There’s definitely something to be said about learning the ways in which we are our own worst enemies. It’s a brand of wisdom we all need in our lives.
There’s also something very empowering about making the decision to end the cycle of bullshit that has seemed to follow you around like some creeper who likes to peep in your windows while you sleep. Except, you realize, you’re the one who invited the shit. And once you have that epiphany, there’s the ultimate… “Hey, I can fix this shit.”
In my recent mental health journey, I’ve mentioned having come to the realization that I tend to figuratively paint myself into corners then get angry because I feel stuck or trapped. Time to get out of that. Time to be pro-active.
I have some things in the works that I don’t want to mention just yet. I want the energy toward it to remain as pure as possible for now, but let me publicly declare, changes are on the horizon.
In my quest to wean myself off of antidepressants, I am down to 1/2 of a 25mg effexor tablet per day. There are still some withdrawl symptoms, but I’d classify them as mild. I’m starting to lose the apathy and the brain fog and the feeling of perpetual hopelessness (hey, isn’t that what happens when you’re depressed? Why am I getting that shit ON an antidepressant?)
Anyhow, I may need them again down the road, and, if I do, I will definitely consult my doctor. For now, I’m excited about once again experiencing the full spectrum of human emotion.
Barb and I don’t exclusively hang out in my kitchen, ya know. I know this is going to be difficult for some of you to believe, but, sometimes, on occasion, we actually go out and do stuff.
Usually, this is accompanied by a warning from Barb’s husband, Jay, that we should behave ourselves because our bail money bank account isn’t up to snuff yet, and, when I say “isn’t up to snuff,” what I really mean is that it’s non-existent.
So, we do have to make an attempt to be just a smidge careful. Usually, it’s pretty half-assed, our attempts, but we haven’t blown anything or anyone up yet, and we also haven’t ended up on the sheriff’s roadside litter crew. Again, yet.
What’s that? You want to know what we’ve been up to? Of course we will be glad to fill you in.
Last Tuesday, we went to a Yin Yoga class at a local yoga school. We decided we’ve been entirely too wound up here lately, and we needed to unwind.
Basically, Yin Yoga is all about reaching a deeper level of relaxation, a deeper meditative state, and releasing on a much higher level.
In addition to us both being wrapped a little tight here lately, neither of us have done yoga in a while, so I figured this was a good place for us to start.
I loved it, and I didn’t even pass any gas.
What did you think, Barb?
Tuesday night’s class was the first time I’ve done yoga in probably a decade. As much as I love doing it, my house has no space for yoga, and, besides, I don’t think Dad wants my ass in his face.
So Tuesday was a great restart, the class was challenging without being hard, and I felt a lot better afterwards.
Last night, we went to eat tacos with our good friend Sammy. We learned some interesting things from Sammy, as, the night before, he had been chatting it up with a nurse, and he was more than happy to pass his newly acquired knowledge on to us. Let’s just say I will never look at Air Jordans the same way again. E-V-E-R.
We may or may not have gotten a smidge obnoxious, though. They started to seat this one couple behind us, and they ended up moving to another table. I’m not sure why, but I want it to be our fault, and so it is.
The tacos were wonderful, but we called it an early evening, as Sammy had to go do young single-guy things, and Barb said she was going to go to sleep early because I bullied her into signing up for a Vinyasa Flow yoga class at 8:30 AM Sunday morning.
Tacos last night was hilarious. Jay stayed home because he worked overtime Saturday, so Dissy and I were basically unsupervised, as Sammy is far too kindhearted to put any real check on our behavior.
I’m still half convinced the Air Jordan conversation was at least partly due to our corrupting influence. And I’m also half convinced the margaritas were to blame for us deciding to sign up for today’s class, at the ass crack of dawn on a Sunday morning.
This morning, we did the Vinyasa Flow Yoga Class. At 8:30 AM. On Sunday.
I can’t even believe how full that class was. That right there is some dedication. I mean, we only registered because we both had frozen alcoholic concoctions that were as big as our heads.
Well, I am pretty sure that neither of us got that “seamlessly” thing down. Not today, anyhow.
We decided that the Saturday beginner class is going to be more our speed for a while. That’s a bit of a letdown, for me, though, as I never have a problem keeping up with Rodney Yee on Prime Video. Oh well, it’s a new method, so there will be a learning curve.
Barb, how did you like yoga?
It was a good experience, even if I was lost several times and we spent a third of the class sitting on our asses because we just couldn’t anymore (hey, wait… we did assume proper yoga poses for our downtimes…). The description said “all levels”, but there’s no way I’m ready for a class where people are doing fucking headstands and shit (right? Nobody told me there’d be fucking headstands).
So, looks like for now it’s Tuesday night Yin and Saturday morning Beginners. Which is way more than we were doing before, so yay us.
Besides, once the weather stops being miserable, we can start hiking and training for 5K season, and we’ll definitely have stories to tell about that!
So that’s what we’ve been up to. Not in prison, no one dead or injured, and still managing a good time.
You know, until we get that bail fund firmly established.
Today has been rough; I’m so swamped at work it’s difficult to even find time to pee.
Making things even worse, I’m not in tomorrow, due to my mom’s first cataract surgery. Consequently, I’ve had trouble even thinking of what to write about today, much less actually get it done.
At any given time, I have so many things whirling around my head, the best way I can describe it is a pinball game gone amuck. (amuck, amuck, amuck, oof! Hocus Pocus FTW!) You would think that would make writing easy, unfortunately it is very much the opposite.
Not only do I have to actually grab on to one of these thoughts, I have to carefully analyze it to make sure it’s something I can talk about without getting piled on by the internet (no small task, especially since I’m a woman), then organize it into something coherent enough for you lovely peeps to read and be able to make sense of.
All of that to say, today isn’t a day where that’s going to happen. Thankfully I have an appointment after work with my therapist, because I’m so frazzled right now my train of thought looks more like a Jackson Pollack painting.
I appreciate all of you for being interested in coming here and reading what Dissy and I come up with, and I’m definitely grateful to any of you who have waded through this mess today.
Gonna go in, get the old brain tuned up a bit, and tomorrow we’ll have WTF Friday, which is always fun.
Mercury Retrograde is here. Again. Sometimes it feels like Mercury forgets how to move forward normally, no sooner do we get out of one retrograde than it starts again. So, what does this actually mean, and why do we dread it so much? We’re about to tell you!
Mercury rules over communication, so logically during retrograde that’s what gets totally screwed. And when communication goes bad, just about everything else does too, since clear communication is the foundation for anything we do.
Conventional wisdom holds that we should avoid major decisions and commitments during this time. No big purchases, accepting new jobs, signing contracts, and so on. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always work out that way, and sometimes you gotta do what you’ve gotta do. So how to avoid the gremlins messing everything up?
Firstly, I firmly believe a lot of the issues boil down to a self-fulfilling prophecy. You think everything is going to go haywire, so it does because every problem, no matter what it is, gets chalked up to retrograde. Take a deep breath and remember the first rule of being a person:
Secondly, as with any other time, slow down and make sure you’re being clear in your own communications, and you fully understand what’s being communicated to you by others. A hefty chunk of life’s messiness comes from being in too much of a hurry to actually read that contract you’re signing, or double check that text message before you hit “send”, regardless of any astrological situations.
Being more aware will make your life easier every day of the year.
It’s funny. This retro started on the 16th, and I sat here and watched it explode on facebook.
I actually caught myself thinking, at some point this past month, that people were maybe calming down a smidge. I hadn’t seen anyone tell one of their family members or dear friends that they deserved to die a horrible death after watching their children get eaten by vultures just because he or she is for/against the orange man in the white house.
Then? February 16th hits. I see someone post something that, in my mind, couldn’t be more clear. “it sure is a beautiful day,” or something like that. Along comes someone else to go on an hour long tirade about how the person is a commie ass-licker who probably doesn’t vaccinate their kids.
I see retro as being similar to a full moon, only over a longer period of time. There’s an undeniable shift in energy, and, if you aren’t aware, you won’t know how to handle it, and it will fuck with you.
Personally, I like to look at Mercury retrograde as an opportunity to practice flexibility and patience. Old life themes have ways of popping back up, and, sometimes, that opportunity for a do-over is quite beneficial. Other times? not so much. Try to remember than an ex is an ex for a reason, and you really don’t need to tell him or her what a flaming pile of donkey shit he or she is that one last time.
Unless you enjoy chaos. If so? Have at it.
From what I’ve read, too, it depends on where we are in the zodiac during the retrograde. This Mercury retrograde is in Aquarius and Pisces. The Aquarius aspect could indicate petty squabbles and harsh words in friendships and romantic relationships. The Pisces aspect indicates that you may experience a tendency to fantasize or engage in daydreaming more than normal. This makes it a good time to persue creative endeavors.
Any way you slice the pie, just remember to breathe. Work on that patience and flexibility, and allow yourselves extra time for travel.
In my meanderings amongst the interwebz today, I came across a little blurb about White Castle doing Valentine’s Day dinners. Yep, that White Castle. The one known for suspiciously cheap mini burgers.
Apparently, some locations have a whole setup with tableside service, flowers, and candlelight. And honestly? As silly as it sounds, I think it’s kind of cute. After all, if you read yesterday’s post (you DID read it, didn’t you? 😉) you know a big part of my dislike for today stems from the expectations. A low key “let’s get burgers and eat them by candlelight” date actually sounds like it would be fun.
Obviously, it’s not for everyone, if your partner is expecting something fancy, they probably aren’t going to be very happy with White Castle. Having said that, I think it’s a good option for people who are either unable or unwilling to spend an assload of money who still want to mark the occasion somehow.
What do you think Dissy?
Well, I am devastated to hear of this.
BECAUSE WHITE CASTLE HAS ABANDONED NORTHEAST OHIO!!!
Over on W. 117th street, there are the remains of a White Castle that is the first one I ever visited. Back in the stone age, or, 1980-something or other. It was at least ’85 because some of us in my crew could drive.
One evening, Mark, Danny, and I decided to set out on a road trip to find this White Castle and check out these burgers we had been hearing about. If I’m not mistaken, I’m pretty sure Danny is the one who first heard of it in some rap song.
I’m pretty sure, too, that this was the first time we had all ventured out of the Akron area without a “responsible” person with us. Not that we ever actually had “responsible” people with us.
Anyhow, I digress. Lucky for us that gas was so inexpensive back then because we ended up coming up to the Castle at every opportunity. Two cheeseburgers and an order of deep fried clams is (or would be), to this day, my standard order.
In 1987, they finally brought one to Akron (Cuyahoga Falls, really), and, lucky for me, it was in the same plaza that I worked in. Lunch anyone? For as inexpensive as they were, I sure did spend an ungodly amount of money there.
So, if there was still a White Castle around here, I would beg for a date to take me there for Valentine’s Day. I would rather have White Castle to spark romance than anything fancy or contrived. I’m not sure I could be more in love with this idea if I tried.
I’d say if you want to know whether your love is true or not, you really should take him or her on a White Castle Valentine’s Day date. If they look at you like you’re the lowest piece of shit in the known universe, dump ’em. If they look at you like you are the best thing since the invention of cheese, keep ’em.
Make sure, though, that you hurry home for other types of fun before White Castle works the other kind of magic they are known for…
Maybe hate is too strong a word, but “Why I find Valentine’s Day irritating and ignore it as much as humanly possible” seemed way too long for a title.
I’m sure some of you are looking forward to tomorrow, and that’s fine. Definitely not judging anyone who enjoys Valentine’s Day. I just don’t happen to be one of them.
When I was a kid back in the 80s, we would give out the little cartoon cards every year, but back then there was no “everyone or no one” rule to avoid hurt feelings. You got cards from your friends, and that was it. So, it turned into more of a popularity contest, where your value as a person corresponded directly to how many of those cheapo Rainbow Brite and Care Bears wound up in your shoebox.
Fast forward to high school, and the school would sell these carnations that you could have delivered to your friend, boy/girlfriend, crush, or whatever. Again, the popular kids would be walking around with whole bouquets while the rest of us got one, if we were lucky.
It would be reasonable to assume once I started dating The Ex, in my junior year, things would get better and the day would no longer suck. Unfortunately, that’s not what happened. Every holiday was a Big Fucking Deal with him in the worst possible way.
I figured out after a while that every holiday was a minefield, and it wasn’t a matter of if he would blow up, but when and how many times. Nothing I did was good enough, and it was never going to be. No matter what gifts I got him, how carefully selected, or how much I spent it wasn’t enough.
You would also be forgiven for thinking he must go way over the top with the gifts he got me, since his standards were stratospherically high. He did not. While I was getting screamed at for the unacceptable nature and number of things I did for him, I was also getting screamed at for my ingratitude because I wasn’t gushing enough over the cartoon panties he couldn’t even be bothered to wrap.
There are no words to describe the level of relief I felt when Jay and I got together, and he said he had no interest in Valentine’s Day. When tomorrow rolls around, we’ll be doing the exact same thing we would on any normal Friday, and I’m thrilled.
He never leaves the house without giving me a kiss goodbye and telling me he loves me. If he sees something I might like, he just gets it, regardless of whether or not a Gift Giving Occasion is coming up. And I do the same for him.
I have no interest in waiting three hours for a table to eat out somewhere. I don’t want overpriced flowers that will be dead in two days. And I absolutely don’t want my marriage being defined by a specific date on the calendar. As Jay said years ago, “I don’t need a designated holiday to demonstrate that I love you.”
So, if you have plans to do All the Things tomorrow, because it matters to you, I hope you have a wonderful time and everything goes how you’re imagining it. As for me, I’ll be on the couch in pajamas watching tv with my love.
What is a “book of shadows”? Do you keep one, and what do you put in it?
A book of shadows is a book that Witches use to document spell work, rituals, recipes for potions, and, really, any information the witch feels is useful to his or her practice. Some witches make their own book of shadows, some buy a blank journal, and still others have made the leap into the age of technology, and they record all their information on a computer.
I use a simple, black, blank journal. I have tried, and I seriously lack the talent to make an actual book. Now, you can also buy a pre-made blank book of shadows that is made to look all “other worldly” right in your local witchy shop. I went the very basic route and got mine at Target. Four dollars on clearance made me happier than a pre-made fifty dollar book that wasn’t exactly what I wanted. I can decorate this one any way I choose, or I can leave it with just the black cover it came with.
In mine, I record rituals I create, I make notes about rituals I attend that someone else created, I stick odd things within the book’s pages, like a slip of paper someone wrote instructions on for a ritual or spell, I write about important messages received in either a dream or a reading, and I write about special times that resonate with my witchy soul, for example, I documented the time that Barb and I encountered ghostly activity at a cemetery.
If you’re in a coven, each individual witch may have his or her own book, and there will likely be a coven book. Responsibility for the coven book is usually given to the priest or priestess.
One thing Barb and I did was we started a book of shadow for her daughter to give her as a thirteenth birthday gift. We included all the 101 basics Barb refers to below, and we left plenty of space for her to make it her own.
At the end of the day, your book of shadows is every bit as personal as the rest of your craft. It is not required to be any one thing or another.
How about you, Barb? What are your thoughts and practices regarding a book of shadows?
I handle my book of shadows pretty similarly.
At first, I had bits and pieces scattered through several notebooks, but, as you know, disorder makes me twitchy, so I got an inexpensive, blank book and started putting things together.
Unfortunately, there are some things from my earliest witchy days that have been lost, so it’s not a complete record. I have rituals, notes about various experiences, some drawings that I felt needed to be included, and small souvenirs.
I also feel like it’s a good idea to put a “101 section” in the front, with basic things like correspondences and holidays. You’d be surprised how often something simple like what colors go with the East slide right out of your head.
Other than that, go forth and create whatever kind of book speaks to you. It’s almost impossible to screw it up, and besides, worst case scenario you can start over.