Email up, and a song

Update: The song is finished.

The email should be functional again!

On another note, here's a song I've had for a while. I don't know for sure what the coda is yet, but I have an idea.

 

Ariel (Landing)

I'm learning to live again on land

I don't expect you to understand

where I'm from - the water's warm on my skin

I miss my sisters, and the gentle men

The music of voices along the coast

The silence as you face the lonely shore

With treasures from the sea held in your hand

 

They say on land, you can dance all night

But I didn't know it would be so cold

And I don't know where I'm going, just what I am

I'm a wreck

 

I'm learning to live again on land

And it hurts every time I take a step

My feet are split, and my skin's so dry

But I'm getting better

learning to live on land

 

I'm learning to live again on land

There's a place at the table and people I know

are calling my name, but my heart is set

It is mine to bear, so I'm learning

to live again on land

I walk on two legs

And I dance.

 

This was heavily inspired by Cher Lloyd's "Sirens," among others.

Web site up, email down

My website took a temporary hiatus over the summer as the domain switched over. Unfortunately, I didn't know that this affected my email here.

So, if you sent anything to bettina@bettinaadragna.com, I apologize - I did not receive any emails from May or June onwards, but wasn't aware of this issue until the past week or so.

While I get the email running again, I'll try to set up a form here, and you should still be able to call my Google voice number at 831-204-8221. You can also contact me at my personal email if you already have it.

I hope to have more photos up soon. I'm still looking for collaborators for parody songs, and, at this rate, I might start having enough to have a CD. :D

Happy Autumn!

The debut of Daenerys (tease) - role-playing development - Tesla

The Daenerys cosplay was a success. I'm on the lookout for photos, especially with me on the Iron Throne. In the meantime, I've added a few older photos, and a few new. One of them is a reprise from several years ago - the first cosplay I did as an adult. I still love Neil Gaiman's Death.

It was neat to hear George R. R. Martin read from what he's working on, though I'm really sad I missed the Game of Aces show. I also met another Mother of Dragons to set up a playdate with. :)

The role-playing game is still going strong. I have to remind myself that not everyone may find my character as fascinating as I do. What can I say? She's the first that has been this developed in a long time. My film-noir/detective vampire is also starting to develop.

I've decided I want a steampunk attitude with a cyberpunk aesthetic. About a century later, the Tesla cars are becoming all the rage, which seems like a very steampunk thing to happen. It makes me want to go back to watching "The Legend of Korra." I was not always very interested in cars, but my vampire character's friends and my real-life friends have me thinking about fast, red cars that move on electricity.

 

Devil In A New Dress

If I’m going to have angst, it’s going to be new angst.

If I’m going to be insane, let it be new insanity.

The devil you don’t know is better than the devil you know

Because you’ve already been through that.

And who knows what heaven you may find

In that strange hell?

-          Sophie, the Ingenue

Don't worry, I'm not dead.

Just incubating.

Pots I have on the stove:

A Game of Thrones musical parody video

My live-action role-playing characters that are cooking nicely

Cosplay projects for upcoming cons, and Halloween!

 

Stay tuned, folks. I'm on my way.

 

Mercury Retrograde Restoration

So, I know all of you may not believe in astrology, and I myself am very hesitant of looking for patterns that aren’t there.

But I’ve found it interesting lately. In particular, I’ve found the symbolism and descriptions of Marina over at Darkstar Astrology to be evocative and relevant to what’s currently going on.

Here are some observations from last night, during a Mercury Retrograde period. (Tonight, by the way, is a lunar eclipse.)

I found during my last Mercury Retrograde period that I was going through my filing cabinet. I was getting ready to move, so I made it a point to get rid of old files and folders that didn’t apply anymore and create a better system of organization for the files I chose to keep.

This time was more of a digital reorganization (which is also very in character for Mercury). I had been having an issue with my phone where it kept telling me it could not sync because the storage was full. I wasn’t quite sure why this was the case.

I started by transferring a lot of pictures and videos to my computer, which I needed to do anyway because my computer is backed up and if I care about something, it shouldn’t just be on my phone and photo stream. I had also been in the process of removing unnecessary apps and reorganizing how they were presented a bit.

This helped, but wasn’t enough. I still had 5 gigs or so taken up by a mysterious “other” category. I googled it and found this article:

http://www.geeksugar.com/What-Other-iPhone-Storage-30986511

Apart from giving me a few suggestions to try, such as deleting some missed calls and my Safari browser cache, Nicole suggested there might be a problem with corrupted data, and to back up, sync, and restore your iPhone and see if that helped.

The past few days, I had also been dealing with a problem with my backup program not backing up properly, which I addressed. (Backblaze apparently has pretty good technical support.) Funnily enough, this also possibly had to do with “corrupted data,” in the sense that for some reason some core components of the program were missing, and it was not generating the file lists properly. I ended up downloading the latest version and reinstalling it to see if that helped, and it did solve that problem.

Meanwhile, while I was going through the restore of the phone, I started going through old emails since the GeekSugar article also suggested deleting and re-adding your email account to your phone. In the midst of that, Google Mail decided to tell me it had a new system of organization. So I spent a few minutes going through that and organizing which tabs each type of email would go under, as well as creating filters that would automatically delete messages I was no longer interested in.

Once the email organization and setup was taken care of (this was before the phone restore), I could go through my unread emails in a more orderly fashion. I ended up going to three different financial websites and downloading a backlog of old statements and organizing them on my hard drive, which could now be backed up properly.

It was funny, because the timing of this was almost… guided. (Not sure if I believe in a sentient “higher power,” but sometimes I have some kind of funny luck and timing.) I finished downloading the files from the third web site just as the phone was finishing restoring.

Poof, there we go – suddenly I have 4 or 5 gigs left of storage on my phone that was previously taken up by “other.”

I decided it was time to take a bath while my phone started repopulating itself. My phone was okay. I went to bed feeling cleansed, “restored,” and accomplished.

 

Magic has rules. Magic has consequences.

To me, this is the only fair way to view the universe.

Now, magic can be truly wonderful. But I think the fact that magic has rules serves both as a comfort and a warning.

Yes, I Am

As I mentioned, I'm in what will probably be my last show on island!

It's called "Yes, I Am." It's with Playbuilders, Hawaii, and it's about the experiences of LGBTQIA people. We wrote the script as an ensemble based on interviews with people in the community. (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Ally.)

I'm pretty excited about this. So, if you want more information, go to playbuilders-cast.eventbrite.com.

Shamanistic Theatre

 

At tonight's rehearsal, we discussed a little bit what we were doing in terms of theatre and its role in general society.

Our director, Ron, mentioned that this process is rather shamanistic. And I've written here before about the link for me between spirituality, healing, and theatre.

So, I've decided - no matter what happens money-wise, my goal is to do this kind of theatre. It doesn't always have to be devised theatre, though I am really liking this. But I am thinking back to the time when I was in middle school when I first started watching musicals, and how I fell in love. It was because of the story, and because of the way the music and the movement, and the story and the energy, made me feel, and think, and how with any good story, you take that knowledge and experience and carry it over to other parts of your life.

Communal healing, indeed, but also very individual. After a show, you don't normally talk to other audience members (except maybe the ones you came with) about how the show impacted you and the emotions and life experiences you worked through during the show. It's normally a private thing.

But healing, as a society, has to start with the individual. So each individual audience member, even if they don't talk to the others, has their own healing work that has hopefully happened during the show. And the great thing about live theatre is that it is a communal experience, even if the internal dialogue is not publicized. You're there with the other audience members, but you are also there with the performers, and the audience can give the performers live, instant feedback about whether what they are doing is working.

Really, the performers are there for the audience - which should seem like a "duh" realization, but I think it's pretty easy from a performer's standpoint for other motivations to get in the way. But the goal of theatre, at least from my perspective, is healing.

Choice

I don't want to give myself the illusion that I have more choice than I do. For example, some people believe that before they were born, they chose to live on this earth and learn specific lessons.

I have no way of knowing if this is true for myself. And while I do have a lot of power, there are a lot of other people who have power, too, as well as nonsentient forces such as weather and inanimate objects.

On the other hand, I don't want to give up power that I do have available. There are some who believe that there is some kind of divine plan or guidance for us, and that if we just go along with it, we'll be okay somehow. I have been trying to figure out if this is true for a while.

I'm thinking now that the truth lies somewhere in the middle. I don't know exactly where.

Be the Art

You know that saying, "Be the change you want to see in the world?"
I think I can inspire myself by modifying it to,

"Be the art you want to see in the world."

Bettina the Bard

I've had this archetype in this head for a while, but I think it's crystallizing now.

I think I am a bard.

There are other terms I like - troubadour, for instance - but then you get into distinctions of high class versus low class, composer or someone who sings someone else's songs - and I really like the connotations "bard" has.

In fantasy genres, bards often have their own magic powers as well relating to performance. They can cast spells - sort of making the idea of the influence of their songs very literal.

It's nice, because I was also debating adding "sorceress" (another fantasy class/archetype) to my idea of self, and I might still do it - but since bards can often cast their own spells, literally or otherwise, I'm not sure it's necessary.

So there you have it. I am a bard.

Drop vs. Ocean: Observer vs. Dancer

In order to be inspiring, you must be inspired.

In order to bring joy, you must find joy yourself.

You cannot light another candle if you yourself are not lit.

I think that what I understand as the Buddhist state of awareness, the "you" that is observing your mind, is kind of the opposite of, or a different form of, the "you" when you have lost yourself in a Dionysian state of ecstasy.

The "you" that is observing is very aware, very crystalline, very individual. It is the very pure "you" that is an individual drop in a body of water.

The "you" that is lost in ecstasy is like the "you" that is part of an ocean. You can be taken out of the ocean and be an individual drop, but when you are in the ocean, you are riding along with it and can feel the full benefit and danger of its power.

As water, I suppose, you can be both.

Things I Didn't Know When I Was 19, And: A Candle Spell

1. The sun helps. (Discovered some time in 2010.)

2. Exercise really helps. (Discovered 2010-2011.)

3. Writing things down and talking things out helps. (2011-2012ish.)

4. Hot baths help. (Sometime in 2010. Thanks, Lexxy.)

 

And now, a spell while blowing out a candle:

May this fire burn away my bitterness, and may it be replaced by hope, plans, and reality.

Procreation and Creation

It occurred to me tonight that what I want to do is create something beautiful.

It got me thinking to the analogy between that and creating a physical child. Creating a physical child is kind of unique because there's something of you and the other person who created the child in them.

I thought to myself, people who procreate must believe that they themselves have something worth contributing, or replicating, to the world. Something that, of course, becomes something more than the sum of its parts, but which has the seed of both parents in them.

So in order to create, you must believe you have something worth passing on or expressing. You must believe you have something of worth to say.

I want to make people feel as wonderful as I do when I behold a good work of art. That is what I want to do.

Any suggestions as to steps I could take to accomplish this goal?

Dream: New York Beach Photos

I had an interesting dream last night. I understand if dream-journal stuff may not be very interesting to people who haven't had the dream, but I thought I'd post this, since I thought it was unusually cool.

I was driving around with my Waze maps app, and somehow I got lost and ended up in New York.

I ended up driving up to a long driveway that went UP. It ended at the edge of a beach. I thought to myself, “What the heck?” and got a bit scared because it just ended there. But I parked the car in the middle of the road some time before it ended and got out of the car, and went to the top.

It ended up being a sort of outdoor swimming pool at the end of a huge beach! So ocean water was coming into the swimming pool. There were some military guys swimming around. I ended up swimming around a little bit, being careful with my purse, camera, cell phone, and keys.

I took some pictures, first with my cell phone camera, but then I thought, “It would be a shame to only have cell phone pictures, and not pictures with a real camera.” So I found the real camera in my purse and started taking photos with that. I wanted to add both cell phone and camera photos to Facebook where they would be tagged with the New York location, because I wanted my parents to know I had been in New York.

Near the end, I was taking some great photos. There were interesting shots of the sunset and my face, and a white balloon that looked like a moon wandering around the skyline, and the white waves in panorama. At the end, I was taking a photo of some kids or something playing in the waves – bright colors against the icy green-blue of the water. Droplets in my lens and view.

When I woke up, I was disappointed I didn’t have the photos anymore.