today's entry not found

Have I mentioned the insomnia? It's not all the cat's fault, though she doesn't help. My mind just races, whether or not I'm sober.

I feel like such utter crap today, physically. Like someone beat me with a bamboo rod while I was asleep.

Keep meaning to work on Anatomy of Trust and getting pulled away--by the bus, the phone, you name it.

Tried to start up my computer last night to play some pre-bed Heroes, and ended up just watching it rev up and stall over and over again. I did a whole void-mind-through-sound meditation, trying to grok my computer, and though it still didn't work it made me feel mentally better.

Okay. Enough for now.

99% nothing

(written in the weeeee hours of this morning)

could Nothing, then, have come this far?
it's 99 percent of stars
and all that lives, and life in lonely seasons

you have to laugh; it's like a joke
what if the living Word misspoke?
no way to tell just which of them you're pleasin'

they're shoulderblades you just can't reach
they're mermaids singing, each to each
let's hope some god presents us with a reason

or else the world we've made endures
dead wrong, headstrong and so cocksure
a god who shrugs, "you did the same to Me, son."

Tuesdays With Abhorrent Fiends vol. 27

Ah, another 13-hour day. I am getting far too accustomed to this.
My first couple times doing this were sufficiently bad that I don't mind gloating over the perks. Namely, in exchange for late-staying I get a day off (one that works for both me and bosspersons) and more often than not one of the bosses or managers will comp me some food. Today I'd managed to save half my bank-going cab fare by walking one way, so I'd gone and gotten myself a Potbelly's sandwich around three. I actually ate three square meals today! Muesli for breakfast, Potbelly's roast beef for lunch, and one of our Restaurant Week shortrib thingies for dinner.

While gossiping with Gustavo of course. It's like I tell him, I like hearing gossip because I like knowing things. And (like I don't tell him) I like interactions where the other person thinks they got more information from me than I from them, when actually it is the reverse. (As far as I know.) In a place like this, there is always someone whose job and their status in it / attitude about it / actions while working at it constitute news to somebody. I, ha ha, am usually the second or third person to know. Sometimes the first, not counting the in-charge-person who makes the decision.

Okay. When I wrote "the poison tree" back there, I was in a kind of shock. Because the whole question of the extent to which I am a controlling person, the extent to which I feel that need to control my surroundings, was one I didn't think about. Sounds ridiculous but it's true. I focused on controlling myself with such maniacal intensity I never pondered what that said about me as a person. If you'd asked, I would have said, "Fear. Technically dread, which is terror of a known evil, rather than one unknown." I know, knew, whatev, that I understand the people I am afraid of because I am similar to them, that in learning to master myself I was learning to resist their inevitable attempts to enslave me. But it had never really registered consciously with me that the hurt I fear to cause others is born of my desire and not my fear only. That the fear of being harmed or discovered in evil intent must coexist with the desire to possess and belong with.

And now the more I think about the things I like and the experiences I seek out, the roles I place myself in, the more I realize I like control. It's like saying a dirty word. It makes me want to cry to admit it.

But the first step is admitting your addiction, and calling on a higher power for aid, right?

taxonomy of trust?

Nothing about me is as important as I think it is.

The more solidly I internalize this concept, the less fucked up I become. And the more interesting my writing becomes. Because I have to write about stuff. No matter how neat somebody thinks I am, reading my semi-internal monologue day after day = not interesting. Not even interesting to me, after it gets a few days out and I know what I've turned that post's mental state into. The dream logs are cool because of the nifty images, and learning my own mental symbolism is good for me I think. Night before last I had a dream where I found a spring deep in the cleft of a rock that bubbled forth carbonated water. I was very excited about it and brought some home in a bucket--I don't think anyone else was as excited.

I mean, yes, I do still need to have someplace to come and bitch about how the cat kept me awake all night and oh woe is me I'm all out of money. For which a blog is appropriate and I should continue to use it as needed. But there ought to be something else as well. Aha. A project! A thing to be working on all the time in my brain, now there's a neat idea. Last fall and early winter, work was too draining on my energy, mental as well as physical, for me to consider taking something on. But now I seem to be balanced well enough to still write. Therefore I should.

Question is, what manner of project? I could always do another long poem. denizen and CONSUMER both turned out well--I think both were begun in a February if I'm not mistaken. Or one begun and one finished in February. Anyway.

Maybe it should be Anatomy of Trust time? The basic principles in that notebook have held fast. I'm no longer sure the seven "metallic" levels of trust are adequate to describe trust phenomena. But the ideas about the structures and applications of consciousness and personas still seem sound. I feel like I'm coming at the problem backwards. Is there any such thing as a default trust state? How do you reduce this dilemma: Which comes first, the decision to trust someone enough to pay attention to them as a person, or the paying of attention to a person-as-person so that you can determine the extent to which you may trust them?

I've said earlier, and elsewhere, that the seven levels of trust are like the colors of the rainbow; artificial divisions within something that naturally occurs in a discontinuous spectrum. That is wrong. What it means to be trusted by one person may be completely different from what it means to be trusted by someone else. But for any individual person, trust levels are sharply discontinuous. This is only sensible, as the higher levels grant the trusted person the power to alter significant portions of the truster's personality. What had had me stymied was that variability in characteristics from person to person. Let's say me, holding you at gold, is functionally equivalent (from your perspective, being trusted) to that guy over there, holding you at steel. Even though we hold you at totally different trust levels, the decisions we make regarding willingness to provide help, information pass-through, and willingness to commit emotional energy (affect), are exactly the same. How the hell can I come up with a taxonomy that takes into account the similarities and differences so that you (or that guy) can identify what's going on as easily as I can? The differences in a case like that would all be internal to the psyche. They'd be "observable", perhaps, through ESP (dog, what a meaningless acronym--can we call it OSP, Obscure Sensory Perception? does that even help?), but that's of no help in trying to make a science of the thing. Since the whole point of making a science of the thing is to make it navigable for those who can't, won't, or haven't yet learned to perceive it that way.

I think there needs to be a third thing in my theory. I already have a term for it: the transformations. For shits and giggles I've been kind of assuming there are twenty-two of them, because if that was one of those obscure uses of the Tarot that was lost millennia ago I would just giggle myself to death. Basically, these are experiences which one personality can go through relative to another personality which alter the nature of the trust between them. But there is an enormous amount of information I need to be able to begin defining what constitutes a transformation, let alone figuring out how to recognize or instigate one.

Maybe Anatomy of Trust can just be about personality structure, and the second thing--Ecology of Trust?--can be about transformations, what they are and how to recognize and understand them. Then Alchemy of Trust can be about how to use transformations!

I'd have to start bringing my Anatomy of Trust notebook with me to work. Everywhere. There's still empty pages at the back for which I'm sure I will have cause to be grateful. And I can make the chapters as blog posts, maybe make some sort of project code for them like I see other blogs doing. The organization of the notebook is understandably shoddy--I was groping my way towards a system and it didn't make sense to try following an outline I didn't have yet. So putting what I do have in some kind of sensible order is half the battle.

the poison tree

Luap's story seems written specifically with me in mind.
Liar's Oath, the second half of Elizabeth Moon's Legacy of Gird, that is. It bothered me. A lot. I don't think I've seen a main character before where I had this strong a feeling of "Hey! Those faults are my faults! Those weakenesses are my weaknesses! How did she know?!" And the enigmatic ending. I think Gird must have wanted the gods to grant his friend Luap time to think it over. I think the gods knew what kind of a time it took.

What drove it home, and scared me the most, is something stupid I said to Dave. We talked on the phone twice, once a little earlier in the night and once right before bedtime. The earlier time I said something helpful, and the later time, I think I prefaced a comment (admit it! attempted advice-giving!) about something important and spiritual with the words "you've gotta." Which got Dave's back up immediately, as it should. Nobody can say "you've gotta" about anything that has anything to do with dog, or God, or whatever stupid names people like me come up with for something bigger than any of us.

So I sat there, rebuked, gnawing at the problem like the last bit of cartilage dried against an old bone. My problem. The thing in my heart and hat that makes me such an ass sometimes.

Those who are competent to wield power, and don't want it, are qualified to rule. I read that and believed it long ago and haven't found any reason to believe differently. I'm able to make deep and drastic changes in myself; I also find it frightening to admit I want anything, because admitting want is revealing weakness which can (will! must! says the fear in me) be exploited. And I want power. I want it, it feels good to wield it, it's addictive as sin. Literally, eh? Admitting the concept verbally and admitting the emotion internally are not the same though. One is scarier, harder--and more important than the other. Guess which.

But not wanting power, in just the same way, isn't the same thing as rearranging myself so that I don't ever feel the want. I should know better. Of all thickheaded people I should know better. The structure of the rationalization, the "logic", inside that action, is as stupid as it sounds when you drag it up and look at it. If I change myself so that my personality the characteristics of a good ruler, then I can be given rule by those with the perceptiveness to see it. But I can't change my soul. The desire to have power, if I keep it penned up and twisted like that, gets all demon-infested all over again. And then all the things I want to get power in order to prevent--those things happen, and it's me doing them.

I kept trying to write all that stuff in the past tense, or in the second person, any of those squiggly literary ways of making it seem less immediate and real. Minimizing my bad choices, past and present, which is just as dumb as the way I sometimes think moody thoughts about my Potential for Nasty Wickedness and that by trying to be good I am Protecting People from Great Danger. Pfft. Most people aren't more of a danger to their friends than their enemies. Not something impressive. Something shameful.

Interesting thing just happened. Phone rang, it was a reservation; I was angry because work interrupted my typing. But the lady I talked to was cool and helping her made me feel better. Then just as I was about to get back to typing the phone rang again. Lady was also interesting but I was madder at being interrupted and thwarted and still mad when I got off the phone. Then Derek came in, and kinda stood there, as if waiting for me to say something. He is facing an important and tricky career-related decision, and I was in the room during his discussion yesterday with Bossman about it. So I was the logical person to ask, since I do my damnedest to develop a reputation for sage-like advice, and I already knew about it so he wouldn't be compromising confidentiality to tell me. (The development of that situation is one of the reasons I've grown to like this job. The main one, perhaps.) I talked to him about it, though this thing I've been writing about was still all fresh and hurty in my mind. Conversation was ended by Angel paging me out of the speakerphone with a phone call I needed to pick up. And yes, I reacted to the nature of the phone call in a way calculated to remind him of how frustrating it is to work here. Because I had an opinion based on what I know of him and the way I saw he felt. And I wanted him to see in his mind the same things I saw in mine while he was making his decision.

I said all the good useful things I can never think of when I'm talking to Dave! Why is it that someone I know slightly, and respect at an arm's length, I can say all the right things to, and when it's Dave, who I dream about and write poetry about and fall asleep imagining he's beside me, none of those nice words and reactions come but I just sit frozen, wrestling back something nasty?

Because it's all a goddamn act, that's why. Because sage-like or no, when I'm helping other people, I'm also pushing them, nudging them, urging them to shape themselves just so. And people who are waffling or shy or confused are very easy to nudge like that. Yes, I am manipulating them in ways that are, in my opinion, good for them. But it's my opinion. Not theirs. Which makes it wrong. Even if the results in a particular case are not bad results, I brought them about in a dishonest way.

I learned a term for that, all the Law & Orders I've sat through: the fruit of the poison tree. You can't use something as evidence in court if it was obtained through illegal acts, like breaking into someone's house without a warrant or beating up a suspect to get a confession. Otherwise, cops would have no reason to obey the law when collecting evidence. And the ones who liked to break into people's houses and beat them up would start doing it all the time, because the evidence they got would still be valued.

So that's why it's been a horrible, stupid mistake every time I've tried, and failed, to use my Grande Latte Powers on Dave. Because it's an insult. And the nasty thing I'm wrestling back is the desire to do to him what I do to pretty much everybody else, pretty much all the time.

I feel like every time I try to stop and get my thoughts in order, the phone rings and the sound lashes my mind like a backhand to the face.

I got to be the way I am, to be someone who wins the respect of others, by a negative route. I would have an impulse, and whatever the opposite of that impulse, that's what I would do. I speak as if I assume other people's opinions carry more weight than mine--because I feel they carry less. I act as if other people's needs are more important than mine--because I feel they are not important. I know that the way I act, the way I choose to act, is the right way. But I'm doing it because I want to be seen to be a good person, I want to be believed to be good. Not because I am good.

I'm going outside to get away from this phone as soon as Angel gets down here.


But when Angel did get down here, she asked for my help too. Because she thought I might know, and even if I didn't, I'm always helpful at trying to figure things out.

And before I go outside I've got to admit something to myself. It's not ALL an act. I really DO like helping people, the actual helping part, not just the manipulating that help is sometimes the excuse for. It really does make me happy when somebody proves me wrong in a way that strengthens them, or figures out how to do something on their own without my interference. I like it when people are strong and don't need my help, when they're amused by my psychological capering instead of impressed by it. I may not be as good in reality as I try to appear to people who aren't that close to me. But I want to be good, I want to be that good, and maybe that's why I want so badly to trick people into thinking I already am.

Tuesdays With Abhorrent Fiends vol. 26

What a dang-blasted day so far.

I wish I had more to say, though to tell the truth it's more I don't know where to start. This has been one of those mornings where every little thing gets in the way. It didn't even start with two lines ringing with reservations while I'm on the phone with tech support because our reservation software is down and the Restaurant Week promotion has us booked almost solid all through next week. It started as a day like this usually starts, the clear omen; I step down from the front of the apartment building to see my bus just sitting at the corner two blocks away. So I can't say I wasn't expecting it,
[a wine delivery interrupts! of course! *rueful chuckle*]
and to my credit, being mentally prepared helped me get through the morning with good grace and a kind word for everyone. Which is what you should ask of yourself, on a day like this.

I've been reading Legacy of Gird, the sequel / prequel to the Deed of Paksennarion. Elizabeth Moon does wonderful work! I can see why Grandma didn't like Legacy as much as Deed. It's essentially about the task of building a righteous community, rather than an individual's rise to righteous excellence within that community. The Deed is the tale she needs more, the tale of one who learned both weakness and, beyond weakness and through her gods' grace, the courage to endure.

But Gird's story is about leadership, what it takes and what it can give. Which for some reason is a tale I need. Maybe not for my use, but at least so I can recognize it when I see it and know how it should be encouraged.

I've gone and joined another message board. A small one, but with a higher than normal proportion of those who seem able to both type AND think. Leadership, pah. I feel like this is all practicing, that I have this hunger to go out and make a community because there's some community waiting for me in the future, waiting to be built. How many things will have to die to make a space for it, or is the space already there, and I can't see it? How can a person like me, who has trouble maintaining even the few interpersonal bonds I've got, expect to forge a community? And with whom, in whom will it be forged?

In Miercoles vol. 4 I mentioned a conversation big Z had on the phone with the sound guy who installed speakers in his home, and then didn't bother to come back to maintain or fix them when they broke. The way that post looked, with the conversation right on top of my poem about magic, got me thinking. Long and hard, it got me thinking. Why should anybody help me go out and make new friends, when I know
[interruption! Sasha came in to photocopy some things. So I took the hint from the universe and turned from my typing to put some applications-for-employment on clipboards and put pens on them, so people walking in to respond wouldn't all be stealing Angel's and the servers' pens. On her way out, carrying them upstairs, I heard her singing a line from "As I Went Down in the River to Pray". Chills up my spine! Chills, I say! (The good kind.)]
so little about the friends I already do have. A few nights ago I'd had a dream with a strange beastie in it, which upon reflection is almost certainly the fullgrown version of the kitten to whom I gave water at the end of the chase dream. Now I can think of at least two beasties whom I've met and made allies with in dreams. The white bitey fire kitten, which before I worked with it to transform itself was the nasty bug sent over to me by shark guy.
[interruption! phonecalls! wine delivery!]
I don't think it's the same creature anyway. The more recent one feels like more of an air, maybe air/water beastie, while the one I got from shark guy felt more like fire/air or fire/water. The elemental categories are so clunky. They don't fit right at all. I know the system I'm using isn't sufficient, but I don't have another one.
And what's wrong, you say, with wandering around without a system? I'll tell you what's wrong. I need to be able to describe the things I see, to name them in a way that others can understand what's been happening to me. Whether I actually go to the trouble of doing such description, of writing it down and making it (sorta) public, is my lookout. But I have to be able to at least functionally explain it or I don't want to do it at all.

Magic is, ultimately, about relationships. Relationships between things seen and unseen, things possible and things actual, between time and space, between one soul and another. Science, I think, is about substances, things-by-themselves. Other mages, of great righteousness and skill, are perfectly right to be content not naming, not sorting out into parts, just letting things and people be what and who they are. But for me that is not enough. What I have, I make science or else I have it not. Whether it belongs, in part or whole, to someone else, and the right of naming is thus not mine, or whether I remove myself from it because it can't remain within my fiat, both are acceptable. Within my fiat, those are the rules. Not that I necessarily have named it, again; only that I must be able to do so, and know it.

Jimmy knew that long before I'd put words on it, I think, which is why he gave me a name to call him by before ever we met. Else I'd've gone crazy looking for one. Guides of his ilk aren't meant to have names to be used; their role is who they are. I approve of that, in general, even if it's maddening in particular.

So back to my beasties. My menagerie, what I now call by that name, is a group of templates that I came up with based on a theory. My menagerie in practice, as I make it a collection of real (?) invisible beasties, will of course be something very different, unexpected in unexpectable ways. Things that, like firekitten, used to be bound to someone or something else and used for purposes I oppose; things conversely like secretcat, that used to be wild, and followed me home because they like me. That's what my real menagerie will comprise. To the extent that it is real, at all.

It gets harder and harder to make that qualification. Tension within meaning makes magic thrive, yes. But if I go around making friends with things, and then saying I don't believe they really exist, what kind of a friend am I? Or if I truly think this is all just a way of juggling what's already in me, then why not dispense with the overcomplicated symbols and work only on my personality itself?

I think I really do believe, when you get down to it, that there is an invisible ecosystem, contiguous with the material one, composed of patterned types of energy we can't yet measure, growing and interacting along angles of time we're not comfortable perceiving. I believe that what is now magic WILL be science, that this isn't mysticism or Ultra Grande Latte Mysterium open only to a few elect. When history brushes the dust off I think this'll be one of those things like Pasteur believing in bacteria before others could visualize life that small. And I fear that coming reality, even as I believe in it, because once humanity gets ahold of some truth in nature, the first thing we do with it is horrendous slaughter. 'S why I like that Pixies song, Wave of Mutilation, so much. I think we look like that, from a certain angle of time, a rolling crest of blood and horror and pain and fear gobbling up ages and acres with its blunt knives and putrid stench. By making magic science, this dark side of people will do with it what it does with all science, before the force of our will to live drags us back from the abyss we ourselves always manage to dig.

And you have to laugh at it, you have to laugh. Because truth, like the guilt of murderers, will out eventually whether you will it or no. The only way I have a chance of pointing it in a less evil direction is if I'm the one bringing the knowledge I seek into the arena of human consciousness, the awareness of cultures, the will of people.

Which brings back the problem of leadership, friendship, community. There is a right way to do anything, and the right way to do this thing shapes and lumps vaguely in my mind even as I consider it. It takes people, who trust each other and desire the same vision of a world. It takes people who are more than friends but other than lovers (for the most part), who have skills and willpower and force, not only a shared vision.

So when I do magic for me, I have to do it right. I can't leave myself room for lasting mistakes, only the little wobbles you make while you're gaining your balance. But I can't stop even if I've made a mistake. I won't stop.

Just as the phone has not stopped ringing, ringing, ringing, people coming into the office, asking, the phone ringing, Angel paging me out of the speakerphone without waiting for me to pick up, the phone ringing, the door opens behind me.
Ordinarily resistance like that would make me stop typing.
[Gustavo walks in, standing behind me as I type; it takes a moment for me to notice him. I am unreasonably angry at the intrusion but I know it's not his fault. I tell him I've been having a shitty day; he doesn't hear me. I almost laugh, shaking my head, and say it again. He hasn't been having a great day either. I tell him I'm going over the Office Depot pretty soon, does he need anything? Pens. Pens, I say, everybody's asking for pens. Okay. And one more thing, he says. Can you smile?
I smile. That work? I say. We both chuckle. Yeah, it worked. He heads back to the kitchen.]

P.S.: I bought lots and lots of pens.

content: other

Apparently I'm producing again.
Hooray. Now I can use my wordmaking skills to complain about other things, instead of complaining about their disuse.

Went to Wheaton (almost typed Elgin, gah) Wednesday night, and spent yesterday with Dave. Between one thing and another it was good. I'm not sure if emotionally it came out at a net positive. As I have said before, we don't really have what I'd call arguments, just heavily emotionally charged discussions. We don't disagree as to what the goal is, I'm saying, but instead the how and why. Our circumstances are in some ways pretty bad at this time and it is frustrating and saddening to both of us. And I think nothing is worse than to see your beloved made miserable and have no power to help them. Which we both have got to deal with now. As well as actually being made miserable at times by various things. It's well and good and laudable to be more worried about your partner's sadness than your own, but you have to eventually address the causes of your own sadness, even if for no other reason (at first) than to stop hurting them with it.

That being said, Valentine's Day had all the things it ought in spite of the above. Including going out to eat, if you count driving through Burger King on the way back from the bank. Which I'm inclined to count, myself, because by that point we didn't even realize how hungry we'd gotten, and the burgers perked us up considerably.

I stayed up, though I hadn't meant to, till three in the morning, and finished the second book of Elizabeth Moon's trilogy The Deed of Paksennarion. I'd read the first book awhile back on the Free Library and had very much wanted to know the rest of the story. And it's one of those full-immersion books where you feel you'll be all right if you just see what happens next, only by the time the next thing has happened there's something else you badly want to see resolved. The back cover compares Moon's work favorably to Tolkien, and I don't think it's off the mark at all. She's less long-winded than him, even, and a little more balanced in terms of honor versus seriousness. I'd love to set a D&D campaign in her storyverse. So well fleshed out on such nice bones!

Pearl texted Dad last night to tell him to tell me to call her or Myke as soon as I got back. I didn't. I didn't really think it through clearly, but I think I was just so emotionally drained that I didn't want to handle anything more strenuous than Paksennarion and her fictional troubles with evil elves and feckless humans and her own stubborn single-mindedness. I feel bad about it, but I don't know that I'll be able to go out to Michigan next week as planned. After I pay the rent with today's paycheck I can pretty much buy groceries, but not laundry or gas or reactivating my cell phone.

But anyway. Back on the subject of producing. I came up with this while driving back to Chicago last night. I'd been singing some of my good crop of 07 songs, Randy McCarroll and Sight and some older ones too, hoping I'd get something new by greasing the wheels a bit. Songs come in through a hole in your heart (I've long wanted to write a song with that line in it, who knows if I ever will) and I knew my heart was in the proper shape for one. As the first line suggests, I started it right after driving past that enormous graveyard that 290 cuts through the middle of, the one I always wave to and greet by saying "hello, the dead" as I drive past.
This is the second thing I've written inspired by Lois Bujold, the first being that lovely little sonnet-length poem, the needs of modern escapist fiction. You may recognize the chorus and title from a conversation Cordelia had with Mark, I forget which book it was in.

[love and other things]

say good evening as I pass the graves
they're receding fast like marble waves
for the mass who learned not to be brave
back in grammar school

I feel a fool, a fool, a fool
I feel a fool, a fool, a fool
a fool for love, for love
and other things

by my enemies my table's set
they keep asking me "you finished yet?"
they'll forgive, they say, but not forget
don't mean to be cruel

I feel a fool, a fool, a fool
I feel a fool, a fool, a fool
a fool for love, for love
and other things

what I'm paid for ain't my specialty
I exist to make a recipe
for what swept away the mess in me
I must build the tools

leather wings, labyrinth strings
quickenings, stones that sing
the fire I'm from the ashes of
the velvet fist, the iron glove

a fool, a fool a fool for love
and other things

Miércoles con los Amigos Invisibles vol 4.

'Nother marathon day yesterday. New personal record: 13 hours, 14 minutes worked. And we got the payroll out on time. Were I wearing a jersey, now would be the time to engage in jersey-popping to indicate that all should be aware of my excellence and the number which symbolizes it. Alas, restaurant office managers have no jerseys.

On second thought, that's probably a mercy.

I was just listening to Z talk on the phone to the guy who installed the custom sound system in his home. Increasingly amusing for me, it sounded very frustrating for him. After he got off the phone I was like, "Y'know, if the contractors on the Death Star had done that to Lord Vader, he would've just choked them with his force powers and made 'em do what he wanted." And Zubair grinned and said, "Oh, that'd be so awesome." He's not a confrontational sort of man--a good quality in a restaurant GM!--so his criticisms to the sound guy were very calm and mostly along the lines of, "I really don't see how you can run your business if you only concentrate on getting new business and cannot find the time to maintain the systems of your existing customers."

[why I don't spell magic with a k]

Oh, what's the use, to call it what we call it? What's the use
to speak of setting, binding, calling forth or even cutting loose?
I have left off chalky diagrams and howling at the moon.
I kept a knife inside my satchel once; now it's a spoon.

I had rather stir my coffee, yes, or hang it from my nose
Than pretend I might get off my ass to battle unseen foes.
When it rains, don't dig the garden up to find out where it goes.
Though you dream of holy palaces, you'll wake in dirty clothes!

If the vestments make the person, in these sweaters, I'm a ghost
Rattling names that trickle off my back: accountant, sister, host.
I can't find one I mind the least or fit inside the most.
No one asks what dreams portend--just "How much have we grossed?".

I suspect old maids and children only keep this science best
Because no one bothers them as much (And mages need their rest!).
We expect to see them sniffing flowers, asking things of trees
And don't think they're off their rocker when they dance around like bees

Passing messages only another bee could read aloud.
So it's not that I'm not interested, or that I've grown too proud.
It's not that I'm incompetent, and things won't take my calls--
And it's not that I'm so starved for it I'm climbing up the walls--

No! My energy's depleted by the rigors of a life
Having more to do with spoons and forks than some enchanted knife.
Like riding bikes, you don't forget; like moths, you swoon for light.
And if you cast a spell, I say, for dog's sake spell it right!

occipital hygiene

Cold and hungry and a bit ticked off!

Did have a good weekend, as well as it could have been. Very nice visit to Elgin town; Mom was at full nice-mode and I really miss Amber and Pearl so it was even more awesome than usual to see them. Mom took me and Dave to Boston Market on Sunday, so I got to see Dave in person at least for a little while and we all swapped "Craig is unbearable" stories which I think made Dave feel better a little bit. I got a nice haul of stuff; Xmas money and many sweaters and other about-to-be-Amvets'ed clothing from Mom, many books from Amber and Mom's bookshelves.

On to the day. Family meal is canceled as of today, so I'm going to demand a lunch break. I would settle for free food from here, but if Bossman tries to stick me with anything less I am going to demand a lunch break even more. My first three weeks proved to me that if I try to work an eight-hour shift with no food in defiance of biology and law, I will go completely insane before I starve to uselessness. And bringing cold sandwiches from home is not an acceptable solution. I know nobody here takes my happiness or comfort seriously, although they feel fondness towards me and would like to believe otherwise in their public minds.*

On to news of my brain. It wasn't really in the dream, more in the doze after waking up, but there was this image of a big hulking guy with a sharp-toothed mouth where one of his eyes should be. Which I thought enchanting, and before I knew it was imagining I had a sharp-toothed mouth over where my right eye is. It had a long tongue that could snap up flies, it announced in a sarcastic voice all the thoughts I held back in the interests of diplomacy, and when someone threatened me or I got sufficiently angry with them, it would chew and bite them with great efficacy. It was a blood-drinker also. I even spent some time figuring out how the mouth would combine the current positions of my eye and sinus cavities with some extra membranes to form an additional tributary into my esophagus.
[Interrupted by phone call re accounts payable. Put on some hand lotion. I wonder what plant shea butter is made from? That would be something to definitely have on our apocalypse farm!]

Told Dad about it when I woke up; he thought it was scary. Which is funny to me also. No chance of a physical mod like that happening! But psychically I'm having a difficult time thinking of reasons why not. *giggle* What you think is an eye is a mouth indeed. And I really do need more teeth to go with my new spine, neh? I already have some skills of a demon summoner and assembler and disassembler. At least for those demons (or very rude elementals or very animated made thought-forms--the distinction is taxonomical, not practical!) which are of a small enough size that fight-or-flight is not a necessary consideration. But to have an image for their practical everyday application, an image which is part of my aura projection, is a lovely idea.

Another thing occurred to me, too, last night, thinking about the conversation me and Pearl were having about tech when we were all hanging out in Amber's room. My way of sonaring out my spiritual surroundings is based mainly on tactile sense-images at the moment. I had shut down a lot of the conscious functions of my visual imagination all those years ago when my use of it got out of hand; the machinery all still there, just forbidden from use for certain personality maintenance tasks. By so doing I made the visual-imagery parts of my mind available primarily to my unconscious self. Which as we know are the same areas of the mind where most of anyone's magical abilities are shelved.

I know I'm overthinking this. What I'm trying to say is that magical visualization is about to get a lot easier, and if I can show the same discipline in packing it out that I did in putting it away, it will stand me in good stead.
Also Jimmy reminded me that he has much inclination towards docenting and certainly wouldn't mind prompting me on protocol and things when I get off my ass and start getting out there. In there. Whatev.

Anyway I feel much better already at the idea of growing an eville toothy mouth to wear through the back alleys of the universe. Given my continued inability to take up symbolic arms. I still don't get my non-using of weapons in mindspace. Even if it's a good weapon it becomes unusable as soon as I pick it up. I wonder if that's connected to my stubborn no-makeup policy. Cause it's not wearing makeup that I have a problem with. It's the process the putting on of makeup represents to me. The beauty-as-weapon thing. A purely offensive suite, designed to lower the inhibitions of others and woo their confidence by taking advantage of biological hardwiring. I don't believe there's anything innately objectionable about that, and I think people who use it with style and grace are to be honored for their perspicacity. It's just I flinch from standing there in a mirror changing my face with something physical. Inclines to make you forget that you're also changing your face in ways not physical, in more important ways. And for me to confuse symbol and substance in that area of interaction is my great fear. So I eschew the (physical) symbol, the prettifying, whether it's makeup or jewelry or dressing up or ways of carrying oneself, even as I obsess endlessly over the (psychological) substance. The altering of one's personae to adapt to different interpersonal situations. Altering personae almost without limit while retaining a cohesive self, this is my obsession that doesn't leave hardly any of my sticky for other things.

Okay, I'm officially a crazyperson. Mark it up in your little mental clipboards. I am more afraid of standing in front of the mirror every morning "putting on my face" than I am of having my right eye replaced with a nasty-minded, insult-gabbling toothy mouth with a forked tongue and a taste for human blood.
*giggles* At least I'm dead set on keeping the eyemouth invisible. Wouldn't that make for an ugly ID photo!

*edit later: This was a pretty unfair thing to say. I of all people ought to know the difference between "caring about" and "feeling one has a right to speak up and do something about."

psychic bitrate

Time to make words spew forth!

Dave has decided to hightail it for Paula's house for a few days, for the which I don't blame him in the least. We've run out of both mind-altering amenities, namely alcohol and weed, and are well on the way to running completely out of money as well. I don't reasonably expect to get paid again till next Friday. Big Z, the guy who's got to mack the payroll work before I can finish it, him and his wife just had their third baby this week and he's been ensconced in the hospital almost 24/7 since then. Main boss gave me the day off today in exchange for me coming in to work tomorrow. There's a 2 o'clock meeting I've got to make but I think I'll come in earlier than that to catch up on some of the work I've gotten behind on due to book-reading and various crises this week.

I'm listening to Battles using a little player window I popped up from their MySpace page, and lemme tell ya, it's going to take a looong while for me to get sick of it. Some music, if you're tuned to the transformation the music-maker was doing when they composed it, jump you right into a mental state. And Atlas by Battles sounds to me exactly like gravity. Makes me dance--nigh involuntarily the first few times I heard it. Wonderful stuff, Pearl was absolutely right about it. In the Fairies deck that Amber gave me a couple years ago, there's one card called Pixies. You picture them dancing halfway through the ground, this mass of ultra-cool invisible beings whose constant rhythmic movement mirrors, participates in, helps to continually create, the magnetic and gravitational field of the planet. Ridiculous? Patently. Needlessly multiplying entities? Absolutely. But psychologically effective in maintaining mental states I find most desirable for everyday functioning. Without a qualm.

Most of the things I believe are like that. The finite incarnate, my "sock puppet theory of God", is like that too. One God. One soul. Nigh-endless incarnations, each with its awareness of the others and of its original Self reduced to the merest pinprick, so that free will is not a joke. Just the uncomfortable aftereffect of a divinely Self-imposed time lag in communications. You can think of the many incarnations, every living creature that is, was, or shall be, as sequential, one after the other if you like. But since the original and final Being is beyond time, envelops and transcends time/space/matter/energy, the term is meaningless. The incarnations are, from God's perspective, simultaneous. So I'm God and you're God and so is that tree and that microscopic dust mite and that sapient supergalactic cluster. All the rights and all the responsibilities of the creator, still ours, not divided, just limited by the form of the incarnation in question. We can't return to our godlike powers and knowledges unless and until we quit this mortal coil, the envelope of self and all its accoutrements.

I think of that as one of those supreme ironies that reveals God's sense of humor. Like how you can turn lead into gold, it's just not useful to do so because the process makes the created gold massively radioactive. Same way, we all theoretically have all the might and majesty of the Supreme Being. We just can't access any more of it than our incarnate selves have already got, without completely annihilating said incarnate selves.

I want to write more Anatomy of Trust stuff, too. My trepidation on the subject has gone down and down as the months wear on. Assuredly, once people figure out how damn useful it is, some will use it for evil. But it's so frustrating to have it, and see people around me that I like and care about not be able to use it. I want them to be able to! I want to put tools in the hands of my fellow Beings that can help them access all that is available to their incarnate Selves! To make themselves greater and more wondrous and thus, when death and its final upload takes us, increase the glory of God. Why else are we all here?

static cling pouch for added freshness

What a conversation I had with Dave last night! Scary and concerning in spots, yes. But we both said things we didn't think we'd be able to say to each other, maybe ever, and stayed connected the whole time which is hard. The gravity was very heavy between us for awhile there. But I'm just so...I dunno, relieved isn't the word. I believed with only indirect evidence that something about our secret scary parts matches up perfectly. Now my reason for believing that is far less indirect, and that gives me much hope. If the two of us can each figure out something of how to move in the home mindspace of the other, not only will we be much better people, we will be unstoppable in pursuit of our commonly held goals.

Dreamed again, yeah, and had the feeling it was real important. But the only part that retained enough clarity to stick was the part where I opened the safe full of books. I was investigating the living place of some female known to me, not enemy exactly, but from whom I was hiding my looking-around activities because of some opposition between us. There was this enormous safe in the wall, with an unusual door in many layers. The center of the door had a big locking mechanism that looked a bit like a gear had been stamped out of the middle of the metal door--the gear-shaped space was empty because the lock was disengaged. I pulled down on part of it and the door rattled open to top and bottom, revealing the next layer of door which was split side to side with an identical, smaller mechanism in the middle. I was in a hurry to get it open so after the first I would just open one wide enough to reveal the mechanism in the next layer and pulled them all open at once. The inside of the safe was big, almost as tall and wide as the room I was in but not as deep; if I'd reached my arm in and leaned way over I couldn't quite have touched the back wall. There was a plastic sleeve, really a long long sheet of plastic folded in half with dividing edges stamped into it at exactly the width of a book. It was mounted in a spiral, open side of the pouch facing front, so the books could be pulled from anywhere in a very long spiral easily from the doorway. I began excitedly pulling them out, looking for things Dave might be interested in. Couldn't see any specific titles; they were mostly light sci-fi/fantasy, the kind I'm most into reading right now, books I really really liked a lot. I accumulated a bit of a pile somewhat randomly, not really knowing what was there or what I was looking for, and though I eventually settled on one I wasn't quite satisfied with it. The plot-remembering I got looking at the cover most reminded me of Curse of Chalion, which with its combination of magic and gods relates somewhat to the spirit of that important discussion mentioned above.

And for some reason this all inspired a slight re-write of an oldie but goodie song of mine, Static. One of Pearl's favorites I believe, and one of that first bunch arranged for the guitar back when I was first learning to play guitar. Haven't tried it on the stringy thing yet, obviously, but I'm sure it'll come back to me with a bit of practice.


signals crossed and we got lost
in a hurricane
I'm an albatross that the wind just tossed
and music is my aeroplane
radio beam gonna rip my seam
outside the at mos phere
let it alone cause I can't go home
and I won't stay here

state of the art, gonna shred my heart
to pay your fare
turn up the sound, get it off the ground
cause I'm off the air
the world pushed from its balance
by your fingertips
can you feel sometimes the invisible
brush of my lips

I almost drowned in it
you went to ground in it
everything that was round in the world it shatters
crash through everything that matters

static automatic in your senses gone erratic
in your drugs in your sex in your violence
I'm lost and I'm broken count the cost and I'm tokin
through your little cold metal from your hearts like islands
never can I get across the innocence that we have lost
the silver in your dross is your silence

Miércoles con los Amigos Invisibles vol 3.

Yesterday I felt so wise, I ekpt *clears throat* scuse me, kept getting the instant-karma finger-wag for being a buttinski. On the other hand I think I was being pretty wise most of the time and gave some people good advice about stuff.
Today, though, I just kept getting more and more sluggish until now I'm like slumped over my keyboard. I hope I didn't catch what Angel's got, she's been stuffed up and sore-throat-having for days.

I sprained my ass last night. :D It was so worth it.
Well, maybe sprained is too strong. Definitely strained though. I regret nothing. 'Cept today sitting down and standing up, major parts of my job, make me feel like an old lady.

Been having real cool dreams I can't remember. I know awesome stuff is happening, I just don't know what. Feels like the same dreamscape that framed the awesome chase dream where the last scene ended up in that cool graveyard and I had a kitten in my satchel. Did I write that one down? Don't remember. I'm primarily writing this for the convenience of my memory, because any description I wrote down I fear would be more confusing than delightful.

But I think this series of dreams I've been having is a new phase of functionality for me, in terms of dream interaction. The series began with the one right before the abovementioned.
Okay, this first dram, *typogrumble* pardon me, dream of the series had one long shot near the end where I saw the shape of the world I was in. The early part had a lot of wandering around and flying through places which were known to me and fit my emotional template of "scenic, bucolic, worrisome enough to be interesting but no more than that." In the shot I'm referring to I was an owl. I flew up out of the place-envelope I was in and saw that the collection of places was like a grouping of asteroids in space. You know those close-up photos where it shows the ordered pattern of seeds in a sunflower spiraling in their lovely spiral shape to illustrate what a Fibonacci sequence is? Well, the bunch of asteroids were in a similar sort of lovely spiraling shape, only very loosely grouped in three dimensions. All the asteroids were different sizes and shapes, but they were oriented so that "up" was the same direction for all of them. Generally the light was brighter towards the center, though I don't recall any specific light source except the background of stars. Each had like a terrain or an environment on it and I knew (from experiences previous in the dream) that when you were in one it didn't appear to have edges, just felt like a regular place. From the inside there were enough connections between the terrains that it indeed felt like one big contiguous thing, instead of a bunch of discrete things. But anyway. I was an owl, flying through the spaces between the asteroids, up and outwards. I was headed towards one of the more remote, small envelopes. Flying was a big effort; I worried about my glide angle, flapping with sufficient strength and not overshooting or missing the asteroid I was getting to. Not that the terrain I was aiming for was particularly special, I just wanted to get to one reasonably like it and didn't want to go drifting off away from the area where they were all at. I landed, hard, and my body-feelings when I landed were human ones, arms and legs and things, even though I was still an owl as I had been while flying in there. I was relieved, and in glancing around saw a pleasantly grassy little area with a shimmering transport gate off to the side. The light was dim and, for lack of a better word, octarine. And you could see the edges of this terrain and outside it as you couldn't with the bigger ones at the interior of the group.
I woke from that dream and recognized almost before I'd got all the images sorted out that what I'd been looking at was a representation of my own mindspace. And lemme tell ya, this pleases me enormously.

The next dream, as I said, involved being chased. There was some sort of society of psychics or superheroes or magic-y people and I had just barely gotten accepted into the fringes of it. The beginning of the dream, before this, is almost completely gone: there was a kitten and I was talking to some people, I dunno. First real clear image is of me walking through a dim, quiet, respectable but rundown bar / restaurant to some sort of door in the back that led to the secret entrance of the meeting place of the people in the society. There were important famous people with big powers in the society and I was thinking about them as I walked in; I knew I had only one power and it was pretty small and didn't have many uses. I have some images from once I got inside the meeting place, but they're mostly somatic and the visuals are hard to get across. There was of course a conflict and many people (and not-people) on both sides; me and the weaker, less destructive group fled down (or possibly up) an elevator shaft. I was at the tail end of the escapees and ended up coming face to face with the main bad guy. Does it make sense to say I have complete visuals of that encounter but no describable mental picture forms when I call it up? Anyway. I locked eye contact with him and could feel him reaching out with his enormous panoply of psychic powers to mess me up because I was in his way. So I used the power I had: I looked into his eyes and saw his desire to attack me, and his desire to attack me got smaller and smaller and cooler and eventually faded like the air at the end of a sigh. Next image I have is of me and the other people on my side regrouping in this awesome ancient-yet-sci-fi-tech-feeling graveyard that we somehow felt was safe. And I somehow felt it reminded me of that little terrain I flew to as an owl in the previous dream. It had low walls between areas but it was also a room--kind of like in a videogame level where the edge of a map just looks like more scenery, only it's solid. I walked along a crumbly wall thing and looked down at the gravestones; one of them at the exact same patterns on it as some bubbles I'd been watching during my most recent waketime in a pot of water in which noodles were being boiled. Anyway during the regrouping I opened up my yellow satchel, which I'd had with me the other time, and discovered to my delight that the kitten I'd been carrying in there was okay. I got out my water bottle and poured some water into the cap so the kitten could drink, which it did thirstily. And I noticed there was another kitten in there, and determined to give it a drink as well. Then I woke up.

Much tech, yet I must leave work now or be very sad and have a much shortened evening at home. Vamos!
Feel like something's about to be happening, but I don't know what.
I never feel like something's about to be happening. I mean an actual thing, not a thing inside my brain. Stupid February. Horrible snow turns into tolerable slush.

Amber said Dude, call me. In a comment box! She never comments! I emailed her but I don't know if she got it!
I haven't spoken to Myke in weeks and my phone hasn't made a peep. I thought I could still receive calls with my phone dead? Otherwise it's odd nobody's called me, him especially. I'm supposedly supposed to go out there later this month.

I think I decided, pointy is eye is mercury, shiny is mouth is salt, sticky is hand is sulfur. I am not sticky enough. Hence, I don't faze, I don't addict, I don't get jealous. I don't bond. I don't remember. My easy transformations are all pointy or shiny.