jesse and steph, I saw a woman standing on Northern Parkway wth a sign asking for money to buy food for her kids. She had two kids there, playing at her feet. It didn't occur to me until we were pulling through the intersection that I could have asked Jesse to pull over (nevermind that there was a couple of lanes between us and the side of the road and a LOT of traffic)...I had a huge container of soup and about a third of an apple pie left over from Ostara and some granola bars in my backpack...I'd have given her the food. I have no idea if they had dinner that night. It's heartbreaking. I wish there was somerthing more that I could do, but at the moment, things are a little tight for me. But is it enough to donate canned goods to a food pantry? I guess not because..well, it helps someone in the moment, but does it get them OUT of the situation? for some, it's a short-term thing...they lost their job, they find a new one and they can pick theirself up, dust off and move on. but for so many, it's obviously not. For so many reasons. And what DO you do for the peole who don't want to get out of it, who ONLY want to rely on others? I think people have some responsibility to help each other, but I also think they have a greater responsibility to help themselves. When does enough become enough, when should people HAVE to take some active role in being responsibe for their own well being?

I'm not familiar with the welfare system and I'm not exactly a lawmaker or anyhting like that...But wouldn't it make sense to require everyone on welfare to also be in some sort of job training program, or something like that so that while they're being helped, they're also being given the ability to become independent eventually? Maybe something where they could turn around and work in the same system to help people who are in the same situation they once were? Like, okay, we're going to hlp you out here, and we're going to teach you...I dunno, office skills...the stuff you need to know that once you've completed this program, we'll give you a job and you'll work for a certain amount of time with us helping people who are in the same situation that you were, and then after a time, we'll help you find a job elsewhere. I don't just makes some sense to me set up a welfare system to get people out of it and help them became capable of supporting themselves and their families....No I don't know how such a thing would be implimented. Yeah, it would be a huge overhaul and it would cost more money in the beginning...But in the long run, it could be getting people off of welfare and able to support themseves and give back to the community.

(side note...i'm not referring to people who are not able to work due to whatever health roblems, disabilities, etc)

On a slightly different note on a similar's really starting to creep me out that I can't buy an MTA pass at a machine half the time without someone standing there, begging for change and saying things like "You can't tell me you don't have any cause I just watched you buy a ticket and get change from the machine."

Also, there's this lady that pops up every now and then down at Charles and Preston by the Wachovia ATM. She waits for people to get money from the ATM and then begs from them. The same story every time. She and her kids are getting evicted from their house today and need cab money to get to a shelter in (Insert the farthest-away part of the city you can think of). It's usually during the day, lots of people around. I've seen her at night too. I've also seen an occasional man (different ones) doing the same thing- though usually at night. That ATM is just around the corner from my house..but I never use it's really pretty creepy and I don't want to have to worry about getting mugged. Most of the time, I use the ATM at the train station, even though it's not my bank..because no one's going to stand there and watch me take money from the machine, and there are Amtrak police officers thirty feet away and usually at least one B'more cop wandering around.

Last night, I hoped off the 19 after taking the bus back from picking up my coat at the Grove, and as soon as I crossed the street, a man came up to me asking for directions to somewhere in Fells Point. I told him how to get in the general direction of Fells Point, but that I didn't know how to get to the exact place he was going to. Then he asks for money to take the bus. I didn't have money on me and I said as much. I was arrying my day pass, which I was finished using, but was still good for several more hours. I offered that to him. He said no, he didn't want to take my pass. Could I give him money? I said again that I didn't have any on me, but I was finished with the pass, if he needed to get somewhere, he could use that. So he took it and I started to walk away. This was right next to the Rite Aid by the State Center...I was walking dowen the sidewalk and he asked as I was walking away, if when I came out of the store if I would have any change then so he could get something to eat (nevermind that he was carrying a bag through which I could clearly see two fotlong subs, two bottles of soda, and he was eating chips by the handful). I told him I wasn't going to the store, wished him good luck and walked away. A police officer that had been sitting nearby the entire time asked me if the guy had threatened me or anything...he hadn't, he was quite polite...but well...what the hell do you do? If the officer hadn't been there I probably would have just kept walking when the guy refused the pass to begin with. I mean...I'm concerned about people and all...but I'm not going to endanger myself.

and sometimes people lie... )

Like I said, its heartbreaking...but what do you do about people that just want to languish in the system...or that lie? And some people are getting more and more aggressive or creepy in their begging tactics...
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What she's trying to say is good. But its that whole magical/magickal spelling thing. "Magical" is silly childhood fantasy. Not a perfectly valid spelling of a word.

“Magical thinking” is a psychological term that characterizes a certain stage of our childhood development (around the late preschool age) during which we believe we have control over our environment.


That to combat the temptation of magical thinking, we must move toward the practice of magickal living.
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"Boys and girls," Ham said. If a teacher so much as mentions evolution, or the Big Bang, or an era when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, "you put your hand up and you say, 'Excuse me, were you there?' Can you remember that?"


With pulpit-thumping passion, Ham insists the Bible be taken literally: God created the universe and all its creatures in six 24-hour days, roughly 6,000 years ago.

He shows his audiences a graphic that places the theory of evolution at the root of all social ills: abortion, divorce, racism, gay marriage, store clerks who say "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas."

This is a little disturbing. I think there's a lot more at the "root of all social ills" than theory of evolution (I also differ in my list of social ills but that's not the point)
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Pat Robertson just doesn't give up.

Robertson: Stroke Was God's Wrath

NORFOLK, Va. — Christian broadcaster Pat Robertson suggested Thursday that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's stroke was divine punishment for "dividing God's land."

no registration to read the article.

Now let me preface this with a statement: I do NOT know enough about Ariel Sharon, or the Palestinian/Israeli situation to have any sort of opinion on the subject. I am not speaking about those issues.

Pat Robertson is a Royal Whackjob. The article states that Robertson calls Sharon a "good friend" this what one says when a friend is in a serious medical condition..."Oh, well it's God's punishment to you for your wrongdoings..."

Let's assasinate this world leader, oh here's another one being punished cause they're doing things that go against the Holy Book of my religion...

I need to sleep.
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"I'm transferring the internet onto my computer."

"I hate to perseverate but..."

"4- uh, let me start over...4- uh that's not right...4- yeah that's it."

Fuego: "Have you called before?" Idiot: "Well, I travel back and forth between here and Chicago a lot so..."

"There is not enough volume for this destination you settled" (Supposedly reading straight from an error message onscreen)

People say this stuff to me.

While I'm here...anyone got some insight as to why I ask specifically for a first name and people feel the need to give and spell out Bob, b-o-b Smith, S-m-i-t-h? But they always stop after Bob, like they've answered my question appropriately, but as soon as I start with "Okay, and may I have your phone number?", right at about the word "may", they need to spell it, and then they do so REALLY rapidly and without breathing continue onto "Smith" and it's spelling? And get all huffy like I've interrrupted them. At one point, I started putting a bit of empasis on the word "first", which has reduced this a little bit. Oh, and when women catch themselves doing this, they ALWAYS finish, giggle maniacally and say "You said first. My first name is Cindy"

One day last week, I had a guy completely blow his stack because I asked for his first name but not last. (I usually don't NEED the last name.

Or feel the need to spit out 5 phone numbers at the same time "my number is 555-1212 but if that doesn't work try 555-1213 or 556-1234 or 555-4321" And then if I ask them to hold on a second because takes a minute to search for a single number...they get all huffy.

Endlessly annoying as this is (Far more information that I've asked for...I ask for information a I need it. Plus it interrupts my train of thought.), my point is NOT (entirely) to bitch.

Seriously. Is this people being impatient with me? Is this some sort of social conditioning...these are not random occasional things, it's a no-fewer-than-75-80%-of-my-calls thing.

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"There's three belief systems in this world. There's Jewish, there's Christian and there's Muslimism."

Muslimism. I'm reasonably sure that I did not misunderstand the person.
Oh, and 3 belief systems?

SO wanting to give a little education...But it's someone I don't know. I don't know how they'd react. This is my place of work. And I really don't feel like dealing with it right now.

Besides...he said "Muslimism" What does that tell you?



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July 2013



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