Category Archives: 7 Quick Takes Friday

7 Quick Takes That Are Actually Quick This Time

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— 1 —

My long-term attempt to establish a bedtime has been going much better than usual over the past few weeks. I’m behind on my blog reading, but I found myself at Jen Fulwiler’s rebranded site recently reading an old post about how to survive burnout. (Thanks for the link in your Monday Musings a few weeks ago, Kim; I needed that.) Her first recommendation was to get more sleep. Message heard; life changes begrudgingly made.

— 2 —

I watched a Theology-on-Tap style presentation that Bobby and Jackie Angel gave a few weeks ago in New York City. It’s about a Catholic vision of dating, and it’s worth a watch if you’ve got some time. There are some gems in there. The best was a (parody) Catholic pick-up line dropped by Jackie:

I would say “God bless you,” but clearly, he already has.

— 3 —

My office wi-fi password has been the same since I started working for the company two years ago. It ends in a string of letters. I always thought they were random, or maybe based on someone’s name who is no longer with the company. One of the superintendents came into the office and asked me for the password, and he instantly connected those “random” letters with a phrase that totally makes sense. Never underestimate construction guys, and never overestimate yourself: lesson learned.

— 4 —

After my explanation of how finding the beat is critical to learning to dance and linking to a simple video teaching the same, my dance teacher gave a very quick lesson in doing that exact thing. It happened last week and with such uncanny timing that he might have been reading my blog! (He could be; I guess. It’s public. That’s my name and picture in the sidebar.)

It’s more likely that he just noticed how incredibly off the beat some of us were and knew he needed to fix it ASAP. But what’s life without a tiny bit of feeling like you’re being watched? Being watched in class worked out for me, because my teacher complimented me when I randomly helped him demonstrate the pattern from two weeks ago, and that ultimately led to this milestone:

Just got promoted to Level 3, thanks in part to these puppies! #shoes #dance #westcoastswing #winning

A photo posted by Lindsay Wilcox (@whatlindsayloves) on

— 5 —

Grammar news is not terribly frequent, so I don’t post about it here as much as I think about it in my day-to-day. I greatly enjoyed reading Neal Whitman’s essay, read by Grammar Girl on her podcast, about why English words have silent letters. That’s more of a pronunciation, linguistic, and spelling issue than a grammar one, but it’s just as fascinating. My standard explanation is that funky silent letters are found in non-English words that we have “borrowed” into English. We’re never giving them back, but we’ll “borrow” the extra letters just the same. We just won’t pronounce them. So there!

— 6 —

Continuing on my theme of “favorite topics I don’t actually blog about very often,” I stumbled across this amazing sheet of J.K. Rowling’s plot outline for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix via the Goodreads blog. It’s incredible!

I don’t care much about plotting vs. pantsing. Whatever she did worked out swimmingly. What sticks out to me are two of the column headings. The original poster seems to have missed it, but it looks like Dumbledore’s Army and the Order of the Phoenix were originally reversed! Read the columns. The things that are listed as happening to the “O of P” happen to Dumbledore’s Army in the published novel, and vice versa. I support the switch. I’m less supportive of changing Umbridge’s first name from “Elvira.” That is a much less likeable name than” Dolores.”

— 7 —

In case you missed it, I posted a reflection on some marriage advice for singles to Austin CNM last week. Even if you disagree with his conclusions, there’s some useful food for thought. Single people need marriage advice, too!


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

7 Quick Takes on How to Find the Beat and How Not to Miss the Company Meeting

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— 1 —

I wrote last week’s takes long before I published them, so I wasn’t able to include my most recent dance intro because it hadn’t happened yet. I took a friend to Newcomer Night several months ago to learn a sprinkling of Foxtrot and Jitterbug. Last week, I took a different friend to refresh my Salsa and learn a sprinkling of Bachata.

She got there a little late, so I had to leap right into the Bachata lesson. By listening, I was able to pick up that all I’d missed were discussions of walking steps versus triple steps. NBD. It was relatively easy to reprogram my brain for Bachata since that started by moving side-to-side (whereas West Coast Swing and Two-Step move mainly backwards and forwards).

— 2 —

I also learned that I should stop taking beginning Salsa lessons. I think that was my fourth overall. I have a total of three moves, but I am a pro at those three moves! If I get some extra cash, I might dip into Salsa 1 at my studio. It meets right before my regular West Coast Swing class. Maybe that’s not a coincidence.

— 3 —

My company has a quarterly, off-site, all-hands meeting. They are scheduled at the beginning of the company year in February, but our COO usually sends a reminder email about two weeks in advance. You know the kind: “Be there. If you think you can talk your way out of it, you have one week to do so.”

This time, we did not get that reminder. If I hadn’t overheard one of my project managers talking to my old boss about it in the hallway, I would have forgotten completely—and I don’t think I would have been the only one. It worked out in the end, but I have little doubt that if I hadn’t been cubicle eavesdropping, I would have been sitting at my desk, happily typing away, when people started leaving for the meeting.

The moral of the story: always look ahead on your calendar.

— 4 —

I’ve been learning to dance West Coast Swing for a few months now, but (of course) I can only dance it with someone who can lead it. In the course of my Internet research (you are not surprised that I do research), I found this video showing probably the easiest dance on planet Earth that is not the middle school sway.

See? Even if you think you can’t dance, you can probably learn to do that, especially to something with a strong, thumping bass. DJ Snake songs are some of my favorites to dance WCS to, actually. The beat drops, and all is well.

— 5 —

The creator/author of the previous video, James Joseph, also has one on how to find and count sets of 8. I used to play instruments, so that’s second nature for me. I have actually physically stumbled when someone starts on 2 or 6 because I can feel in my body how unnatural that is.

James Joseph makes a point I have yet to see anywhere else: all dance teachers expect you to know how to find and count beats of music, but none of them teach you how to find and count beats of music. In their defense, they’re not music teachers. Yet you must know how to find 1 if you’re ever going to learn to lead a dance to music. When your teacher kicks you out of the nest and says, “Here’s some music; start on your own,” you must fly!

If you know me in real life, I can help you learn this. I have rhythm and a teaching degree (in English, but it’s more broadly applicable than that).

— 6 —

Dennis, Nell, Edna, Leon, Nedra, Anita, Rolf, Nora, Alice, Carol, Leo, Jane, Reed, Dena, Dale, Basil, Rae, Penny, Lana, Dave, Denny, Lena, Ida, Bernadette, Ben, Ray, Lila, Nina, Jo, Ira, Mara, Sara, Mario, Jan, Ina, Lily, Arne, Bette, Dan, Reba, Diane, Lynn, Ed, Eva, Dana, Lynne, Pearl, Isabel, Ada, Ned, Dee, Rena, Joel, Lora, Cecil, Aaron, Flora, Tina, Arden, Noel, and Ellen sinned.

That is a palindrome. Mind. Blown. Courtesy of Grammarly.

— 7 —

I was so excited about this last week that I forgot to blog it: the relics of St. Maria Goretti are coming to the U.S. this fall. She is my absolute favorite saint. I pray her novena every summer. Her relics have never been brought to the U.S. before, and one of the cities she will visit is just a few hours away from me: Houston.

I don’t really believe in coincidences, but I do believe in small miracles. I just happened to be living in the perfect region to fairly easily see Pope Benedict when he visited the U.S. I won’t be able to see Pope Francis in Philly, but not taking the time and money to do that will enable me to take the time and money to do this.

Really, what more could I ask for?


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

7 Quick Takes on Dance, Doable Minimalism, and the Transfiguration

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— 1 —

With some hard work and a positive recommendation from my teacher, this will be my last month on Level 2 in my West Coast Swing class! I’m optimistic that I will pass, especially after this week’s class. We had a huge influx of new faces (common for the first class of each month-long session), so I felt like a veteran. Everything physically felt much easier than it did three months ago when I was fresh out of the beginner level and had been doing this dance for four weeks total in my whole life.

— 2 —

I gave in and bought dance shoes. July was a bit of a splurge-filled month. The investment was worth it, though. If I had taken up running, I would have had to buy running shoes. If I’d started playing softball, I’d have needed a glove. For dancing, I need dance shoes.

The difference between my dance shoes and the (surprising slippery) ballet flat-style street shoes I was wearing is not quite like night and day. It’s like first thing in the morning on a workday and after I get some caffeine in my system. I do okay at first, but once I get that jolt from my English breakfast tea, I am much more pleasant. Turns and spins were manageable in regular shoes, but they’re like butter in my dance shoes. (“Like butter” is good.)

— 3 —

I sent an email to a friend this week to set up dinner. As I looked at my calendar, I realized in shock that (at the time) my next available Saturday night was at the end of September! I swear I’m not usually that popular. It is a good problem to have, though.

— 4 —

Another gem from this month’s CMOS newsletter:

— 5 —

Have I mentioned how much I’m loving No Sidebar? It’s a minimalism blog with a totally realistic and approachable POV. Last week, I read this spectacular post by Allison Vesterfelt.

We are giving up busyness as a badge of honor and learning how important it is to choose how we spend our time.

I had to reach the nadir to finally get my financial life in order. I’m hoping I don’t have to do the life version of that before I get my time in order.

— 6 —

That No Sidebar post linked to another, more traditional productivity post by Willem Van Zyl.

Don’t multitask, period. Many of us think we’re good at it, but studies show that none of us are—when we multitask we tend to forget things and lose track of what we’re doing.

Multitasking is a myth. Also, learn Inbox Zero and commit to it. I’ve been doing that at work all along. Applying it to my personal life was astoundingly helpful. Email is not the boss of me!

— 7 —

Those takes were much shorter than usual, so here is a much longer than usual take. It’s from my Daily Gospel email from the Feast of the Transfiguration, by St. Ephrem, Doctor of the Church (although I read it in Spanish):

At the time of the Transfiguration, the witness given to the Son was confirmed by both the voice of the Father and by Moses and Elijah, who appeared beside Jesus as his servants. The prophets are looking at Peter, James and John the apostles; the apostles behold the prophets. In one and the same place, the princes of the old covenant come together with those of the new. Holy Moses saw Peter the holy one; the shepherd chosen by the Father saw the shepherd chosen by the Son. The former had rebuked the sea in days of old that God’s people might pass through the midst of its waves; the latter suggested setting up a tent to shelter the Church. The chaste man of the Old Testament saw the chaste man of the New: Elijah could see John. He who was lifted up in a chariot of fire saw him who rested on the breast of the Fire (Jn 13:23). And then the mountain became the symbol of the Church: at its summit, Jesus unifies the two Testaments that this Church gathers up. He made it known that he is Lord of the one as of the other, of the Old which received his mysteries, of the New which revealed the glory of his actions.

I love Old Testament–New Testament typology. This was like a shot in the arm until my favorite day for that, Holy Saturday.


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

7 Quick Takes on Faith, Writing, and Hairspray

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— 1 —

I got another referral for YNAB! I don’t know who it’s from, but whoever you are, thank you. I’m so glad that you’re embarking on your journey toward real budget management.

If you haven’t read my YNAB love story, please go check it out. My referral link will get you a 10% discount—and if your situation is anything like mine when I started, you will need that discount.

— 2 —

I subscribe to the USCCB People of Life Newsletter, which is the once-a-month version of 9 Days for Life. It includes suggestions for acts of reparation, so I always choose one. (That’s a really great concept, by the way: to make reparation instead of just wringing our hands.)

The act of reparation I chose for July was, “Read a few passages from a papal encyclical you have never read before, and meditate on the words that move you.” I chose Lumen Fidei because, despite my general affinity for encyclicals and my having read the hope and love encyclicals (Spe Salvi and Deus Caritas Est, respectively), I’d never gotten around to that one.

Wow! I only read the first 3 paragraphs, and I’m already convinced of its beauty. It’s so realistic and honest, especially considering the world’s opinion of the subject matter.

— 3 —

As case in point, here is paragraph 3:

There were those who tried to save faith by making room for it alongside the light of reason. Such room would open up wherever the light of reason could not penetrate, wherever certainty was no longer possible. Faith was thus understood either as a leap in the dark, to be taken in the absence of light, driven by blind emotion, or as a subjective light, capable perhaps of warming the heart and bringing personal consolation, but not something which could be proposed to others as an objective and shared light which points the way. Slowly but surely, however, it would become evident that the light of autonomous reason is not enough to illumine the future; ultimately the future remains shadowy and fraught with fear of the unknown. As a result, humanity renounced the search for a great light, Truth itself, in order to be content with smaller lights which illumine the fleeting moment yet prove incapable of showing the way. Yet in the absence of light everything becomes confused; it is impossible to tell good from evil, or the road to our destination from other roads which take us in endless circles, going nowhere.

Yep. Sounds about right to me. I’m excited to keep reading and learning!

— 4 —

A dear friend of mine from college just received word that the manuscript he wrote this summer is going to be published! It will be from Ave Maria Press, a publisher I have a great relationship with through my writing for Austin CNM. I’m so excited for him!

Now, he managed to write this entire book (and it’s a long one) while on break from teaching high school theology full-time, yet while teaching in a summer program and raising baby #3. So now I, who have nothing holding me back except student loans and my one job, have to figure out where my book is going to come from. #challengeaccepted

— 5 —

Sometimes I read blog posts that just speak to me. Morgan posted one this week that almost spoke for me—in a good way, I promise! She shared her thoughts on how to respond when jealousy threatens joy. Specifically, we both struggle to watch our friends enter the happiness of married life one by one as we remain single and patient (and sometimes impatient, frustrated, and upset). It’s so difficult to balance the genuine joy we feel for others who have found their vocations with the discontentedness of waiting for our own. Go read what she has to say. Maybe it will speak to your heart, too.

— 6 —

I went to see Hairspray at Zilker Park with a few friends on Saturday. It was ridiculously hot, and two hours wasn’t quite early enough(!) to arrive for a good spot. We had an okay spot, though, and I wore one of my new sweat-wicking tops to help with the heat. One little tank top made a world of difference as we waited. It stays hot well into the night, but I was grossness-free right through the 11 p.m. curtain call.

The actual show was delightful. I had only seen the musical movie before (not the stage musical or the original, non-musical movie), so there were plenty of surprises left. “Mama, I’m a Big Girl Now” is a super catchy song. I still have it stuck in my head! It must have been really tough to leave that out of the musical movie. On the other hand, I loved the “New Girl in Town” sequence from the movie. The acting/singing was lovely, as always. I especially enjoyed the costumes. The all-gray outfits during the black-and-white TV show scenes were fun, and I could only wish to pull off wearing a petticoat.

— 7 —

I don’t write much fiction anymore, but I do still read it. I had to stop participating in Top Ten Tuesday after a while because I realized I just listed the same few titles every week. Booking Through Thursday has a much broader prompt base. It was through my personal “visit the post before mine and try to comment” link-up rule that I came across a brilliant post by writer PekoeBlaze about the role of inspiration in creative writing.

[Writing an annotated bibliography of reasonable length for every short story meant] that you couldn’t just be “heavily inspired” by one or two things (which would just lead to derivative and unoriginal writing, which might even border on plagiarism), but that you had to be inspired by a lot of different things.
In other words, you had to find a way to turn lots of different things into something entirely new and original. The more influences you had and the more different they were, the better your coursework would be and the higher marks you would get.

Ultimately, that means that although there’s no such thing as a completely original story, your combination of inspiration and experiences can create an original product. Beautiful. Maybe that’s why I’ve struggled so much with fiction. Maybe I just need a broader inspiration base.


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

7 Quick Takes with Business Baby, Beats Per Minute, and Being Next to the Lake

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— 1 —

This week, I did a happy dance because I have my computer backed up 100% for the first time in ages. (99.9% is just not good enough!)

Crashplan at 100%

If you’re not using CrashPlan or something similar to back up your files offsite, regularly, and preferably automatically, you should be. Think of it as computer insurance. You have insurance for your car being stolen, your house burning down, and your leg getting broken. Offsite backup is insurance for your computer dying (or also being stolen): you hate having to pay for it when you don’t need it, but you are so grateful when you need it.

— 2 —

Somehow this got over 50,000 retweets + favorites, but I missed it until Audrey Assad retweeted it this week. I almost stopped following her (her tweets got too political for me). This has convinced me that not unfollowing was a fantastic decision.

— 3 —

Business Baby calls in Bob the Builder.

I saw a few Business Baby memes recently. A coworker led me to this one. It’s particularly hilarious because I am in construction, and I work with a guy named Bob. Coincidentally, we are a highly qualified general contractor, and we can build for Business Baby or for you. #truestory #noreally #thisismyjob

— 4 —

Dance is still going well. I usually practice to music when I’m spinning around in my kitchen, which means I play YouTube videos from my phone. Until recently, I stuck to suggestions I found online and songs I’ve heard in class, but that got repetitive, and some of them were really fast.

I eventually stumbled across two tools that have expanded my song lists considerably. Using this handy little BPM web app, you can tap out the beat of any song you hear and get calculation of beats per minute. It even works on smartphones!

The goldmine was the search function at BPM Database. I started with the slow end of West Coast Swing music (80–90 bpm) and went through the list song by song at 80, 81, and 82 bpm. It was a beautiful, nostalgic journey, and now I can practice to “Fly Away,” “Umbrella,” and even “Sabotage.” Much more fun. I know the songs, so I’m not distracted guessing where breaks and bridges will be, and the beat is slow enough that I don’t get tired just from the pace.

I made a private YouTube playlist to keep track of my songs. I set it to shuffle, find the beat, and happily dance away.

— 5 —

Even though I have lived in Austin for almost five years, I have never been on the lake. I’m from the East Coast, so we are generally beach people more than lake people. Personally, I am pool kind of girl. Feeling all that nature under my toes is disconcerting. I’m not sure I’ve ever actually been in a lake, but I’ve been next to one.

Last weekend, a friend of mine invited me out to Lake Travis. We’re still in a drought, but this summer’s crazy rain has filled up our lakes a little bit. Her mom was in town from Louisiana and had rented a beautiful condo near the lake. The view was incredible. I didn’t have much time to spare (Saturday is chore day), so I couldn’t join them on their pontoon boat trip. We went to the pool instead.

Sunrise on the pier in Belize.

This is not Lake Travis. This is Belize. Just to clarify.

I can swim, but I haven’t been since our mission trip to Belize. It was a little strange to be next to the lake instead of on it (or in it, I guess). Having the opportunity to talk to my friend, smartphone free and uninterrupted, was worth the weirdness. We had the whole pool to ourselves. The lake view was even beautiful from my vantage point in the pool! Good times.

— 6 —

I got a nonspecific shout-out at Mass last Sunday. It was a surprising reminder that people sometimes actually listen when I’m talking. Fr. Associate Pastor took my comment about waxing and waning Mass attendance to heart, and I’m interested to see if other people agree. Read my full reflection at the end of this week’s What I Wore Sunday post.

— 7 —

My phone freaked out last week and briefly seemed to have deleted all my text messages. First, I panicked. Then, I thought about embracing my loss in a spirit of detachment from the world. Then I restarted my phone, and they all came back. I’m secretly glad that I didn’t have to actually do that detachment I was thinking about. Also, this phone is much lower quality than my previous one (I had an iPhone 4 for three years, then I got the 5c). Maybe that’s why it was cheaper. Lesson learned.


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

7 Quick Takes on Spanish, Not Checking My Inbox, and Online Discipleship

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— 1 —

Since Apple doesn’t seem to appreciate free Internet radio anymore, my short love affair with their stations is over. I have gone back to my college sweetheart, Pandora. I have not used my account since 2007, but my Switchfoot station was still seeded perfectly. I set up another one with “A Dios le Pido” by Juanes. My college roommate referred to him as “the Latin Justin Timberlake,” and I have been practicing my Spanish with the Bible lately, so that seemed appropriate.

The verdict?

— 2 —

Back in June, I signed up for Stever Robbins’s “Taming Your Tasks and To-Do’s” webinar. It was tricky to watch during my lunch break, especially because it went over time, but I enjoyed it so much that I rewatched the whole thing later to make sure I’d absorbed it all. And I took notes. You can watch the replay, too, at that link, in exchange for your email address. The live discussion window was also archived. Watch for my comments!

Absolutely the best takeway was building a habit of checking my to-do list first. Like many people, I once lived in my inbox. When I was ready for a new task, I would check my Facebook notifications or Gmail and work from there. Bad idea. Now, I check my to-do list first. By focusing on tasks I’ve already identified, clarified, and usually scheduled, I make sure that I’m not just putting out fires all day. I still get to Inbox Zero, and I complete more of the tasks on my list. Win-win!

— 3 —

Participating in the Not Alone Series and putting my blog URL on my Christmas cards has made me highly cognizant of the amount of personal information I share online. I don’t have kids to worry about embarrassing when they’re older. I don’t have a husband who’s involved in my blog-worthy stories. (Or non-blog-worthy stories. It’s the husband part that’s missing. Point of clarification.)

I read a post at No Sidebar about being yourself online, and it underscores my philosophy quite well for a blog I just discovered this month. On the one hand, if I don’t share my heart and my loves (hence the title) with you, I’m not really letting you get to know me at all. On the other hand, there are parts of my life I would never blog about. Some of them have a significant effect on my life and relationships, and if I know you in real life, I’ll tell you about them offline. Here, though, is a vast space. The Internet never forgets.

Blog with discretion, but don’t be afraid to share who you really are.

— 4 —

I had a color-finding appointment with my Mary Kay consultant last Saturday. Since Pure Fashion, I’ve made it a goal to learn to wear makeup like a grown woman. This is a good candidate my One True Red Lipstick. If only I’d had a fancier place to wear it than the grocery store.

Yeah, I'm going out for groceries, but first—let me take a #selfie. 😘😉 #nofilter #marykay

A photo posted by Lindsay Wilcox (@whatlindsayloves) on

— 5 —

I went to Theology on Tap this month mostly to support Cris as a longtime Austin CNM contributor. He and another Chris spoke about digital discipleship. Having been a blogger for over ten years, on Facebook since 2005, and slowly learning how to best use Instagram and Twitter, I was interested in they strategies they would offer about how to live my faith online.

Their main point was that the Christian life is all about relationships: God’s with us, and ours with others who are also beloved by God and hopefully loving God in return. Thus, sometimes our best response to something online is to take it offline. If you don’t know someone well enough to see them in person (or even text them), maybe you don’t know them well enough to “defend the faith” to them or “call them out” on something. At the end of the day, you want everyone to know that even if you disagree with them, you still love them. Christ loves us even when we least deserve it (which is basically always).

— 6 —

That is all that’s on my mind right now, so perhaps there are really only five takes today. This balances out my usual not-so-quick takes, right?

— 7 —

See you next time!


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

7 Quick Takes on Marriage and Reading Super Old Links

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— 1 —

Even though I wrote about the Humanum colloquium for Austin CNM last fall, right after #Synod14 ended, I didn’t get around to watching the video series until last week. It seemed like the right time.

Wow! I was pleasantly stunned. They are all made with extremely high production value, beautiful cinematography, and with an eye to showing the cultural, religious, and geographical diversity of one man–one woman marriage supporters. Not every cause has a reach that wide. I was thrown a bit by needing to use the subtitles; the spoken languages are English, Spanish, and French. I don’t speak French, but everything else seemed to be translated accurately.

My favorites were Part 4, A Hidden Sweetness: The Power of Marriage Amid Hardship and Part 5, Challenge & Hope for a New Generation. Hope is my favorite virtue. I highly recommend the entire series. Watch the trailer below and learn more at the Humanum website.

— 2 —

I try to stay out of politics most of the time. This is one of those other times. If you’re feeling bummed about the political shift on marriage finally making it to the whole U.S., consider these points:

  • It was inevitable. Civil marriage does not have to be intended for a lifetime or open to children, so the progression of logic means it does not have to be restricted to one man and one woman. That’s not the truth about marriage, but it’s completely consistent with the State’s trajectory.
  • Supreme Court decisions have been overturned in the past. Without Brown vs. Board of Education, we’d still be living under Plessy v. Ferguson, and many of you reading this might not even know me.
  • Roe v. Wade was handed down over forty years ago, and the pro-life protest movement against that has not stopped. Abortion is legal, but plenty of people don’t like that and continue to speak out against it publicly.
  • Scripture warned us that this would happen: “Because zeal for your house consumes me, I am scorned by those who scorn you.” (Psalm 69:9) Also, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:10–12)

— 3 —

On to lighter content! As a blogger, teacher, and writer in general, I think a lot about copyright and fair use. Images are critically important to blogging today, but you can’t just display anything you can right-click and download. Teachers have a wider rein, but there are limits. I wouldn’t want my writing to be misused or passed off as someone else’s, but every blogger loves being linked to and quoted. As I watch dance videos, I get frustrated by the ones that have been muted due to copyright claims. That goes as far as having the instructional/educational portions with no music silenced so as to be unusable. There is much to think about.

The grammar-loving part of my heart led me to subscribe to the Chicago Manual of Style’s monthly newsletter answering up-to-the-minute, real-life questions. They also do a style- or writing-related interview each month. This month’s was all about copyright law and what “fair use” actually means. It’s one of the most intelligent, realistic discussions of copyright I’ve ever seen. If you’re a blogger or you’ve ever posted a YouTube video with music you didn’t create yourself, you need to read it.

— 4 —

One of my projects for the year is to resolve my Internet bookmark storage problem. I’m much more likely to just search for something when I need it, but when I find gems (or need to store a link I keep forgetting), I want to have that accessible everywhere. Thus, browser-based bookmarks are a no-go. When Delicious started being passed around from owner to owner, I jumped ship to Google Bookmarks. I don’t use them much, and I already use a ton of Google apps anyway, so it seemed like a solid choice.

After Google Reader’s demise, though, I get wary of using any product that isn’t being actively developed. I switched from Google Tasks to Wunderlist, and that went spectacularly well. (No sarcasm; it was legitimately life-changing.) I was considering Pinboard until they switched to an annual fee. I don’t know if I’m willing to pay annually for something I don’t use very often anyway. We shall see.

— 5 —

In the meantime, I don’t want to bother exporting links I don’t need, or tags that aren’t useful (my technique in the past was pretty scattershot), or dead links. So I made a plan to go through them all systematically.

I bookmarked with Delicious really actively when I was in college and then almost not at all after that. That means I’m sifting through links today that I saved when I was in my teens. Some are bewildering. “Why did I even bookmark that?” is a common mental refrain right now. A lot of them are dead, so that makes weeding easier.

I’ve found more than one link to sites hosted at GeoCities. I had a site at GeoCities way back before Yahoo! bought it; that’s how long I’ve been online, so to speak. GeoCities shut down in 2009, yet I still had links to it. Yikes!

— 6 —

Dance class last night was delightful. I accidentally made eye contact with my instructor when he was looking for a demo partner, so of course he picked me. Rookie mistake! I’m a teacher; I know better. Never make eye contact if you don’t want to be called on. I managed not to get too tangled up, although either I stepped on his foot or I put mine in the wrong place and he stepped on me. There was stepping-on. But no falling—win!

I also noticed that I’m starting to recognize people in my class. I’m pretty recognizable, though, so maybe it’s just me. It is still weird having almost no interaction with the women, but none of them lead, and neither do I. I struck up a decent quick chat before class. Baby steps.

— 7 —

I get a bunch of Notre Dame Alumni Association newsletters, which I skim. One of them this week had an announcement of a research project connecting science and virtue that just won a huge grant. Science gets connected to ethics and philosophy all the time, but virtue is a completely new angle. I’m excited to hear what they come up with!


For more Quick Takes this week, visit A Knotted Life.

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