30 March 2013


"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 46

When I said that I had a readalong post "scheduled" for Good Friday, what I meant was that I had penciled in "Write the post on Chapter VIII" at the top of my list of things to do during the Triduum. As you can see from the date on this post (which is backdated as it is), it didn't quite work out that way. Which is probably better. I took a leave from work so I could take part in the Good Friday solemnities; surely I could take a leave from blogging as well?

Now that we're almost back to normal, let's proceed to the next chapter of Pope Benedict XVI's Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week . . .

28 March 2013


"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 45

It's Maundy Thursday. What have you got planned?

I've got the Mass of the Lord's Supper in the afternoon, and of course, a Bisita Iglesia mini-pilgrimage taking up the rest of my evening.

Readalong-wise, the post for Chapter VII, which deals with the Crucifixion and death of Jesus, is scheduled to go up on Good Friday--as is only appropriate. But I myself will not be online and comments will be closed on all posts until some point on Easter Sunday. 

27 March 2013


On Sugared Snips and Spiced Snails
(Warning: In this post I am rather harsher than I usually come across)

I've always hated this movie--but not for the reason you think

Turnabout is fair play, aye? After I wrote last Sunday's post on the ultimate meaninglessness of empowering girls by trying to make them more like boys, I wondered whether there was an equivalent for boys. "Is there a group of grown men," I asked myself, "who are trying to level the playing field for boys by encouraging them to be more like girls?"

Then it hit me: THERE IS!

24 March 2013


On Kicking and Butts

Do you have your Secret Decoder Rings ready? I hope so, because this post opens with a Secret Message!

First you'll get a question and have to guess the answer. Then you'll get an answer and have to come up with the question--like on Jeopardy!

Q1: What do the names Ashley, Dana, Hilary, Leslie, Meredith, Schuyler, Shirley, Vivian, and Whitney have in common?

A1: They are were originally "boys' names" and are currently "girls' names"!

A2: Probably Taylor . . . and Madison. Although Madison means "son of Maud."

Q2: Which boys' names are likely to go the same way in the next ten years?

So, did you guess correctly??? =D

22 March 2013


"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 44

Sometimes bad timing is also good timing. It's clear to me that I will not be done reading Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week by Maundy Thursday, as I had originally hoped. But it's even clearer that this is a good thing: inasmuch as the last chapter of the book is on the Resurrection, it is actually more fitting to write about in Easter anyway.

Which means that Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week is turning out to be "the right book at the right time" in a deeper sense than I ever thought that phrase would be when I started applying it to my reading. Besides this, I love this book for itself in a way that I will be able to fully express only through gushing. And yet . . . I will be a little glad when this is over. I killed my old Catholic blog for a reason, you know! =P 

20 March 2013


These Dreams: Many Mansions

When I'm working on a project that means a series of posts, such as Locus Focus features (Back in April, I swear!) or the rounds of a bracket smackdown, I like separating related posts by stuff that has nothing to do with them. It's the little bit of blog management I actually do.

Sometimes I don't succeed--and you don't have to look further than the end of last January to see not one, but two big fat failures. =P

There may yet be a similar outcome to the "Two or Three" Book Club readalong of Pope Benedict XVI's Jesus of Nazareth . . . but not without a fight. That's the main reason you're getting this filler. So indulge me, okay?

17 March 2013


"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 43

The election of Pope Francis has been to this readalong what the institution of the Eucharist was to the Jewish Passover. And if you've been reading Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI's Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week with us, then you know what I'm getting at! =P

So I'm going to apologise in advance for any drop in quality which you may notice from this point on.

13 March 2013


A Pontifical Poem--Be It Ever So Backdated

letter W ampersand & Brick Letter q
Master Mind Number 2 Magnetic Number 7
New to "Word & Question"? Click Here!

As usual, I have to begin with an apology a saga, to explain why I haven't been blogging much this week. A few days ago, without any warning, my manager nearly tripled my workload. I have no idea whether it was because he thought I wasn't giving enough lessons or because he thought it would be a better punishment than suspension for a huge mess I caused last week (LOL!)--and just in case I'm both paranoid and correct, I'm not going to ask! =P In any case, I get paid by the lesson, so it all works out in the payroll.

While I'm rationalising, I'd like to point out another good thing about having been so busy. Something very significant happened last Wednesday--which, given my time zone and schedule, I did not find out about until Thursday--and because I did not write my poem before it happened, I was able to write about it.

12 March 2013


"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 42

Welcome back to our readalong of Pope Benedict XVI's excellent book Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week!

Meanwhile, in Rome, the Cardinals have started voting for the next Holy Father. It occurs to me that they might get their job done before I finish mine here! =P And now it feels like a bit of a race, although it shouldn't be.

08 March 2013


Life as a Reading Challenge, Chapter 11

One of the really popular reading challenges I have never been attracted to at all is the "TBR challenge". For those who aren't part of the book blogging clique, "TBR" stands for "To Be Read" and refers to all the books you own but haven't read yet.

A short Internet search yielded a link to the 2013 Mount TBR Challenge hosted at My Reader's Block. The levels are named after different peaks, which I think is cute--although it boggles my mind that anyone could have accumulated as many as 150 unread books, which is the highest level, named after Mount Olympus of Mars. (I have about forty, at the last count, and that seems scandalous enough to me!)

Yet while my ideal "TBR" number is 0, the idea of plowing through my own pile just to get them read doesn't appeal to me. As a reading challenge, it lacks both the thematic quirkiness and openness to synchronicity that I look for in a project. That is, it's too systematic and straightforward, even for someone who wants to CLOSE.

But I blog about it now because I've found a fantastic way to put a twist on it . . .

07 March 2013


"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 41

We are still reading Pope Benedict XVI's Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week. Feel free to read and to comment along!

Have I mentioned that if you want to write your own readalong post, I will gladly link to it? Because I will! =) And it's not just because I leave out so many themes and ideas that are worthy of entire posts of their own, but because I'd really love to know what everyone else is thinking.

So let me start the ball rolling again . . .

06 March 2013


Yes, We Still Play Poems Here

Scrabble Coaster Letter W ampersand & Bead Letter Q
number 2 Pushfit cube number 7

As if we all didn't already have enough to do, I propose that we all get together and write poems for March!

The rules remain the same, although the dates change from month to month: 

1) Send me an e-mail with "W&Q27" in the subject line, and a word and a question in the body. You must do this by 9 March.
2) On 10 March, you will receive a reply with a different word and a different question. You may begin to write a poem that uses the word and answers the question.
3) On 13 March, I will publish my poem on this blog and invite you to link yours up in the combox. You have by 27 March to do this. 
4) Remember to leave your fellow poets/players some feedback on their work before the end of the month, because that is half the fun!

If you're still not sure how this works, you can check out older games on my Poetry page. I also have a poem in this post, from some "found" prompts, that you may find amusing . . .

05 March 2013


"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 40

In the light of recent events, it was very moving to read this paragraph from Jesus of Nazareth: Holy Week . . .

Matthew and Luke recount the parable of the servant who noticed his master's delay in returning and, thinking himself absent, made himself master, beat the servants and maids, and gave himself over to fine living. On the other hand, the good servant remains a servant, knowing that he will be called to account. He gives to all their due and is praised by the master for so doing: acting with justice is true vigilance (cf Mt. 24: 45-51; Luke 12: 41-46). To be vigilant is to know that one is under God's watchful eye and to act accordingly.

I have been missing the Holy Father very much, especially knowing that he has acted accordingly even in this. 

03 March 2013


Twelve Things about Brave

12. Earlier this week, Brave received an Academy Award for something. I believe it was the Oscar for Best Hair. A well-deserved win!

11. The whole canvas of this movie is beautiful--and I use the word "canvas" because what the animators did can't be anything less than painting. The world they brought to our screens is so beautiful and lush that for the first few minutes I contemplated turning off the sound and just drinking in the visuals.

But then I heard Merida speak . . .

10. Let's get this out of the way now. I have the HUGEST girl-crush on Merida. It's not even funny. If I could enter the movie, I would fight to be part of the tournament to compete for her hair hand, because I just love her That Damn Much. Her accent and tone only seal the deal, thanks. My heart is lost.

In other words, I love Merida and that is that. But don't worry that this undying love and affection will in any way bias the rest of my review of this movie. =P 

9. Although Brave is an original and obviously modern story, it follows the old faerie tale conventions very closely. Maybe even more closely than it thinks! It starts by turning its back on the Disney tradition of hating mothers more than Sigmund Freud did.