Return Of The Scorpion, Reloaded

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Have y’all ever been awake in bed, staring at the ceiling about a million different things and in the midst of all your deep thoughts you find yourself wondering what it would look like with mirrors on the ceiling? Funny question, right? Not really. Not for me. As much as I looked forward to the return of The Sting of the Scorpion I found life kicking me in the balls with bigger things to worry about. In the end, at the end of each day, I find myself in bed unable to fall asleep because of suffering from a very busy brain.

I lay there wondering when life became so complicated. I’ll start with me, mine is the easiest to explain I suppose. Somewhere around the first of the year I went to the doctor because I was suffering from pain in my back that home remedies like ibuprofen and ice could no longer relieve. I was unaware of any injury to my back and figured it was age+work+fatigue+ I’m not 20 anymore= my pain. A series of tests, studies, and exams revealed that my L4 and L3 are ruptured along with my L2 on it way to oblivion. However, it not due to injury, it’s due to some degenerative disease I cannot spell or pronounce along with some pretty severe arthritis. In English, a+b+c= a severe deflection in 3 different directions accompanying the continued pressure on many nerves. After many doctors, a couple pain management specialists, and even some injections, the only answer I am given is to have corrective surgery. And at this stage, there isn’t any fundage to take care of that lovely deductable. So, that shits on hold.

My now 21 year old daughter is attempting to have children at a zero success rate. We, her and I, have been to the fertility clinic on more than one occasion and it was discovered she suffers from PCOS accompanied by a super high testosterone level. So, now she is on a “plan” to bring everything into alignment so eventually she can get pregnant. The challenge has been to keep her emotions in check but this has ramped her anxiety up a billion fold.

So, somewhere around early last month my wife and I were enjoying a very relaxing and romantic bubble bath together until I found she had a weird bump near the limph node of her left breast. The bubble bath ended. This started a series of appointments, exams, and consultations. Allot of fucking time had to pass while being in the dark, not knowing that answers we we seeking, and I cannot even imagine what this is doing to my wife on the inside emotionally. But, now we have news, there are masses, however not concerning masses, and all tests will be repeated in November this year.

As y’all can see, the last few months have been a fucking roller coaster from hell and we aren’t getting off just yet I’m afraid. So, I lay in bed next to my wife at night, staring at her sleeping and staring at my bare ceiling wondering what I look like staring into the abyss trying to empty out my mind so I can get some sleep. It’s hard enough having my problems I can’t get corrected and a thousand times harder watching time click by with the ones I love while they wonder about their own personal unknowns. So, have patience with me as I find time, energy, and the right mood to keep coming back, it will happen, but I have to take into account this thing I call my life.

Why I Stepped Foot In Church

Normally I would not attempt the madness called church on my own, but this last time I went to church not to be preached at, but to enjoy the music of the church symphony orchestra which has a member who is like one of my own children. We go to all of her events, in school or in church. I enjoy the way she can make the cello talk to you, she’s finishing out her freshman year of high school, but listening to her play that cello one would never guess her young age. It may just be my opinion, but she is great. So, that’s what led me to church, I enjoy the way she plays, it makes everything in life, the problems and troubles, just fade into the background where they belong. But, that’s not why we are here today, today I’m going to discuss how my attire was not proper enough to be in a church. Clearly there is confusion, unless you are looking to be offended that I’m not in slacks, a nice shirt, a tie, a jacket, and shiny shoes with a belt to match, oh wait, you are. All I can ask is why? Especially since this wasn’t a “service”, it was a performance.

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I wore what I would wear pretty much anywhere, black Wrangler jeans (no holes, clean), black leather belt, 3 button shirt (black in color, no logo, clean), black gator skin cowboy boots (polished, clean), and a black Stetson with a simple silver band (Stetson is a name/brand/style of a cowboy hat). So, it wasn’t as if I showed up wearing surf shorts, tank top, flip flops, and a ball cap. This is my basic “dress up” clothes, also good for funerals, weddings, and graduations. In fact, after walking in, finding our seat in the main hall (we picked 5 out of the nearly 1300 chairs, its a big Baptist church), I removed my hat, placing it in the seat next to me on my right with my wife on the left. Clearly I’m not a member of this church, I’m here as a guest with invitation in hand, given to me by my other “daughter”. After the 2 hour performance which resulted in a standing ovation and constant applause for the 62 members of the symphony orchestra, it was time to stand in the walkways to hug, shake hands, and chat, all of which I did while standing there wearing my hat. Some would say I stand out above the crowd being I’m 6’8″ to begin with. But people focused on more, people focused on the fact that I was wearing jeans and I had a hat on in church.

The message I received loud and clear from mr. preacher man was that my attire was not proper and will not be welcome in the future, this was said in a snotty rude way, very derogatory and unappreciated by me. I was left with but one option, in my opinion, which was to lean in to him, getting my lips very close to his ear as I pulled him close by the shoulder to say “go fuck yourself”, then I kissed him on the cheek, shook his now trembling hand, and walked out. I never looked back, no need to look back. Shortly after I see my wife and kids following up in my footsteps, we get in the truck, and we left. My wife did not become aware that anything was even said until a few days later, when she spoke with the preachers wife, who she knows outside the church professionally. Of course she asked if it was true, of course I told her it was, and no more was said about it. That whole night does nothing but reinforce my dislike for organized religion, I did nothing wrong and his actions/words cannot be justified in my opinion. Since when do I need to be dressed a certain way to be inside a church, no matter what is going on? So, I got to thinking that I had some thoughts to discuss, and in a long drawn out way that is why everyone was invited here today. So lets begin.

The so-called worship wars of recent years may have produced a winner. Many congregations/denominations remain divided between traditional and contemporary styles of “church”, but in most places the contemporary appears to have gained the upper hand. Your worship services have become increasingly relaxed and informal affairs. You can see it in what people are wearing. Church for today’s worshipers is not a dress-up event. Whatever is clean and comfortable seems sufficient. When it comes to church, attire doesn’t much matter. Most people I have spoke with over the years understand there is nothing particularly spiritual about a dress or a coat and tie. I was even told by a Sunday school teacher of my son’s that God is scarcely impressed by such things as clothes. She quoted something to me that day, “People look at the outward appearance,” we are reminded, “but the Lord looks at the heart”.

I do not intend to wade into the broader debate over worship styles; that’s a different discussion. But I do wish to raise a question about this fucking outdated way of thinking that when it comes to public worship since my clothing matters so much. This common assumption, it seems to me, deserves more scrutiny than it typically receives. Over the last several generations, American attire in general has lurched dramatically toward the informal. A feature that quickly dates an old photograph, just look at a picture of your grandparents. The changes are part of a broad shift toward the convenient, comfortable, and individuality. It’s a shift we see on display everywhere we go each day. Ever been to Walmart?  It’s easy to imagine how one might look over-dressed there, but less easy, short of immodesty, to imagine being under-dressed. Jeans or shorts, tee shirts or tank tops, flip-flops or sandals: these draw scarcely any attention, while full dresses or a suit and tie appear strangely out of place. Relaxed, even rumpled informality is in; suiting up in your “Sunday best” is out.

Many seem convinced it’s a good thing, because, again, it’s the heart that counts. Yet precisely for this reason, because it’s the heart that counts, I want to suggest that what we wear in our public worship may matter more than we think. To grasp this connection, let us extract some helpful insights from daily communication we all see. Verbal behavior refers to all those ways we use language to communicate: speaking, writing, sign language, etc. Nonverbal behavior focuses on all those ways we communicate without words: facial expression, gesture, posture, eye behavior, vocal inflection, our use of space, or touch behavior. In our everyday relationships only a small percentage of what we communicate is conveyed via verbal channels. The rest is conveyed nonverbally.

The avenue of nonverbal communication I will call one’s physical appearance and dress shows more about a person than words, or does it?. Here are a handful of observations based on our human interactions.

The wearing of clothing is exclusively a human characteristic. We share many attributes with other creatures, but the inclination to clothe ourselves is not one of them. Where, if any, is there a moral or even a spiritual dimension to human clothing? Why is so much emphasis put on clothing? Our clothes serve a variety of practical, social, and cultural functions. Protection and modesty spring first to mind, but our clothes do far more. We sometimes dress to conceal or deceive. More often our clothes serve to reveal. We use clothing for decoration, for sexual attraction, for self-expression and self-assertion. By our attire we display our gender, our religion, our occupation, our social position, or causes with which we identify. Many dress to impress, while others choose the reverse: they express their rejection by intentionally flouting accepted clothing norms.

Our clothing is one of our most elemental forms of communication. Long before our voice is heard, our clothes are transmitting multiple messages. From our attire, others immediately read not only such things as our sex, age, national identity, socio-economic status, and social position, but also our mood, our attitudes, our personality, our interests, and our values. We constantly make judgments about one another on the basis of clothing. Common wisdom has it that you can’t judge a book by its cover. But this is only partly true; we regularly read one another’s covering. What’s more, we’re better at it than we think.  We spend our lives making judgments based on appearance and then testing those judgments in our subsequent relationships. In this way, we become rather adept at the process. Judgments based on appearance are rarely fucking accurate, of course, and we are wise to hold them tentatively. But it’s almost impossible to avoid making them in the first place.

Because our clothing is one of the fundamental ways we communicate with others, what we wear is never a purely personal matter. Our attire exerts a social influence on those around us. What we wear can shape patterns of communication around us, depending on what messages people are picking up. Consider, for example, the varied cues we send by the way we dress: “I want people to notice me.” “I’m very confident.” “I want to hide.” “I care only about comfort.” “I want to look seductive.” “I repudiate you and your expectations.”

How we dress not only affects us individually; it also affects those around us. How we feel and who we are influences the clothes we put on or leave off, and the clothes we put on in turn shape how we feel. Changes of clothes can generate a change of mood. As an example, I felt different in my Air Force uniform than I did in street clothes. In some settings our choice of clothing can make or break us. If we like the way we look for a job interview, for instance, it will tend to strengthen our confidence. We feel better about our chances, as reflected in improved posture, more fluent speech, more dynamic gestures. On the other hand, inappropriate dress can suck the fucking life out of our confidence. We have all experienced the uncomfortable effects of feeling under-dressed or over-dressed in a particular social setting.

Much of the social meaning of our clothing is contextual. The appropriateness of our clothing is often dictated by the situation. Dress that would send a given message in one setting might send a very different message in another. Times change, values change, situations change; what was proper ten years ago may not be proper today, or vice versa. All of the above is why we should not conclude too quickly that because God looks on the heart, what we wear to church doesn’t matter. Our internal and external states cannot be so easily disentangled. The fact is, when it comes to how we clothe ourselves, our external appearance is often an expression of our internal state.

What is worship, after all? It’s the act of acknowledging and praising God as God. Is that not a personal choice? According to my wife, “when worshipping, we come before God with awe and reverence, focusing on him in loving contemplation, celebrating him for who he is and what he has done. We willingly bow before him in surrender, delighting in the privilege of extolling his worthiness. In worship we join our small voices with the celestial choirs in a grand chorus magnifying the Creator and declaring his excellences, his purity, his power, his beauty, his grace, his mercy, and his love.” No, I do not agree, but we smile and agree that will do not agree. In reference to what she said, I ask, can’t that be done naked or in a suit of medieval armor? I think the term “stink-eye” covers the expression on her face the best, she was giving it to me.

According to the bible (yes, I’ve read the bible a time or three in my life), God called his people to public worship. It’s everywhere in the Bible. Your corporate worship of organized religion is supposed to please God? Everyone who has ever built a fire knows how quickly lone embers cool and die. But gather those embers and they create a furnace effect that burns hot. Corporate worship of organized religion is no different, its designed to generate that furnace effect in people. Where there is collective thought there is collective action, do as the crowd or the crowd will be undone, the absolute fear of the sheeple culture.

So what sort of clothing might benefit such an exalted occasion? Observers in the gallery of the United States Supreme Court are forbidden to wear hats. Out of respect for the importance of what’s taking place there, the Court’s firm rule for visitors is, “Inappropriate clothing may not be worn.” If this is so for a merely human institution, what might be suitable attire for God-honoring worship? Must there be a rule, must we give a shit, must it cause such an uprising within the walls of the churches of organized religion? Readers will be relieved that I have no dress code to be here at The Sting Of The Scorpion Blog. Read at will, however you are dressed, you will not be judged here in the House of Scorpion. But why don’t I care how you are dressed? Why do I not feel the need to judge how you dress when you are doing what you are doing? I reserve the right to judge you only at Walmart and Starbucks, y’all know who you are and why.

That which is special, that which is our best, that which is sacrificial: We may be tempted to think such standards made sense in the context of Israel’s ancient worship but have little to do with us in the modern world. After all, none of us shows up at church on Sunday morning bearing sacrifices now do you. Everyone has their own reasons for going to church, some go to worship, some to ask for forgiveness of their sins, and one of us went to hear the incredible musical talents of a young girl whom he adores as his own. If you ask me, which your not going to, so I’ll just say it now, I don’t think any of us belong in a church. Salvation isn’t found in church in words translated 10,000 times over by MEN who aren’t concerned about me and you. Think about it. Want a “relationship” with God? You want something/someone to believe in for the comfort of your soul? How do men give that to you? How do you really know what are looking for in the first place?

The question for all of you is this: When you gather for worship, does this sacred event generate within you any similar sense of “awe and reverence”? A perceptive observer of the contemporary church scene might be forgiven for scratching her head over such a question, wondering whether you have grown oblivious to the significance of your own gathering. How often, she might ask you, do you prepare for Sunday as if it mattered, guarding, for example, Saturday nights so as to be fresh and focused the next morning? How come your pre-service gathering so often sounds more like a bowling alley than a people meeting to offer themselves fresh to their God? How is it you are so susceptible to the lure of personality and entertainment up front, obscuring the God-centered purpose for which you have met? How prevalent is the notion that you can worship just as well at home, or on the golf course, or before a TV screen, or perhaps forfeit worship altogether due to inconvenient weather, the priority of other things, or who may be preaching that week?

Not just anything will do when you come before God. He is still honored by what is holy, what is our best, what is sacrificial. The kingdom to which you have come, says the writer to the Hebrews, requires us to “offer to God acceptable worship with reverence and awe,” because “our ‘God is a consuming fire” (Heb. 12:28–29). The casual attitude toward worship may indicate that you have failed to grasp this important point, a sign of your being more conformed to this world than so transformed in your minds that by testing you are able to discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Don’t you know you are not allowed to make your own decisions? What of your church attire? You deceive yourselves when you breezily claim that God does not care what you wear to church. God cares about your hearts, and what you wear is often an expression of your hearts. So what does your relaxed worship attire say about you? What internal disposition are we revealing when we dress no differently for church than we do for a trip to the mall or hanging out with friends around a barbeque grill? Could it be that our casual dress, chosen merely for our own comfort and convenience is a reflection of an equally casual, can’t-be-bothered attitude toward worship itself? What about those around you? What message is your choice of clothing sending them as you gather for worship?

Can Christians who gather for worship afford to ignore what their church attire may be saying to those around them? Does your choice of clothing communicate to others that this gathering is an important occasion, thereby encouraging them to see it as important as well? Or does it send them in the opposite direction? Why is it that the wrong clothes can distract your fellow worshipers.In this way and others your choice of clothing can be sinful. But this does not render your everyday (“common”), come-as-you-are attire “spiritual” or “honest.” If you care for your fellow worshipers as you ought to, you will take them into consideration as you dress for worship. We will clothe ourselves in ways that edify them and strengthen their own worship. We will attempt to avoid the nonchalant attitude that says this event is entirely routine; that it merits nothing special from me; that my only consideration in what I choose to wear is what is easiest and most convenient. Such a self-centered attitude is corrosive to a true spirit of worship. Instead, the goal in our choice of clothing should be to express to the Lord and those around us that this event matters, that I view it as a holy occasion, one which deserves our highest regard. If the first audience for our nonverbal messages is God himself, and secondarily, our fellow worshipers, dress that best suits these first two audiences may also serve a third: outsiders who join your public worship.

Evangelistic gatherings can in many ways be designed to fit the unbelievers you are trying to reach. But this is harder to do with your corporate worship. The church must first shape its worship to honor God, a goal to which all else must be subordinate. But thankfully, watching believers do what they do can have its own evangelistic effect. Attire that genuinely reflects a God-honoring attitude toward worship may well contribute to a similar result. Can you take a wild guess at what that is? You can guess until you are blue in the gills but you will never truly have your own answer unless it is spoon fed to you, just my personal opinion of course.

None of anything I have said above leaves us with a dress code for being in church, no matter the reason. It certainly does not translate automatically into coats and ties for men and fancy dresses for women. Idealizing bygone eras won’t work here; the meaning of human clothing is too contextual for that. It varies too widely from place to place and time to time, and there are too many other variables to consider. We are left having to judge for ourselves what is appropriate for worship and what is not. Every denomination has their own dress code and rules, whether you want to admit it or not, they do. Want to know my rule? Fuck your dress code!

However, all of the above should at least warn you away from the glib assumption that God actually cares about what we wear to church; or that what I choose to wear in church matters. How I dress is a purely personal affair and that my own convenience and comfort are all that need concern me. The truth is, one of the ways we express ourselves as human beings is by the way we dress. Wittingly or unwittingly, our clothing gives us away. God certainly does not need this expression to know your hearts. But as for the rest of us, we do indeed look on the outward appearance, even when peering into our own mirrors. In this way the clothes we choose for church may have things to tell us about our hearts that God already knows, but that you need to hear from other people because you thrive on judgment of yourself as well as others.

You express this embodiment totality in the corporate worship of organized religion through your shared symbols, rites, and rituals; through your posture and gestures as you bow, kneel, or lift your hands; through your actions when you stand or sit in unison or pour out your hearts musically in congregational song. Just remember, your clothing belongs on this list. By it we express to God and those around us what the occasion of being in church means to you. This is why we are taught, brainwashed, when we come to church, our clothing matters.

Wow, that turned into something sermon like. Wait, all of you reading this will burn in hell unless you……. Unless what? I mentioned before, in the House of Scorpion you are free to do as you see fit how you see fit doing it. I have mentioned once, a long time ago, my own convictions and why I have them, so I will not repeat them now. I also mentioned, some of you may find it very fucking hard to believe tho, that in my youth it was my desire to become a Catholic priest. I wanted to be the one bringing the message to the people, I had many years of education for this purpose, many years I allowed myself to be brainwashed, many years of dismissing my own questions and answers, and ending in disappointment because I started to choke on the bullshit being fed me. Who is at fault for my misguidance? Why, me, of course. Something I corrected and haven’t looked back upon. Or have I? As years have passed, I continue in my reading about the commercialization of corporate organized religion, a term many Christians do not like hearing because they don’t like hearing that they are but a cog in a wheel that is just spinning in circles. But, as are most things written here, they are just my opinions on the world around me. I am not wishing to do battle with the “church” or religion or Christians, but I will not be treated as if my mere appearance is so non conformant that it tarnishes the grace of the church I stand in, to watch a symphony concert no less. Next time, yes there will be a next time, I will go in my slacks (dress pants), but I will be wearing flip-flops bitches!

What have we learned today? Not that I was teaching anything, but I’m curious if you have made the choice to look at what is actually important. What is more important, the message or the dress code? This is on my rather lengthy list of why I don’t attend church services. How can Christianity dismiss everything around us, science, evolution, dreams, and individual thought? I don’t want to be part of the “collective”, I prefer not to be in the herd of sheeple looking for salvation. Salvation from what? Damnation from what? One day we need to discuss corruption, greed, and our sinister needs to be one step ahead of our neighbor. I’m pretty sure we all want the same thing, just to live a happy life, a life we see fit, a life we are comfortable living. Until then, we struggle with our own happiness because that is what we are fucking taught to do after generations of brainwashing we don’t want it any other way. Why do we need to be led? Why do you desire being led? Why? Sorry, I can’t answer why, you must first look into the mirror and decide if you are comfortable in your our skin, then you can start asking fucking questions you might not like the answers to. We must all live with who we are individually to be happy, we can’t do that as sheeple, we can’t do that as a part of the collective thought. Who knew, right?

Until we speak again, I leave y’all with a final thought. I do care about my fellow humans, probably to a degree that few of y’all could ever understand. But, it’s hard to sit by idle and watch us destroy ourselves over stupid shit that doesn’t matter in the first place. Here’s an idea, find the person you cherish and live a happy life. The end my friends, the end. For fun, before y’all leave, get a better understanding of the sheeple by reading The Parable Of The Sheep found in the tabs above as well.

Trapped Inside Herself

She used to be trapped inside of herself, the past demons cornering her into the alley of darkness hidden deep in the perception of her psyche. She fought the demons, as they surrounded her trying to suppress her and destroy her with the false illusion of her past becoming her reality again. This is what she saw every time she looked in the mirror. She never looked at the girl in the reflection staring back at her. Her focus never seemed to pertain to the aspects of her mortal body. What her attention was zoned on was beyond the flesh and blood of the girl poised in the mirror. She was in her soul that is where she was every time the mirror forced her to look upon the eyes of her being. Perhaps this is where the origin of her new self stemmed from, beginning with the reflections of the soul, creating a raging storm between past demons and the heart deep within, ending with the rebirth of something new. It seemed her past was chasing her. The translucent ghosts of her life in the past had come to combine as a clay and been molded into an entity of “what once was.” She thought they would haunt her forever, stalking the thoughts in her mind, stealing any sense of peace her being may have had contained. These were her demons, taunting her with everything she had been, whispering lies of what she was becoming.
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They were grotesque, but she found them beautiful, as she often found many dark disturbing things. Their appearance was something derived from her own imagination. Something she maybe had found in her gruesome wonderland. Black rose vines wrapped around their bodies, skin crafted of the shadows that once clung to her soul and smothered her with her fears. Their teeth were formed of the sharp razors, glinting silver, as she had once used them to pierce her skin, releasing her pain in the scarlet streams flowing outward from beneath her flesh. Their eyes were glossy, cold, and burning red, holding every drop that has ever cascaded down her cheek, and every crimson tear she had ever set free from her flesh. From deep inside they made shrieks that of a banshee, every wave of sound woven together by threads of every scream ever to have escaped her mortal being. Oozing from their mouths was the maroon wine she spilled from her body during her past attempts of erasing herself from this dominion. All these features formed perfectly together and created the Demon Fey standing still like statues, blocking her path out of the grimy alley.

She studied them, ignoring their beastly appearance, focusing only on their internal characteristics. She stared deep into their soul-less eyes, seeing them for what the real purpose of their false existence in her consciousness was. They were shadow tinted mirrors, reflecting the sins, regrets, heartache, and pain of her past. Looking into the reflections, she knew she should’ve ran from them and fled into the fog of the future and the present. Instead, her body refused to obey the request of her logic and slowly moved toward the demons. The demons also seemed daring and invaded the space between them. Their movement was quite gracious, resembling that of a dance. Perhaps they were dancing, their bodies swaying with each step, matching the melody of her past.

Her soul maybe should have felt some sense of fear, but all it felt was welcomed by the demons. It drew her nearer to them, the attraction pulling them together like the gravity between two magnets. The gap between her and the demons grew less and less. Without permission her hand reached out towards them, lightly brushing the skin of the demon nearest to her. At that moment when they had touched, anger-wired adrenaline injected into her body like a syringe filled with heroine. It flowed throughout her being, infesting her psyche with the emotions and instincts of a deranged animal. The atmosphere grew dense with the mists of her hatred, clouding the thoughts flickering through her mind. She closed her eyes and breathed in the haze, letting herself slip into the intensity of her emotions stemming from the past.When she opened her eyes and exhaled it seemed as if her breath paralyzed the universe, stealing the reality of time. The viridian-amber shade once filling her irises with life and being, now painted over with the amaranthine shades of insanity, coloring her eyes hollow. No longer had her own spirit dwelt within her body. Something twisted and deadly was lurking in her being, infesting her veins with madness, devouring her core with a newfound bloodlust.She looks up at the demons, her lips being consumed by a sinister grin. Not only did the insanity possess her soul it, it also began transforming her physical aspects. Her original hair had been about medium length touching just above the middle of her back, the layers gave it volume, adding a seductive characteristic to it. The color was something of a light shade of chestnut intertwined with strands of white, silver, gold, and copper. It looked as if it had been stitched together using fabrics of the sand, stardust, moonlight, sunshine, and the gleam of precious gems. But now insanity had bleached it white and grown it down to her knees. Her face took shape of a more mature structure. Her light pink lips grew plumper and kissed with a hint of deep rouge. Her already pale skin lost most of its pigment and was now pale like the winter snow. Her slender body filled in with curves, bust and hips connected by a smaller waist, forming a body that of a goddess. Ebony raven wings materialized in the space between her shoulder blades, ripping the clothes of her body as they grew to more than 8 feet in height and width.Her new form, driven by insanity, positions itself into a battle stance, knowing they were going to attack. She reaches down to her sides and pulls two swords (fabricated of darkness) from their sheaths. The universe grew still and quiet, every sound and movement hushed out of existence. She stares down her foes, waiting in silence until they make their move.
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The demons break the silence, darting toward her with the intentions of a malicious origin. She spreads her wings and soars into the air, demons following close behind her. She stops and turns around, they lunge at her violently, hoping to rip through her flesh and taste the sweetness of her bodily wine. Without effort, she swings her blades, severing the heads of the first group of enemies. More attack, coming at her from all angles. Without fault she defends, her long silver hair syncing to the rhythm of her body as she dances with her blades. She flits through the sky, the light of the moon caressing her skin serves as a spotlight, shimmering over her stage of twilight and mauve. Her blades sing as they leave the demons in crimson ribbons and scarlet rain. Her raven wings flutter and fall, landing her safely on the asphalt. The blood and corpses of her defeated opponents fall to ground like snow. Insanity disappears from her eyes.
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She looks up and sees the stars gazing down upon her, sparkling with what seemed to be a hint of hope for her destiny. Without turning back, she walks away, skin flawless and untouched by battle. She smiles knowing her past is dead and that the fate of the stars is wagering in her favor. Running, she spreads her wings and takes flight. Serenity overwhelms her being as she soars away from what had once chained down her soul. Leaving the corpses behind, her past dissipates from her thoughts and her shadow self is swept away from existence. Tonight she is born anew. Today she rises out of the debris and ash of the past as a reborn angel of darkness.

Time To Take A Look In The Mirror

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It truly is time for the people of the world to look in the mirror and see that there is only one “race” that will ever matter. Every single human being here on planet dirt share one bond that, no matter what, can never be changed, we all belong to the human race. With that statement I could actually close this post and consider it complete. But, I’m not done yet because there are so many boneheads out there that just don’t get it. Why? Is it too simple in the complexity of our society? Have human beings not evolved enough to recognize that it isn’t our color that makes us different, it’s our DNA. Even with that being said, DNA isn’t even enough to separate one person from every other person on the planet. I have read plenty over the years about how “race” divides our societies and just recently I read a very interesting article at “Classic Ruby: Unadulterated” which sparked up a conversation between myself and the author. She has a way of delivering a message that made me sit back and take a moment to give it all some thought.

Before we actually get into my personal thoughts on “race” I want to point out, especially for new readers, that I am color blind in real life. I don’t use the term metaphorically to make a point but to illustrate how there might be a perspective that y’all haven’t thought about before when thinking about the races on our planet. Sure, I see some color, but I don’t see color the same way as others. In reality, it’s not color blindness but more like seeing with a color deficiency. Overall, it is hard for me to explain, but that’s not the point of this post either. I will make it simple, because it is simple, we need to look at the person next to us as a fellow human. One’s color has little to do with who that person really is. We should spend less time worrying about what race someone is and spend more time just being human to one another.

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But its complicated isn’t it. We can’t look at another human being in black and white. Why not? In my opinion, based on my experiences in life, I find it is because we get programmed through our learning early in life to judge another person because of their color. Why? because they are different than what we see in the mirror. How does that end? I have had people tell me I have it easy in life because I’m white and they are handicapped because they are not white. That being bullshit is putting it mildly. We all take a different course in life, we all make different choices, and we all make different decisions. No, we definitely are not all the same but we all definitely bleed the same color, red. Perhaps it is everything we have in common with each other that drives us to notice the obviously distinctive differences. We need the other person to be different because we don’t want them to be like us. All races are no different in the fact that they like to point out and clarify the differences between the races. But then we sub-divide within the race we belong to as well, further dividing us from our neighbor.

So, I’m white. Does that make me wrong? Does it make me less aware of what the difference amongst the races are? I have been told before, in fact today being the latest time that I’m white therefore I can’t possibly understand anything beyond being white. Why not? Here’s my opinion why not. Look around you, listen to some different music, drive into a different neighborhood, talk with some new people, and y’all will see that different races thrive on being different. They say it makes us a stronger race to recognize ourselves. No, it makes you stupid because you choose to continue with false propaganda witch harms the different races. Have a culture, have a way of life, but don’t use those as excuses to not allow everyone else to do the exact things you want to have freedoms to do. So we are different, so the fuck what.

In closing, I would like to mention that I don’t judge you by your race or your skin color. I will judge you by the words you speak and the actions you take. Too damn bad that every single person on this planet can’t do the same. Racism, at least in the United States, is kept alive by the very people who claim it is holding them back. Again, why? I have found that some people need to be mad at something, anything, right or wrong. People prey on “race” because there is money to be made and 9 times out of 10 it is the same race preying on their own, admit it to yourselves, every race does it. Why? I think this might be a good place to sew up this corpse I have been kicking so I can bury it once again. Race, racism, and the people who proliferate it’s existence really piss me off. I look forward to hearing your thoughts. Feel free to comment openly. Maybe this time I will get to read something new.

Hands on a globe

The Places My Combat Boots Have Seen

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A natural choice of footwear for me is my last remaining pair of Air Force issued combat boots. I have had many pair of combat boots over the years, starting back in 1988. I don’t remember them all, but there are a few that stand out in my mind because of what I was doing when I was wearing them. Currently I have only one pair left out of my collection as I have had to retire so many before it. My very first pair of issued combat boots were in United States Air Force BMT (Basic Military Training). I recall the thoughts of how uncomfortable they felt on my feet since I was in the habits of wearing my cowboy boots which were worn, haggered, stunk like shit, but were the most comfortable boots (shoes) I have ever worn. My new pair of boots were rigid, stiff, and lace up. I can’t remember how to tie my boot at first, I had to watch other new airmen as they laced and tied their boots, as I haven’t had to tie a shoe in a long time, in fact I couldn’t really remember a specific time when I tied a shoe last. I was at a loss. I was going to get kicked out on my first day because I couldn’t tie a shoe, I guess that is what I get for wearing boots for as long as I could remember. I went from owning 2 pair of shoes, cowboy boots & flip flops, to a single pair of combat boots. I better learn fast I thought, I better learn fast. I knew I was excited, this was my first day as a soldier.

After successfully completing BMT and Technical school in Denver Colorado it was noticed that my boots did not fair so well, it was time to get a new pair. Of course, I was told to wait until I got to my first base, Misawa AB Japan, where I was told I would be issued another pair as part of my in-processing. When I got to Japan I was impressed, they don’t mess around when it comes to boots, I was issued 4 pair, two summer weight and two winter weight (insulated) pair, also, I was issued my first pair of mukluks since it was winter in full force in Japan just days after Christmas. Everyone knows that if your feet are cold, your whole body is cold. I wish I would have known that before I got to Japan. How in the hell am I supposed to know how to deal with snow, I’m from Houston in southeast Texas. In late 1990 I was given orders to go to Turkey in support of what will become to be known world-wide as Desert Storm. Time to let go of the snow and the black combat boots, it was time to get introduced to desert styles. The military has a boot to fit most functions, most terrains, and most weather. This was a long 6 months for me, it was the first time I had to remind myself to do the right thing whether anyone is looking or not. I watched people lose focus, make mistakes, and basically ruin their career, I didn’t want to be that guy. I was also involved in the Liberation of Kuwait where I got to see for the very first time in person, up close and personal, the destruction that was causes. Most people think war is a physical element of destruction because we can see physical damages. I saw things beyond that, I walked over the remains of what appeared to be a family caught by surprise as a bomb that was dropped exploded just outside their house. Walking across them was an accident and when I realized what it was I had stepped on I was a bit shocked, it hurt me to see them. Our team leader explained to me that they were not “my” problem and we must move on since we were in the process of locating an area to set up shop. After that day I never wore those boots again.

Soon enough I returned to Japan to finish out the remainder of my tour. After a few years I left Japan and headed to Iceland. Unfortunately I was only in Iceland a matter of a few weeks as I was diverted to be stationed at Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico. I already had some experience living in the desert so the transition to a zero humidity environment wasn’t that hard on my system.  From New Mexico I would truly see the world beyond what I knew. I visited many places for many reasons doing my assigned job. Leaving became easier over the years, it was the coming home that was hard to do. In mid summer 1995 I was sent to Osan AB Korea to assist in the inspection of some specific munitions components which had been in long term storage. It was time to determine if they were still serviceable and if so prep them for shipment to a variety of bases world-wide. 18 months later I rotated back to the world to be reunited with my family in New Mexico. Things were not good at home, but that is another story, in fact I think I have written about it here once or twice.

In late 1998 I was in Las Vegas Nevada for the 3rd or 4th time for training and I was given orders to go an undisclosed area for the initial drive of what will become known as Operation Desert Fox. My views had really changed about the United States’ role in the world and it really impacted how I performed, I turned off the emotion, I turned off the feelings, and I just did my job. This would be the first deployment I did not get issued fresh boots, probably because of the timeline, who knows. However, when I got back there was a shiny new pair waiting for me. Well, they weren’t shiny yet, but they would be in no time. Eventhough I had a grunt job, I worked in and out of warehouses, a variety of shops, drove a variety of equipment, and walked everywhere as well, two things were always important, a persons attitude and a persons appearance. The first thing a person notices, unfortunately, is a dirty pair of boots, we always were cleaning our boots, making sure they were taken care of and shined with a reflection that rivaled most mirrors. I eventually left the Air Force, I was medically retired due to previous injuries which happened while active duty. I had no idea what being label a disabled veteran meant. I had no idea how I was going to function in the outside world. I was divorced by this time, a single parent to my daughter who didn’t know what civilian life was all about and I had all but forgot. Luckily my dad was there to catch me, offered me and my daughter a place to call home, and gave me a job working with him in his concrete contractor business. Not knowing any better, on my first day of work, I laced up a pair of my steel toed combat boots. Eventually I traded them in for a pair of work boots, finally no laces!

I always fall back to the combat boot as a boot to wear when I know my feet will be in an unruly environment. After the Air Force, my combat boots continued to see service protecting my feet from the elements and my daily life. I have one pair that has been bitten by two different snakes and has seen more blood of animals killed in the hunt than most shoes should ever have to endure. These boots are my “go to” boots. Over this past weekend I was getting dressed to go weed-eat the perimeter of my fence-line. When overgrown like was, it is a fairly dangerous place for feet because one doesn’t know what is in the tall grass. As I laced up my boots Sunday morning I found myself remembering what I wrote about here today. Interesting how a single pair of boots can trigger memories both good and bad. I wore them without incident, I don’t bother cleaning them anymore, I just knock off the big clumps, and then hang them back on the hook, ready for the next time they will serve me well.

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The Blonde With The Hip Tattoo

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First of all I would like to take the opportunity to thank all the people who continuously support The Magic Weekend in my efforts to share the fantastic stories of your weekends. It has been fun to watch the evolution of this particular segment of The Sting Of The Scorpion. The unfortunate part of my role here is I have to weed through and moderate the flow of stories that hit my e-mail. I spend so much time reading that it cuts into my time I could be posting these stories and then throw in a little life, well you get where I’m going with this, it becomes a time issue for me. As well, many of the great stories come without picture proof and their candidacy automatically gets dropped out of the hat, which sucks, because some of them are really good. On the other extreme end of that is that I get e-mails with a butt-load of pictures, really good pictures, but have very little story if any. Now, I don’t know why people don’t reply back to me when I request more information but that is the way it happens, y’all send the first e-mail and forget all about it. Then we have the perfect combination of story and pictures which y’all will see today. Now, let it be known that there were more pictures and the use of those pictures were approved but due to the nature of the pictures they will not make it into this post. Y’all will understand why later I hope.

This weeks story comes from Jason, a University of Houston student with an undisclosed major, who has lived in the Houston area his whole life. For the most part he lived on the fringes of the city and when he got accepted to the University of Houston he moved into the city to cut down on his commute considerably. Where he lives puts him only 4 miles from school and also just a few miles from work. He states he works at a book re-sale shop in his off time to help offset the bills. On most days he makes his commute to UH on his bike but on days with really crappy weather he is forced to take the bus. As was the case a few Thursdays ago, typical Houston weather, the weather man said sunny and clear all day but rained most of the day. It’s like the weather has a mind of its own or the weatherman never looks out of his window, take your pick. So, let’s get started so everyone can see what his story has in store for us. Y’all can be the judge, does it have sex, jail, money, blood, or fame?

“Scorp-

I have read your blog for some time now, it used to be my dirty little secret that I would look at when I knew nobody was looking because I never knew what you might be showing, but I always knew I would be liking it. The Magic Weekend is one of my favorite sections because it’s true the real life just happens before our eyes without us having to do a thing in return. I realized that after what had happened to me over the last few weeks that I just might have something for your blog. A few Thursdays ago I was forced to ride the bus to class due to some really shitty weather. It wasn’t supposed to rain but of course being in Houston it did because the weather-men here suck ass. Nonetheless, I rode the bus to get to class instead of riding my bike. The bus was fairly packed, by packed I mean that the standing people had to hold on to other people standing in the aisle. I think the rain brought in the over-run of people because I have ridden the bus before and only a handful of people were riding. I’m lucky because my ride is really short. After a few stops the bus cleared out for the most part, the next stop being mine so I got my stuff together. As I was getting off the bus I looked down on one of the seats and noticed a nice cell phone. I looked around and didn’t see anybody around so I picked it up to give to the driver. The driver explained to me that he could not accept any lost items and if I wished to turn it in that I needed to do so at the campus police department. All I can think is this is great, now I get to babysit somebody’s phone until the afternoon because there is no time to go turn it in right away.

Almost immediately after getting into class the phone kept going off, call after call, text after text, and finally I just had to turn it off so there wasn’t any trouble with the instructor. I had a real heavy schedule that day so I was busy the entire day. My last class ran a little long and before I knew it I was in a rush to get to my part-time job. It was still raining so Instead of walking I went ahead and took the bus again. After getting lectured about timeliness and how there are thousands of kids who would like to have my job I was finally able to get to work. I have a simple job that takes hours every day. I sift through all the “bought” books to organize and place on the shelves. It’s time-consuming but it pays the bills for the most part. I worked a little overtime that day so I got out real late. The rain had stopped so I went ahead and walked home. After eating a late supper I decided to dig into my homework. As I emptied my bag the phone I found came tumbling out and I had my first “oh shit” moment of the night. When I went to turn it on I found that the battery was completed down so I plugged it in to my charger for a while so I could try to figure out who it belonged to. After a couple of hours of schoolwork, making it about 1am, I passed by the phone and noticed it was fully charged, so I unplugged it and decided to sit down and take a look. The damn phone had like 60 missed calls and just as many text messages. Whoever owns this phone is pretty busy with it. Once I went through the hundreds of contacts I found her contact information but the only thing it listed was her cell phone number. I looked through some of the texts to see who she texts the most because I was going to send that person a text letting them know to contact her with my information so I could get her phone back to her. I took a picture of the phone for “proof” and sent it to who was listed as “sister” in her contacts. I wrote “My name is Jason and I found this found which belongs to Ella on the bus this morning on the UH campus. Please contact her and forward her this number so I can get the phone back to her”. I sent the text from Ella’s phone with the above picture enclosed. I was expecting an immediate reply but it was just after 2am so I wasn’t holding my breath.

Out of both boredom and curiosity I started snooping in her phone a bit, just to be nosey while I waited. One of the first pictures I saw was of this blonde girl with a tattoo on her hip. I couldn’t tell if she was wearing a bikini or what it was. She seemed to be pointing at her hair, bed head would be my guess. There were hundreds of pictures of this particular tattooed girl on this phone. I began to wonder if this was Ella. Out of all of the pictures only a handful were of this girl with clothes on. Most of them were of her topless and many times bottomless. This was quite a bit to take in all at once. I hit the bed around 4am and went right to sleep, dreaming all night of the blonde girl with the hip tattoo. Who was she? That morning there was a text on Ella’s phone from contact “sister”. All it said was that she went to Ella’s apartment to tell her about her phone. She wasn’t home so she had to stick a note on her door. When Ella gets in contact with her then she will let me know. Okay, I will wait. A few days went by, 6 to be exact, and finally a text back from sister telling me that Ella will be calling me from this number when she gets over to her, please be looking out for it. For 2 more days there was nothing, I carried her phone everywhere I went, she got many texts and many calls, but not from the sister’s number. I was sitting out on my patio doing some homework when the phone rang, it was from the sister phone number. I answered it of course. An angel’s voice asked me if I was for real and I really had her phone. I told her obviously because I am talking on it. We arranged for me to return it to her at a little pizza pub not to far from my apartment. I asked how I would know who she was and how would I recognize her from everybody else. She replied by telling me to go to the photos in her phone and look for the blonde girl with the tattoo on her hip. I didn’t tell her that we had been fucking in my mind for more than a week now because I was already in lust with the blonde girl with the hip tattoo.

I got to the pizza pub right on time. I waited around a bit and finally I saw her walk through the door. She looked amazing in person. I walked up to Ella and introduced myself. Then, being sneaky, I said she looked allot like the girl I have seen on her phone but could she prove it by showing me the tattoo on her hip. She took my arm and led me to a booth, sat me down, and she remained standing in front of me. She looked around a bit, waited for two people to pass us by, then slowly unbuttoned her jeans, slid them down a bit, and exposed the tattoo. Then she asked if I was satisfied. I guess that will do. She sat down next to me, really close, and I handed her the phone. She asked me to hold on a minute and let her check texts and messages because she really wanted to talk to me. Which was fine with me because I was somewhat mesmerized with her every movement. She took all of 3 or 4 minutes and she was done, now it was my turn I guess. She took ahold of my hand with both of hers and asked what she could do to repay my patience and kindness. Tell the truth, a payment option never crossed my mind so I had to tell her to let me think on it for a bit, let’s eat something and that should give me time to think. Then, I hatched my plan, I told her that “if” she could cook that I would like a home cooked meal in my apartment. She told me that she thinks that can be arranged and we set the date for this past Saturday. I gave her my address and phone number and we parted ways right there. I watched her walk out the door, it was just like in the movies, hot girl walking out the door with the lights coming through the glass to illuminate her shape as she disappears into it. I needed to get home, I needed to clean up my pig pen because there was no way she was going to see it like it was, and I only had two days. I don’t think I have actually cleaned my apartment once in the 2 1/2 years I have lived there. Tells you allot about my lack of social life and entertaining.

Shortly after 8pm Saturday evening there is a light knock on my door. I tried to move slow to not give away my anticipation but I nearly tripped over the end table getting to it as fast as I did. I opened the door and Ella stood before me, as beautiful as I remember her to be. She asked if it would be okay if we had one more for dinner because her sister really wanted to meet me as well. Before I could nod, or comment, or move, her sister walked up to the door. Holy fuck! They are twins! I must have had a stupid shit eating grin on my face because the two of them just giggled as the walked by me. After I picked my jaw up off the floor I turned to close the door. They were both carrying grocery bags so I’m thinking this ought to be one hell of a dinner they were going to be preparing. I was instructed to remain in the living room and to never come into the kitchen unless I was called. All I can think now is that they are serial killers and they are making me a poisonous last meal. As much as my imagination was running away from me I was able to remain focused, for the most part. After about an hour I was instructed to have a seat at the kitchen table (sadly it is a folding card table, but I have 3 chairs) and remain with my eyes closed until told otherwise. I could hear them moving around me, I could smell their perfume beginning to mix in with the smells of something I was guessing to be Italian, and they both continuously brushed me or set a hand on my shoulder as they moved by. One of them placed a napkin very gently, but firmly on my lap for me. I heard them take their seats, one on either side of me, and I heard the magic words, “open your eyes now please”. Talk about an amazing first view after opening my eyes, both of them were sitting extremely close to me on both side and both of them were completely naked, oh, and , yea, I was right, they had prepared lasagna. Wow, I mean it is hard to put into words what I was feeling. And the kicker, they both have the identical tattoo but on opposite hips, how weird is that. No wonder I didn’t know there were pictures of both of them when I thought I was only looking at one of them. They served all three of us, we had wine as well, and we sat there and ate. They both were in charge of conversation and we talked about really nothing but I was enjoying the conversation 100%. When the meal was done, they cleared the table, told me to go have a seat, and they went to the kitchen where I could hear them doing dishes. I know, right, bonus!

They both came out and sat on both sides of me on the couch. I asked what was going on, not that I minded, but this all seems way to good to be true. Grace, the “sister” started by saying she knows I went through all the pictures on Ella’s phone so I have already seen both of them naked multiple times so they just wanted to skip all the formalities. They did say that there was nothing sexual going on here and there would not be anything sexual going to happen, not yet. So, we sat there into the wee hours of the morning talking, drinking wine, and getting to know each other, just the 3 of us. They volunteered to take as many pictures as I wanted just as long as I promised they would never make it onto the internet, ever. I agreed. Then, they got dressed and that was it, they were gone. I knew I had to send this story to you the next morning but I had one problem, no pictures. Problem solved, I called Ella and Grace and they sent me a number of pictures which I am forwarding to you, so I hope some of them at least will be used. And that’s it, hopefully the three of us will remain “friends” and keep in close contact.”

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Two of the pictures to be exact were usable here for this story. However, I didn’t mind Jason sharing all the rest as well. So, let’s review the criteria. Was there sex? No, but there was nudity. Was there jail? No. Was there blood? No. Was there fame? No. Was there money? Not exactly, but there was a reward and in my book that counts in this category. I look forward to any follow up there may be because if there is I’m sure it will be pretty interesting to say the very least. I hope y’all enjoyed Jason’s story and will return to see more. Which makes me want to ask all of y’all, what did y’all do this weekend? Sex? Jail? Blood? Money? or Fame? E-mail The Sting Of The Scorpion with your fantastic tale and be sure to include many pictures, because without pictures it’s probably bullshit anyway.