Archive for June, 2006

Yellow Fever! – Video from youtube

Friday, June 30th, 2006

MM,

Further to my commentary on Asian male/non-Asian female relationships, here’s a video about this very topic with some funny conclusions. The video had me laughing too hard, mostly because this does happen. Enjoy. (Oh, and Phillip is better looking than Andrew.)

Note: if the video doesn’t work, you may go to Yellow Fever video.

BB,
Cassandrah
Brigid’s Flame

Tips on Running – article link

Friday, June 30th, 2006

MM,

Here’s an article that has some useful tips for those interested in starting running for themselves without having to join a gym or some program – Speedwork for Every Runner. Yes, that’s right, you can train yourself to be a good runner.

BB,
Cassandrah
Brigid’s Flame

Weekly Horoscope – June 26 to July 02

Friday, June 30th, 2006

My horoscope for this week…

“Your Comfort Zone

The period of frustration that you experienced recently, C. J., is becoming easier to deal with. But Mars in your sign hasn’t finished its work just yet. It is there to remind you to keep going and to continue getting to the heart of the problems that lie within you. These are associated with your attitude to yourself, which is reflected through your current relationships. Saturn is in your sign to remind you that you have to keep on stepping out of your comfort zone. You can’t confine yourself to the tried and trusted as the amount of space you have to work with will tend to get smaller and smaller. Your circle of influence will begin to recede, which will be a truly stifling experience. As Mars is stirring things up for you – you may have had to move out of your comfort zone anyway, so don’t stop – carry on and keep expanding rather than contracting. Mercury will move into your sign on Wednesday which will help you to articulate your needs and to make yourself heard. This is not the time to stay quiet. The Sun is currently in your spiritual twelfth house, bringing you a chance to reflect on what you really do want and how you can nurture your soul. Venus sextiles Saturn on Sunday, so make a date with a friend and go socialize.”

Sounds good. I need a break!

Cassandrah
Brigid’s Flame

“The Wicker Man Returns”?! This is blasphemy, simply blasphemous!

Thursday, June 29th, 2006

Could they miss the point of the original movie any more than turning the idea of the the wicker man into some sort of boogey man?

Nicholas Cage has decided to star in the remake of The Wicker Man (originally done in 1973) being directed by Neil La Bute. The movie is expected to be released in September 2006.

Like the original script, the cop (Sergeant Howie in the original and Edward Malus in the remake) is lead to SummerIsle (spelt differently than the original, and located in the U.S. instead of the British Isles as in the original) where he finds it bizarre that no one seems to remember the girl he was sent to find. That is probably as close to the original script the remake will get. (I’ll find out if this is true after the movie is released on DVD. As I don’t intend to watch this in the theatres, I will probably just watch the DVD version, and then make a comparison to the original.)

According to one review, a major difference in the remake is that Malus is not a virgin. This was apparently changed because the director did not think people would believe any grown man is a virgin in this day and age. This is a big clue that the director obviously did not understand the original movie to begin with. The original movie, although labeled as a horror flick, was an intellectual treat. Apparently, the original movie was too intellectual for director Neil La Bute. The original character was a virgin because the sacrifice had to be a virgin in accordance with ancient pagan rites as depicted in the movie. When sacrificing to the gods, the sacrifice had to be as pure and as innocent as possible. (Of course, in modern times, the idea of sacrifice is slightly different. A sacrifice would be something of high value to the person making a sacrifice. For example, someone might paint a beautiful picture and then burn it, or someone might shave their head, or someone might give up their favourite food for a time.) This whole idea of the virgin sacrifice was a key point in the original movie. In fact, if the virgin cop had decided to sleep with the local temptress (portrayed by Britt Ekland), he would have been an impure sacrifice; and therefore, his life would have been spared. The people of Summerisle would have had to find another sacrifice. This, of course, plays out very well in the original movie as the audience watches a humourous depiction of a man struggling hard to hold onto his virtue as a pious Christian. Changing the cop to a non-virgin in the remake leaves the audience with a pretty uninteresting character to watch. This also leaves the remake to rely mostly on the typical Hollywood spook effects in order to keep the audience captivated. (Though, of course, if you’re like me and get bored of the typical Hollywood spook effects, this will not captivate you.)

Another difference in the remake is the removal of the religious conflict – that is, the pagan versus the Christian. The original movie was obviously a commentary on these two religious practices, which when taken to both their extremes are completely polar opposites to each other. The original movie portrays both extremes very well. You have the pious Christian who’s still a virgin. Then you have the nature-loving pagans who accept sex for what it is and who also accept that their god demands a hefty sacrifice every so often. According to director Neil La Bute, the pagans have been slightly changed in the remake. The pagans are a little more “Dionysian” in nature, that is, they are a little more rowdy and probably amoral (whereas the ones in the original movie thought they were doing the “right” thing to satisfy their deities). As for the cop, he’s an upstanding police officer who just wants to do the “right thing”. (I have no idea if he’s supposed to be Christian or not in the movie.) As with the removal of the sexual tension, these changes leave the movie to rely once again on Hollywood spook effects to captivate the audience. This now brings me back to my first comment and probaby most important comment.

The wicker man is not a boogey man figure. The wicker man was originally burned as an effigy in pagan practices and was usually done for Beltane, a festival for spring, celebrating the return of earth’s fertility and abundance. The wicker man is a tall wooden structure made in the shape of a man using flexible wood such as willow. It was rumoured that live animals and sometimes humans were locked inside the wicker man to be burned along with the effigy (just as was depicted in the original version of The Wicker Man). This idea has little evidence aside from the one account from Julius Caesar regarding Druidic practices. Although not true in reality, the live sacrifice did make the ending in the original movie quite interesting. The remake of the movie differs completely in regard to what the wicker man is. From the trailer for the remake we hear someone say, “The Wicker Man returns”, and then Nicholas Cage’s character asking, “Who is the Wicker Man?” – as if the wicker man really is a manifested boogey man. To bring this point home, Neil La Bute has stated that he is considering re-naming his remake Wicker Man with no “the”, implying a title like Candyman. (I remember not being able to look into my bathroom mirror for about a month after watching that movie, but that was when I was much younger and less desensitized about horror films.)

Unfortunately for Neil La Bute, many thought the original was “completed so well” that it did not need a remake, especially not this one. Considering all things so far, it seems this remake has nothing new to offer except your typical Hollywood spook effects. I suppose even the wonderfully sensual “Willow’s Song” will be gone from the remake, since there’s no virgin for the local temptress to… well, tempt.

Review by Cassandrah, your local pagan

Additional links:

Wikipedia article on The Wicker Man (1973 film)
www.cagebypage.com movie news
IMDB entry on the remake
Remake trailer

5 km Run! – June 26, 2006

Wednesday, June 28th, 2006

Integrity is doing what I’d expect others to be able to do. If I can do something, I’d expect others to be able to do it – in fact, I’d expect them to do better.
~~~Cassandrah’s comment on training and teaching martial arts

MM,

I finally did a full 5 k run. The actual distance for the route I planned was 5.7 km (approximately 3.5 miles). My total time for the run was 35 minutes. It’s a good time – just about ten minutes a mile. If I can keep up the pace for a 10k (approximately 6.25 miles), then I should finish around the one hour mark.

I ended up timing my run in three parts. The first part of the run was from home to Avenue at Dupont via Mt. Pleasant and Roxborough Streets East and West, a total distance of 2.6 km. My time for this part was 16 minutes 16 seconds. The second part of the run was from Avenue at Dupont to Davenport at Yonge via Davenport at Dupont, a total distance of 1.8 km. My time for part two was 11 minutes 23 seconds. The last part of the run was from Yonge at Davenport/Church to home, a total distance of 1.3 km. My time for this was 7 minutes 21 seconds. Total time: 35 minutes; total distance: 5.7 km.

It was good run. I’m ready for the 10k. I just need a good rest the night before.

BB,
Cassandrah
Your local webmistress and martial artist
Brigid’s Flame

Training Update – June 20 to 25, 2006

Monday, June 26th, 2006

MM,

Another busy week…

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I went for a run. First, I ran 1 km for a warm-up and then 1 mile. I ran 1 km in 4 minutes 56 seconds and 1 mile in 7 minutes 57 seconds (both of which are my fastest times so far:)).

I decided not to go to the do jang. It was pretty hot for a run, so I was feeling a bit tired from the run. I had some things to do around home and decided to go to the gym instead. Then it turns out htat the gym was closed because they painted the pool room. Nathan and I decided to walk along the 5 k route I planned out. It was a good walk and helped loosen up the my knee – I think the fluid was building up again since I didn’t get much exercise last week.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Summer solstice! At the last moment, I decided that I wanted to do an impromptu ritual for summer solstice on my balcony and watch the sunset. (Well, not really watching so much as I live in an apartment, the point was just to be outside until the sun was clearly under the horizon.) Instead of training, I studied my terminology – some of it I obviously know already, but there is much that isn’t used in class. I typed up five pages of Korean-English taekwondo terminology. That helped me study the terminology for a bit. Next, I have to study the history again. *sigh* Lots to do and so little time.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I went to the do jang for gumdo and taekwondo class. Afterwards, I worked on my demo pattern. Amazingly, I remembered my patterns for gumdo. With the black belt test going on and everything else to think about, I haven’t been paying much attention to gumdo. I like sword art, but I really still want to do tai chi sword, so I’m hoping I can take classes in that once in a while. I think the tai chi places let you pay per class.

Friday, June 23, 2006

No training today as I had to take my mom to visit the hospital. She has been having a lot of doctor visits lately. Still not sure what’s up. Mostly, the doctors are just taking precautions. I have to take her back on Tuesday for her bronchoscopy.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

I went to the do jang. I took the 10:30 class and then the test preparation class at 1:00 class. I got home by 4:00 and then left to go watch the black belt show for my former do jang. It was a pretty good show this year. They have this one girl there – I think I remember her when she was a little younger – who did some amazing demos. Aside from the demo team guys (Team Ryouko), she was probably the most talented black belt at the show. Overall though, the show was entertaining – some funny fight scenes.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

I went to the test preparation class. We got more time to work on our demo stuff.

BB,
Cassandrah
Your local martial artist
Brigid’s Flame

Training update – June 19, 2006

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

MM,

I ended up missing taekwondo on Saturday and Sunday. I was feeling a little tired, and I had a sore throat. I think it must have been the weather and the hospital visit this week. It was quite humid the past few days. Today is a nice reprieve.

Monday, I managed to get into the do jang for taekwondo class. I had a chance to practice the stuff I want to do for the demo. I’m planning on doing one of the palgwe (the old set of WTF patterns). I also finally decided on what I want to do for my demo breaks, though I’m not sure how many boards we’re allowed. For the test, I still need to study the history of taekwondo and the Korean terminology. Still loads to do.

Tomorrow, I’m hoping to get to the do jang and then the gym after for some conditioning training.

Official countdown: 18 days left

BB,
Cassandrah
Your local martial artist
Brigid’s Flame

Training Update – June 16, 2006

Tuesday, June 20th, 2006

Friday, June 16, 2006

I managed to get a good run in on Friday before I had to run out. I ran my normal 1.5 miles route. My time was 12 minutes 32 seconds.

I’m hoping to do another 5 km run in the next week.

BB,
Cassandrah
Brigid’s Flame

Busy week, but no training – life gets in the way sometimes

Friday, June 16th, 2006

MM,

Well, I haven’t had a chance to workout at all this week. Eek! Not even a short run.

I went to a ritual on Monday night. On Tuesday, I decided to stay home and get some work done. I spent all day and night typing up pagan chants that I know. (I’ve been meaning to do that for a while now, but the need arose for me to have it typed up, so type it up I did.)

Then, on Wednesday, I got a call from my mom saying she needed to go to the hospital to have her heart checked. As she didn’t have an appointment and it was rather urgent, we went to emergency. As is the case with emergency hospitals, we waited a while to get seen. As they needed to do blood work and the ECG, we had to wait longer for the test results and to see the doctor. My mom ended up staying the night for observation while I went home and came back early Thursday morning to pick her up. I spent six hours at the hospital and a couple of extra hours in the morning picking her up. Luckily, as it turned out there wasn’t anything wrong – nothing that showed up on the blood work anyway. I escorted my mom home – she didn’t sleep well at the hospital, of course, and she had quite a bit of blood taken out of her all day – then I went home for some rest.

I got home around 9:15 Thursday morning. I didn’t really sleep Wednesday night. There wasn’t much point. I got home around 1:30 a.m. that night and had to leave again at 6:00 a.m. Because there wasn’t much good food at the hospital (they only had snack machines, not even a cheap sandwich!), I didn’t have a good meal for six straight hours. Once I got home, I had some food and a bath, and cleaned up a little. I slept for an hour only, then got up at 6:00 a.m. to go back to the hospital. Considering the lack of food and sleep, I ended up sleeping until early Thursday evening (last night). That, of course, left out any option of going to the do jang. I woke up just when I should be leaving for class. The gym wasn’t an option either. I would not have time to eat and digest my food before going for a workout.

I ended up re-arranging my bedroom after waking up in the evening. I have to say I actually feel good about that though. I was planning on re-arranging the bedroom for a while now. I didn’t like where the bed was – right smack in the middle of the room with not much space to move around. I ended up putting the bed in the corner of the room farthest from the door. According to feng shui, this is best for a good night’s sleep. The energy of the room actually feels different. Maybe because now there is space to move around in there, and this allows qi to flow better. Anyway, as I said, I’m happy about it. I have problems sleeping sometimes, and having good energy in my sleeping environment helps much. Plus, I got rid of all the major dust bunnies. I have major allergies to dust. My entire respiratory system down to my diaphragm fills up with phlegm. I end up coughing up a lot of phlegm from my bronchi and stomach. (Ew! Did I just post that?! Gross.) I’m good at making sure I get some air though. Have to be careful with the dust bunnies. They have since hopped into the garbage bin. So yay! It feels like I have a new bedroom, even though I don’t.

Later today, I’m hoping I can get in a short run. I need it after not getting enough exercise. I just hope I have enough time before I go to a ritual tonight.

My newly arranged bedroom is calling me. Hm… sleep should be interesting today.

Official countdown: 22 days left (tic-tock, tic-tock)

BB,
Cassandrah
Brigid’s Flame

P.S. I’ve done some more work on my reiki manuals. I’m hoping to have classes scheduled for autumn/late September.