Thoughts searching for the essence of everything.



Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Books

The first book I read this summer was The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. I enjoyed it immensely; it was quite a page turner. I decided to finally read it because I had been listening to some cassettes Mr. Egan lent me about Harry Potter and the New Age movement which both referenced this book. The next book in line for me to read (i.e. after I finish the school list) is An Exorcist Tells His Story. I highly recommend The Screwtape Letters to everyone. They are not especially disturbing only enlightening. I came away with a better understanding of temptation and how to recognize and avoid it.








Next I read Dubliners by James Joyce. Although I find Joyce's philosophy erroneous and his themes concentrated too much on the fallen nature of man rather than the power of redemption, I laud his style of writing which is almost like reading poetry. This book was an interesting collection of glimpses into the lives of various Irishmen. I have read one other book by James Joyce, Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man. It started out very interestingly and I enjoyed it but then the main character spiralled downwards into the vice of lust, and there was no resolution to the story. So although the style of writing was captivating, the story was a disappointment. I wouldn't particularly recommend this book other than for reasons of discussion and debate.







Currently I am reading Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz. It is a required book to read over the summer for my Classical Civilization Class. I'm on page 100 out of 579 pages. It is set in the time of Nero and follows the story of Ligia, a young Christian. The story is very captivating and the book is hard to put down each time I read it. I highly recommend this book.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Newsies

So, lately it seems that people around me often have been talking about musicals lately. "Newsies" is perhaps not the best musical out there but it is still very enjoyable. The movie made in 1992 has Christian Bale and Bill Pullman ("Independance Day" and "Casper"). If anyone would like to see it you can borrow it from me just let me know.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Ave Maria


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLperaX6Q3A

This song is one of the most powerful I have ever heard. You can sense the petition and devotion in the meaning. I have worked on learning it on the piano but  I believe it sounds best as a piano-violin duet.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Ode 1.4

Solvitur acris hiems grata vice veris et Favoni,


trahuntque siccas machinae carinas.

ac neque iam stabulis gaudet pecus aut arator igni;

nec prata canis albicant pruinis.



iam Cytherea choros ducit Venus imminente luna,

iunctaeque Nymphis Gratiae decentes

alterno terram quatiunt pede, dum gravis Cyclopum

Vulcanus ardens urit officinas.



nunc decet aut viridi nitidum caput impedire myrto

aut flore, terrae quem ferunt solutae.

nunc et in umbrosis Fauno decet immolare lucis,

seu poscat agna sive malit haedo.



pallida Mors aequo pulsat pede pauperum tabernas

regnumque turris. o beate Sesti,

vitae summa brevis spem nos vetat incohare longam;

iam te premet nox fabulaeque Manes



et domus exilis Plutonia; quo simul mearis,

nec regna vini sortiere talis

nec tenerum Lycidan mirabere, quo calet iuventus

nunc omnis et mox virgines tepebunt.

-Horace

 


Translation by David West:
 
 
 
Harsh winter is melting away in the welcome change to spring and zephyrs,
 
winches are pulling down dry-bottomed ships,
 
the cattle no longer like the steading, the ploughman does not hug the fire,
 
and meadows are not white with the hoar-frost.
 
 
Venus of Cythera leads on the dance beneath a hanging moon,
 
and the lovely Graces, linking arms with Nymphs,
 
shake the ground with alternate feet, while burning Vulcan
 
visits the grim foundreis of the Cyclopes.
 
 
Now is the time to oil the hair and bind the head with green myrtle
 
or flowers born of the earth now freed from frost;
 
now too is the time to sacrifice to Faunus in shady groves
 
whether he asks a lamb of prefers a kid.
 
 
Pale death kicks with impartionl foot at the hobels of the poor
 
and the towers of kinks. O fotunate Sestius,
 
the brief sum of life does not allow us to start on long hopes.
 
You will soon be kept close by Night and the fabled shades
 
 
in Pluto's meagre house. When you go there
 
you will no longer cast lots to rule the wine,
 
nor admire tender Lycidas, whom all the young men
 
now burn for and for whom the girls will soon be warm.
 
 
I thought this poem was appropriate because it introduces its theme with the turning from the season of winter into spring. This is a typical Horacian poem in which the theme is "carpe diem." Horace is saying that now it is spring and now we are young and beautiful so we should enjoy this time for later we will be dead. After death you will not be able to enjoy yourself as you do on earth. Horace follows a Christian doctrine but not for Christian reasons. He says to enjoy yourselves and the world around you becuase it will not last forever. As a Christian I would enjoy myself and nature because they are gifts from God, but of course I see the fleetingness of physical beauty and try to enjoy them as long as possible. I try to take delight in the simple things as well as the grand.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Hunger Games



I finished reading this book a little while ago and it was very addicting yet sick at the same time. I found the author's (Susanne Collins) writing style to bit a bit frustrating because her sentances are short and misconstrued. However, the story itself has a lot of meaning compared to other modern best-sellers. I recommend this book as a quick, fun read which gives some opening to discussion.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Free Starbucks!

Today I went to the Starbucks on Winton Road after a long day watching my little sisters. I'm all excited about getting the bold flavor of the week, Caffe Verona, but they apparantly do not brew it after ten at that Starbucks. The lady cashier however was very nice about it and offerend to do a quick brew just for me. I declined and accepted the Pike Place Roast she had just brewed, and she wouldn't accept any money for it. So I got a free venti of Starbuck's coffee!

I normally do not waste my money on Starbuck's coffee but they have a weekly bold brew and if you get one of each for eight weeks then you get a free pound of bold coffee of your choice. Yeah it's still a rip off but I like bold coffee.

So far my two favorite bold blends are Yukon and Italian Roast.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Ars Gratia Artis


"Ars Gratia Artis" is a Latin phrase meaning "Art for the sake of art." Art is enjoyable and I find it a salubrious way to relax my mind and ultimately help me concentrate on other things, such as homework, more easily. Today I was just randomly searching the internet and found the artist, Kim Kincaid. She is interesting because she is both a superb artist and a modern book reader. She sketches a wide variety of subjects but is especially proficient at rendering the human complexion.

http://http//thetwirlingdragon.blogspot.com/