31 December, 2005

Rambling room noises (yes...*sigh*...more Eisley references :-D)

Today we had a multitude of guests at our home. And, yes, it does feel like home now. We drove past our old house to pick up the wayfaring cat recently, and I was neither saddened by the "For Sale" sign in the yard nor were my heartstrings plucked when I saw the front lights on. It is an empty shell of its former self. Still full of memories for me, but it is not now my earthly home.

I trust that our guests enjoyed themselves. There was no shortage of food. However, due to the festivities, I organized my room yet more. I sit now in a room that has only solid furniture on the floor and bookshelves with clean tops. The boxes under my bed are stacked neatly and the scarves on my headboard are hung straight. It is strange. Though I have many large pictures on the walls and furniture aplenty, it is not "homely" as it is accustomed. No sneakers tossed against the closet door. No school papers on the floor.

Isn't it strange how my "mess" makes my room part of me? I don't like my mess. Sometimes it's convenient, but more often than not it is a bother. But, even when one leaves my art and my books and my clothes in the room, but takes away the little pieces of my life, it is not all mine anymore.

I love my books.

30 December, 2005

Eisley again

Now that I own the album (much thanks do I extend to my brothers for their thoughtful gift), I'm able to analyze the songs a lot more (and understand the lyrics a bit better). "My Lovely" is one of the two 5-star songs of theirs that I have on iTunes. Why? Because it's a good song, silly! :-P

As I was listening/reading the lyrics thoroughly for the first time, I thought it was perhaps a song about waiting for "true love": "why do you wait for me/And how do you wait for me". As the song continued, I was astonished with the depth. "I'm lost and alone without you here by my side/Here's a song for you lovely/Remember that it is for you only, for you only." My definition of the "true love" in that song changed. I am indeed lost and alone without God's true love. And I should be astonished at how he waited for me and on me. The best of my tarnished love should be completely his.

28 December, 2005

Akron memories

Ok, I've posted the post I want to post about dance. However, since that post was half-scribbled out of hazy memory, I'm going to include the "fun" stuff here.

It was so fun to have an intelligent conversation with the girl in Caribou Coffee before we left (and we didn't talk about coffee!! It was Chai).

The ride there was full of music. Once we got there, I helped fold costumes and stuff. Blowtorching candles inside wine glasses was very...interesting. Mike comandeered his mother's Pyrex pie dish to melt the wax so we could get the candles to stick to the glass! (Then I started cleaning it around 12:30 AM on Sunday morning)

Speaking of the Hoffmans, they have a strange beagle. Oh, yeah, she's cute & all, but I felt like she was saying something when she looked at me. I suppose this is why girls use eyeliner. (Yes, the dog has eyeliner!!) AND they have a dance studio in their basement!!! A "Matley" rubber dance floor, barres, and a wall lined with mirrors...*gets tingly sensation in her fingers* it was really cool.

Wearing a rubber bug (walkie talkie) taped to my head was also cool, in its own way. If only the sound guys would have been wearing theirs...*sigh* :-P

And the dancers. I gave quite a few foot massages (& back rubs). Dancers' feet take a beating (& shoulders are just fun to relax). So, anyway, I was in the middle of massaging a friend's feet, when Mr. Hoffman radioed me and asked me to do something in the lighting booth. Forgetting that my friend couldn't hear, I promptly got up & left. Oops.

Reesie (my hostesses' dog) wanted to share my three couch cushions that constituted my bed. I insisted that they remain mine due to the cushions' narrow field, so the dog rested her head on my knee. Aww :-)

Getting sick to my stomach when I heard about the Hoffman's neighbors' escapade in the middle of the night really made me want to hole up & forget that I knew any guys. Talking about it on the way home helped me calm down, even though I really would have preferred a different topic. Thanks, John.

....aaaand arriving home at 2:30 AM. I hope the neighbors didn't think I was trying to sneak in after my curfew. 'Cos I honestly wasn't. But there was no way I could have gotten up at 6:45 AM to help with the church set-up. Still, I think the sacrifice was worth it!

...is it time?

I realized something very important tonight as I stood in my doorway. The light had just been flicked off, and sharp pinpricks of light came through my window from the outside, barely illuminating my room. Teetering, one foot balanced on two square inches of polished wood, my free toes ranged the area, searching. Groping in the dark. My toes met nothing but hard corners and soft folds, paper wrappings and wooden edges. No more polished wood to step on, nothing that would allow me to progress toward my bed.

Cleaning one's room is important to its functionality. It is definitely time to clean my room.

26 December, 2005


I just found the coolest electric violin I have ever seen. I wonder if it sounds any good.

[10/3/07 Edit: Oops--that link is bad. Try this one, or search for "TF Barrett electric violin"]

Girly-girl blogs

I do not see myself as a "girly-girl." Nonetheless, I've tried to embrace the biblical definition of femininity and resisting worldly traps. I've read lots of books directed toward women and the special issues they face, and I have found few that were actually helpful to me. "Beautiful Girlhood" by M. Hale and revised by Karen Andreola shaped me a lot in my adolescence and continues in its encouragement, but I can count on one hand the number of books that faced feminine issues in a way that was constructive for me. Women are too concerned with appearing sympathetic to say much of importance.

My father had a big part of shaping how I think, and as a result I wonder sometimes if I don't "think" along the normal patterns that a girl thinks. In any case, I didn't gain much from the Mahaney girls' latest efforts to encourage women (their conference, book and blog, namely). I decided that, as much as I love the theology in Sovereign Grace Ministries, I'd have to look elsewhere for material that encouraged me in my quest for real biblical feminity (I don't think I should shape my character off of Titus 2 alone :-P). However, thanks to the New Attitude Website, I found Carolyn McCulley's blog. I loved it after the second blog post, and intend to follow Miss McCulley's blog closely. What I found:

My first discovery was Miss McCulley's lack of superfluous language. This, my friends, is why women need education! The ability to communicate well is not spontaneous, and flowery words do not make writing more attractive or readable.

Meaningful opinions on feminine issues. "A Man's view of Beauty" was a cool post. Why? Because I shape my appearance according to what I know about men's tastes (within reason, of course). I don't care a whole lot about trends. If most guys I know like long hair, then why not have long hair? BUT, even though I might not be struggling with the temptation to buy the cool leather "biker babe" jacket I saw on the Ralph Lauren website, I still need to remember that God sees inner beauty, and I should be trying to attract men who also see beauty on the inside.

Miss McCulley seems to love discussion and respect the opinions of others, even if she gently corrects them. Rather than just giving a short statement showing a commenter the truth, she shows the truth in scripture & humbles herself.

25 December, 2005

Merry Christmas!

May the peace of God which surpasses all understanding guide your hearts and your minds in this season of remembering Christ's birth. It is with great joy that I entreat you all to remember not just why we are feasting in the name of Christ, but also remember the reason for Christ's birth as a man.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:1-5)

Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you... (1 Peter 13-15)

23 December, 2005

Two days of dance

I love all kinds of dancing. Social, lyrical, ballet, clogging, Irish stepdancing, et cetera. Perhaps not belly dancing. At least, certainly not in my situation. My passion for dance, however, is bound up in my desire to glorify God. I have glorified God best, I think, when I have been dancing. My soul is set free, and my limbs rejoice in the salvation of my God. I mix the emotions of my soul with the movements of my body. I "draw pictures with my movements," to paraphrase a friend's comment about dancing.

Dance is humbling. "I will become even more undignified than this," retorts David when his wife rebukes him for dancing in the streets. To dance, I must lay down my need for self-respect and train my body to do things that I would not naturally do. Walls built by the fear of others must be torn down. To worship a greater Being I must wipe out all hints of selfishness in my actions and intents.

Worship dance is a passion of mine. I have no outlet for worship dance right now, but I am eagerly anticipating a time when I will again be able to throw off the shackles of physical limitations as best I can to worship my God. Whether this may happen soon, or whether I dance on streets like gold in a city built of diamonds, I know that God will command me to dance yet again. I eagerly await such commands. And while I wait, I enjoy the dances of others.

This last Friday and Saturday (the 16th and 17th) I was able to participate in the preparations and production of the Praise His Name With Dancing Christmas production. The weekend was amazing in many ways.

There, I saw my own vision of people dancing wholeheartedly to glorify God. The rhythm and precision. The toes pointed and the fingers gracefully extended. The heads held high and the faces expressive. The choreography was meaningful and diverse. The props were helpful, not cumbersome. The lighting...well, it was sufficient, shall we say. My co-conspirator in the lighting booth invented a few very nice touches. But the technical aspects of the production paled in comparison to the spiritual significance. Allow me to elaborate.

I have danced for almost 11 years, none of which were spent under the tutelage of a nonchristian. The first 5 or 6 of those years were with Miss Stephanie Warren, whom I continue to hold in a high regard and as a model for my life. She worshiped in a way I dream of worshiping, and led her girls in a way that encouraged us to blossom in spiritual growth. I was trained to direct my attentions to God and his glory. My motions had no meaning without his presence.

The family moved, and I later studied with another teacher who did not encourage spiritual growth or awareness of God in dance. Yes, I learned how to dance from her, but I did not learn how to worship. The performances were flat and I felt that my audience saw me as a performer, not as an encouraging worshiper. My passion for dance didn't fade, but it seemed that I could have no outlet for that expression. I stopped dancing, save late at night when no one could hear my wooden floor creaking under my feet.

What was the difference between those experiences (especially the latter) and this one? God was there. Mrs. Hoffman, who gave birth to this ministry, has done an excellent job of keeping the focus on worship and away from performance. One of the greatest things that affected me was the pre-dance praying. It brought me to tears. All of the girls sat in a large circle around the stage, and Mrs. H talked to them about offering their bodies as a living sacrifice to God, making reference to the woman who poured perfume over Jesus' feet. We then broke off into smaller circles (separated by class) and prayed individually for each other. Everyone's hands, feet, and faces are usually anointed with oil as well, but due to the holiday, we used frankincense. Though I did not dance, I was included as a member of the support crew. Later, Mr. Hoffman took aside the guys (a few dancers and the rest of the support crew) and did the same with them. This focused everyone incredibly. There was absolutely no questioning why anyone was dancing, doing lights, setting up chairs, or sewing costumes.

I got so close to crying in those two days more times than I have in years. Why? Because of the significance of their dances.
I have seen dance, and I have seen worship, but this blended the two in a way that I have only dreamed about until now. It is hard for me to describe. When the Psalmist talks about honey on the lips, I think of worshiping in dance like this. It was soothing and exciting and refreshing and challenging and beautiful and painful. Oh! For another breath of that fresh heavenly aroma, I am willing to lay down my life. This weekend, I was thrilled enough just to serve the dancers.

During Friday (the rehearsal) and Saturday I was recruited to work in the light booth, which mostly entailed wearing a walkie-talkie (the earpiece had to be taped to my head) and pushing buttons at the right time. Mike, my co-conspirator, was amazing. If he weren't there, then there would be very few lights on that stage. He figured out the buttons and sliders on the light board, and showed me a bit about playing with lighting effects. Dude, the blue lights at the beginning of the dance was pure GENIUS! That was so sweet. Mike & Mr. Hoffman were both so supportive of the light booth, even though they both had parts in the dancing. The times up there were by no means lonely. Every time I talk to that Mike kid I find another reason to laugh, and learn something else interesting.

I was able to serve in another practical way by giving massages to my friends' feet and backs. Perhaps this is part of the gift of healing that I think God has given me, but giving massages leaves me feeling elated. Teaching Bek the little I knew about shoulders and relaxing muscles was so fun! My hostesses seemed to enjoy the treatment as well. I'm hoping that, if I go back for the dance intensive this summer, I'll be able to earn my keep at their house by massaging.

I developed stronger relationships with my hostesses. We enjoyed significant, meaningful conversation that was peppered with humor. We compared creepy stalkers and talked of future husbands and old crushes. I realized that, though I may feel lonesome, my experiences are by no means uncommon. I feel like I have developed two more kindred spirits, and perhaps even three. Mrs. Murphy is becoming a role model for me. And I spent time with a wonderful old friend and learned more of her goings and plans. I shared common experiences with a dancer whose ability inspired me and whose passion amazed me.

I demanded conversation for 2.5 hours on the way home in an effort to keep my chauffeur awake. There are parts of that conversation that I do not remember, but it seemed beneficial, I hope, and was not too boring for John. Our conversation seemed to focus on the effects of alcohol, though we did wander down rabbit trails from there. I arrived home at 2:30 AM, tired and happy. Driving in a sports car is way different than driving in a minivan. I enjoyed the ride, John!

God has given me many things to work on in my life through that weekend. I was challenged to talk with my pastor about scheduling a dance at church, if he thinks God is leading in that direction. Old struggles with the desire to perform for Man's approval arose. Jealousy for those who have opportunities and abilities that I don't occasionally tugged at my heart. I was saddened that many of my friends in Pittsburgh do not seem to understand this experience, and the power that comes with worshiping God through dance.

I must push pass these debilitating emotions to capture it in truth and motion so I may serve God again through dancing.


I post these not for myself, and yet I do. I post them to show exactly what work I did during the semester that actually counted toward my grades. I post them to encourage others who I know have had a hard semester (you're not alone). I post them to break the pride I have in my achievements. I post them so that, if anyone thinks of it next semester, they might ask me how well I'm pursuing my studies.

Semester's GPA: 2.393

20 December, 2005


Why do I doubt? Lately, due to my academic mishaps, I have been mistrusting God. I have been questioning his guidance and goodness. How dare I? What a preposterous notion!! I know that, in comparison to Job, I have lost nothing and through the cross have gained more than Job had. It helps, however to compare our situations. Why did God take everything away from Job and allow him to suffer? Was it punishment? Was God trying to prove something? God has nothing to prove, and he himself declared Job as a man full of integrity. Job 1:3 "And the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, who fears God and turns away from evil? He still holds fast his integrity, although you incited me against him to destroy him without reason.” However, due to this display of God's might and complete power, Job learned incredible truths about God. Job 40:1-5 "And the Lord said to Job: 'Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty? He who argues with God, let him answer it.' Then Job answered the Lord and said: 'Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth. I have spoken once, and I will not answer; twice, but I will proceed no further.'" Perhaps through this fire I will learn more about God. I am, after all, constantly questing after knowledge of God and his mercy and the conviction of my sins.

Job 42:1 "Then Job answered the Lord and said: 'I know that you can do all things, and that no purpose of yours can be thwarted. "Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?" Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. "Hear, and I will speak; I will question you, and you make it known to me." I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you; therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.'

Indeed, as my friend has described, the future is something to be smiled at, and my present circumstances shall neither affect my salvation or my destiny. How can my future be dark when it is filled with God's glory?

19 December, 2005

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Movie Review

First of all, allow me to state that the movie, in all technicalities, was good. I shall deliver my comments on characters and situations first, and then my disappointments. I wrote this quite early in the morning, and so there are few transitions and a few abrupt changes. Also, this is not only commenting on the movie, but aspects of the book as well......ready? Take a deep breath, 'cos it's a long post!

I decided at a late moment to attend the LWW showing, which forced me to renege my vow to read the book again before seeing the movie. Ah, well, I have read it many times. Not enough, of course. I prepared by reading reviews by "normal" Lewis fans like myself on www.narniaweb.com, which helped prepare me emotionally.

The opening scene, though not part of the book, was necessary, I think, to set the tone of the whole escapade. I think it could have been shortened. We never meet Mom Pevensie in the books, and I think we shouldn't have met her face to face in the movie, either. However, I was very close to tears already at the farewell scene. My opinion of this scene: well handled, and some of it was probably necessary, but it could have been a bit more concise.

I did not like Mrs. McCready. Her voice was excellent, as was her bearing, but she was too realistically harsh. As a child, it seemed that she was harsh to a point of overdoing it, which isn't "realistic," but it makes a good contrast in leadership between her and the Professor. Her harshness should have been more "cartoonish," if I may use such a vulgar term (hopefully it conveys my intent).

Speaking of leadership, the Professor was not quite what I imagined him, but close. He should have been a bit more rotund, but his face was absolutely perfect. The wild, white hair and beard, the bright, twinkling blue eyes, the small, round, gold glasses, the long thin fingers, etc. The actor seemed to know how to handle a pipe, too, which added a great dimension to his character for me. Most of his lines were straight from the book (though, perhaps not chronological), and I really liked the look he gave Peter and Susan when he was discussing Lucy's wardrobe escapades. "How do you know that your sister's story is not true?" Ah! And the dumbfounded looks they gave each other. Marvelous.

My reactions to the children were varied. The girl who played Lucy was excellent, if a bit tall and gangly at times. I suppose that comes with the age she's in. Her face, her mannerisms, her voice, were...hmm, not perfect, but amazing still. Her skill as an actress is what suprised me and convinced me that her character was real. She's a better actress than most in Hollywood who make millions. Kirsten Dunst comes to mind. But we won't spoil this with my opinion of HER :-). She had a cute green argyle sweater on when the four went into Narnia together. Did anyone else notice that the camera focused on her face a lot? This wouldn't have been possible with a less-skilled actress, and the audience wouldn't have been able to share Lucy's emotions quite so much.

The relationship between Tumnus and Lucy was also done excellently. I was concerned that it may appear to be malignant in a way that Lewis did not intend. Just think, a small girl wandering off into the woods with a man who has the legs of a goat and wears no shirt, to some undetermined location? To the uninitiated, this would really seem wrong. And the movie was wrong, but not in that way. Tumnus was flustered upon meeting a Daughter of Eve, but he did not hide behind a tree at all. And his tail is supposed to be long! Long enough to drape over his arm, and his skin should be a bit redder, too. (Am I the only one to have noticed? Tumnus left human footprints in the snow with Lucy, but he had goat's feet! Bad, bad effects people!) That said, I like how their relationship progressed. And I have fallen in love with Tumnus. When I saw him next to Edmund in the White Witch's castle, I had to stuff my beanie hat into my mouth to keep myself from disturbing the others with my tragic moaning. And when he finds that Edmund is a traitor! What a sorry, sad, remorseful, yet accusational face! Oh! My heartstrings weaken at the thought.

The change Edmund undergoes was executed well by this actor, though I think the director did not dwell on it long enough. At the beginning of the movie, Peter, Susan, and Lucy stressed that they were there to get their brother back. And they did. And he changed for the good. But that is swallowed up by the sudden desire to defeat the White Witch. I think the director might have been able to tie this desire into their gratitude for their brother a bit more. The actor portrayed both a petulant, selfish yet sad boy as well as a supportive hero excellently. His remorse when talking to Aslan is touching, and throughout the scene of the witch demanding his blood, then Aslan convincing her to renounce the claim, his siblings' faces was an amazing mix of different emotions, especially since they don't know that Aslan will now sacrifice his life instead.

Peter is usually looked upon as the big hero of the story. I would agree in general. We don't know the exact ages of the children when they find Narnia, but the actor who played Peter seemed much more mature for what I imagine his age group to be than most are. Perhaps this is because of his unique position as eldest male in his household during a war. Yet, he also seemed like a child when he bickered with Susan and Edmund, and admonished Lucy for making up stories as if he knew better than she. I heard that the actor is 18, which is amazing since his voice still sounds like a child's. I noticed well how he progressed from an unsure boy with a sword to a fighting warrior, and I appreciated the effort that went into that change. Just because someone picks up a sword doesn't mean that they can fight! Most movies seem to gloss over this change. The scene dealing with the wolf killing probably helped.

Susan is the character that Lewis seems to pick on the most, and readers have the most problems concerning her. I think Lewis was not trying to condemn womanly maturity by allowing Susan to be the most "adult" character among the children. Rather, I think he was trying to point out a different type of maturity. Susan changes from being a rather controlling older sister to being a wise counselor throughout the movie. She becomes more of a peer to Lucy, which is what she should be. The actress dressed the part of Susan very well, and delivered her lines with the emotion I would expect of a girl in her position. One of my favorite lines, though not in the book: "He's a beaver. He shouldn't be saying ANYTHING!" This line was nowhere near what Susan should have been expressing at that moment, but her face and intonation just made that line so engaging that I had to laugh.

Speaking of lines, there were a few that I didn't like, and a few that were left out that made me very upset. A few lines were inserted just for laughs, I think, which bothered me a bit, because Lewis didn't do things like that simply for the laugh factor. An example would be Susan's line above. Another line that the guys seemed to like, was Edmund riding his horse. "Whoa, there, horsey!" exclaimed Edmund. "My name is PHILLIP." Said the horse gravely. And as they were chasing the white stag, Edmund once again spoke to Phillip like that, again (I suspect) to arouse laughter. Rarely did anyone ride talking animals, or use them for beasts of burden. It would have been quite an insult.

Here are my two greatest problems with the movie. These two, however, jumped out at me and angered me. When the children and the beavers are sitting at the table discussing Aslan, they left out a very important bit. From the book... [Susan:] ' "...Is he--quite safe? I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion." "That you will, dearie, and no mistake," said Mrs. Beaver. "If there's anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they're either braver than most or else just silly." "Then he isn't safe?" said Lucy. "Safe?" said Mr. Beaver. "Don't you hear what Mrs. Beaver tells you? Who said anything about safe? 'Course he isn't safe. But he is good. He's the king, I tell you." ' This is so vital to understanding the character of Aslan. Aslan should instill fear in readers because he is so powerful. Without understanding that Aslan is The Power, then he just seems like a magic band aid until the children get their kingdom established. This perception is all wrong. The children should be serving Aslan's wishes, not the other way around.

Another problem is when Lucy received her dagger from Father Christmas. Everyone say it with me, BATTLES ARE UGLY WHEN WOMEN FIGHT! Though I may train with weapons, I hope to never use them to kill or seriously injure another individual. This line from Father Christmas is what kept me from joining the Armed Forces instead of going to college. This line encourages me to stay within my boundaries as a woman, and yet still be able to enjoy competition. And what happens in the movie? They let MODERN POLITICS get into it!! One of the things I like about literature: the written word is timeless. When one adapts literature to the silver screen, one should strive to preserve that timelessness. Though I understand that this principle is biblical, Lewis' interpretation of it has been significant to me. I think he meant it to be an intentional line, and is not just a cultural reference. Mumbling something about "battles are hideous" is not even close to carrying the significance of this line. Yes, I know that there are brave and courageous women fighting today for things that I hold dear. I know women who have been part of the armed forces. I appreciate their contribution. However, I could not get past the significance that this line holds for me to understand why they took it out.

The initial meeting between Lucy and Tumnus is annoying, but not quite as aggravating as the aforementioned line. Tumnus' character strikes me as being almost hobbit-like, if I may be allowed to draw that analogy. He is friendly, but private and not quite coordinated. (The Tumnus in the movie doesn't seem quite friendly enough.) He doesn't always know what to say. An excerpt from the book again...' "...But I've never seen a Son of Adam or a Daughter of Eve before. I am delighted. That is to say--" and then he stopped as if he had been going to say something he had not intended but had remembered in time. "Delighted, delighted," he went on.' However, though I am dissatisfied with the accuracy of this scene, I must say that I liked its precision. Though it was not in the book, the handshake ordeal did seem good. Lucy's comment about hand shaking (it seemed familiar...is it in a different part of the series?) seemed like a child's comment.

In Tumnus' house, I laughed out loud when I saw the book title, "Is Man a Myth?" 'Twas indeed a highlight of that segment. I didn't like the fire ordeal. Though Narnia seems to be a magical land, it is, of course, a normal world, just different than ours. Adding "magic" to Narnia where there was no magic dulls the pronounced Real Magic. Once again, I will say that Tumnus (or rather, James McAvoy) was excellent. The cry scene with Lucy offering her handkerchief was brilliant on his part. I honestly thought he was crying, and once again had to stuff my hat into my mouth to keep from bothering my neighbors.

THEY HAD DIPPY EGGS AT CAIR PARAVEL! That made me laugh. Dippy eggs are eggs that are boiled, but are still liquid, and one dips pieces of toast in the egg. Dippy eggs are a specialty of my mother's father, and my cousins clamor for them every morning we're at their house.

I'm glad I had my green beanie hat. I used it quite a bit, as a "hand" to wring, a silencer, and as an object to hug. I think it needs a break.

The White Witch was all wrong. Though it isn't stated in the book, I've heard several people say that she has dark hair. I agree. And she didn't have red lips. I read an interview with the actress where she explained why she changed the character. I don't think that her decision to get rid of the bright red lips was a good idea. If Jadis was a fake (meaning, she wasn't a real human, so she had to imitate human form and emotions), then she would have had bright red lips because her own lips would be so pale. And pale lips on a human would be out of place, so she'd color them red. If the White Witch didn't inspire children to at least shiver in disgust and at best cower in fear, then the movie has failed. Completely. After all, isn't she equivalent to Satan (if we're taking this book to be an "allegory" for the crucifixion)? How can Aslan's sacrifice be so meaningful without that contrast? And, yet, Aslan is also a fear-inspiring character.

Liam Neeson was a poor choice for the voice of Aslan. I like his voice, but it is not Aslan's voice. James Earl Jones would have been a much better choice. Perhaps even a fantastic one. Mr. Neeson seemed to speak too quickly, and dispense wisdom without even thinking twice as if anyone else's opinion mattered. Aslan's image, however, was glorious. I loved the sun rays glimmering off of his waving mane, and the ripples of muscle underneath the thick, golden coat. I wanted to sit quietly and seem small for fear of being noticed, yet I also wanted to give him a big hug and the best back massage I could ever give. Just to sink my fingers in that hair and feel those knots of muscle fiber relax. I love the scene in the book when Susan and Lucy comfort him on the way to the stone table for that very reason.

Oh, and the animals were all too small. Aren't the talking beavers supposed to be bigger than the non-talking beavers?

I know that I haven't analyzed the theology of the movie yet. I plan to watch it again, and perhaps on the second movie I will notice more than I did on the first viewing. Of course, this will be hard to do, since I haven't analyzed the theology of the book very much. Lewis himself claimed that it wasn't an allegory, so I think that he doesn't give me much leeway to compare Aslan directly to God. We shall see.

Wistful, wandering thoughts of a wayward mind trapped in Mrs. Claus' kitchen

Today I worked strictly with my hands for about 8 hours. It was a beautiful thing. After using my mind so much during the semester, it was quite a relief to use my hands productively and wander with my mind down tantalizing paths. My coworkers must have wondered why I was so quiet. It was pleasurable for the most part. Most of me now smells like icing. I forget what I thought about, but I was writing quite a long blog post in my mind. On recollecting a few fragments, some of it was too personal for this means of communication. I thought about the weekend. How dance affects me so much, and how the Christmas presentation brought me so close to tears several times. How I love to bless my friends by rubbing their feet or backs (feel free to ask for a massage any old time!). How, it seems, that certain friendships blossom into something beyond friendship. Can it be that I have brothers and sisters that my mother did not bear? These friendships I treasure, yet I also seem to hold at a knife's edge. I cannot get too close to my "girlfriends" lest they learn too much of my wild and crazy side that I'm embarrassed to show. I cannot get too close to my "guyfriends" lest it develop into something deeper than friendship (on my part) and I am hurt yet again by a rejection to an offer that was never presented. I love my friends. I hope that God will break my pride and allow me to grow closer yet to them.

In other news, I think I know what an Oompa Loompa feels like. The Bakery has gone crazy! Cakes and cookies everywhere..stacked like you wouldn't believe. An oven the size of my kitchen churning out delicacies constantly. I have made thousands (literally) of French Pastries today, and have put hundreds (literally) of brownies in hundreds of paper cups in pink trays. And there is more yet to come. If anyone goes to Bethel Bakery, get some wreath cookies! I think they're the best of the cheapest :-)

15 December, 2005

Am I stupid?

Apparently, hard work is not the only prerequisite to getting what one wants in life. I earned a D yet again in General Chemistry II. How? Why? I don't even care anymore that I'd need it for physical therapy school. How can I work this hard AGAIN and still be stupid enough to earn a D? A second time?

What does this mean to my scholarship? If I don't get that GPA up higher, then they're going to permanently stop $5,000 of those $11,000 that made my freshman year so easy.

I feel like an idiot. I won't work any harder, because school would have to become my first passion and priority. I can make that happen, but it's not right. God is my first passion and priority.

Why did it seem that God was leading me here? When I graduated from high school, all my wildest dreams had come true. Literally. I was pre-accepted into the nation's 3rd best PT school, I was going to an inexpensive college close to home, I had scholarships that more than covered my tuition & expenses, I loved my church, I was bonding well with friends, and I was well-provided for in all other aspects. I needed nothing. I thought that all this pointed to the fact that I should head down the pre-PT road, so I did. And now? It seems God has taken away that dream, and that ability, and the mental stamina it takes to get through a 2-hour multiple choice exam.

I should read the book of Job. And I think I will.

08 December, 2005

Thoughts from laedelas' living room

A congregation called "Campus Life" has descended upon my household. A cacophony of voices emanates from the living room. Loud conversations and laughter gradually change. An acoustic guitar is mixed into the noise. Soon, two guitars strike up a melody that is familiar to most, and they respond to the notes with singing. A male voice, obviously the leader, boldy sings while a female voice trails his with harmonies. Some sing in cadence and with good intonation. Some sing with rough voices and little musical talent. A few have changing voices common to high schoolers that crack with the key changes. The music dies down, and a thoughtful silence follows. An unnamed voice hollers, "welcome to Campus Life, everybody!" Cheers and claps ensue.

This astonishes me about teenagers. I am not too far removed from this age to understand their unique temptations, yet I also coach teenagers, and understand the difficulties of working with them. Though they're extremely sensitive to peer pressure, they sing heartily. Here, and at events like Youth Camp, I see teenagers worshiping God by singing, jumping, dancing, playing air guitar, etc. This amazes me. I know God's power is great, but to reach to teenagers and make them love him so much? God is great, and is worthy of great praise.

07 December, 2005

http://joshharrisblogson.blogspot.com/ ...and our President

I love reading the editorial page of the newspaper. Often, it is my main source of "news," since I have come to believe that no one can keep their bias out of their writing. Ergo, a news source is often more reliable when the author is declaring their bias, then I as a reader can filter out the interpretations of events that I don't agree with and focus on the real event. Also, opinion writers often find extremely interesting stats or events that usually wouldn't reach the rest of the newspaper.

Today, in the Editorials, I read an article about our President's plan to implement a "guest worker" program for illegal aliens before enforcing our already-established immigrant laws. Of course I agree with most writers I've read who say that Bush's plan is ridiculous. I love our President dearly, but of course, he is only human.

This plan is frivolous for many reasons. However, my main issue with this plan is different than what most opinion writers are focusing on. Allow me to lay out my points.

Our President not only lived in Texas, but was her Governor. His business in the oil industry went quite well. Now, class, where do most of these illegal immigrants come from? From Mexico through the southern border, of course (not that all illegal immigrants are Mexican). Now, if we look at a map of the United States, which state owns a large portion of that border? Texas! Good! Now, considering that, for those businesspeople (like Bush is, or was) who want cheap labor fast, the illegal immigration provides such fast, cheap labor, then wouldn't it make sense that these businesspeople would want to preserve that porous international border? Of course!

My conclusions have no founding on facts, or quotes from the President or his advisors, I am just pointing out a potential congruency. If, in fact, Bush has used cheap immigrant labor and benefited from it, then he would also want to preserve that cheap labor by making it legal. Thus, the "guest worker" program.

I also wonder about our current "drug war" and how much of it would be won by the law if the border was more secure. Hmm...I wonder.

05 December, 2005


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
Laedelas is the twin sister of the beloved Lord Of The Rings character Legolas. She Spends much of her time in Mirkwood Forrest hunting down the remaining giant spiders. Her weapon of choice is the Bow.

03 December, 2005

Chronicles of Narnia

It seems to be quite a fad, lately, turning books into movies. I have seen few that have done it successfully. A recent e-mail from a friend spurred me to think more about the recent adaptations of "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" book by C. S. Lewis into a motion picture.

First let me explain to those of you who don't know that Lewis was an object of my affection for a long time. After deciding that one could have a crush on another's intellect, I promptly fell head-over-heels for Lewis. But, he's dead. And was married. So, in my technical opinion, it was only 1/2 of a crush. I treasure Lewis' literature very much. The Chronicles of Narnia have been a large part of my intellectual development since late childhood.

I know few people who hold "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" as dearly in their hearts as I do. Contrary to most, I don't get excited about that movie. Rather, I get disturbed. I don't know if I'll like it, and if I do like it, will it be worth it? After watching the movie, I'd have a picture of an actor in my head when I read, instead of the Mrs. McCready or Peter that I imagined. Especially Tumnus. I couldn't bear having his image changed for me. (For example, Orlando Bloom will always plague my imagination now as "Legolas," but he's NOT THE REAL LEGOLAS!! Perhaps I'm obsessing.) However, the scenery might be worth it. I might realize that the land of Narnia is much, much bigger than I ever realized, and there are corners yet to be explored.

I am also afraid of changes to the plot. I have this opinion that changing the plot of a book for the sake of making the movie "work" is actually just describing the laziness of the producers. Rather than making the movie as magical as the book, they take shortcuts & say that it's better for the movie. Grr. Do they think that an author deciding a plot fo a book is easy? And if they say that the movie will be too long, then perhaps they should make multiple movies. If they say that the movie will be too boring, then perhaps they should not make the book into a movie at all.

Another thing that concerns me is changes of characters. If the White Witch doesn't inspire children to at least shiver in disgust and at best cower in fear, then the movie has failed. Completely. After all, isn't she equivalent to Satan (if we're taking this book to be an "allegory" for the crucifixion)? How will Aslan's sacrifice be so meaningful without that contrast? And, yet, Aslan is also a fear-inspiring character. If his image looks more like a cartoon than a bigger-than-life lion, no awe will be inspired. It's so complicated. It almost makes me feel bad for the director, since he has to fulfill so many expectations.

The soundtrack may be worth investing. I really like to read LotR while the soundtrack is playing.

02 December, 2005

Scurvy Seadogs, the lot of ye!

Matt showed me the trailer for the next Pirates of the Carribbean movie, called "Dead Man's Chest." (http://playlist.yahoo.com/makeplaylist.dll?id=1395013&sdm=web&qtw=640&qth=400) So, naturally, I had to take the character tests. Do I remind you of any of these guys? I also got Elizabeth Swann as a result...but I REALLY do not like her character. Mabye we have too much in common. Feel free to tell me that these quizzes are really stupid...'cos I really think so, too. They're just fun, sometimes.

You're Captain Jack Sparrow
You're not always clear when you say something, but
you are trustworthy.

Which Pirates of the Caribbean character are you?