Saturday, November 23, 2013


 Reposted here, cuz Google Docs has apparently become User Surly:


             . . . because Pagan/Heathen/Alternative Spirituality takes too long to type, and Mysterious Dead Grandmother and Cleopatra Morrison Syndromes are a threat to the very polyester blend of reality


I started using a couple of acronyms (that are ones I came up with) awhile back, because 1) I'm lazy and 2) I needed shorthand to refer to the ideas behind them.

The first one, PHA, is short for "Pagan/Heathen/alternative spirituality", which I started using as a catch-all for anything not considered an Abrahamic faith or a largely recognized Eastern belief system. And to shut up the portion of Heathens/Wiccans/Witches/Vodouisants/Santerians/Asatru/whatever that get their knickers in an indignant wad if you use the term "Pagan" in connection with them. It's hopefully open enough to include eclectic DIYers.

The second one, MDG, is short for Mysterious Dead Grandmother syndrome. There is a variant that includes grandfathers, but 98% of the time it's the grandmother strain. This is a horrible condition where a person will have a fairly (radically) divergent set of beliefs, with variations that don't really belong to the system (s)he claims. When asked (busted) about this, the MDG infectee will insist that they were born into an ancient (or at least centuries old) family Tradition that has been handed down secretly over the years, and that they were trained as an ___ th degree priest-type thinger by their grandmother. 

This is often accompanied by an insistence that their family trad is a more true or pure form, and therefore more valid, than the more established versions of the belief system it's being presented as but fails to really jive with. When asked to show some form of proof of the existence of this fam trad, the grandmother (and usually anyone else) is always conveniently deceased, and cannot be spoken with.

There is often an added symptom that they have "sworn not to reveal the mysteries/their brothers/the sacred writings", and therefore can't furnish any samples of the tenets, age, or origins. Also, anyone who asks is disrespectful of The Way, or sadly not spiritual enough to Sense The Truth (cue dramatically enlightened music), or an outright judgmental hater, so there, nyyahh. Pointing out to them that if it's a secret, they probably shouldn't be talking about it doesn't produce productive results.

The rare, elusive Nopetopus
A surefire way to diagnose an MDG is to tell them "well hey, we talk to spirits all the time, let's call the Old Girl up on the scrying bowl". There's a roughly 73.2% chance of spontaneous combustion, and a 3-5% chance their heads will explode like that guy on "Scanners".

Some MDGs are eclectic DIYers that are afraid of the derision and dislike exhibited by a portion of the established trad people for eclecticism, and are trying for validation by imaginary lineage and pseudo-history. Some are overgrown gamer wannabees who are way too into fantasy genre and want an excuse to wear a cape and walk around looking mysteriously superior. Some of them are fruitcakes or rotten bastards who are using Paganism as a cover for scams or predatory behavior. All three categories make the PHA community look bad, but I'd much rather have the first two than the third.

For an MDG that smells like it may fall into that third category and seems to be successfully infecting other people, please refer to Bonewits' Cult Evaluation Frame:

That page is recommended reading anyway.

That leaves CMS, or Cleopatra Morrison Syndrome. It shares some of the same vectors and indications as MDG, but usually manifests as one of two separate strains. You hope. If you get one who's got BOTH strains of the virus, you may as well go ahead and find a closet with a nice, sturdy locking door.

CMS victims will exhibit claims of exclusive or accelerated education and/or training by spirit guides, or of past life incarnations, whose identities will all be major, famous historical celebrities, documentable or otherwise. If they are to be believed, Jim Morrison, Marilyn Monroe, and Jimi Hendrix are all communicating with approximately 836.4 people at any given point in a 24 hour period. The past life strain is probably the more tragic - you cannot truly appreciate the damaging effects of the disease until you've seen two (alleged) adults get in a shrieking hair pulling contest over which one of them was Cleopatra, Genghis Khan, or the "highest" High Priest(ess) of Atlantis/Lemuria/Ys/all three in a past life. It's been eight years since the "Elevator Incident" and I still get this muscle twitch around my right eye . . .

The only known treatment for MDG or CMS is as follows:

1. An immediate cessation of low quality, poorly researched, pop culture television and movies, and of expensive New Age/self-improvement seminars with the word "secret" in the title

2. Prolonged exposure to archaeological, anthropological, and other ological publications and presentations

3. Participation in more than one metaphysical interest group comprised mainly of people who have already done #1 and #2.

Warning: 97% of infected people will not accept treatment willingly. Studies show that a gradual introduction of curative elements has a higher long-term success rate than, say, tying them to a chair in a room with "The Power Of Myth" audiobook in surround sound for a week. Even if that is more fun.

Snooze Hamilton
Carolina Grove

* edited 7/18/10 to add CMS MSDS.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Trayvon Martin, or Whole Lotta Fail

Go here for Sane People stuff:

Well done, Fern.

This pretty much makes one of my two points (cue Spanish Inquisition sketch), and does it a lot more politely than I would.

Having been told by our local police after our nutjob neighbor's dogs came after Bridget and me and he took a swing at me (the second time) that I am not to walk on the upper half of my street because I am being provocational if I do, or that I "should stay in the house more" because if I'm outside in the yard and he gets aggro with me, it's my own fault, my only response to the majority of the vehemently pro-Zimmerman arguments I'm hearing is "fer realz??!!"

By the way, kids, when you say "That lil' nigger asked for it by walking where he shutna been and being defiant and disrespectful", you don't get to play the "but I'm not racist!" card. Especially when you assert that Zimmerman was not being disrespectful to 911 when he ignored them, or to Martin when he challenged him for walking on a public street, with no better rationale than "he's a concerned citizen". Imma need to get some Febreeze to cover the smell if I hear that one much more.

I wanna know why Martin's defense of himself was not also considered "Stand Your Ground". Is the Prez right; if he'd also been armed, would the jury have declared it a tied game?
The abovementioned crap was handed down to a 40-something dumpy white chick, not a melanin-abundant teenage male. Because I hit and kicked his dogs to keep them off me, and told him to bring it the hell on when he came running up screaming that he was going to "fuck my bitch ass up" for punching his dog. Defending my dog was out of line, and so was raising my voice to their owner, who was justifiably upset with me. If he didn't press charges the police might.

I've done Fern's blog post, although fortunately with a much less tragic ending. I had a similar thing back when I lived at the coast; a drunk guy came in the Office Depot I worked at and got angry because I walked past him and "looked at him funny". He poked me in the shoulder several times and told me "you don't give me a look, you treat me with respect", and grabbed my hair when I tried to walk away from him. I was told by management that I caused the problem by walking away, and therefore disrespected his rights as a customer.

These two sitches are pifflesnot compared to Martin's by a long ways, but I can see his side much, much better than Zimmerman's. If my neighbor comes after me again, I may be screwed if I run, or I may be screwed if I defend myself. Given the number of girlfriends he's had DV incidents with, I figure I'm definitely screwed if I just let him do whatever he wants unchallenged, and I'm not up for that anyway. I have had an officer tell me that the police can't really tell me not to walk on a public sidewalk on the street I live on without a restraining order, but he still suggested I avoid that end of the street as much as possible".

Laws are only as good as the individual or entity enforcing or interpreting them.

NC also has a Stand Your Ground law. Wonder if our courts are as pick-and-choose about who gets to use it as this one in Florida, and others? At least we're arguing about it, but given the level of neo-Con garbage our legislature has been getting up to in the last year, I'm not going to hold my breath. Stand Your Ground as it stands now is too susceptible to human stupidity, bias, and entitlement issues.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Okay Peeps, we need helps 'n stuff. Here's the 411:

We lost Tig (cat) this past Saturday around 1 am after a two week bout with confirmed coccidia and a possible other problem(s) we were not able to nail down, in a previously very healthy cat.

Later Saturday morning, Muggs went to the vet after he refused breakfast and we saw that his gums were white; vet's suspicions are a bleeding spleen (possibly from a tumor) or exposure to a toxin like rat poison. Either is a possible variable as Muggs has tumors present (biopsy was benign but a mass can still be a problem) and we have had a neighbor threaten us and the dogs specifically.

The vet is checking right now on the logistics of a more specialized blood test than the PCV test already done and an ultrasound.

There are a lot of people on here who've met Muggs. You guys know what kind of personality above and beyond "dog" he is. What we want to ask people for is


Not necessarily healing energy; throwing a bunch of juice at him right now will not always help and may actually harm. If you're an experienced "target" energy wrangler with some veterinary or related knowledge and want to do something along those lines, please call or IM me or Miles and do a little coordinating before you let it roll.

"Good luck" is a chaos variable that allows for Best Case Scenario with us dealing with hidden details. It also includes preventing any further problems if that is a possibility.

I had surgery last week, and between that, Winnie's last bad spell, nursing Tig, and still working on fixing the damage from the tree falling on the house, we're both getting to the point of tapped. So we appreciate anyone who wants to jump on board. But please do take into consideration the parameter we're asking for here. Contact one of us by IM if you have any other helpful input*.

Thank you in advance.

***Update 7/16:

Last night around 11-12 pm, Muggs was able to get his two right feet under him with support to stand up and pee. At 5 am this morning, he was able to stand with weight on all four feet with support, and kept his feet moving long enough to travel across part of the yard, up Winnie's ramp, and into the house with help.

We ain't done yet, but you guys are all So Frackking Rock, period. (salutes)
*****Update 7/20: 

He's still wobby and having some trouble walking or standing for long, but he's still here.

K levels test came back okay, so toxin exposure is not a variable. Which is probably good for me not having to tear the place apart looking for something we missed or needing to start being paranoid about my neighbors, but it would actually have been a problem that was easier to overcome at this point.

So Muggs has an ultrasound Tuesday. It would be awesome to find out this is still something we can fix with the options we have. Will still take all the good luck people want to send or ask whoever they look to for, with gratitude. You guys kick ass for this ;0)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Tales From The Lint Trap: Tree Murder!!!

:headdesk:, but with someone else's head . . .

Okay, ranty type-thinger:


Those of us who do tree work, landscaping, and wood carving are not unenlightened barbarians who need to Evolve into our Higher Self. Or open ourselves to Teh Light/Love/Truth. Or get more in touch with Nature. Come spend a day getting muddy, buggy, and banged up working with me; you'll really be in touch with Nature, and be able to wax profound on blood sacrifices to it.

If you mow your lawn, use a weedeater/strimmer, have any animals that forage, or, in fact, go promenading through greenery for most of the year in any temperate to tropical climate, you obliterate several itty bitty baby tree shoots on a regular basis. Especially if you have these guys around burying next week's lunch in a 6" increment grid. Neither Gaia nor whoever else might be on call that day is going to drop a safe, anvil, or large unwieldy musical instrument sporting the letters ACME and a very frustrated coyote out of the sky on your head.

Now, am I going to go chop a whole healthy tree down to make a wand, coins, a cane or staff, or whatever? No. That's a waste of an established individual who has a job and is part of the immediate eco-community.

Or cut one just because my ego wants to live vicariously through my power tools? Yeah, right. Cuz that proves anything worthwhile other than that I need a life. Fer shur.

Am I going to raze an entire area just because some Twinklenuts insists that there be nothing in her pluperfectly arranged world other than Bradford pears, the nandina of the week, and soft touch hollies, just like last month's cover of Better Homes & Fashion Victims has? Eyeaaaahhh, that would be why I have a few dozen different weeds as ground covers.

Am I going to use wood that has been shaped in interesting ways by choking vines, wind and storm trauma, etc., or from a wooded area that could use some thinning? Yep. That stuff isn't going to live anyway. Doubly so if it falls on my frackking skull while I'm out looking. Double-doubly so if it wakes me up at 3 am with a UPG of instructions as to what it wants itself made into. Never argue with people like that. You won't win.

Statements like "We need to think about our choices; do we really need to show disrespect to one of The Mother's creations by satisfying our ego and vanity with a toy?"*  go in the same Suggestion Box as the ones about how pouring beer, wine, juice, or milk out on the ground as a libation is poisoning the environment, and I should only ever use purified water, or a compost brick**. Suggestion Boxes full of nice fluffy lint make excellent offertory fires, dontchano. How done do you like your marshmallow? Here's a stick to put it on; that tree over there dropped it cuz he doesn't need it anymore. Tell him "thanks Dude" and make sure your marshmallow cooking doesn't burn anything else, neh?

* Extra points off for using Condescending We in a self-appointed Teaching Moment, and assuming that someone who can't stand or walk without support is merely vain.

** Yes, someone(s) has actually taken umbrage over that. Imma just sit back here with some popcorn and watch them explain to The Old Man, The Dagda, and The Morrigan in particular why they're getting a lump of dried shit instead of the usual bottle of Arrogant Bastard, Black Mocha Stout, or Tadcaster Nut Brown. Check Youtube in a few days for the video, eh?

Friday, April 5, 2013

Putting On Your Face

Classes have been eating my head and my time; the blog doesn't need dusting, it needs a run through a car wash with the windows down. Prolly twice. Will try to rescue any spiders first ;0)

Here I am, waiting on two phone calls and an email and a frackking math homework module to load, and I run across something I want to plug because it needs to be plugged, and right this minute I can. I only have a list of articles half a page long in the "get to these when the semester is over" pile, but this one won't take much because someone else already did all the work.

Seba O'Kiley of Southern Fried Witch added to the back and forth over Steubenville and America's problems with sexual abuse's ridiculous position in our culture (and India and all over the world) with a blog post that is beyond excellent. A large part of the clusterfrack of it all is that people can keep their neat, tidy distance from  rape and sexual assault, and pretend that it's only a matter of faceless Bad Guy criminals who aren't really people and faceless Bad Girl sluts who deserve it, and of course, truly nice people wouldn't know any of those, would they?

Seba, like a small few other people I'll look up and add later, opted to out-balls the Clinical Commenters and Statistic Shooters and put her own face up for people to see. She's being a face for all the guys and girls who can't stand up behind their own. Yet.

“In a Bang, with the Gang”: A Victim’s Letter

Well done, Sempai-sama (bows)

Thank you for not candy-coating. Thank you for not wrapping ugly in a nice white fog to avoid offending "delicate sensibilities" or the triflingly nauseating gits who'll watch rape with morbid fascination or even glee if it's by a hawt guy on screen but whine and flap if people talk about it in real life. Thank you for not letting people hide behind a convenient caricature. If every person that has been treated as if they were a mere vehicle for someone else's patheticness (it's about sex, MY ASS) could have this voice, and every poor specimen of the "we don't say things like that" species could have their nose rubbed in what they don't want to look at, a hundred thousand Steubenvilles or Delhis or Your Town Heres might not happen. And the ones that have or do would have victims with a working bullshit meter to hang on to.

Your Beer & Cookies are onna way.