Monday, December 26, 2011

Ella, Spider Hammer strikes again...

So. Erm. Umm. We're moving.
I'm not going into details. I'm not, I'm really not, because I haven't the time.
And . . . I can't really go into my reaction. My response to it. Because it's not really cyberspace-safe. But . . . getting out of here, having a place of our own, I can't really tell you what that means to me.
And there's a lovely back deck and a clothesline and a hammock . . . and a gorgeous kitchen and a lovely little half-wall separating it from the living room that's just right for sitting . . . and I can bring my kitty with me, and she'll be safe and happy . . . and the neighbors are perfect . . . and it's a gorgeous old white farmhouse, which I love, with an oddly bungalow-type atmosphere, which is great . . . and there are two bushes of those lovely pink-and-white camellias like we had four houses ago . . . and I get my own room.
Yes, you heard me right. I get my own room. It's small, but that's perfect, and it's warm and sunny and has wood-paneled walls and lovely wooden blinds and it lends itself very naturally to the theme I want to take with it. So very naturally it was barely even a creative decision, more like just seeing what was there. I'm going for a sort of writerly, Victorian-era type feel, which will be . . . utter perfection.
So about the post title---- We were up at the new house today, cleaning (there's a lot of that to be done) and I'm attacking the cobwebs and dust bunnies and spider corpses (and a few live ones) in the corners and the ceilings and the window sills with a broom, sweeping and stabbing with a vengeance, which called to mind another similar time cleaning up at the church. I killed so many spiders that day that I made a couple of ill-fated jokes about finding some sort of name for myself (Ella, Spidersbane? Ella, Foe of Spiders? There's something in there, I just can't find it). So today, when I was doing quite the same sort of work, I had an epic little narration going on in my head about rousting the spiders and annihilating them. Spider Hammer strikes again?
Anyway, we'll be back up at the house tomorrow, and the next day, and basically every day for the next three weeks, when we'll just stop leaving. Things are going to get crazy. Wish me luck!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Four trailers . . . Oh, it's Christmas!

Yes, I try to steer clear of Sherlock-related topics on here, but sometimes it's just not possible.
Because BBC gave us four trailers . . . in one day!!! Add that to the two scenes from Scandal in Belgravia they gave us earlier this week, and you have absolute insanity. I think they're just trying to kill us with suspense so that all of their fans will be dead and cannot watch the new series. Or something like that. Because we're all gonna die.

Trailer one.
Trailer two.
Trailer three.
Trailer four.

Aaaaand the sneak peek scenes.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Would You Call This A Movie Review?

Or random ramblings on the topic of a movie I just watched? Either way.
So Toy Story 3. Never seen it before, didn't really feel like giving it the time of day. Saw it as corporate monster Disney milking one last sequel out of an old franchise.
But then I realize . . . that's not where they're coming from. That movie was the emotional climax of my generation. They waited this long very very on purpose. They were always going to tell that part of the story, but they waited until I, until we, those of us who were Andy's age at the start, are the age they wanted him at the end. Until that sad-sweet growing-up-time was where we were at in life. Because we've made the same journey as Andy, and now we are exactly where he is in the movie.
So, yes, no sequel is ever as good as the original, but this one really meant something. It was intentional.
And aside: That ending, people? Andy playing with the little girl? My kid brother is like, "Haha, what a dork!"
And in my head I'm like: "Come on, somebody tell me guys like that exist."

My Brain Right Now...

Consists, vaguely, of the paper I have due somehow pertaining to Jane Austen's Emma, trying to ignore the fact that I'm nowhere near ready for Christmas. A strange obsession with Scottie dogs that I can't entirely explain (ohmyword, I want one so bad). The novel I'm attempting to write; trying, as usual, to figure out what comes after high school; and the novel and the movie of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Star Trek: Deep Space Nine; The fact that I'm turning eighteen in February; New season of Sherlock starting January first (and trying how to figure out how to watch it January first, outside the UK, without turning to piracy); and that stupid game Minesweeper.
And, yeah, I think that's about everything. Have a great day!

Lol. I'm joking. By far a bigger deal than Sherlock or Scottie dogs was my best friend's wedding this past weekend. Joy and her Mark were married Saturday morning; yours truly had the honor of being the maid of honor. Corinne, Reese, and Joy's roommate at college Sue were bridesmaids.
Friday evening, the wedding party and assorted friends and family of the bride and groom got the church all set up for the reception; then all the bridesmaids slept over (or rather, didn't sleep) at Joy's house. Woke up before dawn to leave for the ceremony. Which was at the beach. The BEACH. Yes, it is the middle of December. Your point?
All of us girls got dressed at the groom's grandmother's condo on the beach. Typical fighting with hair and makeup, finally getting to wear those gorgeous dresses we'd picked out (ensemble was grey sweater dress, teal scarf-belt, teal tights, lacy black ballet flats) then had the traditional honor of helping the bride into her dress, buttoning the back, etc. She looked absolutely gorgeous. :)
Me, Joy, and Corinne had a sweet emotional little moment waiting for the elevator. Hugs all around and tearing up enough to endanger our eye makeup.
Everybody but the bride hobbled down to the waterfront, absolutely freezing. Took our places opposite the groomsmen, waited for Joy and her father to appear over the ridge. Played a few bars of the wedding march on the kazoo, shivered through the beautiful ceremony, tried not to cry (can you imagine the pain of tears literally freezing onto your face?), tried not to laugh when the wind tossed sea foam over the heads of the wedding guests, or when the waves started licking the pastor's shoes.
Hobbled back up the aisle after the new Mr. and Mrs. --------; arm-in-arm with the best man (who reminded me enough of my father that I couldn't take him or myself seriously); wedding party pictures in the lobby of the condo; piled in a van with Corinne, Sue, Reese, the flower girl, and Joy's parents for the hour ride back to our church for the reception.
Read the note Joy wrote me, that I hadn't been quite brave enough, and had been depending too much on my makeup not looking raccoon-ish, to read when she handed it to me. Tried not to cry.
Reception; sitting at the head table nibbling at meat and fruit and a bowl of chicken noodle soup. Checked on Joy every few minutes. It has to tell you something about the kind of friends we are that we chatted about Doctor Who and quoted an entire scene from Meet the Robinsons. Some things never change.
Tried not to cry during Joy's incredibly sweet daddy-daughter dance.
Danced with the groom for about thirty seconds while the best man danced with Joy (to Song of the Cebu, oddly enough) to start off the "Dollar Dances," which is apparently a tradition, though I had never heard of it; then held the styrofoam cup out for anybody who wanted to pay a dollar to dance with the bride.
And the one time I really started crying: my Dad coming up, sticking a dollar in the cup, and dancing with my best friend. Watching the two of them dance and chat. I can't entirely explain why that was the moment, out of all of them, that got me, but it was.
Cha-cha slide and the Macarena; listened to my brother trying to get up the courage to ask his girlfriend (Corinne, had I covered that? Well, yeah, Andrew and Corinne=together. Everybody say it with me, "Awwww!!"), to dance with him. Snuck a dance with my baby brother Riley while giving him pointers on asking Joy's little sister to dance.
Tried (or pretended to try, knowing that there was absolutely no chance) to catch the bouquet. Held the pen and paper to scratch out what presents they got from who like a good maid of honor. Tossed birdseed at the happy couple as they made their way to the car, watched until they pulled out of the church parking lot, FIN.

People keep asking me if I'm sad, or trying to "commiserate" with me over losing my friend; and it's all I can do not to look at them like they've grown a second head. I'm not sad!! What kind of friend would I be if I could be so selfish as to be sad about the thing that has made her so happy? And you couldn't have watched the two of them during their first dance and not know that they are so happy.
I am over the moon happy for her, for both of them; and contrary to whatever anybody else seems to believe, I haven't lost a friend!! It's true that it'll be different now, because her husband has to be her best friend. That role doesn't fall to me anymore; and I'll definitely miss her, because we won't get to see as much of each other; but none of this means that I'm anything but happy for them both.
So, umm, congratulations, Mr. and Mrs. (I don't feel like making up fake last names).
Aaaaaand, now that's it. For reals this time. Ttfn!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

If I have to slog through another Wikipedia article, I might scream...
This has been maybe the most frustrating (though definitely the most fun) research paper I've ever had to write. Most of the frustration stems from the fact that I know, off the top of my head, most of the information I want to use, but I still have to find something to cite for it.
Thus the slogging through Wikipedia articles.
So I'm breaking and blogging, yes in the middle of a school day, and yes my rough draft is due Monday, but whatever.
So I had a sweet little moment last night, with my precious kitten Trudy. Less of a kitten now, but anyway. So last night, when my kitten curled up in my lap and buried her head under my arm, when she rubbed her head on my glasses and licked my nose, well, it reiterated to me why I'm a cat person.
See, dog's best quality is that they're "loving," but the thing is, they're totally indescriminate. They'll throw themselves adoringly in a very Doug-like fashion at the feet of, well, just about anybody. Sure your dog loves you, doesn't that just make you feel special?
Now cats? Cats are choosy. Call it snobbishness if you want, but they don't adore just anybody. They've got a sadistic sense of humor, sometimes they'll choose to shower they're attention on the one person in the room who hates cats, but that doesn't bother me too bad. I usually think it's funny.
But when a cat really decides to like you? It means you're something special. For some reason, the great cat mind has judged you worthy.

In other, non-cat-related news, I'm finally getting somewhere in Spanish, which is grand. I feel like I'm actually starting to get the hang of the grammar system. Still not much for speaking it, but the way I figure it, that'll come with time.

By way of scheduling; tonight is the children's ministry Christmas party, which I may or may not go to help with, depending on how much of my paper I still have to get done (so I should probably get off blogger, huh?); tomorrow possibly cleaning at the church in the morning (which I may also stay home from in favor of research paper); Stock-the-Pantry party for Joy and Mark tomorrow night; Sunday. And that's the plan. Sound like fun? Lol.

Weeeelll, enough procrastinating. Getting back to the schoolwork now. Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

It's Christmas Time Again

(no, not referencing that Third Day song, though I thought about it)
Can you believe it? It doesn't feel like it should be here, but it is. And today, it's definitely here.
There was cleaning this morning, with Grandma zipping around the house in her annual Christmas-decorating frenzy. Then Tabby's birthday party (which usually falls on the the first weekend of December, and kind of marks the opening of the Christmas season). She decided to go ice skating, which I absolutely adore. So I got to dust off my puffy coat and use my incidentally-matching gray hat/scarf/gloves. And the Christmas music and the time with friends, it's so definitely Christmas time.
Came home, had supper, and decorated the Christmas tree with my family, sat around the tree with the lights down low and sipped eggnog (and Constant Comment tea, quite a Christmas staple).
Christmas this year isn't quite how I'd have it, if it were all up to me. The Christmas tree is Grandma's artificial one, the ornaments are hers. Ours are buried in storage. And there's other stuff too, it's just, different this year, somehow.
Part of me wonders if it's just growing up. Does Christmas become less of a big deal the older you get?
The magic of the season is still there, it's still a big deal to me, but the older I get, the more disgusted I am of the consumerism of this time of year, from the stores to the commercials to the little kids whining for the latest craze to my kid brother begging for an iPod touch. My mind's ingrained reaction is, "But, that's not what it's about, Jesus is the Reason for the Season," or whatever.
But Confession Time: you know the scary thing? Jesus' birth isn't, really, the point of this holiday to me either. It's what Christians try to make it about, but it's really not! The scholars tell us that the birth of the Messiah lines up more with March, or September, but not December. We know that making December 25th about the birth of the king was really just a ploy on the part of the church to try to turn around a pagan festival into something the church could conscience. None of this is news to you.
But why is my Christianity still governed by this lie, this piece of propaganda that started circulating however many centuries ago? I still "celebrate" the birth of my Savior, in the wrong month, by giving and receiving gifts and all of the other trappings of the holidays. There are enough real reasons that I don't need a fakey reason to celebrate the God I follow three-hundred-and-sixty-five days a year. dThis. Isn't. Working. For. Me.
Now, the thing is, I'm not willing to give up Christmas because of this! But if it isn't about Santa Claus, and it isn't about Baby Jesus in the manger, then what is it?
I've found the answer. And, of all places, I've found it in Doctor Who. Last year, the Doctor Who Christmas special was set on a far-off planet, on that world's equivalent of Christmas. One of the characters explains it thusly,
"On every world, wherever people are, in the deepest part of the winter, at the exact midpoint, everybody stops, and turns, and hugs, as if to say 'Well done. Well done, everyone! We're halfway out of the dark.' Back on Earth, we called this Christmas, or the Winter Solstice. On this world, the first settlers called it the Crystal Feast."
Well done, everyone. We're halfway out of the dark. Isn't that what Christmas is about? It's about taking a moment to pause and step back from life. It's about the solstice, the longest night, the darkest day of the year; about shaking a fist at the elements and refusing to let the darkness around us seep into our soul. It's about brightening our world with little sparkling lights, making our kitchens smell heavenly, eating wonderful food, giving presents to the ones we love, and ringing silver bells to drive off the encroaching darkness. It's about making a reason to celebrate, or celebrating without a reason, in the very darkest part of the year.
So sure. Merry Christmas, if that's how you like it. Three cheers, well done, my fellow man. We're halfway out of the dark.