Please use GoodSearch for your internet searches and select a charity (such as Dominican Sisters of Houston). Thank you.

not much

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Not much done today. A.M. mass. Lunch with friends. Cingular stop. Movie "Rent."

Cingular was interesting. My phone was old--pre GSM/GPRS technology. I'd long been out of the 2yr contract. Unfortunately the old tech is starting to get spotty; connections were unreliable. So we decided to upgrade. My sidekick had the more modern phone; we were going to upgrade that and I inherit my sidekick's phone.

First the salesguy said they didn't offer the family plan we were looking for. Fine we'll deal with that in a moment. While he goes to gather some upgrade phone options, I spotted a display on the counter that advertises the plan we were looking for. Dude, it's right here, this plan.

Then he brings two phones. Either runs about $200 with 2yr contract. How's it better than my sidekick's current phone? They're not. One of the choices was the Razr. For $200 and a 2yr
contract, we get a slimmer phone. No way, dude. We'll just upgrade my phone. Give me that cheapest one you got.

He goes and gets the phone. Fuddles with the computer, asks an associate if the phone is in the inventory. This serial number is not in there. He goes and gets another one. Not there either. We point out to him, "You guys sold that same model to the lady that just left here." He comes back with a stack of the same model, and the very top one is in the system.

He fuddles with the computer then, "I have to tell you guys, on your next bill, you'll be charged a month in advance." He forewarned us so that we'd take our heart medicine before opening the next bill. He invited us to come back and hash it out if need be. He proceeds to quote the cost of the plan plus $9.99. "Why $9.99? The base price includes two phones and that's all we have. The $9.99 is for each additional phone." "Oh." After a few more minutes on the computer, "I
have to tell you that your 2,000 rollover minutes that you've collected will be reduced to 250." My sidekick haggled over it for a while but we went with it.

He puts our stuff in a plastic bag for us. "See, you get a cute bag," he jokes. My sidekick said, "Not as cute as those." pointing to the little silver paper bags with handles and orange tissue poking out of them, scattered about the store. "Sorry, those are just for decoration." His associate informed him that they have some in the back. "I'll hook you up," he said. So my sidekick gets the "cute bag."

Yeah it took alot longer than we expected, but it was comical how many times this guy struck out.

Quite a bit of reading for "not much" eh?

ten reasons

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

From one of the "Come and See" events I attended, posted here to remind myself.

10 Good Reasons to Choose Religious Life

by Warren Sazama, SJ, Milwaukee, Wis.)

  1. Because you want to and feel called to be a Religious woman.
  2. Because being a Religious is the best way for you to love.
  3. Because being a Religious is the best way for you to share your gifts in service and make the world a better place.
  4. Because you can make a tremendous, unparalleled difference in thousands of people's lives for the rest of your life.
  5. Because being a Religious is an extremely joyful, fulfilling, satisfying wayof life.
  6. Because the life of a Religious is completely structured toward union with God and service to others.
  7. Because must there not be voices to speak of the things of God in the world?
  8. Because the world needs witnesses to transcendent values.
  9. Becuase the church and world are immeasurably richer with the presence of Religious.
  10. Because at this time the need for Religious has never been greater or the motivation more pure.

taking a break

Arrrgh! Job hunting can be de-moralizing. I'm somewhat of a mutt when it comes to qualifications; I don't quite fit. I doubt that I can get a job with "Look, I have a great track record. I don't quite have skills and experience you're looking for, but you can bet on this horse!" There's one company that might give me a chance, but do I really want to drive for an hour (in good traffic) either way every day? It turns out that I was making some pretty good money comparatively, though I believe it should have been more.

I'm taking a break. I just realized that I'm going through my own Advent: waiting to see what job the Lord will help me land.

We're supposed to go see "Rent" today, pending the health and wake-up time of my sidekick. Anyhow, I need to go hunt for food now--it being lunchtime and I've not had breakfast.

immortal man

I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.

I saw this quote on a poster on a professor's door in my college days. Then I lost the quote and have been looking for it intermittently over the past year or so. This morning, I have found it. Thanks be to God.

an Advent invite

Monday, November 28, 2005

Sr. C, Vocation Director of one of the congregations here, has invited me to Sundays of Advent "Solemn Vespers" followed by dinner. Oh be still my heart! A chance to be with the Sisters in prayer! FREE FOOD! I'll have to see if I can work out the logistics of that, though. And really, I have no idea what solemn vespers are, but I'll find out.


Sunday, November 27, 2005

As requested, the mug shot. And bonus: action shot! Did I already say I like bicycling?

wet morning

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Wet morning. Much rain. At least it's not butt-freezing cold. I drove to my home parish for morning mass. My pastor thanked us all for being there and said he was surprised that with all the rain, anyone came at all. It was so good to be at my home parish. I thought about how much I love my parish home and my pastor and my archbishop and how much I look forward to our new cathedral. I don't know how I would feel if I had to leave this archdiocese to be in a convent elsewhere.

This being the end of the liturgical year, our pastor encouraged us to look back on our year and see where God has touched it--moments of good and bad. During the preparation of the gifts, I chuckled inwardly as I mentally expressed a desire to give Jesus everything, but requested that I may keep my guardian angel. Then after receiving from the cup, I remembered T.O.'s incident with the cup and couldn't help but smile as I made my way back to my seat. After the mass, the liturgical/decoration crew got busy preparing the church for Advent.

Being in the south, at this time we would see many, many birds. Sometimes I think it's even more than what was seen in Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. They would fill the trees and cover the power lines and there would be much cackling (or whatever you call bird noises). One day in a parking lot, I saw a man, his wife and young daughter walking from their car. As he passed under a tree, he hollered, bringing forth a flutter as the birds scattered from the tree. His daughter giggled. As they neared another tree, he did it again. Fun dad. I enjoyed it as much as his daughter did. Anyhow, with the rain this morning, I saw one bird on a power line and maybe six pigeons on the ground. I wonder where the birds went. By the way, Wal-Mart parking lot was fairly empty...where are those frenzied shoppers?

day after

Friday, November 25, 2005

Some great sales out there, for those with money to spend. Radio Shack had the Canon A520 digital camera with free 256 SD card for $199 (***drool***). They also had a Plantronics bluetooth headset for $9.99 after rebates. I heard that the headsets were gone after the first hour or so ... something about folks coming in, buying in bulk to re-sell on E-bay. We bought a cordless phone with answering machine because we can't hardly make out the messages on our machine--they're so distorted. That's the extent of our shopping because we abhor the post-Thanksgiving shopping mob.

Christmas lights outside are done: three green shrub meshes, two red shrub meshes, one door wreath with light-up berries, one garland with lights spiraled around to frame the doorway, and a large plastic light-up Noel candle. One of the two long strings of lights for around the eaves has died, so I'm not having to put up lights along the eaves. We've agreed that with the purchase of the cordless phone, we'll not purchase Christmas lights this year and just go with what we have. Maybe I'll get crackin' on the inside decorations later. We're not putting up a tree because we simply don't have the space.

morning mass

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

In a previous post, I had mentioned that I placed my bike in a "grotto." That's a misnomer. This parish has a large courtyard with much greenery. There are many sitting places. There are two areas that are sunken semi-circles. A tall wall lines each semi-circle, acting as the back for the continuous bench along the inside of the wall. At the center (if it were a circle) of each of these two areas is a tall structure--in one area its the statue of Mary on a pedestal, and in the other it's a planter with a cross and there is much growth (not green at the moment) and the eyes have to pick out the cross there in the growth. I had placed my bike in the one with the cross. If I look a little further, I will see the other area with the statue of Mary.

This morning, as I got into the little chapel and had barely finished my genuflection to the tabernacle and bow to the altar (it's a small chapel), when the friendly gentleman who seems to be in charge of organizing these daily masses spoke to me. "How would you like to be altar server today?" I hadn't yet quite picked out a seat, but proceeded to claim one with my helmet as I tried to back out of the invitation. "No, not today," I said as I looked around at the people. He wasn't quitting. "I'll teach, " he said. "You'll teach?" I replied, and with that I'd pretty much bought the farm. After teaching me, he reminded me that it is a privilege to serve at mass. I thanked him. So today I was altar server (in my bright, colorful cycling jersey, no less) and was successful at making it no more eventful than it normally is.

birthday meme

T.O. at LAMLAND tagged me with this meme. You find your 'birthday verse' in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. My birthday verse is 8:29 for August 29. These translations come from the New American Bible, St. Joseph edition.

Matthew 8:29 - They cried out, "What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?"

Mark 8:29 – And he asked them, "But who do you say that I am?" Peter said to him in reply, "You are the Messiah."

Luke 8:29 - For he had ordered the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (It had taken hold of him many times, and he used to be bound with chains and shackles as a restraint, but he would break his bonds and be driven by the demon into deserted places.)

John 8:29 - The one who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, because I always do what is pleasing to him.

Nice balance of being exorcised and then reaffirmed that God is with me.

I hereby tag Steph, Natty, and Claire Joy.

the sevens

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Jumping on the bandwagon of the sevens seen at various times on various blogs:

7 things to do before I die
1. enter a convent if it's God's will

2. ride horses
3. play the piano
4. rollerblade/ice skate
5. read more spiritual books
6. travel
7. uh...I better get a job soon

7 things I cannot do
1. understand/remember trigonometry, calculus, linear equations, matrices

2. I probably can't pass the GRE at this point
3. go hungry without getting grumpy about it (after all, this is AMERICA!)
4. sleep when cold
5. sleep when in pain
6. watch TV all day without getting depressed for having done nothing
7. act

7 things that attract me to the opposite sex
1. humor/wit

2. compassion
3. integrity
4. sincerity
5. self-assurance/respect
6. intelligence
7. wisdom

7 things I say most often
1. nothing, most of the time I'm silent

2. Hi
3. Thanks
4. Sorry
5. OK
6. Yes
7. No

(7 things I hope to say most often, at least in my head)
1. Our Father...

2. Glory be...
3. Hail Mary...
4. Jesus, Mary, I love you, save souls.
5. God help me.
6. Thank you Lord, for...
7. Please, Lord ... but thy will be done

7 celebrity crushes (in no particular order)
1. Sean Connery (what a man)

2. Tom Hanks (such a wholesome fellow)
3. John Malkovich (what a personality)
4. Pope John Paul II
5. Fr. Benedict Groeschel
6. Fr. Mitch Pacwa
7. Fr. John Corapi
okay, well, I might not actually have any crushes

scored as proactive

From one of the tests at which popped up on (since I'm looking for a job and all):

Your secret to success is to be Proactive

You are a born leader with a take-charge attitude. Unlike many people who believe problems will simply go away if you give them enough time, you're one to tackle the obstacles in your path head-on.

Part of being proactive means you can aggressively anticipate the future and work to shape it according to your desires. You don't wait for things to happen; you make things happen, which is why you also tend to find yourself in a position of responsibility.

Also, because of your quick mind and ability to strategize, you can keep yourself two steps ahead of everyone else when it comes to executing plans or anticipating future actions. These characteristics help you rise to positions of authority where others can more fully appreciate your drive and direction.

All of the possibilities: Ambitious Enthusiastic Imaginative Proactive Self-Sufficient Systematic Thoughtful

hmm...never thought myself to be proactive, quick of mind or very strategic...definitely not ambitious, only selectively enthusiastic, not particulary imaginative, reasonably self-sufficient, only somewhat systematic, always try to be thoughtful


Monday, November 21, 2005

One of the nice things about unemployment is that I get to spend more time at home. The parish by my house, which I did not choose to be my home parish, has morning mass on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. So today I bicycled to mass. I couldn't find the padlock with which to lock up my bike, and didn't know where the keys were to the padlocks that I could borrow from some of the stuff we have padlocked. But desiring to not miss mass, I took the bike anyways, risking it being stolen while I'm inside. I placed it out of sight in the little grotto they had and hurried on inside. I failed to notice if there was a statue of Mary there (I would think there was). I asked God and Mary to watch over my bike and resolved not to worry about it so that I can "be at" mass. Sure enough, my bike was still there after mass.

Wednesday, I will apologize to Mary if I find that indeed her statue is there. In imitation of one of the Saints, I try to say hello to Mary ("Hail, Mary!") whenever I come across her statue.

I've concluded that it's not that I turn to God only as a last resort, but rather, I turn to God only after I've tried to do what is my responsibility to do. In this case, it is my responsibility to secure my bike, but having been unable to do that in my frenzy this morning, I then turn to God to fill in where I can't.


I just contacted a Sister of another community. I had e-mailed her previously and she replied with a "call me." I finally got around to calling her today. First I get a male voice who asked for my name when I said I wanted to talk to Sister. Then I get Sister. Then I get a "I'm sorry, who are you? This is a really bad connection." Fortunately I eventually get an "Oh, yes, okay..." We set up a meeting in December. Nothing in this voice was warm or welcoming and it's scaring the heck outta me. But then again, my background and current situation wouldn't exactly make me an exciting prospect for any community. But hey, I'm open to adventures. I'll learn something regardless.

first draft

Sunday, November 20, 2005

I have finally finished the painful exercise of composing a resume. Technically, it's a first draft. I sent it to my brother for review. It may end up being the final draft. Sure glad I'm not a politician, wherein I would have to paint me into a rosy picture for voters every few years.

Pictures of $$$ are dancing in my head. May I get a great paying job so that I can pay off my mountain of debt and increase the possibility of my entering religious life...God willing, that is.

stupid score

courtesy of Steph

53% scored higher (more stupid),
4% scored the same, and
43% scored lower (less stupid).
What does this mean? You are 43% stupid.

This means...You are, on average, smart and stupid. Read a few more books and decrease your score!

Hmm...bipolar intelligence

What kind of thinker?

Friday, November 18, 2005

You are a Spatial Thinker
Like other spatial thinkers, Leonardo had a talent for designing buildings and machinery. He also invented a new style of map making.

Spatial Thinkers:

  • Tend to think in pictures, and can develop good mental models of the physical world.
  • Think well in three dimensions
  • Have a flair for working with objects

Other Spatial Thinkers include
Pablo Picasso, Michelangelo, Isambard Kingdom Brunel
Careers which suit Spatial Thinkers include
Mechanic, Photographer, Artist, Architect, Engineer, Builder, Set designer

You are a Naturalist Thinker
Like other Naturalist thinkers, Leonardo longed to spend time in the countryside. He spent hours watching birds to understand how they flew.

Naturalist Thinkers:
  • Like to understand the natural world, and the living beings that inhabit it
  • have an aptitude for communicating with animals
  • You try to understand patterns of life and natural forces
Other Naturalist thinkers include
Charles Darwin, Jane Goodall, Johnny Morris, David Attenborough
Careers which suit Naturalist thinkers include
Biologist, Meteorologist, Forester, Farmer, Astronomer, Alternative therapist

quiz here thanks to Natty and Steph


Sorry, folks. I've been out. I got a call on Friday night from my brother. He wanted me to help him on a task out of town, leaving Sunday night by car. I can't just up and leave. I have a person for whom I need to make sure certain things are done before I can leave for four days. I rushed like mad Saturday and also Sunday afternoon, Sunday morning being for church stuff.

I just got back tonight. All trip expenses were paid for me (wow, I've not eaten so well in a long time), but I had no access to a computer. I was up shortly after 5 each morning to attend a 6:30 service, eventually I found a 6am mass. Back at the hotel by 6:45, out the door around 7:15 and stopping somewhere for breakfast then at the worksite around 8. We worked in a conference room with no windows auditing old invoices until 5:30pm with a lunch break in the middle.

One thing is for sure: that is not my line of work. You can't pay me enough to do that day in and day out. I was wiped out at the end of each day. After dinner, shower, and ironing clothes for the next day, I was so ready for bed. Resume? hah! like I can really muster enough energy to think about a resume. One more week without a step towards finding a job, or even reading about what all I need to do as part of this layoff. Well, there's tomorrow...


Friday, November 11, 2005

Done. Handed stuff over and gave status on stuff. Sent the farewell e-mail and had wonderful responses. Several folks got a real guffaw and my previous manager said that it was the best he'd seen. I'll make my farewell rounds later today. I decided not to post it because you wouldn't get the jokes unless you've worked here.

Thinking about what I'll be doing next, I think I'd like to run by own business. I'd have to partner up since I have lousy credit and now no job. My brother is not too keen on the idea. For sure I'll get cracking on the job hunt starting Monday.

Tonight I'll go visit with the CDP's. Though I'll not join the order, I like them and miss them and they're still generously welcoming me to these monthly discernment sessions. Tonight's topic is "obedience."


Thursday, November 10, 2005

Busy at work this week, especially today. I was little disgruntled this morning, a little carryover from last night, but mainly I had a reminder of why I'm not happy with this job: I don't get the support I need to do what I have to do. But in the end I was able to complete the two big tasks I was aiming to finish, and I got another task going that someone else will need to complete on Monday, and I helped alot on the other task that they added last week. Tomorrow I'll chill. I'll status stuff and hand stuff over. I'll write a goodbye e-mail or two and make my rounds for saying farewell. Call it arrogance, call it ignorance: I can probably have a job lined up in this industry in a few weeks, but I'm not even pursuing that because I'm all too happy to leave.


I flew into a rage last night. I live with someone who has excellent qualities, but who is also very critical and something of a perfectionist A-type personality. I'm basically laid back (after all, can two A-types really live together?). Most days I can hold down my emotions in the face of what I consider nit-picky, controlling, demanding criticism/comments/commands. Last night I was tired and I'd had enough. I pretty much made and ass of myself. What an unholy mess. I wish I have a better sense of humor. I wish I could remember that our Lord suffered the greatest of injustices without retaliation and therefore I ought not to rage so much. I wish that next time, I'd just quietly leave and take a long walk through the neighborhood and I wish this person would leave me alone to do that.


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

I've not been out to my backyard since we euthanized our dog a month ago. I haven't had a reason to go out there. We have someone come cut the yard for us. I used to mow the yard; it would take just about all of my Saturday. Last year, due to a major moving event, stuff filled up half the garage and blocked in the lawn mower. I admit I've enjoyed not having to toil in the Texas sun. There could be indians camping in tepees in our back yard now and I wouldn't know anything about it.
I heard on the radio once the question, "What would you do if Jesus is your next door neighbor?"

So what say you?


Monday, November 07, 2005

I'll meet with my spiritual director tomorrow. I look forward to meeting with her, but I'm a little apprehensive about not having much to say. "Uh...I've not been journaling." "Yes, I still attend daily mass." "As far as daily prayer, I've gotten so that I stop by the church every morning on the way to work." "Oh, yeah, work ... that's ending. I'll have figure out the logistics of prayer time again."

I guess what I'm really afraid to hear is "Hey, you're too busy for this discernment process. You need to be more attentive. Go straighten out your life first and then we'll go from there."
I need to get to work super early in the morning. I need to get a jump start on this particular task. It'll be nothing short of a miracle if I get out of bed early enough to make it happen.

Wish me luck and the help of my guardian angel.


courtesy of De Civitate Dei

You scored as Engineer. Military Engineer. Your job is usually overlooked, but without you nothing gets done. While you are sometimes annoyed at this, and you know the only time people come to you is when there's something wrong. You understand that you are the heart and soul of any organization with honesty and nice work ethic to boot.

"I need more Duct Tape!!!"







Combat Infantry




Special Ops


Support Gunner




Which soldier type are you?
created with

Hey, duct tape is great.


Friday, November 04, 2005 a meeting this morning it was announced that they've jobs at the Louisiana location. Um...yeah, where will we live? How far are we driving daily? Being of a rather adventurous nature, I would consider it, but then I'm trying to get out of the industry. Man, if I were working Louisiana, let it be construction!
Yesterday I reached over and took a swig of my drink sitting there by my computer. Then I looked at the time and it was 11:40 am. Oops. I just knocked myself out of the communion line with that swig. Note to self: finish drink before 11, or leave it out of reach so that I'd have to think about it. Actually, I did get in line and got a blessing.
Dear God, may my next job be filled with wonderful co-workers, be near a Catholic church, and oh yeah, may it pay handsomely.
Regarding health, please check out the glyconutrients (see the "health stuff" link on the sidebar). They're marketed as a food supplement, not a drug. They can't claim benefits, but users have some amazing testimonies...cancer being halted, improved health even from chronic illnesses, etc. I'm not pushing a sell (see, I'm not selling the stuff) ... I just think it's a good thing and I'd like for everyone to know about it; I'm just trying to share.
Cats. They're good for showing you what the "good life" looks like ... all sprawled out and comfy with not a care in the world.
Today is ??'s birthday. Fortunately I've not spent anything this morning, and have decided to forgo lunch and hope to be able to resist the call of the vending machines this afternoon so that I'd have enough $ to buy ?? some flowers for the occasion. I won't have enough for a card in addition, but ?? will be happy with flowers. If I did not suffer from the sin of sloth, I'd just make a card.

filling shoes

I'm not into filling some one else's shoes. God gave me my own pair of shoes. It's challenging enough to fill them. In fact, he made them so big that I need Jesus to help me. First, I gotta find them...


Thursday, November 03, 2005

Hmm...just because I don't know where I'm going, does it mean I'm lost? Yeah, I've nothing in my head, but I'd thought I'd blog that I've nothing in my head. Actually the "lost" part is referring to my having trampled all over the blogosphere and yet I have no idea where I've been. I've posted on some Frappr maps and may have left a comment here and there but I doubt I'd be able to back track to check up on any of it. Kinda remind me of the definition of a "sea gull manager" : someone who comes in, makes alot of noise, craps all over the place, then leaves.

Can you believe they're still giving me tasks to do on my job? on top of the two major ones I was pursuing, no less. I suspect that they are starting to see that I was all too happy to be leaving. Dear Lord, I will try to get motivated, but you know I'm flawed...

new name

From an e-mail this morning:
Follow the instructions to find your new name.
1. Use the third letter of your first name to determine your new first name:

a = snickle
b = doombah
c = goober
d = cheesey
e = crusty
f = greasy
g = dumbo
h = farcus
i = dorky
j = doofus
k = funky
l = boobie
m = sleezy
n = sloopy
o = fluffy
p = stinky
q = slimy
r = dorfus
s = snooty
t = tootsie
u = dipsy
v = sneezy
w = liver
x = skippy
y = dinky
z = zippy
2. Use the second letter of your last name to determine the first half of your new last name:

a = dippin
b = feather
c = batty
d = burger
e = chicken
f = barffy
g = lizard
h = waffle
i = farkle
j = monkey
k = flippin
l = fricken
m = bubble
n = rhino
o = potty
p = hamster
q = buckle
r = gizzard

s = lickin
t = snickle
u = chuckle
v = pickle
w = hubble
x = dingle
y = gorilla
z = girdle

3. Use the third letter of your last name to determine the second half of your new last name:

a = butt
b = boob
c = face
d = nose
e = hump
f = breath
g = pants
h = shorts
i = lips
j = honker
k = head
l = tush
m = chunks
n = dunkin
o = brains
p = biscuits
q = toes
r = doodle

s = fanny
t = sniffer
u = sprinkles
v = frack
w = squirt
x = humperdinck
y = hiney
z = juice

That would be Fluffy Wafflebutt for me.

Team Hoyt, super Dad

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

I meant to post this earlier. Courtesy of a homily heard on EWTN radio this morning: heartwarming story of a really cool dad and son team.
team Hoyt


Some people think that there is something wrong with me because I'm still doing work despite having been given my layoff notice. Well, yeah they might be right, I can't argue that. I have some things I'd like to get done so that the ones left behind (some very good co-workers) are not left with the mess. I'm not busting my butt, no, but I'm not totally goofing off.

Many folks have offered to help me find a job. And yet I balk. I don't want just any ol' job. I don't want to just slap together some lame resume and distribute it. I want to do this job hunt right and if I jump into it right now, I'd be hunting blind. I didn't know how to do it right in the first place, and it was only by the grace of God that I got this one. I'll try to do it right this time (along with praying for God's blessings).