...

Oct. 18th, 2010 06:00 pm
collowrath: (Default)
These past few days have gone to Hell in a handbasket.  Of course, as soon as I'm at the end of my rope and no longer have the energy to deal with my day-to-day, something comes along and really pushes it over the edge.  At this point, I really just don't have the mental fortitude to continue.

Partner has done some intentionally malicious things to me lately in the hopes that they would force me to move to Cincinnati early, even though he's stupid if he thinks he's getting a mortgage any time soon.

At this rate I have no options left.  I'm not sure what route I want to go to make my own options but none of them are particularly pleasing.

Netflix

Sep. 19th, 2010 12:00 am
collowrath: (Default)
I don't know what I did before Netflix.

Actually, I totally do.  I would get a latte and go to the campus video store.

But this is so much easier.  I totally found the Dynasty Warriors movie; it's not really, but it's based off of the Romance of the Three Kingdoms like the games are.  It's a pretty awesome movie, brings back a lot of memories.  It's also very pretty, but that's something I've come to expect from wuxia films.

Cleaned the whole house, top to bottom.  Now everything feels good and I can relax, but I neglected my own wellbeing today and now I don't feel so well.  One misstep in my diet and I'm back to square one.  What really sucks is that food is so expensive, we can't afford much and we can't afford quality. :/

It'll be fine, but no more quick fast food dinners.,
collowrath: (Default)
I don't really have much to say, but I really feel like I need to get into the habit of writing often.  Making the effort to write every day or so, I'm hoping, will help me to get my creative juices going.

Not to mention, as much as I'd like to be in bed so that I can work on getting the house cleaned tomorrow, the neighbors are playing their music so loud I could totally tell you what song it was over the tv and other ambient noises if I listened to obnoxious, beatless rap.  And since it's a Friday night I have nobody to call to make them stfu.  This is the biggest thing I'm excited about when it comes to moving out of here - I'm desperate to be in an area where I don't have to listen to another person's music blaring into my space at any and all hours of the day and night.  I'm also excited that we'll be in a very quiet neighborhood that doesn't get any through traffic; therefore, no cars blaring said obnoxious, beatless rap at any and all hours of the day and night.

I'm trying to think of what I am going to write for The Blog.  I haven't worked on content since May, and I feel really bad for it.  I wrote out the mission statement in the opening post, but I need to generate real content for it.   I'm also looking to bring the whole thing up to speed, but I need a camera in order to get the relevant pictures.  Honestly, I think the biggest thing holding me back from doing that is laziness.  It seems like so much and I dread working through all of it.  I'm sure as soon as my space is clean, I'll be able to do it nema problema.

I think that's pretty much all for now, gonna go back to netflix and dreaming of baking cookies and trying some new recipes.
collowrath: (Default)
This house has gotten messy, I don't have money for food, and I feel like junk constantly.  I'm in need of change, but I don't think it'll be coming soon enough.  Firstly, I need to clean the hell out of this place so I can feel right again.  I need to fix my monetary situation ASAP.

Most importantly, I need to regularly vent my feelings either here or on paper (since I like the feeling of writing so much), eat better, and sleep.  At night.  I have been sleeping for way longer than is necessary but I feel unrested all the time, as though I never even laid down.  Usually I have school going on right now to cure my insomnia by forcing me into a normal schedule, but I can't afford that any more in so many ways.  I just have to force myself into the normal schedule by being as consistent as possible I guess.

I AM looking forward to Sept. 22nd.  That will be one of the better parts of my year I think.  I can't wait to break out the dyes again.  I also want to take some photos because Columbus is pretty beautiful in Autumn, and since I'm moving away soon, I'd like to have some nice photographs to remember the place by.  My mother's birthday is tomorrow as well.

I will certainly find something to talk about on this blog in a consistent manner - whether it's life or spirituality (as was my intention).  I'm looking to start up and work consistently with another blog that I began in May and subsequently lost the time for.  Maybe, when that happens, I will do a bit of a reset here and get a better thought-out purpose.

*shrug* Can't really say now.
collowrath: (Default)
I feel like crap today for a couple of reasons.  Just wanted to put that out there into the world.

More positive posts to come soon, once I get over this and further into September.   20 more days.  Moving to Cincinnati, made my decisions.  Finally ready to leave Columbus, tie up loose ends, and start over.  Hopefully moving out West soon - only been dreaming about it for years.

Apollon, Hermes, I'm listening, I promise.  I can only do so much, but damn it, I hear you.

Have started covering my head.  I know it's unusual for me, being a boy and all, but I think I need reminding sometimes of my position and what it means and what I should be doing.  It's also hot so it's practical to wear a nice bandana.
collowrath: (Default)
The past few days, I've been restless as hell.  I've got nothing to do, nowhere to go, and I have no way to get there if I did have somewhere to go.  So not only am I restless but I am trapped.  That really sucks, but hey, it's inspired me to think of projects I need to work on.

First of all: I need to actually work on the blog about going green and homesteading. 

Secondly: I need to work on being up in the mornings, down in the afternoons (when it's too hot to do anything).

Thirdly: whenever my life has been its worst, I've looked to my religion for solace.  Why haven't I this time?  I need to do something for Noumenia and tomorrow, I need to bake.  I need to make offerings to the house spirits.

Fourth:  I'm making plans for renovations on this house.  We officially acquired it from the landlord a few months ago and now we're looking to make it not just livable (it has major defects in the wiring, pipes, the roof, etc), but make it profitable.  Gods know we don't intend to live here any longer than necessary - this neighborhood sucks majorly.  I'm looking forward to getting my hands dirty on it and turning it into something really nice.

Fifth: my car.  I can't stand being stuck here and being dependent on other people for transportation.  I haven't been independent in my own mobility in a long time.  This car is major major issues personified, and last time I tried to get it fixed I spent a lot of money for not a lot of return.  This time though, I've narrowed the issue down that could be the root cause of its problems, and once I get those fixed (which is just a matter of diagnosing a few fuses and switching them out), everything should be fine.  Once I can get her reasonably reliable on the road, the other issues are mostly cosmetic; fixing a window so it goes down all the way, fixing the dash lights so they all work, fixing a broken speaker, and maybe, just maybe, fixing the ac.  I really needs mah ac in the summer, especially in a black Cadillac with black leather. D=

My next while and a half should be busy, but that's hopefully gonna take my mind off of being depressed and running off.
collowrath: (Default)
I will make some regular white bread for the family, since I hate store-bought white bread's texture (that gumminess threatens to gag me every time).

I also wanna make some foccacia.  With garlic and rosemary.

Also, I'm looking to try out a recipe for salted caramel candies.  It seems pretty simple but I don't have a candy thermometer.  Hopefully I can keep a good enough eye on it that I don't fuck it up.  To finish it though, I have some vintage merlot sea salt and some black hawaiian sea salt.  The vintage merlot is bright neon pink and I'm very excited to use it!
collowrath: (Default)
I know what makes me feel the happiest, and what I need to do in order to do those things - but there's something in the way.  I can't seem to feel motivated enough to take care of myself, get out of bed, etc.  

The worst part is that I'm not sure how to regain the motivation that I had just a few months ago to do things.  Maybe it's my isolation that's getting to me (which is kinda my fault - all my friends left the state, one of them came back for the summer but is embroiled in family troubles, but I'm seriously reluctant to put myself out there and meet new people), or maybe it's my total lack of things that I absolutely must do/my lack of deadlines that aren't wholly self imposed.  I always feel like I hate being told when to do something, but I've found that if I don't have real goals to work toward, they don't seem to happen.  I wanted to move to Pitt for the university's Slovak language program there, but oddly, I never finished the application.  Mostly, I have the feeling like that sort of life isn't for me.  I want to write, to edit, to be involved in some kind of creative work, but I feel entirely disadvantaged in finding work there.  I know nobody is going to take me seriously without some credentials, but a) I couldn't bear the institution I was in and probably shot myself in the foot as far as going to another one, and b) I seriously couldn't stand another English course.  I'm sure they're fine for most people, but I spent most of my time rolling my eyes and thinking the assignments were ridiculous. 

The last English assignment I ever did involved discussing a photograph on the projector screen for thirty minutes and then writing a 5 page essay on my feelings about it.  Yuck!

I would love to get into photography with my writing, but there was just something fundamentally unwelcome about such assignments.  At this point though, I'm really just being a curmudgeon. 

I guess the only thing I'm getting out of this abrupt, disconnected, silly post is that I'm lost.  I know where I want to be, but I don't know how to get there or how to get motivated.  The motivation is the most painful part, I think.
collowrath: (Default)
I check this site at least every other day.  I don't really follow anyone openly and I sincerely doubt there is anyone interested in reading it, but hey, the point of this place was for me to have an area to organize and write down my thoughts online.  Except, every time I come by, I find that I have no idea what I want to write.

This is a direct product of not having done a single thing.  Sure, I started a big garden and lifestyle project, but I set up another blog to keep track of that (and to help keep me motivated), but what with all the other changes in my life, I haven't been able to get into the photography and writing aspect.  Not to mention, I'm using the Partner's computer since I managed to fuck mine up.  hopefully I'll be able to jostle myself into working on it, but frankly, this living situation with my father is not working out.  Sure, I'm living in his house and am thus subject to his hospitality/good graces, but he flat-out refuses to treat me like a human being.  He hasn't got a single concern or ounce of respectable attitude in his body.  He figures (and this is a translation of his own words), that since he works a full work week he shouldn't have to pitch in, help cook his own dinner, wash his own laundry, etc, like everyone else in the world.  It doesn't matter that everyone else in this house either has a job or another full-time obligation.

I feel trapped, beaten, used, and defeated.  I'm not even sure how to get it all out in a way that doesn't sound like a rotten brat; I wish I could just show people directly, like a mind meld or something, but alas, I haven't figured that one out yet.

Cooking!

May. 2nd, 2010 06:00 pm
collowrath: (Default)
Tonight for dinner I'm making a Greek dish called afélia.  It's cubes of pork, rolled in ground coriander, browned, and then baked until tender in a sauce made of onion, garlic, and red wine.  It's really simple, but from the smell it's giving off in the oven it's going to be pretty delicious.  I'm serving it simply with a leafy salad (I'm using baby arugula and chopped romaine heart, with a citrus-y balsamic dressing), olives, and feta.

Daniel picked up an amazing, professional quality camera yesterday at a pretty reasonable price.  Hopefully he'll let me take it for a spin and take some food pictures before we dig in; the couple of times I've used it so far I've got myself in trouble taking pictures of Daniel.  He's really photogenic but he doesn't seem to think so.  If I can get some good pictures I'll edit them - though they won't really need much, from what I've seen of this camera - and post them up with a recipe just for fun.
collowrath: (Default)
I know it isn't traditional, but I spent the day doing a bit of "Walpurgisnacht Cleaning."  I had yet to do my Spring Cleaning, and I just didn't feel right waiting until May to do it, so this was literally my last chance.  It was a great day for it too - it was bright out with a gentle breeze.  The only problem was that it was also pretty warm out and the warmth from my cleaning set the temperature nearly 80 F in my house.  Crazy!  The only thing I didn't get to do today that I really wanted was to start a fire outside with this "java log," that Daniel bought ages ago.  It's supposed to smell like coffee!

Got some things to say about my University and my attendance there, but I don't feel comfortable about blogging it until I'm cemented in my position and sure of what I'm doing; although, if my intuition is accurate then I'm definitely in the right place, for better or worse.

I am 2/3's of the way through reading Day Watch, and it is good. :D I shall post a short review of it.  I've been getting a bug to edit/review things recently.  A friend sent me a short story she is working on that just enthralled me.  She is planning on translating the entire set of paintings into watercolors and I'm super excited to see them.

So this is mostly a ramble about some things that I'd like to put up here.  This is also a reminder to work on some things spiritually, especially now that the house is cleaned.  This is also a reminder to keep writing for the Living Basically blog or it'll never get off its feet.  Tomorrow you should have the post about the Alaskan peas ready, as well as a template and a banner and some ideas for posts about a local sourdough starter and maybe some recipes.  Also, work on your photography.

collowrath: (Default)
First things first, I had my Spring Break and managed to get really sick just afterward and get myself in a mountain of backwork and three missed quizzes from school.  That really sucks ass, especially since I really really do not need the added stress on top of them deciding that at 20 years old I'm no longer a dependent and that I didn't sign my master promissory note 2 years ago.  Even though, obviously, I did sign it since I have been getting financial aid for two years now and I'm a dependent according to FAFSA/the guhment till I'm 25.  Shit.  I'd be really angry if the ladies in the FinAid department were so nice.

Had a great Easter and a great Equinox.  Been doing all kinds of things.  Made kraslice/pisanky - very frustrating, but very worthwhile.

The biggest news from the past month or so has been the start of a new back yard project.  We're growing as much of our own food this year as possible, and we're trying to reform the way we take care of the house and other aspects of our lives as much as possible too, in order to be more "green" and eco-friendly.  Really, the point of the journey is to get back to good sense; we want to do things in the simplest, most straightforward way that we can manage, with as little reliance on outside forces as possible.  Also, we have a growing suspicion aimed at the chemical additives in our food.  We're sure some of them are safe - but you know those toaster strudels?  Yeah, the Partner eats the Hel out of them, and as it turns out, they're stuffed full of anti-freeze.  Like the stuff in your car.  Yuck.  And I can make better shtrudl'a anyhow.

Anyways, all these lifestyle changes won't be made unless they're given some kind of deadline, so I've started a blog to chronicle the whole deal.  I figure if we set ourselves up in order to have some kind of post on a weekly basis, whether it's a how-to, some of our research into our food or something else around the house or in our lives, or a recipe, or just some pictures and thoughts about our ever-growing garden, then that will add an extra incentive to do something new at least every week.  Sounds like a plan, no?  Also, it will give me some writing and editing experience which will be immensely useful, since the career path that seems most attractive to me at the moment involves lots of editing, some writing, and picture taking.
collowrath: (adama)
Rant on family - disregard unless interested. )

In other news - now that I've been fasting through the days until the end of next month, I am suddenly inspired by food very much.  It's funny how that works, being apathetic until there's no good to come from passion in it.  I'm particularly enamored of cheese platters and dark red wines.  Also, with heavy pasta dishes with creamy sauces and meat dishes.  Maybe I'll do a little food blogging at some point.

The fasting has been going pretty well.  My motivation, even though the fast coincides with Lent and some of my practices are tied pretty closely with it, is not Lenten.  I don't necessarily give up meat and eggs and dairy products, instead fasting in the manner of Ramadhan for the entire forty days (sun up to sun down, though my current class schedule means that three days a week, I come home and eat a slice of toast and a small cup of juice or milk at around noon), though I don't fast on Sundays in order to keep up an energy reserve.  I've fasted for Ramadhan with Muslim friends of mine before and I find that if I don't take a break once a week or so, I get very very sick.  Like, in a hospital sick.  I'm sure it has something to do with my being 5'6" and anywhere from 115 to 125 ell-bees.  Even though I don't impose a particular dietary restriction on myself once the sun goes down, I find that I tend to eat very light foods that are sans dairy and egg and (lots of) red meat any how, as those things tend to overload the system and result in sickness - so my fast actually tends to line up pretty well with that found in Eastern Orthodox churches.

All of this probably seems really out of place for a heathen such as myself.  Really though, this ties in directly with my cosmology.  You see,the end of the winter months and the start of spring is ritualized and very much involved with the Otherworld, Gods, and Ancestors.  The White God (Bieloboh), among West Slavs, is identified primarily with a God names Jarilo - often described as a vegetation God and sometimes identified with the Greek Dionysos.  He brings plenty, ecstasy, warmth, pleasure.  He rejuvenates the world after the cold, dead winter.  When he is reborn every spring, along with his twin sister Morena, they marry and have many children.  Toward the end of the year, when the crops are brought in, Morena finds Jarilo was unfaithful, and she murders him, tears his body apart, and build a house from it.  Through the winter, she becomes a frustrated old hag - a dangerous Goddess who brings ruin to the world.

When the winter is reaching its end, at the Vernal Equinox, a doll is made that is inhabited by Morena.  It is dressed up, paraded through the town, and ritually sacrificed by lighting it on fire, or drowning it, or both.  With the sacrifice of Morena, Jarilo is reborn and the cycle begins again.

This ritual is where the justification, rather, the need, for my fasting now is found.  My personal faith draws a very strict set of purity standards brought from my Hellenic practice and combined with certain Slavic cultural practices.  Historically speaking, I do not think that ancient Slavs necessarily held the same views that I do, but the justifications for certain cultural practices and attitudes/events in myths I think point to an at least similar concept.  

To be in the presence of our Gods, I believe that our bodies and minds must be "clean."  This includes washing the body thoroughly, wearing clean clothes, and purging the mind of thoughts of food, sex, and other things that would render an impurity.  In the winter, my spiritual practice doesn't necessarily stop, but it slows down quite a bit.  This has a lot to do with the absence of Ancestors as an active participant and motivation in my religious life and the absence of the Gods I regularly worship from life during those months.  A bit of UPG here tells me that the rule of bad spirits and "negative" Gods over the world in the winter leads to a kind of "general impurity" that should be washed away to make way for the new year of bounty in the spring.  When Morena leaves and the Black God is defeated again and the evil spirits roaming the world are again pushed away by our Ancestors and the White God, we should meet this time with clean bodies and minds.  Hellenic religion does this in its own way at the end of Anthesteria - decloaking the shrines and cleaning away the bad spirits from the homes, commanding them to not return.  My own practice puts Anthesteria at the end of March, a week after I take out Morena and coinciding with Easter.  That fits more with my cosmology (and moving a festival is not without historical precedent - I'm not Athenian after all), and is in a way for my own benefit; a week of rest between two major festivals.

But, the month long preparation of fasting for me comes directly from Morena.  As a Goddess who shall inhabit a space directly, and be directly in the presence of me and my house and family, it is doubly important to be clean.  All the impurity of the winter and the year in general needs to be purged; I should be "clean as possible," so to speak.  As such, every step must be taken.
 


Mhmm

Feb. 7th, 2010 02:31 pm
collowrath: (Default)
Not a teenager anymore, as of yesterday.  Am now the owner of a very nice HDTV, but Time Warner's HD service is terrible - less than a third of their standard cable channels are provided in HD, and only about a third of the ones they provide work.  Definitely doing some shopping around for cheaper and better service.

Baked a cake and some cookies.  Getting rid of all our rich and sugary foods before Lent. >.<
collowrath: (Default)
Okay.  I don't know how to read tea leaves - although, I'm pretty curious.  Apparently, you can read the coffee grinds left in your cup as well.  Given that I have an intense love of coffee (that I really shouldn't indulge at all, really), I'm even more curious about reading the grinds.

So today, at breakfast with my partner (cheese, toast, apple butter, honey, and a lovely bit of freshly ground mocha in the French press), I decided I'd try my hand, do some improv, and see where it got me.  My partner had the last cup, with all the grinds in the bottom.  I swirled it around a bit, and turned it out onto a saucer.  I turned the cup back over and peered down inside - and way down in there was a man, with a horned head, and a bulky traveler's cloak.

O.O

... uh...

?
collowrath: (Default)
There's something very special about starting a busy day with a French press and really nice mocha beans (no chocolate syrup here).

Laundry, taxes, logic, politics.  And if some of it isn't quite done at the end of the day, everything will be fine.  Especially because there's some nasty winter weather on the way just in time for Friday morning.  Hopefully it holds off till classes are over, but if it doesn't, no harm done, of course.

Okay so,

Feb. 4th, 2010 12:12 am
collowrath: (Default)
So, we're coming up on the "start" of my religious calendar, as it is now.  It's no secret to my friends and family that I'm a huge fan of taking some time each year to fast and reflect.  My ethnic tradition, a Dual Faith, provides an outlet for that.  Coming in a little less than two weeks is fašiangy, or Fat Tuesday, starting Lent.  Unlike a lot of contemporary Catholics, I fast as completely as possible - more akin to Orthodox traditions with a hint of Islam that I picked up in high school.

Coming up at the start of March, part way through the fast, I'm assembling the bits and pieces that I need to assemble kraslice and Morena.  Then come March 20th, we will built a modest feast and sacrifice some of it to our ancestors as they return to the world.  When we sacrifice the food we also burn Morena; sacrificing the winter so that Jarilo and the spring and the warmth can return to us as well.

I'm definitely going to return to these topics over the next month and a half.  There's some very interesting things here and definitely some things that I would like to think about and flesh out about my own practice as well.

collowrath: (Default)
The past couple of days have been good.  Had a little bit of anxiety yesterday morning, but it passed in time for me to make it to the class that was making me nervous anyhow and that turned out pretty well anyhow, and the stuff I was nervous about was silly.  Got some good advice about handling panic-attacks and that seems to be working.  I can't wait for all this to pass; usually, I get a few months where it's really bad and then I'm fine for a while.  The last time it was this bad was four years ago, and it had gotten so much better up until a year ago, when life seemed to catch up with me and my family and everything went to Hell.  It's gonna be fine.

I really like looking at fashion blogs, but they always leave me feeling... inadequate, I guess.  Women's fashion is so diverse and nice, while men's fashion is essentially all the same stuff, all the time.  Earth tone, khakis (gross), and formal wear.  None of it speaks to me.  Alternative men's fashions to me seem to be in imitation of women's fashion, and while I'd probably make a pretty woman, I'm not really feeling the severe V-neck thing.  I guess a really big part of my ire toward men's fashion is that I haven't really developed a voice of my own in that area and I'm really quite unhappy with the clothes that I have.  I guess I should just keep poking around and trying things out.

I also need to start writing again.  As well as writing, I need to continue my daily religious practice.  I have a feeling that lacking the daily practice has very negatively affected me psychologically.  Aside from that, I need to keep in mind that "I don't wanna," or "I don't feel good," probably aren't good excuses to not pay my dues to the Gods.  

:/

Jan. 23rd, 2010 01:12 am
collowrath: (Default)
I feel like I have so much to say and contribute but I'm just so tired.  I set goals for myself, nothing that I can't handle under normal circumstances - but now that my anxiety disorder has really stepped up its game, my productivity levels have just dropped off the face of the planet.  Which of course, sets off my anxiety because I'm not living up to the standard I've set for myself.  I've found that it tends to be better when I get more sleep, but I can't sleep when the attacks set in.  I'm really hoping that the vitamin-D supplement I'm gonna pick up tomorrow helps, as I'm usually better in the summer and there's a chance that season-affective could be playing a part.  I need professional help, but I'm scared.

My class on Congress is the shit.  I'm having trouble focusing in my Logic course, but it's a good one and one that I feel is entirely necessary to a productive college life (and beyond) and I just need to pick myself up and maintain a positive attitude and power through it.  Which reminds me, no matter how terrified I am and how terrified I am of moving to a new city and living their alone, I need to apply for Pittsburgh.  There's no way I can rationalize not doing it and not going with where I want to be in my life.

Also, I realize that my previous post ended on a kinda abrasive note.  That abrasive attitude is continuing a bit - there  was some talk on the forums about how offensive the word Indian is to Natives and India-Indians.  While I can't speak for India-Indians, I can tell from experience within the Native community that for the most part, in an informal setting, Indian is common parlance for supra-Native culture.  There's an attitude among the people on these forums that smacks of "well, they SHOULD be offended by it," ie, "we know better than they do what they should find offensive."  I don't think a lot of these people are seeing why that's ridiculous.  I dunno, I need to say something about it, but I don't have the energy.

I plan on finding it soon.
collowrath: (Default)
1) Still freaking out a little bit about money, but at least I'm getting my shit together with school.  My anxiety has been cooling down a bit now that I'm structured; still, this weekend I need to pick up some vitamin D supplement.  Apparently that works wonders for anxiety disorders.

2) I was reminded today, that my tradition is one with a distinct concept of dualism.  It hit me when I came home and got frustrated with being so fucking scared all the time.  For every bad thing life presents us, it's in order to prepare us for something better.  I'm not a believer in "coincidences" in the conventional sense, and I don't think that I have to go through this horror and intense self hate for nothing.  There's got to be something on the other side of this that is better.  I just have to keep that in mind: it'll pass and there is light after the darkness.

3) Partner saw Avatar in 3-D.  I don't have the stomach for that I think.  Might be seeing it Friday with a friend, which will be good.  I'm very interested to hear the Na'vi language in the film - it contains some very interesting features that tickle me in that very special place that only new interesting language can tickle me.  That might make up for ridiculous White Saviour premise.

4) "There have been many changes in Russia.  We have many fewer, better Russians."

5) On the same note as the White Saviour bullshit, my aunt had a short ramble at lunch about the whole deal.  "Yeah, I'm a minority, not a child.  You don't need to fucking hold my hand."  All while brandishing her favorite "Model Minority my Ass" pin, which I love, because we're all pretty tired of being told we should feel this way, be offended by that, think this, etc, by some lilly-white woman without a real clue.

Sometimes, I think I blend in with my adoptive Native-Mexican family's attitude a bit more than most Americans would like my ethnicity too.  But hey!  We've only been "white" for fifty years or so, I'm still getting used to my priviledge.  More on that later.

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