Monday, August 30, 2010

And Now For Some Blind Panic

So, obviously, I took a week off from blogging. Sorry about that, but my head just does not seem attached. Early last week I took off for the woods of East TN to try to get my head back on, and it lessened the panic somewhat, but I am still in a place of deep inward focus with strong internal pressure to get everything external figured out NOW. And I've been watching a lot of Eureka, the tv show. It makes me laugh, so it helps.

Ever read Harry Potter? In the last book, they have to figure out something impossible and keep repeating to themselves, over and over, what they have to find. That's my head: a home, a job, a car, maybe another car, a midwife.... I haunt Craigslist, wrack my brain for doable steps to the monumental, and begrudge myself down time like naps and reading books. In other words, still panicking.

On the flip side, I am so very happy. My partner and I both are. We look at each other every so often, smile real big and say, "Babies!" Belly rubs are crucial. I don't claim that any of it actually makes sense.

In a general progress kind of way, last night I emailed a resume to a Craigslist employer who wants exactly what I have to offer. And tomorrow I have a meeting with a potential housing lead. We'll see if something comes out of those. I am affirming ease of transition and manifesting plenty of divine appointments, perfect timing, and clear opportunities. I have written my spells for housing, cashflow abundance, overall family abundance, and the pregnancy and birth. It is good.

I much prefer being able to make sense of things (this is Philosofishing, after all), and this not making anything make sense due to emotional turbulence of happy-induced blind panic is disconcerting. Very disconcerting. But I will continue to trust my navigational instruments through the storm and hope the horizon reappears to my sightline soon.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


We're pregnant! I've been waiting weeks to say that. Turns out we had to wait until the 6-8 week mark before it was safe to tell people, but now we are at 8 weeks and we can spill the beans. We are both very very happy, but scared. A friend of mine once told me that it wasn't worth waiting until everything was figured out financially, logistically, etc. because there is never enough money or stability or anything else. I keep thinking of the movie Idiocracy, where the smart couple keeps saying no, not this year, not in this market, while the stupid people just keep popping out kids. We didn't want to wait forever, indeed waited longer than I really wanted to, so now it's on and we will just figure it out. Because we are smart, resourceful people with a lot of love and support from our family and friends. Dammit.

But I will say I keep obsessing over where we are going to live and on what. We have to move, so I have been compulsively checking the Craigslist listings to see if there is anything in the right size and neighborhood that we can afford. They seem to be very few and far between, but they exist. I also keep checking the vehicle listings since my truck will no longer be adequate.

I've also gone out applying for jobs waiting tables. Cash money is good. Gives me income a little more reliable than my healing work. Haven't had any luck yet, but I decided I would just go apply and not be attached to the results. We'll see what happens.

I am so excited. Babies! This week they have little flipper arms and start to wiggle for the first time. Hey, flippers beat arm buds! Next up, fingers!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Women's Pleasure is Radical but Big Penises Aren't

I'm not much of a tv person, and am far from participating in anything like fan culture, but there is this one show that I have begun to really enjoy. Hung. On HBO after True Blood (which I thought was disgusting and will never watch again). But I like Hung. It's about a guy who used to be a sports hero, but now he is washed up in his 30s, his wife left him, his house burned, he's living in a tent in his backyard and in danger of losing his job as a high school coach. The only thing going for him is that he is Hung. Add a disorganized hippie woman pimp who is surprisingly courageous in an awkward way and a bitch of a wanna-be pimp, and it's a good show.

I think what I like most about it is the fact that it shows women genuinely enjoying sex. There is usually a sex scene, and at least in the first season, they were pretty hot. The women just have orgasm after orgasm. I don't know that I have ever seen much (non-porn) media at all that focuses on a woman's straight up pleasure. No agenda, no judgment of manipulation or sluttiness, no bones about it other than the fact that she is CHOOSING to have sex and is REALLY REALLY enjoying it.

The correlating criticism here is the explicit story that large penis size is crucial to a woman's pleasure and therefore bigger penises=superior men/sex/pleasure for women. And the show is even clear about the fact that he doesn't start out as any kind of super-lover, he is just an average joe with an exceptionally large penis. And honestly, the whole bigger-is-better myth is just harmful. Far more important is appropriate size for the orifice. Just saying.

Friday, August 13, 2010

A Lot of Crossings

There seems to be a lot of death going around. So far in my community, two teachers, two mothers, one uncle, and one father have died in the last 2 months or so. And those are just the human deaths. It adds up to a lot, especially for those who were close to more than one of these folks.

I will say that some I had met, some I had not met, and I was not close to any of them personally. I have sent love and energy and prayers as appropriate, and stayed out of the way where also appropriate. I really feel for my friends and community members as they deal with their grief, and am supportive of them as they process.

That said, I am not bothered by the dying. People die, and thank God'dess for it, otherwise we would be stuck with all the consequences of every choice in this lifetime. The fact that given a long enough timeline, the survival rate for everyone (especially me!) drops to zero is comforting. No matter how good it gets or how terrible, it will end. Most of those who have died were in ill health and suffering. They have moved on to the Summerlands, where they no longer need be in pain.

I also have the sense of tremendous things moving on a very broad earthly scale. Energetically, things are shifting, and it makes sense to me that there are many who will choose to cross over rather than try to shift as they are now. It is a cleansing, a changing, a shapeshifting, a melting down and recasting some of the cogs of reality. If it is not appropriate to slip the gears you have in this life, it makes sense to leave and come back better equipped.

Again, I have great compassion for those in my circle who are grieving the passing of their loved ones, even as I rejoice in the no-pain and open possibilities now available to those who have crossed.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Vasopressin Junkies? (RetroPosted)

(Date adjusted to when this should have been written, though I was quite late with it.) 

I enjoy sex. As a topic and as an activity. To that end, I read various Everything About Sex books, from the basic biology on down to the sex magic. I stockpile the random facts that make for great party conversations, the kind that stop the chatter in the whole room as everyone leans in closer to try to figure out what I just said about a penis. I know the pH of cum. I know how to make a woman ejaculate and what that ejaculate is made of. I know most of the myriad parts of the complete clitoris. I know what an os is and why not to ram it. I know why zinc supplements are especially good for men. You know, random but useful facts.

A recent factoid acquisition has sparked a conversation between my partner and I. Turns out, there is a hormone called vasopressin that is released in men during physical, especially sexual, contact. It gives pleasure and promotes bonding. My partner and I have been making jokes about getting a vasopressin fix through cuddling, since we do a lot of that.

Upon further contemplation though, my partner came up with the theory that maybe men are often the physical boundary pushers in relationships with women because the men want their vasopressin fix. They get more of an instant biochemical reward for making physical contact. I said I was not so sure, that it seems to me that there is also a competitive territory-claiming side, as if points are given for certain types of contact, the more intimate and personal the better. I think I even compared it to capture the flag, honestly.

Together, we came up with the idea that yes, society/stereotypes says that men (all men) are playing capture the flag (or Oklahoma Land Rush), but that the enforced myth of stoicism and unflagging put-it-in-a-hole-somewhere virility was probably covering up the emotional need men have of making those intimate vasopressin-rewarded physical contacts. I feel pretty proud of us.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Brooding (RetroPosted)

(Date adjusted to when this should have been written, though I was quite late with it.)

I lost this week. I don't know quite where it went, but I have been on the equivalent of a juice fast for media. I have been playing mindless games on my computer instead of reading my now glutted blog subscriptions and webcomics. I haven't updated this or any of my other blogs. I've been hiding.

Or perhaps I have been processing something big, or maybe just brooding. A lot. Okay, whatever I have been doing, it has definitely included brooding. When I think about things, it all seems hard and complicated and panic-inducing. When I meditate and connect with the Divine, it all seems like it is toodling along just fine, I only need to hang on to the wooden slats on the sides of the little red wagon and enjoy the suburban scenery. But then I go back to mundane life and brooding.

Perhaps the brooding is reproduction-induced. The term (as I understand things) comes from chickens who want to hatch chicks. They get broody, as in moody and anti-social, and just want to sit around working on their eggs. Perhaps people get this way, too. It is hard to make a conscious choice to have kids. They are expensive and life transforming, rather like skydiving. Only more permanent. Perhaps brooding is only natural. Perhaps stopping life in order to brood is a necessary process of slipping cognitive gears in order to better adjust to an impending complete and utter paradigm shift.

Interesting note: Brooding is associated with female animals like broody hens and brood mares, but is coded masculine when referring to human activities. Its feminized human counterparts include fretting and worrying. Just thought I'd point that out.

Friday, August 6, 2010

The Pugnacious Fallacy of the Merit-Based World

I would love it if the world were truly merit-based. Or even if the world were genuinely merit-based, but with random shit that happens in an equal distribution to everyone. Or the random shit could even possibly happen to the people at the bottom of the merit-based world, because the people at the bottom have chosen to be there. I wouldn't prefer that those at the bottom get more shit, but if it had to be that way, I'd accept it.

Unfortunately, the world is not merit-based. The people on top, with the money, the power, the privilege, are not there because they deserve to be there. The people on bottom, with the poverty, the violence, the disenfranchisement, are not there because they deserve to be, either. Our society and world does not start from an equal playing field. All people do not have the same opportunities nor the same starting resources.

In US society, we like to pretend otherwise. We like to pretend that it is possible to pull ourselves up by our bootstraps. We point to the statistical minority who overcame the odds and take them as anecdotal evidence that upward social mobility is as easy as working hard and being determined. Therefore, everyone at the bottom who stays at the bottom is just lazy. Is defective. Deserves their miserable lives. We even like to castigate the poor for asking for help. We like to tell them to go help themselves. We prattle on about "a hand-up, not a hand-out," as if we know what they really need. You're hungry? Well, here's a job that you can't go to because you have no childcare and cannot afford to pay someone to do it, look how lazy you are, it's your own fault you're hungry, and you're a bad parent for failing your kids. In fact, you're a failure of a human being because you had kids you can't afford. Oh, you couldn't afford/didn't have access to contraception information? Well then you shouldn't have had sex. You're a slut, too.

In addition to loving to blame those on the bottom for their troubles, we also like to defend those at the top. How dare you feel threatened by an unknown male of obvious physical prowess walking behind you, a lone woman walking at night? That's discriminatory against men! Nevermind that there is a significant history of sexual violence in our culture, much of it perpetrated by men against women, within a culture that actively excuses rape. What? You, a woman, have been sexually assaulted? You must have been asking for it. It must be your fault for not being aware enough of your surroundings, or for wearing provocative clothing, or for drinking alcohol/doing drugs at a party. You should have protected yourself better. Surely it isn't your attacker's fault that they attacked you. I know you got hurt and traumatized, but I doubt it was even an attack. It was probably just consensually rough.

And then there are those who feel threatened by discourse and programs designed to point out/correct differences in power and privilege. What? There's an affirmative action quota that says so many people of color have to be hired, even if they have worse qualifications/test scores that me, a white person? That's racist! Our society isn't racist against people of color anymore, we have a black president! We live in a post-racial world! Quit discriminating against white people! What, you say that the systemic institutional discrimination against people of color for the last several hundred years has left their communities ghettoized and impoverished with inadequate schools and little to no inherited resources, so that correcting for it through affirmative action programs constitutes a small and inadequate measure of justice, but it is something? Well, that's bullshit because we live in a merit-based society. They're poor and undereducated because they are lazy sluts who just want to live off hand-outs, paid for by my hard earned tax money!

Countering all of these arguments is exhausting. The premise, the merit-based society, is a myth, but it is a strongly held one. It shores up all kinds of fallacious arguments that keep injustice from being seen and justice from being done. The defensiveness of the privileged gets old. The pugnaciousness of willing ignorance and blindness is infuriating. And there are times when I just refuse to engage.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Tiger By The Tail

According to the Chinese Zodiac, I have been told by sources and the internet, this is the year of the White Metal Tiger. Which means that really, we all have that tiger by the tail and are just holding on in the midst of quite the wild ride.

Yes, the wild ride continues. I make a plan. Circumstances that premised said plan fall apart. I make a new plan. Do some research as to the premises. Looks good. Or maybe not. And then something gives and we are on to another new plan. My White Metal Monkey (birth year) brain just keeps frantically planning, like a screaming monkey tossing bananas on tourist heads. I stop to panic in between plans, of course. Sit down with spreadsheets and/or pen and paper. Do research. All kinds of internet research.

My Free Will Astrology for this week says:
If I had to give a title to the next chapter of your story, it might be "Nothing That's Happening Will Make Much Sense Until It Has Finished Happening, Whereupon It Will Yield a Burst of Insight about the Big Picture of Your Destiny."
So I should just chill. Not panic, just keep swimming. The projects will work out, or they won't. I will get the job I want, or I won't. The logistics of my practice will get ironed out and I can start really investing in it, or not. We will figure out our housing changes (yes, we have to move). We will figure out our vehicle changes (yes, I need a kid-friendly vehicle and my truck is not it). It will be what I think I want, or not.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Preying on the American Dream

(side note, this is my 100th Blog Post. YAY!)

I have a friend who was very unhappy in her job. She felt discriminated against due to her age, race, and gender, felt like she was always at odds with her bosses, and had multiple run-ins with management. She applied for promotions and did not get them. She made improvements to her work system and instead of being appreciated as useful innovations, they were slapped down.

Then she learned about a miraculous new company that could make her dreams come true. It was based on a co-operative marketing model, so that there was no one to hold her back. No bosses, no management, no need to apply for promotions. With their system and their fail-proof product, the sky was the limit. She could be getting $10,000 checks every week. Her race, her gender, her age would no longer work against her because she would only be working for herself. If she just has the right attitude and drive, she can attain everything she has dreamed of but been unable to manifest until now.

She jumped in with both feet. She was giddy with excitement. She told us all about this marvelous can't-fail product, how it sells itself. She gave us samples, practiced sales pitches, tried to get us to come to meetings. After a few weeks, she realized that the real money was not in selling the product, it was in selling the opportunity to sell the product. She started trying to recruit us as sellers. Slowly, after a month or two, after she had quit her job in a flurry of assertiveness, her enthusiasm began to wane. It was not the dream she had thought it would be. The promises turned out to be rather empty.

I could hate them for their sales. Co-operative marketing is really a modified and repackaged pyramid scheme, and they have a bad reputation for a reason. They sell a dream, the American dream. The dream that says most of the world is unfair, but if you come to us and join our system, you will suddenly make as much as you are truly worth and have all the wealth you have dreamed of but never had the opportunity to earn. The dream that says these inequities of discrimination can be bypassed and you can have your economic justice just this easy. The dream that says everyone else is hurting, but there is a way for you to prosper, and then you can bring in your friends and family and they can prosper, too.

They always seem to hold up a local leader, someone much farther up the pyramid but presented with a fisheye lens so they seem to be much closer. This person makes an awesome amount of money, tens of thousands of dollars each week. They are now your hero. They are now your role model--you, too, can be like them, live in a house like theirs, have success like they have success.

What gets left out is the unlikelihood of being like them. You are too late, you are already too far down the ladder. And you are probably not going to be all that successful at selling your mother, your brother, and your two next door neighbors this dream. This kind of marketing is a great way to lose friends. This kind of marketing sacrifices your relationships for your chance at the brass ring, even as the company touts it as a relationship enhancer because you are going to help everyone get rich.

It makes me angry because it preys on people's dreams. It takes advantage of the anger, the frustration, and the longing for economic success that many of us feel in the workplace. And I am sad when someone else in my extended circle of contacts approaches me about another can't-miss-this opportunity. They always have fabulous personal reasons for why it is such a great endeavor, and my heart breaks. I wish them the best of luck, but I will not be joining.