laleia: (Default)
So while brainstorming ideas as to potential mythological and supernatural creatures/villains to populate an original urban fantasy piece that I'm working on, I was skimming through Wikipedia's "Chinese mythology" article for ideas, specifically the bit on Chinese mythological creatures.

(I would like to note how ironic it is that I have much of Greek/Roman/Norse mythology internalized, can bullshit about the "Sidhe" and Celtic mythology, all from osmosis via reading so much fantasy in my entire life, yet I have to resort to Wikipedia when it comes to what can be referred to as "my own mythology." Despite all the 武侠 flicks, and the passing familiarity with the characteristics of 妖精 and 神仙, I still know so little and have to Wikipedia it.)

Anyways, so one thing led to another, and while I was speeding through the 妖精 and 神仙 bits, even resorting to Chinese Wikipedia when information became scarce, it occurred to me that this whole pantheon of mythology (wrong 量词 I know, bear with me) took place within Daoism, if my memory served me right.

And then, while typing "Daoism" into Google, Google did that thing it does so often, where it completes the sentence with "Does Daoism have a main god?"

Curious, I let it auto-complete, and checked out the first link, an Answers.com response which boiled down to ... "No."

And I thought, "That's not right, is it ...?"

And that leads me to this rant with all sorts of parenthetic side notes brought about by the fact that I never actually did a Chinese studies major so all the burning questions I have and half-baked theories I have were never answered/confirmed/invalidated ... )

That being said, if anyone has any articles/books they recommend that I can read in my spare time about the portrayal of Daoism in the West vs. what it's like in the East, I'd appreciate it. Nothing with too much academic babble, please, I have a short attention span and a low tolerance for excessive use of the word "postmodernism". Also, less on the theoretical principles of the philosophy/religion itself, and more on its perceptions/portrayals or how it is actually practiced would be interesting.

I am trying to educate myself more on the matter right now by slowly and painstakingly and character-by-character wading through the 百度 article on both 道教 and 道学, because I feel like if I'm going to go with a collaborative-information English-language encyclopedia as reference, I might as well also check out the collaborative-information Chinese-language encyclopedia as reference.
laleia: (Default)
I feel the need to make a Public Parent Rant today, rather than the usual private one I password-lock onto my computer. This is for everyone in the world (with lj) to read.

My parents don't appreciate me. Really, they don't. I definitely appreciate them. They let me go places (within reason) take me on cruises, don't make me get a job to work for money, are totally willing to give me a car as soon as I get my driver's license (in fact are subtly hinting at me to hurry up and get my license soon so they don't have to drive me everywhere) and make wonderful food, and are totally wonderful people.

But oh my god, they don't realize that my biblophilia is nothing compared to what other kids get into. My parents complain because I reserved enough books to fill up two shelves at Sachs (the librarian had to cart in an entire cart of books all for me, and my mom wouldn't let me check all of them out, making me return the majority of them unread, as a matter of fact ... btw, MeiMei, Lois McMaster Bujold is an excellent author. Her stories about Miles Vorkisagan -- I think I spelled that wrong -- are only superseded by the two books she wrote about his parents. A must-read. Science fiction, but really, really good, filled with awesomely smart people.) Anyways, they think I should spend all my time studying for the PSATs. I may be incredibly sheltered and not personally know anyone involved in drugs, drink, or regular promiscuity, but I know that probably half of my school is so involved.

I am perhaps the only person I know who isn't involved in drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, who doesn't skip school, who doesn't procrastinate and do homework the class before it's due, who's studied through one PSAT book and is going through another, who does well in school, and hasn't collapsed in a nervous breakdown already. That doesn't mean I don't feel a nervous breakdown coming on, however. My parents really don't realize that there are a lot of kids out there who seem to do be doing as well (or maybe worse) than I am but are involved in a lot of stuff they aren't even aware exists. Stuff I'm probably not even aware exists.

I don't (as a general rule) break school rules, talk back to my parents (something that is more like an ingrained obedience complex I cannot overcome than something I would like), or obsess insecurely over things like my hair, my weight, and spending an hour getting ready for school. I have big ambitions and try really hard, and it's still not enough.

We're not making you go to SAT class, so you should compensate by doing a two-and-a-half hour practice test each day. Just because none of your friends at school are studying for the PSAT/SAT, doesn't mean that none of the smart people are. Just because statistics show that too many high school students spiral into an oblivion of sex, drugs, and alcohol doesn't mean we're going to let that one time we catch you reading when we think you should be doing homework go.

You know, I used to brag about my good grades to my parents, but what's the point anymore? Sure, I got an 83 out of 88 on my first Honors Physics test which is very good (what, four or five people did better than me in her classes, and this is a class with juniors and seniors?), and I got a 100% on my American Constitution test (required to pass high school) plus 3% out of 4 % extra credit, which is the best score in all of the teacher's Governemnt tests, but you know, what's the point of telling my parents?

Why didn't you do better?

Tch, and my mom thinks that I'm moody lately because something's wrong at school. Things are going well at school, I'm moody because I'm an adolescent teenager (and I think that is a perfect excuse) and because I think that no matter what I do, you guys won't be happy.

laleia

P.S. I have figured out that I'm technologically inept. Very technologically inept.

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