Gwnewch y pethau bychain

Month: December 2003 Page 1 of 4


I saw this great quote from Stephen Koontz, and it just made me think about the way I tend to fall in love.

“Maybe a guy could fall instantly in love, but I doubt it. I think love creeps over you like a warm feeling on a clear blue fall day. This person is in your thoughts most of the time-all of the time actually. You see her when you close your eyes, when you look off into the distance, when you pause from what you are doing and take adeep breath. You remember how her fingers felt when they touched you. The loved one becomes a part of you, the most important part. At least it is that way with me when I think of you.”

Return of the King

So we finally got to go and see Return of the King.

A Bit of Cheer, A Bit of Melancholy

We’re 2/3s of the way towards establishing a tradition of seeing a movie on Christmas Day. Last year, we waited until the 25th to see The Two Towers, so this year we decided to go see Return of the King. Since khaosworks was in town and hadn’t seen it yet either, we offered to swing by and pick up him up from Bedlam House.

When we arrived, the entire Sutton family was in the middle of doing their Christmas morning gift exchange, so we sat awhile to wait before dragging Terence away. I spent some time playing with the baby and keeping him in good humour while wrapping paper and bows flew every which way and people reacted to their gifts.

At some point, both kitanzi and I were struck with a real sense of…displacement. We were observers in the middle of this wonderful, warm family dynamic, an interweaving of traditions and customs born of years of love and care and we became painfully aware that we didn’t have anything like that in our life. I haven’t been home for Christmas in 15 years, for a variety of reasons that no longer seem important. I doubt it matters, since I’m sure that my family is no longer doing the big get-togethers like they used to do when my grandfather was alive, anyway.

Still, for all the feeling of nostalgia for something i never actually have been a part of, it was really wonderful to watch the sheer joy of the season enacted in a living room between a family only starting to expand into its next generation. This is the family Christmas of post cards and story telling, and it’s really happening in at least one house in Atlanta. If someone ever manages to bottle that, send me a six-pack.

Queer Eye For the Straight Baby

While we were over at Bill and ladyat‘s yesterday to pick up khaosworks, we stayed for about an hour while they finished their gift exchanges. Someone gave grandbaby Elliot a set of coordinated clothing, to which someone remarked “Obviously been visited by “Queer Eye for the Straight Baby”. This made me think of the whole craze back in my youth of things like “Muppet Babies”, and, well , my mind will go where it will:

Quote of the day

“Like Mark, John begins his biographical narrative with the coming of the Baptist, but precedes his chronology with the eighteen most cryptic and provocative verses in the Bible. God, says John, is the Word, and the word is the force of creation. Most people’s first reaction to this is bemusement, or displacement, or outright denial: well, he must mean that God uses the Word as his instrument, right? Nope, not according to John — The Word is God, invisible and incorporeal, and Jesus is the Word made flesh. My Bible is the Oxford edition, it runs something like fifteen hundred pages; in the whole shebang, this is the concept I find easiest to swallow. If there’s ever going to be rapprochement between me and Christianity, it’s going to come around these eighteen verses at the beginning of John’s Gospel. Why? Because it dovetails with my own empirical experience: everything in the earth and heavens is discursively manufactured. That doesn’t mean that I don’t believe the natural world exists; I do think it’s out there, sort of. But until we’ve organized it through a collectively-held system of signs and assumptions, it may as well be nothing at all. I feel you rolling your eyes now, so I’m going to break it down slow. Look out your window, what do you see? Me, I see a tree. How do I know it’s a tree? Well, I know it’s a tree because you and me and Al from Tennessee agree that it is. If the neutron bomb dropped and we were wiped off the planet today, that tree would still be there; but with no human agent to ratify or classify it, on an important level it would cease to carry any meaning. Through language, naming, and interpersonal communication, we call that tree into existence. Turn (since you’re following at home) twelve hundred pages back to the Genesis parables. What’s the first act Adam performs? He names every beast of the field. Go back further to Chapter One; here we have the big guy summoning the universe into creation through discursive act after discursive act. God speaks the breath of life into the world; “let there be x,” he says, and x exists. This text is the ultimate illustration of speech-act theory — utterances bringing forth a cosmos. If it isn’t the most vivid passage in the Bible, it’s certainly the most consequential. The natural world rises and falls like scenery. Only the Word creates.”
–Tris McCall

Happy Christmas everyone!

Yes that’s right, today is Christmas. So even if you don’t celebrate it, have a merry one, ok?

Speaking of Christmas, one of the lovely things about the season is the music. No, really. And yesterday, I came across this lovely dissection of various Christmas music and carols by Tris McCall. Wonderful, biting commentary, some surprisingly deep thoughts on religion and spirituality (of which more in my next post), and a good time for everyone. oreouk especially needs to see this one!

If you ever wondered how some of those Christmas classics were written, check out this cool webpage

Ah, Christmas

Because if the season is about anything, it’s about being traumatized by a large bearded man in a red suit

Seen on Usenet

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“I remember the first time I read The Lord of the Rings, in high school sometime. I read the last few pages, in which the hobbit Frodo sails in his old age for the lands of the West, where heroes go, the awful price of carrying the ring and breaking the back of darkness paid at last. I went out onto the patio of my parent’s house, and I stood for a long time, looking at the sunset. No story, no history, no instructive biography or sermon had ever made me feel the way I felt then: that humanity had an infinite capacity for nobility, for goodness, for strength used with wisdom and informed by mercy, and that I was part of that.”
–Emma Bull, “Why I Write Fantasy” (1990)

The Healing Power of Music

Music is a constant in my life. It’s a rare day that I go through without listening to or making music in one form or another.

And it occured to me on the way back from lunch with kitanzi this afternoon, as I cranked up a particular song, that there are some tunes that just never fail to make me happy.

Here are five of those songs, in no particular order:

Love Shack, B-52s
Sledgehammer, Peter Gabriel
Every Day I Write The Book, Elvis Costello
Got To Get You Into My Life, The Beatles
Linus and Lucy, Vince Guaraldi Trio

What are some songs that always leave you more cheerful than before? That make you dance in your seat? When you’re down, what music do you turn to to pick yourself up? What songs make you instinctively reach for the volume control to crank it up?

Share in comments. 🙂

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