Monday, October 15, 2007

(Approaches the blogosphere, like Bill Hicks with a third eye squeegied clean, eyes burning with conviction and comedy, imaginary cigarette between fingers--it's good for gesturing and punctuation!)

Al Gore won the Nobel Peace Prize, Stephen Colbert was on Larry King this weekend, and I got up before noon this morning. I looked at myself in the mirror and said, "Hey, I'm a witch, damn it!"

You see, I decided something, folks. All of this depression and life circumstances stuff is gonna leave. I'm gonna use everything. All of my knowledge, my Silver Ravenwolf books, my Tarot cards, my pantheistic gods, my relationship to the angelic intelligences, is gonna be brought to bear on this problem.

I am gonna develop my own techniques, meditational formulas, etc. And I will win.

How much do we love me right now, guys?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

I Need to Come Back to the Bosom of Blogging...

So let's see, just try to put the facts down...

September started with the death of my cat, who was about 18 years old. He was basically the last pet we will have in this house. Things are (very) slowly winding down here, my mom wants my dad to take his junk and move upstate--she's been talking to us about it for about six months, and I guess after he has his hip operation he will be going.

The backdrop all this is against seems to be my dad's failing health, a combination of all those years of not taking care of himself catching up and him just wanting attention. At one point he was wanting to go to the hospital in the middle of the night a lot--because of my vision I don't drive, but I went with him.

So he's pretty much had mobility problems the past year, I wait on him the best I can, fix him food and such. But I really can't stand being around him, and of course, he doesn't like being alone. He whines and wants me to watch tv with him, when I do it, he doesn't shut up. He's always been one of these people that has something to say about every minute detail that goes on around him, the way someone shuts a door, a look on someone's face when they're eating. It's abusive, and I hate it.

So the cat dies, and we bury it in the back yard. I am sad but he is beside himself--I can't fault him, but it sort of adds to the drama. During this period, late August into early September, our plumbing slowly grinds to a complete halt--I mean, every plumbing fixture in the house. And backs up.

About 48 hours after the cat, approximately 4 hours after Luciano Pavarotti passes, my Uncle Doug, (Dad's younger brother) passes. My uncle was the type who would appreciate the irony of being greeted on the Road to the Great Hereafter by the world's greatest tenor, and a yellow tabby cat, amongst others.

So naturally my dad is inconsolable. He had been to the hospital a while before this, now he goes the night before the funeral, over a restless leg situation. He thought he was gonna die over restless leg. And I feel sorry for him, but...

He almost doesn't want to go to the funeral, and who really wants to bury a younger sibling? But we go, and it is nice, and we see a lot of relatives and friends.

My other uncle and his wife are also both having serious health issues, as is Doug's wife, who I sit and have a really nice talk to, like we always used to do over the years. When she leaves the party, and has to be carried out by the able young men, as she's wheelchairbound, she says to me, "I 'm so glad that we had a chance to talk, I was wondering to myself if I'd ever get a chance to talk with my little niece in this life again." This was pretty much the only time I felt choked up over this whole period. I wouldn't have missed the chance, Barbara.

I see my mom there too--that night she will go to the hospital, from pneumonia. She is ok now. But at that time I have a general feeling of "WTF is next?"

A few mornings later, I hit upon a perfect magickal incantation--I take a few deep breaths, and I say, "There is nowhere to go, but up." This is much better than that Law of Attraction stuff, because it places responsibility on you as the goer.-- "I am the Magician and the Exorcist. I am the axle of the wheel, and the cube in the circle. “Come unto me” is a foolish word: for it is I that go."--BOTL 2:7

That very day, we find just the right plumber to come out, who fixes everything, and I get a call for a job interview, the first of a few that I've been on lately.

So, things are ok, but I feel a little battle fatigued I guess. I am looking forward to a good Samhain.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Losing a Good Journal Entry

I was trying to post one of my "I don't blog often enough, so might as well make this a big 'en" , kind of entries, and I had to press a wrong button and lose everything!!! I don't know anymore, cuz folks, lemme tell ya, I've had a month, complete with deaths in the family, hospital trips (not for me, and the folks are all right, but, you know how it is.)

It was a beautiful entry. I'll try to recreate it later, but losing it was the cherry on the shit sundae that was my September.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Atheism: It's What's for Dinner!

Even though I'm a pagan who can't deny their connection to Spirit, or Deity, or whatever one might want to call it, I have an affinity for atheism. I guess I just like the whole freethinking idea, and the rational thought process that many atheists insist upon. I know that I really like the part about speaking out against the rabid evangelical right-wing's agenda to frame the United States as an all-one-way theocracy.

Imagine the pleasant surprise I had this evening while watching the news. ABC news deserves a lot of credit, they actually did two different stories on atheism, although not very long, the reporters both seemed to be hitting the devil's advocate button pretty hard against the atheists, but on the whole, commendable that they even gave the topic the amount of airtime they did.

Atheists Battle Against Religion

The Blasphemy Challenge

The second story deals with the Blasphemy Challenge, something I have seen on YouTube, which has a very thriving atheist community on it--in fact, you could probably say that if it hadn't been for YT's atheist contingent, there may not have been enough interest in the topic to warrent ABC doing the news stories.

A good example of a YouTuber atheist is Nick Gisburne, who was actually banned from the site, but his videos keep being uploaded by his fans. He's basically just an English bloke, thinking out loud about atheism issues.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

I really don't know.

You see, "niceness" is kind of a nonentity. It is the quality of nothing, it's really a meaningless word, and hence is devalued by many.

I'm fresh off a, I wouldn't call it a fight, so much as the other person just really showing what an ass they were by being all smug and Libertarian and anti-Al Gore. Anyone that knows how much I loved the Clinton/Gore years knows that's a dealbreaker for me (this is meant to be a little humorous, but I do tend to get really worked up over politics.)

And of course, it was that person's blog, and he can blog in any way he feels like blogging, and if I don't like it I don't have to read it, and I was the one who asked to be on his f-list, etc. True enough, no real harm, no real foul, but just the same I removed myself from everything of his I'm on.

Then I went over to a completely unconnected person's Myspace blog and read this:

Niceness. You know what I'm talking about. It's the marzipan on your otherwise groovy and negative day. Tragically, there's no known cure for niceness, so all we can do is work with nice people, and pray to God they don't bring around a casserole when we're down.

I've tried being nice. It makes me feel like an asshole. My body produces more bile than I use, and you have to listen to your body- right, nice people?

Don't get me started on good people. Those fuckers will turn on you in a hearbeat. At least nice people will make an effort.

I guess I can work with nice people, but good people can fuck right off. Good people have all the answers- to them, life is simple. So let's work- albeit begrudgingly- with the nice people. Before the good people fuck-up this planet.

And I thought to myself: What the hell is the object behind being a smuggy smuggerson? What is this need for superiority? Certainly, one can get into trouble by being too Pollyanna-ish and nice, and I enjoy a good snark as much as the next guy, but one can really fall into a trap thinking one is all cool and way smarter than everybody else.

If it makes you a bully, there is always someone cooler and way smarter than you to take you down a peg. Always.

One of the things I enjoy doing is snarking at the snarkers. Some of my pagan friends might think this is funny, I caught one of the dot bunnyhunt people sniping nastily at someone who happened to mention in passing that they were a pagan--this was on a "completely unrelated-to-paganism-in-any-way" community, mind you, and they just opened up and fired a blast of vitriol at her--probably didn't know her from adam kadmon, but felt quite comfortable and unembarrassed about making a complete ass out of themselves.

I snuck over and looked at his LJ--of course, there was some noodley pontification about being a pagan elder and whether or not to be one, and what makes a good one. There are some people that are old enough to know better than to act so immaturely, but age does not always bring that level of common sense.

I don't necessarily want to pick fights with these bunnyhunt people either, but just as a point of information: they aren't just keeping to the pagan forums, they'll be harrassing anyone with a pentagram icon thing can be deduced from this: they mean to have LJ all to themselves!

(This last should be spoken in the voice of the penultimate sentence in the Monty Python episode about the massive proliferation of giant blancmanges: "They mean to win Wimbledon!")

This is Hermgirl, suffering Nice Fatigue,
Over and Out

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Thanks, I'll be here all week. Remember to tip the waitstaff...

You Should Be a Joke Writer

You're totally hilarious, and you can find the humor in any situation.
Whether you're spouting off zingers, comebacks, or jokes about life...
You usually can keep a crowd laughing, and you have plenty of material.
You have the makings of a great comedian - or comedic writer.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Welcome to the Brain-Drain

Or:  Worst Frickin' President EVER!

Which are the four words my dad and I use when we sit in the front room and watch the news together.

Seriously, I think they all need to go, his cronies, all of them...I know I have a tendency to get incoherently ranty when discussing the Bush administration.  This particular  pile of crap needs to be hurled at Alberto Gonzales, I think.

  alerted me to this particular news item, which deals with the psychological torture of people that wind up as inmates of our military prisons.  Apparently, they are pulling pages directly out of the MK-ULTRA playbook.

I've written a little bit about this topic before, but basically what MK-ULTRA was was a CIA program in the 1950's that utilized shock treatment and LSD to perform mind control experiments.  There are theories that Lee Harvey Oswald and Sirhan Sirhan were both products of this.

Having been under psychiatric outpatient care at one point in my life, this is the kind of thing I can see myself getting very paranoid about.

What is very scary to me is that our military seems to be intent on learning as much about the effects of psychological torture as it can (and make no mistake, all of these stories about Abu Ghraib and Gitmo aren't stuff that just happened without rhyme or reason, there's a method to this madness) , possibly in the efforts to create some kind of master race of killing machine soldiers.  The kind of techniques that are talked about in the Alternet article result in ego destruction, a complete separation of a person from their very motivations, from what makes them who they are.

As Lupa talked about elsewhere, there is a healthy way of working with one's ego, of removing what doesn't work (or allowing it to be removed), of moving the mental furniture around, so to speak.  Those of us who do meditation and study metaphysics know that this kind of work can be painful but necessary.

I can only wonder what will happen if the next president is another friend of the Bush Crime Family...

Sunday, February 11, 2007

It is perhaps a miscarriage of blogging justice that I haven't talked about or linked to this guy.

And I say this partly because I want to talk a little bit about one of the things I was doing with myself those three months I was away from LJ.  I became addicted to YouTube. 

I started looking at it, to find really cool Genesis videos from the seventies (this one includes Peter Gabriel as King Canute--which sort of pings me in a strong way, don't know why.) 

But then I started finding the vloggers--people who do a blog on video.  I found a couple that I would say were the best on YouTube, very well done, nicely edited work by these folks, like film makers some were.

But this Sean Bedlam guy, he came on the scene with nothing but a cell phone camera, and his own awesomeness.  And his raw talent is bigger than all of YouTube.  I am not kidding when I say this guy is going to be a star of the first order someday, doing standup comedy--I sometimes like to try to predict what the next big thing is, and my Spidey senses are tingling on this.

An example of his genius.

Here's what he did when a couple of nimrods left nasty messages on his page.

When I fully grasped the level of this man's talent and genius, after picking myself up off the floor, I did what to my mind seemed the only logical thing to do, I sent him a message asking him to marry me (!--I know, but that's the way my mind operates.)

He, being of stout character and sound mind, sent a message back that said "Nooo...we can be friends."  I could practically see him, looking at me sideways out of the corner of his eye, with a kind of squinty, "What's her deal?" kind of look.

Anywho, he continued to rock YT, and then someone even stranger than me (but with the added punch of having a shitload of $$$ at their disposal) actually contacted him and somehow got him to believe they were a movie producer, and that they had a movie they wanted him to be in. 

To make things more amazingly weird, he took them up on their offer to fly him from his home in Australia, to their home in Fresno, California.  After a while, it became evident to him and his girlfriend that there was no movie, there was no script, and they were holed up in the pool cabana of a seriously insane bitch lady.

I told him he and his gf were very lucky that they didn't wind up floating face down in the pool, like William Holden did in Sunset Blvd.

In a bizarre way, I think the experience was actually very good for him.  He managed to get away from the weird lady, and then he saw the US up close, with our poor, homeless people (as an SF Bay Area native, the homeless situation doesn't even register with me any more--his reaction to seeing it up close made me embarrassed to be so desensitized), with our soccer moms with their suv's full of screaming brats, with our crazy bitches with money they made from foreclosures...

And he's smart enough to realize that he can use this as fodder for  his  future comedy.  He's an Aussie with a  lysergically  snarky  attitude, and a well developed  hatred for the USA.  This man is the Next Bill Hicks. 

I had to stop looking at his videos so much and reading his myspace blog, because I got all uncool and stalker-y with him.  I'm hoping the amount of people I send to look at his stuff might make up for that.

Anyway, there I was, in YouTubia, and I started thinking, "Why don't I get one of those cameras and make my own vids?"  Sadly, this was a dumb idea, I wound up taking five hours to edit a nine minute video that, because of the setting I recorded it on (and there are like, three different things with 25 different settings on them, and you have to get a combination of just the right three--it was hopeless!)  came out completely messed up.

So I decided I made a better blogger than a vlogger.  It pretty much ended when I saw someone else make a "farewell" video, explaining that he was leaving because he hadn't done anything, no work or anything, for three months because he had become addicted to YT.  I realized I was in danger of that myself.

One more thing about the Sean Bedlam guy.  That last video I linked to up there?  Which I think you should all go look at, even though it was anti-American, but in a cool way.  There was  an equally cool  "American  response " kind of video,  that  is  a perfect  compliment to the first one, and I think everyone should see both of them, seriously.  Don't make me come over there. 

There was a comment on the response video, where someone said,

"So you're the American, what are YOU doing?", and rather than get misinterpreted and start a fight on there I thought I'd answer the commentor here: 

"He's offering motivation and moral support to us other Americans who also think things are fucked up with our government and that the Office of the Presidency needs a major ream job to eject a stubborn Turd.

Not a lot we can do, besides get pissed, protest, vote, and air our opinions in an interesting and artistic way, as this guy has done. "
I had a couple more things to say, but I've waxed on long enough for one entry.

Friday, February 02, 2007

I just LOVE Harry Potter!!!

Oh, the Christian moms won't like this one bit!

That was Daniel Radcliffe in a promo from his new theater gig.

And, Jarvis Cocker, doing an old Hawkwind song that always makes me wanna put on a cowboy hat and shake my moneymaker all night.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Dear Change This Guys:

I get it, you want to have links to essays on pdf files that work like PowerPoint presentations.  One of the "Elements of Style" type things that I learned about PPoint is that it is best when you only have a couple of sentences per slide.

In trying to use your site, I discovered the reason for this:  having a whole bunch of paragraphs on one slide makes things unreadable.  I can't read tiny print, I have to resize everything I look at on the web.  The zoom function on these pages creates a situation where I can't scroll down, or click to the next slide, or anything like that.

It seems to me, you have a big usability problem here.  This is not the first time I have come to your site, lured by someone's glowing recommendation of one of these "manifestoes", and been totally frustrated.

Is having a cute little "technology fest" with the pdf files worth more than having a readership?  I wonder.  Change This?  Change This!!!

Just a thought,


Saturday, January 13, 2007

"...It's in the caaan!"

Peter Murphy and Co. inventing Vampire Chic.

"Dialog dub.  Now here's the rub:  she's acting her reactions."

Edit:  Ok, it's like fricking cold now.  It was nice today when I walked the dogs, but all of a sudden, brrr.  Thankfully, last night I bought an electric blanket.  I am probably gonna sit in bed with a bunch of books tonight, starting at like 5:30, just so I can have my blankie on.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Book Distributing Takes a Pounding

So, a big distributor is running itself like Enron, eh?

Rather reminds me of when I was working at SuperCrown, where I would probably be working to this day if they hadn’t gone under in 2000.

One of my bosses there told me that they had gone bankrupt seven or eight times, and that this time the company was going on the auction block. It took about a year after the initial announcement for the company to slowly slide into the dumper. It was sad.

The story went that the reason they ran out of money was that the father and son that owned it kept suing each other. There was never any real journalistic investigation into this—every so often I google “SuperCrown”, to see if some business pundit has done some kind of analysis of what went wrong, but apparently everyone was too busy paying attention to the Elián González story to worry about the problems of a bookstore chain, and it got lumped in with a few other businesses that were tanking at the time. People lost their jobs, short shrift was paid.

But the more I think of it, it's not hard to believe that SuperCrown could have been doing some Enron-style wheeling and dealing. Lord knows there were enough corrupt store managers and supervisors that stole from the store after they counted the money at the end of the night. There were two who did it during the two and a half years I worked there, and I could see how the way things were done could make this a company-wide epidemic--very poor security measures, promoting people that may not have been mature enough to take on the responsibilities of management.

One of them was absolutely flamboyant about it, he waited until the Christmas season, when there would have been a huge amount of business for the store. On the evening when the coffers swelled to about $4000, he counted up the cash, stuck it in his backpack, and skateboarded off into the night.

Over this past Xmas, I went over to Barnes & Noble (I had to, two people had given me gift cards) and caught up with one of my old SuperCrown buddies, who has managed to become the head of the children's department there. When this particular B&N opened, I managed to get a job helping open it--the bastards broke my heart by dropping me after three days. Anyway, my friend and another person that works there that I know from working with them at Carl's Jr, want me to apply, so I'm going to gear up to go get a job there around March to get a jump on the summer hiring season. This time I want them to hang on to me. It's not that I don't enjoy my four-legged charges, it's just that I get tired of picking up dog poo.

I'm starting to think that reading is rapidly becoming the domain of the well to do (not if people like me--and I'm sure, like you as well, can help it, though). But think about it: People that are too poor not to work two jobs don't really have time to read, and are usually so tired they flop down in front of a reality show before they read a book. And going to the big chain stores, you don't see a lot of books from those smaller publishers--just a lot of prepackaged "For Dummies" type of drek. And hardback books are jumping in price--it's not unheard of to see them for around forty bucks now.

I'm happy that I have a lot of literate (and literary) friends. I hope that the next time you get a jones for some books, you'll think of buying directly from a small publisher.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

As It is Written, Let It Be Done...

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been thinking about the fact that though I have been kicking around the periphery of paganism for many years, I have never actually joined anything, or had any kind of ceremonial ritual setting myself apart--I did when I was a Christian all those years ago, but not as a pagan.

I almost had one last year with a group, but backed out at practically the last minute. It wasn't the time, these weren't the people (although, I hasten to add, many of those folks were very cool people.) Since that experience, I've come to believe that my spiritual path needed to be solitary, although that didn't mean it was any less of a path than someone initiated into a group, an order or a coven.

In the past few days I received *signals* that now was the time, that I should work up a self-dedicatory rite, and perform it.

Therefore, let it be known, that I, Hermgirl, today dedicated myself to the service of all the gods, to the honor of the Lord and Lady, to the glory of Hermes my patron.

The Oracles

Tarot: Two of Cups, Three of Swords, The Hermit.
I believe the significance of this is that we have two disparate forces, the two of cups and the three of swords are like yin and yang, love and hate, pleasure and pain, coming together. Adding two and three gives you five, which is the number of the Hierophant, which is my soul card. This represents the good and bad in all people, and the need to accept them both together. The Hermit is a counterpart of the Hierophant, where the five is about orthodoxy and teaching and listening to teachers, the nine is about going off alone and listening to your own still small voice. Also the significance of 2007 as a nine year.
The I Ching of Mi-Lo: Trigram 64
Before Completion: Things are difficult, but ther is great promise. Be careful and very deliberate. You could still blow it. Do your due dilligence before proceeding.
His blade of human knowledge, natural astuteness particularized by long associations with cases in police court, had been tempered by brief immersions in the waters of general philosophy.--from The Portable James Joyce
Theme of the year: Gnosis

We'll see how things are in a year and a day.

Happy Lunar New Year!

So on New Year's Eve at midnight there was a huge amount of fireworks, the kind that sound like bombs going off. It was like people wanted to kick '06 in the ass on its way out.

It had been a real bitch of a year, I think, for me, for people I know, and for the US in general. A lot of goofy shit went down in '06.

I'm not a numerologist, but I have heard ideas bandied about regarding 2007, which adds up to the number 9, a number of completion. The ninth sephira is Yesod, which is called the Fundamental Principal, or the Foundation. There will be things reaching their apex this year, things righting themselves, things reaching their level. Maybe some of us will get our wish, which is something I always say when I see the Nine of Cups card.

Another thing about last year, specifically its ending: I'm gonna go all woo-woo on you here. Another idea that's been bandied about was the three deaths that occurred in the last week. I remember when the Pope died, it was also in a group of three--I can't remember who the others were.

That day I was at a Tarot Symposium, and I danced a little dance with Lon Milo Duquette to give the old guy a nice sendoff into the Hereafter (the Pope, not Lon Milo Duquette!) But I remember my Tarot teacher then talking about how when a "train" of folks go up, as she termed it, it sometimes signifies a time of change in the world.

I believe that, and I also think the deaths of James Brown, Gerald Ford, and Saddam Hussein, while it was their time to go, it was also something of a sacrifice, along the order of how some believe the death of Princess Diana was a sacrifice. If you look at the architectural topography of the place Diana got in the accident, the neighborhood was filled with metaphysical symbology, and probably a center of natural ley lines as well.

In my last blog entry, I wondered who was the next to go, and I was only being halfway silly.