Sunday, August 31, 2008

Roll Call

If you're a regular reader (ie, check about once a week or more) please leave a comment with your name (If you'd like it not published, just mention). I just realized how many "direct" readers I have, which means people are typing in my address rather than clicking links to it.

What's scary is out of all the oh-so-many in Katy/Richmond/Houston, they're all using different browsers and OSs. Which means there's more than one of you out there. Just curious who you are. :)

Yes, I'm Asking For It

I don't want to talk about politics now. Really, I've had enough.
So I'm not- here are two articles which, though written at the extremes, I agree with. I wouldn't write them so assertively, though I probably should... so I'm starting my assertiveness by backing them. Here they are:

"Sarah Palin... Ya, I'm Going There"

"More Thoughts On Palin" (written by the same blog author)

Ok, forget that. I'm writing. I really don't know how to feel about this. I mean, this is an amazing step for Republicans to have such a pro-lifer, family-lover on board, but like the article said, this is a major responsibility, and I have qualms putting her in such a position over so many people. How she organizes her life is her business, and I am in no position to judge, but it's all very oxymoronic and ironic. Ah the inner turmoil. This election is becoming so personally abnoxious that I'm glad I have 6 months... oops, 4 (where'd they go?) months till I'm 18.

I may write something less politicish soon.
Comment if you wish, but please no directed politicish/feminism/social equality arguments- I'm sick of it, though I will publish them for public discussion, unless requested not to.

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Future: A Scary, Yet Exciting Place

I thought I had all this university stuff figured out. I would go to U of C, I would apply to HBU as a fall-back, and I would apply to Rice because they're waiving my application fee, and to deny them would be idiotic.

Then I got several "talks" by parents and grandparents about my major choice. I find linguistics interesting, but I definitely see their point... for what?

So I started looking at other majors. Then other schools.

I thought I was back where I started. Confused, frustrated, and exhausted.

Google helped, as well as college board and a few college sites, but what really helped me was a comment from one of the girls I worked with. She said, "You use numbers all the time, and you're so literal about it. 24 hours is 24 hrs, and you just wrote undefined for your '$/hr'."

So I thought. I still plan to take at least a couple linguistics classes, but I'll probably major in something mathematical. Actuarial Science sounds interesting. Then Dalhousie University came up again. I haven't considered Dalhousie for a couple years. They have a sturdy math department there.

In any case, I have about four months till I want to have all my applications finished. I still have to take the SATs, and who knows what college board is doing about my National Merit standing.

Who knows where I'll be headed in 365 days.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Would You Make A Good President?

I just finished watching the Saddleback Forum, where Rev. Warren presented identical questions to both presidential candidates separately. It's probably the most I've heard from either man, and I'm starting to feel a little more hope than I was, either way. The fact of the matter is, Obama and McCain seem like strong men. I don't agree with each point that they make (though I was surprised to find myself favoring Obama over McCain in two answers). Their answering styles were unique- McCain was quick and to the point, and Obama meandered a bit. However, throughout the interview, what impressed me most were the questions. They were the type of questions I would ask my president. The topics were varied, but relevant to my life. Then I started thinking about my answers to the questions. Sure, not all were relevant ("Why do you want to be president?") but they gave me significant insight to myself. I've posted them below. Take some time to think about them- I believe they're questions we should all ask ourselves every once and a while. If you want, you can even pretend you're running for president.

1)Who are the three wisest people you know, and who are you going to rely on heavily?
2)What would be your greatest moral failure in your life, and what would be the greatest moral failure in America?
3)What was the most gut-wrenching decision you've ever made, and what is the process you used to make it?
4)What viewpoint did you have 10 years ago [personally, I'm going to go with 5, since 10 years ago I was a pipsqueek] that you have changed your mind on due to more knowledge/experience?
5)As a Christian, what does it mean to trust Christ on a daily basis?
6)Abortion: At what point is a baby entitled to human rights?
7)Define "marriage."
8)Do we still need federal funding for research on embryo stem cells?
9)Does evil exist, and if it does, do we ignore it, do we negotiate with it, do we contain it, or do we defeat it?
10)Would you require that faith-based organizations [church missions] forfeit their right [to hire those with similar beliefs (potential discrimination)] to access federal funds?
11)Do you think better paid teachers should be paid better (merit based pay)?
12)Taxes: Define "rich."
13)War: As an American, what is worth sacrificing American lives for? What would be the criteria for sending troops in for a genocide?
14)Which supreme court justice(s) would you not have nominated?
15)Would you be willing to create an emergency relief for orphans, like Bush did for AIDS?
16)What do you think the US should do to end religious persecution [worldwide]?
17)When do our right to security and our right to privacy collide?
18)In one minute, tell me why you want to be president?
19)What do you say to people who oppose me [as a pastor] asking you these questions [in a church]?

If you want, feel free to comment, though I'll definitely be moderating closely.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Sour Milk

I am in a blogging frenzie. Anyway.

I was just on the phone with my aunt when I caught a whiff of something bad. I have the house to myself for the week, and though I haven't accumulated enough dishes where I have needed to wash them (I've only had breakfast at home. I've been working and sleeping for the last week), I have rinsed each off and I couldn't think what the stench was. I glanced around the area, and noticed a tea pot that was on the table from when my mom had company over... before she left. Next to it was a small milk pitcher. From before she left (four days ago). Now, I can handle baby diapers. I can deal with animal waste (I've been the family doggy doo scooper since I was 5). I have picked up roadkill from the side of the road, which is a rather long story. I can hold someone's hair back when they're sick. But I don't do spoilt milk. There's this gag reflex, and I just feel like holding my own hair back. I think it's mostly the stench, but it's also partly the visual. Milk just shouldn't look like that.

Anyway, the "milk" is down the garbarator (which ran about 2 minutes till I was sure I could smell nothing). I am now doing all dishes and clearing every surface of this kitchen, so help me. If there is anything that was not found before, it will be found now.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Compilation of Randomosity

A few thoughts:
  • This isn't really a thought. It's more of a story. So my dog really has a thing for rummaging through garbages (I personally don't see the joy in it). The two are locked in the kitchen all day while I'm at work, and though I feel sorry for them, I see no other way around it. The main kitchen door is baracaded by a shock matt (which is off) and a baby gate. The other door has french-style glass doors. I came home today and Lacey was on the other side of the fence, all obstacles intact. All household garbages well explored. Thank goodness trash was collected this morning. I apparently have over estimated her jumping ability.
  • I was on my way home from work today the radio was playing "Kathleen" by Josh Ritter. Upon closer examination of the lyrics, the guy is quite the womanizer, but the opening line was so romantic that I thought I'd share it: "All the other girls here are stars; You are the Northern Lights." *sigh*
  • If you frequently check my "To-read List" (HA!) you'll know I'm rereading Blue Like Jazz. I'm getting quite a different perspective out of it from the last time I read it. However, it's that sort of book- very open ended and up to reflection. On Sunday, our pastor was talking about the Trinity, and off on a dogleg he was discussing the complexity of God. He used a quote from John Wesley: "Bring me a worm that can comprehend a man and then I will show you a man who can comprehend the Triune God." Since that's rather double-negative based, I prefer Donald Miller's view: "[God] will make no more sense to me that I will make sense to an ant." Why is this important to understand? My pastor said, "If He's small enough that you understand Him, He's not big enough to help you with the struggles of life." That's a rough summery of Blue Like Jazz for you. Donald Miller is trying to show that God is larger than Christianity- that Christian Spirituality is the larger box that holds Christianity, because though inspired by God, Christianity is a religion carried out by men. He says, "For much of my life I had been defending Christianity because I thought that to admit that we had done any wrong was to discredit the religious system as a whole, but it isn't a religious system, it's people following Christ; and the important thing to do, the right thing to do, was to apologize for getting in the way of Jesus." I really like this book, but you sort of have to read it to get all of what he's saying. :)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My Favorite Recent Pictures

I don't know how "recent" you'd consider these actually. They're from a two weekends ago, when I went to go visit family over east of us.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Here Be Dragons

I just finished a novel that I picked up in Westminster Abbey's gift shop. Here Be Dragons by Sharon Penman is about the Welsh Princess Joanna. She was King John's (as in Robin Hood John) illegitimate daughter that he married off to the Welsh Prince Llewelyn. The story begins with Llewelyn's youth and their marriage, leading through the reigns of King Henry II, King Richard the Lion Hearted, King John, and King Henry III (the English kings died at a faster rate than Llewelyn). For someone who doesn't revel in history, I felt the book was wonderfully written.

From what I can tell through minimal research, the historical accuracy of the novel is impeccable. In the author's note, she said, "I took but one factual liberty; Llewelyn captured Mold Castle in January of 1199, but I placed the siege in April, the better to integrate the Welsh and Norman story lines." I can hardly say four months is worth a squawk. However, the book isn't a historical chronicle. It is in every sense a novel. What Penman couldn't elaborate in plot she put in dialogue and character insight.

However, I'm sorry to say that I can't reccomend this book and keep conscience. I want to, I really do. It's probably the best historical fiction/romance I've ever read, but there is just way too much unnecessary graphic description. As I read through it, I wish so much that I owned whiteout, so that I could read it again and again without subjecting my mind to unnecessary descriptions (for a lack of a better term).

I find it so frustrating that authors (and film producers, and singers, and... etc) feel it is necessary to elaborate on private matters. One of my favorite books, Redeeming Love, is a story about a prostitute. It explores some of the same struggles that Joanna faced but did so tastefully. I think Here Be Dragons has the power to be an amazing insight into humanity, with or without the sexual descriptions, and would win a wider audience without them. Some of the main themes are guilt and forgiveness, and Penman deals with them wonderfully.

My favorite scene was near the end, when Joanna and her daughter Elen are discussing Joanna's infidelity and remorse. It's the first conversation they've had where they are truly honest with each other and Elen learns about her mother's youthful lack of confidence: "'But scrape away the surface gloss, dig through the glaze to the raw clay, and you'll find a little girl forbidden to play with the other village children, a little girl who'd lie for hours in the heather above Middleham Castle, wanting only to belong.'" (Penman, 748)

PS: When I buy whiteout and deface my copy, I welcome anyone who wants to borrow it rather than the original version.

Photo by Gabriela Camerotti. . Creative commons licence: Attribution, Non-Commercial.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

It's Been a Day

I was up this morning at 7 am, and it's now midnight. Yet I don't want to go to bed. I was just hoping, maybe... but alas. It's been such a cram packed day.

I spent the weekend out watching my cousin play baseball. They had an awesome game, won 11-4. He got two homes himself, so nicely done cuz. Then I drove back this morning so that I had time to shower and have dry hair for work at one, this afternoon. I worked four hours, and then had a delightful time chatting with my dear girl, Bee. I got some unfortunate news from Jess, and then an email from my dad. Those tend to be exhausting, though I doubt intentionally so.

Then I heard news about rain. Lots of rain. Hurricane levels. Heading for my home. [Praying for you guys]

Maybe that's what this is... homesickness? You'd think I'd have grown out of this after a year. I really ought to.

I have to work tomorrow at 11, so up at 9. I can't wait for school, because after school is home. ETA January 28th.