Friday, December 28

When I was a young child, perhaps 7, I attended a church service that affected me deeply. It was around New Year's, and the pastor read aloud the names of those in the congregation who had died the previous year. After he had read the list, a soloist sang a song that almost made me cry with its loveliness and sentiment; I made a point to memorize the song. It is my practice to think of this song at New Year's, and to think of those in my life who have passed on.

This year:

Irene Clancy
Roy Clancy
Madeleine L'Engle, my favorite author
Michael K., husband of my coworker
Pam Cole

Those from years past who are still on my heart:

Irene Pearcy
Gene Ledbetter, the teacher who inspired me to write
Rich Mullins, musician
Pope John Paul II
Frank Capra (yes, I pray for celebrities. Allow me my eccentricities)
Myles Connolly, author
Richard Omondi
Janelle Debris

The Abiding Love, to the tune of Auld Lang Syne:

It singeth low in every heart,
We hear it each and all-
A song of those who answer not,
However we may call;
They throng the silence of the breast,
We see them as of yore-
The kind, the brave, the true, the sweet,
Who walk with us no more.

'Tis hard to take the burden up
When these have laid it down;
They brightened all the joy of life,
They softened every frown;
But, Oh, 'tis good to think of them
When we are troubled sore!
Thanks be to God that such have been,
Though they are here no more.

More homelike seems the vast unknown
Since they have entered there;
To follow them were not so hard,
Wherever they may fare;
They cannot be where God is not,
On any sea or shore;
Whate'er betides, Thy love abides,
Our God, forever more.

Tuesday, December 25

Friday, December 21

Wednesday, December 19


I've been thinking lately about my co-worker. She is a very devout follower of a religion that I consider to be a false one, but I simply have to admire her actions. In the office she never participates in any of the holiday celebrations, since they are not observed by her faith tradition, but she never makes a big deal about it, either. The office radio is right behind her, and she never complains when it plays all Christmas music.
We all know her stance on these things, but no-one is inconvenienced or embarassed because of it. She quietly does what she believes is right, with no compromise on her part, but no forcing of her beliefs on anyone else here.
I find that immensely impressive. That's a tough line to walk.

Tuesday, December 18

Meeting the Master

Ok, I really am going to try to keep up with my blog.
For those of you who don't know, on Saturday, I went to a community theatre performance in South Pasadena. There were only 80 seats in the theatre, so it was a pretty intimate crowd. The plays performed were based on short stories by my favorite living author(and one of my tope three fav of all time), Ray Bradbury. Mr. Bradbury himself was present, and spoke to the audience about love and writing for about an hour. Afterwards, I got to have my copy of The Martian Chronicles signed by the master himself.
It is hard for me to express how much the experience meant to me. I've been reading Bradbury since I was about 8, and he had a huge influence on my creative style. His stories have made me laugh, think, and cry. To meet him was a huge honor, and to hear him talk so openly to the audience was quite moving. I know of no other author of his stature (he's one of the 2 living classic sci-fi greats) who is so generous with his time (he does this every few months).
I can't wait for the next performance!

Wednesday, December 5

What Color Is A Dark Night?

I met him on a blustery day in late October. I was sitting on a bus stop bench, reading the day's newspaper, trying to ignore the damp chill sinking into my bones. The South is incredibly beautiful, but humid beyond my usual tolerance. It was a gray overcast day, so I was surprised to see a thin young man wearing sunglasses walk out of a coffee shop across the street. His green scarf was wrapped loosely around his neck, and hung down his back, contrasting with the dark grey of his jacket.
I have never thought of myself as a patricularly nosy person, but I am very interested in the things that happen around me. On a whim, I decided to follow this young man, though I was careful to stay a block or so behind him. He turned right and went up a small side street. He didn't seem to be aware of me following him, so I dared to come a little closer. At the next intersection, he turned left  around the corner, I lost sight of him, and quickened my pace a little in hopes of finding him again. I suddenly found myself at the street corner, looking up at a large spired building. A shaft of sunlight broke through the clouds for a moment, and the basilica's shadow stretched across the road for a moment, before fading back into the grey dimness of the afternoon.
One of the doors stood open, and I found myself drawn inside; there were few lights on, and the sanctuary was dim. My eyes took some time adjusting to the light, because I stumbled in the back of the room.
"It's unusual to find anyone else here at this time of day," came a quiet voice from one of the pews. I squinted into the gloom, and could just make out the gleam of candle light on two black lenses.
"Most people don't stop by here unless there's a Mass. And unless I'm mistaken, you're from out of town." I could see him now, silhouetted against the dimmed lights at the front of the sanctuary. He slowly removed his sunglasses, and looked at me.
"Yes, I'm just in town visiting. I'd heard about the basilica and wanted to see it. I guess I came at the wrong time, it's too dark to see anything in here. I suppose I'll come back when they turn more of the lights on." I got up to leave, embarassed at having been noticed.
"Actually, I like the santuary best at times like this. It's quiet now, and the lights don't hurt my eyes."
I let out a short laugh, which echoed around the room. "That's a bit of an understatement. It's so dim in here that I can hardly see. But I guess it would be gentler on the eyes in some ways."
He shook his head. "I see more than you do." He walked over to where I stood, and looked into my eyes. His eyes were almost black, the pupils wide and dilated. "I was born with abnormal pupils. They don't close right in bright light, so I don't go out much in the day." He held up the thick black sunglasses. "On cloudy days like today, I can just manage with my shades." The thin young man saw the look on my face, and laughed quietly. I guess I must have had a ook of pity, because he continued, "Don't feel sorry for me. I have a night job, and I live a normal life. Well, not normal as most people would consider normal, but a full life."
I nodded; my eyes had adjusted to the dimness, and I coudl see him more clearly now. He stood in the aisle, leaning against a pew, eyes fixed on the green carpet at his feet though he seemed to be looking at something much farther away.
I took another step toward the door, and he looked up again. "Can you look outside and tell me if it's still cloudy? I should be getting home, but if the sun's breaking through I can wait a while."
"What if it clears off? Will you wait till night?" I wished I had a car to offer him a ride, but I'd come into town on the bus lines, and walked anywhere I wanted to go.
"I won't have to wait long in any case. There's a storm coming up, I can smell the rain on the wind. Didn't you notice it? It's such a unique scent, almost a metallic tang, but so much sweeter. It'll be raining in another hour or so, and I can make my way home then, if I need to."
I went over to the door and opened it. "It's alright, the clouds are heavier now, it's darker than when I came in." He put on his sunglasses again, and joined me at the door. "Good. I shouldn't have any trouble getting home then. Thank you."
"What if it rains while you're walking home? Isn't there anyone you can call to come pick you up?"
"No, it's alright.  It's not that cold today, and the walking keeps me warm anyway. I like the rain. I can see more in the rain than I can in the sunlight, and even more when it rains at night." His smile looked strange, with his eyes hidden behind the dark lenses. "If you come out in the storm tonight, I can show you a little bit of what I see. Believe me, it's like nothing you've ever seen in the light of day." He scribbled short set of directions on a slip of paper, and handed it to me. "I'll be there when the storm hits. Once you've seen what I see, you won't feel sorry for me again." He gave a slight bow, and touched the edge of his glasses like a salute. Then he turned and was soon out of sight among the buildings.
I spent the rest of the afternoon in my hotel room, pacing restlessly. Out of my window, I could see the street below; everyone seemed to be hurrying by, eager to complete their daily activities before the rain hit. Every so often a large drop would hit the window, but it didn't begin to rain in earnest until the sun went down. It peeked out from behind the clouds, red and swollen, for a few moments, then seemed to sink into the waters of the river.
Almost at once, the wind rose, and I heard the rain begin to fall. I shivered; it looked cold outside, and I had no raincoat. I wanted nothing more than to fix a pot of coffee, and settle down with a good book, but I found myself pulling on a thick sweater and a pair of boots, and setting out into the storm.
The first gust of wind took my breath away, and I wrapped my arms around myself. I was saoked through in a few minutes, and quickened my pace to try and keep warm. I stopped under a streetlight to check my directions, and continued down the street. In about half an hour I found the place; it was almost completely dark, away from all the street lights, and I felt a moment's hesitation. But then the lightning flashed, and I could see a thin form standing on top of a small hill, arms spread outward and face upraised to the sky.
"So you did come!" he called to me, as I walked up beside him. "I thought you might not; every so often I invite someone out here, but usually no-one comes."
His face was pale in the cold night air, and I could see the steam from his breath. "It's cold out here, and it's night. I can't see anything." I stepped up beside him, shivering.
"Here, stand on top of this little hill. Now face into the wind. Dont' worry, the rain might sting a little, but it won't put out your eye or anything. Look out there, straight into the wind."
I turned slightly, and felt the rain dash itself against my face, stinging the blood to my cheeks. Beside me, the young man lifted his arms to the sky again, and began to sing. The words were drowned out by the wind and the thunder, but the tune was wild and joyful, sad and sweet. As the lightning flashed, I could see the leaves caught up by the wind, swirling in a  mad dance, and the trees shone wetly green, but after an instant the sight was gone.
"What do you see," I called into the wind.
"I see red leaves so sharp-edged that you'd swear they drew blood, whirling in a crazy wind. The trees are throwing themselves against each other like giants wrestling. The grass shines in the lightning, and glows dimly green in the rain. The raindrops are like meteors blazing through the air, and I can see them flattening themselves against the asphalt."
The storm rose in fury, but I didn't notice it. The things I could see in the flashes of lightning could never compare to what my companion saw in the darkness of the night. I stood there for an hour while the storm spent itself out, listening as he called out the sights that passed before his wide-open eyes.
Finally, the wind died down, and the rain slowed to a steady drizzle. My companion had gone, disappeared into the night. I stumbled my way back to my hotel, drawing the stare of the desk clerk as I came through the lobby. I must have been quite a sight: soaked through to the bone, hair tangled by the wind, with bits of leaves caught up in it. I took a hot shower, but even after I was warm and dry, I couldn't sleep. I sat by the window, with all the lights in the room off, watching the rain. Finally, just before dawn, I fell asleep.
My bus left at 10am, and I barely made it. I had just enough time to fling myself into the last remaining window seat. I stuffed my bag under the seat in front of me, and looked out at the small town. I caught a glimpse of a few people milling around the station. Near the street stood a young man, thin t-shirt covered by a jacket, large black sunglasses protecting his eyes, and the looks of pity he received from those who passed by. He touched the tip of his glasses as the bus went by, and then he was gone.
I never found out his name. But even now, I go out and stand in my backyard when the rain comes, and sometimes I can see a little. 

Monday, November 26

An Announcment

Last night, at approximately 9:33pm, I hit the golden 100,000 words on my novel.
Oh. Yeah. Baby.

Tuesday, November 13

Sorry for absence...

...but I've been busy noveling. My current wordcount is 55,000 words. In 12 days. For anyone who doesn't know, that's flipping insane. My brain is starting to feel a little fried right now, but no more than usual for NaNo. That's kind of the scary thing--writing an average of 5000 words a day has not been that difficult. It takes effort of course, and some days it takes a lot to push through to the 5K, but it hasn't been much more difficult than usual.
so, hopefully blogging will resume in December...if my brain hasn't died....


Monday, November 5


This is getting ever see a fractal? I feel like my story is like that: whenever I look at a part of it that looks simple, it suddenly into this complex thing with way more history and story than will ever appear in the novel. Yikes.
I've decided what my novel is like: think Swiftly Tilting Planet meets Babylon 5. That sums it up oddly well, actually. I've got things very similar to Shadow technology, the Great Machine on Epsilon 3, and the telepaths. I've also got time travel, the importance of love over power, and the choice that changes the world.
How cool is that?

Wednesday, October 31


I'm dying to start writing!

Tuesday, October 23

Tuesday, October 16

If you like Richard Lederer

NaNoisms, compiled by Wrimos.
NaNoism: to quote one Wrimo: "A cross between a typo and a grenade. A normal typo is just annoying, but a NaNoism is a typo that smashes everything in the vicinity into nonsense."
Wrimo: participant of NaNoWriMo
Examples: "Adam ran through the chicken and bumped into Justian. " "-- the highest ranking officers were made of sturdy wood…" "Isn't the world wonderful? Filled with sunshine, rainbows, flowers and puppy rabbits."
Go buy the book!


I love the NaNo forums...
We have the Christian thread, the atheist thread, the agnostic thread....
And now the Pastafarian thread. All hail the noodley appendage!
I love the NaNo forums.

Friday, October 12

Squeeeeee again!

Payday! This means I can finally donate to NaNoWriMo and get a pack of merit badges! Huzzah for the halo!
Yes, I know I am making no sense. It's the pre-November incoherency.
After a lovely few hours in the kitchen earlier in the week, I've decided that I want to learn how to can fruits and veggies! Fortunately, it looks like the boiling water bath method will do what I need, so I won't have to mess with a pressure canner. Huzzah! I love the idea of making my own preserves! Even better if I can learn how to do it by Christmas and give some as gifts.

Wednesday, October 10


This makes me so happy! Dejah Thoris done by Pixar! John Carter on the big screen!
*bounces around in happy little circles*

Monday, October 8

One of the oddest pleasures of NaNoWriMo is that you have no life during November. This sounds weird; why is it so much fun to spend practically every spare moment working like crazy on a book that will almost certainly never be published, and only rarely seen by anyone else?
The death of your social life means that you end up very focused for one month. It's astounding what you can accomplish when you really put your mind to it. You end up discovering that inspiration is not really all that great as a motivator, and it usually only comes after you've been truding through dialogue and plot points for an hour. When you write yourself into a corner, you will discover wells of creativity in yourself that you never dreamed were there!
It also means that for a month, you get to try on the persona of a writer. Instead of being an accountant or a sales clerk or a student, you get to be a creative individual, producing a work of art from your own head! For one month, you are an artist, a creator in touch with the muse! But at the end of the month, you get to resume your normal life. You get the best of both worlds!
But the strange thing is, your normal life is never quite the same again. You overhear conversations, and think "That would make a great scene." You sit watching sunset when you're stuck in traffic, and start trying to describe it. Little plots and scenes crop up in your consciousness from time to time. You keep hitting the word count button, even on office memos.
NaNo: it's not just a month of insanity, it's a way of life.
(C'mon, November! Hurry up and get here!)
If any one ever needs a gift idea for me, I'm trying to collect the works of Chesterton, published by Ignatius Press. The only volume I have so far is the one with Francis of Assisi, The Everlasting Man, and Thomas Aquinas.

Friday, October 5

You know it's Friday when...

...your boss and the IT guy get into a war seeing whose little plastic Halloween witch has the scariest cackle.

So not kidding.

Thursday, October 4

Just a quick post, to let everyone know about a very cool webcomic:

Nicely done, great dialogue, intriguing story, and one of the most gorgeous ships I've ever seen: the Niobe.

Go check it out! (And thanks to Adam for the heads-up!)

This NaNo is making my head hurt!

I have cavemen, an Atlantis-like island, a watery world with few continents, 2 renaissances, future guilds of evil historians, and at least 200,000 years of history, economics, ecology, and geology to juggle!!
(This is either going to be a ridiculously fun story, or ridiculously excruciating.....)

Tuesday, October 2


IT'S BACK!!! The site is back up, ready for signups!!! Only one month till insanity! Eeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! *dances the dance of joy*

Monday, October 1 says I'm an Uber-Dorky Nerd Queen.  What are you?  Click here!

Ha!!! I rule! Shiny! *dances the dance of joy*
This is so awesome.

Your hair is reminiscent of a self-digesting yak in heat."

Me Joi. Want Tarzan!

This past weekend, I got to sit and read the first few pages of Tarzan (reading Princess of Mars made me want to read more of Edgar Rice Burroughs' work). Talk about a rollicking good tale! It seemed like a very entertaining book, and even in that short section had one line that made me laugh out loud! I'm hoping to read the whole thing soon, and go on to reading more of his work. I haven't read a writer whose books were this much sheer fun since H. Rider Haggard,

Wednesday, September 26

It's amazing how soothing a cup of hot, sweet, strong tea can be.

Monday, September 24

The Joys of Pulp

I have been reading Edgar Rice Burroughs' Princess of Mars lately. ERB tends to get laughed off a bit, since he authored Tarzan, and most people don't even know about his sci-fi.
Why didn't anyone tell me that Burroughs is such a good writer?? I don't think I've enjoyed a pulp book this much since I went on my H. Rider Haggard jag! (and yes, I loved both She and King Solomon's Mines.)
I wish I had found some of this classic pulp stuff in junior high; I think it would have prevented me reading a lot of total junk. I can't tell you the plot of a single Bsbysitters Club book (though I read quite a few of them), but I know I'll always remember the dread as the stone door slides shut, sealing the party into the tombs of the kings in King Solomon's Mines. I'll always remember Ayesha (She-Who-Must-Be-Obeyed!) leading Alan Quatermain and his companion into the depths of the earth, and seeing her shriveled body fall as the eternal youth is taken from her. Who could forget John Carter in among the Green Martians, watching the moons of Mars speed across the sky and dreaming of Dejah Thoris?
Is pulp "good literature"? Not really. It's pretty light fare. But as Chesterton says in his excellent Defense of Penny Dreadfuls,  
"These common and current publications have nothing essentially evil about them. They express the sanguine and heroic truisms on which civilisation is built; for it is clear that unless civilisation is built on truisms, it is not built at all. Clearly, there could be no safety for a society in which the remark by the Chief Justice that murder was wrong was regarded as an original and dazzling epigram.

"If the authors and publishers of Dick Deadshot, and such remarkable works, were suddenly to make a raid upon the educated class, were to take down the names of every man, however distinguished, who was caught at a University Extension Lecture, were to confiscate all our novels and warn us all to correct our lives, we should he seriously annoyed. Yet they have far more right to do so than we; for they, with all their idiocy, are normal and we are abnormal. It is the modern literature of the educated, not of the uneducated, which is avowedly and aggressively criminal. Books recommending profligacy and pessimism, at which the high-souled errand-boy would shudder, lie upon all our drawing-room tables. If the dirtiest old owner of the dirtiest old book stall in Whitechapel dared to display works really recommending polygamy or suicide, his stock would be seized by the police. These things are our luxuries. And with a hypocrisy so ludicrous as to be almost unparalleled in history, we rate the gutter-boys for their immorality at the very time that we are discussing (with equivocal German professors) whether morality is valid at all. At the very instant that we curse the Penny Dreadful for encouraging thefts upon property, we canvass the proposition that all property is theft. At the very instant we accuse it (quite unjustly) of lubricity and indecency, we are cheerfully reading philosophies which glory in lubricity and indecency. At the very instant that we charge it with encouraging the young to destroy life, we are placidly discussing whether life is worth preserving.

"But it is we who are the morbid exceptions; it is we who are the criminal class. This should be our great comfort. The vast mass of humanity, with their vast mass of idle books and idle words, have never doubted and never will doubt that courage is splendid, that fidelity is noble, that distressed ladies should be rescued, and vanquished enemies spared. There are a large number of cultivated persons who doubt these maxims of daily life, just as there are a large number of persons who believe they are the Prince of Wales; and I am told that both classes of people are entertaining conversationalists. But the average man or boy writes daily in these great gaudy diaries of his soul, which we call Penny Dreadfuls, a plainer and better gospel than any of those iridescent ethical paradoxes that the fashionable change as often as their bonnets. It may be a very limited aim in morality to shoot a "many faced and fickle traitor," but at least it is a better aim than to be a many faced and fickle traitor, which is a simple summary of a good many modern systems from Mr. d'Annunzio's downwards. So long as the coarse and thin texture of mere current popular romance is not touched by a paltry culture it will never he vitally immoral. It is always on the side of life. The poor--the slaves who really stoop under the burden of life-- have often been mad, scatter-brained, and cruel, but never hopeless. That is a class privilege, like cigars. Their drivelling literature will always be a "blood and thunder" literature, as simple as the thunder of heaven and the blood of men."

(The entirety of this excellent essay can be found at

Thursday, September 20

So I got a gift card to Barnes and Noble, and decided to get a whole stack of books yesterday. I went into my two favorite sections (Literature and SciFi/Fantasy) and ended up with these:

I Am Charlotte Simmons, by Tom Wolfe

The Idiot, by Dostoyevsky

Princess of Mars, by Edgar Rice Burroughs

Shadow and Claw: The First Hal of the Book of the New Sun (two books in one volume) by Gene Wolfe

The Knight, by Gene Wolfe

plus a giant book of crossword puzzles.

I'd heard the Tom Wolfe book being talked about a little online, read the first chapter online, and decided it was interesting enough to read all of.

I got the Idiot, because I love Dostoyevsky and it's supposed to be one of his best books.

I've been wanting to read Burroughs' Mars books for awhile (gosh darn it, Mr. Wright, stop talking about books, it keeps expanding my reading list!) Plus, it had a picture of a space princess in a bikini on the front. How could I resist?

Gene Wolfe also comes highly recommended by Mr. Wright; I picked up The Knight and started reading the first chapter to see if I wanted to buy the book. After about 2 pages, I felt like my mind had been pulled through into another dimension, and been remade as something new. On the strength of that, I bought both G. Wolfe books that I'd grabbed, instead of just onoe. Can't wait to see where he's going with this story! Even in the first two pages, there were references to Norse mythology and Platonic dialogues.

Wednesday, September 19

It's here!

The first movie poster for Prince Caspian! It gives me the shivers just to look at it!

*blushing furiously*

So, as some of you know, I recently concluded a practical joke (for lack of a better term) that lasted a little over a year. Now, this wasn't a mean type of joke; it actually involved anonymously giving gifts to people at my workplace. (No, I'm not giving more details than that)  At a recent company-wide meeting, I had finally revealed then identity of the secret giver, causing much uproar, surprise, and happiness (apparently, my little gifts had meant more than I thought! Yay!)
So that was nice, and everything. I was a little sad that I couldn't send gifts anymore, now that everyone knew who I was, but I'd given something to just about everyone in the company, so it worked out ok.
But then came today.
Today did not start out well. I arrived at work, and everyone else was dressed in the official colors. I was told that a memo had been sent out, and why didn't I dress in colors myself? I hadn't received the memo and was very upset.
Then, a few minutes ago, my manager called a meeting (this happens at least twice a week) and we all turned off our phones. Everything was normal. Then the Big Boss said, "ok, everyone gather around Elizabeth's desk!" Well, that was a little unusual. Then, to my utter suprise, they presented me with a lovely book of fairy drawings ( and a gift card to Barnes and Noble!
I still haven't stopped blushing!


It be National Talk Like A Pirate Day today! Tell all ye mateys!

Tuesday, September 18


It's started....I'm in a Christmas mood. I have no idea why. Maybe it's the predicted rain this weekend, maybe it's the idea that I could get an actual Christmas tree this year, who knows....But I'm in a Christmasy mood!
Now, where did that Joni Mitchell CD go, I want to listen to River......

My favorite blog

This blog is probably my favorite blog right now. It's excellently written, often funny, and always worthwhile. Here's the great post from today:

Thanksgiving day?

Hello all! My sister may be visiting me this Thanksgiving Day, and we are looking for someone to share it with! I'm perfectly happy to have the meal and my house and do the turkey, if someone else (or lots of people; heck, I'd be happy if a bunch of people wanted to show up) wants to join us and bring side dishes.
Let me know if you're interested!

Monday, September 17


About a year ago, a lot of people from a certain Torrey class became obsessed with the Russian filmmaker Tarkovsky. I was not one of them; I have to date only seen one of his films (Andrei Rublyev, which I loved). However, on faith, I purchased the book he wrote about his films and art in general. It is fantastic. He has quite a few really excellent things to say. He maintains that art cannot be simply about self-expression, because art is empty if it elicts no response in the viewer. Can't wait to read the rest!
Now I'm going to Netflix to add all of his films to my queue.

Thursday, September 13

Dad's vacation

As most of my readers know, my dad took a vacation and came out to visit me: his account of it is here:
And he's right; we see the LA area through totally different eyes. Even after 7 years, I love it out here as much as ever. I love being able to hop on the freeway and see a show in LA. I love being able to hang out at Forest Lawn. I love being so near to all this movie history. I love being in the midst of university life, and being able to participate in the dialectic. I hated being stuck in a small town; while I grant that they are good places to be, I will leave it to others to live there. I love having the freedom to be who I am, and not have to fit some mold (I am so glad to not have to pretend to care about football games anymore! And to be free to care very much about books) Give me the city skyline, the palm trees, even the freeways. Give me the ocean, and the long slow rains that drizzle for three days. Give me the long golden sunset light, and the milky whiteness of the eucalyptus trees. Give me the hot asphalt, the crumbling concrete, and even the earthquakes.
I love this City.
(But then, ya'll knew that already.)

Last night was weird

Yesterday was not a great day for me. I was tired, and somewhat depressed (note: this is very normal for me, just annoying) and by the time I got to Bible study, I was not in any mood to be around large groups of people.
I was too shy to share my struggle in the time for prayer requests (maybe next week), but prayed anyway that God would get me out of myself (oh dang that sounds so weird after the discussion last night....) and let me be present with the Plato group in a meaningful way.
I didn't notice that I cheered up, but I had one of the best discussions I've ever had. I was able to follow the discussion (mostly) and contribute a few significant things, I think. Maybe.
So thanks be to the God who understands bipolar introverts!

Wednesday, September 12


*munches* liquor-filled chocolate cake......yummy.....
Good thing I brought the leftovers of the cake to work. If it stayed in my house I'd eat it all!

Anyone like Frankie Valli?

Jersey Boys is going to the OC Performing Arts center, and the nosebleed seats are only about $30! Anyone want to go with me???
(what do you mean, you don't know who Frankie Valli is?  Everybody knows who Frankie Valli is!)

Tuesday, September 11

you know...

...that you are a geek and your friends are all geeks when:
you go to the store to get fish to make fish and chips, and all three of you stand in front of the frozen fish freezer, reciting Lewis Carroll's "Lobster Quadrille":
"Will you walk a little faster?" said a whiting to a snail.
"There's a porpoise close behind us, and he's treading on my tail.
See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance!
They are waiting on the shingle - will you come and join the dance?
  Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, will you join the dance?
  Will you, won't you, will you, won't you, won't you join the dance?

Black Russian Cake... exactly what it sounds like. It's yellow cake mix, with chocolate pudding mix stirred in, 1/4 cup each of Kahlua and vodka, and a glaze made of butter, sugar, and rum.
It's delicious.
(the recipe is in the Red Hat Society cookbook. The cookbook is almost worth it just for this cake alone)

Today is September 11

I'm sure you remember where you were. You may even remember the time. I do. My roommate's mother called her to tell her to turn on the TV: I rolled over sleepily, and looked at the clock. 7:32 am. We turn on the tv, just in time to see the second tower fall. No-one knew what was happening, only that it hadn't been an accident. My roommate calls her boyfriend: he is panicked because his mother is an airline attendant with American Airlines. He knew she was on an international flight that day, and it's usually international flights that are hijacked.
We watch the tv for a long time, stunned. We watch people jump from the towers, people crying, blood and ash and smoke everywhere. We wonder if LA will be hit, or Disneyland. The whole day is a little fuzzy: I remember a prayer meeting being held in the chapel. I think I wore all black for a few days--I'm not good at mourning, and that was the only thing I could figure out to do. I remember classes being somewhat optional for a few days, or given over just to discussing the events. I remember how quiet it was, with no airplanes flying overhead. I remember when the airplanes did start flying again, how nervous you get now when one sounds too low to the ground, too close to the buildings.
Sometimes it feels odd to hear sound clips from that day, and feel the cold terror in the pit of my stomach again. Is it odd or morbid to remember that fear, the horror of all the death and injury and anguish? I don't know. I just remember. Every year.

Friday, September 7

Madeleine L'Engle is dead

I'd been expecting this for a while; I knew her health hadn't been good. But I'm still sad. It's hard to accept that someone who taught me so much about life is dead.
I think I picked up Wrinkle In Time when I was 10 or 11. I knew I'd never read anything like it before, and read straight through the whole Time series. Some of her books, I had to grow into (An Acceptable Time, and Many Waters, both of which are now favorites). Others, like Swiftly Tilting Planet, made an immediate impact.
A few years after reading Wrinkle, I discovered that L'Engle wrote non-fiction books based on her journals. I read the Crosswicks journals shortly after, of which The Irrational Season is possibly my favorite.
In late high school, I stumbled upon Walking On Water, her mediation on faith and art. To say that this revolutionized my view of the interaction between faith and art would be to damn the book with faint praise. It "baptized my imagination," to use Lewis' powerful phrase. I have read it regularly, at least once a year, ever since.
In college, when I was living with my grandmother for a short time, I checked out A Live Coal In the Sea from the library: I started it at 9pm, and finished at 2am, in tears. It remains one of the most powerful portrayals of human sin and God's mercy that I have yet seen in a modern novel.
Madeleine L'Engle was my introduction to sacramental thinking, and a constant reminder of the wonder in the everyday world. She was realistic, but never glum. She was able to see the wonders of science, without losing sight of God. She taught me to love beauty in all its forms, and to be willing to go into darkness if that is where God lead.
She wrote poetry that moved me past myself and towards God. "Farewell to all I thought was me, that I may find what these were meant to be."
How do you say goodbye to someone you never know, who meant so much, and who impacted you so deeply?
Goodbye Madeleine; I know you were not afraid of death, and I am sure that you are with God now, delighting in Him as you always did. You did so much to keep my heart soft when I would have hardened it, and to strengthen my faith when I would have lost it.
I will miss you.

Grey hairs and henna

I colored my hair with henna a few months ago; I'm a big fan of henna body art, and had heart it does marvelous things for the hair. It did make my hair very shiny, along with intensifying the red tones in my hair.
Also, I wanted to cover up a few grey hairs that I had recently found.
Of course, the problem with coloring to cover up grey is obvious: you have to keep doing it regularly; if you don't, it will appear that you've aged overnight! Granted, it's not that I have very many grey hairs, just one or two at the moment, but the question is still pertinent.
I finally decided not to color my hair again: it's too much trouble, and at the end of the day, I'm ok with the grey beginning to come through. I'm not out to impress anyone, and I've always looked older than I am anyway.
But it's still a struggle not to rush to the bathroom and yank out every silver hair!

Thursday, September 6

Back from a Long(ish) Absence

Sorry for not blogging much lately; my dad has been visiting, and I haven't gotten on-line much. Hope to be blogging vacation photos sometime soon! Although come to think of it, I think my dad has most of the pictures...
Anyhow. Dad got here on Wednesday, so we didn't do much that day: I took half the day off work, picked dad up at the airport, then stopped back by work to show him the office. Plus, my co-worker Latrice wanted to meet the person responsible for my wacky sense of humor. That night, we ate out at Lucille's Smokehouse BBQ, a place I'd always smelled when I went to my bank. I have to say, it lived up to the deliscious smell: that was probably the best brisket I've ever had, and the ribs were just amazing! Pricey, but nothing out of the ordinary for a ribs place. It's nice to know that someone in California knows what barbeque really is!
I went to work on Thursday, so dad could have lunch with a friend and get over jetlag. We watched movies that night, since my dad player could hook up with dad's hotel tv. I had Friday through Wednesay off, so Friday we went out to the beach. It was so much cooler out there! I think it was the best weather I've ever seen on the beach: warm, but not particularly hot, with a good breeze, but not blowing sand in our faces. The surf was really rough, and gave us several good tumbles, but it was fun.
Saturday we went to the swap meet at Goldenwest College: I bought a lovely cheap pink sunhat, some books (did you know that there were two books after My Father's Dragon?? Me neither! I bought them, and they were fun, but not as good as the original), some honey sticks, and some pineapple. Oh, and a Paul Simon CD, to replace the one that the art department stole. I love Paul Simon's music, especially songs like Kodachrome, Hearts and Bones, Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes, and Slip-Slidin' Away.
Sunday we went to church, then headed out to Upland to visit a distant relative, Irene. If I have this straight, she's my dad's grandmother's sister. So she's his second cousin, and my third cousin. I think. Anyway, she's 93, but still very alert and active, not to mention cheerful! She really seemed delighted to see us, and kept telling funny stories and jokes. My favorite was when she talked about her marriage: I'm going to retell it here, but you should hear her talk about it!
She said: "When I was a young girl, and Harold was courting me, we'd gotten engaged, and I had ordered my wedding dress from the Sears and Roebuck catalog for $2.50! Well, I was always half-crazy, and started seeing this other boy for awhile. He told me that if I'd marry him, he'd take me to California! I thought, 'Ooh, Califnoria!'. Well, this boy went up to Harold and said, 'You think you're going to marry Irene, but you're not! She's going to marry me, and we're going to California!'. Well, Harold got someone to take his shift at the factory that day, and he came and found me, and said, 'Get packed, I'm coming for you tonight!" So went off that night and got married!"
She also told stories about a flodding cellar during a tornado, and travelling by covered wagon, when her sister fell out of the wagon! It was really neat to listen to her. I'd be happy to be half that alert, active, and cheerful when I'm her age!
Monday was a nice slow day. We really didn't do much except lunch (The Olde Shippe, my favorite pub) and a movie (Death At A Funeral, which was hilarious! Alan Tudyk as a drugged up Englishman. Frank Oz directing. Obviously going to be funny).
Tuesday was the trip into LA. Our first stop was the Music Box staircase, on Vendome st. This is where Laurel and Hardy filmed their movie, The Music Box, eighty years ago (for those who don't know, that's the one where they try to move a piano up a huge flight of stairs outside a house). After getting very lost, we finally managed to make it to Forest Lawn Glendale, where we saw the graves of the Hortons (founders of Biola), L. Frank Baum, Jay T. Ward (creator of Rocky and Bullwinkle), and Jimmy Stewart. From there, we headed out to Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, to see the graves of Buster Keaton, Stan Laurel, and Bill Peet (artist, Disney animator, and children's author). We stopped for lunch at Bob's Big Boy; dad used to take me out for breakfast at the Big Boy in Fort Worth, and there are hardly any left. From there, we went to Graumann's Chinese Theater, and walked around Hollywood a little.
All in all, a very fun week!

Thursday, August 30

Is she not the CUTEST BABY EVER??

Wednesday, August 29


And the award for most disturbing, odd, over-the-top, hysterical cartoon goes to....Invader Zim!
I got the first disk from Netflix funny!
Miss Bitters: "Zim, there's a pigeon on your head. You have head pigeons. Go see the nurse."


My wo-workers think I'm funny today, because I'm so fidgedty (how DO you spell that word?). Can't wait till 1, when I get off work and go pick up my dad from the airport, yay! Stupid time, doesn't go by fast enough....*fidget fidget*

Tuesday, August 28

It must be getting close to November...

...little plot and world creation things keep popping into my head.
For instance, I've realized that my evil historian will have names for ages, but since he is so far in the future, his names for different ages will probably be different from ours. For instance, we call our current age the Information Age. He will refer to it, and several hundred years after now, as "The Age of Isolation."
Eeeeeeeeehehehehehehehehehehe! I love plot bunnies!

Friday, August 24

Continuing with my random thoughts...

...this song has been running through my head a lot lately. I like the song a lot, but it took a while for me to like it at all. I'm no huge fan of Michael W. Smith, but I do think his music of late is a lot better than the songs that built his career (for instance, the song Friends Are Friends Forever should be taken out and shot. And burned.)
But this one...this one is good...My favorite sections are in bold.
"I have been unfaithful,
I have been unworthy;
I have been unrighteous,
and I have been unmerciful.

I have been unreachable,
I have been unteachable
I have been unwilling,
and I have been undesirable.

And sometimes, I have been unwise,
I've been undone by what I'm unsure of -
But because of You
and all that you went through,
I know that I have never been unloved.

I have been unbroken,
I have been unmended;
I have been uneasy,
and I have been unapproachable.

I have been unemotional,
I have been unexceptional;
I have been undecided,
and I have been unqualified.

Unaware - I have been unfair,
I've been unfit for blessings from above.
But even I can see
The sacrifice You made for me, to show me 
that I have never been unloved.
It's because of you
and all that you went through,
I know that I have never been unloved."
It's hard to face up to shortcomings in your own life, and oddly difficult to face up to the things you had no control over (we human beings love our control). Can I control the fact that I am, at the end of the day, pretty mediocre? Not really. I try to make myself better, but I'll never be a great musician, a great artist, a great scholar, or a great writer. There's only so much you can do with what you've got. And that's ok.
It's hard to face up to the fact that I am a prickly person. I don't think I was prickly as a child, though I certainly was shy. I hate that I've made myself this way.
It's hard to realize that I am so often unreachable. I've always been stubborn, but I do remember a time when I was able to let people know what I was feeling and thinking without playing little mind games or withdrawing into myself.
It's hard to admit that I've been undesireable. I can't remember anyone ever telling me that I was beautiful. That I looked nice, yes. That I was interesting, yes. That I had a wacky sense of fashion, definately. But beautiful? Never. And what's hard to admit about that is, there's no reason anyone should have ever told me that. I'm not beautiful, and looking at pictures of myself, I'm fairly sure I never have been (except when I was 6 months old. I was adorable at 6 months!). It's hard to admit that.
In John, Christ says  "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free."
Pray for me that I continue in Him, and learn to see myself as He sees me. The truth would destroy me apart from Him.

Thursday, August 23

If I ever had a daugher....

...I'd be sorely tempted to make her middle name Mevrian.
The lady Mevrian is one of the most noble women I have ever encountered in the lovely land of fiction.

Wednesday, August 22

Who'da thunk it?

About 2 years ago, I read a book that really impacted me: Wendy Shalit's controversial A Return to Modesty. Now, many people think that this book is why i started wearing long skirts and growing my hair out: Not true! I started growing my hair about 6 years ago, and started wearing my skirts a good 6 months before reading Shalit's book (which, incidentally, does not necessarily proscribe long skirts). But it did make clear to me why I'd made those choices.
What's odd is, I have never had much interest in the field of "Women's Studies." The topic bored me. However, after reading RTM and Shalit's new book, Girls Gone Mild, my interest in the subject is beginning to grow. It's an interesting subject, and very relevant. I just got a copy of Ariel Levy's Female Chauvinst Pigs; it's good reading, but I wonder if she goes far enough. Kudos to her, though, for coming out and talking about the prevalence of "raunch culture."
So....any book recommendations on this subject are welcome!

Tuesday, August 21

Faith like a child

Odd things have been happening with me lately. I've been more nervous, more unsure about my relationships with others, less sure about when my company was actually desired and when it was merely tolerated, etc.
This made no sense to me. I haven't been like this since I was about 11 or 12. I've got a job I generally love, I'm in a great house, with a lovely private room, and a church that I can't imagine being without. This should make me more secure than I've been before, but I'm not. It made no sense to me, until yesterday.
But now I think I know what's going on. Ever since I came out here (here meaning Biola, SoCal, and Blessed Sacrament), I've been somewhat at war with myself. During my teen years, I'd become angry, cynical, and very closed off to others. Thinking back to when I was a child, I don't think this is a normal state of affairs for me. I've always had a temper, but generally didn't spend a lot of time being angry. I was pretty sensitive, but not depressed. I don't think I was ever cynical as a child, I generally remember taking joy in very small things. I don't remember being closed off to others, though I've always been very shy.
What I think has happened is that the cynicism, anger, and isolation have finally fallen away. All the walls, the crud, the scales that I've built around myself since I was about 11 have fallen away. Which leaves me as confused, sensitive, and unsure as I was at that time, but maybe this time around, I can make better choices. Instead of becoming a cynic, I can choose to see goodness, truth, and beauty. Instead of becoming angry, I can let go. Instead of closing myself off, I can open myself to others, in all their strengths and weaknesses, and finally learn to love.
Lord, I believe. Help Thou my unbelief. I am not worthy that Thou shouldst come under my roof, but speak the word only and my soul shall be healed.

You might be a geek...

If you think the Mythbusters team is cooler than any set of actors in might be a geek.
If you can watch ads for new shows on the Science channel and think "OOh, I need to watch that!" might be a geek.
If you get excited over might be a geek.
If you can have an entire conversation consisting of nothing but movie might be a geek.
If the TV show with your favorite romance story is Babylon might be a geek.
If you have ever been sad because you couldn't stay up till 4am to watch a particular episode of The Twilight might be a geek.
If you actually laugh at XKCD might be a geek
If you know who shot might be a geek.
If you get really ticked when people give the Special Edition answer to "Who shot first?" are DEFINATELY a geek.
If you have any idea what the last two questions are might be a geek.
If you ever wanted Bene Gesserit might be a geek.
If you ever wanted to meet a fictional might be a geek
If you understand the song " '39" by might be a geek.
If you have strong feelings about Library of Congress vs. Dewey might be a geek.
If you have strong feelings about Firefox vs. might be a geek.
If you have strong feelings about astronauts vs. might be a geek.

Monday, August 20


Alpine Vanilla non-fat frozen yogurt. It does a body good.

Published...and I didn't even know!

So as many of you know, Wendy Shalit, author of Return to Modesty, is one of my very favorite authors. I read her blog, and sometimes comment on it. I was FINALLY able to locate a copy of her latest book, Girls Gone Mild, and settled down to read it on Saturday. Lo and behold, when I reached chapter 5, and began reading the quote at the top of the page, I realized it was mine! That just made my entire day!
Wendy Shalit's blog:

Saturday, August 18

Click to view my Personality Profile page

Do these results suprise ANYbody?? :) No, I NEVER would have guessed that I'm a complete introvert!

Wednesday, August 15

Learning Latin

So I've been studying Wheelock's Latin lately. It's really tough; people who know me know that I am no great shakes at languages, though I do ok with the written word. Also, my last real language training (A Beka grammar) was probably 8 or 9 years ago; it takes me a while to remember how an indirect object functions in the sentence. So yeah, it's pretty tough for me.
It's also an amazing amount of fun. It feels good to get my mind in gear again, and stretch it a bit. I've even started taking my Latin books to work with me, and getting some studying done during lunch. My co-workers think I'm a bit odd, but they've always thought I'm odd, so that's nothing new.
Vale, amici!

So we found out what happened to the dog food...

Last week, when our air conditioning went out, the heat must have caused the dog food to eplode. All over the inside of a cabinet. We're not sure when the maggots moved in.

Oh someone please tell me it's Friday already...

(on the plus side, at least my X-files DVD is coming from Netflix today. On to season 2!)

Some days I hate this job.

There's been an odd icky smell in the office for the past few days. No-one could figure out what it was.
Well, today we found it.
Maggoty dog food.
So now we have the door to our call center closed, and we're all smearing scented lotion on our hands and faces to try to block the smell.

Tuesday, August 14

Co-worker: *setting her purse on her desk during her lunch break* I'm gonna leave this in here; the table's crowded, and I don't want to put it on the floor of the lunchroom in case there's a mouse.
Supervisor: What? There's a mouse in there??
Co-worker: I don't know, I just don't want to chance it.
Me, to coworker: So, no mouse attacks during lunch?
Supervisor: Oh my gosh, so there was a mouse??
Coworker: No, I just thought there might be.
Boss: what's going on?
Coworker: I thought there might be a mouse in the lunch room, so...
Boss: Oh my gosh, there's a mouse?
Supervisor: It's a rat!
Gotta love working with all women.....  (and no, there's no mouse or rat or anything)

"So, what did you learn in school?"

Most people who were in Torrey HATE this question. We have no list of things to recite, because the method and content of our education is not conducive to it. When a classical education works, it sinks in deeply, and becomes a part of the person, not just a compartment in his mind.
But, I finally found a decent answer to the question! I ran across a quote in an excellent fantasy book called The Worm Ouroborous. The villains are described as those who "did not know the ancient loyalties."
That's what I learned at college: I learned the ancient loyalties. I learned loyalty to goodness, truth, and beauty. I learned loyalty to family, hearth, home, and country. I learned loyalty to the faith and to God. I learned loyalty to the human race.

Friday, August 10

The rain in the office stays the office

So, it finally stopped raining in the office.

Turns out that someone had left the ancient air conditioner running overnight, and it froze up. We couldn’t turn it down, it kept blowing cool air, and letting water seep into the floor tiles.

Oh, and the fridge and water cooler had leaks too. “Water, water, everywhere, and not a drop to drink.”

So we shut off the power to the A/C, and set up as many fans as we could find.

The ceiling guy came yesterday, said that the ceiling wouldn’t collapse, then left. He finally came back today to fix the darn thing. Afterwards, the A/C repairman came, claimed that he’d fixed it, but we still can’t seem to get any cool air.

I’m hoping that my lovely Latin books will be there when I get home. I want to go bury myself in a dead language for a few hours.

On the plus side, after this week, I have drunk at least 5 glasses of water a day, 5 days a week, for 6 SOLID WEEKS. I am now incapable of finishing a can of Dr. Pepper or Coke, though I do still like Mountain Dew and Sprite. That is still a huge improvement. Now if I can just start eating better stuff.

Still at a different computer at work. The ceiling is repaired, but we still can't turn on the a/c. So to face the heat today I wore a fancy tank top and jeans.

I've never worn jeans or pants to work before.

My co-workers were slightly shocked, and made me stand up so they could see. :)

It was funny. How many other girls get such a reaction from wearing jeans? Hehehehe.

Be a better Heartthrob. Get better relationship answers from someone who knows.
Yahoo! Answers - Check it out.

Thursday, August 9


    So the rain in our office made us turn off the a/c, and move the computers away from the rain.

So, I don't have my work email, don't know for how long. Please send all emails to for now. Thank you!

Yahoo! oneSearch: Finally, mobile search that gives answers, not web links.


Our office is leaking everywhere! The fridge, the watercooler, and now, the ceiling. something went wacky with the a/c, and the ceiling is dripping in two places. Just got a mini-downpour from one place, though it's stopped now.
Yay, rain in the office! (seriously, it's funny!)

Good book

A friend lent me The Tale of Despereaux the other day. People have been trying to get me to read this for ages, but I never have (probably because people have been trying to get me to read it! Silly stubborn Joi...)
Anyhow, I just started it, I'm only about 20 pages in, and it is delightful! I can't wait for my lunch break when I get to read more. It reminds me, in these first pages, a little of Frederick, by Leo Lionni. Frederick is a little mouse who doesn't gather corn or wheat or any food for the winter. The other mice make fun of him when he says he is storing up colors, or stories, or sounds.
When winter comes, the mice are happy and well-fed for a while. But as winter drags on, the food stores are running low, everyone is tired and grumpy, and there is no sun. So Frederick begins to tell stories, and talk about the warm light of the sun, and everyone realizes the importance of his work. I loved the Frederick book when I was a kid, and identified very heavily with the odd little mouse.

Wednesday, August 8

A fun way to pass the time at work while your email server is down:
Tell a co-worker elephant jokes until she laughs so hard she gets a crick in her neck.

Geeks and Cool

I was thinking the other day. People say that geeks don't care about cool things, or about being cool.
This is a bald-faced lie.
Geeks care about cool as much as anybody. We just define it differently.
Science is cool; celeb gossip is not.
Neil Gaiman is cool; Janet Ivanovich is boring
ComiCon is cool; the latest runway show is dull.
Weird Al is cool; Justin Timberlake is entirely made of FAIL and LOSE
Joss Whedon is cool; Jerry Bruckheimer needs to go away, preferably using the Boots of Escaping
Reading is cool; sitcoms need to be fed to the Sarlaac
Other cool things include: Corellian blood stripes, email, mythology, Gaelic, esperanto, l33t, lolcats, MST3K, Jim Henson, roleplaying games, the internet, and Macs.

Tuesday, August 7

sometimes I love my job

My boss just walked through, modeling a feathery showgirl headdress.
I love this place.

Do you use Netflix?

If you do, join as one of my friends. I like the idea of sharing movie reviews/recommendations, etc.

I knew this would happen

I want more Harry Potter.
I just finished re-reading the whole series, including book 7....and I want more. I'm reading all the interviews with JK Rowling that I can find.
Dang it.
Heh. Last night I was talking about chapter 34, The Forest Again, and teared up just talking about it. Sigh.

Monday, August 6

Teh new impruved cat wih reactive armor Me be testing reactive armor now

This cat is a Level 12 Paladin. It is also wearing the Boots of Escaping. (Once again, picture courtesy of

Happy Dance Time!

We're(Rachel, Tim, Marcy, me, whoever else wants to come) starting a Latin class!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I miss doing that kind of hard work (not the classrooms or the modern school structure), I miss learning difficult things with cool people.
But now we're starting Latin!!
*happy dance, to distant strains of Gaudeamus Igitur*


Friday, August 3

Proud to be Norweigian(as least in blood, if not nationality)

Read the section about Resistance during WWII.
God bless King Haakon VII!

We miss you, Frank Capra

As most readers of this blog know, I am a big fan of filmmaker Frank Capra. Not only was he an excellent writer and director, but he was a good man.
I have recently been watching his famed Why We Fight films. He made these with the Signal Corps in WWII; they were considered so good that instead of being shown only to the troops as originally intended, Roosevelt insisted that they be shown in American theaters, as well.
The films are good. They are propagandistic, but they do intend to unite proper emotion to proper action, and are very well done (heck, I was tearing up over France at the end of one film).
Ironically, when I got the films through Netflix, the movie advertised on the inside of the envelope was "No End in Sight; The American Occupation of Iraq." In theatres this fall.
Who will stand up now and remind us why we are fighting? Who will remind us what is worth dying for? Who will remind us of the price of freedom?
Frank Capra, we miss you.