It's time for me to catch up in bullet points, because I've been tired and/or busy and/or flaky for the past two weeks.
* I won't let sports dominate this time, but I must share that the lineup has been announced for ESPN the Magazine's "Body Issue"--the one where athletes will be shown tastefully and artfully naked. They include Bill Guerin from the Pittsburgh Penguins!!!!! I don't even have to make anything up to my darling L'Ailee when I bring it home, 'cause Serena Williams will be in it, too. Alas, there will be no Tony Stewart or Juan Pablo Montoya pictures. Mark Martin (*shudders*) and Carl Edwards (*vomits*) will be representing NASCAR instead, which can be taken as either a built-in bucket of cold water or a pair of free dartboards. ("50 points if you hit where he's covering up with his helmet!") In my house, this is what constitutes fun for the whole family!
* Also, we'll be watching the Penguins raise the Stanley Cup banner on TV this Friday, but on Saturday, we're going to watch them at the New York Islanders season opener with friends! I've never been to the Lighthouse, and L'Ailee's only been twice. I'll be there with long, amber-colored hair in a ponytail, a powder blue Crosby jersey, and zebra-print high-tops with turquoise glitter laces. (I really like those sneakers.) I've been wearing contacts more often, but will probably wear my glasses since contacts still bother my eyes sometimes. L'Ailee...I've described her well enough, haven't I? Tiny, gorgeous, bald (but will probably be covering that up with a cap), most likely wearing a tight black Malkin-in-Cyrillic T-shirt, since she likes to support talented Russian players. We have two very excited third-grade girls going, one a Penguins fan and the other an Islanders fan. (A. says he's "a lucky man" because his little girl's crushes have him going to races and hockey games rather than Jonas Brothers concerts.) I'm almost as geeked up as they are, to be honest.
* I just noticed that I use a hell of a lot of parentheses. Oh well.
* We filled my late friend Maia's position at work. That is a huge weight off my shoulders, and my BossLady's, too. Knock on wood, the new guy seems to be getting along fine. I can't type much more, but my emotions over that alone could be expressed in thousands of words...and have been, by phone. Suffice it to say that I am a very relieved Lilo, though it's still weird to be seeing him. I did something that I think is really smart, though. I asked for, and got, permission to use my second job's skills at my primary job! I rearranged the department's cubicles so everyone would be in a different place, and it would be harder to think of the new hire as being in "her" place. My BossLady liked that a lot, and my work husband says he understand why I did it now.
* Last week offered several opportunities for me to be proud. September 22nd was Mabon, the Autumn Equinox, which I observed with a small and quiet ritual. I also wore tights and boots to work for the first time this season, which isn't exactly a ritual, but is one of my all-time favorite parts of autumn. September 23rd was "Celebrate Bisexuality Day," which I missed. Bisexuality's a gift for me, anyway, not an accomplishment. ;-) September 26th was Pagan Pride Day in NYC, and that was pretty amazing.
I went to Battery Park with my friend Yemaya O'Reilly, her family, and a couple of other people with whom we've circled. It was nice to be surrounded by a large Pagan community again. "I missed all the flakiness of these things," Yemaya whispered, and I knew exactly what she meant. We're always observant about Sabbats and stuff, but we were so much more...*actively*...Pagan when we lived in Orlando. We met new people, we bought stuff, we donated food to City Harvest. We wouldn't consider celebrating Samhain, which is a big huge deal to us, anywhere but with our former coven back home. But we've felt a stronger need to develop ties with other Pagans here in the past few months. That helped. A lot. It was especially amazing to meet other people who had stories about how Marion Weinstein changed their lives after the memorial service for her. I collected several e-mail addresses, cell numbers, and URLs.
* Unfortunately, attention whores aren't an endangered species. Chris Packham, a British nature show host, represents that breed quite badly. He declared that the giant panda is an "evolutionary dead end" and should be allowed to die out. Fortunately, there was a lot of anger against him. If you follow the link, Suzanne Braden of Pandas International not only rebuts Packham in style, but explains why you should donate to her organization. (And there's a picture of her looking sooooo blissful as she cuddles a tiny, fluffy panda cub, as she should in that situation.) Also, Pandas International encourages kids to trick-or-treat for the pandas in Chinese sanctuaries.
* Hope autumn is being good so far to everyone reading!