Angel on my Shoulder

A combination of two things has lead me to this post.  1) Some of the silly things that people say to others who are grieving and 2) Conversations between my husband and I, brought on by — what else– the binge viewing of our latest series, Supernatural (yeah, I know, we’re a bit behind the times.)

Suffice it to say, I’ve had angels on the brain.  What they are.  The nature of angels.  Especially the paradox of an angel, who presumably has not been given the gift of free will that humans enjoy, yet nonetheless is able to choose to defy or oppose God, and thus, fall.  I don’t really have a full enough knowledge of the bible to be able to reconcile this.  Perhaps the answers are there, perhaps not.  But what really piqued my curiosity was something my husband said while we were watching our show.

Sometimes his wealth of knowledge still surprises me.  Don’t tell him, because we don’t want to swell his head all up.  But what he said was that one of the biblical descriptions of an angel alluded to a creature shaped like a wheel, and covered in eyes.  Something about that just really intrigued me.  My regular readers would probably be not at all surprised to learn I almost immediately thought of the Alex Grey art for the Tool albums.

Lateralus artwork- Alex Grey

Lateralus artwork- Alex Grey

Well, that, and in my mind’s eye, I also saw a more traditional “wheel”, the circumference of which was runged like a ladder and studded with stylized eyes. Something about the image was just so intriguing to me.

So I did what I always do in situations like these; I googled that shit.  First and foremost, I wanted to check the accuracy of hubby’s memory–  hey, he’s impressive, but his memory has been known to be, eh…selective…and I’m a natural skeptic.  But in this case, he didn’t let me down, and I found some basic information on the angels to which hubby was referring.  Wikipedia describes Ophanim as:

The ophanim or ofanim, refer to the wheels seen on Ezekiel’s vision of the chariot (Hebrew merkabah) in Ezekiel 1:15-21

“The Ophanim…are creatures that function as the actual chariots of God driven by the cherubs. They are characterized by peace and submission; God rests upon them. [They] reside in the area of the cosmos where material form begins to take shape.  They mete out divine justice and maintain the cosmic harmony of all universal laws.

I love this image of angels– the mystery of it, the otherworldliness and distinctly non-anthropomorphic visioning of one of God’s creations.  Something not based on a purely xenocentric imagining of some man, with a man’s motives.  

Granted, this description was likely written by the same person or persons who initially transcribed the rest of the bible, but it is a far cry from the Renaissance era imaginings of angels.

Anyway, I’m not religious by any stretch of the imagination, but I do consider myself spiritual, and this image speaks to me in a way that makes me almost wish I did have a dogma that included creatures as awesome as the Ophanim.

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Happy Birthday, Maynard!

I’ve been very lazy of late… Don’t judge me! I wanted to have a new Maynard post ready for today, to celebrate my favorite musician’s birthday, but I’m sleep deprived, and I have cramps, and I just realized my old Victoria’s Secret underwear has become my period panties and my new Joe Boxer underwear is now my good underwear, and that just hits me on a very emotional level.

SO here’s last years Maynard Birthday Post! Yay!

alienredqueen

Happy Birthday to my favorite person I wish I knew but actually don’t, Maynard James Keenan.  One of my all-time favorite artists who, I am happy to say, is still among the land of the living, and still making kick-ass music.  If you need even more reasons why I love Maynard, check out these videos of Maynard…being Maynard.    

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Midwinter Night’s Dream & My Other Husband

I had an absolutely mind-boggling dream last night.  There was music, crowd-surfing, werewolves/vampires, tattoos, horses, diamonds, sex, and…Maynard.

I’m going to try to relay the highlights, but now it has that loose narrative and hazy chronological sequence that defies any attempts to make sense once you’re awake.

I’m at this concert in this big dark space.  I’m sitting against a corner wall near the middle of the room.  Check out my bad-ass Paint diagram.

"X" marks the spot

“X” marks the spot…

And who should be sitting next to me but Marilyn Manson… only he’s yelling stupid things at the stage where Maynard is singing, trying to be cool or something.  And I tell him to shut up.  And he kisses me and tries to stick his hand in my pants.   And I’m like, no way, dude.  What kind of woman do you think I am?   I also seem to remember telling him my age, but lying and saying I was 29 instead of 31.  At some point, he (I think it’s him) picks me up and throws me in the air, and I am crowd surfing all over the room.  Eventually, I end up somewhere across the room, and the person holding me up is Trainer Bob, and he asks me for something (I can’t remember what,) but in return, I ask him for a favor– get me closer to Maynard.

"Whaaat?"

“Whaaat?”

At this point, as I pass near the stage, it looks more like a backstage tête-à-tête than a concert.  Maynard is sitting in a chair and his entourage is busy around him.  He’s not looking his usual put together self.  His face looks haggard and broken out…but I still love him anyway.

At some point I have circled the room and am dropped off near MM again.  He is also not looking his best… turns out he’s balding on top and wearing a black hairpiece to cover it up.  He flops the piece back on his head, and– voila!– instant sleek!  There are a lot of faces I recognize, mostly from high school, in the crowd.  At one point I am in a line near a side exit and a guy behind me (who I think I was supposed to know) was staring at me lasciviously and making menacing remarks.

At some other point, I found myself near the stage again.  This is about the point where I felt some sort of threat, as if I was being chased or hunted, by a werewolf, perhaps.  Maynard and his crew finally acknowledge me and hand me a small tray to which is affixed a variety of silver pieces (barettes? small styluses? I don’t know), but in the dream I knew what they were for– protection against my pursuers.

And now Maynard is close to me …

tumblr_m4itfanrkQ1qawp6m

…and we’re talking about our tattoos and he’s helping me fit these gi-normous fake fangs onto my teeth (more protection, I think?)

…and then there was this pretty horse, with kind of a pale palomino beige color in the head area and a dainty, thin nose.  I was told to let it eat, so I walked it to the area near the back wall of the main room, where there was a little inlet with a mound of hay.

A stall in the middle of a concert venue...weird, I know...

A stall in the middle of a concert venue…weird, I know…

And then I was riding the horse around a trail (still in the concert venue) and it was like I was on a parade circuit or something.  One of Maynard’s lackeys was giving me all this fancy jewelry.  It was for, like, some mock video where we were getting married or something.  They took my wedding ring off and threw it on the ground, and I asked one of the girls to retrieve it and put it somewhere safe.  She didn’t so I went back to get it and put it on another finger.  The ring that the girl had given me as a wedding ring was big but all the diamonds were like little marcasite-looking stones… you know, all pomp but no real value… and I was like, Well, this ring is unacceptable… 

img-thing

Marcasite ring (photo: polyvore.com)

Soooo…

You’re leaving something out, you say.

Oh, you mean the sexy part?

Yeah, of course we mean the sexy part.

What I do on my fake wedding night with my fake husband (who also happens to be a talented and hot musician) is my business, you pervs!

I don't know who took this picture, but it wasn't me.

I don’t know who took this picture, but it wasn’t me.

Guilty Pleasures: My Parents’ Music

I know what you’re thinking, and no, I have not been hitting the NyQuil too hard.

They say that the sense of smell is the sense that is most closely tied to memory, but I’d say hearing, specifically music, comes a close second.  For me at least, music often evokes feelings, phantom emotions from the past.

My main musical lifelines are still mainly the alternative and industrial bands of my teenage years and early twenties; Tool, Soundgarden, Alice In Chains, A Perfect Circle.  Hearing that music recalls the bittersweet feelings of a time that was paradoxically simpler, yet more difficult.  It often makes me long for those long gone days.  This is the music which still most strongly affects me, the music with which I still most closely identify, and the music through which I still have a voice for my emotions and ideas.

Though the musical identity I began developing around middle school is markedly different from the music I grew up listening to, my tastes are eclectic enough to leave room for many types of music, and there are more than a few songs that I heard growing up which strike a “memory” chord for me.  My parents’ music.

Some are technically early eighties and nineties pop songs, I suppose, but some are songs I heard when my parents played their records (yes, you read that right) or listened to classic rock and oldies radio stations. 

Many of these songs bring to mind remnants of feelings or thoughts I had at the time, a sort of revival of the ideas I had about the music;  I remember what those songs meant to me through the ears of a child.

And a couple of the songs are associated with television shows or films, and evoke the emotions caused by that particular show.

Here are just a few of those songs, in no particular order.  I even own one or two albums by some of these artists.

As you read the list, keep in mind I was born in ’81, so the categorization of the songs is relative to that.

Chicago— 25 0r 6 to 4 (oldies radio)

Kansas— Dust in the wind (The Highlander TV series)

Mr. Mister— Broken Wings (pop radio)

Cream— White Room (oldies radio)

Seals and Crofts— Summer Breeze (oldies radio)

Simon & Garfunkel— Scarborough Fair (oldies radio)

U2– With or Without You (pop radio)

Cutting Crew— (I just) Died in your Arms Tonight (pop radio)

Tears for Fears— Head Over Heels (radio/and then later, Donnie Darko)

Genesis— Tonight, Tonight, Tonight (pop radio)

Rolling Stones— Give Me Shelter (radio)

Patsy Cline

Jim Croce— Time in a Bottle (radio-  In college I ended up writing a short story inspired by this song)

Seals & Crofts

Seals & Crofts

Patsy Cline

Patsy Cline

Anyway, I can’t recall all of them at present, but you get the idea.  What are some songs you remember from your childhood?

Happy Birthday, Maynard!

Happy Birthday to my favorite person I wish I knew but actually don’t, Maynard James Keenan.  One of my all-time favorite artists who, I am happy to say, is still among the land of the living, and still making kick-ass music.  If you need even more reasons why I love Maynard, check out these videos of Maynard…being Maynard.    

Maynard: Snapshot of a Musical Visionary

I’ve been wanting to write this article for a while, but the prospect of trying to unravel the complex mystery that is Maynard James Keenan is fairly daunting.

singing at 1997 Equinox Festival (toolshed.down.net)

singing at 1997 Equinox Festival (toolshed.down.net)

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