I would like to begin with this exquisite Doctor Who-inspired song a friend posted on facebook. 

That said, quick update on my cultural activity:

-I finished the seventh Harry Potter book a couple weeks ago. Two thumbs up.

Darths & Droids is simply hilarious. (Very mild language warning.) It takes forever to read through the archives, but I highly recommend it–even if you know nothing about RPGs or the Star Wars prequel. 

-I read a highly interesting book by Etienne Gilson called Heloise and Abelard, about the eponymous couple. Certainly for mature readers (as anyone who is aware of the couple’s history knows), but extremely informative and quite easy to read. I’ve never read Etienne Gilson before, but he certainly comes highly recommended.

-I’m reading Howl’s Moving Castle at the moment; it’s very enjoyable. I’ve already seen the Miyazaki movie, which I loved. They are certainly quite different, though!


De Puellis Fanaticis…

The title is Latin for “On fanatic girls”, or more freely, “On fangirls”. 

Am I a fangirl? Let me count the ways. On the other hand, let me not, because I might scare someone away. On the third hand*, I’ll go ahead, because seriously, how many readers do I have? The ones I do have are probably so dedicated that I could rename this blog “A Blog about Pictures of Wildebeests yawning and falling asleep in mud Pits”, and they’d keep reading. Actually, that might be a good way to increase my traffic. We’ll find out how many hits I get from people googling “wildebeest yawning”. 

Anyway. Studio Ghibli, Tolkien, Sherlock Holmes, Doctor Who, Star Trek, Star Wars (to a lesser degree), classic movies, poetry, language, knitting, handspinning, cooking, Downton Abbey, various other BBC things, various other non-BBC miniseries adaptions, C. S. Lewis, Chesterton, Dickens, various 19th-century and early 20th-century authors (mostly English), Classics, and recently Harry Potter. Long breath. Yes. Not to mention Catholicky things, like fangirling over painfully awesome intersections between faith and nerdy things like I DON’T KNOW, THE ALL-BUT FOUNDING FATHER OF MODERN SPECULATIVE LITERATURE BEING A DEVOUT CATHOLIC???* And just fangirling over Catholicky things in general. And things in general. And things. 


Thanks for sticking around through this content-free post. But because yesterday was the feast of Our Lady of Fatima, I present you with this lovely image of the Theotokos. I have a thing for Chinese Christian art, because I think it’s lovely–delicate, reverent, faintly coloured, without being saccharine. 


via this post on Chinese iconography (note that I do not endorse everything on a blog just because I link to it, always exercise caution)


**If you don’t know who this is, you’re not my target audience. Hint: I mentioned him once already in this post.


five favorites!!!

I know all 3.32 of my readers are wondering when I’m going to do a post that isn’t a link-up. Probably never! Okay, just kidding. Probably when senior year is virtually all over in about eight days (except for Latin, which doesn’t count because I like it) and I have time to read as many books as I want and write tons of short, pointless, yet brilliantly witty reviews.

Linkin’ up with Camp Patton today!

This is an incredibly useful tool when I need an exact Latin phrase, as in the essay I’m currently writing on the Aeneid.

Okay, I’m on the bandwagon. I’m entirely willing to admit that HP can be spiritually harmful to some people who have predispositions that way, and I’m not going to recommend them willy-nilly to everyone, but I’ve never had a temptation to the occult even when I was at my worst. I’ve always had a profound terror of satan and hell, so wicca and that sort of occultism has never been of interest to me, that I can recall. Also, the good characters never engage in calling on evil spirits or using Ouija boards or anything like that (at least, not so far as I’ve read–I just completed Book 5 yesterday, and I’m saving 6 and 7 until Thursday afternoon), unless you count the Divination class, which is unfortunate in my opinion but at least they consistently make fun of it. 

If you are interested, here is an extremely interesting article on then-Cardinal Ratzinger’s letter apparently denouncing Harry Potter. Jimmy Akin is an excellent Catholic apologist of unimpeachable orthodoxy and a nerd to boot, though I don’t know that he’s read Harry Potter himself (I think he said that he hasn’t read them somewhere, but I’m not sure). I also think that this article by Steven “The Awesome” Greydanus has considerable merit.


The article by Simcha Fisher is worth reading, but even without the article I really love this image. It’s so calming.


This quote by our Pope: ‘A Christian “who constantly complains, fails to be a good Christian: they become Mr. or Mrs. Whiner, no? Because they always complain about everything, right?” the Pope remarked in his May 7 homily at St. Martha’s residence.’ [source]


I love coconut. I used to think I disliked it, but I guess liking coconut is just one of those tastes I’m developing as I mature, like coffee and straight apple cider vinegar hummus.


Reading survey!

On the eternally interesting blog “Charlie and Me”, there is an equally interesting reading survey.

Do you snack while you read?  If so, favorite reading snack? Yes, and I like a scone or some other nibbly, carb-y, mildly sweet thing. Or chocolate.

What is your favorite drink while reading? Coffee, or chai tea.

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the thought of writing in books horrify you?don’t usually mark in my books, but it doesn’t horrify me.

Fiction, not-fiction, or both? Fiction, because I love to forget myself and fall into another world.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? I usually leave it sprawled open if it’s a paperback, or (horror!) fold over the end of the page, or stick a piece of paper in it as a bookmark.

Are you the type of person to throw a book across the room or onto the floor if the author irritates you? No, not really, oddly enough, considering my strong reactions to terrible writing.

Are you the type of person who tends to read to the end of the chapter, or can you stop anywhere?I usually just stop anywhere.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you look it up right away? Rarely; I’m pretty good at getting things from context. If I really can’t figure it out, then I might look it up.

What are you currently reading? Should I admit this? Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s/Philosopher’s Stone. I’ve never read it before.

What is the last book you bought? 1984by George Orwell. Don’t read it. It’s dirty and depressing. I guess it’s great literature and all, but hideously despairing.

Do you have a favorite time/place to read? Afternoon, lying floppily on my bunk-bed. I have the lower one, by the way.

Do you prefer series books or stand alones? I don’t really have a preference, but I do like series books because I can immerse myself in their world for longer. However, that makes the wrench when I exit it even worse.

Is there a specific book you find yourself recommending over and over? Not lately. Not because I’ve been reading a lot of terrible books, but because there’s not a lot of people to recommend books to, because they’ve either read them before or wouldn’t like them.

How do you organize your books? Right now they’re loosely organized by period and theme. But I need to reorganize them, because my shelf is a wretched mess.

Seven Quick Takes

— 1 —

I just got back from an excellent movie. You can read my thoughts about it here.

— 2 —

I made some healthy and extremely delicious oatmeal cookies today. That stuck to the pan. Like glue. Is there anything more irritating?

— 3 —

This semester is almost over, and I am SO READY. SO READY. Happily, all my classes but Latin end in less than two weeks, and my hardest final (Greek) is over. (I’m pretty sure I got my second D on a test ever, but whatever.) I’m so burnt out it’s not even funny, and I’m ready for summer to be here. I plan on spending much of my leisure time watching my favorite movies and knitting.

— 4 —

I recently started wearing lipstick regularly. It’s so different from the lip shimmers/glosses I’m used to–I have to be so careful, or else use a tissue to wipe off smears. I’m sure I’ll get better at applying it eventually, but right now it’s slightly annoying. I do like the way it looks. When my mouth is a brighter color, it makes my skin look smoother and paler in contrast, especially when I have some sunburn or red blotches on my face.

— 5 —

This is pretty hilarious. It could also be pretty useful, at least the ones like “I wish your acquaintance” and “Introduce me to your friend”. Not to be prudish or anything, but I think the world could get along just fine without a code for asking someone to kiss you. 😉

— 6 —

I am seriously tempted to dye my hair with henna. I’ve heard that real, pure, body-art quality henna is pretty good for your hair and looks relatively natural on brunettes–more a translucent overlay of red than chemical dyes. It’s very expensive, though, so…

— 7 —
I am obsessed with oatmeal. Oatmeal is the best food ever. It’s so easy and healthy and you can eat it so many ways… I like it with 1.5 teaspoons of brown sugar, some cinnamon, and milk, but it’s also good with chocolate chips and coconut oil instead of the milk. A teaspoon or two of cocoa powder is also nice. I tried making it with coffee replacing some of the water, but it didn’t taste very good–you could hardly taste it, it just made it bitterer.
movie, review

From Up on Poppy Hill

 The latest American release from Studio Ghibli, From Up on Poppy Hill is easily the best movie I have seen in months, with the possible exception of Random Harvest. It is everything a Studio Ghibli movie ought to be. Exquisite visuals, a sweet and lovely plot, winsome characterizations, characteristic attention to homely details, an enchanting remembrance of times gone by.
There are two strands to the plot. The first involves a relationship between a sixteen-year-old (according to Wikipedia) girl named Umi and a slightly older boy named Shun. The second is the attempt of a group of charming schoolboys (including Shun) to save a delightful decrepit clubhouse known as the Latin Quarter, which is crammed with nooks, doors, and dust. It may be the best thing in the film.
Out of all the Ghibli films I have seen, it is easily most similar to Whisper of the Heart. For those who enjoyed that movie, it will undoubtedly be ninety minutes of bliss. As Whisper may be my favorite film of all time, it was intense happiness to me. I would like to see it again now that I know the plot, which, incidentally, is considerably more melodramatic than Whisper.
Here is a list of locations where you can see it. Note that not all locations are listed in the main page; many are on the sidebar. It was not released by Disney, so its release is much more limited than The Secret World of Arrietty. Here is a good, brief review. Please do see this movie in theaters and take some friends and family. If we want to see a wider release of Studio Ghibli films in America, we must support it with our wallets. There are still a number of Ghibli movies which have never been released in America, to my knowledge.
Content advisory: Some rather squicky plot material, which involves major spoilers. I have written it as ambiguously as possible below. My 11-year-old sister saw it, so I think it’s okay for that age range, especially since it was handled very innocently.
Two main characters who love each other find out that they may be brother and sister.