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Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Of pain and pleasure

I was intending to update yesterday, but unfortunately, I was dealing with the migraine from hell by the time I got home from work. Full-blown migraines don't happen very frequently with me, but when they do... Whammo! They hit with the force of an exploding planet! It started with a pressure headache because of this lovely weather we had here all friggin' day yesterday (that's sarcasm, by the way). I wound up messing up part of my study (I'm a research associate for a pharmaceutical company) and only being able to retrieve about 3/4 of the data. Because of a really stupid mistake (hey, at least I admit to them), I wound up beating myself up about it for about half the day, until my supervisor finally told me, "Hey, don't sweat it... we all make mistakes, it was just your turn". He's great... treats me as an equal, doesn't think me stupid when I ask questions, takes the time to really teach me the things I don't know, and relies on me for the things that I do know. Anyway, slowly nursed this headache throughout the day, and by the time I got home... the migraine exploded into full force. For those that have never experienced one, aside from the enormous amount of pain, there is also a heightened sensitivity to light, and sound seems amplified 100-fold. Even a telephone ringing, or a quiet voice, can make you feel like you're head is going to explode. It is not a fun experience. Wound up lying in a darkened room with an ice pack on the back of my neck. By about 10:00 PM it finally subsided back down to a bad headache. This morning, thankfully, it's a dull roar.


There's actually quite a bit going on in my mind, and in my life, right now... some of it is depressing, such as friends who are having troubles, my mom's expected surgery to remove the cancer, my dad's continued weakness... but I'm grateful that the majority of what's going on is uplifting, pleasurable, and really makes me happy. I've met a bunch of new people who I'm developing close friendships with, my creative side is overflowing with ideas/projects (heck, I've got about 10 different poems floating around in my head at this moment), my meditation is better than it's ever been (went drumming up on Bear Mountain the other day and had some extraordinary visions... and some beneficial answers to some tough questions), and it looks like I'll be going to Penn Ren in two weekends. Over the next few days, I'll try and address everything individually, otherwise this post would be about 12 feet long. ;)


Mom is doing fine... she had the consult with the doctor and the plastic surgeon and feels more at ease about the surgery. She's still a little nervous (as are we all), but she's in high spirits. It is a full-day procedure, and she's going to have a black eye by the end of it, but she's scheduled it for her birthday (Oct. 8th) and has even hinted that she'd still be willing to do the traditional "dinner at a restaurant"... even with bandages and a black eye. I've decided that instead (and hold onto your hats here folks)... I'm going to cook! That's right... me... the one who can't boil water without blowing up the kitchen, is going to cook an entire meal with my own two little hands. I'm just hoping I don't add another trip to the doctor with food-poisoning. And because I'm a much better baker than a chef, I'm going to make her one hell of a birthday cake too! (diabetes friendly, of course)


Dad has an appointment with a dermatologist to check out his skin as well. As mentioned before, through my research on my mom's behalf about Basil Cell Carcinoma, I thought some of the spots on his arms looked questionable. Well, he's agreed (amazingly) to have a doctor look at them. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it's all going to be fine. He's still feeling weak, and tires easily, but with autumn here and all the rain, he's taking it a "bit" easier... not trying to push to do alot of work. I try to help out as much as possible, but it's difficult with a full time job that keeps me away most of the day. By the time I get home, he's already done quite a bit of work around the yard, leaving me the "easy" chores that I think "he" should be doing. Hopefully, if his aquiesence to seeing the doctor is any indication, maybe he'll stop thinking of me as a "girl - incapable of doing heavy manual labor" and start accepting the help I can offer. *grin*


I'll post again later, but for now, I'm off to work.


Monday, September 27, 2004

Final Weekend Rocked!!!

Last NYRF weekend ROCKED! Friday night we partied until all hours with great friends who I've known, but got to know even better over this season. You've got to love friends who will tweak your nipples for absolutely no reason what-so-ever. :) Not to mention the ones that will wear your bra on their head, just for the fun of looking like a lopsided micky mouse while drinking a Corona! ;) Much fun ensued in the room that night, hell, also outside the room that night! LOL


Saturday mornign Koffee Klutch was cool (as usual), including the during-coffee nuzzling with a very handsome rogue ("pimped out" by Aries - damn, what a friend *wink*)... which turned into us having a "Torment to see who breaks first" contest during Saturday's faire (and, yeah, HE won). Saturday at faire, however, was also apparantly "tease Rhi" day (no one sent me the memo, so I was not preparred). Nibbles, kisses, neck-nuzzling, groping, and growling was the theme of the day... is it any wonder that that handsome rogue won the contest hands down? Nope, I was DEFINITELY not preparred for the magnitude of flirting/teasing that day. And then to top it off, I'm informed that EVERY day is "tease Rhi" day (you're gonna get it for that one guys *wink*)


Saturday night was also an awesome party night which consisted of great friends hoisting drinks in toast to parted loveds ones, the (apparantly) requisite teasing of myself (I'm going to find out who's behind that memo and strangle them... or thank them *wink*), much alcohol consumption, many laughs, and culminated by being a VERY good night for me! *evil eye wiggle placed here* Hell, there was a near-orgy in my room at one point, until I kicked everyone out (sorry guys) so I could "pay up" for losing the contest. Come to think of it, now that I reflect... I think I'd have to say that I "won" that particular contest. LOL Not much sleep was to be had, so Sunday I arrived rather late to site. Okay, okay, there was another reason I arrived late, but I'm not complaining. :)


Sunday was a mixture of extatic happiness, exhauted weariness (hey, remember, no sleep *grin*), a little bit of saddness that the season was ending, and yet again, heightend arousal because apparantly "tease Rhi" day was still on-going. Got the contact info out to everyone that I saw (if I missed you, let me know), and generally started making plans for other events, as well as get-togethers during the off season.


Overall, a wonderful weekend that rocked!!! I count myself lucky to have all of you (you know who you are) in my circle. True friends are the best things that come free in this world. You can't buy them, bribe them, nor (if you're a true friend yourself) should you try. Sometimes it's also necessary to seperate the wheat from the chaff, and let the chaff fall where it lies. Thankfully, I have a bumper crop that I can
nurture and respect... because the harvest of your friendships is worth it.


So, relax, recover, and regroup, because we're gonna rock the off season too!

Thursday, September 23, 2004

Poem

This poem is my response to what I perceive as a betrayal by a supposed "friend" that I had invited into my inner circle. I am ashamed to admit that she had me snowed... I did not believe her to be self-absorbed, ego-centric, or self-righteous, but the rose-colored glasses were ripped off and I see now that she is also very cunning in her deception. Needless to say, that person is no longer within my circle. It was my choice to end the friendship, because, after all, how balanced is a one-sided friendship? I am not sorry I did this, I am only sorry I did not see her true self earlier. Now I can focus on cultivating old and new friendships with the respect and love that is their due... let the chaff lie where it falls.



My little Sumarongi

Sweet little child,
The world is not your servant.
You do not rule by will or design,
nor by wishing it to be so.
You are not entitled to hold your head
above another's, simply because
you desire to be bigger than you are.
You cannot twist the path of truth,
for wanting a lie to be heard clearer.

No, child, the world is not your servant.

You are an equal part of a whole;
no worse, and no better,
than any other portion.
You contribute the same equal measure
toward completeness.
Your position within the world
offers a balance
to the others that reside there,
as their presence offers
the same to you.

Desires, wants, and needs
are simply a motivation toward
achieving that which is most imperative...
Contribution, Equality, and Acceptance.

So throw away your
childish misconceptions.
Cast off the immature tantrums
you hold so closely.
Grow further and outward, beyond
your small-minded perceptions...
and join us as a part of
something greater than ourselves.

And learn, sweet child, that
the world is not your servant...

You Serve "It".

Monday, September 20, 2004

Exhausted, yet vibrating

Kinda figured that title would get your attention. ;)

Well, this weekend at faire seemed to be a little more sedate all around than the previous weekends. Friday night was a rather early night for everyone (yours truly being the exception). I was up until around 5 a.m. Saturday morning having fun and talking, then up at around 6:30 a.m. when I couldn't sleep anymore (someone had left the t.v. on). So, I figured I'd sit outside my room (as is my ususal morning ritual), when lo and behold... I open up the door to "Return of the Typhoon"! That's right, Ivan's spawn finally reached us up at Tux, and sure enough, Faire was cancelled. Cell phones rang with calls from those that work faire to not even bother getting dressed. Hell, I and a few others figured this was a perfect opportunity for .... PARTYTIME, but alas, everyone's fizz soon sputtered out and the place was DEAD. I mean.... DEAD! It was freezing, doors were closed, everyone was either sleeping or doing not much of anything. Hell, I had to take a two-hour nap in the middle of the afternoon myself (because of lack of sleep). A bunch of us ordered some Chinese take-out and then disappeared into our own little worlds. However, I had a wonderful time Saturday night that was pre-arranged and DAMN am I happy that it took place! {wink wink} Wound up going to bed early (around midnight) because I was still so tired. Didn't get much sleep that night either (damn t.v. again).

Sunday was bitter cold, but what a great sunny day! Wound up breaking down and buying myself a wool cloak to ward off the weather, and am so glad that I did! Got to snuggle with a rogue, flirted with same rogue (and a few others) and ended up enjoying the day.

I'm looking forward to last weekend, with a little sadness mixed in. Maybe a few of us rennies can get together over the fall/winter and have a Tux bash.... I really want to stay out of hibernation this winter!

Nothing new to report on the home front... mom and dad are holding their own. Work is also going great, though I had one hell of a long day today. Yay for overtime! Other than that... I need a shower, a good long sleep, and then some really kinky lovin'... but I'll settle for the first two.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Criminey... where'd I go?

Okay, I don't believe it... I just don't believe it! I haven't done anything special... well, maybe walking a bit more... but I lost 25 pounds! Yayyyyy me! I don't notice it, but the scale doesn't lie (and neither does the bodice I had to have altered)... 25 pounds... go figure.

Mom's scheduled for a consultation on Friday with the doctor who will be doing the surgery to remove the cancer under her eye as well as the plastic surgeon who will follow up (close, etc) after the surgery. And get this she's scheduled the surgery for.... her birthday! When I asked her what she was thinking, she said in the perfect straight-man voice, "Well, it's the only way I'll get the day off... a whole day to rest and I don't have to cook". My jaw hit the floor... once the shock wore off, it was about a half hour before we could stop laughing.

As it turns out, the surgery takes an entire day to complete. They freeze(?) or somehow treat a section of the cancer, biopsy the section to make sure the margins are clear, and then move onto the next section. They do the histopathology right there in the office. When the doctor palpated the area under her eye, he told her it was about he size of a quarter (mind you, there is only a small sore spot to indicate that anything is wrong on the surface). However, he did stress that this particular type of cancer sends out tendrils outward, hence the reason to do the Moh's surgery, and also why it takes a complete day to do.

Dad is going to be driving her in, staying there, and driving her home. I wish I was going as well, but when I told her I could arrange to take the day of off work, she went ballistic... told me to go to work, pay off my debt, and once I had done that....THEN I could take a day off and we'd go shopping. Goddess, I love my mother. Stoic on the outside, nervous and scared on the inside, and still has the ability to make me quake when I hear my middle name come flying out of her mouth... thick with that German accent.

That's it for the home front. I can't WAIT for this weekend... Friday night I arrive at the Tux... only 2 days, 23 hours and counting

Still stupified

Let me start by saying... I had a relatively good weekend at faire. I was pretty much channeling sensuality/sexuality in the grove on Saturday. Now, mind you, this is NOT an easy thing to do... especially when there is not going to be any kind of an "outlet" following. Be that as it was... I still had a wonderful time. I met and flirted with quite a few rogues... some new and some that were long-time friends. Fun was had by all, though I'm still going to have to find a way to pay back Tom and Captain for their declarations of it being "Tease the hell out of Rhi" day. Ooooo, payback's going to be deliciously served quite cold, gentlemen. *evil grin* There was one rogue, especially, that wound me up tighter than the rest... his voice was highly arrousing, his intelligence was astoundingly erotic, and during our jewelry expedition, he showed an amazing sense of taste. He is the epitome of "gentleman" and I am looking forward to getting to know him better... well, I was.


Let me explain... On Sunday, after greeting this particular rogue with a welcoming smile, and relatively picking up our flirting from whence it left off, we were joined by another wench and proceeded to wander over to get some drinks. During some light conversation, and while this rogue went to refill his mug, I was suddenly transported back in time to high school by some "choice" words from this other wench.


She actually (and I kid you not) said the words... "I've never had to say this before... I saw him first". Now, keep in mind, that I have it from the rogue in question that he has recently left a relationship behind, and as far as I know, is not looking for another one right off the bat. Both of us were simply enjoying each other's company, flirting, and who knows... it could have ended up between the sheets... so what? Be that as it may, I could NOT believe it when I actually heard those words come flying at me. WTF??? Isn't it the gentleman's decision whether or not to continue with his flirting, as it is my decision whether or not to continue mine? What about his say?


I was so floored by this childish, immature rhetoric that I actually walked back to the grove in a stupor. By the time I had reached my friends sitting there, I was semi-fuming over what had happened. I told them about it, and their questions reflected mine... what about what HE wants? I'm still floored.... so much so that when he and I said our goodbyes on Sunday, I did not flirt, I did not encourage, and I actually flashed back to being "Michelle" for quite a while.


I am still in a state of shock and am actually appalled with myself for caving in so easily. When I state that I am "too nice", I mean it... I am too damn nice. I do not wish to cause a conflict, I would prefer not to be involved in any confrontation if it can be helped, and I have no wish to hurt anyone by will or design. I am a coward... I am too afraid of hurting feelings to tell the rogue about what was said, and I am too afraid of hurting the wench by persuing my flirting with him. Now, I have no idea what he will think when he realizes that my attitude has changed. I really don't wish to stop getting to know him, but hell, I've practically been warned off!


I'm at a standstill... confused, angry, embarassed... all because I wanted to get to know someone better. I still don't know how I'm going to treat him next weekend. When he returned to the grove later that day, and we were saying our goodbyes to each other, he repeatedly asked if I would be back this weekend... not once or twice, but repeatedly... a sign of encouragement. I told him yes and left it at that... what else could I do? Now, this coming weekend, I have no idea of what to do, how to act, or if I should just stay the heck away from him altogether. See? I am a coward.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Today was a good day, despite the weather...

Today I went into work ready to do my study... I had even marked the rats and set up all my sample tubes the night before, prepared to go in early, and thereby finish early. Wouldn't you know it... two of the rats in my control group died. The others recovered slowly, and only with help from me resusatating (sp?) them. I paused during dosing to tell my supervisor about my concerns... two rats dying, and the others taking up way too much of my time... I shouldn't have to help them like this... they should recover normally. Hell, I hadn't even gotten to the compound testing yet. Well, he scrapped the study, but we tried something else. set up 4 control groups and administered vehicles either intra-tracheally or orally. I took blood samples at one hour and 3 hours for the pharmacokinetics group to determine if there is any difference in plasma levels. If there isn't, the project should be scrapped... after all, the purpose is to design/deliver a compound for the treatment of COPD directly into the lungs... if the levels aren't significantly higher with this dosing method, than the compound shouldn't be tested any more. We'll have to wait and see. I wound up getting out of work an hour earlier than expected (still worked my 8.5 hours), so I can relax and knit a bit at home tonight.

I received a great donation of yarn from Australia! Thanks Monica... what a huge bag! I've already earmarked part of the yarn for a shoulder shawl for the nursing home, some socks for the Native American Reservation, and a really funky scarf for the children's cancer ward. Thanks again!

It dawned on me today, while reading the NYRF yahoo group, that next weekend is the anniversary of 9/11. As most of you already know, I was there a week later helping the search and resuce dogs through VMAT = Veterinary Mobile Assistance Team. It was a hellish time... a time that still haunts my memories. I haven't really spoken about what I encountered there, what was seen, heard, smelled, but suffice it to say it was awful. However, as the years pass, and though my memory of the events I witnessed has not lessoned, I can honestly say that the horror is diminishing. I think I might actually be able to enjoy this weekend at faire without crying the entire time. I will not hold the memorial I usually do at the grove. The time for mourning death has passed... let the celebration of life be our focus. Though we should never ever forget the events of that day, let us honor those heros by living our lives to the fullest, so that we can remember them for the longest possible time.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

Follow-up on "issues"

Well, where to start. I guess I'll finish up with some remaining issues I experienced at faire this past weekend.


First, and this applies to just about everyone and anyone who hangs out at the grove. What the heck is wrong with some of you? Is it too much to ask you to pick up your garbage and walk the oh-so-long FIFTEEN FEET to the garbage bag hanging in the tree? Do you have to leave your cups, plates, napkins, and hell, even FOOD lying around for others to pick up? Or do you expect that it will magickally come to life and jump into the garbage bag by itself? Myself, and a few others are damned tired of picking up after you! As far as I know, I have never given birth to a baby, so I can safely say.... I AM NOT YOUR DAMNED MOTHER! Stop being so friggin' lazy and pick up after yourself... it's not to much to ask, and it will stop recfair from making the decision to oust us from the grove.... PERMANANTLY! All it takes, you lazy lots, is one itty-bitty sign that says "NO LOITERING", and we're ALL screwed... including you! So here's my gentle, cordial, polite suggesion.... pick up after yourself...or I'll whomp the ever-livin' tar out of you, and pave over the road... with you under it!

Second, why is it that some people feel oh-so-powerful by acting like maniacal potty mouths when telling someone to get off the rocks behind the grove? It's not necessary, and it sure as hell doesn't put them in a pretty light. I'm not saying that it isn't necessary to shout... it's a fair distance, and we do need to make it understood to those causing the infraction. But it isn't necessary to yell "Get off the fuckin' rocks, you idiot/asshole/buttwipe." You will get a lot farther, and a quicker response, by something as simple as "Get off the rocks... they WILL kick you out of the faire for being up there". Warning given, with explanation, and they often comply immediately. (After all, they just paid $20 to get in there) So let's try and act like mercs/adults/rennies, and not like some newbie playtron who doesn't know any better.

Third, to no one in particular, and yet to everyone as well... Apologizing for doing something wrong, and then CONTINUING to do the very thing that was wrong to begin with... nulls and voids the apology... you've pretty much just provided "lip service" and nothing more. If you recognize that you've done something wrong, THEN STOP DOING IT! It doesn't take a brain surgeon to understand this. And it doesn't really matter what your reasons are at that point... you've already admitted that you were WRONG, for Goddess' sake!

Last, and from a more personal perspective... I will not be bringing my drums back to the grove, with the exception of the ones that Mordred and I play with the Crimson Pirates... and they will only be played by Mordred and myself. Sorry, but when push comes to shove, and I have to wind up BEGGING people to help me carry the things in and out, it's not worth the trouble. I bring them so that others might enjoy playing them. Many of you did, and it thrilled me to see them being put to great use. But the fact remains that everyone wants to play them, or hear them, but no one wants to help carry them in and out of faire. Last weekend, I had to beg people to help me with them, and help was finally... albeit very grudgingly... offered. If I can't rely on help getting them in and out, than they don't come in... I will NOT keep begging for the help with them.

Well, so far that's all I'm going to write about my issues at faire.... however, there are some more piddly little minor ones... I'm just done venting about them for tonight.

In work-related news... we've determined that the new vehicle (carrier of a compound) that we've been trying to use may produce a toxic side-effect when the 0.5% Solutol is brought down past pH 3. We've been bringing it down to pH 2 to try and make the compound go into solution more easily (and at higher concentrations). This is potentially what was causing my rats to die, even the control groups. We've switched back to the regular vehicle (pH 2 buffer alone), and the formulation department will be making up the compound a different way to (hopefully) make it more soluble.

I also got some praise from my co-workers today for doing such good work in the last 3 months I've been there. They are really pleased that I've been able to hit the ground running, and they seem pretty impressed with the knowledge and techniques I've been able to bring to the group. My supervisor (the head honcho boss guy) told me today that he an my other supervisor/co-worker were discussing having me help out with other studies in addition to the ones I run myself. I can't tell you what that kind of trust means to me! I'm learning a lot... all I can absorb and then some, so I welcome the opportunity to work on the additional projects. I'm loving my job, and am hoping that they decide to hire me permanantly... and soon! Throw any good thoughts and well wishes my way... and keep your fingers crossed.

Mom will be going to see the specialist tomorrow for a consultation about the Basil Cell Carcinoma. I'm hoping that the surgery will be scheduled soon. It's the "unknown" information that is driving me the craziest... when it will be done, how long it will take, what (if any) scarring/disfiguring to expect, what about recourrance rates... all of that. And though mom has always been stoic about her medical problems, I know the things running through her mind. "Will I have a scar on my face? Will I be alright? Will it spread or come back? Are there other areas that I'm going to find more?" I know that these are also the "smaller" concerns she has. It only natural for her to start thinking about the fact that she's older, and her body is falling apart. It hurts me deeply when I can here her groaning in pain because the rheumatoid arthritis is flaring up... and that's in addition to her constant state of pain with it. Sometimes I have to leave the house, just so she won't see me crying for her, wishing to God, Goddess, or whatever entity controls Fate that I could take her pain onto myself and relieve her of her misery. Okay, enough! I'm not going to start crying while trying to do a friggin' everyday update on my blog. Anyway, during my research about the cancer, I came across some pictures and descriptions and I'm now concerned about my father. He has some questionable areas on his forearms that concern me, as they very much resemble what I've researched. I've suggested to him that he have them looked at, but he's a stubborn mule when it comes to doctors/health. I don't know how to get him to concede and see the doctor. Hell, it took me threatening to call an ambulance to our door when he had his first heart attack, and then the only reason I got him to go was because the pain was so bad. I had to threaten again during the second and third attack. But he's not in pain with these questionable areas, so I don't have any damned leverage here. *sigh* I guess I'll have to find another way to convince him to see the doctor... I just haven't got a clue as to what that might be.

Well that's it in a rather gigantic nutshell. Time to go to bed, and hopefully dream some nice erotic dreams for a change.


Monday, September 06, 2004

Rough weekend at Ren Faire

Normally, I try not to post diatribes, nor rantings of exhorbitant length. Sure, minor rants of work-related issues have been posted by me in the past, but this is a more personal "venting" than anything else. For all those reading this that may have been involved in any "issues" I had this weekend.... we are all good, everything is relatively fine between us, and there are no ill feelings harbored at all. Next weekend, and the remaining weekends to follow are brand-spankin' new, and I'm not holding a grudge. HOWEVER, this is my journal, and it is a place where I can choose to diatribe tonight if I so choose... names withheld to honor privacy.

Following no cronological progression what-so-ever, I have to write about the most recent (and fresh in my mind) issue I have had this weekend. It also applies to men in general, with those few special exceptions, and can be utilized as a simple reminder throughout life; it's not just faire-related. I can feel relatively comfortable writing about it here, since I believe that the two parties I was involved with this past weekend don't really care enough one way or the other to read my blogs. This is not a reprimand, nor a critisism... just a simple observation steeped in probable fact.

Okay, guys (and I specifically mean anyone of the male gender)... when you sleep with a woman, regardless of whether or not it might be a one-time thing, a multiple-time thing, or hell, even an on-again-off-again thing... please, please, PLEASE... pay some miniscule, neophitic bit of attention to that same female the next friggin day. NOTHING, and I mean nothing, debases, demeans, and hurts a woman more than to be ignored the "day after". If you find greener pastures the next day, or simply want to graze elsewhere.... GREAT! Have at it! However, don't completely obliviate the fact that you were with another woman the night before! I don't care how good (or bad) it might have been... it's hurtful, wrong, unthoughtful, and downright mean! Feelings are hurt by this thoughtless attitude. Now, I'm not saying that just because you sleep with a woman that this automatically means "relationship"... good Goddess no! (The Goddess knows I'm having WAY too much fun being single, and have not even the slightest desire to have a relationship... shudder) But come on! Would it really be asking too friggin' much for a couple of acknowledging touches the next day? A simple placement of your hand on her shoulder? A short conversation of nonsensical content? Hell, even a simple kiss on the cheek? Better yet... how about doing those suggestions maybe a FEW times the next day, so that the woman knows that you haven't just forgotten what transpired the night before... even though you may be looking elsewhere at the moment. By Gods, it's not that difficult to remember that we, as humans, have feelings and emotions that can be hurt! We are not happy-meals to be consumed and then tossed away as so much garbage! If there is one thing relating to women you should learn, re-learn, and REMEMBER in this life.... it's that!

Okay, THAT particular diatribe is done and buried... onto the next...

More faire-related than anything else... All of those within my closer inner circle know that we ALL are experiencing some major drama at faire this year. Our "family" is hurting, and there are some things that magick just can't fix... if it could, I'd be snapping my fingers left and right to make things all better right this moment, for everyone. We empathasize with our loved ones because that is our nature to do so, and because it is right of us, as loved ones, to want to help ease the other's suffering. We listen to our loved ones pouring out their hearts to us, because we want to help; we want them to know that we will be there for them in their hardest times. We want them to know that there is at least one person in the world who understands their pain, relates to it, and would go through it themselves if it were humanly possible on this physical plane. We acknowledge that at that moment, at that specific period in time, THEY are the ones in need... THEY are the ones who's hearts we wish to cradle to our own... THEY are the most precious and important person in OUR lives. But EACH of us, while wishing, hoping, PRAYING that our support is helpful and healing, are also possibly dealing with our OWN personal demons.

I love ALL of you with every ounce of my being. Regardless of whether we may snipe at one another occasionally, regardless of whether we may blow our respective fuses at the smallest (or even largest) of "issues", and regardless of whether we may may be so overwhelmed with another's issues at the moment that we forget to simply say "You're important too"... despite all of this, know that I love ALL of you as part of my family. This weekend, however, was harder than any other weekend I've had over the years. Aside from a work week that literally "sucked death" and resulted in my hours being extremely low this pay-period (which = little money), I found out just before arriving Friday night that my mother had an area of skin just under her eye diagnosed with Basil Cell Carcinoma... a malignant cancer. Now, before worry and panic sets in... through my amatur-ish research on this specific cancer... if you are going to get a cancer, this is the one to get. It GENERALLY is treatable, relatively easily, if treatment is sought early. A rather precision-involved surgery (Moh's surgery) to remove the cancer (and a small area of surrounding tissue) is USUALLY all that is needed. Recourrance is low, though not minimal... and this cancer is a sun-related cancer. HOWEVER, to bring this around to the point at hand... it IS my mother, and it IS malignant cancer, so yes, I too was dealing with some personal demons this weekend. I DO NOT resent, nor begrudge my decisions this past weekend to try and support my friends in THEIR time of need. However, if I seemed thoughtless, uncaring, ungrateful, or just downright oblivious... it is because I've had a lot to deal with too. Though all of your "issues" are also important to me... my issues are important too... maybe not to you, but to me they are. In addition to this specific problem, my father is not doing well health-wise either. I will not get into the details, and this is going to be long enough as it is, but suffice it to say that I am extremely worried about him.

Third, I try not to bring my own personal drama into faire. I leave it at home, and hope every moment that I am successful in NOT ruining someone else's good time. However, there are issues, and drama, that I become involved with at faire... either by my own will or, more commonly, by someone else's design. These are the faire-related issues of Rhi, not the personal ones. I love ALL of you who I call my friends, and nothing short of a cataclysmic nuclear winter will change that, at least on my part. However, you must also recognize that upon occasion, each of us will have issues with one another... it's normal, it's natural, and it's going to eventually happen... it does not mean that our friendships have to end, nor does it mean that grudges should be held indefinitely.

I do, however, have to point out a few things. If I am having a good faire season (and I always hope that EVERYONE has a good season), having fun "playing" (or anything else), then I am going to have that fun. I have never begrudged anyone else their "fun and playing" over the years, and I don't expect anyone to begrudge me mine. It is no one's decision, but my own, as to when that fun will end, how that "fun" will be expressed, or who I will have that fun with. Yes, respect for another's sensiblilities or comfort level is important. However, let's face it... at faire, I am NOT living at home. I do not have a curfew, nor do I have a responsibility to report my actions to anyone but myself. I am also not living in a police state where I have to follow every "rule" that's imposed upon me without question or without outright rejection of said rule. I spoke of respect earlier... how about the respect for me that I am entitled to have my say in what "rules" are established? Compromise is fine, even encouraged and expected, but outright "laying down of the law" is not going to happen. No one will get even a microscopic meter with me by approaching me with "You can't..." or "You won't..." or "I don't want...". NO ONE is the "head honcho" here. We are equal parts of a whole, with equal responsibilities, equal rights, and equal entitlement. I'm not perfect. Goddess knows that I've screwed up, I've made mistakes, and I've blundered, and it's human probability that I will do so again in the future (though it's NEVER deliberate). And the same applies for everyone else... NO ONE is perfect...you've all screwed up too. But do not tell me that I can't have certain "fun" because you've decided that it's inconvienent or something that you would choose not to do. I will respect rules and obligations based upon compromise and prior discussion, but I will not completely eliminate possible scenarios or "fun" in it's entirety.

Well, I've gotten the most important issues off my chest at this point. There are still a few more minor issues to contend with, but quite frankly, I'm exhausted from this weekend and only want to visit my bed at this point. I'm sorry if this particualr series of diatribes offends anyone or makes anyone feel that they are unimportant to me. I can assure you that that is NOT the case. It is because each of you ARE important to me, and because I want us to grow within that friendship, that I felt the need to wrote this here.