Monday, January 31, 2011
Sunday, January 30, 2011
But where would I be without them? The world would be a much more difficult place to navigate without my hands. So here's to you, hands. May you ever create and feel.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Maya Witherspoon: played by Archie Panjabi, Maya is a new arrival to London, a doctor discreetly specializing in women's complaints, and an untrained practitioner of earth magic.
And that's how Diana casts it! All images pulled from Google and Wikipedia.
Thursday, January 27, 2011
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
A very toxic way of dealing--or attempting to deal--with your deity.
When I left the church I stopped praying, of course. And of course, the first thing my mother asked me when I broke the news to her was, Have you prayed about it? Oh Mom. OF COURSE I HAVE. I spent the months preceding my official disaffection on my knees, and not in the fun sexy Madonna way. I had been praying for fifteen years as hard as I could to hear what I knew I was supposed to hear. I never heard it. And in those desperate last months, when I was looking frantically for the reason to stay, I still didn't hear it. And then I was gone, free, with no more need and no more urge and no more reason to pray.
And I hated that word. Prayer. "I'll pray for you". "Sending prayers your way". It seemed--still seems, sometimes, depending on the situation--like a cop-out, a way to sound pious and caring without actually DOING anything to help a person. These kinds of prayer pass the buck, put the onus on deity, allow someone to feel good about themselves without doing much at all. This I still feel. In addition, growing up in the LDS church instills contempt for other kinds of prayer: the rosary and things like that. It's rote, it's memorized, it's devoid of Real Feeling. You aren't actually TALKING to God--you're chanting at it. (Of course this ignores the many rote prayers recited in Mormon churches) So I didn't have any good feelings toward Catholic or Episcopalian or Jewish prayer either. I was right down on prayer. I still don't have much use for the traditional sense of prayer, the one that is a supplication or petition. As an apatheist I prefer to work on things myself and then ask people who can actually help to help when needed.
But there is another kind of prayer, one worth reclaiming, one worth partaking in. This kind of prayer is a thanksgiving, a communion, an ecstasy, an adoration. It is physical. It is what Ruby Sara means when she ends her beautiful posts with "Grok Earth. Pray without ceasing." It is what Dianne Sylvan creates when she dances and chants and cooks. It is what environmentalists and ecofeminists do when they protest, pick up garbage, hike in the woods, try to save beached whales. It is what men and women do the world over when they make love honestly and truly. The kind of prayer I am interested in is affirmative and physical and acknowledges the world and the people we love. Walking outside can be a prayer of this kind; racing through an amazing book can be; baking brownies certainly is. The point and the aim is to be engaged, to be aware, to be grateful--not to debase yourself, but to understand that you are part of the world. You affect the world. You affect people you love, animals you take care of, art you create. The point is to rejoice.
Monday, January 24, 2011
- Pecocog: proper noun. An obscure Native American tribe found in the northern woods of New Hampshire and Vermont prior to being wiped out by smallpox. Example: "While on an archaeological dig in Burlington we found some really well-preserved pot shards from the Pecocog's golden age."
- orose: adj. Slightly blue, nothing too close to indigo. A step down from the more well-known morose, which--unknown to most speakers of English--is a back-formation of orose. Example: "After watching too many French New Wave films I was feeling orose, but perked up when Drumline came on E!"
- pantier: n. The person who dresses Victoria's Secret models for the annual fashion show. Example: "I swear the pantier was drooling on my hipbones when he was lacing me into that corset."
- grawes: n. Old English term referring to the back molars. Example: "Me grawes are actin' up. Old Maude says it's from too much chompin' on pig knuckles, but I do love 'em so."
- rottic: n. Similar to an attic, but with the singular purpose of storing compost. Example: "When you're done with the potatoes, just chuck the peelings into the rottic."
Sunday, January 23, 2011
It is one of those things that is.
You probably hate your body sometimes too. Maybe a lot of the time. Hopefully not all the time. This is part of the Western human condition, male and female alike. If you are like me, you're probably really tired of hating your body--tired of every ad and every asshole who tells you that it's not right, that it could be better, prettier, stronger, faster. So we will add our voices to the scores of voices that are saying, Enough. They are everywhere online: I linked to some of my favorites in this post and it's time for me to add my blog to the list. With that, a new weekly feature in which I will appreciate my body in some way! I have no kicky name yet, and I don't know if it will be posted on a particular day each week. Maybe Sunday would be good; Sunday is a nice day for reflection. But for right now, it is just taking the form of this:
My body, despite what I do to it, keeps going. It does all the work for me. My feet walk, my hands type, my lungs draw in air without being told to. My body is the ultimate Mother. It even scolds me by coming down with colds and backaches when I push it too hard. For all of this and more, I am grateful.
And now for the book review portion of this post! This post in general was spurred partly by the fact that I read lots of body acceptance blogs and Tumblrs, and partly by the fact that I recently finished reading Dianne Sylvan's book The Body Sacred. It's not a new title--it was her second publication, I believe--but somehow I never got around to it until a few weeks ago. It is a sort of combination book: part ruminations on goddess spirituality (specifically Wicca), part ritual and exercise guide, and part self-help for body image. It's a good mixture, I find. Goddess worship and body acceptance go hand in hand. Sylvan is a self-described fat girl who knows of what she writes; though her spiritual practice and views have changed since the publication of this book, I feel (based on what she writes on her blog and Tweets about and so forth) that the core of the matter is unchanged. That core is this: Your body is sacred. It deserves to be treated with the utmost respect and care and love. Self-love and self-acceptance and self-esteem are a continuing work, a mountain that will always be there to be climbed. If you would not say to your lover or best friend, Hey fatty!...please don't say it to yourself. Even if you are an atheist, a Christian, a Muslim: treat yourself as a goddess (or god. Men have body issues too) and your physical embodiment as holy and worthy. Because it is.
Friday, January 21, 2011
Jason Todd: played by Ben Foster, Jason is the psychopathic ex-Robin who's acting pretty lively for a dead man.
Harley Quinn: played by Kristen Bell, Harley is under the thumb of Hush and the Riddler. Not that she minds shaking up trouble, flirting with villains, and robbing operas.
Batman: played by Christian Bale (because in my head continuity THIS should be the final Nolan film), Batman is fighting a baffling war against most of Gotham's most notorious villains, not to mention one against someone he considers a friend.
And that's how Diana casts it! All images pulled from Google and Wikipedia.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
As you can see, there was quite a bit of white stuff floating around. I admit I tromped outside on Friday morning and played. Presumably the hotel staff were all giggling at me. That reminds me--if you have the opportunity, STAY AT A CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL. Maybe the best hotel experience I've had (though the Sandman in Vancouver was also aces). They have a complimentary shuttle, people. By "complimentary" I don't just mean "will get you to the airport". I mean "will drive you wherever you want to go as long as you tip them". Way better than a cab! Clean rooms, good food, friendly staff as well. Just an all-around good experience. Our thanks, Crowne Plaza and Cleveland. I look forward to seeing you again.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
For now, a meme! Because it is Sunday and I am eating dougnuts!
What do you read? Mainstream, genre, Young Adult?
I read...whatever appeals to me. I read lots of genre fiction, mainly science fiction and fantasy, I read tons of YA of all kinds, I read graphic novels and comics. I love literary "classics". When I read nonfiction it is likely to be feminist prose or something anthropological.
What do you never read?
I don't much care for romance novels.
Morning reading, Afternoon reading or Nighttime reading?
Afternoon reading is the best. I also like reading before bed.
Bed, Bath or Bus?
Hardback or Trade Paperback or Mass Market Paperback or eBook?
Definitely not e-book! I prefer trade paperbacks, but I have lots of mass market because they're less expensive. Some hardbacks are nice, but they do take up a lot of space.
Bookmark or dog-ear?
Bookmark these days. Used to be I could just remember where I was in the book, but my memory is going in my old age. Dog-earing makes me sad.
Alphabetize by author, title, or random?
Depends on what bookshelf. The nonfiction is organized by topic and then author last name; the sci-fi and fantasy shelf, kids books, and classics are alphabetical by last name,
Keep, Throw Away, or Sell?
I used to keep EVERYTHING EVER. I've been paring things down. If I buy something and don't Love It, I donate it or give it away. I usually don't buy things I haven't read, which keeps the library under control. The only books I resell are textbooks.
Short story or novel?
Novels. I prefer to WRITE short stories, but I rarely read them. Funky.
Stop reading when tired or at chapter breaks?
I try to do chapter breaks, but that doesn't always happen, depending on time constraints or dozing off while reading.
Buy or Borrow?
I would rather buy. Acquisition of a book usually goes like this: read something at the library or something borrowed, and then if I like it enough I'll buy it. I do buy books by certain authors--Tamora Pierce, Neil Gaiman--because I am generally quite sure that I'll like them. I don't like borrowing because I don't like lending; if people don't give me my books back, I am sad.
Buying choice: Book Reviews, Recommendation, or Browse?
Oops, I guess I answered that one above! How about, reading choice: I don't really read book reviews. I take recommendations from friends and blogs I read online, and I am a big fan of browsing, in libraries and bookstores.
Tidy ending or cliffhanger?
Cliffhangers are ok in serials, but I prefer things to be reasonably wrapped up in a one-off.
Standalone or Series?
I like both! Many genre books are serial, so I have a lot of series at home. But I also have plenty of standalone novels. My favorite books can be found in both.
Favourite book of which nobody else has heard?
The Snow Walker by Farley Mowat.
Top 3 favourite books read within the last few years?
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healey
The Body Sacred by Dianne Sylvan
Top 5 favourite books of all time?
Admittedly this list grows all the time. But there are a few constants: The Once and Future King, 1984, The Blind Assassin, most of Pierce's entire canon, and American Gods.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Can you guess which state remains snow-free? THAT'S RIGHT, YOU'RE JEALOUS. It's Florida. Ah, Florida. Even Hawaii can't match your warmth. Of course, by "warmth" I mean "highs of 54 and lows of 30". So not really WARM. But warm...er. Apologies for those people who like to think of these things in terms of "has it ever been done before?", because Florida is making it hard to create a real record. We like to make things difficult (voting, for instance, and paying teachers what they are worth).
Monday, January 10, 2011
Was NOT expecting that. I don't post too often about Mormonism. But I'm very honored to even be nominated. Vote as you will; there are a ton of awesome blogs nominated this year (including Lisa at The Liberal Agnostic Who Could, Carla at Life As A Reader, Donna Banta from Ward Gossip, and Eliza R. Snitch).
Sunday, January 09, 2011
Friday, January 07, 2011
Thursday, January 06, 2011
Tuesday, January 04, 2011
Saturday, January 01, 2011
It seems to be a nicer way of creating resolutions, without having to actually say the word "resolution" or make a list or whatnot. Your actions create the resolutions themselves. More fulfilling, infinitely simpler, less guilt. So here is what I did today:
+Cleaned: bad juju and dustballs, away! Cleaning is a New Year's trend that pretty much everyone I know engages in. I vaccuumed, cleaned the kitchen counters and sink, the bathroom mirror, sink, and toilet, and put away holiday ornamentations. Laundry of various kinds was also done. For the year: it's good to keep a clean living space; it shows respect to the house and its inhabitants, and is healthy.
+Shopped: ok, I like shopping generally, but errands needed to be done! A shopping bag full of paper towels, cotton balls, thank-you cards, and an iPod case later, we are set for a while. For the year: having the money to buy necessary AND unnecessary items is a privilege and a blessing. Let's hope my cash flow remains reasonably steady.
+Cooked: Boyfriend and I made and ate dinner together. This does not happen nearly as often as I would like, mainly because I often work nights, but I do like to cook--it's fun, usually, and cheaper and healthier than eating at a restaurant. For the year: I hope that more time can be spent cooking and eating with my beloved, and that this will help us to become closer AND healthier!
+Watched movies: this could be extrapolated to going out to movies, watching TV, and playing games, again with my dearest. We like movies and we like watching them together. Relaxation, entertainment, and togetherness in one simple, cheap package. For the year: here's to hoping for plenty of time spent with my boyfriend in the pursuit of fun.
+Wrote thank-you cards: cards were written out to the people who were so generous to me this holiday. Practicing being grateful is definitely something to be worked on every day, and I have so much to be grateful for. For the year: be thankful! Appreciative! Look around and be aware of everything that you have!
+Interviewed: my boyfriend, that is! I asked him some interview questions which might come up when he goes off to visit medical schools this month. For the year: helping and supporting my partner when I can is incredibly important, as is the furthering of both of our educations and careers.
+Flossed my teeth: hee. I am pretty bad at flossing my teeth, but I did just now and it is, as Martha would say, a good thing. I honor my body by taking care of it. For the year: as with cooking food at home, flossing and going to the gym and etc. are ways to be healthier and appreciate and honor my able body.
+Got jiggy: not that you really want to hear this, but yes, pants did come off and so forth. Sex is important for people in a romantic relationship, it's fun and good for your health (if you're doing it right)--it is great overall. For the year: undiplomatically put, spend as much time as possible horizontal.
And that was my first day of 2011. Here's to an excellent year, dear readers! Did anyone do anything wild and crazy last night? We got scolded by an apartment complex rent-a-cop for shooting off fireworks and learned to Dougie. Ah, friends.