December 24th, 2004


Artistic Advent: The Nativity with the Annunciation to the Shepherds

Today's Advent artwork is dedicated to rustydog, who sent me part of a goat (in the form of a donation of Heifer International) and a picture of myself. The picture was taken during our cruise to Nassau last May, and it also shows Rusty and a pirate. Which makes it a far better picture of me than most.

Rusty also sent me one of her graduation announcements, which has a terrific picture of Rusty and several of her ESL students on the cover. And the text of the announcement is great, and I'm not just saying that because I gave her the idea.

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movies, oscars


American Movie Classics is showing its annual Miracle on 34th Street marathon today. They started at 6:00 this morning, and they’ll continue showing it all day through 6:00 tomorrow morning. I just turned it on, and was shocked and horrified—really!—to see that they’re running a colorized version. That’s just not right. If they’re going to show it, they should show it as God intended, in the original black-and-white. It’s strange, because I watched it when they did the same stunt last Christmas Eve, and I know they showed it the right way. Maybe they’re showing the colorized version to attract younger viewers, who might be turned off by the grayscale version. If that’s the case, I imagine they’ll switch to the uncolorized version later in the day. Here’s hoping.

But I can’t be too mad at AMC; while I was typing this, they showed that “controversial” United Church of Christ commercial that was rejected by the major broadcast networks, so I’m willing to cut them a little slack. But they better not be showing this colorized crap when I get home from church tonight.
  • Current Music
    “The State of New York concedes the exisitence of Santa Claus.”

I'm not smart

I took a quick glance at The King William's College quiz, printed today in The Guardian, and did very poorly indeed: four! Of course, the point of the quiz is not to know the answers off the top of your head, but to be able to find the answers; the Latin epigram at the top of the quiz reads, "To know where you can find anything, that in short is the largest part of learning." And damn it, I'm good at finding the answers to questions. I think I'll work on the quiz over my Christmas holiday. Pointless research is one of my favorite leisure time activities!

Meanwhile, I'm here at the church, having just finished the 7:00 service and awaiting the 11:00. There's really no particularly good reason for me to stay here between services, but neither is there any particular reason for me to go home. Killing time between church services is very much a Christmas Eve tradition for me. Back in the old days, I would go to Yankee Doodle Dandy (a hamburger joint near First Prebyterian Church in Wheaton) with my family and the Kendalls, another family whose children sang in the choir and lived slightly too far away from the church to go home between services. Nowadays I usually just hang out here at the church, reading a book or noodling on the computer in the office. I like the quiet.

Speaking of Christmas Eve traditions, I spent part of the day over at my brother's exchanging gifts, I got some neat stuff, include an interesting Scrooge McDuck statue, done in a primitive folk art style, and two books: Planet Simpson: How A Cartoon Masterpiece Defined a Generation and Schott's Original Miscellany. The latter looks particularly interesting, and will likely be the source of many of list of ten things.
  • Current Music
    Ashley Cleveland & Michael Tait - "Salt and Light"