Wednesday, September 30, 2009

On editing and the curious choir conundrum

This morning, I sat through a lecture given by a woman who is one of the top 5 editors in Canada. (which is apparently quite the accomplishment...) She had lots of helpful advice about jobs, but one thing I remember her mentioning was how a good editor knows when to change things and when to let them be; clearly it requires knowing what and who you are working with. (like there...I just ended a sentence with a preposition.) Not actually grammatically incorrect, though widely considered to be, we use things like this in speech all the time.

On a different note, it's curious to me how in choir practice, I can hit a high "a" with relative ease, but when practicing with smaller groups, I can hardly hit a 4 notes below that. It probably has a lot to do with how much more I warm up with the full choir...but it still seems odd.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Thriller. For some reason, that music video/song never grows old for me...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Makin' cider in the basement...

In the residential areas that surround Ambrose, there are many crab-apple trees. These apples, considered bitter and useless to the general population, become ripe and fall to the ground, wasted.
My roommate and I started eating them off the trees in passing, and then began storing them in our room. As we accumulated apples, we began to wonder what we could do with them...this led to our experiments with making apple juice. (which were quite successful, though primitive) Because it's made by boiling the apples (skins & all) the juice ends up being a dark pink color, and has a strong flavor. Yesterday, while making a batch, I ran across a container of cinnamon and some brown sugar...hence the title. While it's somewhat lacking in spice, for being almost entirely free, it tastes fabulous.

(for the record, this is partly why I haven't responded to emails for several days...)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Ancient Chinese Proverb say:

I'm studying the roots of ancient civilization for several classes right now, starting "at the very beginning" as it were to try to understand where society has come from and where philosophies began. In my studies of today, I ran across an interesting quote attributed to Confucius, "The master said, 'I suppose I should give up hope. I have yet to meet the man who is as fond of virtue as he is of beauty in women.' ". Amusing that this was written thousands of years ago, but is still'd almost think human nature had something to do with it.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My kingdom for a church...

In my quest to find a church family in Calgary, I have so far visited 2 churches:

Richmond Hill Baptist church : The people were warm and welcoming, and it was very inter-generational...and that's about all I can say in its defense. (besides the free lunch) The worship was rushed, almost apologetic, despite the fact that the musicians were quite good. There was very much an air of "we ought to sing something, so here's a song...once we've gotten through all of it we can sit down again, so bear with us". Not attractive. Did I mention that in the middle of the stage was a table with a mixer and baking ingredients on it? My first thought was something along the lines of , "I wonder how he's going to relate this to the parable of the rich young ruler..."; I have yet to be able to answer that. In the midst of his sermon (which was about being "plugged into God") he made a pie. Seriously. Absolutely unrelated to the sermon. I was severely tempted to turn around to see if this was odd to anyone else in the one seemed to think so. Needless to say, I'm not planning on making that my home.

Church #2 doesn't have a website, a friend of my roommate's asked us last night if we wanted to go try out this pentecostal church with him, so we went. In retrospect, I ought to have researched it myself. =) After missing our bus and walking in the rain, we finally arrived at a tiny, run-down chapel. (warning sign #1) Upon entering, we discovered not only did our arrival triple the amount of Caucasians present, but we increased the number of males by %30 and the number of people under 50 by about that much as well. Basically, the church was about 20 old, Jamaican women in outfits reminiscent of the Ascot scene in "My Fair Lady". After 2 hours of drawling choruses, meandering speeches from the congregation using "Praise the Lord!"/ "O, Jesus!" in the place of typical grammatical end marks, speaking in tongues, convulsing, and all that jazz, we deemed it was socially appropriate for us to leave. We had been hoping to find a ride home, but ended up walking back to school. (around an hour away)

All this to say, pray that I can find a good church home. I'll keep looking.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Volleyball, Pride and Prejudice, and Internet Woes

With a title like that, who needs explanation? ;)

Topic 1:
Our Ambrose Lions (women's volleyball) started their season by losing to St. Mary, despite an amazing show of team spirit from the stands.
Topic 2: Tragically, nearly half my floor had never seen Pride and Prejudice, so we decided to promptly remedy the situation. Since most of them haven't read it either, we decided to start with the newer, more brief version. So it plays in the background as I write. "Mr. Darcy..."
Topic 3: Have I complained to you recently about the poor signal strength and downloading capacity of the internet here? Today, I can't even load my gmail. Yesterday, I washed, dried, and put away my dishes before I was able to load one webpage. And as I sit and whine about the "troubles" in my life, I'm reminded of living in Cebu, visiting China, surrounded by such extreme poverty. How shallow and silly my problems seem when compared to real need.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Oh, living with girls...

Today, our resident British seminary student came around asking for a "rubbish guitar". One of the girls on our floor was willing to loan her instrument out, but we were all curious as to what he needed it for; apparently, his girlfriend likes to hear him play, and he was going to visit her, so he decided to surprise her. =)
So now every girl on the floor is walking around with a silly smile, wishing their boyfriend was that thoughtful and had such a cute accent. (or wishing they had a boyfriend...)
" Sow for yourselves righteousness; reap steadfast love; break up your fallow ground, for it is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and rain righteousness upon you. You have plowed iniquity; you have reaped injustice; you have eaten the fruit of lies. Because you have trusted in your own way..."-Hosea 10:12-13
My prayer, as I (and many of my friends) enter this independent stage of life, is that we do not trust our own way. That we fully depend on God and grow in holiness as we increase in wisdom and understanding.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Musings from my studies...

Philosophy: "Do the gods love piety because it is pious, or is it piety because they love it?" Applied to my life, does God love piety (or holiness) because it is holy, or is holiness holy because God loves it? Interesting it really true, as Plato quotes Socrates as saying, that "the unexamined life is not worth living", or would it be better to "abandon all learning and there will be no sorrow"? Is my professor correct when he says, "when you desire and seek the wisdom of God, you will always receive monotony and frustration"? I do agree with Lao Tze, "tending to the state is like tending to a small fish, poke it too much and it disintegrates", though his famous "the path is where the woods are not" doesn't seem to apply much on the prairies.
Literature: Beginning with anonymous medieval songs, many of which have as many as 20 different translations handed down through history, we compare two main kinds of writing:
"lyric" (referring to a brief, first-person, poem expressing a state of mind or process of perception which is set to music)
"ballad" (epic, dramatic, third-person story sung to a typically illiterate audience)
I, for one, appreciate the deep brevity of this lyric called "Western Wind":
Western wind, when will thou blow,
the small rain down can rain?
Christ, if my love were in my arms,
and I in my bed again!
Perhaps this is merely because I'm still acclimating to Calgary's dry climate, wind and a new bed. ;)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

And so it begins.

I am officially an American in Calgary; unpacked and settled into the dorms. As usual, God has provided exceedingly and abundantly more than I could ask for or imagine. Classes start in two days.