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The Common Woman Is As Common As The Reddest Wine

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Mar. 29th, 2010 @ 08:10 pm
Just a couple of notes...

1. There's apparently some kind of bullshit gossip going around that isn't true if you actually ask the people involved (which is usually the case with gossip.) It's not about me, but it is about some of my closer friends, and i just wanted to say: My blog posts and recent life choices and shifts in thinking and so on, they have nothing to do with that crap.
Also, grown adult friends: Quit with the gossip. You're making yourself look like insecure 14-year-olds, and believe me - when you pass it on, you become a part of the story.


2. On a way lighter (and more relevant) note: I've decided to stop having fun. :p With exception to going to Alchemy this year (and still basically intending to go to RR), i am not making any other travel (and so on) plans any time soon. Nothing that costs money. I need to save up my money and get my shit together. Start packing now. Stop claiming "Asheville, Asheville!", and start moving in that direction. Stop messing around. Enough's enough.

See y'all on the flip-flop...or however that expression goes...;)
Tunes: : Annie Lennox - Loneliness | Powered by Last.fm

Beautiful Dawn Mar. 21st, 2010 @ 10:11 pm
Sometimes you need to step off of the island you've been living on for 3 years. Having nothing to do with how very much you care about those good folk. The bitter bad taste left in your mouth from one bad seed is enough to guide you off of that rock and float on for a little while, letting your wounds heal. Standing on the horizon is the loving embrace of one who is on the outside, and you hold tight onto him with a smiling heart and renewed feeling of life. Here, everything is new. Close your eyes, and let the boat take you where it will. But you are moving, and you are well.

It's like that art piece at Burning Man. Of all of the amazing art out there, that one especially caught me. Simply the lit up letters: "Shift".

2010 has already been beautiful and fascinating and full of new worlds. I'm excited.

"Take me where love isn't up for sale
Take me where our hearts are not so frail
Take me where the fire still owns its spark
There's only one way to mend a broken heart

Teach me how to see when I close my eyes
Teach me to forgive and to apologize
Show me how to love in the darkest dark
There's only one way to mend a broken heart
- The Wailin Jennys, "Beautiful Dawn"
Feeling all: : hopefulhopeful
Tunes: : The Wailin Jennys - Beautiful Dawn | Powered by Last.fm

Feb. 21st, 2010 @ 04:13 pm
I have been having an amazing week/last few days, and am a little afraid that i will open my eyes and realize that it's just a dream...

...but i'm pretty sure that this is beautifully real...
Feeling all: : happyhappy

2009 Dec. 30th, 2009 @ 07:09 pm
I'm hearing a lot of people say how horrible 2009 was. And i look back at it myself...

I had my heart battered and beaten and then finally shattered; I had a friend totally lose her mind on me and put me in bad situations numerous times (one of which was numerous states away from where i live, and more than one were teetering well into a territory of actual danger), which also turned out to be directly related to one of the very few actual regrets i've ever had; i had my first bad burn event (via my own experiences); my family continued to struggle like hell financially (though note: we're okay now!); and i lost my long time best friend (my sweet sweet kitty).
I mostly kept it together emotionally, which is more than i can say about 2006, so seeing as how i didn't feel the draw to commit suicide, 2006 was the worst emotional year. But in terms of events, man, it's hard to say. My parents were finally not in the hospital (thank the Gods!), but there were so many other things.
In terms of events, this may have been the worst.

And yet...i see all of this shit, and i see how much stronger i grew, and how much i learned, and how much i grew up. And i see how much i proved to myself that i can handle, i can handle, i can handle, and i can do it without becoming bitter and lost. I sailed through a sea of misfortune, and i came out smiling.

That's way more than i would have thought.

(And of course, i do have to note that there were fantastic things about this year as well. Alchemy and all of my new friends comes to mind. I am richer with you in my life!)

I am going into 2010 feeling secure, strong, and confident. Sail on!
Tags: ,

Dec. 29th, 2009 @ 10:13 pm
You know that when you're fine with the idea of going to work, but full of anxiety about driving there and back, you have a rather odd problem.
You also know that because you work on the bad side of town, the bus isn't too much of an option.

Shmoo. :(
Other entries
» (No Subject)
Just for the record: When you tell someone you love them, you're not supposed to just say "Thank you". That makes you retarded.

(NOTE: I wasn't the "thank-you", i was the "i love you". lol)

Oh well.
» (No Subject)
I've found myself feeling kind of emo lately. (I guess that's the right term.) There's been so many things happening - some of them good (like getting a job, or going to Alchemy) - and some of them really crappy (like losing Tigger, or being unwillingly thrown into bullshit scenarios by people who are not very good at being honest.) I keep perfecting the art of letting go. A fruit tree that holds a few moldy produce bits. (Yes, i am calling bullshit in my life rotten fruit. What would you call it?) You give your heart, and it's thrown back in your face (like you'd be the very last option, over even the bed hopper, and the little-in-common.) You reach out and trust, and you end up afraid that insane and unfortunate things are going to continue to be struck your way. You lose your 15-year best friend.
You get to a point where you just want nothing more than to disappear. I can't handle it. Too fucking much flashing at me. I can't handle it!

Disclaimer: No, i'm not suicidal.

Can this be it for a little while? Can my trust stop being fucked with, my heart stop breaking, my loved ones stop leaving? I can't handle much more of it right now. I realize that it's a part of life, but it doesn't need to be a constant.

For those watching my Facebook: Yeah, this is what i meant when i said that i had a lot of healing to do.

I'll be okay, but damn...
» (No Subject)
Dear classical violinists,

Stop freaking telling me how to play my instrument.

Indeed, if i was playing classical music, i would in fact be doing it wrong. But i'm not. You should try playing another genre: You'd be doing it wrong. :p

I don't give a shit that you don't like my bow, or my style of playing. I didn't ask you to come up and start insulting me. No one asked you, in fact. This empty room is full of people who care about your opinion of my violin playing.

Next "classical" violinist who comes up to me covered in snob juice, i'm telling off.

Holly Overton of the Smoking Fez Monkeys - classically trained, and violinist of numerous genres - thank you for being awesome, and not telling me that i'm doing it wrong. Thank you for actually knowing what you're talking about. :)

Fellow violinist who has been playing for 6 goddamn years without breaking my fucking bow,
» Adventures of Recycled Rainbow and Alchemy
NOTE: Photos are...
Recycled Rainbow: http://www.flickr.com/photos/7649042@N06/sets/72157608239845162/ (RR09 ends at Amanda as sexy nurse greeter. Second to last is Jeff getting greeted.)
Alchemy: http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v426/sndgalway/burns/Alchemy%202009/

(Please pardon any typos in this, as my mind is still crazy upside-down.)

So Alchemy was this past weekend, and Recycled Rainbow was the weekend before. I will address RR before i get to Alchemy, so here goes...

Y'all may have noticed that i have said basically nothing about Recycled Rainbow this year. Everyone's been talking about it, and aside from adding a quick memory to an already thought here and there, i've stayed quiet. There is very much a reason for this, and it's taken me a few days, another burn, and some intense experiences (good and bad) to be able to articulate it (and i'm still not totally sure if i've figured it all out.)
I've been burning since 2005, i've been to 12 (i think?) burn events (including RR Primer), and RR09 was the first one that i did not feel.
To me, a true burn is an event that changes your life, that wakes you up, that spins you upside-down, that makes you want to cry when you leave, and that - when someone asks you how it was - catches you perfectly speechless. I didn't really experience any of this with RR this year. Quite honestly, for most of the time, it felt like a party in the woods.
And i want to make a big point here that those reading this who are curious about RR but haven't been there should not let my experience taint your choice. Please read on, as this was something that happened with me, and not with most. (I have heard others totally rave about it, fyi.)
I'm still not sure what went wrong with me vs. RR, but in talking to a friend of mine at Alchemy, i came to realize that it was at least in part the same issue that both she and another fellow experienced at Transformus this year. It goes with being too involved, having too many projects, being too busy with the event. And even with Dawn - Goddess bless her forever for her work at the gate as my co-lead - i was busy with the gate, and with getting ready for Cyberdelic, and so on and so forth. I wasn't excited about RR before it happened, i never truly got excited about it, and i never really felt any of the magick that i hope was there. (And as a side note: I know and love the Cleveland burners. They're a fantastic group, so please, any one of you reading this: Do not feel offended or hurt in any way, because if you do, then you're not understanding.)
I had a few magical experiences, including dancing with Habari and Graham in front of Cyberdelic, out in the rain, while a group of others nearby were taking part in Noodlegeddon 2.0. The tower, which - pre-burn - is certainly one of my favorite effigies (or whatever the artist wants to call it) thus far. The temple burn to a certain extent, but i was having issues with someone that evening, though i just needed to let the fuck go and stop giving a damn about those issues. I watched the tower burn with everyone for a brief time, but - greatly in part again with the stupid issues that i'm probably the only one aware of, because *some* people tend to be totally oblivious - i ended up far from the burn, on the top of the hill at the Java Hut, watching it from there.
I am going to be stepping back a great deal from RR next year, focused on only one project (which i fully intend to be really good, with more of my energy and attention.) My story is not as unfortunate as the one fellow's from T'Fus: I do intend to return to RR, but the magick this year was really not there for me.
So stop asking how my RR burn was, because for me, it wasn't all that great. (But that will change next year.)
I am also intending to be at the RR Decompression, fyi.

Alchemy on the other hand is still leaving me breathless.
For those who did not come: You have no idea what you missed, and may you join me there next year! (I say: I am glad i chose Alchemy over Burning Man.)
I went there expecting a lot. I know the DSB (Dirty Southern Burners). They're a fucking BEAUTIFUL and AMAZING tribe, they are my family (those who i have met and those who i haven't), and they are also who i began burning with in the first place. So after the 10+ hour drive down to Georgia, we finally arrived, and i jumped out of the car and embraced hugs and spankings from total strangers. :)
I will write different things i remember in the form of the following, instead of a whole big long story...

~ Setting up the tent super fast so i could get all dressed up and go out and play. (Thank you Becky for your patience with my insane tent building strategies!)
~ The Pagan Wheel of Fortune, which was at the Erotic Exotic Social Psychotic Fruit Stand, which was the camp we were with. I spun it, and resulted with me and Krystal eating the same banana as fast as we could, trying not to choke until we met in the middle. I won't think of bananas the same way again. :p
~ The Colosseum, which was a part of the Fruit Stand. Two people would be blind-folded, given pool noodles, spun around, and have to beat the crap out of each other and search the ground until they found the condom. I got to see this twice, and the second time was my command (i had been made Empress), as well as be the one to toss the condom into the ring.
~ Wandering the grounds with Becky, Krystal Light, and new friend Lou on Thursday night. Seeing many sights, and hanging out inside a tipi, reading books about pot, carousels, and Dr. Suess goodness. Wearing my light up wings on this trip, and suddenly noticing that someone had placed a beaded jingling gift on them sometime that evening. (I still don't know who did it. My guess is Sugar Kayne, Becky suggests Lou, but i have no clue. I'm a poet and i don't know it.)
~ The amazing beautiful effigy.
~ The setup under the effigy. Headphones on (which played different [sometimes vibrating] tones), glasses on (which had a blinking red light for each eye, back and forth, over and over), close your eyes, and experience it. I'm not sure what you'd call it, but i gather that some of my more geeky burner friends know about it. You saw different images and patterns. They were red at first, but got colorful after awhile. It was gloriously trippy!
~ The camp right next to us, which had a REALLY good sound system (and projector).
~ Zombie Camp, and Zombie Jeopardy!
~ Colin's strawberry and coconut pancakes.
~ The ball pit! Sitting in there during the day with Becky, Lude (RR folk will remember him as the guy with the awesome yellow hat last year), Thing 1, and a few people i didn't know. Everyone throwing balls and stuffed toys at each other. Lude - who was camped with the ball pit - teasing me about "fondling his balls".
~ Having the freedom to do the nudity thing. I was topless all day Friday and Saturday, and it was beautifully freeing. A burn secluded enough for this = win. :)
~ Skinny dipping Saturday afternoon with Becky and a mess of people i didn't know, whose names i cannot recall, but they were all beautiful. The water was so cold, i had to hold onto the dock and catch my breath for fear of drowning.
~ Ice cream cart!
~ The temple (which was a great place to hang.)
~ After being told by Wordplay himself before the event that he wasn't going to be able to make it, being wonderfully surprised to run into him at Area 51!
~ People i ran into included: Wordplay, Chw, Aneaj, Lodgekeeper, Molly (Insomniac Poet), Krystal, Brian (both of whom were with the same theme camp i was with), Sugar Kayne, David, Vespa, Greggor, Sally, Sauce.
~ Making many new friends.
~ The legend of the raver cow being continued by (at least) me, Becky, and especially Krystal Light (who spray painted "raver cow lives!" near the port-o-loos before Becky and i even got there.)
~ Doing a greeters shift Friday evening.
~ Getting randomly recruited *twice* to help out with LNT. Volunteerism! :)
~ Camp SCIENCE! (Which - can you believe it - had mighty good margarita on tap.)
~ Camp SCIENCE!'s musical at Center Camp on Saturday. Scientists travel back in time, but can only go backwards. They keep asking different science geniuses through history how to go forwards in time. With each famous scientist, they were given another drug (E, pot, 'shrooms, etc. "That puts the 'meth' in 'method'!") A new song parody for each scientist too. ("Danger! High Voltage!" and "Shock The Intern" from Tesla, for instance.) They ended up in the future in the end, and everyone (audience included) did the Time Warp.
~ Leaving Center Camp after the show, only to find the pirate ship waiting right there for me. Getting a ride up the hill on it.
~ Philosopher's Stone, which almost always held many delights. An open mic (with wisdom pouring out of the speakers), a library, a DJ set-up, a rubens tube, Pyro Celt creating flame on the naked breasts of many lovely women (i'm hoping he'll do this again, because i do want to try it), an art car with a pole on top to dance around, an absinthe bar, and lots more.
~ Making the funny mistake of mixing Hunter Thompson and Marilyn Manson late Saturday night. (I had some of the Gonzo beer, and a glass of absinthe about an hour later.) Somehow, these two met within me, and caused me to be more intoxicated than i've ever been. My logic was well enough to know that wandering off into the dark alone was a bad idea, so i stayed there for awhile and danced and had a jolly good time. :)
~ Misplacing Becky on Sunday evening (we were going to meet at the Philosopher's Stone, actually), and going around looking for her. Ending up at Area 51, which was empty, except for David and one of the faerie people i remembered from Transformus years back (whose name i learned was Sven. Such a sweetie!) Caught a ride with them on their Area 51 vehicle golf cart thing all the way back down to Center Camp. (Later on getting to hang with and talk to Sven more by the fire as well, which wouldn't have happened had i not made that original connection that evening.)
~ Ending up by the big bonfire near Center Camp on Friday (?) night, where there was drumming, and a woman singing Pagan songs. I was seemingly the only other person who knew the tunes, so she and i belted them out. I never knew who she was.
~ Some random crazy things that i will elaborate on if you ask me in person.
~ Sunday night, watching the sky, convinced it was getting lighter out and that sunset was approaching. Deeply curious, i checked the time, and it was half past midnight. That blew my mind.
~ Ending up by the fire on Sunday night near Center Camp, with Becky, Demolition, Colin, and Caleb. Showing Colin the ball pit (with Becky), and one of us (i won't say who, to save any silly embarrassment) slipping and falling into the pit onto their ass (followed by a ton of giggles.) Showing Demolition the ball pit, and both of us unable to stop laughing. Huddled arm-in-arm by the fire with Demolition and Caleb, keeping warm. Becky joining us, us deciding to move to Center Camp, unwilling to let go of each other because it was too cold, and the four of us - still huddled - crab walking and inching our goofy selves all the way there (laughing insanely the whole time.)
~ Apparently impressing my fellow greeters, and so: being asked to work perimeter for burn night, which meant that i would get a front row seat of the burn.
~ Burn night. It was the best lighting of an effigy i've ever seen (yes: over Burning Man.) Those who were at Transformus '05 may remember Riz's crazy huge fire cannons? The ones that created a shock effect so big, it made my skirt move from all the way across the burn field. Imagine those times 12. Two at a time, a few rounds of that, bright flashes, and a final even bigger one, which lit the effigy. Very few people knew what was going to happen, not even the perimeter crew. So as i was standing just on the edge, the cannons went off, and i had to shield my face. There were rumours the next day of singed eyebrows and slightly melted faux fur coats. It was seriously intense, and it caught me breathless. The Alchemy theme this year, by the way, was "Shock and Awe". ;)
~ Sitting alone by the fire Monday morning (before Caleb joined me), feeling rather miserable, waiting for Becky to return with the car (after driving into town...long story...), in possession of only the most important things (my cell phone, wallet, etc.), hungry, and having a random guy walk by and offer me a pancake. :p

Monday morning was a bit fucked up in actually packing up and leaving. I won't go into the story, but it was the opposite of fun. As crappy as that morning was though, the rest of the event out-shined it. :)
We finally got on the road, and after getting lost twice (my directions were crappy, and Becky and i hadn't had much sleep), cursing in a NC/GA accent (it took a couple of days to shake that one), we arrived at the house of one of my best friends in the whole wide world (near Boone, NC.) Todd and Lorie Bush, who i hadn't seen in way too damn long. They took us in and hugged us and fed us and showered us with love. We all crashed kind of early that night, and Becky and i intended to leave the next day. I called Craig (my boss back in Cleveland, remember?) and asked if we had to work on Wednesday. He determined Thursday, which granted me more than he'll ever know. Todd invited us to stay an extra day because of this, so we did. Todd, Becky, and i went out and about on adventures. Stopped at his photo studio (he's a professional photographer) and did a crazy silly photo shoot (i'll post some pictures from that, i promise.) Drove on to Linville Gorge and climbed to the top of a mountain. It was misty that day, but we did have an amazing view from the top. We were up there for hours, and ended up meditating at one point. Coming out of the meditation and seeing that sight (we were just on the edge) was simply breathtaking. We climbed down and hung out in the parking lot, drawing pictures of things that represented the climb, jamming on guitar and harmonica, and dancing. We had some *really* good Mexican food for dinner, and then decided to head over to Brown Mountain to see the Brown Mountain Lights. (Todd's lived in the area for years, but had never seen them.) Again, it was misty, so we didn't see much, so we danced and sang and stayed out there for about 3 hours and wrote a song. And we did see a little (which actually appeared about 30/40 feet away from us.) The next day, we showed Todd photos from Alchemy (and a few pictures from RR), added another verse to the song, recorded it, hung out in his yoga room, and jammed on sitar and tablas (sweet music of India, sweet India, namaste! Baba nam kevalam!)

Leaving both Alchemy and Todd & Lorie's house was difficult, and held tears in my eyes both times. I was with friends i've known for years, and new friends. Much love, much beauty, many dancing spirits. It was intensely beautiful. Alchemy was not Transformus, as to me, i don't think Transformus will ever be beaten. But it was close. Man, it was damn close.

Life is too short. May life be passionate, and full. Spread your wings and live and love and laugh and be. To those who were not able to make it to Alchemy: I am so sorry. You missed one hell of an event.
I am forever changed.
» Tigger: Goodbye, my friend.
(My dear sweet kitty passed away early this morning. This is my written post-death love to her.)

Tigger came into my life when i was 7 (i think?) She was a crazy bitch, and i didn't really like her. :p At the time, we had a shaman and his girlfriend living with us, and they adopted her (in addition to another cat that they had called "Mama Cat".) Tig was about 1 year old when she came. She was wild and unkind. Our friends lived in the basement, and we put a gate at the top of the stairs to keep Tigger from coming up, but she actually kept jumping right over it. She scared the living daylights out of me, and i remember standing on a chair, trying to stay away from her.
When the shaman and his girlfriend (Gary and Heather) moved out, i asked my mom if we could adopt Mama Cat. I had always wanted a kitty, and Mama was a kind and mellow feline. They said no, but offered Tigger. I was uneasy, but went with it anyhow. (Remember, i was a kid.) Despite my fear of her, i decided to make friends, and for the next couple of years, i started to talk to her and reach out to her. She mellowed, and we became good friends who trusted each other.

I had her also throughout my teen years, which was insanely helpful and wonderful. Always, for the whole time i had her, if i was sick or distressed, she would always find me and cheer me up by sitting in my lap, purring, licking me, etc. She had so many of my tears in her fur from so many troubled times. We took care of each other, and were always very very close.
We had a strange relationship as well, because we abused each other. I sometimes yelled at her, and she tried to literally scratch my eyes out more than once, but it usually took about 30 seconds for us to be okay again. She also - especially in the winter - tended to sleep in bed with me, under the blanket. She didn't like it when i left on a trip, but usually didn't hold the grudge quite as badly if i remembered to tell her that i was going, and that i'd come back. And as a part Pagan (eclectic spiritualist), she was my familiar, and always will be (whether her body is with me or not.)

She had been having a little trouble breathing within the last year or so, especially after last Christmas. After i got back from RR, she was worse, and i've been keeping an eye on her.
Last night, i went downstairs, and she was laying on the cold floor, very out of it and breathing very hard out of her mouth. Her eyes were glazed over. She ended up weakly walking a few feet away, laid down, twitched, and cried in a way i had never heard her. (This was the point where i freaked totally, and i was crying worse than she was.) When cats are very sick and/or towards the end of their life, they tend to hide, but Tigger didn't do that. I sat down by her, and after a little while of heavy breathing, she got up enough strength to stand up, walk to me, and lay down in my lap. She rested there for a couple of hours. She ended up doing this a second time a little later, but was so weak, she fell into me, and ended up laying on the floor again, crying.
Everyone in the house stayed up for most of the night, and i didn't really leave her side. (I tried to sleep in my bed at one point, a few feet away, but didn't really.) Around 4:30am, i noticed that her drool had some blood in it, and i knew i'd have to have her put down.
In all of her 16 years, Tigger finally listened to me. After seeing the blood, i told her that it was okay to let go. I begged her to let go, actually. To die in her own house next to me was the best way, and not in the car or at the vet. She finally listened to me, and with a final couple of last minutes of rolling around, crying, and twitching, Tigger passed at around 5am Wednesday morning.

We buried her at dawn, on the edge of the forest in the back yard, next to many other felines before her.

As hard as it was, as hard as it is, as hard as it's going to be, i am eternally grateful that she went the way she did, and that she chose that time. She could have gone a day later, when i was in NC or GA. She could have gone a few hours before, while i was at work. Or the worst of all: She could have died alone, a couple of days before, while we were at RR. But she waited, and she rested in my arms, and i was there with her when she passed.

My cat wizard aunt says that she is certain that it was FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis), which apparently doesn't have a lot of pain (which makes sense: Her cries were not cries of pain, but actually reminded me of a woman giving birth.) It also is apparently not something that is treatable, so nothing could have been done. Tigger passed in the best way possible, and i am SO grateful for that!

I thank everyone who offered their prayers, energies, and condolences. Though she did not make it, she let go, which was what she needed to do. I'm going to be crying a lot within the next few weeks, and i will really miss her, but she is where she needs to be. She is at peace.

Though i'm a day late (i should be on my way there right now), Becky and i are still going to Alchemy. I really need that. (I also really need to see Todd and Lorie, which will happen on the way back.) I welcome any hugs from y'all. If there isn't a temple there, i will attempt to make a small shrine of some sort, to honor her somehow.
I need that release.

Oh my sweet Tigger...i will always love you so very much...

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