The following entry was written by Giselle on May 14, 2012, in honor of our trip to the Holy Land, a.k.a. the Warner Bros. Studio Tour in London.
Happy reminiscing, girls! Let’s go back!!!
. . . time to blog on WordPress, that is!
This was Abbey’s very first entry here so I figured it should be part of our ‘Looking back/The Best Of’ the Fates as we continue to celebrate our 3rd year here on WP.
‘Til next look-back!
And so to continue with our “Best of” of the Fatespensieve as we three witches celebrate our three years as bloggers in this section of the ether, here’s one of my very early entries here on wordpress. I’d like to think of this particular entry as my way, three years ago, to process my thoughts about writing itself. Not sure if things have changed three years later (perhaps not), but my writing style still remains the same, I think. It’s a quick and easy read; something palatable enough to start my whole mental time travel as I recall all the things I’ve penned for the past few years.
Hello, folks! The Fates are celebrating their three years (hey, why am I speaking in the third person???) as collective bloggers for the Pensieve, and in a few days will be celebrating their GUKA (Great UK Adventure for the non-initiated), the very event that served as impetus for this blog. So I figured, what better way to commemorate it than by showcasing “THE BEST OF” the Fatespensieve? Fabulous idea, yes? Ha ha ha.
With that, we will be looking back at some of our most memorable entries; some funny, some thought-provoking, some just downright silly perhaps. But these are the entries that, we think, illustrate what we witches are capable of thinking, feeling, and yes, doing. So on to our first trip down the proverbial memory lane. Our first recall is from Giselle with an entry she wrote on 17 Oct 2012. Father Figure.
Well, hello there!
Forgive me for channeling my inner Ben Kenobi, but yeah, hello there! It’s been quite a while. A long while. I’ve been swamped with loads of Muggle stuff hence my absence from this pensieve. But all is well now. I’ve finally extricated myself from the sticky, very Muggley world of editing (the job was alright, sure, but handling prima donna writers is another thing, bleargh) and I have a bit of free time on my hands. So here I am!
School will be over in a few weeks, so that’s that. I’d be glad to see the backs of some of my students (the forgettable ones, definitely), but as always, I will definitely miss my Harry Potter class. It’s the only class I look forward to teaching, truth be told. But all good things must come to an end.
Anyway, what else? Oh, I celebrated my birthday a couple of months ago. Not much hoopla, but for me it was meaningful as I celebrated it on my own somewhere down south; where the water is calm and the sunset is glorious. Where the sand is white and powdery, and the sky is the calmest of blue. Looking forward to another getaway by the end of this year, this time with my two Powerpuff sisters, Bubbles and Buttercup. Let’s plan it na, girls!
Well, that’s about it, for now. Will post again once something earth-shattering happens (or once I find another free time along the way).
This is a spur-of-the-moment post inspired by a few things I’ve come across over the Internet in the past 24 hours.
Last night, I posted an article about geologist Maria Tharp, the woman who changed the geological community’s view and understanding of the ocean floors. Never heard of her? Neither have I and I’m a geologist! Just goes to show you that too many talented women don’t seem to get the recognition they deserve despite their groundbreaking contributions to their respect fields.
[Read her story here: How one woman’s discovery shook the foundations of geology.]
One paragraph in this article resonated with me: “At the University of Ohio, she discovered geology and found a mentor who encouraged her to take drafting. Because Tharp was a woman, he told her, fieldwork was out of the question, but drafting experience could help her get a job in an office like the one at Columbia.”
When I was taking up my undergraduate degree in geology, the ratio of male to female students was almost 1:1, and yet, I remember one teaching assistant tell me that I should (or would) never work in a mine because, as he said, “they’re all men and they probably won’t like having women around.” I’ve never been one to listen to such senseless comments anyway so I shrugged it off. Well, if he could only see me now. Not only have I worked in a mine site – several, in fact – I’ve worked in remote areas where sometimes, even if I am the only female, none of the men I’ve ever worked with treated me differently.
Earlier this month, Frankie tagged me in a post over on Facebook. It’s to do with our all-time favourite love story, The X-Files. Yes, you read that right. Let’s forget about the aliens and the conspiracies and all the other weird things that happened in that show. Let’s just focus on Mulder and Scully. They are the epitome of what a real partnership is. Theirs is a love built on the foundation of friendship, mutual respect, and admiration of the others’ intelligence. They are presented in the show as equals. Equals! Need I say more?
One of my favourite scenes from the show is where Scully says that the best relationships are the ones rooted in friendship. Hear, hear!
From The Rain King (S6, Ep8)
[How The X-Files ruined all other TV romances. Heck, it’s even ruined real life romance for me.]
I’m not what you’d call a movie-goer*. I watch movies sometimes and I know which ones I like and which ones I hate. If you were to guess which movies appealed to me the most, you might assume it’s the ones with the strong female characters, right? Sure. Except, are there really enough movies like that? I don’t know but I’d really like to know and so I’m going to help fund a Kickstarter project. Again, thanks to Frankie, I’m contributing to MaryAnn Johanson’s “Where are the women? (A feminist protest in film criticism).
[See also: Bechdel Test]
Now I have never been one to call myself a feminist but that doesn’t mean I don’t identify as one. I am and have always been. I get that from my mother even if she herself would never call herself a feminist. I suppose I was brought up in an household where we didn’t need labels. We simply were feminists in everything we did.
Why do I want to fund this project? Because I want to know if females are represented fairly and adequately in movies. If it is said that art is a reflection of society, then what does that say about our society?
I feel like the fight for equality will always be an uphill battle but maybe, just maybe, projects like these will help make the world see that women do a lot of great things. (And that this reality needs to be reflected in movies too.)
We’re right here and we matter!
[See also: Bechdel Test]
*I know, I know. Even my friend and former flatmate, Gerald, laughed at my somewhat antiquated term. And he’s one who loves his movies.
What up, y’all?! Seems so quiet around these parts, eh? Sorry about that. You know, things to do, lives to live, blah, blah. I just got back from a long hitch at work. By hitch I mean, fieldwork somewhere in outback Queensland where I don’t always have mobile reception or reliable Internet. Anyhoo, I’m back and it’s so good.
I watched a few concerts this year – go me! The most recent ones included Pentatonix, Sara Bareilles (love, love, love!), and Justin Timberlake. I was going to see Ingrid Michaelson (again) but sadly, she had to cancel her tour. Her mom passed away recently. On Thursday, I’m seeing Tori Amos (again). Woohoo! I saw here a few years back at the Opera House with Erin, Pia, and Oliver. This time I’m going with Cha and Liv. So excited! Then there was this one time I chaperoned two of Jogin and Ferdie’s kids to watch X-Factor Live. It was a week day and I was in town. It was good karma because that night, Ed Sheeran pre-recorded two songs for the show (to be aired a week later).
Still on the music front, I’ve had to take a leave of absence from the choir until the end of the year. I just can’t do it what with being away for extended periods of time and without reliable outside communication. It wouldn’t be fair to the group plus I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and exasperated. Next year will be a fresh start and hopefully, there will still be a place for me in the group.
I feel like I’ve been thrown off a fast moving vehicle and dumped by the side of the road. I look up and it’s nearly Christmas. Seriously, 2014, WTF?! There are gifts to buy and Christmas cards to mail and I’m slightly panicking.
As I end this blog, it’s approximately:
It’s like someone made a list of my life, my existence. Okay, except for #4. That’s just creepy.
1. A weekend in which you have no plans, no responsibilities, and nowhere at all to be, ranks as one of the best weekends you’ll ever have.
2. Sometimes friends will try to make plans with you and you have no reason to decline except for the fact that you just want to be alone that day. (Your plan is to have no plans, people need to understand that by now, right?)
3. A good album, book, or television show can keep your attention far longer than any party, club, or bar could.
4. Going away to a remote cabin in the middle of the woods to just exist for a period of time sounds like the best idea for a vacation that you can think of.
5. There is nothing more exciting than planning a long, solo road trip, because you know you’re going to be able…
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Or what I’ve learned about life from watching the X Files.
1. That it’s alright to believe in the unexplainable.
Come on. With David Duchovny giving so much life to his persona Agent Mulder, what’s not to believe? When he said aliens abducted his sister Samantha, I believed him. When he said little green (and as he so adroitly explained why it should be ‘gray’) men are out to do experiments on humans, I nodded my head. When he said the government is in cahoots with these extra terrestrials, I said, “YES!”
2. That it’s alright to be a skeptic.
I love Gillian Anderson/Agent Scully. She’s up there alongside Wonder Woman, and Ripley, and Buffy, and Sydney Bristow, and Nancy Drew as my idols. I didn’t want to be like her. I wanted to be HER. Her intelligence, her passion, her courage, and her unrelenting drive to find out the truth spoke volumes to me. She’s THE WOMAN.
3. That you cannot take things seriously all the time.
Hello, Small Potatoes. Hello, Rain King. Hello, Dreamland.
4. That knowing the future can be as helpful as stepping on a freshly baked pie.
Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose is one of my favorite episodes in the entire series. That is saying a lot since I have so many favorites. It’s right up there in my pantheon of ultimate favorites. Along with Ice. And Small Potatoes.
5. That you can never have too much dog food.
Good boy, Queequeg!
6. That spending Christmas inside a haunted house with your partner can be loads of fun.
How the Ghosts Stole Christmas beats any Christmas TV movie hands down.
7. That it pays to have nerdy friends.
The Lone Gunmen (how oxymoronic, I know) should be in my speed dial, I swear.
8. That cerulean blue is the best shade of blue in town.
Oh Pusher. A Jedi, were you?
9. That you don’t merely say “lots of files” to refer to, well, lots of files. You say, “lots and *lots* of files”.
Paper Clip, I thank you for the stress on “lots”.
10. That getting stuck in the Bermuda Triangle can be fun . . . that is, if you find yourself traveling back in time. Back in WWII. Then again, maybe it’s not fun at all.
There’s that kiss in the shadows followed by a right hand punch by Scully. You go, girl!
11. That you always, *always* follow the regulations in your neighborhood.
Or else. Arcadia happens.
12. That crazy, aggressive worms is never a good sign.
One word: ICE.
13. That writers, especially the introverted ones, can be dangerous.
Beware Philip Padgett and the might of his pen. . .er, typewriter. (but he’s mysteriously cute, no? Maybe it’s just me).
14. That the pizza guy is out to get you.
Or bite you, as in the case of Bad Blood.
15. “That the best relationships – the ones that last – are frequently the ones that are rooted in friendship. You know, one day you look at the person and you see something more than you did the night before. Like a switch has been flicked somewhere. And the person who was just a friend is… suddenly the only person you can ever imagine yourself with.”
Who doesn’t love a little bit of rain? Or hail? Or cyclone? Thank you, Rain King.
Well, that’s what my mind can come up with given the little time that I have (I still have pending work to do, goshdarnit). What’s with the sudden throwback to the best TV show ever, you ask? Well, talking about television in class and showing my students a brief scene from the X-Files have brought back pleasant memories. So here I am, recalling the days of old, the age of innocence. Back when actors didn’t have to undress on primetime TV to get noticed. Back when it’s perfectly alright to not have a clear ending (what ending??!). Back when intelligence was a pre-requisite to truly enjoying a fabulous TV show.
I miss the X Files.
This may very well be the last time you read me writing about my father.
Each year in June, the world (except for Australia)* celebrates Father’s Day. It’s an ambiguous celebration for me because, as you know, I didn’t grow up with a dad.
Earlier this year, I found out through my mom, who found out through common friends that my father passed away. It could be that he’s been dead for a few years now but we’ve yet to confirm that. I was talking to my mom casually over the phone when she said, something along the lines of, “Guess what?! I found out that your father passed away…” I didn’t really hear the rest of what she said because all of a sudden everything just went blank. Look, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t sad. But I’m not sad for the reasons most of you might be thinking. I wasn’t sad because I’d never get to meet the person who gave me half of my chromosomes. I wasn’t sad that I never got to tell him, “Umm, thanks for the genes.” I wasn’t sad because I needed to connect with him. I was sad because the decision not to meet him had been taken away from me. I guess, up until that point, I imagined that one day I’d change my mind and ask my mom to set up a meeting. I feel sad that that decision has been made for me before I could definitively say: Yeah, I’m good. Don’t need to meet him.
Having said that, in the off-chance that maybe the rumor was false and he was still alive, I still wouldn’t suddenly scramble at the chance to come face-to-face with him. Although, observing his mannerisms would have been cool too. From a purely scientific perspective, it would be fascinating to see if I inherited any traits from him purely through genetics, having no interaction with him at all. I guess now, I’d have to be content with a photo or two. I’d be curious to see if we had any resemblance at all.
There, I said it. Happy father’s day, dad, wherever you are.
*Australia celebrates Father’s Day in September.