Glass Blowing Glory-holes and FIRE

So, this is a bit of a response to my sister’s post HERE on her jealousy inspiring adventure into glass blowing.

She was the one to mention glory holes, by the way, this wasn’t me being a brat and trying to prompt my older sister into asking if I know what a glory-hole is.

I do, by the way Lexy.

I hope that the fact that I’m 19 helps to negate the sibling-nose-scrunch of “my sister knows about something sexual in nature?”

Yes, I’ve moved past the playground “Are you a virgin?”-“What’s that?”-“Just answer the question” trolling, and even know where babies come from.

Storks, right?

But moving on from THAT, I suggest that you read her post (link above) first (though it isn’t entirely necessary) just so you know how things actually went rather than this bout of my imagining my own reaction to being allowed to play with molten glass and colours.

I think that there would be three parts to my reaction, and because the idea amuses me, I’m going to use my three mental characters that I always end up thinking of regardless of the situation.

Sanity, Insanity, and Myself, who I have been thinking of as Mediator. Click HERE for my post explaining where Sanity and Insanity came to mind. To the left there should be a thing to find all my posts including these characters…

Anyway, Lexy mentions that while actually working with the glass, there was a dull roar of “MAKING GLASS”, and when cooling and twisting and doing other things to the hot glass, thinking “don’t touch the glass!” with lots of undercurrent thoughts like don’t set anything on fire and whatnot…

I feel like I would be having a very similar reaction, but with a bit more paranoia towards the possibility of potentially harming myself or others.

The idea of molten-glass burns freaks me out.

It freaks me out more than the idea of molten-lava burns, because people don’t try to make lava into art.

The possibility of hurting someone else while I’m working, while I’m trying to make some piece of art, while I’m doing ANYTHING that could possibly result in someone else’s harm freaks me out.

Last summer when I was working with heavy machinery daily around my fellow maintenance workers, I was freaking out a lot.

So the idea of fiddling around with molten glass with other people around me also doing this… freaks me the hell out.

I would still do it though.

But it doesn’t keep me from thinking that the insane and fairly bitchy part of my consciousness would be going off like a little kid who wandered off in Ikea.

Fascinated, freaking out, touching things and possibly breaking things, being a nuisance to other people, being a tiny-human-shaped terror.

The sane part would be that employee you go to to find that same kid.

They know what to do, they try to keep you calm and happy so you can enjoy your foray into the large plot of land that is Ikea, and when they find the child, they will do damage control and do their best to get that demon-child back to someone who can control it. The Mediator.

I have a friend who worked at Ikea for a summer, by the way.

So in my mind, the situation would likely have me looking fairly normal, perhaps with a slightly hysteric (Happiness? Freaking out? Smiling regardless of reason.) smile, with Insanity screaming in my ear all the things that could go wrong, all the craptastic things that could result in me and others going on a fun trip to the hospital. Screaming about how I SHOULDN’T TURN TOO QUICKLY! SOMEONE MIGHT BE THERE! FUCK! Oh, and also, BE SURE TO WARN EVERYONE THAT YOUR CLUMSY ASS IS HEADING OVER THERE SO YOU DON’T CRIPPLE THEM! SHIT!

Never mind Sanity speaking calmly to me at my other side what EXACTLY I have to do, as I need to do it, and that everyone knows to watch out, calm down, nothing to worry about, just be careful, breathe…

It really doesn’t help with the fact that it seems like it’s almost a familial trait to want to play with fire. I can barely be trusted with a candle… And oh look, shiny-glowing-hot-glass-FUNNNNNNN!

Yeah, I imagine that going to a glass blowing workshop would be the most mentally tiring thing I’d have done for the entire year.

And I’m saying this AFTER having just finished my exams…

Jeez…

And I still want to go to one of these things!

By the way, for the >*< at the end of her post, mentioning her setting things on fire and her mentioning of heating up a muffin for 10 minutes…

*sigh* I will explain.

I have been the source of a lot of fiery food/other being thrown to the back yard. A lot of the time it was from me trying to heat up my own food, so this isn’t me being a pyromaniac child, no.

This is usually from me not understanding the answer to a question.

The incident Lexy is talking about:

That I had asked Dad how long it took to cook muffins after he’d finished a batch.

He said to put them in the oven for about ten minutes, and then check on them.

The oven HE was talking about

 vs.

The oven I Thought he was talking about

So, a while later after a few minutes a burning smell was happening, there was the alarm going off, and a flaming muffin was being chucked out the back door into the snow.

Yay for winter.

To recap:

That I had asked Dad how long it took to cook muffins after he’d finished a batch.>> (Me: I want to eat a warm muffin later) <<

He said to put them in the oven for about ten minutes, and then check on them. >> (Dad: Aw, she wants to know how long to cook muffins) <<

It’s more of a mistake on my side, I think, but considering I was at that waist-height age, and not very good at getting across exactly what I wanted to know…

Yeah.

And it wasn’t the only thing I’d set on fire before, either, but I think that the full list would need a blog post of its own.

In case you need a visual, the flaming muffin probably looked something like this before it hit snow. You can imagine why it might have alarmed the Family to see this in the microwave...

Imbolc and Me

A bit after my birthday last year I found out that my birthday is the day after one of the Wiccan (or pagan if you prefer) holidays. Like, directly after.

On February 2nd Imbolc comes around right before the also celebrated February 3rd that is my Birthday 😀

From what I can gather from the occasionally broken fount of knowledge that is Google, Imbolc is a holiday that celebrates Brigid the Light giver.

The idea is that in February, though things are still cold (in the UK and US/Canada areas at least), but that usually around February you can see signs of life, you can feel a bit of warmth in the breeze…

So Imbolc (pronounced Im-bol-ik for the most part) Or Saint Brigid’s day celebrates Brigid the Light Bringer as the bringer of spring. It is also a hearth and home celebration, in many cases a celebration that they had made it through another winter and is usually celebrated with hearth fires (turn up your heating system maybe?), special foods (*le gasp* We are not used to such an idea!)

Imbolc is traditionally a time of weather indication, and the old tradition of watching to see if serpents or badgers came from their winter dens is perhaps a precursor to the North American Groundhog Day.

A myth for the holiday is that Imbolc is the day the Cailleach — the hag of Gaelic tradition — gathers her firewood for the rest of the winter. Legend has it that if she intends to make the winter last a good while longer, she will make sure the weather on Imbolc is bright and sunny, so she can gather plenty of firewood. Therefore, people are generally relieved if Imbolc is a day of foul weather, as it means the Cailleach is asleep and winter is almost over. This, I find, is quite a bit more reassuring than the redundant Groundhog winter-indicator… x number of weeks until winter ends vs x number of weeks before spring begins hmm? Really? Great. Thanks for that.

Mr. Groundhog, what's it like being the annual weatherman? Not great? Work one day a year? Yeah, thanks.

One folk tradition that continues in both Christian and Pagan homes on St. Brigid’s Day (or Imbolc) is that of the Brigid’s Bed. The girls and young, unmarried, women of the household or village create a corn dolly to represent Brigid, called the Brideog (“little Brigid” or “young Brigid”), adorning it with ribbons and baubles like shells or stones. They make a bed for the Brideog to lie in. On St. Brigid’s Eve (January 31), the girls and young women gather together in one house to stay up all night with the Brideog, and are later visited by all the young men of the community who must ask permission to enter the home, and then treat them and the corn dolly with respect.

Brigid is said to walk the earth on Imbolc eve. Before going to bed, each member of the household may leave a piece of clothing or strip of cloth outside for Brigid to bless. The head of the household will smother the fire and rake the ashes smooth. In the morning, they look for some kind of mark on the ashes, a sign that Brigid has passed that way in the night or morning. The clothes or strips of cloth are brought inside, and believed to now have powers of healing and protection.

This seems to me a bit like an uncluttered Christmas… It’s just that you’re getting your clothes or whatever else you leave out blessed, and made a bit more special if you celebrate the holiday.

Copied from Wikipedia (XD Wiccapedia hahaa… I’m so funny :P), here are the festivals that are practiced.

Celtic Reconstructionist

Like other Reconstructionist traditions, Celtic Reconstructionists place emphasis on historical accuracy and cultural preservation. They base their Imbolc celebrations on traditional lore and customs derived from the historically documented medieval Irish texts, attempting to employ research into the older beliefs of the polytheistic Celts. They usually celebrate the festival when the first stirrings of spring are felt, or on the full moon that falls closest to this time. Many use traditional songs and rites from sources such as The Silver Bough and The Carmina Gadelica. It is especially a time of honoring the Goddess Brigid, and many of her dedicants choose this time of year for rituals to her.

Wicca

Main article: Wheel of the Year

Wiccans celebrate a variation of Imbolc as one of four “fire festivals”, which make up half of the eight holidays (or “sabbats”), of the wheel of the year. Imbolc is defined as a cross-quarter day, midway between the winter solstice (Yule) and the spring equinox (Ostara). The precise astrological midpoint in the Northern hemisphere is when the sun reaches fifteen degrees of Aquarius. In the Southern hemisphere, if celebrated as the beginning of local Spring, the date is the midpoint of Leo. Sometimes the festival is referred to as “Brigid”. Among Dianic Wiccans, Imbolc (also referred to as “Candlemas”) is the traditional time for initiations.

In Wicca, Imbolc is commonly associated with the goddess Brigid, and hence the Wiccan Goddess, and as such it is sometimes viewed as a “women’s festival” with specific rites only for female members of a coven.

Saint Brigid's Cross

Imbolc is usually celebrated on February 2nd in the Northern Hemisphere or the 1st of August in the Southern Hemisphere. I have also heard it being celebrated on the 1st of February, but more sources claim it on the 2nd.

So there’s a burst of Pagan information for you 😀 Just thought it’s be fun to share that with you… It;s also interesting to me that I should be hoping that the day before my birthday is a horrible day out, so that the hag won’t go out to collect wood 😛

Figured I’d post this a couple of days before my Birthday, and a couple of days before this holiday so that if you want to even think on this holiday/celebration/bit of awesomness, you would be able to have the option. I think it’s interesting, but as much as I’m nnot liking my roommates, I’m not going to put ashes around to see if Brigid visited.

For more Wiccan/Pagan holidays, go HERE (general info) or HERE (shows 7/8 of the eight wiccan holidays)

The Light That Stole the Show, an Inflatable No-No

Belated for Christmas, or really holiday time in general, but figured I’d get this out there.

When I was home for the holidays during Xmas 2011, a great deal of my walking at night with Lexy was aimed towards talking about various things, making fun of dog and what we imagine dog would say with his ever-changing imaginary voice, and, since it was that time of year, looking at what lights and what kind of effort our neighbours and distant neighbourhood neighbours had put up for the season.

There were houses that looked like Holiday Cheer had reached its drunken limit and threw up on their lawn. Sometimes that holiday cheer ended up on parts of their houses, too.

There were houses that had a concentration of brightness, of lights that would zig-zag and bundle itself into a concentrated portion of the house. These houses would attract your attention even as you didn’t want to burn your eyes looking directly at it. “Isn’t that a nice house–BRIGHT!DON’TLOOKATTHEDOOR!BRIGHT!–and they even decorated…”

There were colour themed houses. My sister and I looked at two houses side by side, one with orange/red and yellow lights concentrated around the entrance, and the house directly next to it spread out in sprawled squiggles in blue and green. The contrasts in the double houses–the huge buildings cut in half to house two separate families– were especially amusing when we saw done in the calm chilly blue-white lights on one half and furious and fiery red lights on the other.

There are also the inflatable things… I’m not terribly fond of these things, for a number of reasons that are beside the fact that they look mostly stupid. They aren’t new anymore, so there are a lot of houses where even the Holiday Cheer couldn’t get drunk all over their lawn–there’s no room to. If you have a front lawn that isn’t particularly large, you shouldn’t be trying to fit three of the gigantic inflatable things… I also don’t like that they use up so much energy just having air pumped into them, and if they’re punctured, most people throw then out–more garbage, thanks…

Some are amusing, and when they first came out I thought hat they were held upright due to the sheer amount of awesome that had been pumped into their creation.

Some of them MOVED. Some of them had songs that went with their movements.

On walks, Lexy and I would occasionally stop for a bit to appreciate the blow up dolls things on people’s lawns.

This year, we had another reason to stop and stare. And smile. Sadly didn’t get around to going back at night, but here’s a picture of what we saw:

You can't help but look at it, can you?

If this had been taken at night, I have no doubt that it would be even more… spectacular…

Lexy has mentioned that she saw a Rudolf blow up thingy, equally unfortunately lit.

Also, Santa seems to be in a skirt 😛

There are a number of things that come to mind when I look at this picture…

It’s staring at me. 

I just hope that children who walk past won’t see it later as the one-eyed demon that ruined Christmas anything abnormal, and will be too focused on the light that’s staring into their souls how awesome and blown up that Christmas decoration is.

Though, I’d like to think that the people who own this house didn’t keep it up when if they noticed the unfortunate light. I think know my parents would have noticed, and would have laughed long and hard before taking it down.

I hope that they notice it next year if they choose to put it up…

Have to say though, that was the most memorable Christmas display (seems like the wrong word to use for some reason) from this past year.

Happy belated holidays to all, and in honor of my Wiccan friend, a very belated Merry Samhain and Yule.

BONUS: Samhain is pronounced Seh-my-ah (not sam-hain as I’d once thought) and always occurs on October 31st for the Northern Hemisphere.

For 2011, Yule falls/fell on December 22nd above the equator, and June 21 below, and 2012 Yule will happen December 21st.

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON WHEN WICCAN HOLIDAY ARE in year 2012: http://www.holidays.net/calendars/religions/dates2012-wiccan.htm