Notes while ramping up fast

I'm sorry I've been so absent. This quarter has just about knocked me over already, and we're only three weeks in. I'm taking three classes. SQL, .Net programming, and Web Authoring. I'm already behind in two of them, because I can't install the programs I need on my Mac, since they're Microsoft crap and there are no OSX versions. And I've missed classes due to sleep problems, which means missing out on lab time to work. I'm TAing for a class I took last quarter with a different instructor. This quarter's instructor for it is one I loved when I had her for another class. She's great fun, and her sense of humor matches mine. Deeply, deeply geeky queer woman. Yay! And I love TAing for her, it's lots of fun, and I'm getting the stuff I felt like my teacher for the class (who was neat in his own ways, and I look forward to having him for other things) missed covering. But it's exhausting. I spend two-and-a-quarter hours twice a week running around the class helping different people with whatever difficulty comes up (which is always something; it's tech). And I'm still tutoring, but where it was very slow at this time last quarter, and a typical day had more tutors than students in the lab, now I'm helping three to five people at a time, running around all over the place, trying to get people through things. Many of them are not very computer literal, are ESL students, or both, and need a lot of attention and aid. They don't necessarily know things like that bibliography and works cited are synonyms, and therefore in Word you would look under the Bibliography drop-down for a Works Cited page. I don't have time to work on my own homework in there, the way I did last quarter. I haven't put in any time on the book since the beginning of the quarter, as much as I'd like to. I get home and I just fall over. I hardly have time to decompress. I haven't made it to any meetups or anything, either. My personal life has gotten more interesting. I'm struggling to maintain a daily practice at all, much less to do yoga. Last quarter I coasted. This quarter is more challenging....

Linkspam from Beyond the Grave

I used to do occasional linkspam posts. I think I'll take it up again. Maybe I'll start posting them Fridays, as weekend reading suggestions. Where There's a Will, There's a Ghost on Strange Company Animism at the Dinner Table from Sarah Anne Lawless Feeling Grief + Dreaming Another World at Woolgathering & Wildcrafting 8 ways white witches can support #BlackLivesMatter on Little Red Tarot 51 of the most important things you've ever fought about at Autostraddle Death & the Maidens at, well, Death and the Maiden, writing on a topic I'm also working on a piece about. Here's a waulking song Beth from Little Red Tarot shared. Waulking is a (sadly dying, if not already dead) traditional way of fulling newly woven cloth. The tweed or plaid would be taken off the loom, and all the women of the village would gather to help. Warm stale urine (wash) would be poured over the cloth as a way of scouring out any dirt, oils or foreign matter (this was before soap was readily available in the quantities needed), the cloth would be placed on a long table or board, and thumped against it rhythmically. The women would sing to keep time and amuse themselves. A waulking song with no waulking, no matter how lovely (and it is lovely) being done just doesn't seem right to me. At least put some nice thumpy thuddy percussion in. A video of waulking the tweed whilst singing a waulking song, which I think shows the need for that percussion, and some explanation of waulking: Although it's not stretching the cloth, it's fulling it. And finally, on a personal note, after nearly twenty years of threatening to shave my head in the summer, I've now mostly done it. Inspired by Holtzman in the new Ghostbusters movie, I've shaved the back and sides, leaving only the hair on my crown long. It's cool and comfortable, the clipped part is all velvety and nice to touch, and it looks fuckin' awesome! So here's an incredibly rare pic of me, just minutes after it was finished. ETA: Note to self: Going to give shorn hair to Hermes and Athena. Hermes, asked if I should hang it from a tree for birds, told me to wait before doing anything. Athena turned down a Woolly God image of her stuffed with it, but accepted jewelry made from it....

Out

The internet's out again, and I'm getting ready to leave town in the morning for a religious retreat. So really out. I'd meant to do a write up of this coordinated effort to hex a rapist and the judge who gave him an absurdly light sentence. I meant to, and then I read the thread. I am so sick of this bullshit. So very, very sick. Victim blaming, misogyny, respectability politics, clueless cultural appropriation (if you don't know what karma actually is and how it works, you don't get to claim it's going to punish people), insistence that the Wiccan Threefold Law applied to everybody, or that the "Witch's Pyramid" (which is actually from ceremonial magic) is something everybody needs to stick to ("to know, to will, to dare, and the keep silent"). People claiming witches are going to get lynched over this. All kinds of crap. So sick of this shit. Me, if I had the cash, I'd be ordering some lead foil for a curse tablet. But that's just me. I'm all at sixes and sevens today, stressed about how much I have to do for tomorrow. Freaking out realizing something I ordered for this never arrived. Serious anxiety despite having taken an anxiolytic. Scared to think about what it would be like if I hadn't. It will all get done, and I will have a fine time. But today sucks....

Things I have missed...

...doing, showing or talking about, while I was without internet at home. It's back now, at least intermittently. I have missed telling y'all about: The death of my own laptop (now I have an account on my wife's and we swap it back and forth). The first moonflower vine bloom. The really cool social media giveaway Mirrix looms was doing. Food planning for a retreat Other small things. Things I have missed doing: The deadline for applying for that Mirrix giveaway. Oops. Writing for this blog. Actually weaving hardly anything -- I use Hex.Ink to keep me moving. Things I have missed talking about: The Worst Books Ever Written and other delights on Slacktivist. Religion and madness on Bacchic Underground. Social justice and goofiness and religion on Tumblr. Anything at all with anyone other than school bureaucrats or my wife. ALL of my social life is online these days. Hopefully, getting out more for school will change that....

Brief note to self

Votive offerings: Breakables Burnables Edibles Salt dough, air-dry clay, papier mache clay, beeswax, felted wool, almond paste, maybe even chocolate Pigs, bulls, sheep, horses, dogs, what else? More consideration when there's money for materials. But like, a whole series on this. Black marzipan dogs for Hekate, since almonds are also sacred to her. (One kind kills, the other nourishes.) Can you make salt dough with barley flour? Not a real post. Tired, full of snot, and have had very unhappy news today. No coding school for me....

Woozy Notes

Cotton spinning continues to go reasonably well, although I definitely have better and worse days. I can now do the long draw magic trick about one time in three. One other time in three is because I don't see the slub until too late and my arms aren't long enough to make the trick work. On a good day, I finish with more seeds than waste, and on a bad day, as much waste or more than seeds. Yoga research, obviously, continues. Other current projects include the devotional hanging for Hermes and a mask in variegated purples, which may or may not become an altar piece. Maybe Silenos. We shall see. This morning, I accidentally took an extra mood leveling pill, and am dizzy and vague. I'm also still sick, with all-day, all-over body aches. Ugh. Hey, if I wrote a cookbook, would any of you buy it?...

Notes on Horseback, Firing Arrows Into the Trees

Experiencing internet outage at home. Expect posting to be spotty, especially since Ghost doesn't allow scheduling or queueing yet. The cotton spinning continues to improve, although this week I haven't been able to put the time into it that I mean to. When I have to get out the door to do something, spinning is the part of my morning rituals that gets skimped on. Still, I finished a skein. I finished the wool for the Ghost Masks, and got about 70 yards before I called it done, because a mask doesn't take much, and I hate it when a spindle gets that heavy and the cop starts getting unmanageable and unwinding itself at the bottom. I don't understand how anyone fills a drop spindle so full the cop is sticking out beyond the whorl. Also, must remember that candy caning the yarn is more important with fat yarn, not less. I'm exploring the way Hellenic reconstructionism is practiced, so I can see what of it works for me. I keep being baffled by how they pick and choose which bits to keep and which to discard. Why leave behind watering the wine, when it's key to at least one myth and at least one major festival, and seems to have been an assumed part of every time anyone partook of wine, both a symbol and a practicality? Why stress the importance of miasma (ritual impurity or pollution) and katharmos (ritual cleansing), but then discard specific acts of katharmos that are part of specific festivals, because they are inconvenient? Why thus-and-such interpretation of one festival, without any support for it in the primary sources you cite for it? Because some scholar fifty or a hundred years ago interpreted it that way? What did he base it on? Other than UPG (unverifiable personal gnosis; there's an April Fool's joke in there somewhere about a Personal Gnosis verification service), how does one pick and choose, if one is trying seriously to reconstruct ancient practice? I don't get it. And it's one more reason I'm not a reconstructionist. I'm working on several posts about some of the specifics, and I suspect it's a theme I'll be returning to. I feel a little bad about them, because I really respect some of the people I'm planning on discussing the inconsistencies of, if only because those are the people I read most, and therefor see those inconsistencies from the most. And because the ones I have less respect for, I tend to laugh at more than think about. (Because holy crap, are some of the sites and claims out there absurd. Anyone that utterly dismisses a book as being "pure neopagan propaganda" is someone I simply cannot take seriously.) My mom has requested that the length of cloth I wove for her be turned into a bag, or sewn onto one. She loves bags, and can always use more, and that way she gets to show it off more. So now I need to find a tote the right size, or see if I have fabric stashed that will do for making one....