Monthly Archives: June 2005

Anime Song Translation: One Piece

I don’t know if an official DVD of the comedy swashbuckler pirate anime One Piece is ever going to come out. Well, I’m sure it will sooner or later, but right now, nothing but Cartoon Network and Fox’s Saturday morning cartoons. Sigh.

I actually rather like the rap song Fox uses as a saga-cell (story recap). But the original opening song is very different — a rather idealistic call to adventure. (You can get it here.) Here’s my translation, which doesn’t rhyme much but is singable.

“We Are”
One Piece OP#1
Translation: Maureen S. O’Brien, 6/26/05

We are putting all our dreams in one basket now.
To go discover all the things we’ve looked for so long.


Boring stuff like compasses just go to slow us down.
Throw it on the fire and take the helm. It’s up to you.
Deep layers of dust may lie upon this treasure map, but still
If we go and test the tale, you know it may turn out to be true.

When your own gale-force storm hits, all you just really must do’s
Ride on somebody else’s better day!
Just think about it; it’s okay!

We are putting all our dreams in one basket now,
To go discover all the things we’ve looked for so long.

Gotta pocketful of coin,
So then it’s — you wanna be my friend?
We are, we are on the cruise!
We are!

The “better day” bit is my attempt to explain the line in Japanese, “ride on (someone’s) biorhythm”.

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Lauren Ford, Catholic Painter

There’s a lot of information about Lauren Ford given on this exhibition program.

Lauren Ford was the daughter of Simeon Ford and Julia Ellsworth Ford, nee Shaw. Simeon was proprietor, with his brother-in-law Samuel Shaw, of the fashionable Grand Union Hotel in New York City and a published after-dinner speaker. Julia was an author of children’s books and doyenne of a salon that included the Lebanese mystic Kahlil Gibran, celebrated Irish poet and playwright William Butler Yeats, and influential American dancer Isadora Duncan. While young Lauren’s interests relegated her to the shadows of Julia’s social set, the artistically charged environment of Julia’s salon and Julia’s guidance and encouragement nourished Lauren’s artistic talents.

Consequently, Lauren was sent to France at the age of nine to study painting with her uncle, Lawrence Shaw, her namesake.

Uncle Lawrence’s tutelage, the medieval art of France, and the magic of the liturgy and Gregorian chant of the monks of Solesmes, began to shape young Lauren’s artistic and spiritual development. She would eventually become a Catholic, taking simple vows as a Benedictine Oblate, and an aesthetic and spiritual force for good through her art and philanthropy.

Meanwhile, Lauren studied at the Art Students League in New York City. She continued to travel throughout France and to study its medieval traditions along with study in Paris, where she was exposed to the academic tradition of the nineteenth century as well as to the avant-garde. Her early art, which explored the world of children, grew to focus on the world of the Christ Child and the Holy Family.

Its mise-en-scene was a farm amidst the rolling hills around Bethlehem, Connecticut, that Lauren Ford called Sheepfold, a biblical reference to the special regard God has for his children, which was her home and studio for the last thirty years of her life. And its models were her neighbors, mostly the farmers, who worked the fields around Sheepfold. In the 1940s, during the tumultuous years of World War II, those paintings were featured in Life Magazine, and her Christmas scenes were popularized in Christmas cards produced by the American Artists Group.

She is also remembered for her support for the Benedictine sisters of the fledgeling Abbey of Regina Laudis. There’s a picture of her on the “Foundation History” page.

Here’s her parents’ house.

Here’s a great story about Lauren Ford and her world. She raised canaries and encouraged Tomie de Paola, apparently….

Dorothy Day said, “Lauren Ford says that women ought always to wear capacious aprons of strong denim for harvesting, and I suppose they would do as well for fish as for apples.”

Lauren Ford works on the Web:
“A Country Doctor”
“La Grippe (Home Fires)”
“The Guardian Angel”

Lauren Ford image gallery (2 pictures)
Many Ford illustrations on UD’s Christmas poetry page.

Books by Lauren Ford:
Our Lady’s Book (stories of Marian apparitions)
Lauren Ford’s Christmas Book


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The Book Meme

Jimmy Akin tagged everybody several weeks back, so I avail myself of his invitation.

1. Total number of books I’ve owned. Right now I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 2200 books in my apartment. There’s probably about 100-150 more at my parents’ house. I’ve probably given away or sold back somewhere around fifty or a hundred books in my time…so let’s say I’ve owned 2500 books. This does not include magazines or non-graphic novel comics.

2. Last book I bought. Oh, come on. Who buys only one book at a time? It’s like eating just one potato chip. But my last batch of books included: Caleb Carr’s new Holmes pastiche, The Italian Secretary (Good pastiche style, well-written, ultimately pointless and tedious, will never be reread, total waste of cash), and a clearance copy of Pushkin’s Button: The Story of the Fatal Duel Which Killed Russia’s Greatest Poet by Serena Vitale. (Excellent buy, imaginatively written, well-researched, extremely informative about everything it touches, occasionally pretentious but only with a self-deprecatory smile, not afraid to say ‘I don’t know but here’s the evidence we’ve got’, and obviously good for many rereads.)

3. Last book I read. Volume I of Nodame Cantabile, a music school manga by Tomoko Ninomiya. Excellent stuff, with good characters and some very wise thoughts about how art works and artists create it.

4. Five books that mean a lot to me. Another cruel and unusual question…. Obviously the Bible and Shakespeare and stuff like that go without saying.

1. The Chronicles of Narnia and The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings. These were the first books I really loved with all my heart, and the first books that really taught me about God and life. Having each read it while in the lower grades gave a great area of commonality to my brothers and I (not to mention our dad and mom, who provided us with the books). We each still read it once every year or so.

2. Larousse Encyclopedia of Mythology, 1959 edition. Back in elementary, I really loved that old TV show Mighty Isis — not for what it was, but what it tried to be. I wanted to learn more about Egyptian mythology and Isis, so I got my parents to buy this book at the library book sale, on the premise that more must be better. I got a mighty shock, because the Isis of myth and lore was not at all like the DC Comics version. Neither were any of the other gods or spirits of the ancient world. I also got an eyeful of naked primary source art. I still remember reading the book with my hand covering up all those Greek nudes. I learned to really love mythology, but I also learned not to have too many illusions about it. I guess that’s why I’ll never be a pagan in a creed outworn.

3. A Book of Saints by Mildred Criss, 1956. I think we got this at that same library sale. This book has the best cover: a picture of the Holy Family as if they lived in New England. It was painted by the now-forgotten Catholic artist Lauren Ford. This saint book, and the saint book at my parochial school with all the bright stained glass-colored illustrations, and the book about St. Therese, and the book about Fatima…well, I sometimes think they were my best bits of religious education. The stories in them not only provided you with plenty of different kinds of role models from all walks of life and with all different personalities; they also brought up almost every important religious issue somewhere inside them. You learned that the Sacraments were important and why, and that frequent Communion and Confession were privileges. You learned all sorts of different ways to serve God, and all sorts of different reasons to defy the world. You learned about history. You learned about iconography and hagiology. You learned about God. Excellent, excellent stuff.

4. Preserve and Protect by Allan Drury. I know; you think I mean Advise and Consent. Nope. That’s probably a better novel, and certainly a more directly historical and more prophetic one. But Preserve and Protect is the book that first clarified my political ideas and told me that I wasn’t the only one who thought such things. So if you ever run across a book that starts with Air Force One crashing and the Speaker of the House becoming president…well, if the author’s name is Drury, it’s got to be good.

5. The Lord Peter Wimsey series by Dorothy L. Sayers. Not just a good mystery series, but also including large chunks of fun and good advice on life in the modern world.

I, like Jimmy Akin, tag everybody.

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PETA: People Executing Trusting Animals

You know, I wasn’t certain I believed the folks over on PETA ran shelters that were not only not no-kill, but more like “kill immediately”? Oh, surely even a cretinous semi-terrorist organization like PETA wasn’t that bad.

I was right.

PETA is worse.

Yes, they come to pick up people’s dogs and cats, promise to find them a home, and then give Puppy and Kitty a lethal injection out in the van. Finally, they can’t even bring themselves to dispose of the bodies with respect or even basic attention to public health. No, instead they just throw the corpses in a dumpster at a shopping center behind the Piggly Wiggly grocery store.

This news roundup includes the disturbing fact that in areas near the other PETA shelters, hundreds of trash bags of dead dogs and cats have been found dumped on a riverbank.

PETA’s president described one of the employees charged as being “Mother Teresa for animals”. (I don’t remember Mother Teresa using a lot of poison, myself.) She also said that their actions weren’t animal cruelty, as there was no evidence of the animals having suffered. (Well, other than being dead.) She further claimed that everybody at the local pounds was fully aware that the animals were being taken for euthanization. (Though they all said they’d had no clue, and were angry to see adoptable animals among the dead when they went to identify them.)

PETA has always been a dangerous group full of sick people who hate humans and claim to love animals, but consistently support an ideology of hate over actual animal welfare. I hope this story and the upcoming investigation into PETA practices will show American animal-lovers just how twistedly evil that PETA really is.

PETA: Psychopathic Evil Towards Animals.


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Great Moments in Catholic Education

I don’t know much about this webcomic, but Young Ladies of Quality certainly does a good job of showing daily life at a Catholic school.

Pre-lunch Mass.


“Yes. Yes, it was.”

Just one comment, Ms. Vinson.

In MY day, young lady, we didn’t HAVE microwaves! We just had CRISPY LITTLE SANDWICHES that they cooked underneath a HEAT LAMP! And if you wanted them to be palatable, you had to COAT THEM IN CATSUP! Even if they were GRILLED CHEESE!

And we LIKED it!

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Anime Song Translation: Planetes

They’ve finally released the Planetes anime in the US. It’s a great manga, and an equally great anime. There are certain story differences, but all in all, the serious near-future space adventures of a ship that collects orbiting space garbage is exactly what I was looking for and more than I expected.

The opening theme song is not exactly catchy, but it’s another inspirational space song in the vein of “Journey’s Done” — and it’d make a much more suitable OP for Enterprise than the one they picked. Heh.

Actually, I like the official translation, but it doesn’t include the whole song and it could be interpreted in a few different ways. This isn’t a singable translation, though. I need to get the soundtrack before I can write one of those.

Dive in the Sky
Planetes opening song
Translation: Maureen S. O’Brien, 6/11/05

And beyond Time a person sees the dream.
Embrace silence’s ocean!
Gaze up at bird and cloud!
Fleeting lives burned
In a thousand mornings.

Facing the light, won’t it flap its wings?
Bird kicking off Earth hard —
Ride dreams with no limit Out to the frontier
Higher and higher the soaring.

To pile up higher the passion’s genes,
The yearning that’s the energy of the best —
A baby’s first cry lifted on the Earth,
Told it the word of thanks
And taking leave….

Shining a light toward the future, if
It grabs for an unknown world
There’s no kind of boundary. Leap up and away,
Far, far away. Dive in the sky.

Facing the light, won’t it flap its wings?
Time to launch prayers is now.
Ride dreams with no limit Out to the frontier.
Higher and higher the soaring.

Shining a light toward the future, if
It grabs for an unknown world,
There’s no kind of boundary. Leap up and away,
Far, far away. Dive in the sky.


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St. Ephraim of Syria!

In honor of the saint’s day, a song adaptation of one of his songs. Very post-9/11, really.

Nisibene Hymn II (v2.0)
Lyrics: Maureen S. O’Brien, 6/9/05
(adapted from “Nisibene Hymn II” by St. Ephraem of Syria, 373 AD)
Tune: “Sheebeg, Sheemore”, Turlough O’Carolan (1670-1738)

Remember the day that they breached our wall?
It looked like a mirror; both sides looked in.
They saw that God had allowed them within.
We saw our God who repaired it.
They saw our God and His heavy hand.
We saw our God as He saved our land.
They saw our God and ran off in fear.
We saw His help and declared it.

Wake up, lazybones, for the day is saved!
Spears showered, and our men fought valiantly,
And when our foes broke through in great waves —
A sight fit for angels’ bright eyes.
For iniquity fought us, and mercy won!
Through the many brave deeds that they then saw done,
Compassion and kindness triumphed here.
The watchers shouted from on high.

So our foes used up all their strength and men
While trying to break through the wall again.
Three times it cracked, but they couldn’t get in,
They lost three times out of three.
By the grace of God, gladness multiplied!
Let my fruits in this city surpass my crimes!
I sinned in my youth; in old age, it’s time
That I should thank God for His mercy!

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I know I’ve been lying down on the blog lately. Sorry.

Anyway, gleaned from the wonderful dictionary at Animelab, here’s a list of Japanese words for blue and green. I have to put them together, because the common word ‘aoi’ means the whole range of color from blue to green. Also (as you can see), ‘iro’ means ‘color’.

ao/aoi: blue or green. Also, unripe.
mizuiro: aqua (‘water-colored’)
kon: navy blue
aiiro: indigo (‘indigo-colored’)
tetsuiro: iron-colored (reddish black or iron-gray blue)
sorairo: sky-blue (‘sky-colored’)
taisei: blackish blue
nandoiro: grayish blue
haiseishoku: grayish blue
hanairo: iris blue/light blue
haganeiro: steel blue
noukon: dark blue
nouseishoku: dark blue
hatobairo: blue-black
masao/massao/makoto ao: deep blue (‘sincere/pure blue’), ghastly pale
asaji: light blue
ruriiro: azure/lapis lazuli blue
midori: green (literally ‘melon’)
aotake: malachite green (literally, ‘green bamboo’)
asamidori/usumidori: light green
anmidori/anryoku: dark green
uguisuiro: brownish green (literally, ‘Japanese nightingale-colored’)
ouryoku: pea-green, yellowish-green
kairyokushoku: greenish gray
kimidori: yellowish green
kusairo: dark green
kuromidori: blackish green
shinryoku: deep green, dark green
suishoku: emerald green
senryoku: light green
tanryokushoku: light green
hisuiiro: jade green
fukamidori: deep green
moegiiro: light green/yellowish green (‘sprout-colored’)
ryoukuoushoku: greenish yellow
rikyuuiro: blackish green
rikyuunezumi: grayish dark green
ryokuhakushoku: greenish white
wakakusairo: bright green, chartreuse (‘young grass-colored’)
wakamidori: young pine-green

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