Friday, December 28, 2012

Fairy Tales, Fevers, and Hobbits

Merry Christmas, everyone! Hope yours was as lovely as mine.

The weekend started out rough, with me leaving work early on Friday and languishing on the couch with a fever. I couldn't go caroling on Saturday or to church Sunday, but happily I was able to be at the Christmas Eve service on Monday (inconspicuously coughing into my elbow).

The lazy weekend of rest did provide an unexpected blessing: the chance to tear through the entire first season of Once Upon a Time! I absolutely loved it. A lot does remind me of Lost, which I was a HUGE fan of, and the fairy tale element is delicious. I highly recommend it!

My Christmas "break" has been busy. I'm thankful to have a rest from school, but there have been so many parties and get-togethers and shindigs that it feels like one continuous chain of Christmas cookies! I have loved spending time with family and friends, and I still have over a week left before classes resume. I'm going to take advantage of every minute!

My brother and sister and I went to the midnight premier of The Hobbit, and it was awesome. I really felt the late hour, though. I must be getting old. The beginning dragged a bit for me, but I got into it more as I caught a second wind and everybody left Hobbiton for an adventure. (Seriously, three hours long? I'm not sure if it needed to be.) It was fantastic getting back into Middle-earth and seeing beloved characters like Gollum again! The effects were fantastic, and I loved learning more about the dwarf world. Thorin reminds me a lot of Aragorn. Martin Freeman was outstanding as Bilbo, also. His facial expressions and comedic timing crack me right up. It was nice to just watch the movie without really remembering what happens in the book; it's been a few years since I've read it.

My family has tried to watch some of our favorite Christmas movies (White Christmas, The Santa Clause, Scrooge, etc.) but someone has managed to fall asleep at every viewing. Okay, mostly me. I blame the predictability of movies we watch once a year. I cuddle up in my blanket, mentally quote lines along with the characters, and drift right off. Woof.

So that's what's up with me!

Hark! the herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King,
Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!"
Joyful, all ye nations rise; Join the triumph of the skies;
With angelic host proclaim, "Christ is born in Bethlehem!"
Hark, the herald angels sing, "Glory to the newborn King!"

Ah, Christmas. The one time of year when theological truth is suddenly blasted from mall speakers and car radios. Thank God for His gift of salvation; Jesus is the only hope for our world. What a joyful time of year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Lies I Tell Myself

Here are the top 3.

1. I can lie down on the couch under a blanket and watch a movie without falling asleep.

2. I can just eat one cookie. Then I will have no problem stopping.

3. I don't need to write that down; I will remember it.

Obviously, I lie to myself all year round. But of course this is Christmastime, so I'll make it seasonally applicable!

1. Is there anything quite like reclining on the couch under your favorite blanket, the only light coming from the tv and tree lights? No, I say. For some reason, I always think I can watch a movie curled up in what is essentially my favorite sleeping position. And maybe I'll just rest my eyes a moment during this slower scene. No problem. Plus, Christmas movies are just so relaxing. And comforting. And usually have at least one quiet, peaceful, snowy scene with Silent Night playing gently in the background...

2. Oh, sure. Of course it's true. If you have a craving, just eat one! Then go on your merry way, mouth filled with lingering sweetness, stomach asking for more, fingers already absentmindedly stretching towards the Santa plate. Fine, cookies. You win. I just need to make sure you all taste as good as the first one.

3. Yep, back in September she said she'd love a new toaster. But come December, do you think I remember? Oh, I might have a vague memory of him wishing aloud he had a pair of warmer gloves. But guess what? I had such confidence in my good memory that I never wrote it down. Oh, I'll rememb...what?

'Tis the season! Heh heh.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

End of Semester Rejoicing

Oh, I miss you, Blog! I miss you, readers!

I miss lazy evenings of leisurely activities and reading for fun!

Happily, I get a couple weeks off until my next two classes begin the second week of January. I'm hoping to get ahead on blog post writing so I will be able to post more consistently in the new year.

My classes this semester really flew by; I kept feeling like I had just started! I learned a lot, however and am happy I made the decision to start.

Even the information technologies class wasn't too bad. Although I did have hours of work each night that would have me tearing my hair out. But what a feeling of satisfaction when I finally figured something out! Finally finishing a difficult assignment would have me heartily congratulating myself aloud. This would also make up for all the yelling I had done at myself previously. Well, yelling at myself and my computer.

A n y w a y... I thought I should share some books I read this semester with you all. I did a LOT of reading, not only books but ebooks and journal articles galore. I will definitely miss all the online resources I have access to now when I graduate. It's amazing to attend a school that has so much money to put into their library.

I read books on copyright, on Google, on computers, on digitization...these below are the two I most enjoyed and am most likely to read again.

The Information: A History, A Theory, A Flood by James Gleick: Whew, talk about information overload! This is a history of information, including the written word, computers, and everything in between. I love history, so this was fascinating.

Too Big to Know: Rethinking Knowledge Now That the Facts Aren't the Facts, Experts Are Everywhere, and the Smartest Person in the Room is the Room by David Weinberger: Cool book! All about how information has changed since the internet. Gave me lots of food for thought and new ways to think about online information.

Done with school! ...until January 7th.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

How Lovely Are Your Branches

Real or Fake?

I'm speaking, of course, of trees.

Do you go out in the frosty air and browse among hundreds of green giants, to choose the most majestic fir? Is it simply not Christmas if you cannot bury your face in pine branches in your living room?

Or do you bring your tree down from a box in the attic? Do you assemble three parts and arrange pliable branches? Do you settle for a pine fresh candle instead?

My family has done both.

Obviously, I love the fresh, Christmasy tree. I love picking one out; I love the smell.

But an artificial tree is nothing to be ashamed of. There are some beautiful ones to be had out there. Ones that you have to get pretty close to in order to tell if they're real or not.

And as for the smell, I recently discovered Scentsicles. Ah, how delicious! Hang them in your tree for a sniff of the real thing.