Wednesday, April 27, 2011


     I love Facebook, I really do.......but only so far.  Unlike most of my "friends", I have not friended 5389 strangers and "liked" 3893 pages which will take a year each day to try and keep up with.  Nope, I am somewhat selective in who I allow onto the hallowed page of my "Pendragon" site.  I also keep this FB page separate from my "Family" FB account.  Believe me, you don't want to know this family and I don't really want to share with them the things I post here.  I'm estranged enough as it is, I don't need to let a little hard-core honesty TOTALLY burn my remaining bridges; that's just a bridge to far.  I mean, I love these people, but they try me as a group.  Except for one lone cousin whom I will describe as "special", I am the only pagan out of more than 20 odd cousins.  Most of them are fundamentalist Catholics or an odd variety of other protestant religions, each one more narrow and exclusive than the next.  It's a wonder half these people will even admit to being related to the other.
     As for my "secular" FB page, I have friended people I have met blogging, people I know at work, and people who I have connected with via other friends.  Sometimes one particular blogger/FB acquaintance can be a magnet for other people whom I would dearly love to meet.  Some of my best friends, as sad as this sounds, are friends of other friends who knew someone who commented on a blog of a blogger who followed my blog.  Now, here we have to qualify exactly what I mean by "friends", because, like I said, I tend to be much more selective than most appear to be.  I have even gone so far as to "de-friend" those who on first blush APPEARED to be sane but since went off the deep end as far as belief systems go, religious, political or otherwise.  I can only stand so much bullshit, even from my own family.  Which brings me back to them.
     I had issues awhile back, during a period when I was sick, depressed, injured, and all-around not a nice person to be around.  During that time I decided I didn't need the fury and irritation that some of what my family posted on the "family FB" could bring out in me, only adding to my already on-the-edge angst.  You see, even though many in my family don't understand that it's NOT all about them, that their opinions and pronouncements can be extremely disrespectful to others who don't share their philosophy, it doesn't stop them from going out of their way to post something that all told should best be kept to themselves or shared with family and friends in a less confrontational manner.  Me, even though I am Pagan and am diametrically opposed to most of their belief systems and how they share them, I myself have bit my tongue and have not stirred the pot, believing that family is supposed to be more important than always being right about things that might only be right for the individual and not everybody else.  So, in the grips of my depression, I got rid of the family FB account altogether and then started from scratch, re-friending only a select few I figured I could stomach more than the others simply to remain connected in case another one of us toppled over dead and we had another funeral to attend (which is what actually brought us altogether on one FB page to begin with).
     In the interim, I have had one after another of the cousins send me new friend requests, most of which I have not responded to.  I haven't because then I would be right back where I started and I don't want to go there, not while these people I love so much are so busy being so righteous.  But what I am REALLY tempted to do is write them back and ask one simple question in regards to friending them......WHY?  Yea, I know, I can imagine how taken aback they would be, and I imagine the best reaction I could expect from THAT is perhaps a nice, heated little "well, the HELL with YOU" in response.  Well, you see, I know how it sounds but I think it's an honest question when you consider that none of these cousins, while I WAS connected to them, ever addressed me directly and asked a simple little question like "how are you doing", or even "have a nice day".  Nope, all they ever brought to the party was how glorious their Lord and Savior was, and that if I wasn't too "ashamed" to, I should repost that fact on my own page.  Really?  Sure, I'll get right with that.......sheesh!
     Make no mistake, these are otherwise very nice people, people I still love regardless, but if it's really important to them to make a connection with me as a cousin and not simply another tea-party clone, then yes, the question really IS relevant....Why?
     I admit, MOST people I have friended on my Pendragon site either pretty much share my political and/or spiritual sensibilities or they have the respect not to harp about them to the detriment of our "friendship".  I can sit down and have a beer with  ANYBODY so long as that person respects me as a valued human being who has their own closely held beliefs, and I can be more than happy to return the favor.  Discussion is all-American; flat out judgement and condemnation of others you don't even know is NOT.
     So, my new "Family" FB will remain a much quieter place than it used to be.  I've decided to simply check on it regularly without comment just to keep tabs; I don't have the inclination to start any wars.  They can pretty much do that better than I can.
     As for the rest of you back here face-booking with "Alex"?  Think of yourselves as belonging to a VERY exclusive club.  I know I experience every day why the relative few of you belong on MY page.  You are very good people.  I am privileged to have met you!   Blessed be you all!

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Point Being..........

Welcome back to "This Wonderment".  I'm your host, Alex Pendragon.  Today I will be describing in painfully acute detail what it's like to be a Male Cancerian Patient Care Technician inflicted with house-husbandry, animal husbandry, health related issues, and back issues you may have missed having been reading blogs much more interesting than mine.  I don't blame you for that last part because, quite frankly, I have been doing much the same thing.  I used to be a RABID fan of my own blogs until I realized that I was the one most responsible for my hit counter exceeding one digit.  That's kinda like self-publishing your own novel and buying them all up for yourself.  I'd even autograph them but my handwriting sucks.  I also have one of those signatures that a person can actually understand.  It's not just this insane scrawl that doctors especially are famous for (I think they do that for plausible denial purposes); you can actually read my name, because my signature actually spells it out, like any half-way decent signature should.  I mean, unless your name is SLarph, why are you spelling it SLarph?
The point I'm trying to eventually arrive at here is that it's not always the point that's important, but often times the journey towards it is.  Kinda like a love affair gone nowhere; you may not be there and might never have been meant to be there, but the trip towards it can certainly put a spring in your step.  Someone is always saying "it was meant to be" as though no matter how hopeless it seems that it ever WILL "be", it will end up "being" because it was written down in God's little playbook somewhere, only they never seem to be able to track down that one particular page and show it to you.  Thus when your sneaking suspicion that something isn't really going to "be" and probably never was meant to, it's no really big surprise.  Me, I don't really like surprises, because they include the nasty as well as the cool things that can happen to you, and I prefer to see especially bad shit headed my way, on the off-chance I can duck just in time.  The very worst of times in MY time here on this ball of toxic dirt have been surprises, things I never would have seen coming had I not gotten into the habit of expecting them.  That part of your life spent expecting while it doesn't really happen is especially sweet.  Unless of course it's that something you really, really wanted to happen.  Then, well, it can be somewhat excruciating, deep down inside were it gnaws at you in that special, secret way.
So, back to the point I was heading towards but got detoured away from.  Sometimes I don't have anything especially read-worthy to write about.  By read-worthy, I'm not talking about those particularly brilliant pieces I write on occasion (like this one) that I so enjoy creating, but those rare moments in blog history when everyone who stumbles across a singular post which grabs their interest like a blue crab and causes them to involuntarily "follow" you from that day forward, after which they will continually try to explain to people they know and respect why they seem so devoted to this one blog.  That's because they honestly don't KNOW why they are, so, in an attempt to seem a little bit less insane, they never bring up the subject in polite conversation again, much like the abduction victim learns to quit courting the rubber room with insistences that they damn well KNOW what an alien looks like, tyvm!  So if you HAVE to keep your love of my blog a secret.....I understand.  I try not to tell anyone but you that I write it.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Rise against the Machine

As I await with some trepidation my next (and supposedly/hopefully) final physical evaluation by the company doc in order to return to full duty, I am taking it easy with the physical aspects of trying to help keep up with the chores that never seem to all get done here around Pendragon Hold.  The floors have been swept, cleaned, and shined after some neglect, clothes and dishes have been washed, and five hungry goats tended to, as well as "Greyson", this ancient cat belonging to neighbors visiting England that I agreed to look in on.  The trepidation arises from the fact that a sore spot continues to plague me right in the middle of my back along my spine that seems separate from the shoulder injury I sustained and from which I am recovering.  Thus, I move through the day in a paranoid sort of way, trying VERY hard to rest it and not doing anything that I think would aggravate it.  Each day it SEEMS to get better but I need it to get better by Thursday to the point that I don't have to fear injuring myself again if maximum progress has been judged to have been made.
In that vein I have been performing one chore in a fashion I NEVER thought I'd do if I could reasonably avoid it........washing dishes by hand.  We DO have a dishwasher, which works reasonably well, although it's as old as this house.  It's just that the machine is of late been leaving these white deposits all over the dishes no matter what detergent I use and even occurs with the use of a rinse aid.  So, in frustration I've begun to wash them in the sink much like we all did back in the day when a dish washing machine was a newfangled and very expensive luxury that most people couldn't afford.  As a result, in return for a small investment of TIME, I get dishes much cleaner than the machine has been able to produce, without those ghastly white smears on the glasses and silverware, and I get a few moments of peaceful, slow time to spend listening to music, watching the back forty of Pendragon Hold through the portal of my kitchen window, and enjoying my time much like in meditation, without tying myself into a knot and trying to block out the myriad distractions this modern world produces.  It's like moments of Zen I always had available to me and just was living to fast to notice.
I AM using a little more hot water, I think, than the machine was using, but that's been more than offset by the amount of electricity this monster sucks down to do it's a job, a job it more often than not has done badly.  PLUS, I have the added bonus of not having to curse under my breath each time I have to go back in and reshuffle the dishes after theWife has loaded them in ways physics INSURES they cannot come out clean.  And yes, darling wives, we husbands know full well that those of you who absolutely refuse to load a dish washing machine properly, no matter HOW many times we try to explain the rationale behind it, do it simply that way to get US to do it ourselves.  Not all of your reverse psychological warfare is that opaque.....hehe.......
If someone gave me a brand new fancy-dancy machine absolutely guaranteed to produce squeaky-clean, spotless and streak-free dishes, would I use it?  Funny, but in light of these newly discovered moments at my kitchen window, I'm not so sure I would.  Go figure........

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Haunting of Martha

The walls of our home have to be the busiest you've ever seen.  Here at Pendragon Hold, a blank piece of wall is an invitation to put something on it.  If I wanted to drive Martha Stewart stark raving mad, I'd invite her to dinner.  We have calendars, a Beatles shrine of art posters, various as-sundry works of art (the term "art" being questionable, in some cases, I know), Native American artifacts, bulletin boards, base relief pottery plagues, some of my late Mother's paintings and sketches…… name it, we probably have an example of it fighting for it's share of wall space.

Yes, most of the nice, tidy suburban homes I have visited couldn't be more stark in comparison.  One entire will host a tiny little painting by some artist everybody should know but nobody does, costing as much as a good used car.  Another wall might host a very tasteful mirror, not purchased at Wally World or Big Lots, but at The World Market if the inhabitants are (in their minds) value conscious.  You know they are REALLY rocking if there is framed music concert art print from 1967 you know they are too damned young to have personally gone to.  However, the theme is the same; tasteful minimalism, perhaps to be cycled through and disposed of every 9 months when the owners get bored and think their walls need "freshening up".  The end product is a house that does not say anything to a visitor about the hosts other than………perhaps tasteful restraint.  Total control.  Adventure and the personal whim totally buried beneath what the neighbors might think.

Those of you living in these houses might take affront to this observation.  Please don't.  If the above rocks your world, then by all means enjoy it.  To each his own.  But for the Gods sake, people, if you own it, then OWN it!  Make it your own, design class down at the Y be damned!  Give yourself and your visitors a genuine visual experience that says "This is me, take it or leave it, enjoy your screwdriver."  Walls were meant to peek out from behind what your life has been all about over the years, assuring you that it's there for you if you need to put a fist thru it.  They will never take it personally.  What, a little sheetrock?  We can get down with that!

This is Alex Pendragon, this is Pendragon Hold, and you invited to dinner anytime you get bored with safety of blank sheetrock.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Writing in the Shower

Hello and welcome to yet ANOTHER blog, in an era where blogs are becoming yesterday's child, and even Face Book is demanding way to much of our precious time and energy.  My "name" is Alex Pendragon, and here you will be gifted with the truth as only I can reveal it.  First off, I would like to invite you to stop snickering at the name; it is FAR more inspiring and interesting than my real one, and it sure beats something as downright dumbed down as Bubba, or even DUBYA, since I'm sure it has occurred to most intelligent human beings that the letter W does not have to be spelled out.  I may not always be right about everything I examine, but that's why we get to stick around as long as we find out why.

I have written numerous other blogs, tossing each one to the side when it seemed to me to be getting stale as a literary or journalistic construct, leaping into the next incarnation with equal vigor until that one too has served it's purpose (and suffered enough from it's inevitable decline in actively participating readership).  Back then I was a comment junky, suffering the envy of other blogs so much more well written than my own that could average 35 comments on a BAD day, while mine struggled to achieve a dozen on an EXCELLENT one.  Then I got religion, in which my new savior was simply not giving a damn, since after all, I was accomplishing the one thing I loved doing more than anything (ok, well, that's another story), and no dearth of accolades from relative strangers was going to change that.  It's a lot like Karaoke when the singer is not deluding him/herself into thinking they can survive the first cut of American Idol, just because the acoustics of their shower hides so many sonic sins.  You just do it, even all alone in your living room with your cat cowering in the closet.  It feels good; 'nuff said.

 So today I will start you off with something light and witty, tinged with the kind of clueless arrogance you will come to know and love about me.  Or not.  Go back and read this again.  There, now, wasn't that fun?  

Till next time.........another self-described "writer" signing off........