Tuesday, February 27, 2007


I should never make eye contact with strangers. That's where the trouble usually begins. Once eye contact has been made I am filled with a feeling of visceral dread. Because then they will talk. To me. A total stranger. And tell me things I would prefer not to have clogging up my brain. I made the mistake of, just for the briefest of seconds, making eye contact with a woman ahead of me in line a few years ago. She smiled in a mildly disturbing manner while she fingered the large and hideous pendant hanging from a substantial chain around her neck. It was a frog, approximately life size. She leaned in closer, shrugged her shoulders, and proceeded with her confession. "Know what this is?" she asked. Well, it was obvious what it was and I really didn't want any further explanation. Giving me no time for an answer or even a guess, she answered the question herself. "It's a frog!" she exclaimed. She turned away and for a fleeting second I was relieved that our little encounter was over. But no! She was merely checking the progress of the check-out line. She turned back toward me. "Know what F.R.O.G. stands for?" she asked in a hushed and conspiratorial manner. Again, giving nary a second to respond, she gleefully answered this question as well. "Fully Rely On God! I wear a frog every day to remind me of just that." I smiled and was deeply thankful that it was her turn to pay for the items in her shopping basket. Since that moment I have looked at frogs in a somewhat different light. An enlightened sort of light. So to type. A couple of years ago I bought a tiny frog charm adorned with sparkly green crystals. I wore it for several months on my belly ring and enjoyed knowing that it was there. It was a personal reminder of a promise I had made to myself. That even if I really wanted to find a prince, I was done kissing frogs. Kind of a preliminary warning that I was soon going to be a single woman and I would have to be on the lookout for toads. Which brings me to Valentine's Day 2007. My friend Colleen presented me with a small wrapped and beribboned package. She said she couldn't help herself, she just had to get it for me. I opened the package and inside was a frog! No ordinary frog, it seems. The instructions say to kiss the little guy, drop him into water, and grow your own prince! This tiny frog is wearing a crown and holding a scepter, indicating that perhaps he could be of royal lineage. He's actually kind of cute and I'll keep him around for when I'm really desperate. Which may be only hours away. I'll probably continue to make eye contact with oddballs. I don't seem to be able to help myself. They must sense that I am a writer, hence their compulsion to unwittingly provide me with fodder.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Hey, Oscar!

I can't believe I'm watching the Academy Awards. I haven't actually sat down and watched an awards show of any kind for years, and I haven't watched the Oscars since I was a teenager. I've had the Oscars or the Grammies or Golden Globes tuned in and the tv turned on a number of times but haven't felt compelled to sit and watch. I just had it on in the background in case something interesting happened. Maybe I just tuned in to ABC to get my Desperate Housewives fix and stumbled on an awards show by accident and couldn't stop looking! Sshhhh...Celine Dion is singing! It's a world premiere song! But somehow it sounds like every other Celine Dion song. I want those agile behind the screen people, Ellen said that they're naked, to tumble around again and do a shadow puppet representation of a nominated film title! Now the honorary Oscar winner, an elderly man speaking in Italian, is being translated by Clint Eastwood, who has now also become an elderly man. I must confess I saw a grand total of three movies at a theatre in the year 2006. So I'm deeply happy that one of them, Pirates of the Caribbean, Dead Man's Chest, has won an Oscar. I think it was for Sound Mixing or Totally Bizzare Accomplishments With Make-Up Effects. But the most amazing thing of all is that Al Gore has gone Hollywood! He's cool, he's funny, he's smart and he's managed to make the world sit up and take notice of perhaps the un-sexiest problem that faces our planet. Global warming. Whether you believe it's real or not, I happen to think it is a very real problem, the fact that it's getting some attention will force us to make better decisions regarding the use of fossil fuels where it counts. In our nation's esteemed capital. I don't know that I want an Oscar or that I will ever do anything worthy of nomination, although I do have a costume design credit on a verrrrry limited distribution DVD of an original musical play, but I sure would like to have a designer gown. And then someplace to wear it. And then the grace and aplomb to walk in three inch Manalo Blahnik heels. I only hope that Jennifer Hudson can get through this musical number without a costume malfunction. And even though I'm not a member of the Academy, Beyonce gets my vote for best dress.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Saturday pm

It's Saturday afternoon and I'm still in my fleecy winter jammies. I've been up for hours but I don't have to be anywhere today by any certain time so I'm indulging in one of my favorite pastimes. Being a slob. I brewed some excellent Colombian Supremo earlier and it was lovely. I pulled a Panera cinnamon crunch bagel out of the freezer and had that for breakfast. I've been wandering about the house contemplating the rearranging of furniture and pictures after I have painted. The paint is purchased and the swatches are tucked behind light switch covers for comparison to the current color. I don't get to paint until I have accomplished a couple more cleaning projects and that won't happen for a few weeks. And I like to have the windows open when I paint which is not practical in South Dakota in February. Outside my window today is a drab gray sky with gusts of wind and intermittant snow. Overnight there was a genuine thunderstorm! Thunder and lightening and driving rain which eventually turned to snow leaving a slippery mess on the pavement. A good day to stay inside and appreciate central heating. Last night I did venture out into the darkness and cold which were accompanied by a howling easterly wind. Anna and I were hungry for steak so we visited The Knotty Pine Supper Club which is out in the middle of nowhere near Elkton, SD, just across the border into Minnesota. It's an odd place to find a restaurant. If you happened to be on a first date with a guy you didn't know very well you would swear he was taking you on a pointless drive out in the country with intentions of running out of gas. If you know what I mean. They were having a Hawaiian themed weekend so the staff was dressed in festive print shirts, sandals and enormous straw hats. Colorful paper fishies dangled from the ceiling. And a sparkly metallic palm tree filled a corner. A welcoming little tropical haven in the middle of the wintry prairie. The coolest thing about the Knotty Pine is the vintage jukebox just to the rear of the dancefloor. I believe it contains actual 45rpm records and the songs are all oldies from every genre. Rock & Roll and country and novelty. One-hit wonders and standards. You never know what you'll hear and often a song will inspire a couple to get up and dance. Our steaks were wonderful, the atmosphere was rustic and pleasant, and the Snickers pie was decadent. Einstein is at my feet engaged in a little contortionist self-grooming. I made a hair appointment. I e-filed my income tax last week. I have earned my day of slobbery and intend to enjoy it. And while I despise pretty much everything Hugh Hefner stands for, he is definitely onto something with the wearing of pajamas all day long. This earth might just be a more languid, less anxious, all around better place to be if everyone would only hang around in their jammies for a day.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

My New Car

I don't have it quite yet. But the concept is under consideration. I've done the research, I think I know what I want but I have yet to do the test drive. Why, you might ask. Because I hate car shopping! I hate doing the deal! Car dealerships are the domain of men in plaid sport coats with bad hair pieces. Not that a sport coat would ever actually wear a hair piece, bad or otherwise, but I digress. My current vehicle is quite serviceable and will pass to my college-age son. And I wish to buy the very first BRAND NEW car of my entire life. Several people, most of them men, have expressed to me that I should not purchase a BRAND NEW car. For a number of very logical, practical reasons. But to them I have said...DON'T YOU BE LOGICAL WITH ME, MISTER!!! Wanting a BRAND NEW car isn't the least bit logical! It's for purely emotional and esoteric and enigmatic reasons that I want a BRAND NEW car! I want it to have that new car smell and that new car feel and that new car sense of adventure. I want it to be mine and all mine and never anybody else's. And it should be red. Because I have only owned automobiles in drab colors. Gray. Silver. Brown. And I want a stick shift, not an automatic. Which other people, male and female alike, have tried to talk me out of. And there is only one reason for choosing this particular option. Because shifting is fun! So there. I want a pretty red brand new car with a manual transmission! And that's all I have to say about that. For now.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Word Junkie

I love words. I truly do. If there are eleven different words to express one particular thing I will carefully choose the one that will impart to others precisely what I mean. I collect words, I file them away for some future conversation when I can grind things to a halt by tossing out a term that no one is familiar with. Or may wish to be. Some words are just fun to say. Anthropomorphise. Osmosis. Masticate. Sophomoric. Oxymoron. The names of diseases are interesting, too. Take Bovine Spongiform Encephelopathy. To most people it's mad cow disease. But I enjoy rattling off the proper name for it. A few weeks ago I learned the term for having a nicely shaped ass. Callipygian. If you have an oversize bottom that consists of too much fatty tissue, then it would be described as steatopygic. But enough about butts. Are you familiar with the practice of anthropophogy? If you take part in this socially unacceptable activity, let's just say you might enjoy the company of Jeffrey Dahmer or Hannibal Lecter as dinner guests. Many people are aggravated into a tizzy over the inconsistancies and peculiarities that run rampant through the English language. But that is expressly what I adore about it. Our language was distilled and stewed together out of bits and pieces of every language of every culture that melted into the pot that is America. English grows and morphs and changes to reflect new technology and social trends and adaptations, and even, gasp!! pop culture! Every new edition of a dictionary is a snapshot of who and what we are at the time it is published. A reflection of us and what we have learned, absorbed, invented, abandoned and embraced. I love words! I couldn't write without them. Or read. Or think. Or swear! I will admit that in addition to being a word junkie I am also a pottymouth. And proud of it. But that is a topic that deserves its very own post.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

My Fake Boyfriend

He's getting a little uppity because I don't seem to take our fake relationship as seriously as he would like me to. Let me introduce to you my fake boyfriend, "Blind Orange" Julius. Some people have imaginary friends. I have a fake boyfriend. He's much lower maintenance than any real boyfriends I've had, so that's a point in his favor. It's not a deeply satisfying relationship, but as fake relationships go, at least we're calling it what it is and subsequently have few expectations. Although I am a little miffed that I received no fake Valentines from him last week. Not that I made any sort of fake effort on his behalf. BOJ and I met way back in August of 2004 at the open mic at Cheers in Rapid City, SD. The primary things I remember about making his acquaintance are that he was impressed that I knew that zymology is the science of brewing beer and that I told a very funny story involving the word weeniecheeks. I'm not sure about the spelling but I remember very clearly that upon hearing the word BOJ narrowly avoided spewing beer out from his nose. He was in a band called Patient 957 and he and bandmates and various other characters were seated together swilling beer and doing other guy stuff. I was the only feminine person at the table and they did little to alter their guy behavior in my presence. I took this as a sign that they trusted me and had included me in their little club. It was an odd evening for me, I was there with my real boyfriend, and it was all a little awkward because both of us were married at the time. But to people other than each other. I decided to have a good time anyway and consumed a couple of Boulevards. Told a couple of amusing stories. Was generally my charming and disarming self. Little did I know that later I would track down BOJ, first on the AcrossRoads website, and then later at The Globex Corporation Newsletter. I posted comments and he soon determined I was someone he knew. Sometime last fall we became involved in this fake relationship, so here and now I would like to officially acknowledge BOJ as my fake boyfriend. I post on his blog as that1gal, and I suppose that's who I will always be to him. I'm currently torn as to whether I can continue with the stress of living a double, or maybe more correctly, a triple life. There are also those who know me as Tink, but I tink that's all I should say for now.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

With a Little Help

...from my friends. I would be lost without them. They make my happiness greater and make my sorrows easier to bear. Under no circumstances, however, should you let your friends, dig up (in one instance quite literally) a guy for you. Not if they're friends like mine, anyway. They do make me laugh which is probably better than going out on a blind date under the best of circumstances. On our standard 15 mile bike ride, my bike buddies, Sue and KD, suggested that I post fliers in the men's rooms of various local taverns. Photo optional. I said, sure, and the information would include their phone numbers so they could screen the applicants for me. Then Sue described what she thought would be the perfect man for me. A silver-tongued Irish devil of a man. She saw him in action picking up women in Spain and spiriting several back to their rented villa. For coffee, of all things. Her husband's cousin, this potential man of my dreams. I inquired about his current location and status, marital or otherwise. Sue answered that he was quite dead, had been for years, but that he would have been perfect for me. KD then offered up the possibility of her brother, who was single, and had this lovely little story about how he adored this little girl who lived across the street from them when they were children. Said little girl had dark, curly hair just like me so she thought that would likely be in my favor. So I asked when he was to be released from prison. KD answered brightly that he would be getting out in April, a mere six months away. I love my friends. They do make me laugh. But please! A dead guy and a convicted felon? I've found more likely prospects at closing time when those scary lights come on. Oh, and then there was the guy that was a friend of my friend's boyfriend. Still with me? Who was great except for the fact that he's a relationship phobe and was heavily into recreational drug use. I never really thought that I'd be faced with dating again. And at this rate, I'd say, at least with the friends that I have, I'm safe for now.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Y Chromosome Deficiency

I just finished reading a book called Why Men Don't Listen and Women Can't Read Maps. I found it to be very funny and very enlightening. If you've ever wondered why men and women are so different this little book not only gives plausible answers as to why, it even gives common sense advice about how to deal with our differences. Written by a husband and wife team, Barbara and Allan Pease, they have managed to work together, live together, and raise four children. They claim to still like each other so they must be doing something right. It would seem that I was channeling some of their ideas long before I read their book. Three and a half years ago I wrote the following poem and since it suits today's subject matter I thought I should post it.

Y Chromosome Deficiency

We're mostly the same

Anatomy wise

There are minor variations

Involving length and breadth and size

And our coloring runs the rainbow

In our skin and hair and eyes

Underneath all that we're human

The casual observer would surmise

But when it comes to men and women

The gulf between us is no surprise

We speak in different languages

Eavesdropping verifies

Our brains are steeped in hormonal cocktails

To varied behaviors this gives rise

Can we appreciate our separate completeness?

Realizing this edifies

Like it or not we need each other

History exemplifies

So for the sake of peacemaking

For these last two lines I apologize

But am I merely y-chromosome deficient?

Or are your balls ovaries in disguise?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

The Tao of Quantum Physics

Caution! I am not a trained physicist! Although I do have cats named after brilliant guys in that field. But I love quantum physics. I love how science could possibly explain everything. And not by displacing magick and mysticism, but by actually showing how they are very real things as their inner workings are revealed. I once captured the adoring attention of two very nice, very attractive, very smart men at a party by rattling off a list of the names of quarks. What I thought would surely be a slam-dunk conversation stopper ended up to be a very interesting exchange of ideas. Up, down, strange, charm, bottom and top. I further astonished them by understanding why they had been given these names. Quarks are almost never found singly, they usually appear in groups of two or three. Which sort of explains the pairing off of mammals and the common occurrence of groups of three as back-up singers. Maybe not. In the last ten years I have adopted an Eastern thought process that has given me greater insight and more patience than I thought I was capable of. In Western culture we tend to be bottom line, result oriented thinkers. We want things explained before we accept them. Often we demand this order of thought which can cause great frustration and unhappiness. Instead, I accept things, particularly things that make absolutely no sense to me. In the hopes that acceptance will free up my brain and break down any mental roadblocks that are in there, thereby leading me to understanding. A good example would be trying to understand men. Why on earth do I want one when they make me crazy? Instead, I simply accept that I want one and am currently in the process of coming to a greater understanding of why they are the way they are. Maybe some things don't have to make sense, that's a big one to accept. I accept the idea that quantum physics and String Theory, two things that on the surface that seem to be mutually exclusive, could explain the mysteries of the universe. Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle is my current mantra. The very act of observing a process alters its outcome. Thereby explaining why a watched pot doesn't boil. Especially if you forget to turn on the burner.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Joy of Socks

I love socks. I have a lot of socks. Two large drawers full of them. In various colors, patterns, weaves, heights and weights. I have new socks and socks that are older than my sons. I have socks for holidays and celebrations and socks with toes. I have socks with cats on them, socks embellished with chili peppers, and socks bearing the image of Tinkerbell. I even have a Halloween pair that glows in the dark. I probably have enough socks to last me for the rest of my life even if I never buy another pair. But I can't resist going down the sock aisle in any store in search of a pair that I don't possess. When I find a sock clearance bin I'm in heaven. The only thing better than scoring socks in a new, unique color or style is getting them at a bargain price. I have a pair of red knee-highs festooned with bright green Christmas trees. My sister gave them to me more than half my life ago but since they only get worn a couple of times in December each year I would think they still have a good 20 years left to go. This may shock you, but I actually own a couple of pairs of plain, white socks. I still don't know how they got there! Most likely in a three pair bundle, the normal run-of-the-mill pair sandwiched between the cute, festive, colorful ones. The gene for sock addiction doesn't seem to have passed to either of my children. One son wears standard white cotton crew socks, the other wears the heather gray version of the same sock. I must say that this has made laundry easier since their feet have been of a similar size most of the past ten years. I even have a cat with socks. White socks. No surprise. He's a guy.

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Words of Wisdom

My mother told me many, many things while I was growing up. Some of it was reasonable and had a real application in everyday life. Some of it was downright puzzling to me but I solemnly gazed at her and tried really hard to appear as though what she was saying was somehow comprehensible to me. She often spoke in platitudes, parables, and often popped up with things she called "old wives' tales". These OWT's had an ominous tone and predicted certain outcomes in your future life depending upon your current behavior. Sort of a Murphy's Law action-yielding-outcome filtered through cronish folklore. If you sang at the table you'd be married before you were able. That sort of thing. She had dozens of them. I never knew if she was serious but I took the instruction to heart just in case. The summer before I left for college she said there were three things I should always remember. I was afraid she was going to explain where babies come from, which I had already figured out on my own. These three things were, that I should never, never get a tattoo. That I should never, under any circumstances, marry a black man. And that I should always wash the whites in a separate load. I was dumbfounded. This was all I needed to go forth in the world and succeed! I wondered how she knew I had been contemplating getting a tattoo. I wouldn't actually get one for 25 years, but I was astonished to think she had some mind-reading powers. The not marrying a black man still mystifies me. For the most part I was raised in North Dakota and had only seen black men on television and in movies. Where did she think I was going to find one let alone marry one? The laundry information has been valuable and the only practical third of the advice I have been able to put into regular practice. As I send my sons out into the world, these are the three things I have told them. Floss. Use an spf 30 sunscreen. Laugh every day. These things are all very practical and easy to incorporate into your life. But I hope the third one is the one they always remember to do.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

The Monkeys in My Head

I have been informed that the probable cause of my unique personality is that I have an infestation of monkeys. In my head. When I'm behaving myself, it would seem that the monkeys are in their cages napping. When I'm being outrageous, apparently the monkeys are all running loose creating all sorts of mayhem in my brain, thereby causing my aberrant behavior. This theory, which would be difficult to prove, makes a lot of sense to me. But then, I have monkeys on my brain. At the moment they're rather calm. But I'm just guessing. I wonder if I actually have conscious control over these monkeys or if they just do as they please and my outward state is an indication of the monkey activity within. Hmmm. What many people don't realize is that I actually edit myself. I don't say all the wacky things that fly by in fits of fancy (flying monkeys?), I pause to read the room before I speak aloud. It may be possible that what I express is just off-center enough that people are given cause to think that I just let those monkeys run free all the time. Let me offer my own assessment of this monkey theory, but please keep in mind that I'm formulating these thoughts with a brain that is riddled with monkeys. The monkeys have cages. Comfy cages with blankies and pillows and access to food and water, and I would hope, toilet facilities. Although the lack of such facilities would explain a fair amount of my thought processes! These are well-cared for monkeys who are loved and have lots of toys to play with. They run free because even if the cages had locks they would be able to escape anyway, they're a wiley lot these monkeys in my head. Their behavior is sometimes altered depending on how much caffeine, sugar, alcohol or chocolate I have consumed. Because of my feminine brain physiology, hormones and emotions play a significant role in the monkey activity. Occasionally the monkeys get all worked up over a movie I've watched, music I've heard, or an article or book I've read. Sometimes the monkeys get all hopped up for no apparent reason. That, it seems, is when I feel compelled to write. For the moment, the monkeys are quite docile, much like Newton and Einstein who are napping nearby. The boys seem to have forgiven me for the trip to the vet yesterday. Either that or their monkeys are napping, too.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Newt-ering and Einstein

A couple of months ago I deeply offended a co-worker without even trying. He was of the opinion that I am an emasculating, man-hating bitch and was finding it impossible to work with me. He subsequently quit. I was impressed that I had made such an impression on him! I did my best to avoid him whenever possible because it was pretty clear he wasn't fond of me and only spoke to him out of necessity. I was curious as to why he had such hostile feelings toward me. Most people just think I'm weird, but in a good way. I'm something of an aquired taste, some people take to me right away, but they're usually a little left-of-center, other people eventually come around because I'm irreverent, funny and say what others would like to say. Yes, I'm opinionated. Yes, I'm confident. But I have respect for others and I rarely deliberately cross a line with anyone. So the guy quit. Because I'm an emasculating, man-hating bitch. He's entitled to his opinion. An opinion which I believe reveals more about him than me. Which brings me to tomorrow. Early tomorrow morning I'm taking my adorable 8-month-old male cats, Newton and Einstein, into the vet for their shots and to get neutered. I tell myself that they will be fine. That removing their little gonads is the responsible thing for a pet owner to do. A friend has assured me that they will not hate me, especially if I continue to feed them and scoop their poop. They will most assuredly blame the good doctor for their loss and will soon forget the stressful day altogether. I'm not so sure. I just don't want them to think I'm an emasculating, man-hating bitch. Because they'll have a valid reason.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Mustard Seed

...am I wasting all my prayers in the dark...It's a line from the song Mustard Seed. Written by Shawn Michael Bitz, it can be heard on AbbySomeOne's cd, Fist. You have to listen for the line, toward the end of the song, almost whispered. Like a prayer. And it makes me wonder why I go after the unattainable. Maybe because something seems worthy of the effort only if it's slightly beyond my reach. Maybe it's about hope and faith and faery dust, that if you believe in something so strongly, it will come to be. Maybe it's just because it's February and we are a mere ten days away from Valentine's Day, Cupid's dreaded holy day of obligation. Oh, my, I must be talking about love. I've never really liked Valentine's Day, it's just too loaded with expectations, a lot of flash and frequently very little substance. This year will mark the first Valentine's Day since 1984 where my heart truly belongs to me. A good, solid feeling although lonely at times. Twenty-one years ago I got married in February. And one year ago I filed for divorce in February. This month is a bit of an emotional landfill for me. I've dug down through the layers and examined pretty much all of it. I'm at peace with it. I've healed, and I have the scars to prove that I've survived loving and losing. And it amazes me that despite having been thoroughly kicked around by Cupid, I'm willing to give it another shot even when there seem to be no likely prospects in sight. Love is the miracle that makes the darkness tolerable. The tiny mustard seed, a symbol of faith, rendering the seemingly unattainable possible. A prayer in the dark, if fervent and true, is never wasted. Like the mustard seed, all it needs is a little tending to grow.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Sartorially Challenged

I can't dress myself. I mean, I can dress myself in the most literal sense, I can tell a shirt from a skirt from a pair of pants and I understand what goes where and how the zippers and buttons and other fasteners work, but I have problems getting dressed. I stand in front of my closet, two closets actually, in my underwear and stare at an obscene amount of clothing and can't find anything to wear. Then I'll choose something and discover that I have to change my bra because it won't work properly under that sweater so I have to choose something else. So I choose something else but the jeans that look really good with that top are too tight this week cuz I'm a little bloated, maybe even bitchy. I could wear the other jeans but then I have to wear the black boots with the high heels and I'm doing too much walking today to be comfortable in heels. Back to square one. I don't have this problem when I get ready for work because I dress with a y-chromosome attitude for my job. Jeans. T-shirt, long or short sleeved, or a tank depending on how warm or cold it is. Hiking boots or tennis shoes. Easy. Minimal make-up and a baseball cap or a pony tail. Easy. The numerous variables on weekends and evenings make dressing much more complicated. Then there are the accessories. I must confess that I over-accessorize, I love jewelry and hats and scarves and shoes! And the longer it takes me to get ready, the more accessories I'll pile on. For every additional five minutes it takes me to get out the door I'll add another piece of jewelry or change my mind about my shoes. Sometimes my best friend Anna will look me over as we're heading out the door and ask me what the count is. You must first be aware that Anna is a minimalist as far as accessories go. She can comfortably go out in public wearing only a watch, earrings, maybe a bracelet and a scarf. Well, obviously she's wearing clothing, too! But her accessory count tops out at 5. I get into the shower with seven pieces of jewelry on! Partly because I'm too lazy to remove what I'm just going to put back on in a few minutes. But also because I rarely change these 7 items for anything different, so it seems kind of silly to take them off when they seem to be unharmed by a little shower gel and water. My standard accessory count when leaving the house is 15 or 16. Anna narrows her eyes at me but as long as I don't look like a walking Christmas tree I usually meet with her approval. She understands, as most women do, that if I have to edit my look for the day, or the goddess forbid, start over again getting dressed, we'll never get out of the house and down to the business at hand. Which is frequently shopping. For more clothing. And accessories. Don't get me started on shoes!

Thursday, February 1, 2007

The Naming of Bellona

So she thinks she's a goddess, huh? Well, yeah. So are you, if you happen to have ovaries. Or if you currently don't possess these body parts, being born with them is just fine. I thought I would explain the title of my blog and the name I write under. So here goes. In 1999, I read Marion Zimmer Bradley's epic The Mists of Avalon. If you haven't read this book, it's the feminist, revisionist take on the Arthurian legend, told from Morgana's point of view. I absolutely loved it and became fascinated with the early Britons, their matriarchal culture and pagan religious practices. So I started reading about and researching Celtic spirituality and found something that spoke to me on many levels. The goddess rules! One of the most wonderful aspects of Celtic spirituality is the idea that all women are comprised of three aspects, that of a warrior, a goddess, and a mother. And the wise and astute woman knows which of the three aspects to use to her advantage in any situation. We are all warriors as we go forth in this modern world to accomplish daily tasks with strength and confidence. We are all goddesses within who can revel in the physical pleasures of life and love as well as rise above in matters of the spirit. Every woman is considered to be a mother regardless of whether she has given birth. There are the children of our wombs and the children of our hearts, all of whom need love and guidance. After a couple of years of immersion in Celtic spirituality I felt it was time to choose a goddess name, one that represents me as I currently am and also has attributes I would like to embrace. I chose the Scottish name Bellona, which is derived from the Celtic goddess Badb. She is represented by the waning moon and the she-wolf. Other attributes ascribed to this goddess are regeneration, protection, and the ability to shape-shift. These attributes and representations are meant to be taken in a spiritual and metaphorical sense rather than a literal one. I can't actually shape-shift into a she-wolf. But there are times it would be handy for warrior aspect activities. And cool. So I read a book and got in touch with my inner goddess. I like having her around. I like knowing that she was always there even before I named her.