Rune of the Week and Masks

Tiwaz (T, Tyr the sky god):  Honor, justice, leadership and authority. Analysis, rationality. Knowing where one’s true strengths lie. Willingness to self-sacrifice. Victory and success in any competition or in legal matters. Tiwaz Reversed or Merkstave: One’s energy and creative flow are blocked. Mental paralysis, over-analysis, over-sacrifice, injustice, imbalance. Strife, war, conflict, failure in competition. Dwindling passion, difficulties in communication, and possibly separation.

I saw the therapist this week. We’re focusing on “the positive things”. So every night I’m supposed to write down five good things that happened during the day and five things I’m grateful for. We also addressed an issue that was sparked by the meme I used for the featured image.

The Voices and Depression have always been there. There wasn’t a person before them. The Voices were my first friends, first playmates, first confidants. The Depression was the blanket that surrounded me and shielded me from the outside world. So the question arises: Who am I? The therapist says this is a great opportunity for me to decide who I want to be. So far I’m not sure that’s as great an opportunity as she thinks. My hatred for humanity is deepening and I’m enjoying the levels of chaos in this country far too much. The exposure of that dark underbelly that we’ve been hiding and suppressing for so long is bringing me a strange joy. To see everyone’s true nature being revealed and the masks stripped away is satisfying. Somehow I’m not sure this is what my therapist had in mind.

On the other hand, I feel like I’m just going through the motions, doing what’s expected because that’s how I should behave. Granted, I’ve been doing that most of my life. It’s high time to try something else, I think. I wonder what’s under the mask?

 

May your coffee cup never be empty.

Advertisements

Rune of the Week aka The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway

Isa (I, ice): A challenge or frustration. Psychological blocks to thought or activity, including grievances. Standstill, or a time to turn inward and wait for what is to come, or to seek clarity. This rune reinforces runes around it. Isa Merkstave (Isa cannot be reversed, but may lie in opposition): Ego-mania, dullness, blindness, dissipation. Treachery, illusion, deceit, betrayal, guile, stealth, ambush, plots.

The first thing that went through my head this morning when I drew the rune was Elsa singing “Let it Go.” Judging from my dreams lately things probably lean toward those blocks causing a standstill until I figure out exactly what they are. In a way this applies to more than the coming week. I’ve been in hermit mode, which is why I haven’t been posting. Every now and then, for no real reason, I simply withdraw. My mind says something is wrong, but my brain says there’s nothing wrong. In the end, though, my mind wins out and I react like something’s wrong and withdraw from everyone and everything. Then comes the guilt and I feel bad for pulling away when I know there’s no reason, but there has to be some reason I just don’t know what. It’s a vicious cycle and probably a contributor to my depression or a symptom of it; I just don’t know. It’s also kind of frustrating and that’s compounded by the fact that you can’t really explain it to anyone.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.”

“Something’s wrong.”

“No, I just don’t feel right.”

“Why not?”

“I don’t know.”

“Well why not? What do you feel?”

“I don’t know. Just not right.”

It continues ad nauseam. Then the snapping and arguing and withdrawing and guilt.

So I usually skip to the withdrawing and the guilt. It simplifies things. Maybe I’ll bring it up with the therapist. I’ve been seeing the same one for a while, so maybe I can trust that she’s not going to disappear on me.

I’m working on stories. When I have more written I’ll post them. Mostly I’ve been gaming and rep grinding. I managed to get the Lightforged Draenei. I need to get the others opened up, but I have to finish Suramar. That’s my one hang up. I can’t solo the Emerald Nightmare raid so that I can get the quest line finished. It’s really a pain in the ass that Blizzard made the quest lines dependent on raids and dungeons. Of course, once I get the Legion dependent allied races I have to do the BoFA grind for the other allied races. So much grinding. Gah. But then it brings it back to the hermiting issue: if I had people to play with I could probably do the raids and things, but I don’t want to bother anyone, but at the same time I’d like people to hang with and do things. I’d like to be social, but at the same time I’ve got the baby to take care of and I have to drop everything at a moment’s notice to take care of her, especially now that we’re beginning potty training. It’s a vicious cycle. And now that I’ve run in so many circles, I’m dizzy and I need more coffee.

May you never see the bottom of your coffee cup.

 

image: Disney’s Frozen

Rune of the Week & Priorities

Perthro: (P: Lot cup, vagina.) Uncertain meaning, a secret matter, a mystery, hidden things and occult abilities. Initiation, knowledge of one’s destiny, knowledge of future matters, determining the future or your path. Pertaining to things feminine, feminine mysteries including female fertility, and vagina. Good lot, fellowship and joy. Evolutionary change. Perthro Reversed or Merkstave: Addiction, stagnation, loneliness, malaise.

The Kavanaugh saga continues to unfold. A third woman has come forward talking about women being drugged and gang raped while the nominee looked on, if not directly participating. The FBI has been ordered to do another background investigation which will bring the total up to seven at this point. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there doesn’t need to be an investigation. There should be; some of these allegations are very serious. They also need to look into whether or not he’s been lying all this time about the true nature of his drinking in high school and college. Lying under oath is a serious offense on its own. As for the other, we have all done unfortunate things in high school and college. Most of them involving alcohol and lies. What I want to know is did he mature out of this behavior or has it continued. So far there have been no recent, credible cases of any kind of sexual harassment that directly involved Kavanaugh. That being said, I can think of much better reasons to block him from the Supreme Court.

Judge Kavanaugh has issues with the first and fourth amendments, especially the fourth. He believes that police and government forces should be able to wiretap and monitor private citizens without cause or warrant. That’s a big problem and should be all they need in order to keep him off the bench. Personal liberties and an expectation of privacy in many aspects of our daily life shouldn’t be up for debate. Checks and balances are there to prevent tyranny. In this case, police and federal agents must have sufficient evidence to prove a crime before they can invade your privacy. Kavanaugh believes they shouldn’t have to bother with silly things like evidence of a crime or potential crime. They should have free reign to invade the life of anyone they choose for any reason at any time. For me, this is the more important reason to keep him off the bench. His behavior 30+ years ago is regrettable, and worthy of condemnation if true, but his more recent behavior and rulings are what should keep him off the bench.

I know. It’s not a popular opinion in the “believe all women” era, but my doubts (which I’ve covered in past blogs) still remain. I haven’t found any reason to relinquish my skepticism toward either side and until more recent evidence comes to light, I’ll continue to judge him on his case record.

For the most part things around here are the same. I’m still working on my meditation and getting back in touch with my spiritual side. I’ve spent most of the week working on my novel. I’ll have to work on the story I’ve been posting here at some point. They ultimately connect; it’s sort of a prequel kind of thing, I guess.

There has been news from Mo Brooks office regarding the old guy’s social security appeal. Supposedly, thanks to the Congressman, his case has been fast-tracked. We haven’t heard from SSA yet, but I hope we will soon. It would really be a boon if he could get approved, even though I know it would affect my SSI. He’s also working on getting his dry rub blends packaged for retail; anything to find a way to support us and bring in some sort of income. I just worry about losing the ability to get my meds. It’s not safe for the general population if I’m unmedicated. Hell, most of the time it’s not safe for the general population when I am medication properly.

 

Life without liberty is like a body without spirit. – Khalil Gibran

Storytime: The Paladin’s Tale

“Should you be drinking like that at your age, Elutheria?”

“It’s a little late to play Daddy now.” I turned to look up at Prince Auren and swore inwardly. I had heard there was a strong resemblance, but to see him with the same blue eyes and auburn hair, even the same nose, was a surprise to me. The only real differences were in my arched eyebrows and slightly pointed ears, an inheritance from my Elven mother.

“I’ll have what she’s having,” Auren said as he joined me at the bar. “Why didn’t you come to the embassy?”

“Because I had no interest in seeing you.”

“That’s blunt enough,” he laughed.

“I find it’s easier to cut straight to the point. What do you want?”

“I thought I should meet my daughter before she leaves to battle Trolls.”

“No, really, why are you here?”

“Aureliane won’t speak to me until I’ve at least attempted to reconcile with you.”

“We’ve never had a relationship, so there’s nothing to reconcile.”

“I tried that argument, but she insisted that you not only needed a father, but that I should acknowledge you.”

“Maybe when I was younger, but not so much anymore. You must either really love her or need her support at Court.”

“A bit of both, to be honest,” he chuckled. “What about you?”

“No. Since the accusations and trial, I’ve avoided that sort of thing.”

“Father almost disbanded the Order in Enlen and banished any of the nobles involved. Fortunately Lia stopped him.”

“No wonder Praetor Winterfury is so concerned about bringing me back into the fold. There’s always something political.”

“Aren’t you a little young to be this cynical?”

“Consider my parents.”

Auren laughed, “Point taken. Will you at least allow me to make amends? Come back to Enlen with me and join your family.”

“I’m committed to Brellen for the foreseeable future. As you know, I leave in the morning with the Ninth Legion and the local chapter house.”

He nodded, “Yes, the trolls. We’ve been having a few problems with them as well.”

“Brellen has had peaceful trade with the Dra’a for generations until recently.”

“Listen, the offer stands. When this mission is over I want you to come to Enlen and meet your family.”

“What about the High Priestess?”

He reached into his cloak and pulled out a travel-stained letter. “I’ll let her tell you in her own words.” Auren drained his cup, “I’m expected at the castle. Aelwere is an old friend. Stay safe, Elutheria.” He kissed me on the forehead.

“May the Mother’s Light shine on you,” I replied quietly as I stared at the letter. “Thanks, Bir.” I fished a few coins from a pouch on my belt to pay for the drinks.

“Are you all right, Lou?”

“Yeah, it’s just been a really weird night, Bir. Good night.”

“Sleep well, lass, and be careful out there.”

Not paying attention to where I was going, I headed for the door and bumped into someone.

“Easy, there, sweetheart.” An arm caught me before I fell.

“I’m sorry. I wasn’t paying attention,” I looked up into a smiling, handsome face with a pair of aqua eyes.

“No harm done! Can I buy you a drink?”

“I’d like to, but I’m leaving in the morning and I have to prepare.”

“That’s a shame. I hope we bump into each other again some other time.”

“Me, too.”

“Have a safe journey.” He still held onto me.

“May the Mother guide you.” I couldn’t tear myself away. I’d never believed in love at first sight, but something about the handsome stranger made my heart beat faster.

“Are you sure I can’t buy you that drink?”

“I really have to go.”

“At least tell me your name.”

“Lou. You can usually reach me through the Mercenary’s Guild.”

“You’re a mercenary?” His eyes widened in surprise.

I laughed, “Yeah.”

“Hurry up, Tailen!” A group of men shouted to the man holding me.

“Lieutenant Tailen?” I asked.

“Yes. Have we met?”

“We will in the morning. I’m Elutheria, but my friends call me Lou. My friends and I will be joining you.”

“I’ve never been happier to go on a mission. I’ll see you in the morning, then.”

“In the morning.” I smiled as he released me. Maybe this assignment won’t be so bad, I thought as I went next door to the guild hall.

“Hey, Lou.”

“Hey, Theran. I’ll be heading out on a job in the morning.”

The lean Elf pulled out a ledger. “Which one?”

“Assignment from the king to combat trolls in the south with the Ninth and the Order.”

“Any changes to next of kin or other instructions?”

“Um,” I thought about the letter in my pocket. “Yeah, actually. Send everything to Auren Dodlean of Enlen. Any money gets divided between the Temple of Iphesta and Miss M’Veren’s Orphanage.”

Theran made the entry in his ledger. “Do you authorize a withdrawal for dues and your room fees when or if they come due?”

“Yes.”

He added the note. “Sign or make your mark.”

I signed my name, “Thanks, Theran. I’ll leave my key in the usual place in the morning.”

“Be safe, Lou.”

Nodding I went upstairs to my room. With a measure of relief I closed the door and sighed. “First things first,” I said as I put the High Priestess Aureliane’s letter on my desk.

I went through my pack, taking only what was necessary and locking the rest in my trunk. I also took the time to inspect my armor and sharpen my sword. Only when everything was ready to go did I sit down and open the letter.

Dear Sister Elutheria,

First I would like to offer you a long overdue welcome to the family. King Henrik and myself have both followed your career with interest. We are both very proud of all that you’ve accomplished and are eager to bring you home where you belong, though I would understand any hesitancy on your part.

I truly harbor no anger or ill-will toward you. I would never hold the child accountable for the actions of the parents. There’s also the manner in which you’ve acquitted yourself, making your own life based in the very principles that I, myself, hold dear.

Now to important matters: right of succession. With the official acknowledgement of both King Henrik and Crown Prince Auren, you are third in line for the throne until such time as Auren and I have children. Regardless, I want you to consider yourself part of our family. Our children will be your brothers and sisters. I know it’s too late for me to ever be a mother to you, but I would like to be your friend. As we are also cousins, I hope it’s not out of the question. We will respect whatever choice you make.

May Iphesta bless you,

Aureliane Dodlean

I reread the letter several times before carefully considering my reply.

To Her Highness, Princess Aureliane, High Priestess of Iphesta at Lester, Enlen:

Thank you for your letter and kind words. I must confess that I was very surprised to see His Royal Highness. I never expected to be acknowledged and I’m still uncertain how  to react or feel.

As to the right of succession: I would never presume such a thing. I’m sure there are others more capable than I.

His Royal Highness also expressed a desire for my return to Enlen. For the foreseeable future I am committed to a mission for King Aelwere in the south. The Troll menace is spreading and I am pledged to Brellen’s defense. Perhaps when my service is over I will have the leisure and opportunity for a visit.

Until then, May the Mother guide your way.

Elutheria

I read over the letter, sealed it, and went to bed. However instead of sleeping, I found myself staring at the ceiling.

“Oh, Mother,” I sighed, “what’s happening?”

Let’s just say that Auren has experienced his own mortality.

“I’m sure the High Priestess’ influence didn’t hurt anything.”

She was angry with him for how he’s treated you.

“It might’ve been nice to have her for a mother.”

She’s still family and she’s opened her heart to you.

“And I’m honored. I know she has no ulterior motive, but what of Henrik and Auren? The same cannot be said for  them. What do they want from me?”

Now is not the time to worry about that, child, now is the time for sleep. Dawn is but a few hours away.

“You’re right, of course.” Rolling over onto my side I curled up and closed my eyes.

Rune of the Week & Looking at the Bright Side of Life

Wunjo (W or V: Joy) Joy, comfort, pleasure. Fellowship, harmony, prosperity. Ecstasy, glory, spiritual reward, but also the possibility of going “over the top”. If restrained, the meaning is general success and recognition of worth. Wunjo Reversed or Merkstave: Stultification, sorrow, strife, alienation. Delirium, intoxication, possession by higher forces, impractical enthusiasm. Raging frenzy, berzerker

I’ve been taking the steps to open up my spiritual side once again. I’ve been meditating more often, especially at night before bed. That has opened me up to some stranger-than-normal dreams. Some have included the possibility of encounters with the Grey Wanderer and others have involved animal messengers. The ones I remember have been hawks, crows, and wolves. It’s too soon to say whether or not it’s helping or hindering.

Saw my therapist this week. It was the “Think about what you have, rather than what you don’t have.” She even tried putting a positive spin on having $0.31 left for the rest of the month as opposed to the $0.12 we had last month. Yeah. Woo. Let’s go on a shopping spree.

Yesterday, though, was a really good day. We spent the day with the whole family out at the lake for mah Boomer’s 6th birthday. I spent some time lounging in the grass on a blanket watching the grandkids play in the water. Even Mini-Satan was laughing and having fun, which doesn’t happen very often. The water was great. It was clear and cool and calm. Plus I made a dark chocolate cheesecake with an Oreo crust to go with the birthday cake. I may do an experiment to see how cheesecakes do in paper or foil muffin cups because November has two birthdays in the same week and they want two completely different types of cheesecake. One wants the pistachio I did a few months back, the other wants cookies n cream. I figure one batter split in half with cupcakes would be the better choice.

I’ve actually been cutting back on the news. It’s a stressor that I can control. I don’t have to constantly be reading or watching the latest escapades of The Donald and the GOP. Just say no. Instead I find Doggo memes. They’re my happy place right now. Cat memes are a close second, followed by baby goats. It helps lighten things a little.

 

Storytime: The Paladin’s Tale

“The growing unrest on our southern border demands immediate attention,” King Aelwere said with a frown as he and his advisers studied the maps on the table. “It’s been nearly a century since we had a problem with the trolls. Hawes, what’s happening down there?”

Master Hawes, chief of the Intelligence Service, cleared his throat before speaking. “Reports coming out of those jungles are always vague and murky, but according to my best people a necromancer by the name of K’Awiil has united the tribes and raised an entire army from the dead.”

Eyes widened around the table. “Can they be killed?” Aelwere asked.

“Unknown, but so far my people have had no luck.” Hawes shook his head.

“Perhaps the holy orders should be employed to counter such darkness,” Sir Manfirth, the commander of the local Order of the Flame chapter, said as he glanced in my direction.

“Good idea,” Aelwere nodded. “Captain Stormhawke of the Ninth Legion is leading our forces from Valra.”

“Will you and Lady Moonshade be joining the Captain, Elutheria?” Sir Manfirth asked me.

“Yes, my Lord,” I nodded.

Aelwere looked at Manfirth and raised an eyebrow. “Is that a problem?”

“Quite the contrary, sire. Praetor Winterfury has issued a standing order to bring her back into the Order. I was hoping Elutheria might consider the possibility and lead the knights.”

“That’s kind of you, Sir Manfirth, but as I no longer serve it wouldn’t be appropriate. Command should go to someone worthy who is in the Order.”

“Anyone who knows your reputation knows you still serve Our Lady, my dear. At the very least they can join you and Lady Moonshade on the road.”

“We’d love the company,” Kerri cut off my reply knowing full well I’d refuse. In the nicest possible way, of course.

“Excellent. It’s all settled then,” Aelwere said with a nod. “Lt. Tailen is leaving at dawn with a small unit of elite soldiers. They’ll assemble in front of their barracks. Be there. Dismissed.”

I bowed and tried to get out before Manfirth could stop me. I was not successful.

“Wait, Elutheria! May I walk with you?”

“Of course, my Lord.” I slowed so that he could catch up with me. “How may I serve?”

“The habits of childhood, eh?” Manfirth chuckled, then grew serious. “I wanted to reiterate Winterfury’s order: you are always welcome to return to the Order.”

“That’s kind, Sir Manfirth, but it’s just not possible.”

“Why not?”

“The bond of trust was broken, my Lord.”

“What happened was regrettable, but the Goddess herself declared your innocence. None doubt you.”

“But I doubt the Order, Sir Manfirth. How can I ride into battle with those who have stabbed me in the back?”

“A great deal has changed in the last five years, Elutheria. I’ll be sending a group of hand-picked knights. All I ask is that you give them a chance to prove themselves.”

“I make no promises, my Lord,  but I will try to keep an open mind.”

“That’s good enough for me. Thank you, my dear. May Her Light shine upon you.”

“May the Mother’s Wisdom guide you,” I replied automatically.

Grinning broadly, as if he’d won some sort of victory, Sir Manfirth turned aside to go to the Order’s chapter house near the Temple of Iphesta.

“Nice chat with Manny?” Kerri asked as she caught up with me outside.

“He wants me to give his people the benefit of the doubt so they can prove the Order has changed and I’ll come back.”

“You belong  there. It’s your home and they were your family.”

“‘Were’, Kerri. I doubt the politics and scheming have changed.”

“There’s a line no one will cross and Iphesta herself presides over every trial now rather than the Tribunal. There are grave consequences for false accusations.”

“Good. There should be, but I am content with my life as it is.”

“But you aren’t happy, Lou.”

“And what’s to say that returning to the Order would make me happy? I am content with serving in my own way and that’s enough for the moment.” I decided to change the subject, “Will you be spending the night with Aelwere?”

“No, I thought I would go to the Temple for the conjunction of Suart and Stigandr.”

“Mm. That doesn’t happen very often.”

“The last conjunction of the Wizard and Wandering Moons was about two hundred years ago. The rituals are always powerful and I  thought it would be good for the upcoming mission. Why don’t you come, too? Iphesta would welcome you.”

I gave the idea serious consideration, but shook my head. “No, I think I’ll skip this one. I want a drink before I have to spend the next few months dealing with the Order. You have fun.”

Kerri laughed and we kissed. “It won’t be that bad. I’ll see you in the morning. Oh, and I’ll let Myrdda and Allis know what’s going on.” Waving, she headed off toward the Temple.

I turned toward the west side of Silverwind and the Growling Dragon Inn. Unfortunately, I hadn’t gone far when I spied the Enlen Ambassador bearing down on me with a purposeful stride.

Oh, what fresh hell is this?

“There you are!” Ambassador Caiside said, looking relieved.

“If you will pardon me, Ambassador, I have preparations to make for departure in the morning.”

“His Royal Highness has come to the embassy and is asking to see you.”

“Which one?” I asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Crown Prince Auren.”

“Be serious,” I blurted without thinking. “That’s impossible.”

“He’s waiting at the embassy. If you’ll come with me.”

“No, Ambassador. Convey my greetings and respects to His Royal Highness, but I have a great deal to do before dawn.” Bowing slightly I walked away.

The Growling Dragon was located near both the Mercenary’s Guild Hall and the Ninth Legion Barracks. I heaved a sigh of relief as I entered the dimly lit taproom and went straight to the bar.

“Hey, Lou,” Birgar,  the barkeep, said with a nod. “What’ll it be? The usual?”

“Actually give me a double bourbon, Bir.”

The old Dwarf made a face, “You don’t usually go for the hard stuff, Lou. What’s wrong?” He poured me a cup of bourbon and slid it across the bar.

I drank half before answering. “They say when it rains it pours, Bir, and I have the distinct feeling that I’m riding into a monsoon.”

“It can’t be that bad.”

“I have to spend the next few months or more working with the Order of the Sacred Flame and if that wasn’t bad enough, a man who’s wanted nothing to do with me for fifteen years is suddenly asking to see me.” I finished the bourbon and gestured for him to refill the cup. “To be honest, I don’t care about that part, it’s having to deal with the Order that’s really getting to me.”

I saw Bir’s eyes widen as he refilled my cup. Fuck.

 

 

Image: World of Warcraft screenshot, because why not?

Rune of the Week & Making a Break

Berkano (B, Berchta):  Birth, general fertility, both mental and physical and personal growth, liberation. Regenerative power and light of spring, renewal, promise of new beginnings, new growth. Arousal of desire. A love affair or new birth. The prospering of an enterprise or venture. Berkano Reversed or Merkstave: Family problems and or domestic troubles. Anxiety about someone close to you. Carelessness, abandon, loss of control. Blurring of consciousness, deceit, sterility, stagnation.

My emotional state hasn’t really gotten any better this week. I’ve come to the conclusion that the years of struggle are just finally dragging me down and taking their toll on me. These last two years have been the worst, but I can’t really say the last couple of decades have been that great. It’s always been a struggle to make ends meet and just when things would start to look up there has always been some sort of set back. Always. We never seem to catch a break anywhere. I’m not sure how to break the pattern or if it even can be broken at this point. I think what’s broken is me, in every way possible: emotional, spiritual, physical.

On that note, I’ve taken up Crowley’s Magick without Tears as a sort of refresher. Yeah, I know, runes and Heathen, but magical knowledge is an Odin thing. Anyway, I’ve been re-reading his definitions of Magick, Will, and Intent. It might help to start with a clean slate and I think with the equinox coming it would be a good time to cleanse and balance the energies around here. It’s just before the Full Moon so that will give it a bit of oomph. Maybe the Act and Intention will help clear the air and pull me out of this funk. It certainly couldn’t hurt.

For the most part I’ve avoided the news this week. I just couldn’t deal with it on top of everything else going on in my head. Besides, it was all Florence and Trump denying that 2700 people died in Puerto Rico due to the Maria. The highlight was the Weather Channel reporter fake newsing it up by pretending to be blown away. Oh, and Willie Nelson. That caught my attention. I’m constantly surprised by not only the depths of people’s stupidity, but their complete lack of comprehension. Willie has spent decades supporting liberal policies. He’s been all about legalizing weed, even before it was “cool”.  He has a long history of supporting Democratic candidates so I don’t know why his fans are suddenly losing their shit over him doing a concert for O’Rourke.

I did make it to 120 this week. I also finished all of the Kul’Tiras quests, just not the dungeons. I opened up the three areas in Zul’whatsit. *SPOILER* – Two thumbs up, Blizzard for Nazmir. I knew it was going to be a disaster when I was teamed up with  Brann Bronzebeard AND Keeshan. (Remember, kids, teaming up with Bronzebeards always ends in tears. Just say no.) It should have been a sign when I was in the jungle with Blood Trolls chasing down a Captain Conrad. (The Horror! The Horror!) So thanks for the Heart of Darkness flashbacks (or Apocalypse Now, for those of you who have never  read Joseph Conrad’s short story). I really hated that story. I much preferred The Secret Sharer. I’ve also been soloing Legion dungeons and after Seat of the Triumvirate I’ve definitely decided Ethereals should be playable characters. See to it, Blizzard. With finishing up in Kul’Tiras, I’m focusing more on Legion rep grind so I can get those allied races. Then I’ll get back to Bazeroth rep grinding for those allied races. Woo. Rep grinding. Blargh.

Anyway, here’s hoping things get better.

 

Image: Odin by Eleanor Dawn Schnar

“Reality is not always what it seems.”

I’m not really sure where to begin. My thoughts have been in a bit of a spin since my med monitoring appointment this morning. It was mentioned in her notes that my therapist thinks I need inpatient treatment for suicidal thoughts. I was completely taken by surprise by that one. Of all the things I probably need inpatient treatment for, suicide doesn’t even make my top five. My impulses lead more toward raging homicide. My ideal world would involve a chain reaction of Hell-marts exploding in massive fireballs from one end of the country to the other. Every disgruntled and pissed off customer could gather around, sing Kum-bah-yah, and make s’mores as we drink whiskey from the skulls of all the cashiers who bagged raw meat with fresh produce or put bananas on our bread or played hacky sack with the eggs. Then, as the morning sun rose, the ashes would gently blow away, leaving no trace of the evil Sam Walton spawned upon this earth. Yeah, the Voices and I have given this a lot of thought over the years.

But I digress and I’m probably over-thinking this, but I don’t really recall anything I’ve said or done to indicate that I’m dangerously suicidal. Yes, the thought pops up occasionally. Yes, I spend more time depressed than not. Even when I appear to be smiling and laughing that probably isn’t my real mood. I guess the part that’s really bothering me is that as I’m obsessing about this the only reason I can concretely point to and say THIS is why I’m still alive is the fact that we can’t afford for me to die. It would be a loss of income and we couldn’t afford what it would cost to cremate me. Mini-Satan would be angry, but she’d pull everyone together and take care of the family. The Beast would probably lose herself in her games and work harder toward her goal of biomedical engineering. (She wants to make medications for mental health that have fewer side effects and are more targeted in nature.) The Old Guy and Mom would be sad for a while, but they have Monkey and the other grand-babies to provide a distraction. Ultimately, though, I know that life will carry on and that one person really doesn’t matter that much in the grand scheme of things. Maybe the therapist was on to something. Well, two positives: Medicaid doesn’t cover inpatient care and we can’t afford for me to go off and die. So, yay.

I don’t usually talk about what goes on inside the old noggin’. At least not with any specifics. It tends to upset people. (Not to mention my aversion to the word “premeditated”.)  When I mentioned to the Old Guy what the therapist had written he got all weird and clingy on me. I don’t know, I guess this leaves me in a kind of limbo unless medication can make some kind of difference. We’ve adjusted my meds again, increasing the depakote and the vyvanse. I have therapy next week and a med follow-up in November. We’ll see how it goes.

 

“Reality is not always what it seems.” -Death, Mort, Terry Pratchett

Rune of the Week aka Lying and Moles and Kneeling, Oh My

Tiwaz: (T: Tyr, the sky god.) Honor, justice, leadership and authority. Analysis, rationality. Knowing where one’s true strengths lie. Willingness to self-sacrifice. Victory and success in any competition or in legal matters. Tiwaz Reversed or Merkstave: One’s energy and creative flow are blocked. Mental paralysis, over-analysis, over-sacrifice, injustice, imbalance. Strife, war, conflict, failure in competition. Dwindling passion, difficulties in communication, and possibly separation.

It’s been a quiet week. I’ve been doing a little gaming. I’m trying to get rep with the Nightfallen so I can get the quest to add them as an allied race. I also need to kill Xavius so I can finish off the Suramar quest lines and get both Legion Pathfinders. Unfortunately I can’t do it until I hit 120. I’m 118. Once I get all of Kul’Tiras quested out, I’m going to go back to Legion and grind rep so I can open up the allied races. Then I’ll take my Horde through Legion and into Bazeroth. I think my shammy is around 100, but if I manage to get flying with my Pally, it will go faster for future characters. Thanks to flying I’ve gotten to where I can level through Draenor’s quest lines in less than a week.

I guess Tiwaz is a good rune for what’s going on this week in politics. I had hopes that Kavanaugh was clean, but that appears to not be the case. It’s been found in emails that he was part of a partisan effort to acquire information from Senate Democrats and other members of the DNC by planting moles in their ranks. One of the news stories I shared this week was actually written by someone who wrote the memos that were stolen. When directly questioned about these memos originally, Kavanaugh lied under oath saying he had nothing to do with it and had never received them. No wonder the GOP is trying so hard to keep Kavanaugh’s papers out of Dem hands. He’s just another dirty, corrupt, life-timer that proves my point about the bureaucrats being the problem with our government. Is it too much to ask that we have someone honest, practical, impartial, and qualified to be a judge on the Supreme Court? Color me crazy, but I’d rather not have a liar and a thief deciding what I may or may not do with my body.

In the Neo-Nixon White House we have a Deep Throat and a new Bob Woodward expose.  There are a lot of things that bother me, but there’s one primary issue I have with this Deep Throat II and their “Resistance”. What gives them the right to decide which legislation is okay and which isn’t? They were elected to office by the voters. More than likely these are life-timers who are damn near impossible to fire. Yeah, yeah, “they are preventing Trump from blowing up the world.” If there are people doing this to Trump, there ARE people behind the scenes doing this to other elected officials. How would you feel about someone taking legislation that YOU voted for OFF the desk of the Senator or Rep that YOU voted for? Hmm? Not so great now, is it.

Also catching my attention was the Nike controversy with Kap. I wasn’t interested enough to actually watch the commercial. I get why he kneels, I get why people are upset, but I really don’t care. Burning Nike gear that you’ve already paid for just makes you look stupid and selfish. Those things could have been donated to the homeless if you no longer wanted them, but the bottom line here is that you didn’t hurt Nike and all those pictures were free advertising for the company. I can also think of better reasons to protest and boycott Nike, but I realize a piece of cloth and an overly brassy ditty are more important than “feriners” making $32/month.

Now for some cool news that caught my attention. I’m a huge fan of Mike Rowe (Dirty Jobs). My favorite episode involved him wearing nothing but goat’s milk soap bubbles. On his Facebook page he tells some great stories about his mother. He encouraged her to write a book and paid for the first ten thousand copies that sold out in like two weeks, I think. Mama Rowe’s book has since been picked up by a couple publishers and was available for pre-order on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Yesterday pre-orders on Amazon had Mama Rowe at #1 in Sports and Outdoors and #24 in Celebrities. This morning Mama Rowe was #1 on Barnes & Noble’s bestseller list, surpassing Bob Woodward’s book. If her Facebook page (About My Mother) is any indicator , then this book should be pretty great. Her Facebook page is full of stories and pictures about her life and her kids. It never fails to make me smile when I read it and I highly recommend it to everyone.

I should get this published while I can. My little helper aka Monkey deleted half of it earlier so I’ve had to rewrite it. Gotta love grandkids, right?

Rune of the Week and a few random thoughts…

Fehu (F: Domestic cattle, wealth.) Possessions won or earned, earned income, luck. Abundance, financial strength in the present or near future. Sign of hope and plenty, success and happiness. Social success. Energy, foresight, fertility, creation/destruction (becoming). Fehu Reversed or Merkstave: Loss of personal property, esteem, or something that you put in effort to keep. It indicates some sort of failure. Greed, burnout, atrophy, discord. Cowardice, stupidity, dullness, poverty, slavery, bondage.

We could use a little hope around here. There’s only so much meds can do and I find myself staring into the abyss of my own thoughts with the Voices whispering in my ear far too often. I should be more grateful, and I am, we have a roof over our head, we managed to keep groceries in the house (though pickin’s sometimes get a bit slim), we have satellite and internet and I have my ‘crack subscription. The whole family has cell phones. But still, it would be nice to be able to fix up the house, put up some fences, dig a pond for some livestock, and get Mini-Satan fixed up in her own house with Monkey. If wishes were horses, eh?

Speaking of Monkey: having her around makes me so happy. Watching her grow and learn is probably the only thing holding me together. She’s 1 1/2 and she already knows some of her colors, numbers, letters, and how to spell her name. She’ll be ahead of the other kids when she gets to Pre-K.

I’ve been distracting myself with writing. I dusted off one of my old revisions and I’ve been going through fleshing out the story and doing some polishing. Because of that I haven’t been gaming as much and I feel bad about that. A friend bought me the latest xpac and I just haven’t been playing much. I think I’ll go play a little this afternoon. I could use a break.

I’m planning to take a break from the news this weekend. It’s been McCain palooza all week so I’m a little burned out with D.C. and politics. I’ll admit I’ve been a bit obsessed these days with what’s happening out in the world. I share the articles I read to Facebook and Twitter, but I don’t really give my opinion. Curiously I find I’m leaning more and more liberal, even socialistic, in some of my views. I think government should be limited, but I believe there are certain standards that the government should be providing to the citizens. I think health care should be universal, I think there should be a flexible living minimum wage that’s based on the economy and cost of living in your particular area. I don’t think the government (state or federal) needs to be in the marriage business. I think the government should set the standards to prevent discrimination of any kind: race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc. These are things that shouldn’t be left up to the states, we went through this with Jim Crow and the Civil Rights movement. The states will discriminate and segregate at every opportunity when given the chance. Hell, school segregation was still in the Alabama constitution up until Obama’s second term and it almost lost the vote to be repealed. The states should simply be managers and facilitators as they can’t be trusted in any further capacity.

Immigration is a biggie. I think a border wall is a pretty pointless and asinine idea as the cartels have already put in dozens of tunnels under the border to allow for drug and human trafficking. No wall is going to stop that. Yes, screening, yes, standards, yes special agricultural visas for those doing farm labor, as well as for education, and specialized trade skills. Yes, a coherent plan to citizenship without a lot of bureaucracy.

Taxes. Tax everyone the same flat rate. Period. Same for states if you’re going to have a state tax, but the state tax rate can’t be higher than the federal rate. No more loopholes or subsidies.

Pay cuts and term limits for Representatives, Senators, Judges, VP, and Pres. These people should not be making millions of dollars. No politician should be making the Forbes 500 list or have multiple houses just solely off their government salary. That’s bullshit. I’ve seen articles where they are complaining about the cost of having to maintain a house in the D.C area as well as their home in their constituency. Give them assigned government apartments for families, barracks for singles. Nothing fancy, just plain, simple, functional. Most importantly, no more waivers or exemptions. If they pass a law, they must abide by that same law.

Keep it simple, keep it equitable. That’s all.