Sunday, July 31, 2005

More Different Post

Okay, I think my last two posts prove my insanity. But that's okay, they make me giggle. Anway, I just spent the last forever working on a post about my latest adventure, so if you'd like to read it, go here. Why not post it on this blog, too, you may ask. Well, I'm a lazy bum who doesn't want to re-post it. What about copy & paste, you may question. It would take less time to do that, than create a link. Well, we've already established that I'm crazy. That's going to have to do as an answer. *sticking tounge out*



The Protiens are Leaking

Well guys, it's 4:49 & I'm up. Don't worry, this isn't going to be a venting post. There will be no grumpy pictures of me sketched out on Gimp or edited posts. I'm quite happy, just not sleepy. So I've been skipping around St. Blog's Parish and the like. I've found some rather interesting things (blogs, namely :P) and thought I'd share, just in case ya'll had some time to kill &/or were interested.

I started out here, at good ol' 8 O'Clock, and then on to Fiddle Back. From there I found Fr. Ethan's blog He had a link to Meredith’s Blog. From there I found a rather interesting Live Journal written entirely in Latin, Greek, & French. I was very suprised to stumble on a blog by cloistered Dominican nuns. I guess I just can't get away from the good ol' OPs! :) I also found blogs by Fr. Todd and Fr. Christensen. They are both very good priests from my humble little diocese. :) And a blog by "Anne Shirley". A very nice Catholic lady also from my neck of the woods. (Prarie?) Then of course there are two blogs famous on St. Blog's Parish, Peeping Thomists and Curt Jester. And last but not least, I found a quiz entitled How American Are You?. I guess I'm, like, 81% or something like that. *shrug* I don't know what the rest is.

I raise a question to all of you. Are we going to keep this up during the year? If so, that leads to another question. Do we want to join St. Blog's Parish? I think it'd be kind of fun, but hold no strong opinions either way. (I mean, who does have strong opinions about this kind of thing at 5:14 am?)

So yea, I don't really want to go to bed. I'd rather talk to ya'll, but I can't think of anything to say. Uh, happy last day of Jully!!! (Waite, doesn't Jully have only one l? And there's no e on eait. I mean, wait. Ho boy, I may not go to sleep, but I'm not going to continue to subject ya'll to this!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Floral Ninja!

Hey guys, while listening to one of my friends babble--I mean spending quality time with Lorena, I decided ya'll need to watch these. There's about three or so swear words/cursing, but it's really funny. Go to toons & then either Tiny Plaid Ninjas, Jokes with Einstein, or Penguin Calls. (I suggest all three.)

Friday, July 29, 2005

Fun Updates

I have updates that are fun. well, kinda fun, but anyways. First off, I've been accepted as a helper for freshmen welcome weekend, so I'll be going back to school on Thursday, August 18th. I will get to help and get my free T-shirt. Exciting.
Also on the agenda, I'm will be going to Movies on the Lawn with a bunch of other Christendomites.
For those who have not found out yet, I've finished the script and storyboards for my short depressing movie that I thought of during the school year last year. That means I need only three things: a Cast, a Camera, and a College Campus.
So that's all I got. My sister has started moving and fixing up her second grade classroom for September. Remember, she's teaching at our parish.
Fun times.

History being made?

It's over. It's finally over. Almost ninety years of bloodshed, betrayal and murder. . . ended with a word. Fitting, as it was begun by words. Perhaps now this land will see peace. Perhaps. . . well, we will see.

No ladies and gentlemen I have not lost the very few marbles I have left. It's just that yesterday, Sinn Fein, the Irish Republican Army, called upon all members to lay down their arms. All its members have been instructed to "assist the development of purely political and democratic programmes through exclusively peaceful means. Volunteers must not engage in any other activities whatsoever." Ulster hasn't been abandoned to England. But the IRA is no longer trying to drive out the English by force of arms. They're turning over the rifles (and the bombs that the later IRA has become infamous for) and returning to the ballot and the soapbox.

Well, at least that's what they say they're doing. They've made peace agreements before, and they have all been broken. But none have been so strongly stated. There is hope yet.

Also, for all of you who don't blog-hop much there is an interesting discussion going on at Quid-hoc-est about John Paul II's style of theology v. Benedict XVI's. Is Thomism on your radar? Are you interested in phenomenology and exestentialism? Then go take a look. Not into any of the above? Go take a look anyway, it will improve your mind. *grins*

And here is a little something interesting I found on Zenit while trying to find Cassidy's articles. The polls ask, "will Ireland be Catholic in 2030?" Dublin's Archbishop Diarmuid Martin responds.
They are just lecture notes, but they have some good points in them. Points that we all need to take to heart. (Actually points which you all have already taken to heart, so I'm guilty of preaching to the choir. Ah well.)

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Dictionary for women

In the spirit of the post that went up in Campion some time ago, I thought I'd post this. I was shuffling around the infermation super cow path & found:

Dictionary for women
Argument (ar*gyou*ment) n. A discussion that occurs when you're right, but he just hasn't realized it yet.

Airhead (er*hed) n. What a woman intentionally becomes when pulled over by a policeman.

Bar-be-que (bar*bi*q) n. You bought the groceries, washed the lettuce, chopped the tomatoes, diced the onions, marinated the meat and cleaned everything up, but, he, "made the dinner."

Blonde jokes (blond joks) n. Jokes that are short so men can understand them.

Cantaloupe (kant*e*lope) n. Gotta get married in a church.

Clothes dryer (kloze dri*yer) n. An appliance designed to eat socks.

Diet Soda (dy*it so*da) n. A drink you buy at a convenience store to go with a half pound bag of peanut M&Ms.

Eternity (e*ter*ni*tee) n. The last two minutes of a football game.

Exercise (ex*er*siz) v. To walk up and down a mall, occasionally resting to make a purchase.

Grocery List (grow*ser*ee list) n. What you spend half an hour writing, then forget to take with you to the store.

Hair Dresser (hare dres*er) n. Someone who is able to create a style you will never be able to duplicate again. See "Magician."

Hardware Store (hard*war stor) n. Similar to a black hole in space-if he goes in, he isn't coming out anytime soon.

Childbirth (child*brth) n. You get to go through 36 hours of contractions; he gets to hold your hand and say "focus,...breath...push..."

Lipstick (lip*stik) n. On your lips, coloring to enhance the beauty of your mouth. On his collar, coloring only a tramp would wear...!

Park (park) v./n. Before children, a verb meaning, "to go somewhere and neck." After children, a noun meaning a place with a swing set and slide.

Patience (pa*shens) n. The most important ingredient for dating, marriage and children. See also "tranquilizers."

Waterproof Mascara (wah*tr*pruf mas*kar*ah) n. Comes off if you cry, shower, or swim, but will not come off if you try to remove it.

Valentine's Day (val*en*tinez dae) n. A day when you have dreams of a candlelight dinner, diamonds, and romance, but consider yourself lucky to get a card

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

The End of the World

This is one of my extra credit things from Dr. Townsend's class. It must have helped my grade.

The End of the World
by Matthew B. Rose
The time it took was seven minutes
The time from start to end
None could know the end of time
was just around the bend.

Not all the people cared for things
that would save them from strife
Now their horrible apathy
will cost them their life.

It grew very large over time
slowly gaining space.
The silent beast made no sound
as it quickened its pace.
It grew very large, for a moment,
then began to expand rapidly
towards that place of life and blessing,
destroying all things quickly.

Here we did not see it start
when it did for reason's known
for it takes light seven minutes
to get from there to our zone.
Therefore, we went about our lives
not worrying about the future.
We spent our final minutes
living life like a creature,
our horrible habits, our daunting
vices shown like a star:
this was the group of men
who could not sense a car
coming down the road at speeds
of 60 miles or more,
for all we paid attention to
was the life we longed for
We cared not for the glories of love,
nor the worship of any such God
that would put a hamper on our life
Satan was our twin in the pod.
For this was our fate,
to be engulfed in a wave
of heat and light, and radiation
from which none were saved.
Our star itself exploded then,
when we were not looking.
The time was only seven minutes
before we started cooking.

Elizabeth Jones walked her dog
down the street of 4th and Main.
She looked at the different houses
and gave people looks of disdain,
for she had no blood love lost
over any of her common man.
They were nothing for her,
like liquid soup in a can.
She did not see them as equals,
she did not see them as friends
she merely saw them as obstacles
to achieving her own ends.
When the seven minutes was up
she would cry aloud
for her hate for all mankind
would give her a crowd
of angry, hot, and pushy neighbors
who shared her same beliefs.
They would be her only company
for eternity is not so brief.

The light and heat, radiation too,
expanded, engulfing the messenger
that small, hot and rocky mass
that never showed any danger.

Fr. Francis Prose, saint of men,
prayed for his mere soul,
and bowed before the altar.
Dipping his fingers in the bowel
he prepares for the high feast
of a lamb he cannot yet see,
of a Lord he will one day
worship for all eternity.
Here he cleanses his fingers and soul,
preparing for the greatest gift of all.
He gently turns to the congregation,
shifting the position of the pall.
His piety and love of all the good,
all that his God has made for him,
leads him to meet his master,
for now his soul is free from sin.

The giant spread across the space,
Morning Star is swallowed up
that inspiration of poets of old,
now drinks from an empty cup.

What none of these people knew
was that another power was at play.
For here was the work of the Lord
His glory manifests itself that day.
For this day of destruction and death
was ordained since the beginning.
This time of death that approached
was simply the suffering coming.

The pressure was too much for the star.
It could no longer hold it's power.
It expelled its strength, its energy,
in one oppressive final shower.
The seven minutes passed by quickly;
all who saw it knew its purpose.
Some who prayed were saved that day;
Others, who did not, never surfaced.

Miss Jones turned on the TV.
She sat on her favorite chair.
Her dog hopped onto her lap.
How on earth could she care?
The screen was blank, a black stare.
She paused 'fore pressing "Off"
She rose, but couldn't turn on the radio.
for then, she started to cough.

Fr. Prose looked down at the open book;
he stated quietly those holy words.
Then lifting the simple cup and his eyes,
he brought the prayers heavenward.
He had done the ultimate act of a man:
He had succeeded where others would fail
And as he set down that holy chalice,
all the temperatures all slipped off scale.

The world was engulfed in a wave,
unsurpassed in the history of time.
The ancient start of ours, older than us,
older than life, older than time,
could not contain the mass of its life.
our existence, our planet, wiped away
in the span of seconds. The holy of
God were saved; the rest were erased.

Such is the way of the end of man
For theirs is below heaven's Hosts,
yet higher than the beasts of the field.
Such is the way of these new ghosts.

For be it the irony of Adam, Job, and Christ
that all we have received from God strife.
For the Lord gave and took away, our of love.
The Creator is the one who removes life.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Do decent films exist?

Is it possible to voice disapproval to a movie unnecessarily depicting or glorifying immoral acts, yet still pay the 8 bucks at the theater and add to the company's profit? Am I not at least tacitly giving my approval to a movie in its entirety, which may be mostly good, but in which the director has decided to insert a scene where there is depicted explicitly an immoral act (e.g. fornication) committed between the main characters. Is it truly necessary to the story to depict this? So how can I condemn on the one hand, and approve on the other.

The last time I saw a movie, I went to some pains to try to find a movie that wouldn't throw this behaviour into my face. There was some objectionable material, but not on the scale of gravely immoral impure acts. As to the other material, my friend covered my eyes, and told me when I could reopen them. The nice thing about the movie was that the heroine was chaste, and not messing around with the hero as in so many other movies, which spoils them.

However, I can't say that anything else out there, has really struck me as being good to watch. I've got into a heated argument over this, and i just wanted to take a gander at other people's thoughts. This is in relation to the ISLAND, which has an interesting premise, but includes a sex scene between the two main characters. Which my honorable opponent declares offends him and it's deplorable, but he was glad that it was "not graphic", and "artisticly done". To which I say, I'm sick of it all, I'm not giving a dime, and if I see this movie for everything else that's interesting, I want to have the power to edit what is objectionable from my viewing eyes.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Dancing with Words

Writing is a curious art. It has beauty and form, and uses words and phrases as a garment to clothe ideas. The author really does not "create" it, rather like a sculptor who frees the statue from the marble, the author brings forth the story from the inspiration of the mind. For a sculptor, and an author their art takes hard work.

I don't like to start to write. Yet, I enjoy writing. Once the story or inspiration seizes hold of me, I like to keep writing, and write away! I have notebooks from years back, where I wrote down story ideas. Of course I'm no author yet, but for me the important thing was to capture in some way the inspiration for the story and it's outline. Often I find myself writing the story in my head, thinking about how I would describe the characters, where the story would go, how it might end, but sadly I have work to do, or the errand I spent with myself quietly in the car has ended. Then I can't remember all the things I wanted to write down, and it makes the task of recovering the idea all the more difficult.

The best time I find for writing is at night. Perhaps because I enjoy talking during the day, and keeping busy, I don't have much thoughtfulness for writing. At night, in my quiet hours, my mind can work best bringing to life the story. In this way, man imitates his Creator in a small way, but to clarify what I said above, the inspiration for this creation does not come from man, but from God who made man and his wonderful intellect and creative imagination. Yet, I have fun with the words, and love the beauty of a phrase and it's construction. Words have an amazing power to express beauty and thoughts, but they also can express thoughts and ideas not directly spoken in themselves. Here the reader draws out the meaning and richness from the text, that the author subtly sows with his words. Not a meaning too far from his words, but a meaning that goes deeper than words. At least this is my understanding of writing.

There is also a relationship between the writer and the pen. It's almost as if the thoughts of the writer flow with the ink onto the page. I like to hear the scratch of the pen on the page. It must be something akin to the satisfaction the sculptor feels as he chisles away the stone to carve the form of the statue. It is still imperfect, and imperceptible, but he knows something is happening to bring forth this expression of beauty, truth, and goodness.

So I think that I shall acquire a typewriter, and adapt to writing on that machine. I don't really know why I had a computer in my room. All I did on that was play games, listen to music, and occaisonally write a paper. I didn't warm up to the computer to writing, because I don't like looking at a screen, and I like to see my work, and apply the old red pen to my work. So, I'll figure how to do without it. My grandma has a mechanical typewriter, and I'll see if I can acquire ribbons for it. My dad has an electric typewriter, so I'll see which one I'll bring back to Christendom. I'm kinda excited to imagine just how it'll look on my desk, and the looks of bewilderment from my roommates for my old fashioned ideas and appliances.

Yes, I Peachy have been silent on the blog for quite a long time. Ever since California, in fact. The fact is that I hate looking at a screen as I write. Oh, I can still do it. It's just making myself get over looking at the screen for over 45 minutes as I think and write at the same time. Also I don't typer very fast. Just fast enough for me, though I ought to get a little better.

So, I 've been thinking about what to write next. I still need to develop the pictures from Sean's and my journey to the Irish Jerusalem of the Americas: East Durham, NY in the heart of the Catskills. That was quite an adventure, and there's a thousand stories to tell. However, for the sake of the blog and me, I'll only write one. I've been reading the National Catholic Register, and there is quite an interesting discussion over the Harry Potter books, because of this private opinion of Pope Benedict XVI, which he wrote as Cardinal Ratzinger. A number of Catholic authors have disagreed sharply over the books, so I'll see for myself which ones are wise and which are foolish. Well, I think I'll write something about it once I know a bit more, and this will get Peachy more active on the blog.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Good news

I'm comming back to Christendom, if I can ace my remaning two classes over the summer. I'm going to have to work very hard.

Pray for me.

XI Thou Shalt Not Skip

The third & final leg of my journey brought me to Hawthorne, NY. Rosary Hill Home to be more exact. I was back for my second visit. Much had changed & much had stayed the same since the nun run. Mother Edward is now Sr Edward & Sr Anne Marie is now Mother. Sr Alma is going to be taking over for Sr Teresa Marie as novice mistress & vocations director within the week. The noviciate got extended to 2 years. And most exciting, the Kenya mission passed, so we’re going to Kenya! Amy Q & Sr Catherine Marie were pretty much the same. The visit was wonderful & crazy, awesome & scarey, happy & sad, simple & confusing. There is way too much to discuss on this blog. Discerning a vocation is a tricky & tiring thing. But it’s also wonderful & filled with many graces & blessings. I was quite happy to be back. I was able to see many sisters & patients that I hadn’t seen since spring break.

It was especially wonderful to see Amy. For all of you who don’t know, she’s a postulate who graduated from Christendom the year before we got there. We were able to talk often during free time. I caught her up on what was happening at Christendom & she on the happenings at Hawthorne. We talked a lot about vocations, temptations, confusion, certitude, piano lessons, & chocolate.

Isn’t it just so that whenever you’re trying to make a good impression, you always end up doing something stupid? Well, as you can imagine, I did plenty. Most of them probably aren’t that bad, but I was so bent on being perfect, it seemed like the end of the world. One night I was washing dishes & Sr TM handed me a container that had held lemonade. I had just washed it the night before, but had forgotten how the top came off. After I struggled, pulling & yanking on it from various angles for about 5 or so minutes, Sr TM took it from me & simply unscrewed it. Oh. After lunch one time,I was washing dishes again & Sr CM handed me the same lemonade container. (No, I didn’t try to pull the cover off again!) This time it had a little lemonade left in it. Now the lemonade was very good & I thought it’d be a shame to waste it. So I unscrewed the cap & tried to drink it quickly, for I didn’t know if Sr TM would approve. Unfortunately I did so too hastily. Very little lemonade actually got into my mouth. I was practically swimming in the sticky liquid. Luckily I was wearing an apron & no one saw me. But it did remind me of the time I tried to stuff a whole spare rib in my mouth while putting food away on the nun run. One time on the floor, I was washing something out in a patient’s room & I reached for a paper towel & knocked a bottle of disinfecting spray onto the floor. The top came off &, well, the floor got really clean! Another time I ripped an attends in half while helping with patient care. While leaving chapel one day, I decided to put the kneeler up. The nun run girls may remember that the front of the first pew is about to fall over & the kneeler is crazy heavy, so putting the kneeler up is a fairly dangerous thing to do. Somehow I forgot this important fact. Now I didn’t knock the thing over, but there was a loud boom & a crack that echoed throughout the chapel. Sr TM was not impressed. When it was nice out, we ate lunch in the “summer house.” I liked it, but there were large, biting black ants there. On Sunday, one somehow managed to crawl halfway up the inside of my dress before I noticed it. I had finished eating, so I quickly excused myself to the bathroom, grabbed my tray & ran through the cloister. My now empty glasses clattered about on my tray & my silverware jingled. I’m sure I was a sight, for Sr R commented on the racket she heard during lunch. And of course there were all the horrible black marks left by my shoes every time I tripped over the floor.

“Religious decorum,” as it’s called, will, indeed, be a hard thing for me to grasp. I must say good-bye to skipping, running, jumping, sitting on grass, snorting loudly, and just being crazy. Think about what you normally see nuns do & what you normally see me do. The don’t quite match up, do they? Haha, that’s going to take some getting used to. But as hard as that’s going to be, there is something that is going to really put that in it’s place. I need to take a page out of Mary Beth’s blog about learning to be alone. It’s really a very important thing. It’s a lesson the Lord has been trying to teach me most of my life, but I’ve refused to learn it. Now it is of the utmost importance, and I’m playing catch-up. I’m watching the Fellowship of the Ring as I type this, so forgive the quote, but it seems pertinent.
“You are a ring bearer, Frodo. To bear a ring of power is to be alone.”
– Galadriel
“. . .Then I know what I must do. It’s just, I’m afraid to do it.”
– Frodo
“Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”
– Galadriel

I know what you all are thinking, “So what now? What happens now?” Well, as one of our Holy Land “pilgrimage animators” would say, “The question to the answer is” wait. Normally, I would have to speak to Mother Anne Marie before I get an application, but she told Sr TM to just go ahead & send it to me. So as soon as I get that, I’ll fill it out & send it back. I also need to make an appointment with Alpha & Omega Inst for psychological testing. (Yes, we’ll find out once & for all if I’m sane!) Amy said that it’ll probably be at least December before I get in, though, because they’re really, uber busy. If (when?) I pass that, I have to have some really in-depth physical (oh joy.) Then if I pass that & they still want me, I’m in. So this may be awhile. Not 3 more years awhile, but probably 1 more.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Cooking with Carduccis

The 2nd leg of my journey begun shortly after I got back from the Holy Land. First of all, my luggage was finally found & was shipped to Jerusalem the day I got back to the US! Oh well. We got back the evening of July 2nd & I stayed with Katie until Ben & Joe picked me up the next day. One of the 1st things Ben said as he walked through the door was, “Oh, you’re Katie!” Apparently he thought I had a random Katie friend in Virginia who I didn’t meet through school. *shrug* So I got my massive amounts of luggage together (no comment) & we headed off for adventure. . .and Sean’s house. We found that Mapquest is extremely inefficient, as they had us take 5 left hand turns in a row! Through all of this, Ben & Joe we going back & forth with Family Guy quotes. By the time we got Captain Oblivious, they had moved on to Future-Rama. I was very happy to have someone else in the car who had no idea what was going on! (Plus I was happy to see CO. :P) I managed to get a few words in about my trip, mostly about the food. With that, we went to Chipolte’s for burritos (or tacos in my anti-wheat case.) We then realized we weren’t quite sure where we were. Yes, even CO, who had lived in that town all his 19 years (well, he spent a good deal of the 19th one at CC) didn’t know how to get to I-95. (I think that’s what we were looking for. Maybe not.) Once we found the road, the trip was quite a bit of fun. Ben & Joe kept up with the quotes & I talked about the Holy Land, mostly about the, um, interesting food. (See CO’s post about donkey meat...) The windows were down & in the words of Joe, my hair was “a sight to behold.” I guess I resembled Medusa. That’s what I get for traveling with all guys. :P
The trip was not without it’s oddities (but if you look at who I was traveling with, I think it’s fitting!) Ben sometimes deviated from the Mapquest route & would sing the theme from Doug every time he did so. Joe would freak out about us getting lost. But I suppose that’s something Joe fears with his sense of direction! (Or lack there of...) Ya’ll have heard the story about how he got us lost going to his house, right? If not, check out this. The next strange thing, was as soon as we crossed the Maryland border, the mile markers turned into kilometers! *Insert confused kangaroos from Australia.* We were almost there, when I remembered that when I looked up Carducci’s house on Mapquest, there were two Edgewaters. I’m not sure why everyone freaked out when I mentioned this, but they did. At that point Carducci called & said Mapquest was crazy. Yea, we already knew that.
We got to the Carducci house just fine. We met her dad, her sister Cat, & her brother Michael. We also met Jay. I went into the kitchen with Liz & Cat, while the guys stayed in the living room & talked. I think if we could have just kept the guys out of the kitchen for the rest of the stay, much could have been avoided. (But it was more fun how it happened.) Supper was fun, if not uneventful. After supper there was a rosary & then we settled down for some movies. I was on the couch with Ben, Sean, & Joe. Remind me never to wear a gray T-shirt & jeans. Everyone kept talking about “the 4 guys on the couch.” (I think they’re the ones who kept changing my profile at the commons!) We watched The Pacifier & The Eraser. Sean, Joe, & I all fell asleep. We decided it was time for bed. The guys went to Jay’s & I stayed with Carducci.
The next day was the 4th. The Carduccis & I got food & prepared the hamburgers. Did you know they put breadcrumbs & eggs in their hamburgers? After that, Liz, Cat, & I got out the top floor Campion CD’s & painted our nails red, white, & blue. This was the activity Ed found us in when he got there. We offered to do his, but for some reason he declined. We then hoofed it over to Jay’s, where we found our guys were, indeed, still alive. Sean & I swing (swung?) danced in the kitchen while the grill was getting ready. Then Jay suggested football. Heh heh heh. I would just like to say that my team won! (Actually, I have no idea. I can’t remember who won! But I’m sure it was us. :P) It was great to watch the guys try to tackle Ben & Jay. I brought Carducci down once pretty good. :)
After we stuffed our faces, it was off to Annapolis for the parade & fireworks. We walked around the waterfront waiting for the parade to start. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful. The parade was fun, I think the jazzercise ladies were my favorite. :) Then Carducci showed us the local Catholic Church. We walked around trying doors on it, but none would open. (Well, there was that one that led down dark stairs, through a youth room & into the sacristy, but we didn’t go that way. *impish smile*) After making almost a full revolution, we found a small Adoration chapel. That’s what I’m talking about! So we prayed for a bit & then explored the gardens. They were awesome. I would’ve liked to have gotten a few pictures there. The fireworks were nice. Most everyone really liked them. We went back to Jay’s house for our own fireworks. Jericho, sparklers are not safe! There is nothing safe about them! I accidentally grabbed one that had just gone out. That was over two weeks ago & I’m still not sure if I’m going to get all of my finger print back on the one finger.
The next day was a day of cooking. The 6 of us spent the day in the Carducci kitchen. We made chicken salad. (Before this, I had heard of chicken salad, but it was only a vague reality in my mind.) I was not informed of the fact that chicken comes in cans. I feel so much more educated now that I’ve cooked at the Carducci’s. I’ve cooked with Liz before, but this was a whole new experience. It didn’t help that the boys kept trying to get their paws on the food. Silly boys. Ben & I got into a food fight of sorts, stemming from the “red” hair dye I sprayed in his hair the day before. *shrug* But we found out that wheat-free cookies are good, even if they look funny, mustard is good in deviled eggs, & butter is better in food than hair.
That evening we all disbursed back to our respective houses (or Katie’s). The trip back was quite uneventful. It was uber fun & I think should be repeated!

The happy group at Jay's house on the 4th at about midnight. (Before my great wounding.) The girl ya'll don't recognize is Cat. :)

Hich & Ed peeling eggs.

Us in the Carducci kitchen. (Ben's got a headache. :P)

Ben backed me into a corner after I put an ice cube down his shirt. I grabbed the only protection I had, a butter knife. (Of course my husband is snapping pictures & laughing. Hurmph.)

I got around Ben & grabbed a slightly better weapon, a chair.

I finally end up on the floor hugging Carducci's leg, begging for protection. (Husband still playing the role of photographer.)

Monday, July 18, 2005

Good News!

Hey guys, I have some good news to counteract PQ's bad news. My loan just went through, so I can come back to Christendom! :) Um, I don't know if any of you actually knew that there was a problem, but yea. Smiles for me. (Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about the 2nd 2 parts of my trip, they're coming in their own sweet time.)

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Sorry to drop such a downer:

Don't you hate it when people tell you that they're willing to accept any decision you make so long as you make the right one? My parents just changed their minds about allowing me to return to Christendom. I knew it was comming. There's no way my parents were actually willing to allow me to "have no future" (Read "career")

Oh well.

I don't know for sure what I'll be doing this fall but I'll visit on the weekends I promise. I be able to buy a car with the money that would have gone to tuition. Its such a shame, I miss you guys already. Its all for the best though... I hope.

Sorry Matt.

God Bless.

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Funny story I forgot to tell you. Matt and Jenne, you'll love this. A while back my younger brother Brian and I were making fun of generic christian rock when I told him about Fr. Stan. He didn't believe me, Franciscan Monk who Raps christian music? He thought I was making it up and asked that I prove that Fr. Stan was a real person.

So I proved it. We got online and I googled Fr. Stan Fortuna. Up poped Fr. Stan. Brian was stunned. He asked to listen to some of it so we searched and found some soundbytes. He listened to them and told me he loved it. I caught him looking up CDs on just today! He denied that he was actually buying them but if hear School of the Eucharist coming from his room anytime soon, I'll know better.

People are just funny sometimes.

God Bless.

Night skies, fireflies, angels, bagels, and brides

From the timeless land of innocence
Comes the soft tide of the night
It wraps the earth in dark content
As God makes all things right.

The gentle call of evening
Drew me out upon the road
As I sought a thoughful lady
God's science to unfold.

The miles and hours flew by
The lady went unfound
But music lifted up my feet
And grace held me to the ground.

Morning came like evening
Unlooked for, unawares
The time so swiftly fleeting
Was gone, and how I cared!

On wings of steel I hurled myself
From the ground into the sky
A silver spear of a different kind
Than the song the fiddles cry.

Touch the ground and hit the road
For today was a day of dreams
Of a joy beyond all telling, and
Faithful love beyond all seeming.

Well, I'm back. And the tales I have to tell are long indeed. But it's 12:30 now, and I've had about two hours of sleep in the past 48, have walked over four miles in that same time period, been to one of the greatest wedding in the history of the world, danced, kissed the bride, and been regaled by off-tune songs all the way home. So the stories will have to wait a little while.

(P.S. Pete, I left the 32 bars title for you!)

Thursday, July 14, 2005

There and Back Again: A Hobbit's Tale

The White Phantom is back in action! As I have promised, I will tell all about the Holy Land, Carducci’s, & the nunvent. Because of the length of it all, I’m going to do it in 3 (fairly lengthy) posts. So be prepared, the WP is taking over 8 O’Clock Chaplet!
I flew out to Virginia on June 19th. Katie & I are getting pretty good at this routine. :) I got to hang out with my “Virginia family” for a couple of days. Kevin decided I live on a rhubarb farm. The next day we picked up Shannon & her brother Alex. Ya’ll have all seen me really excited, so you have an idea of what I might have been doing. The alarm rang at 3:00 am the next morning. I fairly leaped out of bed yelling, “We’re going to the Holy Land!” Shannon looked at me sleepily & blinked at me. I was almost literally bouncing off the walls as I packed my final things. The 6 pilgrims, Katie’s mom, & sister piled into the van & headed for St. Veronica’s for Mass. As we were kneeling, praying & waiting for Mass to start, I looked around the church and saw many pilgrims that I knew & a few new faces. There was 1 guy 2 pews in front of me that looked very familiar. I could only see the back of his head, but there was something about the way his hair came to a point on the right side that seem irritatingly familiar. It was probably a good 5 or 8 minutes before he turned his head slightly & I realized it was Sam! In all the hustle & bustle, I forgot he was coming! After Mass, we said good bye to our families (or pseudo families) & headed for Dulles. Fr. Buckner informed us on the ride over that we’d all have a number for the trip & we’d be counting off everywhere we go. I was number 8.
The plane ride was fairly uneventful. The planes were really nice, much better than the puddle jumpers I’m used to. Total flight time was about 11 hours, with a two hour layover in London. We made it through customs just fine, but we were delayed at the baggage claim. There were two pilgrims who didn’t have luggage. One was a guy named Ben & the other was yours truly! Oi. It was then on to Jaffa for Mass. We then went on to the Knights Palace in Jerusalem, where we would be spending the next 3 days. We “freshened up” (Fr. Buckner loved this phrase & used it often.) & took a nap & then walked to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher for the procession. We then got to spend some time in the Tomb. Yes, it really was empty!
The next day was a day of “mountains.” We went to Mt. Scopus, the Mt of Olives, & Mt Zion. Now I would classify the Blue Ridge Mountains as mountains, but these things were definitely hills. Oh well. At the Mt of Olives, we saw the sight of the Ascension & the Church of the Pater Noster. We saw the Mt of Evil Council (heh heh heh), the Valley of Gehenna (the Kedron Valley), the Valley of Judgement, & the Garden of Gethsemane. The Garden was absolutely amazing. It’s usually locked, but Fr Buckner talked to a friar & got us in! After this, chronological order goes out the window, so there is no real order to what comes next.
We spent two more days in Jerusalem doing various things. We went to Bethlehem & saw the cave where Jesus was born. It’s actually more like a cave type deal than the kind of stable we would think of. We renewed our Baptismal vows in the Jordan River. We then trekked up to Nazareth & spent 3 days there. We went to Cana & saw where Jesus turned water into wine. We saw well where Mary was when she first heard the voice of Gabriel & then the spot in her house where the Annunciation happened. The Church of the Annunciation is a Catholic Church (though Shannon & I have our doubts) but there is a Greek Orthodox Church right next door. We went in there & Fr. Buckner explained a bunch of fun stuff. The thing I thought was great, was that they were chanting Psalm 117 in Greek! Sam & I quietly sang along in English. We then went up “to the hill country” to see the spot of the Visitation. At the Church of the Visitation, there were pictures of great Marian champions & great Marian feats, like the Lepanto. One of the people on the wall was Bl Dun Scotus. Quiz for all you who had Father’s class, who was he & what did he do? We went to the Sea of Galilee & had a boat ride there. We saw the Church of the Primacy of Peter. More stuff from Father’s class. I want Bible verses! Our guide (program animator?) took us to an uber high cliff overlooking the Sea of Galilee & the Valley of Armageddon. We were able to see the cliff that Jesus drove the possessed swine to their death. On the way back we stopped in Jericho. I thought of good ol’ Sydney. A man was giving camel rides & a bunch of people tried it. Sam & I rode the camel while Katie took pictures & Shannon looked at us disgustedly. It was really weird & the camel smelt really bad. It could’ve used some Febreeze. (I thought of Sydney again! J/K!!)
It was then back to Jerusalem. We saw the Church of Dominus Flevit & had Mass there. This was where Jesus wept over the destruction of Jerusalem. Then next morning we had Mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, like, in the Tomb. That was undescribable. We saw the Wailing Wall. Shannon & I had to walk through 85-100 armed Israeli army people (M-16s) just to use the bathroom. *shudder* We saw the Dome of the Rock, but weren’t able to go in. No skin off my nose. The next day we did the Stations of the Cross on the Via Dolorosa. I could have a million posts on that alone. Wow. Oh! And we went to Mt Tabor & saw the site of the Transfiguration. How could I forget that? There is so much more, these are but brief highlights.

This is a view of the Mediterranean from Jaffa.

O Jerusalem.

The Christendom Group in front of Jerusalem.

Katie, Erin, & Kevin in front of Jerusalem.

Shannon & her brother Alex in front of Jerusalem.

3444444444!!!!! This was the first of many attempts to kill Sean. Usually done by Ed & Thomas, as shown here. Oi, the freshman class is going to be a violent one!

The lot of us in front of Jerusalem.

The cave of the Pater Noster.

From the Church of the Pater Noster. Can anyone translate these? :)

The Garden of Gethsemane. Gethsemane means olive press. These are the same olive trees...

Ed & then Shannon & I in front of the Sea of Galilee.

The rock that Jesus served breakfast to the apostles on. In the Church of the Primacy of Peter. That's Sam & Thomas.

Statue of Peter at the Church of the Primacy of Peter. Peach, I thought of you!

View from the Mt. of Beatitudes.

Kevin enjoying the view from the cliff overlooking the Valley of Armagedon & the Sea of Galilee. Sparky & Ed are listening to Fr. Buckner.

Ed & Sparky sharing a "special moment" on the cliff.

More pilgrims on the cliff.

The 7th station on the Via Dolorosa.

The entrance to the tomb of Christ.

Sparky leading (or attempting to lead) a rousing round of "Lean on Me" on the bus.

The Church of the Visitation.

The well that Mary most likely greeted Elizabeth at.

All the girls with a nun on the top of Mt. Tabor. Yes, this is a vocation picture!

Shannon happy to be able to lay down in Nazareth.

Shannon after waking up on the plane.

Patrick sleeping on the plane.

Johnny just waking up on the plane.

Sparky sleeping in the London airport. Eric & Nick in the background.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

okThe Story

I re-did the story. It is below; The former story has been swept away. There are only a few differences, so you may or may not want to re read it.

The Hitchhiker
By Matthew B. Rose

Ian looked out the window of the house. What had once been a cloudless, sunny day had turned into a stormy, rainy night. It was a night for sitting at home and reading. It was a night for sipping hot coco, not for being out, and definitely not for driving. Ian wished that he were home. He wished he did not have to go out and drive on a night like this.
Why did he agree to come to the party?
Sandy walked over to him, putting her hand on his shoulder. He turned and looked at her.
“Are you sure you want to go out on a night like this? Peter and I always have an extra bed for you. You know that.”
“I know, I know. Your husband already said something to me. I can’t tonight.”
Peter walked up behind them.
“Why not, old pal? You too busy to hang out with your old friend for a night?”
“No, it’s not that. It’s just, I have to hurry home. I have a big interview tomorrow. It’s for the job at…”
Sandy interrupted: “You mentioned it. You want to teach at that college in God knows where.”
“It’s just over in the mountains for crying out loud.”
Peter jumped in: “Yeah, well, you should stay here and leave in the morning.”
“Can’t do that. I would have to wake up and go back home, pick up my papers, then drive to the college. Staying here would, no offense, take up too much time.”
The married pair stared at their friend. Peter put his hand on Ian’s arm.
“Look, if you’ve really got to leave, by all means, leave. Don’t let us stop you.”
Ian moved his hand and grabbed Peter’s. They shook hands.
“Thanks man. I knew you would understand.”
The three of them broke apart. Sandy went to the back of the house, towards the closet. Peter and Ian walked towards the door. Peter patted Ian on the back.
“Hey listen, if you can, call us when you get home.”
“Who are you, my mother?”
“Yes. Now brush behind your ears young man.”
They laughed until Sandy arrived with Ian’s coat. After the hands were shook and cheeks were kissed, Ian opened the door and stepped out onto the front step. Peter stood in the doorway.
Ian turned to look.
“Drive carefully. Too many accidents happen out there on nights like this.”
“Yeah I know. I will.”
“Take care. Pray for me.”
“Will do. You for me, ok?”
“Always do.”
Ian walked quickly down the walkway to his car. The rain was harder than it seemed. He fumbled around in his pockets, trying to find the keys. He drew them forth and opened the car. He settled down into the driver seat, put the key in the ignition, and turned it to start the engine.
Nothing happened. The car would not start. Ian tried again, holding his breath. It started. Ian sighed and pulled out of the driveway.
* * *

The rain was really pouring now. Ian could not see out the window, even with the wipers going at full speed. The forest surrounding the road seemed dark, like the night rain itself. Ian squinted to see the signs on the road, each one seeming harder to read.
It took him awhile to realize that he had no idea where he was. He suspected it when the road he had been driving on grew narrow. Yet, he did not know it for sure. That is why the sign took him by surprise.
Ian slammed on the breaks, swearing. He rolled back, looking closer at the sign he had passed. He checked his watch: it was 20 minutes until twelve. He swore again and fiddled in his pocket, pulling out his cell phone. He scrolled through his list and dialed. The phone on the other line rang twice.
“Hey Peter, its Ian.”
“Hey Ian. What happened? I thought you would be home by now.”
“Yeah, well, I got lost. Can ya help me?”
“Of course.”
“The sign here says that I’m 20 miles from Charlottesville. I’m surrounded by woods.”
“Oh, hey. I know where you are. Keep going that way for about 15 miles, then get on the highway. You should be ok after that.”
“Alright. Thanks. I owe you one.”
“That’s what you said last time.”
“I mean it this time, ok?”
“Yeah, alright.”
“Thanks man.”
“Yeah, sure. Call if you get lost again.”
“I won’t get lost again.”
“Sure, sure.”
“Alright. Bye.”
“Bye. Good luck tomorrow.”
Ian hung up the phone and put it back in his pocket. He turned the key and started the car, pulling onto the road. The rain continued to fall hard, pounding on the windshield.
* * *
The rain fell at a different pace. Before the drops had pounded Ian’s car so hard that he wondered if there were dents in the hood. Now there seemed only to be a misting drizzle. Still, the outside world seemed miserable, as if the whole world was crying.
Ian had his high beams shining on the road ahead, showing everything. Everywhere there were trees: trees on the left and trees on the right. His eyes were beginning to tire, burning under the stress of the drive. He glanced again at the clock, trying to focus his eyes: 11:59. He needed to get home. If he hurried, he could still get six hours of sleep. As long as nothing else stopped him, he would be fine.
With that thought in his head, he slammed on his breaks, skidding forward another ten feet.
“What the...?”
He looked out the rear window. He saw a heart wrenching sight. There was a girl, no more than 15 years old, standing on the side of the road. She wore only shorts, a T-shirt and sandals. Her hair was matted against her head, which never tilted up from its downward glance. Had she even seen him drive by, Ian wondered to himself. He put the car in reverse and drove back until the car was parallel with the drenched girl. Ian opened the door.
“Hey, do you need a ride?”
The girl tilted her head up, slowly brushing aside some of the soaked hair that covered her face. Her eyes were dark blue, darker than any Ian had seen. She seemed pale and shivered involuntarily as she stared. Ian suddenly felt a shiver down his back. His neck tingled as the tiny hairs rose slightly. He felt an urge just to drive away, leave this creepy girl. He was in a hurry anyway.
“Here,” Ian got out when he gathered himself. “Get in. I’ll drive you.”
The girl slowly climbed into the car, dripping water on the seat. Ian got out and closed the door behind her. He scurried behind the wheel and started the car, pulling it back onto the road.
Ian looked over at his new passenger. She seemed to shiver less but was still pale. She held her hands in her lap and did not look up.
“So, where exactly am I taking you?”
The girl looked up and pulled back her hair, which had fallen again into her face.
“I, I live on Maine Street.”
“Well, that’s a start. Do you have an address?”
“3545. It’s a big house with a blue door. There’s a rose garden in the front, but one of the roses won’t bloom.”
“Hey, you live close to where I live. I know your house. I used to bike by it every day.”
“Sure, I guess.”
The girl turned her head back towards the front of the car. She looked out the window in a blank gaze, never blinking. Ian had not noticed that she wasn’t blinking until just then. He had figured that she was blinking, but he just never noticed because he was driving. Puzzled, Ian spoke again to the girl.
“I hate to interrupt your deep thought, but what’s your name? You do have a name, right?”
“Colleen. Colleen Heart.”
“That’s a very pretty name.”
“Are you named after a relative?”
“Oh. Okay then.”
Ian looked over and noticed the girl rubbing her shoulders. She gave a shiver and wiped her nose. She did not sniff though; she just wiped her nose with her finger.
“You look cold. Here, take my jacket.”
Colleen looked up and took the jacket from Ian. She put it on her shoulders and wrapped it around her arms. She then looked out the window.
“Thank you.”
They drove on in silence. Ian checked her every few moments, just to see if she was warming up. He even turned up the heater. He body had stopped shivering and her voice had become less weak. However, her face and hands were still pale. Ian did not ask any questions about this, just questions about her family, school, and interests. This in turn was followed by a period of silence, broken only one minute into its stretch. The silence was broken not by a question of Ian’s but one from Colleen.
“Do you ever think about death?”
“What? Death?”
“Yeah. Do you ever wonder what happens when you die?”
“I guess you go to Heaven if you’re good, Hell if you’re bad.”
“Are you Catholic?”
“Yes. Well, I kinda haven’t been into it as much as I used to. I still go to Mass and Confession, if that’s what you mean.”
“I was wondering because you forgot to mention Purgatory.”
“Purga... Oh yeah, I forgot about that. I remember learning about that in school. It’s the place for cleaning, right?”
“Yes. I learned about it in class this year. It’s where the souls who are good but not ready for heaven go.”
“So they say.”
“That got me thinking about ghosts.”
”Oh ghosts. Ghosts don’t exist. They’re just stories told to frighten people or get money. Nothing more.”
“No. I think that there are different types of ghosts. One type is unable to do anything: they just appear and repeat their death. They died horrible quick deaths. Thus they are unable to prepare for Heaven; that is their Purgatory, to revisit their death over and over again.”
“What about the ghosts that hurt people?”
“They are demons and evil spirits, trying to drive their victims away from God. If they provoke fear into their victims’ hearts, the soul hardly recovers. They draw in the living person by a tale that seems innocent and harmless. Then they attack.”
“That’s a pleasant thought. But what about the ghosts that don’t hurt people, but do things, like move chairs and stuff.”
“They’re ghosts that are trying to communicate to the living people in the house. They usually are from heaven and are trying to lead the living back to God, since they have turned away.”
“Um, ok.”
“And there is one more type of ghost. That type interacts with people. These spirits are always from heaven and try to lead the living back to God. More often than not, they are saints, and therefore register as visions from Heaven. But sometimes the spirit is not recognized as a saint; therefore the communication is not looked fairly upon.”
“Wow, you know what you’re talking about. You sound very adult.”
“Thank you.”
“So that’s what you think ghosts are.”
Colleen looked at him closely and nodded.
“I’m positive.”
* * *
The car pulled up to the house on the street. The house was exactly as Colleen described it, down to the rose without a blossom. The night sky was clearing up and the moon was peaking through the thinning clouds. Colleen looked up at the sky through the window.
“I guess you should get going,” Ian mumbled. Colleen nodded and opened the door. She began to get out of the car but then stopped and started to take off the jacket.
“No, no,” Ian said. “You can keep it. You still look cold.”
Colleen smiled at him. She had a beautiful smile, like the moon that shined above them. Ian could not help but smile back. He felt calm, certain that, whatever he had to do, he would succeed.
“Thank you.”
“No problem. I’ll pick it up tomorrow.”
She got out of the car and went up the walkway to the front door. She rang the doorbell and waited. Ian did not watch her go in; he pulled away onto the long road towards his house.
* * *
The dawn broke, spilling its yolk-colored sun through the windows of the apartment. The alarm clock sounded through the room. It could not echo, for the mess scattered around on the floor and on the furniture absorbed the sound. The body in the bed shifted and reached for the buzzing annoyance. It fell to the floor. Grumbling, the man got out of the bed and turned off the alarm. He stretched and looked at the time.
“Oh shoot!”
Ian threw the clock aside and hurried into the bathroom. He showered, brushed his teeth and hair, and ran into the bedroom. He threw on the suit he had picked out and ran to the kitchen, grabbing an apple. He ran down the flights of stairs to the main lobby, exiting through the double doors. It was then, as he stood outside in the cold morning air, that he realized that he had forgotten something.
He almost turned and went back into the complex when he remembered the previous night. He remembered giving the jacket to the girl and saying that he would pick it up in the morning.
Shaking his head, murmuring to himself something about Christian charity, he entered his car and closed the door.
* * *
The house looked different than it did when Ian had driven by it last night. Of course, it could have been that last night was dark and there was not enough light to see the true details of the house. Something, however, just did not seem the same. The house looked different, almost sadder. The flowerbed was in shambles; even the roses were wilted, except for the one with no blossom; that alone stood tall. The paint looked faded, and the house itself looked like all hope, all life therein, had drained away.
Ian walked up the walk to the door. He looked for a doorbell but could not find one. He turned his head and raised his fist to knock when he noticed the knocker on the door. Shrugging his shoulders, he knocked. A few seconds later, as he stood outside, he heard the shuffle of feet coming towards the door. He straightened up and fixed his tie.
The door opened a crack, and an eye looked out at him.
“Yes.” It was a woman’s voice. It sounded younger, not too many years older than Ian himself, but felt worn, as if the voice itself had been tortured for some unknown sin.
“Mrs. Heart?”
“Yes? What is it?”
“I’m here to get something from your daughter. I’m the one who brought her home last night.”
For a moment, the woman looked up at him through that crack in the door. Slowly she opened the door. Ian looked at her. She was still in her nightgown. Her eyes were red and wide open, swollen with tears that seemed to threaten to deluge forth at any second. She did only look about 35, but she had wrinkles on her face that made her seem to be twenty years older. Ian started to speak but couldn’t.
“My, my daughter?” The woman’s eyes began to water. She looked up at Ian, her mouth agape.
“Yes. I believe her name was Colleen.”
“Oh Sweet Jesus.”
The woman slid down to the floor in the doorway. Ian moved quickly to help her. He moved her into the kitchen and searched for a glass of water. She cried constantly, so loudly that Ian was sure that she would pass out if she did not stop. He brought her the glass as she struggled to control herself. She sipped the water, and then looked up at Ian.
“Colleen was my daughter.”
“She died three years ago. No, more like four. Yes, four. She was riding home with a friend in a car. It was raining and the driver was young. The police said that there was alcohol in his blood. He was 17; she was just 15. I always thought she was too young for him. Anyway, we got in a fight and she stormed out. I was still angry at her when I got the call.”
She sniffed and wiped her nose.
“We buried her in her graduation gown. She was so happy that day, her graduation. She had the biggest smile.”
Her words trailed off into another stream of tears. Ian stiffly patted her on her shoulder.
“I had a dream last night that she came back, that she stood over my bed. I dreamt that she said goodnight, like she did when she was little. I could have sworn she sat down and hugged me. She looked terrible, as if she had been through a storm, yet looked so happy. She practically glowed.”
She cried again. Finally she began to compose herself, wiping the tears from her damp eyes.
“I’m sorry for this show I’m putting on. I must look horrible. I’m sorry, but there is no way you could have seen Colleen last night. You must have been mistaken. Maybe you dreamed it or something like that.”
Ian was quiet. He stood up as the woman began to rise.
“Thank you for helping me. Sorry for the um...”
“It’s no problem, really.”
She led Ian to the door, seeming to have recovered herself. As he walked out the door, Ian turned.
“What cemetery was she buried in?”
“St. James’, down by the church. It was our parish.”
“Oh. Thanks.”
With that, Ian walked back to his car. He opened the door and entered as in a trance, slowly closing the door and, finally, driving away.
* * *
The sun did not shine, for a cloud had covered it. It was not abnormal, but unique, since it was the only cloud in the sky that day. It hung over the cemetery, never blowing away, never releasing the rays of the sun down upon that place of rest. Elsewhere in the world, even in different parts of the town, the sun shone as normal, even, as some commented, brighter than normal. Then, as strangely as the cloud appeared, it faded away, showing the life-giving rays of the sun onto the desolate bed of the empty shells resting in peace.
Ian’s car pulled up in the driveway of the cemetery, the only movement as far as the eye could see. He was struck not just by the lack of sunshine, something he had just been riding against in the early morning, but the complete and utter lack of sound. There was not even a cricket chirping in the silent realm of the dead. Ian rubbed his eyes as he exited the car. When the door closed, the echo of the slam carried off into the wind.
Ian had rescheduled the interview in the car, on his way to the cemetery. The revelation that Colleen had been dead was almost too much for him. He had called the school and regretfully said that he would not be able to come that day; it was rescheduled for the following day. So now, Ian was here to visit the forgotten, the abandoned dead, the loved ones who were loved no more.
Each grave was solemn. Ian read the names and dates, touching the stones, saying silent prayers for those who had no one to pray for them. He noticed that many had holders for flowers, but the flowers had long ago withered away. The holders themselves had crumbled, until only the bare rusty wire remained. Everything was gray or brown; the colors of warmth had faded with the flowers.
It was then that he saw the grave. It was obviously newer than the surrounding inhabitants, those silent residents, yet seemed already worn, abandoned. The name was the same and the date was correct, showing that this fair maiden had died only four years before. The epitaph simply said “Only the good die young.”
He saw none of this. He could not take his gaze from the ground in front of the headstone, the ground only so far above the decayed body beneath. His face lost only a little color at first, but soon became pale, almost translucent. He started shaking, as his body became suddenly cold: he could feel the warmth leaving him. He lifted his hand to his face, scarcely believing that he could be awake. Then he bent over and touched the burst of color that shone like the missing sun through an overcast sky. He then held the color close to his heart, feeling it, surprised by its dryness and warmth. He then began the long walk back to the car. Only this time he wore a wide smile. This time his mind was not troubled but triumphant. This time the sun shone down upon him as the strange cloud drifted apart.
This time he carried his jacket in his arms.

Be prepared!

This one makes me laugh, every time.

Ralph for President (I mean King)

My Own Update

I looked back over what I have been posting and realized that most of my recent posts are selfish, dealing with my CD creating craze. I realized tha I have neglected my need to update you guys on my summer break and what I am doing. So here I go.

I got all the books now from that first Homeschooling thing. Two of them (Beowulf and Commen Sense) are for school. The other two are for fun.

I saw War of the Worlds with my friends from High School. It was a great movie and it was nice to see my old friends again.

Recently I went to a Nationals game. (For those who are behind the times, the Nationals is the baseball team that is now in Washington) At the game there was a group of people that were behind me. One the guys sounded so much like Dominick. However, he was talking with a British woman and had a beer in his hand. So that ruled him out.

Next on the list was the pool party I had with some of my friends from high school (some of them were at the get together mentioned above). It was fun and interesting. I got to talk about the college, since most of them need to think about schools soon. However, I don't think any of them will come. It's just not their type of school.

Most recently, I finished my short story "The Hitchhiker," another story based on an older ghost folk tale. It will soon be shown on the West of the Moon blog, for those who can't wait.

Work is coming along good. I should be getting my first paycheck soon.

More updates will come as I deem worthy.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Waffles anybody?

My blittle brother found this. Just when you think things can't get any stranger.

Ah, sweet NY

Wow. . . I think I have finally met my match. New York has got to be the craziest place on the planet. . . and the Smith's house is the craziest place in New York. Oh yes, ladies and gentlemen, I have finally consented to a trial separation from Virginia. No more lovely rolling hills. No more gentle flowing streams. Just. . . well, lovely rolling hills and gentle flowing streams. Okay, maybe they're not so different. Well, New York is a few degrees cooler. Oh, and some people like to build strange and wonderful houses in new and varied shapes like octogons. (Hey, I can't complain, it looks better than the A-Frames that some Virginians enjoy littering the landscape with.) But hey, I've only been here a day. . . renouncing my Virginia citizenship isn't something that I am likely to do in the near future. But then again, as Peter is saying, I have another week to be converted. We shall see. . . what we shall see. Guys, if you thought that my family was crazy, you don't know the half of it. They're perfect! Awesome! It's like coming home. . . only I've never been around here before. Anyway, I've got to sign off. Places to go, people to see, lakes to sail on. . . you know the drill.

Take care all you all.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Comes home, does a memory dump and leaves.

Well, I guess it's time to finish the post I began two days ago. First of all for all of you who where waiting in suspense. . . they were all fact. There, now you know everything you could ever want to know about what's been going on. . . Okay, maybe not. Let's see where to start? The beginning seems like as good an idea as any.

So there I was, standing on my front porch not quite six days ago. It was rather a drab and cloudy, not the sort of day one thinks of as the proper backdrop for the beginning of an adventure. But there was nothing dampening the spirits of my fellow travellers when they arrived at my door. The rather confused threesome confessed that they were a little late because they had taken one too many left turns in the plethora of lefts that Mapquest had set out for them (thus getting them hopelessly lost.) Greetings and goodbys were said, and then we were off.
Food was the first order of business, so with a bit of help from the handy back-seat navigator, Ben drove us to Chipotlae's (I have no idea how to spell it) and their two-pound burritoes. It looked good. The necessecities of the flesh satisfied, we all piled back into the car, and here a problem did present itself. We needed to get to 95. . . and none of us knew how to get there. Not Jenne, not Ben, not Joe. . . and not me! That's right, I, who have lived in the area for nineteen years did not know where one of the two major interstates in my county was! (66 was about 500 feet down the road, so even I couldn't miss it.) So we drove around in a big circle and when we had completed it Ben asked a gas station attendent. She was extremely helpful, and just three minutes after we left the station, the happy blue-red-and-white signs of the interstate were flashing past us. That idiocy past us the fun really began!
Catching up with each other, Ben's wild reactions to other people's driving styles, and weirdly funny, unexplainable quotes from weirder shows kept us occupied for the whole two hour long trip. In particular Jenne told us quite a bit about her Jerusalem trip. I'll leave it to her to go into the details, but the conversation was spiced up with references to camels, patriarchs, donkey meat, and other exotic peoples, places and things. Then, just when things were winding down, and we were coming into Edgewater, she raised everyone's bloodpressure. "Dang," she said, turning to me, "I hope this is the right Edgewater."
"What" the word lept unbidden to three throats.
"Yeah, when I was looking this place on Mapquest it asked me which Edgewater I wanted."
Visions of the four of us, marooned forever in the wrong Edgewater, forced by the circumstances to resort to cannibalism flashed through my mind. Was this other Edgewater perhaps inhabited by zombies and IRS executives? What were we going to do? Luckly for my sanity, it was at this very moment that Ben's phone rang. It was Carducci, wondering where we were. She quickly dispelled any rumors that might have been floating around about there being another Edgewater, MD and in five minutes we were pulling up to her house.

~ End Part 1

Sorry guys, but the next three days will have to wait until I get back from New York. It's one a.m. now, and I have to leave for Pete's tommorow so. . . ah, c'est la vie. I'll finish this (and start other stories) when I get back.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Sweet Country of New York

Well, it's been there and back again: A New Yorker's tale. So, I journeyed there and back from California. California requires alot of chilling. It's a good place to just discern a vocation and chill. I mean look at the palm tree: see how it neither toils nor spins, it 's just chilling. Why? 'Cause God wants to remind the world that it is important to just chill, and not fry. That palm tree just chills, looks good, and gets to look at God all day. It seems to say, "Dudes, look, you just gotta chill out, and enjoy this." It is a happy tree in a world of very unhappy people who can become so wrapped up in their troubles, they forget to chill out, relax, and trust God.

So, I stayed at the Norbertine Abbey of St. Michael's for a come-and-see. It was a very good place for discerning my vocation. The fraters (brothers) were awesome, and filled with a fire for Christ. We prayed the Liturgy of the hours, and between prayers we ate and worked hard to set up the summer camp for the boys. So I spent alot of time in prayer, and contemplation before the Blessed Sacrament. I know that God definitely called me to California to discern my vocation.

So on Sunday I bid farewell to the fraters, and to the abbot. Quia and her family came and picked me up. Then, I was a Peach on the Beach ;)! The Pacific Ocean is so beautiful and powerful! It was only a swimmer's beach, but it was so cool to me! I'd never been to an ocean before! I'm afraid the Atlantic will seem lame in comparison, but I'm not going to jump to any rash judgements yet! One other cool adventure was seeing the mission of San Gabriel, the work of St. Junipero Serra. California is founded on the mission system, it's a cool part of history.

I had a fine time in California. I can't say that I've ever had an experience quite like it. It's very beautiful, and very sunny, and warm. New York, however, as pretty and lovely as she is, treats me like a woman scorned, since it is damp, cold, rainy, and grey here today. This morning I was a shivering Peach at the waterpark, because I had to guard the gate in torrential rain, got chilled to the bone, and had to wade through a foot of water in the parking lot to get to the car (thankfully, it was on higher ground!). I was appreciative of the irony in weather however. I tried to blog bundled in blankets, but I just resigned myself to a feverish nap in the afternoon. Oh, well. Take care and God bless!

I Know that it's not Polite to Brag.

But I'm going to anyway.

The pool I work at was picked as the safest pool of the month by the company. Considering that Century (the lifeguarding firm that I work for) staffs most of the pools in the northern Virginia/Maryland area, thisis a pretty big deal. They were impressed by the efficiency of certian guards and I was listed among them. The good news is that I get a small bonus, a gift certificate. The bad news is that we have to do just as well next month to keep up appearances.

I'm sorry to say it, but I like boasting.

God Bless.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Did you see the news?!

I don't watch television in the mornings so I didn't find out what happened in England until just now. I'm amazed and saddened at how people could do this kind of thing. It's sad to say though that I'm not surprised by it anymore. I ask that everyone say some prayers for the victims of the bombings. I know that there English and that most of us are at least part Irish and that we hate the English for all the bad things they've done but that's no reason not to pray.

PS. My bizarre little brother has decided that now is the time to play "London's Buring" from his CD collection. Oh well.

God Bless. please pray

If idle hands were the Devil's only Workshop, I would be immune to sin.

It's amazing how much more you always have to learn about yourself. I basically signed away all of my free time this summer and its already one of the best I've had. I think that there is little more that I enjoy than keeping busy.

I wake up almost every moring and get ready for work. At work I use up all of my breaks for studying and doing homework. When I get home I go to school until ten O'clock at night and I around ten thirty I get the opportunity to check the blog and see how you guys are doing. Last summer I would have hated this sort of perpetual activity, now I really enjoy it.

My teacher thinks I'm crazy for takeing two courses at once but he doesn't know that I'm also working forty hours a week. I get days off though. (like today) I won't go insane with overwork. When my classes are over the family is going to take trip to Florida to see my grandmother. (She didn't move there, that's where my father was raised.) That should be fun.

Ahhh. Life is Full!

God Bless.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

Riply ain't got a thing on this!

Fact or fiction: It is possible to pack sufficent clothing for three days away from base camp (i.e. home) into a man's kit.
Fact or fiction: It is possible to live in an area for nineteen years and not know the names or locations of any major roads around you.
Fact or fiction: It is possible to laugh from Manassas, VA to Edgewater, MD without stopping once for breath.
Fact or fiction: Mapquest lies.
Fact or fiction: Italians food is really, really, really good.
Fact or fiction: It is possible to tackle guys twice your weight.
Fact or fiction: It is possible for a group of college kids to all gain new nicknames in the space of a minute.
Fact or fiction: Waterfronts and church gardens are beautiful places.
Fact or fiction: Red hairspray is actually pink.
Fact or fiction: You can spend five and a half hours continually preparing and eating food.
Fact or fiction: Jenga is a spectator sport.
Fact or fiction: You can hug someone so hard their ribs creak.

Don't worry, I'm not insane. . . just tired. The answers are coming. . .

Sunday, July 03, 2005

The CD breakdown

This is the list of birthday singing songs so far on the CD. I would like any input, especially from the guys.

Birthday Singing

Time to Say Goodbye- Andrea Bocelli
For the Longest Time- Billy Joel
Lady in Red- Chris deBurgh
Homeward Bound- Simon and Garfunkel
Breakfast at Tiffany’s- Deep Blue Something
Good Riddance- Green Day
Leaving on a Jet Plane- John Denver
That’s Amore- Dean Martin
The Boxer- Simon and Garfunkel
Kiss the Girl- Sebastian
Sweet Home Alabama- Lynyrd Skynyrd
Brown Eyed Girl- Van Morrison
She Will be Loved- Maroon 5
Return to Me- Dean Martin
Scarborough Fair- Simon and Garfunkel
Kiss from a Rose- Seal
Thank God I’m a Country Boy- John Denver
With or Without You- U2
Tell Me Ma- Shamrocks
Can’t Buy Me Love- The Beatles
Sound of Silence- Simon and Garfunkel

Here is the Reel CD so far. This one I'll work on at school:


1. Tell Me Ma- Shamrocks
2. The Virginia Reel- Traditional Celtic Dances
3. The Night Pat Murphy Died- Great Big Sea
4. Nancy Whiskey- Gaelic Storm
5. Around the World- A Touch of Class
6. Old Black Rum- Great Big Sea
7. Better Off Alone- Alice Deejay
8. Jack Hinks- Great Big Sea
9. Titanic Set- Gaelic Storm
10. Dancing With Mrs. White- Great Big Sea
11. The Hamster Dance- Hampton Hamster
12. Jolly Beggarman- Great Big Sea
13. House of Tom Bombadil- Nickelcreek
14. The Schooner Lake Set- Gaelic Storm
15. Lucky- Great Big Sea
16. Pigeon at the Gate- Traditional Celtic Dances
17. The Boys From Ballymore- Shamrocks
18. Beggarman- Gaelic Storm
19. Mari-Mac- Great Big Sea
20. Cotton Eye Joe- Rednecks
21. Tell Me Ma- Gaelic Storm

See, I need help deciding if these are even reel songs. Also, I need more of them.
Thanks to All.

The death of Andrew is near.

Ladies and Gentlemen pray for me.
Tomorrow, Independance Day that is, is going to be the most difficult day of the year for this poor lifeguarding. It is going to be bright and sunny ( ohh how I have learned to hate the sun, bring on the thunderstorms!) And people are being kicked out of the rest of the park I work at so that the fireworks display can be set up. We will be at capacity. And the pool will be filled with the most unrully patrons imaginable. Every one of them will be rotten. That is how it is every year. It's in my contract to work to tommorow and I can't get out of it.
On the plus side, I get off early, and I'll get to watch the fireworks with my family. They'll be a party at the neighbors's house. It will be fun. Everything works out well in the end. Life is great, Thank God.
I hope everyone has a great Independance Day. Even those out of the country. Show those Israelies what fireworks are used for! (Just Kidding!) Have fun everybody.
God Bless.