Category Archives: Culture

BLOT – my way

This is a post from one of my favorite blogs to follow.


During the recent few years, everything Viking has become more popular than ever. And while I think this is great, some of us are still struggling to get used to what best can be described as that feeling you would get if you’ve anchored in that secred, secluded bay you thought only you knew about, when suddenly a bunch of cabin cruisers full of loud people arrive. Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact that we are now seeing what I like to call a Second Viking Age. It’s just that sometimes I wish people could consider the fact that some of us have been living the Norse way of life for decades, long before it became fashionable. That said, 99% of you are perfectly understanding and respectful. But there is always that 1% who has a need to “educate” other people and to discredit their efforts. I…

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Our National Anthem

Again? How come folks keep confusing other patriotic songs with our national anthem?

After waking up in the middle of the night I checked Facebook and found an odd trending topic that annoyed me enough to get downstairs and onto my computer to compose this post.

Once again people are up in arms over our “national anthem” being disgraced and disrespected. However, what they’re mad about and what’s actually happening are not the same thing. The sad part is, we went through a very similar situation 2 1/2 years ago and people still can’t seem to remember what song our national anthem is.

During Super Bowl 2014 a whole bunch of people showed the world how idiotic they were by getting bent out of shape about Coke using the song, “America the Beautiful” sung with an assortment of languages. Personally, I found it to be a lovely testament to our “melting pot” nation by highlighting the cultural diversity of our population. However, people were angry about it. Much of the absurd outrage centered around two thoughts: if you’re in America you should speak English and that the “national anthem” was being disrespected and desecrated. Um… wait a minute. Isn’t the national anthem a totally different song?

2 years later, Gersh Kuntzman of the NY Daily News, has made a suggestion that Major League Baseball stop asking fans to rise and remove their hats, for “God Bless America” during the 7th inning stretch.

Again, people are outraged. How dare Kuntzman suggest MLB drop the national anthem from baseball games!

Eh, what?

I feel people have every right to be outraged and complain about the massive amount of disrespect toward our national anthem, because it’s obvious many folks don’t even know what song our national anthem is and THAT is the real disgrace.

Not so subtle hint: it’s “The Star Spangled Banner”.

Perhaps understanding HOW “The Star Spangled Banner” came to be will help understand why it is our national anthem? Maybe?

And now for your listening pleasure, our national anthem, The Star Spangled Banner, sung by the Kentucky All State Choir.

“Every night of the All State Choir conference at about 11pm, everyone comes out to the balconies of the 18 story Hyatt hotel to sing the National Anthem.”


Call for Performers for Pagan Pride Day LA/OC 2016

We are in the midst of planning for the big event and  I’m looking for entertainment acts to grace our stage for this year’s Pagan Pride Day LA/OC! This year’s festival will be held on Sunday October 2th from 10am to 5:30pm.

If you’re interested in entertaining us, please select the link below and fill out the form. I will be notified and will contact you as soon as I can.


Here are some photos from the previous year’s performers:

Performers from Pagan Pride Day LA/OC 2015  ©Yvonne Conway-Williams
Performers from Pagan Pride Day LA/OC 2015
©Yvonne Conway-Williams

Ramen Baby

On Sunday Chris and I went to my favorite ramen house in all of OC, Kairakutei in Tustin. It’s a small cash-only noodle house, but very popular so sometimes there’s a wait.

Not long after we were seated a family came in and sat at the table next to us. They had a small baby, perhaps a year (I admit I’m not good with judging baby ages). He had cute chubby cheeks and was wearing adorable little stripy pants with a monkey on the back of them. He was, much like my cats, very taken by Chris and kept turning around to stare at him.

Chris immediately went into a game of peek-a-boo. I’ve seen him do this before with his cousin’s baby. Through lunch Chris looked at the baby, grabbed my hand, looked back at me and said, “I want one for my very own”.

My sarcastic inside voice immediately thought, “I don’t think they have those on the menu here. Mmmmm… baby back ribs.” Lol!

When Chris and I first started dating we immediately talked about kids. I wanted to get that discussion out into the open because of our age difference; he’s 14 years younger than me and I turn 43 next month. My concern was that if he did want kids, but wanted to wait 10 years, then it might not be the best idea for us to get too involved. Frankly, I don’t know if I can or will be able to have or adopt a child 5 years from now because of my age, much less 10 years from now, which is why I opened the conversation so early on.

At the time the subject was broached Chris stated he didn’t want kids. I wasn’t entirely sure he would continue to feel that way as time went on, in fact I was worried that we might get together then years down the road, when it’s too late, he’d change his mind. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t advocating we have a kid immediately either. I just wanted us to be on the same page.

Children wearing yukata
Children wearing yukata

This past July we attended the Obon Festival at the OC Buddhist Church. Families arrived with all their children in yukata and happi ready to celebrate and I think I was sitting there wistfully watching them. I believe it was in that moment that Chris started to genuinely think about us having kids and a life together as a family.

The day we announced we were engaged his mother told him that his father had been hinting about grandchildren. When we saw them on Thanksgiving his mother told us that we were lucky to have parents willing to babysit our children.


Well, you don’t need to hit me over the head with a 2×4; I get it! Mind you, WE (Chris and I) hadn’t said anything yet about even wanting children, we just announced we were engaged. But I suppose that is an assumed thing, get married then have children.

I’m also aware that when I finally do have a child they’re going to have a lot of aunts and uncles, many of whom have already told me they plan to spoil any child I have. Our children are going to be very loved, that’s for sure.

I do look forward to raising children, but being pregnant, and giving birth… not so much. It kind of terrifies me, actually. I’m sure that when the time comes I’ll get over most of that fear. I hope I do, anyway.


Ulytau (Kazakh: Ұлытау), literally meaning “the holy mountain”, is a popular instrumental folk metal trio from Kazakhstan. Their music combines the sound of the violin and electric guitar with the dombra, a traditional two stringed instrument from their country.

I learned about this group in 2009 through a friend on Facebook. This trio is quite amazing not only do they play original metal music, but they do metal versions of classical music as well. I wish there was better access to information and music from them. Though they’ve gotten more accessible since I first heard about them, they’re still limited.

Ulytau – Terisqaqpai