Thursday, August 30, 2007

From Cinci

Greetings from The Queen City, The City of Seven Hills, The Blue Chip City, Cin Cin Naughty, The 'Nati, or my personal favorite, Porkopolis. We're in Cinci now and we are trying to work, move, and adjust to the city all at the same time. What I've seen of Cincinnati I like so far. Our street is even more eclectic than I first described. Everyone who lives, works, or shops on our street has multiple tattoos and looks like they belong to a band I'd listen to. I am definitely feeling uncool. Orientation at work yesterday long and unhelpful, as those things always are. I came to work today to get some unresolved issues out of the way. You know, little things like what time I teach, where I teach, who my boss is. Mostly everyone just looked at me like I was in the way and was worrying about nothing. So now I've annoyed everyone in my department. Awesome. The walk to work will be great exercise,and I'm actually happy about that. It's a little over a mile each way and it's uphill on the way back. Oh, and once I've walked my mile to work I still have 126 steps to climb before I get to the building. (Cincinnati is a very hilly town.) So I might not even have to join an exercise class. Though if I want to, there is a yoga studio connected to our apartment.

Basically everywhere I go I feel like the woman in the Visa commercial who tries to pay with cash. Everything is running like clockwork until I show up. Then I mess up the finely tuned routine everyone is in by asking for directions, getting in the wrong line for coffee, driving the wrong way down one way streets, etc. It will be nice once we are settled. We come back to Lafayette tonight in order to pack the moving truck tomorrow. We'll start packing the truck around 9:30 and leave, I hope, around 1:00. If you want to stop by during that time to say goodbye, please do. Although, I have to warn you that you might be contracted to move a box or two.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Panem et Circenses

After a couple of months of consideration, I've decided to change the name of my blog. I don't really write about anything too important on this blog, so "Panem et Circenses" seems fitting. Plus, I just like the sound of it. The quote comes from Juvenal:

nam qui dabat olim
imperium, fasces, legiones, omnia, nunc se
continet atque duas tantum res anxius optat,
panem et circenses.

Basically he's saying that Romans used to value their form of government and did their duties as citizens. But now everyone cares about just two things: bread and circuses. Since it's the title of my blog, I suppose I should really put it in nominative case, but "Panis et Circenses" doesn't have the same ring. Anyway, I'm going to keep the title on a trial basis to see how I like it. If I don't like it after a couple of weeks,(or if the fact that it's in the wrong case starts to bug me)I'll change it or go back to the old title. Feel free to tell me what you think of the new title! Does it have the ring of a person lording their worthless education over other people? One can only hope.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Thanks to everyone who came out to our party last night. We had so much fun and were glad to properly say goodbye to so many of you. The party didn't officially end until 5:00 this morning when the last of the revelers pulled up a piece of floor in our living room and slept there. I, on the other hand, have not slept in 31 hours. After the party ended I had to switch over to Long Walk Matron and make breakfast for all the participants. This amounted to 5 dozen scrambled eggs (I went a little over board there), two packages of bacon, and two packages of hash browns. How is the Long Walk going? Well, I'll leave that to David, though I am planning a psychological deconstruction of the whole thing in a couple of days. Now I must prepare for my nephew's baby shower this evening.

Thanks again to everyone who came. It was a blast. Seeing all of you at once will certainly make it harder to leave, but it reminded us of how truly blessed we are to have so many wonderful friends.

Friday, August 24, 2007

On Tolerance

From the title of the post you might be thinking that I'll be lecturing people about accepting everyone as they are and cooperating to make this world a better place. You might especially assume this if you have been reading or participating in the recent debates on Anne's blog, where the topics of "craziness" and "big boy beds" have incited near riots. But I'm actually writing on something much more important. Alcohol.

When I was younger, say around 19-21, I could drink 8 beers and a couple of mixed drinks, fall asleep on somebody's kitchen floor with a sombrero on around 3:00 am, and wake up around 8:00 am and go for a jog. Perhaps it was because I was partying with a bunch of guys at an all guys school, but I felt like I had to keep up. And keep up I did. After the Wabash days, I furthered my drinking career by becoming the Irish Car Bomb drinking champ. This is a title I still hold today, and although I drink considerably less, I plan to defend it until death or pregnancy. Though it has a crude name, the concoction is quite a good if you imbibe it quickly enough. If you don't drink it quickly enough, it becomes a demon in a glass. This drink consists of a Guinness, a half shot of Irish whiskey and a half shot of Irish cream. When quaffed correctly it tastes like an alcoholic chocolate milkshake. When consumed incorrectly it tastes and looks like expired chocolate cottage cheese. Now, obviously, I've never seen myself drink one of these things, but I've heard I'm fast. I have, however, seen my biggest competition, Grant Freeman and my own cousin Matthew Arnett, drink one. I am amazed at the speed with which they drink, and if I can consistently beat them, then I must really have an amazing talent. Some people have genius IQs, some people can drink beer really fast. All talents are God-given, right? That's what I keep telling myself.

I have to insert at this point that after my college partying days, I never strove to "get drunk". This is a mortal sin and by the time I turned 22, I realized it. So if you drink and can't be drunk, how do you monitor yourself? There are many names for the point of non-drunkenness. I call it the "grey area". This is the large area between sober and drunkenness that you can rightfully stay in without shaming yourself. John Russell calls it the "point of hilarity". This is where you drink until you are in good spirits, but you stop once you are at that point.

Now I am at the ripe old age of almost 26, and I can count the times I have consumed more than one drink in a sitting on one hand, no maybe one ands a half hands, in the past year. I just don't like drinking all that much anymore. A statement like this would get my Catholic card revoked in many communities and parishes, so I have kept this a secret for a bit. I mean, what's the point of drinking? If I am only going to have one drink, then it just amounts to extra calories. If I have more then that, I risk drunkenness. Further, I say stupid things, embarrass myself, and trip over stuff daily. I don't need alcohol to help me do that anymore.

And with this revelation, my tolerance has taken a huge hit over the years. In fact, I had four drinks last night over the course of 6 or 7 hours. This morning I woke up convinced that a little man with a jackhammer had started a construction project on my skull. While trying to block out the pulse-like throbbing in my head, I reflected on my earlier days when last night's expedition would have been considered "pre-gaming" for the real party. This brought on equal parts of awe and horror.

I am so glad I don't drink like I did in college. It's funny to say it that way because I have only been out of college for three months. Perhaps I should say "early college". Alcohol has lots of empty calories, it is bad for organs(internal and musical. Don't ask.), and it usually makes me look like an even bigger idiot than I already am. And I say all of this knowing full well that I will drink, probably right up the the edge of the grey-black area, at the party tonight. See you there!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Party On. Excellent.

David and I have decided to throw a going away party.... for ourselves. Yes, we'll be the guests of honor and all of you out there reading are invited (that is if we know you).

We went to the store last night and bought burgers, chicken, steaks, soda, chips, beer, brownies, cookies, etc. There will be music and beanbag toss too. We want everyone to come, so spread the word to all who you think might like to wish us goodbye. Here's the vital information.

David and Monica's Going Away Party

Date- Friday, August 24th

Place- O'Neil Castle. Call or email if you need directions.

Time- Cookout starts at 5:00 so all you people with little ones can make it. At 8:30 we will take a couple of minutes to send off the Long Walkers. Party will resume around 8:45 or 9:00 sans Long Walkers.

We have all the main dishes, but if you'd like to bring a side that would be great.

We decided to have the going away party the same night as the Long Walk commencement because a bunch of our friends are going to be in town for that anyway. RSVP here on the blog, or call, or just come. But please do come. We want to see all of you one last time.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


Well, we started packing today. All I have to say is that we have WAAAAAAAAAAY too many books. Doesn't sound possible, does it? It's true. I brought an entire truck bed full of boxes home today, and all but the very biggest boxes have been filled to the brim with books. I can't imagine what it's like when professors have to move.

Monday, August 13, 2007

What's in a Name?

Ol' Shakesy asked the above question in Romeo and Juliet, and I've been thinking about names, specifically naming children, since Laura posted last week on the name Lawrence. You see, I have scores of great names picked out for our future children. I want to name my children after early saints and classical and literary figures. But whenever I let slip a name I'm contemplating, the same trite argument rears its head. This argument is known as The Infallible Playground Doctrine set forth by the Senate of Concerned Grandparents, Nosy Friends, and Boring Aunts in 1895. The argument can be summed up as the following: "You can't name your child that!!! He'll be made fun of and be beaten up on the playground for sure." And from this argument, many great names have been shot down in favor of more normal or common names. I'm here today to write against the above doctrine and promote a new one. This new argument is called They Are My Kids and I am Going to Name Them Whatever The Hell I Want, So Shut Up. I have three basic arguments against the Playground Doctrine.

1. They are my kids and I am going to name them whatever the hell I want, so shut up.
If my husband and I agree to name our first son Xenophanes Hezekiah Milkbone BB Gun Josephus Snowglobe O'Neil, that's what we're going to name him. Why? Because it's our baby, we made him, and we're going to name him. I must say that I have no problem with common names. In fact, I like a lot of them. I love the names John, Michael, David, etc. And I am not going to purposely give my child an uncommon name just for the sake of it being uncommon. But if I find myself drawn to an uncommon name, I'm not going to be detracted by some old lady.

Let's do a little informal poll. How many of you were ever made fun of on the playground? I'm guessing 100%. Now, how many of you were made fun of on the playground for something other than your name? I'm guessing close to 100%. From this we can deduce that giving your child a common name will not prevent him or her from being made fun of on the playground. My children are going to have red hair, pale skin, little knowledge of pop culture, and possibly 700 food allergies. If they are made fun of for their name only, it would be a massive blessing. I mean, children are made fun of for coming to school with dried up snot rivers mixed with dirt running down their faces, and yet parents still send them to school that way. Kids are made fun of for weighing 300 pounds in the 2nd grade, and yet parents still send them to school that way. So what, in God's name, is wrong with sending your kid to school with a name like Aloysius? And yet the parents of the 300 pound 2nd grader with snot rivers are the people telling me that I just can't name my kid Augustine Leonidas O'Neil. Well, I can and I will.

3. An odd name with personal meaning and importance is preferable to a common or popular one without.
Go to the mall and yell out the name Dakota. See how many children turn their heads. If it's less than 4,000 I'd be surprised. Now yell out the name Augustine. If one kid turns his head I would be equally surprised. Perhaps all 4,000 children were named Dakota because their parents were inspired by that part of the country. That's fine, but I am not inspired by that part of the country. At least, not enough to name my kid that. Maybe my cat. Nah, I wouldn't even name my cat that. The point is that the name should mean something to the parents and they should pass that meaning on to their child.

Finally, I've known lots of people with odd names, and as far as I know none of them died of shame one the playground. These names include Leaf, Patience, Song, Glade, Prentice, and so on. When contemplating the names of your children, disregard the playground argument, and whatever you do, don't regurgitate it.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

It Turned on Hot

My mother has this weird saying whenever the weather cools down quickly. She'll say, "It turned off cold". I would just attribute this to a regional saying, but I've never heard anyone but my mother and her twin sister say it. And now David and I say it because we think it's funny and it reminds me of my mom. It's not a mean spirited funny. We just think it's a neat saying. Well, it has not turned off cold in about a week here, so David and I have taken the saying one step further. We've started saying that "it turned on hot". Obviously it doesn't have quite the same ring, but it works just the same. Anyway, it has turned on hot, and as Laura says, there isn't much to do when it's this hot besides stay in and watch movies.

Movies I have watched in the past week include Diary of a Country Priest, The Cutting Edge, Rob Roy, a documentary on the Green Berets, and a documentary on Angola prison in Louisiana, a prison where 85% of the inmates will die there. On Friday, while David is walking in honor of the BVM on the pilgrimage, I'll be hosting a deconstruction of the movie 300. Perhaps a better word for what we are doing would be, in the words of Clayton Lein, an excavation. Yes, I know that this movie is based more on a graphic novel and less on the actual battle of Thermopylae, but dammit, I was a classics major and I have got to use my degree somehow. We'll be pointing out the inconsistencies in the movie compared to the historical account. A little snarky and misguided perhaps, but like I said, what the hell else am I supposed to do with this degree? On Saturday I have committed myself to walking the last eight miles of the pilgrimage for the BVM and OLSJC. On Sunday, I'll be heading down to Indy to watch Harry Potter in the IMAX theater. Also slated for this week is a documentary on the salt farmers of Tibet and another documentary on an anthropological hoax in Brittan. Documentaries are quickly becoming my favorite genre of movie. Many of my friends already giggle when I start a conversations by saying "I was just watching a documentary on...." Well, this is as good a place to end the post as any. Pray it turns off cold soon.

Monday, August 06, 2007

Survey says...

I guess I'm trying to avoid writing a real post. This was originally a list of 70 questions, but I picked out the ones I felt like answering. So here.


Do you believe in God:
I believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen. I believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in being with the Father. Through Him all things were made. For us men and our salvation He came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit, He was born of the Virgin Mary , and became man. For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate; He suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day He rose again in fulfillment of the scriptures: He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son, He is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets. I believe in one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. I look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Ever lived outside of the US:
I wouldn't say lived. More like extended visits.

What is your dad's name:
Joseph Anthony Matthew Arnett

What are your siblings' names:
Anthony Ross Ignatius Arnett
Alexander Nicholas Joseph Arnett

What is your dream car:
Dictator Mercedes. You know the type. All the cool despots have one.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Patagonia, New Zealand, Chipotle.

Favorite type of Food?
Sugar. Refined and granulated.

Song you are listening to right now:
"I Am a Scientist" -Guided by Voices version, not the Dandy Warhols version.

What are your current fav songs?:
"I Am a Scientist" I've had it in my head for weeks now. "Cemetery Gates"- The Smiths, "Silent Fortress"- Pinback.

What was the last movie you watched?:
Diary of a Country Priest. Tonight I'm watching The Cutting Edge with some girlfriends. Toe Pick!!

What are you afraid of?
Terminal illness, germs, having children.

How many pets do you have:
I have an imaginary orange kitten named Graham after Graham Greene. I hope to make him real once we move to Cincinnati.

Have you ever loved someone:
Yes, and I happen to be married to him.

What do you usually order from Starbucks:
Iced Mocha

Are you missing someone?
I'm already missing all my family and friends and I haven't even moved yet. I think my friend Buffy could relate.

Whats your mom's name?
Rebecca Carlene Crowell Arnett

What books are you reading:
How Right You Are, Jeeves- PG Wodehouse. Mrs. Schafer loaned it to me and I have to read it and give it back before I leave.

Favorite basketball team:
Actually, I am a really big fan of Purdue Women's basketball team.

Favorite cereal:
I don't eat cereal anymore. David convinced me that cereal is loaded with too much sugar (even the kinds that are supposed to be good for you). So now I just drink iced coffees for breakfast.

Do you drive:
Yes. I kind of like driving as long as it isn't on 26, 52, or any major highway where people drive way too fast. I drive a 1991 Ford Ranger with a chrome cobra head for a shifter and a "Papist" bumper sticker.