Archive for News from the Homefront

“All Acts of Love and Pleasure Are My Rituals”

So, Wednesday morning, with thousands of others, I opened SCOTUSblog’s live feed, and by 10:01am I knew that my forthcoming marriage to a woman would have all the legal rights of my previous marriages to men. (Yeah, yeah, in addition to ten years of marriage to Isaac Bonewits, I had a brief teen marriage: Read all about it in my memoir, Merry Meet Again.)

I cried like a baby.

I cried and then I woke my fiance from a sound sleep, and we held each other, and then I let her go back to sleep, and then I cried some more.

I don’t even know how to say what I feel. That this is right, that this is just, that this is fair, and decent, and fundamentally American–all that is true. But it’s more than that. Five years ago, when I was a bisexual woman who dated men almost exclusively, I would have celebrated, I would have cheered, I would have been overjoyed. But now? Now it is about my full-fledged membership in the public square. Homophobia hasn’t gone away. Gay bashing hasn’t gone away. Hate and bigotry and well-meaning insistence on second class status haven’t gone away. But I feel like my true American citizenship has been affirmed. Like I can walk with my beloved anywhere, and the highest court in the land affirms our right to hold our heads high. (And, yeah, Scalia is a douchebag, but whatever.)

On a practical level, it means I can write a will without worrying about my spouse being screwed by unfair inheritance taxes, and it means I can add her to my health insurance without paying a penalty.

The battle is won, the war goes on. My heart is full of hope for the future and my eyes are wet with tears.

Dream Interpretation

So, Friday night I dreamed I was at a party that my brother was hosting. When I left work to go to the party, I found my car had been stolen, but I couldn’t reach the cops. Somehow I got to the party anyway. The men mostly stayed downstairs watching sports. I stayed the night, and in the morning the men had come upstairs, and Bruce Springsteen was one of them. I got into a big easy chair with Bruce and we were making out. It was glorious. My mother was there and after a while I think she got tired of watching me make out, because she started making fun of me. Then I went back to trying to get the cops about my car. Then I called into work to explain about my car and my boss fired me. (This was a boss from years and years ago; someone who actually did fire me in real life).

Now, if I know who or what Bruce Springsteen represents in real life (which I do), then I might understand that my subconscious is telling me that, no matter how glorious it feels to be with “Bruce,” it’s a disaster. In this dream, Bruce is wonderful, but job, car, Mom are all bad. It’s a warning, and not a psychic warning. Based on how it made me feel, this was a psychological, not a supernatural, dream.

So of course I ignored the warning, and of course within 24 hours the warning proved right.

Adventures in Customer Service Follow-up

So, the Avenue wrote to me, very promptly, and showed me their “wide calf” boots on their website. They are 15″ in circumference. By contrast, Torrid’s are 18-20 inches. I bought at Torrid. Today I discovered Evans. They offer extra wide and extra wide-calf boots, but they don’t give specific measurements.

Meanwhile, I haven’t been watching many movies. I was away. But my next movie after the Prince of the City fiasco was fine. The next movie after that, however, was cracked down the middle. They really seem to be sabotaging their DVD collection.

A letter to The Avenue

Dear Avenue:

I am your ideal customer: A plus-sized woman (22) who loves clothes and loves to shop. Today I left your store unable to buy anything, frustrated, and a little humiliated.

You have been advertising a big selection of fall boots. I was excited! As a big woman, I am unable to fit my legs into standard boots, so boots at The Avenue, made with me in mind, sounded like just what I wanted!

Your boots are not made with me in mind. Your boots are not wide-calf. They fit a larger, wide shoe-size, but a standard calf. I tried on 3 pairs before I figured it out, and then the people in the store didn’t believe me.

Plus-size women ALMOST NEVER have standard-sized calves. We have PLUS-SIZED calves. Go figure.

The store manager told me that wide-calf boots are a “specialty” item. Guess what? Plus-sized clothing is a specialty item. You are a specialty store with a specialty clientele, and you should be servicing that clientele.

The floor clerk suggested I try on ankle boots. Really? I have a CLOSET FULL of ankle boots because I can’t buy the full-height boots I crave.

You didn’t have a single pair of full-height boots in the store I could buy. Not one. Because I’M TOO FAT. I come to stores like The Avenue because I don’t want to feel excluded for being too fat. I could go *anywhere* and feel excluded for being fat; I don’t come to *you* for that.

You messed up, Avenue. I’m disappointed.

Netflix hates its customers

When Netflix announced all its changes a couple of weeks ago, people said they were deliberately trying to kill their DVD business, starting with the incredibly stupid name. And y’know, that conversation was fun and entertaining and I sort of thought it was humorous: Oh, look, we’re killing our own business on purpose.

Now I’m not so sure it’s a joke.

First of all, the last two discs I’ve received have been damaged and unplayable and needed to be replaced. My prior history of damaged discs is: One in October 2010, one in October 2009, one each in July and March of 2009, one each in 2008, 2007 and 2006. In other words, damaged discs since the announcement equals MORE than damaged discs in 4 of the past 5 years.

Second of all, let me tell you about Prince of the City.

Prince of the City is a 1981 movie that is not obscure. It was Oscar- and Golden Globe-nominated. It was directed by Sidney Lumet. It has a 94% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It was highly recommended to me so I put it at the top of my queue.

It’s a two disc set because it is VERY LONG (167 minutes, which is like, days). We watched disc one, popped in disc two: Unplayable. Damaged, scratched, skipping, dreck. So I reported it damaged and shipped it. When my replacement arrived, we sat down to watch and discovered they’d sent disc one. Aggravated, I went to the website to report the mistake, but now the website didn’t say “Disc One” and “Disc Two” as it had before, now I could only report “Prince of the City.” I did report it, but I wasn’t sure that actually worked, so I phoned.

As always, the rep was very nice. I explained the issue and he said he’d make sure disc two was sent. Then he put me on hold and came back and said disc two isn’t available. “I hate to be the bringer of bad news,” he said. It’s “rare” and “out of print” and the damaged one I had must have been the very last copy. Why, I asked, did you send me disc one if that was the case? Did you think that would help? Do you know I’ve seen HALF A MOVIE?

He didn’t offer to find it from another shipping location. He didn’t offer a free month or a free day or a free anything. All he did was commiserate. And I’ve still seen half a movie. Half a LONG movie that I’ve already invested a lot of my life in.

Meanwhile, my Netflix queue shows that my disc was “reported mislabeled.” It was not. It very clearly said “Disc One” on the envelope and the disc. Apparently, they purposely sent me the half of the movie I’d already seen, imagining that somehow worked as an effective substitute. And, my queue also tells me that disc one is again on its way to me. Oh, goodie.

Netflix, please, just set your warehouse on fire. It will be easier.

An Open Letter to ADF

Note: This letter was sent to the Archdruid of ADF and shared with the Mother Grove (Board of Directors) before publication. I include their response at the end.

Isaac Bonewits’s death has been a great tragedy for me and mine. I have lost my beloved friend of almost 25 years, my ex-husband, my former High Priest, and the father of my only child, Arthur Lipp-Bonewits. I have struggled to balance immense personal grief with the heartbreaking loss to the entire Pagan community of a brilliant leader, teacher, scholar, thinker, and bard. More than either of these, I have had to prioritize being a mother, as Arthur, at far too young an age, has not only lost his father, but has gone through the difficult and often frightening ordeal of caring for him in his last months.

Throughout all of this, the kindness, compassion, respect, and support of the Pagan community, including ADF, has been one of the things that has kept me going. That I could look up from my personal sorrow and know that Isaac was being treated with dignity, honor, and love, was a sustaining force through the most acute period of grief.

Imagine, then, my shock and dismay when I learned that ADF was selling DVDs of Isaac’s memorial service. » Read more..

I am moving movies

I know there are about three of you out there who still read this blog. I feel for you.

I’m moving movie reviews over to Basket of Kisses. The first review in the new place is True Grit.

I am keeping Property of a Lady open for Pagan, spiritual, and personal musings, and event announcements (speaking engagements, etc.). I imagine that will remain infrequent.

Thanks for your patience.

Philip Emmons Isaac Bonewits, October 1, 1949 – August 12, 2010

Isaac sits with the Shining Ones and eats from Dagda’s Cauldron. The mortal world is a poorer place without him.

There will never be another Isaac. Those of us who knew him well could easily think of him as just Isaac: Character, goofball, ladies man, punster, life of the party, pain in the neck, singer, priest, friend and ex-husband (in my case). But Isaac was so much more than that.

The press release gives you an inkling of his importance to the world. One of my favorite memorial posts comes from The Wild Hunt:

[The] vision of the ADF, written by Bonewits nearly thirty years ago, captures what was so vibrant and vital about him. The audacity of expecting excellence and success from himself, his coreligionists, and his peers.

“Audacity of expecting excellence”—O, yes, that’s Isaac.

I cannot begin to say how much I loved and love Isaac. As a husband, he drove me crazy. I don’t regret ending our marriage, and I know he was very happy with Phaedra, whom he married in 2004. He loved her very much and I am so happy he had that. Still, Isaac and I were married for ten years (1988–1998), and I’d qualify nine of those years as happy ones; only at the end did things break down, and our unhappiness was short-lived; we quickly became good friends.

Isaac was a wonderful, loving, proud father. He had a perverse sense of what made a good lullaby. Certainly, the baby slept better for him than for me, despite being sung to sleep with “The Internationale.” As Arthur grew, Isaac always treated him as an intelligent being and spoke to him with a rich vocabulary even when he was a toddler. In the end, it was Arthur caring for Isaac. I am proud of my son, and I know that Isaac was and is as well.

He was an extraordinary High Priest in the Craft, as well as a Druid. He had a unique ability to move energy. When he called the Gods, They came. I was already a High Priestess of the Craft, albeit a young one, when we began dating in 1986, but I consider that only half my training was done. The rest I learned from him. He was a gifted teacher, exploring the nuances of every aspect of ritual and worship. Elements of Ritual could not exist without Isaac’s influence.

What Isaac loved the most was serving the Pagan community. He loved a good fight, he loved to get down and argue, to make trouble, to stir the pot. And he did it, always, on behalf of the community. He did it to make the world better, and more Pagan, and to serve the Gods. His love of the Gods was always at the forefront of who he was. His service to the community, to the Gods, and to his work as a priest was in every decision he ever made.

In the end, I look at Isaac, and I look at someone who was fundamentally good. He was not without his flaws, but he was without moral blemish. Isaac was honest, kind, charitable, generous, forgiving to a fault, open to new ideas, tolerant, attentive, amiable, and selfless. I assure you, I have thought over every one of those adjectives carefully, and every one applies to almost every moment of Isaac’s life. I could list negatives if I wanted to, but none of them are moral failings. I believe, truly, that the Gods will look upon this man and embrace him as one of their own.

It was a privilege, Isaac. I hope we get to do it again.

Someone sent me a message today…

on Facebook, asking when Isaac Bonewits died.

Isaac is still alive, thankyouverymuch. He is dying, and we are giving love and care to the extent possible, and the family is gathering, and there is a lot of sorrow in my heart. We are doing what we can to prepare for the end. Phaedra and Arthur are exhausted and yet…I am so proud of my son, who is so good and kind to his father, even when he’s losing patience and his temper with this terrible situation.

And I got that message asking when he died.

I’m sorry if I’m not as kind and good as some people might be, but immediately after answering, I unfriended that person. I think people should pretty much stand up and applaud me for not also cursing her out.

Please continue to send light and peace and love to Isaac, Arthur, and Phae. Please pray that his siblings, who are on the road right now, arrive in time to say their final goodbyes.

That was not a good idea

Sometimes I wear my hair up in a clip. Sometimes when I’m driving with the sunroof open, my hair comes flying out of the clip. So I take the clip out, clip it to my shirt front, fix my hair, and put the clip back.

Except I was wearing a low-cut shirt. And clipped the hair-clip to my chest.

Not a good idea.