Monday, March 31, 2008

The Accuracy of NFP Finally Takes Its Toll

Yeeaaaah, Sure. It's all the NFP.

VATICAN CITY - Islam has surpassed Roman Catholicism as the world's largest religion, the Vatican newspaper said Sunday.

"For the first time in history, we are no longer at the top: Muslims have overtaken us," Monsignor Vittorio Formenti said in an interview with the Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano. Formenti compiles the Vatican's yearbook.

He said that Catholics accounted for 17.4 percent of the world population — a stable percentage — while Muslims were at 19.2 percent. ASSOCIATED PRESS

Shit. Well, I guess David and I are going to have to start making babies now. I can't stand being #2. Catholic Baby Havers Unite!!! Or we could try to convert some people or something.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Potential Problem

I've been thinking a lot lately about potential and how maybe for the first time in my life I don't have any. I'm not sure if that sounds arrogant or sad, and maybe it's both. I'm not necessarily depressed about the potential problem or anything, but it has led me to some interesting reflections.

Americans, and maybe every society, love a person with potential. When I was in school- high school, college, grad school- I was always asked about my plans and what I intended to do with my degrees, and it all sounded very interesting- precisely for the fact that I hadn't done any of it yet. I would tell people what I wanted to do and I would get wrapped up in the idea of just being able to do those things...someday, and that kind of potential is fun and attractive. Having the potential to teach English at a community college is much cooler than actually doing it(and I like my job). And now, at parties and get-togethers, I love talking to people who haven't graduated yet because I get to imagine with them what they could do, and it's exciting. It's much more fun talking about the future with a person in law school than it is talking about the future with a lawyer.

This doesn't just happen with school and jobs either. When David and I were engaged so many people would ask about the wedding, where we were going to live, our plans, and on and on and on. And it is fun to talk to engaged people because they have their entire lives together before them, none of it has happened yet, and it's fun to see all that potential. I think that's why older people love to ask young couples when they are going to get engaged; they want to be excited about the future. But almost two years after our wedding, no one cares about how long we've been married, and they certainly don't care that we were once engaged. And I'm not saying people should. I mean, honestly, who doesn't get married? Almost everyone does it, even people who are terrible at it, so I don't feel special about it. Yet when I was engaged to be married, oh man, people thought that was sumpthin' special. But no, after people are married, they have to move on to the next big potential thing: having a baby.

How do I know that I've milked my marriage for all its potential? People are starting to ask me when I'm going to have a baby. And having a baby is exactly like to two examples above. During the nine months of expectancy, people are positively beside themselves about what could be with their friend's baby. What are you going to name it? How far along are you? Do you have the baby's room ready? And to be fair, pregnant women deserve some excitement about their potential. Just from an outsider's perspective, it looks like it sucks being pregnant, so these women should at least have people asking them fun questions. But what happens after the baby is born? Well, they have a baby. They have the thing they were expecting. I certainly don't make a big to-do about the fact that someone has a baby every time I see them the way I did when that same person was pregnant. That would be weird. "Oh, you have a baby." "Oh, you still have a baby" "What's it like still having a baby?"

So maybe fulfilling one's potential is never as exciting as possessing that potential . That doesn't mean the fulfillment isn't better- just maybe less interesting. I'd rather be working than back in school (most days), I'd rather be married than engaged, and I'm sure most women would rather have their children on the outside instead of the inside. But still, it's nice to have some potential. I don't know when I'll get some potential back, but I'll be excited when I get it.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

How Many Babies Can Fit in a Tire?

The title of this post is from a movie that I cannot go a day without quoting- Waiting For Guffman. I consider the fact that I quote it daily one of my most obnoxious qualities, and I have scores of obnoxious qualities. In the movie, the main character, Corky St. Clair, says, "It's a Zen thing, like how many babies can fit in a tire." This is such a brilliant line because he's poking fun at that old Thomist query, "how many angels can fit on the head of a pin?" And why bring this up now? Well...

I've been reading Chesterton's biography of St. Thomas Aquinas. It's cool because ol' GK is doing some of that Augustine/Aquinas, Plato/Aristotle stuff that I love. Even though Chesterton is sometimes annoyingly over the top and almost always distracted, his Aquinas bio is still a good, fun read.

So anyway, I've been thinking quite a bit about that portly,profound theologian lately and I came up with what I thought was a pretty funny pun: St. Thomas Aquinas was the world's first deep fat friar. Whoo, I'm still laughing. God, that would be great if I was the first person to ever think of that, but I doubt that I am. It's the first I've ever heard of it though. Oh, I tell you, this steel trap is sharp. I'm off now to ponder how many cats I can fit in a dryer.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

My Husband Is A Monkey

This is what happened when my monkey-husband decided to jump on the bed

From a chair stacked on a hope chest

In what can only be described as a WWF style, top of the ropes, spinning elbow drop.

Why? Because he finished changing a light bulb and thought it would be fun to jump from the chair onto the bed. David says it'll just take a 2X4 and a couple of nails to fix. I remain skeptical. Currently, our bed cannot support 3 out of its 4 slats. I would say this is the kind of thing for which David would find himself sleeping on the couch tonight, but I think it's obvious that we'll both be sleeping there. I told David that the only reason why it's funny is because we're comfortable enough in our finances that we could buy a new bed if need be. If we were poor, I would not be laughing nearly as much. Oh, man. At what age or stage in our life was responsibility supposed to kick in? Because I clearly don't think it has for the O'Neils.

Monday, March 03, 2008

My Alter Ego

Okay, I already Myspaced about this, but then I realized that some of you don't have Myspace. I would Facebook about it, but I'm just not that Facebooky yet. I feel like I'm already committed to Myspace and if I committed equally to Facebook I'd have to quit my job just to keep up. Anyway...I was grading some papers last night and came across two mistakes in my name that led me to invent a teaching alter ego.

I make everyone put their name, my name, the assignment, and the date at the top of the paper just like every teacher does. And as I was looking over someone's paper last night, I noticed that my first name was not Monica but, in fact, it was really Maniac. Imagine my surprise. I thought about the possibility that this person was insulting me, but then I decided that they just didn't know how to spell my name. When the infallible red squiggle showed up, this person just changed the name to the first option. So Maniac it is.

Then, I have another person who has been calling me O'Bryan all semester long. And really, aren't all Irish pretty much the same? I could get upset about this, but my real last name has only been my last name for a year and a half, so in some ways I feel like O'Neil is my Rent To Own name instead of my married name. Maybe after five years I'll feel like an O'Neil. Maybe not, but that's for a different post.

So after being called both Maniac and O'Bryan last night, I decided I would adopt both names as my teaching/grading alter ego. I informed David of this by saying things like "Maniac O'Bryan's not gonna take any shit from you" or "Maniac O'Bryan likes 12pt Times New Roman" or "Maniac O'Bryan loves the smell of red ink." And I said all of this while punching the air and stomping my feet. Well, he thought I was going crazy, so you can imagine his relief when I told him that I had just adopted a teaching/grading altar ego. Whew!! I mean, crazy people don't do that.

So that's just a little insight into what I do for a living. The fun never stops.