Mythology & Folklore & Legends!!
What Would Neil Gaiman Do?
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23rd-Jul-2017 01:14 am - Thoughts
aximili: (TPATF: Ambitious)
So I was looking at bungee jumping tomorrow, or paragliding, but then I decided I didn't want to do things that would take hours of my day and make me tired for work that night.

Which is too bad, because it was so tempting.

Instead I'm going to try to go rock climbing tomorrow, and study up the certifications I'm 'ReActivating.'

I'd like to work on backpacking too. I was thinking I could start getting the gear, going to one of the local campsites on the weekend, and practice basics. Then I could do trips when I feel comfortable with the gear and believe I can make it a few days without running back to town.
22nd-Jul-2017 11:48 pm - Call for Themes
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I've reached the end of scheduled themes for the Poetry Fishbowl project.  It's time to brainstorm some new themes!  These are a few that I've jotted down earlier, ones that I've thought up or people have suggested, to give you an idea what kind of stuff might be suitable:

* Help and Helpiness
* Otherkin
* Pirates and Brigands

What other themes would you like to see me write about?  Suggest them in a comment below this post. 

Later on I'll collect the suggestions and do some polling.  The most popular topics will be added to the schedule for future fishbowls.  Previously, I have just dumped all the proposed themes into a big poll.  The more themes people suggest, the less well this works.  I have an idea for fixing that problem.  This time, I'm going to run the first large poll with checkboxes so you can express interest in as many themes as you like.  I will then either pick from the most popular ones, or use that information to pull out the favorite themes for a smaller poll to select the ones which will appear in upcoming fishbowls.

You can also help by linking to this post so that more people will see it.  Everyone is welcome to suggest themes.  Everyone will also be able to vote for them later; prompters and donors will get extra votes.  If you link to the call for themes, you can reveal a verse in any open perk poem:
"Testing the Metal
"Dangerous Refuges
"The Marble and the Sculptor
"The Golden Peaches of Peace
"Leaves Upon the Water"
"The Quick Brown Fox"
"Lead Us in Peace"
"We Will Fade into You"
22nd-Jul-2017 09:23 pm - Poem: "Chipped"
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
This poem came out of the July 4, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] bairnsidhe, [personal profile] readera, [personal profile] alexseanchai, and [livejournal.com profile] rix_scaedu. It also fills the "bisexual" square in my 5-29-17 card for the Pride Bingo fest. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Antimatter & Stalwart Stan thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Warning: This poem contains some fractious content. Highlight to read the warnings, some of which are spoilers. It features crowds, frustration, floundering over cape identity, rude people, obnoxious language, sex/gender bigotry, bigot-baiting, questioning aspects of personal sexuality, and other challenges. But mostly it's fluff. It's also a humor-based choking hazard. Do not read with your mouth full! If these are sensitive issues for you, please consider your tastes and headspace before reading onward.

Read more... )
22nd-Jul-2017 08:05 pm - Read "The Order of Their Stars"
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Thanks to generous donations from [personal profile] ng_moonmoth[personal profile] across_space_and_time[personal profile] technoshaman, and [personal profile] alatefeline, you can now read the opening of "The Order of Their Stars."  Astin helps V with a shopping trip.
22nd-Jul-2017 07:10 pm - Effects of Father Loss
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 ... are not just emotional, but biological.  It shortens a child's telomeres.  While death has the biggest impact, divorce or incarceration have similar effects.  Shortened telomeres correlate with shortened lifespan and worsened health.  Now consider that in light of policies from prison to foster care.  Losing a parent is the worst thing that can happen to a child.  If they are not literally in immediate risk of death, everything else does less damage.  That sucks, but it should be used to find other ways of solving family and social problems that do not butcher children's lifespan and health at a cellular level.

No mention was made of mothers.  Likely the effects parallel those of father loss.  I would not be surprised if they are worse.
22nd-Jul-2017 01:02 pm - Boundaries
aximili: (Cats: Jack Yawn)
People at work don't like me anymore, but I'm actually totally good with it because it's because I've been cutting the pushover phase of my life.

In some ways, it's fun.

Today Tracy and Tori were talking about Tyler and I was like, "Wow, that'll be so weird, now 'Tyler' will always mean the same person."

Tracy, "Yeah so now you can stop calling him mean names!"
Me, "He said he was okay with being called Tigger."
Tracy, "He hates it!"
Me, "Well if Tyler can't state his needs then he can get over himself."

I didn't even bring up the fact that he literally suggested the name personally. I had no idea his other job was playing Tigger until he suggested it as a nickname when we were talking about how to avoid Tyler-confusion. I just decided it wasn't something to feel guilty about since he's the one who suggested it and confirmed repeatedly he was totally fine with it. Maybe he'll learn to be direct.

Besides, he's the one talking about how great a co-worker he is and then trying to buy alcohol underage from me with hardly any discretion whatsoever. Except not actually going to the damn checkstand personally.

TL; DR: People are often two-faced and I don't really want to be in that flock anyway.




The refresher course is actually very short. I may be able to dive much sooner than I thought and start going to the diving club. Also, PADI offers dive courses with the academic component online now, and then you arrange to do the certification dives with a local instructor! So that will likely motivate me to dive more, knowing I can do the coursework on my own time and only worry about the dives themselves.

You get a new card when you do the refresher course. Though, it's not called a refresher course anymore. It's called ReActivate now.




One of my friends has a surfboard they don't use, so I'm getting a free surfboard to practice on! I can't wait. But if I'm going to the beach like an hour a or anything more frequent than once a week, I should probably get the parking permit. I'm also thinking about getting a bodyboard though. Just to practice paddling and catching the waves themselves. I forgot how exhausting it can be.

I figure I can bodyboard a bit almost every day if I get a wetsuit, then at the end of the week I can practice surfing.

Next weekend, I plan on doing the bungee jumping and paragliding. I really want to get trained in paragliding - I've wanted to for years. So I asked them if they have gift certificate options for that. But before I invest in getting licensed to fly, I should probably make sure I don't chicken out.

I mean, I like the idea of skateboarding, but I know in real life I am a skateboarder just as much as most of the people I try to hike with are hikers. As in, I don't really want to do it, I just think it looks/sounds cool and I wish I wanted to do it.

(Which is probably the same as clubbing. Except when you get me going, I actually do like to dance... Badly. Still, I think on my own, I would last an hour at most, not all night like other people can do.)

I ate much healthier today. It's like... After all that adrenalin, I don't even want to eat bad food. I tried eating junk food yesterday and I didn't even finish it, even though it was all I had eaten all day. Today I'm still on that high: No urge for sugary foods. I wanted my unsweetened iced teas again.

ADVENTURE IS THE CURE (OR AT LEAST MY CURE) TO OVER-EATING AND EATING LIKE A GARBAGE CAN.

I sort of already knew that - I know the more active I get, the less I want shitty food. But this weekend was a really good reminder of that.
22nd-Jul-2017 12:52 am - Spiritual victim blaming
fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
"What To Do When The Power of Positive Thinking Fails,
And How To Avoid Blaming Yourself When It Does"
By = Tempest Alexandria Arts

If you're at all involved in the New Age or pagan movements, you probably know that there are a lot of books out there about the power of positive thinking. There's no shortage of gurus ready to teach you all about how the universe really loves you and wants you to get what you want, and for a price they will teach you how to think in order to tap into this power. Because, as they quickly inform you, if you're confused about what you want or need, the universe will be too, which tidily explains why you aren't already rich and happy.

The power of positive thinking is real, of course, insofar as it can do amazing things because the human Will can do amazing things, but there are a major problems with this philosophy, and there are limits to what it can do that most of these gurus fail to address. First, the assumption behind why positive thinking works (that the universe loves you) works as a great excuse for why you need to be taught how to think positively (by buying their books or taking their expensive classes), but ultimately sets you up for failure. Secondly, it's a lot more difficult than the gurus try to make it seem, because the money is in providing a seemingly simple yet ultimately difficult and complex solution, so that you keep buying their books for more insight, more help. Third, it is far too easy to fall into the trap of victim blaming (especially victim blaming yourself) when it fails, which can become a vicious cycle. And fourth, the process can be made more difficult if you have conditions like clinical depression, PTSD, or bipolar disorder, and is not an easy process even without conditions like that. Hopefully, though, you will have a fair idea how to go about the process in a meaningful and realistic way, and be able to help yourself without expensive books or classes, after reading this article.

The central assumption behind the "power of positive thinking" in most New Age philosophy is that God/the universe/the Goddess loves you, and wants you to be happy, but that it can't do that if your thoughts are confused, or you aren't thinking the right way. The idea is that if you don't know what you want, the universe doesn't know what you want either. On the surface, it sounds reasonable and so innocuous, but there are real problems with it that don't really come to light until you've tried it for a decade or more and failed at it, and even then only if you realize there's a problem and stop to analyze it. Because ultimately, the philosophy as it is usually taught is doomed to failure, since the even deeper assumption is that the power of positive thinking can be learned by everyone, it just takes vigilance, and also because the way it is taught is full of flaws; flaws often left in on purpose or added in to begin with, since it makes selling more books easier.

The problem with that assumption that everyone can learn to wield the power of positive thinking is that it isn't true. Getting positive thinking to work for you as it should is one of those things that you can either figure out how to do or you can't, to various degrees. Take lucid dreaming as an example; some people can learn how to do it, and do it easily, others never figure out how to do it at all, still others only manage to lucid dream by accident, and reading books or taking classes doesn't really help much. Similarly, some people can learn to activate the full potential of positive thinking, others never manage it at all, and still others only ever do it by accident, or somewhere else along that spectrum. Books can help, at least in getting the process started, but they can only do so much, and most books on the subject are deeply flawed.

Furthermore, even if you do manage to change your thinking to be positive all the time, that alone may not be enough. The power of positive thinking is a kind of magick, and magick can only influence the odds of something happening, it is still up to other people to have opportunities available for you, and up to you to take said opportunities. After all, you can think as positively as you like in the middle of the Sahara desert, but that's not going to miraculously make water appear out of nowhere. And even if you find an oasis, you still have to walk towards it and drink from its waters; those waters will not come to you.

Now that's not to say the power of positive thinking isn't real, and can't do wonders. It can in fact work, but my stress here is on the can. It can work for you. But not because the universe loves you and wants you to be happy. That belief defies all the evidence. If the universe truly loved us and wanted us to be happy, we would all be immortal, eternally youthful, and eternally healthy, with either no need to eat, or with plenty of food readily available without the need for hard labor. There would be no more menstruation, and people would only be able to have kids if they really wanted to, and the planet would never get overcrowded.
Continues )
22nd-Jul-2017 01:15 am - Squirrel!
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
You can tell how hot it is because the squirrel's tail is so flat
21st-Jul-2017 10:05 pm - Plans
aximili: The Rachel Maddow Show (Political: Rachel Maddow Show Sign)
I'm planning on getting a CostCo surfboard to practice. The people there say those surfboards are fine for beginners.

I noticed from the photos of me surfing that I have gained a lot of my old weight back (not so surprising - I've had a lot of sugars lately, and I've been eating a lot of fast food again.)

So Since I'm free Saturday mornings again I'm going to try to do the 5k runs regularly and then the 10k runs. I'll have to figure out the rest of the week.
21st-Jul-2017 11:11 pm - Listen to the Trees
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Tree music.
21st-Jul-2017 04:35 pm - Skydive SCUBA dive
aximili: (Default)
I am literally taking the SCUBA refresher WHILE waiting to be suited up to skydive. #multitasking
21st-Jul-2017 11:55 am - Art
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Bird totems.
20th-Jul-2017 11:35 pm - Tiger Swallowtail
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 I got a picture of a tiger swallowtail today.
20th-Jul-2017 08:40 pm - Poor Baby
aximili: A loris. (Nature: Loris)
This one character really hurts my heart in Strain. I mean, I know it's fiction, but he confronts his turned mother. Then he goes to an Indian restaurant where there's this woman he likes. Then her parents and this other character give him a shitty time til he leaves. Then his childhood hero (works in the Indian restaurant) treats him like a shitstain.

Like damn guys, you don't know what he just went through tonight! And all he did was tell your daughter to respect her mother because she'll miss her when she's gone!




I wish I had friends that were more into the outdoors/adventurous stuff. Jessica and Nick are more museum buddies.

I know, I know. I promised I wouldn't complain unless I didn't make friends while doing said things, instead of wishing they'd just like, randomly appear out of the ground. I'm working on it.

I also have Groupons for dance classes, so that gives me a few weeks of activity and something I'm interested in trying out without fleeing the country.

Uhm. I decided against the Himalaya trip in October (I'll use the credit to do it at another date.) It's too long a trip given what I'm trying to do this year. I really want to focus on the vocational things - e.g., the CNA course. Some of them have absolutely no leeway for taking up missed classes, so a two-week trip would be a bad idea. I may see about a shorter trip at some point, though.

I'll do local things I wanted to do this year, then use the credit to go next year. If I'm really lucky, by then I'll know someone I can invite so I'm not spending extra money to travel solo (though traveling solo sounds fun.)

... I hope I can learn paragliding this year.
20th-Jul-2017 08:09 pm - LGBT book
fayanora: SK avatar (Default)
I don't want to spoil anything, but for anyone looking for books with LGBT characters, one of the two primary protagonists of "Down Among The Sticks And Bones" by Seanan McGuire is a lesbian by chapter 9.

On a somewhat related note, the first four or five chapters of that book are an absolutely amazing and frankly horrifying depiction of how to royally mess up children. Without being malicious, the parents of Jacqueline and Jillian are worse than the Dursleys from Harry Potter!
20th-Jul-2017 07:17 pm - On a Roll
aximili: (Avatar TLA: Toph/Mysterious Smile)
So, I signed up for the skydive in Oceanside. I want to try to do a group outing too, but I also decided this year I'm going to stop waiting for people to be available and do things I want to do, when I want to do them.

I'm excited because the last time I went skydiving I didn't video. Paid for it. But they forgot to turn the camera on. (I still got photos, though.)

Also, this time I can wear whatever I want, since I'm not on vacation. At the very least, I can not be wearing black socks on my bare legs.

Anyway, I thought, "I have the whole DAY off tomorrow (and Saturday I work in the afternoon) why don't I try something else as well?"

So... What else is on my list of things I've wanted to do?

I was trying to think about what I... Like I want to do. Really specifically me, nothing to do with what other people want to do.

I think I want to avoid rock-climbing for now. I want to climb, but mostly I want to climb for fitness reasons. I don't feel the urge to scale mountains the way my sister does. That's not my thing.

SCUBA takes too much time. I really want to do it, but I need to plan out trips, take other classes (I want to learn cave/wreck diving.) I'd like to get a case for my phone so I can take photos. (What a day. I don't need a waterproof camera. There are houses for iPhones.)

I want to do bungee jumping, but fitting that all into one weekend might be too difficult and/or expensive. (Also, it's something I'd like to do for the purpose of being certified.)

I'm thinking surfing or wind-surfing. I really want to do both (especially wind-surfing.)

But surfing might be easier because there are local lessons offered. I can't seem to find wind-surfing lessons. Plus, surfing I can do here any time. You have to find places/conditions for wind-surfing.




I'm not going to avoid co-workers, but I am going to do things on my own a while too, meet people in relation to the activity instead of work environment. I think that if I do the things I'm talking about, people will be more likely to take those plans seriously because they'll want to do them. (Well, maybe not for the hiking.)

Since I'm not working Saturday mornings now, I may also start trying to regularly do 5ks. I've really wanted to do that. And now I have Saturday mornings.




Okay so:

1. Surfing tomorrow morning.
2. Skydiving tomorrow afternoon.
3. 5k Saturday morning.
4. Photography Sunday.

BOOM. Plans set. I want to do wind-surfing really badly. But I think I want to learn something I can do just any old day ASAP.
20th-Jul-2017 04:49 pm - Skydiving!!!
aximili: (Avatar TLA: Toph Escatic)
I booked a skydiving trip for tomorrow!!

I'd been waiting to go in Monterey (world's highest tandem dive) but I'll try later in the year.

I'm also thinking about surfing lessons. I'd been wanting to a while. But I have two days off this week.

Then I'm also trying to figure out where I want to take photos this weekend.
20th-Jul-2017 12:23 am - Gender in Comics
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
I found this analysis of gender in comics to be fascinating.  In many categories, I've written against the mainstream pattern, such as having females with super-strength and males with psychic powers.  In a few areas I may have replicated the pattern; with pheromone control and prehensile hair, I could only think of female characters, although I'm sure there are males with pheromones.
19th-Jul-2017 11:32 am - Hard Things
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
Life is full of things which are hard or tedious or otherwise unpleasant that need doing anyhow. They help make the world go 'round, they improve skills, and they boost your sense of self-respect. But doing them still kinda sucks. It's all the more difficult to do those things when nobody appreciates it. Happily, blogging allows us to share our accomplishments and pat each other on the back.

What are some of the hard things you've done recently? What are some hard things you haven't gotten to yet, but need to do?
19th-Jul-2017 12:00 am - Weekly Otherkin Chat Starting Now!
jarandhel: (Kirin)
Reminder: Weekly #otherkin chat starting now, in irc://irc.mibbit.net/dreamhart! Webclient here: http://dreamhart.org/chat/
18th-Jul-2017 12:43 pm - July 2017 Poetry Fishbowl, Session 2
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
The July 2017 Poetry Fishbowl is once again open.  We're reusing the original post with its donation button and ticker. However, please place new prompts below THIS post, because the other one is already so full that comments are collapsing, which makes them harder to read or search.  You may prompt in this session IF 1) you did not prompt in the July 4 session OR 2) you donated to the July 4 session.

I will do the best I can to fill new prompts and pick up some from the previous session.  I have no idea how long it'll take.  My body is being kind of cranky after last week's adventures, and the internet is a bit iffy although nowhere near as bad as it was earlier this month.  Witch me luck, eh?
18th-Jul-2017 04:29 pm - Another post where I ask for recommendations
dolorosa_12: (le guin)
My wedding is fast approaching, and while I think Matthias and I have that under control (it'd be a bit late if we were still running around planning it, given the wedding is in two and a half weeks, after all!), we've only barely begun planning our honeymoon. All the flights and accommodation are booked, but we haven't yet started to plan what we actually want to do in the places we'll be visiting: Budapest, Vienna, and Prague. That's where you come in.

I had great success earlier this year asking my Dreamwidth circle for recommendations for things to do in Iceland when visiting with my mother -- people made fantastic suggestions, and the two of us were able to put together a good itinerary, and we had a fabulous time. Does anyone have similar suggestions to make for any of the three cities Matthias and I will be visiting?

Things we like:
- art galleries, museums, cool old buildings/architecture. We wouldn't want to spend the entire time doing nothing but visiting museums, but one or two in each city would be nice.
- walking, especially in quirky/pretty/interesting parts of cities we've never seen.
- good food and drink. He likes beer, but will probably have done investigations of his own and have that covered. I like coffee.

If anyone has knowledge regarding public transport (if there's some kind of 24-hour travel pass or the like, or if we need to pay on buses with exact change, or other local quirks to public transport systems), that would also be super helpful. In all three cities we'll be staying in hotels that are reasonably central. We will be in each place for roughly two full days and three nights.

Thanks in advance!
18th-Jul-2017 11:00 am - Weekly Otherkin Chat 8pm EST Tonight
jarandhel: (Kirin)
Reminder: Weekly #otherkin chat at 8pm EST, in irc://irc.mibbit.net/dreamhart! Webclient here: http://dreamhart.org/chat/
18th-Jul-2017 01:57 am - Photography
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
 Squirrel!
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