Cliffs of Insanity

The Cliffs is Dead, Long Live the Cliffs!

And so the day has come.

With the revelation of the New Moon, a new era is dawning on my beloved online journal.  As it should be common knowledge amongst people who have long followed my various adventures and rants, I've been in the process of moving operations from LiveJournal to Dreamwidth.

After an extended absence from journaling, I returned to LJ to find portions of it in disrepair, and the climate it once enjoyed denigrated and anaemic.  it's been more than a little depressing to see a once thriving community deteriorate before your eyes, and that is the primary reason why I am leaving.  It's painful to watch, so I have chosen to no longer look.

It would be a lie to say I will not miss LiveJournal, but my remaining here will not bring back the LJ I came to know and love.  That place is long gone, and it's hard to navigate through all the weeds that have overgrown this digital garden.  My departure is long overdue, and so I go.

If you wish to continue reading my ramblings, I have set up housekeeping at Dreamwidth, under the same name, The Cliffs of Insanity.  You can click the title here in the text, or the image below, to be taken there.  If you subscribe to me, I promise to reciprocate!  I look forward to seeing you over on the new Cliffs, and to many more years of interaction, sharing, venting, and being as creative as possible, with my friends and Tribe.

  • Current Location: home
  • Current Mood: sad sad
  • Current Music: Enya - On My Way Home

Shriekback Live in the US

It’s been about a year since we launched our campaign to haul Shriekback out of the sanctuary of the studio and back under the bright lights of the stage. Our Kickstarter pledgers responded magnificently, enabling us to exceed our original Phase 1 target and giving us the resources to assemble our 8-piece dream-team, fine tune it through intensive rehearsals and start delivering live shows that we and our loyal supporters can feel proud to be part of. We had a resounding success at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire and have taken our first steps into Europe. So far, so good…

Now, though, it’s time for Phase 2, which is turning out to be bigger than we thought. Getting an 8-piece band to America, with all the visa, travel and accommodation that that entails, is proving to be jaw-droppingly expensive. Once more, and more than ever, we need your help to deliver this crucial part of our long-term plan. Our intention is to be playing in America in June, on a short but wide-ranging tour that will enable as many of you as possible to see the band in action. Dates are yet to be finalised, but it is likely that we’ll be playing about six shows, split between the east and west coasts with a couple in between. Apologies to all our Canadian friends but we just couldn't get the fees there. Next time, we hope.

We know this is a Big Ask and we want your contributions to go as far as possible. To do this, we want to offer rewards that are not so much based on physical product (records and T-shirts, for example), as one lesson from our Phase 1 campaign was that manufacturing, shipping and other costs can eat up a big chunk of your generous contributions. Aside from rewards like exclusive downloads, we want, above all, to make this personal – entry to shows, backstage and other access, opportunities to spend time with the band: this is, after all, what the campaign is about – getting Shriekback to you.

When we started Phase 1 of this project, a year ago, we said “the riskiest part is the first part; there’s a lot of expensive inertia to overcome”. We’ve demonstrated that Shriekback Live in 2018 is a viable and exciting animal. However, it’s also a big and hungry one. We have achieved our first goal, which was to be able to function self-sufficiently as a live band in the UK and Europe. The next challenge is to take this beast to America, and, to be frank, it’s a much bigger challenge, economically, than we thought. We’ve looked at every way to deliver this large-scale payload as efficiently as we can; these are how the final numbers stack up. Yes, we’re asking a lot from you, but we believe in what we’re doing and, from what you’ve told us, we believe you want to see and hear it. So, how about it? What are you doing in June? Let’s go.

We think the last crowdfunded initiative speaks for itself. We have an experienced team and we've been doing this stuff for a while. Have no fear - if we get the cash, there will be joyous times ahead.

Please click on the image to go check out Shriekback's Kickstarter page to see their video about the proposed American concerts and to make a pledge for musical excellence today!


  • Current Location: home
  • Current Mood: excited excited
  • Current Music: Electric Light Orchestra - Need Her Love

Handy Dandy

Over the past few days, I've been struggling to assemble furniture. One piece was a bedside table, and the other was a chest of drawer. The bedside table wasn't too bad, because it was small. The chest of drawers, however, was an entirely different matter. The instructions noted that two people were needed to put the bloody thing together. The problem is, there's only one of me. The solution to this problem is, I'm ambidextrous and can also use my feet like a fucking spider monkey. After two days of struggle, and many breaks so I wouldn't lose my temper or my mind, I was finally successful! And that was with an injured hand, thanks to a fall a few days ago. One shelf of the chest of drawers is a little loose because I had some issues with the dowels. This is nothing that a little bit of Krazy Glue won't rectify. When I was a tiny tot, one of my favourite things on Earth was to hammer nails into wood.

Even though I couldn't build anything to save my life, I do like the concept of crafts and putting things together, and my hammer skills, however rudimentary, are still present, even from my days as a four-year-old. I can't help but admit I'm a tad proud of myself.

Achieving something I should not have been able to on my own gives me hope that I can figure out how to reattach the doors to the CD/DVD cabinet Janice gave me, along with a small knick-knack shelf I'm planning on using for some of my books.  If I can get the doors properly affixed, I can finally unpack some of my CDs and DVDs. Most of what I have left to unpack are my media and books.  And I have tons more of that than I have room, so my number one priority is shelving.  I have found shelving that is sufficient for books and media, and should definitely allow me to finish unpacking and get the rooms of my pad sorted and cleared off all these boxes and storage containers.  Of course, I've added this item to my Happy Housewarming for the Minimalist with NOTHING Amazon Wishlist, and I've put it at the top of my needs.  As it stands, I have no doubt I'll be able to put the shelves together by myself.  It's amazing the things of which you find yourself capable, when your options are limited.

Apparently, I have two end tables en route, and they require some assembly as well. Once I have them put together, I will have more room for books, albeit only two or three per table, plus a place to finally set my living room lamps! Eventually, I will need an accent table or something so I'll have a place for the big-ass fugly lamp I've been clinging to since Granny bought it for $5.00 in 1977.  It needs to be rewired and a lampshade, though, so I'm in no rush for the table.  In the meantime, I'm gonna keep on keepin' on, and take advantage of the shelves with which I am currently blessed.

  • Current Location: home
  • Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
  • Current Music: Hell's Kitchen on Daily Motion


One of the things that is imperative for a happy, healthy dog and, as a result, a happy, healthy dog parent, is establishing a routine. In fact, it is probably the most important thing about a dog/human relationship in our modern times.

That is the one thing I did not have in San Diego.  As a result,  I had a dog who was utterly confused as to what was expected of him, and seemed hellbent on pissing in the house at every given opportunity. His habits degenerated from going out when he wished and doing his business outside, to going outside and just waiting to come back in, at which time he would then relieve himself.  I had to invest in puppy pads every single month, and keep them all over the bedroom floor.  It was a disgusting situation for everyone involved.

There were a number of factors as to why this was the case. First, the area in which we lived in San Diego was at the bottom of a series of canyons.  With my health issues, walking in the neighbourhood was exceedingly difficult on the best of days.  On top of that, with my depression out of control, I had zero motivation to step out of my room, much less the house.  Matt had set up a very long leash system that allowed Toby access to the entire front yard, where he even had enough room to run to play fetch, which he did a lot of with Matt. (One thing I can say about Matt is, he is very good with animals for the most part.  I don't agree with his hard-on for César Milan, but Matt has a huge heart when it comes to animals, and he and Toby were best buds for four years. I really believe there was a chance Toby would not have survived our time out there, had it not been for Matt.) If no one was out there with him, though, Toby would do nothing but sit by the door, waiting to come back inside. Matt would let him in and play with him out in the living room but, instead of letting him back out to use the bathroom before sending him back to me, he'd just put him in my room, where Toby would then relieve himself, since he hadn't been out in a while. Thanks to the humans around him, Toby developed horrible habits and appeared to delight in doing the exact opposite of what was expected of him at any given time.  At some point, I just gave up and kept a puppy pad carpet on the bedroom floor, and let the unruly boys do whatever the fuck they wanted.  None of it really mattered.

During the move, Toby was thrown into even more upheaval, and his behaviour got worse.  Whenever critters are thrown into uncertain situations and unfamiliar environments, they do exactly what small children do - they act out.  With dogs, their acting out often comes in the form of reprehensible bathroom behaviour.  Toby was marking anything and everything, both outside and indoors.  Nothing I did seemed to stop him, no matter how often I took him outside.  When we were staying with Janice, I thought she was going to have to be committed there a couple of times, especially when Elvis - Blake's little Chihuahua - and Toby were together.  Elvis wouldn't stop humping everyone, and Toby wouldn't stop marking to show his ownership of and dominance over all which he surveyed.  Truly, it has been a nightmare.

The first day were were in the new pad, Toby had a couple of mishaps in the apartment.  Thankfully, he chose the side of Smidgen's litter box.  I cleaned it up easily, and thanked the Mighties that Toby didn't choose to soil the carpet!  That very day, I started him on a schedule, taking him out every two hours the first couple of days.  The landscape here at Stonesthrow is relatively level and a 100% improvement when it comes to being walkable.  Plus, there's a dog park that allows Toby to freely roam as he chooses, instead of always being tethered to his crippled companion.  By the time the first week was up, we had established a set schedule that works for us both.  In the morning, we go out around 6:30 am, then 10:15, 2 PM, 6 PM, and sometime between 9 and 10 PM.  Toby swiftly embraced the schedule, and has readily adopted it to his internal clock.  

After four years of excremental horror, there have been no more bathroom incidences since we have settled into the new place.  Plus, I'm getting more exercise than I have in ages, as well.  The ability to move more without excessive pain, or the threat of blacking out from over-exertion in a landscape hostile to the mobility-challenged.  I downloaded an exercise app the other day, because I was curious to see how much I'm walking with Toby each day. After using it these past few days, I'm pleased to report that I'm averaging between 2 and 3 miles each day. After storm season is over with, and there's not a threat of being drenched only moments after you were strolling under the sun, I intend to expand our wandering out to the main roads like Pleasantburg Drive.  I don't really need to lose weight, but I do need to build back my muscle, and Toby definitely could slim down a little, after spending years being fed gobs of people food and living a sedentary lifestyle.

I am amazed that it took basically just a week to turn Toby around.  His breakthroughs have also been my breakthroughs, because the increased activity has helped me manage my depression which, in turn, allowed me to stick to the new routine, and actually look forward to mine and Toby's times out of doors.  

Coming back to the Southeast has been the wisest and healthiest decision I could have made for myself, Toby, and Smidgen.  No regrets!

  • Current Location: home
  • Current Mood: accomplished accomplished
  • Current Music: Hell's Kitchen on Daily Motion

Flint Drabble

Despite breaking into a clumsy trot, pinwheeling his arms in an attempt not to succumb to his boot toe catching on a rise in the sidewalk pavement, Flint felt himself topple in slow motion, sprawling across The Osmond Family’s star on Hollywood Boulevard.


“So much for Vampiric grace,” Flint grumbled, pulling himself from the ground as tourists studiously ignored the spectacle before them.  Why were there so many tourists out at 2 in the morning? Flint wondered.  Raising his voice to where he could be heard, Flint groused, “Hey, shows over, eh?  Pictures’ll cost you extra!”


The tourists widened their berth around the irked Vampire, as he brushed the grime from an outfit that already looked grimy and unkempt.  The clothes weren’t dirty, they were just old, well-worn, and much too large for Flint’s slight frame.  It was his wardrobe that was responsible for his fall, because the size discrepancies weren’t reserved to just Flint’s threads, but also his shoes.  Flint’s proper shoe size was between a 9 and 10, depending on the make of the shoe.  The boots on his feet were size 13, and the sole of the left boot was loose and floppy.  Flint called it his rubber flapjack.

Satisfied with sorting himself after the tumble, Flint reached into one of his overcoat pockets and pulled out a wretched-looking cigarette, along with an even worse-looking book of matches.  Without moving from the middle of the sidewalk, Flint struck a match, and cupped it to the cigarette, taking a long drag, then exhaling slowly toward the night sky.


Out of the corner of his eye, Flint caught the disapproving glare of bearded young man approaching him, probably on his way to the subway station nearby, given his non-tourist appearance.  He was in just the perfect mood to not let the silent judgement go without comment.


“Calm down, it’s not like I’m a corporation belching filth into the air around the clock.  I think you’ll survive having to pass me on your way to whatever hipster convention is eagerly awaiting your arrival.  They surely can’t get started with their hardcore smugness without your retro arse in attendance!”


The man stopped in his tracks, his scowl deepening.  But when Flint flashed his fangs in a predatory smile, the scowl turned to dismay, and the young man hastened away, no longer concerned with the peril to his lungs.  Funny how people forgot minor dangers to their person, when they realised their throat could well be on the cutting board.  Flint chuckled, his mood buoyed by the brief encounter. He began to walk again, puffing away and humming to himself.  

  • Current Location: Home
  • Current Mood: content content
  • Current Music: Some You Tube Video

Sundry Observations

It’s been an interesting few days.


I’ve been trying to unpack and do laundry, but have been battling where to put what, because I’m having problems getting this chest of drawers and side table put together, and I’m unsure where to place the shelves until I get the couch and have it in the proper position.  So I’m just sort of in a move-in suspended animation until tomorrow, when I’m scheduled to finally get the couch.


As I unpack and sort stuff, I learn of the things that I need and don’t yet have.  Like a broom.  I’ve already asked that someone revoke my Witch Card, because this shit is off the hook.  Who has ever heard of a Witch without a broom?  I was going to use the Swiffer one kind soul sent to me, but I forgot the sweeper needs batteries, so all I can do until I get to a store is just look at it, and look at the floors that won’t be getting cleaned for another couple of days.  Oy vey!


On Wednesday, a maintenance dude came to refurbish my tub and sink.  At first, I was told that Toby, Smidgen, and I would have to be gone for four hours after he had used the paint, but he seemed to think that the complex people were being overly-cautious.  He did warn that the paint had a strong odour, but that was fine, because I liked it once he used it.  Then again, I love the smell of gasoline, so I'm a bit of an olfactory mutant.  He got to work sanding the tub down, as he waited for his boss to bring the paint he needed.  She brought it after about two hours, but she brought the wrong paint, and what the dude needed was all the way in Simpsonville.  He asked if he could return the following morning, and I said yes.  He had to leave all his equipment in the apartment overnight, so I kept a couple of lights on, so I wouldn’t end up falling and breaking my face, or arse, or something else I might need.  He returned the next day and finished the job shortly after Noon.  Right now, I’m super-ripe and look atrocious, because I haven’t had a shower in over 48 hours now.  It’s currently 11:30, so I have less than an hour  to go until I can clean up my act.


Yesterday, Micah was swung by to pick up some incense I had for them, and give me some quarters for bills, so I can do laundry.  Stonesthrow has an on-site laundromat, but the machines only accept quarters, and they have no bill changer.  I found a drink machine in the gym this morning, and thought that might be an option for when I don’t have quarters or a way to get quarters, but the drink machine won’t take my bills!  Frustration is too weak a word for this situation…. Anyway, a few hours before Micah was to arrive, my phone died.  I figured it just needed to be charged.  But it wouldn’t come on, even after an hour of charging.  Nothing I did would make it show any sign of life.  I panicked.  With my health issues, not having a phone is not an option.


Thankfully, Micah was kind enough to haul my butt to AT&T, where I was prepared to bite the bullet and sign a contract, so I could get a new phone.  Everything was in order, until they asked for my identification, which I lost, along with my social security card, in the move across country.  The only way I can get a new phone, the service agent said, was to order it online.  Shiiiiiit!  But she did try this one wee trick to see if there was any hope for the phone, and the battery symbol popped up on the screen.  She explained that, sometimes, phones just get locked up and, if you press the power and home buttons at the same time, it can reboot them, and they are okay.  She suggested I take the phone home, hook it up, and do the reboot.  




So, it appears I don’t need a new phone after all.  I just need to learn every clever tip and trick having to do with the iPhone 5s, and I need to do it as soon as fucking possible, before I find myself in a panicked state, simply because I’m ignunt.


Anyway, it was great meeting and hanging out with Micah, whom I initially met online through my friend Cameron.  They are a delightful person, and I’m really looking forward to watching them perform in an outdoor production of William Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in which they play Puck!  Cameron, Cindy, and I were originally scheduled to go to the Saturday production, but Cameron is now thinking it’ll be Sunday, instead, which works better for me, considering I’m supposed to be getting that couch on Saturday.  Back to Micah, we share a fascination for the Arabic language and alphabet.  They are learning Arabic in school and seemed pleased when I told them that my original Rhyllan alphabet was inspired by the Arabic alphabet.  (I really need to turn Rhyllan and Tarmian Tarmi am Tynillim into digital fonts, but I’ll have to wait to get a printer/scanner for that.)  Micah is a brilliant person, and exudes a deep kindness.  Toby could not get close enough to them when they were here.  When they found out I was a Witch, they expressed some interest in learning more about Wicca, since their brother had recently been talking about it as well.  Once I have all my gear unpacked and have the apartment in order enough to where I can cast a Circle to my satisfaction, I'm going to invite Micah, and anyone else who might want to participate, to an open Esbat ritual.  By then, I'll have furniture for people to sit on, and receptacles out of which they can eat and drink!


I find it telling that I have only been back in South Carolina a month, and I’ve already made a new friend in Micah, and a potential new friend and neighbour, whom I met a couple of days ago.  Her name is Christa, and she stopped me as I was walking to the mail box, because she spotted my Pentagram pendant.  She’s moving in later on this month, and she’s an herbalist/acupuncturist who has dabbled in Wicca in the past.  She wants to get together once she’s settled.  I spent four years in San Diego and only made a tiny handful of friends right at the end of my stay in the area.  It isn’t that San Diegans aren’t friendly, this is about me.  I have to admit I was unwilling to get out there and be proactively social.  To be honest, I think that if I had remained in San Diego, I would have become a shut-in, because my social anxiety out there was out the roof.  I don’t know why, but I intend to suss it out over time, because I think it’s important to know the reasons behind my inability to interact with others there, when I don’t seem to have a problem with it here.  If I discover the roots of this behaviour, I can work to rectify it in the future.


Thanks to my Tribe, another very happy difficulty I’m having with getting unpacked and organised, is I keep getting more packages, which means I’m inundated with boxes, which are getting in the way of unpacking more boxes.  I’m not complaining, I think it’s ironic and hilarious!  For now, I’m holding on to the better-made boxes, and have put out the word that they are available to anyone who needs them, for whatever.  If I haven’t heard anything by Saturday evening, I’m beginning the arduous task of breaking them all down and taking them to the recycling bin across the way.

Speaking of Tribe and new friends, I’ve also connected with a local artist, who has created a piece of art for the new pad. I’m looking forward to meeting Modesto and seeing the barn he has drawn.  I had told him to make anything he felt would be good for me and, even though we’ve never met, he decided on a barn.  I have a weakness for barns and, especially, lighthouses, so this was perfect.  I’m thinking the barn will go in the dining room.  I can’t wait to meet Modesto, with whom I hope to work in the future to create an all-inclusive artistic community for the Upstate of South Carolina.  I’m in the market for other art, as well.  I’m hoping Janice will paint me a lighthouse, when her life settles down enough to where she can get back to her painting.  Also, I’ve found this print representing my patron Goddess, Lilith, that I’m keen on putting in the living room.  I also want to get a Tolkien-focused piece of art for the living room.  The other picture I want to put up is the picture of Jesus that Granny painted when I was just a baby.  I grew up believing he was a hippie whose eyes followed me when I moved, and I would flash him the peace sign at least once a day and say, “Peace, brother!”  I left the painting behind when I went to San Diego, because I was afraid it would be damaged in the move.  Now that I’m back, I’m reclaiming it from all the stuff I still have stored in the old house.  Of course, my Shriekback poster will eventually be gracing the bedroom wall.    As for the hall and bathroom, I’m not sure yet what, if anything, I’ll do in the decor department.  Despite my accrual of a shit=tonne of stuff in a very short period of time, I still consider myself a minimalist!


Smidgen vomited day before yesterday, and did so again overnight, but she seems to be doing well, other than those two incidences.  Rene is insisting I stick with the plan of taking her back to Dr. Patch next week, so I’m going to swallow my pride to acquiesce.  If it were me, or a situation that did not involve a living entity, I would just wait to address the issue when I could afford it, but that’s not the case, so off we go to the vet’s office one day next week!  And, actually, as I was writing this, she vomited again.  It was clear fluid with a light yellow tinge to it, so I’m a tad worried that her liver is not doing as well as I had initially hoped.  


I’m out of milk and sugar, so I checked to see if the Instacart service was available in this area.  It is!  So I’m having my milk, sugar, and a couple of other items I needed, delivered in a couple of hours.  Since I’m waiting on this, I’m postponing my shower until after s/he has come and gone.

  • Current Location: home
  • Current Mood: calm calm
  • Current Music: silencia

Tolkien Mood

For the past two weeks, I’ve been watching nothing but the Tolkien films.  This occurs occasionally, in my Arda-saturated world.  The tales JRR Tolkien shared with the world are as ingrained in me, in my soul, as they are in anyone who has ever been moved by a myth or a legend.  These are stories as old as time, at least as it is perceived by humankind.  You can call it ancestral memory, cellular memory, genetic memory, whatever it is, the remembering experienced by people when immersed in the epic accounts of a nation or race is what drives every generation to redefine the stories to fit their times, and to make sense of the world in which they find themselves.


On the recommendation of my sixth grade English teacher’s son, who was a year my senior, I checked out The Hobbit from the school library, and absorbed it in three days.  Before I returned it to school, I read it again, this time more slowly, taking a week.  I loved it, but hated the musical abomination that was the Rankin-Bass adaptation.  Normally, I loved their TV specials.  Not so with their version of The Hobbit.  I did, however, love Return of the King, primarily because of Glenn Yarbrough's beautiful song, "Roads Go Ever On."


Even though I had loved the book, it didn’t compel me to pick up The Lord of the Rings, which Gregg also recommended, or The Silmarillion, of which I doubt Gregg was aware, based simply upon his age and how difficult it was to be privy to information, literature, music - basically everything - that wasn’t in the realm of the commonplace.  LOTR and The Hobbit were popular enough to be well-known and easily-obtainable in the South.  The Silmarillion, on the other hand, had only been published for approximately two years at that time.  Even if Gregg knew about it, it was highly doubtful the school library had book!


On the day I took my SAT, in my senior year of high school, Aunt Tudi found a box set, which I still have, of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit at a yard sale she and Granny visited while they waited on me to finish my test.  I still did not read LOTR.  I was busy with other things at the time, like getting through my last year in high school, preparing for college, and writing this odd collection of mythic stories that were born out of my lighthearted science fiction shorts, originally inspired by the Electric Light Orchestra’s Time album.  


In my first year of college, my Humanities professor was impressed with my assignments and asked if I was a writer.  I told him I wrote stories and poetry, and had been active in the literary and drama clubs in high school.  He asked to see some of work, so I opted to share with him some of the stories of the Rhyllans, and how they came to be.  


A week later, Dr. Miller, who happened to be a Tolkien scholar who had taught classes on the old professor's works, asked if I had read The Silmarillion.  When I asked why, he informed me that I could be sued for some of the material I had written, if I ever tried to clean it up and get it published.  I did not understand but, instead of reading The Silmarillion, I opted to read The Lord of the Rings, under the incorrect assumption that it came before The Silmarillion.  Publishing-wise, it did, but I was thinking of the timeline of the narratives themselves.


Of course, I fell in love with The Lord of the Rings, and promptly went to B. Dalton Books and purchased a copy of The Silmarillion, which I still have.  When I read the Ainulindalë and Valaquenta, I finally understood Dr. Miller’s warning, and I reconciled with the fact that my Rhyllan myths would never be published in any complete capacity.  The one thing I couldn’t understand was why I was unable to make myself change much of anything in my myths, even though their current incarnation would get me chased around by the Tolkien posse.


This is where I want to make it very clear that I am, by no means, comparing my writing to that of JRR Tolkien’s, who far surpasses the greatness of the likes of Clive Barker, and he greatly surpasses even my wildest dreams of scribal skill.  The essence of the stories, in particular the Music of Creation and the diminishing of the Dėaghydge, was exceedingly Tolkienesque.  Even the Goddess Kessilon, the Dėaghyden Star Goddess, was nearly identical to Varda, albeit a tad more sci-fi in her relationship to the stars.  My mind was boggled, and it still is, even though I came to learn the root of the similiarities.  


It wasn’t until three years later, when I began to study theology and various theories, one of which was genetic memory, that I understood the connection between my stories and those of JRR Tolkien’s.  It wasn’t a connection that involved just myself and Mr. Tolkien; it was one that encompassed a great swathe of the Fantasy literary world and the whole of human myth, be it supposedly dead myths of ancient Greece and Sumeria, or the living religions like Hinduism and Judaism.  They are all retellings of a very tiny collection of stories that speak of humanity’s commonality.  And the connection doesn’t affect just nations or tribes, or even families; they affect individuals.  We all have the capacity, and often the compulsion, to create our own personal myths.  This is what I was doing with the Rhyllan folk, and their sister races, the Tarmi and the Thranodiena ~ all three of whom comprised the descendants of the divine Dėaghydhe.


In 1993, I was tasked with deciding on a Craft name, because I had decided to become a Dedicant in the Temple Hecate Triskele.  I opted for Tinhuviel, adding the “h” for numerological purposes.  Artanis was a name for the Tarmian Goddess of the flora and fauna, tightly connected with bears, owls, and lizards.  It wasn’t until about a year later, I discovered that Artanis is also Galadriel’s father-name!  So this is why I feel that Tolkien’s works aren’t simply fiction.  They have an ancient magick within them.  They have the power to bring people together and, sadly, because of their religious nature, they also have the power to pull them apart.  Such is the way with spiritual works.  JRR Tolkien wanted to create a mythology for England.  He certainly did that, but he did so much more.  He enriched the mythologies of people around the world, so much so, that scientists have named an entire ancient human race after one of his own.  That speaks volumes to me, and it should to any student of JRR Tolkien’s work, or human memory in general.


I know it’s an impossibility, but I would love to know the origins of the stories that are obviously of such great import to our species, that they have been retold for thousands of years, and are as beloved today as they were from time immemorial, with no small thanks to JRR Tolkien.

  • Current Location: Home
  • Current Music: That buzzing sound insomnia makes in your afflicted skull

Connected and a Quest

Yesterday, I called Charter Communications to set up Internet service, after AT&T fucked up every order I set up with them. Like, every single one. The gentleman I spoke with told me the technician would be at my pad between 8 and 9 AM. While I was out with Toby's morning walk, I got an automated call from Spectrum, informing me that the tech was en route. It was a quarter til 8. Toby and I hied our way back to the pad and about 10 minutes later, Chase the Spectrum Tech was standing, smiling, at my door. It was 8:06! He had everything set up within 30 minutes, and even checked with the other tech in the van to see if he had a lighter or matches for me. I haven't the ability to make fire at the moment, so I'm starting to feel like Naoh!

  • Current Location: Home
  • Current Mood: chipper chipper
  • Current Music: Return of the King on DVD
Tags: ,

Health, Move, and Sustenance

Thanks to my wacked-out health, there was an incident last Sunday that landed me in an extended stay hotel until yesterday morning. As documented on my Facebook, I ended up with Blake's cold a couple of weeks ago. Since 2015, I don't just get to have a simple cold and be done with it, no. I end up with secondary infections and my sleep patterns and behaviour are almost always affected. That means I sleepwalk. After the cold began to wane, I developed some sort of viral infection under my tongue. I caved and went to the doctor about that last Friday. He gave me some lidocaine for the pain and told me to ride it out for about a week, at which time, it should be getting better. But it wasn't just that. A knot - infection? lymph gland? who knows? - began growing behind my left ear. I felt generally unwell. The next thing I remember, Janice is driving me to Crossland Suites. She thought I had over-taken some of my medication and, when she couldn't find it in my stuff, was not going to be convinced otherwise. I was so sick and out of it, I was incapable of explaining what I had done with my meds, and had no way to show her that all was in order, because I'd repacked everything a couple of days prior, along with the meds I'd had moved from San Diego to here. It was an effort in poor organisation. The next day, I Uber'd to the closest CVS and had them check my temp at the minute clinic. My throat was on fire, and I felt delusional, and couldn't think straight. I had a fever of 103. I got some aspirin and juice, and went back to the hotel to die. Then I lost my voice for three days.

Fortunately, I began to recover from this nightmare on Thursday.  Friday was the big day of the move, so I had to be at least marginally functional!  When Friday came, my voice was back, my mouth had recovered almost completely, and my throat was only a little scratchy.  I was still weak and underwhelmed, but I was present and accounted for.

It's been slow going like you wouldn't believe with the unpacking process.  I don't have furniture to put things on, and I don't want to put stuff on the floor, in the event Toby decides he wants to mark something, like an asshole, so I'm having to pick and choose what I pull out for right now.  Today, I wanted to smudge the apartment, and set up a little bit of sacred space in the bedroom, but I can't find my supplies and incense.  I've gone through everything and can't find an inkling of Witchery anywhere.  But I did find the prescriptions I'd consolidated!  I called Janice to let her know and, when I see her, I'm gonna show her what I'd done and why it looked so bad, when she went to check on my medicinal intake.  I also apologised for acting so wonky.  I really could not help it, though!

Yesterday, I got a delivery of cheese garlic bread and a Pepsi, which I have been subsisting on for almost 24 hours. About an hour ago, I did something I had not done since 2013: I used a pot and cooked soup on a real stove. To most, I guess this is no big deal but, for me, it's truly a momentous occasion that means several things.  It means that I'm more self-sufficient now that I have been in years.  It means I can begin to eat properly and have more variety in my life as a crap foodie.  It means that I am going to save a huge amount of money on food, because I have so much storage space, a whole damned fridge, and the ability to prepare food rather than depending on prepackaged junk food.  Cooking that soup on a stove top, in my own pot, with my own spoon, means that I am free.  It also means that Gordon Ramsay will have one more vegetarian pseudo-cook to rail at for existing, and daring to darken the sacred doors of a kitchen!

Of course, I could not have gotten to this mini-milestone, had it not been for the kind souls of my Tribe and our extended clan.  Were I able, I would cook up a flipping cauldron of soup and share it with you all, as we party as hard as a pack of introverts could!

  • Current Location: Home
  • Current Music: The Return of the King on DVD
Cliffs of Insanity

Fifteen Years Old

Today, the Cliffs of Insanity turns 15 years old.  Sadly, the original journal won’t see Sweet Sixteen, but I’m okay with that.  As I learned back in 1984, in German class, “Nichts ist dauernd als der Wechsel.” - “Nothing is lasting but change.”

Considering this is the final birthday the LJ Cliffs of Insanity will be celebrating, I find it only fitting that this is the fifteenth year.  The number 5, in increments thereof, have always been of great import to me.  I don't know why.  Maybe it's some form of borderline schizophrenia, given a fascination for numbers is involved.  I remember the fifth and tenth birthdays were special, simply because of their numerical value.  It's fitting that the journal will end on a fifth year.

I hadn't planned for that to happen, but I certainly won't balk at the symbolism permeating the situation.  Everything happens for a reason.  We may not know the reason behind it, nor might we ever know, but a reason exists, nonetheless.  It's sort of like science.  Whether you choose to believe it or not, science is.  Get over yourself.

I wish I knew how to create journal styles.  I would very much like to make a Cliffs of Insanity style for the second incarnation of the Cliffs blog over on Dreamwidth.  The header of the style would be the picture above, or something very much like it.  I used to have a Cliffs style here on LJ, before they moved everything to an S2 format, which I have some sort of mental block that prevents my learning.  Yesterday, I went hunting for an S2 style generator online, something comparable to sites like, to no avail.  Apparently, we ignorant folk don't get to have nice things.

  • Current Location: Janice's
  • Current Mood: sleepy sleepy
  • Current Music: Lord of the Rings, The Return of the King on iTunes

The Tide's Turn

When Janice realised a few hours ago that I had put my feelers out for a twin/half bed, she told me that I could have hers, which is in pretty much brand new condition. She is wanting to get rid of the bed, because she has a new suit with a larger bed that's better support to her ailing back. Fine with me! I was pleased. Feelin' groovy.  Paul Simon was prepared to serenade me!  

Then, about an hour after that good news, I got a call from JoLee at Stonesthrow. I could tell by the tone of her voice things weren't good, before she even had the chance to say, "We've got a little issue with the apartment."

Oh, no.

But it wasn't a bad thing at all, except for a brief delay in when I'll move in.  JoLee went on to explain that the apartment would not be ready until Friday, June the 9th, three days after my initial move-in date.  I told her that would be fine, it was not a really big deal, 'cos I knew Janice wouldn't mind me staying a few extra days. That's when JoLee told me that the property manager had taken off the pet deposit, as well as the monthly pet rent, for one of the furkids, to make up for any inconvenience the delay might have caused me.

But wait, there's more!  Because my move-in date changed, I had to contact the power company and AT&T to change my utilities transfer and Internet installation date.  It was whilst chatting with an agent at, it was revealed that the price of $30 the first agent I'd spoken with had locked in for me had not actually been locked in, and I was designated in the system to be paying $40 a month for Internet, after paying my $99 installation fee.  

Oh, no.

But the agent told me he could correct the mistake, that my promised price was good.  The problem was, the system wouldn't let him change anything about the order, so he had to cancel it.  That's when things got really good.  Not only did he place me a new order for the 9th of June, but he also waived the installation fee, for the inconvenience of the botched first order!  I have confirmation of the new arrangements in email and chat.

Thanks to these folks wanting to ensure I wasn't upset about [not] being inconvenienced, I now have fundage for groceries in June (and stuff to cook them in and eat them on, thanks to my Tribe, you know who you are!), barring any unforeseen horror stories lurking in the shadows of chance.

  • Current Location: Janice's
  • Current Mood: relieved relieved
  • Current Music: Peter Gabriel - Solsbury Hill
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A Happy Housewarming for the Minimalist with NOTHING

In the event you're wondering whether or not you're experiencing déja vu, you're not. It was suggested to me that I should switch to the Amazon Wishlist, rather than Wal-mart, as my options would be greater and oft-times cheaper, so that is what I have done. You can click on the wee picture to the left to be taken to mah list. Thank you for your time, patience, and willingness to read this far!

  • Current Location: Janice's
  • Current Mood: blah blah
  • Current Music: In the Flesh? - Pink Floyd
Syd Barrett

Musical Empathy

The past few days have seen a good friend post several Pink Floyd songs to his Facebook timeline, a news story on Roger Waters' unsurprisingly politicized concert tour and, just now, my iTunes essentially saying, "Okay, asshole, the universe is telling you to listen to the Floyd, so I guess I'll just put you back in cosmic line. Motherfucker..."

There are often reasons for why I choose not to listen to certain songs or bands at certain times.  One reason is because of the memories associated with them.  Another is because of the pain of musical empathy.  Pink Floyd falls into that category, so I have to be careful of my mood and mindset before I partake of the auditory manna that is Pink Floyd.  

What exactly is this thing I call musical empathy?  Basically, it's when I feel the message of the music so deeply that I become that music.  I got a double dose of musical empathy with Pink Floyd.  Even though I'd heard their music before, I didn't really get into them until I was given a 45 RPM of 'On the Turning Away' by Uncle Michael in 1986. While I was reading an article in Rolling Stone about Pink Floyd, the next 45 that dropped on my record player just happened to be that record.  I heard the song for the first time whilst reading about Syd Barrett's descent into madness for the first time.  What are the odds? I felt his story so deeply, so jarringly, I felt like I was losing my mind.

It didn't help when, just a few months later, I would meet the man who would be my closest friend for 25 years, and he was very heavily into the band, particularly 'The Wall'.  I saw the movie for the first time with him.  We ended up memorising every single vocal noise on the album and the movie soundtrack.  There were times when we'd spend almost every evening after work, watching and acting out the film, or just listening to the album and singing along.  It was a beautiful time, but also a dangerous one, for me.  I was too immersed in it all, and my first bad bout with depression occurred right around this time.  It would be a few years before I was diagnosed with depressive disorder, but I think Pink Floyd awoke some long-slumbering serpent that may not have reared its head for a long time to come, if ever.

Do I regret my relationship with Pink Floyd?  Only when my mood prevents me from listening to them.  This past week has seen me in "one of my turns", so listening just wasn't an option, until today.  So now I'm bingeing and it sounds and feels oh so very good!

  • Current Location: Janice's
  • Current Mood: recumbent recumbent
  • Current Music: Pink Floyd - On the Turning away


Tomorrow evening, I will be ending this campaign. I'm keeping it up long enough to make sure anyone who is interested in my last update, gets a chance to read it. In a jaw-dropping rally to help Smidgen, members of my Tribe and their friends pushed me past my goal to rehome, *and* sent gravy outside the realms of GoFundMe, which went to pay for Smidgen's healthcare and her new prescription diet. All of you have no idea how humbled I am to have you in my life, and I hope to do the same for you when you need it, or even want it! You have been kinder to me in my time of emergency than some of my closest family, which merely confirms my belief that you make your family. You're mine.

  • Current Location: Janice's
  • Current Mood: grateful grateful
  • Current Music: Dario G - Sunchyme

The "Miracle" of Childbirth

Why do people get so schmaltzy about a woman's behaviour the moment she brings a child into this world?  It has nothing to do with love, and everything to do with chemistry. Most women are hard-wired to experience a deep, unbreakable love and connection to the child they just bore, because mammals are programmed to experience such joy to ensure the protection and care for the new life.  Women, in general, have this instinct.  Some women, like myself, do not.

But when I see people get all squishy over the normally natural instincts of a female caught up in the heady miasma of birth, it makes me sad that so many are oblivious to the science surrounding it, and prefer to attribute some mystical love-fest to the proceedings.  Let the woman be what she is in her moment.  Don't decorate the experience with obsolete beliefs. She's doing the exact same thing a mother cat does when she removes her babies' placentas and cleans them vigourously.  Her instincts, in the form of love, which is a collection of chemicals triggered by childbirth, dictate that she does this, just like most women are desperate to hold their newborns to their breasts.  

Don't get me wrong.  I honour the customs that surround childbirth.  I sympathise with the mystic traditions that have been born out of the birthing process.  I understand and sense the work of the Goddess in such events.  But I also know that science has explained a lot of what we once thought divine in nature, and that's something that we cannot deny.

Be happy for the new mother, if she is indeed happy to be one.  Celebrate with her.  Enjoy the customs and traditions you practice in regard to pregnancy and birth.  Just do so from an informed position, rather than from one of superstition and ignorance.  Yes, she is in love.  Yes, she is glowing with joy.  And yes, she's enjoying a high from a cocktail of chemicals that demand she feel these things, for the well-being of her newborn child.

Walter White will tell you the same goddamn thing.

  • Current Location: Janice's
  • Current Mood: crappy crappy
  • Current Music: silencia
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Doomsday Clock


If I am correct in my forecast of the final eradication of the republic of the United States, those of us who are, have very little time left to truly speak out against the current atrocities and the coming abominations.

After I am finally settled in the new pad, I plan on getting more involved, hands-on, locally.  Until that's possible, I'm doing what I can online. That means telling people as often as I can what the true nature of these fake Christians is, how they can fight it (while they still can), and what resources they need to research my dire warnings for themselves.  It also means standing up to Donald Drumpf and his fascist regime, using the same weapon he uses to disseminate his vile propaganda:  Twitter.

I try to troll him at least once a day.  I'm hoping everyone who reads this and see the examples of my efforts, decides to do the same thing. Maybe if he's trolled enough, he'll shut his tweeting pie-hole.  Maybe his insecurity from reading such responses to his activities will cause his blood pressure to shoot up and give him a fatal stroke. Better yet, maybe he'll finally lose his mind from all the pressure, and take out his entire administration and family before he offs himself.  I don't see a more ideal way of draining the fucking swamp in Washington DC.

But the pushback has to start now because, as I said, I doubt we have much time to freely express ourselves in this country.  The clock has been ticking since the evangelicals began blurring the line between church and state, beginning in 1980.  That clock is running out of time.

  • Current Location: Janice's
  • Current Mood: determined determined
  • Current Music: Rob Dougan - Clubbed to Death

GoFundMe Update #8

So my weak trickle has dried up, and I am still short $240. I've already resigned myself to the fact that I'm probably going to go hungry in June; however, it's nothing new, really, considering I went hungry a good bit of the time in San Diego, thanks to having no access to food. Things will still be better eventually! I've attached a screencap from my move-in letter, of the expenses I owe. It adds up to almost exactly $1500. If you want to help with my GoFundMe Campaign, just click the picture with all those scary expenses to be taken to my page.  Also, please share with everyone you know.  Even if you can't contribute, sharing with those who might can would also be a great boon.  I'm seriously considering launching another campaign for Smidgen. She lost all power in her back legs this morning. It was only for about 30 seconds, but any amount of time in that condition is simply unacceptable. Yep, I'm not thrilled with what life is handing me and mine, right now, but we shall follow the mantra of the great Gloria Gaynor, and we will survive.

  • Current Location: Janice's
  • Current Mood: anxious anxious
  • Current Music: Leslie Wai - Paradigm

My tweets


The End

Well, I have decided. June 24th will be the last day I cross-post to LiveJournal. That's New Moon, and I wish to begin many things anew on that day. Bringing LJ to a close and making the complete transition to Dreamwidth will be one of those major things. The move is bittersweet to say the least. I've been with LJ since June of 2002, making my 15 year anniversary a little under two weeks away. The old Cliffs is like your Granny's cardigan sweater: raggedy, but the most comfortable thing you've ever worn. At least, that's how I've felt about it for a very long time. I'll miss it, but it's time to move on, and Dreamwidth's platform is quite functional, providing me with most of what I need in a blog. It appears that 2017 is truly the Year of Great Change. Let's hope it's not also the Year of Great Upheaval. We're already living under the Chinese curse of "interesting times." Let's hope the only other big changes are nothing more than a journal transition made by an obscure (at best) blogger from the ass end of nowhere.

  • Current Location: Janice's
  • Current Mood: sick sick
  • Current Music: Ahrix- Dreams

Animal Groups

This is from an article in a newspaper from years back.  I'm transcribing it in order to save it, 'cos it's old as hell, and may get lost in the move.
by Scott Lafee
Groups of Animals Are Collected into a Knot of Nouns

The language of biological science is rooted in ancient Greek and Latin, in words like Homo sapiens and Tyrannosaurus rex.  If you're a scientist, this makes good sense because both languages are dead (or comatose at least) and not likely to change.  That means scientific words don't become obsolete.  And new ones can be created as needed by stringing together syllables of different, distinct meaning, the result readily deciphered by researchers from Montana to Mongolia.

But let's face it, there's not much fun in saying Strongylocentrotus droebachiensis, the scientific moniker for the green sea urchin.  Plus, it's damned hard to pronounce.

On the other hand, appellations ascribed to groups of animals, as in a pride of lions, are often inspired, if not well-known.  Herewith, a sampling of some of the more obscure names.  Feel free to clip for future reference, trivial pursuits, and games of Scrabble.
Bitterns - a Sedge
Buzzards - a Wake
Bobolinks - a Chain
Coots - a Cover
Cormorants - a Gulp
Cranes - a Sedge
Crows - a Murder
Doves - a Dule, Arc, or Pitying
Ducks - a Raft, Paddling, or Badling
Eagles - a Convocation or Aerie
Emus - a Mob
Finches - a Charm
Flamingos - a Stand
Geese - a Gaggle or Skein
Grouse - a Pack
Hawks - a Cast, Kettle, or Boil
Herons - a Sedge or Siege
Jays - a Party or Scold
Lapwings - a Deceit
Larks - an Exaltation or Ascension 
Mallards - a Sord
Magpies - a Tiding or Gulp
Nightingales - a Watch
Owls - a Parliament
Parrots - a Company or Pandemonium
Partridges - a Covey
Peacocks - an Ostentation
Pheasants - a Nide, Nye, or Bouquet
Plovers - a Congregation
Quail - a Bevy
Rooks - a Building
Ravens - an Unkindness
Snipe - a Walk or Wisp
Sparrows - a Host
Starlings - a Murmuration
Storks - a Mustering
Swallows - a Flight
Swans - a Bevy or Wedge
Teal - a Spring
Turkeys - a Rafter
Widgeons - a Company
Woodcocks - a Fall
Woodpeckers - Descent
Apes - a Shrewdness
Asses - a Pace
Badgers - a Cete
Bears - a Sloth or Sleuth
Buffalo - an Obstinancy
Camels - a Caravan
Cats - a Clowder or Pounce
Cows - a Kine
Elephants - a Memory
Elk - a Gang
Ferrets - a Business
Foxes - a Leash or Skulk
Giraffes - a Tower
Goats -a Tribe
Hares - a Down or Husk
Hippopotamuses - a Bloat
Hyaenas - a Cackle
Kangaroos - a Troop
Leopards - a Leap
Martens - a Richness
Moles - a Labour
Monkeys - a Barrel
Mules - a Span or Barren
Otters - a Romp
Oxen - a Yoke
Pigs - a Drift, Drove, or Sounder
Polecats - a Chine
Porcupines - a Prickle
Possums - a Passel
Prairie Dogs - a Coterie
Rabbits - a Warren
Raccoons - a Gaze
Rhinoceroses - a Crash
Seals - a Pod
Squirrels - a Dray or Scurry
Tigers - a Streak or an Ambush
Whales - a Gam
Wolves - a Rout
Wombats - a Wisdom
Zebras - a Zeal
Ants - a Colony
Bees - a Grist or Swarm
Butterflies - a Flutter
Caterpillars - an Army
Cockroaches - an Intrusion
Flies - a Business
Gnats - a Horde
Grasshoppers - a Cloud
Jellyfish - a Smack
Lice - a Flock
Locusts - a Plague
Spiders - a Clutter
Wasps - a Pladge
Barracuda - a Battery
Bass - a Shoal
Goldfish - a Cloud
Herring - an Army
Salmon - a Run
Sharks - a Shiver 
Trout - a Hover
Alligators - a Congregation
Crocodiles - a Bask or Float

Frogs - an Army
Lizards - a Lounge 
Toads - a Knot
Turtles - a Bale or Dole
Rattlesnakes - a Rhumba
  • Current Location: Janice's
  • Current Mood: sick sick
  • Current Music: Ahrix- Snowbound

I'm so Blue...

Well, not really, not completely.  But my hair is a different story!  For the first time in my life, I dyed my own hair.  I figured I'd do something heinous and all my hair would fall out, leaving a crusty, infected, bleeding scalp, but my low expectations were not met, thank the Mighties!  I used this dye called Splat.  It's cruelty free, which gives me the gentle wibblies and generates much affection for the company on my behalf and the behalf all the beasties that have been spared.

The colour was supposed to be indigo, but I'm really rather happy with the results.  I like the lighter blue.  It's almost a periwinkle, which is beyond cool, considering that colour's close association with Cadmus Pariah.  

It didn't take much of the dye to do this, so I'm thinking I have two more dye sessions' worth left.  This is incredible, because it means this dye job cost me about $4.00, as opposed to the $185+ I spent at Floyd's.

Blake is taking me to see Alien: Covenant tonight.  It's gonna be him, Colby, Nick, and me.  Here's hoping I don't cramp their Millennial style.  I'm just pleased as punch I'm getting to hang out with the kiddos.  A lot of the peeps in my generation around here are too busy being sticks in the mud.  Give me Millennials any ole day of the week.  What with my hair, I'm hoping I blend in effortlessly! 

  • Current Location: Janice's
  • Current Music: silencia

My tweets

Syd Barrett

Alvarado Parkway Institute


What you are about to read is an account of some happenings earlier this year.  It’s not at all a pretty story, and could possibly be triggery to anyone living with a mental illness, or with someone with a mental illness.  Please proceed with caution


There is a not-so-happy little place called Alvarado Parkway Institute, in La Mesa, California.  I ended up there four times in 2016, the last time being voluntary.  The first three times were for suicide attempts.  The fourth was an attempt on my part to not try again.


API has many hallmarks you might expect to see in a movie like One Flew over the Cuckoos Nest.  They engage in something I call “punitive therapy.”  The logic, as I see it, goes a little like this:  Oh, your being admitted to our hospital?  Well, excellent!  We will make you as miserable as we can, until you straighten up and stop being a snowflake.  There are four wings in the hospital, the Open Wing, the Forensics Wing (where prisoners are housed, whenever they go batshit like the rest of us.), South Wing for the elderly, homeless, and extreme depression, and the North Wing, which houses the violent patients, suicide attempts, and perverts.


Barring Forensics, I was in every wing.  I got off easy the first three times, what with my reason for being admitted.  I spent a brief stint in the Open Wing, but was transferred to the South Wing a day later, because I’d had a seizure, and they could keep a better eye on me in that part of the facility.  The next two times, I was placed in South.


The fourth time, I asked to be admitted.  It was New Years Eve, an event that is closely associated with Aunt Tudi.  We used to sit and watch the ball drop and sip eggnog, as we discussed the passing year and what our plans would be for the new year.  I had already been rattled by many of the events that transpired during the last half of the year, and I knew that if I tried to tough the night out, I would attempt another suicide, just to stop the memories and grief.  I figured I’d stay for a few days until the dust settled, and I had already enrolled in a different insurance plan that would allow me to go to a different hospital


I was wrong.  I remained on the Open Wing for almost two weeks. at which time the Mother Unit was going to come pick me up.  But the day she was supposed to get me, she never showed.


I tried calling her to no avail, so I finally gave in and called Matt.  It was then I found out that the Unit was in the hospital and had been since the day before.  She had to get a stent in her heart, as she’s got congestive heart failure.  I lost my mind, which isn’t a good thing when you’re locked up in a place for people who have lost their minds.  I asked if I could stay a couple more days, which the doctor agreed to OK.


The next day, I finally talked to the Unit, having gotten her hospital room phone number.  We weren’t two minutes into the conversation, when she started fussing at me for turning Matt down for a ride.  I was called rude, inconsiderate, and so on and so forth.  I tried to explain that I decided to stay a little while longer, because I felt that Matt should be close to the Unit, and I was all the way out in La Mesa.  I was trying to do what I though was the right thing.  And I got bitched at.

Then I really fell apart.  And I made the mistake of telling my doctor that I was again experiencing suicidal ideation.  The next day, I was transferred to the North Wing.  The place reeked of putrified happiness.  My blood pressure sky-rocketed, so they had to give me an Ativan.  I was so freaked out in the Wing, I refused to leave my room.


Now API has communal showers.  You ask the nurse to open the shower for you, you clean up, come out, and it’s someone else’s turn.  Now, I have this issue with touching things that naked strangers have touched.  I can’t do it.  But the next morning, I was forced to do it.  On the other two wings, they were perfectly happy to allow me to take bird baths and wash my hair in the lavatory.  I was always clean.  I never stunk.  But this one particular nurse had it in her mind to make me shower no matter what.  She escorted me down the hall, then threw me into that shower, which induced another panic attack as a result.  Another Ativan for me.


As previously mentioned, I refused to leave my room, which meant I couldn’t attend group sessions, nor did I want to, as I had nothing in common with any of the other patients, and I didn’t trust them or the staff to protect me from them.  The problem is, they monitor your group activity and, if you don’t attend, they will keep you longer.  


Because of that, my doctor, who spent all of two minutes with me each day, kept me for another two weeks.  In the North Wing.  It got to the point where I requested to change doctors.  When he found out I had done that, he stopped my sleeping pill, which was the only way I could sleep in that hell pit.  And it’s the only thing that keeps Aunt Tudi from calling me in the night, since it was nighttime when she would need me the most.  


I spent the majority of January in this hospital, simply because I needed help with my depression and complicated grief.  But they made me worse.  I experienced a psychotic break from lack of sleep.  As I understand it, I was running down the hall, trying to find Aunt Tudi before she died.  At least that’s what they told me.  And I was nearly catatonic from sleep deprivation by the time I was discharged.


I finally got my shit together, though, thanks to the hospital under my current health plan.  They listen without judgement, they work with you individually, and they provide tools that help people with mental illness better manage their symptoms.


What’s so funny is, API’s motto is “A Culture of Caring.”  The only thing they care about is lining their pockets at the expense of both patients and the underpaid staff.  Don’t get me wrong, there were many good people at API, but they were overworked, stretched thin, and shown little, if any, appreciation.  You can’t mistreat people, then expect them to get better, or have morale, respectively.

One more thing about API:  They need to better train their staff to deal with people who are simply depressed, or reserve a place just for those with depression.  When you begin mixing vastly different people with a rainbow of symptoms, nobody wins.  I spoke with many fellow patients who were depressed, and they agreed that it was detrimental to their mental health to be in an environment where you're treated like a criminal or someone who has dissociated from the world.


I’m so glad I will never darken the doors of Alvarado Parkway Institute again.  I hope that someday, both the patients and the staff run amuck and burn this psychiatric bog of eternal stench to the ground.

  • Current Location: Janice's
  • Current Mood: calm calm
  • Current Music: Electric Light Orchestra - Shine a Little Love


Above all else, have faith.
My commands are not difficult to obey.
At this very moment, as I speak to you,
I speak to everyone else as well.
I give them commands to help you in your quest.
I give them commands to make way for you.
Only remember.
Keep my words locked fiercely in your heart.
From this day forward, you are mine.
Every moment of your life is dedicated to my service.
From this day forward I will assist you every moment,
while you worship me.

-speech of the Goddess Isis
Apuleius' The Golden Ass


  • Current Location: Janice's
  • Current Mood: sore in some serious pain
  • Current Music: Electric Light Orchestra - Livin' Thing

Stonesthrow Apartments

I have an apartment. It will be ready to move in to on the 6th of June. Here's my latest GoFundMe update with the particulars.

First of all, THANK YOU to everyone who has so far helped with this campaign. Your generosity is truly humblings, and I hope I can someday do the same for you, or anyone who may need whatever help I can provide! Now, down to the nitty gritty. I was approved for an apartment at Stonesthrow in Greenville, South Carolina. True, it's not Asheville, but it's closer to my family and friends, both of whom I need more than trying to capture the happiness I felt in my childhood in Asheville. Sometimes, necessity and simple contentment outweigh dreams that may have run their course. The move-in date is June 6th. It is unfurnished, and I have no furniture of which to speak. I have the old dining room table that was made by Grandaddy, at least I think it's still down at the old house. That's it. Needless to say, if I have any money left after paying deposits, rent, and getting utilities and Internet, my funds will be reserved for things like a bed. I still have a long, hard row to sow, so please keep up what little momentum this campaign still has, 'cos I'm still $495 away from my goal, and I'm more than a little scared right now.

If you wish to help by contributing or sharing my campaign, please click:

Help Tin Get Rehomed

  • Current Location: Janice's
  • Current Mood: indescribable indescribable
  • Current Music: Stranger Things on Netflix

Ritual in Song

I found a tree stump in the woods across the road, in a small circular clearing about nine feet in circumference, facing North.  Using it as a natural alter, I placed a candle, incense, blessed water, and a combination of honeysuckle and magnolia.


After a brief invocation, I gave honour to the Goddess on Mother’s Day, and was suddenly moved to sing a song that Granny and Aunt Tudi used to sing in harmony.  It’s a Doris Day song called ‘Everybody Loves a Lover.’  It has zip to do with Mother’s Day, but everything to do with the women who played the mother role in my life.

What’s so odd is, from the moment Aunt Tudi died in 2011 until an hour ago when I was standing in the forest singing, I could not remember the words to the song.  All I could remember was the melody and the the first line, which is the title.  But I sang the whole thing flawlessly, as loud as I could, with my unused, atrophied voice.  I was crying by the end, but I did it. 


I snuffed the candle and what was left of the incense, spread the rest of the water around the altar, and left everything there (save the cup) for use in the future.


It was perfect.  It was a perfect Mother’s Day. 
  • Current Location: a good place
  • Current Mood: peaceful peaceful
  • Current Music: people talking positively about Trump...

My Goddamned Brains Are Bakin'!

My Uncle Michael was a true vulgarian, as John Cleese might say.  In fact, you could say it was he who put me on the road to having my own foul mouth.  But, when I first witnessed his temper combined with his expert swearing, it was kind of terrifying.


It happened about a month after Granny, Aunt Tudi, and I moved down to Duncan from Asheville in June of 1981.  We moved into the small house behind Uncle Michael’s and Janice’s house.  It would end up being the house I would live in until 2013.  Needless to say, I was already out of sorts, having been hijacked to this hot, flat, hellhole from my beloved Smoky Mountains, but I tried to keep it to myself.  But the day in question made me pull Aunt Tudi aside and ask her if there was no way we could just move back home, because I was fairly alarmed at Uncle Michael’s behaviour!


Uncle Michael had built a small workshop where he’d do his wood-working and other crafty projects.  He was a master construction worker, just a hairbreadth’s away from being an architect.  Had he been afforded the opportunity, he probably would have been famous for his designs.  So, anyway, he had a big project he was eager to finish and pushed himself to stay in the unconditioned, ill-ventilated building, running hot machinery and exerting himself in his work…in the Summer…in South Carolina.  The temperature that day had reached the mid-90s, with high humidity.  The air was thick, and your sweat just stuck to you like hot honey.  Not a good combination for the work he was doing.


We were all outside working in the garden when we heard the skill saw suddenly stop and the door to the shop burst open.  There stood a shirtless Uncle Michael, covered in sweat, his skin a rosy red, the hair on his head standing on end from his pulling it up.  His eyes looked like they were glowing, I kid you not.  He screamed at the top of his lungs, “MY GODDAMNED BRAINS ARE BAKIN’!”  and he stomped off into the house pretty much speaking in tongues from the level of expletives shooting out of his face.


Janice and the kids seemed not to really be bothered.  Janice rolled her eyes and said something about getting him some tea, and followed him into the house.  I just stood there looking after them with my mouth agape.  What had just happened?


After spending the first few Summers in SC without any air-conditioning, I came to understand exactly what had happened, because it started happening to me.  The heat and humidity can drive you plum crazy.  It feels exactly like your goddamned brains are baking, and the only way you can express your misery is to pretty much do what Uncle Michael did that day.


After a while, I got used to Uncle Michael and came to admire the hell out of him, even his potty mouth, which I eagerly adopted when nobody could no longer tell me I couldn’t.  We bonded over such language, over music like ELO, and our mutual love for harming ourselves with hot peppers every Sunday on our way to the flea market, to see which one could hold out the longest from the pain.  


My mind has been fraught with so many memories of him over the past couple of days.  I still can’t believe he’s gone, but I am so deeply grateful that I got to see him and tell him how much I love him on Tuesday.  Honestly, I believed I would never see him, Janice, or any of my family ever again.  Even in the midst of grief and uncertainty, I’m focusing on the things for which I can be grateful, and carrying on from there, step by step.  It’s all any of us can do.


...that, and try to prevent our goddamned brains from bakin’.

  • Current Location: Janice's
  • Current Mood: exanimate exanimate
  • Current Music: Electric Light Orchestra - Standin' in the Rain

Where Do I Belong?

Something alarming occurred the other day, with which I am only now coming to grips.  I’m still uncertain of how I feel about it, so of course, I have come to the Cliffs to process.  


Here’s the thing:  When Cameron and I went up to Asheville on Thursday, I felt at home, but I also experienced some unease.  It did not feel like when I arrived in Duncan.  Asheville felt like my heart, my origins, but Duncan felt like family.  And family is what I desperately need right now.  Also, most of my non-Internet Tribe reside in the Greenville-Spartanburg area, which encircles Duncan.


If I went to Asheville, I would be on my own.  Completely.  And I’m not sure I want to do that anymore.  In San Diego, I discovered that I was on my own pretty quickly and, even though I was technically with family, I maintained an undercurrent of discomfiture and disconnection for almost the entire four years I was out there.


Given my seizures and other health problems, do I really want to risk total seclusion?  In all honesty, I’m not sure.


Janice is letting me stay with her for a trial month.  It will be a financial boon as I look for a place, but I’m not currently comfortable landing in a place where I no longer know anyone, have no family, and no way to get to a doctor if I had an emergency.  It may not be the wisest move for me to make, and I’m doing my best to make wiser choices, considering the disaster that was the move West.


The grass is not necessarily always greener and, even though the Upstate is the Armpit of Hell, it’s not the Taint, which would be Linda Vista, the neighbourhood in SD in which I lived.  That said, the reasons for each infernal designation are radically different.  The Upstate is the Armpit because of the political and spiritual climate out here.  Even though a good chunk of the population is fraught with narrow-mindedness and ignorance, they’re decent folk, and they understand so much more clearly the importance of family and friendship.  People in San Diego do, too, but the ones I had the most contact with were not among them, so my living environment out there is what makes Linda Vista the Taint of Hell.  It’s no shade on the city of San Diego itself.


The rent here is cheaper, too, which would be a serious blessing for the duration I get settled back in, and discover the things I need to purchase to properly do so.  Asheville still isn’t out of the question.  I still dream of living in the place I was at my happiest, but perhaps it’s time for me to simply be content. Besides, my work in activism would be better served in an area that needs it.  I don’t want to preach to the choir, I want to reach people who have no idea they are living in bondage, a bondage of the mind and spirit.  San Diego is woke as fuck, and Asheville is deeply aware, but the Upstate is caught up in the machinations of Aggressive Stupidity, and many people being carried along in that wave don’t know they have options.  


So, yeah, I’ve got a lot to think, pray, and write about these next few days.  In the meantime, I’m keeping all options open, and I’m waiting for the place I need to be, to be revealed.  I’ll know it when it happens.

  • Current Location: Aunt Janice's
  • Current Mood: contemplative contemplative
  • Current Music: silencia

My tweets


Mountain Talk

As I was growing up in Asheville, I'd spend a great deal of time with my great-grandmother, Little Granny (she was 4'10"). Here's a picture of her mother, Granny Mehaffey, who was born on September 9, 1867, and fought a bobcat to the death in her 30s.  If I remember correctly, she was in her 90s when she died, and she had one tooth her head that she would use to eat apples! It's true that the Scots-Irish folk of the mountains are tough as goddamned nails. Nowadays, I'm thinking she would have to go a bit further into the Blue Ridge Mountains in order to be fully understood, since a lot of the language has faded over the decades. Granny Mehaffey probably sounded more like she was speaking a bastard version of Gaelic and German than the modern Appalachian dialect of today. Here are some words I used to hear her use, and some I even have used myself throughout my life. Those I've put in bold.

  • Afeared - afraid
  • Ary - any
  • Bald - a treeless mountain summit
  • Blinds - window shades
  • Blinked or Blinky - gone sour, usually in reference to milk
  • Brickle - brittle (Little Granny always called peanut brittle "brickle".
  • Cat-head - a giant ass biscuit
  • Clean - used as an adverb meaning "all the way."  "I'll knock your damn head clean off your shoulders!"
  • Coke - any cola, be it Coca-Cola, Pepsi, or RC.
  • Cornpone - cornbread (I had a dog named Cornpone!)
  • Directly - soon, later, after a while, when it's convenient.  "I'll call you back die-RECK-lee."
  • Fit - fought, as in (and I'm not lying here) "I'm so tired, I feel like I fit fire (pronounced far) all day."
  • Haint - ghost, spirit, hideous woman
  • Holler - for hollow, the valley in between mountains
  • Hull - shell, as in a nut hull.
  • Ill - bad-tempered
  • Jarfly - cicada
  • Kyarn - carrion.  Anything that smells rotten.
  • Lay out - to skip school or work
  • Meeting - religious service, as in "Sunday-go-to-meetin'"
  • Nary - none
  • Peckerwood - someone you think is an asshole.
  • Piece - distance, as in, "You'll find the gas station up the road a piece."
  • Plum - completely.  "I'm plum wore out!"
  • Poke - satchel (see its origins for real and true. ----->)
  • Poke sallet - a salad made from the boiled leaves of the poke bush.
  • Quare - queer, as in the original meaning of the word, which was strange.
  • Reckon - suppose
  • Sigogglin - wonky, crooked, out-of-whack
  • Sop - gravy
  • Swan (or Swannee) - swear, as in "I swannee!" usually said as you shake your head in dismay.
  • Toboggan - a toque, knit cap
  • Tote - to carry.  Also can mean a sack.  So you can tote a poke or tote a tote.
  • Tow sack - a big burlap bag
  • Yonder (Little Granny said "yander") - there, as in "over yonder."
Do you use any of these words?  If so, you may have been influenced by us crazy hill folk.

In case the word "sigogglin" just blew your mind, here's a fine example. Just look at that wonky face!


  • Current Location: Quality Inn
  • Current Mood: sad sad
  • Current Music: Impractical Jokers on TV

Lack of Respect or Fire with Fire?

I'm listening to a discussion about how college students are protesting ultra-conservative speakers at their graduation ceremonies, and many people on both sides of the fence are tut-tutting these young adults for choices, citing a lack of manners and an inclination to tamp down free speech.NO.These young people are realising what their parents should have twenty years ago, or more. When it comes to extreme views, based on hate and, these days, very thinly veiled, people like that have lost the luxury of being treated with manners, because they don't afford the same to the majority of their fellow Americans.

The time for so-called polite discourse is over, because these people never wanted that; rather, they want people to keep their mouths shut and listen to what they have to say, then toe the line. You can't fight madness like that by following a model the other side abandoned decades ago.  If freedom is to survive, those who treasure it and, especially, those who depend on it for their safety from these thugs, need to rise up, exactly like these college graduates are doing.

A huge chunk of Baby Boomers turned traitor ages ago, opting for the promise wealth over the ideal of true liberation. Generation X, my generation, is too jaded and complacent to be very effective at all, plus we were the first generation to grow up under the unsupervised shadow of the burgeoning Moral Majority, so many in our own ranks came into adulthood brainwashed, then did the same to their kids, who are even more dedicated to the theocratic movement, which was born out of an intolerance of de-segregation, not a love for foetuses. And the poor Millennials just don't get listened to, because they are so incredibly alien to the former gens, especially the Boomers. (I don't think they're alien, I love Millennials!). Is it any wonder they are choosing more aggressive tactics in a bid to protect what few freedoms they have left?

Was it rude for the graduates of Bethune-Cookman University to turn their backs on Nancy DeVos? That depends. Is it rude for someone who is part of a movement that intrinsically hates non-whites and justifies it with Jesus to presume to make a commencement speech at a college that was created because African Americans weren't allowed in White colleges? The new adult Americans realise something we older ones could not, or would not: You have to give tit for tat, when it comes to irrational, aggressive, narrow-minded people who are about as American as Al Qaeda. The new adult Americans are all Americans' safety net, the only thing coming between us and complete collapse into a Fascist Theocracy.

We should be thanking them instead of calling them names.


Mind Monster

Before I begin writing this, I want to make something abundantly clear: I am not actively suicidal. Suicidal Ideation is one of many joyful experiences served up by Depressive Disorder. So, let's get that straight. No need to call emergency services. I just need to purge all of this, so it doesn't go any further than unbidden flash thoughts.

After six hours of fitful sleep, my first thought when I woke up this morning was, "I'm thin enough now, I could walk to Rogers Bridge with Smidgen and Toby, and we could jump in the Middle Tyger River. That way, we'd never be a burden or worry to anyone ever again, least of all ourselves."

Off and on yesterday, as the funds just poured out for very damned little, I caught myself considering the peace oblivion would bring.  I have placed strain on my family out here, and I'm being a pest to my friends and Tribe for rides and money.  I've drug my two homebody furbabies all over hell and half creation to establish a relationship with my mother that never was meant to be.  I can't eat properly, I'm always in pain, and honestly, I'm lonely.  I feel like I've lost the ability to be (or act) normal in a social situation.

I've felt more like a throwaway than I have in months. And I know it's that damned chemical imbalance in my brain interacting with the uncertainty of my future, but being intellectually aware of what's causing it does not prevent it or alleviate it.  I just have to work through it.

It truly is like having a monster living in your mind and, despite your efforts to stop it, it just continues to gnaw away at your will to keep the thing at bay.  No one needs or wants a life in upheaval but, when it happens to someone like me, it can be a life-threatening situation.  You become a threat to yourself.  That's why so many people I know who have Depressive Disorder are hardcore about keeping certain routines.  If you find a routine that brings you peace and doesn't rock your psychological boat, you're going to hold on to it with a fierce passion and, if that routine is upset, it can send you into a tailspin.

I'm in that tailspin right now, and I'm doing my best to pull up.

But I'm scared.  And my feelings about losing Aunt Tudi aren't even trying to hide right under the surface. And it's gonna get worse before it gets better, because I'm going to have to bunk with Blake in the old house until I can find another place to live, which means she'll be calling me in the night.  And it's that main thing that drove me to so much self-destructive behaviour before I left for California.  To be back there even for one day is almost unbearable to imagine, but it's going to happen whether I want it to or not.

I feel like my solar plexus has turned into a gordian knot, and my heart is beating funny.  My entire body is responding to the stress and depression, and I'm afraid I'm going to fall ill, when that's the last damned thing I need right now.  I've already got a urinary tract infection that I'm trying to beat on my own, because I can't afford an urgent care right now.

What's worse is Smidgen's back leg weakness has magnified.  I'm hoping it's just arthritis and the stress of travel making it worse, but she's old and I'm afraid it might be something more serious.  And I can't take her to the vet.  Of course, my mind instantly went there - that I'm going to watch her die because I was too sorry to take care of her.  Why do I deserve to live when I can't properly make the lives of those I love have some measure of quality?  If Smidgen dies, I am going to be beyond devastated, especially if I find out I could have prevented it somehow, if I had only done more or been more.

My helplessness cannot be measured.  I'm doing everything within my power, including writing this, to make sure hopelessness doesn't also get to that point, because I'm not sure I'll survive it.

  • Current Location: Quality Inn
  • Current Mood: morose morose
  • Current Music: TV Noise

Mondo Bizarro

Even though I'd planned on doing it a little later in the day, on a whim, I just walked over to Not-Carl's Jr (HARDEES) to get a newspaper. As I was putting my change in, I heard a man behind me say, "Hey, I like your dog!" I turned around and there sat Bobby, my longtime friend Diane's boyfriend.  

"Bobby?!" I said, shocked as hell.

He stared at me for a minute and then said, "Tracy, is that you?!"

I had been trying to get in contact with Diane for the past two weeks, to no avail. Her line was always busy. He went into the restaurant to tell her I was outside. When she came out, we had a brief festive reunion and I gave her my phone number so she could call me, and I could tell her everything that's going on.

She's lived here longer than I have, and she has tons of connections, so I'm hoping she can put out some feelers for me a place to live.

Really, though, what are the chances? Diane and Bobby don't live in Duncan, they live in Spartanburg, approximate 15 miles away. What forces are at work that would lead me to go get a paper at that exact time, to find them there? It's a fast food joint, so the window of stumbling across them like that was minuscule! Surely, this is a bounty in disguise. I have to think that way. My other thoughts are not the healthiest in the world at the moment.

  • Current Location: Quality Inn
  • Current Mood: distressed distressed
  • Current Music: World's Dumbest on the telly
Tags: , , ,

My tweets


GoFundMe Update #1

Click here, or the pic below, to be taken to campaign page on GoFundMe

It has been 10 hours since I launched this campaign and, already, I'm a third of the way to my goal. And it's all thanks to you lovely people. My friend Cameron is taking me up to Asheville tomorrow, because I have scheduled three appointments for viewing rooms and apartments. Ideally, by tomorrow evening, I will have secured something and can start mapping out the rest of my plans for permanent settlement. I will definitely keep everyone following my progress here updated as much as possible! Again, thank you all so very much. You are stellar souls, and my heroes, every last one of you!

  • Current Location: Quality Inn
  • Current Mood: thankful thankful
  • Current Music: My 600-lb. Life on the telly

Travel Journal

The following was handwritten during my trip from San Diego to Greenville-Spartanburg.

May 8, 2017, 10:40 PM PDT
I'm on the plane, bound for Greenville.  It's hard to believe I've come full circle, and even harder to believe that I'm so happy to be returning to the South.  The Mother Unit brought me to the airport.  We did a one-armed hug to say goodbye.  Kind of sad, really, but I really didn't expect much more, if anything.

She and Matt are still in the process of packing, so they probably won't leave until Wednesday.  Losing Pinky took a physical toll on them, so they did very little in the moving department today.  I would have been the same way, had it been Toby or Smidgen lost to the wild.  I feel terrible that Pinky got outside.  Matt feels he did not surve the night, considering it was cooler than normal and rained cats and dogs all night.  Sorry luck, regarding the weather.  I can't help but think some karma was at work here, although I'm not at all happy with a little life being lost in the process.  It would have been better if Mama Bird had been the one to get out, since she might possess some rudimentary memory of her time in the wild.  Even if she weren't able to survive, she would still be better off dead, considering her ungodly time in captivity, along with fact that she lost her mate not long ago.

May 9, 2017, 7:40 AM EDT
Toby, Smidgen, and I just boarded the flight going from Charlotte to Greenville.  I transported the dynamic duo from the San Diego plane to the transfer flight in a wheelchair.  They're getting better treatment than I am on this journey!

The sun was just rising when we landed in Charlotte. It was an incredibly cathartic experience to see a blanket of green bathed in sunlight, muted by buttermilk clouds.  I haven't seen buttermilk clouds in years. Contrails?  Absolutely.  But no buttermilk.  I could even see the mountains - MY MOUNTAINS - from the sky.

We're about to take off, scheduled to land in approximately an hour, maybe less.  Cameron is meeting me at GSP, and is taking me by Wal-Mart on the way to Janice's.  I have reserved a hotel room at the Quality Inn for the next couple of days in order to give Janice more time to accommodate my hopefully brief stay with her and Uncle Michael.  I need to find more permanent arrangements as soon as humanly possible, but I've got to take at least a day to recuperate from the chaos of the past week; otherwise, I'm going to shut down and get nothing done at all.

I need to buy another pair of pants, some panties, and a couple of shirts.  Why?  Because my dumb ass packed all the clothes I have, including the ones I'd set aside to bring with me, save for the ones I'm currently wearing, and the movers won't have my stuff to me for about a week.  The last thing I needed was to have to spend more money I wouldn't otherwise need to.

I rode all the way across the country with my arms tucked underneath my tee shirt.  It was cold as all Sith Hell on that airplane!  The woman who shared the row with me was flying out to attend a funeral and had to bring her dog with her, a Jack Russell Terrier named Sia, who she feared would go ballistic if she saw Smidgen and, especially, Toby.  Thankfully, they didn't spy one another, having their vision limited tucked under the plane seats, so it was a very quiet flight.  I left the seat between us empty, and told her to feel free to use it and the tray table, if she needed.  We ended up using the middle tray for our beverages, which allowed for more room for our appendages.  If I could afford it, I would always buy two seats, pets or no, simply for the convenience just that little bit of space provides.  Alas, it would probably be cheaper just to fly First Class, if one had the money to throw around like that.

One of the last things the Mother Unit said to me before we parted ways was to point out that I would be amazed at how large the seats would seem, since I hadn't flown since my panniculectomy.  She was right.  I was able to sit sideways for a while, as I watched You Tube vides on the computer.  Of course, I'm still not over the fact that I'm sitting here in a large women's tee shirt and size 6 jeans.  What I want to know is where the rest of me ended up because, according to the laws of physics, there are 210 pounds of me floating around the observable universe in some form or another.

I can't believe that I'm almost finished with this journal.  It's a fortunate thing that I thought ahead and got an extra when I could afford it, so there would be no interruptions in my handwritten journaling once this one is full.  The only thing I need to do to make it ready to be written in, is to finish inking the owl cover, like I did with this journal.  The colours will be different, obviously, but the finished product should be just as pretty, if not more so.

Well, this was a short flight.  We are already about to land after only approximately thirty minutes in the air. It seems we spent more time on the tarmac than we did actually flying!  I can't wait to see Cameron and all my Tribe and family.  I just hope Cameron finds me okay, 'cos my phone is dead and I currently have no internet connection.  Ye gods.  

We just landed at 8:25 AM.  I'm home.

One more thing before I conclude this entry.  You know you're at an airport in the South, when about half the seats made available for travelers are rocking chairs.  The end.

  • Current Location: Quality Inn
  • Current Mood: okay okay
  • Current Music: Paranormal Witness on SYFY
Tags: , , ,

Love is Love

As I typed out the subject line of this post, it dawned on me that it's the title of a Culture Club song that was featured on the Electric Dreams soundtrack.

So I spied a post by someone lauding the beauty of Christian Love.  What exactly is that?  The entire post dripped of some misplaced spiritual superiority, as though Christian Love is better than your common, run-of-the-mill, lowly love.

The message I get from language like this drips of division and separatism.  I may be wrong, but I seem to remember that Jesus Christ was incredibly inclusive, especially considering the time and place of his activities.  Why his (fake) followers need to feel so special that they set themselves aside is beyond my limited comprehension.

Again, to echo the Culture Club song, love is love.  To give it any other designation is an insult to the very ideal of love, in my opinion.  And I'm not just speaking of Christians here, now.  Any sort of love, be it "romantic", "platonic", straight, gay, motherly, fatherly, sisterly, brother, etcetera, is simply and beautifully love.  And we are lucky if we ever feel it or are the recipient of it.  Many say God is love.  If that is the case, then the word "love" should be enough.  By its very nature, love is inclusive.  It is an invitation to trust and bond with one another, our fellow Earthlings, and our divine source.  To label it any other way is detrimental in every way.

And love is not just a word, obviously.  It is the expression of our deep connection, and we should act accordingly.  You cannot love, then set yourself apart from everyone else by defining the "type" of love you're feeling.  That behaviour is the very antithesis of what the phenomenon is about.  And, considering the behaviour of a lot of folks who claim to be Christian these days, many people who use the term Christian Love are doing their faith an incredible disservice.

  • Current Location: Quality Inn
  • Current Mood: thoughtful thoughtful
  • Current Music: Paranormal Witness on SYFY
Darth Geek

Help Tin Get Rehomed~!

After spending almost four years in San Diego, I have returned home to the South, and am actively hunting for a home in Asheville, North Carolina, my home town.  Despite my efforts to avoid this, I’m setting up this account to raise funds to help me swiftly find and pay for a place to live.  I’m aiming to obtain at least $1000, hopefully within the next week, which will cover travel costs accrued from searching, and most of a security deposit for a home.  I initially had enough money to make the move without incident, but my original plans fell through, and my last minute arrangements cost me $2000 that I had not expected to spend; rather, it was the nest egg I had to help me get around to find a domicile.  Now that that’s gone, I have had no choice but to turn to GoFundMe and friends.  So, if you can spare anything at all, it would be deeply appreciated.  I promise I will be updating on how the money is used and when I am settled in my new home.  To visit my campaign, you need only click on the screen cap below, or right here. Thank you in advance!


  • Current Location: Duncan, SC
  • Current Mood: hopeful hopeful
  • Current Music: tv noise