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weird meme

Saturday, December 31, 2005

T.O. at LAMLand tagged me, so here goes.

Rules: "The first player of this game starts with the topic "five weird habits of yourself," and people who get tagged need to write an entry about their five weird habits as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose the next five people to be tagged and link to their web journals. Don't forget to leave a comment in their blog or journal that says "You are tagged" (assuming they take comments) and tell them to read yours."

Of course, there is absolutely nothing weird about me. ;)

1. I have discovered that I'm now *old.* How did I figure that? You see, I like Chef Boyardee spaghetti and meatballs straight out of the can just fine. Just pop the lid and stick a fork in the can and munch away. Now that I'm *old,* I prefer the stuff heated (gasp). Believe you me, I have tried to put the can on the stove, and it just doesn't heat well that way. I now have to actually pour the stuff in a bowl so that I can microwave it. But in a crunch (like lunch in the car just to get out of the office) I will still eat it out of the can, especially now that they make them with the handy pop top. On a side note, many of the Sisters chuckle when I tell them I'm *old* ... they just haven't heard my rationale, you see.

2. I try not to drink sodas, but if I do, I prefer them flat and room temperature.

3. I don't drink while eating. I will drink afterwards.

4. I sleep very well. I don't remember my dreams. I wasn't even aware, until I was told, that everybody dreams every time they sleep long enough to get to REM sleep. Toto told me that I was coughing alot in my sleep the other night, but the coughing never woke me up. I have also discovered that to ensure that I wake up on time when I'm getting very little sleep, I should sleep sitting up. Yes, indeed, I sleep right through the buzzing of the alarm clock sometimes.

5. I blog. (Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha) ... and I read blogs, but I don't read the newspaper nor watch TV (heck, who has time for that).


6. I was under the impression that my pastor looks for me at the mass I regularly attend. For many years, I sat in the approximate same area because I wasn't by myself. Eventually when I did go unaccompanied, I'd sit in a different spot each time, and made it a "find Waldo" event. Several changes over the years put an end to that game, but it sure was fun. But I've a different idea: pick a cold day, wear maybe 5 or 6 shirts to mass and sit on the front pew. Every time the presider looks away, peel off one layer. So each time he sees me, I'd be in a different top. I bet he wouldn't even notice.

I'm tagging: (insert your name here, please)

busy today

Ran some errands. Came home and cooked 6 bunches of mustard greens. Greens is time consuming in that you have to thoroughly clean each leaf. I also trim off the big stem in the middle. Some people then slice the leaves too, but I don't bother. Cooking greens is much work, so I don't do it often. When I do, I make alot to make it worth my time. I think I reached womanhood a few years back when I cooked a full up Thanksgiving dinner: baked turkey injected with flavoring, cornbread dressing (yeah, I baked the cornbread), greens, and sweet potato casserole. Cranberry sauce out of the can, rolls and dessert from the grocery store bakery. No gravy...just didn't attempt it. I'm no cook, but I'll cook occasionally. Anyhow, I've been busy all day today and am just now getting a chance to sit down.

shopping yesterday

Frodo and I made it to the mall yesterday. Due to difficulties, Frodo has not been to the mall in ages, so yesterday was a real novelty. We spent much time at the mall. Frodo was quick to pick out some suits for me. We bought a brownish tweed-ish jacket & skirt set for more than 50% off, thanks to our salesperson who gave an additional coupon discount even though we didn't have the coupon. There was a navy pant suit set that also fit me very well, but amazingly, it made me hot--I who am cold-natured. So no-go for the navy suit. The majority of the suits were 100% polyester, so why one suit would be cool and the other hot, I don't know...must be the weave. I was hoping for more natural fabrics, but oh well. On a side note, I think I'd like to own a bamboo T-shirt one day (see Bamboosa).

If Frodo says it looks great, then undoubtedly it must be so. It won't hurt a bit to walk into an interview knowing that I look like a million bucks. Unfortunately, Frodo also said that the suit won't take me into the summer. I guess I better find a job before summer. Now I still must hunt down the appropriate blouse and shoes. That leads to another gripe: why the bleep bleep are women's blouses see-through? Also, I sweat buckets even when cold. It'd be nice to be able to find a cotton blouse...I'll starch the heck out of it.

For Christmas, Frodo got a gift card to a bookstore. Frodo said for me to use that gift card, so we stopped by the bookstore and I got the recently released Mother Angelica's biography. As I am currently reading Faustina, I am hoping Frodo will start in on Angelica.

We got home late. Then Frodo decided it was imperative that we deliver some Coldeeze and Cepacol to the grandmother, so we got back out again. We didn't get back home until some time after midnight, me dozing along the way. On the drive back home, Frodo, who has eyes all around (I swear) was able to avoid getting hit from behind by a speeding drunk driver who was weaving in and out of his/her lane. Hopefully that driver caused no accidents and made it home safely.

advice, please

What is your preferred detergent and how do you keep your white fabrics white? Thanks.


Friday, December 30, 2005

I resolve not to make a New Year's resolution.

Darn, I just broke that one, didn't I?


... or not? ... see LAMLand post

(yeah, I changed the title of this post)

shopping, yuck

Thursday, December 29, 2005

I braved the mall this afternoon. After two hours, I was still empty-handed. The goal was to get a suit for job interviews.

I'm a idiot when it comes to clothes. I am perfectly content with basic jeans, T-shirts, golf shirts, or simple slacks and simple blouse. Great deals on clothes at the malls, but it looks like a giant garage sale. Some of the clothes look like they've been dug up from the 1970's inventory (gag). What's with the frills and fringes and prints? Why would it be so difficult to find a basic solid color long-sleeve shirt?

I'm in the petites section. I saw sizes ranging from 4 to 18. What sense does that make? Size categories are junior, misses, petites, women, and plus. It seems to me that a petite past 10 would then fall under "women." I don't know my size so I picked one and tried it. Too big. Tried the next smaller size. Still too big. Tried the next smaller size ... um, maybe. Waist a little big and pant legs too long, but it means that it can be tailored. Odd thing, the pants are lined like the jackets are lined. Oh, by the way, jacket and skirt sets were rare. 99.5% were pant suits. If pant suits are the norm for job interviews, that's fine with me.

They've fudged with the sizes too. A size 10 these days is bigger than a size 10 of years back. I envy the simplicity of the men's sizing: waist size, inseam length, neck size, arm length. In high school, I favored the boy's jeans. Now that I'm older, I know why: girls' jeans were designed such that they pretty much fit all the way up the crotch. I also preferred my jeans to rest just above my hips, not choke my waist. However, I could never find the exact combo of waist size and inseam length. To get my waist size, I'd have to get a longer inseam. Thankfully they've created the "relaxed fit" in women's jeans; it means I can get a loose fit without having to get a size too large with the legs too long. My jeans as an adult actually fit very nicely.

Tomorrow, I will try another (more upscale) mall. Frodo will accompany me since I'm such a fashion ditz. Perhaps this will qualify as penance: having to shop for interview clothes.


How mightily blessed am I! Two patron Saints have chosen me for 2006 -- TWO -- St. Patrick and St. Hilary of Poitiers.

Before I was baptized (and became a Catholic Christian), I felt that I had two guardian angels. Such a klutz was I that I needed two to watch over me. Some days after having been baptized, when I thought about it, I felt that I had only one guardian angel. I guess that after the Holy Spirit was breathed into me at the sacraments of initiation, I then only needed one guardian.

Folks, it is no accident that I will have two patron Saints. It means that I am about to enter into battle, but that I will be too weak. Blessed be God forever that He has given me this help.

Now I have to go read up double duty.

Patron Saint

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

T.O. at Lamland alerted me that Moneybags at A Catholic Life was drawing Patron Saint names for the year for those who request it.

The Saint who chose me this year is St. Patrick! My knowledge of Saints is pretty pathetic. I will have to read up on this popular Saint. In any case, my pastor is of Irish descent and the associate pastor at a neighboring parish is genuinely Irish, complete with the lilt. Both are excellent homilists. It is my pastor who has endeared me to the Irish flavor of Catholicism: kinda gruff, just a hint of rough, but amazingly, unashamingly sweet but not syrupy, and solidly strong.

I do like St. Patrick's "breastplate," of which the following is an excerpt:

Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me abundance of reward.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

kitchen help

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

This morning's volunteer adventures were in the kitchen, where I snuck up on the hard boiled eggs and peeled and chopped them up. They didn't even see me coming. I peeled boiled potatoes like a naval hand and valiantly fought with the last remnants of a bone-in ham. I did some slapping of mayo and mustard onto bread too. Yep, I tamed them suckers. It all came together as ham sandwiches (there was other ham besides my combatant) and potato salad and bean soup. I think they needed the help; there didn't seem to be many in the kitchen today. It's not where my talent lies, but hey, it's another pair of hands.

good Christmas

Monday, December 26, 2005

Made it to mass this morning. I was tasked with bringing home breakfast after mass ... pause in typing as I go retrieve my cough drops from the cat ... I went to the planned food place but they were closed (good for them!). So I then went to Whataburger. I ordered breakfast taquitos with everything in them, plus a pancake platter to boot. Totals $11+ ... oops, what was I thinking, I don't have that much on me. Take the pancakes off. That brings it down to $8+ ... uh, I don't have that much on me either. "Take one of the taquitos off," I said. "How much do you have?" she asks. I told her what I had. She said "That's fine, I'll give you a free ride." She seemed to be the manager. She made my breakfast personally, and although several orders came out at the same time, she gave me mine first and offered salsa sauce to boot. So I got my breakfast despite being more than 60 cents short. (It turns out that she even gave me cheese on them, even though I didn't ask for it.)

I prayed for her on my drive home and thanked God for the kindness of others.

bad Christmas

Violent crime close to home.

On the night of Dec. 22 we left the movies after seeing King Kong. We were going to get gas at a station by our house. It has a mom & pop flavor and is usually run by middle-Eastern people who are very nice to us. That night, their price was a little higher than some of the other surrounding stations. Knowing that they were a little slower to change their prices, I suggested that we wait until the next day to gas up. It turned out that the station attendant was robbed at gun point that night. Thankfully he's okay. We came back the next night (Dec. 23) and he told us about it.

He also told us that on the day of Dec. 23, the owner of the business next door and his dad was shot. We frequent the business next door too, and are familiar with the owner. The two are hospitalized and are expected to live. The shooter lives just a few blocks away and was surrounded by SWAT the night of Dec. 23. We've been missing the news, but talking to someone else, they told us that the shooter eventually shot himself (probably Christmas eve).

As this all happened in our neighborhood, we can say a neighbor was held at gun point and robbed, two neighbors were shot, and one neighbor committed suicide.

God help us all.

the masses

Sunday, December 25, 2005

All masses were well attended, I think. I covered the children's mass at my home parish; it was packed. Much hub bub. Somehow the place didn't look as breathtaking as it had in the past. I ran into my pastor before the mass started, got a hug and said something as charming as "Where is Fr. XX? (the associate pastor)" The reason being that I needed the associate pastor to debug something.

As usual, the mass began with a greeting and announcement of who is presiding (the cantor would look over to the processional line-up and locate the priest). Well, no priest was found in the line-up, though we did see the associate pastor running around, so his name was announced. To our surprise, we had a visiting priest. He never announced his name, so we didn't know it. The presider opted for the Apostle's Creed instead of our usual Nicene Creed ... the natives got confused, plus many of the natives don't know that creed (guilty as charged, and a clear indication that I don't pray the rosary much).

For my part, I made a few boo-boos and am not happy about that. But it's okay. All is well.

For midnight mass, we went to the cathedral. It started with 1 1/2 hour of music prelude. By the time mass started at midnight, the place was packed. It's always good to see (and hear) our Archbishop. Unfortunately, my throat was not well and I couldn't join in the singing. We got home some time after 2am.

We decided that we wouldn't attend a Christmas day mass (being that we need some rest). I'm sure the masses at my home parish were well attended. This is the second year that I've missed midnight mass at my home parish and am seriously re-considering for next year.

Nothing says Christmas like the Christmas eve masses. I was blessed to have attended two.

self indulgence

Friday, December 23, 2005

I shall now indulge myself with a Christmas wish list. I know I'm supposed to wish for heaven on earth, which includes peace and joy and healing of the sick. But turning my gaze towards the shop window, here goes...

1. I'd like for my credit card and student loan debt to be paid off
2. I'd like for the mortgage to be paid off
3. I'd like for the car to be paid off
4. I'd like for the second car to be paid off
5. 5 bicycles: a carbon frame racer, an aluminum frame suspension mountain bike, a Dahon folding bike for a friend, a recumbent for a friend, well yeah ... a folding bike for me too
6. A digital camera ... a Canon in the $300 range will do
7. plywood for the windows for the next hurricane
8. I'd like to have the chimney cleaned out
9. I'd like to have the repairs needed around the house done
10. okay, okay ... a well-paying job that suits my abilities
11. uh, new clothes
12. I want to enter religious life!

Lord, would you heal me of the "I want all of the glory, none of the work" syndrome?


Thursday, December 22, 2005

I seem to have some form of some crud. I woke up Monday night (technically Tuesday morning) with a searingly parched throat. Tuesday my neck felt ug-type-funny. Yesterday and today I continue to have soreness and dryness way in the back of the throat. I'm a bit more hoarse today and still some of that funny feeling in the neck. No drainage, minimal if any coughing.

This evening Tonto and I will go see "King Kong." Tonto likes sci-fi movies, and is a movie buff. I, on the other hand, couldn't care less. (In slight compliance with a suggestion from a fellow blogger, I shall henceforth refer to my sidekick by various names. The names will vary, will be recognizable, and will in fact refer to my sidekick. This should make the blog slightly less drab.)

I got my hair trimmed again this morn. Then ran to a rehearsal that I was supposed to support and managed to help out for the last 15 minutes of the 2 hours. Visited a neighboring parish and got their 2006 calendar. Went to this hole-in-the-wall place, bought a token item and inquired about my opening and owning such a business 'cause I like their product. What luck that it was actually the owner I talked to, whom I think is normally in California. Was given an e-mail address and will pursue further.

We now have 2006 calendars from three different parishes. More to come. One pastor said "We don't give out next year's calendars at Christmas." We know the guy. He's pretty cool and we know where he's coming from. So we'll probably see those calendars around New Year's. It's pretty good that some of the items on their wish list have already been donated. Heartfelt thanks to the donors.

When I first became Catholic (i.e. first became church-going, first became Christian) I used to think "Where else can you go to get such good stuff for free? I mean, people would be willing to go to a movie for $8/head and be entertained, but you can go to church for nothing and get so much more." Then I realized that it's "free" only because others have paid/are paying for it -- donors past and present. It's also "free" because others have paid the price for freedom, from Christian martyrs to foot soldiers. Thanks to all those who support the Church with time, talent, and/or treasure.


Wednesday, December 21, 2005

While waiting for solemn vespers to begin last Sunday, one of the Sisters claimed the reserved space in front of me with her motorized wheel chair. Hanging down on the backside of the wheelchair was the belt buckle. I started wondering how the seat belt buckles work, what is their mechanism? I can speculate, but if y'all have a diagram of the mechanism, I'd like to see it.

I have once in the past, looked at people's ears during mass. I was somewhat fascinated when I observed that people's ears differed, and that technically, they're just odd folds of skin and cartilage. If I were an alien, what would I think of these folds?

Speaking of folds, I just saw on the news that in some Asian country, they have a procedure to attempt to give Asian eyelids a "double fold." You see, a double fold eyelid would look more western, less Asian. *groan* ... Man, that's messed up.

volunteer morning

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Did a little volunteering this morning. The last time I was there, I helped put up the Christmas tree lights. This morning was over an hour of meetings, then I helped with plugging in some computers (plug in power and peripherals). Minor stuff. They have one standalone "internet computer" and five others networked to each other through a hub. I didn't hook up the network part.

There was some encouragement for me to volunteer more than 2 hours. Aw... Naw... I gotta look for a job. But perhaps from now on I'll skip the meeting and come aftewards so they'd get two full hours of work out of me.


Monday, December 19, 2005

Been unremarkably busy. Over 60 Christmas cards. Trips to the Post Office. Sleeping late, starting late, getting to bed at 5 and 6 in the morning, up by 10, missing daily mass. Trips to run errands ... one such trip to the mall area: slowly working through the traffic, carefully manuevering through the parking lot, finding a space some ways out ... just to get kitty litter (this particular brand seems to work well and doesn't cost a day's wages, but is not in the grocery stores). I really do *detest* this unstructured schedule, but though I have the luxury of being single, I don't have the luxury of living independently. Hence I don't have the luxury of saying "the day starts at 5am and ends at 9pm no matter what."

Today I am once again grumpy. This lack of structure, slight sleep deprivation, and missing mass makes me highly uncharitable and *far* less able to absorb the "lack of charity" that gets launched at me, however unintentional. grumble (picture dark clouds hovering over my head)

Jesus, help me.

Friday, December 16, 2005

While washing dishes this morning, I was praying for divine intervention to save my "stuff." Then it occurred to me that God seeks to save souls, not stuff. But perhaps He'll indulge me anyways.

pots n pans

Making a breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, grits, and cinnamon toast involved:

1 large skillet for the bacon
1 small skillet for the eggs
1 pot with lid for the grits
1 pan for the toast (goes in the toaster oven)
1 spatula for the eggs
1 spatula for the grits
1 butter knife
1 spoon for putting sugar over the toast
1 measuring cup for the grits
1 fork, used during cooking and eating
1 plate

...just to have a breakfast that basically fits on one plate. Sometimes it is worthwhile to eat out, considering that I burnt the toast (only one of three was too burnt to eat), spent time cooking, and then spent time cleaning.

a little Faustina

From the diary of St. Maria Faustina:

Once when I went outside the convent to go to confession, I chanced upon my confessor saying Mass just then. After a while I saw the Child Jesus on the altar, joyfully and playfully holding out His hands to him. But a moment later the priest took the beautiful Child into his hands, broke Him up and ate Him alive. At the first instant I felt a dislike for the priest for having done this to Jesus, but I was immediately enlightened in the matter and understood that this priest was very pleasing to God.

We Catholics, of course, recognize that as the liturgy of the eucharist.


Thursday, December 15, 2005

There's a magazine advertisement that shows a braying donkey (style and angle like that cute dog there in the corner) and has the caption:

You can kick some, or you can get yours kicked.

Wish I could post it, but I'd probably be violating some copyright laws. I hope I'm not in violation with this post. I got a real kick out of that ad design.

de nada

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Sir! I have nothing to report, Sir! Permission to continue brain inactivity, Sir!

good day

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

6am. I didn't get out of bed but I did sit up. In my grogginess, I think I did complete one Hail Mary before falling back in bed. I'll try to do better tomorrow morning. I'll have a space heater ready, since the cold makes it extra hard to get up.

Found a job posting that actually fits me and that I'd be happy to work. It goes to a recruiter. Submitted my resume.

Went to volunteer where the RSCJ Sister I met last week works. First day. Of course I remember the names of everyone to whom I was introduced. Yeah, right. Ended up helping put up the Christmas tree and its lights. Three victories: the tree is old and the attachment between the top half and bottom half was cracked. Was able to find a splint; that and duct tape did the trick. Was able to figure out how to plug in the lights given that the plug is out in the hallway and they have only one 6ft extension cord: run another string of lights as an extension cord. Finally, was able to locate all the bad bulbs and replace them; all the light strings lit up. Call us inexperienced: we put up the lights before plugging them in to check. Unfortunately for next year's person, the string from which I stole the replacement bulbs is gonna be hell to troubleshoot.

Mass was, um...modified, with practically no kneeling, more sitting than standing, and includes the priest's friendly little dog. The staff and volunteers are fully functional folks, but I think the tenants/visitors are not all quite so able--that and the small room calls for some of the adaptations.

alternative faces

Monday, December 12, 2005

Blogger is giving me the blues. Thanks to Susan Rose, I have alternative celebrity faces for you to associate with this blog. Supposedly, I have have some resemblance.


Out of the clear blue, Sister offered me the loan of her book, the Diary of St. Faustina, complete with Sister's book mark. Wow. I'm so honored to be trusted with something so personal. It's a good read, easy to understand. It has a nice section on the vows, I might revisit it one day. I've spent time reading it (and doing chores) instead of browsing for jobs. I never claimed to be good at time management.


Sunday, December 11, 2005

Just a recap. Thursday I dragged my sidekick to a little volunteer stint after lunch, giving me a little break in grumpiness as I can't be grumpy when volunteering. Afterwards we did a little shopping then headed on to mass for Immaculate Conception.

Friday I was still not a happy camper and spent pretty much most of the day on the computer after morning mass and breakfast, looking/applying for jobs. If you ever apply to MCI, stock up on patience.

Saturday morning we went to hear our archbishop at the neighborhood parish (he was visiting), then came home to eat. Later we went for a little shopping (Christmas cards and one other store). We estimated we'd need about 60 cards. Apparently they run roughly $1/card. So you can figure out roughly how much we spent on cards. Afterwards we went to my sidekick's grandmother's house and helped her with her Christmas cards. She's 98 and doesn't get around too well and it's hard to write, but her mind is clear as a bell. She didn't need many cards and got our last year's leftover Christmas cards. Trust me, that's my sidekick's project. My heart is not quite that big yet. We didn't get home until almost midnight (the little shopping that we did earlier took forever and pushed everything later).

Another Sunday in Advent. My whole morning at my home parish. How early I start and how late I stay depends on whether I'm up for the second of two volunteer stints at the parish. Today I start with 7:30am mass, and leave at 11:30am. Next Sunday I expect to start with 9am mass then leave at noon. Then rehearsals all afternoon and evening for my sidekick (two choirs). Then Vespers and dinner with the Sisters for me, in the meantime it's mass for my sidekick after the rehearsals. Then we'd be home some time after 8pm and my sidekick would eat (I had dinner with the Sisters after Vespers). Then I procrastinate and drag myself to eventually clean up the living/kitchen area (floors, dishes, cat house/litter box, collect trash and put some stuff up). With luck, I'll be in bed by 2am. Then Monday I'll try to be up around 7am because I don't want to get in the habit of sleeping later; plus I have to put the trash out and be ready for 9am mass.

from the CDP's

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Act of Abandonment to Divine Providence

Providence of my god, I adore you in all your designs. I place my destiny in your hands, confiding to you all that I have, all that I am, and all that I am to become -- my body and my soul, my health and reputation, my life, my death, and my eternal salvation.

As I rely entirely upon you and expect all from your goodness, I will not give myself up to any useless anxiety. I confide to you the success of all my undertakings, and in all difficulties I will have recourse to you as a never-failing source of help.

I know that you will either preserve me from the evils I dread, or turn them to my good and your glory. Peaceful and contented in all, I will allow your Providence to govern my life without worry or over eagerness.

Holy, wise, generous, and loving Providence! I thank you for the tender care you have taken of me up to this moment.

I humbly an earnestly entreat you to continue the same for me; direct all that I do, guide me in your ways, govern me at every moment of my life, and bring me into the fullness of being that you have destined for me from all eternity.

May I please you and give you glory forever. Amen.

Based on prayer by Blessed John Martin Moye
Founder of Sisters of Divine Providence


Thursday, December 08, 2005

I am grumpy this morning. No particular reason. This morning I've been dealing with the confusion of this unemployment insurance thing. On the phone and going in circles. The folks are helpful. It's just me; I'm not very adaptable at the moment. The frustration of not being free to enter a religious community surfaces daily, along with uncertainties that I am even fit for it; this morning it just adds to my grumpiness. I don't see any jobs that I might want (but then, I've not covered much ground). I have no clear idea of what I want to do (jobwise) or where I want to go. It's cold. I haven't eaten, and don't feel like eating. One of my cats threw up a hairball on my bed last night and I was too dead to the world to even know it until morning. In the past, I have shot straight out of bed at the sound of a cat throwing up. Not last night. Grump. Grump. And no, this is not PMS (or menopause for that matter) -- it's not time. This just means that I need to turn my attention back to the things of heaven. This a major feast day, after all.


It's been a gray day (Wednesday, that is ... I've not seen daybreak for Thursday yet). I've managed to stay awake despite it being cold and gray. You see, I'm quite sensitive to the weather, and a day like this is a very serious call to hibernate.

We in the south are not used to such cold weather. I have noticed that in the news, 80 degrees F is considered a "heat wave" in New York. Whereas down here, it's considered a "cool front." So when the temp drops down to "freezing" or basically, the 30's and below, it's big news to us natives. I don't know what we would do if we were to see *gasp* a single digit or negative temperature. Y'all up north have brown fat (yes, really--and let me know if you find out otherwise); we southerners don't even have a concept of brown fat.

Okay, so I was awake. Productivity, however, is a different animal. One challenge at a time.

yankee or rebel?

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Seen at Happy Catholic: Are you a Yankee or a Rebel?

My results: "46% (Yankee). Barely in the Yankee category."

um...consistently mutt

a little Ambrose

Prayer That We May Seek God and Find Him

Lord, teach me to seek you, and reveal yourself to me when I seek you. For I cannot seek you unless you first teach me, nor find you unless you first reveal yourself to me. Let me seek you in longing and long for you in seeking. Let me find you in love, and love you in finding.

~ St Ambrose of Milan, Bishop, Writer, Doctor

the meetings

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

First the spiritual director. She told me I absolutely must set aside prayer time ("You must care enough to give God your best time.") She also challenged me to set some time lines ("Okay, so when will you step up your job search? When do you expect to pay off your debt?")

Next is mass with the Sisters where I go for spiritual direction. Definitely not my kind of crowd.

After that is the first meeting with this Sister to get a feel for their community. She's assistant director in her ministry. Our meeting was punctuated with phone calls and pop-in's for quick consultations. Hers was the voice that seemed unwelcoming over the phone. Well, her ministry with the disenfranchised requires something of a hard line, I suppose.

What I found across the table is someone whom I feel would swim the ocean for me if need be. She's not a picture of contemplative piety, but rather a "doer."

We touched very briefly on issues of my concern: inclusive language, feminism, fidelity to the Vatican, and perspectives on gay priests -- just to throw out where I stand on those and maybe get a feel of their stance.

I laid out my concerns and a little history. She told me very briefly her story and a little about their community. Hers is an amazing story of how she felt called out of the clear blue, though she was engaged at the time; and how "unfit" she felt starting out. It's a vocation that almost was not. Now she loves what she does and she mentioned that several times. We are basically incompatible insofar as that I'm more "conservative" and they are more "progressive." However, neither one of us closed any doors. She even mentioned having vocational materials for me next time and asked to stay in touch. She thanked me for meeting when, in fact, I'm always so, honored? blessed? ... to meet a Sister. God bless her, her community, and the work they do.

praying for others

Shame on me for frequently forgetting to pray for my spiritual director.

How do you remember to pray for others? Do you make a list? Do you pray for everyone on that list at every mass, or do you split them up: some on this day, others on this other day, etc.? Do you take shortcuts: "Lord bless everyone." ?

Gotta run now.


Monday, December 05, 2005

Sorry, folks, I'm whipped tonight. I hope to make my blog rounds but no guarantees. We had a very nice penance service at my parish tonight. Unfortunately I missed most of the intercessions (the meat of the service, really) while fiddling around with unfamiliar equipment. Yup, thought they needed some help with the equipment so I volunteered my services. I didn't go to confession but did stick around to pray for a while.

Tomorrow, meeting with spiritual director and first meeting with a Sister of this other community.

a moment with the pastor

I had a little conversation with my pastor today. We talked about church stuff--stuff on my mind. Plus pepperings of odds and ends.

I'm glad he's a much older man. I've seen his picture when he was a young man. I'd be having serious struggles if he were that young now. Such a handsome devil. Now he's just a big gruffy old bear. He can still kick butt, though, with brains, whatever brawn he as left, and that steely stare.

He is something of a "papa" to me, though we hardly talk. He's my picture of Catholicism, my picture of priest, and my picture of aging. I handle that old bear with care.

Solemn Vespers

Sunday, December 04, 2005

At solemn vespers, everything is either sung or chanted, except the readings. I love the "Our Father" because I already knew that chant. Also they have incense.

I sense that at this moment, music is not this congregation's strongest point. I enjoy chanting, but me not being a vocalist, I hit several wrong pitches several times. It could just be me, but I don't think I got any help with pitches from the organ.

I got a chance to meet some of the Sisters. Some were fun. Best yet, some invited me to join the community. I told them I was going to meet this other Sister on Tuesday, and she said, "Oh, but we want you here. We want you to join us." Now how can I possibly refuse that? ;) Ultimately, of course, I am trying to find out where God wants me. I was invited to come more often so that I can get to know the Sisters better. Now that's cool.

Sunday tidbit

Our pastor encouraged us to respond "Merry Christmas" to those who are are now restricted to wishing us "Happy Holidays" on their jobs. This restriction has caused some angst among the Christians. Perhaps a "Merry Christmas" pin may be worn?

In a discussion on "hope," it was pointed out that we ought to be careful what we hope for, becuase we might be putting a restriction on our happiness. For instance, if we hope to win the lottery, then we might be saying to ourselves that we will not be happy until we win the lottery and have some money. If we hope for a better job, we might be unwilling to be happy until we get a better job, etc.

Solemn vespers with the Sisters tonight. Yay.

fun with colors

Saturday, December 03, 2005

I've tweaked with the colors on the blog to go with the season, since color is the safest and easiest thing to tweak. I've reinstated the underline for links for those who are color blind.
Last I checked, Texas Longhorns were kicking some football butt.

scary habit

One Sister told us that little children used to run and hide when she appeared in her religious habit. Back in the old days too, they were made of wool. Imagine that: black wool in Texas heat. They were hot and difficult to maintain and they got stinky.

Um...I still think it'd be cool for congregations to have some sort of uniform, but definitely no black wool in muggy climates! Ugh.

another piece of life

Friday, December 02, 2005

Traffic court this morning. Court was packed. One fella looked like Jude Law. After the first hour, about half cleared out. I wonder how did most of those people get their tickets dismissed? Most of us have attorneys, a handful did not. Most, myself included, had never met with their attorneys prior to this morning in court. Most were minorities. It was a woman judge, and she actually said good morning to us.

I'm out the cost of the attorney, court fees, and $40 fine but got the moving violation dismissed, thereby protecting my insurance rate. Once the officer writes that speeding ticket, what the heck do I have to fight with? It's a he-said, she-said at that point and the court is going to favor the officer.

It was 2:30 by the time I got out. Lo and behold, across the street is a Catholic church (you see I'm not in this area of town much). So I went there and called my sidekick to come pick me up. At 3pm they closed the church so I got kicked out. So I sat outside in the chill, said a few Hail Mary's, a few Our Fathers (sung some), hummed a few hymns, and a little Taize. At 3:30 my ride is still not there--traffic. My sidekick detoured to avoid traffic and is lost. We stayed connected via cell phone and I started walking to where my sidekick might be found, next thing you know, my sidekick is by the courthouse and so I walked back. I had a sinus headache since around lunch and it's starting to get bad.

We got home after 5pm. My headache is making me nauseous by this time so I hit the sack. I got up for dinner: delivered pizza. With that, I popped some more pills and here I am. Ah, another lovely life experience. What's life if you've not seen the inside of a court room, made a few "F's" or banged your head on cement from falling off a skateboard? If I don't pay this fine in time, I might just see the inside of a jail too.


Thursday, December 01, 2005

Lest you think I'm totally deaf, blind, and mute...

Today is World AIDS Day. We've lost a great many wonderful, beautiful, talented people to AIDS. May we remember to be compassionate in honor of their memory. May we all stop to consider how best to minister to those afflicted today and how best to prevent its spread in the future.

(Ultimately, may we remember to be humble and compassionate in deference to our sweet, sweet Lord Jesus.)

Support World AIDS Day

NOTE: I do not support/endorse artificial birth control and stand by the Catholic Church's stance on the issue.

Pop Sci

Popular Science's Best of What's New 2005:

Yeah, like it's a real joy for me to go through them on my dial-up, Celeron computer with 64MB of RAM.

On a side note, I find it amazing that the gadget geeks have figured in but a few days how to work around the bugs of the new XBox 360 (per a quick scan through

a little Merton

Thomas Merton's Prayer of Trust and Confidence

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end.

Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.

And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road although I may know nothing about it. Therefore will I trust you always, though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.