Books and Movies, Musings

Sci-fi and Jesus

I love stories. I’m not only  a storyteller, I’m also a story collector. I don’t care if the tale is written, acted, or completely non-verbal. Stories are who we are. They are how we communicate our true, subconscious feelings. Anyone who has given me 5 minutes (whether in person or in my writing) knows that I interpret things differently from a lot of people. I’ve been known to use stories I’ve collected to explain ideas, often in ways that make heads spin. Science fiction is one of my favorite things to pull these bewildering pictures from.

170351e2d72bcdad2ade91c6ab0795f3I love it, because Sci-fi opens up the mind to ideas that seem just insane. Truth is ever so much stranger than fiction,  and it can be helpful in wrapping your brain around life. Take Doctor Who, for example. It is so beautifully full of allegories. My favorite is one that my Fairy Godmother told me.

Your heart is a TARDIS. It is bigger on the inside. It is old and new at the same time. Old, because it is also His heart. New, because you are a new creation and you are continually being renewed. It has more rooms than you could ever discover. There is more power in it than could ever be understood.

I think sometimes we get so caught up in this world that we try to fit everything into it. But, we aren’t simply earthly creatures, we are also creatures of a different realm. One with completely different physics. It’s weird. But it’s beautiful. If you can accept some of the crazy ways things work in stories, sometimes it’s easier to grasp concepts like grace. Grace really doesn’t make any sense. When someone has done wrong, you should retaliate or correct them. Grace not only seems foolish, it sounds unjust. But when you have accepted things like the fact that the TARDIS is unfathomably enormous, the idea that maybe our idea of justice isn’t exactly right isn’t as hard to grasp. Nothing is truly as it seems. There is so much we don’t know about our Magnificent and Glorious Life.

I know I’m hardly a nerd. I’ve been told that I really can’t even say that I like sci-fi because I haven’t read or seen certain things. But I don’t think you have to be super well versed in the genre to learn from it. Jesus is literally everywhere. He is so ingrained in the world that you only have to open your eyes. There He is.

Books and Movies, Musings

The End

You may not know this about me, I haven’t really talked about it much, but I have a love-hate relationship with endings. A good ending will leave me in a good mood for days. Whereas a bad one can make me mad at the world.

I like happy endings. The Guy get The Girl, the Baddie gets got, all is well in the world, and there is obviously more going to happen after you read the last page. It’s like, when you open a book you open a window to a different world. If, when you close the book, the world seems go on behind the pages, that is a good ending. Even though I don’t like books that are too realistic (unless very well written, like Scarlet Pimpernel or Kidnapped), I like an ending that is more like a beginning. Because that’s how life really is. It may be an ending of one part of life, but it goes on after that.

I finished a book like that last night. As always when you pick up a good book, you entered a new world. This time it was a world of books piled high, mysterious men, and scared little girls. There was no way of knowing who to trust, too many strange things were going on. It was wonderful. I often get sucked into books and forget that I am reading, in Inkheart it was so much more vivid. Like it was really happening. Some of the plotlines were predictable, but enough weren’t that it made everything suspect. If I ever do another What To Read list, Inkheart will most certainly be on it. The end felt more like a beginning. I guess that makes sense, since it is the first in a trilogy, but this was even more so than most I’ve read. It was enchanting.

I got another book from the library yesterday. It is one that I have been waiting for years to read. I have a habit of getting overly attached to series by dead authors. When I was around 10, I had just caught on to reading on my own and I went straight to “tough” books. Pride and Prejudice, Little Women, and A Wrinkle in Time. I stumbled through Jane Austin and slowly picked at Alcott, but I devoured Madeleine L’Engle. Even her name is more intriguing. After years of wanting to read the last book in the series, I found a copy of An Acceptable Time at the library. I got home and cried. How will it end? I almost don’t want to read it, just because then it won’t end. It reminds me of an exchange on The Shop Around the Corner:

Alfred Kralik (played by the dashing Jimmy Stewart): Pirovitch, did you ever get a bonus?

Pirovitch: Yes, once.

Alfred Kralik: Yeah. The boss hands you the envelope. You wonder how much is in it, and you don’t want to open it. As long as the envelope’s closed, you’re a millionaire.

I like how the BBC series, Robin Hood ended. I’ve heard so many people talk about how terrible it is, but I love it. Marian dies at the end of season two.  For a few fleeting moments they are wed, and she dies a beautiful death, in the arms of Robin. On the very last episode Robin dies too. He lies alone in the forest, and just as he begins to slip away, he sees Marian walking over the hill. Beautiful.

And then I wonder about my life. Part of me wants to have a dramatic and beautiful death. Actually, that part of me is a pretty big one. Something like Marian’s. But then, a nice quiet death after a life full of love and adventure sounds… nice. 

Books and Movies, Musings

Superstitious Deism or True Love?

I have heard several people refer to the UK as a “post-christian society.” This bugs me. It’s not just because most of my favorite actors, writers, musicians and tv shows come from there, but because I don’t think it is an accurate assessment.

They aren’t post Christian, they are post superstition. The Christianity that they have is primarily the Church of England. They are a cultural church, not a personal church.

When people around me refer to “Post-Christian” it is usually in response to my fangirling about either Sherlock, Doctor Who or Downton Abbey (No one complains when I talk about Robin Hood…). They respond this way because of the way that the British media over accentuates homosexuality or how they mock Christianity. Then they look at me like my Salvation is in question when I say something to the effect of “Yeah, but it doesn’t bother me.” A pig stinks.

I’m going to focus on the mocking of Christianity. This has usually been with Doctor Who. There are whole subplots and sometimes even plots, devoted to mocking Christianity. This one not only doesn’t bother me, I kind of agree with it. The only Christianity that most Brits have been exposed to is an archaic and superstitious religion. It is, dare I even breathe the word? Mockworthy. Because it isn’t true. Christianity without the Gospel is worth mocking. It doesn’t make any sense at all. True Christianity doesn’t make enough sense on its own, but without love and the Gospel, it is absolute folly. Why should we follow a 2,000 year old list of rules put in place by some cosmic being, that we aren’t really sure exists?

I actually don’t blame them. If that was the only kind of “Christians” I had ever met, I would probably mock them too. If I weren’t saved. But, because I know what they are missing, they both make me weep. I feel sorry for the mockers because the only thing they have is a foolish shadow, so they mock it. At first I get mad at the church-goers because they are only perpetuating this shadow, but then, I feel sorry for them because they don’t know any better.

It doesn’t bug me that they mock their “church”. That’s not who I am. What does bother me is that their “church” calls itself Christian. It is moralistic, therapeutic, deism masquerading as a way to salvation. If these mockers were confronted with a society of people who had a true relationship with the risen Savior and lived in a manner worthy of the Gospel, they would likely not recognize it as Christianity.

I’ll leave you with something I’ve been chewing on. How can we make sure our faith doesn’t become superstitious? What would it look like if it was?

Books and Movies, Musings

What To Read? The Later Years

So, last week I talked about books for pre-teens and young teens. Those are mostly books I read when I was around 10-13 years old.

But what about older teens? That can be even harder sometimes. You get tired of re-reading Redwall (sometimes…), but the books for our age are even more disgusting. For some it’s so hard to find things to read that they just stop reading once they are done with school. I think it’s important to continue stretching yourself and reading good books. It can get hard to find these good books though. So I present for your reading enjoyment, my favorite books for older teens and young adults:

1. The Scarlet Pimpernel, by Baroness  Emmuska Orczy

When people ask me what my favorite book is, this is what I say. It has mystery, it has drama, it has action, it has (appropriate) romance, it has daring rescues, it has clever disguises, it has guillotines. Set in the French Revolution, taking place in both England and France. We follow the beautiful Marguerite Blakeney as she tries to save her beloved brother. The only way is to identify the elusive Scarlet Pimpernel, and in essence hand him over to Mademoiselle Guillotine. But will she find out too late?

2. A Tale of Two Cities, by Charles Dickens

Another favorite set in the French Revolution. This one is more complicated, as Dickens often is, and it took me a while to figure out who was who. Still, confusion aside, I love Dickens’ style and imagery.

3. The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure, by William Goldman

This one took me so long to figure out. It’s not an abridged version. It’s the original. Please just read it. At times the movie follows so closely it’s like reading a script. A few of the places are different, the Zoo of Death for example, but for me this made it even better.If you enjoyed the movie I would definitely recommend the book. It follows close enough that you feel like you know what is going to happen, but different enough that you aren’t sure. Buttercup and Westly don’t seem to be as tender as they do in the movie, but it doesn’t take much away from the story. (Taken from my Goodreads review)

4. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

Another classic from the mind of Jack. Written as a series of letters from an older demon to a younger demon he is mentoring. It’s interesting to think of things from this perspective. Very thought provoking.

5. The Fishermans Lady (and The Marquis’ Secret) by George MacDonald

Almost a cross between Kidnapped and The Scarlet Pimpernel. The very first book of George MacDonald’s that I read. I love a good adventure book, if it is set in Scotland, even better. Fun Fact! George MacDonald was a favorite author of three of my favorite authors, J.R.R Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and Madeleine L’Engle.

6. The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The nerd in me couldn’t leave this off the list. It is pure fluff and has an extremely rambling and almost nonexistent plot line. There is some language and more adult themes, but it is so hilarious. If you like Doctor Who you will most likely enjoy Hitchhiker’s Guide (Adams did write a few episodes after all).

7. The Space Trilogy by C.S. Lewis

An amazing sci-fi series by the man who is generally thought of as being a fantasy writer and theologian.  I actually read these when I was about 11, but I would recommend them for older teens. I was too young to understand them very well. Full of twists and turns

8. Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien

The classic epic story of good versus evil. This story has so many good lessons, it is a sweeping epic, there is rawness, there are heroes, there is brotherly love. Most people know at least the gist of the story, so I’m not going to further spoil it. I will say though, even if you have seen the movies dozens of times, please read the books. The movies, while they do a pretty good job, leave out some of the best parts.

9. Me, Myself and Bob by Phil Vischer

The story of how Veggietales got it’s start. I really love behind the scenes stuff, so this was a treat. Now, I realize this is the only book on my list that isn’t a novel, there is a reason for this though. As we get older, it’s also important to read (or begin reading if it hasn’t been your habit) non-fiction.  For most of the rest of our lives we will be reading non-fiction. I’ve found that great way to get a taste for books about real life is through biographies and the like.

While some of these books have a bit of language (nothing stronger than what you hear on PG movies or TV shows), the main reason I list them as books for older teens is because I want them to be appreciated. Most young teens could handle them, but they won’t get nearly as much out of these books as some one a little older will.

Musings, Pictures

Electric Daisy

I feel like that’s a good description of me. Simple and plain, yet complex and different. Le song

I’m done with my series about camp. Sigh. So, now I”m not sure what to write about other than recent happenings. It’s been about two months since I’ve posted an actual update, so for now I have plenty to talk about. 🙂

Some things haven’t changed though. I’m still jobless. I still volunteer at the library.  My only source of income is babysitting, and that has been going slow. I’m still living at home. I’m still Annie. I’m still a child of God. I still write; for better or for worse, whether you like it or not (of course, you can always stop reading).

In some ways it feels like this Summer has been going on forever. The heat. The lack of a job. The lack of school. It feels like it is never going to end. Thankfully we’ve had some cool days recently, but even that doesn’t change it much. Endless Summer. I’m not talking about a tanning lotion or something.  For whatever reason I was thinking of August as being the end of Summer. I’m not sure why. We are getting closer, but it’s not really fall yet. We still have about a week left before the schools start around here (we don’t start until after Labor day), but even then it won’t actually be fall. Just be cold, would ya!

I start my journey of becoming a doula this month.  I’m really excited, but extremely nervous. For years I’ve been looking forward to beginning my quest to become a midwife. Now that I’m finally here, I’m not sure that it’s what I want anymore. I still love birth and I still think it is part of God’s plan for my life, but I do have other options. Before this year I never thought I could do anything else. I wasn’t smart enough to go to college, but I could learn a trade. Midwifery was something I could do from home. I could be a stay at home mom. But I realize now, I was putting myself in a box. As ridiculous as it sounds, if  you know much about midwifery at all you know that it isn’t something to be taken lightly. I wasn’t thinking big about something that is a big deal.  DSCF0532

I had been hinging too many things on my obligatory, impending husband. The assumption that I would get married at a young age and have children right off the bat. The normal Christian-conservative-homeschool-girl dream. What a twisted idea. That a man would fix my “problems” and make me “right”. This was a very subconscious thing for me; I’ve never really been very traditional. These ideas sneak in like the silent shadows of poison vapor and they are very hard to wake up from. There is only one man who can do “fix” me, and I already have Him.  Unhappy wives, marriages in shambles, kids with broken hearts. I’m seeing, more and more, how true it is that “it’s better to have no man than to have a sub-par one”.

I’ve discovered that I really love to write and that I’m not dumb. I could go to college.  I could study journalism (to my broadcast journalism, former DJ mother’s great joy). I could expand my academic horizons.

I deeply love reading. I could open a used book store. It would be complete with spiral staircase. Even if it didn’t really need it, there would be perhaps a little landing with a comfy chair. The walls would have old newspaper clippings and there would be cushy chairs everywhere. We would only have hardbacks and specialize in old books. It would be a place for everyone who loves good literature, young or old. There will, of course, be at least one shop cat.

I am a person that needs adventure. My parents have known this, it’s part of the reason they sent me to California all by myself when I was not even 10. I must travel or I will grow dim and witless (name that book).

So maybe I will end up a missionary midwife and ride around in the bush tending women in their strongest, yet weakest moments. Or I might be a foreign concordant and inform you on the news of the world. And maybe I’ll wind up being the eccentric book and cat lady who disappears every once in a while, to who knows where. And at some point I might find a man who makes me feel like slowing down, but not much, and begin our joint adventure.

Two things are certain. I will still be Annie, and everything that means; and I will always end up back home.

Actions in Activities, Musings

A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening

Happy 220th post!

This was funny to me. None of the results surprize me at all! I’m a derpy-word-nerd-trekiwhovian. ^_^
NerdTests.com says I'm a Slightly Dorky High Nerd.  Click here to take the Nerd Test, get nerdy images and jokes, and write on the nerd forum!

Ok, so, about the titles. I have a tough time coming up with names so I like to use the name of a song I listened to whilst writing this post. Last time I was getting ready for Elegant Evening and I liked that title better than any of the others I listened to. I was going to title this post “Baby It’s Cold Outside”, because it did in fact come up on my Pandora, it is uncommonly cold. In fact, drum roll please. <brtrtrt> It snowed. I’m not kidding at all. Last Thursday it snowed about 2-3 inches. I’m still kind of in shock.  But anyway, I would like to focus more on recent events and less on the weather. lol

Elegant Evening was splendid fun. It was contra dancing similar to what I have done before, so knowledge helped make up for clumsiness. There were only a couple of guys (although most of the dads danced at least a couple and our caller danced almost all of the dances), so many of us had to dance as boys. It really doesn’t matter for this kind of dancing though, it can make it a bit confusing sometimes, but it does make it less awkward. It was great fun, and didn’t feel like three hours at all. Perhaps one, but certainly not three.

Last Tuesday (30th not the 7th) Meg, Claire and I gave our speeches. Megs was about alter egos, focusing on Superman, The Scarlet Pimpernel and Julia Child. It was really interesting and she did marvelously. My speech was quite fun. It was a demonstration on making apple cobbler in a dutch oven. Normally it wouldn’t have been to entertaining, but once I got done explaining what a dutch oven is and got into the cooking show it really kicked up. Literally  I started out by setting out my cartons of “ingredients”  (small cardboard boxes marked butter, sugar, flour and milk). I nonchalantly put the ingredients in my large bowl as I told the steps.  Then I took my wooden spoon and began pounding the boxes and mixing them up. Everyone in the room jumped when I first began beating boxes, and then laughed as I kept the gag up. It was wonderful fun, and it was going very well, but I got so caught up in it I lost my place and cut my ending short. It didn’t affect my score though and I don’t think the teacher noticed (at least she didn’t seem to when I mentioned it afterwards). Unfortunately, Claire gave her speech about Betta Fish (complete with live fish! Volucris was fine on the car ride to and from, but Claire got a little bit wet lol) as I was in the kitchen scooping up cobbler for everyone. 😦

Poetic Voices was right after debate, and it was brilliant. There were the usual cliche “woe is me, I am undone” poems, but there were also quite a few that really made me chuckle. Claire was the opener and did a fantastic job! Everyone laughed at all the right places! Meg did a wonderful job as well! She was so poised and elegant, tranquilly talking about leaves and then, their demise.  It was so funny! 😀 Mine went much better than last time! I didn’t hide behind my hair (thanks to my crochet hook) and a think I spoke clearly and with good tone. I may have been a bit close to the microphone though, and I coughed into it. Stupid allergies.

I know I already talked about my graduation, but I want to share something God is teaching me. I had been wondering how I was going to get the registration deposit together for my doula training, let alone pay for the rest of  it.  The total sum of my graduation gifts was almost exactly what I need to reserve a spot in the class. Ok God, You have my attention. You will provide everything I need.  I’m not wondering how to earn the money I need. I’m not wondering how to get a job or why even McDonalds hasn’t called me back. I may be curious, but He will take care of it.

I have some more news, but I’ll save that for Friday (hint)!

Geronimo!!

Pictures, Short

Face the Music and Dance!

I’m in the middle of getting things together for my open house, but I thought I’d take a break from scrubbing old window frames and gathering pictures to give you a little update. 🙂

I found a dress for the homeschool group’s dance! 😀 Meg says it’s hot pink, but everyone else says it’s red. 😛 It’s strapless, so we’re either going to get a shrug or Meg may try to add straps (The ones in the picture are just tucked in). I’m not sure which one, but either way it will be black. 🙂 I really love it! While the dancing will be similar to Contra dancing, it’s basically a prom.

DSCF9524edit

We’ve started watching Doctor Who. I’m now officially a nerd (as if there was ever much question lol).  With the combination of Lord Of The Rings, Star Trek (two series), My Little Pony, and now Doctor Who, there really is no denying it. Yes, I am a Pega-sis. Hannah got me hooked. It was kind of embarrassing until I found out there were others. lol

The other night I was almost to sleep when a train went by. Now, this isn’t a big deal, we live in a bend in the tracks. Trains go by many times a day and all through the night. In the nearly three years we’ve lived at this house I’ve gotten used to it and heard different trains. Usually you can hear the whistle, and sometimes the rumble. Every once in a while a really heavy one will go by and you can feel it. This train was different. I kid you not, it sounded like the TARDIS. That woke me up. I listened for a while and figured out it was a train, but it still sounded just like the TARDIS.

Book club had been really fun! Last time the genre was sci-fi and I read Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. I’d seen the movie but I hadn’t read the book. Oh my goodness. It was so funny! There wasn’t much of a plot line, which would bother me in most books, but it was so funny that I realize it was plotless until I was done with it. I highly recommend it. The techno babble, artificial intelligence gone mad (sometimes literally) and just out-right craziness! I can’t wait to read the next book!

Well, that’s all I’ve got for now. Allons-y!