Friday, June 24, 2011

C'est la vie

So, I haven't written a new post for many passings of the sun. This is due to the fact that I am in the midst of a move. That's right, I am moving from this terrible neighborhood and this terrible house into a nicer neighborhood with a nicer house. My mom and I are moving into her parents house (we'll be renting from them for quite a kind price). My grandparents' house is coming along, but we'll still be living in the same house for a while till they're finished building. I'm not sure how we'll manage to escape alive. Someone is going to break before all is said and done. Obviously some family issues in my life. But that's okay! All will be well! I'll barely be there anyway because I'll be spending so much time downtown.
At the river: At the library: I could hang out around the skatepark and act cool..I just hate moving. The whole process is stupid! My grandparents get aneurysm-level stress about Every. Little. Thing. All. The. Time. I. Wonder. If. I. Could. Write. A. Whole. Post. Like. This.
Riotous laughter at a stupid joke.
How many moves will this be?
The 7th.
I had to count. Yes, definitely the 7th. That's actually not as bad as I thought it would be!
It's very likely that I'll be moving out in a year or so, anyway, so I'll only have to worry about my overbearing grandparents and being obligated to visit my crappy dad for a little while longer.
Aren't I a ray of sunshine today?! Geez...

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Some of my fictional idols (except Guinevere- she may be real)

I've been researching women warriors lately. I often feel that that's what I am... and what I should be.

Had I been born in another time, I would be a wild woman, a pict, a pagan, a celt- living among the trees. I would live with the land protect my own with a sword and a bow.
I'd be like Guinevere (King Arthur 2004 version), strong and ferocious, wild and graceful.
Or I could be a medieval French noble, bravely working as a spy and standing up to the enemy (and falling in love with a Scottish archeologist from the future).

I'd be Lady Claire (Timeline), courageously defending my home and my people.

In my own time, I could still be a spy, but with more gadgets and kick-ass disguises.
Like Sydney Bristow from Alias (my favorite show), always ready for a fight.
Maybe it's because I've grown up in a martial arts family and been trained to be a fighter, but I feel like a warrior. Like that's what I'm made for. Not modern combat and all that, I'm not made for much of anything that's modern, but fighting to defend my land from the expanding empires. My body and mind is made for that.
Women have greater accuracy and aim (thanks to slow-twitch muscles: slightly slower reaction time, greater accuracy), a higher tolerance for pain, greater stamina (tolerance and stamina=childbirth), a lower center of gravity and higher flexibility (leading to better kicks, which I've noticed at the dojo- women tend to be better kickers, men tend to be better punchers). I'm not saying that women make better warriors than men, just that both have their strong-points.
My favorite historic women warriors are mostly Celtic, Pictish, and Briton. Though the Egyptians, Greeks, Russians, and Ethiopians had some very ferocious women.

For the ancient Celts, women warriors weren't so unheard of as for some other cultures. Cuchulain (a great Irish warrior [male]) was trained by a woman revered for her skills in battle and his own mother was a warrior. I've heard that there were women in the Fianna. There were quite a few Celtic queens who led armies into battle (Mebh, Boudiccia).

Anyway, I guess I'm just trying to say...

I need to find a place that willl teach lessons in swordfighting (probably with short-swords) and archery (non-compound bow!!!). My dad only teaches styles of swordfighting from Asia- which is beautiful and deadly... just not what I want to learn right now.

All of these women are deserving of individual posts in the future. I'll probably do a post on Lady Claire and her beautiful red hair (I wish I had her hair!) and another one on Guinevere and her fun outfits and awesome bow, too.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

World View Essay... just for fun

I wrote this a few months ago for my anthropology class and figured that some in the world might like to read it.

My World View

What do you believe? Sounds like a simple question, right? That is, until you realize how deep a question that really is and how far into yourself you have to look in order to answer it effectively. My mind has been coming back to this basic question often, and I decided that in order to figure out exactly what it is I do believe, I had to break down all of it. I went down to the very basics; the roots; the things that define me and stay with me consistently throughout my life. Once I had a clean canvas to start from, I started to build up three main points of my beliefs: deity, spirituality vs. religion, and civilization vs. wildness.

The first thing I needed to figure out was the religious/spiritual aspect of belief. I started with the beginning: creationism vs. evolutionary theory. I decided that I definitely believe in a higher power; a Great Spirit, if you will. Then, I thought “do I believe in the God of my parents?” and looked into that. My father is what I like to call a “Traditional Judeo-Christian Hypocrite” in that he attends church on a regular basis and spews religious doctrine at anyone who will listen, all in an effort to make himself look good. Though I don’t think he’s deliberately malicious- just understandably mentally unhinged- I definitely don’t want to be like him. My mother is more spiritual than religious- something that I really respect about her- but she has some rather strange ideas about the origins of life. They concern aliens, and that’s all I have to say on that matter. My father’s family isn’t exactly Lutheran, but quite close. And my mother’s family isn’t exactly Wiccan/Pagan, but more of a Christian-Jewish-Witch-transcendental mix, with some decidedly scientific qualities. So, with such an interesting religious background to draw from, I was thoroughly confused to say the least. I really examined myself on a deep level to answer this particular question, asking myself some uncomfortable things and even having a breakdown or two. There are certain parts of myself that I have spent a great deal of my life trying to get away from. So many people I care about would not approve of these parts and for a while I tried not to approve of them either. I realize this sounds like a segue into “coming out”, but trust me it isn’t. My mother’s side of the family has a long history of interest in witchcraft, the paranormal, and astrology. I have always gone to church and heard the Bible and felt that there was something missing. I see so many things in the religion that I was told was “the only right religion” from such a young age, that I honestly have trouble agreeing with and believing. It’s not a matter of faith- I have tons of faith in a lot of things- it’s a matter of values: my values. My values are puzzle pieces that will not fit into the religious puzzle. Any religious puzzle, not just Christianity. For me, for anything to really work it has to have balance, and where is the balance in the primary religions in the world? I believe that for a spiritual belief system to be balanced there must be female and male aspects. A God and a Goddess. And why can’t that fit in with monotheism? Christianity tells us that there is a divine Trinity- three aspects of one God. Separate and together. If God can be His own son and father, why can’t He be his own wife and Her own husband, too? Is that just too weird to comprehend? Or maybe my mom is right and they are separate, I don’t see anything wrong with that. To put an extremely complex topic into a relatively short paper, I’ll say simply that I believe that there must be a God and Goddess, that all of nature has a spirit, and that I share a lot of the beliefs of ancient Celtic Paganism- such as ideas about a fertility Goddess, sacredness in the Earth, and many other things. The biggest thing that I spent a long time trying to escape in life was magic. I believe in magic. I do not believe that witches are evil. And that has always been the thing that I couldn’t reconcile with Christianity and the “thou shalt not suffer a witch to live” mentality.

On a similar but not the same topic, I also feel very strongly about spirituality being more substantive than religion. I think that spirituality holds more weight and that it tends to mean more. In my experience, God seems to mean more to spiritual people than to religious people. “Religious people” go to church to erase their sins and to feel better about themselves. “Spiritual people” go to church- or don’t- to feel closer to that deeper meaning of life, to feel closer to that higher power, and they tend to be less materialistic and judgmental. I don’t want to feel like praying, like talking to God, is an obligation- I want to want to talk to God. I don’t want my father to constantly be on my back to go to church because I won’t be saved if I don’t go, because I don’t think that’s true at all. I believe that God- or Goddess, or Great Spirit or whoever or whatever that power over us is- will forgive me for not giving into the institution that is organized religion. I believe that when I stand on the beach by the lake, pondering the meaning of life, and a gentle breeze stirs it’s nature telling me that it agrees. And that when I lose myself in the forest there is deeper meaning to it than just simply being lost in the woods, like it means something profound and metaphoric, like by losing myself I’m finding something more.

The last thing I wanted to write about was wildness and animal instinct versus civilization, and my convoluted ideas on that matter. Humans are animals with instincts and weaknesses just like every other animal, but the most distinguishing characteristic that humans do not share with other species is the absolute obsession with escaping those animal instincts and weaknesses. People want to feel special, like we’re better than other animals. But why are we the best? Because we can build cars and atomic bombs and we live in cramped cities and many of us live in consumer-driven economically successful societies? Those are surely shallow and ridiculous things to measure our success and evolutionary progress by! I once told a few classmates that I think that dolphins are smarter than humans, and they were so offended! They made comments along the lines of: “yeah, well, when I see a dolphin make a computer then maybe I’ll believe that” or “when I see a dolphin drive a car I’ll think about that a little more seriously”. I couldn’t really accept their refuting arguments as adequate and told them that maybe the reason that dolphins don’t have computers and cars is because- other than the obvious physical restrictions- they are smarter, and know the possible problems that computers and cars could bring them. My classmates just laughed at me. I didn’t care. The point of this anecdote is simply to illustrate that most humans are incapable of even entertaining the notion that other species could possibly be anywhere near as important as they are and that all life is sacred. Civilization at its most basic root is just the attempt by people to further distance themselves from the wild, because they are afraid of it, intimidated by it. Modern humans- with the exception of mountain men and a few others- have evolved into helpless children that, should civilization as we know it crumble, would be left utterly defenseless. I look around at the paved roads and skyscraping buildings filling this fair country and am struck by how completely different from the rest of the animal kingdom humans appear to be from the outside. But on a deeper level, at the basis of existence we are not so different that we should rule this world while we limit other animals to culturally acceptable places and force them into fear and submission. I may sound like a ranting hippie, but honestly I’ve just been trying to break free of the bonds of societal ideas and form my own which is extremely taxing. This is where the convolution comes in. I sometimes wish that I could escape this place and go live in New York or somewhere that I could be surrounded by things to do, because I have this crazy thing with freedom and options and feeling trapped. Of course, New York is just about the paved road and skyscraper capitol of the United States, so how can I want to live there if I see that it is full of things that I see as the downfall of American culture and most of the human species? Who knows? Other times I just want to live alone in the forest, living with the Earth and no one else, bathing in a clear creek, and being completely self-sufficient. I never think that I’d be bored with that, but I’m often bored to the point of depression in the middle of the two extremes because I’m just an extreme person, I guess. I honestly can’t tell you how I will ever be able to reconcile the two extremes in myself that I have mentioned in this paper or the opposing viewpoints of the two different sides of my family. But maybe that’s the point of being human: being a contradiction not only to the nature of what we were born to be and what we are shaped into by our culture, but also to ourselves, and spending our entire existence trying to come to terms with the crazy fact that the magnetic poles of who we are as individuals must- by their very nature as polar opposites- be on opposing ends of our personal worlds.

There is no one “right way” to do anything, there are many. The Earth is an example of this phenomenon. The Earth is full of people who are nothing like each other and other animals who are nothing like each other and nothing like us. We are all individual; no one being believes exactly the same thing as another. This world is full of so many different ideas and beliefs that how can anyone ever think that they are the only one who is right? This paper cannot hold my beliefs. No one will ever understand my beliefs completely, and I will never understand theirs completely, because something that complex cannot be confined to something so simple as ink and paper, nor can it be fully expressed through words in any medium. I can only ever hope to do my very best to understand my own ideas as completely as possible; I can only try to understand myself and strive to understand others as much as humanly possible and accept that they are right, as much as I am right.

Thanks for reading! I really enjoyed writing it and thought that by posting it, maybe it could inspire... something in someone out there, or something... or maybe my readers will understand me a little better after reading it. Haha! I know that can be difficult! I am a mystery even to myself...

Chickens and a South American Escape...

I so miss my horse.

When we (were forcibly) moved out of the old house we had to board my horse at the nice animal-loving neighbor's house. I am so grateful to her and her husband! Thank you Linda and Tiny for taking such marvelous care of my handsome boy!

My horse is Rivendell- the sweetest, most wonderful horse in the 'verse.

I rode him yesterday. I get to a pitifully small amount because it's hard for mom to find time to take me out to see him- especially for any length of time- and he still lives on the same street as (and in view of) "the asshole"... a.k.a.: mom's demonic ex-husband who threw us out of the house and moved in his equally evil mistress.

*deep breaths*

Anyway, I was glad to ride Rivendell yesterday!
The point is: Linda (lovely lady who boards my horse) has- I think- 8 cats, about a billion dogs (of various sizes), 3 ducks, 2 goats, 1 mini horse, and lord knows how many chickens.
She is fully capable of not only taking care of them all, but giving them each the love and attention they individually deserve. I am in awe of her.
I know that so many innocent (or nearly innocent... I've been attacked by chickens) chickens in this world are treated with cruel injustice. Meanwhile, Linda watches her chickens so intently that she knows which chickens are the ones being singled out and picked on by the others. And do you know what she does with the weak chickens? She brings them inside to live away from the others until they can get stronger! Two of them think that they're dogs. They sleep inside with the dogs in the evening and wander around the front yard with the dogs during the day. It's very cute to watch them. The little hen of the two insiders- Gracie- lays a little egg every day... usually inside! They have to check the couch before sitting down.
I could just go on about how happy her chickens are, but I won't. I will conclude by saying: She is the reason that I want a couple little chickens when I have my own place (someday). Do apartments allow chickens? Just like 2 or 3. They could poop on the balcony or something.
Heehee.SO, I 'm not really escaping to South America... yet. That's one of my goals. Sadicus thinks we should stow away on a boat to S. America and trek down to Machu Pichu. I agree with the trekking to Machu Pichu part- it's an archeological wonderland!- but I vote that instead of stowing away on a boat, we hitchhike from Idaho to Florida, build a raft and take this raft to Cuba (Cubans do it all the time in the other direction) with some free skateboards (I saw a documentary once in which this guy with a skateboard shop took free skateboards to Cuban kids all the time. So I figure they'll like us Americans more if we give them free skateboards, yes?), and then make our way to Machu Pichu.
I'm only mentioning this as an unnecessary segue into a lovely theme for this post.

Traditional Peruvian garb!Friendship bracelets remind me of Peruvian fabric, and I've been making a crap-load of friendship bracelets, so I've been reminded of Peru alot lately.CRAFT UPDATES!!
I made two dreamcatchers (one for me, one for Shenanigan) and the second was definitely better. That's good, I'm improving!!
I bought a 1970's macrame instruction book from the thrift store and I think that's going to be extremely fun:)
Thank you Sara for the Ojo de Dios idea! My mom said she used to make them, and after seeing pictures they look familiar to me (I think I saw them all the time in my childhood in California, I just haven't since moving to Idaho when I was 7). I'll make one as soon as I get some more yarn!
I'm going to a trampoline house with Sadicus in Spokane later in the week. Can't say I've ever been to a trampoline house before.
Jumping is killer on my knees, but I'll jump a little and enjoy the atmosphere.
Trampolines make people happy, happy people make me happy.
Listen to this song, please :)

Monday, June 13, 2011

What About All Those Projects? Hmm????

My cat is so cute.
I know it probably seems like I'm always starting projects and then never finishing them... that's probably because I am! I have good excuses, though:

Dream-catcher: I didn't have twine. I just got some, so I shall be making one very soon!

Pine-needle basket: I didn't have raffia. I just got some of that, too! I'll probably wait till I'm done with the Dream-catcher.

Tie-Dye: I need to get some t-shirts from the thrift store.
(It might help if I could drive)

Dandelion jelly/wine: I need some sweetener!!! I can't have sugar so I need about 7 pounds of a low-glycemic index sweetener. Agave is darn expensive in large quantities. Any suggestions from other low-GI-ers? Of course, by the time I get enough sweetener the dandelions will probably be bitter and hard to find un-poisoned. Aaahh! Sugar-free sucks.

Gunne Sax Dress: my grandmother is busy building her house and has no time to help me sew it.

Hermione Beaded Bag: I seriously have been waiting 6 months for a drawstring! I can't find one anywhere!!!! I've checked craft stores and fabric stores, and NOTHING.

Band: I'm the only one who plays an instrument. (laughter). We're a 1-guitar band.

But I am happy! My two favorite blogging ladies (this lady and this lady) are back from their blogging vacations and posting again! We had sunshine yesterday, I'm singing tonight (maybe I should go practice), and I think I have some new inspiration for a post to write later.
I have to go clean my room. I've been putting it off because it terrifies me.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Friendship Bracelets, The Civil Wars, and Open Mic Night (?)

I figured out how to make friendship bracelets! I've been making them all the time (when I have nothing else to do)... so pretty much everyone I know is going to get a friendship bracelet!
I've also been introduced (by Shenanigan) to the band The Civil Wars and they are my current obsession. Here's a youtube link to the song Barton Hollow... it's a Southern folksy bluegrass-rock song about burying someone... 'nough said. I would love my band to be like them mixed with Elephant Revival and Nickel Creek with some Adele and Laura Marling thrown in for good measure. Mmmhmm. Folk.
Speaking of music!
I'm (probably) playing at Calypsos tomorrow night for open mic night! I've always wanted to! I think I'm going to play Jealous of the Moon by Nickel Creek (beautiful song). My Finnish friend (Anna!!!) wants to make sure we both play there before she returns to Finland... and this is our last chance so I guess it had better happen:) I love Calypsos. I feel so cool in there. And Calypso is one of my favorite names, so- really- what else could I ask for?
I'll be tie dying soon and making my first dreamcatcher, too. (any suggestions for more crafts I can try or tips for these ones? I've always meant to tie dye but just never got around to it.)
I'll try to do a better post soon. Every time I try to sit down and write someone else needs the computer. I know, I'll do it when everyone else is asleep...
Love and pleasant weather wishes,

Sunday, June 5, 2011


First post of June!!!
Here's what I'm doing:
Listening to "The Water" by Johnny Flynn and Laura Marling (which, strangely, makes me want to cry while lying alone in a simple canoe on a peaceful little lake...)
Writing this here post (obviously)
Wearing a witty t-shirt (there's a group of Native American men in business suits on the front and it says "Siouxpranos" above them. Like the show "The Sopranos"... but with proud members of the Great Sioux Nation;)...)
Avoiding cleaning my room and sweeping up the wood shavings from the spear I'm carving in the backyard.
Speaking of the backyard, my mom was hogging (or just using at a time that was unaccommodating for me) the bathroom earlier and I was about to pee in my shorts so I yelled through the bathroom door "If you aren't done soon I'm literally going to pee in the backyard!" Luckily, that did the trick and I didn't have to drop my drawers in the backyard of this crowded neighborhood (especially since the neighbor is special and I really don't want him to have to see that).