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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Why God is Mean: Thoughts on Christmas with Jackie, from my former self

Christmas with Jackie Q.

My mother left one Friday morning before I left for school. The quick goodbye and the muffled smile from inside the huge black coat would be the last I saw of her for two weeks. I thought it was tough enough being the eldest of seven in a homeschooling family with a severely handicapped autistic brother and a father overseas in the military. What I'd called a blizzard turned out to be just a little rain—it was about to snow.
Friday I came home from school to find my grandparent's little red car in the driveway. Later that day news came in that the little girl within my mother's womb would probably not survive. I spent the greater part of my Saturday on the phone with ladies from my church, giving and getting information about my mother's condition and receiving prayer and aid of all kinds from my older sisters in Christ. My friends sent fragrant prayers to heaven for me, and this entire time the Lord filled me with an incredible sense of peace. Sunday, after the congregational prayer for my new little unborn sister, my mother called with good news of an improvement in the baby's condition. The elders of my church went down to UVA and prayed for my mother, and the baby's condition improved again. The emergency c-section scheduled Monday moved to the following Wednesday. My grandmother continued to take care of my family as I bumped my way through the last few weeks of school before the Christmas break.
My mother's water broke the following Tuesday night, the day before the c-section scheduled on Wednesday, and my wonderful dad rushed down to UVA for the emergency delivery. Jacqueline Noelle was c-sectioned 1:05 AM on December 5th. I saw her about a few days later, and about a week after that she moved out of the intensive care unit and into the moderate care unit.
My sister's emergency brought forth an amazing shower of love from all places expected and unexpected. My church's amazing support system dazed me. We found faith and love in the most wonderful people, like the EMT who took my mother to the hospital in the ambulance sang hymns and Christian worship songs to her during the entire trip. My sister's plight brought sympathy from all kinds of people at my school and she gave me a deeper relationship through prayer and care with many of the Christian teachers and teens whose faith had been previously unknown to me. One amazing teen friend took Jackie's situation to her youth group and had them praying for her. Jackie's need activated prayer-warriors around the world and sent a UVA nurse who had "heard about her" into tears. She's barely a month old and has already touched more lives than some people reach in a lifetime.
Jacqueline Noelle is not out of the hospital yet however. She has Hydrops Fetalis and may have transient leukemia (TL), which in 20-30% of Down's Sydrome kids develops into acute leukemia within a few years. Yes, Jackie Q. has been diagnosed with Down's Syndrome, although it appears mild and she does not possess the physical characteristics of a typical DS child. The TL could be causing the fluid build-up in her abdomen (ascites). Medical aid alone cannot save Jackie Q. Theory after theory has leapt in the window to supplant the previous ideas about her condition. Her life is in the hand of God alone.
I began this short blurb to write about questioning the Lord's goodness. After all I've written, however, it is quite clear that His Goodness is something I really cannot question. Jackie Q has lived a full live. To put it quite plainly, if she dies, she will have lived life to the max and she will find a sweet spot in heaven just waiting for her. If she lives, who knows what she will accomplish? This crazy emergency has given my mother a closer relationship with the Lord and broadened my own emotional horizons. No harm has befallen us—only good. We have received the blessing of knowing the transience of life, and the importance of the small, and we have seen the Almighty Hand of God at work for healing. This is more than many people witness in a lifetime.
Yes, it's true that this was perhaps not the best time for everyone in my family to come down with a dreadful stomach bug, or for my much-needed grandmother to meet Mr. Pneumonia. It certainly wasn't planned for me to be at home alone right now taking care of three children while my mother stays in Charlottesville to take care of Jacqueline. I really don't appreciate the military's success in taking my dad back to Kuwait again after only a few weeks. I don't like being a teenage surrogate mother.
But isn't this what Christmas is all about? Mary and Joseph undoubtedly had other plans before Jesus came along. I'm sure they had a nice home in Nazareth all picked out. I'm sure Joseph did not expect to marry an already pregnant woman. For that matter, I'm sure Mary did not intend to get pregnant before getting married! And I'm sure this was the absolute worst time Ceasar Augustus could have picked to send the couple journeying to Bethlehem for a tax raise.
But if Jesus had not been born in Bethlehem, He would not have fulfilled the prophecy made in the Old Testament about this "City of David." If He hadn't been in a stable we would never have seen so clearly the amazing humbling leap from God-hood to baby humanity that He took to save us. Without the manger and the fifteen-year-old girl we would not have witnessed God's amazing ability to use the lowest things in society to fulfill His beautiful purpose. Perhaps most importantly, the lowliest of the lowly, the shepherds, whose word by law could not hold in Jewish court, could never have met the baby Jesus and worshipped Him.
Little is so much when God is in it. He knows exactly what He is doing, and He does it with the smallest things of this world. He uses individuals to build His family. He used a boy to slay a giant. He used a manger to house the King of the Universe. He is the God who gets His praise from the lips of children and infants. Can He not use you, too?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Little Autism Study from Highschool

This is an old autism survey I did. It cannot, of course, demonstrate how biological damage to mothers really affects childen on a scientific level, but it does demonstrate how mothers of children with autism (the SubA group) think differently about their health and mothers of "normal" children (the SubN group), and gives some resources about autism at the end. For more information, please look at My Little Old Autism Website to see a list of resources. The information on there is kind of old and it's a badly designed website, but the resource list/book list should be extremely useful. I may in the future post it here, as well.

The Unsung Heroes

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How Not to Lose When You're Alone, from my former high school self

The moon glows over the lone warrior, the lone Wolf, standing on the hill amidst the fallen lying in mounds, in rivers flowing down from his feet. Waiting, watching—IT will come tonight. Again—and this time, IT will be stronger. And this time, there is no support team, no back-up—just raw fate and feat, just muscle and wit and chance. When you are the only other person for 300 miles, you cannot run away.
Anyone who has fought for a worthy cause has experienced some aloneness or some sense of desperation—if not in the past, or now, it will happen later. Just as the only way to keep from experiencing pain is to tear out your sensory neurons, only people who avoid living altogether can avoid that place on the hill.
However, every person can prepare himself for conflict. “Iron sharpens iron”—we can become strong by becoming “we.” You can sharpen your iron on a rock, or rub it against a tree, or heat it again and again in a fire, but ultimately, you will benefit your cause more when you allow other people to help prepare you for your battles. Integrity and steadfastness are forged alone, in the silence and heat of the human heart—but the strength to wield them and the hope to maintain them comes from working together with other people.
After working and playing and solving problems with our group, when we find ourselves flung out into the world alone we discover that we have talents and answers that we did not have before. We may surprise ourselves. One person may be strong and clever—from a friend they may learn gentleness and wisdom. If we are humble and willing, we can accumulate the wealth of the world from the minds of our groups.
IT has arrived. IT tosses the bodies away as it runs up the hill. A swipe—blocked by that incredible technique picked up from training with Warrick. A downward slash—blocked by Luari’s scythe, followed up with a stab from Tansra’s gift spearhead. IT’s power is not to be underestimated—IT dodges, swirls, flies, leaps, rolls. Wolf ducks, hurls, twists, stabs. Suddenly, a slip of the foot on the wet evening grass, and the warrior is lying flat, facing the defeat he had expected but hoped so fiercely to overcome.
IT raises up, shining metal, glowing claws shimmering red in the shadows. IT strikes—
And rolls away dead. Wolf rises, grasping the hand of his Friend with astonishment, relief, and gratitude. She smiles and shrugs, “I learned that one from you.”
Because until the moon wanes completely and the hills become valleys, no one is ever completely alone.
And even then…

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Voices in my Head Are Singing, by a former self (Or How Not to take the Little Things for Granted)

Green Spiders

I have a symphony in my head wherever I go. Literally orchestras and rock bands move through my cranium and at any given time something is playing inside there. Everything from heavy metal to classical, rap, rock, pop, ambient, you name it, and even now and then a little country melody plays. “You never know whatcha got til it’s gone,” tobyMac once said, and he was right.

One day I was hanging out with a friend who is very dear to me, and I think we weren’t really glorifying God and I probably should have been studying instead. We were wasting time and I knew it at that time. During that hangout time, my music turned off. I stopped short and gasped, because suddenly a huge silence pervaded my head.

“The music stopped,” I told my friend.
“The music in my head went away!”

Then I really noticed it. Sometimes, in the morning during high school I would find myself singing in my bed as I woke up, but during the day I would usually forget about these notes from the daylight. That didn’t mean they weren’t there, however. They just played in the background of my head.

I would also really pay attention when it had words, because then I liked to sing along. Many of the songs came from artists I know and love, but some of them I’ve only ever heard in my head. I learned to play and record some of them, and I write down the ones that strike me.

Since my momentary silence, this little bit of joy in my life has become something I appreciate more and more. It’s like God’s little taste of heaven for me, every moment, and I’d like to give it back to Him.

Now, some days when I have my headphones in all day, my brain begins to depend on the pulses from the electronics. Then when I take my headphones out, there’s a little discontinuity, like the musicians had to scramble to get in their places again. I guess a lot of my life is like that. God gives us little things, just for us, that are beautiful and precious, and sometimes we have to learn to become more independent in order to use them to the fullest. In other words, headphones are good, but He wants me to take them out and let my own head enjoy His secret gift. I get too dependent on good things, and don’t always give God a chance to show me something more natural, and better. Everything has a balance.

Today I read in my devotional, “What makes God so dear to us is not so much His big blessings to us, but the tiny things, because they show His amazing intimacy with us.” (Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest) I have a friend who one time wrote something like, “I cling to hope from the little things that show me God loves me.” I do, too, and I think Mr. Chambers is right. A great woman of the faith also once told me a story about how she asked God to help her find an eggshell in her cake batter, and that somehow it seemed precious to her that He would care about that. I think to most people her story looks silly, but to me, with an eternal song in my head, there’s something precious about it. We know our friends by the little things about them. So what kind of little things from God have made YOU smile, friend?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Kookaburra in an orgasm: on teenage girls, by my former, angry self

_____ ____________
Mrs. Wells
Sarcasm/Reductio Free Write
Tell me more, please

    Teenage girls gather in the most beautifully enchanting groups.  They speak softly and laugh shrilly every once in a while with the intensity of a kookaburra in an orgasm.  One would imagine that the circles they form conglomerate around intensely important issues that could not possibly wait for the phone.  No, these conversations bring upon us the light of heaven; delaying them would bring about the judgment that befalls the sinful ignorant.  What would we do, after all, without their oh-so-womanly discussions about boys and lipstick? 

Teen girls, I beseech thee--let not the stuck-up female judge your essential discussion circles.  We desperately crave hearing about how cute he is.  It matters SO much to the rest of us.  After all, we don't have eyes--we cannot see it ourselves!  Your great wisdom enlightens me past comprehension--I have experienced the epiphany of inspiration through your exuberant discussion of his face, his hands, the measurement around his arms.  I could not care more about the slow gentle thrill that crept from your pelvis up to your seven uppermost vertebrae when his luscious lips touched your cheek.  These things, after all, cannot wait until adulthood and marriage.  You tell us emphatically that you would never dream of marrying him--and then in the next sentence you quickly inform us that you love him desperately with the constant adoration of Romeo and Juliet.  Such depth of reasoning!  Furthermore, how would we know what was in and what was out, what was hot and what was not, if you did not tell us?  After all, the flashy ads do not tell us enough.  We cannot read the truth past their call--pop culture requires a deeper scripture for true understanding.  Speak, then, and speak loudly!  Don't let the foolish women who desire to find depth in all things squeeze the fun out of your discussions.    And we would die and burn in hell if you did not share the Gospel of Love and Makeup with us immediately. 

Remember, young women, speak about that which lightens your heart and increases your hormonal capacity!  The people dying in Communist prisons, Arab torture chambers, Ethiopian deserts of starvation, and the dark safe wombs of their mothers do not merit your valuable discussion time.  You do not need to worry about planning to lobby your congressmen or solving philosophical difficulties or reasoning deeper than the topmost epidermis of your handsomely bronzed skin.  As long as that epidermis is handsomely bronzed with the right finishers in the proper places and as long as the boys can see you, nothing else matters.  After all, everything that is golden glitters within easy reach, accessible without any strenuous thought.

Short Comparative Summary of Africa vs. Europe in World History

Summaries of points of view in "Africa in World History" by Gilbert and Reynolds, "The African Diaspora" by Manning, and "Worlds Together, Worlds Apart" by Tignor et al
Historians have many different views on what characterized past contact between continents, and what differentiated later European expansion from earlier global contact. For a while, European historians emphasized Europe's central role in developing out of and improving on older civilizations evolutionarily. Many reject this view under the label of euro-centrism or teleological emphasis on "modernity." Varying responses to these labels in our readings show how16th century Europe compared to the rest of the world and how Europeans affected Africa.

Gilbert and Reynolds emphasize Africa's centrality in world history in aggressive opposition to euro-centrism. At the beginning of their text, in selecting Africa as the beginning of human evolution, they emphasize the "crucial role of Africans in early world history,"i even though "Africans" per se certainly did not exist at that point in time. Throughout their teleological discussion of African history, they emphasize the "remarkable"ii "states" and "empires" Africans constructed and their similarity to European developments, claiming that "stateless" societies did not exist for very long in Africa. Africa becomes almost the anti-Europe so that, when Europeans begin to expand into Africa, the story becomes exclusively imperialistic, technologically advanced Europeans vs. "brave" Africans.iii

The title "Worlds Together, Worlds Apart" shows that Tignor et al. set out to discuss the networks of connection across the world and compare them to the modern phenomenon of globalization. Tignor et al. thus emphasize the civilizations that militarized most quickly, such as the Islamic, European empires, and large Chinese empires, with less emphasis on other Asian societies, Africa, and communities in the Americas. Africans and Amerindians become important primarily in their connections to imperial systems.iv Tignor et al see the world as formed by shifting ideas, so their history happens via abstracts, emphasizing modern conceptions of ideas, such as tolerance and diversity.v The Europeans in their narrative do not triumph purely by technology, but because of ideological circumstance and

Although the third author, Manning tries to stay away from generalizations of African culture by describing specific cultural achievements,viia look at his epilogue shows that he ultimately emphasizes Africans as a general, cultural whole separate from the rest the world.viii He emphasizes changing conceptualizations of race and Africanness over everything else, and ultimately claims that Atlantic-centered enslavement focused on Africa because "Africa did not undergo and economic boom" and because Africans adjusted well to the threat.ix His emphasis on people as actors, rather than abstracts, causes him to choose his language carefully (enslavement instead of slavery) and also leads to belief that European economic strategies of survival did not give them an advantage, per se, without requiring that they face certain strategic costs and set-backs--such as over-expansion, or enslavement of others. 
In HIAF 3091, historical processes such as the movement from hunter-gathering to agriculture, the marginalization of young males to maintain a collection of women as status symbols, the creation of the outsiders "the witch" and "the cannibals," and so on are addressed in terms of strategies for the communal ethos to maintain human survival. Manning explains human past in these processes, but tends to focus so much on development of race that his book ceases to be "history" and becomes ideological, cultural conjecture. Gilbert and Reynolds, and Tignor, see historical processes as cumulative and abstract, respectively, so while their works do reflect history, they reflect sociology or evolutionary anthropology more than history, per se.

iGilbert and Reynolds, 13
iiGilbert and Reynolds, 65
iiiGilbert and Reynolds, 271
ivTignor, 407
vFor example, in the discussion of the Ottoman Empire, where claims are made ad nauseum about how the Ottomans spread farther because they were more tolerant, overlooking the forced migration and enslavement of huge numbers of people in their search to apply modern constructs to ancient societies.
viTignor, 461, Tignor 499
viiManning, 21
viiiManning epilogue, 335
ixManning, 336

Saturday, April 16, 2011

How Not To Explain What You Meant In a Previous Post

SO I've been uploading some old stuff recently--the last two posts were from high school, actually.  So long ago.

Actually not really, I remember it all like it was yesterday, as they say.  Anyway, so when I said, "from a former self" that just means that it was from myself a little while back and may or may not be my best work anymore--just that I thought it was still interesting.

Ya know?



The first part doesn't apply to you, BUT yeah, me, bein' in a horror movie.  Whoohoo!

See what I did there?  Way off topic, way too long, way boring, and you still don't know what I meant in the Previous Post.  That, my friends, was how not to explain what I meant in the previous post.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

How Not To Be Depressed, from a former self of mine

A child shivers in the freezing nighttime temperatures of the deserts of Southern Sudan.  A sister turns to prostitution to keep her family alive while her father is in prison for his religious beliefs.  A man is beaten to death with electric rods for sharing his faith with a friend.  A starving mother sings a song of hope to her child as she feeds him close to her breast for the last time before she dies.  The world around us, outside us, burns with the fires of pain and passion. 

One would think that the poverty and persecution of other human beings, of entire peoples on this planet, outside our nation, would motivate teens as individuals to action, or at least to deep gratefulness for the grace that has allowed us to live daily without fear of dying for what we say or for lack of sustenance.  American teenagers wallow in freedom and power.  We can freely write to our elected officials without worrying about arousing their wrath with our words.  We are largely educated.  We usually have extra money on our hands.  We are young and strong, fruit trees planted by the coolest spring, not yet worn by the seasons of life.  We, out of all the teenagers of the world, and possibly out of all the people in the world, have the most capacity for good, and also the greatest worldly resources to inspire contentment.

Yet American teens seem to be among the most hurt and desperate people in the modern world.  Depression is the number one psychological disorder in the western world and by 2020 will be the 2nd most disabling national illness next to heart disease.  The increase is higher in kids than in adults--twenty years before now, depression in adolescents was virtually unknown. (Clinical) Teenagers also spend an increasing amount of time writing about their lives on personal blogs (Kumar).  The American blog is an informational, communicative, and effective innovation--however, how helpful is it to a teen if he spends all his online energy writing about the tragedies of his daily life?  Furthermore, if a teen devotes a large portion of her spare time to writing about herself, how much of her spare time could possibly be spent helping anyone else?

When we focus so much on ourselves, and how we do or do not measure up to today's standards, or how we wish we had kinder families, or better jobs, or whatever, we lose time and energy that could better be spent focusing on someone else.    Teens have committed suicide over losses as small as the transfer of a boyfriend's affection or a lower GPA.  Things like these are serious to us as human beings and important to our self-understanding and relational health.  However, when our own performance and personal lives become THAT important, we are not only binding ourselves to a vicious cycle of uselessness, we are depriving someone else of the aid we could have given had we cared enough to devote the time and the energy. 

Perhaps if we, as able-bodied, capable youth, spent a little more time volunteering, giving, writing to officials, lobbying the governments of our world about human rights, and striving to encourage and bless the people placed in our daily paths, we would find that we had less depression simply because we had less time for it.  Perhaps if we took our lives into our own hands, rather than allowing our feelings to control our hearts, this world would be a better place.  Perhaps that child would have a blanket.  Perhaps the sister could find gainful employment.  Perhaps that man would be allowed freedom of religion.  And perhaps the mother could watch her baby grow into a healthy young person with a passion for life, rather than seeing him shrivel before her eyes as she takes her last lonely, starving breath.

"For...years have I come searching for fruit on this fig tree and have found none...Why should it use up the soil?...If it should bear fruit next year, well and good, but if not...cut it down."--Luke 13:6-9[/center]

Clinical Depression. (
Kumar, Ravi. "Structure and Evolution of Blogspace" [u]Communications of the ACM  archive[/u], Volume 47 ,  Issue 12  (December 2004) Pages: 35 - 39, Year of Publication: 2004, ISSN:0001-0782

Thoughts from a former self of mine...on Guns.

Pleasing the Pacifists, Contenting the Killers

     Our society is plagued by malcontent murderers. A husband shoots his wife and children over a simple household issue that could have resolved itself with marriage counseling. Two teenage boys rob an unloved old neighbor woman of a few bucks for fun and gruesomely murder her when she does not comply with their wishes. A man and a teenager drive through the DC area and shoot people down in the parking lot for literally no reason at all. Some politicians say these events could have been prevented with a little counseling and some stiff gun control, and that the Second Amendment does nothing to stop these killings, but rather tacitly sustains them. Let us see—perhaps fairytale happily-ever-afters and Greek Deus ex machinas do occur in real life America, and that banning guns will create one. Or perhaps they do not.
     Affluent politicians such as John Kerry hold that because people kill with guns, without them crime rates will be dramatically reduced. We must assume, then, following our Senators’ infallible logic, that without guns people cannot effectively end each other’s lives. An angry murderer may tell you otherwise, however. I have been trained to kill an attacking rapist with female accessories such as a bra and sunglasses in a relatively short amount of time. I do not need a gun—neither does a powerful teenage male murderer with the potent combination of rage and adrenaline flowing through his veins. The two teenage boys in the introduction killed the woman by throwing her over a bridge. They did not use a shotgun or a Colt .22 or even a stolen AK-47: a piece of cement several meters below them worked just fine. In order to truly protect society, then, we must rid the world of bras, sunglasses, and bridges as well as guns. Large kitchen knives have already been outlawed in Australia following this basic logic. Stopping at guns does not pull the crime rate down—all dangerous weapons must be completely removed from society, even if it means sending Victoria’s Secret and Panama Jack out of business.
         Of course, we can completely remove something from society, correct? Everyone will obey the government and turn over their possessions without a fuss, right? In a society that bans guns, we know that all law-abiding citizens will obediently turn their guns over to the government. What about the murderers, however? Go ahead. Order a drug lord or Mafia henchman to hand over his Uzzi. I suggest that you start running as soon as you have finished making your demands—or that you at least have a loaded M-16 in your hands. Outlaw firearms, and only the government and the criminals will have them. Who do you trust more to protect you—yourself, Charles Manson, or Senator Ted Kennedy?
A gun-ban, then, would only affect innocent citizens, leaving killers free to enter any home without any fear of being shot through the head by a woman who does not want to be raped and murdered. No matter, the police will save the unarmed, helpless citizen, correct? Actually, no. The cities in our country with the highest crime rates (New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco) also have the tightest gun control laws. Police are not supermen, faster than a speeding bullet. They can only rescue you as quickly as the distance they must cover. The introduction mentioned a woman and her children shot by their father. That unarmed woman called the police the instant her husband came to the door. The police did not get there until half-an-hour later. By then, it was too late, despite her son’s valiant efforts to fight off his gun-wielding father with a baseball bat. It takes thirty seconds, not thirty minutes, to pull a trigger thirty times.
            Our heaven sent defenders will protect us. We do not need guns. These are words similar to those of President Idi Amin, who buried alive the people of other ethnic tribes and shot little boys outside cathedrals. He banned guns and effectively prevented his people from rising up against his tyrannical rule. Hitler did the same thing. One of his first acts in office tightened gun control laws. Without guns, the Jews could not escape arrest. Corrie ten Boom, a Dutch Jew-hider sent to the concentration camp at Ravensbruck, writes that only three young Nazis with guns could easily keep an entire train of women under control. How different it could have been if the Jews had had access to armaments.
               It has been said that the Second Amendment right to bear arms protects all the other rights. There are hundreds of news incidences of law-abiding citizens over the past few years, many of them women, protecting their rights to liberty and property using legal firearms. Most of the time, the criminals did not even sustain injuries, suddenly becoming complacent when the victim had the ability to defend herself. In one case, an 18-year-old armed male invaded his 80-yr-old neighbor’s home to rape her. She managed to get out from under him and grab the pistol she kept by her bed. She fired and wounded her attacker and the police apprehended him when he turned up in a hospital a few days later. Her gun saved her life. No matter, however, that guns in the hands of intelligent citizens have saved lives. No matter that without guns we cannot protect ourselves from armed tyrannical governments. No matter that outlawing guns practic댫涞┳캢禱獱皘?ួ껇䷍蕴睵⼧縝簚寿몐?ﳡ챖껭ῇ蜵垜䄃?ຢ㧞Ẓ鿜塿囥痧윲㼡効녫ﺥὺ揦肢㺄敏⋁n᤭䞯褴儷閁⢠✳⵾. After all, our wondrously loving, beneficial government will protect us!

All information presented here were gathered from news stories I had read. Unfortunately, I was too young to know proper citing. But you can look them up!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

How Not to Redesign Your Blog, and Pagan Gods

So, first rule of failing at redesign--plagiarize.

And then, fail at plagiarism, when you let everyone know that they can get cool backgrounds like this at

Mwahahaha the cyclical failure is killing you, I know! Anyway, and then, don't bother to replace the header image, oh no. And then, don't bother to pay attention to making the font of the "blog description" visible. With the amount of fail that we'll have your blog spouting, like a putrid snot volcano, no one will need to read it anyway.

Mmm, putrid snot volcano. An old legend--I believe either Japanese or Babylonian, although I have unfortunately forgotten--held that the earth was formed when one god got into a fight with another and tied the other into the ball. The trees are the hairs on this balled-up, tortured god's back, and people and animals are the vermin and the fleas. So volcanoes...well, in my mind--they weren't mentioned in the legend mind you--they must be zits and snot holes. Mmm, mmm, mother earth.

I find it absolutely intriguing how humans can develop such opposing views of earth. The mother, versus the rolled up, rotting, suffering god--I mean, maybe they're somehow connected. I'm sure fleas feel that we're quite kind and nurturing, up to a point.

Anyway, rambling. A good way to announce your blog redesign.