Friday, December 18, 2009

In Which Tigger Goes to the Movies...

So I just got finished watching "The Brothers Bloom" and I must say, I haven't been that thoroughly entertained, bamboozled, made-to-think-I-knew-exactly-what-was-going-to-happen-and-then-having-the-rug-pulled-out-from-under-my-feet from a movie since "The Prestige".

One. Heck. Of. A. Movie.

The execution is not quite as clean as "The Prestige" and the tone is much different. It's a much more learned film and by that I mean that it has many many literary references and many many more layers, but as a consequence it does feel very muddy. I went in expecting something like "Ocean's 11" and I got blown out of the water. I had as much fun on this ride as I did in "Ocean's" but it was also as gripping as "the Prestige" and quirky and myth like as "Big Fish".

It's quirky, hilarious, fun, but also at the end it leaves you with this Agggghhhh feeling like a "What just happened!" Ahhhh!!!

There are so many good lines from the script. And so many unanswered questions.

The story is about two brothers: Stephen and Bloom. Bloom's real name isn't really Bloom, but his first name is so ridiculously embarrassing that he just goes by Bloom. The two of them grew up together bouncing from foster home to foster home and eventually became con men and have been at it for 25 years. (I tell the synopsis horribly, but you'll forgive me, this is Tigger's first review). Stephen writes the story's and Bloom acts them out conning their "marks" out of their money. But after so many years of it all, Bloom becomes disillusioned and quits. Stephen of course convinces him to do one last con and that begins the most fascinating series of situations I've seen in a very long while.

I haven't felt this excited about talking about a film with friends since "Big Fish" at Emmaus Forum!

There are references to Ulysses, The Odyssey, Hermann Melville, and a whole host of other fun stuff. The film wrestles a lot with the stories we tell to others and ourselves (myths I think is the word - maybe? [I say that intending the meanings a Torreyite might attach to that word]) and the line between reality and fiction.

For now, I feel like I need to process it a lot more before I can make a call on whether it is a Good film (Yes, that is a capital "G") but for now I think I can say it is a good film. ("Big Fish", by the way, was a good film, but it was not a Good film)

I was definitely surprised.

"That was the best card trick I've ever seen!"

Anywhoo, go watch it y'all it's worth it - plus, Adrien Brody's in it, and you can't go wrong with that!

If anyone watches it or has watched it, I'd love to discuss!


P.S. I also watched Howl's Moving Castle, Gladiator, The Proposal, and The Blind Side within the past 48 hours...yeah, I went a little crazy =P

Don't worry I won't subject you to my reviews on those films, but I do have to say that I really really really liked Howl's moving Castle and would like to discuss that as well =]

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Reflections on the Torah

So, this first semester in Torrey we read through the Pentateuch. And to quickly summarize my thoughts.

1) My whole conception of the first five books of the bible before this trip through the actual books was dominated by the Creation account (2 Chapters) and the ten commandments as stated in Exodus 20. I didn't even know that Balaam was in Numbers! I always thought he was in Kings!

2) I often wondered how people survived on just the OT for so many hundreds and even thousands of years. After reading through the first five books, I guess I could summarized it by saying, "Wow! There's SOOO much stuff in here!"

3) God in the OT is often stereotyped as mean, vindictive, judgmental, and harsh. Reading through the Five, I'm pretty much pat convinced that this stereotype is pretty false. The God of the OT is the same as the one of the NT.

4) Which brings me to my fourth observation, the Israelites are IDIOTS, but I'm sooo much like them. Case in point:

This thanksgiving weekend I was visiting my old elementary school and I passed by a tree. It wasn't any old tree, there was a plaque under it "September 11, 2001 - We will never forget". Flashback to when I was 9, I remember watching my teachers and my principal (at the time) planting that tree. I remember where I was during that day. But to be totally honest, I've forgotten much. The event, though huge and traumatic, has truly been pushed to the back of my mind. Could it not be the same with the parting of the Red Sea, or the Wonders of the Wilderness?

(Cummins is in the room right now and for about 5 minutes he convinced me that his skin was like superman's and he's never bled in his life. Darn. I'm gullible. =P) (We ended up talking till 2:00 am about Loving God rightly, the commandments, the Sabbath, faces, authenticity, personhood in Christ)

All in all, the Scriptures are beautiful, and in them is life. Christ is, after all, the Word.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Declaration

Something I signed and I hope you will too:

Monday, November 23, 2009

I don't think anyone likes this wishy-washy, insecure, overly-dramatic(though it doesn't feel like it, but it probably looks like it), worrying, worrying, worrying side of me. (Including me). "Be true to yourself." Bah Humbug.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Meta Torrey's Are Awesome!

It seems like when I enter the dialectical process with people, at the end of it, somehow, someway I come tumbling out loving the people I've gone through it with.

I realized yesterday why my closest and best friends are the by and large those whom I have dialogued deeply with.

It's because we see each other's souls in discussion, no more pretense, no presumption, it's a chance to look deeply at a thing outside ourselves and in so doing come to a greater love for each other.

Not that Philosophy's only merit is in bringing people to love one another, but for me, it is at least that.

Looking for the answer to life's big questions and then seeking to live them out.

When it's done right, people become authentic in a way that I just haven't been able to find anywhere else.

Here's to baring our souls so that Christ might somehow, someway conform us closer to His Image.

Good Day!

Monday, October 26, 2009

A Confession

Self Reflection is often a good thing.

In looking over my past blog posts, I see now how I was able to worry much less back then.

Partly it was because I didn't have as much to worry about.

But mostly it was because I spent an hour daily in communion with God.

I confess, I've slowly and imperceptibly but surely shifted my focus so that even though I'm at Biola, all this time I've been thinking, "It's by my power that I'm here", "this is my education", "this is my time to shine", etc, etc.

I haven't been talking with God as much or spending enough time in His Word as I ought to.

Besides being just downright silly, I've noticed that my personality, my way of being in the world reverts back to what I would be without Christ (It only makes sense that if you don't stay connected to the vine, you start withering!) - a craven, sick, wobbly, anxious, needy, insecure twit.

"Overcome us, Lord, that so overcome, we might be ourselves"

I don't know if it's Athanasius, or Williams, or Lewis, or the Bible, but one or several or all of them have this idea that since God is Being (unqualified), as we are restored by Christ to right relation towards God (i.e. Loving rightly) we are also being restored to our true selves, our true being. In other words, as we journey closer to the Heart of reality, we consequently become more Real, more truly ourselves than we ever could have been if we had tried to stray (See Augustine's conception of Good and Evil).

Evil is literally negative - that is, it negates what is truly real.

But then again, what do we mean by real?

All this is to say,

He truly is the Person in whom we "live, move, and have our being".

Lord God have mercy on me, a sinner.

All that I am and ever will be, I owe to God.

I'm going to start living out that fact again.

Under His Mercy,


Friday, October 16, 2009

The Importance of (Not) Worrying

My goodness! Can you believe the amount of stress and burden and downright ickyiness you can add to yourself just by being worried about things?

Oh, my poor roommate and friends! I pity the people who have to be around me when I'm in my icky moods!

And it's funny how prophetic you can be regarding these things. If you think and dwell upon worry (not even the thing you're worried about but the worry itself) it starts exponentially multiplying because you worry about your worry and how your worry is affecting and harming those around you.

In other news, I took a 1:00 am awesome bike ride to Albertsons last night. Which was fun! It felt like flying. (The Brittons have awesome bikes)

Midrags when splendiferously and I'm quite chipper about that.

And Its sooooo good not to have pressure in regards to romantic relationships and such.

At least for me, I find that this maxim works so so well, "When you play, play, when you pray, pray" And so on for all things.

So here's to NOT worrying about things and driving everyone around me INSANE. ;)

My sincere apologies to Mr. Jonathan Diaz who has had a rough week (mostly probably because of me) =/

I'll do my best not to worry so much anymore. =] HAVE FAITH!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Few Weeks In

So, a general what-I-have-learned-in-the-first-few-weeks-of-College:

1) I am a very very selfish and prideful person.

2) Sleep is ooooh so good.

3) College isn't as easy as I thought it'd be.

4) Gabriel + Romantic Fuzzy movies (Whisper of the Heart, Emma) = Varied and Interesting Reactions...

5) Friendship is like the lowest note of a Steinway Grand, it's like a bedrock for your soul that sounds the depths of your being. You can't help but want to be a better person and wishing in some way to be worthy of that friendship. (And you also can't help but cringe at a lousy simile.) ;) It's as if God shows Himself to us through the kindness of our friends and for a moment, we glimpse Heaven.

6) I'm rather horrible with remembering people's names...

7) Chemistry and Calculus don't like all. sigh. >__<

8) Family is a gift that should never be taken for granted.

9) I don't want to be a monk... =P

10) I have a long, long, long way to go in becoming a good man.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Marshmallow Test

A wonderfully hilarious illustration.

It's a famous psychology test...

What does this have to do with how successful a person becomes in life? (hint: there is a correlation)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

On the Biola Bubble

Just a few things I've noticed after being in college for 3 weeks:

I haven't heard a single cuss word on campus.

People actually care enough to skip over a needless sex scene in a movie.

I can talk to people about Dante without seeing eyes glaze over.

We can pray together as a class.

We can share openly and freely about what God has done and is doing in our lives.

There is such a focus on ministering to the community.

I can talk to my mentors about anything.

Some of my best friends live a couple hundred yards away (or closer).

We can have devotions together.

The Ratio is pretty awesome. ;)

GYRAD is coming up.

Torrey is here.

I know I came to the right place.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


This happened last night:

Christian Cummins comes to the door at like 12:30 at night.

I look at him with a are-you-sure-you-want-to-be-here-cause-I've-got-chemistry-and-calculus-homework-due-tomorrow look.

He assures me, "I'm just coming here to read, Choo - I promise."

hah. hah. hah.

We end up talking till 4:00 with me waking him up at like 4:30 to finish an argument.

College is gonna be gooooood. =P

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

In the Midst of Starting College...

I should be reading the Iliad, but I wanted to write down some thoughts that have been running through my head.

1) The next four years are going to go by faster than I want them to. God must redeem the time, for I cannot.

2) Please pray for the Snyder family, they just lost a daughter and Mr. Snyder is in critical condition...

3) The essence of a Godly man is someone who does not shy away from duty but rather embraces it and rejoices in it - not the frivolous semblance of false grin-and-bear-it types, but a deep and abiding faith in God in Whom we live, move, and have our being.

4) The intellectual, physical, moral, spiritual, psychological, and monetary gifts that have been bestowed upon me and will be given me by God through teachers, mentors, peers, and friends are not mine for the hoarding, rather, the Goodness, Truth, and Beauty that I possess and will possess are given to me so that I can bless others with them. To him who has, more shall be given. The greatest of you shall be the servant of all. It is Humility and Service that define the great in Christ's Kingdom.

5) My worst fear is to have squandered all my gifts and to look back upon my life and say, "If only I had done more for Christ!". I want to be remembered in death as a man who loved Jesus - whatever I am called to do, I want to here my Master say, "Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter into thy Master's rest"

College is...

I'll tell you when I finish. =]

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

When Books Grow Limbs...

I love books.

In fact, the main decor of my room is books.

Every inch of desk space is covered with them.

and it's beginning to overflow my room...

And that is the point when Books actually begin to become lost.

Before I could easily find a book that I wanted because *looks* there it was on the corner of the third shelf on the left side of the room.

But now when I'm looking for The Writing Life (Annie Dillard) I look around, smile at the ocean of books surrounding me, shrug my shoulders, and decide that it'd probably be easier just to buy another copy from Amazon. ;)

Now, finding the Odyssey is a Quest! (Not Ironic at all!)

I may have a problem....but just maybe.

Monday, July 6, 2009


While most of my Friends will be at Wheatstone...

I'll be at an Evangelism Camp.


*breathes* *sniffles* sigh

I'll be okay...just barely. (Heh, if it wasn't anything less than saving souls I doubt I could've been herded into going!)

But you guys had better post pictures and tell me all about it when I get back.

Promise? ;)

And there's always next year! =D =D =D And I'm only 17!!! (Age limit is 19!)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Coeur d'Coeurs

There's a mansion by the sea.

It's a large, rambling mansion with many nooks and crannies.
It's in the late Victorian style, although new parts are coming in everyday.
In the main hall way, underneath the chandelier, past the grand staircase, there's a library.
All four walls are covered with books.
Well worn and beloved books.
The fire crackles and pops cheerily,
with an occasional spark drifting upwards into the chimney.
The furnishing is oak,
rich and ancient oak,
and it smells like warm chocolate cake with vanilla ice cream
and the heat from the fire feels like warm sunshine - the kind that seeps into your bones and stays with you.
There are a couple of armchairs here. High-backed and deep. And the footstool is just the right height
so that your back never tires
and the arm rest? - level so that your neck need not complain.
There's hot chocolate too. Two cups. And witty banter and "good lucks!"

"Well Lewis says this..."

"...What a nice tie you're wearing!"

"Williams thinks...",

"Aquinas would disagree"

"I admit the Third Concerto is more complex and masculine, but surely you must love the Second Concerto more - it's Rach 2!"

"Romance is not dead!"

"Beauty is Objective!"


Laughter-of course- is quite happy to be here.

Bach has brought his Cello and sings to us through the gramophone.

Friendship's here too.

The deep, nutritious kind (eat your greens!) that you can take with you on long trips from home and bring out from your box of treasures and hold against the light when you're feeling rather down.
Or rather, the kind that seeps into your bones and warms you through and through and doesn't leave when the sun goes gloriously into the West.
There are some tears over spilled milk,
but who wouldn't sniffle over the chance at a perfectly blended latte?
And so it's two cups of hot chocolate for us, here, and black forest cake.

Dark Chocolate isn't so bitter when you get to share it.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

What Loving a Woman can do to a Man

If all I've said about her until this
were comprehended in a single praise,
now it would be too little to suffice.

I saw her beauty passing all our ways
of understanding, and believe indeed
that He alone who fashioned her enjoys

Its fullness. From this pass I must concede
myself more overcome than ever was
tragedian or comic at the peak

Of difficulty: as the sun in eyes
that tremble weakly, so my memory
of her sweet smile now robs the intellect

And leaves me at a loss. From the first day
I saw her face until this vision now,
my road to song has not been cut away,

But here, as every artist, I must bow
to my last power, and cease to follow on
her loveliness by signs in poetry.

Such beauty I must leave to a clarion
more brilliant than my trumpet to unite
clear words and arduous truth...

(Canto 30.16-34)

"Lady in whom my hope is green anew,
who suffered for my healing, and who deigned
to leave your footprints in the lands below,

It was your power and excellence that sustained
my pilgrimage to see all I have seen;
to you I owe the grace and strength I've gained.

I was a slave; you brought me liberty,
through every road I walked, by every means
you had within your power to succor me.

Preserve in me your work's magnificence
so that my soul, which you have healed, one day
will please you when it slips the body's bands."

I prayed - and she, who was as far away
as she appeared, yet smiled and looked at me;
then turned again to the eternal Spring.

(Canto 31.79-93).

I tear up every time. ='P
The greatest monument ever created for any woman.
That last line is the most the way.

Poi si torno a l'etterna fontana

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Classic Amateur Filmaking

I think I've already posted these before...oh well.

In my humble opinion, these videos are comedy classics. =]


Why Asian Guys can't get Girls.

Christina and Adriana have never gotten back to me on this question...

Disclaimer: There is some mild language in these videos. =P

Stuff I'm Watching and Listening To

A Transcription of a movement from Rachmaninoff's 2nd Symphony.

Then the Real Thing.

And if that wasn't enough Romanticism, I'm watching bits and pieces of Love Actually, courtesy of a recommendation by Mr. Leigh.

=3 Poor thing. ;)

This baby.

Here's a quote:

Where did you meet your love, young man?
Where did you meet your love?
'I met my love in a noisy room
With a carven roof above.'

What did you say to your love, young man,
With all your mother wit?
'"How hot it is!" or "How do you do?"
And there was an end of it!'

Who was beside you then, young man?
Who was beside you then?
'Gaspar, Melchior, Balthazar,
And a crowd of shepard-men!'

What did you say to them, young man,
Silently, through the din?
'"Princes, when ye come in to her,
I pray you, lead me in."'

-"In the Land of Juda," from Poems of Conformity, 1917

I think Dante and Charles Williams and Sayers would have liked that scene. Especially with the Incarnational themes.

I like being named Gabriel.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Heart Song

If my life were a piece of music

I'd want it to sound like Rachmaninoff.

In other words, I'm back from Russia and I love being home.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happiness is...

Waking up in a soft, warm bed and knowing you can sleep in today.

Laughing and talking with friends you love.

Eating a Godiva Chocolate Champagne ball.

Seeing the Cathedral of Christ our Savior - the sun shining through the windows and lighting up the cross at the top of the altar - the cross comes alive with molten and living energy - Moving in Love. The Great Dance.

Hearing the Cathedral choir sing the liturgy.

Seeing the Rembrandt pieces at the Pushkin Museum.

Seeing St. Bartholomew in the Getty.

Seeing the Faberge display window at the State Armory in the Kremlin.

Strolling through Vancouver, B.C.

Meditating by Lake Moraine.

Watching little children smile while they sleep.

Studying in the Biola Library.

Helping my sister answer a question.

Saying exactly what you wanted to say to the people whom you wanted to say it to and in exactly the right way.

Holding a newborn.

Staying at a certain Kedron Valley Inn in Virginia in the Fall.

Reading Dante.

A warm furry dog who loves you.

Listening to Miss Romero read Eliot.

Listening to Mr. Bartel talk about Mrs. Bartel. (And most any other subject)

Listening to/playing Bach.

Listening to/playing Rachmaninoff.

Sharing Rachmaninoff with one's friend and knowing that they know what it is to be "the music while the music lasts".

Listening to/reading Dr. Esolen talk about Dante.

Listening to Dr. Reynolds talk about the West.

Listening to a Friend's insight on the text at hand.

Reading C.S. Lewis.

Reading Charles Williams and Sayers talking about Dante.

Being a part of Torrey.

Seeing the Cathedral of the Spilled Blood for the first time.

Talking about the Love of God.

Getting a delightful and long Email.

Going to Boston in the Fall.

Drinking a really yummy and warm Latte.

Sitting by a waterfall.

Knowing that because of your hard work, you've pleased those you care about and have made them proud of what you've done.

Hiking with my family in Yosemite.

Knowing that death - what was once our greatest sorrow - is now the occasion of our greatest triumph through Christ. "He trampled death by death!"

Drinking a glass of Montrachet.

Sleeping under the Stars.

Going to Wheatstone.

Opening the mailbox and finding a package from Amazon.

Being able to Drive.

Coming to class excited.

Watching two people fall in love.

Catching a strain of the "Humoresque" and grinning to friends who know what it means.

Reading a really good poem.


Being able to relive the wonderful memories you've had, like carrying around your personal box of wonders.

Waking up and knowing you've got a wonderful day ahead of you.

Watching a surgeon save a life.

Watching a soul come to salvation.

Being pleasantly surprised - Divinely benevolent irony - the kind where you can both laugh at yourself and be grateful that God has a wonderful sense of humor.

Seeing new connections within Great Literature.

Drinking perfectly brewed Earl Grey.

Sitting by a fire with a good book and a good snack.

Walking in brisk, cold November air as golden leaves fall around you and the sun warms your face.

Going to bed after a day well spent.

3am Epiphanies about God, Dante, Love, Affirmation, Rejection, Redemption, etc.

Lying down in a sunny field with your eyes closed.

Making a film (it's even better with friends!).

Staying up all night for a worthy cause.

Reaching the turning point where a paper finally comes together or when a passage finally makes sense.

Watching the leaves fall around your friend - in the middle of Don Rags.

Eating a really tender and juicy steak.

Canoeing on a lake by yourself in the warm rain of Washington.

Seeing Beatrice.

Being in full health.

Reading the Letters of Paul.

Many more things, but summed up in this:

Happiness means knowing God - moving in Love - and realizing that if I died today, I would die a happy man.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

So Long, Farewell

I'll be in Russia for the next two weeks.

Be well everyone!

And good luck to everyone on the Sound of Music!


If today were my birthday...(Revised)

I would not celebrate my birth, but the birth of the world. Because it is on this day, today, that the world was born for me.

Perhaps I should clarify.

I think it's definitely with Chesterton's help that I started on this line of thought.

You see, instead of simply celebrating my own birth, (or any of ours) isn't it more wonderful to celebrate how for me, on that day, everything came into existence?

The fact is that I was born into a world and I was given the privilege of life!

Stars existed before I was born, but how would I know of them if not for my birth?

Perhaps it is a far-fetched and forced perspective, but it makes it more wonderful for me to think of God preparing the world for us, rather than we being prepared for the world.

In fact, I think that is what Traherne means! OOOOOOHhhhhh! Mid Blogpost Epiphany!

Here's a quote:

When things are are ours in their proper places, nothing is needful but prizing to enjoy them. God therefore hath made it infinitely easy to enjoy, by making everything ours, and us able so easily to prize them. Everything is ours that serves us in its place. The Sun serves us as much as is possible, and more than we could imagine. The Clouds and Stars minister unto us, the World surrounds us with beauty, the Air refresheth us, the Sea revives the earth and us. The Earth itself is better than gold because it produceth fruits and flowers. And therefore in the beginning, was it made manifest to be mine, because Adam alone was made to enjoy it. By making one, and not a multitude, God evidently shewed one alone to be the end of the World and every one its enjoyer. For every one may enjoy it as much as the midst of such rich demonstratons, you may infinitely delight in God as your Father, Friend and Benefactor, in yourself as His Heir, Child and Bride, in the whole World, as the Gift and Token of His love; neither can anything but Ignorance destroy your joys. For if you know yourself, or God, or the World, you must of necessity enjoy it (Thomas Traherne 10-11).

Did you catch the Calvin and Dante references in the last line?

Remember how Calvin speaks about all of knowledge being contained under two categories, the knowledge of man and the knowledge of God?

And how Beatrice in Canto 26 I think of Paradise talks about Vision of the Good necessarily leading to Love of the Good?

The only question I'd have for Traherne would be to ask, wasn't it "not good" for man to be alone? That's why Eve was made right?

Does that clarify why I would celebrate the birth of the world for me rather than my birth to the world?

So if today were my birthday, I would not celebrate my birth into the world, rather, I would celebrate the birth of the world, on that day, for me. And I think that's the greatest birthday present I've ever received. ;)

Culinary Hilarity

I found this blog to be very attractively formatted, excellently designed, engagingly introduced, and empty. =D

Which, if you get the joke, is (IMHO) a very funny one.

That's the first blog joke I've ever seen. =]

Monday, June 8, 2009

Summer Slothfulness

I think it just kicked in today. =P

I've managed to read my heart out about the Star Wars expanded universe on Wookiepedia...

Did the laundry...

I've watched all of...what did I watch again?.....Oh yes!...Pink Panther 2. Silly movie. Don't watch it unless you are willing to laugh away an hour and a half of your life.

I've also written a whole bunch of thank you emails. Unfortunately, they get repetitive after awhile.

I need to get off this couch. I need to go exercise. I need to go do something worthwhile. I need to remember that each moment counts...

I need to remember that I am living for something.

"You were bought with a price"

Not to say that enjoying oneself is bad...but it's not the Best either.

Note to self: Get off the couch you lazy bum! Stop feeling sorry for yourself and go do something! Go watch the Ants the wiseman says.

I think he may be right. =]

Let us dear friends, live this summer well.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

I Took a Personality Test on Face Book...

Tell me, how accurately does this describe me?

As an INTP, your primary mode of living is focused internally, where you deal with things rationally and logically. Your secondary mode is external, where you take things in primarily via your intuition.
INTPs live in the world of theoretical possibilities. They see everything in terms of how it could be improved, or what it could be turned into. They live primarily inside their own minds, having the ability to analyze difficult problems, identify patterns, and come up with logical explanations. They seek clarity in everything, and are therefore driven to build knowledge. They are the "absent-minded professors", who highly value intelligence and the ability to apply logic to theories to find solutions. They typically are so strongly driven to turn problems into logical explanations, that they live much of their lives within their own heads, and may not place as much importance or value on the external world. Their natural drive to turn theories into concrete understanding may turn into a feeling of personal responsibility to solve theoretical problems, and help society move towards a higher understanding.
INTPs value knowledge above all else. Their minds are constantly working to generate new theories, or to prove or disprove existing theories. They approach problems and theories with enthusiasm and skepticism, ignoring existing rules and opinions and defining their own approach to the resolution. They seek patterns and logical explanations for anything that interests them. They're usually extremely bright, and able to be objectively critical in their analysis. They love new ideas, and become very excited over abstractions and theories. They love to discuss these concepts with others. They may seem "dreamy" and distant to others, because they spend a lot of time inside their minds musing over theories. They hate to work on routine things - they would much prefer to build complex theoretical solutions, and leave the implementation of the system to others. They are intensely interested in theory, and will put forth tremendous amounts of time and energy into finding a solution to a problem with has piqued their interest.
INTPs do not like to lead or control people. They're very tolerant and flexible in most situations, unless one of their firmly held beliefs has been violated or challenged, in which case they may take a very rigid stance. The INTP is likely to be very shy when it comes to meeting new people. On the other hand, the INTP is very self-confident and gregarious around people they know well, or when discussing theories which they fully understand.
The INTP has no understanding or value for decisions made on the basis of personal subjectivity or feelings. They strive constantly to achieve logical conclusions to problems, and don't understand the importance or relevance of applying subjective emotional considerations to decisions. For this reason, INTPs are usually not in-tune with how people are feeling, and are not naturally well-equiped to meet the emotional needs of others.
The INTP may have a problem with self-aggrandizement and social rebellion, which will interfere with their creative potential. Since their Feeling side is their least developed trait, the INTP may have difficulty giving the warmth and support that is sometimes necessary in intimate relationships. If the INTP doesn't realize the value of attending to other people's feelings, he or she may become overly critical and sarcastic with others. If the INTP is not able to find a place for themself which supports the use of their strongest abilities, they may become generally negative and cynical. If the INTP has not developed their Sensing side sufficiently, they may become unaware of their environment, and exhibit weakness in performing maintenance-type tasks, such as bill-paying and dressing appropriately.
For the INTP, it is extremely important that ideas and facts are expressed correctly and succinctly. They are likely to express themselves in what they believe to be absolute truths. Sometimes, their well thought-out understanding of an idea is not easily understandable by others, but the INTP is not naturally likely to tailor the truth so as to explain it in an understandable way to others. The INTP may be prone to abandoning a project once they have figured it out, moving on to the next thing. It's important that the INTP place importance on expressing their developed theories in understandable ways. In the end, an amazing discovery means nothing if you are the only person who understands it.
The INTP is usually very independent, unconventional, and original. They are not likely to place much value on traditional goals such as popularity and security. They usually have complex characters, and may tend to be restless and temperamental. They are strongly ingenious, and have unconventional thought patterns which allows them to analyze ideas in new ways. Consequently, a lot of scientific breakthroughs in the world have been made by the INTP.
The INTP is at his best when he can work on his theories independently. When given an environment which supports his creative genius and possible eccentricity, the INTP can accomplish truly remarkable things. These are the pioneers of new thoughts in our society.

I usually don't recommend face book quizzes, but this one was unusually and uncannily correct at many, many points.

Go take it! Look up my facebook page and scroll down on the left side bar! =]

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Gabriel Choo
Torrey Academy Banquet Speech
Delivered Friday, May 29, 2009

*Deep Breath* Torrey Academy – the final Frontier, these are the voyages of some overly intellectual students, their 3 year mission, to explore strange, unheard of authors, to seek out ancient truths and age old questions, and to boldly Read, what no normal person has ever read before!

(Joycelyn, you owe me 5 bucks)

Haha, that’s what Torrey Academy would sound like on TV.

But in all seriousness, I just wanted to express this evening, all the Gratitude and Joy I feel. If you asked me what the best thing about my education was, my answer, without a Doubt would be Torrey Academy. How can I narrow down all the wonderful, Wonderful things Torrey is to me? There are the little things: the blinking cursor on an blank screen write before you start the reflection essay that’s due tomorrow morning, the countless inside jokes and references built over hundreds of hours of discussion together, or even the time when our tutor made us go hug a tree! Then there are the big things: that first day of class, when you come out of session knowing that you don’t know anything, or that “ah hA” moment, when the concept you’ve been struggling with as a group suddenly clicks and EVERYTHING makes sense, or the Wondrous moment when you look around the room and you realize, I Love these People.

And when it comes down to it, perhaps the greatest thing the Torrey has given me is Love. Love for the deep friendships I’ve made, Love for the Breathtaking joy of being a part of this academic Community, and best of all, falling deeper in love with the Love that moves the Sun and the furthest Stars. These past 3 years have just been an Endless Chain of Goodness, Truth, and Beauty.

I suppose the best way to describe Torrey Academy would be to compare it with a stained glass window. In those piercingly beautiful sheets of structured light, I see so Many colors of glass form a Wondrous and structured whole. And as the light of the Sun is filtered through that glass and shines through it, beautiful Images of grace, redemption, and Love are silently told. Yet, these individual bits of colored glass never lose their uniqueness but find their greatest fulfillment by being a part of a greater whole. That is what Torrey is like. For in the same way that the light of the sun shines through a stained-glass window, the Light of the Son of God shines through this Community, illuminating our Hearts and our Minds with the thoughts and writings of great thinkers and Christians - of ages past.

These years have been the best of my short life and for these experiences, I will always be grateful. So thank you my friends and colleagues, Thank you Parents, Thank you Tutors, thank you Administrators, but most of all, thank you God for making Torrey Possible. I hope you all have a wonderful, wonderful evening.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

An Announcement

Guess who got a license to drive?

oh yeah. =]

Guess who splurged on their gift card and bought $15 worth of Godiva Chocolate?

Oh Yeah.

Guess who loves Torrey?


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Sad Story


The other day, I had finished watching a lot of tv and movies...

then I went outside.

And the first words that popped out of my mouth?

WHOA!!! The grass is in HD!!!


Let us hope this event does not occur again....ever. ;P

Friday, May 22, 2009

"To Boldly Go Where..."

Today was (I think) the official beginning of farewell to senior year.

So many memories.

So many happy memories.

So many beautiful memories.

Lest you think I shall be stuck in the past, I assure you, I look to the future with a stout heart and good cheer.

But I guess I just wanted to remark that if this was it -if tonight I (by God's grace) were called to enter Christ's courts, I would not think this life ill spent -because I have known you my friends.

If today my life were demanded of me, I would have no regrets.

It has been one of my greatest joys and privileges to come to know you all over the years (how few and short they seem!).

Many were the times when I'd look around at everyone and think to myself, "This truly is, a wonderful life".

And so it is, it truly, truly is a wonderful life.

How many can say that?

"We few, we happy few..."

Monday, May 11, 2009

In Which I Join the Bandwagon

Who knew imovie could be so easy to use!

Here is my humble offering.

I hope I get to make more of these in the future!


If you're having trouble viewing the video, it's on private (my classmate's a bit picky about being on the internet) so email me if you want to watch it. =\

Thursday, May 7, 2009

You Know You're Over the Deep End When...

You went ahead and pre-ordered this book six months ago. =D



I Love you Amazon. =D

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Singleness isn't a Bad thing...

I'm still pretty young as human beings go.

But I'm already beginning to feel the pressure to get on the path to getting married.

Now dating isn't a bad thing! (Friends who know me can attest to the fact that I'm a hopeless romantic!)

But perhaps there's a problem when even my dad sits me down for this kind of a lecture.

"Son, I'm a bit worried about you, when I was your age, your mom was already hopelessly in love with me."


It's such a relief I guess to realize that I don't have to be married to another person in order to become a whole person.

Not that I wouldn't want to get married at some point in the future ;)

Realization was prompted by this podcast.

Thursday, April 30, 2009


I've recently noticed that I might be making a mistake.

You see, when I listen to music, it's always with something. Doing the dishes? How bout some Bach? Homework? Hello Mozart. Laundry? Hey Brahms. Jogging? Yay for fun Pop! Etc.

In fact, I'm listening to Bach even as I type!

Here's the problem, when I actually go to a concert and try to devote my entire attention to listening, I constantly want to do something else. Eventually, I start dozing off (If it's been a hard day). But most of the time, I'm just fidgeting, like I'm waiting for something to happen. This is not good.

If you'll remember, back before we had portable music players or even radios, people went to concerts and just listened. Nothing else. (They still do). And it's unfortunate that we have relegated music to just an accessory rather than an experience in and of itself.

Music is a definite art form and should be treated as such. For example, you don't try to look at five pictures at once in an art gallery right? Same with music. (Unless it's a movie, but arguable a movie is one whole image). To really listen requires all you've got. Your whole being.

Key Takeaway: Stop multitasking when it comes to music. If you're going to listen, then truly listen.

This isn't to say that doing things along with music is completely bad, but I do believe that the full experience of music requires complete concentration.

Back to Bach...

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Halfway through Martin Luther...

I feel pretty lost in a forest of terms, concepts, definitions, and ideas.

Let's begin with the main question. The fact is, people still sin after they become Christians. (And I define becoming a Christian as when a person accepts Christ as their personal savior from sin and death) How then do we reconcile sin with the fact that we have been saved? I admit that we are not saved by anything but faith in Christ's work, that is, there is not a single action I have done or can do in order to gain eternal life, but I don't understand the seeming contradiction which after-salvation sin places before me. (Even excepting faith in Christ which is itself an action which "God effects in us" pg. 23).

Let me try that again. If I find myself still sinning after I have confessed Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, does this mean that I am no longer saved? I know of some who get out of this by saying that once you're saved you're always saved, but that doesn't seem satisfactory because one has no objective way of knowing if one is saved. If good works are the concomitant effects of true faith in Christ, then does this mean that bad works (i.e. sin) are the concomitant effects of damnation?

I guess what I'm trying to say is, why all this continual purgation? Why can't God remove the possibility of sinning after I have willed to no longer sin?

I hope I haven't uttered anything heretical or blasphemous (though I'm afraid I probably have).


Under the Mercy,

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Some Questions

I recently watched about 75% of a movie called "Departed". It was this years academy award winner for "Best Foreign Film". It's about a cello player whose orchestra is disbanded and who ends up with a job as a "encoffiner", someone who performs the Japanese death ceremony. So two questions came to mind:

What does it mean to die well?

What is a beautiful death?

What should a persons legacy be?

From what I've seen of the movie, I recommend it. However there is one sensually explicit minute long scene which younger viewers will want to be wary of. Other than that, it is a rhapsodic meditation on death, life, and love.

Can't wait to finish it. =]

Friday, April 10, 2009

Go to Dark Gethsemane

Go to dark Gethsemane,
Ye that feel the tempter's power;
Your Redeemer's conflict see,
Watch with Him one bitter hour;
Turn not from His griefs away,
Learn of Jesus Christ to pray.

Follow to the judgment hall;
View the Lord of life arraigned;
Oh, the wormwood and the gall!
Oh, the pangs His soul sustained!
Shun not suffering, shame, or loss;
Learn of Him to bear the cross.

Calvary's mournful mountain climb;
There, adoring at His feet,
Mark that miracle of time,
God's own sacrifice complete:
"It is finished," hear Him cry;
Learn of Jesus Christ to die.

-James Montgomery

Friday, April 3, 2009

Silence in the Sun

ooooh. Artsy title. ;)

This afternoon I decided to sit down on a small plot of grass. The morning had been cold and so it was good to feel the sun on my body. Lying down felt even better because it reduced my exposure to the wind and maximized the amount of sunlight I could absorb.

I've forgotten how wonderfully relaxing that is. Just sitting and being silent and listening to people talking (with no obligation to answer since they think you're sleeping). Apparently, I cut quite a haiku-y figure. =P

Opening my eyes again, everything was sort of white washed. My eyes were adjusting so the world took on a blaring blue-rinse like color tone. It felt like I was in a movie...

Spring Break has started. It's good to relax. It's good to love and be loved. It's good to live. It's good to Affirm things.

God Bless you all, my friends. Let us pray for one another, always.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

In Which I Recant...

I have deactivated my Facebook account until further notice. That is, until I learn how to properly control my time and use it rightly. =P

Sorry about our Scrabble game Mr. Leigh, I bow to your superior word skills. =D

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

First Day of Facebooking

Oh deary.

I'm going to need some help with accountability...

I'm definitely going to have to set some time limits

And I'm definitely enjoying using my new computer. =]

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Richard III (A Review)

I've just gotten back from Torrey Theatre's production of Shakespeare's Richard III and (for what it's worth) here's my review:

It's the first time that Torrey has used this "space" as one cast member remarked and it certainly not the only thing that's new in this remarkable production. The production is ostensibly an adaptation of Shakespeare's original. I don't wish to spoil all the ways in which they present the play, but let's just say that they had no qualms about re-ordering the sequence and even who speaks which lines. The result is a very interesting work that feels more like a commentary than an actual performance. As always, there's no complaint here about the acting. Whatever else Torrey does, they have always been highly consistent in the quality which they present on stage. The production's stated aim is to take full advantage of the Theatre. As a cast member stated, "We wanted to take everything that is unique to theatre and capitalize on those aspects. For example, the use of the body, Theatre is one of the only art forms that uses the body so totally in order to communicate and we did our best to bring that out in this performance" (That was a paraphrase). Two things I found especially noteworthy, the use of space in this production is very unique. The Collegium in which the play is produced is actually Biola's commuter lounge. There is no raised stage and the actors get within inches of the audience. It's a much more immersive experience. Second, this is definitely a production where you have to know Richard III at least fairly well (Meaning you should have read the play at least twice). I recommend watching it, but with the caution that to fully appreciate it, you need to at least read the original because it really is an adaptation. Go watch it, and when you're done, let's talk.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Genius is always fun to watch.

Glenn Gould is is his collie. Wait for the part when he stands up! =]

Monday, March 23, 2009

A Discovery


Sometimes the notes are ferocious,
skirmishes against the author
raging along the borders of every page
in tiny black script.
If I could just get my hands on you,
Kierkegaard, or Conor Cruise O'Brien,
they seem to say,
I would bolt the door and beat some logic into your head.

Other comments are more offhand, dismissive -
"Nonsense." "Please!" "HA!!" -
that kind of thing.
I remember once looking up from my reading,
my thumb as a bookmark,
trying to imagine what the person must look like
why wrote "Don't be a ninny"
alongside a paragraph in The Life of Emily Dickinson.

Students are more modest
needing to leave only their splayed footprints
along the shore of the page.
One scrawls "Metaphor" next to a stanza of Eliot's.
Another notes the presence of "Irony"
fifty times outside the paragraphs of A Modest Proposal.

Or they are fans who cheer from the empty bleachers,
Hands cupped around their mouths.
"Absolutely," they shout
to Duns Scotus and James Baldwin.
"Yes." "Bull's-eye." "My man!"
Check marks, asterisks, and exclamation points
rain down along the sidelines.

And if you have managed to graduate from college
without ever having written "Man vs. Nature"
in a margin, perhaps now
is the time to take one step forward.

We have all seized the white perimeter as our own
and reached for a pen if only to show
we did not just laze in an armchair turning pages;
we pressed a thought into the wayside,
planted an impression along the verge.

Even Irish monks in their cold scriptoria
jotted along the borders of the Gospels
brief asides about the pains of copying,
a bird signing near their window,
or the sunlight that illuminated their page-
anonymous men catching a ride into the future
on a vessel more lasting than themselves.

And you have not read Joshua Reynolds,
they say, until you have read him
enwreathed with Blake's furious scribbling.

Yet the one I think of most often,
the one that dangles from me like a locket,
was written in the copy of Catcher in the Rye
I borrowed from the local library
one slow, hot summer.
I was just beginning high school then,
reading books on a davenport in my parents' living room,
and I cannot tell you
how vastly my loneliness was deepened,
how poignant and amplified the world before me seemed,
when I found on one page

A few greasy looking smears
and next to them, written in soft pencil-
by a beautiful girl, I could tell,
whom I would never meet-
"Pardon the egg salad stains, but I'm in love."

- Billy Collins

Monday, March 9, 2009

I don't know whether to laugh...

or cry.

What does it say about us when we can only be fascinated by hell?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

This is Amusing...


Also, here's another chooism:

Dad: Son, you can be anything you want to be.

Me: Really?!

Dad: Sure! You can go into cardiology, ophthalmology, oncology, urology, you could be a pulmonologist…

>_< =P

When all the other children were learning where their eyes and noses were, I was learning where my carotid artery was. ;)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Another Choo-ism

In honor of the Bard:

"Be Choo,

be Choo,

be Choo!

To thine own self be Choo!"


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Inheritance Cycle...

After devoting most of my weekend to reading through Brsingr, I think I will recommend it. Paolini's writing is much better. The action is quite well done, it's fun, it's entertaining. I was engrossed. The plot's pretty predictable but still works well. (Blah, incoherence). It's not high literature, but we don't want to be snobs now do we? ;) To be honest, it's been a long time since I've really enjoyed myself as I read through a book. Don't get me wrong, Great Books are by no means without their entertainment value. But the fantasy of this particular book requires very little active thinking and so is consequently much easier to get addicted to.

Yes, it's quite true, I was addicted. ;) Perhaps though, it's not something to joke about...It's a story and I love a good story.

Perhaps it would be best to tell you what effect my reading of it has on my sister. As I write, she is lugging the book (all 700 something pages of it) to her own room. Sigh, I'm guessing I can forget about communicating for at least 2 weeks. ;)

Here's what she said when she walked into the room this evening while I was near the end.

"DANG! Gabriel, you ate the book!"

I got a good chuckle out of that. =] it good? Probably not, and with all these Dante sources to read through I'm an idiot for devoting so much time to it, but as I said, I can't resist a good story.

Sigh. We'll have to work on that.

In other news, I shall not be getting a facebook.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Facebook 3

Here are the votes so far:








Mr. Leigh



MKR Mouse

Sir Claviger



Last chance to get your votes in!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What Music Means to Me

The following is a something I wrote for a recital in the program notes. Questions, comments, critiques are very welcome:

I have been asked to write down some thoughts about what music means to me. I shall begin then, with a short account of my own experience with music. My love of music began (I am almost ashamed to say) from selfish reasons. When I was 10, I read an article about how classical music makes ones IQ go up. Being a snobbish little boy I threw myself into my parent’s Mozart collection which amounted to about 10CDs. All the while, I constantly chanted this mantra to myself: “this will make me smarter, this will make me smarter” add infinitum. Like a musical moron I would vigorously nod my head up and down with the rhythm of the symphony or when the music became grand and exciting I’d wave my hands around frantically as if I were conducting an invisible symphony. Can you imagine what I must’ve looked like? In fact, I would look into the mirror sometimes and practice my I-am-deeply-in-musical-thought look and try to seem very profound, I mostly ended up looking constipated. Thank God something good came of this egoism! As I became more and more familiar with the pieces, I found that I actually enjoyed listening to them for their own sake. I didn’t really even know why yet, I just liked listening. My initial enjoyment began to spill over into a liking for other composers. In addition to Mozart’s music, I began listening to Elgar, Dvorak, Beethoven, Puccini, and then it hit me: I had discovered the Second Piano Concerto of Rachmaninoff. Diane Ackerman, a poet, describes this piano concerto as one that is:

full of tenderness and yearning,
beguiling melodies, raging passion,
and long sensuous preludes
to explosive climaxes,
frenzy followed by strains
of mysticism and trance.

Loaded with starry melodies,
it was a map of his sensibility,
and a wilderness rarely known
-the intense life of an artist
seen in miniature, with rapture expressed
as all-embracing sound.

But words do not come close, I think, to describing what it is like to listen to that music. How can I describe that aural experience which ravishes my entire being and makes me weep to hear such beauty? The answer is, I think, that we wouldn’t have music if we could fully describe it in words. Descriptions of Rachmaninoff can only go so far, you will have to listen to it yourself.

If I thought that discovering Rachmaninoff was something, imagine how it must have shaken my world to find Bach! Oh Bach! What a colossal syllable! I shall not even try to tell you the love, humility, and goodwill that his music inspires in me. This is what Leonard Bernstein says, “…once you do get to know Bach well enough to love him, you will love him more than any other composer. I know this because I went through the same process myself.” Further on he states,

And what is it that holds all these pages together, that makes it all inevitably the product of one man? The religious spirit. For Bach, all music was religion; writing it was an act of faith; and performing it was an act of worship. Every note was dedicated to God and to nothing else…Every last cello suite or violin sonata, every prelude and fugue from The Well-Tempered Clavier praises God…Bach…was a man of God, and his godliness informs his music from first to last (The Joy of Music, 237-277).

And with that, I come to my point. The fundamental value of music is in its ability to make us better people. Rather than just a hobby or something we teach children because it will make them “smart” (which it will). Classical music is an education of the heart. It is a vital part of forming a person’s character for the better. Now realize that I am not saying that you need music to be a good person, after all, the Nazis also listened to Schubert, but music makes it that much easier to love God and to love your fellow man. While the music lasts, I am in wonder and awe before its beauty. It’s almost as heady as being in love with someone, and perhaps it is just that – love – I mean. I do love music. And though my fingers stutter and mumble across the keys trying desperately to incarnate that love, I still do it; rather, I play because I love. In the last act of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, we are given a very good model of what all our praises to God are like when the King of Athens comments on the bumbling and ridiculous play of the builders is put on in the King’s honor,

Our sport shall be to take what they mistake,
And what poor duty cannot do, noble respect
Takes it in might, not merit.
Where I have come, great clerks have purposed
To greet me with premeditated welcomes;
Where I have seen them shiver and look pale,
Make periods in the midst of sentences,
Throttle their practiced accent in their fears,
And, in conclusion, dumbly have broke off,
Not paying me a welcome. Trust me, sweet,
Out of this silence yet I picked a welcome,
And in the modesty of fearful duty
I read as much as from the rattling tongue
Of saucy and audacious eloquence.
Love, therefore, and tongue-tied simplicity
In least speak most, to my capacity
(Act V.90-105).

If you skipped over that long quote, don’t worry about it, I mostly put it there to sound smart. The point is that the king took the stuttering praises of his servants and accounted those jumbled and messy attempts as eloquent speeches because of their love for him. In the same way, God will take our intention and count it as the act. If we will commit the time we spend in practicing and playing this music (like Bach) as a form of worship towards God, then it will mean something; otherwise, recitals are simply mutual admiration societies. We have mechanical piano players to do that. We come here not just to listen to those we know and admire the talent and hard work that has been put into these pieces, we come here also to participate in and experience beauty, beauty that at its root is from God. Life itself becomes more wonderful because such beauty exist. That’s what music means to me, it is one of the ways in which we are led to God. Where would I be without music?

In Gratitude

"Through all this ordeal his root horror had been isolation, and there are no words to express the abyss between isolation and having one ally. It may be conceded to the mathematicians that four is twice two. But two is not twice one; two is two thousand times one. That is why in spite of a hundred disadvantages, the world will always return to monogamy."

-G. K. Chesterton, The Man Who Was Thursday

Wentworth is the diabolical counterpart of Dante. I shall have to read Descent into Hell again in light of this fact. Charles Williams makes so much more sense now.

After all of it, I do think that Dante got it right. "poi si torno a l'etterna fontana" She turned again to the eternal Spring.

"'Have I your permission?' said the Angel to the Ghost.
'I know it will kill me.'
'It won't. But supposing it did?'
'You're right. It would be better to be dead than to live with this creature.'
'Then I may?'
'Damn and blast you! Go on, can't you? Get it over. Do what you like,' bellowed the Ghost: but ended, whimpering, 'God help me. God help me.'"
(The Great Divorce 110).

God is full of severe mercies.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Facebook 2

I don't know dad has mom has aunts all have one. What am I supposed to do? Wait till Grandma gets one?!

Also...hehe...I started a facebook group using my sister's fb called "I hacked my little sibiling's facebook so I could stalk my friends".


Also, I really love me chums. ;)

So, I shall put it to a vote. As I have already done before. Do you, dear readers, think that I should get one? =]

Monday, February 9, 2009

Where did it all go?

Why is it that something begins and then when it ends it's so hard to re-apprehend the experience? For example, when I experience a beautiful piece of music it only stays with me for so long. The rightness, the goodness, that desire and ardor that is the stuff of rash vows --can it last? Perhaps this is what corresponds to "the death of Beatrice". In the Vita Nuova, Dante describes his experience and vision of Beatrice when he saw her for the first time. Fifteen years later, she died. And Dante goes on to write, "what has never been written in honor of a lady before". Romantic Theology...

Lewis is characteristically lucid:

"A romantic theologian does not mean one who is romantic about theology but one who is theological about romance, one who considers the theological implications of those experiences which are called romantic. The belief that the most serious and ecstatic experiences either of human love or of imaginative literature have such theological implications ,and that they can be healthy and fruitful only if the implications are diligently thought out and severly lived, is the root principle of all his [Charles William's] work"
(Introduction to "Essays Presented to Charles Williams").

How do we stay true to the image of the beloved?

Whatever that image may be, nature (think Wordsworth), the city (Virgil), or a girl (Beatrice), or music (Bach? Rachmaninoff?) how do we affirm and love it in such a way that it is neither blasphemous nor destructive?

In short, how do we love rightly?

This is sort of the question I'm starting with for my paper. I'm pretty sure Dante can help me. =D But what he has to say isn't at all easy. At least for me, I don't think of this as just a paper, for me, what Dante is saying and how I interpret him has real and significant implications. Perhaps Dante is wrong and crazy, if not wickedly lustful...

I sure hope not.

"He who has ears let him hear, he who has eyes let him see."

"This is thou, this also is not thou."

"...lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil..."

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

On Happiness (Part I)

Recently, I've come across some works regarding Happiness.

First: Consolation of Philosophy, by Boethius

Second: Treatise on Happiness, by St. Thomas Aquinas

Now, I've also been following a blog called "The Happiness Project". It's on the side bar so you can go there to find out what it's all about.

It's late at night and I just wanted to get this thread going so I don't forget in the morning. Here's what I propose to do:

In this post, the author is pretty much allowing happiness to be vague. I think that such relativism at the beginning of a project like this fundamentally misses the point. ...Or something like that. I'm going to sleep on it, but these are the texts I shall be interacting with...

However, it will be an on-and-off thing as presentations are coming up!

In pursuit of Happiness,

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


An hour wasted
(Curse you Ebay search engine)
Car part wasn't there.

My dad found the car part in three minutes. =P


Crashed the car -- Ouch
Accidents are not fun
Now I have to pay.


Sunday, February 1, 2009

Online Dante Resources

Below are some online resources I have found thus far.

Here's Dr. Esolen's lecture on freedom and autonomy in the Divine Comedy.

It made me cry. Listen.

Here's the Comedy read aloud in Italian.

Here's a huge library of commentaries.

Here are some lesser known works of Dante online.

Also, I highly recommend the essay in the post before this one.

Please add any other resources you find in the comment section =]

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Esolen on Torrey Honors

Here's Dr. Fred Sander's review of Esolen's review.

Here's Esolen's review.

While we're on Esolen, here's Dr. Sander's notes on Dr. Esolen's lecture.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

In Ecstacy

I just bought Taliessin through the Logres, The Region of the Summer Stars and the Arthurian Torso by Charles Williams.


It's 1:00 something AM.

Here are my reasons:

1) Dante.

2) This oh-my-goodness-my-mind-just-got-blown-open-in-a-totally-good-way-by-Charles-Williams (He tends to do that) book.

3) This beautiful essay (I consider it one of my favorite essays alongside "The Weight of Glory").

4) This response to the essay above.

5) This random (or perhaps providential) review of Logres. "Gold" indeed.

6) And one more thing, if people are willing to spend upwards of $70 dollars for an Abercrombie and Fitch(TM) shirt, why can't I spend $55 dollars to buy a rare and beautiful book by one of my favorite authors?

Sigh. Of course, this means that I won't be buying any more books for a long time...then again, I do have that gift card I haven't used...but here's the thing: I promise that (unless it's for school) I will not buy another book for 3 months. Starting today. (So this ends April 29th...if I'm wrong please correct me) =]

Another thing, how do I express strong emotion without looking like a fool? Is being a fool necessarily a bad thing? (Or so Shakespeare would have me ask).

Currently, I am overwhelmed and more in love with Charles William's writing than I previously was. I only pray that his insights into the Christian life will lead me to love God like Dante did. "This also is thou; neither is this Thou".

But remember, dear reader, that Dante, Williams, and all of Western Civilization are but dust without Christ. "You can find Dante and miss Christ" Let us not be Gammaliels. Let us pray for one another, always.

O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy upon me, a sinner.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Of Bibliophilia and Bookworms

I have found that many people kindly but still quite condescendingly laugh at my bookishness. Which got me to thinking, is there an inherent problem with reading too many books? What is the purpose of reading? And what of Plato's argument against it in the second half of Phaedrus? Therefore, kind readers, I entreat you to help me diagnose myself.

Here are some of my symptoms:

1) I have a 10-page-long wish list on (Still growing!).

2) I read more often then I exercise.

3) I read about as much as I sleep.

4) I feel odd ('naked') if I do not have a book in my hand or at least in close proximity to myself.

5) My ideal room would have all four walls lined with bookcases from floor to ceiling and a large, wide spacious desk and a comfy chair and automan. Well-lit.

6) My room is the library of my house.

7) My main expenditure is on Amazon (curse you shipping costs!).

8) Saying the word "D-A-N-T-E" in my presence will induce an assortment of reactions (depending on the context in which it is said):
a) An odd squeal (yes, like a piglet).
b) I'll fall to my knees and start yelling.
c) I'll get that mad glint in my eye that says "You'd better take that back!"
For example: When the inestimable Mr. Gross informed me that the Rodin sculpture known as "The Thinker" was, in fact, Rodin's sculpture of Dante, I did indeed fall to my knees and pump my fists skyward and yelled at the top of my lungs-directly underneath the Biola belltower. ....yeah.

9) This painting warms my heart.

10) I find that I have to exercise much self control in order to not buy this. They don't even have a picture of the thing! 50 some dollars! AHHHHH!

So, dear friends, be honest, how bad do I have it?


Sunday, January 25, 2009


Happy Chinese New Year Everyone!

(After Taliesin)

The beauty of the Word made flesh,
Beautiful too that God has made me.
The beauty of wisdom from ages past,
Beautiful too the sound of a turning page.
The beauty of a tree in autumn,
Beautiful too a bare branch against the stars.
The beauty of Rachmaninoff’s piano concerto,
Beautiful too a single note of Bach.
The beauty of a mansion with many stories to tell
Beautiful too the library where new worlds are found.
The beauty of the ocean in its sun-lit splendor,
Beautiful too skipping stones across the water.
The beauty of a joyous wedding anniversary,
Beautiful too the shy glances of those in love.
The beauty of a lively fire against a rainy night,
Beautiful too the glow of a dying ember.
The beauty of silently falling snow,
Beautiful too the melting flakes upon the tongue.
The beauty of a stained glass window in its church,
Beautiful too the smile of a saint.
The beauty of a compassionate teacher in his classroom,
Beautiful too reading under a maple tree.
The beauty of a well-tempered blade,
Beautiful too the moment of “Aha!”
The beauty of sunlight streaming through a window,
Beautiful too the silence of a prayer chapel.
The beauty of mother driving her children to school,
Beautiful too the prayers of a father for his little girl.
The beauty of the hushed awe before the concert starts,
Beautiful too silencing the cell phone.
The beauty of a birthday letter given in love,
Beautiful too the experience of the wise.
The beauty of a conversation with beloved friends,
Beautiful too the last drop of coffee in the cup.
The beauty of vast and starry expanse of heaven,
Beautiful too finding a lost contact lens.
The beauty of cottage covered in snow,
Beautiful too the lighting of a match.
The beauty of poetry read by a melodious voice,
Beautiful too the ascension of Mount Purgatory.
The beauty of prayers said in the morning,
Beautiful too God’s presence when I feel alone.
The beauty of a sturdy old chair,
Beautiful too an old joke between friends.
The beauty of well written Chinese calligraphy,
Beautiful too making the ink from paste.
The beauty of the warm sun upon my face,
Beautiful too the droplets upon the air-con vent.
The beauty of a sun-lit corner of a room,
Beautiful too the room where a holy woman died.
The beauty of a girl laughing in sunshine,
Beautiful too the shape of her hand.
But most wonderful of all is too great for me to tell:
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts;
The whole earth is full of His glory!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

In Which we Discover that Gabriel Generally Functions Much Better With Sleep

I've been slaving away at my Term Paper for the past two weeks. I haven't kept my journal since my birthday, I haven't done my devotions since last week, and I haven't slept for more than 10 hours in the past three days. Which is why I feel like singing odes to Coffee...and my friends who have so graciously helped me through this. (There is no intended order of importance in that short list!) Coffee is sooooo good! All hail Cappuccino!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

For Mr. Diaz and...

Anyone else who enjoys the Dies Irae.

I give you Liszt's Totentanz

Part 1

Part 2

I attended a performance of this piece back a while ago.

P.S. Mr. Diaz, I have the Symphonic Dances ready for you. =]

Good Advice, but why?

This is a good piece of advice.

But why?

Why do we need to know where we come from in order to know where we are going?

"From whence have you come? Whither are you going?"

In other news, hard at work on Term Paper: Exciting!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Choo-ful sayings

"They say that a well ordered room reflects a well ordered soul. Heck, my soul's pretty screwed."

"Why'd they give me 17 dollars for my birthday? What an odd number...*a couple days go by*. OOOHHHHHHH!! I'm turning 17!"

*insert Joycelyn rolling eyes*

Dad: Joycelyn, you're getting prettier everyday.

Me: Yeah, we were getting worried!

Joycelyn: HEY!


Joycelyn: Well, we're still worried about you.