Thursday, May 28, 2009

seven characteristics of a loving person

I don't know where this list originated, but Rob shared it in our group discussion last night:

Seven Characteristics of a Loving Person








I have my own thoughts about these, but I'm curious to hear yours.
Do you agree with this list?
Would you add to it?
Subtract from it?
What is the value in defining a "loving person" in this way?
*Is* there value in such defining?
What is the value in striving to be a loving person?
Do you feel that you should try to be this kind of person? Why or why not?
If you are trying to be this sort of person, how would you evaluate your...hmm...success?
If you don't feel the need to be this sort of person, what goal have you set yourself instead? How would you evaluate your "success" in reaching your goal?

The floor is yours. :o)

Friday, May 22, 2009

book comments 16

Just a reminder: If you'd like to check out all of my book comments, scroll down till you see a long list of tags in the bar on the right and click the "book comments" tag--and voy-oh-lay, ya gotta lotta books to check out. Yippee.

Without further ado, the latest:

"Mark of the Lion III: As Sure As The Dawn" by Francine Rivers
--last book in Rivers's trilogy; I commented on the first here and the second here
--great read, vivid characters, strong writing
--sounds like a bland description, I know ;o)
I enjoyed the story, but I didn't get into it nearly as much as I did the first two.
However, I *will* say that psycho-witch-antagonist-chick *really* got to me--she was just CREEPY!
--some of the "miraculous" incidents were hard to swallow
--enjoyed the Theophilus connection
Atretes annoyed the snot out of me in Book I, and I was still irritated with him by the start of Book III. But I got over it. ;o)
--recommend (but not quite as highly as the first two books)

"Deepwood" by Jennifer Roberson
--second in Robersons's "Karavans" series (comments on first book here)
I might have enjoyed this one more than the first.
--less world-building, more time with individual characters
--too much time with pessimistic, vindictive dad (Davyn), and not nearly enough time with surly...ummm...fascinating Brodhi ;o)
--Rhuan is wholly absorbing.
--And so is Alario.
--LOVE the ending
--more, please
--recommend to fantasy fans

"Beasts" by Joyce Carol Oates
--novella, kind of neo-Gothic
--story of Gillian, student at a girls' university in the 1970s, who thinks she's "in love with" her poetry prof
--turns out poetry prof and his wife are sexual predators
--very well-crafted story, vivid imagery, strong characters
--excellent illustration of the power of those we consider our "authorities" or "mentors"....or "idols"
--excellent illustration of how the molding of young minds can go awry (and turn into psychological torture)
--recommend only to those with a penchant for literary fiction

"Cross" by James Patterson
--my first Alex Cross read (though I've seen the films with Morgan Freeman)
--fast-paced, unputdownable (UPDA ;o)
Characters were vivid and *real* from the moment they stepped onto the page.
Patterson did a frighteningly good job with his antagonist. It takes masterful skill to write a psychopath so that the reader cares about *that* character's motivations and fate....but Patterson made me care about "the Butcher." Good job, Mr. Patterson. *shudder*
--highly recommend

2009 Book Count To-Date: 21 (low, very low ;o)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

great song by nickelback

They've been radio-stalking me, so I decided to share one of their songs I like. ;o)

"If Today Was Your Last Day" by Nickelback

My best friend gave me the best advice
He said each day's a gift and not a given right
Leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind
And try to take the path less traveled by
That first step you take is the longest stride

If today was your last day
And tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past
Donate every dime you have?
If today was your last day

Against the grain should be a way of life
What's worth the prize is always worth the fight
Every second counts 'cause there's no second try
So live like you'll never live it twice
Don't take the free ride in your own life

If today was your last day
And tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past
Donate every dime you have?
Would you call old friends you never see?
Reminisce old memories
Would you forgive your enemies?
Would you find that one you're dreamin' of?
Swear up and down to God above
That you finally fall in love
If today was your last day

If today was your last day
Would you make your mark by mending a broken heart?
You know it's never too late to shoot for the stars
Regardless of who you are
So do whatever it takes
'Cause you can't rewind a moment in this life
Let nothin' stand in your way
Cause the hands of time are never on your side

If today was your last day
And tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?

Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past
Donate every dime you have?
Would you call old friends you never see?
Reminisce old memories
Would you forgive your enemies?
Would you find that one you're dreamin' of?
Swear up and down to God above
That you finally fall in love
If today was your last day

Monday, May 18, 2009

ghosts of blopgosts past

Whilst happily imbibing my coffee this morning, I herumgestöbert (there has got to be a good English word for that!) in my blog and found the following gems for your potential perusing pleasure:

Monday, November 21, 2005

When I should be writing, I'm procrastinating and finding fun things on other people's blogs, like this fun thing I found on Patricia's blog:


The Movie Of Your Life Is A Cult Classic

Quirky, offbeat, and even a little campy - your life appeals to a select few.
But if someone's obsessed with you, look out! Your fans are downright freaky.

Your best movie matches: Office Space, Showgirls, The Big Lebowski

Of those three movies, I've only seen "Office Space," and though it's funny, it's not one of my favorites. I guess my life is a cult classic with all the profanity bleeped out of it.

Actually, that's pretty accurate. ;o)

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

....At the end of October, Ed, Clint, April, and I were driving to Dresden (this was back B.C.S.--Before Car Selling), and we started talking about what a movie of our lives would be like.

First, we decided that nobody would go see it. Then, we decided it would be a blockbuster. (Anybody remember what title we decided on?) And finally, talk turned to which actors would portray us. We came up with the following:

Clint: Jack Black
April: Courteney Cox
Ed: Adam Sandler
Me: Drew Berrymore

What do you think???

Friday, May 15, 2009

the grocery store saga continues

"Oh, no," you think. "Not again!"

But yea verily, Gentle Reader, I have yet another grocery store incident with which to while away your time. HOWEVER.......drumroll, please..........this one is neither an angry incident nor a cultural frustration! Can I get a hallelujah on that one? Yes, yes, I believe I can. ;o)

So, here's what happened: I grabbed a can of catfood off the shelf at Wal-Mart (yes, Wal-Mart--I'm doing some comparison shopping this month). The can was busted, it leaked on my hand and my shirt, and since it apparently got busted long enough back for decomposition to set in, I drove home yesterday afternoon smelling like fish bait. ("Shark bait! Ooh-ha-ha!")

Joy o joy o joy.

And yet, in spite of the not-so-happiness of this episode, I didn't allow it to dampen my mood...mainly because of the cashier who chatted with me as she checked my groceries.

She was an odd lady. I hardly even remember what she chattered on about, but she did chatter on pretty much non-stop as she worked. I chattered back to her, and it was nice. And then, quite randomly, she said,

"I hope you don't mind my asking, you have Native American heritage?"

I'm sure the look on my face was priceless. If you've met me once--or if you've taken a glance at my picture over there on the left somewhere--you've seen for yourself that I'm about as non-Native-American-looking as a white girl can get. That being the case, no stranger has ever before asked me if I have Native American heritage. For obvious reasons, it simply would never occur to anyone.

Nevertheless, as I told the cashier, I do have Cherokee blood from my paternal grandmother's side of the family. We can't prove it, and I don't even know how far back it goes. I'm not sure Grandma even knows. (Aunts and/or cousins, correct me if I'm wrong.) I think it would be neat to find out for sure--maybe through the new DNA test that people have started using over the last few years. I doubt anyone would let me take the test for free, though, and at this point I have no desire to pay for it. ;o)

Anyway, I felt amused that the cashier would ask me that question--and pleased that I could answer in the affirmative. I have no clue why she asked, but it was nifty that she did.

Tune in next time for the continuation of "Grocery Store Adventures: Taking Back the Coffee I Bought Because It's Whole Beans And We Don't Have A Grinder." ;oD

Monday, May 11, 2009

good grief, people. free your minds, wouldja?!?

This morning, I read two articles in "Newsweek" that annoyed the poo out of me.

The first concerned white supremacy beliefs in the USA. Apparently, the popularity of white supremacist groups has started going up since Obama was elected. Perfect. The article was complete with pictures of good ol' home folks with swastikas on their T-shirts. Their new party line, it seems, is "preach love of white, not hate of black, don't come on radical, be quiet and subtle, or you'll scare people off before you can get them to come around to the right way of thinking." "Right way," meaning: deportation of all immigrants and incarcerated non-whites. Ad infinitum ad nauseam.

There are a lot of names I'd like to apply to people who think this way. But instead of using those names, I'll just say this: I grew up visiting concentration camps in Germany. You wear a swastika and come within twenty feet of me, and I am deaf to you before the first word exits your white supremacist mouth.

Ugh. Utterly revolting.

The other annoyance was in an article about new apps (read: applications) for cell phones, specifically apps of the Bible. The author was presenting differing viewpoints. Apparently, there are people out there who disapprove of having the Bible on a hand-held electronic device, because having the Bible accessible this way "takes away from the sacredness of scripture." Or somesuch.

Huh? Am I understanding them right? They're saying it's a bad thing to have access to the Bible no matter where you are?

That's almost the dumbest thing I've read all day. (For the dumbest, see the second and third paragraphs of this post.) Do you really think God cares in what medium his Word appears? When you carry the Bible in book form, there is absolutely nothing sacred about the paper, ink, leather, plastic, and glue with which that book is put together. There is not one iota of holiness inherent in a printed copy of the Bible--or a audio copy, or an electronic copy, or a copy written in the sky with airplane vapor trails. The medium doesn't matter.

I would even venture to say that the words themselves don't matter. A word is merely a symbol we use to convey an idea or a set of ideas. House, Haus, and maison are different symbols that convey the same idea. Same goes for cat, Katze, and gato. Same for ichthys, Fisch, and pesce. Symbols for ideas/concepts/specific meanings.

When it comes to sacredness and holiness of the Bible, all that signifies are the concepts behind the symbols. Aletheia, Wahrheit, truth. Symbols which, in themselves, are not sacred. Heaven, Himmel, ouranos. The sacredness belongs solely to the concept, the reality, behind the symbols.

It matters not what form those symbols take. Whether printed or electronic, the symbols convey concepts that have unlimited power to work on the human heart and change it. Consuming those symbols--and, through them, the bedrock reality concepts--through an electronic medium doesn't dilute their effect in the least.

Come on, people. Have a little faith!

Friday, May 08, 2009

thoughts about the writing of stephenie meyer

I don't really have time to be sitting here today, blogging any ruminations whatsoever...but as you can see, I'm gonna do it anyway. What? Linear timeline constraints? Pshaw.

What I'm thinking about right now are the published works of Stephenie Meyer. If you don't know who Stephenie Meyer is, does the title "Twilight" tell you anything? If not, you probably won't care much about the rest of this blopgost. ;o)

I attended a Writers Conference last weekend (and I know I've been promising details--I will deliver ASAP, I promise!), and Meyer's name came up several times in various conversations. I noted two extreme reactions:

TwilightOMWilovethosebookshaveyoureadmidnightsunyet? and

... (insert cricket noises here, paired with skeptical lift of single eyebrow).

The Twilight series. It seems that if you've read the books, you either love 'em or you hate 'em. I've heard very few people speak of a lukewarm reaction. Many folks have read part of the first book and given up, not bothering to tackle the rest. Many more folks, it seems, have inhaled every Twilit word like an army of heavy-duty, industrial, bipedal vacuum cleaners.

From my above-it-all vantage point, I am amused at the bizarrity of these disparate reactions.

Okay, okay, I'll 'fess up. I'm not as above-it-all as I'd like to pretend, and I think many of you know that already. ;o) I myself went into bipedal-vacuum-cleaner mode when reading the series--both the first and the second time I read it. ;o) However--and I think I mentioned this in book comments at some point--I wasn't so enamored that I couldn't take a step back (okay, maybe just half a step) and identify some problems in Meyer's writing style. But I kept in mind that:

(a) the books are young adult fiction (YA) and therefore (possibly) not subject to quite as many rules as adult literary fiction (Caveat emptor, however: YA is no excuse for substandard writing!);
(b) Meyer is a new author; and
(c) Meyer shows growth as a writer over the course of the four books. Her sci-fi novel, "The Host," evinces that process of writerly maturing, as well.

But I guess, when it comes down to it, the final point is this: Whether people like Meyer's writings or not, whether she breaks "rules for good writing" or not, her writings are popular. The lady is making oodles of money because enough people love her books. The lady is making oodles of money because she has been smart enough to cross the line of printed media and branch out into movies, music, and powerful Internet presence (poke around her site and you'll see what I mean).

So what do you think? Does it matter that there are things to criticize about her writing? Or does the popularity of her works cancel out any stylistic or character problems? She has made a huge dent in the business--so does the quality of the books still signify?