Daily Archives: December 21, 2003

Irish High Crosses!

Oooooh. Dr. Deborah Vess’ Celtic High Crosses site is a must-see for St. Blog’s parishioners. They’re not painted anymore, they’ve been out in the Irish weather for over a thousand years, and a lot of pagan folks like to try to claim them for their own. But these great works of art and faith survive, still literally placing Biblical and Irish history inside the context of the Cross. As a bonus, you also get three Welsh high crosses! Did you even know there were Welsh high crosses? Me neither! What a site!

Note that, when you’re looking at a Celtic cross’ wheel-shaped halo, the line in “The Dream of the Rood” about ‘eaxlgespanne’ makes perfect sense. If the cross looks like a wheel, it’s bound to have an axle. (I’m sure I’m far from the first person to notice this.)

Btw, as long as we’re talking Unknown Facts (Pinky Carruthers would be proud), I recently learned that Echternach (of the beautiful illuminated Echternach Gospel) is not an Irish or Scottish place. No, it’s in Luxembourg. (From that post about dancing procession for St. Willibrord.) Man, if I’d known that, I could’ve gotten Kev to visit there when he was doing Guard in Germany.

(Btw, does anyone know if the maze-like decoration behind the Lion of St. Mark in the Echternach Gospel is really supposed to be initial letters? And if so, what’s the significance. There’s pretty obviously an A and a B in the top left and bottom right corners, but beyond that?)

But alas, all I knew about Luxembourg was that it has a Grand Duke and that a Canadian syndicated Dracula TV series was shot there. (It was the one with Mr. A. Lucard the zillionaire, being fought by some Van Helsing kids and their grandpa.) Looking at IMDB, I see that the ubiquitous Geraint Wyn Davies was even in this sucker…ironically, as a Helsing, though he’d later play vampire cop Nick Knight in Forever Knight! Not a bad cast for a cheap little series with some pretty decent writing.

Luxembourg seems to have a really good set of Christmas customs.

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In Case You’re Wondering Why I’m So Energetic Today…

…I finally finished my story for the ‘obscure fandoms’ Secret Santa fanfic project, While We Tell of Yuletide Treasure. I realized I was going to find it hard to write my story immediately when the project started early in November, since important stuff was due to happen in the fandom I planned to write about. But for some reason, I didn’t manage to finish my story till today. I went through several ideas, mind you, but I couldn’t get to an actual plot that fit the gift parameters and spirit. I got a particularly good plot idea today, but it wouldn’t have made a good present. (Too angsty, too little romance.) So I dropped the (sorta) innovative and went for the (sorta) tried and true. I’m also sorry that its natural length was rather short. But I loved writing it, so I hope my gift will be accepted — and enjoyed — in the spirit it was given.

I’m also eager to see my present on Christmas morning, of course. *BigEvilGrin, while crossing fingers for a Daniel/Adele romance* I’ll also be interested to see everybody else’s stories on January 1. I love obscure fandoms, and while many of these aren’t all that obscure, I’ll still be interested. A good few of my old favorite writers from X-Files and the like are involved, so l can’t wait to catch up with their doings. (Too bad so many folks seem to have been asking for slash, as this means their presents will not be of much interest to me.)

What disturbs me is how very easy I find writing romance. Personal experience does not seem to be a major factor here; the graceful manipulation of literary tropes is. Too much lyric poetry in my youth is undoubtedly to blame.

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Cain Adomnain and the Rights of Women

Hunh. Cain Adomnain usually gets a bad name in feminist Irish studies, as being the law which disarmed women. To be honest, however, I think it seems to be exactly what it claims: a reform that, overall, improved the status of women. The picture of Irish women formerly fighting with polearms is interesting, too, as Japanese women usually used naginatas and other polearms for castle defense and the like. (Which is not to say there weren’t good Japanese swordswomen, but if you’re shorter, polearms are a great equalizer of reach.) The big advantage is that killing any woman, child or cleric, whatever their legal rank, became a very grave matter. The bad part of the deal is that any woman who kills anyone gets the death penalty, no matter what her rank. Unfortunately, this is exactly what you’d expect of a legal system in which women in general had a lot of rights (especially compared to other legal systems of the time), but not the same rights as men. Read it and see what you think.

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Gadzikowski’s Doctor Who/AbFab Crossover

You gotta love a cartoon with the punchline, “It has been 117 years since my last confession.”

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Regionalisms Poll

I got this through Elizabeth Bear.

WHAT DO YOU CALL:

1. A body of water, smaller than a river, contained within relatively narrow banks?
A stream or a creek. (“Crick” is old-timey Greenville.)

2. What the thing you push around the grocery store?
A grocery cart.

3. A metal container to carry a meal in?
A lunchbox.

4. The thing that you cook bacon and eggs in?
A frying pan.

5. The piece of furniture that seats three people?
A sofa if it’s the good one in the living room; a couch anywhere else.

6. The device on the outside of the house that carries rain off the roof?
A gutter or a pipe, depending on which part of the assembly we’re talking about.

7. The covered area outside a house where people sit in the evening?
A porch.

8. Carbonated, sweetened, non-alcoholic beverages?
Pop!

9. A flat, round breakfast food served with syrup?
A pancake.

10. A long sandwich designed to be a whole meal in itself?
A sub.

11. The piece of clothing worn by men at the beach?
Swimtrunks.

12. Shoes worn for sports?
Gymshoes.

13. Putting a room in order?
Cleaning.

14. A flying insect that glows in the dark?
Lightning bug or firefly. (Lightning bug just sounds friendlier, doesn’t it? Firefly is so formal. If Josh Whedon’s show had been called Lightning Bug, it would’ve had higher ratings!)

15. The little insect that curls up into a ball?
Pillbug! Also, kids called them roly-polies.

16. The children’s playground equipment where one kid sits on one side and goes up while the other sits on the other side and goes down? Seesaws are the big ones on playgrounds. Teeter-totters are the little ones you might have at home.

17. How do you eat your pizza?
With my fingers, preferably off a paper towel instead of a plate. And by the way, it should be cut in wedges unless it’s from Marion’s Piazza. Donato’s Pizza is just a cruel, cruel game.

18. What’s it called when private citizens put up signs and sell their used stuff?
Garage sale!

19. What’s the evening meal?
Dinner usually, but supper sometimes.

20. The thing under a house where the furnace and perhaps a rec room are?
The basement. It’s only a cellar if it’s entered from outside the house.

21. The shoes with two straps you wear at the beach?
Sandals, then thongs, and now flip-flops.

22. A machine you can drink water from?
Drinking fountain.

Added:
23. Wash or warsh? Washington or Warshington, D.C.?
Both, of course.

Dayton, Ohio. Where dialects meet, and we steal from ‘em all.

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Airboy’s Catholic Roots

Heh. Little did I know that Airboy, star of Air Fighters comics, flew a plane designed by one of the Franciscan monks that ran the orphanage where he lived. Check out this article for the friar/engineer’s sad fate.

Man, and they think comics today are violent!

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Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow!

Sky Captain looks like it could be the greatest 30′s pulp movie ever. Lessee, we got your Captain Midnight-type steely-eyed aviator Sky Captain. Your daring girl reporter Miss Polly Purebred…er, Perkins. Your Angelina Jolie with an eyepatch mystery lady/flyer. Your giant robots straight out of Superman cartoon shorts. You’ve got skyscrapers in all their silver-gray glory. And you’ve got the Flying Legion. What the heck else could you ask for?!

(Well…Doc Savage, maybe….)

Btw, here’s my list, in no particular order, of the greatest pulp adventure movies ever:

Zorro’s Fighting Legion.
Raiders of the Lost Ark.
The Rocketeer.
Buckaroo Banzai. (He’s Doc Savage.)
The Adventures of Jake Speed. (He just uses Doc’s company.)
The Phantom.
Big Trouble in Little China.
Those Superman cartoon shorts.
The Shadow, until the exact moment when the trumpet solo plays.
Batman: The Animated Series.
The Mummy. (The Brendan Fraser version isn’t horror, but pulp adventure.)

You can get more pulp adventure movie names from this discussion. I’d love to see the Hong Kong movies they list.

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