letheraniel: (Default)
"O dear Pan and all the other gods of this place, grant that I may be beautiful inside. Let all my external possessions be in friendly harmony with what is within. May I consider the wise man rich. As for gold, let me have as much as a moderate man could bear and carry with him." -- Socrates, Phaedrus 279c.

And I would add: May my soul grow wings, and let me fly.
letheraniel: (Default)
"Sing with me!

The water is wide,
I cannot cross over
And neither have
I wings to fly
Build me a boat
That will carry two
And both shall roam
My love and I.


...What -- you didn't think I'd let you go without a song, did you?" - Ms. Seeger
letheraniel: (Default)
"...you're not alone.
No one is alone. Truly.
No one is alone.
Sometimes people leave you
Halfway through the wood.
Others may deceive you.
You decide what's good.
You decide alone.
But no one is alone." -Sondheim, Into the Woods
letheraniel: (Default)
"In the silence, the bear died. It was a cute death, with funny music. Ender turned around. Alai was already gone. Ender felt as if a part of himself had been taken away, an inward prop that was holding up his courage andhis confidence. With Alai, to a degree impossible even with Shen, Ender had come to feel a unity so strong that the word we came to his lips much more easily than the word I.

"But Alai had left something behind. Ender lay in bed, dozing into the night and felt Alai's lips on his cheeks as he muttered the word peace. The kiss, the word, the peace were with him still. I am only what I remember, and Alai is my friend in a memory so intense that they can't tear him out. ...

"...They both knew there was a wall now. It might be be breached, that wall, sometime in the future, but for now the only real conversation between them was the roots that already grown low and deep, under the wall, where they could not be broken.

"The most terrible thing, though, was the fear that the wall could never be breached, that in his heart Alai was glad of the separation and was ready to be Ender's enemy. For now that they could not be together, they must be infinitely apart, and what had been sure and unshakable was now fragile and insubstantial; from the moment we are not together, Alai is a stranger, for he has a life now that will be no part of mine, and that means that when I see him we will not know each other."

--Orson Scott Card, Ender's Game
letheraniel: (Default)
When I lay myself down to sleep tonight
I pray I might
Know why God has tempered judgment
Not with mercy
But with sorrow

Let the world forsake me
Let them do their worst, I will
Withstand it all
They will not break me

There is another world that watches us
I'm not afraid
The angels know when we have sinned
Or we have been betrayed.
--John Caird and Paul Gordon, Jane Eyre: A Musical Drama
letheraniel: (Default)
"But if the perceptive potency is present, then so is that of appetite, for appetite consists of desire and spiritedness and wishing, while all animals have at least one of the senses, that of touch, and in that which sense perception is present there are also pleasure and pain, as well as pleasant and painful sensations, and where they are present, so is desire, since this is an appetite for the pleasant."

--Aristotle, De Anima Book 2, Chapter 3, 414b, tr. Joe Sachs.

On the Soul is actually a really interesting read, and it's also very relevant to my life right now.
letheraniel: (Default)
My display adapter is on the fritz. It wasn't working this morning; the IT people helped me fix it, but told me to still call Apple while I still have my warranty. Oy. When am I going to be able to do that? [/rhetoric]

Open-ended question for the day: What does it mean to be someone's friend?
letheraniel: (Default)
Gregory Maguire wrote a sequel to Wicked.
letheraniel: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] silvertsubasa and I were compiling a list of martial arts movie clichés, based on an admittedly small sample of the genre. All of the movies I've seen have been entertaining, fun and have gorgeous cinematography to boot, but seeing the same plot devices appear over and over again quickly became a source of much personal amusement. So we made a list:

1) There must always be ninja. Even if the movie is set in ancient China (which did not, to my knowledge, have ninja, although it could have easily had fighters who used ninja-like tactics) there must be a lone ninja-like person who breaks in somewhere and steals something in the first twenty minutes. This is usually of vital importance to the plot.

2) If there is a romance, there will be a scene where the heroine takes a bath in the wilderness, and her male companion will make some sort of noise (singing, tapping on his sword, etc) to let her know that he's far away and not watching her bathe. Sometimes, however, this will backfire, sometimes spectacularly so.

3) In the fight scene in the teahouse, the railings will always break--as well as the stairs and any walkways. People will get tossed out of windows. Passers-by will appear to watch, and possibly cheer on, the fighting. The owner will be livid.

4) If there are government officials involved in any way, they will be corrupt, clueless, comic, or otherwise duplicitous. Or some combination of the above.

5) Two words: Bamboo Fighting. (Actually, this may just be Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and House of Flying Daggers, but even so, it's definately worth mentioning if just for the absolute coolness of it.)

I think there were more, but that's all I can think of right now. I love watching Asian films.
letheraniel: (Default)
So the Amazon page for the Heath translation of Euclid's Elements includes an editorial review from Bertrand Russell.

No, it doesn't take much to amuse me.
letheraniel: (hello_sailor)
There is a Software Update icon here.
>click icon

The Software Update icon tells you that all of your programs are obsolete.
>q

You quit the software update and move on with your life.
There is a Livejournal here.

>type in livejournal

You ramble on about your life for a while, all while listening to the pleasant tapping of the keys, humming the "Typewriter Song" tunelessly under your breath as you do so.
Not very exciting right now, but life can't always be "a thrill-a-millichron" (to quote from Planetfall). My love of obscure computer games knows no bounds. However, lacking a handy dungeon (or, failing that, a white house) I'm stuck with what I've got to work with.

"You are in a dark place. You are likely to be eaten by a grue."
letheraniel: (Default)
To relieve stress, I have been playing chess on my computer. So far, I'm winning, but only because I set it to a fairly easy level. I figure I can work my way up. Sometimes this is amusing, because the computer makes some abysmally stupid moves.

In the last game, for instance, I checked the black king with my rook, and the computer, for some reason, didn't move the king out of check, so I took the king without checkmating. This made screwy things happen, as the computer didn't realize that its king was gone, and kept flailing around like an acephalous chickien Why didn't the computer just move its king out of check?

Also, every game, usually for no apparent reason, the computer castles. Every single game. I don't get it.

I like Apple's chess program because I can have leopard-print chess pieces playing on a grass chessboard, if I so desire. (I don't, as it happens, but marble and wood look very nice, too). It also has a handy "undo" command, so when I make a mistake--or move accidentally--I can fix things, which never happens in a real game.

In other chess news, [livejournal.com profile] zimboptoo, if you ever play chess with me again, we are so playing fairy chess. Just so you know.
letheraniel: (Default)
This morning, I decided to walk over to the powerlines to see if the blackberries were ripe. I took a lemonade jug with me because I couldn't find a better carrying object, and the jug met several important criteria: it was hollow, didn't have holes in the bottom, and had a handle for ease in carrying.

Underneath the powerlines lies what I have termed "blackberry scrub ecosystem", which is a fancy way of saying there are a whole lot of blackberry brambles growing in huge clumps, with assorted other species thrown in for good measure around them, as well as numerous insect and bird species. The most prominent seem to be the non-native Japanese beetles, which are shiny and iridescent in a way that would be cool if they weren't buzzing around my head. I seem to have wandered in at an inopportune moment because I "surprised" a lot of couples in flagrante delicto. (Brief flashback here to reading Mesopotamian laws concerning adultery in civics.) However, the insects to watch out for are the wasps, yellow jackets and other stingy things. Unfortunately, my ears are not yet attuned to the subtleties of buzzing, and so all of them tended to sound the same, which at times meant a lot of flailing. But no stings, so it was all to the good.

Most of the blackberries were not ripe. However, in a field with that many blackberries, it really didn't matter that 75% of them weren't ripe because the 25% that was ripe was more than enough to keep me busy. Naturally, the ripest berries are in the very center of these huge brambly megaclusters, so getting them entails a great deal of careful maneuvering so as not to rip out large chunks of hair, cloth and skin. At this, I was only partially successful: I got a few cuts, but nothing really major. (This is good, because there's nothing less appetizing that copious bleeding in the middle of a blackberry field.)

[Insert commercial break filled with Seamus Heaney poems. Essays optional.]

Verdict: hot, sweaty, but a decently filled bucket. Not bad for a half-hour's work in the blazing hot sun dodging aforementioned brambles and insects. Not bad at all.

Now, for the best part: lunch.
letheraniel: (Default)
Pretty pictures from the upcoming Rent movie can be found here.

Also, for those interested: the trailer.

Hey, it says it's not yet rated. I wonder... My guess is PG-13, possibly R depending on how what they do for "Contact". We'll see, boys... and girls.

Two things

Jun. 14th, 2005 09:17 am
letheraniel: (Default)
Midway through my journey through the Slough of Despond, I came across two things that amused me greatly:

1) Dmitri Shostakovich, when not composing music I find incomprehensible, wrote an opera called The Nose. It's the story of a Russian man whose nose spontaneously abandons his face, and won't come back. The nose talks, and competes with its former face for jobs. In the end, for no real explicable reason, the nose is miraculously re-attached and life goes on as normal. (This, according to the Young Person's Guide to Opera, wins the title of "Most Bizarre Plot Ever Used in Opera" or something of a similar nature.)

2) Star Wars, the Musical. You knew it was out there, somewhere.

Some samples:

TARKIN: I get my kicks from killing people,
I love to see their bodies fry.
I built the Death Star by myself;
it's invincible, I'll never die!

and

HAN: Hey now, Chewie - this money can save my butt!
CHORUS: Go Solo! Go Han Solo!
HAN: We're gonna get enough to pay off Jabba the Hutt!

Ah, musical theatre, how I love thee.

UPDATE: A search for Google on "star wars musical" (sans quotes) revealed an entirely different musical. This one has MP3s.

Samples:

"Darth Vader - dark Darth Vader -
dark lord of the Sith.
Darth Vader - dark Darth Vader -
this guy isn't a myth."

"Do you speak Bocce?
Do you speak Bocce -
not Splocce, not Blocce,
not Crocce.
Do you speak Bocce?
Do you speak Bocce?"

I'm sure there are more out there, especially if we count collections of fan parodies, in the mix as well. I'll look for them later when I have a bit of spare time.
letheraniel: (Default)
Earlier, I made a list of things that I would like to do this summer. Going back over it yesterday, I realized that every single item on my list had a corresponding number in the Dewey Decimal System. (I assume this also holds true for LC, but I don't work with the Library of Congress system, so I'm going to focus on Dewey right now.) Everything was clustered in the 600s and 700s, for the most part, with a few forays into the 170s, 150s, 290s, and 320s for variety.

But I started thinking--is there anything that isn't somehow included in the Dewey Decimal System? Is there anything that can't be fixed with a DD call number? Dewey was a racist ethnocentrist white imperialist, but the system seems to encompass every aspect of human knowledge that I can think of, and probably more that I can't. If there's anything that can't somehow be labeled using either Dewey or LC, it would interest me greatly. I can't seem to think of anything, though.
letheraniel: (hello_sailor)
So, I'm thinking of taking music lessons. I'm trying to decide between guitar and piano, and I'm leaning towards piano, but I want to know what other people think. Or should I do neither and learn to play something else instead? Decisions, decisions.
letheraniel: (Default)
Today I learned it takes fourteen Simon and Garfunkle songs to make lentil shepherd's pie. I finished cleaning up right at the last chord of "Bridge Over Troubled Water". Mmmh.

In an odd echo of a post of [livejournal.com profile] burningbright from distantly autrefois, I saved a moth that unexpectedly appeared out of nowhere while I was cooking. It was white and pretty and fragile, with great black eyes and fuzzy antennae. I scooped it up on a piece of paper, and let it fly outside, which made me happy.

When I came home today, I was tired and sad, but suddenly I noticed that the pear tree's blossoms have set--it's covered in all these tiny, minature, nowhere-near ripe baby pears--and all the petty stuff vanished abruptly and I was happy.
letheraniel: (Default)
Mung bean noodles are fun both to eat and to say. I love Asian food stores.

I almost stepped on a baby copperhead today. I really need to watch where I'm going instead of staring up at the sky or the trees around me. However, the odds of a snake actually biting me are fairly low, so I'm not too worried. I'm actually glad to see snakes, as they're an indication that the forest isn't quite dead yet, no matter how much suburban sprawl tries to kill it. And besides, snakes are just cool. It's amazing to me that something with no legs can move so smoothly. Granted, this snake wasn't doing much of anything, just sunning. I wish I could do that all day, but unfortunately things are looking very busy indeed for the next month or so. Fortunately, the worst of it should be over by the end of next week.
letheraniel: (Default)
I'd forgotten how much I liked Louise Labé. I'll translate this sonnet later, when I have time:
Oh ! si j'étais en ce beau sein ravie
De celui-là pour lequel vais mourant ;
Si avec lui vive le demeurant
De mes courts jours ne m'empêchait envie ;

Si m'accolant, me disait : Chère Amie,
Contentons-nous l'un l'autre, s'assurant
Que jà tempête, Euripe, ni courant
Ne nous pourra déjoindre en notre vie ;

Si, de mes bras le tenant accolé,
Comme du lierre est l'arbre encercelé,
La mort venait, de mon aise envieuse,

Lors que souef plus il me baiserait,
Et mon esprit sur ses lèvres fuirait,
Bien je mourrais, plus que vivante, heureuse.


Note the lovely Petrarchan form, and the amazing decasyllables. It's quite beautiful. Any translation I could do would probably not be able to do it justice.
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