Thursday, February 23, 2012

We Interrupt This Program...

Alternate title was Public Service Announcement, I couldn't make up my mind which sounded better.
Anyway, I've found a way to solve the "I want to blog, but I'm logged into the wrong youtube account, and I want to actually be able to use my youtube," issue.
I'm going to "invite" the other "me" to be a writer on this blog. In short, some posts will come titled as from "Cerinthe" instead of from "Ella."
No, I don't have split personalities. No, I haven't been hacked. No, I don't have a very strange friend impersonating me in half my blog posts.
Same old girl, just a different name.
And hopefully that should cut down on my frustration level a little bit.
Au revoir!

To Love an Artist

So I watched that movie about Vincent van Gogh; and consequently realized that he lived in the Victorian era.
Which would be the same time that my dearling little main character Katie, the one in the Sherlock Holmes story, would have walked the earth.
They were on the same planet at the same time. Ergo, they might, potentially, have met.
I decided to run with it, because I like Vincent van Gogh, as a person, a heck of a lot better than Sherlock Holmes. And it would, admittedly, be nice to see what my Katie would do in a situation with someone who is free of Sherlock's, well, shall we say, emotional constipation.
I started working on what I thought was going to be a bit of a character study, or something like that; short and cursory, to get a feel for how these two (my fictional character and a historical figure I like/respect/admire) would interact.
It turned into a 1600 word short story. With a plot. And stuff.
And the scariest part is, I actually like it. I hate it when I like stuff I write. There's that whole "murder your darlings" thing, and whatnot.
So anyway, if you'd like to read the story, entitled "To Love an Artist," you can find it on my inkpop profile. I wouldn't suggest spending much time over there, or (heaven forbid) reading anything else I have up, but I'd like to share this one with you guys and sixteen hundred words is a bit overkill for a blog post. So anyway, without further ado, To Love an Artist.

~Before Tomorrow~

"Before tomorrow, we must find out
What we hold and what we've lost...
Any day now, I'll write the words down,
Turn the page and start again.
And we will take it one step at a time,
And now I'm right behind you.
I'm not holding you back."

And while I can't figure out how to make the lyrics apply (though I probably could if I thought about it long enough), I very much liked the title.
The time 'before tomorrow' is growing, to put it lightly, short.
Tomorrow, of course, marking the day I will have spent eighteen years (or 6,575 days, or, well, you get the picture) on this little blue marble.
And while I'm trying not to be melodramatic about it, it does feel, well, significant. For a long time now, every birthday has just taken me deeper into being a 'teenager.' Now, this one is just going to propel me right on out of it.
I'm a legal adult tomorrow.
I certainly won't feel like an adult tomorrow.
I know, from past experience, that I won't feel any different tomorrow than I do today.
But closing the door on technical childhood,
with all of the reaches (and infinite possibilities) of adulthood in front of me.
I'm trying to be scared, but I think I'm way too excited. Because it is a world of infinite possibility, and that makes me feel like a giddy little kid in a candy store.
It's funny, this far, it's felt like my "childhood" or whatever, those first eighteen years and grade school and so on, were absolutely everything, and as far as I could see; but come to think of it, that makes up such a small percentage of the average lifetime. There's way more ahead of me, than there is behind me; which for some reason is funny to think about.

But anyway. Thanks for putting up with my melodrama. And, I think that's about it. G'night, e'erbody.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Vincent van Gogh: Painted With Words OR When Did This Blog Become About Reviewing Things?

No, seriously, I don't know, but I keep watching movies, and I keep wanting to say something about them, and the best place to do that is this blog, which has so narrow a readership I needn't fear scaring readers away by talking about things that don't interest them. Yes, I know, my opinion doesn't actually matter. But I get a kick out of writing these things, and I'm sure as anything not going to post them to Facebook.

Painted With Words was another youtube find (six fifteen-minute videos this time), another BBC film I'd heard good things about and wanted to see for myself.
It consists of really well-played drama, interspersed with informational narration from one Mr. Alan Yentob, who was also instrumental in piecing the film together.
When I say piecing together, I mean it quite literally. The movie was made up entirely of real letters, mostly between Vincent and his younger brother Theo. It also used the actual testimonies of people who knew the artist. I can neither fathom nor appreciate the amount of work that must have gone into this project! To assemble all of that information, to painstakingly go through it and piece it together into a script and a screenplay? It's absolutely incredible. But it's so wonderful to know, as you're watching the movie, that it has absolute truth. This isn't opinion. No one has had the opportunity to color or distort or manipulate things to bend a viewer's opinion of the life of the biographee (a word my word processor tells me is incorrect but the dictionary assures me actually exists). And at moments, throughout the film, when one feels as though something were too good, or to bad, to be entirely true, there's a sort of comfort in knowing that it is.
It was a great performance, acting wise, on all fronts; but especially from the gentleman in the title role. To take a real person, and to bring him so completely alive, until the viewer feels as though they might just reach through the screen and touch it; well, it is doubtless the mark of talent. Actors are often praised for being moving, for evoking sympathy from the audience, but this went a step further. What I felt was not sympathy, but compassion. An absolutely irrational wish that I could have been born a hundred and fifty years ago, just to have had a chance to make some difference in the life of this mad, hurting, terrifically lonesome artist. As acting, this steps beyond talent to genius.
Visually, the movie is stunning. I could tell, almost, that filmmakers were trying to make their viewers see things as Vincent must have; trying to express the beauty he found in nature.
Also worth mentioning, in the field of things visual, that some of the asides from the narrator (which gave facts and information about the events of van Gogh's life) were filmed in the actual locations spoken of. An art supply store or a bar the artist frequented, a house he lived in! It had a sort of way tying it all together, the past and the present.
And there's something to be said about a movie that makes you want to learn things. As I watched, I found myself infuriated by not recognizing the names of other artists mentioned in passing, as contemporaries of van Gogh or influences on his style. I wished I already knew every name of every painter, and could connect the name in my head with style, with principal works, with biographical data even! And while I may not act on this infuriation (i.e. making a study of every famous painter ever), there's something to be said for the fact that Painted with Words made me want to.
About the man himself, Vincent van Gogh strikes me as, over all, incredibly unlucky. I never knew, before tonight, that he tried and failed both to enter the church and to go into missionary work before deciding to be a painter. Unlucky in love, unlucky in relationships, terrifically unlucky in how ill-received his work was. But more than that, it seems to me that he just had too much passion to get on well in the normal world. I can't imagine anyone I've ever known, myself very much included, to have the capability of ever feeling anything a half, a quarter, as deeply as van Gogh did. We see this in his work, and, through this movie, in his letters; to quote his brother (somewhere towards the end of the movie), "Life weighed so heavily on him."
Throughout the movie van Gogh speaks of the obligation, the duty even, that he feels to make something of his talent, to leave something to the world, as a way of saying thank you. Almost ironic, when you look at how very little the world ever did for him; and yet...apparently he didn't see it that way.
I don't often cry during movies; and, as these things go, Painted with Words wouldn't be classified as a tearjerker. I sobbed, though; less at the end, when the artist died, than about three-quarters of the way through. There was a bit of monologue from his younger brother Theo about Vincent's sad state of mental health, given while he was perusing Vincent's most recent paintings. Hearing the person who loved and knew Vincent the best talk about how troubled and hurting he was, while looking at the fantastic beauty of his paintings; I didn't start really crying until it came to Starry Night.
The quote that maybe sums it all up best comes, not from Painted with Words, but, unsurprisingly, Doctor Who (and, whatever you do, do NOT watch the last ten minutes of Vincent and the Doctor immediately after finishing Painted with Words, unless you are alone, with plenty of tissues, and actually enjoy crying), "Van Gogh is the finest painter of them all...He transformed the pain of his tormented life into ecstatic beauty. Pain is easy to portray, but to use your passion and pain to portray the ecstasy and joy and magnificence of our world, no one had ever done it before. Perhaps no one ever will again. To my mind [van Gogh] was not only the world's greatest artist, but also one of the greatest men who ever lived."

If you want to watch the movie, which you really should, you can find a youtube playlist for it here, and in case the playlist goes down ('cause there's nothing I hate more than a broken link), the first video is here.
As for my favorite parts, or favorite quotes, well, really, just watch the whole thing, and you'll understand why I can't pick favorites.
So I just caught my parents (they thought they were being sneaky) making a midnight cookie raid on the kitchen . . .

In fairness, they caught me awake at half-past twelve watching a drama/documentary about the life and work of Vincent van Gogh.

I guess it's best to let the subject drop, huh?

And, speaking of Vincent van Gogh, review to follow shortly (when I manage to stop sobbing).

Monday, February 13, 2012

Things That Happen

This is a prime example. These. Things. Just. Happen to me!
So here I am, minding my own business, trying to do a bit of research for my story. Google image search for train stations in the 1800s, which lead me to a Google image search for Euston Station, London. And on that Google image search for Euston Station London, was this:
A link. To a website. With pages upon pages of hotels, hostels, and apartments in London.
Viola! I waste twenty minutes drooling over, yes, cool apartments, but moreso, how epicly amazing it would be to just be there.
At this rate, I'm never going to get any work done.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Waiting Tables, Eczema, and Valentines Day

Really, there's little point to go beyond the title. That pretty much sums it up.
We just got home from the church, where me, Andrew, and the rest of the youth group were waiting tables for the church Valentine's Banquet. Which was passably fun, though I'm not looking for a career in hospitality. Also, somewhat awkward, though it would have been more-so had I not wound up waiting on my own family. But giggling in the corner with the youth group and dressing in matched black bottoms, white tops outfits, scarfing down spaghetti and cheesecake when it was the kitchen help's turn to eat.
However, I tend to think that I was actually more stressed out than I felt (possibly due to some interpersonal awkardness I'm hoping passes soon), because *drumroll please* my eczema started acting up!! Which is usually a dead give-away, even to myself, that there's something not quite right in my psyche. Stress triggers eczema, 2 + 2 = 4, Ella's hands start bleeding. Woohoo.
And, yeah, woohoo Valentines Day. I don't have the energy for an actual rant right now, but pointless commercial holiday, making single people feel miserable and not-single people obligated to spend money on mass-produced tokens of cheap affection, or else risk the the wrath of their significant other. Vomit-worthy levels of pink in the stores, conversation hearts that get dumber every year, and kiddies exchanging cardstock valentines based on their favorite cartoon characters. Doesn't that just sound like fun?

A Must-See Movie; and One to Avoid at All Costs

So here lately, I've been saving up a movie or something to watch on Friday night after I go to bed. Earlier this week, I stumbled across one on youtube that I've been wanting to see for some time, popped it into my watch-later, and waited rather impatiently.
This movie was the 2004 BBC drama entitled simply, Hawking.
Now, to a member of my family watching this, it may appear that I have happened upon a rather unlikely fixation with the scientist, as I rather mysteriously added a documentary (Into the Universe with Stephen Hawking) to our Netflix instant queue earlier this month. Thing is, it was rather a series of unfortunate events. I thought that the one (Into the Universe) was the other (Hawking), and so added it by mistake. Imagine my surprise when what I saw bizarre animations of what aliens might look like instead of the emotional biography I was expecting.
Well, anyway, Hawking was the one I was looking for, and I've just finished it (in nine ten-minute parts, thank you uploading limits) on youtube.
All I can say is wow. There's such a story there, a story I never knew existed; and it's so very beautifully told in this little documentary. It's a love story, and a success story, and it was so very worth ninety minutes of my life. I don't want to hold cheap the events of this amazing man's life by pretending to understand them or trying to explain them, so all I can really say is, well, wow.
The movie itself was extremely well-done; well cast and very well acted (which was to be expected); and maybe what impressed me most was how very tastefully it was done. Sometimes with things like this, television or movies that depict physical disability, the effect is . . . uncomfortable. Makes the viewer uncomfortable, embarrassed for the actor or the person portrayed, squeamish. You know the feeling I'm talking about, when you can't help but look away from the screen for a moment because you can't bear to watch. But this? This wasn't. Hawking showed faithfully the physical condition of Mr. Hawking, but did so in a dignified and beautiful and very human manner, and did not fall to discomfiting the viewer to make a point.
All the same, it is a very hard movie to watch. It is solemn, and saddening to watch a healthy young man have a progressively harder and harder time with day-to-day tasks, and yet there are moments of such joy, and such beauty, and such success that it doesn't feel like a sad movie. Brought to mind is a quote from Doctor Who, which can really be applied to any life, but seems especially apropos in this situation, "The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things; but vice-versa, the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things or make them unimportant."
Some links for your enjoyment:
Watch the movie starting here.
See my favorite bits here and here.
And a quote, the very end of the movie, that really sums it all up: "I believe in the possible. I believe, small though we are, insignificant though we may be, we can reach a full understanding of the universe. You were right, when you said you felt small, looking up at all that out there. We are very very small, but we are profoundly capable of very very big things."

And in other news, if anyone ever tries to make you watch the relatively recent Christian movie Cutback, chances are they want you dead. For some reason. Insurance money, perhaps? At the very least, I would question their loyalty to you as a friend. Because this movie is something that I, who pride myself on being at least a relatively decent person, would not wish this movie on my worst enemy. Perhaps it's cruel of me to say, but the acting was physically painful, the story has been told three-million times over (a few of these times being somewhat more enjoyable than this particular one), the title was a sad attempt at a pun or a metaphor or something, and overall, it was just one of those Christian movies that make us all look like idiots. I mean, really. The only people who watch these movies, with their rebellious teenagers, their struggling marriages, their weepy salvation scenes, and the way everything is hunky-dory the minute you pray that stupid prayer, are Christians themselves! The only people who take these movies seriously are Christians themselves. So, then, what is the point of making another misguided-bad-boy-lead-to-Christ-by-the-cute-perky-church-girl-from-school movie when there are enough of them already? The ones that exist aren't doing the unsaved much good, so please, Please, stop inflicting this over-used drivel on the world!
And as if all of that wasn't enough, everybody was really, really good looking. The main character was decidedly Zac Efron-esque, the love interest was drop-dead gorgeous, with perfect, curly red hair and a pixie-ish nose, the mum was super-skinny and trendy, the youth pastor had long blond hair, big blue eyes, and a surfer-boy tan. Because the way to lead people to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ is to convince them that Christians are all really, really good-looking.
Lord, have mercy on us. Is this what we're doing to the message of the cross?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Crazy Things My Youth Pastor Says

Really, this could be a blog all in and of itself, as I am sure I could get an amen on from any one of several people.
Last night, though, was something.
The discussion was revolving slowly around the topics of the Holy Spirit, discernment, being on our guard against evil spirits, eisegesis vs. exegesis, and the Bereans of Acts 17. This lead to discussing Joel Osteen, American Family Radio, and other people in the world of pseudo- and "American" Christianity whose theology is askew. Which lead, in turn, to other things we have to be careful of, to check for biblical correctness. Namely, music.
Now, yeah, I'll buy that. There are "Christian" bands whose lyrics are theologically incorrect, I've been bothered by them before.
But then my youth pastor pointed a finger at one of my favorite worship bands, Unhindered. A lyric in one of their songs says, "Father will you come, open up our eyes, fill us with Your heart, renew us with Your life. Consume us with Your majesty."
According to my youth pastor, these lyrics are unbiblical. Yes, cue head-spinning, blinking, re-reading sentence, re-reading lyrics. That was my reaction too. Apparantly, it is invoking the wrong member of the triune Godhead. it is asking the "Father" to fulfill the duties of the "Holy Spirit" (eye-opening/illuminating, filling/indwelling, spiritual renewal). Yes. Okay. Technically correct. But it's a song, people! It's a work of art! And if we're going to be dogmatic about it, I suppose it should be
"Father, in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ, would you send Your Holy Spirit to (illuminate/indwell/renew)."
Yeah. By this point, we've thrown meter, rhyme, and rhythm out the window.

But wait, it gets better. He went on to say, "And then we've got secular music. We've all listened to it, with its, just, the completely meaningless, *well, I went to the grocery store* or *driving in my car* stuff, and..."
There was more hemming and hawwing and tiptoeing around his point, but, basically, if music isn't about God, it is inherently meaningless. Unless, of course, it's inherently evil (which, I'll admit, happens more frequently than I'd wish).
As someone who listens to an awful lot of music, much of it not technically "Christian" in nature, it was incredibly difficult not to at least roll my eyes at this statement.
I mean, I'm sorry, but this simply isn't true!! I mean, they're just not! Yeah, there's some meaningless fluff out there (...And I was like, baby...), but there are some, technically secular, artists and musicians whose lyrics are plenty meaningful. Lori Mckenna and Athlete are the only ones that come immediately to mind, but that's just because I'm weird and don't get out much. I'm sure there are others. These people sing about the lives they lead, about the things that happen to them, about life and love and family and relationships and emotions. And yeah, if they're not in a relationship with Christ, these things have not the fullness of Love and Truth and Meaning that a life with Christ can have; but that doesn't mean that they are inherently meaningless. It's human life! It's the human condition! It's the achingly, heart-breakingly, ecstatically beautiful imperfection of everything it means to be alive! To make my point:
~It's about those little near-misses in life that mean everything: "Take all your chances while you can. You never know when they'll pass you by. Like a sum the mathematician cannot solve; Like me trying my hardest to explain. It's all about your cries and kisses, those first steps that I can't calculate..." Athlete, Chances.
It's about searching for meaning and purpose and direction in life: "I would like to think our paths are straight. Disconnected from choices we make. That there is no reason why it can't be like you said. One day, it's gonna happen. I don't know when I'll be on your street. One day, it's gonna happen, and you're gonna be swept off your feet." Athlete, Streetmap
~It's about losing somebody you love: "25 to 10, another day begins. I can't believe that you slipped away. I'm sure this can't be really happening. It seemed like time just stopped when my head dropped. Just come back for one day, 'cause there's so much I never got to say. Just come back for one day, so I can remember your face. . . And maybe, one day, I'll see you again, but until then, I'll see you in the morning." Athlete, Lay Your Head (See also: Lori McKenna, Never Die Young or Still Down Here; Athlete, It's Not Your Fault).
~It's about living life simply: "No diamonds in our bathtub rings, peanut butter on everything. No thrills, no fuss; perfectly us, unglamorous." Lori Mckenna, Unglamorous
(See also: Lori Mckenna, The Most)
It's about how much they love their kids: "There's a rule me and my little boy have
You've got to say 'I love you' before you close your eyes. Then he can dream himself to sleep and I can pray or cry. One thing I have taught him well is to never wonder why. Why wonder why?" Lori McKenna, Mars
"I'm not letting go just yet, though everything is telling me to. It's not the way I am made, oh. With you I never lose. . . First fight, first fall, first speak-and-spell; You've got me wrapped around your finger. First love, first kiss, you'll never ever know just how fragile it is." Athlete, With You I Never Lose (See also, Athlete, Corner of My Baby's Eye, or Wires)
It's about the simplicity of childhood: "Before you met me, I was a fairy princess. I caught frogs and called them prince and made myself the queen. And before you knew me, I traveled 'round the world, and i slept in castles, and fell in love, because I was taught to dream. I found mayonnaise bottles and poked holes on top to capture Tinkerbell; and they were just fireflies to the untrained eye, but I could always tell..." Lori Mckenna, Fireflies
"He can play all by himself for many hours. I have never seen a kid who's so content
There is nothing from the outside that can touch him, cos he's just learning how to be alone with one. I saw you smiling; And i need my vehicles and animals, and i will be alright. Take me back to nineteen seventy nine so i can find my open eyes." Athlete, Vehicles and Animals

And then there's Witness to Your Life and Mr. Sunshine and The Awkward Goodbye and Rubik's Cube and Light the Way and Black Swan and OH. MY. GOODNESS!!!!!
These emotions, these people, these things that they create, are not automatically invalid because they are not, technically, about the God who created them!!! Didn't the God who created people, create the emotions that they feel and the things that happen to them? And those emotions do not become void if the God of Heaven is not the Lord of their lives!
I love my youth pastor to pieces anyway ("Bless his heart," as they say here in the South), but sometimes I hear his opinions and I wonder how we can possibly be from the same species.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine

As promised, full write up or the epicness that was finishing the eight-part series conclusion in one emotionally draining afternoon.
We've been watching this show as a family for upwards of six months. Six months, people. I'm not sure whether that seems like a forever's worth of the same thing every night, or a fantastically short amount of time to have sped through seven seasons. Back when seasons were more than six or twelve episodes long.
As difficult as it is to admit, I'm a trekkie. Can't get away from it, and this? This is the one that really did it. You don't exactly have to be die-hard to get into Enterprise (I mean, really people. Trip Tucker?), which is the first series we watched, then there was a brief stint with Voyager (we found it, well, annoying), and there have been others over the years, but this one is the one I've really fallen in love with.
It's hard to put my finger on exactly why, though.
There's the acting, which, compared to a lot of other Star Trek stuff I've seen, is really, actually, good. It's really good. And really good acting goes far with me.
The writing is top-notch too, which is a huge contributor. There were a couple of really clever decisions made early on that allowed it to stay really good for really long. I mean, Enterprise got rubbish around season three. DS9 made it seven seasons and held my attention to the end.
There were several major story arcs, and countless minor ones, that were developed by turns throughout the series; all of which were cleverly woven together near the very end, so that everything terminated satisfactorily at the same time.
A similar trick was used with the characters: there is no one protagonist. Seriously, you could chase yourself around in circles for hours saying, "It's him! No, it's her! No, it's got to be him." And that's the thing, it's all of them. There were eight or nine "protagonists," all equally well-developed, all equally well-rounded.
Setting the series on a space station rather than a starship did wonders for the character development. Allowing the characters to be more stationary, keeping them in one place, together, for an extended period of time, living something vaguely like "normal" life gave opportunity to make the characters deeper and more complex. We really watched each individual, and all of their relationships, change and develop naturally over time.
So with a variety of plot-lines and characters to choose from, a great setting play them in, and the endless adaptability and repeatability of the science-fiction genre, it really could've gone on forever; which made it all the more admirable that they ended it when they did. To stop something at a show at the right time, even when you could've milked another couple seasons out out of it at least, is one of the most honorable things a series can do in my book. Second, maybe, to killing the main character.
DS9 also had one of the single-best (perhaps the very best) instances of an unresolved-sexual-tension, will-they-or-won't-they relationship of ALL time. If it's second to any at all, it would be Mulder and Scully on the X-Files. The recipe is simple: set up the perfect couple, get viewers emotionally invested, cruelly wrench viewer's heart out at every given opportunity, repeat as necessary. Such a plot device is sure to keep viewers (especially female viewers, especially female viewers within a certain age bracket) coming back for more no matter how awful the show is, or what other junk the writers try to shove at you. I mean, seriously, I don't think I ever had any other reason for reading Nancy Drew books than to see if Ned was ever going to break down and propose. How much more so when the rest of the show is actually really good.
Meet Doctor Bashir and Lieutenant (I think?) Jadzia (at least, at first) Dax. The relationship is introduced in, literally, the very first episode of the very first season. We, or at least I, fall in love with the couple from square one. We watch each character grow and develop; watch them fall more and more in love with each other, fume as other; one-episode love interests crop up for one or the other of them. Standard stuff? Well, at first. Then they marry the girl off to another guy, and then they kill her off, and they still managed to get themselves out of it in time for a declaration and a kiss in the turbo-lift on the second-to-last episode of the seventh season. Talk about dragging it out!

So needless to say I have enjoyed this series immensely, and then today we had to go and finish it. The conclusion came in eight parts, the last of which was a two-hour special, so it took essentially the entire day, but we managed it. I'm wishing now we hadn't. It was sort of that Day-after-Christmas let-down, or turning the last page of a really great book. Cool, but slightly depressing. we turned around and watched the first episode of Stargate: SG1................

More on the Tattoo Thing

On the subject of the tattoo idea mentioned in my previous post: I've decided (or all but) on what I want to get, if I decide to get it. The words "Once upon a time" in cursive, along with a quill pen, on the back of my left shoulder. This is something that would carry a lot of meaning for me, as it would be deeply symbolic of who I am as a writer. Writing is, somehow, the one thing about myself I never question. Everything else I do, all of my other talents and pursuits, I always wind up questioning and doubting eventually; but writing is something I always know for sure I'm supposed to do, no matter what else I'm doing. Moreover, I know that writing is something I'm never going to STOP doing. And beyond that, "Once Upon a Time" speaks of a new beginning, of the start of something, which is great. And fairy tales and dreamer's dreams and this song that's a huge piece of who I am.
But qualms: What if I get it now and regret it later? It could happen. And I can't stand the idea or the feeling of regret.
Is the fact that my grandparents are going to Freak Out enough of a reason to not go ahead with it? I could see Nana coming around eventually, she knows me well enough to, well, sort of, understand where I'm coming from with it. But I know Papaw would be hugely disappointed. Grandma would be mad at me, but more so at my mother, and I don't want to do that to Mum. Pawpaw, however, I really couldn't see caring. There are other people in my life, too, whose perception of me it might change. My aunts and uncles, cousins, my pastor and my youth pastor. But back of the left shoulder is an easily-enough concealed place to get it, and the way I figure it, if I'm wearing something that would allow it to be seen, I won't be in the sort of company that would be bothered by it. And I don't want to let other people's opinions shape the decisions I make, but I don't want to disappoint people I love and respect either.
Could it eventually cause problems with my professional life? Could it potentially cause problems for church ministry? I tried the other day to convince Mum (okay, I was more trying to convince myself) that these worries are unfounded, that we live in a different world than we did twenty years ago, that tattoos no longer carry the social stigma they did back in the day, not a mark of rebellion, merely self expression, etc. That doesn't mean I'm not still worried.
Mum raised the point of what if a hypothetical potential husband wound up disapproving. I confess it had crossed my mind, but I can't bring myself to be too bothered by it. Because, as closed-minded as it sounds, the kind of guy who would be bothered by me having a small, tasteful, serious tattoo in an easily-concealed place would, frankly, not be the kind of guy I would consider spending the rest of my life with. Because, if we differ on that point, how many other points would we differ on? If he's caught up enough in something so small, what other strongholds of legalism would there be in his life? And the reason I couldn't be with someone like that is plain and simple: I could Not raise my children in anything other than the complete joy and freedom in Christ that I myself have been raised in. A man who had a legalistic hang-up about tattoos, or any of the other things that often accompany it (secular music, Halloween, alcohol in moderation, social dancing, or any of the other things that frequently get attacked by my more dogmatic bretheren), wouldn't agree with me on that. I couldn't raise my kids in that "Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!" mentality, so how could I marry a man who believed that way? So, logically, if a guy I was dating had a big problem with the tattoo, maybe it would be a good sign to reevaluate the relationship.
But even though I believe and mean that completely, it doesn't take away the worry about permanently marking my body without the permission of a Mr. Right I have yet to be convinced exists. Ugh.
So, obviously, I have yet to make a concrete decision. But, the thing is, I really want it. I want to do it, I want to go through with it, I want to have it!! :/ I guess I'm going to have to think some more about this.

Hm. Seems like forever since I've gotten to my blog. I always manage to talk myself out of it. I've done it about thirty times, always the same thing. I'll be attempting to do school, my mind will wander from my pointless Spanish exercises, I find myself bored half-to tears. In search of something to temporarily alleviate the boredom, I will make up my mind to blog. I will then realize that I am currently logged in to my Other Google Account, the one hooked up to my youtube account; and that I am currently using my youtube account to play my fantastically long Athlete playlist on loop; and that I might, actually, die if I turn off the music. I consider trying to find the email address that allows me to post to my blog remotely, realize I can't find it without logging into the account or getting up and finding the notebook I wrote it down in, so Igive up on that idea. I then decide that I do not want to blog after all.

You guys? School really is awful right now. Spanish has been boring since square one, Physics is failing to hold my attention like chemistry did (and the experiments are 78% more pointless), and Geometry is, well, geometry. Points and arcs and angles and line segments and calculating things. Even English has failed me. It's been fantastic this far, but I'm . . . just . . . bored! I'm mired halfway through Wuthering Heights (which under normal circumstances I probably would've enjoyed immensely), I'm supposed to be starting A Severe Mercy tomorrow, and I still have a five-page essay due on If Emma Was So Clever, Why Didn't She Realize That She Was A Dim-Witted Moron; or something like that (My English teacher/curriculum's idea, not mine).
I think I'm discovering what senioritis feels like. I can't focus worth anything. I don't WANT to be doing this anymore. I'm sick of it, and I wish I was anywhere else. I feel lazy and slow and my head feels thick and I can't stay on topic. I have an astronomical deficit of care, and it's really interfering with my whole "finish well" outlook on life.
But Anyway.

In other news, well, what other news is there? Oh! I got my desk. It's lovely and off-white and antique-ey and has lovely brass handles and scrolled legs and lots of drawer space and I love it.
I got my trip to the Friends-of-the-Local-Library book sale this month, which is always a delight and a pleasure. Paper-back classics at twenty-five cents a pop, can't argue with that. To my even greater delight, I managed to fit The Catcher in the Rye, Brave New World (plus two other Aldous Huxley novels I'd never heard of), Teh Silmarillion, Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis, Paradise Lost, Emma, Frankenstein, Dracula, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Jane Eyre, The Canterbury Tales, Peter Pan, The Merchent of Venice, and more on my little, already-overflowing bookshelf. A successful trip, I'd say, for all the shocking lack of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
My little brother turned thirteen, and consequently got a facebook account. I'm feeling positively ancient.
Reese got on an airplane and left the country to study at a Bible college in South America. I miss her terribly already, but she's right where God wants her and I know she's going to have lots of fantastic adventures.
Mr. John's crazy-person scheme of making the youth group read through the Bible in ninety days. Which works out to about eighteen chapters a day. Which has been utterly miserable. Reading the Bible shouldn't feel this much like a chore, and I'm getting next to nothing out of it (though reading half of Proverbs, all of Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon, and part of Isaiah in one day was, shall I say, interesting).
Athlete. As in, British pop/alternative (or something like that) band, which is delightful and wonderful and addictive. Quite the drug. It gets me through my school work. And pretty much anything else unpleasant I find myself having to do. Their lyrics are clever and their music is enthralling, if you like good music, if you have a brain, if you are currently breathing/have a pulse, go to youtube and look these guys up. They're fantastic. :)
John Keats's Ode to a Nightingale. In love with it, accidentally memorizing it, doodling it everywhere. Yeah.

We finished Star Trek: Deep Space Nine tonight. Which is rather more epic than it sounds. But it is rather epic enough that to deal with it fully, I would need to go on for some time, and this post is already alarmingly long. So I'll cover that in another post. So, yeah. Great to be blogging again. Thanks for reading, have a great day, etc, etc.