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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.

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).


Monday, October 31, 2005

I sometimes attend a parish that is basically a box. Their pastor has plans in the works for a new church building. I spoke briefly with one of the parishioners who thought that there was no need for a new church building. I disagree.

Fortunately there does exist specific rules about how churches are to be laid out. I'm glad that there are ground rules that give us the essentials. I like the idea of church buildings being cruciform. I like church interiors which lift our minds and hearts to the majesty of God ... high ceilings, abundance of natural light, statues of saints, stations of the cross, a general arrangement of "things" that remind us how important God is.

I've been learning just a wee bit about "Gothic" as it relates to church. "Romanesque" would the the half-circle arches and thick walls with few windows. With Gothic, the arches were pointed and stress was trasferred to buttresses, allowing for thinner walls and more windows. Cathedrals in those days took generations to build, and where quality was compromised due to lack of resources, those structures did not withstand time.

The Sisters of Divine Providence in San Antonio have a Gothic chapel that is absolutely beautiful, especially since they've recently renovated it. The
Adrian Dominicans (courtesy of Natty's blog) also have a Gothic chapel, though without "permanent seating." In one of the other blogs, I think I did run across a link to the Benedictines (maybe?) somewhere and they had Romanesque, though modernized (meaning that they don't need the thick walls). If can locate it, I'll update this post.


Sunday, October 30, 2005

My morning: oil change, mass, Michael's craft store, Barnes & Noble booksellers, Office Depot, Petsmart, Target, Walmart, home by 12:30 p.m. Back out to get flowers. Spent a few bucks at each place, except Target. That and one car payment, and the coffers are empty. No groceries yet. Went to pick up some little folks, then we're off to a birthday party.

First time I've seen a guest overstay the welcome (it wasn't me). The guest wouldn't budge off the couch even after several appeals over a span of 30 minutes. The appeals were "Hey, we're leaving, come follow us so you can get home" and "C'mon, we're really ready to go." We were sitting in the car waiting for this guest, and would have to get out and go back in the house to repeat the appeal. Mentally unbalanced, maybe? Not drunk because there was no alcohol. If I were hosting, I think I'd say, "I appreciate your company. I thank you for coming. But hey, go home so I can go to bed." **boot** (I never said I was a nice person.)

Dies Domini tomorrow! yay!