hymnia: (Wings)
Morning Commute

Cars zoom on I-5
As six grey goslings walk by.
I whisper a prayer.
hymnia: (Jinora - No promises)
I've posted my review for the latest chapter of Naruto at [livejournal.com profile] narutoforadults.

(Summary with pictures)

(Thoughts on the chapter)

hymnia: (Mizukage)
My review for the latest chapter of Naruto is up at [livejournal.com profile] narutoforadults.

(Summary with pictures)

(Thoughts on the chapter)

hymnia: (Shikamaru looking up)
My review for the latest chapter of Naruto is up at [livejournal.com profile] narutoforadults.

(Summary with pictures)

(Thoughts on the chapter)

If you are following current manga chapters, please take a look, and don’t forget to vote in the poll!

hymnia: (Sasuke sword)
Just posted my review of the latest chapter of Naruto at [livejournal.com profile] narutoforadults.

(Summary with pictures)

(Thoughts on the chapter)

hymnia: (Avatar group hug)
I’m finally on the home stretch, with the first part of the four-part finale. Yay!

Chapter 18: Sozin’s Comet, Part 1: The Phoenix King )

Commentary track )

hymnia: (Mai surprised)
My review of the latest chapter of Naruto is up at [livejournal.com profile] narutoforadults. I'm pretty excited about this one. XD

(Summary with pictures)

(Thoughts on the chapter)

hymnia: (Default)
Update on 9/5: Six weeks after her accident, Ella is now wandering the house and leaping up on beds and bunks and other things that need cat hair on them. She has a limp, which is probably permanent, but she's not letting that stop her. Read the full update here.

Update on 8/1: Ella is doing well! Anne got a second opinion from a surgeon, who said this type of pelvic fracture would heal better without surgery than with surgery. Ella's leg has moved back into the correct alignment, and she's getting feeling back in the leg. Anne is keeping Ella confined to a large dog crate during the day to prevent her from leaping or running and worsening the fracture. It will take four to six weeks for Ella to heal, and she'll need several more vet visits, but if things keep going as they have been, she won't need surgery.

I'll be posting Anne's updates later today. For now, you can read them directly on her Facebook.

The amazing outpouring of support you all have shown Ella enabled Anne to get a second opinion that she otherwise wouldn't have been able to get. She says, "I don't have to go with 'if it was my cat I wouldn't bother.'" It's also covering vet visits, painkillers, and all the other things that an extended injury brings. Anne isn't going to make a final reckoning until Ella is well and truly out of the woods, but right now, it looks like your donations will more than cover the rest of Ella's care.

Thank you all so much. Your generosity on behalf of Miss Ella is wondrous and staggering. As a personal friend of the little grey lady, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.

This is Ella.
Ella in the fullness of her dignity

More pictures of Miss Ella. )

On Thursday night, Ella came home dragging herself by her forelegs. Anne rushed her to the emergency animal hospital. This is Ella's pelvis...
Ella's pelvis

...which is not supposed to look like that.

It will cost $1500 to $4500 to get medical care for Ella's broken pelvis--$1500 to amputate her leg, $4500 to pin the bone and save her leg. Anne just got hit with a ton of bills and doesn't have enough to cover either operation. Please, donate whatever you can to help save Ella's leg. (Or send a check if you don't want to use Wepay. Message me for the name and address.) Every little bit helps.

And if you can't donate, please repost. Friends-of-friends have already been a huge help.

Donations are now more than enough to cover Ella's medical expenses. Thank you all so, so much.

If you want to link to or repost this from any other platform, please do. Thank you to those of you who are getting the word out, and many, many thanks to those who have donated.

Send questions about donations to [livejournal.com profile] morgansong, who's handling the fundraising for Anne. She can no longer accept Paypal donations because Paypal is having issues. Crisis averted.

Updates on Ella's condition and photos are in the comments: Sunday evening, Tuesday morning, and Tuesday evening. She's hanging in there. Brave little kitty. We've raised $1,548 $2,178 so far*--and by "us," I mean all of us, those who've donated and those who've spread the word. Thank you all so, so much. The kindness of strangers has been wonderful. The Internet has made the world a smaller place, and sometimes, it's a smaller, better place.

* $1,771.45 from Wepay and $406.16 from Paypal.
hymnia: (Sasuke looking up)
My review of the latest chapter of Naruto is up at [livejournal.com profile] narutoforadults.

(Summary with pictures)

(Thoughts on the chapter)

hymnia: (Shigure reading)
It's a mini version of the main event in November--great for those of us who have somewhat less hectic lives during the summer. So yeah. I'm gonna write some novel-length Hunger Games fanfic. *rubs hands* This should be fun.

Anyone else out there planning to do Camp NaNo, too?

hymnia: (Sasuke looking up)
My review for the latest chapter of Naruto is up at [livejournal.com profile] narutoforadults.

(Summary with pictures)

(Thoughts on the chapter)

hymnia: (Lupin)
So I finally got around to reading The Hunger Games and its sequels this past week. I finished Mockingjay on Sunday night. I have to say, it's not hard to see why they are so loved. Personally, I loved the first book, and had only minor quibbles with the two sequels.

More thoughts, with spoilers )

I still haven't had a chance to catch the movie yet. I might get to see it this Thursday.

hymnia: (Avatar group hug)
Commentary track on “The Southern Raiders”, including Dante Basco )

Commentary track on “The Ember Island Players”, including Jack DeSena and Jessie Flower )


I don't have much to say about Ember Island Players, so I'm not going to post a separate review of it. I think it's clever that the creators managed to come up with a creative way to review the story before the finale, and I like the way they poke fun at their show, its genre, and fan reactions/expectations. But the best part of the episode is how the characters react to their own past actions and to each other's. My favorite examples of this are:
  • The awkward look Aang and Zuko give each other when the Blue Spirit “rescues” actor Aang, who pronounces him “my hero”. (In a bizarre twist, the play stages it as the Blue Spirit rescuing Aang from Prince Zuko.)
  • The pained look on Zuko's face when he watches his actor self betray his uncle in Ba Sing Se and Katara asks if he really said those horrible things to Iroh.
  • The horrified looks of all the characters when they watch their own defeat at the hands of Azula and Ozai.
In general I love Zuko's reactions the best in this episode. Of all the characters, he has the most to look back on with shame and regret, and the faces he makes as he watches the show range from priceless to heart-breaking. I like the way Toph cheers him up during the intermission, too. :)

All that's left now is the four-part finale. I haven't decided yet how I'm going to break up the posts, but right now I'm leaning toward one for parts 1-2, one for parts 3-4, and one for all the commentary tracks, so a total of three posts. I reserve the right to change my mind, though. :P

hymnia: (Katara bend not break)
I mentioned in my spoiler addendum to my review of “The Firebending Masters” that the set of episodes starting with that one and ending with this one is a series of “field trips” in which Zuko has an adventure with each of the original members of the Gaang—that is, the three that he chased across the globe in Season 1. Later, in “Sozin's Comet, part 1” Toph complains that she doesn't get a field trip—but she doesn't need one, since she has no real grudge against Zuko, no painful history with him that needs to be undone like the others had. It is the original three (and not Toph, Suki, or any of the auxilliary characters) that Zuko most needs to bond with. Or it might be more accurate to say that they need to bond with him. All three field trips serve to connect Zuko to one other member of the Gaang by exploring what they have in common and what they can learn from each other. Let's review!

Aang and Zuko's field trip )

Sokka and Zuko's field trip )

The most emotionally intense field trip is saved for last. Zuko's common ground with Katara is more complex than what he shared with Aang or Sokka. In this episode, we revisit the moment they bonded over the loss they share—having their mothers taken from them by the Fire Nation—but this time, the angle is shared anger rather than shared sorrow. Zuko, in an effort to prove his worth to Katara, offers her something the others can't. He not only offers inside knowledge about the Fire Nation that helps to identify her mother's murderer, but he also affirms her anger and her need for justice—or at the least, for closure.

Ever since Zuko came, Katara has been in an almost constant fury—her face set in a rough and cruel expression, her body language tense and hard. She casts her blame on him. Why does she do this? And why does she grieve for her mother in a way that Sokka does not?

Chapter 16: The Southern Raiders )

This review ended up being a bit long, so I'm going to save the commentary track highlights for my next post, which will probably be combined with my review of “The Ember Island Players”.

hymnia: (Mai waiting)
This story arc could be summarized: “Sokka and Zuko go on a bachelor's getaway to deal with manly stuff like lost honor and daddy issues—only to find that they need their girlfriends more than ever.” XD

Chapters 14 and 15: The Boiling Rock )

This episode didn't have a commentary track, so I'm not making a separate post for it. I also don't have any friends or family members I expect to read this that need to stay spoiler-free, so don't worry about posting spoilers in the comments section. (I've also dropped the kiss count; I decided it was kind of silly.)

hymnia: (Moon Mars fight)
As most of you know, last fall my sister-in-law was diagnosed with colon cancer (due to a genetic condition). I am happy to say that as of right now she has completed her treatment and is doing well. :)

This summer, my family and I are participating in a 5K to support the Colon Cancer Alliance. According to their website:

"The Colon Cancer Alliance (CCA) is the oldest and largest national patient advocacy organization dedicated to ending the suffering caused by colorectal cancer. In order to increase rates of screening and survivorship, the CCA provides patient support, public education, supports research and conducts advocacy work across America.

As the Voice of Survivors, the CCA works as an advocate for colorectal cancer patients and their families. The CCA offers information and support from the first-hand experience of survivors and others whose lives have been touched by this disease."

Please consider joining me in support of this cause. Click here to donate!

hymnia: (Songs)
I have about 3/4ths of a post for Hymnia Monogatari and about 1/3 of a review for The Boiling Rock, parts 1 and 2 written. But instead, I post a meme. XD

1. If you'd like to play along, reply to this post and I'll assign you a letter.
2. You then list at least five songs that start with that letter.
3. Then, as I'm doing here, you'll post the list to your journal with the instructions.

[livejournal.com profile] umadoshi gave me N:

”Not the Red Baron” (live) ~ Tori Amos: I'm fond of this song because it's one I like to sing a capella. Of course the piano is gorgeous, but the melody can hold it's own nicely without it.

"Not the Same" ~ Ben Folds: It's a little hard for me to explain why this song has such a special place in my heart. I like the way it describes religious experience—presumably from an outsider’s perspective—without being either overly critical or overly sanitized. And the live version, in which Folds has the audience sing in 3-voice harmony, is just sheer brilliance. Not only does it get the audience involved, but the effect comes across (to this long-time church-going evangelical Christian) as parodying contemporary Christian worship music. Not sure if that was Folds's intention or not, but that's how it sounds to my ears. Check out the live version, complete with tutorial at the beginning, here.

“New Future” ~ Changin' My Life: My favorite song from the soundtrack of the anime Full Moon o Sagashite. It has lots of synth cheesiness, but I just love the energetic chorus.

“New Way to be Human” ~ Switchfoot: This is old-school Switchfoot, from before they went “mainstream”. I first heard this song in college, when I was just beginning to learn that there was some “Christian” rock out there that didn't suck. XD

“Nothing Without You” ~ Vienna Teng: To me, this is the single introvert's anthem. This is my song.

“It's the crowded room that breaks me
Everybody looks so luminous, and strangely young
It's the crowded room that's never heard
No one here can say a word of my native tongue
I can't be among them anymore
I fold myself away before it burns me numb
Oh call my name
You know my name
And in your love, everything will change
Tell me it won't always be this hard
I am nothing without you, but I don't know who you are.”

hymnia: (Sasuke looking up)
My review of the latest chapter of Naruto is up at [livejournal.com profile] narutoforadults.

(Summary with pictures)

(Thoughts on the chapter)

hymnia: (Songs)
Since moving to Seattle, I've taken up shape note singing, also known as Sacred Harp singing. So for this year's medley, I thought I'd post a Sacred Harp anthem:

Click on the tag to see the rest of the medley, and feel free to comment with your own song(s).

I also wanted to link to this post on Mary Magdalene, "Apostle to the Apostles" by Rachel Held Evans:

"Far from being easily deceived, women were the first to make the connection between Christ’s teachings from Scripture and his resurrection, and the first to believe these teachings when they mattered the most. For her valor in twice sharing the good news to the skeptical male disciples, the early church honored Mary Magdalene with the title of Apostle to the Apostles."

hymnia: (This much)
I know I haven't been updating much—but I have been keeping up with my new blog, so if Japanese language and culture interests you, remember to keep checking Hymnia Monogatari for updates.

But I had a couple of other things I wanted to write about, so...here I am. I've been in an Avatar: The Last Airbender mood lately, thanks mainly to the early online release of the opening episodes of The Legend of Korra on Korra Nation. And I've been re-watching the original series with my mom, so that she can watch Korra with me and be all up to date. We're now on the first couple episodes of Season 3. When we get to the place where I left off my long-abandoned re-watch posts, I will go ahead and finish those up. (Finally!) Also, I belatedly got my hands on The Promise: Part 1, which I read a day or two ago.

Thoughts on The Promise (spoilers for Part 1) )
The Legend of Korra (spoilers for first two episodes) )

The Good Friday media gap

The other thing I wanted to post about—and this may seem like a bit of a non-sequitur after rambling about ATLA, but it is Good Friday, after all—was John 19:38-42. I was reading this passage about Jesus' burial last night, and it occurred to me that most films or other media that deal with the story of Jesus (whether as the main story like in Jesus Christ Superstar, or a side story like in Ben-Hur) don't really deal with this part, AFAIR. They usually focus on Jesus' ministry and/or death, and the burial/waiting period is usually completely skipped, with the resurrection sometimes tacked on like an afterthought. I guess writers must find it all a bit anti-climatic to deal with the burial and resurrecion after the crucifixion, an emotionally intense scene with much more physical action. Anyway, I think somebody should pick up the slack and write a film that focuses on the post-crucifixion story—because there's actually quite a bit of material with all the post-resurrection appearances, not to mention room for embellishment on all the disciples' reactions to Jesus' death.

Hmm...did I just release a Bible fanfic plot bunny? 0_o



hymnia: (Default)

June 2013

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