Friday, December 28, 2007

It's absorbent, it has multiple uses

One of my employees asked me what I was doing after work, and I said, "I should run by the store, but I don't want to go."

"Why not?" she asked.

"All I'm out of is wine and kitty litter," I explained. "It seems weird to just be buying those two things."

"Condoms." She replied.

"I'm sorry, what?"

"Condoms," she said again, matter-of-factly. "If you're buying wine and condoms, the cashier will assume you're going to seduce somebody. Which isn't weird."

On the surface, I understand her suggestion, but still...

Loyal Strifemongers, I turn this over to you. If the scenario is seduction: why would I need kitty litter?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Letting my roots show

Despite the Witchcraft and the homosexuality and everything in between, I am, at my core, a Southern white male between the ages of 18 and 35. As such, whenever my East Indian neighbors speak to each other in Hindi, their volume and cadence automatically and discriminatorially leads me to assume they're arguing, even when circumstances dictate obvious otherwise.

What I think they're saying:

"I hate you!"

"I hate you more!"

"I hate you far more than you could ever hate me!"

"Bullshit you do!"

What they're probably really saying:

"Please let me help you carry the groceries."

"How sweet of you to offer."

"No problem at all, my dearest."

"You're my little curry cupcake, yes you are."

I hate language barriers.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

At least the pews were comfy

Well, I survived church. No passing out or bursting into flames.

I will say, though, that if your regular, everyday religion involves (among other things) waving knives about, leaping over bonfires, and the soundtrack to the original Wicker Man... geez, church is freakin' boring. Seriously, add some aerobics or karaoke or something.

A couple of days ago, my co-witch, A., and I came up with a number of things you could do or say to make a High Protestant service more entertaining: popping fake blood capsules in your hands to replicate stigmata, suddenly making out with the person next to you and going, "Oops, there I go, speaking in tongues again," etc. Our favorite involved kneeling at the altar rail for Communion, waiting for the bread and wine to come by, and then saying, "Oh, none for me, thanks. I'm vegetarian."

This one absolutely slew us, to the point that when I spoke with A. this afternoon, the first thing out of her mouth was "Did you eat Jesus?"

"Yeah, I did," I admitted. "It's just so hard to stay on a meat-free diet during the holidays."

Gawds, but we're a laff riot.

Monday, December 24, 2007

May I go home now? How about now? Now?

Jack is out of town visiting relatives. Free from adult supervision, I stayed up way past my bedtime, dancing around the living room to Hairspray and eating taquitos, conveniently forgetting that I had to go to work this morning. So now I’m all exhausted and mumbly and need a nap. Which I won’t get, on account of as soon as I'm out of here I have to run to my apartment and pack and clean myself up to go to church with my parents tonight.

Going to church, in and of itself, doesn’t bother me. (I know, I know, I’m supposed to feel all oppressed and persecuted and what not, but I don’t, so there.) However, taking my current level of sleep deprivation into account, going to an extra-long church service -- which will include dimming the lights while the congregation softly sings all 27,000 verses of “Silent Night” -- is a total recipe for narcolepsy.

I’d consider trying to catch some shut-eye during slow points of the Eucharist, gambling that my family will assume I’m deeply immersed in prayer, but I snore. And I do that weird, occasionally-stop-breathing thing in my sleep that always scares the hell out of people.

So… bleurgh. Merry whatever tomorrow is in any particular belief system to which you loosely ascribe. I gotta get more coffee.

Monday, December 17, 2007

If a tree falls in the office...

Yesterday turned out to be Show Us Your Blogspace Day. I wasn't tagged to participate, but this morning I decided that my cubicle deserved to be included:

The photo resolution is a bit low, so let me highlight a few points of interest. There's my carousel goat ornament; a little framed portrait of Ganesha made out of crushed gemstones; Jack's "Keep Austin Weird" baseball cap; a souvenir puck from the Hockey Hall of Fame; oh, and...


Um, yeah.

We're in the midst of a company-wide cubicle decorating contest, and my department settled on How The Grinch Stole Christmas as our theme. I was the dissenting vote, since creating a life-sized version of a Dr. Seuss classic out of office supplies struck me as overly ambitious. But no one was swayed, so I just rolled with it, figuring I could tack up a clever Whoville sign or something on the day of judging.

On Friday, a couple of co-workers mentioned that they were coming in over the weekend to get started on our decorations. Had I known that "get started" meant "stand on Evn's desk and hang a tree where his head goes," I might have shown up to help. And by "help," I mean "strongly encourage people to not stand on my desk and hang a tree where my head goes."

My employees assure me that the tree is not going to break loose and land on me. While I appreciate their confidence, this is the view several inches from my face:

Sometimes I miss working in retail.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

A philisophical question

What are the moral ramifications of praying to Pagan Gods that your singing voice be decent enough to land you a featured role in an upcoming production of Godspell?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Wholly Crap

Maybe it was the image of a drunken Jesus guzzling rum, or the overweight drag queen portraying the Virgin Mary; or perhaps, it was the dozens of toads dressed as conquistadors suddenly exploding.

Regardless, I don't like art films.

Jack walked into the room as I was writing up my preemptive review of the movie. "A Pagan who doesn't like blasphemy?" he asked.

Well, sure, give me blasphemy any day, but blasphemy with reason behind it. Don't just blaspheme and go, "But wait, it's art."

Because, seriously: it's been done.

Friday, December 07, 2007

If I Could Turn Back Turning Back Time

No clue how we got on the subject of reincarnation, but that's all anyone in my department could talk about this afternoon. I'm not big on past life regression (having far too many issues in this life to worry about what crap I got into last time around), but I commented that, based on what others have told me about their own experiences, people's memories of past lives seem to revolve around how they died.

I expected everyone to go, "Huh," and move on with the conversation. Instead, one relatively quiet employee announced, "When I was thirteen, a Ouija board told me that in a previous life, I attempted to cross the Atlantic on a tall sailing ship back in the 1700's. But somebody pushed me overboard."

There was a moment of silence while we all just sort of looked at each other, and then my assistant, J., asked for clarification. "A Ouija board, like, spelled this out for you?"

"Yeah," she said with a "you know how it goes" shrug. "It took a couple of hours."

Death by drowning, especially when coupled with ominous messages from the Unseen World, is generally understood to not be comedic material, but J. and I are pretty much known for our inappropriate humor. Sticking out our hands and moving them around as if guided by an invisible planchette, we did our best to recreate the event:

"... so... then... Eliza... says... 'Why... dost... thou... not... lean... far... over... the... railing... and... peer... into... the... sea?... Perhaps... thou... shalt... spy... a... mermaid!'... And... you're... all... 'I... dare... not!... The... water... frightens... me... and... besides... last... time... thou... conspired... to... push... me... over... board'... And... Eliza... goes... 'Twas... but... an... accident!... Thou... knowest... I... be... a... Goody... Fumblethumbs'... So... you... go... 'Well... if... thou... art... sure... thou... art... not... going... to... kill... me'... and... she's... all... 'Hey... would... I... lie... to... thee?'..."

And then we laughed and laughed. Okay, yes, I'm the last person in the world who needs to be making fun of anyone else's encounters with the occult, but in my defense, the girl we were imitating thought it was hilarious.

Meanwhile, in a cubicle across the aisle, my Eastern Orthodox employee decided that yep, we're all going to Hell. She tentatively reached that conclusion roughly five minutes after she started working here, but our latest dramatic reenactment was the official final weave on the handbasket.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Yuletide Cheer (Now with less bitching!)

This is the time of year when my company's suppliers start sending us pre-printed Christmas cards--festive little reminders to please keep pimping their wares on our clients. Most feature warm but innocuous sentiments, secular to the Nth degree: "Happy December from your friends at Big Ass Cruise Line Conglomerate!"

I was loitering around our receptionist's desk, flipping through the cards and admiring the various pine tree and snowflake designs, when I came across one with intriguing Anglo-Saxon knotwork on the cover. Opening it up, I discovered that it was from a small European-based tour operator, who wanted to wish us "The very best this Winter Solstice."

Made my day, that did. I'm sure they were just aiming for a broad, inoffensive seasonal greeting, but it makes me happier to think that a roving band of Pagan graphic designers overthrew their PR department.

On a (kind of) related note, are there any country music singers who have not recorded a version of "O Holy Night"? It's actually one of my favorite carols, but if I turn on the radio and hear another nasal "Oh naaaaht, when Chrahst wuz berrrrrn," I'm going to eat a baby.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Gods really DO listen!

Remember, back in the day, when I did horrible things to a rosary in a woefully futile attempt to create a set of Pagan prayer beads?

As if my anguish was carried on angel wings to the far reaches of Heaven, a well-known NeoPagan author put out a book called...

Pagan Prayer Beads.

Oh, mommy.

The book is all about (as you may have surmised) making your own Pagan prayer beads. And I'm reading it, and I'm looking long and hard at the illustrations, and I'm thinking... I can do this.

Granted, I've never beaded before, and beading involves a number of edged tools with which I could conceivably poke some serious eyes out, but really, I think I can do this.

Oh, and to make matters more intense: Jack caught me reading the book, and he got this kissably cute smile on his face, enhanced by some painfully adorable puppy-dog eyes, and he was all, "Are you beading now? Are you going to make something for me?"

Stupid effective puppy-dog eyes. Grrr.

So now, I have to do this. Results and insurance claims to be posted forthrightly.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Bang head on desk, repeat as necessary

Here’s how things go in Texas.

A new guy joins one of the statewide message boards. He gives a polite, friendly introduction, offers some insight into his personal belief system, and explains that while his faith does have some Judaic influences, it’s an earth-based spirituality and he is very much a Pagan. He hopes he’ll be welcome, and he’s happy to be on the list.

I swear I’m not making this next part up.

A feisty young lass posts a response to his intro. She’s read what he has to say about his practice, and [direct quote] “It seems very Christian to me.” She expresses some lovely vitriol regarding those nasty, dogmatic Christians and where she’d like them to go, but asserts that she’s very glad he doesn’t “think of Pagans as evil Hellbound people who should be burned at the stake.”

She says this to a fellow Pagan.

Welcome. We’re so fucking happy you’re here.

Are we already that far gone? Have we already devolved to that level of ignorance and paranoia? Are we so blinded by self-righteousness that we’re ready to start accusing people of belonging to the “wrong” religion, regardless of their circumstances? Or perhaps, because of their circumstances?

Doesn’t this sound a wee bit too familiar?