A Curious Girl

The musings of a girl who is curious in both senses of the word. Life, God, and York. Oh, did I say York? I meant Bradford!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Incomplete update

I have at least three half-finished posts lurking for this blog. Sigh. I guess part of the trouble is I started wondering how I could make the blog interesting, and goodness me, I can't think of how I could possibly make angst interesting. So I'll talk to Mum about it, and God too, occasionally, but there's been less of the lovely long posts here. Sorry 'bout that. Although it's debateable as to whether long posts are actually lovely ;)

I bought a copy of An Alien At St. Wilfred's by Adrian Plass on Amazon. I adore that book, and I got some of the jokes I didn't get when I read it as a tender young Christian of 12. I've still no clue who "Graham Gooch" is but I do like "This is how the world ends - not with a bang, but a Whimber." Also in a strange way I identified with parts that I hadn't identified with as a tender young Christian of 12. Funny really.

Finals are nearly over. They've been mostly awful - this afternoon's wasn't so bad, it was "Paper criticism" which is really just an advanced form of comprehension exercise. I'm vaguely proud that I requested extra paper, although this was chiefly because I'd written so many notes in my booklet that I'd run out of room. I've got a calculations paper tomorrow, which I'm almost looking forward to (calculations being the only thing I can actually do...) and possibly a project oral exam next week, which I'm praying will be cancelled (the lecturers are striking). I hate oral examinations.

In a bit of a what-to-do-with-my-life quandary as usual. The trouble is, even if I do brilliantly on my degree (which is not going to happen now, sadly) I'd pretty much decided that I don't want to work in science for the rest of my life. I like reading New Scientist, which might have been a good sign when I was 18 but at 22 I feel I've adequately demonstrated to myself that I really want to do something else! The annoying thing is, it would at least be helpful to have a good degree. I wish I'd worked harder, and that I wasn't such an angsty mess :( Mum suggested trying VSO (voluntary services overseas), which would be awesome, only I'm feeling a bit discouraged and wondering if anyone would accept me. It reminds me a little of something a friend said about a guy in the Gilbert and Sullivan society - "He lacks confidence because he can't get a principal part, but he can't get a principal part because he lacks confidence!"

Well, I'm going to post this because I can't be bothered to save it as a draft - thanks for your comments lately, folks. I want to do a post on some of the great blogs I've found, but now I'm going to go get some dinner. Yum.

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Monday, May 22, 2006

Some things that I don't actually care about:
  • Big Brother series ∞
  • The Da Vinci Code
  • Whether voting on Eurovision is rigged
  • The World Cup
  • Pretty much anything to do with Biochemistry

Sigh.

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Thursday, May 18, 2006

Poetical angstings

I've started writing poetry again. Not sure if this is a good thing. It's mainly "journal" poetry, ie. thoughts written spontaneously in a vaguely poetic form, which is my favourite type of poetry to write because it doesn't have to be good. Last year I went to a poetry open mic night and read out a poem on homesickness (everybody say aaw!). One person told me it was very sweet, and another (which, in a way, was more of a compliment) gave me some ideas on how to improve it. Improve it? I thought. But I'm not homesick, and improving a poem on homesickness when not homesick would be profoundly dishonest. I guess I could view it as an independent work of art, exhibiting truths about homesickness for the benefits of my listeners, but generally I don't ever edit my poems (though I do occasionally rewrite them, I always save the old versions) because that would be a bit like re-writing an old diary entry.

Here's one I wrote yesterday.

Letter from the Cell

Dear world, I want out
If you'll have me
This great prison must be torn down
And prisoners released

There's Fear, Anger, Doubt
Holding hostage
Love, Creativity, Peace and Graciousness
The saint and the beast

From,
Prisoner HL83
Cellblock Me

Dear prisoner, stupid girl
These criminals can't be let out
For Doubt is a troublemaker
With his questions and qualms
And Fear a carouser who cannot be calmed
And to keep the world quiet, it can't be denied
That anger is much better off kept inside

As for the others-
In a place where efficiency and
wealth are kings it would appear
we've really no use for those prisoners here

Yours faithfully,
The World


Oh, and this I wrote about a week ago, which I feel apologises for itself in the first stanza. I can't believe I'm so pretentious that I actually use the world 'stanza'. It's untitled, which does not, contrary to popular belief, mean that its title is "Untitled".

I thought that all I ever wanted
Was to be the greatest poet
And my humble rhymes entranced a few
To wonderment and awe - but then I knew
That poetry wasn't what I was made for

I thought that all I ever wanted
Was to have the perfect singing voice
And to my choice of melodies I could carry a tune
Perhaps I would improve
But the music ceased to move me
And singing ceased to satisfy

I thought that all I ever wanted
Was to pass all my exams
I failed them anyway and found I didn't care*
If I had got an A I don't know where I might have gone
But I often feel I wouldn't like it there

I thought that all I ever wanted
Was to beat my Solitaire high score
Spending hours clicking at the screen, what for?
A higher score than ever, but to my dismay
A game of Patience laid to waste my entire day

I thought that all I ever wanted
Was to have a lot of friends
What I got were funny people
We passed the time, we had a ball
They didn't know me at all

Then I knew that all I wanted was to be taken by the hand
By someone who would see my heart and truly understand
What I'd wanted wasn't living, it was just getting by
A million things to show for it
But no answer as to why I bother to exist
I keep on breathing air
A million great experiences - nothing to compare
To that still subtle moment
When you find out what you're for
And your poor frozen soul isn't lonely anymore


So yes, a little exaggerated, kinda angsty, some dry humour; it's just like me. Try it yourself - journal poetry. Write what you feel like, start each line with a capital letter, and you just can't go wrong.

* Note to parents: This is a literary device known as hyperbole. Now stop hyperventilating :)

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Monday, May 15, 2006

Eureka!

I had a cool dream this morning.

I've been writing a story in which a woman is driving a long way. I'd got as far as explaining that she did this every month, she stayed at her destination for a long weekend, she'd been doing it for some time and it was time off from work. The one thing that was bothering me as I wrote was that I didn't actually know why she was going there, though I knew it wasn't due to a love affair or anything to do with her job. I tried not to worry, hoping it would come in time.

I woke up this morning and I knew why she was going there!

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Nativity Scene Revisited

A while ago, in an attempt to antidote all the saccharine, sanitised nativity pictures I had seen, I wrote a story called Nativity Scene which tried to put the story more in focus as being the a birth in a Middle eastern country, in a stable, with shepherds. Not actually the most pleasant of locations, if you think about it hard enough.

I then posted it on Fanfiction.net and since then I'd forgotten all about it.

I was intrigued that today I received a review from someone who was evidently quite offended. Recently I've read a couple of fictionalisations of Biblical stories and was quite surprised to discover that there are people who genuinely believe that this is somehow usurping the Bible's authority. In the face of this I was less surprised that someone would find my story offensive, especially since I remember rather enjoying all the gory details...

Here's the opinion of the indignant reviewer. I was a little hurt that apparently I have an "utter lack of respect for the Divine", but I think I can understand why he/she found my story so upsetting.

You went quite a bit overboard in your attempt to be "accurate". This
is not very accurate at all.
It has many errors, and it actually has the effect of being quite
insulting to the dignity of both Mary and Joseph.
As well as to the Christ Child...

Many "facts" here are just plain wrong.
Mary was quite a young woman, but Joseph was a little bit older.
No one scorned Mary in the manner you suggest. St. Joseph protected
her from all that.
Mary would not be in pain and would certainly not "panic".
There were no "women bustling around". Only the shepherds came on that holy night.
Etc. etc.
But most importantly:
Mary gave birth in the same manner as she conceived - miraculously. It makes no sense to have her give birth in the crude manner that you suggest here, when she conceived in such miraculous splendor and magnificance.
In the silent night, a light from heaven comes upon the Virgin Mother.
The light grows and amplifies in beauty until it is too bright and overwhelmingly wondrous to even look upon. Mary is praying, devoutly and serenely, and an ecstacy beyond all telling comes upon her. The light encompasses her and the child within her. All heaven looks on as the moment comes... it is midnight, and the Child is born.
He is in Mary's arms. Just as He is conceived miraculously, without any violation to Mary's body, so He is born, in the same way, by the holy will of God.
She is no ordinary Mother, and this is no ordinary Child. The beauty of the miraculous moment compels the awe of every angel in heaven and upon earth.
This is the Birth of the Lord, the Messiah, our God.

What you have written here, diminishing that Moment of greatest holiness, with such crudity and utter lack of respect for the Divine, is an affront to the majesty of God Almighty.

The poem you post at the end is very beautiful and contains great truth. It's a shame you were not inspired by it, but rather chose to degrade it, degrade Mary, degrade Joseph, and degrade the birth of the Most High.
It's a shame.


I've found it very interesting that there appear to be some people who believe that art is almost inherently profane. I've no doubt that art is powerful and can be a force for evil if it promotes harmful ideas as good ones - propaganda is a form of art, after all. It appears that writers of fiction often can't do right in the eyes of some Christians.

I do have to wonder, though, what the reviewer feels about the suffering of Jesus, and certainly whether his death would have been as clean and straight forward as his birth apparently was...

So, what does God think of art? Discuss.

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Tuesday, May 09, 2006

My eyes are fully open to my awful situation...

I spent the weekend preparing for and performing in Gilbert and Sullivan's Gondoliers (again. But I actually had a principal role this time!) The madness escalated to the stage whereby we were all talking in G&S quotations. I have never heard of such a thing. What never? No never. What, never?)

So I present herewith a G&S parody (to a tune from Ruddigore....) that I hope will amuse you. See the Gilbert and Sullivan archive for original words and music if you like.

My love for G&S has grown to ludicrous proportions
That my tongue attempts to elocute the words in grand contortions
Now I do believe Conservat-IVE is good pronunciation
And I've memorised long stretches of Duke Plaza-tor's oration
Heartbroken of the blunder of how Bunthorne lost his Patience
Two Gondolieri made king of imaginary nations!
Not a thing that you could say would make my amour for them shatter
So I'll sing another verse of this inconsequential patter

(This inconsequential patter patter patter patter...)

I refuse to say that Gilbert's plotlines were a little silly
For satirical amusement will just shine out willy-nilly
(And even if a rhyme like that utterly benumbing
I'm sure that great Mad Margaret could make it sound becoming)
Love-philtres now seem logical (and so do women's colleges!)
Absurdities and parodoxes, these Gilbert acknowledges
I'm sure to listen to his idle transcendental chatter
Of the sort that would be found to any good Sullivan patter

(Any good Sullivan patter patter patter patter...)

If I had been so lucky as to have a voice impressive
(Though I once did play Inez singing in tones very expressive)
Then I'm certain that d'Oyly-Cart could offer me employment
And my life would then be filled with quite unbearable enjoyment
My enamourment with G&S won't prove to be ephemeral
So I'll write endless parodies of Modern Major General!
And I'll become an expert on each G&S-ish matter
And memorise (and parody) each long tongue-twisting patter!

And I'll become an expert on each G&S-ish matter
And memorise (and parody) each long tongue-twisting patter!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Speaking of long words...

It turns out I'm interested in soteriology.

6 weird habits

Tiffer tagged me to write about my weird habits. I'll give it a go but I'm not sure anything could beat recording your wife snoring...

Once you are tagged you MUST write a blog entry about your 6 weird habits/things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose the next six people to be tagged and list their names.

So here's my six:

1) I really love long words. Hippopotomonstrosesquipedaliophobia does not grip me. Why say "Hello" when "Salutations" will do? I have a habit of hearing words I don't understand, looking up the meaning and then acting surprised when the next person I use them on asks what they mean.
2) I sing. Everywhere. In the shower, in the street, at home, and whenever I'm left alone in a room. I sometimes sing a long song, like Bohemian Rhapsody or American Pie, as a way of passing the time when waiting for a bus.
3) I often quote movies, musicals, Tom Lehrer and occasionally Gilbert and Sullivan shows in conversation. Sometimes people notice.
4) I often pray by writing things down instead of just saying/thinking them. This is sometimes interesting because I can look back at old prayers, which sometimes contain amusing phrases like "No one cares about me, except (long list of people)". It also means that I'm less likely to insult God because it always looks a bit more daring written down...
5) I guess this is more of a non-habit: I have a lack of habit of having my hair cut. My hair is now waist length.
6) I watch "A Muppet Christmas Carol" every Christmas. Surprisingly, I still don't know all the words.

I'm not sure that I should be optimistic in entertaining the notion that any of you will do this, but I might as well give it a go. So I'll tag
Chrissie
Dr. Moose
Dave
Hsiu
Nicola (Happy Anniversary... and why have you abandoned your poor little blog?)
YOU. Yes, you.

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Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Did I mention who my new hero is?


I'm sitting in the computer room wearing a hoodie and surfing (tch, procrastination!) when what should I see but this amazing picture. It's the Archbishop of York wearing a hoodie. Cool.

He said: "Jesus said, 'Unless you become like a little child you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven'.

"We have a lot to learn from young people as well as much responsibility for them."


That's it. I'm going to find out when he's preaching next and head to the Minster. How often would an archbishop like that be at your local church?

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Monday, May 01, 2006

Sometimes it's hard to stay thankful

Not much to say right now, except I'm feeling a bit down and upset due to the pressure of finals. It's hard to talk to others about it. I think it's about time I started using Msn messenger again ;)

I want to try and stay thankful nonetheless ('cause I'm still alive, breathing, seeing, hearing, and watching Doctor Who*) and I like this quote:

You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink. --G.K. Chesterton

Now that's a good idea :)

*K9!!!!!

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