Friday Link Love

Here’s what I’m loving this week.

The Moment I Realized How Damaging It Is to Want to Look Like Someone Else: Comparison really is the thief of joy. And we need to take a good, long look at how we look at ourselves.

Trump, Francis, and the American Catholic Struggle: A good commentary on Papa Francesco’s recent comments about building walls and building bridges

Fr. Paul Scalia’s Homily from his father’s funeral: A beautiful honoring of a good man

Please Just Sell Me a Shirt: Simcha is a genius.

5 Ways the Devil Attacks During Lent: As someone who struggles with Lent each year, this was a great reflection on how some of my frustrations with myself during Lent are actually attack by the Evil One.


Friday Link Love

I had a better week this week, so I’m back to posting links to real articles.

To the Men I love: This is important. As someone who has been sexually harassed and sexually assaulted, this is important. Decent men need to start being advocates for change.

The World of Literary Bars: I want to own one of these some day.

Our Mighty Rearguard: Rest well, Antonin. We will see you again one day.

Lessons from an Unlikely Friendship: Allow yourself to be challenged by your friendships.



FO: Rolling Rock

My most recent knitting project was a another pattern from the fabulous Thea Colman. From the time I first saw the Rolling Rock pattern, I knew that I needed it. However, it took me several years to actually get around to knitting the sweater up. I was waiting for the perfect yarn.IMG_2750

The perfect yarn came in the form of the Plucky Knitter’s Primo Sport. Primo Sport is an amazing yarn. It’s soft and gorgeous. It gives any color beautiful definition. But there was something special about this color. See, this color is named “Smitten with the Mitten,” a reference to the Mitten State. And it’s the perfect color for me. It’s an amazing mix of blue and green that just feels Michigan to me. IMG_2751

The only modification I made on this one is in the front. I added a bit of the bottle lace to the front of the sweater to give it a little something extra. I think it works well. IMG_2752

As far as sizing goes, I went for a more fitted sweater. The sweater is designed with positive ease to make it a bit loose, but I wanted something a little more fitted. IMG_2753 IMG_2754

IMG_2756 IMG_2759 IMG_2757 IMG_2758

And trust me; I’m quite pleased with the end result.

Raveled here.

Friday Link Love

I’ve had a long and slightly rough week, so this week is going to be five YouTube videos that I love without much commentary. These are the videos that I watch when I’m stressed and I need to relax.

(I think it’s obvious why I love this song.)

I wish I was a Weasley.

Favorite band sings a beloved hymn

(No comment)

One of my favorite songs

Why do we fall?

Lately, I’ve been thinking about failure. Professional failure, personal failure, academic failure…it’s been on my mind. In my professional life, I’ve been watching my students learn, and I’ve been watching how they handle failure. Some of them are afraid of failure. In fact, one kid told me point blank that he cannot fail.

Here’s the thing. I completely disagree with that concept. I think he can fail, and I think that we all NEED to fail. I think that failure is absolutely vital for growth. We have to fail so that we can learn how to bounce back from failure. As Alfred told Bruce Wayne, we have to fall so that we can learn to pick ourselves back up.

Failure provides room for growth. Some of the best things in my life have come as a direct result of my failures. I never would have become an English teacher if I hadn’t failed the OPI. I never would have started pursuing my master’s in TESOL if I hadn’t lost my first job. In the moment, I perceived each of those events as a failure. Those moments hurt. Some of those moments really, really sucked. But then, I had to pick myself up from each of those failures and move forward. I had to reassess my life and move forward.

And I’ve grown from those moments. I’ve discovered how much passion I can have for TESOL. I’ve rediscovered my love of teaching through that experiences. Through both of those moments, I learned how much I love teaching people about things that I am deeply passionate about. My failures have made me stronger. My failures have taught me more about myself.

Yes, these moments have been difficult. Yes, I’ve been hurt. Yes, I’ve had dark nights and struggles. I’ve cried. I’ve yelled at God. I still have difficult moments. I still struggle to understand why I have faced certain difficulties in my life. But I know that God has a plan for me. I know that there are things that he wants for me. I know that he is working in and through those circumstances to make me holy. That doesn’t automatically zap the hurt of failure, but it does give me a glimmer of hope. God wouldn’t have allowed me to encounter those moments if he didn’t intend to do great things with those moments.

And in some ways, I’m grateful for the failures. I’m a stronger person because of them. I’m a better person because of them. I don’t like the failures, but in falling, I’ve learned to pick myself back up again. The falls, the failures-these have helped me to grow. They’ve made me stronger. I wouldn’t be who I am without those falls. Falling made Bruce Wayne into Batman. It makes me a stronger version of myself.

So why do we fall? We fall to rise. We fall so that we can rise to greatness.

Movie Review: Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

It is a truth universally acknowledged that I love Jane Austen. Most people who know me are well aware that Pride and Prejudice is my second or third favorite Austen novel-depending on my mood and my attitude towards Captain Wentworth that day. It is also a truth nearly universally acknowledged that I do love a good parody. I dearly love to laugh, after all.

From BBC America

Therefore, it was with great delight that I read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies back in 2009. I took flack from some friends for enjoying a “rip-off” of Austen, but I didn’t mind. I liked the book. I thought that it continued the original novel’s themes well. I felt that zombification could be used as an analogy for the marriage market that Austen is so carefully criticizing in her original work. I immediately began hoping for a movie adaptation, but that was a bit slow in coming. It appears that many people were interested in such a project, but it took a while to get all of the ducks in order. And then, about about six months ago, it became apparent that all of the ducks were finally in order.

The movie came out yesterday, and naturally, I had to see it on opening night. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I don’t know when the last time a movie (that wasn’t made by Mel Brooks) made me laugh so hard. It was a bit violent, but overall, it was enjoyable. The acting was good. I really enjoyed Lily James as Elizabeth Bennet; I thought she brought the right level of independence and sweetness to the role. I felt that Sam Riley was delightfully gruff. Charles Dance was a pleasant surprise as a Mr. Bennet who would far rather see his daughter alive and in full possession of their mental capacities than happily married to men who would see them leave their zombie-fighting days behind them. Lena Headey was a divine Lady Catherine de Bourgh who reminded me of Madame Kovarian from Doctor Who, and I liked that about her.

pride-prejudice-zombies-characters-1However, my one gripe with the film is that while it contained the spirit of Seth Grahame-Smith’s novel, it was not terribly faithful to the novel. It was a true representation of the spirit of the novel, but it left many events out of the film. Now, I understand that this had to be done for the sake of time, but I’d really been looking forward to watching Lily James fight ninjas. Yes, it gave me a strong-willed Elizabeth Bennet. Yes, it gave me many moments of strong, independent women taking care of themselves. I had many pleasant moments of saying internally, “Yes! Sisters be doin’ it for themselves!” But there were no ninjas.

Admittedly, the loss of the ninjas was not the only change. The role of Wickham was changed, but I didn’t mind that too terribly. I felt the changes functioned well in the context of the film. A few things about Charlotte’s relationship with Mr. “Eleventh Doctor” Collins were changed, but that helped with the time management of the piece. Also, Matt Smith did an excellent job of playing an absurd Mr. Collins. But it would have been nice to see a showdown between Elizabeth and Lady Catherine’s ninjas.

Overall, it was enjoyable. I laughed a good deal, and that was definitely worth it. I would recommend it to people who like both Jane Austen and Monty Python. If you don’t like both of those things, you probably won’t like it. The script isn’t the greatest thing ever written, but that’s okay. I wasn’t expecting it to be brilliantly written. I have my Colin Firth-Jennifer Ehle P&P for that.

My official rating of it is a B. I would have given it an A if there had been ninjas, but no ninjas, no A.

Friday Link Love

I’m back. And here are the links that I love this week.

Muslim Clerics Make a Historic Declaration: This is just beautiful. I love these moments when people can look past labels or boundaries and respect their fellow humans just because they’re human.

How China’s One-Child Policy Led to 30 Million Bachelors: I’ve been predicting this for years.

17 Things Anyone who is Obsessed with Tea Will Understand: This is my life. Also, I need to go make another cuppa.

Meet the Cardinal who “Recharges for Battle” by Fasting from Food and Water: This guy is impressive, and as the author of this article says, I am far from being opposed to the idea of seeing this man as Pope some day, God willing.

Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill are going to meet: THEY’RE GOING TO MEEEET!!!!!!!! Father, make us one!