29 December 2010
Vistas: The gorgeous scenery of New Zealand is a more-than-credible stand-in for Middle Earth. This is equally true of rolling green hills, rugged mountains, and ancient-looking forests.
Bad-Asser than Thou Part 1: Aragorn singlehandedly takes on five Nazgul on Weathertop.
Bad-Asser than Thou Part 2: Christopher Lee as Saruman. Because he's CHRISTOPHER LEE. As SARUMAN. (I wish the world had the chance to see him as Gandalf, per Tolkien's own desire, but he has gift to create Saruman as someone deeper and more real than a plotting comic-book villain, which is how some other actor might have portrayed him.)
Bad-Asser than Thou Part 3: Sam slowly coming into his own as a humble hero, particularly in the scene of the skirmish in Moria, when he starts whacking orcs with his frying pan.
Music: Occasionally repetitious, but undeniably beautiful and atmospheric.
Supporting Performances: Not all are of the same caliber, but a few do stand out. The aforementioned Lee as Saruman, Ian McKellen as Gandalf (though that is more of a lead than supporting role), the unfairly (in this case) maligned Orlando Bloom as a Flynn-esque Legolas, and, particularly key to the Fellowship book/film, Sean Bean as the conflicted but ultimately repentant and redeemed Boromir.
Bonus Wonderful Moment: The Little Bug, observing a battle with trolls and orcs, exclaimed, "Bad monsters, go to time out!" Time out, of course, is the most terrible punishment he can imagine.
25 December 2010
15 December 2010
Why were you given your particular name?
I'm guessing that my parents just liked the name Deborah. And there is the precedent of the truly awesome woman named Deborah in the Bible (Judges 4-5). But my secret theory (which won't be particularly secret if it's posted on my blog, and also my mom reads my blog anyway) is that my mom wanted to name me after her favorite heroine (Harriet Vane) of her favorite writer (Dorothy Sayers) but couldn't bring herself to burden me with the name of Harriet so she picked Harriet's middle name (revealed to be Deborah in Gaudy Night for sure, perhaps in other books as well) instead.
What is your favorite thing to do?
Have long earnest talks with close friends, while sipping a frappucino and nibbling a yummy treat.
What is your favorite food?
I can't pick just one, but I really like sweet potatoes and guavas.
What is your favorite book?
Again, I can't pick just one. But a book that I truly enjoyed and that influenced me in a profound way is a pithy volume by the name of A Child's History of the World. It was part of my 4th grade Calvert curriculum, and it awakened in me a profound longing for and fascination with the world of antiquity, particularly the languages, literatures, and cultures thereof.
What is your favorite candy bar?
Oh wow, this is hard. It depends on my mood. Butterfingers is often a good choice, or peanut or dark chocolate M&Ms.
What is your favorite cookie?
Fresh-baked homemade chocolate chip cookie.
What is your favorite sport?
To watch or to play? I like to both view and participate (even if I'm not any good) in dancesport, hockey, and football (soccer to some people).
What is your favorite song?
Oh, so difficult! But really, one song that never fails to reach deep into my soul is the overture to Rossini's Barber of Seville.
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Wife mama writer scholar journalist theologian archaeologist scientist inventor musician singer songwriter dancer advocate for the vulnerable.
What place would you like to visit?
Classical sites in Turkey, Greece, and Italy.
What is your favorite thing about your mom?
She is amazing and a great role model, because she is dedicated to doing her best at the tasks that God has given her, and she is passionate about things that she believes in.
What is your favorite thing about yourself? What are three adjectives that best describe you?
My favorite thing about myself? Oddly enough, it's also my least favorite thing about myself. I'm actually pretty good at a lot of stuff. The sad part is that I'm not really great at anything. Three adjectives that describe me? Loyal, determined, chilly (as in, I get cold a lot).
In five years, what kind of person will you be?
I don't know but if I had to guess: Exhausted. I'd like to be more organized and disciplined, though.
In ten years, what kind of person will you be?
Even more organized and disciplined! Also, (I hope) probably I will be the kind of person who can be resilient and meet any situation with maturity and a good sense of humor.
Bold those books you've read in their entirety, italicize the ones you started but didn't finish or read an excerpt.
1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveler’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - A.A. Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On the Road – Jack Kerouak
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce
76 The Inferno - Dante
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte’s Web - E.B. White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
07 December 2010
02 December 2010
There are millions upon millions of orphans all over the planet. In the reality of this cruel world, orphans have little chance of survival, and what lives they have are usually marked by abuse, neglect and abandonment, exploitation, starvation, disease... Any human being with a heart must be moved by the fate of helpless children lacking any caring parent to provide and protect; as a mother, I can barely handle even thinking about the lives that most of these children lead. Small wonder that God in His Word has made it abundantly clear, over and over, that the righteous, His people, are commanded to shoulder the roles of provider and protector on behalf of the disenfranchised. But there are so many in need; the problem is so huge as to be overwhelming. I am a single mom who can barely deal with one child. How can I confront the needs of millions?
Willow quoted Mother Teresa as saying that "we cannot do great things, we can do only small things with great love". Many of us give sacrificially but even in our sacrifices, our resources meet only a few tiny needs. But if each one of us does even just one thing, that's a lot of little things adding up to something bigger. And if we each do our one little thing with love, all of us together will become something even greater still!
There are many organizations dedicated to the care of orphans, and probably the majority of them are reputable and provide incredible positive impact on behalf of the people that they serve. My family have been fortunate enough to become aware of Ugandan Lambs, and we personally know many of the people that work with and for them. Ugandan Lambs is unique in that it is designed to provide for the children of one extended family whose older members have slowly been destroyed and killed by AIDS. Ugandan Lambs really focuses on keeping the children's lives as stable and family-oriented as possible, for they are not sent to institutions but rather remain together with siblings and cousins in their village, cared for by surviving relatives (many of whom are AIDS widows). Ugandan Lambs provides education for the orphans, so that they become self-sufficient adults who can break the cycle of poverty and dependence and are then able to reach out and care for orphans and widows of future generations. My parents have sponsored one particular young man for several years, whereas my choice has been to offer gifts that meet needs for the group of children as a whole. If you are a believer and God has impressed upon your heart His command to care for orphans (or if you are an unbeliever but still have compassion for orphans) and you are looking for a responsible organization to support, we heartily recommend Ugandan Lambs. Please feel free to explore the website (it's http://www.ugandanlambs.org/) and contact them for more information. If you have a different organization that you choose to support, we are excited and encourage you to continue in that.
I should have mentioned this first and not as an afterthought, but remember: Prayers are free. Find even just a name of an orphan and intercede for him or her daily.
01 December 2010
Today, 1 December, has been designated World AIDS Day by whomever it is that tells the whole world what to do and when to celebrate (probably FIFA, come to think of it). I’m not particularly known for my AIDS activism, although I have been quietly trying to raise awareness of certain aspects of the AIDS epidemic for several years. In fact, I found a post that I wrote 5 years ago pertaining to this very topic, and sadly, very little has changed since then. Perhaps I’m not working hard enough on that awareness-raising stuff. I don’t know.
I think that AIDS has captured the world’s attention in a way that few things, and particularly very few diseases, have been able to simply because not only is it a tremendously harrowing epidemic but it is one that highlights the frailties of our societies and the devastating effects of sin. The suffering of the innocent, particularly the young and helpless; the sex trade and human trafficking; the abuse and marginalization of women; the constant drive of the fallen human race to turn to darkness and destruction rather than healing and hope: In a Ven diagram of the AIDS crisis, all of these issues would be circles having a hefty intersection with AIDS itself. Maybe I should work on making an actual diagram along those lines.
Well, one thing that I know is utterly important is the care of orphans and widows, and at this time, I am seeking to raise awareness of AIDS orphans in particular. So, it being nearly midnight and I being very much in need of sleep, we will continue to discuss this tomorrow.
As far as my wisdom teeth are concerned, I'm doing all right. Not much pain to speak of, but I have swelling and bruising on the right side of my mandible and I'm still on some medication, which has the lovely side effect of making me dizzy and lightheaded at times. I'm almost done with that stuff, though.
My life has some struggle centered around the fact that I'm just overwhelmed and exhausted, and the Bug is not making anything easier. I spent 3 hours putting him to bed tonight, and he just refused to go to sleep. I gave up at 11:30 and went to shower, but when I got through with that, I found him in the bedroom still awake. It is now past midnight, as I mentioned, and he is STILL awake. I just can't do this anymore. I can't be a single mom. I can't spend hours and hours of my day just trying to get the child to sleep so that I can get some sleep (because, remember, I'm EXHAUSTED). I have to work tomorrow. I have to be productive at work so I can remain employed and we can avoid being homeless and starving.
29 November 2010
Side note/spoiler: I'm disappointed at the exclusion of Kermit the Frog. The omission of Miss Piggy is arguably forgivable in that she was specifically a Muppet Show fashionista; I don't know if she ever even made an appearance on Sesame Street. But Kermit? With current industry emphasis on eco-conscious "green" design and production, certainly Kermit is THE indispensable style icon of Muppetry, from Sesame Street to Carnaby Street to any rue in Paris.
28 November 2010
I'm hoping to be well enough to tackle work tomorrow, and as long as I go to bed and sleep soon, I just might make it. I just really miss food. And brushing my teeth.
Students in the United States are lagging behind other countries in math and science skills.
Gasp! I'M SO STUNNED! I'm so glad that Mr. Gore is around to provide to the public these shocking revelations.
In other mind-blowing news, Mr. Gore reveals that water is wet and the earth is round.
27 November 2010
Context: We were discussing epistemology.
Haha, smooth! I might include this in my upcoming publication, "Reasons Why My Otherwise Great Male Friends Are Still Single".
However, Bill got to wear a Gryffindor scarf because he IS a Gryffindor. I'm not sure what is the deal with his t-shirt, though.
There were some people in costume, even though it wasn't opening night. We saw a likely Dolores Umbridge talking with someone we thought might be Bellatrix Lestrange.
And there was a possible Hagrid walking around with a guy in a black coat whose face was also painted black. Not sure about either of those, and unfortunately, my picture of them is not good at all. There were actually some pretty good costumes at the theater but I just wasn't fast enough with my camera to capture them.
25 November 2010
I'm heading toward the end of Day 2 of my great recuperation. The Little Bug is settling down a bit better, but now the hunger is getting to me. You really don't appreciate being able to eat until, well, you are unable to. I have not had real food for more than 48 hours. I don't know how much more applesauce and yogurt I can handle. I am going to be donating money to organizations that provide food to needy people because my situation is temporary but there are millions in this world who suffer from hunger daily.
Meanwhile, in news of thankfulness, I am truly grateful for so many people in my life. I am thankful for Spencer and Amy Tannenbaum, who generously invited us to share Thanksgiving dinner with them. [I partook of soup and some mashed sweet potato, and both were very tasty.] I am thankful for my dad, who came to Ohio to take care of Nathan and me during and after my surgery. I am thankful for my darling Little Bug, who is growing and learning every day, and who teaches me so much about life.
I am also thankful for rest, and a safe place in which to sleep, because sleep is something I'm getting a lot of these days.
24 November 2010
I survived the surgery (three total teeth removed, only one impacted) well enough. The general anesthetic is pretty good, in that I just went to sleep and when they called me to wake me up, I felt as if I was waking up from a long nap. So far the pain is manageable, especially with some good medicine.
The worst part is dealing with the Bug. It's difficult because I'm a very "hands-on" mommy, and it's our custom to do a lot of physical stuff, like rough-housing and rolling around on the ground. He often sleeps next to me in bed, and he still nurses almost every night. The poor Little Bug has had all of his routines and comforts interrupted, and he can't understand why.
Well, I'm off to get ready for bed so that I can get the rest I need.
- It was the last day to effect any changes for my 2011 benefit choices.
- I was trying to juggle information from dental insurance, medical insurance, and the oral surgery center in order to confirm coverage for tomorrow's scheduled removal of wisdom teeth. Should be loads of fun.
21 November 2010
It's hard to provide any sort of feedback or review of the movie because it really is unfinished. All I can say is that so far, the film has been less emotionally riveting than the book was, but there were still moments that got me in the gut.
It was just special to be able take time and go see it with Potter-loving friends.
19 November 2010
Second, I bought a craft table! I got it on sale at Target (thanks for letting me know about the sale, Debbie) and I'm quite excited about it. I'm going with my friend who has an SUV to pick it up tomorrow because it wouldn't fit in my car.
18 November 2010
I have always loved "Calvin and Hobbes". Watterson managed to capture flawlessly the zany inner life of an imaginative child, and did it without being either condescending or overly cutesy. I love almost every strip he ever wrote. Yet when I recently discovered that Watterson is actually from Ohio, it added a whole new layer of meaning for me. The scenes where Calvin deals with snow and sledding, the colorful leaves in prints of autumn woods... all these things had seemed as fantastic to me as the adventures of Spaceman Spiff or Stupendous Man. Aside from spending a year and a half in Chicago area when I was quite young and well before "Calvin and Hobbes" started running, I had never lived in a climate that experienced real seasons with any sort of regularity or intensity. When I moved to Ohio, I discovered such things through the eyes of an adult but they served to illuminate so much about Watterson's writing and drawing. I loved it so much before, but love understanding it better now.
But I think that may just be me reacting to genius.
I know you'll never read my blog, but thank you, Bill Watterson! You and your work touched and changed my life and made it truly better. Wherever you are, you should know that your fans respect and treasure what you have given us.
17 November 2010
16 November 2010
Missed another day. Sorry!
My usual blogging time is in the evening, after the Little Bug is in bed and before I myself stagger off to lay myself down in a horizontal position and drift into unconsciousness for a few hours.
Unfortunately, last night, I was putting the Bug to bed as usual, and I fell asleep. This happens on a rather frequent basis, and while I don't appreciate it (because I get nothing done and then I have a messy apartment in the morning AND I have to shower and do all kinds of stuff that I typically do the night before) I do realize that I probably really need the sleep.
I've been keeping up with a lot of responsibilities in my life, as per usual, but haven't taken advantage of posting anything for Tackle-It Tuesday. Today, I've decided to confront some pressing furniture needs that are looming in my life. I desperately need a few items, and would like to invest in some other items that would simply make my life easier and more productive.
New dresser - My current dresser is in a lamentable state of disrepair. It is more than 20 years old, having been the dresser that my parents bought for me when we moved to the US in 1990. It has been moved more times than I care to calculate at this time, and has been slowly disintegrating for at least 5 years. The lowest drawer does not really work any more; the front has detached from the rest of the drawer, and that bottom cardboard piece has fallen out. I've tried to repair with tacks and wood glue, but it hasn't really worked. Now, the bottom has fallen out of the top drawer. I think this dresser has had a good life, and I can replace it, in good conscience.
New shelves - I own some working bookshelves, but my largest set literally fell apart on my most recent move.
Work table - I don't have any place where I can spread out crafts or work with my sewing machine. The dining room table is where we eat and where lots of action happens, so there is no place for getting creative. I set up the back bedroom as a work/play room, and if I get a folding table, it will be very useful.
Sofa bed or futon - All I have right now is a loveseat that sits maybe two adults comfortably. I have no chairs for guests except my dining room chairs. And if I get a sofa that is multi-functional, then it will also serve as a place for guests to sleep if they visit overnight. I'm thinking of putting the loveseat as a comfy spot in my work/play room and having the newer (longer) sofa in the front room.
And, of course, I have to shop for and obtain all of these items at some point during my lunch breaks, because it is just really difficult shopping for high-stress items with the Bug in tow. Oh, and I have to find useful strong people who are willing to help me bring home, move, and rearrange furniture. Usually, offering food as compensation is a key point in the latter endeavor.
I'll keep you all updated.
14 November 2010
First of all, I wish a very happy birthday to my dearest Elizabeth! I lament the fact that she is far away in Texas, but I hope I can see her some time in the next few months.
Second, I must admit that I am very tired. I'm sure everyone is bored reading my lists of "what I did today", but I enjoy posting them because they give me a sense of accomplishment. Today:
- posted on blog twice
- went to church
- went to grocery store
- made lunch and dinner
- put the Little Bug down for his nap
- sorted through some computer files, doing electronic decluttering
- washed dishes and did the dishwasher and put away dishes
- added bedding to my worm compost
- moved compost bins to the garage
- did laundry
- bathed the Bug, clipped his nails, and put him to bed
- baked cinnamon rolls
- made lunches for tomorrow
- folded laundry, put it away
- set out clothes for tomorrow
- showered and got ready for bed
- took out the trash
- called my BFF
We had a good and productive Saturday. I spent the morning doing chores while the Bug played with his toys. We took a little nap mid-day, then went out to run errands in the afternoon. The weather was glorious (sunny and high 60s F) for mid-November, so we went to the park to run around. Our friend Bill met us there with one of his dogs and we walked partway around the Big Circle. Then we went home and ate a hodge-podge of food for dinner because we were cleaning out the fridge. Then we went to bed because a full busy day of chore-doing, errand-running, and park-going can really take it out of you.
12 November 2010
I know I am very thankful for the job that God provided for me more than a year and a half ago. It is not easy to be focused on productivity, and I fail often. However, I know I am very fortunate to have a job at all, much less one that I truly enjoy much of the time. This past week was very stressful, not because of anything related to my tasks at work, but because this was the week that we had to select our benefits for 2011. So many options! What plan should I select? What is the best decision to make for the Little Bug and me?! I must admit that having a child really bumps up the pressure to make the right choice. But amid the pressure, I forgot that even having the opportunity to make the choice at all is such a blessing at a time when so many are without employment and/or insurance.
Fortunately, it is all over now, and I am trusting to the Lord that I did make all the correct decisions. Our health and our finances are in His hands every moment, and while we should make use of resources He has given us, ultimately, He will provide and protect and He doesn't need paperwork.
11 November 2010
Now I have high hopes regarding the Thomas bedding that Meema Debbie is sending him for his special new big boy bed... He may soon be ready to sleep on his own!
10 November 2010
09 November 2010
VALUE isn't just a question of how much something costs in money; it's a question of how much money and effort and some other intangibles are required in outlay, versus utility (and even enjoyment) you will obtain from it, and the appropriate cost-to-use ratio that you yourself are willing to assign. Nobody else can assign value on your behalf. And that's a beautiful part of being a wise and responsible consumer.
08 November 2010
Clearly, I am Hermione Granger. I first watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in a Talbot class, and by circumstance, my older brother was also in the class. Hermione is quite a little girl in that film, and is a Muggle-born witch whose first trip to Hogwarts is also her first experience ever in the magical world. She tries to make up for her insecurities by being a perfectionist and an insufferable know-it-all. When she first came on the scene, my brother leaned over to me and hissed, "Hey, Deb, THAT'S YOU!" I guess he would know. But one of the great pleasures of the Harry Potter books (and to a lesser degree, the films) is the experience of seeing Hermione grow through both the horrors of encountering ultimate evil (though her cool head gives her ability to handle the frights, I think) and the even-more-terrifying trials of adolescence (not to mention occasional forays into social justice, teen romance, and organized rebellion) into a self-possessed young lady who kind of does know it all but puts her formidable brain to work in service of loyalty and the greater good. I hope I could do even half as well in my own life.
Photo courtesy of emma-watson-pictures.blogspot.com
07 November 2010
06 November 2010
05 November 2010
04 November 2010
03 November 2010
Second of all, I'm shamelessly copying Jennie with today's post. She is celebrating 30 days of Harry Potter over on her blog, and wonders what everybody's Patronus would be.
This is a tough question for some of us. Harry's, of course, is a stag, reflecting, among other things, his strong spiritual relationship with his father. Hermione's Patronus, curiously enough, is an otter, which seems unusually playful for a young person of her serious and scholarly temperament. I could not easily discern what my own Patronus would be, so I had to take myself mentally into Hogwarts and imagine casting the spell. "Expecto Patronum!" I had been hoping for an owl, but sensed that since birds are rather rare among Patroni (Dumbledore's phoenix--if one even considers a phoenix to be a type of bird--and Cho Chang's swan being the only ones mentioned, I believe), I would end up with a furry creature, and probably not even a large and intimidating one. Sure enough, what came out was none other than a cat! Not quite an ordinary domestic cat, but rather a Pallas' cat. Cute and fluffy but can probably inflict some damage. Good enough!
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons
What about you, dear readers? Find the Room of Requirement, cast the spell, and let us know in the comments how you fared.
01 November 2010
Repo! is set in a bleak post-apocalyptic not-too-distant future. People can purchase organs if needed for survival or desired merely for some kind of upgrade. The leading organ company, GeneCo, eventually dominates the market and then the world. You get your organs on a financing plan, but if you miss a payment... your organ is repossessed! Who must perform the grisly work of repossession? Why would he or she stoop to do such a thing? Could there be any good in such a person? And could anyone love such a monster?!
We learn about the extremes to which some people must go for sacrifice and redemption, and how others rise above their seemingly omnipotent determinative genetics to seize opportunities to choose ultimate good (grace and forgiveness) above seductive evil. We also see that one can be the most powerful man in the world, but without love and respect given to or received from his children, he is revealed to be a pitiable fool with nothing for which he truly desires to live.
Repo! is not appropriate viewing for everyone. There is gore aplenty, although in truth, much of it is presented in a stylized, almost cartoonish, way. There is also some foul language, brief nudity, and a few rather suggestive scenes (although illicit sexual content is always presented as a hallmark of depravity, and not glorified as being desirable). Ultimately, however, a viewer should not see Repo! unless prepared to have heart and mind stirred to consider some truly heavy issues.
I would need to see Repo! again to appreciate more of the visuals and the musical score. There are some catchy tunes but most of the music is very tied to the narrative, so it is difficult to extract any particular song as being notable. I suspect that repeat viewings will remedy this, but for now, I can simply state that I found nothing unappealing about the musical stylings, and while not all performers were of the same caliber, all acquitted themselves at least competently, if not excellently. Standouts were Anthony Stewart Head, Alexa Vega, and Sarah Brightman, with special mention for Terrance Zdunich, who performed a pivotal role (the Graverobber) but also was one of the writers and composers.
26 October 2010
23 October 2010
-went to the bank
-went to the costume shop
-cleaned the bathroom
-washed/dried two loads of laundry
-took a bag of stuff to Goodwill
-put gas in the car
-took recycling to dropoff bins
-went home and put groceries away
-took care of the Little Bug all day
-bathed the Little Bug and put him to bed
Some things I need to finish before I go to bed:
-finish and put away laundry
-tidy front room and Nathan's room
-shower and brush teeth and toss myself into bed
15 October 2010
I must confess that I am very much looking forward to the December release of this film, despite the overall disappointment that was the misguided Prince Caspian, plus the fact that the producers somehow felt the need to make Dawn Treader 3D.
14 October 2010
05 October 2010
02 October 2010
I tried to find a photo that I could link or upload but no image was available in the public domain. Try a Google Image search for yourself. I did find an article stating that Levine owes his newly buffed-up physique to yoga. General consensus is that the guy is a player in the worst way, but at least I finally understand why he gets away with it.
*Ah, my sad weakness for punk rockers and the occasional hipster...
28 September 2010
What is up with your templates, Blogger?!
It's a potpourri of classic Deb, with the strangely hot punk rocker dude (and those black knit cotton gloves!), the white van in the desert (Biola Utah!), and the allusions to cannibalism. Take a bite of my heart tonight!
21 September 2010
I'm just checking in to assure folks that I am still alive and kicking, AND my boss had the kindness to bring me rambutans, guavas, and cookies at the beginning of the week, so while things could be better, they are nevertheless much better than they could be. Asian fruit makes things better.
01 September 2010
We started out in proper Warped fashion, by having our mom drop us off at the concert venue. This was hilarious because Mia and I, despite being grown adults who have things like husbands and children and jobs, were still in the same situation as all the teeny-boppers whose mothers were also dropping them off. We were told that there was plenty of space in the parking lot, whereas the dropping-off line was long indeed.
We didn't have to wait very long in line to get in the gates. While we stood about, we enjoyed the ambiance and chatted with the folks behind us in line (pretty much the only other people we could see who were over 21).
One really cool thing about Warped is that when you're standing in line, people come up to you for all kinds of things. They want signatures for causes, they're passing out stickers or demo CDs, or they're band members who are trying to drum interest and get you to go to their shows later in the day. It's fun to meet such a variety of people (although the PETA folks are invariably annoying), especially the bands.
25 August 2010
08 August 2010
28 July 2010
The Little Bug actually went to sleep (though not at a decent hour) and is still asleep, which allowed me to pursue many exciting activities during the evening:
-taking a shower and brushing my teeth
-scooping the litter
-taking out the trash
-composting (a new venture)
-sorting recycle and putting it in the car
-washing (and drying some) dishes
-prepping lunch for tomorrow
-setting out clothes for tomorrow
-putting my purse and other stuff all in one place so it is ready to go out the door tomorrow
So there is a list of at least a few of the things I did today. I'm exhausted and hope that I can get to sleep. I hate it when I'm lying in bed, wishing and wishing that sleep would come and take me...
I have some posts planned for this blog that I intend to be fun and funny, but need a larger block of time to get them all together.
Okay, I'll try and write more manana!
23 July 2010
19 July 2010
Anyway, due to sleep deprivation, I didn't get up super-early, and sort of staggered around getting ready, and then we went to daycare and work quite late. I hate it when that happens. I was so tired, but decided to take control of my day and make it work for me. I accomplished:
Productive work for several hours.
Pay bills and rent.
Go to Target to get some shoes for swing dancing.
Go to Toys R Us to see if they carry toddler beds and bedding. I didn't buy any of those, but I did get a treat for my Little Bug.
Do grocery shopping for the week.
Research compost containers and methods.
Take out trash.
Pick up the Little Bug from daycare
Grab dinner and then meet a friend for frozen yogurt.
Come home to bathe and put the Bug to bed.
Get ready for bed.
Tidy up some of the kitchen and bedroom.
Set out clothes for tomorrow.
Make lunches for tomorrow.
Crash onto couch and wait for fatigue to catch up with me enough that I can finally go to sleep.
18 July 2010
This morning, I awoke after a late night out dancing with the Newark Swing Kids. I had a nice time snuggling and laughing with the Little Bug. Then we rolled out of bed and the day unfolded thus:
Get us both dressed and ready for the day, although the Bug never did bother to put on pants.
Make breakfast, packed it up.
Go to Caribou Coffee for our nice weekly coffee time. They are used to us there, although I'm not sure how fond they are of having a regular 2-year-old visitor.
Go to church.
Come home from church.
Make and eat lunch-- easy because it was sandwiches.
Try to put Little Bug down for a nap. This always takes a while. No success, but at least I tried.
Watch Thomas the Tank Engine and Bob the Builder and play trains with the Little Bug because it is too rainy to go outside.
Skype chat with Little Bug's daddy.
Make dinner-- pretty easy because I'm working on cleaning out the freezer.
Eat dinner, clean up.
Research compost bins and chat online with Willow, while the Little Bug plays some more.
Go out and play in the rain with the Little Bug. Because every kid should do that once in a while.
Put the Little Bug to bed. This always takes a while. He doesn't like to sleep.
Start load of laundry.
Scoop cat litter, take out trash.
Start dish washer.
Make lunches for tomorrow.
Remember that I need to bring cookies to Little Bug's daycare. Oh noes! No time to bake cookies! But wait-- I had a spate of cookie-making in the past few weeks and actually have homemade cookies stored in the freezer, ready to go. Super-Mom is on the job!!
Make chamomile tea.
Switch laundry to dryer, and hang laundry on clothes rack.
Put in another load of laundry.
Make to-do list for tomorrow.
Give into hunger pangs and eat a spoonful of peanut butter to last me through till morning.
Go to check laundry (it needs a bit more time in the dryer), and floss and brush my teeth.
In the midst of flossing, I hear a sharp cry. @#%$%$^@$^*(%$! Sometimes the Little Bug will wake up in the middle of the night. I don't go rushing in, because he will often roll over and go back to sleep. At the second cry, I go to the bedroom, and he is already out of the bed and staggering to find me, wailing all the while. I pick him up and cuddle him, asking if he is hungry. He asserts that he is, so I get him juice and part of a bagel. He sips the juice and munches part of the bagel, but soon is done with them and wants susu instead. @(%@%^$%()()!!! Oh well, maybe he'll go to sleep. He does relax and fall asleep. It takes more than 20 minutes. I finally slip out of the bed to finish flossing, brush my teeth, and take my vitamins. He wakes up and cries again. #*%)&^! He comes out into the hall and is in no mood to sleep. I ask if he wants to come out and sit with me in the front room. "Watch Thomas Train movie", he insists. At this point, WHY NOT?! We settle down on the couch to watch Thomas (who knows, maybe he'll really fall asleep this time) and I continue writing my ever-crankier blog post.
It's all worth it when he turns to me with a sleepy smile and says, "Thank you, Mommy".
Now all that remains is to set out clothes for tomorrow (might not get to that-- depends on laundry status) and then somehow get us both to bed.
I hope everyone else had a good day and is ready to start another fun-filled week.
17 July 2010
11 July 2010
My pick for MVP of this final game comes out to be a tie between Stekelenburg (Netherlands goalie) and Casillas (Spain goalie). Okay, there is a reason why they are the goalkeepers for the #1 and #2 teams in the world. They are amazing. Stekelenburg was really the backbone of his side, performing save after save and seeming to be a calm presence that reassured his teammates and urged them forward. Casillas seems at times as if he can actually fly--he gets a lot of height in his jumps and seems to hang there, sometimes almost horizontal. In fact, the one consolation I had in seeing the Spanish team receive the cup was watching Casillas (as team captain) kiss it and hold it aloft, weeping. My impressions of him have always been that he is an outstanding athlete and sportsman and a very decent human being: a great ambassador for his sport, as well as his country.
All in all, it was wonderful to kind of join in with the whole world and celebrate something so universal as soccer/football, and I'm not weeping because I'm already looking ahead to the Netherlands' amazing success in future European and World Cup tournaments.
09 July 2010
07 July 2010
Now it is Germany vs Uruguay on Saturday, playing to determine who will take third place, and then NETHERLANDS VS ESPANA on Sunday, fighting for ultimate glory and first place in the World Cup. Interestingly, it's Red (or Red Fury-- La Furia Roja) versus Orange (Oranje). This is probably the only time in my life that I would pick orange over any other color.
PS Sorry, Mia! Looks like Germany didn't come through this time. But they might win that game with Uruguay on Saturday.
06 July 2010
So now, the Netherlands are through to the final game! They must stay focused and fight for the Cup! Who will my flying Dutchmen face next Sunday? The match for their contender will be battled out tomorrow between Germany and Spain. I'd say that Germany is most likely to be the winner, but this whole tournament has been so unpredictable that it's really anybody's game to win.
04 July 2010
Interestingly, I've found Glee to be far more addictive than Lost, another TV show I tried recently on Hulu. As far as I can tell from the first few episodes, the real themes are finding within yourself the power and confidence to be yourself and the need to have courage to believe in your dreams. Ideas like these are nothing new, of course, but in Glee, they are presented in such a way as to be inspiring without being preachy. In fact, it sort of reminds me of Buffy, in that it utilizes a high school setting to present deeper lessons of life.
My favorite moments so far have been when Curt tried out for the football team (so that his dad wouldn't find out he was gay and/or make him quit the glee club) and danced up to the ball (to the tune of "Single Ladies") and then kicked it right through the goalposts; and then later in the episode when he repeated the performance in the game to score the goal and cinch the win for the William McKinley High school (the first win in a very long time).
Wow, it's late here.
02 July 2010
I was working during the majority of the Netherlands/Brazil matchup, but managed to catch the last 15 minutes during lunch at a sports bar. The pulse-pounding action was really over by that point. It was just fun to see the Dutch team essentially playing around and keeping the ball moving while waiting for the clock to run out. When the game ended, the Brazilian team and fans seemed stunned: It was over for them, and definitely not with the results they had anticipated.
Now Netherlands will face Uruguay, I believe, in the semi-finals. I actually didn't believe Netherlands would win over Brazil, but they accomplished it, and so now, Uruguay will be an easy win for them.
29 June 2010
The Netherlands, on the other hand, are doing splendidly and moved into the quarter-finals, with a 2:1 victory over Slovakia. I was able to only see the highlights reel, but my guess is that overall, there was a solid game of football as it should be played. That second goal by the Dutch was lovely, with a simple pass from Kuyt to Sneijder, who then slammed the ball straight back, right past the Slovak goalie. The Netherlands are now set to hit their first real challengers of this World Cup, battling it out with highly-ranked Brazil on Friday. Has their series of straight wins been just a fluke, or is the Netherlands team (traditionally underachievers) really playing on a higher level in South Africa?
27 June 2010
Am I the only person who finds Katy Perry's new single "California Gurls" to be both tragically lame and diabolically catchy? And who, for that matter, also thinks that Ms. Perry is not a very good singer?
Never-the-less, we California girls* do appreciate a shout-out now and then.
*I'll always be a California girl in my heart!
25 June 2010
- Finding some plastic storage containers on clearance at Target. I’m in a constant battle with clutter, and while I’m working on getting rid of stuff, I need sturdy containers to store the stuff that I keep.
- Finding Marie Callendar’s Key Lime Pie on sale at the grocery store. Some weeks, it’s the little things that count!
- The Netherlands coming out of Stage 1 of World Cup competitions undefeated. This is a great start for the Dutch team, but they will face solid and skilled opponents in many of the other top-ranked teams during Stage 2 and beyond. Yes, I’ve decided to return to my roots and begin following world football in earnest. Football (American soccer) is one of the few sports in which I excelled as a child, as well as one of the few that I sort of intrinsically understand.
- The Little Bug being given a gold star! He had his 2-year check-up at the pediatrician and was pronounced to be in excellent health and progressing very well in development. He demonstrated good manners (he says “please” and “thank you” without being prompted most of the time) and behaved so nicely that the doctor observed that he was rather better than other toddlers at their 2-year check-ups. Also impressive: His vocabulary and the fact that he says basic sentences rather than just two word phrases, not to mention his knowledge of shapes, colors, letters, and numbers.
- The joy of anticipation. I’ll be spending much of tomorrow relaxing, doing crafts (inspiration boards), baking, and getting a facial, with some lovely friends.
His second answer, of 8.33ish, is the one I was seeking, though technically the first answer (Jesus should be wearing the 7) is also correct, in a manner of speaking.
Here is how we addressed it:
My own approach was less orthodox. I tried to go the route of the geometric mean, in which 7:x = x:10, => x^2 = 70 => x=8.3666. If this is the correct solution, then 8.3666*12 = 10^2. We see that 8.3666*12 is actually 100.3992, the square root of which is 10.0199. Oooh, so close but not exact!
Note: Yes, I was all wrong. Serves me right for trying to assume a geometric relationship in an arithmetic number sequence.
7 + 1.33333 = 8.3333
8.33333 + 1.6666667 = 10
10 + 2 = 12
So increments of 1.3333, 1.66666, 2.
Like Lost I guess, except my numbers make sense!
Made a graph.
15 June 2010
My own view is that the Creator God is simply sending a message that physical objects are subject to the operating physical laws of the universe, and if there is any judgment to be had, it falls upon the Solid Rock Church for their stupidity in erecting what was essentially a flammable lightning rod in the midst of a region regularly beset by heavy thunder storms.
For my part, my attention was drawn more toward a photo that a coworker sent out of the statue prior to its fiery demise.
Clearly, the REAL question is: What number should Jesus be wearing to complete the sequence?
I posed this question to some coworkers, and a few of us obtained a solution via a variety of methods. Can you figure it out? Hint: It's not an integer. Have at it.
10 June 2010
23 May 2010
07 May 2010
I was in the lab yesterday doing some trouble-shooting on one of my projects. I was sitting on a chair backward, with my arms resting on the seat back. The chair was one of those adjustable-type office chairs, and so the back was leaning with me as I leaned forward. Suddenly, the chair went toppling over, and there I was spilled all over the lab floor. Naturally, instead of rushing forward to assist me and ascertain that I was unharmed, the guys in the room just stood around and laughed. They are very accustomed to my klutziness, and since I usually just pick myself up, dust myself off, and start back into whatever I was doing before I stumbled (or fell over or bumped into something or dropped or spilled something, et cetera), I guess they figure I'm pretty much unbreakable (which, clearly, I am).
I'm more than ready for the weekend!
06 May 2010
30 April 2010
See the entire clip of Crazy Sexy Geeks.
29 April 2010
26 April 2010
24 March 2010
So today at work, I was sitting at my desk discussing something with my boss. I had been hungry, so I'd popped a bag of microwave popcorn and had a bowl of it in my lap. Suddenly, popcorn went flying everywhere!
Cookie Boss: [staring at me in consternation] How did that even happen?!
Me: It's a gift.
Cookie Boss: But there was no reason! You didn't even move. It was like some quantum thing.
Me: How long have you been laughing at me for dropping things, spilling things, and tripping over my own feet? I've been here almost a year now. You should know that I have a high level of klutziness, even when the very law of physics countermand it.*
It's true. I am terminally clumsy (I blame my long limbs). And there really was no logical reason that my popcorn suddenly spilled all over me and the floor. It's just one of those constant things in my life, and I've come to accept it.
*Okay, I admit that I probably did not use the word countermand in a conversation, but I don't remember the exact wording, so I'm putting this as "close enough".
19 March 2010
10 March 2010
02 March 2010
- Stare out at the snow. YES!! Did this.
- Hope the snow stops falling so we can run errands tomorrow. YES!! Did this. And then ran those errands.
- Rest and get better. Started on this, but we both have a long way to go until we're all the way better.
- Craft with paper. Hmm, started to do it, but didn't get far.
- Watch Elmo with my Little Bug. YES, I definitely did this.
27 February 2010
26 February 2010
We had some great submissions, and I hereby declare the winner to be... The Real Deal from The Road to Valinor. Similar to the dead deer in the truck at McDonald's, your prize will be truly representative of life in central Ohio.
That's right, Mr. Real Deal! Official Ohio State University Buckeye Candy! Congratulations!
Send me your address via e-mail (your wife can hook you up with my contact info) and I'll send your prize through the postal mail.
The Answer: I have had the sickies, and so has the baby bug! I got a cold more than two weeks ago, and the cough and sore throat are persisting even now. My poor little bug got so sick that his sinuses got infected and overly congested and mucus starting seeping out of his eyes! Ew!! Right?! He is on antibiotics and well on the road to recovery.
I also just haven't felt inspired to blog, mostly because I just don't know how much to share or what would be interesting.
03 February 2010
Wendy, who is very gifted in all areas crafty and creative, designed and knitted a chemo hat for little Eleanor, and is now making the pattern available to knitters everywhere.
It is only $5 (a real bargain for a knitting pattern), and all profits will go to the Dickson family to defray the cost of their many medical expenses that are not covered by insurance. In just the past few days, Wendy has already sold more than 100. The pattern is that good!
Read more information about the Sweet Eleanor pattern on Wendy's craft blog, and find ways to purchase it.
I realize that many of my readers are not knitters. However, perhaps you know someone who does knit and would be happy to get a great pattern and reach out to a family (and a tiny little girl) going through a difficult time. Pass it along. Sweet Eleanor can go viral!
31 January 2010
Just kidding! When in Austin with Elizabeth and Sara, we went to the outlet mall and found the most amazing dress in the BCBG MA shop. I tried it on and Sara took these pictures.
21 January 2010
Got a better punchline in mind? Post it in the comments! Or post the captioned picture on your blog and put a link to it in the comments here. In fact, let's have a contest. The creator of the best and funniest caption will receive a small prize of some yet-undetermined nature (Picture of Nathan? Genuine buckeye artifact?). Have at it!
20 January 2010
So, readers! If you read this blog, however rarely or frequently, just go ahead and leave a comment. Please! It will make me feel all warm and fuzzy.
18 January 2010
I have, in the past, waxed nostalgic regarding Asian and European sweets and their availability (or lack thereof) in the United States. I miss a lot of those often offbeat treats, and definitely think that the US would be a better place for having more tropical fruit. However, I am definitely convinced that there are a number of confections that will simply never find much of a market here in North America. There's a story to back that up, of course.
A dear friend of mine recently traveled to China, and she brought back an assortment of candy and gave them to me last week. I'm not sure how much she understood about the candy, which is no reflection on her, since all the information on the package was written in Chinese, and while she is fluent in a few languages, it just so happens that Chinese isn't one of them. Her train of thought was basically, "Asian candy... Deb is from Asia and likes candy... I'll give it to her." This is all well and good, for the majority of the candy (coconut milk or tea flavor? yum), but included were some oddities that even I found a trifle offputting.
Meat Candy: I could not get to the website listed on the packaging (the only English writing there, in fact) of this confection, but I was clued into the probability of the content of the candy bag by the picture of an overly perky cow on the front. Meat is a luxury in many parts of Asia, so making a meat-flavored candy makes sense from that perspective, but meat candy is an odd concept to most of the western world (although a lot of people eat jerky, not to mention recent fancy bacon stuffs, which are not far off). While I was somewhat familiar with it, I am very nearly a vegetarian and generally eat white meat if I eat meat at all (mainly at restaurants and other people's houses), so beef candy just did not appeal to me, straight up.
Durian Candy: Durian, nicknamed "the king of fruits", is a love-it-or-hate-it kind of thing for most people. It's a not-that-bad-but-I'm-really-not-fond-of-it thing for me, primarily because (unlike a lot of westerners) I can handle the smell well enough but I'm just not a fan of the taste or texture of the fruit. Durian is popular enough in Southeast Asia that it has its own sort of subculture, and it's not surprising that people make durian-flavored candy, too.
Anyway, in the spirit of generosity (and, I confess, hilarity), I opted to bring the candies in to work and share them. Cookie Boss, in particular, is quite fond of Japanese food and delicacies, so I thought he'd appreciate a chance to relish some other authentic tidbits of Asian cuisine. I gave him the durian candies (there were four in total), and he tried one after his lunch. Never one to mince words, he responded thus: "It was like somebody punched me in the taste buds with brass knuckles made of horribleness. It tasted like what I would imagine the inside of a toilet in South America would taste like." Likewise not one to let a good opportunity go to waste, he then set about tricking other people into trying them. One of the unlucky victims exclaimed, "It's like a mix of phlegm, vomit, and some other bodily fluids." The other declared, "Like a mix of pineapple and rotten onion," which, by the way, is as good a description of durian flavor as I've ever heard. [My opinion, for the record: "I am not a fan of durian, but come on, it still tastes better than beer!"]
Cookie Boss would not even sample the meat candy, but he got someone else to eat one of them, and that person spit it out and proclaimed it to be nasty, best described as tasting rather like bullion. I kind of thought more people could handle the meat candy, seeing as how most folks in the US eat meat all the time, but I guess the concept was still too extreme.
The moral of the story is, of course, that if Cookie Boss is handing out candy, don't eat it!!