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25 August 2009 @ 11:35 pm
So I picked up Crookshanks on Wednesday and was happy to get him home. He seemed to do fine and he follows me around everywhere. Used the litter box.

Thursday, I feed him and run off to work--to a class that wasn't meeting this week (oops!), then to another class that was meeting. I run down to the covenstead for a student's Training Ritual and we get rained out. We throw robes and clothes in the dryer and hang out for a bit. A and I hang up our cingulums (cords that are tied around our waists) and lay our athames (ritual knife...not for cuttin') nearby.

Everyone gets ready to leave and I'm eager to get home to see the cat. It's 10:30pm.

30 miles later, I realize I've left my robe, a t-shirt, cingulum, and athame at the property. For those of you (the few readers I have) who are unfamiliar (which might be none of you?), an athame to some Witches is like an instrument to a musician, a lucky jock strap to a football player, a 20-sided die to a RPG-er, or a beer to a frat boy...you just don't ever leave it behind. It's a part of you in many ways.

So, 11pm, I turn back around. 11:30pm, near I-85 and Pleasantdale, southbound, I come up to a recent accident. The two right lanes are blocked and I can't go any further. The guy behind me stops, too. I wait for an opening in the third lane, but everyone is zooming by.

I see a car whip around the guy behind me and nearly sideswipe a car in the third lane.

"That's an accident waiting to happen"

And it does.

The car behind the one that swerved hits the guy behind me and is pushed into me.

I'm okay! In Karate, I teach students to yell when they are hit--it helps relax the body and allows one to take a blow without being hurt. Similarly, they are taught to yell when giving a punch or kick to add force (again, body is relaxed).

I got jolted pretty hard--the rear quarter panel buckled, the inside of the trunk slightly damaged, the bumper broken, dented, and pushed in, the trunk pushed in (when released, it now sits an inch up and out from the body), the lights work...but are off kilter and chipped.

The Karate magnet is still in perfect condition.

When I got hit, everything in the backseat got thrown forward and the CDs in my dashboard CD holder thing got thrown at me.

I get out and check on the guy behind me. He's 61 and an insurance adjuster. His hand is swollen and hip hurting. I help him out and realize there's no need to call EMS, they're already there from the other accident.

About that time, I realize two things: I'm wearing a Karate uniform with no belt (t-shirt and robe at the coven property), I've got a giant pentacle on along with my seal. Oops!

Of course, I start getting a little panicky when I realize I don't have my phone on me...I search the car a couple of times and finally find it between the seat and emergency brake. I call the coven HP in case I need someone to pick me up and also to help bring some normalcy back to my mind.

I call my dad.

I hang out and wait.

The cops ask each of us what happened. I overhear the three girls in the last car (the one that started the collisions) saying, "They just came out from nowhere!"

Came out from nowhere? We were parked! Clearly there was an accident ahead...just keep your eyes ahead of the person in front of you. But...there we are...and there begins the complications dealing with insurance.

Apparently, the guy behind me got ticketed too (the girls seemed rather surprised and put-off by the fact they were getting ticketed...it was funny to see them taking pictures of their car...for evidence of their guilt?). I couldn't figure out why he was being ticketed for following to closely when he was at a standstill, too. This, I found out when I picked up the police report Monday morning...not at the scene...otherwise, I might have interjected.

I pulled off, afterwards, to the QT to check the damages more closely and call my HP, my parents, and one of my Friday students to ask she call the others to cancel class.

Friday, I didn't want to drive...but I had to...and nothing could get done quickly. Insurance wouldn't do me any favors...my company wouldn't give me a rental car because I didn't opt for the "rental car" thing. So, my other option is to wait for the police report to come out and take it up with the at-fault party's insurance. Frustrated, I went home and slept for a few hours. I got up, got everything ready for Saturday classes, and tried to go back to bed at 2am. At 4am, the cat barfed on the bed. I switched out bed covers and threw the other one in the wash.

The cat awoke me at 6am.

And at 7am, I got up for work.

I taught four classes, then went to officiate at a tournament.

Sunday...nice and uneventful.

Monday morning...the cat had crapped on the bathroom floor. I'll give it to him for not going on the carpet. So, I took the unused box in the laundry room and swapped it out in case the first one was too dirty for him.

I pick up some flyers for work and the police report. The report has a slight error: it says that the guy behind me hit me first, then the girl hit him. Not so. That would make him at fault for my car and not her...but the way it really happened, she should be completely at fault.

So I start calling her insurance company based on my insurance company's advice. Her's is AIG. The AIG. Let me tell you something about AIG based on my very limited experience: there was a reason they were tanking and "needed" a bailout...they suck.

The first person I talked to forgot to type in all the things she asked me and that I told her. When I was being transferred to the adjuster on this case, I magically got disconnected...even though they said I'd be swapped back to her.

I called back and couldn't get any adjuster so called again to "file a new claim"...and was able to get back to an adjuster. She got my info (again) and assured me that they'd be contacting me about someone looking at my car. I agreed to send a copy of the police report...though I made sure they knew it was wrong both over the phone and via email.

Still no word. Couldn't get ahold of the adjuster in charge of the case at all today. I even called another adjuster and she said, "Oh, he's standing right here, but he's on another line, do you want to hold?"

Which I guess means "He's standing right here and shaking his head 'no'...do you want to hold until he can disconnect you?"

I hear the crappy muzak for a while...then some office sounds...more muzak...office sounds (like he's picking it up unsure how to say, "Hello? Is it me you're looking for?")...then more muzak...and then I get sent to his voicemail.

So, since on the police report, guy behind me is listed as at-fault, I call his insurance company (somebody's gotta pay for my damages, right?). They ask a bunch of questions, recorded, of course, and I tell them what happened. I even agree to email the police report to her, too.

After giving my statement, she says I've confirmed what they're guy had told them. Glad I could help. But that also means they're off the hook for covering me. Back to AIG, right?

I give her the contact info of the adjuster who never answers and a "good luck". She says she'll call me if she hears anything. She's also going to call the girl who ran into us and get her statement. Best case scenario, AIG says, "You know...you're right...here's a wad of cash, go buy yourself something nice...like a new back part of your car."

Worst case scenario? Arbitration...six months from now it might be resolved.

So, my options? Wait and see what I hear (or call and pester until I hear)...or go through my insurance agency and let them deal with it...to be reimbursed for my deductable at some point...without a rental car.

Sweet.

Oh, and the cat crapped on the floor in the laundry room last night...but after cleaning the box thoroughly and introducing him to both boxes, he straightened up and did his business in the box again (apparently he likes to do one kind of business in one box and another in the other).

It also helped, I think, that I threatened him that I'd sell him to an Asian restaurant of Buford Hwy if he didn't shape up.

Oh! Almost forgot...I got two estimates just in case...looks like $2500-$3500.
 
 
18 August 2009 @ 10:51 am
Our coven HPS picked up Crookshanks the Cat and took him to the vet. He got de-wormed, de-mited, de-flead, cleaned up, nail trimmed, and vaccinated.

I talked with the vet this morning and am going to pick him up tomorrow! Call me a sap or whatever, but I'm really excited. I'm heading to Wal-Mart today and picking up a litter box and maybe a scratching post...a brush...some toys...and anything else the pet section of Wal-Mart...or the cat area of PetsMart can sucker me into.
 
 
06 August 2009 @ 12:38 pm
I might be getting a cat.

After getting new furniture (strike the word "new"...though it is new, it also implies I had "old" furniture...I had no furniture prior to...last month?), deciding I wouldn't have a cat until I got a girlfriend (otherwise, I might turn into the creepy cat-guy of Bethlehem), and I can't even keep a house plant alive ("Oh, you can't kill this plant." Watch me.)...I might be getting a cat.

He was dubbed Crookshanks. That name (aside from obvious Harry Potter reference...and he's currently living on the coven property) came about when he lept out of the trash one day and started the shit out of me...I suppose I did the same to him. Or her? All I saw was this large, furry, blur darting from a pile of cardboard boxes in the carport. Huge poofy tail and all.

It's a black cat with a white nose and white feet. Long hair...especially on the tail. I was the first that got to pet him (her?). Despite the appearance of bulkiness (due to excessive fur), you can feel each vertebrae, hip bones, shoulders, ribs. We've been leaving food out each time we (covenmates and I) are at the property.

Last night, we were doing a pretty intense working. It was only a handful of us (and those that missed it, really missed out). As we were doing our thing, Crookshanks appeared at the southern gate that we use to carry stuff in and out of circle in preparation for the ritual.

He ducked out when slightly startled...and peeked back in to check out what we were doing. Finally, after the ritual was ended, as the last lines of the evening were spoken (as they are at each circle), Crookshanks came over and let me pet him. He stayed with me as the altar candles were extinguisihed and we took everything back inside. He followed us back to the deck as we sat and talked for several hours. He laid around...made himself at home.

Everyone keeps indicating that I'm going to take the cat home...and I'm inclined to agree. It fits. My nickname among a few especially-close covenmates has become "Hermione."

If I can only get some sort of covering for the furniture.
 
 
02 July 2009 @ 08:22 am
I ended up feeling better on Wednesday.

Around 9am one of my fellow first degrees text messaged me, "You still going?" I texted back and said I'd be at P&D at 11am. So we met up and walked around a bit then headed to Sevananda and Little Five.

It was a great time.

Picked up some herbs for incense from Sevananda and we had lunch at Front Page News (?). P and I talked for a long time on Lady Sintana, Lady Circe, the Craft, OSC.

While we were down there on Moreland, we went by the old Ravenwood house. Though I knew it was off Moreland and had read or heard discriptions of it numerous times, I never thought to look for it. But P knew exactly where it was. So we looked to see if anyone lived there--we think so, but still gawked anyway.

I might take a picture the next time I stop by. I do want to see the second RW house. Maybe next time.
 
 
01 July 2009 @ 12:57 am
I occasionally switch up what Tarot deck I use when I do my daily reading. On a whim, I used the Marseilles deck that I've never used.

I didn't do my usual three-card spread either. I did some funky five card layout...with four underneath that, three under that, etc. making an inverted triangle.

Split down the middle: cups and wands on one side (emotion and inspiration respectively) and pentacles on the other (money, financial). In the middle: The Devil. The cruel master that keeps you chained, the addiction, the thing that keeps you down. Inertia.

That's what I've been feeling lately. Inertia.

I know what I could be doing, but I don't. I just lay in bed, watch TV, read...escape. It's getting old. I mentally know I should be getting up and getting out...but I just can't make myself.

Maybe it's Summer. I kind of get this way in the Summer. But I can't blame Summer entirely. I've been like this for a long time...years.

But the inertia is getting worse. It's like getting your car stuck in the mud, rocking it back and forth a few times and then giving up. I'm not ready to abandon the car...and if I had to, I'd feel like I really hadn't put my best effort into moving the car out of the rut.

If I were to die, I wouldn't feel like I'd lived life to the extent I should have.

I know why I'm in this state...the things that have lead me here. I know where I want to be. I know, more or less, how to get there. It's just...inertia.

So I did another reading. A celtic cross...how can I work my way out of this mess?
Everything was pretty spot-on. It was interesting. Cards that had appeard in my triangle spread re-appeared in the celtic cross. Final outcome: "Hermit".

Crap.

That's what I don't want to be...not yet.

I tried calling a girl today. Her phone had been disconnected. According to Facebook, she's now "in a relationship." Too slow, I guess.

I asked my fellow first degrees if they wanted to go to Phoenix and Dragon then Sevananda tomorrow. No reply. Short notice, I know.

Haven't been to Athens Zen since I first wrote about it. I'm no morning person.

I'm full of excuses. I said just as much last night when my Karate instructor called me. He's in Fort Lauderdale and was calling me before bed...if that sounds weird...you're probably right to think so.

When he was in North Carolina a month or so ago, he saw an old church building that had a new sign up saying "Wiccan Church". Wierd, right? Since when do Wiccans have old church buildings? From their Myspace page, it looks like they do their rituals outside and, I suppose, do the rainout rituals indoors.

Anyway, one of his suggestions, since he knows I refuse to go to a Christian church to meet girls (let alone people in general) was to "go find a Wiccan group or something". I didn't know what to say. The most I've told him was "I wrote a lot of papers on them when I was in college. There's almost no material on them in Religious Studies, so it was an easy subject."

My response: "I've got nothing against them. But you know if I walked in one day and said, 'Hey, by the way, I'm Wiccan', I'd never hear the end of the chicken sacrificing jokes or Kenneth saying 'Oh, you outta talk to Madison's mom.' or some other irritating shit like that. If I was, I don't think I'd say anything."

I finally realized, though, my parents' frustration with me when I was a teenager. They just wanted me to do something...and I turned down every suggestion they had. Now I'm fighting myself to get out and do something. Always with an excuse.

Inertia.

**Edit**
They've already made my story into a movie.
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27 June 2009 @ 10:42 pm

Below are some videos I made on xtranormal.com


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Zen Meditation

This morning, I went to down Athens and participated in a Sunday morning Zen meditation intro class. While I have an interest in meditation (I meditate for about 30 minutes to an hour daily) and a small interest in Zen, my main interest in attending the class was to meet girls.

Forget the whole concept of Buddhist non-attachment.

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Hindu Temple

Continuing on the Eastern theme...or the getting out of the house theme...I went to the Hindu Temple in Lilburn with the "Gwinnett County Pagans" Meetup group. Only one person (the organizer) and her friend showed up. They were nice...but more the "hang out at Hindu Temple" types than dating material.

We looked around the main courtyard and went into the main temple area. It was incredible. All the architecture, hand carved art, shrines...everything was intense (and expensive!). How much money did this place cost?

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Wicca

On to a slightly different subject, though still keeping with the religion theme...and the words theme (there's an accidental tie-in and something for me to further contemplate). The phrase that drives me crazy on the internet.

Someone online recently asked if they are still a Wiccan if they practice magic but aren't comfortable honoring a God and Goddess, but instead see the Divine as more like a natural energy. The other part of the question was if believing this was disrespectful to Wiccans.

A few people responded with things like "Wicca is whatever you want it to be" and "Not all Witches are Wiccans, not all Wiccans are Witches." I have read these two phrases and I have to say they irk me.

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06 April 2009 @ 12:18 pm
 
 
08 January 2009 @ 11:37 pm
 
 
26 December 2008 @ 02:11 pm
Lon Milo Duquette is one of my favorite authors. Okay, I admit, I only own one two! THREE of his books, The Chicken Qabalah of Rabbi Lamed Ben Clifford, My Life with the Spirits, and Enochian Vision Magick, but I have read (or skimmed) a number of his other books (in the book store) and plan on getting some of them at some point. Promise (maybe).

So he has a new book out on Enochian magick...that is, the magick of Angels...not the foo-foo-crap you see in the New Age areas of the book store, but the wild, weird ass John Dee stuff from the 1500s. There is a YouTube video of him reading an excerpt that includes some clips of him acting out what he is reading. The strange, difficult-to-pronounce words sound so poetic. If magick is nothing else, it is an incredible psychological tool that does something that no other thing can do alone...not music, not poetry, not philosophy, not physical activity...because it includes all those things. It takes your mind to a different place and allows you to look within and see how it connects to what is without.



On a side note, I was interested in bringing LMD to Atlanta for a weekend seminar...but he charges a $1500 speaking fee plus food, transportation, and hotel expenses. Yikes.

But what can you say? He's not just some schlub like me with few credentials...he's the U.S. Deputy Grand Master of the OTO, he's a master Tarot person, he's got credentials out the Yin-Yang...even his credentials have credentials.


Originally posted: September 08
Edited: 12-26-08