May 31, 2005
The Carnival Of Bad History Is Up
The Carnival of Bad History is up. This is the first time I've entered it. I entered with my Ocean-Born Mary post. I'm going to have to read the rest of the entries on the pc downstairs. I don't know why, but Coturnix's blog makes my iMac and my laptop freeze. I hope I can read the entries with no trouble on the pc.
May 30, 2005
Welcome, Bloggers From Atrios
Avedon Carol was kind enough to link to me while she's posting at Atrios. Welcome, everyone from Atrios who is new here. Since it's a holiday weekend, I've been doing some light-hearted blogging. I'm better known for my posts about feminism, family law, and the fathers' rights movement. I was a finalist for this year's Koufax Awards for "Best Single Issue Blog." I was a finalist last year for "Best Expert Blog." To see my awards, go to this link.
To read more of my blog's usual contents, go to the following categories:
Happy Memorial Day weekend, everyone.
The moment I filled the birdfeeders the birds came back. I saw the usual crows, sea gulls, house sparrows, and starlings. The starlings went to town on my suet. Those are Trash Birds. They eat everthing in site.
I also saw a catbird, a red-breasted nuthatch, chickadees, a cardinal, some wrens, and some goldfinches. I put out the suet for the woodpecker, but it hasn't been by lately.
It rained yesterday, so the birds will be back soon. I like sitting in my garden and watching them go to the feeders. It's very relaxing.
I need to fill the hummingbird feeder. We have hummingbirds. Once the Bee Balm blooms they'll show up. They like those trumpet-shaped red flowers.
May 29, 2005
Men Are Hard-Wired For Rape And Other Swill From Men's News Daily
This pile of piss and vinegar from Men's News Daily is making the rounds. Amanda at Pandagon, Sadly, No!, Anne Jumps, and Pharyngula have already pounded the hell out of it with a mallet.
Sorry, Max, but you're full of shit. It's no wonder you can't get a date. Women don't want to be "forcibly taken," no matter what you and your asshat uncle might think. I'm not surprised to see swill like this at Men's News Daily. That's par for the course on that web site.
The Truth About The "Haunting" Of Ocean-Born Mary
A popular example of bad history is the New Hampshire legend of Ocean-Born Mary. Being a fan of ghost stories since I was a child, I heard about it when I was about twelve, and it was one of my favorites until I learned the truth behind it. I have driven to New Hampshire before, and I was tempted to locate the "haunted" house until I learned that the "history" behind it was completely false.
According to the story, Ocean-Born Mary Wilson Wallace came to her name because she was born on the Irish immigrant ship, The Wolf, in 1720. A band of pirates had taken over the ship, and were set to sink and plunder it. The pirate captain, Don Pedro, learned that a baby had been born, and had told the Wilsons that he would spare the ship if the mother would name the baby after his mother, who was named Mary. They abided by his wishes, and the ship was saved. Don Pedro had also given Mary's parents a bolt of green brocaded silk. He wanted the silk used for Mary's wedding gown when she married. After the pirates left, the ship continued on its journey to Boston. Mary's parents settled in Londonderry, New Hampshire. Mary grew up to marry a man named Wallace, and she had four sons by him. Don Pedro had settled in Henneker, New Hampshire. When he had learned that Mary's husband had died, he invited her to live with him as his housekeeper (or according to some stories, his wife). Her four sons according to the legend also went to live in Henniker, New Hampshire. When Don Pedro died, Mary buried him beneath the fireplace hearth.
The ghost story goes that Mary continues to haunt the house in Henniker. One report states that two tourists had come to get a tour of the house. A tall woman with red hair and green eyes, wearing period dress, had answered the door. The tourists liked the idea of the house's staff dressing in clothing of the period to give tours. It was after hours, but the tall, red-haired woman with green eyes agreed to give them a tour of the house. They learned the next day that the house was closed when they had arrived, and that no one was present. When they described the woman who had given them the tour, they were in for a shock. Ocean-Born Mary was described as being six feet tall with red hair and green eyes. They had been given a tour of Ocean-Born Mary's house by Ocean-Born Mary herself.
The story has been a part of local history for many, many years. Parapsychologists have investigated the haunting. It is a favorite with paranormal investigators. One paranormal web site described the haunting at the Henniker house as follows:
In his 1971 book, "Haunted House Album: A Ghostly Register Of The World's Most Haunted Houses," parapsychologist Hans Holzer had the help of medium Sybil Leek, whom he had often used in his investigations. He had written of the Ocean-Born Mary house that "But I have conducted several investigations - invited by the Russells [Trish's note: these were the current owners of the house at the time] - because of the ghostly goings-on. I have worked with a local medium and with Sybil Leek, and there is no doubt that the surviving spirit of Mary Wallace, whose home this once was, is still present in the structure."
He also wrote the following:
There are many problems with these claims that the Henneker house is haunted. Most telling of all is that Mary Wilson Wallace had never lived in the Henneker house. The truth of the bad history behind this "haunting" is easy to find on the Internet, but the story remains strong. It is true that Mary Wilson Wallace was born at sea. She did live in New Hampshire, and her wedding dress was made of green silk. Some of this silk is located at the New Hampshire Historical Society in Concord, and at the libraries in Londonderry and Henniker. But that is where the truth ends.
The story of pirate Don Pedro is nothing more than legend. Pirate stories are very popular in this region, since Blackbeard and other well-known pirates had frequented the area. The Isles of Shoals are located off the coast of New Hampshire, and they were known for their pirate activity. It was rumored that Blackbeard had buried his treasure there, but no treasure was ever found.
Mary and her husband had five children named Elizabeth, Thomas, Robert, William, and James. After her husband's death, she went to live the remainder of her life in Henniker with her son William. She died in 1814. She did not live in the "haunted" house in Henniker. That house was built by her son Robert, and it was about a quarter mile away.
Most telling was that one of the owners of the Henniker house was familiar with the legend, and he chose to profit financially from it. Louis Maurice Auguste Roy bought the house in 1917. He had promoted the legend, even though Mary's descendents were unhappy about it. Roy had filled the house with period furniture, and claimed that Ocean-Born Mary had owned it. He had charged admission to tourists who wanted a tour of the house. He had also capitalized on the buried treasure story by charging tourists fifty cents to rent shovels to dig on the property. Of course, since the legend is bad history, no one found any treasure.
In 1939, children's writer Lois Lensky wrote a story based on the Ocean-Born Mary legend, setting the story in Portsmith, New Hampshire rather than Henniker. Even though she admits in the final pages of the book that Mary had never lived there, the legend was further propelled into mainstream imagination.
Roy died in 1965. Subsequent owners tried to discourage tourists from falling for the legend, but it still prevails to this day. The Ocean-Born Mary story is an excellent example of how romantic bad history has made its way into the minds of many people.
May 27, 2005
Friday Cat Blogging
In World Of Warcraft, if you want to buy a cat, you have to go to the Crazy Cat Lady's place. Her name is Donni Anthania. These two pictures are of one of my husband's game characters at the Crazy Cat Lady's house. You can buy a Siamese, a Bombay, a Silver Tabby, an Orange Tabby, or a Cornish Rex. My husband has the Siamese and the Bombay. He named the Siamese "Koala," after our Snowshoe who looked exactly like him. He named the Bombay "JiJi."
Oh, To Be A Fly On The Wall...
With Cockleshells And Silver Bells and Pretty Maids, All In A Row
Some of the plants I was worried about are now sprouting in my garden, and I am both relieved and happy. The liatris is coming up. Those are gorgeous, with spikes with purple flowers on them. My purple loosestrife is also coming up. That won't bloom until late summer. My bee balm, red yarrow, and daisies are also beginning to come up. I don't think the white lupin made it, though. My butterfly bush is also starting to sprout leaves. I bought some sorry-looking purple and white pansies that were on sale, and now with the rain and plant food they are perking up very nicely. I trimmed off the deadheads so the plants have room to grow. They'll be fine.
I spent the morning clearing out weeds, and breaking up a huge bush. I put one half of the bush back where it was. It was so big it was blocking a walking path. I put the other half in the front yard. It will bloom with purple flowers in about a month or so. I have a Bird Girl statue, from the book "Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil." She has sunflower seeds in the plates in her hands. I also have a fairy statue in the garden in front of our bay window. I have a Chinese-styled statue that was a promotional item for the movie "Tomb Raider: The Cradle Of Life", but I'm keeping that in the bedroom for now. It will go in the side garden with the purple lamium that is blooming like crazy. When I get enough money saved up, I'm going to buy a replica of Frank Lloyd Wright's "Garden Sprite" statue. It's gorgeous. It will go in the lamium garden.
I like purple. It looks nice in the garden next to all the red and white flowers.
I just filled all the bird feeders with black oil sunflower seeds, and the chickadees are going at it. A starling found my suet. I put that out for the woodpecker that lives in the area. I hope it finds it. I make my own suet cakes for the birds, but the grocer is out of suet for the time being. So, I had to buy it.
Once it warms up and the rain finally stops, I'll read in my backyard. That's my sanctuary. I love gardening.
Denita at Who Tends The Fires tagged me to do this meme, which looks like fun. Here goes nothing.
1) Total number of films I own on DVD/video:
2) The last film I bought:
I bought three movies at once: "Open Water", "Passionada", and "Confidence"
3) The last film I watched:
4) Five films that I watch a lot or that mean a lot to me:
Dead/Alive (This was my test film for my husband. If he couldn't sit through it, we weren't meant to be together.)
Jaws (Because I live on the New England coast. It's our traditional July 4th movie.)
Die Hard With A Vengeance (Because I worked on it. I was a gaffer (lighting).)
12 Monkeys (Because I worked on it. I was a gaffer (lighting).)
Immortal (Because I worked on it. It was an Indie vampire movie, and it SUCKS. I was key makeup and assistant F/X. Update: A good thing about this movie, aside of my prosthetic makeup, which kicked ass, was that it introduced the band "Squirrel Nut Zippers" to the world before they caught on during the Pop-Swing crazy in the 1990s.)
5) Tag 5 people and have them put this in their journal/blog:
I won't tag anyone. I figure anyone who sees this on my blog can do it if they like.
My Mexican Vanilla Arrived In The Mail!
My Mexican vanilla just arrived in the mail. It's scrumptious. So much better than the usual store-brand vanilla. I'm going to buy some coconut today, roll it in a little vanilla, and then roll it in dark chocolate. I'll make my own Mounds bars. I love Mounds.
Yesterday I made semi-sweet chocolate bark with toffee bits. I added too much toffee to the mix, but it still tastes great. I'll just add half the amount of toffee the next time. I also made white chocolate bark with hazelnuts as well as plain white chocolate bark. White chocolate is great in coffee. My son even likes the candy, and he's not a candy sort of dude.
I'm awaiting the vanilla sugar and the Droste cocoa. When they arrive, I'll try my hand at Droste brownies.