Archive for March, 2013


Happy Easter!

Or whichever spring festival you choose to celebrate.

Though I don’t subscribe to the Christian Eater story, I celebrate with my family because 1) they do and 2) it’s important to me to spend time with Grandma.
She’s still healthy, but she’s not young, and since Grandpa died, it’s starting to show.
I will take every opportunity I can to be around her. She’s an amazing woman, my Grandma. Just amazing.

 

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Dream it, do it

I have been really, really busy lately. my Saturdays are booked clear through April and into May.
It’s really an honor to be part of the performance troupe. I mean, I know I still have a LONG way to go to be as good as Tasha, but I really do feel validated.

I’ve been dancing for almost 8 years, though the majority of that has been Orientale.
I love cabaret. It’s graceful and sinewy and gooey.
And I love ATS (r). It’s folky and earthy and, well, tribal.
Which is not to say that each style doesn’t have aspects of the other in it, because they certainly do; they are sister dances, after all. Um… maybe more like cousins. Similar, but very different in some ways.

My focus lately, though, has definitely been on the tribal style dance. I have classes on Wednesday and Friday and performances Saturdays. We fit in rehearsal time on Mondays and Tuesdays if we can. Thursday nights are my cabaret class. Sundays I get to sleep – thankfully. 🙂

And I can truly see the progress I’ve made in tribal. With Orientale, I’ve sort of hit a plateu – but let me note that I am not bored at all. I enjoy the classes, the teacher is phenomenal  and the other students are amazing.

I know part of it is a time thing, too. I’ve been doing traditional for so long, and tribal for just over a year. Early on, I know, it is easier to see progression. So far in, it’s less about learning new stuff, but more about honing and developing.

I’m really trying to avoid burning out, too.  My schedule has changed so dramatically since I started tribal classes. First, I doubled my class nights, then it tripled. Now, I have clases AND performances. And workshops.

::Deep breath::

I love dancing. It keeps me grounded and I can feel the Earth under my feet – it sounds so simple that way, but it’s not that simple.
I feel…. connected.

Through one of my Facebook friends, a real-life acquaintance, I found myself reading the Tumblr page ‘It’s Okay to Be Smart‘, featuring a brilliant blog about the Facebook page ‘I F**king Love Science’.

I found the post wonderful. When I found out that the Facebook page author was woman, I was like, “Ok; that’s cool. CAn we get back to the awesome science stuff now?”
To know that people would be astonished or amazed or confused that a woman would 1)enjoy science, 2)post incredibly smart AND funny science facts, and 3)ZOMG BOOBZ!!!!

What the fuck, world?!
Simmer down.
Guys AND girls can enjoy science.

Cheese and rice, kids.

Anyway, you should hop to the link above and read the article. It’s well written, especially since the blogger is a man. See that? See how that doesn’t make sense? Yeah. That’s what I thought.

Go read it.
You might like it.

Most Epic Pi Day, EVER!

Trigger warning; but this is a must-read.

Rethink the Rant

TRIGGER WARNING:

The following includes descriptions, photos, and video that may serve as a trigger for victims of sexual violence.
Please be advised. 

Someone asked me today, “What is ‘rape culture’ anyway? I’m tired of hearing about it.”

Yeah, I hear ya. I’m tired of talking about it. But I’m going to keep talking about it because people like you keep asking that question.

Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and though there are dozens of witnesses, no one says, “Stop.”

Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and though there are dozens of witnesses, they can’t get anyone to come forward.

Rape culture is when a group of athletes rape a young girl, and adults are informed of it, but no consequences are doled out because the boys “said nothing happened.”

Rape culture is when a group…

View original post 1,115 more words

Ostara Approaches

Now that my St. Patrick’s Day festivities have passed, and I can relax a little – and get back to my normal schedule – I can plan ahead for Ostara.
While the Christian religion celebrated the return of the crucified Christ, pagans will celebrate the return of spring.
All will enjoy the pastel and chocolatey goodness that occurs for the holiday. Brightly colored eggs, fuzzy lambs, squee-dorable bunnies… it’s all one holiday, celebrated differently.

Let’s all get along, celebrate a renewal, a revival, a darn good thing. Let’s eat. Let’s mate. Let’s enjoy the warm sunshine and return of above-40 temperatures. 🙂

Also, I really enjoy the chocolate.
And hard-boiled, brightly-decorated eggs.

Yay spring!

Natural egg dyes

Hot-Cross Buns

Fudgy Truffle Eggs

Seed Blessing & Indoor Plant Ritual

Here in the Twin Cities, we started celebrating St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday the 16th. We can’t hold a Sunday parade downtown – plus our local Catholic diocese told us we shouldn’t have  Sunday parade (what with it being The Lord’s day and all).

A Saturday parade in St. Paul is a BIG deal. Even with the temperature being 28-32 degrees, the sun was out and walking and waiving to the masses kept us warm enough not to notice.
On top of that, my sister and I created this AMAZING steampunk-inspired costume. I had a lot of compliments all day – including during the parade!

 

There was a sad realization, though, that both my husband and I had: Neither one of us enjoys the post-parade pub crawl anymore.
It used to be a ton of fun.

But now there’s drama and such. Plus, we just can’t drink like we used to.
I get all tired and mopey.
He gets cranky.
We don’t enjoy being with ourselves or anyone else when we’re in that state.

So we called it an early night, asked sober-sister to drive us home, and ordered a pizza.
It was a really good decision

Who was St. Patrick of Ireland? (stolen from The History Channel website)

St. Patrick: Taken Prisoner By Irish Raiders

It is known that St. Patrick was born in Britain to wealthy parents near the end of the fourth century. He is believed to have died on March 17, around 460 A.D. Although his father was a Christian deacon, it has been suggested that he probably took on the role because of tax incentives and there is no evidence that Patrick came from a particularly religious family. At the age of 16, Patrick was taken prisoner by a group of Irish raiders who were attacking his family’s estate. They transported him to Ireland where he spent six years in captivity. (There is some dispute over where this captivity took place. Although many believe he was taken to live in Mount Slemish in County Antrim, it is more likely that he was held in County Mayo near Killala.) During this time, he worked as a shepherd, outdoors and away from people. Lonely and afraid, he turned to his religion for solace, becoming a devout Christian. (It is also believed that Patrick first began to dream of converting the Irish people to Christianity during his captivity.)

St. Patrick: Guided By Visions

After more than six years as a prisoner, Patrick escaped. According to his writing, a voice—which he believed to be God’s—spoke to him in a dream, telling him it was time to leave Ireland.

To do so, Patrick walked nearly 200 miles from County Mayo, where it is believed he was held, to the Irish coast. After escaping to Britain, Patrick reported that he experienced a second revelation—an angel in a dream tells him to return to Ireland as a missionary. Soon after, Patrick began religious training, a course of study that lasted more than 15 years. After his ordination as a priest, he was sent to Ireland with a dual mission: to minister to Christians already living in Ireland and to begin to convert the Irish. (Interestingly, this mission contradicts the widely held notion that Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland.)

St. Patrick: Bonfires and Crosses

Familiar with the Irish language and culture, Patrick chose to incorporate traditional ritual into his lessons of Christianity instead of attempting to eradicate native Irish beliefs. For instance, he used bonfires to celebrate Easter since the Irish were used to honoring their gods with fire. He also superimposed a sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is now called a Celtic cross, so that veneration of the symbol would seem more natural to the Irish. Although there were a small number of Christians on the island when Patrick arrived, most Irish practiced a nature-based pagan religion. The Irish culture centered around a rich tradition of oral legend and myth. When this is considered, it is no surprise that the story of Patrick’s life became exaggerated over the centuries—spinning exciting tales to remember history has always been a part of the Irish way of life.

Countless works of art have depicted the bearded saint crushing serpents under his feet, and pointing to the distance with his staff as if to banish them from his sight.
But there is little evidence that snakes were indigenous to the island.

Most folks tend to connect the snakes with the pagans of early Ireland. There are many tales of how St. Patrick wielded the power of God to subdue the pagan magiks. Stories of great [pagan] kings falling – either by conversion to the new Christianity or by death.

Now, don’t get me wrong. This is a huge part of my heritage.
My family is from Ireland, and the majority of them are Catholic. I was raised Catholic.
I have a lot of respect for the saints and stories.

But what I could never get behind is the notion of a wrathful God.
Free will? Nope, too bad. You made a wrong choice and must suffer in the worst way possible.
Free will? Only if you follow how I tell you to follow.

This new religion just comes in and says, “Hey guys, I know you’ve been worshiping like that for all these years, but, um, you’re totally wrong. And this new guy is, like, so right. You should follow us. Because, well, just because we say you’re wrong and we’re right. Ours is the only God. And if you don’t follow this new guy, you’ll, like, burn in hell. Oh, you don’t have a concept of hell? Too bad; you’re going there anyway.”

“Also, our God totally loves you, regardless of your tradition of following this other religion. But, um, he’s gonna smite you anyway. Because he loves you.”

God’s a jerk like that sometimes.
He totally loves you, but he’s going to hit you.
And then tell you that he’s only doing it because he loves you.

Seriously.

I’m part of the group that organizes the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade here in St. Paul. February and March are a BIG deal.

We have a new group of Shamrock Princesses, all vying to be the next Miss Shamrock, Queen of the Parade.
This year, because of my dance schedule, I really stepped back from too much responsibility – I used to help with the Princess Committee.

But, I still participated.
We sold buttons, made appearances, and sang silly songs.

We even made the local news (warning, earplugs may be needed).

http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/video/8622777-worst-tenor-competition-kicks-off-st-patricks-day/

2007 Miss Shamrock Coronation (that’s me on the end in the super-silky gown)

 

This is what I deal with every year.

This is what I deal with every year.

 

There are days, especially this time of year, that I feel absolutely overwhelmed with things to do and people to see. Then I see all the things I missed out on and wonder how I missed them. I see my friends having a great time with everyone else and think “Why wasn’t I there, too?”
I feel hurt.

I mean, yeah, I’m busy and all.
But then again, I’m keeping myself busy because I don’t get invited or just miss invites and whatnot.

I end up staying busy with projects that I make up for myself.

And THEN I find out that my pals were out doing cool stuff, or hanging out, or whatever. Just… without me.
Am I really that person?
Am I the one that people avoid?

Oh. My Gawd.
It really is me.

Fuck.