Hello, y'all. It's Monday again. Are you ready? Okay. :) Today's video:
The rest can be found behind the Read More cut...
One of my favorite sayings since I was a kid has been "Weebles wobble but they don't fall down."  Truth, compassion, resilience, and persistence are everything. It takes courage to make mistakes and learn from them. It takes a certain amount of courage to go out into the world and be yourself no matter what too. Mind you, there's defiance and then there's being whole. Being whole requires vulnerability, and vulnerability, my friend, is not for the faint of heart. But I believe that one can't succeed as an artist without finding the balance between being shut down emotionally and vulnerability. That's where one has to live as a creative. What they won't tell you is that you can fall flat quite a bit--even after success--and falling fucking hurts. Sometimes, it hurts so bad that you don't think you'll ever get back up again. For me, resilience is where the line is drawn between bad-ass-dom and one-shot success. Luck is a part of it too, but one cannot control luck.
So, add to this head space...Daredevil.
Lately, I've been more and more interested in fostering that creative spark in myself. Some of it is, I need to get out more. Admittedly, I'm a hermit type. One kind of needs to be in my profession. Still, I'm hunting around for things. Maybe you are too? Here's 5 Fun Things To Do Online When Feeling Creative. How about some Great Design?
Today's music inspiration:
I'm pleased that the environment is becoming a popular topic again. Frankly, you can't do anything about a problem you don't admit that you have. That said, there's so much dire out there and...well...I was wondering if anything was being done. Are we sciencing this shit? Because we CAN. Turns out, yes. So, today's upbeat environmental science link is about monarch butterflies. Monarch butterfly populations have been plummeting along with the honey bees. That's the bad news. The good news, it seems that the butterflies are already starting to rebound thanks to actions made a few years ago. (Milkweed planting and a reduction in herbicide use.) The butterflies are still endangered. I'm not seeing them around here, sadly. The problem isn't solved, but hey, progress is being made. Something can be done and is being done. That's a good thing.
And now...a related song. Because. :)
Also, Happy Birthday to one of my good friends, Robin Todd. I hope it's the best birthday yet. I also hope that Seattle is being very, very good to you.
I like St. Patrick's Day. Always have. I don't much care for the drunken carousing part. It's not really my thing, but I do love the music. Sadly, SXSW ruins it for me because the traffic and overabundance of tourist drunks makes it...difficult. So, there's no getting out of the house today, not really. Much sympathy to those with similar issues. That said, there are alternatives. For example, watching a film, and having a nice meal at home. I recommend a nice salmon. I'd skip the potatoes. (Potatoes were imported from South America.) Also, a good Irish whiskey won't go amiss. Here are my suggestions:
1. The Quiet Man--Released in 1952, this movie is a love letter from "man's man" and Irish American director John Ford to Ireland. Keep in mind, it's an idealized, Hollywood version of Ireland. However, it apparently gets enough right that it has many Irish fans. It's also the only John Wayne movie I own. I love the film's pacifist vs violence themes. I also enjoy the hell out of the sequence where Maureen O'Hara talks to the priest in Irish. For the record, I did, in fact, name a character after Maureen O'Hara's character. I always looked up to Maureen O'Hara. She was an amazing, powerful woman. The downside is that John Ford was a raging misogynist. And that is blatantly obvious in this film.
2. The Wind That Shakes the Barley--I adore this tear-jerker of a movie. It's gorgeous and wonderful on so many levels, and if you want a quick and dirty overview of the history of the Irish revolution, this is a good start. And well...Cillian Murphy is scorching hot in it. (He's also what I always imagined Liam In OB&H would look like.) That said, definitely bring the tissue box, and prepare yourself for some violence.
There's a story about this bakery in Japan on Tor.com and it makes me so happy. I'm a big Kiki's Delivery Service fan. Seriously, how can you not smile when you look at that?
I've a degree in animation, and I have much admiration for Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli. (My other favorite animation studio is Pixar.) Kiki's is my favorite of his works. (Sorry, Melissa T. Yes, yes, I understand that should be My Neighbor Totoro.) The best thing about Kiki, for me, is how witches are portrayed. He gets the heart of witchcraft so right, even though he's clearly working with the fantasy. (It's clear someone did their homework when Kiki's mom blesses a potion by tracing a pentacle over it.) It's a beautiful, heartwarming film about a girl learning how to be independent and how to use her power. And this reminded me that I need to get it and My Neighbor Totoro on blue-ray. Maybe for my birthday at the end of the month?
There's no denying that a majority of the "Romance is icky" reaction is largely rooted in misogyny. I'll even go so far as to say that it's also largely rooted in homophobia. Here's why.
Recently, one of my dojo-mates (thanks Sheilagh!) sent out a link to a video of men reacting to sexual harassment. It's one of the best examples I've ever seen demonstrating that sexual harassment isn't about attractiveness or a 'compliment.' It's about power. It's about showing who has the power to conquer and removing all doubt as to who will be submissive to that conquest. It's similar to territory marking. Watch:
Good morning, y'all. It's Spring in Austin, and my neighborhood smells of Mountain Laurel, Honeysuckle, and grilling food. I love Spring almost as much as I love Fall. Anyway, here's hoping your Monday is one of the good Mondays. Mine seems to be. (So far.) Oh, and just in case people have been missing it...Weebly doesn't let me keep all my links on one page. So, be sure to click on Read More to expand the post. Ready for some Feminist rage to go with that coffee? Let's do this thing. Today's video:
And on the less funny side...Dog Whistle Politics: How Politicians Use Coded Racism to Push Through Policies Hurting All (warning: offensive language used)
So, if you live in a part of the US that observes Daylight Savings Time as I do...welcome to that day where you're constantly an hour behind everyone else and don't realize why until too late. Or something. Meh. And with that, let's try to cheer ourselves out of the grumpy. Well...okay, I can try. :)
Have a link about the 19 Daily Habits of Artists That Can Help Unlock Your Creativity. Like plants? This is an interesting video about restoring local habitats. Feeling science-y today? Try out this video about sodium. How about art? Learn about Dadaism. Check out these wonderful assemblage art pieces, and these. And the one below is mine.
I spied this guy while on my walk the other day.
And me being me, I passed this fence and couldn't help seeing the chorus line of ghosts.
is a Science Fiction and Fantasy author living in Texas.