Hello

What do you think I should do? Leap straight into my thoughts or introduce myself?
I’m afraid you don’t really have a choice. I’m going to tell you a little about myself to start, if you don’t mind (I don’t mean that last bit about minding). Who knows, maybe I’ll produce something slightly interesting.

One thing you should know: I should never analyze myself. I cannot ever seem to accurately describe myself. So do not take anything I say for certain, it is liable to change at any moment without notice.

  •  I am a spelling grammar Nazi. Other times, I am a very pained dyslexic grammar spelling Nazi.
  • I am a cat. This is not up for debate.
  • Since my blog’s name is Tangents, I am not afraid to leave tangents in my writing. Just be glad I’m not actually talking to you. You would be unable to understand the rapid syllables and sounds of me trying to fit these mostly unnecessary (to all but me, apparently) thoughts in my speaking.

That’s good for now. Three is  a good number. If one were to complain about so little information being given, one, bummer, two, point three kind of counts as two, yes? and three… just kidding, I have no three; three is just a nice number.

My Sun Sets

On the cold bloodstained ground I lay, my departure from this world of war as imminent as the sunset following each day. As unstoppable as the armies thundering  in late morning light with bloodthirsty hearts consumed by rage and hatred of the opponent, each as sincere as the other.
As the afflicted lay strewn about the field, all thought of the same thing. Groaning, crying out for their mothers, their families,  their small beginnings. The glory of death upon the battlefield doesn’t sate such deep longing for days spent in the town market with my Father; even the vicious teasing I received from Old Frejya’s grandson, Bors, seemed a warm memory to me now. He always teased me when I walked to the well with my mother. She would stay and talk with the women of the town, showing me off to them, the strong boy I was. He was only jealous. We both grew into fine young men, soon taking our father’s places in the bustling town market. Everyone knew everyone else, but that didn’t stop the market goers from trying to cheat each other in bargains. Especially us, as newcomers to the fast paced arena, though they all had known us before we could walk. No one became upset for too long- grudges were said to be held but anyone would have died for another in this town, even if you were cheated out of an entire cow.
I had seen Bors on the battlefield. Beneath sweltering sun, he fell.
He fell at my hand, I at his.
All the times he beat me down with words,
cheated me out of goods;
when I was left locked in the shed, missing the chance to see the world with the King’s army,
I hated him.

But now, as we lay, struck down on the same battlefield, I felt as though he was my brother. He, raised and learned in the army of the King, I, raised at home, trained by the angry militia.

From the same small valley town. I tried to reach to him, but did so with a ghost arm. He was staring at me with the peace of a man ready to die. Beyond any panic or fear of death. An almost imperceptible nod.  Eyes glazed with death.

 

I see the sun set over the mountains, hear mothers sing to rowdy children, readying them for sleep. Men nod to each other as they make their way back to their families. They’ll be back around in the morning.

 

I see the mountains. I see the sunset in my eyes. With closed eyes I nod my goodbyes.

Detrimental Shoes

Detrimental Shoes

People have been living barefoot for thousands of years. Ancient civilizations such as the Egyptians went barefoot regularly and only used footwear for ornamental purposes. Greek gods and heroes were depicted barefoot, and Alexander the Great conquered half of the ancient world with barefoot armies composed of hoplites, citizen-soldiers famous for their use of the phalanx formation during battle.

In his book “Take Off Your Shoes and Walk”, Simon J. Wikler, Doctor of Surgical Chiropody, points out that foot troubles during this time were nonexistent as seen by the lack of records indicating such problems. It was not until the Renaissance, when the elevated heel and the pointed-toed design in footwear were introduced, that foot problems first began to appear.

Notice the type of footwear depicted in 1434 In the middle ages, the majority of the population did not use these styles of footwear due to their expense. It was only the nobility that could afford such shoes and any deformities that were created by these luxuries posed no serious handicap given the number of servants and maids at their disposal. Because of this, nobility didn’t need the strength in their lower limbs that would normally be required for endeavors such working the fields and that led them to view the broad, muscular, and capable bare foot of the working class as common and ugly. Through this perspective, nobility developed an aesthetic ideal similar to the Chinese custom of foot binding in which small feet were associated with wealth and power. This damaging trend continued to be reflected in most styles of footwear well into the nineteenth century.
Lyman Blake and his invention In 1858, during the middle of the industrial revolution, Lyman Blake’s invention of sewing machinery that could attach the upper leather to the sole of the shoe made it possible to mass produce footwear. Because of this, shoe manufacturing in America grew to a point where anyone could afford the damaging aristocratic footwear.

By the early 1900s, people had lost their reverence for kings and queens and instead began to admire athletes such as tennis champions and channel swimmers. This change in interest popularized footwear such as the black and white saddle shoe, which was roomier than its predecessors, and discouraged the old trend for small feet.
The 1970s brought about sufficient advances in rubber, plastics, synthetics, and adhesives that allowed for new methods of shoe manufacturing. Soles that once had to be machine stitched could now be easily glued on. These simpler crafting techniques led to the creation of the modern shoe. Since then, shoe companies have had over thirty years to improve upon their original designs. Logically, one would assume that shoe related problems today would be nearly non-existent, but according to several studies that have been conducted over the last few years, shoes seem to be having the opposite effect on the human foot by causing more harm than good.
Going Barefoot
It has been estimated that by age forty, about eighty percent of the population will have some muscular-skeletal foot problem. By age 55, this number will have gone up to ninety five percent. And these are just American figures. When comparing shod and unshod populations, it has been found that those who habitually go barefoot tend to have far less foot problems than their shoe-wearing counterparts. In 2007, researchers at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa, conducted a study in which they examined 180 people from Sotho, Zulu, and European populations. By comparing their feet to one another’s as well as to the feet of 2,000-year-old human skeletons, researchers found that people had healthier feet before the invention of shoes. Out of the three groups of participants in the study, the Zulu population, which often goes barefoot, had the healthiest feet while Europeans, who normally wear shoes, had the unhealthiest. Dr. Bernhard Zipfel, one of the lead researchers of the study, when commenting on these results, expressed his disappointment in the American Podiatric Medical Association for not encouraging outdoor barefoot activity. “This flies in the face of the increasing scientific evidence …that most of the commercially available footwear is not good for the feet”.
In a similar study published in The Journal of the National Association of Chiropodists, Samuel B. Shulman conducted surveys of people in China and India who had never worn shoes and found that they acquired very few foot defects, most of which were painless and non-debilitating. “Shoes are not necessary for healthy feet and are the cause of most foot troubles” said Shulman. “Footgear is the greatest enemy of the human foot”.
Walking barefoot is very similar to running barefoot in its mechanics. The idea here is to do away with a hard-heel strike and instead use something resembling a mid foot strike. When someone walks barefoot, they employ shorter strides to allow for a softer landing on the heel while keeping their knees slightly bent. They then use a natural step to roll through the outside edge of the foot before landing on the ball of the foot. The toes play a big part in this process as they provide a powerful push forward that carries them smoothly into the next step.

Walking with shoes is a whole different matter. The padded heels of shoes encourage hard landings and rolling through the step becomes a lot harder from the thick sole that constricts the foot. Inflexible shoes prevent the toes from fully pushing off the ground which leaves the legs to do the work in lifting the feet up and down. This deprivation of full foot motion can be especially harmful in the early growth of the foot.
Early Foot Development
Going barefoot is vital for children as it promotes healthy and natural foot development and it maintains foot functionality into adulthood. At birth the human foot consists of a mass of cartilage that slowly grows over a period of several years to become the 26 bones in the adult foot. Walking barefoot allows the ligaments and muscles of the child’s foot to mature properly. According to Tracy Byrne, a podiatrist specializing in podopaediatrics, this increases the strength of the foot’s arch, improves prioception, and contributes to good posture. “The more parents know about the structure of children’s feet, the more we can prevent footwear-related damage being done” she says.
Low Arch (left), High Arch (center), Normal Arch (right) One of the most common foot troubles seen with children is flat foot, which is caused by weakening of a foot’s arch. The arch, one of the greatest weight bearing designs ever created, is vital to the foot’s functions of support and propulsion. The greater the stress is pushing down on it, the stronger it becomes; push up from underneath and the whole structure is weakened. Wearing shoes has a comparable effect for one’s feet. “Putting your feet in shoes is similar to putting them in a plaster cast” says Dr. Gerard Hartmann, a notable Irish physical therapist. “If I put your leg in plaster, we’ll find 40 to 60 percent atrophy of the musculature within six weeks. Something similar happens to your feet when they’re encased in shoes”.
Barefoot Running
Running and walking barefoot both share many of the same positive health effects that would otherwise be unattainable if wearing shoes. The foot is a complex structure that is made out of 26 bones, 33 joints, 120 muscles and ligaments, and over 7,000 nerve endings. Together, these features allow us to support weight, provide shock absorbance, allow movement, and maintain balance when treading over uneven surfaces. Footwear interferes with these natural adaptations to the human form and can cause different injuries such as plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, Morton’s neuroma, and stress fractures. Because of this, going barefoot has become increasingly popular among athletes, especially for running.
Barefoot running is nothing new. Back in the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, Ethiopian Abebe Bikila, the greatest Olympic marathoner of all time, won the twenty six mile marathon without shoes. Two-time world cross country champion and former 5,000 meter record holder Zola Budd often trained and competed barefoot. More recently barefoot running has become a hot topic in the sporting world due in part to Chris McDougall’s 2009 bestselling book Born to Run. In it, he describes how after experiencing repeated injuries as a runner, he sought out members of the Tarahumara Indian tribe in Northern Mexico. In his book, he marvels at the Tarahumaras’ ability to run extremely long distances of over 100 miles at incredible speeds without undergoing the regular injuries of American runners. This rising nationwide running trend, which has continually been backed by research, has convinced many athletes to ditch their shoes and adopt the barefoot approach.
Running shoes provide their wearers with supposed advantages such as padding and shock absorbance. With these and other running-enhancing features, it is natural to assume that there would be great amounts of research coming from the $27 billion American shoe industry to support the claim that running shoes diminish or prevent injury. Surprisingly, Dr. Craig Richards, a researcher at the University of Newcastle in Australia, has discovered that there is no such evidence that proves running shoes make one less prone to injury. It seems that the shoe industry is based on nothing but wishful thinking and empty promises and to prove a point, Richards proposed a challenge: “Is any running-shoe company prepared to claim that wearing their distance running-shoe will decrease your risk of suffering musculoskeletal running injuries? If you are prepared to make these claims where is your peer-reviewed data to back it up?”
Many running shoes market features such as stability, cushioning, and maximized performance all for the low-low price of $80 to $200, depending on the brand and model. With such a hefty price tag, buyers of such shoes expect to get a bang for their buck and would be surprised by the 1989 discovery that runners wearing top of the line shoes are 123 percent more likely to get injured than runners in cheap ones.

Dr. Bernard Marti, a leading expert in preventative medicine at the University of Bern in Switzerland, conducted a study where he and his research team analyzed 4,358 runners of the Bern Grand Prix, a 16 mile road race, during the year that led up to the day of the event. Using survey questionnaires in which runners detailed training habits and footwear used throughout the year, researchers examined the nature of running injuries. Out of the 83.6% who reported injury, 45.8% sustained injury during the one-year study period, 14.2% required medical care, and 2.3% missed work because of running injuries. What Dr. Marti found shocking was that the most common cause of injury did not come from the running speed, training surface, or weekly mileage of the runners. Instead what he found was that those who ran in footwear costing more than $95 were two times more likely to get injured than those running in shoes that were less than $50. This study casts many doubts on the effectiveness of running shoes and it shows that for double the price one can get double the pain.
In an article from the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise Journal, Dr. Steven E. Robbins of McGill University Center for Studies in Aging in Montreal wrote that the running shoe features that many manufacturers promote create what he calls a perceptual illusion. Because of an athletic shoe’s comfort when running or walking, if the foot undergoes harmful stresses the wearer does not feel any significant discomfort and perceives a collision that is lower than what it actually is. This in turn “…results in inadequate impact-moderating behavior and consequent injury”.

In addition, Robbins goes on to state that “The modern running shoe and footwear in general have successfully diminished sensory feedback without diminishing the injury inducing impact, a dangerous situation”. Thus, even with all of a shoe’s cushioning which deprives the wearer of sensory feedback from the feet so that running no longer “hurts”, injury is still frequently the result. Barefoot runners, on the other hand, naturally adapt their running style in such a way that does not make it painful. According to Robbins, this has been shown in barefoot populations where running related injuries are rare and he concludes by saying that “…it seems appropriate to consider expensive athletic footwear from major manufacturers (and perhaps less expensive shoes) as unsafe”.
This question of running injuries caused by the foot’s collision with the ground motivated Dr. Daniel E. Lieberman, professor of human evolutionary biology at Harvard University, to conduct an experiment in which he examined impact forces generated when running barefoot versus shod. Working with runners from the United States and Kenya, Lieberman looked at the running patterns of those who had always run barefoot, those who had always worn shoes, and those who had switched to barefoot running from shod running. The results were intriguing.

“People who don’t wear shoes when they run have an astonishingly different strike” said Lieberman after finding that those who ran barefoot avoided heel striking and instead landed on the ball or the middle of the foot. People who run barefoot are more likely to land on the forefoot followed by a backwards drop of the heel that is controlled by the calf muscles. As the center of mass moves over the foot, the heel lifts through contraction of these muscles along with momentum and ends with a push off through the toes. Running in shoes, on the other hand, encourages a hard heel landing which is followed by a mid stance period where the leg moves over the foot and, as with barefoot running, ends with the propulsive period as the foot pivots over the toes. Running with shoes is “…like someone hitting you on the heel with a hammer two or three times your body weight” explained Lieberman. “By landing on the middle or front of the foot, barefoot runners have almost no impact collision, much less than most shod runners generate when they heel strike”.

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This puts into question the notion of many people who think that barefoot running is dangerous and hurts. “A lot of foot and knee injuries currently plaguing us are caused by people running with shoes that actually make our feet weak, cause us to over-pronate and give us knee problems” said Dr. Lieberman. According to him, one can actually run barefoot on the world’s hardest surfaces without the slightest pain and discomfort and “…it might be less injurious than the way some people run in shoes”.
Hygiene and Safety
First of all, let’s face it. Going barefoot causes feet to get dirty. It’s inevitable, but dirt is only that. The idea that there are harmful diseases spread all over the ground is baseless at best and on the off chance that there are, the probability of actually getting ill from briefly walking over one is low for it would be wiped off the foot as one continues to move. To take this thought a bit further, consider how clean one’s bare foot is compared to their shoe. Most people wash their feet daily in the shower. The same thing cannot often be said about the inside of their shoes. In fact, it can be easily argued that one’s hands are typically far more “dirty” than bare feet.
After walking around barefoot all day, the bottom of one’s feet will have collected a fair amount of dirt but other than that, what else could have made them so unclean? On the other hand, one should think about the number of people that have touched the bathroom door handle, grabbed the TV remote, and typed on the same computer keyboard. How clean were their hands then?

In the face of such unsanitary conditions one does not normally wear protective gloves. Yet by sealing the feet away inside shoes, it is believed that they will somehow become immune to harm and disease. This type of mentality has led many to think that one can do all sorts of damage and catch different types of diseases simply by going barefoot without being fully aware of the protective abilities and adaptations of the skin that covers the feet.
The skin, as the body’s largest organ, possesses many unique properties that aid against extreme temperatures, ultraviolet radiation, and harmful toxins. Even though skin serves as the body’s first line of defense against infection from pathogens such as fungi and bacteria, this protection is severely weakened when not exposed to sufficient light and air. Harmful organisms that thrive in dark, warm, and moist conditions are given the perfect environment to flourish inside the confines of shoes. One of the most common types of infection is athlete’s foot. The fact that it’s moisture, sweating, and lack of proper ventilation of the feet that present the perfect setting for athlete’s foot to grow led the American Academy of Dermatology to conclude that, “…athlete’s foot does not occur among people who traditionally go barefoot”. The same thing can be said for other infectious diseases.
Skin’s protective qualities are also demonstrated in plantar skin which has been shown to be well designed to guard the feet against injury. Dr. Steven E. Robbins, in an article entitled Protective sensation of the plantar aspect of the foot, states that when compared to the skin of the thigh “…plantar skin requires approximately 600% greater abrading loads to reach pain threshold”. In addition, he goes on to say that “…when the plantar surface is subjected to localized load via sharp deforming objects, it deforms so as to contain the object in the void created by the deforming object, thus resisting perforation”. This resistance to penetration led him to state that “…plantar skin is well protected through sensory feedback from abrasive injuries when barefoot”. Robbins therefore concluded that the risk of injury when “…individuals perform barefoot locomotion should be low”.
Society, Tradition, and the Law
In today’s society it is common practice for people to be shod most of the time except at places like the beach, in the shower, or in bed. It seems that being barefoot in public has become a social taboo with no logical basis. Why is that? Perhaps it’s from the regrettable stereotypes that have emerged over the years or the nonexistent laws and regulations that have misled many into believing that it’s illegal to go without shoes. Maybe the only reason that more people don’t go barefoot is that they’re afraid to be unconventional.
In Western society, particularly in the United States, going barefoot has become increasingly unwelcoming in many places. This type of behavior is often viewed with contempt, so much so that many wishing to engage in such a lifestyle are driven into conformity for fear of going against society’s norms. Such negativity was not always the case. Many older Americans recall their youth when they themselves would go barefoot for days or months at a time, sometimes even to school. The fact that some people still go barefoot despite the strong social pressures goes to show the importance of the benefits that it offers.
Bare feet are sometimes associated with the outdated counterculture movement of the 1960s and the false notion that whoever goes barefoot is automatically classified as a junkie, a drop-out, or a hippie. Such stereotypes are the result of the unfortunate human tendency to discriminate against things not understood and they could be farther from the truth. Barefooters choose to go without shoes because of the many health benefits, comforts, and pleasures that such a lifestyle offers. They include men and women from many walks of life who want nothing to do with disrespect, vandalism, or other frowned upon behavior. Nevertheless, this negative image of barefooters depicting them as immature and irresponsible people can be attributed to the decision some establishments take in disallowing unshod customers.
It is a great misconception in the United States that shoes are required by law in places of business, especially restaurants. The reason that businesses often give for putting up “No shoes, No shirt, No service” signs is that they are required to do so by health department regulations. This would seem like a justified reason for having such a footwear policy except that these so called “regulations” are nothing more than urban legends that have no legal standing in most parts of the U.S. This is because there are no laws, codes, or regulations in existence that prohibit bare feet in such establishments. To ensure that this was indeed the case for the state of California, the writer of this article went ahead and contacted the California Department of Public Health. In a response from the State of California Health and Human Services Agency, Glenn Takeoka, the Chief of the Environmental Management Branch of California, stated that “I am not aware of any state statutes that require the wearing of shoes or other footwear in such places”.
Once these phantom laws and health department myths are shown to be false, the next reason that businesses give for a policy requiring footwear is the infamous broken glass argument that is: “You might cut yourself and sue us”. In order to successfully sue a business for injury the four elements of negligence must be proven. These are: a duty of care to the customer, a breach of that duty, a causal link between the breach and damage, and the actual damage. It is important to note that in terms of the duty of care to the customer, the doctrine of assumption of risk states that “…no duty of care is owed as to risks inherent in a given activity”. This means that unless the business was engaged in activity that would have harmed the customer regardless of his or her footwear, any attempt to bring liability charges against a business for injury caused in going barefoot would very likely result in failure. Nevertheless, while broken glass certainly does exist, unless it was from a recent breakage, it is not likely to be found strewn all over the ground. On the rare occasion that it is, most people have the sense to walk around it.
Then there is the argument that bare feet are somehow offensive to other customers. If an establishment is offended by this one can’t help but wonder how a thin strip of material going across the foot in a flip-flop or a sandal makes it any more appropriate when there is little difference in overall appearance. Under the current mindset, it would be perfectly acceptable if a customer with seven-inch spiked green hair, wearing a black leather jacket lined with metal studs, and a body covered in tattoos and piercings were to enter a place of business. But as soon as a well-dressed customer walks in barefoot, they are immediately told to put something on their feet or else are asked to leave. Why is there a general belief that someone has the right not to be offended? In the case of Ferguson v. Gies, the supreme court of Michigan stated that a man who goes to a public place must expect to mingle with all classes of people. “He may draw his social line as closely as he chooses at his home, or in other private places, but he cannot in a public place carry the privacy of his home with him, or ask that people not as good or as great as he is shall step aside when he appears”.
Final Remarks
Since ancient times, people have been going about their lives barefoot and it wasn’t until the invention of shoes that foot problems began to appear. Throughout the years, various experts and researchers have conducted studies to examine the extent of the damage created by wearing shoes and time and time again, the conclusions have been the same: that shoes cause more harm than good. Because of this, more and more athletes have started to go barefoot as a way to prevent, or at times alleviate, injuries caused while shod. This is especially true with running.

Despite the many advantages that have been found in going barefoot, they don’t seem enough to convince people whose worries are based in other false beliefs. Concerns that discourage many from going barefoot out on the streets range from walking over dirt found on sidewalks to stepping on a rusty nail that somehow managed to land with its tip pointing up. Yet, if one stops and considers the body’s natural ability to adapt, these issues prove to be of little concern to one’s health and safety.
Finally, there is the social stigma that is associated in going barefoot. The negativity that society has placed on those who go barefoot in public, especially in the United States, has remained entrenched in misconceptions that don’t stand up against any logical reasoning. Barefooters are ordinary people who just happen to like going barefoot for the many benefits that such a lifestyle offers.

Leonardo Da Vinci once said that “The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art”. Perhaps now after having discussed these many aspects of barefooting, one will be able to better understand the extraordinary abilities of the human foot and instead of regarding it as a fragile instrument, they can treat it as the resilient and highly adaptable moving apparatus that it really is.

 

I was shown this fantastic article today and wanted to spread it about.

A Red Herring Happy Ending

Once upon a time I loved a bear. But not anymore.
It was a great story, but it wasn’t over. So the happy ending we thought was there was in fact, not.
The happy ending will come eventually, just not yet. Not the way I thought it would  be.

Without realizing it, the kitten had let the bear become a cage. The bear saw what he had become to the kitten and was sad, unknowing of what to do. He wanted to help but any help he could offer put her more immovably in the cage.
One day, the kitten was angry with the bear.

She wandered from the cage.

Realizing that she had strayed from her home, she rushed back in horror and fear. She was locked out. She begged and screamed at the door, but the bear would not let her back in. Not after she left the cage. There was no way back in.
She wailed at the door. She was  angry, sad, pitiful, enraged, and through the cycle of emotions all over again.
Her wailing at the door began to lose energy. She looked around her, and saw beautiful things and possibilities. A thought nagged at her mind, tugging like a child would tug on a skirt to confess of spilled juice.

She was free.

She could adorn herself with flowers, and she didn’t care if the bear thought she was being silly.

She could dance in the forest with her new friends, even if the bear thought they were silly.

Most importantly, she found her blood family and loved them more than she ever had before.

The happy ending hasn’t arrived yet, but the story does continue.
And the kitten is indeed very, very happy.

Dietro Casa

Music is weird. Merely sounds, it can move one to tears. It can “tame the beast”.
You know music when you hear it; you don’t double guess yourself and think it’s some regular sort of communication or noise.


Recently, I was listening to Dietro Casa by Ludivico Einaudi when it very distinctly brought certain emotions and thoughts to my head. The basic feel of the song, to me, is a kind of bittersweet.
kind of like you’ve just finished a painful journey that has left scars. It felt like the pain would go on forever, that you would never be able to stop pushing through the muck.
It’s over now, you can relax. No one throws a celebration to congratulate you- you can stand no more commotion. You just want to be happy, relax.
What does this song sound like to you?
Are there other songs that you feel strong emotion with?
I’m curious.
Leave me a comment pretty please?

I’m A Horrible Blogger

I’m horribly sorry for abandoning you even more.

Unfortunately, I’ve been unrealistically busy.

Fortunately, school is done it TWO DAYS.

Unfortunately, I’m still failing algebra.

The most fortunately, I’ve found something to make up for every absence of mine ever.

 

Before clicking this link, go get some food to last you a while, go to the bathroom, maybe set up a system where you can go without leaving your computer, take care of any appointments within the next while… you get the idea.

Prepare to die. Of happiness.

Rot In The Rotting Tower

Once upon a time there was a little girl. She was a perfectly ordinary little girl. All that separated her from any other little girl was her circumstances- she lived way up high, in a stone box. It was a tower with no doors, stairs or anything of the sort. You, by now, are thinking that you know how this is going to end. I’m afraid you’re wrong. Because unfortunately, this little girl, being normal, as I stated before, had normal length hair. Therefore, she will not escape her stone box via her hair. Oh how she wishes she could do something of the sort. She desperately wants to leave, though she barely knows what leaving means.

Yes, there is an evil witch keeping her captive. That part is familiar. The witch takes care of her basic needs and the like. Not by climbing up her hair, silly. She’s a witch. She’s got a broom, she can fly herself. The girl is thankful for the witch because the witch feeds her, but she can’t help but dread each visit. The witch’s visits leave her exhausted. Sometimes she cries for hours. Still, her lonely soul craves the visits. She doesn’t understand why. She feels guilty for disliking the witch and her visits. She never knows what to think.

But all this is nothing compared to an imminent event. The girl has no idea this event is going to happen. The witch does. This event will be the death of the girl. The witch could stop it, but she doesn’t.
It’s horribly evil of her, isn’t it? The witch doesn’t think so. Yes, she’s a little crazy, but she’s also in denial. She has a strange love for the girl. She doesn’t want this event to come about.

I suppose it isn’t really an overnight catastrophe. It’s happening now, actually. Very slowly.
You see, the tower is rotting. It is crumbling. Someday it will no longer stand. Someday it will fall, taking a poor, average lonely girl with it.

Why will the witch not repair the tower? Use her magic to fortify it?

It’s impossible, that’s why.

But didn’t I say the witch had the power to stop the girl from this horrid demise? Yes. She has the power. How would she do it?
Set her free. If only the witch would help her out of the tower.

The witch won’t, though. She’s decided that it would be good for the girl to find her own way out. She’s a clever girl.
I’m sure the girl is capable of finding a way out.
But that’s only if she knew there was an out. She knew she was discontented and she wanted things to be different, but she didn’t know how things could be.
While the witch thinks the little girl will eventually find her way out, she keeps pushing down the thought that maybe she never wants the girl to find her way out, and she’ll never actually let it happen.  She could get hurt out there, in the world.

So as you can see, this is quite the predicament. For those that feel emotion for this poor trapped, naive girl- I’m sorry. It seems there is no way out.

Here come the years passing by; the little girl is not so little anymore. The tower is weaker every day… it corrodes with unnatural speed. The young lady is still no closer to freedom.

It seems she is doomed to die in her tower.

***

Once upon a time, there was a prince walking about the woods when he encountered something enormous. It was a horribly unstable tower with a rotting wooden base. The tower went farther than his eye could see. But the beautiful ghostlike lady squinting at the sky through a window did not. He could see her clearly. He got dizzy from looking up so far and gravity forced him to sit.
He called to the beautiful lonely lady from the ground.

While she did not hear him, she did happen to glance down and see him standing there.

The sight of him terrified her; frantically she closed the window.
A minute or so later, she opened it again, curiosity getting the best of her. He wasn’t sitting on the ground anymore- he was climbing up the tower, using sticks to dig into the soft wood.

She had gotten over her initial terror, and liking the sight of him, was filled with excitement.
Which then gave way to terror.
Which turned into apathy towards the situation.
She went to read a book, waiting for him to reach the top. Her thoughts were steady, but her heartbeat and hands were not. She couldn’t resist getting up every so often to check on his progress. She payed no attention to the riveting story in the book.

Finally, he reached the stone top, dropped his stick, and scaled the jagged stone surface to the window.
The girl heard scraping on the window sill. Her had snapped up.
There stood a curious, panting man.
She had never seen anything like this.

Neither human being said a word. It was probably the most awkward moment in history.

The man spoke. He asked her name. She told him. He told her his.
He asked her how long she’d been up here.
After a pause, she told him she didn’t know what he meant.
He wanted to know how long she’d been trapped up here. Was she trapped in the first place?
Trapped? She supposed she was trapped.
Did she want to leave?
She couldn’t reply.
Did she?
She started to say she didn’t really know, but then she looked around her.

“Yes.”

He had brought up rope, which made getting down much easier than going up, despite carrying another person with him.
She felt the grass, the dirt, the bark of trees. He brought her to a city where she felt cobble stones and brick walls. She petted a cat,  smiled at a curious staring child.

Who knows what happened to the witch or her tower.
The girl lived on ever after. Not always happily, but she lived contentedly.

Kitties and Cars

Once upon a time, there was a kitty. This kitty was actually human, but she missed her cat monarch status and therefore referred to herself as a kitty on her blog.
But that is besides the point. The point is that there was a kitty and she did an amazing noteworthy thing. If not in anyone elses opinion, in hers, and this is her blog, so she has the ability to proclaim to the interwebs what is awesome and what is not. Dear me, tangents abound!

I shall now jump into the story-

A few days ago, a lovely Wednesday almost evening, four-o’-clock to be exact, I called the oh so wonderful DMV. Why, you ask? Because my temps had expired months ago and after two visits to the DMV I still had been unable to get my temporary license renewed.
That  derpin’ DMV.
Not only that, but after having been told to schedule my road test online, the stupid horrible DMV jerkface kneebiter idiotic bleherajhfgkjatkgjdfh site had no intention to actually let me. So after a week or two I called them inquiring about such things.
During this conversation, something very strange and rare happened- I hung up and realized…
…somehow, someway, a road test had been scheduled for the morning at 9.

If you’ll remember, my temps have been expired for a long time, meaning that I haven’t driven for a long time. This means that the first time I got into the drivers seat of a car was to take my test.

Do you know what I did?

I PASSED.

Probably only because the DMV guy liked me (it almost seemed as if he was flirting with me for a bit there, actually…)

But it was glorious.
And now I drive myself about in my beautiful white 2001 Hyundai named Shadowfax.

Show us the meaning of haste! (within the speed limit, of course…)

Ignorance, History and Working Hard

I don’t care about politics…

…is one of the most ignorant things one might say. It sounds a little harsh, and I myself used to say the same thing.
The reason I think it’s terribly ignorant is because you have to care.

“What? I HAVE to care? Who are you to tell me what I have to think and care about and-”

Calm down there. I suppose you can choose to care about what you like, but I should think it’d be in your and your country’s best interest if you chose to care.

Why? Because you live in your country, and whether you believe it or not, its affairs do affect you. Not caring enough to learn about what’s going on about you is just irresponsible. This disinterest of knowledge causes people to do and believe ridiculous things.
Take the Democrat and Republican party; most people think these are the only two political parties. While they are the main ones, they are not technically the only ones. But often people identify themselves with their political party whether they actually know about it or not. It doesn’t seem to matter what the party does, they’ll blindly support it. It doesn’t matter what the other party does, they’ll oppose it. Sometimes people don’t seem to realize that politicians lie- a LOT. On both sides.

In fact, a lot of people lie. But sometimes they aren’t lying. Sometimes they truly believe something that is completely wrong. Like rumors- some people hear a snippet of something and believe it to be absolute. I myself have fallen for snippets and the like, spreading untrue information. Discernment is one of the most important things to have in all parts of life. Yet so many people lack it. There are so many very convincing ways to trick people now- Photoshop, the internet- by putting something on the internet you know someone somewhere will believe it. If  you get enough people who believe it, those that normally wouldn’t believe it will question it less. Eventually this completely ridiculous fact will become common knowledge, because if everyone else affirms it, why shouldn’t you?

Also, remember, the victor writes the history. I can almost guarantee you that if Hitler had won, no one would think he was evil. He would be revered as a great man; if only in Germany. Why? One, because people lie, and two: Who’s going to stop him?

To be perfectly honest, once I was shown all the untruths that I have believed (I’m sure I’m not done finding them) I wanted to give up. It’s hard to constantly be skeptical of information. Teaching yourself truth is hard work. Learning anything is hard work.

But all the best things in life come from working at things. Good relationships . A good financial situation. Intelligence. Any virtue. Any skill.

So why wouldn’t One work hard at knowing what’s going on in their country? If everyone had good discernment and could have good, intelligent ideas backed with facts, even if they differ, can you imagine how much better a country would be? Anywhere would be? Right now, everyone’s lumbering around confused hoping someone else will take care of everything for them.

It’s like communism of thought.
Let me explain, just in case you are unaware of what communism is or what I mean. First, communism is the idea that everyone works to the best of their ability and everyone is provided for equally. It sounds nice. But it has an enormous, horrid flaw: we’re dealing with humans, and human nature. If a human is provided for even if they don’t work very hard- or even at all- do you really think they’ll pull their sleeves up and get muddy if they don’t have to?
Sure, there are some exemplary people that would work their tails off. But do you really think they can support an entire nation? No one can move up in life, no one benefits directly from the work they do. So no one tries. The standard of living will go down and down, and eventually those that do try give up. The people of that nation will become poorer and poorer.
In America, our poor are the richest poor in the world. Why? The standard of living is high. And why is that? because everyone has incentive to work. Everyone benefits directly from their own work. People invent, people improve; if you invent and improve things that other people like, you will move up.  If people like the improvements and inventions, they will benefit as well. Maybe they will be inspired, maybe they can build off of you. Maybe they can simply enjoy what you’ve done.  The point is, people will create and thrive. Those that do not work will become poor. But it is not anyone else’s fault but their own. Sure, some people have  some horrid luck, but with how many programs there are to help the poor, if you can’t get on your feet after six months something is wrong.
Of course, with how things are going in our country, because of said programs and many others and lots of other stupid things, it may be harder just because the way taxes work in this day and age is pretty socialist.

ANYWAY, it’s a kind of communism of thought because there is so much information available everywhere that no one wants to work for it anymore. Of course, that doesn’t mean that it’s a bad thing to have so many ways of communicating and sharing ideas, it just makes it a little harder to know what’s true and what’s not. It was a loose analogy that popped into my head that I’m not going to use the backspace key for. If you’re angry, you should have looked at my About page. Silly uneducated critic.

Obviously we live in a horrid world full of horrid sinful people, but you can still do your best, right? Still do your best to live well, preserve the glorious United States of America. (If you live there, that is.) I love my country.
My ancestors are rebels and poor people that worked hard. Very hard.

What has been done so easily to it, what it’s people have been turned into, makes me sad and angry at times. It’s kind of painful.
It’ll probably make you angry too.

But most people ignore it all. Why? Because the steak tastes juicy.

Want to get started on your interest in important things?  Watch this. It’s entertaining but also wondrously informative. Actually, watch it twice.

Want to delve in more? Read Hamilton’s Curse.

Also, I highly suggest finding out How Capitalism Saved America.

I’M SO SORRY

I'M SO SORRY

I feel horrible for ignoring you all so long.
I’ve been terribly busy, exhausted and miserable for weeks if that makes you feel better.
No?
Okay, well then this is a badly photoshopped picture of me facing down the great Tard,
I promise I’ll be back soon.
Loads of blog posts pouring from my brain into the internet.
I promise.
//Disappears in sparkle of light

I’ve Gotten My Very First Award

I'd like to that my parents, my siblings, the lovely Kristine for giving me the idea for this blog...

A blue ribbon and everything?

Dear me!

I’ve been given an award. My very first award. A Liebster Award from the lovely cynical snarky Robynblue!

“The Liebster Award is meant to promote great blogs with less than 200 followers. The goal is to generated exposure and allow more people to discover these great blogs. Here’s how Liebster Award work. Nominees are asked to:
– post eleven facts about themselves
– answer the eleven questions they’ve been asked
– nominate eleven other blogs and ask them eleven questions of their own.
– display the Liebster award.
– there are no actual prizes awarded just recognition by fellow bloggers”

I suppose I’ll begin with eleven facts about myself:

1. I’m not sure how I feel about the fact that there are eleven of each. Why eleven? If you’re not going to make it a nice number with a five or zero, why not twelve? thirteen? Derp.

2. I’m a cat.

3. I’m a music hipster most of the time. I’ve also gone from super heavy metal to folk, classical, and other such calmer music. Weird, eh?

4. I wish men wore top hats and that I could wear beautiful dresses every other day.

5. I have a dog named Frodo. He can roll over and shake your hand and count to two. He’s quite the canine.

6. If I ever name something Samwise, it’ll be Mwise for short.

7. While I type this, I am sitting in a chair in my school in the yearbook room. You may ask, “Wait, why aren’t working on the yearbook?” and I’ll answer you with a frustrated “No one will reply to me with the information I need so I haven’t been able to do anything for WEEKS.” Then I would break out in to sobs. Then I would realize that it’s actually pretty nice to have a big chunk of time to relax.

8. I am an introvert that taught herself to be social because she thought not having human interaction was evil or something. Therefore I am one of the most awkward people ever. At least that’s what it feels like.

9. I lead a little church group thingy at my house on Wednesdays.

10. I work at Mcdonalds. I’m not sick of it yet, and my money is slowly going to my stomach.

11. I have the best boyfriend in the entire world. See?

Now that that’s done, here’s some more riveting stuff about me and my opinions.

1. If you were a bean, what kind of bean would you be?
Hmm… I’ve always liked kidney beans. Also lima beans. Good stuff.

2. What is your favorite thing to do on a Saturday morning?
Sleep! Oh my goodness, sleep. The best Saturday mornings are the mornings with a bit of sunshine coming through the curtains, bouncing against the walls into your pupils, making you realize how late it is. So you roll over and feel like you’re in a cloud of happiness and relaxation. I don’t actually sleep much more on those mornings, just on and off for a few hours. It’s wondrous.

3. What are your three favorite fruits?
I quite like kiwis, oranges, and… hm. Starfruit is nice. I haven’t had it in a while. If berries count as fruit, mulberries win.

4. What do you lie about?
If I told you I would be telling the truth, and telling the truth is not lying; therefore, this question is impossible.

5. What is your specialty?
Being a cat.

6. Who is your nemesis?
Hmm… how about a nice guy like Abraham Lincoln?

7. What gives you the inspiration to blog?
If you must know, the lovely Kristine gave me the idea. It was shortly after she started hers that I was texting her and she all of a sudden said the words “you should make a blog”. At first I rejected such a notion, but in the time between her next reply and that fateful sentence, I had texted her about how it was actually a wondrous idea having fully convinced myself of such. Now I do my best to get at least one post out a week. It has greatly improved my writing skill and I daresay I’ve found a bit of a love for it.  So thank grandest most wondrous Kristine if you enjoy my presence on the interwebs.

8. What are you running from?
The law.  O_O

9. What is your middle name?
Sue. KittiSuePurrik.

10. What is your ultimate all time favourite song, and why?
Well it’s never constant, but lately it’s been Be Calm by Fun. This song contains such a wide variety of instruments and styles; it goes from a Broadway-like song to electric guitar stuff, and… it’s just… wonderful.
I’m going to add a couple of my favorite bands here- Fun, Death Cab For Cutie, Horsefeathers, etc…

11. Where do you find joy?
Well everything good comes from God, so if you wanna be accurate, my joy is found in God and the peace I have through him. Things he uses to make me wondrously happy would be my boyfriend, my stuffed bear Bearsson, cats, music and long sleepy mornings.

Was that fun? That was fun.

My turn to ask questions!

So, lovely Kristine, eshy, Keras, erin, Hero, Cappy, Coffee, Liam (I must say, he’s particularly great), Faith, Neville, Allegra Davis, tell me this:

1. What are your feelings on cats?

2. What is the most beautiful thing you have ever seen in a dream?

3. What are you most proud of teaching yourself?

4. What would you most like to learn about?

5. If you grew up isolated on an island, what do you think you would be like?

6. What qualities do you hope your offspring will have the most of?

7. Do you like snow?

8. What would you change about the world if you could do so in the blink of an eye?

9. What would you keep the same?

10. What is the best reaction to anything you’ve ever gotten out of something?

11. Does this eleven bother you much?