Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

In a few minutes, we will be celebrating what my dad has termed "Greenwich Meantime New Year." I will probably be in bed by 8. Then I will awake in the pale light of dawn to begin two months of accidentally writing "2007" on everything. It takes me so long to adjust to these things--I've only just begun self-identifying as an 18-year-old and my birthday was six weeks ago.

As my last words to you this year, I will, in fact, copy someone else's words. This quote pretty well sums up the kind of year I've had:

"Yes," said Dirk, "completely and utterly impossible."

He smiled.

"Luckily," he went on, "you have come to exactly the right place with your very interesting problem, for there is no such word as 'impossible' in my dictionary. In fact," he added, brandishing the abused book, "everything between 'herring' and 'marmelade' appears to be missing. Thank you, Miss Pearce, you have once again rendered me sterling service, for which I thank you and will, in the event of a successful outcome to this endeavor, even attempt to pay you. In the meantime we have much to think on, and I leave the office in your very capable hands."

--Douglas Adams, Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Indestrucible Toe and Other Miscellany

My family spent all day today in a Mad Cleaning Frenzy. Now, you might think you've experienced a Mad Cleaning Frenzy before, but this one earned the gold medal. It involved taking apart my entire bed and my mother sitting on my bedroom floor looking at the solid wall of dust behind my bed and going, "Oh my God" for probably five solid minutes, which is kind of unusual for my mother. She was in the Army and knows some juicy stuff but generally her vocabulary's pretty clean.

It also involved me dropping a very heavy board on my big toe, yet not bruising it in the slightest. I think I'm going to name this toe the Indestructible Toe because it's the same one I smashed but good on the doorframe a few days before Durnhelm graduated, I remember that because I was telling Durnhelm about it during the graduation party and somebody walked up just as I was saying, "And then I'm like, 'Oh, look, there's blood all over my toe.' " Awkward. Yet despite the smashing and bloodiness and general grossness, my toenail didn't even fall off or anything.

Then my parents spent forever filling out this form thingy that involved them pretty much giving their whole life histories as well as answering about a million other questions. My dad didn't help because he kept being silly. For instance, in answer to "Why are you doing X?" (X shall remain unnamed for the time being) Dad typed, "It was Becky's idea and David does whatever Becky wants." Mom smacked him.

Tomorrow morning we have a Big Important Thing going on. It's the kind of thing I'd rather not blog but if you can spare a prayer or two I'd appreciate it.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

My Life in Bullet Points

  • I spent Saturday and Sunday at my grandmother's (Dad's mom). Although Grandma is quite tech-savvy and does have high-speed internet access, to have updated the blog would violate Rule #792, which states, "Thou shalt not update thine blog when thou shouldst be socializing with thine relatives."
  • I flagrantly violated Rule #18, which states, "Thou shalt not read books nor any form of written material when thou shouldst be socializing with thine relatives."
  • Can I help it if they give me books? How am I supposed to not read with 4 shiny new books staring me in the face? That's like pouring a glass of champagne, setting it in front of an alcoholic, and telling him, "You can't drink that until Monday."
  • I got to see my cousin, who is fifteen (fifteen!) and has a boyfriend (a boyfriend!). I am flabbergasted. Why, I was learning to write the alphabet before she was even mobile. (I learned to write my alphabet pretty young--but that's another story.)
  • I did not get to see my cousin who is seventeen, which is too bad because I wanted to lord it over him that I'm a legal adult and he's not. (Yes, I'm sweet. Holiday cheer, people.) You see, this particular cousin is 60 days my junior. I was born in November and he was born in January, so when we see each other on Christmas I'm legally a year older than he is and I've rubbed that in every chance I got ever since he went and got taller than I against strict orders not to do so.
  • I read Stranger in a Strange Land over the weekend. (In the car, not while visiting.) To borrow Heinlein's phrase, I do not grok it. When I have grokked in fullness I shall write a review and we can have a lovely time discussing it.
  • We are going to Michigan to visit my mother's kindred over this next weekend. If you accidentally wandered into my uncle's house you might mistake it for a Radio Shack, so I have no doubt there will be internet. Nonetheless, I will probably have to obey Rule #792.
  • Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Public Service Announcement

Dear general public:

It is probably not a good idea to read the last 160 pages of Crime and Punishment in one sitting immediately before going to bed. If you do, you could very well spend the whole night dreaming about people shooting themselves in the head.
Not that I know this from personal experience...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Done

Dostoyevsky is an awesome writer.

Random

1. I just finished Book 4 of Crime and Punishment. 240 pages to go.

2. I slept in my own bed last night. I've been camping in the spare room since mine's been such a wreck.

3. Now the spare room is more wrecky, because my dad is cleaning out his book collection. He has just about every sci-fi novel published between 1970 and 1985. Then he got married and started spending his money on things other than books.

4. I am also reading Dune. It is very good so far.

5. We made cookies yesterday.

6. I ate 3.

7. The New Roommate emailed me.

8. Facebook removed the "is" from the status update.

9. Megan is still updating her status using the present progressive.

10. My computer is almost out of battery.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My Life in Numbers

2-Number of appointments I've had so far this week (1 optometrist, 1 dentist)

3-Level of astigmatism in my right eye

5-Level of astigmatism in my left eye

3-Pairs of contacts I am trying over break

0-Number of times I have flossed since my last dental appointment

2-Number of wisdom teeth I have

2-Number of lectures I got from the dental hygenist

11-My annoyance level on a scale of 10

5-Number of classes I took this semester

5-Number of A's I got this semester

Monday, December 17, 2007

December Reading Challenge

This week I am determined to read Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment. Notice that I said "read", not "start". I would like to finish it by 9:00 PM (Eastern Time) on Sunday, December 23. That might sound crazy, but I almost read it in a week back in August. I started it Sunday morning and by Saturday afternoon I had all of about 50 pages left, but this was orientation weekend and my parents had to go home and it was a library book so I didn't quite have time to finish it before my parents had to leave. This week, though, I will.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Disadvantage of Snow

If you see this in the next couple of hours, dear readers, say a prayer for Durnhelm's dad--he's driving to Cleveland right now and it is dark and snowing.

Adult Supervision Required

Dad: Who put the cooking oil in the fridge?

Me: That was probably me.

Dad: Don't do that.

Me: And the time someone put eggs in the pantry? I think that was me, too.

Mom: You were thinking about your novel again, weren't you?

[In case you haven't noticed, I'm a bit out of touch with reality sometimes.]

Friday, December 14, 2007

The View from 5 AM

I've gotten up before 6 for 5 of the last 7 mornings. Now here I am again. I could go back to bed, but there are so many things going through my head right now and there is something peaceful about a house before anyone else is awake. It's like my private time with God.

I'm afraid blogging may be light for the next month or so. Somehow I'm never as inclined to write here as I am at school. Perhaps the strange life of having 2000 people between the ages of 17 and 23 all on a campus together gives rise to many incongruities; whereas the life of two people who have been married 21 years, their 20-year-old daughter, and their 18-year-old daughter is so blessedly normal as to be almost unbloggable.

Here's a taste of my normal: We got home around 9 o'clock Wednesday. I was crabby with everyone. I went to bed. I got up at 5 the next morning and couldn't get back to sleep. The Internal Mother jocularly suggested that I use my insomnia to do something useful, like wash the dishes. So I did. Bet she thought I never actually would. :)

Then Mom and I went to 7:00 Mass. We sang badly (it's a requirement for daily Mass-goers here--if you can sing, sleep in), did all that sit-stand-kneel business Catholics are so fond of (it keeps us awake at these early Masses), and went up to receive Our Lord and Savior. Funny how you can just tack that onto the end of a sentence. "This morning I got up, got dressed, brushed my teeth, and received the King of Creation." I wrote a poem about it. It still strikes me that a handful of badly-singing people and a couple of ordinary priests can do this kind of thing on a daily basis.

A couple of my good friends were there and I ended up behind one of them in the Communion line. He looked over his shoulder and whispered, "So how's school going?" to which I replied, "Good." I might have elborated, but when there are only 20 people in the whole church the Communion line goes fast. So, there's an interesting tidbit for you: Even 60-year-old men sometimes whisper in church. And sometimes their teenage friends whisper back.

I spent most of the rest of the day sitting around, although I did cart all my assorted boxes upstairs and shove them in my room. My room is a mess now. I wish I could get pictures but the camera only talks to my mother's computer and blah blah blah so you people will just have to imagine it.

After dinner my mother had her FAMILIA meeting so she and her friends prayed and all that good stuff while Sister and I played board games with a ten-year-old girl and her 7-year-old sister. It was fun, especially when I pulled out this one board game that I got for Christmas back in the days when I was a horse-crazy ten-year-old and delighted the two girls with the horsiness of it. I think it is a requirement for girls to go through a horse-crazy phase sometime between 7 and 12.

I'm sure I just lost all my readers by boring them to death. This is why I might not be blogging, folks. It's fun stuff but it doesn't make for a pithy post.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

It Is Finished

"Pallas Athene, you have kept my house alive."
--Orestes

4 down, 1 to go

"This is the end for me. The noose, or else the light."
--Orestes

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Readiness

Tomorrow at approximately 11:00 AM I will have my oral exam in Honors. Let me explain how it works: One by one, we are called into the professor's office. From a list of seventeen questions, he chooses two. We are then permitted to choose one of these two and speak on it for five minutes. This earns us 33.3% of our grade for the semester.

Oddly enough, I'm not really too nervous. I mean, every now and then I'll have a moment of freaking out about it, but in my rational moments I realize that I am ready for this. Six months ago I would have prepared for this test by memorizing word-for-word the answers to 16 of the questions. I started out this class planning beforehand what I was going to say during class discussions. After a week I was extemporizing in class, and a little voice in the back of my head was screaming at me, "What are you doing? Where are you getting this stuff? Where is this written down?" Since then the little voice has quieted. I have learned that the right way to participate in class is not to plan out beforehand exactly what I am going to say, but simply to know the material and see where things go from there.

That's what I'm doing for the final. I will be reviewing the questions and attempting to remember as much as possible, but I will not try to go into this exam with everything I am going to say planned out exactly. I know this material, I know how to construct an argument as I go along, I know that I will probably say things in the final that I come up with on the spot. And I'm okay with that, oddly enough.

Have I mentioned before that I really like Honors? At first this final seemed ridiculous to me, but now I see how it is the perfect ending to the semester. It is not the sort of final where you memorize names and dates, regurgitate them onto the test, and then forget them all by the next week. It is a test where you have to know how to intelligently discuss great literature. Everything I've been learning since August is helping me with this final. Last week (before I had studied much) I joked that I would just go in there and "fake it", relying on what I knew already, what had been impressed into my mind during the class, in order to answer whatever question I was given. Really, though, my joke was not so very far from the truth.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Trained Response

Does anybody else have their mother inside their head? By that I mean do you ever find yourself, say, in a situation where you are having a good old time sitting on the back of a chair, yakking with your friends, and you hear your mother say, "You shouldn't sit there, the chair will tip over." This even though your mother is 300-odd miles away at the time.

A few minutes ago I was sitting here in my chair (in the chair, not perched on the back, mind you) not studying and thinking that I really ought to study but I don't want to because I'm bored. At those two magic words, the Internal Mother popped up and said, "Why don't you clean your room?" As if she can see the fact that my garbage is overflowing and the top of my desk is once again proving the law of entropy.

Does this happen to anyone else?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Captain Quotes

From my friend in the Pacific Northwest:

"What would a cake taste like if you tried to make it without eggs?"
...
"At least the batter will be okay to lick, since it doesn't have eggs in it."
...
[Upon unexpectedly discovering a carton of eggs]
"Great! Now my batter will be unhealthy!"

"Oh, the flooding wasn't bad. Nothing got...Well, a few things got swept away, but it really wasn't that bad."

"...and the roads were all closed because the rain pretty much washed them out. So then I got bored and went for a walk."

Notes to Self

Dear Self,

1. Do not go to dinner at 5:00 on Sunday. Why not? Because when the 4:00 Mass lets out everyone wants to go eat dinner and you will have to wait in a freakishly long line.

2. Ever wonder whether it's worth it to turn back and get your jacket? It is. Trust me.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Probably from Quoting J.

cash advance

Hat tip to...well, Captain Hat.

Something to Remember

I shall fear no evil
For my God is with me
And if my God is with me
Whom then shall I fear?
Whom then shall I fear?

--from a song at the FOP tonight

Study Group

J (reading what he wrote): "So although philosophy has its hand in both poetry and history and poetry has its hand in history, nevertheless history, insofar as it remains itself (i.e. insofar as it is primarily concerned with particulars), must be less philosophic than poetry, which follows from the difference in its heirarchy of objects."

Me: See, that's what I'm taking about. What does that even mean?

J: You know...history is primarily concerned with particulars and only secondarily with universals, whereas poetry is concerned first with universals and then with particulars.

Me: Thank you! It makes so much more sense now!

J: But didn't I already say that?

Perspective

Today at lunch I was sitting with a girl from my Honors class and we were discussing (of course) the final. Specifically, we were attempting to figure out our respective positions in the alphabetical order of the class. I'm 5th, in case you're curious. As near as we could figure at the moment, the girl to whom I was speaking is 7th. In between us is J.

Now, I've posted on J. before, so you might, dear readers, have figured out by now that I consider him to be on a pinnacle of Classical knowledge far beyond what I shall ever achieve. Imagine my befuddlement when my lunch companion sighed, "Great, I'm going to be right after you and J." How could anyone possibly speak of me and J. as if we were close enough to be in the same category?

Apparently not everybody agrees with my assessment of my abilities.

Friday, December 7, 2007

If You Give an Honors Student an Oral Exam...

I should be studying for my Honors final but my classmates are just too bloggable.

We divvied up the questions for the final on Tuesday and everybody brought back their answer on Thursday (yesterday). Now I am typing them all out and I can't help but laugh at some of them.

For instance, we gave J. a question on philosophy. We got 2 pages of 10-point font back. My study guide needs a study guide. Moral of this story: Never give a philosophy question to a Platonist.

Another question, given to a classmate I shall refer to as Mr. President (even Dr. S calls him this): Is Thucydides' Peloponnesian War a tragedy? Mr. President, wanting the rest of us to have a bit of selection, gave the question 2 answers: First, he argued against it; and then he did an about-face and argued for it. Part of his against question goes like this: "Thucydides’ Peloponnesian War is not a tragedy according to Aristotle’s definition....First of all, the book is too long and convoluted for one to keep the entire story in mind (1451a5)".

ADDED ** Q: In what way is the Alcestis a tragedy?
A: (in part)...One fears for and pities Alcestis' poor children (left with their incompetent father)...**

This is what happens when you take 15 people who are too smart for their own good and set them loose in the Classics.

1 down, 4 to go

I believe that I have made a graceful end to my brief flirtation with Computer Science--now I just have to do as well on the subjects with which I hope to have a lasting relationship.

It is weird to be done for the weekend at 9:30 AM on Friday. Of course, I have studied hardly at all for the 4 exams I have next week.

I'm off. Meanwhile, don't forget to go to Mass tomorrow--yes, it's the Saturday before Finals Week, but it's also a Holy Day of Obligation.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Pray for me...

I have 5 finals in the next six days.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

A Computer Science Professor on Life

Love is just like a recursive function...you get married and have kids and they have kids and it just keeps going. Then the priests and nuns are the base cases.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

This is the week for life changes

I got a job today. A stupendously awesome job that pretty much dropped itself into my lap.

Details to follow, when it becomes officially official. For now, suffice it to say that I am going to be dreadfully busy and incredibly happy next semester.

The Pacific Northwest

Anyone who hasn't heard of this already--please pray for people in the Pacific Northwest who are experiencing very bad storms right now. In particular I would like to ask for prayers for the Captain and her family and for various of Durnhelm's relatives.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Gratuitous Beauty

The other day Scott and I were talking about beauty as a proof of God. We both felt that there had to be a proof in there somewhere, but neither of us was quite sure where.

This morning I was walking to Mass and fretting about finals when I looked up and realized that it was snowing.

Have you, dear readers, ever stood on a sidewalk in the dark of a winter morning and watched snowflakes fall by the light of the street lamps? It's beautiful, isn't it?

To me, it felt like God reached down and touched me and said Be still.

Why should snow be beautiful? It's cold and wet and makes walking a challenge. There is, as far as I can tell, absolutely no evolutionary advantage to snow. Yet I think it's beautiful.

Perhaps that's a proof of God. If it isn't, I ask you--how could gratuitous beauty arise from random chance?

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Philosophers have it rough

During a three-way IM last night:

9:15:15 PM Emily: Socrates said that men have the best of worlds

9:15:28 PM Emily: Because if they marry a beautiful wife, they have a gorgeous companion

9:15:44 PM TheBaroness: And if not they become philosophers

9:15:51 PM Emily: Hahaha, exactly

9:15:58 PM TheBaroness: I think we all know that one

9:16:19 PM The Cobbler: It's one of my favorites.

9:16:32 PM The Cobbler: My question is what if I was already a philosopher?

9:16:41 PM TheBaroness: Then you have to marry a beautiful woman

9:16:45 PM TheBaroness: Tough luck

9:16:48 PM Emily: Yeah

9:16:52 PM The Cobbler: XD

I'm Sick in the Head

Really. I mean, does anybody else in the whole world feel a moment of panic when she sees that her average in Computer Science has dropped from 105.08 to 104.78? This is getting ridiculous.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

One of Those Days

There are days when the only prayer I can manage is "God, I am disappointed and frustrated and having a really hard time not being royally ticked at certain people, so take all these painful emotions and use them as part of Your perfect plan. Amen."

The nice thing about God is that He can use even a prayer like that. The nice thing about God is that He can use even a person like me.

"You shall love your crooked neighbor with your crooked heart."--W. H. Auden

Thursday, November 29, 2007

My Dad on Militant Atheism

How can one be both an atheist and "anti-God" at the same time? How can one be "anti-" something that purportedly doesn't exist? That's like saying you're against four-sided triangles.

Here's the thing

Have all 6 of you, dear readers, heard of The Golden Compass?

Better question: Have any of you not heard of The Golden Compass?

One thing that just makes me laugh at the guy who wrote this book: he thinks he's being so clever and scandalous because he kills God.

The Romans beat you to it, honey. And guess what happened?

To paraphrase Lloyd Douglas in his book The Robe: "It is difficult to exterminate a people who refuse to stay dead when they are killed."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Coolcoolcoolcoolcool

As I set out to read my selections of Aristotle this morning, I expected my brain to short out. I mean, I read Douglas Adams and speculate as to whether Klingons should be baptized. Aristotle is one of the greatest minds in the Western world. There's a certain incompatibility there, don't you think?

Instead, I dive into his Poetics and find what is essentially a "How to Write a Book" manual. I never would have expected Aristotle to say something like, "For even if the person being imitated is inconsistent and that is the sort of character he displays, still he must be consistently inconsistent."

Pardon me while I run about in circles squealing with delight. Aristotle is SO COOL!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Children of God

Today in Honors class, this guy I'll call J. made an interesting point. Now, J. is a Latin major and has forgotten more about the classics than I'm likely ever to know. He quotes Plato like I quote Douglas Adams. Although both are ancient history, for some inexplicable reason quoting Plato makes one sound more learned. J.'s going to kill the rest of us when we do Plato next week.

But I digress. We were discussing "Alcestis" and J. pointed out the passage where the Boy (son of Alcestis) bewails his mother's death as a cruel stroke of fate, whereas in truth there were a complex series of choices leading up to her death that were beyond the little boy's ken. J. compared this scene to the final passage where Admetus, with his wife brought back from the dead, exclaims over his good luck. The Chorus follows this with:

Many are the forms of what is unknown.
Much that the gods achieve is surprise.
What we look for does not come to pass;
God finds a way for what none foresaw.

God finds a way for what none foresaw. How is it that something written in 438 BC can smack a modern Catholic right between the eyes with its profundity?

The point J. made is that Admetus is like a child compared to the gods. He looks at a circumstance and calls it only luck or blind chance, when in truth there is a purpose behind it all that he cannot see. For all the centuries separating us I don't think we're too unlike Admetus. We do not foresee the way that God will work. At least I know I don't.

You'd think that after 2,500 years we'd start to have a little more faith.

I don't have time to post

So, to get your daily dose of Catholic-meets-Trekkie, go read this post at one of the coolest priest-blogs on the internet.

UPDATE: The link should work now.

Monday, November 26, 2007

An Answer

A while back I posted a riddle which nobody bothered to guess. However, my mother has expressed a desire to know the answer. So...

Q: How is an Ohioan like an onion?
A: Layers.

Happy winter, everyone.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

¡Viva Christo Rey!

I would like to wish everyone a very happy Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King.

In particular, happy feast to all members of Regnum Christi, including my mother, who was inducted (or whatever they call it) a year ago today.

Too Funny Not to Post

Sister: Why couldn't they just put the movies on DVD in the first place?

Me: DVDs weren't invented yet. If they'd waited to invent DVDs before they made movies, our childhoods would have been very boring.

Sister: Yeah, but still.

Me: What can I say? We were born into a benighted era.

Sister: We would have had to spend all our time playing with cornhusk dolls.

A Typical Exchange

Me: I don't think there's any saints named Geoffrey.

Mom: I'm pretty sure there's at least one.

Me: I think you're making it up.

Mom: I think I'm right.

Me: Computer?

Dad: Accessing...

Friday, November 23, 2007

Daily Mass Haiku

This morning at Mass
There were about two dozen
People there with me.

Then something happened
Something extraordinary:
The King of Kings came.

Because a gray-haired
Priest said, “This is my body”
For that the King came.

He came in glory
To two dozen people in
Rural Ohio.

It Stuck!

There is snow on the ground.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thanksgiving

My mother is carving the turkey.

I am "forgetting" the potatoes so that they boil long enough.

The rolls are sitting on tray tables by the fireplace (in which a fire is burning) so that they rise.

It's Thanksgiving, and life is good.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

"Vacation"

Mom: Are you telling everybody how I'm overworking you during your vacation?

Me: No. I thought about it, but I'm too tired to type.

What happens

When I spend several hours in the car:

[Around Columbus]

Me: All the trucks! The trucks need to be smitten! God, smite all the trucks off the face of the earth!

Mom: Then how will we get fruit and stuff?

Me: I don't know. God will figure it out.

[Later]

Me: WHERE DID THIS TRUCK COME FROM?! GOD, I TOLD YOU TO SMITE IT!

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Haikus

I have this friend who
Dislikes free verse. He prefers
Verses with meter.

I told him that I
Do not understand these things
Called stressed syllables.

So he said to me
"Just count the syllables, then."
Counting I can do.

Monday, November 19, 2007

A Glimpse Into My Conversations

Durnhelm and I were just IMing each other, and although I really should get off the internet I can't help but share a small sampling of the topics we covered:

-being overachievers
-homesickness
-being unable to take one's own advice
-embarassing moments
-ille v. hoc
-my birthday
-the abortion clinic
-holiday plans
-The Great American Novel
-food
-store-bought versus homemade
-how we call things "gods" without really meaning it
-the f word
-[the expressions 'ye gods' and 'fie' cropped up regularly throughout the rest of the conversation]
-Carthagenian (the language)
-the subjuctive in Spanish
-semi-deponent verbs (in Latin)
-my Spanish class
-political correctness
-the American and British pronunciations of the word "schedule"
-how I have a tendency to go off on tangents
-how your perspective changes over the years--a character in a book who seemed so old and mature 10 years ago is a baby now
-sagacious baboons
-we are crazy
-we are psychic
-we are writing stories and talk to the characters in our heads
-we are crazy
-some stuff about real-life people that I won't blog
-how there's a Pirates quote for every occasion
-Leonidas

Are we not awesome?

A Glimpse Into My Brain

At Spanish class today:

No matter how hard I try to pull up my grade, I'm still scraping by with a 93 or 94 average. *Sigh*

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Celebrating 18

Today an interesting conjuction of numbers occured. I turned 18 yesterday. Rebekah is turning 19 tomorrow. We are the same age for about a day and a half, and this year it happens that we are both 18 on the 18th.

Being college students, we use any excuse to celebrate, and an 18 Party seemed just the thing to break the monotony of studying. So we made plans to catch a bus down to Bob Evans after Mass.

It took us a good 20 minutes of standing at the bus stop in the cold before we realized that the busses do not run on Sundays.

So we began the walk from the top of the hill to downtown Steubenville. Rebekah led the way. Although I have been to the Steubenville Bob Evans several times and Rebekah, poor deprived thing, has never set foot in any Bob Evans, I was far less sure of the way than she. I am using the excuse that I have always gone by car and things really do look different as you are trudging along the sidewalk with frozen fingers because the San Diegan remembered to bring gloves and you did not.

But I digress...we arrived at the restaurant around 1:00, thereby avoiding the lunch rush (silver lining, folks) and were seated almost immediately. The food was absolutely delicious, and the conversation was also pleasant, although now Rebekah knows that I'm a Trekkie. Apparently I don't look like a Trekkie. What do Trekkies look like?

The walk back seemed far shorter than the walk there, in part because I now knew where I was going and in part because it was in fact shorter--someone happened to be going up the hill just as we were starting that long journey and offered us a ride.

Such was my birthday celebration. I spent the remainder of the afternoon studying for a test tomorrow.

Given the subject of this post, I think I would be quite remiss if I didn't end by wishing a very happy birthday to Dr. Coyle. This is the week for birthdays, it seems (Rebekah's theory is that it's nine months after Valentine's Day).

Handy Spanish Phrase #1

Quedarse con la boca abierta.

The dictionary translates it as "To be thunderstruck."

It literally translates as "To be left with one's mouth open."

A Riddle

How is an Ohioan like an onion?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Little Ones

Yes, I'm posting on kids again. They're fascinating creatures, these short people who notice stuff big people don't.

Like this morning, I went to Pittsburgh and prayed outside an abortion clinic for two hours. I think I expected it to be a little more remarkable, but really there aren't any overall impressions I have of it, except of course that it was rather wretchedly cold.

I realized this evening that the reason I felt like nothing happened was because no one really noticed us. There were a couple dozen people who walked past us standing there in the middle of the sidewalk but nobody stopped. Hardly anybody even looked.

The only person who took any real notice was about 4 years old. I'll say "he", though I don't know boy or girl because little kids really sound the same and he and his mother were walking along behind me. Anyway...as this little kid is walking past he says, "What are they doing?" in this astonished little voice and his mother says quickly, "They're praying to end abortion." and then they walk on past. I imagine there was a long question-and-answer session on the way home.

Why is it that everybody else just went right past? Did any of those people, walking along downtown Pittsburgh on a Saturday morning, allow themselves to ask, "What are they doing?"

Are they afraid of the answer?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Friday night

I am a college student. This is Friday night.

It is 6:41, and I am falling asleep over my keyboard.

Wild partyer I am not.

Goodnight.

Snowflakes

I love days like this. Am I the only person who likes the smell of winter? I don't mean woodsmoke or anything like that. I mean that crisp smell that only comes on days like this, when it is just cold enough for there to be little snowflakes but not quite cold enough for them to stick.

I love days when it is not quite cold enough to need gloves or a hat, but cold enough that hot cocoa is like drinking heaven.

There is no deep conclusion to this. I'm just happy. I like November. This month and I were made for each other.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Jesus Rejoiced

There is this passage in the Gospels which I cannot find now but it goes something like, "Then Jesus rejoiced and said, 'Blessed are you, Father, for you have hidden these things from the wise but have revealed to little ones the mysteries of your kingdom.' "

What is this secret, that little ones know and we don't? Along with Chesterton, I think that perhaps the greatest mystery of God is His mirth. It is perhaps a little strange to think of a God who laughs, but why not?

The mystery that little ones have....A couple of weeks ago I was watching 2 toddlers. One stole a toy from her brother and he tried to get it back. They began chasing each other around the room, and a few moments later they were laughing. It had become a game.

Children cry more than adults do, and their sorrows are often very little. But they also laugh more than adults do, and over smaller things. There was another time I was watching the same little girl and we spent a solid ten minutes playing a spontaneous game: she would stand behind me. I would turn and look at her. She would laugh and then run around behind me, and the game would start over. It was great fun and by the end of it we were both laughing.

Perhaps that is the mystery of the kingdom, the thing that we are too wise to understand. We do not understand that it is a Godly thing to know how to laugh.

Keeping it real

Some days are like yesterday. God speaks to me clearly and I know why I am here and I get a bazillion things done but still find time for prayer and friends and go to bed tired but happy.

Some days I want to go back to bed and start over.

Some days I want to go back to bed and stay there.

I've got this idea that I oughtn't to have bad days. I mean, I have an awesome God who loves me. I have a thousand other things to be thankful for (yes I am ending a sentence with a preposition). When I think of how hard I prayed so that God would make a way for me to come here (and He did!) it seems like I should never have those days when I just want to go home.

But I do. I have days when I cry for no reason at all. I am a teenage girl, do I need a reason?

Even on those days, though, I don't despair. I might be sad, I might in fact be pretty miserable, but I go where I need to go and I do what I need to do even when I really don't want to (look, another dangling preposition).

I can't see how I'm doing God's work. I don't know. He does. I am walking in the dark because Someone whom I love has taken my hand and asked me to follow Him. So I do.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

I'm a bad influence

The Greek Geek is blogging.

Updates as events warrant.

UPDATE: Beyond Domremy is now online! Now I shall have to call her the Greek Geek/Durnhelm, and my other 3 readers can be mightily confused.

I'm getting all tingly. A blog by the Greek Geek? This is going to be good.

He Came in the Fullness of Time

With some sort of cunning, inventive
beyond all expectation
he reaches sometimes evil,
and sometimes good.

If he honors the laws of earth
and the justice of the gods...
Sophocles, "Antigone"

Me: This is what I was saying earlier, about how you need an authority above reason. That's so Christian. I'm sorry, I don't mean to bring Christianity into the discussion*, but it amazes me how when Christ came they were so ready.

Dr. S: It's true. And why the Greeks? Why right there and right then? How do you explain that except by the Providence of God working in human history?

*We have been told previously to confine our discussions to what the author could have meant--and in 400 BC there was no Christianity.

God Listens

I am going to do a longer post about last night's Praise and Worship as I get time, but for now let it suffice that the main thing I got out of it was, "No encounter with God is ever normal."

I go to Mass pretty much daily. It can get routine after a while. Get up, get dressed, brush your teeth, go to Mass, eat breakfast, check your email.

I must admit that I more often think, "Hmm, I wonder what's going to be for breakfast this morning." than "Hmm, I wonder what the Lord wants to say to me this morning."

This morning as I was praying before Mass started I said, "Okay, God, I'm here and I'm listening." Then I made a special effort not to let my mind wander off during Mass. I have particular trouble with the homily--most days that's my nice little 10-minute nap.

Today, I was actually paying attention so I heard it when Father said, "We must identify ourselves with the Word in order to proclaim the little word that we've been given."

Maybe because I'm a writer, I've always had a particular devotion to Jesus as the Word. For the past year or so I've been calling myself "the little word".

Father didn't know that. God did. So, just a bit of friendly advice: if you ask God to touch you, make sure you mean it because He probably will.

Time Stamp Fixed

Thanks go to Scott for telling me how to get my blog on Eastern Time. So, it is actually about a quarter to eight as I am writing this.

I must thank Scott also for giving me the link to the Earth Destruction Advisory Board. It's very reassuring to be able to look at my sidebar and know that the Earth is still here.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Yay!

The Captain is transferring to Franciscan!

Pray that everything works out with her credits and stuff, 'kay? It would be so awesome to have her on the same campus.

Breakfast on Tuesday

Tuesday is Household Mass Day, and by extension Household Breakfast Day.

This means that those of us who are not in households get a meal and a show. Such as this morning, when diners were entertained by the AMDG intents singing "Father Abraham" while forming a human pyramid.

Monday, November 12, 2007

I've Become a Conformist

This morning I bought a December Magnificat. Yes, I know it is 18 days until December. Around here, Magnificats sell out 2 weeks in advance.

This evening I went to Confession. I arrived at 7:20. There were already 20 or 30 people in line. By the time confessions started at 7:30, the line was out the door.

Tomorrow morning I will go to the 6:30 Mass. It will be standing room only. One Tuesday back in September they actually ran out of the Eucharist because there were so many people.

It's hard to be weird here.

Time Stamp?

I think Blogger must be on California time. So, to anyone who wonders why I was not in Spanish at 1:00 PM--I was. Just wanted to clear that up...

Thank Heaven for Auto-fill

Note to self:

a. Remember your own url

b. Add your own blog to your favorites

c. Both a and b

Otherwise the world will be deprived of your brilliance because you wouldn't be able to find your own blog.

Talking to the Crickets

Hello, nonexistent readers!

I know there will be no one reading this for a while, but I think it's fun to make the pretty posts appear (good grief, I sound silly...) so I'll post anyway.

My name is Megan, and I will be 18 on Saturday. I'm a freshman at Franciscan University of Steubenville, studying Communication Arts and Theology.

I call this blog "But I Digress" because that is the most common phrase in my emails. I am always getting off topic and having to wrench myself back to the main point. Alas, it is like that in my spiritual life as well. I will be all set to make progress in holiness, and then something will distract me and off I go. After a while God heaves a sigh, goes chasing after me, and plops me back down at the foot of the Cross.

My family consists of Mom, Dad, and Sister. They have names, of course, but this is the internet, people. We live in a smallish town in the middle of nowhere. For the purposes of this blog I will call it "the Polis". I have been studying Greek literature this semester and the polis is more than just a town. It is the whole world for its inhabitants. Since I love my hometown that much, I think the name appropriate. VERY IMPORTANT: If you should happen to know my last name and/or any part of my "permanent mailing address" (as the college applications put it), please keep these off the web. I would like to maintain a certain level of anonymity.

My two best friends are the Greek Geek and the Captain. They call themselves these things. The Greek Geek is a sophomore at a college far, far away. She likes Greeks. (All gasp in shock at this revelation.) She actually likes Romans better, but "Roman" doesn't rhyme with "geek". The Captain is a sophomore at another college even farther away (as in, on the other side of the country...wah!). She likes boats and martial arts and being an Eastern Catholic. I had no idea there were any such things as Eastern Catholics until I met her.

Such is the landscape of my life. Posts on this blog will be whatever pops into my head. Perhaps it will be profound. Perhaps it will be silly. Perhaps it will be so boring that your eyeballs bleed. I don't promise to post every day (or even every week) because I have a life and it's not blogging. This is just a way for me to organize my thoughts and have an outlet for the random things I think of. Then the poor Greek Geek will not get 5 emails a day from me, and she can focus on studying old dead guys.

Testing...

One, two, three...

Is this thing on?