rowanf: (pink hair)

Rowan-saganaki.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
No blog posts for a month! Partly it is just that the days are so much the same - surf for jobs, check social media, read a book, sit in the sun (on days it is available which was much of the last month), shop for food, cook the food, play some WoW (or not), etc. I don't seem to be thinking deep thoughts or having great insights. So rather than trying to figure out what I was doing for the last month, I'll give the precis for the past week which, since it included PantheaCon, is full of coolness.

On Wednesday, February 13th, Russell and I went to "Valentines" dinner at Thea Mediterranean where I had the yummy cheese saganaki opa and a lamb sampler place with lamb, lamb chop and lamb sausage. They use asiago rather than one of the more usual Greek cheeses. My meal was wonderful and it was really nice to dress up and go out with Russell. We are marveling that next month we'll have lived together for 30 years. That whole time flies aphorism seems to be true. :)
wow this got long )
rowanf: (crown)

Wendy_Rule.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
PantheaCon is going very well I think. I got here on Friday in time to go to Le'ema's snake goddess slideshow on Friday. It was fun to see her again dancing with her snakes. She has gone a bit more new-agey than I remembered but it is partly that she used to concentrate on dancing and now she is talking/channeling more. Oh well, she is putting herself out there in a Goddess service so who am I to cast stones?

It took forever to get through the reception line at the hotel. I had tried before Le'ema's workshop but half an hour has only advanced me about 10 feet so I gave up. It took probably an hour or more but eventually I had room keys for the AMUH suite... none of which worked as it turned out. So another trip to reception (but not standing in line) and that got worked out.

We had everything set up in time for House members to arrive and begin preparing for Pomba. I took a nap in there which I certainly needed. I think Pomba went really well. I sat whilst the pre-ritual drumming happened and stilled myself in preparation for carrying Her. I had worked out with Pombagira Cigana Reinha and Pombagira Cigana das Almas that I would be carrying the latter if I had energy to carry. Reinha isn't particularly happy with the devotional and das Almas wanted to come. Das Almas liked it alot which was lovely. Except that I discovered that this cemetery path of Pomba isn't very fleshy. She has a skull face evidently and wasn't sure what to do with mine. I could hardly get her to smile. The little voice that is me in the back of my head was like "smile, it will show off your skull, I promise". LOL It was really nice to have a Pomba who grooved to the music instead of grumping about it. But I am not sure about this souls Path. Esp. since she really wants to come with Maman Brigitte and the Ghedes rather than with the Pombas. But that is a problem for another day. I carried for most of the ritual. Maman as Belle kicked her out before it was quite ended because she felt the horse looked worn out.

Folks came back to the suite and after-partied. We were doing dishes before bed at 3:00am. I had the intention of going to Le'ema's 9am snake yoga class but although I was up and dressed it just wasn't happening!

We had a lovely Saturday afternoon with a lot of traffic to the suite. Maia's children's storytelling and colouring session for Yemanja was wonderful and the kids who came were delightful. After that I napped for a couple of hours. My main thing I wanted to do today was go to Wendy Rule's concert. Kurt kindly offered to spell me in the suite. Wendy's concert was beyond wonderful. She created a sacred space and then too us from the sublime heights to the depths of the underworld of the soul and back out again. Her voice is amazing as ever and this set was truly fabulous. I am more tempted than ever to drive to Santa Cruz Tuesday night for her concert with Sharon Knight. Two amazing vocalists together. Hmmm.

The suite was full of chatting people when Chris & I got back and only when people starting trailing off to 11pm programming did we shut the doors (about 10:30pm). I am writing a few things and going to sleep. Despite napping I am feeling the deficit of Friday night's 4 hours.
rowanf: (Help I'm being englightened)

Rowan3-PCon10.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
I'm back at work and very busy. I'm not sure why I didn't write anything in Lj whilst I was off at PantheaCon. I had a lovely weekend. The fun started on Thursday - I took the day off and ran errands getting together stuff for the suite and then picked up Rayna & Cosette at the airport. We hung out so they could chill and then went to Casa Vicky's for dinner. Then we headed to the hotel for a Cherry Hill Seminary reception where I ran into all kinds of friends and enjoyed getting an early start on the Con. I checked with the front desk and found out the suite was in use so there was probably no chance of early check-in.

Friday morning I took my visitors over to the hotel with their luggage and hung around the house waiting for it to be close to 3pm for "guaranteed check-in". Kurt came by and helped me load and carried a few things. We got to the hotel and there was absolutely no parking. I got around to the front and some folks were just leaving a space... I grabbed it but Kurt was stuck with valet. It was a long way to haul things but thanks to the assistance of Chris and of Kurt and his personal handtruck/cart we made about three trips. I got up to the front desk at 3:15pm and they were like "oh, your room isn't ready". And I'm all "3pm guaranteed check-in". Luckily it *was* ready but the computer wasn't updated. I was actually calm and nice to the desk people, really.

After all that setting up we had an hour or so before the suite opened so Kurt & I took a nap. This was a great goodness. As much as I love Pombagira...11pm is so past my bedtime and that is when the devotional *starts*! The suite wasn't open to the "public" just to House members and folks trickled in and the anticipation and preparation got going in earnest. This year the drum corps was about twice the size of previous years (at least to my eyes) and the energy of the ritual was great. Even Cigana liked it and stayed for about 2/3 of the ritual. (She actually left because I had a nose bleed for no apparent reason. *sigh* Third one this winter.) So I got to enjoy the last 1/3 as myself and help out with water and teardown. People were so jazzed and the energy was so great but about 2am I told folks to turn off the lights when they left and went to bed.

Saturday I had a 9am panel with Don Frew, Rachael Watcher and Thorn Coyle talking about Pagans in Interfaith. We had done a huge slide presentation but were having trouble with tech. I think it went well anyway and there was a fair amount of interest. Then I went to a great talk by Rayna and Leni on "Ancestral Tribute: Lessons from the Lucumi Tradition" which was really lovely and thought provoking. I need to make an outdoor ancestor shrine I think.

Then I went up and opened the suite. The suite was open 1pm-10pm Sat/Sun and 1pm-5pm Monday. The chocolate fountain was a huge hit. Saturday-Monday we went through ~six-seven lbs of chocolate in the fountain, four pound cakes (plus bags of cut cakes from hospitality), 7 lbs of strawberries, 3 lb of cut apples, 8 lb of cheese, all of Chris's beef and pork roast slices (several lbs for sure), two coffee cakes and Kat's King cake, five family size boxes of crackers, two Hawaiian bread loaves, peanuts, bonbons, and various other things. Oh, and a 2-3 bottles of champagne a day, juice, sodas, the occassional sipping rum and an amazing chocolate port. Om nom nom!

I didn't do any programming in the afternoon and really very little in general. I went to Gus' intermediate energy healing class. I did a presentation with Russell on NROOGD Beltaine and the history of hobby horses in the NROOGD/CoG/NWC suite across the hall. Seems like there was one other thing but I forget what. Mostly I just hung out in the suite, made sure people were fed and enjoyed great conversations.

I was really glad I was able to keep the suite over Monday night so that we had a place for folks to hang after their own check-out times. And checking out Tuesday was a breeze, no one waiting for elevators, plenty of parking (I moved my car around). I'm not entirely unpacked but I'm about half way there. I'm really glad it is almost the weekend again!
rowanf: (Default)

huldrosz.jpg
Originally uploaded by rowanf.
I had a great time at PantheaCon this past weekend. Unfortunately, my stomach troubles continued through Friday and I missed Pombagira other than the very beginning. Then my stomach troubles cleared up and I enjoyed the rest of the weekend.

I didn't go to much programming. Friday, of course, I was setting up the suite and the Pomba altar there. I must say, once again, the suite is wonderful for getting a bunch of people ready for a big ritual. Space to sit and mirrors galore ftw.

Saturday there was a full day of interfaith programming. In the morning I went to a program Rachael did on "the Eagle, the Serpent and the Condor" about interfaith networking with native peoples in this hemisphere. It was quite interesting. I wanted to go to the "Guadalupe River Healing Ceremony" by Daniel Foor that was at the same time but I will have to check out what are doing a year of ceremony for the well-being of the Guadalupe Watershed. Hmm, or not. They want quite a bit of money. As much as I would love to send healing to our watershed, I'm uncomfortable with that model. Or at least those amounts. Just as well I didn't make their P'Con talk.

In the afternoon I went to a Pagans & Interfaith talk by Angie Buchanan. I do appreciate the work she does, esp. representing us on the CPWR board. But I'm afraid she just isn't a very dynamic speaker. Oh well. I showed the flag and supported her with my presence.

Then I went back up to the suite to get ready for our Afro-Diasporic Meet & Greet. I made two quatro leches cakes and cut up several pounds of cheese and summer sausage. I found I had left the sour cream for dip at home but Chris asked the hotel for some and I was able to make dip anyway. Huzzah for resourceful covenmates! And I made rum punch (and alcohol free juice too... but guess which one I had to refill 3x). Between 5pm and 7pm we had probably 40 people drop by to talk about the Orixa. Most were seekers but a few folks from a local Palo group came by as well. It was definitely as start!

Sunday I slept in and then went to breakfast with Kurt. The hotel has really cut back on restaurant service but the breakfast buffet was tasty if rather expensive. I tried to go to Don's talk on "Gobekli Tepe: The World's First Pagan Temple" but I was like 3 minutes late and the door was closed with "closed session" sign. Bah. So I hit the dealer's room and then back to the suite for lunch. I got Wendy Rule's new album, The Lotus Eaters and a lovely pendant of a fox shaman.

Russell came by and I joined him for "Folklore as History? The View from Colleges and Cauldrons" by Raven Grimassi & Sabina Magliocco. I was disappointed they used up their time talking about themselves (well actually each other) instead of the data they were going to present. I may well give the Raven & Sabina show the miss in the future and just look for her writings.

I went back to the suite to rest up a bit before preparing for our 6pm call to ritual. There was an amazing array of juicy rituals scheduled for 7pm. I was in "A Walk in the Garden of Polarity" which was a guided meditation. We had perhaps 60 attendees as people opted for more high energy offerings. I thought it came off quite well. Everyone's altars were very beautiful.

Monday Kurt & I packed up with suite and got everything in my car. I had about an hour before my 11am panel on Pagans in International Interfaith and went to the restaurant again. My friend DJ invited me to join her and it was very nice to touch base. Then it turned out there were only so many seats at the panel and Glenn dis-invited me. I headed off to Orisha 201: Spiritual Elevation by Baba Esuwemimo of Ile Orunmila Oshun instead. It was mostly about how one progresses in their Ile system. Not my style at all. But I knew that already.

There were some interesting things scheduled for 1:30 but I decided I just didn't want to wait around another hour. I headed home to unpack my very full car and do some laundry. I popped into WoW and hit some guildies doing Violet Hold so I tagged along. Fun!

Then Russell got home and we ate dinner and watched CSI and Dollhouse. Not sure about Josh's latest. Very sexy/edgy/tittilating. The blatant "we're sexy, so make us your Friday night date" advertising was off-putting to me I must admit. I do like Eliza Dushku and I see Summer Glau is slated to appear in future episodes (wow, she has grown up/lost weight since Serenity!). We'll see.

And that is all the thoughts I have for now. :-) Dinner tonight with Russell at Spiedo for a belated Valentines. He gave me a beautiful amber & jet necklace for the holiday (made by Prudence with two jet owls and obsidian swans among the beads). I only managed cards. :-)
rowanf: (Default)
Monday morning I went to Gus's Beginning to Intermediate Energy Healing talk which was very good. I hardly got a chance to visit with Gus all weekend and I would very much like to have. Then I went up and found out that we had managed to get a 2pm check out. Whew! So I went off to Rayna's Melissa Ritual of Honeybees. Unfortunately, I then realized I had never picked up my auction items and I wasn't sure when the office closed. So I sneaked out halfway through and went and got those. And then took a quick spin around the dealer's room to buy Ruth Barrett's new album. I had run into her at breakfast and she said her lastest is her best ever. Amazingly, I never really did the dealer's room this year. I think my subconscious thinks NZ ate all my money (and it is probably right).

After Rayna finished her workshop we took off to show Mic some redwoods and wineries since it is his first visit to California. We stopped at Falafel's Drive-in for food first - another California thing, I think (all kinds of drive-ins). We went to Picchetti, Cooper-Garrod and Savannah-Chanelle. The latter was a lovely surprise, it is where the old Congress Springs Winery used to be and they are making lovely wines. Congress Springs used to be one of our favorites to carry visitors off to and I think Savannah-Chanelle is a worthy successor. And they had great mustards as well as nice wines. I need to cook something with the curry mustard as a glaze. May the Tuesday dinner crew will get lucky next week. *grin*

We joined Russell and went to E&O Trading Company for dinner. Last year we had taken Rayna there. It had been closer to Chinese New Year last year so there were special menu items. We did just fine with the normal menu though. I do like that place! Mangopolitans for me.

Tuesday morning I took M&R to the airport and then went to my eye doc appt and by the pharmacy to pick up some meds. Then I pretty much slept the afternoon away.
rowanf: (Default)
Sunday I was up again doing a 9am panel, 30 Years of Wiccan Interfaith Work - What have we learned? with Don, Rachael, Michelle, Patrick, Macha & Angie. We talked about what we have learned and what we have to offer the interfaith community. We had lots of audience participation and I think it was a good panel. Patrick was (again) wearing asthma trigger aftershave. He was definitely one of my environmental challenges this weekend. I had to change places with Don to be able to stay at the table. *sigh* I never did get a change to talk to him about it since obviously this wasn't the right time.

Rayna felt like she needed some downtime so Mic & I decided to have sushi in the quiet bar. Unfortunately, it turned out that bartender from the night before had gone home with the keys to the refrigerators. So no sushi and only mixed drinks. My manhattan didn't even have a cherry as those were in the fridge. We waited for quite awhile for them to sort things out but eventually had to order from the Coffee Garden menu although we were served in the QB.

We went to the "Ancestor's Celebration" by Ile Orunmila Oshun. It started well with chanting and calling our ancestor's names. But the Luisah introduced a wailing chant and I kind of lost interest. I was feeling joyous and connected to my ancestors and didn't feel a need to grieve. Also, as with the Olokun ritual the day before, there were several people who just broke down and several Priest/esses were needed to attend each of them whilst everyone else looked on. The Ile obviously has a different ritual culture than I do. I am not adverse to helping those in need but I think their style encourages acting out to get attention and I think I'd find it quite wearing after awhile.

I spent the rest of the afternoon at the Live Charity Auction. I was available as a volunteer but I mostly sat there and bid on things. *grin* I got three items - a necklace, a staff and a certificate for a class at Cherry Hill Seminary. The bottle of Stag's Breath I had donated went for $200 which is a good thing for CoG. Some year I am going to keep one of those bottles and drink it myself though.

Russell and Erika came and rescued me and Mic & Rayna from the hotel and carried us off to Kubota in Japantown for dinner. We had a great meal and then got back in time for the Hekate ritual. This was [livejournal.com profile] mr_kurt's baghold and I really meant to go, but in the end I decided that helping Greg keep the suite open whilst everyone else went off to the ritual was the better idea. I had absolutely no energy and Hekate is not a Goddess to approach with less than full attention. I managed to stay lucid until everyone was back from the ritual (which was a smashing success) and then went back to the room, packed and fell asleep.
rowanf: (Default)
I had a shift at 9am on Saturday at the auction prep since CoG had to supply volunteers. Unfortunately there were two dogs loose in the room. They traded me to the info desk so I worked my shift there. I think the fact that there was a big Hekate ritual made people extra inclined to bring their dogs. But dang. I have enough challenges in hotels with chemicals and stuff without adding the dogs.

After my shift I rushed to Olokun - Finding Your Treasure Within the Deep but got there after the doors were shut. I was only supposed to have a meditation that was closed to I sat in the hall for about 20 minutes. Then Rayna stuck her head out and called me in because, as it turned out, the meditation was just starting and it was lack of communication that made the door dragon think we couldn't go in. *grumble* This set the tone for a lot of the day.

We did a meditation of going down to the depths of the sea and looking in a treasure chest. These are the notes I took afterward.

In Olukun's chest I found a shell that ws a flat spiral shape but with the sheen of abalone rather than mother of pearl as one might expect. It symbolized a link with the ancestors. The message is that I must learn to dive deep to reach the knowledge their have to share with our House. The Te Tiki is just the first that I will bring. My first step is to find other Oxossi folks who have ties to the Caboclos and Prieto Velhos. They have much to teach and will deepen our roots

I shared lunch with Mic & Rayna and then went up to the suite for awhile. At 3:30 I was at the door for Pombagira - Power Passion Intent... but it was closed. Evidently Anne had started early... and the door dragon wouldn't let me in. I was very disappointed as the Heart of the Rose working I did a couple of years ago was really very powerful for me.

M&R and I went to hear Kenny Klein whom they had not seen since like 1990. I thought he was much better than he usually is at Renn Faire. Or maybe it is that he hasn't changed his Faire set list in three years and I'm powerful tired of it. Then Rayna and I went to Petra's Earth Her Body ritual. It started out with wonderful yoga pose to the music of Fontain and friends. But alas everyone made scented anointing water and I had to leave before the actual ritual started. I felt bad about leaving since I had offered to call a quarter and wanted to support Petra. But breathing is something I am quite fond of and the challenges this Con were many.

Still tired from my 2am bedtime I did not try to stay up for anything at 11pm.
rowanf: (Default)
Thursday I worked half a day and then went home to start baking cakes for the CoG/NROOGD suite. I was to pick up [livejournal.com profile] rubibees and [livejournal.com profile] greenwapiti at about 2:35 but when I checked the aa.com site at 1:58 I found their plane had landed one minute before! Zoom! I picked them up and it was such a pretty day that we went and caught a cache together before heading back to the house to get things ready for P'Con. I made turkey curry for dinner. Afterward R&M and Russell & I enjoyed chocolate martinis and visited but got to bed fairly on time.

Friday morning I was way further behind getting my packing done than I had planned. But R&M pitched in and worked on the Quatro Leches and even iced my orange coconut cake whilst I tried on various combinations of clothes and packed for Con. Then we headed over to the hotel and luckily our room was ready for check-in. I had also arranged for AMUH to have a suite for Friday night but it wasn't ready yet. I had had this plan of actually going to programming on Friday afternoon and I actually managed to take in a bit of Filidecht: Poetic Madness and Healing by [livejournal.com profile] erynn999

We helped get the CoG/NROOGD dessert tasting set up in that suite and [livejournal.com profile] greenwapiti proved an amazing host. We had our two cakes, two different cheesecakes, brownies, cherry cobbler and lemon merangue pie. We were again charging $5 for 3 different desserts and we made about $160 between 6pm and 8pm toward the suite expenses. Go us! I ate our two and one of Crytal's brownies which had PB in them and were quite yummy. I am not sure though that I shouldn't have just had 3 pieces of Quatro Leches. That stuff is sooooooo good.

Mic & Rayna took off to go to various things and I went to the AMUH suite to set up altars. It was really nice to have the extra room to do our prep for Pomba. I think this was an amazing year for Pomba. My Pomba felt some of the bluesy stuff in the middle was a little dirge-like but it was very well done and the energy was fabulous. I got to bed about 2am.
rowanf: (Default)
When we left our diarist, she was going home to bed at a reasonable hour on Saturday. more )

And on to today - those who hang out with me in realspace know... I play a lot of the game Bookworm on my palm device. I have even posted my high score to the Astraware site over the years, though it doesn't look like my previous high score was really my highest which was in the 540,000 range. Today I found out that above 600,000 one goes from Grand Archivist to Vocabulist. I assume that above 650,000 one will be a Grand Vocabulist. Perhaps I'll find out sometime.

Your previous high score (Bookworm) was 501850, ranked 20.
The Bookworm high score table has been updated with your new score of 632580.
You're now at ranked 12 in the high score table!


Of course the highest scorer is at 1,860,560 so I potentially have quite a way to go!

Saw a variation of this limerick in a sig line of fellow cacher Phoenix Rose, Kurt & I cleaned up the scansion a bit but we just loved it so I'm putting it here to remember.

An amorous Vampire, Von Stroom
Had a Succubus in his bedroom,
They argued all night
Over who had the right
To drain away what
And from whom
rowanf: (Default)
Wheee! I'm back from PantheaCon. :-) It was a great Con. Sooooo... the details of the last several days. Wed-Saturday )
rowanf: (Default)
I suppose I should backtrack and say what I've been up to.
it got long )
rowanf: (Default)
Hmm. Gotta get back to regular updates! I went home Thursday without carrying the removable that I do my journal on with me. But still. This is getting tres lame.
cut for length )

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