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25 November 2012 @ 09:43 pm
Hello internet! I hope all my USAmerican friends had a good Thanksgiving!

I spent the holiday with my grandmother from New Jersey; every year we meet up somewhere in between our two home towns and spend a few days eating, drinking, being merry, and touring historical landmarks. It's always a good time.

This year we also made time to see Lincoln, which is an excellent film. The narrative is tightly contained while also telling a larger story, the acting is superb, and it features some of the most inspired snark, take downs, and snappy zingers out there. (Even if you're not into history at all, watch this movie for the snark alone. You will thank me.) And I left the movie with something of a new historical hero.

cut for potential spoilers if you haven"t seen the movie and, like me, aren"t completely up on your political history of the Civil WarCollapse )
Current Mood: impressed
Current Music: Lincoln soundtrack
09 November 2012 @ 11:13 am
This is a new retreat we've created this year, so I'm really hoping and praying it goes well, because we'd like to continue it yearly in the fall. We have about 15 students from several different universities signed up; a good number, and it can continue to grow as this becomes an established retreat.

In any case it will be wonderful to spend a weekend in reflection and having fun with students out in the countryside.

In other news, how about that USAmerican election? I'm glad that Obama was reelected (though I confess I never really thought the election would be as close as the news media seemed to want us to think), even though I personally voted for Jill Stein. (I felt I could, since I was voting in New York which would go to Obama anyway.) Also thrilled about the marriage equality votes in Maine, Maryland, and Washington. Puerto Rico passed a referendum in favor of statehood, which is definitely a situation to watch going forward. And I think that Colorado and Washington's decision to legalize marijuana may be one of the biggest things to come out of this election cycle, because it sets a precedent.
Current Mood: hopeful
02 November 2012 @ 11:02 pm
For my own edification, mostly, although feel free to give me recs too.

1. Elementary | I have been looking forward to this show for forever, and everything I hear about it sounds awesome, and it is definitely the first thing on my list the moment I get some actual time in which to watch TV. Maybe even tomorrow, since I have a rare Saturday (mostly) off.

2. Gravity Falls

3. Green Lantern: The Animated Series

4. The Twelve Kingdoms

Also, not a show, but I should probably watch the last two Harry Potter movies at some point, if only to make my frequent joking about Voldemort's awkward hugs more legit. (Voldy's awkward hug scene is actually the only part of either DH movie I have seen.) The trouble is it's been so long since I saw the other movies that I think I would have to watch them all again first, and I don't know if I can stomach watching HBP and stalker!Harry again. So.

And at some point I need to watch the two DVDs on Catholic teaching that came in the mail to my campus ministry office, because I refuse to put anything in the library without vetting it first, and frankly, my expectations of these videos are not high.
Current Mood: blah
Current Music: Radioactive - Imagine Dragons
23 October 2012 @ 06:44 pm

A brief story from my absence:

This past Sunday, seven men and women were canonized as saints in the Roman Catholic Church. Among them was St. Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Native American saint. Tekakwitha (Kateri was her baptismal name - the Mohawk version of Catherine) was born in what is now Auriesville, NY, which is only about half an hour from Albany. So to celebrate, I took a group of students to the shrine at Tekakwitha's birthplace for a joyful pilgrimage. It was an incredible Mass: several thousand people were there, and the Mass was celebrated in a combination of English and Mohawk.

Like all saints, Kateri Tekakwitha's life was not without problematic elements. Check out her wikipedia entry here for more info. (Trigger warning for self harm at the link.) She lived in the midst and mix of colonization, the clash of cultures, and a period in Christianity that emphasized extreme penance.

Yet for all that, I don't think we can overestimate the importance of Tekakwitha's canonization. She is a Native face of God, and her life and her story is not limited to the 24 years she lived on earth; she has become a symbol. She is an evangelist, a proponent of the simple life, patron of ecology, patron of young people making their own way. She did not rely on the white Jesuit fathers to tell her how to live her faith; she lived it herself, and indeed often refused to listen to them when they tried to correct her. She has long been considered a patron and prayed to as a saint among Native American and First Nations Catholics; frankly, it's about time that Rome caught up.
Current Mood: thankful
Current Music: Tekakwitha's canonization on TouTube

In other news, still don't have a lot of energy for a real fandom post (alas for the halcyon writing days of summer), so here, have this instead.
Current Mood: apathetic
28 September 2012 @ 10:31 pm
This is so cool!

Marco Tempest combines projection mapping and pop-up books to tell the story of Nikola Tesla, and everything about it is awesome. Give it a watch!
Current Mood: impressed
Current Music: Tesla explains it all
26 September 2012 @ 01:05 pm
Long time no post. Life has been busy - the semester is in full swing, which means I have student activities, liturgies, service projects, and other events nearly every day of the week. It is wonderful work, and I love it, but it doesn't leave me with a lot of mental energy for in-depth LJ posts, alas.

Anyway, some things I have been up to since last posting:

- Saw Florence + the Machine in concert, which was AWESOME. It would have been more awesome if I didn't have a cold/sinus infection at the time, but it was still completely awesome.

- Went to a Scottish festival and found out a little more about my family along the distaff line: My mother's mother's mother's mother was a Calhoun, the name that particular branch of the Colquhoun clan took when they came to USAmerica. The clan badge is a stag, which I find interesting because I have always had a particular fondness for deer.

Also, on a very geeky note: I am Scottish-descended on both sides of my family. My mother's side is Colquhoun, whose motto is "if I can" (which to me sounds like "I do what I want if I can get away with it" - an excellent motto), while my father's side is part of the Robertson clan, whose motto is "glory is the reward of valor." Sounds like Clan Slytherin and Clan Gryffindor to me.

I have been oddly into family history recently, and am considering doing some more in depth research into my roots, since everything seems to be very mysterious. My parents only know their own history about two generations back, and then very hazy vague knowledge of the distant past (like, supposedly my dad's family came to USAmerica from Scotland via Nova Scotia, but nobody really can say how or when or who). My interest is probably partially because I'm now the family member who lives closest to my maternal grandmother, so we've taken to meeting up regularly, and she has always had an interest in family history. I got to visit her house last Christmas, and she showed me the old Colquhoun family silver and whatnot. So I do know a bit more about my mom's family history than my dad's, but the more I learn the more it piques my curiosity.

- Took a group of students apple picking, which was lots of fun. And also kind of amusing for me as a farm kid, because several of the city kids had never picked their own fruit before. It was great to see them get so excited about it, and to see their interest in how fruit grows, what the difference between varieties is, how you know when it's ripe, etc.

- I did get a couple days' vacation and went to Columcille in Pennsylvania. Such an excellent place. I spent a day just meditatively walking and being in nature and refreshing my energy. I wish it was a bit closer to Albany, so I could take students there.

And there you have it: the State of Fia.
Current Mood: blah
14 September 2012 @ 11:41 pm
But I am too lazy to write an actual My Thoughts On Harry Potter post tonight. And anyway you can probably guess most of them because I am very predictable with my thoughts and tastes. As only one example, if you wonder about my thoughts on Dumbledore, they are virtually identical to my thoughts on Yoda.

So instead, please enjoy this list of books that would have been infinitely more interesting than Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows:

under a cut "cause I get a little long-windedCollapse )

On an entirely different note, I am debating whether I should make an actual HP tag, or just stick with "my ongoing Malfoy problem," since that seems likely to be the gist of it, anyway.
Current Mood: sick
Current Music: O Children - Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
07 September 2012 @ 01:45 pm
Because I lack the emotional energy to make a real post at the moment, but maybe soon? Anyway, have a meme I stole from elizabeth_hoot:

Pick a number from the list and I'll answer it in the comments.

1 - Your current OTP
2 - A pairing you initially didn't consider but someone changed your mind
3 - A pairing you have never liked and probably never will
4 - A pairing you wish you liked but just can’t
5 - Have you added anything stupid/cracky/hilarious to your fandom, if so, what
6 - What’s the longest you’ve ever been in a fandom
7 - Do you remember your first OTP, if so who was in it
8 - Do you prefer characters from real action series or animated series
9 - Has the internet caused you to stop liking any fandoms, if so, which and why
10 - Name a fandom you didn't care/think about until you saw it all over tumblr/your social network sites
11 - How do you feel about the other people in your current fandom
12 - Your favorite fanartist/author gives you one request, what do you ask for
13 - Your favorite fanart or fanartist
14 - Your favorite fanfiction or fanauthor
15 - Choose a song at random, which OTP does it remind you of
16 - Invent a random AU for any fandom (we always need more ideas)
17 - A ship you’ve abandoned and why
18 - A pairing you ship that you don’t think anyone else ships
19 - Show us an example of your personal headcanon
20 - Do you remember what your first fanwork was?
21 - Self-rec: What's your favorite fanwork you've created?
22 - Are you one of those fans who can’t watch anything without shipping
23 - 5 favorite characters from 5 different fandoms
24 - 3 OTPs from 3 different fandoms | Take Two!
25 - A fandom you’re in but have no ships from
26 - Just ramble about something fan-related, go go go
Current Mood: apathetic
Current Music: cars outside
31 August 2012 @ 02:20 pm
Stolen from igrockspock:

Ask me a writing-related question in the comments. It can be about my writing or writing in general, whatever you want. Questions can be as wacky as you want. Ask me about characters, quirks, habits, opinions, favorites, difficulties, fandoms, inspirations, ficathons, challenges, specific stories. Ask whatever! I'll answer and, in return, I will ask you a question at least loosely connected to yours.
Current Mood: busy
Current Music: Bill Nye snarking against Creationism