Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Wise Man's Fear, Patrick Rothfuss

"Today," Elodin said brightly, "we will talk about things that cannot be talked about. Specifically, we will discuss why some things cannot be discussed."
I sighed and set down my pencil. Every day I hoped this class would be the one where Elodin actually taught us something. Every day I brought a hardback and one of my few precious pieces of paper, ready to take advantage of the moment of clarity. Every day some part of me expected Elodin to laugh and admit he'd just been testing our resolve with his endless nonsense.
And every day I was disappointed.
"The majority of important things cannot be said outright," Elodin said. "They cannot be made explicit. They can only be implied." He looked out at his handful of students in the otherwise empty lecture hall. "Name something that cannot be explained." He pointed at Uresh. "Go."
Uresh considered for a moment. "Humor. If you explain a joke, it isn't a joke."
Elodin nodded, then pointed at Fenton.
"Naming?" Fenton asked.
"That is a cheap answer, Re'lar," Elodin said with a hint of reproach. "But you correctly anticipate the theme of my lecture, so we will let it slide." He pointed at me.
"There isn't anything that can't be explained," I said firmly. "If something can be understood, it can be explained. A person might not be able to do a good job of explaining it. But that just means it's hard, not that it's impossible."
Elodin held up a finger. "Not hard or impossible. Merely pointless. Some things can only be inferred." He gave me an infuriating smile. "By the way, your answer should have been 'music.'"
"Music explains itself," I said. "It is the road, and it is the map that shows the road. It is both together."
"But can you explain how music works?" Elodin asked.
"Of course," I said. Though I wasn't sure of any such thing
"Can you explain how music works without using music?"
That brought me up short. While I was trying to think of a response, Elodin turned to Fela.
"Love?" she asked.
Elodin raised an eyebrow as if mildly scandalized by this, then nodded approvingly.
"Hold on a moment," I said. "We're not done. I don't know if I could explain music without using it, but that's beside the point. That's not explanation, it's translation."
Elodin's face lit up. "That's it exactly!" he said. "Translation. All explicit knowledge is translated knowledge, and all translation is imperfect."
"So all explicit knowledge is imperfect?" I asked. "Tell Master Brandeur geometry is subjective. I'd love to watch that discussion."
"Not all knowledge," Elodin admitted. "But most."
"Prove it," I said.
"You can't prove nonexistence," Uresh interjected in a matter-of-fact way. He sounded exasperated. "Flawed logic."
I ground my teeth at that. It was flawed logic. I never would have made that mistake if I'd been better rested. "Demonstrate it then," I said.
"Fine, fine." Elodin walked over to where Fela sat. "We'll use Fela's example." He took her hand and pulled her to her feet, motioning me to follow.
I came reluctantly to my feet as well and Elodin arranged the two of us so we stood facing each other in profile to the class. "Here we have two lovely young people," he said. "Their eyes meet across the room."
Elodin pushed my shoulder and I stumbled forward half a step. "He says hello. She says hello. She smiles. He shifts uneasily from foot to foot." I stopped doing just that and there was a faint murmur of laughter from the others.
"There is something ephemeral in the air," Elodin said, moving to stand behind Fela. He put his hands on her shoulders, leaning close to her ear. "She loves the lines of him," he said softly. "She is curious about the shape of his mouth. She wonders if this could be the one, if she could unclasp the secret pieces of her heart to him." Fela looked down, her cheeks flushing a bright scarlet.
Elodin stalked around to stand behind me. "Kvothe looks at her, and for the first time he understands the impulse that first drove men to paint. To sculpt. To sing."
He circled us again, eventually standing between us like a priest about to perform a wedding. "There exists between them something tenuous and delicate. They can both feel it. Like static in the air. Faint as frost."
He looked me full in the face. His dark eyes serious. "Now. What do you do?"
I looked back at him, utterly lost. If there was one thing I knew less about than naming, it was courting women.
"There are three paths here," Elodin said to the class. He held up one finger. "First. Our young lovers can try to express what they feel. They can try to play the half-heard song their hearts are singing."
Elodin paused for effect. "This is the path of the honest fool, and it will go badly. This thing between you is too tremulous for talk. It is a spark so faint that even the most careful breath might snuff it out."
Master Namer shook his head. "Even if you are clever and have a way with words, you are doomed in this. Because while your mouths might speak the same language, your hearts do not." He looked at me intently. "This is an issue of translation."
Elodin held up two fingers. "The second path is more careful. You talk of small things. The weather. A familiar play. You spend time in company. You hold hands. In doing so you slowly learn the secret meanings of each other's words. This way, when the time comes you can speak with subtle meaning underneath your words, so there is understanding on both sides."
Elodin made a sweeping gesture toward me. "Then there is the third path. The path of Kvothe." He strode to stand shoulder to shoulder with me, facing Fela. "You sense something between you. Something wonderful and delicate."
He gave a romantic, lovelorn sigh. "And, because you desire certainty in all things, you decide to force the issue. You take the shortest route. Simplest is best, you think." Elodin extended his own hands and made wild grasping motions in Fela's direction. "So you reach out and you grab this young woman's breasts."
There was a burst of laughter from everyone except Fela and myself. I scowled. She crossed her arms in front of her chest and her flush spread down her neck until it was hidden by her shirt.
Elodin turned his back to her and looked me in the eye.
"Re'lar Kvothe," he said seriously. "I am trying to wake your sleeping mind to the subtle language the world is whispering. I am trying to seduce you into understanding. I am trying to teach you." He leaned forward until his face was almost touching mine. "Quit grabbing at my tits."

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Am I? Or am I so sane that you just blew your mind!

Me:
you're crazy

Jon:
no
sorry
i'm sane
in fact
i'm the only sane person in all the land
so back off, voice in my head
er
computer

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Sunshine, Robin McKinley

In the welcoming, restorative sunlight, trying to keep my mind from thinking anything at all, I felt the tiny, laborious stirring of a sense of well-being: the convalescent's rejoicing at the first hint of a possible return to health



Saturday, December 3, 2011

Xenocide, Orson Scott Card

someone's sent
a loving note
in lines of returning geese
and as the moon fills
my western chamber
as petals dance
over the flowing stream
again I think of you
the two of us
living a sadness
apart
a hurt that can't be removed
yet when my gaze comes down
my heart stays up

Monday, November 28, 2011

Epiphany, Joss Whedon

If there is no great glorious end to all this, if nothing we do matters, then all that matters is what we do.

If there is no bigger meaning, then the smallest act of kindness is the greatest thing in the world.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Everyone remembers party date differently than me. Did I mess up, or...

Jon:
sounds like a thing you would do

Me:
it also
sounds like
the sort of thing
that would happen
IF THE WHOLE WORLD
WAS CONSPIRING AGAINST ME
spearheaded
by you and alex and brian

Jon:
who are all doing your mom

Friday, September 30, 2011

Fugitives of Chaos, John C. Wright

"When I was young, I thought the act of getting older meant, year by year, getting more sophisticated, more hard, cool, and unpitying. Less innocent.

Maybe that was a childish idea of what getting older was about. Maybe adults, mature adults, get more innocent with time, not less. Because the word 'innocent' does not mean 'naive,' it means 'not guilty.'

Children do small evils to each other, schoolyard fights and insults, not because their hearts are pure, but because their powers are small. Grown-ups have more power. Some of them do great evils with that power. But what about the ones who don't? Aren't they more innocent than children, not less?

So I trudged in the snow, weeping slow tears for a dead monster who had wanted to marry me, and wishing I were like a child, cruel and unpitying, again."

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Cheeks

Wolves don't chew because they don't have cheeks. The food would just fall out the side of their goofy mouths. They have to -wolf- it down!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Ren Faire

A little girl just took her daddy's gauntlet. And punched him with it!

Me: "My feet doth ow"
Jon: "Verily"

Gargoyle to small child: "You scare me"

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Every damn time :P

Step 1: Wash hands before eating

Step 2: Dogs hear me near food

Step 3: Cute

Step 4: Pet the cute

Step 5: Wash hands all over again!



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Double cookie'd!

Thank you, Universe, for acknowledging my awesome and then rewarding it

Saturday, June 18, 2011

10 million outraged's!


since the show starts at 10 and I want to be there early, and I think we're
gonna look for a dinner place in Arlington, I think we should leave our place around 7

Me:
Yo mama eats dinner in Arlington

Jon:
nuh uh!

Me:
Sorry, I know hard truths can be utterly devastating, but there's no escaping this one

Jon:
its almost as devistating as your adoption. and lo, we are brothers in sadness...



Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Innocent victim betrayed by treacherous food ninja!

A certain innocent someone was minding his own business, eating his single bag of cookies, visiting a new orchestra for the first time. That innocent (and good looking, and super cool) hero of a human being watched his awesome-but-evil friend stock her hamster-pouch cheeks full of tasty intermission snacks, but otherwise thought nothing of it.

...Until 5 minutes later, when she'd -conveniently- run to the bathroom. Head of the new orchestra walked by and shot him this look, then stared pointedly behind him. He followed her glance:



I am supposed to pin MY crimes on hapless saps, not the other way around!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Suck it, bugs! (and by "it", I do NOT mean my blood. Jerks)

Someone just asked if my citronella candle was working. I told them I hadn't been bit yet!

Of course, that doesn't prove as much as I'd hope. I use a rock in the garden to keep tigers away, and it works as well as the candle.

Friday, January 14, 2011

"Plague Corner", or "How I (barley) survived the last week & a half" ;)

Advil Cold & Sinus worked best of the bunch. Since I couldn't drive (at highest capacity, I was able to twitch feebly and moan a little), I asked family to pick it up. The pharmacist forced them to sign papers and swear not to cook any drugs.

When I heard that, I told my dad the week long zombie impersonation I'd been doing was only a fake cold, and I'd ACTUALLY been using him as a smurf to buy pseudo (thank you Breaking Bad). His reply: "So where's my cut?"

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Prison, or sweet land with free room service?

A friend of mine, and fellow non-meat eater, recently mentioned how she was opposed to Sea World. On her last vacation, she got to visit the place despite that, since her sister demanded it be so. Hopefully they both had a good time intimidating ocean creatures with the Harry Potter and Voldemort wands they picked up in Mickey land, even if it meant visiting in actual practice a place she opposed on principal.

Because of her veganism, I assumed her dislike of Sea World came from a distaste for zoo's in general, wether on land or under water. I actually never did ask her if my assumption was right. I could have just been making an ass out of u and umption.

I'm still holding out hope that the ACTUAL reason she's against the place is because they refuse to let visitors hop in the water and ride penguins. But either way, it got me thinking about my own feelings on captured critters...




As most of my knowledge of high culture comes from comics, I mirrored Hobbes' opinion for a long time. Then a few years ago, a fictional zookeeper's son blew my mind:
Bottom of Page 19 to end of Chapter 4-


-Life of Pi, Yann Martel



I always wondered if anyone wrote a counter to that imaginary character's argument, or if it actually was as logical as it sounded. Now I don't know what to believe. However, for research I spent yesterday taking notes on my cats diabolical daily plans for mischief, and I'm starting to get suspicious:




p.s. Of the two, her sister was the one who picked out Voldemort's wand. I clearly need to start considering a 'roommate switch' as to which one I'm friends with ;)