Thursday, September 30, 2010

Under Reconstruction

Please pardon the dust and such. I am trying out a new logo and reworking the layout here. So the ride is bound to be a bit bumpy and confusing for a short while.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday 80s Flashback for September 24, 2010 [Uplifting Edition]

I already posted the Angry Edition this morning, but I wanted to end on a more positive note by providing a set of "uplifting" flashback songs. Fortunately, the 80s are rife with upbeat songs that speak to the power of potential. Read about them, and hear them, after the break!

Friday 80s Flashback for September 24, 2010 [Angry Edition]

I'm doing two rounds of flashbacks today. The first round features "angry" songs. There are so many to choose, but I'm just putting up three. I had to really do some digging because one song I wanted to include just isn't to be found on the web. Maybe next time.

Autumn Equinox

On Wednesday evening, I conducted a brief solo ritual to honor the passing of Summer and welcome the new season to come. I offered an apple pastry as well as milk and honey to the land spirits. I raised the horn to the Alfar and the Disr. I thanked Sunna for the blessings of Summer, gave thanks for bounty, and asked Ullr and Skadi to guard us well in the coming winter months. Due to rain showers, there was no view of the Harvest Moon for me. But I was blessed with a wonderful light(ning) show -- Hail Thor!
Altar for Solo Winter Finding Ritual

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday 80s Flashback for September 17, 2010

Another Friday, another round of Friday 80s Flashbacks. Today we have two hard-rocking bands (one long-lived, the other not so much) and a vanguard of the New Wave British Invasion. Click to read, and hear, more.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

The Real "Never Forget"

It is all well and good to remember 9-11 and say, "Never again!" But we must also find and use our resolve for tolerance, understanding, and cooperation. These are our tools for building a future where 9-11 is remembered but never repeated.

They Crashed the Planes and Changed the Rules (Redux)

[This is a reworking of a blog entry originally posted on September 11, 2008]
"They crashed the planes and changed the rules." -- GrooveLily, Live Through This (Are We There Yet?), Are We There Yet?. QMR, 2003
Nine years ago the world changed. You may take that as an overstatement, or, conversely, as overly simple. But wherever you lived at the time, a shift in perspective occurred. That shift was all the more dramatic and palpable if you were a U.S. citizen. I don't want to dwell on the attacks themselves. But I do want to take some time to recall what happened in the wake of that dreadful event. Forget -- if you can, even if for only for a moment -- just forget how you feel about the war in Iraq, conspiracy theories, and Republican versus Democrat (or any other "them versus us" political division). Recall, instead, the great communal sense that slowly seeped into our national fiber even as the weight of sorrow and shock seemed all too powerful and crushing. Remember neighbor comforting neighbor, even in cases where those neighbors had not known each other very well prior to that morning. Remember the outpouring of support and sympathy from around the world. And remember that shared conviction that, although we would never forget the tragedy, we would recover ... grow stronger ... and become ever more connected as a nation. Are we there yet? Now, I know many terrible and stupid things also occurred in the wake of 9-11. To suggest otherwise would be naive. And I would never suggest that we should simply gloss over the darker side of our all too human nature. It is my belief, however, that we can recover even from the damage we have done, and continue to do, to ourselves. So the cases of post-911 ignorance and bigotry are not the focus of my post today. They would only serve to drag us back down to the things I asked you forget in my second paragraph. And what is my focus? What's the point of one more 9-11 post on a blog? Well, I wanted to provide something a little different on this solemn anniversary. You see, in my opinion, Americans were offered a choice nine years ago. We had a chance to abandon partisan politics and all the other petty things that keep us from truly working together. We saw a glimpse of the society we could have, one that celebrated differences instead of drawing lines. A nation of people united by a common desire to be their very best, and give their very best. That desire trumped pain, loss, and even differences in ethnicity, gender, politics, religion, etc. Are we there yet?
The short and sad answer is, "No." When I visited this line of thought in 2008, our nation was in the midst of a difficult election season and it seemed that every day featured a new example of just how far we have fallen from that vision of post 9-11 unity.
Two years later and the candidates have changed, but the unravelling continues.
There are angry arguments about who is a true patriot, who is "American enough," and who deserves to be in this country. Although these are not new arguments, I have a hard time imagining the Founding Fathers spewing the kind of venom that Beck, Limbaugh, and Fox News exchange with Olbermann, Maddow, and MSNBC. And speaking of venom, have you had your fill of the hate-filled rhetoric and fear-mongering that seems to be regularly hurled between members of differing faith tribes? I know I have.
But here is some good news: The door that opened in the aftermath of 9-11 has not yet closed. We can still achieve a truly united, yet beautifully diverse, nation. A nation not necessarily blessed by this, that, or the other god, but blessed by its citizens and their actions. Can we get there? You tell me.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday 80s Flashback for September 10, 2010

Oooh. Friday 80s Flashback posts for two weeks in a row! I might yet make this blogging thing a habit. Videos and stories after the jump.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Paycheck

If your paycheck is your primary motivation, you should look elsewhere. No paycheck can compensate you for a meaningless work like, and you'll live happily on less if you are genuinely enthusiastic about what you do." -- Urbanska, Wanda. "Paths to Simplicity." Experience Life June 2010: 74-76. Isn't it interesting that I read this today, just one day after concluding the worst few weeks I have ever experienced at the day job?

man dead in cubicle bunker
Colorblind/Stone/Getty Images
Another one bites the dust.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Friday 80s Flashback for September 3, 2010

Facebook has made me a lazy blogger. Case in point: For several months now, I have been posting video links as "Friday 80s Flashbacks" ... but only on my Facebook page. I think it is high time I share those gems here as well, don't you?

Let's get started!