Saturday, February 28, 2009

Mouse to Mice

So if the plural of mouse is mice, what about these pairings?....

Louse --> Lice. Okay, that one's valid.

Spouse --> Spice. Not so much.

House --> Hice. Is that even an English word?

Blouse --> Blice. No.

Douse --> Dice. Wait, that's a verb.... and those are small gaming cubes...

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Building bridges

Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous (as I effused), and today is nearly so, though there is no sun. So I went out with a couple friends and we meandered through the woods until we reached a stream.

Then, the male part of the three of us proceeded to build a small but usable bridge over part of the stream, using rocks and fallen branches and abandoned concrete blocks. I would say that "we" built the bridge, but all that we girls did was supervise, stay out of the way of the splashing, and skip rocks. :-P

It took probably half an hour for my friend to get a bridge that would hold up--in fact, after I crossed it, he had to add more concrete blocks because of some collapsing--but in the end, he was satisfied, and we safely returned to our respective destinations.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sunshiny Mornin'

Whenever there is sunshine in the morning to greet me as I embark upon the day's journey, I'm happy for the entire rest of the day. Sunshine's effects are compounded when it lasts.... and the sun's been out all day, to my great joy! I considered taking a bike ride, but my hands got chilly just sitting out doing homework, so I nixed that idea in favor of making extensive use of the windows. :-)

As it was, I took several pictures of the cloud formations... clouds are the icing on the cake of sunshine.

Mmmmmmmmmmmm. It's enough to make me fly away on the spot with happiness. I do hope this is the harbinger of spring's fast approach!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Contra dancing

What a day. Exhausting, and I haven't even been to work yet!

I found out yesterday that one of my apartmentmates was going to a contra dancing thing this afternoon, and wanted people to go with her. She's said that it is really fun. From what I understood, it was like the dancing from the five-hour version of the movie "Pride & Prejudice" (which is of course based upon my favorite book!) and resembled square dancing just a little... so I figured I may as well. It sounded fun enough.

So, clad in our fun, twirly skirts, we arrived a little before two o'clock this afternoon, and danced... for three straight hours!!

Some of contra dancing was completely new to me... I've never done long line dance things before, besides the Virginia Reel; but that was half to two-thirds of the dancing there. I was also new to certain of the moves (I had to learn a different swing from what I knew in square dancing), and quite unused to all the twirling that happens in contra dancing. (But the twirling was the best part!) I also learned a different style of waltz.

Consequently, from all this activity I'm rather tired and suspect my legs will be sore tomorrow... but it was worth it. Contra dancing really was a lot of fun, and I'm glad I went. I definitely want to do it again, but since the next one is right during spring break, I probably won't get to until April. Ah well; I'll bide my time. :-)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Escribiendo cartas

Me gusta mucho... escribir cartas a mi amigo, en espaƱol. (I love writing Spanish letters to my friend!) Last week an old friend of my family e-mailed me (as she's been in the habit of doing) and asked if I would correspond with her son, who's in Spanish II in high school. "Of course," I joyfully replied. Since then we have sent three or four e-mails back and forth (on each side) and his mother writes that he is enjoying the correspondence immensely.

I, on my end, am also very pleased to have begun it. I get a lot of practice this way, you know, and I'm being extra careful so I don't mess his verb conjugations up (or his vocabulary, for that matter). It takes longer than I would like to write one of the e-mails, but not too long I don't think. And I'm getting a lot better as I get back into the habit of actually creating written works of Spanish instead of simply deciphering another's Spanish writing.

In fact, I should be writing another one now... but I'm rather tired, and should head to bed in time to get lots of sleep before church tomorrow.

P.S. His mother took a picture of him writing out one of his replies and sent it to me. :-)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Of snakes and alleged Princes Charming

It's snowing again. Which means I'm rather cold here, sitting in my living room. But it's fine... I get to go to Spanish class later, which will brighten my day, on top of the happiness of singing in choir this afternoon. :-)

My roomie took me to Wal-Mart last night to get a few necessities, and on the way back we stopped by the public library so I could borrow a book for one of my papers. It's "The Power of Logical Thinking" by one Marilyn vos Savant, and its sole purpose for my paper was to point out that the sentence "snakes only eat green frogs" can be interpreted at least four or five different ways. Try it....

1. Snakes only eat green frogs... they don't eat anything else.
2. ...Or, they never eat blue frogs.
3. ...Maybe, they refuse to drink green frogs.
4. ...Perhaps snakes are the only animals that eat green frogs?
5. ...Better yet, snakes probably just don't eat green dogs.

Ain't it fun? :-D

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Prayer to glorify

From my devotional today:
"Lord, help me to glorify Thee;

I am poor, help me to glorify Thee by contentment;

I am sick, help me to give Thee honour by patience;

I have talents, help me to extol Thee by spending them for Thee;

I have time, Lord, help me to redeem it, that I may serve thee;

I have a heart to feel, Lord, let that heart feel no love but Thine, and glow with no flame but affection for Thee;

I have a head to think, Lord, help me to think of Thee and for Thee;

Thou hast put me in this world for something, Lord, show me what that is, and help me to work out my life-purpose: I cannot do much, but as the widow put in her two mites, which were all her living, so, Lord, I cast my time and eternity too into Thy treasury; I am all Thine; take me, and enable me to glorify Thee now, in all that I say, in all that I do, and with all that I have."
--Charles Spurgeon

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

We're in a recession... worldwide... and the government decides it's time for a spending spree??!!?? On top of the last one, the bank bailout??

They're basically ruining any chance I have in the future of establishing a secure economic foundation.... of getting a good job, saving up enough to buy a house, etc. And it's not just Americans... we'll have to borrow the funds. From where? Other countries, I guess... who are just as indebted as we are, or almost. Then where else? Switzerland? They haven't got that much money...

So it's going to be printed. Yay, more valueless money floating around... lessening the value of the "money" we (and countries that rely on U.S. currency) still have. This is why the gold standard ought to have been maintained. It would have kept such spendthrift politicians in check.

What is this world going to do....

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

#299, a meme

What have I done....

1. Started my own blog (many times)
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band
4. Visited Hawaii
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than I can afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland/world
8. Climbed a mountain
(two small ones)
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sung a solo

11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched lightning at sea (does Lake Erie count?)
14. Taught myself an art from scratch
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown my own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France and was completely awed.
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitchhiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a Marathon
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse (of the moon, I believe I have)
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31. Hit a home run
32. Been on a cruise (for lunch once)
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community (numerous times)
36. Taught myself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing (only if you count a fake rock tower though)
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight (every year!)
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had my portrait painted (not painted, but photographed a lot)
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie (a Cousins Productions movie!)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book (does self-publishing one copy and e-mailing umpteen electronic copies count?)
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had my picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible
86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life
90. Sat on a jury
91. Met someone famous (Steve Green!)
92. Joined a book club (actually formed one with friends)
93. Lost a loved one

94. Had a baby
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit
98. Owned a cell phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Ridden an elephant

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Hilarious: NYT's Facebook-style random list

I stumbled on a funny blog post over at the New York Times tonight! According to them, this is how you fill out one of those "25 random things about me" lists on Facebook...
9. Mention small adversity, like long commute or annoying neighbor, and the unexpected, preferably funny, way you overcome it.
10. Cite an actual random thing that comes to mind while writing this list.
11. “Admit” that you always identified with weird ancillary character on popular TV show in 7th grade, as if you didn’t know that everyone in retrospect agrees that was the best character.
12. Expose something genuine and poignant about yourself, such as untimely death of close relative or rare genetic condition.
13. Express heartfelt thanks to friends or family for helping you through #12, or just for being there, or whatever.
14. Conclude sentimental portion of list by citing the scene in movie X that always makes you cry. Could also be a lyric, or a memory, so long as it involves crying.
15. Something about drugs.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Aristotle sounds like a snotty man.

I've finally returned to reading a book of classic essays that I picked up awhile ago. In the second essay, one on the "Aim of Man" written by Aristotle (book 1 of his "Nichomachean Ethics"), he in a sidenote asserts that "...the man who is repulsive in appearance, or ill-born [by which he means not from a good, well-to-do family], or solitary and childless does not meet the requirements of a happy man..." because, apparently, "there are some things... the lack of which must mar felicity, such as good birth, fine children, and personal comeliness...."

Now just how does that strike you? What a culture he lived in. And how similar was it to ours, I wonder?

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

As another chapter closes

I finished two books yesterday.

1. Miracles by C. S. Lewis. He is a fascinating writer, of course; I mean to own all his works by the time I'm thirty. (Gives me a solid ten years!) As in Mere Christianity, Lewis in Miracles starts much farther back than one would suppose, and first establishes the logical basis for the theoretical possibility of miracles (addressing those who would take issue with the very idea of a miracle). I felt like I'd read it before, so I might have; but it may also bear a little resemblance to one or two of the chapters in Mere Christianity, in which miracles are touched upon but not dealt with in-depth. It's heavier reading than fiction, surely, and I wish I had been more awake mentally when I read most of it. (Yesterday I was in a bit of a daze... for some reason break does that to me! I took a couple naps over break... something I very very rarely do.)

2. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (also published as Ten Little Indians). Having read two collections of Christie short stories, I was sort of looking forward to this; I enjoy the Parker Pyne stories very much. My sister urged me to read this book and wanted to hear my opinion, so I finally got to it after finishing the above yesterday. Can you believe it--I read this book in its entirety yesterday afternoon! Obviously it's a quick read, though just short of 300 pages (in its paperback edition anyway), but still fascinating. I really liked how, even though I had seen the movie and knew who the villain was, the book made me second-guess even myself (because my sis had mentioned that the movie changed one or two things). Christie's use of the characters' thoughts was curious: she often let the uncertainty, fear and apprehension creep from her characters' words straight into the description itself, if I'm making any sense. She also used ellipses and exclamation marks and italics more than I'm used to (in what I've read, rather; she used them the way I might in my writing).

And I head back to school today. Classes start tomorrow morning--whoopeee! I'm looking forward to my writing classes, and will also have a two-hour Spanish literature course tomorrow evening. Followed by a two-hour meeting of the yearbook. With just half an hour between them for supper. Should be interesting...

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Pensamientos de Literatura

Is literature supposed to be realist or escapist? My roommate says escapist.

Is fiction?

Why have I never seen texting or Facebook referred to regularly in a book? One friend has seen one of them in one book... that's all.

Can escapist fiction be realistic? I think so. But to what extent?

Can realistic fiction be escapist? I think so, also.

What qualities set American fiction apart from that of the rest of the world?

Does fiction reflect its culture? Probably.