Sunday, August 03, 2008

A meme because I haven't done one in a few months

Random Questions. (:

What time do you go to bed?: very, very late
Do you drink coffee?: if it's good. ie espresso, or lebanese/greek
What was the last song you listened to?: Grace Kelly - Mika
How old were you when you got/gave your first kiss?: 15
What kind of ice cream is your favorite?: homemade macadamia
Have you ever met an internet friend in real life?: yeah, ages ago
Are you/have you ever been anorexic?: nope
Do you know which US states don't use Daylight Saving Time?: no! why would i care?
What size shoe do you wear?: 5.5 ish (australian)
Who was the last person you talked to on the phone?: My mum
Which is more important in your life, TV or Internet?: INTERNET
Do you have an iPod?: yes, a silver nano, my birthday present to myself
Have you ever been fired from a job?: nope
Have you ever taken something you knew belonged to someone else?: not that i can remember. probably when i was three or something.
Do you overuse smileys?: oh, probably
Who is better; Madonna or Blondie?: UNGH gnawing my fingers off
Who is better; Elton John or Billy Joel?: Elton John has a better voice
Do you know the song Total Eclipse Of The Heart?: I've heard it, couldn't sing it
When was the last time you ate something?: dinner - tomato soup
Name three website you visit every day:: desert calling, theologyweb, the ancient way
Have you seen all of the Jaws movies?: no, none!
Do you have Entomophobia?: what is that?
Do you know what Entomophobia is?: no.
Have you ever worn black eyeliner?: yeah, a few times. goth makeup ftw
Have you ever worn blue mascara?: NO.
Ever spiked your hair?: haha, yes. when i could still sit on it!
How long have you had a computer?: since I was 11
Have you ever written something, and published it on the internet?: does a blog count?
Do you have a crush on anyone at the moment?: no
Do you like Starbucks?: no! there are much better aussie coffee chains
Have you ever owned a kitten?: i own one now
Is it raining where you are?: not that i know, but it's supposed to tomorrow
When was the last time you played cards? (not on the computer): probably last summer
Can you play chess?: yes, but I haven't in ages
Ever owned a pair of the original Nikes? (white, with only a single swoosh): I think so? Don't remember.
Ever worn leg warmers?: no
When was the last time you read a book over 700 pages long?: Les Miserables...a few months ago
How many people are on your IM friends list?: hahahaha a few hundred probably. Im an internet tragic
How many hours of sleep do you usually get?: 9 or so, often more
Have you ever drank cherry coke?: yeah, i liked it
Do you prefer using pens or pencils?: pens unless i'm doing shorthand
Have you ever skipped for a long distance?: a lot, i used to skip everywhere just for fun
Have you ever had a black eye?: not that I remember
The torture is over, you may now leave. (:

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Saturday, August 02, 2008

A bit o'this'n'that

I've always struggled with depression, when I care to admit it. I spent half my childhood in a fantasy world talking to the invisible people who weren't there, telling stories, dressing myself in words to make myself someone who I'm not. I never fit in, really, and I still find it hard to believe that I've found somewhere where I'm accepted, for better or worse.

And, especially when I'm home alone, I end up in this weird funk again. I've been feeling out of sorts all day, possibly because I haven't done anything. I know it's not good for me to stay in bed all day but I do it, and then I end up feeling out of it and moping. It's too easy to be lonely, especially when my sister is out working or with her boyfriend or something. My parents are away for the weekend, and I'm trying to be positive but not always successful at that. Add to that that someone had left a door open and the room was cold, making me more achy and miserable than usual...yeah.

If it wasn't a fast I'd be curled up eating cookies or chocolate, but I've eaten the last of my dark chocolate and don't have a car to get more! Oh well, it's not good for me anyway.

I can write stuff like I did the other night, but when it comes down to it I'm just me and I don't write stuff like that often. That post came from about a month or so of trying to wrestle out some stuff I still haven't got a handle on. And I still struggle with stuff even though cognitively I know what the truth it. Writing something and believing it all the time are two different things.

But that's ok.

Before I started work tonight I took photos of Mystery X, which I've put a few stitches in recently. Here you go:

The East house:
East pt 6 1st August 08

The South house:
South pt 6 1st August 08

The east house now has the pink chimneys done, and just needs the central chimney and the backstitching done :)

It's coming together quicker than before this time, or at least that's how it seems.

Would you think I was nuts

If I bought one of these?

It's an abaya, the outer dress/coat/mixture of both worn by Islamic women - but this one has a hood. I reckon they're awesome, especially in a dark chocolate brown or something. I'd wear that all the time - better than a hoodie anyday, much more elegant! I love abayas, but I don't have the guts to buy one - yet. They're not beyond my means price-wise either, most places sell them for quite reasonable prices especially with the current exchange rate.

Here is the link to that one, anyway.

Friday, August 01, 2008

It's interesting

I spent so long trying to figure out how to 'do this Orthodox thing' properly, and it's just starting to sink in that maybe I'm not doing as badly as I thought I was. Oh, I've got a loooong way to go - who doesn't? But most of the stuff you associate with Orthodoxy isn't really that big a deal, and it's taken me three and a bit months baptised plus nine months as a catechumen to start to realise that I was being an idiot. Joy. I have been assured that I will do this for the rest of my life, which is such a hopeful prospect, right? The funny thing is that I say that sarcastically but I know people who would seriously agree with it. I want to be them when I grow up! Unfortunately I know that they got to where they are through some pretty hard stuff, and hard work. That bit I don't like, but I'll keep walking, because there's nothing else I can do :)

You see people who can quote the Fathers on any subject, cook brilliant food for the fasts, have glorious icon corners, you get women for whom wearing scarves and long skirts is what they do evvery day, you get monks and nuns (though even I am not so much an idiot to expect myself to measure up to THEM in daily life), you get people that know how all this stuff works while I'm still learning on my feet. And what's got to me recently is that that's ok. In the meantime I am me. I light a fistful of candles every time I go to Church, for other people, because that's just what I do. I talk to people, and I pray that I help them not hinder them. These things are all good, but partly some of them take time, and partly they're different walks. I have my own strengths, and my weaknesses which I am all too aware of. As with my approach to daily life with my illnesses, all I can do is take things day by day and not expect too much of myself. I have my own joys, and I must not be totally useless or people wouldn't want to hang around with me, much less go out of their way to pick me up for something, or take me home, or go for coffee, or ring me up for my name day and have their family yell Χρονια πολλά to me over the phone. Nothing is overnight, just like my stitching. I pick big projects for my stitching, and work a little at a time. This is no different.

Figuring that out, and figuring out that the best way to fix my flaws is to simply live the Orthodox life - to say my prayers, even if all I can manage is the morning and evening keep the fasts (or NOT, depending on the guidance of my priest - my friend pointed out, laughing, that when I was eating normally during Lent on the orders of my priest, in that way I kept the fast), to go to Church when I can, to sit with my prayer rope in my hands and pray for myself or others, to give as I can, to help as I can, to offer what kindness I am able and bring what beauty I can to the world - that is all that is asked of me, and that is acheiveable. As a convert in a country where Orthodoxy is still largely within certain ethnic groups - people who have grown up with the customs and beliefs of the Church as daily life, I've always felt somewhat behind the 8-ball, trying to catch up. And that's stupid, and I don't know why it's taken me so long to figure it out. I am not Greek. I am not Russian. I am not Lebanese. I am Australian, the descendent of German peasants and Cornish miners, among others. I am small and slight with recessive gene brown eyes, and golden toned skin, a throwback to my great-grandparents from the mining country of Cornwall, who would be horrified at my being Orthodox but I can't help that :) So I'm learning to cook to fit the fasts with Greek and Lebanese food, yes, but also Australian - the mixture of world cuisines that we steal and adapt. Authentic Indian curries, not so authentic British style curries, ANZAC biscuits. Hippie healthy lentil and pumpkin soup, Italian pasta sauces, tomato or vegemite sandwiches. I say my prayers in English, not Greek or Arabic - most of the time! I celebrate my own culture while happily joining the cultures of my parishes. I danced for years in a classical style, and now I am learning on my feet (literally) how to dance a completely different way. And this is all okay. This is just me.

So I'll stay me, wearing old fashioned clothes one day and dresses and skirts over jeans the next. I'll wear a mixture of beautiful, fashionable, or just fun hats everywhere I go, and sometimes to Church. I'll wear my scarves in Church even if I get funny looks from some people - this is me, and its something I was convicted over long before I ever 'turned Orthodox'. I'll have mad fits of baking and make food for everyone at my fellowship group and anyone else that will eat them. I'll talk to strangers on trains, and listen to their life stories and their problems and whatever else they tell me. I'll stay Kyri, having to pronounce Kyriaki sloooowly whenever I encounter non-Greeks (including one ROCOR priest, much to my amusement). I'll listen to a mixture of ABBA, Jars of Clay, Orthodox Chant done by monks and the radio. I'll be satisfied with the icons I have, and lighting candles before them as I say my prayers, because I'm blessed to have what I have, each one a gift. And when I do get more, I'll love them too, because I choose them for reasons, not just because I long to have the beautiful walls of icons that some of my friends have. I'll read recipe magazines for fun and attempt to feed myself and my family with the concoctions found therein. I'll happily stitch on whatever's 'calling' and know that I will finish something, one day.

I'll be myself. I'll just live life as I am now, and know that it is by prayer and the life of the Church that God changes us, not our trying to change ourselves. At least, that is my prayer.

I didn't start out trying to write this. I meant to write a short paragraph then write about all sorts of other things...but I am glad I did. I don't usually write long pieces about my faith, but try as I might it will escape into my blog like this, and I'm glad it does. It's as much my life as anything else - more than most things, really. So there you go - that's me.

The end of the month, and new month goals

Ages ago I used to set goals every month. I don't tend to stick with a piece for too long, but they're not bad for guidance to keep me sorta on track. So I'll post them in a minute...but first - haikus!

Ok, what do haikus have to do with anything? Well, not much. But a bunch of us on one of my Orthodox forums started writing haiku (is that the plural?) about the forum named Desert Calling, or about anything really.

Here are a few of mine:

a home for oddballs
who live, love, laugh, sharing life
the aim: theosis

this is addictive
writing these important things
in a few short lines

trying to do math
to make silliness seem like
most profound wisdom

my priest says desert
is where a monk is praying
so in my church then?

monks are nice people
but they challenge us young ones
to do harder things

desert on the net
a place to come relax and
to find my soul food

my kitten Koukla
is an Orthodox kitten
she likes lentil soup

the aim - theosis
but the journey is harder
than i ever thought.

dormition fast now
eat a lot of chilli beans
and ignore the steak

(for us, the fast for the Dormition of the Theotokos begins today, August 1, and goes until the 15th, the feast of the Dormition)

One poster, Reader John, made me laugh:

I thought to myself
I forgot my umbrella
I'm Friedrich Nietzsche

God is dead, said I
Then, Nietzsche is dead, said God
I guess I was wrong

The desert is a
Really, really big sandbox
With cacti and snakes

The days are quite hot
The nights are so cold and dark
At least it's quiet


That was wonderfully off topic. Tonight's study was beautiful - on Mark 9, how good is that for Father matching the text with the feasts (next Wednesday is the feast of the Transfiguration, and that's the topic of the first section of Mark 9) without meaning to - he comments that we are probably doing the slowest study of a Gospel ever since we started it in February, though we've had a few weeks off for other topics (Lent will do that, as will the Great Feasts). We did Compline after and I was felt...peaceful. Light. Joyful, I suppose. As I joined the line to kiss Father's hand and say goodnight Dmitri said to me that he always wanted to see the smile on my face that I had then. And then we went home...and Troy and I really shouldn't be put in the same car without Jeremy to keep an eye on us. Even then I hate it, but without Jeremy we end up like cat and dog and it's not good. I didn't kill him, or tip something over him. I am somewhat proud of this. *sighs* I'm feeling...uncomfortable because of that I suppose. Life is still good and without struggle we wouldn't grow but some things are avoidable. This is. It won't happen again soon if I can help it.

I'm home now, with a bright candle lit in front of the icons and I'm going to take some solace in the Psalms, God-willing. They help, a lot - the prayers are universal, yet they fit my life. Doxa to Theo.

So, goals?

Apparently I totally forgot to make them last month. So, as usual, I'll start the month with the new ones, under headings.

  • finish row 15 of A Restful Night
  • reach 7.5% on St Nicholas
  • enjoy stitching
  • work on something else at least once
Other craft
  • get the dress that's half-made finished
  • do a row on Moonshadow quilt
Religious stuff
  • get my icons in the mail and set them up by my bed
  • fix my memorisation of Psalm 50/51 (is memorising it in OSB text too much to ask of myself? hmm)
  • memorise at least one other Psalm
  • get to the Paraklesis service at least twice during the Dormition fast
  • learn to cook something new during the fast
  • try to remember to thank God for good and bad alike
School stuff
  • finish and send in assignment 3 for S.o.s. by the end of week 4 (15th)
  • get something done on assignment 2 or figure out a way to make it not have to be done
  • at least one open book one closed book summative for History
  • get my history notes up to date and keep them up to date for Comparative Study
  • try and do some noting for Depth Study (good revision for ^)
  • maths DI by the end of week 3 (8th)
  • maths test sometime soon after
Hoo boy. To meet these, I think these are this week's goals (week end 8th August):
  • Maths DI
  • KAI 2 notes
  • closed book essay on KAI 2
  • write the survey for S3 and send it out
  • write history notes for week 1, and this week
  • work on Psalm 50/51
  • attend the Paraklesis on Thursday and maybe Wednesday if I'm hanging around after the DL long enough (and I go)
  • finish row 14 of ARN during the the UFO SAL and Wednesday
  • stitch on St Nicholas on other days
  • attempt some work on the dress