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Treading water

Well, GAFilk is over for another year. I had a terrific time as I always do (that’s why I keep going, y’all) but it’s over. I have no concrete plans for any other cons this year, although there are 3 cons I’m considering (ConCarolinas, OVFF, and Chambanacon, if you’re curious) depending on funds (of which I have virtually none and have run up too much credit card debt).

Even so, I have a high point every year to look forward to, and it’s not all that expensive ($50 or less for the con, $35 for the banquet, half a hotel room, and some food and parking money). I even wrote a new song this year (not a cheerful one, sadly) and got to perform it.

There were around 160 people this year, and I know and love probably half of that number and would say the same about the other half if I took the time to get to know them. It can also be said that, of the people I know and love and/or respect, 80% of them were or had been in that room this year and/or one of the previous four.

Only 51 weeks to go…

Apparently my position is being eliminated on the 21st of this month, although the company claims they have other positions for me. Until they offer one, I have no idea how that will work out, so it’s a bit itchy.

I don’t believe I mentioned that my new coffeepot (42-cup Hamilton Beach percolator) stopped perking after only 10 weeks and they are dragging their feet replacing it even though they have already charged me for the shipping cost. So, no coffee, have to go to Pilot for a while. Which saves me money on gas…

Hugs,
Me

New Year

Like many people, I have not been at my best for the past several weeks. The weather has been strange, with only one very light snowfall yet, and often reaches temperatures in the 70s. Either this is the Winter of Global Warming or we’re being set up.

This weekend, I will be celebrating with many friends at GAFilk. Lots of music, lots of love.

People wonder what this blog is about. I’m a psychiatric survivor, musician, direct support professional, disabled person, pagan priest, bard, friend, online groups manager, science fiction and fantasy fan, reader of much non-fiction, editor… and I love my two cats.

I get criticism that I don’t just pick one subject and blog on it, but that would mean I would need many blogs. This blog reflects my humanity, in all my failures and successes, joys and degradations. I have been trying to make myself the best person I can be, and have had a lot of success in doing so, but it is far from a finished product.

If you are someone I have helped, thank you for being there so that I could practice being the good person I intent to be. If you are someone I have refused to help, thank you for helping me set boundaries on what I can and cannot do.

Hugs,
Me

Synopsis

2015 has been a great year for me. I have a new, permanent home, a new purpose, a new confidence. My role in my Family has grown, as has my role in my various outside activities, helping the homeless and ministering to prisoners and my position as a bard.

I suppose the downside was my burgeoning debt. Some of that debt was incurred to fund my future; some of it was to move, or to fill the needs presented by the new house. Some of it, admittedly, was from poor decisions, not sure if I’ll ever completely get rid of those. 2016 is when I pay for that. So long as I keep my job, this should not be an issue. Aum shrim Mahalaxmiyei svaha!

I’m not really making any resolutions for the new year, other than to consolidate and grow the seeds already planted (and shrink the debt). This will be a very organic year for me, probably won’t be a whole lot for me to report upon other than road signs.

Blessings on all your endeavors!

Hugs,
Me

Relaxing

Not much going on.

I performed at the inaugural WolfStock a couple weekends ago, and even (eventually) got paid for it. It was a fundraiser for Wolf PAWS, Inc., a wolf/wolf-dog rescue and recovery program just outside of Dandridge. The fundraiser was a success by the organizer’s accounting, raising at least a couple thousand dollars for the project, but it was clear to the performers that they really need lessons in promoting events (they could easily have had four times as many people there with decent promotion).

I just learned this week that I’m not losing my job when my client moves closer to Knoxville. It will be a bit longer of a drive but not too bad. My little car keeps plugging along nicely. A couple cosmetic things need to be done on him, but nothing at all major. I never did, for instance, get the lock fixed on the trunk (don’t know why, but the key does not fit the trunk lock, a fact mitigated by the trunk release button inside the car), and the left headlight lens assembly could stand to be replaced. Also the driver’s seat need replacing, the foam pulled apart on the right side and my back sometimes is contacting the steel frame of the seat. All trivia.

Nothing at all going on here until January. Well, my birthday in December, but there are probably very few who will help me celebrate it. Another trip around the homestar, yessiree.

Still doing fine medically, only take one blood pressure med (which doesn’t like me, but it’s better than the other ones they’ve tried on me) and one injection every two weeks (my body is not producing an important hormone, ’nuff said). Otherwise, I take my handful (and it takes a large hand) of supplements every day.

So like I said, it’s snooze time here in the Tennessee mountains. Hope y’all are having a great time. Nobody ever said things had to be exciting to be good.

Hugs,
Me

Update

I taught a workshop and managed two Bardic Circles this past weekend. There were some really good moments and some really good people. Now I get to put my house literally in order for my Barding this Saturday. Emmie is also negotiating a couple of performances for me in the coming months.

The college I went to my first two years away from home keeps sending me magazine updates. I’m sure they are thinly-disguised appeals for donations. But I smile when they get to the part where they mention the latest achievements of past students, like the jock who made my life miserable having completed a long career as a successful women’s basketball coach at the college and being inducted into the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame.

I want so badly to send in my news: Gerald “Moss” Bliss has been installed as Steward of Shernai, the facilities of Triad Bardic College, and on September 27 he will be raised to the status of Elder Bard by the College. He has served the past several years as Master of Bards for the Earth’s Web Community, in which capacity he will continue to serve.

I kinda think that would not get published in the mag…

Hugs,
Me

Moving Update

I’m all moved in at Sojourn, other than the usual unpacking issues. It feels to good to be here.

I need to go back to Blaine to pick Sky up on the 4th and take her to get the moving truck she has rented. Last I heard, her plans are to go to Dayton OH and try to rent an apartment when she gets there.

Now I just have to wait for my deposits to come in so I can catch up on my credit a little. The move has been hard on my finances, as moves usually are. Melanie’s song, “What do I keep, what do I throw away?” forgets the bit about “What do I have to buy to fit my new circumstances.”

I talked to John Noggle last night. He’s in his 3rd week of chemo, something he said previously he was going to avoid. I hope it helps, he has let this go for a long time.

My cousin Maria called last night (actually twice, and both times she was interrupted by a call from her mother). It sounds like she will finally get her way and move to Japan next month, I think she said the 24th. I hope she is safe and happy there.

I have to get my articles in for Peppermint and Sage soon, and learn a new song for Harvest Festival as well as plan a workshop. So I’m busy.

And very happy.

Hugs,
Me

Breaking the Silence

Some of you already know this. I have been in transition with housing, moving to Sojourn, a cabin and a livelihood in Dandridge, TN, where I will steward the new growth of Triad Bardic College. This left my temporary housemate, Skycladlilith SaintMartha, in a tight spot, as she needs a place to go or a new housemate, but she knew it was coming eventually and I gave her lots of notice (and donated some of my things to her so that she might have a bit more money – by selling them – to take care of stuff).

I am mostly at Sojourn now. We held a dedication of the site a week ago, to much joy and revelry. We moved most of my furniture (except one bookcase and the stuff being left behind) yesterday. I still have a lot of unpacking to do, and I still have a lot of stuff in Blaine to move (mostly books, and then cleaning up the place).

This could, and by design should, be my last move. I have a smallish cabin, with about 7 acres of woods with walking trails. I will be hosting Triad events here every month or four, and doing teaching from here. The site is also a beautiful place for people to get married, and we have lots of clergy from a variety of spiritual traditions available for the purpose.

As for my own music, I promise to finally get my CD published (as a physical object — the music is for sale in downloadable MP3s now). I have purchased a new guitar, which is beautiful and sounds wonderful and has a pickup so I can play more venues. I expect to be playing at many events in 2016, starting with my annual trip to Atlanta in early January.

I got a new job a few months ago; this move more than halves my driving distance. It also puts me within 4 miles of my closest friends, who are now also my landlords. I have a friend in White Pine I’ve been wanting to spend time with, and that is now only 11 miles away.

As for my personal romantic life, it’s still me and Nan, and Nan is still in Hendersonville NC and unable to leave there at the present time or foreseeable future. It has been this way for a long time. I can live with it, and also wonder how I could shoehorn her into this cabin.

So that’s about it. My health has been all right, although when I cast myself far afield for Gatherings I have not been well. A lot of that is stress, a lot of that is “sun poisoning” (I *must* remember to take a hat), and perhaps some of it is as yet undiscovered.

Special hugs to my Family, and my family. My favorite cousins know who they are and know that I love them. I tend to love everyone who lets me, which has gotten me in a lot of trouble over the years but has helped me grow into what I am today, and I expect that growth to continue.

Blessings on you all.

Hugs,
Me

Yawn

Why haven’t I posted anything? Because nothing I’m doing seems important.

I’m going to work every weekday, with a 17-mile drive each way and an occasional side trip (such as laundry on alternate Fridays). I’m visiting my best friends in Dandridge roughly every other weekend. My house mate has few needs and we mostly act like we’re in different dimensions. My cats are about as needy as cats get, and that’s all right with me. I have no new songs, and the few times I’ve actually had inspirations rapidly became too whiny to continue. My health is about as good as it can be for a 62-year-old man whose doctors either ignored him or conspired against him his whole life.

I have friends online and off, I have a few members of my family on both sides who still talk to me, my mother is about as well as an 85-year-old woman can be.

I’m even appearing to be climbing out of some numbing debt I got myself in (in the name of love). So long as I keep my job — and they show no signs of either wanting to or being able to replace me — I should be debt-free before the end of the year.

So I’m going through the tedious job of living, and don’t have as many wonderful signposts to comment on. All I have to do is keep my job and keep females away from my emotional receptors and I’ll be fine. Might even own a house before I die at this rate.

Politically, I’m seen as radical left, but I’m really only moderate left. I believe everyone should have a real chance to benefit from their labor and not get totally ripped off just because the owner wants a bigger piece of the pie. Liberals like Warren Buffett are OK with me — yes he has a huge slice of the pie, but he’s willing to let the pie grow. The FauxNews crowd seems to think that the rich should eat all the pie they can, leaving nothing to grow. I want all labor, not just American, to be compensated fairly for their labor. The rich will still be rich. I’m not sure how I feel about consumerism, as I enjoy a bit of that myself. Where I live, I don’t really have complete recycling available, but I do what I can. I have a few more gadgets than I really can justify, but it also makes me a resource to my friends who might need one of these gadgets. (In two ways — I can either tell them my experience, or might just give [or sell cheaply] them one of my excess.)

For instance, right now I do not need both a tablet and a smartphone. My tablet is 7″ which I feel is barely too large. What I need, therefore, is a 6″ phablet. Unfortunately, all the good phablets require a phone plan which is more than double what I am currently paying and cost wow (around $600-1200).

I am now merely babbling. I hope you have enjoyed your trip through my so-called life. Guess I’ll sign off now.

Hugs,
Me

Double Whammy

Yesterday I learned that my housemate and I were on different pages regarding our payment agreement (or apparently lack thereof). We both felt gut-punched over that. We’re attempting to work it out. But I went to work at less than peak…

And then my guy went off, and kept going off, from 5 until just before 8. I was about ready to run out the door and give up, but I’m just no good at quitting. I had to remind myself that I only have to put up with him 5/5 while he lives with it 24/7.

When I got home, I just went to my room. I spent maybe 20 minutes on my computer, and otherwise just stayed on my bed, some crying involved.

Somehow I made it to work today.

Hugs,

Me

Quiet Time

I assure you, lots of good things are happening in my life. More articles in Peppermint & Sage, more friends to talk to, good things on the computer front (like a Pogoplug as a birthday present), and I’m finally starting to lose weight again (I’ve been gaining like mad since getting free into my own apartment, was up to 242 after being 204 when I moved in). But right now I’m all about getting myself together.

One old friend has bladder cancer and decided that fighting it was harder than giving in, so he has moved (12 hours away rather than 2) to be closer to his remaining family. Another is trying to raise money for a car she can live in, which, again, would take her farther than 2 hours away.

No Thanksgiving invitations… well, actually, two, but I work 3 to 8 pm. One starts at 4 and the other is a 2-hour drive away (and I’d have to drive back, and work again on Friday). So I guess that removes one possibility for weight gain. I’d love to have some people to just hang with.

Issues:
Psych drugs — completely free since Nov 2003
Music — no scheduled concerts, GAFilk in January is my next con, hoping to get to ConCarolinas in May.
Spirituality — Phamily’s Yule Gather is coming up soon
Age — I get to turn 61 solar cycles next week
Health — Doing pretty well. Blood pressure in check with only one lite med, getting an injection every other week, taking lots of vitamins, minerals, and other supplements.
Pets — Cecil and Narasimha, my two black kitty brothers, are wonderful to me when they are not beating each other up. Ariadne got fed this week, but I haven’t yet gotten Salazar to eat (both are royal pythons).
Neighbors — I have new neighbors across the hall in #6, but they just moved from one of the apartments up front. Haven’t gotten to know them yet.

So overall I’m feeling connected but alone, healthy but with issues, safe, and my job is still good. I even got a $0.27/hr raise the other week…

Hugs,
Me