Monday, April 30, 2012

Marcus on Monday: Meditation 5:2

O the consolation of being able to thrust aside and cast into oblivion every tiresome intrusive impression and in a trice be utterly at peace!

When I read this, I tend to interpret “impression” as “opinion” which may or may not be the correct interpretation. My first thought on reading this meditation is, “how often does that ever actually happen?” People carry around the baggage of not only their own opinions (which may be based off of mistaken information, ignorance or confusion) but also the opinions of others, either positive or negative. They are constantly arguing with these opinions. How do you go about thrusting them aside or casting them into oblivion? How do you know when an opinion is based on hearsay or incorrect information, and how do you correct it, for yourself or someone else.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Friday, April 27, 2012

Amazon Link Friday: Cephelopods!

I get a small commission from things you buy on Amazon via these links, and theoretically, I  eventually become financially solvent.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Another NaBloPoMo Catch Up

NaBloPoMo April 2012Which poem has the best first line?

There are a lot of poems with great first lines. In fact, I would say that a poem needs a good first line much like a lyric needs a hook. One of the poets/writers who I think is pretty good at that is Rudyard Kipling (though I have something of a love/hate relationship with his work. A lot of his writing is kind of bigoted and imperialistic and what he does to dialects when he tries to write them are utterly horrifying and occasionally unreadable).

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Post Round Up

Here are some interesting posts that I thought I'd share.

Babstheartist reblogged this post about a form of domestic abuse that doesn't get talked about very often, and Planned Parenthood. (Specifically, it discusses situations where the abusive partner forces the victim to become pregnant. The post indicates that PP is better able to handle the underlying abuse issues than other clinics.)

spitfireinspace lists People You Will Meet in Discussions About Sexism on the Internet
This is possibly the short list as I can think of a few more. Such as Mrs "I have never experienced that so it doesn't exist." and Miss "I am one of the boys lol" and also Mrs "I am not a feminist because I am not an activist"

therealseebs would like to point out that he is not derailing when he is asking a question.
You are taking the ability to read social cues and intuitively grasp social rules for granted. You are not taking into account that these traits are not universal.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Marcus on Mondays: Meditation 7:20

One thing alone troubles me: the fear that I may do something which man’s constitution disallows or would wish to be done some other way, or forbids ‘til a future day.

This note is not about the fear of failure, but the fear of being prevented by a natural limitation. This is about the fear that you will hit a roadblock in your goals because something prevents you. This is not a particularly comforting note, and is not intended to be. (You could argue otherwise, since the note also mentions the possibility of finding another route to your goal or being able to do it in the future. However, future implied success when you are currently banging your head against the wall is not necessarily comforting to me.)  

Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Trump Card Argument: “What, are you [fill in the blank]”

So, let us say that you are socializing with someone. This someone may be a friend or a relative. They might be a casual acquaintance. And that someone makes a racist, bigoted remark. And, since you find racist and bigoted statements to be offensive, you call them on it. You say, “Hey, that’s racist and that’s not cool,” or you say “Wow, what you said was kind of horrible.”

Friday, April 20, 2012

NaBloPoMoApril: Two prompts for the price of one.

What aspect of nature feels the most poetic?

NaBloPoMo April 2012Actually, I have no idea. Mountains can look poetic, dinky little ponds with dragon flies hovering over them and frogs croaking can seem poetic, the wind through the trees can feel poetic. Storm clouds over the water when you are at the beach can be poetic. There is nothing that cannot be poetic. The “Apocalypse Later Surf” video is poetic (and also disturbing and terrifying), as an extreme example.

I do not think there is anything that can be “most poetic” except in the moment where you are actually experiencing that poetic thing.

Where is your favourite place to read/write poetry?

I do not actually have a favorite place to read or write poetry. It seems kind of silly and twee to have a favorite place just to read or write poetry. Then again, if we were talking about the most comfortable place to write or read poetry, I would have to say “in my bedroom,” because that is where I end up doing a lot of my writing anyway. I am not always good at writing with a keyboard. Sometimes I just have sit down on the floor or at a desk with a pen and a pad of paper. Similarly, when I am reading a book I tend to retreat to my bedroom to read. (If I am in the living room, I am generally at the computer.)

So the answer to the question is, “either in my bedroom or wherever else I feel like writing or reading poetry.”  

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

NaBloPoMo April: How would you describe your love life -- fixed form or free form?

NaBloPoMo April 2012I would describe it as non-existent and unnecessary! Love lives are awesome in theory, but I would rather keep relationships theoretical and ideally, happening to someone else. I tend not to notice when people are attracted to me. I also tend not to notice that they are “flirting” with me.

I become extremely embarrassed and horrified when I discover that someone thinks I have been flirting with him or occasionally her. I do not intentionally flirt, and the idea of unintentionally flirting is kind of gross to me. Especially in those cases when you come across the occasional disturbed individual, who believes that eye contact means you have suddenly been overcome by lust for them.

(Spoiler: I haven’t.)  

Generally speaking, I have never had an interest in dating! When I was a teenager I had no interest in boys, and no real interest in girls. I did not have a general idea of “wait, people are attractive?” until I was in my twenties, but I still never had a real desire to date. (Going out is fine, but actual dates are annoying.)

I have had very few relationships, and they all tended to flop. This was often because of communication problems. It was also because of intimacy issues. The issue being that I did not actually want to be intimate with anyone on even an experimental basis.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

GBE 2: Blog On -- Week #48: “Now”

This is for GBE 2 Prompt 48

Now is too soon.

Now is too late.

Now is never the right time.

Now is not the best time for this prompt.

Unless you want navel gazing free-verse

Where nothing rhymes

And I’m not even pretending there’s meter.

Now is not the best time for this prompt.

I’ve got too much disaster on my mind

And all of my successes

Are looking like failures

And I’m not financially solvent

And I’m full of frustration

Depression and procrastination.

(Look, I stuck in an actual rhyme there

For those of you who need one.)

Now is too soon.

Now is too late.

Now is never the right time

So you get stuck with navel gazing free-verse

Where nothing rhymes

And I’m not even pretending there’s meter.

NaBloPoMo April: Are you more a haiku or an epic poem?

NaBloPoMo April 2012I’m not an epic
I doubt I am a haiku--
Maybe I’m free verse?

I would be the world's most boring epic. I am not artistic enough to be a traditional haiku or ironically silly enough to be a senryu. 

Monday, April 16, 2012

NaBloPoMo April: If your circle of friends were a limerick, would you rather be part of the couplet or the threesome?

NaBloPoMo April 2012I...have no idea what this prompt is telling me to write about, so have a limerick.

There once was a chick in Phoenix
Who wasn’t that good at limericks
She got stuck in the rhyme
All of the time
And let’s not speak of her issues syllabic

Limericks are hard.

Okay, actually sonnets or anything where you have “metrical feet” is hard for me because I...don’t think I hear words when I read them. And I don’t really notice or get iambs. Sonnets require iambic pentameter which is a specific long-short pattern, and even though you could just as easily use ten syllables you can’t because it has to fit into that specific long-short pattern.  

Syllable counting is actually much simpler for me. So if I wrote a sonnet, it would automatically be wrong because I would go for syllables instead of feet.

This poetry prompt
Makes no sense to me at all--
So have a haiku

I cannot figure out if the prompt actually means, “would you rather have one really close friend, or be part of a group” or not. It could just as easily mean, “would you rather talk to one other person or be part of a group discussion?”  I think my main issue with this prompt is that “threesome” means something MUCH, much different to me than to the person who wrote the prompt. So it is an unintentionally funny prompt that is making me snicker a little bit.

I have one or two really close friends, and a handful of other people I am not as close to. I am not in fact geographically close to most of the people I know. I am one of those people who tends to have more friends online than they do in “real life.” This does not bother me very much as I tend to be very introverted by nature. I am not actually very good at faking sociability and even chat rooms will cause me to go off in a corner and listen without interacting very much. (It is much easier for me to speak with one person at a time. It is also preferable that there be no back ground noises to distract me.)

Couplets can be a pain
sing song rhyme is my bane

Marcus on Mondays: Meditation 9:17

For the thrown stone, there is no more evil in falling than there is good in rising.

Obligatory Introduction: This is going to be part of a series where I write about my thoughts and impressions about excerpts from the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius. My original plan was to use the Project Gutenberg upload, and I am still using it as a secondary source. The  reason why I am not using it as a primary source is because the more modern translation is not encumbered by all the thee-ing and thou-ing and complicated grammar of the uploaded translation. The primary source I’m using was translated by Michael Staniwith.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Two Random Stories

Crossposted from a different blog.

Story the first:

So, I do not have cat proof hooks on my cabinets. I do not have cat proof hooks on my cabinets because I generally not need them, as Kali is not much of a door opener.

Welp, a few days ago she actually managed to open one of the cabinets and get inside.

And then...she was stuck.

It took me a few minutes to realize what the intermittent banging was about! Eventually I was drawn into the room where I found that yep, the cat could not push open the door of the cabinet she was stuck in. I immediately laughed at her, then opened the door so she should get out.

Story the second:

Someone called up this morning and did not bother to introduce themselves. I mean as in, I answered the phone and there was no response. So I repeated my greeting.

The person on the other end seemed to be under the impression that I had called them, and they were returning the call. I explained to them that they were the ones who had called me. I also pointed out that it was 7:22 am!

The other person asked me if they had called a number in Phoenix Arizona. I asked them who they thought they were calling. It turned out they were under the impression that my phone number belonged to someone named Maria Navarette. I have been fielding calls for this woman for a very, very long time now! About as long as I've had this particular number!

I explained to the person on the other end of the line that I was not Maria Navarette and that no one named Maria Navarette lived in my home! I repeated this several times because sometimes this is simply something that you have to do. When they finally understood that I was neither Maria Navarette nor did I know where she was I ended the call!

Friday, April 13, 2012

NaBloPoMo April: Would you rather write an amazing poem or be the subject/muse of an amazing poem?

NaBloPoMo April 2012This is probably going to be another very short post.

I would rather write an amazing poem as the latter sounds rather creepy, actually! I do not know how I would respond to someone writing a poem about me, but I am pretty sure the reaction would be extremely negative. I am not someone who handles compliments very well, and if it were someone that I did not know very well, I would probably be pretty angry.

It is interesting to me that the question used “muse” in the more traditional sense of “someone you are inspired by to create” for whatever reason. Another way I have seen it used is by writers who have the kind of active imaginations where their individual characters have minds of their own. That is to say, they will say things like, “I have just now discovered how much of an unreliable narrator Stone is,” or “Okay, thanks to Dave, I have spent the past two hours on various sites looking up DJ equipment. Thanks Dave.”

(This can be occasionally disconcerting or even confusing. On one occasion, I became confused about whether someone was talking about the characters for her Nanowrimo or people she knew who were not inside her head. On that occasion, I think I pretty much confirmed her suspicion I was a space cadet.)

I tend to prefer the idea of an imaginary-friend type muse over a real person that one considers a subject/muse. This is because if you have a real person as a muse, how the heck do you know that whatever it is about them you think is muse-worthy even real? Isn’t having someone be your “muse” putting that person on a pedestal? I think an idealized version of a real person is much less real compared someone inside your own head that you made up.   

Symphony of Science: Onward to the Edge


I love Symphony of Science so much.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

GBE 2: Blog On -- Week #47: “Home”

This is for GBE 2 Prompt 47

I decided to make this about the home I wanted to have instead of engaging in any navel gazing where I ponder the meaning of the word home. (Though I might do that another time; at the moment I just don’t feel it.)

The home I want to have is in a climate more temperate than the middle of the Sonoran Desert. (I currently live in Phoenix, Arizona. I do not like living in Phoenix, or Arizona. If I could move, I would.) It is in an out of the way place while simultaneously being near shopping. It is a two story house with two and a half bathrooms, a big kitchen and a walk in closet in the bedroom. There is a home office, and a study/library. The living room would have an entertainment center with a TV and sound system of some kind for playing music. I do not watch very much TV, but on the theory that I might, I would definitely want a television.

The home I want to have is actually variable in size! I like the idea of big houses, but I am also extremely charmed by very small houses. (I think I would actually prefer the very small house to a big one where most of the space was not being used.)

I want a house with a front yard and a back yard. Ideally, it would be a fence. A very sturdy fence. I want to have a garden though I do not think I am very good at gardening. (Some time, I will have to tell you about the Triffids.) There will be a tool shed in back. I cannot drive, so I have no idea if I would want a garage or not. There would be room for a laundry room. (Maybe the laundry room would end up in the garage, though that might not be very secure. Then again, I am not sure someone would steal an entire washer or dryer.)

The furnishings for the house will follow a simple rule: I must be able to pick it up and move it somewhere else with no difficulty.  I do not like big, heavy furniture as I occasionally have a desire to rearrange everything. The only area where I would like big heavy furniture is possibly the computer desk. Otherwise, I need to be able to pick it up and move it.

There would be a porch, and maybe a patio. And a picnic table in back, and a barbecue.

NaBloPoMo April: Which poet do you wish was also a blogger?

This is a very short post!

NaBloPoMo April 2012The poet I could most readily see (or wish to see) as a blogger is probably Emily Dickinson.

She was reclusive but corresponded with her friends via letters. I think this would translate very well to blogging! If she were a blogger, your blog roll would be filled with poems. You would also have essays about her favorite books and she would probably take frequent pictures of her garden, possibly accompanied with still more poetry. (According to this article she liked gardening.)  

Her posts would of course be extremely awesome.

Now that I think of it, what I think would be pretty amazing would be if someone did a Dickinson version of Pepys Diary.  

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Dork Sarcasms: Marcus Aurelius T-shirts

Okay.  Marcus Aurelius was a pretty interesting guy with a lot of stuff on his mind. So, here are some inspirational saying from Meditations.

Available on Dork Sarcasms!

Text: The Laws of Collective Expediency required this to happen.--Marcus Aurelius

Available on Dork Sarcasms!
All of us are creatures of a day;
the rememberer and
the remembered alike
--Marcus Aurelius

Available on Dork Sarcasms!

Observe carefully what guides the
actions of the wise and what they
shun or seek--Marcus Aurelius

NaBloPoMo April Poetry Catch-Up

Thursday, April 5, 2012
What poem brings comfort at a funeral?

NaBloPoMo April 2012...I honestly had no way of answering this prompt. I have a very strong aversion to funerals, and do not generally read memorial-type poetry.

Friday, April 6, 2012
Share your favourite poem.

Is it actually possible to have one, and only one favorite poem? Some poems stick in my head, others don’t. For instance, I had a few really short poems from The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling half memorized, so you get Kipling.

The Hunting Song of the Seeonee Wolf Pack
As the dawn was breaking the Sambhur belled
Once, twice, and again!
And a doe leaped up -- and a doe leaped up
From the pond in the wood where the wild deer sup.
This I, scouting alone, beheld,
Once, twice, and again!
As the dawn was breaking the Sambhur belled
Once, twice, and again!
And a wolf stole back -- and a wolf stole back
To carry the word to the waiting Pack;
And we sought and we found and we bayed on his track
Once, twice, and again!

As the dawn was breaking the Wolf-pack yelled
Once, twice, and again!
Feet in the jungle that leave no mark!
Eyes that can see in the dark -- the dark!
Tongue -- give tongue to it! Hark! O Hark!
Once, twice, and again!
Monday, April 9, 2012
What is the oldest poem you know?

...This is not a question I can answer. Do Child Ballads count? (I do not know why they call them Child Ballads because many of them are incredibly gruesome. Also, they probably don’t.) Psalms? The Illiad, which I haven’t actually read yet?  
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Find a poem that was written this year and talk about it in a post.

Going Home by Leonard Cohen
This is one of those introspective poems that make folks who don’t like poetry say that poetry is all very subjective and personal. (Which no, they really aren’t.) Here’s the poem set to music. Now that I hear it, I think it would probably fit the prompt requirements for Thursday April 5th.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Look up the personal life of your favourite poet -- any surprises?

Emily Dickinson: Not many surprises, but mostly because I knew at least some of the things mentioned in this article already. For instance, I knew that Dickinson’s work was often edited by publishers, and I knew that she had several long distance relationships. The article also mentions that there was some kind of feud concerning the publishing of some of the poems, which I had not known previously.