Saturday, September 30, 2006

Good Autumn Songs

It's almost October now, which I happen to think is the best month in the whole year. And I don't just feel that way because I was born in October either. The weather is getting cooler and a little rainy, and those are the perfect conditions for cute jackets and awesome cups of tea. I'm sure I'm not the only one, but the weather really affects the kind of music I like to listen to. In the summer I like more up beat stuff. In the winter I find myself listening to down right somber music. And in the autumn I find myself listening to music that is heartwrenchingly beautiful and sad. It's the kind of music that you could cry yourself to sleep to while paradoxically realizing how beautiful life really is. In honor if this season and these conflicting emotions, I have made a list of the top twenty songs for cold, rainy days. You will not find songs like Eddie Rabbitt's "I Love a Rainy Night" and the Carpenter's "Rainy Days and Mondays" on this list. These songs may have "rainy" in the title, but they do not evoke the kinds of emotions that would make them fitting for rainy days. This is because they are stupid, piece of crap songs with hardly any musical value. Sorry. I just can't find a more learned way to say it. This list is in no particular order, but I think that it would make a great soundtrack for this fall. So, without further ado, here are the songs.

1 Naked as We Came- Iron and Wine, or any song by Iron and Wine, really.
2 Your Ghost- Kristin Hersh
3 Perfect Day- Lou Reed
4 Benjamin- Veruca Salt
5 One Million Miles Away- J. Ralph
6 Fade into You- Mazzy Star
7 Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want- The Smiths
8 Pictures of You- The Cure
9 Night Swimming- REM
10 I'll Be Your Mirror- The Velvet Underground
11 New Slang- The Shins
12 Teardrop- Massive Attack
13 Of Angels and Angles- The Decemberists
14 Oh Comely- Neutral Milk Hotel
15 Breath In- Paloalto
16 Tonight and the Rest of My Life- Nina Gordon
17 Penelope- Pinback
18 Hallelujah- Rufus Wainwright/Leonard Cohen
19 Sleep- The Dandy Warhols
20 Hassle Free Harmony- Her Space Holiday

I know there are several other good songs. I had to leave off a lot from my list. So after you look over this list, make a comment and tell me your favorite autumn songs. Even if I don't know who you are and you just happen to being reading my blog for no apparent reason, I still want to know what your favorite autumn songs are. Please make a comment.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Act of Contrition draft

A couple of weeks ago I decided I was going to write my own Act of Contrition. The following is a draft. I suppose because it is a draft that it's open to criticism.

Oh God, I am gravely sorry for my transgressions against you.
Not only because I fear the depths of hell, which promise eternal torment,
but more importantly, because I have separated myself from you, who have promised me eternal joy. With your help I intend to do penance, take up my cross, and follow you, so that I may love you more perfectly.

Lord have mercy on me, a wretched sinner.


So, I don't know. It's pretty cut and dried, I guess. I like it though.

In a side note, sorry to anyone who read my last post. It was entirely too long and not very fun. I should have summed it up in the following way:

Friday-My friends imbibed a bunch of soda and I tested them on it.
Saturday- John Elias was baptized, some kids got a buzz off of 10 glasses of holy water, and the Schnerres threw an awesome party, in a completely grown-up, for married people with tons of kids sort of way.
Sunday-RCIA is cool,and I ate way too much at my Aunt Barb's. Like always.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Weekend Update

So, I had a pretty busy and interesting weekend. Let's recap.

On Friday, Anne, Peter, Laura, Dan, Paul (Dan's Brother), and Michaela came over and took part in "The Ultimate Soft Drink Showdown." We held a blind taste test to determine which cola is the best out of Pepsi, Coke, and RC. Coke won by two points over Pepsi. However, results were mixed when it came to who could correctly identify the three. Dan and Laura correctly identified all three colas. Yay for them. While some had a much more difficult time identifying them. One person in particular had a hard time accepting the implications that a negative identification between Coke and Pepsi had on her own self-identification. LOL. It was truly a life changing experiment. Afterward, some of us played The Great Dalmuti. Laura and Michaela looked great in the Lesser Peon hat! Meanwhile, Dan and Paul played Duckhunt on the old Nintendo.

On Saturday, I got up at 6 AM in order to be at John Elias' baptism down in Indy. John and Katie worship in the Byzantine Catholic rite, so John Elias' ceremony was much different than the one we have in the Roman rite and much longer, but I didn't mind. First, the baptism starts at the back of the church with the baby facing east. This is where the baby is exorcised. Then after the exorcism, the baby is taken up the the front of the church where all of his clothes are taken off and he is anointed with oil. After that, he is fully immersed in water. Then he received his conformation and first communion. They do most of the Sacraments at one time in the Byzantine rite. While all of this was going on, I saw two children who were attending the baptism get up and walk over to the holy water canisters. They turned the spigot and began drinking several glasses of holy water. Now, this kind of freaked me out because we don't drink holy water in the Roman rite. At least, I've never seen anyone do it. It also freaked me out because they each had, like, ten glasses each. I mean, they were guzzling it. After the baptism, I asked John if that was OK in his rite. He said it was, though the kids probably shouldn't have had 10 glasses of holy water in succession.

That evening, David and I went to a party for young married couples thrown by Mary and Bob Schnerre. It was an awesome party. David and I really enjoyed ourselves. Grant and Claire, the Antonios, John Paul and Katie, and and bunch of other really great people were there. Amazingly, there were 26 children ages 5 and under in one house at the same time. The most amazing part is that it really didn't seem that overwhelming, and there were several opportunities for baby holding. My favorite babies there were Peter Xavier Antonio and Margaret Schnerre. Very cute.

Today, right before 9:30 mass everyone went to the gym to meet the new RCIA people. When we were going into the gym, I jokingly asked David if he thought anyone who worked at Ivy Tech would be converting this year. You see, David and I work at Ivy Tech, and last year he and another person who worked at Ivy Tech both converted. Well, to our surprise someone who we know from working at Ivy Tech is in RCIA this year! How wild! If that isn't a reason to incorrectly use exclamation points, I don't know what is!

Finally, My Aunt Barb is having a dinner/birthday party for my cousin Nicole. This means that there will be at least 5 different appitizers and plenty of wine to start off with. Then, I have been told that we are having pork tenderloin, potatoes, salad, green beans, and rolls for dinner. Then, we will have birthday cake, pie, ice cream and coffee to finish. My Aunt always has truly epic Sunday dinners. I don't know how she does it. I also don't know how I'm supposed to stay in shape when I eat there. Oh well. I love her to pieces and I know she loves us, too.

Next post I'll be back to my old self with scathing and witty social commentary.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Papa B offends, irony ensues

Last Tuesday Benedict XVI gave a talk at the University of Regensburg in Bavaria. The theme of his speech was that faith must have reason. God is reason and only by reason can one have faith. He also condemned religious violence as an attempt to promote inter-faith relations. He went on to give an example by quoting Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus:

Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.

Granted, this to me does not seem like the most genteel quote to read when trying to reach out to Muslims. However, I am not the leader of the Church on earth, and therefore, there might be reasons why this quote seemed suitable that I am not aware of.

Yet, what ensued was completely uncalled for, and, in my opinion, absolutely proves the Pope's point. After our Muslim friends heard this, people from several countries burned and vandalized churches, harassed priests, and in one instance in Somalia, killed a nun. Evidently, these people either do not have an acute sense of irony, or they do not know the meaning of the words evil and inhuman. One would assume that if people were called evil and inhumane, those people might protest peacefully in order to prove that they are not. Instead, some people thought "I'll show the Pope I'm not evil and inhumane by killing an innocent and defenseless nun."

I do not hate Islam or Muslims. I do not think all Muslims are terrorists, and I am not ever afraid when I see a Muslim. Furthermore, I think the greatest majority of Muslims are defamed when the entire group is categorized as evil. However, after this occurrence, it makes it that much harder to dismiss the claims that Islam is a violent and hateful religion.

"Long live the Shepherd of the Flock! Long live the Pope of Rome!"

Monday, September 18, 2006

It's kind of funny who we consider national heroes these days. Take boxer Muhammad Ali for instance. This is a fairly despicable man if you look at his track record, but because he was clobbered in the head too many times and managed to get himself brain damage, we treat him like he is a demigod. It just goes to show that pain or heartache is the trump card when we consider the merit of a person. Case in point, many people will want to say to me, "Monica, you can't say that Muhammad Ali was an adulterer. For God's sake, he's got Parkinsons disease!" So what? That doesn't change the facts. And speaking of facts, lets look at them.

Cassius Clay, Ali's pre-Islam, becomes a member of the militant and racist organization, The Nation of Islam. Notable members include Malcom X and Louis Farrakhan.

In 1964, Ali, a brute who made his living thrashing other people, dodged the Vietnam draft because he was a "conscientious objector." I'm not making this stuff up. Really, the entire time when Ali was throwing punches at people's heads, he was trying to send a peace offering in the name of Islam.

The promoter of some of Ali's fights, was the one and only Don King, who served time in prison for killing a business partner.

Ali was a known womanizer, who has been married four times and has several children, two of which are from extramarital relationships.

And this is the guy to whom we give humanitarian awards. We laud him for his courage and uprightness. We name athletic centers for children after him. We let him light our Olympic torch. We let a draft dodger light the American Olympic torch. Has Ali done some good things for charity? Sure, after he was too old and to ill to pummel other bruisers, cheat on his wives, and spit vitriol about the white enemy.

We ought to look for heroes who have always done good deeds even when it didn't benefit them or their public image. We ought to praise people who make the right moral decisions even when it's hard and even when no one is looking. Mother Theresa is a great example of this. Instead, we are ready to canonize anyone as soon as a tragedy befalls them, no matter how much of a degenerate they were before said tragedy.

But perhaps I shouldn't attack Muhammad Ali's merit. He's got Parkinson's for God's sake.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Would you believe that it's over a week later and I'm still sick? I not on the verge of death or anything, but I will say that I'm only 75% recovered. This cold just refuses to move out of my lungs. This is a really sore spot for me because I just felt like my lungs were on the mend from the reflux, and now I have this. For the sake of refinement, I'll not divulge the full details of my illness. I mean, if courtesy does not separate us from the animals, what does? However, I will say that I am coughing up copious amounts of dark, and I mean really dark, yellow sludge. This leads David to believe that I have some sort of infection. So, I've spent the last week making sounds that would make a truck driver blush in order to banish this infection from my lungs. Even after all these sounds, David says he still loves me.

Now I would like to devote the next part of this post to blogs. Yes, I'm blogging on blogs. I think Foucault would call that a metablog.

I'm not sure how much good this blog is doing me, and I'll tell you why. First, I need to read five more chapters in Pat Barker's Regeneration for a class that meets in an hour. Instead, I'm writing to a maximum audience of five people about my snot. Not that I don't love those five people, by the way. Second, I'm really tired of writing about the mundane rituals that make up my life. Wake up, teach Latin, read or don't read a good or not good book, try to sound smart about book I have or have not read yet, etc. I've really tried to keep my boring life out of this blog as much as possible. The point at the beginning of this thing was to tell about funny stories that happen to me. But as soon as I created this blog, I had a drastic drop in funny things that happen to me. Weird. So, my boring life has crept in. And then I think, why does it matter? Blogs are like the medicine cabinet of the internet. Everyone likes to have a little peak even if all it contains is the same stuff you yourself have. Nevertheless, I am going to try to liven things up by telling funnier stories of giving outrageous opinions on various topics. And I will keep blogging because I think it's kind of therapeutic.

First outrageous opinion: I hate the UN. I hate global government, and I hate any bureaucrat sticking their nose in my business. Especially corrupt ones from other countries. Four words for the UN: League of Nations, bitches!

Second outrageous opinion: I hate monarchies and monarchists.

Third outrageous opinion: I hate super-elitist colleges that promote monarchy, racism, and all around priggishness, one in particular.

Well kids, I'll see ya on the flip side.

Friday, September 08, 2006

"Here am I, dying of a hundred good symptoms."

Alexander Pope

I am very sick. My body is cooking itself at extreme temperatures in order to get better. I hope it knows what it's doing.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

David and I have become addicted to a television series called Rome. We have been renting the season one DVD's from family video because we don't have cable. Even if we did have cable, we wouldn't be able to watch Rome because it's an HBO series. We are only on the 5th show of season one, so Julius Caesar hasn't even been named emperor yet. However, he has marched on Rome is going to fight Pompey very soon. I can't believe how accurate most of the show is. It really shows all of the plots, subplots, planning, and conniving that it took to make Caesar the emperor. All the main characters are in it: JC, Octavius/Augustus, Marc Antony, Pompey, Cato, Cicero, and Brutus. And all of the actors are really good. David doesn't like the actor who plays Cicero because he, Cicero, is a sniveling, snotty kind of guy. David had always imagined Cicero as more powerful. I kind of like the guy. I mean, Cicero was a powerful orator, but I get the feeling that he was also a person who people wanted to shut up as soon as he started to speak. And the actor who plays Cicero really pulls off that part well.

The only problem with the whole series is that there is a lot of sex and nudity in it. Now, I know that Rome was a filthy dirty sex pit, so I won't fault the show for accuracy. However, I have seen full frontal and backal nudity of both sexes, and it's a little much. I don't think it's sinful that we watch the show because we don't watch it for the sex, and Rome can be educational at times. And no, I don't mean sex-educational. But I surely do wish the sex scenes we more modest. I don't know. That's how I'm rationalizing it, anyway.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

So, as everyone on this planet knows by now, it has been revealed that Pluto is not a planet. Evidently, this makes some people very angry. I think I heard that some people were even considering declaring war on NASA. My first reaction was "who cares?" I have more interesting and exotic planets to worry about, like say, Earth. And just because Pluto isn't a planet, that doesn't mean that it has ceased to exist. In fact, maybe Pluto feels relieved to shrug off its planetary constraints and responsibilities.

Maybe another reason why I am so unaffected by this news is that I knew it was bound to happen. No, I am not an expert astronomer. I'm not even an amateur astronomer. However, I am a Classics major, and according to some people, that makes me smarter than the 99.73 percent of Earth's inhabitants who are not Classics majors. I will show everyone why Pluto was bound to meet it's fate as a lowly dwarf planet using my special Classics knowledge.

Here goes. Pluto was the Roman god of the underworld. You may know him better as Hades, which is the name most of the Greeks knew him by. There were twelve gods of Greek and Roman mythology who resided on Mt. Olympus. The Greeks and Romans had several more gods, but these were the only ones who got to party and have sex romps on Olympus. The Olympians are as follows: Jupiter, Juno, Apollo, Diana, Mars, Venus, Ceres, Neptune, Hestia/Bacchus, Minerva, Mercury, Vulcan (Note- these are all the Roman names). Pluto was not allowed to party on Olympus because he was a lame, mopey guy who constantly had to keep an eye on the underworld. Now, think of our solar system as Mt. Olympus. We have Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Neptune, Mercury, Earth, Saturn, who is the god of cars, and Uranus, who is the god of ....well, never mind. Pluto is not allowed in our pantheon of planets for the same reason that the god Pluto was not allowed on Olympus. Its a lame, mopey planet that rules over the underworld of space. So I say let's stop blubbering over Pluto and start engaging in some inter- galactic planetary space parties the way it was intended to be.

Until next time, remember kids: Mary's Violet Eyes Make John Stay Up Nights (no Period)