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waterdragon
Over time these journal entries have become more personal, instead of just poems and snippets of stories and ramblings about books.  I like sharing my thoughts, concerns, and musings, but I prefer not to share the more personal ones with the entire internet.  I realized that I was f-locking every entry I wrote, and thought maybe, perhaps, it would be easier to just make that the default.  Feel free to friend me -- I do still post open entries occasionally.  If I friend you back, it's likely because I've visited your journal and decided you sound like a real person instead of a spam-bot.  I am often away from the internet for long stretches of time, so if I don't get back to you right away, try not to feel insulted.  I'm probably not posting anything then anyway.

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I Need Story Help!

waterdragon
I'm trying to find this fairytale, and google isn't being forthcoming.  What's the story where this woman journeys to the underworld and trades her golden hair at one level and her pearly teeth at another level...

I don't remember the rest of the story and it's bothering me and I can't find it!  Augh!

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Religious Identity and Appropriation

waterdragon
Someone I'm friends with on Facebook just had a bunch of stress dumped on her and her family and posted "Please be praying for us that things will fall into place quickly and smoothly. I praise Hashem for his amazing grace and his son Yeshua (Jesus) for dying on the cross. (I know not everyone believes and that is okay, but the first person that makes negative remarks will be deleted from my friends list.) We are under a lot of stress."

I don't know this person very well, we're more of acquaintances, and I'm not likely to go commenting in her space about her personal beliefs (despite any arguments about an open Facebook post not quite being personal space) but her comment about Hashem and Yeshua weirded me out.  And in trying to figure out why, I went and checked her info page and, as I expected from what I know about her, her religion is listed at Christian.  Then I realized why it weirded me out.

Hashem is a Hebrew name for God.  The reason we call God Hashem is because God's real name is too holy to be said out loud so we came up with a title, essentially, to use instead.  (I'm skipping past the fact that there are multiple names for God in Judaism, as that's not really my point here.)  My point is that Hashem means The Name, literally, and it's Hebrew, and it never appears in the Pentateuch, so how can she lay claim to it at all?  Does she know the meaning, the origin of that name for God?  And even if she does, does she know the cultural assumptions surrounding that name?  Probably not.

According to Facebook, she grew up in Arkansas and Texas, not locations known for huge Jewish communities.  And even so, she's not part of the Jewish community.  Her taking the name Hashem and using it to refer to God in the same context as Jesus (whom she also calls by his Hebrew name) feels to me like cultural appropriation, or something very similar.  She's taking a word that has a lot of significance and importance and using it out of context and it's my word and my significance and how dare she.

I think it would weird me out much less if a Messianic Jew used Hashem and Yeshua as names for God and Jesus.  (Actually, I care much much much less about using Yeshua than I do Hashem because I lay no claim to Jesus/Yeshua as a religious figure so call him what you will.)  Because if you're a Messianic Jew -- a Jew, culturally and religiously, who also believes that Jesus was the messiah, then at least you know the appropriate context and history and assumptions for using Hashem as a name for God.  And if you follow Jewish practices (at least in your own way) and try to be part of the Jewish community (as much as you are comfortable with) and understand Judaism and consider yourself Jewish (yes, I know people who fall under that definition of a Messianic Jew -- this does not include what I know of Jews for Jesus) then I have no problem with you using Jewish names for God.  You understand them.  They're part of your culture as well.  You have a right to them, too.

But someone who has no significant understanding of Judaism?  Call God what you will, but use your name, not mine.

Conversation Etiquette

waterdragon
At this fair a couple weeks ago, I was in a merchandise booth looking for something and the shopkeeper asked if he could help me.  I said yes, I was looking for a Turkish coffee pot.  He said no, he didn't sell them, and then proceeded to have a "conversation" with me about why it's not just a Turkish coffee pot, but actually a Mediterranean coffee pot, since other countries and areas use the same type of pot.  He did not receive my cues that I did not care and wanted to exit the conversation and the booth instead of talking to him.  But I didn't want to be rude, so I waited it out while looking at other things and finally exited the booth.

I then complained to my boyfriend about people who want to have conversations when all I wanted was a yes or no.  And he said that sometimes he thought I did that to people -- gave them a long, conversational answer in response, instead of the yes or no they were looking for.  And when I asked, well, why don't you stop me then?  I don't want to annoy people.  He said, maybe they actually did like getting a conversation in response and he was the one who was misinterpreting things.  He didn't want to be rude and interrupt me or prod the conversation to the side when everyone involved was enjoying it.  His answer, essentially, was just because I talk more than he does in a lot of situations doesn't mean that I'm wrong and he's right about it.

Ok, fine.  Due to a lot of complicated history, talking "too much" is one of my societal fears.  That I'll talk too much and annoy or bore people.  Considering that I have friends, I'm not too worried about it, since I assume they wouldn't be friends with me if I annoyed them all the time.  Also, I'm finding that I can recognize instances when I feel like I'm talking too much, and those instances are less than half of my social time.  (They tend to be when I'm lonely, have been spending a lot of time in my head, and feel like the other person is sympathetic.  Sometimes it happens when I'm nervous.)

This is different from simply talking a lot.  I talk a lot amongst my friends.  But they talk a lot back to me, so it doesn't feel like "too much."

Back to the story.

I just realized why that shopkeeper annoyed me but a different shopkeeper who also gave me a longer answer than usual, didn't.  (Or rather, he annoyed me a lot less.)  In the instance above, I was obviously looking at objects in the shop, slowly backing away, and trying to leave the physical proximity.  I wasn't super obvious about backing up, but I was super obvious about looking at other things.  And it still took a while for there to be a pause in the conversation where I could gracefully exit.

A different shopkeeper, about a month ago, also decided to have a conversation with me.  I was more interested in his information, and I preceded to face him fully, rarely look at the things in his shop, and say more in the conversation than "mhmm."  I did eventually get bored with the conversation and it took a while for me to find a graceful way to exit.  However, at that point, I started looking away and around more often.  He did eventually pause/get the message, and I was able to walk away without really feeling annoyed.

The conversation of the first shopkeeper to me was intrusive, and thus annoying.  Even as I was giving accepted social cues for wanting to leave, he wasn't noticing them (or was ignoring them, though my bet is it's the former).  The conversation of the second shopkeeper was a bit longer than I would have liked, but didn't feel intrusive, as my original cues welcomed the conversation.

Talking too much is talking when the other person is trying to get away.  I don't think I do that very often (I wouldn't say ever because it's not like I'm the Queen of Social Cues or anything).  But if I do end up talking too much, I want someone to stop me.  In as polite a way as possible, of course.

That meme that's been floating around

pirateisland
Tell me about a story I haven't written and I'll give you a sentence (or a paragraph) from it.  You can be as detailed or as simple as you like.

I finally decided that I have the time to respond to these...so I hope you guys give me something to play with!

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Storm

waterdragon
It's interesting reading all the posts about the storm, when I'm sitting in it.  Somehow makes it all the more real that so many others are experiencing this very same storm that's wailing outside. 

I flew home Saturday, leaving the boat a month early due to some family stuff going on.  I was afraid the storm was going to come in over the weekend and ground me somewhere in the middle of the country.  But no, I made it home.  We still have power (so far), and no flooding (we're on the top of a small hill so flooding is generally unlikely and hasn't happened in this house that I know of).  I'm hoping we keep power the whole way through. *crossing fingers*

But since I've been living on a boat for the past seven months, I wanted to pass along this boat story.  The Bounty, an educational tall ship, was heading down the coast from CT to FL and got caught in the storm Sunday night, 90 miles off the coast.  I'm not sure if they were trying to head to land or run past the storm or what.  But the ship lost power and the pumps couldn't keep the water out of the boat.  The 16 member crew abandoned ship and most were picked up by the Coast Guard.  14 have made it safe, 1 crew member is still missing, and 1 crew member didn't make it.  I'm praying they pick up that last crew member alive.

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friendships over time

waterdragon
I met a friend from elementary school last spring. The last time we’d seen each other had been 6th grade – before puberty hit either of us – and we hadn’t been in touch since. (It was right around then that I moved five hours away, down the east coast to another state.) But I had been in touch with another girl, and, as things work, had gotten back into touch with my old friend.

We used to play foursquare outside her house, a cul-de-saq where no cars came. Her mom loved to buy huge boxes of Fruit Leather and the only time I got to eat them was when I had a playdate with this girl. I learned about natural mosquito repellant for the first time when I camped in her backyard.

We have a picture of the two of us, both skinny little sticks, wearing shorts and t-shirts with sweatshirts tied around our waists, sitting against the brick wall of the elementary school building. When I met her again I didn’t recognize her at first.

“Who is this person giving me a hug?” I thought. Then I realized who it must be. Did I mention that the last time I saw her was before puberty? She wasn’t a skinny stick anymore. Then again, neither am I.

But with very little friction we were able to slip back into our relationship as friends. I could be silly around her, something I reserve for good friends only, because we were good friends. We knew each other. We had skipped some years, but gossip would cover that.

And this leads me to wondering what makes relationships stick.

This girl, I hadn’t stayed in touch with at all. With no Facebook yet, and neither of us big phone callers or letter writers, we hadn’t spoken to each other for years. Another girl, the one I made the connection through, I stayed in touch with mostly because our parents were friends and they stayed in touch. But at the same time, we talked on the phone occasionally, and made sure to visit if we were in the area. A third girl, one I emailed recently and haven’t heard back from, became a pen pal after the move down the coast. We talked on the phone occasionally, but I haven’t seen her since before college, or even heard from her for a few years now.

So what made the difference? The first girl I’m back in touch with, the second I’ve always been in touch with, and the third I’ve lost touch with.

It can’t only be time. The third girl is (was?) my oldest friend – from Mommy&Me classes. The first I met in kindergarten, and the second in first or second grade. So the difference is not in how long we were friends.

Part of it is a willingness to stay in touch or get back in touch. And I suppose that goes along with personality.

I would be tempted to say it’s whether I need these girls as friends, or they need me, but I don’t think it’s a need at all. I have friends, and having a friend who lives five hours away can be more of a hassle than a boon. But perhaps it is a need. Perhaps it’s a need to not lose touch. Maybe there are people who want webs of friends and people who like to live apart.

For me, I think, it’s an unwillingness to let go of what was a good friendship. We had fun together. Why should that be over just because we don’t live down the block from one another? Why should remembering those fun times turn into nostalgia? Why can’t we still be friends, albeit slightly farther away, and have those girls’ nights out once a year rather than once a week? Why not?

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Squanderball

waterdragon
Taken from asakiyume

She said, "It's like if I say, 'You know, the other day when I was playing squanderball,' and they just nod and say 'uh-huh,' and I'm thinking, 'They know what squanderball is? I really don't think they know what squanderball is.' And so then you give them conversational amnesty; you say, 'You know squanderball?' and then they don't even take the amnesty! They just say, 'Yeah, sure; squanderball: go on.'"

So. . . do you know squanderball? If you were going to invent such a thing, what would it be?"


My answer was,
When I was little, squanderball was played with squash. Lots of them, big and yellow. They had to be ripe enough to splatter when they hit the ground so that we could drag out the hose afterwards and have a water fight while pretending to clean up.

What's your answer?

Of life and chicken legs

waterdragon
I just realized that Mythcon is held in Berkley and I am only across the Bay.  And then I looked at the ship's calendar and realized that I will be in Monterey that whole time, and I will have a free day during Mythcon -- but in Monterey.  Phooey.

But look!  Story blurb!

When you're inside a house that runs on chicken legs, it feels like being on a boat.  You'd never think so, looking at it from the outside.  What could be farther from the ocean than a chicken?  I mean, really?  Come on.  But it does.  It runs through the woods with a rocking, gliding gait -- not something you'd associate with a chicken either.  It's not really a chicken, though.  It never was.

The houses grow from eggs.  Baba Yaga, the caretaker of them all, has a secret ivy patch where she incubates the houses.  I've been there; invited, strangely enough, and seen the square eggs with their brightly painted shells.  Not that she paints them, of course.  They were planted that way.

The seeds can be found in the thatch of mature houses, and their colors indicate different powers or worlds or places that the windows and doors open into.  I don't know much about that -- I haven't been told all the secrets.  That would be silly.

But if you want to know a secret, here's one to remember.  Baba Yaga helps those who help themselves.  She is not kind, she is not nice, and she is definitely not your sweet old grandmother who fed you chocolate chip cookies.  She is best known as fate.  She loves those who are clever and she has a soft spot (but don't say I told you) for those who are kind.  She is never outsmarted; she just likes to pretend she is.  But she always tells the truth.

But who says I am telling the truth?

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Boat Living

freedomcramer
I've found that living on a boat is fairly normal, as things go.  My days are pretty regular: take kids out on a sail, teach them marine science, work on boat, go to sleep.  Or, you know, some combination of the above.

My free time is limited: days last at least eight hours, normally nine or more.  When I'm off, all I want is to sleep.

I live with my coworkers, and sometimes that gets trying, but normally it works out.  Sometimes, someone pulls out a guitar and we sing and learn to harmonize.  Or sometimes, they want to hang out after work and I'm like, but I just spent all day with you!  Or we all sit in our own little bubbles in the common area, doing stuff on our computers.

As adventures go, this one is fairly mellow.  It's a job.  A strange job, a different job, but a job nonetheless.  I'm not traveling on a daily basis; I'm in one place long enough to explore it and learn the culture -- well, when I have free time.  It's a different kind of adventure.

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