Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Covid-19 update

[The following was sent to my All-in-One mailing list, serving all my acknowledged pen-names. You can sign up here for my mailing list]

After holding out hope forever—me and my hopeless causes—sadly I must report that my annual OFM (Open Full Moon) ritual scheduled for October 31 is officially cancelled.

Quite simply, me and Khari could not figure out a way to make it safe for us to gather this year.

You don’t realize how important a bathroom is until you don’t have access to one. And it was figuring out how to let attendees use the bathroom that stumped us.

And once we saw the problem, we couldn’t un-see it.

We had solved all the rest of the problems, but we could not solve this one. Well, not in a way that wouldn’t become a piece of zombie apocalypse performance art.

Context for the one reader who hasn’t see my dog and pony show, I picked up a habit of openly washing my hands between every step taking and making orders when I was working by myself at Loco Gyro. Some of the customers loved the fact that me and my crew were so mindful of health and safety which always made me wonder about the cleanliness of other restaurants. Of course, me and my employees thought of it as a three-ring circus act—take off and throw gloves away from previous order, wash hands, take the customer order and collect the money, wash hands, put on gloves and make the order, repeat performance for the next customer. We always wore gloves when handling the food, especially after Dimitris’ college experience of showing up to class while reeking of onions and feta cheese. Hell, we were going through two (three) hundred food service gloves a week (vinyl—not latex—I might be allergic to latex), much to the horror of the restaurant’s owners (the cheap bastards).

So yeah, I kept picturing myself dressed in full NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) hazard gear waiting outside of the bathroom with an industrial sized drum of Lysol to clean the bathroom after each and every user.

You know—death by Lysol—I would have to use a level of chem-clean that my wife, Khari, couldn’t handle. And I am sure there would be other attendees with similar issues. Including myself. So that wasn’t going to work.

Outside of that, we managed to find a work-around for everything else we would need to do for a semi-public open pagan (Wiccan/magical) ritual, right down to how to make Cakes and Ale (Mystic Repast) safe.

Oh yeah—event update—every event (whether class, discussion group, drumming, BBQ, open ritual) is now officially only semi-open. We now have a “no-fly” list with a solid “Nope—this person can’t attend” on the list.

Gone are the days of “leave your differences at the door,” thanks to some witch deciding to blow a copyright/lack of payment claim all out of proportion in order to get Amazon to terminate my author account.

For the record, this is the third major meltdown and backstabbing I have experienced from this particular toxic friend—a friendship truly worthy of a haz-mat suit and a full de-com shower.

But more about this false friend (possibly double spy), what losing access to Amazon means to me and my readers, and how I am going to promise not to let this small setback stop me from sending stuff to you next month. Oh yeah, we already know the subject of next month’s Essay of Doom (sent out the 13th of every month).

So everyone is on the same page, next year will be year five of the Occult Garden Parties (“Celebrating with successful writers, artists, and witches”). I am counting this year with an asterisk. We had events scheduled—we just couldn’t do them safely. Apologies all around. 

I was hoping to get some field-testing done for the OFM (open ritual performance) support series done this year—but Covid-19, what can you do?

I was also hoping to get one of the novels done this year—that ain’t going to happen either thanks to Meltdown Girl (who also had a hand in the Cos-Neo drama last year). But more about that next month, right?

Next year—Covid-19 permitting—me and Khari plan on doing an Occult Garden Party every third Saturday of the month (June to October). Remember that Khari works as a schoolteacher for Denver Public Schools. We can’t start the event season before June and we have to end it before Fall Burnout kicks in.

We will continue using the front and back patios, despite the three-story house going up in the south neighbor’s yard.

I am also hoping to have a Saturday night OFM (Open Full Moon ritual) sometime during the 2021 event season. But I haven’t looked at next year’s calendar yet.

And please remember that I am always up to doing a pop-up ritual if enough attendees ask me to do one.

[This post was originally sent to my mailing list serving all my pen-names.]