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!

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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...