Thursday, February 19, 2009

Single Awareness Day, Finally Redeemed

As we were driving off to L.A. this past evening of February 14th, Eric and I realized that we have never spent a Valentine's Day together.  Here is a little Yang history for ya: Feb. 14, 2006, he first wooed me with his ways and we became more than just band-mates (details given upon request), Feb. 07, we were engaged but Eric was living in Oklahoma, and Feb. 08, we were married but he had class so I picked up an extra shift at Starbucks-real romantic. 

Therefore...this picture dates my very first Valentines date with Eric-EVER.  Eric took me to The Stinking Rose for dinner and afterwards, we went to the Griffith Observatory.  If you've never been, you must go! I've never seen such a view! It's good to be home in So. Cal...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


If you've been following my facebook, you know that the end of last year was a Harry Potter  month for me.  In December, I finished the last four books (the last three in about a week and a half of that time), and enjoyed most moments of it (I think Order of Phoenix was awful, and my guess is that she just scrounged together scattered stories in her mind just to meet publishing deadlines and just to get a book "out of the way" in order to get to the "good stuff" [which really is good] in Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows).

Although written at the primary level, the theme and plot are quite sophisticated (e.g., her use of literary alchemy [notice the color scheme of black, white and red], symbolic naming, and the most pronounced device viz. Austenian misdirection [her favorite author is... no surprise... Jane Austen]).  

In order to keep this post brief, I won't go into much of the fascinating literary aspects.  But I would like to highlight an obvious one, namely the head/heart/hand relationship.  This tripartite relationship has had various forms and modifications (e.g., intellect/will/passion, rational/spirited/appetitive, prophet/king/priest, etc.), but a roughly three-aspect feature of the human person has been highlighted all throughout literature.  A very obvious one is found in the work of classically trained writer L. Frank Baum, who brought us "The Wizard of Oz".  It is no accident that Dorothy can only "go home" (another popular literary feature, e.g. the "Odyssey") with the aid and unity of a head/Scarecrow, a heart/Tin-man and a hand/courage/Lion (one might also count the tripartite feature exemplified by Gandalf/Aragorn/Frodo and by Spock/Kirk/McCoy).

Keeping in step, Rowling uses the same device:  head/Hermione, heart/Harry and hand/Ron.  Notice the difficulty that head has in ruling hand (Hermione's difficulty in "controlling" Ron, who wants to be lazy, not do homework, and most of all eat gluttonously).  However, it is the heart (Harry) who can "make them friends" (cf. Lewis' "The Abolition of Man").  Moreover, whenever one of the parts is missing, the others have an especially difficult time carrying on their mission.  The wholeness of their community is isomorphic to the wholeness of one's soul.  The three need to be together, and they need to be related in the right way.

Although I am a man of "middle earth", it was a nice excursion to visit Hogwarts.  Perhaps years from now, I might visit again... I may have to go back to Zonko's to fill up my trick-bag....  levicorpus... aguamenti....  EXPECTO PATRONUM!!!!!    

(for those who know, my patronus would be a hamster....)