Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Year (But No Highlights Yet)

Well, the getting right with God is going well. I have a beautiful new Hindu altar, the previous altar has been cleaned and rearranged to within an inch of its life (and has already gotten the approval of CDHSarah, who was first to see it.)

The Wise and Sometimes Apparently Omnipotent Tish was right as always. The same night as the reading, I came across this line in Standing Alone In Mecca: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam, which was one of my Xkzule gifts from the aforementioned and much-beloved CDHSarah:

"...I learned that seeking forgiveness is a way to be compassionate with yourself about actions that carry emotions such as shame, blame or hurt."

It was yet another Kendo Stick Moment in a long line of many. I have a feeling it's not even close to the last, but that's OK by me.

So I am forgiven, because I have forgiven myself, and I feel better than I have in weeks. Even the pain in my back has lessened since I did what I felt had to be done to achieve forgiveness and compassion for myself. And (being a Discordian) it also had an odd and much-welcomed side effect.

As I mentioned, part of what I had been putting off was the massive job of moving, cleaning and reorganizing the altar and sacred space in my room. Part of my methods for that involve the literal cleaning of everything associated with the space -- statues are washed, or dusted if their finish will not permit an actual washing, the shelves are scrubbed, and all the odds and ends (jars, cups, etcetera) which reside there get a similar treatment.

Two and a half years ago, extreme financial straits led me to take on a series of roommates who were progressively more and more shady -- a guy who turned out to be an IV drug user (he was a diabetic and it took me a little while to realize that he wasn't just using his needles for insulin) and a freelance hooker being the worst of the lot. Around that same time, a pair of earrings my mother had given me which were of not-inconsiderable value disappeared. When I didn't find them during the move or the move that followed, despite searching every jewelry box, odds-n-ends container, and similar I own (or so I thought), I decided that they were most likely residing in the sale case of one of the many fine pawn shops in my former hometown. Every time I have thought of those earrings for that length of time, or been asked about them by my mom, a wave of negativity directed at my own stupidity and foolishness has washed over me, to the point that I felt physically sick with guilt and shame.

The one thing I never though of is the fact that, in any move, the altar is dismantled by putting the icons, tools and statuary in the lower drawers, which are always the first things I carry to the new residence. As I was looking for a new container for my sea salt, I noticed the Pueblo carrying pot (also a gift from my mother, from one of her trips to the Southwest when I was much younger) which for years has had my collection of foreign currency stored in it and has propped up one or more altar cards on the shrine since I first set it up.

You can see where this is going. When I looked down inside the pot, lying on top of my Mexican pesos and British pounds were the earrings over which I had spent so much time berating myself. They're not even damaged. Mahalakshmi, namostu'te!

Kendo Stick Moment, as I said, and a lesson in self-forgiveness I won't soon forget.

While on the subject of good fortune, namas also to the very nice member of the Metro PD who pulled me over on my way home from Cafe O2 tonight. He pulled me over less than a half-mile from my house on the cut-through road from CDHSarah's to my place because the red tape covering my rear taillight had come loose and too much white was showing through. He only checked my license and registration (good, because I won't be able to afford insurance until early February), didn't bother to actually run my license number or give me a ticket; he just told me what was wrong, admitted that the recent rain had probably caused the tape to come loose, asked me how far I had to go, and told me to have a nice night and be careful on the roads New Years' Eve, a caution I repeated to him. He didn't even follow me home, as some other officers have done to ensure that I wasn't lying about my proximity to home (my I.D. still has my parent's address, which is in a different county). I have a feeling, because of the time of night (right before the bars closed) that he was mostly concerned with ascertaining that I wasn't driving under the influence. The world needs more cops like that, and I hope he goes far and stays as cool as a member of the police force can be.

Interestingly, again, when I pulled out the registration for my car, a few other items from the glove box came with it, and once the cop had pulled off and I had returned my paperwork to its proper place, the Tarot card VALOUR (7 of Wands) was still in my lap, one from a damaged copy of the Thoth deck the Artist gave me so I could make art out of the remaining cards once they were no longer of any use as a divination tool. How the card got into my glove box (and into my lap, for that matter) when its fellows are all in a box on top of one of the bookshelves at the apartment is a Mystereee, but the card is now ensconced next to the Infant Jesus of Prague's holy card on the new shrine. I hope it brings blessings, both to the officer and myself, and that he will be safe from all the drunk drivers tomorrow night and come to no harm.

In other news, as tends to happen, the moving of the shrine has spawned other householdy projects, mostly the ones involving the ridonkulously large collection of books. Since I had to move two shelves in order to set those up and ended up with stacks and stacks of books sitting in the bedroom floor, I decided it was the perfect time to get around to the other major task I've been putting off: namely, getting the library in some form of order and unpacking those books which have been boxed up since October 2004 (or even longer, in a few cases, but those are mostly little-used textbooks that I won't unpack until I determine whether there's space for them).

At this point, I have three full-size and three small-to-medium bookcases in my 800-square foot apartment. Once I get the stacks of books which are sorted in small piles around the house and in front of other books on the shelves themselves sorted and in their proper places, I have a feeling each and every shelf in each and every bookcase will be full to bursting. The childrens' and young adult literature alone occupies the largest of the medium shelves, and after the "metaphysics" (everything from The Tao of Physics to Scott Cunningham, Dojo Wisdom to The Woman's Bible) shelf on one of the larger bookcases collapsed under its own weight last week, the subject been given its own, small shelf next to the shrine. Right now I'm fidgeting about with the proper sorting and categorization of the fiction, as well as seriously considering either a.) living in this apartment until I die or b.) hiring movers if I ever decide to leave it. How I packed these things up and moved them twice in one year is beyond me...and that's not even counting the thirty-odd books I have out on loan to various associates (not including those lent to people I've lost track of, which will have to eventually be replaced as finances permit) or the God-knows-how-many jammed in every nook and cranny of the van. Once I've got them all shelved and sorted, I've entertained the thought of actually inventorying them, but I have a feeling that would be both frightening and take a lot more time than I have. (Also, knowing me, by book #230 or so, I'd have come across at least 20 volumes I wanted to read immediately, and the project would end unceremoniously with me curled up in the bed with Deliver Us from Evie or some other nugget of goodness I haven't read in a few years.)

The cats are, as usual, a bit unsettled by the reorganization -- the kitten managed to get herself stuck between a bookshelf and the shrine yesterday no less than three separate times because of her refusal to believe that she couldn't exit from under the left-hand side as used to be her wont. The Eldest Kitty traditionally reacts most badly to changes in the furniture configuration, so she's spent most of the past two days hanging out inside the cardboard cat carrier and making various disgusted faces when she deigns to emerge. The other two are mostly concerned with finding new routes which will allow them to circumnavigate as much of the apartment as possible without ever touching the floor. (Since I'm convinced that the kitten, at least, flies at night once the lights are off, I don't see the fascination, but it keeps them occupied.)

So, all of us here are good. Me and the white bathrobe of comfy goodness are about to head off to bed, as tomorrow I have fifty gazillion NYE and non-NYE-related errands to run, a three hour shift to work before the party can commence, and have to burn off some more music for CDHSarah's Massive And Getting Bigger All the Time New Year's Eve bash, at which I plan to get truly plastered (for the first time in years -- CDH's husband has known me for going on five years and never seen me drunk) on my favorite drink, Jesus Walking on Waters. (Back in the day, I named, but did not invent, this beverage: credit for that must be given equally to the Artist and Doctor Spears.)

For those who may wish to add this excellent beverage to their own NYE libations, here's how you make it: get a double shot glass, one of the ones that looks kind of like an hourglass. (This is important, as I haven't found any other kind of glassware that produces the desired effect.) Fill the bottom of the hourglass shape with lemonade -- Purity works best, but isn't available outside Middle TN, so just be sure that it's a sweet and not a tart lemonade, or you will live to regret it. Float your preferred whiskey (Canadian Mist works best when using Purity, but, the recipe to fit yourself) on top in the top half of the hourglass. Toss it back like a shooter -- the difference in specific gravity will usually keep the whiskey on top of the lemonade, which provides the perfect chaser. Also, the lemonade usually has a high enough water content that, barring ridiculously irresponsible consumption, it tends to help you avoid the New Year's Day hangover. (It's also nice with pineapple juice in place of the lemonade, in which case it's called a Jesus Walking Along the Beach In Maui; however, the floating, shot-plus-chaser effect doesn't work quite as well with the pineapple. Makes a decent mixed drink if the float effect fails, though.)

However it is that you celebrate, do so safely and, whether you're drinking or not, try to avoid the roads. I want to see you all back here in the New Year safe and sound for the promised Highlights Reel, which will happen IF (and only if) I can get the computer to stop being such a randomly-restarting fidget midget. Have a safe and happy New Year's Eve, and see you in 2006!

P.S. -- Sars still has a few GBC CDs (and apparently some of the t-shirts) left. Before you miss out, you should go buy one. Or three. (The "GBC CDs" link is the link to buy; the other is my impromptu rave review/call to action.)


At 10:32 AM, Blogger Irina Tsukerman said...

Have a great New Year! : )

At 1:33 AM, Blogger parcequilfaut said...

I made it from the first party I went to (where I only had half a glass of dry champagne, because the Parce is not all about the DUI) to the second while avoiding all three DUI checkpoints, made it to CDHSarah's party in plenty of time to get ridiculously drunk (what my homies from the other side of the river would call "drizz-nunk") before the midnight hour, did not vomit or otherwise make a fool of myself, only took off my shirt once (and that was for the "everybody take their shirt off and dance" portion of the evening), had a very nice conversation with the Artist (which was most unexpected), got a few very nice kisses from a pretty girl (basically straight, alas, but kisses were really all I wanted), saw a bunch of the homies I haven't seen in a while, dealt with the night's only incident of drama in what I thought was a remarkably competent and mature fashion for someone in the state of drunkeness I was in, and woke up hangover-free (albeit at 7 in the evening) and got to work on time. And after work, I even made it downtown just in time to eat at Big River Grille, my absolute favorite restaurant (where I now, apparently, get 25% off as a Cafe O2 employee), which meant that my first real meal of the New Year was my absolute favorite thing of all to put in my belly.

Also, I booty-danced with a stuffed snowman, which was new and exciting. All in all, a good start to what I hope will be an excellent year. Unfortunately, the holidays are now officially over and I have to be at work at 8:30 AM, which means it's time for me to take a sleeping pill and go to bed.

Hope yours was great (and safe) as well!


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