Tuesday, December 11, 2007

on St. Nick

Relevant did a piece in their 850 Words newsletter, and here's an excerpt:

The original Saint Nicholas was a Christian bishop in 4th-century Myra, geographically located in modern-day Turkey. As an adult, Nicholas gained a reputation as a generous man and the protector of innocents. These saintly traits largely arose from two horrific legends, both of which eventually led to his canonization.

The first is said to have occurred during a terrible famine. A local butcher, in need of something to sell, lured three unsuspecting boys into his shop. He killed the boys, chopped them into pieces, then stuffed their remains in a brine tub, hoping to cure them enough that he could sell the parts as ham. Nicholas was visiting the afflicted region at the time of the crime. Somehow Nicholas became aware of the butcher’s wicked deed. He visited the shop, uncovered the crime, and hastily reassembled the three boys. They came back to life, a bit salty but otherwise in good health. Despite the happy ending, it’s not exactly the kind of story that gets told at the Christmas Eve candlelight service.

In the second legend, a poor citizen of Myra had three daughters, but not enough money to afford a dowry for them. No dowry meant no marriage, and unmarried women in those days generally had one career choice: prostitution. The father was less than thrilled by this possibility, but too proud to ask for help. Nicholas discovered the family’s predicament the night before the first daughter came of age. Not wanting to embarrass anyone, he approached the family’s house late one night and tossed a bag of gold through an opened window. He did the same thing the night before the second daughter came of age. Both gifts were enough to cover the dowry, and both girls were spared the consequence of their poverty.

Before long, the third daughter was ready to marry, and the appreciative father wanted to find out who was behind the lavish gifts. When the time came, the father hid next to the window, hoping to catch their anonymous benefactor in the act. Nicholas learned of the father’s plan and improvised: Instead of lobbing it through the window, he dropped the third bag of gold down the chimney.

It wasn’t long before people began to suspect that the kindly bishop Nicholas, who had inherited money from his affluent parents, was behind these mysterious actions and a great many other secretive gifts to the poor. After he died of old age on December 6, 343 AD the people of Myra continued providing for those in need. In fact, they made a practice of giving gifts anonymously, always attributing them to the late Bishop Nicholas.

Before long, the bishop — who had worn liturgical robes of red and white — was canonized as a saint. Saint Nicholas became venerated as the protector of innocents, the patron saint of children, and a secret giver of gifts.

Of course, the traditional American idea of Santa Claus — along with his British/Canadian counterpart, Father Christmas — originates in the stories surrounding Nicholas of Myra. As far as saints go, St. Nick was especially venerated in the Netherlands, where he became known by the Dutch variant Sinterklaas. When the Dutch came to the New World and settled in New Amsterdam (today’s New York City), they brought with them the story of the now-anglicized “Santa Claus.”

Monday, December 10, 2007


ok, let me preface this by saying that I am a HUGE fan of sci-if & fantasy. I even enjoy some of the stuff that's not even that well written. that said, I hated the Golden Compass trilogy. I wasn't aware of Pullman's atheistic tendencies, or his pure hatred of all things Narnian & C.S. Lewis. whatever. the books were just horrible.

then comes the movie.

for months nothing but barrages of ads (and the awful pop-up floaters) for The Golden Compass. ugh. granted, it was the best of the three books, but that's still not saying much. AT ALL. this morning the news reports were listing weekend box office grosses, and while the GP was No. 1, it only grossed about $7k a theater. Juno, on the other hand, grossed about $60k per theater. that's hilarious.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Prince Caspian

the teaser/trailer is out.

see it here.

ok, I had to come back and edit this post. you know the weird Scifi Channel commercials where the things pop, turn into something else, etc.? well if I was one I'd turn into an explosion of happy little firework sprays that go dancing all over the place because I'm that happy/excited about the newest Narnia movie.

insert perma-grin & happy dance.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


I would love to be blogging about some Christmas present projects right now, but unless you're on Ravelry . . . . you probably won't be hearing about them here. just on the off-chance that the person I'm making the thing for actually happen to read this blog. it could happen. must . . . keep . . . surprise! ugh. I really want to blog about it!

I think I might have figured out my dad's Christmas present this year. it's not easy - he just goes and gets exactly what he wants (computer, book, e-book, etc.) most of the time. but I think I figured out Christmas AND his birthday, which is Jan 1st. we've never done both together in the same gift for dad, which is tough. this year both should be great though. woo-hooooo!

oh, my friend Steve was interviewed for an article. you can read the article here.

Monday, December 03, 2007



click here to proceed . . .