Butterfly Cauldron

Thursday, March 29, 2007

When you grab the Universe by the balls, it listens

My life has taken a dramatically enjoyable upswing of late. Despite a few little annoyances, my life is turning up fantastic.

Point One -- Saturday, my Kady and I will undertake our first Solo Aunt/Niece undertaking. Her parents are bringing her down to see me, dropping her off and getting lost for the day. It will be just the Munchkin and me. We're going to the zoo. They're having a big festival there this weekend, so she can get her face painted and actually pet some of the animals. And there will be music for her to dance to. I will be the most awesome Aunt ever. Because I rock.

Point Two -- Sunday, I have a *gasp* date. Pause, ruminate, digest that, if you will. My perpetual single-status is in danger, maybe? He responded to a listing I have on collarme.com (Nifty BDSM site, if you don't know) and asked me an honest-to-goddess question about one of my non-BSDM interest. (As opposed to the guys who mail me with "Oh, please Mistress, make me your slave and beat me until I bleed. I only want to please you." Really? You don't even know me, idiot.) So, we talked on IM and on the phone and he's really kinda cool. We clicked and well . . . now we have a date. He's 30 (as opposed to 21), gainfully employed and a sub. My very own sub again. *happy sigh*

Point Three -- Next weekend, my friend Clara and I are going to New Orleans for the weekend. She, being the one with al the money, booked us a very ritzy hotel and we're going to see the Aquarium, the D-Day Museum, wander about the Quarter. Just be tourists for a few days. We desparately need this little vacation and I miss her. When I lived in Alexandria, she and I went out to lunch at least twice a week. Now, she's three hours away! *pout* If the Boy works out, I'm gonna invite him to spend some time with us down there, since he lives about 20 minutes outside of NO.

So, life is shaping up rather well. My adorable niece, a boytoy of my very own and a nice little vacation. My stars must be in alignment. (Or, ya know, the Universe got tired of me twisting it's balls into a knot. Details.)

Labels: ,

posted by Zan at 5:46 PM 2 comments

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Religious sex

I was always taught that sex was sacred, but not in a good way. Sex was sacred, in a Sunday-clothing-Amazing Grace-Thou-Shalt-Not sort of way. In a God deems it good, but not for you way. Sacred and unattainable, if you wanted to remain good and decent and deserving of God's love.

Sex was a subject rarely broached in my home. My parents never had the Birds and Bees talk with me. There was no discussion of safe sex or birth control or the emotional ramifications of being physically intimate with someone else. They ignored a lot. For example:

Masturbation. We never had a conversation about this either, but man was I into it. (Still am, being a celibate girl atm.) As a child, I couldn't get enough and I did it in the most inappropriate places. Like while I was laying on the couch, watching t.v. With the rest of my family around me. Oh, sure, I was laying under a blanket, and in my child's mind I was sure they couldn't see what I was doing, but let's be real here -- it was pretty bloody obvious. Hands moving under the blanket? Lips pressed tight together? Riiiight, no one knows what THAT was. And when I say I did it a lot? We're talking nightly, at least. And don't even get me started about the wonders of the shower! In the car, I would use the pressure from the seatbelts to pull my jeans tight against me, rocking back and forth so my panties massaged my clit. While my family was all around me. Hell, my brother was in the seat right next to me! And maybe, maybe no one really noticed THAT. Maybe. But then I found my parent's heated massager and did some experimenting with it on myself. Ahem. Yeah. And mom found it in my room. And when I told her that my back had been hurting, she didn't blink and accepted the excuse. Told me to ask before I used it next time.

And they never talked about it. Never, when it was clear that I was not having lots and lots of backaches. (Otherwise, why didn't they take me to the doctor? Huh? Girl that young should not be having that many back problems.) Subtly, it re-enforced my belief: sex was dirty. It was secret. We didn't talk about it and we ignored it as much as we could. And, if the feelings I was bringing out in myself were so bad we couldn't talk about them, how bad were the feelings /other/ people could bring out in me?

The only "sex ed" I got from my family was the church sponsored Don't Do It class. In which we were all lead through biblical passages that said (so we were told -- I now know that the Bible doesn't actually say anything about not having pre-marital sex, without referring specifically to the financial/patriarchal implications of it) we were not supposed to be having sex before marriage. But after it, we could. And it would be good. Somehow. Even when we didn't know anything about it. Again, sex is a mystery, a secret we don't talk about.

But even then, I was protesting. They used that same stupid example: Would you rather have a new car or a used car? And I, imputant child that I was, asked "Well, are we talking about a New Yugo versus a Used BMW? Because, ya know, used isn't so bad . . ." Got lots of laughs and made the teacher flustered. What did they expect, comparing my body to a frigging car? As if it were something that could be bought. As if it were something that would wear out and have to be replaced. As if it were always in danger of being replaced by the newest model. How dare they?

And then, of course, the fear was pounded in. The extraordinarly fear of pregnancy. Of being trapped. Of having no more choices. And then I couldn't do it. I wanted to. I loved and I desired and I wanted so badly, but I couldn't, because my religious upbringing had damaged my natural desires so badly they couldn't exist in the same universe. So, I had to give up one. I had to abandon my desires and my needs and my wants or I had to change my faith.

So, I changed my faith.

It wasn't an easy thing to do. Sometimes, I still have tinges of. . .not doubt, exactly. . .but that sharp, electric fear that used to keep me so enslaved. Now I can shake them off. Now I can say, you know this isn't Divine. What did Jesus say? I do not send you a spirit of fear? So even in my old faith, the fear was a lie. Only I couldn't see that until I got out of it.

It took years and years of separation and thought and yes, prayer. It took years and years to quiet the voices of other people so that I could hear the voice inside me. Divine is not evil, not cruel, not denying. Sex is not dirty, or a secret, or a mystery.

My new faith celebrates sex. Yes, sex is sacred. But sacred in the ecstatic, dancing, spinning, freeing, healing way. Sacred in the primal, sweaty flesh stuck to sweaty flesh, animal scent way. Sacred in a break the rules and find yourself way. In all the ways I was taught it wasn't.

That's what I desire. That aching, wanting, reaching, transcending. It's not about the orgasm, not really. (Although, I'm not saying no to a single one, thank ya very much.) It's a connection and primal and animal and divine.

Labels: ,

posted by Zan at 5:20 PM 3 comments

Random curious question

I just noticed something -- a lot of the people who read and comment here are atheists. The vast majority of my friends RL are athiests as well. I am not. And yet, we agree on just about everything and have zero problems getting along and respecting each other. So, that struck me as interesting. I was raised with the dogma that athiests and believers could not get along. And yet, clearly, this is not the case. Even when I post about religion, I get responses from non-believers that are thoughtful and respectful of my own faith. So, why do you think this ridiculous notion that atheists and believers must be enemies comes from? I've never felt any disrespect for my beliefs from anyone here. (Of course, this could be because my faith is not exactly conventional and doesn't require me to try to convert anyone.) So . . . what do ya think? What do you believe (or not) and why? Have you had run-ins with religious types that influenced your beliefs? How do you think society responds to people who hold your beliefs? I've posted a lot about my religious upbringing, but I don't know that I posted my 'conversion' stories here yet. So, I'll fix that tonight when I've got more time. Until then...discuss amongst yourselves :)


posted by Zan at 6:55 AM 8 comments

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Girls, Girls, Girls

And I'm back for more Celebrations of Desire. This time, it's all about the girls. And oh, how many beautiful girls there are. If you were getting annoyed by all the testosterone, this post is for you.

Amber Benson:

Asia Argento:

Claudia Black:

Eliza Dushku:

Gigi Edgely:

Katee Sackhoff:

Kristanna Loken:

Michelle Rodriguez:


Radha Mitchell:

Labels: ,

posted by Zan at 7:58 PM 7 comments

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Objects of my desire

In celebration of Female Desire Week (so named by my brain-twin Cassandra who is seriously trying to kill me with those pictures!), I present assorted Objects of Desire that I really, really like. Buckle up kiddies, it's Sex Week.

Aidan Turner, actor. Look at him for a moment and try not to..ya know. Plus, he's got the most yummy English accent.

Takizawa Hideaki, actor, musician, too damn pretty to resist.

Santiago Cabrera, actor, Hispanic. What more do I need?

Olivier Martinez. Actor. (Yes, I realize this little information just makes it more objectifying. But oh well.)

Goran Visnjic. Seriously, this man could do pretty much anything he wanted too to me.

Billie Joe Armstrong. So pretty. I can't help myself, although I should feel bad about it. Oh well.

My Chemical Romance. Yep. Pretty much, the whole damned band. If that puts me on the same level as screaming tweeners, I don't care.

Okay. Enough for now. There will be more later, fear not. I have a whole buncha gorgeous girls to get to, after all!


posted by Zan at 6:47 PM 9 comments

Sunday, March 18, 2007


I know you've all just been *dying* to meet the people who produced the amazing woman who is me. I know, I know. You never said, but I understand. You all want to meet my family, doncha? Well, ok. If you insist.

I was at my gorgeous, beautiful, amazing Kady's 3rd birthday party yesterday. So, let's meet her first, shall we?

You see now why I adore her? Of course you do. It's readily apparent. A quick story from the party: Kady got her first *shudder* Barbie Doll. A pack of two, actually. A Snow White Barbie and a Cinderella Barbie. Not from me, of course. Still, being the good Aunt, I unpacked 'em for her and handed 'em over. Her mother and my mother were cooing over the dolls and I was inwardly cringing. Barbie? Nooo!! Then, Kady looks at me, offering me one of the dolls and says, "Wanna go play with 'em in the dirt?"

At which point, any fear I had of Barbie underminding my Kady's sense of self-worth was instantly demolished. And I laughed. Oh, I so laughed. And we plotted to bury Barbie in the sandbox, much to my mother's horror.

Next up? My Dad (with Kady, of course):

You can't really tell from this photo, but my father is a giant. He's six foot nine and well, you can see he's not small in any other way. And he's a marshmellow. Kady gets anything she wants and she looooves her Papa. Yesterday, when she was showing me her bright red My Little Pony, she said that Papa was going to buy her a real one when she gets big and she's gonna ride it. I told Dad she said this and he, for a moment looked puzzled, then shrugged and nodded. "I am." Of course he is. That child is irresistable.

Next, my grandmothers. Both of my grandmothers are still living and have always been very much a part of my life. My Grandma West (in the blue shirt) is the one who raised five children on her own, after dumping my abusive, adulterous grandfather at a time when women did not do such things. All five went on to get an education and to raise families of their own, being decent citizens who are nothing like their father. My Grandma Manuel (in the pink) has reinvinted her life following my grandfather's death 20 years ago. She had spent all her life focused on her family and home. Now, she's one of the "Crazy Old Women" who do whatever the hell they want. Each year, she and her friends get into her minivan, pull out the map and decide where they're going. They've been all over the country and they're toying with going to Mexico. They give me hope that life always gets better, even when it gets hard.

Labels: ,

posted by Zan at 12:23 PM 1 comments

Monday, March 12, 2007

ZTV Cribs

Since Kim asked so nicely (and since I just got a digital camera to play with!) I present to you images from Zan's Cauldron. Keep in mind I've only lived in this place a few months and I'm not quite got everything personalized just so yet. I'll post more when I'm more settled. I still need to do my bedroom. Oy.

The view from my kitchen window:

I finally have a windowbox and decided I needed to have plants. So, here they are. Mostly, they're cacti, since those are hard to kill. Plus, I've got some lovely rosemary and spearmint! They smell sooooo good. I really love the purple cactus. See:

Next up, the Wall o'Cats. Okay, I admit it, I also put this up because I like to show off just how crafty I am. All those cross stitched pictures? Made by my little hands. I'm really good at it and I'm pretty happy with it. Also, cat is one of my totems. My first, actually. Since I was about 6 months old, I've attracted cats. No matter where I go, no matter what I do, they find me. I've gotten more comfort from cats than from people, frankly. They also saved my life once, when I was so suicidial the only reason I could come up with not to kill myself was that, if I were dead, no one would feed my cats.

And finally, my own personal shrine. You see those turtles? Another totem. When I get frustrated or anxious or just completely turned around, I have dreams about Turtle dancing. She dances in my dreams and reminds me to slow down and enjoy the moment. Take my time, remember that the universe is unfolding like it should and everything will work out. Just breath. The statue in the middle is Cupid and Psyche, which I got in Italy. The blue candleholder my brother brought back for me from China and the chimena was a gift from my mother from...New Mexico? I'm not sure.
posted by Zan at 8:07 PM 5 comments

Hail the Evil Cat Overlord

This is China. She owns me. She's ten years old and very, very cranky. Right now, she's sitting at my feet, waiting for me to quit this silly typing and sit on the couch so I can pet her like she so richly deserves. And I will, because if I don't, she'll eat me.

A few days ago, I was coming home from work and this gorgeous gray cat comes up to me. So, I petted him for a bit (since I know he belongs to my neighbors) and then opened the door to go inside. China, as always, was waiting for me by the door. Usually, when the Evil Bitch Queen of the Universe sees another cat, she runs away. Not this time. No. This time, she bowed up, flattened her ears and RAN out of the house to attack the other cat. Swatswatswat! Growl! Hiss! Get away from my humanslave!! Then, realizing that she'd accidently gone outside (the horror!) she turned around and ran back into the house.

This is who I share my life with. Help me. Please.


posted by Zan at 7:58 PM 2 comments

Thursday, March 08, 2007

The simplest things make me happy

So far this week, I've paid off my hospital bill, paid off all my credit cards, paid back my mother and my grandmother the cash they loaned me when I moved, got my car the maintenance I'd not had the money for AND bought groceries. And, I still have nearly 4K left in my savings account. Plus, I get paid next Friday.

Seriously, the smallest things make me happy. No more credit card debt. NONE. It's GONE. Mwhahahahahahaha.

Also, I have a washer and dryer now. So I'm doing my laundry. Lots and lots of laundry. *sniff* Ah, the smell of fabric softener.

So, this weekend I get to go couch shopping in earnest. I don't have to buy one, but I can. If I find one I love and must have? It can be mine.

And then, I'll have everything I wanted and can watch my little nest egg grow. I feel so...relieved. It's so strange, not having all those huge, huge bills hanging over my head. Knowing that if my car breaks down or I need to see the doctor and get on some new meds, it won't destroy me financially. Oh, gods. I can buy Kady a buncha presents for her birthday next week!

She is soooooo getting a set of bongos.
posted by Zan at 7:15 PM 6 comments

Monday, March 05, 2007

Is that a beachball in your belly or are you just fat?

Anyone who is even the slightest bit overweight has had to deal with a doctor who was 'concerned' about their weight. It's a rite of passage, I think. Or a plot by Big Pharma to make us all insane. Those of us who are more than slightly overweight get used to it. I'm very lucky, in that my new doctor is open to discussing weight loss if I choose, but she isn't pressing the issue and is really interested in treating the symptoms I bring to her. But I've dealt this them before. The one doctor who told me that I was just in pain because I was stressed and needed to lose weight. Who tried to get me to spend thousands on Chinese herbs that would make me lose weight. Who put me on Prozac, but refused to do any tests to find out if there was actually an illness causing my symptoms. And gods know, my Aunt Vickie paid for being sick and ill with her life. She died from shame, although the physical cause was a stroke. She wouldn't go see a doctor because she was fat and she knew it would be an issue. So she died at 42 of a disease (Hugh's Syndrome, an autoimmune disease that she'd had for years which had weakened her blood vessels to the point that they failed) that could have been controlled with a simple aspirin a day.

So when I read this story I am not at all surprised. A naturally chubby girl starts gaining weight rapidly. She goes to doctors, gets told she needs to lose weight. She goes to more doctors, she gets told to accept that she's fat and that's all and she needs to lose weight. Doctor after doctor after doctor tell her the same thing. And the whole time, she's got a cyst growing inside her, swelling to the size of a frigging beach ball. And her health fails, not because she's fat, but because there was a foreign object growing inside her, pressing on organs and muscle and joints and ultimately rendering her unable to walk normally. And she's just fat, that's all. Except she's not.

How many years did she live like this? How much did she suffer because the medical establishment didn't take her seriously? Because all they saw was a fat woman? And how easy was it to figure out? A simple, painless ultrasound would have discovered this cyst while it was small and it could have been removed and she'd have had her life, but no. No. Instead, her life is taken over, she's shamed and humiliated by the people she goes to for help and for what?

She grew larger and larger, and the weight damaged Hilton's quality of life and contributed to the failure of a marriage. Still, doctors told Hilton she had better accept the fact that she was just fat and change her ways.

She's just fat. Only, she wasn't. And if one single doctor hadn't taken her seriously, she'd still be trapped in that body, still enslaved to a cyst that could have been removed -- much safer -- when it was mere millimeters long.

Labels: , ,

posted by Zan at 5:21 PM 9 comments