Saturday, December 25, 2010

Day 3: A Favorite Book

The Inimitable Jeeves
by P.G. Wodehouse

Ah, Bertie Wooster and his brilliant butler, Jeeves. What can I say? I have a weakness for British humor. If you do not like British humor, don’t go near this book. A lighthearted read that is quirky and has plenty of random plot twists. Jeeves is the epitome butler and, in my opinion, one of the most memorable literary characters ever created. The book might be compared to an unpolished gem – by this I mean that it seems hastily and/or haphazardly written, but remains delightful. Most of the people are satires or caricatures of reality. Jeeves is elegant, impeccable, very brainy, and indispensable in a pinch. Bertie is a rather common and naïve man who also tends toward bad taste in fashion. Full of British slang and customs, laughable characters, and awkward predicaments.

This book is a charming waste of time and I enjoyed it very much. To any who wondered, P.G. stands for Pelham Grenville.

Day two: A Favorite Movie

"The Princess Bride"
It’s quirky, and the romance comes across sarcastic (that’s usually a must for me).

The characters include: a Spaniard (Inigo Montoya), who has dedicated his life to revenge and swordplay; Wesley, who is annoyingly idealistic but knows some cool tricks and has a high tolerance for torture; a giant, who is charming in an almost childish way; and a lovely girl named Buttercup, who is not particularly bright or useful in a pinch.

It also includes cool creatures such as the shrieking eels and R.O.U.S.’s (rodents of unusual size). Plus, there’s the interesting torture equipment that looks archaic enough, but not particularly convincing. Or my favorite character, the ridiculous man who says every “r” like a “w,” something that lent a particular lack of solemnity to the wedding ceremony. I like that Miracle Max randomly starts talking about how perky MLT (mutton, lettuce, and tomato) is. Then there are the other quirks, such as the man with six fingers, the albino with the funny voice, and the use of a wheelbarrow and holocaust cloak.

What the movie lacks in quality and/or reality, I will excuse because it doesn’t seem meant to be taken seriously. The combination of sarcasm, absurd characters, and light-hearted plot make it seriously entertaining to watch on occasion. I do think Wesley quite ugly, but it is irrelevant to the entertainment value.

Favorite quotations:

Fezzik: “Why are you wearing a mask? Were you burned with acid or something?”

Vizzini: “No more rhymes now, I mean it!”
Fezzik: “Anybody want a peanut?”

Inigo: “You seem a decent fellow. I hate to kill you.”
Westley: “You seem a decent fellow…I hate to die.”

Friday, December 10, 2010

30 Days

i formulated this idea because another blog i follow did the 30-day blog challenge a while ago. Some of them are profound; all should be interesting.

Day One: a favorite song

Don’t laugh. I like it because it reminds me of friends, New Year’s, festivity, and David Copperfield, and also because I’m not entirely sure what a “richt-gude willie waught” is. Sounds like an inebriating beverage to me.

Listen to a favorite version of mine here: It's relientK, but it's acappella. Assuming the link is correct. I'll check it later. Hey, I'm at the library with no headphones.


“Auld Lang Syne”
(Robert Burns)

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And days o’ lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne;
We’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne.

And here’s a hand, my trusty fere
And gie’s a hand o’ thine;
We’ll tak’ a richt-gude willie waught
For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne;
We’ll tak’ a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne.

Friday, October 8, 2010

One more thing that makes me a non-conformist...

In a group of people, I'm the one trying to balance the egg:

Saturday, September 25, 2010

And the Contest Results Are:

I have decided my contest is officially at an end.

First place goes to: Justin West.
Justin is entitled to three sets of charming but relatively unmanly cards, which I doubt he wants. Instead of this, he will receive a handwritten note of congratulations [and maybe something else unexpected].

Second place goes to: Allie.
Allie is a photographer, and you can visit her blog here. She will be sent two sets of charming handmade cards. Allie, I will send you color schemes from which to choose and your prize will be sent within a week or two.

As a final note, many thanks to all participants!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Everyone Vote!

Contest entries, on which any random person is welcome to vote! (Note: Please only vote for one person. It will help keep things from getting ambiguous. Thanks!)

From Samantha R.:

From Ashley:

From Justin West:

From Bridget Irish:

From Allie:

Ted Dekker

He grew up as a missionary kid in Indonesia, among cannibals. Death was a part of life, a reality.

He now writes fiction that is far from normal. He has authored some of the best thrillers ever written. How would one describe his work? Suspenseful, horrific, dark, and a journey of the mind. At the same time, charming, absurdly humorous, and beautiful. Always a little bit outside this reality, and definitely a bit like a freefall. Add the words redemption and radical love to the mix, and you have almost defined it. His ability to describe both beauty and pain, his ability to make one laugh out loud, the spontaneity of his ideas – the combination make him perhaps the best fiction author I have ever read.

If you haven’t read any of his stuff, here are some recommendations with my mini-reviews.

The circle trilogy: Black, Red, White

Dual realities, each of them equally compelling, keep the mind fully engaged. Some violence, plenty of suspense, wonderfully constructed plot, absurdly humorous, vivid and compelling. Never a break in speed. Battles, assassinations, and beauty – all of it woven seamlessly together with redemption.


Set between holocaust and the present, this is a battle between good and evil, and the story of a man’s obsession. Somewhat violent, always captivating, definitely desperate, sometimes hilarious, often heartrending, and ultimately satisfying.


You’ll want to stay up all night for this one. Complex, brilliantly crafted, compulsively readable.

This is a book and a movie, and I can recommend both. The movie closely mirrors the book. A gripping battle between good and evil, with twists that will surprise.

The Lost Books Series

This one is somewhat closer to the teenage/young adult genre. It’s the story of four teenagers who are appointed a task they don’t fully understand. Battles, good and evil, the mind, the heart – a striking combination. This book is also a collision of realities.

To anyone who might like something a bit more in the romance genre and without too much gore:

A fast-paced read set in both California and Saudi Arabia. In short, a brilliant American with amazing capabilities helps a Saudi Arabian princess flee an impending arranged marriage. Hilarious humor, spontaneity, and complexity. Most of it isn’t all that violent.

To anyone who can deal with a lot of gore and evil, over which love ultimately triumphs:

Extremely compelling, very violent, often sad, and impossible to put down. The horrific story of an amazing battle.

Boneman’s Daughters
The story of a broken father and a hurting daughter. The story of a man possessed by hate. Very violent, weird at times. But don’t miss the point. I didn’t enjoy the story as much as I loved the point.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Just a reminder that the photo/art contest ends in Three Days, the 28th of August! Get any entries in before then!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Deadline is August 28th

If you are reading this right now, and you don’t join in the fun, go eat dirt. Just so you know.

Attention: all readers, followers, bloggers, and friends! This is the second contest ever hosted by my blog!

Be artsy! Enter creative photos and videos or photos showing your best art projects – drawings, paintings, origami, papier-mâché, weaving, knitting, murals, hats, sculptures, woodworking, graphic design, anything. [Send all entries to theamiableamy (at gmail)]

Entries will be judged on: both quality and creativity.

Who wins?
I will choose my five top favorites, and you, the readers, comment voting for your favorite! Whoever has the greatest number of votes places first, and whoever has the second greatest places second. There are only two places, but I may award some honorable mentions if I feel they are due.

Can I get any prizes?
If you receive first place you will be sent three sets (three in a set) of charming handmade cards in the color schemes you choose, plus a handwritten note of congratulations. Your entry will be posted, along with a first place caption and a link to your blog (assuming you have one).

If you receive second place, you will be sent one set of cards, in one color scheme or a mix (your choice) with a congratulatory note. Your entry will also be posted with your second place caption.

But what if I’m a guy, and I don’t want that stupid prize?
Well, you have many options:
a) Don’t enter this contest
b) Don’t win
c) If you have a blog, I will go comment on it to boost your self-esteem
d) If you know me and live nearby, I can cook you some food
e) I can just send you the congratulatory note
f) You can send me a prize
g) Go eat dirt, who needs a prize?

As with any contest I host:
Nobody is required to post about this in order to enter, and you will not receive bonus points for doing so. But if you decide to link to me out of pure nicety, I’ll love you forever!

Are there regulations?
You may enter 1 photo or fewer. If you enter more than one photo, you will be disqualified.

You may vote for yourself, but obviously not multiple times. And nobody is allowed to accuse others of voting dishonestly.

Can I link to it and get all my friends to vote for me?
Absolutely, I don’t care.

Is there any sort of recognition for the worst photo?
If someone enters a really wretched photo, I might post it. There won’t be any prize, but I figure my readers probably like to laugh as much as I do.

Is there any good winning strategy I should know?
Just make sure your photo or project is much muchier than the others.

Many thanks to all participants!!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

a book review

divine nobodies: shedding religion to find God [and the unlikely people who help you]
by jim palmer

Divine Nobodies commences with two must-read introductions (with grim warnings to anyone who would skip them). In introducing us to himself, the author is revealed to be an ordinary, if somewhat quirky, guy. His life hasn’t been ideal, and neither has he. With good humor – but sincerity, he catches the interest of the reader. The rest of the book follows some of his journey from formal Christianity and religion to discovering God for himself. He describes his battle with depression, failings, and confusion about faith – and his ultimate acceptance of the truth that we can’t be good enough. Many failures of the church and professing Christians are exposed by their lack of ability to help the hurting and imperfect people of the world. This book is a challenge to step out of your comfort zone when it comes to helping others. It is also a challenge to stop confining a radical faith to formal religion and your own perception.

I don’t agree with everything the author advocates, and I certainly don’t view the book as absolute truth. At the same time, the author hits many points very accurately, and causes the reader to think. It should be enjoyable for anyone ready to be offended, change, and pursue a faith not caught up in religion or the status quo.

This book is written straightforwardly, and is interesting all the way through. It isn’t simply a set of ideas – it is a set of personal experiences. Anyone who starts it will find it compulsively readable.

Ogden Nash

Of Ogden Nash

The top flight modern satirist…the man who dislikes all the things that most of us dislike but manages to be hilariously articulate about them. – Boston Herald

I discovered the poet Ogden Nash in a literature book, and subsequently found a book of his at our local library. Some of my favorites of his are the short verses on animals.

To quote a few here:

The rhino is a homely beast,
For human eyes he’s not a feast.
Farwell, farewell, you old rhinoceros,
I’ll stare at something less prepocerous

The firefly’s flame
Is something for which science has no name.
I can think of nothing eerier
Than flying around with an unidentified glow on a person’s posteerier.

Some primal termite knocked on wood
And tasted it, and found it good,
And that is why your Cousin May
Fell through the parlor floor today.

Any hound a porcupine nudges
Can’t be blamed for harboring grudges.
I know one hound that laughed all winter
At a porcupine that sat on a splinter.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Roses and Dragonflies

I've never before been successful in capturing dragonflies, as they seem to me exceptionally elusive. But there it is. I succeeded today.

This rose is yellow, but looks white here...

These are my favorites. They're burgundy, and they smell fabulous.

These were marketed as "blue girl" roses...but they look more lavender. They are wonderful when they've first begun opening.

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Magnificent Scarf

This is the scarf Justin commissioned me to make after winning my long-ago contest. Needless to say, with sport weight yarn and small needles, I spent all winter making these tiny stitches that ended up in an eight-foot scarf. And it's actually patterned after a scarf from an old British science fiction television show I've never seen. Yeah. (A note on length: Justin is like, over six feet tall.)

The (somewhat quirky) pictures are courtesy of Bonnie.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

about that old contest...

I am actually knitting a striped scarf for Justin (it's currently at 8 ft.), and it may be completed by the time it is too warm to sanely consider wearing. I will certainly post photos in the event that it is finished.