Take Heart.

Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

– John 16:33

There’s a lot of ugliness going on in the world right now. Manchester, London, Orlando… the list just keeps growing.

This verse has been circling around and around in my head and in my heart for days now. It’s more important than ever to remember that no matter how nasty things get, we’re still in the hands of God. His power is greater than that of bombs, guns, or knives, and greater than the power of the evil that wields them.

5 Things I have Noticed about Myself while working in the Hospitality Industry.

So. I’m coming to the end of a 2-ish month stint of co-hosting a dear friend’s Airbnb property while she is off on her world travels, and it’s been quite a fun learning curve, all in all. Especially after this weekend, which over here in the States was a big holiday. I had three sets of guests in as many days, so basically I’ve been speed-cleaning since Saturday. That means several things: One, I haven’t been thinking much about anything EXCEPT cleaning, and, Two, Oh gosh, how can it possibly be time to blog about writing already?

And then I reminded myself that life can’t be all about writing all the time. So today I’m going to tell you a few things I’ve noticed about myself over the course of this adventure:

  1. I am a people-watcher (confirmed). Okay, so I already knew this. But one of my favorite things about this whole process has been seeing all the different types of people that come through, and subsequently wondering things about them.
  2. I LOVE avoiding actual contact with actual people. Again, not really a surprise, and not as contradictory to the first point as you might think. The nice thing about online platforms is that you can interact with all sorts of people without having to go through the agony of meeting face-to-face. And yes, I realize some of you thrive on personal contact, but I am a shy, derpy introvert who forgets how to speak English when forced to make eye contact with humans. Yes, I am one of those people who will smile and say hello to your dog while ignoring you.
  3. I really like putting on duvet covers. I know. Most of you are probably shocked, and wondering just what alien planet I landed from. But maybe that’s because you’ve never learned how to put on a duvet cover like a boss. You’re welcome.
  4. I am the last person you want to fold your fitted sheet. Even after watching multiple videos, including this one. This method might be dummy-proof, but apparently I’m not.
  5. I have a sassy side that desperately wants to flaunt itself. Whenever people ask me “how far are you from such-and-such an address?” I always want to say, “How far are you from Google?” So far I have managed not to, but it takes much mental/spiritual exertion and sitting on my shoulder-devil’s head.

Okay, there you go. I have no idea why I’m blogging about this, but like I said… I can’t really think beyond double-checking the supply of toilet paper and watching fitted sheet tutorials right now.

I don’t know… You can always use this as a bit of characterization, if you like. I’d be proud to make it into your sassy-b&b-host-who-also-happens-to-solve-murder-mysteries paperback series.

tumblr_lqtjeaQEZU1qcddlw.gif

Nerding about Stuff I don’t Understand.

Occasionally, I like keeping myself inspired by blowing my own mind. One of the ways I like to do this is by doing some science research. I don’t have a math/science brain, so I never have any idea what I’m studying, but it’s sure fun.

Now, this all started with a friend of mine. Unlike me, she has an extremely math/science brain, and one day several years ago, I noticed that her “light summer reading” happened to be a book on string theory. It sounded interesting, so I asked her to explain it. Which she did. I didn’t understand a word of it. Nevertheless, it still sounds interesting, so I decided to dip into it a bit today. I started off with a bunch of super-nerd websites that may or may not have been written in English; I really couldn’t say. But eventually I discovered (with relief) a TED talk. TED talks are always life-savers.

After that, I found an article which tells me that, basically, we still have no idea what’s going on, and string theory probably isn’t the “theory of everything” people were hoping for. Everything we thought we had a handle on turns out to be just the tip of the iceberg. Unsurprising, really.

Okay, now that my mind is well and truly boggled, I’ll just toss in a gloriously hyperlinked Wikipedia article on that Large Hadron Collider (yes, that is its official, highly scientific name) the TED guy mentioned.

I’ll just finish off by saying that the thing about all this that I find the easiest to wrap my head around is the idea of multiple dimensions that we can’t see. My initial reaction was, “Well, of course. Every three-year-old church kid knows that.” Nothing new here, moving on. Anyways, that just struck me as kind of funny.

And again, I really don’t have any idea what all this actually means, or even if it’s still something that scientists take seriously. It’s just an idea that I like. I’m just a writer, okay?

 

 

Prayers for Manchester.

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

-Jesus of Nazareth

My heart is bleeding for all the families affected by the Manchester bombing last night, and my prayers are with you today, United Kingdom.

Rambling about a Dead Language.

I’m really into listening to Old English at the moment. Maybe it’s due to the fact that I’m reading The Hobbit for the first time (Nope, I never read it as a kid. I know, horrible, right?), or maybe it’s just because I’m a nerd. At some point I’d like to give the language a study, but right now I can barely squeeze in time for the modern languages I’m trying to master, let alone ancient ones, so I just listen.

Exciting and soothing at the same time, somehow, isn’t it?

Here’s a bit of Beowulf, if you want some dramatic singing.

So yeah. By the way, has anybody out there read Beowulf? I read Seamus Heaney’s translation last year, and I actually loved it. It was so cheerfully and unabashedly testosterone-fueled. It reminded me of watching Marvel’s Thor movies. It was like, “Yeah, he’s spent a few days underwater doing battle with monsters. Without scuba equipment. Wanna make something out of it?” Joyous.

 

Please [Please] Do Your Research.

A while back I went on a mini-rant about people who don’t do their research before saying silly things online.

Well.

At least that was just a silly YouTube comment from somebody random, and not a full on article from Refinery29, who should really know better.

That’s right, ladies and gents.

Let me break it down for you. In this article, R29 moans about The Chainsmokers’ decision not to feature Halsey in their performance, and then, like, WHOA MAN. Chris Martin. Who’da thunkit? I mean, totally out of left field there!

In spite of the fact that everybody should know by now that the song Chris “cameoed” in was in fact “Something Just Like This.” You know, the song that Coldplay collaborated with them on? The one that I featured just last week?

Awkward.

Plus, the way the article is worded makes me wonder if they are even aware that neither song they performed (the other one was Paris, featuring Emily  Warren) was “Closer” or even features Halsey at all. But I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt there and assume it’s just bad writing.

So yeah. Rant over.

Something Just Like This

Have I mentioned how much I love Coldplay? I love Coldplay.

Chris Martin may sing about not seeing himself on a list of mythological supermen, but as far as I’m concerned, he has a definite Midas thing going on artistically speaking.

Plus, this video is bright and colorful and there is confetti involved.

Barding Out… Again.

I almost titled this post “Ham & Eggs” because my punny brain went full renegade on me and said something like, “Heh heh heh… HAMlet and eggs BENEDICT oh my gosh you are the funniest person ever and you deserve some kind of award for this glory.”

No. You are not in charge here, pun-brain.

bad-word-8.gif

Moving on now.

I live in an unfortunately uncultured pocket of the world where no nearby theaters partner with National Theatre Live. This is probably a good thing, because otherwise I would be spending all my money on tickets. That being said, however, there are a few productions that I’m fairly bitter about missing, and Benedict Cumberbatch’s Hamlet is one of them.

Thank goodness for this:

I just love long, nerdy, discussion-type interviews.

 

 

Also, “Barding Out” is officially a thing now. I’m going to make a tag for that.

If We Faint Not.

Inspiration has been at a low ebb lately. The last month or so has been full of troubling issues with my extended family, which have been making my life more about “keepin’ on keepin’ on” than bounding along the mountaintops.

Not that it has been all bad, of course. There is still plenty of loveliness in the world. Today, for example, I got to spend a couple of hours playing tug-of-war with a puppy, and the most troubling issue I need to deal with is figuring out how to cook corned beef for my dad’s birthday (Holy cow, I just did the math and it turns out this is his 60th!!!) dinner tonight. There seem to be about a thousand different methods.

But anyway, that is all just rabbit-tracking. Turns out, you can find inspiration even for those times where all you can do is keep your head down and plod:

“And many strokes, though with a little axe,
Hew down and fells the hardest-timber’d oak.”

-Shakespeare, Henry VI, Part III

And then there’s this:

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

-Galatians 6:9, KJV

So that’s what I’m doing. This pairing of quotes, by the way, is courtesy of The Bard and The Bible, a magnificent daily devotional by Bob Hostetler that I highly recommend. I’ll probably end up doing a review of it at some point, once I’ve gotten at least halfway through. There’s a blog to go with it, and I love it to death.