Saturday, December 25, 2010

The eve of Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas,
When all through the house,
Not a creature was stirring . . .

                                                   . . . except me.  ;)

I have several things to say.  First of all:

It’s Christmas Eve!

                                          *does happy dance which turns into a fit of coughing
                                   followed by a collapse back onto the chair with a pathetic sniff*

And that leads me to the next thing:  I’m sick.  =(  It’s been coming on gradually for about a week with just a sore throat thingamy.  Part of me thought I could ignore it and it would go away, but alas, it has now developed into a cold and cough.

That in turn leads to number three:  My house smells delicious.  Alright, I lied.  My house feels as if it should and would smell delicious, if I could only smell it.  But unfortunately, this cold does little to enhance my sense of smell.

However, I can still see, if not smell, the preparations going on for our delicious meal.  It has been a Christmas tradition in our family for as long as I can remember that on Christmas Eve, my dad has to make a big fancy delicious meal of things we have never tried before.  Usually there is a theme (we’ve had ornate Mediterranean and African dinners before), and this year, the theme is Mexican.  Mexican rice, seasoned chicken, veggies, chips and dip, and of course sparkling grape juice to top it off. Yummm.

It’s been a relaxing if busy Christmas Eve.  There were little things that brightened the day.  Such as . . . listening to my little sisters watch the old BBC Pride and Prejudice and squeal towards the end, “This is my favorite part!  Mr. Darcy is going to SMILE!!!”  Also, I went around the house doing some photography of Christmas lights and such and experimenting with my mom’s camera (of which this is a sample).  I like Christmas Eve almost better than Christmas itself.

Since writing the above, time has progressed.   Our Mexican Christmas Eve meal was wonderful, complete with a desert made by my brother.  After dinner, we went to my church’s candlelight Christmas Eve service, which is truly awesome and such a special time of the year for us there.  My pastor took a leave of absence in the spring to work on some things in his personal life, and he’s just come back this month.  I’m so very grateful to have him back!  He even started singing the beginning song from Lion King in the middle of the sermon.  ;)  He’s awesome.  After church, we returned home.  We always open the little things put in our stockings on Christmas Eve, so we did that as well.  My little sisters get SO loud when they are excited.  =]

I think it’s maybe—just maybe—starting to sink in that Christmas is actually here.  Crazy . . . didn’t we just have Thanksgiving break?  I’ve concluded that one of the reasons I’ve been in denial about Christmas’s approach is because I’ve not had much of that wonderful junk food, sweets, and general Christmas treats this year.  We’ve been so busy that baking things like that just hasn’t happened.  That’s why our special Christmas Eve dinner was so nice.  And tomorrow morning, we shall have my mom’s incredible coffee cake as Jesus’ birthday cake (we light candles and sing Him happy birthday and everything =P).  It’s another way to make the focus on Jesus and remember that Christmas is really a celebration of the birth of our Savior.

Anywho, I’m hoping that this cough will have subsided somewhat by tomorrow because I’ve seriously been hacking all day.  Have a very merry Christmas everyone!  May your celebration be filled with the real reason for joy during this time and for the rest of the year:

"For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given,
    and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called
    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace."

~Isaiah 9:6

. . . Happy Christmas to all,
And to all a good night!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

one of my scribblings...

First of all, I must say that my writings are very personal to me.  Especially when I write what I like to call poems.  This is the least poetry-like "poem" I've ever written, but there is a meaning behind it that is quite...meaningful.  =]  I would love your thoughts about it.

The Rage


Bitter.  Solid.  Unyielding.
Its existence is not acknowledged.
Its presence is often ignored.

But it remains.

Cold—burning in its coldness.
It shifts temporarily, but only to grow ever stronger.
To trap and to hold.
To freeze and to strangle.

One can feel its tension pressing on the soul,
Following, seeking to destroy from the inside out.
It bitterly bruises.
It causes harm, wreaks havoc because of its lack of substance.
It is nothing.
And yet it consumes.

Suddenly—a crack in the ice that is so rarely disturbed.
It is jagged at best
As it yawns open to reveal a chasm.
A silent flame flickers upward.
The ice does not melt; it merely separates.
Soon the single flame is joined by another.
Soon the fire is no longer silent.
Soon the blaze roars with a rage beyond comprehension.
Rages, and rages, and rages.

The fire moves in a dizzying circular motion,
Brushing the ice that still remains solid.
And suddenly, something even more surprising arises.

Drops of rain.

Rain—gentle yet fierce.
Hopeless but unforgiving.
 Relentless and bitter.
It pours in grey sheets, yet it is barely more than a sprinkle.
It cascades on the never-melting ice.
It empties onto the furious flames,
But the flames, too, do not alter or die.

One tear in the driving rain.
It falls, slowly, purposefully
And yet without meaning or hope.
It splatters onto the flames.
A sputter.  A gasp.  A cry.
And then the fire is gone.

Left in its place is smoke.
Curling, choking.  Swirling, suffocating.
Smoke drifts up above the ice.
That feeling of pleasantness when the blaze has been extinguished
Until one realizes the damage it caused.

The smoke fades.
Gradually, so that one hardly notices it has taken place,
The cold sheets of hurt close over the chasm.
Those rough edges once again fit together,
To hide the scar that ripped them apart.
Shadowing the hole.
Hiding it so no one may see.
Enclosing the rage in a wall of firm isolation.
Of painful denial.

That chill barrier surrounds, threatens.
But it remains.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Narnia insanity!

   So, probably not everyone cares to read my version of a movie review.  But, seeing as this is my blog, after all, that is what you’re going to get.  Or at least, a mix between that and a rampage of thoughts.  Here goes.
   I went to see the new Narnia movie a couple days ago.  Brace yourselves, comrades.  I have very strong opinions about all things Narnia                               pretend this is a picture of me with a big volume of Narnia (:
because I absolutely love
C.S. Lewis and so anyone messing with his stuff makes me upset.  I never really cared for the book Voyage of the Dawn Treader when I first read it many years ago.  But I re-read it during the week prior to seeing the movie to refresh myself.  Also, I’m in the process of writing a research paper having to do with the biblical allegories in Narnia.  So I’ve grown very endeared to the series.
   First of all, it was a super cool movie.  There was awesome…stuff.  =P  No, but really, despite all you’ll hear me complain about, I really did like it.  For one thing, the book has no plot.  It’s just a story of exploration with background moral struggles.  But the movie brought some of those moral character struggles to the foreground, and I thought they really did a good job of it.  Take Lucy—in the book she has that wee little part where she struggles with wanting to be as beautiful as Susan (heh, I think she’s waaay cuter than Susan, buuut….).  The movie expanded that in a way that developed Lucy as a character better I think.  And even though they brought Aslan into that in a different way, I still think it was good.  Another good thing: Caspian was awesome!  =]  I didn’t really care for him in the Prince Caspian movie, but he improved SO much and really became his kingly self.  And he had cool hair.  K, I’m done.
   Now for the other side of this battle *cough*—heh heh, I mean, friendly discussion.  Let me start with—what the heck?!  Creepy green mist that is going to destroy the world?  For serious?  I understand the need to add a plotline, but wow.  That just struck me as SO DUMB.  Heh.  Then there was the fact that they totally dwelt on small areas of the book, and pushed aside more important things (book-wise).  In the book, the Sea Serpent battle was a pathetic little thing that was hardly enough to get you frightened before it was over.  In the movie, it was the climax and it became this “conquer the monster to conquer the green mist to conquer evil” sort of thing.  Gaahhh.  And though the battle was cool and I really don’t blame them for making it bigger, it took away from the specialness of what really happened on Dark Island.  Lucy calls for Aslan’s help, and an albatross appears and begins to sing in Aslan’s voice.  No one could make out the words that he said except for Lucy, who heard as he circled around her, “Courage, dear heart.”  One of the bestest lines for some people (like my friend sitting next to me gasping, “Oh my goodness, they left out my favorite line!!”)
   And then (here I must put on a tragic face that shows my great dissatisfaction, for this was the most disappointing thing of all to me), there was Eustace and the whole dragon thing.  He was a dragon for half the film.  Whoa peeps, c’mon.  That’s not right.  That’s not even near right.  Dragon Eustace is supposed to be depressed and horrified, not “Dang, I’m a dragon.  I can breathe fire and fly and all that jazz.  But hey, being a boy might be nice too, whenever.”  The undragoning of Eustace was—oh.  Ohhhh.  So pitiful.  It’s supposed to be one of the most powerful, beautiful parts of the book if not the series—the conversion story.  He is supposed to be desperate, admit he can’t do it himself, realizes he needs Aslan.  Instead, (no desperateness, just like—oh this was his reward for fighting so valiantly against the Sea Serpent) we get a little of Aslan pawing in the sand, and then a glowy, floaty dragon who ends up more like the beast in Beauty and the Beast when he turns back into a normal human.  Whyyy??
   Anyway, there were parts like that which greatly disappointed my extreme Narnia series fandom.  Now I am going to sandwich my complaints with more things that I liked.  Reepicheep was great.  It was strange at first to hear him with a different voice, but they did a really good job of portraying his and Eustace’s animosity but eventual friendship.  Eustace himself was wonderful for his part.  When I first saw that Will Poulter had been cast, I wasn’t too impressed, but he did a really good job.  Also, the Silver Sea (the place leading up to Aslan’s Country with all the lilies) was beautiful—I always loved to picture that from the book.  The ship itself was also pretty sweet.  And so was Edmund.  And, one super exciting thing!!  That line where Aslan says, “This is the very reason you came into Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me better there,” is one of the best and most meaningful in the book, and as the movie closed, I was afraid they would omit it.  I was so happy and impressed that they left that in.
   Thus, I have very mixed feelings about this movie.  It was awesome and disappointing all at the same time.  It drives me insane and yet I really liked it.  Was it worth paying to go see in theatres?  Hmmm, yes.  We’re talkin’ Narnia here, so yes, of course.  Would it be even better if C.S. Lewis himself were directing the movie?  Uh, YEAH.  Definitely and without a doubt.  But even though I was upset by the fact that Lewis’ Narnia was not portrayed correctly at times, all the same, I have to come back to the fact that it’s Narnia after all, and I love that.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Picture Perfect

The finals date for my college class has officially been switched four times.  FOUR TIMES.  I’m rather frustrated.  The first time the date was set was in the syllabus at the beginning of the quarter.  Then it was changed, without our really knowing it.  But that was okay, because it was still much earlier in the quarter.  Then, on Tuesday, my professor told us that our finals were to be two days earlier than we had been planning on.  That was a surprise.  And finally (I hope), the professor made an announcement online saying that she had been mistaken last time and our finals were really two days later.  Ugh.
Alright, I’m done venting now.  Other than that, my life has been pretty good. =]  Yesterday, I was getting so hyped up over a bunch of little things that jumbled together and made me happy inside.  First of all, it was the first snow of the season, and it was so puurrrdy!  And on December 1st, no less.  Perfect timing.  And then, I was excited that I had finally created my blog.  And I got to see my friends at class.  And the Celtic Ball is this weekend (eeep!).
So yes, I was having one of those all-too-rare happy days.  So from there, it unfortunately could only go downhill . . . and it did.  Sometimes a lousy ending to a good day is worse than a lousy ending to a lousy day.  But it ended up getting a bit better, because my band instructor is awesome.

Today, I was having an average day, and then it took a plunge that resulted with me in tears in the living room talking with my sister and mom.  Well, we needed something to cheer us up after that, and that something showed up in the form of old pictures, from six, seven, eight years ago.  It was during the time when the two little girls were still small and so adorably funny.  We laughed so hard over those photos—Brooke was such a cute pudgy toddler, Tess was tiny and had many hilarious and precious faces, and Grant was still dressing up in gowns with us girls.  =]
one of those hilarous pics of the little girls that made me crack up

dressing up with my cousin, Cassie, Brooke, and . . . Grant!

Needless to say, after that, the day got better.  Sometimes a good ending to a lousy day is even better that a good ending to a good day, you know?