Surprised Me

I live!

It's been a while since I've posted here, and, given how much I loved this place years ago, I think it's important that I at least try and keep it up ('cause I firmly believe that the values which made me fall in love w/LJ are still here- even if most people have migrated to FB).  To that effect, yo!  Goo to "see" you all. ^_^

*happy waves*

Surprised Me

Alternate Visions is Having a Mermaid Contest! ^_^

Hi guys!  I've a little mermaid-related contest going on, and wanted to invite y'all to come participate!  
Alternate Visions is looking for a mermaid-themed poem, elucidating the differences between a plus-size mermaid and a manatee.  This is meant to be a kind-spirited, fun challenge, and there will be TWO prizes for the winner, as well as a prize for the second place entry. ^_^   The winner will receive a new, original piece of mermaid art, in addition to a new mermaid-themed necklace.  And the runner up will receive a brand new mermaid-themed bracelet! :D  

More details can be found here or at the links below, and mehopes that y'all take part!  I know there are a TON of creative peoples out there, n' I can't wait to see what folks come up with!  ^_^

Contest Description:
Example Poem (Written by Yours Truly):

Oh FB.. Bad Form..!

The lovely lupagreenwolf recently apprised me of the fact that if you turn your FB nav. language to Leet Speak, then visit the About section of anyone single or female, you'll see them dubbed as "lonely" & "sandwich maker." o.O  So to investigate, I gave it a go m'self.  Went through the process, took a screen cap, n' the below is what I got. See the column on the bottom? It's a screen capture. No photo manip. here, whatsoever.

I know this is "supposed" to be funny- something "clever" and "in," but for an entity as large as Facebook to mass-publish this kind of stupidity & misogyny.. that.. that's disturbing in my book. What's next? A Redneck Translator w/crude allusions to singles masturbating & women being chained to the stove?  

It's not that I don't get it's a joke. It's that a public giant as enormous & influential as FB is right now (especially w/the younger generations) should be more responsible than this.  They should freaking know better than to propagate this kind of mindset- 'cause in many places around the world, this kind of mindset is NOT, not anywhere NEAR being a joke.  People still treat women like this today, and our taking that fact for granted is dangerous & irresponsible.

If individuals wanna make these jokes, fine. I laugh at redneck & blind jokes too. But to me, that's my choice, as a Southerner (as much as I loathe to admit it), a visually impaired person, & an INDIVIDUAL. My own family barely gives a shit what I have to say.  If I spout that I think little green men should damn-well do what they're told, nobody's gonna give a hoot.  But regardless of how many people can read l33t, regardless of it supposedly being an attempt at "humour," a global giant like FB should leave the stupid sexist l33t terminology to the dorks who wanna spout this crap- & then complain that they can never get a date. :P

Anyhoo- for those who'd like to tell FB how they feel, here's the link for where you can petition FB to take this insulting crap down.  Or.. to root 'em on.  That's your prerogative too.
Surprised Me

Aww, Anne McCaffrey has Died. :(((

Aw hell.. Anne McCaffrey just died. :(((

Rest well, lady.  Thank you so much for all your many brilliant gifts.  Your work has inspired countless people, and THAT is magic.  Through the courage you had in pursuing your work and doing what you loved, the tenacity you exhibited in sharing your imagination & the joy you shared in opening up your spirit to us, you made the world a brighter, more interesting & far more beautiful place.  ♥♥♥   

Love & Light,

A Mini Epiphony at Bellydance Club :)

Hey all. I just wanted to share something with you, as I know we all have our own moments at times of "I wish." ;)

Yesterday I took my second stab at heading our university bellydance club practice, and thinking on a moment from last night, I just had to laugh. (We're all beginners there ftmp, but some are MUCH newer than others. So the Pres. and I kind of head things up, as we have no real dance teacher to speak of. :)):

We were doing seated squats (just sittin' in the middle of the air squatted, as if on a very icky, invisible thundermug), and lots of the girls were having real trouble w/posture, staying down far enough, balance, stamina & the like. (I was trying to show them how immobilizing the legs might help w/isolating the upper body, and how eventually you could turn a squat into a variety of cool moves.) But for some reason they kept balking so laughingly I teased "c'mon ladies, if a big fluffy girl like me can do it, all you skinny wimmins have GOT this!" (All the girls in my club but me are very, very little- which can be kind of hard on the confidence levels at times.) So a few tried briefly again, but everyone just kept breaking out of it and getting frustrated, distracted, etc.

So I just sat in the squat, let 'em go on w/their conversations for a bit, and while waiting for them to finish, put my hands down on my legs, just chillin' out. That's when I realized it. "C'mon girls! This works your upper thighs like crazy!" A few people looked around, chuckled for a sec, but didn't do much. So I went on. "Some of you may not believe it, but I've actually got a bit a' muscle up under alla this fluff!" -to which we all laughed, buuut they all still kept standing around; so I tried again. "No really! Come feel!" And that's when I totally invited them to come take a poke at the fronts of my thighs, while I still just sat in the squatting pose.

Nervously, a few of them walked over, poked, and the looks on their faces were so hysterically shocked, I just couldn't help but laugh. :) Here I was, the biggest girl of all of them by a mile, and in this pose my legs were all muscle, and for once I wasn't having any trouble w/stamina or needing to modify a move. You couldn't feel hardly any fluff at all on that top thigh muscle, and a couple of girls even said "oh my god!! She really IS all muscle under there!!" *lol*

I'm not saying anyone should ever compare themselves to others (although I know it still happens), or that one should belittle others for something that one can or cannot do. (I dearly hope this is not coming off that way.) My goal was to inspire these awesome ladies to keep trying, and I -think- in some, it might have actually worked. :) But also, as one who's always worried about "being The Big Girl.." the undesirable that everyone just puts up with, (in class as well as in life), not to mention as someone w/a disability, it was great to have a "yes I can!!" moment. ^_^

I guess it's just that the look on these girls' faces, when they realized that I actually -could- be strong, and somehow withstand something they in their younger, tinier physiques could not (YET) really helped me remember: Although I wish I were littler and more fit, I've also got my OWN strengths & assets too. :) That doesn't mean I'm gonna stop striving to be mre healthy, but it does remind me that I am not JUST weakness.

And that, no matter who you are or what you struggle with, is a really, really nice thing to be reminded of. *beams*

Anyway.. I hope you all have lots of similarly great moments soon to come, and always. ^_^ ♥

Love and Light,
Autumn Elf

For All Those At FaerieCon, & Those Who Wanted To Attend But Could Not:

The Elven Dance

O you who dance among the trees
With endless grace and tireless ease
Would it disrupt your song to speak
Of who you are and what you seek?

We circle through the forest green
In patterns left to you unseen
And when the sunlight lights the sky
To other places we must fly.

O you who fly into the night
With eyes that shine like stars and light,
Please tell me now where do you run
When you depart from day and sun?

With light that you will never see
We travel over rock and tree
Yet in the blazing glare of dawn
Our own devices must be gone.

O you who flee from sun and day
With strange enigmas you must play
To be so wary not to tell
Of who you are and where you dwell.

We would inform you of our thought
Yet even willing we could not
Albeit you will wonder why
We must instruct you not to pry.

O you who live behind fair guise
With masks complex and hidden eyes
Your will I do not understand
To cast aside a searching hand.

We know not how to make you see
Our use of words is not so free
The only thing that we can say
Is not to look for us this way.

O you who walk the other side
With ways you are compelled to hide
Though I would gladly know your lore
I will depart and ask no more.

We beg you not to leave our sight
And ride to long-forgotten light
Your presence cannot be so wrong
We bid you stay and hear our song.

O you who beckon with your smile
With beauty somehow filled with guile
Though you may change your mind and heart
With thought of danger I depart.

Alas! another one is lost
We cannot bear the heavy cost
Of longing to reveal our ways
Yet cursed until the end of days
To never let another know
Of why we wander to and fro
And of our dreams and of our thought
And of the closeness we have sought.
So on we dance among the trees
And wait until another sees
And maybe this time he will find
The center of our tangled mind.

- Amanda Baggs -

Found This Pic on FB, Feel Free to Pass the Message On! :D

Support local artists, crafters & designers this holiday season! ^_^

Yes, yes, YES!!  I know we all love games & DVDs, but (especially in this economy) instead of buying mass-marketed junk w/a thoughtless toss of a few dollars to a big corporation, why not buy something that's totally unique??  You'll look hella-original, & your gift recipient(s) will receive something insanely cool; a non-mass-produced goodie made with love, and a piece which is likely one-of-a-kind!  T'is a win-win!  ^_^

If you have something in particular that you'd like me to make for you (or someone you care for) for the holidays (anything from Hallowe'en/Samhain & beyond), gimme a holler!  I'm currently making new polymer clay goodies for the Hallowe'en season, and I can't wait to see what comes out next! :D


Surprised Me

My Birthday Weekend

This past weekend (and Monday included) was pretty grand.  Saturday I showed Gramma how NetFlix works, n' we watched her favorite movie evar- "Arsenic & Old Lace." :)  She wants to be Aunt Abby in a local production if it were ever made, and I think she'd make a GREAT one. ^_^  It was way funnier than I remember, and we had a ball laughing through it together. ^_^  Then that night, I got to go to my first bellydancing event since living here!!  I got to talk with a few of the dancers, & most importantly, to support my local bellydance community! :D  It was a orchestrated by "Hill and Veil" bellydance classes n' group over yonder in Blacksburg, and held at the other Royal She-Sha Lounge there downtown (which was warm & PACKED, but w/a great stage we got to be really close up to, & we still had seats). :)  We stayed for the full run; which went off & on from 10pm - midnight.  And I was all dressed up for the occasion- w/pigtails, a bindi and general bellydance garb. :)  

Sunday we went to Mark and Rob's place, for a grand barbecue from 5 until.. well.. whenever we felt like goin' home. *lol*  It was wonderful to see them again, and to help celebrate both their birthdays in addition to mine, which are all right near each other. :)  My gramma & mom got to meet 'em, we all got to hand together w/their friends, n' a good time was had by all. :)  (Well, except for maybe poor li'l Sydney, who has issues w/too many people coming over n' had sto stay inside during the event. :(()  We stayed late, and it was a blast. :)

Monday I shared the movie "Miranda" (another old-time movie featuring Glynis Johns-the mom from "Marry Poppins") w/Gramma, & we continued our shopping sprees (where we continued to nab little goodies for me like brand new fancy cooking pans & a bunch of Command hanging doodads- so I don't put holes in these new walls & end up getting charged for 'em).  After that we hit Red Lobster, 'cause we didn't quite know where to find Kabuki, and -everything- sounded good that night. :)  So mom, gramma and I had a Long Island Iced Tea each, and sat down to one of -the best meals- I can EVER freaking remember having.  It was PHENOMENAL. ^_^  (The leftovers of which I'm about to chow down on, as soon as I'm finished w/this. :))  

After the camera scare (where I nearly got my camera lost/stolen by some hap-hazard bus boy @ RL- which thank God turned out okay :D), we hit St. Albans.  For those who don't know it, it's a former asylum and boys school here in town, that's reputedly HELLA haunted.  I got some fun pics there that I can't WAIT to show you. ^_^  It's still clearly abandoned n' had a bunch of  "No Trespassing" signs up everywhere, so we didn't go in (though I'm guessing most people just disregard those for ghost hunts n' go on in anyway), but we did circle about the place a few times to get some snazzy photos.  (Again, the aforementioned of which I am about to show you. :))

And to top it all off, just as we were nearing home, mom kept seeing some "Banjo & Fiddle Jam" signs.   We tracked them here n' there around town, n' finally ended up finding this cute little place tucked away right near main street, where there was a -great- bluegrass jam happening.  The musicians were so good, and the men who traded turns singing were awesome, too. :)  We had vanilla root beer floats for dessert while we sat n' listened (which is amazing, considering the food we'd just had at RL ;)), and ended the night on a high note all 'round, pun very much intended. ^_^  It was great, and I'm blessed as hell to have had my mom & gramma down there to spend the weekend w/me- and be there not JUST for my birthday. ^_^  Love you tow ladies.  Just mark my word, I WILL get a game night n' photography session w/you as faerie goddesses in, yet!! ;D

Love and Hugs to All!

Gratefully and Gladly, :)


St. Albans, the spooky sanitorium tucked way far away, but ever so nearby, in Radford, VA.

Spotlight Girl!

I Can Has a New Collection on Etsy! :D

For all of my lovely kindred spirits out there, I thought I'd put together a little something on Etsy-- just in time for faire season. ^_^  I've been racking up Favorites over there for ages, n' could have sworn I'd already made one of these long ago- but low and behold, no!  So here's a bunch of great items (nearly all of which are plus-size friendly) to help you celebrate yourself and your love of dance!  (Great for pro. dancers and non-dancers alike- whether you rock a full Tribal look, or just want one piece to adorn your faire costume. :))  Plus, lots of these shops have variations on stuff which suit faerie tastes, so go get 'em, girls! :D