What Does “Ladylike” Mean, Anyway?

I have a confession to make. I love hockey.

This always seems to surprise people, because apparently most people don’t love hockey AND the miniseries North and South. I can’t understand why, there’s violence and a touch of social commentary in both!

But seriously, it always makes me laugh a little bit when people find out I like hockey and are surprised. No, I don’t play hockey (mostly because I doubt my ability to stay upright on ice skates), but it is one of the funnest things to watch.

It’s also really amazing, because despite the fact that the guys are always fighting they are incredibly graceful. Skating is not easy, and they have to wear a ton of gear to prevent injur-, well, let’s say to prevent life-threatening injuries.

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The Hawaiian Chieftain Photo: Author’s Collection

 

I love romantic comedies, my favorite being The Decoy Bride, and I also love period dramas like North and South, musicals like Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and White Christmas, and quietly reading. In addition to loving hockey, I also enjoy Game of Thrones, Supernatural, and the Walking Dead, Zombieland is one of my favorite movies, I’ve worked on a Tallship and I’m an archaeologist.

The former is what you would expect from a woman in her mid-to-late 20s, the later, not so much.

There is really a societal pressure, I think, on what being a lady is. There is an idea that either you like pink and chick flicks or you don’t like either. And frankly, that’s ridiculous. Why can’t I like blue and pink, Zombieland and North and South, Game of Thrones and The Mindy Project, and wearing jeans and wearing dresses (depending on the situation)?

I can. So take that, gender stereotypes! This may not be groundbreaking to other people, but I’ve been mulling over this for a while now.

So I have come to the conclusion that being ladylike is really just manners, and honestly, I like being a lady (but not while I’m watching hockey. That just doesn’t work). Being a lady shouldn’t be something that I find offensive or wince at, but something that I can smile at, because walking in heels is hard for me, and I practice it.

Though my grandmother calls me a lady, so I grew up hearing it as a compliment of the highest order.

I mean, do I know how to sit in a skirt? Yes. Can I walk in heels? Yes, if I have to. Can I sit quietly? Yes, if I have to (or it’s the right situation). If a gentlemen hold the door open for me, do I retort that I can open my own door? No, I say thank you. And I hold the door for other people too.

Being a lady doesn’t mean that I’m not a strong and independent woman. I like wearing skirts. Sometimes, I still twirl in them in my kitchen, while wearing Wonder Woman Socks that come with capes.

But that’s a whole other post.

 

 

 

 

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Did I Ever Tell You About The Time I Almost Died? (and other great conversation openers that are totally/mostly exaggerated)

AKA, The Longest Blog Title EVER. It occurred to me the other day that there were some stories that I didn’t blog from my time on the boat, or from general life, for various reasons.

Some of these are stories that are just hard to explain through words; others, were too nerve-wracking and I didn’t want to worry my parents until I was home (I played it down, you know, like, I almost fell off of the boat today. But I’m okay! How was your day? That type of thing).

So I thought I would share 20 of my favorite stories and/or revelations about my time on the boat, in short form, with you today. For the full story, complete with voice inflection and hand gestures, ask me in person and I’ll be happy to entertain you 🙂

1). I almost fell off of the boat one time.

2). Crap! It happened again! Only from the deck, and a wave was involved.

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Photo: Author’s Collection

3). Ugh, it smells like fish. I guess that could be because of the fishing boats.

4). Why are sea lions so annoying?

5). Crab pots everywhere!

6). One time, I was supposed to get off the boat for a sail off, and I just fell asleep on my bunk.

7). I loved the mizzen on Chiefy. It was my favorite sail to furl, and I got fairly good at it (at least, I was told to teach someone else how to do it, so I had to be at least proficient).

8). I worked on a historic tallship, and would go to museums on my days off. And Starbucks’ and bookstores.

9). I brought 7 books on the boat, and came back with more.

10). I only got seasick on the boat after my uncle died, and anytime I ate fresh fruit before a transit.

11). Sailing reminded me of the power and majesty of God. He can calm the sea, which could easily kill me, and He still loves me.

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Crossing the Columbia Bar Photo: Author’s Collection

12). The garbage pile at the Army Corp Dock in the Bay reminded me that sometimes I really hate people.

13). No books with large sharks or monsters for me; I only read books about catastrophes occurring on land while at sea, thank you very much.

14). What is this Doctor Who show you people watch?

15). Well, thank goodness we’re near the Coast Guard Station.

16). No, I am not going to let you 5th graders walk the plank.

17). Oh my gosh, someone was almost squashed!

18). Tango, it happened again; different person, same spot.

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Main Mast Photo:Author’s Collection

19). We just pulled ourselves to the dock. Because upper body strength and engine trouble.

20). Well, hello, bottom of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Bonus: No, the Korean War did not happen in 1776.

 

My Life is Weird, and Other Thoughts

 

NOTE: I found half of this, unpublished, on my old blog. I thought I’d spiff it up and share it here.  I assume I started it around the time I finished grad school.

I’m going to be brutally honest here. Grad school kind of sucks. It’s hard, writing a thesis is a miserable experience and I didn’t look at a train for, well, days, after I finished school. I can’t help it; I love trains! My master’s thesis in anthropology examined the impact of the railroad on the small town of Sandpoint, Idaho between the years 1880 and 1935, looking at the archaeological records, archival material and additional sources. I am proud of my thesis; I poured two years of my life into that thing, AND I paid someone to let me write it. I got great experience in Collections Management and learned all about archaeology and the policies that govern the field.

But, while in grad school, I learned something unexpected.

I had always imagined myself as a curator of archaeological collections, also qualified to work in the field (because, let’s be honest, working in the field is exhausting, sweaty and amazingly fun). But while I was at school, I realized that I really missed the boats. And not just the freedom and amazing-ness of being part of the crew of a square-rigger, no. I really missed my job as the cat-herder and PR Ninja. In short, as the StewCo (or Education Coordinator/Steward, if you prefer).

This was a strange thing to learn, halfway through my final year at grad school for a different field.

I wanted to be an educator. I ignored the impulse for a while (I was in school still, and determined to graduate), but then I started making lesson plans in my head. I finally thought, maybe I should go back to school to get certified? And, this year, I have.

Also, in an effort to not lose all my hard work getting over heights, I tried climbing things. I quickly realized that if I didn’t have a clear purpose up there, even if I was properly and securely fastened, it was not going to happen. I would freeze up. My body literally would not move. I felt a strange sense of deja vu. I think it was because I didn’t have a job to do and I wasn’t even going to get to see a kick-ass view. Just the top of some plastic rocks and for no real reason.

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Furling Photo: Author’s Collection

So I realized that was all dumb, and I don’t climb things anymore. I assume that when I go back to the boats (someday, please, someday!), I’ll have to climb things again (but I hope that it’ll be less painful this time, because I know the benefits). I was pretty good at furling the mizzen, and I adored the headrig. It was just the yards that I hated.

That, in short, is the story of how I, Miss “I Never Want To Teach,” ended up back at school, working on getting her certification to teach middle-schoolers history and/or English.

I feel like my life is proof that God has a sense of humor. Not in a mean way, just that He chuckles at my antics quite a bit.

Just For Fun…

In one of my classes, we had to write a genre parody. I chose to parody the listicle genre, and am sharing it here for your reading pleasure 🙂

Disclaimer: All photos and memes are the property of their owners (and quite fantastic).

“Five Things You Should Do If You Have a Boat and a Storm Is Coming”

Most ships, at some point or another, encounter a storm of some kind. Some storms, like hurricanes, can be dangerous and sometimes the ships do not make it through them, like the tallship Bounty or the cargo ship El Faro. Luckily, humans have years of sailing experience that, while they cannot entirely guarantee your safety, can go a long way to helping keep you and the rest of the crew safer. From the smaller squall to the hurricane, here are five things to consider if you’re sailing and suspect a storm:

Photo: TheMetaPicture.com

#1 Can a Football Be Used as a Flotation Device?
Not all harbors are created equal. Some harbors will just funnel the storm in and bang all the ships inside it together. The main advantage here is that the crew is not on board. A former sea captain told “Popular Mechanics” that you really want to find a port that has natural protection from the storm’s wind, thus preventing additional damage to the vessel.

 

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“The Two Natural Reactions to Seeing a Dinosaur” Photo: Huffington Post Parent

 

#2 Can boats catch on fire?

If there’s not enough weight to your vessel, it is more inclined to roll about. Additional weight, or ballast, provides a bit more balance. Also, all cargo should be firmly latched or tied down (sea-stowed) to prevent sliding of everything. Have you ever been hit by a sliding bench? It hurts.

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Photo: Asian American Comparative Collection

#3 Is it possible for large marine life to swallow my ship whole?

While it is always possible to be in a storm at sea, and all ships from the historic style tallships to the modern cargo ships are made to weather some storms, larger storms like hurricanes are not to be trifled with. Although it can seem like a safer bet to be on the open sea than in a port, the recent sinking of the tallship Bounty proves that the safety window is smaller than one thinks. Especially in heavier, more intense storms.

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Photo: Author’s Collection

#4 Will my data plan cover me if I’m at sea?

If you are on deck and there’s rough weather, don’t take any chances. Wear your climbing harness and make sure you are attached to the boat. This way, you have a less likely chance of falling overboard. Also, if you’re about to go on deck, make sure to announce it so that your crewmates know, and let them know when you’re returning below (and always proceed with caution).

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Photo: iwastesomuchtime.com

#5 My boat is leaking, should I stop cooking dinner and see what’s up?

Your captain and first mate are Coast Guard certified and they and the rest of the officers have probably done this before, at least in some level of storm. In an expected storm, they have considered all the possibilities before setting sail or making the calls they have made, and in unexpected storms, they still consider all possibilities. You may be scared, but panic only spreads and mutiny can still be punished by death if you’re far enough out at sea, as a former captain of mine liked to tell us before a transit. No matter what the storm, everyone on board has a job to do. Stay calm, and do it.

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Photo: Author’s Collection

Every ship will go through a storm at least once, and there are measures that we can take to make our time at sea that much safer. Just remember, always announce when you’re on deck, and try not to fall on top of your friends.

 

Informational Sources

http://www.popularmechanics.com/adventure/outdoors/tips/a10688/how-ships-survive-a-hurricane-at-sea-16862613/

http://www.forbes.com/sites/gcaptain/2012/10/29/how-do-large-ships-deal-with-massive-hurricanes/#400df93e5f9b

http://www.travelinsurancereview.net/hurricane-travel-resource-center/cruise-safety/

http://www.cnn.com/2014/06/12/us/hms-bounty-tall-ship-sinking-investigation/

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2014/02/10/reckless-decision-to-sail/5371675/

http://www.discoverboating.com/resources/article.aspx?id=465

http://www.docksidereports.com/rough_water_seamanship_3.htm

http://www.boatsafe.com/nauticalknowhow/heavy.htm