Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Doesn't it seem weird that should post, along with serious world and U.S. news the name of the Brangelina baby? I will think very highly of those famous parents if they allow one of the local Namibian (sp.?) people to sell the highly coveted (reputedly worth millions) first photo of the poor baby, so that they could use that money to help the locals, instead of padding some paparazzi's pockets.

Friday, May 26, 2006

I realized that I am going to see X-Men III just because-- you know, "Just Because." It got decent reviews, but all the critics pointed out that the movie could have been so much better, due to the inherent social commentary ripe in the "mutant cure" concept. It just decides to have action, and lots of it. Hence, I'm going to see it.
I wonder about my movie-watching habits--why am I so willing to see silly movies like X-Men or MI:III, when there are plenty of more serious movies that actually have something to say about the world. Like the Constant Gardener--that movie sticks with you and makes you think of Africa, and not because of the anticipated "Brangelina" baby. (on a sidenote--Barbara Kingsolver's "The Poisonwood Bible" is an excellent, heart-wrenching book that takes place in Africa. One thing I always remember when I think of that book is one of the characters points out that Africa as a whole is not meant to support the amount of people currently living there, and that, if one looked at it from an evolutionary, nature-in-the-balance standpoint, diseases like AIDs had a purpose in keeping the numbers down. I remember wondering that Kingsolver could include such an un-p.c. comment, regardless of whether it's the character, not the author, speaking).

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Apparently, dragons did exist...

The skull of Draco-Rex Hogwartsia was unveiled recently.

Monday, May 22, 2006

There was a sheepdog competition at Masterston Station. Jon and I watched a bit, and it was rather interesting. (If you've seen the movie Babe, you'll know what a sheepdog competition was like).
There was a man who communicated with his dog through a series of whistles so intricate that one certain kind of sound told the dog to take one step, another told him to go fast, yet another told him to go slow, and so on. There was a sleek sort of beauty in the dog as it raced across the field to round up the sheep, its head held low, glorying in the speed of flight.
A comical moment arose when its owner was trying to tell him, after he had rounded up the first flock, to go and get the other flock which was hidden from view. The owner kept saying "Look back!" and "lie down!", which the dog obeyed, even though it was confused--you could see the thought process going on: "But the sheep are here!" The owner hollered "What do yer think yer doin'?!", and he eventually figured out what to do.
A couple years back I went to a Greenwich Village Arts Fair in Rockford, IL, with Jon and my folks. There was printmaker there who had some neat stuff, and I always regretted not getting a print.
So, I had a thought I would try and find him. Thanks to the power of google, I got pretty close. I found a list of artist names from the Fair. It was over a hundred, and I was steeling myself to check each and every name. On a whim, I decided to start at the alphabetical end. Wouldn't you know, but his was the second name I checked?
Scott Westgard has a website with a selection of some his prints. Check out the cat (down towards the bottom, under the "S"'s and "When Nature Learns to Defend Herself". The whimsical nature of these prints are endearing.
How do you explain how art affects you? There was a certain still-life at the Mayfest near Transy that seized my attention. It was just a pear and apple, rendered in lavish paint strokes, but there was something about the color and mood of the piece that made you happy. It was the same kind of feeling I had looking at a picture of Miah's Dwain posted to his blog--a stylized branch outlined against a blue background. "Happy" is the wrong term to use--but I am not versed in artspeak.
For a certain few who read this blog (i.e. 3/4 of the 3) a Scott Westgard print would be a good gift idea...

Thursday, May 18, 2006

"The Bright Field"
I have seen the sun break through
to illuminate a small field
for a while, and gone my way
and forgotten it. But that was the pearl
of great price, the one field that had
the treasure in it. I realize now
that I must give all that I have
to possess it. Life is not hurrying

on to a receding future, nor hankering after
an imagined past. It is the turning
aside like Moses to the miracle
of the lit bush, to a brightness
that seemed as transitory as your youth
once, but is the eternity that awaits you.

-R.S. Thomas
I could be watching CSI right now, but my blog is getting old, so here I am. I participated in a phone survey, and they sent me $5 and a longer survey booklet to fill out. With it came a TV diary, where I have to record each and every program I watch for 7 days. Each day is broken down into half-hour increments. I would hate filling it out if I was a TV boob.
Thankfully my TV diary is quite blank. It's working some kind of psychological trick on me (probably on par with food diaries)--where I don't want to watch TV because I'm embarrassed to write in what I watched.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

We went to the Gorge Sunday night with Jarred and Ting-Ting, Jon's fellow grad students at the Ag Building. Being with Ting-Ting gave me the opportunity to see my native language in a new light. She said things like "I am allergic to handsome men." We all had a good laugh, and Jarred told her now that she knows what it means, she can still say it, but as a joke. I wonder how the Chinese would see me if I was abroad, fumbling with their language.
We had an adventure at Whistling Arch. Jon had gone a ways down the trail, to see whether it looped on itself. Ting-Ting and I were examining a peculiar rhodendhron leaf when we saw Jon barrelling down the trail at us, hollering, "Bees! Run!" So we ran for a long ways, all the leaves and branches we smacked into drenching us with their stores of rainwater. It seems that Jon came upon a crack in a rock formation, where there was a hive tucked in out of the rain. Some bees started buzzing out, and he didn't wait to find out what they were going to do.
Due to the rain, we stayed at a rockhouse near Parched Corn creek. It was quite impressive, like a primordial temple lined in front with stately columns of tulip polars. The ceiling was several stories above our heads at the outermost tip of the formation.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

I am taking a break from researching: ("polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons" or "aromatic hydrocarbons") AND "soil remediation"
Make sense? I thought so, and here I am, an English major. How did I ever end up in a job like this? What amazes me is that one of the girls I helped out has thought so highly of me that she's recommended me to a coworker of hers, hence my new project of PAHs. That's one of the neat things about librarianship--being able to find stuff, regardless of how well you might actually know the subject.

I am rereading Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials trilogy. It's one of my favorite series ever. People think Pullman is heretical, when he's really just forcing you to think about things.

This is one of the errors that many Christians, however well-intentioned, commit. They denounce books as heretical without actually reading them, without pausing to consider the questions they raise. This ignorance has contributed greatly to society's bias against Christians. Who wants anything to do with people who appear to be deliberately ignorant, who approach issues with opinions already formed, ears already deaf to what the other side has to say? Even though there are people like this in all walks of life, the spotlight is on Christians.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

School is over. I celebrated yesterday by renting a movie in the middle of the day (Jean Cocteau's Beauty & the Beast) and fell asleep early on, napping for three hours. I was in a strange state of remaining slightly aware while napping, either from waking up occasionally or just dozing, so that the haunting music from the movie, combined with the eerie movie itself, made me feel as though I had entered the fairy tale itself in my dreams. It was that kind of dream where you are ill-at-ease upon waking, feeling as though you have just arisen from some great adventure, or escaped some fantastic end.

The gentlemen from Maple Hill Manor want to feature our wedding in their first ever wedding brochure. They say it was one of the most beautiful weddings they've ever had. Even taking this compliment with a grain of salt, I'm still pleased. It was my desire to imprint all memories of that day with a warm, camelot glow.

I hesitate to admit that the alpacas were one of the main reasons I wanted to have my wedding there... the house and grounds themselves were quite gorgeous ... but animals are my weak point.