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Below are the 19 most recent journal entries recorded in Women of Strength's LiveJournal:

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Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011
7:34 am
Blog post that might be of interest

I realized I should probably post a link in case anyone is interested. I've taken a break from what I refer to as Teh Project, what's been years of work to create a book, and I decided to blog on one of the key issues. I had some doubts about discussing this, but figured I need to get it out there, see what people have to say, see what interest is, see if anyone can lead me to some good stuff so....

I've blogged on the evidence, or lack there of, regarding Celtic, particularly Gaelic as is my focus, women warriors, historically and archeologically, and gave some of my thoughts on the literary material. So .... Once Upon a Time....

Current Mood: nervous
Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009
6:39 am
Fitness books or other media suggestions?
I was wondering if any one had any fitness media they particularly recommended to women looking to gain real strength? What I'm looking for is obviously not something that spends pages telling women they have to train differently than men in order to get "toned" rather than bulky OR instead says that women "don't worry you can't bulk up like men do." If they say that most people, female or male, won't get to bodybuilder proportions, that's fine (don't you love it when some guy who is fit but far from bulked up himself reassures us that we women don't have to worry about bulking up?). Not having heinous low-fat, artificial food diets would be a plus, but I know I am asking way too much now. It also doesn't have to be woman only or woman focused book if it treats women equally.

Current Mood: quixotic
Sunday, November 1st, 2009
1:04 pm
musing and brief intro
Hi, am finally getting around to this after saigh_allaidh suggested I post this here (initially a comment on her lj).

So, just cut 'n pasting:
I was thinking of 3 women I knew in my college years who were out of shape and overweight who transformed themselves into athletes after college. This also applies somewhat to myself - my "martial arts years" ranged from my late 20s to my middle 30s. But I find it striking that we all went through a similar kind of transformation around the same time of life - after college. Woman A was a smoker, typical American diet, somewhat overweight. She transformed into a runner and has run marathons. Same for woman B, except didn't smoke, became a long distance bicyclist and after that tri-athlete. Woman C was clinically obese, smoker - lost all the extra weight - about half her body weight - took to lifting weights and put on really impressive muscle. She tried running, didn't suit her.

Anyway, I was just wondering about this pattern, it's almost like we had these crappy habits in college, maybe to cope with college or whatever, and then got healthy and strong later. For me, I can't claim to have become as athletic as these women, but I feel in better shape that I was in in my twenties. My martial arts practice basically dropped off when I started fiddle, and I miss it sometime and if I didn't have to work I imagine I would do that again too... (so many hours in the day...) What amazes me is that I can go do a half hour run or more after not running in weeks (I do walk a lot though)... I never would have thought that possible in my 20s, I figure it's due to overall better eating as well as emotional and spiritual habits.

(end paste)

So, curious if anyone has any similar observations.

As for myself, my main favorite activities these days are hiking (live in the Appalacian Mountains) and running... hoping to get back to a regular schedule. I used to do martial arts from my late 20s to mid 30s but then Irish fiddle took over my extra-curricular free time. :) I also became a fan of Pilates unfortunately after my martial arts days because it could have really helped out with that plus saved me some hip grief.

I have to say that my favorite heroine in the body realm is the incredible Emilie Conrad, who is now 75 years old. Emilie is the founder of Continuum Movement, and Continuum is well, pretty much off any map you've ever heard of - it is not typical physical fitness, it is pretty much downright weird by standard standards, so it's not for everyone. Continuum is involved with primordial body awareness and intelligence, tapping into back to when we were sea critters... literally. If you ever meet Emilie in person you'll freak out that a 70something person can look, talk, and move the way she does (I did one of her workshops a couple years ago). Her site is http://www.continuummovement.com/ and there are some vids there - the interview ones with her are probably only a few years old. Continuum is often described as "moving meditation" but it can also be used for strength training. See the vid called "Cass Phelps on the Flight Plan" - halfway through that they add weights to wrists and ankles - or at youtube here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ldc3zDtLU18. (can't find any vids with women doing this, but there's not a ton of Continuum vids overall).

So... Continuum is another activity I'm trying to get into a regular habit with, along with everything else.

Current Mood: awake
Friday, October 23rd, 2009
10:31 pm
Incredible Athleticism

I figured pole dancing could be sensual--I'd not watched any that I can remember, before watching this video--but I never knew it could also be athletic! These women could be circus performers with their strength and agility.

Current Mood: impressed
Sunday, August 16th, 2009
4:14 am
Great fight ends as first round horn sounds, Cyborg punches too much

The last paragraph is enough to make you gag, before you go to the comments. None of them are surprising, sadly. The "prettier" one didn't win, oh the horror! It does make me worried about the sport...and society...that so many respond this way.

In other news, in case you hadn't heard (as no one posted about it here I figure maybe no one did *snerk*) Women's Boxing added to 2012 London Olympics

Current Mood: indescribable
Saturday, July 18th, 2009
9:43 am
Because I don't have enough to play with
I thought I'd post here and in a few other places to see if anyone can help me find more. No, this isn't a "do my homework" post, this is a "please, give me more homework" post. While I have a few things I need to bounce back and forth with a few people, what I'm asking here is if anyone has anything that comes to mind that I shouldn't forget.

Okay, I'm doing research on women warriors in Celtic cultures...mostly Gaelic, but I'm doing some cross-cultural searching as well. Also other I-E cultures. I've been doing this research for a number of years, but, you know, not always loving what I'm finding as well as Life Getting In The Way this has just taken a level that I've not tried to take it to for awhile now.

No, this is not one of those "Celtic women had high status and held all positions men did, yada, yada" things....I'm going through what was actually written and, actually, trying to correct some "common knowledge" BS that is out there. Which, btw, is an often depressing task as there's some great fantasy out there. Very exciting. Hard to figure out how to make the actual tales so inspiring at this point, actually.

But, you know, there's always something missed. Some good source I just didn't catch somewhere. Some aspect that maybe people want to see discussed that I never thought of. And, yes, some piece of fluff that I might want to know exists so that I might have an idea of what needs addressing.

So, no, not asking for anyone to go do research. But those who might have anything, what do you think I shouldn't miss:
Some bit of Irish early Christian mention of a woman warrior, even tiny (I fear there may be nothing more, but maybe there is something I missed...later, historic women are a future project related to this, I'm trying to work on one thing at at time)?
An aspect of Gaelic warfare that should be included?
Is there a good recent book on Celtic women I might have missed?
On Celtic warriors?
On Celtic women warriors? (hey, if someone's done this already and it actually is good, maybe i can get my brain to shut up)
Okay, what about bad ones, because I can always use some more fodder?

I really need some prompting here, because I'm to the point where I'm going to have to finally sort through Fionn's fosterers....and, well, I'd just as soon put that off until I get some more sleep (working lots of overtime...but at least I can write and research at work).

Edited to add, as someone asked: Some of the books I'm using around this subject are: Bitel's Land of Women, Nagy's Wisdom of the Outlaw, Clark's The Great Queens, Patterson's Cattle Lords and Clansmen (edited to fix this title), Enright's Lady with a Mead Cup. Then there are bits from various books on the culture, far too many to list. I'm going to primary sources as much as possible though, various translations when I can find them but my first stop is often CELT when I'm searching something in particular. Oh, I'm also using Ellis's Celtic Women but not in a very nice way...he passes on, and possibly creates, some of the more enticing misinformation out there and I figure it's good to know what is being spread.

Thing is, just because I'm already using a source doesn't mean that I am catching things people might want to see addressed. And, of course, in the primary stories, I could be missing lots of stuff.

(Crossposted to academicpagans hooded_crow oenach womenofstrength and my own journal

Current Mood: quixotic
Tuesday, July 14th, 2009
7:18 pm
showing off in a slightly different vein from recent posts... :D

Breaking the myth that all women (rather than a lot) sat at home and sewed (or whatever), my community theatre group that specialises in newly written stuff about history, are doing a play about the female pirates in the eighteenth Century, Anne Bonney and Mary Reed.
Heres an un-edited photo we took on a replica old sailing ship near where I live. (following due photoshopping of houses and boat replicas name out, this is our poster photo)

And its directed by a female too. me. :)
Friday, June 12th, 2009
8:55 pm
Famous women of strength
My LJ is mostly about bodybuilding (and that's what I'm into). But I also like seeing female strength spilling over into the regular world, too, not just in bodybuilding. Here are a couple cool pics I've seen recently.

Michele Obama at the correspondents dinner. I think the joke was that she definitely has the right to bear arms, something like that. So cool! Whatever your politics, it's cool to see the 1st lady flexing the biceps!

Mel B AKA Scary Spice. Holy cow! She's got her own fitness DVD, even. She's not big, but she's in great shape, and, wow, that is a six-pack!

And how about this one? Elizabeth Shue from her upcoming movie Piranha 3D. I hope I look that good at 45. From Adventures in Babysitting to Adventures to Bodybuilding!


Any one else got any like this?

(x-posted from my LJ)
Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009
9:51 pm
Saturday June 13, 2-5PM

Littleton Kokikai Aikido, at Flying Squirrel Consortium: Littleton Mill Building at 410 Great Rd, Littleton, Ma

cost $20, working scholarships available for financial hardship

. Theme: "Five Forms of Harmony"

. Ukemi: front and back falls, introduction to rolling, one attack (tsuki; stomach punch)

. Techniques: kotegaishi, kokyunage "comi nage", kokyunage "straight through", kaitenage, ikkyo

. Ki voice practice (counting, kiai, possibly misogi if there's time)

All levels (no experience -> black belt) welcome. To be taught by yours truly, chief instructor, Littleton Kokikai, with my fellow instructors and y'all :) @ear comfy, easy-to-roll-around-in clothes or gi, plan to be barefoot if possible. BRING A WATER BOTTLE OR REFRESHMENT DRINK!

RSVP or questions in comments (email to this account @ lj works too :)

Current Mood: excited
Thursday, March 26th, 2009
1:20 am
Michelle Obama's arms
Seeing things have been quiet here and this is one place where discussing Michelle Obama's arms is perhaps more appropriate than discussing Barack Obama's policies, I thought I'd throw this out here.

A friend and sccharmschool member posted in her own LJ Why all the fuss over a first lady's bare arms? which attempts to answer the question.

I think she failed, so I posted The real reason everyone is nuts over Michelle Obama's arms because I figured I just had to get in on all this considering the theme of my blog.

She even failed to get which decade T2 came out, but at least Sarah/Linda does get a mention.

I figured I'd share it here and see what people think.
Sunday, November 16th, 2008
4:06 am
Getting back "on program"
After an active rest followed by a deep blow to my life (if you're reading this in a personal blog, you know about this already...but this is cross-posted), I want to say that as of tonight I am returning to my fitness program. Other training, however, may still have to wait.

For the past few of weeks the only exercise I've had has been cleaning stalls, hauling hay (and not much), loading wood stoves and walking patrols at work. Tonight I did some chin ups, push ups and crunches. It's a start, considering I'm also not sleeping well and am just plain emotionally exhausted.

I'm posting this mostly because by doing so I know I gotta stick with it. And because, perhaps for the first time in my life really, I need motivation.

Time is going to be an issue for the running, but I might have to just add a small horse (with a choice of three, with a fourth one possible if he starts getting healthier....I'm not trying this with my filly right now) to my run rather than longeing them. That should be, um, entertaining? Especially for the dog.

Fight training of any kind, especially regular martial arts classes are just out right now. I had actually hoped that we might be able to swing once a week classes, but those are over an hour away from here and with our extra work load at home there is no way. I do have some firearms classes coming up next year and had planned to refresh my tracking skills a bit...however, the latter I might just send my mate to alone, as one of us does have to be here and, honestly, with a daytime schedule he'll be up for a multi-day workshop more than I will, and have him help get my skills back up. The shooting stuff I'll get too...one day classes I can do. I think...uh, not looking forward to the driving AND staying up all day.

I need to be back on track...this is part of my healing, it's part of dealing with the stress. I must remember Sarah in the psych hospital, still training against all odds.

Then we'll see about writing again.

cross-posted to my blogs, Sarah Connor Charm School fora, Hooded Crow and Women of Strength LJ communities....sorry not links, that means altering them for various fora and I'm just too damned tired for that.

Current Mood: determined
Tuesday, August 26th, 2008
12:09 am
Doomsday and my new girlfriend
We watched Doomsday today. I went into it expecting to hate it, due to many reviews. Now, normally, I don't pay much attention to reviews, but these included those whose opinions I do often agree on and many women who like strong female characters and those who love post-Apocalyptic movies. And they all hated it.

Okay, one thing pegged right is that it is unoriginal. But I always laugh at anyone expecting originality...seriously, there is no such thing. Not since the written word. Nothing has been original since long before writing, it's just a matter of story telling. I suppose what is meant is "I don't like the way this story teller tells this same old story." Fair enough....but I do wish people would stop using "unoriginal" in reviews. It's pointless.

Sorry...it's a pet peeve.

This is a self-admitted homage movie to begin with. So "originality" is even more of a non-issue. Yes, LOT'S of Escape from New York/LA in this...but I can totally live with the idea of a female Snake Pliskin. Yup, Mad Max is there. Personally, I do NOT get the references made to Resident Evil, other than it being a fairly recent strong female role offering, or, especially, 28 Days Later, other than a virus (but in this doesn't create "zombification" only death and all violence from the infected is response to the government and military treatment they get. Oh, perhaps anything about any disaster taking place in Britain has to be related to 28 Days Later? I don't get it...but maybe it was one of the movies Neil Marshall (writer/director, also of Dog Soldiers and Descent both of which had initially made me hopeful about this one) intended to homage...but I don't see it. Sorry.

Anyway. Of course, why I love it the most is all about Rhona Mitra as Major Eden Sinclair. She is a wonderful female action actress, having both acting chops and a great physique. She not only is muscular, with good arms but a totally enviable back, but is able to move and carry herself like an action hera. Her character has grit, something she's shown before (the physique I can't remember seeing, although I do know she did Lara Croft appearances, well, I doubt she needed it for that either actually...just the breast implants which, honestly makes me sad that she felt she had to do).

I also loved seeing Malcolm McDowell as a megalomaniac who takes over a castle and makes himself out to be a medieval king. I just know so many who would would do this if trapped in a disease ravaged Scotland. And, well, it's just such cheesily good role for him.

As an aside, I had a personal laugh from the Mad Max styled cannibalistic Marauders in Glasgow, when the leader, Sol (Craig Conway) is up on stage. Some time ago I wrote in a survivalist group meaning to say "fighting off desperate reavers" and left out the first "e" ...making it "fighting off desperate ravers." This led to many jokes about being bombarded with glow sticks and the like. But HERE was the reality...we do have to fear the ravers! At least when they get a taste for human flesh. Okay, not as funny to anyone else...but I must laugh for years over bad typos I make.

I don't know, I also found the idea of England locking off Scotland the way they did somehow pointed. And I like anything that shows corrupt government types. (and yes, I can see some Land of the Dead...but not the zombie movies usually mentioned...well, I guess there is the locking up Raccoon City in Resident Evil but not as much due to some of the general way it was done).

Oh, big personal pet peeve. Yes, as a female Snake Pliskin, Sinclair does have only one eye, her left. She removes and uses her artificial eye, which also serves as a camera, to see around corners and such. So, she's not got it in when she's running round with a gun..including with longarms. Uh, and there she is with in held right-eyed. Why the fuck can't anyone in the movie and TV world figure out that people actually can fucking shoot from their left side! This pisses me off! There is no fucking reason for this. Some people with two eyes are left-eyed (you probably aren't surprised that I am...hence my annoyance about this) so certainly someone who ONLY has a left eye should shoot from the left! With handguns it doesn't matter, with longarms it DOES. (btw, yes, this includes the makers of LOST...there's even an LOLOST type screen cap of Mikhail with the rifle lined up to his non-existent eye *sob*)

No, this is not a great movie. But it's enjoyable to watch if you truly love the genre and strong women...at least Aaron and I found it so. It may be too much of a cult homage to ever have a cult following itself. But Mitra really will should she get the right roles.

Because ultimately, it's Mitra who will get me to buy this movie to add to my "woman warrior" line up...although I'll likely wait until I find it real cheap (which I just tend to do). She seriously has to continue playing action roles, we need this! We need someone like this doing action. And this makes me so sad that this movie was so panned and flopped, that even genre fans talked other genre fans out of it (and, honestly I'm really disappointed in some writers that they didn't indicate being impressed by her, because she's worth raving about! FUCK!). Because I seriously want this woman to get these kinds of roles, preferably in really well done genre movies.

Mitra is totally my top vote for who should have been cast in a (far better written, of course) Sarah Connor TV series. She's got it all. The only problem I might see is that she does bear some facial resemblance to Linda Hamilton, not a lot, but enough that it might be seen as her being too much like her. But the real thing is that she's got both the physique AND the grit.

I am totally in love.

(Cross-posted in all my blogs, yes, including Championing Ourselves as well as womenofstrength and all Sarah Connor Charm School fora.

Current Mood: pleased
Monday, June 30th, 2008
4:43 pm

The Gender Public Advocacy Coalition is pleased to announce the release of its 2008 GENIUS Survey in partnership with Ernst & Young.  GenderPAC works to ensure that classrooms, communities and workplaces are safe for everyone to learn, grow and succeed.


The Gender Equality National Index for Universities & Schools (GENIUS), GenderPAC’s most recent effort to end discrimination and promote awareness, encourages colleges and universities to recognize the benefits of a GenderSAFEtm campus - supportive equitable and protective for all students. Choosing to participate in GENUIS sends a strong public statement that bullying or discriminating based on the race, sex or gender of a student, faculty, or staff member is not tolerated at your institution


Fill out the survey at:  www.gpac.org/GENIUS2008survey, and make sure that we have data for as many schools as possible. Your voice will help us continue to work towards a safe and welcoming environment for every student.


While we greatly appreciate the interest taken in GENIUS by students, staff and faculty at academic institutions outside of the United States, at this time GENIUS is only able to track schools based in the United States.

Saturday, May 24th, 2008
7:13 am
UpDate *sorta*
Hey ladies =D

My personal training director said it was time for me to get a bio up on the "wall of trainers" at work, so last night my hubby took pix of me lifting...which ended up having to be posed because I was giggling too much during my real workout for any good shots! haha Enjoy!

Current Mood: bouncy
Sunday, May 18th, 2008
3:38 am
Self-promotion: Physical Feminist blog
I tend to hate doing this sort of thing but:

I have FINALLY, after about a year or so, started a Physical Feminist blog at http://caithream.blogspot.com/

While there may be some mirroring here in my social blogs, in womenofstrength and the various Sarah Connor Charm School locations, I wanted something happening on the topic of Physical Feminism that might be noticed by those who look down their noses at social networking blogging places. ~;p And, well, where I might be inspired to be a bit more formal...but probably not much. Now that it is started, I hope to have something going regularly there. We'll see how that works out.

Cross-posted at my LJ, womenofstrength, sccharmschool and my blogs at Tribe, MySpace and the MySpace and Facebook SCCS groups as I figured some might want to know.

Current Mood: determined
Friday, May 16th, 2008
4:50 pm
Powerlifting Pictures

World's Championships: Fairhaven, Vermont 
Tuesday, May 13th, 2008
10:43 am
Wins Texas State 1A Team Title: by Herself
May 12, 2008

Richardson Wins State Title Alone

Associated Press
Special to Rivals High

AUSTIN, Texas -- Bonnie Richardson ran. She threw. She jumped.

And when it was time to hand out the team trophies, Richardson accepted the 1A team championship for Rochelle High School -- by herself.

Bonnie Richardson of Rochelle High School scored 42 team points to win the Texas 1A track title.

Richardson was the only Rochelle athlete to qualify for the state meet and stunningly won the team title. University Interscholastic League officials said it was the first time they can remember a single athlete winning a girls' team title.

It's happened before on the boys' side, but not since former Baylor Bear and Pittsburgh Steeler Frank Pollard did it for Meridian High School in the 1970s, said UIL Athletics Director Charles Breithaupt.
Richardson's title march began with field events on Friday when she won the high jump (5 feet, 5 inches), placed second in the long jump (18-7) and was third in the discus (121-0).

On Saturday, she won the 200 meters in 25.03 seconds and nearly pulled off a huge upset in the 100 before finishing second (12.19) to defending champion Kendra Coleman of Santa Anna. Richardson, a junior, earned a total of 42 team points to edge team runner-up Chilton (36).

For the rest of the article, go here:
Tuesday, February 26th, 2008
11:18 pm
RFR Show #3: Sister Hailstorm Interview, Songs and Police Car Destroyed after Great Dead Prez Show

Picture, Uncensored Article, radio Broadcast and More!

Dear friends...

You can listen to the third broadcast of our radio show by clicking here or, if that podcast website doesn't work, click here.

Love ya all!

Read More Below...

Current Mood: cheerful
Wednesday, January 16th, 2008
8:58 am
SELF-DEFENSE. Fierce Love: Heart of the Female Warrior
Melissa Soalt, a.k.a. Dr. Ruthless, is a feminist, former psychotherapist, black belt expert, veteran self-defense instructor and lecturer. (For reference, I have at home her two-videocassette series, Fierce and Female, videos.) She has many other articles and thoughts about surviving and understanding violence and general self-defense tactics (mental and physical) and believe that her site is great to review for her resources.

Meanwhile, here are excerpts from one of her essays.

NOTES, DISCLAIMERS: many may not agree with everything she says. I'm uncertain about some parts, but on the whole, I think she speaks from a deep understanding of the impact of violence and she's passionately sincere.

Selected excerpts under lj-cutCollapse )

For the complete essay: http://www.dr-ruthless.com/articles/frcelov.htm
The full essay includes a few descriptions of acts of violence (of victims against their attackers) in parts of the actual essay, not excerpted here.

For her main website: http://www.dr-ruthless.com/
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