unnnnn Type 2 Zombie

It is important to recognize the different types of zombies.  Both to be sure to use the most effective method of slaughter or immobilization and also to recognize the first incipient signs of turning in you or your allies.

Type 2 is the post-long-day zombie.  Identifiable by the swollen eyes and slow, dragging movement.  Very similar to Type 1’s (the too-early-morning zombie) in the movement making it all the more important to pay attention to the small details.  The Type 2 will be emitting a scent reminiscent of quickly eaten lunch and may have a strong overtone of old coffee.

Type 2 zombies will also be sporting hair that looks like it was once combed, perhaps even coiffed, but has been dragged into disarray by the very events that turned it into the zombie.  Its clothes will have that same once professional quality that has been subsequently destroyed.

Thankfully Type 2’s are notoriously slow and disinclined towards movement of any sort, even in search of brains.  However, they appear to emanate a brain deadening zone for several feet around themselves.  Any human who fails to notice the presence of this zombie runs a strong risk of falling prey to this brain killing zone.  Once that happens the human will likely begin to turn into a Type 2.

Type 2’s are almost invariably encountered at the end of work days.  Be careful!  Our own tired state can exacerbate our vulnerability to the brain deadening zone.

Some recovery from the Type 2 zombie state has been reported.  However, this supposed miracle has never been reliably documented.

I hope this information will help to protect some of you from the ever increasing zombie hoarde.

So pack your ammo, keep your friends close and always remember rule #32:  enjoy the little things.

Monster Bush – Fear the Wisteria!

If you look into this picture:

You’ll see a couple of branches that make up the trunk of this plant.  Four weeks ago, that’s all there was.  Three branches coming off the trunk of this evil plant, no longer than what you see in this picture.

I’d taken this chinese wisteria tree and hacked it down to nothing.  I figured it had had it’s time, and I needed the real estate it was taking up.  It was spindly at the top, hasn’t flowered in years.  And I was tired of it trying to crawl up INTO my building.  It was sending up these long questing tendrils in search of a new home, a crack, or anything it can crawl into or latch onto.

Four weeks ago, that’s all it was.  Bare, dead looking wood.  But hey, I thought, I’ll water it anyways.

Two weeks ago it was liberally studded with unfurling leaf buds.  Wow, the damn thing won’t die, I thought.

Now it looks like this:

And I think, holy over zealous tree, batman!  And do you see the tendrils climbing up the window?  Seeking some new place to sneak into and take over.

To hell with bamboo, fear the wisteria!  It will take over the world. It will crawl into any crevasse.  And it can not be killed.  Fear it and you may survive.

~Abysmal Witch

Oh, gods, I think it’s grown while I’ve typed!

The Power of Surprise Gifts (and Hockey)

So, yesterday was a Bad Day.  They happen.  But alas, philisophical equanimity rarely happens during Bad Days.

No, the Bad rules us, tearing us down, making us bitchy and cranky and ready to spew all of our anger into the perfect vessel:  hockey.

For those who missed it, or don’t care and so need the briefest reminder to understand the rest of this post, last night the Canucks (that would be Vancouver’s hockey team) won the Western Conference finals.  What that really means is that we’re now going to be in the Finals for the Stanley Cup.  That’s four wins until it’s ours for the first time.  WOOHOO!!  And last night was an absolutely freakingly marvelous game.

So I worked out some of my aggression last night via hockey.  But still was in a semi-bad mood today that was aggravated by coming down with some kind of bug (yes, I feel physically crappy right now).

I checked my mailbox (the physical one at work) and in it was an envelope.  I opened it and found a note from a co-worker, the one who had the fortune to be at Rogers Arena for the big game last night.  We’d been talking about hockey fandom and my desire for a jersey yesterday.

She hoped I’d enjoy a couple small souvenirs.

In the envelope was a poster/waybill from the event and a souvenir towel that was used at the game (we have this towel power tradition, where we wave white towels over our heads in celebration, usually of goals, see it in action on youtube).  Putting aside the wonderful mojo of that towel (it really was an intense game and a significant one), the power of the gift hit me with a heart-splitting sledgehammer.

It wasn’t expected.  This co-worker and I are friendly to each other, but not close in any sense.  So there was not even a hint of this gift possibility in my worldview.

It was a surprise, freely given, and damn near made me cry from the joy of it.  Her small gift changed my day.  I’m still sick, and still moody over a couple of things, but the balance has shifted and the world has a rosy, if overly hot, headachy, and nauseous glow.

Thank you, lovely lady, for making my day.

Random strangers don’t scare as easily anymore

There was a time, many years ago, when I was young, my body unbreakable and there was no such thing as the internet, that it was relatively easy to scare the muggles.

See, even that has changed.  Back in the day we called them mundanes or cowans.  Now popular culture has infected us, not the other way around, and the non-pagans of the world are now muggles.

But I digress.

Back when, it didn’t take much to spook these people.  A little mention of magic here, a little spellcasting mutter there, and suddenly that seat on the bus was all yours.  You could make room in lineups at the movie theatre, get the last bottle of booze on the shelf…okay, that’s probably stretching it, but the idea is still there.  We were unknown, mysterious, creepy.  And there was no point in going into the differences between types of pagans.  Who would understand?

Then came today.

There I was, in the grocery line, buying a used copy of Skeleton Key (ask Cory & Laine at New World Witchery for all the hoodoo details that are in it) and frozen pizza and I end up chatting with the guy in line behind me about the movie.

Now being me, I couldn’t bring myself to refer to the practice in it as Voodoo when I’m pretty darn sure it’s Hoodoo.  Sure, it’s a teeny detail that wouldn’t matter to a muggle, but still, I felt the need to be precise in my statement.  It’s possible he misheard me, but I don’t think so, and he didn’t blink at all over the word usage and he understood what I was talking about.

In fact, he joked about having never tried that [hoodoo].  I suggested everything should be tried at least once in life.  He agreed.  And then we both acknowledged that the conversation had travelled to an odd place.

The mystique, it might be gone, or at least lessened.  The subtle unspoken nervousness that could be generated by a well placed word, gone.  The sideways glance, the shifting away, gone.  I know we’re going for greater understanding and acceptance from society at large, but, but

I think I miss scaring random strangers.

Sheer Abandon

Mason, my handsome grey brat of a boy cat, has this way of falling asleep on me that I adore…and feel just a tad envious of.

He doesn’t just stretch out across me.  It’s like he throws himself into the most flaked out, relaxed, expansive position across me that he can.

His limbs are draped over mine, limp as noodles.  His body is flopped between my calves with a leg draped over my ankle and another over my knee.

I don’t think he could be more relaxed if he tried.  But more than that, he has entirely relaxed into his space.  It’s not just that his body is limp, it’s that he’s so utterly at ease within the entire context of his world.  Or in other words, he ain’t passed out from drugs or a knock to the head or a desperate need for sleep, he’s just that completely, utterly comfortable in his skin and where his skin is.

He has put himself into the moment with sheer abandon and no concern for when the moment may end.

Lucky brat.

~Abysmal Witch

p.s. I just had to share this other picture.  He loves this little sleep tent so much that he’ll sleep in it, on it and occasionally he’ll crawl in under it.  Yes, voluntarily.  I certainly wouldn’t try putting him there.  As you can see, even his brother thinks he’s a tad nuts.

The Power of Touch

a.k.a. the Power of Cuddling.

On real joy of being stuck lying down for months is the amount of cat cuddle time I’ve gotten in.  Particularly with my oldest cat, she’s 14, sweet and so neurotic she’s on Prozac.

The hours we have spent with her curled up on me during the bad months.  I’m sure she slept on my for 3, 4, possibly more hours on individual days during the worst of the pain.

She prefers to be up high on my chest so that the back of her head, her neck or her back is up close near my chin.  Many times right up against.  Then there was the odd day where she would be across my chest with her legs outstretched on either side of my head.  Okay, sure, there was fear that if there was some loud, startling noise, that she’d slice my face right open as she fled from it, it was still really sweet and cute and cuddly.

And ultimately soothing for me.  Keeping to a happy state of mind has had its rough moments over the past few months.  I also had to keep from getting too bored or frustrated or annoyed with my incapacitated and horizontal state.  I believe my sweetie really helped with that

Touch is powerful.  It is extremely personal.  It reaches straight through to our inner selves.  And it’s not just touch with other people.  It’s connecting with our pets and our environment, from our clothes, to bedding, to anything that our skin comes in contact with.

If I had more energy left I’d go on more, but instead I’ll leave the topic there for the time being and only add:

Go get your cuddle on!

Six and a Half Weeks

I’m very sorry to tell you that this post bears no relation to 9 1/2 weeks.

Six and a half weeks is how long I’ve been horizontal due to a herniated disc.  Yes, the CT scan confirmed it.  I’m very happy to say that the pain is nearly completely gone…so long as I don’t sit and/or stand for more than about 10-15 minutes, and not too often throughout the day.

Still, being able to manage without painkillers is awesome!  I did have to go through a couple of days of withdrawal which turned out to be headache maximus.  The narcotics did get me through the worst of the pain though and I wouldn’t have managed without them, so what’s a massive headache in comparison?

I’ve read probably at least 30 books and counting.  And I’m waiting oh-so-not-really-patiently for the nerve problems to go away.  I would really like to feel my toes again…and the side of my foot and calf.  For some reason the toes are more noticeable though.

Toes?  Are you there toes?  Toes!  Come back to me Toes!


Starting to get a little magical again which is fabulous.  It’s been emotionally difficult feeling so beige about everything.  Nothing was particularly interesting unless I was reading a good book.  But now…even managed a little ritual for the dark moon.  Clearly a sign of improvement, yes?

Come on, Back, finish healing so we can go outside, smell the fresh air, feel what the weather is doing, LEAVE THE HOUSE and all sorts of other fun things.

Hope springs eternal.

Anyone else have a sudden vision of Tigger?

Just me, eh?  Figures.  Happy Friday to all!

Samhain Memories

Okay, yes, I’m a little slow, but hey, I have at least one silly story and some fun pictures to share.  Like this one

It was a fabulous night.  I and my covenmate got together early in the day, where early still means afternoon.  After all, I’m just not that much of a morning person.  Our first stop of the night was to pick  up meal, snack and mead provisions.

I will say now, the mead didn’t make it.  It was my first attempt.  Our eyes glistened with sadness.  It was horrible.

Okay, phew, got that hard part over with.

While most of what we did I won’t be sharing (sshhhh, it’s a coven secret LOL really most of it was only interesting to us), the start of the night was sharably entertaining.

As twilight fell we attempted to leave my apartment to go visit Grandma Willow and do our first ritual of the night.  Yes, attempted to leave. We were a tad inebriated.  It was fabulous, don’t get me wrong, but it led to a few false starts.  But I’m slightly ahead of myself.

We bundled up, all nice and cozy and warm for an evening of walking.  I’ve got my long, black wool diva coat on (others have described it that way, it’s not my own label! lol), my Wicked (TM) witch hat (I adored that musical) on and some funky make-up.  My covenmate was in her robes.  We’re headed out the door and as we walk through it I commented “You know, for most people it’s come as you aren’t night.”

It took her a second and then we were both laughing.  She made a fabulously witty comeback which I’m so ashamed to say escapes me now and we headed to the elevator.

But shit! We’d forgotten the offering of mead.  Back in we went, filled a small tupperware container with some mead which went into my coat pocket since neither of us were carrying a bag and then we were back at the door.  I looked at her, at the door, and what did I say?  “You know, for most people it’s come as you aren’t night.”  We both snicker as she says her fabulously witty comeback and head back to the elevator.

Ah, crap.  No gloves.  The giggling has already started as we head back through my front door.  I’m falling over as we get back to the door, gloves in hand and I have to say “You know, for most people <snicker> it’s come <snort> as you aren’t night.”  My covenmate can barely talk as she gets our her rebuttal and we flee to the elevator.

We’re at the elevator and I have that horrible moment, “You know, I forgot–”

“Don’t even say it.”

We didn’t go back again.  I don’t think we could have lived through it.  We wouldn’t have been able to breathe.

Out the door and off to Grandma Willow (yes, the same one in my Grandma Willow post).  Unfortunately, the lid came off the tupperware and by the time we arrived we only had half of the offering left to give.  And I spent the rest of the night reeking like an English pub.  Made me thirsty.  From there we went on a meandering walk back to my place, through the side streets filled with trick-or-treating kids and decorated houses.

And a lot of people with little dogs.

Every time I saw one of those, I cried out “Damn you, Toto!  It was your fault!  I know it was.”  That made for a lot of laughter on my side and on theirs.  The dogs didn’t seem to care.

On one house there was a large video screen stretched out from the balcony railing to roof playing The Blob, entertaining the adults while the kids went up to the house.

We passed a particularly friendly fellow and I insisted that my covenmate get her picture taken with him.

There was this one apartment building near my place where a group of residents had gotten together and done a wonderful set up in their front lawn.  Though the best part was the very movie style zombie wandering up to two blocks away who would come towards you with brain stealing intensions clearly written on his empty face.

And my final picture for you is of the “Smash Me” pumpkin.  I can’t help but wonder, did it survive the night?  What do you think?  What are the odds?


We spent some time in a coffee shop chatting about all kinds of wonderful things and then it was back home to cook dinner for us and the anscestors and watch some Halloween classics:  the original Halloween and Wizard of Oz.  In and amongst that was more ritual.  What more can be said than:

Happy New Year to all!  And to all a Good Night.

~The Abysmal Witch


Lost in Fantasyland

Ah, the joys of obsession.  You know them, don’t you?  When you start a project and in your head you’re thinking ‘this is cool, this project of mine, I’ll have fun with it’.

Do you know what those phrases have in common?

They all presume that ‘I’ am in control of the process.


I should know better.  I have cats after all.  The illusion of control is one that has been repeatedly stripped from me but still, hope lingers.  And it lingered in the taking on of the NaNoWriMo challenge.  My fiction persona, Samantha Herne, has taken over my life and it’s been write write write all the time.  As I type that I feel a little bit like the Mad Hatter.

That brings me comfort.  Which just goes to show that my world is a strange one.

But as disruptive as such obsessions are, I do believe there is something good in them.  There is a freeing, a releasing in giving yourself over completely to something you love.  With caveats of course for things like eating, sleeping and not killing or torturing people.  Well, live people.  I write fiction so tormenting people is something that I’m required to do.  Muwhahahaha.  Oh, sorry, outside cackle.

Regardless, I will be attempting to stay in better contact.  Because I know I’ve been a bad blogger and I will attempt to rectify that.

Abysmal Witch, out.

@$$ Apple!

Now for something completely different.  Or at least entertaining.

Do you think nature has a sense of raunchy humour?  I do.

Because one of my co-workers brought in a bushel of apples from his tree this past week, and one of them was an ass apple.  Yep, an ass apple:

Nature, it turns out, is also naughty.  For not only was it an ass apple, it was a spanked! ass apple.

But you can always trust nature to go for the anatomically correct artistic:

I love nature.