Sunday, October 25, 2009

See ya

I bid good-bye to this blog.

The new step to college life deserves a fresh blog.

Visit me at to see my new layout and updates.

Thank you to all readers over the years this blog has been used. You are all awesome and I will always keep this blog to remember moments that make me smile.

See ya round!


Tuesday, May 12, 2009

4th Quarter Senior Thesis

For Senior thesis we had to deliver a 17-20min speech from a bare outline, and I mean bare outline. My Thesis statement is that all satisfying stories have a death and resurrection theme. So here it is if you care to read it.... :P

So you want to write a story. Some of the main story tellers that might enter your head are William Shakespeare, Charles Dickens, J.K. Rowling, Homer, George Lucas, J.R.R. Tolkien, Brian Jacques, Stephanie Meyer, Virgil, Tim Burton, Milton, and many more. They all offer examples of famous writing. You begin your story with the plot. You plan the adventures that will take place and the choose the setting with utmost care. You pick your characters and molding them in just the right way. The hero is truly heroic and strikes a dashing figure. The villain is truly evil and in his dark mind are all sorts of horrid thoughts. You use the literary device of foreshadowing and add classical allusions here and there. You lighten the tone with spontaneous humor. After you have your story of several pages, or maybe even several notebooks, you look it over and, in the way of a young author, proclaim it to be amazing. Years later, going through piles of old papers, you rediscover this story and, reading through it, can not help but compare it to works of famous people. You notice some similarities between your story, and stories that have made the literary headlines throughout the years. You note that there is a hero, and in the end, even if there are times when it appears that evil has won, he always defeats the bad guy. You note that the hero always gets a reward, whether it be the damsel in distress, a golden arrow, a happy home, the praise of the general, or simply a good night’s rest. These and other things make the story satisfying, and you feel content with the ending. Famous writers know how to accomplish this; they know what elements are necessary to make a satisfying story.

All satisfying stories have a death and resurrection theme. Stories are a key part of the world’s culture, and have always been around. They have been used to remember the history of a nation as well as to entertain the people. The art of story telling has evolved from oral transmission to lengthy novels and has even expanded into the world of music and film. A death and resurrection is central to the way God made the world. It is a necessary element to the story of the whole universe. By story I mean a tale that is not purely historical. It is not simply a list of happenings, but a made up, fictional tale. Jill went to the store, bought some eggs, and then went home is not what I will be calling a story. I mean a more elevated tale that has good and evil, a hero and villain, a problem that needs to be taken care of, and action that moves the plot. A story is not limited to a written book, but includes movies and even some songs. The dictionary definition of satisfy is “to do or offer enough to make somebody feel pleased or content, to fulfill a need or gratify a desire.” By a satisfying story, I mean a story that is resolved. The ending is fulfilling and the characters get what they deserve. The loose ends are tied up and even if it is tragic, justice is served. By a death and resurrection theme, I mean that at some point in the story, a character “dies” and then either is “resurrected” themselves, or causes something else to be “resurrected.” The dying does not have to be a physical death, more often it is portrayed as a sacrifice to something. In the same sense the resurrection is not always a physical raising from the dead. Often it is a character coming back into the goodness they had abandoned, or another character being restored to their former place, or even major events being set into action because of the resurrection. This is important because we all encounter stories. It is part of our education, history, and cultural background. As Christians, a death and resurrection is central to our faith and our lives. It is important for us to be able to look at things around us, stories in particular, and see aspects of our faith in them. This point is disputed because some people argue that not all stories contain a death and resurrection theme.
First, people are created in God’s image, and thus have a desire to meet certain qualifications; one of these is a desire for a satisfying story. Second, God has given us an example of a satisfying story through His story for the world. Third, a death and resurrection theme is a natural part of the world, and as a result the authors do not always purposefully add it. Forth, this theme has stood the test of time and can be found in classical as well as modern stories.
Confirmatio/ Refutatio
People are created in God’s image. In Genesis 1:27 we are told that “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created He him; male and female created He them.” We find proof of this in everyday life in things that God does that we do as well. In 1 John 4:10, “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.”, God loves and like Him we do as well. God gives laws as seen in the Ten Commandments, Exodus 20:3-17, and as an echo of this we have made laws such as speed limits and drinking age. Through the Holy Spirit, God speaks and guides as seen in John 16:13, “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.” Humans speak and guide people as well.
Since we are built in God’s image, we have a desire to meet certain qualifications. There are some things that feel “right” for us to do and others that feel naturally wrong. For example, everyone has a built in sense of justice. The normal person thinks that it is right for an evil doer to be punished. It is a natural desire that we as humans have. Another thing that is desired by humans is a satisfying story. A story that has good against evil. A story that has a resolved ending. We have a sense of how a story should end. This plays a part in whether or not a story is satisfying to us. We like stories that have happy endings. If we can’t have a happy ending, we have to be given justifications for why it could not end happily ever after. The story has to be resolved and the characters need to get what they deserve. If this is not met, the story does not satisfy us. However, some people have been twisted by sin and have a wrong view of what is satisfying. Some people would consider a story without a resolved ending to be satisfying. They would enjoy a story where everyone is brutally murdered and the criminal lives on without being brought to justice. This is a warped sense of what is truly satisfactory.
We desire this because that is the way God writes His stories. All our lives are written by God and He has written the whole history of the world so far. In all of His stories there are several themes that can be found in every one. These themes are particularly clear in overarching plan for mankind’s salvation. God sent Jesus to fight Satan by dying and then being raised from the dead, thus saving mankind and defeating Satan. This story contains all the basics that are necessary to a satisfying story. First, it has an obvious good versus evil. God and Jesus are the good and they are fighting against Satan who is the evil. There is a self-sacrifice seen when God gives up His only Son to die and is continued when Jesus willingly dies for the sake of others. There is a death and resurrection. Jesus dies but is then raised from the dead. There is a restoration when Jesus is restored to His place at the right hand of the Father. Good triumphs in the end because Satan is defeated and no longer has any hold over the people Jesus died to save. These are a few of the major themes that God uses in His stories, and that make up a satisfying story. This story is satisfying because it is resolved. In the end, evil is defeated and all is as it should be. Thus it is a prime example of what constitutes a satisfying story for us humans. Because God writes this way, we, who are created in His image, naturally follow what He has done.
Death and resurrection is a natural part of the world. We see it every day, every year, every week. The changing of the seasons shows a death and resurrection. Summer dies, becoming winter, and then is resurrected at the coming of spring. Trees loose their leaves and “die” only to be resurrected into their full beauty. Each day the sun sets or “dies” and then next morning it literally rises. Weeks come to and end and “die” only to be “resurrected” and start again from the beginning. Nature is used to show mankind that there is a God. Psalm 19:1-6 states, “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” Just as God uses nature to show us that He exists, He uses nature to show us ordinary things that we copy. Humans are built to imitate. This can be seen in any young child. They speak and act like their parents because they are built to imitate what they see and learn from it. If you spend too much time in England you will most likely pick up an accent because you imitate what you hear. Because death and resurrection is found in the world around us, it is something we copy. It is second nature for authors to include a death and resurrection theme in their stories, although they do not necessarily add it on purpose. It just happens. They simply see that it is liked by people and is one of the elements to a selling story. In the case of pagan writers, they may not know or want to admit that it is a Christian theme but they do know that it is needed to have a satisfying story, so they add it. Death and resurrection is an ordinary occurrence in the world and as a result it is natural for authors to include it in their story line.
Although death and resurrection plays a huge part in God’s story, it is often a much smaller part of the stories humans write. It does not have to be staring you in the face as you read. If you want you can actually find a death and resurrection in just about anything. But you have to draw a line between being over the top and ridiculous about finding this theme, and simply keeping you eyes open for it. That line is found by simple wisdom. You don’t want to go over the top and dissect every single story in the attempt to find this theme. But, you should consider the fact that all satisfying stories have this theme, and it does no harm to keep your eyes open for a possible death and resurrection in any story that you find to be satisfying.
If something is to be said to be true, it should have stood the test of time. Finding death and resurrection themes in stories is one of those truths that has stood the test of time. There are many stories that are considered “classics” now that have this theme. One example of this can be found in Homer’s Iliad. At one point in the story, Achilles has retreated to his tent and refuses to fight with the rest of the troops. As a result, the Greek army is loosing. In a brave attempt to regain lost ground, Patroklos takes Achilles’ armor and goes out to fight. He is killed and in revenge for his fallen friend, Achilles returns to the battle field. This can be seen as a death and resurrection. Patroklos literally dies so that Achilles can be resurrected from his state of immobility. A death and resurrection theme can also be seen in Spencer’s Fairy Queen. Red Cross is fighting the dragon toward the end of the book. The first day he is sorely beaten and happens to fall into the Well of Life. Una, watching from afar, thinks he is dead but is overjoyed to seen him emerge healed from the well the next morning. He continues to fight and ends up killing the dragon. Redcross’s fall into the well, and the fact that Una thought he was dead can be seen as a death. The next day, he is resurrected from that death and ends up defeating his enemy. In Dickens’s David Copperfield, this theme can be found as well. It is more of a situational death and resurrection as opposed to a literal one. The relationship in the Strong’s marriage dies when Uriah Heep accuses Annie of being unfaithful. Their relationship is resurrected once they actually confront the issue and their love is just as strong if not stronger than before. The Iliad, Fairy Queen, and David Copperfield are all considered to be classics, have stood the test of time, and have death and resurrection themes throughout.
This theme of death and resurrection can also be seen in modern stories. One example is Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. In The Fellowship of the Ring, Gandalf supposedly dies when he fights the Balrog. He falls down and everyone supposes that he is dead. In the next book, The Two Towers, Gandalf comes back as a more powerful wizard. This is a death and resurrection. A death and resurrection can also be found in the Harry Potter series. The most obvious one is at the end of the last book. Harry faces off with Lord Voldemort and basically kills himself to destroy the evil wizard. He goes to this in-between place where Dumbledore, who is dead, talks to him and informs him that he cannot be dead yet. Harry then comes back to life, his resurrection, and lives to see the wizard world be free from the evil threat. Both these series are modern and well know and loved by the general public, and both have death and resurrection themes.
A death and resurrection can be found in any satisfying story of any genre. It is not limited to fantasy stories but can be seen in all different types. This includes tragedies. An example is Shakespeare’s Hamlet. First, Hamlet is a satisfying story. The story is resolved in the end and, although the reader may not like the steps leading to the final outcome, justice is served. All the main characters die, which is tragic, but it is satisfying that they die. If any of the main characters survived, they would not be able to live a happy peaceful life. Hamlet would live with the blood of his potential father-in-law on his hands and the knowledge that the girl he loved died because of his actions. The Queen would have to live with the knowledge that she married her husband and son’s murderer. The King would have to live with the guilt of not only killing the former king, but also his wife and son. Ophelia would live with the emotional burden of seeing her father, brother, and lover die before her eyes. Her brother would live without the two people he held most dear. None of these characters could survive the story and be happy without a drastic change in the story line. If Shakespeare had left any one of them alive, the reader would not be satisfied. A death and resurrection can be seen in this play. At the beginning, Hamlet’s father recently died and as a result Hamlet is in mourning which is a type of death. When he sees his father’s risen ghost, Hamlet is resurrected from his depressed state and moves into a flurry of action in order to exact revenge. This may seem a little far fetched but consider how natural it is to have a death and resurrection and how many forms it can take. As long as the story is satisfying, there is a death and resurrection theme.
I am not saying that unsatisfactory stories do not have a death and resurrection. There are some unsatisfactory stories that do, in fact, have a death and resurrection. An example of this can be seen in the Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket. In the last book, the evil villain, Count Olaf, is finally defeated but the story ends with the children sitting in a boat, in the middle of the ocean, with no idea of what to do with their lives. Although evil is defeated, the story is not resolved. The reader does not know what will happen to the children or even if they will make it safely to land. But in the series, a death and resurrection can be seen. When the children fall into Count Olaf’s clutches, they always hit a low point where it seems that they are finally defeated; this is a death. However, they always manage to pull through and rise up triumphant from their imprisonment. This does not last long, but it is there. Although some unsatisfactory stories do have a death and resurrection theme, this theme is seen particularly in satisfying stories.
All satisfying stories have a death and resurrection theme. People are created in God’s image, and thus have a desire for a satisfying story. God has given us an example of the perfect story and, because we imitate Him, we write the way God does. A death and resurrection theme is a natural part of the world. Since it is such a natural addition to a story, the author does not necessarily add it on purpose. A death and resurrection in stories has stood the test of time because it can be found in classic as well as modern stories. There are some things in this world that we take for granted without really thinking about them. We never stop to consider how fascinating it is that we subconsciously want stories to fit a certain mold, and if they don’t, we don’t like them. It is the same with a death and resurrection theme. It is such a huge part of the world that we often neglect to look for it in the small areas of life. But it is there, where ever you look, and can be found.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Hush, hush don't you rush into the starry dreams
of quite slumber.

Where hopes have breath
And speak undying truth.

Where hearts are broken so hearts can be made whole,
Where loves are forgotten so they might be remembered,
Where brothers die so you might live,
But all that was lost is found again.

Where the soul finds comfort
And the mind finds peace,
Where the heart is healed
And the body is eased.

Where desires are living creatures
And wishes flow in living streams;
They can be caught, they can be satisfied
And everything is as perfect as you could hope.

But hush, hush, don't you rush into the starry dreams
of quiet slumber.
Because where you go I cannot follow
For your dreams are not mine.

So stay with me for a short time longer
And we will act a dream
And deceive ourselves
For wishes are not living streams
And hope is no more than a breeze.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

So I was wandering around and remembered that I do have a blog as well as facebook. I read my last post and saw that it was from December last year. I seemed only right to make a post since it's been almost exactly a year since my last one.
Pretty much life is amazing. School is good, work makes money, I have a horse of my own, I still dance on Saturdays, and my friends are beyond amazing.
If you read this and are still a blogging person that I used to do blog stuff with leave me a comment and I just might write more... you never know :D

Thursday, December 06, 2007


I don't know if anyone visits this anymore, I know I hardly vist other peoples blogs. Well hello, I am alive, bearly, and looking forward to the Christmas Season. Let's all sing Christmas Carols!!! Well, random things. I have a facebook so you can see me there. I might post more here, I would like to.... think, think, think..... bye.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Playing with the Pros

So, Sunday the 16th, 2007 I participated a grand concert. For the last few years, Mrs. O'T. has held a concert in Uniontown in order to raise enough money to but a nice piano for the Catholic church there. Last year she had enough money to buy the piano, so this year she wanted to hold a think you concert, free or charge, to thank the community. Mrs. O'T. contacted me through my harp teacher and asked me to play in this concert. I said yes (only to regret it days later).

I have not played in a concert of any sort for quite a long time which made it rather exciting. What made it even more exciting was the fact that local university professors and heads of music department people were also performing. These included the Washington State University String Trio, the Tapestry women's choir, Jeff Savage on the piano, The Mauchley Duo on the piano, and the Idaho-Washington Concert Chorale Chamber Choir to mention a few. I was the youngest most inexperienced person there.

Sunday I had to be at the church (St. Boniface) by 4:00 for a 15min run through. Well, there were people there. As soon as I started playing, the room went silent. Now this church is beautiful and everything echos amazingly, so all I was hearing was the song echoing around and my own breathing. On my last song, Canon in D, played from memory, I messed up on the last bit where I never mess up and was not able to really pull it together. Everyone applauded amazingly and Mrs. O'T. said I made here cry (there were tears in her eyes).

Papa and I then hung around Uniontown till 5:30. The concert started and 6:00 and I was able to listen to the first half. For the second half I had to wait in a bed and breakfast next door to the church till it was my turn.

They came a got me and I had to wait in a small stuff entrance way for one song. Then I was on. The first two songs were surprisingly relaxed feeling and I was sort of enjoying myself. Then Canon came and everything tensed. I was fine till that same part near the end. I hit something wrong, but fudged it and got back on for the last two sections and a final grand D chord. I took my bow and joined Papa in the audience. After a couple more performers I came up for a final bow.

Afterward, I had people coming up and thanking me and telling me how much they liked it. I had one lady tell me I made her cry. A man came up and said that while I was playing a sudden idea poped into his head. "That's what it must be like to go to heaven; not loud blaring of trumpets but a soft, calming sound." I wasn't quite sure how to respond.

Despite crazy nerves I pulled through and accomplished the following: performed with the head-haunchos, made someone consider what going to heaven is like, made a few people cry, and proved to myself that "I really can do these things!"

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Presenting the all fabulous..... Sunbutter!!!!

What is sunbutter? Sunbutter is roasted sunflower seeds ground into a peanut butter substance and used as a substitute for peanut butter.

What's so great about that? Now, people who are allergic to peanuts can use Sunbutter in place of peanut butter. Then can eat PB&J sandwiches with the Sunbutter as well as us it in recipes!!!

What do I care? My litter sister is deathly allergic to peanuts so this is something she can eat!!! When her brothers have PB&J's for lunch Mama does not have to make something totally different for her. She loves Sunbutter on crackers, in oatmeal, anytime one would use peanut butter.

The taste? It tastes like sunflower seeds. The texture is just like peanut butter, only darker.

Who ever invented Sunbutter is sure to become very rich in the future. Thank you Mr. Sunbutter-Inventor!!!!!!!!!!!