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Friday, 7 September, 2012 Quick Takes


Like our lovely hostess, I am an introvert. This week I spent Sunday through Tuesday entertaining my sister (on Monday one of her friends, as well), I spent Tuesday and Wednesday evening with one of my housemates, last night I made dinner for my housemate and a friend, aaand I have plans to see friends Saturday and Sunday.  I already feel wrung out. Next week you may find me hiding in my room.

2.I fear being recognized as a creepy stalker revealing publicly how many blogs I read and how avidly, but, really, I love the Catholic blogo-sphere. Even though it sometimes serves to deepen and emphasize the various arguments and resentments among Catholics, more often it teems with the life of the Catholic mind, to wit (ha ha): blogging help and “tech-y” stuff, literary analysis, drink-spewing-out-the-nostrils humor, perspective from a linguist and an engineer, pop culture, serious considerations on living out the Catholic faith in many circumstances – none of it cloying or uniform and all of it at a level of writing I wish I could half-way achieve.

This is why I don’t buy print magazines anymore.

3. In the garden:

First (and likely last) fruits

A squirrel (I suspect) stole the larger one before I got around to picking it. Sadness is an untasted tomato.

4. Apparently the place to grow Italian parsley is not in a sunny garden bed.

Parsley in the ground – rock for scale.

It appears to prefer the garage roof.

Parsley on the roof.

5. I really need to order kale seeds for the fall.

6.  There’s a post kicking around in my brain, and maybe if I write out the beginnings now, I’ll put it in full-length form some day.

Speaking of the dark side of the Catho-sphere, I realized in chatting with my housemate yesterday evening (what to wear to a wedding rehearsal dinner) that the word “modesty” now automatically makes me cringe. This is not just because I intemperately read intemperate posts on the subject – I’ve encountered my fair share of the (invariably female) Catholic “modesty police” in person.

However, I don’t want to discuss modesty (here’s a great post if you need one), but rather to explore why the scorched earth wars knife fights discussions amongst Catholics on this particular virtue get so “internet-fighty”  (as the husband of a friend of mine says) so quickly. And whether such discussions in their present form are necessary/good at all. Briefly:

Modesty as a virtue is not restricted to a dress-code or “modesty in dress.”

When discussing matters of dress with fellow Catholics, I think it is unhelpful, unfair, uncharitable, and unrealistic to assume that those fellow-Catholics don’t or haven’t given thought to how they live and feel no need to resist conforming to this world. I don’t think it’s just to assume that your co-religionists blithely consult current culture (especially Cosmo magazine!) for guidance on these matters. It’s possible some do – but I think it is more fair, charitable, helpful and realistic to start by giving people the benefit of the doubt.

It is also problematic to assume that there’s only one correct way of setting oneself aside from the destructive elements of this world.

In my experience, the Catholics I encounter – in person and on the interwebs – even those whose catechesis has been lacking, do have a sense of responsibility to be “in this world but not of it.” Rather than harp on and on about pants, or skirts, or cleavage, or headcoverings, or swimsuits, why not discuss how we (as individuals guided by the Church) manage to be in the world but not of it and how we might encourage our children and those we meet to do the same.

And maybe this does not need a full-length post.

7.  I should incur some sort of blog penalty for writing on modesty and not contributing much that is positive, but at least I’ve avoided ranting about politics!  However, I have many, many bad blogger habits and so I hereby resolve that next week,  I will not only put up Quick Takes, but go and comment on other blogs too.

More Quick Takes at Conversion Diary


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Friday 10 August, 2012 Quick Takes

1. So… I missed last week’s Quick Takes because I was in Minnesota for a friend’s wedding. I’m very happy for said friend who waited a long time for this. But I think I don’t know any single people any more!

2. A couple other things I’ve missed lately:

I totally have not been watching the Olympics – I don’t own a TV – but I’ve saw snippets here and there on the televisions in the hotel, so I know it’s happening. However, I saw this story before the Games began, and all I could think was: Is Darren Nichols directing the Opening Ceremony?

3. The Chic.k-fil-a flap: I think the initial outcry and media fuss over Dan Cathy’s interview was an example of media malfeasance – an attempt by members of the news media to promote secular fascism – deceptive and despicable. Really, there should be public outcry over that kind of behavior in the media. But as for the “buycott”… I just really don’t like Ch.ick-fil-a. It’s better than KF.C, but that’s like saying Velve.eta is better than spray “cheese” (shudder.)

4. Any brave people willing to share thoughts/experiences about spiritual direction? Pretty please!

5. Back around the March for Life, I was tempted by Twitter. I never really got into it. However, I am completely taken in by Pinterest. I’ll put up a button just as soon as I figure out how to do it.

6.  A friend sent me this last week. I have a strong preference for Mac (been a user since 5th grade/the era of 8″ floppy disks), but this is angering and horrifying. Also, I feel very justified in my attachment to internet anonymity.  No real names here!

7. About that garden/picture thing: I am discovering that I am too much of a perfectionist for “after” pictures! Must. weed. a. little. more.

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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.


Friday, 11 November, 2011 Quick Takes

So, I guess I’m really going to be all legitimate with this blog, and try to attract, *gulp, actual readers. I set myself  the goal for this week of participating in the famous Conversion Diary Quick Takes, so here I go.  I’m kind of freaking out.

Self-Conscious Bloggy Quick Takes

1. I can’t believe I’m doing this; inviting people to this blog, and even leaving up my terrible, wordy post on posting! Not all the layout of this blog is the way I want it, and I’m not totally happy with the garden page yet, either. (Can’t figure out spacing with text and photos.)

2. But: Welcome, Readers!!! 🙂

3. I’m happy I have enough posts to fill more than one screen, but sad my only Slings & Arrows reference has fallen off the front page, so I give you:

4. Photo of the week:

Sidewalk arch

N.B. It is difficult to pick/put up a photo of the week if you only take 4 photos during the whole week.  This was surreptitiously snapped during my commute this morning.

5. Interesting fact & iffy idea: First the fact: I have had a blog since before the word “blog” was popularly used. Way back in the hintertimes (ok, 11 *gasp, heartattack, years ago) I had a diary on a now defunct Live Journal-type site called “Open Diary.” Back then, I had readers (no really!)

Now the idea: the blogging bug must be really infectious, because I doubt I would have even countenanced this thought pre-blog, but I was thinking of doing a series of clothes posts. Not that I’m a girly-girl or have great fashion sense, because I don’t.

But coming from California, I find it difficult to dress appropriately for the seasons in DC. (Don’t let anyone tell you that the mid-Atlantic has the traditional four seasons. No, the seasons here are: sauna, first winter, second winter, a brief period of unsettled weather (sometimes called “spring”) and then it’s back to sauna again.)

Plus, both DC and my particular job require a level of formality in dress that is unusual for Californian me.  Also, I’d like to throw some common sense (I flatter myself) pebbles into the constant low-level kurfuffle burbling along in the female portion of Catholic blogdom over modesty in dress. I think the whole skirts v. pants* thing is silly. And I don’t think there’s anything morally superior (or even extra-feminine) about adhering to a Colleen Hammond* type standards of dress.

But, I dunno, maybe it’s a really lame idea.

6.  Happy Veterans’ Day to all the vets (esp. my brother) and all those in the military!

7. I cannot close this list without also wishing you all a very superlative Nigel Tufnel day.

“These go up to…”

Find more Quick Takes at Conversion Diary.


*Well, I put Colleen Hammond in my post. And pants. Let the increased traffic flame wars begin!