Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Julie throws in with some marshals on a manhunt. Scott stays behind to seek a writ of replevin.

  In Episode 249 of A Good Story is Hard to Find podcast, we discuss the movie True Grit (2010).

Red Hen


Red Hen, Himmapaan.

Mistake and Imagination

Your mistake was not in imagining things you could not know — that is, after all, what imagination is for. Rather, your mistake was in unthinkingly treating what you imagined as though it were an accurate representation of the facts.
Daniel Gilbert, Stumbling Into Happiness

Monday, January 25, 2021

How the Whale Got His Throat

How the Whale Got His Throat, illustrated by Himmapaan
Illustration for How the Whale got his Throat, in Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories,
published in a limited edition of 1,000 copies by The Folio Society, 2012

Which Way to Go From Here

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat.

“I don’t much care where –” said Alice.

“Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat.

“– so long as I get SOMEWHERE,” Alice added as an explanation.

“Oh, you’re sure to do that,” said the Cat, “if you only walk long enough.”
Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Friday, January 22, 2021

Jesus' Resemblance to Joseph

Jesus must have resembled Joseph in his way of working, in the traits of his character and in his way of speaking. Jesus' realism, his eye for detail, the way he sat at table and broke bread, his preference for using everyday situations in his teaching — all this reflects his childhood and the influence of Joseph.
St. Josemaria Escriva, Christ is Passing By

Worth a Thousand Words: Book of Durrow

The beginning of the Gospel of Mark from the Book of Durrow.
Source: Wikipedia
There is a sense of space in the design of all the pages of the Book of Durrow. Open vellum balances intensely decorated areas.
I'm a sucker for illuminated manuscripts, especially Bibles. I'd love so much to have an illustrated Bible, old school.

I'm also a sucker for good use of space and not feeling one has to fill every bit of the page up. And for stylized animals as parts of capital letters.

So this scores on several fronts.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

White-Tailed Eagle

White-Tailed Eagle, Remo Savisaar


Reading all the immense annotated editions of the classics

Another gem from Edmund Crispin. In this case from The Case of the Gilded Fly.

He had bought, and read, all the immense annotated editions of the classics in which the greater part of every page is occupied with commentary (with a slight gesture to the author in the form of a trickle of text up at the top, towards the page number).

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

A Snowman Straight Out of Miyazaki

 I picked this up from J.R.'s Art Place where he says:
A friend pointed out that this snowman looks like he stepped out of a Hayao Miyazaki film.

Woman with a snowman, early 20th century. Collotype with hand coloring; unknown photographer, from the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Of course, after featuring My Neighbor Totoro yesterday, I couldn't resist sharing this.

Psalm 6 – Prayer for Healing

When you feel the Lord's displeasure, if you see that you are troubled by this, you can say Psalm 6.
Athanasius, On the Interpretation of the Psalms 15

There is great food for thought in the points made about asking God to judge as a father and not an authority. There is a nice difference there in the love and personal concern that a father brings versus a more disinterested judge. Surely that is the frame of mine we should always have when we turn to God.

Also, the idea that the psalmist is asking God to restore the right, the intended, order is one that reminds me about how the world was meant to be, versus what it is.

I like the way this illustration shows David surrounded by dangers — a wild animal, a man with weapons, a centaur — but he keeps his eyes on God.

Psalm 6 illustration from A Book of Hours from Namur

6:1, Not in Anger

Like a Father, Not a Judge. Theodoret of Cyr: He does not beg to be uncensured but rather not to be censured in anger, nor does he plead to avoid discipline but not to suffer it with wrath. Discipline me like a father, he asks, not like a judge; like a physician, not like a torturer. Do not fit the punishment to the crime; instead, temper justice with lovingkindness.  Commentary on  Psalms

Psalms 1-50 (Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture)

6:3, How Long, O Lord, How Long?

The psalmists did not lament just the personal, individual, or societal suffering they saw and experienced. They also complained because ... the rightness that should have been an integral part of a world created by Yahweh seemed to have run amok in suffering, pain, injustice, oppression, and death. Life was not just difficult, it was not only painful, it was also very, very wrong.

... The psalmists' sense of rightness demanded that God act to reestablish his intended order. Thus, the psalmists felt free to ask, "God, what are you doing? Where are you?" By these tough questions hurled at God the psalmists were aligning themselves with the tough-minded worldview that the world as we have it is not the world as it should be or as God intended . The world is broken and needs divine help to restore it.

Psalms Volume 1 (The NIV Application Commentary)

 Sources are here and an index of psalm posts is here

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

None but the most blindly credulous ...

 From the disclaimer page of The Moving Toyshop by Edmund Crispin.

None but the most blindly credulous will imagine the characters and events in this story to be anything but fictitious. It is true that the ancient and nobel city of Oxford is, of all the towns of England, the likeliest progenitor of Unlikely events and persons. But there are liimits.
It is a nutty story and what he says is absolutely true.

Still life with orange and plum

Robert Spear Dunning - Still life with orange and plum

 Right now citrus is at its height. I've been enjoying grapefruit which are my favorites but that orange looked so bright and tangy that I had to share it.

A Movie You Might Have Missed #77 — My Neighbor Totoro


Way back in 2004 I reviewed this film. That was before I had an entire series about movies you might have missed so I thought I'd be sure this was brought to mind. These days you might have heard of the film because filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki is now known more outside of Japan than he used to be. Specializing in animated films for children, Miyazaki is a masterful storyteller whose talent transcends national culture. 

Also, the people who were young enough to be babysitters in 2004 are now adults with kids of their own. And the kids they were showing this to are also grown. So anime isn't such a foreign concept now as it was then.

Here is my original review which captures a bit of our family's film culture.

Ok, your kids might have seen this but chances are if they have it is because you know my kids. Thanks to Sailor Moon and Dragon Ball Z my girls got attached to Japanese animation (anime) when they were little. Then they moved on to kids' manga (Japanese graphic novels) which is where Sailor Moon, etc. actually began.

Anime usually doesn't have much of a U.S. following, except among true movie lovers, because they don't follow the expected pattern. For one thing, they are animated but aren't produced by Disney (or Dreamworks or Pixar). For another, they tend to show in art houses which also are unfamiliar to a lot of folks.

We heard of My Neighbor Totoro and were surprised to find it available for rental. Eventually we had to buy our own copy, which my daughters now take with them when baby sitting. This delights the kids and annoys the parents because then their children start pestering them to buy the movie.

My Neighbor Totoro is a charming, original story by a famous Japanese filmmaker. It is the story of two young girls and their father moving to a new home in the forest. The girls go exploring and come across Totoro, a giant forest spirit.

Check out the reviews at Amazon for the full story.
I've seen some cultural warnings about possible misunderstandings also which never occurred to us when we originally watched it, such as:
... there are a couple of scenes that are perfectly innocent in Japanese culture -- like the dad sitting in the bathtub with both little girls-- that may raise some eyebrows/questions in American culture. Please be assured there's nothing sexual about the scene, it is 100% innocent and acceptable in Japan for adults to bath with their younger children (the girls in this movie are 9 and 4 I believe), but American culture is a little different so I thought I'd put a heads up here.
There are other differences but we found that part of the charm as a window into another world. We've enjoyed many of Miyazaki's films but this is a real delight.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Stagecoach Mary

Mary Fields: Freighter, cook, domestic worker, star route mail carrier,
first African-American woman star route mail carrier in the U.S.

Also Catholic. They forgot to mention that part.

I first heard of Stagecoach Mary on the American Catholic History podcast, which I recommend you listen to right here.

The Reality of Tuna Casserole

 I refuse to believe that trading recipes is silly. Tuna fish casserole is at least as real as corporate stock.

Barbara Grizzuti Harrison

All Systems Red by Martha Wells


On a distant planet, a team of scientists are conducting surface tests, shadowed by their Company-supplied droid—a self-aware SecUnit that has hacked its own governor module, and refers to itself (though never out loud) as "Murderbot." Scornful of humans, all it really wants is to be left alone long enough to finish watching all the TV shows it's downloaded.

But when a neighboring mission goes dark, it's up to the scientists and their Murderbot to get to the truth.
Light, entertaining, fun, exciting. All that with a sense of humor and a mystery to solve in order to keep everyone alive. I like that Murderbot uses its free will to spend all day watching TV, if possible. I also liked the reason that it was capable of the killing that makes it name itself "Murderbot."

In a way, it felt a bit like it could have been from the Firefly universe. Or maybe Futurama? Every time Murderbot said "kill all humans" - and it was said a fair number of times - Bender flashed before my eyes.

I've seen a few complaints that this is too short and episodic feeling. You mean just like the entertainment that Murderbot loves to watch so much? Maybe that's why I liked it. Sometimes all you want is a good episodic adventure with a likable hero struggling against the odds. And that's what we've got here.