A Momentous Occasion

To think I have seen Roe v. Wade overturned in my lifetime! And it happened on the joint feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Nativity of St. John the Baptist! The battle for the lives of unborn children is not won yet, but this is a great step in the right direction.

(Disabled comments because I don’t feel like dealing with any angry trolls that may come by. My blog, my rules.)

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A Prayer to St. Rita

Recently I came across a beautiful prayer to St. Rita of Cascia, one of the patron saints of impossible causes, and I wanted to share it here. For those of you who may not know, St. Rita’s life basically was an impossible cause. She longed to enter the convent from a young age, but her parents arranged a marriage for her instead. The man she married was incredibly cruel and violent, and her two sons grew up to be much like their father. Through a great deal of praying, her husband and sons turned their lives around but ended up dying as a result of their earlier deeds. Widowed and childless, Rita was finally able to fulfill her desire to enter a convent, but she still faced various trials and penances. Still, she endured everything with patience and resignation to the will of God.

So have you got a tough life? A life filled with such impossible circumstances that it doesn’t seem as if anything will ever get better? St. Rita’s been there. That’s what makes her such a powerful intercessor and what makes this prayer so important.

Here is the prayer as it is given on the ChurchPop website.

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A New Way to Play Star Wars: The Old Republic

Back in February, Star Wars: The Old Republic came out with a fascinating update to the game. Previously, character combat styles were locked to the class story you wanted to play (only Inquisitors could use Force lightning; only Consulars could throw rocks around, etc.). However, now you can mix and match styles and stories!

I decided to try it out by playing through the Jedi Knight story as a Jedi Consular Shadow. Why a Consular Shadow, you may ask? Stealth. Stealth is a wonderful thing. I enjoyed the Knight story when I played through it for the first time, but having to fight mobs all the time on your way to your objective is just so tedious–it’s honestly my least favorite part of the game. But if I play as a Consular Shadow, I don’t have to worry about all the mobs! Hooray!

Of course, the downside is because I’m using stealth to get past the mobs, I’m earning fewer points and taking longer to level up. Nothing is more frustrating than getting to an important fight and having to back out because you’re not dealing any damage to the boss. So…I guess there are tradeoffs. But the mix-and-match aspect is really cool, and if you play the game, I would recommend trying it out at least once.

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Memorial Day 2022

Let us never forget the sacrifices of the brave souls who gave their lives so that we could sleep securely in peace and freedom. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.

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Towel Day and Geek Pride Day 2022

It’s May 25, and you know what that means! That’s right, you hoopy froods, it’s Towel Day!

And it’s also Geek Pride Day, so get out there and celebrate your weirdness!

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“Belle” is Not Your Average “Beauty and the Beast”

Several months ago, I saw someone on Facebook talking about a new movie called Belle, a Japanese adaptation of Beauty and the Beast set in the 21st century and involving virtual reality. The premise sounded strange, but the trailer looked interesting, so I decided to keep an eye out for when it would come to home video. Belle is most definitely not your average Beauty and the Beast adaptation, but this is one case where differences and divergences actually work to make an interesting story. There are spoilers.

Belle is the story of Suzu, an introverted teenage girl who uses the virtual reality world of U to escape the grief of her mother’s death. She’s been sick with grief for years, so sick that she can’t even bring herself to engage in her beloved singing. But when her friend Hiroka introduces her to U, Suzu finds the courage to begin singing again in this virtual world. Under the guise of Belle, her singing makes her an internet sensation. Suzu worries about the pressures of Belle’s popularity, but Hiroka reassures her that no one will figure out that Suzu is really Belle.

One of Belle’s virtual concerts is interrupted one night when a mysterious entity known as the Dragon enters the stadium while trying to evade U’s police. Instead of being frightened, Suzu is curious and compassionate, especially since she recognizes a little bit of herself in him–someone broken and lonely who is desperate for love despite pushing everyone else away. But who is the Dragon? There are several likely candidates, but this is U. Appearances are deceiving, and everyone has a secret.

A lot of people have complained about the fact that, in a departure from traditional adaptations, Suzu and the Dragon don’t end up together, but I don’t think this is necessarily a flaw. Suzu and the Dragon (I won’t reveal his identity because I want you to be surprised) were two broken people who were looking for healing. Each of them needed the other to help them discover how to be brave and open to love and life. Even if they didn’t end up in a relationship, they still love each other even though they aren’t technically in love. About the only real complaint I have is that the ending seems to leave a plot thread unresolved, but this is hardly the first Beauty and the Beast adaptation to have that problem.

My overall impression is that this is a movie you should see for yourself to decide if you like it. It’s so different from what a lot of audiences expect that I hate to just unilaterally declare it fantastic only to have people come after me and complain that they hated it. But if you give it a chance, you just may surprise yourself with how much you like it.

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Mauve Alert! David Tennant and Catherine Tate Returning to Doctor Who!

It’s been recently confirmed that David Tennant and Catherine Tate will be returning for the 60th anniversary of Doctor Who! They have already begun filming their scenes. That’s about all we know right now, but it’s still pretty exciting. The Tenth Doctor and Donna Noble have been one of my favorite Doctor/companion duos of nuWho, so a chance to see them in action again is brilliant.

As happy as I am to hear this, though, I can’t help but be a little concerned as well. It seems awfully ambitious for the 60th anniversary to introduce a new Doctor as well as reunite one of the best Doctor/companion duos we’ve seen. I hope they can pull it off and not have it explode in their faces instead.

Anyway…allons-y!

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Mauve Alert! Fourteenth Doctor Announced!

We finally know who will be replacing Jodie Whittaker after the centenary special! Taking on the mantle of the Fourteenth Doctor is Nctui Gatwa. I wish I could tell you more about this guy, but I know absolutely nothing about him. Still, I’m curious to see how he does in the role.

Doctor Who TV has an excellent article that talks about his casting and how excited everyone is to be working with him. Although we’ll probably see him at the end of the centenary special, his first full episode will be the 60th anniversary special in 2023, so he will have a lot to deal with right out of the gate. Best of luck to him!

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Happy Star Wars Day!

May the Fourth be with all of you today! Although most of my interest in Star Wars these days comes from playing The Old Republic, I’m always going to have a soft spot for the movies.

Now go have a movie marathon* or swing a lightsaber around or something!

(*When I say “movie marathon”, obviously I mean you can skip the sequels and pretend that Heir to the Empire is the real sequel.)

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Doctor Who Review: “Legend of the Sea Devils” *Contains Spoilers*

We are continuing our final countdown with the Thirteenth Doctor! If I remember correctly, this is the first time Doctor Who has had an Easter special since 2009’s “Planet of the Dead”, and “Legend of the Sea Devils” is Jodie Whittaker’s second-to-last episode. Does it live up to the hype? Spoilers await all who venture further.

The year is 1807, and Madam Ching the Pirate Queen is after a statue of a Sea Devil, which she believes contains clues to a long-lost treasure. Surprise–the statue of a Sea Devil is an actual Sea Devil, and her tampering of the statue releases him. The Doctor, Yaz, and Dan show up just in time to see the Sea Devil escape onto a flying pirate ship manned by an entire crew of Sea Devils. The ship, we discover, used to belong to the legendary explorer Ji Hun, but in 1533 he made a bargain that turned his ship over to the Sea Devils. As the Doctor and Yaz explore the Sea Devil settlement, Dan finds himself a prisoner of Madam Ching. At the heart of everything is the Keystone, a legendary Sea Devil treasure that contains immense power. To protect the Earth, Madam Ching may have to abandon her quest to pursue a higher goal.

This episode was…nothing really special, but I’ve come to expect that by now. The music was cool, though. This is one of the only Whittaker-era soundtracks that I’ve thought sounded really cool. Ah, well, we are one episode closer to the end now.

Next up the finale, and we’ve got some exciting appearances coming up. Tegan! Ace! If nothing else, it sounds as if Thirteen will be going out with a bang.

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