rowanf: (Default)
I'm not sure why I'm having such a hard time journaling. I had an interesting week and a half! There should be pleny of things to say. But the very idea of writing about it makes me tired. And it is more fun to play with pictures for flickr. But here goes... it gets easier once one starts. :-)

Saturday was an NCLC meeting where we discussed stipends and who is going to MM. The AOS got their proxies together and caucused. All pretty reasonable. I even made a speech about taking a break from CoG and not coming to LC meetings next year (let alone running for office). Now I have a bunch of people to remind me of my resolution instead of just Russell & Kurt. *grin* After that meeting about half of us headed over to the Pagan Alliance Volunteer Appreciation BBQ. That was fun and I got to see Victoria's Saami drum and hear about her grandmother who was Saami. Very cool. Then I went to a Dark Forest esbat which was very fun and it was great to see those folks. We took pomegranate wood to make wants with and blesssed it to our Eleusinian work.

Sunday Russell & I and [livejournal.com profile] mr_kurt and [livejournal.com profile] saffronrose went to see a performance of Hair! by a local company. It was fun but about half the performers really weren't up to the material. I enjoyed it though and wondered what these fresh young actors and actresses made of the material. Does the current war, even without the draft, make the Vietnam experience more real for them? There was a talk-back after with a fellow who had been involved in the original New York production but rather than staying Russell & I went off and saw the new Harry Potter movie. Like most folks I have various quibbles but I liked it okay.

At circle on Saturday Gwen & I decided to get together and record the Eleusinian songs and we did that on Monday. Our voices blend really well together and we had a blast and I think the tracks are even pretty good. Certainly more understandable than the scratchy ancient tapes of Judy Foster... though I hate to lose that link with our past. What is Remembered Lives and I remember Judy partly by listening to her voice singing the Eleusinian songs. *sigh* But I remember her in many other ways too. And the young folks coming up don't have the associations and need a cleaner sounding version of the songs to learn from. I get that.

Also on Monday I did my "Getting Your Avatar Together" tour for the SJSU students in Jeremey's class. It went pretty well and we ended up with a dance at TX-950. I friended a couple of the students who wanted to talk more later. Mentoring is fun. :-)

Work has been interesting this week because each group is doing dry runs for their presentations to the Honcho-sans next month. I really like to hear the coherent story of what folks are working on instead of the snippets I get from doing particular searches.

Tuesday and Wednesday nights were unscheduled home-time with Russell. Is it totally whacko that two nights in a row together has become a rarity? We ordered pizza and watched video and spent quality time together and it was just really wonderful. I am so very lucky in my husbands.
rowanf: (Default)

anniversary_051.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
This weekend marked the first anniversary of the Library 2.0 effort in Second Life. The weekend started with a Victorian fete and fireworks show. Scar & I had been working on the fireworks thing for weeks and I think it came off really well. He came over and we ate brie (triple cream!) & pate with strawberries and chocolate martinis as we sat side-by-side with our laptops. It is funny how hard it is to remember that one can communicate in this world when doing things together in SL. *LOL*

I didn't get to enjoy most of the weekend's festivities because life was so busy this weekend. I went to some of Saturday's visions meeting but then headed to Berkeley to help organize the Lubisha and attend Glenn's housewarming. It is so nice to see her back in her house and it looks AMAZING! She made one of othe rooms into a library and most of the book cases are in there, which makes the front rooms look much bigger. All the fresh cream paint and new hardwood floors make it light and airy and just really fabulous looking. I stayed too late though... when I left I found that the 80 to 880 interchange was closed and it took me almost two hours to get home. I just fell over and went to sleep upon arrival.

Sunday I woke up about 6:30 and went inworld for a little while. Then I did some life maintenance things and got ready for the CoG meeting. There was a Where's George gather at Lanesplitter Pizza (where we always have our Berkeley gathers). It was Lanesplitter's anniversary so they didn't open until noon, but we got in and I bought an excellent sundried tomato, spinach, gorgonzola and garlic on thick crust to carry off to the CoG meeting. It was fun seeing my George buddies and swapping money to take to Colorado in a few weeks.

The CoG meeting went better than I fear. No one stoned me for bringing up "the topic" one more time. *sigh* And there wasn't any other business really so we were done by 3:30. I think that is a record. Everyone hung around though and chatted and ate (besides my pizza Glenn had lots of housewarming leftovers) and it was just really nice. I headed home and spent a little time at a Tao de Ching talk in SL. Russell got home from Santa Barbara and we finished watching Shortbus. I think I need to buy that movie, just because I foresee myself talking about it to people. We'll probably watch the commentaries and extras this week.

This week! Tonight I have to shop and start cooking for Tuesday dinner. Then tomorrow *is* Tuesday dinner. Wednesday is the SJ Rep, Thursday is the Pagan Sing. This coming weekend is BayCon. Hopefully somewhere in there I'll see [livejournal.com profile] marypcb and [livejournal.com profile] sbisson. The following week is just as crazy and then I fly to Denver for SLA. I think I need a vacation! (And I just got back from one.)
I did not m
rowanf: (Bad fairy)
First thing Saturday morning I picked up [livejournal.com profile] mr_kurt and we headed to the "Bald Mountain Shampoo", a CITO clean-up at the end of Mt. Umunhum road up in the hills. It was a misty morning and had rained much of the night. However lots of amazingly cheerful geocachers showed up on the mountain and started collecting bags of beers cans, motor oil bottles, gas cylinders, tires, a dishwasher, four computer monitors, a volkwagen bug and various other trash that people had dumped off the side of the mountain. Why do people *do* that!? Kurt & I go three bags and a tire each and helped haul the dishwasher. It had been in a thicket of poison oak and between that and my back deciding enough crawling under bushes for the day, we left by about 9:30. And yes, we used Technu on the site and took showers when we got to our respective homes. Nonetheless, he has a little patch on one arm and I am freaking covered in poison oak. It could be a lot worse, I am so *glad* it isn't a lot worse. It is bad enough. I decided I couldn't face wearing clothes today and worked from home. I thought about walking around the corner to get a burrito for lunch but I was afraid I'd scare the counter help. I have sores and calamine all over my face. I am so icky and sore and itchy at the moment (Monday afternoon).

(but back to my narrative)

Saturday afternoon Russell and I and *lots* of our friends headed over to Ms. Sophia's first birthday party. Petra & Chris had set up the backyard with a lovely party canopy and excellent munchies. We did a nice blessing and I was having a great time visiting with folks. But it go a bit cold (as afternoons in San Jose often do) and folks moved inside. After about 10 minutes I could no longer breathe (cats) and headed for home. I didn't even get to see the presents opened. I love watching people open presents! *sniff* I really, really don't want to be allergic to cats.

Saturday night Russell and I watched the film adaptation of Fingersmith by Sarah Waters. The book is Dickinsian story of love and betrayal and pickpockets and pornographers and ladies in madhouses. Like Tipping the Velvet it does Victorian but with plotlines that the Victorians wouldn't have talked about. I liked it alot!

Sunday my poison oak was really starting to get uncomfortable. I have used Technu, Technu Extreme scrub and Zanfel scrub and I know it would have been horrific without those things. But yuck!

At 2pm we started the NCLC Cog Meeting - [livejournal.com profile] mr_kurt and I are co-First Officers this year and I meant to start right on time. And we did have a quorum. But having started with chatted whilst we waited for a few more people to arrived (which they did promptly). *laugh* It was *not* a very well run meeting but we had a very small amount of agenda and the rambling discussions were ones we really did need to have. Nevertheless, I *know* we shall need to do better in future!

After the meeting several friends stayed on and ate munchies and visited. Russell got home from his day of photography and we watched the movie reviews. We are way behind in our film viewing!

This bring me to today. I got up and more poison oak was starting to come up on my stomach. Oh please! I had one long, thick leggings and a trenchcoat... how did i get urusiol on my stomach? *sigh* The idea of wearing clothes and going to work was right out. So here I am, just finished a day's work punctuated with scrubs and calamine. [livejournal.com profile] rubibees gets here for a visit tomorrow and I look like Frankenstein's monster. Or a demon off Buffy the Vampire Slayer. This can stop any time. I want to be an invincible super hero. Wouldn't that be nice? No rashes, no aching backs. Sign me up.
rowanf: (Millie enlightened)
My weekend was crazy busy. Saturday I left for the Bembe at about 11:30am, hoping to grab some caches near the new location. But alas, traffic (esp. accidents) was awful and it took about two hours to get to Oakland. For those who don't live here - that is a distance of some 45 miles. It doesn't usually take more than an hour. Although traffic on 880 seems to be getting generally worse. Bah.

I stayed for the first half of the Bembe, going out for Ogun, Oxossi and Pomba. The drummers sounded really good and I like the new dancing ground. But we really do need to do some altar work and renegotiate with the Orixa some non-smoking areas. There was a long break at 4pm when we were half way through the Xere order. I needed to be in Campbell (about 50 mi) for the Dark Forest Mabon by 6-6:30 and I asked to be excused given the traffic uncertainty. It took me an hour and 45 minutes to get to Campbell. The Mabon feast and ceremony was lovely and it was nice to turn the wheel in good company.

Sunday I meant to go to Desert Dance Days when it opened at 10am but I lay about chatting with Russell & Erika instead. At about noon I headed for Berkeley (49mi), hoping to cache before the 2pm meeting. The traffic was just fine and although I didn't find the cache I went for it felt alot more normal than Saturday's madness.

At the CoG meeting we talked about the wonderful MerryMeet that EMLC had put on and then did local elections. When am I going to learn? DO NOT ATTEND ELECTION MEETINGS. At least not without significant others who can sit on me when everyone else is looking at me expectantly. *sigh* At Samhain I will take over as First Officer for NCLC. Don suggested I ask Kurt to be my co-officer and I did and he is willing. At least I'll have someone to carpool to meeting with (and who doesn't mind caching on the way)! Russell hasn't asked me how the meeting went, so I haven't mentioned to him that I got elected. Perhaps I am in denial. Nah. Actually, part of me is pretty jazzed about it because I'll get to work with our fabulous National Firsts, Kirk & [livejournal.com profile] greenwapiti. And whilst I am pretty much burnt out on national CoG, I really love my local council and I do attend all the meetings anyway. I may as well run them.

Sunday night Linnea, Russell and I got together and worked on the Samhain ritual. Owl Moon is doing the NROOGD Samhain which will be Oct 28 at the Palo Alto UU hall. It is also nice to be back in the swing of NROOGD and doing open sabbats. It has been a long time!

Oh! I love the TLAPD "update Captain's log" Livejournal silliness. And, yes, I'm wearing a skull & crossbones shirt today. Mayhap I will manage a properly Piratical post later.



Some links I've collected in the last week or so that I want to remember:

A new poem by Sappho (and the strange website at which it is hosted)
http://aristasia.co.uk/Sappho1.html

the Theoi Project, a comprehensive guide to the Gods (Theoi), Spirits (Daimones) and Monsters (Theres) of ancient Greek mythology and religion.
http://www.theoi.com/

Scott London's Burning Man photos
http://www.scottlondon.com/photo/burningman.html
rowanf: (crown)
Sunday there wasn't really much happening since we had finished grand council. Don, Anna & I ate breakfast and then headed over to the vendors. I got a copy of Bryan Lankford's new book, Wicca Demystified to read on the plane since I was finished with the novel I was reading. I've read about a 1/3 of the book. It is meant to answer questions friends and many might have about the beliefs and practices of Wicca. Other than the fact that he is a "ground of all being" theologist I am very impressed with the book. It is laid out in chapters with a set of Q&A that go with each chapter. Since all the Q&A is in the back of the book one can just read the chapters or straight through the Q&A without bothering with the chapters. I think the Q&A format will particularly help folks who just want small doses of thoughtful information in response to questions they may have had about a Wiccan friend's path.

I went back and packed and D&A caught their shuttle. We didn't have to be out of the rooms until 11am so I hung out listening to music and playing Snood until then. Evidently the closing ritual which was in the schedule for noon was moved forward because it was over when I wandered to the patio at 11:30. *sigh* I said goodbye to folks and the place pretty well cleared out. I had a nice lunch with Scott & Shara & Michaela (who has grown a lot!) and Ina. Then they left and I sat in the lobby waiting for the shuttle. They forgot me (despite having called to remind them) so they sent a shuttle to pick me up and carry me to the airport all by myself. My shuttle out was packed, so I can't say that I minded. The driver was chatty and we had a nice trip. His family is in Louisiana and he was a bit worried about them. I hope they came through Hurrican Katrina okay. At the airport I wandered through the sthops and then sat down at the gate. The folks next to me came up and started eating pizza. I thought that looked good and we had 45 minutes until boarding so I wandered over and got a slice. I ran into Glenn sitting in the table area and we visited until I had to run for my plane. She was flying into Oakland and had a direct flight. Her plane didn't leave until 7:30, mine at 6pm. And she was getting home an hour before me. *shakes head* I may have to consider flying out of Oakland sometimes. I just hate not really being home at the end of a flight.

Changing planes in Phoenix it was so hot in the jet way (as it had been on the way out) and I commented on it. Someone in line said it was 108 out. Yee-ouch. No thanks! The flight was quite uneventful and I dozed a little on the Phoenix to SJC leg. Having gottten less than 4 hours sleep the night before made it easy. Russell picked me up at the airport and it was such a blessing to be home.

This evening [livejournal.com profile] sbisson and [livejournal.com profile] marypcb will be coming to stay for a couple of days. *happy dance* How fun that they come here so close to when we'll be there.
rowanf: (crown)
After breakfast we were back in Grand Council. Despite my fears of last night we got through the entire agenda very expeditiously. Amazingly we had two offices which were not only contested but the vote tied! I'm sure that is a CoG first. We decided MerryMeet locations for the next two years (beyond next year which we already knew as we usually do). Next year is in Ft. Lauderdale, the 2007 will be in Amherst, MA and the year after that in Southern California. I was hoping 2007 would be in SoCal (avoiding east coast trips two years in a row) but the Amherst venue does sound very good and the 2nd officer involved is very interested in Interfaith and has some ideas for making that a theme of the Leadership Institute. I talked to Rayna about the dance at the MM in Florida and she's going to put me in touch with the DJ who is going to be doing it. Maybe I can finally get actual meaningful Pagan music into the mix. Looking at my iBook which less music than my work machine I have 10 hours of Pagan rock and 12 hours of folk. Granted not every song is great... but surely I could do a 1-1/2 hour mix CD set that would be fun to dance to. *bounce*

At lunch I ate a hamburger in the restaurant because it was chicken again and the sides were black beans and rice which I really didn't want to eat before sitting in a room with people all afternoon. Even if we all ate the same thing. *laugh* The hamburger was wonderful. The Blue Heron Restaurant is really quite good from all the reports I've heard.
before sitting in a room with people all afternoon. Even if we all ate the same thing. *laugh* The hamburger was wonderful. The Blue Heron Restaurant is really quite good from all the reports I've heard.

During the afternoon we managed to get through all of the outstanding issues, elections and budget as well. The officers for next year will be:

First Officer – Kathryn
Second Officer – Bridget
Correspondence – Bryan
Membership – Stachia
Publications – Daryl
PIO West – Lisa and Yvonne
PIO Central – Janine
PIO East – Cynthia
Pursewarden – Scott
Recorder – Gordon

Plus we chose MerryMeet sites for the next three years (instead of just two). The next two are on the East Coast which is a bit of a bummer of those of us in California. It would have been nice to reverse the 2007 and 2008 sites.

MM 2006 – Ft. Lauderdale, EMLC (Bridget)
MM 2007 – University of MA Campus, Weavers (Laura)
MM 2008 – Southern California, TLC and OCLC (Jeff and Yvonne)

We adjourned and vacated the room so the staff could set up for the banquet. I sat at a table with a bunch of folks from EMLC and chatted mostly about plans for next year's MerryMeet. I am looking forward to visiting Ft. Lauderdale and doing ritual on the beach. And touring botanicas. And eating Cuban food. I haven't been to South Florida in a couple of decades, it will be interesting to see how it has grown. I had worried that we'd have chicken on the menu, but it was a lovely salmon with rice and veg followed by a truly decadent chocolate cake. The catering at this MerryMeet has been very, very good.

I went back and changed into clothes for the Tea Dance. Rayna pointed out later I chose the same dress as last year. How embarrassing. Nevertheless, I started out with a couple of layers - sparkly club dress under blue slip dress with sparkly red jacket on top. I did my lips with red fairy dust (several people asked me to provide red lip marks which I did... I like leaving sparkles!). Folks were hanging out on the patio with a no-host bar. I had brought up a $1 diet coke from the machine since it was about twice as much as the glasses they sell for $1.50.

There was a concert by a local coven called Crowomyn who sing together. Wow. I love acapella singing done well. They had original chants and tunes, Sweet Honey in the Rock covers and some delightful filks. Among the latter was a filk on The Lion Sleeps Tonight called The Witches Dance Tonight with a chorus that went A-Wiccan Way, A Wicca-Way which got the whole audience singing. Crowomyn is planning a CD and put my name on the list to be notified.

The band for the Tea Dance was a local band called Tathata (a Sanskrit word meaning "suchness" or "as it is"). They had great vocals, Middle Eastern rhythms and more. I bought their CD, Vesica. They do an amazing up-tempo version of Barge of Heaven! Everyone was garbed in their finery and it was really fun to dance. Amongst the folks dancing there were some carrying silk fans with long tails. Wow, I want some! I have googled for all kinds of things without finding them though. I see ones with a small fringe like these But the ones they had had about 2-3 ft trains. Does anyone know where they might be found?

Rayna and I danced together, continuing our flirtation from last year. I had a wonderful time chatting and dancing. We stayed until the last raffle prize was awarded and then wandered back to drop things off at our rooms and head for the hot tubs. I stayed up in the tubs with Rayna, Jeff, Elvis, Kirk and others talking about a wide range of topics from Wicca to Santeria to morphogenic fields to Foucault's Pendulum and Godel, Escher, Bach. It was wonderful! I didn't get to bed until around 2:30.
rowanf: (crown)
After breakfast came the opening ritual where we charged a wonderful metal web symbolizing the "Web of Wonder" theme of the meet. After check-in Joi led a heart circle that lastet the rest of the morning. Lunch was chicken, green beans and salad so I had the latter two items for lunch. It was probably good for me. *grin* After lunch I went to a workshop with Oz on Working with Spirits. Part of the workshop was a guided meditation to find your spirit guide. I talked to a Cabocla Vielha who said she was a path of Oxossi but not my spirit guide. I asked her to take me to my Guide but instead she accompanied me back to my "safe space" and we hardly got to talk before the journey was over. I get the feeling I'm supposed to talk to her more. Perhaps she is the Wise Old One that Exu told me to talk to awhile back instead of the Cigana Vielha.

Naturally, they got to the interfaith report before I got back. After such a slow morning the report part evidently went pretty quick. Oh well. I needed to do that workshop. I got back in time for a few other reports and then candidate statements. Compared to the hard stuff on the agenda I am not sure we got a lot done. *sigh* Rayna had borrowed Baldr's van and took Canu, Don, Anna, Elvis and me into Santa Fe to a great restaurant called La Chosa where we had wonderful New Mexican food and great conversation. We went down to old Santa Fe and walked around the square after dinner and then came back to Sunrise Springs. We had missed the evening ritual and D&A and I thought about looking for the bardic circle but were just feeling kind of hammered and went to our room to read. Sometime later we were joined by Rayna, Elvis and Jeff and talked about the proposed bylaws amendments for awhile. Like NCLC they are against lifting term limits. I hope that is the general feeling! Eventually we got to sleep but it was a fairly broken sleep with folks talking loudly at 4am and other disturbances.
rowanf: (crown)
After work on Wednesday, [livejournal.com profile] mr_kurt dropped me at the airport and I flew to Albuquerque without difficulty... most unlike my attempted flight in January. I still intend to avoid America West but I must say this was just a normal flight.

I took a taxi to Wendy's house and we sat up talking for awhile before I went to sleep in "the Pirate's Cove" which is Wendy's daughter's room featuring pirate flags for curtains. It was totally cool! Who knew flags would make such good curtains. *laugh* There was a spiral of holiday lights on the ceiling but I didn't turn them on. I imagine they'd light up the flags and be really cool. A great room for a teenager! Much cooler than I ever had.

Wendy cooked a great omelette for breakfast featuring various things - tomatoes, basil, chives - from her garden. We had a lovely visit and I'm really glad that the MM folks were confused about my reservations such that I had a chance to stay over. I hope to have more hangout time when I'm back for Balloon Fiesta.

Then I caught a shuttle out to Sunrise Springs. I arrived about 11am and decided not to go to the last bit of morning session of the leadership institute but to check out my room and get settled. There was no sign of the promised "roll away" and I headed back to registration and requested it. Luckily they were out and had to put a real twin bed into our room. It is hard as a rock but at least doesn't have metal edges and wire underpinnings like most roll aways.

Then it was time for lunch. The food was lovely - tilapia, salad, grilled veggies and a lovely mixed berry cold soup. Yum! I connected with various friends and asked Scott if I could crash the afternoon part of Ardantane's LI program. It was on communication, always a good topic. Evidently the morning had been more experiential; the afternoon was mostly discussion of principles. It was very well thought out, having elements of NVC and other similar techniques but cast into a Pagan context. I'm looking forward to finding time to read all the handouts!

At the end of the day I was getting a terrible headache and went back to the room to take meds and close my eyes. About then Elvis showed up saying they had assigned him and Jeff to the room too. I said, nope, I'm expecting Don & Anna and I have a headache. He left his luggage and went off to sort things out. D&A arrived soon thereafter and Elvis & Jeff were settled elsewhere. Luckily the meds had started working because there was no rest to be had.

I dressed and headed over to Gail & Rick's handfasting. It was truly lovely, very Celtic traditional with pipers, the exchanging of the tartan sash, etc. along with many Wiccan elements. Kathryn & Daryl officiated with the help of the whole CoG Board as Elemental Guardians and Sylvia as Guide. The bride's gown was truly stunning, one of those with a corset top and a traditional skirt with train. It has maroon embroidery and marooon corset ties at side and back that set off beautifully the white satin. Yum!

There was a reception afterward at the terrace below the restaurant with hors d'oevres and cakes (white, chocolate and cheese). And wine and beer which I couldn't drink because of the lamisil. Diet coke was $1.50 for a small glass. *pout* I guess it is a good thing to notice how often I drink wine in my normal life but three months of being a teetotaler is going to be quite wearing. It just occurred to me as I write this that it means I can't drink cider whilst I'm in England. *wah*

After the reception Rayna & Canu and I wandered over their room to pick up an Ogum tool necklace and bracelet Rayna brought me from a Miami botanica. They are very cool. The most defined tool on each of them is a bow and arrow like Oxossi carries. I may have to take one for him. Ogum may make it but it is Oxossi's symbol. Then on to Baldr's casita where there was much tasting of Absinthe and Damiana liquer. I didn't mind skipping that as much. *grin* There were shot sof the hurricane in south Florida on the news and it was going right over Rayna & Canu's home. Their kids were with the folks and they have been getting periodic updates. Their house is fine, the kids are a bit freaked and there is no electricity but it is basically okay. Scary though to be so far away! After a good bit of visiting, D&A and I headed off to bed.

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