Thursday, October 25, 2007


I am addicted. (or should I say "I iz dicted"...) I don't even know where I first heard about LOLCats (oh yes, that's right, it was on Slate) but I just can't get enough of it. It started with one picture and soon there were pages and pages and pages of them. More every day. I know I should probably be embarrassed about how much I love them (like I am about how much I love America's Funniest Home Videos. There, I've said it.), but... hey, they're darn funny!
i iz blogginz / leef IÂ alonze
and this isn't even one of the very funny ones.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

You can pick your friends, but you can't pick your relatives. (two posts, read the second one first!)

The strange part of my being at this funeral is that this is the side of the family which I pretty much avoid. Being there made me take a good look at my position in this family, or rather my non-position.
It's my mother's side, and being the youngest in my family I was also one of the youngest cousins- my older cousins didn't ever want much to do with my brother and I when we were little, and the only ones left were the three girls in one family who were even younger than us. But we didn't have much in common with the girls, except that we were bored simultaneously at family holiday celebrations.
Over the years, my siblings and I have found good reasons not to attend those family functions, and the distance between us has widened. I think originally our family was thought of as real snobs because we didn't drink like the rest of the family did (we do now!) and we never did seem to enjoy the same type of humor that they did (lots of fart jokes and teasing and such). We, of course, thought of them as immature boors. Every Summer at the family reunion they start a big water fight, which goes on forever. We don't like it, and we don't take part- further cementing my siblings and I in our cousins' minds, I'm sure, as un-fun.
I think that for everyone, in every family, we all get frozen in each others' minds at a certain age, until we are convinced otherwise. My oldest brother, I think, always kind of had me at 7 (and a cute 7 at that, I always knew he was a big fan of mine when I was a kid), until we started spending time together as fellow grown-ups. I had my cousin Joanie frozen at a nasty mid-twenties state, but as it turns out she's actually really nice- My frozen Joanie wouldn't give me the time of day, but Actual Joanie seems to like me, even. How about that?
The thing that really gave me pause was that no one seemed to recognize me, at first. I moved over when the family processed out so that I could make eye contact with my aunts and they'd know we were there. But one by one my aunts, cousins, and uncles walked past me without recognizing me. I was kind of in the back and I'm sure they weren't expecting to see family back there, but still. After my cousin and her husband got to the back of the church a huge line formed to hug them, like a sad receiving line. We skipped over it, because I didn't want to make these poor people face another face. I found an aunt who I knew would know me and she kind of said "oh look who's here, everyone!" and then everyone knew who I was.
Maybe it's time to hit one of those family reunions and start fresh. But I still won't be water fighting.

family funeral

My Mom sent me an email that asked me to please go to my cousin's baby's funeral today, to represent the family, since no one else could go. I would have gone anyway, but that certainly sealed the deal.
The baby was 6 months old and the diagnosis, which isn't actually a diagnosis of all but rather an admission of "we have no idea" was SIDS. Still, a diagnosis of something is better than a whole lot of nothing, and now the family turns from shock and awe to the business of now-what.
So we went to New Hampshire to join my mother's side of the family for the funeral at a small church near Manchester.
I want to take a moment to say that the priest who celebrated the Mass was just a loon. Hey, I understand that he doesn't know the family personally, and I even get that it a priest can't mourn for every person he funeral-izes. But this guy was a bit too cheery for my liking- really seemed like he was having a pretty good time up there. He obviously didn't write his homily. He started to ramble, and rambled on. He showed everyone the cross on the urn, and rambled about that (it was a cool cross), and displayed the teddy bear with wings. But the worst part was when he mused on the baby's name. He stood over the mother and said "how did you choose the name Nicholas for him?" Sobbing, she answered, "his brothers chose his name" and he said "ah! Well, it just fascinated me because you know, in a couple of months it will be Christmas, it would have been his first Christmas and you will be singing 'Jolly Old St. Nick' and thinking of him."
Seriously. Thanks, Padre. Very sensitive. My aunts cooed about how great the priest had been and wasn't he just wonderful?? I guess grief is blind. Which is good. I wouldn't want them to have a really awful memory of the baby's funeral. So.
After the funeral they handed out white balloons and let everyone write a message on one with a sharpie, and together we all let them go. I watched my cousin watch her balloon fly up, up, with a stunned face. I don't know how mothers go on living when their children die. I am told that the love you feel for your children, especially when they're babies- it's overwhelming and complete. How do you ever even stand up again? It is just that fear, of falling in love like that and then losing it, that makes motherhood just too impossible to consider for me. I tried to imagine being there with what would have been our three year old now, and/or six months pregnant, and the ghosts of my non-babies were palpably present there in the church around me. God blessed me with the loss before I had to fall in love, and all things being equal (and they're not, of course) I'm thankful for that.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

It just keeps getting better

Here are some more pretty pics of our autumnal yard and Fall harvest. Sorry Alaska!

You can see more!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Peak Week on Lindall Hill

Blogger isn't letting me upload my latest pictures, but fear not gentle reader! You can see our lovely Fall foliage and cute kitties here. Love it up!

Friday, October 12, 2007

it's another meme! (link-intensive!)

Here's a fun quiz made up especially for bloggers. The rules are easy. Just post the quiz on your blog and answer the questions, then pass it on to five other bloggers, and link to them in your post.
1. Do you attend the Traditional Latin Mass or the Novus Ordo?
Oh goodness, the NO- I did go to Mass in french once, at St. Anne De Beupre in Canada, and I went to a Rosary service in... I think it was probably Spanish. I don't even know where I'd go to find a Latin Mass.

2. If you attend the TLM, how far do you drive to get there?

3. If you had to apply a Catholic label to yourself, what would it be?
I'm yer basic bleeding heart Liberal.

4. Are you a comment junkie?
No, I do comment here and there, but I wouldn't call myself a junkie. I LOVE getting comments on my blog though!

5. Do you go back to read the comments on the blogs you’ve commented on?
Yes, sometimes I do!

6. Have you ever left an anonymous comment on another blog?
I have. Being a Catholic in Boston means you're in danger of witch-hunting, to a certain degree, so I have kept anon. at times.

7. Which blogroll would you most like to be on?
I don't know. I read a lot of Catholic blogs but I don't think I blog enough to keep up with the pressure of being linked to by anyone significant... I like the blogrolls I'm already on, like Sue's!

8. Which blog is the first one you check?
Here's the order of my bookmark tab- I check them in order every day:
Qwantz (not a blog, just a wicked funny comic)
Shorpy, the 100 year old photo blog
Dot's Diary I have been loving this one, it's a son posting his mother's diary from 1945. SO cool.
A Hole in the Head This is no Catholic blog, it's a gay man's collection of ephemera and other hy-sterical stuff. I love it.
RTHM Sue B's blog- and from here I check Don's and Paula's.
TCYML I won't even link to this one, she's a Steubie YM, and it's really a case of checking in to see what ridiculous thing she's saying today.
Scrutinies This was Anonymous Teacher Person until she was found out by her students- (no one stays anonymous forever on a blog) I just like reading about her teaching, she is a high school rel. teacher.
Whispers in the Loggia Serious Catholic Presbyterate Gossip.
Charlotte was Both Amy Welborne's new blog. She's interesting and keeps up on Catholic stuff, but her commenters are generally wacky.
Larry This is a new one I found from Real Live Preacher's blog. He works in a detox program and writes some good, honest stuff.
Oh and now, Knitting Journey!
I have a whole different set of blog links on my work computer, including Ashleigh's now!

9. Have you met any other bloggers in person?
Oh sure! I've met Sue, and Don, and Cathy, and Paula, and Ashleigh, and scads of other bloggers! I've even met Dom B, whose blog I think is a silly mess.

10. What are you reading?
I'm half-way through this bunch of books- too much blog reading to get to my books these days!
Last Days of Dead Celebrities
Three Men in a Boat (to say nothing of the dog)
I Love You Beth Cooper

I pass this quiz on to :
Sue, Paula, Don, Ashleigh, and Cathy!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

sick girl chronicles (two new posts)

So, on Thursday I started to feel kinda... ooky. But Friday was our day at the Fair, and so I fought it off. Went to bed early, took cold medicine, and convinced myself that it was nothing.
Friday, I was a trooper! I felt pretty crappy but I fought down a corn dog, lemonade, german waffle fries, part of a fried dough, and a coffee frappe. Oh and some cider. That night we had people over and although I wanted a nap, instead I had a really fun time hanging out with our friends, and managed to eat two hot dogs. And have a beer. I really went above and beyond.
Saturday I was supposed to go to the Corn Maze with the youth group, but instead I stayed home and coughed through two episodes of The War on PBS.
Sunday I went in to work early to e social at coffee and donuts, (and have donuts) but I really felt pretty bad, and spent most of the day at my desk trying to keep my head off of it. It turned out to be an extra long day. WHY did I go in so early??
At the Sign of Peace I did the fist-bump instead of shaking hands. I felt toxic.

Today I got up after a rough night and darn it, I don't feel better! I am sick of being at home on the couch, without even the energy to make soup, coughing and nursing a sore throat. My sister's school nurse says the cold that's going around is a TEN DAY cold. I am on day 6. I wish I had some ice cream.

Thank you and good night!!

I was watching Saturday Night Live the other night- okay, actually I saw it on the DVR during the day, because I NEVER stay awake past "LIVE! From NEW YORK..."
Anyway, thanks to modern technology I saw this episode all the way to the end. Remember how it ends? The whole cast, an the musical guest, and the guest star all gather on the stage to say thanks and good night.
Two things always fascinate me about this part of the show. First, that these tv actors, who are on tv all the time, and have been at this point in the show, on tv for an hour and a half... they mug like crazy for the camera! Like kids in home movies, making faces and waving and fighting for space in the front. Makes me wonder if it's just human nature.
The other thing is how hard they celebrate their week's work. Like they've come through a war together, or mounted some massive... something. Like survivors. Like conquerers. It made me think... how would our lives be different if we celebrated the end of every work week like that?
I my case, working for the Church, I guess our curtain call would have to be after the last Mass of the weekend. Our whole parish staff would gather in the Sanctuary, and the music group would play a nice instrumental piece and we'd clap along, waving at people in the pews. One of us would say "We want to thank everyone who made this week such a great one! Yeah! Thanks to all our Eucharistic Ministers, the Lectors... the whole staff, the volunteers, you people rock!!! Good night everybody!!" and then we'd hug each other, give high-fives, and tell each other what great jobs we did this week, and how much we loved working with each other. Then, of course, we'd all go to the wrap party.
Wouldn't work feel so much more satisfying that way?