Valerie is a 42-year-old, single, Reformed Christian lady who lives in Baltimore. She doesn't remember a time
before she knew and loved Jesus, but she does remember accepting John Calvin into her heart in March of 2000.
Valerie is a member of Christ Reformed Evangelical Church in Annapolis.
Though her career aspiration is to be a housewife, Valerie has not yet found anyone suitable who wishes to hire
her for employment in that field (or, more properly, anyone suitable has not found her), so in the meantime she
earns her daily bread working in communications -- editing, writing, print design and website management.
Movies Before Sunrise and Before Sunset -- The concept was great, but the films demand a suspension of disbelief re moral matters that makes me have to give them a thumbs-down.
MirrorMask -- Great visual fun; not sure I got the allegory (if that's what it was) well enough to really like it.
Nicholas Nickleby -- Enjoyable until someone tells me that it was a travesty of an adaptation. Enh, probably still enjoyable anyway...I just don't have the semi-religious fervor about Dickens that I have about Austen. And it's free online!
Books From Dark to Dawn -- Not-so-bad historical fiction because it doesn't try to make up stuff about Martin Luther, though it tells his story in an engaging way. Slightly edited (from what I could tell) edition of Chronicles of the Schönberg-Cotta Family. If I had it to do over again, I'd hunt down the original. If I'd been the one to edit it, I would have gone much farther in modernizing the punctuation, I would have proofread it (it's not often I find I have to read a book with a pencil in hand to correct several errors per average page), and I would have laid it out with more generous margins -- especially as the words often disappeared into the gutter. I also would have skipped the color illustrations, which were quite sweet for what they were -- amateur renderings by a young lady, but I'm sure their inclusion added a considerable amount to the printing price without adding significant value for the reader. All in all, though, I'm grateful they reprinted it, because otherwise I'd probably never have stumbled across it, and it was well worth bearing the aforementioned minor irritations.
Gentian Hill -- A friend mentioned that she'd started to read some Elizabeth Goudge, so I pulled out some of mine for her and found one I hadn't read yet, so I kept that one for myself. Goudge is Roman Catholic, and that occasionally comes out in her writing in ways that irritate my Protestant soul, but in general I find her books pleasant and gentle and spiritually uplifting without being treacly or inane as books often are that attempt to be pleasant and gentle and spiritually uplifting. I haven't finished this one yet, but I'm enjoying it very much as I go along. Goudge is an author I always keep an eye out for in used book stores, but since I so seldom go to used book stores these days, I added a bunch of her titles (the ones that weren't outrageously expensive -- some seem to be scarce) to my Amazon wish list for future reference. (Also shaved a couple pages off of my bloated list...I obviously want far more than I bother to buy!)
Posted by Valerie (Kyriosity) at 6:24 PM
On August 5, 2008 3:22 PMAnnette M. Heidmannwrote... My family loves the Royal Shakespeare Company's "The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickelby" -- http://www.amazon.com/Life-Adventures-Nicholas-Nickleby/dp/B000068QOG/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_k2a_2_txt?pf_rd_p=304485601&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-2&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B00009MEJ4&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0WQ7ZX498AHE213EQARJ (sorry for the long link) -- it is a week's worth of entertainment, or one really long marathon day. :-D
On August 6, 2008 12:07 AMCarol in Oregonwrote... I too like Elizabeth Goudge. Some of my favorite lines are in Linnets and Valerians and The Scent of Water. I think it is The Scent of Water in which a minister's wife goes through a depression. At one point her son says, "Mother, you are acting like a heathen!"
On August 7, 2008 1:33 AMAakashwrote... Hello, this is Aakash... I was just last night/this morning trying to see about the blogs that were connected to Pieter and Mrs. Friedrich's blogs, back when I used to guest-blog at 'Deux Ego'... Those seemed like much happier (and simpler!) times. :-(
I am glad that some of those weblogs, like yours, are still up.
Regarding this topic: The proliferation of these video-sharing, and image-sharing, web services has been intense... YouTube and Google Video has taken time to get used to, but more recently, there has been the phenomenon of online streaming of episodes of television shows. I was confused at first, when the CBS "Innertube" feature was started (I see it now has its own Wikipedia entry), and I was a bit skeptical that entire episodes of current popular major shows could be viewed for free, online (I had previously been purchasing them, on iTunes). However, it was indeed the case.
Some time later, Innertube began having streaming problems - and I saw that a lot of people were experiencing that - but then, it was fixed. More recently though, I have found that I am unable to really stream television shows on Innertube (the same seems to be true, at the other networks' show-streaming sites) - They start out, and then pause, presumably for buffering purposes, and then seem to bump along so slowly, that it hasn't been worth even using it.
I did the web search, like when an Innertube problem had come up before, but this time, most people didn't seem to be having this problem. I thought maybe it was my laptop (which was aging and having a lot of problems), but on this new one, the same thing has happened; perhaps my wireless connection needs to be stronger.
Hulu is one service that I saw on a major network (perhaps Fox News?) recently, as they did an announcement, saying that their show could be watched online, at a page on that site. When was it launched, and how is it different from the other video streaming sites online? [I know that YouTube has a general 10-minute limit for videos, but there are plenty of other sites, on which episodes of shows were streamed.] Is Hulu specially licensed to show certain types of major shows (and movies)?
I went to that TVSquad entry that I linked to above, and saw the sidebar image ad link to AOL's site, in which televion episodes are available; it is here: http://television.aol.com/video
The thing is, this is the default home page on Internet Explorer, for my new laptop, and I have noticed that AOL strongly emphasizes its video service... But I have found that its video search results turn up many videos from other websites, such as YouTube... So I've wondering if that AOL Television video page simply serves up the same content that Hulu has, or if it has unique content of its own.
I guess it's a good thing that so much quality content is available now, for free, and at our fingertips... Aside from the internet connectivity issues however, I wish there was more time for that type of thing!! Unfortunately, free time is something we all seem to be short of, these days.
Thanks for maintaining your weblog, even after these years (I wish everyone - including myself!!! - was able to keep our blogs current like that!). Please continue the excellent work, and God Bless!!
On August 12, 2008 5:11 PMThe Danewrote... Hm, what do you mean exactly about suspension of disbelief re moral matters? I absolutely don't require anyone to like the two films, but I am always curious to understand why others didn't appreciate the story quite so much as I did.
On August 12, 2008 7:55 PMThe Danewrote... Michelle has some strange fear of commenting. I think she trembles at the thought of being drawn in to a world of cyberous time-wasting. She already despises me for introducing her to Facebook and PopURLs.
I on the other hand have simply been too busy to check in on my peeps.
I'll go ahead and and say that one of the reasons I so appreciated the Before duet was what I considered verisimilitude. I could easily see myself in similar position had my life been slightly different.
On August 12, 2008 7:59 PMValerie (Kyriosity)wrote... But I'm watching movies from the list of recommendations I collected a while back, and I'm now working my way through Michelle's picks, so she really really ought to come back to defend them!
Since I watched the two movies almost back to back, they're one story in my mind. The fornication in Before Sunrise didn't bother me so much, because I could pretend to ignore it. The story could have been substantially the same if they hadn't slept together. It probably should have bothered me more, but I think I've let my sensitivities to such things get too dull.
Before Sunset, on the other hand, bothered me very much. Of course I was drawn into the story, and wanted Jesse and Celine to get together. Then came the revelation that he was married and had a son, and it was chilling. Everything was wrong then. I felt cheated. I had to want them to separate, yet the film kept demanding that I keep wanting them together.
I think all film (all art) is didactic to some degree. The lesson of this one was "True love conquers all...oh, and by the way, 'true love' is getting to be with your 'soulmate,' and 'conquering all' means getting to break your wedding vows and abandon your children." Damned lies. And I resent the attempt at manipulating me into believing them.
On August 17, 2008 2:18 AMThe Danewrote... I'm not sure why the fornication should have bothered you. It's pretty par for the course for those who do not believe. I mean, sure, in the sense that sin is sin and sin is bad, yeah. But I have a hard time being all that broken up over people doing what is natural to their being. And with those who are living outside of faith, their sin is merely symptomatic of a much deeper rebellion. Anyway, I don't think you should really beat yourself up over not being more bothered by their fornication - since it's their lives, not their fornication that is the real tragedy.
As far as Before Sunset, I think you're picking up a pedagogy that wasn't intended. Linklater and co. definitely don't give the film a happy ending. What they do give it is a messy (very messy) ending. The end is a war of values and he's smart enough to let the audience evaluate - just like he did with the previous installment.
The conclusion pretty much arises inevitably from the moment Celine walked in, but the tension of everything there is very... human. In the end, we're left wondering if, as Jesse predicts, they'd have been better off never getting together because then they'd always have the fantasy blah blah blah instead of the horrible reality that they really wouldn't get along for very long at all and the one thing they thought was true and lovely was actually hollow and vain. I'm pretty sure this would be their conclusion. And I think the film give ample support of that.
I don't think the film's "message" was True Love Conquers All at all. I don't think you can really find that anywhere in the film. If anything, the message might be: Life is incredibly messy and true love, being intimate to life, is just as messy. I think rather than the film manipulating you, you manipulated yourself into thinking the film was saying something that really wasn't there. I have a hard time seeing how you could see the message you saw otherwise.
Maybe I'm way off base here. Maybe I enjoyed it so much that I am the one who did the manipulating of my own interpretation. But I don't think so. I've seen the films quite a few times and I just don't at all get the sense you inferred.