Things to Do Today

  1. Take a shower.
  2. Do some dishes.
  3. Lay around on the couch with the dog.
  4. Talk the Professor into going to get some ice cream.
  5. Maybe change out of black t-shirt for that.
  6. Drink beer.

Gosh, I’m exhausted just thinking about the long, hard day of work ahead of me.

Super Genius, A Book Review Just for You

Along with A History of Pagan Europe, the other book I bought myself as a birthday present was Hoodoo Herb and Root Magic: A Materia Magica of African-American Conjure / Traditional Formulary Giving the Spiritual Uses of Natural Herbs, Roots, Minerals, and Zoological Curios by catherine yronwode.

This may be the first book I’ve ever read that seemed to have a sub-subtitle.  I hope I punctuated that right.

Anyway, catherine yronwode runs this website–the Lucky Mojo Curio Company*–that is devoted both to the practice of hoodoo and to selling her hoodoo products.  I mention this only because the rootworker I used to know thought that, since yronwode is selling things, it makes her information suspect.  I think this is a legitimate point, but I disagree.  A far more legitimate point might be that she’s a white woman in California talking about a black Southern form of folk magic, but I haven’t heard anyone but other white folks make that complaint.

So, there you go.  Super Genius, I believe you and I have been all over that discussion eight ways until Sunday and I’m not sure we haven’t hashed and rehashed it all it needs.

But the book is awesome!  And you should run out and buy it.  It’s like a cookbook, but arranged by ingredient, not by final result.  So, the first entry is Acacia.  The entry contains its scientific name and a list of names it might commonly be called.  Then there’s a brief entry describing the item generally and giving any significant details about it.  Then there are some common hoodoo uses (in this case, contacting the dead and opening the mind to visions) and then there are medical uses and botanical notes.

Cinnamon, for instance, can be used for bringing all kinds of good fortune and you can use ginger to help get a good start on your house of prostitution.

Anyway, it’s fascinating as hell and you’d love it.


*I should warn you that, if you click on this link, you’d better have a good half an hour to waste, if not more, because it sucks you in.

Act Like a GRRRL! Night Two

As I was telling Smiley yesterday at lunch*, I could explain all day about Act Like a GRRRL! and still not feel certain you really understood it or saw its value.  But if you came to a performance, if you saw these girls up on stage reading the things they wrote, singing songs they composed, dancing dances that they choreographed, it’s impossible not to be moved by it.

One of the most amazing things is to watch the women in the audience as they file out after the show, how many of them have been crying.  You see those girls up on stage just being so daring and your heart just goes out to them.

I still think that my favorite part is the African dancing.  They had these awesome drummers come and play for them and the girls just got up there and let go. 

Of course, performing in front of a mostly white audience meant that there was not nearly enough clapping or hooting at appropriate times. Dear White People, no one is watching you!  No one gives a shit if you just relax for ten minutes and behave for your daughters in public the way you behave for your sports teams in front of the television.  Love, Aunt. B.


But I think that goes hand in hand with why so many of the women in the audience were crying afterwards.  Most of us don’t have a lot of practice being unguarded in public.  I think a lot of us have internalized “What will other people think?” as the very first question we ask ourselves before we do most anything, even leave the house dressed how we’re dressed.  There’s something really powerful about seeing girls do something where clearly their first question is “What do I think I need to express?”

Anyway, the funniest thing afterwards was that the drummers were still drumming as people left and one little girl was just wiggling away like there was no tomorrow and her sister ran over to her mother and was all, “Mom, she just won’t stop dancing!”

That made me laugh so hard. 





*See?!  Doesn’t that work so nicely?  What does “CeeElCee” tell you about about him?  Nothing. 

“Sarcastro?”  That tells you a lot about what hanging out with Mr. Smartypants would be like.  “Knucklehead?” Again.  These are nicknames like those tiny spoonfuls of ice cream they give you at Baskin Robbins when you want to try a sample.  It’s not the whole experience, but it gives you a hint about the flavor of the dessert.

You wonder what it would be like to spend time with CeeElCee or Exador?  I think “Smiley” and “the Wayward Boy Scout” give you a clue.  Yes, it’s confusing, but necessary, I think.



I’ll have to consider it again when I’m sober, but frankly, I’m so tired of all of Ceeeelleeeceee’s fucking eeees–plus, how the fuck do you even say that?–that I knew he needed a nickname.

And tonight, it dawned on me.

Someone should call that boy Smiley.

And you know what?

I’m someone.