fingers & cookies

Brain's empty. But good!
Dave's been bringing me breakfast in bed lately. :D

And every so often when things aren't super busy Bossman will give me a day off in the middle of the week 'cause he's trying to cut down on labor costs. Like yesterday. I really shouldn't accept the days off, I should be all "no! there's indispensable things I need to do!" because I need the money and there IS enough work to be done. But I like the sleep and the errand-running time so much, so very much.

Dad's friend Ed is going to be looking around to see if there's a job for Dave with any of his peeps in the real estate and related businesses. I think Dave would take a job, or go to an interview, if he was offered one. But his opinion of himself is pretty low these days (Although he's been awesome to me!), so going out and convincing potential employers to hire him would not be easy or fun. An intro would be of great value, no question.

My overdue balance with Verizon is, like, more than $300. Which sucks, sucks, sucks. I have to choose a few things out of the following:
my Verizon past due balance (more than $300),
phone/internet bill (almost $80),
cable TV bill (probably more than $80),
getting some laundry done (neighborhood of $50, depending on how much laundry),
buying more D&R tobacco (around $60),
buying more wacky tobaccy (usually $80),
buying more groceries (certainly not less than $50),
or saving what I've got towards next month's rent ($800) which is payable as of tomorrow.

Aye. A' course most people, even most people I know are in a worse spot. And hey, I've still got half my last paycheck left, and I got paid on Tuesday. Being able to go to the store during the day yesterday was great. We'd been staring at a nigh-empty fridge for a week! I bought a massive amount of food--and was able to park close enough to the front of the parking lot that I could run the bags between the cart and the open trunk while keeping an eye on both of them. I understand that the shopping complex doesn't want to be liable for stolen carts or cars damaged by carts, but really, what's the point of having a cart if you can't push it out to where your car is? I can't leave the cart behind, go start the car, and drive up to where the cart is. That's asking for my food to get stolen, or maybe re-shelved by a zealous employee, I dunno. And I can't leave the trunk open way at the other end of the parking lot while I trudge back and forth with all the bags I can carry. That's asking for the crap in the trunk to get stolen. Groceries included. Hell, if I saw somebody with their trunk open, I would be tempted, and y'all know I don't believe in stealing from private individuals unless they are specifically and currently my enemies.

Then again, I'm tempted by leftover food on guest plates whenever I walk past the dishwashers' station during service. (Voice of Bart Simpson: "All right! Trash cookies!") Hunger + disinterest in social propriety + severely diminished sense of disgust = wanting to eat trash cookies. Sigh. But I resist, mainly because if people saw me eating post-dining-room food, I would be embarassed. See? Self-esteem is inconvenient too! If I didn't care whether I embarassed myself or not, sure I'd be miserable, but I'd get trash cookies!

So, yesterday we watched The Number 23. It was quite good, actually better than I expected. Reminds me of a simpler, saner House of Leaves with a happier ending. Given the extreme horrifying awesomeness in House of Leaves that still leaves lots of room for spooky though. It would have been more fun if I hadn't already been exposed to the Discordian Law of Fives. Which states that everything can be mathematically transformed into, or is otherwise related to, five, and that the harder you look the more true you will find it to be. Ergo, no number chases a human; the human simply drags the number behind them while running blindfolded. Through the magical forest of cause and effect. Barefoot.

But Dave, Dave really groked that movie. He was telling me it's going right into his top 5 movies and stuff. Because the main character's kind of crazy is the exact same kind of crazy that he, Dave has, only with different consequences and contents, obviously. Me, I don't obsess, though I admire people who can. I don't always admire people who do. But the capacity is impressive. Great focus, great emotional force, great attention-paying, great mental processing capacity, great stickiness. Cathection, I mean, powerful cathection. All these fine qualities are disordered of course, in an obsession; but disorder is an open door! An illusion which begs to be transformed into its sister illusion, apparent order! Just as order begs one to find in its interstices, apparent disorder, that which falls outside the frame. Meh. So says me, for whom obsession has never really been a problem. Every transformation looks beautiful and fascinating until you have to drag and twist and shove your being through it inch by painful inch.

I think I should make note of my names for the three reagents. In alchemy they're called mercury, sulfur and salt. Mercury the universal dissolver, sulfur the universal coagulant, salt the bringer of equilibrium. In the Kingdom of Loathing they're called magic, moxie and muscle. Magic allows you to cast spells, moxie allows you to dodge attacks, muscle indicates your hit points and the power of your attacks. I don't think there is an official Discordian version--which is just as well, ain't much "official" Discordian anything. For me, I like to refer to the three things as shiny, sticky, and pointy. Because that's how they feel inside my brain. When you think about it, with four infinitely subdividable "element" categories of mental content, and three different reaction types through which they may be interrelated, you really can extrapolate the proliferation of all possible psychic experience from these essential mental/emotional states.

So, to clarify: Shiny attracts your notice. Sticky binds emotion or thought to other emotion or thought. Pointy separates emotions and thoughts, from each other or from your notice. This three-ness is also shows up in my Anatomy of Trust notebook as the little "eye-hand-mouth" dude who represents consciousness. The thing of three things, the three reagents, are really a super-slow-motion screenshot of consciousness in action. It's important for us to study the three reagents with our conscious attention so that we are better able to USE our conscious attention, by becoming informed of how it works!

And a person who obsesses, has had their shiny overwhelmed by their sticky, meaning that whatever their pointy is pointing at, it's not what it oughtta be. An obsessed person gets stuck to one thing, and stops noticing everything else. And the universe gets annoyed when you don't pay attention to it! It's like going on a date and only looking at the girl's fingernails and ignoring the rest of her entirely. Which is as good an explanation of The Number 23 (the fascination with the number, not just the movie) as anything else. 23 is the fingernails of the universe.

Hong Kong Chicken Apocalypse

An infinity in the infinity place represents stability, harmony.

Spy Log #-27:

My relationship to explain; part way between Mr.


The Final Showdown of the OK Kid

A one in the plus position tells you to look around. The true magician derives his powers from the world around him. He notices what you do not. Found objects have the strongest energies. Look for totems, put together a voodoo tree decorated with hubcaps and lost homework, and whatever else you can find.

False memories of shootouts and keep your toes and lynchings.


A Clown Show

A plus in the one position means to expect the unexpected. Look to the other aspects of the card for hints on what to expect. Maybe you'll meet a new crush, or you could be in for a nasty surprise.

You are using Telecult Power #7:
Receiving Thoughts from Space
You are receiving a message from the operator WIZZO.

WIZZO: Mashit.

Miércoles con los Amigos Invisibles vol 2.

Just come back from the bank. Nice folks over there, very helpful. Also just ate my Nutri-Grain bar that I threw into my bag before leaving the apartment this morning. Thinking my low blood sugar levels may be part of the reason for my mental state, which is pissy.

I say mental state, not mood, because my overall emotional tone is good. Had the day off yesterday, went to the store, spent the last of my money. Worried about running out of things. But I believe we'll squeak through this week, and I get paid next Tuesday.

Earlier today I saved-as-draft one of those rant posts that ends up with me yelling and swearing at myself. I'm frustrated not only at our poverty, which makes everybody edgy, but at my mental poverty. I think it was partially inspired by a dream Pearl had recently and told me about yesterday. She dreamed she had stolen a little bit of money from Mom and concealed it within a big bag of her own money. We agreed that money in the dream represented mana, psychic mojo, but it got me thinking about mojo and money and how little of either I've got for my own use right now.

Poetry came back to me: I ain't come back to poetry. I know what side the holdup is on. Never had this problem before. But then again I've never been this responsible before. And keeping my job and my home life afloat consumes more of me than I would prefer to give; I haven't got it left to give to poetry. So I'm frustrated, and as we all know, frustration leads to atrophy.

When I try to write now it all comes out trite now.
I play the big fish but the suckers won't bite now.
I'm feeling the burn and I learned it all right now.
Got paper and pen but I can't find the light now.
I got introduced in a dream to the shark.
Got more teeth than me and swims mean on the dark.
So too introduced to the great big machine,
but he can't parse my circuits; I ain't running clean.
There are bugs in my system; I know all their names.
When they break down, I miss 'em. They aren't to blame
for me throwing my towel in and losing my cool.
From my throat to my bowels I been playing the fool.
Like I don't know it's too much for me to require
both the hard hands of work and the wings of desire
to clench hard and sweep open, both at the same time.
Doled out wallet and heart to the very last dime,
so it's not a surprise that I can't do jack shit.
I give up on this nonsense. I'm finished. I quit.

thank you for calling, may you help me?

I've gotten so much work and so much chilling done today I really can only react with a mild and pleased surprise. I have some trepidation (wasn't this in my last post also?) that things will be less tranquil next week when main boss is back from vacation and lady boss isn't the final word anymore. But she's been working seven-day weeks and fourteen-hour days and not being able to spend much time with her kids lately and I surely hope those rascal relatives of hers give her a vacation as well.

Read the prologue so far of the "Does God Play Dice?" book Meg gave me about chaos math; otherwise I've been distracted by "A Hymn Before Battle" from the Free Library. In direct contradiction to what I was saying to Amber on the phone yesterday, today I actually was able to read things in a web browser window because I've had these big gaps during the day where I could read with the door closed down here. Mmm, reading.

As always, the end of the day now is proving much more dense with activity than the beginning or middle. Angel, the hostess (as opposed to Angel the busser, who's a guy) accidentally called our own number and I picked up. Neither of us realized what happened until I'd finished my "thank-you-for-calling-may-I-help-you" schpiel and she burst out laughing. She was like, You'd think I'd recognize your voice before that! It's been that kind of a day; little busy things suddenly getting interrupted by something relaxing or cool.

Tuesdays With Abhorrent Fiends vol. 25

A strange day with a strange beginning.

I've left my ID bundle at home. Which means no driver's license--I had to pry open the office door with a butterknife instead of my trusty license. And no buscard. Good thing it's payday and I'll be needing to go out to our bank today, during which trip I can stop off at mine, deposit my paycheck and get the cash to refuel my buscard with. This'll be like a half paycheck, because my holidays are unpaid and I took time off last week. Lucky for me I worked all those hours Xmas week; I'm barely going to be able to get groceries and necessities and maybe pay an electric bill or something. Dad gave me a ride to work, or I would've noticed I left my ID bundle behind when I got to the corner and couldn't get on the bus. My bad anyway for not checking, not wearing pants with pockets in them. I even left the book I was reading at home!

Although, as I said to Dave yesterday, I have only read that book like nine or ten times, so I do kind of know what happens. It's the one-volume hardcover of Mercedes Lackey's Arrows of the Queen trilogy, some of the first (possibly the very first, I forget) books to be written in the Valdemar universe. As well to have left it behind on a day like today; I was just getting to the part in the second book where Talia's self-doubt and doubts due to mean rumors about her empathic Talent cause uncomfortable results when she's out riding her internship. Who knows why I would identify so strongly with an empath whose self-doubts cause their abilities to do as much harm as good in a situation where guilt and shame prevent them for asking for help or admitting openly that they are stretched to the breaking point.

Not that I expect that to happen today, exactly, but it isn't out of the realm of possibility. Happily, big Z did finish and submit the payroll file on Saturday; the paychecks were just put into my hands a few minutes ago. They still need to be signed, but the important thing is that they're here, and once they do get signed I can match them up with the W2s that came in last week and start giving them out.

This year I want to file my taxes. It's crazy that I've gotten away with never having filed before--then again, up until last year or so my income was never really anything to write home about. (Giggle. Me and Dave watched The Jerk yesterday. Maybe enough to write home about if you're Navin Johnson.) I'm positive the reason is that I've been entitled to a refund every year, and the government would much rather audit you to find out that there's money you owe them instead of the other way around. But I do want to do it. Myself. Mom always wants me to have her help me file my taxes, but she's stolen refund checks from both Amber and Pearl, I believe. Maybe just Pearl? I'll have to ask Amber. And there's no point asking Dad for help since he'll just give me the number of the accounting firm he never uses himself because he's got a mental block about that too. Pfft.

I did have a dream--yesterday, not last night. Lotta stuff going on, only remember the end. Dave was with me but not doing anything, just sort of a moral support presence. I was in a tub or box, you know, one of those big ones with the plastic sides like they have on reality shows where they fill them with crap and people have to do stuff. I was fully clothed and feeling generally all right. I don't remember if they were poured in with me or were already there, but in the tub with me there was this huge amont of writhing black snakes. Now, snakes don't scare me. I love snakes; I think they rule and are adorable. I started picking up the snakes by the handful and tossing them out of the tub in sort of a nonchalant way. I'd grab a handful and look, and I would've gotten them all right behind the head, where you're supposed to grab them. In my hand they were all tiny, so I could grasp more than a dozen or so at once. Every now and then I'd mis-grab and one or two would have the neck reach to turn around and nip me on the arm, but it didn't hurt much and I was vaguely annoyed rather than worried. Oh, I was grabbing them with my right hand. After I'd gotten most of the snakes out of the box I thought to check and make sure none of them had gotten under my clothes. Sure enough, there was the tail of a snake I could feel just inside my vagina. I reached in to grab it (with my left hand) and the whole thing was long and stiff. Ye gods, cliche dream image, eh? Stiff like with rigor mortis, a dead stick of a snake, was the impression I had. Its fangs were dug into me at the other end, way up in my womb somewhere. I pulled on it to try to get it out and I felt something tear. Not painfully, just like when you're having your period and you know something has ripped off of something else in there. But worrisome because that meant its fangs were dug into me and I couldn't get it out by myself. And I got pissed and yelled for Dad to come and drive me to the hospital. I had this weird series of mental "musts" then; But this is the hospital. But I don't have any health insurance. I need someone to drive me to the hospital so I can get a doctor to remove this for me. But I'd have to walk home to get someone to drive me to the hospital and I'm already here, what a waste of time.
Another odd thing I noticed when I woke up. I'd known, and it hadn't been worth thinking about while I was asleep, that the dead snake inside me died when it bit me. Like the opposite of how poison is supposed to work. I knew it was dead, I knew it had bit me, I knew the things had happened together. But I didn't feel it happen.

Wish I still had LimeWire at home, so I could download that song, "Mañana, mañana, mañana is good enough for me." I got a mirror somewhere needs to hear that song.

[time passes]

My horoscope was right! Today has the transit Sun opposition Pluto, in addition to the Mars in retrograde thing.
I don't even know how to begin to talk about astrology. It's one of those systems where you either know it well enough to be able to view all your days through the filter of it and give the symbols their proper place, or you don't know enough to know what means what to what self-aspects and you just make vague hunchy guesses that create more confusion than they dispel. It really would be good for me to be keeping track of where the moon and the planets are and where the Earth is in relation to the parts of the sky denoted by zodiac signs. Get more of the magical part of my mind anchored on the world outside myself and all of that.

But anyway. I found out that a payroll issue somebody's been having since December or November can only be corrected at this late date by doing an "adjustment payroll" going back to 07 that will cost us money. It would also involve re-running (and re-filing, though our payroll company would handle that part) all the W2s as well, which we haven't given out yet. On the one hand I would like to do an adjustment payroll that takes into account all the replacement checks and make-up checks and weird little issues we have sometimes. But on the other hand, the burden of actually going through our files and making a list of all the changes that need to be made for everyone who has them is something that makes me cringe to think about.

What makes me want to kick myself though, is that my first thought is "maybe I could come in and do it on a Saturday morning when nobody's here to interrupt me." Gaah! No! Stupid Viz! Don't even trip like that! Coming in on Saturday is for owners and people who get paid holidays and benefits and such! Things which you are not judged worthy to receive! So fuck them and stick up for yourself if the workload required to keep the employees satisfied is too much for you. Yes yes, you like being helpful and you want everyone to get their fair shake and what they are entitled to under the law. But if it's not possible to get that for them without going above and beyond the beyond above which you already go, then perhaps they need to work at some other place that can get that for them. Your authority only extends so far.

So ask lady boss about it when she gets in, among the zillion other things you have to ask her. Do we want to do this "adjustment payroll"? How long do we want me to spend on it? Do we want to do just this one squeaky wheel's changes, or all the changes we can find? Do we hand out the W2s today regardless, or wait until the adjusted ones come back?

Oh, and I started to write a sonnet when I was outside smoking because I'd forgot my book at home:

A winter's day I curse from door to door
The wind that pricks the neck below my hat
Would I had fur or down, and could ignore
This weather--would at least I were more fat!
Last week, soon after New Year's, it did thaw
I laughed and said, "The world is ending sure,"
Now January chatters in my jaw
And I believe the world may yet endure
The ice caps melt, and wine will grow in Springfield
The seas rise up to swamp the verdant coasts
Poor sparrows fall and crash against my windshield
And I, left shivering, reassure their ghosts:
"This winter's days are numbered; bones less hollow
Than yours, that fell today, will surely follow."

take a picture, it'll last longer

I've been accessing the internet for years and it never occurred to me to do this before this morning: type "viz." into and see what it actually stands for.


vi·del·i·cet (vĭ-děl'ĭ-sět', vī-, wĭ-dā'lĭ-kět') Pronunciation Key
adv. Abbr. viz.
That is; namely. Used to introduce examples, lists, or items.

[Latin vidēlicet, contraction of vidēre licet, "it is permitted to see" : vidēre, to see; see vide + licet, third person sing. present tense of licēre, to be permitted.]

It is permitted to see. Whoof, that's a doozy.

I was just explaining to Myke yesterday about magical names. The point of life--the point of your own life, for sure--is whatever you say it is. The existentialists were right about that. So, something that expresses what you know to be the point of your life should be what you choose as your mage-name. Or names, if like me you need to put labels on many aspects.

Names and their uses and deployments and constructions are the quintessential thing within the ambit of my gift. I don't want to give a name to the gift, because of all the many good reasons of mental hygiene why you don't want to name spiritual things too specifically. But if I gave it one it would be the gift of names. Because that's what it does. Somebody displays for me a thing that can be thought, and I reach back and there its names are, and I don't even know how I came to know where to look for them.

Viz being the first of the names I chose for myself, its meaning is of great importance to me. I already knew it meant "namely" and "that is" and was used to introduce examples. That was quite rich enough a word freight for me! But the Latin derivation is even better. Much, much better. Fits right in there with my other mage names. Makes me feel warm and happy in my solar plexus.

In other news. Things that are broken or mostly broken: my laptop internet card, CD drive, and the DVD player Meg gave us for Xmas. Very saddening. Me and Dave may have to start conversing with each other or something.
And I sent my resume to the Onion this morning because they need an "accounting assistant." According to the print issue that came out yesterday, not the website. Who knows. Not me. It sounds from the description almost exactly like my job here, except at a newspaper instead of a restaurant. I have finally gotten to the point where I actually like my job because I can do it well and its challenges are familiar to me. But the thought of working at a place that prints words on paper for a living is exciting. And I love the Onion generally and support its works of merriment. So who knows. I suspect the position has already been filled, which would be a bit of a relief actually. We'll see. After all, it's permitted. ^_^
So last night, I moved my laptop off the bed and set it on the floor in preparation for sleeptime. I unfortunately put it too close to the door and Dave didn't see it in the dark when he came in, so he wound up stepping on the already-much-abused network card. Which gave out. So my compy at home isn't on the web anymore. Something of a bummer for me, but more of a one of Dave, since I can play KoL on Dad's computer but it's my laptop that has LimeWire and our ever-growing collection of wonderful porn. Well, not ever-growing at the moment. So I'll be buying me a new network card when I gets paid again, if I can carve out budget space for it so to speak. That, or see if it wouldn't be almost as cheap to get myself a laptop slightly better than the one I have and get the guts transferred into the new one. I wonder if I could find a way to afford a laptop that has the network card already built inside the casing.

I just finished Pyramid Scheme. That's one nice thing about being the first office-working person to get here; I can sneak a chapter or two with the door closed. Especially if it's the thrilling conclusion.

Posting up to relate those things, but mostly because I haven't managed to get my mind around the idea of working yet today. I've tried, of course. Taken some reservations over the phone, filed some paperwork that was cluttering up my desk, that sort of thing. But when I try to do some real worky stuff, it hasn't clicked yet. They ain't made coffee upstairs yet and I'm still too unsure of what I'm doing with our monster coffeemaker to try making it myself.

[time passes]

Aha! I answered a phone call from a lady with many questions whose answers I knew well, and then called the Illinois Department of Revenue and got a human for the first time this week. Appears I can get to work now. I'm going to go look for coffee.

holy vertebrae, Batman!

Good morning, ladies, gents and germs.

Today is a day of efficiency. And me talking just that slight bit beyond where I maybe ought to talk--but that's nitpicking. I'm doing great so far.

Me and Dave meditated together last night! Afterward Dave said something like, "It was weird. It was like being horny, only it made my brain horny for something to think about." *giggles* He is funny and awesomer than ever. But I am rather biased. And I'm hoping we can do it some more. Maybe I can figure out the procedural (metis? practical? way of doing that is like muscle memory?) difference between using my visual imagination to create pictures to contemplate on and using my mind's eye to stretch out and "look" at the underside of my spacetime surroundings. I was trying to do the second thing, and he was doing the first thing. We were shooting for the same image--I came up with a fairly simple one to start on. Oh, and Dave could feel his tail! Y'know, the symbolic representation of the gravity bond between the body and the earth that various types of energy can travel up and down. I had us picturing it as a shiny, shiny ruby red string going from the small of our backs to the center of the earth. Which I'd gotten from previous meditating some while back but don't use very often 'cause I know it's a real thing.

And just last night I was whining at Amber I wanted to do more witchy stuff! It seems the time is shaped propitiously. Man, I gotta start learning to want stuff.

I wonder if Bill (the head of the firm that does our accounting and insurance, he stopped by this morning) would consider stealing me from Mohammad later. I would really, really like a desk job again once I've grown that spine. I seem to need to stay here in order to do that.

Okay then, universe! You too, dog, if you feel like listening. I'm trying to want more things because it's apparently good for me. So here are some things I want that I want to tell you about, for whatever use that information may be to you:
I want to do more witchy stuff together with Dave.
I want to grow that spine I've been meaning to grow for awhile. I've made some good progress so far, and I have a hopeful suspicion the next few steps aren't going to be quite as painful as the ones I took when I started here. Those were foundational.
I want to learn to want things more skillfully and in more ways. That way next time I'm all telling you about things I want, they will be less vague and even perhaps funnier!
That is all for now. Muah.

Tuesdays With Abhorrent Fiends vol. 24

Meditated last night. Tried to dream, and did, but couldn't remember much. No image tags. I know I was with someone else and together we were going around from house to house, or from one place to another, doing or getting something.

Before sleep I lay on my back and did the whole rainbow, red to white instead of violet on top. I ended up not being able to leave my body at the end, although I got close. Couldn't or wouldn't "let go" of my eyes and face, that is, dissociate my consciousness from them and still stay poised. Think I messed up indigo, and lost concentration and my mind started to wander once between yellow and green. Not too surprising, either one, considering the attributions I've learned and was using. Red, for the root chakra at the base of the spine. Physical groundedness, sense of place, the "bear shaman" power of making home ground out of where you happen to be. Orange, for the sacral chakra and the abdominal area where the womb's at, desire and (I was surprised to find) joy. I usually associate orange with aggression or destructiveness, but that means I usually forget that passion means love, and love means the desire to create happiness. The desire, fundamentally, to create, which is why that energy source in the personality is symbolically represented by the reproductive area of the body. Losing touch with orange along the way was probably the biggest reason I didn't manage to travel. Spirit without body is made of and powered by organized emotional energy, and the stuff orange represents is what gets you moving and gives you "oomph." Not enough orange and too much purple. That's yer egghead for ya.

Anyway. No, I ended up not being able to picture a door at the end, so it wasn't a true scout's rainbow. Besides, if I'd been tranced successfully enough to find the door and go into the room, I'd've probably been tranced enough to travel. Bleh. The only place I could think of that I felt like going, parenthetically, was Wolf's Point. Beautiful spot, and sacred too, as far as locations in downtown Chicago are concerned. It's the only one of the five or six I know that isn't in or part of a building--although the Mart's parking lot has it squeezed right down to the edge of the river. When I realized I'd gone as far as I was gonna get meditating just then and Dave was going to stay up through the night, he not being sleepy, I decided to give my mental visualizer a workout.
[Interrupted. Baltazar asking what happened to his missing hours. I hate those conversations. Wish I had better answers.]
The results of said workout did help me get to sleep, although the cat interrupted my sleep attempts for awhile regrardless.

Here's the thing, with that. I have this (to me) really sexy story in my mind. It would make a really kickass erotic novel or series of short fiction maybe. I could account for all the ridiculous improbable things that (to me) put the whipped cream on the sundae of a really good sexual fantasy within the canon of the story. And really, how is it not unfair playing as a writing-person, to use the extreme intensity of sexual situations to reveal character quickly and in interesting detail? But if I ain't got brain or timespace to write a damn sonnet, no way am I gonna be able to make brain and timespace to write that. Le sigh. The whole thing is just the character backstory for the outsider Vaya the Worldbender in my old, awesome interdimensional travelers storyverse. Worldbender isn't a unique title, by the way; it's a guild. They assemble pocket universes to spec out of pieces of other universes. Which requires a lot of orange. Which Vaya is very good at using because of her many adventures.

Come to think of it, a lot of that storyverse had a lot to do with sex. Makes sense given the premise. The Greek gods never had trouble getting laid, after all. (Maybe Vulcan. What was his Greek name? I forget. But he got the last laugh anyway.) And they spent a lot of time fighting about the results when they did. I suppose the biggest difference is that all my outsiders used to be locals, and the multiverse is a lot bigger that the Mediterranean. Well, okay, I'll be fair. Homer's Mediterranean had a multiverse connected to it and was quite big enough. But the main difference is one of scale. In my story you have thousands of "gods" who think of themselves as ordinary people (and most of whom think of non-"gods" as less than people, of course) instead of a few dozen, and you have a large and indeterminate number of universes which all have different rules and populations and stories instead of many strange islands in a sea with different rules and populations and stories. The idea is the same as the idea behind any adventure story: if anything you wanted was easy to get, what would you do? And if there were a whole bunch of people who could all do anything, how would they manage to make each others' lives miserable in spite of their great powers? When people have power over other people, their true character is revealed. I believe that very firmly. So I like thinking about situations and stories where people have exactly the right amount of power to reveal their characters as much as the story has space for. Which is why the backstories for my outsiders tend to be more involved and in many ways more interesting than what happens to them after they get out and figure out which side, if any, they're on.

I wonder if I have time for a little more of this. Heh. Just had to consult the character map to get the keystroke for ñ. (It's alt+0241.)
The two Mañanas. The main character(s). Probably predate the war. Got imprisoned in the menagerie (that's mental menagerie, like the one I supposedly have) of one of the first leaders of the e before the faction had really defined itself as a group in the way it exists during most of the story arc. Back when it was just a bunch of thugs who liked to get together and have bullshitting sessions. Escaped through the deeps, went to ground (a saga I have not explored!), went their separate ways after re-emerging into the outside. In the vagaries of time, one ended up the leader of the library and the other ended up the leader of the e. So. Sorta twins fighting over ideological differences while riding herd on a bunch of ignorant godlets. Why? Because I like dual polarity and how else is a teenager going to represent her psyche?

At the end of the story arc they do both die, kind of. Mostly. I still haven't decided whether the shiny, shiny Reality node at the center of the multiverse should be the major plot element it was or just something that exists but isn't discussed. Not because it's secret, just because no one thinks to discuss it. People don't sit around their living rooms or the water cooler going "Gee, I'm really feeling gravity well today, I have a very astute sense of how much the earth is pulling on me and how much my material cells long to go towards it." So in the multiverse gravity pulls you towards the center, which is half of why deeps-diving is so difficult. Pulls you towards the center, that is, except when you get right up close, when it starts pushing. Not like a hand reaches out and shoves (although that would be fair, since the deeps do reach out and pull), but like Earth's atmosphere resists as you're going towards the ground from space. Burns you up and such.

But astrally, not materially. I'm'a keep right on using astral travel words for that stuff since that's the only symbol set I really think can be used to discuss the outside. Which sucks, because it's too accurate. If you use a symbol to symbolize the thing it actually represents, the mind quickly drops the gap and thinks only of the symbol. There's no tension within meaning to hold the thought suspended. So when I'm talking about astral travel using astral travel terminology, it makes the whole idea of traveling flat and known. Talking about it too matter-of-factly destroys the kind of poised mental openness required to actually do it. Smooths the royal purple down to indigo, you might say.

I think I would do more in the way of instructing people on how to use their natural psychic powers by writing erotic short fictions than could be done in a dozen textbooks. Even really nice ones, with pictures and exercises. Giving people psychic learning exercises in a book is usually an exercise in futility. Maybe one or two people in a thousand will do the exercises and get the intended benefit. Curious, kind minds who feel comforted by walking paths that have been tread before. Otherwise on the one side, you have people like me who won't do anything unless they made it up themselves, whether from lack of trust or will to creativity. And on the other side, you have people who will just read it, snort, and not try anything because it seems like such a dumb idea.

The latter type are the ones who would, if they lowered their preconceptions, get the best results of any of the three. But that is actually because of their preconceptions. Think of the mental tension that creates! A person has deeply held beliefs that certain things are false, bunkum, hogwash. And of course, those beliefs are comprised in large part of powerful emotions. On the other hand, the person has curiosity, wanderlust and the urge to test his limits. Powerful emotions as well. Those things clash and come together in a personality while that person is meditating, that person is going to get some interesting results. Maybe they travel, maybe they have weird psyche reconfigurations, maybe a transfiguring insight. But it's the tension within meaning that raises the intensity of their effort to the point where things get interesting. Without that, you're just having really pleasant and well-ordered daydreams.

make like a tree and get out once in a while

Back to work after a week's vacation, and in truth, I am renewed. Lots of food, sleep, TV, PS2, Heroes 4, and uh, sleep. Lots to do of course, and I'm sure there's crises hidden in the woodwork for me as soon as somebody shows up to tell me where and how. But in the meantime I have Coldplay on the CD player and am generally optimistic about the day.

It's true, although I'm a bit sheepish to admit why, that I really really can't wait till Heroes the TV show comes back. Every weekend a part of me is dreading Monday morning when I have to come in to work. While the show was on, I could spend the entire weekend offsetting that dread with the thought, "yes, but you'll get to come home after work Monday and watch your favorite show." I don't really feel that way about any other TV show. With the possible exception of MASH. But I've gotten spoiled there because the show's been over and complete since I was a tiny girl and besides, we've always got a DVR full of episodes.

What I'm really feeling sheepish about is the not-writing thing. I've had a look at me and Dave's friend Geds's blog, Accidental Historian, and HE spends HIS blog posts wiritng about moral and mythological themes in science fiction, among other things. Whereas I make...rambling "diary entry" blog posts that even I get bored with sometimes.

So what should I do? Resolve in '08 to write a poem a week or something? That seems doable. Maybe I should start with a few sonnets or something. Sonnets are so damn easy.

The thing came to me last night, the feeling of itching to write. I won't say it passed, but it faded, and I didn't have any ideas or really motivation to write. I was just sitting there playing on the computer and watching TV with Dave (as I spent most of this glorious past week) and whoosh, there it was. So there it is. I can write, I know I still can, but I feel like I don't see the point. Thinking about it makes me grumbly and pouty, like thinking about a friend I haven't called in way too long to the point where I'm feeling guilty enough that the actual guilt hinders me from calling even though nothing has actually gone wrong. I feel that way about the whole process of self-expression. Frustrated with myself and whining under my breath that none of it means anything or matters so what's the point, anyway.

On the plus side, that's really the biggest complaint I have at the moment. Which when you get down to it is a pretty mild and intellectual sort of a complaint. Indicating that many and most other things are very well indeed.

gloam over there, old soldier, said the tree
you stomp across my crown three sixty five
but now you slink, low, purpling, from me
though your great footsteps keep my leaves alive