Friday, July 31, 2009

Lammas Loaf

This loaf combines flour (from grain harvested *this* year) with beer (made from grain harvested *last* year) The recipe came to me from a special friend, a brewer of some renown in Alexandria, VA

Preheat oven to 350o F and grease a loaf pan (or spray with cooking spray).

Stir 3 cups of *self-rising flour* [NOT regular cake or bread flour, it must be the self-rising sort!] and 3 tablespoons of sugar [I have also made this with Splenda; it does not change the taste but it also doesn't lower the calorie count by much.]

Pour into this 12 ounces of beer (one regular bottle) and mix thoroughly. The batter will be ugly and lumpy but that's OK. Put it in the prepared loaf pan and smooth out the top a little if you like, not necessary though.

Bake 50-60 minutes. Turn out of pan onto a cooling rack and enjoy -- hot, warm, room temperature -- with or without butter or jam -- excellent with chili or a hearty stew.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

blatently plagiarized ... but funny

Near Death Experiences and Astrology
(from http://www.astrologyweekly.com/)

(Colin, Leland)ARIES: "Who's in charge here? I'd like to see God right now, please. Am I dead? Gee, I never thought that could happen to me! Where can I get a crystal palace backlit with white light like that one?"

(GypsyJack, Patti) TAURUS: Leaving the body, Taurus realizes that he or she no longer has a stomach and immediately returns to the body (thud!), without seeing tunnels, light, God, etc., making Taurus skeptical for the rest of his or her life.

(me, Mark, Marge, Tim) GEMINI: The key thing to the zodiacal twins isn't the experience itself, but how they can embellish it when telling the story (or writing about it). Since Geminis are comfortable in all worlds, except those without telephones, they usually bounce back to the body fairly rapidly-- and the mouth tends to work before the rest of the body comes back to life.

(Evan, Hannah, Julian, Lala, Kathy) CANCER: Cancerians can live to be 125 years old, and they don't usually have near death experiences, but they can come awfully close to having a near life experience when they get brave and venture out of their house for "supplies."

(Alix, Amy,Papa) LEO: "Nooooooo, I am NOT dead. I am not, I am not, I am not . . . Who are those guys in the white robes? What's that they're singing . . . ? They're off key. I can sing better than that! Where's the choir director? I need a microphone immediately. Unless it's Rolling Stone or Spin, hold my calls."

(Libby, Rachel, Savvas) VIRGO: Working a marathon 60 hours straight, Virgo collapses and leaves the body. She moves through that delightfully clean and sparkling tunnel of light, occasionally reflecting upon possible improvements . . . but soon becomes so worried by the thought of her loved ones "managing" without her that she snaps back into the body like white lightning, sits up, and calmly pronounces herself alive, glancing at her watch.

(Michael, Sharon) LIBRA: Floating out of the body, then in, then out, then in, and finally out again . . . Libra sees a tunnel and a vibrant being of light at the other end. "Wow, is that Jesus? Wait a minute, maybe it's Kwan Yin. That looks like something she'd wear." Never deciding whether to go through the tunnel (after all, what's death without someone to share it with?) Libra ends up back in the body by default, hounded by a mysterious compulsion to start a dating service for discarnate souls.

(Justin, Ben, Bear sort of) SCORPIO: Since most Scorpio's have nine lives, they tend to brainstorm different ways to trigger the near death experience. Once nearly dead, most can barely get to the end of the tunnel without meeting some being with whom they have astral sex. When asked whom they prefer to greet them on the other side, 75% name a favorite vampire, and Medusa is a strong contender.

(Jenna, Garrett, Bear sort of) SAGITTARIUS: Sag floats out of her body and has to laugh at the stupid way she bought the farm. After somehow BREAKING the tunnel of light, she absolutely refuses to return to the body, since she's been trying to get out of it for all these years (via clumsy accidents). Because Sag is immensely curious about whether the so-called organized religious have any validity at all, this stroke of luck leads to some amaaaaaazing lessons, until, alas, the astral folks tire of her and trick her into returning to Earth for the duration.

(Dee, Johnny) CAPRICORN: It might take Capricorn a little while to realize he's dead because there are special rooms set up to look like executive offices for newly-dead Goats. A sharp-looking, older gentleman-ghost comes in and gives Cap an instruction manual titled HOW TO PROFIT IN THE ASTRAL MARKETPLACE, plus a "job evaluation" type assessment of Cap's achievements and mistakes over the lifetime, followed by a pink slip (meaning the body revived). Caps tend to return to their bodies quickly, unable to tolerate non-physical existence for long.

(Sandy, Julie, Steve, Drew, Kenzie) AQUARIUS: Aquarius gets to the pearly gates, sees that heaven isn't run by consensus, and opts for hell, where at least there is an appealing anarchy and rules are made to be broken. Ironically, Aquarian near-death experiences tend to be extremely traditional, i.e., God the Father, St. Peter, the celestial choir and so on (another reason to rebel and opt for hell). Once in the underworld, they bedevil the hell out of Satan and his cronies with their loud and vigorous campaigns for progressive reforms, and are quickly expelled back to the body.

(Brett, Chris F) PISCES: For some reason, our Piscean friends barely notice their near death experiences. Instead, during a typical day at the office, many Pisceans report seeing beings with long-suffering expressions on their faces and who patiently tell the Piscean to go back to his or her body.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Watcher

Between 30 and 40 people attended yesterday's event. Most dove in willingly, eagerly, getting their hands (and everything else) messy. Circling, meeting, coupling or not, Brownian motion at a macroscopic level, particles of humanity in the sunshine.

He and I hovered more on the periphery. He, insulated by his camera, participating lightly, quickly, more done to than doing. I, insulated by my hesitancy, shyness, approached occasionally, not drawn into the full fray, but not for lack of opportunity.

To be observer more than participant, spectator more than player, is that a bad thing? Is it a character flaw, personality deficit, or just what I am? Was I missing out on the "full experience" or attempting some sort of understanding?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Loving More

I went to an interesting meeting last night, a Loving More Poly Group has a pot luck on the second Thursday of every month. There are a few people who show up regularly and a large rotating cast of occasional members. This was only my second time there but it is such a nice, safe, caring place that I went last night even though my boyfriend couldn't go and I hitched a ride over with another couple.

After the pot luck part [I took a ravishingly tasty Mexican Bean and Corn Salad that was very well received, thenkyewverramuch ;-) ], we gathered into a circle, introduced all around, and the evening's moderator pulled a topic from the introductions for discussion.

Jealousy -- how do you deal with your own, and what do you owe to a partner who is experiencing jealousy? There was a lot of discussion about jealousy vs envy (your partner and his/her lover are having a good time without you and you are ... envious or jealous?) How does jealousy make you feel about yourself and your relationship? What sorts of mechanisms do you use to avoid or recover from jealousy/envy?

Dealing with a partner who is jealous seemed to be a harder thing to do than dealing with one's own. We all seem to want to *fix* it -- make them feel better, avoid activities that make them feel jealous. The consensus eventually was that we need to acknowledge our partner's feelings but that ultimately everyone is responsible for their own feelings. By *fixing* or by tiptoeing around so they can avoid feeling jealous, we are not treating them like equals and adults. By trying to take ownership of their jealousy, we are instead patronizing as well as stifling their growth.