littlewonder2

Little wonder we stumble in life.


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Dawn, and the (extended) Stages of Grief

I have long been a follower of the five stages of grief, and tried to incorporate them into my series. Dawn, being at the heart of such a series, would be the main perspective of such a journey, and I’ve tried to plot out each stage of this.

Thanks to a post at Neutrois Nonsense, I’ve come to wonder if it isn’t sometimes more complicated than a rigid five stage system. So I wanted to try again to plot this out using that post’s structure.

Shock

The circumstances of her initial escape (including the murder of her father), and the consequences following that (including rape and murder by strangers of both herself and her sister), result in an overwhelming shock state born of many conflicting emotions like sadness, anger, and disbelief.

Denial

As she fights for survival, protection and safety, she begins to deny the consequences of her escape, refusing to accept her changed identity and body, and idealises her perspective to the point that anything she does is just and deserved, even as she carries out revenge acts equally as bad as those committed against her.

As Alex (her rapist) continually reminds her of what happens, and forces his own opinion upon her desire, she fights back with her truth, while ignoring that past that she fears would erase that truth for his.

Pain

She begins to remember all the things he’s telling her, and remembers not all of it’s bullshit. She knows exactly what happened to her, and now she gets flashes of it happening again, settling in her like weight stuck to her heart. She is haunted by the memory, present everywhere, and can no longer deny the truth. She feels broken and helpless.

Guilt

As she comes to terms with what happened, she blames herself for not being strong enough to stop it or prevent it. She languishes in regret, leading her to react out of stress.

Anger

She becomes angry about what is happening to her in the present moment, and begins to fight back against the boys that caused her to fall apart and both her and Brenda (her new friend and support) to fear for their lives and safety. She becomes resentful of the unfairness of their lives, and acts out. She begins revenge attacks against them.

Shame

After fighting for a long time, she grows weary of her anger, and it melts away to reveal shame. Shame of what he turned her into, as well as what she turned herself into afterwards. Without her anger, she becomes self pitying and starved for understanding, from herself and others. But instead, she turns what anger is left upon herself, and denies herself gratification. She hides herself away where she thinks he can’t find her.

Bargaining

He finds her, and they become trapped together. He attacks her, and she stands up for herself, fighting only in self defence. Forgetting her shame while she’s trapped, after she gets out she fights for her survival again, until she becomes the sole survivor.

She discovers then that she has another sister, and sets out to find her, thinking that if only she can rebuild what she once lost, she’ll be okay. But Brenda turns against her, fearing Dawn but also fearing that she’ll endanger her sister, and commits herself to rescuing that sister.

Depression

When years pass, and Dawn finds her path blocked on every turn, she begins to feel lonely, and craves to fill the emptiness with whatever she can. But it’s never enough, and she falls into addiction. At this time, Brenda faces her and tries to lead her to recovery, but only ends up as a tool to her addiction.

Restructure

Eventually, Dawn rejects Brenda when she discovers another way to get close to her sister, Seth, and manipulates him to get close to Andrea (her sister). Brenda catches on to this, and fights against Dawn reaching her. But this time Dawn breaks through and reaches Andrea. However, it turns out more difficult than expected, when conflict arises between the sisters and Dawn still ends up feeling alone.

Shock

She realises she’s been rejected once again, and begins to feel unstable and heartbroken.

Denial

She refuses to let this feeling take hold again, and shuts down her emotions.

Pain

Pain breaks down her walls, and she feels everything so intensely, she endangers herself and everyone around her.

Guilt

She regrets her actions, and the pain and fear she caused, turning hatred against herself.

Anger

Her self-hatred burns through her, and she takes it out again on those around her.

Shame

She feels ashamed of herself, and shuts out the world, to protect them and herself.

Bargaining

She begins making promises to herself that she can change, that all she needs is another chance, or to return to the world only under certain circumstances.

Depression

When she fails to follow through on her promises, she begins to think she isn’t worth anything, she’s evil, she’s a burden, she doesn’t deserve to live in the world where she can hurt people. She thinks she needs to be locked up.

Restructure

She begins to think that the only way to function in the world is to find love in herself, to find connections, and to self-reflect on why she acts out so often. That way, she can stop herself before she starts.

Acceptance

After moving once again through the grief stages, she comes to a place where she realises she has friends, and she doesn’t have to fight against herself, push them away, or prove herself against an enemy. She begins fighting for herself, beside Andrea and Brenda, and finds that she has finally found a family, and a home.


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Role Models

So lately, I’ve watching a lot of Youtube, especially Shane Dawson’s channel(s). Even though he’s more sexual than my usual Youtuber (take Ashley Mardell, for example), I really like him. I think part of it has to do with his sense of humour; I think we probably have a similar or the same sense of humour. But I think there’s also more to it than that, under the surface of that humour. He has an average figure, like to eat, as expressive eyes and hilarious expressions, and a bad childhood. He’s not afraid to show himself, yet there’s plenty of self-deprecation in his videos; he even has body dismorphia issues. He has 6 million subscribers, a ship with Joey Graceffa, and well-produced videos. I hate to say this, but the dude’s an inspiration. An inspiration to ordinary people like me, to teach us that we matter, and that it’s okay to take chances sometimes.

One of my favourite Shane Dawson videos.

But this also got me thinking about role models. And I’ve had my fair share of favourite actors, like Johnny Depp and Alan Rickman, but the thing about this is I think there was this assumption that favourite actor = crush, which equalled awkwardness with dad when I was looking at all Rickman’s movies. But it wasn’t like that at all.

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Even Benedict Cumberbatch thinks he looks odd, but we all accept him, because we know he’s beautiful.

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But here’s the thing: why are our role models always men? Why don’t we ever get inspiration from women celebrities. Mainstream media would have us model the Kardashians, Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus, etc., which just makes me think female celebrities are wrecked. But even Kristen Stewart gets the short end of the stick. For one thing, people think she’s an emotionless bitch. But the truth, when she played Bella from Twilight, she was only being true to the character. Bella was the emotionless bitch.

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Jodie Foster’s article on Kristin Stewart talks more about this whole thing. But there is one more thing I should point out, which is that when Stewart had an affair with the director of that Snow White film she was in, no one blamed the married man, they all blamed the celebrity slut. Even if she chose to do that of her will, she is a victim of her own surroundings, and not nearly as culpable as the director who may well have taken advantage of her for all we know. Slut shaming and victim blaming are both wrong things to do. I’m not even a big fan of Stewart, but this article really turned me around on her.

As for celebrities I am a fan of, I’d say Olivia Wilde, Katie McGrath, and Kari Byron would be among them. I like them for their characters and convictions mainly, and yeah, I could say they’re also inspiring. But media are also more inclined to turn them into sex symbols, which is a shame, because in this case, they’re also more than that, and should be seen as such. Here’s hoping more fangirls, at least, can come to find inspiration in these kinds of role models, too.


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Terrorist Space

Everyone hates terrorism, but are blind to stop it. What if you could stop it? Find out how the groups operate, and you could cut them off. But what are you willing to sacrifice to get there?

Crates of guns hijacked in the middle of an impoverished town. There are no roads here, just dirt that drifts into everything. Stone houses carved of mud, tin roofs.

Child soldiers. Middle aged leaders, looking to further their agenda with high-tech weapons. But I have my own weapons, and as soon as they step too close…

Bullets riddle the air, aimed towards the corrupt minds that pass for authority. The Children take aim at me, and I take cover behind my obstacle. I don’t shoot the children. I want to rehabilitate them. Perhaps that’s my weakness, but violence to end genocide has to be worth it.

Right?


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A New View

Space isn’t black but purple, the stars not white but burning yellow gold, flaring brightly behind heavily tinted glass, so that just their orbs are seen. Dark matter flows through and around them every fraction of a second, the speed of the smallest particles of the universe, that truly black stuff that makes up the universe, surrounding even this capsule, making up as much of the empty space between planets as it does down on Earth.

They said sending a vampire up into space didn’t make sense, that it was counterintuitive, but I worked hard to get here, and NASA worked even harder to create a shuttle that I could survive in and observe the universe in. And they were reaping the benefits most of all, because now that I had allowed them to discover dark matter, new breakthroughs on the subject are being made even now.

Right now, as I sat here, I was marking their movements as only my vampire eyes can.

There are no planets in my near view: I have left the Milky Way. I am charting the first map out of this galaxy in search of a new home. Within only a few million years, this galaxy will no longer be habitable. The sun will blast away all its layers until nothing remains. And even before that happens, it will burn us alive. I, more than anyone, won’t be able to survive such a world. We need a new home, desperately. Even if it takes us another century to the centuries I’ve lived through.

I turn to my right, to an old weathered line drawing of Carl Sagan. Though few humen of this century know who he was, I remember. He was my Inspiration to think beyond, to reach for the stars. I have studied each individual line on his face, each of which mean nothing. But together, they create an image that can be known and understood to any thinking mind that perceives it. To me, it’s even more important. To me, it means hope.

I’m floating on a wide black three-dimensional sea out here, far further out than any human has ever witnessed. That dot that was the Earth is far behind me now, and I don’t know how long I can really survive on the amount of blood I have in storage. Survival out here is difficult but I keep my eye on the star system I’m heading for, full in the knowledge I’ll be there soon. My craft wouldn’t have woken me if I were so many years from it.

When I arrive, the time difference between me and Earth will be extreme, but my image will reach the nearest station at least a few million years to the past, when they still have some control over their fate. I beg it’s not too late.


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Makin’ Tofu

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Today, we made Tofu in Food & Culture class. On the board was a simplistic version of the recipe, but unless you were there, you couldn’t really understand from that alone. So let me talk you through it.

When we first arrived in the class, each table had two big silver bowls of soybeans soaking in water. The first thing we did was drain those boils and add about 420ml of water. These went in the blender for about 3 minutes, and after that, the mixture went in pans. The heat came on, and the mixture stirred around.

Two bowls and strainers came out then, and a cloth placed over the strainers. When the mixture had thickened, and become heavier, two people held the cloth over the strainer to catch everything, and moisture dripped in a stream from the bottom into the strainer and bowl. Wooden spatulas were used to squeeze as much moisture as possible from the solid material, called okara, in the cloth. The okara was then put aside to be used in other recipes.

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After that, water was put into a pot and a bowl placed on top. The mixture was poured inside, tested with a thermometer for a bit, and left to cook for 10 minutes, which thickened the mixture.

Then it was squeezed into a block and left to set.

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After this, it was drained and flipped onto a plate. The tofu was done.

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According to the teacher, there are two kinds of tofu, hard and soft. Although this wasn’t exactly hard, it was the harder form of tofu that exists. I had it with soy sauce and shavings. It was odd at first, but you adjust to the taste. Toppings help, though. They were needed, in my case.

Obviously, this isn’t an exact recipe. But just to give you a feeling for what it was like to make it, I wrote this.

If you want to make it yourself, you should probably look up the recipe.


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Fossilised Footprints

“I found something else over here,” she called, dusting the ancient ground away to uncover the evidence accompanying the bones.

Her fellows came over, looking over her shoulders to see what she found. There, beside the fallen Giraffatitan, was as set of small footprints, fossilised into the orange desert. But rather than naked animal prints, the dust soon cleared to reveal the lines and patterns of some workmate’s sneaker undersole.

“Damn time travellers!” she swore.


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20Q

Okay, so this may be irrelevant, but I recently played 20 Questions on a website called 20q.com, because I’ve been watching a lot of vlogbrothers on Youtube and John and Hank played this game by having the site guess each other, and I wanted to do that too, but when I got there it said specific people weren’t allowed, so I chose something else instead:

You won, but 20Q guessed it eventually

How 20Q learns
Play Again

You were thinking of a eucalyptus tree.
Is it crunchy? You said Probably, 20Q was taught by other players that the answer is No.
Can it bend without breaking? You said Probably, 20Q was taught by other players that the answer is No.
Is it considered valuable? You said Maybe, 20Q was taught by other players that the answer is No.
Is it commonly used? You said Probably, 20Q was taught by other players that the answer is No.
Is it pleasurable? You said Probably, 20Q was taught by other players that the answer is No.
Is it something you can purchase? You said No, 20Q was taught by other players that the answer is Probably.
Does it weigh more than 1 tonne? You said Probably, 20Q was taught by other players that the answer is Doubtful.
Contradictions Detected
The opinions of the 20Q A.I. are its own, and are based on the input of players. 20Q’s answers reflect common knowledge. If you feel that 20Q is in error, the only way to correct it is to play again!
Similar Objects
a redwood tree, a sequoia tree, bristlecone pine (oldest), a forest, a rain forest, a pine tree, sugar cane, a blue spruce, paradise, a hemlock tree (evergreen), hemlock, a palm tree.

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