Monday, August 25, 2014

St. Brigid's Hope for the World, or: A Massive Lake of Beer

I just came back from chaperoning an Archdiocesan-run camp for Grade 7s who had just been confirmed: Searching in the Spirit. The yearly camp is always a great time, with the activities, prayers, workshops, and testimonies of each of the five days dedicated to a specific theme: We are Sacred, We Are Witnesses, We Are Forgiven, We Are Servants, and We Are One Body. But I noticed that a bigger theme that tied all five themes together was the theme of Christian Hope, a hope that is not just some kind of wishful thinking with no basis in reality, but a hope that reaches to the innermost depths of who we are as human beings. Some will say that human persons, being creatures with intellect and will, are truth-seekers. Others will say that we are only truth-seekers because we are more fundamentally lovers. I think a part of these truths is the fact that human persons are also Hopers.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Movie Review: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

Michael Bay needs to take a page out of Matt Reeves' movie-making playbook. Reeves' new movie, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, is laden with special effects and CGI...and yet instead of ruining the story, it actually enhances it. That might also have to do with the fact that Dawn's story is well-paced and logical, with dialogue and character development that (for the most part) feels organic and cohesive. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes is not just an action-packed summer blockbuster - it is smart, tense, subtle, and emotional. Definitely one of the best movies I've seen this year (it's up there with X-Men: Days of Future PastCaptain America: The Winter Soldier, and How to Train your Dragon 2).

The movie takes place ten years after the first film in this series, Rise of the Planet of the Apes. The laboratory-made-cure-for-Alzheimer's-gone-wrong Simian Flu, which fast-tracks the apes' evolution, giving them human-like intellect and speech, has all but wiped out the human race. The apes, led by Caesar (motion-capture portrayed by Andy Serkis) have flourished deep in the woods outside San Francisco, and assume all the humans have died out. But when a group of humans led by Malcolm (Jason Clarke) who are immune to the Simian Flu stumble upon the apes while looking for an old dam for power, the tension immediately jumps to an eleven. The humans need Caesar's permission to fix the dam and reroute the power...and the tension jumps to a twelve.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Re-Highlights of Vancouver

My gosh. The last time I posted anything was in January; it's like I was too exhausted to blog about anything. Trying to get a Masters in Theology will do that to you, I guess. Consider this a gearing-up to the usual theological and philosophical musings (and hopefully a redesign of this site).

The degree is all done and done, and so I have bittersweetly relocated back to Vancouver after spending two years in Washington DC at the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family. First, a Vancouver promo about the downtown core:

Yep, I'm pretty bummed about having to leave DC (let's not get into that), but of course there are more than a few things to which I can look forward. Not including the general (and obvious) "friends and family," which I could go on about for much longer than I'm sure anyone would care for, here is a short, semi-cathartic, off-the-cuff list - in no particular order - of the things that I'm happy to experience again here in good ol' Vancouver, British Columbia:

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Boxing Day (a Relient K cover)

'Boxing Day' is a bank holiday, observed by the Commonwealth Nations on Dec. 26th - the day "after" Christmas.  According to Wikipedia, this is the day when bosses and employers would give gifts, or "Christmas boxes" to their servants or to tradesmen. In Canada at least, the only thing I can notice about Boxing Day is that it is the day when the world at large thinks Christmas has passed us by, and the day where we have all our crazy shopping sales (it's like the USA's Black Friday, except that no one gets trampled over for a TV).