Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Beware of ABBA

There I was-- crossing the Potomac, riding in a metro rail car on my way back to work from the Patent Office in Virginia. I had my iPod out, and I was playing Solitaire (or Klondike, if you prefer) listening to ABBA.

Then I realized I was tapping my feet, and very nearly singing out loud, "Gimme gimme gimme a man after midnight..."

I tell you, ABBA is very catchy. And very dangerous.

Say what you will about their clothing, but they generate some snappy (and compelling) songs.

"Money, money, money
Must be funny
In the rich man's world
Money, money, money
Always sunny
In the rich man's world
All the things I could do
If I had a little money
It's a rich man's world"

Sunday, February 8, 2009

October Conference Reprise

I'm listening to October's General Conference again on my iPod. I just finished the Saturday morning session, and a few thoughts struck me:

"Faith is not only a feeling; it is a decision."

Elder Anderson's entire talk, "You Know Enough," was excellent. This portion refers to a blessing he gave his friend who had just lost his daughter, and was questioning his faith.

In another portion, he talks of a girl who was born deaf and was talking to a boy in line at the grocery store. The boy had no legs. She said, "“Did you know that when Heavenly Father made me, my ears did not work? That makes me special. He made you with no legs, and that makes you special. When Jesus comes, I will be able to hear and you will get your legs. Jesus will make everything all right.”

I love this story. I love the lack of self-consciousness, lack of adverse judgment, lack of self-pity or other-pity, for that matter. I love the faith and the knowledge she has of her worth.

Other talks in the Saturday AM session were good as well, but this one stood out to me as having the most messages I will remember.

Book Review: Eon: Dragon Reborn

I recently read Eon: Dragon Reborn after reading a review by Orson Scott Card. I like most of the stuff he recommends, especially when he describes things as "absolutely stunning."

Eon is a fantasy novel very loosely based on Asian lore. In short, I agree with Card. The book is very well-written. The characters are well-developed and well-balanced. The pacing is excellent. I enjoyed the book from beginning to end, and was not bored once.

So if you are in the mood for an excellent fantasy novel without dwarves, elves, etc., I highly recommend Eon: Dragon Reborn, by Alison Goodman.

For an entertaining-but-not-great fantasy series with dwarves and elves, try the Riftwar Saga, by Raymond Feist. It is filled with cheese and cliches, but it was entertaining.