Category: Kitty

Beautiful poetry

I awoke this morning to a beautiful gift from Kitty.

Kit’s the poet I always wished I could be. Seriously, her poetry is so beautiful and vivid, it takes my breath away.

And she wrote this for me.

Another Ariadne

I have seriously talented friends.

Community

Catching up on reverb10.

December 7 – Community. Where have you discovered community, online or otherwise, in 2010? What community would you like to join, create or more deeply connect with in 2011?

I have never really been great at joining online communities. I had one, once, that I will forever be deeply connected to. A group of rpgers I met when I was about 12, four of whom (Fae, Kitty, Ali and Lea) are some of my closest friends. That’s the last time I was really in the loop, so to speak, when it came to an online community.

All of my attempts to join communities since then, be it the NaNoWriMo forums, 20 something bloggers or Tumblr have all fallen flat. They’re always already established and I always give up before I find my niche. So instead I become an occasional spectator, or manage to find a few friends from the community and stick with them (like Eleni, Seb and Lisa who I met through 20 something bloggers.)

I am currently in love with a site called Smart Bitches Trashy Books which is a hilarious blog/community about romance novels. So I’ve been trying to comment occasionally, but I guess I just never feel like I fit in.

That being said, I’m quite good at forming communities of friends in person. I always have a close group of friends, it’s always been a really important part of my life.

I like to think that all of my online relationship luck went into meeting Fae, Kitty, Ali and Lea. And that’s fine, because I love them all dearly and I never seem to lack for friends wherever I live.

Kitty, in Australia, on Skype with me, Fae and Ali in Baltimore

Making

December 6 – Make. What was the last thing you made? What materials did you use? Is there something you want to make, but you need to clear some time for it?

The last thing I made was a decision to be proactive. The last thing I made was 50,000 words of a novel. I made a decision to use my excess of time to do something worthwhile. Something other than watching seasons of TV shows and talking to cats.

I used one very buggy copy of Microsoft Word for Mac. Which, in keeping with the tradition is established while I was writing my dissertation, completely stops working after the first 10,000 words. I desperately need to switch word processors on a permanent basis. I used Pages for my dissertation after the night it self destructed. But I stuck it out with Microsoft Word of a laziness for NaNoWriMo.

I also, inevitably, used my MacBook Pro. This beautiful creature (whose key’s I’m stroking right now) has been permanently attached to me in the last year and a half, and I love it so.

And, of course, I used Wikipedia. Because who doesn’t? I started all my research on Wikipedia, and rounded it out with further internet searches and some guidance from Kitty, Irish history expert extraordinaire.

I would like to make a conscious effort, in the future, to write more books. Always. Because I love it. Some days it’s the hardest thing in the world to sit down and stare at that blinking cursor. But other days you can’t wait to get home to write the scene that’s been playing in your head all day.

I hope that someday soon I’ll have less time to write, simply because I desperately need a job. But I hope when that does happen I’ll be able to remind myself to keep writing anyhow.

Geek break!

We now take a break from our scheduled programming to bring you a special segment on Geekery.

I got a blog award! And not just any blog award, but a Geeky one. And not just any Geeky award, but a girly one, too. So great!

Eleni, my awesome geeky friend over at RPG Called Life, awarded me this the other day:

geekgirlsuniteaward

Which makes me so happy, because 1) Eleni is an awesome geeky girl whose blog I love and 2) I am a geek and proud of it!

The rules:
List ten geeky facts about yourself and…
Pass this award onto your favorite female geeks!

1. I met four of my best friends online, through various RPG clubs based on the Tamora Pierce books that I read when I was a pre-teen. I was obsessed with these books and spent a lot of my time writing and talking about them with Fae, Ali, Kitty and Lea. I wanted them to be real. Hell, I still want them to be real. And Fae and I still write using characters that trace back to those books original.

2. I speak a bit of Quenya (a Tolkien Elvish language) with Fae. We used to know more, because we wrote characters who spoke it. Now we just speak it to each other - our conversations, emails and letters nearly always end with “Namaarie melamin vanima” (”Farewell my love, beautiful [Fae]“) or “Amin mela lle”(”I love you”).

3. I can recite the entire Rent soundtrack from beginning to end. I’m obsessed with musicals - particularly Rent, Wicked, Spring Awakening and Aida.

4. I am a huge Diablo II freak. I love that game and have spent many, many nights playing multiplayer with my friend Kaitlyn. I also loved Neverwinter Nights, but my computer wasn’t good enough to run it. I recently became obsessed with Fable II. I love fantasy rpgs.

5. I correct people’s grammar and spelling constantly. In person and on Facebook. Also, one time I was bored an took a red pen and corrected all the sentence structure errors in our local newspaper. It was appalling. There are few things in life that make me as happy as a red pen and someone else’s hard work.

6. I watched all ten seasons of Stargate SG-1 and all five of Stargate Atlantis between September and December of last year.

7. I’m a huge history Greek. I’ve studied Greek and Latin (albeit poorly). I’ve read most of the Greek and Latin authors (Homer, Ovid, Seneca, Aeschylus, Plautus, Herodotus, etc.) I can go on for ages about mythology.

8. I was a huge Pokemon fan as a kid. Enough said.

9. I once had a conversation with Chandra about the Julio-Claudian dynasty as we were getting ready for the day, before 9am. I know this is similar to #7, but it’s too good of an example.

10. My favourite part of working in a museum was dressing up in the period costumes. I firmly believe that I was born in the wrong time period. I also love Renn Faires and anything else that involves dressing up and pretending.

And now I want to award this to:

My friend Kitty, who I mentioned in #1, who is a fellow fantasy geek and classicist.

The Chris from Always Standing, who plays WOW, among other geeky things.

My Faerie, fellow Elvish speaker who loves all the geeky things I do, plus comics and more video games.

Also, if you haven’t read it yet, read why I think Geeky girls are so awesome: Top Ten Reasons to Love a Geeky Girl.

Clashing theologies

So, the other day I started watching the History Channel’s series Clash of the Gods. Apparently it’s been out for a while, but I don’t normally watch documentaries. I couldn’t resist this one when I found it.

clashofthegods

I’ve only seen the first episode, so far, which is about Zeus. The History Channel advertised the series as “the truth behind the myths.” I must say that they were really grabbling for this “truth.”

What “truth” really means, apparently, is finding the Judeo-Christian tradition in ancient myths. Sort of.

I tried to watch this with a grain of salt. I know that these documentaries are produced for the masses, not for someone like me who actually studies classical mythology.

They seem to be trying desperately to relate this to a Christian audience. They continuously referred to Tartarus and Hades as “hell” and Mount Olympus as “heaven.” They have it mixed up here, you see. Because in Greek mythology, all the dead go to Hades, regardless of the lives they led. True, Tartarus is the place for the ἄθεος (godless), but surely there’s a way to say that without the loaded Christianized word. Mount Olympus, on the other hand, is definitely nothing like the Christian heaven, though the documentary refers to it as such on more than one occasion. Mortals don’t go to Mount Olympus when they die. It’s just where the gods live. The ideal afterlife in the Greek World was spent in the Elysian fields, reserved for heroes and other virtuous mortals. The ancient Greek word οὐρανός, which roughly translates to “heaven” means the heavens, as in, the sky. Not as in the paradisaical afterlife.

The Oracle at Delphi is referred to as “a direct line to God.” God. In the singular. Really? Maybe they’re talking about a direct line to Zeus, right? Since they’ve been building him up to be the One True God (though the Greeks were polytheistic, there were some places where Zeus was the only important god, according to the documentary.) But this isn’t even true. The Oracle at Delphi was dedicated to Apollo. Questions asked at Delphi went to him, not to Zeus. It was Apollo who had the gift of prophecy. Failed to mention that little bit.

They try to find a monotheist tradition from the get-go. They start by comparing the birth and childhood of Zeus to that of Jesus or Moses (an important child born and hidden away in order to safely grow up and fulfill his destiny.) There are certainly similarities, but ever heard of Joseph Campbell? All traditional “heroes” have a mysterious birth or childhood. Perhaps that would have been worth mentioning, rather than tossing in a picture of Jesus in the manger and Moses in the rushes.

Next, they talk about Zeus’ destruction of the first race of man, with “a massive flood, one that may even be linked to the Biblical story of Noah.” It’s true that the archaeological and geological data point to the probability of a flood in and around the Mediterranean world at a time that was close enough for the Greeks to remember. And it could also very well date to the same flood as the Old Testament tells of Noah. It’s in mythology from all over the world, from the Epic of Gilgamesh to Aztec, Hindu and even Irish tradition. This does not mean, as it was implied, that at heart the ancient Greeks were little monotheists waiting to happen.

The Greeks were polytheists, through and through. Their gods could not have been more different from the Judeo-Christian idea of God. Greek gods are not omniscient. They are basically like really powerful humans. With flaws and weaknesses, tempers and desires. And there are a lot of them, too. They liked it that way. Each little city state could have their own, that way.

As my friend and fellow classicist Kitty said: “Dear History channel: Zeus? Never really succeeded at the monotheism thing.”

And how do they finish it all off, you might ask?

“But there was one more challenger Zeus didn’t count on. Jesus Christ.”

Give me a break.

I understand the importance of drawing parallels between different mythologies. In fact, I love doing it. But they didn’t bother comparing it to any accept the Christian mythology. And this is the “truth” that they were promising us? What I don’t understand is why they don’t seem to think that these stories, which have lasted thousands of years already, can’t stand on their own? That people won’t understand them unless they’re Christianized?