Saturday, December 08, 2007

Wow...

I can't believe that the semester is over... I probably have to take the Latin final on Wednesday, but I'm pretty much done. I really can't believe it. It just hasn't hit me yet.

I've been able to work on a few things. I've spun some with my drop spindles and knit a few gifts... I sewed one or two others very quickly... Haven't had much time for shopping or sending cards... I've barely remembered to light the menorah all week, naughty me...

So busy...

There will be pictures as soon as I can take them and transfer them to my computer.

Happy holidays, everyone! ::hugs::

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Woot!!

Ding-dong, my paper's done!
Which old paper?
My very last paper!
Ding-dong, my very last paper's done!

LOL! Okay... enough with the trip to Oz... I finished my Theory paper about 30 minutes ago and just finished getting dressed, a full hour and half before I have to leave for class - go me! I usually procrastinate much worse than this. I'm only waiting for my mom to get home so she can read it over for readability, etc. because I've been staring at it so long, I can't say anymore. Just wanted to share the news! Wish me luck with the grading now, as it is the "where did you copy this from?" Nazi who will be doing the grading...

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Conclusion to the "WTF!?!?!" Saga...

Well, got word from my prof. He says that he doesn't approve of the way I used that source he wanted to check... and despite the fact that he said we only needed to use 4 or 5 sources, and I used 4, he says I have too few sources... but he goes on to say, "Nevertheless, you show that you understand the point of the paper and the nature of historiography, so your grade for the paper is 'C.'" Well, that's nice... I got a "C" and I'm not an asshole, so I've got something on him, don't I?... And even so, all I need to get on all my work in this class is a "C" or better in order to pass, so ultimately I'm fine with it.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

An update on the "WTF?!?!?!" situation...

Got a note back from my prof as to what the issue is... This is what he has to say:

"Since you rely on this book to present briefly the views of several historians, such as Elizabeth Brown and Martin Aurell, who do not actually have essays in the book, I want to see what the book has to say about them."

That's all he said...

My annoyed face continues... For this, he can't grade my paper? Something is stinky with this situation, ladies and gentlemen.

I have gone over my paper with the above statement from my prof in mind, and this is what I've found:

These historians he named that I named (and also one other)... while they did not write articles that were presented in this book, Elanor of Aquitaine: Lord and Lady (which is a collection of academic essays), I quoted them from quotes attributed to them in this book, either from the prologue or from the article I cited, noting in the text who it was who wrote each of these things, as well as citing them properly according to Chicago standards (the style we were required to use)... That seems perfectly resonable usage to me... What's wrong with it? ... I got nothin'... ::eye rolls:: Really, now... What is this man thinking? I don't understand why that prevents him from giving my paper a grade...

Friday, November 09, 2007

WTF?!?!

No, seriously, WTF!?!?!

My Theory prof e-mailed me today... an e-mail I just got about 30 minutes ago because I was so exhausted after this week that I literally slept for almost 20 hours... Going to sleep when it's dark and waking up when it's dark again is extremely disorienting and disconcerting to me. ::sighs:: That aside...

My prof e-mails me to tell me that there's a problem with my histiography paper, which is a 5 page paper on a topic having to do with the movie that we have to watch for our big term paper, due a week from Tuesday, about which historians disagree. He didn't name the problem with my paper, just made it clear that there is one, on a *Friday* when no one will be in the office until *Monday*, and asks me to bring in one of my sources for the paper on Monday and have the secretary put it in his mailbox because he'd like to take a look at it. He didn't tell me what the problem was and he didn't say he'd like to talk to me in person. He wants to see the book. As my friend Mia likes to say, this is my annoyed face. ::points to face:: I'm especially freaking out because he's already accused me of plagiarizing once this semester already and I think he's looking for it. I think he wants to make me out to be his one plagiarizer this semester because he says he always finds one... The hell he will because I sure didn't do it! And he can't prove something I didn't do.

I don't know how many times I'm going to have to say this. I did not plagiarize on any paper. I never have. The very idea is utterly abhorrent.

WTF?!?!

I do not need this shit while I'm trying to write other papers and pass my damn class. I really don't need it causing me health problems and ruining what had promised to be a relaxing weekend.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

I'm supporting the WGA

So the Writers' Guild of America is on strike... as I'm sure everyone has heard by now... I support them in their efforts and hope that the studios submit to their demands quickly so that everyone can get on with entertaining America and the world... and so that the support staff who don't get paid outrageous saleries, the grips and techs and make-up people and assistants, don't start loosing their homes and cars, etc because if they aren't making tv and movies because the writers are on strike, all these poor people aren't getting paid either... from their jobs or their unions... so... I do hope it ends quickly...

In an effort to support the strike, I've decided to join the Reality TV boycott. The studios hope to maintain their ratings shares and advertising revenues by showing new Reality TV shows when the new episodes of their scripted shows run out... probably around late-January to February for most shows... So I'm boycotting... If they don't maintain their numbers and start loosing advertisers, they will be more likely to deal fairly with the writers.

For more information...

Two Movies Everyone Should See...

Walker... It details the story of William Walker, who in the 1850s led a group of Americans into Nicaragua in order to "bring democracy and civilization" to Nicaraguans... they were financed by Vanderbuilt who wanted the trade routes through Nicaragua to be stabilized at all costs. The things that occur so closely resemble things that have continued to occur in the course of American history. The movie was made shortly after the Iran-Contra business in the mid-1980s, but the same exact rhetoric that was used in the 1850s and 1980s is being used today by President Bush and his cronies in support of the war in Iran. The movie is delightfully blatent in it's connection between the past and the present... look out for automobiles, automatic assault rifles and Newsweek magazines... Seriously, everyone should see this movie... and keep it in mind when writing your elected officials and voting.

Iron Jawed Angels... I don't think any other movie in the history of cinema can make people appreciate the right to vote more than this one... or indeed all other rights and protections that we enjoy every day. Iron Jawed Angels is the story of the courageous women who stood up to President Wilson and demanded all women be given the right to vote. They were imprisioned under false pretenses for it because WWI made protests against the government extremely unpopular. They were denied their constitutional rights and gravely mistreated in the prison. These events are portrayed very well in this movie, which was produced by HBO. If you find any of the actual photographs of the protests (such as the one to the left), you can see just how close to life the film comes. It's impressive.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

This is scary...

I've never seen Annie Hall, though I've heard of it... And I've been told before that when I write, I'm funny like Woody Allen... but I don't like Woody Allen... He married his step-daughter and that's freakin' weird, man!

Your Love Life is Like Annie Hall

"A relationship, I think, is like a shark. You know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies."

You believe that love (if you even believe in love!) is a very complicated thing.
Maybe love is pain. Or maybe it's all a big therapy session. You're still figuring it out.

Your love style: Brainy and a bit neurotic

Your Hollywood Ending Will Be: Realistic and reflective


And since I am one...

You are 73% Capricorn


But I think I'm more of a Capricorn than just 73%... I just don't believe traditional status symbols are the best kind of status symbols, so I don't want an Italian sports car or $400 shoes... Also, I've seen it debated that Capricorns are actually very superstitious, they just don't usually admit to it...

And to bring it all together, I took this one:

You Should Be With a Water Sign!

Your best match is a Cancer, Scorpio, or Pisces

Why? You crave intimacy and connection in your relationship
And while most guys can't open up enough for you, a Water Sign can
Not that you're whole relationship will be soul gazing
A Water Sign matches your goofy sense of humor - and desire to help others.


Damn... why am I not surprised?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Random stuff

I think I might have figured out the origin of "May Day" as an expression of distress in vernacular English... I haven't looked it up cause I haven't the time just now (right in the middle of critical school work), but I have to write it down or it will drive me crazy...

I think "May Day" is a corruption of the French "m'aidez," which means "help me!" in French.

Anybody reading this know for sure? I'm really curious...

(Told you it was random.)

Sunday, October 28, 2007

What to watch during November Sweeps...

(or at least, what I'll be watching...)

So... Sweeps start on November 1st... Which means that I have to take at least ten minutes here to pimp my favorite shows for those of you out there who might not watch them (yet!).

My very favorite show in the whole universe right now is Supernatural. It is amazing and completely fantastic television... It's like a movie that has another (good!) sequel every week... I LOVEit! And God forbid I ever accidentally miss it! It airs Thursdays on the CW at 9pm EST. November 1st, episode 3.05 "Bedtime Stories" will air. Here's the trailer:


The promo scene (aka "The Director's Cut") can be seen at the CW website here. I wish I could embed it, but I can't 'cause it's not up at YouTube yet...

You can also watch the first three episodes (and very soon the fourth should be added) there on the CW website... so you can get all caught up... :D

I also give big thumbs up to the following, which I never miss (unless my DVR malfunctions and then I'm sad):

Prison Break - FOX - Mondays at 8pm - although it's getting a bit ridiculous lately

Heroes - NBC - Mondays at 9pm

Bones - FOX - Tuesdays at 8pm

Ghost Hunters - Sci-Fi Channel - the time varies, but usually somewhere between 8 and 11 pm. (oh, and this Halloween, they are broadcasting *live* from the Waverly Hills Sanitarium for *6* hours! If you've got nothing to do, I recommend watching. Their live investigations are kinda awesome...)

Smallville - CW - Thursdays at 8pm - despite the fact that it's been sucking since at least the beginning of last season... I can't seem to let it go...

My Name Is Earl - NBC - Thursdays at 9pm

Supernatural - CW - Thursdays at 9pm - so much better than anything else in this timeslot that it is sad other things get higher ratings... ::sighs:: Seriously, give it a try... and then you too will be saying: Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

ER - NBC - Thursdays at 10 pm - got hooked on this only at the end of the 2004/2005 season... Wow, that's late! But it's surprisingly good for a show that's been on as long as it has.

Ghost Whisperer - CBS - Fridays at 9pm - 'cause what else is on on Friday nights, and I like Jennifer Love Hewitt... she's so classic... like Audrey Hepburn...

quizzes and such... just 'cause I can...

Wheee!!

My Harry Potter Spoiler of Doom is:
Ginny Weasley discovers Jesus and becomes a Bishop thanks to a hidden supply of flapjacks
Get your Harry Potter Spoiler of Doom


Don't laugh, I like sheep!

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Duchess Rachael the Ovine of Bismorton Shropcake
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title


A little Tarot, to once again remind me that I need to get an LOTR deck(!):


You are The High Priestess


Science, Wisdom, Knowledge, Education.


The High Priestess is the card of knowledge, instinctual, supernatural, secret knowledge. She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you. The moon crown on her head as well as the crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see, reveal the secrets you need to know. The High Priestess is also associated with the moon however and can also indicate change or fluctuation, particularly when it comes to your moods.


What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.



And a little Classics, just because:












gURL.comI took the "The Nine Muses" quiz on gURL.com
My muse is...
Clio

Clio is the patron goddess of history. Her name means "The Proclaimer" and her symbols are a scroll and a pile of books. Read more...

Who is your muse?

Friday, October 26, 2007

::sighs::

Finally got my make-up assignment done for Theory... my paper on Natalie Zemon Davis. She's pretty cool, ya know? Thank God it's done. It was only 5 pages so it didn't take too long to write but it took me forever to get it ready to send and it's technically late because of that. Although, he might not notice the timestamp or care to count it late, since either way he won't get it until tomorrow morning. I told my prof that I was having a hard time converting it to the format he needed it in to be able to open it on his computer as an explaination of why it was sent at like 12:40... instead of before midnight. I'm really not good at navigating the new Microsoft Word, which is hella un-user-friendly. I wish I could just use the old version of it... the 1997-2003 version it's now called... but I don't have it since they don't issue new computers with it anymore and even the computers at school all have the new version (this is a change since last school year when they all still had the older version). :-( If it worked for 7 years in that old format, why did it need to be updated to this convoluted version? Really, it was truly infuriating.

Before that, my internet was on and off because of a Trojan virus that got past my Norton... It was screwing with the function of my browser as well as with my Norton (wouldn't let it send messages to Norton's security center or turn the auto-protect on. So that took from Wednesday morning til this morning to find the time between studying and research to find the right fixes in Norton to update so it could be ferreted out, but Norton eventually managed it and I got all my programs back up and running virus-free. Watch out, everybody, keep your anti-virus stuff up to date and run scans regularly. For serious.

Oy! No wonder I'm a luddite, really...

In other news, I've been dealing with either stress or a slight stomach bug for most of the week. Ick! Feel crappy most of the time... Although, it's been getting a little better since yesterday... at least I'm not getting heart-burn every time I eat now... Mia thinks it's stress, since it hasn't actually been bad enough to cause either a fever or actual revulsion toward eating and tends to be worst when I have a lot to study. I think I'm inclined to agree with her, but if it is stress, it's a new reaction and I almost wish that my arms were going numb again cause an upset stomach is way worse...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sad news...



My cat, Dixie, had to be put to sleep this morning. I'm doing better now... and I know she is. She was 17 and 7 months old.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A ludite can be excited about a new phone, right?

Especially if the old phone was almost 4 years old and was no longer functioning due to circuits burning out?

::squee:: I got a Treo!! It's not the same one that Sam had in Season 2 of Supernatural; it's the next model up, but still - a Treo! A Treo wx700 to be exact... With a camera and Windows and a calendar and unlimited wireless internet and texting... I just have to figure out how to use the punctuation and we're all set. It's so cool! It's like a laptop, but smaller and a bit cheaper with a built in phone and camera... And the stylus is a really nice metal one, not a plastic one. Some of the ones they had at the store had a plastic stylus and I thought, you know, I bet those will break.

And now there won't be a minute of the day that I can't check my e-mail and favorite websites...

This might be dangerous...

Thursday, October 11, 2007

okay... so things are looking better...

I wrote to my prof a little while ago and he got back to me really quickly. He says that it's not a problem and that I can write a 4 - 5 page paper on my oral report topic instead. So score! 'Cause, as we all know, I can write papers in my sleep. He did warn me to footnote carefully though... ::rolls eyes:: Duh!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

yeah, well, this sucks out loud...

Cause I'm gonna be emo about it for a minute...

Tears, idle tears
I know not what they mean,
Tears from the depth of some divine despair,
rise in the heart and gather in the eyes,
in looking on the happy autumn fields,
and thinking of the days that are no more.
- Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Yeah, totally emo... I've been having panic attacks for the last few weeks. They haven't been bad, but still panic attacks. I've been trying to avoid things that trigger them, but that's difficult when that something is a class... a class I have to take and pass with a C or better in order to graduate... For the last 48 hours or so, the panic attacks have been getting worse. Really bad, in fact. I wasn't able to go to my Latin classes yesterday because I was panicking all day. I didn't realize that I was panicking but that's what I was doing. It came to a head in the middle of my Theory class last night. I thought I was getting sick. I felt light-headed and very dizzy and like I might throw up. I was shaking and my breath was shallow.

I told my professor at the 7:30 break that I thought I was sick and that I needed to leave. He said that I should and that I should take care of myself, but before I left he took me to his office and gave me my paper from last week back, saying he had checked to see if I plagiarized... I did not. I have never been accused of such a thing in my life. I would rather not turn something in at all than plagiarize it. I told him that. Still, while I was standing there in his office, growing sicker by the minute, swaying on my feet, praying I wouldn't have to lean on the wall to stay upright, he quizzed me on the meanings of different words, things like "betrothed" and "Vexin" and asked where I had gotten phrases like "dysfunctional family" (the paper was a reaction and detailed list of "historical issues" in the movie "The Lion In Winter") to see if I really knew them or if I had copied and pasted from somewhere he hadn't been able to find on the internet. (WTF?!?!) *And* he gave me a B on it, despite the fact that other than suspecting I plagiarized it, he had no other problems with it. No, seriously, wtf?!?!

Well, after I left, I nearly threw up in the parking lot. I don't know how I got home (other than, obviously, I drove myself home, but I was flipping out, so I don't know how I was able to make it). It was when I got home and sat down next to my mother in the den that I realized it was a panic attack. Probably the worst one I've ever had.

It hasn't gotten any better today. My feet and hands have been numb for most of the day and when I sit down, I can't really feel what I'm sitting on because my back and butt muscles are so tense. (TMI? Sorry...) I wasn't able to sit in my classes today (Latin 1 that I TA for and Latin 3 that I am currently taking). I had a panic attack on the way to class and went straight to Prof. M's office. She took me to the TA office, that I could have to myself for the day and told me she'd be back after Latin 3 and not to worry about anything. She couldn't stay to talk just then obviously, she had two classes to teach. So I sat there, in that small closet of a room with one entire wall of window looking out on one of the courtyard/park areas. I sat on the broke down couch and stared at the clouds. Watched them change over time. I watched birds. And I watched people walking around down below. I studied the map of the ancient Mediterranean on one of the walls. Traced the trade routes from the Pillars of Heracles to the Black Sea and back. Found all the cities I know stories about. It took almost an hour for the tears and shaking to stop enough that I could work. And when it did, I did my Latin homework that I wasn't able to do yesterday. At least Latin still makes sense...

At 3 o'clock, Prof. M came back and talked to me. She doesn't know how to help me get over or around this thing, but she's willing to help however she can, for which I am so grateful there are no words. Even now, I can't think about it without getting faklempt. She said not to worry about anything as far as Latin goes, that no matter what, we'll get through it. So that is a *huge* load off my mind.

After, I left to go see if I could find Stacey or Mia or Katie or Chelsea... knowing that Laura and Lauren were no longer on campus. But Katie was already gone, Stacey I couldn't find and Mia and Chelsea were in class. So I sat out in the quad under a tree between Cooper and the CIS building and tried to breath and figure out wtf I'm doing. Didn't come up with too much in the way of answers but the time passed and then Mia called at 4 and said she was just getting out of class in the BSN building and I went over there. Mia and Chelsea along with Stacey are going to a punk rock concert of some sort in St. Pete tonight, so they were waiting for Stacey to come get them. The person who was going to give them a ride got into a car accident today, so couldn't. (I'm assured that she's fine, but I don't know her, so...) So they had to wait for Stacey to get there. I told them about everything. Mia's conclusion was that this is not the end of the world, that the professor was obviously "being a bitch" about my paper and wtf?! about that, and that I should for all the world be allowed to not do this oral presentation next week (which is the root of all that ails me) and skip it, take a zero, whatever, as long as I can still get a C or better in the class.

So what I have to do now is finish the work that I still have to turn in from Tuesday night's class and when I e-mail him about that, I have to e-mail him that I'm having issues, that I will not be doing the oral presentation (because I'm an adult, damnit, and if I want a zero instead of doing it, I'm getting that damn zero!), and that I need him to let me know right away if I will still be able to get a C or better in the class, assuming I do well on the papers we have left to do. Because if not, I need to know so I can withdraw from the class and try to take it again next semester... at which time I will have to explain to the prof at the outset (and it will probably just be him again) that I can't do any oral presentation. Just can't. Absolutely not gonna happen. Because this has been fucking me up all semester long now. I know it's already effected my grade because I really have been having a hard time thinking of anything else. The worst thing is that if that's the case, if I will not get a C is that I won't graduate this semester and have to enroll again next semester... That's the worst thing... and that's not really tragic... is it?

Monday, October 08, 2007

I really can't say it surprises me...



You appear to be a Knitting Guru. You love knitting and do it all the time. While finishing a piece is the plan, you still love the process, and can't imagine a day going by without giving some time to your yarn. Packing for vacation involves leaving ample space for the stash and supplies. It can be hard to tell where the yarn ends and you begin.http://marniemaclean.com


Take this quiz!

Sour Grapes for FSU!

Now, I'm no great fan of football, even of my home team, the Bucs, and my school's team, the Bulls... I really don't care all that much about it... I have better things to be doing. Like studying! Football is just not important to me.

But I must say this article (sent to me by my friend, Maria) is rather shocking... I can't believe it was even printed...

Just how sour *are* those grapes, Frank? 'Cause you sure are suckin' 'em hard!

*****************

USF still no FSU
By: Frank Longobardo
Posted: 10/4/07
© Copyright 2007 FSView & Florida Flambeau

If a college football fan from the state of Florida was in a coma for ten years and suddenly woke up today to see that the University of South Florida was ranked in the top ten, they would be quite perplexed.

That person would have only known South Florida as a Division 1-AA independent team in 1997 and then look at the current top 25 rankings and be confused that Florida was the only one of the big three schools that was ranked.

Though I haven't been trapped in a coma for ten years, I still look at what is going on today in college football in the state of Florida and I am also quite perplexed.

While what South Florida has done in their short existence of ten years in playing football is nothing short of amazing, I am already tired of seeing the entire state and now the entire country jump on to the USF bandwagon.

Congratulations USF, you've made it. But don't start comparing yourself just yet to FSU, UF or Miami, three schools with incredible football tradition.

Yes, they have had a great season so far and have upset two big-name programs in Auburn and West Virginia, but look at those wins a little bit closer and they are not that impressive.

Winning at Jordan-Hare Stadium is huge for any team outside of the SEC, but this is not a typical Auburn team. Yes, they did beat Florida at the Swamp, but Auburn lost to Mississippi State at home and struggled with New Mexico State at home for the first half.

As for their victory over West Virginia, while South Florida's defense has been solid all season; but my guess is that if Pat White was healthy and played the entire game, the outcome would have been different.

USF may have forced six turnovers against the Mountaineers, but their offense committed four of their own.

That leads me to Matt Grothe, who everybody said was the next big thing at quarterback. I, on the other hand, have not been so impressed. He had two interceptions against West Virginia and is only ahead of one other starter in the Big East in passer ratings.

All of this leads me to my biggest gripe, which is the University of South Florida overall.

First off, their fans, a.k.a. students, aren't the brightest crayons in the box considering all it takes to get into USF is an online application and $30 - no essays needed.

They don't even have their own stadium. I know that they are only a program that is a decade old and Raymond James Stadium is right there, but how can you consider yourself a big-time program when you don't even have your own stadium?

Speaking of UCF, the only way South Florida could get a non-conference rival was to get a contract with the Knights, which is not even being renewed after this season. In fact, up until a few years ago, USF refused to even play UCF.

Not to mention the fact that the only time USF can sell out a game is when they are playing West Virginia in prime-time on a Friday night. I would like to see them sell-out on a consistent basis.

Does USF even have a fight song? If they do, I would like to hear one of their students recite it; they probably couldn't.

Their little Bulls hand gesture happens to look a lot like Texas' Hook 'em Horns hand gesture. That's probably because its the same thing and they ripped the Longhorns off.

Their coach Jim Leavitt, who helped start that program from scratch, will definitely jump at a big offer that he gets from a national powerhouse program.

I would like to see South Florida's fans travel like Florida State's or Florida's fans do.

I mean the 'Noles played a neutral site game against Alabama, who was only ranked 22nd and FSU was unranked, and Jacksonville Municipal Stadium had 85,000 people in it; more than were at the Super Bowl about three years ago. Could USF do that?

UF does that on a yearly basis, better than Florida State does, with their annual game against Georgia in the River City.

Finally, I know that Florida State still has two open slots for non-conference games for the 2008 season. My suggestion to Dave Hart and the rest of the administration in the athletics department, schedule South Florida for next season.

Make the game either neutral site for a one-time deal or a home and home series and let's see if USF can hang with the big boys of college football in the state of Florida.

*************************

We at USF, unlike at some other Florida schools, aren't on a high horse. We know that we're a new program. We know that this winning streak might not last. We know that there are other teams out there that have longer, most fabulous traditions than we do. We aren't being pretentious. We're just enjoying things while they last and for what they are... Chill the fuck out, Frank. And keep your opinions about USF limited to the football program. FSU ain't exactly the Harvard of Florida either, ya know? Not having to write an essay to get into a school, doesn't mean that we don't have standards. We all have to pass the same high school standards in Florida. We all have to earn the same minimum GPA and exceed the same minimum SAT and ACT scores. We all have to pass the same CLAST exams, writing requirements, and general education standards to earn a BA. Come on! A single stupid 500 word essay admissions requirement is not what makes or breaks a university's academic standard!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Got it from Ilana...

Not fond of yellow, but I can see the rest of it...

Your Power Element is Earth

Your power color: yellow

Your energy: balancing

Your season: changing of seasons

Dedicated and responsible, you are a rock to your friends.
You are skilled at working out even the most difficult problems.
Low key and calm, you are happiest when you are around loved ones.
Ambitious and goal oriented, you have long term plans to be successful.


Although, if I change the arbitrary question's answer from chocolate to spicy salsa ('cause really I could go for either right now) I get this one:

Your Power Element is Wood

Your power colors: green and brown

Your energy: generative

Your season: spring

Like a tree, you are always growing and changing.
And while your life is dynamic, you are firmly grounded.
You have high morals and great confidence in yourself and others.
You have a wide set of interests, and you make for intersting company.


So... hmmmm...

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Supernatural Season 3 Premiere! - reaction!

I love, love, love this show! The angst is primo, grade A stuff! Dean is made of awesome! Sam is a puppy... a pouting, lovely puppy... I *heart* Supernatural. Can't process enough to get specific right now... I just totally loved it!

Supernatural Season 3 Premiere!

Starts in less than an hour! ::squee!:: Also, you can download the episode for free on ITunes for a limited time. If you've been wanting to see Supernatural but you haven't and you can't watch it tonight live at 9pm Eastern on your local CW, then you can download it for free... Or you can do both! It's free!

Wool...

You know what I really love about good 100% natural wool yarn? What my favorite thing is? The vegetable matter... Most people would probably say that's their least favorite thing about wool. But really, it's my favorite. Because it proves that this stuff is real, natural, grown-on-a-sheep-in-a-field-somewhere wool... It's not acrylic or nylon or polyester or any other synthetic crap modern science has come up with. It's not vegetable fibers created by some elaborate and/or labor intensive process. Nope, the vegetable matter gives me tangible proof that it's just plain, simple wool from a real, live sheep. And for some reason, I really love that...

I'm not dead!

Update on what's going on with me:

Busy, busy, busy with all kinds of school related things... Still, in that insanity, I've found time to start carding the alpaca Ilana was good enough to send me last December (I think it was last December - how pathetic it's taken me nearly a year?)... It's slow and dusty going with a cat brush and a dog brush... Perhaps would go better with combs or at least brushes of the same time... But the resulting fiber is clean and fluffy and pretty and *so* *soft* - and I am *so* looking forward to spinning it eventually!

Also have found time to make one dishcloth... It's very nice. I have to track down where I found the pattern again and post it along with a picture... My cellphone is seriously on the fritz and I have to get a new one this weekend. Until the new one is functional, I'm SOL on posting pictures. Also went to JoAnn's this afternoon because they are having a dollar off special on organic cotton yarn from Bernat, as well as Felting Wool also by Bernat (not sure if this is a local special or national in-store-only 'cause it's not online). I got Felting Wool to make a Christmas present... a felted bag (not saying for who - that would ruin the surprise)... It's working up really fast. It's over half done and I only started it this evening at around 8:30 and have been knitting on and off while reading. Totally mindless pattern in a good way... I highly recommend Felting Wool; it's lovely! Don't know how it will felt yet, but it looks good even unfelted in a lopi, unspun kind of way. Not sure what I'll be doing with the organic cotton yet... But it's very nice too.

Also, season 3 of Supernatural premieres tomorrow night (that's Thursday, October 4th at 9 pm eastern/8pm central) on the CW. It's going to be *awesome* and I'm so looking forward to it! Can't tell you how much. I'm just barely containing my glee. Will be wearing my Metallicar "I'll only date a guy if he drives a '67 Chevy Impala" t-shirt to school tomorrow. Am also having a little party at my house in honor of the occasion. I highly recommend checking it out. All you really need to know (although you won't be as emotionally invested as I will if you haven't seen everything up to this point) will be explained in the course of the episode, I'm sure...

Check out the official promo vid, recapping Season 2:

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Evo Morales is my hero!

Evo Morales on The Daily Show:



If you have not seen it, you've *got* to! It's *amazing*!

Also: Bill Clinton's interview...

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

A Notice to All University of South Florida Students!

If you happen to know a guy who may or may not have dark hair (I couldn't see that well, it was dark) and drives a early-90s (maybe late-80s) model, dark red Toyota Corolla 4-door sedan with a standard Florida licence plate (not one of the ones you have to pay extra for) who was also on campus tonight (Tuesday) at approximately 9:15 - 9:20 PM, please let me know who he is and where I can find him and his car... He's got some karma coming due. He needs to have someone slander his mama for not raising her boy right. He possibly needs a hard bitch-slap (quite possibly). He might, if he's unrepentant, also not be undeserving of having his tires slashed and car keyed... and if Nemesis is feeling particularly pissed off, he may also need some sugar in his gas tank, you know, since it was used in the perpetration of a crime. (Okay, so I'm sure I wouldn't do all that. But I might leave him a nice letter. And if I saw him, I would tell him that "You're the son of sailor's whore and have one for a girlfriend too," since that must be the case.)

"What is this crime you speak of?" you might ask. As I was walking out of my very long and very painful class this evening, looking forward to driving home in peace and quiet and then doing some Latin homework, just as I reached the sidewalk to the side of the Social Sciences Building, he and his skank ass girlfriend shouted out his car window at me. The girlfriend's words were unintelligible, possibly slurred. His were quite clear: "Loose some weight!"

WTF?

I did not know these people. It was entirely random and uncalled for. If I had left the building 30 seconds later or even 2 minutes before, they never would have seen me.

After slowing down to notify me, the only person on the side walk, of his opinion, he stepped on the accelerator, and they drove away, laughing as if they had just heard the funniest Lewis Black joke ever told. I did yell, "Bite me!" after them, but I'm sure they couldn't hear me over the distance, engine and their laughter at their own "joke" (obviously, they don't know that you're not supposed to laugh at them yourself). He was last seen at approximately 9:15 PM driving south on Maple Drive and turned left onto Alumni, speeding and cackling loudly.

It is my sincere and heartfelt hope that 10 minutes later he crashed his car into something really hard, and that both he and his whore are lying on some road somewhere slowing and painfully dying of their wounds... or better yet, that their car exploded just enough to melt the locks, but not enough that they die quickly in the flames... His parents and hers would deserve their unending grief because they obviously raised total blights on society and the world would be better off if those two abortions had never gotten away. God forbid they ever reproduce! I wish them both sterile! At the very least, I hope he gets a ticket for speeding in the very near future, if he was drinking that he gets a DUI. And since he's so cavalier with the speed bumps on Maple, I really hope his engine falls out the bottom of the car one of these days, just "plunk!" in the middle of the road. Total bonus if the ensuing and unexpected accident kills him.

I'll tell you one thing though. They're damn lucky I'm not an avenging goddess or their asses would be turning on the spit right now!

Seriously, goddamn, I don't have enough to deal with right now that I have to also endure *this* at the end of a really hard day in a long line of hard days? I feel like slitting my wrists and saying "fuck it!" to the world.

Theory of History class again...

This week: Postmodernism...

Now I think I get the line "compare and contrast Michel Foucault with Batman and Robin" from Queer As Folk...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

::sighs::

I slept all day today... No, really, all day. I meant to get up around noon or so, but I flipped off my alarm and went right back out again and I woke up at 5. It isn't completely my fault. The barometric pressure is really low. It's been raining all afternoon. I've noticed when it does this and I'm sleeping, I fall into a really deep sleep. The only good thing is that I get all caught up on all the sleep I've lost. The bad thing is that I don't get up to do what I need to do so I can get a decent night's sleep the next night. ::sighs:: Off to read about Foucault...

Friday, September 21, 2007

On Erev Yom Kippur...

So every High Holy Days, I want to do a blog entry about something having to do with them (although, I notice that I didn't last year)... In the past, it has been commentary on sermons or sharing favorite hymns. This year, I want to share a large portion of the Unetaneh Tokef, which I think I've mentioned before.

The Unetaneh Tokef is a medieval prayer, born of the martyrdom of Rabbi Amnon of Mayence by tradition. The account goes something like this: For refusing to be converted to Catholicism by the Bishop of Mayence, he was tortured and left to die of his wounds. He languished several days, and on Rosh Hashanah, he died after speaking this prayer.

I'm not terribly fond of this translation, but it is serviceable enough and I (once again) have not gotten my own copy of the Gates of Repentance or I'd use that one. I like that one... This one is close. I only quibble over a few semantical differences here and there...


Unetaneh Tokef

Let us proclaim the sacredness of this day.
For it is awesome and full of dread.
Your kingship is exalted upon it.
Your throne is established in steadfast love.
You are enthroned upon it in truth.
In truth, You are judge and arbiter,
council and witness,
He who inscribes and seals,
Remembering all that is forgotten.
You open the book of our days
Which proclaims itself,
for it bears the signature of every human being.

The great shofar is sounded,
A still small voice is heard.
The angels gripped by fear and trembling,
proclaim in awe: This is the Day of Judgment!
For even the hosts of heaven are judged.
They shall not be guiltless in Your eyes
And all creatures shall walk before You.
As a shepherd herds his flock,
Causing his sheep to pass beneath his staff,
So do You cause to pass, count, and record,
Visiting the souls of all living,
Decreeing the length of their days,
Inscribing their judgment.

On Rosh Hashanah it is written,
On Yom Kippur it is sealed.
How many shall pass away and how many shall come to be,
Who shall live and who shall die,
Who shall reach old age and who shall not,
Who shall perish by water and who by fire,
Who by sword and who by beast,
Who by famine and who by thirst,
Who by earthquake and who by plague,
Who by strangulation and who by stoning,
Who shall have respite and who shall be driven,
Who shall be at peace and who shall be pursued,
Who shall be at rest and who shall be tormented,
Who shall be exalted and who shall be humbled,
Who shall be rich and who shall be impoverished.
But repentance, prayer and charity temper judgment's severe decree.


After this, there is another portion of the prayer praising God's majesty. But I can't find a translation of that bit that I'm even half-way satisfied with, so I'm not going to add it. All the really important, particularly unique bits are here above. The Unetaneh Tokef is only said on Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and it's my favorite prayer that is only said on High Holy Days.

I really enjoy Jewish prayers, the feel of them as they come of my tongue and the sound of them as they are spoken by the who congregation or just the cantor. (I have half a mind to try to translate them into Latin... Oh, I'm a nut!) And once again, I must remind myself to buy my own copies of the Reform prayer books... I'm really kinda annoyed at myself that the only time of year I seem to remember that I want them is during the High Holy Days.

After thinking about it, it would probably be more appropriate to share the Kol Nidre, but I've been wanting to mention the Unetaneh Tokef since last week, so...

I would commentate more, but I really have to go get ready for Kol Nidre services now. Can't be late or they won't let us in...

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

No, but really...

First, watch this video on the Spanish-language Democratic debate from last week, if it's still available:



Now...

I still adore Kucinich... Jon couldn't come up with anything to do to him, so their tech department put a Carmine Miranda hat on his wife... That's awesome...

Bill, Barack and Hillary have all lost some of my respect. Richardson for pandering, Barack for pandering, neither any more than usual though, but still - disappointing... And Hillary for *really* pandering... Saying that she doesn't support the immigration reform bill that has been proposed because it "would have criminalized the Good Samaratan. It would have criminalized Jesus Christ." Uh... wtf? As Jon says, "imagine the world today if Jesus Christ had been found guilty of some sort of crime. I mean, if that had happened, man, they would have crucified that guy." Seriously...

Hillary, dear, can you hear yourself? Please tell me that's the problem and you just didn't hear what it was that you were saying? That you didn't pander that blatantly to an overwhelmingly Catholic demographic by invoking Jesus? Tell me that you didn't pander that blatantly to a portion of that demographic that has broken US laws - laws that you have sworn to uphold as a US Senator - to get into and stay in the United States, and not even in a time of extreme crisis - something my great-grandmother and her family didn't even do, though their need to escape Russia was dire, the threat of murder, rape and destruction of property with no legal recourse a daily reality that they lived with until they were able to come here in full compliance with US law. To allow anyone to flout our immigration laws dishonors everyone who has ever gone to the considerable trouble to immigrate to the United States legally. Every legal immigrant and naturalized citizen I have ever talked to about this, including ones from Mexico and Cuba, have been just as outraged as I am by people who have violated US immigration law with impunity. It has got to stop, Hillary. Illegal immigrants are not voting for you! Stop pandering to them!

Hillary has, very sadly, lost any respect I might have still had for her. I can tell you that much right now. ::shakes head::

Still, thumbs up for Kucinich.

Friday, September 14, 2007

I love Viggo...

Check it out...



Yes, that is really Viggo Mortensen! He rocks so hardcore... That is Narsil that he hands to Stephen and the other one is the one he used earlier on in the LOTRs movies... I can't tell you how amused I was to see this...

Monday, September 03, 2007

My haircut...

Laura finally sent me the pictures... I hate pictures of myself. They make me cringe. I always think they look horrible, and for this one, I can only say that it would have been better if I'd had more of a warning. I spun around and there Laura was with the camera. But I'm posting this one anyway 'cause I think I need to get over the cringing...



So that's me with my new haircut, my ponytail in my hand. You can see the back of my hair in the mirror, and the lady there in the mirror smiling is my stylist, Randi. The picture on the laptop computer screen there to the left is of Rachel Weisz.

Reading for "Theory"

In order to earn a BA degree in History from USF, one must take a particular exit requirement class called "Theory of History" or more commonly referred to simply as "Theory."

The reading for this week is very introductory, but interesting nonetheless, the first four chapters of History: A Very Short Introduction by John H. Arnold. In reading these chapters, I've begun to suspect two things.

* One, at best, I'm pretty sure I'm an antiquarian and not actually an historian because I like "mouldy and worme-eatern" things, but I don't like arguing so much about them because arguing gives me headaches and makes me sad...

* And two, I think the academic study of history is flawed in that it is so much a masculine study that it blinds itself to its own idiocy. (I realize that them is fightin' words, but I find all the academic bickering exhausting and more than somewhat overblown and unnecessary.) What do I mean by "masculine" study? Very simply that it is so overrun by the way a male brain works that it leaves no place for intuition and to what female thought would say, "well, duh!" For example, two of the competing notions from the Enlightenment of why history unfolds as it does: chance and Great Men (I realize that these concepts are now pretty passé, but I have something to say about it anyway, and it's my blog, so...)

The book details a hypothetical argument as to why chance was championed by some. But this example, that because some random person left home the day that Henry IV was assassinated stepping first with his right foot instead of his left caused Henry to die, is completely absurd. Anyone can see that it would be. I mean, really, hello.

The example given for the "Great Men" theory is a bit better, that Alexander the Great did all his great deeds because he was who he was. Well, I have a soft spot for Alexander. He's my boy, you see, so I will readily agree that he was all that and a bag of chips, but... Evenso, Great Men cannot become Great Men if the stage is not set just so... Consider if Alexander's mother were not as ambitious as she was, if his father were not as ambitious as he was, if his father were not as successful in his own campaigns, if Aristotle hadn't been his tutor, if a spear, sword or arrow had caught Alexander in an early battle, if Hephaestion had never existed... if Persia had not already been weakened by internal strife and corruption, well on its way to decay before Alexander was even born, if the southern cities of Greece had been able to resist the Macedonian army, if his father hadn't been held in Thebes as a youth, learning the military tactics necessary to develope his own army later in life... if a hundred thousand other things had gone "wrong," how different Alexander's life could have been, how different history would have turned out. Alexander could very easily have been just as his forebearers, a king of a barbarous collection of tribes on the fringes of Greece, or even, the dead son of Philip the Great, struck down young in an unfortuate battle over grazing lands. If the stage had not been set just so, Alexander never would have gone East, never would have expanded Greek control, etc. etc. and the entire world, at the very least, the entire Western world, would have turned out a much different place than we know it today.

This doesn't mean that I think everything is chance. I can honestly say that I've personally felt the hand of Fate more than once in my short life, so I know better than to say She doesn't exist. But I think, quite honestly, that trying to say everything is chance or everything is because "Great Men make it so through their own will" is oversimplifying reality in two different directions. A combination of the two works much better. Alexander had the ability, the talent and the will to go East into Persia and beyond, and Persia fell before him because it was primed to do so. With hindsight, I see it as everything having coallesced into an amazing sequence of events, not entirely chance, not entirely Alexander's will, but a stunning combination of the two so that the world could never be quite the same ever again.

It took generations for the chance vs. Great Men schools of thought to fall out of favor. That it took that long for something so obviously flawed to be questioned and replaced, makes me a bit sad.

And then, of course, I have to ask, why do we need to know the exact mechanism of why history unfolds as it does? It will continue to do so whether we know it or not, and when all is said and done, we can only come up with best guesses anyway. And who's to say that there is a mechanism at all to begin with that we can even look for and expect to find? So really, why ask that question... Aren't there way more questions out there that can be answered much more conceretely? I think questions like "what is the exact mechanism that directs the unfolding of history?" are very male questions to ask... in the same way I think philosophy is a very male preoccupation. It is my considered opinion at this time that men came up with philosophy and with chance vs. Great Men questions about history because they aren't busy enough, they don't have enough to do. Remember, it was people with a lot of free time on their hands who came up with philosophy and devoted their lives to academic study 1500 years ago, and that hasn't changed. It's still in societies where people generally don't have to worry about food, shelter or living to see the next year where this sort of thing is encouraged as being worthwhile - such as ours. Women in general, even most modern Western women who have a hell of a lot more time to idle than our ancestresses did, didn't and don't tend to ask such questions or come up with such egotistical, self-serving ideologies because we, as women, have shit to do (cause even in the US, the majority of women still have to work to take care of themselves, their kids and their home, but there are, of course, exceptions) and know better... I almost want to say that we're connected on a higher level that make such things moot and men are still wading through the mire trying to comprehend a tenth of what we do without a thought, but that's a theological/social debate that I don't feel like having... As I said -> shit to do. It's similar, I think, to why men of the past feared women and women's bodies, and in turn, by their dominance, made women fear themselves and their bodies as well. By our nature, as women, as female creatures, who menstruate, become pregnant, give birth, suckle, nurture, and feel everything, we're tied to the physical reality of existence (to the Earth, if you will) in ways that men, by their nature, can pretend to escape... in that escape, some have preoccupied themselves with the nonsense of philosophical ramblings and academic arguments... others, with NASCAR and the WWE. Both preoccupations have no *real* place in day-to-day living, but are transitory, fleeting and will soon change to something else. The fact that no one, men or women, can really escape our physical reality, frightened the male psyche at some point in the past to the point that any reminder of that was also feared and eventually seen as less worthy. Hence, the fear, subjugation and devaluation of female nature, and in this day, age and place - in 2007 in the United States - women who choose not to pursue a path outside of their home and away from their children are judged by society at large as less valuable than women who imitate the male model of attempted escape, even if imitating the male model makes them less happy with themselves and life in general. Likewise, certain occupations, such as farming, animal husbandry and traditional crafts are seen as less valuable, less prestigious by society at large than say being a stock broker, lawyer or politician.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this particular tangent, but I went nonetheless. And I have things to do, so I'm not going to think about it anymore just now, if ever... I still have hours of homework left to do. ::sighs:: So this is all theory and one I've come up with quite on the fly as I was reading this book, so if you yell at me about it, I might not respond well. It wouldn't surprise me if it's largely bullshit, but I don't like being yelled at.

Basically, from where I'm sitting right now, I'm about to get a degree in history and I'm not exactly sure I'm ever going to do a damn thing with it. I think I've become rather disenchanted. I'm already really tired of the way historians write about history, argue about history, and twist it to suit their own egos and purposes, and I'm really pretty sure that I don't want any part of that mess. It takes all the fun out of it for me and then what's the point? So as if this place weren't scary enough, graduating from college, I've got the uncertainty that I even want to go on academically in this field of study I've spent the last 4 years working on. ::grumble:: So I know I'll figure something out, but I'm really just so put off by it all at the moment that I'm frustrated and want to bitch. So I did... So that's what this all was, I think, me bitching in frustration...

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Natural Dyes with Lion Brand

There's an article at Lion Brand's website about dyeing with natural material... They have several recipes and pictures of dyed yarn... It's giving me ideas...

See here...

Monday, August 27, 2007

ohhh... I want...

Ohh... I want calling cards...

Check it out!

Haircut!

I got a haircut today. After growing my hair out for 8 years and getting it down to the base of my spine, I cut it. It's now just below my chin and the ponytail will go off to Locks of Love. My head feels a lot lighter.

I went with Rachel Weisz's do 'cause I think it's cute and very "now" and I've never had a "now" haircut before, so I thought I should try it out.



Mine is a little shorter than hers, but it will grow out. Right now, it looks a lot more like hers did back in January 2006.

Two of my friends, Laura and Lauren, went with me. Laura didn't think I'd go through with it. They both nearly screamed when my stylist started cutting and lots of people who were waiting to have their hair done watched from across the store. It was a bit weird having all those eyes focused on me when I was getting my hair done. Laura took pictures and if they are good, I'll post them when she sends them to me.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

It's progress!

Starbucks has agreed to make all the milk used in its US stores rBGH-free by December 31, 2997! Woot! See more in the press release here.

Not that it will make me buy more Starbucks. I don't like coffee (or any of their other cover-up-the-taste-of-coffee-with-ice-cream-and-sugar crap).

Life Update

Well, thought I've neglected my little piece of the web here long enough. I've been back home for something like two weeks. The first week was weird, trying to get back into everything here. This last one has been all about getting my head in the game for classes, which start on Monday. Not taking many, just two, but they are the last two I'll take as an undergrad. So, yeah, trying not to freak out over that... But mostly, I've been a total bum. When I haven't been doing absolutely necessary chores (which tomorrow will include laundry), I've been sitting on my butt in front of this computer, doing nothing of any particular import, or sleeping because I know both things will happen very little once the semester starts, so I'm getting in some last minute quality time while I can.

I went to USF today to get my parking pass (totally at the last minute) and to help my friends buy textbooks at the USF Bookstore (I've already ordered mine from amazon). After that my friends and I went out to dinner and then to the movies to see "The Nanny Diaries." It's a very cute movie! And I think has some important social commentary too. After the movie, we returned to the parking lot to find that I had left my lights on and my battery was dead. So we had to find some nice gentlemen to help us jump it because, of course, I never got my own cables back from the time my brother "borrowed" them. We did find two very nice gentlemen. One was there with his young son and he had been in the concessions line ahead of us and we had talked earlier. He just happened to have been leaving the theater at the same time as we had discovered the car was dead. He had no cables, but was very helpful in finding someone else who did. The other gentlemen had a truck and some cables and brought them both over to where I was parked and between the two of them, my car was up and running within ten minutes. There were two policemen there at the theater, just hanging out and neither of them had been willing to lift a finger to help. This was surprising to me because the last time I left my lights on while at a movie theater, it was a police officer who came to my rescue along with my friend Joe. The police officer had had a small portable battery in his trunk with attached cables for the sole purpose of jumping people's cars. Very nice man. But the ones who were at Starlight seemed annoyed to have even been asked if they had cables we could borrow.

I've done absolutely nothing craft related lately... well, almost nothing. I have worked on the Latin wood plaque I'm making for my friend Lauren. She saw my "ecce virent omnia" one and said that it would be better if it said, "Behold, everything is purple," purple being her most favorite color. So I'm making her one for her birthday, which was earlier this month. It will say "ecce purpurea sunt omnia" because there is no latin verb that means "to be purple." She thinks this is a terrible shame. LOL! I also went to Lauren's work, a paint your own pottery cafe, and painted a sleeping cat figurine. It's not done yet. It needs one more coat of gray and then I have to put pink on it's ears and nose and highlight it's closed eyes and mouth with black. It will be tres mignon (It's funny, I've noticed that when I start thinking about Latin, more of my French comes back to me.), and I will post pictures once it's fired.

When, oh, when will I ever get to my indigo dyeing, not to mention all the alpaca I have waiting...? Perhaps I'll be able to figure that out after I've gotten syllabos mei... or would that be syllabos meos ("syllabi of me" vs "my syllabi")? ::quirks eyebrow:: hmmm...

I still need to get my pictures from my latest trip developed. Perhaps that should go on the To-Do for tomorrow as well... hmm...

In the meantime, I'm hoping if I listen to "Dragostea Din Tei" enough times that my brain will numb and stop worrying over nothing. If you're wondering what that song is, it's this little bit of fun and madness:



Before you ask, they're singing in Romanian...

Friday, August 17, 2007

hmmm...

For dinner this evening, I am eating a veggie burger with organic Munster cheese, organic spinach, organic alfalfa/broccoli/mustard sprouts, organic yellow bell pepper and organic sauteed white mushrooms with organic stoneground Dijon mustard on organic millet & flax bread (locally baked in a small bakery). I have all-natural sweet potato fries on the side and 100% organic pomegranate/cherry juice to drink... And I would not consider myself a health nut.

That is all...

Friday, August 10, 2007

Sophia Autumn

or "Sophie" as we're all going to call her...

She was born August 8th at about 4:10pm. She's 7 lbs, 3 oz. and is 19 inches long. These camera phone pictures are the only ones that I can upload at the moment. There will be more when I get home and get the film developed next week, but for now, these will have to suffice...







Lara and Sophie are both doing very well. Sophie has a voracious appetite and the cutest little face and hands and feet and... well, you get the picture... We're all totally in love with her, as if there was any doubt. She's a very good baby and hardly ever cries.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

An Outpost of Alexander Found

From BBCNews.com (follow the link for pictures):

Alexander's Gulf outpost uncovered
By Neil Arun
BBC News

Alexander the Great's awe-inspiring conquest of Asia is drawing archaeologists to a desert island off the shores of Iraq.

Greek government experts are going to Failaka - a Gulf outpost of Alexander's army, now governed by Kuwait.

The island's bullet-holed buildings tell of a conflict still fresh in people's memories - Saddam Hussein's brief occupation of Kuwait in the early 1990s.

Beneath the sun-baked sands of Failaka, archaeologists hope to unearth the secrets of an earlier conquest - a settlement established by Alexander's general, Nearchus, in the 4th Century BC.

The excavations will focus on the ruins of an ancient citadel and cemetery, the general secretary of the Greek culture ministry, Christos Zahopoulos, told the BBC News website.

Earlier work by French archaeologists has uncovered the remnants of a temple to Artemis, the Greek goddess of hunting, as well as several Greek coins and idols.

'The first globalisation'

According to Michael Wood, the author of a book on Alexander, the period after the conqueror's death saw Hellenistic culture take root across a broad swathe of land, from India to Egypt.

He cites the example of Uruk, a site near Basra in southern Iraq, where inscriptions have been found bearing the names of the local ruling class.

The names, Wood says, are a hybrid of ancient Babylonian and Greek titles - and they date to several hundred years after Alexander's death.

Alexander's conquest of Asia also accelerated commerce in his colonies, giving rise to what Wood describes as "the first globalisation".

Failaka's position, at the point where the Tigris and Euphrates pour into the Gulf, means it would have been ideally placed to exploit this economic boom.

Mr Wood says the Greek team's findings may reveal more of how the ancient civilisations of the Gulf thrived on trade with their contemporaries in Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley.

The Greek archaeologists will begin their excavations in November, Greece's culture ministry says. Much of the work will be centred around the site of the ancient town of Icarea.

According to Mr Zahopoulos, the team will also carry out restoration on artefacts and ruins that have already been unearthed.

Civilian flight

Alexander was born in 356BC to the king of Macedon, in northern Greece.

By his early thirties, he had conquered much of the ancient world, from Egypt to India.

He died at the age of 33 of a high fever in Babylon, in what is now Iraq.

Failaka's name is thought to descend from the Greek word for outpost - "fylakio."

Before the Greeks arrived, the island had been inhabited by the Bronze Age Dilmun civilisation.

By the time Saddam Hussein's troops invaded in 1990, the island had become the longest continually-inhabited site in Kuwait.

Most of the civilian population fled for the mainland during the Iraqi occupation. Few have returned.


Story from BBC NEWS
Published: 2007/08/07 09:58:47 GMT
© BBC MMVII

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Meeting people you don't expect at a North Carolina truck stop

Well, I'm back in Virginia for no less than the 3rd time in the last 7 weeks... Can't do much of anything except sit inside today because it's horribly rainy outside. Just totally gray... It's only 1 pm and you'd think it's either 7 am or 8 pm by the color of the light outside, but no... it's early afternoon... We were going to go to Floyd today, but the weather is so gross that that will not be happening now... We stayed up late last night watching Supernatural on DVD, so I slept until 11:20 this morning...

The day before yesterday, I drove to the Burough. Yesterday, Susan and I drove to the Ville in her minivan... On the way to the Ville, we were happily listening to classic rock. Susan was recalling memories of her misspent youth and we talked of Supernatural-related things as the songs brought up recollections of both... We were driving up I-85, it was just starting to rain, and all of a sudden, just south of exit 84, Susan sees a broke-down motorist on the side of the road and exclaims, "That's Patrick!' I had not seen him because I was turned to face Susan and he was behind me, but she was so sure that we turned around at the next exit, went back and yes, indeed, walking into the Bill's Truck Stop (which was the only thing at that exit), was Patrick, my biological father who up til then had refused to meet me. He's skinnier than I had pictured him from pictures and very tall... Despite my being 5'9", 6'1" is still significantly taller... His blond hair is well on its way to graying and he's worn-looking. His head looks like the head on a bobble-head doll, not overly large like that, but in a almost disconnected sort of way with a chin that's far too sharp and not enough meat on his bones.

But we pulled over and offered him a ride, despite the temptation to do what those guys do in the Sasquatch commercial where Sasquatch is hitching and the guys offer him a ride repeatedly only to leave him in the dust repeatedly. We stayed with him until he found about a tow truck, etc. and figured out what he was going to do. Susan introduced me and instead of the hug I had gotten from his brother, Tony, his brother's girlfriend, and various cousins and more distant relatives last Christmas, I got a firm handshake and a "Hi, I'm Patrick." Still, he was polite and charming, so I suppose that's something though what I'm not sure. It was an entirely surreal experience. Hanging out at this truck stop, full of truckers and other people like that, a horrible storm outside, with Patrick, whom Susan had not even heard from in person for more than 5 years and who had expressed to his mother and to my sister Lara that he never really wanted to meet me... And yet, we were the ones to come across him when he hadn't a friend in the world, broke down on the side of the road. If we had driven by two minutes before or two minutes later, we would have not ever have seen him. Susan and I laughed about the unrealness of it several times and laughed at how crazy the universe is. It was very odd. He said very little, but as I said, was not completely cold or not at all impolite. Susan thinks it's because he was so shocked to see us, of all people, there, where we were... She could be right about that... All v. v. weird. All of that...

Lara just about screamed "WHAT?!?!?!" in my ear when I told her on the phone that we had run across him a few minutes after we left. Then she laughed and said, "Who ever said that Karma isn't real!" Seriously...

So, we'll see what happens...

To update: Lara is in the early stages of labor, but don't let that fool you. It could still be a week or more before she delivers. It's just the vaguest recollections of contractions and very slight dilation and lots of not being at all comfortable, so nothing's happening anytime too soon...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Outta Town... Again...

I'll be leaving bright and early tomorrow morning again... Not sure when I'll be back in Tampa. I've got tons of e-mail to get through that's backed up over the last several weeks as well as other things that have accumulated.

I got the package of alpaca fibers that you sent, Ilana. Thank you, thank you, thank you! I can't wait to get into that... I'm still working on the first batch you sent all those months ago... Let me know via e-mail how much I need to send you for the shipping, okay?

Off to pack...

Supernatural, Season 3 - From Kripke's Mouth

I can't tell you how much I love and adore Eric Kripke... mostly because he loves us, his fans, and doesn't abuse us like many other Powers That Be that I could name (Tom Fontana... Chris Carter... Joss Whedon...). As I read this interview, I couldn't help but squee with total joy... repeatedly! He does my fangirl heart good. I wish I could give him a big hug for being so nice and understanding... He hasn't screwed us over, and so I'm going to keep on trusting that he's not going to...

*****Spoilers abound below... Beware! Do not read further if you don't want any spoilers for Season 3 of Supernatural... but I promise, Kripke says we're not going to be angry... And he hasn't gone wrong yet (even with Jo... I don't know what others have against her... I liked Jo, she was fun and different and I wouldn't have wanted her to be anything other than she was...) There will be no further spoiler space beyond this point...*****

All of the following is copied from someone's blog, quoting TVGuide.com (TVGuide's questions/comments are in italics):

Michael Aussielo at TVGuide got this exclusive interview on the upcoming season of "Supernatural."


All hell has broken loose in the Supernatural community. Ever since news leaked that the show was introducing two new shagadelic female series regulars this coming season, fans have inundated me with hundreds of angry e-mails. Their chief concern: In a bid to broaden the serial thriller's appeal, CW brass are forcing producers to bimbofy the show, hence the two new lady killers (played by Katie Cassidy and Lauren Cohan). In an exclusive interview, series creator Eric Kripke addressed the controversy head-on, clearing the air about the changes ahead and offering a preview of what he's calling "the best season of Supernatural yet."

Fans are in a bit of a tizzy.
Eric Kripke: First of all, I love our fans. I love them to death. I love how passionate they are. But they tend to worry unnecessarily. They tend to get stressed before they have a chance to judge the finished product. We are so conscious and aware of our fans. We're making the show for the fans; we're not making the show for the network. We would never do anything to betray them. I'm not saying we're perfect. I'm not saying we don't make mistakes. But we're very conscious and aware. And when we do make mistakes, we course-correct. So if I can get any message to them, it's, 'Don't worry. We're making choices based on what's best creatively for the show.'

Is it true that the CW asked you to introduce the two new females?
Kripke: The real, honest answer is, we knew we were going to introduce one female character, Ruby. And Dawn [Ostroff] said, 'Could you introduce two female characters.' We said, 'We've got this great female character – the Bela character – who we already had written a script for, who we love. And who we were going to bring back anyway. Let's make her a regular.' So, it was not thrust upon us. We were already introducing one. She wanted us to introduce two. And it's of the producers' own volition. We are not turning into One Tree Hill with monsters – I swear. I'd rather put a gun in my mouth. I understand everyone is nervous, but if they just hang in there, and watch the episodes, and watch how it turns out... we have not lost our head. We're delivering what we feel is the best season of Supernatural yet.

What specific misconceptions about the upcoming season would you like to clear up?
Kripke: First, the perception online, because I read online as much as anybody, that suddenly the show is going to be Scooby Doo. And that it's going to be Sam and Dean with these two girls in the backseat of the Impala, and they're going to cruise from town to town, they're going to do a little go-go dancing, and then they're going to fight some monsters. That is not the case. The girls are recurring regulars, first of all, which means that our contracts with them, tops, puts them in 12 out of 22 episodes. That's tops. So there's no reformulation where it's the four of them together where they're in every episode. We're introducing them very carefully. We're not jamming them in every episode. They weave in and out of the story, like other hunters have on our show in the past. It's not the four of them in every episode. Bela shows up, and then Ruby shows up, and then the boys are alone… So they're just inter-changing as they're traveling around the country. They're just bumping into different characters. They're also bumping into Gordon, Agent Hendrickson, and Bobby and Ellen, because we're opening up the world of the show. We've always said we were going to expand the Supernatural universe. We always felt the show had the potential to have just as fleshed-out a universe as Star Wars or Lord of the Rings. And that involves introducing new characters. So, that's one.

And Two?
Kripke: Two, there's a misconception online that they're being introduced as love interests. They're not being introduced as love interests; they're being introduced as antagonists. I know people weren't thrilled about Jo last season, but we feel we've learned from that mistake. I love the actress [Alona Tal], but the problem was, we conceived the character wrong. She was the girl next door, she was the little sister, and her attitude was, 'How can I help you?' And, [exec producer] Bob Singer and I always said to ourselves in Season 2, if we were to bring girls into the show, the way to bring them in is to make trouble for the guys, not to be helpful. To introduce them as their own fleshed out characters in their own right, who are raging pains in the ass, and trouble, and dangerous, and then sort of see what happens. I've already broken the first 10 episodes, and, so far, there's nothing even close to romance. It's closer to they're going to come to blows with each other.

There's a thin line between love and hate...
Kripke: True. We're going to see how it goes. We're going to see, 'Is there chemistry? Are there sparks?' What we're trying to do is what shows that we admire tried to do, like The X-Files and Buffy. Yes, The X-Files is about Mulder and Scully, but Skinner grew to play a part. The Lone Gunmen grew to play a part. Buffy had other characters that were coming in and out of the storyline, and they were fascinating characters. The trick is to not introduce them as love interests. The trick, we feel, is to introduce them as fleshed-out characters with their own inner lives, and then see what develops. And the other thing is, the girls are very separate and very different. And very rarely are they in the same episode, because they're each serving very different storylines. Ruby (Katie Cassidy) is this demon hunter, who is ruthless and a little crazy and rough around the edges, and doesn't share the same moral conscience that either of the boys share. A little unhinged in that way. There's going to be a big twist about Ruby very early on. As early as Episode 2 you're going to learn something very fascinating about Ruby.

And what about Bela?
Kripke: Bela (Lauren Cohan) is actually something we never presented on Supernatural before, which is someone who lives in this world who actually isn't a hunter. She's a thief and a mercenary. And all of these amulets and magical objects that the boys are always stealing and using to fight creatures, are actually worth a lot of money. And there's someone to buy and sell them. And she's really not interested in the altruistic or obsessed or revenge-minded motives of hunting. She's interested in a free market economy and making a buck. She's in it for herself. That's someone they've really never come across before. 'I don't really care if you stop that ghost, I want that amulet,' which if she disappears with it the boys are screwed.

The love interest thing must be in the back of your head, right?
Kripke: Our fans are notoriously protective of our boys. If the chemistry is there, and we see the sparks, and we want it to happen, and the fans want it to happen, it'll happen. We're not planning for it at this point, because we just don't know. We don't know which girl is going to spark to which guy, we just don't know what's going to happen. We're just going to add the ingredients together and let them percolate, and then move from there. But honestly, I swear, at this point, I don't have plans for the girls to pair up with the guys. They might. But until I see who works best with who, I'm just not going to pull that trigger.

What else can you tell me about Season 3?
Kripke: This is a season where war breaks out. And there's no longer any of this, 'Who's the psychic kid? And I should follow the yellow-eyed demon, what?' It's war. We're at war. Choose a side. It's the end of the world. We feel this is the most exciting season yet. We feel this is the season to join the party. I'm not promising that we're not going to make missteps, as any show does. But the difference between us and other shows, is when they make missteps, they say, 'Go fuck yourself.' When we make missteps, we pay attention to the fans and we course correct. So, fans, I love you all, but stop worrying.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

10th Century Viking Hoard Discovered

K... This was an article published on BBCNews online... There's also a little video if you go to the website about how it was found and why it's dated the way it is... If they weren't oversimplifying (and I'm sorry to say, I don't think they were), this hoard is dated to the 10th century because the youngest coin was from that time, minted during the reign of Aethelstan... As has been pointed out by scholars more accredited than myself, it is unwise to date a hoard based on coinage, despite the overwhelming tendency of archaeologists and historians of Medieval Europe to do so. Coins, unlike other things, might have a precise date when they were made, but they do not decay, unlike wood, cloth, etc and so may be buried hundreds of years after their minting with little evidence that this was the case revealed by the coin itself. Now, I admit that it was probably unlikely that a hoard such as this would have been buried *hundreds* of years after the coins were made, since Vikings were likely to have buried it and the 10th century puts the horde toward the end of the Viking Age in England - therefore, decades are more likely in this case... Still, dating the hoard based on the youngest coin's age is probably not the best way to go about things... (The dating of the horde is discussed in the video available at BBCNews... follow the link for the article below)

Of course, it might have been easier to avoid attempting to date by coinage entirely if upon realizing what they had found the metal-detector "hobbyists" had left it where they found it and called the archaeologists in immediately instead of digging it up, willy-nilly, all by their amature selves without taking stratigraphy into account or anything back in January (and we're just finding out about this now?!?!)... Sometimes, stratigraphy doesn't work, I know, because the ground was disturbed by ploughs or other things like that over the years, but considering that the horde seems to be complete, undisturbed and exactly as it was buried, I'm going to say that that probably wasn't the case here...

Other than that, I'm very excited about this discovery and look forward to learning more about the items that were found.



Viking treasure hoard uncovered
(You can see pictures here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/6906482.stm)

The most important Viking treasure find in Britain for 150 years has been unearthed by a father and son while metal detecting in Yorkshire.
David and Andrew Whelan uncovered the hoard, which dates back to the 10th Century, in Harrogate in January.

The pair kept their find intact and it was transferred to the British Museum to be examined by experts, who said the discovery was "phenomenal".

It was declared as a treasure at a court hearing in Harrogate on Thursday.

North Yorkshire coroner Geoff Fell said: "Treasure cases are always interesting, but this is one of the most exciting cases that I have ever had to rule on.

"I'm delighted that such an important Viking hoard has been discovered in North Yorkshire. We are extremely proud of our Viking heritage in this area."

'Astonishing discovery'

Metal detectorists David and Andrew Whelan, who uncovered the treasures, said the find was a "thing of dreams".

The pair, from Leeds, said the hoard was worth about £750,000 as a conservative estimate.

They told the BBC News website: "We've been metal detecting for about five years; we do it on Saturdays as a hobby.

"We ended up in this particular field, we got a really strong signal from the detector... Eventually we found this cup containing the coins and told the antiquity authority.

"We were astonished when we finally discovered what it contained."

The ancient objects come from as far afield as Afghanistan in the East and Ireland in the West, as well as what is now Russia, Scandinavia and continental Europe.

The hoard contains 617 silver coins and 65 other objects, including a gold arm-ring and a gilt silver vessel.

Dr Jonathan Williams, keeper of prehistory in Europe at the British Museum, said: "[The cup] is beautifully decorated and was made in France or Germany at around AD900.

"It is fantastically rare - there are only a handful of others known around the world. It will be stunning when it is fully conserved."

Turbulent times

Most of the smaller objects were extremely well preserved as they had been hidden inside the vessel, which was protected by a lead container.

The British Museum said the coins included several new or rare types, which provide valuable new information about the history of England in the early 10th Century, as well as Yorkshire's wider cultural contacts in the period.

It was probably buried for safety by a wealthy Viking leader during the unrest following the conquest of the Viking kingdom of Northumbria in AD927.

A spokeswoman for the museum said: "The size and quality of the hoard is remarkable, making it the most important find of its type in Britain for over 150 years."

The find will now be valued for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport by the Independent Treasure Valuation Committee.

Dr Williams said that the British Museum and the York Museums Trust would be looking to raise the funds to purchase the collection so it could eventually go on public display.

The proceeds would be split between the finders and landowners.

Story from BBC NEWS.
Published: 2007/07/19 11:54:47 GMT
© BBC MMVII

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Underwear = Medieval Paper?

Not sure if I buy this theory... Would need to know more about the supposed evidence of paper being made from rags increasing literacy and the availability of books before the advent of the printing press, and I also want to know what the evidence is of urbanism = underwear, but it's interesting nonetheless...

The article, available through Yahoo, is reproduced here in its entirety so that when it's no longer archived on Yahoo, it can still be seen here:

Underwear's historic role... in Western learning
Thu Jul 12, 7:30 AM ET
Agence France Presse

LONDON (AFP) - Underwear underpins the spread of Western culture, with discarded underpants ranking alongside the invention of printing in the spread of literacy, according to a medieval historian.

Delegates at the International Medieval Congress at the University of Leeds, northern England, were told that social migration from rural to urban areas in the 13th century brought with it changes in attire.

Whereas rough and ready peasants thought little of wearing nothing under their smocks, the practice became frowned upon in the burgeoning towns and cities, leading to a run on undergarments.

And when the underwear was worn out, it provided a steady supply of material used by papermakers to make books.

"The development of literacy was certainly helped by the introduction of paper, which was made from rags," Marco Mostert, of Utrecht University in the Netherlands and one of the conference organisers, said this week.

"These rags came from discarded clothes, which cost much less than the very expensive parchment which was previously used for books.

"In the 13th century, so it is thought, as more people moved into urban centres, the use of underwear increased -- which caused an increase in the number of rags available for paper-making."

The invention of the movable type printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in the mid-15th century is generally credited with spreading learning.

But Mostert said that although literacy did not become widespread until the 19th century, it was more common in the Middle Ages than many believe because of cheap paper made from rags.