Thursday, December 31, 2009
I've been unable to reconcile these two feelings. They seem strange. I mean, if Yule is the start of the new year, and Samhain is the end, what's the season in between them? A time out of time? Hey, "time out of time" sounds sort of poetic actually...
I don't know of any Pagan tradition which agrees with me on this. And I keep going back to the question, what would the time between Samhain and Yule be? I can't answer that.
This is something I've sort of been thinking about since Yule, when I realized that I can't deny that I feel like this, and am really pondering it now that we've gotten to the secular new year.
Does anyone know of any Pagan tradition that agrees with me on this? It seems like a bizarre idea, that Yule is the beginning of the new year but that Samhain is the end, and the time in between is...something else? But it somehow feels right. And thinking about it I've become really curious if anyone else also feels like this.
To celebrate the secular new year my mom has decided to have a Pirates of the Caribbean marathon. But then it turns out that we supposedly watched the first movie a few weeks ago (neither Tall One or I remember this) so she wanted to just watch the last two. Tall One and I pointed out to her that a marathon means watching all the movies, and I pointed out that the first movie is the only one that I really think is great, so we're watching all of them tonight.
Happy new year! :)
At one point a bus I was on spent about ten or fifteen minutes going up a hill, sliding back, going up, sliding back, going up, sliding back, etc. (While this was happening I started wishing that we had seat belts, something which I usually don't care about the lack of on buses.) There was a van that was parked at the curb, next to us. As the bus driver was trying to get up the hill, and kept sliding back down the hill, someone calmly walked over to the van and got in. He took his time about it, too. I was looking at him and thinking "You idiot! You know, buses do slide sideways occasionally, and if that happens you are in trouble big time!" I don't normally call people idiots, but with what this guy was doing, I couldn't help but think it. At the very least he could have gotten in on the passenger side and crawled over to the drivers seat.
And as it happened, a several blocks later our bus did slide sideways into the curb. That was when the bus driver decided to sit put until chains were brought to us, and I got to wait in the bus for two hours.
Why don't the buses all carry chains? Of course, snow wasn't in the forecast, so...
And guess what I learned about yesterday, on my way to work? There are snow "chains" for shoes. The guy who was wearing them says that he has never slid while wearing them. I hope they aren't too pricey, because I think I want some of those for myself.
Oh yes, and someone complimented me on my snow boots, which took me by surprise because I'd thought they looked clunky.
The snow seems to be all gone in my neighborhood, except for the snowman in our backyard (and probably snowmen elsewhere). I wonder when it'll come again. Hmm, maybe we'll get some snow on the first day of the new secular year? It's not in the forecast, but neither was Tuesday's snow!
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Guess what? It snowed today! And guess what else? It wasn't in the forecast, so no one was prepared!
I hear that in other parts of the country the weathermen are generally pretty good at predicting snow. Unfortunately, that's not the case here in Portland. When snow is predicted, we typically either get more than expected, or it doesn't show up at all. Other times, like today, it pops up without warning. And we need warning if we're going to handle it well.
I was going on my lunch break when it started. Someone said "Look outside! It's snowing!" I was amazed. When I went outside I tried catching some on my tongue. I quickly lost patience, and instead caught caught some flakes on my hand and put them in my mouth. lol After that I did catch snow on my tongue.
Things were fine, until it was time for me to go home. It normally takes me about an hour and a half to get home on the bus, but today it took me five hours. Not the most pleasant experience. Fortunately (for me) I shared it with someone else in my music therapy program (she probably did not consider the fact that she was there to be very fortunate). Things like this don't seem so bad when you've got someone to share them with.
It took the first bus I caught an hour to go a distance that we normally go in fifteen minutes. Then it got stuck and we had to wait for chains to be brought to us. After two hours of waiting another bus that was able to get around showed up (though it didn't have chains either), and most of us switched to it.
I didn't bring my digital camera, but I really really really wanted to take photos of the snow. So I used my cell phone. :) Not the best quality, but ah well. The above photo is one that I took on the way home.
Oh, and I figured something out today. The mood on a bus really depends on the bus driver. I figured this out when I was amazed at how calm and relaxed everyone was on the bus we switched to after waiting two hours. After puzzling over it I finally realized that it was all thanks to the driver, and the way he handled things. For example...
Instead of saying "Ok, I think we're probably going to be stuck," he said "I don't think I can get you much further, but the good news is that there's another bus behind us that will probably get chains soon." No, we didn't get stuck. Or if he did get stuck it wasn't until after my stop, which took us quite a while to get to.
Instead of saying "If you want me to let you off at a particular spot, let me know," he said "If you have a favorite power line pole or driveway let me know, and I'll try to let you off there."
Every so often he would let us know what time it was. Once he said "The time is now...well...it's still Tuesday." That got a laugh from people.
He did his best to keep us warm, and he told us that he was turning the heat on for us. I think he even let people who were walking the same direction that the bus was going hang out on the bus to get warm, but I was a ways back on the bus and couldn't tell for sure.
He was very relaxed and calm about the entire situation.
And now I get to wait and see what happens to the weather tomorrow. Depending on what it does or doesn't do I may or may not go to work. I don't like spending five hours in a commute that should only be an hour and a half.
Monday, December 28, 2009
This is something that my attention hasn't really been drawn to very much before because mostly teachers haven't had me work (that) much with a metronome, and I generally avoid metronomes.
But now I'm doing a duet with my brother.
When I started speeding up on our duet piece he was really quick to hand me my metronome. Not only that, but he decided that my own metronome isn't annoying enough, so he gave me his own more annoying metronome. But guess what? I'm still having trouble.
It's not that I'm untalented. I am talented -- I'm just very talented at ignoring metronomes.
lol Ok, ok...yes, I've got a problem here. But I'm working on it. And as a music major I really do need to learn to keep tempo with metronomes.
And it's not that I can't feel rhythm. I do feel rhythm. I very definitely feel rhythm. It's just that when I start playing, the rhythm in my head stops synchronizing with the tempo of the metronome. I go off and do my own little thing. So the question is, how do I get the rhythm in my head to match the metronome's tempo? Do I just need to find a louder more annoying metronome that is harder to ignore?
I was discussing this with Tall One, and he asked me if I'd lost the users manual for my head.
Kidding aside, part of the key (or all of the key) to the answering this question is probably to listen, which takes me back to this post from a couple months ago. It seems to me that listening and really hearing things is harder than I had thought.
I'm also turning to Taliesin, and asking him to help me learn to feel the beat of the metronome. For those who don't know, he is THE bard of Welsh mythology. As such, I figure that he's a good one to turn to for help in musical matters.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
No, I'm not talking about the writing. I'm talking about the binding.
Those of us who do book mending keep seeing these books come back to us. They're so wildly popular that they have been produced en mass, and in order to make as many copies as possible their quality was sacrificed.
Maybe I shouldn't complain. If they hadn't made the books that way, my family probably wouldn't have been able to get a copy of the latest book for each and every single member of my family -- mom, dad, Tall One, and myself. It's just that when my dad read his copy of the book for the second time (mom and Tall One prefer to listen to it, and I haven't reread it yet) it started falling apart in his hands. Likewise, the copies that the library has of the book keep falling apart.
As with any new wildly popular book, time passes and eventually everyone has read it. So eventually they stopped being checked out as much and we stopped seeing the books in mending as much. Regardless, I mended one Harry Potter book last week, and two more today.
Speaking of book mending, guess what I was doing while mending today? I was listening to an audio book on my iPod. I am quite happy. :) I've heard of Library2Go, which is a website where you can borrow audio books and put them on your computer, iPod, or whatever. (Note: I think it's only available to those living in Oregon.) I downloaded Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke.
The book is about a dragon who must find a new home for himself and the other dragons because humans want to flood the valley they live in and turn it into a reservoir. A young brownie accompanies him, and along the way they pick up a human boy, much to the annoyance of the brownie.
I've read this book before. But in listening to it again I realized something that hadn't occurred to me before: the book deals with racism, in a round about way. You have a dragon, a brownie, and a human thrown together. The brownie is unhappy about the human not because of anything that this indiviudal has done, but simply becuase he is a human. On the other hand, the dragon points out that the boy has helped them, that as such this human is a friend, and that it doesn't matter if the boy is a human, a brownie, or a rat.
While mending today I came across another book that I want to take a look at. I think that I'll just share a description of the book from Look Books:
"Confessions of a Closet Catholic is a heartwarming, humorous tale of a young girl struggling with her faith. Jussie is Jewish, but she doesn’t think that her religion is “cool”. She has confession with her teddy bear Father Ted, and goes to church with her friend’s family. When Jussie’s grandmother, Bubbe, has a stroke, she is torn in two. Will she continue as a “closet catholic”, or learn more about her own religion, which she barely understands?
Whether you are Christian, Jewish, or another religion, you will enjoy the message of this book. It’s a quick read-it only took me a bit over an hour- but you’ll want to re-read this book over and over again. Jussie’s connection with Bubbe is extremely real, and they feel like real people."
Saturday, December 26, 2009
You know how sometimes you can be only half listening to music, then suddenly some lyrics jump out at you? This happened to me, and what I heard was:
"She strips off all her armor,
removes her dress of mail-
Try hard not to stare because you took the dare,
to drink Brannigan's Special Ale!"
I was rather startled. I commented "Wait a minute, this song is suddenly talking about women undressing... Apparently the moral of the story is to not drink someone's special ale?" Of course, mom and Tall One gave me this weird look. Tall One also decided on the spot that he doesn't want to listen to my music, though mom did comment "Hey, the lyrics could be about an innocent situation." I doubted that, but I didn't argue.
After the game I looked up the lyrics to the song, because I wanted to know exactly what was going on in it. I found them here, and am still trying to figure out exactly what the song is about. lol It's an odd one.
Here are a couple photos of my iPod. Tall One's idea had been to have it engraved with "tree hugging dirt worshiper," but that was too many letters. So he went with this instead. :) I like it.
In addition to Heather Alexander's CD I also got one of Heather Dale's CD's. They're both singers who I fell in love with on YouTube, so I am delighted to finally have CD's of theirs.
I also discovered a new song of Heather Dale's which I am in love with, and would like to share here. And no, it doesn't have any lyrics about women undressing!
Friday, December 25, 2009
Tall One and I are putting together a duet together. I'll be playing piano, and he'll be playing the shuttle pipes. For those who don't know, the shuttle pipes are a kind of bagpipe, but they're much quieter than the Highland pipes. Yes, there are quite a few different kinds of bagpipes.
Our plan is to have it together by the end of winter break, since otherwise we'll probably get too with school to get it together before the next break. He wants to put it in YouTube once we've got it presentable, in which case I'll share it here.
I am quite happy. :) We started talking about it last night, by the way.
A gift that Santa gave the family was a book. It's a book that is starring Simon's cat. For those of you who aren't acquainted with Simon's cat, I highly recommend that you watch the following two minute video:
Isn't he such an adorable kitty? I hadn't even known that his stories came in book format.
I mentioned the other day that I was intrigued by the idea of going "no poo" -- that is, using something other than shampoo or conditioner on hair. Believe it or not, theoretically once your hair gets past the oily stage of not being shampooed, it starts behaving itself quite well. And I've read quite a few first hand accounts online of this theory being put into practice, and working quite well.
Unfortunately, either I didn't know I was doing, or this simply doesn't work on my hair.
My hair was not simply greasy. I've had greasy hair before, and I know how to handle it. My hair became hideous. Absolutely hideous. Not that it looked bad. But then, it's hard to make my standard hair style, a knot on the back of my head, look bad. It was pretty darn hard to work with, though.
So I gave in and washed it this evening. Now my hair is blissfully clean, and wonderful. I'm not sure if I want to try going no poo again. It's worked beautifully for other people, but...it doesn't seem to be for me, I think.
I hope I'm not boring people by talking about my hair.
...you know, I'd meant to start out this post talking about what I gave people, rather than what I got, but...
OMG, I got an iPod!!!
I also got a gift card for the iTunes store, and a redeemable thingy to let me get the music from the CD Celtic Fire for my new iPod.
I am now the proud owner of an iPod! OMG!!!
Ok, lol I'll calm down now. Maybe. ;)
Figuring out what to get Tall One can be a little difficult. But at the same time, it's easy. It's hard because he wants practical stuff, but easy because I just figure out something that's useful or that he needs and buy it for him. For example, he requested that mom buy him a file cabinet for Christmas.
I wound up getting him something he could wear. It was a t-shirt with "I'm only wearing these because my kilt is in the wash" printed on it. That was my main gift for him. The second gift (which I got him for in case this one wasn't delivered in time) was a collapsible box. As I said, he wants practical presents.
I hadn't been sure what I was going to get mom, but I found something that looked pretty good when I was browsing around the jewelry section at a Fred Meyers. It's a pendant, and I forget the exact wording but it says something like "A mothers love is open arms."
But when it came to my dad, I was utterly clueless about what to get him. I eventually asked mom what to get him, and she said that a CD would probably be good. I wound up buying him a Celtic CD that I would have liked for myself. Not only that, but it was on sale! Only $6.99. Or something like that, anyways. Unfortunately I forgot to take the price tag off before wrapping it...
Lastly, I want to share a conversation we had last night:
Me: Mom, since I still believe in Santa, does that mean I'll get something from him?
Mom: I suspect that Santa will leave an unwrapped present under the tree this year.
Me: [looking at the unwrapped chocolates under the tree that I bought] Something in addition to that.
Mom: Yes, I think Santa will bring something else.
Tall One: [to me] Wait, you still believe in Santa?
Me: Well, yeah. So long as I believe in Santa, he'll [pointing at mom] bring me presents.
Tall One: [to mom] This is the political side of religion! "I believe in such and such because I get something out of it!"
Well, I believe in Santa, and he still brings me presents. What's wrong with that? :]
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Last year we got a heck of a snow storm in December. I was lucky because it only hit once my finals were over. Or anyways, we didn't get snowed in until after my finals were over.
We wound up getting over a foot of snow, and were snowed in for at least a couple of weeks. This is a big deal for this part of the country, because we go crazy when we get even a mere inch of snow. Actually, we go crazy when we get even less than an inch of snow.
But our attitude towards snow is a subject for another post. I'll get back to the point!
The point is what we were doing this time last year. Well, this time last year the storm had blown over, and the snow was melting. On Christmas Eve we were finally able to get out of the house for the first time in two weeks. Or anyways, my family was able to get out of the house -- I know that other people had to wait a little longer, depending on exactly what altitude they lived at.
Hmm, so I guess that means we're only slightly ahead of where we were this time last year. This year we finished up last minute Christmas shopping yesterday, but yesterday we finished it up on Christmas Eve. lol
Also last year, a friend was going to celebrate Yule with us. But of course, this didn't happen since everyone was snowed in. We were planning to keep a fire in the fireplace going when the friend was finally able to get over to our place, so on solstice last year I just kept candles going all night.
What were you doing this time last year?
Unfortunately my foot started feeling slightly worse, after I wandered around a Fred Meyers without my cane last night.
And speaking of presents...
My present to Tall One was supposed to be delivered yesterday. Guess what? It wasn't. Don't worry, I did buy him something else (a small something else, not the big gift card he requested -- he has a tendency to request things that he knows I won't or can't get him) for in case it doesn't arrive today.
Tall One is well aware of the fact that my present to him hasn't arrived yet.
So mom and I were discussing the situation in front of him today, and the comment was made that he could wear my present to the next Highland Games, and watch his piping instructor pitch a fit. Then mom made the comment that he could also have her present with him at the next Highland Games.
About this time Tall One requested that we stop talking about his presents. He is totally clueless about what they are, of course. (Truthfully I don't know what mom has gotten for him either.) Mom and I are just having fun making semi-vague comments about his presents.
But before we finished talking about his presents, one of us just had to comment that we should have gotten him an InstaKilt for him to wear along with my present to the next Highland Games. I think I'll just quote from their website:
"More fun than a towel, more versatile than a traditional kilt, the Instakilt beach kilt towel will attract attention wherever you wear it. Perfect for the beach, the pool, the bathroom, and according to some, fancy dinner parties too (though we wouldn't actually recommend that)."
After that we finally did hush up about his presents.
Hey, you know, maybe I should get one of those InstaKilts. After all, I don't have a kilt for myself. :)
Lastly, in honor of this being Christmas Eve and there being only one more sleep 'til Christmas, I'd like to share a song.
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
I usually don't watch movies, but I've seen Star Trek 2009 three times in the last several weeks. Or wait, is that four? No, that would be three (or two) and a half, since I only watched half of it last night, and will probably finish watching it this evening.
Anyways...I'll get to the point. Or try to. :] And don't worry, I'll only talk about the first ten minutes of the movie, so I won't exactly give anything away if you haven't seen it yet.
In the very first few minutes of the movie, we see how Jim Kirk is born. It always makes me cry. You see, his father is the first officer of a ship, and it is under attack. The only way for everyone to survive is for the ship to be on auto-pilot so that it'll fight off the enemy while everyone gets away in escape pods.
Except, the auto-pilot has died.
The captain has also died, so that leaves the first officer -- Jim Kirk's father -- as the one who has to stay behind and fight off the bad guys while everyone else makes their getaway. And as I mentioned, little Jim is born at this time.
The scenes flash back and forth between the father fighting off the enemy, and knowingly going to his own death, and the birth of his son (which by the way is not at all graphic, there's no blood or anything). So you have death and life, both at the same time. The father is dying, and the son is being born. This got me to thinking about the time of year, and the circle of life.
The sun has just been reborn, but where I live we're just heading into the time of year when everything is finally dead for sure. So, in a way it's life and death at the same time.
Then there's also comparing and contrasting between the northern and southern hemispheres. Up north we're celebrating the rebirth of the sun, but in the southern hemisphere they're now watching the sun slowly leave them.
Just some musings I've had on the latest movie I watched. :)
Also, for those who've already seen the movie, you might want to see the gag reel if you haven't already:
My hand started hurting last night. I was not amused. At least it was my hand that felt like this and not my foot. If my foot had been hurting this badly, I wouldn't be walking even with a cane.
Fortunately it only hurts if I do certain things with it, such as grasping or pushing, so it doesn't hurt unless I move it wrong. That is such a relief. And, it's getting slightly better. I think.
I suspect I know what caused it. Last night I was an usher, and I got to tear a bunch of tickets in half. Maybe that was the problem. Anyways, I know that my hand started hurting just a few hours later.
And at least I don't have to go into work until Monday. I'm not sure what I would be able to do at work with my hand like this.
As I think I mentioned before, during the interview for my job it was made very clear that the work is tedious and boring. But guess what? It's not.
I like doing things like needlework and spinning yarn. You know, working with the hands. I'm now finding that putting together packets and that kind of thing puts me in the same mind frame. So, it's really not boring at all! What a relief. :)
I've heard about going "no poo" (that is, not using shampoo or condition), and I'm curious about it. I got a recipe for the stuff I would use instead here, and am trying it out. The prospect of my hair not getting oily even if I don't wash it every couple of days is very appealing. Of course, it's gotten rather weird in the meantime, but hopefully that'll pass.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Note to self: when you're printing photos out for grandma and making notes in pen on the back of them, make sure the ink is dry before you set them down on top of one another. Otherwise you have to do everything all over again.
Another note to self: If you insist on drinking tea out of a thermos while you're putting packets together at work, don't drip it on the paperwork. It creates slightly more work for someone (yourself) and if you keep it up, it'll probably irritate your supervisor.
Monday, December 21, 2009
For about an hour (or longer?) I tended the fire last night. This was quite something, because in the past the fire usually tried to die on me when I tended it. Of course, I did have help this time, because mom and Tall One were around for consultation if I was unsure what the fire needed.
I'm thinking that I ought to light several fires this winter so that I can learn more about fire tending. Maybe that should be a new year resolution? I have done those in the last couple of years, but perhaps it's time to change that.
Anyways, I was under the impression that the fire had to be kept roaring. This resulted in me using a lot of wood while I was tending it, and unfortunately someone hadn't bought enough wood for that. I'm just glad that I handed the task of keeping the fire going over when I did, or else we might have run out of wood.
Even though we did have enough wood to last through the whole night, we did discuss the possibility of switching over to a duraflame log if we were to run out of wood. Tall One and I agreed that this seemed a little blasphemous (we laughed at that word) but that if necessary we would.
Oh yes, and dad even spent some time by the fire with us. That was a bit of a surprise to me, actually.
Sunday, December 20, 2009
December 22nd, 2007 Saturday
We have a fire going, and we plan to keep it going until dawn. Tall One's been tending it.I was tending it while he and mom went swimming, but it practically died on me. Tall One, on the other hand, seems to have a natural touch with fire, and I'm more than happy to let him tend it.
I tried to light it at sunset, but couldn't get it started. Tall One was practicing bagpipes at the time, and when he finished he alaso attempted. He didn't succeed either, but he did come up wtih two quite interesting ideas.
We were looking in the pantry because I'd mentioned about Fritos being good fire starters. We didn't have any, but we did have syrup. Well, we know that tree sap burns, and since that's what syrup comes from it seemed to stand to reason that syrup would also be flammable. To the contrary, it isn't. So then Tall One spotted the dried apples! (Oh, and he did manage to get the syrup to boil from the matches.) No success there for fire starters either.
Over an hour after all this fun started, mom got home from work. Using wax and some kindling she got a bit of a fire going, then went to the store to get a fire starter to really get it going. It's been going since then.
Tall One and I went through about half a box of matches, though, trying to get it started in the first place. I did learn about making fires in Girl Scouts, honest I did! And Tall One must have learned in Boy Scouts! I guess it just didn't stick.
My plan, and Tall One's, is to stay awake until dawn. It seems important to me to not go to sleep, but I can't say why. I'm not even the one tending the fire.
So that's a little tidbit from my first Yule. And no, I did not stay awake the entire night. I accidentally fell asleep briefly in a chair by the fire, but I was awake in time to greet the dawn. Tall One also wrote a little bagpipe tune that night about the solstice.
As I write this the Yule fire is going in the other room, and I hear Tall One using the bellows to help it grow.
What are you doing tonight? This question goes for anyone who's doing something special for solstice, whether or not you're Pagan.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Anyways, there are a couple of Christmas songs I want to share. Brace yourself for this first one, because it's really emotional. It had me in tears.
That's a true story. Amazing, isn't it? But I was thinking that this happened not just because it was Christmas day, but because it was a day for love and peace. That led me to wish that we had more holidays about love and peace.
And I happened across this little video showing the location of the Christmas Truce. I don't know if anyone would be interested in seeing it, but I figured I would share it just as an interesting little tidbit.
Several years ago we got socks as presents on the Epiphany. Um, perhaps I should back up and explain what the Epiphany is, since I know that most people don't celebrate it, at least not where I live.
When Tall One and I were little mom was unable to celebrate Christmas with us one year. I can't remember the exact reason, but it was either because she had to work or she was sick. She was rather disappointed, and mentioned it to a co-worker.
The co-worker told mom that where she came from people celebrate the twelfth day of Christmas -- January 6th. Incidentally, I discovered recently that the family of one of my fellow bloggers also celebrates this day.
On the evening of January 5th everyone in my family puts a pair of shoes on the table in the dining room. We used to also put alfalfa in the shoes, but since we no longer have guinea pigs who we buy that stuff for we make do with some kind of fake stuff. Exactly what the fake stuff is differs from year to year, depending on what we have on hand and how creative we feel.
You know how Santa Clause flies through the skies with his sled and reindeer and gives everyone presents on Christmas? (By the way, I still get presents from Santa since I tell my mom that I definitely still believe in him.) Well, on the Twelfth Day of Christmas the Three Wise Men come around with their camels and leave presents for people in the shoes they leave out. Or anyways, that's how it is in my family. Magaly's is slightly different:
So, back to the socks. In addition to the yummy treats that we got in our shoes, we also got socks a few years ago. A quote from Dumbledore was on the table, where he bemoans the fact that he never gets warm wool socks for Christmas.
Ever since then we have gotten socks at epiphany. The socks have sort of developed into a family tradition. Maybe it seems like an odd one, but I like it.
Do you have any unusual family traditions for winter holidays? What are they?
ps. This is too funny, I have just got to share what the spellchecker is suggesting that "Dumbledore" is a misspelling of: tumbledown, battledore, Wimbledon, and dumbwaiter.
Friday, December 18, 2009
A while back I won two $25 gift cards to Godiva. (This is a while back as in Obama's inauguration a while back, although at the time I just wrote that I got a $50 gift card.) I finally got around to spending it today.
It seemed to me that $50 is a bit much for one girl to spend on chocolate, so I invited along a friend of mine -- a vegan friend. I didn't expect the fact that she's vegan to be problem, because the dark chocolate at Moonstruck is vegan, and I figured that Godiva would be the same. But guess what? I was wrong. :( So she did get someone a Christmas present there, but nothing for herself.
Since we couldn't get anything vegan at Godiva I suggested that we head to Moonstruck. My friend got a yummy vegan chocolate bar there, and I got my dinner: an ice cream sundae. Yes, I know this isn't the most nutritious dinner, but having ice cream and chocolate and whip cream for dinner every once in a while won't kill me.
Oh yeah, and there's also my foot to talk about.
Yesterday afternoon it started hurting when I was coming home from work. I don't know why! My best guess is that it objects to my walking a good distance (or rather a bad distance) in dress shoes that weren't meant for walking on Monday. But if that was on Monday, why would it only now be complaining? Good question, and I still don't have an answer, but walking in those shoes is still my best guess at what's the cause of my foot trouble.
I was limping around with a cane today, and now it's worse. Well, my foot isn't worse, but the overall situation is worse. It's my right foot that's hurting, and due to my walking differently a muscle in my left side is complaining. Oh, and my right hand and forearm are complaining about my leaning too heavily on a cane.
I'm irritated with the situation, but trying to take this with good humor. I'm not too worried at the moment, but that will probably change if it doesn't get better in a couple days.
I'd like to share an amazing song that I rediscovered this week. I found it very inspiring when I first saw it, way back when I still actually watched TV. I sort of forgot about it when I stopped, but then mom put on a Star Trek movie this week.
I found the song on YouTube and I'd like to share it here. If possible, I find it even more inspiring now than I did when I first saw it.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
The first confession is how I learned the date of her birthday several years ago. I could remember my brother's birthday, but I would always have trouble remembering exactly when my mom's birthday is in December. (Truthfully I still have trouble remembering my dad's birthday, and I often get it mixed up with my parent's anniversary.) What finally got me to remember the date of my mom's birth was one of the Lord of the Rings movies.
For a while I was one of those die-hard Lord of the Rings fans, and a crazy Legolas fan girl. So of course when "Return of the King" came out I was eagerly anticipating it, and had its date memorized: December 17th. So I have a movie to thank for helping me to remember the date of my mother's birth.
Am I a bad daughter or what? lol
My second confession is that I wasn't sure what to get for mom's birthday, and by the time I ordered her gift it didn't have time to get her for her birthday. The photo of the earrings I bought is to the right. By the way, I have a pair that are identical to this, and I think she gave them to me last Christmas.
After I named my cat Kokopelli (I call him Kokopelle but it's actually Kokopelli, which was my mom's second idea for his name) certain members of my family decided it would be cute to give me Kokopelli earrings. Apparently my mom has finally decided that she wants in on the fun, and wants Kokopelli earrings for herself.
Obviously mom isn't getting the Kokopelli earrings today, since they're still in the mail. So I made her a pair of earrings this afternoon. I think she likes them. :)
She also got earrings from dad, and Tall One gave her a CD that she'd requested. Actually, she'd requested one particular song, and giving her the CD with a bunch of songs is just the easy way to give her the song she wanted.
Tall One made lemon cake for mom, and did something special with the store bought icing so that it tasted extra yummy. He is a really good cook.
As I type this post mom's new CD is playing, she is knitting, and Tall One is doing maintenance work on his bagpipe. I hadn't known this before he picked up piping, but the pipes take a lot of TLC to work properly!
And no, mom is not freaking out about getting older. It seems weird to me when people freak out over birthdays. I hope I'll always have my mom's attitude when I get to middle age. To paraphrase her, "I earned each of my white hairs, and I'm proud of them!"
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
I have a pendant that's in the shape of a duck. But it isn't a normal kind of pendant, because I can use it to blow bubbles.
I started wearing it recently because I felt like compelled to. It seemed like an Otherworldly helper was telling me that I needed have fun, rather than spending the whole time stressed out. I admit, during the past term I have been going slightly nutsy and stressing out due to sleep deprivation and worrying about classes.
After blowing bubbles around my house, I started blowing bubbles when I was out and about this week, and I had this vague idea that it might bring happiness to other people. I was slightly surprised by the results, though.
Tuesday when I was on my way to my job interview someone called me something along the lines of "bringer of joy." I was quite happy. We wound up talking about our pets, which I found to be a delightful topic.
Today when I was blowing bubbles I thought that no one was paying attention to them to begin with. But when I moved so that I could see where the bubbles were going I realized that there were a couple of children who were chasing the bubbles. They were so cute. I was sad to leave when my train showed up.
Also today, and incidentally at the same time as when the kids were chasing the bubbles, when I first started blowing bubbles at the train station the wind took them somewhere I hadn't expected -- straight to a guy who was announcing to everyone passing by the Good News about Christianity. I couldn't help but wonder, was Jesus perhaps using the bubbles to tell him to calm down and have a good time? lol Who knows. :)
I'll continue blowing bubbles at bus stops, and at other places. It's brought joy to other people, which in turn brings joy to me.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
happy birthday dear [carrotspeak.],
happy birthday to you!
In case you've forgotten, the 16th is the first birthday of Carrie's blog, [carrotspeak.]. Carrie decided to have an online birthday bash for her blog. So, here I am! (And my mom's birthday is the 17th, but that's another post.) Yes, I know I'm writing this on the 15th, but since I actually have a job now I probably won't have a chance to blog until tomorrow evening if I don't do it tonight.
So, let's see, what first...?
In her post about this birthday bash, Carrie said: "I'll upload my own party post, and you guys get to play along by creating yours. What will you wear? This is, after all, a black-tie event. We must all be looking fab. Who will you bring as a date? How will you arrive? (Floo power? Limo? Hot air balloon?) Who will you mingle with; do you have any friends coming? Will you experience celebrity sightings? Oh the possibilities..." I guess answering those questions are what I'll do next!
First of all, what I am wearing is to the right. Very beautiful, if I may say so myself. :) I spent hours and hours going from store to store and trying on different dresses, trying to find the one that was meant for me. I was just about to give up when I spotted this one. It was love at first sight. You can't tell from this photo, but I'm even wearing glass slippers!
I didn't bring a date, but I did bring a nice friend. His photo is at the left.
He is a very friendly dragon, and don't be deceived about his size by the photo! We took this shot when he had shrunk himself (always playing with magic, he is) and it's the only good photo we've been able to get of him.
He was also kind enough to give me a ride on his back to the birthday bash. He really is a sweetie. :) His name is Smaug, by the way.
And yes, there definitely are some celebrities! I see Harry Potter, Gandalf, Dumbledore, Elizabeth Swan (sorry, that's Elizabeth Turner), Legolas, Bilbo Baggins, Arthur Dent, Calvin and Hobbes (oh no there's gonna be trouble...), Jason Fox (definitely some trouble), Fred and George Weasley (I really should hide, I think), Beka Cooper, George Cooper (wait, those two Coopers are about 200 years apart), and.... and... and... and the list goes on and on. Oh, and of course since Carrie is so crazy about Twilight, Edward Cullen is here.
And as for mingling, well, I can be sort of shy. But I suspect that if I start playing the grand piano in the corner someone will get interested and come talk to me about it. That's my trick at parties -- I have something I'm good at, such as spinning yarn or in this case playing the piano, that gets people to come to me so that I don't have to work up my courage to go up to them! :D
That's not to say that it's a bad job. I might prefer a job in the library, but this one seems pretty good. And if it does start to get too tedious and too boring, I can probably just bring along an audio book or music to listen to. I somehow suspect that I won't resort to that, though.
Today I just folded papers, stapled papers together, and put together packets for potential students. I had no idea how much time that kind of stuff spent. Next time I get any kind of packet in the mail, I will be grateful to whoever's job it was to put everything together and stay organized.
Monday, December 14, 2009
But, I bring good tidings!
I had a job interview today, and I was hired on the spot. Wow. I was amazed. Am still amazed. I'd started to think that I no one would want to hire me any time soon.
And when do I start? Tomorrow. :)
Saturday, December 12, 2009
It turns out that three of my poems were published at A Poet's Haven, and I only discovered this when I Googled my name while playing around. This website expects poets to check back with them to find out if their poems have been accepted, and I sort of stopped checking their site maybe a week after I submitted the poems.
So without further ado, here are the poems!
A Friendship Ended
I'll also share a few details behind the poems.
A Friendship Ended
Well...ok, I think this one is pretty much self explanatory.
I would like to mention that I'm finally at peace with what happened, so I find it sort of -- ironic? -- that the poem has finally gotten published.
This was inspired by watching Tall One dive into the pool from the diving board.
FYI, I have only ever dived into the pool once, and that was because it was from the edge of the pool and a really nice coach was holding my hands and guiding me into the pool. That was the summer that I was on a swim team. I never dived during the races even though I was supposed to dive into the water. Luckily my swim team wasn't very competitive, and the focus was on having fun rather than besting everyone else.
Also FYI, I've only ever jumped off a diving board once, and that was because it was either jump or fail a swim class.
I really do not appreciate being exposed to second hand smoke, and I wrote this after a cigarette was left smoking on the ground at a bus stop.
I admit, I sort of wish my family could do something like this. But we we've never had a neighbor who's gone all out in decorating.
We're in the process of decorating, by the way. Mom's already got the lights up outside, and Tall One and I are doing things inside. Unfortunately, decorating has had to contend with the fact that finals were this week and that we've both been sick recently.
Suppose that two friends are hanging out together, and friend A has the car. They're hanging out someplace downtown, and they have to pay the parking meter. What else is new? So they pay the parking meter the maximum time, with every intention of feeding the meter more money (it's called "feeding the meter," right? I'm sort of unfamiliar with these terms) when the time runs out.
But they get sort of caught up in something, and sort of forget.
When they get back to the car they find that friend A has a parking ticket! Gee, what fun.
Friend B feels like she shares some responsibility for the ticket. Her reasoning is something along the lines of that friend A was giving her a ride, and that as such she should have been helping to remember to feed the meter. She wants to pay part of the ticket.
Friend A, however, says that she takes full responsibility and doesn't want friend B to help pay the ticket.
What do you think? Is friend B correct in feeling that she ought to help pay the ticket? I've already got the opinions of my mom and brother, but I want to see what others think about this.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
I think that most of my followers are Pagan, and as such already know what I'm about to say. But I also know that some of my followers are not Pagan, and as such I wanted to clarify some things. And if all of my followers already know what I'm about to say, then I guess this post is pointless. lol So here goes...
Paganism is not a single religion. Rather, Pagan is an umbrella term which covers many different religions and spiritualities, which are sometimes very different from each other. Wicca is just one of these religions, and it's the one that everyone has heard about.
I sometimes describe it this way: You know how there are many different sects of Christianity? You have Lutheran, Baptist, Catholicism, Presbyterian...the list goes on and on. Well, Paganism is a little like that. Except we sometimes have even less in common with each other than the different forms of Christianity have with each other, which I guess is really saying something when I stop to compare the differences between the different forms of Christianity. lol
Anyways, I just wanted to clarify that little detail, that Wiccan and Pagan are not synonyms (hey, I learned to spell a new word!).
ps. Darned spellchecker! First it didn't think that "Wiccan" was a word, and now it doesn't like the plural "Wiccans" either!!! Darned darned darned spellchecker...
And guess what? I've been tagged!
Debra, over at She Who Seeks, tagged me in her latest post. The thingy she tagged me in originated at Top Ten Christmas Blog, and there are some rules to the game:
(By the way, Debra, I switched the spellings back over to American English.) (Why is it called "American" English? Canada is in the Americas, so technically their English is also "American English"...) (Ok I'll stop before I turn this into another rant on the topic.)
So, onto the questions! :)
There's a funny story about this, but I think that will wait until question 6.
Heck no! Shopping can be fun, but I'd rather avoid the crowds.
Maybe this isn't the funniest, but it's what I'm sharing.
Last year mom and I were doing some last minute Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve. (We don't usually wait that late, but we'd been snowed in for at least two weeks.) We were in the cake section, and mom said to me "Why don't you pick out the birthday cake for Jesus?"
I didn't say anything until later, but I was thinking "Gee, that's right, ask the Pagan to pick out Jesus' birthday cake!" lol
But I didn't mind. I am fond of Jesus, and I was delighted to get to make the decision! I chose cupcakes with frosting over the top of them so that they looked like a one layer cake, and they were decorated as a snowman. Yummy. :)
We don't have anything that's special to Christmas.
Real. I love the smell it brings inside! :)
I don't panic. At least, not over Christmas stuff.
Even though shopping is usually done before Christmas Eve in my household, there are usually some presents that get wrapped last minute.
Opening presents. :) Not only is it fun to see what you've gotten, but it's also fun to see people unwrap what you've given them.
Um...I'm a crafty person, but I'm having a hard time bringing to mind anything that's specifically Christmas...does decorating the tree count?
Oh, I love Christmas music. But don't ask me my favorite song! That sort of changes, depending on when you ask you ask me.
...good question... sometime before Christmas Eve...truthfully I don't even know what I'm getting everyone yet...
And now I get to tag five other people! Let's see, who do I want to tag?
Moonrat at Editorial Ass
Mrs. B. at Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom
Magaly at Pagan Culture
Carrie at [carrotspeak.]
Jupiter at Carnelian Chronicles
Hmm, three out of five are Pagan blogs!
You can also do this as a Yule Tag, or apply these questions to whatever winter holiday you celebrate. You could probably even change some questions if they don't apply to whatever holiday you celebrate! I'm just sticking to Christmas because I celebrate it with my interfaith family. :D
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
I'd been afraid that I might not make it to school today, though. I got sick over the weekend, and was not feeling well yesterday. I was feeling especially bad last night, but then I felt better this morning. I'm pretty sure I'm not contagious anymore, and since I didn't feel like I was about to throw up I figured I should go ahead and go to school.
I did eat chicken noodle soup last night, and I brought some for lunch today.
By now I don't feel at all queasy, but I do feel tired. Really tired. But of course, I'm a night person so my body won't let me go to bed for another hour.
Which brings me to another topic...
On the way home I was talking to mom (she picks me up from school when I get out of classes in the evening) and I finally said something that I've been sort of thinking about recently: "In our culture it's expected that people will do early mornings. If you can't do early mornings, it's thought that there must be something wrong with you. Am I correct?" I sort of wanted a reality check, to make sure that I had things right. And sure enough, she said that I was right. (I'd been hoping I was wrong.)
The problem is, I have trouble with mornings. It's not just that I don't feel like doing them. Really, until the last couple weeks of the term when my mom started driving me to school, I would catch the bus at 6:16am every Tuesday and Thursday morning. I arrived at school not only promptly in time for class, but actually early. (I can thank the wonderful bus schedules for that.) However, it's taken a toll on me.
No, I'm not saying I can't do early mornings at all. But twice a week seems to be too much for me. I'm just a night person! No matter how tired or even sleep deprived I am, when it gets to about 9pm my body said "Ok, we are awake and you are going to be awake until at least midnight!" True, I can get to sleep at like 11, but I have to really fight every instinct in me to get to bed any earlier. I can do it sometimes, but on a regular basis is a bit much to ask, I've discovered. The result is sleep deprivation.
So I have to ask -- what about us night owls? Yeah, the early bird gets the worm, but some of us are just better off basking in the glory of the night rather than eating a nice juicy worm (yuck).
Next term I also have classes that are just as early in the morning. Fortunately mom has said that she'll drive me to school those mornings. That means that I can get up after 6:16am, rather than catching the bus at 6:16am. Believe me, I will handle this schedule much better.
And who knows, maybe my body will change its mind eventually and I'll find that I can cope with early early mornings more easily. But in the meantime, I simply cannot handle getting up at 5:30am or 5am regularly.
Are any of you night people? Have you run into trouble, or had inflexible schedules that demanded you get up too early multiple times a week? How did you cope? Or maybe vice versa -- are you morning people, but had schedules which demanded that you stay up late?
She is giving away a gift card to Eco Store USA. She tried one of their their all natural shampoos and conditioners, and if even half of what she said about it is true, it's got to be amazing. And since I'm sure that everything she said about it is true, it's got to be super amazing!
Monday, December 7, 2009
At some point my teacher said something about pianos having souls. She added something like "I know that's weird. I mean, all they are is wood and stuff." I pointed out "But the wood comes from trees, which were once alive." The trees being mentioned, it seemed only natural to continue, "And then the piano keys used to be made from ivory, which came from elephants." To my surprise, people seemed a little uncomfortable when I mentioned that. My teacher said that she is very glad that poaching elephants was banned, but that she does like the feel of the ivories.
I feel the same way she does. I am very glad that ivory isn't used in making pianos anymore. What was done to the elephants is just unthinkable. But, I also told them, if I had to go out and buy another piano, I would definitely choose an antique one that has ivory keys. They feel very different from plastic keys, and I prefer their feel. One of the things I notice when I sit down at a new piano is what the keys are made of. If they keys are made from ivory, I try to make a point of acknowledging the spirit of the elephant and thanking it.
And then I sit down at my teacher's piano to play. lol The first thing I looked at, as usual, was the keys: were they ivory, or plastic? Looking at them and playing them I was a little confused, because even though they seemed to be ivory, it seemed like they couldn't be. Maybe my confusion should have told me -- they are a special kind of plastic (I think it's plastic) that is made to look and feel like ivory. I can't remember what it's called, though. My teacher told me what they were when I asked about them, and said that they are the "politically correct" keys.
So after playing her piano, I've changed my mind about what I would look for if I had to go buy a new piano. I would very likely look for an antique with ivory keys, but I would also consider newer pianos made with these new "politically correct" keys.
I also wanted to mention, we made a surprising discovery last night. Mom and my piano teacher share the same birthday. Isn't that an odd coincidence?
Sunday, December 6, 2009
This evening my school choir did a Christmas show. It was fun, and I brought a friend. I also dragged my mom and brother along. :) There was one particular song we did that I love, and I've tried to find it on YouTube but I can't! So I can't share the song with you, but I can share the name: Hanukkah Remembrance. It is an absolutely amazing song.
Oh and guess what? I forgot to bring my music to the show. Yes, I have seriously been clueless and out if it recently. It went fairly well regardless of my forgetfulness.
Our plan had been to go to Pride of Portland's Christmas show after my choir's show was over, but our show took a little longer than I'd expected so that didn't happen. :(
I did get to see Pride (for short) last week, though. My choir was performing at The Grotto (an absolutely amazing Catholic place downtown) and Pride happened to be on just before us! That was cool. I wasn't able to see their whole performance, unfortunately, because of when my call time was. But I was able to see some of their show.
So...back to this evening!
We weren't able to see Pride's show, but my friend knew about another show. So we (minus mom and Tall One) went off to see it. Oh, it was fun. It started at 8, and I got home at midnight. lol Which was totally fine with me. I'm a night person! I'm happy at night! :) (Even if I probably use too many parentheses and stuff when I write blog posts late at night.)
There were three bands, one of which was Negara, which is a favorite band of this friend of mine. Let me tell you, I think they're now a favorite of mine, too. :) There was also belly dancing, and some of the dancers used swords as props. That was really cool. I sort of have this thing about swords.
When it got to the last band, I was sort of puzzling over the guy who was playing the bass. He looked familiar, and it took me a few minutes to decide that I definitely recognized him from Marylhurst. I talked to him after wards. He didn't recognize me, but that's fine. We've never actually talked before, and I only knew him by sight. It turns out that he's a professor who I'll be taking classes from in my second year!
By the way, this is a professor who should have been singing with my school choir this evening. He wasn't, though, because his voice wasn't doing too well.
But it was rather interesting to run into him this evening.
It's a small world after all,
it's a small world after all,
it's a small world after all,
it's a small small world!
Ok...bedtime for me now! Especially if I don't want to continue to suffer from sleep deprivation.
Friday, December 4, 2009
I was about ten years old, give or take, and I had discovered the joys of reading. I had a habit of staying up past my bedtime so that I could read, and I remember that this particular time I was reading by the light of my fish tank.
Mom caught me, and wanted to know what I was doing. Guess what I told her? "I'm practicing for college, when I'll have to stay up late studying." Seriously, that's what I told her. I'm pretty sure that's also what I was even thinking when I decided to read by the light of my fish tank.
I don't remember what she said to me. She probably just told me to put my book down and go to sleep. What she should have told me, though, was "Get your sleep while you can!"
Thursday, December 3, 2009
Maybe I should explain the thought process behind this.
In one of my classes for music therapy the professor has explained that we would not refer to someone with autism as "an autistic patient," but as "a patient with autism." There's quite a difference between those two phrases. (This also applies to patients with strokes, head trauma, etc.) The first one defines a person by whatever their condition is. The second one doesn't.
This makes sense to me. I was thinking about it, and realized that if it really makes sense to me, and that if I want to embrace it, then I would need to change how I think about myself and my ADHD. Even just last month in this post, I referred to myself as being ADHD, rather than having ADHD. (I actually wrote that backwards at first -- wonderful dyslexia! lol) (Agh, and then I messed up when I retyped it...what fun I'm having!) (Actually it's probably sleep deprivation that's causing this trouble...) (Anyways...)
I mentioned this thought process to someone else who is in college to become a counselor. She told me that I was on the right track.
So, I only had to convince myself that rather than being ADHD, I am actually an individual who has ADHD. I discovered that there was sort of a difference between intellectually knowing something, and really believing it wholeheartedly.
Then one night in the past couple weeks I was lying in bed trying to get to sleep, when I finally internalized it. In my mind it started going like a mantra:
I am not ADHD,
I have ADHD.
I am not ADHD,
I have ADHD.
I am not ADHD,
I have ADHD.
etc, etc, etc.
This has entirely changed my attitude. I no longer define myself by my ADHD. Yes, I have ADHD, and I'll have it all my life, with its funny quirks and its challenges. That won't change.
What has changed is that...how do I even explain it?
lol I'm sitting here, shaking my head and laughing. This is more than a sleep deprived college kid can explain. Or anyways, it's more than THIS sleep deprived college kid can explain.
Maybe what I'm trying to explain is obvious. I don't know. If it isn't, say so, and I'll attempt to explain it sometime when I'm not so sleep deprived.
I think it's bedtime for me! Straight off to bed right now...right after I feed the fish.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
She is Juliet Marillier, and you can find her website here. I was rather excited to find this video. :)
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Ok, so they were probably using names rather than just saying "my wife," but I'm not using names here. But that's beside the point.
The point of my post is... *cue singing*
It's a small world after all,
It's a small world after all,
It's a small world after all,
It's a small small world!
Has anything ever happened to you that made you start singing this song?
I'm in the youth pipe band, and there was really only one time that Joe spoke to me directly. It was when we were all getting our uniforms together, and we had just gotten everything we needed. Joe was looking at our stuff, and he said "Everyone who doesn't have their shoes polished, go home and polish your shoes." I looked at all the shoes, and realized that only one pair weren't polished: my own.
I would like to tell you that I polished my shoes last night, in honor of Joe.
More than a few of us told this band member that we will always check to make sure that his shoes are polished. If his shoes aren't polished, he'll hear about it! :)
Another youth band member shared a letter that she had written to Joe when he was (I think) in hospice. It was all about what he'd taught her -- not just drumming, but also how to get up in front of people, and how encouraging he was. She had virtually everyone in tears. And those who weren't crying were definitely close to it, and having to hold back the tears.
Of course there were other stories, and not just from those in the piping community. In fact, I found out that he had this thing about model trains and about exploring old train yards. (His wife learned to always bring along a good book when they went out for car rides.) But it's through the piping community that I've known of him, and I have a special soft spot for the youth pipe band, so it's those from the youth pipe band who I remember in particular.