November 22nd, 2011
|06:32 pm - Things I've been up to recently. . . a lot of moving around. . .|
Between traveling, working, creating, writing memorial rituals, getting interviewed, and working on presentations about Druidry for high school kids, I am not sure I'll have a lot of "down time" over the upcoming holiday season.
To top it all off, I now have a bit of a headache, and don't think I'll be going to lunch.
Today, I found that the biggest issue with running your own e-mail is that there's no one to blame when things go wonky (well, except yourself).
Yesterday was just a crazy day. I was in meetings that didn't go anywhere, bounced around C-bus, and just had a weird day.
Over last weekend, I spent some time playing with some new tools to create a wooden sickle, which was a lot of fun (see it to the right). The hope is that these sorts of things impress others and make them decide we're worth shopping at, over at The Magical Druid. Speaking of: Saturday is "Small Business Saturday," and we'll have some deals available. . . so save some of your Black Friday shopping cash for people who don't exploit children or spend time trying to damage the environment!
Also last weekend, I spent time moving hundreds of pounds of mulch, stone, and other items in defense of the upcoming winter. There is a lot more of that to do. Oh, and I traveled!
The day on Friday saw Maggie stranded on the Hilltop in the middle of my work day, so I got to go to an entertaining part of town. Friday night was spent working with a friend who needed some prayers, and Thursday night before that was our liturgy meeting. Wednesday . . . what was Wed? I don't recall. Tuesday was mostly recovery from the previous weekend, along with realization that my computer's battery was dead (greatly impacting my access to files on-the-go), which brings me to:
The previous Thurs-Monday! (Nov. 10-14)
That was actually a lot of fun, but quite exhausting. We drove to Minneapolis over Vet's Day weekend, which allowed us to spend some time with my family (they live approx. 1/2 way to Minneapolis from Columbus). It also gave me a chance to spend some time at a friend's wedding (the reason we went up), bless a meal for about 80 people in a bowling alley, be interviewed by brandondedicant, and consult on a major artistic project by regaling some folks with the legend of Sigurðr the Dragon-Slayer and associated mythological scenes.
So, to sum up what I did in a more segmented fashion:
We also visited the Mall of America briefly (mostly out of curiosity). There, I saw a guy who looked like he had defined the hipster stereotype, and saw enough other hispter-looking folks to decide that this must be where they were born/created/generated. I'm not sure I'd ever seen a hipster in the wild before I went to the Mall of America. We did some Yule shopping and then headed out before the place got too crazy.
- Mitty's Wedding - So, I've known Mitty for years. Since high school. He's a good friend (one of those you call about those bodies you need buried), and we've had our share of adventures (I was stranded with him in Sweetwater, TN; camped on the beach of Ohio Key with him; sipped margaritas before noon in Key West with him; possibly had a photo with him, his brother, and myself appear in a German tourist magazine; and met as guy who was just like MacGyver and wrote stories about kids who were just like MacGyver). Anyway, I was pleased that he thought to invite me up for the wedding, even though we've only seen each other for weddings the past several years. It also gave me a chance to reconnect with other folks I've met through him, which was nice. It was a beautiful service, and the reception was at a bowling alley, which is doubly cool, and leads me to the next portion:
- The Prayer in the Bowling Alley - Those who know the various (weird) commandments of Discoridanism will know that "All bowling alleys are sacred to Discordians and, if necessary, Discoridans must give their lives to protect them from desecration. (if anyone ever decides to desecrate bowling alleys)." So, when asked to provide a meal blessing for the reception meal (my only priestly duty: I just got to watch the wedding), I thought this was pretty cool. Anyway, I wanted to do something that really reflected both my Druidry and the couple, plus something that was agreeable to all present (it's weird when people are praying and then get offended by the content in the middle of it all, I think), so I started by saying we were going do do things "a little different" and then said something like this:
Now, I'd like everyone to close their eyes for a moment and call to mind the hearth of your house: your fire place, the stove that you cook your meals on, the candles at the center of your table. Hold that vision in your mind, and as we pray, think of the warmth of that fire extending to the happy couple, warming and encouraging them with the light of our love, as we pray:
May the warmth of the fires that burn on our hearths
Warm the face of the happy couple.
May the bounty of the earth be blessed,
And may those who partake of it be blessed in turn.
I ended the prayer with an "Amen" because about halfway through the prayer I realized that ending with "So be it" might not be understood by the company. . . and there's nothing more awkward than waiting for a prayer to end and realizing that it ended when you weren't looking. Everyone seemed to like it.
- Consulting on an art project about the slaying of dragons and the eating of hearts - Mitty invited Maggie and myself to the rehearsal dinner, at the bride's Parents' "Danish Castle," according to the invite. So we drove out not quite knowing what to expect. What we found when we arrived was a beautiful house, very modern, with beautiful wood throughout. It was simply gorgeous. I was introduced to the bride's father, and during our discussion I correctly identified the wood that paneled the interior of the house as maple, which led him to show me the door, which I correctly guessed was made of oak. We started talking about the reasons for the oak door, which had three removable panels. In discussion about the door, he started talking about how he was carving the panels to have motifs that reflected his Danish (read: Norse) heritage, and how the central panel was of the slaying of a dragon, but his wife wouldn't let him do the third panel where the dragonslayer eats the dragon's heart (calling it too gruesome). This led me to suggest other options in the story, which turned into a discussion about myth and how to make it a bit less gruesome, but no less cool.
At the wedding the next night, I ended up in a small conference with the bride's father, his architect, and the wife of the artist (the artist was not at the wedding) talking about lore and more "age appropriate scenes" for the door. It was sort of surreal to discuss "what happened next," "why giving a ring to the wrong girl is really dumb," "what a tarnhelm does," and "why gold is called the Otter's Ransom" at a wedding, but it was also pretty cool. Honestly, I never thought that I'd be discussing how eating someone's heart allows you to understand the language of the birds at a wedding.
- Interviewing with brandondedicant - This was pretty damn cool, mostly because I hadn't ever met Brandon before, and it was a real pleasure to get to meet him. He's doing a lot of good work on his Humanistic Paganism pages, and he asked if he could interview me for their podcast, because I have this thing about practice being pretty important (possibly more important than belief). We had breakfast and got to chat a little about us and what was going on in our respective lives, and then we adjourned to our (slightly embarrassingly posh, yet deceptively cheap) hotel room for the interview. We talked about how our practice in Neopagan work made us feel, told a few stories, and ended up with about an hour of discussion on tape. Brandon says it should appear in December or so, and that it (or part of it) will be sent to Tribeways, ADF's Podcast, as well. It was fun, and I think it'll make a good listen (especially if you're looking for interesting ideas about how to honor Persephone).
Awesomely, we also saw some great sights on the road up and back, including a dining place called the "Beef-a-Roo" (Maggie was feeling adventurous, so we ate there, despite the fact that A) it was attached to a gas station, and B) their "mascot" was just offensive enough to make us re-think our decision in the parking lot!); a place called "Cupid's Adult Store and Bakery" that we had to stop in (I mean, it sold vibrators, porn, and baked goods! How do you skip that?); a strip club called "Cruisin' Chubbys" (which we chose not to stop at); the International Crane Foundation (closed for the season, but right around the corner from the Adult Store/Bakery and the strip club: I sense a Crane road trip); and Reverend Jim's Roadhouse and Drive-Thru Wedding Chapel.
The Beef-A-Roo! | Cupid's & Cranes!
Cruisin' Chubbies! | Rev. Jim's Roadhouse!
All these things await you in Wisconsin. . .
Current Location: Southeast of Disorder
Current Mood: awake
Current Music: "Peanut Butter Conspiracy", -JB
Nope, intentionally omitted any gender statements. I tend to think that everything should be as broadly appealing as possible :)