Monday, July 31

"Books...are like lobster shells..."

"...we surround ourselves with 'em, then we grow out of 'em and leave 'em behind, as evidence of our earlier stages of development." The title quote is from Lord Peter Wimsey in Dorothy Sayers's The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club. I’ve been tagged by Micah.

1. One book that changed your life: The Enemy Within by Kris Lundgaard
2. One book that you've read more than once: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (what a heroine!)
3. One book you'd want on a desert island: (besides the Bible) The Lord of The Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
4. One book that made you laugh: Revenge of the Baby Sat by Bill Watterson (I know it’s a comic strip, but really—is there anything funnier than Calvin and Hobbes?)
5. One book that made you cry: Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling (I am not proud of this fact.)
6. One book that you wish had been written: Time, Dirt and Money by Olive Ann Burns (the unfinished sequel to Cold Sassy Tree. She died before it could be completed.)
7. One book that you wish had never been written: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
8. One book you're currently reading: Gilbert & Sullivan and Their Victorian World by Christopher Hibbert
9. One book you've been meaning to read: Orthodoxy by G.K. Chesterton
10. Tag somebody: Paula

Monday, July 24

Good music comes to Jackson

Matthew Perryman Jones played at Hal & Mal's Thursday night, and I was privileged to hear him and his excellent band. I was familiar with Matthew through his contributions to the Indelible Grace albums and his membership in the Square Peg Alliance, so I was excited to hear that he was coming to Jackson. Former Normals member Cason Cooley joined him on keyboard along with a (as yet unidentified) drummer and bass player. Matthew played songs from his new album Throwing Punches In The Dark, from which you can hear a few songs here. When the last notes of every song sounded, I thought, “Oh, no—keep going!” I guess it’s good to leave your audience wanting more, but it felt more like a appetizer of MPJ (is that just too Jonathan Taylor Thomas to abbreviate?) than a full meal. Derek Webb was right when he described Matthew’s voice as “mysterious and earnest.” Mysterious indeed, and it intrigued at least this listener. Does anyone else think he looks like "Jesus" in this photo? (He didn't in person.)

Monday, July 17

"When I decide to woo a woman I won't be single."

Everybody's talkin' about it! David Hogue and Guitta Chaiban got married this weekend, surrounded by beautiful flowers, scrumptious food and drink, lovely hymns and—best of all—dear friends. When the Louisiana Hogues and Lebanese Chaibans meet, much fun ensues. I agree with Paula and Nathan; it was probably the most fun wedding reception I’ve ever attended. I love that we can have a worship service glorifying the Lord and thanking him for bringing these two together, and then have a party complete with Lebanese dancing.

One of my favorite moments from the night was just after David and Guitta pulled away in their limo. We were all standing around in the parking lot when someone’s car alarm started going off. In seconds, Guitta’s family were clapping on the off beat of the alarm and dancing in the parking lot. It was amazing.

Thursday, July 13

I am serious. And don’t call me Shirley.

The Baby Name Wizard is a fun place to be if you’ve got some time to kill and have a curious mind. Type in any name, and the pink and/or blue graphs will indicate its usage per million babies as well as its overall ranking from the 1880s to the present.

I enjoy analyzing the data. What are the general trends? I’ve noticed that A names are rising in popularity. Names beginning in B remain consistent. C names for boys are on the up while names for girls are moving down. D and F names are on the downward slope. E name for both sexes were huge in the late 19th and early 20th century, and have experienced a spike upward recently. And so on and so forth.

Some names shot to the top from out of nowhere: Jason, Heather, Ethan and Jennifer—if you’re my age you probably had at least two Jennifers in your class. Some quickly fell out of favor: Barbara, Robin and…Kanye. I’m also surprised to see many names I think of only as girl names were used for boys between the 1880s and 1930s—in small numbers, mind you. But whoever heard of a boy named Doris? True to Shel Silverstein’s song, the Baby Name Wizard reports “The name SUE was not in the top 1.000 boys’ names in any decade.” Shirley for boys dropped out of the top 1,000 in the thirty years between 1930 and 1960. Paula and Tuan, I don’t know if you’ll be glad or not to know that John is at it’s lowest point ever at number 18 in 2005.

We might be surprised at some names making a comeback. Believe it or not, Hazel is on the upswing. Sonny has had a rocky history and Westley is very mysterious. Did The Princess Bride bring it out of obscurity in the 1980s? I’m pleased to note that most of my personal favorites—the ones I’m hoping to use someday—are on the low end of the popularity scale. Sure, every kid wants a spellable, pronounceable name, but who wants to be one of three Emilys in her third grade class? Maybe that's a bit reverse snobbish of me.

How does your name place? Were you named as part of a trend, or were your parents rebels?

Tuesday, July 11

It is by no means certain that another offer of marriage may ever be made you.

These are words that no girl wants to hear: "You'd be perfect for Mr. Collins." I grinned with glee when I came across these BBC Pride and Prejudice quizzes yesterday, but my face soon fell when the results were tabulated. My perfect match is MR. COLLINS? Every feeling revolts! Never mind that I have the creepy wave practiced to perfection. That doesn't mean I want someone waving at me that way. Everyone knows he's the silliest man in all of England. So what prompted the BBC to come to this conclusion? I'm afraid it was my answer to this question: What does your ideal man write in his Valentine card? I answered "He doesn't give one," because I am not a big fan of Valentine's Day (we'll save the reasons why for another post). But just because I don't like Valentine's Day doesn't mean I would like Mr. Collins!

Besides, I have another reason for believing we would not go well together. It seems I am most like Lizzie, and as she said herself, "You could not make me happy, and I am convinced I am the last woman in the world who could make you so." What a relief!

So, dear readers, what are your quiz results?