Friday, April 12, 2013

7 Quick Takes Friday vol. 3

Yet again, inspired by Conversion Diary, though currently guest hosted by Camp Patton due to family issues (follow the link to Conversion Diary and offer prayers).

1.       Well, first an update from last week; I’m having a bit more success in limiting my Minecraft time than I had last week. It’s just a matter of reminding yourself of all the other things you need to do and getting tough with yourself. Now I’m reflecting on blog posts I can do exploring how the appeal of games like Minecraft point to our being made in the image of God.

2.       Among those other things is a great site I found called Duolingo, which allows you to study foreign languages for free. It’s kind of like Rosetta Stone, only more laid-back and fun. They structure each lesson like a game, so you have a set number of hearts and every time you make a mistake you lose a heart. The more hearts you end with, the more points you earn, and the more points you earn, the sooner you level up. I’m at level four right now and working my way through foods in Italian (Io bevo birra). One of the things I really like about it is that it sends you an e-mail each day reminding you to put in some time, so you feel guilty if you ignore it (so far I don’t know what happens if you do; the little owl mascot probably cries or something).  

3.   I suppose I need to turn in my Catholic blogger card, since I completely missed Divine Mercy Sunday. In my defense, I’ve had a pretty rough week emotionally, and simply haven’t had much energy left for blogging. What exactly has been wrong is hard to describe in a blog post (and, honestly, I don’t really want to shout it out to the internet at large), but I’ve been exhaustingly miserable. Doing somewhat better now, but I still feel like I’m lying when someone asks me how I’m doing and I instinctively answer ‘fine.’

The trouble with saying how you actually feel is that the person expects you to explain when you say “rotten” or “horrible,” and a lot of time you don’t really want to pour out your troubles on the guy you work down the hall from. So, we lie.  

4.       On a happier note, I found some new pieces for the violin that I’m excited about trying out; namely, Still Alive from Portal and Want You Gone from Portal 2. Okay, they’re not actually scored for the violin (both are for piano and voice), but who cares? As long as it’s in tenor cleft, right? Anyway, on my first run through of them I actually found them to be fairly easy pieces, for all their many quarter notes; the fingering is intuitive, and I know the tunes so well that I know exactly when I’m going wrong. I had such a good time that I’m considering trying to talk my violin teacher into letting me play one of them for a solo recital coming up.

5.       Unfortunately, I just learned why you’re supposed to loosen your violin bow when you put it away; the tension goes out of it if you leave it tight for too long. Now I’ve got to take it in and get it fixed/replaced. Darn.

6.       Regarding liberal reactions to Margaret Thatcher’s death, all I can say is “Classy" (those are heavy sarcasm quotes, in case you don’t read the news).

7.       I’m also considering plans to buy a bunch of land in the U.P. (seriously, check out land prices up there; I’ve seen 40 acre waterfront lots for $500 an acre! I mean, I could afford that today!) and just build my own home/compound up there. A little like what my sister and brother-in-law are doing in Maine, only with more surliness and an eye toward defensibility. That, and I plan to make it mostly out of stone to build that ‘crazy woodsman’ physique.

This might be the Minecraft talking. My idea is suspiciously similar to acting out the game, only with hopefully less exploding trees.


  1. Why are you sad??? You can send me an e-mail if you want someone to talk to & you'll get prayers in the bargain (Yarrow's are especially effective, because she's been tending to all baby Jesus' needs (he gets swaddled on the bed, he naps, nurses, and if I'm not very careful..he get tattooed ;)

    UP land would be fantastic..but be aware..stone is VERY difficult to work well with..that's why God gave us Masons ;)..But what would you do to pay the taxes?? from home? And you know..our home is very defensible..when nobody can get to it 'cause the road is too bad - that's pretty safe ;)

    Much love,

  2. Thanks for the concern; I'm doing a lot better at the moment, but I'll still think about e-mailling. Prayers still appreciated.

    As for defensability, well, on the one hand your isolation is good, but on the other the forests provide a lot of cover for anyone approaching and the yurt walls wouldn't stop a slingshot (bear-proof isn't the same thing as...well, anything-else-proof). Then again, I doubt Luba would let anything get within a hundred yards in secret, so you should be good.

    Me, I wouldn't feel completely safe unless I was confident I could hold off a dedicated assault by a small army.

  3. Do e-mail! I'm counselor to so more won't hurt ;) I don't give harsh advice, and I always send it with prayer!

    Luba is very..alert. We should appreciate her determination to keep the yard free of deer, squirrels, and other demons more than we do ;)..but it's true, yurt walls aren't exactly bullet-proof!