Friday, April 13, 2007


Tomorrow is going to be a very early day. I need to do a load of laundry before I leave for the VE session so I can get some done since the rest of the day I'll be running errands. We were supposed to get a blizzard, but down here in the valley at the foot of Pikes Peak, we got a bit of snow (and very pretty it was) but not much at all on the roads. Most of it was gone fairly early even in the weak sun that winked now and again through the clouds. It's cold outside (good thing, too, since not even cold showers are cooling my spring fever) but not too cold.

The landlady called this afternoon asking me if I wanted some food. She'd been cooking and baking again and needed to get rid of some of the food. I couldn't very well say no. Besides, she makes very good vegetable soup and black beans. I even got some sweet and sauerkraut into the bargain, and I love sauerkraut. The only thing that would make it better is kielbasa, but I won't quibble about that.

Because of the landlady's attack of kitchen fever I only have to get nonfood items at the store--and the fruit I've been craving: apples, oranges, pears, strawberries, pineapple and bananas. Grapes would be nice, too. And I was going to get some nice portobello mushrooms and fresh salmon to make a dish I saw in the monthly magazine I get from the health food market. I'll have to stop at the liquor store and buy a bottle of wine that, except for one cup I need for the recipe, will sit in the fridge until the next time I decide to make the recipe, but that's not a bad thing. I might even splurge and buy a bottle of hearty red wine and chicken to make coq au vin. Who knows? I could decide to buy the ingredients to make cheesecake and thank the landlady with a food gift of my own. She might have company next weekend and it would be nice (if she can stop eating it even when it's frozen) to share a little dessert with her spring fever dessert companion.

It's days like this I remember how good it is to seize the moment and enjoy myself, to just let go of all the excuses and rational thinking and embrace the simple pleasures: good food and time with good friends. Moments like those are fleeting and opportunities like that don't come along every day, so whenever a chance presents itself I throw caution to the wind, close my eyes, take a deep breath and let myself go. I may regret it tomorrow or next week, or maybe I won't, but I will at least have another delicious and enjoyable memory to savor.

I could run into someone this weekend who would like to share a little dessert. I have plenty and I'm fond of sharing.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Plague of dreams

It's snowing outside. I didn't think the ground was cold enough for the snow to accumulate, but I was wrong. It's building up fast and that means putting on some warm clothes and venturing out into the coming blizzard to stock up on food and run a few errands before I shut the door and huddle in front of the space heater, which right now is not doing very good at heating the apartment. Cold seeps through infinitesimally small cracks, making me wonder how many of my clothes I can put on at once before I can no longer move my arms, hands or legs and still be warm.

I worked until about 6:30 this morning and dropped into bed like a stone. I didn't think I'd dream. I was wrong again. And what a dream it was. It's probably why I've avoided going to bed at night, since every time I do, now that I've caught up on my rest, my dreams are highly erotic. The cast is always the same but the action is different nearly every time. It's as if someone has hacked into my dreams and wants to drive me crazy with desire . . . as if I needed help in that department. And it's not just when I'm sleeping either. Sometimes when I'm waiting for work to download or upload I get a flash of images and sensations and feelings that make it very difficult to keep my mind on work. It's probably a good thing this house is full of women or I'd be knocking on someone's door. Even if there were men in the house, it wouldn't help because they're not in the dreams. If I see him I'm not sure I can control the urges that are building to Mount St. Helen's pre-eruption force.

It's a good thing I'm a civilized and controlled individual . . . or at least that is what I keep telling myself.

I am civilized. I can control my desires.

I wonder how many times I have to repeat that before I can safely venture out of this house? Even though I have to go out and bring in supplies to carry me through the storm, I'm not sure it's cold enough yet to cool me down. Even though it's cold here in the apartment, even with the space heater running, I'm sweating. I don't think that's a good sign.

Is it?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I have been damned

I am constantly fascinated by the people who read my journal and by the people who trawl for dirt. When I earlier posted the You Are Damned website because I found it interesting I had a feeling it wouldn't be long before one of the shadow lurkers would come out of hiding just long enough to send their love. I was not to be disappointed as one person proved. You will find me by my real name, Jackie Cornwell, on the wall of the damned, courtesy of said lurker, whose personal proclamations say it all.

Thank you, lurker, for proving me right. Too bad you have the wrong end of the stick--yet again. You have to wonder about someone who has only two friends on their friends list, one of whom is a known lurker. It does, however, prove that I continue to be a source of interest to you and your shadow lurking cronies. All I can say is: read on.

That is all. Disperse.

You are damned

It's that time of the year again when the Webby Awards nominees are announced. Being the curious type, I decided to check out the nominees and found this site. Talk about well laid out with amazing colors and good sound effects and functions. Someone bugging you? Don't want to tell them to their face but need to get it off your chest? Check it out and damn a soul. A chance for redemption is also offered. What a great way to get rid of some hostility. That's how to let go.

I offer one warning. Damning a soul does require an email address, but giving your name is optional.

Now, who's been bugging you lately? Tell them and let them know what they can do to redeem their soul or remain on the wall of the damned for all eternity. Bwahahahahaha

That is all. Disperse.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Finally, sun

The snow is melting as the sun rises this morning, falling like rain past the window from trees, roofs, bushes and leaves. The bitter cold that has gripped us this week past is loosening its hold. Forsythia blooming next door beneath my sun room windows is still as bright and yellow as it was when snow and ice locked them away under a white sky. The twigs and branches, leaves and buds glisten with jewel bright colors in the warming light and I remember what my grandmother used to say. "When the forsythia blooms and it snows three more times, it's spring." I think it's finally spring.

I am amazed at the resilience of nature and how, despite arctic temperatures and the sun locked behind a dense pallid sky, the buds and leaves come back stronger and brighter and more beautiful than ever. Some will die, but there will be new buds to take their places. Hopefully, it will be the same for me.

My dreams have been locked in the ice of work and worry and a lack of sleep, my body taking me into a dreamless realm where nothing and no one can reach me so I can rest and heal. My body doesn't need healing (well, not much), but my soul does, having been battered and tossed on stormy arctic seas these past weeks and months. My spring is coming; I can feel the sap rising. Dreams will follow, those that come to me and those I reach out and create, and they will be more welcome for their absence.

Like the green shoots and tender buds, I need the sun, that warm, bright golden ball high in a deep blue Colorado sky, smiling down and warming my heart and soul.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Death country

In discussing a post by spikesleman I was reminded of Sun-Tzu's Art of War when he talks of pushing the enemy into death country, something he wrote should be avoided at all costs.

Death country is where the enemy is pushed to a point where there is no way out. In death country the enemy becomes more dangerous, almost to the point of madness. In the biological vernacular, there is no flight, only fight. When death is the only option there is nothing to do but take down as many of the opposition as possible before dying.

America is headed for death country.

James Dobson pointed his evangelical finger at Fred Thompson, former senator from Tennessee and actor, and said "I don't think he's a Christian." Thompson, who plans to "...leave the door open for a presidential run," may just have been dealt a death blow. Dobson's statement cast a religious pall over Thompson and has placed all Americans on a very slippery slope. Focus on the Family, based here in Colorado, is Dobson's home base and his fingers are in a lot of non-evangelical pies, most notably politics. In 2004 when he endorsed President Bush for re-election, he mobilized six million (6,000,000) evangelical votes and changed political history.

It isn't as if we haven't seen the Religious Right focus on the highest office in the land before--Rev. Jesse Jackson and Pat Robertson leap rabidly screaming to mind--but in the current climate with a president in office who uses religion as a mandate to wage war and a yard stick by which to measure loyalty and service to the people, Dobson's influential statements and President Bush's actions put America on a parallel course with Ayatollah Khomeini and Al Qaeda and Hitler, among far too many others. This is what the founding fathers feared and why they wrote the Constitution and the Bill of Rights the way they did. They knew what religious persecution had done and they wanted none of it here on American soil.

When most people think of Christianity they think of Jesus's soft spoken words of peace and how he lifted up the lowest, the despise, the disenfranchised, preaching that all were equal under God. People tend to forget the way Hitler used Jesus's attacking the money lenders as a banner to make the idea of war to preserve peace and promote prosperity palatable and even logical to the German people. And Hitler found a a friendly ally in the Roman Catholic church.

The Roman Catholic church had their militant arm in the Jesuits and the various orders of knighthood, galvanizing a world wide purge of all religious beliefs that could not be swallowed whole and adapted. Thank the Roman Catholic church and her vicars of Christ for the single-handed destruction of most of the codices and writings in South America--the New World. What the Vatican could not use it destroyed by fire and sword. Not quite the picture of Christ's soft spoken teachings of peace or the message of the Sermon on the Mount, and it certainly wasn't the religion of slaves, a religion kept alive by women until it became more powerful than Rome's military might, so powerful Emperor Constantine knew it was adapt or be crushed.

When Americans, and indeed most of the Western world, think of evil we think of Muslims and their determination to exterminate all unbelievers. We think of the Incas and their Pyramid of the Sun where victims' hearts were ripped beating from their chests and the Mayans with their games that ended in death for the losing teams. We think of Native Americans raiding peaceful farming and ranching settlements and the wholesale slaughter of innocents in Africa and New Zealand and Asia. We think of the Mongol hordes and the Vandals and the Vikings putting their enemies to death by sword and battle axe and burning the rest. Think again.

Some Christians would argue they are purging themselves and their lands and believers of an evil influence, an incipient and insidious infection that would poison them and enslave their souls, making them unworthy of whatever reward they will receive in that idyllic afterlife that waits for them if only they hold true to their beliefs. Guess what? Near every religious belief is founded on the same shifting sand on a slippery slope headed for the fire and destruction of chaos and paranoia is the siren song that will lure these religious lemmings to their deaths--and ours--as they force the unconvinced unbelievers, their brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, children and grandchildren into death country.

Tolerance is a Utopian concept. It is difficult, if not downright impossible sometimes, to live. No one wants to see themselves as intolerant . . . unless religion is at the root of their intolerance. Christians damn Muslims who damn Christians who damn Buddhists and pagans and Wiccans and even other Christians if they don't follow the same rigid rules and interpretations of their bibles. Most people see their religion as the only true religion, and they the only ones with god's mouth to their ears giving them the unvarnished, unexpurgated and holy truth. They are on the broad and wide and well traveled road to chaos and destruction.

When Rome was tolerant of all religious beliefs, adopting some and ignoring others, they were a juggernaut of power and military might that conquered the majority of the civilized world (civilized in their eyes). But when they adopted Christianity as the state religion, burning temples, putting unbelievers to the sword, and outlawing any other religion, Rome began to crumble and eventually fell. Christianity was not the major contributor to Rome's fall, but Rome's lack of tolerance for other religions and the adoption of one true religion to the exclusion of all other faiths and religious practices.

Intolerance breeds contempt for others who are different and a rigid way of thinking that excludes anyone who does not conform to the ideal. Intolerance may start with religion but it always ends with entitlement and a sense of privilege and power that eventually ends in destruction.

The Roman Catholic church lived on and spread its doctrine and beliefs throughout the world, putting unbelievers to the sword and burning the rest and they began to crumble and fall apart when Martin Luther and John Calvin and many other men and women questioned the approved religion and broke away, running eventually to the New World where they could practice their beliefs without persecution, and where they could destroy the beliefs of the indigenous peoples if they could not convert them. Some people of different faiths didn't get away from the Vicar of Christ, suffering unbelievable torments for their beliefs, like the Carolingians, the Templars, the Jews, the Incas and many others.

It isn't religion that is at fault, but the people who control religions. It's that old demon, Absolute Power, and the way it corrupts absolutely, poisoning everything at the root. It's not the belief but what is done in the name of that belief that has caused more wars and death and poverty and destruction and chaos than any disease known to man. The Black Death didn't do as much damage, neither has HIV and AIDS.

Dobson and President Bush, swollen with their victories and the belief that they have a mandate from on High to force their religious faith down everyone else's throat, are dangerous, as dangerous as the Ayatollahs and Al Qaeda and Idi Amin and Qaddaffi and Hitler and every other religious or political zealot who has risen to power. America may yet pull out of this ideological tail spin since another presidential election is nearly upon us, but if Americans do not wake up and see they are headed for death country we may see the Apocalypse first hand in full and bloody, flaming living color. It will give a whole new meaning to reality television. Think it can't happen here. Think again.

The Founding Fathers' worst nightmares are coming to life. Tolerance and equality are being measured and weighed by a religious agenda that is no different from what we are supposed to be fighting in Iraq and in our war against terrorism. Terrorism does not always wear a foreign face. Terrorism wears the faces we see on and in the news and walks the halls of power as long as America remains in a bloated and drunken stupor of self righteousness. As our freedoms and choices dwindle in the name of safety and security, when the politically correct religious beliefs, as dictated by Dobson and President Bush and their like, become the standard by which to measure loyalty and Americanism, and when tolerance becomes nothing more than a word for anarchy, America is in death country.

That is all. Disperse.