Sunday, April 29, 2012

So, I'm doing an Alice in Wonderland-themed photo essay for my modernism class. Today was the first part of my photo-shoot with my sister. Here's a sneak peek:

Can't wait to show you more =)

done in 5 weeks...

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Birthday Post!!

"I've charted stars, and they're always constant. But these--they appear every year on my birthday, Mother, only on my birthday. And I can't help but feel like they're meant for me."

Well, I thought I'd share some birthday fun-facts. Some of you may already know these, but I thought some of you may not, so here you are:

1. My mother went in to labor with my 8 weeks early. I guess I was bit eager. Nothing's changed.
Her doctor put her on bed rest and in that time she read the entirety of both the Little House and Anne of Green Gables series. I am convinced they altered my personality =)

2. Twenty-two years ago today, I made my entrance to "Eye of the Tiger." No really--my mom had it playing in her delivery room. Isn't she the coolest?

3. I was born with long, full, dark hair. It was nearly an inch long and pretty thick.

4. I am the exact middle of a symmetrical family [girl-boy-girl-boy-girl], so I have the joy of sharing every kind of sibling combo there is. It's fun!

One other little fun-fact about me--not really about my birthday, just childhood.
When I was a little girl, I would get all dressed up in fancy clothes and tell my mom I was going "to the ball to meet the Prince and learn how to read." Priorities. From the begging.

Do you have any fun family stories like that? Do share!
For now, have a fantastic day =)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Today I read an article by Q. D. Leavis about Jane Austen, and I discovered that I had a little envy.

Let me explain.

Queenie [I just love that name!] Dorothy Leavis was a literary critic and wife to renowned F.R. Leavis (he had actually been an instructor of hers at Cambridge ;). They collaborated on multiple works of criticism and left a lasting mark on the study of English literature. But Queenie was also a mom and one who enjoyed her investment in her home. 
[F.R and Q.D. Leavis shortly after their wedding in 1929]
So why the envy? Because she had the life I want.
My goal is to be professor and literary critic, but also, and more importantly, to be wife to a man with similar passions and a loving mom to our children. She did it all--and excelled!
I guess more than "envy," I'm just inspired by her.
So thank you, Queenie, for living life well and inspiring others to not settle.

Leave you with this awesome quote of hers:

"Unless men and women are capable of relationships which include loyalty, confidence, mutual interests, and there are people of integrity who can act disinterestedly sometimes, which of course requires courage and faith - people, in short, capable of respect for themselves and each other, I don't see how one can expect that novels worth consideration could be written."

- QDL 'The Italian Novel'
"This new plan I'm making with Israel
isn't going to be written on paper,
isn't going to be chiseled in stone;
This time I'm writing out the plan in them,
carving it on the lining of their hearts.
I'll be their God,
they'll be my people...
They'll all get to know me firsthand,
the little and the big, the small and the great.
They'll get to know me by being kindly forgiven,
with the slate of their sins forever wiped clean.
By coming up with a new plan, a new covenant between God and His people, God put the old plan on the shelf. And there it stays, gathering dust."

- selection from Hebrews 8 [the Message]

Monday, April 23, 2012

The Romantic’s Survival Guide

Welcome to the age of asperity! 
Watch your tongue and shun sincerity
For you ought to be warned that the natives here
Are especially apt to snark and sneer.

Don’t rouse their vicious hostility
And indulge in romantic temerity
For your heart they will cut, and your soul they will sear
As they skillfully skew’r and gleefully jeer;

So veil yourself in obscurity
To stay safe and avoid their barbarity.

- Erika, a friend from the Notion Club

Love this poem and thought a few of my readers could identify ;)

monday, bun-day

My take on the Keiko Lynn "do"
fun and funky bun! =)

Six weeks from today, I will be done with college.

I will [Lord-willing] be carrying on with my studies, but it won't be here:

 I'll be back to visit some favorite places, but they will be the stuff of nostalgia, not routine.

 I don't mean to be all sentimental, but the truth is becoming more and more real.
And the truth is, I'll miss it. I'm often reluctant to move on to the new thing--even when its going to be better--because I'm familiar with the old. But it is time to strike out, venture forth, and discover.

I received an incredible word this weekend about being at the tipping point.
I have no idea what that means exactly, but I can sense that its time.
So, here's to the tipping point and all the new things coming

and to six more glorious weeks of this:

Have a great monday!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Well, today was really truly splendid!

Today I drove all the way in to school (highly unusual for me). Made it in a record 30 minutes (normally an hour by bus). But, as yet another "senior year first," I parked on campus, in the garage underneath red square. Such an awesome feeling to park, take the elevator up and just walk right onto campus.

Class went well. My philosophy professor accidentally called me "Samantha" throughout the class period. I'm used to that by now, but I came home to an extremely apologetic email. It ended with her saying, "You can call me whatever you want for a few days." Haha! But I don't think I'll be taking her up on her offer.

Fortunately, on the Honors horizon, my professor has decided to cancel class for the next two weeks as we compose the first drafts of our theses. Exciting, but rather daunting! It'll be good though =)

After class, I headed to Seattle and just wandered a bit, through the Market, before deciding on Le Panier. Sat and read Woolf and watched the rain fall on the cobblestone-esque, brick pavement. I couldn't stop myself from journalling--ended with an apropos quote: 
"Life is a thing of beauty and a joy forever." - Leo Gursky

I had to grab an early dinner and, creature of habit that I am, I went to my favorite little happy hour at Cafe Campagne... and I'm so glad I did. I got to experience more of their little community than last time I was there. Just two seats down from me at the bar was an elderly gentleman just enjoying it all. Apparently he's a regular. He was also working on a New York Times crossword puzzle. [Have I mentioned that a life goal of mine is to finish one all by myself? Yah, sadly, I've never done that before... but someday I will. I really prefer to do them with friends, but, someday, I'll conquer one. Ok back to the story.] Well, a few minutes after I got there and ordered my dinner, he goes, "Do you do these?" 
"I try."
"Well have a go." He slid the paper over to me with his pen and I got a few before sliding it back. He was delighted. We exchanged small talk, he included the waiters and waitresses here and there, sounded like they were old friends, and it was really delightful to take part in this micro-community. I'll definitely be back. Before leaving, he gave me the crossword puzzle and the pen--wishing me good luck with it on all my crossword endeavors. How cute!

Gauguin was interesting. I liked for the simple fact that it isn't the sort of thing I normally take time to appreciate. As a Classics Minor, and a student of the European tradition, I'm pretty much immersed in all things Western. But tonight exposed me to a different type of beautiful. My favorite work by far was his "Christ on the Cross." 
It's so "not Western"--which I really appreciate because I feel like the gospel gets so Westernized. I just love how this is the crucifixion, but Polynesian. So cool.
It was also really fun to just be with classmates outside of class. I got to chat with this one girl who is probably also applying for King's College London for Fall of 2013, so we had a good time chatting about our hopes and prospects.

I met up with some friends at  the Chesterton meeting, where there was a fabulous reading of one of his essays, "A Piece of Chalk." It is really worth the read! And if you get the chance to take a look at it, let me know what you think =)
The discussion of Austen was also intriguing. Gotta love a philosophy professor who has his ethics students read Pride and Prejudice. It was an excellent talk and, I think, worthy of the serious view it took of Jane Austen. I disagreed with the speaker on some smaller points, but I enjoyed his perspective.

Afterward, the group of us went to Trabant to discuss the meeting and other wonderful things. Hilarious times! I was so excited to be there because I try to save their "creamy chai" for special occasions. I did get my chai, but unfortunately it wasn't soy. I even knew it wasn't soy when I was getting it off the bar, but I couldn't bring myself to correct the barista because we had been in a fabulous conversation about--wait for it--Wishbone! She, in fact, informed me that she had a life-size plush Wishbone dog with outfits as both Romeo or the Phantom. I mean, how could I tell her she got my drink wrong after that much awesomeness? So I enjoyed my not-as-creamy chai and, I'll admit, it was still pretty delicious.

Came home to a letter from a dear friend--third time this week that's happened! I could get used to this =)

Well, that was really long... but so was my fun day. And after such a fabulous day, I must bid you bonne nuit! Sweet dreams everyone!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

"It's going to be a big, big, big, big day!"
Thank you, Effie Trinket ;)

I'm so excited for today, its ridiculous! 
Well, first off, I finally got some new makeup--makes a girl feel fresh.

But I have some fun adventures in store. After class, I get to take part in some fun, academic activities.

First off is the Gauguin exhibit at the SAM. I'm going with my Comp Lit class and I'm very excited to see the exhibit--let alone have time in a museum.

Afterwards I'll be zooming back over to UW for the monthly gathering of the G. K. Chesterton Society of Seattle. Tomorrow night's topic: Why read Jane Austen
I'm so excited! And hey, I can use some of it as research for my thesis =)
Overall, its going to be a pretty fabulous day!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

About to meet with the British Consulate... hello butterflies!

Monday, April 16, 2012

"Austen renders the elective, self-esteeming powers of the comic, but she also claims for it more socially positive and responsible functions. She wanted to use comedy as a means of reconciling herself to traditional faith and conventional society by releasing doubts and resentments harmlessly. Poised between the decorous rationalization of eighteenth-century society and religion and the restless energy and ambition of nineteenth-century individualism, she was striving for a form and a creation that would preserve the best of the past, including Christian ethics, but would allow for the change and development her expanding feminine soul craved."

- Robert M. Polhemus, "Jane Austen's Comedy"

beautifully articulated!!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Friday, April 13, 2012

Reasons I love spring #583: open sunroof =)

week recap

Hi! I feel I've been neglecting the blogosphere due to the craziness that was this week... so let me just share a few lovelies I've come across recently.

"Don't use words too big for the subject. Don't say 'infinitely' when you mean 'very'; otherwise you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite." - Clive Staples
This is one of his tips for aspiring writers that I found on Letters of Note. Afraid I'm guilty of this one =/ As an enthusiast, I'm a bit too fond of hyperbole. But this was a great reminder of the value of written words.

* * * * *

This week Comp Lit was all about T. S. Eliot. Boy is he amazing. My teacher explained that he spoke at least 7 languages and was probably one of the most well-read persons of all time--yah, understatement. In this context I could appreciate his "Tradition and the Individual Talent" so much more. He's not another snobby critic complaining that writers aren't doing it right. He's a writer sharing part of his process and challenging both himself and his audiences to real greatness. "No poet, no artist of any art, has his complete meaning alone." Revelation right there. And that was before he got saved. He argues, "We dwell with satisfaction upon the poet's difference from his predecessors... we endeavour to find something that can be isolated in order to be enjoyed... the most individual parts of his work may be those n which the dead poets, his ancestors, assert their immortality most vigorously." Powerful--and I agree completely.
As far as his poetry, I am still mulling it over. We read The Wasteland, The Love song of J. Alfred Prufrock, Gerontion, The Hollow Men, and Burnt Norton. Heavy duty, but so incredible. Just a few lines:

Do I dare
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
So how should I presume
- The Love song of J. Alfred Prufrock

"I have measured out my life with coffee spoons"? I cannot get over how genius this line is!

Ok... and one more passage. This one, a bit longer, is from the first of the The Four Quartets, Burnt Norton.

Words move, music moves
Only in time; but that which is only living
Can only die. Words, after speech, reach
Into the silence. Only by the form, the pattern,
Can words or music reach
The stillness, as a Chinese jar still
Moves perpetually in its stillness.
Not the stillness of the violin, while the note lasts,
Not that only, but the co-existence,
Or say that the end precedes the beginning,
And the end and the beginning were always there
Before the beginning and after the end.
And all is always now. Words strain,
Crack and sometimes break, under the burden,
Under the tension, slip slide, perish,
Decay with imprecision, will not stay in place,
Will not stay still. Shrieking voices
Scolding, mocking, or merely chattering,
Always assail them. The Word in the desert
Is most attacked by the voices of temptation,
The crying shadow in the funeral dance,
The loud lament of the disconsolate chimera.

I have read this half a dozen times now and I'm still sorting the meaning. Eliot said, "The poet is occupied with frontiers of consciousness beyond which words fail, though meaning still exists." I love this. And I'm loving him.

* * * * *

Last thought, yesterday I had a revelation that rocked me!

Ok, a little background. The Greek conception of "glory" is kleos [κλέος]. Kleos carries with it the idea of later people telling stories of a person's fame. In it's pure form it is the idea that Sam postulates in The Two Towers when he asks, "I wonder if we'll ever be put into songs or tales." The more self-centered, Greek notion is embodied by Achilles who had been given the option between a long-life without kleos or dying young with great kleos and boldly chose to have kleos. I should also note that kleos is masculine and a woman could never be described as having kleos.
After establishing all of that, the revelation I had this week is that the New Testament does not use kleos when it defines God's glory. It uses the feminine doxa [δόξα]. Not only is the word feminine, doxa is the only ancient Greek word for "glory" that can apply to women as well as men. This is incredible!! While God most often identifies Himself as a male, we know that God is neither male nor female. If all of us were made in the image of God, then we display the full spectrum of His being and attributes in the glories of being male and female. So, I am amazed that God would use the inclusive doxa when describing His glory. So cool!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Someday I will not have double-stacked bookshelves.

Yeah right! Maybe someday... like when I have a sliding ladder. haha...


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"I feel the wind in my lungs
And hope in my veins
I'm seeing with new eyes
I'm seeing you again

Hello Promise Land, we've waited for so long
To see what we've believed in, to sing this Promise Land song
Explode my soul, explode with praise
What he promised is what he gave"

...and repeat!

So good!

Streams in the Desert - April 11

By Death We Live

"As dying and behold we live" (2 Cor. 6:9).

I had a bed of asters last summer, that reached clear across my garden in the country. Oh, how gaily they bloomed. They were planted late. On the sides were yet fresh blossoming flowers, while the tops had gone to seed. Early frosts came, and I found one day that that long line of radiant beauty was seared, and I said, "Ah! the season is too much for them; they have perished"; and I bade them farewell.

I disliked to go and look at the bed, it looked so like a graveyard of flowers. But, four or five weeks ago one of my men called my attention to the fact that along the whole line of that bed there were asters coming up in the greatest abundance; and I looked, and behold, for every plant that I thought the winter had destroyed there were fifty plants that it had planted. What did those frosts and surly winds do?

They caught my flowers, they slew them, they cast them to the ground, they trod with snowy feet upon them, and they said, leaving their work, "This is the end of you." And the next spring there were for every root, fifty witnesses to rise up and say, "By death we live."

And as it is in the floral tribe, so it is in God's kingdom. By death came everlasting life. By crucifixion and the sepulchre came the throne and the palace of the Eternal God. By overthrow came victory.

Do not be afraid to suffer. Do not be afraid to be overthrown.

It is by being cast down and not destroyed; it is by being shaken to pieces, and the pieces torn to shreds, that men become men of might, and that one a host; whereas men that yield to the appearance of things, and go with the world, have their quick blossoming, their momentary prosperity and then their end, which is an end forever.


"Measure thy life by loss and not by gain,
Not by the wine drunk, but by the wine poured forth.
For love's strength standeth in love's sacrifice,
And he who suffers most has most to give."

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Doing research for my honors thesis when I came across this lovely =)
Seriously? Austen's Juvenilia was first published with a preface from Gilbert the Keith Chesterton?
Haha... favorite authors and happiness upon happiness!

A few goodies:
"It might seem a very wild use of the wrong word to say that Jane Austen was elemental. It might even seem even a little wanton to insist that she was original. Yet this objection would come from the critic not really considering what is meant by an element or an origin...
If it seemed odd to call her elemental, it may seem equally odd to call her exuberant. These pages betray her secret; which is that she was naturally exuberant. And her power came, as all power comes, from the control and direction of exuberance...
Jane Austen was not inflamed or inspired or even moved to be a genius; she simply was a genius."

I don't know who made me respect who more... but I adore them both tonight more than ever!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Happy Birthday to a favorite =)


Wind-blown hair is all I have
and I, for once, welcome it.
I know not what order will emerge
or a chaos not yet discovered.
The wind harkens back to the old,
but drives me toward the unknown new
and like hair-which cannot but yield-
I will submit to your wind-blown call.