My own naming convention

My mother was sold to the highest bidder. At least her name was. Whereas her sisters were named in honorarium of significant relatives, my mother’s name was chosen during her baby shower when one wealthy attendee suggested that my grandmother name my mother after her — Janet — in exchange for a $10,000 monetary gift. So my mother was named after some random woman who no one remembers except that her name must have also been “Janet”. You can’t blame my grandmother for it because she and my Pop Pop grew up desperately poor and when people are raised in that kind of poverty, they tend to lose their minds when they come into a bit of money later in life. 

I am not entirely thrilled with my name either. My name was not purchased but neither was it derived from anyone or anything significant. My mother simply liked the name “Kate”. She also liked the name “Annie” so I suppose things could have been worse for me. Growing up, whenever someone called me “Katherine”, assuming that no one truly has a one syllable, unimaginative name like “Kate” on their birth certificate, I didn’t correct them. Sometimes I even made up other, exotic, multi-syllabic names for myself. And without a doubt, even now at an age when my ovaries threaten to dry up like raisins and fall out of my uterus, I envision making up for my mother’s lack of creativity by saddling my children with the sort of name I was never bestowed. 

 For years, I swore my daughter(s) would be Rowan and Rhiannon (yes, like the Fleetwood Mac song). Now I have settled (quite firmly) on the following: Gypsy Evangline, Madeline Evangeline, or Gypsy Lila. Gypsy for my heritage, Madeline for my mother’s middle name, and Evangeline and Lila for no other reason than I like them. Of course, any combination of these names sound like stage names of a performer in a Burley-Q but that really only makes me like them more. 

 If I ever have a son—although for some reason, I don’t see that in my future unless I adopt— I may throw the father a bone and allow him a say in the name albeit I have always been fond of the name “Christian” while also wanting to tip my hat to my Jewish heritage with something blatantly ‘heeb. I liked “Levi” but a cousin recently claimed that for her own son’s name so perhaps something along the lines of “Christian Judah”. How contradictory. How interesting. How my son will need to begin kung fu lessons by the age of five in order to defend himself on the playground. 

Oh yes, my children—should I have any—will suffer under their mother’s eccentricities and melodrama. My father knew this the moment I began naming the family pets names that he could neither remember nor pronounce: “You want to name the cat Katchalia Moonchild?” he joked, “My poor, poor grandchildren…”

 May G-d someday grant me the blessing of bearing a brood of my own so that I may shave my son’s hair into a faux-hawk, doodle temporary tattoos on my daughter, and brand them all with outlandish names.

Good Shavas

Most gypsies are superstitious but my Pop Pop took it to another level. He was buried in socks with green thread stitched into the toes. While cleaning out his house, we discovered caches of charms: rabbit’s feet, clovers, strange medallions, horse shoes, coins, of course plenty of Judeica but an astonishing number of crosses and  even the Virgin Mary. My cousin commented that Pop probably converted later in life but I disagreed.  He was just making sure all the bases were covered.

 

Boo!

A friend was checking into her room in this gorgeous old home-turned Bed and Breakfast. While she unpacked, I wandered around “ooh”ing and “ahh”ing everything from the claw foot tub to the antiquated smell of the place. As I wandered, I wondered if they had any more rooms available and considered staying there myself. As I began to ascend the stairs to the third floor, the air grew noticeably cooler, my hair stood up and flesh crawled. I backed down quickly and went outside where a staff member was watering plants. “Is this place haunted?” I asked, hoping I didn’t sound too silly. Without  so much as a smirk, she replied “Oh yeah. The third floor.”

I think I shall stay at a hotel after all.

I rubbed my chocolate but no genie appeared

I spent a rather exorbitant amount of money on a chocolate bar. $7 for a bar of “Smoke and Stout”, which is Rogue Ale chocolate stout beer, Alderwood smoked salt, burnt sugar caramel, and dark chocolate. It was ‘aight. Had to giggle at the extensive “instructions” on the back of the bar that included “Rub your thumb on the chocolate bar’s surface… inhale deeply”, and “place a small piece of chocolate on your tongue and press it to the roof of your mouth”….really?? Next thing you know, I’ll be drinking that cat-shit coffee.

 

Gabapentin is my friend

I just watched a video at work from a jihadist website. “Should I allow the mujahideen access to my anus?” was the question in debate. In it, they were discussing the guidance concerning hiding explosives up one’s anus. Since sodomy is forbidden in the Quran, one must still seek forgiveness from Allah despite the fact that this act of stretching out one’s anus is so that a man can perform an act of martyrdom. The fact that they delivered this message with a straight faces made it all the more hilarious.

10 reasons Pinterest annoys me:

Skinny women grabbing their ass cheeks with the title “Best Weight Loss! This works!”

“Stay Calm and” Anything

Pregnancy photos

Infinity symbol tattoos

Script tattoos

Posts that say “I wish I had the guts to do this”

The obsession with Jennifer Aniston

Messy up-do how-to’s

Too many shirtless hunks (just kidding! Bring ‘em on!)

Crockpot recipes

Coming out of the broom closet

I am a Jew. I am a Christian. And I practice “magic”.

Many folks assume these statements contradict one another but over the years, I have come to discover others like myself and most recently, an individual (A Christian. A Sorcerer. And a Therapist) whose writings have helped clarify (and unify) these seemingly warring facts about myself. Here is a link to one of my favorite blogs of his:

http://stewardry.tumblr.com/post/42164231898/get-ready-to-be-offended

To me, Judaism is not only a religion but an ethnicity.
image

My first clue was when one of my best friends in high school, who was Jewish, admitted that she was also atheist. “Also” being the key word. I am an ethnically Jewish person who accepted Yeshua. So far, I have found nothing about the Jewish practice that hinders Christian practices. Yes, Rebekkah, you CAN observe Passover AND Christmas (not that Christmas has Christian roots but that is another can of worms).  Admittedly, I am a terrible Jew. I still have to stop and think about how many candles are on a menorah (and if asked, I’ll answer, “Depends. Is it in the home or the temple?” See? Im doing my homework).

Now back to the bit about magic. As I am descended from a long line of superstitious gypsies, my magical dabblings should not be a surprise. My Pop Pop only writes in green ink and my mother performs blessing rituals prior to taking up a new residence as a way to “get the booger bears out”. Anyone who has partaken in a Passover seder knows that that is one heck of a ritual. Salt, water, prayer, candle-lighting, incense…those religious rituals don’t look any spookier than what I do.

As Mr. Becker (the Christian Sorcerer Therapist I mentioned above) points out, there are “only a small handful of magical skills forbidden in the Bible. Much of magic is open to practice. Magic as a whole is never forbidden in the Bible and witchcraft/sorcery are terrible translations of the original words which really meant “root cutting” or “poisoning”. The forbidden “magical” practices, by the way, are Necromancy, Divination, and Enchanting.

http://stewardry.tumblr.com/post/42864138181/christians-the-bible-and-magic

Now, if Im being honest, I DO pay a little too much attention to Astrology, which falls into the realm of Divination and while I don’t cast stones Christian psychics like Chip Coffey for chatting with dead folks, I steer clear of it myself because it can be dangerous (which is why I think G-d forbade it in the first place).  As far as Enchanting…if I knew how to bend someone to my will, I’d have a Stepford husband and children by now.

So I collect rocks, burn things, bury things, blend oils and herbs and chant occasionally. Some call it “casting” or “meditation”. I call it prayer.