Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Saga of Biorn

For your viewing pleasure I would like to provide the following short video.

The Saga Of Biorn from The Animation Workshop on Vimeo.



Moral of the story: One person's heaven is another person's Hel(heim).

Saturday, February 26, 2011

My birthday present

My closest friend moved out of town at the end of last September. I was happy for her, but also sad, and we agreed that I would visit the following spring.

Spring is almost here, and I've been wondering if I have the money to visit. After all, I'd be taking the Greyhound bus to her place and that costs money. Roughly $100 for the round trip. I had been trying to ignore the sad fact that I can't really spare this money (or anyways, that it would be better off staying in my savings) when a way to deal with the money issue arose.

My birthday is coming up, so yesterday mom asked me "Sarita, would you like some bus tickets for your birthday?" Bus tickets? I thought, Why would she buy me bus tickets for my birthday? She buys me those often enough on a regular basis. "No thanks. There are some books I would like..." Obviously I didn't understand what she meant when she said "bus tickets," so she clarified "You do realize that I'm talking about Greyhound bus tickets?"

Plans were finalized today, and I now have my birthday present from mom: Greyhound bus tickets to visit my friend during spring break. And I am happy. Happy happy happy. :)

Friday, February 25, 2011

Two news items

First news item:

You may remember that my grandma had cancer. Please note that I'm talking past tense. Yep, the cancer has miraculously disappeared, and the doctor has said that no chemo therapy will be necessary.

Second news item:

Snow. There was snow the last few days! And when it snows in Oregon, people get a little crazy. We don't know how to deal with this white stuff. Places start shutting down when there is half an inch on the ground, and people refuse to leave their houses. It's all that the news people talk about.

To show you exactly how crazy we get when this white stuff appears, I would like to share a (parody) news story from a few years ago about a snow(pacalypse) storm that hit an Oregon town a few years ago.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Yarn diary: continued

Because I am so enthusiastic, I am sharing three more pages from my yarn diary. This is yarn that I've spun myself.


These are random yarns that I have spun in the past and don't really have any info on. Hence the title "Random, unknown." In two cases I did have small samples of the roving I spun yarn from.

Everything on the left side of the page was spun with a Louet drop spindle, and the one yarn sample on the right was spun on my Ashford Kiwi spinning wheel.



The pages immediately above and below are examples of the options a person has when they sit down to spin yarn. They are both 50/50 Wool/Soysilk from the same place. They're probably from different dye lots, but the roving they came as was otherwise identical. (Roving is the wool/cotton/other that is ready to be spun into yarn.)

I used a Louet drop spindle for the above sample, and plied it. The plying is two strands wrapped around each other.

Below I (almost certainly) used my Ashford Kiwi spinning wheel, and I did not ply it.

As you can see, the end results are very different even though what I started with was the same.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Yarn diary: excerpt

I read one book about spinning yarn that recommended keeping a yarn diary. In a yarn diary a person may keep samples of what they have spun along with details about the process. This keeps a record of what a person has spun and can help generate ideas for future projects.

I thought this was a great idea, so I put together a yarn diary a month or so ago. In my enthusiasm I decided to share three pages of my yarn diary here.

Since the yarn is more clear than the writing in the scans I'll also type up some of what is written in each page.

Sheep breed unknown

I bought this roving at the Portland Highland Games.

I'm pretty sure that I finished this up by soaking in hot water for 15 minutes.

Spinning wheel: Ashford Kiwi



Wool

Spinning wheel: Ashford Kiwi

Finished by soaking in hot water for 15-16 minutes with this [soak: Modern Care for Fine Fibers: scentless for your sensitive side] in the water.

Wool

100% Nylon

Finished by soaking in hot water for approx. 15 minutes

Spinning wheel: Ashford Kiwi

***

"Finishing" yarn by putting it in hot water helps to make it behave itself. Compare the "unfinished" vs "finished" to see what I mean.

I might share more pages from my yarn diary in future posts.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The agonies of school

For one of my classes I have the following assignment: pick a place (outdoors) to visit regularly, and write about.

As a result of this assignment I have spent more time outdoors than usual and made the following discoveries:

1) There is a park near my house with a play structure that includes SWINGS!!!

2) If I walk home from the park instead of taking a bus it only takes about twenty minutes. This is a good way to get some exercise.

3) There's a nice nature trail near my house.

4) There are quite a few places for wildlife in my general area. They tend to be small(ish), but they're there.

In the process of discovering the above facts I was forced to spend time in nature.

The agony! To be required to get fresh air, and to listen to the land. To have to hear the bird songs and watch the wild life, and then revisit the experience to write about it!

Oh, how I suffer. *wipes away a tear*

And the swings. Don't get me started about the swing set I found. Whenever I visit the park I find myself drawn to the swings and I spend at least twenty minutes on them. During that time I become a ten year old again.

Yes, I do endure much torture for the sake of my education.

*pout*

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Dudley Do-Right

Years ago I was introduced to the cartoon Rocky and Bullwinkle. My favorite part is generally the Dudley Do-Right part of it, and I wanted to share one of the episodes here.



He never does right, he always does wrong. Wait, I've got that backwards...or have I?

;)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Time: Linear vs. Cyclical

For one of my classes we were talking about The Spell of the Sensuous by David Abram, and we got onto the topic of time. Abram talks about linear time vs. cyclical time, and our professor felt it necessary to explain to the class about cyclical time.

He explained that even though "we" think of time as linear, there are people who view it as cyclical. For those who view it as cyclical there is no definite beginning or ending. So whereas "we" think of time as there being a definite time when the universe was created and a (perhaps) definite time when it will end, "those" people think of creation as a process that keeps on happening. That to "them", there is no absolute beginning or end, and that everything that has happened will happen again...even creation.

I started to feel very lonely as he explained this. You see, I think of time as cyclical. I always have. I can easily "translate" into linear time (if that makes sense) but my understanding of time is first and foremost cyclical. It took me years to even realize that this wasn't the norm.

I don't blame my professor. It was something that needed to be understood by everyone if they were going to understand the text properly. But it did make me feel a little lonely.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Spelling as writing AND magick

I was thinking about magick this evening. I don't know what started me thinking about it, but in particular I was thinking about how most of my Pagan friends assume that I'm a witch. I don't mind this assumption, but it's not true. I did get my feet wet in witchcraft, but I left it behind when I discovered shamanism.

Then I started thinking about a book I've been reading for school, Spell of the Sensuous by David Abram. In particular, I remembered the following paragraph:

"Perhaps the most succinct evidence for the potent magic of written letters is to be found in the ambiguous meaning of our common English word 'spell.' As the roman alphabet spread through oral Europe, the Old English word 'spell,' which had meant simply to recite a story or tale, took on the new double meaning: on the one hand, it now meant to arrange, in the proper order, the written letters that constitute the name of a thing or a person; on the other, it signified a magic formula or charm. Yet these two meanings were not nearly as distinct as they have come to seem to us today. For to assemble the letters that make up the name of a thing, in the correct order, was precisely to effect a magic, to establish a new kind of influence over that entity, to summon it forth! To spell, to correctly arrange the letters to form a name or a phrase, seemed thus at the same time to cast a spell, to exert a new and lasting power over the things spelled."

So basically, to write -- to spell out words -- is to cast a spell, according to Abram.

I remembered this, pondered it a little, and then I looked above my altar and...oh, wait. Yeah, um, there's something over my altar that may constitute as "spelling," in both senses of the word. It's something that's left over from an activity that a chorus I used to sing with did.
1) Everyone got a marker, and a piece of paper was taped to their back.
2) Find someone, anyone, and write one nice word describing that person on the paper on their back.
3) Repeat step 2 with as many people as you can until the evil director tells you that you've had enough fun and to get back to your places on the risers.
4) Get the paper off of your back (possibly with the help of a riser buddy) and see what people have written about you.
I still have that piece of paper. Here are some of the words on it:

* studious
* helper
* cute (four people wrote this! lol)
* brave
* smiley
* confidence
* great
* good kid
* dedication
* ever present
* energy

There's good energy in this piece of paper, and I look at it when I begin to lose confidence in myself. I remind myself that those are words that people wrote (or "spelled") on my back, and that they chose those particular words for a reason.

And I have to ask myself, is this spelling as writing and as magick? Do I need to reassess whether I am still a witch? Hmm....

By the way, Abram's The Spell of the Sensuous is a wonderful book. If you're interested in a philosophical discussion about the relationship between humans and the rest of the universe, you might want to take a look at this, especially if your spirituality/religion is nature based or if you are interested in such paths. It's a tough read, but very worth it. (And if you get bogged down in chapter two my advice is just to skip it.) I also discuss other aspects of this book in my book blog, and may have a book review up soon.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Chipmunk

I've been having a hard time doing homework. It's not that the homework is hard (though I'm not necessarily saying it's easy) it's just hard for me to do it. If that makes sense.

So it was very nice when I logged onto Facebook and found the following video. It is so adorable, and something nice and relaxing to watch. And it's not even a minute long.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

My school

Marylhurst University was founded by some Catholic sisters who traveled from the other side of the continent for the sake of education. It's a very impressive and inspiring story, and I wanted to share a little video about it in case anyone is interested.



FYI, the other school the sisters started (I think it's called St. Mary's Academy?) is on the same bus line as Marylhurst. Funny coincidence, I think. ;)

Friday, February 4, 2011

February Fairies

"About a year ago my mom baked some homemade bread. The bread was loved by everyone, including the faery folk who live in our backyard. I shared some with them one day, and promised to give them more soon. I almost forgot this promise, but they reminded me. . ."

If you want to rest of the story, click here. It's a true story that happened to me, and it's part of February Fairies fun over at The Whimsical Cottage.



Yes, I'm getting a little overexcited about February Fairies. :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

"American Pie"

I somehow got the chorus of "American Pie" stuck in my head recently. I mentioned this to Tall One, we started talking about the song, and it quickly became obvious to him that the chorus is about all I know.

It turns out that Tall One knows "American Pie" quite well, and has even read up on the meaning(s) behind the song. He was shocked at my ignorance, so he pulled out his iPhone and played the song for me. (Gotta love those iPhones!) At the end of the song I asked "Ok, who died?" So he explained the references, and I am now a slightly more cultured United States citizen.

However, I still think that I like this one better:

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Imbolc

First, I want to say that I really love my fellow Pagan bloggers. Most of the Pagans I know I know online, so your blogs are actually pretty important to me. Thank you. :D

Now, on to Imbolc.

Traditionally, Imbolc has been the time of year when winter is still around, but you're just beginning to see bits of spring. While it is true that much of the USA is still in winter's grip, that doesn't seem to be the case here in Oregon. In fact, we're having some rather spring like weather, and so far as I'm concerned we haven't had a proper winter yet.

So rather than looking for hints that spring is just around the corner, I see spring already beginning to wake up here. *sigh* Maybe I shouldn't complain. Early spring is my favorite time of year. But I also want to have a proper winter. I find myself a little envious of those of you who are currently snowed in...

For Imbolc this year I made a Brighid's Cross. It's the first time I've ever made one. It turns out to be pretty easy! :) It's currently on my altar, and will probably stay there for a little while.

I also gave an offering to the fey folk, and will probably give some more offerings throughout this month as Danni is posting stories and art from her readers about faeries this month. (If you haven't checked it out yet I recommend that you do!)



It was a pretty good Imbolc. :)