Hands Down Please: Weirdest Movie I've Ever Seen

Harold and Maude. Apparently it's a '70's "cult classic." Which makes some sense, especially since Cat Stevens did all the music.

Despite the fact that Cat Stevens has done some good music, if you haven't seen that movie, I don't suggest bothering. Unless, of course, you happen to like straaaaange.

Cheesy, I can often enjoy (The Russians are Coming, anyone?) Silly, I can take rather well--Dumb and Dumber was funny, as was Shanghai Noon. Bizarre, however... I've never quite gotten used to that genre.

If you liked Arsenic and Old Lace, then Harold and Maude, its somewhat poignant cousin, is the movie for you.

Call me a wimp, but I think I'll stick with Surf Ninjas.


Baby, It's Cold Outside

[...but weren't the couple in that song in the same place while it was "cold outside"? Darn.]

If a picture's worth a thousand words, then it's really too bad that I don't have a digital camera.

Having grown up in Montana, I can remember when eight inches of snow didn't make that much difference in everyday life. Here in Bellingham, however, where I live on the side of a very steep hill and have armed my car for 'the weather' with no more than a frost scraper, eight inches of snow means "snowed in." The bravest and best, attempting the roads around my place right now, would like as not find their cars propelled ditchward by forces outside the control of man.

Despite every danger and disappointment involved in such weather and its effective prevention of any going out or coming in, there's something lovely and peaceful about looking out at a snowstorm from a warm room. Right now, outside the window by my computer chair, the snow is alternately drifting and driving down in dime-sized flakes, and gusts of wind occasionally come by and sweep clouds of it rather gleefully from rooftops and tree branches.

It reminds me of a Thomas Kinkade painting... only it's the wrong time of day for that kind of lighting, and Thomas Kinkade doesn't normally punctuate his sylvan landscapes with cars, wire fences and concrete abutments... but it's beautiful nonetheless.

Well. Since I am snowed in, I think I'll fix something warm to eat, talk to my best friend, do some reading, and play the piano. Maybe see if I can find some candles and pull out my creche. I feel like Christmas :-D

EDIT: But I sure wouldn't want to be traveling right now, like half of America is doing... My parents have already paid a visit to a ditch along I-5, along with half the other people attempting that road anywhere near Bellingham. They weren't hurt, thank God, but they tell me the current traffic speed on the Five is about 10-15 miles per hour, and traction is nonexistent. No good!


All I Can Say This Thanksgiving...

...is that I am simply, and deeply, thankful.

Custom, I suppose, dictates the writing of a list of reasons for being thankful. But today, these words are good enough for me.

"Every good thing bestowed and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow." James 1

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you :-)


Stop the Wind, It's Going 60 in a 25 Zone

The one thing about working with computers is that... well, if the power goes down, you might as well stay home. Hence my unusual ability to blog in the middle of a Thursday.

I looked outside yesterday at the wind, blowing red and yellow leaves horizontally--at eye-level--down the street. Then, as several of my coworkers and I finished up lunch, the lights went out.

Since I knew my computer had been on, I ran into my department to shut it down so it wouldn't drain the backup power supply. The usual quiet electric hum over there had been replaced by the beeping of a clear jillion power boxes... :P It took us awhile to shut those down to a manageable auditory level.

May I just say that I love my coworkers? They amaze me. Finding ourselves out of regular work, we pulled our chairs together in groups. Several of us from my department started on Christmas decorations, and we kept lively conversations going for the hour and a half we had till our department head came in and told us it didn't look like we'd have power anytime soon, so we could go home. People that normally talk little at work joined in, making for a spontaneous group-bonding session.

My apartment having maintained power, and a few of us being originally set to leave the company at 5 PM for a concert in Vancouver, I invited said concert-goers over to my house. "It's an adventure day," one of them proclaimed in my living room. We played Apples to Apples, drank tea and ate peanut butter cups, watched the wind go by and enjoyed the unexpected holiday.

All I can say is that I needed what yesterday became. I love my company and my job--it's not that I'd want work to cease every day, but since the outage did happen, maybe it's all right to admit that the impromptu fun totally made my week. And hey, at least it was just wind... it definitely did some damage, but we also had a tsunami alert out yesterday, which, thank God, never materialized.

And I'm definitely going to have to write up that concert... one of the best I've ever attended. If any of y'all have never heard of
Over the Rhine, you should really check them out.


True, That

Naomi handed out little cards at small group some weeks back. The cards contained this passage, of which I had only ever read the second half. The first half filled out the picture for me, and today it fell out of my Bible as I was reading. I need add nothing to these words.

"If you asked twenty good men today what they thought the highest of the virtues, nineteen of them would reply, Unselfishness. But if you asked almost any of the great Christians of old he would have replied, Love. You see what has happened? A negative term has been substituted for a positive, and this is of more than philological importance. The negative ideal of Unselfishness carries with it the suggestion not primarily of securing good things for others, but of going without them ourselves, as if our abstinence and not their happiness was the important point. I do not think this is the Christian virtue of Love. The New Testament has lots to say about self-denial, but not about self-denial as an end in itself. We are told to deny ourselves and take up our crosses in order that we may follow Christ; and nearly every description of what we shall ultimately find if we do so contains an appeal to desire.

If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and earnestly to hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I submit that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased."

--C. S. Lewis, "The Weight of Glory"


Pointless Brainwaving

My mind, right now, contains a perfect jumble of thoughts, all sort of tangled up in each other, and each too scattered to expound upon with any depth.

Anyone who so chooses can blame this fact on my having slept in, and slept hard, till eleven A.M. I normally don't do that, but since I started off this past week tired and never managed to recover, extra sleep had become necessary.

Here, then, are some of the random waves floating around in my head:

1. I'm mainly choosing to post at this particular minute because that celebrity lookalike thing is messing up my sidebar, which annoys me terribly. The faster I can write it off the front page of my blog, the better.

2. One of my coworkers told me the other day, as we crossed paths in the lunchroom, that he enjoys reading my blog, so hi, Dave! Honestly, I’ve been writing since I grew old enough to tell which end of a pencil makes the black marks, so it always makes my day when someone says they like to read my thoughts.

3. This post will probably not be a great example of good writing.

4. After waking up this morning, I finished reading Sense and Sensibility for probably the third or fourth time in my life. It had never been a favorite of mine among Jane Austen's books, but this time I thoroughly enjoyed it.

5. My family laughs every time we watch the movie Sense and Sensibility (the Emma Thompson version is a family favorite.) They say I am just like Elinor. I couldn't ask for a better compliment. I love her. Jane Austen said, in writing Elinor's story, that she had created "a heroine whom no one but myself will much like" but perhaps she underestimated her own flawless ability to create a likeable character even around traits such as reserve, seriousness, and carefulness in judgment. Or maybe she underestimated the likeability of such characters :-)

6. Three or four trips cover-to-cover through a book (not counting partial re-readings) sort of hits a median point for me. The book has passed acquaintance and early friendship, reached good friendship, but in most cases has not quite made it to full emotional intimacy.

7. That measurement can be misleading, though, as I've really only Genesis-to-Revelationed the Bible three or four times despite its many years' residence in my (almost) daily life. My shortest trip through the Bible, however, took me a year and eighteen days, while Sense and Sensibility took me less than a week. I've also had free access to Sense and Sensibility for several years, while my ten months' relationship with Harry Potter has, in its romantic fervor, inspired me to at least three or four trips through books 1, 3, 5, and maybe 6, and two trips each through two and four.

8. If 'they' (meaning whoever does these things) would make a Jeopardy! game show with only two categories, The Bible and Harry Potter, I'd stand a good chance of winning. Most people, not having been raised homeschooled and Baptist, tend to get a lot of the Bible's secondary characters and events mixed up. It always amuses me when the Bible comes up as a category, because I did grow up homeschooled and Baptist, so the conversation tends to go like this:

Contestant: "I'll take Bible for $400, please."
Alex Trebek: "Answer: 'He was the father of Gershom, Kohath, and Merari.' "
Contestant: "Who was Methusaleh?"
Alex Trebek: "I'm sorry, that is incorrect."
Me: "Levi! Sweet! I actually know the right answer to a Jeopardy question! ...or is it 'the right question to a Jeopardy answer'?"

Of course, the proverbial tables are turned as soon as Alex Trebek starts talking about the Simpsons, or Ancient Egyptian History, or... pretty much anything else.

9. No, I am not putting the Bible and Harry Potter into equivalent rank, either in my life or anywhere else. They're just the only two subjects I can think of right now on which I know decent amounts of useless trivia.

10. Cool Harry Potter trivia I learned in a recent re-read through book 1: The inscription over the Mirror of Erised, "Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi" is actually an English sentence written backwards. Can't believe it took me so many re-readings to notice that :-)

11. When you wake up at eleven A.M. in November at the 48th parallel (I did have to look that up), you have approximately six hours of daylight. This makes it feel like the sun goes down just after noon.

12. Those eleven hours of sleep have apparently addled my brain, because at this point I'm even running out of random thoughts. Ah well.


Because I Found it Amusing

Having never been told I looked like a celebrity (probably because Emma Watson doesn't totally exhibit Hermione Granger's "bushy brown hair, and rather large front teeth"), curiosity made me try this:

Left to right, top to bottom: Lisa Kudrow, Audrey Tautou, Norkys Batista, Jodie Sweetin, Woranuch Wongsawan, Hillary Clinton, Alexis Bledel, and Gong Li.

Generally speaking, I'm flattered; there are lots of beautiful women in that collage. But Hillary Clinton... well, it's not that she isn't beautiful. I guess as long as I don't wind up with her politics, or her taste in men, I'll accept that ;-)

Simon Cowell Goes to Seattle

I picked up a newspaper at work today and read this comment, made by acerbic American Idol judge Simon Cowell in regards to the recent AI auditions in Seattle:

"Seattle is going to be known for something other than coffee this year. They had the worst bunch of miserable singers I've ever seen in my life. It was two days of total misery. And the weather was bad, too."

Gotta know Simon would have something cheerful to say :-D I personally laughed out loud, even though I generally like and respect Simon. I know perfectly well that if they'd screen out all the terrible and deluded hopefuls that make 'good' TV... and awful noises... Seattle could hold her own. But perhaps the rain put all the screeners in a bad mood. He might have a valid point there.

American Idol, coming in January. You'll hear about it all here... provided Mom tapes the Gilmore Girls.


Because I Needed Another One

Some people collect stamps. Or china. Or memorabilia. Or those state-depicting quarters.

I, apparently, collect personal web pages. First the Blogspot (that's this one, in case anybody didn't know), then the Myspace. Now I have a Xanga, too.

The basic conundrum I faced is that if you want to comment on your friends' sites, and they don't use Blogspot, you have to have a login. When I created my Myspace login, I didn't realize it had made me a whole page (duh) till my best friend sent me a Friend invitation. And hey, if it's already creating a page, well... I figured I might as well get creative too :-D

This week, I finally decided I had too many Xangad friends to not have a login on that Cyberspace planet. So, "Library Lily" joined the Xangan ranks.

Fear not, however, fellow Blogspot-ites. This planet is still my home base and central communication port. You'll hear it all here first.

...sheesh... could I sound anymore dorky?

Just Finished Reading: Dickens' "Christmas Carol"

As a normal twentysomething American woman, I naturally love reading the British writers. I read them a lot: Dickens, Austen, Brontë (Charlotte), Shakespeare, Sir Walter Scott, Rowling (of course), etc.

I have also seen multiple versions of A Christmas Carol, including Bill Murray's and the goofball play Scrooged. The memory of Jacob Marley dancing, chains and all, to ATC's "Around the World" still makes me laugh. As does the ditzy Ghost of Christmas Present slapping Bill Murray in the face while saying "Sometimes the truth HURTS!"

But... I'd never managed to sit down and read the actual book itself. Maybe because I generally think of it around Christmas, but not until someone else has checked it out from the library.

This year I managed to think of it early. And now I know why it's a classic.

It's just the sweetest, loveliest, most charming little story... ever. Just a simple redemption story of one man's soul. Just a word-picture of the difference life and hope can make to the coldest and bitterest of hearts. And to do Charles Dickens credit, knowing the basic progression and ending of the story didn't spoil it at all for me.

Yes, I do know that the Ghost of Christmas Present showed Scrooge many a merry sight of what Christmas ought to be, not what most people have. But if forever we sentimental fools try to scatter simple, honest happiness wherever we can, no one will be the worse because of it.