Pagan New Year Approaches.......  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

Welcome to another edition of The Chronicles of Pendragon Hold, where we are preparing for our pilgrimage to Tampa, home of the Off-Site Twin and the Purple Witch, the establishment which will be hosting their annual Samhain street festival and costume party. We will be attending as The Addams family, Me Gomez, She Morticia, with Shiloh accompanying us as…..Shiloh The Wonder Dog! THE Wife is dying to dress him up in something demeaning and I absolutely refuse to allow for such a travesty! A Nordic canine is a proud canine not very tolerant of being dressed up like a wiener dog or poodle. There are some lines you just can't cross!

My long-lost collection of far-flung cousins have finally nailed down a meeting place and date to do it. Not everybody will be there but most of the ones I actually remember meeting will be. I have been in almost constant contact with several of my cousins and it's like finding old friends again, only with lots of love piled on.

Other than that, it's been rather cool, calm, AND collected here at Pendragon Hold, and hopefully it will remain so. May this pagan new year find you and yours in your homes, at your jobs, and with no demons of job loss or foreclosure haunting your hearth. Blessed Be!

My Clean Bill of Health  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

Well, I've had my follow-up with my Shaman (genuine MD) and according to the test results and my response to the Protonics he prescribed, I was inflicted with nothing more than a bad case of GERD which is being successfully treated with the drug; i.e. I have had no more chest pain. DAMN I'm healthy! loll

However, the sinuses are acting up yet again and like the amnesiac idiot I am, I totally forgot to address THAT problem with him. But, THE Wife has an appointment with same said physician tomorrow and hopefully I can remember to ask him for some relief THEN. (Ties string around every finger).

The referendum over when and where my Clan is going to have their reunion is still ongoing and slowly gaining some consensus. We are wavering between a meeting in Texas, in Florida, or on a Cruise ship. AND we need to decide between roughly March of next year and June, depending on where we do this. Hopefully we'll get this nailed down before to long. I am so looking forward to seeing all my cousins again or for the first time.

I don't know if I mentioned this earlier, but our "big" goat, and self-styled leader of the herd, Billy, has been given over to a co-worker of mine who has a much larger piece of property for him to consume. And, believe me, GIVEN the time, that goat WILL consume anything and everything within reach….he he. The main reason I gave him over is that we have tried to bring in a fertile ram to knock up the twins with, only Billy was much to rough on him and he unfortunately may have suffered internal injuries that killed the poor little thing. With Billy out of the picture, perhaps we can bring in another little ram and have better success this time around. AND, I did exact a promise from his new owners that he will NEVER be killed as a meat animal. As of now, Billy has taken over the herd he was introduced to and is in King-of-the-Hill Goat Nirvana. We are so happy for him!

And that's what's happening at THE Hold, this nice warm Autumn day on the edge of suburbia. Blessed Be!

Comfort Zone  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

When I gained a new audience that comprised members of my long-lost family, it immediately began to occur to me that many of them, based on their social/political/religious creeds, might not be all that comfortable visiting my blog only to be confronted with many of my views which might not meld very well with theirs, even to the point that they might feel judged or challenged for those closely-held beliefs. Now, I am NOT a person who feels that his own personal beliefs need be censored for ANYBODY's comfort, but then again, I never considered it necessary to get "in their face" with my personal take on reality either. I figure if having to chase evangelicals of all stripes off my porch is a personal irritant, then I can emphasize with any one of my cousins thinking the same about people of MY stripe (even tho you will rarely find a pagan who finds it necessary to proselytize). Thus, in order to show SOME measure of respect, at least, I have decided to move the Political/Spiritual aspect of my musings over to a new space, Full Moon Over Pendragon Hold, where those of like or tolerant mind can come to visit if they so choose, while those NOT in synch with my psychosis are spared from having to think they need to listen to my rants which might be offensive to them in one fashion or another when they visit us here at Pendragon Hold. Again, I am NOT giving into self-censorship out of any obligation, simply my desire to be more welcoming to those relations of mine who tread a different path then mine. And, all things considered, I do love these people. So, IF you are so inclined, wonder on over to the first edition of "Full Moon". I hope it never gets to hot for you.....hehe.

In Sickness and in Health, The Saga Continues........  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

As our several loyal fans might have gathered from my last post, it has been a busy and emotional week here at Pendragon Hold, this acre of sand of the edge of conservative hysteria. My tummy hurt, which is being investigated with chalky milkshakes and X-rays, my sinus headaches have become excruciating of late with these latest changes in barometric pressure, and I have suddenly found myself swimming in a sea of long-lost cousins. Leave it to THE Michael to combine warm-and-fuzzies with the latest ailment-of-the-week!

I have had problems with the sinus passages right over and behind my eyes for awhile now, but I usually have dealt with the pain and pressure with a couple of sudefed/ibuprofen tablets, but this last week that treatment seems to have become painfully inadequate. Sleep is becoming harder and harder to come by, which is probably not doing my otherwise cast-iron immune system any good.

The good news so far is that the Protonics the Doc prescribed for me seems to be doing the trick, chest pain wise. That, combined with what might have been a negative barium-swallow study, seems to point to simple GERD as the source of my discomfort. The pills are already having an effect on that, so this trip into medical mayhem may not become the nightmare I feared it might. Knock on wood!

THE Wife has already planned ANOTHER wild adventure for us involving Halloween and a trip to Tampa to visit the non-resident twin and a pagan shop local to them which hosts a wild costume party every year. She is working on getting us dressed up as the Adams Family, me Gomez, her Morticia. She thinks of them as the most romantic, if not darkly humorous, couple that ever graced the boob tube. I have to admit that Gomez was a maniac after my own heart…he he.

On another positive front, the RESIDENT twin, AKA now as THE Dotter, starts her new job tomorrow, at the very place where THE Wife toiled for five long years of retail hell before she was able to escape to the much saner job she enjoys now. Hopefully, she'll be able to leap right back onto her more-than-capable feet and resume the life of independence she so craves AND deserves.

Returning to the subject of cousins, already there is talk of a reunion, which due to the fact that we are scattered ALL about this great nation of ours might logically be hosted in Texas, which presents me with a dilemma. Aside from getting the time off and affording the gas money, the one car we are driving now, the now famous Ford Focus, is really too old to be trusted to drive that far without risking a breakdown. We have been planning for awhile now to try and save up a down payment on a new (although probably slightly used) small pickup, which we sorely need to haul materials with for use around the property. But, a small pickup is not exactly the kind of vehicle you want to drive across the US and back again. So, instead, we might investigate the availability of a train route to our desired (and as of yet not nailed down) destination. A little more time-consuming, yes, but much more relaxing and probably more economical overall. We'll see.

OK, this is the next day, and I am attempting to finish off this post in a drug (over-the-counter-so-chill!) induced fog brought on by over-the-top sinus pain and no sleep whatsoever. This is getting old. I was supposed to work today, but I am so zombied out I truly would have been more suitable as a patient rather than a care-giver. Besides, calling out sick is something I rarely ever do, because I really can get all the time off I need with my generous PTO (Paid Time Off) my job gives me, and I happen to believe in Karma, as in, calling out for no good reason will seek balance in this universe and come back to bite me in the ass sooner or later.

So, this is your sleepy, weary host Alex Pendragon, AKA "THE" Michael, wishing you a fun-filled, productive, enriching, and healthy day. And if you DO have one, never take it for granted……..

A Rediscovered Country (Or how I learned to love Facebook)  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

Through a connection with one cousin and Facebook, unfortunately triggered by a tragic death in the family, I have suddenly made numerous connections with cousins and other relatives I have not seen for more than two decades. Some even longer than that. The last time I connected with the bulk of my rather sizable family was not at a family reunion, but at the funeral of my Grandfather. From the loins of my maternal grandparents sprang a family of brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles, and cousins galore so large and widespread that if joined together we could populate a small country.

In past posts I might have alluded to some of my less-than-stellar experiences as a child, a product of divorce, deception, loss, and yes, betrayal. Yet, I cherish the fact that before she died, I was lucky enough to have been reunited with my Mother, and for an all-to-brief period of a few years, came to know her and discover some harsh truths about how my childhood turned out the way it did.

Memories such as these are NOT water under the bridge, spilled milk, or any of the many metaphors that people use to excuse situations that needn't have occurred the way they did. However, despite the wounds I carry deep inside from those experiences, I have been able to persevere, to grow and mature into the kind of man that I think my Mother was very proud to call her son. Could she have been more responsible as a young woman? Perhaps. Can I judge her for some of the choices she might have been forced to make in her life? I once did, based on bullshit information that almost prevented me from ever having a relationship with the one person who loved me more than anything in her life. But then I met her, and my heart melted, and I had a real mother at last, and I never stopped loving her.

Yet, even to this very day when perhaps I should have moved on with my life and told my inner child to just shut the fuck up and get over it………I still bear a malice for my sperm donor that equals the damage he inflicted on me by his betrayal and abandonment. This had such an impact on me psychologically that I deliberately choose never to have children of my own, for fear I could inflict on them in some fashion the fear, anger, disappointment and worthlessness my Father had burdened ME with. So, despite the likelihood that he went on to bear more children, I have always had the sad satisfaction that with any luck, his progeny ended with me. No reproductive rewards for the wicked, I've imagined.

Thus I have experienced parenthood second hand, never knowing the experience of diapers, boo-boos, monsters under the bed, and the pride of a report card with more grades over average than beneath it. Would I have made a good Father? I'll never really know, but hopefully, despite all those things any man might have done that he desires/needs redemption for, I hope I have at least become a good man. THAT his legacy can NEVER take away from me. Those that have at times called me Dad, well, they know full well how imperfect I am, and most of the time at least, have forgiven me. A man can never have too much of that.

Aside form reclaiming a relationship with my Mother, I was also lucky enough to have experienced, however briefly, experiences with many of my Aunts and Uncles, and numerous cousins spread across the South. Now, I have to be honest here; there was a time I held an equal disdain for many of those Aunts and Uncles that I felt had left me to my own devices when my Father abandoned me and I became a ward of the state, a "welfare" child, left in the "care" of people not related to me and lacking in the kind of love a child needs to feel he belongs……somewhere……to SOME one. However, I cannot know to what extent any of these relatives could have known they might have HAD to be there for me, and I must admit that there WERE many times that they took me in temporarily in helping my Grandparents burdened with a loose grand child. Thus, after many long years of introspection, I feel I have learned to lend forgiveness where it might be needed, but more importantly, to quit laying blame where it didn't belong. The day I could possibly have walked in their shoes, only THEN could I have the right to judge. Now, you might turn this around on me and ask me where my forgiveness is for my Father. It's a fair question. However, the ONLY answer I can give in that regard is that short of some extraordinary circumstance that FORCED my Father to abandon me while keeping me away from my own Mother or even any of my blood relatives, then there is no responsibility on MY part to grant him any sort of absolution and I am not, even after all these years, even CAPABLE of forgiving him for what he did. I cannot apologize for this and I have no desire whatsoever to do so. Yes, I know full well that this can be construed to be a hypocritical character flaw, and I accept that. Thus my faults betray me.

Yes, please let's not entertain the idea that I myself can lay claim to any sort of pristine character, short of perhaps the fact that I somehow managed to rise above those circumstances and never became prison material. The worst offense I have ever been CAUGHT at was speeding, but I suppose if you delved deeply enough into my soul you would find a darkness that itself could never know forgiveness. Nor would I dare seek out any sort of redemption for things within me that yes, horrify me to this very day. The religious amongst us want to lay the blame for the evil we do at the feet of a devil, a demon, or even some lack of grace, but I know that our animal natures are more than capable of conjuring up our own evil, thank you, without any supernatural assistance. And THAT is why our sentience is so precious, because it is this ability to think, to reason, to know sadness and joy, to at least LEARN right from wrong, that pulls steadily at us whenever we totter on the brink of our worst inclinations, and keeps most of us at least from going all the way over that cliff, plummeting into a hell of our own creation. To each and every person, related or not, hated or loved, passed by only briefly on my journey or spent in close proximity for any extended period of time, I thirst for forgiveness for any hurt, any pain, any slight, any angst of any degree that I might have inflicted upon you. That forgiveness I believe will serve YOU much better than it ever will me personally, for the wounds my own actions opened up will forever remain out of reach in the pit of my soul, deservedly so, deservedly so. Perhaps this perpetual pain is the only thing that can save me in the end. I am responsible for everything ME, no one else, and especially no devil or god. I am the one to be held accountable, and only by those who believe they have a call to account. Please know, I AM sorrow, and every smile I ever render, every joy I will ever perceive, till the day I die, is some pitiful payment on my debt.

But, getting back on track, I want to relate these emotions which have flooded me since I began to reestablish contact with cousin after cousin, and the joy and warmth I have been feeling at the loving embrace I feel from them, even from afar, so scattered across this country are we all. These young girls and boys I once knew so many years ago are all grown up, each contributing a seemingly endless number of fresh branches to our family tree. By the time I had experienced perhaps the fourth enthusiastic re-introduction to yet another relative, I had to retire to the shade garden, and try so very hard not to cry in the quiet solitude of our sheltering garden sanctuary. You see, it has all boiled down to the same response from all of them, even those who barely knew me.

Welcome home, Michael. We missed you!

Dear Mr. President  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

Dear President Obama,

I doubt you'll personally read this letter because I know that it has to run a phalanx of staff members before it has any chance of getting anywhere near your desk, but hell, I'll take a stab at it anyway. If this does get read by ANYBODY in the White House, all I ask is that I do not get a form letter with your signature stamped on it in return saying something like "The president shares your concerns; yada yada." I would consider that an insult even worse than no reply at all.

When George Bush was "elected" the first time, I subscribed the event to fraud, plain and simple. The next four years bore out my belief that an idiot had made his way into the White House and that there would be grave consequences for our country, and there were. The SECOND four years of the Bush Administration simply infuriated me, as I could not believe that the American people could actually want to endure four more years of such madness, yet, I could not claim with any certainty that Senator Kerry had lost the election to yet another case of outright vote rigging. After that, I gave up on this country; the majority, having had their brains removed it seems, had chosen our fate, and the America I grew up in, and even swore to "preserve and protect", ceased to exist.

Then, out of the blue, it seems, came an invigorating breath of fresh air, a brash, intelligent, bold young man who promised to return us to sanity, to clean up the mess that Karl Rove and his merry band of right wing fanaticists had left behind, and reclaim our good name on the world stage once again. I was only a child when President Kennedy was assassinated, but despite the fact I did not personally understand the history he made during my youth, my study of his legacy made him the one President I would hold all those who followed up against. President Clinton came in a very close second, in my opinion, despite a few of his personal flaws which I personally feel had no impact on his legacy as far as his service to our country was concerned. Then came our first real non-caucasion presidential candidate, whose promise was equal even to that of JFK. Once again, I cast my vote enthusiastically, hoping against hope that this country had had enough, and was ready for a change, even if it would have to finally grow up and elect a black man for the first time in our history.

Mr. President, what in the hell happened?

I admire your attempt to take the high road and hold out the olive branch of co-operation with that political party across the aisle, and I fully understand the complexities of trying to deal with the damage and bankrupt treasury left over from those disastrous last eight years of the Bush debacle, but c'mon! They don't WANT to work with you; the never INTENDED to work with you, and they NEVER WILL work with you. The republican party has become no less an negative (and might I dare suggest evil) influence on this country than were the Southern States right before the start of the war of succession. I was raised in this South, Sir, and I can tell you that these people have been victims of a long legacy of ignorance, "religious" intolerance, and manipulation by the corporate good-old-boys that seek nothing less than the domination of the average working man for the enrichment of the very few. I used to think that good old American capitalism was far superior to any other form of governance that any other country had come up with, until finally, having lived with it for fifty years now, I have seen the truth of how it operates in the real world.

Health care is NOT a right? Failure to pull ourselves up by our OWN bootstraps is a moral defect on OUR part? It is totally acceptable that our minimum wage couldn't take care of a dog while Corporate CEO's make over 500 percent of the average American wage, and for doing WHAT? What in the hell has happened to our country, Mr. Obama, and why are you even NEGOTIATING with the very forces who have put us in this mess to begin with?

We elected you overwhelmingly with the mandate of your promises; to ensure that no American would ever go bankrupt again because of medical bills; that corporations would no longer be allowed to "fee" us to death and continue to prey upon us with outrageous interest rates and policy cancellations. You promised you would get us out of that travesty called Iraq and put our full force and treasure into killing Osama Bin Laden and dismantling Al-quida (AND the Taliban) once and for all. So how is THAT working for us?

Mr. President, right is right, and any sane and ethical person knows it when he sees it. The noise that these "tea parties" have been making are nothing but that; NOISE, that has nothing to do with what the American people elected you to do, and it is about time you stepped up to the podium and acknowledge it; putting these brain-dead protesters in their place and admitting that what WE, the average, intelligent, patriotic, and hard working Americans, deserve to have what we elected you to do get DONE. You HAVE the votes in congress, Mr. President, so PLEASE quite playing Mr. Nice Guy and GET DONE WHAT WE SENT YOU TO DO!

We are TIRED of hearing what that propaganda machine laughingly called FOX "News" says about anything anymore. Please just do the job we elected you to do and let US have OUR country back. If you sign a health care reform package that does not include a genuine public option, then nothing will really have been accomplished, and you will have failed us. A half-assed shadow of what you promised us is NOT better than no reform at all. It's WORSE, and I know you know that. Is a two thirds approval for the public option not enough?

I can't say this any plainer than that, Mr. President, and I won't say it again. I'm tired and I want to go home. Please, let me.

(The guy who wrote this letter)*
Citizen of the once, and hopefully
future, United States of America

P.S. I am printing this in my blog. No more than eight people will probably read it, but, you never know………..

*I'm not ready to reveal my true identity to my fans lest I be beseiged with masses of pilgrims thirsting for my secret knowledge of life, the universe, and nothing in particular. I'm sure you understand.

"I've just checked in, to see what condition my condition was in…."  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

OK, I went to my family physician today, a white-haired gentleman I assume is older than me who harkens back to the olden days when you were ushered into an exam room at 10:30 for a 10:30 appointment and he spent as much time with you as was actually called for. I am truly thinking of making an offering to each and every God that mankind has ever worshiped or shot a game of pool with in thanks for the millions of years of evolution that resulted in this man being here, and for me and my wife, of all people. I dread the day he retires.

After discussing my pain and agony (OK, fine, my disconcerting discomfort bordering on pain) in great detail, and running a twelve-lead EKG (which looked just fine), we both agreed that the symptoms so far seem to point at either a hiatal hernia and/or an ulcer, either one perhaps associated with an increasingly evident case of GERD. So, on the 13th I get to go to the hospital and endure a barium swallow/abdominal X-ray, and tomorrow I get lab work (including a LONG overdue check on my cholesterol) done. It stands to reason with a perfectly normal EKG and the fact that I would have had a nasty heart attack by now with this duration of pain, I probably don't have a cardiac condition, which hopefully the x-ray will show. I know it sounds silly to be rooting for a defect in my diaphragm, but it sure beats the alternative. He also prescribed protonics (a sort of generic Nexium) to treat and rule out the GERD which might have also caused this pain. If my pain goes away entirely by the time I see him again AND the x-ray comes back negative, then BINGO on the GERD.

So no, I am not dead OR dying. Not yet. But, damn, my chest HURTS sometimes………sigh..……..

Having dropped off THE Wife at her job, I had time to burn before my appointment with my Shaman, so I sat in the car listening to the radio and playing games on my iPod Touch. So, of course, I go to start the car and……….clickclickclick……..NADA! Damn battery was almost drained! Had to get a jump from a nice lady. So, enough of this crap, time to replace this battery which is only just over two years old, only this time I keep the receipt! Also I bought one of those emergency jump batteries just in case.

Tomorrow after the vampires have their way with my delicate veins, the dog gets it……..a B A T H that is. I can't just SAY B A T H because he hates the idea and I don't want to upset him. I also need to clean the aftermath of our party off these wood floors, but I think I'll save that for Friday. It's hard being a househusband, I tell ya……he he.

There's Got to be a Morning After...........  

Posted by Alex Pendragon

Imagine you had designed the world's first party zeppelin, capable of carrying more than a dozen people easily, worked diligently to make it operate smoothly, even painted it in the wildest and most attention-getting colors, and on the day of it's maiden voyage, FIVE people TOTAL show up to experience this wonder of alternative aviation?

Thus was our Hindenburg, The Rocky Horror Picture Party.

You should see this Good Lady Partner of mine when she gets her teeth into an idea. It becomes an obsession and her entire life revolves around it. You would be hard pressed to meet anyone so creative and energetic when it comes to plainning something like this on a shoestring budget, determined to make it an experience for all involved. Don't even include the stress I allowed myself to experience trying to aid her in this quixotic quest for "par-tay" nirvana. (We are, after all, baby boomers, that strange new generation that INVENTED all-hell-breaking-loose.)

Her and the Dotter (that's my new name for the ex-evil/once and again resident twin) lovingly put so much attention into my costume as the biker/bad boy Eddy that it was entirely believable if you have an good imagination. THE Wife posed as Columbia in her pajama scene while THE Dotter made an excellent Maid Magenta. Trust me, if you knew anything about Rocky Horror you'd understand what I just said.

Despite my best efforts I was not able to procure a video projector and had to scale back to our old 26 inch analogue television set, which I hooked up to an old but very capable stereo receiver made obsolete by the 5.1 surround sound era, our DVD player, and a pair of medium sized speakers I picked up real cheap at Radio Shack on sale. Truth be told, this setup served it's purpose quite admirably.

So, in the back yard, with torches and lanterns blazing, white plastic lawnchairs aplenty, and lots of props to go around, we watched AND performed (THE Wife most learnedly and enthusiastically) the musical/movie/mayhem which is The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Hot dogs, toast, bird seed (instead of rice) went flying and streams of water from water pistols wet our newspapers, and a very few hearty souls made bold attempts to do the Time-Warp (an insane dance for you uninitiated). I would not be surprised if neighbors fertively watched this THING going on from behind curtained windows with one finger on the 911 button.

TWO of my co-workers attended while THE Wife managed three total. This was out of a much larger total that was promised. I do make allowances for a couple of my no-shows due to scheduling conflicts that could not be overcome, but it was somewhat disappointing nonetheless. Thus, I want to present THE Michael's Most Sincere Appreciation Award to my two brave and noble angels of mercy who came, after having just finished a twelve-hour shift, no less, to attend our event. I hope you two had as much fun as you indeed appeared to be having, even as drunk as we were all becoming! Also, both I and THE Wife want to thank her co-worker/crazy girlfriend for her participation and aid in making this thing work as well as it did. We hope your hang-over is brief and memorable!

So, no, our hapless diregible did NOT crash and burn, and those that chose to ride it had an experience they will remember for more than a week, we hope! We DO have some photographic evidence of the crime, but we have decided that no one we lured to our lurid event is worth quite enough to blackmail. So, we will both have to return to work and continue to earn our living the old-fashioned way.

As for now, well, it's Sunday morning, the back yard looks like Normandy Beach a week after D-day, and there is a TON of un-eaten party food to deal with. Perhaps I should ship it off to those starving children in China our parents told us about…….