Friday, June 30, 2006


As anticlimactic as this may be, it's possible I have a name for what's wrong with me. (And not just something I came up with, a real scientific name.) I went to the doctor today. We discussed my recent heart tests. I'm always at a loss about what to tell doctors when they ask what's been happening to me. I want to ask if they really want to know everything, 'cause the list is usually pretty long. But at the same time, I don't want to leave anything important out. Ya know? Anyway, I finished my Medical Woes of the White Phantom in the Last Six Months with a story about how I almost gave poor Mary Grace a heart attack by looking unusually white one day at Mass. (Seriously, she looked really scared. I mean, I was the one tittering on consciousness and I asked her if she was okay. I felt really bad.) Anyway, she probably doesn't even remember it now, so I'll shut up about that. After I finished, Dr. Nandi's eyes lit up. I was confused about why she looked happy that I'd nearly scared one of my friends to death. She said, "Yes, yes I knew it! I was correct!" I barely got a chance to figure out what she said (she's from India and has a thick accent) before she said, "Remember last time I said you might have an autonomic nervous system imbalance? Yes, yes I did. That's what I thought first." She had to repeat herself before I got all of it. Then I did remember her saying something about that, but she hadn't been actually diagosing me, just throwing out another suggestion into the pot.

Anyway, so basically this is how it goes. There's a part of your central nervous system called the autonomic nervous system. It controls everything from salivating to blood vessel dilation to digestion to bronchial dilation. Pretty much all organ functions. the ANS is divided into two parts (sympathetic and parasympathetic for those of you who care). These two parts counteract each other and stay in a fine balance. The sympathetic takes care of things like "fight or flight" and basically the gettin' goin'. The parasympathetic is the relaxing part. If the balance is off and the parasympathetic takes over, things like fainting, turning white, nausea, dizziness, and weakness occur. Sound familiar? There's just a couple of problems. There's no test, no treatment, no nothing. No one knows what causing it or how it can be prevented. So this is the point where I go "Okay.", shrug, and not climb on tall things when I get dizzy. I'm not terribly excited about the idea of having something with no cure. But I'm really excited about maybe having an answer. Actually, I take that back. It hasn't really set in. And because there's no test, we can't know for sure. But this is good enough for me. I am going to have a sleep lab done in December to see if I have sleep apnea, but Dr. Nadi promised that's the last test. I've been doing some research on ANS instability (the American Heart Association calls it "autonomic failure") but I don't know. I'm kind of sick of the medical scene. And I have a bio test on Monday. I'll think more about this later.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

More deep thoughts, with Jack Handy

I know that this is a long post, but Smitha read it and said it was good. I hope that it does not bore or otherwise cause distraction. It doesn't have a title, but I guess it doesn't need one. Its because I've been reading all about C. S. Lewis. i guess I just want to write about our times.

I have noticed something about modern society. It actually is something I’ve probably seen before, but never thought about. In fact, the more I think about it, the more certain I am that I not only knew about it already, but I’ve been told it a million times before. But enough with background introductions and let us move on to the main body.

The modern world has become unnatural. All of today’s world problems reflect this unnatural feeling towards creation. This becomes clear in examining the interests and pastimes of certain groups of people, namely the “MTV crowd,” as they have been called. The interests include drinking, free sex, contraception, and disdain for order and authority, whether it be parental or social. It can be seen in many places, least of which is on MTV herself, whether on TV, in the movies, or, unfortunately, in the lives of “role models” found on today’s magazine racks. The horrors mentioned above, of which I am sure you are familiar with, are rampant, frequently attained, and open to anyone. How did all of this come about? It all comes from a revolution against the natural order. These interests are rooted in the inter-workings of nature. They take natural processes and turn them upside-down, abusing them for a selfish, almost satanic purpose.

Look at drinking. This is not drinking as in what I just did, of taking a bottle of water, putting it to one’s lips, pouring the water into the mouth, and swallowing. That is not what I am referring to, although it will be brought up in a moment. What I am referring to is process of getting drunk, of taking in as much alcohol as humanly possible until one is not able to function. Therein lies the abuse. It is not only an abuse of the alcohol, which in the technical sense is no different than the water I just drank, save for the fact that it can alter the physical person depending on the amount taken in. Alcohol is a naturally forming drink. If a grape burst open and somehow is left to ferment, it will naturally turn alcoholic (or into vinegar, depending on certain factors). The abuse is when the person who drinks the said alcohol, lets say wine for example, does it to an excess.

Now the matter of abuse does not solely rely on the fact that the person drank too much alcohol. It depends on the person’s will in drinking. If a person, say a young man who had never had a glass of wine before, drinks two glasses where his body can only function normally after one, he may become intoxicated. He was not aware that that much alcohol would affect him in that way. He had no experience in that field, and probably did not even notice the alcoholic effects of the first glass until he had already begun the second one. His intoxication is, in sense, natural. For in a similar vein, animals in the wild can eat certain fruit or grass that has a similar effect to our drunkenness. These animals, as with the young man, like the taste of the intoxicator and continue to take it in until they are not able to function properly. There is a case, a recent one, of a goose that ate a certain type of grass that led to its intoxication. It hit a car while flying. Accidental intoxication, therefore, is a type of warning in nature, not to harm the body. Like a bad smelling plant or porcupine’s thorns, accidental intoxication is the natural way to protect the body from harming itself.

But let us return to the problem at hand, that of unnatural alcohol abuse. What happens is this: A man or woman goes out of his or her way to become intoxicated. It does not happen by accident but by design. The person uses the natural act of drinking, the same one I used to drink water, and the natural creation of a fermented drink for the wrong purposes. Rather than drinking the alcohol for refreshment or for the taste the person drinks it to harm himself. There the natural aspect has been lost, and a sub-natural one has taken over. The person is less natural than animal. Unfortunately, this is not a new thing. For thousands of years the abuse of alcohol has destroyed men and nations. It has been condemned by many, including God Himself. Yet it persists today and is glorified by those who despise what is natural.

What suffers similar abuse, but to a much more secretive degree, is the marital act. It goes by many names, and will be referred to here as its shortened reference, sex. Sex is one of the most blessed acts every bestowed upon man by God. It was created with a twofold purpose: to create life and to bring a married couple together, for “a man shall leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they shall be two in one flesh” (Gen 2:24). For one can not exist without the other. New life needs a family, and marriage is the perfect place for the new life to grow.
Both aspects of sex are under attack in this modern world. For new advances in sciences are aimed not at preserving the union of sex but rather at breaking it apart. Everyday scientists work hard to find simpler, more efficient contraceptives that remove all chance of life beginning. It is all in support of the “free love” aspect of modern society. What was once God’s most blessed gift has become another article of fun, another tool to pleasure. What was once used for the miracle of life and the holy bond of marriage has become something you must do as many times in your life as you can with just as many people. It is with shock and scorn that the modern world greets a man who is abstaining from sex until marriage. Why, this puzzled broken generation asks, would one not want to enjoy sex? Of course, one could argue that it would be better to keep sex within marriage, where it belongs, because it is more binding than many realize, that it is best with the person you are willing to spend the rest of your life with. However the modern world to shouts back, “why would we want to stay with one person our entire life?” And the angry shouts continue into the night, when the people are amused by the lifestyle of one who does not live in the light.

Sex is a natural thing. It is how human beings reproduce, as well as bind wedded couples together. It is natural, therefore, that a married couple use sex as a way to bring offspring, that is, children, into the world. The unnatural vice of modern society to not only encourage premarital sex but to encourage blocking the very crucial life aspect of the act is appalling. Sex has been taken from its pedestal, thrown to the ground, and stomped on. It has been taken, like drinking alcohol, not only to a subhuman level, but a sub-natural one. All the original reasons for sex have been removed and thrown away as the youth of the world have thrown themselves into the modern orgy that is our world.

Following in the wake of these atrocities is disdain for authority. Anyone with authority, whether it be parents, governmental, or spiritual have been dismissed, by this modern society as not only unnecessary but as evil. This is not a new problem either, for it goes back to the Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th centuries, where all authority was said to be dead. The thinkers of the Enlightenment felt that each individual is responsible for his or her own actions, and no one can tell the people what they can or cannot do. The role of the state for these people, as Hobbes suggested, is merely to ensure one can do what ever he or she wishes, not to dictate morality upon the masses. Church authorities have been told to butt out, parents have been rebelled against, and the government in many places has been attacked. Order, a natural process, has been abandoned. Even God has been attacked and declared defeated. Nothing seems natural, and nothing seems real. A popular song from the Vietnam War era (“For What It's Worth” performed by Buffalo Springfield) says it well: “Nobody's right if everybody's wrong.”

Those words surmise this society. The relativism of the world has shown that when nothing is true, nothing makes sense. One can not remove what is natural and still survive. It is through the natural that we has living beings have any chance of living in any society. To abandon so blatant a necessity is literally suicide. We can only hope that eventually common sense and logic, which have also been abandoned as of late, will rise from the ashes that were once civilization.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


well, i'm thinking i'll just have to throw a party. summer is officially here as of June 21st, and i officially miss all of you. i'm quite a silly person. while Teddy was gone i complained to all of you about how much i missed him. now he's back and i complain to him about how much i miss all of you. silly as i may be however, i did appreciate and enjoy my time with you all this semester. and now i'm doing the same with Teddy.
anyway, i'm thinking a party on a Saturday would be good. start early, end late. hopefully it would accomodate most peoples schedules. it will be at my place of residence, which is 25 minutes east of Christendom. has anyone been in touch with Carducci? i keep meaning to be, but i've been having internet setbacks.
my dear roomie of the past 2 years came to visit me last weekend. we went into DC for the day on Saturday and then went to see a live performance of Riverdance. it was sweet. there's one scene where the Irishmen have a dance-off with Broadway tap dancers: it was absolutely amazzzzzzzzing to see. it was raining that night and we had lawn seating, so we got damp and i watched through rain-stained glasses because i had forgotten to wear contacts, but it was all part of the adventure.
this coming weekend's adventure lends the subject title for this post: I'M GOING HOME! for a 5 day visit. Teddy and Mary B. are coming with and my grandparents, who i haven't seen for over a year, will be there too. the 3 of us are actually leaving tomorrow morning. i'm so excited! not that i miss home very much i must admit, but i miss my family and i'm looking forward to seeing g-pa and g-ma and having Teddy be with the fam for a few days. plus, i'll get to ride my motorcycle more, w00t!
well, i'll end this long post and be in touch about having the party. au revoir mes amis!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

New Look

Once again, the 8 oc has had some major changes. The pictures were taken off, because some people no longer felt safe with their pictures on the blog. It had been decided way back when I put the pictures up, that if, for any reason, someone had a problem with it, they would all be taken down. It would just look weird with some pictures up and some down and some of fairies. I also mixed around the order of some things on the side bar. I'm still hoping to get a picture of Mary up on the sidebar. I don't know why I never did. Anyway, so any preferences on the picture? Our Lady of Guadalupe? Lourdes? Miraculous Medal? Help of Christians? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Anyway, I hope these changes are to everyone's liking, and if not. Well, let me or Ry know. I hope summer's going well. I've got one week left of bio 101 and then a week off and then environmental biology. The class is really interesting. I'm thinking I really like genetics. I've been doing some more research into the bioethics thing, and I've found most bioethicists have some kind of specialty. I'm leaning towards either embryology or genetics. *shrug* But we will see. I'll know more once I get past the 101 stage!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Because I know everyone cares. . .

Because I know everyone cares, I got a box in the mail yesterday from TAN books. The last two of the books that I bought at the Homeschooling convention arrived yesterday. The books, for those who forgot, and/or are still reading this post, are Isabella of Spain: The Last Crusader and Characters of the Inquisition, both by William Thomas Walsh.

Oh, and in exciting Rome news, the latest issue of National Geographic discusses some underground places to visit in Rome, including a crypt church made of human bones.

Oh Sydney. Would you like to go on a field trip to see the crypt made of human skulls?

Monday, June 19, 2006

It's amazing. . .

I posted this on my blog, but I figured more people would read it if I put it up here.

It is truly amazing what I think of sometimes. Other times, its not that surprising. And sometimes, I don't actually think, but rather absorb the thoughts of other like a human thought sponge. I use these thoughts violently as my own, expanding upon them until they explode like a hot dog that has been cooking too long. Classic example is my previous post. I was inspired by that post by a short commentary found in the Washington Times about illegal immigrants. The person made a quick comment that the illegals are not interested in becoming citizens. I took this idea and drew it a step further, running with it, invoking my historical powers. Now I do it again, thinking about the most holy union of two people in the world, marriage. From this same newspaper, although from a different day, there was another person who lamented the death of marriage to those who simply don't care. Why, the person pondered, do women in particular even bother with traditional things like white dresses and veils, since a lot of the brides are not virgins, as such garments symbolize. This made me think because this weekend, on Saturday, I attended a wedding. It was of a family friend (the groom), but what made matters more pressing to me was that I actually knew this family friend. I grew up with his sister and his brother was a close friend of my sister and cousin, as well as myself. I also knew him well enough, for he was a close friend of another of my cousins. So this was a family that I knew. It turns out I didn't know them as well as I thought. I probably was told, but I forgot, what I 'found out' Saturday. The sister, whom I had grown up with through high school at my parish, brought her little baby she recently had given birth to. She is not married. I also found out that the groom's parents were not together. Also, I found out that the lady that had gotten out of the car with the father was his new girlfriend, his new significant other, you could say. I don't know if the mother has found anyone else. Yet the wedding was performed in a Church, my parish, and the ceremony was performed (is that the right word? I know the people in the couple are the ministers of the sacrament, but what is the priest?) by the former pastor of my parish, one of the priests I am closest to. He is a legit priest, as will be shown. He's the one that came to my sister's baccalaureate and concelebrated the Mass. Anyway, so they had a marriage ceremony, with the priest and witnesses present. And Fr. McCann (that's the priest) gave a splendid homily on the importance of the ideal of life long marriage. I am almost certain the homily was directed at the parents, who were not living this ideal. Yet I fear that it fell on deaf ears. I then looked at the bride as she stood at the altar. She had a long, flowing white dress, with a light veil over her face. She had smiled as she walked down the altar, and I'm sure she still smiled as she said the words that wedded the two as one flesh. I stood there, and realized that it was one of the most beautiful things in existence. Yet I could not help but think back to the commentary about marriage. I wondered about the bride, then pushed it out of my head. I shouldn't worry about that. Everything falls into place.
"Let all mortal flesh keep silent. . ."
Also this weekend, Sunday, we had a Corpus Christi procession around the neighborhood. The neighborhood, by the way, is not a pretty place. Yet we marched with our lord under the umbra and with incense and candles. The weather was warm yet I did not notice. I was marching with my Lord. Rocky 6 is coming out soon. They are working on another Indiana Jones movie. Paul Newman and Robert Redford are working on a movie together again. Everyone is coming out of retirement. So did I. I was the emcee of that Corpus Christi procession. I lead the congregation through the neighborhood, almost taking a wrong turn only once. The incense held up, and nobody fainted. I lead my Lord in his holy parade, leading him out to the world, the back to his abode.
"Tantum Ergo Sacramentum . . ."
Beauty comes in many faces. It could be the sight of two people saying "I do" to each other as they unite in that sweetest of unions, the union of a man and a woman before God and man. It could be in the procession of a congregation of people, many of which don't understand the beauty of what is carried enthroned before them. I know for a fact not everyone understood. Yet some did. I did. It was truly beautiful.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Time to go back to the olden days. Well, the days right after Vatican II. Well, read for yourself. I hope this cuts down on the number of people raising their hands towards the priest when saying "And also with you."

US Bishops approve changes to the Mass
LOS ANGELES, June 16 (CNA) - The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops voted yesterday to accept proposed changes to the English translation of the Mass. Although a survey released last November by the Bishops’ Committee on the Liturgy indicated that the bishops might be split on the changes, an overwhelming majority voted to accept the proposal, with some minor amendments. After much prayer and discussion during the months leading up to the meeting, the Bishops debated for only 20 minutes on Thursday on a variety of wording changes, then voted to accept the new translation.The changes, widely reported by the Catholic and secular press, will alter the wording of 12 of the 19 texts spoken by Catholics during worship, including the Nicene Creed, the Gloria, the Penitential Rite, the Sanctus and Communion. While some fear that the changes will cause confusion in the parish, many bishops believe that the adjustments will be a smooth transition compared to the turmoil experienced by many parishes in the 1970’s, following the changes of Vatican II. Fr. Christopher Layden, a scholar of Catholic liturgy who spent five years in Rome studying at the Pontifical Athenaeum Sant’Anselmo, said that Catholics should not be worried about the changes. “Thirty-some years ago we made the transition from Latin, a language which no one speaks, to English,” Fr. Layden said, “to think that the current changes will result in some kind of catastrophe at the parish level is to seriously underestimate the people of God.” “I’ve heard the concern raised that the new translations are too distant from the way we speak ‘on the street’,” Layden continued, “in some ways, that is precisely the idea. While the saying of the Mass in English is meant to draw people in from their everyday lives, the whole purpose of the Mass is then to uplift us, to lift our eyes and ears to heaven. If anything, these changes will remind Catholics of what is really happening in the Mass.”The long process of making changes to the English translation has taken the work of numerous linguistic, biblical, and liturgical scholars. Following the announcement of the document Liturgiam Authenticam in 2001 the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) was asked by the Vatican to propose a version of the English Mass which was more faithful to the original Latin. Liturgiam Authenticam - subtitled, On the use of Vernacular Languages in the Publication of the Books of the Roman Liturgy - aims at ensuring that the Roman Catholic Mass is celebrated using translations which are more uniform despite the diversity of nationalities and primary languages which exist among the faithful of Catholic Church. The English translation proposed by ICEL, which is led by 11 bishops from 11 English-speaking countries around the world, required the approval of the US Bishops before it can be finally approved by the Vatican.A USCCB source has told CNA that although the bishops made slight adjustments to the proposed translation, the changes do not substantially affect the sprit of what the Vatican had encouraged through ICEL, and has no doubt that the amended final document will be approved.Bishop Arthur Roche, Bishop of Leeds (England) and Chairman of ICEL, spoke to the American Bishops prior to the vote telling them that their vote was “a very important moment.” “If the bishops of the English-speaking countries can agree on a single version of the Mass,” Bishop Roche said, “what a sign of catholicity that will be.”Bishop Roche told the bishops that following Vatican II there was, “an urgent feeling that the liturgy should be made available to the people as soon as possible, and the work was rushed.” Many theologians, he said, think that through the hurried translation currently in use, much of the richness of the Church’s Eucharistic theology has been “severely diminished.” This, he said can change with the new translation Paraphrasing Pope Benedict, Roche closed by telling the bishops, “Of course, if you try to carry a cup of coffee across a room too quickly, much of the contents may spill. This time, we have tried to keep the coffee in the cup.”

Friday, June 16, 2006

Life is Good

Hello All!

PBJgirl is still alive and kicking. Although I don't have much energy for the kicking part right now. It was a non-w00t night at work. Buuuuuuttttt. . . Teddy is home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and has been for over a week. What more can I say? Life is good!
In between all my time with him, I've started babysitting for the J'ski's little girl. She is sooooooo cute! And it's so weird to see J'ski in grubbys! The first day I went to their house he addressed me as his "favorite niece." He's so wicked cool! I'm glad we adopted him!
Well, I haven't discovered any new shark species, honestly I haven't been looking. But, I have been reading. Currently I'm engrossed in "Conceived Without Sin" by Bud McFarlane. I am really enjoying it.
I miss all of you. I got to see Bowman the other day when I stopped by at Christendom. I think Ibid, Carducci and I need to plan a get-together. PQ, where do you live? I can't remember. Maybe you should be part of that get-together too. Oh, and Ry also, if he has any spare time (*doubtful frown*).
Well, I'm off to read my book and catch some z's.
Happy Father's Day to all your dads. I'll keep them in my prayers this sunday.


I've decided now was the time to give ya'll the update. I've been working for two weeks now. Desk job, my own cubicle and office issued laptop. My first assignment was to reaserch build tools and CI servers and decide which was best for the company. This coming week I should be able to install them on the developement boxes. That'll be sweet. That's especially so because for the first few weeks I'll be the only person who knows how to work them. He He He.

In other news I'll be going to the Manassas Republican convention tomarrow. I'll get vote in the primary for who I think has a better chance at senator and representative. I have to be there by 8:30, though. Oh, well, should be fun. Failing that it will be educational.

I've been reading this facinating book on the war crime trials at Chichi Jima after World War II. Eating prisoners of war is pretty disgusting.

My brother will be joining the CFPA (Christian Phalangist Part of America) soon. I'm sure of it. He'll also be going West Point in a few weeks. I'll be able to take his room when he leaves. That'll be nice because as it is I'm sharing two rooms with two brothers on opposite ends of the house. I keep my stuff in the basement and sleep on the top floor.

So that's the update. Until next time,

God Bless.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Discoveries of the fishy kind

While I have not been going back to school (even though I'm working at one) I have been keeping up on random news. Here is an article that popped up on my AIM this morning. It is a real interest for me, as you shall see why. I like reading articles like this one. WP, you can even bring it up in class, if you'd like.

New Shark Species Found Off U.S. Coast
COLUMBIA, S.C. (June 12) - A new genetically distinct species of hammerhead shark, the ninth recognized species of hammerhead, has been discovered off the South Carolina coast, scientists say.

The new species appears to be rare and lives off the South Carolina coast. Classified under the genus sphyrna, will be called the "cryptic species" for the time being.

Joe Quattro, a biology professor at the University of South Carolina, worked with Jim Grady of the University of New Orleans and Trey Driggers of the National Marine Fisheries Service in making the find.

Quattro discovered the new species while studying along the coast with biologists from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

Quattro and his colleagues found that genes in the mitochondrial DNA - the DNA passed from mother sharks to their offspring - differed significantly among sharks that were classified as scalloped hammerhead sharks.

The studies also revealed that another independent genetic marker differed substantially between the two groups of scalloped hammerheads.

"This cryptic shark was genetically distinct," said Quattro, whose research was published recently in the journal, Marine Biology.

Scalloped hammerheads are common along the coast and sharks of the cryptic species were found from Florida to North Carolina. The newborn cryptic sharks, however, were found mainly along the South Carolina coast.

"The apparent abundance of the cryptic species in coastal South Carolina could be a result of sampling, but it might also highlight the fact that the South Carolina bays are the more important nursery grounds for the cryptic species," Quattro said.

Something as simple as the salinity of the water might explain why the sharks prefer the South Carolina coast, said Quattro, who plans a field trip this summer to tag the cryptic sharks so scientists can learn more about them.

Because they seem to have a narrow geographic distribution, the sharks may be at greater risk for extinction.

"If South Carolina's waters are the primary nursery grounds for the cryptic species and females gather here to reproduce, these areas should be conservation priorities," Quattro said.

Sharkboy is getting so excited. Getting so excited.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Chemical Bonds, Ionic Bonds, Covalent Bonds, Hydrogen Bonds, and James Bond

Don't worry, I didn't switch from biology to chemistry. I would never do such a thing. It'd be like taking astronomy. Ew. Oh, I'm going to get pelted with star shaped sugar cookies now, aren't I? I will say this once and then Peach can kill me. Looking at the stars isn't a science, it's silly. Okay, now that I've got that off my chest. :P My bio teacher felt we needed to learn the "chemistry of biology." Today was my second day of summer class. As I was driving to campus yesterday morning two opposing thoughts were running through my head. The first went something like, "Yes! I'm getting out of the house. I am doing something with my summer. No more laying on the couch. I have a purpose!" The other was, "Are you crazy? It's summer. You don't want to study during the year, much less in June!" The first one won out easily. I don't necessarily like studying, but I do love learning, and I really think biology is interesting.

I did have a harder time with my wardrobe, though. I know this college and I knew a vast majority of the student would probably walk in with their pjs on. Or at least jeans. But I couldn't do it. After two years of dress code, I just couldn't do it. I actually had to force myself to go casual dress code (khaki skirt, blue Snow White shirt -- don't worry, I took the big blue puffy sleeves off first! What, do you think I'm nuts?). I mean really, it was the first day of class. Anyway, as I walked in, the first person I saw was wearing a button down shirt, tie, and dress shoes. I almost squeaked. Everyone else had pjs and jeans. But at least I wasn't so out of place. Another nice surprise, was two middle school/early junior high (pre-move) friends were in the class along with another sophomore year (2nd high school, the big one) friend were taking the class. W00t. Plus I've befriended dressed up guy (turns out he had to work) and another guy.

The lecture so far has been interesting. It's a lot of cell stuff and human workings and not so much bugs and such. Though we do seem to talk about zebras and giraffes a fair amount. It is SO WEIRD to be back in a classroom where the existence of God is not automatically assumed. Granted, I went to public school up to junior year. But it's been four years. Today when Dr. L-A announced class was beginning, I almost stood for prayer! Lab is a bit of a different story. As PQ could tell all of you, I'm not so great in lab. I have a tendency to stare into space looking confused. (I usually am.) The very first day I fell into the role I do best: writing down what other people tell me. (Remember PQ? I just hope that if there is anything to pour or temperatures to take, they'll let me do that. :P) For those of you who didn't spend 2 hours once a week for a semester in the basement of Pius "physics lab." PQ and I found out that I am just splendid at carrying and pouring hot liquid, writing things down, and taking temperatures. PQ mentioned that it correlated nicely with the 3 "traditional jobs for women." Or something like that. But lab is fun. We built fat and sugar today out of brightly colored balls representing carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen, and something else.

Long story short: I like school. The other kids play nice. My teacher is nice. My mommy makes me yummy lunch. (I'm serious, Carducci can tell you about my love affair with peanut butter and honey sandwiches.) But there's no nap time.

Also, today in class, Dr. L-A said something funny and I snorted. There's always something monumental about snorting for the first time around people. *shrug* At least Tie-Guy (as my mom has dubed him) found it amusing.

Birthday singing

I know I sent it as an email, but I'm paranoid that emails don't reach people. So here is the message again, just in case you missed it the first time:

Hello everyone.
I hope that this email finds you in "good health and good times." I hope everyone's summers are going splendidly, and that everyone is getting some chance to relax. (I also hope that everyone on this mailing list knows that I have their email address. If not, I'm sorry, but it just happens. AOL likes to add addresses to my book without my knowledge.)

I am today to ask you a favor. I do not know how much help each individual could be, but I'm sure as a collective you will all be most helpful.

I am currently working on a monumental project, one that shows the true dedication not only of myself but the entire male side community. I am, in short, editing and filling the Birthday Singing Songbook. I am also working on what the second semester of birthday singing will be like under my leadership. This is where you people come in. I ask you humbly to give me song suggestions. Were there ever any songs that you asked for, or wanted to ask but could not bring yourself to ask, and did not hear, to your listening pleasure, the wonderful singing boys sing. Do not assume that I have the song already, for I may not. Never assume anything. Also, I was wondering if there were any other suggestions on how to make the second semester of my junior year (and probably my entire senior year) as painless as possible. Remember, this is for you girls, so it is up to you to speak up. Please tell me what you want to happen.

For you alumni please tell me what worked in the past, or you wished would happen, as well as popular requests from before I came to Christendom. Both will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you for your time. Also, please email other people you know about this, giving them my address, so that they may also respond and give me precious feedback.

Hehe. I sound so formal in that thing.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Homeschooling Conference

Well, I went to the conference, where there were a whole bunch of books. BOOKS PEOPLE! I couldn't help myself. More on that in a moment. First, the people. I saw Joe Mazarra and Andy Cole, together, as well as Draper Warren. It was fun seeing people I actually knew. I also stopped by and said hi to Tom McFadden at the Christendom stand, where I got a new map (an updated photo one) and other stuff. I also saw Mike Powell, and two of his sisters, who were working a stand. Mike was also promoting Chorus. There I saw the poster for the movie, which is an awesome, near breath taking thing. There was also a summery of the movie, as well as a laptop to show the trailer. I walked up to the place, looking at the poster, and commented to the girls behind the table (I didn't realize who they were then, but they looked familiar) that the poster looks really good. They asked if I was interested in it, and I said a little, since I helped make the movie, and am in it, and am in the trailer. By then they had gotten a better look at me, and realized that, yes, my hairy mug is in fact in the trailer. So we got to talking and I was excited. It was really exciting. It was later that I realized I forgot to email Mike and ask for my own poster, to have and to hold, richer or poorer, till misfortune do we part.
But anyway, to the exciting things, like the books I bought. This year I bought less than last, but the ones I bought were really good. So Here's what I got:

Mexican Martyrdom - About the Mexican revolution and the Church persecution involved.

Secular Saints - by Joan Carroll Cruz; discusses saints who reached their rank not through mystic visions or religious vows. These are all lay saints, people like you and me.

Philip II - by William Thomas Walsh; Used and highly reccommended by Dr. Carroll in Volume IV.

The Glory of Christendom - By Warren H. Carroll; I lost my other copy of this one at school (mysteriously...). Now I have the complete set of A history of Christendom (so far, that is)

Lepanto - by G. K. Chesterton with notes/commentary, ed. Dale Alhquist; the best possible combo of a poem and the background behind it.

St. Thomas Aquinas - By G. K. Chesterton; Now I have the 2 biographies, St. Francis and St. Thomas, that GK wrote.

C.S. Lewis and the Catholic Church - by Joseph Pearce; I bought this, not knowing it was a presigned copy (not a stamped one, an actual written with a pen signiture). It is about Lewis and what stopped him from becoming a Catholic, something that has often puzzled me.

The Irish in America - A kid's book, but pretty comprehensive, and gives me names and battles to look up for my thesis.

The Spirit of '76 - Not only was this used by Carroll in Volume V, but it is also an out of print Christendom Press book.

I also ordered to be sent to me the following:

Isabella of Spain - William Thomas Walsh; Highly recommended by Carroll (he used it in Isabel of Spain and in Volume II), and I used it for my paper on her as well. I really wanted to read it, and now I can.

Characters of the Inquisition - William Thomas Walsh; Also used and recommened by Carroll in Volume III. Should be interesting.

So that's what I got. I will, eventually, read all of these books and more before I die. I saw some copies of some Dostoyevsky books, but they were not in that great of condition. So I skipped on them. Oh well.

Also, my parish held the annual softball tournament for the Archdiocese. We didn't make it to the finals, but I think most of them had fun. It was great, even if I was too old to play.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

And ladies and gentlemen ...

... the Ayes have it! Or rather Christendom has it. They have gotten their hands on the apartments that Mrs. Bauer told us about during our second Rome meeting. We are going to be living less than a mile from the Vatican! Here is the place we are going to be ... and below is a map of how far it is from the Vatican. Enjoy!

Phantom Update

I've been busy. Somewhat. Bob and I went down to Sioux Falls a couple of days ago for one of my friend's ordination to the diaconate. This was my first ordination, and, whoa, talk about cool. I've experienced or seen all the other sacraments. (Although, I'm thinking back to the few weddings I've seen and. . . hmm, maybe. The rest of the sacraments, I've experienced personally, so we're good on that. And what does this have to do with the price of cheese? Sorry, 'bout that.) Anyway, it was totally cool and if any of you guys (and I do mean guys :P) want to become priests, I am so behind you! (Well, except maybe Basil Howe. Basil, if you're reading this, don't even think about it. Everyone else, go for it.) So my friend, Toma. (nickname) Great guy and now he's got three indelible marks on his soul. Lucky dog. It was so bizarre, though, because there was a general reception afterwards. There were so many people there I haven't since the summer before I came to Christendom. Granted, I'm kind of at the same spot I was at that point. (Sick, single, not sure what I want to do with my life, living at home, and jobless. Wow, I sound like a bum.) Or at least superficially. Ha ha. I do like to think I've grown since then.

I wasn't able to make it to Toma's private party. (Stupid, stupid head.) But Bob went so that was good. The next day I was able to see Kali (y'all remember her, right?), who is off to Penn. for some more Army training. She's changing her MOS from mechanical to chemical so she can be part of some chemical reconnaissance team. She's also applying to be a sergant, which is crazy, because she's only been in for a couple of years. But it sounds like she's going to get it. (I think I'm going to have to start saluting her.)

We left for home the next morning at early. (5 am.) Bob hadn't gotten much sleep and was in a fowl mood, so the car ride back wasn't too pleasant. At least Grumpy Gills made me sit in the back seat, so it wasn't all akward and I'm-going-to-pretend-I'm-giving-you-space-even-though-I'm-in-
the-seat-next-to-you. But then we stopped at Perkins (y'all know what a Perkins is?) and got foods and life was better.

Since then I've been painting the railing on the deck (scraping rust off of metal is not an enjoyable task) and mixing techno songs (or at least trying). Oh! I got my grades. Other than that one soar spot which is Latin, I did pretty well. I guess you could say I got 5 Ds, but 4 of them were wearing belts. He he! No Cs, and unfortunately, no A's. But someday. My GPA is finally not something I want to throw up on, although I think I'm going to be working my little Phantom bum off trying to make it presentable. I'm counting on PBJ Girl being a good influence.

Monday, June 05, 2006

May She Rest In Peace

I have a request to make of everyone. If you could all please pray for the soul of Mrs. Kelly, K. C. DuFrain's grandmother who passed away today I would be very, very grateful. Please also pray for all of her family, that they get through this period of sorrow and grow in grace.
Thank you all, very much.

In Christ;

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Report cards

Your report cards will be coming soon. So, either be prepared to show them happily to your parents, or hide them in your desk or something.

I'm not gonna say what I got on my report card yet. For the details, see my blog. Let's just say this taste, a preview:

I've decided to enter myself into the mental running for cum laude. If all my report cards are like the one I just got today, It will be easy. Or at least not impossible. In fact, it is very possible.

Well, that was pretty round about.

some of my hobby work...

So yeah, I was tinkering with the group photo, and decided to make a picture of Maria and Me out of it, and this is how it goes:

Andrew, you mentioned how the banister "disappears" behind us. Take a look above our heads. That fine vertical line is where the wall does a 90. At that point, the banister is gone, so that actually would be wall.

Anyway, I love doodling and changing pictures...

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Old School

I was at my old high school again. I saw their school play and the graduation. Ariel Lynch directed the play and they broke with so many traditions. It was cast based on personality instead of rank. This breaks my heart but it did improve the quality of the performance. I saw Mary German and Andy Cole there. Dr. and Mrs. Rice were also in the audience.

I was also at the graduation. Dr. Manion was the guest speaker. That's right, they had a guest speaker. Did I have a guest speaker? No, I don't think so. Oh well. James Fallon and possilbly Dex Curi will be among the freshemen next year. Remember them Sean? Excentricity this way comes.

Hehe... I have an internship too!

That's right, I officially have two jobs this summer. I feel GREAT! On top of that, I had three other places call me saying that they wanted me to come in today (Fri) or early next week for interviews. And guess what I got to do? T u r n t h e m d o w n. Booyah. That felt good. I really needed that boost in confidence. Anyway, I'm not going to brag anymore, even though I actually could... lol. I should get to sleep. I'll catch up with you guys later. Word up; Love out; g'night y'all...

4 Days Left!

well, i'm glad to hear that so many of you are doing well, finding jobs, getting learner's permits, picking thesis topics, etc. i've been busy lately so tonight i visited the blog for the first time in a week or so and i really enjoyed catching up on all your posts.
i'd like to add my name to the list of summer employees. i'm back in front royal and i started waitressing at the south st. grill this past wednesday. i really like it. i've worked every night this week and i'm making really good money. w00t! college can be paid for!
i also might start helping mrs. j'ski and getting paid for that too, so more money for college! double w00t!
Jericho: if you read this, which hopefully you will, the songs i'd like are Unwritten, Bad Day, Your Song (moulin rouge version) and Accidentally In Love. thanks a million!
Ry, if you and Maria have any free time give me a call and i'd love to get together with you guys.
well, thats about it for now. oh yeah, and the title of this post has great significance. for those of you who can't guess, its the number of days until Teddy gets home. 4! thats it! i'm so excited, and he is too. he's looking forward to getting to know those of you who remain on campus this fall, and hopefully he'll be incorporated enough into our weird ways to want to get to know the rest of you come spring semester. anyway, triple w00t!
oh, and one last thing: here's a hint for having the best summer ever ever ever. . . EAT WHIPPED CREAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, June 02, 2006

More fun Updates

Alright, I know that this is getting boring, but I'm checking things off my to-do list for the summer (see my blog for details). Today I got my picture taken for my passport. Now all I have to do is fill out the form and go to the place and do the thing.
But more importantly, I have this happy news: I don't have jury duty on Monday! My group number, according to the phone line, does not need to show up for duty. In other words, I get another day off before having to go to work! YEA!

Life is getting better.

For all you thesbians

This was something that was in my CNA news email for today. I thought some of you may be interested in this, since I think some of us have already secretly started to do this on our own:

Theater actors want John Paul II as patron saint

ROME, June 2 (CNA) - While the canonization process for Pope John Paul II is in its earliest stages one group is all ready calling to make St. John Paul their own. Some Italian theater actors are saying they would like John Paul to be named their patron.

"We would be so happy to have him as our patron saint,” Giuseppe Ferrazza told the Catholic TV channel Telepace on Thursday. Ferrazza is the chairman of Italy's National Theatre Agency, which published a book on Pope John Paul's writings for and about theatre.

“Theatre needs a protector because it has become too atheist," Ferrazza was quoted as saying.

The young Karol Wojtyla was once an amateur theater actor and a prolific writer of poetry and drama for the theatre. Most biographers agree that the late pontiff's theatrical experience helped him become one of the best communicators in the world.


This is curious. I typed in instead of It took me a moment to figgure out what had happened. Funny website I confused us with.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

My Update

For those of you who have been worried about my summer situation, here's an update.
Today i went to the MVA (aka the DMV) to take my learner's permit law test. If you recall from the return party around the bonfire after Spring Break, and my complaints then, I had failed the law test before in an attempt to renew said learner's. Well, I went to take it today. Lucky for me the little bar code tab thing I had kept remembered all my information so I went straight into the test. I answered 17 questions correct, the minimum to pass the test, and then, suddenly, it said I had gotten 17/17 right. the test was over; I had gotten 100%. I Passed the test. So I went up and got my stuff to get my learners, and now I have a little learner's card. I really like my picture, even if it makes me look like a monk. If only I could show it to you guys. But, such is life.
Then I went to the bank, and deposited my last work check, along with others. I've got more than 3,000 in my name now. That's not even including what I'm gonna make at Maryland. I'm excited.
Now, because of said learner's, I am ready for my next big thing for the summer: passport, which should be easy now that I have the ID to back up my name. I just got to get around to doing it, taking the picture, etc.

Summer fun, only begun.

I have a job!

Woot! I thought I ought to let you all know how I am doing, so here you have it: I have a job! I'm going to be delivering pizzas for Shah's, starting tomorrow night, $5.50 starting, plus the $2 delivery charge which goes directly to me, then tips. YAY!!! I gotta go now. God bless!