Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Sad Ipod, Sad Me

It's true...

My ipod is dead. And it died in the most undignified manner. I was at work, listening to "Weekend America" and doing some cleaning in the convent. I went to wash my hands at the kitchen sink, and cranked on the faucet. Someone- a jokester, a prankser, a hijinxter... taped down the spray nozzle at said sink, and I and my ipod got drenched.
I did the research, as I am wont to do, and found lots of hints about how to revive it. They said leave it upright next to a radiator, dry it with a hairdryer, push the buttons in a particular way to reset it, let it dry for two days and then plug it in... so I did, and now... sad mac.
Sad me!!!!
The only thing left to try is to submerge it in alcohol for an hour, shake it off, submerge it for two more hours, let it try, and see what happens. I suppose at this point, I don't have anything to lose. We shall see.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

one after

Well there are no "afters" of the cats yet but I can report that since the introduction of Feliway, we've had but two minor incidents of hissing, but no full-on fights. I'll keep you posted. But in the meantime, here's an "after" of the hair:
Monty Python - Confuse-A-Cat Ltd.

If the Feliway doesn't work, I may have to hire these people. Recommended by my same "happy vet"... I'm starting to wonder about her!

Friday, January 26, 2007


Two big events in our household today.... the perm appointment and the Feliway came in the mail!!! So for future reference, here are some before photos:

Thursday, January 25, 2007

New Name: Curly McTresses

I'm getting a perm tomorrow! I haven't had a perm done on my hair since... well, high school, I guess. The research I've done online says that perms are different now than they were then, which is good. I'm wanting loose, bouncy curls that will give my hair body and make me look like I have more hair than I have. Is that too much to ask?
One of the websites I visited said to DEFINITELY take a picture, which I am doing. I don't think it's how my hair will look exactly but I want to show my stylist the size of curls I want. I've been told to ask for the largest size rods they have, and to go spiral.
Okay, I'll admit it... this is the look I'm going for:
Do you think my hairdresser will make fun of me if I bring in this picture?
Wish me luck.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Happy Cat Pheromones

As I have recently explained to my "happy vet" commenter (aka oldest friend!) the other day, my cats have not completely healed from their craziness. At various points they are happy and cuddly, as in:

But as night falls, they lose their little kitty minds again, thusly:

So yesterday she sent me an email suggesting I try something called Feliway
Note that it says there at the site "Feliway is an synthetic analogue of the feline facial pheromone which reproduces the familiarization properties normally produced by a cat when it deposits its own facial pheromones in the environment."
I did an amazing amount of research in a short time- and ordered it from Amazon, where the page was full of glowing, raving praise for the product.
It should be here Saturday or so, and I shall keep you, gentle readers, posted.

ramblings from a tough week

Did I mention that I have started Spiritual Direction? I have my own Spiwitual Diwectow!! She's lovely, and I go far away to see her, and I'm really looking forward to this process with her and with God.
I've only met with her once, and about 10 minutes into our session, she blew my mind. I was telling her about decisions that I have to make, and how much I know my decisions will effect Scott, my friends and family, my Church, my kids... and how hard that makes deciding for me. She looked me square in the eye, and said, "Your decisions are between you and God. I see that you are trying to be responsible to the people in your life, but ultimately, God comes first."
Yikes. That hung in my head for the rest of the day but I didn't fully understand the magnitude of it until I was telling a friend about it that evening- he said "why is that so significant?" and I understood as I was explaining: it means that I can't use the people in my life as excuses not to do what God wants me to do.
In the past week I've been trying to sort out my work situation, which is currently fraught with strong tugs in opposite directions- really amazing things happening on the one hand, while really frustrating things are happening on the other. The question that rings in my mind is "who do I work for?" Is it the Church? Is it my pastor? Is it the people in my parish? Is it God? And then, you know, the answer to that question has some serious ramifications, doesn't it? Who do I look to for direction? And what if the direction from one of those categories is contrary to that of one of the other categories? I think the most important thing is to know the answer to that question- just who am I working for?
(I'm pretty sure it's God.)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Hand of God

We just finished watching "Hand of God" on Frontline, on PBS. It is a documentary film, made by a man from nearby Salem about his brother, who was molested by Fr. Birmingham at St. James parish.
It was horrifying to watch, and crushing- strange, too, because it was filmed around Salem and we could identify the churches and streets and buildings that they showed- the film was full of old home movies and it felt a little like our own were being shown. Being so close to this scandal, it felt from the start for me like my own relatives were being shown to the world as evil-doers. It's an odd feeling to hear familiar names on the news.
Scott said he felt so uncomfortable watching it, too- he said it was like when you do something stupid and it's put in the paper, you want to go around town buying up all the newspapers so no one else can see it.
We want to understand- what does it mean for us, that we work for this Church? How far removed from evil-doing does one have to be, to be not part of the evil? Is it good enough that we do good work in God's name, holy work... or should we be hanging our heads in shame for merely being associated with this scandalous oranization?
When the scandal hit, I remember feeling the natural urge to be loyal- but suddenly, it was hard to know who or what to be loyal to. I remember being at a meeting and praying with the scripture that asks God to keep the enemies away from us... I remember thinking at that time that the enemy was the Boston Globe. I learned soon that the enemy was Us.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Check out this article

It's on "redirected aggression in cats"... see, it happens! http://www.kingstownecatclinic.com/Redirected%20Aggression.htm

The day we moved into our last apartment, our older cat turned on our younger cat. She was vicious, and attacked her over and over again, for months. It just so happened that the younger cat was very sick at the time, and ultimately needed to be operated on for a blockage in her intestines. It was an awful time, especially when the younger one was sick, and it eventually died down quite a bit but never totally, for a whole year- until we moved to this apartment. The first day we came here and opened their crates they greeted each other like old friends, and have been lovey little kitty buddies since then...until Friday... and hopefully again soon.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

careful whatcha wish for

When I was pregnant (the first time), I remember praying to God that I might feel pregnant... I thought it would help me feel more secure about the whole thing. Well I could almost hear God snickering... "oh you want to FEEL pregnant??" and sure enough, I soon did- losing my stomach contents several times a day.
I didn't have a chance to blog this pre-retreat, but as I went to bed uneasy at the ease I was experiencing, I thought to myself "well, maybe It's just going to be a good dress rehearsal." About 15 minutes after I hit the sheets, a strange cat happened by my kitchen window and my own two cats began fighting- each other- screaming and growling and tufts of hair flying. I had to physically separate them. Half an hour later, (just after I fell asleep) they did it again, and half an hour later, (just after I fell asleep again) they did it again. Then again at 2:45.
When I left Saturday they were still growling at each other and walking around in super slow-mo. I was a little worried that they might kill each other while I was gone, or at least that I'd come home to earless, bleeding cats.
The good news/happy ending is, the retreat went FABULOUSLY, really picture-perfect. And I came home to two happy, friends-again cats.

Friday, January 12, 2007

two new posts

Good news!! I just went up to turn over my laundry, and all my formerly white clothes and towels were blue. Bad Dress Rehearsal! (thanks for the nod, God!)

home alone

This has been, already, a marathon week- and it's not over. Scott had his Sophomore Retreat last weekend, got home Sunday, and left early Wednesday morning to the Lifelong Faith Formation conference in Florida with his parish staff. He'll be back Sunday night. Meanwhile, I've been scurrying around trying to pull together a peer ministry meeting, retreat team meeting, staff meeting (in which I presented my notes on Bob McCarty's state-of-youth-ministry address at NCCYM), a meeting with a parent, the Youth Ministry Committee meeting, and... this weekend's retreat.
It's weird being home alone so much lately, and I sure miss having Scott here to soothe my pre-retreat weirdness. What's worrying me about this weekend's is that nothing serious is going wrong... I really believe in the "bad dress rehearsal/good show" theory. What if there's no bad rehearsal? No one seems to be cancelling, everyone's talks are done and really good, I am pretty sure I haven't forgotten anything major, augh God I'm probably jinxing myself further. Or maybe it's just going to be great. Well, gentle readers, pray us through it, won't you?

Friday, January 05, 2007


I was just flipping through the channels and caught a snippet of one of those entertainment shows and saw a woman who said "I think Donald Trump owes an apology to the plus-size community!"
I didn't even know there WAS a plus size community! What's involved here? How do you join? When are the meetings? Do I have to move?
I think it's interesting how people use the word "community" in today's world. It's thrown around often and easily, and it seems like every category is somehow a community now.
It's not what we older folks know as community, this loose definition- to us, community is more like family; tight-knit, bonded, static and interdependent. But I don't think the youth we work with think of community in that way. Our kids are in a bazillion different communities- most are short lived, temporary, acute. The kids I know speak fondly of their teams and clubs and activities, and the communities they have been and are involved in. But they don't seem to see them as "forever friends". They often keep in touch with some of the kids in their communities, and devote myspace and facebook pages to the memories of them, but there doesn't seem to be the emotional hanging-on to these groups for them, that I experienced as a kid.
Confirmation programs could, I think, benefit from taking a look at young people's ideas of community. We still try to "create community" in our programs, still push the idea that at the end of our retreats kids will be bonded forever to each other- we have visions of young people staying on after Confirmation for the purpose of maintaining the relationships and community our programs have made for them. How's that working?
Maybe a better model would be to offer lots of opportunities for young people to try lots of communities- short term, long term, large and small. Expose them to as many groups, activities, and mentors as the Church has to offer. Let them know that there are places for them within the parish community.
Times are changing, kids are changing- are our programs changing?

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

here's my problem

Here's the thing- I am a really, inordinatly, outrageously wholistic thinker. Show me one dot and I can see the planet. I'm not kidding. So where that gets me in trouble is thusly; when I receive some criticism or difficulty at work, say, from my boss, then very easily I can make these associations:
my boss doesn't support me.
no bosses do or will support me.
the problem is with this entire organization.
I can not go on working for this organization.
Now here's the thing: am I really very well able to see the systemic problems in an organization, or am I just hysterical? Maybe any given criticism is just that, criticism... but maybe it really is a tip of the ol' iceberg.
And so, ultimately, I can't tell which is God's voice, and which is... not. (could it beeee......mmmmmSaaaaatannn???)