• Learning and Exploring

    National Treasure and the American Revolution

    We decided to rewatch National Treasure again last week (for the first time in awhile, I’ve lost track of the rewatches). This movie is one of the good ones.

    Feel good cheesy Patriotism and history. It’s very goofiness makes it awesome, I don’t care how some snobby critics rate it. The premise, the awesome music, the sarcasm, Cage’s terrible “acting” that really works in this situation, Riley is precious, Abigail whose history nerdiness and curiosity wins out over her “professionalism,” Sean Bean’s dramatic British bad guy trope. And I watched this in a fun period in my early twenties, this was one of the first modern movies we watched and it just has that added layer of nostalgia.

    And this extra bit.

    Years I ago I realized that the character’s names had more meaning than the obvious one of Ben’s. I think it was because I’d been reading about the Revolutionary War.

    Ian Howe = General William Howe

    Abigail Chase = obviously Abigail Adams, but I was sure Chase had to feature somehow, I found a Samuel Chase on the signers of the Declaration of Independence.

    Benjamin Franklin Gates = Obviously Benjamin Franklin but also General Horatio Gates. Patrick Henry and John Adams were his dad and grandfather, again obvious.

    I feel like there might have been more, but I didn’t write it down or post it when I thought of it.

    Strangely, no one in my family found this information as riveting as me . . . I wonder why?

    (I swear there is a particular gene for loving history. I mean, I even find some boring books interesting, so while I lament the unutterably bad historical program or lack thereof just about everywhere, I’m not the best person to make it interesting, since I find textbooks interesting.)

  • Learning and Exploring

    What I listened to August 2020

    The Minimalist podcast and their secret podcast (esp. the latter), they dive deep so deep, so many layers on so many things, they don’t only or mainly deal with minimalism but how to live well and thoughtfully. I only thought I’d heard deep thinking until I started listening to their podcasts. Also, I’d been judging them based on younger, simplified regurgitation of selected parts of their philosophy (and what I’d seen of their documentary, which I still don’t want to bother with, it irritated me a few seconds in still, I think for one thing, documentaries are often very faux intellectual), and how I’ve missed out! Oh, my. I want to read and relisten and research so many of the books and people they feature.
    They feature and display truly diverse views held deeply with Christians and non. I think this is the 3rd instance of such an intellectual respectful exchange of differing but sincerely held beliefs (not merely cultural), I’ve come across, and its SO inspiring, refreshing. I so appreciate the respectful treatment and acknowledgement of true believers in Christianity especially when they come from (or Ryan at least) a traumatic or twisted religious background and are not religious themselves. Usually such people who reject Christianity follow a very stereotypical path of throwing everything out revengefully, illogically, un-intellectually in its entirety which is both boring and disturbing (and makes me feel like an alien, since I’m not a Christian but didn’t do that).
    I’ve been in the mood to streamline my stuff and this is really helping me to think through things more carefully, I don’t think I’ve really dealt with my shopaholic/hoarding tendencies despite purging (it’s a bit cyclical). I don’t want to me truly minimalist, and I don’t have the same tastes continually, and I get bored of things or go through phases, but there is a healthy and an unhealthy way to do that.
  • Learning and Exploring

    Ancestry Updates

    This is probably totally boring to most people, but I think it’s fun, especially trying to tie back to my favorite Rosemary Sutcliff Britain before the Anglo-Saxon invasion. I want to be related to those fictional characters! Yes, I’m nuts.

    Original Test

    Update 1

    I was so sad I lost Scotland/Ireland. I know I don’t have Irish really, that is a very distinctive pattern of movement and culture in American history that would have shown up in genealogy, geography, names, and religion which doesn’t in our family. Whereas what I’ve figured out from genealogy is that Scottish makes sense, but probably Scottish before anyone came over here.

    Update 2

    Current update.

    Good, I got my Celtic/Rosemary Sutcliff/Scotland back! Although per Ancestry, England would still included ancient Brits not just Anglo-Saxon (and Norman too), they didn’t take out everyone, I guess like most people assumed.

  • Learning and Exploring

    Masculinity and Sweetness

    I’ve heard lots of people throwing around the term “toxic masculinity.” I don’t think that is helpful, because the discussions seems to often contain, the if some, then all fallacy both in terms of men and masculinity. All masculinity is not toxic. There is this idea that all manly men are awful, that is inherit to their manliness to be a brute. Some of these people are the feminists and the others are the neanderthal men, they have totally opposite viewpoints on this subject, but they espouse the same fallacy.

    Manly men can be sweet. Mild men can be awful. Being brash and swaggering doesn’t equal being a manly man, but it does mean you are a lout! Not being brash doesn’t mean you are a good person! Guys can pride themselves on not being the loud sporty ones assuming they have some sort of virtue when they are exhibiting the lack thereof in their spitefulness. Sweetness doesn’t make you less manly, that comes from other traits. Lack of a certain trait doesn’t mean having a positive virtue.

    I thought first of this in terms of Lord of the Rings movies, when a male mentioned how manly Gimli was (ugh) in contrast to the rather effeminate elves (we will leave off discussions of the books and accuracy for this discussion and focus on the movies). As if those were the only options, neanderthal or dainty princeling (I’m exaggerating, the actions of the elves weren’t effeminate their looks and styling were). I think this is what the discussion often is, this false dichotomy. In this dichotomy, the men, Aragorn (or my favorite) Eomer are ignored. Masculine in physical appearance, in action yet courteous. Real manly men.

    We were talking about my Mom’s extended family (and this applies to my brother also), no one would look at them and think of them as anything other than manly men, yet they are very sweet, much sweeter than the women of the family often (some of us are a domineering group!).

    Back to LotR, I came across this on (I’m embarrased to admit) twitter the other day, Are You an An Aragorn Girl or a Legolas Girl. I’m an Eomer woman thank-you very much!

     

     

  • Learning and Exploring

    Those Tom Boy, Strong Girl, Alpha Female Stereotypes

    I tend to relate to a lot of them tomboys in books like Jo and her counterpart Skye Penderwick in terms of temperament. But I’m not a tomboy, I relate to the Megs in terms of domesticity and to the Amys and Annes in terms of taste. It gets kind of irritating to read about all the sweet domestic and/or traditional girls. Sorry, I wasn’t born sweet and mild, the best you will get is somewhat toned down. I’ve been told to tone down, be quiet, stop expressing so much frequently by family members. I think I scare people outside my family.

    Another similar stereotype is that of the loud (often tomboy) women being brave and courageous. Brassy, sassy, rebellious, and loud doesn’t equal strong or brave. Some of us are just programmed to be brassy, sassy, rebellious, and loud. And I’m not programmed brave, like at. all. K, maybe if you are usually a meek, people-pleaser, it IS brave to stand up and firmly say, “please, respect me.” But um, I have have to tone down, calm down to say that. And loudness can come from fear as well as just innate personality.

    Often either explicit or implicitly, these characters and/or their authors state that domesticity equals a level of anti-intellectualism or lack of intelligence. Again, NO. I can love both and do, thank-you-very-much. How one earth does liking homemaking have anything to do with the intelligence and interests I was born with?

    I was raised in a homeschooling sphere that emphasized domesticity, crafts, etc. for girls. I never understood why so many rebelled against them, I took it personally, until I found more people with different backgrounds who like creating things. I learned of them term “maker.” These people like me just LOVE handicrafts, historical fashion, fiber, making things, its part of our DNA.

    Another fallacy involves being girly and sporty or interested in physical activity (climbing trees, fencing, hunting, you name it). You can love to get completely dolled up and also love to play sports and get sweaty. I think this one is older and maybe it has mostly been killed by now? Or maybe it is because I’m more in the volleyball world because of my sisters and volleyball girls don’t follow this stereotype.

    I think in books this is still in force with the heroine who disdains all “frivolous” dress and fuss and goes gallivanting off with her horse and sword. She can like both. Disliking or like frills doesn’t mean you are physically weak or strong.

    Here is to the loud, brassy, girly, domestic shrews. Oh, wait, what?!

     

  • Learning and Exploring

    Sports and Snobbery and My New Sort of Series.

    So, I have some stereotype opinions sort of series I want to do. I’m not going to dive super deep, just have some commentary on things that grind my gears. Starting with some false dichotomies, a lot involving gender stereotypes.

    Have you heard any comments or conversations about this.

    “I don’t like sports, I’m intellectual.”

    “I read books, I’m a special/smart/fill in the blank.”

    “I don’t cook, I’m a career woman.”

    “I’m not a jock, so I’m a good person.”

    People making it seem like you have two either or choices, you can be sporty or intellectual but not both.

    There are all fallacies, actually possibly combinations of fallacies. A person’s interests in neutral subjects do not dictate their morality. A person’s interests also do not dictate their skill either for said interest or another interest. A person’s interest does not dictate all of their other interests

    Believe or not, some people can be more than one thing and interested in more than one thing, those are INTERESTING people.

    In addition to being extremely lazy fallacious comments, they are (ironically) snobby.

    Some I’m going to start with sports. I think that this particular false dichotomy of sporty vs. intelligent is usually for guys, for girls its more combined with the tomboy vs. traditional or girly girl false dichotomy. There is also a sports vs. diligence (i.e. sports are a waste of time).

    I’m from a sports oriented family (I’m one of the least interested, but it’s still in my blood) even with 5 girls and only one boy. We are in a college-sports dominated area for basketball and football, we have our university team. I grew watching major league baseball with my family on tv. Dad often had golf playing. All the college games playing and March Madness. All of us play or played pick up sports in the back yard or at picnics. Both parents played sports in highschool and after highschool in rec leagues. I played one sport in a rec league for one season, but most of my siblings played multiple sports for multiple seasons, most of them had one or two sports a year for much of their lives in middle school and up.

    I feel like there has been a stereotype of the cool, stupid, mean kid jock (or mean girl v-ball player, although like I said I don’t feel like stupid is usually as emphasized with the girl stereotype, more of shallowness is). Sure there are some people like that.

    But

    Sometimes the jocks are smart, sometimes the jocks are both better at sports AND smarter than geeky or nerdier people, sometimes a jock is a geek. My dad was a stereotypically geeky looking (and acting) person, but he loved and played sports. My brother didn’t look or act so geeky, but he was/is a sports guy and a chemical engineer, and a genuinely good person.

    Sometimes the volleyball girls are the nice girls. My sisters played volleyball in highschool and rec leagues. They don’t fit the mean, shallow, “cool” girl type.

    People can play sports and keep up with their ap and/or college level courses, my siblings and parents did. They can like sports and video games and sports and reading, etc. One interest doesn’t exclude another. One ability doesn’t exclude another, believe or not a person can have both brawn and brains. We do (that sounds like all of us sisters are built like men, we aren’t were are built like sporty women, well, when we are fit, I’m more of a whale woman at the moment).

    As far as the waste of time. There are people who ONLY watch and don’t play sports. I can get how hours and hours of watching televised sports can be. But some fun entertainment is allowed. What hours and hours of things do you do? Moderation. Look closer at your own time wasters.

    Playing sports is always great exercise and can be great inter-personally as well depending on the person and circumstances.

    It just often seems that those who criticize sports lovers are always those who can’t play them, you know?

  • Learning and Exploring

    My Issues with the Whole Personality Hoopla

    Everything about personality is subjective; the terms (different connotations, different frames of reference), the assessment (how can you understand someone else’s brain, preferences? How can you truly know your own in other people’s terms?), the concept of personality itself. So I find it extremely annoying when people try to say it is scientific or can be made so. I think that psychology itself is a pseudo-science (at best) because how can you prove the abstract, dynamic, and subjective IN SOMEONE ELSE’S mind, emotions, etc. For that matter, how can you define and determine the beginning or end of the mind, emotions, instinct, etc.?

    So, I have fun taking all these tests, but I inevitably don’t match, and I inevitably run into so many false correlations, false dichotomies, such as implied associations “if you are emotional, you are an empathetic, people pleaser,” “analytical equals quiet,” or “if you have a logical mind, you aren’t run by emotions.” That last, HAHAHA, who says your mind has any control over your emotions or actions?

    If this was a “what kind of cookie are you?” sort of test from Buzzfeed, everything would be fun, but people inevitably try to push all this as fact, and that is what, exacerbated by the obvious logical errors, drives me INSANE. That, and repeatedly trying to type myself by various versions of a highly anti-scientific typology. I’m learning more about the “cognitive functions.” Which again, has SO many false correlations/dichotomies, why do you have two extroverted functions and two introverted?

    If you are wondering, on 16 Personalities. I’ve gotten ISTP (a couple times), ISTJ (once), and INTP (once); and they’ve all being Turbulent (my highest percentage). On other dinkier tests, I’ve gotten ISTP. Oh, and another thing, I’m NOT a quiet person. I don’t understand people-lover=talker and people-dislike/hater/fearer=quiet. Most people like at least some people, we are human after all. Some of us just aren’t highly motivated to socialize with or please everyone.

    ISTP are “doers.” Mechanical sort of people. I don’t think that fits. Being mechanically minded can probably be confused with being kinesthetic. But that is tied to my thinking, I think best when my hands are busy. That doesn’t sound like ISTP.

    I’ve also (anecdotal evidence, hello, inconsistent), feel (subjective) that Myers-Briggs draws certain types, namely the I-F people (although, you could run some sort of Big Data test to pull up the most used Myers-Briggs type on the Internet or a search engine; digital footprints are concrete though not conclusive or necessarily entirely representative). The least-likely to be scientific people in other words.

    Confused by Meyers-Briggs

    Hexaco Personality Inventory

    23 Signs You’re Secretly a Narcissist Masquerading as a Sensitive Introvert

    The Enneagram Types of Your Favorite Books, Characters, and Authors

    Google “Sedig Enneagram Test” to pull up the PDF test (this is the best free online one I’ve seen with nice explanations)

  • Learning and Exploring

    Ancestry DNA Update

    I think DNA is fascinating. One of the aspects of Ancestry DNA is that they update our results as more research becomes available (just re-affirms that this is a new science, and they are trying for accuracy).

    So, here are my results. My heritage isn’t particularly spectacularly interesting to any but me except in point of reaffirming historical patterns, and I wasn’t expecting huge changes. I did see bigger changes than I thought, and then looked again at the map and realized they weren’t as huge (I wish I’d saved the first maps; I forgot they changed groupings, previous to my test the Celtic peoples were under Ireland rather than Ireland/Scotland/Wales.

    They changed their maps a bit (more overlapping, I think), so while it looks like my Great Britain/Europe West changed, when you look at the new region map and add the percentages, it didn’t actually change much. Basically, Great Britain changed to more a broader area and now includes some of continental Europe and Wales, while Western Europe might have shrunk a bit. I think that is probably because of all the waves of people groups coming to England.

    I no longer show a huge (to me, I wasn’t expecting any) amount of Scandinavian, but the more specific and smaller Norway. Finland, a separate category as before, has been bumped a bit and Southern Europe eliminated. So the actual change is significant lowering of Scandinavia and significant raising of Ireland and Scotland (which I’m THRILLED with and which going by migrations plus family history is probably all Scottish, as much as I’d love to be Irish, I really think the history doesn’t fit at all).

     

  • Learning and Exploring

    Jane Austen Festival 2018: Part 2, Regency Food and Regency Beauty

    Because of a goof on my part, I wasn’t able to sign up for the teas on the first day, and so they sold out, but I put our names on the waiting list as soon as I could and received a call about openings just a few days before, so I was thrilled.

    We had four types of teas from Bingley’s teas. I am by no means a tea connoisseur; I don’t often like it, period (I prefer cold, rather plain beverages of the milk, water, and fruit juice/lemonade variety). I have Emma’s Perfect Match and Marianne’s Wild Abandon which I bought at one of the earlier events, and I don’t care for them much (although I think perhaps the blending of the teas has improved since the early days?). I also tend to “need” a lot of sugar to enjoy them which is off-putting; I’d rather have a less-sugary sweet treat I like better.

    However, I did enjoy my syrups teas more this time. We tasted Captain Wentworth (least fav, too strong for me), The Dance of the Musgrove Sisters (second fav, I think), The Patience of Miss Price (my favorite and one I want to buy), and one other (a rose, cherry, and green tea blend, I believe). I don’t know if only two of the teas were Bingley’s and the other two were one of the other company’s (Hellinger Kurtz Kaffeehaus or The Blessed Bee Herbals) or if Bingley’s had new blends that aren’t on their site yet. While perusing their site just now, I realized, I found several more I want to try! Although, sacrilege of sacrilege, I’d probably prefer them iced.

    On our early wanderings we discovered the Half-Crown Bakehouse (Mom went back later and bought some bread for Sunday) which featured foods with names that were a blast from my childhood past such as Sally Lunn bread and Queen’s Cakes (Felicity cookbook anyone?!). I’m in the mood to research about historical foods after discovering The Townsends, a historical food YouTube channel, via Brijee Pattern’s post.

    I really appreciate the delving into historical aspects beyond fashion. My mother mentioned that this time it reminded her of Colonial Williamsburg (I adore that place, I’m wanting to go again, but I’d like to go for an event in historical dress now). The Living History feeling.

    Another aspect to that was the beauty/apothecary place: LBCC Historical. Historical beauty recipes . . . sans heavy metals, lol.

    Since I’m decidedly Marianne, I bought the Marianne set although I’d love the Jane one (rose!) as well; I hope they make the sets again, they were a special thing for the festival, I think.

  • Learning and Exploring

    Jane Austen Festival 2018: Part 1, My Festival Background

    Because I apparently don’t document anything, I had to rely on a comment I left on another blog to determine my festival attendance. I attended 2010-2013 festivals.

    Some aspects of the earliest festivals

    • Contained to the back yard (I think the porch is the back side of the house)
    • Only two days
    • Smaller (and it was more local/regional while now it is THE national JA event, I think; according to this year’s handout, the first year had 660 and last year over 2400, and I’m assuming this year was even larger?)
    • Fewer venders
    • Less serious costuming (I know some people dressed in regency at the earlier ones, but my grandmother says not the majority while in 2018 it was the opposite; and the quality of the “regency” outfits tended to be far lower earlier while now it seems to be far more accurate and detailed)
    • The majority of the activities were the teas and the talks in the big tent

    I feel that around 2013 the size and attention started to explode, and I got overwhelmed plus rather done with the event (too often plus waning interest in the era and author).

    Here are some posts from bloggers who attended some of the earlier festivals: 2012 (one and two) and 2013 (one, two, and three).

  • Learning and Exploring

    Art Fair Haul

    For the past 4 or 5 years, I’ve attended a local arts festival with my grandparents (I don’t have a single photos of us there, hello, lady, document some memories). I do remember to take photos of what I get (so important) after though.

    I bought a clutch from a refurbished leather jacket. A handwoven towel (I would probably use as table runner) from the historical part. Various bath and body goodies. Sterling silver necklace and earrings (peridot, my birthstone). Three beautiful mugs. A poppy bowl.

  • Learning and Exploring

    10 Questions to Consider Before Addressing a Controversial or Sensitive Subject

    If the answer to any of these is “no,” please stop right there and re-evaluate and be quiet.

    1. Is your desire to add a layer of concrete information or analysis?
    2. Are your emotions in check and are you well aware you might me wrong?
    3. Are you addressing a specific, well-defined, and significant issue?
    4. Are you an important voice for your sphere or forum?
    5. Is the issue or your understanding of it unique?
    6. Can you clearly define the error?
    7. Will you use formal and informal logic, scholarly resources, and critical reasoning with good interpersonal communication skills to address the error and point other people towards helpful resources?
    8. If there is good, will you acknowledge it?
    9. If someone offers a valid counter-point or counter-argument will you answer it?
    10. Are you going to change or align your own life with your views (not merely tell others how to act)?