Wednesday, December 22, 2010


There’s a dot on my hip

Somewhere between a mole and a freckle.

There’s another one

Under the shelf of my chin.

My hands are hosts to over a dozen tiny scars.

I remember only a fraction of their origin stories.

Accidentally stabbing my palm with a pencil

Right in the middle of my lifeline.

Scraping my left knuckles along a spiky pool wall.

Cutting my index finger while carving a jack-o-lantern.

I read a Redwall book as the doctor gave me

Three stitches.

There’s a bruise on my knee that won’t go away.

I’ve had white hair since I was sixteen.

My shoulders

(the first part of my body I ever felt good about)

have soft brown freckles.

I ignore the hair on my toes and under my belly button.

The tip of my nose looks like a miniature cleft chin.

The iris of my right eye has a dark red dot.

Look closely and you'll see it.

My pinkies are double jointed.

I have my mom’s legs,

A fact that always makes me smile.

My feet look like narrow kites,

All sharp angles.

These are my outsides,

The casing of my being.

My temple, if you will.

It will drift, and sag, and pull,

Until it falls away entirely.

Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.

What will be left?

First, though, I want to live

Like my spirit is a spark,

My imagination is oxygen,

And my flesh is crisp dry kindling.

I want to burn with passion and love

Until all that remains

Is the soft, delicate glowing embers.

Winds blow hard, and rain falls thick.

I await for my blaze to simmer down to a candle,

Too far from the wood to catch.

I want to see if I have the strength enough

To be my own gentle breeze

To encourage the flame,

Consume me.

Let me never be cold again.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Feel the Thrum

Been getting more into poetry. Oh no, I'm turning into one of *those* bloggers. Ugh. Anyway, here it is. It's called "Feel the Thrum."

Feel the deep thrum of a bass guitar.
Let it shake you at the atomic level;
Too subtle to truly feel, but instinctual.
It is enough to know it is there,
Like the sudden brief flare of heat in a lover’s chest
When triggered by the thought of their beloved’s caress.
I still don’t quite know what that is.

Let rest the swift powerful machete swipes that clear away
All the little what-nots and by-the-bys
That fill the dozey spaces between wake-up calls.
Set aside the gas tank and the matchbook;
Destruction for its own sake is perhaps
Mankind’s idea of donning the robe of the Grim Reaper,
By holding the key to the life force behind an
Intact windowpane,
Or deciding the fate of an as yet unsalted slug.

Pause, instead, to fill and expand your lungs to the brim,
Past all enduring,
Until your ribcage pushes out against the walls of your house
To make way for your home.
Live knowing you are alive,
That you are at all.

Now listen up, because that was the easy part.
Look around you, past brick and mortar and lumber;
See only those others that are like you,
And like me, and him and her and them and all.
Did you look? Did you see their faces?
Of course not.
If you had, your gaze would bend to the shape of the earth.
And even if you could, that does not account for
The time that would amass between start and finish.
No one is willing to pencil that kind of compassion into a planner.
No one I know, or you know, or anyone those people know.

Let fly the blinds on your bedroom window,
Allowing the lights of the souls of men set fire to your mind,
Scarring your retinas so you can never look away again.
What? Does that not sound like a good idea to you?
No, not to me either.
Good, then. We’ll all stay hidden away
In our sturdy stoic fortresses of stone.
Safe, safe, alone.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I wrote a new script for this student playhouse class I've taken for a few quarters. The theme this time was space. It's called POP. Enjoy! Feedback is always appreciated.

LIGHTS UP on a park, indicated by a long park bench center stage (at least four blocks). Enter Robert and Charles, both with hula-hoops attached with strings around their waists and wearing suit jackets. Robert, who carries a newspaper, goes straight to the bench, sits down, and begins to read. Charles carries a fancy phone and has a Bluetooth piece in his ear.

CHARLES: Daryl, I don’t care what you have to do, get me that deal. (Pause) Well I disagree. I think you’re not doing your best, because if this is your best, it’s high time I find myself a new personal assistant. Are we clear? Now get me that eighty percent, or pack your desk. (Ends the call and sits down next to Robert. Their hula-hoops never touch.) I swear it’s as if that kid thinks he’s still in college.

ROBERT: (Not really paying attention) Isn’t he?

CHARLES: Robert, I’m not a professor. I don’t tolerate mistakes. He’s got to learn.

ROBERT: You’re a wonderful role model, Charles.

CHARLES: Kids these days.

ROBERT: (Indicates paper, which his eyes have never left) The rest of the world isn’t much better.

CHARLES: As long as I can retire on some white sandy beach with WiFi by the time I’m forty, I don’t care about the rest of the world. (His phone vibrates in his hand; he activates his earpiece.) You’d better have some good news for me. (Pause) Ah, much better, Daryl. You have redeemed yourself—(Pause) What do you mean, there may be a hitch? (Robert ruffles his newspaper pointedly, Charles begins to make his way offstage, still speaking as he exits.) Do you know how many resumes are sitting in my inbox, Daryl? Young hopefuls who would do anything for your job, and I mean anything…

(Robert sighs and continues to read his paper. After a beat, enter Daisy, sans hula-hoop. Let it be known that this is very unusual. She instead wears a white belt around her waste. She sits down on the bench next to Robert, humming some perky tune, perhaps fidgeting. Robert glances at her pointedly, as if to see what kind of person would be so happy for no reason. He then sees that she does not have a hula-hoop like he does, and he scoots down the bench uncomfortably, avoiding eye contact, perhaps hiding behind the paper. She turns and looks at the front page, sighs, and with a resigned air, begins:

DAISY: When will there be happy things on the front page? (Robert says nothing, and over the course of her speech he becomes more and more uncomfortable) Always stuff about politics or epidemics or, you know, whatever. It’s like the bad stuff is the only thing worth paying attention to. What about a nice big picture of a village in Africa someplace getting a new well? I’d read that story!

ROBERT: (Tightly) Quite.

DAISY: Aww, come on, they’d sell a million copies! Wouldn’t you read that story? All the little kids with their pretty white teeth, or the ones they’ve got left, smiling so big you’ve got to stop and think, wow isn’t that nice? Seeing little kids smiling always makes my day, before they know any better to start worrying about stuff. Those were the days, huh?

ROBERT: Miss, what is it you want from me?

DAISY: Want?

ROBERT: Yes, from me. There are plenty of benches in the park, and you had to sit here at mine.

DAISY: It’s just a bench.

ROBERT: It is. That’s… true.

DAISY: And benches were made to sit on.

ROBERT: That is their primary function, yes.

DAISY: And are useful as places to meet people at, and a lovely place at that. Would you look at all those flowers?

ROBERT: Ye—no! Not for meeting people. You meet people at meetings.

DAISY: Well what is it we’re doing here if not meeting?

ROBERT: This was not a prearranged agreement to socialize.

DAISY: Not that you know of.

ROBERT: Look here, miss, you—

DAISY: Daisy.

ROBERT: Excuse me?

DAISY: My name is Daisy. (She offers her hand.) You shake it.

ROBERT: I know what a handshake is!

DAISY: What’s you’re name?

ROBERT: It’s Robert.

DAISY: And shame on you for making me ask. What harm would it do? We’re even now; it’s only fair.

ROBERT: We are most certainly not.

DAISY: Can I call you Bobby?

ROBERT: I would rather you didn’t.

DAISY: Woops, I bet your girlfriend calls you Bobby, huh?

ROBERT: No one calls me “Bobby”. No one.

DAISY: Not even your girlfriend?

ROBERT: I don’t—

DAISY: You look more like a Bobby to me. Wait a second. (She reaches over and ruffles his hair a bit.) There, now you look
more like a Bobby for sure.

ROBERT: (Clutching at his hula-hoop, embarrassed) Don’t do that!

DAISY: That gets in the way, I bet.

ROBERT: It’s just where it’s supposed to be.

DAISY: It doesn’t really do anything, you know. (She gets right in his face) See? (He scrambles away, possibly holding her back at arms length.)

ROBERT: This is highly irregular!

(Charles enters from where he exited from earlier, looking triumphant.)

CHARLES: He might be a pain, but he certainly doesn’t crumple under pressure. (He notices Daisy for the first time. Robert lets her go abruptly. Charles looks at both of them with objective curiosity.) Oh, hello, miss.

DAISY: What is with you guys and your misses? I’m not a debutante, for goodness’ sake.

ROBERT: (Clears his throat uncomfortably. Polite out of habit, not necessarily by choice.) Charles, this is Daisy. Daisy, this is Charles.

CHARLES: I say, Robert. When were you going to tell me about this?

ROBERT: About what? There’s nothing to tell. I just met her.

DAISY: And we’re getting along swimmingly.

CHARLES: So, Daisy, what do you do?

DAISY: I’m a kindergarten teacher. Don’t you just love kids?

CHARLES: I wish I could remember being that young.


DAISY: It's a shame more people don't.

CHARLES: Young lady, I can’t help but notice, you don’t have…

DAISY: Before you start, yes I do. It’s right here. (She indicates her belt)

ROBERT: I would hardly call that personal space.

DAISY: I wouldn’t wear it if I didn’t have to. They don’t in lots of places.

CHARLES: No personal space?

ROBERT: Don’t—but—how? How is that possible?

DAISY: I can show you if you want.

ROBERT: Who, me?

DAISY: Sure.

CHARLES: Oh, that might not be such a good idea. Robert hasn’t cut loose since college, there’s no telling what could happen.

ROBERT: (Highly embarrassed) Charles! Not in mixed company!

CHARLES: Come now, she’s really not the type who would care.

DAISY: I’m not, honestly. What happened in college, Robert?

ROBERT: No, really, I couldn’t.

CHARLES: Go on; inform this young lady of that time you—

ROBERT: No! Stop right there, Charles!

DAISY: You’re killin’ me, here! Just tell me!

ROBERT: (Imploringly to Charles) Is this really the time to bring this all up again?

CHARLES: No time like the present.

DAISY: Right. What he said.

ROBERT: (Flustered, stalling) Well it’s—you see I was quite young, and, being immersed in my studies, had little experience when it came to… personal relations… Well you know how it was back then. Students were experimenting with larger allowances, and I became… somewhat fascinated, almost enamored with the cultural significance of our particular generation, and--

CHARLES: Out with it already!

DAISY: Robert!

ROBERT: (In a rush) I—I opened my space!

(Stunned silence)

DAISY: I knew it! I just knew it!

CHARLES: I wish I had been there to see it.

ROBERT: (To Charles) I should never have told you. (To Daisy) He hasn’t let me live it down since.

DAISY: (In awe) How could you ever close it again, having lived that?

ROBERT: Well, when my father found out—

DAISY: Why should that make a difference?

CHARLES: Oh, you don’t know his father.

ROBERT: I had a very strict upbringing.

DAISY: Well so did I. It was the thing for parents to do back then.

ROBERT: More so than others.

DAISY: I couldn’t have been—

CHARLES: I wouldn’t dispute this one, my dear. His father was particularly formidable.

ROBERT: He was.

DAISY: (Shit just got real) I see.

ROBERT: Anyway, when he found out what I had done… It’s just safer inside.

DAISY: (Pity) Oh Robert, you can’t really think that, can you?

ROBERT: Yes. Yes I can.

DAISY: Look… I’m not trying to tell you how to live your life or anything. But I can maybe show you… This works for me. And, yeah, it doesn’t work for everyone. Some people just need their space. But it’s worth a shot.

CHARLES: No doubt, it is an admirable enterprise, but…

DAISY: It’s so much more than that! This is a lifestyle choice that is becoming more and more rare, just because people are scared.

ROBERT: There is a great deal to be—scared of.

DAISY: I’m not saying there isn’t! I’m scared every day.


ROBERT: Really?

DAISY: All the time.

ROBERT: But you seem so… happy.

DAISY: I am.

ROBERT: How? (Then, almost desperate) Please, tell me how to be happy.

DAISY: Well, for me, it was just a matter of being okay with not knowing what might happen next. (She thinks) The more space I kept to myself, the more disconnected I felt. I felt like I was saying no all the time, whether I wanted to or not. (Joyfully) Now I feel like I wake up to every day saying, “Yes. Yes, I will take what live has to give me, and goddamn it if it isn’t a hell of a ride.”

CHARLES: (Generally uncomfortable by how far this whole conversation has gone) That’s quite commendable, Daisy. I hope we meet again. Sometime. (He starts to exit, turns back) Robert?

ROBERT: (Visibly shaken) Yes, Charles?

CHARLES: Shall we?

ROBERT: No. No, I don’t think so. (He looks at Daisy, who is beaming as the realization dawns on her.) I think I’ll stay a little while longer.


ROBERT: I’m staying, Charles. I’m tired of being scared all the time, of not feeling comfortable in my own skin.

CHARLES: You can’t be taking this hippy seriously.

DAISY: You can stay, too. But you won’t. That’s okay, as long as that makes you happy.

CHARLES: (At a loss for words) It—that doesn’t—(Trying to reason) Robert, we’ve known each other for a long time.

ROBERT: We have.

CHARLES: Right! So, you’re just going to give your life up to go live on some commune, smelling flowers and getting in touch
with yourself? Is that your plan?

ROBERT: (Looking at Daisy) I hadn’t really thought that far.

DAISY: Doesn’t it feel great? (They share a moment, in which Charles is decidedly left out.)

CHARLES: Just don’t say I didn’t warn you. (Exits)

ROBERT: I’m still not sure what’s happening.

DAISY: You’ve done it before.

ROBERT: It was such a long time ago; I barely remember anything.

DAISY: But you know how.

ROBERT: Will you help me? Please? (She nods kindly, helps him remove his hula-hoop. He stands there, somewhat embarrassed, smiling nervously.) Now you’ve got me beat.

DAISY: Oh, I’m sorry! That was so unfair of me–hold on. (She turns away from him and removes her belt. She turns around slowly, smiling gently. He is in awe for a moment, and then turns his face away, again embarrassed.)

ROBERT: Forgive me. (Daisy walks to him, reaches out, and turns his face towards hers. He gasps at the contact. She then takes his hand and places it on her face.)

DAISY: There is nothing to forgive. (She kisses his hand.) You are alive. There is no reason or need to feel ashamed. Just be.

(She pulls his face to hers and kisses his cheek. His eyes close, he breathes deeply, resting in her touch. She lets go of the kiss, touches her forehead to his. He tentatively kisses her. She kisses back. They break apart, holding hands. Then they both start to laugh, first softly, then building to a crescendo as “If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out” by Cat Stevens plays and)


Saturday, April 10, 2010

And I call myself a blogger.

Actually I don't, because that would make me a hypocrite. But like any self respecting Silicon Valley girl, I'm sitting in a mostly empty coffee shop, which was until about an hour and a half ago pretty busy. And what do you do in coffee shops? People-watch, but of course. Not too many people to watch at the moment. Slim pickings.

To my right: 3 programmers (surprise surprise) chatting about start-ups and the iPad and how someone else had the same product 5 years ago.

To my left: a dude on his laptop who was just recently shaken from her revery by an unexpected visit from a friend--a married father of two, in tow along with the two tots behind his wife.

In front of me: a door to the upstairs section of the building, where people escape to in order to get away from that loud coffee grinder (which isn't really that loud).
Next to that door: 4 arm chairs, three of which are occupied. Not sure what they are talking about. One of them is very handsome.

Across the room: the counter, which a small line has formed to order their different teas, lattes, pastries, etc.

I myself am sporting the remains of an apricot bar and a lukewarm no-longer-hot chocolate. Fun fact: I am supposed to be working on a little summary write-up. Urgh. And I won't have any time tomorrow, but no matter. This helped me get the juices flowing, I guess I'll work on that. Or I'll just futz around on Facebook. Either way.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Chapter 12: Middle Colonies 1600-1700

Quite a few in this one. Sorry, I know I'm just pumping these out, but I actually have a little bit of time. Here we go!

"In 1663, Rhode Island and Connecticut belatedly obtained royal charters; Plymouth never so succeeded." Neener neener!

"Imperial bureaucrats believed that the proprietary colonies should first be converted into royal colonies and then consolidated into an overarching government like the Spanish viceroyalty of New Spain." No! That's a terrible idea! Shit took forever to get done and there was a fuck-ton of paper work and... just no. Bad idea.

"By smiting the Dutch, the [English] crown hoped to strengthen its own power within a more consolidated empire." I'm sure it would also feel pretty smug to know that historians are tying verbs such as "smite" to it. I know I would be.

"The Dutch economy also benefited from a liberal government that adopted policies of intellectual freedom and religious toleration unique in seventeenth-century Europe," and in some parts of 21st-century America. (Womp.)

"Fur trading operations wanted only few colonists, to minimize the costs of supply and to discourage competitors trading on their own accounts." So, they were basically chill Communists? Cool...?

"In 1625, the Dutch founded the fortified town of New Amsterdam on Manhattan Island at the mouth of the river." 'Even old New York was once New Amsterdam...' :D

"The bifurcation led to different Indian policies in the two halves of the valley." You lost me at 'bifurcation'. New favorite word, by the way.

"At the mouth of Brandywine Creek (present-day Wilmington, Delaware), the colonists established Fort Christina, named in honor of the Swedish queen." Nonsense! There's no Fort Christina in Middle Earth!

"But the principal explanation is that the Netherlands had a smaller pool of potential emigrants with fewer incentives to emigrate, compared with the more numerous and more discontented English." Hahahaha it's okay, Netherlands, that's a GOOD thing.

"In 1664 the English instigated the second war by sending an expedition to conquer New Netherland." He makes it sound like a camping trip, hehe.

"The Dutch also resented the English troops posted at New York, Esopus, and Albany, where the undisciplined soldiers robbed and assaulted the colonists with apparent impunity," a tradition that would continue for another hundred years until those rowdy colonists finally got fed up with it. Also, it's pretty crazy what a uniform and a gun does to a soldier's brain with regards to justification, etc.

"To their dismay, the Iroquois discovered that the New Yorkers honored the Covenant Chain alliance only when convenient." Yeah, Indians, get used to that... :/

"Feeling betrayed, Penn denounced his opponents as selfish ingrates indifferent to his extraordinary expenses and exertions in securing and colonizing Pennsylvania." Dude, you've got a COLONY named after you. STFU.

"In the mid-eighteenth century, a German immigrant reported, 'They have a saying here: Pennsylvania is a heaven for farmers, paradise for artisans, and hell for officials and preachers." Muahaha! Take that! Also, sign me up.

"But the fractious diversity of the middle colonies also frustrated English visions of an empire responsive to command, especially during war." Yeah, about that...

Chapter 11: Carolina 1670 - 1760

Ah, the beginnings of the American South. Let's dance.

"Eliza Lucas Pinckney described the Carolina summer as 'extreamly disagreeable, excessive hott, much thunder and lightening, and muskatoes and sand flies in abundance.'" Well what the fuck are we waiting for?! Let's go!!!

"In 1670 three ships from Barbados bore two hundred colonists to the mouth of the Ashley River, where they founded Charles Town (modified to Charleston in 1783), named, like Carolina, in honor of King Charles II." Jeez, what a bunch o' brown-nosers.

"The Carolina trader benefited from the native custom of providing wives to welcome newcomers." Exactly how welcome is welcome? ... What? A wife could come in handy.

"In 1682 a Carolinian noted, 'There is such infinite Herds that the whole Country seems but one continued [deer] Park.'" The smell must have been awful.

"The Carolinians justified enslavement as beneficial for Indians, sparing captives from execution and exposing them to Christian civilization among their English purchasers." In other words, hey, it's not like we killed them, we just make them more vulnerable to death via disease and exhaustion. But don't worry about it, they might go to our Heaven-which by the way is the ONLY one.

"The South Carolina elite became renowned as even more gracious, polite, genteel, and lavish than the gentlemen of Virginia." That's not saying much. If you'll recall, the gentry in Virginia nailed you to the wall by your ears if you insulted them.

"Moreover, black slavery made manual labor seem degrading to free men, which discouraged exertion by common whites, who aspired, instead, to acquire their own slaves to do the dirty work." Come on down and buy some slaves! Well? What are you waiting for? Everyone is doing it. You don't want to be not cool... do you? Do you!?

"An official described the colonists as 'stark Mad after Negroes'". In lay terms, that's referred to as "jungle fever".

"Until they could own slaves, the white Georgians considered themselves unfree." Wait, what?

"Because Carolina society so closely resembled Barbados, English officials commonly referred to 'Carolina in the West Indies.' This development was ironic, for plantation society had driven from Barbados the original emigrants who became the first Carolinians." I like this, it's like Taylor is beckoning the reader closer, slightly hunched in stifled giggles as he lets us in on his little joke. "You see it's funny because *giggle* because they CAME from Barbados, and, *giggle*, well you see what I'm trying to say."

Chapter 12 to follow.

Chapter 10: The West Indies

This chapter was all about how the little/sorta big islands in the Gulf of Mexico, including plantation culture and pirates! As you can imagine, nothing really happy happens in this chapter, but I managed to find things, anyway.

"Sugar could bear the costs of long-distance transportation (and the purchase of slaves by the thousand) because it was in great and growing European demand to sweeten food and drink." Europe's sweet tooth was a perfectly legitimate excuse for, you know, slavery. (Starting things off light.)

"Lacking cities and gold but possessing a fearsome reputation, the Caribs were the sort of Indians that the Spanish had learned to avoid." Hahaha oh NOW they get the point.

"Landscape, climate, location, and pigs combined to render Barbados especially attractive." As we'll recall from our good friend George Spencer, the Brits were REALLY into pigs.

"Aside from the plantation buildings and a few groves of trees, the island was a terraced sea of cane plants, which grew eight feet high at maturity." Does it make me a nerd that the first thing I thought of when I read this was "Keep out of the long grass!"? ... there might be raptors... It could happen!

"Compared with the Lesser Antilles, Jamaica was grander, lusher, hotter, wetter, stormier, more mountainous, and more susceptible to slave rebellions. To English sensibilities, that enlarged scale rendered Jamaica both the most alluring and the most disturbing place in their West Indies." Sounds like a sexy dangerous lady. ;)

"English Jamaica had a dual economy: agriculture in the interior valleys and far-ranging piracy from the seaport of Port Royal." Yarr! Them fields be needin' harvestin'!

"Worse yet, the piracy sometimes scared away shipping, depriving the planters of new slaves and clogging their warehouses with unsold sugar." If I was there, I would make lots and lots of cookies for everyone. :)

"Suffering from cirrhosis of the liver, the heavy-drinking Sir Henry [Morgan] sought relief from an African folk doctor. But his treatments-injections of urine and an all-body plaster of moist clay-only hastened Morgan's death." It might just be me, but don't you think that doctor was fucking with him? Just a *little* bit?

"After 1690, white immigration to Jamaica slowed, while out-migration grew." Um, Professor Taylor, I believe the word you're looking for is emigration. It's okay, it happens to the best of us.

"Although an economic success, the West Indies was a demographic failure that manifested a society in consuming a pursuit of profit and with a callous disregard for life." Well, it's a good thing that never happened on the mainland.
"At the end of the seventeenth century, white emigrants from the West Indies, particularly Barbados, carried the seeds of that society to the southern mainland by founding the new colony of Carolina." Oh shit...

Chapter 11 soon to follow.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Gold Mine

When I saw the chapter title "Puritans and Indians 1600 - 1700" I knew I was in for some doozies. I stopped a lot more in this chapter, but most of them would have just been something like "what the fuck... way to go Puritans". Well, here it goes.

"Suspecting that the wilderness was seductive as well as evil, Puritan leaders feared that their own people would degenerate into Indians from prolonged contact with native ways and the native land." There's a reason they're called "tree huggers", after all.

"The Indians regarded most colonists as mean and stingy, enslaved by their property and their longings for more." So... nothing has changed?

"The New English disdained the Indians as "Lazy Drones [who] live Idleness Exceedingly" for failing to create more property from their abundant nature." I just thought Idleness Exceeding would be an awesome band name.

"Contrary to the first Thanksgiving myth of mutual trust, the Plymouth colonists regarded the Indians as, in Bradford's words, 'savage people, who are cruel, barbarous, and most treacherous.'" What about the corn and the turkey? And every one sitting on one side of the long table, all smiling and happy? Next thing you're going to tell me is that Pocahontas and John Smith weren't actually a couple... oh no... My childhood is gone forever! *sobs*

"Regarding war as a test of their godliness, the Puritans interpreted their especially bloody victory as compelling proof that God had found them worthy." I'm sorry, but I get the image of blood-soaked men on bended knee. It's the Crusades all over again, which were also a bad idea, by the way.

"Stung by rebukes from their godly friends at home, especially over the Pequot slaughter, some of the New English belatedly turned their attention to evangelizing the Indians." Oh, NOW they do something that doesn't involving killing people. Well done. *facepalm*

"Comfortable in their own culture, most Indians balked at converting to English ways and beliefs." Well no shit. That does beg the question, however: were there some Indians who thought to themselves "Hey, I would like to work my ass off for something I'll never see, and smell and be hairy and wear too many clothes when it's 90 degrees and humid as shit. That sounds like a good plan, let's get on that"?

"John Cotton, Jr.,... had become a missionary as an act of atonement when caught in adultery with a colonial woman. Was it then simply an innocent question when an Indian asked him 'whether any man that hath committed Adultery may go to heaven'? Cotton did not record his answer." Oh snap! You tell him, random Indian convert person!

"The best colonial commanders abandoned European military tactics, based upon masses of men engaged in complicated maneuvers to deliver volleys of gunfire. Instead, they adopted the Indian tactics of dispersion, stealth, ambush, and individual marksmanship." Well no shit. How do you expect to actually win a battle if you stand your dudes face to face and say bang? Especially when one side has lots more guns than the other side. Oh wait... right.... that was their advantage... Anyway, this just makes me think of "The Patriot", when Mel Gibson goes all Cherokee on the redcoats. That's what happened... right? Right!?

That's all for this chapter. I'm really having fun with this little series by the way. :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

New England Was Weird

Boy, howdy, let me tell you. More quotes from "American Colonies" by Prof. Alan Taylor

"In contrast to their counterparts in England and the Chesapeake, where authorities rarely intervened in domestic disputes, New England magistrates and church congregations routinely protected women from insult and abuse. (Sometimes they had to protect husbands.)" That just made me laugh. I know, domestic violence is never cool, but sometimes it's funny.

"As her pains increased, the guests assisted the midwife in conducting the birth, supporting the squatting mother in their arms." Now THAT is one powerful motherfucking image. So much so that I had to clear the air by swearing.

"In New England, as in old England, fishing employed hard-drinking and hard-swearing men with scant property and little reputation to lose." This also made me laugh. I think it was the term "hard-swearing". As opposed to soft-swearing, like "Jinkies!" or "Well, cracker jacks!"

"The fisherman scandalized a 1664 official investigation that concluded, 'Some here are of the opinion that as many men may share a woman as they do a boat, and some have done so.'" Scandalous indeed. Sounds like a really shitty party.

"Moreover, as God's stronghold, Puritan New England invited relentless attack from Satan, who meant to destroy the Bible Commonwealth. Embroiled in the cosmic struggle between God's will and Satan's wiles, New England was a pivotal battleground for the eternal fate of all mankind." His matter-of-fact tone is positively.... matter-of-fact.

"In 1642 the New Haven authorities suspected George Spencer of bestiality when a sow bore a piglet that carried his resemblance. He confessed and they hanged but Spencer and the unfortunate sow." First of all, what the fuck. Second of all, this Spencer guy had to by one ugly motherfucker to be plausibly likened to a pig. Third of all, calling the sow "unfortunate" is really a slap in the face after the poor thing was nailed by a horny farmer and then strung up because it gave some sicko a boner.

"All dissenters were given, in the words of one Massachusetts Puritan, 'free Liberty to keep away from us.'" Like when the Model-T Ford first came out. You could get it in whatever color you liked, as long as it was black.

"Whenever cattle and children sickened and died, the New English suspected that some in their midst practiced satanic magic." Really, guys? Sometimes people just get sick. It happens. Deal.

"Communities and authorities disproportionately detected witchcraft in women who seemed angry and abrasive, violating the cultural norm celebrating female modesty." Damn, I would have been fucked. Along with most of the ladies I hang out with. ;P

"Puritanism kept New England behind the times in supernatural belief." Womp. Just... womp.

That's all for now. History is fun! And weird! And stupid! Yay!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Collected [Amusing] Quotes from Alan Taylor's "American Colonies"

I'm doing some reading for my early American history class, and the chapter about Jamestown is a gold mine of good quotes. Here are the ones that made me pause.

"English colonizers had a peculiar confidence that their economic self-interest served God." Those silly English

"'A more damned crew hell never vomited.'" Why don't people talk like this anymore?!

"The Virginia Company naively instructed the colonial leaders never to allow the Indians to see any English die, lest the natives learn that the colonists were 'but common men' rather than immortals." Wow... seriously? Dumb.

"When seventeen colonists imposed themselves on one village [to request food], the natives killed them, stuffed their dead mouths with maize as a sign of contempt, and left the corpses for their countrymen to discover." Now that's bad-ass.

"Convicting a laborer of stealing two pints of oatmeal to allay his hunger, the leaders had a long needle thrust through his tongue, to keep him from ever eating again. Chained to a tree, the convict slowly starved to death, a vivid and lingering example to terrify his fellow colonists." Jesus... imagine being that guy. Imagine being the dude that had to thrust the needle through his tongue. *shudders*

"During the 17th century, the Chesapeake's leading men... were very touchy about their origins, qualifications, and conduct. When Richard Crocker accurately but recklessly denounced two Virginia councillors as extortioners, the council put him into the public pillory with his ears nailed to the wooden frame." Dude went too far. I can see him there now, saying, "Too soon?"

"...the family household, which the English called a 'little commonwealth'... If a servant, child, or wife killed his or her master, the law considered the culprit guilty of 'Petit Treason' as well as murder." Well, now you're just fucking around.

"In 1648 a Virginian marveled that only one in nine immigrants died during their first year, compared with one in four during the preceding generation." Womp.

That's all for now. As I continue to read I'll add more. =P

Thursday, January 14, 2010

At Work (for Shame!)

Yes, I know, I shouldn't be posting, but the interns have a blog, too, so I can just pretend I'm writing for that. Even though I just posted something.... hush.
This sort of writing I normally reserve for my journal. Stream of conscious and whatnot. But oh well. I feel the need for an audience. Understandable, since I'm cooped up in a 15' by 10' office with one other person and quite a bit of other crap. Desks and computers and a huge demon printer (you read right, it prints demons, but it is also possessed by Satan his-self). Bookshelves with stuff, you know, an office.
It's not that I can't work at a desk, I just never thought I would be interested in a career path that would land me behind one. Well, I guess this is a career path (ew, scary thought). But I'm sitting on a folding chair, so that should give you an idea of my social standing when I walk in the door. Okay now, it's not that bad, everyone is really nice and the work is mostly just boring, not hard. Intern stuff. *shrug* Plus my folding chair now has a little red paisley cushion on it, which gives it a nice touch.
Should probably give a little update on what I've been up to for the last month (wow I'm a terrible blogger). I got cast in a show at Bus Barn Stage Company in Los Altos, making it my first professional acting gig. Pretty exciting. The play is Private Lives by Noel Coward, and I am playing Louise, the irritable French maid. It's good fun, and really stretching me as a performer. It might surprise you to learn that I am not used to being the center of attention. It makes me really uncomfortable and I get self-conscious and it's no good. Louise, on the other hand, doesn't give a shit about what people think of her, and has little to no respect for her superiors. Also she has a cold. The effect, I hope, is comedy. Well, I think I'm funny, or at least funnier than when I started. The director and rest of the cast are all very supportive, which is good, because this is hard. Go figure.
(Rawr why is it always so cold in this office?! I need to bring in fingerless gloves to keep my hands warm.)
What else... Ah yes. If you keep tabs with you Youtube channel (insert plug), you'll know that I recently acquired a guitar, and have begun to teach myself how to play. Thank goodness for the internet, otherwise I might have to actually talk to real people, which requires their patience (and mine). I don't like having to make people wait on me, or coddle me. I can look after myself (which might account a bit for the anti-drama queen thing), and this is no exception. That being said, all the offers of assitance from friends are very nice and well-meaning, but I can't sit there and listen to someone talk about something. I have to do it, and find it out for myself, in order to really learn it.

Okay, flurry of activity happened and now it's chill again. That was an interesting 45 minutes. Printing and stapling and frantically putting together packets for the board meeting. And now that that is done I'm back to nothing to do. Fantastic. I wonder what's going on Facebook...