Seven Things [1/16/2009]

My awesome friend Brad Sucks tagged me for the Seven Things meme. I totally freaked out when I saw my name next to William Gibson. He's one of my favorite authors. I even got custom license plates out of his characters. It's taken me a while, but, I finally did it and tried to make it colorful.

1 I collect stamps. I have a huge binder all organized by topic (not country and date like most people do). Here is a small sampling:

2 If I had a large enough house, I'd dedicate an entire room for making my own ball pit.
(me and my sis circa 1987)

(me circa 1999)

3 I'm very opinionated and stubborn about my beliefs. Many acquaintances and friends don't know this though. That's because I try to avoid arguments and confrontation whenever possible. I don't like to try to recruit people to my point of view. When I try to persuade people I get all huffy and puffy and completely fumble the logic and rationale.

4 Despite thinking it was brillant, I never finished reading Douglas Hofstadter's Godel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid. I tried for almost a whole year reading nothing else, but only got half-way through. I was too slow processing the math and finally gave up. Books I've read more than once are Anne McCaffrey's Dragonriders of Pern series, Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials Trilogy, and Toni Morrison's Beloved.

I spent my freshman year of high school living in Copenhagen, Denmark. I met many interesting and fun people there. My apartment was on Nyhavn pictured below (photo by nishioka).

6 My first word as a baby was light. I generally dig pretty glowing things like christmas lights, candles, fireworks, color logs, glow sticks, etc. It's also sort of funny in an ironic way because my attitude is often a lot darker than it should be.
(photo by seeks2dream)

7 I've read a decent amount of books about shamans and the shamanic experience. I'm not sure why this is such a compelling subject for me. It's pretty much the reason I went into anthropology. I love the fact that the study of shamanism can bridge so many different disciplines.

  • *For instance, you can look into the neurological/biological components and processes involved in the shamanic mind state.
  • *From an ethnobotany perspective, you can learn about the natural medicine and healing of almost any current or past culture.
  • *If you are a physicist or astronomer, you can ponder if it would be theoretically possible for a human to access or even trigger a link with an alternate reality. Shamans were often the ancient scholars of the stars and the calendar-keepers. They were the old masters of time and space before modern science.
  • *For people who are interested in psychology/sociology, you can study how individuals with "deviant" behaviors are sometimes accepted within the cultures framework by being given a special extra-ordinary status such as shaman.
  • *Musicians or music therapists will not be surprised to learn about the connection between drumming or chanting and the altered mind state.
  • *Those studying art may be intrigued by the influence of "visions" on an artist's creative expression.
  • *There's more, I might add stuff about computer science, drama, literature and history later.

If you are interested in learning more about the connection between snakes and shamans let me know.
(photo by Nesster)