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

Happy New Year

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy New Year!
to all

baby on the way

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Happy Birthday to Tiger Woods. The golfing wonder is now 31 years old. Congratulations to him and his wife: they have a baby on the way.

One of our cassette players wasn't working. So I spent some time excercising the FWD and REV functions, thinking that maybe it was just a little crusty from lack of use. I discovered that I could make it play just a little by cycling the pause button. Boy, I was real smug when I discovered that I could make it really play by only halfway depressing the pause button. Then I opened it to remove the tape and found several feet of accordion-ed tape. I tried to save what I could, resorting to splicing when I had to cut out a section that had been stretched to a thread (probably from my trying to yank it out of the machine where it stuck). Gee, can anyone remember the last time they had to splice a cassette tape? Can anyone remember having cassette tapes? Anyhow, so some of the tape is still good. But the best news of all: the player now plays.

it's a shame

Friday, December 29, 2006

Saddam Hussein has been executed. It's a friggin' shame that capital punishment is still practiced. I have no sympathy for the guy, but answering violence with violence is not the way to go. If nothing else, it's dumb. This is what you do when you can't figure out an elegant solution--you basically try to "flush away your problem."

Dear God, teach us your ways and deliver us from darkness.

One Church One Community

Thursday, December 28, 2006


One Church One Community -- help rebuild our parishes

I love being Catholic

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Why am I Catholic? Because Catholicism rings true to me; it makes sense. I agree that the cross doesn't have much meaning until Jesus got crucified on it and hence the crucifix upon which we gaze. It may be a surprise to Protestants, but yes, we Catholics are well aware that Jesus is risen. (Are Protestants aware that time is not linear for God?) It is of considerable value for me to gaze upon our Lord's suffering and sacrifice.

I believe that Jesus himself heads our Church, that we've an unbroken heritage all the way back to the apostles. It makes sense to me that we don't follow just the Bible, but tradition as well. Jesus didn't start a church by handing them a bible; neither did he say to his disciples, "Go forth and write a book." The printing press didn't arrive until much later in history; the people were generally uneducated, few were literate, and books were rare. Thus comes forth the rich Catholic art for telling the stories of the bible. (Though unfortunately, our exposure to such art is largely of a european bent giving the false impression that Christianity was a "white man's" religion.)

I love the richness of the variety of devotions, the stories of Saints, and love for Jesus' mother. I love that our priests are educated before they can become priests. I love that the order of the mass is relatively universal; that I can be out of town and yet still find a surrogate church home where I belong. I love that the church is not built around a priest, that another priest can come in take over the pastorship and we'd still be Catholic. I love that we don't sugar-coat life, that we can accept suffering and still gaze heavenward.

There is so much more I can say, but I think I'll stop here and go to bed.

my Christmas

Last week I was rather sleep deprived, so when I could go to bed at a reasonable time, I did so instead of blogging. Life is rather busy; surely you don't want to know every detail of my oh-so-ordinary life.

Christmas is going just fine. I got my tri-monthly hair cut/shear job on Saturday. Sunday we attended three masses: Sunday mass, one of the Christmas masses at my parish where I had volunteer duty, and then midnight mass at the cathedral. Much as I love our bishop, I dozed off a few times. It was cold in the cathedral and that only makes me sleepier. Monday was social time. Today was another social, then home for dinner and chilling out and getting ready for the week. It's back to work as usual tomorrow; we've a deadline at week's end.

It's sort of funny: the morning news on Christmas day showed various church celebrations. When it showed the Catholic celebration, the attendance was rather sparse with many empty pews. It must've been the 7am mass. Had they been there at midnight mass, they'd have scarcely found room for their camera--the cathedral was packed even with the choir in the balcony. I am fairly certain that every Christmas anticipatory mass at my own parish was packed as well.

I am a bit heavy hearted tonight. I just heard from my friend, a Sister; her mother is very ill with cancer. Somehow, I just don't think the cancer will go away this time. There is nothing that I can say that could possibly be of any help. I perused the Bible but did not find anything that seemed suitable. I did promise to keep them in my prayers. My blogging friends, please send a prayer their way. Thanks.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

C H R I S T M A S !
to all

find thy happiness

Sunday, December 17, 2006

I've been kinda bummed out for a while. Yeah, like I-don't-care-if-I-live-or-die bummed out. I've realized that I'm not very capable of making myself happy. That is not a good thing. It is unwise to enter into a relationship without first knowing how to care for your own happiness. You cannot rely on others to help you be happy. That's just not a good thing.

Even being mildly angry about the fact that the people in the city parts of China are not free to have more than one dog, and that the dog cannot be big, and that they have to get rid of the "extra" and bigger dogs they already own did not shake my bummedness.

I know I enjoy bicycling. I've just been too bummed out to drag myself out of bed in the wee hours of morning for that 7am or even 8am ride. I used to do it when I had a goal: the MS150 two-day ride from Houston to Austin. I don't have that goal anymore; my personal spending into the trip is a bit too much and the donation amount is more than I think I can beg for. But maybe I'll get my butt up and continue the rides anyways.

I also feel like I need to get away sometimes. I need more alone time at home, but that hardly ever happens. There's just two of us here, but the other party is almost always at home when I'm home.

So bicycling it will be. Maybe not this upcoming weekend though, since it's so close to Christmas.

survived another week

I've been generally bummed out. I slept late Saturday morning, so I ran my errands a little late and in fact miscalculated and was not able to complete one of the errands. Got to the Dominican morning prayer event a little late too.

I had a great time with the Dominicans. I was quite beautiful.

Then I came home and continued being bummed. I watched a show about boys and how some schools are trying to help boys in school by separating the girls and boys allowing the boys to have more physical activity in the classroom. I think that's a great idea. It will be a while before we see the results. It's so sad to see how some kids dropped out of school simply because they didn't have hope for the future. Gee, if only I could be there to tell them what I know, to hopefully give them the oomph to continue.

Then I put up some Christmas lights outside. You'd think by now I'd know to test a string of lights before putting them up. Oh well, I am bull-headed sometimes. Then I put up two garlands around the windows inside. Then Gumby and I started on the Crhistmas card list. It's a bit involved; I won't go into the details. Anyhow, after quitting that and taking my shower, I had about 2 hours of sleep then off to 7:30 a.m. mass.

I survived my scripture sharing talk. Thanks be to God. I had asked the Holy Spirit that my listeners would hear what the Holy Spirit intends, regardless of what comes out of my mouth. The person in charge was satisfied with my work, saying that I should have been doing this two years ago.

Here's the deal: I suffer from stage fright. I do not know what trauma has caused it, but it's beyond my control. I will start out ok, hence a short and brief talk like today works. But after a little bit, I will actually start to shake/shiver/quiver. I hide it as best as I can by tensing my muscles. I am as relaxed as I can be at the start, but my body will eventually do this weird thing. It was getting to that point this morning, but my talk ended before I have to be standing up in front of everybody like that. Instead, I continue my little fight in my seat (once it starts, it takes a while to go away). My other volunteer stint followed and it went ok, only a few glitches but nothing catastrophic. So it's been a good Sunday morning.

sight to see

Friday, December 15, 2006

There's this guy who hocks his wares at patch of green by a gas station on the corner of a busy street. I've seen him and his wares before; I'm thinking around Easter. Now it's around Christmas and he's back. And what are his wares?

He has a curious collection of animals. No, not live ones. They seem to be, on average 4-6 feet tall. And it doesn't matter what they are. It could be a frog or a horse, it'd still be 4-6 ft tall. It's a whole variety of animals there. The last time he was there they were all solid dark brown. Tonight he has them in a round pen, closely gathered. He might have been closed for business. Tonight, I saw what must have easily been a 10-ft rooster, white with large dots. It was standing all by itself outside of the pen. Since it was dark, I couldn't make out the colors of the dots (also, did I mention that it was a busy intersection, and that I was three lanes away?). I also saw a giraffe.

It is a marvelous sight to see.

I don't know who would want a 10-ft tall rooster in their yard, though. For sure it would turn some heads. The home owner's association, however, might just demand that the rooster be gone. But just imagine if the entire neighborhood would have one of these fine creatures in each front yard. Now we're talking Texas!


Sunday, December 10, 2006

Dunno. Looks like time and energy just zooms away. I missed quite a few daily masses this past week. I can't even remember the week too well. We did have a sung vespers followed by a short concert on Thursday night and Immaculate Conception mass on Friday night. Saturday I attended a talk on St. Francis of Assisi. This Saturday eve and the Saturday before I attended mass at the Dominican convent. Mass with the Dominicans is a rare occurence because their mass is on Saturday and pretty much in the middle of "errand time."

Next Saturday I hope to attend the Dominican morning prayer event for discerners.

I asked Tonto that we not have a big Christmas this year. We've spent some major dollars on car repairs in October and this month. Thanksgiving was no small dinner. We've also spent quite a bit on some new clothes this month. I felt that the spending was getting out of control.

We have yet to work on our Christmas cards. However, we have purchased them--enough for at least 100 receipients plus some for this other person who is not able to get out and shop.

Work feels chaotic. We are at the beginning stages and the situation has been quite fluid. I'm kinda waiting for things to gel at the upper levels, and for clearer direction to flow down. In the meantime, we on the lower levels are still required to keep churning, quite regardless of whether we are churning in the right direction.

Building management threw a pary last week and offered a lunch for all their tenants. Department Christmas party will be this week. Company Christmas party next week.

This coming up Sunday I am on hook to share my reflections on the Gospel reading in one of my volunteer gigs. That's a first for me. I'm also up for the other volunteer gig. This, after being off of both volunteer gigs for at least 3 weeks.

See ya. Stay warm. Stay safe. May all be kind to you.


Friday, December 08, 2006

I'm saddened to hear that James Kim did not survive his ordeal. I had been following the story for several days, marveling at his resourcefulness and hoping that he'd beat the odds. May he rest in peace, knowing that he saved his family.

May we remember to stock our cars with emergency supplies, including a thermal blanket. There are numerous survival kits out there, some fitting in a sardine can, that are probably very much worth the investment: something with which to start a fire, a compass, something reflective for signalling, a whistle (sure beats yelling), some sort of cutting tool and so on--I don't really know all the contents. A whistle is good to have on hand at all times.

Spirit of Christmas?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

I was at the post office. I had one piece of mail to send off. I walked up to the slot and there was a lady there. She had a stack of mail. I estimated that she would have to divide the stack into four smaller ones to fit them through the slot. Thanks to 911, they no longer have the door that allows you to make a big dump; all mail has to go through the slot. She was directly in front of the slot and I was next to it. So after he made her first drop and was "reloading," I stepped forward saying "Excuse me," and slid in my one piece of mail. Then I started to walk away.

"Or you could wait until I finished," she said.
I thought she was joking. I attempted a weak smile and kept walking.
"It would be in the spirit of Christmas, you know" she continued.
Since I am a little dense, I was just then starting to realize as I kept walking that she wasn't joking.

I had no idea that my little intrusion was offensive. I'm used to being around folks who would gladly give you the last piece of pie, or let you go ahead in line because you had just a few groceries, or step aside from the copy machine because you needed just one copy and they had a book to do. It never occurred to me that anyone would object to my stepping in for a split second; no idea that I was violating the spirit of Christmas.

Help me out folks, would you agree that I should have waited until she finished? Or should I have asked if I can jump in?


Thursday, November 30, 2006

Unusually chilly for us Texans at the moment. Yeah, I know it's November and all. We're around freezing temps tonight. The temperature drop was very dramatic as the cold front blew in. At least it's not raining. We southerners are ill-equiped for icy conditions.

It's all relative: I've heard it said that 80 degrees F is a heat wave for New Yorkers; down here, they'd call it a cool front.

I wouldn't be too surprised if it's around 80 degrees F here again come Christmas.

Not much blogging because not much is going on. Usual humdrum of going to work, coming home and doing the daily thing, then sleep. I'm definitely not complaining, though.

I've been making it to daily noon mass, though sometimes I'm pretty much asleep through it. One day I dozed during the intercessions (we were standing) and jerked back awake as I was starting to lose my balance. That's goofy to be drowsy while standing at the foot of the cross at Calvary at our Lord's crucifixion, and again at His resurrection. But Lord, I do try; physiology just gets the better of me sometimes.

During the "Holy, holy" one day, when we got to the "Heaven and Earth are full of your glory," it occurred to me that earth was also full of His mercy.

Mass is followed by gobbling of a sanwich as I drive back. It's just two pieces of bread, mayo and two slices of luncheon meat. I don't understand the appeal of deli-thin sliced meat -- it just means that I would now need 5 slices instead of 2. I should try to remember to buy some cucumbers. I like cucumbers in sanwiches.

Pretty dang near had an accident one day. When I see cars at the intersection turning left, my logic says I can turn right. However, it wasn't that they had a dedicated left turn signal, but rather they judged the timing to be suitable for the left turn. So they were turning left and I was turning right, except that the cars plowing down the street could've hit me as the left turning cars cleared. Thanks be to God that there was room for the other cars to manuever to avoid hitting me.

Friday tomorrow. Looking forward to the weekend. Saturday we will be attending some sort of presentation at the Dominican's place. It's probably going to be way over my head, but what the heck, I haven't anything to lose. This Sunday I am free from both volunteer gigs at my parish. That means that I will be free to visit a different parish if I so choose.

birthday meme

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Seen at LAMLand

1. Go to Wikipedia.

2. In the search box, type your birth month and day but not the year.

3. List three events that happened on your birthday:

1261 - Urban IV becomes Pope, the last man to do so without being a Cardinal first.
1756 - Frederick the Great attacks Saxony, beginning the Seven Years' War.
1831 - Michael Faraday discovers electromagnetic induction.

4. List two important birthdays and one death

born 1632 - John Locke, English philosopher (d. 1704)
born 1958 - Michael Jackson, American singer
died 1968 - Ulysses S. Grant III, American soldier and planner (b. 1881)

5. One holiday or observance (if any)

Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Roman Catholic Church commemorate the beheading of John the Baptist with a feast day.


What is up with my head? I left work early on Wednesday because my head hurt. Thursday I had a stuffy head/headache as well. Friday I pretty much slept all day and had to take some pills for my head when I got up. Yesterday, Saturday, I had to take two doses of pills for my headache. Today I have the same stuffy head headache. I've just popped some pills. Much as I'd like to sleep, I'm afraid the sleep will just make the problem worse. It's as if Texas can't have beautiful weather without bringing with it stuff in the air to make you sick. The previous run of beautiful weather had everybody sneezing like crazy.

angry message

Saturday, November 25, 2006

A certain person left a phone message today. It was rather angry, calling Tonto a "worthless xxx." See, this person had been of some assistance while Tonto was recovering. This person has recently undergone some medical stuff and apparently was expecting Tonto to at least give some attention. However, we made no hospital visits, and sent no card. Tonto, however, has been of some assistance prior to this and had spoken to the spouse at length days ago.

There are some points to be made. One, it's not "giving" if you do it while counting the costs. It's not "giving" if you demand repayment in one form or another. In giving, your reward is not to come from the recipient, but rather from the source of all good: God. If you are expecting anything good, then look to God because there is absolutely no other source for "good."

Two, no human is ever "worthless" given that Jesus paid with his suffering, body, and blood. I am not worth "something" because I have contributed. I am not worth "something" because I am of benefit to you. Rather I am worth beyond all measure simply because God created me and attends to me and Jesus has suffered for me.

Also, it's just immature to call people names. It doesn't solve anything and it shuts down communications real fast. And finally, nobody is obligated to join in your pity party. Get a grip, man.


From the Holy Vocations blog, a link to a Time magazine article:

Today's Nun Has A Veil--And A Blog

Yes, indeed, I long to live the religious life. I worry about being too old. My financial debt is great; it will take years to pay off. I do want to be happy with my job. And those who know about my work would think it awesome to have my job. I have to remind myself every day what a blessing it is. So it's not that I'm telling myself that I won't be happy unless I'm in the convent. I do try to be happy where I am, but the emptiness I feel is real.

The person closest to me is not supportive ... "You don't have what it takes." "You'll probably be happy for a year and then you'll want something else." "Must you obsess on this nun thing?" Just little stabs. The person closest to me is also the one with the most to "lose" if I enter the convent. These little stabs only push me further. Maybe I don't have what it takes, but that's up to God. Maybe I won't be happy, but I won't know unless I try. And no, I am not obsessing on this nun thing (really, how often do I blog about it?), but it is very important to me.

I lean on the stories of the Saints: St. Jean Vianney who couldn't pass his tests, St. Francis of Assissi who was deemed a deserter and imprisoned, St. Faustina who never opened the convent that she felt called to do, St. Therese who never did the missionary work that she felt called to do ... and so on. It is my job to keep my eyes on Jesus, oblivious to what gets thrown my way.

Love that tune!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Oooh. I really, really like the song "Buttons" by Pussycat Dolls.

t-day dinner

This is another year where I'm cooking the Thanksgiving dinner. The meat, cranberry sauce and desserts were bought. The rest was up to me. The mustard greens came out too salty. The sweet potato casserole and the cornbread dressing were still too soft. But we all had full bellies nonetheless.

The logistics this year was simply not good. Mass at 10 a.m. then Tonto and I had to pick up a few folks. The meat takes 4 1/2 hours to cook. So it was done by 9 (we had to leave for mass shortly thereafter). Mass 10-11. Some socializing after mass. Then we head out north. We both went because it takes two to load the motorized wheelchair, even with the batteries out. The next person gets off of work at 1pm. So fine, we left point number two for the next pick up. Some more socializing and it's almost 2pm when we get home. Then it takes a some time to unload the wheelchair and such.

Meat has been out 5 hours now, but it's ok. I now have hungry people in the house, and two casseroles to cook (cornbread dressing & sweet potato casserole). So I put the cornbread in the oven beside the turkey. Half an hour later I remove the turkey and put in the sweet potato. I serve some time after 3pm. And dang it, the casseroles are not cooked enough and are still soft or runny(they're both edible though ... they were edible even without baking).

Oh well. In past years, these things went off without a hitch. But in past years I was able to cook continuously after mass. I have no excuse for the salty greens. To fix the problem, we transferred the greens to another pot and added more water.

I'm going to bed now. Forget the shower. I'm pooped.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thank you, Lord, for a job that gives me holidays off (with pay).

Lord, please bless those who are distressed during "the holidays." May your light and love lift them up. May they have some one with whom to share, and may some one share with them.

Which reminds me: thank you, Lord, for the kindness of others.

beta blogging

Saturday, November 18, 2006

I dove into beta blogger.
Then "upgraded" the template.
And lost some content.
Because it was part of the template.

So here I sit.
Contemplating the template.
And no, this ain't poetry.

Please pardon
the disarray
the blog is not yet polished
not I am promising that it ever would be

Leonid meteor shower tonight

"Late Saturday night a meteoric sky show could break over New York, New England, and eastern Canada. The famed Leonid meteor shower ...

... The whole thing should last for only about a half hour centered on 11:45 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on November 18th.

... Any Leonids you see will be coming from the northeast. Be patient. "

-- from the Skytonight website.

tired as usual

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Tired. As usual, I feel tired. Then I think back to the times when my resting heart rate was measured. Those taking the measurements were always impressed. You see, if you have a really good heart, it doesn't have to work as hard while you are resting. So a lower resting heart rate indicates a healthy heart, and a faster rate indicates that the heart is working really hard just to keep you sitting upright. Apparently, mine is a lower rate than average. "Do you work out / exercise?" is what they'd usually ask me. "No," is my usual answer (sometimes the answer is, "Not on purpose.")

I suspect my lower heart rate is not so much that I've a healthy heart. Rather, I think my system somehow fails to tell my heart to output a little more. I yawn alot on any given day, and my legs get tired if I sit long. Ever since I can remember, I've always had a need to fidget my legs when sitting in class.

I can just fall over and snooze right now. The cats would love it. But I've still to take my shower. Mass at 7:30 in the morning; fat chance I'd get up early enough to shower so I'd better do it tonight.
I was out for while this afternoon, at a trendy mall for a quick go-in-get-out errand for Gumby. Traffic sucked. There is so much to see, but the traffic was so bad I just wanted to go home. The holiday madness has already begun. And I'm already tired. I need clothes, but I haven't the energy.

Dinner with the Dominicans tomorrow eve. Looking forward to it.

settling in

Friday, November 10, 2006

OK, I think the adrenaline has worn off. For much of this week, I was unusually peppy at waking up in the morning (despite my irritated stomach making me get up at 5 or 5:30). But this morning I was back to being sluggish. I still got to work by 7:30 as usual, though ... thank goodness.

Daily noon mass has been a compromise. I'll attend but not take communion. I'll sit at my desk and nibble on some junk from the vending machine between 11 and noon. Then at noon I make a dash for the 12:15 mass (I've been a little late getting there each time). Mass is over around 12:45 and I make a dash back to be in the office at 1:00. I may play around with that arrangement. Maybe I can get the vending machine junk and leave it in the car, then nibble on it after mass on the drive back, therefore I'd be able to receive communion.

I wonder how much longer I'd be allowed to walk around with this "lost" look. My co-workers are probably expecting it to wear off. Little do they know that it is practically a permanent "feature" of mine. Anyhow, there is so much that I need to learn for this job! Did I already say it's a complex task? (God help me!)

day two

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Not to worry, I won't continue counting out my work days.

Today I finished all the corporate compliance training modules (there were 7 or 8 of them). I'm sure there is more to come down the line somewhere. I also now have some six or so documents to read or at least peruse. Hey, I'm a returning employee, I should be able to hit the ground running. This thing that we're working on is quite complex. And we're in the early stages. Kinda scary since we're setting the stage and I have a part in it; what we put on paper now is going to have long term ramifications. I'm trying to get an understanding of this stuff. I should remind myself to pray more often.

I ran into some more familiar faces today. Pleasant surprises.

Gumby and I did early voting last week.

I don't know if my physical problems are from the flu shot received on Sunday, or from the food I ate, or some combination of both. Sunday night I was very fatigued and went to bed at 9 with no dinner, and got up at 6 with no appetite for breakfast. Else I seemed okay Monday; I ate lunch and dinner. I woke up early Tuesday morning with an irritated stomach, feeling bloated with gas that doesn't go anywhere. So my second day at work I've got this uneasy stomach all day, and some diarrhea to go with it. Hopefully I'll feel better tomorrow.

first day

Monday, November 06, 2006

It was a good first day. They had a cubicle with telephone and computer for me. Not only that, I was able to logon to the company network. Hey, that's awesome. I don't have access to everything yet, but that is to be expected. An old friend stopped by. Wow, I didn't even know this friend was there! "I thought you wanted out of this business," says my friend. "Yes, but this is xxx." I replied, "Who wouldn't want to work on xxx?"

Morning was orientation. Got a big fancy binder of documents, a pen, notepad, a company freebie item, employee badge and access card. After lunch I was shown to my desk and left to set up my computer stuff. After a while I went looking for the ladies room and had to ask for directions. Later on I went back to another area to meet a colleague, who then proceeded to e-mail me some 4 documents related to the work, and a reference document to assist in learning the lingo. Looks like I won't be bored. I'll also have a handful of corporate compliance training "courses" to complete at my computer over the next few weeks.

Oy, it was comfortable. Everyone was welcoming and pleasant. I can certainly work with these folks.


Sunday, November 05, 2006

I think it does a man's heart much good for him to lay eyes on a beautiful woman. So ladies, you can do a ministry of "beauty," but do keep it pure.
I think one of the joys of being single is that you don't have some one in your ear telling you that you've made a mistake when you make a mistake.
I am in need of new clothes, but I do so dislike shopping. Shopping for clothes is particulary bothersome becuase I have to try them on and I have to figure out if they even look good and I have to figure out what shoes can be worn with them. Unfortunately, sneakers don't go with everything. I'm tired of T-shirts; I've a gazillion of them, none of which were purchased. They all came from various charity events or company celebrations. I think I'm ready for solid tees, at least they look a little more polished than the billboard t-shirts overwhelming my closet. My jeans are all worn. I really can't remember how long ago I purchased these clothes I've been wearing. As for my casual dress shoes (only two) ... I think they're from my college days.
First day of work tomorrow. I hope to get my life back into some sort of schedule. With any luck, I'll be able to attend daily noon mass again. I might have to go without eating lunch (trade mass for lunch). But I suspect that in the beginning, I'd need to do social lunches.

not fair (of course)

Thursday, November 02, 2006

I just watched a TV show that revealed that entrance to some of America's elite universities can be bought. That is, if you have the dollars, you too can be an ivy-league student. What's more, you can edge out an academically superior student for the spot. C'mon folks, please tell me that no one is surprised by that. Fairness and equality is a myth. Is that not one of the first lessons you learned: life is not fair.

No two persons are the same, hence it wouldn't make sense to treat everyone the same. So okay, supposing that two persons are equal, hence they should receive equal treatment. Then I ask you, are two persons ever equal?

The relevant question, I suppose, would be "Is this justice/injustice?" Is it injustice that an academically superior student is edged out by a relatively academically inferior but financially superior student? That sort of rejection is pretty much the same as saying "We don't want your business." That's like showing up at a posh hotel only to have them say, "We have no rooms available" then watch as the next person gets checked in. Personally, if I were qualifiable for an ivy league university but they turned me down, I'd say "your loss" and seek a more mutually beneficial relationship with another reputable university. For others, it's the principle of the matter.

verdict is in

Yay! I received word late this afternoon that I have passed the pre-employment screening. I'm set to report for work on Monday. Tomorrow I should receive details on when and where to show up and what to bring. This is comforting to know, since I'm already spending major $ this week.

My trusty steed has over 82K miles. It has been in the shop the past few days for significant maintenance work including new timing belt and drive belt, new PCV valve, new spark plugs, transmission system flush, brake system flush, power steering fluid flush, rear brake adjust and clean, and of course an oil change with new air filter. Since this is some major $, Smurf got them to throw in a complimentary car wash as well. Fortunately, these are not "major repairs" -- work that would require tearing apart the car.

I think it needs new shocks as well, but I'd rather a tire shop take care of the suspension system. I do look forward to getting my steed back tomorrow.

Other major work that we need done include repairs on Smurf's car and dental work for Smurf. We have no dental insurance, and what dental insurance exists in this state all suck anyways. We'll figure this out in the near future.

go there

It's worth a stop by Sr. Mary Martha's blog for a look at all souls day.


Monday, October 30, 2006

Whizz test today. Took my lab papers to the lab. Sign in. Wait in a separate waiting area. 15 minutes. 30 minutes. I'm worried. I have a seafood and crab sanwich in the car, which is parked in the sun as there is no shaded parking space. I then ask Jesus to preserve the sanwich for me, as I don't want to waste food. 45 minutes. 50 minutes. Then it's my turn.

Show picture ID. Oh, wait, it's in the car (I hope). Come back, but the door to the lab area is locked. Everybody in the crowded waiting room watching me trying to get back in. Got back in. They open a cabinet. "Get any one of the kits." "Open it and take all the contents out." "Wash your hands at the sink, water only no soap." Take three steps and there you are in the restroom. "Empty your pockets into the lock box." House keys, car keys, cell phone, pocket prayer book, two dimes, and the little wallet I'd been carrying. "Lock it then put the key here [on the counter]." Holding up collection cup: "Fill it to just above the temperature strip. Don't flush toilet." I entered the restroom, closing and locking the door behind me, emerging shortly with the sample. They checked the temperature strip reading, poured it into a sample vial, sealed the vial with the seal that came with the paperwork, I initial the seal and signed the authenticity of the deal. Got my stuff back in my pockets and was out the door. I suppose it's not as bad as what guys go through to donate sperm.

Yes, I washed my hands before eating my sanwich. ;) It's standard procedure to wash hands with soap and water upon returning home before handling anything: refrigerator handle, cabinet doors, chairs -- nothing if at all possible. Sandwich was no longer cold and was a bit soggy in one spot, but was wholly edible. Thank you, Jesus!

restless / gripe

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Lately I am unexplicably restless. I find no satisfaction in anything. I haven't much of an appetite, and cannot be satisfied with food. I'm tired yet sleeping does not refresh me. I'm not motivated to do anything. I seem unable to concentrate. I'm listless, lethargic. The weather is absolutely gorgeous the past few days, so it's not the weather. I'm just ... ugh.
On another note, I had applied for unemployment benefits and this week the verdict came in: no go. I knew it was a long shot. This is how USA can get away with slavery. They interview you, say they need dedicated professionals who will follow through, who will put in the overtime necessary to accomplish the job. This is the nature of a salaried job. Then once you're in, they load you with work that requires 12-16 hours daily to accomplish. So if you do your job right, you have no time or energy left to look for another job. If you just do your 8 hours daily, then look, you're not doing your job. So you cut corners, try to do just enough to get by. But even with cutting corners, you are still working 12 hours daily. But it pisses me off that I am forced to "do enough to get by." If you take pride in your work, this sort of mentality is pure poison. If you work your employees to the limit, where is there room for creativity? What you have then are robots, stuck to a set and well-practiced routine -- because that's the fastest way to do anything; because it requires no time to stop and think.

If you don't quit, the other way out of a job is to get fired. It is never my goal to get fired for not doing my job. I will keep my end of the promise. And by the way, when I took the job, it was a contract for a set duration. The date came and went and yet the company did not let me go (heck, who would want to let go of a good slave?). No formal renewal contract was ever agreed upon. Yet this is not sufficient to qualify me for unemployment benefits. So the workforce commission looks at it and say, "Well, you knew the workload when you signed the contract. Also, clearly you have quit." Whatever, man. The contract also said my employment would end at a certain date and that renewals would be in writing. They were smart enough to NOT state on the contract how many hours I'd be working. I'll crawl through mud to escape slavery if I have to. Yeah, you bet I'd quit the slavery, and no, I don't need to be paid for ensuring my own freedom. But just imagine someone else who haven't the financial means to escape that employment hell.

I only filed the claim to have the situation documented. Had my claim been approved, I would have had to have been actively looking for work and making new contacts every week. I haven't been doing that at all, so I wouldn't have gotten any benefits anyways.

personal DNA

Saturday, October 28, 2006

As seen on Susan Rose's blog and Lisa's blog ...

Apparently I had done this before, though I don't know how long ago:

And then here are the results from today:

"Your solid grounding in the practicalities of life, along with your self-assuredness and your willingness to appreciate new things make you a LEADER. "
"Your reserved nature, understanding of the world, and faith in others make you RESPECTFUL. " short attention span is beautifully translated as "Never one to pass on an adventure, you're consistently seeking and finding new things, even in your immediate surroundings."
full results here


Friday, October 27, 2006

This has been another one of those weeks where my schedule was hijacked by hospital vigils. So unexpected was the duration of this vigil that the cats did not have food for a day or two (fortunately they have plenty of water). I was getting really irritated at how long this has been. I am absolutely non-productive when I'm having to "wait." Anyhow, thanks be to God that things are as best as can be for the patient.

Man, do I need a shower! Man, does the kitchen need cleaning!

Good news, I got the job that I mentioned earlier. I'll be back with the original career and company and industry. Fortunately, they didn't offer me as much money as I had asked for--I'd have to do some real work if they did! ;) Thanks be to God!

If all goes as expected, I should be starting on the job the first Monday in November.

Oh fudge

Monday, October 23, 2006

Tweety's schedule is kinda upside down: sleeping late into the morning then up piddling around until the wee hours of the night. Sometimes sleep just doesn't come easy for Tweety. Most folks know not to call in the morning. Well, the phone rang this morning. Turns out it was for me and they left a message. Irritated with having sleep interrupted and irritated that I don't answer the phone, Tweety hollered for me to come get the message (the machine is in Tweety's room). I got the message then proceeded to erase it. Except that the message count went from "6" to "0." Oh fudge. Man, Tweety is really mad now as we both realized that I had erased all the messages and it's unrecoverable. So I darted off to mass, leaving Tweety to simmer down and try to continue sleeping.

Sometimes I can really fudge up, and be completely incapable of fixing it. Those moments are miserable for me. Then all I can do is dump it in God's hands and hope He'll see things through. I wonder about the folks for whom these "slips" happen more often, where they seem to make more wrong decisions than right ones. How miserable they must feel! I remember a story of a guy helping to fix his neighbor's truck while the neighbor was on vacation. Well, the guy did something wrong, a fire resulted and the neighbor's house went up in smoke. The poor guy was engulfed with remorse and guilt and his sense of self-worth went to zero. Stuff happens. At least this morning's mishap is not any where that tragic.

vocation retreat invite

Friday, October 20, 2006

would like to invite women between the ages of 18-45
to join them in a vocation retreat
6 p.m. Friday, November 10, 2006
noon, Sunday, November 12, 2006
at their convent
contact Sr. Maura Theriot for more information
m t h e r i o t at ccvi-vdm . o r g

play ball

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The company made an offer. It's lower than I expected. When I get finished with being pissed, I'll need to get my head together to play ball.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I don't watch much TV. However, I saw some "daytime" TV (we don't have cable or satellite) recently. I have discovered what is on the commercials during the day: advertisements for trade schools or continuing education or distance learning, but mostly for trade schools. That's pretty smart.

I don't usually see late night TV either, but I hear the commercials are of the adult flavor.

Late this afternoon I discovered something else: band. We are very near an elementary school and a major high school. From my porch, I could hear the high school band in practice. I'm not outside much, but I was coming in from an errand this afternoon and heard the band. On weekends, I can also hear the cheering noise from the ball games in the park. The schools are next to each other and together they are next to the park.

breaking windows

We have had torrential rains for the past several days and there is widespread flooding in the city. Today it is sunny, but some areas are still flooded. Yesterday morning an SUV was pulled out of flood waters and discovered inside were the bodies of two women, 37 and 16. Apparently they could not get out of their car and drowned.

Gumby and I talked about this a little. We can speculate that it was dark and they didn't know that the water was deep. Once in the water, the car shut down and they were unable to open the windows, which were probably electric-operated. And with the force of water on every side, they were unable to open the car doors.

Gumby habitually carries scissors in the car. These would be the heavy all-metal type scissors. I'm guessing that they can cut seat belts but I've never tried. But the main point is that we can use these heavy scissors to break the car windows. Gumby said the backup was the tire iron. I don't have scissors in the car, but I do have the tire tools. Finally, a screwdriver might work. To break the window, you need something pointy (force = pressure per area, so pointy means less area which means more force for the same effort). Rear and side windows would be the ones to break.

If you'd rather not break the windows, then wait until the car is flooded and the water is equal inside and out and try to open the doors again.

for the Latin enthusiasts

Monday, October 16, 2006

Treasury of Latin Prayers
The Latin Liturgy Association, Inc. Home Page

and while we're at it

the Our Father and Hail Mary in a variety of languages

Still on my to-do list is to learn some of the prayers in Latin and the Our Father in Spanish. Perhaps one day it will happen. I'm still working on memorizing some other things. Growing up in USA, rote memorization has been undervalued so I'm not well-practiced. It took me a while to memorize the stuff needed for mass, and I still don't know the less common stuff (exposition, benediction, mass with a Bishop, etc.)


tagged by T.O. at LAMLAND

Patience ... to refrain (in thought and action) from whacking self or others when things don't go our way

Penance ... to have to wear stockings and a dress that restricts your movements - all made from materials that do not absorb sweat; and also shoes that squish your toes, have no cushion while forcing you to walk on the balls of your feet, and which were designed to predisposition you to an ankle sprain ... and thus dressed, must invariably show up in a situation where you are to appear poised, polished and graceful

Piety ... giving God what is due to God

Prayer ... turning your consciousness to the divine and to heavenly beings

Four words for the following four friends to reflect upon:
generosity, gratitude, grace, gusto

...uh, are there actually four other people besides T.O. who visit this blog?

talking dog

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I heard the following story from a pastor many months ago. I can't remember how he tied it into his homily; there is a very good chance that he didn't.

A guy sees a sign in front of a house: "Talking Dog for Sale." He rings the bell and the owner tells him the dog is in the backyard. The guy goes into the backyard and sees a black Lab just sitting there.
"You talk?" he asks.
"Yeah," the Lab replies.
"So, what's your story?"
The Lab looks up and says, "Well, I discovered pretty young that I had this talent and I wanted to help the government, so I told the CIA about my gift. In no time they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping. I was one of their most valuable spies eight years running."The jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn't getting any younger and I wanted to settle down. So I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security work, mostly wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings there and was awarded a whole bunch of medals. Now I'm just retired."
The guy is amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner what he wants for the dog.
The owner replies, "Ten dollars."
"This dog is amazing," says the man. "Why on earth are you selling him so cheap?"
The owner replied, "He's such a liar. He didn't do any of that stuff."

taken from this webpage which has other dog stuff.

better metronomes

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Yo, musicians, I do love some classical stuff and for sure a Wittner metronome is a classic to own. But before you go buy a ticking machine, check out today's technological offerings. For example, I'd love to own a Boss Dr. Beat 90 (but I won't because I'm not really a musician and it's downright pricey). For one thing, it doesn't just tick, it gives downbeats--now we're talking rhythm! It has different click sounds and this model shown also has human voice counting. It's loaded with rhythm patterns already or you can program your own. And as typical of electronic metronomes, you can connect a headset to it. This model has a bunch of other features too fancy for me to grasp. Anyhow, there are other offerings with cool features like this in a wide range of prices. Check them out at your local music store (particularly if they have drums and electric guitars; probably won't find these babies at a piano store) just for the fun of it. Yes, this particular model is entertaining all by itself.


Friday, October 13, 2006

Except for attendance at a free noontime organ/voice performance by some of Gumby's friends, I've spent all day trying to load the driver for our new Epson USB printer. We've had it for months but have been using it as a copier. The scanner function works ok, but the system will not take the printer function. The previous model installed fine. This is a replacement. I don't know what I'm doing wrong, but I've been going in circles with uninstalls, reboots, and reinstalls. I really don't want to mess with the Windows registry. I'm going to go to Microsoft's webpage now to see what I can find out.

All this started because I wanted to print out the user's manual for Gumby's new cell phone in color. Again, the cell phone is several months old but I'm just now getting around to it. It seems that companies are no longer providing printed manuals. !@#$%^&*! The computer system is too old to actually use the CD that comes with the phone, but I can still access the pdf manual. Now if only I can get the color printer to install.

One of the system requirements is 256MB of RAM. I have 64MB. I'm starting to remember why the software has not been installed. Anyhow, I guess I was expecting the install wizard to actually tell me if I didn't have the right system. Well, the scanner works. I'll be able to use the printer function one day when I buy a new computer system.

Woo Hoo!!!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I think the interview went well. It was more of a "let's just meet and we'll fill you in on what we're doing and you can tell us a little bit about yourself." Now we just have to wait for Human Resources to do their thing. It was very nice, with very nice folks.

This is a really big opportunity for me. It's with the same company that laid me off last year, but different business unit, though same work location. No $ were mentioned (that's HR business), but even if they offered my old salary, it's twice that of the job from hell if you count in the benefits. However, I'm counting on them to know better than to offer me just my old salary.

I'm excited to be back in my old stomping grounds, some familiar folks and many more familiar folks when I get to working. This opportunity is big for anyone, and not necessarily in terms of $. This is going to be so cool. There is much, much work ahead, and I'm raring to go.


Tuesday, October 10, 2006

job interview: Thursday, 11:00 a.m.


Sunday, October 08, 2006

Before I became Catholic, it was my belief that if the marriage is unhappy, sure, divorce. "Life is short," I'd say, "why stay in an unhappy relationship?"

Now I know better. Now I understand the sacramental nature of marriage. I've had co-workers who are living with their boyfriend or girlfriend. As we adults know, this living arrangement isn't platonic. "What's marriage but a piece of paper," they'd say. Ouch. They don't understand, just as I had not understood before. And indeed, if the ONLY difference between co-habitation and marriage is a piece of paper then why would anyone ever marry? If I can get all the benefits of marriage without ever outright committing myself to you, then why would I ever commit? Co-habitation cheapens marriage.

Of course the sacramental nature of marriage doesn't exist in the consciences of those who haven't embraced/developed their relationship with God. No God, no accountability to God--it's just "you" and "me." This is also a formula for unhappiness because when disagreements arise, it becomes "you" vs. "me." So when "I" concede, "you" win. There isn't the "I concede in order to do right by God" component, that my concession is not because "you" are right; my concession is in accordance to guidelines set by a God whom BOTH you and I agree is the ultimate authority. If both parties don't share the same faith, it's not going to work very well either.

Anyhow, back to the original thought. I am now no longer so flippant about marriage or divorce.

daily devotionals

Saturday, October 07, 2006

A CDP Sister (I STILL DO LOVE YOU, Sister) once took the time to detail for me the various Catholic daily devotionals available. For those not familiar, they are typically meditations on the Bible reading for the day. I still have the e-mail somewhere, either electronically or in print, but I don't know where at the moment. Here are three from memory:

Living Faith
Word Among Us

She also mentioned SHARE THE WORD but it is no longer being published, and DAILY GOSPEL 2005 by the Claretians, and LIVING WITH CHRIST which only has the readings no meditations and AT HOME WITH THE WORD 2005 often used for lectors to prepare.

There are also these seasonal ones:
The Little Blue/Black/Purple/White Book

book instead of journal/mag like those above (the book list can get really long so I probably won't maintain a book list):
People's Companion to the Breviary 2 volume set published by the Carmelites of Indianapolis (thanks Natty)

If there are others, I'll be glad to edit this entry and add them to the list.

morning mix

Pooh is in need of some legal advice. Locally there is a volunteer lawyers program. Since we don't have the finances to outright hire a lawyer, we went to check it out. Volunteer lawyers would show up at certain community centers on certain Saturdays. Fortunately, today it was at a community center that wasn't too far away. We spent the morning and some of the afternoon waiting for our turn. We were late getting there and almost didn't get in (they have a cut-off number of how many people they would see). Pooh's file was next to last.

I was trying to read my book but it was futile. Pooh started talking to some of the people around. The first guy just rambled on and on and neither Pooh nor I understood his thick accent ... something about worker's compensation and lower back pain. When we moved to the next room we got separated from the guy and ended up at a table with some other folks. One guy had his legs shot up from a drive by shooting, but he does manage to walk with a walker. Another lady had one side of her face smashed with a baseball bat; she looked ok though because she has had reconstructive surgery done. The guy at the far end started (and won't stop) talking about the Messianic church he attends and was inviting all to the feast of tabernacles they were celebrating.

The guy that was shot up started quoting bible verses and expounded on them. I didn't have much to say. I can neither quote bible verses nor expound on them. The lady next to me, in reply to something Pooh said, asked if Catholics read the bible. Well sure we do. King James? No. What bible then? Most likely Douay-Rheims or the New American Bible. I went on to say that the King James version would be considered a protestant Bible and that Martin Luther had thrown out some books from the Old Testament, namely the ones in Greek. She said her husband and kids are Catholic, but they never read the Bible. The Kids are all grown now.

Well, it's good to see folks excited about Jesus, though I don't quite know what to make of it. I won't say much more than that lest wander into being offensive.


Friday, October 06, 2006

I like this stuff. When I go to the grocery store just around the corner from us, I usually reward myself (for running the grocery errand) with one of these cans. It's just water, soybeans & cane sugar; no carbonation. Actually, the can I have is labeled "Soymilk" and is 10 fl. oz. but the can looks like this one. It think it was $0.69

I think I like the Soya Bean Drink as well but it isn't what is sold at this particular store.

hopefully the folks won't sue me for borrowing their photo


Thursday, October 05, 2006

Well, I broke down and applied for jobs at my old industry, my original career. I got a call this morning and we spoke briefly. No interview yet but they'd like to set up one for next week. I'll have to wait for that call. But hey, it's a start.

Dear Lord, if this is for me, please help me get there. If this is not for me, please don't let it be.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I consider myself to be quite adaptable. But maybe it's not so. Rather, I'm task-oriented. I can be quite single-minded/focused. For example, if I set out to cook dinner, and find that the kitchen is a mess, I don't take a detour and clean up the kitchen. Instead I'd find a way to cook dinner despite the condition of the kitchen. In the job previous to this last one, the rules were rather fluid but instead of complaining about the changes, I'd take it in stride and just jump over the hurdles because my intention is to get to point B.

What makes me reconsider my adaptability is that I can get easily disoriented. I remember spending a week with one of the orders one time, and it took about a week for me to get back settled into my old routine when I came back. Even with spending a day with the Dominicans recently, it took conscious effort to settle back into daily life. A few years back, we had the living room and kitchen floors re-done. Everything was in disarray. Unbeknownst to anyone, that really messed me up; my psyche didn't like at all.

At this time, I am having to get re-oriented after spending six months on a job that took 12-14 hours of my day. I'm having to remind myself what day of the week it is, how to structure my day and my week. I get confused occasionally, like what the bleep am I doing [in the big picture of things]. Starting tomorrow, I will try to attend mass daily. That should give me a constant from which I can then attend to everything else.


Saturday, September 30, 2006

I got up this morning around 6:30 a.m.; my back pain did not allow me to lie about longer. I fired off one e-mail in pursuit of a job, then read chapter 5 on Dominican spirituality. I have chapters 5 and 6 saved to my computer. It's been so long since I read the other chapters that I don't remember what they covered. Chapter 5 is "Dominican Life is Liturgical" which basically emphasizes that prayer is central to daily Dominican life. Unless we have spent time in prayer and pondering, we might miss the Lord's promptings: "Sometimes the Holy Spirit sends his illuminations long after the period of formal prayer has passed. It may be in the thick of the apostolate that the priest hears his whisperings. He will not hear these soft-spoken promptings if he does not live in the atmosphere of prayer, if he has not made a cell in his own heart."(1)

Then I went in search of the book online, searching the Dominican links I have, and was unsuccessful. Well, I still have chapter 6 to read and I'm quite certain I'll find it eventually.

Then I had a can of soup for breakfast. Then reviewed the first chapter of my CCNA book. That made me groggy - a full belly and a dry book. So I proceeded to pick up my attempt to memorize Psalm 27. I was working on the third "stanza" (Hear my voice, LORD, when I call...) Going over and over it in my groggy mind. Then out of nowhere pops "Did you tell me who I am?"

My immediate reaction was "Who is this idiot that needs me to tell him who he is?" Which was very quickly followed by "uh oh" then ...

Lord, You are my God and my Saviour.
Just as the beginning of the Psalm said, You are my light and my salvation.
You are the source of all good.
You are the source of my being.
You are my Lord and my God.



Friday, September 29, 2006

Last day on the job. I tried to leave quietly but one rowdy fella pretty much announced it to all with a loud "BYE ___!" as I was walking out. I spread the news to some yesterday evening. Then the news got around this morning. So by the time I left this afternoon, I would think that most if not all knew about it.

I am very happy to be leaving the job that just didn't fit me. I did no better and no worse than anyone else, though I did have one or two commendations. It just wasn't good for my psyche for me to be stationary to a cubicle 12-14 hours straight daily (except for for a restroom break, butt break, or a vist to the vending machine) and constantly on edge to keep on top of things. Exhausted when I get home at night, dragging when I get up in the morning.

So now I'm happily liberated, though unemployed. I stopped by a church on the way home. I was hoping to do an impromptu visit to an OP afterwards, but there was no answer when I called and I didn't leave a message. So I just went home. Then washed my car. Finally. I hadn't seen daylight on a weekday in such a long time. It was strange. But very nice.

Jasper test results

Saturday, September 23, 2006

OK, I threw out a *few* resumes. Hopefully some company is desperate enough to hire me. Did I already say that dial-up on my dinosaur computer is *slow* ? Then for fun I took the Jasper test. Results follow. I think I'd make a terrific Dominican novice. I just need corporate sponsorship to make my debts disappear.

Type 1 (Thinker)
What you want out of work:To quietly do your work in a thoughtful way without rocking the boat too much.
Your colleagues think of you as:Introspective, somewhat reserved but easy to get along with.
What you have to offer:A steady worker who thinks things through before acting.

Diplomatic. Your leadership style can be characterized as Diplomatic. You are patient and poised and exude a sense of calm. When you're in a leadership role, you are tactful in your interactions and your relaxed disposition makes others feel assured in your presence.
Agreeable. You are more Agreeable than Rousing when it comes to your work personality. As someone who goes with the flow, you have the ability to adapt to almost any change that is thrown your way. You tend to be quite accommodating to your colleagues and easy to be around.
Multi-tasking skills. With multi-tasking as your strongest universal skill, you are likely effective in managing multiple things at once and are talented in producing work quickly. You are sharp, tend to be a quick learner, and don't get daunted in the face of stress.
Collaborative. You show strength in your ability to be a Collaborative worker. While you're not at a loss when working by yourself, you feel much more productive when you can work with a team and bounce ideas off of other people. You also likely enjoy the camaraderie of group work.

The Jasper Test is Monster’s free online Job Assets & Strengths Profile Test career tool designed to help you find the ideal work environment. I didn't post the link previously partly because I'm lazy and partly because you might have to have a Monster account to access it.


What is Seeking_Something up to? Seeking has had enough with the job from hell. I intend to end my hell very soon. Do I have another job lined up? No. Well, that's crazy. Uh huh, but I gotta do what I gotta do.
We had the rite of acceptance at mass this morning. Four catechumens and two candidates will now move forth into RCIA Sundays - "to know God and to love your neighbor", then hopefully to join at Easter.

a snippet from the rite:
Priest: What do you ask of God's Church?
Catechumens: Faith.
Priest: What does faith offer you?
Catechumens: Eternal Life.

My friends, these few words are very big questions. WHAT DO YOU ASK OF GOD'S CHURCH? This is so mind-boggling I don't even know where to begin. In this rite, God's Church promises you FAITH.

The next time that "Church" disappoints you, I'd like to ask you, "What is Church?" and "What do YOU ask of God's Church?"


Sunday, September 17, 2006

Howdy all. If you could help out efforts in Kenya, it would be much appreciated.

I have met this tenacious, resourceful and energetic Sister and I assure you that no donation will be wasted. It is a very challenging political environment there in Africa. Your assistance in monetary or material goods or spiritual support and moral encouragement will help them overcome their challenges. Even an e-mail would be uplifting. Snail mail, I was told, is much appreciated. Any teachers out there? You could have your young'uns overwhelm these missionaries with a postcard from each of your students.

US Postage rates to Kenya are $0.75 for post cards not exceeding 6" x 4 1/4" and $0.84 for envelopes not exceeding 1 ounce. (For reference: the domestic $0.39 rate is for an evelope not exceeding 1 ounce.)

Thanks all.

just a little OP time

Saturday, September 16, 2006

My job from hell kept me from getting to the Dominican event on time. In fact, I was an hour late. Even at that, I was violationg some job rules, leaving before the job was done (almost 3 hours past my shift end). I was very angry when I left work; the workload is downright unreasonable. But in the 15 minutes that took me to get to the Dominicans, I had calmed down.

I enjoyed the time I had with the OP's. We had a nice turn-out of seven women, myself included, discerning. I slept fine Friday night and woke up Saturday around 6:15 a.m. and couldn't get back to sleep. Then my bladder eventually made get out of bed. Still a little groggy, I bumped the wall in the bathroom and probably woke up the person adjoined to the bathroom. Oops. Uh, a little taste of community life for that person maybe. Anyhow, had I been at home I would probably have slept until 9 or 10 a.m.

I'm back home now, back to my reality. I like my goodbyes short and simple, so as soon as I got the good bye hugs, I was out the door. Mainly because I know that my hosts will have post-event work to do and I didn't want to delay them. I'm up for my volunteer gig at my parish tomorrow. I'll be back to my usual Sunday get-ready-for-the-week activities. I'll need to shoot off a thank-you card as soon as possible, and perhaps send snail mail to one of the OP's overseas. She was here for the event but was leaving to return to her mission. It'd be nice for her to get mail.

love the blog

Monday, September 11, 2006

Ask Sister Mary Martha is just a blast. I can't remember what alerted me to this blog. I love it.

weekend in review

Sunday, September 10, 2006

On the topic of confession, I wonder what the priests do afterwards. They can't talk about it. Do they just emerge from the confessional and say something like, "Well, that hour is over. Hey, you wanna go grab some cold beer? I wonder what's for dinner?"

Slept late yesterday. Got up and chilled out for the morning. Forgot all about the shuttle launch. I was doing dishes around noon when Tonto got up. I ran some errands. Came back and ate a little something then my stomach got upset. Tonto agreed that I shouldn't worry about the other errands. So I took a nap until ...
"Hey, have you gone to bed for the night?"
"No, it was supposed to be a nap. What time is it?"
Wow. That's a 4-hour nap.
So I got up and reheated some dinner for Tonto. I ate a slice of watermelon then spent some time on the computer. After several rounds of Sudoku, I finally got my butt up around 2 a.m. to take care of some of the things I meant to take care of that day: vacuumed half the house, cleaned out the cat house (man, they made a mess), refilled the water cooler, and ironed five t-shirts. I think I went to bed around 4:30. Sunday morning I was up at 9 a.m. ready to go. I changed out the porch light bulb before heading of to mass.

My Pastor ... I do love my pastor ... most masses, he manages to bungle up something. But he's so handsome and rather senior so it's kinda cute. (Well, he's also pretty darn smart, gives great homilies and is absolutely awesome with the sacraments.)

Ran into two sisters at a restaurant check-out counter this afternoon. "Hello, Sister, are you with the CCVI's?" I inquired. "No, IWBS" she said. "Oh, Incarnate Word. Say hello to Sr. __ " I admit I was pretty smug about knowing those initials. Actually, IWBS is the English version, they are actually CVI's. There are so many out there, it could easily have been one that I'm not familiar with. Oh, and I knew they were Sisters only because they wore the nun's headpiece and I guessed at the congregation by the colors they wore. Many of the CVI's do wear the habit.

I'm looking forward to next weekend, when I get to spend some time with the OP's.


Saturday, September 09, 2006

...made it to confession
My confessor said to me, "Sit back, this is not a test."

hee hee


If you name your dog "Please" then I suppose it would go like this:

Please, sit!
Please, down!
Please, stay!
Please, no!

and so on...

no sir

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

I am 99.99% of the time stony faced and dead serious, except for the occasional obligatory smile to go with "hello!" and "I'm just fine!" And in truth, I am at this moment stony faced and dead serious, but at least I can be more expressive in writing:

I received a vocational mailing today ... from a men's order.

Yes, I get gender mix-ups quite often. It happens quite understandably when it's not face to face, due to my name being what it is (which y'all don't know). It sometimes happens even in person, but only rarely. Gender neutral jeans an t-shirts kinda confuses some, I guess.

honey do

Monday, September 04, 2006

Happy Labor Day to all.

Went to work today. Left work half an hour before my shift ended. Came home and ate a little something. Ran a little errand for Tonto. Then bought a kitchen faucet on sale. Then spent the rest of the evening uninstalling the old faucet and installing the new faucet. The last time I did this, it was a $20 faucet (so it was the $20 faucet that I was removing). We went more upscale this time with the faucet. The last time I did this, it was also my first time it it confirmed that yes indeed, I do NOT have a basin/faucet wrench. I remember that fact but still refused to buy one, since replacement of a faucet hasn't happened all that often. The new faucet looks good a works good.

That's the thing about having a house: you are forever fixing this or fixing that. There is a very long list of what this house needs. A few weeks ago I put up a towel rack. It took a whole month before I ever got around to it.

Maybe if Tonto's friend, the one that helped us with the washer and introduced me to agitator dogs, would get in touch then he'd help super tighten the faucet down. Tonto is really concerned about this friend as we've not heard from him in a while. "I hope he's not dead," Tonto says. Some people are plagued with stuff that happens to them -- he's one of those.


Sunday, September 03, 2006

I'm exhausted. I know, you hear that from me ALL the time. I can't even begin to tell you about my past week. It would take up the entire internet space ... yes, really. I crawled to bed around 4a.m. last night. The plan was to shower in the morning. Well, I woke up barely in time to just wash up and make it to mass. (Thank you God for waking me up in time.) I was up for my volunteer stint; I had to be there. I was a little late getting there and normally I'd jog up to the church doors if I was running late. But this morning, I could only think about how I'm too tired to jog. My volunteer thing does not require me to interact. So I did my thing and left. I didn't say anything to anybody - coming or going. I didn't even greet my pastors. No hug, no "good morning" - just in and out. And either everything went just fine with the volunteer thing (thank you, Holy Spirit), or I was just too out-of-it to recognize that there were problems.

I'm popping some pills for my sinus and I'm going to take a nap.

Not on most days

Sunday, August 27, 2006

It went like this:

"Excuse me. Good morning, Father."
"Good morning."
"Do you guys do confessions on Sunday?"
"No, only on [this particular day of the week, at this hour]"


who knows?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Who knows what God has in mind? All I can do is trust in His will; I know that His plans are best. Who would've thought that I'd be Catholic, or even Christian? Who knows why He waited so long to bring me to this point, why he waited until I am almost too old to enter a convent? (Yes, I know: "Say not I am too young ...")

Even now, though I am chomping at the the bit and stamping my feet in impatience, the gate has not opened. This is not to say that He has done nothing, because He has certainly done much. But I am getting impatient with the preparations; I know He is preparing both me and the community in which I am to enter.

Patience is a virtue. I do know one way to beat the devil is to have patience and persistence. Perhaps this is a battle of patience at the moment. I have no choice but to wait. And while the angels fight for me, it is my job not to crumble. Lord, it is you for whom I wait. I am in the desert, I am without daily mass, without spiritual direction, and now without Sunday communion, but I know I am NOT without YOU. The devil may dance but I know he won't win.


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Tired. Seems like I'm always tired.

Was hungry this morning, but I didn't eat since I was going to mass. On the way there, it occurred to me that I shouldn't take communion until I've been to confession. (Thank you, God, for reminding me.) Oh well. I guess it was still good to have fasted. I don't know when or where I'll be doing confession. Everything is so much more difficult with this job--it sucks my time and energy.

Came back home after mass and gobbled up a variety of leftovers ... then my digestive system objected. Fortunately it was only a mild objection.

I was given a new book yesterday: The Essential Moral Handbook - A Guide to Catholic Living by Kevin J. O'Neil, C.S.S.R. and Peter Black, C.S.S.R. I have read the intro (thanks to the mild digestive system objection) and it seems to be a very readable and interesting book. So I suppose this will be my current read.

Cell phone that was lost has been returned.

New gas station opened up near our house. It currently has the best price around. I filled up both cars for less than fifty bucks.

Else I'm just continuing to struggle ... struggling against my tiredness, against my smallness of heart and smallness of mind. Trying to stay awake and to function, trying to find the energy to move out of autopilot.....zzzzz


Saturday, August 19, 2006

Interesting knick knacks at Foster's ... not that I would want to temp anyone's pocketbook.

On the topic of "stuff", I had mentioned to friends that if I get married, my wedding registry would be at one of the big name car dealerships.

one night invite

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

"Hearts Ablaze"
Come Risk the Sacred Journey

A gathering for women ages 20-40
who are discerning a call to religious life

Friday, September 15, 2006 - 6:00 P.M.
Saturday, September 16, 2006 - 6:00 P.M.
Dominican Sisters' Meeting Room
Houston, Texas

To register or for more information please contact:
p c a s e y at d o m h o u . o r g
(out of the office August 28th - September 4th)

"Weren't our hearts ablaze within us while he was talking to us on the road"


Sunday, August 13, 2006

Nothing much to report. I'm now sleeping in Gumby's room so that Gumby might wake me if my assistance is needed. However, I have been told that Gumby has on occasion screamed in pain but the screams did nothing to disturb my sleep. I suggested that something can be thrown at me to wake me up. This is interesting since my sleep was lighter when I we had our sick dog back in October. I actually would wake up when he whimpered. Evidently somewhere in the back of my brain it must have figured that it need not be alarmed at Gumby's activities. So I happily snooze away for the 4-5 hours that I might get each night.

The day or two after I posted about headlights being amazingly long lasting, I had to replace one of the headlight bulbs on my car. This week our neighbor replaced the car battery for me. Last weekend I lost my cell phone at mass. Gumby is convinced that it was stolen. Sad thing is that people's phone numbers are now in the hands of some unknown person. May God render the phone (or at least the SIM) inoperable. I had the phone set so that when it powers on, the opening text is "Seek first the kingdom of God." Hopefully it will be heeded.