Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Now until very recently, I was under the impression that my fabulous new stirrup leggings were rather unique, more 80's jazzercise (which is awesome) than NYC hipster (which I guess is awesome too, in a different way). However, I seem to have been mistaken, because the other day down at NYU I saw three separate people wearing stirrup leggings! All, incidentally, were wearing them without socks, which supports my earlier hypothesis re: attractiveness of the exposed plane of flesh on the top of the foot. Anyway, I decided to do a little research, and look what I found:
Mary Kate and Ashley designed them! Neiman Marcus is selling them! OMG! So, SHOCKING FASHION DISCOVERY OF THE SEASON: stirrup leggings are in! Fashionistas of the world (and other issues), take note.
(Post on Greek Mythology to come soon.)
Saturday, 27 September 2008
Dionysus was also the patron deity of agriculture and theatre, and was often known as "The Liberator", promoting freeing one from one's normal self by means of madness, ecstasy or wine. His Roman parallel was Bacchus, here depicted by Caravaggio:
Dionysus was the son of Zeus and Semele, a human mistress (and the daughter of king Cadmus of Thebes).
When Hera, Zeus' wife, found out about Semele's pregnancy, she decided to befriend her to get to know the real truth and manipulate Semele. Semele indeed confided in Hera, and was fooled into asking Zeus to show himself before her in all his godliness, to prove his status.
Semele begged and begged for Zeus to do this, and when he finally did, draped in thunder and lightning, she died because humans were not meant to see the gods without disguise.
Zeus hurried to rescue Dionysus out of Semele's womb, and sewed him into his own thigh. A few months later Zeus gave birth to Dionysus on the island of Ikaria.
The stories about Dionysus are plenty, so I will just encourage you to read about them here
Apparently he loved traveling, and at one point he went to India and didn't want to leave. Much like us, hehe.
There was also a list of names deriving from Dionysus which I found quite interesting:
Dion, Deon, Deion, d'Eon
Denise (also spelled Denice, Daniesa, Denese, and Denisse)
Dennis, Denis or Denys (including the derivative surnames Denison and Dennison)
Nis (as of the Nordic surname Nissen)
Nils (Nicholas is another origin)
Dionisio, Dyonisio (Filipino), Dionigi (Italian)
Διονύσιος, Διονύσης (Dionysios, Dionysis; Modern Greek)
Deniska (diminutive of Russian Denis, itself a derivative of the Greek)
Thursday, 18 September 2008
Darling readers (especially Shane and Sofie), here comes a post from a ghost. Ha ha, that was a completely spontaneous rhyme, which made a lot of sense in this context. I have been a blog ghost and for that I am sorry. I’m not going to make promises of writing every week from now on etc., but I WILL try to be a better blogger now that summer is gone and everyday life is back, which tends to include more internet time. Shanes’ philosophizing in the facebook-video made me realize and re-remember how inspiring and perspective-enhancing our communication from our different parts of the world is, and that I don’t want to be the blog-pooper (?).
Perspective heaven, it’s time to talk about Argus: my favourite Greek mythology character (credits to the Norwegian wikipedia site).
Argus Panoptes was a huge monster, with one hundred eyes covering his entire body (pan=many, optes=eyes). As we all probably know, Zeus – the king of the greek gods and the god of heaven and thunder – was a god with numerous feminine sexual acquaintances. One time Hera, who was Zeus’ very jealous wife, made Argus guard one of Zeus lovers. Zeus did of course not approve of this and Asked Hermes (the messenger of the gods and the god of trade and music) for help. Argus always used to let some eyes sleep while keeping some awake. In this way he could see all day and all night, letting nothing come past his vision. Hermes however had his silver flute, which had the power of putting things asleep instantly. He played his flute in front of Argus, and Argus’ hundred eyes fell asleep all at the same time (some versions say that Hermes put Argus to sleep with boring talk). This gave Hermes the opportunity to cut off the poor monsters' head, so that Zeus could have access to his mistress.
Later, Hera took all of Argus eyes and put them on the feathers of the peacock.
This story explains the expression “argus eyes” and well as why peacocks’ feathers have eyes on them.
Wednesday, 3 September 2008
There's been some silence from my end on this blog too! I suppose no longer being unemployed in San Francisco has something to do with it. Anyway, it's school time again, but there was a wonderfully full and fun month in New York beforehand, and I'm confident that this year will be just as full and as fun, if a little bit more of the former than the latter.
Anyway, as maybe you know already, I worry a lot. Much of the time, it's unwarranted, but sometimes, it's warranted. I hate it when it's the latter case. These days, I've been worrying quite a bit.
I went to Toronto right before school started, which was lovely; before I left, I planted beets, carrots, arugula, lettuce, and chives in little milk crates in my front yard, a fall vegetable garden! (I planted them in the crates because of the possibility of lead contamination in the soil, which I have yet to send for testing.) When I got home, a mere four days later, they had already begun to come up. As I told you both, and as I wrote on my new Official School Blog (which is exciting but which will never replace Perspective Heaven), I took this as a good omen for the new school year. I think it was, because I biked all the way to school and back the next day without almost getting hit by a car even once.
But these days, Hurricane Gustav has struck quite mightily, and my poor little vegetable sprouts are drowning. I should have just taken them inside, but I didn't think of it in time. And the problem with calling something a good omen is that when it changes, you begin to think of it as a bad omen. As the rain pounded down yesterday, I watched Sarah Palin's RNC speech on Youtube. She's a good speaker; she was sarcastic, funny, and confident. I understand her appeal, to a certain demographic.
She's also a fucking psycho: believes that Creationism should be taught in public schools, is against abortion even if the mother is a victim of rape or incest or both whose life is in danger, supports off, has an environmental policy "so toxic it would make the incumbent, George Bush, blush," is gun-happy and (obviously) pro-war, and promotes converting gay people to heterosexuality through the power of prayer. Et cetera.
It's obviously a very particular demographic she appeals to; the very demographic Obama has so offended with his arugula and bitter comments (the latter of which Palin alluded to in her RNC speech, predictably). I think the question is just how important that demographic is going to be in this election, and that, I suppose, is the million dollar question. It was certainly important in the last election. A little shining hope I have, though, is that it's been very clear from the start that Obama has been mobilizing people to vote who have never voted before, people who have felt so disenfranchised by American society that they didn't consider it worth their time to show up at a polling booth. We have a very low voter turn-out rate, after all, comparable to India's at the time of Independence when something like 70% of the population was still illiterate!! So the demographics of the American voting pool are changing, with this election. I hope they change enough.
Sometimes I wonder if in my worry, I might be committing the same Obama-esque elitism and underestimating a great many people in small towns across America. I mean I'm from San Francisco, I live in New York, and I grow arugula in my own garden! I hope that I am, and come November, the majority of the country will see that this woman, whether you agree with her policies or not, is in no way fit to be one heart attack away from the most powerful position in the world. But I don't know. Unfortunately, Simon Woods agrees with me, and there are also letters like this one, which strike me as particularly ominous:
We'll see, I guess. I miss India a little bit (like always), so I'm going to go eat Maggi and watch Monsoon Wedding. Love you guys.
To the Editor:
Many of us who feel that Hillary Rodham Clinton was treated very poorly by the Democratic National Committee and Barack Obama’s campaign are delighted to see Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska as John McCain’s choice for vice president.
And yes, we are voting for Mr. McCain, because even though we are Democrats, we do not feel represented by the Obama-Biden ticket. There are 18 million voters who just might share this thought.
West Palm Beach, Fla., Sept. 1, 2008