cybermathwitch: (Default)
So, first off, I has a dragon egg!  Go clicky! 
Adopt one today!

Beyond that, I am about 3000 words behind on two separate novels, wanna know what I'm doing tonight?

Researching the hell out of the roots and origins of modern witchcraft (as well as the usage of the term(s)) because it has absolutely NOTHING to do with any of my stories.  Catching up on classes at Real Magic School now that they're back up and running again.  Watching The Road to El Dorado with the kids (we're babysitting this weekend while everyone else is at the Gathering Coordinator's meeting.) 

In other words?  Anything and everything to avoid my stories.

I'm actually not minding my HP story, and will probably work on it in a bit.  But my original story?  The one that's on my long-term NaNo account?  Is making me beyond crazy.  

One of the exercises given as a prelude to NaNoWriMo is writing your "Magna Cartas" - lists of (respectively) the things you love in books you read and the things you absolutely hate and despise.  The point is both to help give you ideas of a story you might like to write and spark brain storming, and also to give you a way to check yourself if you start writing stories that contain the very qualities you despise.  Which is a more common occurence than you might think, actually.

I'm not to the point of actively having elements of my second Magna Carta (the bad one) yet, but I am at the point of looking at the story thus far, and where I think it's going, and realizing it's going to be one that I wouldn't be particularly interested in reading if I were browsing a bookstore myself and ran across it.  Normally, this phenomenon is common in week 2... mine's hit rather early in week one.

Sigh.

So instead, I'm going to go finish up the lesson and test for the class I'm on, probably read another chapter or two in Bonewits's Essential Guide to Witchcraft and Wicca (for the record, one of the best sources I've found thus far at discussing the "myths" verses the probably realities and research on both the definition(s) of the terms and the origins of the movement - it is not a "wicca 101" type of book),

That said, can Isaac Bonewits be my anthropologically-perceptive pagan-researcher boyfriend?  I'll take good care of him and keep him with Alton Brown (my kitchen-guru boyfriend).  


Le Sigh.

Jun. 3rd, 2008 09:24 am
cybermathwitch: (can I? Kara)
Well... as [personal profile] kadollan said: we got fired.  They eliminated several positions at that place we work, and ours were some of them.  

Remarkably (and any of you who know me much and/or awhile and know how, well, let's say "high strung" I can be) I wasn't particularly upset by this.  I didn't fall apart, break down, or cry.  I got a fairly decent severance package that gives me a little bit of room to work out what I'm going to do (and, especially if husband's family is willing to help out with somethings, which is entirely possible I hope if necessary) next.

Hand of the Gods, says I.

[profile] wintermoon3 (who's position still exists for the present) said that this was weird, because she's the one who's been feeling like she's not been where she's supposed to be for awhile now.  I pointed out that she'd already gotten the memo, and didn't need the kick in the proverbial pants.  I had a copy of the memo, I just wasn't trusting it enough and Bek... well... she really hadn't even gotten a carbon copy.  So yes, I see the hand of the Divine in all of this. 

So now it's on to better things.  Brian says that I seem happier and more relaxed already.

Yeah.  :)
cybermathwitch: (Kalliope)
Please, no one keel over from shock.

You scored as Greek Pantheonic Pagan. One of the best well-known pantheons around is Greek, due to the popularity of the Greek myths. Pagans who fall into this catagory tend to follow the Mother and Father images of Zues and Hera, but it's not at all uncommon for their patron deities to be other Greek Gods or Heroes, such as Ares, Hades, Persephone, Apollo, Artemis, or Dionysis.
Lusty and dramatic, the Greek Gods call to those who like epic tales and wild romance. You either already are a Greek Pantheon follower, or else you look to them often for insight.

</td>

Greek Pantheonic Pagan

100%

Ecclectic Pagan

60%

Roman Pantheonic Pagan

50%

Catholic (Pagan?)

45%

Egyptian Pantheonic Pagan

45%

Shamanic Pagan

40%

Zoroastrian Pagan

40%

Eastern Pagan

20%

Kabbalistic Pagan

20%

Celtic Pantheonic Pagan

15%

Norse Pantheonic Pagan (Asatru)

15%

Sumerian, Babylonian, and Mesopotamian Pagans

5%

What kind of Pagan are you?
created with QuizFarm.com



In other news, I'm not dead, but my computer would like to be. We're trying to go through and defragment all our harddrives and see if that helps matters any. Since both physical drives are partitioned, that may take awhile. Hopefully it'll make the computer stop making the squeaky mouse/ill-piglet noises. Ugh. So I may not be around so very much for several days (is also why I haven't been around for several days previous to this post.

Yes, I'm still working on the fics I'm writing. Promise.



cybermathwitch: (Default)
to [livejournal.com profile] serendipityxxi's joy over the season (not to mention just about everyone else I know - I hate October. Ok, hate isn't actually the right word.

I dread October.

I love Halloween, and Homecoming, and fall, and leaves and apple-y goodness in baked goods and cider. I love the change of the seasons and the chill in the air and getting to listen to the Pretenders' "Viva El Amor", Tori's "To Venus and Back", the soundtrack from "Once More with Feeling", and Loreena McKennit's "The Visit". (Yes, I have CDs/music that I will only listen to during certain parts of the year. It's a quirk.)

I love new seasons and new shows and new books. I love going back to school (even if I'm not in school anymore - show me the back to school section at walmart and it makes my heart happy) and all those fall things.

But I dread October.

There's this whole Kore/Persephone descent into the Underworld from the Overworld thing going on. But the way it manifests is that I get wound tighter, and tighter, and tighter, and tighter... stressed and strained and manic - until finally I implode, or explode (though normally the former) or fall apart and finally have a good cathartic cry (or several). Then I get better.

Over the years I've discovered that this is a. not a time to change medications (especially in regards to my anxiety disorder), take on high-pressure projects, or additional responsibilities. My resources are at their lowest and I need to turn in, hide, hibernate, go away. Something. If I'm going to have a nervous break down (and oh, say, quit my job - see last year) it's going to happen in October.

Last night I had the beginnings of a sore throat when I went to bed. I woke up this morning with sinus-y stuff, the sniffles, lightheaded, tired, and now I'm running a fever of 100 degrees. I the honorary Sebacean, have been wearing a sweatshirt over a long-sleeved shirt all day (even while working at a hot stove over a soup pot) and haven't been too warm. ::shivers::

I don't have the days to take off work anymore. So I have to go sick.

::headdesk::

It's October.

</end self-pity rant>



cybermathwitch: (artemis)
What is so compelling about Starbuck? Kara?

She... well, she "feels" right. There's a certain symmetry, not of character, but of emotion and expression that resonates with me, the way that Sarah McLachlan's older work used to resonate with me. (And how very disconcerting it was to realize that that didn't work anymore - to come to the painful conclusion that while beautiful and moving, The Freedom Sessions doesn't "match" me anymore. :( I'm nothing like Starbuck in most of the ways that count. I'm not athletic, I'm not driven, I'm not loudly rebellious or willing to take whatever shit I get when I do something wrong. I avoid doing something wrong or upsetting people all the time as much as I can, because I'm scared. But it's in the way she carries herself. The way that she moves, smiles, grins, fights, cries, and is scared, herself - she's an outward expression of my internal world. Which makes her an excellent subject for LJ artwork, as LJ is my internal world laid a little bit more bare.

I'm working (slowly - must talk to my Catholic cousin about the day-to-day "use" (for lack of a better word) of the saints) on a theory of my own spirituality and how it interconnects to fandom. Or artwork, rather. Fandom is the intense appreciation and experience of and for artwork. I like that definition, I think I'll keep it.

But religion. And spirituality. I'm a Dionysian. My god is Dionysus, and his mysteries are ecstasy, catharsis, theatre, and intoxication. They're all about the letting go of things. The allowing things to sweep over you and sweep you up. He is the god that possesses, not the physical body, like Zeus does, but the heart and mind. Stories possess our hearts and minds. Music possesses our hearts and minds. (It's in no way surprising that he and Apollo are flips of the coin, as Apollo is the god of the music, but Dionysus is the god of the rhythm, the effect the music *has*. The best possible example of a modern Dionysia would be a rave, Ecstasy and all, though I have no desire now, nor have I ever had, to take illegal drugs. Though I wouldn't mind going to a rave sans drug abuse. Pulsing light, flashing colors, pounding beats. (Need to re-watch that scene in the second Matrix movie - yummy.) This goes back to a previous ramble about fandom and fen. I see the whole-hearted-ly throwing myself into my life as a spiritual experience.

You see, I've been having a very cock-eyed sort of "dark night of the soul" (yes, I very nearly did write that "knight", why do you ask? ;) ). I haven't doubted the god/s (much - hardly at all, anyway). I've just doubted my path. And then the other day I realized something. I tried to think back over the most spiritual, emotional experiences I've had in my life. The ones I really remember, without putting the "these are the things that should be considered" filter on it. (i.e., I didn't just think of what would commonly be considered religious instances.)

On the list? Marching band in high school (numerous experiences), the first ScaperCon (in particular), the other ScaperCons (to a lesser degree), numerous episode moments, book passages, songs, and movie moments, sketching, any time I'm in the path of an approaching storm, certain vids, spring, a couple gatherings (especially fire dancing), reading The Marriage of Cadmus and Harmony, certain concerts, rain wet, impossibly green forests, certain images, the change of the seasons, and occasionally sex.

The things that I realized (and was kind of astonished) didn't make that immediate list? many of the outwardly religious activities that I've been doing the last several years, including my initiation.

(and part of the value of the list is the fact that I didn't over think it, just felt it)

What's the recurring theme, there, folks? Art. And by my earlier definition, fandom. Beauty. Movement. Storytelling. Love.

That's my spirituality. That's what I believe in. Art by turns concentrates, exposes, spotlights, purifies and exemplifies human experience. There is a frakking quote somewhere about how characters may live life more truly and fully than we do, perhaps it says more purely, and I can't remember where it is. (Possibly in Christopher Vogler's The Writer's Journey?)

Beyond that, we use stories. Our stories inform our decisions and our actions. As a thinking, reasoning species that is self-aware, we decide on right or wrong partly through imagining the consequences of either choice. And every story we hear, every story we tell influences that. So our characters are people we look up to (or down on), but whose actions and stories inform our own. They are our examples, both good and bad. (In the broad definition of story I'm using here, even true events, when related, are stories - history is as much that information as "fiction", a term which losses some or all meaning in that sudden rush because whether something happened in our physical world, the motivations, reactions, and feelings are true.)

And I've gone on a hell of a round-about here. (And this is just further proof that I'm a textual mimic - my writing style changes and shapes itself around whatever I'm currently reading. A couple excerpts from Kate Millet and lots of Roberto Calasso lead to the above.)

::resists urge not to post because she might be seen as a freak and just bloody well posts it anyway, open and out there. which is also why it's not lj-cut... sorry to the f-lists I've just gummed up.::
cybermathwitch: (Can You Hear Me?)
Actually, not entirely true.  I have a random questioning type of thing for everyone, particularly my Fandom-type people.  (which, after seeing how long it was, I decided to put at the end.  BSG-immediate things first:)

I'm about to go mainline season 2.  I think I might need you guys to pray for me.  (oh, yeah, this is gonna frakking hurt....)

I have a fic-in-progress based from the Season 3 Trailer that went up yesterday(ish) (you can the non-Nickelback version here and the Nickelback version (my personal fav, cause yay! here.) - anyone wanna beta-read?  It's L/K ...

And the rest:

1.  Do you address yourself in your journal to different groups of people w/o necessarily limiting the view to that group?  Like, do you shout-out to a particular fandom, or your family, or someone individually, without f-locking it to a group or necessarily restricting it from anyone who stops by (as it were)?  Mostly wanting reassurance that I'm not quite as much of a freak as I sometimes think I am - which leads me to question...

2.  Are we different?  Are we, as fen, somehow essentially different (and please note that I don't use the term "better" or "worse" here - no one take offense at this line of questioning please) from other people in they way we look at the world?  Or at the very least this part of the world?  I mean, I know people who like shows.  Or like book series.  Maybe they even try to make it home in time to catch and ep, or go out and buy a new book the day it's out.  But that's (relatively) surface.  What I'm talking about is that feeling in your stomach that's like a flock of butterflies trying to get out, or bubbles trying to burst, that makes you happy and giggly and bouncy inside because you've discovered something.  [profile] saimhe said something once about how happy Fridays make her.  For me, at least, it's a lot like falling in love.  The characters have a reality because they matter to us, they "talk" to us (look at the fic, folks!  how many people talk about not being able to get a character to "shut up"?), and they influence us. 

It's obsession, and it isn't always a comfortable one.  Like being in love, you have to take the good and the bad, the wonderfully uplifting with the heartbreaking-ly depressing.  I wonder if it isn't something more essential than an intellectual interest.  Are we perhaps more apt to throw ourselves into things (many things, not just fannish things) with our whole hearts, rather than guarding ourselves?  Are we more willing to embrace the entirety of experience than other people may be?  And in this I mean in our whole lives.  The more I think about it, the more I think we are.  Those of you I know, I know that you tend to do things with your whole heart and soul, even if others think that it may not be such a good idea to do it that way.  (I keep thinking back to the last day of any number of Scaper gatherings and how many tears there are - not to mention how many laughs.)

(I didn't start this out to be this deep a thought pattern, but go with me here)  I know I'm more comfortable with myself around fen.  I'm more comfortable laughing as loudly as I want to or can, I'm more comfortable saying what's on my mind, and I'm more comfortable being hyper when I'm around you guys.  I'm more comfortable around you guys than I am around friends that in most ways I'm closer to.

-- to add a religious element here, this is the heart of Dionysian experience for me.  Ecstasis and catharsis require that total commitment to the thing.
cybermathwitch: (Default)
part the first:  VIRTUAL SCAPERCON.  You know who you are.  Now go there.

part the second:   [profile] black_magdalene, you need to read this.

part the third: Aaron Sorkin and Thomas Schlamme (of Sports Night and The West Wing, of course) have a new show on NBC this fall: Studio 60 on The Sunset Strip starring Matthew Perry, Bradley Whitford, Amanda Peet, Steven Weber, Sarah Paulson, D.L. Hughley, Nathan Corddry, Evan Handler, Carlos Jacott, and Timothy Busfield.  SO SO SO much love already.  Must. Watch.
cybermathwitch: (Default)
Leading up to last night I commented several times to several different people about my hopes for the movie both in terms of fandom and personally for me, myself.

Dionysus is one of my patron gods, you see. Theatre was created for his worship. So, it's no surprise that I see shows/movies as somewhat religious experiences. Not all, of course, but many. And anything by Joss Whedon by it's very nature has to be put in a category above and beyond brain-candy. Plus, I'm a fan of Firefly. And this is a huge accomplishment for genre fandom as well - "failed" genre show getting enough press/support to be made into a major motion picture? With nationwide release by a major studio? Yeah. Big Damn Deal.

I've only seen the movie once thus far, so many things aren't yet where I can talk about them - this is just my knee jerk (ok, after I've slept knee-jerk) reaction.

Joss Whedon has always been damn good. In this movie, he's gone beyond that. It was an ecstatic movie in that it is capable of wrapping you up and letting you forget the reality around you (even if they're people you know around you). It was also cathartic all across the map.

I. Have. Never. Cried. So. Damn. Hard. At. A. Movie. In. My. Life.

I laughed at the same time, and felt awful about it, but Joss doesn't give you a choice in the matter. You're going to feel and experience exactly what he wants you to feel and experience whether you want to or not. Period.

Read more... )

I don't think that this movie could have been done/doable if there hadn't already been a cast familiar with the characters and dedicated to them. The movie couldn't exist w/o the show behind it, and it is my dearest hope that more and more people will rediscover the show now.

I'm sure I'll have more when I'm not a wrung-out, exhausted mess of a maenad/fangirl.

Notes:

The point of theatre in Dionysian worship is ecstasy and catharsis.

From dictionary.com:

Ecstasy:
1. The state of being beside one's self or rapt out of one's self; a state in which the mind is elevated above the reach of ordinary impressions, as when under the influence of overpowering emotion; an extraordinary elevation of the spirit, as when the soul, unconscious of sensible objects, is supposed to contemplate heavenly mysteries.
2. Excessive and overmastering joy or enthusiasm; rapture; enthusiastic delight.
3. Violent distraction of mind; violent emotion; excessive grief of anxiety; insanity; madness. [Obs.]
4. (Med.) A state which consists in total suspension of sensibility, of voluntary motion, and largely of mental power. The body is erect and inflexible; the pulsation and breathing are not affected. --Mayne.

Catharsis:
1. A purifying or figurative cleansing of the emotions, especially pity and fear, described by Aristotle as an effect of tragic drama on its audience.
2. A release of emotional tension, as after an overwhelming experience, that restores or refreshes the spirit.
Psychology.
3. A technique used to relieve tension and anxiety by bringing repressed feelings and fears to consciousness.
The therapeutic result of this process; abreaction.

Read more... )

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