no alarms and no surprises, please

End of day yesterday Mohammad and Zubair proposed to me that they train someone else to take over private parties for me (Jaye, she's got conceirge skillz) and I stay. I said I'd think about it.

This morning Roberta, one of our pastry cooks, found out her father died. I really suck at comforting the grieving but I managed to sit with her and hug her and not put my foot too far into my mouth. I told her, I wish I loved my parents that much. I didn't tell her I envied the purity and power of her grief because to say you envy someone whose beloved parent just passed is really, really bad form. At one point me and Mohammad and Zubair were talking about rent and Elmer's foibles and she rushed out of the room. Which confused me until I found out much later in the day that her father's name was also Elmer. Oops. By all accounts Roberta's father was a wonderful man and will be sore missed not just by her. A few people have asked for the funeral info and she gave it to me over the phone (hence I found out his first name) and am holding it till said people ask me for it.

I am sick. Realized I was sick last night--sore throat, sniffles, whole nine yards. Today has been a horrid day but we managed to get things mostly worked out. I'm sitting here typing in my blog because I can't do payroll stuff, because Zubair didn't edit the punch-in, punch-outs for me last night and today kept getting derailed by crisis after crisis. But he will come back in tonight; I'm hoping he can do them for me tonight and I can do the Excel part, so that it'll be easy to finish up and submit the file tomorrow so the checks arrive Friday. Really really want the checks to arrive Friday. Want to pay December's rent and spend my remaining fifty bucks on some laundry, maybe put some money in my buscard.

Gotta type up menus for tonights private dining event. Later.

Tuesdays with Abhorrent Fiends vol. 21

Happy Tuesday for true!

Something in motion, as that race of cat-people in that novel Black/on/Black might say. What it is, who knows?
Me and Dave had a great time last night. Just having our normal evening. The undercurrent of strain that sometimes mars it was not there, or rather got banished early on in the evening and didn't come back. All to the good. We watched Heroes (yay!) and a Twilight Zone called "Eye of the Beholder" whose twist I totally called like five minutes into the episode. Dave had already seen it, so I just looked over and saw him smile that sharp (but happy in this case!) little smile of his and knew I was right.

Aye, I wonder if we could play Mafia together these days. Years ago when we tried it it didn't work, because withholding information from each other hurt too much and made us distrustful and moody.

I am envious of Val Con and Miri and their wizardy lifemate bond, having just re-read Agent of Change and Carpe Diem. If we work at it, who knows, perhaps Dave and I can do some of the things they do. Things seem to be moving in a way that our magics are becoming more entwined. Nothing visible or especially explainable to others just yet. It doesn't frustrate me like it used to that I can't use my gift on Dave--y'know, the one where I reach for the right words and they just come. Better that way. Better that we both should have to work to learn the secret languages of the other; magic and love are both terribly, wonderfully important things and there should be no glibness in combining them!

I got in early and got to hang out with Clarissa for awhile this morning. (Time so far today has grooved most propitiously for me. Look, I'm getting a chance to make a blog post at work two days in a row! How often does that happen?) We talked mostly witchy stuff. I'm always surprised when I do get to use my gift with someone. Because I mostly hang out with Dave, who is exempt, Dad, who is immune (due to his misery system), and people at work, with whom that type of interaction would be inappropriate and weird. The idea keeps coming up between us how cool it would be to [interrupted here] get together a gaggle of our witchy friends and relatives so we could all share ideas and learn from each other and just have people to talk to who understood. The interruption was Mohammad walking into the room and working on something else, then leaving without asking me for anything. A good image of my hesitation on the issue. We all have other stuff going on, and even if it's very casual, bringing together a group of self-aware magic users (as distinct from those not aware of their magic use, which is almost everybody!) is a major big deal thing and best to let grow into its own time. If enough of us feel a need, things will come together so that it can happen. If we try to force it beforehand, the relationships that would need to develop between the people would be stunted and weirdified and it would cause unnecessary conflicts.

But! Among other things we ended up mentioning New Orleans and Chicago. How Chicago likes its people best when they've got their minds on their work, how we both think of the big statue of Ceres at the Board of Trade as looking down with approval at the endless stream of working people striding purposefully by with numbers and to-do lists clanking away in their heads. She says she doesn't think New Orleans likes anybody; people do strange things when they go there. She says she thinks New Orleans likes to bring out the worst in people just to see what's there, just to see what they'll do. Another swamp, like Chicago but unlike. I would, I think, enjoy visiting New Orleans at some point just to see what pops up (my guess would be its weirdness would manifest for me with invisible stuff mostly, but who knows? best to have health insurance before traveling there!)--but like Clarissa, I don't think I'd enjoy living in a city with a personality like that.

And I told her how I talked to Jimmy last week for the first time in ages. He's still there, still snickering at me and working behind the curtain. We exchanged like two sentences, but he cured my writers' block on Anatomy of Trust by giving me a new idea! The faculties, he said, are the defining characteristic of a sapient entity. By which he referred to the faculties of the imagination [interrupted by phone] .

Bah. I feel the end of the time of blog-typing, alas. Strange as it seems my workload so far today is rather light, since I rely on Boss and big Z to do things before I can get started on my real work. Be that as it may.

so green and dumb

Need a new job so bad I can taste it. So mad at Ladyboss though I know it's nothing personal. Just her lack of understanding about how frustrating my job is coupled with the misery of still having to run a business with your flutterheaded husband and brother-in-law while eight-plus months pregnant. And an unreliable and lazy employee sitting at your desk and following up on your work to worry about as well! Yah, I am a trial to her. That she requires emotional response of me, is her trained reflex, not an evil plot to eat my soul, I know. But I have been so frustrated and overworked here that it is hard for me not to react according to my reflexes when she reacts with hers.

Things are well between me and Dave, very well. Last Wednesday we went out and saw No Country for Old Men after I got home! Dave said we needed to get out of the house and do stuff to prevent us getting antsy and snapping at each other, and bless him, he was right. Thanksgiving at his aunt and uncle's was wonderful; good food, good company, good times. Me and Paula and one of Dave's girl cousins are going to see that psychic who doesn't suck, Mina, at some point in December. I look forward to it. After my bad experience with Lisa last year it'll do me good to see a pro who is on the level. Confirm and/or disconfirm my feelings on the shape of the time and all that. And on Saturday we went to see Local H in Schaumburg. I though it was a great show, if only the floor hadn't been so slippery it hindered the moshpit. Too short a set; we suspect the couple standing up by the monitors in front of us who didn't move or get into it gave the band the idea the rest of the crowd was half-hearted. But they covered Skulls and Bad Moon and played What Would You Have Me Do, so there were some lovely surprises!

Here I am at work, trying not to dread the rest of my day. It occurred to me on Friday that my menagerie (which I am telling more people more about, which leads me to suspect I am coming towards a major shift in its role!) is a set of templates of demons--negative entities. That each one has a positive counterpart, which I may well end up calling elementals, who represent the non-parasitic modes of each energy state / interaction type. That Roach, for example, may also be called Frenzy and Dread, that Fly may also be called Boredom and Peevishness, tells me things. Incomplete and hopelessly useless descriptors both, but still fair indicators that my creatures are things to be watched for and guarded against, not deployed for use. If I ever want ones that may be deployed for use I will have to generate better creatures. Which means in turn that I will have to discipline my mind and spirit together with some practice, whether I make a full adaptation of the Scouts' Rainbow or some other exercise.

Spoke to Jimmy the other day, may have been Wednesday night. My mind was just calmed enough to be able to do it. He's still there, listening and nudging, ready to tell me whatever as soon as I'm ready to listen. It's me that's too dense and crowded right now to be able to clear a landing strip for things from the other view, so to speak. I'm a mess, as regards almost everything but Dave, and well do I know it.

I try to feel confident that I'll find another job, but I haven't sent out resumes for more than a week. Not feeling very confident of late. Dad's ill luck, or his sense of it, maybe rubbed off on me a little. Hells bells, I'd even take another restaurant office manager job if it was at a place where things were run more sanely and my bosses were capable of separating out their professional from their personal melant'i.

Just gotta keep moving, hope some of the shit misses the fan and hits the wall.

[time passes; day almost over]

Got a call from Jolene at my favorite employment agency. She has a number of someone for me to contact which she left in my voicemail. Woot!
Ladyboss was here a lot of the day today and I didn't want to kill her even though our usual rules applied. Woot!
Missed the chance to have a smoke with Dave this lunch hour. Boo.
Missed staff meal because I was down here doing party-related work with Malika. Boo.

home without you

(Had a bit of a fight with Dave last night. I hurt his feelings, his feelings took revenge on him, I got upset and overreacted, none of it was as exciting as it sounds, except inside our brains and hearts and souls.
Song comes in through a hole in you. This punched through. Wrote the choruses first, thinking it was a slow sad song. Then I heard fast guitars in my head, realized it was a running/driving speed song, and got the verses.
Sitting right here at my desk the day before Thanksgiving. This is the first thing I've written since I started this job I have.

edited 11-27-07, switched some things around. choruses 1 and 2 were bothering me, so I swapped the 3-line parts at the beginning and changed the trees. maple is a word that does not belong in this song!)

[home without you]

your fire is hard
to see, villages charred
and trees hanging by the roots
walk a mile in your boots
all-consuming pursuit

not maple not a larch
from September into March
left you weeping like a willow
tell you that I never will go
tell you that I never will go
home without you

your river is underground
running to blur the sound
fast enough to crack
every mountain on your back
every chain where your heart is bound

not a woman or a man
you're a hand upon my hand
you're a face upon my pillow
love I tell you that there is no
tell you that there is no
home without you

your lover is penitent
we're none of us heaven sent
got here on our feet
I was learning to be sweet
baby I don't know where it went

not a goddess or a wretch
you are all I want to catch
I am wrapped around your thumb
tell you that I'll never come
tell you that I never will come
home without you

Tuesdays With Abhorrent Fiends vol. 20

Happy Thanksgiving Eve eve.
I have no idea what I am doing on Thanksgiving. If I go to T-day dinner with Dave's relatives, we gotta get there super early in the afternoon. Which means if I DO have T-day brunch at home with Dad as I'd been assuming, I gotta get up on time and no dawdling around over chitchat. I don't know what Amber and Pearl are doing, and even with this, Amber called last night and I didn't answer! Is it really this job that's making me like this? I was bad before but I just don't know. Maybe I shouldn't be so hard on myself. It's just the imagined weight of other people's expectations and the obligations that come with loyalty is heavy on my mind. I tend to react to that heaviness by slowing down and sometimes grinding to a complete standstill, which is another face of the problem.

You know what, on a completely unrelated note? I love working accounts payable. I really do. I like talking to vendors on the phone and making sure our books match, and then if they don't getting documents from them and entering them until they DO match. I love taking copious notes and logging every conceivable piece of information relating to an account or a transaction. I love even the process of such filing and note-taking. Because the whole time I'm picturing my future self or future co-worker frantically searching for this one piece of information that someone is yelling about, finding my work and saying "Aha!" and dashing off to make everything better. I like getting people the money they're owed. I like taking bills and making them go away. If I can't do it in my own life, at least I can do it at work, ya?

If my job here was just accounting and payroll, I could do it. It's the private parties thing that drives me completely insane. It's a full-time job and eats my entire day two or three days out of the week. Accounting stuff is always last priority. Guests and parties can't wait, vendors and employees can. Arrgh. Granted, all of my bosses are very human about things when you get a chance to sit them down and have them understand what is actually happening. But if they're rushed, or have incomplete info, or I confuse them with too many things, it's all "they can wait!" "I'll take care of it! (proceeds not to take care of it)" and "why are you wasting your time with this?" Maybe it would be easier with only one boss. Maybe it would be easier with only two hats. I swear to dog if they hire a fulltime private party person I would be willing to stay here longer. Possibly a very long time. Now that I don't suck quite so much at my three jobs I don't dread the day as much, some days hardly at all. I just hate things slipping through the cracks, I hate the fact that I have to do a mediocre job all around because it's either that or be wonderful on one thing and completely fail at the other two. And failing at any one would be an unmitigated disaster for the restaurant.

So I love accounts department stuff enough to want to do that as my day job for the rest of my life if I have to. If I can't, you know, work part-time while I'm getting my doctorate in something somewhere. Or find some way to write enough things to have people read and buy them. Or find some way to record my music so people can listen to it. That last I'm getting increasingly pessimistic about. Even the writing, I'm getting pessimistic about. I'm starting to look forward to working until I die as long as the work doesn't make me want to cry every day.

I was consulting with myself last night, mourning that I haven't been having dreams or unusual communications or experiences lately. And I asked myself, Do you really want them? Do you really, actually want them? I had to say, Not really. Not now. I haven't got the emotional energy to spare. Well then that's why.

I know enough about the personality's interactions with gravity now to know that unless I'm facing death, incredibly old and facing death, or some other such extreme circumstance, levitation is probably out of the question. It requires a total and unadulterated lightness of being. Any emotional baggage whatsoever, any interface other than what you're born with, any film slipped between your inner eye and the world, and the circuit can't complete. When Christ said we had to be as little children to enter the kingdom of heaven, he was talking about a lot of stuff. But in this sense it's undeniable. Building a personality is like building an onion, like that famous chambered nautilus that dead guy wrote the poem about. Layer by layer, the soul is protected from the universe by the very same tissues that permit it to be a part of the universe. Naked little shell-less living creatures can do anything. Gravity itself may bend for them, and time. But naked souls desire nothing, for they have no bonds. We are too heavy to fly--but if we were any lighter, we would not be able to stand up under our own weight. We must be bound enough into the world to become what we are. So when we are old and facing death, or just facing death, maybe there can be a moment where we set all those heavy things aside, not because we do not understand them or do not honor them, but because they are no longer necessary for us.

Tuesdays With Abhorrent Fiends vol. 19

Happy Tuesday.

It's me and Dave's seventh anniversary. :D
He remembered (I didn't!) and he and Elmer came in to the restaurant and had lunch, at least in part so I could eat with them. It was awesome; Dave gave me a present, I got to say hi to Elmer, and I actually got to eat during the day.

Today's been super nuts because it's bill-paying day AND payroll day, which are two things that normally take up the majority of a day by themselves. Oh, and I want to get home in a timely fashion so me and Dave can hang out and get in some anniversary snuggling.

The longer I stay here, the more bearable it becomes--but the longer I stay, the more I see parts of myself shutting down that I really don't want to lose. I haven't written anything to shake a stick at since I came here, haven't finished anything period. Poetry won't come back to me till I'm done with this and all of that. It's a nasty thing to weigh, in my mind. This is an earth magic initiation, no question. Mohammad is an earth mage with a rare clarity to his gift and there's a lot I can learn from him. But like most people who have had success in the area of their strongest magic, he doesn't really (on an emotional level) view the other forms of magic as magic (that is, as worthwhile). I told Zubair earlier today, I feel like Michael Jordan having to make a living as a pro golfer in a society in which basketball is not valued. This is something I'm mediocre at, and the things where I'm brilliant, I have no reasonable way to put myself in a position to get paid for doing them.

Reminds me of a very cool conversation I had with Dave yesterday about the default settings we use to judge the value of people's time and allegiance. Obviously, everyone you know as an individual, you evaluate by your experience of them. But people you don't have that much of a baseline on, you judge according to your values (your religion, your res legiones, the things you have chosen). He judges people on beauty--how attractive they are, how much beauty they bring into the world around them. I judge people by magic--how much magic they have, how much magic I can learn from being around them. And Dave was like, Well, as you define magic, it's just ways to make stuff happen. And I said, Yeah, that's a very concise definition, and better than most. He's like, Well, then, I support it, and you should keep doing it.

And dangit, air magic is my strength. But you need to train your strengths to avoid losing them. Like in the Alphabet of Desire, Frustration is opposite-from-and-equal-to Atrophy.

Ai ya. Z's done stealing my compy to update the wine list. I better get my grind back to the nose-stone. Tally-ho!
It's not what kills, it's not what saves
that slides to ordinary graves
but what stands naked in the waves
of doubt and crime and sloth

It's not what heals, it's not what wounds
that leapfrogs time on aching tunes
but what treads steadfast down the dunes
like scissor blades through cloth

No more to that just now.
I feel pending. Like something's going to happen. I don't feel like reading Chesterton, I don't feel like posting in my blog, work feels flat and rubbery like a water balloon that's been untied instead of broken. Weird, weird vibes this morning. I left at the same time as Dad; his car'd gotten booted so a coworker (I remembered him from when I was working there but I don't think he saw me) picked him up.

As they drove away I saw a bus I could catch idling up at the intersection and sprinted, but missed it by a few yards. Then I looked down the street the other way and coming up was the other bus I can catch, and I thought, oh good, the sprint got me here in good time. But on that bus was sitting my old acquaintance One-Eyed Fred, which is what I call him now that I'm not talking to him anymore. Interesting, interesting man, but not one I want to have as a friend. His emotions are way too confusable and undisciplined and I am a young woman and reasonably attractive and don't want the trouble that would inevitably cause. So every time I see him I make sure to pretend he's not there to the point where I don't even look at the area of the bus he's sitting in. Which is rude and uncomfortable but better than any alternative I can think of.

Then further, when I got here to work I went upstairs to see Clarissa, and she gave me coffee and was glad to see me, but was swamped by a pile of work as the thing her and her bosses had been working on all week was finally coming to a head today. So we couldn't really hang out and I took my styrofoam cup and came down to the office. Did busywork, finished my email to Myke. (Yay! I am happy there is no drama there but only camaraderie and understanding!)

And I keep getting private party calls today where people are interested in dates other people have already called dibs on. I know boss lady says not to tell people that other people already have their dates, but if in my mind I rate the probability of a group actually giving us a signed contract as 75% or higher, I can at least tell callers we have had some other inquiries on that date, right? Right? I dunno. And there's an upcoming party in like three days that I haven't even called yet today, and I have tons more accounting stuff to do, and like two people whose paychecks were incorrect need to get their corrected paychecks today. It's already the 2nd and the checks came in on Monday!

I wanted to talk to Pearl last night but I didn't call her back and she didn't call me back, so I'll call her tonight. Dog, I need to talk to Amber too. Sisters good. Being in a funk bad. Being funk good. *grumbles and curls up for a mental nap*