if it weren't for bad luck...

So…

I went shopping yesterday and found a  24" TV that  after all the rebates offered would have been a steal of a deal.

I debated for a minute before I thought; heck it’s Christmas, why not buy it and upgrade the one in the spare room for my tiny tornadoes. 

But, as my luck goes, they didn't have any in stock.

But wait!  I can have the display model!

Do I get a discount?  I ask.

Unfortunately, no.  But it’s only been on display since yesterday and it comes with the box and the warranty....

No discount.? Well that stinks…

Yeah it does stink. I agree,  especially because almost every other store in this chain offers at least 10% off the display models, but they won’t let us do that here…

Hmmm….  Well. If I don’t buy it now, I won’t buy it at all and it is Christmas and it’s a fabulous deal… Okay, I'll take the display. What the hell.  It's warrantied right?

Right! he answers again though it wasn't really a question;  And we still have the box.  Let me get the wrench to get it down for you.

That should have been my cue to run….

30 minutes later the clerk and two other accomplices are still trying to remove the TV from the shelf.   It seems one of the screws used to hold it there will not budge...

So, instead of seeing the neon sign saying WALK AWAY...  I try to help.

And damn if the screw doesn’t finally it come loose so they can commence removing it.

He chooses this moment, near on 45 minutes later, - of course - to tell me that  they mount the display models to the shelves by drilling holes in their bases.

Wait.  So the base will have holes in it?

Yes.  But not too many… 

Um... so not only do I not get a display discount, I don’t get a damage discount either?

Right. he says as they triumphantly pull the TV off the shelf; would you not think that offering display and damaged discounts would be store policy across the board?.

Well yes actually,  I would. And, I hate to tell you this late in the game because I don’t want you to hit me with that wrench, but if it’s damaged badly I won’t be taking it home with me.

Are you serious lady? He says, seriously hoping I am being sarcastic.

And then we both look at the base of the television for the first time.

And gee, it’s not only full of holes, but its full of holes that appear to have been drilled by someone who never handled a drill in their life.  They aren’t  holes as much as chewed caverns with with drill skip marks all around them AND the base itself is severely cracked around several of those caverns from tightening it onto the shelf…

So again, i inquire about a discount and again he says no…

So that means you want me to pay you full price for something that sits on a base that not only looks like it's been through a mine field, but may eventually crack in half?

Um… yes actually. It’s policy. But look! (pointing to the base with the wrench as if he were the spokes model for this brand of TV) all of the damage is in the back  so you won‘t really see it. (after which he twirls the wrench like a revolver) and you can always purchase a wall mount kit.  Besides lady, my wrists are killing me from trying to unscrew it, that has to count for something right?  (he puts the TV in my cart and starts impatiently smacking the wrench against his palm)

(I start to think he is contemplating using that wrench as a weapon and find myself beginning to feel guilty about even thinking about leaving the TV there after all the effort they spent getting it off the shelf for me… and his wrists… the poor guy… and… HEY! wait a minute! I am being manipulated into doing something I don‘t want to do.  (yes angels did suddenly sing!) Why should I be manipulated into paying full price for a broken TV?)

Ok....  No. I don’t want a broken television base that I can’t trust. 

What?! Seriously?

Yes. Seriously.  You can put it back on the shelf and sell it to the next schmuck who comes along - but if I were you I wouldn’t screw it down this time.

Wow.  I can’t believe you are going to make me put it back; he says; wringing his hands around the wrench;  I guess that’s your choice… but…

...but I wouldn’t turn my back to walk away if I don’t want to be wearing a wrench as a head ornament right?

He is taken aback because I can read his mind…

No worries pal, you can throw it as hard as you want to.   I probably would if I were you....  but, then again you also have to admit that if you were me, you wouldn’t take that TV set home either…

True enough he says, pulling the TV back out of my cart.

And I turned my back and walked away seriously hoping his aim was off.…

but the story doesn't end there.... oh no...

Disappointed, I decide to buy egg nog as a Christmas treat instead.  Not the cheap stuff mind you, but the stuff I never buy because it’s way too expensive.  And not the little container because if I am splurging I may as well get exactly what I want right? 

Well…

since karma really should have been on my side in this one, my assumption is that the clerk made a wish on that wrench instead of throwing it at me, because by the time I got home half of my wonderfully expensive egg nog had not only dispensed from the container but had leaked out of the plastic bag and onto the back seat of my car.... 

….you're a foul one, Mister Grinch, you're a nasty wasty skunk.  your heart is full of unwashed socks, your soul is full of gunk….

Mister Grinch, the three words that describe this are as follows, and I quote;

Stink!

Stank!

Stunk!





Eolist's Law

it's that time of year again

when my cable bundle price goes up...

even though i was assured via multiple english as a second language graduates my bundle price wouldn't expire until september 2013, this months bill was far higher than last months.

and i had an HDDVR box that i rarely use...
(i must be one of the few that don't find HD wonderful - i want movies to look like movies not reality)

so i unhook said box, haul it to the local cable company office and ask to trade it out for the freebie box...

ten minutes into the switch the sweetheart behind the counter looks at me and says;  I am trying very hard not to swear and/or smash something because this computer keeps telling me you are already at your limit of add on boxes, which evidently is ZERO because it will not let me add this one to your account...

no problem.  i reply;  i'm used to that.  it would be because it's my account and/or simply because it's me standing here.  nothing is ever easy for me.  you know that murphy's law thing? it was invented specifically with me in mind...

she calls someone else over and eventually they just wipe my account clean and start from square one.  job done.  i am presented with a new (old) box and told that my current promotion will now expire in february 2013...

as i am standing there thinking; damn.... i just got entirely rebooted and i expire in two months?  this too is the story of my life... she says; after you have set this box up at home you will have to call the 800 number on the back and have them "Zap" it to life for you.  remember to do that because it won't work until you do.

i thank her and go on my less than merry way...  job done.

i am half way home before i realize i was not given a remote to go with the box.  i thought about letting that one go, but halfway into that nano-second, i realized that meant i would actually have to physically move from the sofa to change the channel and reality said that was not going to happen.  damn it!  back to the cable office i went to retrieve said remote.

job done.

again.

safely back at home i hook up the new (old) box and call the number on the back.  of course the auto response just keeps telling me she can't understand my response - they must only give you twenty tries because after that i got a real person.  (must remember this for next time)

hello this is susan.  i can help you set up your new cable box.  first; is your box connected?

yes.

is it on?

yes.

great! i am now going to send a signal to it.  tell me when it turns off.

ok.

.
.
.

tell me when it turns off.

ok.

.
.
.


remember to tell me when it turns off.

i know.  and i will. but it's not turning off.

hmmm...  okay, i am going to "zap" it again. tell me when it turns off.

and;  ZAP!! BZZZZ.. CLICK... off it goes...

but sparks and smoke are simultaneously spraying out of it.

um... i don't think i sparks should be coming out of it.

HOLY SHIT!! SERIOUSLY!?!?  UNPLUG IT!!  

i already did. 

er... um... i guess i shouldn't have said it that way.  i apologize... that has never happened to me before... um... is everything else ok?

i'm giggling too hard at her horror at swearing to respond with anything other than a laughter infused yes.

she apologizes again and sets up an appointment to send a technician out with another box which she tells me HE  will set up for me.

bless her heart,  i laughed all weekend about her response and the horror it caused her...  *snigger*

yesterday the cable guy shows up with a new box, places his electronic equipment and phone on the floor and proceeds to connect it....

and plug it in.

and the box starts running through a number sequence...

over and over and over...

well that's odd, he says; in the ten years i have worked for this company, i have never ever seen a box run that sequence before.  i have no idea what it's doing but i'm going to say this box is bad too...  

another new box comes into the house...

and voila! this one works.

but his equipment box has suddenly mysteriously shut off and won't turn back on.

so he goes for his phone.

that's odd.  my phone won't work.

no.  we don't get phone reception inside the house.  nobody does. 

no. it's not that.  its.. its just not on...  my phone just shut off for no reason. and it won't turn back on... 

um.... lady...  

i really think it's not the equipment.  

its. 
your. 
house...

well i keep telling people we have ghosts...

that is so not funny.   he says.

(i wasn't trying to be funny i think to myself.  just be glad you aren't in my basement workroom where they tend to reside...)

his phone finally did turn on and function.  his equipment however, did not.

and me... i've been giggling about it ever since. 

if you can't beat it, you may as well laugh about it right?

and that's Murphy's  Eolist's Law


 

what were they thinking

so...

today is my birthday - no i am not going to tell you how many candles were on my cake.

just know that i have been around the block a few more times than  most of you - meaning i am smarter and wiser and have a hell of a lot more wrinkles....

even in places i didn't know wrinkles went.

but this morning i saw an image that i haven't been able to get out of my head all day long.



sex selling a form fitting adult diaper.

which makes me think that even though i may be "smarter and wiser" than most of you my counterparts in the sales biz are not... 

i don't know about you, but this, my friends, does not make me want to run out and buy slim fitting adult diapers...

or a little black dress.

what were they thinking?






   


on giving thanks


... a very huge thank you sprinkled with lots of love and hugs to all of you who have become my blessing. 

omg i AM old!

this morning i wandered into the living room chatting with Henry who has been purring furiously by my side for the last few weeks...

Henry was chatting on about changing times being good for me or something similar.  I wasn't really paying attention, i was too busy buttoning my sweater.

he cocked his head and smiled at me in that curious manner that normally means he has long known something i am about to learn.

luckily, for me, he spotted a ray of sun streaming through the window, fell silent, padded over to it and turned in a circle that kept getting continuously smaller until he was curled up within it.

too soon though he turned his attention back to the conversation he'd been having with me; "of course you realize donning that sweater is just another sign that you have been choosing to ignore for months now..."  he said.  and then he nudged his head toward the corner of the room as if bidding me to follow...

and i did.


and i was greeted with a sight that caused me to stand there wondering out loud....


oh my god Henry!! when did i get this old!?!

 

Henry laughed; "don't worry.  it will be okay.  your body ages. every body does.  and too soon the body is gone."

well thank you very much, Henry.  that makes me feel sooo much better about all of this...   i said yanking the heating pad out of the wall socket.

"silly human.  as always, you are missing the point entirely.  you are not your body, you only live in one so other humans can see you. your spirit roams free.  all spirits do.  you only have to remember to allow yourself that freedom.  and, once you do untold joy will come to you."

and i suppose once this untold joy hits me it won't matter that i'm old or wrinkled or alone or curled up in a recliner with a heating pad and a remote... 

Henry turned his attention toward a glitter of dust dancing in the sun and simply said;  "exactly!"






how well do you really know me

I wonder...

if you frequent here you know, of course, that i am vertically challenged and that i drink coffee 24/7 - often by the pot full.

you may even realize that i am extremely intuitive and - though i don't often "trust mine own self to be true" - that i have seen ghosts.  (and yes, they still frighten me right out of my skin)


but did you know that when i am absent from here i dabble in Star Trekerie?

bwahahahaha!  

let it be known however, that i am not a manual toting Trekkie. and, though i'm not fond of most of the other series that followed Captain Kirk, i loved Captain Archer and Star Trek: Enterprise.  (take that canon joes!)

i devoted a lot of years to chronicling everything about it and a lot of other Star Trek items for a web site known as TrekPulse before it was completed and subsequently removed from the online world for "Paramount" reasons.

sadly it fell into the hands of those we thought we could trust and went back online shortly after with a new name - but we won't go there now will we?

anyway, last year TrekPulse came back online in a new form.

 


and me?

well, the sci-fi nerd that i am, i came back online with it.

meaning, i don't just write dribble! i Trek too!  so, if you ever miss me here - you may find this little nerdling over there searching for - and publishing - little known Star Trek facts...

or drooling over new ones.

nerdlings - we are everywhere!

and  god bless us, every one.

what does your coffee say about you?


not my work, but i found this article humorous and (maybe) just a little bit true.


What does your coffee say about you?
(made a bit more palatable by yours truly)

Black Coffee: You are Self-possessed and kind of badass. Acquaintances may describe you as "blunt" and "gruff" on a good day. You lean against the doors on the subway because;  "that’s what they’re there for, b*tches!"

Decaf Coffee with Half-and-Half:  You are the definition of milquetoast, not to mention insecure and a touch confounding.   You are often attracted to Non-Decaf Coffee with Half-and-Half drinkers, as you are searching for something a little more adventurous than yourself.

Double Shot Espresso: You are not a self-starter, but definitely a go-getter.  Life is a series of events you attack with gusto.  You go big, but God knows you never go home.       
                                                         
Cold Brew in a Bottle: You'd rather be drinking a beer, but beer won’t lift you off the stinking pavement at 10 a.m. on a 100-degree day.  You are probably wearing a straw fedora but you are most definitely wearing a low-cut, striped tank top that coquettishly reveals a wishbone necklace or errant chest hairs.

Cappuccino:  You are usually the insouciant hot girl/guy in the corner.  You dance with abandon.  Your morning-after scrambled eggs are epic.  You thrive on independence, but tell the best stories at parties.

Macchiato: You are cerebral and refined and linger over the small pleasures in life. You always return library books before they’re due.  You can be relied on in any situation.

Soy Latte: Your body is a temple.  You may just be lactose intolerant, but are most likely only afraid the whole milk will go straight to your thighs.  It’s OK; it goes to everyone else’s thighs, too.  ;)

Iced Vanilla Mint Frappuccino with Extra Whipped Cream: You are SUPER HAPPY FUN FUN - for two reasons:  You are generally boisterous and you have just ingested far too much sugar.  You love Christmas! But actually, you HATE coffee.

Tea: You are a rebel!  Who drinks tea at a coffee shop?  You are unfailingly polite.  Mothers ask after you, always.  You secretly wish you were drinking coffee.

So,  which one are you? 

Me?!?  oh... i hover between black and cappuccino... 

meaning i must be one self possessed gruff blunt bad assed good lookin' egg cookin' story tellin' corner hugger....

worse off than me..

there was i surfing the net and feeling all sorts of sorry for myself

when i came across this...
 


this isn't cute...


look at those sad little eyes.  this poor little guy is standing there all wet and shivering and thinking; "and you think you got troubles?"

i may be highly un-enlightened, but since when do bunnies need bubble baths?

somebody get that poor little man a heated towel and a carrot!





third time charmed...

i am currently at a conference which i don't have to attend...

in a beautiful area...

in a beautiful hotel...



with a key card that wouldn't work anywhere but my room...

without anything/one to clean up after (heaven. i'm in heaven...) i've had time to finish reading one of the books i started in the spring and realize via the second that (like it or not) i am responsible for creating my own chaos. (hmmm... that must also mean that i am indeed in control of my own destiny -those of you who have consistently smacked me with that bat now have my permission to cheer.)

anyway....

this morning i wandered to the pool for a swim only to find my room key card wouldn't open the door...

so i wandered back to the lobby desk to inquire. 

the desk clerk had the consierge (i love that word!) walk me back to the pool where he asked me to try my key card in the lock (because i obviously have no idea how to correctly use the key card - never mind i've already been here 2.5 days already) and guess what?!?

it didn't work...  red light.  no go.  locked.

HA!!

he said; "huh..." in a very puzzled manor and let me in with his key...

i had a nice swim and came back. 

after lunch, because it is quite costly to have internet in your room and i wanted to research some items for work (yes seriously), i wandered down to the hotel's free business internet sanctum and inserted my key card...

red light.  sorry.  not valid.  denied.  game over.  go home.

so i wandered to the lobby desk to inquire...

the same desk clerk was there.  she must have read it on my face because in a quite surprised tone she said;  "again?!?! i am so sorry! that just isn't right.  let me just get you a new key card."

and when i inserted the new key card...

*bing*!  green light.  go.  you may enter here.

i was in...

however, after i settled my behind at an empty computer, every time i pulled up a page it closed and some sort of ACCESS DENIED warning popped up though i am fairly sure the guy on the next computer was surfing porn...  (go figure)

after the umpteenth attempt up came a page asking me to log in with the hotel code...

and i wandered to the lobby desk to inquire... 

"um...."

"seriously?"  she said after i explained; "there is no code..." 

this time didn't bother the consierge she brought me back to the computer and tried to pull up a page herself but the computer was having none of it...

"huh..." she said in a quite puzzled manor.  "this should not be happening." she looked toward the lobby desk,scooted very close to me and scribbled something on a small piece of paper and stuck it in my hand; "you didn't get this from me." she said. "but this log in will give you free internet access in your room for the duration of your stay..."

free hot breakfast in the morning... 
free snacks and drinks in the evening...
free interenet access in my room...

some times life does indeed bring you exactly what you need.

and i would be wise to remember that!  ;)





  

  

the eolist petite suite

oh yeah!  somebody knows me quite well....




no doubt Max and Roth had a hand in this design....

*calls for the waiter*


filler up Rosie!

coffee...

don't drink it.

do drink it.

don't drink it.

the commandant my mother said it stunts your growth and turns your hair dark
- stretching in at 4'11" and being a former toe head tells me this might be true in some cases...  (damn it!)

but just now i heard the last news i may ever read on this matter (because i like this news the bestest)

 from Yahoo Shine's Top 10 Superfoods comes this statement (and if you read it on line in print it must be true right?)

Rejoice! Your morning cup of joe is healthy. Experts on an American Society for Nutrition panel recently concluded that drinking three to five eight-ounce cups a day lowers your risk of Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's, and colon and liver cancers. "Among other things, the antioxidants in coffee protect your cells and DNA from damage," Bowden says. "Coffee seems to increase antioxidants in the blood, too."
Bonus benefits: Women who drink at least six cups a day are less likely to develop high blood pressure, revealed a 2005 study by Harvard scientists. 


to this i say; filler up Rosie! it's gonna be a good day!



a cat of a different color

a few weeks ago the world's most wonderful daughter said;

"I think one day I am going to show up with a cat for you mom.  Is there any particular breed or coloring you might prefer?"

of course, being the world's not so most wonderful mother, i replied;

"hmmm.... any particular coloring or breed? not really no.  but i would prefer that it show up spayed or neutered, de-fleaed and complete with all shots and a clean bill of health."

i didn't see her roll her eyes.  but i'm certain she must have.  after all, like mother like daughter right?

well,  tonight i came across this beauty and i changed my mind about everything i said.... 





except for the de-fleaing of course....

i think i shall name him "Beau"  as in rain...



the "D" word



no matter how much i may have considered the "D" word or thought it might be the best thing when things were bad.

i was wrong.  

it feels different when it slaps you in the face for real.

whether it makes me an idiot or not, i am still willing to do whatever it takes to make things work just like i always have been. 

but he believes he has already exhausted all possibilities.  

would i be better off without him?  probably.  

do i want to be without him all things considered? no.  

and we aren't even going to question the "L" word because i always have and i always will.  

and so will our children.

and their children.

personally i think a lifetime and a family who loves you fully and completely no matter what is a hell of a thing to throw away because you think you might be happier elsewhere.

which is probably why at the moment i think he is a selfish man who wants what he wants and there will be no discussion involving any alternative choices. 




 


thank you and welcome!

a very humble thank you to Indigo Roth for deeming me worthy of his holiday reading list.  bless you!  x


and a very warm welcome to all of you who have wandered in my direction at his suggestion! bless you better! x

i promise i do write new things, but at this point i have again lost my halo somewhere and the things i want to write are highly toxic and/or flammable and not suited for most ages, so i think it best to wait for calmer waters... 

in the meantime i shall point you in the direction of the dribble i have previously posted which contains glimpses and/or downright true stories involving the great man himself.

 Indigo Roth - Eolist Petite Style

oh! ( i always forget this part until its too late and end up on the far side of tuesday )

WARNING: 
before you click the above link you may want to put down your drink and fasten your seat belt.  time travel is sometimes a very curious thing.  


E.


revisiting henry...

 yes, this is a re-post . but since it occurs to me henry has been hanging around a lot the last few days, i thought i owed this to him for consistently caring for me when i find it difficult to care for myself.

shamanic journeying - or - how i found Henry...

being the inquisitive creature that i am, i signed up for a Shamanic Journey class last week...

and before climbing into my car i ticked off the list of things to bring;

a blanket or mat - to lay on
a blanket - to cover up with (sometimes it gets very cold on your journey)
an eye mask or some form of eye covering
a journal and a writing utensil
a water bottle
a rattle - if you would like to use one to begin ( i thought to bring the butterfly teething rattle i keep in the freezer for tiny tornado mishaps. hindsight says i should have)

be warned; if you are a shamanic journeyer and/or a humor stone has not yet been placed in your medicine bag, you may want to move on to the next blog. 
if you read anyway and decide you don't care for what you read; don't blame it on me, blame it on the Middle World...


~ Beginning my Journey ~

my journey started in my own car one hour before i was drummed into my first decent into the lower world, because though i knew the general direction in which i was headed i was not certain exactly where i needed to end up and - as we all know - sometimes mapquest lies... 

i did miss one turn, but as it turned out i was still running far too early so when i came upon a seriously gorgeous cemetery - complete with castle - i chose to drive through it's stone gate and snap a photo...

...while i was stopped there in front of this castle a thought occurred to me; just skip the class and take a stroll through this quiet sunlit cemetery...

instead i found myself looking back fondly as i exited through the same stone gates i'd entered...

(reminder to self: quick random thoughts can sometimes be intuition, albeit quietly understated, that i would be wise to listen to)

two more turns and i was at my destination... a house. with a woman standing outside of her garage holding a bundle of smoking twigs which she was waving through the air...

though i was sure this must be the place (who else would be standing in a driveway in 94 degree heat waving smoking twigs through the air?) i introduced myself adding that i was there for the Journeying class - just in case. she didn't introduce herself, simply informed me that before i went any further she needed to "ash" me.

ash me?! what the!?!?!  i don't have to guess at the look on my face because i felt my eyebrows furrow in horror at the thought of her smashing a burning bundle of twigs onto my forehead. (ouch!)  instead, it turns out, i simply had to stand as if being searched for concealed weapons as the twigs and smoke were passed around and through me to ward off any unwanted spirits.

(i do hope i left all mine in the car, i certainly don't want to think that any of them are still running scared in her yard, the poor little beasties...)

at that point i was allowed to go down the exterior steps and into her basement  where i was to leave my payment on the table just inside the door so that all unpleasant things were behind me before i journeyed....

(parting with $35 was indeed unpleasant)


~ Preparing to Journey ~

first things first;

there were four of us in a small 1970s style room filled with books, candles, incense, folding screens, furniture, oriental/native american photos and a multitude of stones and chachkis. two of us lay end to end in one area and two (myself included) lay side by side in another "like sardines in a can" - but not close enough for energy fields to mingle. all of us waiting to be instructed by the twig bearing woman who busied herself searching for a book on animal spirit guides that was highly necessary for the class.  but oh well if she didn't find it she could wing it...

i smiled at the prospect of someone so out of sorts with her own environment teaching the discipline of Shamanic Journeying...  

she blamed the book loss on her daughter and carried on - offering pillows, knee bolsters and one amethyst filled biomat to one lucky student.

and while setting up the mat for that lucky student she explained that she only holds these classes because she makes big money so easily its ridiculous... (uh huh it is)  with which to fund her exotic spending habits. 

i lost my smile. 

it was then that i should have taken my blanket  - and my money - and ran, but Curiosity said give it a chance so i did.  (Curiosity has since been punished.)

she then debated over which of three Shamanic drums she should use...  banging on each to test the sound... boom boom bang bang... no... yes...no... bang bang boom boom... yes... no... yes...  but i really wanted to use this one but... bang bang boom boom.. no... yes... no... yes... boom boom bang bang... no... yes...

OI!

when finally she chose and we could move forward she handed out rattles. she was one short so i was left without, making me grin just a bit at the thought of the butterfly teething rattle at home in my freezer... maybe i should have brought it after all?  

and then, there we stood with arms stretched out toward the heavens while we - okay THEY - rattled to the north, east, south, west, sky and earth to summon good spirits, not unlike native americans dancing around a fire. quietly i wondered why it has always been assumed that bad spirits are put off by repetitious noises...

we then sat on our mats to receive instructions:

one must think of a real place. a place that was not only beautiful, but contained some short of hole one could tunnel into as they began their journey toward Lower Earth to find their Spirit Guide, something like a knot in a tree she said...

so there i sat, my mind - of course - completely blank.  as many holes as i've crawled into my life time, i could not locate any that were real or beautiful.  in a pinch i remembered a chipmunk hole that was under the flowers in my back yard.  though perhaps i was led to that hole by some unknown force?

now, before one starts their journey one must lay flat on the floor with eyes covered and state their intention three times. 

"i am here to find my spirit guide." (no ruby slippers or heel clicking were necessary here)

and finally we were told that once journeying we would see a beautiful world filled with all sorts of animals, birds and aquatic life forms and any one of those forms that we see four times could indeed be our spirit guide... but we must ask it to be sure.

and one last thing, she said, journeying can become quite cold so you may want to cover up with your blanket...

~ My Journey to the Lower World ~

one journeys via the beat of a drum. (click for u-tube rendition of drumming)

a loud drum.

a constant loud drum.

a twenty minute bang bang bang bang bang i am getting a serious headache can we please stop now drum.

but there i was; eyes closed; stating my purpose while burrowing down into the chipmunk hole under the flowers in my back yard... 

 "i am here to find my spirit guide."   "i am here to find my spirit guide."  "i am here to find my spirit guide."

but my minds eye saw only black shadows with bits of white light thrown in...

"i am here to find my..." hey! wait! was that a bird?  no. that's just the reflection of my own eyeball on the back of my eyelid...

damn. she was right! i'm freezing!

"i am here to find my spirit guide"

course that could be because i'm laying on a cold cement floor with air conditioning blasting down from the ceiling...

wait! i see eyes. is that a cat?  i like cats.  i'm hoping for a Bengal Tiger spirit guide... but that would be yellow and i can't see any damn colors at all... 

i wonder how long she's been drumming now...

and why did she tell us she only does this to fund her spending habits and that it's easy money... that pisses me off...

shit!

"i am here to find my spirit guide."  "i am here to find my spirit guide." "i am here to.." 

and the drumming grew louder and then ceased and my journey was over.

and i found nothing whatsoever but darkness and a pair of what i thought might have been cat eyes.

everybody else had wonderfully detailed stories about their journey and each of them had an animal spirit guide... hell they even knew their spirit guides name...

but me? i saw zip. nada. bzzzzzzt. nothing.

maybe i hadn't sucked in enough smoke during my ashing?

but then again, maybe it was a big black cat whose fur clouded my vision? 

i saw a cat eyes and black. i said;  a panther maybe? i couldn't tell...

do i get another turn? 

~ My Journey to the Upper World ~

"i am here to find my teacher" "i am here to find my teacher"  "i am here to find my teacher"

this was easier - the first thing i saw was a spirit i have already encountered in real life. ( see apparition NOT exhaust) and the name Athena* popped into my head.  job done. can we stop the damn drumming now? 

what? we've only been laying here for 40 seconds?  we have 14 minutes 20 to go?  oh man, i will never make it...  i'm freezing my ass off laying on this floor...  damn, she was right! it IS cold journeying... that or she has the air conditioning up far too high... i am wearing practically zip because it's 94 degrees outside...  damn that incense stinks... or maybe i'm smelling musty basement...  hmmm... i can't believe she told us she only does this because it's easy money... even if i thought that i would never say it out loud... especially not in my classroom... right before i taught it...  if this were my basement i would take that yucky paneling off the walls... or maybe paint it white... i thought Rieki was oriental like Feng Shui...  but maybe not?... there is way too much clutter in this room to make it relaxing in any form... and so damn many pointy things....  no wonder i can't visualize anything but doom...  that, or maybe i'm just a bad spirit because the damn drum is driving me bonkers... 

BOOM BA BOOM BA BOOM...

yes ma'am i did have better luck that time; my teacher is a spirit i have seen in real life and her name is Athena.  what do you mean what did it look like up there? ... hmm... um... well, do you remember that field in the Twilight movie where Edward starts to sparkle?  ....

that is when she told me i was thinking of the Lower and Upper World as Hell and Heaven - which is why i found it difficult to descend.  i assured her i wasn't,  but was careful not to add the fact that the drums were a huge deterrent, second only to freezing my ass off on a cement floor. she told me these worlds weren't reality and nothing could hurt me in them - although in the Middle World there were all sorts of nasties and curses and bad elements and there you could not tell lies from truths so whatever i do i should not venture there...

wonderful.  how much does one want to bet that is exactly where i am headed?  is the door clearly marked i wonder? damn! even if it is, might they mark it with something enticing just to intrigue me? 

i. am. doomed. 

~ My second Journey into the Lower World ~

drums and darkness.  period. though for a brief second or three i mistook a bit of light filtering underneath my eye covering as a hawk. 

but, i sense fur so maybe my spirit guide really is a panther!  yes. that must be it.

and though i cannot see clearly a black panther winds around my brain and informs me his name is Henry* after which he snorts a laugh and adds that if she (the teacher) should ask and i want to appear impressive i should tell her his name is Mika*... 

instead after the drumming stops i keep mum while the others detail their journeys. though i do notice as i am sitting there shivering that the teacher is not only wearing clothes more suited for winter but she is wrapped up in a thick fur lined quilt while i am goose dimpled and near on to teeth chattering.  but after every one else tells their story i am asked point blank and have to admit again that i saw only darkness.  she only moves from her warmth to surround me with various stones and crystals meant to inspire clarity and tells me i can envision a light switch and turn it on... (now why didn't i think of that before!?!?!)

~ and we Journey once more ~

and as i lay there in the darkness, i retreat to my thoughts of Henry, whom i find to be a playful sort who thinks the same way i do, and together we laugh about my spending $35 bucks to freeze my ass off for four hours on a cold basement floor so the teacher could buy something new.

and together we thank the gods that this is the last time we have to hear that irritating drumming...

i grin silently to myself - and maybe to Henry - and we are done with this charade...

i open my eyes before the drumming stops rub my temples, plug my ears and bury my feet inside my blanket...


~ My Journey Home ~

once dismissed, with my body freezing to the core and my head throbbing, i couldn't pack up my things fast enough - i thought to pack up my check as well but damn if she hadn't pocketed it already...

and as i drove away from her house muttering about wasting $35 and my entire saturday afternoon i passed by the same cemetery.  i slowed a bit, smiling at the stone gate.

and the castle.

and at Henry the big black panther...

Henry - who was now sitting in the passenger seat casually licking the back of his paw to smooth his whiskers.

You realize, of course that this really wasn't a total waste of time don't you? 

what do you mean Henry? i'm still frozen to the core and i've a serious headache from hell!

True... very true... but, if you think about it.  I mean really think about it...  you did learn quite something quite important...

he stuck his head out the window to catch the breeze while i thought...

it was then that i realized i have known how to journey all my life...

and that learning how to journey outside of my reality to escape the horrors i endured as a child was paramount to my survival - and in many forms it still is. 

he pulled his head back in with a sly smile;  Do you see now?  he asked.

i answered, not with words, but with a single tear.

he then reminded me just how much i lean on that realm which i cannot see; because more often than not it is correct. and how that realm guides my gut even when my head and heart might say otherwise.

You, my friend,
he smiled; simply need to learn to trust yourself....

Henry was right. i smiled back and ruffled the fur between his ears...

i like Henry.

i think i will keep him around....   



* interesting facts - or not - i looked up name and spirit guide meanings after writing this, here are the results:

Athena - female name - Greek - goddess of wisdom
Henry - male name - English - rules his household

Mika - male name - Hebrew - gift from God  - Japanese - New Moon


Black Panther Spirit/Power Animal
(spirit animals are said to be a reflection of self - so, for those of you who know me, you can tell me if this seems accurate)


Panthers are generally loners, extremely comfortable with themselves and are often drawn to other solitary people. Women with Panther, Leopard or Jaguar power animals frequently find themselves raising their children alone, whether it be through divorce or circumstance. People with this power animal can develop clairaudience - the ability to hear communications from other forms of life or dimensions. They must trust their thoughts and inner voice/visions as they are based in reality...

Vive le Nerd: Missing: Day 3

With humble and heartfelt thanks to Joshua,  over at Vive le Nerd
who somehow deemed my musings worthy of a serious linkage
 ( Vive le Nerd: Missing: Day 3 )
i welcome all of you who have found your way here from there.

my dribble is as odd as i am, but i do hope that if you choose a random word over there on my side panel you will find something you enjoy.

thanks for visiting!

Eolist

50 shades of Starfleet blue...


*grin* i was looking for something today that i thought might be on an old floppy disc from my TrekPulse.com Enterprise era and came across this instead...

and i started thinking perhaps, considering all the talk about 50 Shades of Grey, you might get a kick out of it;

may i present "50 shades of Starfleet Blue"  originally titled:  

Jessica


She followed him throughout the ship, noting those things that he pointed out as important.  She was certainly glad she hadn’t depended on simply noting them to memory because she was having a difficult time concentrating. 

He smelled different today, or maybe she had just noticed for the first time that he had a scent of his own.  Or maybe, could it be?, she wasn’t afraid of him any more.  She took another long breath in through her nose as he stopped to make an observation.  Actually, she thought, he smelled more than different...he smelled wonderful. 

Lost in that thought she found herself asking him to repeat what he had just said before they continued on.

At the end of the corridor the door to the lift opened and he motioned her inside following closely behind.  She took position at the back while he stood more toward the door; arms crossed in front with his back toward her.

She tried to go over the list but instead found herself staring at his strong broad shoulders and the muscled arms that pulled his uniform tightly across the definition of his back.  She let her gaze inch slowly down to his narrow waist and beyond.  Her thoughts wandering toward what it would feel like to touch his skin.  To have him touch hers.  Too soon her mind had them undressed and intensely intertwined.  He shuffled his stance and she, coming to grips with where she was, shook her head to rid herself of the thought.

“It’s a really tempting thought though, isn’t it?”  He asked, catching her completely off guard.

How could he know?  She said nothing, feeling quite awkward for staring at his backside and letting her thoughts go like that.

“Don’t you think so?”  He asked again and paused waiting for an answer.  When no answer came, he uncrossed his arms and turned to face her.  “Well, even if you don't. I think it is.”  He said with pointed definition.  “Especially now that I know you want it so bad.”  He smiled and with a wink added;  “Besides, I really think it’s about time I gave in and let you give it a whirl.”

She blushed, confused, and coyly cocked her head in question. 

“Aw, come on” he laughed, “don’t be so mousy.  You’re a Commander for christsake. You are going to have to learn to ask for what you want...maybe even use a bit of force once in a while.”

She swallowed the lump in her throat.  “Sir?”  She finally squeaked out.

“It is what you want isn’t it?”

“I don’t know.  I guess I never really thought about it until you...”

“Well, I’m standing here right now offering it to you.  It‘s never going to get any easier than this is it?” 

She kept mum, not sure how to answer.

“Isn’t this what you signed up for?”

“I don’t know what to say...I never thought...”

He grinned; “You‘re quite nervous about this aren‘t you?” He stepped toward her.  “Everybody is nervous the first time, especially with me.”  His look softened.  “Don’t worry, you just need to relax and enjoy it.”

“Sir?”   She tried to back up but found herself already tight against the wall, her heart racing.

“Are you okay?”  He asked, reaching for her.  “We don’t have to do this right now if you aren't ready...but we do have to do it soon.  I need you to have a feel for it.”  His hands softly gripped her shoulders.  “It won’t be long I’m afraid, and I’ll be asking you to do this all the time.”

She willed herself away from the wall and gathering herself as together as she could, took a deep breath she answered softly;   “I can do it now, Sir.  Right now is fine.”  

"Wonderful!" he smiled; "the captain's chair is all yours!"

loss and gain - or - i have the best friends in the universe.

Dr. Max Tunguska places a plate piled full of biscotti on the table, situates himself on the chair opposite me and picks up a blank piece of paper.

Eolist!?! he says, examining it front, back, up, down and sideways; i thought we were here to proofread your blog entry.  where is it?!?  oooh! is this my new invisible ink that will appear last month?

my eyes mist over;  no. unfortunately i lost the blog entry Max....

lost it!?!  lost it how?

i have no idea, it was all there and all ready to go, i simply needed to add one final paragraph from another source. simple right? just an easy cut and past operation. 

that might be your problem E. Indigo Roth says.  a fresh pot of coffee in his hand he quietly fills my mug;  you are quite a whiz with a knife, but paste?  paste is an entirely different subject all together.

Max nods in agreement as Roth drops down into the third chair wondering out loud where the waiter, who should have been serving us, is hiding.

oh it isn't just cutting and pasting. it gets worse...

worse?  they both ask in unison

yes. worse.  i cut with precision but when i attempted to paste, my entire blog entry dissipated into thin air.  i saw a glimpse of it and re-opened the wound, but a warning popped up.  it said something about recovery but i wasn't listening.... 

i sipped my coffee and picked up a biscotti.

...and then it said something about salvation.  so i chose to save the poor little buggar that had just taken a trip into the netherworld.  and then it asked me if i wanted to save the previous version... 

Roth dipped a hazelnut biscotti into his mug;  and did you?

well no.  i didn't want the previous version.  i wanted the version i was looking at.  the version i only had to paste the tiny little paragraph onto.  why would i want the previous unfinished version after i worked all morning perfecting it into a shining new version?

Tunguska sips his brew and agrees; right. right. why would you want the unfinished version? after which his brow began to show signs of problem solving.

right!  so i clicked "no" and then stupidly

you attempted once again to cut and paste onto it....

exactly...

and again it vanished.  right!?

tears welled in my eyes; yep. it did. poof. gone. sunofa... but wait.  the file was still there!  so i opened it like a giddy school girl... 

and that's when i knew i'd seriously done the wrong thing and landed myself two weeks ago on sunday.

the light bulb over Max's head went on;  don't tell me! i know!! the previous previous version came back didn't it!? 

yeah.... and all those hours i spent this morning were gone as fast as the tips of the waiter's fingers during the first test of our new coffee blend. i sobbed.

Roth, carefully taking my paste, said; well E.  at least we still have the billboard. 


and the recipe! 


which only i can read.   Max added

and Miss, thanks to Roth, you still have the grand new redesign of your blog.  which is quite stunning i might add! said the waiter, who had suddenly appeared to pour all of us a fresh mug of brew.

Max and Roth simultaneously smiled those sinister smiles they get when something is about to happen which i know nothing about...

The waiter, winking at those smiles, fishes a very large box from his left interior pocket with his non-bandaged hand and presents it to me with a card he produces from his sleeve;


in the box is an overly large overly beautiful commemorative mug!


aw gee... thank you!;  i blubbered; for everything. i love you too! 

the waiter produced a king sized box of tissues from his lapel...

and after hugs all around all was once again well with my world.

 

the boy after my own heart

the little boy was told again and again that he needed to wear underwear...


but, like all little boys he didn't see the point.  he enjoys freedom from restriction as much as he enjoys freedom from authority. 

and so giggling he continued to play sans (under) pants.


finally in desperation the little boy's mom said;
"You HAVE to put your underwear on  right now!"


but...



she didn't say where: 



gotta love little boys with a keen sense of humor...



baseball apple pie and chevrolets

John and i and Trouble and his sister played baseball in the summer on teams our dads organized...


John pitched; Trouble and his sister played the outfield - when they weren't playing the bench - and me,  well, i usually played roving center or right field.  i was good at it.  so good in fact that once on a date I was taken to the batting cages to be shown up by a talented boy - instead I hit every ball that came my way in every cage but the major leagues and left him in the dust whimpering something about me being “lucky.”

Once – and only once - i was gifted with the chance to play the infield. Second base. Me! Playing second base!  Put me in coach! I’m ready to play!  

Perfection! Or so i thought.

Until i caught the relay ball from john and remained there on second base to tag the incoming runner…

Because there it was; that pride that came just before i simultaneously saw the sky, felt the ground, tasted the dirt and saw the runner, a boy who was four years younger and five sizes bigger, suddenly blocking out the sun as he hung suspended in the air three feet above me.  I didn’t have time to move before the suspension let loose and he fell on top of me with such force that we skidded off the base and out into center field landing in a pile of dust encrusted body parts.

Within seconds we were surrounded by john, fifteen adults and an umpire who said; "no shit! how about that?!? the ball is still in her glove! And; HE'S OUT!"

to this day i still forget that though i matured greatly in weight i never matured in height...

my mom snuffed her cigarette out on second base and examined my front side while John’s mom examined my back side. and then they switched.  it was determined that i wasn't hurt beyond a couple minor scrapes but i was benched for the rest of the game and many games to follow 'for my own safety.'

Trouble, of course, thought this hilarious, especially because he got to use my glove for the duration. and, being the kind of kid he was, he never ceased waving said glove under my nose before heading out in the field or pointing to it with his trademark 'ha ha look what i'm wearing' look whenever he caught my attention...

this went on for so many weeks – okay. okay… but it was at least two weeks i swear it – that i finally rose from the bench with anger in my throat and proclaimed if i did not play in the games i would quit. in hindsight, this may have gone over better had i stood on the bench in order to look looming.  laughter was, after all, not the reply i was looking for...

I swallowed my anger and sat back down and wished very hard that some day, some how justice would prevail. or that they would ‘get theirs’ - whichever came first...

The following week Karma appeared right on cue; two boys from up the road needed a ride to the game which my dad happily provided.

Now just so you understand; games normally started at 6pm and were over by 8pm as a general rule but dad had to be early to sort things with fellow coaches, umpires and teams so they climbed into our chevy at 5pm.

At 9:15pm we were still up to bat and winning with a score of 56 - 6 in the top of the 4th inning.  It was becoming dark and lots of grumbling was taking place, but the umpire read the rule book and proclaimed that 5 innings had to be played in order to make the game count.

At 9:45pm, however, probably because it was so hard to see the 4th inning finally ended, the umpire changed his mind, and the game was called prematurely on account of darkness.

Trouble and I and the boys from up the road, piled into our chevy and we headed home…

and half way between dropping the boys from up the road off and pulling into our driveway a police car pulled in tight behind us, turned on its spinning red light and followed us into our driveway.

While dad turned off the engine, Trouble hid under a blanket on the floor in the back seat.

Two officers got out of the police car, strolled up and took positions on opposite sides of our car.

Trouble pulled on my foot; “what’s happening?” he whimpered, one watery eye peeking out through a hole in the blanket. “are they arresting dad?”

“I don’t know.” I whispered back but everything in my being hoped so because that’s how mad I had been at him for benching me and, I thought, that was exactly what he deserved…

But when the officer placed his hand on the shining black gun holstered at his hip and said; “Would you please step out of the car Sir,” the tone in his voice made me regret the thought that had just passed through my dunce capped head.

Now it was my turn to whimper; “Holy cow, Trouble! They have guns!”

Trouble and I somehow stifled full blown cries.

 “What’s going on?” Dad asked, cautiously stepping out of the car and closing the door behind him.

“Can you tell us who the children are in your back seat?”

“Yes, that is my daughter and my son.”

“Are you certain of that fact?”

“If they aren’t I’ve been feeding them all these years for no reason. why?”

“We got a call from the mother up the road saying that you kidnapped her two boys.”

KIDNAPPED!?! My eyes must have been the size of dinner plates. Trouble was no longer worried about them arresting dad, he now wanted to know if they were going to shoot dad right there in the driveway. I did to.

And dad?

Well, Dad just started to laugh….

and the more questions they asked, the more he laughed.

In fact, dad was laughing so hard he could hardly finish telling the officers about picking the boys up for the baseball game and the fact that it had lasted far longer than in should have, and when he finally got to the score of the game, the two officers were laughing…

They laughed so hard Trouble and I could barely make it out when one of them opened the back door and told us we were “free to go.”

Before we went to bed that night, the two officers were sitting at our kitchen table sharing stories with my dad and mom over apple pie and coffee.

Trouble is now a jail guard and some times when I see him in his uniform it makes my mind wander back back to baseball, apple pie, chevrolets...

and the two “kidnapped” boys from up the road...


some old fart on a slide

just before the 4th of July holiday i spent a gloriously long weekend relaxing at a house on a lake with my my family and my two tiny tornadoes...

we paddle boated;




we jet skied;


we swam;















we lit sparklers;



yours truly even MacGyvered a fire from half a napkin and a tiny piece of cardboard which obviously made my daughter proud - or gave her cause to snap a photo that will forever hang over the head of her dad, the master fire starter....















and then the master fire starter and i brought the tiny tornadoes to the park across the water to play on this bad baby;


well, if you know me, you know i cannot resist a playground slide...  

so when the tiniest tornado said; "come on grama!"  i didn't hesitate.

i climbed the ladder and slid down the first slide.

but that wasn't enough...

there were THREE slides and i really needed to try them all - at the insistence of those cute puppy eyed tiny tornadoes of course.

and so i did...

first the smooth wide slide

and then the bumpy narrow slide

and finally, after crawling through the long tunnel i ended up on the corkscrew slide

where mr petite snapped this photo of some old fart having the time of her life - which i am certain will always hang over my head as a payback for daring to macgyver over his head and start a fire all by myself;



have i mentioned just how much i love my children and their children lately? 

s'mores anyone?


my passion for a grand old lady

i want to share a passion for a grand old lady that i cannot figure out...

for some reason as emotionally sad, and overtaken with sudden grief and fear, being in her presence sometimes causes me, i am none the less curiously and seriously drawn to her. 

perhaps as they say; it takes one to know one.

meaning either i am a grand old lady or a certifiable loony toon... 

you can make that call.

May i present to you; The former Northern Michigan Asylum and/or The Traverse Regional Psychiatric Hospital.  Also formerly known as "The 11th Street Academy" and of course;  "The Loony Bin."  Today she is however transforming into;



The Northern Michigan Asylum in Traverse City was the third (of four) Asylums established in Michigan - does that tell you something about my fair mitten state or what?!? - in 1885 and is the last of the original four "Kirkbride" buildings in the state.  Kirkbride designed mental institutions as "a special apparatus for the care of lunacy" and expected their grounds and buildings to be extremely beautiful.  

The Hospital closed to patients in 1989 - some of whom were released into the care of no one and had no place to go and are said to have continued living in and around her structures.

Her buildings remained standing for several years before being deemed uninhabitable and highly dangerous due not only to disrepair and decay but the lead paints and asbestos they contained.  Slowly the structures began being torn down but a Traverse City area resident who was also a respected historic renovator & builder - Ray Minervini  - stepped up and negotiated with the city to register her as a historic landmark.  In 2005 the Minerva Group began to restore her to her original glory as something other than a mental institution.

damn did that not sound like a news reporter?  "Annie, get your pen!"    

Though i will be posting a few photos of her new appearance, most of my photos are of her current debilitated state.  If you see happen to see ghosts in them bid them a safe journey will you?


This stone at it's entrance has been here since i was a child and the main highway into Traverse City went right past it.   I was enamored - and filled with fear - even then.

never can we drive by it without having some one ask if i wish to be dropped off here "at home." 


























and here i am...  note this is during the day.  i don't believe i would survive being anywhere near it at nightfall or after... just  thinking about it makes my hair stand on end.

that being said, is that a solar camera flare or a?.....


and in case you were wondering;  due to the condition of these buildings though numerous well established paranormal research groups and television crews - like Ghost Hunters - have asked to study and/or film here, their requests have been denied.  walking the grounds however has not yet been prohibited. 









 the interior photos were snapped with a small kodak digital camera through broken or boarded windows;






















 

the following three photos were taken through cracks just small enough for my hand to fit through with a small camera.  the nearly windowless rooms were boarded up and too dark to see much when i peeked through the cracks.  i thought if i could fit the camera in i might be able to take a photo with a flash - oddly enough when i put my camera anywhere near opening the view screen lit up with the rooms just as you see them here with no flash involved whatsoever.

(if any camera buffs/experts know why these rooms became visible on the view screen before the photos were snapped - without a flash -  please let me know because i have not been able to replicate this phenomenon and it truly has me stumped)

could be why this set of photos still scares me, in all seriousness, i am currently feeling cold and the hairs on my neck are standing...



of course it could be that first time i put my hand in the crack to take a photo of this interior a rush of cold air ran over my hand, up my arm and chilled me to the bone.  i seriously dropped the camera (which thankfully remained attached to my wrist by the strap) and needed to step back to regain my composure.


 



i called for back up from my mr. and then showed him how the camera was reacting...

he scratched his head but, like me, assumed that there was some kind of explanation. 

then again maybe the spirits who still remain here because they had no place else to go wanted to be seen...





do you see anybody here?










and lastly...  through lots of love and labor,  a few photos of her restored majesty;








If you get the chance and are in the area, make it a point to visit her - you can even enjoy a cup of coffee, a glass of wine, ice cream or fresh baked bread from one of her many new tenants while you stroll...  and, if you pick me up first i will spring for it.  ;)