Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Because I know these people

Who's ready for another round of cowardly Facebook status bashing?!

"Its rediculous how immature people are these days..."

No, you know what's ridiculous? The fact that you can't spell ridiculous and you're a senior in high school. Do you pay attention to anything? Ever?

"hahaha some guys need to control their psycho jealous girlfriends."

It is highly irritating when people talk about controlling others in a relationship, especially women. a) It's not the guy's fault the girlfriend is being psychotic.Why is the blame being shifted to him? b) Controlling is not the way to go. Thoughtful, reasonable discussion, perhaps. Control implies force, and forcing people to do things is not awesome in what is supposed to be a relationship of mutual respect and equal authority. 

Also - vague, angsty statuses. Look, if you have something to share, spit it out. No one wants to guess if you're suicidal or just spilled your Red Bull on your favorite sweater. Really, friend. Really. 

Well, my work is done. Proceed.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I'm busily working my way through I recently finished Paradise Lost by John Milton. I wasn't sure I'd enjoy it, but I am learning to absolutely love it. I can see why Pullman and Gaiman were so fond of quoting it/building entire trilogies off of it.
Milton's fabulous in all sorts of unintentional ways. For instance, he provides plenty of fodder for a 21st century freethinker to pick apart with ease - things like the pride motif, for instance, or the multiple instances where God or angels say something to the extent of "knowledge is bad". Another reason I enjoy it is that I am immature, and found a fart joke. 

I've started a list of favorite lines. It's growing pretty weighty, because there's so many beautiful bits and pieces that can be construed to fit a heretical view point. For instance, the eternal line "better to reign in hell than serve in heav'n". Beautiful, right? Who wouldn't rather have their own place, even if it is a falling-down, brimstone-reeking dump, than have to live in uber happy land under the Big Brother-like eyes of angels? No brainer, right? (Er, well...I guess maybe not. Since I am in America, and all)
Here are some others I liked:

"'O fair plant,' said he, 'with fruit surcharged, Deigns none to ease thy load and taste thy sweet, Nor god, nor man; is knowledge so despised?..."

"Tell him withal...what enemy late fall'n himself from heav'n, is plotting now The fall of others from like state of bliss;..." 
(Ignorance is bliss. Just seemed fitting)

"He [God] left it in thy power, ordained they will By nature free, not overruled by fate Inextricable..." (Raphael speaks of humans here. I just had to note that, if humans have free will as some kind of special quality, then it implies that angels don't. If angels don't have free will, then they're subject to fate, and thus Lucifer was fated to rebel and fall. Thus - how is it his fault, and why is he then consigned to hell? ...The only explanation I can think of is "God is a jerk", which I find clears up a lot of religious hypocrisy/convolution.)

"who saw When this creation was? Remember'st thou Thy making, while the Maker gave thee being? We know no time when we were not  as now; know none before us, self-begot, self-raised By our own quick'ning power,"  
(In other words - who says God made anything? God! Funny how that works out. *fingerguns* Gotcha there! Maybe god was just the first angel, as Pullman said.)

(And here we've gotten into the Serpent talking -- I like that kid. He seems to know what's up.)
"What forbids he but to know, Forbids us good, forbids us to be wise?"

"'And wherein lies Th'offense, that man should thus attain to know? What can your knowledge hurt him, or this tree Impart against his will if all be his?" 
(I don't see how anyone could argue for the validity of Genesis and support education. This must be why people so rarely do.)

"Knowledge of good and evil; Of good, how just? Of evil, if what is evil Be real, why not known, since easier shunned?"

"Why then thus forbid? Why but to awe, Why but to keep ye low and ignorant, His worshippers."

"ye shall be as gods, knowing both good and evil as they know..."
(This is one of the few instances where I disagree with Snakey. Actually, gods don't seem to be all that clear on the subject of good and evil. I mean, think. Sodom and Gomorrah. Lot's wife. Prometheus' punishment. Zeus' many infidelities. Loki (enough said). Set. Massacring Canaanittes. Arachne. Would you like me to go on?)

"hath God then said that of the fruit Of all these garden trees ye shall not eat, Yet lords declared of all in earth or air?" 
(Ooh, gotcha there! *fingerguns*)

"spirited sly snake"
(I have some kind of weird love for alliteration.)

I'll have to tell you the fart joke and the most hilarious dialogue between Adam and Raphael later, because it is late and I must go into my nightly coma. Maybe I'll even have vivid hallucinations followed by near total amnesia about the experience! :D


It occurs to me that I never got around to writing a post about fire gods! This is a major oversight, the topic being in my blog's subtitle and all. Man, what was I thinking?
Fire gods are some of my favorite myths. They're so...fiery. Ha. Really, though, they're a highly interesting bunch. I'd some day like to write a thesis on them and their similarities, because they're all somewhat mercurial, quirky, and, to a degree, smarter than many other gods.
My current list of fire gods includes Loki, Prometheus, Yahweh, and Lucifer. I'm sure there's more, I just haven't gotten a chance to delve into many mythologies (my areas of study are Greek, Norse, and Christian/Biblical myths). If you have any I should read up on, do send them to me! I think I want to assemble a team of them. A League of Fire Gods, if you will. Today is the commencement of this team. If these fire gods make the cut, they can be inducted. If not, well, then sucks for them. They're not real, so they kind of can't be getting all offended.
Before we get started, I'd like to discuss the criteria for fire god. A fire god is a divine or semi-divine being who was at one point worshiped, and either has domain over fire or is consistently associated with imagery of fire. Thus, Lucy and Yahweh qualify, because they were both worshiped and because Lucy's all hellish and Yahweh's all pillar of fire, rain fire and destruction, etc etc.
The criteria for this league is if they could all be friends together. So, today, let's look at the contestants and determine if they could all get along well enough not to incinerate each other!

First off: Loki. Loki is a Norse trickster god, and he's commonly associated with fire imagery (as well as that of Chaos). He was distrusted by the others in the Norse pantheon, though Odin tolerated and sometimes used him. Loki was imprisoned by Skadi with Jormundr, a very large snake, as a guard. He qualifies as a fire god because of the imagery, and because of his changing, dangerous nature.
Prometheus is a Greek god, one of the Titans. He did not fight against the Olympians when Cronos fell, which is why he was not immediately imprisoned. However, seeing as he stole fire from the gods to give to the cold, shivering humans (which subsequently gave rise to human civilization), this was quickly corrected by Zeus, who chained him to a cliff where an eagle would peck out his liver each day.
I'm pretty dang sure Loki and Prometheus would be friends. Though Loki represents more the destructive, quick side of fire, and Prometheus the nurturing, light-and-heat giving side of fire, they have a lot in common. Primarily,  they were both imprisoned and tortured for very little reason. I can imagine them sitting down next to each other at a bar, ordering Scotch or a mug or something, getting drunk and then proceeding to spill their hearts out to each other. Maybe they'd end sobbing in each other's arms about how much their lives suck. Anyway, I totally think they'd team up, and maybe even swear revenge on the jerkfaces that consigned them to purportedly eternal torture.
Lucifer also has a lot in common with them. If we're going by the Paradise Lost interpretation, then he's almost in exactly the same situation. Lucy's beat up by the Big Guy and kicked out of heaven into hell, the magical land of fire and torture forever. Also, like Prometheus, he brings enlightenment to humans in the form of telling Eve about the wonders of fruit and knowledge and not being naked all the time. I feel as though he would be right there with Loki and Prometheus, glaring drunkenly into his empty shot glass and slurring about the crap he's been through, and how he just wanted some damn respect for once...

Loki, Prometheus, Lucy - congratulations on your induction into the League!
Now, Yahweh, he's a tricky one. See, he qualifies as a fire god. He's the God of the Old Testament, and pretty consistently rains fire and destruction on basically everyone. He shows up as a pillar of flame several times, rains fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, lights Elijah's wood on fire, and requires burnt sacrifices on a regular basis. He's also very volatile, constantly promising this or forbidding that, and then changing his mind a few chapters later (which can be construed as a common trait of many fire gods). However, despite his eligibility, Yahweh doesn't really play nice with others. He's known for murdering lots of Egyptians, telling Abraham to murder his son, letting his people wander in the desert for 40 stinkin' years, telling the people who worship him to massacre Canaanites (men, women, and children), obliterating two cities, turning a woman into salt when she didn't obey his orders, and a whole crap ton more. Yahweh is, to be frank, a bit of a psychopath

Now, I'm not saying that any of the others aren't pretty dickish. Loki is consistently a total jackass. Prometheus, well, okay, he's all right. Lucy...okay, he doesn't actually do anything either. Anyway, the problem is less that Yahweh's kind of nasty and more that he gets his way by brute force, orders, and threatening to incinerate people. Where Loki would be playing word games, or Prometheus would be stealing fire from Zeus, or Lucy would be extolling the wonders of apples, Yahweh would be out drowning Egyptians. If Lucy was all like, hey, I'm sorry, take me back (which he wouldn't, because Lucy's the prideful type), Yahweh'd be all like, I thought I sent you to hell. And then he'd like punch him in the face or something, or better, have his flock of angels punch Lucy in the face. And I'm pretty sure Yahweh would just flat out admit the existence of Loki or Prometheus. He'd be all like, you're not in my pantheon, you don't exist, I'm the true god. And since we're in magical fantasy land where all of this is real, he'd be wrong and Loki and Prometheus would be pissed off.

So, sorry, Yahweh! You just don't make the cut. Maybe you should have focused on improving the human's quality of life, instead of sending them on idle tasks like carving words into rocks or murdering children.
*cough cough* Sorry, I just can't have you in my little band of misfit myths. You'll probably cause a fight.

Hey, did you read to the end of this really long, rambling post? GOOD JOB! Thank you! Here's a special treat:

Evolution of a Tailcoat

I believe I mentioned my quest to create a tailcoat for Halloween. Halloween has been passed for some time now, which I forgot to mention. At any rate, I was fully successful in my creation of a tailcoat! In all honesty, I think it might be the pinnacle of my seamstress career up 'til this point. Everything turned out so well.
Here is the dress I started with:
King of an ugly thing. It was supposed to be for a 70's diva, though, so I assume that hideous is a prerequisite.
Here it is after I cut out the tails and the front. You can almost see its shape coming together.
Now I have the sleeves on. The sleeves turned out really well, especially after I was worried they'd be too short or not fit right. I got the angle correct to sew them to the shoulders, and evidently my measurements were correct when I laid the fabric against my arm. (I have sort of an ad hoc method of measurement and sizing. I've gotten better at it as I've been more constructive, but my first creation, Frankencat, was....well, his name speaks for itself).
And, look! I have the lapels on! Isn't it looking snazzy? It also helps that I figured out that I should probably turn the flash on at this point. Ah, the marvels of photography... *headdesk*
And, look, here it is from the back, almost all finished! Do you see those little buttons on the top of the tails? I'm very proud of those as they look pretty snazzy.
*smirks* I'm quite proud.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ridiculous Etiquette and the Sexism Inherent

As a graduation requirement, it is mandated that all seniors take Participation in Government and Economics. Both of these classes are taught by a teacher who is neither wildly intelligent nor possessing of high self-esteem. The only reason she likes me at all is because of my nice handwriting. It's certainly not my cheerful demeanor, as I have yet to be excited to go to that class. (Actually, the beginning of the year was okay because we had class discussions, but now it's all notes and pointless worksheets). Anyway, today in class, we learned that a portion of the Economics class (which the teacher teaches, but we don't have until next semester) is spent taking "etiquette quizzes" which encompass various obscure, outdated social contrivances. The example that so pissed me off was a rule from the era of hoop skirts and corsets that mandated that whenever a lady stood at a table, all the men should stand as well.
1. In what universe does this make sense? It's a weird reaction, and uncomfortable for everyone.
2. Why do the women not stand as well? Why doesn't everyone stand when anyone stands? It's inconsistent, partial, and sexist.
3. WHY, in the name of all that is hellish, is the teacher teaching this as something that is appropriate to do? Ever? Even under the guise of "appropriate etiquette" at business meetings and such? Doing this would weird people out and would, in fact, be a detriment to any kind of relationship.
This is the 21st century, kids. Get with the program.

Anyway, a life update: I applied to Cornell! It took many tears and much despair, but my application is submitted. Finally. ...And now if I think about it and the mangled, BS essays I sent in with it, my stomach churns. I tried so hard to not sound contrived, but somehow I failed completely. ...Maybe I'll post them in a little bit, if I can get over how bad they sound. Or maybe not.