Monday, November 29, 2010

Cyber Monday at Dragonfly's Laughter

I'm getting into this late in the game, but at least I'm getting into it at all!

From now through Wednesday evening you can get 50% off of anything at my shop Dragonfly's Laughter if you enter the coupon code "cybermonday" during checkout.

Don't miss out! It's all handmade things, some of which were already pretty inexpensive. Prices were ranged from $5 to $18, but are now only from $2.50 to $9.00!!!

Below are just some of the things you'll find in my shop.



In my shop:

* Scarves
* Jewelry
* Needlework
* Bead buddies
* Heating pads

Official PayPal Seal

Sunday, November 28, 2010

"Laughing as you sink"

I came across this yesterday, and since I don't really have anything else to blog about, wanted to share it.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Food Court Flash Mob

You may remember that earlier this month I shared a YouTube of over 650 people bursting into Halleluja in a crowded Macy's, accompanied by the world's largest pipe organ.

The YouTube I've shared below is a flash mob on a slightly smaller scale, though equally cool. In it people burst out singing Halleluja in a food court, surrounded by unsuspecting shoppers.


Friday, November 26, 2010

Hearing problems

I went to my doctor a couple weeks ago because of a problem that started at the beginning of this term: when singing with my choir, I inevitably get a static sound in my left ear.

It's happened occasionally in the past, but it's never stubbornly stuck with me week after week, let alone month after month, like it is now. It's the soprano range that triggers it (and FYI -- I sing soprano), though listening to a lone bagpipe without an earplug in my left ear also brings on the static. It's only in my left ear, though. My right ear is fine.

So, as I said, I went to my doctor after a couple months of this, since it wasn't going away on its own. She said there isn't anything she herself could do, but that I could go to audiology. In response I told her that my tentative self diagnosis was that I could maybe perhaps possibly have too much ear wax in my left ear, and that it could maybe perhaps possibly be causing the problem. She took a look, said that it didn't look like it was too much, but that the nurse could remove it for me if I liked. I said yes, I would like that.

Unfortunately, it didn't solve the problem, as I discovered a couple hours later when I went to choir. :(

But before I left, and even before the ear wax was (unnecessarily) removed, my doctor suggested another solution: using an earplug. I didn't like that idea, because an earplug would change how I sound to myself, which could be problematic in singing with my choir.

But after discovering that removing the ear wax from my ear didn't work, I decided that desperate measures were called for. I decided to try using an earplug.

I talked to my director and section leader about using an earplug. I wanted to get the director's permission, and I wanted to give my section leader a heads up. The director told me to do whatever I needed to do, and my section leader actually gave me a suggestion -- that I might want to view the earplug as an opportunity, rather than as a problem; that I could use this opportunity to work on singing by feel rather than by how I sound, since how I sound to myself would be distorted by the earplug.

With my section leader's advice in mind, I eagerly brought an earplug to the next choir rehearsal. When the static began to attack my ear, I used the earplug.

Unfortunately, the earplug plan backfired. Big time.

I expect that the earplug would work if I were just listening to a soprano, but it definitely does not work when I'm actually singing myself. As I realized belatedly, when I'm singing soprano, my own vocal chords are causing some of the problem. And when the problem is internal rather than external, the earplugs make it louder, just like they make my voice louder to my own hearing.

So the earplugs aren't going to work, unless I'm an audience member at a performance. If I'm actually on the stage performing, they're worse than useless to me.

So, I need to go to audiology, and see if they can help me.

On the upside, the static is only in my left ear. It isn't bothering my right ear. That's something to be thankful for.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Celebrating snow

It snowed Monday night, much to my delight. (Hey, that rhymes! I'm a poet! :P) When I discovered the snow I went outside to get a closer look at it, and my mom followed me out. We only had a very little bit, but I decided to celebrate by scraping together enough snow to make a tiny snowball to throw at my mom.

The first snowball of the season! It was rather tiny and pathetic, but oh well. It was still a snowball.

We still have snow, although I admit that it's pretty much only a dusting. Regardless, I would like to celebrate its continued existence by sharing the following video.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Snow

And guess what? It's snowing!!!




It isn't much, but we've the whole night ahead of us. :) This photo shows what's in our backyard.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Snow, or lack thereof

For the last several days I've been getting sort of antsy, wanting snow. And today, we were supposed to finally get snow, in the afternoon.

Hallelujah!

But wait, the snow was delayed, and it was supposed to start snowing in the evening. Oh well, I figured I could wait.

Hey, there's more news! Evening classes have been canceled, due to snow.

Darn it.

So now it is almost 7pm, and I am sitting at home rather than attending what would have been a cool class, because of snow that has yet to appear.

The snow had darn well better show up soon and be worth me missing a class for. Otherwise I am going to be grumpy.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Randomness, concerning ADHD and Gummi Bears

Random ADHD quote:

"Those of us with ADHD don't suffer from a deficit of attention -- if anything, we have a surfeit of it. We're vulnerable to distraction because we perceive too much at once; we're unable to filter out extraneous stimuli and focus on what is most important." ~ Niika Quistgard-Devivo

It's true.

And a random ADHD fact: Yes, we can have trouble focusing on things (or on what we're supposed to be focusing on, anyways), but we can also go to the complete opposite and hyper-focus on things. This can be good, like if we're hyper-focusing on homework. It can also be bad, like if we're hyper-focusing on something that frightens us.

By the way, I'm taking a communications class this term and for my final project I'm studying what particular challenges people with ADHD might have when it comes to communication. In some ways it's great, because it is giving me more tools to use when my ADHD gives me trouble. On the other hand it can be depressing, like when one article refers to it as a "disease" and another one talks about someday finding for a "cure" for ADHD -- as though we're broken and need to be fixed!

Overall, though, I think that studying it is pretty good for me. :D

Now, before getting back to homework, I'd like to share the following Gummi Bears episode. I don't really remember any particular episodes of this cartoon from my childhood, with the exception of this one. I was so happy to find it on YouTube. :)


Thursday, November 18, 2010

Enhanced pat downs

"Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one." -- Benjamin Franklin

Have you heard about what's going on at the airports now? They have a new "enhanced pat down" which includes feeling the groin and women's breasts. I've read a few first hand accounts, and it's been described as sexual assault.

People are generally spared this enhanced pat down unless they decide to opt out of the body scan that looks under your clothing. However, if you get dinged by a security device twice then an enhanced pat down is required, and it is my understanding that people are randomly chosen for the enhanced pat down.

Think about it. What gives them the right to feel you up and grope you? If they weren't the TSA, they would be arrested for sexual assault.

I've seen outrage over this in the blogging community, and I'm happy to have found a video of Ron Paul also expressing disgust with the TSA. I don't agree with everything he says, but I appreciate that he's speaking out and trying to do something about it.



Some people approve of the enhanced pat down, saying that it makes us safer. However, I would like to point out that there comes a point when the terrorists have won.

There comes a point when we are so afraid that we work ourselves into a corner and we can barely move. At that point the terrorists have won. They have also won when people are sexually assaulted in the name of being protected from terrorism.

Let's have freedom again. Freedom from being molested by those who say that they are only trying to protect us.

Now, for a return to sanity and because I think something is needed to make me smile after writing all this, I would like to share the following video.




(PS. What joy. I can't work on homework but I can write this. I guess this is easier to write...?)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sacred space

This evening I was reminded by a bored deity (to steal Anne's Johnson's term) that even though I may have lots of stuff on my to-do list, I shouldn't ignore my spiritual practices. And you know what? If I do take time to pray, meditate, drum, do whatever I need to to fulfill my spiritual needs, I'll probably have more energy for the stuff on my to-do list.

And speaking of spirituality...

The latest Pagan Blog Prompt is the following: "What is your sacred space like? Is it a permanent set up, or something you only create when you need it? What sorts of things do you need in order to make your space sacred? Is it an outdoor or indoor thing, or whenever and wherever you need it?" For those of you who aren't familiar with it, it's exactly what it sounds like. Pagan Blog Prompts is there to provide blog prompts for Pagan bloggers. I've been aware of it for some months, but this is the first time I'm actually responding to it.



I guess my sacred space is my bedroom. It's my only space that is all my own, since I live with my parents and brother. It hadn't been sacred space, until I recently did major cleaning in it (which still isn't done -- I do need to go through some drawers). While cleaning I have made an effort to get rid of negative energy, and invite the good in.

I also moved my altar. It had been on a bookshelf, and that worked for a while, but it was finally time for a change. So I moved it to a little nightstand type table, and am trying to figure out what to do with it to make it my ideal altar. It's a work in progress. I might share photos eventually, but at this point in time it doesn't feel appropriate.

The one downside to my altar's new location is that the cats can jump on it. lol That's ok though, I guess. I just need to make sure that I don't leave anything breakable on it. And I shouldn't let the cats in my room while any candles are lit, since they might jump before looking.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Gummi Bears

Last evening I was with some friends (we actually went to see a high school production of Les Miserables!) and somehow the subject of cartoons came up. I never was really into cartoons, with the exception of Gummi Bears.

Ah, Gummi Bears. I loved them. I remember fondly the mornings that I had breakfast in front of the TV and watched the cartoon.

So, I found them on YouTube! Here's one episode in three parts. I think it's the first one.








I think my favorite is Gruffy Bear.

I also think that if I don't watch it, I'm going to get hooked on these cartoons again. lol :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cheating

I just finished reading the latest post over at The Didactic Pirate, and guess what? It turns out that at one university there was a class of 600 students, 200 of which cheated on their latest exam. Think about it. That is 1/3 of a class of 600.

I don't like cheaters. Cheating is dishonest. Not only that, but cheating actually hurts people in the long run -- think about it, they graduate with a degree that they didn't really earn. And how much is a degree worth if you haven't really earned it? (Hint: Not very much.)

I don't feel like writing all the dirty details, but here are the basics: someone got ahold of the answer sheet and shared it with classmates. The professor and dean figured it out, due partially to someone who tipped them off anonymously. They have a way to figure out who cheated, and the cheaters will be dealt with...unless they confess that they cheated, in which case they are off the hook.

Personally, I think they're being too nice. Personally, I think everyone who cheated ought to face repercussions.

Also, everyone will have to take a new exam in place of the one already taken.

I do like that, but if I were one of the students in the class I would be very angry as heck with my classmates who cheated and made it necessary for me to retake an exam.

Interestingly, someone recorded the professor confronting the class about it, and the Pirate shared it in his post. I watched it, and it is quite impressive. It's fifteen minutes long, so you might not want to watch it due to its length, but if you're interested here it is.
If you want to find out more, you can read the Pirate's post about it here.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I'm back!

I've been pretty quiet the past few days, maybe because I've been spending a LOT of time cleaning my bedroom. You see, I found mold growing first on the edges of my bedroom windows (yes, you saw that right -- windows, plural!), and then on my window sills. So then I turned my room upside down looking for more mold and doing a thorough cleaning in the process.

The good news is that I found no mold growing on my walls.

The other good news is that my bedroom is now quite clean.

There is no bad news.

:)

Also, I wanted to share a video clip. In it over 650 people burst out singing Halleluja in a crowded mall.

It is awesome.



Don't you wish you could have been there to see it? I wish I'd been there, not only to see it but to sing with them.

Oh yes, and the singers were accompanied by the worlds LARGEST pipe organ. More awesomeness. :)

(Do I seem to be writing differently? I feel like I'm writing differently...maybe all that cleaning has me in a weird mood...)

=D

Thursday, November 4, 2010

What the heck?

I was on my way home, and had just missed a train. That was ok, though, since I knew another one would be along in maybe five minutes. I decided to walk to the far end of the station to wait, but was stopped halfway there by a guy who asked "Why aren't you smiling?" This took me by surprise. "What? I'm not smiling?" "No," he said, and added something like "A beautiful woman like you probably has lots of reasons to smile."

He said a few other pretty things like that, and I was just beginning to figure out what he was up to when he said "You know, I usually don't make a pass at women wearing glasses, but there's just something about you." I guess I was supposed to feel flattered and special, but I just wanted to laugh. I contained my laughter but I did smile, which I think he took as encouragement.

He asked me some other questions -- like what my job is, am I a college student, what's my major, what's my accent, how old am I -- and eventually commented "Your boyfriend is really lucky." When he figured out that I don't actually have a boyfriend he said "What? I can't believe it! A woman like you, guys must be lining up to knock on your door." At that point I considered telling him that I prefer women. It would have been a lie, but it would have been interesting to see how he responded to being told that he was making a pass at a lesbian. Plus it would have told him that he had zero chance of getting me.

Eventually the train came, and we parted ways. I was on the verge of laughing the rest of the way home. It just seems funny to me that a guy would stop a woman at a train station to make a pass at her. I mean, he didn't even have any idea whether I was a serial murderer or something else just as bad! He didn't even know my name! And he never even told me his.

Ah, the people you meet when taking mass transit. Some are interesting, and others are...more interesting.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Samhain stuff


My Samhain went pretty well. One of the highlights was talking on the phone to a friend of mine who moved away a month ago. I spent last Samhain with her and was really starting to miss her as this Samhain approached. Talking on the phone isn't the same as hanging out together and telling stories around the fire, but it was pretty good to see her name on my caller ID and hear her say "Happy Samhain!"

I also figured that Samhain might be a good time to smudge my home. For those who don't know, "smudging" is basically cleansing, purifying, and banishing negative energy. It can be done a variety of ways, and I decided to do it with water. (I'd originally wanted to do it by carrying burning herbs around the house, but I couldn't get the herbs to stay lit. So I improvised.) In the end everyone in my family was also smudged, and I even smudged the cats -- amazingly they didn't object to me sprinkling water on them.

And then the next day at work...

A coworker asked me how my Halloween had gone. At first I was hesitant to mention the spiritual aspect of the day to me, simply because being a minority can be a little tiresome at times since you have to explain yourself to people. But after telling her what I dressed up as and how many trick-or-treaters we got (one group of three kids) I added "And I'm Pagan, so I also celebrate the Pagan roots of Halloween..." Much to my amazement, she responded with "Oh, I should have called my Pagan relatives!" It turns out that she was already familiar with Samhain, and that I didn't need to explain anything about it.

It also turns out that this coworker of mine comes from a country that celebrates October 31st as a day honoring the dead. I don't remember all the details, but she told me a little about how they celebrate the day, which involves visiting grave sites of deceased relatives. It's also a national holiday in her home country, and almost everyone also had Monday off.

It was really nice to talk to her, and hear about how she used to celebrate the day with her family. Unfortunately I don't remember the name of her country...I know it's a small one, though, and its name sounded vaguely familiar to me when she said it.

Last, I want to share this news article. BBC covered the Pagan celebrations going on on the 31st, and then was criticized for "neglecting Christianity." Apparently Christianity is in danger of being "marginalized" by news agencies such as BBC who decide to give air time to people of minority religions. I'm not sure if I should laugh or what. I mean, come on. Christianity is one of the major world religions. I don't think that it's in any danger of being marginalized.