Sea and Land by J. W. Buel, 1889. Do you even know how much this is my thing? Or how much I want this book, and to embroider plates from it? A LOT. My favorite was probably the Japanese spider crab, which turns out has recently been fascinating my brother as well. Oh, and it’s very real.
Hey, I missed James Brown’s birthday! Here, have some dancing lessons. Just be careful on what life lessons you take from the man.
Girls Gone Wild: Female Sex Addiction and the Internet at The Fix.
Readers looking for titillation will instead find a thoughtful piece written by a sex addict (yes, that’s a real thing). I’m not a huge fan of The Fix being as its for-profit motives mean well, what you might think. But this was a good article.
“The greater your shame, the more you do the thing that gives you shame. You feel bad about yourself, you’re lonely, you feel low self-worth, you don’t have enough endorphins to make yourself feel good, so you go back to the addiction because it pleases you and punishes you at the same time.”
“Talking About Independent Learning” at Natural Life Magazine: a schooled and non-schooled young adult discuss the differences in their learning environments. What a beautiful interview. “Maybe self confidence is something that doesn’t need to be built as much as it needs to be protected.” I’d say the same for critical/”free” thinking, compassion, and work ethic… you know, those things people are often saying need to be drilled into kids.
Social wellbeing: Badinter Protests Too Much by Wendy Priesnitz. Yet another convo about how our own children are keeping us down – this has been around for some time now – but nicely refuted by Wendy. Pro-tip, if your so-called progressive feminism mostly picks on women and their choices you might want to check your feminism.
Sewing: Figgy’s Patterns posted their new line, sized up to about 8/9. Shipping is May 10th. I got a testing sample of Banyan and as soon as I’m finished with my current project for Phoenix – and while I wait for the fabric to arrive for Dharma’s jacket – I’m so whipping up some of those pants for my little guy!
Film: 5 Old-Timey Prejudices That Still Exist In Every Movie from Cracked.com. Cracked is pretty clever much of the time, and this article showcases its smarts. Considering a likely target audience I’m impressed the author didn’t do the obligatory fawning to a certain television and film writer/producer/director too commonly worshipped for what I consider (like the author does) repeat iterations of pseudofeminist waif-fu tendencies. One note on the article – I’m designating an honorary BOO for calling thin women “unnatural” – even if it’s a good guess many Hollywood actresses likely participate in orthorexic behaviors and/or eating disorders and/or dieting and/or heavy-duty workout regimes – and for not being more cautious in purporting an apparent concept of a so-called objective view of how pretty Michelle Rodriguez is (as opposed to a socially- and culturally-prescribed “pretty”/”beautiful”).
Food, food, glorious food! Here is a recipe for a Moist Chocolate-Beet Cake, from David Lebovitz’s blog, adapted from Tender by Nigel Slater.
Family life: Unschooling: An Introduction by Laura at Authentic Parenting. Most my readers have been around long enough to hear, learn from, and/or tolerate my thoughts on and practices regarding life learning, but this is a pretty good 101 article, and I’m glad she posted it.
In a recent blog post Wendy Priesnitz asks, and answers: why does the contemplation of unschooling, or life learning, result in a backlash from many adults, many who are self-named “progressives” (well, that’s what I paraphrase she’s writing about). She writes, ” […] I understand that rejecting long-held beliefs and admitting you’ve been lied to and taken advantage of can take time. And it can be painful. But if you are moving in that direction, please believe that the way to ensure a happy future for your kids is to ensure they have a happy present.”
And here’s one for the ladies. Oh, and the dudes. Y’all should read it. I know nothing about this project – “No One’s The Bitch”, but I’m really liking the concept! Stepmoms/divorced moms etc. are often culturally encouraged to pit themselves against one another. “The master’s tools”, and all that.
A tutorial: for a fishtail skirt (in this case, demonstrated on a small human). My daughter isn’t likely to wear dresses unless they have a lot of character (see: previous) – this might fit the bill.
Unschoolers / life learners! You can participate in Dr. Peter Gray’s survey study of unschooling families (which has been vetted by people I trust, so feel free as far as I’m concerned). You can download the survey from http://www.patfarenga.com/.
Laurie Couture uses strong language about school and teachers but she also has the experience and passion to back that up. If you have a long comment/rebuttal please comment at the source: her recent piece: “What Parents Really Want to Tell Teachers” – in response to a yucky article on CNN I won’t link to here (but you can find easily enough).
“There are books galore on how to “deal” with your children, how to control them, make them fit into a routine. There is even one, which has sold over half a million copies, that tells you how to physically punish your child. But understand them? Comfort them? Dirty words.”
Last Wednesday: the anniversary of John Holt’s death. Some great writings and teachings, there:
“…[John Holt believed that] unschooling and homeschooling are self-selecting and self-correcting activities that do not need central authorities to dictate content and standards… [John Holt’s] goal was not to create an insular education movement for children but rather ‘A life worth living and work worth doingâ€”that is what I want for children (and all people), not just, or not even, something called â€˜a better education.’â€ ~ Pat Farenga, Holt Associates
Ladies (and, I guess, gentleman), prepare to get all hot and bothered for VLADIMIR PUTIN, ACTION MAN. Question, does Mr. Putin have a sexy bod, the answer is Yes, he’s sixty and looking great. But I am laughing my ass off at the photos like, he’s kind of just posed doing ALL THIS AWESOME SHIT with only slightly different expressions, adjusted slightly as if by claymation (I wish there was one of him DELIVERING THE HELL OUT OF A BABY!!1!). h/t to Marianne who made the comparison to Kim Jong-Il Looking At Things.
From my little world: the book by Figgy’s is out, and I am so pleased! I spent a lot of time pattern-testing, giving feedback, searching for typos, and of course my little kiddos and husband were involved as well (Nels is featured in the pages of this lovely book and he is SO CUTE)! But my family’s involvement and efforts as compared to that of the authors is nothing. Karen and Shelly worked their asses off on this project. I can honestly say if you or someone you know wants some great patterns for kiddos infant to size 6/7, this book (which includes all patterns) is a wonderful investment.
I want to own a dress. OK, I own one dress (a light black cotton affair wonderful for the summer, and gifted me by the lovely Karen). This is the second dress I want to own. I recognized the dress and the movie right away – from a viewing many, many years ago. I have almost half the price tag saved up! We’ll see if that doesn’t get derailed by stuff like groceries or tacos.
Birth Matters – And So Do Mothers and Kids by Wendy Priesnitz. Both mainstream culture and mainstream feminism exclude many groups – Ms. Priesnitz speaks eloquently to a more mature feminism. I’m ready for it, just wish more feminists were too!
To Those Who Call Me An Unparent at Demand Euphoria. This was cathartic to read! I have no idea if I parent like Vickie or not, as I’ve not read more than three posts on her blog – although you could certainly label us “radical unschoolers”. I do hear, from the rest of the world, ALL SORTS OF PREDICTIONS at how awful kids will be if they’re raised with X, Y, or Z (or without A, B, and C) – and I raise my kids these supposedly-terrible ways, and my kids are turning out awesome. I think what’s most important is people are prepared to engage their minds and hearts and listen long enough to understand where the other party is coming from. This includes parenting “debates”.
So, most y’all know I’m bisexual but I tend to be kinda closet-y about it in the real world. This article speaks to many reasons why (although, unlike the author, I would claim I have a lot of straight privilege even though I’m not straight).
Fish Tank (2009). Whaddya know, a film with a 15 year old female protagonist that does it soooooo right. Jarvis & Fassbender were incredible. Some truly harrowing moments but stick with it regardless (available on Netflix Instant).
Handsome Harry (2009). I liked this less than other films exploring similar themes, but Jamey Sheridan was fantastic and so were many moments in the film (also on Netflix Instant, if you haven’t figured out this is our only “television”).
Feminazi Propaganda: “Women’s Work” via Political Remix Video. Trigger warning for intense violence (often eroticized) rendered graphically against women. REGULARLY SEEN ON TELEVISION I might add (although this concerns the show “Supernatural”) – and here’s a longer analysis should you want one. Yeah. So, this kind of stuff is why I’ve had to stop watching shows I otherwise would have enjoyed or at least found consumable (“Law & Order”, thanks for keeping me from my daily D’Onofrio! You fucks.).
In wonderful news: Michelle Alison offers a great course. I want to take this pretty badly. I don’t have the scratch, because of recent purchases. I do promote Alison because she and her mentor Satter seem to know their shit, in a land of lots of weight and diet “experts” who sure don’t.
Reviewing highlights of an actresses celebrated career – and you know, this is uncannily like my experiences with alcohol and drug, back in school:
That actress playing the “young high school counselor” – where do I know her from? It’s something kind of tampon-ad ish.
“Children who have not been forced into acting or looking like something they’re not, who have had the freedom to explore their bodies and their minds, within the safety and unconditionality of their homes are not insecure. They may make different choices than the average kid, they may look differently, but they do it because they are true to themselves, not to fit in or fit out, so they are generally able to take the consequences. Yes, they may get negative reactions. But if they are not even safe to express themselves and find themselves at home, where do you suggest they will? In therapy when they are in their thirties?”
Consumerism: I need to buy this… and tix to see this. Ralph wants me to buy him this (but seriously? I bought him some big fancy pedal this time last year. I think I’ll take a year off). Apparently Ralph is going to give me our tax return as my own “fun money”, I’ll try not to spend it all on makeup and my usual diversions.
Make: hand stitched card at New House Project. I’ve enjoyed using a sewing machine to punch holes or stitch paper for quite some time. It dulls the needle, sure – but what fun!
OK: it’s time to separate us all into two discrete columns. Those who find this picture, as I do, completely disgusting. And those who through some sickness that is probably not their fault, find it mouth-watering. GO!
CRAFT linked to a Baby Shower Donut Tower. I have to be honest. This gives me THE SHIVERS (plus that’s not how I spell “doughnut”, but the same woman’s posted manicure truly works for me). I am passing this on for those who might find it inspiring. I am a good cook but not much for presentation.
I’m suddenly into my cars, as progress has been made recently, and I’ve been watching stuff like this, and this. Is it just me or are the dudes doing these tutorials adorable? Gee, and I thought the field of car fuckery was heavily populated by mansplaining blowhards (of all genders). Guess those who care enough to tutorial, aren’t so bad after all?
My Name is Mud at Medrie’s blog Our Rags of Light. Always lovely reading.