And Some Days...

... you look out and see that the world is a long, long way away; the closest thing you have for a mentor knocks you arse over head and you come back to Earth feeling like you've really accomplished something.


Cheap and Evil Girl

This week's episode of the TV show I'm working on centers completely around a woman's chest and our protagonist's obsession therein. In fact, nearly every male character featured in the episode is infatuated with this female character's cleavage.

I've been in the middle of this all week, there for every single take. I've sat through all the jokes, both scripted and unscripted. I've weathered all the innuendo by crew and entourage. It's giving me a headache. I can't imagine what it's like for the actress who plays our amply-endowed object of desire.

Through all this I've realized, I just don't get it.

I mean, boobs are pretty. I'm a big fan of boobs but really, but if a hefty chest is all that a woman has, then she ain't got much.

Off the top of my head, I can think of at least a dozen attributes that trump tits: legs, for one, smile, for another, plus eyes, scent, back, tattoos, voice, the small of the back, the nape of the neck, and let's not forget brains, eloquence and a reckless disregard for social propriety.

Now, if I can find a woman who has all these things plus a great set of knockers, all the better, but really, let's understand our priorities here.


Some Pagan Beliefs Make No Sense to Me.

Dear Fellow Pagans,

Please stop believing in stupid shit. Rather, please stop making a show of believing rediculous, foolish, demonstrably false things that have nothing to do with religious faith.

By example, there is no planet Nibiru orbiting the the sun in a three thousand year period and it will not collide with the Earth in 2012. If there were, we would be able to detect the effects of it's gravity on other bodies and we do not.

Also, vaccinations do not cause autism. A number of rigorous, peer reviewed, double blind studies have failed to establish a connection between the two.

Additionally, the pyramids were not built by aliens. Look it up.

While we're at it, lycanthropes, blood sucking vampires and baby stealing sprites aren't real. No verifiable specimen of any such species has ever been observed.

Finally, you, no matter how much you like to think that you do, do not have supernatural abilities. You just don't. Trust me on this one.

Every time I find myself in a group of Pagans beyond a certain size, I find a preponderance of people that believe pseudoscientific, conspiratorial, anticritical garbage and that do so with a zeal and a certainty that is diametrically opposed to existing evidence on the subjects.

We practice a collection of beautiful and powerful religions, faiths that explore and reveal some of the most profound philosophical truths of the human condition. Our set of beliefs challenge, inform and demand of us in profound and unique ways. Our mythologies and practices also put us profoundly at odds with the dominant culture and this divide strengthens us and, above all else, informs and defines our culture.

While the importance of our belief in the unorthodox cannot be understated, quackery does us no good. It taints the legitimate teachings of our faiths, impedes rational inquiry and makes us look like a bunch of nut jobs to the culture at large, a culture already entertaining enough misconceptions and a fair amount of hostility about our community as it is.

So, my fellows, I say in all seriousness, let's believe in our faith; let's believe in each other and in the power of our community; let's believe in magic but let's please quit the douchebaggery and ground ourselves a bit in reality?

Deepest Respects and Merry Parting,



In a World of Human Wreckage

You do not have bad days. Some days are hot and the AC goes out. Some days you have to sit in traffic. Some days your boss is crabby. Some days you're crabby. Some days every song on the radio is about everything that's wrong with you. Some days you realize how you've been fooling yourself and some days someone else realized how they've been fooling themself about you. Some days you're broke. Some days the dog bites you. Some days you work your ass off and accomplish nothing.

Despite this, you don't have bad days.

Why, you ask? My day was terrible. Why don't I have bad days?

Because despite all these things, you're not squatting in a bathroom hoping a mortar shell doesn't land on your house. An act of an angry god hasn't washed your home away. You have not been forced into sexual slavery. You do not fear for your life because of your ethnicity. You can speak your mind without fear of government reprisal. You've nothing to bitch about.

I say this, of course, with the presumption that you're from the industrialized north, that you enjoy the privilege, security and equity that comes from accident of birth and wealth of nation. There is the possibility that you are in poverty, in a war zone or have been robbed of your self determination by forces entirely outside your control. If this is the case, you have worthy complaint.

To the rest of you, though, those of you that bitch to no end about your job, your iced coffee or the state of high fashion, really, just grin and fucking bear it.


In Other News

I just retook my AFF level 3 and had a nearly flawless dive; held my heading; kept to my dive flow; pulled dead on my crit altitude. I pulled two hard 1080 spirals under canopy and came home right on time. I dragged my ass on the landing but I'm not really expected to be able to stand one up yet.

Got my groove back.

Whatever You do, Don't Fall Asleep

It's the same every time. I wake but I'm not sure that I've woken; I hover between states of consciousness. Wrapped in my blankets, savoring warmth, I hear a familiar sound of day and not of morning, the din of the labor of dozens. My eyes open just a bit and I find I'm the fourth wall. Above me, a camera is poised on a fisher dolly, tilt plate set aloft, gear head locked. Beside me, a ballast hums and a lamp head radiates white heat. Grip gear clutters the corners of my bedroom and technicians scurry about the business of making a movie.

While this is the standard template for my workday, it's decidedly awkward in my bedroom and all I can ever think to say is “Where's the UPM? I didn't sign a location release.”

I've had this dream at least once a month for the whole of my professional life. I think that it's the moviemaker's equivalent of the naked to school dream, which coincidentally, I've never had.

This week my recurring nightmare came true. In an attempt to conserve funds, the show that I am on for the next ten weeks has rented houses in which the upstairs serve as quarters for the out of town crew and the ground levels serve as sets. Yesterday we used my house. While we didn't actually shoot in my bedroom I did roll out of bed to find locations and art department prepping my temporary home for photography.

Maybe this will cure me of my nightmare.


How Embarassing

I failed my AFF III test.

I was working so hard on my heading control through the clouds that I didn't pay enough attention to my altitude, which is about the worst thing one can do as a student skydiver. I pulled well above the hard deck but 1300 feet below my planned deployment. My canopy opened with me in a medium lateral spin and I broke in a line twist that took me nine hundred feet to uncoil.

My first two jumps this weekend were nearly flawless so this one spooked me a bit.

I'll be back to it next Sunday.