Homemade Faggots Or Food For Thought

Of all the adjustments people ask me about in my relocation from US to the UK such driving on the left while sitting on the right side of the car or learning how to use different systems of measurement or money, the most interesting is the difference in what certain words mean here versus in America. Take faggot for example. Last night John had faggots from the special’s board at our local pub.

Being raised in country where faggot has a whole other meaning, I had to snap a couple of photos to use in discussion here later. This caused a bit of chatter at the table we were sharing with our friends, Jean, Robert, and Jeff. Robert had the faggots too and after seeing my interest in photographing both the menu board and John’s dinner we talked a bit about faggots and the meaning and use here in the UK.

After doing some research this morning, I found more than a few sites which talk at length about how the word faggot came to be used in America as a derisive word that is often thrown about to bully or dismiss someone of a different sexual orientation. While one might assume that Americans were wholly responsible the shift in perception, I discovered this morning that at certain points in time, Britons have themselves used it to describe more than meatballs and wood for a fire.

It seems that during its evolution down the ugly path it has been used to describe not only a homosexual male, but according to a post over at The Straight Dope, it has also been a way to label and dismiss women during certain periods in history, ” Nineteenth century Britons also heard “faggot” used in reference to an ill-tempered woman, i.e., a ball-buster, a battleaxe, a shrew. That meaning of the term continued into the early 20th century, and the usage was gradually applied to children as well as women.” How all of this evolved from what was originally used primarily to denote a bundle of sticks is discussed in detail here, and to a lesser degree here as well.

This post was originally intended as a post about food and word use and the differences in people and countries, but another thought kept nudging me, tickling the edges of my concentration saying, ” Hey, why are you skirting around the really ugly stuff ? “

Which led me to something other than the neat wrap up I had intended. I wish I could forget how word use and name calling are linked to bullying by people with a need to wield power and control over others.

Most of us have experienced some form of it growing up or even as adults, but I can’t imagine a life tainted by some of the horrendous acts that I have read about over the last few days. Some of the blogs I read have offered points of view not really touched by the news media and there are a few I want to leave you with.

A little food for thought.

Anniegirl1138 sometimes shocks my toenails off with what she has to say, but she almost always leaves me with something to think about as is the case with her post today. It is well worth reading and I would suggest you watch the video if you have time, but be prepared.

Jennifer Petkov is You over at Anniegirl1138

Penelope Trunk wrote a very interesting post the other day which while dealing with what looks like a different subject matter is really more of the same with regard to bullying and ugly places some people go to when trying to dismiss someone’s value and credibility.

Generation Y in Politics: Krystal Ball’s Candidacy can be found at Penelope Trunk’s blog.

Jayne Martin usually focuses on the funny, but gets very serious with her post below.

How Many More Kids Have To Die ? which can be found over at injaynesword.

I will finish with a gentle and important message from Karen Walrond.

love thursday: on bullying, modeling behavior and making it stop which can be found over at her blog home, Chookooloonks.

Kelly Rae Roberts – Taking Control With Flying Lessons

Remember that e-course I mentioned here and what I revealed about myself here, well we are winding down now after five weeks of online lessons with loads of positive information and ” flight plans ” useful in getting a creative idea and business off the ground.

While I picked up some really great ideas and business tips, I think what I enjoyed most was watching how inspired the collective group was and the energy that came through when so many taking the class began implementing big projects right away and sharing them online with each other.

So many of my classmates already had the skill and creative abilities (their shoes, if you will) that helped define them in their roles as artists, but still needed a bit of help in the taking control aspect that is necessary when going from creative artist to someone able to earn a living doing the work they love.

I am in deep in the process of expanding my vision for myself now and over the next few months will be unveiling a few projects of my own as I work out all the nitty-gritty details. The biggest take away for me during this process has been about lifting some of the limitations I tend to put on myself. Although I have long been identified by friends and co-workers as the kind of person who thinks outside the box, I have often limited my own creative movement while encouraging others to reach for something more.

In the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy had those lovely red shoes that could have taken her home with just a click had she known the ability she already possessed. I have been thinking lately about what I already know … what each of us know within ourselves about our dreams. I’ve been thinking too about the ways in which we can develop the vision required to take our dreams from being just a possibility to something that actually gets off the ground.

So I have been busy here … working steadily on my ” flight plan ” while opening boxes that have held a few dreams for far too long. What about you … what have you got packed away that feels boxed up so tightly it’s like a memory of what you once dreamed of for yourself?

If it’s direction you need, you might find some inspiration over here today. The topic has to do with a technique that has helped me define mine for years.

It will be worth your time, I promise.

Calling All Photographers – A Question For You

Decisions, Decisions, Which Way To Go

This morning I left the comment below over at Chookooloonks, after reading about Karen Walrond’s big love for Nikon.

I’ve been asked a few times in the past about what I shoot with and thought this might be a good time to share that info and ask my readers for a little help as I try to decide what type of point and shoot I should buy to replace my Canon G9 which goes everywhere with me now. My abbreviated camera history can be found below. Remember it’s information I wrote in a comment this morning so it may seem a bit different that my usual posts and to make it more interesting, I’m including a few examples of photographs taken with my two favorite cameras. There are a few shots using my Nikon D200 here and almost everything on this site in the last year has been taken with my Canon G9 including the image above.

My comment to Karen -

” I know what you mean about choosing a camera, I’ve been shooting for years, and have had several important cameras, beginning with a Mamiya medium format which I bought while in the army and stationed in Germany and later traded at a camera shop in California for a Minolta SLR and a couple of lenses. After college, I found myself busy with a baby and a quickly changing life complete with all the baby things one tends to haul around each day so I went with a series of small point and shoots that were so nondescript that I can’t even remember them. Around 2000 or 2001, I was introduced to digital and that was it for me with regard to film. Eventually I went back to SLR’s and photography with an eye and intention on getting the best possible photograph. After doing loads of research that came down as it did with you, between Nikon and Canon, I went with Nikon. I have two Nikon D200′s and more nice glass than I probably deserve, but I’m afraid I tend to use my Canon G9 on a daily basis due to its size and abilities. It’s a bit of a struggle to carry my Nikon gear with me when hiking the coast path here in Cornwall or to carry it 105 miles through the Alps on the Tour of Mont Blanc, but as we make ready for our next big trip (Two months in New Zealand) I am looking towards Nikon for a new point and shoot to suit my needs.

I should add that many times since moving to England I have left what I consider my ” best gear ” behind because it seemed too much to carry and I’ve had some regrets. Later this fall when my sister is here, we’ll be headed to Paris which is one of my favorite places to photograph and I’m taking my Nikon D200 and some good glass this time even if there’s no room for clothes.

I’m off now to have another look at what the latest offerings are for top quality Nikon point & shoots, I have to say that I’m not convinced there are any that can pass the test for me as well as Canon or perhaps something else, but I’m open to any suggestions or street talk regarding your experience. I pay as much attention to the reviews of those already using the camera equipment I’m considering as I do the specs so please share what you know “

So there it is … help me out if you can, what’s the buzz out there in your photo community … any suggestions?

Birthday Greetings From Cornwall

Karen Walrond over at Chookooloonks has a sweet post today about her husband, Marcus.  As you can see by my title, today is his birthday.

You may be asking, ” Sooooo what does that have to do with you Elizabeth? ” You’d be right to wonder because it’s not as if I know him personally, in fact I only know about him through Karen’s stories and the lovely images of family life that show up in her blog from time to time. What I do know about Marcus….is that he’s Cornish and seeing how he’s so far from his roots in Cornwall, I thought I’d put together a few images of my new life here to remind him of where his began.

Happy Birthday Marcus!

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A full English breakfast.

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The Cornish Flag

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My Last 24 Hours (of 48)

Big Bag Of Dreams

I have always been a bit intrigued with numbers noticing the ways in which one might imbue meaning into a particular one or even a series of numbers such as the 09-09-09 of today’s date. It’s kind of funny in a way since I’ve struggled with math for a fair amount of my life especially in middle school when numbers on a chalkboard could inspire fear faster than almost anything else.

As a child we moved so frequently and sometimes from coast to coast, that many things were lost in the back and forth of change. My math education was one of them. Looking back, I can see how little math I learned in my first 12 years in the classroom, 13 if you want to toss Kindergarten into the mix. So while I’ll could read before many of my fellow Kindergarten classmates, (okay, it was mostly rhyming Dr. Seuss) I never ever felt like I had a secure grasp on numbers during the long years of my public education.

As you can see by my title, change is coming and it’s bearing down rather quickly. In less than 24 hours I will leave 48 behind and slip quietly over in my sleep into the last year left before my 6th decade begins. I have big plans for this year. I have always treated birthdays in the  same way that many do New Year’s Eve, as a time for reflection and goal setting. I like to make a plan around my birthday and write down my dreams and goals for the next year.

It’s easy for me to look back and think about all I haven’t managed to do yet. I’ve had a list of Things To Do Before I Die since 1987 and while I’ve been crossing things off as I complete them, there are a few that I’ve changed my mind about that no longer matter anymore. I’ve been able to do a good many things on my list, but I am not entirely satisfied with where I am in several areas of my life. I enjoy so many good things while others struggle that it seems a bit greedy to want more than I have right now.

Many of the blogs I read on a regular basis have their own lists that they call a variety of names, such these found here: Mondo Beyondo, Life Lists, as in the case of one I read just this morning where Karen Walrond simply refers to her list as her Truest Goals.

After reading Karen’s post this morning, I felt inspired to do something I never do which is to share at least three things from my list for this year. I’m calling mine my Big Bag of Dreams. The title is based on a quote by Benjamin Franklin:

It is hard for an empty Bag to stand up-right.

This year I’m writing down my goals for the last year of my 5th decade on a brown paper bag with the top three on one side and an extended list on the other. I intend to put bits of the things I do to accomplish my goals into the bag so this time next year when 49 rolls over to 50, my bag will be so full it can stand upright. I want a tangible 3D image of what I am doing to fulfill my dreams during year 49 with me everyday.

Here are the big three for next year:

Complete the book I’m writing now and actively look for an agent and publisher.

Finish designing the game I’m developing with my sister Margaret and begin production and marketing.

Research, design and set up a Big Bag Of Dreams week long workshop/playgroup/dreambuilders gathering for a group of women interested in filling up their own bag of dreams to be held during 2011, the summer of my 50th year here in Cornwall, England.

At a glance that list looks a bit scary even to me, especially if you knew what other things are in the planning stages right now regarding big travel and more home renovations. When I feel as if it may all be too big a dream or doubt starts to creep in as doubt often does, I will remind myself of some of the other things I have done that at different points in my life I would have considered impossible.

It’s easy to overlook areas of success when they occur on a smaller level than say publishing a book or winning an Oscar, but when I need an example of a goal I’ve accomplished, I can remember of my first semester of University work where I learned 12 years of math in three months earning a B in a class I had been terrified to take. If I can do that with all my issues around math and numbers than who’s to say I can’t do exactly what I want with the three main goals for my Big Bag Of Dreams project.

Tomorrow as you may have worked out is my birthday. I’ll turn 49 at 2:02 am and John, sweetheart that he is, has something planned that involves packing an overnight bag and is a total surprise for me. I will probably have limited access to my computer for most of the day Thursday and I’m not sure if I’ll post again before the weekend, but I would love for you to consider leaving three special projects, dreams, or goals you have for your life in the comment section below.

Feeling LandLocked

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Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. For some they come in with the tide.  For others they sail forever on the horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time. - Zora Neale Hurston


Karen Walrond from Chookooloonks is sharing some interesting insight and technique for her Love Thursday post. If you are feeling a bit landlocked today you might enjoy seeing what she did to make her dreams come true.

A Tender Hello

 

Father & Son Reunion

Father & Son Reunion

In airports, you often see the best and worst of people. Tired, cranky, and sometimes scared, they can be a field of emotional land mines to navigate through as you edge your way past bag drops and security check points. Frequently, it’s the people traveling for business who are at their worst. Believing themselves to be masters of their own universe, they can make life uncomfortable for everyone within hearing range when life changes the plan ever so slightly. I’ve traveled for business in the past and I understand the stress of getting to a distant location where people wait for your presentation. I know what it feels like to sink into believing that a missed flight is a missed opportunity that will be difficult to recover from. Rarely is that the case though. If what you offer is what’s needed, people will still want to hear you no matter when you arrive. 

In the last year, my travel life, business life, and love life have all gone through dramatic changes. Airports look different to me now. Instead of moving at breakneck speed towards departure gates or rental car pickups, I travel for love. Flying these days is about reuniting with family and friends or exploring places I’ve never been before. Since moving to Cornwall to marry my darling Englishman, my life has slowed down to a pace where I can breathe again. More importantly, I can see again. Instead of rushing about with my focus always on the future or getting things done, I have time to see what is in front of me. It is a gift of astronomical proportions and one I don’t take for granted.

It is with these fresh eyes that I captured the image you see above, a father and son reunion at the Atlanta airport taken last March while waiting for John to arrive. Although I was still working ferociously long days through a fog of must do items and endless lists, I was beginning to be able to see more clearly what was happening in the rest of the world. With love filling my own heart, I could pause to recognize it in those around me, even those who were strangers. Like the tender hello of the father to his son, I began to welcome the heart of me, perhaps the best part of me, back home where it belonged.

 

Today’s post was inspired by Karen Walrond’s post over at Shutter Sisters…take a look if you’ve never been before…it’s a good place to look for things you thought you’d lost.