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Friday, 16 December, 2011 To Do

Advent/Christmas Preparation To Do list

1. Is it against the spirit of Quick Takes to make them a “To Do” list? I am going to do it anyway, realizing, of course that this is not going to be the most fascinating blog post evah!

There’s only one week left in Advent, and I am still unprepared for the coming Christmas season. I am wondering if I am trying to do too much or if it’s just that I’ve been under the weather and slightly out of commission for about 2 weeks of the last month. I’ve been trying to keep up with life, with preparations, but have been failing pretty badly. Oh well, such is life. It is difficult to keep with obligations when you are a single person and not well; there’s just no one to back you up or take some of the load off.

So, things I have not yet accomplished that really should be accomplished before the end of Advent:

2.  Christmas shopping. I am missing things for:

My family KK (Praise the Lord we decided to do KKs this year!)

My work KK

My parents & youngest brother

My housemates

That is actually not a terrible list and I should be able to get to it this weekend, I hope.

3. Baking. Last year I got in a time crunch, too, and decided to skip baking.  I am considering skipping this year as well. Ordinarily, I bake on the third or fourth Sunday of Advent. I didn’t bake last Sunday and there’s a party happening at my house this Sunday, so I’m guessing I may just need to skip it again this year.

4. Must, must, must call people. Especially friends who are students and coming back to the area for Christmas!

5. Confession. (Now that will get done.) Must take myself off and just do it over the weekend. It would be nice if I had time for a side of Adoration as well, but that’s less likely.

6. Need to actually determine where/in which state of this here country I will be for Christmas. The lack of planning is not my own doing.

7. I promised, independent of all this Christmas preparation, that I would crochet some head-warmers (I did not know these were an item to have!) for my youngest sister, who is going to school in upstate NY. Luckily, they don’t take long to actually make and I sat down and did a pattern for myself last night.

I’m participating in the Christmas Novena – my intention being to keep my sanity and get everything I need to get done, done.

Here’s hoping that reading this list makes some of you feel accomplished in comparison to me! May the rest of your Advent be blessed!

More Quick Takes over at Conversion Diary.

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Friday, 9 December, 2011 Friday Freight Train

Friday Freight Train – Late Quick Takes

1. This blog is supposed to be (primarily) my spot for writing about the good and/or interesting things. Today has been a bit of a challenge to that. Example: by 9:30 this morning, I was already down one favorite earring and one co-worker.

2. Actually my “real” life has been shall-we-say challenging also lately, so I’ve been trying to find ways to deal. Some of these ways are have already been a source of entertainment to others, (my housemate nearly asphyxiated laughing at this factoid last night) so I’ll share the joy.

I, a *cough*ty*cough*-year-old woman, have started rewarding myself for doing “adult things” (ranging from the simple – washing my dishes, to the very difficult -emotionally charged conversations, going to the DMV) with stickers. To put in my planner.

3. Now that you’ve recovered from your laughter, I’ll squeeze another couple Takes out of that little “share.” I am ridiculously wired of late, (although my laptop is pretty geriatric) since I now own a laptop, cell phone, fancy camera, and schmancy i.Po.d, (with internet capability) but I still find my paper planner essential. Maybe because 90% of the time, the mere act writing something down guarantees that I’ll remember it.

4. The other 10% of the time, it’s as if by writing it down, I’ve already done the task and it is completely wiped from my memory. Not great.

5.  Because it makes me feel better:

"I need you to be my second." 'Ok.' 'What's a second?'

6.  Writing the sixth Take last, and I’m dry. Anyone want to argue about discuss the New Roman Missal?

7. Lest anyone disbelieve me about the craziness of mid-Atlantic weather, despite the cold last Friday, this week has been weird spring-like weather. (Until today which is rather like last Friday.) This is confusing the heck out of some plants.

It’s a terrible picture, but that is a blooming iris in front of a neighbor’s Christmas display.

Find more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.

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Wednesday, 7 December, 2011 Clothesday 2

Wednesday, Clothesday.  I got better pictures this time, but I am so fearfully uninspired that I am afraid to link up.

It gray and rainy and dreary here. Makes it hard to get excited about anything, especially clothing.


Yes, I blurred out my face. Is that bad protocol for this kind of post?  I did it partly out of caution about the dangers of the internets, and partly because I have my eyes closed and am wearing a goofy expression.

Also, I note from these photos that my posture is kind of poor.

This one taken to show the shoes, which are the only even vaguely fun part of this outfit.

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Tuesday, 6 December, 2011 Belated New Roman Missal Reax

I was going to wait until Thursday (when I will have been to Mass in English once more) to post some thoughts on the new translation of the Roman Missal, but here it is Tuesday and I’m scrounging for blog fodder.

This past weekend involved a surprise party (I was surprised), and I ended up at the “last chance” Mass on Sunday evening at a Traditionalist-leaning downtown church.

I will say that the new translation has lengthened that Mass (no music and oftentimes a speed-talking celebrant) from 35 minutes to a more respectable 50.

It was a mixed experience (for lack of a better adjective.)

On the one hand, some parts of the Mass in English that formerly set up a constant low level discord with the Latin in the back of my mind are wholly corrected, which I think is a great improvement. And I almost laughed out loud inappropriately at the “May the Lord accept the sacrifice” response, because the new translation is literally what I have had to restrain myself from saying  for years.

But the change is disconcerting, too, for various reasons.

The Crescat made the point a while back that is it perhaps easier to say memorized responses automatically, with an empty or distracted mind. That is true enough, but I find that memorization frees the mind to meditate on the meaning of the words and not the “mechanics” or effort of saying them, so in that way, even a good change can be an obstacle.

The mechanics of speaking the prayers was most difficult in the prayers where only a single line or a few words had been altered in the new translation and those alterations changed the rhythm in which the prayer was said. Where the changes don’t alter the rhythm, the whole congregation, myself included, did a bit better saying the responses.

Some of the prayers where only a line or two was re-translated were also a bit wince-inducing to me, because the rest of the old shoddy translation of the prayer was left intact, so the effect of a line or two of accurate translation was kind of like small, bright, annoying clean spots on a dirty floor.

The priest used Eucharistic Prayer III, which is, funnily enough, the Eucharistic Prayer I am most familiar with in Latin. (The pastor of my elementary and middle school years had a distinct preference for it.) The changes to the Eucharistic Prayers (and Collects and Secrets) are more extensive than the changes to the people’s responses and it was interesting to hear the new translation more fully on display.

But, boy, was it a mixed bag.

Some words and phrases were so parallel to the Latin, so Latin-esque, as to be distracting to me. (“In a similar way” during the consecration set “simili modo” ricocheting around in my mind.) And some phrases were just un-English and clunky and some were very English (” give kind admittance into your kingdom”) without violating the Latin*.

Very uneven overall was my first impression, but still generally an improvement.


*(The very English bits set me to wondering why we don’t just use a sanitized version of the first Anglican translations of the prayers – rather like the ages old English words of the “Our Father” and the response “Thanks be to God” – instead of this translate and re-translate business. I know, I know, theology, controversy, Protestants, etc.)