22 August, 2005

Ahh! The Greater Pittsburgh Renaissance Festival...sigh

Greetings, my fellow people, and well met!

From this moment henceforth, I have made the decision to speak more eloquently. Life, short though it may be, should be sweetened when possible, and my dear sirs and ladies, this mayhap be one venue of sweetening one's day. Please, I prithee, good people, do entertain my Renaissance tongue, and please do not hesitate to join with me should I shout a good ringing HIP HIP HUZZAH every now and again.

This Festival may also be known as the PGH RenFest...and the sigh was for the noble knight who kissed my hand in parting ;-) His name be Sir Thomas, and unfortunately he had perished about 10 minutes earlier as a result of being stabbed in the back by the knight I cheered on in the jousting (whose name happened to be Sir Ashton). Sir Thomas was only a herald...but Sir Ashton was seeking revenge because he thought his brother (King Richard) had unlawfully taken the throne, and was trying to prevent the King's marriage to Queen Rosalind. The Queen's unfortunate knight, Lord Morgan, Duke of Morelandshire (a.k.a. "Captain" Morgan :-P ), was near defeat and badly wounded by Sir Ashton, but revived enough at the last moment to catch Sir Ashton unawares during his celebration. Well, that was the first joust. On the second day, and second re-enactment, Sir Ashton killed both Lord Morgan and Sir Thomas, but King Richard stabbed him in the back whilst Sir Ashton was celebrating! And, alas, the dear Sir Thomas seemed a bit bloody after having his throat cut by Sir Ashton (I though this was all for play...and Sir Ashton even told me that they were his friends! Pah!) However, I did'st enjoy the jousting heartily.

Not only was there jousting (choreographed and relatively non-lethal though it may be), there were multiple entertainers (jugglers, musicians, acrobats, comedians) and also multiple artisans. I got a spiffy little crown-thingy to add to my elvish wardrobe :-D The Steel Thistle Pipe & Drum band were HOTROCKINAWESOME! No, scratch that. They deserve a good round of HIP HIP HUZZAH's!!!! (Come on, everybody! Ooom-pahh!)

I'truth, I did'st enjoy the weekend very much. Though I saw no men of Sherwood dressed in their Lincoln Green, I dids't have a good time. The portraits painted above by a good friend (i. e. my brother's camera) are the Zany Umbrella Circus, Queen Rosalind and myself, and Sir Thomas on his horse. I am not sure of the exact order, but, my friends, you may know which label be to which image.

I thank thee, and bid thee all farewell. May you live as long as you want, and not want as long as you live. (hmm, now this brings into question another completely different topic. Should we wish for what we want, or durst we stray from God's perfect will?)

20 August, 2005

Pure Boss

So, I found out that a band I really like (not based in my city) is coming to have a "concert" in my city. BUT, it's one of those "over 21" places...alas, I have petitioned for their visit, and they hve come, but I won't be there. DRAT

In other news, I have decided that, in the right mood, the lead singer of said band looks like Paul McCartney.

Lord of the Rings...fantasy...Christmas in August

This is in response to a friend's e-mail about Lord of the Rings, in which he stated that he'd be "home for Christmas" in August.

Though Tolkien's imaginary world is not real, it has been internalized by thousands, perhaps millions, of readers and has become a welcome escape from the daily world we see around us. Some, such as myself, have even come to argue that the world that we experience simply with the five earthly senses is not, in fact, the "real" world. It is not the "whole" world, that is to say, and many who are living and responding only to stimuli presented to those five senses are losing a large part of life's experiences.

Take J. M. Barrie, for example. Though some have called the man a creep and a psychological disaster, he had the ability to experience things that no one else, or a select few, could experience. Tolkien wrote with the same effect in mind. Perhaps these experiences are not "real," as some might want to classify them, but they can still teach us valuable lessons. I am not advocating lunacy with this statement; rather, I am showing that intelligent men also make up their own "play world."

Religion is another "world" that may fall into this category, since much of the supernatural world does not come into contact with the five earthly senses. This is why I classify the daily world as only part of the whole world. I believe that the supernatural realm should be just as much a part of the daily world as eating breakfast, assuming that one eats breakfast on a regular basis. I would also say, however, that the supernatural realm is much more important than the fantastic realm (using the word fantastic "hesitantly and desiring its interpretation strictly from the dictionary definition, along the lines of implausible, unbelievable, unlikely, extraordinary, and not to conjure imagery of a leaping leprechaun from some queer eye for the straight guy homemaker fashion show. I admit that prefacing "fantastic" with "whimsical" did not help my efforts;" also barring any reference to a household cleaning product). The supernatural realm has eternal consequences and provides eternal escape from hell, whereas the fantastic realm only has temporary consequences and provides temporary escape.

16 August, 2005


Wow, did I just have an enlightening convo with a friend. I realized that, in a specific incidence over this weekend, I had been running from God's grace. I wrote a parody of a song by Evanescence...'break me up inside, I won't break up inside, break me up and save me from myself...bid me not to run, 'cause your grace has always won, take me up and save me from myself'

14 August, 2005


Well! Life is beautiful. My (new and significantly smaller) bedroom is a pile of knicknacks that I had been too sensitive to throw away (they were gifts) as well as a bed. Hurray! I spent a lovely afternoon at the Household of Sames (it's a farm...Sunnyside Farms? I'm not sure). Ultimate Obstacle Course Frisbee...4-5 foot-high hay bales make the playing field quite interesting. As well as neighborhood dogs seeking attention. The Sames' pool was quite a refreshment, and getting up on a horse again felt good.

And then I spent the evening at the hospital. My dear younger brother snapped his second metacarpal near the carpometacarpal joint (i.e. 1st finger on the palm near the wrist). Though they will probably fix it without surgery, the extent of soft tissue damage is unknown. Boy, do those x-rays look interesting! Oh...and even more interesting news...his growth plates haven't fused yet...which means he's not done growing. Alas and alack! Imagine shopping for those boy's pants when he's 6'8"!!!

Yesterday (saturday) also proved interesting. I learned once again that nothing I do is on my own strength. Thank God for his amazing saving grace...I owe my life to the Giver of that grace.

Happy 23rd anniversary, dear parents! (not King Thranduil et al., but the real parents ;-) )

Am I wordy?

Can you imagine...? A loquacious elf? Well, I have received news from a well-published, experienced blogger that my posts are simply too long and verbose to be interesting. Therefore I shall shorten things up in hopes that...um...well, frankly...who am I writing for, anyway? Um...well...hopefully whatever audience I have out there will be more interested in the words that I am echoing out of history (after all, there is nothing new under the sun).

Who's out there, anyway?


11 August, 2005


If you are having troubles seeing old comments or posting new ones, let me know. I set the blog so that comments come as pop-up windows, which might be blocked on your computer.

I found this online at http://www.salvationarmyaac.com. It really touched me. I was reminded again of two important things. Though I may be a wonderful gift, the gift is not the important thing. It is the giver (in this case, the Giver) who is important and the things that the Giver is trying to say with his gift. Am I, therefore, communicating what God wants to say through me? SO, I am not important and I have a message to communicate. This really impacted me in ways I really can't communicate. I felt so special...humbled...challenged...encouraged...many seemingly contradictory feelings, but over all I was amazed, once again, by grace.

"I Am A Gift"
By Lt. Colonel Check Yee (R)

How are you doing in your Christmas gift shopping?

It was the week before Christmas. Mike and Liz were busily wrapping gifts in the living room. Beautiful ribbon and wrapping paper s were all over the floor. Their seven-year-old daughter, Jenny, picked up all the odds-and-ends and wrapped herself in them: ribbons in her hair, paper around her little body. Suddenly she seemed to be aware of something and yelled out, "Mommy and Daddy, look! I am a gift!"

Jenny's mom and dad beheld their sweet and innocent girl. Her mom gazed at her daughter with much affection and said, "Yes, honey, you are a gift to us from God."

God not only gives us as a gift to people around us, but He, above all, gave us as a gift to "us." Life comes from God. His Holy Spirit breathed into us and we became a living being, a miracle, a gift!

A gift is something one gives to another as an expression of love. It is supposed to make others happy even when the receiver doesn't deserve it. On the other hand, you can't force people to give you a gift because it must be a voluntary act.

The birth of Jesus Christ is God's greatest gift ever given to mankind since creation. "God so loved the world, that He gave His one and only son... ," not because we are lovable. On the contrary, He simply, unconditionally loved us. Why is that? Because we are created by Him. He knows our nature is nothing but dust and selfish thought which can harm our body and soul. The Incarnation of Jesus into this world revealed God's mercy and set before us an example of righteousness, so that "whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16) this is what Christmas is all about - a gift from God.

Jesus' trip to this earth was full of risks. He knew that, but His love was so intense. Yet people didn't appreciate it and nailed Him on the cross.

To remind ourselves of the cruel fact of His sacrifice during this joyous season doesn't seem to match. But without accepting His salvation offer and nailing our "old self" together with His cross, Christmas is incomplete. Therefore, from Christmas to Easter is a series of events that makes our celebration this month one of true peace and perfect harmony. You can't just take Christmas, reject repentance, and then rise in the glory of Easter. Hallelujah!

Years ago, I liked to keep the Christmas tree until Easter. I trimmed off all the branches and needles, keeping only the trunk. I cut the trunk in two and tied them together to make a cross. It reminded me that Christmas and Easter were meant for each other. One without the other will not do.

One Christmas I received a strange gift. It took two of my grandchildren to drag it into the living room. Believe it or not, it was a 25-pound bag of brown rice! I don't think it was the children's idea because their choices were focused only on toys (before the computer era). But the parents knew better that brown rice was healthy for the grandfather.

"The Bread of Life!" This thought appeared in me simultaneously. Jesus said to the Jews, "Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But there is the Bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die." (John 6:49,50) Then at the climax, he said, "I am the Bread of Life!"

"Mommy and Daddy, look! I am a gift!" said Jenny. Am I also a gift? A gift to "me " and those around me? Am I a gift of joy and blessing to others? Oh, remember the little boy who gave Jesus five loaves of bread and two fish, and 4,000 hungry people were fed? Was he a gift!

This Christmas, be a gift and give yourself in a "self-denial offering" to our brothers and sisters in Africa. It will be the greatest expression of Christ's love.

"Today in the town of David, a Savior has been born to you. He is the Christ."
Luke 2:11

The Salvation Army San Francisco Asian American Corps
salvationarmyaac.com/html/__lt__col__yee.html December 10, 2000

Another name?

So...my father was recently looking up my family name on the internet to show my grandma the family Tartan. Well, he came across a variant of my family name that sounded elvish, and suggested I tag it onto my elvish name. SO, I have made a big decision in the life of Laedelas Greenleaf. She now goes by the full name of (...play dramatic lead-in music...) Laedelas Cuindlir Greenleaf. Now she is somewhat related to me by name, and I am somewhat related to her. This alternative ego thing is getting much more complex than I ever planned. Oh, well...it's handy for internet communication.

OH, and I've decided that Laedelas has a romantic interest. Aww, ain't that cute! Since Glorfindel is my favorite male elf, I figure my alter ego can have a more interesting social life. Big spiders get boring after a while.

Sorry...this post wasn't interesting in the least bit. I just had to say something.

08 August, 2005


So, what is heaven? I recently had a conversation with two classmates about heaven, and I also watched the movie "Finding Neverland" (which wasn't as creepy as I thought it would be). The views of heaven varied greatly.

One classmate seemed to never have even considered heaven. The idea of a perfect place was blocked by the idea of a Purgatory, which he seemed sure would entrap him forever to repay his debt of sin to God. I asked him a question that I often ask Catholics, and he replied with a common answer. "What about the saving grace of Jesus? Isn't the cross sufficient to cover your sins?" I ask. "Well, Jesus forgave me of my sins, but I still have to make up for them" is the usual reply I get. He seemed to view heaven as an impossible place for his own existence, since dwelling there would require him to be someone other than himself. He could not separate himself from his sin.

Another classmate never really produced much of a personal view on heaven. She seemed to think that heaven was what one wanted it to be, and it was the perfect world for one's individuality. Heaven served no purpose other than to satisfy oneself forever. I shuddered at this thought, and asked her if she'd like to live a life that had no other purpose. She never had the chance to reply directly, but I could see that the idea disappointed her somewhat.

"Finding Neverland," which is an excellent movie (and cemented the idea in my head that Johnny Depp is indeed an excellent actor) also addressed the idea of heaven, though the word was never mentioned. In this movie, death and disappointment are addressed quite often. J. M. Barrie befriends a fatherless family of four boys and their mother (the Davieses). Peter, the boy that Mr. Barrie seems to have the deepest relationship with, struggles with the death of his father and dealing with the emotional pain that he feels. By the end of the movie, Peter's mother has also died, and the conversation between Peter and Mr. Barrie is touching. Like many people who have lost loved ones, Peter does not understand why his mother had to die. Mr. Barrie comforts him, saying she lives on, "in every page of your imagination...she went to Neverland." To the writers of this movie, Neverland seemed equivalent to heaven. And Neverland was where one never had to grow up (time was irrelevant), and if you believed in something long enough and hard enough, it became real.

So, what is heaven? Well, one could start with our purpose to deduce perhaps part of what heaven is and its meaning. Thanks to the Westminster Catechism (and the excellent education that required me to learn some of it), I can reply with confidence that the sole purpose of Mankind is to glorify God and enjoy him forever. Is this not also the purpose of heaven? We are not there simply to enjoy ourselves, but to glorify God, and through this glorification, we then also satisfy our deepest longings and enjoy it. Complete satisfaction cannot be separated from God. (Luke 15:7 "Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over the one sinner who repents than over the ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.") We can enjoy this relationship because of the completely redeeming work of Christ on the cross. Since we can do nothing to add to this salvation, there is no other requirement or deed necessary to enter this eternal paradise. There is no thought of boredom, either. Our minds are finite, and since God is infinite, it follows that, though we may know much about God, we cannot know him fully. There will never be nothing new to learn about God.

Of course, since we are finite, and heaven has been designed and built by an infinite mind, we will never know all there is to know about heaven while we exist on this earth.

What's your favorite aspect of heaven?

05 August, 2005

Yes, it's me....after all these years

Well, who else would it be? After all, there is only one Laedelas Greenleaf, Princess of Mirkwood, Daughter of King Thranduil, Sister (the elder by 8 minutes) to the famed Legolas of Mirkwood, Venger on the Spiders of Unusual Size, Reknowned fencer, etc. etc. etc.

Yes, I have taken the dive into the world of blogging. I'm not sure why. Perhaps to entertain my mind on those sleepless nights (you see, elves don't sleep that much) when my buddy list has shrunken to the size and interest level of a pea. Perhaps I will publish something interesting on this site. Most likely it will not be.

Books I have read this summer:
The More Than Complete Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
excerpts from The Lord of the Rings trilogy (J.R.R. Tolkien)
Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (Lemony Snicket)
Don't Waste Your Life (John Piper)
Reprint of Noah Webster's Original Dictionary of the English Language
The Crossway Comprehensive Concordance of the Holy Bible-ESV
Trusting God, Even When Life Hurts (Jerry Bridges)
Here's How, a collection of tips and tricks from the Co-Ed magazine, published in 1967
Deaf America, Voices in a Culture (Carol Padden and Tom Humphries)
umm....perhaps I'll think of others...

Please, feel free to post!