Monthly Archives: April, 2012

Friday Five: Romantic

Okay, Friday Five, what’s with the relationship questions lately? Are you trying to tell me something?

  1. Do you consider yourself romantic? Why? No. I like being romanced, but one of the many problems I had in previous relationships was trying to figure out how to reciprocate. It’s something to work in for the future, I hope.
  2. Has your partner or any person in your past informed you that you were romantic? How did you take it? No, but that’s probably because I’m not. See #1.
  3. If your partner has told you that the romance has left the relationship, would you do anything to bring it back? What would you do to re-ignite the romantic spark? Well, it seems like romance is easiest to find at the times when the status of the relationship changes: it’s just beginning, it’s just become exclusive or official, it’s heading toward marriage. To get the spark back, I would probably try to recreate the actions and emotions around those turning points. There doesn’t necessarily have to be a new level of the relationship on the horizon, but a reminder of how it got to its current state could help. It’s like writing love letters at the beginning of a marriage to be read if divorce seems inevitable. You need a reminder of how you got to where you are.
  4. Do you think you can have romantic feelings for more than one person, either at the same time or in a lifetime? Yes. Feelings are tricky, because they can be powerful and we usually can’t control them. We must control how we act on them, though. If you’re committed to someone (in dating, but especially in marriage), then you have to honor that commitment regardless of your feelings. No one made you commit, so you have to live with your decision for better or for worse.
  5. Is there anyone in your past (or present) that you feel romantic toward that is not your partner? I’m not dating anyone, so anyone I feel romantic toward would be “not my partner.” That is all I have to say about that.

The Friday Five

7 Quick Takes Friday: Vol. 160

Well, this number can’t be right, even if it is Jen’s, because the week before last was 169. Maybe I should just give up.

— 1 —

The awesome Catholic memes just don’t stop. My favorite part is that it’s entirely Scriptural and is also awesome. Apparently this meme is called Storytime Jesus. (Not all of the examples there are clean, but some are still hilarious.)

— 2 —

I have finished my last major project for the year at work. It’s bittersweet. I hate the ridiculously busy times, but I’m not really a fan of the super dull times (a.k.a. summer), either. My plan for this summer is to get some good reading done. Perhaps another encyclical, and if I’m really focused, Love and Responsibility. I’m not ready for the full-length TOB yet, but that seems like a good stepping stone.

— 3 —

My next review for ACNM is due on Tuesday, and I’ve already finished the book, guys! I was so excited that I finished another Sherlock Holmes story from the e-book I’ve been reading on my phone. I even got a fiction book from the library. It’s been so long since I’ve read fiction, and although I know Thumped is in the review queue and it’s out now, I’m not ready enough to commit to buy it in hardcover. I’ll wait until the library’s copy comes in and swoop in like a hawk.

— 4 —

I came home on Tuesday very tired but delighted to find a surprise package waiting for me: a review copy of Dawn Eden’s new book, My Peace I Give You! It doesn’t even officially come out until May 14, and it was offered to me by the author herself. (Okay, so she told her to contact her publisher and I did, but the ending’s the same.) I feel like such a baller! This is even more exciting than getting Sinner from Tiber River!

Best surprise package ever?

— 5 —

That's an interesting place for an Easter egg, WashPo.

That’s an interesting place for an Easter egg, WashPo.

7QT is rapidly becoming the place where I dump photos instead of sharing them on Facebook. Good idea? Bad idea?

— 6 —

1000

I didn’t really get to celebrate my one thousandth post when it actually happened, but I needed a little reminder.

— 7 —

I have jury duty. I’ve been a registered driver and a registered voter for many years, so I suppose it had to happen eventually. Clearly I’m not going to ignore the summons, seeing as I’m telling the Internet about it. I haven’t decided whether I want to serve, but I will at least offer myself for service. This is how politics works: if you don’t participate, you can’t complain about the way the system works. I’m participating now. I’ll complain later.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Booking Through Thursday: Changes

Hey, look! My suggestion wasn’t exactly a question, but it was selected for this week anyway! Now I feel really silly about missing the correct day to post.

Charlie Quillen (who lives Maryland now!) asks:

Has a book ever inspired you to change anything in your life, fiction or non-fiction alike?

Lindsay (me!) asks:

There have been books I loved, books that I fell in love with, and books that changed my life, and they’re not always the same nor mutually exclusive.

One of the biggest changes in my life was when I came back to the Church. As I’ve mentioned many times in many places, it happened after I got out of a bad relationship. Being me, one of the first things I did was turn to books for answers and consolation.

The first place I turned wasn’t the Bible, though. It wasn’t even a Catholic book. It was I Kissed Dating Goodbye, by Joshua Harris (who, coincidentally, pastors a church in Maryland), and its sequel written after he got married, Boy Meets Girl. I’d requested the books from the library, and I finally opened my heart to God the very day I got the call from the library that the books were ready to pick-up I knew it wasn’t actually about giving up dating forever, but I knew there had to be something more than what the rest of the world was telling me. I found I Kissed Dating Goodbye a little too extreme, but I did find consolation knowing that there were others out there who wasn’t buying the lies anymore, either. Boy Meets Girl was overwhelmingly more practical and measured. It was clear that he’d learned more about dating and marriage once he’d successfully gotten married and had a child himself.

The book that really changed my perspective on love and relationships forever was If You Really Loved Me, by Jason Evert. I didn’t get around to it until my sophomore year of college, but I was blown away. Finally there was an answer to dating and finding love that understood my background in and slow return to Catholicism. Like Harris’s first book, it was written before Evert was engaged to his wife (I’m noticing a pattern), so it is optimistic without being able to offer real, practical examples. Those came later, in How to Find Your Soulmate without Losing Your Soul (see my review at Austin Catholic New Media).

For me, the books that changed my life were the ones that were really about love. I don’t know quite where all the reading is heading yet, but I’m hopeful for the future anyway.

Top Ten Tuesday: All-Time Favorite Characters

Tuesday is almost over, but not quite!

Top Ten All-Time Favorite Characters

  1. Hermione Granger, from the Harry Potter series: Of course I have to identify with a bookish character, but it goes further than that. Hermione is a Gryffindor. Her “books and cleverness” doesn’t pigeonhole her into Ravenclaw. Her ability to balance her infinite knowledge with the horror that comes with being one of Harry Potter’s best friends makes her a much more interesting character than a walking encyclopedia would be. (Sorry, bro.)
  2. Landon Carter, from A Walk to Remember: This was the first book that ever made me cry (back before Half-Blood Prince, guys; I’m not a statue). I’m not usually a romance fan. I even quit reading Scribbler of Dreams because I realized it was a Romeo and Juliet adaptation, and it was not a good one. The only reason I remember the title is that I hated it. There was something about Landon that made me buy into the romance, though.
  3. Mia Thermopolis, from the Princess Diaries series: Again, not super classy, but super fun. I still have the last five books to read, but from the first five (and the half-book about spring break), I fell in love with Mia. She has likeability because she’s just an average kid, but she’s living out the princess fantasy of every little girl. Her quirks are my favorite: her struggle to just barely pass freshman algebra, her love of romance novels and making lists, and her never-ending quest for self-actualization. I love her so much.
  4. All the major characters from Cassandra Claire’s Draco Trilogy: I refuse to read any of the books by “Cassandra Clare” since she dove out of fandom so quickly and completely, but I still love the Draco Trilogy and her version of J.K. Rowling’s characters. Even with Blaise Zabini as a red-headed girl, Sirius not dead, and a final book that went on way too long, she is still the best fanfiction writer ever, and her characters are incredible.

That was pretty pathetic. I really need to read more fiction, guys.

7 Quick Takes Friday: Vol. 170

I’m taking a wild swing at this week’s number, because Jen didn’t post it, and the last time I tried to guess, I was wrong. I’m also taking a mulligan on posting this on Friday, so I’ve set a nice precedent.

— 1 —

A friend turned me on to an entire tumblr blog of Catholic photo memes. The answer-a-bunch-of-questions kind of meme will always be my favorite, but come on—you have to love these.

That’s not me yet, but someday, friends.

— 2 —

On a vaguely related note, I attended the diocesan confirmation Mass with Bishop Joe on Saturday. Since I only had one student being confirmed, we were seated way up in the short pews in the front, so I had a great view of every one of the 100-plus confirmations and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. It was so epic to hear all those confirmation names: lots of Marias (for men and women), a few Christophers and Anthonys, and at least one Faustina. My student shares my name, Cecilia.

During his homily, which was much more English than Spanish (unusual for Bishop Joe), our dear bishop mentioned that the about-to-be-confirmed should take a more active role in learning the faith for themselves. He cited the creed as an example of something to commit to memory and to heart, although he admitted that it would be a little trickier now that everyone’s learning the new translation. (That might be my worst segue ever, but I’m going with it.)

— 3 —

I hosted Dr. Ed Shirley at work last week. He teaches a course every fall at St. Edward’s University on Christianity and Alchemy in Harry Potter, so I invited him to be part of our new speaker series. We had the biggest turnout so far for any of the speakers (which is still a little pathetic for the size of our ministry), and he gave a great talk. His talk was definitely enough for a separate post.

Unlike most of the other talks I attend, I actually had a question in mind. I asked Dr. Shirley if he thought all of the alchemical symbols and Christian themes were just a coincidence. His answer was that they are so specific and so pervasive that it would have to be the most harmonious coincidence ever. I’m not entirely sure I agree with all the parallels he pointed out, but I agree that Harry Potter’s story is more than meets the eye. (Like Transformers!)

— 4 —

I took my students from the mission trip out for a reunion dinner on Thursday. It was a little strange treating them to good food as we reflected on the poverty we’d seen, but reflection is an important part of the experience of service learning (maybe the most important part), and food has been an integral part of Christian communion for centuries. It was good to see everyone again, and I think the trip may yet be affecting those kids.

I’m going to call it at four takes this week. Maybe I’ll make it up with any of the great experiences I’ve had recently and thought, “This will make a great blog post!”

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Friday Five: Goals

At least I didn’t have the goal of posting the F5 on the correct day every week!

  1. We are a third of the way through this year. How are those New Year[‘]s Resolutions coming along? I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, so I guess they’re going fantastically!
  2. Have your goals for the year changed? I didn’t make it an explicit goal, but I wanted to build and maintain a good regular posting frequency. Adding three new memes to my week (7 Quick Takes Friday, Top Ten Tuesday, and Booking Through Thursday) definitely helped with that. I never have to worry about having a post topic for the day. On the other hand, it has made me less likely to write the life-update and essay-style posts I used to do.
  3. When working on personal achievements, do you do better when left alone, or do you need a support network of friends/family? With my blogging, it has helped to know that the world can see when I post or do not post. With most other goals, I tend to keep them to myself unless I have a huge triumph. Then again, Maura was very helpful when I was trying to take up vegetables. Without her, I might never have discovered the joy of fresh spinach as a salad on its own.
  4. Who is your best personal airbag? Airbags are only there to rescue you. Airbags by definition never share your joy. I hope I don’t have anyone I only turn to in extreme crisis, and if I do, I apologize for treating him, her, or them so badly.
  5. What song or quote do you think best describes you right now? Well, life is relatively easy now that the Easter season is here and summer is approaching. It’s not easy overall, of course, but I feel much less frazzled than I did just a month ago. The first song that popped into my head was “Ease on Down the Road.” Mom would be pleased.

There’s a long chunk of related video links in a style I’ve never seen before at the end; sorry about that. I don’t usually get ads on YouTube, so I’m not sure what’s up with that. It’s The Wiz, though, so you know it’s going to be good.

The Friday Five

Booking Through Thursday: Pet Peeves

Bookish Sarah asks:

What are your literary “pet peeves”?

Bad editing is my number one pet peeve! I hate when I discover glaring mistakes that were missed by copy editors. For example, in my current read, Style, Sex, and Substance, I spotted a dropped “is” and another typo in the editor’s chapter. Yikes. I don’t blame Hallie, I blame OSV’s copy editor. I know humans make mistakes, but that’s why it’s a pet peeve and not a genuinely founded concern.

Other than that, I dislike when stories seem rushed toward the end or just fail. (Mockingjay, I’m looking at you.) Once I’ve read the whole book and gotten invested in the characters, I need a good strong finish. I hate it when books leave my hanging. Harry Potter avoided cliffhangers in a story everyone knew wasn’t over. graceful writing takes time and skill, but it’s so worth it.

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