Old Songs Are Old

December 10, 2010

You know what’s cool about some Christmas carols? Like the super old ones, like Silent Night and Hark the Herald Angels Sing? They’ve been around a long ass time.

I was watching the 1938 version of A Christmas Carol this evening, and when Scrooge is with Christmas Present he’s watching his nephew and the Cratchits in church. Where everyone was singing O Come All Ye Faithful. And then I just got this feeling, that this movie from 1938, about a story written and taking place in like 1850 or so, features a church service where they are singing O Come All Ye Faithful. The very same O Come All Ye Faithful I’ll be singing at a church service on Christmas Eve here in 2010.

Times like this I understand more why people cling to their religions and/or traditions. Not so much necessarily any ideological reasons, but that belonging to some long-running chain of events, that makes one feel part of that something bigger, yet in a sense that each one of us is significant in it. Something like that.

When I went to London last year, I visited Saint Paul’s Cathedral, which has been there for like over a millennium. Or, more accurately, since it was rebuilt after that big ass London fire in like 1666 or something, but in any case, that site has been used for religious purposes for that millennium or so. While I was there, they did a quick afternoon service and some choir was singing. And I thought while sitting there that here I was, witnessing yet another service in the countless number of them that had been going on there since so very many centuries ago. Neat.

Christmas songs are perhaps my favorite thing about the season, what with embodying all the traditions have been swept into the veritable Katamari that Christmas is, as well as the general joy. And music is fun anyway!

And I wonder that a century from now, two centuries from now, they’ll still be singing Silent Night and Angels We Have Heard on High, as well as the newer but just as fun and meaningful songs, and the even more Christmas songs that have yet to be composed. Now that’s what I call seeing Christmas Past, Present, and Future!

The One About Jesus

December 9, 2010

Did I ever tell you the story about Santa Claus? He’s the guy who lives at the North Pole for some reason and has a magic sleigh and reindeer with which he zips around the world Christmas Eve night and delivers presents to everyone!

Did I ever tell you the one about Santa’s ninth reindeer, Rudolph? He was born with a glowing red nose, and the other reindeer bullied him over it, until one foggy Christmas Eve, when Santa couldn’t fly anywhere because magic sleighs and flying reindeer are no match for ordinary fog that apparently covers the entire world, they realized Rudolph’s red nose makes a fine fog light, so they were able to go out after all.
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Aladdin and Two Genies

November 23, 2010

So I just finished watching Aladdin on ABC Family. Love that movie! Even taking into account I’m partial to Disney movies in general, it’s awesome. Hard to believe it’s been eighteen whole years since it came out, and I still have most of the songs memorized. And I recall how, back in like 1992, we were all amazed at the wonderful graphics that went into the Cave of Wonders tiger entrance.

But, as often happens when you see a movie you’ve seen many times over many years, you start noticing things. You start to question why certain things happened one way when some other way would have made more sense. Or some other way would have solved or sidestepped a plot relevant problem entirely. Lord knows Cracked has any number of lists along those lines!

What I’m thinking of now is at the very end of the movie. I’m not giving a spoiler alert because, well, I’m not sure there’s anyone who hasn’t seen Aladdin, and even less likely anyone would, well, care about a spoiler to a damn Disney movie. They’re cartoonish fun, not murder mysteries.

Aladdin tricks Jafar into making his third wish, to become an all-powerful genie. So Genie does it and Jafar is all happy and powerful at first, only to get sucked into his newly materialized black lamp. In his itty bitty living space. Then Genie flicks the lamp off into the distance to the Cave of Wonders.
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Shine On

September 27, 2010

As you may recall, back on January 24, 2008, I lost my grandmother. As said in that title, she was supposed to live forever. But she didn’t. -_-

That’s okay! I still had another grandmother who was REALLY supposed to live forever! 😀

Er, no. We lost her last night to massive heart complications. 🙁

Widad S
March 25, 1926 – September 26, 2010

Nice job so far, 2010. First Nigel and now… my last grandparent! What the FUCK?! :doitnow:

Oh, damn, that’s right. My last grandparent. When I was born, I only had the two grandmothers to begin with, their husbands having died in the 1970s, long before I came along. Now they’re both gone, off into whatever happens next. Along with my grandmother, I suppose a certain aspect of my youth was lost with her. Now my parents are the elders. Weeeeeird.

So, what am I to do about it? I realize my response here seems very different from losing Grandma. Certainly doesn’t mean I’m mourning any less now. Just acknowledging that I perhaps deal with this differently from before, and, despite being related to them both in the same way, they still held different roles in my life.

And anyone’s death, especially a grandparent I suppose, serves to remind that we’re all like a whole lot of twinkling stars. We come into existence and shine and shine for however long before we are extinguished. Stars of course go billions of years. We humans go a hell of a lot shorter than that. So we must make sure we shine as bright as we can, and in doing so inspire the other stars to shine bright. Like a shiny chain reaction. Of shininess.

Yeah, what do you want? I didn’t study astronomy and got a D in physics. Whatever.

Anyway, scientific inaccuracy of metaphor notwithstanding, what are we doing to shine bright? What am I doing? Well, I’m with NYRA and as such trying to make the world better by promoting youth rights! Quite proud of that.

Then another thought occurred to me. My newly lost grandmother is my mom’s mom, the Arab side of my family. So, yeah, I’m part-Arab and working on civil rights activism. Nice.

I wonder what other Arab-blooded American activists there are…

Oh, wait…


I have a lot of work to do. :\

(Lower the drinking age.) 😉

Primary Prep

September 15, 2010

So yesterday was the primary election day here in Maryland. So I’m at work yesterday with my little electoral packet, looking at the candidates, including of course the governor and congressman and senator up for reelection, and local election candidates whose names I’ve seen absolutely nowhere except on the campaign signs all over the place and in the same packet 2 and 4 years ago. But, since it’s silly to vote for people I know nothing whatsoever about, I went to Google News. Figured I’d search news articles for their names, see if any of them did anything to piss me off that might make me not vote for them.

Eh, didn’t find much. Washington Post and the Gazette had little profile articles on some of them, with experience, credentials, and affiliations, and other stuff. Some had quotes, most of them I was indifferent, very few I either liked or disliked. Some I couldn’t find any information on whatsoever! So, whatever, I got at least a vague idea of who to vote for, so after work I wandered to the usual elementary school and cast my ballot.

So let’s review. In doing my citizen’s duty of voting, this involved… spending some time Googling candidates to get a cursory look at any information about them, and then going to my polling place, telling them my name, putting a stupid little card into the machine, touching the screen to select the candidates I decided probably wouldn’t enslave us all, finished, put the stupid little card into a box, got my “I Voted” sticker, and walked out.

And this, using a search engine and pressing buttons and getting a sticker, apparently, is something people under 18 are somehow too immature to do. 🙄


July 12, 2010

I hereby decree…

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” is really really true!

Alright, everyone, time for a little life advice from the Fortress!

A year ago yesterday, I was walking around my neighborhood, when I passed a man walking his small white dog, when for no reason the stupid dog bit me on the back of my thigh. Ouch! Man didn’t seem to give a shit, and I forgot to get his name or info. So, as I mentioned briefly in last year’s 100 Days of Summer recap, I spent the following week in absolute panic that the dog had given me rabies or something. Yeah, I know, stupid thing to be panicked about, despite everyone and all information I looked up essentially telling me how there was like no chance. Only got out of the panic a week later when I saw the dog being walked again (rabid dogs are dead within a couple of days of symptoms, the only time they can spread it, so this dog had to of course be alright). Didn’t snap out of the panic right away. It took me another couple days to slowly come down from it.

And that week was seriously miserable. Regardless of it being for a stupid reason, I was still panicked, still absolutely filled with fear. And let me tell you something. Fear seriously fucks you UP. You can’t think. You lose your marbles. No amount of logical reasoning showing you not to be scared will snap you out of it. Pretty much just has to go away on its own after a while. Anything I had been thinking about or planning up until that asshole little dog bit me had gone out of my mind. Pretty much all I could think about was this dog bite and my irrational fear of infection.

And that’s why fear itself is a worthwhile thing to be afraid of! I sometimes find there are events or possible events in the future that I think “oh, wow, I’m going to be soooo scared!” For example, if I ever get pregnant. Pregnancy is pretty goddamn scary. Aside from all the crazy shit involved with it even when it’s perfectly normal, if I’m ever pregnant, I would be soooooo terrified! Scared waiting to find out if pregnant. Scared during labor. Scared waiting for labor at any moment. And then of course the most terrifying thing of all for which pregnancy is just the opening, parenthood! Ack!

So I would say, well, don’t be scared, but it can’t be helped. That’s another reason to fear it, since it’s hard to avoid. Education may help, in that fear preys on ignorance, since not knowing what to do in a given situation only increases the fear, while knowing what to do keeps it somewhat at bay, usually.

And your brain is on your side anyway. It gets bored with fear after a while, provided the fear brings nothing new to be fearful about, and logical reasoning grows back. So while you can’t avoid being fearful, because, well, shit happens, you can at least be ready for it and knock it out quickly. Or at least manage until it passes.

Happy Fifty-Fifty! 🙂

This has been Day 50 of the 100 Days of Summer, Round 10.

Happy Meal

January 5, 2010

So I was just making my dinner, some steak and fries, when I had a thought. The fries I was making were some of those McCain “Smiles”, fries shaped like smilie faces. And then I thought to myself “I’m having a happy meal!”

And then I wondered… why the hell aren’t the McDonald’s fries, or at least the Happy Meal ones, shaped like smilie faces? Wouldn’t that make more sense? The things clearly exist. Or would that be a bit too much happy? Is there a such thing as too much happy? 🙂

I Built That

December 29, 2009

Construction and architecture must be a rewarding field. I mean, you wouldn’t think so at first, at least not for the construction workers, as architects are considered a “respectable” career. But this goes for them both. They are involved with, obviously enough, putting up buildings, big and small, homes and offices, churches and schools. And those buildings will stand there proudly for most likely a very long time, all time that all the hard workers that contributed to it, whether designing the plan or doing the actual construction, can point to it and say that they built this, that this building and all its purposes are here because of their hard work.

It was eight years ago today that my family took a little 2-day trip to New York City, our first time there after the September 11th attacks, only about three and a half months after. And we saw with our own eyes that it was all true, that those enormous Twin Towers were in fact gone. 🙁

We all heard a lot about the impact the attack had on, well, everyone. Especially the friends and families of the victims, and of course the people who were in the buildings and managed to escape with their lives.
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Frosty the… Puddle

December 20, 2009

So on Friday night, Frosty the Snowman was on TV. The hat is put on him, he comes to life and says “Happy Birthday” for some reason, they dance around and have fun, but then they realize he’ll be gone once the snow melts.

So they figure the best way to remedy this is to stow away on a train that’s heading for the North Pole for some reason. Stuff happens and they end up off the train short of reaching the point where every direction is south, so Frosty and the little girl Karen are lost in the woods and Karen is freezing to death, so they somehow end up finding a greenhouse full of poinsettias. What luck!
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