Category Archives: 7 Quick Takes Friday

7 Quick Takes on Dance Clothes, Books, and Mass in Latin

7qt_lyceum

— 1 —

Before Easter, I did not exercise. At all. I know, I know. I had already taken baby steps to improve my health by eating fruits and vegetables, drinking more water, and flossing. My struggles with spending my time/life wisely always made me think I just didn’t have time to exercise. And I didn’t have any exercise clothes anyway.

Of course, I am now hooked on the form of covert exercise that is social dancing. Wearing regular shoes to class and socials (because I don’t have dance shoes yet) is bad enough. It was time to invest in some proper exercise clothes. A sale came along for the Old Navy Active line, so I bought a few tops and wore one to class last night. Worked like a charm!

I’m still searching for modest bottoms since I just can’t justify wearing yoga pants or leggings (without a skirt over them), but I think I have tops covered. This whole concept of regularly breaking a sweat is new to me, but at least it’s more comfortable now.

— 2 —

Story of my life.

— 3 —

“In the case of good books, the point is not how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.”
—Mortimer Adler

from the Catholic Education Resource Center newsletter

— 4 —

I had the joy of attending an Ordinary Form Mass in Latin at St. William Parish this week. If not for Cris’s post at Austin CNM, I would have missed it completely. I hadn’t been to one since college, so it was great to dust off my chant and pronunciation muscles.

Even in Latin, the Ordinary Form (a.k.a. Novus Ordo) is what most people think of when they picture a Catholic Mass. The Ordinary Form in Latin is just like going to Mass in Portuguese, Russian, or any other language one doesn’t speak. The one with different parts and the priest facing the altar is properly called the Extraordinary Form, and it is only in Latin.

I don’t like to call that second one the “Traditional Latin Mass” or even “Latin Mass” for three reasons:

  1. I don’t use the word “traditional” that way. It’s too political and vague.
  2. The Ordinary Form has been around for 50 years. Something that happens basically every day for half a century sounds pretty “traditional” to me.
  3. You can celebrate the Ordinary Form in Latin. This is what St. William did this week.

— 5 —

Personally, I didn’t have much trouble with the language. I speak Spanish, so Latin is recognizable. It was the same form of Mass I usually attend, so even when I got lost in various phrases, I could pick out key words and movements to use as anchors. It was very similar to going to Mass in Spanish, actually.

My only linguistic surprise was when Mass turned out to be not in just two languages, but three! The Liturgy of the Word (minus the Creed) was all in English, which I appreciated. I was still startled when Fr. Uche began speaking Spanish during his homily! St. William has a huge Spanish-speaking congregation, but I forgot that Fr. Uche speaks Spanish.

I had the same assessment that I always do when something is presented bilingually: the Spanish always seems more direct. Latin does, too. English can be wishy-washy.

— 6 —

About that Creed: whoa. I have never even attempted to chant the Creed in Latin. Of course it was the Nicene Creed; go big or go home. It was exhausting! The music took up more than two pages of the worship aid. We all survived, though.

— 7 —

The hardest part for me (and probably most attendees) was the sheer volume of Latin chant. There was very little Latin speaking for the congregation to do. The parish wisely provided a complete worship aid, although the music was in chant notation. Many people don’t read music; fewer people read chant notation.

Before that chant Mass back in undergrad, we had several weeks of (optional) practice of the Gloria, Sanctus, and Mystery of Faith. That was in modern notation, though. We always ended our weekly group holy hour with the Salve Regina, so I had seen chant notation before, and I had done a little research. I also read music. Yet I still struggle with chant.

My parish in Montgomery only ever chanted the Gloria in Latin and a cappella, so that was almost second nature. It’s long, though, so I need to read along every time. That was no problem this week.

Most regular Massgoers can sing the simple tone of the Agnus Dei; it’s commonly used during Lent for greater solemnity. On Wednesday, we used the solemn (read: fancy) tones for everything. Tough going, but the Creed was toughest!

In the midst of all that chanting, I learned an important lesson about chant: if you miss the beginning of a syllable, it is very easy to get lost. In solemn tones, one syllable can last for several notes. Imagine Mariah Carey stretching “oh” for three or four beats of music, and you have an idea of what chant syllables are like.

Overall, it was so much fun. I adored our recessional song, “O With Thy Benediction” (PDF link), because it was packed with theological goodness and to the same tune as “O God, Beyond All Praising.” Going to Mass in any language besides English is great because I am forced to pay attention. If I don’t follow each word and action, I’ll get lost, and then I’m not really praying, am I? Yet even when I don’t know any of the words, the foundational prayer of the Mass is the same. That is the beauty of a universal, catholic church.


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes on Blogging, Still More Dancing, and GTD

7qt_lyceum

— 1 —

I keep an editorial calendar for my blog. The usual purpose of an editorial calendar is to plan out a schedule of future posts, but that doesn’t work well for me, so I use it more as an easy, month-at-a-glance view of my past posts. I update it when my plan didn’t match what actually happened, which I also do with my regular life calendar.

In looking at my editorial calendar this week, I realized that I publish about one essay-style (non-linkup, non-series) post per month. I don’t have stats from before I started keeping the calendar, of course, but that unintentional rhythm seems to be working really well for me. It sparks the part of my heart that misses writing for English class, knowing that someone would read it. Thank you all for reading.

— 2 —

Incidentally, my essay-style post about why “single life” is not a vocation has been blowing up! I’m really encouraged by the positive feedback I’ve been getting. I was hesitant to post it, especially since I’d been sitting on that draft for a while, but it was still true and timely.

I didn’t mention it in the post, but I was inspired to finally press publish by a similar recent post by Msgr. Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington (my home diocese). He agrees with my thesis, yet he takes a broader and deeper theological perspective. He does have a (vowed) vocation, though, so I think I’m still contributing a valuable voice to the discussion.

— 3 —

In other blog posting news, I’ve been posting What I Wore Sunday mostly on days that are not Sunday since, um, April (yikes!), but I’m also getting more sleep. I get a slightly better start on the work week. That seems to have been a good tradeoff on all fronts. My friend and reader Dan was right: getting enough sleep is so important that it will throw off the rest of your life.

If only I could get things done and get more sleep. Anyone want to loan me a Time-Turner?

— 4 —

So far, I am only taking group classes in West Coast Swing. My budget doesn’t have room for private lessons just yet, but it will eventually. (It needs room for proper shoes first.) Until then, I stick with focusing on my instructor’s teaching and kitchen practice.

There is no substitute for a real dance floor and real dance shoes, but I’ve found a decent approximation: kitchen practice. I put on my soft-bottomed kitty slippers, cue up a song on my iPhone, mentally mark the ends of the slot in the space between my kitchen island and the window, and dance. I have not yet accidentally fallen through the window, so that’s a win. (Not quite the win I asked for, but I’ll take it).

The long, narrow-ish space helps keep me in the slot. I struggle to stay in it otherwise. The leader is supposed to be in charge of moving the slot, so I think that’s a problem I can work on later.

I don’t have a leader, though. That’s one of the reasons I started taking classes in the first place: to have access to a bunch of willing, generally capable leaders. (So far, they have been at least as capable as I am. Some are far better than I am, but we work it out.) Practicing without a partner is tricky, yet it has helped me develop a new appreciation for how hard it is to lead. It’s a whole different level of work to lead yourself without a partner while working on how you’re following. Whew!

— 5 —

The GTD podcast has finally rebooted! It’s produced by the real David Allen Company, and it’s free. I attempted to listen to Episode 3, the guided mind sweep, while driving to work this morning. This was a mistake because (a) generating to-do items when you can’t capture them is extremely frustrating, and (b) it started with a warning not to listen unless you were prepared to capture. It all worked out in the end, though, because my phone started freaking out and randomly restarting, so I had to stop listening anyway. #fail converted to #winning.

— 6 —

If that song weren’t so great for dancing West Coast Swing, I would never listen to it. But it is. I settle for not practicing to it so as not to increase the YouTube stats. So there!

— 7 —

It was a quiet week, so I’ll leave it at six takes. Until next time!


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes on Harry Potter, Bedtime, Dance, and More Dance

7qt_lyceum

— 1 —

A friend and I watched Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone this week. She is a mild movie talker, as am I, so it was delightful commenting on bits and pieces as we watched. The good conversation made up for the hit parade of bad child acting.

I mentioned that I follow the Harry Potter feed on Buzzfeed to nourish my need for ongoing fandom. When I said that, though, I realized that I am really behind on all my feeds, so I hopped in to check it out.

In a list of Marauders headcanon (unofficial/fan ideas about the lives of Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs), I came across this gem:

http://dailyvituperation.tumblr.com/post/70659975683/malallory-do-you-ever-think-about-how-remus

Does that not break your Harry Potter-loving heart? (With a little commandment-breaking, but still.)

— 2 —

In other life news, I broke a nail last night. I know, “I broke a nail” is the epitome of vapid things that vapid girls say, but I broke mine making up my bed (jammed it on the wooden frame of my box spring), and it really hurt.

🎶 One of these things is not like the others. 🎶 The good news: my bed is made. The bad news: ouch!

A photo posted by Lindsay Wilcox (@whatlindsayloves) on

The occasion inspired my first ever use of emoji. I think I get it now. Those little musical notes were just what I needed. Sesame Street for life!

— 3 —

I have been working hard this month to establish a bedtime. In the past, it has been really difficult for me to go to bed on time. I feel like a middle schooler when I go to bed before I’m good and ready. (For comparison, my last high school started at 9:30 a.m.) It’s a blessing that I have no trouble at all falling asleep or staying asleep, but I struggled with getting to “head to pillow” at the time I wanted (let alone the time I should be there).

A few specific things have been helpful:

  • I made note of how long it takes me to get from “time to get ready for bed” to “head to pillow.” Right now, I’m not working on speeding that up. They key is acknowledging the actual time it takes instead of how long I wish it took.
  • I picked the time I wanted to be in bed based on a realistic number. Incremental changes seem to work best for me.
  • I set a bedtime alarm. I use Google Calendar and sync it with my phone, so when it’s bedtime, my browser gets hijacked and I hear the chime. It forces me to acknowledge what time it is and that, if I stay up any longer, I’m only hurting Morning Lindsay.
  • I obey my bedtime alarm.

That last thing is the new one. I have had my bedtime alarm for months, but I was treating it like a guideline instead of an actual rule. I noticed that, when I obey it, I can actually reach “head to pillow” a little bit early. When I snooze it, so to speak, I have to rush. I hate being rushed.

I’ve noticed that my body is getting the hint because I start to feel sleepy as my alarm time approaches. Now if only I can get it to stop feeling sleepy when I need to get up, I’ll be golden.

— 4 —

Back in my first month of social dance classes, I spotted someone I know from trivia in the studio. She was having a private lesson when I was on my way to my group class. I didn’t want to interrupt, so I just smiled to myself and kept going.

Last night, she finally spotted me back. Unfortunately, I was running later than usual and had already missed the beginning of the warm-up dance, so I couldn’t stop to chat. It is a lovely thing when worlds collide.

— 5 —

As I’ve mentioned previously, I am taking West Coast Swing classes. This is my third month. I think I chose well because everything I see, read, and experience proves that WCS is one of the hardest partner dances to learn; i.e. it’s the best focus for me right now.

In every other partner dance I’ve tried, the follower’s moves mirror the leader’s. Not so with WCS. I do have to pick up on my leader’s signals so as not to run him over, but there is much more freedom for interpretation and/or potential for stumbling along awkwardly. I’m slowly getting better at experimenting with the former and avoiding the latter. I’m also getting better at the principle of “just smile and keep dancing” instead of apologizing all the time.

— 6 —

I’d like to take regular classes in other dances, too, but in the meantime, I need a more budget-friendly option for branching out. I invited a friend to Newcomer Night in May, where I learned a smattering of Jitterbug and foxtrot to add to my tiny repertoire. Newcomer Nights include entry to the regular weekly social dance, which was perfect because I was already warmed up, in the mood to dance, and capable of the basic step in two more dances than I’d known going in.

It was at that social that I first encountered Triple Two-Step. I had literally never even attempted it before, which I admitted to the lead who asked me to dance. He was undeterred and showed me the basic step. He then proceeded to lead me despite:

  • our distinct height differential (I’m pretty tall for a woman),
  • my zero level of experience, and
  • my struggle with regular Two-Step, as well as every progressive dance (the kind that moves in a circle).

Nobody fell down, nobody got injured, and we both survived until the song ended. Wins all around!

— 7 —

My old piano teacher came into town to visit last week, so we went to dinner. Since I was already out, I decided to go social dancing again. This was the first time I’d gone by myself and not for a class.

I had such a good time! At this point, I still need the comfort and small size of my studio environment. I’m not ready to be released into the wild. I don’t need a buddy, but I do need to feel safe.

I found myself following yet another dance I’ve never done before (merengue) and with another short leader. I am always impressed when men who are substantially shorter than I am are comfortable asking me to dance. It doesn’t bother me; I can follow any height. They have the tough part learning to lead spins around my head, way up high. Many have learned to lead spins around my waist, but I haven’t noticed that being taught in any of my group classes at this studio, so I don’t know where they learned it.

I was feeling so bold that I asked a few men to dance myself. It’s not an old-school TOB thing or a fear thing that keeps me from asking more often. It’s that I am not very good yet and that I am basically giving him a job. But the only way to learn is to practice, and I haven’t been turned down yet. That first rejection must be coming, but I am choosing to think happy thoughts, like Fraulein Maria.

We have confidence, and we are awkward together. It's cool.


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes on the Random Things that Catch My Attention

7qt_lyceum

— 1 —

Once again, I return after a long absence from giving you any Quick Takes. My June tl;dr was a pretty solid summary of what’s been going in my personal life, so today I will share all the nifty things I’ve stumbled across around the Internet that didn’t seem quite right to share on Facebook or Twitter.

What, you don’t have a strategy for deciding what to share where? You can’t be surprised that I do!

— 2 —

I checked my credit report again last month. I use the free credit report service provided by the federal government and request mine from one credit reporting agency every four months. There were no bad surprises, thankfully. The one surprise was that my report showed me as an authorized user for something I had totally forgotten about.

When I was in high school and started driving myself to school every day, my mom gave me a gas station-branded credit card for gas. My parents were paying for all my car-related expenses, and I usually went to a specific conveniently-located station of that brand to get gas. That saved them the trouble of giving me cash all the time, I could pay at the pump, and I didn’t have the free rein of a regular credit card.

Somehow, I didn’t realize that although the card was in my mom’s name, she had officially listed me as an authorized user. I never used it in a “signature required” situation, so I don’t even remember if it had my name printed on it or hers! Regardless, that usage became part of my credit history. It’s the oldest item on my credit report. It will probably fall off in just a couple of years, but it was a surprising reminder that the credit reporting industry (like the Internet) never forgets.

— 3 —

I’ve mentioned that I’ve been listening to podcasts on my long commute to work. (I pray the rosary on the way home.) One of the first standard podcasts I subscribed to was Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing. I’ve been following Mignon Fogarty, a.k.a Grammar Girl, since before the Quick and Dirty Tips network even existed, but my following was exclusively limited to computer screens. I’ve been subscribed to her email list for years and years, so when I took up podcast listening, adding hers was a no-brainer.

Then I actually started listening, and wow! The experience was so different! I unsubscribed a few weeks ago for a very specific reason: grammar is incredibly difficult to convey audibly. For example, one of the most popular Grammar Girl tips is about the difference between “affect” and “effect.”

Did you try to pronounce those words differently, even just in your head? You’re wrong. They both properly start with a “uh” sound, and no amount of forcing will change that. They are, however, spelled and used in very different ways. That is almost impossible to convey when you’re speaking aloud to an audience that is only listening, not looking. Sounds like a podcast audience to me.

As I listened to Mignon spelling words to try to differentiate them, I got terribly confused. The episode breaking down “The House that Jack Built” was my tipping point. That thing is hard enough to process when you can see it. My head was spinning when I tried to listen to it.

Therefore, I am no longer following the Grammar Girl podcast. I am, however, still subscribed to the newsletter, and I will be as long as there is one to read. You should sign up, too.

— 4 —

View post on imgur.com

You’re welcome. When I saw that, I laughed so hard I started hyperventilating.

— 5 —

I have been overhauling my physical files as I fully commit to GTD. In a sudden burst of inspiration on Memorial Day, I sifted through a box full of files and papers from my old job. Leaving was tough, so I shoved everything in a box when I moved into my current house and had never looked at any of it since. Now, I am in a much better place (and in a de-cluttering mood), so it was time.

One of the items I purged was the student binder from the Frank J. Lewis Institute back in June 2011. I re-read all my notes looking for anything worth saving or anything that caught my eye. Most of it was only relevant to campus ministry. I kept a few info-packed pages. I mostly take notes to focus myself while listening to a lecture or presentation, not for later review. (Perks of taking a class where there’s no test. Except life, I guess. Life is kind of a test.)

A note that stuck out to me was “evangelization as Magdalenic succession.” Catholics are (or at least ought to be) familiar with apostolic succession. Jesus chose Peter as the leader of the apostles. When St. Peter died, the Bishop of Rome, St. Linus, took over. The line has continued in an unbroken pattern for two thousand years, some craziness with the Avignon papacy and some normalcy in the current conclave-style election of popes notwithstanding. Thus, we consider the pope and his actions in elaborating on doctrine to be an act of apostolic authority.

Mary Magdalene wasn’t an apostle per se, and it’s unclear whether she was a prostitute, but she was definitely an evangelist. She is sometimes called “the apostle to the Apostles.” When we spread the message that Jesus has risen, as she did that Easter morning, we are following in her footsteps. In a way, the work of evangelization continues through Magdalenic succession in the same way the work of salvation continues through apostolic succession.

Wrap your heads around that one!

— 6 —

I am pretty satisfied with my current note-taking system, but Patrick Rhone’s Dash/Plus system sounds like a great one if you’re on the market. (What, you don’t have a note-taking system, either?) I love that it’s easy to use, the symbols are fairly intuitive, and it looks neat since everything goes on top of the original dash and everyone can draw a dash.

I also like that it lends itself to simple adaptations. I would probably swap the symbols for “waiting” and “moved” because, to me, an arrow means I should look that way to find the item: on the next page, in a different list, and so on. A circle means “don’t forget about this,” i.e. because I’m still waiting for it. I also kind of want to turn the delegated arrow into a bent upward arrow, as in “I’ve passed this up (or down) to someone.” A light bulb is too hard to draw quickly, so I like James Gowans’s suggestion to use a lightning bolt for ideas.

I’m never going to take on a system that doesn’t encourage neatness. I only like my GTD-style physical inbox because, despite being a pile of papers, receipts, and currently a book (the GTD book, actually), it corrals all that stuff into one place. It’s isolated clutter. I can handle that.

— 7 —

Several months ago, at our quarterly company meeting, the presenter spoke about social interaction styles. Her main presentation topic was making presentations (so meta), specifically for construction project proposals, but none of that stuck with me. What did was that there is apparently an origin for the term “flipping out,” as in “losing your cool and reacting in an atypical way.”

She led into “flipping out” by asking us to identify ourselves on an X-Y axis, where positive X is “tells” and negative X is “asks. Positive Y is “controls” and negative Y is “emotes.” Here is a diagram, because that was hard for me to even try to write.

Social Styles Axis

There were no surprises in how I fell on those axes. The surprise was that “flipping out” stems from the tendency of people to behave in the manner that is exactly the opposite of their normal behavior when they are under extreme stress. You “flip” to the opposite quadrant.

I can absolutely see this. Most of the time, I fall in quadrant 1: high assertiveness, low responsiveness. I like to get things done (see Quick Takes 5 and 6) and, if I’m not mindful, I get way too task-focused and not people-focused enough. I try to be mindful of that. But when I am experiencing the most stress, I am the complete opposite. I “flip out” from behavior that is action-oriented and independent. I back down and go along with whatever other people want, as long as it gets them off my back. I get quieter and less efficient. None of that is good when it comes from me.

Check out this explanation of the scales and see if your “flipped out” behavior fits what’s listed there. There are a million personality tests, but how many of them identify your stressed-out personality?


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes on Blog Goals, Derby Parties, and Dance Class

7qt_lyceum

— 1 —

I thought I was turning over a new leaf by drafting this post on Friday. Not posting it until now is evidence to the contrary.

I haven’t blogged about blogging in a little while. I’ve found that setting goals is critical for me. That third week of April crashed and burned, so I skidded my way into May. Now is recovery time.

My blog goals for this month are:

  • Publish my regular link-ups every week: What I Wore Sunday, the Not Alone Series, Booking Through Thursday, and 7 Quick Takes. BTT is always at the mercy of the weekly question being posted, but the others are open-ended or available in advance. (Thanks to Jen and Morgan for always planning topics for us!)
  • Fix the alignment of the comment section. It’s been on my to-do list for too long. Blog comments are changing in the face of Facebook and Twitter interactions, but since Facebook basically won’t show anything on a Page to your Likers without payment (I don’t have a Facebook Page for this blog) and Twitter is only useful if you can space out your retweets, I think I’ll stick with comments for now.
  • Finish my Pope Francis series. I might take super-long breaks, but I don’t quit things easily. A longer-term goal is to publish a series on the questions for this fall’s synod before it starts. Gotta finish the last series first.
  • Finish my YNAB series. I will have been using YNAB consistently for one year at the end of this month. It’s changed my life so much that I’m especially eager to finish my (our?) love story.

— 2 —

I went to my first ever Derby Party on Saturday, hosted by one of the regular members of my always-fluctuating trivia team. I wore pink and a giant hat. I felt fabulous, although many of the other attendees seemed to have missed the message that Derby is about big hats and pastels. Oh, well. The company was delightful, and although my chosen horse did not win, I was tickled that The Tonight Show‘s Puppy Predictor was correct.

— 3 —

I’m from Maryland. The Preakness Stakes race (the second jewel of the Triple Crown) is run in Maryland. Yet we do not have Preakness Parties. Despite the insinuation from the Maryland Alumni Association’s recent email, I maintain that Preakness Parties are not a thing.

I knew Derby Parties were a thing, but I had never been invited to one before moving to Texas, actually. The one I went to was hosted by a Kentuckian for maximum out-of-state authenticity. I would be surprised to hear of a Derby Party outside of the South (or at least one not hosted by an obvious Southerner). Maybe it’s because my Maryland family are not Derby people. Are there Belmont Parties?

Then again, I had never even heard of homecoming mums before I moved to Texas. I guess some customs just don’t cross state lines.

— 4 —

I did not mention it in last week’s Quick Takes, but I successfully completed my first month of dance classes on Saturday. It is awesome. I graduated from Level 1 in West Coast Swing!

This post is brought to you by a newly-promoted intermediate West Coast Swing dancer! #godance #atx #wcs #winning

A photo posted by Lindsay Wilcox (@whatlindsayloves) on

— 5 —

I’ve written here about my opinions on leading and following. I stand by those opinions now that I am putting them into more regular practice. Spoiler alert: no romance. Just dancing.

One of the first things we learned in the first week was not to lead ourselves. It was agonizing to stand still waiting for a lead who didn’t start on the instructor’s count, but I gritted my teeth (on the inside) and smiled (on the outside) and practiced patience. I learned to ignore my leads’ counting under their breath and to just wait for the physical signals and try to follow those in what seemed to be his tempo. Sometimes, the leads’ counting was not even in rhythm with their steps or mine, which was bewildering. Everyone has to start somewhere.

Eventually, I got around to practicing with the stronger leads and with my instructors. When my main instructor left me to change the music, I felt like I was getting it. And, as evidenced by my current presence in Level 2, I was! He even used me to demonstrate all the moves we’d learned at the end of the last beginner class. I still need practice, though. I could feel in it in my first intermediate class. I’ll be on this level for a while.

I also reaffirmed that it is very difficult to follow a lead who’s not on the beat. As I’ve danced with better leaders, I find that they manage to stay on the beat, so I can just follow them and feel that I’m still on the beat. I even felt comfortable enough to try some style variations.

— 6 —

Better leaders have helped me increase my comfort being around strange men and almost never interacting with the other women in the room. It helps a lot to be in a smallish, safe environment. Several of my friends do West Coast Swing, and one of the men in particular told me that learning to dance made him much less awkward around women. He’s married now. That’s solid evidence despite being a sample size of one. I am not usually awkward around strangers, male or female, but these are the kind of strangers I have to stand really close to. That’s new. I’m working on it.

— 7 —

It’s always been a little weird for me to dance with a partner. I almost never have one in social dance settings (these days, just weddings), so I’ve never improved very much. It’s a catch-22: I’m not very good at partner dancing because I don’t usually have a partner, but when I do have a partner, I get dragged around the floor because I’m not very good at partner dancing. It doesn’t matter how good your lead is if you don’t know how to follow.

So I’m learning how to follow, and I’m enjoying it and slowly improving. Now I have a handful of West Coast Swing, Two-Step, Salsa, and whatever you call the shuffle step I was learning last fall. The only dance I ever learned in school was the Macarena (true story), so I’ve just become a great solo freestyle dancer. Freestyle: the dance of the perpetually single.


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes on Catholic Hashtag Games, Wedding Fun, and Humility

7qt_lyceum

— 1 —

Happy May! I’m bummed that I missed #ItsGonnaBeMay trending on Twitter yesterday. As far as my teenage heart is concerned, *NSync is still just on hiatus.

— 2 —

I was on Twitter, but I was busy playing the Catholic hashtag games this week. If you’re not familiar with hashtag games, they’re super easy and so much fun. Someone will issue a challenge by creating a hashtag, and then you tweet your response with the same hashtag. The late-night show At Midnight specializes in those, but theirs are not always family-friendly.

On Tuesday, the game was #MakeAMovieCatholic. My contributions:

Some of my other faves:

— 3 —

Yesterday, I got in early on #MakeHipHopCatholic. By the time I turned up, it had gone from name substitutions to lyrical substitutions. One my jams is “It Takes Two,” so I brainstormed quickly and came up with:

and

It was a challenge to think about ways to make the lyrics specifically Catholic and not just Christian.

This is a part of the New Evangelization, right?

— 4 —

The dramatic slow-down in my blogging for the past weeks was anticipated but unpleasant. I’m glad to be back on track (sort of). I was out of town for a wedding last weekend, so I had to plan and act very carefully to get everything done. The weekend before that, I was extra social, so I had to hedge against that, too.

GTD has saved my skin so many times, and it made approaching and recovering from two booked weekends a million times easier. I promise I’m still planning a post about how I use the methodology. It will be posted… eventually.

— 5 —

The wedding was delightful. It was so good to see some of my old friends from undergrad, and I even made some new ones during cocktail hour. I hadn’t remembered that one of my mutual friends with the groom is now a deacon, so it was surprising and heartwarming to see him assisting at the altar. Two other friends brought their babies. I didn’t get in any snuggles, but I’m full up on cuteness for a bit.

One of the best moments was in the receiving line. I made my way down, introducing myself to the parents and hugging another dear friend who was a groomsman. When I got to the bride, I had to half-introduce myself to her. I visit my friend Jim (the groom) whenever I am in town, but that’s usually Christmastime, so she has always been with her family. (Jim and I are from Maryland; the bride is from Boston, which is where the wedding was held.) It felt strange to be meeting her for the first time on her wedding day when our paths should have crossed before.

The strangeness dissipated almost instantly. I said, “I don’t think we’ve ever actually met before. I’m Lindsay.”

“Oh!” she said, drawing me into a great hug. “You’re my favorite wedding guest! You RSVP to everything!”

Yes. GTD strikes again.

— 6 —

Another fun moment from the weekend happened when I went to IHOP before the wedding. In most restaurants with table service, you give your name for the waiting list and listen for it to be called when your table is ready. Strictly speaking, you only have to give a name. It doesn’t actually have to be your name, first or last. At this IHOP, I was handed a card instead of being asked for my name. It said “Elsa.” I thought, “That must be my server’s name. Bet Frozen made her life difficult.”

Wrong. It was my name. It only took a few tables being called (“Tom Brady, party of 3″ and “Meghan Fox, party of 2″) before I caught on.

When “Elsa, party of 1″ came up, I said, “That’s me,” and smiled.

A little girl near me said, “No, I’m Elsa!” I’m sure you are, honey.

— 7 —

One serious take before I finish. I initially re-signed up with Pray More Novenas to keep me on track with the Divine Mercy Novena. It was much easier than reminding myself to check the EWTN DMC web page every day. I stayed subscribed out of curiosity and found that the novena to Our Lady, Undoer of Knots was next. It turns out that I had some knots that needed untying. That Holy Spirit is such a kidder.

Aside from actually experiencing the loosening of my knots (why am I surprised?), I was extremely humbled by the inclusion of the Act of Contrition in the novena prayers. I already make an Act of Contrition every day at the beginning of Night Prayer, so making it twice a day was especially humbling. It made me hyper-aware that some of the knots in my life are caused by my own sin. I’ll have to keep that in mind.


For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes on My Life, Poetry, and Love

7qt_lyceum

— 1 —

Well, hello there, friends! I missed writing these quick takes last week, which made me feel sad and unaccomplished. I try to keep those feelings separated a little bit when I can. Here is a summary of all the things I was doing besides blogging:

  • going to Pinthouse Pizza for the first time
  • Theology on Tap
  • taking two weekly dance classes
  • going to a baptism
  • working behind the scenes at the Pure Fashion Show
  • attending our quarterly company meeting
  • taking the Jeopardy! test (again)
  • going to Hopdoddy for the first time

— 2 —

Here is a summary of my thoughts of the aforementioned activities:

  • yummy pizza, although I need to remember that I don’t like cooked spinach (raw is good)
  • slow service, pretty good speaker, couple of new people
  • the tiny new Christian is my former roommate’s baby!
  • so tiring, but so worth it
  • I was on time, and it ended on time #winning
  • someday
  • great fries, okay burger, and not at all worth standing in line that long

All that social time has me craving some hunkering down at home, but instead I have a leadership meeting, a birthday dinner, more dancing, and a wedding coming at me. I realized Sunday I wanted to make an appointment that will have to wait until May. Yikes.

— 3 —

Moving on. Lent is finally over, and it felt really good this year. I realized last week that one of the reasons for that is that I didn’t let Lent slip away. I was on top of every day and every week. I can attribute that to three factors: grace, the daily Gospel readings from Evangelio del Dia (DailyGospel.org in English), and using the GTD methodology. When you have to review, preview, and plan for every day, you stay on top of things. Maybe I’ll run a “Lent with GTD” series next year.

— 4 —

I get the Goodreads newsletter, and I am a big fan of the Love Languages. This month’s poetry contest winner sounds like the perfect portrayal of Acts of Service. Do you agree?

— 5 —

I haven’t been following Auntie Seraphic’s new blog as closely as I did when she was mainly blogging about the single life, but since she still advises us single ladies occasionally at her new home, I’m still reading. I also just really enjoy her style and tone.

She is one of the few people I actually know (as much as anyone can “actually know” a blogger) who is married but has also been previously married, divorced, and annulled before even meeting her (current) husband. Therefore, I take her opinions about that whole process very seriously. I was so glad to read her post about whether divorced people should date. She’s been there. As it turns out, we share the same opinion.

That post also gets the award for Best Ever Admonishment to Not Settle:

Do not settle. I do not care how old you are, or how plain-Jane, or how much you want children. Unless you are so in love with this guy that you will do anything for him except commit mortal sins, and he would do anything for you, don’t think about marriage.

— 6 —

Also regarding love and poetry, I have been reading the Grammarly blog (which is not nearly as funny as the Facebook page I hope you are already following), and I thus encountered a delightful love poem to grammar. Yes, grammar love goes above and beyond. It’s a parallel poem: it can be read from top to bottom or from bottom to top with slightly different meanings. It’s not as drastic a meaning shift as that atheist/believer poem, but it’s still neat.

— 7 —

Just before Easter, I found basically the clearest and funniest guide to the Mass ever. It has just the right amount of humor to make it enjoyable to read, yet it is totally authentic and accurate. See? Catholicism can be fun!


That’s all for my quickest Quick Takes ever (I think)! For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum.

© 2002–2015. Powered by WordPress & Romangie Theme.