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!

Monday, November 28, 2005

An assorted Tolkien article

St. Clair seems to mentions something about how LOTR should be understood as a saga. For those of you in Novel, this will tantalize, because she doesn't talk about why it's not a novel--except that she has a constitutional preoccupation with all things Old Norse!

I don't think this article properly understands the role of fate and Providence. St. Clair sees the God in LOTR as quite Deistic in the "uninvolved" sense. She puts rather too much emphasis on the Norse influences and not enough on the Christian.

Yet it is interesting. :-)

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Such kindness, undeserved but so appreciated

30 little bright pink roses

28 medium red roses

20 big pink and white and coral and yellow roses

17 humongous white and pink roses

2 charming pink zinnias with baby's breath

A red wall-scroll with a blessing from Numbers 6, in Chinese characters

A bookmark, likewise with a verse in Chinese characters and also a painted flower

I can assure you I don't deserve all these, but oh, they are beautiful. Thank you, Casey and Marianne and Sarah L. and Tobin and Ben F., and whomever else they are from. I'm sitting here, basking in your kindness, much like a cat blinking in the sunbeam. Grace, pure grace. I thank you.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Soli Deo Gloria

To God alone be the glory. The play is going brightly, delightfully, comprehensibly to the audience and happily for the cast and crew. Give Him much praise for this was assuredly not Maggie's and my doing. And schedules call. Heaps to say, but no time to say it now. :-)

“The life of an actress: you’re a lawyer in the morning, a spy in the afternoon, and Lady Macbeth in the evening.” Mrs. Thomson 11-19-05

Ah, but the labor we delight in physics pain!

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The normal good

A thought has occurred to me. Good is not very extreme. I guess there's a sense in which it is--"go all out for Jesus"--but there's an entire other sense in which good is not radical. Good is the everyday, normal side of things. Good doesn't want to come along and sweep everything away; it would really like to plod along, worship God, create gorgeous things, enjoy the dance of the seasons and the turns of the sky, and be happy, only this horrible twisted stuff comes along and causes problems and has to be dealt with.

I was talking to Kirsten about this tonight. It would be easier if good were always flashy and heroic, but it tends to be subdued and rather icky. Pip wanted to be a knight in shining armor to come rescue Estella, and he did so--through forgiving Estella and Miss Havisham, through cleaning the foul wedding cake from the table and putting out Miss Havisham when she caught on fire. Dr. Rieux and the guys talk about heroism, and would rather like it, but in the meantime they have to keep lancing plague victims and carting away the bodies for weeks and months on end.

Good is normal. The world is fallen, but it was not created so, and it will not always be so. Good is having a King in Gondor and hobbits in the Shire; the ring-quest is an aberration.

Query: if you follow this line of reasoning, does that mean there will be no adventure in heaven? I'm pretty sure there won't be any in Hell, but does adventure equal evil? God is the proper end for whom we are made, and He's far from boring. If anything, He's more exciting than we mortals are comfortable near. I guess I don't quite understand this mystery. Anyone able to clarify?

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Rehearsal quotes

“Arr!” Bales
“Wait a minute, you’re not a pirate!” Rachel Patterson 10-28-05

“My kidney!” Emily Holmes
“You’ve got two.” Bales 10-28-05

“Tobin? How’d you like to see these two flick each other to death with their swords?” Emily Holmes 10-28-05

“As easy may’st thou the intrenchant air with thy keen sword impress as make me bleed. Are you happy?” Bales 10-28-05

“I want both of them hurt, but him [Nathan Curby] most of all. Until the end, of course.” Maggie 10-28-05

“I really don’t mind having my hands hacked off. They look awesome afterward.” Bales
“You really like those wounds.” Emily Holmes
“They aren’t really wounds.” Bales
“Yes, but they sound more like wounds every time you mention them, that little bit of almost-skinned knuckles.” Emily 10-28-05

“Okay, I am not going to be spilling my innards onstage.” Philip Cole
“You don’t have to be spilling them on stage, just in your shirt.” Caleb Jones 11-2-05

“You’re his lackeys.” Christy
“SON.” Guthrie
Younger son.” Maggie 11-2-05

We’re short on dead bodies, but, um: “I can fall down dead as soon as I say my lines.” Kanary 11-2-05

“Why are you laughing, woman? I’m in the throes of agony.” Emily Thomson
“Sorry.” Rachel Patterson 11-2-05

“I can’t seem to help it! I’m dangerous! I’m sorry!” Bales 11-3-05

“You need to look over here and compliment your wife.” Megan K
“Oh, ah. You look very, um, terrifying.” Bales
::Emily pretends to smite him:: 11-3-05

A plastic soup spoon being used as a dagger: “It’s not as though it’s an invincible killing machine.” Bales 11-3-05

::Stage-kicks Curby:: “Oh, are you okay?” Bales 11-3-05

The abridged version: “Even though Birnam wood, before my body my warlike shield, thwap, come at me Macduff.” Bales 11-3-05

“Is there some reason we paused our deep and bloody engagement and you’re whistling? Quite demoralizing.” Bales to Curby 11-3-05

“I don’t have a magic sword, but I’ve got a spoon!” Emily Holmes
To Bales: “You better start monologuing.” Maggie 11-3-05

As Macduff makes “the sign of the M” with his sword: “We have the same initials!” Bales
“No: M-D. I can be McDonald’s, medical doctor, diagnosis murder…” Curby
“Mad cow disease…” Emily Holmes 11-3-05

“We’re getting ourselves into the mood for violent action.” Curby
“Right. I’m preparing to stab you with a spoon.” Bales
“Can you stop calling it that??” Curby
“No.” Bales
“It’s a dagger.” Curby 11-3-05

“That’s why guys had long hair: to make it easier for their enemies to carry their heads around.” Emily Holmes
“Here I stand, with the usurper’s cursed scalp upon my belt. Hey! Let’s just make it an Indian play!” Curby ::begins singing and dancing a war dance::
“Where are we going to get tomahawks?” Bales 11-3-05

“Wait, that’s my sword.” Curby
“You have personalized swords?” Emily Rose
“The one with his blood on it is mine.” Curby 11-3-05

To Bales: “You sent Banquo and [Macduff’s] wife off campaigning together.” Emily Holmes
Also to Bales: “And you thought you were in trouble after her murder! …No, wait, I told you not to write down anything I said tonight!” Curby 11-3-05

“From the top, with brutality, please.” Emily Homes 11-3-05

“I got one of these Dove chocolate things the other day and the wrapper said, ‘Decorate your life.’ I figured out what it means: I need to put Macbeth’s head on the wall. Or maybe on the mantel.” Nathan Curby 11-3-05

“Never fear, Macduff is here!” Curby
“Ewwww!” Emily Rose 11-3-05

“You can fix anything from tractors to coffee pots with duct tape and baling twine.” Curby 11-3-05

“But they’re meeting at Acheron in the morning.” Maggie
“There is no morning in Hell.” Caleb Jones 11-4-05

To Ben A: “Well, if you’re not drunk, you’re at least a lout.” Emily Holmes 11-4-05

“The castle of Macduff I will surprise.” ::to Curby:: “Get over it.” Bales 11-4-05

“Bales, you’re completely scizo in this scene.” Maggie
“Yes! We are completely scizo. It’s even worse: we’re out to get me.” Bales 11-4-05

“You, my friend, are incompetent.” Bales
“They told me to be incompetent! I’m good at it!” Isley 11-4-05

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The apt quote

"We were not professionals, and so we did not know what could not be done."

Don't know where that quote came from, but it describes...quite a lot of my life, actually. Homeschooling is the epitome of not knowing what can't be done. So are amateur theatricals. Everyone keeps commenting how brave we are to do Macbeth. Not really. I didn't know enough to be worried. After all, my mother once put on Hamlet. It doesn't matter, really, if you know what you're doing if God calls you to do it; you can only do your best, and He will prosper it or not as He sees fit. Doing things well is, of course, better; but still, I find it an encouraging thought.

I dearly love the adventures Aslan sends. :-)

Still smiling

I love having a worldview resilient enough for sunbeams. I can acknowledge evil and all its utter horribleness--and still smile. It's all about creation, fall, and redemption.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


It all started in church Sunday: the sermon was on the difference between friendship and Christian fellowship. As Pastor Holman described it, friendship is basically tit-for-tat, and you hang out with the person because you enjoy the process. Fellowship is cross-centered: if there were no Jesus, you would assuredly not hang out with these people. You keep having Christian fellowship even when your life stage changes. "This is how you can tell whether you have friendship or fellowship: just let your friend disappoint you." You have friends for a season, and then you have the church for eternity. And fellowship is a deep joy, an actual happy thing.

Today in chapel, Dr. Smith talked about friendship. According to “a certain pagan philosopher,” friendship requires locality and equality. There’s a fair amount of Scriptural support for that, including a bit in Psalm 55 I’d never noticed before. That’s on a human level. As Dr. Smith rightly pointed out, God is not our equal. So how on earth do you get weird statements from Jesus like, “You all are not my slaves any more, but my friends”? The relationship is generally expressed in terms of unlike: Creator and creation, Shepherd and sheep, master and servant. Dr. Smith seemed to say there were two types of friendship, one in which the equals giving equally, and the other in which only one can actually give and the other only receive. This second kind arises from God’s great condescension: the great Coming Down to Be With Us. It strikes me that this is only possible with the Incarnation, the Word made flesh and dwelling among us. God became man—equal—and dwelt with us—hung out in our place. He lives with us. Aristotle was all about true friends living with each other.

I don’t think Pastor Holman paid friendship its proper due: in fact, I think he was talking about what Aristotle called a “friendship of utility,” which is a debased form of friendship. The pastor's distinction, though, is helpful, even if his terminology was a bit muddying. Friendship in the sense Dr. Smith was using it—in the David-and-Jonathan sense—is all about love interested in the good of the other. There’s also the verse in Ecclesiastes about friendship and a cord of three strands, how you, me, and God make a true friendship.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Rhyme and rhythm for the glory of God

I had a thought this morning in chapel. It is not a new thought. We were doing praise songs. Don't get me wrong; I like praise songs, in principle, and there are a few good ones. I also don't want to criticize our song leader this morning, because he did an entirely adequate job, and I'm grateful to him.

Nevertheless, the lyrics we sang today, and many lyrics we sing often, are not good. On a purely literary and technical level, they are sub-par. They possess neither rhyme nor rhythm. They do not draw one's attention to what one is singing. They have no brilliant moments of insight, no skillfully-drawn-out metaphors to make anything become realer or truer to the singer. They feel incompetent. They may or may not be amateur, but they certainly look it.

It is the nature of a song--or indeed any poetry--to be brief (relative to an epic or a novel). It must choose one thing to say and say it as effectively as ever it may. You get this in short story theory: you don't have many words to work with, so every word needs to be doing its duty well and twice and thrice over, doing more than one thing, never ever ever there just as filler. Dr. Hake calls poetry "language at its densest."

You can choose to write a poem in meter or not, as you like, but a poet should be aware that the decision has meaning. (This is like the "intolerable compliment" Lewis speaks of: God has decreed that the decisions human make actually matter eternally.) Critics notice the form of a poem. Syllables halting along in irregular ways reflect the chaos and meaninglessness of the universe. A regular meter with nicely rounded-off phrases tends to reflect a coherent, comprehensible, beautiful universe. One could, conceivably, write a praise song in which form and substance are unified--as in, rough rhythm and mourning over one's sin--but when there is no conceivable design behind word choice--when it is apparently just what the author thought of first, and didn't have the time or skill to refine into anything more meaningful--when one analyzes something according to the rules of its trade and it is found wanting--then a Christian can mourn.

Meter and rhyme schemes help a song, they really do, because then even if the words are a bit uninspired, one can analyze the form and gain edification that way. When the words are, basically, "I love You/ Forever and ever/ You are good and great," --well, this is true, one hopes, but it's really boring.

Also, it occurs to me that when a stanza is repeated, oh, six times in the course of a song, if the words were worth listening to and repeating, that would be better. The unbelievers can do it; even nihilists can craft a piece so that it is a joy to hear and know and memorize. Word choice matters. Mark Twain mocked James Fenimore Cooper for using "a word's second cousin" instead of the word itself. The right word actually emphasizes the point an author is trying to get across. The mostly-right word fogs things.

This comes back to a Christian view of work, I think. It's not just what job is done, but how well one does it. Incompetence depresses. God is pleased for the foolish to shame the wise, but He also demanded skilled workmen to build His temple. Glorify God, people! We wouldn't like a Christian plumber who couldn't keep a pipe from leaking! We wouldn't like a Christian jeweler whose necklaces didn't clasp properly! Just the same, it's annoying to sing songs written by poets who can't tell an iamb from a dactyl, or if they can tell, don't care.

It's really not that complicated, but it does take work. Future lyricists, take note!

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Witches' charm cookies and the Macbeths

"Thou marvel'st at my words. You better marvel." Bales
"I'm marveling, I'm marveling!" Emily T 10-7-05
Maybe you can read this recipe better.

Rehearsal goes on apace

"Maybe that's what it is! The salad makes the poet!" Emily H 10-18-05
Our Celtic battle goddesses need cooking lessons, I think. "I just wanted these two! I didn't want her. I only want nice evil spirits." Emily T 10-10-05
And Tobin dies again. “Maybe I can survive a dramatic production sometime. That’s my ambition. Put that in my brochure bio.” Tobin 10-18-05
It may be a bit hard to tell, but here Macbeth throws down the gauntlet to Macduff. Macduff claimed the gauntlets were milking gloves and was not impressed. We made quite a lot of progress choreographing the fight, but there were, as always, the occasional sticking points.
“Bales? You keep kicking him in the shins.” Emily H
“Well, there’s this pointy sword thing in the way, and I don’t want to kick that by mistake!” Bales 10-18-05
We really like swords.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

A happy thought

IM might be an excellent cure for free-verse-itis, because it gets people used to seeing short lines without necessarily equating them with literary brilliance.

Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside

I'm rather happy.

I saw evidences of grace all through last week. Like, God was taking care of me and my doings in ways it never occurred to me needed taking care of, let alone the obvious ways, such as two terrifying midterms, a less terrifying one, and two papers (which got postponed).

Last night I was allowed to go hiking at Raven's Rocks. I'd never been there before. It was a fall evening, like fall rarely is. The leaves were just beginning to turn. There was still plenty of greenery around, and yet the trail was bedecked with bright yellows and fierce reds that stood out against the dark mud like Christmas lights. The woods also varied between stern dark colors and bright wild greens. Then, after a longish uphill walk, one comes out against a valley overlook, nearly mesa-like in its suddenness and sheer drop to the floor below. We amused ourselves by lying on the edge and leaning our heads over--I took off my glasses first, for I wanted to keep them--and admiring the view and talking school politics, of all odd things. Lovely.

I spent a large chunk of the day having sister time, and another large chunk having a quiet time.

I had a good talk with someone; it was not easy, nor pleasant, but it was good and edifying, I hope.

There is a vase full of daisies and honeysuckle on my windowsill. During the sister time, we walked along the trail and picked flowers. Imagine! The middle of October and there are still big yellow almost-sunflowers, and little white daisies, and long strands of honeysuckle, sweet enough to scent a room!

And now I am going up to dinner. It is a good blessing.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

A bit of excitement

Well...yeah. This explains it. Incidentally, I have the coolest guys ever on my cast: an RA, an Eagle Scout, and an EMT were all on hand to deal with it immediately.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Marian, Macbeth, and midterms

The Marian has just returned home. She is making her way to the airport, and will soon be in the clouds. My room is emptier than it was.

My Macbeth life is full of heroic thanes who do or do not talk too much, swords, tickets, serious lacks of male leadership (Bales is a good actor), and posters, both paper and "of the sea and land." I can't believe I'm encouraging some of this.

Last night we blocked all of Act I and made some very good progress in interpretation. Having witches in the "come to me, you spirits who tend on mortal thoughts" scene helped Lady Macbeth reach new evil and bossy depths. And when Lady Macbeth was doing her thing, it helped Macbeth do his thing more wimpily. Also, I was so pleased with how my actors had their lines memorized! Guys, keep up the good work!

Meanwhile, I have three midterms and two papers starting tomorrow. I think I shall go work on something. Feel free to pray for me if you get an urge. :-)

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Macbeth rehearsal

Macduff's son is so heroic. Here he's defending his mother from a murderous witch.

Here is Macbeth, the "brutish murderer," maltreating his servants. Doesn't he make a great evil tyrant?

Here the evil tyrant is giving my co-directress a fencing lesson. Swords are seriously cool.

This is Macduff with his (practice) sword. Macduff is the one who kills Macbeth in the last scene.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Thoughts while writing a paper

I forgot how much I love footnotes. MLA style calls for parenthetical citations: they have become almost second nature to me, but Turabian footnotes have a stately charm that parentheticals lack. Parentheticals force efficiency, but with a footnote, anything can happen.

It's depressing to discover that one gets more passionate about grammar than foreign aid. Probably then it is good I intend to go into English and literature rather than the State Department.

I must be getting old. Midnight comes and I conk out; I can't write papers till all hours like I used to be able to.

Green tea is a good blessing, but the night sky is a better one. There's something so utterly, happily, deeply joyful about going outside with three friends or so, and watching stars! It was a chill, clear, crisp night, dry and still, and there were as many stars as ever I've seen in Virginia. One friend made Charles Williams references, another recited "The Lay of Earendil" at my request, and the third located constellations and identified planets. And then, to come inside and make a cup of tea--

life is good. Even if it does require one to be up late.

Thursday, September 29, 2005


I saw something tonight at dinner that made me happy.

The new issue of Ecce, one of the school literary publications, had just come out, and the usual bunch was sitting at the table reading it. A guy from my year, but not one whom I often talk to, wandered over and sat with us.

The issues were going around; you’d read an article and hand off your copy to someone else, and then snag another from someone. Well, this other guy acquired an issue and soon someone else picked it up from him.

And then a girl sitting next to me noticed that his copy had been taken and quietly handed him another. It wasn’t a big deal; it wasn’t flashy; it was kind.

Monday, September 26, 2005

The most recent battle in the war of the couches

The Battle of September 24, 2005

And it came to pass in the great War of the Couches, being prosecuted by the valiant men of the two Hills, Oak and Red, that exhilarated by the joyous occasion of a bobtism, the men of Dorm Five undertook a great battle. So those of the Dorm Five mustered their forces from wing and from lounge, eschewed the domestic pleasures of movies and computer games for the sterner joys of battle, armed themselves with pillows, and gathered in the central hall. The great leaders Jonathan Kanary and Joshua Dispenza, having in their persons no less cunning than those leaders Jonathan and Joshua of Scriptural fame, ordered their troops to complete silence on the journey from one end of the dorms to the other. The weapons ranged from War Leader Dispenza’s huge pillow, covered in leopard spots and so large only a man of his vast strength could lift it, to a wide selection of well-used and even almost-new pillows, and one of a bright turquoise shade belonging to his roommate. The soldiers also wisely removed their glasses, handing them to a trio of noncombatants and war reporters, namely Onomatopoeia, Paronomasia, and Chuckles.

So a great army passed along the road. They paused in front of Dorm Four, then charged. It took the men of Dorm Four some time to respond. Eventually they gathered themselves and great was the fighting. The main battle raged on the tile; it was fought up the stairs, step by whacking step. Strategist Jonathan Bales held the top of the stairs against the enemy for no brief time, and at another point Kanary engaged in single combat with Tobin Duby the Valiant, whose exploits as the Vagabond will be remembered from last year.

But soon the fight died down. Dorm Four was subdued, and Dorm Five withdrew at their leisure. They returned halfway to their dorms and stopped before Monticello. They turned and charged back to Dorm Four, thinking Dorm Four would return the favor, but Dorm Four’s defenders melted into the dorm as mist before the sun.

Dorm Five returned and made preparations for the retaliation. They cleared all breakables from their central hall and stood guard. But to their dismay, the mist of Dorm Four refused to congeal.

They sent messengers to Dorm Four, requesting their presence. The messengers were rebuffed, their credentials demanded. The messengers pointed out Dorm Four’s cowardice and gave many excellent reasons to do their duty. Dorm Four claimed to have won and refused to continue the battle, as they were outnumbered. The messengers, puzzled but remembering their duty, returned to Dorm Five.

So the War Leaders of Dorm Five took counsel, and all their forces were divided into three parts. The first consisted of the strategist Bales, wily as Odysseus, and Daniel Turner, who balks at nothing, and the three messengers. The second group, led by Jeremy Croft, stood guard at their own citadel lest Dorm Four send a sneak attack. And the third group under the War Leaders Kanary and Dispenza went behind the dorms and came to the great front entry of Dorm Four, gathering there.

In this second battle, the men of Dorm Four were again defeated. There was a great melee and the outcome was in doubt, when Aaron Carlson burst in. The men of Dorm Four took heart and a great shout arose, and they resolved within and amongst themselves to drive them out. Everyone joined the battle with renewed vigor. The defenders in Dorm Four were promptly driven back to their own lounge, where the contested couch (that piece of spoil being granted thereto by the Authorities, never to be removed again) resides. War Leader Dispenza, with his leopard-spotted weapon, took out Aaron Carlson. They both fell out the front door, Dispenza getting Carlson in a head lock.

Jeremy “The Hammer” Hamrick came late to the battle, but entered it with full vigor. Unfortunately, he misidentified some of his cohorts as enemy combatants and accidentally laid into them. His error was soon discovered, and he became a great asset to Dorm Five’s side.

The war was still going with great oomph and valor when Security Guard Matt Roche came. Tidings of the battle had reached the nearby village, and lest we disturb them in any way Roche demanded that the battle proceed in silence. The fulfillment of his duty—and, indeed, the justice of his order—filled every soul with appreciation. Both sides laid down their weapons and applauded one another, and the men of Red Hill returned to their own place, still victorious.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Cognitive research begins to catch up with St. Augustine

I believed Dr. Bates and Augustine, but I guess I didn't believe that other people would say the same thing. I was wrong.

Yesterday was the school's first Faith and Reason seminar, in which Dr. Bates read a paper on Augustine of Hippo on the relationship between love and knowledge.
All objects that are known are both known and loved. Indeed, the perfecting moment of the mind is love, and true knowledge comes in proportion to the love of what is known.1
That thought took some digesting, but I now opine Augustine is on to something. Nevertheless, love was the last thing on my mind as I read my text for tomorrow morning's Nonfiction class.
Cognitive research indicates that humans remember best what enters the brain in an envelope of "emotion." If it is true that facts and details are stored along with attendant emotions in a system of cross-files throughout the brain, we writers must recognize it and use it to our advantage.2
Love isn't precisely the same as emotion, but there's a distinct similarity there. I do like seeing him vindicated. :-)

1. Dr. Todd Bates, "Duplex Cognitio: What I Need to Know and How the Liberal Arts Can Help Me Know It," Patrick Henry College, September 13, 2005, page 3.

2. Theodore A. Rees Cheney, Writing Creative Nonfiction, Ten Speed Press, 2001, page 37.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The chain of being

The medievals had this concept referred to as the "chain of being." It was part and parcel with their delightful tendency to categorize absolutely everything they could get their paws on. The chain of being had God at the top: He alone possessed being in and of Himself; all else is "contingent," or dependent for their existence on God's good pleasure.

Next in the chain come angels, which are pure spirit.

Next comes man. People have both spiritual and physical aspects; they are also in the image of God, which includes several things, but almost certainly reason.

Animals come next. They are physical but with the breath of life.

And living plants are below that, and unliving things below them.

All of this has a point, which I am now coming to. I was on my way to church on Sunday and we were at a stop sign behind a car. It was a Spirit, a Ford I think. It had two bumper stickers: "Little Devil" and "Animal."

I am reasonably sure the car was being driven by a human. The car is physical, not spirit; the human in it was almost certainly neither pure spirit nor lacking spirit.

That car was CONFUSED!

Monday, September 05, 2005

On coloring

As I write this post, I am coloring.

I am coloring a sign that says, "The Haunt of Macbeth: Macbeth hath murder'd sleep."

It is for my door.

I am just tired enough to wax philosophical about coloring. For instance, it's rather pleasant the way a paper can first be empty, quite blank, a tabula rasa if you're feeling Latinate, and then it has meaningful black lines on it. Deciding the black lines are good but there's more to do, rather like creation after the first day, I pull out a box of colored pencils. Art is a form of subcreation, after all.

I decide to start on the fourth word: "Macbeth." Red is a good color for Macbeth; he was, as Malcolmn put it, a brutish murderer. Red is a good color anyway, but particularly appropriate for one who sheds blood and comes himself to a bloody end. Literally. His head gets chopped off and dragged back onstage. "He who sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed." I've never quite understood how it is red is such a contradictory color. Red is the color of blood. The life is in the blood, which is good; but shed blood is bad. Red seems to be the color of passion. I clicked on red on a "shortest personality quiz in the world" and it gave me some sort of nonsense about repressed instincts. Or something. I remember being unconvinced.

Slowly the letters fill up with color, as if they were glasses and I was pouring them full of some juice. Paler than kool-aid, lighter than cranberry juice, redder than grapefruit juice.

I move on to the second word, "Haunt." It's a bright, living green. Green is another contradictory color. Green is for life and leaves and vivacity, but also for envy and illness. Jealousy used to be orange; why it switched I don't know. It's like that line in Much Ado: "He is neither sad nor sick, nor merry nor well, but civil, Count, Seville as an orange, and much of that jealous complexion."

The haunt turns green. I go ahead to a slatey blue pencil for the in-between words. It's almost a thundercloud blue, suitable for the impending doom that impends and looms over Macbeth. Serves him right for believing witches and sorcerers. "What! Can the devil speak true?" Even the devil quotes Scripture when it suits his purpose, and if it can kill dozens of innocents and drag him and his wife to hell, he might think it worth the effort.

The words "Macbeth hath murder'd sleep" yet remain their natural ecru color. But even worse than Macbeth murdering sleep is a blog and a sign. While the Greeks search for wisdom and the Jews seek a sign, this girl types blog posts abour coloring signs. It's not the same.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Basic update

I am, in case you haven't yet heard, co-directing Macbeth this semester. It should be delightful, but quite, quite busy.

Last week I began my new job, made it to every class, read piles of reading, and had quizzes in Greek and 20th Century Europe.

Firinnteine's sister is visiting, and she gets to stay with Kay and myself. We've had a grand time. Friday she arrived, we deposited her stuff in my room, went to Leesburg, had dinner at Moe's, and then went contra-dancing at Glen Echo. We got out at midnight and stopped for mango-raspberry shakes on the way home. :-)

Then Saturday I mostly tried to do school.

Today being Sunday, I am going to try not to do school. I look forward to a properly worshipful Lord's Day. He is risen!

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Tea, among other things

Very well. The semester may now begin. I have served someone a cup of tea.

I have also put up my corkboard (without making any holes in the walls), one clock successfully and one unsuccessfully (and great was its fall), and all my Chinese lanterns.

I have been to two and a half meals in the dining hall, a talent show, a night walk, a luau, and a session of singing in the stairwell. There are still piles of full boxes in my room and empty boxes in the hall. I have walked into the wrong room twice. My computer is WORKING!!! (Thank you, Megan!) I have met many freshmen and talked to many old friends, and oh, it is good to do so. I begin to see how good heaven will be, if it's so right and encouraging to see them after only a summer's separation. I could very easily be discouraged about graduating, but--well, I mean to pull a Sarah Lewis and bless all those about me this year instead. (If you catch me whining, please sit on me, or something.)

It is late. Signing off for now.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Home, sweet home

A friend of mine (not Finnja, a different one) recently came up with this list. She's trustworthy.

Oddities Commonplace in Los Alamos

[All items on this list are completely factual observances of life at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the city it created- no embellishments, upon my honor! Ask any Los Alamosian and they’ll probably add a few to the list.]

-Thunder on a clear day (experimental explosions on Lab property)

-A lady taking her herd of goats for an evening stroll around the neighborhood (there is also a couple to take their horse-drawn wagon around the neighborhood)

-Mailbox number written in binary code

-Physicist jokes instead of blond jokes

-Engineer jokes instead of rabbi and priest jokes

-Black socks worn calf-high with loafers/sandals and Bermuda shorts

-Signs reading “Food only- no chemical or radioactive material” on refrigerators at work

-Missing secrets and spy scandals

-“Danger- Explosives” signs on fences along the morning commute route

-Comb-overs and Einstein hair

-Hazardous Materials Amnesty Day- a day when Hazmat collects oil, antifreeze, cleaning solvents, highly corrosive acids, and radioactive material from Los Alamosians wishing to dispose of them

-Armored vehicles with machine gun nests on top

-Quantum mechanics discussed with gusto at Starbucks

-Ears popping from elevation change without leaving city limits

-Road closures due to nuclear material transfers in progress

-A Ph. D. is not impressive

-Pants waistbands worn closer to the ribs than the waist

-Ancient Indian ruins and the world’s second fastest supercomputer within eight miles of each other

-Guard towers, razor wire fences, and armed uniformed guards

-A league sports team with a fuel array diagram to a nuclear reactor on their jerseys

-No one thinks the previous item odd in any way

-Kids quite honestly don’t know what their parents do at work, and even spouses are a little fuzzy on details

-In the darkness of a movie theater during Hollywood’s latest spy thriller in which a secret foreign military base is depicted, a disgusted voice calls out “That’s not what it looks like!”

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Introducing the culture ninjas

If you look to your right, you will observe some changes in my sidebar. Chief among them are the removal of author-quotes (they were getting old) and the introduction of a new section, "Attempts to change the world." is a new site just launched by a friend of mine. Finnja is widely-read and speaks Latin better than I do. He understands T. S. Eliot and happily abuses the Bard. He is comfortable with opera, death metal, and Five Iron Frenzy. This tongue-in-cheek site is a fair product of his eclectic personality.

He is not a typical Christian conservative (presuming the ideal exists). He will not be reviewing typical Christian conservative cultural products (and certainly won't like them simply for the genre). In fact, as far as I can tell, he likes no genres simply for the genre. I disagree with him on a lot of things, and when we do happen to approve of the same thing, it's generally for different reasons. You'll probably disagree much of the time too. But visit the site. And feel free to argue with him.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Stargazing and sisters

Have I mentioned that the soror and I make an awesome team? We rock. We incandesce. No kidding. I shall explain.

This summer, I have been making friends with the night sky. You might remember my post from mid-June or so--yes? Anyway, the project went on hold for most of July, due to work, company, and clouds, but I restarted it yesterday. I have now identified pretty much all the constellations visible around 11 pm at my latitude. (It's very convenient, because the Milky Way is out in force. Find the constellations in it, and then it's easy to find everything else relative to that.)

I've done it mostly by means of The Audubon Society Field Guide to the Night Sky, which is a navy blue book of a pleasant size to hold in one's hand, full of maps and charts and lists and star-names and history fading off into legend. So one wanders out into the yard, inquiring of one's soul whether the Corona Borealis is between Hercules and Lyra or between Hercules and Bootes. One remembers distinctly that she had it last June, but alas, a crown does not endure to all generations! So the hopeful crown-seeker consults the sky, seeking the sign (or more probably the thing itself) to no avail, and wanders back to the light pouring out from the kitchen window, contemplating the map entitled "The August Sky." One discovers the Corona is, in fact, sort of triangularly between Bootes, Hercules, and Serpens Caput. One searches the heavens, and lo and behold it is where it ought to be. Delightful, the way that works.

Meanwhile, the sister got out the telescope. She fiddled with it, figured out what the different lenses were for, and by dark and mysterious means, she has learned to work it. Naming stars: I can deal with this. But pointing technology at them: that's something else entirely!

We were talking tonight--I have the book-knowledge and she has the technical knowledge! I know what to look at and she knows how to look at it!

That is cool. As I have said, we rock.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Quote of the day

Indy: "He's got a two-day head start on you, which is more than he needs. Brody's got friends in every town and village from here to the Sudan. He speaks a dozen languages, knows every local custom. He'll blend in, disappear; you'll never see him again. With any luck, he's got the Grail already."

Brody: "Does anyone here speak English? How about ancient Greek?"

Thursday, August 04, 2005


No sooner had I entered the English School [at Oxford] than I went to George Gordon's discussion class. And there I made a new friend. ...His name was Nevill Coghill. I soon had the shcok of discovering that he--clearly the most intelligent and best-informed man in that class--was a Christian and a thorough-going supernaturalist. There were other traits that I liked but found (for I was still very much a modern) oddly archaic; chivalry, honor, courtesy, "freedom," and "gentillesse." One could imagine him fighting a duel. He spoke much "ribaldry" but never "villeinye."

Barfield was beginning to overthrow my chronological snobbery; Coghill gave it another blow. Had something really dropped out of our lives? Was the archaic simply the civilized, and the modern simply the barbaric?

--C. S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Today I shall extol the excellencies of Weatherford peaches. The farmer's market we stopped at on the way home from Texas was in Weatherford; if ever you happen to pass by that way, I can recommend stopping, too.

I don't have a picture of Weatherford peaches, but here's a detail of their courthouse.

And these are some scarecrows I made friends with at the farmer's market.

In bins quite close to the aboveshown scarecrows, we bought peaches, sunny spheres of sweetness. Aristotle said the sphere is the most perfect shape, and in this case, he's not far wrong. A boxy peach would just be wrong.

These peaches inside are the color of crystallized honey, only brighter. Picture a peridot. Leave it about that tone, but instead of green, color it more like sandstone. Now make it juicy. That's what these peaches are like. And the heart around the pit has these ruby threads coming out from it, like rich embroidery. (Yes...the peach has a stone at its heart, I must confess.)

The taste is as nectar, fully its proper peachiness, but sweeter than usual. But it still has that acidic bite which reminds one that, however close to the Form of the Peach one has ascended, yet Weatherford Peaches are still mortal.

And tonight for dessert this most perfect fruit was sliced and endowed with whipped cream. Yum!

Monday, August 01, 2005

Texas, from whose bourne a traveller returns

I am a tired puella. I have driven and ridden 1500 miles in the past five days. You see, I went to an uncle's [first cousin twice removed's husband's] funeral, which was Saturday. I discovered this fact Thursday morning.

So I got up, cancelled appointments, went to Beall's, redid my schedule, helped my boss entirely redo my department, worked at church, came home, and packed. That night we drove to Grandma and Granddad's.

Next day we got up distressingly early and drove to Fort Worth. We checked in, unpacked, and went to the funeral home. We meant to go to Auny Ruby's, but by the time we ate, it was past nine at night, and that was just not happening. Dinner was at the Black Eyed Pea, and it was really, really good. I'm sad the one closed in Albuquerque.

Saturday morning we got up early and went to the funeral. It was a very Christian burial: for which I was grateful. Their church put on a nice reception afterward, and Emily and I were allowed to go explore downtown Granbury for about half an hour, take pictures in front of the courthouse, and visit bookstores and antique shops before we went to Aunt Ruby's for the afternoon.

We got to know an entire branch of the family that we hadn't seen for a while--Heather and Jeff's branch, including their siblings, Andy the brother-in-law, parents, and step-grandma.

They, being quite grown up, had stocked up well on wine, and a funny exchange came when their mother, Aunt Sue, accidentally spilled some on the kitchen floor.

Andy: "There are some cultures that would put you to death for that."
Me: "What cultures?"
Andy: "Fraternities."

Well, then. I had been thinking more of the ones that poured a libation before each meal to appease the gods. So I said so. (After all, there wasn't much to do but talk!)

The sister: "She's appeasing the linoleum gods!"

We really need to write a story involving linoleum gods. I mean, that is about an idol made with hands... yeah.

Yeah. So then we made the film, had chicken casserole, and went back to the hotel.

We got up Sunday morning, didn't get to go to church :-(, and drove back to Portales. We stopped at Weatherford: they had a really good farmer's market and a courthouse, at which we took pictures. We also stopped at Lubbock and went school-clothes shopping because Penney's was having a particularly good sale.

And then today we came home. We stopped at Santa Rosa for lunch and further courthouse photography. :-)

And that's why I'm a tired puella.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Potting Heather

The soror and I have discovered the thrills of amateur movie-making. It's thrilling, all right. Her camera (blessings upon its digital head) has a video function: only thirty seconds' worth, and no sound, but a decent enough video. It's not unlike the early season of Hitman, only quieter.

We are currently visiting relatives, including grown-up cousins we haven't seen for, oh, seventeen years. We were at an aunt's house all afternoon, with only ourselves to amuse one another.

It happened, all in the best tradition of silent films. ::insert impressive music::

The first video sequence was--lame. Lame even according to my standards. I hope it is banished to the wilds of cyberspace, from which no coherent data returns.

The second sequence was great. First we asked our cousin, Heather, if she would be the heroine. "What do I have to do?" "You have to let me mug you and rifle through your purse--but it can be my purse--and your brother Jeff can rescue you." Heather agreed.

Jeff, hearing his name at the other end of the room, said, "What are we doing?"

"HE VOLUNTEERED! HE SAID 'WE'!" put in his brother-in-law. And Jeff most amiably did.

There was a lovely potting shed in the back yard, with a convenient corner for Heather to get mugged around. The trouble was, what should the sister whack her over the head with? So we all trooped outside. Ah! A pot!

We took our stations. I stood near the fence, camera at the ready. The sister lurked with her pot. Jeff stood off to stage right, ready to rush to the rescue. Heather stood behind the corner.

"GO!" I shouted. She came. She was potted. The sister sniped her purse (which was her own purse borrowed by Heather for the purpose). Jeff rushed up. Jeff snatched the purse, picked up his sister, and left the wrathful would-be-mugger purseless and expostulating.

We did one take, and it was beautiful. I named it, "Potting Heather."

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Further brilliance of Tolkien

Tolkien just got even smarter than I had realized.

I was reading one of my Old English grammars this afternoon, and discovered that their poetry wasn’t based merely on half-lines and alliteration, but also has “feet,” of a sort. That is, there are five patterns (conveniently labeled A through E) into which the syllables of the half-line must fall. Therefore, I decided I had to investigate the Song of the Mounds of Mundburg. It scans.

I append the first two lines. Slashes are stressed, x’s unstressed syllables. They're in the right order, and it worked when I typed it, but when Blogspot publishes this post, it messes up my spacing. Sorry--I know it's miserable to try and decipher.

Type B Type C
x / x x / x x / / x
We heard of the horns in the hills ringing
Type C Type C
x / / x x x / / x
The swords shining in the South-kingdom.

The book also states that an additional unstressed syllable, an “anacrusis,” may be placed before lines of Type A and D. I scan down to line four, and behold! It’s a Type A half-line with an anacrusis! I indicated it by parentheses.

Type A Type B
/ x / x x x / x /
Steeds went striding to the Stoningland
Type A Type A
(x) / x x / x / x / x
(As) wind in the morning. War was kindled.

Tolkien even made his sentence lengths within the poem like those in Old English. Some, like lines 1 and 2, are an even number of lines long. (In other words, OE wasn’t big on enjambments.) Other sentences are a line and a half, with a second, half-line-long sentence in the gap, like lines three and four of Mundburg, and like line 11 of Beowulf. (“That was a good king!” I’d append the OE, because it’s charmingly comprehensible to modern ears, except Blogspot isn’t really set up to deal with odd characters like the thorn and ash. I expect it could be done, but I don’t know how to do it.)

Line five starts off with a rousing Type E, which involves a secondary accent on the first syllable of “Theoden.” I indicated that with a backslash.

Type E Type A
/ \ x x / / x / x
There Theoden fell, Thengling mighty,
Type B Type C
x x / x / x / / x
To his golden halls and green pastures,

That’s about as far as I got, but I thought my discovery was so cool I had to share. :-)

The Battle of the Pelennor

I was reading Return of the King this afternoon, and I was really impressed by the lament Tolkien wrote for the fallen Rohirrim at the battle of the Pelennor, which he called the Song of the Mounds of Mundberg. It is a remarkable technical achievement, straight in the tradition of the Old English poets.

The meter is as Old English poetry, with two heavy stresses, a pause in the middle of the line, and two more stresses. Three of the stresses alliterate in each line, and generally the fourth alliterates with something somewhere in the line. The word choice is heavily reminiscent of Old English, appositive-heavy, adjective-rich. The "-ing" suffix is like the Norse "-son," like "Peterson."

I would that I could write like this, for my story would be much the better for it!

We heard of the horns in the hills ringing,
the swords shining in the South-kingdom.
Steeds went striding to the Stoningland
as wind in the morning. War was kindled.
There Theoden fell, Thengling mighty,
to his golden halls and green pastures
in the Northern fields never returning,
high lord of the host. Harding and Guthlaf,
Dunhere and Deorwine, doughty Grimbold,
Herefara and Heubrand, Horn and Fastred,
fought and fell there in a far country:
in the Mounds of Mundberg under mould they lie
with their league-fellows, lords of Gondor.
Neither Hirluin the Fair to the hills by the sea,
Nor Forlong the old to the flowering vales
ever, to Arnach, to his own country
returned in triumph; nor the tall bowmen,
Derufin and Fuilin, to their dark waters,
meres of Morthond under mountain-shadows.
Death in the morning and at day's ending
lords took and lowly. Long now they sleep
under grass in Gondor by the Great River.
Grey now as tears, gleaming silver,
red then it rolled, roaring water:
foam dyed with blood flamed at sunset;
as beacons mountains burned at evening;
red fell the dew in Rammas Echor.


There's something ironic about losing your USB memory stick.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


I have finished three books in the last few days: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Dante's Paradise, and Augustine's Confessions. I am a happy camper.

Confessions: read them. Augustine is excellent much of the time. The most peculiar thing (to me) was his frequent flights of allegorical interpretation, which is a thing we just don't do much. At least, I thought that until I was reading some Spurgeon and discovered that's his method, too...

Half-Blood Prince: the minimum reading age for the series--at least, as far as I would let my hypothetical kids read them--just jumped a couple years. It's good. It's not so dark as Order of the Phoenix, and has some really good stuff, but it also has certain content issues. Alas. For the record, I don't approve of sixteen-year-olds "snogging"...

Paradise: Alas, just when it was getting really good, we spend three cantos mostly praising Mary! Jesus may be the Main Point, but He's barely there!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

It’s a strange movie. It’s not bad, exactly; it has a lot of good content; but it’s strange. It’s a lot like The Wizard of Oz, even to the color scheme. Just so you know, my review does contain spoilers: I couldn’t talk about it sensibly otherwise. Sorry.

Johnny Depp plays Willy Wonka, the owner of the chocolate factory. Remember the part in Pirates where he asked Will Turner how far he’d go for Elizabeth, and Will said he’d die for her, and Depp replied, “oh, good”? That’s sort of how he was for Chocolate Factory, only more so. Kindness to others was not his prevailing virtue. He also has a high voice, effeminate hair, and pale makeup, so I probably wouldn’t have recognized Depp if I hadn’t known it was him. So that was not so great.

Wonka’s factory is run by the Oompa Loompas, a tribe of munchkins who came from the jungle to eat cocoa beans instead of (admittedly disgusting) green caterpillars. Wonka’s jungle travels in which he discovered them were his most manly parts of the movie, but the Oompa Loompa language itself tended towards middle-school humor. They are musical munchkins. Every time someone disappeared from the tour, they put on an elaborate song and dance number (rather like “Ding, Dong, the Witch is Dead,” only with more cultural references). The dances were supposed to be funny. They tended to bewilder me. Or weird me out. I think I just don’t quite get Tim Burton’s sense of humor, which is probably good.

Christopher Lee plays Wonka’s father. He was a being with no existence in the book, but he works in the movie. At least, he adds (moderately obvious and unimaginative) depth and motivation to Wonka’s wonky character. In addition to being a great Saruman and Count Dooku, he’s also a great evil dentist. Seriously! He did well with what he had to work with. There’s a reunion scene at the end. “I haven’t seen bicuspids like this since…WILLY?” “Dad!” “You haven’t flossed since you left?” “Not once.”

On the other hand, the movie did some excellent things. Charlie Bucket’s family is very poor, but they love each other and his parents both work hard, his dad to support the family and his mom to keep the household running. (The casting job on the Bucket family, all seven of them, was phenomenal. Actually, most of the casting was really good.) I was surprised how nonfeminist the movie was, in that and other regards. It was a major theme that Family is Good and Selfishness is Bad—even more so than Harry Potter, actually. Charlie at the end passed up riches beyond his wildest dreams to stay with his family.

It was also a big theme that obeying your parents is good, even if you don’t understand. Charlie had a line to Wonka about how “they love you and want the best for you.” Every one of the frightful four children had parents who spoiled them. The Oompa Loompas knew perfectly well whose fault it was, and sang so.

I loved the way the movie skewered four vices. Everyone had a fitting end for his sins, rather like Dante’s Hell. :-D

The first to go was a glutton, plain and simple. He tried to eat what wasn’t his, fell into the chocolate river and was sucked up into a factory UFO, and that was that.

The second was your feminazi go-conquer-the-world type of girl, with her mother exactly the same. ::shudder:: She was a champion gum-chewer and chewing the wrong gum was her downfall. Wonka actually went to some effort to save her from herself (he generally didn’t), but she, knowing better of course, turned herself into a blueberry.

The third was a prim and spoiled young lady, who insisted on her own way and got sent down the garbage chute for her pains. Her doting father followed her: a squirrel pushed him in.

The fourth boy was a combination math whiz and video game addict. He was not as consistent a character, actually; I think they tried to do more with him than was possible. He was incredible at puzzles, math, and technology, and also liked violent video games. He’s the sort of boy who stomps on pumpkins for no reason but destruction. His dad halfheartedly tried to dissuade him, but was too much of a wimp to give an actual order or enforce it if he did. The Oompa Loompas sang that TV rots your brain, but it was so manifestly not true in this boy’s life, that one fell rather flat. His foul character was certainly bad, but they didn’t denounce it very convincingly. It should also be pointed out that bashing TV using the medium of cinema is perhaps not the most consistent.

The movie was, in short, of ambivalent quality. There were some funny parts, and some good parts, and some gross parts (mostly the caterpillars), and some parts that fell hopelessly flat. At least there was no love story to “fall on its face and skin its nose.”

Friday, July 15, 2005


This evening my sister and I had adventures.

We and Deba were going to go watch "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" tonight, the 8:50 showing, and the six-something showing had sold out. So we opted to go buy the tickets early.

But before we got tickets, we had to go get a Young Life discount card from Deba because that way you get the matinee price. Deba was babysitting up in the Quemazon development. Now, this is new since the fire, built up on the side of the mountain and full of really gorgeous houses and twisty roads named things like "Sinuoso" and "Esperanza." If I had a spare million dollars I'd want one of those houses. Anyway, this development being fairly new I don't know my way around it. The soror knows her way rather better, but she didn't know the family Deba was sitting for.

So first we take the wrong turn off Diamond and have to go back and find the right road. Managed that. We turned into the development all right (it's labeled QUEMAZON in black letters on a cliff 20 feet tall, so that was good) and couldn't quite remember the address. We thought it was on Bertha del something road. She asked what dels roads were named after, and the only one I could think of right offhand was Commedia dell'arte, which we were pretty sure it wasn't. We get there and find Brisa del Something--Sol, maybe?--and go, aha! That's it!

But now the question is WHICH house on Brisa del Sol. It's supposed to have Deba's brother's truck in front of it. But it's his new truck, so we aren't entirely sure. We drive all the way up Brisa del Sol, amuse ourselves with all the street names, express the desire to be named Esperanza de la Vega, come back down Quemazon in Grandma Low gear because it's so steep, and determine which truck is probably Deba's brother's. We park behind it. Right.

Unfortunately, the truck that's probably Deba's brother's is parked between two houses. And each house is actually three townhouses smooshed together. So we call Deba's brother's cell phone, reasoning that if she's got his car she might have his phone too. Well, he answered. So we ask him if he knows the address where Deba is. He doesn't. We ask whether the truck is his. He sort of describes it. We read the license plate to him. He doesn't know his license plate. Sigh.

So the sister says she'll just go knock on the door and if it's the wrong house, ask them where the family lives! But one last time before she gets out--oh, it's raining, a steady soggy Virginian rain unlike anything normal for here--she looks for the paper she wrote the address on. Eureka! Yay! We are in more or less the right spot and now we know which house too.

The sister goes to the door. She goes in. A bit later she reappears with a Young Life card, cash for Deba's ticket, and a big piece of notepaper that had been taped to the front door, addressed to her. "Just come on in, I'm giving the kids a bath."

We went and bought tickets. They were not sold out. They weren't close to being sold out, though (the girl said) you never know if they will be. It just depends on if lots of people feel like staying up late.

On the way back, the traffic lights were having issues: they kept turning red on us. When this happens, there are two responses in our family. The first is the comment, "Life is tedious." The second is to try and cajole the light into turning green. You can ask nicely. You can wave your hand and go, "Green, green, green!" You can point at it like Spiderman and say, "Go, web, go!" You can insult it in Spanish (which we tried to do--or rather, I lapsed into ungrammatical Latin, things like "malo lumen").

At one point, the standard approaches weren't working, so the sister yelled, "BLUE!" And it turned green! That traffic light is having an identity crisis!

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Good, good, keep going... :-)

Breakpoint had an interesting commentary on the 12th about a Cardinal's clarification of the Catholic position on evolution.
Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, the Archbishop of Vienna... was chosen by John Paul II to be lead editor of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. He is also close to the current pope, Benedict XVI.

In early April, Schönborn spoke with then-Cardinal Ratzinger and told him that he "would like to have a more explicit statement" about the Church's position on evolution. Ratzinger encouraged Schönborn "to go on," and the result was a piece that appeared July 7 in the New York Times.

From the start, Schönborn rejects the idea that the "neo-Darwinian dogma"—of "an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection"—is "somehow compatible with Christian faith." While the Church leaves to "science many details about the history of life on earth," it also "proclaims that by the light of reason the human intellect can readily and clearly discern purpose and design in the natural world … "

He characterized attempts to deny or "explain away the overwhelming evidence for design in biology" as "ideology, not science" and "an abdication of human intelligence."

Schönborn's piece quickly provoked a reaction. "Leading Cardinal Redefines Church's View on Evolution" was the New York Times headline a few days later. The headline should have read: "Catholics Mean It When They Recite the Nicene Creed on Sunday."

After all, the Cardinal simply said that a Christian cannot consistently believe in God, the Creator of "all that is, seen and unseen," while also believing that life is the result of "an unguided, unplanned process of random variation and natural selection."

Note that I said "Christian" and not just "Catholic." The incompatibility Schönborn described is just as true for Protestants as Catholics.

Would that all who believe in the Creator thought so. As you can tell, Breakpoint approves of the move; I found Schonborn's own article, and wasn't quite so excited. It's fine as far as it goes, and was certainly good enough to make various bloggers throw fits and start referring to Copernicus, but...why leave open the possibility of theistic evolution at all?

Sunday, July 10, 2005

The rites of Bealls

For all you who may be wondering, work is going adequately. :-) It's not frightfully exciting, but I think it's character-building. I get to practice doing all things heartily, as for the Lord, not for men. I develop some sympathy for those who complain that they aren't properly appreciated (i.e. paid). I am learning to deal with all sorts of people. I have become convinced of my inadequacy in Spanish, Romanian, and Albanian, a fact I had suspected before. (It was rather cool. I tried out the one semi-appropriate Romanian greeting I could remember on a lady and promptly messed up the word order! Ah well, at least she knew what I was getting at!) I have plenty of time to analyze pop music: for those of you who dislike Christian rock, I should like to assure you, it has equal musical value and more sensible and edifying lyrics. I have time to contemplate blog entries which I forget before I get to a computer. I get to see pretty much all my acquaintances, including those I haven't run into for, oh, ten years or so. This is great if I happen to recognize them and good for practicing humility if I don't. :-)

Beall's is rather like a shrine, which every dweller in the town and surrounding villages and farms must visit sooner or later, and I am like a lowly priestess therein. The rites must be observed. There are the rites to welcome the day, rites to apply to the needs of pilgrims, rites at the setting of the sun, the rites for the closing of doors. There are rites for dealing with those in authority over our store, rites for one another, and rites for setting forth the items therein. There are rites for putting objects out for viewing and rites for restoring them to their places after pilgrims try them on. There are separate rites for receiving paper and metal, plastic, and checks. If one fails to properly observe a ritual, one more fully initated into the mysteries must come and purify one's mistakes.

The interesting thing is that while these rites must be scrupulously observed, for failure one faces no wrath greater than humans. At least, one isn't told so.

Humanist of the year speaks

Richard Dawkins, accepting the 1996 "Humanist of the Year" award, said this:

Don't fall for the argument that religion and science operate on separate dimensions and are concerned with quite separate sorts of questions. Religions have historically always attempted to answer the questions that properly belong to science. Thus religions should not be allowed now to retreat away from the ground upon which they have traditionally attempted to fight. They do offer both a cosmology and a biology;
And he continued,

however, in both cases it is false.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005


I have come to the conclusion that I like current fashions.

Not all. But a lot of it.

To start with, longish fullish skirts are in style. I am now back in agreement with 90% of ladies in all of world history. This makes me happy. It's quite possible to manipulate a long skirt into any sort of costume at all; it's very difficult to do that with jeans. Also, most girls look good in longish fullish skirts, and hardly anyone looks good in tight little pants.

To continue with, there are COLORS this season, both in clothes and in shoes. I am wearing hot pink ballet-style shoes as I type. Black and brown are good and worthy, but for goodness' sake, there's a whole rainbow out there.

There's a ton of variety now, too. One can wear what one likes, and not be ostracized. One can thus also find modest garb.

Many members

It occurs to me that there are two different types of conforming. There’s group or herd mentality, the sort of thing that leads to committees, and then there’s obedience to a rightful ruler, either a coach, a government, or God. Everyone wants at the same time to belong (remember the theme of alienation?) and to be an Individual. It’s the problem of the one and the many applied to humans.

Christianity is an excellent example of the good sort, for there are many members, but one body, and the Head is Christ. An Individual causes problems, but individuals are essential.

I wonder if all those “question authority” bumper stickers—stated in the imperative, if you notice—are picking up on the problem with herd mentality, and aren’t distinguishing between the two. Of course, it’s entirely possibly they deny the existence of any rightful ruler, in which case there’s nothing to do but pray.

There is a genuine difference here, it seems to me, but I’m not sure how to define it. Is it the presence or absence of a plan? Of a proper authority? Of likemindedness?

Dancing, I think, illustrates this. There’s the sort we do at the Valentine’s dance. It lacks structure, and if you’re good at it, it’s because you’ve just got the hang of it, and everyone will stand in a circle and cheer you on. If you aren’t good at it, that’s fine, because hardly anybody else is either. Classic instance of a herd of Individuals. Then there’s contradancing. It is very structured, and it takes some learning. If you haven’t got it, you’ll mess everyone up. Classic instance of many members and one Body.

Can anyone explain what I mean better than I can? 

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Theologian quiz

You scored as Anselm. Anselm is the outstanding theologian of the medieval period.He sees man's primary problem as having failed to render unto God what we owe him, so God becomes man in Christ and gives God what he is due. You should read 'Cur Deus Homo?'



Karl Barth


John Calvin


Jonathan Edwards


Friedrich Schleiermacher


Martin Luther


Charles Finney


Paul Tillich






Which theologian are you?
created with

I think the author of the quiz doesn't quite have Augustine; I'm pretty sure I am more Augustinian (and also more Edwardsian) than the results say. :-) But it's a fun quiz.

Friday, July 01, 2005


In this, one may behold Tex the Cat, Head of Household Security (indoors), and Lilly the Mighty Huntress (on the patio).

Of forests that move

They say Tolkien had Ents because Shakespeare didn’t. Macbeth was told, "fear not, till Birnam wood/Do come to Dunsinane; and now a wood/Comes toward Dunsinane." A moving forest! So anyone reasonable would presume from context; so Tolkien presumed. But it was only Malcolm and Siward carrying branches. How dull.

Ents, however: Ents shepherd trees, and their woods do walk. In one night trees of Fangorn came before Helm’s Deep. They destroyed the Orcs and in another night were gone back to their place. That were a forest to make a mortal tremble properly.

In the last two days I have seen a forest move. The air was full of tree-matter, so muddying the sky that one could hardly see the Sangre de Cristos just across the valley. The sun shone orange through the smoke as it did during the great fire five years ago. When Dad and I drove up to work, we thought there was another fire in the Jemez; but it was in reality the forests of Arizona, north of Phoenix, which were caught up by the flames and sent flying five hundred miles, over deserts and mountains and state lines, to sit in the Rio Grande valley. A Jinn could do no greater wonder.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Top movie quotes

1. "Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn," "Gone With the Wind," 1939.

2. "I'm going to make him an offer he can't refuse," "The Godfather," 1972.

3. "You don't understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am," "On the Waterfront," 1954.

4. "Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore," "The Wizard of Oz," 1939.

5. "Here's looking at you, kid," "Casablanca," 1942.

6. "Go ahead, make my day," "Sudden Impact," 1983.

7. "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up," "Sunset Blvd.," 1950.

8. "May the Force be with you," "Star Wars," 1977.

9. "Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night," "All About Eve," 1950.

10. "You talking to me?" "Taxi Driver," 1976.

11. "What we've got here is failure to communicate," "Cool Hand Luke," 1967.

12. "I love the smell of napalm in the morning," "Apocalypse Now," 1979.

13. "Love means never having to say you're sorry," "Love Story," 1970.

14. "The stuff that dreams are made of," "The Maltese Falcon," 1941.

15. "E.T. phone home," "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial," 1982.

16. "They call me Mister Tibbs!", "In the Heat of the Night," 1967.

17. "Rosebud," "Citizen Kane," 1941.

18. "Made it, Ma! Top of the world!", "White Heat," 1949.

19. "I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!", "Network," 1976.

20. "Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship," "Casablanca," 1942.

21. "A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti," "The Silence of the Lambs," 1991.

22. "Bond. James Bond," "Dr. No," 1962.

23. "There's no place like home," "The Wizard of Oz," 1939.

24. "I am big! It's the pictures that got small," "Sunset Blvd.," 1950.

25. "Show me the money!", "Jerry Maguire," 1996.

26. "Why don't you come up sometime and see me?", "She Done Him Wrong," 1933.

27. "I'm walking here! I'm walking here!", "Midnight Cowboy," 1969.

28. "Play it, Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By,'" "Casablanca," 1942.

29. "You can't handle the truth!", "A Few Good Men," 1992.

30. "I want to be alone," "Grand Hotel," 1932.

31. "After all, tomorrow is another day!", "Gone With the Wind," 1939.

32. "Round up the usual suspects," "Casablanca," 1942.

33. "I'll have what she's having," "When Harry Met Sally...," 1989.

34. "You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow," "To Have and Have Not," 1944.

35. "You're gonna need a bigger boat," "Jaws," 1975.

36. "Badges? We ain't got no badges! We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinking badges!", "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre," 1948.

37. "I'll be back," "The Terminator," 1984.

38. "Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth," "The Pride of the Yankees," 1942.

39. "If you build it, he will come," "Field of Dreams," 1989.

40. "Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get," "Forrest Gump," 1994.

41. "We rob banks," "Bonnie and Clyde," 1967.

42. "Plastics," "The Graduate," 1967.

43. "We'll always have Paris," "Casablanca," 1942.

44. "I see dead people," "The Sixth Sense," 1999.

45. "Stella! Hey, Stella!", "A Streetcar Named Desire," 1951.

46. "Oh, Jerry, don't let's ask for the moon. We have the stars," "Now, Voyager," 1942.

47. "Shane. Shane. Come back!", "Shane," 1953.

48. "Well, nobody's perfect," "Some Like It Hot," 1959.

49. "It's alive! It's alive!", "Frankenstein," 1931.

50. "Houston, we have a problem," "Apollo 13," 1995.

51. "You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?", "Dirty Harry," 1971.

52. "You had me at `hello,'" "Jerry Maguire," 1996.

53. "One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don't know," "Animal Crackers," 1930.

54. "There's no crying in baseball!", "A League of Their Own," 1992.

55. "La-dee-da, la-dee-da," "Annie Hall," 1977.

56. "A boy's best friend is his mother," "Psycho," 1960.

57. "Greed, for lack of a better word, is good," "Wall Street," 1987.

58. "Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer," "The Godfather Part II," 1974.

59. "As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again," "Gone With the Wind," 1939.

60. "Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into!", "Sons of the Desert," 1933.

61. "Say `hello' to my little friend!", "Scarface," 1983.

62. "What a dump," "Beyond the Forest," 1949.

63. "Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me. Aren't you?", "The Graduate," 1967.

64. "Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!", "Dr. Strangelove," 1964.

65. "Elementary, my dear Watson," "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes," 1929.

66. "Get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape," "Planet of the Apes," 1968.

67. "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine," "Casablanca," 1942.

68. "Here's Johnny!", "The Shining," 1980.

69. "They're here!", "Poltergeist," 1982.

70. "Is it safe?", "Marathon Man," 1976.

71. "Wait a minute, wait a minute. You ain't heard nothin' yet!", "The Jazz Singer," 1927.

72. "No wire hangers, ever!", "Mommie Dearest," 1981.

73. "Mother of mercy, is this the end of Rico?", "Little Caesar," 1930.

74. "Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown," "Chinatown," 1974.

75. "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers," "A Streetcar Named Desire," 1951.

76. "Hasta la vista, baby," "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," 1991.

77. "Soylent Green is people!", "Soylent Green," 1973.

78. "Open the pod bay doors, HAL," "2001: A Space Odyssey," 1968.

79. Striker: "Surely you can't be serious." Rumack: "I am serious ... and don't call me Shirley," "Airplane!", 1980.

80. "Yo, Adrian!", "Rocky," 1976.

81. "Hello, gorgeous," "Funny Girl," 1968.

82. "Toga! Toga!", "National Lampoon's Animal House," 1978.

83. "Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make," "Dracula," 1931.

84. "Oh, no, it wasn't the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast," "King Kong," 1933.

85. "My precious," "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers," 2002.

86. "Attica! Attica!", "Dog Day Afternoon," 1975.

87. "Sawyer, you're going out a youngster, but you've got to come back a star!", "42nd Street," 1933.

88. "Listen to me, mister. You're my knight in shining armor. Don't you forget it. You're going to get back on that horse, and I'm going to be right behind you, holding on tight, and away we're gonna go, go, go!", "On Golden Pond," 1981.

89. "Tell 'em to go out there with all they got and win just one for the Gipper," "Knute Rockne, All American," 1940.

90. "A martini. Shaken, not stirred," "Goldfinger," 1964.

91. "Who's on first," "The Naughty Nineties," 1945.

92. "Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac ... It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole!", "Caddyshack," 1980.

93. "Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!", "Auntie Mame," 1958.

94. "I feel the need -- the need for speed!", "Top Gun," 1986.

95. "Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary," "Dead Poets Society," 1989.

96. "Snap out of it!", "Moonstruck," 1987.

97. "My mother thanks you. My father thanks you. My sister thanks you. And I thank you," "Yankee Doodle Dandy," 1942.

98. "Nobody puts Baby in a corner," "Dirty Dancing," 1987.

99. "I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too!", "The Wizard of Oz," 1939.

100. "I'm king of the world!", "Titanic," 1997. :-)