Saturday, January 31, 2009

And on the lighter side...

To get to Tokyo, Japan, from Seattle, Washington, just go to Google Maps and they will give you the most direct route. Pay strict attention to lines 8 and 22! (This is similar to another Google Maps joke.)

Bible reading today... and unfinished towers

In Luke 14, Jesus says (among other things)...
Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, 'This man began to build and was not able to finish.'

That made me think of a tower in Akron. A televangelist started a huge building project, but fell into financial troubles, and to this day an unfinished tower stands in the middle of the old shopping area.

Home after J-Term

The nature of a J-term is peculiar. The student has only one class, but this class lasts only three and a half weeks. It's an intensive course, but at the same time J-term is the most relaxed time of the year. And a snowstorm will affect a J-term more than a normal semester, because any snow day is bound to cancel at least one hour of class, more likely two. (We had a snow day this past week; 'twas quite fun.)

And between the J-term and the spring semester is a break for a few days; mine lasts from today through Wednesday. It's a time to go back to visit family for the first time since around New Year's, and to remember anew how cold one's family keeps one's home (it's like sixty-six here, if that! And my room at college is much warmer than that!).

I've delved right back into the little affairs of the family. I'm probably going to help Mom some today, and I've already talked to my sis about books and given her a couple that I picked up from a freebie shelf (history books, one from 1950).

My roomie is visiting this weekend, too; she'll arrive this afternoon and stay till Monday or Tuesday, not sure how long yet. I'm excited. I want to go visit a little coffeeshop on the other side of town, and this might be the perfect time. :-)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Major or minor

I guess I'm one of those people who would be happy in a number of fields. My passion is journalism... but my other major is Spanish, and I would love to use it... I've just gotten involved with the radio station this year, and can't believe someone can get paid for doing something so fun...

I did consider teaching once too...

I could see myself being a librarian...

Once I thought I would sing for a career...

Writing a book sounds extremely appealing...

And of course there's the daycare provider angle...

But anyhow. All this to say that I am seriously considering adding radio broadcasting as a minor, on top of the majors I already have. And there's a slim chance I could still graduate in four years!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Audio #2

Gabcast! Audio #2



Testing (again); DJing at the college radio station.

Audio #1 - The robot voice is odd.

Gabcast! Audio #1 - The robot voice is odd.

This was just basically a test to see how it works.

Friday, January 23, 2009

500 comments!

*parties*

According to my e-mail (to which all comments are sent), I was responsible for the 500th comment... down in my post about skeleton inaugural addresses. But since I know some comments weren't sent there (for some glitchy reason I guess), I shall award the "commenter of the day" award to my sister, who makes about a third of the comments on here anyway. :-)

And if you care, I'm very close to 300 posts....

The Chinese censored Obama's inauguration.

Seriously. One of my better-liked magazine writers, living in China, posted a couple things on his blog about it:

I have been more affected by the preceding 2.5 years in China than I thought. For instance: ...I would have taken it for granted if certain live dispatches from the US or Europe suddenly disappeared from the screen.... But from within the US on this trip, I realize that it's actually quite incredible that Chinese broadcast authorities-- representing the world's most populous nation, the one whose relations with the U.S. will make a huge difference to the entire world's future, the country that presented itself to all other countries as a full, major, mature power with its Olympic games -- would pull the plug on live coverage of Barack Obama's inaugural address just because Obama began talking about the virtues of dissent.

More here and in his second post about it. There's also the question of whether Chinese authorities rip open your mail packages too.

UPDATE as of 3:30 this afternoon: They can change their mind, it seems.

UPDATE #2 as of 2:42 Saturday afternoon: Either that, or they just can't make it up!

Year 36.

...the anniversary was yesterday.

Phil Keaggy--"Little Ones"

Who will speak up for the little ones?
Helpless and half-abandoned.
They've got the right to choose life
They don't want to lose,
I've got to speak up, won't you?

Equal rights, equal time, for the unborn children.
Their precious lives are on the line,
How can we be rid of them?
Passing laws, passing out
Bills and new amendments.
Pay the cost and turn about,
And face the young defendants.

Who will speak up for the little ones?
Helpless and half-abandoned.
They've got the right to choose life
They don't want to lose,
I've got to speak up, won't you?

Many come and many go,
Conceived but not delivered.
The toll is astronomical,
How can we be indifferent.

Little hands, little feet,
Tears for Him who made you.
Should all on earth forsake you now,
But He'll never forsake you.

Who will speak up for the little ones?
Helpless and half-abandoned.
They've got the right to choose life
They don't want to lose,
I've got to speak up, won't you?

Forming hearts, forming minds,
Quenched before awakened,
For so many deliberate crimes
The earth will soon be shaken.

Little hands, little feet,
Tears for Him who made you.
Should all on earth forsake you now,
But He'll never forsake you.

Who will speak up for the little ones?
Helpless and half-abandoned.
They've got the right to choose life
They don't want to lose,
I've got to speak up, won't you?

I think I shall have to make a video for next year... couldn't this year though.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Skeleton of an inaugural address

Barbara Wallraff's post yesterday was hilarious!

She quotes a former presidential speechwriter:

The kabuki of the typical inaugural can be broken down into specific set pieces; the thoughts arranged in a comforting sequence that would have been instantly familiar one hundred, even two hundred, years ago.

And he proceeds to list the ten points that every new president under the sun has used. It cracked me up so much that my roommate asked what was so funny.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Inauguration

I watched the inauguration of President Obama this noontime during lunch. (It was up on big screens in the cafeteria.) A few notes:

1. I loooved having the quartet do the John Williams piece. I even found it on YouTube for future reference. :-)

2. A friend sitting next to me observed that the poet did not read as a poet should. You know, with great inflection, feeling, etc.

3. I think Obama confused the Declaration with the Bible in this section:
The time has come to reaffirm our enduring spirit; to choose our better history; to carry forward that precious gift, that noble idea, passed on from generation to generation: the God-given promise that all are equal, all are free, and all deserve a chance to pursue their full measure of happiness. (emphasis mine; text from NYT)

4. I noticed the order of events was behind schedule, at least on TV. Assuming that it really is live feed, Obama was not sworn in until after noon....

Monday, January 19, 2009

The gift of gab....

... wouldn't it be fun to post audio here?

So be watching.... I signed up for it tonight.... *big grin*

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sing, sing, sing

There was an open-mic performance thing last night in my college's student union. A rare thing, that, but at least we get some use out of the little stage there!

When I and my roommate first talked about it a couple days ago, we found that we had each been thinking about participating, and had planned on asking the other to do it together! With such unity of mind, we picked a song (one she wrote last semester) and practiced it a bit. We needed a tenor for it, too, so we roped a fellow choir member into it on Wednesday night.

Wednesday night after we finished practicing and he left, the two of us batted around the idea of wearing matching clothing. But of course, yesterday morning my roomie wasn't up, so I just put one something I liked and figured we'd discuss the clothes later, if we were actually serious about it.

Last night before the three of us got together to practice again, my roomie went to find a shirt to match mine, and realized she also had a hat like mine, too. We were practically twins (ok not quite, but still!). Then when our tenor came over... he had put on a sweater in the exact colors that I had on, too! We decided that we had had ESP yesterday morning, for such a coincidence to have happened. :-D

And at the open-mic night... the two performers before us each did two songs. Not just one. We only had the one song prepared. One must conform, though, right? So right before we got on stage, we decided we'd do "As The Deer" (hooray for familiar worship songs...) since my roomie can sing it in Japanese too, and we figured that would be interesting for the audience. I already knew it on guitar (and had sung the harmony for church before), so I figured we'd have no trouble winging it.

We did "As The Deer" better than our prepped song!

*****

Now for your weather. It's below zero outside, which with wind chill must make it feel at least fifteen below. It's not the most comfortable temperature.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

And we mourn the passing of the personal blog.

According to the blog of a Christian magazine I respect, "personal blogging is dead."
Blogging has now become professionalized and formalized into cheap ways to launch a website. Originally, weblogs provided a platform for the common person to journal online for any passerby to read, but now it has become a place to sell advertising...
I'm always behind the times, I guess. Probably not the best for an aspiring journalist....

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

And just for the record...

The verb form of service is "to serve." Not "to service." It's as bad as commentate or explicate.

Now, if life were different...

I saw this on Yahoo's featured news this morning.

Australia offers 'best job in world' on paradise island

The job pays 150,000 Australian dollars (105,000 US dollars) and includes free airfares from the winner's home country to Hamilton Island on the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland's state government announced on Tuesday.

In return, the "island caretaker" will be expected to stroll the white sands, snorkel the reef, take care of "a few minor tasks" -- and report to a global audience via weekly blogs, photo diaries and video updates.

If I weren't planning on studying abroad in the fall... I might almost apply for this... I mean, what better summer job could there be, to earn money for college?? And it's all about communication, just what I'd love!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

"Just As I Am" from the Beach Boys...

Wow. My cousin just sent me this video.... at 5:50 this group ("Glad", one of my favorites) does "Just As I Am" in the style of the Beach Boys...!

Miscellany

I did finish "War and Peace" before classes started.... but what can one say about such a long, classic, amazing book? The characters... I could understand all their emotions, so well that I felt like they had been my own at some point. That's how well Tolstoy wrote the characters. And it was fascinating to recognize a predestination-type worldview... over and over, in his essay portions, he said that one man was not the cause of a change in the course of history; one man could never be that cause. The millions of men that make decisions, and the millions more that carry out those decisions (or, just as often, ignore them completely) are, in Tolstoy's world, merely instruments of an inexorable path that history itself lays out, as if history were a being, moving men's hearts and beasts as it wills.

Last night I and several friends participated in a campus version of "Family Feud." I never felt so ridiculous in my life, but it was great fun. This impromptu team of sophomore girls managed to come up with a cohesive team theme ("Nefarious Nerds," for those who care, dressed in comically nerdy clothing)... and despite all expectations to the contrary, we won. The entire tournament. And we all insisted we weren't good at that game... at least one of us had never even watched "Family Feud" on TV. (Yes, I've seen it, and yes, the version with Richard what's-his-name that was on Home Improvement is one of my favorite shows.) Life never ceases to amaze me.

(I'm proud that I came up with the team name, by the way. "Nefarious" is a fun word!)

I am disappointed right now. My daily devotional, and my daily Bible reading, have not arrived in my Yahoo inbox yet. Usually they're sent out by about seven in the morning... and it's what, twenty minutes after two in the afternoon? I just now had to go looking for my normal ones on the website that sends them... no word as to the delay there, but at least I can access today's stuff....

...which happens to be quite interesting.

...it is certain that Christ shall be the object of our eternal vision; nor shall we ever want any joy beyond that of seeing Him. Think not that this will be a narrow sphere for the mind to dwell in. It is but one source of delight, but that source is infinite. All His attributes shall be subjects for contemplation, and as He is infinite under each aspect, there is no fear of exhaustion. His works, His gifts, His love to us, and His glory in all His purposes, and in all His actions, these shall make a theme which will be ever new.
(from Charles Spurgeon's "Morning and Evening" devotional.)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Who uses "explicate"?!?

It's an unnecessary addition to the English language, and smart writers (not to mention the concise and comprehensible ones!) should excise it from their vocabulary. "Explain" does the same job quite nicely, thank you very much.

(This word appeared twice in my media ethics textbook!! And it hurts my sense of English every time I see it!)

Monday, January 05, 2009

Wheeee!

This website is way too much fun...!

The Wayback Machine!

And no, this is not an incarnation of Mr. Peabody's old cartoon... though it appears to be named after his and Sherman's gadgety thing. It's a way to see old websites that are now defunct. Like my old blog, even! Proof that I sat on Blogger a full year before switching over from KB.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

...¡y prospero año nuevo!

On New Year's Eve, I spent the entire evening (until one A.M.!) playing group games with a couple other homeschooling families (whom I hardly get to see otherwise). I narrated a couple games of Mafia, and participated in a game similar to both Charades and Catchphrase. We had snacks.

I visited with cousins the past couple days. It was lovely. I caught up with the cousin I used to be practically best friends with... I don't get to see her nearly enough!

And we had our final Christmas!

So, I got some amazing gifts, over this whole Christmas season. I shall relish writing my thank-you notes--of which some may become letters (one at least will).

candy
the pocket edition of "Daring Book for Girls"
earring-necklace set, handmade by my roomie :-)
earrings
two hatboxes
a cute rustic-y wreath of fabric and wire
money from my grandparents
a DVD of three Audrey Hepburn movies
a baby-doll shirt (the kind with the shirred elastic)
an Audrey Hepburn-esque dress thing
an SD card!
a gift card to Jo-Ann's (which I've already spent)
more candy
more earrings
a purple unicorn stuffed animal
a purple purse
a purple boa
and a purple laundry basket

See? And most of it was a complete surprise! I mean, the shirt and the Audrey Hepburn things were from my parents, and since I was helping Mom shop for most of the Christmas presents for my cousins and all, I picked them out... but the rest, from my siblings and my aunts and uncles, were really fun to discover!

My siblings each got a cell phone from one of my sets of cousins... should be interesting to see how they use them. They're prepay so there are no strings attached.

I managed to convince my brother to sing up front for my church's Christmas Eve service. It was difficult to get him to do it... notwithstanding his amazing bass voice (which very few know about!), he gets stage fright, and hasn't done much public speaking (or singing) to get over it. But the first verse of "I Heard the Bells" was never done so well, at least in my humble (biased?) opinion. :-)