URGENT PLEA: PPE NEEDED

One of my funeral director friends is being deployed with her D-MORT team. D-MORT is the federal response team comprised of funeral directors/emblamers, medical examiners, coroners, forensic anthropologists, etc, called to scenes of mass casualties and other scenarios when death care providers are needed (such as cemetery floods). They don’t have enough PPE for everyone – it was allocated by lottery. My friend is high risk with a compromised immune system situation. She needs PPE.

If anyone reading is in the mortuary field or any health care-adjacent field and have any kind of PPE that can be donated, PLEASE email me at vanitas1918@gmail.com.

Please please please help our D-MORT personnel – my friend and her colleagues all – get the best possible chance to return safely home to their families. They’re being given federal orders to serve their states, but in this crisis there isn’t enough protective gear available for issue.

Please remember that your local funeral directors and death care workers are also on the front lines of this pandemic. In late January/early February I got concerned when I heard embalming supply companies were limiting orders for PPE in case state and federal governments needed it. Now D-MORT is being called up and their teams are not equipped. Please help if at all possible – deployment is happening by the end of this week.

Much love to you all.

Irreverence is a Coping Mechanism

For years, whenever people would talk about their Zombie Apocalypse Plans (or any apocalypse plans), I’d half-joke that I plan to be one of the first wave killed because I’m too lazy to rebuild society, especially if there’s no Dunkin iced coffee available.  The addiction is real with my iced Dunkin; last year, upon my return from Iceland (aka the Land of No Dunkin), my stepfather met me at the airport with a hug and a “Welcome back, there’s a Dunkin downstairs.” When I was coming out of anesthesia from my hysterectomy, I’m told my drug-fogged brain wouldn’t stop running my mouth about how many Dunkins we’d passed on the way to the hospital and how massively unfair it was that I wasn’t allowed to have coffee before surgery. There’s a reason it was so especially poetic when the surprise napkin to unfurl in the mead at the Loki blot was a Dunkin napkin.

I run on Dunkin, is what I’m saying. I practically mainline the stuff.

Today, on the way to work, my usual Dunkin was closed because of the pandemic. So I went to another location. It, too, was closed.

This is it, I realized. The apocalypse is real, and my time is up.

Continue reading “Irreverence is a Coping Mechanism”

Pandemic Log: It’s Getting Weird

Day whatever of reporting to work as an essential employee: we’re devolving into anarchy. Uniform guidelines have fallen by the wayside. I’m at my desk in leggings and plaid Doc Martens. They have dinosaur laces. I’m making everyone look at the dinosaur laces.

I’ve resurrected my mascara and burgundy lipstick. Gals who are fortunate enough to stay at home are in PJs and bare-faced; we at the dealership have started wearing makeup, just to drive home to the techs how upside down and freakish the world has become. The veil has been shed in order to let my deathhawk fly in all its punkass glory.

We’re shuffling around in a post apocalyptic wasteland of a service center.

There are no rules, save one: Wash your hands.

Chaos! Pandemonium! Pandemic!

Have a Loki Blot, she said. It’ll be fun, she said.”

This comment was left in jest on a FB post I made linking an article about 2 asteroids that are likely to hit our atmosphere in the midst of COVID-19 pandemonium. I laughed, joking about how I was wondering when I’d be called out for the timing of all of this. You’ve got to admit, it’s pretty damn funny and not at all surprising. Continue reading “Chaos! Pandemonium! Pandemic!”

Be Smart, Be Careful, and Be Well: The COVID-19 Post

I just got a delightful voice message from fellow Lokean E, asking me to update her on the situation in my city and making sure I’ve got plans in place, etc. She ended the message by saying, and I quote, “I worry about you, you and the cats and Loki alone in your place- oh, [your city] won’t survive.  You can’t be alone with the cats and Loki for however long . . . that’s just a hot mess waiting to happen.” And I cackled loudly, because she’s right. I love the way her concern flipped from me to the very survival of my city in the span of a heartbeat. It was a beautiful thing to hear, and I listened to it several times to transcribe the above, and that moment of realization was hilarious each and every time. My cats and I are already threats to public decency. . . add Loki to the mix with a little cabin fever? Hmmmmm . . .

In any case, I was already halfway through writing the below when I got that message, so here we go, for anyone who’s wondering about what’s going on in my corner of civilization.

As a plague freak, I’ve been watching this coronavirus thing since December. For over 20 years, I’ve obsessively studied bubonic plague, and for over 10 years my focus has been on the influenza pandemic of 1918; my home decor leans heavy on plague doctor dolls and WWI imagery. In fact, the picture above is a commissioned piece I got from a local artist (shout out to Bobby Zeik, yo)  based on a novel I’ve been writing about a (fictional, duh) WWI plague doctor. My interests have a fun way of overlapping and merging together. And yes, yes that’s Danvers State Hospital in the background. Have I ever mentioned my bachelor’s degree in is clinical pysch? My college transcripts for undergrad and mortuary school are full of courses on abnormal psych, clinical practice, pathology, criminology, forensics and chemistry, theology, and infectious diseases — all of which are key themes in that novel of mine. My personal library is more of the same. My obsessions are never phases, they just evolve and morph into one another over the years. But plagues and pandemics have always been my thing, so I’ve been tracking COVID-19 info closely since December, when it started making international news. Continue reading “Be Smart, Be Careful, and Be Well: The COVID-19 Post”

Let’s Talk About Sex

In October, I enjoyed seeing my friends celebrate “Coming Out Day,” but I didn’t really think much of it. Mostly because I really don’t think about romantic love or sex at all, really, and that’s what I associate with sexual orientation. And that’s because, as I’ve mentioned before, I am asexual. I’m probably aromantic, too, because I just don’t do romance, period, and it tends to make me extremely uncomfortable. But I’ve never been loud or proud about it, because it just didn’t matter to me. It still doesn’t feel important to me, which I guess just kind of sums up asexuality – it’s all just, meh. Whatever. I’d rather talk about other things. But I guess I’ll talk about it now. It was fascinating and insightful to read about my LGBTQ+ friends’ stories and journeys, heartbreaking to learn of the backlash they’d faced from family and friends, and inspiring to see them flourishing now in the families they’ve built up around them. My story really isn’t much of an emotional roller coaster, it’s not going to inspire, and that’s okay. It doesn’t have to. But it might just provide a lot more context to how I view things socially and spiritually. Like my heathenry, my absolute disinterest in sex and romance are an ingrained part of me, and if it never came up in conversation before, then this will probably be a bit of a light bulb moment for some of you who know me. Things will click, and suddenly a lot of things about me will make sense. Continue reading “Let’s Talk About Sex”

Least Helpful Post Ever

Today’s thought dump is brought to you by request. Over the years, lots of recently converted heathens and pagans have asked me how to deal with backlash or negativity from family/friends/coworkers, and a good friend of mine specifically asked me to write about what it’s like in a blended-faith family.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a lot of advice. I’ve somehow been extraordinarily lucky to always have my faith and religious choices treated with respect. I’ve never been preached at nor had anyone try to convert me. Or maybe I have and just haven’t realized it, because I thought we were just having a discussion about comparative religion or world philosophy. But I’m pretty sure I haven’t been proselytized, especially because some of those past discussions allowed me to show off how much knowledge I have on the history of Christianity, the differences in theology and practices among the various denominations, and the deep biblical understanding I have from having read it a few times on top of my Catholic high school education.  When people preach at you, they do so because they assume you’re ignorant; I tend to prove my knowledge and understanding very early on in conversation, and I’m able to articulate exactly why XYZ isn’t a healthy path for me while heathenry allows me to grow and flourish. Continue reading “Least Helpful Post Ever”

Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Orange, and a Hint of Old Napkin

I’m calling it now: “Well, that’s not supposed to happen” is the unofficial motto of my kindred. It’s a theme that preceded my arrival to the group, and it’s been going strong with my official inclusion. It happened again, to no one’s surprise, at our Loki blot on Leap Day.

Saturday’s event was blissful, and I’m once again in awe at how incredible my kindred is and how much I love the heathens in the Northeast Community. We had a great turn out, and to my astonishment, when it came time to pass the horn, each and every person present spoke words of gratitude and praise to both Loki and Sigyn. Four days have passed at the time of this writing, and I’m still riding high on the experience and energy everyone brought. Even my super Lutheran stepfather wore a sweatshirt with a fox on it for the occasion, even though my parents just came to socialize and didn’t stick around for the main events.

Continue reading “Tasting Notes: Vanilla, Orange, and a Hint of Old Napkin”

Keep the Lines of Communication Open

I’ve been mulling over some discussions I’ve come across on a few different sites and various groups the last few days. There’ve been several people who are expressing dismay and frustration at the lack of “hearing” or experiencing the gods directly, and one or two people seem to be questioning whether or not this means they should give up on heathenry. Of course, as someone who has experienced more than my fair share of direct communication, I feel compelled to weigh in. I know what it’s like to make offerings and pray and wait for a sign or a word or some inkling of being noticed by the powers that be. I understand the frustration at wondering if I’m a “good” heathen, if I’m doing things right, if there’s a reason I’m being ignored by the gods I call to. I’ve been heathen for most of my 37-year-long life; raised heathen-lite, I didn’t actually begin to devote energy into the gifting cycle until I was 17/18. There was a 4 year span as a teen when I gave Catholicism a go because I was feeling rebellious while simultaneously wanting to fit in with my parochial school peers. In the first 16ish years of active practice, I rarely received communication from the gods, and when I did, it was pretty much only in meditative trance state when I was actively seeking guidance for major choices.

What I write about in this blog — the chatter with Loki and Sigyn, being more aware and more connected to their presence and commentary — is pretty recent. It’s only been happening for a few years, and it started with Loki’s proposition when he broke through in a dramatic fashion after a 3 hour long blot. It happens because my practice has evolved into being the absolute center of everything in my life. That’s a choice I’ve made, and an inevitable choice given my genuine desire to become a nun during my conversion to Catholicism. A life devoted to service to deity and building an all-encompassing relationship with a god or gods has been one of my deepest desires since I was 14 years old. Continue reading “Keep the Lines of Communication Open”

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