Monday, January 30, 2012

Paper or Plastic?... or crochet??...

I often find myself wondering about plastic produce bags. I know that there are reusable grocery bags that people can use, but what about all the plastic bags you have to put your produce in? Well, there are these cute mesh/net bags at Pilgrim's Market that I love but don't want to buy. So! I looked it up and found two options:
Up-cycled t-shirts
I like the up-cycled t-shirt idea because anyone can make it and it's a great way to use all of those old stained t-shirts.
But I LOVE to crochet! And I found this super easy pattern! So I'm definitely going to make several dozen. Or maybe just three or four:) I just need some thin cotton yarn or some linen yarn.
I'll need a different kind of reusable bag for little things that would fall through these produce bags... like nuts. Also, for the misted veggies at the market because I'd feel weird putting wet stuff in cloth or yarn bags. So I think I need to buy some mesh fabric and make some little bags for that kind of stuff. Remember when you could get oranges in those little mesh bags? I just reminded myself of childhood grocery shopping with my mommy:) What fun!
On a related note: I'm going to crochet myself a purse (in ocean colors like teal, aqua, sea foam green...), but I think I'll get started on these produce bags really soon.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Hippies and American Indian Studies

Today I want to talk about Haight Ashbury hippies.
I watched the majority of a documentary in my American Indian Studies class today (we're finishing it next week) called Reel Injuns. It went into the portrayal of Native American people in film, media... It was all about how they alternate between being portrayed as "the noble savage" and "the bloodthirsty killer".
We also learned that Iron Eyes Cody (a.k.a.: Indian guy crying at litter on sidewalk) was actually Sicilian. He just really liked Native American cultures and was bullied as a child for being a Sicilian immigrant. So he decided to be an Indian. Fun fact.
Anyhoo, there was this part talking about the hippie counter-culture of the 1960's. The Summer of Love...
And that got me thinking:
Aren't hippies fascinating?
To understand, you really have to think about everything that led up to the Summer of Love. I mean the 50's were massively paranoid, parents and grandparents were rigid. Kids in the 60's were sick of the wars and the communist scare and the Victorian mentality of previous generations. You know the amazing thing about culture? It evolves at a remarkable rate. Each generation is different. So when the previous generations try to impose their values on a changing culture... well, it just doesn't work. Especially in a time of civil rights and young people totally burnt out on war.
So they just wanted to feel free.
Completely free.
And I guess to people who grew up on western movies and "noble savage" novels- and were in the throes of a momentous civil rights movement- the generic Hollywood Native American "culture" (I say "culture" in the singular because according to images pushed by Hollywood there is only one) embodied that free-spirited attitude.
So what was the hippie era?A bunch of identity-confused white kids trying to be Indians.
And I find that ironic.
And now here we are, 45 years after that summer, watching hipsters walk around in beaded headbands and ironic t-shirts... and you know what? That's okay. They're confused. They want to be a part of something. We don't have to believe that their great-grandmother was a Cherokee princess, but... it's okydokey. I mean, they're following ridiculous stereotypes of a lot of cultures:)These girls, for example, are quite talented. They're generalizing no less than 5 cultures at once in this picture. Let's play "Name That Culture!", shall we?
1. 80's Skirt Girl, on the left, is playing a ukulele. Ding, ding! Hawaiian!
2. We've got a sad, generic representation of a Plains teepee behind them. Of course they would most likely refer to it as an "Indian teepee" because, of course, all Indians used them. I wonder when hipsters will get around to wigwams and longhouses...
3. Logger Shirt, on the right, is drinking tea like a proper British lady.
4. The blanket 80's Skirt is sitting on is a classic Missoni print from Italy. Though I suppose it's okay for them to have that:)
5. The girl in the middle has a tambourine. Just to be thorough, that is thought to be of Arab origin, originally. Need I say "originally" after I've said "origin"?
6. And finally, the headbands. I know that they want these to be of Native origins, but they REALLY aren't. They don't resemble any traditional regalia or garb I've seen. I honestly would just call it a fashion statement and have no problem if they didn't think it was "tribal" or "Indian-inspired". Why can't we wear feathers in our hair as an accessory without thinking that it's somehow inspired by Indigenous Americans?
By the way, this is a wetu (or wigwam in Algonquin), the traditional Wampanoag dwelling. My ancestors on my mom's side slept in these in harsh weather.
My Blackfoot ancestors did live in teepees. But more like this:And less like this:Some of my Irish ancestors lived in these:One more fun fact: the word "okay" is of American Indian origins. So is "punk".
Not entirely sure which linguistic group or tribe, but I do know that "hi" is "oki" in Blackfoot, so...

Sunday, January 15, 2012

My newest fascination: Oranges

At the moment I can't stop eating oranges.
I want to eat them all the time.
Everything about oranges is attractive to me right now.
I even want to dress like oranges.
Orange, orange, orange.
It's Winter Sadness. The oranges break through it. Vitamin C!!!
Winter Sadness, pull me down
Feel the cold within my bones
Alone on the hard ground.
I'm just another young girl
taking advantage of the world,
So bring me peace
Make me numb
Let me go
but fill me up
I want to feel...
The biting chill.
If He won't help me
Winter will.
I just wrote that. It's not as good as I feel it should be.
I guess the point here is: I want to live in a tropical climate, in a shack on a beach. I want to do yoga in the early morning and surf in the afternoon. I've never surfed. I lived near the ocean for a year in second grade. That was the year I lived on the military base in Monterey Bay, California. I want to drink orange juice with a twisty straw and do nothing stressful for days on end. I want to sit and listen to The Head and the Heart with all my walls down. Learn to play the ukulele. I love winter and fall in Idaho- with the trees, the woods, the pine needle baskets, boots, sweaters, knit hats, crochet hats. I love it all. But not right now. Right now, I just want to be warm and free! As much as it annoys me when clothing is labeled "tribal", "ethnic", "bohemian", "Navajo" (<--- that's the most annoying. Not every geo-Native-inspired print is Navajo, dudes), I can't help but like the clothes itself. I'll ignore the names because the print and color is beautiful. I want to dress in these warm things that remind me of the beach and Summer and all things free. I am a free-spirit, I'm just still trying to figure out how to be as free as I want to be without being homeless, jobless, and family-less. I know myself. I'll never be happy if I'm not free. All I want to do is travel and dig in the dirt. I have no delusions that financial success will make me happy. I'm a vagabond! A true bohemian! I've got Romany Gypsy blood and I can't sit still!
But for now, I'll just listen to "Oh Virginia", work on that archaeology/anthropology degree, dream of Summer and all the things I want to do, and shop the clearance sales and thrift stores for more clothes like this stuff. So I'm ready for Summer, of course. I still have Christmas money from my dad to spend.
Speaking of the things I want to do this Summer, here's a list:
Volunteer on an archaeological dig (I can do that!)
Road trip with friends (Canada, Oregon Coast)
Go to the Doe Bay Music Festival
Attend ALL local festivals and fairs
Busk downtown near the lake
Make things with dandelion
Maybe visit my big sister:)
I'll just finish out winter first.
Make more hats
Learn to knit
Do homework (happily! It's anthropology!)
Make baskets
Make homemade tea

Monday, January 2, 2012

The Dawning of a New Year

I have always felt like New Years resolutions are pointless. They never, ever last! At least for me. And almost everyone I know.
But I do understand the symbolism behind them. And maybe, if I try really hard, I can have the self-control to keep to some this year. So, today I am doing something that I NEVER do... writing down my resolutions for this new year: 2012.
This year I will:

1. Learn to knit, make baskets, etc.
2. Try to eat a more well-rounded, balanced diet (while still sticking to my "food issues" diet)3. Let go. Of trauma. Of the past. Of inhibitions. Of pain. Just Let Go.
4. Do required reading for my classes.
5. Have adventures! Even when I have no money and feel like there is nothing to do.
6. Dance.7. Write a book.
8. Do more yoga.
9. Take chances with people. Open up. Trust. Trust.10. It doesn't matter if my family doesn't like me when I open up to them if they already don't like this "perfect Bellamy" that I try to show them. If they already don't like me, then I have NOTHING to lose.
11. Stay in touch with my sisters.
12. Trim split ends every 2-3 months.
13. Get tattoo.14. Go on a road trip with friends.
15. Save money for said road tripping.
16. Put batteries in camera and take more pictures.
That's all I can think of. So I guess I"ll just share some things I got for Solstice this year!
1. An Archeology kit!
2. Season 4 of Psych on DVD!
3. More crochet hooks!
4. A stir fry pan and chopsticks!
5. Orange "curvy skinny" pants! That fit!
6. A book of codes and ciphers!
Those are some of my favorite presents that I got from various people:) My friends and mommy really know me:) And my brother-in-law, apparently. He's the one who put together the whole archeology kit. I'm still really excited about that! Now I can go dig stuff up in the woods!
I guess I'll go now.
(Images taken by Hubble telescope except two that are from the Oregon Coast)