jademermaid: (Neptune and fish)
So, we just got home from the stream assessment class and my mind is still humming with information and excitement. I learned *so* much that I didn't know, about engineering, water flow, stormwater, stream corridors, erosion, water quality....wow. It was more than I could get all at once, and yet I think I absorbed quite a lot. Corey and I were the only civilians there, I'm pretty sure. Everyone else was somehow involved with environmental or state agencies of some sort. You all would have been proud of me, I offered to fill out the first data reports when everyone fell silent, and even got ahead of things well enough to get kudos from the coordinator.

The first part was a classroom situation, where we learned about how to collect the data and fill out the sheets that are provided for folks to survey streams. We learned about procedures, what the difference between a bank and flood plain is, and I learned lots of terms I'd never heard of before: watersheds, gabion rock, rip-rap, corridors, etc. Lots of visuals, lots of photos.

After we broke for lunch - by the way, we went to a place in Murfreesboro called Taqueria La Playita, which has OMG, super yummy Mexican food--we went out into the field. We were supposed to go to three streams, but we only made it to one, which we ended up staying at for two hours. It was really great to get into a stream and see what all the terms meant in practice. I got the hang of it pretty quickly, even though the terms and degrees of degradation seem to be very flexible. The goal, she said, was to have one team of two people be in charge of one stream or river area for an extended period, taking data every six months or so. It hasn't worked out that way, but maybe it still can. In that way, the meanings of say, an acceptable buffer zone would be specific to one group, and changes over an extended period would make more sense.

Anyway, I learned a great deal and found it to be a good use of my day. We were then supposed to go to another stream, but we got lost on the way, and we had a lot to do, so we just went home. I sent the head coordinator an email, explaining why we bailed, but I'm pretty sure we weren't the only ones who did.

Neptunalia

Jul. 17th, 2007 06:47 am
jademermaid: (Triton Thinking)


Okay people, snooze you lose! I hope you will be able to make it next year. I'm going to be posting stuff about it anyway, so I can keep things straight.

Menu:

Hard boiled eggs with pine nut sauce
Tuna pasta salad with basil and peas
Shrimp boil
Figs with cheese and honey

Things for people to bring--bread, fruit, cheeses, antipasto, water, wine.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


To Neptune (modern rhyming reworking of Orphic hymn to Poseidon. By me. ):



Look here, lord of the oceans profound, whose liquid grasp meets the solid ground;
Who, in deep tumultuous seas, dark and fathomless, reclines with ease;
In your grip the brazen trident rests, bending lazy curves to ragged crests:
Whose watery steeds part the soft foam , from your dark curls the salty seas roam;
Whose terrible voice opens the deep, drives starlit waves in a raging heap;
Your fierce heart wrapped in boiling seas, your call the waves will tremble to please.
Earth shaker, ruler of brine and sweet, the liquid plains are your charge to keep
Beneath your cool cerulean gaze, the deep-born bestiary plays.
With a steady breath fill out their sails, and bring ships to port with prosperous gales,
Bring gentle Peace, and good Health beside, pour your blessings in a joyous tide.
jademermaid: (Triton Thinking)
So, I did some work this morning on getting involved with water quality in my area. I contacted several agencies government and private, that claim to be out there doing stuff, but they were completely flummoxed when I said I wanted to volunteer to do things. You'd have thought I was asking for them to send me some purple bananas. The government office called back and just said, "We can't help you and we don't know who to send you to."

Anyway, a guy from the Sierra club over in Memphis actually has a program for water quality, and he hooked me up with a lady doing stuff that lives in Murfreesboro. She just emailed me and invited me to a free class on water assessment. It teaches civilians how to visually assess the quality of streams and such, so that they can make reports on what areas may need their attention. I'm emailing her now, hoping they have space in the class.

The class is the day before Neptunalia.

Edit: She just wrote me back and I'm in! This is awesome!
jademermaid: (Default)
Once again I arrived in Knoxville a bundle of nervous energy. This time I knew what I was in for, where last time it was more of a spiritual journey. This time I had to really focus to remember why I had dedicated myself to putting this large amount of ink on my body. I tried to use the prayer I'd written as a mantra, over and over. This was before I even got to her booth!

There she was, working on a guy's arm, a beautiful black and grey angel:



We spoke briefly and she said she'd be another hour and a half, so I had lots of time to walk off some nerves. I poked around and looked at lots of other artist's books, but honestly, I saw very few artists that I liked. Like maybe two! I am very picky I guess, so it's a good thing I did find an artist I like, huh?

When I got back she had me lie down on a comfy hotel flat couch, which was so much more comfortable than the silly chair I had to use last year (this year they were back at the Hilton, and it was a much nicer event overall). We chatted a little, but I just said lots of stupid fangirl blabber that I'd rather forget. She was really happy that everyone seemed to like it so far though. I didn't have quite as much money as last year, so she worked on me this time for about four hours. She did a lot more work on the horseheads, and I realized why I'd ended there last time! Great gods did it hurt! The little section between your front and side abs was the worst, with the bottom of the ribs a very close second. A couple of times I had to stop her and refocus. I did a lot of concentrated breathing, meditative relaxation and praying, but it still hurt. I had lollipops this time, which helped a lot! For some reason my nose kept getting stuffy, which made it hard to do my breathing exercises, so I had to breathe only through my mouth for some of it.

Anyway, I made it through, obviously. I had a bit of a fan club, several of the other artists remembered the piece from last year, and would come by and ask me how I was holding up. The hardest part this time was that I couldn't see it! Oh, man, it was driving me nuts! I got to see some of it when I took a break to go to the bathroom, but I wanted to watch her add the color, you know? She's so talented, I thought maybe it might rub off on me a little.

I suggested "I'm a Judy Parker Whore" t-shirts, but she didn't think that was a good plan.

Right, so you want to see how it looks, yes? Here it was before:

Click here to see how it looked before.

And here it is now:



More detail pictures behind the cut! )
jademermaid: (I Claudius)
.





Hail Diana, She of the shining moon, she who races in the wood, she of the stag and dog, hear this prayer from a humble heart. Let my injuries be silenced, my muscles stay limber, and my dance be fluid and proper. I pray that you will be favorable to my home, family and animals.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Look here, Iupiter.
this altar bears your name,
all-seeing, greatest and highest.
Part the clouds for only a moment and look here,
father of all, much honored, lightning maker,
look here and accept this offering and make sacred this place.
If anything is displeasing to you, accept this wine and remove my fault.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Faunus Lupercus, God of the wild
We honor you,
Delighted by shady groves,
dancer under the stars
you rule the seasons.

Shepherd of goats,
giver of milk, meat and skin,
your horns sprouted
and the world began.

Inspire us
with dance and song.
Protect us from fear.

Faunus Lupercus,
obscure as the deepest cave,
subtle as a snake
wise as a wolf

Protect and care for us.
Dance with us.
Grace us.
Lift us,
come near,
excite us.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Father Neptunus, king of tides
your fist shakes the earth~
Maelstroms your dark hair,
corals your bones fair~
You stir with trident the passionate seas,
And calm the swells to a lover's breeze~

Your stallions flecked with foam
charge the shore with abandon~
Your call sets every storm to ride,
and in your belly demons glide~
Let your cerulean heart turn here,
and blow this raging storm to clear.
jademermaid: (Neptune and fish)
This morning a real windstorm has blown into town. I knew it was on its way, but I guess I didn't really think about what that would mean for my plans today. I had intended to do a more traditional Roman ritual, but I decided at the last minute that the gods had made it clear that things were to be different today.

So early this morning I went out into the wind with a round of charcoal and some frankincence, and a poem I had written last year for Neptune, a prayer to ease storms.

Father Neptunus, king of tides
your fist shakes the earth~
Maelstroms your dark hair,
corals your bones fair~
You stir with trident the passionate seas,
And calm the swells to a lover's breeze~

Your stallions flecked with foam
charge the shore with abandon~
Your call sets every storm to ride,
and in your belly demons glide~
Let your cerulean heart turn here,
and blow this raging storm to clear.

I did not even try to wear my chiton or palla, because it would have ended up over my head! As it was, I could not get the charcoal lit at all, and just ended up leaving the incense there unburned. I read the poem and prayed for a moment for a sign. When I looked up, a crow was flying from right to left above me, not the best omen, but then a flock of starlings skated overhead in the opposite direction. They landed in the tree overhead, and the crow seemed to lose momentum and get caught in a few currents of air. He disappeared. The omen as I see it is a little bit worse weather before it gets better. Who needs meteorology?

There are several feast days for Poseidon celebrated in ancient Greece, though the only one I've found that was really a Roman holiday was the Neptunalia in July. Still, I am committed to working on both his Roman and Greek celebrations. I fretted about the feast day, since it just isn't possible to do it this weekend, but some more poking around has shown me that as a Greek celebration, a feast of Poseidon could be held on the 8th as well as the 23rd, and that the Greeks considered half the month of December and November sacred to Poseidon. I am still leaning toward doing the feast at the Saturnalia, but I will have to discuss this with others first.

My Tattoo!

Jun. 11th, 2006 12:34 pm
jademermaid: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] mezzanotterose and I left about two hours later than we'd intended, but it was all good because the show didn't open until noon anyway. When I got there, I took 1/2 a xanax--I was very excited, and I needed to calm down. Anyway, I met Judy Parker(http://www.judyparker.org/)and she was funny and cool and sweet, just like I'd hoped she whould be. She still thought we were doing the mermaid (she explained later that she talks to a lot of people and it is hard to keep things straight), so I showed her the sketch (http://webpages.charter.net/jademermaid/neptunesketch.jpg) and she was immediately inspired, I could tell. She turned me this way and that, asked me a few questions, and then she just started drawing on me. Now to her this is 'doodling'; to me and most people, it was amazing. She took my idea and gave it such depth and emotion and detail, that when I went to look in the bathroom mirror I broke into tears! I am not one to get all emotional, but it was so beautiful, so far ahead of what I'd hoped for, that I couldn't contain my happiness. What a sap, I know. A woman in the bathroom, who was well-covered with tattoos, said it was beautiful, did I plan to try and do the whole outline today? I told her I was doing it all today, and she got real big in the eyes and just said...OW.


So while I walked back from the bathroom with the drawing on me, people were stopping me and asking me about it, and when they learned it was Judy, they ooohed and ahhed and told me I was very brave. I smiled and thanked them, not realizing what was going on until later. She had found me a big padded chair to lie on, which was hard on my knees because I kept sliding, and they make the artists cover all pillows, chairs and whatnot with plastic garbage bags. By the time it was overwith, my knees were quite unhappy with me. A couple more people came by the booth before she started and said if I made it through this, I was one tough lady. I said I was a tough lady, and I was not worried. I mean, I knew it was going to hurt, but these people were not helping me. I told them to go away because they were fucking with my head. They smiled and backed off.

Then Judy says to me, "You know what they call me, right?"

I said, "Call you? What do you mean?"

"My nickname. It's Jackhammer Judy."

I tilted my head a bit, because it sounded like something you would say to fuck with someone, and I am pretty wary about being messed with. But the artists in the next booth (Just about all the artists at this smaller sized show seemed to know each other) nodded their heads knowingly, told me again that I was very brave, and Judy explained the nickname.

See, I wanted Judy because I love her artwork. She is the only tattoo artist's work I've ever seen that made me just KNOW. I knew she would do it because she had a soft value line instead of hard outlines, but more than that, she knew how to accomplish dimension as well as perspective perfectly. And the big shiny bow on top was the fact that she specialized in sea creatures and mermaids.

In order to accomplish her style, she explained, she had to go over and over in many layers with a shading needle only (no outlines), and since I wanted color, she would go over the then shaded areas with successive washes of color, just like painting. This means that an area that was dark could be gone over many, many times. She was a little merciless about her speed, because she knew that if she left the area too long, the natural endorphines would wear off and it would be much harder to finish that spot. So, she was fast, merciless and repetitive--hence, Jackhammer. People chickened out from her tattoos often, in fact one guy paid her a deposit and then wimped out after twenty minutes- the tattoo I wanted would take at least four hours.

I tell you all of this because I did make it through, I was on her table for about five hours, though at the end I was in a place where every touch of that needle was like searing, white hot fire that shot past my skin and into my guts. I told her at that point that she had me for a few more minutes and then I was going to leap off of that table and I wasn't going to be able to stop myself! She could not do all the color that she wanted to, especially in the horses and in Neptune himself, but I will definitely be going back to get it finished by her. I wish I lived closer to San Diego, because I would be broke and covered in vicious art.

I will be going back to see her at some point for more color, though it is still finished enough to show off at this point. I entered it in the tattoo of the day at the show, and several people said I was a shoo-in, but I think the fact that it is not totally finished kept it down.

All through the day they had shows by a local burlesque troupe (http://www.whitelightninburlesque.com/index2.html) and they were really very good, but what really surprised me was how well two of the girls could sing--I mean belting out old numbers that I danced to all the time, All That Jazz, Fever, Stuff Like That There. Another plus was that they were hot and sexy without looking fake or untouchable. I was overjoyed to hear that old music again, and they were actually quite good as far as the bawdy spirit of burlesque, though I thought they should have done more dancing. But as we know, I am very critical of the new burlesque shows.

Enough blather. Pictures!

Lots of 'em!

Read more... )

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