Category Archives: literature

still here

Wow! that was a huge blogging break!

Let see, what’s happening… Well, I have a new niece! She was born on July 1st, Canada Day.

It’s really hot here.  we’ve had several 100+ degree days. There should be some clouds moving in tonight, even some possible rain! Bringing with it a “cool down”  mid to low 90s.

Finally, I am looking forward to Saturday.  Why? Harry Potter 6!  I haven’t had a chance to see it yet, so I figured I’d go to a 3.25 matinee.  Hard to beat the price.  And I am also planning on making Ribs Saturday in the slow-cooker.  It should be a fantastic day.

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Filed under family, food, harry potter, movie, weather

Tornado Warning

I got to “hide in my safe room” – well make that “safe cabinet” yesterday evening as the Tornado sirens sounded. I decided that one of my cabinets makes for the safest place in the house. It’s a big cabinet. It was only a little scary.

I don’t think there were any tornado’s that touched down in our area, though the same storm is responsible for tornadoes and a few deaths up in Oklahoma.

Other than that, life has been decent. Work is still extremely busy (It’s a quarter to 7 right now and I am about to head home. I’m taking some work with me to do while watching LOST). We had a HUGE meeting today at work as well. Check out the cool things that are happening at Pursuant!

I am also learning all sorts of new things at work. I hope to learn enough HTML to be able to put together my own blog – as far as the design and lay out go – maybe I’ll even be able to move over to www.debauslaugh.com and lose “blogspot” all together. That won’t be any time soon though.

I also am excited about how church has been going. This last Sunday I finally got matched up for a small group, so that starts this week and I am looking forward to actually having friends or knowing people at my church. Well, that’s not quite right, I do know some people who I also work with, but the church is pretty large so I do not usually see them.

Oh yes, and I am busy reading. Book 8 of the “Wheel of Time” series. I also picked up “Tolkien: Author of the Century” from the library but I fear I need to renew it. Because of a show I watch (LOST) and because I have regreted never taking physics, I am on physics kick. I am reading a biography on Galileo and as well as working through “Physics for Dummies”.

All that and no internet, thus the infrequent blog posts and one Very long one. I’m Impressed, you made it to the end of this post!

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Filed under literature, lost, tolkien, tv, weather, work

Library

I’m at the library! Free internet – Books to borrow. Even DVD’s to check-out. While this is a MAJOR downgrade from the Wheaton Public Library (voted into the top ten in the entire united states in the ’90s), it is a Library and I am wondering why it took me so long to get a card.

Well, I need to go check out my books. Book 6 of the Wheels of Time and “Tales From the Perilous Realm” by J.R.R. Tolkien. After that, it’s off to the electronics store to use my government provided coupon to buy a converter for my TV so in 45 days, there “won’t be a glitch in my Digital Switch.” But first I must clear the history and cache on this computer. 🙂

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Filed under blog, literature, tolkien, tv

Christmas Reading

With the holiday’s that means less time at work, More time to READ!

I finally read the Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien. I have wanted to read this book for the last 5 years or so. I started it last January, but did not get very far before life got in the way. So I started over this weekend and read the entire thing. It’s so beautiful! And what a great backdrop to better understand the world of Middle Earth. Thanks Vicky for reminding me that I wanted/needed to read this.

(for those who have read the Silmarillion – Check out the Children of Hurin. It’s a full book in greater detail of just a portion of the Silmarillion. The story of Túrin Turambar, and his sister Nienor Níniel.)

Next up: The Odyssey.

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Filed under christmas, tolkien

Yikes

It has almost been two week since I last blogged…that kind of makes me sad.

What have I been up to? Well, still cruising through the Wheel of Time series. I started book 4 last night.

I also had a chance to read Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton and am slowly meandering through Handbook on Faith, Hope, and Love by Augustine.

I also put together a five hundred piece puzzle and now am on the down slope of completing a 1000 piece one.

Oh yes. And I finished watching Baseball (a documentary put together by Ken Burns). All 9 innings, 18 hours worth. It ended right at 1994, so I figure I know the rest of the story as I became a baseball fan in 1995.

Thanksgiving was great. I spent a couple of nights up at my brother & sister-in-law’s house. I made the stuffing. I think this is the first time I ever made something like that from a recipe and not out of a box. It was good. The entire dinner was amazing (and boy did we have a lot of food!).

I had some company over a couple weeks back to play settlers. It was a lot of fun, in spite of the fact that I put in one last frozen pizza before we started playing. Then I forgot about it. oops. One of my guests remembered it, but by that time, it was pretty black.

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Filed under blog, literature, theology

I'm reading

Currently I am reading “Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck. It’s a bit depressing (duh, its set in the ‘depression’) and it REALLY makes me hope this current recession does not turn into a depression.

After this, I think I am going to read “Ender’s Game.” I have been told I would like it. It guess its sci-fi. We’ll see.

I stopped by my old work on Friday. Turned in my aprons, got my last pay check and picked up my last tips. I am so encouraged that I love my new job. The people I work with are fantastic and I really hope that my small little contributions will be valuable and helpful. I finally have “it’s” vs. “its” down! I think I need to go back and re-read all of my past blog entries and find all the the grammatical errors. Just kidding! (I have been told I have Obsessive Compulsive tendencies and I can see why that comment would be made. To a very small degree, it worries me that I might become one of those people who go crazy when people use incorrect grammar. I hope not.)

Other than that. I have been keeping up with the Dark Knight ARG. To my totally sadness, I did not receive a Gotham Times in the mail. 😦 I thought that I would because I voted in the Gotham Election, but I guess I was wrong. Good news though, Harvey Dent won by a landslide! (Do you have comcast????? I hear that they are advertising for “Gotham Tonight.” If you have seen these commercials, that the ARG has come to you.)

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Filed under arg, employment, literature, reading

Good, Evil, and In between?

I was spending some time thinking about the types of stories and tales I like. If you have known me for any length of time (or don’t know me buy regularly read this blog) its pretty obvious. I like stories with epic history. Stories of fantasy. Stories of the unbelievable. Stories of mystery.

Here is a short list of the stories I have been into:

LOST
Alias
The Chronicles of Narnia
Harry Potter
Pirates of the Caribbean
Lord of the Rings

I have also been known to enjoy StarTrek (specifically TNG) and a little Stargate SG-9 (come on! It has “Macgyver”)

Anyway, I digress. Something I have been thinking about it how good and evil is portrayed in these stories. Some have very distinct Good and Evil. Characters are on one side or the other. The “moral compass” of the story is very defined and unmovable. Others lean towards clear definition, but make use of the gray. Others have characters running around making “in between” decisions based on what ever seems right in that moment. There is some type of vague moral compass, but it is extremely hard to define. And still others are almost purposely completely undefined (or perhaps upside down) with all characters moving to the center, none completely good or innocent, none completely evil.

Lord of the Rings and Chronicles of Narnia fall into the first category. Good/Evil exist and each character is on one side or the other.

I think Harry Potter falls into the second group. There is a clear defined evil, but the “clear defined good” is less evident. Good characters are allowed to make sketchy moral choices for the “greater good.”

I would put LOST and Alias in the third category. We want to believe that there is definite good and evil, but when good characters make evil choices or evil characters make choices to help others, it is hard to hold firm to the idea that there is definition. In the end, there may be good and evil in these stories, but both sides are making decisions that not in line with the side each character is “committed” to.

Finally, I would put Pirates of the Caribbean in the last category. The premise of the story (Pirates – come on PIRATES – are “good”?) wants us to believe that questionable characters are the heroes. Throughout the three movies good characters become bad, bad characters become good, and then they don’t stay there, they switch again. This is done so often, all characters have moved to the same grey moral center where there is no longer definition. Can Davy Jones even be “evil?” He is simply a heartbroken man…and the excuses roll on.

So yeah, Its interesting that the two mythic stories by Christian authors are the two in the above example where good and evil are clearly defined. And in addition to that, in myth, if there is clear good and clear evil, is it not typical that the good will prevail? Arguably, they are two opposites, but not equal in strength. Good verses Evil, but in stories Good wins. Good is stronger. Yet, as clearly seen in LotR & CoN humanity is NOT the source of Good.

Anyway, I was just thinking about the similarities and differences in the stories I like. I am greatly encouraged that of all the stories, it is the clearly defined good that defeats the clearly defined and weaker evil that I like the best.
Don’t we all?

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Filed under good vs. evil, harry potter, literature, lord of the rings, lost, movie, narnia, tv

A night at the movies

So I changed my mind. For the very first time in my life (other than one point when a very kind old man wearing a cubs hat in p-town was so thankful I was able to fix his glasses he gave me a dollar), I got tips this week. I decided to spend my hard earned dollars on a movie of my choice. I was planning to go see Indian Jones 4, but several people have told me that it was only “ok” or not very good at all. So I changed my mind.

This evening I went and saw Prince Caspian. I really enjoyed it. Yes, its kids acting, its predictable, its a little hokey in spots and it is a children’s story, but I really liked it. When I was younger I always wished there were more chronicles of Narnia. I always felt as I heard or read the tale of the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe that I wanted to tale to continue, to be longer so that Narina would not disappear.

I read the first two books (LWW and Prince Caspian) several times and started the Voyage of the Dawn Treader, but kept getting stuck. Finally, I got through it, and read the rest, still wishing there were more. In my minds eye, I was right there with Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy. The movies are fantastic because they allow us to go back to Narnia once more.

With this movie, I was struck with the character of Edmund. He is not Lucy, the innocent who perceives truth the quickest, yet he is the first to trust her. He knows both sides of the line (good and evil) and he was saved. He knows what could be and what is. He both stands next to and stands up to High King Peter. He both knows his place in times of humility and times of boldness. Perhaps it is because of his actions in the first story and his new self in the second that he seems the most human and fallen yet at the same time redeemed and righteous. Is he perfect? No. For he has not learned all he can from Narnia, thus he is intented to come back. Perhaps a little “already and not yet” in the story line.

Anyway the following is what I initally came to my blog to post. C.S. Lewis’ world of Narnia together with my favorite band. Pretty hard to top this (probably only cold be done with something from the world of Tolkien).

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Filed under movie, narnia, work

Not much to say

Other than I am very sad at the latest losing streak by my Mariners.

I have been to the pool a total of three times so far. (It is hot here.  I think close to 100 today.)
Work is going ok.  Learning new things is very overwhelming.  Today was the first day that our store was open (I trained at a different store).
I am now more than halfway through season 3 of LOST.
I finished Curtain.  Turns out, I read it along time ago.  I am now reading Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.
I discovered that if I eat skittles at the same time as SweetTarts, it tastes like I am eating Chewy Spree.
This weekend is Memorial Day weekend, but I worked today and work the next 4 afternoons (well I think it might be the morning on Monday) so I am planning on making myself a little barbecue dinner Monday evening.
Today was my first payday at my new job, but I forgot to pick up my check.
And last but most definitely not least, a very dear friend of mine from Edmonton got engaged this week. YEAH!
I guess I did have something to say.

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Filed under literature, lost, mariners, work

Castle Combe

When I went to England last May, we visited a small village called Castle Combe in Wiltshire. Other than hiking in the welsh mountains, Castle Combe was probably my favorite place. It is a small 14th century town.

The day was wonderful. First we visited Bath, home of Jane Austin (at one point in her life even though she did not really like Bath). Here’s Jane & I:

On the way back to our hotel, we stopped at Castle Combe. We had to walk down from the parking lot because cars were not allowed. It was so picturesque that I have 4 of my photos from Castle Combe blown up and framed. They now hang on my wall. I even gave some of the pictures away as gifts (which is why I have not, and will not post those particular pictures on here). In fact, Castle Combe was the inspiration for returning from England and giving family members pictures I took as gifts.

Here are a couple of photos that were not as good, but they give you a taste. The first is the main street of the village.

The second is the manor home.

The third I call “the party tree” some of you will understand. If not (as with most things in life) refer back to Tolkien.

Some day I am going back. I am going to stay in the Manor home that is down the way from the village. It has been turned into a hotel, with an incredible English garden.

Well all this to say that I watched “Stardust” last night. Its a fantasy movie and one of the towns is a place called “Wall” it only took a handful of seconds for the character to be walking through Wall and I thought, (then stated) “That looks like Castle Combe” Later I checked, sure enough, it was! Castle Combe was also used back in the day for the filming of the Original Dr. Dolittle

Some day I am going back. I am going to stay in the Manor home that has been turned into a hotel.

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Filed under jane austen, pictures, travel, uk & ireland