Nicole
she/her/hers
This blog is a little of everything and a lot of inconsistency. I am Queen of the Queue and over-tag everything, so don't be afraid to ask me to tag something for you. I am planning a hobbit hole and you should talk to me about your dream house. Also Tamora Pierce. And The Posterchildren. As well as anything that's weighing you down (I am nearly guaranteed to be on your side).
Profile picture courtesy of Raya

 

I mean, in the beginning you have Sakura and Ino fighting over Sasuke (a boy who destroyed their friendship without actually doing anything). Hinata is shy and crushing hard on Naruto, which just makes her more shy whenever he’s around. Tenten seems to be quite proficient with weapons, but we hardly ever see her battle.
Temari and Tsunade are a few who are portrayed as actually being able to win their battles (at least in the first half, which is where my brain is at the moment).
And there are always these lines about how the men can’t lose to a woman, or can’t let one do the fighting for them, or how it’s their job to protect the females. And I can’t tell if all these boys and men are just being sexist and/or thinking that they’re clever, or if it’s actually an idea that the story is trying to put forth. Okay, okay, it’s most definitely the former, but I still dislike seeing all those comments.
These women are badass, so why are they out-shone by the men so often?

I mean, in the beginning you have Sakura and Ino fighting over Sasuke (a boy who destroyed their friendship without actually doing anything). Hinata is shy and crushing hard on Naruto, which just makes her more shy whenever he’s around. Tenten seems to be quite proficient with weapons, but we hardly ever see her battle.

Temari and Tsunade are a few who are portrayed as actually being able to win their battles (at least in the first half, which is where my brain is at the moment).

And there are always these lines about how the men can’t lose to a woman, or can’t let one do the fighting for them, or how it’s their job to protect the females. And I can’t tell if all these boys and men are just being sexist and/or thinking that they’re clever, or if it’s actually an idea that the story is trying to put forth. Okay, okay, it’s most definitely the former, but I still dislike seeing all those comments.

These women are badass, so why are they out-shone by the men so often?

My Comparative Spirituality Class (Formerly Comparative Religion, but Apparently that Word Carries too much Baggage)

I have so many problems with it. This will be a rant. Or a list. Probably both. But I’m leaning towards list.

For reference the six/seven religions we’re doing are:

  • Taoism/ Confucianism (don’t ask me why they’re grouped together. It has been a week and we haven’t learned anything)
  • Hinduism
  • Buddhism
  • Judaism
  • Christianity
  • Islam

(I chose Islam. It was interesting how most of the class flocked to the Eastern Religions.)

  1. The Mandalas: We have two weeks to make a “Mandala.” This is the big project of the course. We know absolutely nothing about the religion it belongs to. In fact, I don’t know which religion it belongs to (okay, Wikipedia says both Hinduism and Buddhism). It is supposed to be a design we can meditate on and not a form of personal expression. I don’t think my class understands that latter concept. Today we turned in sketches. I didn’t see many of them but I did see a mask, a wire tree, and a landscape cleverly made out of a Yin Yang sign. Gorgeous, all of them, but they don’t especially ring “Mandala” to me. Of course, as I said before I know absolutely nothing about them. I titled my draft “A Geometric Sketch that Could be Submitted as a Mandala” because I just don’t feel comfortable calling it a Mandala at all. And the only meditating on it I’ll be able to do is silently screaming “Cultural Appropriation!”
  2. The “Isearch” Paper - Interview: So, we each need to write an essay by the end of the course about our “journey” through it. An integral part of this paper is an interview with someone of the religion are group report is in. Preferably somebody we don’t know well. Also, the interview should be in person. Not even over Skype, let alone my preferred form of communication, text. This means that I am talking to someone (who I don’t know), solely because they are of a specific faith. Besides my social awkwardness and fears, which would make any interview hard, I don’t want to do this. I feel like I am objectifying someone. Putting them in a box to examine their personal beliefs. I try bringing this up and am met with “well, this is a good way to destroy any stereotypes or preconceived notions.” NOT MY POINT! I brought this up with a friend and she said “they should be glad people want to learn instead of listening to rumors and living in ignorance. I love this hands-on-approach our school has.” I just sort of stared at her, wringing whatever was in my hand (I think it was a water-bottle). This is the one time I really hate the hands-on-approach (although ask me again in the spring when I’m blacksmithing in the sweltering heat. I do not handle heat well).
  3. The “Isearch” Paper - Attend a Temple: I thought I misheard the teacher when he first said this. It is one thing when you are invited or are thinking about converting or far away from home and need a place to pray. It is quite another to just walk in to somebody’s place of worship to observe for a school assignment you are forced to do. My church isn’t a very sacred place to me (mostly because I feel like I’m in a nicely-furnished concrete box that is way to big for my personal comfort) but if somebody came up to my family plot in the graveyard to examine me and my family, I would not be comfortable at all. It hits all the buttons that screams “Disrespectful!” to me. This was part of the conversation that led to above friend saying that they should be glad. On a different personal note, I don’t believe I have any shirts that cover my arms. I guess a rain-jacket would be modest (although ugly).
  4. Group Project - Prayer: The teacher wants us to lead the class in prayer during our 45 minute presentation on a religion of choice. I have outright refused to do this, and if there’s one thing I will force the other three people in my group to comply with it will be not leading a mostly-atheist/agnostic-and-entirely-non-Muslim-class in a holy act of prayer. My mom suggested I find a traditional poem to use instead, after explaining how prayers usually go. The lovely Zilvia sent me a recitation of Surah Ikhlas that I can share with the class. But the fact that our group won’t be saying a prayer doesn’t make me feel better. There are five other groups who probably will, plus the countless classes before and after mine. And I just know that either the Buddhist group or the Hinduism group will be doing yoga.
  5. The Teacher (Turn back now if you don’t like negative criticism aimed at living human beings or you are my religion teacher): I didn’t like him before this class, but now I can’t even respect him. I don’t care if he is a genius, I just don’t respect him. A) Please stop using the word “myth” in this class. I don’t care if you are talking about Zeus or Gilgamesh or Jesus or Santa Claus (okay, maybe you can use it for Santa), just don’t say myth. Please. B) That cluster of smart-ass blond atheists who snicker the whole time? Don’t tell they are being childish calmly in the hopes that they will act their age. They won’t. Tell them that they are being disrespectful and rude. Separate them if need be. C) Stop comparing things to science. They are not the same at all. I know the Earth goes around the Sun because it is observable. I know God exists because I have faith. Both science and religion can coexist in one mind. Stop trying to make science a religion. D) Please stop the cultural appropriation. You are a middle-aged, middle-class, white, cissexual, heterosexual, American male who is also a pompous (sometimes ignorant) prick. I can’t make you stop doing Tai Chi on your own time. But I can complain about doing mandalas. Especially when we know nothing about them. And if you make us dress in “costume” I will give you no more of my attention except to complain loudly to anyone who will listen. You can’t stop me.
I have so many issues with this course. As far as I know, there are only three religious people in my class (including me). Another Christian and a Buddhist. Of the three of us, I am probably the least tolerant (and if I do say so myself, I am pretty dang accepting). It seems like a Comparative Religions class would be perfect for us. But as a whole the class is so intolerant towards religions. Be whatever sexuality you want, but if you’re anything but atheist or agnostic, you’re stupid. A *bleep*ing idiot. In freshman year a bloke I’ve known for years asked me why I was wearing a cross necklace. In sophomore year I was surprised to find that all three of the exchanges at that time were religious, and Christian at that. Not just my school but even where I live seems to lean toward the non-religious sides of things. And if you are religious, that’s cool unless you’re Christian. Then you are stupid/blind/ignorant/whatever. Of course, my interactions with the public reality are little, and these viewpoints may be very inaccurate due to my inexperience.

I guess I just want the class to be a little less personal. I don’t want my childhood friend going off on his philosophical rants (they are interesting, but rarely have anything to do with the subject at hand). I don’t want to be forced to take part in cultural appropriation. I want to actually learn about religions, and not spend a 45 minute period on a faux-pop-quiz that dissolves into off topic discussions in small groups.

A man is paid to teach me, and I want to learn, so what’s the problem here?

A post-midnight breakdown

It is 2:53 a.m. and I’m going to give you a taste of what has been going through my brain for the last hour. Why? Because this is Tumblr and what else is it for?

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Mark and Tammy

Song of the Lioness Omnibus

    Mark Oshiro, of Mark Does Stuff fame, will soon be reviewing, chapter by chapter, the Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce. It is no secret that I love Tamora Pierce. She and Mark are two of the four people I idolize (the other two being the awesome Green brothers). I should be ecstatic at this meeting of worlds, and in some ways I am. But I’m also worried. So worried that I’m breaking this hiatus to write about it.
    What if Mark Oshiro does not like Tamora Pierce novels?

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jhenriangel:

dlandwhore:

onmoonsandclouds:

(From 2010)Urban Outfitters released a t-shirt that clearly invited you to… ‘Eat Less’ (see the top above). After receiving lots of criticism, the shirt was quickly pulled from the online store. Sophia Bush was particularly outraged by this message and wrote an open letter to Urban Outfitters on her blog:

Ladies! This is OUTRAGEOUS. I hope none of you will stand for being told such a thing, in such a way. Being healthy, eating right, and staying active is one thing. Being told to starve yourselves by a fashion company? Not cool.
UO,
I have been a supporter of your store for many years, but now I’m through.
I am fortunate enough to star on a wonderful TV show called One Tree Hill. I play a fashion designer named Brooke Davis, who started a campaign on the show called “Zero Is Not A Size” and the outpouring of love and gratitude that came my way from girls and women ALL OVER THE WORLD who have body image issues brought me to tears.
To promote starvation? To promote anorexia, which leads to heart disease, bone density loss, and a slew of other health problems, not least of all psychological issues that NEVER go away? Shame on you. I will no longer be shopping at your stores. And I will encourage the tens of thousands of female supporters I have to do the same. I have fought to boycott BP. I never imagined I would also be boycotting affordable fashion.
You should issue a public apology, and make a hefty donation to a women’s organization that supports those stricken with eating disorders. I am sickened that anyone, on any board, in your gigantic company would have voted ‘yes’ on such a thing, let alone enough of you to manufacture an item with such a hurtful message. It’s like handing a suicidal person a loaded gun. You should know better.
I sincerely hope that next time you decide that making fun of serious issues is comedic, or ’snarky in a cool way,’ that you rethink your decision.
With Sincerity but NO respect,
Sophia Bush


Wow…
Ladies, listen, for her words are powerful.

Can I get that 0 is not a size shirt? I’m not a womens, but I think everyone deserves that message >_>

Okay, I despise the “Eat Less” shirt, but I don’t much like the “0 is not a Size” either. You know that anorexia you mentioned? “…which leads to heart disease, bone density loss, and a slew of other health problems, not least of all psychological issues that NEVER go away?" I know hardly anybody is this size, but I feel like… I don’t know. Maybe I’m being over-sensitive, but this is my blog. I’m aloud to be oversensitive if I want to.

jhenriangel:

dlandwhore:

onmoonsandclouds:

(From 2010)

Urban Outfitters released a t-shirt that clearly invited you to… ‘Eat Less’ (see the top above). After receiving lots of criticism, the shirt was quickly pulled from the online store. Sophia Bush was particularly outraged by this message and wrote an open letter to Urban Outfitters on her blog:

Ladies! This is OUTRAGEOUS. I hope none of you will stand for being told such a thing, in such a way. Being healthy, eating right, and staying active is one thing. Being told to starve yourselves by a fashion company? Not cool.

UO,

I have been a supporter of your store for many years, but now I’m through.

I am fortunate enough to star on a wonderful TV show called One Tree Hill. I play a fashion designer named Brooke Davis, who started a campaign on the show called “Zero Is Not A Size” and the outpouring of love and gratitude that came my way from girls and women ALL OVER THE WORLD who have body image issues brought me to tears.

To promote starvation? To promote anorexia, which leads to heart disease, bone density loss, and a slew of other health problems, not least of all psychological issues that NEVER go away? Shame on you. I will no longer be shopping at your stores. And I will encourage the tens of thousands of female supporters I have to do the same. I have fought to boycott BP. I never imagined I would also be boycotting affordable fashion.

You should issue a public apology, and make a hefty donation to a women’s organization that supports those stricken with eating disorders. I am sickened that anyone, on any board, in your gigantic company would have voted ‘yes’ on such a thing, let alone enough of you to manufacture an item with such a hurtful message. It’s like handing a suicidal person a loaded gun. You should know better.

I sincerely hope that next time you decide that making fun of serious issues is comedic, or ’snarky in a cool way,’ that you rethink your decision.

With Sincerity but NO respect,

Sophia Bush

Wow…

Ladies, listen, for her words are powerful.

Can I get that 0 is not a size shirt? I’m not a womens, but I think everyone deserves that message >_>

Okay, I despise the “Eat Less” shirt, but I don’t much like the “0 is not a Size” either. You know that anorexia you mentioned? “…which leads to heart disease, bone density loss, and a slew of other health problems, not least of all psychological issues that NEVER go away?" I know hardly anybody is this size, but I feel like… I don’t know. Maybe I’m being over-sensitive, but this is my blog. I’m aloud to be oversensitive if I want to.

Just a Thought…

All the truly dangerous characters in Portal 2 are female. GLaDOS, Chell, the functioning Turrets. For men there is Cave, who isn’t all too dangerous and should just be kept away from lots of funding. And, of course, Wheatly, who is just a moron who went a bit mad with power but still holds my undying love. Have I mentioned how much I love Portal? Have I mentioned how I never play Portal?

This is a post for the Girls

This is for the girls who have been harmed by some cutting remark. This is for the girls who have felt like they aren’t good enough. The girls who feel like they are wrong.

This is for my friends, who are facing troubles I’ve never had. The ones who are feeling left alone. The ones who are the target of lies. I can’t promise you it gets better, I can’t make you believe that you are worth something. Why? Because I stopped myself from truly relying on others, for fear of the pain. The insults can’t knock me down when I never had enough self-confidence to build me up. You are stronger than me, because you lay your trust reality. You risk what you’re going through now, but are rewarded with a comfort I long for but don’t go after. I hide in my books, because even though my heart can be broken, my mind twisted, my soul crushed, I don’t risk real people reacting to me. It’s cowardice. And so I admire you and your stength.

And look! I’ve turned a post about my friends into a self-pity party. I guess what I’m trying to do is offer my support, even if I have no wise words to give. I want you to know that I’m always here, whether you need a shoulder to cry on, or just someone to watch cheesey sitcoms with. But I do know I’m not on the top of your list of friends, there are others who you are more comfortable with. Just know that I’m here, and will never think ill of you. Know that people love you, even if no one wants to sweep you off your feet quite yet.

You aren’t alone, my darlings, no matter how isolated you might feel in this vast Universe.

Have hope.

Conclusion from my Essay Comparing Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer

Personally, I can’t stand Sawyer, and isn’t that odd? I love stories and books and the fantastical, and that is everything Sawyer is. Whereas Finn doesn’t like his schooling, which is my passion, and I am obviously sick and tired and grasping at straws, so yeah. The end.

I think I need to do a bit of editing.

What’s the point?

The water sings its chaotic song
Soothing the souls of the tired and lost.
Souls of people who look out into this world
And wonder “What’s the point?”
Nothing can leave a lasting impression
So why should one as tiny and insignificant as a human being even try?

Everything will just run until it breaks
And everything will break.
So why try and fix what’s broken
If it will just break again.

Who cares about wars that kill millions
If those millions will die anyways?
The world is weak and fragile
So why try to preserve it?

Every dollar you make will be useless in the end
The Universe doesn’t care if you ended segregation.
Nothing matters
At all.

But we go about our lives
Talking about “Good” and “Evil.”
Constructing and destructing like there’s a difference.

We fill ourselves with hope
But what is that hope for?
Hope that we will survive?
Because we won’t.
None of us will survive
Not one.

Even in words everything is temporary
One day there will be no record of Shakespeare.
One day the Human Race will be a blip on the Earth’s history
And the Earth will be less than a blip to the Milky Way.
And do I even need to continue?
Everything is futile.

-

So why do I write?
Why do I scribble down my ramblings?
Why do I journey to places?
Why do I try different foods?
Why do I get to know the immaterial soul of another person?
Why do I take care of a dog?
Why do I plant a tree?
Why do I continue to exist?
Postpone my demise?
Why do I give a damn?
About anything?

I don’t know
I really don’t.
But you know
I’m already here
So why not enjoy it?
Because right now I exist
Right now I’m real.
Right now time is passing
And I’m just sitting here
Ranting.

But you know what?
I’m happy.
As the rain soaks my hair and these pages
Even though I;m under a leafy canopy,
I am content.
I am blissful.
This is how I want to live
Every moment of every day.
Each fat rain drop
Causing ripples in the puddles
In the lakes and in the streams.

I don’t know why I’m here
I will never know why.
But I don’t care.
Actually, scratch that
I don’t want to know.
Where’s the fun in knowing?
I may die at any second
But it doesn’t matter.
These may be the last words I’ll ever write
But look! I’ve written more!

Soon this time will pass into a memory
And then not even that.
But if I work at preserving every second for the future
How will I ever enjoy the now?

And yes, this has gone on for too long
And any poem it once wanted to be
Is gone.
But oh well.
Everything is pointless in the end
So why should my writing be any different?

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Rants, Rambles, Redudancy.

princessraya:

I think too much.

 Sometimes I feel as if I think not enough, or when I do its about trivial things. I have my “what if…”s and my Doctor Who theories, but so often they are borrowed from my idols, or just random YouTube comments or blog posts. I will often base my theories about books, life, the universe, etc. off of others, sometimes without realizing it. That is probably the main theme behind this Tumblog. I’m a parrot, one with a huge brain that is all too often underused. Sometimes (often) I wonder where my originality is, even my sketches are off of photographs others took.

Look at me, ranting and rambling and being redundant based off a four-syllable sentence my friend put on the Internet. I am wallowing in self pity and am abusing these words. I promise I will soon put up a post that is well written and bloomed from real life.

Dreams

princessraya:

I watched Inception last night (for the second time) and it made me wonder about dreams. What are dreams? Do they mean something? I have so many vivid dreams, and often I wake up and am like “that had to have meant something!” And then there’s lucid dreaming, where you know you’re in a dream and you can mess with whats happening to you. I never have lucid dreams, and I suppose I like it that way. In life you have to make a million choices, and I want to be able to go to sleep and go somewhere where I don’t have to make any. But dreams are just so tricky. A friend told me about how one time she had a very vivid dream about someone she had never met, and when she woke up and looked him up on the internet, he was real. To me that right there is proof that dreams happen for a reason. I just haven’t figured out what that reason is yet…

Dreams can be creepy, deceitful, and downright weird. Lately my dreams have left me waking up early, not wanting to go back to sleep. And yet, I much prefer these dreams that can bring me close to tears than lucid ones. Lucid dreams never seem as vibrant, never seem as fun, although I can often remember them better. I have a friend who thinks that he’s going mad if he has any dreams, especially non-lucid ones. His lost, he will never see how creative and imaginative he really can be. You know those dreams that are supposedly the best, you know, the ones where you fly? For me those are nothing compared to the ones where you fall. When my dream self jumps from a second-story window, everything slows down and I go further than a human ever could with Earth’s normal gravity. The funny thing is, I’m afraid of hights.

What If… #2

What if the only knowledge of humans that aliens possessed of us was from our television shows?