Famous Me's Backstage Panic Attack Box:

Required items:

- toiletpaper

- a map of the town I'm in

- Dafalgan Codeïne (which are prescription in most parts of the world, so whomever is saddled with this job, will have to run to some creepy corners to barter it off someone shady)

- really big, really fluffy and warm and freshly washed and dried and warm and fluffy and huge towels

- a local pastry (not a local delicacies, because I won't want to be stuck with rotten eggs, or rotten tinned fish, or - worst of all - rotten whole bird) (Seriously: a whole bloody bird? Who invents these things?)

- a comfy chair to lounge in

Also, if it were like a trailer, I'd like one with windows that can actually open properly, to the outside. Not those creepy things you can only tilt a couple of inches or the sliding versions a badger couldn't dig its way through.

Did I mention the towels?

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100 Things I Learned On the Internet #1: Adam & Eve

It's both cheating and being honest if I say that my main source of new info on the net this past years has been QI, the BBC quiz show hosted by Stephen Fry. Since my cable company decided I could live without BBC 1, I've been forced to watch EastEnders and QI online, and that in turn made me look up all the series I'd missed before I discovered the show around G.

The first official episode of Series A, the first aired episode of the show, opens with a question on Adam and Eve. And, as a catholic religion teacher, I assumed here was my chance to actually get a question right. Right? Wrong.

Did you know that there actually is an Adam? And an Eve? They are the common ancestors of every human being in the world: Y-chromosomal Adam and Mitochondrial Eve.  Now, apparently they're not as much real, as a rather speculative construction. I found a lot of helpful links on the subject, but most of them make no sense, because they refer to elements of genetic theory I've never heard of and seem infinitely more complicated than peas or guinnea pigs.
It boils down to calculations (through reversing mutations of the Y-chromosome by comparing it to original versions of similar mutations in other primates) that situate a common male and female ancestor respectively 142.000 (or, apparently the guess margin on these things is rather wide, 60.000 years) and 190.000 - 200.000 years ago.
This means there are at least two individuals who have managed to produce an uninterrupted line of offspring over the course of several millenia. This means that, yes: we really are all related to eachother, in a uniquely literal sense.

It's also interesting to note that the most solid abrahimic argument against gay marriage dates back on the chronologically oldest but biblically second creation story: the birth of Eve. When JHWH creates Adam, he notices that Adam gets bored and lonely, and creates a whole host of animals to keep him company. After Adam names all the animals, he gets even more bored and lonely, and JHWH dedices to make Adam a companion who couldn't be more like Adam: he takes a part of Adams own body (the rib, which apparently could also be 'his side' and 'his baculum), explaining why human males don't have a bone in their penis) and conjures up Eve. Adam names Eve ishshah, 'bones of my bones, flesh of my flesh'.
Marriage is the way in which these seperated entities can be made whole again: man is missing something until he is completed, once again, by woman; and woman in turn has no purpose unless to complete man. It's this unity that is sacred.

The abrahimic creation myth isn't the only story that justifies marriage in that way. The idea of two halfs being lost and forlorn without eachother was most popularly formulated by Plato in his Symposium: the gods, envious of and alarmed by the growing strength of two-headed, eight-limbed superhumans, used lightning bolts to split them in half, forgetting that they only had one soul. This is where our concept of soulmates comes from, though it's not unique to ancient Greece. Noteworthy is that Plato (or Aristophanes, who is credited with the speech in the text) includes an explanation for homosexual relationships: there were singlesex humans, and hermaphrodites. The hermaphrodites chase after the opposite sex, and are in modern terms the heterosexual part of the population.
Or how in Plato's view the moral majority is made up out of hermaphrodites, one of the least visible genderminorities in our modern society.
Midrasj, jewish exegeses of the TeNaK, explains the difference between the first and second creation myth by saying  that Adam was originally created by JHWH as... hermaphrodite. Now isn't that a beautiful coincidence?

Another interesting aspect of Adam and Eve is that in the Qur'an, they are both held equally accountable for eating the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. (Remember the Bible, where Adam is punished by having to go to work and Eve is punished by bleeding profoundly ever month and suffering the agony of child birth? Yeah, Islam really is the more misogynist of the three abrahimic traditions. Totally.) There's also no Original Sin in Islam, so Kant's notion of radical evil wouldn't make sense to muslim philosophers.

So thank you interwebz.

100 Things I Learned On the Internet: Masterpost

Taking a page out of theladyscribe's book.

{Take the 100 Things challenge!}

Because I wanted to keep it random, but fun and interesting all the same, I picked this: 100 things I learned online. So that could be anything from how to fill a Bento box over stuff I picked up from watching too much QI to articles about the Higgs Boson. But, I'll be mainly focusing on my 'fields of interest', being religion, gender and philosophy - obviously with a little Tolkien on the side :)

100 Things I Learned On the Internet #1: Adam & Eve

Plinky Answer 3: Soundtrack Of My Life

Since Plinky's lj service isn't really doing it for me, I'll just post it here myself.


I think all in all that the soundtrack to my life already exists: it's all those records that were with me at key moments in my life, or just helped me pass time, feel better or feel worse, get lost in thoughts or get down and clean the house.

As a child even, I remember music having a prominent place in our home. My father plays the guitar, not very well but well enough to be enjoyable, and I remember him sitting on the coffee table playing. We had vinyl albums in a cupboard, and to me they were magical. I was a bookish nerd of a girl, always stowed away in corners reading and imagining, but music to me was the greatest gateway to different worlds. I've never understood the concept of getting wasted or doing drugs, because to me - as clichéd as it sounds - music is the ultimate drug.

Three of those albums have really stayed with me: Simon & Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water, The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's and Queen's Best Of. They also informed my musical taste to this day: it can be as loud or quit as it wants to, it can be about something deep and heartfelt or about nothing at all, but I have to dance to it. It has to have rhythm. It has to have that beating, pulsing heart that tugs at your body and creates movement.

The first album I owned myself that in a way changed my life, was a tape I got from a friend that had PJ Harvey's To Bring You My Love on it. I was already into alternative music, and I listened to almost everything I could get my hands on, but I remember the experience of listening to that tape for the first time with extreme vividness: the feel of the deep dark bass on my skin as the opening title track droned by, the smudginess of the production, the opulent dispair and sensual darkness of the whole tiny masterpiece.

In a similar way I remember other key tracks from my rebellious teen days: how enthralled I was by Suede's Animal Nitrate, how bewitching I found the music video to Björk's Human Behaviour, how the harpiscord in Tori Amos' Caught a Lite Sneeze excited me and Pearl Jam's Given To Fly moved me to tears.
I remember the first time I heard David Gray's Babylon, and simply couldn't stop listening to it.

The single most powerful encounter with music in my life thus far, was the first time I saw Nine Inch Nails in concert. I knew the band through the song The Perfect Drug, which was one of my favourite songs ever. But I'm not a metalhead, and so I never looked further into the band or its music. The nineties were pretty much internetfree for me, and it wasn't as easy as it is now to find more music by an artist you think might be something you might like. So I listened to my taped-from-radio version of the song regularly, but never really listened to Hurt or Burn, songs I could have known but didn't.
Almost by accident we ended up seeing them at a summer festival, me and my sister, and it was love at first sight. I was so inspired and energized by the performance, and in discovering the albums I became so obsessed with the music, I actually ruined the band for my sister.

Nine Inch Nails did change my life. If Björk and Tori were the steady voices guiding me through my teenage and adolescent years, Trent has provided the soundtrack to my adult life so far. There have been other sounds that have carried me these past years, from the eerie beauty of Sigur Ros over the slick darkness of Mark Lanegan all the way to the festive authenticity of Beirut and the upbeat misanthropy of Tom McRae.

There are many dreadfully syrupy songs about music being your life, so much that I've started to become a bit ashamed of saying it, but it's actually true: music is my life, or my life is music. It's the glue that holds every single moment of it, every single version of me, together. It has shaped me, and who I've become. And in turn, I pass it on to friends, students, coworkers, strangers... and hope it inspires them the way it did me.

Bye Bye Hair

Tomorrow, it's going to go all off. ALL OF IT. GONE! *evil laughter*

So, for posterity: the longest my hair has ever been:

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Diet Day 2

Today's food intake consisted of the stuff I prepared yesterday, plus asparragus velouté and yoghurt.

I spend a full two hours preparing food for tomorrow and the day after, and I made:
- 6 samosas with a white fish/broccoli/green bean filling
- spaghetti with Philadelphia and green beans
- butter beans
- popcorn-like pumpkinseeds
- Japanese egg rolls
- a face and two mushrooms carved out of radishes
- cucumber slices in various shapes
- a cucumber and radish salsa
- blue marzipan balls
- cacao coated marzipan balls

I'm really happy with my food!

Diet Day 1

So, my first Japanese day (hihi) went rather well.
I had chervil soup with noodles followed by no-fat cherry yoghurt with some fresh redcurrants and a glass of pommegranate juice for breakfast, which left me oddly satisfied until about 11:30, then I started to get really hungry. So I'm going to need to eat something more substantial.

Lunch was wheat with spring onions and sunflower seeds, a boiled egg, three radishes and a paprika/pineapple salad with a pineapple vinaigrette.
I did eat another yoghurt at 3, mostly because I'm worried about calcium otherwise.

Dinner was stirfry with wheat, cumin, paprika, smoked trout and pineapple - and a big bowl of it too.
And now I'm drinking the can of elderflower cider my mom gave me. Hoozah!

I'm going to have to get used to taking out time to prepare next days meals - all of them - beforehand. It's not the way I usually deal with food, but it might be a good thing: if it's all in the frigde, I probably won't make something ridiculously unhealthy.
So I already prepared the following things
- for breakfast: smoked trout & Philadelphia salmon topping, thin slices of cucumber, cherry tomato and radishes
- for lunch: 3 samosas filled with the smoked trouth topping, pickled cucumber (YES!), lemon and kurkuma wheat and nectarines in cider/vanilla 'marinade'.

So far, I've managed not to eat the last bar of chocolate shouting at me, but I'm guessing it's going to be dead in an hour anyway. One last hurrah!

The Amazing Discovery of the Bento Box

I am throwing all my previous teachings about food overboard, and I'm going to start to eat Japanese-style, meaning three full but light meals a day. I just keep losing and gaining and losing and gaining weight, and frankly: I'm really fed up with it.

Because I'm not about to do it for a week and then leave it so-so, I actually ordered a Bento box. It's still in order, because I need my mum's visa to pay for it (that's what you get for knowing yourself and not getting a credit card of your own :)) but expect massive amounts of pictures once it arrives (you sole person still reading this :)).
The reason I wanted one, is because I plan to eat rice dishes in the morning and soup with pasta in the evening, which means I won't eat rice or soup over lunch. And I also need to 'snack' more, meaning tiny portions of fruit or veg during the day.
When I have everything with me, I take a full bag with four or five different pots to school, and the bento box should be able to contain my full-day supplies and help me with portions and stuff.

Because I want to gather all my info someplace, I'm just going to do it here. Collapse )