Saturday, December 09, 2006

End of the Hold Music

Hello, those of you who are left...

Well, I've neglected this blog 'til it died. Not coincidentally, my thoughts are no longer stemming from the Hold Music, but rather from my schooling and work in the legal field.

My friends who enjoyed Thoughts from the Hold Music may want to follow me over to my new blog, Barely (Para) Legal, which will feature the same old Parce, repurposed a bit.

It has been a pleasure and a privilege, you guys. Time for things to move on. Hope you'll move on with me.

Love y'all,
The one and only

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Don't Give Me That Guff: Thoughts on Community as Samhain Approaches

I guess it's ten years this year since I "became" a pagan.

I kind of always was a pagan, but that's not what this is all about. Luckily, I spent my becoming-time in relative isolation, going through my "baby pagan" and "fluffy bunny" phases by myself with the aid of books. By the time I was in my twenties, I had a sort-of handle on things, enough to know what I didn't know, to listen to my elders and those who knew more, and to not be quite so insufferably know-it-all about all things Pagan.

10 years later, I'm a teacher and a volunteer. A "somebody". People in this community know me, or know people who know me. I have years and years of work ahead of me, and that thought fills me with happiness instead of trepidation. Life, to put it in short form, is good.

We all absorb the prejudices and preconceptions of our community, for good or ill. But recently I've put paid to the idea that Tennessee, my home state, the place I love and never want to leave, is a place with little to offer the pagans, Wiccans, and alternatively spiritual folks of the state, a place, basically, with nothing to offer non-Christians.

I believed it, too, for the longest time. "This is the buckle of the !#$^$#%^ Bible Belt"..."there aren't even any covens around here"..."I just don't know anyone or how to find them"....and so on, and so on, and scooby-dooby-dooby.

It's simply not true. I said it. It's not. There are pagans all over Tennessee, and they are not hiding in their broom closets. On the contrary, their events are all over the map. (More about the map, in a few.) You, personally, may have had trouble; I'm not discounting that. But we are out there, in force, public and proud.

We all have a pet horror story. We've all been waylaid by some well-meaning proselytizer, given grief by someone with more zeal than sense. Some of us have suffered more: ask Tish sometime about being held at gunpoint by cops. Some of us have less-than-horror stories: the cops who knew exactly what the altar was and treated it with the respect it deserves (because their dispatcher, a Wiccan, had educated them on proper comportment) is my favorite.


A month ago, give or take a week, I started a list for the TN Statewide Pagan Events Calendar, mostly on a whim. I had sat around the table with the AppleOak Elders, and lamented the lack of intrastate communication between the major cities, a lament I had made before. I got on the phone with Tish once I got home, tossed some ideas off, and before a day had passed, I had my very own yahoogroup. That and $4.75 will get you a cup of Starbucks tm coffee-type beverage. I didn't know what to expect.

Twenty-three days have passed since I got started, joining every public TN Pagan yahoogroup that would have me, and scouring Witchvox for updates.

The list now has 124 members, 142 messages, and a calendar that's as near to full as it can get. Between today and New Year's Eve, there are only thirteen days on which a public Pagan circle, class, festival, meeting, or other event is not shown on our calendar. Thirteen days, out of seventy-three left in the whole year.

There are events going on between now and the end of the year in Bartlet, Burns, Chattanooga, Clarksville, Cookeville, Gallatin, Gray, Henderson, Jackson, Johnson City, Kingsport, Knoxville, Lebanon, Medon, Memphis, Mooresburg, Morristown, Murfreesboro, Nashville, Sevierville & Sharon, TN. That I know of. That's not to even mention the fact that there are almost certainly closed circles, coven meetings and public events which are going on merrily without my knowing about them.

I don't want to hear again that there's nothing going on, no pagan community to speak of, no one to talk to, no one to fellowship with. Our friends in the more rural areas of TN may have to drive a ways to get there, but the community is out there, and it's not hiding. I found 98% of my information through forums that are 100% public, or merely required a few day's wait to get approved.

Let's make our After Samhain resolution to go and meet more of these spiritual relatives statewide. There's no need to drive to Huntsville or Atlanta...the community you crave is right here, in your own backyard.

Which brings me to the map.

This is not anywhere close to completion, because contrary to popular belief, I have a life outside work, school, Guedra and TNSPEC. However, I have started a TNSPEC map, showing the places where events happen regularly in TN, and listing some of the rotating groups without a regular meeting place.
It's not as impressive as the list of cities above, mostly because I'm going through the TNSPEC Calendar chronologically to add locations. But it will be.
If you want to add yourself to the map as an individual, or to add your group or coven, feel free to do so. Also, if you know of a Pagan or Pagan friendly business that is not listed, put it up with correct address information.

It is not a requirement of TNSPEC membership to announce your personal location; some of us choose to remain more private, and that is A-OK by me. However, I hope that when I have it more comprehensively put together, that it, too, will serve as a resource for Pagans statewide, and bring home visually the lesson that I remember every time I look at the TNSPEC Calendar....we are out, we are proud, we are not going anywhere, and it doesn't look like anyone is making too much of an attempt to stop us. There is a community for our children to grow up in. You don't get any better than that.

Blessed Samhain to all of you, with dreams of a better future,

Thursday, October 12, 2006


Holy shit guys.

This morning, I got an email from

Now, objectively I know that the month of November, and ergo NaNoWriMo, is fast approaching. The complexification inherent in that fact vis-a-vis neither myself nor the Artist having a laptop has even been discussed of late.

I have not edited my novel from last year. I have said I was going to edit my novel. I haven't even read my novel all the way through, tell the truth and shame the devil. My novel had a good premise, and then my nannyboss was a crazy bizznatch and I did the last of it at a dead run and the time sense of the book got all fucked up, and now I don't know if it can be redeemed. We shall see. Or, perhaps it will be my For Us, the Living. Who knows?

As usual, I have sixteen squared "good ideas for NaNo" socked away, and probably I will end up doing it the way I did last year...throw it all out, get a good idea in the final 24-hour run-up on Halloween and just go with it. Who can know?

One of my dad's less cute expressions, used when someone is being nosy, inquisitive, or just asking questions my dad thinks are pointless is "What's it to ya, pie-face, you writin' a book?" which is actually sort of cute only because it's my dad (and because of the fact that my three year old nephew now tries to repeat it after my dad on occasion and that is hilarity of the purest kind). It's the kind of thing my grandfather used to come out with when he was having a good time. It's weird. Now I can go "Yes!" in a snotty tone, if only in my head, every time my dad pulls out Typical Chestnut #72. That may be the only advantage I've gained thus far in my "writing" "career" , but at least I have one.

I also have a brand-new 19 inch monitor, which will be nice when I get started. In sixteen days. God spare me.

(Actually, it's pretty effin' nice right now.)

The only thing I know for sure is that I have to use my friend Angelises' habit of completely freaking out every time anyone knocks on the door, even when they've called to say they're pulling into the apartment complex, and yelling "Cheese it, the cops!" or similar.

Are you going to NaNo? If you are, tell me.

By the way, whilst I was noodling in the archives, I came across some things I still believe.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Who Are You (To Try & Tell Me)

Argh, I hate these things. But I love them as a timewaster, and my neck is fucking killing me, so in lieu of a creative blog entry today, a Stupid Survey I Stole off Myspace...

Elizabeth, Parce, Miss Moet, (Pope the) Empress (I).
Birthday: 16 August, 1980
Birthplace: Nashville, TN
Current Location: my office, goofing off
Eye Color: blue-green
Hair Color: brown
Height: 5 feet nine inches
Right Handed or Left Handed? right to write, left to reach for stuff
Your Heritage: white people of some kind, can't get more specific
The Shoes You Wore Today: my sensible librarian feels a bit wicked witchy everyday work shoes.
Your Weakness: Artists, kittens, bullets
Your Fears: Amphibians, falling down, losing the love and respect of those I care about
Your Perfect Pizza: one like the Artist makes me at 4 am...all the cheeses in the fridge plus fajita chicken and maybe some pepperonis...and since this is an Ideal, how about some jerk seasoning on the chicken?
Goal You Would Like To Achieve This Year: straight A's
Your Most Overused Phrase On IM? wtf????
Thoughts First Waking Up? "Stop it, cat!"
Your Best Physical Feature? My opinion, or the breasts?
Your Bedtime? When I'm sleepy, by two, period.
Your Most Missed Memory? Randy singing songs withmy name in them after the rain stopped.
Pepsi or Coke? which one is on sale in cans?
McDonalds or Burger King? BK, if the rest of the fifty-jillion other options aren't dotting the landscape.
Single or Group Dates? Dates? I like figs myself, and raisins.
Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea? try loose jasmine
Chocolate or Vanilla? both. And then, something salty.
Cappuccino or Coffee? bleech! Choco-covered espresso beans in a keep-awake pinch.
Do you smoke? "I'se supposeda stop, but I cain't."
Do you swear? When not functioning in my professional capacity? Perhaps a bit overmuch.
Do you sing? When called upon.
Do you shower daily? Unless I'm taking a bath, weirdo.
Have you been in love? Yes.
Do you want to go to college? Generally yes, but today I'd cut if it wouldn't risk DOOOM...
Do you want to get married? Very maybe.
Do you believe in yourself? I'm pretty sure I didn't imagine myself up. But never certain.
Do you get motion sickness? Not often.
Do you think you are attractive? Less often than I claim to.
Are you a Health Freak? In the sense that people talking to me about my health freaks me the fuck out and makes me want to hit them with sticks until they admit that non-smokers and vegetarians die too, yes.
Do you get along with your parents? Most of the time.
Do you like thunderstorms? Baby, I love thunderstorms.
Do you play an instrument? Not really. I drum a lil and play with my flute.
In the past month have you drank alcohol? Hells yes! We found 70 proof vanilla rum!
In the past month have you smoked? Yes.
In the past month have you been on Drugs? Take the fifth.
In the past month have you gone on a date? Nope.
In the past month have you gone to a mall? Hell NOES!
In the past month have you eaten a box of Oreos? Ew.
In the past month have you eaten sushi? No.
In the past month have you been on stage? Yes, I sing for my punch at LSP.
In the past month have you been dumped? No, but I have been stood up.
In the past month have you gone skinny dipping? Too!
In the past month have you stolen anything? We prefer the term "misappropriate."
Ever been drunk? Oh yes oh yes.
Ever been called a tease? Yes.
Ever been beaten up? Not since childhood.
Ever shoplifted? Nope.
How do you want to die? Heroically saving my family from a burning shipwreck....when I say and not a second sooner.
What do you want to be when you grow up? Tish.
What country would you most like to visit? Strongbadia.

Best Clothing Style: hot hippie librarian
Number of drugs I have taken: I wasn't keeping score
Number of CDs I own: bunches
Number of piercings: eight
Number of Tattoos: seven
Number of things in my past I regret: Non, je ne regrette rien.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Little Green Blobs of Love

Well, "love" isn't the right word. More like "blistering, festering hate". I hate upper respiratory infections.

I have my Fall Funk. This episode of FF has involved relatively little suffering, thanks in no small part to the Artist, who has plied me with vanilla rum for my pain. Since I'm of the firm opinion that he gave it to me while I was plying his version of it with whiskey last week, that's not as selfless and altruistic as it might appear, but I'm thankful anyway. Here in a few minutes I'll go into the kitchen and have some more delightful off-brand DayQuil.

In other news, been making out like a bandit on eBay buying new work clothes, headed off to AppleOak this weekend for the teaching of Guedra despite lingering cough and general funk, and a very new kitten is coming home to live with me. Hurray!

Not too much more on which to ruminate...up to 548 books on LibraryThing as of last night, totally not packed to leave yet, very much in the mood for a breakfast which does not appear to be materializing. I'll talk to you later.

Friday, September 15, 2006

It's What I Got (I Said, Remember That)

You know those science-fiction stories/Twilight Zone episodes? I think the story I'm thinking of is Mars is Heaven, by Ray Bradbury....everyone goes to Mars, but on Mars is a place just like home, where your old dog never died and your childhood sweetheart is married to you, and as soon as you relax the tentacled aliens come and eat you? Or the Stephen King variant, Rock n Roll Heaven, where all the dead rock stars are the evil oligarchs of a little town you only find by getting lost?

I think that the tentacled rock stars are going to come out of the woodwork any time, because work? Is heaven.

People are nice to me. They consider me competent. They aren't constantly checking up on me to see if I'm doing what's right. They offer instruction instead of criticism. Most of them have known me since I was a kid, and while that gets mildly annoying, it's a heavenly sort of annoyance. They let me show them how to find things on their computers and do things with their software. They pick me up lunch.

I have my own office. It's kind of blank and uninteresting at this stage of the operation, but I have it. I think next week I'm going to bring in my Van Gogh and hang it up to relieve the white wall.

My dad is his usual grumpy self, stomping around and being satisfied with his own level of competence and dissatisfied with everyone else's, but I learned how to deal with that from the time I was fifteen onward. It's not the MOST intellectually stimulating thing ever: file, do mail, answer phone, type, file, do mail, skip trace someone, file, show S. how to clean out her cache, walk to the courthouse, drive to the federal courthouse, lather, rinse, repeat, with plenty of sneaking cigarettes and blatant misuse of the Internet. Work is always going to be something to be avoided when possible (like, for instance, right now), but work that doesn't make you feel cheap, degraded, incompetent, or just plain stupid? This must be Mars, because it's utterly alien.

School is good: civil trial is boring and my teacher is a dick, general law is interesting and my teacher is hilarious, wills and trusts is interesting when the material isn't already two-strikesing it. Paralegal studies only lasts an hour and a half once a week, but I like it.

The house is lovely, the cats are lolling around like they think this is Egypt 5000 years ago, plans for the Bizarre Bazaar continue apace, I've catalogued 375 of my books on LibraryThing thus far, and my main complaint in life is having to find shirts that cover my bicep tattoos. I'm going to teach Guedra at AppleOak next weekend at their request. I am going places with folks to see and things to do, and I have a sneaking suspicion that I have become popular, despite all my youthful protests as to the impossibility of such an occurrence.

Plus, I'm getting my septum re-stretched tonight, thank you, Kevin. And I got a magical piece of paper from the court yesterday, telling me my charges are dismissed and expunged...or, as N.W.A. famously opined, "Fuck tha police." I win, they lose, the world goes round and round and round and the world goes round and round.

Life's pretty good. I'll check back when I can. Mars is great, wish you were here.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Curiouser and Curiouser

All day long, since I got out of bed, I have been singing a song by the band Rehab, which I adore on general principle. Specifically, I've been singing the chorus to "Sittin' At A Bar"...

She broke my heart
In the trailer park
So I jacked the keys to her fuckin car
And wrecked that piece of shit, and then walked away...

This, just for the record, is not an ideal tune to be singing idly when one works in a law office.

No one broke my heart in the trailer park or elsewhere recently, and no one stole my car, but it is being a big POS. For the third time recently, the tranny is about to go out. Luckily, said tranny is covered under warranty. Unluckily, my car likes to priss along fine during the week and promptly shit the bed as soon as a weekend is imminent, which sucks, because it is twice as hard to find rides on the weekend as it is during the week.

Because I am supremely blessed with extremely good friends, however, I have pretty much got the weekend knocked out in terms of getting where I need to be when. Action Mike is taking me out to Rickman Castle tonight (a long-ass journey and I owe him big time). My mom is picking me up and taking me shopping so I have law-office appropriate gear to wear to work. And the McGee and the crowd from Hummblebee are collectively taking me to Last Saturday Party.

And Monday I am going back to school. To be a paralegal, because, yeah. Hooray. Maybe I'll end up an attorney.