Saturday, June 30, 2012

Character Letters - June Edition

So, for those of you who don't know, Rosamund Gregory over at Shoes of Paper ♥ Stockings of Buttermilk (formerly A Wanderer in the Shadowed Land) has a monthly feature called  Character Letters, where one has a character write a letter based on certain prompts.  It's a lovely idea, and I meant to do it last month and didn't get to it.  I nearly didn't get to it this month, either, but I was determined, so here goes.

Nora isn't really a letter-writing kind of girl -- more because she hasn't got anyone to write to then because she doesn't like letters.  The theme for this month's Character Letters was villains, but Nora's story  (entitled, by the way, Coffee-Shop) doesn't really have a villain, per se.  It may yet, but it doesn't right now.  You see, Nora creates her own villains.  Mental villains, that is.  She's kind of her own enemy, and I don't mean that in a dramatic dual-personality kind of way.  She just has tendencies she must fight against and circumstances that are against her, like everyone else.  So her "letter" is a diary entry. 

I did try to write it out by hand, but you see, Nora's handwriting is quite different from mine, and I'm not much of a forger.  So I shall just describe it.  Nora writes in that funny half-cursive, half-print style, where some letters are cursive and joined together, while some are just and print as print can be.  Nevertheless, she isn't a careless person, in writing as in everything else, and her handwriting is quite neat and very small, with a tendency to be rather vertical.  It is not pretty, but hasn't got any obvious faults. She dots all the i's and crosses the t's with short, straight lines.  She likes to use pens but usually confines herself to pencils because they are more economical and can be erased if necessary.  Nora writes in a neat brown-covered journal with a key and lined pages.  She uses the key because she feels it's bad enough to have her thoughts and emotions down permanently on a piece of paper without making it accessible.  She wears the key as a necklace, and finds that to be very romantic and heroine-like.  The girl would never confess to something so silly, though.

Without more ado (though that description was ever so much fun to write):

 April 12, 20--

I am miserable.  I've finally owned it to myself.  I'm lonely and awkward and boring and bored.  The fact that I am miserable just makes me more miserable, too.  I guess that's ironic.  I should be grateful, you know.  I have a job that pays for me to live comfortably enough, I haven't any mortal illnesses, and nobody hates me.  But nobody really likes me, either.  Well --- that's not true either.  Nobody thinks of me enough to like me or dislike me.  I'm not the noticeable kind.  And as for my job, it may pay enough to live on, but I have to continue it constantly in order to live.  I shall never be able to go to college, at least not till I'm too old to want to.  I will be stuck in this dreary life for a long time yet, with no happiness apart from library books and the coffee-shop five blocks down.  I wish that awful car crash had never happened, oh, I wish so hard I feel it must bring them back!  But that's stupid.  They're not coming back.  And it isn't like me to be so emotional.  I must stop this.  But I am so very tired and overworked and just all-around miserable.  I'm very alone, just like in the rhyme: "I care for nobody, and nobody cares for me". 

All right.  I'm going to try and get over it.  My lunch break is over, I've got to get back to work.  And I can look forward to the coffee-shop this afternoon.  I'll think on that.

 - Nora Grace

Okay, I'm sorry it's rather depressing.  But you see, this takes place the day the story begins.  When Nora goes to the coffee-shop this particular afternoon, she meets someone (after an uncharacteristic display of strong emotion) who --- oh, but to tell more would give too much away.  Spoilers, sweetie!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Cause you know, I'm a lot like my dad.

I had to do a Father's Day-ish post, because my dad actually reads my blog.  Sometimes.  Once in a while. 

He doesn't like to be talked about "in public" so that's exactly what I'll do.   I'm just like him, so I know how his brain works.  Yes I do. *evil cackle*.  My dad's a choleric-melancholic, which basically makes him a drill sergeant with a shy streak.  Nothing makes him happier than to have something done right - so at work he does everything for the incompetent people who are supposed to do it.  He's smart as anything and he discovered Einstein's theory of relativity in grade school, just to find out it had already been discovered.  At least, that's what he says.  I know he's smart, but if he's really that smart, it's scary.  He explains stuff to me all the time and makes me read books on philosophy and logic and theology and all kinds of complicated things.  I skim through them and then pretend to know what I'm talking about.  Sometimes we have deep discussions (in which I get mad and then get disproved into an embarrassed silence) late into the night. Those are fun cause I get to be completely and unabashedly nerdy, even if I am disproved into oblivion.  But you see, I got my know-it-all attitude from him, too.  I always say he gave me the worst traits, but in reality I like being like him, except for the hair and the temper.  Could have done without those. Oh, and I could have done without the love of internet surfing, too - though that can't be genetic because there was no internet when he was born in the far-off days of hippies and crazy hair and seriously freaky music videos that I still have to see because he has a sentimental attachment to what my mom calls "the music of his youth".  I have a different name for it, but we won't say it.

ANYWAY, so my dad's kind of amazing and I love him.  The end.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

I haven't got much time today, but I couldn't let the day pass without mentioning one of my favorite holydays.  It's my favorite partially because of the obvious reason that the feast celebrates Our Lord's infinite love for us and it's a beautiful thing to think about, and partially because I have fond memories of the quiet way we used to celebrate it when we were stationed in Germany.  It was always perfect walking weather there this time of year, so we'd walk down to the little town near our house and buy a big bunch of red roses from the florist's little shop to place in front of our image of the Sacred Heart.  Then my mom would tell the little ones a bit about the feast and how it was established, and we'd say the Litany of the Sacred Heart after the nightly rosary.  Simple but beautiful - and isn't that the best way?

You can read about devotions to the Sacred Heart here, and an extremely long but insanely good article about it here.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Favorite Poetry - The Aristocrat

Well, I've finally gotten around to posting again.  You can thank frustration with a certain research report for that...anyway, before I begin, I just wanted to thank Katie of Whisperings of the Pen for being my 50th follower!  Thank you, Katie, and thanks for your lovely comment on my last post, as well.  I'm up to fifty-one now - I feel super special!

Now for the poetry. This is one of the first Chesterton poems I was exposed to.  I find the combination of flippancy and urgency quite striking, and so it sort of imprinted on my brain and is one of the few poems I've actually got memorized.   Chesterton portrays the enticement that evil can have, and then warns us of it's consequences, all in his typical entertaining style. It must be noted that Chesterton is using the term "gentleman" in the sense it was often used in during his time - not in a positive way, to describe a man who upholds chivalry, honor, and intelligence, but in a negative way, to indicate a sort of - oh, this is hard to explain - a sort of dissipated, good-for-nothing person.  Eh, close enough.  Anyway, hope you enjoy it.  And do think about what the poet's trying to say, please.  If there's something that you don't get that you'd like to have explained, leave a comment.  I may have an answer.

The Aristocrat
by G.K. Chesterton 

The Devil is a gentleman, and asks you down to stay
At his little place in What'sitsname (it isn't far away).
They say the sport is splendid; there is always something new,
And fairy scenes, and fearful feats that none but he can do;
He can shoot the feathered cherubs if they fly on the estate,
Or fish for Father Neptune with the mermaids for a bait;
He scaled amid the staggering stars that precipice, the sky,
And blew his trumpet above heaven, and got by mastery
The starry crown of God Himself, and shoved it on the shelf;
But the Devil is a gentleman, and doesn't brag himself.

O blind your eyes and break your heart and hack your hand away, 
And lose your love and shave your head, but do not go to stay
At the little place in What'sitsname where folks are rich and clever;
The golden and the goodly house, where things grow worse forever;
There are things you need not know of, though you live and die in vain,
There are souls more sick of pleasure than you are sick of pain;
There is a game of April Fool that's played behind its door,
Where the fool remains forever and the April comes no more,

Where the splendour of the daylight grows drearier than the dark,
And life droops like a vulture that once was such a lark:
And that is the Blue Devil that once was the Blue Bird;
For the Devil is a gentleman, and doesn't keep his word.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Victoria Has A Real Life? Shocking!

Well my dears, as you may or may not have noticed, I have not set pen to paper fingers to keyboard for nearly two long weeks.  The cause of this dreadful neglect, though, is - for once - quite legitimate.  The cause I speak of has ten tiny fingers and ten tiny toes, a good deal of hair and a cute little nose.  And no, I did not mean to go rhyming there.  I would never make such silly rhymes.  NOT AT ALL.

In short, ladies and gentlemen, my mother gave birth to a beautiful baby girl last Sunday, which of course made an end to whatever vestiges of order ever existed in this family, thus making it near impossible for any blogging to be done.  Also, my slow noggin has finally accepted the fact that normal beings will be finished school in two weeks, while I....won't.  So I really must get down to business and defeat the Huns make some progress in my work.  I have no desire to graduate a year late, thank you.

I may attempt to post sometime this coming week, but I really don't know if I shall be able to, so no promises, no precious.   The source of happiness and light which is my beloved blog (KIDDING, PEOPLE) shall probably remain silent for some time yet.  So yeah.  Be back in a bit.  *waves awkwardly*
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