Saturday, March 29, 2008

The thought that counts

One of my favorite Witches flew into town for a week (have broom, will travel, ha ha ha; Lordy, but I slay myself), and I took her to the Houston Museum of Fine Arts this afternoon to check out the Pompeii exhibit. Fascinating stuff, especially the artifacts relating to the religious practices of the day--the cults of Isis and Dionysus were both very active, and families venerated their ancestors on a daily basis at household shrines. All well and good, but what really blew me away was the Golden Bracelet.

Weighing in at just under a pound, the solid gold bracelet features two snake heads grasping a medallion depicting Selene, the Grecian Moon Goddess, wearing a lunar crown and surrounded by stars, and holding a scarf in an arc above her head. The image represents the dome of the night sky and Selene's sovereignty over it, and archeologists believe the bracelet was commissioned by the owner as praise to Selene for granting some unknown favor.

Okay, so most of us don't have the resources to crank out high-end accessories every time the Gods send some goodness our way. We light candles and burn incense and pour libations, knowing that our efforts, humble though they may be, are appreciated. But I'm thinking of that Wiccan guy who won the lottery last year, and how he swore it was an answer to his prayers. "I thank the gods for this gift," he was quoted as saying. "I don't know which one granted me this wish, but whichever one did, thanks!"

The whole "whichever one" thing drives me crazy--it's like asking your parents for a new car, and then, when they give you one, declaring, "Thanks to whomever may have given me this car!" In interviews, he claimed that he told the Gods he'd quit his full-time job and become a teacher if They'd let him win the lottery. However, he also announced that the Pagan seminary he plans to build will be an interfaith church with less emphasis on Deity and more focus on nature and spirituality.

Granted, he didn't specifically say that he'd teach about the Gods if he won the lottery, but it's kind of implied, you know? And maybe the Gods didn't have a thing to do with it; maybe They're looking around at each other and going, "Was that you? Because all I did was bless him with clerical skills and strong cheekbones." But if They did make him a multi-millionaire, and his response is to disregard Them entirely... yeah, not the world's healthiest juju. Should he take his new fortune and commission a wrist-shattering gold bracelet? Probably not. Should he be burning the fuck out of some candles and incense? Da.

Just be nice to your Gods, people. That's all I'm sayin'.

Incidentally, I found a lovely print of a fresco of Diana in the museum gift shop, which Jack dubbed "not blindingly hideous" after I got home and showed it to him. He's letting me hang it in the living room without complaint, so praise be to the tasteful Roman artist who created it. And to Diana for posing.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Match 'em up

I got three nods during that blog review meme. See if you can figure out who said what 'bout lil' ol' moi:

"The name says it all. Evn is not afraid to share his opinion and does not pull punches, but does so in such a way that often bring tears to your eyes from laughter. Evn shares with his readers the life of a queer, Texas Pagan. He's the gay friend that you love hanging around, because he brings lightness to life, no matter how serious the subject matter. He is irreverent and fun."

"My first reaction to the young witch-ling was two fold- At first I thought 'Could this be the Crowned and Conquering Child foretold by Aleister Crowley?' My second reaction was as Samantha Stevens to her daughter upon witnessing her premature but incredibly strong powers, 'Tabitha, -mustn't twitch!' I can happily say that there is no natural course of things for him to expect- he is certainly at the drivers wheel. The blog certainly mirrors his interests and his sharp eye for all things real and surreal, and is balanced with a wit that borders on the keen and caustic."

"Though he's naming himself after a horse-mutilating character from The Mabinogion who just loves to stir up trouble of a particularly nasty kind, he is in actuality a very polite and kind guy. And he's hit it off with Anne Johnson of The Gods Are Bored lately, so he's got to be the right kind of people. He's a tricksy sort and his blog reflects that; and I, for one, very much appreciate his sense of humor. And then every once in a while he writes a post that betrays just how much of a clue he has."

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Too busy for words (literally)

Oy, but it's a crazy week already, with no Saturday in sight. Projects and proposals and deadlines and strategy sessions and coven meetings and family dinners and clients needing readings (I'm a part-time Internet psychic), plus somebody meme-tagged me again, but I can't remember who. Oh, and I think there was an Equinox ritual in there somewhere.

Not a good sign when you're this exhausted on a Tuesday. Whoooo.

I'll try to grow some extra typing hands and get some new posts up as quickly as possible. In the meantime, know that I've got a surprise for my Loyal Strifemongers. Well, not that big of a surprise. More of a present to myself than anything else. But I think it's cool.

Stay tuned, poppets.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Lords and Ladies, we have a winner

The 2008 Bloscar for Best Response to a Desk Drawer Contents Meme goes to...

Le Cornichon.

Accepting on his behalf is me. Who knew, so many, many hours ago, that something I uploaded to the Internet would result in such a fabulous post? I'd like to thank the Academy, the good people at Blogger.com, and God. In that order.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Normally I don't go for this sort of thing, but...

I agree.


You are The Magician


Skill, wisdom, adaptation. Craft, cunning,
depending on dignity.


Eleoquent and charismatic both verbally and in writing,
you are clever, witty, inventive and persuasive.


The Magician is the male power of creation, creation by willpower and desire. In that ancient sense, it is the ability to make things so just by speaking them aloud. Reflecting this is the fact that the Magician is represented by Mercury. He represents the gift of tongues, a smooth talker, a salesman. Also clever with the slight of hand and a medicine man - either a real doctor or someone trying to sell snake oil.


What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Poultry as soy alternative

After using up the majority of my lunch break running sundry errands, I picked up a gigantic chicken caesar wrap at Kroger's and headed back to the office. It was tasty, really, but there was just too much of it for one person.

"Hey, does anyone want half of this?" I asked my employees, waving the wrap about.

"I thought you were vegetarian," R. remarked, eyeing the chicken suspiciously.

"Well, usually I am," I said. "But lately I've been craving meat, so I figure I need the iron or the protein or something."

"Why don't you just save the rest of it for lunch tomorrow?" R. asked.

"Because I might be vegetarian tomorrow." I countered.

This was all perfectly logical to me, but the look on R.'s face suggested that I might want to pay more attention when Jack refers to me as "the most frustrating man on the planet."

Whatever. I'm going to go get a chili dog.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tagged Again - Blog Review

While I was busy concocting my own meme tag, Diana nailed me with this little number.

1. Once tagged, write up short review for 5 blogs that you read regularly, including the blog of the person that tagged you.

2. Leave a comment tagging the blogs you’ve reviewed, telling them to continue the meme.

3. If someone writes a review of your blog, you must respond by writing a review of their blog (unless you’ve already written one).

4. After a few days, write a post compiling what all the other bloggers say about you, good or bad, true or untrue.

Diana’s Muse – A professional educator and devoted mother who also happens to be a High Priestess of the Strega, Diana’s the kind of person who makes me happy to be Pagan. She’s refreshingly down to earth about living a magical life, and her journal entries--from descriptions of her daily activities to the occasional directed diatribe--are infused with grace and wit. Summed up in one quote:

“Obviously the Gods are watching out for me, even though I forgot to do my morning rite on Saturday. Hey, I'm human. I wasn't feeling well after eating way too much spicy cheese dip Friday night. No need for further description.”

Audacia Muliebris – In addition to being one of my favorite Goddess-oriented individuals, Thalia is a true storyteller who can entertain as well as inspire (she is a Muse, after all). Her writings are vivid and engaging, and anyone as devoted to the Monkees as she is is A-OK in my book. Summed up in one quote:

“So as I was lying in bed last night, inspired but tired, and unable to decide what project I wanted to pick to do the next day, I asked him, ‘What should I do tomorrow?’ And he said: ‘Make passionate love to your life.’”

Bon Bons of Impertinence – When not organizing impromptu operas starring his stuffed toy collection, Le Cornichon saunters merrily through Bohemia, scandalizing the glitterati and generally having far more fun than is legally allowed in at least 30 states. Summed up in one quote:

“The breakfast had been ravaged by a group of surly neighborhood types, i.e. skinheads, bikers and the men and women that have that certain hybrid Goth-meets-Country-meets-Punk look I call ‘Wicca-Billy’-- it was all quite charming actually -- though I am sure the brioche and mini muffins knew then how the Sabine women felt.”

Fetch Me My Axe – Belle is strong, unashamed and not afraid to get angry, and she writes with one of the most appealing styles I’ve ever encountered. She can find the humor in any topic, while at the same time efficiently highlighting just how fucked-up our society really is. Summed up in one quote:

“GodDAM but the closet leads to some weird-ass places. And that ain't Narnia, neither.”

View From This Perch – Treecat is by far the most interesting person I know. Whether she’s writing about work, dinner with friends or traveling the world, she shares her unique perspective with just the right blend of wonder and cynicism. She’s also my lil’ pootie pie, although she’ll probably smack me for calling her that. Summed up in one quote:

“In Varvara, a few of the people in our group were making comments along the lines of - 'it feels like we're in a movie.' I knew that they thought they were saying something positive, but it really irked me. I had trouble coming up with how to explain why, but my sister got it – ‘It's like looking at a really amazing sunset and saying It looks like a picture!'

Honorable Mention: Apocrypha Jones – I called Apocrypha and said, “Meme tag! You’re it!” To which she responded, “Not until after tax season I’m not,” because even a postmodern occultist must occasionally dabble in the Dark Arts of payroll and bookkeeping. But when she does have time to post, she’s quite the bloody genius. Summed up in one quote:

“I’m weird, sure. Crazy, maybe. But I am not irrational.”

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Meme Crazy: Desk Edition

I love the meme tag phenomenon so gosh-darn much that I've decided to start my very own. It's simple, but it could be enlightening and/or lead to nostalgia.

Open up your desk drawers. Rummage about. List ten things you find there:

1. shampoo

2. twelve different varieties of tea

3. wooden novelty pen from Mexico, sporting a jaunty sombrero

4. page from my "Forgotten English" calendar, featuring a vivid description of starry-gazy-pie

5. very, very old citrus-flavored hemp lip balm

6. dish towel that I swear I've never seen before

7. tiny plastic monkey with an alligator clip on its head

8. Robert B. Parker novel

9. pencil sharpener shaped like a nose

10. lighter fluid

Now tag five people. For instance, I choose Deborah, Cosette, Sarah, Christopher and Le Cornichon (although Ann and Diana may both play, too).

Fun!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Delicate Art of Ethnocentrism

I hadn't actually met my downstairs neighbor until a few minutes ago, when I was out on my balcony and he wandered off of his porch to say hello.

I've always thought he was Cajun, on account of the few times I've overheard him talk and the barbeque and what not. But as I'm speaking with this guy (who's sipping what's obviously not his first glass of wine of the evening), I start wondering if maybe he's from somewhere else. His English is pretty good, but his accent is just thick enough to where I'm missing about every fifth word he says.

So we're chatting away, with me speaking slowly and using simple sentence structure, and he mentions that his company is transferring him back to Latvia. And I'm thinking, Oh, okay, he's Eastern European. That explains the minor communication issues we're experiencing, although how could I mix up Cajun and Latvian? What kind of asshole am I, anyway? Why am I always making these weird, baseless assumptions about my neighbors?

And then he says something else about going back to Latvia, and I realize... he's not saying "Latvia."

He's saying "Lafayette."

As in, Lafayette, Louisiana.

Home of the Ragin' Cajuns.

So I was right the first time.

But I still feel like an asshole.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Evn Gets Political

I’ve never voted in the Primaries before, for a couple of reasons. First of all, I live in Texas--by the time our election rolls around, the next president has already moved into the White House and changed the drapes. Second, I’ve been a hardcore independent since I turned 18 (except for one brief stint in the Green Party that I really prefer not to talk about), and doing anything that in any way affiliates me with either side of our outdated bipartisan system goes against my propensity to question authority at all costs.

But this year, suddenly it’s March 4, the two Democratic frontrunners are neck and neck, and I feel like I have to Do Something. Except I don’t know what to do. And nobody I know is doing a damn thing to help me.

Over the past several weeks, I’ve had the following conversation with every politically-minded person in my immediate circle of friends and family, including three Republicans and a Baptist:

Me - “I don’t know whether I should vote for Obama or Hillary.”

[Oh, and speaking of: has anyone else noticed that we call Barack Obama “Obama,” and Hillary Clinton “Hillary”? Why are we doing that? Is it a three-syllable thing? Regardless...]

Me - “I don’t know whether I should vote for Obama or Hillary.”

Them - “Well, do you want an untested idealist, or do you want consistency and experience?”

Me - “I hadn’t thought of it that way, but good point.”

Them - “Exactly! Do you want a new perspective and a breath of fresh air, or do you want a scheming, career politician?”

Me - “I see what you... wait, doesn’t that kind of contradict what you just said?”

Them - “Not at all! It’s like this: do you want a Strong Black Woman, or do you want a Samoan High Priest whose eyes twinkle like stars in the moonlight?”

Me - “That makes no sense whatsoever.”

Them - “Popsicle!”

And so on.

I came home from work this afternoon, firmly resolved not to vote. As my employees reminded me all morning, I’m not a democrat, so why stress? Besides, Couch. TV. Herbal tea. La.

But there was this niggling voice in the back of my head that kept saying, “You’re wasting your vote.” It was the voice of one of Jack’s old roommates, who once berated me for the whole Green Party thing. “You wasted your vote,” he said then. “You’re wasting your vote,” he said now. Except this time, he wasn’t saying it out of spite. This time, he really meant it.

Torn between heading out to my local polling station to do my civic duty and curling up in the living room to let the real democrats have at it, I broke out an oracle deck and got down to some serious geomantic divination.

Yes, I based an important decision on an answer provided by the generation of random numbers. Sue me. All I have to say is this: with Fortuna Major occupying the 1st and 10th Houses, Caput Draconis translating in the 11th and 12th, a favorable Judge ruled by Jupiter, and a trine aspect, I was all, “FINE, okay? I’m GOING.” I mean, seriously, what would you do?

So I went and voted. And it was cool. Except for the part where I walked in and the woman behind the table asked, “Are you here to vote Democrat?” and I said, “Yes,” and BAM! She stamped my voter registration card. It’s, like, ruined now. I don’t want it to say “Democrat.” I want it to say, “I’ll vote any damnable way I please, thank you very much.” So now I have to figure out how to get a new one.

But other than that... yeah, I voted. Go me.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Women are fat, always.

I just saw the most fucked up commercial.

It was an ad for a hotel chain, who, for the purposes of this blog, shall remain nameless. The premise is that a group of corporate business types are having breakfast at their hotel before heading out for an important meeting. One of them, Boss Guy, gives a hearty pep talk, then directs his attention to an attendee named Wilson.

[The camera pans to Wilson. Wilson's a big boy; tall and doughy; no perceivable neck.]

Apparently, the airline has lost Wilson's luggage, and as such, Wilson has nothing to wear to the important meeting. But no worries, because Wilson and Brenda...

[The camera pans to Brenda: she's about 5'5" in heels, slim and healthy.]

...Wilson and Brenda are the same size. So Wilson is wearing one of Brenda's blouses, and everyone is telling him how good he looks in it. How (I'm not making this up) slimming the blouse is. Being a poly-blend and all.

Let's break this down, just to make sure everyone caught the important part. The tall, doughy man and the short, slim woman are the same size. That is, they wear the same size in clothes. On account of she's lean, but not anorexic. And he's overweight. So, you know, same difference.

Not to make crass generalizations, but this sums up a big huge chunk of what is wrong with... well, everything.