11 September, 2008

Byzantine thoughts...

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

I've recently been helping a friend do some 6th century Byzantine costume research...to the best of my non-existent research abilities....but that's what the internet is for, right? [No, honey, it's for MORE than porn!]

I actually had more books with Byzantine examples in them than I thought, but I love having libraries and museums at my fingertips! And I can spend whole days happily searching looking at manuscripts and weird historical facts and all kinds of things.

But Byzantium, that was a place I only knew a very small bit about [still don't know much more *grin*]

I mean we've all heard about, "byzantine plots," and most SCA people have heard about crusaders traveling through Byzantium on their way to the Holy Land, but history books from my early time didn't much cover this area. I don't even remember learning about it in my AP History class...hmmm, maybe a COLLEGE history class would have gone over it, huh? Of course, there is always history in the form of Monty Python and his mention of Holy Hand grenades of Antioch and such...I blush to say I didn't know where Antioch WAS until recently.

So this has been fun! There is a standard mosaic of the Empress Theodora that has become pretty synonymous with Byzantium. You can see it here, as well as enjoy a commentary about Justinian and Theodora and their reign. It's has the beautiful mosaics that are in the cathedral at Ravenna.

Then, I stumbled across this diptych on the web with a search for "6th century" Constantinople Theodora.

There was a bit on Byzantine dress here.

One of the coolest things though, is there's a free online self-study costuming course that covers this area of interest!

And there was a whole page of Byzantine links here put together by the same people...hmmm somebody's already done that research huh? :)

But there was an absolute hit of serrendipity today when one of the blogs I follow on and off mentioned that the Royal Academy in London will be hosting an exhibit that will cover about 1000 years of Byzantium history starting next month. And their exhibit catalog is available on the museum site for those of us who can't fly to London on the spur of the moment. :( Since this isn't a particular family interest we won't be ordering the catalog (it's a bit pricey), but it was neat that it is available. [Don't miss her links to the other stories in the article it was interesting.]

I actually own 2 or 3 museum catalogs of various things that I've purchased in used book stores and have found them quite helpful for information and pictures you may not be able to get elsewhere.

that's all from a puzzled goddess for today

10 September, 2008

Punch drunk in the past...

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

Feelin' a bit whoosy tonight, probably left over meds and fatigue. But got some good bonding time with the family tonight. The kids went to practice and brought home another freshman from their class who needed some homework help.

He's a good kid. He's made some wrong choices in the last few years...like getting to 17 with 2.5 credits toward high school graduation. [It wasn't important, Obviously no one had ever explained how much it was, and gotten it through to him!] He is in most of the kids classes and seems to pick it up well. He's not stellar, but I've seen MUCH worse. And he hates feeling stupid so he's gone back to school so he doesn't have to feel that way. Probably smartest decision the kid ever made.

If he keeps up with it, the whole family has told him he's more than welcome to come over and study with the kids. We sometimes still talk about assignments and I learn stuff. :) Did you know how much science has changed in 25 years? I'm finding out!

The boy's got some of the concerns with having groupies/followers/stalkers/puppydogs whatever you want to call them, that the girl has been dealing with for quite a few years in various degrees. She's gotten much more compassionate to people who are outsiders though, she's had to deal with being a bullied outsider since we moved to this little school with many strangely raised children. She's a freak, but a freak with followers now and so finds some acceptance. Plus, she's discovered the wonderful feeling of being the BEST at something. SHE is the BEST in her school at scholastics. Not the quickest learner, but the one who listens and follows through and is responsible and thinking.

The boy isn't that geared to wanting to put a label on himself. He's a natural student (unfortunately it comes too easy to him), a natural athlete (though he does have to work to be a starter at his age) and he's a natural leader, being a boy with a strong sense of right and wrong and a genuine hero complex. He's been having to deal with 'followers' for years, and while it drives him nuts, he's been as pleasant as he could. And in some cases, he's even been the one following.

He's got a friend currently who is far from social adept (I'd have to say total social gamer geek.) This guy wants to be joined at the hip from the time they get to school until the boy goes to football practice. The kid isn't sports oriented, it's all video games...which is the trap we are working to get our son out of. We want him playing and moving in the real world.

It's taken this kid 2 years, but he's almost totally run my son's patience away. We keep counselling to redirect the conversations you don't want to participate in toward another subject. Be polite and don't cut him down, and may like hey, c-o-m-u-n-i-c-a-t-e and tell him that he's increasing your stress by constantly bringing gamer talk to school when you want to socialize with other people and learn different things about the world.

For instance, he's LOVING football. A sport he's never been exposed to and is barely on for 5 seconds as we flip through channels at our house! But he's loving it and wants to spend some time getting immersed in it with his teammates.

It's a really grown up, and could be an emotionally hurtful situation to have to deal with to get him the reduction in anxiety and space the boy feels he desparately needs right now.

Their reactions as children of this modern age are so much better and kinder than mine were at the same age. I would have wanted to be kind, but I'm not sure I could have looked far enough beyond myself to do so. I wasn't nearly as responsible as the ones we've raised. [Hmmm. guess video games and TV might be good for something after all, and discussion of honor, chivalry and reading to them all about the Lord of the Rings and the Knights of the Round table....who'd a thunk it? *grin*]

from a puzzled goddess who can't do much more than advise.

07 September, 2008

My heart's joy...

Some goddesses are puzzled by this...like me...

Sorry to people who are actually reading this that I've been missing days. Disability and pain are calling heavily this week. For some reason the more I need to be a mommy and DO stuff, the less disability wants to let me go. :( Go figure.

I've got to say that I'm enjoying some proud mommy and wife moments this week as well.
My so very dear husband is getting his feet under him and running with enthusiasm at his fairly new job. Which is so cool for me to see since he's intelligent enough that most jobs bore him to tears after about 2 months...we're almost a year now and he's still learning and pushing to expand his knowledge. Of course, computers always let you do that, for some reason they don't stay the same from month to month. :)

And the kids! Wow! They're mine, and I'm still impressed by them!

The boy is playing football for the VERY FIRST TIME EVER! (we don't watch it or really even understand all the rules in this house *grin*) and he is doing GREAT! He's starting! As a freshman! Yes, the team is small, only a few guys more than they need to field for defense and offense. But he played most of the game. He's the noseguard position I guess it's called. The one who stands opposite the center in the line and tries to tackle him. He also played a bit as running back, which he really likes because he's faster than a lot of kids his age.

I have to say that having him on the line was one of the reasons that I really didn't want him to play football. For a freshman, he's pretty big. Facing the seniors in this league, he's pretty small. The guy that was the center on the Jewel team they played friday was a behemoth! The boy said he was almost as tall as a door frame and just about as wide. Eek! And my poor 5"10" 200lb stripling is up against this! Ouch!

The coach told him that he had speed on the guy but not mass. My son's comment was, "Yah, think?" LOL The team lost, but they did better than last year's team so they were pretty happy. The boy is happy. He gets to actually HIT somebody, and it's LEGAL! So he's having a ball! He was kinda disappointed that he only came in 3rd on the team for the amount of blood on his jersey after the game though. :? It must be a guy thing...

And on the scholastic front, the boy actually did his MATH homework the night it was assigned! Not the night before it was due! Yay! [But then he lost it in the black hole he calls a room! Boo!] The teacher let him turn it in a few hours late, but I was happy that the kid is taking scholarship seriously this year! He's always had enough of a brain to pretty much skate, but I've wanted him to actually use it!

My daughter is also making us SO proud! We had to talk her into rejoining the Volleyball team this year because she had gotten so frustrated in her middle school years. She barely got to play and wasn't treated great by her teammates last year because she'd skipped a grade. The coach wouldn't let any of them forget it either as well as having some sportmanship problems that were just WRONG in a coach.

But we talked her into giving it a try anyway. She will need the extracurricular activities on her resume for college and this town only has volleyball and basketball. With her dislike of running, basketball isn't really an option. :)

She just LOVES her volleyball coach. She's been a positive role model, has given my daughter massive encouragement and has helped her bloom! The girl is the JV team CAPTAIN, as a freshman! Wow! She's also being trained to be their setter and to play defense. For those who don't play volleyball, it doesn't mean alot, but to be complimented like that on her control at her age (as a freshman who is a year younger or more than all the girls on the JV) this is incredible.

Remember, this is the girl who was barely allowed to play last year or the year before. And to top it off, she has now been named to the Taxi squad! Which means that she subs in for the VARSITY team as well! Yes, they have two freshman on the Varsity, but this is just fantastic! It is so nice that she feels positive and encouraged about something physical.

As for her academics, she continues to be responsible and proactive about her classwork. I don't know who she got it from, but gee I appreciate it. :)

from a puzzled goddess who is soaking in the reflected glory