Saturday, December 31, 2005

A Christian artist on Narnia and King Kong

Not sure how many of you read World magazine, but a couple issues ago they featured quite a longish bit of the issue (and the column Andree Seu usually writes) to artist Makoto Fujimura. He's dedicated to Christ and excellent art. And he's got a blog.

And, on this blog, he compares King Kong and Aslan in the movie. I highly recommend reading it, though it's rather long. "Pride and Prejudice" and "Wallace and Gromit" also make their way into it. Perhaps some of you who actually saw all those movies can opine for the rest of our benefit. :-)

Incidentally, I'm quite excited. As far as I can tell, he's doing what we want to do, only in the visual arts. We should learn from him.

Friday, December 30, 2005

Olive Garden grows a lot of characters

Yesterday Mom and the sister and I went to lunch at Olive Garden in Albuquerque. We met lots of amusing people.

First there was the little bitty girl in the doorway, waiting to be seated. She had lots of dark wavy hair, fixed pretty, and she could just barely toddle. We walked in and also waited to be seated, and she looked up at us with these huge dark eyes and played with the zipper on her jacket.

Then there was the little bitty girl in the booth next to ours. She played peek-a-boo with me for a long time. A really long time. First she stood on the ground and looked around the corner at me, and then her mother hauled her up into the booth and she looked over the divider at me and played with the potted plant and started saying, “HI! BYE!”

But she didn’t make nearly as much noise as the two birthday parties. They were havin’ some serious fun. The waiters, in proper waiterish fashion, congregated around each table and sang an edition of “Happy Birthday.” The Olive Garden song is to the same tune as the VeggieTales silly song about the giant squash who squashed his chocolates and his nice silk hat real flat.

And there was our waiter, Will. Will had some serious flirtage happening. Mostly he flirted with Emily, but it overflowed to me too, and this in front of Mama. (To his credit, he was nice to Mama.) We ordered. He told the soror she couldn’t have raspberry lemonade. The soror made otter eyes at him and he relented.

He would just drop by the table merely to see if we needed anything.

Emily finished off her breadsticks and just sort of poked the basket at him, and he read her mind and brought her more, teasing continuously.

He came and cleared things away—I told him he could have my salad plate, so he took it, and he tried to take Em’s soup, and she wouldn’t let him. She gave that little exasperated, “Aw!” that she does, and he went, “Do you always yell at people like that?”

He left and came back and then she said he could have it, and he picked up her spoon and poked around in it and demanded to know what she’d eaten. Em told him. He didn’t believe her. She said, “There goes your tip!” He smiled and said, “I got a tip?” She relented and said, “Well, you did bring me breadsticks.”

He wandered off and came back and asked if we were sisters. We said yes. He asked who was older. We smiled and said, “Guess.” (We’re so mean.) He looked helplessly confused for a while and finally guessed wrong. So the next question was how old we were. Major déjà vu!

I said, “That’s a deep dark secret.”

Emily said, “A gentleman never asks a lady her age.”

Will said, “Why not? The times, they are a-changing.” (That was definitely a more socially-ept response than, “My bad,” if less endearing to a lit major.)

I said, “Some things never change.” (Mwa-ha-ha!)

Will asked me, “Are you thirty-five?” (Yipes.)

Emily, without missing a beat, said, “No, she’s fifty-seven.” He tried to get off the backhoe at that point.

Will dealt with the check and to-go boxes, gave us a charming smile, and said, “You need to come back and see me. My name’s Will, but if you forget it’s okay.”

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

General notice

I'm tired of gender role discussions... Can we talk about something else now?

Like Boethius' The Consolation of Philosophy or "Princess Bride" or Tolkien's The Monsters and the Critics. Those are all extremely edifying. I shall probably expound soonish. :-)

Macbeth at Hoedown

As I was going through Macbeth pictures, I discovered I only had one of the cast at the hoedown...and it was thumbnail size. Woe is me!

Does anyone have a biggerish picture they could send me? If you need my email, let me know. :-)

"Everything has to do with dancing sometime." Kanary 10-4-05

Monday, December 26, 2005

A muggle returns from Santa Fe

I found Diagon Alley. It's at Trader Joe's in Santa Fe. People from all over the wizarding world were shopping under signs like, "Trader Joe's Brings You the Best of the Known Worlds in Case You Don't Have Time to Circumnavigate the Galaxy Before Dinner." Long furry robes and bright hats bumped shoulders with triangular crystals. I didn't actually see any wands or pumpkin juice, but we bought dried dragon fruit. It tastes like sesame seeds, actually, but it turns your tongue bright purple. We also bought a heather plant for my grandma for Christmas. I see why Marian likes Trader Joe's. It's pretty fun, despite it's...peculiarities.

Our absence from the Muggle world didn't end there. Next we went to buy Christmas desserts at the Chocolate Maven, over near the Candyman music store and the old Furrow's. It's down an old alley, and the parking spaces are all too narrow. You go in at the side of an old warehouse and are immediately presented with a wall covered with sugar-sparkling snowflake cookies ($3.75 each). A waiter asked if we wanted to be seated; we weren't sure we were there for lunch, but decided maybe we were, especially because they listed a quiche of the day. So we climbed up a steep narrow spiral staircase to the second floor, and--in the middle of these flowered curtains and Christmas lights--there was a cauldron bubbling merrily away. About three feet of turquoise-glazed pottery on a curly metal stand sat in middle of the loft, apparently being a fountain. I thought of Macbeth; it would have been just the thing for my poor props mistress! Do you remember Rosie from Spiderman 2? Doc Ock's wife? Well, she was there too, sitting in the corner. And the quiche was good. But we didn't find any desserts.

Happily, I fit right in that day. I did my hair elvish-style. I'm not making this up.

The day went back to normal after that. We bought the soror a camo guitar strap at the Candyman, went to Target, and visited the import store and Borders. (Happiness!) Oh, and Megan, we found CP Shades! It is right next to Borders. We went through the little mall thingy. I don't think we'd ever done that before.

That was about it. We went home after that and got there just before my grandparents. Christmas then began. :-)

Monday, December 19, 2005

Adventures while Christmas shopping

We went to Santa Fe on Saturday, and it was, as always, a haven for entertaining car decorations. So I thought I'd share.

One car said, "No Place Like OM," which I'd never seen before and thought rather clever. It also had "Free Tibet" and "Give Peace a Chance," but those aren't new and clever. :-)

Another had an ichthus kissing a Darwin fish. That, if you ask me, is very clear and utterly wrongheaded and inconsistent. Either everything is a result of meaningless chance or it is not; there's no middle ground. But I applaud their creativity. Meaningful use of sign systems, don't you know.

Not related to bumper stickers, as we were coming out of Target two small children ran in front of my dad and tripped. A deep voice came from somewhere: "ARE YOU HURTING MY KID?" Emily, as she tells the story, was immediately sure Dad was going to get mugged and freaked out. But Dad knew the guy from the office and just laughed. So we all met them and did not get mugged in front of Target. :-)

Friday, December 16, 2005

Blessing report...

Right-ho, ya'll. We're home. :-)

It was snowing gorgeously as we left campus, the soror, Amber, Bekah, Sam, Brett, and me all squished with all our luggage into Amber's aged red Chrysler (which we named Mabel on the way!). The backseat was so full we couldn't even see the guys, what with duffel bags and the Guitar and purses and who knows what all. And the front was full too, but Bekah was good with that, said it kept her warm. :-) But the roads were clear-ish, despite the snow.

We got there in plenty of time, arrived at the gate, and...waited. The time came to board...and the time went...and eventually the plane we were supposed to get on arrived and the other passengers got off, and finally we boarded. And we waited some more. They de-iced the plane, which was mildly amusing. We were running a good hour late by the time we took off.

The way we'd scheduled it, we had an hour to catch a connecting flight in Chicago. It was weathering there too. We started worrying and praying. But--GOOD BLESSING--the connecting flight was late too. Happy days! Also, at Dulles they somehow neglected to give us our boarding passes for the second flight, but we got all that straightened out too.

So we got home late, but we DID get home.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

"Cinderella Man" is a good movie

Well, we had an adventure last night. It really shouldn't have been that difficult...

Jonathan's been telling me since last summer that "Cinderella Man" is a really good movie. I was in the mood for a movie and thought that sounded goodish, and he's been thinking we needed to watch it sometime this week, so Maggie and Gabi and Jonathan and I decided to watch it.

Jonathan said Andrew had a copy, so we headed down to Dorm 5 to acquire said movie. The lounge was busy till seven. It was about twenty till, so Gabi and I went upstairs and played air hockey.

When the second game was 1-2 (Gabi's favor), Jonathan came up and said Andrew had lent "Cinderella Man" to Sam. Sam lives off-campus. This posed a difficulty.

Gabi: "Doesn't anyone else have a copy?"

Jonathan: "Not really. We could call Sam and make him bring it over."

Me: "That sounds like a good idea."

Jeremy, who just walked in: "Why aren't you playing air hockey?"

Me: "We're talking!"

Jeremy: "Oh. Jonathan, here, let's play ping-pong."

Jonathan: "I'm talking too!"

Jeremy: "Oh." Jeremy goes and plays Halo.

Jonathan wanders downstairs to call Sam. Gabi and I play about two more points before the table's automatic timer shuts it off. Oh well. We start over.

We win a game each and head downstairs. Maggie is sitting in a chair studying logic. We join her. Jonathan wanders out and joins us.

Jonathan: "I got Sam's cell phone number, but he didn't answer." That's inconvenient. "Do we want to watch something else?" Not really. "We could rent it." Yes, but that costs money.

Gabi: "I've been wanting to watch 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith.'"

Me: "Me too!"

Jonathan: "I'm not sure it's allowed, and Daniel's not answering his cell phone either."

Gabi: "You're an RA. Can't you make a decision? They trust your judgment!"

Jonathan: "Yes, but I don't know what the right decision is."

Gabi: "Then decide to do it! It's fine!"

Jonathan: "But that would be you deciding, and they didn't make you an RA, did they?"

Gabi: "I didn't WANT to be an RA!"

Two or three people wander through. We ask them if they've got any good movies. They list their collections, all of which we've either seen or don't want to see. We really wanted to watch "Cinderella Man." Finally we decide to rent the thing after all.

Me: "Does anyone have any money?" They had money. I didn't, since I left my purse and cell phone in the dorm, not expecting to want it for a Novel final, but I'll pay them back. Jonathan went to borrow Ben's car. Maggie went and retrieved her Blockbuster card. We go to Purcellville.

First we miss the normal turn-off to Blockbuster and have to go through the parking lot of Giant. We successfully get to Blockbuster. We go in. All their copies of "Cinderella Man" are rented out.

All four of us: "Woe and sadness! Alas!"

Me: "Now that we're in Purcellville, we could go to Sam's and ask to have the movie back."

Jonathan: "Where does he live?"

Me, waving hand: "Over there somewhere."

Nobody knows where exactly, and nobody has a cell phone, either. We go to Movie Gallery. I get to the door first.

Me: "There's a sign on the door that says they're all rented out for "Cinderella Man."

Jonathan: "Aargh!"

Maggie: "Grr!"

Me: "Just teasing." We go in. We find the shelf and they really are all rented out.

All four of us: "Woe and sadness! Alas!"

Now what? We are not good at making entertainment decisions! We wander the aisles like lost souls. I suggest about eight movies I've got some interest in, and everybody sort of goes, "Eh...." and the suggestions die.

Gabi: "We could rent 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith.'"

Jonathan: "If you can get permission from Daniel!"

Me: "Jonathan, I've given my opinion. Will you kindly make a decision?"

Jonathan: "All right. You liked 'Sky Captain'?"

Me: "Yes."

Jonathan: "I think Ben has it, but he might have left it at home over Thanksgiving." He goes and borrows the Movie Gallery phone to call him and find out.

Meanwhile, Gabi asks the lady if by any weird, strange, remote chance someone just turned in a copy we could rent.

Lady: "Oh, sure. I just now put a copy on the shelf."

Gabi: "THANK YOU!"


We get the movie. We interrupt Jonathan's conversation with Ben. Jonathan tries to rent the movie.

Lady: "What's your name? ...You're not in the computer. We'll have to open an account for you. Do you have ID? Do you have another form of ID? There. It's due back in five days. Do you want a bag? Your first rental is free."


Jonathan: "My thrifty Scottish soul is happy. We just got a free movie!"

So we did. And we watched it. "Cinderella Man" is a good movie. The daddy is the hero, and his wife loves him and cooperates with him, and his kids love him and obey him. It's amazing. The boxing was rather intense for my taste, so I buried my face in Maggie's shoulder at tactical moments, and there's this perpetual stream of profanity running from the manager, but oh, it's a good movie.

Monday, December 05, 2005

I love being a lit major

I was just going to comment on how much I enjoy being a lit major, but then I got news that a friend from home had her first baby!! :-) He's quite large and apparently quite healthy, and oh, it's very exciting. Congrats, Kristi!

All right, back to your previously scheduled blog post. I dearly love being a lit major. :-)

-Cup of mango rooibos tea
-Making sense of Mikhail Bakhtin
-About to compare his views on symbolism to Huxley's artistic whatevers in Island.
-About to formulate some sort of Christian literary theory, which, one may hope, I will later discover to have been around since, oh, Augustine. I meant to go talk to Dr. Bates but he'd already left for the day.
And it's snowing outside.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

King and God and Sacrifice

God is good, and He is the best King ever: He is the Rightful King, and the Just King, and the Merciful King, and all sorts of other good things. I feel sort of small and fuzzy and pink and green today. It's the sort of day that calls for very happy quiet adoring worship. He is God and I am not!

The sermon was on how incredibly, astonishingly, mind-bogglingly, excitingly cool God is. Pastor Holman started talking about the wise men. When they heard that Jesus had been born in Bethlehem--only about five miles away--they rejoiced with exceeding joy: "exceeding" being the word used in Revelation in reference to hundred-pound hailstones. This qualifies as Joy. (Side note: the poor Greeks had to use words to get across their meaning; they didn't have exclamation points. I think we would do well to pay attention to how their words meant something.)

And then--oh, great happiness-the wise men found Him. And they gave Him presents.

The first is gold: oh, for He is the King. Hail, great King! May You live forever--and You will.

The second is frankincense. He is the Great High Priest, who always lives to make intercession for us.

The third is myrrh. Embalming fluid. He takes the office of Melchizedek a step further: King and Priest, and now Sacrifice. "[N]or was it that He would offer Himself often, as the high priest enters the holy place year by year with blood that is not his own. Otherwise, He would have needed to suffer often since the foundation of the world; but now once at the consummation of the ages He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself" (Heb 25-26).

Born a king on Bethlehem's plain.
Gold I bring to crown Him again.
King forever, ceasing never,
Over us all to reign.

Frankincense to offer have I.
Incense owns a deity Nigh.
Prayer and praising, all men raising,
Worship Him, God on high!

Myrrh is mine. Its bitter perfume
Leads a life of gathering gloom.
Sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying,
Sealed in a stone-cold tomb.

Glorious now, behold Him arise,
King and God and Sacrifice!
Alleluia, alleluia,
Earth to heaven replies!