Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year's Eve!

The full version is the best version:

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup of kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp,
And surely I'll be mine,
And we'll tak a cup o kindness yet,
For auld lang syne!

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou'd the gowans fine,
But we've wander'd monie a weary fit,
Sin auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl'd in the burn
Frae morning sun till dine,
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin auld lang syne.

And there's a hand my trusty fiere,
And gie's a hand o thine,
And we'll tak a right guid-willie waught,
For auld lang syne

-lyrics by Robbie Burns

(A slight glossary, for those not up on their Scottish dialect):

auld lang syne - times gone by
be - pay for
braes - hills
braid - broad
burn - stream
dine - dinner time
fiere - friend
fit - foot
gowans - daisies
guid-willie waught - goodwill drink
monie - many
morning sun - noon
paidl't - paddled
pint-stowp - pint tankard
pou'd - pulled
twa - two

A Happy and Blessed New Year to all of you!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas Eve!

Merry Christmas! I really don't have time for a substantial post, so here are some Christmas quotes I've found more or less lately.

The xmas holidays have this high value: that they remind Forgetters of the Forgotten, & repair damaged relationships. - Mark Twain in a letter to Carlotta Welles, December 30, 1907

The sense of loneliness and of being without a family often becomes deeper and more painful at Christmas time. ... Jesus, the child of Christmas, did not come to this world for those who are healthy and successful. God doesn't act like the Santa Claus. God doesn't give His gift for nice children but for us who are sinful, weak and unsuccessful ... The deepest Christmas message is the light that can shine in the darkness of our own life. - Päivi Räsänen, Finnish politician

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

-Luke 2:8-14, KJV

Sunday, December 17, 2006

If Only I'd Had More Than Three Years to Study...

You are 71% Lutheran! This is most certainly true.

Not a perfect score. What does this mean? You have room for growth in understanding Lutheran terminology and culture. Good thing Salvation is by Grace and not by merit. We can add nothing to what God has done for us in Christ Jesus. But it never hurts to learn a little more about the church on earth. Thanks for taking the quiz!

How Lutheran Are You?
Create a Quiz

Monday, December 11, 2006


Is Ethan going to write an intelligent reflection on the topic of silliness? Yes. Will he accomplish this? Let us find out...

So last night I finished reading Bradbury's Something Wicked This Way Comes. (It's a great book, which everyone should read, even though there are spoilers below. Ahem.) At the end of the book, Will's father is pursued by the dark forces that are determined to do away with him. They attack him with their dark, occult powers, and are slowly destroying him. He is powerless to stop them, until... He laughs. He laughs in their face, and this saves him.

As Jim lies near death, near being consumed by the evil powers, Will and his father have only one way to save him-- they laugh. They cavort, and play bad music. They act silly, and the darkness is defeated, and Jim is saved.

At first this looks almost ridiculous-- Go out, have a romp in the grass, and Evil will be driven from the world? Eh? But look at the power of, well, silliness. Monty Python, for example, is beloved by millions. It is ridiculous, nonsensical--silly. What makes grown men dress up as old women, roll about in a mud puddle, and very seriously claim to be reenacting Pearl Harbor? They know people will laugh. And that is where the power of silliness lies: it creates laughter, it warms the heart; it acts as a healing balm.

But laughter often masks fear; and silliness can be a diversion, a denial, of the ultimate power of death (this is one of the underlying themes in Something Wicked). As Christians, we know that Christ died for us to defeat death. He rose again to give us life. Thus, the sting of death is ended, the victory of the grave is shattered. In Christ, we are given the ability to laugh in the face of death. I mean this not as frivolity, but as a celebration of the great gift we have been given: Christ gives us the ability to be silly.

As a side note, I think this is something that MHers, and actually most of the people working for Higher Things, understand very well, at least subconsiously. It's why you'll find the Anti-Olive Brigade next to threads about the Eucharist. We have the Christian freedom to, well, be silly.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

50,000! (Sleep!)

Yes, I know I said I'd update throughout last month, but *mumbleexcusemumble*.

So I wrote fifty thousand words last month. Actually I did more; the story I wrote was 56,900 words, or something in that neighborhood, though I finished the actual story on December 1st. The words didn't flow as well this year, I think mainly because I had been thinking about last year's story for about a year before I wrote it, and had it outlined in advance; this year I had two main characters, a few supporting characters (some of whom I had written of before), some ideas for key scenes, and a background. Which all sounds great, but it doesn't put words on the page like having an idea of the story does... I got sick mid-month, which may have contributed to the increased difficulty of the story.

But it is done. I am supremely glad to have participated, even if I am undecided whether I love it or hate it. If anyone wants to see it, e-mail me, but be warned that it will still be a first draft, and we all know what Hemingway said about first drafts. <_<

I also want to congratulate everyone else who won (even those who finished before me <_<), and anyone who, as Heidi said, didn't finish but wrote more than they would have without entering NaNo! Congratulations all! *Gongs, trumpets, confetti*

Now I go sleep... :-D


PS. I am officially sick of talking about this... At least for now... Posts on other, hopefully more interesting topics to come...

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Marshall Retreat Quotes

(EDIT: This post has been updated since the fifth, with all the things I Should Have Remembered. If anybody thinks of any more, do tell me. ;-))

Okay, I want to post quickly now and say the Marshall Retreat was AWESOME! Aaron, Heidi, Tarja, Rachels, we missed those of you who weren't there. And Now I miss those that WERE there too, because they're, well, not here. (On the bright side, I do hear that I may be able to make long-distance calls inexpensively soon.)

Anyway, what follows is mainly quotes that I had to get down while they were still in my head. Bits of it are written in Aaron's Feast-Farce style, and there is even a little exposition. Oh, and despite what it may seem, we DID learn alot of great stuff. Pastor Preus was great, and he usually is; the other sectional speakers were great too; I think the sectionals were even better than the ones in Indianapolis.


Paul: Zeke, I have a joke about the sun. But it's way over your head.

Zeke: (Indignantly) No it's not!


(Actually this is a mesh of several conversations, but oh well.)

Paul: Evangelicals give us Lutheran nerds swirlies.


Me: If the evangelicals give us Lutheran nerds swirlies, would that make the Orthodox those weird artsy people? And the Catholics the prim "good citizen" types who sit at the front of the class?

Paul: Yeah...

Zeke: And who would be the valley girls?

Dad: Mainline liberal Protestants.

Zeke: How about Benny Hinn and those guys?

Me: They're the Special Ed class.

Zeke: And the Baptists...

Paul: Are just the Bapetists.


(While pulling into the church, Paul having been in the car for six hours, Nat and Maggie for approximately three.)

Maggie: Wait! We've been in here this long, and we haven't discussed a single serious thing!

Nat: Alright, everybody say serious things!

Me: Um, scientist... Neutron...

Nat: What about Literary Theory?

Paul: Galileo!

Nat: Oh, like that song by Queen!

Maggie: Galileo! Galileo!...

Me: Ah well, it was a noble effort.


(Okay, my brother, Zeke, has a ahem, a self-imposed OCD where he HAS to say "Moo" every time someone says "Cow.")

Zeke: So whenever I go past a cow moo...

Paul: Wait, a cow moo?

Zeke: Moo.

Paul: Ohhhh, a cow moo moo.

Zeke: Moo.

Paul: Wait, a cow moo moo moo?...


Paul: I have decided that I have to say "cow" every time he says "moo."

Me: Interesting. Cow.

Zeke: Moo.

Paul: Cow.

Zeke: Moo.

Paul: Cow...


(Scene: The church, on our almost late arrival)

Paul: Rae, where is my wet noodle?

Rae: Ack! I have forgotten to bring a wet noodle!

Paul: (Shaking head sadly) Then we shall have to find something lamer to assassinate Ethan with.

Maggie: I have a plastic pistol! Bang! (Everybody dies)


Maggie: Ethan, here is your Ego. (Stomps on it.)

Ethan: Ack. Life is not worth living.

Maggie: Don't worry. Not everybody wants to kill you.

Ethan: I feel slightly better now.

Maggie: (Stomps on Ego again)


Despite the fact that I have mostly stopped taking notes at this type of thing because I rarely go back and read them, I ended up taking copious notes. Some examples follow:

"TOGA!" (In response to Seth G.'s note, "PARTY!")

Me: This is a picture of: Santa (naked) feeding an albinoe reaindeer marshmallows in a blizzard.

If I can get the Paint program to match up, I may attempt to post some replicas of other cartoons we did.


(Free time, Saturday afternoon)

Paul: MouthHouse Clue!

Rae: Vault and Mt. Dew!

MHers: I hope these walls are sturdy, 'cuz we're about to bounce off them!

(Some MouthHousers play Clue, meanwhile Nat and Paul and I talk. Eventually Nat and I get into Gaiman and Americans Gods, discussing the story as well as the possible metaphoric ramifications of its conclusion.)

Paul: So, how 'bout those Cubs?

Nat: What? What are you talking about?

Paul: Just trying to bring the conversation to a level we ALL can understand.

Me: But none of us know ANYTHING about baseball.

Nat: Yeah.

Paul: Oh yeah, that's right.

(Some lightsaber fighting went on during free time as well.)


(At the banquet Saturday night. I dressed in a black dress shirt, black pants, a white tie, gray jacket, and my fedora. I wasn't sure how well it all hung together, but people who knew more about it than I did said it looked good, though apparently I looked like a mobster.)

Rae: Let us all talk in proper British accents, since we are dressed so properly.

Me: Indeed. Except that mine always sounds more like, "Eh wot then, sweep your chimney, guv? Eh, no what I mean, nudge nudge, say no more, say no more?"

Zeke: No what I mean, eh, nudge nudge, say no more?

Nat: [ditto]

Ethan, Nat, Zeke: Eh what, know what I mean? Nudge nudge...


Me (Actually doing upper-class Brit accent): Zeke and Seth (G.) are acting even wilder than the rest of us; in fact they are acting like uncultured peasants. Therefore, I am their lord, Paul is the overseer, Nat is my assisstant, and these three (Maggie, Rae, Elizabeth) are the court.

(Everybody but the peasants cheer.)


Maggie (in gestures, as the speaker was speaking): Ethan, turn your head this way. Yes. (Later, with the speaker done): Here is a picture of you looking like a mobster and being serious. This is what happens when I am hyper and it's bottled up.

Me: It's lovely. No one shall ever see it. (Several people do anyway.)


One of my favorite things was the mixer after the dinner. We went across teh street to the church, and they taugh us all how to play euchre. We promptly switched to slaps. After a while, most of the MHers got bored, and started kind of congregating in a corner. We, ahem, we played "Ring -Around-the-Rosy." (It was, I beleive I've got this correct, Rae, Maggie, Paul, Harris, and me.)

After that we adjourned outside, to have a party in the parking lot. What was great about this is that we had nothing you usually have for a party: no boom box, games, even edibles. we just had the bunch of us, my fedora, and Maggie's cowboy hat, and we had enormous fun anyway. More than we'd been having inside.

Rae: I don't think this would be half as much fun if you didn't look like a '40s mobster.

Maggie (To me): Hello, I'm your stalker.

Me: Gasp.

Maggie (to someone else): I'm your stalker.

Ethan: I thought you were my stalker?

Maggie: I'm everybody's stalker.


Seth: They turned me into a newt! (Everybody looks at him.) It got better.

Seth: (Remarking on the MHers who kill and are killed and are up walking around mere seconds later) It's like somebody discovered the Philosopher's Stone, or something.


The next day, after leaving, we stopped by Rae's (family's) new house and had pizza, and saw their creepy bridge (my brother was the only one dumb enough to go over it). Then we hung around for a while, and listened to some music and danced badly and played air guitar and air drums (or air fiddle-- to Green Day (?)).

All too soon, it was time to go home.

Nat and Maggie were with us for a while. My ego suffered much abuse (oh, what's it worth, anyway?) It currently has a sword, arrow, and several boxes of toothpicks in it.

Me: Thanks alot, you just stuck a toothpick in my ego.

Maggie thinks she has my ego currently, and I will let her think that.

[This is Maggie's addendum, left in the Comments, but I put them here because they should be part of my patchy account. The "Me"s in this section are Maggie.]

I had a ton of Mary Janes, which are disgusting candies that look really old no matter what, and Nat looked at the wrapper of one to try to figure out what it's made of…Nat: CORN SYRUP, DRY ROASTED PEANUTS, SUGAR, MOLASSES, PARTIALLY HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL [COTTONSEED, SOYBEAN], SOY LECITHIN, SALT, MONO & DIGLYCERIDES, HYDROGENATED VEGETABLE OIL [RAPESEED, COTTONSEED & SOYBEAN], GLYCERINE, NATURAL FLAVOR.
Nat: *something about there being a girl named Mary Jane, who was chopped up and put into these candies*

Me: And that's why they can't make any new ones!

Ev'rybody: * laugh laugh*

Me: This is the intellectual conversation you craved! (we had not so long ago dropped off some others, and when we got back in the car someone said that now we could have some intellectual conversation)

Ethan: Galileo!


Me: *draws blob in scetch pad* Ethan! Do you like this blob? The shape?

Ethan: I guess…

Me: *writes in blob "Ethan's Ego"* *draws arrow through it*

Ethan: Oh! Life isn't worth it!


In conclusion, I would like to say that I told Seth J. of Aaron's orders for me to kill him with a butter knife. since he knew, and I knew, and I knew he knew, no such attempt was made. However, just before we left, I managed to sneak a pen steb under his defenses, and Nat made impromptu throwing stars out of playing cards, assassinating Seth-- twice. Blood was everywhere.

And yet, afterwards I saw him up and walking around. Go figure.

Thursday, November 02, 2006


Yesterday I ended with 4400 words. Today I slept through or forgot to turn on my alarm, I'm not sure which. I woke up and the clock by my bed said ten o'clock. I was supposed to be at the library by 9:30. I ran out to the living room before realizing I had left them set ahead to trick myself into getting up early. I just barely got to the Library on time.


I wrote 350 words during break. I hope to pile up some words tonight and early tomorrow morning, before we leave.

I have learned to write faster by not obsessively going back and correcting every single bloody mistake, bu tI thnk its affecting my othere web posting.


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Day 1

It's 6:15 AM here. I hav ehad my caffeine, and am just groogy enough to be able to start. I would like to take this oppurtunity to officially Not Be Posting, though I have a couple posts saved that I may publish this month. I will also post short novel updates, not that I think anyone necesarily cares, just 'cuz I'd like a record for personal reasons.


*Deep Breath.*

Here we go.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The Feast 4: Thursday Has No Subtitle

(Heh. Well. So much for, "I want to get the next post out faster than the last one.")

Thursday morning I awoke, showered, and did not dry my hair. By the time Paul and Andrew and I had made it down to breakfast, it was dry. This was one of the coolest things about being in the mountains: the un-need for hairdryers. (O how I hate hairdryers.) :-D

After the two B's (breakfast and Bender ;-)) went off without a hitch (okay, so chapel was in there too, but it didn't fit as part of the B's), Paul and Nat and I attended Part 2 of Pastor Preus' Morning In-Depth Sectional. The previous day he had given us slips to fill out, that ran, "If you [wide blank space] and God is pleased, you might have a vocation." He had given us examples the previous day, i.e., "If you take people's possesions and God is pleased, you might have a vocation." (Repo man.)

I rather liked Paul's: "If you regularly shove humiliated cucumbers on shelves, you might have a vocation." (Pickle, ahem, Pickle Shelver.)

Mine was: "If you cut people open and mess with their insides, you might have a vocation." (Surgeon.)

The one that "won" the contest Pastor Preus was judging was very similar: "If you regularly cut people open and fill their body with poisonous fluids, you might have a vocation." (Coroner.)

After that was lunch. I recall much lightsaber stabbing/"fighting" at this particular lunch. Much poking as well.

For breakaway sectional, I went to "Multiculturalism," about the church in other cultures. It was really a great sectional, though kind of hard to sum up in a few sentences.

Then chapel. I beleive this was one of the times I sat alone. Not because I HAD to, but because I kind of liked it (and I was too lazy to track anybody down). It's kind of cool just to sit in church next to random people, and you don't know them, but you're all doing the same thing, saying the same words... It's kind of hard to explain, it's just cool.

After chapel, the next few hours were free. Aaron and Nathan and I "conveniently" wandered down to where the Canadians & company were parked, and they were very nice again and let us ride with them. Rae was along this time, too. We set off for Pike's Peak.

*Skips over certain details that involve Ethan and Rae pinning Aaron down and trying to keep his mouth closed, while Aaron spreads webs of words that invade their heads and threaten to make them act CRAZY.*

No. No, I'm not going to say any more about the ascent up Pike's Peak. Except that the scenery was spectacular, and the certain songs ("Swing Low, Sweet Chariot," "The Wheels on the Bus" (go crash, crash, crash), etc.) will always have... interesting connotations for me.

Rae: Just nod and smile. It's the best way.

Ethan: Yeah. Okay.

Aaron: I wonder how deep that lake is. Maybe we should drive down and find out.

Ethan: But then we'd...

Rae: Nod and smile. Nod and smile.

So we got to the top. Did I mention it was raining and windy? And that air temperature on the Peak is about 20 degrees lower than in Co. Springs, and that wasn't that high to begin with? Yeah.

So I hadn't been feeling too bad while riding up, but when we got to the top and I stood up, I immediately began wobbling. We went into the Cafeteria/gift shop, looked around for a while, were told there was a lightning advisory and it would be best to stay in cars or building. Certain people bought donuts to share (while we were in line Aaron spun a wobbly Rae, but she defeated his heinous plans and remained standing). But Pike's Peak has the BEST DONUTS IN THE WORLD. If you go to Pike's Peak, EAT THEIR DONUTS.

After a while, Heidi's dad came over and said they were fixing to leave. Heidi said something along the lines of, "Gasp! No! Pictures!" Her dad said that (some people, can't remember the names) had been taking pictures the whole time. Thus, Heidi and Aaron and I rushed to the door, took a collective deep breath, and began what I have christened the 200-Foot Genius Sprint, to the edge of the mountain, snapped three or four pictures, and ran back to the vans.

Blue Sparkly Faeries: Welcome to our oxygen-deprived world!

Aaron and Ethan: Thanks, but we've got to go.

Heidi: Come on, guys! There's plenty of the Fey Folk in Co. Springs to talk to!

The descent down the mountain was quite fun, despite the nerve-wrackingly slick roads. The pastor who drove us had learned to drive in New Mexico and Arizona, so the Pike's Peak roads were apparently easy for him, but apparently we made the people in the following cars nervous.

Heidi (Later): Here is a picture of you guys about to drive off the side of the mountain.

When we got back, our groups that we were riding with voted for Italian food, but Aaron and I opted to go to... Gah, I can't remember the name of the place, we need one around here, it's like it's like Subway, only with Mexican food... Really good, anyway. Chipotle (I think?).

We walked back towards CC. Naturally Aaron, being Aaron, had gotten the spiciest salsa available. At one point he stopped, and doubled over, hacking and coughing. Apparently he'd taken a bite that was ALL SALSA. The resulting effects were funny-- later. ;-)

We arrived just in time for Pr. Borghardt's excellent third part of his in-depth sectional. We didn't see Rae though (Rae, if you're reading this, whatever happened to you?).

I got Pastor B to sign my notebook (as Darth Sidious, of course).

That night was kinda weird, just 'cuz we could never seem to get all the MHers in one place. First we were meeting here, then there, then we'd decide to migrate somewhere else, and we'd lose people to that. But oh well. A couple of us stuck together and just kind of wandered around. Eventually Tarja and Nathan and I (Delta may have been there too, I can't remember) found Aaron and Heid in the common room of a dorm. We stalked them outside the window, and then just rushed in on them, like an invasion of Gauls. ;-)

I went back out to get my backpack, which I had dropped in order to better stalk, and took the lightsaber out and was threatening people outside the window. (I was outside the window. Aaron and whoever else cowered from me were inside.) All at once I hear this voice behind me.


I turned around and there's this girl there with a camera. "Can I get a picture of you with your lightsaber?" she asks.

I say, "Sure... Hang on, follow me, I'll get you some more lightsabers."

So I lead her into the dorm, and she took Aaron and Heidi's and my pictures, with us doing the Three Musketeers thing.

Well, Aaron went to the wrong Compline, AGAIN, and it was time to say goodnight.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

10 DBN

That's Ten Days Before Novel, for those of you, as Chris Baty says, Still stuck on the Gregorian Calender.

Yes, in ten days, at midnight, local time, November 1, commences National Novel Writing Month. during this month, thousands of lunatics from around the world will attempt to write 50,000 words of fiction within the month of November. It seems impossible, but it is perfectly doable. I did it last year. In fact, I did 55k.

*stops tooting own horn*

See the website for more: (Also on my Links bar.)

I would also reccomend, if you can gt your hands on it, the book No Plot? No Problem! by Chris Baty. It's the NaNo handbook, but it's also good for people who like to write in general. (Available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon and, well, in MY world, every local library.)

I highly recomend trying this, for anyone who can read this. Or read. Period.

Anyway, if you usually hear from me and don't during November, that's where I'll be-- off writing my novel and having no social life. Or, well, even less than usual. I'll be in Marshall for a few days, too. ;-)

I have a feeling my blog will become a sort of diary, with fragmentary posts and fragmentary sentences consisting of updates and overtired ramblings. :-D I will try to put up the rest of my Feast posts before November, I dunno if it will happen or not.

This should be fun.

(Exit, pursused by Aaron trying to drive him up a wall.)

Monday, October 09, 2006







*Deflates like a balloon.*

Sorry. I needed to do that. I'm okay now. Really I am.


PS, added later: This was just me frazzled and blowing off steam. RachelE has a similar, but good blog entry on her blog. teehee. :-D

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The Feast 3: Bring Out the Lightsabers!

So Wednesday started as most days at the Feast did: with me feeling groggy. Which was totally unfair. I mean, the night before, I was always fine when I went to bed. I knew I needed sleep, which was the reason to try and get some, but I never felt liked I needed it. Then the next morning I would feel like I hadn't slept in days. Grr.

Okay, enough about sleep.

That morning Paul didn't feel like eating anything for breakfast save fruit; I didn't feel like eating anything, but I did anyway, 'cuz I knew I'd get hungry later. The pastor and youth leader from the Altamont group stopped by, for some reason expecting us to be with Susan or at least know where she was. ;-) As they walked away, Paul looked groggily after them and said, "Was she wearing a shirt I've seen before?"

Andrew: Um, that... Orange one?

Paul: No, it had some design that was familiar.

Andrew: (Gesturing to my shirt) You mean that?

Paul: (Grins) Yeah! That's the one!

(It seems my Monty Python "No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!" shirt is a duplicate of one owned by, erm, one of Paul's sisters.)

After breakfast we hung about breifly with some MHers, until many of them had to go off to choir (they kept doing that <_<).

We went to chapel. Then we sat close to the front again for Bender, and Paul and Nat and I stayed in the gym after that to hear Klemet Preus give an in-depth sectional on vocation. It was great, not surprising considering the speaker. At one point he asked for examples of vocation, and Paul mentioned "Pickle shelving!", to the amusement of most present (including Pastor Preus). After that, Paul brought said vocation into the proceedings at every oppurtunity. Afterwards we talked to Pr. Prues breifly, and he said to Paul, "Thanks for keeping it interesting."

Then was lunch. I don't remember much about that particular lunch, but I will say that just eating lunch with MHers etc. was very nice. Makes lunch at home seem rather dull in comparison. ;-)

Then I went to a sectional on the church's response to homosexuality, which was very good, by a pastor that I am very baaaaad and can't remember his name.

Next was evening in-depth (at 1:15 PM, teehee). I would like to note here that some of the most quotable things at the Feast came out of this sectional, such as:

Pastor B: Us keeping the law is like me bird-hunting.

Pastor B: ...And we like to think of the New Testament God as a kind God, a loving God, with a sheperd on his shoulder.

Pastor B: Aaron, if I gave you control of the Higher Things webpage for one day, what would you do?
Aaron: Copy it onto my hard drive.

Pastor B: You are worth TONS of dead birds.

And of course:

Pastor B (Illustrating, I think, our reaction to the Gospel, someone correct me on this): lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala!!!!!!! (With hands over ears, Pastor B runs around the room, still saying thus, runs out the door, closes the door.) lalalalalala! (Pastor B comes back in, goes back to the center of the room, and looks slightly embarassed.) I wonder if Fehrman heard that. 'The purpose of Lutheran missions is...' lalalalalalalala!"


After that was Moseman's sectional, then Vespers. I beleive this was the one where Andrew and I (maybe Paul, but I think he was somewhere else) arrived later than usual, and MOST of the seats were filled, so we sat in one of the forgotten corners and had no hymn book for half the service. Of course this was the place where the kids who don't really care, and are just there beacause their youth group is, hang out. (There are not many of these kids at HT conferences, I've noticed, but a few do slip through the cracks.)

So after that we met up with Heidi and Tarja and Aaron and Nathan, and all hung out for a little while. People were loading on both charter buses and their groups' own transportation to go to Garden of the Gods. Heidi and Tarja soon had to go off with their group to go to the Garden, and Paul and Andrew and Susan went with a Wisconsin group, but Aaron and Nathan and I kind of opted not to go anywhere.

So the three of us wandered around the CC campus for a time. We didn't really have anybody to go anywhere with, unless we went on a charter bus, but we might have had to sign up so we didn't feel like wrangling with that; and the WI bus only had two seats left, and there were three of us. So we were still wandering, kind of wondering what we'd do to fill up two hours, when we came across the Canadian group. One of us (probably Aaron, but I can't remember) asked something like, "Have you got room for a couple more?" And the drivers in Heidi's group were kind and generous and took us in. (And I must give special thanks to Pr. James (?) for driving both that day and the next. It takes a special kind of person to drive with Aaron in the vehicle and not spontaneously go off the road.)

So we went to Garden of the Gods and messed around in the gift shop for a while. It was threatening to thunder and lightning, but we went out to the hiking trail area anyway and messed around there for a while. Aaron and I had our lightsabers of course, which made us, heh, popular. (Actually, he and I and Heidi had them all day, and there were intermitent duels at certain oppurtunities, such as between classes, at lunch, in the car, etc.)

The Garden itself is a beautiful place, all that red rock sprawled around you; it's kind of indescribable.

After the Garden we went to the Flying W Ranch, for an old-fashioned cowboy meal and a Western show. We arrived and filed into their mess hall, making for the corner tables near the window along the back wall. (Ventilation-- it was hot.) The meal was the best I'd had all week; the show, well, parts of it were alright. Parts of it *coughthegospelsongscough* not so much. During the show Agent Delta came over and passed the message, "Lightsaber fight outside of Worner after we get back tonight."

So after we had finished eating, a bunch of people were out back there, hanging out on a strip of pavement, leaning against the western-style fence, watching the show through the window and talking. And playing with lightsabers. hehe. At one point, Aaron and I and some girls (sorry I don't know who all, exactly) were all leaning against the fence. Aaron was leaning on a support sticking out of the ground, and I was to his left. Suddenly he started away from the fence, and the group of girls to his right went over backward with a screaaam!, and brought that section of fence (a felled tree, I think) down with them. Acoording to one report, "Half the place heard them." I investigated this later and find this claim suspicious at best.

It was shortly after this that a cowboy-dressed guy came back and talked to those of us back there, asking that we keep it down, and saying that people were complaining. teehee. (I think the fence was alright, and no real damage was done, except maybe to some egos. :-D)

The Canadian/North Dakotan group we were with left a little early, to beat the rush back to CC. A group eventually congregated outside of Worner; Aaron had his lightsaber, I had mine, Heidi had hers, and Rachel D brought four or five.

There was a huge lightsaber duel.

Copious amounts of damage was done to the campus grounds. Limbs were chopped off, to lie untouched in the moonlight. Alliances were made and broken. The screams and cries were heard throughout the campus (by morning we were famous). I fought mostly on the side of whoever was outnumbered, since I had one of the two longer sabers. I fought many individual duels as well, and participated in many, er, backstabbings.

It was great fun.

After lightsaber fighting, we went to a birthday party for the Rachels and a friend of theirs named Ellen. We ate globs of frosting, and performed strange experiments with Sweet-N-Low, and played games, etc. We sang happy birthday and included Aaron as well, since his birthday was also a week or so away (happy birthday EllenAaronRachelRachel, happy birthday to you. :-D)

Next we made Aaron go to the wrong Compline again, and I bumbled my way back to our dorm, turned on the old radio shows again, and was soon out like a light. Thus ended Wednesday.

PS.: Thanks to Rachel D for supplying Ellen's name. Ethan's mind not so good. ;-)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Patience, My Children!

Greetings, Ladies and Germs (by which I mean Colin).

I have recieved some slightly, hem, impatient feed back wondering when the next Feast post will be up. In truth, I planned to post The Feast 3 soon after posting the two below. But then I acquired a nasty virus which knocked me out for several days. I am nearly fully recovered now, but I haven't had a chance to post much. I don't have time to write the whole Feast post now, but I just wanted to post an update and say this.

Oh and btw, my Links section is almost fully updated! Yay!

(Exit, pursued by a bear)

PS. The Post Title was in the style of Bob, 'cuz I felt like it. :D

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Update and Nigel Burch (And My Faulkner Theory)

Have you ever read anything by William Faulkner? Neither have I. Yet I have decided that he is nothing but a rip-off on Shakespeare. You know the type-- The ones who rip off GOOD authors and sell said rip-offs to the ignorant masses who have neither read the good authors nor care to read them.

"But sir," says the imaginary You. "Surely Faulkner IS one of the good authors."

"But sir," says another You. "I have studied Faulkner in college."

And to You(s) I say: Poor children. You have become part of the lie that is Faulkner.

But never fear. I am here to expose this lie to the World!

Faulkner's most famous work is the book The Sound and the Fury. This is an obvious take from Shakespeare's MacBeth:

Life is but a walking shadow
A poor player who struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more
It is a tale told by an idiot,
Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

Then there is another work of Faulkner's, called The Hamlet. And guess what? It's set in a small Mississippi town. Sound familiar? eh? Sound anything like a similarly titled work of Shakespeare's set in a small European Kingdom?

And then of course, there's this, which I hardly need to point out:

William Shakespeare
William Faulkner


But (and this is the real clincher) if you write those names again, and rearrange the letters in one of them slightly, you get:

William Shakespeare
William ---ake-----r-

That's right, if you rearrange the letters in Faulkner's name, take out an F, u, l, and n, and add a h, two s's, p, a, and two e's, you get WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE!

I believe I have proven my case.

In other news: Nigel Burch sent me an e-mail!

A while ago I posted about how I really liked/couldn't stop listening to the song by Nigel Burch and his Flea Pit Orchestra, "I Used To Be Mad". It's a great song, by a great skiffle/barroom ballad/Irish/rock group. Well, the other day the man himself sent me an email mentioning it and stuff. It bloody well made my day!

See also:

(I wonder what it says about me that I am more excited about getting an e-mail from Nigel Burch (no offense to Nigel) than I would be about getting one from, say... some American rock band. ;-))

(I also wonder what it says about me that I can't think of ANY popular American rock groups off the top of my head.)

(Footnote for those interested: I DO NOT go on Myspace regularly, because it annoys me, among other reasons. However I go on ONCE IN A WHILE to listen to certain songs by certain bands.)

The other day we went to see Shakespeare's Julius Caeser by American Players Theatre, one of the best Shakespeare troups in the country. Paul and Andrew were there, as was Jeremy, which was fun. It was cold and raining the whole time, but the play was great anyway. (They perform in this really cool amphitheatre set high on a hill in the middle of some woods. Outdoors, in case that wasn't clear.) With about twenty-five minutes to go in the last act, the rain really started to pour down. A girl came on stage with a loudspeaker to announce that we should all adjourn to the lobby. We waited under what shelter there was, until another announcement came to announce that we would all move down the hill into a big white tent, where the play would finish. I ducked under an umbrella with Jeremy and some of his family, and we did the penguin-walk partway down the hill. Finally Jeremy and I were kind of like, "Screw it," and ducked from under the umbrella and ran for it, weaving through the crowd and jumping puddles (kind of reminded me of another sprint through cold rain I took once, though this was not so extreme as that one ;-)). When we got to the tent a whole ton of the Public-schoolers had left, but us die-hards (i.e. the homeschoolers) stayed to the bitter end. Quite fun, actually.

Yesterday we went to Bethesda, a HUGE rummage sale (charity benefit for a WELS group, actually). They basically take over the county fairgrounds, and have garage-sale-ish stuff in EVER BLOODY BUILDING! We were there because my mom is an antique dealer and she gets alot of stuff to resell there, and she needed, erm, muscle, to haul stuff around.

They had a really cool book section; I got King Solomon's Mines , an old pulp fantasy book (classic) that has actually been hard to find. I also got the Complete Short Stories and Poems of Poe, and an old Conan book with a cool poster of Conan slaughtering a group of supernatural monsters; and some other stuff.

So yeah, just thought I'd take a break from the Feast posts for a (SHORT) while to give an update and get rid of some inane ideas. I haven't been doing too much else worthy of note lately. School started and while I was sad to see summer end, but I guess it had to sometime.

I haven't been writing much, I should probably do something with one of my stories. But I've been reading alot.

So bye bye Laura, no one else could ever take your place
So bye bye Laura, your beauty will never fade
Flogging Molly

btw, Flogging Molly's new CD/DVD set is out, it's awesome, especially the documentary, I HIGHLY RECCOMEND IT!

Well, that's all I've got for now. :-D

'Cuz me I used to be mentally ill,

(Exit, pursued by a bear)

Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Feast 2: Teusday

After only a little while of wandering around the CC (Confusing Campus), Paul and Andrew and Susan and I found our apartment. We walked in, and were seriously floored. The place had a bottom floor with a spacious living room, cable TV, a better kitchen than either of our families had, a bedroom and a passable bathroom/shower. It also had an upstairs with three more bedrroms! The on I was assigned even had two beds (I imagined a Harpo-ish skit, where I arranged one bed and then went to sleep on the other). We think we had our odd male/female ratio to thank for this, as these were probably the most sensible rooms for a mother with three children. ;-)

After settling in a bit, and taking showers to wash off what was for me twenty-seven hours' worth of car/bus riding, we set out in search of some food, any food. In our wanderings (they were pretty much random at this point) we ran across Aaron, Heidi, and Tarja. We did a bit of breif introducing, then Aaron directed us toward a hope of food. We ended up in Worner. I bought and ate a fruit cup; I thought I wasn't very hungry, but I think I had a touch of altitude sickness.

At Worner, we ran into Heidi and Aaron and Tarja again, as well as Agent Delta. The group of us stood around talking for a while. Aaron assigned Paul to kill me with his big giant glass Sobe bottle (he FAILED, thank you very very much). After a while, some people had to go off to choir practice. Those of us with bad singing voices and/or little courage wandered around Worner, still talking. Then we went to chapel.

As Rachel E said later that day, "It's worth coming just for Divine Service." And it was. The service was traditional, confessional; beautifully done. The choir sounded amazing (Even with Aaron in it ;-)), the preaching was dead-on, the liturgy was what liturgy is supposed to be; yet none of it glorified the people involved. All the praise, the ceremony, the teaching, and of course the Lord's Supper, was about God coming to us through His Word and Sacraments. I never cry in church. I don't know why, I just don't. But I very nearly did at this service.

After church I just barely kept up with Paul as he threaded through the crowd at breakneck speed, taking secret passageways through the gym building to be front and center for Rev. Bender's Catechism session. So yes, if you saw a brown-haired kid acting goofy because the camera on Bender included him in its shot, that was Paul. :-D

Bender was great. He's a great speaker and a great teacher, and, as usual with HT speakers, both easy to follow and challenging.

After that, Paul and I hung around outside Worner, waiting for our time to go to supper. We, ahem, fenced (using our conference books) and acted generally insane and somewhat hyper. Several groups approached, looked at us breifly, and left in a hurry. :-D

We went in to supper, in the cafeteria. The cafeteria food, in general, was good, if not great. Sometimes I thought it made me sick when I looked at it, but I think this was again because of slight altitude sickness making me not want to eat. Midway through the meal we realized we didn;t know which sectionals we were going to, so discussion began in earnest. Aaron and I ended up deciding to attend "Ask the Pastor" together. Little did we know what we were in for.

It was held in Olin, which was apparently the one building Aaron did not know the location of, even after three weeks on-campus previously. So we frantically studied the big map outside Worner, and our maps, and determined a general heading. Aaron, his brother Nathan and I set off. We crossed the street and were heading for a likely building when Aaron looked at a passing group and recognition creased his face.

Aaron: I see a Rachel! Wait, two Rachels.


*Rachels look up, startled*

*Ethan, Aaron and Rachel E and Rachel D meet and talk.*

Aaron: Llamas taste good.

Rachel E: They do! I've tasted some!

Aaron: *A rare moment of shocked silence*

Rachel E: I hug all MHers! *She hugs all MHers present*

*The two groups are forced, due to time constraints, to part*

The three of us coninued toward the building we were heading for. Entering, we found it empty and silent. Another study of the map gave us a new heading, and finally we found a building labeled Olin. No, two buildings labeled Olin, and no indication of which one we wanted. We went all through one, then the other, to no avail. Returning to the first, I suddenly heard a voice. Following said voice, we came to a door seemingly placed so as to fool outsiders to its existence. Though we arrived ten minutes late, the session was just starting. It was good, I was able to ask a couple questions I would have gone to other sessions to learn about, thus helping narrow down my choices for some other sessions (from, say, four to three).

Then we went to Plenary Session. Paul and I later found we liked to gipe about these sessions, as the speaker was more of a stand-up comic and not so challenging. But they were fun times to chill with a bunch of MHers. (Wow, did I just use the word 'chill'? Scary.)

Then came my favorite sectional, Pr. Borghardt's "The Law, the Gospel, and What to do With the Rest of My Life." I'm not sure whether this was because of Pr. B's hilarious style, his great teaching, or the fact that many/most of the MHers attended this one, so (as Heidi says) "We had our own seating section." Probably all three. :-D

Next was evening prayer (and I would like to remark here that even the HT 'short' services are very well-done).

Then a bunch of us rendezvoused and headed over to Worner and began playing a card game which Heidi brought/taught. I quite liked it, but too many people were tired and left (I couldn't exactly fathom this. I mean, I was quite tired at this point, but I knew my body wouldn't sleep, ESPECIALLY knowing that there were MHers roaming around loose). We switched games, and began playing slaps, Egyptian rat trap, Egyptian rat screw, and rat slap (all at the same time). ;-) Btw, Aaron's class ring is a weapon. I don't care what anybody says.

After a while it was time for Compline. We attempted to figure out which building we were supposed to go to. We didn't know when we left Worner, but finally figured out where some of us were supposed to be, and all decided to go there.

(I beleive it was determined much later that we were all in the proper place save Aaron, who technically should have been at Loomis, which had its own compline. Ah well. N trespassed, as usual. :-D)

After saying goodnight, I wandered around a while until I found my dorm (I swear, there were three or four buildings that looked EXACTLY the same, and mine was one of them.)

Upon arriving, pretty much everybody I stayed with went straight to bed. I did too, but couldn't sleep. I turned on the clock-radio in my room, and found a station playing those really old radio dramas with lines like:

"Detective, what are you feeling?"
"Well, I've got an expression of shock and concern on my face, what do you think?"

Thus ended Teusday (at one o'clock Wednesday).

(EDIT: Card games at Worner, not Olin. Thanks alot, Aaron. ;-))

The Feast 1: Getting There

I have decided I must write down my Feast memories somewhere, and this seems as good a place as any. Perhaps I was inspired by outside sources (yes I'm a copycat Heidi, sue me :D). This is mainly for my own memories, people don't have to read/comment unless they want to. And yes, unlike certain other people *coughAaroncough* I WILL be finishing this, whic means there will be four or five Feast posts.

It started on Monday morning, my dad and I arose before six and got in the car to drive two hours to join Paul, Andrew, and Susan for the trip south to meet our bus. The trip took about four hours, but it didn't seem that long; mainly because the conversation was entertaining. It was the usual fare; started off with talk of Evolution vs. Creationism, and conjecture as to why scientists will support a theory they know to be wrong; it evolved into talk of the 'Taking Over the World' thread that had been raging on MH lately, and other various wars/factions associated with MH/HT. Paul put forth his theory that the wars against Peeps and Olives were merely peices of Aaron's ultimate plan to take over the world; ie, we'll take out Peeps and Olives, then move onto the rest of the factions.

It was here that I came up with the idea that in a few years you'll be able to go to the Military History section of a bookstore and find a book entitled "MouthHouse Wars," and that at the center will be a huge fold-out diagram of everybody associated with these wars, and what factions they belong to; and that, if you work everything out, everybody probably should have both killed and supported everybody else at least twice. Paul showed me a sheaf of his comics; some of them were quite good.

We arrived in Altamont, IL, and drove around those ridiculous flat IL roads looking for the church where we were to meet the bus. We found it, stopped at the church for homemade ice-cream, before loading up and setting out on the seventeen-hour ride to CO Springs, CO.

The ride went fairly well; we watched stupid movies and talked. Most of the Altamont kids were jock-ish and kind of ignored us; but we talked to a couple of the more geek- (read: Star Wars) inclined kids.

Memorable moments: Paul created a new superhero, Meta-Chap. His power? He can chap people's lips. He and I sort of collaborated on a comic featuring him:

Evil Bad Guy: HaHA, Meta-Chap, now you are captured, and my evil minions will take over the world, and...

Meta-Chap: I have chapped your lips! Your evil monologue is cut short!

EBG: *Gestures to minions* Just kill him.

M-C: *Dies.*

Um, passing through Kansas (or maybe we were in CO by then) in the evening, we saw a stealth bomber flying pretty low. (Or was it a fighter? I keep forgettting. The military-geek kid explained it to us, and I still forget.) Anyway, 'twas cool. Paul took a picture of it, but only as it was fading. As I remarked then and Aaron would remark later on seeing it: "Well, it's either a Stealth Fighter or a smudge on the camera lense." I also came up with this dialogue:

"It's a picture of a stealth fighter."
"I don't see it."
"That's because it's a STEALTH fighter."

Also, while passing through Kansas, I could not help but notice the landscape, or lack thereof. That baby is FLAT. I remarked to someone, "I don't know what the Indians saw in this place." They said to imagine hordes of buffalo roaming the praire. Then I could see it; but still, you'd think that two of them eight hundred years ago might have a dialogue something like this:

Red Pony: You know, if you take away all the buffalo out here, what do you get?
High Horse: I dunno. Grass?
Red Pony: And what else?
High Horse: um... Grass? There's trees over there. No wait, that's also grass.
Red Pony: Yeah. Without the Buffalo, this place is pretty sad.
High Horse: So what do we do, move?
Red Pony: Maybe not now. Maybe we could wait till alot more people arrivve and shoot them all for us.
*High Horse and Red Pony stare at each other, and decide that the conversation never happened.*

(In case anyone's curious, I came up with this ON THE BUS. This, my children, is what fifteen hours on a bus will do to you.)

Sleep was a fitful thing that night; I'd doze off for a couple hours, wake up, read myself back to sleep, wake up again. I remember thinking that direct city lights are harsh, but are rather pretty when reflected panoramically in bus windows. however this thought came when I was half-asleep, so it should probably be ignored.

We arrived in Co Springs about four hours ahead of schedule, drove around a while, stopped at Wal-Mart for some stuff, then went to have breakfast at Perkins. I had what Susan called a "Heaping plate of meat and white flour," (pretty much their whole breakfast menu was variations on this).

Well, we drove down to CC and found the registration place. We were two hours early, but people were already registering. Susan went out for a quick scouting run, and almost immediately brought back reports of some weirdo in a purple toga. :P :D

Soon the bus dropped us near our rooms, and we had Arrived.

(Note for this and future Feast posts: if there is something essential I have left out, let me know. These posts may experience some slight editing. ;-))

Sunday, August 20, 2006


I just got back from the Isle of Skye
I'm not very big and I'm awfully shy
The lassies say as I go by
"Donald, where's your troosers?"

The wind blow high and the wind blow low
Down the streets in my kilt I go
All the lassies say "Hello,
Donald where's your troosers?"
-Donald, Where's Your Troosers?, Irish traditional

So yesterday, immediately after reassuring someone on AIM that I was not, in fact, avoiding them, I had to rush off (oh the irony! It almost killed me--but it failed, as always) to get in the car and drive with my family three hours to Milwaukee to go to Irish Fest.

On arrival, we met up with my Aunt Nancy (not a real aunt--my parents' good friend from college, Zeke and I call her aunt) and some of her friends. Nancy Is as much of an Irish music/culture freak as my brother and I.

We immediately went to a show by the Kottars, a great traditional Celtic group from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. They did some great jigs and reels, but they also had some really strong ballads and other songs. At one point they did a song called "I'm Ready for the Storm," and the sun cam out. One of them pointed this out, and another said "Aye, reverse psychology."

Then we went to see Malachy McCourt (brother of Frank McCourt, author of Angela's Ashes). Malachy is a great comic/storyteller. He told one story about a friend of his who was very quick on his feet. "And one day, Danny got on the train. And there were no seats left except one, and an Englishman had his dog in it. So the conductor says, 'This man's been working all day, and he's hot and tired, and could he have a seat?'

"So the Englishman moves his dog, and says, ' A sad day it is when a dog must move for an Irishman.' And ol' Danny sits, and he says, 'That's quite a nice dog you got there, what kind is it?' And the Enlgishman, not givin' 'im an inch, says, 'He's half Irishman, and half baboon.' And so Danny says, 'Well b'jasus, he's related to both of us!'"

After that, we got some good Irish cofee and sat and talked a little while. My brother and I went off to do a little shopping, got some candy at the Irish candy stall (I swear the candy they have in Ireland and England is a hundred times better than what you can get over here). My brother, who was wearing his Got Kilt? shirt, and his kilt, got some comments, while I had a couple people look at my shirt and go, "The same to you!" (I was wearing my shirt that says "POG MO THOIN", Irish for Kiss My "Boxers".)

An aside here, because I have no better place to put it: the crowds at Irishfest are always interesting. You have the yuppies who go either because they think Irish-ness is just so cool, or because it's something to do, or because they go to all the cultural things, some combination thereof. Then there are the drunks, who hang around Irishfest because a) that's where all the beer is, or b) because they love Irish music, and that's where all the beer is. Then there are the, er, geeks, the types who love Irish music and culture, and go mainly for the music and cultural stuff. (Zeke and Nancy and I fit into this one.) There are other catgories I could talk about, but I won't for fear of rambling. ;)

We met back up with the adults breifly, before heading to the other side of the park. Our destination was a great CD booth that had seemingly all the greatest Celtic bands; I got a CD by Ashley MacIsaac that I had been looking for but previously been able to find for sale only in Canada; also Flogging Molly's latest, CD/DVD combo--the CD has live versions of some of their songs, that are faster and better than the versions already released.

We were right by the Celtic Rock stage, and got to see the last three or four songs by Young Dubliners. They're a pretty good band, as I knew already, and even better live.Then we got supper (typically unidentifiable Irish fare), and settled down by the Celtic Rock stage to wait for this band Zeke wanted to check out based on their name, Enter the Haggis. I thought the name was great, but expected them to be typical Celtic punk--Pogues knockoffs that weren't quite as good.

This was not the case.

They started out with a great fiddle riff, and added hard guitar chords, that sounded really cool without being obnoxious. They did a couple more sets of rocked-up jigs and reels, sounding like they took some cues from Wolfstone, but more ragged--they sounded more punky, while Wolfstone is more rock. Plus the pipes are different.

Next came what was probably my favorite thing all day: they did the best version I've ever heard of "Donald, Where's Your Troosers?" In the middle the piper told this long story about how last night he had partied a little too hard, and almost drove a van. But no, (he said) that would have been ("Seriously now, folks,") irrespnsible. So he did the responsible thing, and stole someone's bike. Then he thought the Milwaukee Police were after him, but it was really the fiddle player. "What seems to be the trouble, officer?" "Well, sir, you're not wearing any pants." (Kilt joke there, teehee). And in explanation, the piper starts singing the forst verse of "Donald, Where's your Troosers?" (see above).

So to cut it short ('cuz otherwise I'll go on all night), Enter the Haggis is awesome. Check them out if you get a chance.

After that, we went to Gaelic Storm and caught their last half-dozen songs. Then we wandered around for a while, trying to meet up with the others in the thronging crowd. We finally did, and it was time to go. I hated to leave, but was most glad I went. All in all, it was a bloody good day.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Nowhere, Boys!

I have a quick announcement:

A new blog, ridiculous and set up by me (redundant, I know) has opened up shop. It is a place where literary characters can hang out and post their thoughts without the restriction of WRITERS telling them what to do. Check it out:

If you know a literary character who is dying for some self-expression, send me an e-mail and we'll see what we can do about it. I am here to help.

(Exit, pursued by a bear)

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Coming off the High (Mountain)

(EDIT: I realize there are certain people who are not MHers, or Not technically, or are no longer, who I mean also. You know who you are. This is for you too.)

So I'm back from the Feast. After twenty-six hours of bus/car riding, I am home. It feels good to be home, although I miss all the MHers I met in Colorado...


Please forgive me as I wax poetic. Perhaps I should go to bed, and allow my thoughts to clear, but oh well.

One of the most beautiful, yet bittersweet passages I have come across in literature comes (I think) from Le Morte D'Arthur, tho I've seen similar pieces elsewhere. It goes something like this: A knight and his squire are doing the Errant-thing, and they are lured by a beautiful singing voice. They soon find themselves crossing the threshold to a foreign land, a land more beautiful than any they've ever seen. They are led to a castle, whose lord tells them they are in the land of Faery. They are fed a meal more delicious than any they've eaten.

The King talks to them, telling them that they have to leave this land. He further tells them that after being here, all earthly lands will seem pale and even ugly. They will travel alone, unable to tell anybody what they have experienced, for it cannot be understood.

"Then," says the Faery King, "One day you will find another. You will know from the look in his eyes that he has been here, and he will know you, and it will be as the meeting of long-lost brothers."

There are a lot of things this could apply to, one of them being our lives as Christians. We have seen beyond the veil, however dimly, and life here on earth seems pale in comparison. But meeting other Christians, we share something unspoken and indescribable. And this was what it was like meeting MoutherHousers at HT. Like coming across a whole group of lost siblings. (Or something like that.) We share something special, and unspoken, and that's all I'm going to or can say about it.

Please forgive me if this is dripping with sap. I shall write something about the actual conference soon, but now I believe it's time to go to bed.

Rath de Ort (Peace of God),

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Check out my White Stripes

Get behind me
Get behind me now, anyway
Get behind me
Get behind me now, anyway
--"Blue Orchid," The White Stripes


So a while ago a friend and I at the library were discussing pick-up lines (don't ask). Somehow I had the "brilliant" inspiration to use the White Stripes' song "Blue Orchid" as source material: "Hey, baby, get behind me now anyway."

Surprisingly, all the scenarios in which I used that line ended with me getting slapped in the face. So we looked at other songs. "Little Ghost little ghost, one i'm scared of the most, can you scare me up a little bit of love?" was considered, but then rejected on the basis that females don't usually appreciate the implication that one can see through them.

The end of Apple Blossom, "Put your troubles in a little pile, and I will sort them out for you," could possibly work in certain circumstances, but the follow-up, "I'll fall in love with you, i think I'll marry you," seemed to be coming on a bit strong.

Similar problem: "You're pretty good-looking, for a girl" might be concievable in a crowded room where they couldn't hear you clearly, but being so literal-minded I would have to add that "Your thoughts have been stolen by the boys who took you out and bought you everything you own now."

In the end, we decided, White Stripes "Don't work." It was moved that the entire conversation be stricken from the record, but that movement was put down as I needed something to put on my blog. So there you go.

I warned you.

(Exit, pursued by a bear)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The List (Must-Read Fantasy)

First, some quick personal stuff. Not much has happened lately, which is why I haven't been posting much. I got longer hours at the library, and I've been working a lot. Other than that, doing a little noveling, and reading a lot. Which brings us to...........

"Literature" Part 2: The List

A while ago on MH we were talking about the book Eragon. I stated my rather strong opinions on said book, which need no repitition here (*halo*); but it got me thinking about the many many better fantasy books I have read of late.

1: "Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrel", by Susannah Clarke

This book feels heavy when you pick it up, but start reading it and the time goes by so fast you don't realize how long you've actually spent reading--until you look up and realize it's been two weeks and you're halfway through and have no desire to do aught but read. It goes down like smooth ice cream, and other metaphors

The plot of the book is that in the early Nineteenth Century, two magicians emerge to bring magic back to England. They get involved in the Napoleonic Wars, become celebrities, quarrel, cause a schism in the magical community, etc. It's really rather hard to explain, but if Tolkien and Jane Austen wrote a novel together and it was edited by Dickens, this is what it would look like.

2: "Gardens of the Moon," and the Malazan Book of the Fallen series, by Steven Erikson

I'm not really ranking these in any order, because all of the books on the list would be tied for Number one.

Anyway, Gardens of the Moon. I thought Johnathan Strange was hard to describe, till I tried this. It has a really huge sweeping plot, lots of characters, and a world so incredibly detailed you'd swear it was real. It combines the mythic granduer of Tolkien with a gritty realism unlike anything I've seen--you feel the dirt on soldier's faces, the burning as mage-fire washes over you, the sand under your skin. I've read the first two books, the second is better than the first, and so far the third is better yet. The First one is kind of hard to get into, but after a hundred pages or so you get the hang of it. These, like the previous and most of the next, are big books. the first is 600-700 pages long, and is by far the shortest. But they're worth the read.

3: "American Gods", by Neil Gaiman

This one comes with a warning: there are some sex scenes in this book (not that that's unusual for modern books). Easily skipped, however-- at the end of most of the chapters are flashback scenes, and that's where most of it is. Either skip them altogether, or read carefully and skip when it's coming. It's not hard to predict.

This book would be the best thing I've read recently, except I read Johnathan Strange and the Malazan books. It's about Shadow, who was recently payrolled from prison. He is hired as a bodygaurd by a man named Mr. Wednesday, and is soon plunged into a world of Gods--literal Gods, the ones the American immigrants brought over from their native lands. These Gods are still lurking in the shadows, leeching off whatever belief people will give them. (Gaiman has it so that the gods exist because people believe in them, not the other way around. Terry Pratchett uses this device too.) It turns out a war is starting between these old gods, and the new ones--the things we worship today--Gods of Money, of Plastic, of News, of Stardom. There are lots of twists and turns, it's quite a fun book to read. But at the same time, it's supremely uncomfortable.

There is Christian symbolism to be found all over the place here, or at least what you could see as such. The very idea of whatever people worship becoming their gods has direct Biblical references--I should remember where exactly, but I don't.

There is one line in here that reminds me particularly of something a Lutheran might say. One of the gods is showing someone a stick that he intends to use as a spear (it's hard to explain further in breif): "This stick is a spear because it symbolizes a spear. The symbol is the thing, in this sorry world." What does this mean? (;-))

Think of Christ on the Cross, taking all our sins upon himself. He is not literally commiting every sin, yet he is bearing the responsibility for our sins. Or think of Communion: the Bread and Wine does not turn into Christ's body and blood (or it does not appear so to our eyes), yet it is Christ's body and blood.

Yeah, I may be way off here, but that's what occured to me. Maybe you should read it and find out. ;-)

4: The Artemis Fowl books, by Eoin Colfer

These books aren't too recent, at least not the first ones. The series includes: Artemis Fowl, Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident, Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code, and Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception. A lot of people who are fans of the series don't even know about the fourth book.

The Fairy world, which was chased underground thousands of years ago by the rise of Man, hides from us in the Earth's center. The Fairies are always at least twenty years ahead of us in technology, and they keep constant watch to make sure we don't find out about them.

Artemis Fowl, the twelve-year-old criminal mastermind, discovers the Fairy world and even cons the Fairies out of some of their gold. This is the first of many dealings and adventures he has involving his sometime-rivals, sometimes friends. All these books are great fun. The first one is like Harry Potter mixed with Ocean's 11; the next are somewhat like this, though the plots vary enough to keep it interesting. They vary in quality, but as I said, all are fun.

5: "Abhorsen" by Garth Nix

Abhorsen is one of the best ya fantasy books I've read in a long time. It's basically epic fantasy mixed with some stuff that's more like adventure/s&s; you can see some influence from zombie stories. The plot is great (complex), and the book is well-written.

6: Newly re-issued The Coming of Conan the Cimmerian, and the other Conan Stories, by Robert E. Howard (Last one, I promise)

I know what you think when you see Conan the Barbarian. "Ugh, me Conan, me big dumb fantasy character as cliche as they come."

Unfortunately, this is what the character has become. Robert E. Howard, Conan's creator, died young, and other writers took over the character and hacked it up and turned it into the sad mess it is today. The first Conan stories were what a lot of good fantasy is and always has been: a mixture of action (fights and chases scenes, etc) and deeper philosophical themes and musings; in other words, literary elements.

Howard was taken with the idea of barbarism vs. civilization, a struggle he saw as eternal and inevitable. Man's true nature, he thought, was that of the barbarian: brutish, unrefined, wild enough to be like an animal, but always smarter than animals. He did not, however, hold with Noble Savage idea. As he once wrote to a friend, "[The barbarian's life] as near as I can figure it, was hard, brutish, and short." And this was Howard's conception of how life should be.

But, on the other hand, man always strives to build something bigger than himself, to make the world something better. Thus he tries to develop civilization. He builds up empires, which may flourish for a while, but which will eventually crumble. Many of Howard's stories center around this last. The story Xuthal of the Dusk is about a once-great civilization that destroyed itself through overindulgence. The Scarlet Citadel is about civilization under attack from within and without, about to crumble, barely saved by the coming of a strong barbarian leader.

It seems this theme might have some theological paralells. Barbarism is shown to be the natural state of man, similar to Original Sin. Perhaps civilization on the rise could be man's guilty conciense prodding him into an attempt to make the world a better place, but without outside help, man returns to sin, and civilization returns to barbarism. Something like that. The paralells aren't perfect, but they're their.

As for warnings, well, there is some talk of "buxom maidens" (verbatim quote), but it's not very explicit. You can see a bit of racism here, as black people tend to be dumb, evil, servants, or a combination thereof; but it seems to be more of the style of the times and the genre Howard was writing in than anything. I don't think Howard was too deeply racist--in another of his series, the Soloman Kane stories, there is a black sorceror who is almost the second hero of the series.

Some of these stories are somewhat minor, and not that great. If you don't want to wade through all of them, I recomend getting this book from the library and reading these stories: The Tower of the Elephant, Queen of the Black Coast, (these are the two that really stick with you), The Scarlet Citadel, Xuthal of the Dusk and The Vale of Lost Women.

That'll do it for now. This list may grow, as I have a couple stacks of new (and old) fantasy books waiting to be read.

Slan agus beanacht,
(Exit, pursued by a bear)

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Part 1: Recent Writings

Well, here it is, by popular demand, the poem I wasn't going to post. But you gotta give the public what they want, right? ;-) :-D

So anyway, read if you like, but don't say I didn't warn you.


And you sat there
holding my hand
you made my thoughts
travel distant lands

You sank to the ground
in a pool of red velvet
and the tears flowed all round us
but you smiled
that made it alright

the Lady said to me
come stay a while with me
the Lady stole a kiss from me
and sang soft so sweetly

she told me Know,
wherever you go
they'll be no one who knows
till your tears well and flow

And there will come a time
you see each other's eyes
you join hands together
your souls upward fly

And you sat there
holding my hand
and as you sat there
you had me at your command

those Times are over
our souls have split
i've gone all strange
you've gone with It

but late in the deep
dark of the night
i recall your face
it turns dark to light

And i look in your eyes
i see myself there
and i see also
what i don't dare

don't ever change
stay as you are
burning by night
the northern Star

we both drank from the Chalice
aye, faith, we can see
we held hands together
by the shore of the sea

And you sat
holding my hand
your hair tied like silk
in a black velvet band

there you sit
holding my hand
and worlds and worlds
are at your command

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Only Poem I Ever Wrote

seconds click in which I'm changed to dust
whithered roots of knots and hairy rust
no one sees you on a vampire planet
no one sees you like I do
--Sparklehorse, "Sick of Goodbyes"

So earlier this week I was feeling kind of melancholy/depressed. (It sucked. I mean, I got thru February and March and April without long periods of being depressed like in other years, but in late May with the sun shining and a blue sky, there it is. Welcome to Melancholy, population, You.) I think it was mainly post-prom let-down, the coming down off the mountaintop thing or whatever, but it was a little deeper too. So I'm sitting there about 12:30 at night, not really wanting to go to bed, so I just grab a notepad and start writing a poem. Even as I did it, I figured this would be my usual procedure for writing poems: come up with something I think is good at 1 am, wake up next morning and realize it's crap. But I wrote it and it felt good, and I left it. And the next morning I realized it was actually readable, something that had never happened to one of my poems.

So of course I had to think about this, and I realized what made this poem different is that I meant it. Always before I had tried to convey some image or idea that I thought was cool/beautiful/whatever; but it was never me talking, just me trying to re-tell something from somewhere else. And I think that's how truly great writing comes about: people talking about things, telling stories, that only they can talk about, stories only they can tell. And suddenly I remember that's what alot of people have praised in stories of mine: "This is something you would write" in the same breath as "I liked it alot."

No, I'm not going to post it. I'm sure that, viewed objectively, it's crap, and it seems sappy even to me. Anyway, just my thoughts. I remember a while ago someone over in the NaNo forums said: "Even for authors that are better than me on every aspect (Shakespeare and Dante, etc.) there is one thing I can do that they can't."

That's it for now, I must go to bed.

(Exit, pursued by a horde of angry undead authors)

Saturday, May 20, 2006


What good is melody, what good is music
If it ain't possessin' something sweet
It ain't the melody, it ain't the music
There's something else that makes the tune complete
It don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that swing
It don't mean a thing, all you got to do is swing
It makes no diff'rence if it's sweet or hot
Just give that rhythm ev'rything you got
It don't mean a thing, if it ain't got that swing
--"It Don't Mean A Thing", Ella Fitzgerald

So last night I went to the homeschool prom, organized by a homeschool group in our area, open to all homeschoolers. Got dressed up, suit, jacket, fedora (my personal touch)-- aye, the whole bit.

The music was pretty good, for a mainly Evangelical crowd--lots of swing, some Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Beatles, "Sweet Home Alabama", "Roll Over Beethoven" (my personal favorite); also some unfortunate rap and contemporary Christian music, but the latter had good dance beats, and the former at least was not Christian rap, so I guess thank goodness for small favors; and of course there was the Chicken Dance. I knew some swing moves, some cool spins and stuff, and picked up/was taught a waltz and some "contemporary" moves, so I didn't look like a complete idiot dancing to more modern songs.

I actually danced with like eight girls this year, up from four or five last year. :-D Pretty good for an introvert like me. And, as previously stated, dancing is quite fun. Near the beginning of the evening, when people weren't really "mixing", the DJ (a homeschooler dad with some experience DJ-ing) had everybody line up facing the wall, girls on one side, boys on the other. Each person was assigned a number, and the boy with, say, number eight had to dance with the number eight girl. I thought it was quite effective, and certain members of the party I came with probably wouldn't have danced with any save one or two people they knew otherwise.

All in all, pretty fun. And people were well-behaved (for teenagers :-D). So yeah, today I'm still recovering (please forgive any flying pink monkey incoherence. It's not entirely my hippo fault. Toothpicks.)

Sassafrass banana-bread,
(Exit, break-dancing)

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Quick Update (and 2 Reviews)

Hello, ev'rybody!

I am still here, yes you thought you could get rid of me but it won't be that easy hehe! (Yes National Insanity Day was a few days back and I haven't quite gotten over it).

I've been quite busy of late. I will soon be moving up from shelver to clerk at the library, so I have to get trained in how to use the computer, check books in/out (I can no longer use the phrase "check people out" innocently because a certain friend ruined it forever), etc. Other than that.... Well, the homeschool prom is this Friday and yes, I'm going. I WASN'T going, but my mom organized these dance lessons--swing dance, jitterbug, that sort of thing--and of course I had to go to them. And everybody who was going to the prom wanted me to go. And furthemore I'd forgotten how much fun dancing is. Not just the whole "Girls like a man who can dance" thing, that's part of it, but dancing's just... fun. If you know what you're doing.

So last Friday I went to the Reduced Shakespeare Company's performance of All the Great Books. For those who know not, the RSC's original show was "The Complete Works of Shakespeare--Abridged", purporting to be the complete works in 90 minutes. Hilarious show. They did some other abridgements--the Bible, History of America, and now All the Great Books. I'm not very good at in-depth comedy reviews, so I'll just say this: afterwards I hurt from laughing so much. My favorite part was towards the end, when one of the actors was summarizing all the books in one sentence (not a verbatim repro.):

"One flew Over the Cuckoo's nest."
"Sanity is overrated."
"Don Quixote."
"Sanity is overrated."
"Harry Potter."
(tosses book aside) "Overrated!"


The other review:

Good Lutherans, rejoice! Our founder is back from the grave, and what is he doing? Ridding the Lutheran church of its liberal corruption? No. Fighting off the church's enemies? No. Combatting evil? No! He is watching movies. And he is blogging. And it's hilarious. I hardly ever laugh out loud while reading something anymore--only when reading Twain, Terry Pratchett, or this guy. Check him out at

That's all for now. I have plans for a longer post(s) soon.

(Exit, strangely absent of any bear)

Monday, May 01, 2006


But the bravest fell, and the requiem bell rang mournfully and clear
For those who died that Eastertide in the springing of the year
And the world did gaze, in deep amaze, at those fearless men, but few
Who bore the fight that freedom's light might shine through the foggy dew
--"Foggy Dew", Traditional

Yesterday marks the 90th anniversary of the end of the Easter Rising in Dublin.

Some background: In 1916, the British had been ruling Ireland for hundreds of years. By the early twentieth century the Irish had seen their language all but wiped out, most of their freedom taken away; they had sugffered through the potato famine, which killed a third of the population and drove another third away; by 1916 the spirit of the Irish people was all but broken.

But a group of young men, idealistic college students, poets, and revolutionaries, determined not to let this happen. They gathered in Dublin, and the movement for Irish freedom centered around a man named Padraig Pearse. He was a poet, and did not relish fighting save as a last resort. But when it became clear that their politically lodged protests were being ignored (as they had been for hundreds of years), the leaders of the resistance movement decided there was nothing left save to rebel.

An enterprise like this was difficult to arrange under freindly circumstances; the Irish are so naturally tribal that they are prone to split over minor issues, and there were several instances of political leaders forming breakaway groups that hindered planning. But the planning was completed (as well as possible at any rate, for an illegal group with low funds). The Rebellion was set for Easter, 1916.

On April 24, a few hundred Irishmen in and around Dublin took over the city and faced down the might of the British Empire. They held out, fighting tenaciously for one week, before thousands of British soldiers invaded the city and ended the rebellion. Most of its leaders, including Padraig Pearse, were shot.

It appeared the last real hope of Irish independance was snuffed out. But in executing the rebellion's leaders, the Briitish had created martyrs, heroes that no living man could match. Popular opinion began to swing to various nationalist movements. By 1922 there was another rebellion, and 26 of Ireland's 32 counties were independant.

The themes of this rebellion--desire for freedom, a nation for one's people, etc--run deep not only with the Irish but with all people. Padraig Pearse and his freedom fighters are some of my heroes.

The traditional song "Foggy Dew" commemorates the Easter Rising, and pays better tribute than I could.

As down the glen one Easter morn to a city fair rode I
There Armed lines of marching men in squadrons passed me by
No fife did hum nor battle drum did sound it's dread tatoo
But the Angelus bell o'er the Liffey swell rang out through the foggy dew

Right proudly high over Dublin Town they hung out the flag of war'
Twas better to die 'neath an Irish sky than at Sulva or Sud El Bar
And from the plains of Royal Meath strong men came hurrying through
While Britannia's Huns, with their long range guns sailed in through the foggy dew

'Twas Britannia bade our Wild Geese go that small nations might be free
But their lonely graves are by Sulva's waves or the shore of the Great North Sea
Oh, had they died by Pearse's side or fought with Cathal Brugha
Their names we will keep where the fenians sleep 'neath the shroud of the foggy dew

But the bravest fell, and the requiem bell rang mournfully and clear
For those who died that Eastertide in the springing of the year
And the world did gaze, in deep amaze, at those fearless men, but few
Who bore the fight that freedom's light might shine through the foggy dew

Ah, back through the glen I rode again and my heart with grief was sore
For I parted then with valiant men whom I never shall see more
But to and fro in my dreams I go and I'd kneel and pray for you,
For slavery fled, O glorious dead, When you fell in the foggy dew.

Monday, April 17, 2006

I Used to Be Mad

I used to be mad
Oh I used to be mad
They put me in the house upon the hill
I used to be mad
But now I'm not so mad
Just as long as I keep taking my pills...
--I Used to be Mad, Nigel Burch and his Flea Pit Orchestra

Bonjourno, Good Gobbers!

Happy Easter, a day late!

So yesterday we went to church (beautiful service--great sermon and hymns), then out to lunch with my parents' old friends from college, or before college, I can't remember (I said they were old...). They're my godparents, anyway. We had lunch at Ella's (see... um... a previous post). Fun. And beneficial for my wallet (They're always generous contributors to the Give Ethan Money Fund). They're quite fun to talk to. My dad and Uncle Kevin (godparent, not real uncle) and I were kind of ranting about this "new" Gospel of Judas BS... (For those who don't know, there's a new book out by an author who "discovered" the Gospel of Judas, a 2nd or 3rd Century Gnostic writing that has Judas as a good guy, and our current form of Christianity is based on one of many splinter groups and it won a power struggle and some other crap...):

UK: So did you read the Gospel of Judas?

Dad: (Laugh) No. Maybe one day when I'm really bored I'll try it.

UK: (shakes head) Well, the media...

Dad: I know!

Me: Katie Couric's our new spiritual expert, I guess.

UK: Well they treat it like it's an "earth shattering revelation." [Quotes indicate sarcastic tone.-E] It's gonna "Shake people's faith." I mean, it's been around for eighteen hundred years!


Me: And apparently the water changed to ice, and that's how Jesus walked on it.

(General laugh.)

UK: It's not even a Christian writing. It never pretended to be a Christian writing.

Dad: If Christians knew their doctrine better...

In Other News...

Here's some headlines to enjoy (they're all real):

Woman Ticketed For Crossing Street Too Slowly

Check it out.

Woman Bit By Snake At Home Depot


Geologists Find Ancient Worm Feces


More (tho not always clean) can be found at
Dave Barry's Blog


So a friend of mine got back from France today... Actually yesterday, but I saw him today. Lucky bugger. He was told not to go into Paris on Monday or Teusday (due to riots), so, of course since he was staying with French girls (twins, and French-- enough said), they went to discotheques Monday and Teusday night.

Currently reading a book called The Peshawar Lancers, alternate history. The idea is that in the 1870s a series of comets hit Earth, dismantling much of civilization, forcing the British Empire to relocate to India, etc. The story takes place a century and a half later, with conflict between the British and the (Devil-worshipping) Russians. Lots of action, intrigue, mystery... And the world-building is excellent. The style is almost painfully detailed in places, but it works for the type of story. The research is incredible.

Having finished writing a Sons of Adam story, I am now working on the "Mustard Museum Mystery," a local writing contest with a reward of... I forgot the amount. Lots of money. They wrote the first chapter of a mystery novel, and you write the second chapter and an outline of the rest of the novel, and they select the winner.

If you want to see what I'm working with, click here.

For those who don't know, my town has the world's only Mustard Museum, which is exactly what it sounds like. They have all types of mustard, stuff about the history of mustard, the making of mustard, blah blah blah. And a curious ketchup prejiduce.

Well. That about does it for now.


(Exit, pursued by the Easter Bunny's angry cousins)

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Easter Saturday...

...A quiet day today, as seems appropriate for the day between the solemnity of Good Friday and the celebration of Easter Sunday.

The past few days have been in the 70s and sunny, with a light breeze that keeps things from getting too hot. On Thursday my legs were suffocatting so I cast aside the bounds of social restriction and Wore Shorts. (The previous verb-subject conjuction is capitalized because after six months of Wisconsin crappy-weather-fall-winter the author feels it is a momentous occasion, warranting exessive capitalization.)

So Tenebrae service yesterday was beatiful, as usual. Solemn of course, and I'd have it no other way, as we are observing Christ's death. The symbolism--church stripped bare of accoutrements, black cloth hung over the cross, etc--was vivid and majestic. Mourning for the death of our Lord.


That's about it for today. A bit solemn mayhap, but tommorow's Easter, when we break out the decorations and celebrate the Resurrection (and Eat Candy!).

Rath de Ort,
(Exit, pursued by a now-depressed Easter Bunny)

Monday, April 10, 2006

A Test and a Survey

It's always better on Holiday
So much better on Holiday
That's why we only work when
We need the money
--"Jacqueline", by Franz Ferdinand

Hujambo, bwana na bibi!

Well, I took the bleedin' ACT Saturday. For a three-hour test, early in the morning, it went as well as can be expected. I'm trying not to think about it too much, or guess how I did at all but:
English was pretty easy. Some tricky questions, but... pretty much common sense. Math... well, no walk in the park, but the problems were easier than I expected. Reading was hard, because, being a Book Geek, I felt the tendency (native to my people) to analyze every passage, rather than skimming it. In Science I tended to take too long answering questions, and having to rush later questions. The writing part... I won't even get into what a horrible essay I crafted in half an hour.

Now on to N's "survey"...

Profile.1.Name- Ethan
2.Age- As old as my gums, and a little older then my teeth
3.Height- Taller than some, shorter than others
4.Shoe size- 11 (I had to answeer one straight)
5.Ring size- Dunno. Why?
6.Unusual habits- I'll list one of many: much of my slang comes from-or is adapted from- across the Pond.
7.Eye color- Blue/green (blue when I wear blue colors, green when I wear green)
8.Length of left big toe- about eight cm.
9. Around 3 cm.
10.Number in your graduating (or present) class- 1.
11.Graduation year (high school)- 2007
12.Graduation year (college)- 2011or 2012, depending...
13.Graduation year (seminary)- Four years after i graduate from college, that is if I go to Sem (which I'm not sure...)
14.Major (planned) in college- English probably, if possible with an emphasis on Creative Writing... Unless I find a doable college with Creative Writing as a major... that would be cool.
15.Address- Somewhere In America.
16.Social security number- Right. Nice try.
17.Zip code- Nosy beggar, aren't you?
Favorites and two Least Favorites.33.Favorite Movie- Wow. Um. LotR and SW come to mind, and most recently Serenity (brilliant movie!) Also some old Rom-Coms like Philadelphia Story. And Arsenic and Old Lace.
19.Favorite TV show- *Huffy voice* well it WAS "Arested Development" until they bleedin' cancelled it... So now I'd have to say Lost.
20.Favorite CD- Um... Dropkick Murphys' "Blackout," or "Good Morning Spider" by Sparklehorse As a whole, the two best CDs I own.. 21.Favorite tape-I don't own that many tapes, but the best would be Arkangel's production of Shakespeare's "Love's Labor's Lost" (assuming you meant audio tapes and not video).
22.Favorite band- I have many (see fav.s list), but if I had to choose one to be stuck on an island with, it would be Sparklehorse. Or Dropkick Murphys. Or Ashley MacIsaac. (Hey, I narrowed it down to three.)
23.Favorite superhero- Conan the Barbarian, the original, as in the Robert E. Howard stories.
24.Favorite book- Talk about opening a can of worms... I guess Tom Sawyer or Lord Jim... or LotR.
25.Favorite poster- My Yoda "Read and the Force is with You" poster.
26.Favorite Brady child- I want to kill them all.
27.Favorite American Idol- See 26.
28.Favorite X-man- Wolverine, from the time I was very young.
29.Favorite member of NSYNC- See 27.
30.Favorite sport- Fencing of football.
31.Favorite weapon- My paintball gun, because it's mine.
18.Favorite clothing brand- Goodwill.
34.Favorite Higher Things blog- Borghardt’s Reflector.
35.Favorite restaurant- Something that serves good food.
36.Favorite food- It varies depending on my mood.
37.Favorite type of restaurant- Good pizza parlors.
38.Favorite type of food- Anything edible.
39.Favorite color- Red.
40.Favorite period of history- The Dark Ages (aka the early Middle Ages) or the high Middle Ages... or WWII
41.Favorite Muppet- I dunno.
42.Favorite alcoholic beverage- Communion wine.
43.Favorite musical instrument-My guitar.
44.Favorite candle scent- Lilac, an old standby for my mom's birthday.
45.Favorite operating system- Windows. *Cringes from Mac people*
46.Favorite smiley face- ;-)
47.Least favorite book- Sounder. Awful book. Also I Kissed Dating Goodbye, which I ran into once while shelving, looked at, and almost burned.
48.Least favorite candle scent- I have no least favorite candle scent.
49.Have you ever gone toga-ing? No. Want to.
50.Have you ever blown up, set on fire, or mutilated an action figure? Oh yes... Many many. (EE Hehehe!)
51.Have you ever tried to eat a fake decorative fruit? No. I took a bite out of a lump of butter, thinking it was ice cream.
52.Have you ever gone trick-or-treating since your childhood? Yes, "escorting" sibling and cousins (but really in it for the pity candy).53.Have you ever killed a seagull? No. Tried. failed.
54.Have you ever eaten a dog biscuit? No.
55.Have you ever fired a high powered rifle? Yes! Such fun.
56.Have you ever worn a dress? No.
57.Have you ever tried hitting a piece of technology to make it work? Yes. It doesn't help, just hurts its feelings.
58.Have you ever head banged through the entire guitar solo in Bohemian Rhapsody? Um... No. 59.Have you ever deep-fat fried a random food item and eaten it? No. sounds like fun. I ate deep fried Snickers at the County Fair.
60.Have you ever been in a blog war? No.
Miscellaneous61.How many HT conferences have you been to? Two.
62.Do you know how to play any musical instruments? If you can, which kinds? I used to play piano. I'm teaching myself guitar.
63.Did anyone notice that I switched numbers 33 and 18? Yes indeed.
64.Did anyone notice the other numbering errors? Not really.
65.Did anyone actually look for other numbering errors? No.
66.If you had to dress up as one Star Trek character, which one would it be? Spock, just for the ears.
67.Do you have any odd hobbies? Too many to list. For one thing, I still have battles between my plastic soliders.
68.What's the most random gift you've ever given or received? toilet paper.
69.Sith or Jedi? SITH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.
70.How do you like your steak cooked? With meat in.
71.If someone paid you $5, would you drink Dr. Pepper out of the navel of a hairy Scottsman? No. Add a few zeros and we'll talk. I would however, put on a kilt and pay someone five dollars to drink Dr. Pepper from my navl. Does this mean I'm a hairy Scotsman? (By the way, Scotsman is spelled with one 't'.)
72.Did you enjoy filling out this tag form? Sure.
73.Will you be prepared at The Feast to party every night with The Mop and Patty? Sure.... assuming I'm there. Which is still in question.
74.Do you vow never to tag, as well as never respond to tags, ever again? NEVER!!!!!
75.Which three people do you choose to tag? 1) Sir N. (Take that!) 2) Elizabeth 3) Jeremy