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O Why do I love thee?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Which One Do You Like?

Friday, January 22, 2010
I tried making a seal for myself, but couldn't decide upon a color scheme I liked better than any other.  Would you let me know which one you like best?



Whichever one picked will be my blogger profile pic until I can figure out what else to use.   : )

O Dragon, You are the bread and the knife,

Okay, I couldn't help it. In my last post I mentioned dragon poetry.

I had to post something about it.

Now, let me introduce you to one beautiful little site: dragonsinn.net/poetry.htm   Dragons' Inn... has a cozy ring to it, doesn't it?   Here is the advice--straight from the masters--of how to read dragon poetry:  (yea, and all poetry it would seem)

"Just a note: poems are expressions of the soul. No speed reading :D."

Amen, brother. And why would  you speed read when confronted with dragon poetry? Gems like the following:

A Poem about the Dragon
~   Theodora Lau
I am an unquenchable fire,
The center of all energy,
The stout heroic heart.
I am truth and light,
I hold power and glory in my sway.
My presence
Disperses dark clouds.
I have been chosen
To tame the Fates.
~ © 1979 Theodora Lau
The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes

Aedh Pleads with the Elemental Powers
~ William Butler Yeats
The Powers whose name and shape no living creature knows
Have pulled the Immortal Rose;
And though the Seven Lights bowed in their dance and wept,
The Polar Dragon slept,
His heavy rings uncoiled from glimmering deep to deep:
When will he wake from sleep?
Great Powers of falling wave and wind and windy fire,
With your harmonious choir
Encircle her I love and sing her into peace,
That my old care may cease;
Unfold your flaming wings and cover out of sight
The nets of day and night.
Dim Powers of drowsy thought, let her no longer be
Like the pale cup of the sea,
When winds have gathered and sun and moon burned dim
Above its cloudy rim;
But let a gentle silence wrought with music flow
Whither her footsteps go.

~ William Butler Yeats

Now, I don't know about you, but I'm just aching to read the story, novella, or campaign notes which inspired the second poem.  There is obviously more to this story.  (Okay, I'm joking. It's Yeats, after all.  But really... who knew that really famous people wrote dragon poetry?  Have you ever read Shakespeare's dragon sonnet? No!? Well, you better get over to that site!)

I didn't pick the two best poems on the site, but two which I felt gave a good indication of what's out there.  Go to it people.  Run to it.

*Both poems found on http://dragonsinn.net/Poetry/yeats1.htm
** Somebody out there will want me to reference my post title to the poem which inspired it: either a Jacques Crickillon poem or Billy Collins' spoof of it: Litany


 *image details can be found at the end of the post
Please, before reading on, enjoy the following link:

We're Gonna Have Company...

If you thought that was funny, then you can continue reading this post.  If you laughed out loud, then you’re my kind of person. You see, one could argue several different fan-systems of the Star Wars universe, or in other words argue for various ways to classify Star Wars fans.

I’ve always classified SW fans into the following categories (okay, as you‘re about to see, this is actually my nerd classification system; but in my view, that‘s fine. I think SW is an excellent indicator of nerdiness):

1. Clueless - “I’m too cool to watch Star Wars.”
(In my experience this translates to: “I’m just a little too insecure about how my friends see me to try anything nerdy. The price could be too high.”)

2. “Yeah, I’ve seen it a few times. [Enter relative] watches it every once in a while, and if I’m around I’ll sit down and watch it, too.”
(These are people who actually aren’t totally interested in SW (or just sci-fi) but like movies, or who are open minded enough to enjoy a little of everything)

3. Closed-Closet Nerds. 
No category could be more controversial than the closed-closet nerd.  Not only do they eat up sci-fi and fantasy, but they probably read Lord of the Rings or Dune before middle school. Advanced cases read one or both of the above books more than once and can quote a SW or Star Trek movie by memory.     The catch?  They’ll go to any length to keep you from knowing it.  It takes a real nerd, one who has walked the walked, talked the talk, and has a few years under their belts to distinguish between #1s and #3s (between the ‘clueless’ and ‘c-c nerds’) because their strategies are almost identical.  #3s, like #1s, worry so much about friends, social positions and the status quo that they keep any and all self-indulgences very secret.

4. Emerging Nerds.
Emerging nerds are what keep Nerddom as we know it in a mostly-healthy balance.  They (intrinsically) both remind Nerds of their place and humanity  and balance out the Tatooine-Cantina nerd group.  Emerging nerds can come from any age group or background.  Some are previously c-c nerds who, freed from high school or the drama of a particular social group, decide they’re done compromising themselves and fearlessly embrace their nerdiness. This change produces some of the most powerful nerds, though when unchecked results in a Cantina regular (more on this later).   Other emerging nerds… well… emerge after being exposed (for more or less the first time) to something nerdy and realizing there may just be something in this whole nerd business.  Maybe it actually COULD be fun… In any case intriguing…  These people could come from category #1 or #2, and while they generally don’t dive too deep into Nerddom, advanced cases can be found at conventions.

5. The Nerds
Now that we’ve entered the nerd category, some distinctions must be made.  Not all nerds are nerdily equal.  Please compare with me the not-too-skinny nerd who can actually pull off being a nerd and yet have cool friends, and the 40 year old fantasy addict who 1) hasn’t missed a fantasy convention in seven years, 2) knows how to spell bat'leth (and that the apostrophe is important) and 3) has gotten over 4000 words into his own fantasy/alien language.  There must be sub-categories of nerd.  "Nerds" standing alone, with no subcategories, would be like classifying everything on earth as either "Living" or "Not Living."  "Nerd" and "Not  Nerd" is inadequate.

For time’s sake, I’ll briefly mention two kinds of Nerd, or, to use technical language, two taxons of the Nerd order (that’s biology lingo for all those undergrads out there ; )):

5.a.  “Yeah, I’d wear a nerdy shirt as long as it wasn’t absolutely atrocious” Nerds. 
These nerds still have their grip on reality.  They can be businessmen, doctors, basketball players and, as has been pointed out to me, editors of most major news sites and magazines (really. You’d be shocked at how many Star Wars comments are snuck into the most unlikely places).

5.b.  The Tatooine-Cantina Nerd. 
This category is best likened unto a magnet.  Something about this kind of nerd sparks your curiosity:  why does this person love elves enough to buy ‘elven’ swords and have their [significant other] wear those ears?  What makes this person tick?  The curiosity and their absolute sincerity draws you in and, at least in my experience, tempts you with the powers of the Dark Side.  Yet, there is always the second, distancing part of a magnet:  even as one is being drawn in, something catches within themselves and they realize, “Do I actually want to spend that much time creating a castle floor plan, complete with 3d models and harmonized to my various fantasy world cultures?” Reason steps in and, with the voice of Qui-Gon to Anakin, gives you the hair-raising warning, “Anakin, no!”  Is the dark side worth it?  Do you really want to have dragon posters all over your room?

Do you really want to be single at 40?

It takes guts or being completely oblivious to social pressures to stay a Tatooine Nerd. It takes a lot of time, money, and humility, too.  But these people, in their simple sincerity, are forever happy and engaged.  They’re happy or engaged to the point of being oblivious to the outside world (a dangerous, self-sustaining circle of in-your-own-world-ness is the life of a 5.b. nerd).

Have you seen these divisions, too?  Have different ones?

Of course, no nerd system can be totally comprehensive.  This is but a very raw glimpse into my nerd classification system.  Once you begin adding more variables such as:  silk dragon t-shirts, fantasy poetry, dragon poetry (yes, this is technically fantasy poetry, but I was shocked by how much there is of it out there.  If you don’t know what dragon poetry is, go look it up. You wont be disappointed.)(You wont be disappointed, but you’ll lose a little sleep and hope for Nerddom at the same time), Star Trek costumes, actually owning a copy of the original Battlestar Galactica….

Once you add those variables in, you begin to really flesh out your system. 
That, and you realize what an interesting thing it is to be a Nerd.

Well, feel free to go and watch that “we’re going to have company” clip as much as you want.  You deserve it for reading through this post.

A Few Parting Facts about Star Wars:

Darth Vader was played by three actors. David Prowse was the body, James Earl Jones the voice, and Sebastian Shaw was the face when Darth Vader was eventually unmasked.

In the UK census of the year 2001, Jedi was listed as a religion.

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope' (1977) won six Oscars.

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back' (1980) won an Oscar for Best Sound.

Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi' (1983) won a People's Choice Award for Favorite Motion Picture.

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace' (1999) won an MTV Movie Award for Best Action Sequence.

Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones' (2002) won an MTV Movie Award for Best Fight between Yoda and Christopher Lee.

Not only was the studio unsure about the film, most of the cast was thrown by the strange dialogue and story, often leading to tension or awkwardness while filming. (Leia half-british, half-american accent!) No one had any inkling it would be such a smash hit.

Luke was almost named Luke Starkiller

Details on Images:
1. Stormtroopers Marching: literal link: "http://www.tk1995.com/page1/files/star_wars_narrowweb__300x369002c0.jpg"  taken from "http://www.tk1995.com/"   (creative commons picture)
2. Darth Vader: literal link: "http://s3.amazonaws.com/readers/cinemaroll/2008/02/20/116265_2.jpg"  (creative commons)
3. Cantina picture: literal link: "http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/starwars/images/e/e0/Tales_from_the_Mos_Eisley_Cantina_art.jpg"  ;  taken from: "http://tehparadox.com/forum/f58/star-wars-audiobooks-lots-them-154171/"

O Why Do I Love Thee?

Saturday, January 9, 2010
Funny Exam Answers.com

There's nothing quite like the euphoria of finding a new site which captures your interest and attention for a few minutes, and which you actually think you'll check back on from time to time.  I found one of those types of websites today:  http://www.funnyexamanswers.com/  

This is one of their "popularly viewed" answers, but their website is full of procrastiation and laziness gone wild.

: )  It had to be mentioned.  What a fun time waster.

Going Through Mission Emails

Sunday, January 3, 2010
I've been going through mission emails all night posting old emails to my Boy Wanderer Blog and came across this email between Elder Andersen and I.

This was sent at at time where he, untrained, was running the mission office and I was stuck in Kazakhstan. We talked several times a day, and I did all I could to work through him.

It just... took me back, and those were hard times.

His "Interm Elder Finch" comment at the end made me laugh SO hard. You really have to know him, and had to have been there to understand it. Something about high-stress breeds inside jokes.

Mon, Dec 8, 2008 at 4:10 AM
subject Anybody - Please Write Back
mailed-by gmail.com

hide details 12/8/08

Hey Elder Andersen,

That sure sounds like a problem. I'm not sure I understand what's going on. Are you at the office?

Here are the complications here: we have everything ready save the Russian Priglashenias. I'll have to tell you about how we had to pray that the ladies didn't read the kazakh letters of invitation right so that we got into the country, and how we had to bend international law to do so (it was cool), but we don't have the time right this moment.

Sasha's email is vobshe ne panyatna. Please email Irina and ask her to call you. She needs to figure out the situation with you and take care of it. Please do this ASAP.

Also, if you're there, please get on Gmail and g-chat with me. We need to talk.

Elder Finch

PS: Welcome to the life of travel secretary! Doing alright?

On 12/8/08, Elder Andersen wrote:

That one email didn't make sense because I forgot to give you this......yeah.

From: Oleg Rumyantsev
Sent: Monday, December 08, 2008 9:42 AM
To: Irina Kolomytseva; Veronika Vartanova
Subject: FW: Kazakhstan

Dear Irina,

Thank you for your e-mail. The situation is the following. We are not clear know when invitation letters from Ufa will be issued. Last promise from FMS was December 9th, which is tomorrow. I have discussed this issue with Lev and Viktor on last week, we cannot insist the FMS, because the deadline according to the law is not yet crossed. Therefore, they recommendation was to speak with the FMS kindly and try to receive these as soon as it can. Unfortunately, we slightly understand the reason for the delay.

Regarding missionaries accommodation for visa renewal:

· President Allen is approved their staying at the Freiberg Temple while missionaries will be waiting for visas after December 16th;

· Vladimir Blinkov has been agreed with Sultanat to processes all 16 visas through Uralsk, if it is essential. But she will be able to accept them on December 22nd only.

Thank you for your good assistance in this matter.

Also, Sasha was talking to me today. He said that (for whatever reason) Elder Dorman, Elder Brown, and Elder Peterson will be delayed in the paradaise of Almaty for another week, but you, Sister Keleman, and Elder Murphy could be home by friday. So, use your best terms of work force to maximize your times in Kazakhstan.

Kindest Personal Regards,

Elder Andersen, Member Records Secratary, Interm Elder Finch


I Honestly Couldn't Believe It...

Yes, I had heard about this, but when somebody told it to me I brushed it off as mission rumor. Kind of like the "Did you know that Brad Pitt was baptized as a kid!?" sorts of rumors (feel free to substitute any celebrity name for Brad's).

Yeah... no joke. The last time I checked, we were HORRIBLE.
Well, they'll have one more follower next season, that's for sure.