Friday, September 30, 2005

The Corpse Bride

I went to the matinee today and saw Tim Burton's, The Corpse Bride. I don't think I have seen one of his movies with the weird animation thing he does. So, I was rather excited. (I must add, my friends and I did not intend to see this movie originally. We had wanted to see The Constant Gardner, starring Ralph Fiennes. But, alas, they had pulled it today from showing. So, we settled for this one.)

I was not disappointed. The movie played out much more like a musical than your average drama or comedy. I would guess that there were 4 or 5 musical numbers in the movie, plus beautiful music the whole way through. I enjoyed most of the singing by the animated characters, but there were a few dance numbers that just seemed random and irrelevant.

The movie was beautifully written and edited. It is filled with lots of witty humor. Burton manages to draw you into the characters and make the audience feel their emotions.

I believe I also found references to other movies throughout this movie. For example, Victoria's mother looked much like the wicked stepmother in Cinderella. The old oak tree whereby Victor found the corpse bride looked similar to the old oak tree in Sleepy Hollow, another Johnny Depp film (who served as the voice of Victor in this film). And, when the dead drank their ale downstairs, or in the underworld, it looked very similar to the way the pirates drank their ale in Pirates of the Carribean (once again, a Johnny Depp film).

Overall, I enjoyed the movie. Good, clean fun. Come to think of it, I don't remember a single cuss word. For what it's worth, it gets my recommendation.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Definitive College

Today my meals consisted of the following:

Water and an oats & honey bar between 11:00 and 3:00.

A venti (the largest) banana-berry blast smoothie at Crimson Cafe with Hickory Barbecue chips between 3:30 and 5:30.

Three-cheese chicken Voila! with water for dinner.

A small cup of strawberry yogurt at TCBY around 9:30.

Quite a day, huh? I have a bad habit of not finding the time for lunch. I then try to eat a good, healthy dinner. I thought, what a "college" day. Smoothies and yogurt. I'll make just a few comments on this. First, I'm not recommending this eating strategy. It just sometimes works out that way. Second, it makes you appreciate homecooked meals a whole lot more. (I'm really craving some pineapple casserole. Yummy!)

I'd feel more guilty about my eating, but, hey, at least this semester I'm playing tennis. And, I walk every day to class. Perhaps it all balances in the end.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Moon Connection

"I see the moon, and the moon sees me."

My Granny says that I sang this one night when I was very little and riding with her and Paw Paw. I believe I was on the way to see one of my new siblings. Tonight, I walked outside and looked at the moon, and the song popped into my head. The moon has been absolutely beautiful the past couple of nights.

So, If I can see the moon and the moon sees me, and you see the moon and the moon sees you, does that mean I can see you and you can see me? A=B, B=C, A=C? Ummm....No. Not in this case. BUT!...It does mean that I see the same moon and heavens that you, my readers in other various parts, see. We are connected by the heavens. I see the same story unfold each night as you do.

So, when I look up at the sky, night or day, I not only think of our glorious Creator, but I also think of you, my dear friends, in other parts of the country.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Reading and Writing

I spent most of my afternoon reading two books for two different history classes. For my U.S. History between WWI and WWII class, I am reading Screening Out the Past: The Birth of Mass Culture and the Motion Picture Industry by Lary May. For my U.S. History after WWII class, I am reading By the Bomb's Early Light: American Thought and Culture at the Dawn of the Atomic Age by Paul Boyer. Eventually, I will be writing papers with the assistance of both of these books. Currently, I have about 100 pages left in each book. (Yes! Progress!)

By the Bomb's Early Light is divided into eight sections and focuses on the years from 1945 to 1950. I have read six sections. This book has been the easier and more entertaining of the two to read. The first section deals with the nation's initial reactions to the use of the atomic bomb on both Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The second and third sections focus on the scientists who were directly involved in the making of the bomb and their reactions. You may find it interesting to note that many of them became political activists, encouraging a one-world government. Part four discusses the optimism brought by the discovery of atomic energy. Some were hopeful that atomic energy would erase the need for gasoline powered automobiles, as well as hard labour. Others, more aware of radiation and its effects, knew these hopes were dim and not likely. Section six discusses particular American groups's reactions, such as the reaction of the African Americans, Christians, and academia. It was my favorite section thus far. In class we have discussed much of the issues that were brought up in this section. For example, why did we drop the bomb on Japan, and not Germany, or another Axis power? (Another side note, the propaganda of the war is quite interesting to look at and study. Germans and Japanese were placed in completely different lights. For example, we fought the Nazis and Hitler, not the Germans. But, we fought "the Japanese" who were displayed in pictures as not human.)

My other book, Screening Out the Past, has been a little harder for me to digest. It begins by exploring Victorian values and the efforts made to sustain those values over the years leading up to the birth of the motion picture. It also looks at the early years of the motion picture, and the efforts to balance Victorian values with the values of the various crowds watching the movies. In other words, there was an upper class who still supported and encouraged Victorian values. They tried to control movies for a time being. Directors tried to balance these values, though, with the middle class/working society/immigrant values. This group was more likely to be found at vaudeville acts and other activites that the elite viewed as against Victorian values. Today, I read the section that begins to explain the change that takes place around 1914-1918. Women become more independant and fall more often to temptation. Men, too, are viewed as yielding to temptation. While presenting this image, directors, actors, and actresses also give an answer: men should exercise, which will give them more energy to perform their mundane tasks, which will then give them more money to spend, and women should continue to perform acts of charity and support moral order (their acts of independance), while spending what their husbands earn. In other words, exercise makes men happy, and spending makes women happy. (Does this sound familiar??) the writing part of the title. Tonight, I began the process of re-writing the constitution for The Capstone Financial Planning Association. It is an organization I am involved with on campus, and the consitution is outdated. A newer version will open the door for more members, as well as correct some things that are no longer relevant.

So, that is some of what I have been doing. May God bless us and keep us.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Branching Out

Tonight I went to Crimson Cafe. It is a small, down-to-earth coffee shop. The owners grow their own beans in Columbia, and the wooden tables and chairs that make up the restaurant were made by one of the owner's family members. There are pictures of their farm in Columbia scattered throughout the cafe. They have boardgames, newspapers, and all sorts of shakes, coffees, and food. I have quite a few favorite dishes. It is one of my favorite places in T-town, because of the atmosphere. It's a great place to study, but it is also simply a great place to hang out.

After a quick trip to Target, I headed to Crimson Cafe with a friend for a Banana Berry Blast, a.k.a. a strawberry and banana smoothie. But, tonight I ordered a Grande size. Now, granted, Grande is only the medium size. But I have been in Tuscaloosa for three, going on four, years now, and I don't think I have ever ordered a grande size at Crimson. I only order a "tall" size, the smallest size. (Ironic, huh. Tall is small.) So, I branched out. Got a little on the crazy side. As did my friend. She ordered a coconut shake, which ended up being vanilla ice cream and coconut, instead of her usual Yucatan shake, the same ingredients, only with coffee and chocolate.

It was an exciting night. :-)

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Thru many dangers

Last night Five Mile PB and Bethlehem PB held a joint service at one of the members' office in Tuscaloosa, because both churches were without electricity. It was a small, sweet gathering, and we discussed ways to help the people we know that are suffering right now, as well as prayed for them. First, though, we sang a song - Amazing Grace. We sang the first verse, the third verse, and the last verse. I was really impacted by the third verse, though, as we sang.

Thru many dangers, toils, and snares,
I have already come;
'Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

I fitting for this time. His grace has kept us thus far, and his grace will continue to keep us. Each breath is a gift from him. Even as I type, another couple of stanzas from a hymn comes to mind:

While all that borrows life from thee,
Is ever in they care,
And everywhere that man can be,
Thou God art present there.

It's amazing how songs stick with you, and you call it to mind, whatever the situation might be.