Pretty Sure I Just Lost My Job (Angry Vent)

I just probably lost my part time temporary job at a local ice cream joint. It was my fault–a series of bombed interviews at other places made me distracted and led to multiple mistakes at work. Mostly with the cash machine because it’s pretty easy to get shakes and “blizzards” mixed up at this particular shop. But blizzards are super-expensive. Customers get mega-pissed if you get a blizzard mixed up with a shake (although they never complain when they order a blizzard and accidentally get charged for a shake. Hmmmm.)

Overall, it’s been nothing costly. Even with the cash machine crap, I’ve always caught it. There’s just enough screw ups on my end to lead to something serious. Insomnia hasn’t helped, either. I find myself walking around in a disorganized, disoriented state to the point where I worry about my cognitive function.

My manager said that we could “discuss” more hours next week. My folks say this is a nice way of telling me that I’m fired. I concur.

So it goes.

Of course, I’m also a little pissed, because I feel like I got something of the short end of the proverbial stick. (At the end of the day I’m responsible for my actions, but a million things converged at once and I wasn’t able to get them under control fast enough. Stupid, stupid!) I have had a grand total of two consecutive shifts. Bad weather has really interfered with my ability to work consecutive shifts. What happens when you learn new stuff, then don’t use it right away? You forget it. That’s right! And when you don’t remember things, you screw up.

Especially with that cash machine. It’s one of the old timey ones and it just kicks my ass.

On average, there’s 2 – 5 days between shifts, and I’ve been at it for a little more than a month. There are a total of three dozen different menu items to know how to make, plus some custom things that trip me up. For example, during my last shift, I had a stupid fucking customer say “cherry root beer float” over and over again. She’d been waffling, so I asked her again, “did you just want a cherry root beer or a float?”

“No, I want a float.”

“Okay, one cherry root beer float. Your total is x.xx.”

And after I deliver the float: “Hey, I didn’t want any ice cream!”

It doesn’t make any sense. She didn’t even want a refund (floats are obviously more expensive than straight soda). She just took the float and left.

I’m convinced that some of this is just bad luck. Like with the following example:

A particularly brilliant example of the human species walks up to the window: “I want a small ice cream.” At this point, she’s motioning to the junior size on the menu.

So I reach out the order window and specifically point to both the small and junior cones. “Do you want the junior?” I point to the junior. “Or the small?” I point to the small. “The junior is cheaper.”

“No, give me a small.”

So I ring her up and she magically realizes she doesn’t have the money. My manager is standing right behind me holding this cone while this lady tells me she doesn’t have enough money and wanted a junior. You can’t make this shit up. People are really this fucking stupid. I looked like a douchebag.

Or how about this genius. We sell burgers at this ice cream shop. You can get them alone or with a combo. The combo is obviously more expensive but you get fries and a drink. So I ask this dimwit what he’d like and he tells me he’d like the ABC Burger.

I say, “did you just want the burger, or did you want the combo with a drink and fries?

“Just the burger.”

We get this moron’s burger cooked and out to him. He looks in the bag and says, “where’s my fries and drink?”

And I say, “you ordered just the sandwich.”

“No, I wanted the combo.”

At this point he storms off and I look like an absolute tool to my manager and coworkers.

My managers have also been getting on my case about being more proactive about getting tickets for food orders to the back. So when I saw one of my managers taking a big food order, I took the ticket, placed it where it’s supposed to be, then started putting some food down and my other manager came in and said, “what are you doing?”

“I thought I was helping.”

Yeah, turns out I wasn’t.

Maybe what broke the straw on the camel’s back was during a rush when I nearly–key term nearly–obliterated our raspberry dip sauce. Basically you put ice cream in a cone, then turn it upside down and dip it quickly. The dip is a wax-based one that hardens within seconds. Regular cones are easy enough, but we also have this weird waffle cone thing that’s not so straightforward. The ice cream will often fall out. If it gets in the dip, it’s game over. A new can of dip has to be reheated–which takes up to an hour–and again, this was a rush.

I was trying to make a medium raspberry dip waffle cone when the ice cream fell out of the cone and almost into the vat! I caught it, let my managers know, and felt pretty awesome that I’d diverted a rush-time disaster. They’d warned me about it before, said it was no big deal, but I guess with all the other stuff I’d been doing plus the fact it was busy just made it all the worse. I’m sure there was a reverse halo effect going on, too: once you start thinking someone is shitty, everything they do will be wrong.

Now I have no income and at the same time need to visit two doctors. My vision seems to be doing weird things and I have other health problems. I’m also depressed because I’m twenty-four, have a computer science degree, and can’t even hold down a job slinging ice cream.

I’m taking this as a life lesson on the importance of learning how to control your life, even when a million things are happening at once. I just want to rail against everything, but I guess I can look at it from a bhakta’s perspective. I had the job for awhile and now I don’t. The god will provide again just as He did before, and what I need to do is figure out how to be a better employee. After all, the god can only do so much with what He currently has.

So it goes.

Posted in Personal | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Quote of the Day

The face of truth is hidden by your orb
of gold, O sun. May you remove your orb
so that I, who adore the true, may see
the glory of truth. O nourishing sun,
solitary traveler, controller,
source of life for all creatures, spread your light
and subdue your dazzling splendor
so that I may see your blessed Self.
Even that very Self am I!

. . .

Oh god of fire, lead us by the good path
to eternal joy. You know all our deeds.
Deliver us from evil, we who bow
and pray again and again.

–Isha Upanishad, vs 15 & 18, Ekanath translation

IMO, this is one of the most intensely beautiful pieces of Hindu literature.

Posted in Hinduism, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

In Light of That Earlier Confession. . .

I’ve either set to private or trashed any posts that made me sound like some in-the-know elder dispensing advice to newbies. Of course I’ll continue to post here. I plan on posting things that I learn and keeping better tabs on my journey. If you, dear reader, learn something, that’s your business. But remember this: even if you’re a brand new Kemetic, I probably don’t know all that much more than you. Or at least anything that can’t be found in a book.

I certainly do hope anybody who still reads this blog gets some enjoyment out of it, but you won’t find any how-tos (or any topics from the Kemetic Round Table, for that matter).

You want good advice or instructions? Go find someone who can at least tell their proverbial ass from their face. That person isn’t me.

Posted in PSA, Spirituality | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Do Not Sass Shu or Set

Yay, alliteration!

I wanted to share this story.

For me, Shu and Set bring in nasty weather. Set, in particular, is a snowy deity here in the Colorado area. Sometimes I like to think He and Shu bicker on windy, cold days.

A few weeks ago, it was blustery. The wind was like ice. It was garbage day and the wind had knocked over my garbage can, scattering refuse all over the ground, including into some prickly bushes.

Well, that wouldn’t do. I zipped up in my winter coat, got everything back in the trash can, and struggled to get it positioned just right so the garbage wouldn’t fly out again. The wind was still blowing something fierce.

Finally, I said, “hey Shu, Set, will you quit it? Jeez.” Or I may have been a little more rude while still trying to be jocular

The wind died down a little for just a brief moment. Then I heard a roar in the distance. Something about it was Just Not Right. A huge gust of wind hit me like a train. I turned my back to it, braced myself. It was so cold, so wild, so fierce. The gust lasted for a few seconds, then died down. I laid the garbage can down on the rocks, positioning the lid so it stayed on, then rushed inside.

Do not sass Shu or Set.

Posted in Deities, Kemeticism, Kemetism, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

And Now I Will Punch Myself in the Face

AKA: Shine is a Doofus, But She’s Lernin’z

I have an occasional diversion in which I like to indulge (read: I’m supposed to be programming a web app but I don’t wanna and I also don’t want to get sucked into the blackhole of Reddit). Every now and then I go back to read my old posts to see where I was, where I’ve progressed, if I’ve hit personal milestones I was thinking of when I wrote the post. Two years in and there’s two hundred some-odd posts, the vast majority of which are set to private.

I’m a little ashamed that most of the posts that have been set to private are about Bast. Somehow, it doesn’t feel right, but things are just weird in my life from that perspective. So into the bin of set-to-private-because-I-cannot-handle-my-own-shit-right-now it goes.

Where was I? Oh, yeah, I was going to punch myself in the face.

As I was reading, it hit me that I’ve grown a lot as a person, if not as a Kemetic. They’re kind of synonymous since I am, at some level, Kemetic, but don’t play semantics with me, people.

It also hit me that I was an immature doofus. I mean, holy shit. I’d tell you about all the mistakes I repeated, or how I didn’t follow through with oracles, or how I avoided shadow work (that may or may not have been shoved in my face), how I broke commitments, etc. I’d tell you all that, but then I’d have to nuke the earth. Reading those posts, waves of embarrassment washed over me because there are a crapton of other gods who would have said, “enough with this mortal. Time for an unholy shitstorm.” Instead, the Netjeru–Bast, in particular–ignored it or tolerated it.

They were even nice to me. For the love of all gods, Bast lifted me out of a depression that spanned years. She taught me not to be such a big baby about the important things (and She also, accidentally I think, taught me how to cry, but that’s for another post), how to be strong, how to find the light in the dark, etc. I asked for Her patience so many times. And I didn’t give Her jack shit.

My doofus guess would be that my behavior for the past two(!) years contributed 99% to where I am now.

This reminds me of a dream I had, once. I even recorded it in a private post. It was part of a string of dreams I had as my mental, emotional, and spiritual state were deteriorating. Virtually every one of these dreams involved my mother. Many of them involved being trapped in a house or having to go to the bathroom. The one that seems most relevant at this particular moment, goes, in part, like this:

In my dream, it was Christmas Eve. It was late, about 10:00 pm. I realized I’d forgotten to get my mother a Christmas present. I think I may have had a feeling that she’d gotten me lots of presents, and was looking forward to getting something from me, even though she must have known I didn’t have the funds to get her as much.

But it was late and, for some reason–mostly laziness, but possibly fear of the dark–I kept putting off getting a gift for her.

The interpretation that struck me at the time of this dream can be encapsulated in the phrase: “your mother does lots of things for you, but you won’t do anything for her.”

Maybe it’s directly relevant, maybe it’s not. Practicing Hinduism has given me this (hopefully not brief) blossoming of maturity and I no longer trust myself.

Is it any wonder, I thought to myself, that my practice was so fragile? That it exploded like a balloon as soon as something sharp jabbed it?

Doesn’t it suck when you have no one else to blame but yourself?

————————————————————————————————–

The embarrassment didn’t end there. I found myself talking like I know things. Like I really knew what I was talking about. Maybe, from a factual standpoint, I was in some cases, but in a lot of cases, I was like the four-year-old talking about how sex works. (“Daddy pees in mommy’s belly button and then the baby comes out!”) It’s embarrassing because apparently, I’m not only a doofus, I’m an asshole, too! I’m an asshole for potentially spreading bad information. I’m an asshole for making other Kemetics look bad.

It’s not all bad, though, because there’s something freeing about being able to look back at who you were and realize that you’re not, exactly, that person anymore, though you’ve got a long way to go before you can say, “yeah, I’m not that old person anymore because I made the conscious decision to change everything doofish thing about myself.”

Yes, indeedy, I’m going to punch myself in the face.

————————————————————————————————–

For a moment, I stopped to ask myself, what made me realize these things? And the answer is I started practicing Hinduism.

Hinduism has boundaries. It has clear definitions of what’s Totally Okay and what’s Very Much NOT Okay. How a person should relate to the god, to one’s spouse, to friends, to family, to strangers, etc. is defined in a set of guidelines that don’t have to be followed to the word, but must be considered in every situation. A practicing Hindu is given a basic idea of how practice will feel as s/he progresses, what some of the pitfalls are, what some of the rewards are, etc. Whether you approach it as a polytheism or as a monotheism, Hinduism opens yours eyes on how a polytheist might relate to the divine world in the context of his/her own religion.

Hinduism says you need a regular sadhana, or spiritual practice. Okay, I said to myself, I’ll do some meditation, then I’ll read scripture, then I’ll bow before shrine, then go to bed. Around the beginning of the second week, I started thinking about my poor Kemetic practice and asked, “now why couldn’t I do something like this for Bast and the other Netjeru?”

When you’re a bhakta, Hinduism tells you that you should dedicate everything to the god. Your only entitlement is to your work. Even the fruits of that work should be dedicated to the god. Pretty much everything should be done with an attitude of either, “this is the god’s” or “I’m doing this for the god’s sake and whatever happens, happens”. (Note: you can’t use this as an excuse to be an asshat because there’s still those pesky Yamas and Niyamas–moral standards–to think about.) Adversity becomes something to bear. Good things become gifts sent from the god or, if you’re of a chaos bent, they sometimes just come randomly because, hey, chaos.

So I offer my meals to Shiva whenever possible. When I work at the ice cream shop, it’s for Shiva. When I get my tips or paycheck, they go on the shrine first because those things belong to the god. When good things happen, I try to be grateful for the gift. I started thinking about my poor Kemetic practice and asked myself, “why couldn’t I do this for Bast or the Netjeru?”

Now I remember a message I once got from Bast when I asked how I could serve Her yet still be “of the world”: make everything an offering, and you will understand.

Now that I have this sadhana, everything seems so simple. Why didn’t it occur to me?

In Hinduism, we’re also told that we have to stick to the truth. If you say, “I’m going to eat a chili dog with Fritos, olives, and macaroni and cheese”, then you have to do it. You can’t make a liar of yourself. So if you make a commitment to the god or the god asks one of you, you have to make a good faith effort to be truthful, to stick with that commitment. Why didn’t I think of this when I had a simple Kemetic practice? Why did such obvious things elude me?

I’ve always had trouble with follow-through. And I suspect that some days there was a sense of “this isn’t real” or “there are other, more important, things to do”. While sometimes life does assert itself over spiritual matters, that’s no excuse for doing the same stupid crap over and over again like I did. Maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t been oathed to Bast, or if I hadn’t been just two steps away from godslavery. It’s kind of a crazy story how I ended up in those waters, but, like other things, that’s for another post.

Now I see why I needed to become a Hindu for a short time. A year-and-a-day of doin’ it the best I can.

Right now I’m in the unenviable position where I’d like to introduce some more elements of a Kemetic practice to my daily life (with just Bast for now), but I’m pretty sure every Netjeru in existence has me on Their blacklist. That’s a lot of blacklists, people! I have no desire to go knocking on the door of a goddess known to tear out hearts, breathe fire, and occasionally cause plagues if I’m not welcome there. Maybe I’ll go find a good diviner because there’s no way I could help myself while still being objective.

One thing that has become clear to me in all of this is I am a Bubastite at heart and I’m not sure I want to be anything else. Don’t get me wrong: there are times when I look in someone else’s green, luxurious yard while mine’s still in a bad state, but. . . I dunno. It’s gotten so frustrating I’m considering atheism after my year-and-a-day of Hinduism because it would be easier. But what’s easier is not always right, and if there’s any way for me to go home, then I’m going.

And I’ll have two black eyes from punching myself in the face.

Posted in Bast, Deities, Hinduism, Personal, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

I Wish My Dreams Were Easier to Understand

He was killed by a cellular phone explosion.
They scattered his ashes across the ocean.
The water was used to make baby lotion.
The wheels of promotion were set into motion.

–Fountains of Wayne, “Mexican Wine”

Last’s night’s dream was very weird, but also I get the feeling it’s important. Just haven’t sussed out the meaning yet.

I was trapped in a house with a group of people. There was a girl (I think she had long blond hair) who told us it was a game. She told us to keep climbing the stairs. That’s what we did for awhile. At this point, my dream became very disjointed.

At one point, I was in a store browsing edible whiteboard erasers. If you ate one, they leveled up stats like speed. I got the feeling that the girl desperately wanted to be my friend. Maybe she was the girl from the game. In any case, I thought she was extraordinarily talented (she had tons of how-to-draw books on the shelf below the erasers), but I wasn’t interested.

Then I’m back at the house. We’ve climbed a few more floors. Then I’m in another house with a lady’s abusive husband who’s sleeping. I help someone out of the house. Just as the husband wakes up, I book it out of there. Except my hand had chalk on it, so I left a mark on the door frame. I dived through a window back into the house (near the top floor, too!)

Finally, we all reached the attic. We weren’t going up any further. There was a small hole in the ceiling from which I could see light. I had a guy boost me up so I could look to see if we could get up on the roof. “Nope,” I said.

We backtracked down the stairs. That’s when I realized we’d lost several members of our group. One of them was memorialized using some random items, including one of those little paper baskets they put fries or hotdogs in. We kept going down until it was clear I was the only one left.

As we were descending, I was singing this part of a song from Fountains of Wayne

But the sun still shines in the summertime.
I’ll be yours if you’ll be mine.
I tried to change, but I changed my mind,
think I’ll have another glass of Mexican wine.

As soon as I got to the first floor, a group of Asian guys with black hair wearing athletic jerseys burst around the corner. Most of them ran past me. One of them stopped, held my hand, and said, “good luck,” He sounded hypnotized or like a zombie. Very weird.

To my right I saw what looked roughly like a skeeball set up. Instead of the scoring rings, there were people. Instead of the area where you throw the balls and get tickets, there was a table with food.

As I went searching for the door, I saw more of these setups. It was like a food court.

Then it hit me: people were being turned into food for other people! Like Soylent Green, except people were unabashedly turning other people into appetizing dishes to eat.

Then I woke up.

Now that I think of it, I have a lot of dreams where I’m either trapped in a house I can’t escape, or I escape from a house that I may or may not have been trapped in. It’s definitely a recurring theme for me.

I’ve also had dreams where I’ve been in a store with some woman–usually Mom–and I disappoint in some way.

This is the first time I ever dreamed of cannibalism, though.

Posted in Personal, Spirituality | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Quote of the Day

All those who take refuge in me
whatever their birth, race, sex, or caste,
will attain the supreme goal;
this realization can be attained
even by those whom society scorns.
Kings and sages too seek
this goal with devotion.

Therefore, having been born in this
transient and forlorn world,
give all your love to me.
Fill your mind with me;
love me; serve me; worship me always.
Seeking me in your heart,
you will at last be united with me.

–Bhagavad Gita

Posted in Hinduism, Spirituality | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment