Tuesday, June 19, 2012

“The female mind is certainly a devious one, my lord.”

Vetinari looked at his secretary in surprise. “Well, of course it is. It has to deal with the male one.”

-- Unseen Academicals, by Terry Pratchett

Another Amusing Event In My Summer So Far

Since I started going to UNA, I inherited the car we had always referred to simply as the Honda, because it was... a Honda. It is 22 years old now and I love the thing. I love little beep-beep cars that handle well and can take small parking lots in stride. The fact that it has a sunroof/moonroof/whatever is a plus. I really don't bother with the air conditioning unless anyone else is in the car with me as apparently heat bothers me less than most people. I didn't really bother with the heat in the winter as I was halfway to the Darby Drive parking lot when it finally warmed up enough to do anything. By that point the heat was sort of pointless, so I gave up.

By the way, I was brought home from the hospital and took my driving test in the Honda.

Anyway, so dad had to start driving his truck to work. It, naturally, has poorer gas mileage, and so he was kind of looking for something else to drive instead of it. (We couldn't get rid of the truck. We need it for farm stuff.) A week or two ago, he happened upon a newer white Honda Accord. He bought said white car.

Now we have a white Honda and a gray Honda. We needed a way to distinguish them. Mom said we could call them Honda the White and Honda the Gray, like wizards from the Lord of the Rings. I said something about calling them Saruman and Gandalf. She objected because Gandalf later became the White.

Later, the white Honda refused to start for her. It, of course, started for dad when he arrived on the scene (all machinery is, I think, afraid of dad and immediately starts working when he shows up, lest said machinery be attacked with WD40, E600, duct tape, and whatever else the situation requires), but it was enough for mom to admit that the white Honda is now officially called Saruman. I am REALLY not giving up my beloved Gandalf now.

The only problem is that most of my family still gets Sauron and Saruman mixed up. It probably wasn't the greatest of ideas for Tolkien to have his major bad guys with s-names (Sauron, Saruman, Shelob...). Still, no matter how many times I explain the differences, confusion remains. Sauron is the giant eyeball. Saruman is Count Dooku. The one with 'man' at the end actually looks human.


In other news, I have now officially discovered the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett, having read Wyrd Sisters, The Last Continent, and Unseen Academicals. Why those? They were the only ones I could find in the library without going on a massive bookhunt, and since I had Peter in tow, I didn't want to do that. However, I had done some Discworld research before then, so I knew a few things, such as Rincewind's habit of running away and what Luggage was. And that the Librarian hates to be called a monkey.
I must admit that I have formed a small bit of hero-worship for Vetinari. Because he can do crossword puzzles in record time. WHILE DRUNK. While being as drunk as a skunk, in fact. Not that the drunkenness shows much. He is a little more talkative than usual, apparently, and actually stubbed his toe going up the stairs. He acts sober very well, apparently. Anyway, I found Vetinari hilarious.
And Nutt's habit of using long words is great. I love characters and people who can do that, especially if they can do that with a straight face. The only thing that annoyed me was that in Unseen Academicals soccer was continuously referred to as 'football'. Of course, that IS what they call it outside of the USA but even so it gets old.

I now have ideas for my own stories that I should probably go write down before I forget them. I have a bad habit of doing that...

In Pace Christi,


Monday, June 11, 2012

For all that, I forgot to say what kind of t-shirt I got in Books-a-Million. It is a green t-shirt that reads, "HOBBITS ARE TOLKIEN MINORITIES."

I'm such a nerd, aren't I? I love that shirt, though. I think the BAM people know me by now...

In Pace Christi,


Another Succession of Events in My Summer So Far

Okay, I remembered a few other things of note that have happened in my summer so far that I forgot to mention.

First off, in the middle of May we had our spring piano recital. I have taken piano for about 13 years now, so these recitals are pretty much old hat to me. The only problem I have is actually deciding what to play! There are so many songs I like, and I can pick a maximum of two... I am traditionally the grand finale by now, as my teacher, Mrs. Enlow, does not have that many older students and of them I am the most advanced. At any rate, I played "Dawn" from the most recent movie version of Pride and Prejudice (the song that plays at the very beginning) and "You'll Be In My Heart", from Tarzan. (Tarzan is another one of those movies that is fundamentally really dumb, but has a great soundtrack. Quest for Camelot- the animated version-, too. REALLY dumb movie, great soundtrack. "The Prayer" comes from that movie, after all.)

Mrs. Enlow's husband is indeed the Dr. Enlow that I have heard so many good things said about. He is an assistant chemistry professor and all his students love him. Seriously. All positive reviews. Anyway, I had heard from some other people in my lecture class about jokes that he told, so after the piano recital I asked him about some of them. Here are two of them:


- and -

Atom 1 : I think I've lost an electron.

Atom 2 : Are you sure?

Atom 1 : I'm positive.

I don't know if anyone else thinks they're funny, but I love a good pun, so... hee hee. Oh, courtesy of the Ethan guy who perpetually hangs out in the lobby of Lafayette, I have another chemistry joke:

Two chemists walk into a bar. The first one says, "I'll have H2O." The second one says, "That sounds good. I'll have H2O, too." The second guy died.


Okay, for those of you who didn't get it, H2O2 is hydrogen peroxide.

Oh, and Dr. Enlow also volunteered that he does Elvis impersonations. He even demonstrated for us. This involved lying down on the floor, eyes closed and hands folded. He added that he's available for parties.

I have been in a Books-a-Million mood lately. I returned to the store Saturday, not intending to get anything and got three things. I was already wanting another puzzle (I like puzzles. I complete them, glue them to a piece of plywood, and mount them on my walls), since I like the intellectual stimulation, and I saw a two-puzzle set in a collector's tin there. Elaine got me a two-puzzle set similar to it a couple Christmases ago, so it was only fitting. They're both Star Wars sets. The one she got me had a 300-piece one of people from all six movies and then a shiny, 500-piece foil puzzle with Luke in the center, Leia and Han off to the side, and the Death Star, Vader, and Yoda in the background. MAN, it was hard. The shiny pieces look different colors when you turn them, so I was going on puzzle piece shape alone, and that's not easy, let me tell you.

Anyway, I started the 300-piece one from my new set when I got home and finished it that night. It had a large Darth Vader with his lightsaber in the middle with the Death Stars, a random planet, AT-AT's, an AT-ST, various TIE-fighters (including his own), and various Star Destroyers in the background. It wasn't too hard, other than his cape, since it was all black and I again ended up going on shape alone. I haven't started the 500-piece one yet, but it has Padme in the middle with various other characters scattered around and lots of gold swirlies.

Other than the puzzle set, I also got The Politically Incorrect Guide to the South (and Why It Will Rise Again). I also have The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History and The Politcally Incorrect Guide to Science. The PIG series is great; you should really read them all. They are honest, funny, and sometimes infuriating- only because you find out things you were never told, usually because people only tell part of the story in order to manipulate audiences and push their own agendas. The PIG to Science has a section on global warming, part of which contributed to my 16-page research paper on it.

I also got a t-shirt. Yes, BAM now sells t-shirts. They also sell Nooks, CD's, and DVD's. It's kind of sad to see a bookstore degenerating into technology. BAM sells Legos, too! All right, I like Legos. Even so... Ooh! Did you know there are now Lord of the Rings Legos? They are so cute! They have
(1) a Gandalf Arrives set, with Gandalf in his little cart with fireworks and Frodo
(2) a Weathertop set with Aragorn, Frodo, Merry, and two Nazgul
(3) a Moria set, with Boromir, complete with sword and shield, Legolas (hahaha... LEGOlas with his pointy ears and ludicrously long hair has to be seen to be believed), Gimli with a nicely detailed helmet, Pippin, a skeleton at the well for Pippin to push in, two Moria orcs, and, naturally, a cave troll. You should look up some of the TV spots for the LOTR Legos, since hearing Sean Bean's voice come from a tiny Lego minifigure is just plain hilarious. "They have a cave troll." LOL! There'e even Balin's tomb, with the rune writing on it (the first part reads BALIN FUNDINUL UZVAD KHAZADUMU- haha, I'm such a nerd), and a skeleton inside.
(4) an Orc Forge from Isengard, complete with several blacksmith orcs and Lurtz, aka Boromir's Least Favorite Orc. Not my set of choice, of course, since I'm not overly fond of even Lego orcs, but still. It's LOTR!
(5) The Uruk-hai Army set, which has three Uruk-hai with a ballista fighting a Rohan soldier up on a wall. The great thing about this set is that it also HAS AN EOMER MINIFIGURE!!!!!! *squees* Eomer's helmet is awesomely detailed and is only missing the horsehair crest. He even has a horse! I was under the impression that his horse, Firefoot, is gray in the movie, but the minifigure's horse is brown. Hmm... maybe Eomer's horse is brown in the scene where he shows up to save his uncle's skin at the end of The Two Towers. Honestly, I've never really paid attention to the horse in that scene; I've always been too busy drooling over Eomer... XD Haha. I admit it. The more I read/watch The Lord of the Rings, the more I like Eomer. Aragorn and Legolas are great in the book (Legolas actually has a few amusing lines in the book. He's a lot more serious in the movie. *shrugs*), not so much in the movie. Yes, they both have mad combat skills, lol, but Aragorn is plagued with self-doubt in the movie (may I take this moment to admit that I depise angsty heroes) and, well, they kind of flubbed Legolas's characterization. They made him into a Captain Obvious and also made him say lots of vague and portentious things. ("Something draws near. I can feel it." Really...) Oh, well, we can't win... Really, he's there for the silly fangirls to drool over. Eomer, on the other hand, is consistently awesome in both the book and the movie. He has an AMAZING attittude in the book and several funny lines (Tolkien's works DO have humor occasionally. C. S. Lewis, on the other hand... I'm sorry, but the Chonricles of Narnia are consistently unfunny. The only funny bit in any of his books is from Out of the Silent Planet where Ransom tries talking to the Martians. Now THAT is priceless.), plus he just has a horse and is awesome. People with horses are generally more awesome than those who do not have horses. It's a fact of life! XD Anyway, Eomer in the movie gets to look cool, act cool, and have cool lines. And his armor. Did I mention I love his armor? It is amazing! It's so detailed... I've tried drawing it several times, with success. I have The Lord of the Rings: Weapons and Warfare which is basically a guide to everyone's arms and armor in the movie. I love that book! It's the reason I can speak intelligently about the different pieces of armor (and why I can draw it intelligently). Even my family knows what piece of armor a pauldron is by now. (It's the shoulder piece. Pauldrons tend to be ludicrously huge in video games, for some reason...)
(6) There is also a Helm's Deep! Actually, the fortress is called the Hornburg, and the ravine behind it is Helm's Deep, so the movie gets it wrong. Oh, well. The set is AMAZING. I mean, I WANT IT FOR MY BIRTHDAY!!!!!! Along with the one with Eomer, of course. I WANT THEM BOTH! Anyway, Helm's Deep comes with Aragorn, Gimli, Haldir (the cool elf guy who dies, for your information), King Theoden, the Uruk-hai berserker who lights the dynamite, and a couple of other orcs. King Theoden can actually ride out the gate and down the causeway! There is a spring for Gimli to jump over to the causeway! (That way, Aragorn doesn't have to toss him. XD) If you have seen the movie, you know that Gimli is too short to see over the ramparts, so he asks Legolas what is going on out there. Legolas responds, "Shall I describe it to you, or shall I find you a box?" So the Lego designers put a box in the set for Gimli to stand on. LOL, gotta love those Lego guys... They think of everything! As for King Theoden, he makes an awesome minifigure as well. Haha, his armor doesn't make him look fat as a minifigure. In the movie, yeah, his armor kind of makes him look fat. He's also kind of whiny in the movie, which I don't get... In the Return of the King movie, he questions why Rohan should go help Gondor. I, who have read the Unfinished Tales, yell at the screen every time, "Hello! Your ancestors swore an oath ON THE PAINS OF HELL to go to Gondor's aid when they needed it. Gondor's ancestors swore an oath BY GOD to go to your aid when they needed it. You had seriously better go, old man." Oh, well. I'll take the minifigure.
(7) There is Shelob's Lair set. Shelob is the huge spider. Those parts of the Return of the King freak me out. I won't watch them. They're creepy! So I do not want this set. However, it has Shelob and Gollum, a tied-up Frodo, and Sam, complete with Sting and the Phial of Galadriel. Gollum is hilarious-looking! One of Shelob's eyes is even out, since Sam stabs here there. The Lego guys think of everything, I tell you...

Raise your hand if you also cannot wait until The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey comes out! I can't wait! I can't wait! Only half a year!

In Pace Christi,


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

It is assumed that equality means all men being equally uncivil, whereas it obviously ought to mean all men being equally civil.

To be uncivil is to be uncivic.

 – G. K. Chesterton

A Not-So-Small Succession of Various Events In My Summer So Far

Haha. I laugh at the thought of writing a 100-word essay on, "What I Did This Summer". Put it this way... Mrs. Howell asked for 6-8 pages for our research paper this semester. I did 16!

In my defense, it was an excellent subject, one I knew well, and I had very much to say about it.

Okay. Time for a brief recap of my summer so far. A cliche subject, but, hey, why not?

I have won Zoo Tycoon 2. Yay, me. I have both ZT1 and ZT2, and have never won either, so this is a big accomplishment to me. Elaine helped, of course. We have to play it on my laptop as ZT2 makes the computer upstairs (not-so-affectionately referred to as 'that molasses-filled contraption') freeze up. We are now working on Zoo Tycoon 2 Marine Mania, which is ZT2 with an aquatic expansion pack. It's really nice because you can personally train dolphins for shows and stuff. You can even train walruses for shows. Seriously, walruses. They can only learn three really simple tricks, so they are insanely easy to train.
One day, I might win ZT1. Who knows?

Last week, my family went reunion-happy. Grandpa slipped on the backporch of their house two Saturdays ago, and, to make a long story short, was air-evaced to Huntsville. He was fine, though (and ordering around the hospital staff, from what I've heard... totally in character for him. This is the same man who was wriggling out of restraints AFTER an eight-hour surgery to remove his bladder AND coding blue [which means cardiac arrest, I think... at any rate, he was technically dead for a while]) and home Sunday. So that night we had a small get-together at their house to celebrate. The next day was Memorial Day, and my dad, also completely in character, celebrated by working on the farm and also putting us all kids to work. We expected no less. That evening, one of my uncles grilled out and we had another small get-together at Grandma and Grandpa's house to celebrate. That Saturday, we had a 'great reunion', with only about 50 people- pretty much dad's entire family. *snickers* Try not to let your head spin.

Anyway, so, yeah, we had a follow-up party Sunday at our house before every left for their respective homes. One good thing about being a college student is that now I can swap college stories with my older cousins. A cousin told horror stories of what happens to kids who fall asleep in class. One girl got duct-taped to a vent. Another professor liked to reprogram the cell phones of kids who fell asleep in his class- set the language to Swahili, delete all the games, rearrange the options... you name it.

In comparison, I love my professors! I really lucked out with getting amazing professors my first year. I actually miss them. At least I'll keep Dr. Christy...

I have done research on the recent slew of Marvel superhero movies. I am not ashamed to say that, yes, Thor is pretty. (You may check the ground to see if Hell has frozen over; I don't care.) I was a little disappointed with Loki, though. LOKI IS A RED-HAIRED FIREBENDER! There, I got that off my chest. Sorry, after reading Runemarks, I can't see Loki as anything else. And he wasn't really so much of a villain, originally... Also, a nitpicking detail, but he was Odin's blood brother in the myths.
As an aside, Rick Riordan is doing a Norse mythology series. Can you say, HAPPY DANCE OF JOY?

My reaction to the recent release of "Snow White and the Huntsman": BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Hysterical laughter is an appropriate response to any given situation involving the moderm media! Sorry, but the thought of Bella Swan and Thor in one movie is STILL enough to make my sides ache with laughter. (And I did research on the movie. There is surprisingly little romance in it, apparently. The Huntsman is apparently supposed to be like a father figure to her, so when he kisses her- was I supposed to tag that Spoiler Alert?- it's not true love and all that garbage, but more like a father's love. Which I thought was a, for once, interesting and original twist. Because I am all for more family and less stupid romance!)

I got two new books the other day. One was The Lightning Thief in graphic novel form (for the sake of completeness! I got it for the sake of completeness!) and the other was A Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom. First, the former. The art was so-so. Annabeth looked terrible. She explicitly has curly hair. At least they got Percy's green eyes right... half of the time, I think. Luke looked ugly, but then I don't like him, so whatever. SHEESH, HADES! Why does everyone hate Hades? He was the first god in the Percy Jackson series to strike me as 'cool'. (Then again, Rick Riordan makes all his death gods cool, and I am, due to the Summoner/Angel of Death from my own books, predisposed to liking the death guys.) In the movie, they gave him weird hair, a beard (which, although it says he has one in The Demigod Files, I've never pictured him with), and just in general a weird attitude. Grover said he looked like Mick Jagger. *cringes* The graphic novel edition of him was a slight upgrade. Now he just looks like a zombie Elrond in a black toga.
You are welcome for that lovely mental image.

A Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom just looked so funny, I had to get it. It basically takes the Princes Charming from four fairy tales and sticks them together. The result is truly, epically hilarious. Plus, it lampshades a ton of stuff. Thank you, TVTropes! (An awesome website, which I now use to research everything.) From Everything's Better with Princesses to Frothy Mugs of Lemonade, A Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom was a troper's dream-come-true. Yay!

I can't think of anything else terribly noteworthy about my summer so far, but I have probably forgotten some. If so, I might very well mosey back to Blogger and mention them. For now, I'll probably leave another quote.

In Pace Christ,


Oh, Yes, I Remember My Blog Now...

No, I haven't vanished off the face of the earth this time, either. It might have seemed like it, though. I'm not really sure how many people actually read my blog other than the wonderful Amy *waves*, but I do like blogging, for some reason.

I also took a look at Amy's blog, and her latest post was entitled ECLECTIC BLOGGER AWARD. Now that is a word that I really like. Eclectic. I think that sums me up pretty well. Along with 'eccentric' and 'unfathomable'.

Anyway, when you receive the award, you are apparently supposed to nominate five other people for the award and then tell five things about yourself. Judging by this, I was apparently nominated for the ECLECTIC BLOGGER AWARD. (Why am I still putting it in all caps? Because I like caps. So there.) So now I must follow the process myself.

First things first. THANK YOU, AMY! You are probably the most dedicated reader of my blog. At least, you are the only one I know who really reads it. I'm not sure my parents do (not that I would really mind... yeah, I'm weird that way. But I've never been embarrassed to been seen in public with my parents or anything like that. I mean... they're my parents. It'd be pretty bad if I were embarrassed of them), and I only have five followers. I know, I know, we cannot measure the worth of a blog by the number of followers or the number of reviews (cue the music, 'Through Heaven's Eyes' from Prince of Egypt). Even so. When someone praises me, my usual reaction is bewilderment and nonchalance. My attitude is basically, "What was so special about what I did?"

Still, kind words leave an impression on me. I don't forget them and I try to live up to them. (Some of the best praise I think I ever received was from a lady after a church function who said about me, "You don't have to tell her to work." Man, that humbled me.) So, thank you, Amy, for all the nice things you said about me. I am terribly at talking about feelings stuff, but I can write better about it.

All right. Now I have to mention blogs that I like/follow/whatever. Hoo boy. I don't really follow all that many blogs. I especially don't know how to make links to them (although I could made educated guesses and possibly get it on the eleventh try). But I will list blogs!

Amy's blogs - A Small Step in the Shoes of Amy Jane and Just the Little Things to Change the World. - I like reading Amy's blogs because it is really neat to have found someone who thinks like me on various stuff. Seeing as how I am probably eclectic incarnate, this is understandably rare.

American Papist - This used to be a blog by Thomas Peters. He had great articles about Vatican affairs and stuff in the American church, and also plenty of Papist Pictures of the Day with hilarious caption contests. (The best involved a picture of a Middle Eastern prelate, apparently holding two kite strings. The caption? "Some people claim they have a direct line to God. Mwahaha. I have TWO!") Unfortuantely, his blog has been assimilated by CatholicVote, and it's all politics now. Plus, other people write stuff. I don't look at it as much as I once did, but occasionally I do. And rejoice when there's a Papist Picture of the Day.

Bad Vestments. Just Bad Vestments. www.badvestments.blogspot.com Check it out. You really should. It is hilarious. It showcases horrible examples of liturgical vestments and the corresponding horrible ecclesiastical taste of the prelates who actually WEAR this stuff. The captions and the comments are hilarious. On the bonus side, though the guy who runs the blog is a sort-of Anglican, he respects Catholics. I like people who can be reasonable! Only once has the Pope ever been on Bad Vestments (title and caption: OOPS: The Holy Father has a rare lapse in judgment.), and his example wasn't near so bad as some other egregious offenders (BV OVERLOAD and TARGET PRACTICE spring to mind). Someone in the comments noted that it was from his infamous Austria trip and the dude in charge of his wardrobe was fired after that. They also noted he's looked a lot classier since then.
As a bonus, Bad Vestments is now also including "unacceptable church designs". The comments on these are always great. One ("GIANT DEAD SPIDER") was mocked in the comments as the Church of St. Grima the Wormtongued in Mordor. XD.

XD. I do like that symbol. I also like how my brain insists on putting a period after it, as if "XD" were a complete sentence.

Death Star PR. www.deathstarpr.blogspot.com Sith-oriented takes on everything Star Wars. Sorry, Amy, they hate on Doctor Who, too. (Woohoo, and that rhymed, too.) There hasn't been any new post in forever, though.

Does FAILblog count?

All righty... five things about myself. Do they have to be generic things like, "I like chocolate," (I am a chocoholic, for you information), or more specific? Oh, well. I'm listing five things. And I suppose I had better avoid things that Amy mentioned or it will look like I am plagiarizing (the SHAME and BANE of all writers). However, I do also like piano, reading, and writing, and I also love my family.

(1) I am a huge Tolkien fan, and if I could find a way to put a counter on my blog I would be running a countdown to December 13th when The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey comes out. I firmly believe LOTR is the best book of the millenium (last millenium, numskull) and wish it were required reading in high schools. As oppposed to Lord of the Flies, or something else equally heinous.

(2) I read philosophy and apologetics books. For fun. I love quoting Peter Kreeft, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, and G. K. Chesterton. I collect their quotes, in fact. Because of this, I know exactly what terms like 'the ontological argument for the existence of God', 'hypostatic union' and 'pschyosomatic unity' mean. Go have fun looking them up.
I am currently reading two hagiographies (saint biographies) by G. K. Chesterton, one about St. Francis of Assissi and one about St. Thomas Aquinas. Needless to say, they are both awesome.

(3) I have very traditional taste in many things, including art, sculpture, architecture, and manners. If you follow my blog at all, you are probably aware of my visceral reactions to modern art. I shall say no more on the matter.

(4) I also read encyclopedias and dictionaries for fun. My vocabulary should probably indicate this. I am told I tend to use big words. Most of the time this is not intentional; I usually just like the way big words sound. I also aim to deliver them in as straight-faced a manner as possibly (the judge of which, however, I am not). Hence, my delight over Dr. Bibbee's ability to do the same thing. It was hilarious. The first day of class he was using long words completely seriously and I was cracking up on the inside.
Sometimes, I use big words intentionally. This is usually done to confuse annoying cousins, because I just love the confused, "Huh?" on their faces when I do it.

(5) I have created an entire world in my head. I have invented a legendarium, like Tolkien. I am working on pretty much my eighth story about my world. I have invented five major languages for my world. I also illustrate the characters from my world (the good guys, that is, not the bad guys, siince I don't really like my bad guys. They exist for me to torment). If you ask me about my world and my stories, I shall gladly tell you about them, but let me first warn you: it's like unleashing Noah's Flood. Somebody once wrote Tolkien a letter asking him somethign about his legendarium. He responsed with like an 18-page letter giving a brief synopsis of The Silmarillion, and apologized for it. Yeah... it's pretty much the same for me.

Oh, and (6) I am a grammar fanatic. This should be obvious. My family is used to me reading the paper and commenting out of nowhere, "Spelling error," or, "Grammar error."

Does that suffice?

Yup, Amy, you were totally right when you said that I write very, very long blog posts.

In Pace Christi,