(sometimes withershins, widershins or widderschynnes) means to take a course opposite that of the sun, going counterclock-wise, lefthandwise, or to circle an object, by always keeping it on the left. It also means "in a direction opposite to the usual," which is how I choose to take it in using it as the title of this blog. We're all in the same world finding our own way.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Day 19: I think we need a break from each other... a spring break.

Yes, my laptop is named Jane. No, I'm not going to explain why; I think it's important for you to figure out the reference yourself. I'm still waiting for Jane to talk back to me...

So if you didn't watch the video (yay it uploaded!) or are on Facebook and haven't yet decided to follow Widdershin Writings (yes, that was shameless self-promotion) at its blogger home, I finished my last final this morning. Like my philosophy final yesterday, it went by so fast I'm almost worried I bombed it. In fact, I know there were 3 problems I got wrong because I turned the page to them, said to myself "What the fark?!" and moved on to the next problem.

I finished with that, finished preparing my taxes, cleaned and packed and have spent the rest of the afternoon feeling poetic, the results of which will most likely appear below.

If you didn't know this already, I name my electronics. Marshall is the name of one.


Through a tiny lens peering
Looking you in the eye with uncanny intensity.
Take me, they say.
Take me far away from where I am so I can be with you.
The irrelevancies compound, melting under the heat of this gaze.
Say those words, so sense memory can take over.
A shudder slip-sliding down the spine
Don’t navigate away, even as you stay in plain sight
The distance grows without any movement

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Day 18: Charlie's Favorite Number

I know they probably aren't reading this, but a big birthday shout-out to my Brother and my friend Becca today. One is turning 20 and the other is turning 17! If you know Sherbert or my bubbles buddy, holla back to them.

There was supposed to be a video here, but it yet again, my camera resolution was too high and the video was too big a file to upload in a timely manner (I sat here for at least 2 hours). I'll try again tomorrow.

I'm feeling very ambivalent about my Philosophy final right now. I finished it in half an hour... which for a final just seems wrong. But at the same time, I wasn't the only one who thought it was easy, so I shouldn't be too worried right?


... :)?
Did I just say "Grawr?" This isn't a bad thing, but I think Ahren is beginning to affect me. I would say rub off, but the connotations of it just make the potential for innuendo too great. Either way, I'm picking up on some of his mannerisms and phrases, just like how I picked up my constant use of Saweet from Dani.

It's interesting how we do that; pick up on the characteristics of the people around us and adopt them as our own, often without it being a conscious decision.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Day 17: Saint Patrick's Day

This was actually supposed to be posted this morning, but Blogger is having trouble uploading the video. I checked the video... and I had the camera resolution set so high that it was a 3 gig video file... for about 2 minutes... Yeah... oops.

So I realized today that because I failed to post this weekend, my blog count is now exactly on time with the month of March, because I am on Day 17, and it's March 17th. Go figure.

I'm really in a strange mood right now... I kind of don't want to study or really do anything for my pending finals, it just feels so close to the end, which I'm sure many people can agree with. So many things have been happening recently it seems, and classes just seem kind of inconsequential in comparison. But, I'll hunker down eventually. Though I may not care about getting a perfect A in all my classes, it would be a complete waste of time and money for me to fail.

This picture is of a squirrel I saw one day while walking between classes. He (she?) was digging around inside the garbage can and I just found it so amusing that I had to take a picture. I was so scared that if I got too close the squirrel would notice me and run away before I could get the shot, but it worked out in the end, so I have no reason to complain I guess.

But really, I should be writing that essay for my Anthro class, wouldn't want to let my group down by not getting my part finished. But at the same time, I have until 1, and that just feels like so far away.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Day16: I took the weekend off

It's been a long weekend... full of surprises, firsts, happiness and mostly a sense of love. I didn't do diddly as far as studying for my finals goes, but I think I got something else that I needed far more.

Anyways, I wrote this poem...
And I think it's worth sharing. So here it is:

Touch of a double-edged point

An angel in disguise sits before me:
Tousle-tossed hair askew.
He carries worlds on his shoulders;
a shining sun in a population of shadows.
He wears my shirt (it looks good on him),
and his voice carries across time-zones:
a message of hope to a troubled soul.
His eyes search me as I write this
finding nothing but painted eyes,
a disguise, as I hide behind this notepad.
Our meeting was kismet –
fleeting firsts followed by many more –
for who better to help the tired tower
than the optimist empowered with support to spare?
Hands strong as his heart grip me
as time.
Once again we are alone together.
The silence punctuated by smiles (and the occasional rawr)
an eternity hidden in the 5x5 confines of a quiet room.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Day 15: Thursday

I'm just waiting for tomorrow.
Not because it's Friday, and so the start of the weekend, but because it's Friday and all sorts of wonderful things will be happening.
Really, I can't wait.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Day 14: I got in

I'm really excited right now! I got into all the classes I wanted for next quarter. Sorry the video is sideways, I held the camera sideways and don't have the editing capabilities to fix it.

For anybody interested the classes I am currently enrolled in for Spring Quarter are:
English 238 Societ/Lit Nanotexts
Physics 122 Physics with Calculus II (and the accompanying lab)
Linguistics 204 Sociolinguistics
Theater 201 Intro to Cinema

:D :) :D :)
<3 <3 <3 <3 <3s for everybody!

Day 13: Oops, I forgot

Yesterday was a good day.

Among many other happy tidings, I got my missing clothes back. Still no sign of the laundry basket that accompanied them, but I can now do Superman Saturdays again.

I also got all sorts of happy-making stuff in the mail.

There was the webcam I ordered online, the check my parents warned me would be arriving sometime this week and the WWU care package goodie bag filled with snackage.

The goodie bag also came with a note from my family. It said "Don't worry about your grades, enjoy college. Love M<3M, Kenny and Steve. O and the Dogs too." It made me wonder to myself, what about the cat? Doesn't she love/miss me too. And then I realized she probably associated me with the dogs and so considered me one of those crazy animals that so enjoyed chasing her... I kind of don't blame her for not missing me in that case.

The last thing I wanted to say was that I'm registering for classes today, wish me luck in getting into the classes I'm hoping to get into. I'll post what I end up getting later today.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Day 12: Tested by Technology

So the internet is bugging me today.

Or rather it's been bugging me for the last hour or so.

I took probably about 50 pictures during my Salsa group earlier, and whilst trying to upload them to Facebook, discovered that the Java plug-in I'm using for Firefox seems to be made of epicFAIL.

Thus, instead of using the Full Uploader and getting all the pictures at once, I have to resort to the Simple Uploader and post 5 pictures at a time. On the whole, I don't really mind. I have both the time and the patience (not to mention the stubborn perseverance) to upload them this way, it's just frustrating when I've never really had this problem before.

Maybe it's a sign that Jane (my Laptop) is getting old, or that I need to clear off some of the video and picture files to my portable hardrive (a good idea all around anyways). Either way, I feel as if technology is testing me, seeing how much I'm willing to put up with before I break and throw a tantrum.

Well let me just say this now, I'm far stronger than T gives me credit for and always feel more silly than productive throwing a hissy. Instead, I choose to blog about it in a slightly verbose and irritated manner.

Maybe I'll just take a day when I'm not busy and mess around until I get it to work.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Day 11: Rawrhren

Rawr, it means I love you in Dinosaur.
The silly boy above isn't a dinosaur per se, so he's more likely to offer you a free hug, but I think the sentiment behind it is essentially the same.

And I agree.

As humans, we are all social animals, (some admittedly more so than others) and in that respect, interpersonal contact is almost necessary to living. The great majority of people get depressed when deprived of the company of others. It's this kind of belief in human interdependency that has spawned the likes of the free hugs campaign, which has become a world phenomenon.

We can't live alone, or to put it using the more popular turn of phrase, no man is an island. We just aren't hardwired to work that way.

So I urge anybody who happens to stumble across this (or you regular readers) to go out and spread the love. Even if it's just within your household, it will make a difference.

For the past several years, I've been attending a camp through an organization called the Power of Hope, and one of the keystone ideas behind this organization is the belief in fostering a sense of leadership through the arts and the community. Go out and make your community.

Day 10: Working on something special

Rain check?

I've always been taught the value of a good deal. Coupons, are like free money. When grocery shopping, you can save up to 50 percent on your bill. I've seen it happen.

A recent consumer study found that 53 percent of households clip coupons from the Sunday newspaper, as opposed to 35 percent from advertisements that arrive in the mail, the next most popular source as reported in the New York Times.

I don't really know where I'm going with this other than to say that a coupon can be far more valuable than it first may appear.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Day 9: Technically speaking

Technically speaking, it's after midnight, so it's Saturday, but since I've yet to go to sleep, I'll count this as the same day. That may be stretching it just so I don't feel bad about breaking my resolution to post something every day, but I'll post something in the afternoon, morning.

I'm really rather surprised I'm not dead tired right now. I was up until 2 last night helping a friend with Calculus homework and felt like a zombie all this morning. I've been running on proverbial empty all day though (at one point quite literally running) and it's seemed to have done nothing but energize me.

This is not healthy in the least.

So I propose my friend get some Clinx toothpaste from Korea so she can banish calculus to wherever it is toothpaste and plaque goes after you spit it down the sink. That said, I want to thank everyone who kept me awake by either being interesting, or keeping me moving, you know who you are. Goodnight and I'll post again "tomorrow."

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Day 8: Some Songs

There are two songs that I feel define me in that they are always with me.

The first should be no surprise to anyone who's ever walked with me anywhere. I sing it randomly, half the time without really realizing I'm singing it.

It takes a crane to build a crane
It takes two floors to make a story...

Recognize it? It's Life is Wonderful by Jason Mraz. It's just this quiet song full of the extremes in life and how you can't have polar opposites without having both. A smile just wouldn't be a smile if every once in a while there wasn't a frown. Life is circular, and that's what makes it wonderful.

The other song comes to me when I'm in a certain pensive state of mind, again, often while walking.

It's a love song, a tale of awakenings with quiet strings pulling you along. I think part of the appeal is because I'm a morning person and the opening lines are Sunrise/Sunrise/Looks like morning in your eyes/But the clock's held 9:15 for hours. I call it my morning/sun song and it makes me smile.

I also love Norah Jones's voice and how the music is used to complement it rather than the other way around. It's the same with any acoustic song really. That simplicity draws me in.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Day 7: A writing mood

I'm inspired by words today.

Something inside of me wants to be said, so I have a document open and I'm letting the language flow free form to see what comes out. It's been a daylong process with many interruptions (like going to class), and I don't know if I want to post it, since some of the thoughts contained therein are on the private side, I'll definitely say though that I'm satisfied with the way this is turning out.

Poetry and the language of poetry are somethings I enjoy greatly. It's the same way an computer engineer can have fun tinkering with programming or a mechanic can spend hours working on an engine, I do that with words.

Synonyms are not always synonymous and often have vastly different connotations in actual meaning. Sick, ill, weak, unwell, they all throw different lights on the idea of not being healthy. I like playing with these in poetry, changing the meaning to manipulate my reader. It's a subtle mind game, the connection between author and reader and one that's not always conscious. I'm trying to make it conscious on my end.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Day 6: Quiet Tuesday

The above video was taken at my salsa group. Two of our better leads as a joke decided to dance with each other. I have a lot of respect for them that they were able to do this and do it well. There are days when I wouldn't mind following. It appeals to that submissive side of my personality, but at the same time, I recognize that no matter how confident I am in myself, I still need to work on using that confidence for myself. I'm constantly being told I have amazing presence on stage and in person, but I don't think of myself as forward. If I want something I will only ask if there's no alternative.

I feel Salsa has helped me with this because to be a good lead, you have to be a certain kind of aggressive: You are directing your follow where to go, and if anything goes wrong, it's automatically assumed to be your fault. I'm not very aggressive even when I know I should be. It's something about my personality that while not inherently a bad thing can be a burden if I let it get out of hand. For the most part, I live to serve, but there are times when you have to look after your own best interests and learning a little gentle aggression helps with that.

Maybe it's because I'm tired from staying up until 3 again, maybe it's because I woke up cold on a grizzly gray day. But today just feels quiet to me. Or rather, here, let me say it another way:

Monday, March 2, 2009

Day 5: Dialects in movies

Have you ever noticed that in movies the language and accents the characters speak in reflects something about the character's personality and background?

We're learning about this in my English class and it kind of scares me, especially when this happens in children's movies and television shows. What are we teaching our children when we show them that the bad guy speaks differently than the good guys?

Remember Yosemite Sam? That angry, red-headed hick Southna' who was always holding up trains. How stereotypical of the animators to portray him that way. Why couldn't he be an angry, blonde New Yorker? Oh wait, the position of fast talking city slicker was already taken by Bugs bunny.
This is by no means the only example of this kind of dialectical characterization, though that might be a little more obvious.

We discussed the Disney film Aladdin as well. Notice how the heroes, Aladdin and Jasmine speak a more standard form of English while the villains have a more pronounced pseudo-Arabian accent, despite the fact that all the characters (with the possible exception of the flamboyant blue guy in the bottle) are from more or less the same regional area. So is this saying that people who speak in the accent are bad, while the good guys speak more like we do in more standard forms?

Not to say that all uses of dialect take on negative or sinister connotations. Look at the intelligent characters in movies. Count how many of them speak with a British accent of some kind. A lot, right?

But what is this saying about our culture that we allow even these subtle stereotypes to influence (however slightly) around our children? If we're so concerned about racism, why are we perpetuating these unfair portrayals of language and how certain races speak? It's just something to consider and keep in mind next time you watch movies.

Think about the audiences the shows/movies are aimed at as well. Many times in the more adult targeted entertainment, language is used as a commentary to bring to light and make fun of such blatant stereotypes within our culture.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Day 4: Something different

I was inspired again by that mischievous DJ who's recently entered the realm of what I call my life. He posted a video and told me about it, which, as I sat window gazing, made me want to try something.

Now, I'm not sure exactly what the video capabilities of my little Fuji Finepix J10 (affectionately named Earl Jr) would be as I started this, so I didn't really know what to expect as far as sound/image quality goes. But it seems to have turned out well, and I don't think I look completely like a fool, so I'm posting my first vlog ever. It's nothing fancy, but it's not supposed to be.