Thankful Thursday 7/9/09 Thursday, Jul 9 2009 

I really needed to sit down and think about this today, and I’m glad that  I have!

I am thankful for:

* Amazing friends, and so many of them that there is almost always someone to email or hang out with.

* Books! Wonderful books borrowed from a friend to indulge my passion for information.

* The fact that even if I don’t know quite what to do with my life, it is because I am blessed to have so many paths open to me.

* That summer is winding down and heading towards fall; between Midsummer and Samhain is my  favorite time of year and I revel in it.’

* That it’s almost Friday, and soon I will finally get a quiet weekend.

Not much knitting Thursday, Jul 2 2009 

I feel like I should have some great progress to update, but really, I haven’t got much of anything done.

Lately, my evenings go like this. Come home. Put in DVD/turn on any halfway decent summer TV. Pick up Princess Buttercup and knit a row, quickly. Knit a second row, somewhat more slowly. Knit a third row, barely finishing. Put down kniting. Turn down volume on TV. Lie down, just for a minute…Wake up at 11, drag myself off to bed for actual sleep.

I have no idea why I’m so tired.

Plus, I’m still kind of in a haze. I worked all of last week, got up early to get on a plane, crammed a bunch of site-seeing into two hours that night and two hours the next morning, went to the Current NYC meetup which was fun, but also work, then got on a plane the next day and flew back, getting home just in time to try to apologize profusely to the kittens, crash, and then get up and go to work. Which has been crazy.

Twitch. Twitch, twitch. I’d be looking forward to a relaxing three day weekend, but I have ritual Friday night, a party (fun! but not hibernating!) on Saturday night, and a CAYA meeting on Sunday. I should have some time to get some introvert time in, and hopefully some cleaning. I have some ideas hibernating in my mind, but they require me having a clean apartment. Meh.

Maybe I should start doing yoga again. Maybe that will help…

Leavin’ on a jet plane Sunday, Jun 28 2009 

Amazingly enough, I made it through the flight to New York relatively calmly. I think I just might be getting better at flying–which would be awesome, since there are a great deal of places I’d like to visit that would require flying. (More specifically, many of them would require taking flights over larger bodies of water, which is possibly more terrifying than flying over land. Or possibly not, I’m still debating that one.)

Anyway, once I landed I had to get to my hotel. I’d had good experiences with Super Shuttle in San Francisco and Oakland, so I went with them–big mistake. It took me about 2 1/2 hours to get from JFK to my hotel. Which, really, is just ridiculous, and included the driver taking the long way around to play tour guide to a couple of overly chatty passengers and the van overheating enough that we spent 10 minutes sitting on the side of the street in Times Square while it cooled down. Then, they guy insisted that the confirmation that the desk printed out for me wasn’t enough proof that I had paid, so I had to pay cash, despite having put it on my credit card.

I managed to get customer service to refund the c redit card charge (probably because I sounded like any objection would result in me screaming, which it would have) and needless to say, I cancelled my return trip. I’ll cough up the cash for a cab, thanks.

Once I got in, I headed to the East Village to visit Enchantments. It was a great store–I wanted to get a lot of their oils, but unfortunately I couldn’t, since TSA rules limit how much liquid I can have on the plane. I did get some Aphrodite oil and Aphrodite bath. Because she follows me everywhere, now, apparently.

Vegan Mac & Cheese and shake!

After Enchantments, I headed to Curly’s Vegetarian Lunch. One thing I have yet to find in Berkeley and San Francisco, surprisingly, is vegan diner food. There’s vegan food, yes, but it tends to either be fine dining type food, or super healthy five-grain-wheatgrass whatever. This? This was delicious. A vegan milkshake and vegan mac and chesese. My favorite dairy-filled dishes with none of the side effects. So very, very good.

Today, I headed out early to hit the Metropolitan Museum of Art. It is, hands down, my favorite place in New York City. I kind of ran through this time–there were a lot of pictures I wanted to take, particularly in the Egyptian and Greek and Roman wings. They’re on my camera, not my phone though, so I can’t upload them until I get home. After that, I headed up to the Current meetup–but more on that later (again, with pictures).

I did see some interesting things on the way.

Scientology Celebrity Center. No, seriously.

The Scientology Celebrity Center. (No, I’m not joking, that’s what it was, at least according to the awning. I didn’t dare risk going inside.)

Random lion on 82nd St

A random, cool lion.

Random male statue on 82nd St

Random female statue on 82nd St

A pair of random, Greek-looking statues outside a building.

Aphrodite Statue

One from the Museum. A statue of Aphrodite (sadly, missing her head) that was probably one of the most moving pieces I saw. But that whole part of the saga deserves a post all to itself.

Vegan cupcake. Flavor? Gay Pride Malibu Barbie

Finally, after we dispersed, I made a trip down to Babycakes and got a vegan cupcake. In honor of Gay Pride, they had Malibu Barbie cupcakes. It was good…but I have to say, the ones I make are just as good (or maybe even better). Is that bad to say? Oh well, it’s true, and makes me feel a little better about being unable to buy vegan cupcakes at home.

Now, off to get some sleep since I fly back tomorrow!

MIA Friday, Jun 26 2009 

I’ve definitely been MIA this week–from blogging and from kniting. It’s been kind of a crazy week. Lots of busy, and maybe it’s just me, but highly depressing. From the Iranian elections and the Neda video, to the less-serious but still sad trifecta of pop culture deaths with Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett, and Michael Jackson.

I admit, I’m not as affected by those as some–I’m just a tad bit too young for them to really be iconic in my mind (Michael Jackson, while I know his music, is still mainly associated in my mind as the creepy guy with Neverland Ranch more than Thriller, but it’s still sad.

Aside from that, I’ve just had one of those weeks where I feel I’m running just as fast as I can to stay in the same place. At the same time, it seems like the world is cracking and shifting apart around me. I don’t know why things are happening; I can’t divine the perceptions or reasons for things that are happening and I wind up both confused and concerned.

As much as I realize control is an illusion, I gotta say, it’s one I’m kind of a fan of.

Aside from all of that, I’m heading to New York for a whirlwind trip this weekend. I’m nervous–I am not what you’d call a good flyer–but excited. There will be a lot of fun to be had, and I’m hoping to get to hit some of my favorite spots (namely, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where I could camp out for days and be as happy as  clam) as well as some new places (like Purl SoHo) if I get the chance. Oh, and of course, the actua work stuff that I’m there for!

If nothing else, at least a 5 hour plane ride should give me plenty of time to knit..right?

Dionysus Lurks in the Aisles of Goodwill Friday, Jun 19 2009 

If you’d asked me a year ago what deities I’d see myself working with, I probably would have told you the Celtic pantheon. Cerridwen, Arianrhod, Brigid. The Morrigan.

I would not have mentioned the Greeks, really, and I certainly wouldn’t have mentioned Dionysus or Aphrodite.

Funny how the Universe likes to pull little tricks on you like that.

Dionysus began showing up in my life around Beltane. I resisted him and his party-God ways (for some reason, he always looks kind of like a horned frat boy in my head) but eventually decided to make nice and let him. (He is the God of theater after all, and I am a screenwriting type.) With rules of course, and an understanding that Gods like him and girls like me didn’t really seem like a good idea.

He didn’t mention he’d be bringing friends, but that’s really a story for another time.

So, I set up my Dionysus altar.

Dionysus Altar

It’s pretty simple, in my kitchen, with some wine and bread and a candle. The silver pitcher is one that I got at a Finding Your Diety workshop at Pantheacon…which I totally dismissed because why on earth would I work with Dionysus? Haha, universe. Haha.

I’ve also been working with Athena as a Goddess of wisdom and inspiration. As part of my CAYA training, I have to work with a deity associated with each element, and Athena is my air Goddess, so she gets a little altar of her own.

Athena Altar

The owl is one that belonged to my grandmother; she collected them and I really love this little guy. I’m trying to help set a writing routine of lighting the candle and burning some orange blossom incense, but I’ve gotten a little out of practice and need to catch up.

So those are more of my altars. Sometimes, I find myself wondering if I’m really meant to work with certain deities. How do I know? How can I be sure?

Yesterday, the Universe conveniently handed me a sign that I think Dionysus might be sticking around. I suddenly found msyelf with a bunch of phone/IM messages from people–turns out Dionysus must have been lurking in the aisles of Goodwill yesterday, because Thora found the most awesome set of Dionysus dishes that she snagged for me!

Dionysus Dishes

Dionysus Dishes close-up

They are so pretty! I love that the ivy and grape motif is there, but subtle. And it works out perfectly because I’ve been meaning to get new dishes for a while but haven’t found anything I liked. I LOVE these, and I’m pretty sure Dionysus does too! I’m so grateful to have this confirm what I’m doing, and even more grateful to have such amazingly awesome friends.

Thankful Thursday 6/4/09 Thursday, Jun 4 2009 

Things to be thankful for this week:

Unexpected calls from a friend that show up exactly when I need them.

Fantastic customer service from Artfibers, even if I ultimately wasn’t able to get my yarn.

Great discussions on the nerdy knitters group on Ravelry. Even if the do have Karl Urban/Bones McCoy appreciation thread and a Zach Quinto/Spock appreciation thread but no Chris Pine/Kirk appreciation thread.

Tea. Because a cup of tea helps just about everything.

Buy pagan? Friday, May 15 2009 

So, I came across this article recently about one couple’s experience trying to shop at black-owned businesses for a year, to support their community. While the discussion around it devolved a bit, as is prone to happening on the internet, it brought up some really interesting ideas for me, about supporting one’s community.

I know that I try to support local business, women-owned businesses, and indie crafters if possible. It’s hard sometimes–not so much the actual buying of things there, but trying to explain it to others. That, no, I really would wait a while longer and pay $30 for a butter dish from a potter on Etsy than go to World Market and buy one for $5. It’s also been a battle sometimes for me, to break away from what my parents insist are necessities and things I should buy cheaply so I have them right away, and what actually are necessities–usually, it turns out there are far fewer things I actually need than I’ve been raised to think I do.

Anyway. The point of this, is that the article sparked an idea in me. What about buying pagan? The pagan community isn’t always the most visible community, and while I’d love to support pagan-owned and pagan-friendly businesses, sometimes it’s kind of hard to recognize them outside of your local metaphysical shop. And a quick glance around the internet tells me that no one seems to have embarked on this in a comprehensive way.

So, what I’d like to do is ask you, internet, to help me out! My plan is to collect a list of pagan-owned and pagan-friendly (either in their support of their employees or the community) businesses to make available for people who would like to make an effort to support this community. Obviously, this will include a lot of pagan suppliers, but I also want to make an effort to have more mundane stores (from bookstores to grocery stores to accountants).

If you are a pagan business owner, or know of one who would like to be included, leave a comment or send an email to quirkyknitgirl@gmail.com. And please, feel free to re-blog, Tweet, or whatever this!

Too much sun! Monday, May 11 2009 

This weekend was ridiculously busy! Alas, I have no pictures of most of it, but some things will be documented soon.

First, I went to Grove of Artemis on Friday night. It was awesome, and I got to invoke Freyja’s sacred cats. In this particular ritual, that involved wearing cat ears and a tail…which I now want to own. I don’t know where I would actually wear cat ears and a tail, but it was awesome and I am clearly part cat.

I also got a chance to wear one of my little-worn dresses. Which is comfy, but has a tendency to fall down a lot. Oops…I guess I can cross that one off the wearing in public list! Or figure out how to make it stay up.

Saturday, I went to Ikea and got a new couch! Hooray! It’s got actual cushions, which is an improvement over the other couch, and folds out into a bed so I have some space when people visit. Then I went to Pagan pride, and had a lot of fun hanging out, looking at shiny pretties, and seeing friends. It was awesome, until I got home and  realized I was seriously sunburnt.

The rest of Saturday and Sunday was devoted to massive cleaning and moving furniture around.  I now have two couches set up in my living area, which gives me actual seating for people to come over. I also have the main part of my living/dining area, hallway, and bathroom clean and looking like a grown up lives here (and not a herd of marauding frat boys) which is big progress. That still leaves the kitchen, rest of the living/dining area, and bedroom, but if I can keep this clean while I work on those, it’s major progress. And I was able to have my fellow initiates over, which was awesomely fun and wonderful.

Unfortunately, the sunburn kept getting worse. It was so bad this morning I couldn’t really lift my arms or move my head (it’s mainly the back and sides of my neck and the part of my shoulder that meets my neck that got burnt) and I wound up working from home because it was one of those burns that comes with chills, shaking, weakness, and fatigue.

I’ve been re-hydrating all day, and using lots of aloe gel. I’ve also brewed some lavender tea and cooled it for a compress, which seems to have helped more than anything. I also have some oatmeal to make another compress later, and see if that will help as well. When I did the first lavender compress, I could actually feel the cloth get hot from laying on the burn…yuck. But at least the pain is dulling enough that I should be functional tomorrow. Hopefully my energy will start coming back too.

That should show me–I will have to get some more sunscreen and remember to use it! (And probably make up some sort of lavender or lavender/calendula salve to have on hands for sunburns.)

Such a tease! Wednesday, May 6 2009 

So, I did finish one of the secret projects I bought yarn for…but I can’t show you yet.

Mystery Project! ooh!

I can show you a little, though. Just a peek.

I will say, it was a quick knit, and fun to do. I’ve got a lot of bigger projects on the needles and I’ve been feeling a little burnt out, so it was a nice distraction.

In other news, I’m still sort of mulling over a lot of the things and issues that Beltane brought up. I’m considering signing up to take a belly dancing class. It looks like fun, and maybe something to help me feel more at ease in my own skin. I’ve even found a place that has a weeknight class that I can get to after work, without having to leave early!

Aside from that..not a whole lot going on, besides a whirlwind of cleaning, since somehow I am having people over tomorrow night, Saturday, and Sunday. Eek!

Merry Beltane Monday, May 4 2009 

Yes, I know I’m a little late with this one.

This weekend was full of Beltane festivities–a wedding on Friday morning, then Amazon Beltane Friday night, during which we heard the happy news that it was time to welcome Raspberry to the world! A big congratulations to Ladybug on her new baby, who already has so many people so happy to know he’s here. Then, Saturday was CAYA Beltane, and then I kinda collapsed.

It’s a little strange. Beltane isn’t a huge holiday for me normally. It’s all about love and sexiness, and as someone who is perpetually single and not especially sexy, I really don’t feel like it has much relation to my life most of the time. But it was good, and both rituals were amazing.

I also finally set up my Beltane altar:

Beltane Altar

It’s very pink.

I also made some Beltane oil. It’s got a very spring, vintage-y floral feel to it. It makes me want to find a great ’40s style dress and ooze glamour.

Yes, this oil-making could become a new hobby, very easily.

In other news, I’ve been frantically cleaning so I can have people over this weekend. Plus, I’m getting busier and busier with CAYA stuff, and it really would make life much easier. I just have to stick with it…

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