Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Two Kinds of Blue

Cotton t-shirt, still wet
The first kind of blue: Indigo. Indigo is a dye taken from the fiber of the indigo plant.  I am taking an on-line class from Shibori Girl. The class covers different ways of setting up dye vats, and then various dyeing techniques.

 The t-shirt was done in the "sky fabric" technique: basically this involves wetting the fabric, scrunching the fabric into a ball and wrapping it with rubber bands or string, then immersing it in your dye vat for a while. After you take the fabric ball out you unroll it, rinse the fabric and start over again until you like the pattern or get tired. I have two indigo vats now: one full-strength and one half-strength. The
 t-shirt got two dips in the full-strength vat, and two dips in the half-strength vat, over a period of several days.

I'm using the beginner Indigo Dye Kit from Jacquard, but many class members are making vats from much more exotic materials. To my mind, the results from the full-strength vat are too dark. I think it is better to use a weaker dye vat and vary the colors by doing successive dips.

The scarf is done in itajime shibori, where blocks or shapes are clamped to form a resist to the dye.  First I clamped popsicle sticks on both sides of pleated fabric.  The stripes did not come out as clearly as I wanted.   For the second dip I folded the scarf in squares and then triangles.  Then I clamped wooden blocks over part of the triangles. That result was a little better than I got with the popsicle sticks, but I still have a lot of room for improvement. See Shibori Girl for more information.
Silk scarf with itajimi pattern
The second blue was my feelings about missing out, for the second time, on getting Comic-Con tickets online.  Analyzing my feelings, I realized I was feeling as if I had been betrayed. I realized that was silly.   An event or an experience is not a thing that can betray you, and going for twenty years doesn't give you any kind of priority in the ticket process. Comparing notes with those who got tickets and those who did not, it looks as if my using an older computer with an older browser may have held me back. So be it. Time to move on.

My hands may be blue from dyeing, but I won't let it get to my heart.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Alas, Even Gurus are Gullible

I was saddened to read, in a magazine called "Spirituality & Health" an interview with Dr. Wayne Dyer in which he describes having remote surgery done by entities sent by John of God. Dr. Wayne Dyer said he had been diagnosed with leukemia.

John of God was in Brazil, Wayne Dyer was in Maui. Dr. Dyer had planned to go visit John of God in spring of 2011 with his eye surgeon friend Dr. Rayna Perscova. He decided to stay in Maui and finish his most recent book, so Dr. Perscova took photos of him to show John of God.  After consultation, Dr. Perscova told Dr. Dyer that "the surgery will be Thursday morning, the 21st of April." Before the surgery, Dr. Dyer was to take the herbs and holy water FedExed from John of God in Brazil.  Dr. Dyer says that he was told he would have to sleep for 24 hours after the surgery but he dismissed this and went for his regular walk. After walking 100 yards he collapsed and had to stay in his room for a week.

Later he was told to go to bed at 11 o'clock, because "they" would be removing the sutures. "I don't have any sutures" he said, and Dr. Percova replied "No, it's just the term -- and it will be done by these entities who actually did the surgery."

Now Dr. Dyer states that while he does not know if he still has leukemia he feels more healthy and active than ever and concludes "Ultimately , I just believe that at this time in my life. as a spokesperson, a person who has a big audience around the planet, that I have a mission to teach something called Divine Love." In an interview with Lililou on YouTube he states "I am prepared for my ascension."

Up to this moment I have always thought of Wayne Dyer as an inspirational speaker but relatively benign. Now I am afraid that he, by example, might encourage people seeking healing to visit this "John of God" and thus lose valuable time that might have been used for traditional medical treatment.

Since Dr. Dyer says that we should not criticize, condemn, or judge I will merely point you to some negative opinions about John of God.

Analysis of the Infomercial for John of God
The Skeptic's Dictionary
are just a few of many sites that question John of God's "miracles."

Additional information: According to the John of God website the "herb" used is Passionflower. This is no longer used as a drug in the United States, and it may cause interactions with prescribed medication.  No knowing what dosage was sent, and the article doesn't say how the herbs were ingested. The holy water may be from The Sacred Waterfall listed on one of the tour sites.

Many tour operators offer guided tours to visit John of God. One, Traveling to the Casa, has this advice:

"If you are very ill and/or in a near terminal condition, it is best to have a picture of yourself presented to the Entity before proceeding to Abadiania. It is expensive and causes a lot of problems for the Casa and your family should you expire while in Abadiania."

Another site suggests that if you are planning on visiting John of God to seek healing, do not tell the Brazilian government the purpose of your visit when you apply for a visa.

Come to your own conclusions, just don't send me a postcard (or astral vision) from Brazil. My aura may be purple, but I concur with Emily Dickinson:

"Faith is a fine invention
For gentlement who see,
But microscopes are prudent
In an emergency.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

When Easter Bunnies Go Bad

I was strolling through my local Big Lots* store recently when I happened to look up and found myself being glared at by shelves of monster bunnies. They had been priced at 25 cents each for quick sale for some reason. I bought three of them.

I call this rogue's gallery "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" although, if you look closely you can see that even the "Good" bunny is a little cracked.

What happened to these pitiful creatures? Truck refrigeration unit failed?  Someone thinking "Heck, it is February, we don't need refrigeration." not realizing they were in Southern California.  I'll never know.

I like to imagine that perhaps these were Nazi Bunnies Who Saw Something They Were Not Meant To See a la that horrific scene in "Raiders of the Lost Ark".

Not wanting to put them in a basket on Easter morning for fear they might terrify small children, I guess I will have to eat them. They may be ugly, but I bet they have good personalities.


*Big Lots may also be known to you as "Mac Frugal's Bargains" or "Pic 'n' Save".