Tag Archives: rant

Ours for the taking?

1 Jun

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Witches are a really nature-loving folks. I’m the first to admit it. We use lots of natural ingredients in our spells and rituals, and outdoor rituals are strongly encouraged. At times, however, I wonder whether much of this practice may be “a bit” self-centered.

Some time ago I talked to a fellow witch who insisted on picking up every single feather she found outside, for those were signs for her. Personally. My suggestion that sometimes birds just lose feathers, and that other beings in this world might have better use for random feathers was met with utter surprise. It seemed impossible, in her mind, that the whole universe had not set about evolution, crafted birds from dinosaurs and sent them to shed their feathers in that special place at that time exactly just so she would gain insight into her thirty-whatnotsth spirit guide.

Similar attitudes are kind of regular occurences in the witching community – go and get branches, herbs, flowers, rocks, crystals, snail houses, seeds, basically WHATEVER you fancy, for witches are nature-loving, and as such we have a right to everything we find in nature.

Yeah, or maybe not.

I’ve ranted about the use of crystals and the conditions under which they are extracted repeatedly, so I’ll spare you that. But imagine if everyone started picking flowers in your garden, or on your balcony, how quickly that would turn into a sad wasteland. Or imagine people taking tiny stones from your house, everyone taking just one – eventually your house would collapse.

Now I am not saying that we should never ever take anything from the natural world. As humans we have to compete for ressources with other humans as well as with creatures from other species (or other planes of existance, while we’re at it). This goes for single plants as well as for food, air or water. And while I am not suggesting that we should stop existing so someone else can have our share, I do recommend, strongly, that we should only take what we need, and at the same time think about the ways in which we can give back. A few things I can think of are:

  • Plant wild flowers everywhere. Not just your place. Everywhere you might encounter bees is a great place to drop a few seeds and just walk away. (Of course NOT on other people’s property. But if you live near the forest or have a few meadows nearby, or a park, you might do some guerilla-gardening in favor of bees.)
  • Dry and grind egg shells and bury them in the ground. The minerals help fertilize the soil – and some animals use them as mineral sources as well. (Again, not on other people’s property.)
  • When you head out, collect the things other people drop – empty bottles, plastic wrappers etc. Make it a habit to take a bag with you and see how far you have to go before it is full.
  • Make realistic meal and snack plans before you go out shopping. This is something I often struggle with myself, and I end up buying too much and then throwing out all kinds of food because they have spoiled. What a waste of money, energy and natural ressources!

Do you have any suggestions to add to this list?

18 Aug

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To be honest, our neighborhood is far from shitty. Quite the contrary. We’re one of those places where neighbors spy on watch out for each other and there are disputes over whether you have parked in the wrong spot – which belongs to the neighboring flat, although that neighbor does not even have a car and the spot is ALWAYS empty and the other neighbor has been parking his BMW so close to your spot that the only thing you could park there is a children’s bicycle, but he rented the flat with the parking spot and he’ll be damned if he lets anyone else park there for we’re in Germany and there are RULES, goddamnit, and where will this all end if everyone parks their car where they want to, these savages, in the olden days those punks would have been set straight by their parents no matter their age!

Mostly we like living here. We keep our heads down, smile when we meet the neighbors, park our car in our spot (unless the BMW is parked too far on the right, then we park out in front on the street, but that is not bad, either, for nothing ever happens around here) and keep to ourselves.

And right now we are watching dirt getting stirred up.

Two families are moving in simultaneously, and doing lots of renovating and stuff.

You know, this is a QUIET house. The people do not like other people drilling or opening doors or walking in the hallway after a certain time. The last people who moved in here moved out again after just three months because some of the older inhabitants had a veritable smearing campaign going on against them because their dogs were too loud and the older dog sometimes peed in front of the house. They told everyone that the woman was being looked for by the police, called animal protection over alelged dog abuse and wrote her landlord scathing letters about what kind of FILTH had he brought into the house??!

And now two new families. One couple in their fourties, polite and well-off, who put up letters when they have loud construction going on and leave chocolate on your doorstep as an edible excuse. (I like them.)

The other one, from what I have seen, a younger couple, maybe our age, with lots of family helping and drilling on weekends and a tiny child, which means they leave their buggy in the hallway sometimes.

I wonder how long they will last.

Think positive, or How I was tempted to punch someone throught the screen

29 Jul

This morning an author posted a eulogy in one of the many author groups I am member of on FB. Someone he knew, a fellow author, had been suffering from depression and committed suicide.

The very, really, I-kid-you-not first comment under this post was “People should not let negativity drag them down, just think positive!”

I am sure you, too, know the urge to punch someone REALLY hard through the screen. I do. As this kind of magic has been declared illegal by the High Council of Evil Witches, I had to limit myself to telling her what I thought of her comment, and switching off all notifications for the post.

Yes, OF COURSE from the outside depression can simply look like, “You have to try harder. Don’t be such a wuss. Have you read this beautiful blog on thinking positive?” On the inside it’s more often like standing in the middle of a stony desert under a grey sky, all alone, with no input whatsoever, and no idea how to get out. All the while vultures are circling around you and whispering about all your failures and all the bad things that have happened that you could not stop.

Under these circumstances “think positive” feels a lot like saying, to someone with a broken leg, “Just jump around a little, it will mend in no time!”

Depression is a chronic condition, not something that can easily be fixed. And I know people like easy fixes. That’s why some people make shitloads of money – they promise “easy fixes” for everything from flat boobs to becoming rich without working. The idea of easy fixes is, in the end, that you are at fault yourself if oyur condition is less-than-stellar (be it financially, emotionally, health-wise) because there is this really simple easy fix available and you are essentially a bad person for not trying it – or even worse, for having tried and failed.

The woman who posted the comment in question, by the way, insisted that she was merely pointing out a very simple solution to a common problem that is not really a problem at all.

Yeah, stop being a downer, all you depressed, mentally ill people. You’re spoiling our fun.

I still have that punching itch. Anyone got an alibi for me? Maybe if I can escape detection from the High Council of Evil Witches …

(Gosh, I *know* cursing her does not help anything at all in this situation. But it would feel so very, very good.)

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To end this on a happier note, this is a picture of a cake I brought to work today. A colleague is leaving the country, and she likes mice.

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Heat and PMS don’t mix

20 Jul

This is a whiny post.

I don’t like the heat. Take all my summer days and give me some extra October instead. I don’t care about beaches and sunburns.

Plus I am PMSing so hard it is giving me headaches and threatening health and sanity of everyone around me.

Of course I know what I have to do for that – eat some sweetpotato. But, honestly? In this heat?

During the day I am stuck in a 12 m² office with the window facing south-west, together with three other opinionated nerds. Life is tough. Really. I love these women, but today I cannot promise to not strangle anyone. Which is totally not their fault. I would strangle the Dalai Lama if he stood between me and my soothing cup of coffee.

However, it helps to remind myself that part of this mixture of impatience and aggression is not the rest of the world being stupid, but my hormones going crazy. Which is why I take deep breaths, google sweetpotato salad recipes and try not to go on a killing spree.

Have a great day!

A cat’s life

9 Jun

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Must be tough, being a cat. Sleeping all day in the softest, warmest spot you can find, waiting for someone to pet you and feed you and play with you and clean out your litter box and … – honestly? I think I would like to switch place for a day or two at the moment. The very day the sun came out, I got sick. Again. So far this year has been rather crappy – I had a cough, which turned into bronchitis, then I injured my heel, had another cough, injured my ankle and shinbone and now I am again sitting at home after work with a cough and a runny nose and lungs that sound suspiciously like whistling through wet paper. I have had to come to terms with the fact that I will most definitely not do an obstacle course this year, had to put my weight-loss on hold (again – my immune system does not like a low-calorie lifestyle while it is fighting bugs), our place looks like a mess and I am falling behind on even the most simple of tasks, such as scheduling appointments or doing my paperwork. At least I got the taxes done in time this year. Took me only four months of complaining and three hours of wading through numbers.

At least during Ramadan we only have to work five hours per day, which means I have two more hours to sleep per day, or get my stuff in order … and now enough complaining, my sweet potatoes are done, and I could do with a cup of ginger lemon tea. Take care of yourselves, and don’t forget to rest!

What makes a person a GOOD person?

1 Apr

This is something I have been struggling with for a while. Of course we all know the saying, “If you wonder whether you are a good person, you probably are” – but I think that is not right. Ghenghis Khan probably thought he was the good one. Hitler and Stalin may have thought so as well. Kim Jong Un possibly considers himself “one of the good guys”.

What is good for one may be insufficient or even bad for another person. And sometimes good intentions lead to horrible results. If you’re only trying to do the best and fail miserably – because you don’t have all the information or because you miscalculated – are you good or bad?

Basically I think that most people are neither good nor bad – they’re stupid and trying their best. But this still does not solve my problem.

I am cranky. I am impatient. I have a short temper. Sometimes I am passive aggressive. I feel the need to bitch, a lot. I am nice to my coworkers although I don’t like most of them, and would hit some of them with my car if I saw them in a dark alley. I don’t believe in the “organic” scam and have made my peace with being a carnivore. Sometimes I do not do something although it might be good for someone else just because I am lazy. I don’t like people in particular and mostly just want to be left alone. Ooooh, and I am judgemental as anything.

These are all less desirable qualities, I am sure. Some days I think I should try to be a better version of myself. And then again I think – I don’t have time for this. I am getting too old for this shit. Give me a break.

And then I think – be kind. Everyone is facing a hard battle.

Be kind – but take no sh*t.

Why Lesbian Vampire Killers is not a funny movie. Read at your own risk

11 Nov

I am developing a birthday tradition – we gather friends, eat and drink and watch horror movies. This year it was “Piranha 3DD” and “Lesbian Vampire Killers“, both at the request of friends.

For the past few days I have tried to find out why I did not like LVK. British horror comedy, what is not to like? Most dialogues are beer-witty, the images nicely composed … and yet something sat wrong with me. Until I got it. And now allow me to spoil the fun (and the movie) for you:

Basically this is a story of two guys accidentally stumbling into an ancient curse that turns every woman of a certain village into a lesbian vampire by the age of 18. The curse stems from Vampire Queen Carmilla, who fell in love with the wife of some knight, who, quoting from memory, was the only man brave enough to penetrate her. The movie goes on, showing how those two British blokes try to get a few German mythology(??) students drunk in order to get laid. Of course all women are turned into vampires before the guys get lucky. Which basically forces them to lift the curse. A bit of blood (or in this case, slime) shedding, a bit of cursing, some very mild erotic scenes later everything is fine – except for the fact that the women may not be vampires anymore, but they are still lesbians. The Horror!!!

So what rankled me? You guessed it – the cultural depiction of the German students was totally wrong. (Just kidding.)

My real problem – so first this Carmilla is raped, and then she is the evil one for cursing a village? And what is wrong about being a lesbian? I know, I know, they meant no harm, and why do I always have to take everything so serious? But I honestly preferred ageing David Hasselhoff singing and failing at lifeguarding over LVK. Sorry, not sorry.

(Just so you know that not all is lost – I am watching “Penny Dreadful” on Netflix at the moment, and I really enjoy the depiction of the evil witches. Honestly, who of us hasn’t thought about sewing the heart of a child into a doll to curse someone annoying?)

(That was not sarcasm.)

(For the records, no children have gone missing anywhere near me.)