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blog blurps

Monday, February 27, 2006

product endorsements
I just tried Vitamin Water by Glaceau and liked it just fine. I also tried Fresca sparkling citrus soda, peach flavor and liked it okay too. However, I usually avoid carbonated drinks.

On the pet front,

my cats like the simple and colorful plastic rings, usually sold in a blister pack of four. I wish I have a picture to post, but I do not. My cats have a set of curls, and set of wavy rings, and a set that's tube-like. They chase those things all over the house and get them lost under stuff.

Also, I heartily endorse the Clevercat kitty litter box. It's basically a deep rectangular bucket with a lid; the lid has a cat-sized hole. The cat enters the bucket from the top. Because It's basically a bucket, there are no holes and seams to leak liquids. You'll need a compact scooper to work inside the bucket, though. Also, most owners don't like to see inside the box so the hole on top can be unappealing. As for me, I love not having to clean kitty piddle from between top and bottom kitty box halves and from the kitty box mat.

For a simple cat bed, we got a seat cushion on sale at Wal-mart (less than $10 for sure).

variations on a theme
I'd like to see someone publish a coffee-table book of photos of fire hydrants. They're painted differently in different neighborhoods. If not a book, then maybe a website that collects these photos. Everybody take a picture of fire hydrants in their environment then submit the pictures to the website, which then catalogs and displays them. It might exist already, I don't know.

Similarly, I'd like somebody to publish a photo book of pets. Everybody send their pet pictures to the publisher, who then sorts and selects for publication. Real live pets, people, and places in ordinary everyday lives.

Phaidon Press usually has books like those. I think they have one of crucifixes; crucifixes were actually one in a set of three such themed books. I wonder whether they have one of American Cathedrals.
Actually, I forgot what it was that I meant to post. Oh well.

Planning to be out of town Thursday through Sunday. Will be missing the Rite of Sending and possibly the Rite of Election (of course, it's not me that's being sent and elected).

Gotta figure out what it is I'm giving up/committing to for lent. I'll probably give up all sweets except juices as usual. Hmm...what shall I commit to?

torn and confused

Friday, February 24, 2006

I vacillate on the issue of whether I should join the Dominicans. There are days when I would probably have grovelled at their feet, begging that I be given the grace of being considered for entrance. It is very impressive that they have a huge heritage of Saints, including St. Dominic, St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Catherine of Sienna. St. Augustine is a favorite Saint of mine, so I was delighted to find that the Dominicans follow the Rule of St. Augustine. Also, the Dominicans are a studious bunch and they have a solid program of study (after all, you gotta know what you're preaching and teaching). This is not to say that other orders don't have a solid program of study; I really can't imagine an order that doesn't.

Then there are days where fear strikes my heart: What if they're not Catholic enough? (I know, that sounds really absurd.) What if they teach me more "new age" or "earth worship" or something "touchy-feely" than true faith? What if they're soft on morality?

I feel like Saul, zealously guarding what I believe to be true faith. Then if I do join the Dominicans, no logic can explain it. Not that I feel like I owe anybody any explanations. It's just that we act on emotions then justify our actions with logic. If I can't explain it to myself, then it's just crazy. My only reason would be that they've captured heart. It's been said, "Don't marry the one you can live with, marry the one you can't live without." So it's more like that.

I've tried to shut up about it. And yet here I am talking to you guys because it's exploding my head. I'll just keep trying anyways. In fact, I might try to not even think about them. I'll talk about it only if someone else brings it up. Yeah, I think I'll attempt a fast from "Dominicans." Maybe the feelings will go away and then I can actually think.


I had a face plant this morning. Coming from mass, I was riding my bike too fast when I turned off of the church's parking lot. Fortunately, I had my helmet on (as all good cyclists are supposed to do). Next thing I knew, I was on the concrete pavement. First thing you want to do after a fall is to get up and get off the street. But my head wasn't right so I sat there for a while. I managed to upright my bike (so that it'll be out of the street) and sat there holding it up.

You'd think I know better since I've had similar incidents off of "driveways." That transition from slope to level ground just isn't a good place to lean sideways on the bike.

I have big scrapes on my right cheek and chin, my forearm by the elbow, and just a little scrape on my right knee. So I'm walking around with band-aids on my face. My lower lip is a little swollen from being banged against my teeth. I've not yet inspected the bike. And I still need to go wash the blood off of my gloves. What is most painful is that I scratched and bent my "ridiculously expensive" glasses, which are not even 2 yrs old yet. However, the glasses are still usable; I bent the glasses back and the scratches are in the corner. Except for the glasses, I find it all quite amusing.

Also, I got my hair cut alright. Man, is it ever cut. I don't think I'll be needing another one for two months. heh heh, I'm a sight to see.


Thursday, February 23, 2006

I happened to be out and about this afternoon, so I swung by Walgreen's to pick up a thank-you card for sending to the Dominicans. However, I had forgotten to take the address with me. After failing to locate a business pages directory at Walgreen's, Office Depot, and the post office, I finally called the Dominicans. A Sister answered and after I repeated my name a second time, she said, "Oh, yes, I sat at your table yesterday." hmm ..."my" table ... how kind. Unfortunately, I have no idea which Sister I'm talking to over the phone. She was very nice and inviting and when I told her that I was trying to mail something to Sr. x (since she is my Dominican contact), she offered to give me the residence address. Well, where Sr. x works and where she lives is basically the same "place." So when she gave me the address, I just thought that she gave me the "Dominican Sisters" address since there were no unit number, or apartment number or such.

Well, just now, I'm sitting here looking up Dominican Saints and one of the pages happens to be for this particular community. I saw the address and something triggered that it wasn't the address that I was given this afternoon. Sure enough, the address I took down this afternoon is not the published Dominican address. I now have Sr. x's home address! I'm just as surprised as Sr. x when she gets my card!

On another matter, I did rearrange Dumbo's room. Dumbo was gone for a little over 3 hours. Dumbo is not pleased. We did talk about it prior to my actually carrying it out, but the results suck. My back is not pleased either, and I'm sure it will complain bitterly come morning. Anyhow, so there will be more moving stuff around in the coming weeks. Getting my hair cut in the morning. Very much looking forward to that.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

fastest easy Websudoku time: 4 min 9 sec (must have been real easy)

Dumbo is out of the house for the moment. I'm supposed to be taking my shower, but Dumbo's room needs rearranging. I will try to surprise Dumbo and have it rearraged. This is a MAJOR undertaking becuase there is lots of clutter in that room. It shall just be little 'ol me moving stuff around. I better get going.


priest: Instead of grocery shopping, I'd suggest you pray and see what God wants you to do.
me: I have, but I guess I'm not very good at listening.
priest: God also speaks to you through your gifts. See what it is that you're most passionate about. Then see what order will best allow you to do that which you are most passionate about doing.

Um, that's the same advice Susan Rose gave me from the start.

That means I need to go back to the drawing board and get some homework done, because I don't know what it is that I'm good at or passionate about. I'm pretty laid back so most of the time, everything is ho-hum.

I guess fundamentally, I want everybody to know that they each matter, regardless of their shortcomings. On the flip side, I want everybody to know that everybody else matters. I believe it is love that transforms and it is grace that saves. May whatever I do be for the glory of God and may I be a channel for Jesus' love. That is, may people not see me, but see instead the love of Jesus. Then may the love of God be enkindled in them, and move them to do what God intends.

yak yak

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

The dialogue with the Dominicans continues. Thanks be to God that the Dominicans who dialogued with me today are my two favorites. There are many things about the Dominicans that strike my fancy ... so much so that I cannot at this time look at another congregation. You duped me, O Lord, and I let myself be duped. (Jer 20, 7) Likewise, they seem to have captured me and I let myself be captured (though not entirely).

discernment weekend

Saturday, February 18, 2006

The Sisters of Divine Providence (CDP's) in San Antonio, Texas are having a discernment weekend March 24 - 26, 2006. Uh, no, they don't wear the habit. They are very cool, very fun, very diverse. I had a most wonderful time in their company and hospitality last year. If you have any interest, please do not hesitate to contact them.

yester eve

Wonderful time with the Dominicans yesterday evening. I didn't say much. And in fact, perhaps 4 or 5 of the Sisters didn't say much either. The major talkers did the talking. I enjoyed their company food, and environment. I think I suffer from withdrawal symptoms the day after, definitely unexpected and beyond my control.

I'm supposed to see them again this coming Tuesday. It should just be me and them, then I can discuss my concerns.

Bambi's doc visit was good. Elective procedure scheduled roughly a month from now. We'll need to do some prep work before then.


Thursday, February 16, 2006

Slept late. Revamped resume to reflect new career direction. Posted new resume on three big job boards.

Bambi's new specialist doc wants to see Bambi pronto: 1pm TODAY.

Tuesday's doc visit resulted in modified diet: don't eat unless it's lean meat, vegetables, or fresh fruit; drink only water or sugarless drinks. Yum yum, I get to eat up all the good stuff that we have that Bambi can't eat. Meals are going to be tricky, though.

Gotta run.

just rambling

Wednesday, February 15, 2006 a call today about a 6-month contract job in Grand Rapids, MI; same field and industry I was working. Imagine that. I had never heard of Grand Rapids until I met Natty through her blog. And now the only job call I have is for work there.

Got obligations here. Kinda far from home there (what? I'd have to pay both the mortgage here and the housing rental there?). And I'm trying to change careers. Leaning towards a no response to that call.

Doc visit yesterday so went volunteering today instead of yesterday. More folding paper flowers (I think this is the last of it). The Sisters talked to me some more about vocations. Hey, I'm all for it, I wanna get into it, but I can't.

Dinner with the Dominicans tomorrow. Gumby is invited too. Now that's rare. I'm getting the idea that the Dominicans are a pretty open bunch.

cute mnemonic

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

One of the topics covered for the A+ certification, which I am now pursuing, is the laser printer process: Clean, Charge, Write, Develop, Transfer, Fuse. A cute mnemonic for it is "Care & Compassion Will Develop True Friendship." Awwwww. (Another option is "California Cows Won't Dance the Fandango" as well as some rather crude ones.)

Kinda embarassing that I have to study for this most basic of certifications. Kinda painful that I'm doing on-line studying with dial-up. Back to the grindstone.


Oh, yeah ... Happy Valentine's Day, y'all.

The following was seen at
Flavor of the Month.

Your Candy Heart Says "Get Real"

You're a bit of a cynic when it comes to love.
You don't lose your head, and hardly anyone penetrates your heart.

Your ideal Valentine's Day date: is all about the person you're seeing (with no mentions of v-day!)

Your flirting style: honest and even slightly sarcastic

What turns you off: romantic expectations and "greeting card" holidays

Why you're hot: you don't just play hard to get - you are hard to get

Yup. That's my mood right about now.


Sunday, February 12, 2006

Friday it was ... Smurf: "Why didn't you wake me up?" me: "I thought you changed your mind about going." See, I know it's hard for you to sleep, so I let you sleep when you can.

Saturday morn we went to a Baptist thingamajig in support of Smurf's relative. They had four preachers, one topic each. One word to these Baptist preachers: "commitment." Please keep to your time commitment. Considering that I hadn't had breakfast and that I'm not that interested, I wasn't happy that by noon there are still two more talks to go before you feed us. Even more unhappy when the third preacher decides to take a whole hour, wanders all over the place, throws in scripture here and there and a few big words and still claims to be on topic by returning to it every now and then. Hey preacher, don't strain too hard ... go to the Catholic Catechism and they'll have the scriptures cross-referenced already for you. We left a few minutes into the last preacher's sermon, got our food (kudos to them for having them in to-go boxes already) and left some time after 2pm, ravenously starving.

Sat eve I woke Smurf up too late for Smurf to get ready and go to mass. I thought it was enough time. My fault, really, as I had forgotten what time Smurf had requested to be awaken. After mass is a party for the associate pastor. "Do you still want to go to the party? When do you want me to wake you up?" I get a glare and then "I want you to leave me alone and I go back to sleep." I say "So you don't want me to wake you up? I won't wake you then, okay?"

I decided to go to the party. Then when I left the party I called Smurf. I hear the anger. I get home and eventually it's the "I asked you if you were going to the party, why didn't you wake me up" issue. Folks, I have an extremely simple mind. If you don't say what you mean and if you don't mean what you say, then I am absolutely clueless as to what you intend.


beef, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes stewing in the slow cooker ... yes, I forgot the celery, but I ain't going back out to get it ... I shall not mention it and see if Smurf even notices its absence


Friday, February 10, 2006

Just ... out of it.

Yup, my head is immersed in I-know-not-what. I just know that I seem to have extracted myself from life itself. Not really watching the Olympics opening. Haven't watched the news since who-knows-when.

Alot of stuff swimming around in my head. Jobs. Companies. Pay. Little pay. Stuff I need to learn. Stuff I need to do. Need to liquidate one of the 401K's. Need groceries. Oh, yeah, need to locate a ride home from church on Sunday. Let me go fire off that e-mail now.

out n about

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Gumby had a meeting this morn. Then we had lunch. Then we both went to the open-your-own-business meeting. Then I met about tech training. Then rush hour traffic. Got back in our hood then we had a flat. Fortunately Gumby was driving and took us safely off the highway onto a parking lot. I changed out the tire. We just bought that tire back when I had the wheel lock problems. I can see nothing wrong with the tire (aside from it being flat). Will get back to the tire place soon. Late home for the Grammys by a few minutes.

Hopefully I'll meet with the unemployment agency tomorrow about financial assistance for tech training. I hope they'll have info as which is the best place as well, since I've only met with one. The presentation this training place gave me still leaves me fuddled. Wow it sure costs MUCH moolah and much time.

As far as the business, it is certainly doable. I'd need at least $30-$40K to put in and the remaining will be a business loan. That's a pretty reasonable seed amount. Not saying that I have it, however.

I'm pretty excited about the sys admin stuff though. There is earning potential plus the potential to work in organizations alongside the religious. I can't do both; leaning towards sys admin. Gonna be a steep climb.


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Tomorrow I go meet about the possibility of opening a business. Then I will leave from there and go to a tech school to see what they can do for me. They had recruiters contacting them for their students' resumes today. The lady said I might get help from the unemployment agency too to take the classes I need. Woo hoo!

I want to move into Systems Administration. Every business and organization has a computer system/network that needs to be administered. It would give me great flexibility as to which industry I can be a part of ... including healthcare systems, but most of all, including convents!!!

My dear Lord Jesus, make me useful to you!


Monday, February 06, 2006

Stepping up the job search (less blogging, see?). Trying to figure out what to do for money until the big job comes (so looking at big jobs and small jobs). Trying to figure out what education I'd need to make a career change, and where I'd get that education and how the heck I'd expect that to happen. Set up a meeting on Wednesday with a company that helps people start a business. I think I'd still like to open a business but sometimes I'm scared to death at the mere thought of it. More pressure than support under this roof. On the other hand, the Sisters are supportive and my family folks are trying to help. However, when it comes to finding a job, there's not a whole lot other folks can do.

I can't even get at my $ in the 401K -- not without heavy penalties. I suppose I'll take those penalties if I have to in order to keep the house. Will cross that bridge when I get there.

Man, I am tired.

cool off

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Okay, I've cooled off now. I've talked to some folks I respect. I think I am starting to understand. My apologies to the Dominicans, though I doubt that there are any Dominicans reading this blog. I still need that one-on-one meeting with them, however.

Given a choice between "conservative" or "progressive," one person voiced the opinion that "progressive" is a better approximation of reality. Conservatives are more likely to see things as black and white, and life is not like that. He also said that it's unlikely that I'll find a community in the middle. He explained to me how the religious have studied so much and know so much more than the average pew warmer, and thus the religious are more likely to study stuff that blows my mind. So okay, I'm easing off a little.

Thanks also to Natty, who helped me vent and then work through this stuff.


Friday, February 03, 2006

I don't usually cook. But last night I did pork chops (broiled), white rice, veggies from frozen bag, and dinner rolls from frozen stuff. I also baked a cornbread for the following day. The kitchen was a disaster. So after cooking and eating, I also got to do quite a bit of cleaning. Then I ironed 5 shirts before calling it quits, exhausted.

Just about all of today was spent at the Grandmother's. Got home in the evening. Had dinner. Not doing cleaning tonight. Then replaced the inner tube on my bike. My bike has had a flat rear tire for about a month now. The task wasn't as horrible as I had remembered. We were supposed to do 1st Friday adoration tonite 1-2am. I bet it won't happen because Jetson's health won't allow it and because there has already been much complaint and anxiety over the shortage of $. I feel pretty darn cheap/stupid to let the cost of gas keep me from visiting my Lord, but it's for keeping peace under this roof. Now that I've fixed my flat, I can still bike to mass at the nearby parish for the 3 mornings out of the week. Let's see if I'll run into world war over my driving to spiritual direction and volunteering.

Duh, Jetson, what the bleep did you think would happen when I'm unemployed and the unemployment benefits are less than half of what I was bringing home? Did you really think that I would find a job in a month or two? How many times have I asked you to not rely so heavily on my income? And because you so love control, you are now freaking out because you have no control over this. I hope it motivates you to take charge of your own welfare, because I don't intend to be your crutch forever. I'm glad that you recognize that you stand to lose more than I do, you who have amassed much material things. How ironic that it was my income, but your stuff...yours because I have no interest in owning things. May you find your anchor in God.


Thursday, February 02, 2006

It so happens that I was in the neighborhood of my home parish today, because we get prescription medication from a store in that area. So I made it a point to go to St. xx. Ahhhh. Home. I visited with Jesus in the tabernacle for a few minutes; picked up a bulletin on the way out.

Then I went to the office in search of my pastor, hoping to interrupt his day and give him a hug. The receptionist tells me she has no priests today. So I left. As I started towards my car, I thought I heard a door close at the rectory across the way. A little while later a car pulls out of the rectory garage. I'm still walking. I waved to the car, not knowing who was in it. As I jumped into my car and started the engine, the other one pulls up beside me. Out pops my pastor, as sprightly as any 20-yr old! We hugged.

We had a big function at our parish this past Sunday, and I was quite certain that he'd notice I wasn't there. He inquired as to where I had been. We stood there in the late afternoon sun and talked briefly about my Dominican experience. He gave me some encouragement, "Where there is a need, God will fill it. Keep searching." He told me he is all in favor of women priests, and encouraged me to voice my concerns with the Dominican prioress. Then we parted.

My pastor is such a joy and comfort to me. My lord Jesus sure knows how to refresh me. Thank you, Jesus!

not today

Made it to mass this morn. Afterwards I ran into Sr. M of the MSC's. She invited me to ministry. I declined, but left the door open and thanked her for the invite. I am in pain at the moment and don't feel like ministering, however small. I did go do my volunteering thing yesterday (instead of Tuesday), resuming the folding of origami flowers. But I am not ready to do stuff that requires "me." It's not easy for me to say "no" to the Dominicans, and I am still wrestling with it. I was torn as well when I said "no" to the CDP's, but this one seems more painful. Perhaps it's only because it's a fresh wound.

I'll see my spiritual director next Tuesday, though I probably need to talk to somebody NOW. But then, there's a good chance that all this will go away over the weekend. Then ironically, I'd sit there and when she says, "So, what's been going on?" I'd reply, "Nothing much." Not trying to be evasive, it's just that sometimes I'm closed off even to myself. But we'll see. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

daily schedule

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

a great post on a daily schedule for a Christ-centered day

I never know when I'll be in bed, but I suppose I can force myself out of bed at 6 a.m. daily. Actually, I've been trying without much success. Oddly enough, when I was on the Dominican discernment weekend, I woke up at 6 a.m. each day without an alarm. But since I didn't want to disturb my roomie, I stayed in bed until 7. It might have been that the adjoining room had an alarm that goes off at that time and somewhere in my consciousness my brain heard it; but I don't know. Now with a plan of attack on hand, I might have more success at home.

a dream

Because my affections are so fickle, I have a low-grade anxiety about one day waking up to find that I no longer love my pastor.

This morning, as I sat on the throne in my grogginess, I faintly remembered a dream from the night--I, who rarely ever remembers any dreams. In my dream, my pastor was in a meeting, people around a table and he is dozing in his seat (he is rather senior). When he did wake up, he gave directions and I guess the meeting was over. I approached him and people made way for me. I gave him a big hug and he was happy.

Well, that's good enough a sign for me that I still love him. I haven't seen him in about a month due to him or I being out of town or I was visiting other parishes. I'm looking forward to seeing him again this Sunday; the parish volunteer gigs will be back "on."