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Listening to old episodes of podcasts that I haven’t kept up with (bad Taylor!), and I got around the end of TommyElf’s episode 96, the Yule episode.
And towards the end he was talking about giving to charities around Christmas, Toys For Tots and those kinds of things. Just the way he said it made me a little sentimental, because at heart I love helping people.
And I thought back to last Christmas, and I remembered that I did give to Toys For Tots. There was a program in my town where they collected names and Christmas wishes from disadvantaged children, and for the National Honor Society we all picked a kid and bought them what they wanted. The little girl I picked was named Heidi. She was 8 and she wanted Barbies or art supplies, and that reminded me of when I was a kid, which is kind of why I picked her. My mom had one of those art kits, with all the markers and colored pencils and paints and stuff, that nobody had opened, and she said, “Oh well, just give them that.” But my gram took me shopping, and she had always done this kind of thing when she lived down South, so she kind of let me go all-out. In addition o the art kit, we got the girl a pack of canvases, a sketchbook, and some extra sketching pencils.

Just hearing Tommy talk about things like that brought that back for me, and then Gloria said, “You made that little girl really happy. You done good, kid.”
I guess I’m kinda proud of myself for that, a little. And I kinda get to thinking, what if that girl grows up to be some kind of spectacular artist, because of the gift I gave her? Kind of out-there, I guess, but it’s a nice idea and it makes me feel real good about myself.

What the hell? Me, Miss I-don’t-worship-gods, m’self!

I’m not entirely sure how it came about, only that, well, it did.

I have a set of shelves next to my computer desk, and being as I don’t have a dresser in my room I was cleaning them off and reorganizing them to put clothes on. One of the shelves began collecting items in a pattern, with “female” things on the left side and “male” things on the right. The last kickers that kind of jolted it into place were a pair of knives I never use, a stick I took the bark off of, and a fairly ancient can of white birch beer that I’ve never opened. (I don’t drink the stuff.) The birch beer more than anything – years ago I designated that exact can as a perpetual offering to “The God,” whatever the hell I thought that was at the time. The sell-by date is March 4th of 2009, to put it in perspective.

Thing is… These last few months I haven’t felt “spiritual” at all. Only within the past few weeks has this begun to change, coinciding interestingly with me getting back together with my ex.
I mentioned this to him, along with how I haven’t been wanting to write or draw, or, well, do anything I love doing, and he replied with one line: “Depression hurts.”

I don’t know exactly what this all means for me just now. I have an idea that I’ll take it as it comes and figure it out as I go along, though. I have done fairly well at that in the past.

So I was looking around this thing and thinking, “Man, I need a new theme.”
I found this one and thought, “Looks cool enough to sacrifice my sidebars for.”
Then I scrolled down to the bottom and saw the two-column footer with all my lovely widgets and I squee’d like a twelve year old fangirl. Best WordPress theme I have ever seen, no joke. I love it. It’s clean, dark, and gorgeous.
I am such a nerd. 🙂 And I am fine with that.

So, like I think I said almost two months ago (lol!), I’ve been in a not so spiritual mood for the past almost two months. Lately I’ve been feeling an interestingly apathetic kick-back… It feels less like I want to enhance myself spiritually and more like I’d just like to explore what’s out there – a feeling that reminds me a good deal of my “studies” in chaos magic way back in the day. (Which was really only like a few years ago, heh.) It’s sort of an analytical, pseudo-scientific, “Let’s try this and see what happens,” kind of feeling.

I have been doing a lot of personal writing – writing out just thoughts and ideas. Not only in the morning pages, each of which is written in “letter form” to Gloria, but also in just random other stuff.

A lot of my time has also been spent talking to my friend Matt, which is usually an enjoyable experience. (He’s the person referenced in the last post about happiness.)
Besides that, I need to remotivate myself to do a lot of things. I haven’t been writing anything fiction, I haven’t been writing any songs, I haven’t been doing any webwork (except for the project I’m doing for a web competition, and that’s being done at school), I haven’t cleaned my room in a while.

I have started working out again. Two pressed-sawdust boards on my bed, doing rudimentary crunches and baby push-ups, but it’s better than nothing. And I always feel better after I do. Yippie for endorphins.

I’ve also been scribbling sigils all over lately. I haven’t charged any of them, except the one I drew on the back of my hand for my chemistry midterm (which worked, 104), but they’re more-than-one-use kind of deals, so coming up with the pattern is a good starting point. Then later I can just copy it onto something (such as a piece of my skin – that seems to work best for me for some reason) and charge it or just fire it off in my head.
I enjoy sigils.

Not sure what else to say for now, so I’ll wrap this up. Pic totally irrelevant, but amusing.

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So I have this app on my iTouch (I know, I’m so hipster) that gives these little positive affirmations. Most of them are bullshit (“I am financially free”) but some of them can seem useful.
One of the ones I saw while flipping through them was, “I deserve to be happy.” Just having done a minirant on my problems with being happy in my morning pages the other day, I though it would be interesting to explore this idea.

First off, let’s do some defining, so we know exactly what’s going down.

“Happy” is the feeling of joy, glee, fun, and/or overall contentment that we get when life is good – or, at least, when we’re focusing on the good in life. When you just can’t help but sit there and smile, that’s being happy.
“Deserve” means that you are in a position to warrant something happening to you or something being given to you.
So, “I deserve to be happy” means “I am in a position to warrant that good, smiley, glowy feeling.”

Now, I’ve been getting that feeling a lot over the past month or so, which may be interesting in itself since within that time I’ve totally changed a good deal of the way I think about what I want from life and have broken up with my boyfriend.

I figure there’s two specific things that have been contributing to my recent frequent happiness.

One is my newfound feeling of freedom. I am 18. I am going to college in late July. I have always been an independent person, and now I no longer have a boyfriend “holding me back” or “tying me down”. It’s almost like this: Pop punk called, they wanted their teen angst back – and I gave it to ’em.
The second almost totally contradicts the first, but here it is anyway. There’s another guy that I’m totally mad for. This often seems like more of a problem than a benefit, because A) he lives 300 goddamn miles away and B) I’d like a lot more from him than he’s willing to give. He wants to be friends, which we are, and fuck me when he gets the chance, which he will. I’m fine with that. I guess sometimes I’d like to give and receive a little more than friendship, though. Regardless, talking to him is always enjoyable and often puts me in a state of emotional contentment, a.k.a., happiness.

Now, let’s tackle this notion of deserving happiness.

Some people (like Tommy Jefferson) are of the notion that all people deserve to be happy, because, “fuck you, we’re humans and that makes us awesome.” As nice a concept as that is, I’m not buying it. I don’t see what having a certain DNA structure has to do with being in a position to warrant happiness. No, I think meriting happiness is something independent of birth circumstances. (Might have some correlation with me being pro-choice, but that’s a whole other can of worms.) So, do I deserve happiness? And if so, why?

I think the sources of happiness tend to make a difference. I’ll ask myself this:

Do I merit deriving pleasure from my feelings of independence?

I’ve had it pretty much drilled into my head since I was a kid that if independence isn’t a totally great thing, it’s at the very least nothing to be ashamed of. This is probably because my gram, a very independent (and inspirational) woman herself, had quite a large hand in raising me; and my mother, a former Marine, is no subservient sheep either.
Couple that with all the positive feedback I’ve received about having my own mind and all the songs I’ve been fed about independent women (mostly a la Green Day), and I’ve pretty much been conditioned to derive pleasure from feeling, if not being, independent.

Do I merit deriving pleasure from looking forward to my future?

Looking forward to my future is a direct result of how much I kick ass academically, so I figure I definitely merit happiness from working hard to be awesome. (Even if the desire to do so does come naturally.)

Do I merit deriving pleasure from the company of a man?

Well, I did make the effort to put myself in the position to be able to do so. (There’s a dirty joke in there somewhere.) And, while the things I did in order to do so may seem simple, for me they were rather difficult because I’m fairly antisocial and kind of shit at knowing how to express my emotions and so on. So that was a push, and from that push, I am receiving the benefits.

So, do I deserve to be happy?

Way I figure it? Hell yeah, I do.

I’m alive.
I’ve had a lot going on lately, though, so not much time for thinking about spiritual things – even if I was doing them anyway. (Like the extremely intense and lengthy card reading I did today! I would post my notes on it, but they contain some rather private info; suffice to say that it told me a lot and got me thinking about a lot more, including my interpretations of several cards because I went off intuition and didn’t even have my notes with me.)
I’ve been doing the pages and have also been writing a story for my own version of NaNoWriMo as my senior project.
I’ve also cancelled the site at crimsonchaos.net. Instead, you can now find a blog of mine at whatwouldgloriado.co.cc and my renamed podcast at crimsoncast.co.cc. I’ll be updating my links accordingly very soon.

Haven’t taken much time to work with the elements as SC101-2 asked, but once I get the messes I’m in sorted out I will! I will do it! Heh.

Busy busy, gotta make the last of my cookies tonight, so I’ll get on all my busifulness.
Ttfn!

I just thought I’d let everyone know that I have a new email address at tay.dav.19@gmail.com so if you happen to get email from there, it’s not spam, it’s just Crimson, heh.

Inspired by Feithline’s list of things she does well (SpiritsCast 6) and my own feeling dumpy and needing cheering up, I’ve decided to list my own set of skills. =D

Things I Do Well, by Taylor. Er, Crimson. Er, whoever I am.

  • I am absolutely fantastic at learning the lyrics to songs and remembering them forever once I get them down.
    I haven’t heard Dream Theater’s “Another World” in years, but I was singing it like I had just heard it in the shower the other day. I can also belt out “Hotel California” any time I want, and about six million Green Day songs.
  • I’m damn good at scrubbing things when I put my mind to it.
    I cleaned the little metal things under the stove eyes today. All the gunk and gook and baked-on blackened shite? I got it off. Yep. Go me! (Took off enough nail polish, too, but that’s easily fixed.)
  • I’m great at understanding math.
    I’m the first one in my calculus class to understand what he’s teaching us and everyone else always comes to me for help. I also think up other ways of doing or writing the problems, and get them right. (“Isn’t multiplying by x to the negative fifth the same as dividing by x to the fifth?”)
  • I’m top notch at coming up with insane characters.
    Case in point, Lord Adamon Diast, necromancer son of Death who has a history of indiscriminate rape and murder on his hands and plans to kill his own father on his mind. Sheah. He’s nuts.
  • I can toss a simple short story together in about a half hour.
    It might not have a conclusion, but I’ve done some damn good work with flash fiction before.
  • I am a master of procrastination.
    It might wait, but it does get done, and it gets done damn good.
  • I’m really good at visualization.
    I used to be even better; I could visualize entire scenes as if I was there, hearing, seeing, and feeling everything, with my eyes open. (I like to joke with myself that losing my virginity took that power from me, but it was actually laziness and lack of practice.)
  • I like learning.
    Which is good, ’cause I’ve got 8-10 years of college ahead of me!
  • I wrote an insanely fantastic description of a character the other day.
    He was a very fat angry man. I conveyed this brilliantly with a very nice selection of adjectives.
  • I am not addicted to drugs, alcohol, or cigarettes.
    Unlike a surprisingly large amount of people I know. Yay me!
  • I do not sleep with a large amount of people to try and boost my feelings of self-worth. I understand that it wouldn’t accomplish that goal anyway, and do other things, like write insanely fantastic descriptions of characters and make up words.
  • I do not suffer from a need to plaster my face with every kind of make up there is to make myself look “beautiful”. I accept the way I look naturally, whether I happen to like the face in the mirror or not at that particular time.
    (Ever notice how some – or most? – people can look beautiful sometimes and ordinary or even ugly other times? I am definitely one of those people. And that’s fine.)
  • I accept the fact that I do not know everything!
    (Even if I don’t always like to admit when I’m wrong about something.)
  • I enjoy my varied taste in music, even if some people think most of it “sucks”.
    (I don’t understand how my taste in music can suck to Person A when I like all of the same things Person A does, but apparently additionally liking things Person A does not equates to suckage?)
  • I don’t suffer from sleeping troubles. I used to know so many insomniacs, and I may possibly have been one for a long time, so this is more significant than it might seem.
  • I can code in HTML and CSS and some rudimentary PHP. Not many people that I know personally can do this, so it makes me feel kinda special.
  • I’m stubborn. Er, determined. That means that once I decide I’m gonna do something, goddammit, I’m fuckin’ doing it!
  • I’m a fair person, a moderator. (I probably blame this on me being a Libra far more than can actually be credited.) I am able to end arguments (between others) with a single sentence. Hussah!
  • I do not fall prey to the Chocolate Monster. Too much chocolate makes me feel sick. I know when to stop myself, and while that makes me weird among people I know, I think it’s awesome.
  • I am able to think up creative and innovative uses for random objects, like the two halves of a broken salad dish.
    (Putting these ideas into practice is a bit more difficult…)
  • I am able to notice interesting and/or amusing connections between things easily.
    Whether or not such a connection actually exists is often irrelevant, as the main purpose for me doing this is to amuse myself and, sometimes, to help myself remember something.
  • I can eat a whole from-freezer pizza by myself.
    …wait, that’s not a good thing…
  • I can come up with interesting and emotionally meaningful song lyrics. =D
  • I’m a fast reader. Always have been.
  • Speaking of reading, I’ve been doing so since the age of three. That’s something cool.
  • My handwriting does not totally suck!
  • But my signature is unique and unreproducible.
  • I can recognize similarities and “whys” in language easily. (For example, why “unreproducible” is not spelled with an “a”.)
  • I enjoy filling out forms, also known as doing paperwork. Because most people hate doing paperwork, I personally think this is something that makes me a valuable person.
  • …in fact, I enjoy many things that other people find boring and tedious, like research and replacing doorknobs and installing shelving.
  • On that note, I’m a pretty good handiperson, as long as I have instructions or have done the job before.
  • And even if I haven’t and don’t, I can still usually figure out how to do whatever the job is that needs to be done.
  • When I clean, I do so thouroughly.
    This has pissed off a few bosses of mine in the past, because apparently I took too long to do the cleaning, but fuck them, that shit was clean when I got done with it. Not like when the other crewpeople would “clean” and leave the mirrors dirty or leave cigarette butts all over the parking lots. Sure, I spent an hour out there sweeping all the trash up, but I got every last damn piece.
  • When we do warm ups in gym class, I do those fuckers. I get something out of it.
    It’s nice.
  • I’m not terrible at cooking. I can make breaded chicken in wine sauce. And teryaki steak.
  • I can remember lines of books and poems I haven’t read or heard in years.
  • Speaking of, I have a good memory for random snippets of things in general.
    For example, did you know that Connecticut was founded by a Puritan reverend named Thomas Hooker, who did so because he was pissed off at how the other Puritans were running Massachusetts?
    Or that the name “Sylvester” means “silver woods”?
    Or that Rob Zombie once covered the Ramones’ “Blitzkrieg Bop“? (It’s actually really good.)
    Or that Tim Allen’s real last name is Dick?
  • I can play the bass line to Green Day’s “Hitchin’ a Ride“.
    Not that it’s hard, it’s actually really easy, I just enjoy the fact that I can do it.

Well, I think that’s enough, at least for now. I feel much better and you know more about me than you did. (Including how egotistical I am. Ugh.)

The title line is from Rise Against’s “Under the Knife,” another excellent tune.

So, in 101-2, we are given an exercise, to examine what things we take for granted in our beliefs. Obviously, this isn’t a one-shot deal, but let us say that this post is a beginning to my thought on such things.

So let’s just get into it.

One thing that I have come to accept in my belief is that water is an element of emotions.  I remember where I first came across the idea and when I first realized I believed it.
The idea was first presented to me in Kerr Cuhulain’s Full Contact Magick, a book I didn’t get much but a lack of respect for sai Cuhulain out of.
I first came to accept the idea, completely and totally, one day when I was walking home from school. I had Ariel’s Witch’s Primer on and was listening to (and following along with) the elemental meditation, and when I got to the water part… I can only say that it was intensely powerful, and that I probably looked like a total moron, standing on the sidewalk with my eyes closed, crying. I knew, knew for a fact, no doubt at all, that water was absolutely connected to emotions.
To be perfectly honest, before this idea, I had absolutely nothing to attribute to water. I felt, air was ideas and thoughts, earth was bodily and corporeal things, fire was passion and action and will, but water was just… I had nothing.

What else?
Directions, I guess. (Northern hemisphere, o’course.) North = earth, south = fire, east = air, west = water.
I’m not sure if I totally agree with it, I just don’t think about it. To be honest, the compass designations don’t have much place in my life at all. Sure, they’re useful when I’m looking at a map…but that doesn’t really happen often. If I had to pick, I’d follow a system of something like, “before, beneath, within,” before being both before in time and before me physically; that would be earth. Beneath would be both literally beneath me and metaphorically what’s underneath, or my motivation for doing things; that would be fire (the “fire under my ass,” so to speak). Within would be my thoughts and emotions and obviously would be both water and air.

And I’m not sure what else. Like I said, this is an ongoing thing. Or, as they say in the comic book industry,
TO BE CONTINUED…

Oh, and the title of this post is probably my favorite line from Rise Against’s “Prayer of the Refugee,” which is an amazing song.

Stamp of Azerbaijan
Image via Wikipedia

My, my, my. So it’s December. And I’ve got far too much swirling around in my brainical processes. Deep breath, -deep breath noises-, swig of coffee, -slurping noises-.

I’ve got Lennon‘s Christmas song (I forget its title) swishing back and forth in my head, threatening to drown out poor Meadow Moon, whose third episode I’m listening to. As that little FoxyTunes banner says down there at the bottom.

I’m tired. I really shouldn’t be, but it’s more than just physical tiredness, I think. I’m tired of everything. I keep thinking, “Is this depression?” And to be honest, I’m kind of scared of the answer. I don’t want to be depressed. I don’t have time to be depressed. I don’t have reason to be depressed. This hasn’t, to memory, happened before, so why’s it happening now?

My hormones have decided they hate me, as well. The problem with that is that ordinarily the solution for that is for my doctor to prescribe birth control pills…….and I’m already on them. I’m 18, for god’s sake. Can’t my body wait to hate me until I’m older? Until something like this wouldn’t scare the living hell out of me?
Until it wouldn’t remind me of how my grandmother had to have a hysterectomy at 25 and make me think, “I won’t be ready to have children by then like she did, I’ll be in college still.” Goddammit, I want to be a mother. I’m too young and ambitious for it right now, but I want to bear children someday. My body, with it’s wide hips and stout legs, is built for it, has been since I was twelve. My mind has only very recently begun to take to the idea, but it’s taken to it like a leech to an open sore, and has no intentions of letting go.

…I haven’t told anyone any of this yet. And I’m sitting here on a beautiful snowy Sunday afternoon crying my eyes out for apparently no reason.
And thinking, “God, there’s something wrong with me.”

I have to get off this topic. Sorry to be Debbie Downer, guys.

Moving on;
I haven’t done much work with the website “issues” I talked about last time in the past few days. I did get some pretty basic templates done for the four major sections/sites I plan to launch, which are: a personal blog and writing area called, “What Would Gloria Do?” or “WWGD”; a space for my (as of yet barely started) musical work under the name Midnight Magic; a section called “Locked & Loaded” that will actually be my place to post my beginning research and work on my future book about Spiritual Gunslingerism; and a space for the newly renamed CrimsonCast. I wanted to incorporate some spiritual themes throughout, and kind of associated each with one of the four elements. WWGD associates with fire, for various reasons including but not limited to the fiery riot-like nature of Gloria herself and the firey passion that incorporates into writing, or at least my writing. Midnight Magic I associated with water, because of the emotional nature of music and my own in particular. L&L is very earthy, because it’s about incorporating ideas into the corporeal and also because I very much associate gunslingers in general with a desert which is the epitome of bare earth to me. And CrimsonCast, with its intentions of communication, thought, and mindfulness, is of course air. I tried to incorporate related colors into the templates I worked on, although Gloria specifically requested black and red for the site that bears her name. L&L used brown, green, and orange; MM used purple and some blue; and CrimsonCast used red and pink (while not specifically “air” colors – which may be more like yellows and beiges – they fit and, hey, I used pink! Be happy! Lol.)

I’ve been cracking open the magicky pagan books I happen to have (and trying to get myself to ask for ownership of my mother’s old books) as well. A list of what I have, for the curious (and please don’t laugh, I didn’t buy all of them myself):
– Silver Ravenwolf: To Ride a Silver Broomstick, To Light a Sacred Flame, and Teen Witch
– Scott Cunningham: Encyclopedia of Herbs*, Wicca, and Living Wicca*
– Phyllis Curott: Book of Shadows*
– Anton LaVey: The Satanic Bible*
– Amber K: True Magic
– Diana Paxton: Essential Asatru
– Richard Metzger: The Book of Lies* (No, not Crowley’s, heh)
– D.J. Conway: Little Book of Candle Magic* and Celtic Magic*
The purple titles are the ones I bought myself and the asterisk’d titles are those I have not finished reading yet. (Cunningham’s Encyclopedia I have technically read through all the way, but of course you flip through afterward because you forget these things.)

I’m trying to think up topic(s) for my next podcast episode. I’m leaning at current towards a discussion of Satanism, probably because I’ve started picking up Mr. LaVey again after a few months of having lost the book (bad Taylor!). Ehh, I dunno.

I’m gonna end this post and start two new ones, hahaha. Those shallt be (inspired by Feith): Those things I take for granted in magic/paganism, especially in regards to elements; and; my own personal skill set, or, “What the hell am I good at?!” That second might make me feel a little better, eh?

“And so, merry Christmas, and a happy new year; let’s hope it’s a good one, without any fear…”

—————-
Now playing: MeadowMoon – Episode 3
via FoxyTunes

Things I did today:
Meditation – No.
Pages – No.
Inward Speaking – Inadvertant, but mostly no.
Walking – Does up and down the stairs count?
Water – Try coffee.
Divination -Nope.

Notes:
Oh, ye gods, I am failing. See that list up there? The one that’s a proclamation of me doing absolutely nothing that I should have? That’s the same for the past like three days. Is it ironic or merely sad that the “holidays” have an adverse affect on my spiritual practice?

Well, what have I been doing? Lots of nothing. Playing with my iTouch. Listening to the wonderful Druidcast – I guess that fits in as something good. Trying to set up my various webnesses with little complete success. I did have the wonderful idea of writing different themed topics for certain days of the week on my personal blog, but that’s wanting to fall through as well… the last two themed days (Wednesday and Friday) have both gone by with not a pip from my end. I’m thinking, should I get rid of a few days? Or what? Ahhhh.

I am noticing a slight trend, perhaps – I seem to fall through on these things when it’s what I call “the bleeding time” – ladies might understand what I mean. I just get really bored, lethargic, I don’t want to do anything at all but sleep all day. And sleep all day I have been – yesterday I slept until 2 in the afternoon! And today was not much better, with me getting up around 11 AM.

And I’d really like to finish moving my room as I’d like it, but I’ve not the will to actually make it happen.

On top of all of that, I’ve got some thinking to do on website “issues”. I don’t actually have any pressing issues with my current host or anything like that, more just things that I’d like or things I don’t like anymore.
For one, I don’t like my domain name anymore. I created it when I was seriously becoming interested in chaos magic – and I’m not anymore. I’ve “grown away” from that path, which makes sense when I stop and consider my situation now as compared to then. I guess I’m sort of “settling down,” at the very least mentally, and chaos no longer appeals to me. However – I have not a farking clue what to go by instead. (Half-joke:) Perhaps I should do one of those “pagan name” meditations to find a new domain handle? Haha.
For another, I’m rethinking my choice of webhost. The host I’m with now is fairly good, but to be honest I don’t really need all the space and features I’m paying for, and I would love to not pay as much anymore. This is probably more of an “issue” with my current hosting package rather than my current hosting provider, but shopping around is a good thing, isn’t it?

Eh. I have no idea. I think I’ll put on some jeans and move some shit around and wait for John to get done with his cousin’s siding.

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