03 August 2015


Twelve Things about The Descendants

12. High School Musical will always be the best Disney Channel movie of all time, but The Descendants can get the award for the Disneyest Disney Channel movie of all time, because no other studio could possibly remake it. Yeah, anyone else could still produce some sort of fish-out-of-water, rags-to-riches, high-school-set, coming-of-age, opposites-attract story with show-stopping numbers (Let me know if I've missed a hyphenated cliche!) . . . but they couldn't also pepper its world with beloved Disney characters you'd know if you met them on Mars. This is the sort of movie you make because you can.

11. But those beloved characters don't take center stage here. As we can tell by the title and the DVD cover, it is their children who get to grab the spotlight. Whose parents can you identify just by looking at them? Answers after the jump!

10. Or perhaps you'd prefer to to match our "bad" protagonists with the Four Cardinal Virtues? It may seem odd to pair villains with virtues, but we could say that each of them learns the virtue that he most needs when he becomes a student at Auradon Prep, the school for the heroes' children. If you haven't seen The Descendants, maybe something in my descriptions of the four will still give you ideas for combox discussion! (Hint, hint!)

31 July 2015


Knitting Diary: La "Penso Solo a Te" Berretta

Not every book I read gets reviewed and not every knitting project I make gets blogged about. Which is why, unless we know each other on Twitter, I never got around to telling you what happened to the Popemobag.

But today's project is totally blog fodder, being a nice intersection of several of my interests (which always typically include at least one interest of a friend's), and therefore the best time capsule for this time of my life. This time, that friend was the multi-talented guitarist Christopher.

28 July 2015


Book Bingo

Having finished my annual Philippine Literature Challenge, which doubles as your Philippine Literature Giveaway (Congratulations again, Sheila!), I can get back to the 2015 TBR Challenge. Unlike my previous "Three-legged List," which featured titles I picked for myself and just put off reading, this one has three books that I never asked for, but that others thought I'd enjoy. So how did they fare?

Well, in general, none of them gave me that "right book at the right time" feeling--though a couple of them convinced me that "the right time" isn't always a recurring planetary aspect you can always run into again . . . even if it takes centuries . . . but sometimes a period of personal history that a window can slam shut on forever. In which case rewarding reading requires a time machine.

3 Books for My TBR Challenge
I Needed A Couple of Nudges to Read

24 July 2015


Early Edition: Superhero

You'd think a psychic would see his own death coming . . .

In all fairness, assuming that "seers" in general exist, it's perfectly reasonable to say that they wouldn't see their deaths coming if they weren't in the habit of looking for them.

In our discussion of the previous episode, I suggested that Gary's receiving The Paper was a kind of psychic power. He's not anyone's idea of a clairvoyant, but you can't deny that he's got clear insight into the future. And I must have been picking up "vibes" from the Early Edition writers, because they totally go with that idea in this episode!

20 July 2015


Nonsense and Some Sense Verse Smackdown, Final Winner!
(Revisit Round 1, Round 2, the Musical Intermission, Round 3A, Round 3B, and Round 4)


Our champion is a very busy man, so when we (you know, the editorial we) tried to reach him for a comment on his victory, we were told that he could make time to answer only one question. And that question was almost "Which Eurovision song do you think has the best lyrics?" because the editor-in-chief is a troll. Albeit a sincere one. But in the end, also a conscientious one. Which is why that question ended up being:

"Do you have any advice on writing poetry?"

And true to form, Carroll's answer rhymed and scanned like nobody's business . . .

19 July 2015


A Eurovision Eurolanguage Blog

When people hear the list of languages I've studied, they tend to ask some version of the same question: "No Asian languages?"

And I find some tactful way to say: "I have no interest in modern languages that weren't formed under the Cross." Unless I have a really compelling reason to make an exception, Filipino will be my only Asian tongue.

So it's clear why some languages just won't make the cut. But this doesn't explain why some did. I've been recalling why I started learning those that I know, and the connection between each starting objective and what I ended up with when I decided to stop is telling.

16 July 2015


Theme Thursday 16

This will be the last post for the Philippine Literature Giveaway until the winner is announced on Monday. Remember to claim all your Rafflecopter entries before then!

Today's theme is from 7 April 2011. And by lovely synchronicity, the excerpt I'm featuring to match it has one of those troublemaking expats.

This Week's Theme: