Friday, October 31, 2014

Irony and Questioning Society

Ballet is a precise art. Constantly, we strive for perfection: rounded arms, turned-out hips, pointed toes. Which, when added to school, extracurricular activites, and sleep, can be extremely stressful. What started out as a discussion with my mother on the way home from dance about my difficulty dancing en pointe turned into a full-fledged meltdown including a nearly-empty tissue box, sitting in the parked car for forty-five minutes, and a decision that I need a change.

I am what some might consider an overachiever. I get good grades. My goal for the end of each quarter is to have a ninety-five percent or higher in each class. To me, this is simply achievement. This is the standard I hold myself to because I know I am capable of it. However, this standard usually means I have to spend quite a bit of time on homework and studying each night. Often, I end up staying up past ten, being exhausted coming home from school the next day, and procrastinating homework until the later hours of the evening, and staying up too late again. Not to mention getting up at six AM. It's a vicious cycle. But for me, it's obvious where the cycle originates: the internet. Yes, I'm blaming Tumblr, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Facebook, and Netflix for creating what's commonly referred to as "Procrastination Nation." They create a virtual hand that comes out of the device and pulls you into the cyber-whirlpool while your neglected math homework watches solemnly.

So I'm breaking the laws of teenager-ism: I am going to delete all social media and potentially distracting apps from my phone. They're diverting, and you gain nothing but useless social information from using them.  (She wrote for a blog to be posted on the internet and read by other people to learn information about her. Whoops.) I'm actually extremely excited to do this. I keep picturing not being exhausted in every class, going to bed at a decent hour, and having so much more time to draw, read, paint, etc.

Okay, here's the point: If you're crazy enough, I challenge you to join the rebellion. Just imagine all the free time you'll have! Bonus points because it's a type of self-realization that gets you more in tune with yourself and gives you more time to speculate on the universe or start an activist movement. Let me know if you do in the comments. Join the revolution!

(P.S. I even deleted the part of my About page that said my favorite Netflix shows... I'm committed!)

Total Number of Rebelled People: 2

Image Courtesy to 24-7 Family History Circle

Friday, October 24, 2014

Hello, I'm Faith and I'm Here to Help Your Life Be Better

It’s nice to know there are still places out there
where you can run, scream, laugh, sing, dance, 
or just listen to the immaculate silence.
It’s nice to know that there are still places where you have
two day old braids encrusted with sand and chalky dust 
grimy faces and cracking lips and no reflections
sand that sticks between your toes
and no one to be bothered but arid lizards and desert mice. 
It’s nice to know that there are still places where you can
watch the sun come through the clouds and illuminate the landforms
scale sandy red giants to feel untainted wind
or lay on your back at night and feel like the stars will swallow you whole.

These are the places that restore us.




After one fourth of the school year, I have already become disorganized, overworked, and constantly exhausted. Especially because I was up till eleven last night doing homework, danced for an hour and a half today, and then babysat a three year old for two hours. But I can deal, thanks to an incessantly welcomed break last weekend.
It was extra long for us due to UEA, so my family took a six hour car trip down south. Towing Steve, the trusty pop-up trailer, and blasting Birdy, we ventured about six miles into Utah desert outside of a itty-bitty town called Escalante. This particular “campsite” (I hesitate to call it that because that implies #54 with generator plug-ins and unsanitary bathrooms ten feet away. This is just a relatively flat area with a game trail that could be mistaken for a road leading into it.) had been named “Turtle Rock” on a previous trip to the same area. It’s a gorgeous spot with landmark resemblant of a reptile with a shell. 
My focus for this trip was completely self-centered. Thursday through Sunday, I was the center of my universe. I wasn’t going to look in a mirror for the whole four days. If I was cold, I would put on a jacket, if I was tired, I would go to bed and if I was hungry, I would eat. There would be no connection with any humans other than the ones I was face to face with.
Using no makeup and wearing stripes and tie-dye together felt like the promised land. I sung and danced and climbed on rocks and walked around barefoot. I cried and laughed and didn’t brush my hair and hiked with people I love. I slept under the stars for the first time next to someone I’ve grown up with. It was fantastic. It makes the current toddler-induced burnout abundantly more bearable.

The reason I’m writing this post is to remind you to look after yourself. Often, we get wrapped up in grades, or work, or social media, or activities, or sports, or all of the above. We forget to listen to our bodies and minds because of all the demands placed on our drained shoulders. So here’s your formal invitation: Go find your Turtle Rock. Sort yourself out. Reorganize. Return. Radiate.

Gus, Coco, and Arlo - biggest to smallest.

Squirrel Scat, Smiling Sage, and Hyperactive Hedgehog (nature names)
heading up to Turtle Rock.
Turtle Rock from the Campsite

Campsite from Turtle Rock

Too many sunset pictures.

The other side of Turtle Rock
A disappointing picture of the stars.

A Not So Disappointing Picture of Lovely People

Slot Canyons: Not for the even slightly claustrophobic.


Cities of Cryptobiotic Soil

The end of the canyon

Gee, what's that? Another sunset?


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Appalling Advertisements of the Sixties

While “I belong in the 60’s” makes a great Instagram bio, the reality of “the Golden Ages” wasn’t always as glorious as popular culture often portrays. 

Image Courtesy of Business Pundit
Image Courtesy of Business Pundit

Image Courtesy of Business Pundit

Image Courtesy of Tygarts Valley High School Class of 1964 


These ads in particular are especially jarring. They're so offensive they make my stomach physically hurt (although that may be because I’m writing this on a road trip and I’m rather prone to carsickness.) Even so, it’s appalling that my parents and grandparents grew up in a time when this type of propaganda was commonplace. In fact, hype like this has been around practically since Eve tempted Adam with that stupid apple. Generations were raised on this sort of sickening advertising, and nothing really changed until the 1960’s. 

Among the war protests, prayer circles, and dancing at concerts, hippies also popularized the idea of gender equality. Before the peace lovers coalesced on the streets, women were treated as second-hand citizens for simply being born female. 

Hippies brought equal opportunities to the masses, but they didn’t do it alone. Gloria Steinem
was one of the most influential feminists of all time, receiving national attention for her journalism and vehement support for pro-choice abortion. Alongside female emancipation powerhouses such as Jane Fonda and Robin Morgan, she founded the Women’s Media Center, Ms. Magazine, and advocated continually and effectively for abortion rights, same-sex marriage, and transsexual equality. In 1963, Steinem worked as a Playboy Bunny at the New York Playboy club, and later wrote an article on the experience and unacceptable objectification of women in those types of clubs. The article gained critical acclaim and was eventually turned into a movie.

Change doesn’t happen over night (just look at our dress codes) but we have come leaps and bounds since this type of ad. The mere suggestion of something of this type is unspeakable today.

 A lot of times we focus more on what we need to change. Sometimes, it’s nice to remind ourselves of what we’ve already done. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Hair Wraps - Like Dreads but Cooler

Unkempt, ratty, and distinctly hippie. I've written about it before, I'll write about it again. Possibly the biggest hippie cliché ever: Waist-length, disheveled, straggly hair. Bohemians often divorced social norms, which unfortunately often included a hairbrush. Due to the massive numbers of flower children who were unconcerned with personal hygiene, they earned an affectionate nickname: The Great Unwashed.
In fact, hippie hair was often barley a rat's nest away from a spiderweb of dreadlocks. To me, that is  revolting.  No matter how much I immerse myself in hippie idealisms, I will continue to bathe. Discovering hair wraps at a music festival in the middle of the Teton Mountains, however, was a life-changing moment.  These colorful accessories are perfect clash of modern-day boho style and dreaded hippie culture.(Ha ha, get it? Dread, like dread locks?) So here, dear readers, are your steps to add a temporary and vivacious vibe to your chic sleek locks or flower-child-esque straggly mane.

Supplies:

  • Multiple colors of Embroidery Thread
  • Small rubber band to hold hair
  • All-purpose thread (optional)
  • Beads (optional)











Step 1) Select a section of hair that's about 1 inch wide.











Step 2) Braid this section. This whole process will be easier  if you pull the rest of the hair out of the way.















Step 3) Select 2-5 colors of embroidery thread. Each color strand needs to at least six times the length of your braid.










Step 4) Double the embroidery thread over and tie it in a double knot at the top of your braid, as close to your scalp as you can get it.



















Step 5) Choose which color you want to start the wrap with. Take both strands of that color and begin wrapping them around the braid and the other threads.










When you have enough of that color, switch to the the next by simply placing the one you were using beside the braid, taking the next color, and beginning to wrap.










Step 6) Wrap, wrap, wrap! All the way down the braid, alternating colors. Remove the rubber band when you get to it.






















Step 7) When you get to the end of the hair, keep wrapping, until you've gone off the hair and are only wrapping around the other threads. Then tie a knot. If you want, you can add beads using all-purpose thread here. (Like these lovely peace sign ones I got at Michaels!)





























Wow, look at you! You did it! Congratulations!
As with everything, wraps may take a bit of practice. But once you can do it, they're delightful and easy to display. Plus, people to ask about them, which is an supercool opportunity to have a conversation in the grocery store about The Beatles with a fellow member of the flower children.

How to take care of your wrap:
It will be fine in showers, as just try to avoid getting much shampoo or conditioner on it.
It will stay in for up to three weeks, but after that the hair underneath can start to turn into a dread.

To remove, just untie the knot at the bottom and unwrap it.



Bonus: You can use them to adorn your ponytail!





Thank you to my wonderful friends for modeling these wraps, letting me pull their hair excessively, and making delightful mac and cheese.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Mini Post : John Lennon's 74th Birthday!!!

Seeing as he was part of one of the most influential bands of the sixties and possibly the most creatively talented individuals of the century, a John Lennon birthday  post felt necessary. Bask in his glory.
Image Courtesy of Dick Mac (alive!)
Image Courtesy of Christian Science Monitor

Image Courtesy of Get Covers/Covers for Facebook
Happy 74th John!