October 31, 2011

Spirits of the Dead

~Edgar Allan Poe

Thy soul shall find itself alone
'Mid dark thoughts of the grey tomb-stone;
Not one, of all the crowd, to pry
Into thine hour of secrecy.

Be silent in that solitude,
Which is not loneliness — for then
The spirits of the dead, who stood
In life before thee, are again
In death around thee, and their will
Shall overshadow thee; be still.

The night, though clear, shall frown,
And the stars shall not look down
From their high thrones in the Heaven
With light like hope to mortals given,
But their red orbs, without beam,
To thy weariness shall seem
As a burning and a fever
Which would cling to thee for ever.

Now are thoughts thou shalt not banish,
Now are visions ne'er to vanish;
From thy spirit shall they pass
No more, like dew-drop from the grass.

The breeze, the breath of God, is still,
And the mist upon the hill
Shadowy, shadowy, yet unbroken,
Is a symbol and a token.
How it hangs upon the trees,
A mystery of mysteries!

Samhain Thoughts

Tonight we celebrate Samhain... end of summer, the last of the harvest festivals.

We enter and welcome the dark time of year, the nights are longer and colder. Bare trees rest, roots deep within the earth, waiting for suns return in spring. Samhain night, the night when the veil between the worlds are thin... a night when we honour our ancestors, those who have gone before, tonight they hear us call. Tonight I welcome and embrace the darkness. In the cool, reflective darkness may I learn as I reflect on the past year and the year to come.

"As evening gathers Her darkness tonight, samhain's mystery is revealed... Bless the ancestors...bless those to come... The veils between the worlds will thin... Let them in. Let them in..." ~Lucy Cavendish


Blessed Be! To all my Pagan and Wiccan friends.
Happy Halloween!

October 30, 2011

Halloween in the Gayborhood

My friends Robert and Rose came with me to the large street party held in the gayborhood last night. It was their first time being at the street party. We were in full kilt garb. We were stopped hundreds of time to pose for pictures. There were quite a few groups of PamAm flight attendants and many Waldos. I wish I had taken my camera, but its more fun to in front of a camera than behind it.

When I got home I got out the camera and took this picture:

I realized I was missing my hat with the foot long pheasant feather standing straight up. I dropped my camera as I went to get it and now the camera doesn't work. :(

We had a great time and of course got into mischief... The more I drank the more me Scottish accent came out. There were many people that asked for a proper kilt check and were not disappointed. *wink*

'Twas a fun night.

October 28, 2011

Whippet

This picture made me LOL!

Happy Friday y'all!

October 27, 2011

Face Time

This was Jim on Sunday, October 16, 2011


Jim was in a mood on Monday morning, October 17, 2011
This happened


Jim does not like the clean shaven look :-/
He stopped shaving on Thursday, October 21, 2011

This is Jim today, October 27, 2011

His beard grows really fast.

And gray.

Oh well...

October 23, 2011

A word about Renaissance Festivals

I spent a great weekend at TRF with my friends. We are all huggers even if it's been less than a week, we always greet and say good-bye with a hug. Even with new friends.

I needed to see my friends after the rough couple of weeks at work. I needed that friendly embrace and kiss on the cheek.

As I was leaving work for an extended weekend several coworkers asked me what exactly it is that I do at the renaissance festival. I explained as well as I could and showed them some pictures. They said: "oh, is this what they did in the movie Role Models"? I scowled and said; "No! It isn't the same thing. Again, let me repeat, NO!"

If anyone has seen that movie, that is not a renaissance festival. What they are doing is LARPing (Live Action Role Play). You can read more about it here.

So, what do I and my friends do at a ren faire? Drink. Talk. Pose for pictures. Walk to the next pub for another drink. We meet old friends. Meet some new and interesting people. Pose for more pictures. Share rum or more liquors from our flasks. We point out people dressed weird and occasionally go take our picture with them. Head to the next pub. Pose for more pictures. Photo-bomb people who are taking pictures. We talk and tell jokes. Did I mention that we drink? We dance when we're drunk. We give out lots of hugs and ogle some boobs or some hottie.

You know.... typical stuff that friends do together.

Hope y'all had a great weekend.

October 18, 2011

Seduction

I've admitted before that I don't know how to flirt. I am just usually myself, and at times I'm not even sure who that is... ugh.

But I have recently learned and have figured out that "confidence is sexy". Mind you, I find someone who is overly confident, to the point of being egomaniacal, is a big turn-off. It's a fine line to have confidence yet not be arrogant. And boy can I have some fun when I'm standing or walking on that fine line!

It's nice to flirt and then, when the time is right, just take what you want. In fact, I find a lot of people want someone who has a 'take charge' type attitude in the bedroom. Even when you're the object, the one who is being seduced, it's really nice when someone is letting you know when you're attractive and desirable.

Is flirting and seduction done much anymore in our new electronic world of Grindr, Manhunt, Scruff or some other hook up site? It now seems like we're ordering from an online catalog or a takeout menu. What about flirting and making someone feel attractive? I find that the qualities that I'm attracted to in a guy are things that you can't detect from a small picture or a sentence about what they're "into". You certainly can't tell if someone is confident from a picture of their bare chest with only their nipples showing, now can you?

Here is one of my favorite quotes from the show Mad Men:
"You'll realize in your private life that at a certain point seduction is over and force is actually be requested."
~Don Draper

See why I love this show!

Have y'all ever been in a situation like this? I'd love to hear your stories. Maybe some bloggers will take this up as a blog challenge.... Do you like being seduced? Have you ever seduced someone? Do tell....

October 16, 2011

Willpower & Self-control

I was reading an article listing 9 things that successful people do. I like and absolutely believe in the 7th point.

7. Build your willpower muscle. Your self-control "muscle" is just like the other muscles in your body — when it doesn't get much exercise, it becomes weaker over time. But when you give it regular workouts by putting it to good use, it will grow stronger and stronger, and better able to help you successfully reach your goals.

To build willpower, take on a challenge that requires you to do something you'd honestly rather not do. Give up high-fat snacks, do 100 sit-ups a day, stand up straight when you catch yourself slouching, try to learn a new skill. When you find yourself wanting to give in, give up, or just not bother — don't. Start with just one activity, and make a plan for how you will deal with troubles when they occur ("If I have a craving for a snack, I will eat one piece of fresh or three pieces of dried fruit.") It will be hard in the beginning, but it will get easier, and that's the whole point. As your strength grows, you can take on more challenges and step-up your self-control workout.


I've found this is an issue that we all seem to ignore in life. I think we allow ourselves to cheat. It can be cheating on the little things like a diet as mentioned in the article. Could cheating on a diet be one of the reasons that there are so many obese people in society today?

I think it includes other major things as well.

As I listened to an NPR show one day last week in which they were talking about the recent news story of the hedge fund manager who got a stiff jail sentence for insider trading. They had an expert state that things like this happen all the time. It makes me wonder why. I'm in the financial industry and [major bank] has requirements that every licensed employee take training courses. We sign a statement that we know and understand the laws regarding things like insider trading.

Are people allowing themselves to cheat? Why? I think it's greed in our society. The media is constantly telling us that we need the latest, greatest, newest thing and that our lives will not be complete without something new and more exciting.

I've also seen this in relationships too. If a person makes a vow to their spouse or partner to be faithful, then why do people cheat? Extra marital affairs are almost celebrated in movies and television shows and among celebrities. But is it right? It's another thing if both people in a relationship agree to have an open relationship, then that's OK as far as I'm concerned. Then why are there so many people on 'hook up' websites and apps saying they have to be discreet?

I think we also allow ourselves to cheat in other ways. On our taxes or doing something other than work during times when we're being paid to do a job. Some seem to live by the saying: "It's easier to get forgiveness than to get permission." In doing so are we allowing ourselves to cheat? A little white lie never hurt anyone, right? What about ourselves? Our conscience? Our moral values? And not just a moral value prescribed by a church or religious belief system. Shouldn't we have our own moral code, shouldn't we all know what is right and wrong?

This is probably why I'm single and not very trusting of people in general. I really do try to live an honest moral life by what I know is right. I think this is why I have only a few close friends. My friends are people I know I can trust. They also try to live life honestly and strive to be good responsible people.

Willpower and self-control are not a new concept at all. Why are they so hard to do though? Is it laziness or is it like I said; we allow ourselves to cheat?

Do y'all find that you allow yourselves to cheat or are you good at exercising self-control and willpower? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

October 15, 2011

With eyes closed is the best way to look at the soul.

~Victor Hugo

The title of this blog post is a quote from Les Miserables.
This week I finally finished reading it.

It seemed like I would never get through all 1194 pages. I've been reading it since the beginning of June. But I made it... and I absolutely loved it. I have seen the musical twice, so even though I knew how it ended I still thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

I remember seeing it for the first time in London. I really had never even heard much about the book but the musical moved me to tears. Needless to say, the book ending was even more emotional for me than the play. But that is good... here is another quote from the book: "He who does not weep does not see."

(the only full version of the finale I could find had these sub-titles) :-/


Next book: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

October 13, 2011

Chaos


Tarot card dead on for the month!

Work sucketh!

I'll be back in a few days... hopefully in a better mood.

MEH!

October 10, 2011

Columbus Day Stuff



One of my favorite books is about Christopher Columbus. The title is: Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus by Orson Scott Card. You can read about the book here if you want. It's a great historical fiction novel and a great "what if" story. I loved it and highly recommend it.

I had to work today. UGH! It would have been a good day to stay curled up in bed with a good book.

October 9, 2011

Random Sailor Stuff

As soon as I got out of hell jury duty on Friday, I gathered my rennie gear and I was off to meet up with some friends traveling down to the Houston area for the opening weekend of the Texas Renaissance Festival (TRF). Huzzah!

In Texas there are 3 major faires: Sherwood Forest Faire near Austin in February & March; Scarborough Faire near Dallas in April & May and TRF near Houston in October & November. Various faires and festivals are held throughout the country in almost every month of the year; like Colorado in June and July.

We pulled into the camp for the crew of The Impaler after nightfall and had a great time catching up until the wee hours of the morning.

Saturday morning we told the drunken sailors to hurry with their shower and get their gear on! We started drinking around noon and the carousing began. We are not shy and there isn't anyone we won't talk to. We posed for millions hundreds of pictures. We were the typical drunk, rowdy, boisterous pirates that we always are!

You would be surprised at how many people (men and women) look at your jolly rodger area when you're wearing tights! Of course I hated the attention because I'm so shy.... *evil grin*

Sunday morning we packed the drunken sailor gear back into the vehicles and headed back to our home ports. We will meet again at TRF in 2 weeks for Pirate Weekend. The whole crew should be there and I'm sure some shenanigans will occur. I can't wait!


Hope y'all had a great weekend!

October 6, 2011

What? Again..?

Tomorrow I have to go to the courthouse in Dallas. I got another jury summons.
I just did this in July and now I have to go again in October?
UGH!

I know, I know... civic duty, blah blah blah.... jurors represent a cross section of the community... yadda yadda yadda.... without regard to race, gender, national origin, age or political affiliation... yeah, whatever! You know people will do anything or say anything in the hope that they're not picked for a jury.

At least I get a day away from the office!

Has anyone gotten out of being selected for a jury? What did you say that got you out of it?

Has anyone served on a jury? If so, would love to hear the story about it.

October 4, 2011

Grace

There are a lot of definitions for the word "grace". I do not believe grace is only a religious term; it is not just a virtue given from God. What about the meaning of: having the quality or state of being considerate or thoughtful. It is also: elegance or beauty of form, manner, motion, or action.

Is this meaning of the word grace lost today in our lives? I'm not talking about someone moving with grace like a dancer. I'm talking about an attitude and a way of thinking and living one's life.

To me, grace is a refinement. It's raising yourself above the mundane and a base, animal, primal instinct. Grace is caring and compassion. Taking the higher road and adding to the beauty of life. I believe that there are situations in life that call us to put our own needs second and to be unselfish and have an attitude of grace.

Don't take me wrong. I love getting down and dirty. I can be very primal, animalistic and base (especially in the bedroom)! *evil grin*

Even though I have the right to be crass and say what I want, it isn't always the right thing to do. We may even have a right to be angry, hurt and want to lash out, but what good will that do? We might feel better for about a second. But do we really want to put negative energy out there? What about the consequences of our words too? In the grand scheme of life, isn't it better to just have a little control; a little grace and refinement?

Hope I wasn't rambling too much; just some thoughts running through my mind lately. What are your thoughts about grace?

October 2, 2011

Biking

I think it was Cubby who suggested I get a helmet cam to show everyone what it's like to be out biking. I didn't get one, but I did get the iJim4 camera out and held it for a while during my ride today:


This particular trail has several challenging hills and creeks to cross. While riding up one of the hills I saw a good place to put the camera. The result is the next little clip. I'll warn you that nothing happens from about the 10 second mark to about the 42 second mark. I was by myself and started the camera, then had to run to the bike, put on the helmet.... But this should give you some idea of part of the trails I like:

By the way, I added the music... there really wasn't someone out in the woods playing a banjo. LOL

This hill is very steep going down and it used to really freak me out. There were many times when I would stop and walk down or ride the brakes really hard and then lose steam on the climb out. Now it's a piece of cake. One of my favorite areas of the trail.

If this post is boring... blame Cubby! He's the one who suggested it!

Hope y'all had a great weekend.

October 1, 2011

October Tarot

The Tower

The main theme of this card is Change and Inspiration.

The fire of the Tower card burns away all that is negative and outdated, but it leaves behind all that is positive, all that is necessary to begin your life again and replace all that was lost.

I've seen The Tower card in many readings I've done for myself. It looks like October will be an interesting month! Changes are coming. Things may seem like they're in chaos and happening very fast, but fury precedes grace. I will also have illumination and inspiration. A new light will be shed or I'll gain greater insight on something.

Jim; fasten your seat belt, you're in for a bumpy ride this month. But all should work out for the better in the end.