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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in calliopeva's LiveJournal:

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Monday, February 13th, 2017
10:51 pm
Promises promises.
I promised someone NOT to type anything on the LP tonight, so I didn't. Until the very very end, when I was allowed to add a period and a carriage return, adding my name to the chat page.

I'll be there in 2 weeks Spin, and for your final show...see you then!
Thursday, February 2nd, 2017
11:50 pm
Except for JoAnn?
I was there are the beginning, so I will be there at the end...and beyond. See you at the next listening party, Spin. Even if you don't want to see me.
Monday, August 29th, 2016
1:28 pm
Matthew 5:44
"Forgive your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you"

Dreamed that I was in a parade which was also a competition; then it became me walking along side of it because my grandchildren were in it too/with me. The next group was a 5 young boys who were doing a coordinated dance/break dance routine. The music seemed familiar, then I saw someone I used to know and like a lot, and who I considered my friend.
I hustled the grands to go faster, so that we wouldn't be so close to him and HIS group, but to no avail- we kept almost bumping into each other, even as I was trying to avoid him. Segue into the parade is over, everyone from it was in a restaurant/ice cream place ...and of course I wound up at the same table with him, not looking directly at him, neither of us looking at or speaking to each other...rather pointedly on both our parts. I noticed that his ring finger was empty, freshly so, with the marks of a band but no wedding ring. His fingers were also short and stubby, which I knew was wrong. In the dream, I felt sort of justified, and was about to say something like "I see your finger is empty" when the real life phone rang.

When I woke, trying to remember everything in the dream before it faded- there was a LOT more before that, mostly about acting and film making and picking up checks :)- anyway, instead of feeling justified and happy about the last image, of the empty ring finger, I felt sad, and sad for him and compelled to write all this down as quickly as possible. Pretty disturbing dream.
Tuesday, August 23rd, 2016
6:56 pm
After the Fair was over- I sent this
To the organizers of the Prince William County Fair,
Well another year’s fair has come and gone, and it is time to count up the costs and profits and plan for next year. Sadly, I do not think it will be financially possible for me to attend the fair as a merchant again under the current working conditions.
The first year I asked to be a merchant I felt very welcomed to your group. I was told that you had never had a face painter on site before, and the ladies in the office were very enthusiastic about my being a part that year. I had painted for parties and for my church for many years, but had not tried to do a large pay-per-face event such as a fair since I had started while working for a clown group at an amusement park when I was 19, in 1979. Still I got my kit together, added many new items, colors and idea books, and had a great (if exhausting!) time.
The first year I had no competition save for the 4H group doing free paintings on the opening Friday night. I made $1600.00. After taking off for the site fee and insurance ($600) I had more than enough to cover the cost of my kit, tent, food and travel with a nice profit left over.
The second year I was surprised and rather dismayed to learn that there were 2 other body artists at the fair; the lady who does henna who was right next to me, and the Air Brush tattoo stand in the location I had had the year before. I also learned that the 4H was painting faces for free every single day of the fair.
I made less than $1500.00. I had invested in new paints and glitter tattoo supplies expecting to do better that year…I didn’t. I also was dismayed at the new location- in the center of the alley which runs along the commercial building, where few people go and which is unlit at night. As in real estate, face painting also relies on the old rule of “Location location location”. Had I been on the corner of that alley where it joins the main entrance to the amusements of the fair, I am certain I would have done better.
This year I made only $743.00. Had you told me that there would be a second face painter, right on that corner, plus the other two body artists, plus the 4H giving away for free what I had paid to provide I would never have signed up for a booth this year. When you add up the hours I was there on site, I earned $2.50 per hour. I just can’t afford to do so again.

If you would like me to return to the fair, I would be happy to do so as a hired employee doing an unlimited number of faces for free to the public at my usual rate for corporate events, which is $100 per hour, a minimum of three hours per day and max of 6 with 15 min breaks every 2 hours. I will even be happy to give you a discount by lowering my normal rate to $75 for each hour. I will set up my tent, still have insurance to protect us both and the lines to be painted will always be full! Put the bubble guy next to me to entertain the kids in line and their parents and everyone will have fun.
Alternatively, I can come back and have a $500 spot, as long as we have an exclusivity rider in the contract between us. This would include such things as no other face painters being allowed on site to sell or give away face and body art, with the exception of the 4H on the first day only. I would also like to choose my location- either under the light on the corner of row J to the left of the snowball place as you face it, or on the corner of the row near the commercial building where the other face painter was this year.
I have become good friends with the Henna Lady and the Airbrush Artist-none of us covered the cost of our spots until late on the last Friday, and none of us made enough to come back. I don’t know how the other face painter did.
Please let me know if you wish to hire me as an entertainer next year to paint faces and for which days of the fair, or if you would prefer to have me sell “pay per faces” to the public with the special terms.

I love face painting and making people happy, and have been doing so for 40+ years now. I hope to work with you again.

Thank you for your time
JoAnn “Bubblemum” Abbott
Monday, August 22nd, 2016
2:00 am
How to argue with a Liberal and win-condensed version
1. Walk Toward the Fire
“The left knows this is war. And they know you are the enemy. You will be castigated. You will get punched. That’s the way it will go because that’s how the left wins: through intimidation and cruelty. You have to take the punch, you have to brush it off. You have to be willing to take the punch.”

2. Hit First
“Don’t take the punch first. Hit first. Hit hard. Hit where it counts. Mike Tyson used to say, “Everybody has a plan ‘til they get punched in the mouth.” That’s exactly correct. But throwing the first punch requires game-planning. Walking through the door, you have one shot – one! – to put someone down for the count from the beginning of a debate. If done properly, any debate on a single topic can be over within the first 30 seconds.”

3. Frame Your Opponent
“I have argued that the left’s entire playbook consists of a single play: characterizing the opposition. It’s incredibly effective. And the only way to get beyond character arguments is to frame your opponent – make it toxic for your opponent to slur you. Then, hopefully, you can move the debate to more substantive territory. This is the vital first step. It is the only first step…There is no way to convince someone that you don’t hate him or her. You can convince him or her, however, that your opposition is a liar and a hater.”

4. Frame the Debate
“It’s important that you neuter those buzzwords quickly, because otherwise you will be arguing against nonsense terms that can be used against you. You can’t argue against empty terms. So don’t accept the premises of their arguments, which are largely buzzword based…It’s important that you neuter those buzzwords quickly, because otherwise you will be arguing against nonsense terms that can be used against you. You can’t argue against empty terms. So don’t accept the premises of their arguments, which are largely buzzword based…As a general matter, the left’s favorite three lines of attack are (1) you’re stupid; (2) you’re mean; (3) you’re corrupt. Sarah Palin is supposedly stupid; Mitt Romney is supposedly mean; Dick Cheney is supposedly corrupt. Take away those lines of attack and watch the discomfort set in.”

5. Spot Inconsistencies in the Left’s Argument
“The left’s arguments are chock full of inconsistencies. Internal inconsistencies — inconsistencies that are inherent to the left’s general worldview. That’s because very few people on the left will acknowledge their actual agenda, which is quite extreme. Leftists prefer to argue half-measures in which they don’t truly believe…There are almost invariably unbridgeable inconsistencies in the left’s publicly stated positions that are at war with their actual fundamental principles. Your goal is to make the left admit once and for all what they believe about policy by exposing those inconsistencies.”

6. Force Leftists to Answer Questions
“This is really just a corollary of Rule #4. Leftists are only comfortable when they are forcing you to answer questions. If they have to answer questions, they begin to scratch their heads. The questions they prefer to ask are about your character; the questions they prefer not to answer are all of them. Instead, they like to dodge issues in favor of those character arguments.”

7. Do Not Get Distracted
“You may notice when arguing with someone on the left that every time you begin to make a point, that leftist begins shouting about George W. Bush. It’s like Leftist Tourette’s Syndrome. “Why did Obama blow out the budget?” “BUUUUUUUSHHHH!!!!!” Don’t be fooled. You don’t need to follow the idiotic rabbit down into his Bushy rabbit hole…Arguing with the left is like attempting to nail jello to the wall. It’s slippery and messy and a waste of resources. You must force them to answer the question.”

8. You Don’t Have To Defend People on Your Side
“Conservatives get trapped in this gambit routinely, because they figure that the enemy of their enemy is their friend: if the left is attacking someone, he must be worth defending. But that’s not true…Don’t follow people. Follow principle.”

9. If You Don’t Know Something, Admit It
“Don’t get caught in the trap of believing you have to know everything about everything. Your opponent will undoubtedly know something you don’t. It’s fair to simply state, “I didn’t know that, but I’ll be happy to research and get back to you.” Another side-note here: don’t bring up a topic with which you aren’t passingly familiar.”

10. Let the Other Side Have Meaningless Victories
“Leftists prize faux moderation above all else; by granting them a point or two, you can convince them that you aren’t a radical right-winger at all. After all, everyone can admit both parties are terrible!…If the left engages you on immigration reform, your answer should be that you are for immigration reform. Now, how do they define immigration reform? That’s the key question. But because you’ve always granted the premise that you like the idea of immigration reform, you don’t look like a naysayer off the bat…The conversation is meaningless until you force the left to define terms. Until then, we can all agree on useless platitudes.”

11. Body Language Matters
“The Left is expert at imagistics. The right is not, because the right falsely believes that shallow imagistics can be beaten with substance. Which has worked out fabulously for every great actress who is 300 lbs. in Hollywood — all two of them who are working…Leftists prize faux moderation above all else; by granting them a point or two, you can convince them that you aren’t a radical right-winger at all. After all, everyone can admit both parties are terrible!”
Monday, July 11th, 2016
9:25 am
Fun dream-grift the grifters
Just woke remembering a fun dream. I was at one of those hard sell type demonstrations, which had been advertised as a games night type of thing to sell a variety of things- herbal supplements, and jewelry, and property. It was like every hard sell bullsh-- presentation ever. And I knew it was a pack of lies meant to separate me from my money and was doing all in my power to warn the other potential victims while appearing to be complying with the set up to the grifters. At one point of time I was drying with a female from the group, supposed and was supposed to be seeing some of their properties or going to another site to see what they had to sell, and I wound up being the driver and intentionally going the wrong way down streets, getting lost and even inducing a bloody nose by blowing my nose to hard, so we had to stop to take care of it.
Meanwhile, when I get back I find that Scott is there, as well as his father and step mother. His folks believe the BS, and are ready to pony up 800 bucks right there and then, but we keep asking questions of the presenters, and won't let him pay anything to them. Ed is there after a bit, as a 16 year old, playing card games with a group of people his age (games also sold by the con men). He too knows it is a scam. The even had Sally Struthers there in person as a spokesperson, and I remembered that the last time I had been to one of these events out west they had had Abe Vigoda as the celebrity. I was thinking of asking them what happened to Abe but didn't.
Bother, it is fading now. Still I remember it as being a lot of fun!
Friday, June 24th, 2016
2:08 pm
Houses, again.
Visiting my Osborne cousins, we were all young, up at their house, then it was supposedly my house, near a lake> LI house, and they were trying to convince me that this was where I had always lived, but it kept being mixed up between the Philmont house , the LI one, etc. Rooms which were missing, but when I went back to them they were there, but things were missing, moved. Trying to see if my memory was playing tricks with me- did my cousins remember a hot summer night, I was about 3-4 hanging out under the bleachers of a baseball game there in town of Philmont, wanting to have a fat straw like the other kids so I could shoot beans also. They didn't remember it.I recalled driving to the Philmont place a curving road along hills, forest to the right. My grandmother had always lived with us, no she hadn't; too many floors, then not enough. Memory vs what AI was seeing. But what about the 3rd floor? I asked, remembering the third floor because there was a secret panel in the ceiling to get there, or was it a stair well in the walk in closet? Trying to convince my cousins that no, we had not all loved together. Asking mom about it, had I lived there.
Why do I keep dreaming about that house? Why is there always something wrong with it, something missing?
Thursday, March 17th, 2016
6:24 am
Dream Journal March 14
Pennsic and Peter Pan
Staying with Arastorm in a nice tent of hers, canvas
Nearby there was a firepit, neighbors around it. I helped a small boy with his bohran which had become tangled up, the drumstick tied to it. I played it for him, his mom asked me to watch him for a while. Was invited to sing/drum./perform at Bardic circle around fire (Had just seem and played with Williams little brother, age 2 yesterday, must have been him)

scene change
Homeless woman eating a combo of fine wood chips and ashes, was doing so to get attention of others. Inside/beneath/behind a commercial building, sort of like a Walmart or costco . Wondered why it was in the middle of the campground. Like a small commercial area had sprouted there. I think there was a fast food Burger king place there as well

Robin Williams as Peter Pan, gathering the lost boys from Pennsic to battle the pirates, invited the boy I was holding to go with him. He was only 3-4 or so, was afraid to fly. Many boys gathering, trying to figure out what super powers they had. Young teen with lightning power, another with flame. Robin too old/big to go with them/fly but he found a very carved decorated tent pole to give them/battle pirates with. He used it against a blonde older teen pirate, dangerous looking, she was slashing with her sword. I was able to pin her sword with the pole, and bend it- it was as strong as tin foil. Female pirate from the NPC cartoon recently?

Went to find Scott, everyone was dancing. exercising in rows from the whole camp. We had been gathered to do this, happily, laughing, but the reason we had been gathered together was to announce that everyone had to leave Pennsic immediately because of a massive storm. Was glad we hadn’t packed much to go to Pennsic, got back to tent, started to help tear down and pack up, lots of cars headed east I think it was, on the major roads.
Monday, February 29th, 2016
8:16 pm
Different challenge, SAME old song!
Honestly, don't you EVER get tired of Christian bashing? With all the wonderful myths and legends in the world, you had to come out with yet another Broadway song about how bad Christ and Christians are.

Why didn't you try bashing Islam and their love of pedophilia, rape, slavery, torture and beheadings? Isn't that the SLIGHTEST bit more annoying to you than having to be subjected to Christmas music?
Wednesday, January 27th, 2016
12:22 am
The First Time
The first time you won, and the people were clapping
You were taking your bows, everything had gone great!
You had finally won! And so all were expecting
Your victory speech would be humble
and happy,
Thanking the judges
While saying next time,
You would be there in their ranks
To give thanks
to the people who didn't compete in that round,
who had won in the past and stepped up to the work
Of listening over and over and over
of judging as fairly as they could
But instead
But instead
But instead....

You said you would be too busy to judge
you had something else which had to be done
But you liedm didn't you?

You selfish jerk.

And another great SONG hits the LP!
And those who like Broadway all smiled
And those who did not- well, so what?

You had time for a new song

Just no time to do what all others had done,
at least once in the past,
When THEY had won.
Just imagine that.
They won without even re-writing the rules, too.
Which are all still in place, I suspect.
I wonder if your rules
will help you to win...again.
And if you win, again
Will you once more be too busy to judge?
But not too busy to write some more songs
I mean...
You DO know that's wrong
Sunday, January 10th, 2016
3:38 am
Like a broken leg
"We need to feel love and acceptance from others. When we don't it's painful. And I don't mean "awkward" or "disappointing." I mean actually painful.

Neuroscientists did a study where people played a ball-tossing video game. The other players tossed the ball to you and you tossed it back to them. Actually, there were no other players; that was all done by the computer program.

But the subjects were told the characters were controlled by real people. So what happened when the "other players" stopped playing nice and didn't share the ball?

Subjects' brains responded the same way as if they experienced physical pain. Rejection doesn't just hurt like a broken heart; your brain feels it like a broken leg.

Via The Upward Spiral:

In fact, as demonstrated in an fMRI experiment, social exclusion activates the same circuitry as physical pain … at one point they stopped sharing, only throwing back and forth to each other, ignoring the participant. This small change was enough to elicit feelings of social exclusion, and it activated the anterior cingulate and insula, just like physical pain would.

Relationships are important to your brain's feeling of happiness."

Excerpted from http://www.businessinsider.com/a-neuroscience-researcher-reveals-4-rituals-that-will-make-you-a-happier-person-2015-9
Monday, November 23rd, 2015
10:33 am
Dreams of grocery stores and immersive games
I realize that many of my dreams are actually a series of them, as my sleep cycle brings me almost up to consciousness and then back down to REM again. Still, many of them seem to flow one into the next. Here is what I recall...
I am in a new grocery store, similar to the ne Mom's Organic which opened up around the corner recently. As is typical of dreams, the aisles kept changing around, sometimes more parts of the store opened up, sometimes they were closed for repair, etc. I wasn't shopping for anything in particular, just looking around. I headed outside, seeing the large line of people trying to get in.
In the parking lot, which was half torn up with missing bits of pavement, there were very few cars, and it was dark/twilight. There were some small pup tents scattered about, and a woman in the parking lot pointed out to me the reason they were there. There was a new soup kitchen attached to the far end interior corner of the shopping center where they could be fed. She was proudly pointing out how wonderful it was that we lived in an area where the homeless were given free food- I said it wasn't wonderful that they were living on charity and sleeping in a parking lot, and that we needed a community where they had warm rooms to live in and real jobs so that they could take care of themselves instead of living in a parking lot.
I headed over to the door of the soup kitchen and was in another place, one where there were mostly children. Some of these children were unusually small- knee height, hip height yet were really 8/10 years old. Others were abnormally large, towering over me even though they were under 10 years old. Very Miazaki feeling, like his giant baby. Some of the bigger ones chased and scared the smaller...scene change
I an underground refuge (?) sort of like the underground area in Little Monsters. Some of the bigger children had become leaders, were sending others off with flamethrowers to attack or defend something, not certain what. Didn't feel right, giving weapons like that to kids.
Last part was like being in a computer game, a fantasy/sci-fi type of one. Had to figure out where I was- most locations were fairy tale based, I remember realizing I was in the three bears house, and wondering why the Big Bad Wolf in grandmas clothing was knocking on the door outside. Then I was on a spiral stair way going from above ground deep into an under ground coffee shop and bookstore, which managed to grow a bunch of beds for customers who wanted to stay there to sleep in. The three blind mice, about the size of Buddy, were in one bed off to the back- there were more like 8 of them. They were trying to sleep, so I helped to cover them with a blanket. They had weird eyes- 2 normal, 2 smaller on the outside of the others, like a spider. Obviously a Nikki reference from her recent face painting.
Argh, it is fading. Authors faces and interactive bios on paper on a bookshelf, realizing i am in a game and managing somehow to trigger a sequence showing how to play the game and win in all of the upcoming challenges- flew threw it all with a guy whose face I had painted the day before in real life. Ended feeling pretty good. NO idea what any of this means.

I have had a couple of dreams recently where I was unable to find any food in a store, another where my pantry was empty as was the fridge. Those ones are creepy.
Thursday, November 5th, 2015
2:23 am
I see someone is reading this besides me.
I will talk about the oddball dreams at another time, and the zombies I have been having fun making, and What I Did On My Summer Vacation (besides keep practicing giving my cares to God and not worrying about our finances because Scott had been laid off in March and didn't get a new job for over 8 months. It took a LOT of practice.)

No, what I am up at 2 am doing has to do with Spintunes...

(Quick, get ready to send this off and report it!)

Oh chill out, while occasional thoughts of revenge drift into my mind, for the most part I am over being cheated by you and forced away from all the social contacts I had. And tattled on by >YOU<, and you know who you are. I don't even listen anymore to the various hypnosis downloads I bought about letting past hurts go, etc, because I don't seem to need them as much. These days my sessions are about handling fibromyalgia pain, breaking the sugar habit, and stopping my tendency to procrastinate. What use is a harp if I won't dust off my Dusty Strings and PRACTICE, right? But I get soooo distracted so easily. Probably because of the ADHD I was recently diagnosed with. Oh look! Something shiny!

So anyway, tonight I decided to do a search on "Spintown Cheats", to see if there was anything related to the past, and contemplating maybe posting an update with lots of tags to boost the signal on that phrase. Just thinking of it, I wasn't going to do anything about it...probably.

Hey, I never sent that large glitter bomb I had planned on last year, before I started the hypnosis sessions...so I CAN sometimes control my impulses. (Impulse control is one of the things which confirmed the ADHD diagnosis).

Being completely past Menopause, and all the wonderful emotional rollercoaster hell of feelings from it helps. Betcha didn't know that it started just before ST5 started, and it was probably one reason for my blowing up on that fateful Saturday night.

Boy, I do dither, don't I?

OK, I'll cut to the chase.

I am inordinately pleased that my search eventually took me to the Spintunes page, where I noticed something about a recent competition- that the title "Winners vs Losers, I mean SHADOWS" had been...changed! Now when did that happen, I wonder? I honestly didn't know, since this is the first day since that round started that I bothered to look at the page.

But you changed it. To the title which I posted here right after you opened the competition- you changed it to Champions VS Shadows, almost exactly like the Champions vs Challengers I had written here!

Guess I am still having some effect on the competition, even from Cyber-Siberia...which does make me a little bit happy.

Go with God, Spin. Try not to be an asshole to anyone else. Next time they might not have someone to stop them from suicide from the emotional pain- and that would be a wretched thing to know you caused.

And Edric too.
Monday, October 5th, 2015
1:22 am
Dream 10/5 107 am
Driving in my car near Bethesda I think, lots of traffic, hilly. Good traffic flow but suddenly the car in fron of me stops short because the one in front of HIM had stopped for no apparent reason. 65 to zero in nothing flat. I don't hit the guy in front of me, but can see that there is a car at full speed behind me which WILL hit me- so I jump out of my side and watch my car get totalled, and knocked into more traffic. The chain of accidents continues, I am running along the left hand side of the road trying to keep up and find my car. Everything is wrecked cars, but I can't see mine. I had left it running, but it is as if it is now driving on its own, sort of, it keeps going forward, hitting other cars, but no one is inside to steer it. I assume these things because I haven't seen it since the initial point of impact when it was knocked into more traffic, and just know that it is being hit and hitting other cars ahead of me, like a pinball. The road is curvy, I can't see ahead, just the devastation of where I am now. I feel guilty for abandoning my car, and that if I had stayed (and possibly been badly hurt or killed) then the car would not have been turned into a missile to hit other cars and cause this chain reaction, even though the initial reason for everything was the person ahead of me who stopped for no reason.
Curvy road, still can't find my car; a couple policemen stop to help me find it; I want to tell them everything is my fault, but am afraid to. Find a car like mine, crumpled a lot, down an embankment. I realize it is not mine by the license plate.
Switch to me walking along and seeing a combined free ren faire/SCA/Civil war recreation at a park. I go in to look for Dexter, a friend and EMT who does talks about medieval and civil war medicine. Everyone knows him points me in the right direction. I tell about the accident and how I had now been to the er or been checked for injuries. I was wrapped loosely in a blanket made of fur? There were a number of smooth menhir shaped stones filling my left sleeve, I shook them to the ground, not knowing where they had come from, then picked them up again so as not to make a mess.
No idea why this woke me up with the need to write it down so strongly in me, or why it was so disturbing. Anyone up for dream interpretation?
Monday, July 27th, 2015
10:58 pm
The opposite of "Winners" is...
definately NOT "Shadows". I think that calling it something a little more complimentary to the participants, like "Champions vs Challengers" would be much friendlier.

Over all, I felt that the los...I mean the shadows had far better songs then the champions- of the 4 in that category, there is only one worth listening to a second time. Zoe and her dad were great as usual. I didn't take notes while listening, I was too busy working on a costume for a friend.
Sunday, July 26th, 2015
11:23 pm
Nick of time
Oy, deadlines. Once again, last minute to get things done and in. Still, better late than never!
Sunday, June 14th, 2015
8:07 pm
Great poster on a friends FB page
I just saw a great motivational poster on a friends FB page. I wish I could post it here, but this journal doesn't DO photos, sigh. Still, it is the message which remains the most important thing, right? So here it is!

Forgiving you means that I no longer dwell on what an asshole you are.

It doesn't mean what you're no longer an asshole.
Friday, May 29th, 2015
3:08 pm
I want to get this book...
Dr. Holly Ordway has published a book titled Not God’s Type, telling her personal story. She begins “I had never in my life said a prayer, never been to a church service. Christmas meant presents and Easter meant chocolate bunnies–nothing more.” But her views get hardened: “In college, I absorbed the idea that Christianity was historical curiosity, or a blemish on modern civilization, or perhaps both. My college science classes presented Christians as illiterate anti-intellectuals who, because they didn’t embrace Darwinism, threatened the advancement of knowledge. My history classes omitted or downplayed references to historical figures’ faith.” Still later, “At thirty-one years old, I was an atheist college professor–and I delighted in thinking of myself that way. I got a kick out of being an unbeliever; it was fun to consider myself superior to the unenlightened, superstitious masses, and to make snide comments about Christians.” (p.15-16)

Ordway was a trained academic without a history in religion. But she was no disinterested intellectual: “There was something about the idea of faith that made it stick with me. I didn’t have faith, I didn’t want faith, but I felt compelled to have a good reason why not. I constructed an elaborate analogy for myself, one that I felt gave satisfying explanation of why ‘faith’ was impossible. . . I could not believe, no matter how much I might want to . . .I thought ‘faith’ was a meaningless word, that so-called believers were either hypocrites or self-deluded fools, and that it was a waste of time to consider any claim that Christians made about the truth. . . . I didn’t want to deal with that. Easier by far to read only books by atheists that told me what I wanted to hear: that I was smarter and more intellectually honest and morally superior than the poor, deluded Christians. I had built myself a fortress of atheism, secure against any attack by irrational faith.” (p.17-18)

Ordway had carefully built up a defense, but not so careful as to protect her mind from the ideas of the great English poets. She speaks of being surprised by such writers as John Keats, John Donne, and Gerard Manley Hopkins, men who wrote of a beautiful concept: hope. A day of hope . . . was there such a day to hope for?

The rest of Ordway’s book tells of her meeting a fencing coach that she trusted, a person who she did not discover was a Christian until after she had begun working with him. He and his wife merely answered her questions, not pressing anything religious on her. She is intellectually honest enough to investigate the sources . . . When she asks for reasonable works on the resurrection of Jesus, she is given N. T. Wright’s The Resurrection of the Son of God, 740 pages of scholarly examination. She reads Lewis’ Surprised By Joy, and Does God Exist? by Kreeft and Moreland, among others.

Both Ordway and C. S. Lewis were credentialed professors of literature before becoming Christian. Both were committed atheists who had created intellectual defenses against belief in Jesus. Later in her story, Ordway writes, “I read through the Gospel narratives again, trying to take in what they said. I had to admit that — even apart from everything else I had learned — I recognized that they were fact, not story. I’d been steeped in folklore, fantasy, legend, and myth ever since I was a child, and I had studied these literary genres as an adult; I knew their cadences, their flavor, their rhythm. None of these stylistic fingerprints appeared in the New Testament books that I was reading.” (p.117)

So here we have a trained, experienced, atheist professor of literature, who if anything knows a myth when she sees it, declaring that it is not such, but rather “The Gospels had the ineffable texture of history, with all the odd clarity of detail that comes when the author is recounting something so huge that even as he tells it, he doesn’t see all the implications.” (p.117) Like Lewis, who was a professor of literature at Oxford and Cambridge, Ordway made the conclusion of an expert in literature, that the New Testament has all the signs of an eyewitness account.

Ordway gives a very personal account of what it was like to be changed, speaking of how difficult and fearful it was for her to change her beliefs and become a Christian: “It is a hard thing to look at the truth when it runs contrary to what you’ve always believed. The experience is like pulling back the curtains in a dimly lit room and looking out the window to see what’s really inside. When your eyes are used to artificial light, the bright sunlight is almost blinding; your eyes may sting and even water at the brightness, and the temptation is to turn away to the more comfortable dimness.”

But in the end she knew her intellectual drive for truth could not let her turn away. She knew she was drawn to the truth, that the New Testament is true and Jesus is real.
Friday, April 3rd, 2015
10:06 am
Thursday, April 2nd, 2015
10:51 pm
Make Haste More Slowly
On the one hand, I want to learn to completely play more songs on my new harp- it is a Dusty Strings Ravenna, 26 strings and with a tone that goes right through my heart when I play it. You can see it on http://manufacturing.dustystrings.com/harps/models/ravenna-26/

Problem is, I have always tended to get enthusiastic about something, rush into it, wear myself out and then give up. Also, to put off things until I guilt trip myself for not doing what I could, when I could. Like practice every day.
Now I have learned that my tendency to practice once or twice a week, for 40 plus minutes is NOT the best way to learn or to practice. For one thing, I don't have the calluses built up yet, and going for that long leaves my fingers feeling like those large sucker ended pads on a frogs feet. Really sore, too, so that I don't want to practice again for like...a week...sigh.

My teacher told me today that that was the wrong way to go about it all, and from now on he wants me to practice 15 minutes a day- 20 >tops<. 5 minutes for warm ups and muscle memory work, and 5 per song for 2-3 songs. Not the whole songs, either- just a phrase or two, over and over- say the first or first and second lines of a 4 line song. That way I will get it down strongly, both muscle and music memory. I also won't wear out my poor fingertips!

I am currently working on "Simple Gifts", "Ode To Joy", "His Eye Is On The Sparrow", "Christ the Lord is Risen Today" and "In The Garden". The last one is my mothers favorite, I hope to have it and Sparrow down pat for when I see her again in June.

Let's hear it for proofreading, I had originally called this "Make Hate More Slowly". Close Freudian slip I think, since I stupidly looked to see who had won the final SpinTunes Competition a couple days ago. I thought I could handle it...nope. Glad it seems to be all over though, at least I won't be thinking of it any more (well, the hypnosis audios programs help too). Spin says that he won't have ST11 until next January. That is assuming he can get enough people to believe that it isn't rigged, now that the person who helped him rewrite the rules and scoring system just happened to have won. That same person can't seem to be bothered to step up to the plate and take the job of judging as just about every other winner has done in the past, some of them multiple times. Isn't that a kick in the teeth for poor Travis? Or should I say stab in the back? He was probably looking forward to not having to find at least one judge, and now he will have to get all 5 again. Way to pay back the guy who bent the rules for you over and over there, Edric. That self-congratulatory epic you wrote about how important the pure joy of writing music was for you over competition is a crock too if you were in it all to just write music and to share it with others, then you would have written shadows every time you got eliminated in the past- which you never did. Only winning counted for you. Just as only winning fairly counted for me.
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