Found a nice meme on Asta’s blog
Go to Wikipedia. In the Search box, type your birth month and day (but not year). List three events that happened on your birthday. List two important birthdays and one interesting death. Post this in your journal.
1066 – William the Conqueror invades England: the Norman Conquest begins.
1820 – The tomato is publicly proven safe when Robert Johnson eats a bushel (24 kg) of tomatoes in Salem, Massachusetts.
1987 – Encounter at Farpoint, the first episode of TV show Star Trek: The Next Generation airs. (Yay!!!)
551 BC – Confucius, Chinese philosopher (d. 479 BC)
1934 – Brigitte Bardot, French actress
1895 – Louis Pasteur, French scientist (b. 1822)
As an edit to that meme, there’s also holidays/national days on my birthday. September 28 is Teacher’s Day in Taiwan and Czech Statehood Day. It’s also the day of St. Lorenzo Ruiz, Leoba and Wenceslas.
First a bit about Taizé. Taizé (pronunciation: Teh-zay), is a christian monasteric community in South-Middle France (Burgundy to be specific). It was founded in 1940 by frère Roger and its goal was trust and love and community. He wanted to reach out to the youth and inspire them to experience their faith through song and silent reflection instead of long sermons. Now, more than sixty years later, thousands of young people come to Taizé every year, all through the year. The Easter week is one of the busier periods with about 5500 young people present there to be a part of the Easter celebration.
I got a call, tuesday evening while I was in the middle of my bagpipe lesson. It was my friend Eva and she asked me if I had plans for the weekend. I couldn’t talk to her at that moment as I was in the middle of the lesson so I told her I’d call back afterwards. I knew she was going to be in France for the weekend so I had my suspicion about the call but had to focus on the lesson and soon forgot the call.
Once I was finished and had left for the busstop, I remembered the call and rang back. I had been right in my suspicion as my friend asked me to come to TaizÃ© with her as her friend with whom she was supposed to go wasn’t allowed by her doctor. My only question was ‘how much does it cost?’ and once she told me (150 for everything) and added that her friend had already paid and I could pay it back over time in terms, I said yes, even though I’m not christian.
We would leave the next day so I had to call the temp agency I couldn’t work that day, I had to call my parents that I wouldn’t spend easter weekend with them, had to go over to my aunt and uncle to borrow a bible and had to pack and stuff. It was a hectic Wednesday, but we made it to the busstop in time.
A short while before that, another friend of Eva had called that she would like to come as well. And although it was very last minute, she managed to arrange it and we met her at the busstop. We were at the place of departure (we were going with a big group (47) in a touringcar) around 20:00. There was a saying goodbye service at 20:30 and we finally left for Taizé at 21:30 on Wednesday night.
We arrived next morning about 10:00 and after an introductory meeting, we went to set up the tents.
The church. At the right end of the building, outside the photograph, is very high bit, that looks like a tower but is actually above the altar.
The gate underneath the belltower, don’t stand there when the bells actually ring, you’ll go deaf
The belltower that is the middle of Taizé
When we we’re done, it was about noon and almost time for the afternoon service in the church. It didn’t last very long and began with singing some of the typical Taizé songs (which are short and are repeated, mantra like, to encourage meditation and reflection on the text of the song). After singing a few songs, there was a short reading, only a paragraph or two, which was repeated in a few different languages. This was followed by more singing and about ten minutes of silence to reflect on what had been sung and read.
After this, the brothers left but the singing went on. Taizé does not have a professional choir. Instead, people who want to sing in the choir while they are there attend choir practice every day and, during services, sit in the choir spot. After the brothers leave the service, the singing always continues for a long time, until there all choir members have left. The only exception to this is the midday service as lunch time follows right after.
On the picture you can see the line for food. For lunch and dinner, you get tickets you have to hand in to make sure you only go to get food once (as supplies are limited). Breakfast and tea you can have twice though. Example of a meal: rice with some vegetables through it, two pieces of bread, some butter or cheese, an orange, a cookie, and a bowl to get water with. The amount wasn’t always quite enough, but for that, there is Oyak.
The Source of St. Etienne, running into the lake
The waterfall on the other side
We left there around 15:00 to make it back on time for the discussion group at 15:30. After that, my two friends returned to the silence garden while I went to sit in the church to be out of the sun a bit (I don’t like heat very much) and write a bit. The rest of the day was similar to the previous day with dinner and church in the evening.
Saturday was a special day, not just because it was weekend but also because of the nearing of Easter and the fact that in that evening’s service, a new brother would say his vows and commit to being a brother (including celibacy).
After the morning service, discussion group (last one of the week) and lunch, I went for a walk with one of my friends. We walked down the hill through the town of Taizé and beyond it for a little bit.
The road we took to go down. It leads all the way up to Taizé community. Can you believe we drove on this road with a huge touringcar?
Once we reached the bottom of the hill the village and community are on, we met a pony
When we returned, we were just in time for tea (which is really, really sweet as they just use iced tea powder stuff and add warm water to that). In the evening, the three of us sat down somewhere and we just talked about a million things. For me, I finally managed to start explaining what I believe. In my head, I know exactly what it is that I believe, but I’ve never been able to really say it and I made a start that evening when Eva inquired about it. We were talking so much, we completely forgot about church so when the bells rang and we hurried to the church, it was full. One of the big tents had been set up as an additional church with a video connection to the church. We only stayed there for a short time, however, as the lights were terrible and we soon couldn’t read the songs anymore and the video connection was bad.
We went outside and sat down were we sanf songs ourselves until a volunteer worker (young people who choose to stay in Taizé for a longer period of time and help with the work) came to us asking us to be silent as they were silent in the church as well. So, instead of singing, we decided to go and read the bible. Neither of us are christian or really raised that way so we weren’t overly familiar with stuff. We started to read the passion and resurrection by Matthew and, as we all had a different bible, read in turns to compare our versions.
The next day, it was Easter Sunday and our last full day in Taizé as we would leave at 08:00 next morning. The day started with breakfast first this time (normally it’s service first, then breakfast) after which the service started at 10:00. It was beautiful. Besides the normal singing, and reading and silence, this was also the service in which the new Easter candle was lit and brought forth.
Every person in the church (all the people there plus people from the village and around, all in all, about 6000 people) had gotten a small candle and now the front ones were lit from the big Easter candle and then used to lit other candles so the light spread through the church like a wave. The service continued with more singing and we didn’t come out until about noon.
A photo taken in the church, when the Easter service was almost over. You can see there’s not many people left. By this time, we moved to the front of the church so we had a good view of the altar.
We spend the afternoon in the small garden which I liked better than the silent garden as people in here were actually quieter than in the silent garden. Besides that, this garden was on top of the hill so had a marvelous view.
We hadn’t been there very long when one of the volunteer workers came to us and asked if we had some time to help him clean the church. We had plenty of time so we came with him and spend the next half hour vacuuming the centre area of the church using huge, really huge, vacuum cleaners. So huge you needed one person to push the vacuum cleaner and one to actually vacuum. Afterwards it was time to go and take down the tents. Due to us leaving so early next morning, we would take down the tents now and spend the last night in one of the barracks.
Once finished with taking down the tent, we returned to the small garden. I spent that time, inspired by last night, to read the pasion and resurrection as told by Mark and Luke. We remained there until dinner time.
After the service that evening, the three of us stayed in church for a long time. Mellien, our third friend, eventually left around 23:20 but Eva and I stayed until close to midnight. By then, more than three hours after the service had started (20:30), there were still choir people left and the singing was still going on. We eventually decided to leave the church (we’d been thinking of staying all night) as we had trouble keeping our eyes open.
When we reached the big tent were we had temporarily stored our stuff, we didn’t feel like taking everything and go looking for the barrack we were supposed to sleep in so we stayed in the tent. Two of the guys in our group had had the same idea so that night, we broke one of the rules (no mixed sleeping) by sharing the tent with them.
The next morning, Eva and I walked to beyond the camping fields to get a last look at the view before leaving. When we did finally leave, it took the rest of the day before we were home, courtesy of bad Belgian roads and stopping for dinner at a Chinese restaurant. We were back in Emmen at about 00:30 where Eva’s mom picked us up and drove us home. I was back at my place around 02:00.
In the end, I had a great time there and want to go there again some day. Maybe not next year (the group we went with organise this every year in Easter week) but in the next few years anyway.
I’d like to end this by quoting two of the Taizésongs me and my friends had stuck in our head for almost the entire week and one we learned in choir practice which is my favourite (due to melody mostly).
Nada te turbe, nada te espante;
quien a Dios tiene, nada le falta;
nada te turbe, nada te espante;
sólo Dios, basta.
Exaudi orationem meam;
et clamor meus ad te veniat.
Tu Deus in aeternum permanes,
in aeternum permanes
I’m going to France.
My friend Eva was going to the monastery in Taizé for a sort of spiritual week with lots of prayer and discussion and singing and just general spiritual wellbeing with one of her friends.
But now that friend can’t go as her doctor forbade it so Eva asked if I wanted to come. It’s quite last-minute (we leave tomorrow evening) but I said yes almost immediately, especially after I heard I could pay the money back (Eva’s friend already paid) in terms over a longer time (it’s 150 euros so a bit much to do at once).
I’m quite excited about it even though the thing is based in Christianity and I am not a Christian (I’m Pagan). We’ll be spending a week in the middle of France near ancient buildings (me likes!) and have plenty of self-reflection time which is good.
When I get back (April 17, really late) I’ll post here about my experiences and put some pictures up.
Had a busy week with lots of family and friend interaction which is great as it makes me feel I do have a social life.
Wednesday I went to the museum and the movies with Nienke. We only had about an hour to spend in the museum but I couldn’t postpone it as the exhibition I wanted to see was only there until April 9. It was an exhibition of things found by famous Dutch archaeologist Van Giffen, who excavated numerous sites in the province.
The exhibition was great, it had all kinds of things ranging from combs, fibulae and beads to pottery, weapons and skeletal remains. Highpoint of it all was a grave containing skeletons of two horses and a dog. I’ve seen pictures of this before and when I saw the actual find was there (they lifted the entire thing with soil and all to preserve it) I spend quite some time watching it.
When we were done with the museum, it was a quarter past four; and this was also the time the movie was about to start so we quickly exited the museum and hurried to the cinema. Once there, the trailers and previews had started but the main hadn’t so we could take time to find a seat. And we needed to take time as the lights were already out and we couldn’t see shite.
The movie, Ice Age 2, was great! Amazing graphics and a good story too. In part one, Sid, Manny and Diego return a human baby to its parents. In this part, the three, together with a heap of other animals, all live together in a deep valley. Lately, however, they animals noticed it’s getting warmer. And when they realise that the walls of their valley, which are made of ice, are about to break, a mass exodus to a high point begins.
Besides this, relatively simple, main story, runs a love story based in existential anxiety. Manny, being the only mammoth in the herd, gets confronted with the fact that he may be the last mammoth left. Just when he himself begins to deal with that, he meets another mammoth, Ellie. Love ensues you’ll guess, and it does but not without it’s troubles. You see, Ellie was not raised by her mammoth parents, instead, she was raised by a possum family and consequently thinks she is a possum. It takes a lot of talking, and some misunderstandings, before Ellie realises she is a mammoth and were the two of them stand in a relationship.
Diego, a fierce sabre tooth tiger, also gets a nice storyline where he needs to overcome his fear of water which Sid helps him with. Sid is his usually chippy self with some issues regarding respect, of him to be exact.
After the movie, we headed to a pizza place to grab something to eat and then it was time for Nienke to go and meet her classmates and do a survey/research thingy and for me to go back home.
Thursday, I had invited my parents over for dinner. They arrived around five and I started cooking about an hour later. I made spareribs, baked potatoes and a nice fresh salad containing lettuce, beets, sweet pickles, mango, pine nuts and a dressing made of, among other things, lemon juice, honey and oregano. My dad’s not a salad man however, so I made extra spareribs and potatoes as I knew he’d want nothing besides that. 😀 And I was right, he took one look in the salad bowl and ignored it for the rest of the meal.
After dinner, mom helped me with the dishes and they left around seven thirty as I had an aunt and uncle of mine come over for coffee a bit later. They came around eight and we had a good time, as proven by the fact that they stayed until ten thirty.
On Friday, during the day I had nothing pressing to do but in the evening I went to see a concert by Rapalje together with a group of friends. Ingrid picked me up around eight after which we drove to Warffum to pick up Eva, Judith and Mellien. We then continued to Sauwerd where Rapalje would play.
The concert itself was great, as Rapalje always is (I’ve seen them before). The audience however, not so much so. I think the people either weren’t really expecting this, or folks from Sauwerd are really boring.
It began with the fact that the room was by no means full. And most people were somewhere in the back half of the room leaving a three, four meter gap between the public and the stage. When we came in however, we took up a spot close to the stage and to the side so we could lean to the wall a bit.
Second, Rapalje does Celtic/Irish/Scottish traditionals with weird instruments (gitouki, teachestbass etc…) and dressed in medieval style kilts and such and it’s very danceable music. But the people there didn’t move a muscle. My friends danced (I didn’t, I’m not much of a dancer and not at all when wearing pants) and later a few other people joined them but it was maybe a handful and not so much as I’m used to with Rapalje.
I was a bit disappointed though that David Myles wasn’t there. David often accompanies them and he plays the Higland Pipes. So I was really looking forward to seeing him play as I’ve just begun learning how to play the Highland Pipes in December. But alas, he wasn’t there so that’ll have to wait until Castlefest. Rapalje will be there and I don’t doubt David will be there as well. I’m hoping to have my picture taken with him, that’d be so cool.
Well, that was about it. I’ve burdened your eyes enough now for the time being. Go and relax, have a drink.
There’s something afoot in NationStates and I’m very much looking forward to what exactly it is. Max posted a news entry and both Sirocco and Reploid Productions have referenced it on their blogs. According to all three of them it’ll change defender/invader dynamic forever.
You scored 100% Beginner, 100% Intermediate, 86% Advanced, and 73% Expert!
| You have an extremely good understanding of beginner, intermediate, and advanced level commonly confused English words, getting at least 75% of each of these three levels’ questions correct. This is an exceptional score. Remember, these are commonly confused English words, which means most people don’t use them properly. You got an extremely respectable score.
Thank you so much for taking my test. I hope you enjoyed it!
For the complete Answer Key, visit my blog: http://shortredhead78.blogspot.com/.
|My test tracked how you compared to other people your age and gender:
|Link: The Commonly Confused Words Test written by shortredhead78 on Ok Cupid.|
Last night, after I’d gone to bed, I couldn’t sleep right away. Probably caused by doing too many things just before going to bed, it makes my mind too busy and I need to process before being able to sleep.
So, last night, I ended up thinking about the internet and what it means to me. It really hit me at that point just how much I appreciate the internet. Not just because of its information content (I love information) or the downloads or the games or the whatever, but for the communication.
Internet has made it so much easier for me to not only keep in contact with existing friends (through e-mail and via msn) but also to make new ones. And its these new ones that I’m particularly appreciative of.
Two years ago, when I joined Equilism after three months of playing NationStates and being close to giving it up due to boredom, I could never have dreamed that they would become a community I cannot live without. I greatly enjoy the gameplay aspect of it all, but the connection I make with the people over there tops that. Had I not such a contact with them, the gameplay aspect wouldn’t be as fun either.
Besides having a good time over there, it’s a support for me as well. It particularly was during my time in the UK. Especially in the beginning I was pretty wrecked with homesickness. Next to the daily phonecalls with my mom, and chatting with my RL friends, being able to go online to the forum and interact with my friends over there, at any time I wanted, pulled me through.
I feel safe there, appreciated, wanted. I can express myself there and be listened to, be taken serious and it has given me an avenue of life to explore besides the one with family and the one with friends and the one with school or a mixture of those.
So, it boils down to the fact that I get so much out of it. Not just emotionally, but also intellectually. I have learned new things over the past two years. I have learned to appreciate politics more (even so far that I have now joined the GreenLeft political party), I have learned different things coming from disciplines ranging from philosophy to computers. It stimulates me to look beyond my own interests and explore matters I might not normally turn to, making me a more well-rounded person in the end.
And we’re almost one month into the current term of office in Equilism.
So far, Chaucerin and I have done well. Of the list with things we wanted to do, we
– abolished the Senate
– realised the Equilism General Assembly
– selected (and had confirmed) a new Chief Justice
– got the confirmation process on the new Associate Justice on the way
– have begun the sign in procedure for the EGA
– have begun the discuss and vote procedure for the constitutional overhaul.
Besides that, all the departments are doing well too. Interior has stepped up the recruiting and more members have begun doing so while the introduction forum has been restructured as well.
In Foreign the ambassadors and embassies are being reviewed while Military and Intel go on in their trusted ways to help make NS a safer and better place.
I love it when a plan comes together.