Monday, December 29, 2008

50th post!!!! (...and other things)

Hurrah for the 50th post!!!!!  Thank you to all my wonderful followers who have been with me since August :)  This is a happy day.
-Fun I hung out at the Spectrum with a few good Torrey friends...Grace Ciccarello, Amy Van Vlear, Tim Chan, and Cree McCook.  Amazing times...isn't torrey fun when you can hang out with great friends...and yet you haven't seen them above 3 or so times?
-Christmas is almost is the 5th day of Christmas for those of you who weren't counting.
-A new bedspread can make your whole room look different.  Everything suddenly looks brighter because of my new quilt!
-It's been getting warmer and warmer...almost warm enough for new rainbows!!!
Hurrah for randomness, yes?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

After Christmas Shopping

Hurrah for gift cards!!!  I went to Borders this morning and bought Manalive-GK Chesterton, Anna Karenina-Leo Tolstoy, and Wuthering Heights-Emily Bronte.  All very excellent books which I'm looking forward to re-reading!!!  After I finish deToqueville, that is...and my term paper...:)

Friday, December 26, 2008

Soundtrack to My Life-Part 10

I know this is a day late...but c'mon, yesterday was Christmas :)  So I am excused...but here we go!  A good amount of this music will be a compilation of favorite Christmas music and new music that I received...happiness!!!!
1) Someone Else's Arms-yes, Mae again...but really, they write such gorgeously beautiful music...and their theory that music should be engaged with all 5 senses...and the artwork in The Everglow...I just love this line from the song "I've got the feeling it's not the safest place to start.  This heavy breathing, it seems we're better off breaking hearts."....some of their lyrics are just like poetry :)
2)Everything-Michael Buble-I really like this guy, got 3 of his CDs for Christmas...such a sweet song and his music is perfect for Foundations reading since it's fun and light but not too distracting ;)  
3) Joy to the World/For Unto Us A Child Is Born-Amy Grant...For Unto Us is my absolute favorite part of the Messiah...and Amy Grant, as usual, does a splendid version of it
4) I'll Be Home For Christmas-Josh Groban-my absolute favorite non-Christian christmas song of all times...such a touching song...and such a gorgeous voice
5) The Sun and the Mon-Mae :)  Such beautiful lyrics...a lot of really good songs esp. from Waking Ashland seem to use the vocals/lyrics as merely another instrument, to blend with and add to the music but often take back stage...but with Mae, and this song especially, the song is like musical poetry, the words blend with and are surrounded by music but the words speak to you separately, they have their own meaning apart from merely sounding good with the music...
Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!!!!

Merry Christmas, and God bless you all!!!!!   Remember Christ's amazing love to us during this special day!  You all are wonderful!  Have a very very merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Pictures of PJ's Abbey

Here they are!  More pictures!

Beauty in the Modern Church-part 2

To continue on this topic from a few days ago...this afternoon I took Sarah to lunch at a charming restaurant in Old Town Orange called PJ's Abbey.  Formerly a Victorian Baptist Church built in 1891, it is now an American style restaurant.  It was absolutely gorgeous :)  and I should be able to get some pictures up later today.  For now, here's the description that I wrote while there.

A restaurant in a church.  Strange, you say?  Almost as strange as a church housed within a warehouse, perhaps.  Though clearly a restaurant, with tables and chairs for a cozy meal, waiters bustling round, and cheery holiday music playing, the building still retains a very churchy atmosphere.

Spectacular stained windows tower of the room, reflecting the little bit of sun that shines through on this cloudy day.  A rather small and simple church, much care has been put into its design nonetheless.  High arched windows and a lofty ceiling draw one’s attention upwards to heaven.  Even the wooden beams supporting the antique architecture are carved with a simple, yet elegant picture, showing the amount of work put into each detail of the church.  Both older and more modern artwork adorn the walls in charmingly distressed wooden frames.  The needlepointed chairs, wooden benches resembling old pews, artwork, and indeed every detail, enhance the atmosphere of the old country church.  

Every detail serves a purpose, but every detail is made beautiful as well.  Here there is no division of the practical and the beautiful.  Here there can be seen no schism between functionality and artistry.  Take the old pulpit, for example.  Once it stood at the head of the church, as a stand for the preacher.  Now, it stands as a podium at the entrance to the restaurant.  Yet it is not only a purposeful tool, but a beautiful piece of artwork.  Here and throughout the restaurant/church is this mentality reflected; that a thing can be both useful and ornamental.  

Monday, December 22, 2008

Pictures of Cornerstone

The front of the building, with lovely palm trees reflected in the windows.  Looks very nice, and streamlined, but you can definitely tell that it was not always a church.  
The front entry hall and staircase, from the upper floor.  Clean lines, and angles, and I like the paint colour ;)
The church's theater.
Coffee shop right outside the main sanctuary. And actually I really like both the paint colours and the artwork on the wall.  The coffee shop is actually my favorite part of the whole church, design/artistry wise.
And here we have the main sanctuary...very big, open, huge stage.  This picture doesn't really give you much of an idea of the size...but it is big...very big.  

Beauty in the Modern Church-part 1

As many of you already know, right now is Term Paper season in Torrey.  This quarter for my term paper, I've decided to write on the use of beauty within church buildings, and how we ought to make our sanctuaries more beautiful to reflect the glory of God and inspire men to worship Him.  To better write this term paper, I have and will be visiting several churches, both modern and ancient, to compare what I consider to be beautiful, and not beautiful (and also as proof that the type of church I write about in my paper really does exist).  Yesterday afternoon, I had the privilege of visiting Cornerstone Church in Anaheim, touring the campus and taking pictures.  So below is what I wrote after seeing the campus, as well as a few of the about 40 pictures I took ;)

Cornerstone, a perfect picture of a contemporary church building.  Once a warehouse used to house a computer company, it now houses a congregation fo vibrant and active believers.  The main sanctuary especially is a reflection of the modern, functional style seen throughout the rest of the vast building.

Painted a neutral beige, the concrete wall stretch up to a silver lined sky.  Wooden beams and lighting wires criss-cross the insulation covered ceiling in an intricate pattern of shapes and angles.  Spotlights and speakers hang dow from the ceiling, making no attempt to conceal themselves. Rather, the various technical tools flaunt themselves as if they were proud of their purpose without pulchritude.

The entire sanctuary, laid out in a simple square, seems to be al angles, hard walls, and vast open spaces, and does nothing to hide its former purpose.  It is as if they (who is they?) are proud of their modern functionality and practicality, but could there be more?  Could beautifully designed sanctuaries, soaring stained glass windows, and ornately gilded molding be more than merely superficial ornaments?

This use of beauty in worship spaces is not only more appealing, it is downright essential.  The church, the actual building, is the place where the body of Christ gathers in worship, and the one place more than any other where God is present on earth.  If one’s church is the home of the God Most High, does the church not owe to God the very best home that they can give Him?  Do they not owe to Him a home that is worthy of His majesty and reflects His glory?  

And pictures will be coming in the next post :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Soundtrack to My Life-Part 9

Hurrah for more lovely music
1) a nice snippet from one of my favorite Christmas soon as I find exactly what I'm looking for there'll be more of that song.
2) Banana Pancakes-first heard this song in the fun :)
3) White Horse-while Taylor Swift has behaved like too much of a drama queen with this song, I can really relate sometimes
4) Dare You To Move-great switchfoot song, great lyrics, amazing band :)
5) Grown Up Christmas List-one of my favorite Amy Grant songs, so sweet and so true

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

7 Things

No, this isn't a blog post about Miley Cyrus.  Rather, on Gabriel's previous suggestion, this is a post of things I love (and hate) about Christmas.  We'd rather end on a happy note, right?  So let's start off with the 7 things I hate about Christmas
1) More stress.  nuff said
2) worrying who to buy gifts for, and the possibility of not having a gift for someone who has one for you, or getting someone a gift when they weren't expecting one from you and having it turn into an awkward situation...
3) cheesy or annoying christmas music (Hippopotamus Song) playing consistantly on the radio.
4) not being able to find what you want at a store because someone bought it for their cousin Lina
5) super sappy emotional sentiments, when everyone believes that people will be nice now, because it's Christmas
6) Two whole weeks without boring. (kidding about this one, mostly ;)
7) not being able to figure out what to give your dad since he already has 5 of the same tie that you've given him for 5 years in a row (I haven't actually done that, but serious, what do you get parents who can't possibly use any more stuff?)

And now, for 7 things I love about Christmas...
1) Christmas trees!
2) Decorating houses, trees, cookies, anything really :)
3) Christmas many good songs out there :)
4) food...eggnog, gingerbread, peppermint, etc. the list goes on
5) a time to let go of external worries and focus on family and Christ
6) traditions such as advent, opening christmas pjs on christmas eve, 
7) pondering torreyish questions such as the incarnation of Christ, why Christ came the way He did, etc...
I could go on and on forever with this list, Christmas is such a wonderful time!

A Thought

Last night, I had an interesting conversation with my mother regarding my blog address, inquisitive inkblot. A bit of background information first...we were talking about various people from bubbs whom I had recently met.  I mentioned that since developing relationships with people online I had begun to pay much more attention to the look of words, almost as much as the sound.  In addition I had started associating people with their fonts/colours, so it was interesting to meet them and see whether or not they matched up with their fonts.  
In the course of this discussion I happened to mention that it was especially fun online to type out the abbreviations for the class names, FAT and FOOF.   And then of course inkie or inkblot, which isn't as fun though.  In mentioning inkblot, my blog title came up.  My mom pointed out the fact that I was no longer an inklings student, and therefore perhaps the name was not quite as appropriate anymore.  I considered this for a moment, but then realized...the only other alternative in that case, would be to rename my blog "inquisitive FAT student"  Because I'm used to seeing FAT written out, I never really thought about how it actually sounded until I said  We were both laughing about that one for quite a while. 
So how bout it?  Anyone thing I should rename my blog? ;)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Soundtrack to My Life-Part 8

Yes today is Thursday, and Thursday means more music...perhaps some day I should switch it to Monday so that I get to use alliteration more :)  But for's Thursday.
1) All I Want For Christmas- yes it's Mariah Carey...but its such a fun christmas song!  :)  It's so catchy and easy to get in your head...and whatever you may say, it's a million times better than I Want A Hippopotamus for Christmas ;)
2) Elgar's Cello Concerto-and I know I already listed this several weeks ago...but you didn't get to hear if you've never heard it, listen to it now and tell me if that melody isn't just the most haunting painfully beautiful music you've ever heard.
3) The Ocean-another beautiful Mae song with gorgeous lyrics...I wish I could write poetry like that..."I need you here tonight just like the ocean needs the waves"  mmm beautiful
4) Chopin Ballade #1-beautiful Chopin...Chopin's good...but Chopin ballades are amazing...this is spectacular compared to his nocturnes, which are good but not fantastic.
5)  O Holy Night-Josh Groban-favorite christmas carol, favorite artist, what more could you ask for?
Merry Christmas!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

What is Love?

Why is love so elusive?  Every time I think I have it within my grasp, every time I think I have a concrete answer, it slips away.  It evades me and seemingly disappears, only to appear again when I have given up hope that it is true.  Is this complicated dance all there is of life?  Weaving in and out, searching back and forth and only occasionally catching glimpses of what could be?  If I grasp now, I may lose it forever...but if I wait, it may never come back.  Where are you love?

Saturday, December 6, 2008

A Sonnet to SATS

Hello all,
And especially hello to Emily Oh, who encouraged me to post my sonnet on this blog.  Actually though Emily, this was not the sonnet I had intended to post, but rather one that I wrote this morning.  THis morning...I had to take my SAT...all the reading/writing sections were far too easy for a Torrey student so I ended up sitting there for half the time with nothing to do.  In those empty boring periods...I wrote this sonnet.

Bright morning time, I wake to loud alarm
It's Saturday, to sleep and stay in late
But then I recollect to comfort's harm
The day has come at last which most I hate
My SAT test, dreaded time has come
And i must spend my weekend doing math
And writing essays, filling bubbles-sums
And grammar, reading, charts and words and graphs.
I know if I would go to THI
Foul beast must be attacked with all my strength
And so I take my pencils, heave a sigh
And start the test, undaunted by its length
I watch the clock creep slowly by, till rest
Shall be all mine at end of dreaded test.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Soundtrack to my Life-Part 7

Hello all...sorry this is late...I was out at a gloriously amazing lecture on poetic form through Shakespeare's formal poetry last night by the amazingly brilliant Mr. Bartel (or Timothy Evan Bartel for those of you who were there ;)
So here we go...and no Tim I still haven't put them online for you to listen to yet...I have fun describing the songs and making you look them up yourselves ;)  Or maybe I'm just lazy...
1) Sing Me To Sleep-Waking of my new favorite groups...they remind me a lot of Mae, except not quite as light and fantasy like, a bit darker and more realistic...but they have the most beautiful piano sound...there are so many songs that I love so I'll show restraint by only listing two of my favorites.
2) All Hands on Deck-also by Waking Ashland...I've actually started picking out the piano part to this one :)
3) Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring-the Amy Grant version...such a beautiful Scottish sound to it :)  
4) Carol of the Bells-Manheim Steamroller (I know I spelled Manheim with it)
5)That's How You Know-Enchanted this movie, especially after the Dominican ;)  Is good.

and this week I'm doing something different and also giving you one song that I have heard far too many times this week and now hate...I want a hippopatamus for Christmas...i am so sick of that song...and it gets stuck in your head so i'll go listen to waking ashland to get it out of my head...

*edit-I have now put songs on my blog...and I actually figured it out all by myself :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It's been a long time...

...since I've blogged.  So I thought I'd just take the time to remind you all...CHRISTMAS IS COMING SOON!!!!!   I love this time of year...the smells of cookies, hot cocoa, pine trees, cranberries, candles, etc.  The sounds of bells ringing, music playing-I could devote a whole post to my love for Christmas music-children laughing, shoppers buying presents for their loved ones.  The wonderful foods-10 thousand types of Christmas cookies, peppermint bark, candy canes, eggnog, spiced cider.  
Yes, I love Christmas.  Every year, we follow the same traditions, yet it never feels boring or monotonous.  I wonder why?  In most other things, we prefer originality and creativity over routine and formula...but during the holidays, we follow a strict pattern set out for us by our forefathers.  We set up the Christmas tree and decorate it just so, we always open stockings in our pajamas before breakfast and Christmas gifts after breakfast, we always get to open new Christmas pajamas on Christmas Eve, we always use the same advent wreath on Sundays and read from the same devotional...and so many more traditions that our family follows.  What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions?  And why do we follow them almost religiously?