Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Lay off the Fast Food #earthdayresolution

Don't you love it when you can kill two birds with one stone? Here I've identified my fast food addiction as a giant source of garbage in my life and what do you know, it's probably a huge source of my hugeness as well. So while I kick my fast food habit for my Earth Day resolution project, it'll be serving the Heart Day resolution as well. Go me!

Seriously, I am disgusted with myself. My car is full of cups, bags and wrappers. Every time I take on a passenger, I have to spend 10 minutes rummaging through my car with a garbage bag to make room for them. It's disgusting and embarrassing. While at least 80% of the garbage in my car is fast food garbage, an article from the Triple Pundit says that Fast Food Garbage Makes up 50% of Street (and Pacific Gyre) Litter. Now that's alarming.

In my defense, I spend an awful lot of time in my car. I am driving to and from clients houses, dropping off kids at daycare, theatre and friends houses on the way there and back, doctors appointments, bank, pharmacy, you name it. It is not unusual for me to put 600 miles on my car in a week. Which means that quite often when I'm in my car hunger strikes and when it does it's the easiest thing in the world to swing into a drive through and grab something. And I know where all of them are. Yes, I will plan my route to make sure I pass a Wendy's or MacDonald's. (Burger King has nothing I want to drink, so I don't go there.) I hate going South because there's a big fast food dry zone there for a few miles and I have to do a big loop to get my fix. Sometimes I'm just thirsty and go for an iced tea and pick up a snack while I'm at it. Yes. It's bad. And my car and my body are both full of garbage because of it.

What to do about this mess? Well, there are a few aspects to it. Part of it is just habit. I often found myself thinking "Oh I'll just pick up something on the way". That habit needed to go away. I needed to start eating something before I left or taking something with me and that required planning.  Meal planning and lunch packing from my Heart Day resolution (lose weight) project help with this. Also, bringing a water bottle with me at all times and keeping snacks in my bag are helpful. I am carrying a larger purse these days.

The other aspect of my fast food habit was addiction. Yes, it's an addiction. I would feel tired and headachey and then swing by Wendy's and be all sorted out. To really break through the cravings, I decided to gross myself out by reading some books and watching some documentaries on the evils of fast food. Also, I told everyone I know that I am quitting fast food so that they would harass me if I screwed up. When I quite smoking years ago, this helped quite a bit.

I've decided to reward myself by getting my car detailed after I've been fast food free for one month.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Review: Composing Magic: How to Create Magical Spells, Rituals, Blessings, Chants, and Prayers

I'm reviewing Composing Magic for April's Read-a-Long at the Witchipedia.

Honestly, I approached this book with a bit of skepticism. I am a writer after all and I don't remember ever being taught to write. That's not to say I'm any good at it. I wouldn't know, not having earned. So, in my mind, writing is something you either can do or you can't, not something you can learn. Of course you have to practice, but practice is something you have to enjoy doing or that doesn't work either. Despite the fact that my husband insists this isn't true, I feel the same way about music; Something I have never been good at and never enjoyed trying to learn.

And after all of that prologue I don't have much to say about this book except that it is very good. I enjoyed it. It explained the more technical aspects of artistic writing without getting too, well, technical. As someone with some experience writing, I don't like being talked down to and this book didn't talk down at all. The writing style is conversational, but not too casual and very easy to follow. The exercises following each section are very interesting. I read through the book without doing the exercises as time is not on my side these days, but I do plan to go through and do the exercises later, and that's saying a lot.

I particularly enjoyed the section about storytelling in ritual which is such a beautiful addition and the explanation of invocations, evocations and devocations which are so often misused. There is a section about correspondences that I really wish she had just left out. She over simplified them while over complicating the entire subject by adding them. Ick.

That being said, this good book and I highly recommend this book for anyone who ever performs rituals, even if you only perform those written by someone else. It will help you polish your performance, clarify your intent and understand what all the bits are about and when something doesn't work, when the words and rhythm aren't stirring your cauldron, so to speak, how to fix it.