Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Irrational? Vindicitve? Au contraire, mein freud.

A Gardnerian High Priestess of my acquaintance just sent me a lovely e-mail. She recently read some old articles of mine, and wanted to let me know that she found my writing style funny yet kind, and not at all bitchy.

Take that, people who think I burn bridges.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Securing a quaint little summer cottage in Hell

I spent a leisurely hour today browsing through the Catholic bookstore down the street from my office. I like the Catholic bookstore. The clerks are usually friendly (I think most of them are seminary students), there's always soothing music on the overhead, and I enjoy perusing the extensive collection of patron saint key chains and figurines. Plus, it was an absolute hoot watching the employees catch the Spirit over the last pope election. I spend a lot of free time in the Catholic bookstore.

And before anyone even thinks it, I am NOT turning into a certain bipolar Pagan who decided the Goddess is really the Virgin Mary, found Jesus, and spent the rest of his pseudo-academic "career" attempting to ruin Wicca for the rest of us, so just squelch that little cockroach of an idea right this instant.

But I did buy a rosary.

I've been fascinated by prayer beads, rosaries in particular, for as long as I can remember--probably because I was raised Episcopalian, and we didn't get to have them. But I always thought they were cool. The ex-monk I lived with for awhile in college had a woven leather one that he wore as a bracelet, presumably in case of impulse meditation, and I secretly coveted it. Or, at the very least, a just as smart-looking Pagan-themed accessory.

Recently, I came across an article called "An Isis Rosary," and my lil' Goddess-oriented heart lept in delight. A brief bout of net-surfing uncovered several Web sites on similar subjects, some with glittery handmade products for sale, but not having a credit card handy, I couldn't make any purchases. I entertained the notion of trying to make an Isis Rosary myself, but decided that it would be much more subversive and reclamatory to buy a rosary and alter it, thus transforming it into my very own set of Pagan prayer beads.

"Hey, wait," I hear everyone who knows me saying. "Are you telling us you undertook a craft project of some kind? Haven't you learned by now that you have no crafter abilities whatsoever? How many fire alarms and gluegun burns must we endure before you'll just... stop... trying?"

Yes, yes, I know all this. But seriously, how hard could this be? All I needed to do was find a suitable rosary, remove the crucifix and attach some kind of Pagan bobkin, like an ankh or a pentacle or something, and poof! All done! Ready for prayin'!

So anyway, back to the bookstore: I found a lovely and reasonably priced wooden rosary, interspersed with Virgen de Guadalupe beads [ed. note: La Virgen de Guadalupe is really Tonantzin, the Aztec Mother Goddess. Just ask Her.]. I carried my newfound treasure up to the front counter, where seminary student du jour reminded me to have it blessed. I thanked him, because, let's face it, I would've forgotten--having a Catholic priest bless things for me just never makes it onto my to-do list.

Rushing home, I located a small pentacle fob, whipped out my trusty Swiss Army knife (it's green with a little shamrock on it, so it's really more of an Irish Republican Army knife) and snipped the loop of cord holding the rosary's crucifix in place, making the logical assumption that I could knot the two free ends around the pentacle. Poof!

And here's today's first Very Important Lesson: when you snip a small loop of cord, the ends fray very, very quickly. Additionally, it's not at all easy to tie small, pieces of cord together--it just leads to more fraying. After a few minutes of attempted knotting and steadfast fraying and nominal cursing, I gave up and reached for the Krazy Glue.

Very Important Lesson Number Two: Krazy Glue does not, as the packaging would lead you to believe, "Automatically Bond to Anything." Cord, being a fiber, absorbs liquids such as Krazy Glue, leaving very little left to secure a pentacle fob. And as it turns out, big globs of Krazy Glue squirted haphazardly on cord don't dry quickly at all. Um, poof.

And yes, I did manage to glue the pentacle to my finger. How astute of you to guess!

A rosary with a frayed, gummy cord and missing its crucifix does not look like a craft project in transition. It looks... well, creepy, like vandalism carried out by a Satanic kindergartener. I am determined to make this work, though: I'm nothing if not obsessive, and my Pagan prayer beads will be a goddamned reality no matter how many pentacles I glue to myself. Tomorrow, I'll hit the local Barnes and Noble on my lunch break and check out their Arts & Crafts section. Perhaps some clever author has already penned The Idiot's Guide to Blaspheming Rosaries.

Speaking of books, here are some nonfiction titles currently gracing the Catholic bookstore's "New Release" shelf (I swear I'm not making these up):

The Da Vinci Hoax

Women Who Make The World Worse, and How Their Radical Feminist Assault Is Ruining Our Schools, Families, Military, and Sports

Be Intolerant, Because Some Things Are Just Stupid


Living up to my name

My four-year relationship with a local gay-and-lesbian lifestyle magazine, to which I contributed humorous essays, feature articles and book reviews, has ended. Badly. On account of I may or may not have kinda-sorta accused the business manager of being an extortionist.

The situation itself is not worth rehashing, other than the fact that the guy's a total prick, and it was quite empowering to point this out to him. Of course, I expected some degree of fallout--for example, the business manager admitting, "You're right, I'm a terrible person. What sort of heinous life have I led? Oh, won't somebody please end all the misery I've inflicted on others," etc. What I didn't expect was a whole bunch of disappointed looks and the phrase "burning bridges" bandied about with far too much regularity for my sense of well-being.

Truthfully, I was shocked that none of my friends, family or business associates saw things my way. I mean, I figured someone would applaud my efforts to stand up against the Man in the name of the Little Guy (tm). But alas, my partner is now encouraging me to look into anger management classes, and my co-workers have unamimously voted to upgrade me from "that weird guy with the witch snowglobe on his desk" to "that weird guy with the witch snowglobe on his desk who's going to snap at any moment; no sudden moves, people."

Ah, the joys of being an idealistic, self-righteous jackass.

Monday, May 29, 2006

What Dreams May Show Up in Your E-mail

I was clearing out my inbox this morning, when I came across something I'd forwarded to myself months ago. The subject line read "blog-dream," and as far as I can tell, it was something I wanted to post here, but never got around to doing. Finally, the wait is over--for your reading pleasure, here is "blog-dream":

In this dream, several of my co-workers and I joined a secret, underground death cult, led by Kevin Costner. At our first official meeting, we murdered him with a sacrificial knife, but without any apparent reason: maybe we were all trying to prevent "The Postman II" or something. Anyway, we elected a new leader, whom we were planning to sacrifice at the next meeting. That evening, my friend Sarah showed up to join the cult, and we got ready for the upcoming ritual (which involved putting on kilts, covering ourselves with grease and jumping up and down). While we were kilting up, I mentioned to Sarah, "Hey, just so you know, we're going to kill this guy." She replied, "Oh. Well, I'm going home, then." I decided to go with her, and we hopped in an Oldsmobile Delta 88 and started to drive away. Suddenly a cop pulled us over. I reached for my drivers license and proof of insurance, only to realize that the cult had stolen them.