Saturday, July 21, 2007

In Which I Finish Reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Yes . . . I finished it. I also had dinner and waited to write . . . what can I write? I don't want to give ANYTHING away. So that means I can say very little. Lots of surprises. Some sweet small ones. Others that just made me gasp. I teared up a couple of times. I cried to the point of having to stop reading in order to see through the tears and be able to read again. There are not many books that have made me cry . . .
  • The House at Pooh Corner by A A Milne (specifically, the last story)
  • The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery (which is why I almost had different tattoos)
  • The Once and Future King by T H White

And now . . . the Harry Potter books. I cried w en Hagrid gave Harry the book of photographs of his parents. I cried when . . . well, I don't want to give anything away.

I will, however, give one thing away. There is a dirty joke/pun on page 113. Of course, I think most people won't have noticed it but I did. Right away. Giggled as I read it. I am so damned juvenile. Also, I asked my daughter about the spoilers she had already read online. All of them were dead on. I lied to her and said they were all wrong. I'll tell her the truth after Marc has read the book. In the meantime . . . I have rarely been so utterly satisfied with a series as I have been with these books. Joe asked me, "So, are you satiated." My answer? "Nope. Just Joe-king!" *giggle* We are a strange family. What can I say?

Thursday, July 19, 2007

In Which I Ramble Mindlessly

The last two times I've gone out with someone, I have seen someone from my past. Both times the person from my past managed to effectively avoid making eye contact with me and, since I was deep in a conversation with the person across the table, I did not make an extra effort to stand and walk over to the person from my past. Forget for a moment that my rising and walking are such a challenge. In the end, leaving the past alone is perhaps for the best.

Rob: I'm taking this money.
Me: That's my money.
Rob: I don't have any cash on me.
Me: But if you take that, I won't have any cash either.
Rob: But you aren't going anywhere.
Me: Well, I'm not going anywhere now because I won't have any money.
Rob: How far do you think you can go with $15?
Me: Further than I can go with nothing.
Rob: Yeah. But it's not enough to get back.
Me: Who would want to come back to a place where their money keeps being taken?

Rob left with my money . . . which is why I didn't go anywhere yesterday. (Okay . . . we all know the reason I didn't go anywhere is because I don't go places anymore. But the conversation amused me.)

The last two acupuncture visit, I have had needles stuck into my sides. For some reason, I have only been bruising on one side (my left side). This point connects with my spleen. I asked my daughter to take a picture of my two tiny bruises.

And my son text messaged me the news that there are already some Harry Potter spoilers circulating the internet. Sooooo . . . I am off the computer for the duration. Until I finish the seventh book, I am taking no chances. After all, if I were to accidentally stumble into a spoiler I would have to hunt down the responsible party and kill them. I do not want to spend my final years in jail for murder (albeit, I think it would be justifiable and I'd love to see random people wearing FREE SATIA t-shirts) but if I have a way to avoid these things it is the least I can do.

So I am offline for the duration. Enjoy the internet.

Aries Horoscope for week of July 19, 2007

Here's how you damage the Aries soul, according to astrologer Steven Forrest: You bore it, you deprive it of adventure, and you starve it of chances to grow evermore courageous. I'm worried this could happen in the coming weeks. According to my reading of the omens, you may be tempted to get involved with things that are too easy for you. Here's what you can do to make sure this doesn't come to pass: Invite yourself into unpredictable situations. Give yourself assignments that will force you out of your comfort zone. Fall in love with questions that will turn your mind inside-out.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

In Which I Finish a Book of Poetry I was not sure how I would approach writing about books of poetry. For me, poetry is highly subjective. I love some poets and almost every poem they write thrills or inspires me. Other poets don't thrill me each and every time but I like much of what they write. Other poets I will close the book and maybe like a few. Very rarely will I not find a single poem I don't like on some level. So how to comment on the poetry I read? I have decided to share one poem from any collection that is written by a single author. If I read a compilation or anthology, I will choose one poem from each section or just choose a random sampling of poems I like (if there are a lot of sections and one poem from each would be too many). As it turns out, I finished reading a collection of poetry which is out of print. Because it is out of print the collection is actually available online: And here is a poem from this collection which I especially like. I hope you enjoy it as well. From Constance Urdang's Alternative Lives.
Winter Gardens (2) By Constance Urdang Everyone knows there are countries Where winter never comes Where language has no word for winter In that eternal April blossoms spring up Urgently out of the passive soil To embroider the air with exotic aromas On a sunny wall A lizard waits as patient as a stone No harsh winds steal leaves from those trees In those countries the seasons change Only from oleander to hibiscus From mango to pomegranate While here Persephone retreats To the darkness underground And in winter gardens earth dreams of April

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

In Which I Finish Reading Another Book I suppose this is getting tedious to those of you who are brave enough to be reading along with me but I finished yet another book. (Aside: I won’t be writing these comments about books I am rereading because that would be redundant.) I finished reading Scott Hahn’s Hail, Holy Queen which is about the Virgin Mary. After the relative failure of the other Catholic books I have read (see Catholicism under labels) I had already decided to approach this exploration from a different angle. Actually, “decided’ may be too strong a verb . . . rather, I had considered and Hahn confirmed what I ought to do. I have been approaching this Catholic exploration from a strictly intellectual direction, reading books and the Bible. This has worked for me in the past and much of my Biblical knowledge is self taught using various resources, etc. However, it is not working now and I need to approach things from a slightly different angle. I was thinking I would begin praying the rosary in conjunction with my reading. I wasn't sure how to do it and I definitely didn't feel that I would glean much from the experience if I were constantly referring to a sheet of paper on which I would see the various prayers. After all, that I know the "Our Father" is one thing but I do not know the "Apostles' Creed" nor the "Hail Mary" nor the "Glory Be" let alone the mysteries. I would need the reference sheet to do the rosary in the traditional manner and did not think that it would have the same deeply spiritual impact it ought to have under the circumstances. After all, prayer is supposed to be a deeply spiritual and meditative practice and reading aloud somehow lacks that promised depth.
Hahn's book ends with a discussion of the rosary and it reinforced that this is what I need to do but I was still, very briefly, at a loss. Then I realized that the author of The Way of a Pilgrim used his rosary to count how many times he prayed the Jesus Prayer. Aha! I could do both. I could begin with the traditional rosary, using a cheat sheet to do each of the prayers, including the mysteries. Then, when I had completed that first part, I could begin praying the Jesus Prayer for a pre-determined number of cycles.
Having my intuition confirmed was actually all I took away from the reading. The book is well written and not overly scholarly although it is clearly written by a man who is seeped in theological intellect. The book chapters are broken down into sub-chapters which have unfortunately been given titles that detracted from the overall seriousness of the subject matter. For instance, when discussing how Matthew gives a geneology which includes women and traces Mary's lineage back to David the title for this section of the chapter is "I Dream of Geneology." Ummm . . . cloying but not very clever. And, for me, this distracting cuteness was not effective.
Cute sub-chapters aside, I can't actually say that I appreciated this book. I did not have a spiritual response to it at all. I was frustrated, according to the back cover (which, because I had bought the book on ebay I had not read), clearly says that Hahn explores "the relationship between the Book of Revelation and the Roman Catholic Mass" mostly because the Book of Revelation is possibly my least favorite book in the Bible. The arguements in defense of Marianism are well, if predictably, written and presented. I say predictably because there seems to be a standard "Christian defense" formula that all Biblical scholars use when writing. Perhaps I thought that Protestants wrote in one way and Catholics in another. I was mistaken.
In any event . . . ho-hum . . . I am sending the book off to my mother in hopes that she will find something within the pages to be stimulating and resonant.
In the meantime, a picture of me and Romanov.

Monday, July 16, 2007

In Which I Refuse to Wake Up

In spite of all rumors to the contrary, I refuse to wake up today. I have had my acupuncture. I even got up and exercised with Rob. Halfheartedly, but I did it.

Now that I am home I am returning to my state of complete lethargy. I shall have a bit of food for lunch only because I have not had breakfast and I know I ought to eat. But I am not awake enough to have an appetite. I weighed myself and even those disappointing, discouragining, and devestative numbers were not enough to shake me from my position of being comfortably numb.

I have finished another book but I won't post about it yet. I am reading other books and today that is all I am going to do. Perhaps I will watch a dvd and lose myself in an epic romance . . . or just nap all day. In the meantime, Rob sent me the following and I hope that everyone who reads this will take a moment out of their day . . .

Matthews Urges Better Care for Troops
By Associated Press
Sun Jul 15, 3:35 PM

WASHINGTON - The Dave Matthews Band is urging fans to push Congress to do more to ensure that U.S. troops coming home traumatized by combat get the help they need.
A petition on the band's Web site has 23,000 signatures so far, singer Dave Matthews said in an interview aired Sunday on ABC's "This Week."

The Pentagon and Congress are reviewing possible changes to the military's much-criticized mental health system. A task force last month found that more than one-third of troops and veterans suffer from problems such as traumatic brain injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, and it urged stronger leadership, more money and greater focus on prevention and screening.

"It just struck me as a profound injustice that someone who had given so much of themselves and clearly showed such a quality of personality that the gratitude we're showing them was basically a dishonorable discharge," Matthews said.

The petition asks Congress to investigate reports that some troops' service-related mental health problems have been misdiagnosed by the military as pre-existing personality disorders.
The effort is nonpartisan, the Grammy-winning musician said. "It's only about how we treat people who have given their, essentially, their lives, put their lives in the hands of our country."
On the Net:
Dave Matthews Band:

This week July 16 through July 22

You usually look directly at life and at the world around you. On Monday that changes and you're lost in a morass of feelings that you can't understand. It's not a good time to make decisions about anything, but instead steer yourself off to a movie matinee or pick up a good book at the library. Friday, your ruler Mars in Taurus sextiles Uranus, and you'll have enlightening and insightful dreams. When you awaken, you may consider writing them down for future reference to be sure you don't forget your new insight.