Monday, February 19, 2007

blah.

I don't really have much to say these days. Things are kind of blah around our house, as Brett still doesn't have a job. He's had some interviews lately but nothing has panned out. Every rejection feels like another twist of the knife in our hearts. Neither of us understands why this is so hard. He's not applying for a job at NASA, for Pete's sake. He's applying for jobs that he is qualified for, even probably overqualified for. And yet, time and time again, he doesn't get them.

**sigh**

There's not really much more I can say. Our hopes have been raised and dashed again twice this week, and I just want this whole thing to be over. It's making feel physically ill and it's making both of us feel really sad and defeated.

I'm just really tired of this, and I know Brett is, too.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

once again, revealing my geek side

I know I've mentioned before how much I love Lord of the Rings.

But seriously, people. I don't think I've emphasized it enough. I love this story.

We just finished watching the movies again about five minutes ago. (Brett's now watching American Chopper, which is just too crass and petty to watch after watching such a deeply emotional story as the one in LOTR. So I am updating my blog.)

I had seen the movies in the theatre when they first came out (my mom, who is also a LOTR-phile, and I were the first people in line for the 7 p.m. showing of Fellowship on the day it opened) and then once again about a year ago.

I've read the books seven or eight times since 2001. I have lost count at this point.

Suffice it to say, I feel like I know these stories backward and forward. They seem such a part of me now. There are so many scenes that affect me.

I cannot read the books or watch the movies without bawling at several points.
  1. The scene with the Balrog in Moria. "YOU SHALL NOT PASS! ... Fly, you fools!"
  2. The part where Merry and Pippin meet the White Wizard in the forest of Fangorn.
  3. Aragorn's speech at the Black Gate. "Stand, men of the West!"
  4. Basically everything after that until the end, particularly the very end. "Well, I'm back."
I cannot read the books or watch the movies without getting chills at several points.
  1. When Gandalf comes back to Bag End in the first book and bursts into the room. "Is it secret?! Is it safe?!"
  2. When he recites the poem. "One ring to rule them all, one ring to find them. One ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them."
  3. When the armies line up for the battle at Minas Tirith. "Forth, Eorlingas!"
  4. When, in the movies, all of the beacons are lit, all across Middle Earth.
I cannot read the books or watch the movies without cheering aloud at several points.
  1. When Theoden returns to lucidity.
  2. When the Ents march out. "Hoom, Harooom!"
  3. When Eowyn rips off her helmet. "I am no man!"
The story simply captivates me. Its enduring themes of good and evil, of tolerance and humanity, of beauty and triumph, of sadness and loss, of friendship and love, of greed and hate, the picture of a changing world, a world in chaos -- oh, they are so real. The story may be a myth -- even if it is a myth that seems, to me, as though it truly happened in an age gone by -- but it lays bare so many facets of day-to-day life.

It is truly a beautiful story, one that I will continue to come back to year after year -- for comfort, for a reminder of what life should truly be about.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

I owe you two favorites!

With the chaos of last Friday, I didn't get a chance to post my last two posts in the favorites category. (I also need to post about my weekend last weekend, and about how it got a TON better after I posted, but maybe in a little while.)

So, here we go.

My favorite sound is the sound of the French language. Well, ok, let me clarify. The sound of the French language being fluently spoken, and myself being an active participant in that, I guess, is what I mean to say.

I've posted before about how weird and amazing it is when you are in another culture, and suddenly the language is so instinctual that it is your language too, almost, for a split second. It's quite the thrill. I am so, so happy that I know another language. I plan to teach our kids how to speak French from birth, because I think everyone should speak two languages. It's wonderful.

My favorite sight is the view from the Ballard Bridge in the mornings. I cross it every day to go to work, and I wish I had a photo of the view at sunrise. It's one of the most gorgeous things I've ever seen.

This is a photo looking to the west from the bridge, obviously not at sunrise, but still -- it gives you an idea, anyway.
The bridge runs north and south, connecting Ballard with the Interbay area across the ship canal. Right at the bridge and around it are several working marinas, which, depending on the time of day and season of the year, are filled with fishing boats, masts rising high and naked into the air, like a forest of trees in the wintertime. Many times, that early in the morning, there are kayakers or rowing boats skimming across the water, which usually has some mist rising from it.

If you are crossing the bridge going downtown, on your left (to the east) are boats, the neighborhoods of Fremont and Queen Anne, and the very tall and noticeable Aurora Bridge. In the distance, beyond the sight of the Episcopal cathedral perched on Capitol Hill, rise the Cascade mountains.

On your right (to the west), at the same moment, is the ship canal with all its boats and the neighborhoods of Ballard and Magnolia. Beyond those sit the locks and the railroad bridge, and, in the distance, overpowering all of it, are the breathtaking Olympic mountains.

The sun will be rising over the Cascades, silhouetting them and turning the water underneath the bridge all kinds of colors -- peach, pink, red, silvery -- and it will, at the same time, be throwing light on the distant Olympics, turning their snow-covered slopes gorgeous shades of color.

It is truly one of the most breathtaking things I've ever seen. Every morning, crossing the bridge, I thank God that I am able to live in this most beautiful of cities.