30 May 2005

A Wedding of Catholic Nerds

I'm singing at a wedding today. The bride has been a friend of mine since we were in seventh grade. I'm unreasonably nervous about singing at this. Most of the people who will be there have heard me sing before, and they're probably not going to pay much attention to the music anyway, but I really don't want to mess this up. My head says, "It'll be fine," but the butterflies in my stomach say, "Let's party!"

This wedding will truly be a Catholic Nerd wedding. Not because it will be ad orientem or anything like that (unfortunately), but because of the people. The bride is the daughter of the president of Ignatius Press, and the groom is Tom Harmon, who founded the ASCC and Gonzaga's Newman-Stein Fellowship (now John Paul II Fellowship). Also in attendance will be Fr. Robert Spitzer, SJ, president of Gonzaga University and author of Healing the Culture. Fr. Joseph Fessio has also been invited, and will probably be in attendance.

I hope you will join me in wishing Cate and Tom well and praying that their marriage will be long and happy. As one person noted in a toast at the rehearsal dinner, this couple has already proven themselves to be a force for change and an example of good in our culture. May they continue to be so as they begin their new life together.

19 May 2005

Did Someone Mention Books?

They did, and yes, I got tagged too. So, here we go!

Total Number of Books Owned: I have absolutely no idea. Lots and lots, many of which are in giant Xerox boxes in my room. Several hundred, I imagine.

Last Book Bought: Le Magicien et Son Neveu. That's right, it is indeed the Magician's Nephew in French. During my first weeks here, I stumbled across the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (l'Armoire Magique) in my favorite bookshop, and I've been gradually buying the rest of the series since. I'm ignoring the fact that this is supposedly the first book in the series and rejoicing in the lovely illustrations by Pauline Baynes. Although I suppose that now I can actually make sense of books in French, I should start reading one by French authors.

Last Book Read: Women in Love by DH Lawrence. I picked it at random in a bookstore in Prague which sold English books, and I didn't really care for it. I much preferred The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco, which I finished much faster than I had expected (I also bought it in Prague...it's a wonder I did any sight-seeing!). I've always loved a good mystery, especially ones that can be solved along side the heroes--sometimes Sherlock is too much of a genius. And since I spent a week in a former Cistercian monastery this year, I enjoyed that the story was built around the rhythm of monastic life.

Five Books that Mean a Lot to Me:

My C.S Lewis book. It's a collection of some of his best-known works: The Pilgrim's Regress, Letters to Malcolm, Reflections on the Psalms, the Abolition of Man, and my favorite, Till We Have Faces. I found it at Shakespeare and Co. earlier this year, and it's done a lot of travelling with me. Between it, les Chroniques de Narnia, and my second-hand copy of That Hideous Strength I found in Avignon, this has been a great year for C. S. Lewis.

The Holy Grail : Its Origins, Secrets, and Meaning Revealed by Malcolm Godwin and The
Holy Grail : Imagination and Belief by Richard Barber. I've always loved mythology and stories about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, and Godwin's book, which I borrowed from my medieval history teacher in high school, started me on my serious interest in the Holy Grail. Barber's, on the other hand, was a gift from Jane and the Catholicnerd, and I sadly have only read about half of it, since it is in America and I'm not.

The Complete Novels of Jane Austen. I'm sure it's hardly a surprise, and that I don't have to say much about it. It was also a present from Jane, way back when we were roommates and living in the same country.

My Dad's old copy of the Silmarillion. It's such an incredible book, and I have to admit I enjoy the fact that it's a first edition. I bought it in paperback last year, just because I needed a copy at school. And I love the idea of creation with music. It's been a really long time since I read it. It's on my list after Les Misérables for this summer.

My Giant Larousse Dictionary and 501 French Verbs. Because I use them all the time.

18 May 2005

So strange, I had to share

At H & M yesterday (I was doing some very important market researcg, yeah, that's it) I saw a rack of rosaries. Somehow, I suspect it doesn't have anything to do with John Paul II's call for a new evangelization. And, yes, I am going to go back and take a picture, since I doubt anyone will believe me.

17 May 2005

Tagged by Zadok

1. Total books owned, ever: around 800, I think. Total currently on my shelves—not including music books and the children’s books in my parents’ garage--is about 350, total around 500. Thinking about the 800 and 500 total figures, it would mean that, on average, I’ve acquired 40 books a year and thrown out 15.

2. Last book I bought: I don’t remember the title, but it was about a woman from Washington who walked across the country. I bought it for myself, but let my mother read it first, so it’s disappeared.

3. Last book I read: sadly, a picture-book with words on every other page. But it was, happily, a book about the life of St. Dominic. It wasn’t a children’s book, by the way, but something from the library at GU. (This is the last one I actually finished reading—I have a terrible habit of reading half of a book and never picking it up again.)

4. Five books that mean a lot to me:

1. The Giant Treasury of Peter Rabbit. Well, nobody said it had to mean something profound. I have many childhood memories of snuggling up next to my mother as she read to me from this book. I was particularly fond of “The Tale of Two Bad Mice.”

2. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. As a child, I adored this book. Even though I was always careful with books, my copy of Dawn Treader is about to fall apart. Actually, all my Chronicals of Narnia are about to fall apart, except The Silver Chair, which I never liked, and the spine of which isn’t so much as creased. But Dawn Treader was always my favorite, because of the end where Lucy, Edmund, Eustace, and Reepicheep row off into the sweet water and the “endless carpet of lilies” to the end of the world.

3. Perelandra. I actually didn’t like this book the first time I read it, but the second reading was a little more interesting, and the third was for an excellent literature class, and the teacher’s lectures made an impression on me. It’s rather bad form for a writer of a romance to insert pages and pages of dialogue of the sort that Lewis puts in when the eldila show up, but it’s so interesting.

4. The Theology of the Body. I was lucky to be required to read this for my high school senior seminar. It’s a difficult book to read, but the group discussions helped me understand at least some of it (my mind is not particularly suited to reading philosophy or theology, especially not the difficult language JPII uses).

5. Leisure, the Basis of Culture (by Josef Pieper). This is another book from senior seminar that I never would have read on my own. Pieper clearly and beautifully explains why the liberal arts are important, and why we should not confuse them with the servile arts. It’s been three years since I last read this book, and since I’m working on applying to graduate school, it’s probably time for me to read it again, lest I begin to think of the liberal arts as “work.”

5. Tag 5 people: Dan and Emily of the Holy Whapping, Zorak, Jamie Selkie, and Gordon Zaft.

12 May 2005

Because we missed his Feast Day....

St. George Slaying the Dragon, Prague Castle

...And also to prove that I haven't fallen off the face of the earth. Coming soon: Spring Break Adventures and Meetings with Unicorns!

06 May 2005

Swiped from Lauren, because if she can be a spoiled youngest child, then I can be a spoiled only child.

"List five things that people in your circle of friends or peer group are wild about, but you can't really understand the fuss over. To use the words of Caesar (from History of the World Part I), 'Nice. Nice. Not thrilling . . . but nice.'"

1. College drinking parties--I have to agree with Lauren on this one. Alcohol is fine, yes, I like a glass of wine now and then. But getting drunk just for the sake of getting drunk is idiotic--almost as idiotic as bragging about it afterwards.

2. Summer. It's hot, which makes me physically uncomfortable and mentally sluggish, and because it's hot out there are people running around half-dressed (unless you're at the beach, in which case it's considerably less than half-dressed). In addition to this, most of us college students go back to our hometowns for summer, which in my case means being a long way away from my friends. I also happen to enjoy school.

3. Sports. I've never liked sports--they seem like a waste of time and money. Physical activity is grand, but it isn't the be-all and end-all, and in schools organized sports tend to take valuable resources away from academic pursuits. There's something very wrong about half the high school choir missing rehearsal once a week in soccer season, or building a new college basketball arena when the performing arts students have nowhere to perform. Sports. Grrrrr.

4. Most current fashion trends for girls/young women. Why on earth would anyone want to wear jeans so low and a shirt so high that the world knows what color her thong is and that she has a tattoo on her lower back? Why wear a skirt so short and heels so high that walking is impaired? Why wear fuzzy winter boots if she lives in L.A.?

5. Talking about how bad the Jesuits are. I will be the first to admit that many Jesuits today are unfaithful to the Church, some in more creative ways than others. (I've heard Fr. Maher's story about the "Mime Mass" he was forced to endure as a seminarian in 1980's San Francisco. It's amazing he made it out of there with his orthodoxy intact. We won't even go into the guy with the pink clerical shirt.) But I go to a Jesuit school, and it's not so bad. Maybe that's because it's better than some other Jesuit schools, but there are nutty things going on in every religious order. What about those pictures (posted I believe by the Curt Jester) of dancing Dominicans? What about the Benedictine nuns who protest for women's ordination? I suppose the Jesuits are an easy target because the nature of their lives as academics forces them more out in the open than some other orders, and because of how many of them there are in this country, but I'm sick of the Jesuit jokes.

Zadok has already weighed in on a few of these subjects, but not done the meme.