Monday, Mar. 21, 2005 | 9:12 a.m.

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Possibly the Longest Entry Ever

I am having a serious "what the hell am I doing" moment. The training for this job is tedious and annoying. I know it's written for 16 year-olds who've never had a job, and I am trying to hold on to that perspective, but honestly? Most of this is stuff I figured out years before I was 16. You know, things like, "smile and remember the guest is always right."

And then there's the appearance standards. No "unusual" piercings or hair colors. Unusual piercings include anything beyond one hole in each ear lobe. Not that I have any piercings at the moment, but still. And hair color? I'm pushing it on that one. I'm not plum anymore, but I'm pretty sure the color I do have does not occur naturally on any head I've ever seen. While I was being lectured on these standards, a very pretty, young and earnest blond woman was telling me about the comment card she received one time that criticized her for always having wet hair. Except, she went on to explain, it wasn't really wet, but slicked back into a pony tail with a little gel. "So," she said, eyes wide and very blue, "I stopped wearing it like that." I starred at her for a moment, stunned by the lameness of whoever felt the need to leave that comment and more stunned by the fact that this young woman had clearly internalized the criticism and wanted to please people with her appearance. Anyone who knows me very well knows how completely this kind of policy and philosophy rubs me the wrong way.

The front desk is the strictest place in the club in regard to these standards. Other positions have varying degrees of dress/appearance code, but none as rigid as the front desk, which makes the first impression on all guests. I get the need for a dress code -- I really do. I know that some people would happily show up in their sloppiest clothing and rattiest sneakers given the chance, and that perhaps some might elect to skip the shower and/or wear the bad make-up. There has to be a minimum standard of some sort. But this is so ... conservative. And I'm really alarmed that guests feel the need to leave comments about hair that's not unkempt or shocking blue -- I'm wondering how I would deal with a jackass like this should they make the error of saying something to my face about my appearance.

I am trying to hold on to the concept of this not as a "career" but as a doorway to some other position in the club (personal trainer, management, etc.), and, barring that, as a way to subsidize my fitness journey. Not only is my part of the membership now free -- effectively cutting our monthly dues in half -- but I get 25% off all services in the club, which includes a full service Aveda spa and yummy cafe, 15% off all merchandise and the mind/body studio (small group yoga or pilates with candles, music and other new age-y doodads) is free. But you know... I could afford all that and avoid the annoyance factor by getting a job that actually challenges my intellect a little. I'm worried that all the appearance stuff -- not really weight, which is what I sort of expected, but the hair/clothes/make-up factor -- will eventually piss me off enough to conclude that this industry isn't the one for me.

I've also been listening to my inner voice nag me for the past two weeks. What's it nagging about? It's nagging about how I'm avoiding the challenge of what I really want to do, which is write. It's whispering about my cowardice and lack of confidence. It mutters about wasting time. And sometimes it yells, "What the fuck are you doing?!" I'm pretty good at blocking that voice out most of the time, but it's really insistent right now.

Okay, enough of that. I believe I have some questions to answer:

From Marcy:

Her recommendations:

movie - Henry V (Brannagh version) ~ I'm trying to remember if I've seen this or not. I'll put it in my queue at Netflix.
book - the Fionavar Tapestry trilogy by Guy Gavriel Kay (my absolute favorites) ~ you've recommended these before... I need to look them up
music - Gregorian chant ~ I love it!

Question 1 - if you could design your own home (cost no object), what would be the first three things you'd have to have, and why?

Ecological sustainability -- I'd like it to be as ecologically friendly as possible.
A library/office -- I need a place for my books and my computer.
A huge bathroom with a multi-headed shower and jacuzzi tub-for-two.

Question 2 - if you ever had a boy, what would you name him, and why?

Ian Jeffrey -- Jeff and I picked that name out about 17 years ago and have never had the chance to use it. We seriously considered naming Nina Ian, but then I had the dream about her announcing her name, and that was that.

Question 3 - what is the plot of the novel you've always wanted to write (or to have written)?

It's an expansion of a short story I wrote years ago about a woman who is recounting the murder of her family as she walks to the sea -- she's something of a Madeline Usher. The story is a flashback narrated by the author.

From loner-blues:

Her recommendations:

Movie -- Real Women Have Curves ~ one of my all-time favorites
Book -- The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver ~ also love this...
Album -- Lost in Space by Aimee Mann ~ we could spend a lot of time together reading, watching movies and listening to music, Cat. I have this too.

1) If you had to give up one or the other permanently: chocolate or caffiene -- which would you choose?

With chocolate, I'd have the best of both worlds -- 'cause it has caffeine in it! But if it didn't... I'd probably have to go with caffeine. I get horrible headaches without it and it's an ingredient in some of the migraine meds I've taken.

2) When was the last time you danced in the rain?

For sure the last time I was at camp, in October. I can't remember if I've danced in all this rain we've had this spring.

3) If you didn't have Diaryland, where would you write your private thoughts?

I have two other online blogs -- but I get the impression you're saying "If you didn't have an online venue, where would you write?" Thing is, I don't write my most private thoughts here... just the ones I'm willing to share with those who read. I write those thoughts in the legendary "secret" blog AND if it's really dark, then I have paper journals. But honestly, I write more at the computer and I write more when I have an audience. I suppose prior to blogging, I spent a lot more time elucidating in emails. ::grin::

From la-the-sage:

BOOK: 'The Cheerleader'- by Ruth Doan McDougal ~ check, I'll look for it
MOVIE: 'Raise the Red Lantern'- it's subtitled, watch when you can attend closely ~ check again
MUSIC: 'Good Bye Yellow Brick Road'- Elton John ~ I am dying that you put this in here -- if my mom reads this, she'll die too. When that album came out, I listened to it over and over and over... Little what -- five? six? -- year-old me with giant headphones on, listening to it on 8 track. Yes, 8 track! You and I could so do classic rock, LA!

#1: Age at loss of virginity?

Consensually? I lost my virginity at 17. I was raped at 16, but I don't count it. It's not like I had a choice. And believe it or not, the consensual losing of my virginity was with Jeff -- yes, the same Jeff I am married to today. But we did have a split for about a year and I did have one other partner -- who was an AWFUL lay. Pretty boring, eh?

#2: What are your thoughts on brownies? (the snack cake, not girl scout or elfish pixie)

I'm a straight-forward brownie girl. No nuts, no marshmallows, and bits of chocolate ONLY if they're not overdone. I like it chewy and not cake-like, with a crispy crust.

#3: Favorite Superhero and why?

Hm. Tank Girl. Does she count? She should. I mean, no super powers, really, but she kicks ass! If it has to be someone with super powers, then The Crow. His sense of justice is inspiring, though I prefer metaphor to actually sticking needles in someone's chest in the shape of a crow.

From rowan79:

Movie: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind ~ I loved this movie. One of the best I've seen this year.
Book(s): Dark Jewels Trilogy by Anne Bishop ~ will look for it
Music: Emilie Autumn's "Enchant" album ~ will look for it

What do you truly want to be "when you grow up"?

A writer. See angsty entry above. ::grin::

How do you feel (if at all) your devotions to Brighid and the Morrighan fit into your work with Dionysos and Ariadne?

It is very different and honestly, I don't spend as much time with Brighid and the Morrighan as I do with Dionysos and Ariadne. My devotionals to them are much more frequent and formal. The relationship is different, it comes from a different place complete with different sensations. It feels more... hm, it's hard to describe. The work I've done with the Celts has felt very primal and ancient, simultaneously in the head and in the gut. The work I've done to date with the Greeks has been more full-body, more from the third-eye or crown area.

I still have small altars for Brighid and the Morrighan in my home, but I don't spend nearly as much time in front of them as I do with Dionysos and Ariadne. My ritual work has been almost exclusively with Dionysos and Ariadne -- the only times I've veered from that have been the Brighid ritual in February and the Elements class I taught earlier this month, and those weren't particularly personal rituals.

How is bellydance effecting your body image?

It's hard to separate it from the other work I'm doing, but one thing I suppose I can separate is the opportunity to bare my skin in front of strangers who aren't Witchcampers. Just as I had to get over singing and drumming in front of others for Reclaiming/Grove work, this is getting me over moving my body in front of people. But it's much harder, I have to admit. Bonus being surrounded by women of many shapes and sizes. Bonus at seeing the beauty in that. But I'm still struggling to see it in myself and I am steadfastly refusing to watch the video of our performance that Deeda's husband shot. It's a very jagged growing edge.

From thehour:

Movie - The Believer ~ will look for it.
Book - Mists of Avalon ~ check -- oddly I had this book on my shelf for years before I actually read it. When I did, I grew a deep and abiding hate for the self-righteousness of Guinevere that I struggle with to this date
Album - Tears for Fears, Tears Roll Down Greatest Hits ~ I had this album once upon a time -- Pale Shelter is still one of my all-time favorite songs

1. Do you have a daily routine that allows you time to work on your spirituality? How do you find the time with children and now work?

Yes, I do -- about a 10 - 20 minute devotional that I try to do every day, and barring that, I do a daily tarot reading and always find time to read or write something. I make the time -- it's a very high priority for me.

2. How much do you share with your children about your religion? Are you completely open with them and teach them as well? If so, what type of tools/books/exercises do you use?

I'm very open with my religion, though I keep things on an age-appropriate level. We do talk about it frequently, especially since Gab seems to find friends who are quite Christian and also because her friends occasionally comment on my altar, which has a very booby-fied statue of Ariadne on it. We do activities and celebrate the holy days, using books such as "Circle Round" for inspiration.

3. What's your favorite movie and/or book of all time?

I honestly don't think I could choose just one. Books and movies often feed very different parts of my psyche.

So holy cow... I honestly think this is the longest entry I've ever put in this blog...

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