Friday, June 30, 2006
Ok, ok, I should really leave the fake news to Jonathan, shouldn't I? :-D
Thursday, June 29, 2006
The best way to describe this dog? It is a dingo. All black except for a white cross-shaped mark upon its chest, like a crusading wild dog. Its three redeeming features: 1. It looks much like a smallish Czech shepherd. 2. It has already proved its capacity to frighten small children while at the animal shelter. 3. It is black, and thus I shall be sure to walk it often at night. There is nothing that so stirs the primal human "fight or flight" instinct as to see a black dingo materialise where there was once naught but vapour.
I was able to tell exactly when my brother left for work this morning, due to the plaintive whinings and barks that immediately emanated from the kitchen. The kitchen has become a kind of dog gauntlet that I must traverse in my clean and pressed work clothes. This morning, (the first morning, mind you!) the fiend left an obstacle: a challenge for me. My brother shall have some training issues to attend to. I opened the door to the upstairs as I went into the kitchen. "What's up there? That's right! Not a whack to the rear! Go get it! Good dog!" A cat would never have fallen for that. But then, there is never a need for such tactics with a cat. I was able to use the kitchen in peace, and upon my departure, I opened the upstairs door as I closed the door leading to the outside. Like an airlock for hounds.
Returning home from work, I find my brother sitting in his chair, and his new compadre lying next to him. It had been a naughty dog during the day, as well. But that is an entirely different story. My door was closed and clearly labeled as strictly and permanently off-limits to hounds. Detestatio canes vitium non est!
Wednesday, June 28, 2006
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Monday, June 26, 2006
As to the selection of the new assistant dean of student life . . . it must certainly be a woman, and a woman it shall be. This is because at Christendom, women are the only ones who notice a low neck line, or a skirt that is one inch "too short." Madame Bar. would be an excellent choice, I believe, because of her reputation (unmerited though it may be) of favoring of students endowed with both an X and a Y chromosome. This is not, to me, an unpleasant prospect. Everyone knows that the XX chromosome contingent already gets away with far too much. This is why we have such strict dress code rules: to give them some sort of idea of what it's like to be a guy. To a woman, having another woman tell you your blouse is too small is like a guy having the tar beaten out of him in the Basement of Ben's: an everyday occurrence at Christendom, and none too pleasant, to be sure. Besides, everyone knows women are always testing the boundaries, pushing the envelope. Half an inch here, 1/8'' there. If the Assistant Dean loosens up on them in the slightest, they'll be wearing strappy little Birkenstocks before you know it. And it's all downhill from there, I guarantee. In no time, one won't be able to tread the path from Coeli to the Chapel without wading through a veritable sea of plucked-out eyeballs. In conclusion, and in my humble opinion, I repeat that Mme. Bar. would be a most advisable choice. Ancillaries such as continental re-enactments of Vienna and Lepanto would simply be frosting on the cake.
Sunday, June 25, 2006
I think Madame Barone would be just the woman. She would certainly usher in a new era in Christendom student life. The dress code would be very different, and Salvador Dali and other modern artists would be in all the dorms. Work Crew would become killing Muslims in France. The last point alone would be enough to gain the support of many.
Thursday, June 22, 2006
My Mom is a very strong woman. God has blessed her many times over in that regard. She is handling this sudden loss very well. Your prayers mean a lot for all of us. I know that some of you already know, and have already called me to let me know that you are praying, and I would like to thank you already. Without your prayers, I don't know how my family could be getting by after losing such a great man.Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
The English Loose Noose.
The Altos...back when nuns were men! (Not really--it is just something that seems funny after having to repeatedly hit a low F)
The Sopranos--the photo says it all.
Life here in South Carolina has been pretty eventful. Last week, while I was teaching I "lost" a student--in other words, she fell off. She jumped a few low jumps, and the horse decided he had enough. One thing led to another, and soon this little girl was on the ground. Though I have seen many, it was quite unlike any fall I've seen before. She fell at a particularly dusty corner in the ring, and it being a hot summer day, her horse kicked up a veritable cumulous cloud of dust. Thus, as she tipped off, it appeared to me that she slipped off her horse and vanished! I thought to myself, how am I going to explain this one to my boss? It was certainly the closest thing to the Rapture I have ever seen, and hopefully will ever see. But a few seconds later a very dirty rider rose from the ashes and walked towards me, and the rest of the lesson passed uneventfully.
There are many Hispanic communities from different Latin American countries here. So, it was only inevitable that at some point they should have the First Annual Tamale Festival, which took place last Sunday. Tamales are a very mysterious thing to us Gringos, so I asked my older sister, the one who has spent the past 2 years in Beliz about this phenomena. As near as I could figure from what she said, a tamale is a VERY popular food in Latin American countries that takes about 3 days to prepare. It is a piece of meat and sometimes cheese, covered in a thick layer of cornmeal and other mysterious things, and then wrapped in corn husks and cooked. Cooked how, I asked. She did not know, and remarked that it was probably for the best. But they are standard fare at Novenas, and funerals and wakes. (Hmm...) The highlight of this festival would be the judging of which country cooked the best tamales (Columbia won, followed by Puerto Rico and Mexico), as well as a wonder I have never seen before: a 10-pound tamale. The cook of this monstrosity let me take a picture of it, which I post for your viewing pleasure. The green things around it are the corn husk wrappings.
It was apparently stuffed with pork. My brother was brave enough to try some.
Our family was also very blessed this past week to be able to host a Dominican Sister of Mary Mother of the Eucharist, and 3 postulants who journeyed down here to do a kids camp. Randomly enough, one of them was a certain notorious Sr. Carly. It was wonderful to see her again. My family was also introduced to two of her classmates: Sr. Sarah from Canada, and Sr. Ruth from Texas. (Sr. Ruth told my dad that he grilled like a Texan, much to his delight.) They are such a great order, and their presence was a breath of fresh Catholic air. Some of the sisters are going to come down and start working in our parish school. God is so good! Sr. Carly says hello to all y'all Christendomites. She passed her Catechism test and she receives her habit and white veil in a month and a half, on the feast of Our Lady of the Snows. But right now she is still in the blue penguin suit.
I have to feed tomorrow morning, so I must wrap up now. Sorry for the poor writing style--no doubt Dr. Stanford would find many of his constellations in this post. Colin, I can't wait to hear stories about Asia. Sylvia, good luck with your new job! I am keeping you all in my prayers; please pray for me.
I don't know who the owner of this tomb is, but it reminded me of Aragorn and Arwen very much.
This is the tomb of the Poet, Dante Alighieri, which is in Santa Croce. (Dante is not in the tomb; his remains are in Ravenna.)
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Monday, June 19, 2006
Anyway, I have spent my time doing nothing other than reading and fiddling around with my computer, though not online. I am waiting for HeadRA to speak. I desire to be entertained, as the great Mr. Brown once said, but please let it not be "Rubber Chicken." That one aonly works once and on hard-bitten professors, at that. While I sit here thinking about nothing, please feel free to update this blog, and let the rest of us know how your busy lives are going. The most recent Episcopalian Conference woes are in the shape of a female head of the Episcopal Church in the US. Perhaps some of their communion will "swim the Tiber," as two prominent clergy recently did. Check more newsworthy sites for the info. (www.donjim.blogspot.com) Adios, until next time. --MC'in.
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Needless to say, this city is utterly amazing. I've never been to a place like this in my life. It is the cultural and industrial, and travel hub of the Far East, and looking at it, it's not hard to believe.
Anyway, now that Taiwan is over and done with, our business is nearly completed here in the Orient, and we'll soon be winging our way homeward. We still have 2 more interviews to get on Monday, and on Tuesday the 20th we'll be heading back to the grand old US of A. Tomorrow we don't have any official business to conduct, so we'll probably spend most of itlooking around the city. Don't worry, I'm planning on taking lots of video.
Anyway, keep up the prayers, and as always, goodbye and thanks for all the fish.
Friday, June 16, 2006
Preparing for a conference is sort of like taking finals. You don't sleep much leading up to it, and then you give it a colossal effort after which you don't feel like you have anything left to give, though strangely you are still on a high of some sort,though I wouldn't call it adrenaline,over-stimulation is more like it.
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
healthily sanguine - Sylvia
bakerstreetrider - Emily
Adam - Adam
Katholish - Draper
Fezzick - Colin
Geoff - Geoff, who by the way needs to post something
Nox - Kathleen
mc'inlikecrazy - Michael C.
ATB - Andy
Michael Baggot - Head R.A.
I hope everyone is having a pleasant week. I had many whole wheat tortillas today, and that is quite conducive to a relaxing evening which will now commence. Valete!
Monday, June 12, 2006
I'm having a fairly good summer out here in VA. I'm interning at HLI and working part time at Samuel's Library. Not much new here. Last week I was invited to a screening of a movie coming out in the theaters next year called Bella. It is a great movie and I would love to see Christendom get out to it. I'll catch up with all y'all later. Good to see you on the blog!
Sunday, June 11, 2006
"Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
As soon as we have celebrated the Advent of the Holy Ghost, we celebrate in song the feast of the Holy Trinity in the office of the following Sunday.
The place is well chosen, for, immediately after the descent of this Divine Spirit, began the preaching and belief, and, through Baptism, faith, and confession in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. (St. Rupert.)"
Season after Pentecost:
"This season begins with the Feast of the Blessed Trinity and is the longest of the Liturgical Year. It may comprise from 24-28 weeks and differs considerably from the other liturigical seasons.
In a Liturgical Year there is a historical progression, beginning in Advent with the waiting for the coming of the Messias, followed by His birth at Christmas. During the Sundays after Epiphany, the Holy Childhood is commemorated, while during Lent we are reminded of the fasting in the desert and the Passion of Our Lord. The sacred cycle is completed in the eastertide, when we celebrate the Ressurection and Ascenscion of Our Lord and the Descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles.
In this last part of the ecclesiastical year, the Church, led by the Holy Ghost, continues the work of the Redemption, realized during the preceding part of the Liturugical Year.
'The Holy Ghost, Whom the Father will send in My Name, He will teach you all things, and bring all things to your mind whatsoever I shall have said to you.'
This last season of the Liturgical Year is filled with feasts of major importance: those of the Blessed Trinity, Corpus Christi, the Sacred Heart, The Assumption and Nativity of Our Lady, All Saints, and All Souls."
This feast provides the last link in the cycle of our salvation, and at the same time encompasses it in its entirity, uniting the end: Pentecost, which marked when man was brought into union with the Trinity through baptism, with the beginning: The Annunciation, the Holy Spirit's descent upon the daughter of God the Father to make her the mother of God the Son.
Blessed be the holy Trinity and undivided Unity: we will give glory to Him, because He hath shown His mercy to us. (Introit, Trinity Sunday)
I'd first like to inform everyone with rather a gloating tone that I am not suffering from jet lag, even though I am living an existence exactly 12 hours ahead of you. I suppose that sort of means I'm in the future. Sort of. Not really.
Anyway, the trip has been fantastic so far. We are almost done with the Philippines leg of our journey and will soon move on to Taipei, the capital of Taiwan. This is a very Catholic country, and it really shows in the numbers of faithful that show up for conventions...like the pro-life one we were covering for EWTN. It's fantastic. We also covered some building projects where some of the more well-off Philipinos help the poor by giving them the materials and helping them to build their own decent houses. It's pretty cool.
Anyway, I will sign off. I hope everyone is doing well. Feel free to email me (and IM me, those of you who have gmail--just remember that Manila is 12 hours ahead of the Eastern time zone, so I might not be awake. It was pretty convenient...I didn't even have to set my watch. Fortunately I don't really get jet lag.)
Anyway, so long, and thanks for all the fish.
Saturday, June 10, 2006
Sun provides an excellent example of this. The basic plot is that a team of SEALs is instructed to rescue an American doctor from war-torn Nigeria, before the rebels move in. Because they
are Moslem fanatics, they have been systematically wiping out the Catholic Ibu tribe that had been in power, as well as all foreign nationals. The problem is, that the lady-doctor refuses to leave without as many of her patients and associates as could walk. The SEAL Lieutenant (Bruce Willis) pretends to go along with her demand in order to get her moving. They leave the mission compound where she had worked, leaving behind the Catholic priest and two nuns with the badly wounded. In the face of almost certain death, the Catholic religious are portrayed very well, as humans afraid of death but moved by grace to remain faithful to their charges. Indeed, they prove that a "soldier of Christ" is every but as dutiful as a SEAL. The party of refugees is hunted by the vengeful Moslem rebels to the Cameroon border. During their flight, Willis struggles with his soldierly conscience, undecided as to what to do with the "extra" Nigerians. Eventually, despite leaving the refugees and despite orders to the contrary, his conscience as a human wins, and he returns to lead the refugees to safety. He realizes he cannot abandon seventy-five other humans to death when he has the power to save them.
This completes my summary of the plot, but leaves out much, and I don't think it would ruin your watching. I truly recommend this movie to you, and to all audiences capable of viewing it. I will say that there was swearing and graphic violence in the movie as well as some female exposure, though this was in the context of the violence. The violence, swearing, and nudity (partial) was enough to make the movie R rated, but I did not find it excessively out of place. It certainly was not gratuitous, though some may have been unneccessary. In any case, it was all
natural, portrayed as if it were a newsreel, which perhaps was why it was hard to watch but part of the movie.
Hmmm... perhaps I ramble on too much. I found the movie true to life and very Catholic, both in its prtrayal of Catholics and in its themes. Though there was much violence and hatred portrayed, it remained for me a beautiful movie, while not being sappy or sentimental. I recommend it for viewers who can stand violence and swearing that is closely related to extreme situations. While a "military thriller" or "action movie" in the technical sense, it was a much
greater movie than any of the average "thriller" or "action movie"of these. Watch and enjoy, but be warned, it maybe hard to watch at times.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
The latter I found to be especially helpful. It condemns the attitudes of some Catholics who lie in wait for our Papa to say anything that could be twisted to be heretical, and then discusses the most often-quoted "heretical" passages from Benedict's works and interprets them in context.
While reading this article, I can completely relate to the author's obserations. Where do people pick up such a terrible attitude? It certainly exists. Is it natural cynicism? Is it inherited prejudice? Is it from seeing so many less-than-perfect Catholics? I can't figure it out, but it is despicable. An apologist named John Martinoni appropriately said, "There is a shortage of vocations to the priesthood, but none to the papacy!" The pope is not a bureaucrat, he is our God-appointed father, and anyone who calls himself Catholic must treat him as such. Naturally, one does not have to agree with every single thing he does, but there should be a charity and softness about criticism that one would give to a family member or close friend. One can desecrate a holy thing with words as well as actions, and the pope's name is a holy thing.
Also, as with familial criticism, such objections must be said only to an appropriate audience; in other words, discretion must be used so that when faults or apparent errors are discussed, it is done only when some genuine good may come of it. It is a sick person indeed who wanders about, telling everyone they meet about the flaws of their father, yet so often that is what happens with Catholics and their opinions about their pope.
"O Fair and Strong! O Strong and Fair in vain!
Look southward where Rome's desecrated town
Lies mourning for her God-anointed King!
Look heaven-ward! shall God allow this thing?
Nay! But some flame-girt Raphael shall come down,
And smite the Spoiler with the sword of pain."
In other news, no sign of the anti-Christ here in South Carolina. The honeysuckle is blooming and making the warm evening air languidly fragrant. There is a most interesting phenomena that happens in the twilight here, that I have not yet seen in Virginia. Sometimes the rosy sky and sun make everything appear pink, as if you are wearing rose-colored glasses. Perhaps it comes from being so near sea-level. It's beautiful.
Work is going well--it hasn't picked up so much yet that I don't have time to ride at least a couple of times a week. It's so encouraging to see how my students from last summer have improved after only one year of riding.
I have some good pictures of last year I would love to post, but for some reason our computer lacks a USB driver. If anyone knows how/where to get one, please speak freely.
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
3/4 cup flour
2/3 granular sugar
1/4 cup + 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup milk
3 tb. coconut oil (they say vegetable oil, but coconut oil is better)
1/2 cup walnuts coarsely chopped (optional)
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 1/4 cup hot water (boiling is good)
Preheat oven to 350. Combine well flour, sugar, the first 1/4 cup cocoa, baking powder and salt. Stir in milk and coconut oil until well-blended, then dump into 8" square ungreased pan and spread evenly. Stir in nuts if you please. Sprinkle brown sugar, the other 1/4 cup cocoa, and chips evenly over batter. Pour hot water evenly over top. Bake 30 to 35 min. until the surface looks dry, like a brownie. Cool about ten minutes.
It claims to make 8 servings, but this seems to presume an unheard-of level of self-control. It also suggests serving with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a maraschino cherry, which is probably in keeping with the nature of the thing, though I never bother to do so.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
P.S. Happy 666 Day!
Saturday, June 03, 2006
Cam Ward has had a dream season with the Carolina Hurricanes. Yet, as this article explains, he attributes the reason for his success to his religious faith. I think it's very true that you need to have faith in God to step out onto an ice rink and play a sport that involves a swiftly moving puck and large sticks. The Hurricanes have advanced to play in the NHL finals, which begin this evening.
Friday, June 02, 2006
Hope everyone's summers are going well. Things are very busy here, but good. Chorus is proving to be a bit of a bear in the editing room, but we're about halfway through the rough cut (with nearly 28 hours of footage to sift through, that's not too bad). We've set up shop at our new office in Rivendell and are working on the movie with some more state-of-the-art equipment (brand new eMachines computer with HD monitor...pretty sweet stuff). I won't bore everyone with the details, but things are going as well as can be expected (we're in the middle of what is essentially the finals week of filmmaking). Good stuff. Anyway . . .
Sarah's working at EGI (Educational Guidance Institute) located in the HLI building. EGI mainly deals with promoting a culture of life in schools through trying to recognize and use good elements of our culture (mainly good films) as ways of speaking to teens. They also promote abstinence until marriage and other chastity issues as well. It seems like a pretty cool job.
I'm still working at PRI and I enjoy it a lot. I've been named "Media Production Coordinator," which basically means that I get to kind of manage everything in PRI that is electronic or computer-related...It's kind of a broad job description, but hey, it keeps life interesting. I'm actually going to be taping shows for Steve Mosher, who is the president of the company and who is a famous face on EWTN and other secular networks. What's really cool is that I'm actually going to go to Asia with him on June 8 (pray for me...) to tape some shows. We're going to Manila, Philippines, then to Taipei, Taiwan, and finally to Hong Kong, all in the space of 2 weeks. It's pretty cool. Pray that everything goes well.
Everyone else is doing very well. Andy Bodoh (who is rooming with Mike Powell and me) is doing great. Mike is sitting right here. He says hi to everyone. Sarah says hi, too.
As you can probably tell, I've never been really good at the whole newsy letter thing. So, I won't take up any more of y'all's time. So, without further ado, goodbye, and thanks for all the fish.
Now it's over!!
Thursday, June 01, 2006
Hey y'all. I hope your summers are going well. I am back at the barn, teaching, riding, and doing all other various and sundry things. This weekend my boss has gone with some of the kids to a show, so I'm in charge. Aaaiieee! Quack! Please say a prayer everything goes smoothly, because with horses things can go very wrong in a very short time.
It is great to be back by the ocean, to be back in the Bible Belt, to be with my family, and to be able to drink alcohol whenever I want. But, it is certainly a paradigm shift. As Flannery O'Connor said, "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you odd." How true.