Monday, December 31, 2012

50/50, percentages, and Kinsey scale

When looking at things that other bisexuals have written online I sometimes see mention of being attracted to both genders "50/50".

This always seems weird to me. I mean, on one hand I understand it, since I know what they mean: equal attraction to both genders. And yet...

Does it mean that the 50/50 person likes half of all the men they meet, and half of all the women they  meet? Ok, that's an obvious no, but it's what always pops into my head.

Similarly, earlier this year I read a novel in which a character assures a woman she is safe from him because he's gay. Shortly thereafter he makes advances towards her, and explains that he's actually 90% gay and 10% straight...and I was left wondering how in the world can someone put such neat little numbers on attraction??

(The numbers may be wrong, but you get the point. Also, I'd say this character is bisexual, with a strong preference for men. But the book was written in 1980 and I don't think "bisexual" was used much then, so I'll forgive the author.)

It just amazes me at how some people talk about 50/50 or try to do percentages. And yeah, I think I've seen some bisexuals also talk in terms of percentages. Come to think of it, the Kinsey scale is another form of trying to put a neat number on who and you're attracted to, and it seems that most bisexuals can tell you where they are on it.

Maybe this will eventually make sense to me. In the meantime, it seems weird. And don't ask me where I am on the Kinsey scale, because I honestly don't have an answer. But maybe that's why I don't get it. Maybe I'm confused because I'm unable to figure out my own Kinsey scale number.

Or maybe that's just me making excuses for why I'm not following the crowd.

I wonder how many straight guys put a percentage on how many redheads versus blondes they're attracted to.

Redheads vs. Blondes

Clip art ladies from openclipart.org


Sunday, December 30, 2012

Creation Unfinished

Some people talk about when the world was created, as though it was created and that was it.

But that wasn't it. The world is continually being recreated, with each new generation of humans and even as new galaxies form. On very personal levels and also on a cosmic level.

...and I feel like I should have even more profound things to say, but I can't even think of them. Or maybe I just have vague ideas that I don't know how to put into words yet. Or maybe I'm just afraid of sounding corny. I really should know which it is, shouldn't I? :)

I've been sort of thinking about unfinished creation in the last week. Why? Probably because I recently looked through some old needlework I did a couple years ago for my (failed) Etsy shop. I figure I won't sell those pieces now, so I gave one to my boyfriend for Christmas and put another one on my altar.

The one I placed my altar says "Praise then creation unfinished." That's a line from The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. le Guin. It's a masterpiece of a novel, and I've never had anything else on my altar that I found so thought provoking as this simple bit of needlework.

Needlework

Slightly off topic, but the needlework I gave my boyfriend was the opening line of Tolkien's The Hobbit. I also made a cross stitch Cutethulhu for him a couple months ago.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Mid 20's crises?

I'm 23 now and will turn 24 in three months. I'll be in my mid-20's. That's like a quarter of the way through my life. What have I done with it so far? NOTHING?????

...and that's what was going through my head last night at like 2am. I may finally understand why some people freak out at their birthdays.

Once I calmed down I started realizing that I do have some accomplishments that are worth noting. Such as...

1) Competing with the chorus Pride of Portland for several years.
2) Getting a poem published in magazine Cricket.

...and that's where I start to go blank. What are my accomplishments anyways? I guess I'm good with needle and thread...I know I'm a good writer...um...

But I'm still living with my parents, am unemployed, and I don't actually have a college degree yet despite having attended college for a decent number of years. I blame the latter on my having too fun taking random classes at Portland Community College. Which was a nice education...but it didn't come with any sort of degree.

Maybe I just don't know where I want to go in life? My freaking out was about what I haven't done rather than about where I'm going...but my not having a clear goal (or the fact that I keep finding my clear goals are never what I really want) could be why I feel like I haven't done much so far.

I don't even know what the point of this post is. Other than to say that it's weird to suddenly realize that I'll no longer be in my early 20's, but in my mid-20's.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Loot

A day late, here is my post-Christmas post. You know, the one where I detail all the loot I got, since I would have felt bad bragging about it on Christmas day. You know, because that day is supposed to be all about giving. :)

Christmas was pretty small this year. My boyfriend gave me a bathrobe that is remarkably warm. From my family I got two iTunes gift cards, lots of tea light candles, chocolate, and a book. (Which reminds me, Magaly gave me a Kindle book!) Oh, and...

D&D "coupon"

Mom made a "coupon" for me to redeem with her, that gives me a one year subscription to Dungeons & Dragons. I finally finally FINALLY have access to all the content now.

Finally.

The Bones plushies

The present I've made the most fuss over are these plushies. They're some of the main characters from Jeff Smith Bone graphic novels. I fell in love with Bone a few years ago, and when I saw these in a catalog I told mom that I wanted them. I expect that they will one day have a place of honor on my book shelves. When I have book shelves again :)

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Furry Friends update

Beka

Remember Beka has an ear infection that resulted in an emergency visit to an animal hospital? Well, it's taken a while, but she's showing enough improvement that I'm finally relaxing. She's more active, has more control over her movements, and actually tried to crawl out of her cage today when I brought her medicine!

Odd thing, though...we noticed a small bald patch yesterday. When I took her to the vet today (we'd already had the follow up visit scheduled) he said it just looks like over grooming. We suspect Beka's sister is to blame. So we'll keep an eye on it, but no worries for now.

Here's a pic I took today right after I gave Beka her medication, and Sabine a treat.

Sabine on top, Beka with the bald spot

Socks

In the last two weeks Socks has taken to sleeping on my bed. I really have no idea why. For ages he's slept on my parents bed, so this is a weird change. I'm not sure if he's ticked off at mom, is trying to get away from dad, has gotten ticked off at dad's cat, is trying to invade Kokopelle's space (not that my kitty seems to care), or has suddenly decided that he likes me.

Whatever the reason, his presence can be nice when my feet are cold. Though I wish he'd stop tracking bits of kitty litter onto my bed.

Kokopelle on the left, scruffy Socks on the right

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

The tree! And yes, I have blacked out names on things.

I have a confession. Late last night (just past midnight) I snuck into into the living room to photograph the tree. It would be my last chance to photograph it in the dark with presents under it, and finally all the presents were there.

Problem was...all the presents were there. And Santa doesn't wrap his gifts before delivering to my family, so I sort of accidentially found out what Santa gave us early.

I didn't want to confess to mom though, so she'll find out via this blog post.

Sorry mom!

So, on to what I gave the family.

Kindle gift card

Dad can be hard to shop for. But mom recently got him a Kindle, so I went with her idea of giving him a Kindle gift card. It's also what Tall One got him...I think he and I both asked mom what we should get him, which is what usually seems to happen.

Earrings

Mom's pretty easy to shop for. If I can't think of anything else I look for earrings. I figured these purple diamonds (don't tell me diamonds can't be purple) (can they?) (I don't think so...) would be a good color on her.

MINECRAFT SWORD!!!

Tall One can be sort of hard to shop for. A good present for him usually has to be something practical, yet I also want to give him something fun. So I was extremely pleased to happen across this.

Ok, it's hardly practical, which I just said is what I try to give him. I doubt it's even strong enough for us to have sword fights if I were to buy another sword for myself. But he plays Minecraft, so the moment I happened across this pixilated Minecraft sword I just knew I had to get it for him.

Merry Christmas! The day is not yet over, so I'll probably have a post-Christmas post about it tomorrow.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Two dyslexics walk into a bra...

Things can get interesting when mom, Tall One, and I play video games together. I can write more about the dynamics later. For now all you need to know is that it often ends up with Tall One and myself shouting instructions at our mother. This evening...

We needed mom to move right. We really needed her to move right.

In a fit of dyslexia I shouted "GO LEFT!"

...and she went right.

I was briefly incapacitated by laughter.

I'm not sure what Tall One thought of us. I think he wanted me to stop laughing so we could get back to the game.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Yule celebrations

Tall One started the Yule fire on 4pm on Thursday. Yes I know that the solstice was the following day. But the exact timing of the solstice was 3:12 am, which made Thursday night the longest night. And it was a pretty good night. And yes, I confess...I dozed some of the last two hours before dawn.

I'm not sure how to write this well without breaking it into sections, so that's what I'll do.

...

There had been a question about whether we should start with a candle instead of a proper fire in the fireplace. This is because Tall One had to go to band practice that evening, which would leave me tending the fire. All alone. And me tending the fire unsupervised...that doesn't work too well. We've tried it. I'm no longer afraid of fire, but I'm still not sure how to keep it alive. I had to admit this even though I felt slightly insulted at the suggestion that I should tend a candle instead of a proper fire.

Luckily this problem was resolved when I was able to get my wonderful boyfriend to come and help. He does know how to keep a fire going.

While waiting for Murray to show up I did have to tend the fire myself for maybe 50 minutes. During that time I discovered the wonders of what newspaper and bellows can do. I'm quite proud of myself.

...

Speaking of bellows, this is the fix Tall One did to fix the one he used.

The bellows duct taped up

It's been used in previous solstices (including a summer solstice I think), and had developed a hole. Plus it wasn't that well made/designed in the first place.

Mom thought my boyfriend had fixed it, I guess because she didn't expect my brother to have camouflage duct tape. And she knows my boyfriend served in the military.

...

No one else had really been interested in decorating for the season, and all that had been done was that mom brought home a tree and we got it in a stand. And we watered it, of course.

I finally brought out decorations and started putting them up. Photos of the tree will probably be coming soon.

...

Mom finished a puzzle, and she also finished Discworld: The Last Continent by Terry Pratchett.

...

After mom went to bed (supposedly only for a nap) Tall One and I played the card game bloody knuckles. Apparently there are at least two versions of this game, and I would like to mention that we play what seems to be the less violent version. But it's still acceptable to laugh at your sibling's pain.

...

When dawn came I went outside to greet the sun through the rain. Then I went to bed. I was tired.

It was a good night, though.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Yule!

Happy Yule!

Sunrise 6-24-12 J by Ronald Carlson

It is the time when the sun is reborn, and a time of new beginnings.

At the time that this post goes up I will be celebrating by keeping a fire going all night with my family. And if things go as planned, my boyfriend will have also come over for a little while.

I hope you enjoy the solstice, whether you celebrate it or not, and whether or not it holds any spiritual meaning to you.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

History of "heterosexual"

In yesterday's post I shared that the word "heterosexual" once referred to individuals who are attracted to both men and women. I wanted to know when and where it had this meaning, and how it changed. I said I might want to track down the references in the back of the book I read it in to find out more details.

I have done so, and here is what I found.

It turns out that our modern ideas of gender identity are modern, and "past Americans and other peoples named, perceived, and socially organized the bodies, lusts, and intercourse of the sexes in ways radically different from the way we do." Things started to change in the Victorian era.

I won't get into how they changed, if you're interested you can read the article. But, in 1892, Dr. James G. Kiernan published a journal in which he used the word "heterosexual" to refer to individuals who have relationships with men and women. Yes I put that in italics. Because it answers the "when and where" part of my question. It doesn't answer my whole question though.

It turns out that in the same year, German Dr. Krafft-Ebing published an article where he also used the word "heterosexual." He, however, used it to refer to attraction to the opposite gender.

(Incidentally, Kiernan was the first American to use the word "heterosexual" in a journal, and he also introduced "homosexual" in that same article.)

Over time Krafft-Ebing's definition became the accepted one, and the words "homosexual" and "heterosexual" came into regular usage. It took a bit of time though, and the words were not yet in the Oxford English Dictionary by 1901. They were, however, used in The New York Times Book Review in 1930.

And in the spirit of discussing the word "heterosexual," below is a (presumably) heterosexual couple. Hey, for all we know they could both be bisexual. Or even pansexual.

A Couple In Love by Peter Griffin

The above info was found in the article "The Invention of Heterosexuality" by Jonathan Ned Katz, published in 1990 in Socialist Review. I found the article by Googling "The Invention of Heterosexuality 1990." It was later expanded into a book.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Some bi history

Book cover
I just got ahold of the book Bisexuality in the United States by Paula C. RodrĂ­guez Rust. I'm hardly into it at all, but I found a couple very interesting tidbits in the very first chapter.
  • "In the early 1980s several scholars urged their colleagues in sexology to acknowledge the existence of bisexuality as an authentic form of sexuality" (5). This is the very first sentence in the first chapter. The author goes on to explain that before this time, research had not acknowledged that people could be really bisexual, instead treating us "a as a lesser degree of" homosexuality.
It seems that people have been really stuck on needing to stick sexual orientation into two neat little pigeon holes of straight and gay for some time. No wonder I see other bisexuals complaining about people saying they have to pick one gender or the other, and/or insisting that we're all confused. Even research acknowledging that we exist is relatively new, it seems. And not much older than me.
  • Rust says that the word heterosexual was once used to describe people who are attracted to both genders (7).
She doesn't provide any explanations. I'll probably have to look up the works Rust cites in her bibliography to find out more details for myself. I want to know the when and where, and how the word changed its meaning.

This book is really big, and I doubt I'll read all of it. It contains writings by historians, psychologists, etc. with some chapters (introductions to new sections?) by Rust. I'll probably pick and choose the bits that look most interesting and read those. If I find anything really interesting I may write more about it.

And yes I know I also have a book blog, but this is more abut bisexuality and less about the book itself, so I'm choosing to stick this post here.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Mom's birthday

The turquoise earrings I gave mom
Last week I was delighted with myself for finally finding some earrings to give mom for Christmas. And then I suddenly realized that I also needed something for her birthday, yesterday.

I guess there's some truth to the complaint about December birthdays being forgotten?

Yesterday was mom's birthday. Dad gave her some earrings, Tall One gave her an audio book (Discworld: The Last Continent by Terry Pratchett), and I gave her some earrings. Luckily mom had already been looking at the earrings I chose on Amazon.com, but hadn't bought them yet.

Tall One made her cake, which was German chocolate. And very yummy. And mom brought home a tree, which I will probably share photos of after we've decorated.

Happy birthday to mom!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Leaky roof

We had lots of rain Saturday.

We had had lots of rain Sunday.

We'll have much more rain today.

Oh, did I mention that it's gotten really windy?

And our roof started leaking.

Photographic evidence

I was fine with the weather, even though I delayed going downtown to for fun due to a snow/rain mix in the forecast. But then the roof started leaking, and I suddenly became a bit dismayed.

At least we now have a landlady who we know will fix it. In our previous house it was sort of pointless to call about the roof leaking.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Expanding my horizons

Boiled Shrimp by yamada taro
I mentioned briefly before that am on doctor's orders to eat more fish because my HDL cholesterol is way low. I think I also mentioned that I have a long history of not liking fish, except for tuna salad.

My boyfriend has been very concerned about my weight loss. He wants to make sure that I eat right now that I'm on my "fish diet" as I'm calling it, which also includes seafood. To this end, Murray took me to a seafood restaurant for a date a few days ago.

He's taken me to this place once before and I liked it. But I was still a little apprehensive. Not about the company, but about what my taste buds would say. Even though I enjoyed the food there before, I wasn't sure that I would like my second meal there. I had thought there couldn't be many seafood dishes that I would appreciate.

The waitress, after being told about my "fish diet" and that I don't tend to like fish, recommended a sample platter. That way I could figure out what I might like. Much to my shock, I enjoyed everything on my plate. Even the shrimp! My least favorite was the chicken, which says something about how good everything else (all seafood) was.

And the crab cake...Murray sampled my crab cake, and said that he has not tasted better in his travels on three different continents. So now I'm apparently completely spoiled on crab cakes. :)

I'm finding I can enjoy fish and seafood. Or some fish anyways (not catfish), and seafood that's prepared to my tastes. Who knew?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

On gun control

This is an issue I finally decided to address in this blog. I tried to once before, but deleted that post. What drove me to finally write and publish something on the topic is first a local shooting at Clackamas Mall on Tuesday, with two dead and the shooter suicided. And now today I've read about the shooting in a Connecticut school with too many children dead.

When this sort of thing happens people tend to start screaming about gun control, and about how we need such laws to prevent massacres and other tragedies from happening.

But let me ask you a question.

Do you really think that criminals, or those who are about to become criminals, won't find illegal ways to get guns? Do you really? If they followed the laws they wouldn't be criminals in the first place. And I guarantee that if guns were outlawed then there would be a black market for them, same as there is for illegal drugs.

The local shooting was bad enough, but my brain doesn't want to accept what I've read about the school shooting. I don't even know what to say, other than that these things need to not happen. But I don't think that banning guns is the solution. Unfortunately, I don't know what the solution actually is.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The Hobbit (spoilers)

Book cover
Just 20 minutes ago I finished rereading The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. It is Tuesday night, but this post is scheduled to go up at midnight on Friday. Coincidentally, that is the same time that I will be watching the midnight release of the movie with my boyfriend. Also coincidentally, it is the first midnight release of a movie I will attend.

[Actually, due to a mistake this post didn't go up at midnight. Oops.]

But back to the book.

My latest reading of The Hobbit was very different from when I read it before, years ago. I was younger then, and this may have been the first adult book I got my hands on. At any rate, it was the first book I read that...oh, how to put it?

During my first reading I was shocked to find, after the battle, that not all of the dwarves survived. I had thought that all heroes should live through their adventures, unless perhaps they are very old. And certainly one should not die when he had just recovered his lost treasure and his throne. I went to my parents in amazement that Tolkien defied these rules.

But by now I better understand that some people die when they shouldn't, and I have learned that some authors write their novels to reflect (or acknowledge) certain sad facts of life. It would have been miraculous if all of the dwarves had survived, too good to be true. And though it is fantasy, a good novel should still be believable. I expect Tolkien took this into account when Thorin died. In fact, it's amazing enough that Bilbo survived the adventure. And yet...

Yet some people find a courage and resourcefulness that they had not known existed in them, and this is something that we see in Bilbo. Dear Bilbo, who never expected to hold a conversation with a dragon, or that he could rescue mighty dwarves from more than one mess.

Yes, my reading of The Hobbit was different this time. Rather than reading the end with shock and sadness, it was merely with sadness. And rather than failing to wonder how a little hobbit like Bilbo survived, it is something that I questioned this time.

And I enjoyed reading it just as much this time as I did the first.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

New fav musician?

In my quest for a Pagan CD of winter holiday songs I found...not quite what I was looking for. But I'm not complaining about my find.

I have discovered the music of Damh the Bard. He's a Pagan musician, and when I happened across his most awesomest song, Samhain Eve, it was love at first hearing.

Since it's not exactly the right season for Samhain songs, I'm sharing another of his here instead. Though I do encourage you to follow the link I can't help but provide above.



I love the photos of the land and the drawings of fey. And I LOVE the black kitty at 3:40 sitting in front of a pentacle, with another pent around his neck.

I'm not exactly in love with all of the Bard's songs. But those that I love, I seem to be nuts about. Ok, I confess, I have the above song on repeat. And I was humming the Samhain song yesterday while fixing dinner, just hours after finding it.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Bacon Bleu sandwich

The finished thing

This is my sort of recreation of a sandwich from the fast food place I worked at. This recipe could maybe do with a few tweaks, but it's still pretty good.

By the way, you may be seeing some fish recipes up soon. My cholesterol is way off from where it should be (you should have seen my doctor's face when we discussed it, the HDL is so darn low), so I've been ordered to only have red meat about once a week and start eating lots of fish. Problem is that I'm usually not a huge fan of fish...so I may have to get creative if I don't want my taste buds to totally hate me.

Ingredients

Thin steak
Bacon
Bleu cheese
Onion
Olive oil
Mayo
Shredded lettuce
Sour dough bread, preferably in sub form

For once, no cayenne pepper! Shocking, isn't it?

Some ingredients

Instructions

On the stove

Cook the bacon, and saute the onions in olive oil.

Some stuff on the bread

While they're cooking may be a good time to prep the bread. Put mayo on it (I put it very light) and add the lettuce.

When the bacon was done I cooked the steak in its grease. Be careful not to splash the grease on yourself! I was surprised at how excitable the bacon grease was.

Once cooked, place the steak on top of the lettuce. Add the onions, some bacon, and bleu cheese.

And that's it!

Finished thing, from top

Changes from the original

You can skip this, it's just me documenting how I changed things for future reference.

Brands: obviously, nothing is the same brand.

Onions: the original uses raw onions that have been refrigerated. But they've lost the bite that onions have when they're freshly cut.

Bread: I have no clue what the bread on the original is, though I know it's brought in from Philly. It's whatever they use on the cheesesteaks.

Meat: on the original it's rib eye, and more thinly sliced than anything I could find in the store.

Bacon grease: oil is used on the grill (I think soy oil?), not bacon grease.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Solstice music?

Clipart of a wintery scene of a tree covered in snow. , Click here to get more Free Clipart at ClipartPal.com
Snow covered tree
I was raised on Christmas music. I may not know all the lyrics to many songs, but I can at least sing bits of them or hum the tune.

I own several CDs of Christmas music. My family has more. I delight in playing my favorite Christmas CD every year. And yes I just linked to it on Amazon.com. Because I can't find the music on YouTube and it's too good to not share. :)

However...I'm Pagan. I do love Jesus, but I also celebrate the changing of the seasons. Sure, some Christmas music is actually very Pagan. (After all, Christmas has its roots in Paganism.) But I also want a CD of Pagan music about this holiday season.

In previous years I've turned to YouTube to try to find some of that Pagan music. Yet, even though I found songs that I liked, I didn't find anything that grabbed me enough that I remember it clearly a year later once we wound back around to the same season again. When I looked through my "winter holidays" playlist about a week ago I was like, "Oh, yeah, that. Sure..." I haven't even bothered listening to any of it this year, really.

It looks like I may just stick to Christmas music this year while wishing that I also had a Pagan CD to listen to.

If anyone does know of any Pagan CDs of seasonal music though...I'd be happy to hear about them. :) I'm also open to suggestions for Christmas music.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sibling rivalry?

Tall One is vegetarian, but when mom brings me home delicious chicken strips from Dairy Queen he drools over them.

I confess, I have enjoyed tormenting him. "Hmm, this is delicious." "Wonderful chicken!" "Hey, Tall One, want some?"

Except, it turns out I haven't been torturing him, those few times mom has brought home chicken strips recently.

You see, when we taste food, we don't merely use the taste buds in our tongue. We also rely an awful lot on smell. We rely so much on smell that you can seriously dampen your sense of taste by holding your nose. (Or so I've heard. I haven't tried it.) Tall One knows this, and as such he says that he thoroughly enjoys the smell without having any interest in actually consuming any of my delicious chicken strips.

Tall One also said that he enjoyed the fact that I thought I was being a nuisance when in fact he was perfectly content.

I was seriously disappointed to learn this.

...unless, maybe he's just using this an an excuse to make me stop tormenting him? Hmm...I wonder...

Naw, he's nerdy enough to know his science, and to use that knowledge to be happy with merely smelling my delicious meal.

Darnit.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Gay marriage in Washington!

Two historical events occurred in the state of Washington on the 6th of December. Marriage licenses were finally issued to same sex couples, and it became legal to smoke pot.

A lot of people are saying that it makes perfect sense for these two things to legalized at the same time.

someecards.com - The Bible teaches that any man who lies with another man should be stoned....So we legalized Marijuana and Gay Marriage!
someecards

As this someecard points out, the Bible says that any man who sleeps with another man ought to be stoned. Well, with the new laws about pot it's now perfectly legal for anyone to get stoned in Washington, so I guess the Bible shouldn't have a problem with gay sex in that state.

Humor aside, I am very glad that the state just north of mine has finally legalized gay marriage. I actually know a lesbian couple who are debating moving there. I'm hoping that my own Oregon votes on it soon. We'll probably pass it. Because Oregon is just cool that way. :)

There's a required three day waiting period after getting the marriage license before a couple can marry in Washington, so the first same sex couples had to wait until today to marry. I'm sure there are a lot of people there who will remember today as the happiest day of their life.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Princess Peach's affair

First, a brief explanation of the Mario story for anyone who doesn't know: Mario's girlfriend, Princess Peach, often gets kidnapped by Mario's arch enemy, Bowser. As a result, the Mario Brothers games often consist of Mario trying to rescue the damsel in distress.

But really, I don't think that the damsel is distressed.

I have this theory about Princess Peach. You see, it's odd how easily she gets kidnapped by Bowser. I mean, come on. I've played her character in Super Smash Brothers Melee. She's a good fighter, even if she does expose herself every time she kicks someone in the face. She ought to be able to take on Bowser no problem.

Yet every time you turn around, Mario has to go rescue his girlfriend.

Given the evidence, I am of the firm opinion that our precious little princess is actually carrying on an affair with Bowser. And, that Mario knows.

I've been playing Mario Brothers on the Wii with my mom and brother. (That actually deserves a post all of its own.) Every time we get to the air ship or whatever and finally catch sight of Peachy, Mario just stops and just stares. He ought to be capable of getting aboard that ship, beating up Bowser and taking back his girlfriend. But instead he stops in his tracks and watches as Peach gets carried away from him yet again, and only after she's ought of sight does he go chasing after her.

Deep down, Mario must know that Peach is having an affair, and because he wants her to be happy he's only making half hearted attempts to rescue her. Otherwise the game would be over as soon as he got in sight of her.

Further evidence that Peach is having fun with Bowser: she has this awesome hover maneuver that she ought to be able to use to escape Bowser's air ship when it's docked. Yet she never even tries it, even when Mario is in sight. All she does is stand there and act like a helpless damsel in distress, waving and calling out to her would be rescuers.

So yeah. Mario, Princess Peach, and Bowser have this weird love triangle thing going on.

The happy trio

Friday, December 7, 2012

More on books

Yesterday I shared what books I brought with me when I moved back in with my parents. Today I have photographs.

Books

Even though this is more than I brought with me, it still isn't very many. They do all fit though, minus one. The Left Hand of Darkness is jutting out over the edge of the shelves, and it's so fragile that I don't want to try to cram it into a tight spot. It's been well loved.

A dragon, Scorch, protects my books.

There is barely enough room for these books. Yet I still wish I had more with me. I want some of my Juliet Marillier books, and I was recently frustrated when I wanted to read up on mythology but didn't have any relevant books close at hand. Maybe I should have brought some of my Pagan books with me.

I have happy daydreams of recovering the rest of my books from storage and keeping them under my bed. But I've already got my crafty stuff stored under my bed so I doubt that'll happen.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Books!

When I moved back in with my parents I chose to put virtually all of my books and both of my big book shelves in storage. This was to make room for my desk so that I would be able to have a computer in my bedroom.

I do have one very small set of shelves though, and I did keep some of my books. The books I brought with me are as follows:

1) All the Bone books in one volume, by Jeff Smith
2) Animal Speak by Ted Andrews
3) Blood Lust edited by Kevin J. Anderson (this is actually on loan from the boyfriend, I couldn't pack it away) (I also haven't read it yet...)
4-5) Two books of poetry, one anthology and the other is Sappho
6) The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. le Guin
7-24) All of my Tamora Pierce books, which is most of her novels about Tortall

I think I counted my Tamora Pierce books correctly...there's a bunch of them. And I'm slightly obsessed. As evidenced by the many maps of Tortall I have taped to my bedroom wall.

Maps!

I have rather more than 24 books now, since I have managed to acquire some new ones and also found that I'd left a few behind when I moved out. I'm not sure that they'll all fit on my small shelf...

It seems to me that a person's book shelves will tell you something about them. I'm trying to figure out exactly what my carefully chosen small collection of books say about me.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Finals: another horror story

I decided to share another horror story of finals, since I'm watching my mom and brother this finals week while I've got no homework of my own to do.

Or, well, it's sort of a horror story of finals. It's about the final weeks of a term. And I did show up an hour late for one final.

~ ~ ~

My first term at Portland Community College (PCC) had gone fairly well. Sitting in classrooms was a bit strange for me after I'd been homeschooled for so long, but I made the transition gracefully. I'd even gotten over my fear of the strict writing professor, once I discovered that he had a sense of humor.

Then two weeks before finals, I got sick. I tried pushing my way through it, and insisted on going to school despite how bad I felt. Until...

...early Friday morning I got so sick that I fainted.

I'll spare you the details of my fainting and how sick I was. Suffice to to say that I was so sick that I couldn't really do any homework at all for a few days. At least through Sunday, as we entered the week before finals.

(It isn't really relevant to the story, but I do want to mention that I turned 18 that Monday. It was the day I started feeling human again.)

I think it was a couple more days before I was able to return to classes, which was maybe mid-week before finals. One thing quickly became apparent: I could not possibly manage all my homework. After being so sick, even for a few days, it was an impossible task. But, out of my three classes, I could manage two of them. Or so I thought. So, which class would be the most difficult to cope with, and professor should I ask to cut me some slack?

I chose my (no longer so scary) writing professor. Probably because his was my hardest class. I e-mailed him, explained that I'd been really sick, and asked for just a couple extra days to turn in my final paper.

My (actually quite wonderful) writing professor shocked me by saying that he would give me an Incomplete, and said I could take a whole extra week to turn in my paper.

Things still weren't easy for me. While I was busy worrying about my writing class, I wound up missing some homework assignments for my music class. I'm not sure if I forgot the homework or if it was assigned during classes that I missed. Then (probably because of missed classes) I didn't realize that the music final started an hour before the regular class time.

Imagine arriving to your final exam an hour late

In the end I got two A's and a B that term, the B being in writing. So I guess showing up late to my music final actually wasn't a problem. Still, my heart may have stopped momentarily when I realized what I'd done.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Pretty fireworks...

This will be two posts in one day, but oh well. This isn't exactly the sort of post that can be scheduled to go up later.

I also want to note that this is something that I'm sure I don't have all the facts on, though I think I know enough, and I don't know that the general public will ever know every little detail.

On November 30th the local (to me in Portland, Oregon) Oregon Zoo welcomed a new member to its elephant herd, a lovely baby girl. People have been very excited about this, exclaiming over the new baby just generally rejoicing. I even voted on the new baby's name on the zoo website, and I'm sure I wasn't the only one who was excited to do so.

Then the Seattle Times wrote an article stating that the stud elephant belongs to Have Trunk Will Travel (HTWT), a company that rents out elephants and apparently has a history of animal abuse. (Most people are screaming about abuse, but I've also seen a few who say they are quite ethical. I don't know the truth.) The contract for using him as a stud gives ownership of babies # 2, 4, and 6 to HTWT, and ownership is apparently transferred 30 days after the baby is born.

This calf is the stud's second baby at our zoo. Obviously, this means that she will belong to HTWT. A lot of people are now furious and screaming that the zoo basically lied to us by neglecting to mention this little detail before now.

As a matter of fact, I found a news article talking about this contract a year ago. The zoo hasn't dwelt on it, and I admit that I hadn't known about the contract before now, but I don't think it was exactly hushed up either. I think the zoo just didn't see the point of discussing it, seeing it as a non-issue.

The controversy over this contract has only been in the last 24 hours, so it's a story still in progress. But the zoo has stated on their Facebook page that they're keeping the baby. And in a news conference this morning that they said that they are negotiating specifics with HTWT, but that the baby will stay at the zoo.

I guess I could have just sent you to read the various news articles, but it seemed better to explain it here and add links. What I'm really interested in, and why I decided to write this post, is to comment on the comments on the zoo's Facebook page. I'm fascinated by the wide range of responses, from people (like me) who trust the zoo, to those who are screaming bloody murder and threatening to boycott. They're being pretty noisy, and it's a real fireworks show. Some even commented on the zoo's announcement that the baby will stay on the zoo to cry over the supposed fact that she will be ripped from her mother in less than a month for a life of abuse and torment. Did they even frickin' read what the zoo said??

It's amazing how determined people can be to find tragedy where it doesn't exist.

It's also amazing how one news article, about a contract that was made public knowledge some time ago (but which people either missed or have forgotten about), can change a celebration over a baby elephant into a huge fuss that has people turning on our well loved local zoo.

I for one trust that the Oregon Zoo knows what it's doing. If only because it would look bad for them to say they're keeping the baby only to then hand her over. I look forward to learning the baby's name, and to seeing her when she is deemed ready to be shown to the public. I hope that those screaming bloody murder will eventually calm down. In the meantime I'm watching the pretty fireworks on the Oregon Zoo's Facebook page from people who have suddenly decided that our zoo is evil. Hopefully they'll will put away their torches and pitchforks soon.

Photo I took of an elephant at the Oregon Zoo

Weird dreams

There is a mystery in my family. But first, I need to point out that I play Dungeons and Dragons (D&D), whereas my brother plays Minecraft.

The mystery? I'm the one who dreams about Minecraft.

Why can't I be dreaming about dragons or orcs or some random strange creature from D&D? Why am I having dull dreams about making things in Minecraft? Actually, the possibly sad thing is that the dreams aren't dull at all.

(No offense to anyone who plays Minecraft. It just isn't my thing. I'd rather fight orcs and bugbears. Though I do enjoy hearing about Minecraft from Tall One, and sometimes like to watch over his shoulder.)

In the latest dream I wanted to recreate New York out of stone blocks. Why? I have no idea. But that was my plan. I tried making a small house first, and unfortunately ran out of stone for even that small project. So I had to mine more stone, but then had to eat because my energy was running low. Luckily I had food in my inventory, then unluckily then ran out of stone to mine...when I told Tall One that he laughed and said that stone is the most common thing in Minecraft.

He also said that I can mine for him in his game, since I'm apparently so good at it.

Please, I'd rather have dreams about dragons. Please.

The dragon I encountered, but (luckily) didn't have to fight

Monday, December 3, 2012

Jeans that fit

Loose Jeans by Petr Kratochvil

No, my pants were not THAT loose
One downside of losing so much weight is that my blue jeans seemed to grow. And grow. And grow. I had pants in two different sizes, and I became rather frustrated with the fact that even the smaller ones were too big on me.

But finally I have two pairs of pants that fit me. Thank gods mom was willing to take me to Fred Meyers and buy me some new pants. I'm too picky, and can have trouble finding second hand ones that I like. (Admittedly some of my favorite jeans have been second hand, but I have to really work to find those rare gems.) And inexpensive second hand is all I can afford for myself at the moment.

Do you have any idea how wonderful it is to put on a pair of pants that actually fit, after months of wearing jeans that are too loose? It is absolute bliss. Bliss, I tell you.

I did make one discovery though. When you lose enough weight, it can be difficult to find clothing that fits. This discovery is really why I'm writing a post about clothes shopping. A little over half of the Levi's pants I looked at came in my new size, but I couldn't find any Lee's that would fit me. This is a problem I hear about for people who gain weight when they go to buy dresses or whatever, but I'd never guessed it could also be a problem in the other direction.

Moral of the story: not all brands target smaller thinner people.

And, for anyone who is wondering...I went from a size 8 at the beginning of the year to a size 4 now. And that was all unintended weight loss. I cannot tell you how weird it is.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Finals: a horror story

I'm watching my mom and brother prepare for finals weeks. And it's strange to not be doing anything myself for finals, so I am going to instead share a horror story.

The story actually starts the evening before my math exam. My brother's first pipe band had their final practice for the year and a pot luck that evening. So I did last minute studying while listening to pipe music, and then I got to eat yummy food.

Only problem was...I was vegetarian. And most main dishes at pot lucks aren't vegetarian. So I wound up eating the deserts. In fact, I ate a lot of deserts.

I may have slightly gotten on a sugar high and had trouble getting to sleep that night.

The next morning my math exam was at 8am. Why I chose to take a math class at 8am when I'm not a morning person and I don't like math is beyond me. But that's what I did.

So I was tired, had some coffee that morning (probably before the exam), and was trying to focus, after having stayed up slightly late on a sugar high the night before. Not exactly ideal circumstances for taking an exam.

To make it worse, I wound up stuck on this one problem and was the last student taking the exam. I kid you not, I was the last person in that classroom aside from the professor. The professor even wound up telling me to take a break and go for a walk.

I did take a walk...to get more coffee. I should probably mention here that this professor did not approve of coffee and was none to pleased to see me walking back into his classroom with my small white chocolate mocha.

After finishing, the best thing I could say was that the exam was over. I wasn't too pleased with how I had done on it, and was apprehensive about that one problem. Perhaps I was more concerned than I should have been, since it was only one problem, but I was rather focused on it.

I wound up with a B in that class. These days I would say that's a decent grade, but at the time I was making mostly A's and said that B is for Bad. So I wasn't pleased. Still, I hadn't been doing my best in that class anyways, and in retrospect I guess the sugar high and getting stuck on that one problem probably didn't hurt me too badly.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Bring Him Home Santa

I got this song stuck in my head last evening, and it's been popping into my head randomly today. I am going to take this as a sign that I need to share it here.

I think I've shared it every year since I first found it, but it's worth sharing again and again.

Be warned, it may make you cry.