Aliens in This World

An ordinary Catholic and a science fiction and fantasy fan.

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Adventures in Songwriting

I'm dedicating this one to Jeff Miller, who cheers me up. Of course, if he'd written this, it would be a bit better....

With a Little Bitty Kid
Lyrics: Maureen S. O'Brien, 1/3/04
Music: "With a Little Bit of Luck", My Fair Lady

The nicest people wouldn't kill a crim'nal.
They wouldn't give a terrorist the chair.
The nicest people wouldn't kill a crim'nal, BUT
But with a little bitty kid,
With a little bitty kid,
For death sentences they just don't care!

CH 1:
With a little bit,
With a little bit,
With a little bitty kid, they just don't care!
With a little bit,
With a little bit,
With a little bitty unborn kid!

A mom can get a lot of help and choices.
So why's she think there's nothing else to do?
A mom can get a lot of help and choices, BUT
But with a little bitty kid,
With a little bitty kid,
Folks she loves say, "Kill it or you're through!"

CH2: (as above, except)
With a little bitty kid, they say she's through!

A woman has a right to her own body,
And what goes in her body she can choose.
A woman has a right to her own body, BUT
But with a little bitty kid,
With a little bitty kid,
She is just a thing for labs to use!

CH3: (as above, but)
With a little bitty kid, a thing to use!

Go protest war and meat and furcoats --
But if she ain't born yet, don't be upset!

There's bad genetics and then there's miscarriage;
Disease and injury are always near.
There's bad genetics and then there's miscarriage, BUT
But with a little bitty kid,
With a little bitty kid,
Mom and Dad must be a kid's worst fear!

(optional sf verse)
Some people wonder how to breed a teela*,
So lucky there's no danger she can't scorn.
Some people wonder how to breed a teela, BUT
But with a little bitty kid,
With a little bitty kid,
She'll need plenty luck to just get born!

*teelas: Larry Niven's novel Ringworld included a character named Teela Brown who was extremely lucky; Niven justified her existence by theorizing that the human race could be seen as inadvertently breeding for luck. These genetically lucky people he called teelas. Later, he wrote a short story set in a future so full of high-tech safety devices and lucky teelas that nothing story-worthy ever happened again.

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Good Cheer Returns

Thanks to Dave Alway (a really good guy), I now know my true identity.

This test brought to you by Blakeney Manor.

Find out:Which Scarlet Pimpernel character are you?

So I'm the cleverest woman in London or Paris, and a reigning beauty. What can I say?

Hee. Sometimes the line between 'classic literary character' and 'unabashed Mary Sue' is very fine indeed. I suppose the moral of the story is that you must be an unusually gifted writer to pull off an unusually gifted character.

Uncertainty and Doubt

I put my blogroll back up and added some blogs to it. We'll see if they stay interesting.

I also finally found out where a lot of folks I know have been hanging out on Livejournal. In a way I'm glad to know this, but I also feel a bit left out that I had to find them myself. OTOH, I still don't really want to get on LJ -- to me there's something creepy about all the different levels of access and relying on someone else to give you a code. It smacks of junior high, when indeed I could feel lucky if I was just being left out instead of actively persecuted for the crime of being me.

But on the gripping hand, I really don't know if I want to be hanging out with all the folks I know. They're nice people, but the deep differences between them and I keep becoming more and more apparent. I get tired of all the casual insults and nasty jokes about people in my political party, when I don't ever say anything derogatory about theirs. There are dramatic differences in what we think is ethical behavior on many other topics, as well. Many of them are part of religions I honestly can't respect, and I get the feeling they don't really respect mine. We still have a lot of common ground in our feelings about music and literature, but...I always thought I'd keep growing closer to my old friends, not grow further apart.

I know I have a tendency to take offense easily and to be paranoid. I keep working on it. But I do wish I had more friends (other than my Constant Reader!) who shared my tastes and my morality, too. I want to be able to stop biting my tongue.

Monday, December 29, 2003

Adventures in Hymnwriting Again!

I guess this is sort of an offertory hymn. Mostly I wrote it because I felt I was neglecting the sacrifice angle of the Eucharist. I don't think I really got into that enough, but...I freely admit that I don't understand the theology as much as I should. Sacrifices on altars are just not something my liturgical experience has been aimed at presenting -- and it seems to me that this is the sort of thing that comes across better as a picture or in other nonverbal ways. So this is pretty much groping in the dark. (sigh)

What Can We Give You, God?
Lyrics and Music: Maureen S. O'Brien, 12/28/03

What can we give You, God, when You have everything?
You made the burning stars; You made the sparrow's wing.
You made the grain and grapes, and it's by Your design
That heat exists to bake, or yeast can make juice wine.

We bring these gifts to You, though they're not really ours,
As children of a gard'ner might pick him his flowers.
We know You just want humble, sorry hearts that serve,
But we can't even love You, Lord, as You deserve.

Once You asked Abraham to give You back his son,
But then You stopped his knife before he had begun.
You gave him for his sacrifice a thorn-caught ram;
To us You gave Your only son, a thorn-crowned Lamb.

Who makes such sacrifice, has so much love to give?
You gave Yourself to us, came here to work and live
And teach and heal and feed us, and, for us, You died --
Your gifts can put to shame all of our wealth and pride.

Since there's no fitting gift that we can ever bring,
Please make this bread and wine the Lamb worth offering.
Your flesh and blood's the gift that is the most fitting
To give to You, o God who gave us everything.