28 December 2014

+JMJ+

Happy Holy Innocents' Day!

Some of you may remember that the Holy Innocents are the patron saints of Shredded Cheddar. I try to post something relevant each year on their feast day. This December has been a slow month for blogging, however, and the only idea that I could come up with was to share a certain short story with you. Since it's not in the public domain, and I'm kind of feeling shady right now, I'm not going to type the title (though you'll see it soon enough) and I'm only going to identify the author through this link.

Note that it's not theologically perfect. The most glaring error is the two dead people who reappear as angels. (I know, right?) But I like the way it puts the sorrows and sacrifice of a few in the greater context of the joy and salvation of the world, so I think it's still worth sharing. Enjoy!

25 December 2014

+JMJ+

Early Edition: Bomb Scare

What the cat said!

If you had started wondering a couple of months ago where the Early Edition episode guides/reviews were, well, now you know why I waited so long to publish this one. The timing had to be right, you see. =)

And happily, the writers do more than just deck the halls of this episode with Christmas stuff. The holiday setting is tied up nicely with the two mysteries of the story: the mystery with the serial bomber and the mystery with the changing headlines.

23 December 2014

+JMJ+

"Two or Three" Book Club, Meeting 112

The events in the novel started speeding up even as my blog started slowing down. Or at least it felt that way a whole month ago. =P If anyone is still with me, I'm finally ready for our last meeting on Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. As before, let's begin with some of Victor Frankenstein's feelings . . .

The deep grief which this scene had at first excited quickly gave way to rage and despair. They were dead, and I lived; their murderer also lived, and to destroy him I must drag out my weary existence. I knelt on the grass and kissed the earth and with quivering lips exclaimed, "By the sacred earth on which I kneel, by the shades that wander near me, by the deep and eternal grief that I feel, I swear; and by thee, O Night, and the spirits that preside over thee, to pursue the daemon who caused this misery, until he or I shall perish in mortal conflict. For this purpose I will preserve my life; to execute this dear revenge will I again behold the sun and tread the green herbage of earth, which otherwise should vanish from my eyes forever. And I call on you, spirits of the dead, and on you, wandering ministers of vengeance, to aid and conduct me in my work. Let the cursed and hellish monster drink deep of agony; let him feel the despair that now torments me."

Sigh. Projecting much, Victor? The Creature probably swore a similar oath on the night when he had to watch his creator destroy the body of what he had hoped would be a companion to him. Frankenstein might as well swear to rend apart his own shadow. An apt metaphor, when you consider that the only way to destroy your shadow is to destroy yourself first.


11 December 2014

+JMJ+

Twelve Things about Interstellar

12. The whole point of this movie is space exploration, but I find the backstory of the earth equally fascinating. We're not really supposed to question the arrival of the dust storms and blight that are devastating the world's ability to grow food--both because they're stand-ins for "global warming" (which is untouchable) and because they're meant to be a Macguffin, anyway--but there's more to this future/alternate universe than nature going haywire. This is also a world in which a student gets in trouble for bringing in an old textbook that contradicts a new "corrected" version's assertion that the Apollo moon landing had been a massive hoax to trick the Soviets. I would have liked to spend more time wandering around there, Sliders-style. (Oh, have you seen my Sliders "episode guides"?)

11. The little that we do see of this world is wrapped up in the experiences of a single family--but not in the two-dimensional sense that has been the death of many a modern cinematic epic. (I was positive about this trope in my review of 2012, but its Curtis family is a cartoon caricature next to this film's Cooper family.) That is, this isn't "Save the family, save the world," but more like "Save the world, save the family." Which happens to be more theologically correct.

In any case, that's how one character spins it to the father, who must be convinced to accept a mission that requires him to leave his children and possibly never see them grow up. But if he doesn't do it, they will die of either starvation or suffocation, when the earth finally gives out--for it won't be long before that happens.

10. If you're wondering how the mother feels about this, well, here's the part that first made me want to write this post: she's dead.

07 December 2014

+JMJ+

Knitting Diary: New Cowl

Thanks to my knitting obsession, everyone in my family has a new vocabulary word: cowl. My love for these neckwarmers was born long before I ever knit one--and is the reason I turned what would have been Cathy's Scarf into Cathy's Cowl. But It took a while before I got to work on one for myself.

You see, I hardly ever begin with a design that I try to match to yarn, but almost always begin with yarn that I try to match to a design. And none of the creepy pastels that I pilfered from my late grandmother's stash seemed worthy of something as glorious as a cowl. It was not until an aunt in the US took pity on me and sent over two balls of Caron One Pound in Sunflower that I started the Knitted Infinity Scarf pictured on the left.

02 December 2014

+JMJ+

Happy New Slump!

Whenever other book bloggers moan that they're experiencing a reading or blogging slump, my (totally unsolicited and probably annoying) advice is for them to enjoy it: if one area of your life is slowing down, that just means that another area is speeding up! So look on the bright side and take advantage of it. =D Well, the time has come for me to follow my own counsel.

I had wanted to finish the Frankenstein readalong in November, but to be honest, I haven't even finished Frankenstein! =P And although I did read another faerie tale retelling for Locus Focus, it took me forever and I'm not really sure how to start the post about it. I'm still committed to finishing both of those short-term projects, but they'll take a longer time than expected. I'm sorry about that.

What I can promise for this month, for those who are still interested in coming here, are some Knitting Diary entries. Blogging and reading have been slow, but you can bet that all sorts of practical stuff, like crafting and cooking, are getting done.

So how is everyone else doing? Are the usual things in your life proceeding as they usually do, or have you also noted some slowing down in one area and speeding up in another?