Sunday, October 28, 2012

I neglect my blog updates

Oh well, I'm busy and have a "real" life (not actually as you will see soon)... and a LOT has been going on.

1) I don't actually think I mentioned it here, but at the end of last month my father was hit by a car while riding a bike (not his, actually). He never went unconscious, but he was temporarily paralyzed completely. It was very scary for my mother... it would have been very scary for me if my mother had bothered to call my cell phone more than once... (when you see one phone call from your mother that was a couple of hours ago and it's now 9:30, you don't think, "Oh wow, I should call her back RIGHT NOW!" I was planning on calling her during lunch the next day). The word only got to me because her next door neighbor found my work number and got ahold of me there (freaked me out by giving me no mention of who he is but talking to me sternly as soon as I answered the phone, I honestly thought it was another phone stalker [I had one my first year of college]). Anyway, by the time I found out, he was able to move every appendage and talk so it looked like he was going to be okay. I'm planning on visiting them in DC this weekend, but I called them and said I don't want to hit any huge storms on the way, cause it looks like there will be tons of rain all over our route.

2) My spiritual director is back in the country and safe. I lost 10 pounds while he was missing, not a diet I recommend, but I was starting to not fit into many of my clothes, so this was good. I've been able to keep off  most of that by not snacking. I'm so glad he's back but as he tells his story, I am more and more scared. The situation in Greece is a true nightmare. Apparently one of the fastest growing parties there is a neo-nazi party, which is anti immigrant, and anti Catholic. Father was basically going to Greece to be a Vatican diplomat... I'm amazed he got out alive.

3) I don't like my town. I have nothing more than a couple of acquaintances (oh, and I guess a husband, too). Let's just say that this town really sucks if you are a bit of a shy extrovert. Also, I don't fit in with the people here. I'm used to towns with culture... people... traffic that at least makes sense...I don't believe that to be a Trad you have to have ugly skirts, 12 children by the time you've been married 10 years, and... ya. I've met one guy that I think will get along with James and me really well when he graduates from Christendom. Funny enough he played organ at our wedding... and then we met him a month or two later through crazy happenstance! There is also another girl that I *love* but she lives a bit far away and unless she finds a job closer (which she wants to) it's a bit crazy for her to come and hang out a lot.

4) If you don't mind saying a prayer for our finances, please do. Student loans are literally half of our income (after taxes). Rent is a third. Gas is somewhere around 2/5, and all other expenses are around a third... if you can't tell, that means we're going into debt each month. Now, I just got a credit card that I have 0% interest on until June, but I currently have $2,000 on it that I have no way to pay down (they keep raising and raising my credit limit on it). I'm seriously getting nervous. I didn't think it was that bad until last month, when I realized that even with my several hundred dollar bonus, we couldn't make ends meet...I keep praying that James will get a better job, or at least we'll get the loans on the income repayment plan, but that takes ages, and James gets so frustrated and overwhelemed and gives up on it temporarily, not realizing what a burdon he's placing on me. I hope this isn't too personal of information to share, but I'm just seriously getting nervous... Prayers would be appreciated.

5) I'm back on the Remicade. At this point, I'm 83% sure we'll be able to afford it, but I just don't know. Here's to hoping! I can already move better and I only had it two days ago! My left elbow is *slightly* straighter, too! Yay!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Father is okay!!

To those who don't know, my beloved spiritual director contacted his family Monday (yesterday) and he is safe! Thanks to everyone who prayed! I can't wait to see him for the second time in my life (because he's been in Greece/Rome the entire time I've known him, I only met him once in person, we've exchanged about 1,000 emails, though and talked on the phone possibly 300 times in 4 years). (those numbers are rough estimates)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Something new

I'm working on something new. I think it's going to be absolutely great. It's something I enjoy writing about and studying (although I have no formal training, but doesn't that make me a perfect blogger?). What is it?

I'm not telling.

All I will say is that it's not something strictly religious, but I think it's a great way to promote culture in this society. It's about art. It's gonna be great.

It's also prolly gonna be a few months before I have it all up and running.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Belated updates

Hi everyone!

I have been so caught up in everything that's been going on that I haven't given much time to updating this. I'm glad to know that there are still people that check in and care :)

First, my arthritis: I am currently on take 3 of meds. It's been a slow and painful (quite literally) journey, and the outcome just seems to look more and more bleak as the time goes on. Yesterday was quite a rough day for me. However, I talked to the receptionist for my Rhumie (she's excellent, if it weren't for her, I'd have found a different doctor by now) and told her that I wanted to meet with the doctor to try something different. I'm currently on Orencia. It was great for the first month, but last month I've basically been living off of my NSAIDS (which I don't like taking because they say that they are very harmful to fetuses [I'm not pregnant, but it's one of those 'just in case' things]). I learned an important lesson, though... if you leave your 800 mg (ibuprofen) NSAIDS at work, taking four Motrin (800 mg of ibuprofen) is NOT an adequate replacement. Haven't figured out why yet... Anyway, when I started my Remicade (my literal cure for arthritis that I can't take anymore because it's not covered by my insurance and it's about $7k per dose), the doctor put me on an accellerated regimen for it. You're supposed to take it every two months, but because my arhtirits was so severe, I took it once every two weeks for the first month or two, then once a month for several months, and then I started taking it every 2 months (when I insisted upon it because cost was a concern). It literally cured my arthritis temporarily. I went to the doctor a year ago to try and start taking it again (a year since I had taken my last dose) and she said that I couldn't be approved for it because I had literally no traces of arthritis in my system. Unfortunately, that was short lived and now I wish I could find where I put my little Beebee, my blue cane. Yes I name canes. No that name is not permanent. Bartholomeu is retired because I dropped him so often that the finish started chipping away and gives me blisters to use.

Anyway, sorry about the random rant, my mind is going a million miles a minute right now.  I'm going to ask the doctor if we can start a similar regimen with the Orencia. We're quite running out of options here, and I want to get this show on the road. I have a lot of faith in Orencia because it's made very similar to Remicade. I just think we have to do this right. We'll see how it goes. If he isn't willing to try it, I can always go with another doctor (this isn't church, I can pick and choose until I find someone I like).

As for other parts of my life... marriage is going well. It's so nice to be around him all the time... most of the time. I really like being around him, but I'm learning that even extrovert me needs some alone time... and usually he wants to talk about stuff when I get home... which creates some interesting moments. There is no where to hide in my 585 square foot apartment. So I actually have to deal with problems when they come up. I don't like that, but I've found it's amazing for our relationship.

I joined the Schola. It's... interesting. I'm actually finding myself more and more isolated from the people that sing Schola every time I do it. You see, I'm a liturgical text follower (remember, I do that Traditional Latin Mass thing). I am not really able to pray when singing words that I don't know the meaning of (but Jane... it's LATIN, that makes it superior to anything you could ever do in your measly little brain!), so I bring my missal up there and follow along at every moment we're not singing.

You know what I can't stand about singing in the Schola? It's REALLY hard to concentrate. First, I missed the first meeting cause I'm a ditz and the director still hasn't been able to get me a book that I can sing along with. I find that incredibly difficult to deal with. He wants us to practice and such, but how do you expect me to practice when you don't give me anything to work with? The best I can do is practice pronunciation of the text, but that is unlikely to help because we spend so much time on one syllable (I'm beginning to find that I really enjoy low Mass). The director has been good to me, but I feel like such an outcast. Every time we have a pause from singing, I whip out my missal and begin following along like a fiend, and people around me are whispering and there is tons of page turning and such. Look, I will either scramble at the last minute to find the page we're on, or I will look on with the person next to me and pretend to sing (I need the music right up close to my face to see). But the director will hold up music for 3.5 seconds and 1) expect that everyone can see what he's holding up and 2) expect that people know where to find it (we have two books that look identical but have different types of music in them. One is labelled the "blue book" and I have yet to discover why... maybe once I actually get said books, I'll understand).

But the WORST part is that after we receive the Blessed Sacrament, we sing. I have no time to collect my thoughts, to pray or anything. I just have to go straight into singing. I always disliked when Scholas would sing right after the Blessed Sacrament. It's like, Hello, are you afraid of the silence? I find it much less irritating than when people try to make Communion time into an Organ concert but I still find it frustrating. Ugh, I've cried both times we've sung and that's happened. I still need to address my concerns with the director, but I'm having a difficult time writing them in a way that doesn't sound like "I'm all holy and paying attention to Mass while YOUR Schola is more concerned with what we're singing next!" I know that's not the case. If people are talking, it's usually for the purpose of enhancing the Mass ("What song is next?") and it's never idle chatter. I realize that some people pray really well while singing. I just don't. There is a part of me that is concerned about how well they do or don't pay attention, but I also realize that people pray differently, and for the first year or so, when I was first learning the TLM, I would just sit there and observe all of the movements of the altar servers and the priest, listen to the music, observe the statues and such, and that was the most effective prayer I had ever had up until that time.

I'm not planning on leaving the Schola yet, I think an honest discussion with the director is necessary first. I'm just frustrated.

On to another, rather exciting note.... I am officially looking into Third Orders! I went to the Discalced Carmelite meeting a few weeks ago. I had the most... interesting experience with it. Before the meeting, we stood around talking, and I thought that part was wonderful. There are a lot of people there and they were so kind and excited to see me and James there (he's looking into Third Orders, too, but I would be severely surprised if he ends up joining them). My main problem I had with it actually had nothing to do with the spirituality of it. There was this girl there in a Tweety bird shirt. She looked like she had to be around 30. However, she acted like she was 4 with a severe case of ADHD. I've seen people like this before. My Maid of Honor's sister has a pretty serious case of aspergers. I'm not positive that this is what the girl had, but it would have to be something similar if that's not it. Anyway, I had the hardest time because she was the BIGGEST DISTRACTION. She was constantly speaking out of turn, saying absolutely nothing in the most words possible (that' not entirely fair, the problem was that if someone mentioned a virtue, she would immediately blurt out how it was tied to a specific verse in Deuteronomy and would quote it verbatim. She must be going through Deuteronomy in some sort of Bible study because it was the only book she quoted and frankly... it's an odd book to quote when pertaining to the virtues) while we were supposed to be having a presentation given to us. And it seemed that no one there knew how to handle her appropriately. They allowed her to talk out of turn and just smiled and waited for her to stop (while looking around nervously at each other). I am not sure who her caretaker was (you could tell she is not high functioning enough to live on her own let alone drive herself there), but a couple of different people took her out at specific points and talked to her at the beginning and the end. It really didn't work. At one point the presenter said, "You can talk later but let me finish this one thing" and the girl was like, "Oh, but let me say this and then I'll be done" (to her credit, she didn't speak out of turn again for the rest of the 3 minutes left of the presentation).

Anyway, there really should have been a person sitting next to her (she did move her seat at one point to sit closer) and guiding about when it was or was not appropriate to speak. I understand that you have to be cautious in correcting a woman with Aspergers so that they don't feel like you hate them (this is very important with people with Aspergers), but there really should have been someone next to her, touching her hand lightly and saying "________, it's not your turn. Wait a few minutes until it is your turn. I promise I won't let them miss your turn." But no, there was nothing even similar to that. What really frustrates me is that I think I would have really liked the group outside of that instance. Oh well, perhaps this is God's way of keeping me in check... I tend to get Carmelite infatuation on a regular basis, so perhaps this is keeping me looking at this with a clear head.

Anyway, those are the three main things going on. We still aren't unpacked and I still have TONS of Thank you notes left... but such is life. I hear that you're allowed up to six months to get out the last of the Thank You notes... I still have two left.

Monday, July 2, 2012

7 Long takes Saturday

1) I have been dead. James doesn't know this, but I've been going to work early all this week because I've just wanted to get out of the apartment. It's been so messy that I can't function. Finally today I broke down and told him that I didn't even want to go to the bathroom because of how nasty it is in there. There has only been one other time that the messyness of a room has contributed to that much of a breakdown, and it was when I lived with this girl Tessie. She was SUCH a sweetheart, BUT she was the worst mess I've ever known. She would fill up her drawers with stuff so high that they couldn't close (big pet peeve of mine), then, instead of cleaning them, she would DETACH them from their source, and pile them with stuff as high as they could go (piling other drawers on top of it). Ya, I kinda lost it that semester. I mean, I'm no neat freak myself, but I do kinda go crazy with too much clutter. Now that I have a permanent roommate... it's kinda bad. It drains me of energy. I was supposed to do dishes all this week because of the dog (more on that below) and I just didn't have the energy to do them! I've been grumpy at work, but boy have I collected overtime this week (I generally don't stay late on principal, but everyone knows I am a chronically early arriver).

2) We got a dog. We don't have him any more because it was more a trial period. He was a beagle with some serious behavioral issues. He didn't get the fact that my bedroom is not a toilet, so we had to keep him in a crate when we couldn't pay 90% attention to him. But that only caused him to be more wild and unmanageable... so we decided to give him back.

3) The arthritis is back... with a vengeance. I was walking the dog the other day and I did something to my hip, causing my knee and hip to get really inflamed and I had a huge limp until I went to the rolfer on Thursday. She found that I walk with my knees pointed in so that overstimulated a nerve and she pressed on it and I almost died. This seemed to eliminate my inflammation that was going on, but I still have some damage in my left hip. I also apparently hold all of my stress inside (try telling James that) and it leaves me with chronically tight muscles/tendons. I still haven't been able to walk normally (I can't walk forward with my left leg all the way back) yet, but I'm going to try and go for another appointment soon. I've been continuously trying to touch the nerve and it's been helping, though it has a long way to go.

4) I didn't misspell the word above. I welt to a Rolfer. She does Rolfing. It's this non-new age alternative therapy thing. It's kind of a combination of chiropractic, massage therapy, relexology, ect. It stretches and pulls and honestly hurts a bit. But I think it's working in decreasing my inflammation... and that's totally worth the money I shell out for it.

5) A friend of mine invented something really cool. I'm not the type of person to just say that, but he really did. I always end up running into this guy from one time to another, and then I don't hear from him again for like a year. He's always great to talk to and he's been through a lot. Last time I saw him he was working on a documentary for his deceased wife (May God rest her soul), and now I find out he's become an entrepreneur (ask me if that surprises me, that man thinks at like a million miles a minute and is always thinking about new things).

Here's the website:  (be sure to watch the video)

You back yet? You have to admit that it's totally cool. I'm thinking I'm going to have to get some as gifts... I'm not just trying to plug for my my friend.... In all honesty, if I didn't think it was a good idea I'd mention it to James and then be done with it.

6). Speaking of inventions that I love, I have fallen madly in love with space bags. James' mother makes quilts. James' mother also makes other types of blankets. James' grandmother made blankets... James' great-grandmother made blankets... needless to say, we have too many blankets that we can't get rid of due to sentimental value (sentimental value my- well you know, James is just a bit of a hoarder, not really but he does have the most obnoxious way of going through things before deciding what to get rid of...). Anyway, now these space bags have taken what was taking up three closet tops filled with blankets (and then a couple more thrown in) and now is just filling one closet top... Yes, this is awesome. I have the top of my closet again!!!

7. James is making dinner. It smells good... I think I'll go so I can eat...

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Soo tired

Hi everyone,

I've been too tired to really post anything, but maybe at some point I'll have energy...and/or time...

Good news, though,
1) I don't have diabetes (they found high levels of sugar in my urine, but it was because of my medicine that it was artificially high)
2) It looks like my arthritis is getting better!

Random: Anyone ever try rolfing? I have excessively tight muscles all in my back and legs (and arms and...) so I'm giving this a shot to replace my ineffective chiropractic work. I hear it's going to be a bit painful, but extremely worth it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My first Old Married Lady post!

The Wedding: Part I

So yes, we went through with it, and James is now my husband. 

We had the wedding liturgy in the Old Form, and it was rockin! Okay, I'll start from the very beginning cause I'm going to want to remember this some day. 

My parents got here the Tuesday before the wedding to help us with the move. It was a big help, but we're still nowhere near what needs to be done. I basically put them to the task of doign everything from that point on. I was beat. There was one exception, programs. I kept putting this part off because I had more important things to deal with, then all of the sudden, it was 2 days before the wedding and I needed them printed NOW! I had enlisted my friend The Sojourner, though I'm not sure why she still was willing to speak to me at the wedding. I literally told her in the same paragraph "I've decided to get rid of all the work you have done and completely nix the idea of programs altogether... could you design them like ___ I think then I might like them better." Okay, that wasn't verbatim but it was close. She managed to find a great graphic to take up some space (I had too many problems getting a list of singers, music, ect together, so I excluded them all except the organist and schola director). Anyway, she totally saved the day with that. It was literally around 11:30 when I told her that it was perfect, printed it out, and then realized that I had misspelled two members of the bridal party's names) I called and emailed her frantically, she got back to me and fixed everything... after I made her reposition the program about 40 times... seriously, I'm not sure why at all she was willing to talk to me (possibly for the free food). 

So then I called James' friend who said she had the day off and she would help me get them printed. I had to get my license changed over to my new state (ya, I've been here forever, I'm horrible) so I told her I'd meet her at the mall after the BMV. She told me she had to stop by a BMV, tooso we would meet up after. Then she walked right into the one I was in. Keep in mind this was completely unexpected because there are about 50 BMVs in the area and she lives about an hour away from the one I was in. It was awesome. I had some shopping I needed to do before the wedding and she took the programs over to be copied. She finished around the same time I finished and we talked for maybe half an hour (I really needed it, she's really cool, too). Then James' sister came by and we picked out some makeup (she was in a super big hurry, but at that point wedding party people started arriving so I was in a hurry, too). Then I had dinner with aout half of the bridal party + some friends and it was awesome. We were dead though. 

I had some people staying at my place and we all went out to eat breakfast at the Long John Silvers right by my house. We waited for it to open and then gorged on the "meatless" delights around us. Then my Maid of Honor and I went to pick up my Matron of Honor and... what DID we do? Umm... we did something and then dropped off my Matron to meet up with the other bridesmaids. Maid of Honor and I got our nails done. Ugh, I have never remembered hating having long nails this much! I have such thin nails that they never stay long at all, so I got acrylics, and of course I still have them and they IRRITATE ME. So as we were going to the rehearsal dinner I was informed that I needed to pick up my maids of honor... Iwas like, Dude, I'll never make it in time. So I tried to call my parents and ask them to pick them up for me cause they were closer. My mom got in this huge hissy fit because she was already at the church and wasn't going to be late by picking them up. I tried to explain to her that it would take less time for her to pick them up because I would have needed to pass the church to get them, and I was 20 minutes away from the church. Well, she wouldn't hear it and tried to make me leave them. I refused (they're my only two bridesmaids that aren't Catholic, so I wasn't about to have them completely fend for themselves at a TLM) "Well, you guys can't start without me so I'M going to be about an hour late!!" As I was exiting the highway to pick up the girls, my dad called, "Do you still want us to pick up the girls?" "NO!" It's funny in hindsight... sorta. Anyway, we got there 40 minutes late, my mom and I apologized because we react the same exact way to stress, and we practiced. I was so careful to teach the Protestants how to genuflect (and I FORGOT TO GENUFLECT FOR THE REAL THING!) we literally spent several minutes practicing. My mom raved on and on about how lovely the church was (It's because it's not Baptist, mom...). Then we went to the rehearsal dinner. 

Because I was paranoid about how long everything would take, I planned the dinner for two hours after the rehearsal started. We arrived at the dinner right on time! Yes, I did SOMETHING right! The dinner was good, but it was the start of my not being able to eat for a week. I was thankful that the dinner was kinda small, I knew I needed the nutrients, but I couldn't eat much. We stayed there talking forEVER. I mainly did that because I could see how much James loved being among intellectuals again. Particularly European intellectuals (we flew one groomsman in from England). I was dead, and got lost driving home in the dark (I have bad eyes and I'm not supposed to drive at night). Then... on to the bachelorette! This involved us girls (the ones that were able to stay up/didn't have a kid) reading strange wedding customs and superstitions. It was great. Very relaxing. Maid of Honor and I stayed in a room together, knowing that neighther of us would be able to sleep. I took a shower, got out around 2:30 am. Finally laid down around 3:00. Alarm was set for 6:00. 

All throughout the day, though, people kept bugging me. "Where is ___ going to stay?" "How is ___ going to get ___" Finally I started answering all questions in numbers and people eventually got the point that you shouldn't bug the bride...

The big day
I want to make a disclaimer that until I looked at some of the pictures this morning, I had kinda forgotten that these were happy memories. Morale: Mothers, don't ever let your daughters solely plan their own weddings (unless they actually want to). 

I woke up in an excited stupor. We went to the free hot breakfast and got ordered by the hotel staff to go back and put our shoes on (oops). Then I proceeded to eat about a bite and a half of a gravy covered biscuit, 3 bites of nasty yogurt, and half a cup of milk... I was so full I could hardly stand it... it was going to be a long day. This took my 30 minutes, and I ran back to the room to be ready for Tina to do my hair. She came in and set right to work. My hair was super curly, and she used so much hairspray that the table was literally covered with film. No one could breathe when they walked in. BUT my hair looked AWESOME! The bridesmaids came trickling into my room, getting ready and such, and my photographer came in to do some pre-ceremony pictures. Some of these turned out REALLY nice. James' sister came in to do my makeup (she did a great job, too). Then we went out to the limo (yes, my mom told me the days before "oh hey, we got you a 14 passenger limo") and waited in the cold for the driver. Ya, it was cold... it had been in the 80s the weekend before, but that morning it was cold. Oh well, at least it wasn't horribly rainy... yet. 

We rode to the church, and it started to hit me that this was actually happening. Actually, it was more when we were walking outside to the limo, but it kept hitting me repeatedly. We got to the church and I saw my dad looking really nice in his suit. I ended up really glad that I didn't insist that everyone wore tuxes... they looked SO GOOD. I don't think I've ever seen men look more sophisticated at a wedding (not that I'm biased). My mom started crying when I came out of the limo and I heard that James kept trying to get a peek at me, so everyone pushed me back farther and farther behind the door. 

The wedding went really well. Perhaps at some other time I'll have the energy to describe all the little ditties about it.

I'll just label this to be part one. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

More of my arthritis journey

So the Humira just plain didn't work for me. In fact, it thinned my blood, possibly gave me severe muscle contractions (particularly in my chest, I would've gone to the hospital if I didn't know what else to look for in a heart attack), oh ya and it HURT LIKE HELL. I looked it up online, I'm not the only one. Many people report not getting the full dose because they can't keep it in their leg the whole time, many other have panic attacks (I was getting there, myself).

I started Simponi last night. It took me forever to remember that you have to push the pen down to your leg for the needle to release, in fact I lost one of my free samples because I tainted the needle. Anyway, I sat there holding if for 5 minutes before I could convince myself to push the button.

I'll admit, the pen is not filled with sunshine and happiness... although compared to Humira it kind of is... I barely felt the thing, and let me tell you, I am a wuss. It went in slowly, and Simponi has a mechanism that clicks when the medicine is done so you know to pull it out. I think I need to be careful, though, to keep the thing pressed down a bit more because some of the medicine beaded out of my leg as soon as I finished. I also bled a lot (I used to have the thickest blood ever, so thick that my doctor told me I had to drink more water to keep me from having heart problems, so thin blood is weird to me). It's still going to take some getting used to, but I am happy that I have this as an option to try.

Here's to hoping this is my "magic combo!"

Random fact: Did you know that 60% of people with arthritis are under 65?

Not sure what happened...

Some sort of weird internet fluke seemed to have happened. I check my hits pretty regularly because I'm lame. I normally average about 5-12 hits a week... two days ago I had 20 hits and yesterday was 35...


Is this like those two days in high school where I got the latest CD before anyone else did and like everyone wanted to be my friend... and then when they got the CD they remembered they hated me.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Open Position: New female bff

Position Opening Announcement:

Due to recent move and realization that she doesn't fit in with most Traditional Catholic, Liza Jane has announced the opening of a brand new position: New best female friend.

Candidates must be practicing Catholic, be living a basically moral life, and be the kind of person that Jane "clicks" with.

An ideal candidate will have the attributes of a fun loving person who can be serious more often than not. This person would appreciate the finer arts, but can at least appreciate other forms of the less higher arts. They would prefer social interaction to artificial communication, would not be nitpicky, and at least

Required Qualifications:
Must be practicing Catholic trying to live a moral life.
Must enjoy being around people to a significant extent (Jane realizes she often makes the closest friends with introverts, though)
Must enjoy a diverse set of activities: For example (but not limited to), classical concerts, musicals and pop music, as well as a moderate enjoyments in certain sports (though this must in no way be the principal activity in the candidate's life), collecting things, ect.
Must be able to deal with erratic, strongly emotional people...
Must be willing and able to point out flaws in Jane in a constructive but gentle manner, also be willing to laugh at Jane and herself.
MUST WORK WELL WITH INTELLECTUALS (she must enjoy James' company as well as mine)
Must be willing to admit that pants, skirts above the knee, somewhat tighter clothing, and leggings are not a sin, but doesn't need to wear them herself.
Must not be (or have been) the model student, or "perfect"
Must not be involved in so many activities that she doesn't have time for a social life.
Must love dogs
Must be intelligent

Preferred Qualifications:
Married, or in long term relationship (preferably with an intellectual) (single people often don't enjoy listening Jane complain about her soon-to-be husband)
Has a creative imagination
Thinks that going to a karaoke bar once in a blue moon  sounds like a fun thing to do.
Is some type of eccentric
Able to plan social gatherings or activities
Enjoys dancing
Has texting and appreciates occasional text conversations
Appreciates Southern culture (particularly the state of Texas)

Individuals disliking physical affection (hugs, mainly) need not apply.

Please send your applications to Liza Jane,

Lessons from candles

In the Old Form, we keep our candles burning throughout the service until the Gloria. Oh ya, in the old Form, that's about an hour long (if it's a High Mass)

Things I learned at EV
1) Children are a lot better behaved at Mass that's 3 hours long, the first hour in the dark, that starts at 8:30. I think even the ones that are usually the howlers were out as soon as they hit the pew. Don't hate me, but I have no intention of bringing my young children to Mass until I know that they can behave. St Therese's parents didn't bring their little ones to Mass. They left theirs with the crib tied together and then checked on them as soon as they got back. Nowadays, that's considered abusive (we have things like electrical fires...) so we'll get a babysitter.

2) Melting candles hurt. I've always known this, but the hour thing got it through my brain even more.

3) Using styrofoam cups as wax catchers is a *bad idea.* My candle did the coolest thing of melting almost all the way down (faster than ANYONE else there) and it pooled all the wax on the bottom, like a giant candle. But, because it was so low unless I held the candle straight up it burned through the styrofoam, creating a less than pleasant feeling on my fingers. So I went to get a new candle/ cup and the were out of cups. So I placed my candle in the pool of wax left by the previous one and held it until the Gloria. I felt kinda embarrased because James and I were the only ones who had to get new candles, then then I realized that by the time of the Gloria, we were the only ones with our candles still burning! I'm usually so much better with my candles, but I was trying my best to follow along with the Missal by the light of the candle, and to do that you have to tilt it, which causes the wax to drip more, and the candle to go down more quickly.

4) I'm not good with candles for long periods of time. I almost caught my hair on fire twice, my Missal twice (there are now wax spots on it at one part), my hair once, and I got wax on my dress.

The Mass was beautiful. This was my first year going to all three parts of the Old Triduum. I'll tell you this, it's very time consuming, but totally worth it. Amazingly beautiful, completely reverent, and very worthy of the occasion of Easter.

I have a couple of Easter traditions. First, is that I wear my special Easter dress. I was received into the Church seven years ago with that dress and I've worn it every year for Easter Vigil ever since (okay there was a problem one year with it so I wore it for Divine Mercy Sunday instead). Each year I put it on only for Easter, and remember that it's slightly see through. Each year I do something different to fix this issue, think "I'll have to fix this for next year" then forget about it. Being that this is the seventh year of my dress, I think that it is time to say goodbye. I am keeping the dress but I might convert it to a first communion/confirmation dress for my little girls (should we have any).

Second, I always cry at some point during Easter Vigil. My first year I cried only at Confirmation. It actually surprised me because Confirmation is the sacrament that I understand the least, and therefore have virtually no emotional connection to it. I didn't cry when receiving my first Blessed Sacrament, when I thought I would cry. I just felt more complete. Every year, though I cry at some point. A couple years ago it was right at the beginning when they sing that "Oh Happy Fault" part, because that's what my beloved Father Michael Kelley (may God rest his soul) chanted at my first Easter Vigil. It was either the Easter after he died that I cried or the year after that. It still breaks my heart that he is gone whenever I think of him. This year I've had virtually no emotional involvement with the preparation for Easter. Part of me feels guilty about this because I'm sure anticipating the wedding has something to do with it. But part of me also realizes that after seven years of marriage, James ad I aren't going to be looking forward to our anniversary in the same way. So I figure it may have something to do with that. Well, yesterday I went to receive, and as I was walking back, I started crying. The tradition lives on I guess... I was really not expecting that.

Well, I'm about to get ready for Easter Sunday Mass. James really likes going to it, so we're making it a tradition to go to both. God bless everyone and HAPPY EASTER!!!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

27 days

So things are starting to catch up to me.

We have our rings (and they fit this time!), oh, James' finger looks SO GOOD with a ring on it!

I took my dress to get pressed. Now I'm going to have to keep James out of my closet (he keeps his coats/jackets in there) for a week before the wedding cause there is not other place to put it...

Still need to work on rehearsal dinner stuff and those programs, which one of my friends said she'd help with designing.

Oh, ya. We're moving. As in, we found an apartment for both of us to move into. Because James said he didn't think he could handle another move, I found cheap movers (that are certified and insured and everything) that will move all the big stuff for us.

Oh, I've been wanting to share this on facebook, but I don't trust that no awkward comments will be made so I wont, but WE'RE GETTING A REALLY NICE BEDROOM SET!!! James' mom found this website where you can get AMAZING b-room sets for around $800. I'm talking complete with two nightstands, a dresser,mirror, headboard, AND chest. They only deliver to certain Midwest locations, but they also have links to tons of nationwide cheap online furniture places... I just have to tell you about it!!!!!

They also have tons of different available furniture types of things. For something that is brand new, many of these prices are a STEAL, especially look at how nice they are!

We also ordered our new queen size bed yesterday. I'm so excited. It's going to the new place for the day "we" move in. James will be moving in the first day, and we'll both be moving our (mainly his) stuff from my apartment over there, and then after the 28th, I'll be there. :D I don't know, something about ordering our bedroom furniture makes me feel all bubly inside. I mean, wow, this is really happening, isn't it? 

Here's another reason why I'm a terrible person: 

I have been monitoring our gift registry site like a hawk. So far people have gotten us a bunch of nice stuff. I mean, aside from the silverware and a few other things, we really have most everything we want now (don't get me wrong, there are still over 150 items on our list left to get). We're going to have to exchange the tablecloth for a smaller one (the new apartment is itty bitty, but comes with free storage). 

Anyway,  YAY SOMEONE BOUGHT THE SPICE RACK I REALLY WANT! Now all I really need is the cheese slicer and the kitchen floor mat and that new car and I'll be happy. 

Palm Sunday

Today I think was one of the most beautiful Masses I ever went to.

As you know, I go to the Traditional Latin Mass most Sundays. I have never been to a full fledged Solemn High Mass on Palm Sunday complete with Procession, and all the bells and whistles you can imagine. It was so cool. The congregation even went up and kneeled at the altar rail to receive our palms. Not gonna lie, I was really confused at first, so was James! He told me later that he had never experienced that before.

The family in front of me had these two adorable little boys in sweater vests. The kids kept playing with their palms (which bothers me to no end... I mean, THEY'RE BLESSED!). Anyway, the mom has the strongest attention span to the Mass I've ever known someone to, eventually the Dad made the boys lose their "palm holding privileges" and order was restored. They're basically good kids, I can tell, the Gospel is just reeeeeeally long in the old form.

We then went to the Italian dinner that our parish is famous for, and let me tell you, those were the absolute best meatballs I've ever eaten. I think I may have found the recipe and so I copied it and will try to mimic it in the future.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Is it over yet?

There are two things I don't do well, waiting for an exciting event... and Lent (partly because Lent is in fact waiting for an exciting event). The fact that one of them is almost over helps dramatically. I'm one of those horrible sinners that tends to find penance so discouraging that I have a harder time completing the basics. Sigh, one week left.

Oh, on that note, next Saturday will be my 7th Liturgical anniversary of being (fully) Catholic! I came into the Church on March 26, but it's the liturgical calendar that matters in this one, so it doesn't count. I've worn my Easter dress every year for Vigil (okay, except that one year). It's a weird feeling knowing that I may not be able to ever wear next year... (ya know, if I end up having one of those miniature versions of adults inside of me...).

So, on to the newest wedding woes. We have fired YET ANOTHER photographer. I don't know if I mentioned the first one or not, but they were seriously irritating. They contacted me once every two weeks from the get go about engagement shoots even though I told them that I didn't want to think about that for several more months. Anyway, this new guy was... heh.

James had told me that he wanted to make sure we didn't have someone who was like, "move your chin to the left... okay now to the right just a little... no that was too much" So I looked for a last minute replacement that didn't look like he would do that. I found one who was willing to negotiate the rate and hey... he was a photographer. So we went to our engagement shoot and she was trying to get us to act all funny and silly and stuff. Well, nothing will irritate my beloved more than taking the formality out of formal events. So we tried to talk to him about how we wanted more formal pictures, and this guy just couldn't get it through his head. We ended up just standing next to each other for just about all of them. He was completely unable to pose people. James looked up this style of photography and he found that it's called photo journalistic photography. If we had known about that, we would have looked harder for a "traditional" photography expert. Anyway, James looked this time and found this guy with a thick German accent. James was like, "he's European, he's in" Okay, it's a little hard for me to tell accents, but let me tell you this guy LOOKS German. He takes really nice photos, and he's cheaper than the other guys discounted rate. Unfortunately, we lost a couple of hundred dollars by cancelling so close to our date. Sigh. Anyway, we are going for our second try-engagement shoot on Wednesday.

Also, James sprung on me that he wants place cards. I'm like... ahhh! But then he said he'd do them all himself. I'm like, okay, but these better be cheap...

I'm trying to design the programs for the wedding... any suggestions? We will have to get them printed since I don't have acccess to a printer myself. We will need about 100, maybe 120 so that we'll have many extras.

It's looking like we will have about 15 too few people to get the room we reserved for the reception hall... AHHH!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Leisure, the basis of Nerd-dom

Proof I'm a nerd:

I am so frikkin excited (below is back story, I may get to the actual point at the end... unless I forget).

One of the things my dear hubby-to-be has been insisting is that I need to take a more leisurely approach to life (yes, he IS Italian, why do you ask?). Ever since he read Joseph Pieper's Leisure the Basis of Culture a few years ago, he's been going on a tirade about how America is too goal oriented and the meaning of life is not to work but to have leisure. You have to work for the purpose of leisure, not that you have leisure for the purpose of being able to work better. It honestly threw a wrench in my world view, and contributed (very indirectly) to my disillusionment of my last relationship (I later found out that James was attracted to me then, but felt horribly about it so he actually really tried to help patch things up, but was relieved when I ended it).

So here's the problem, there is good leisure and there is "not actually leisure." These are the technical, philosophical terms for it. Going to the bar and getting trashed = not actually leisure. All the while going to the bar to enjoy a drink or two with friends and pleasant conversation = leisure. Watching TV in excess = not actually leisure. Watching your favorite movie (that follows the basic guidelines for decent movie) = leisure. Reading = leisure. Hobbies = leisure. Spending an hour to make a good blog post = leisure. Spending 3 hours on facebook = not actually leisure.

This creates a difficulty for me in my Protestant-German leaning background. Even though I'm Catholic, it's hard to leave the way I was raised completely behind. I like to be productive, efficient, and punctual (and I'm marrying an Italian...why?). Within the first few weeks of starting my job, James had to scold me for wanting to purposefully work overtime just to get more done (and get more overtime checks). Not to mention, I'm no reader, and getting myself to do something actually considered leisurely is not the easiest. I often times am either trying to be productive or just being lazy (hence the 3 hours on facebook). Yes you theoretically can spend 3 hours on facebook in a leisurely way, I just don't (and I suppose the number that do could be counted on my fingers)

James is your classic example of intellectual. We seriously have over 800 books in my apartment right now. No he has not read them all, he would have to buy more books to be able to do that (it's a mathematical equation, don't ask). I have a minor form of dyslexia which has caused me over the years to develop a distaste for reading. I would probably be at least 3% smarter if I would bother to read, but I just have the hardest time picking up a book. Keeping the book is even harder. When I find a book I like, I either read in 3 days, or if it's a saint's book slowly digest it over the course of a year and a half. It's really hard for me to consistently pick up a book for an extended period of time.

This brings us to a predicament. James has a hard time thinking of anything other than reading and fishing as leisure. Don't get me wrong, if you bring up a leisurely topic he will quickly agree to it being leisurely, he just has that narrow minded intellectual's disease of not being able to think outside what he finds enjoyable... For about three weeks I asked him for leisurely suggestions and the first answer he came up with was "I don't know, grab a book, or a rod..." I realized that I was going to have to figure it out on my own after this (I'm a slow learner).

My first thought is to get back into collecting coins. I dabbled a bit in high school, but I never was any sort of serious numismatist.. My favorite coin is my own from 3rd Century Rome (you know when they were mass producing coins and diluting any value so that you can basically buy them from just about anywhere for 10 bucks now...) that I have since misplaced after taking it out to examine it for a time (sigh). I know it's in my apartment, so I'm not worried about it, I'll find it when we move. The increasing cost of metal means that I'd have to be really sneaky and clever to find any deals, and even then it would be hard. All of the good coins are going to be very expensive, and with the melt value ever increasing, more and more people are looking at collecting coins, making their value go up, up, up! I just don't have the resources to be an avid coin collector again.

So when I went to my parent's house for Christmas, I wanted something to do while I was there, as most of my friends were out of the area. I got caught up in my father's stamp collection, and I was hooked. The only thing? I find most of his stamps rather uninteresting. I don't get excited about fuzzy animals on stamps, or famous people (with an exception I'll mention below), or the modern royal family, or what. I started to notice some BEAUTIFUL stamps from former British territories with depictions of the Stations of the Cross, famous religious paintings, and about a million Madonna and Child's. I just about lost it. Some of these stamps are seriously works of art in and of themselves. Then I almost died.

...the Vatican makes stamps.

Ya, I know, right?!? My dad only had a couple of the less interesting ones, but his album listed so many beautiful Saint (the famous people I find VERY interesting) stamps, and commemorations of events in Church history. Sometimes, they even just celebrate beauty. Oh, let me tell you, the Italian influence on art is not lost in the Vatican. I looked into it more. These stamps can be some of the rarest in the world. The Vatican only makes a small number of stamps with each issue compared to larger countries. What's funny is that the Vatican post office runs more letters per resident than any other country. While this has a lot to do with the fact that a lot o top notch Vatican officials have official correspondence (and let's not forget that the inhabitant of the Chair of Peter is likely to get a LOT of mail), I found out that many Italians don't trust their postal system (can't imagine why) and if possible will take their mail to the trustworthy and efficient Vatican (yes, the Vatican does something timely and efficiently).

Now to my most recent nerd-dom.

Yesterday while I was searching for an affordable way to house my stamps, I came across a bona fide, used Vatican City stamp album. At $100, it looked like a better deal at first, because it only goes up to 1971, but here is the jewel. It's partly completed. Ya, I know! This has around 250 stamps from 1929 (the first year of Vatican issues) to 1971. My guess is that no one has gotten this collection appraised due to the lack of stamp content in the description. I don't think I'll find an ultra rare hundreds of thousand dollar stamp or anything, but I am guessing that the value of the stamps is easily worth more than the $50 I paid for it after using my amazon rewards points (which I needed to use up, too as I'm canceling my credit card soon and you can't use the points after you cancel). If you're reading this, sorry James, my new credit card doesn't have amazon points, but it does have a cashback bonus and if you'd like I can promise to give you any cashback rewards for books unless necessity demands otherwise (if you'd like? Who am I kidding?).

I was so excited about this find that I could hardly stand it. I wasn't intending to shop on a Sunday, I was more looking at options for buying albums and local stores and such. I consider that being leisurely toward my hobby... I guess I could be doing it wrong, though. I even asked James if I could buy it right then and there because who knows if someone else would snatch it up before midnight rolls around? He advised that I wait, and I agreed. I almost tried to stay up till midnight, but then I thought better of it. Time will pass more quickly when I'm asleep. I had a hard time getting to sleep (excitable? Me? Why do you bother asking?) but I woke up around 2:30 like I do every night  to go to the bathroom. At this point I TRIED to get back to sleep. I mean, I do have 9 hours at work tomorrow. But I just couldn't. So, being that it is Monday and no longer Sunday, I banished all qualms and set to ordering it right away! The seller is Abe Books (James calls is A-B-E books, but I'm thinking it's supposed to be pronounced like the Lincoln), but I bought it off of amazon because of the discounted price with points. I'm so excited, too that I paid the extra 6 dollars to ensure getting it by the end of THIS week (watch, it'll come on Saturday and I'll have to wait till Monday!)!!!! I'm having it delivered to my work so that I don't panic about it all day, and I can use my work's tracking system to see when it's coming. My boss told me from the beginning that they are fine with everyone getting their personal shipments at work (and sending them from there). I'm the shipping department at work, so I know she's right.

Now the next 40 years is the most expensive part of the album set, but I just can't believe the deal I got! Let me tell you, the apartment is going to go to Hades because I'm not going to want to do anything once I get it but examine and appraise my stamps (I'm not doing it for the money, I just want to know if I need to get my album insured). I'm so flipping excited I can't even tell you. I don't know if I'll get to sleep again tonight. I'm being brought to the glorious kingdom of Nerd-dom (I mean seriously, what girl in her mid 20s gets this excited abotu stamp collecting?)!'s so exciting! I could get it as early as WEDNESDAY!

In other news James got an article published!!! It was his first try and he got it published! I hesitate to tell you even the website that published it because I would be conveying our identities basically (a simple facebook search of him could tell you my name and location). What I will tell you is that it's about a lot of the bad attitudes associated with the HHS mandate from what are otherwise good and faithful Catholics (just ignorant of Church teaching on social issues, ps national healthcare is not an intrinsic evil, just not advised in the current situation). It's mainly arguing against classical liberalism and libertarians. I honestly haven't read the article. I started to and then I was like, "Ugh, I've heard this argument 10,000,000,000,000 (pronounced ten thousand-billion) times! Okay I exaggerated a little. Take out ONE of the 0's. If he asks me to, I'll read it. Otherwise, I'll be looking at my stamps.

Friday, March 16, 2012

More Medicine-y stuff

I know everyone (like the 3 of you that read this) is probably tired of hearing metalk about my medicine... but I don't care. 

I have great news!

I think the Humira is working!

The Saturday before last I took it for the first time. I couldn't feel the needle at all, but the medicine burned like the dickens! I'm going to let it sit out of the fridge a BIT longer next time. I started having some bad emotional side effects of the Prednizone (I've had that happen before), so I decreased my dose to once a day instead of twice (I don't recommend playing with your dose like that, but let's just say the side effect was getting kinda scarey). I also had to decrease my NSAID (mentioned that one to my doctor) because it was thinning my blood so much I was getting severe nose bleeds. So I basically halved my medicine that was already not enough to keep me out of extreme pain. 

Side note: last weekend, James and I went to the mall to look at wedding bands, as I stood up my knee had this searing pain, it was AWFUL! I was limping throughout the whole mall ("Honey, why did you have to park as FAR as you possibly COULD from the entrance?!?" "I didn't, I parked three spaces from the farthest spot!") Then we went to Kroger, where I finally gave in and got that new shiny pretty blue cane I'd been eyeing (I KNOW, I'm in my mid 20's and I've been EYEING A CANE! I'm such a geezer :p ) Another tangent, don't you find it odd that you have to be rather strong to be able to get the plastic devise off of a Kroger cane? I find that ironic...

Okay, back to the point. So, I halved my medicine, and I have been having one of the first weeks in a long time where I've been really REALLY good. Now I can't run a marathon or anything, but I'm hoping that I've finally found what I need to be my normal, happy self again. 

The downside? I can't breastfeed. I have been wanting to be able to for the longest time. So now I'm not only going to not be able to give my children most of my time by staying at home, I can't even feed them (you know, the natural way) Sigh, I realize that I might not have been able to anyway, as a lack of breastmilk runs in my family. I guess I should just be thankful that I'm able to take something that I can have kids with (that was not a given even 10 years ago). 

My second dose is tomorrow (yay for only having to stick myself twice a month!), I'm wondering if I can get off of the other medicine all together after that. That is the ultimate goal anyway. 

Oh, I've officially applied for the Humira patient assistance program. I find out by Wednesday whether or not they will accept me. If they do, I get totally free medicine for a year. After that? I have no idea, I'm assuming I'll just have to keep applying for the medicine year after year. I guess that's the price for free medicine, right? I'll take it. I heard I was a shoe in for the program, but we'll see. I'm living off of 2 months of free samples right now. (Thank you Lord for free samples!!!) 

Long story short, I have been feeling much better, within two weeks. Dear trend, please continue. 

Sunday, March 11, 2012


So, I had my bridal shower last week. I told them from the get-go that I didn't want to have anything to do with planning it, just tell me when to be there (for convenience sake it was in VA, the wedding is going to be here, though. 

L to R: Matron of Honor, Me, Mom
My hair is still REALLY thick even after getting it thinned out!

First we had a few MadLibs, which were hilarious. Next, PRESENTS!

My friend's daughter knew I needed help opening the presents...
especially  the ones with big, long bows

Here's my Rehearsal bouquet
 Then, we split into teams and we had fancy toilet paper dresses made for us. That was really a highlight of the day. My friend's daughter had to participate. (And yes, I did get rolls of left over tp as a greatly appreciated present!)

Sorry that there's not too much to say about this. It was fun. I was exhausted. I'm getting ready for Mass... the end.

Friday, March 9, 2012

To be normal again...

I really shouldn't complain. I'm able to bend my left arm, I'm able to walk, I'm able to do a lot of things that I couldn't do as of a few years ago.

But I hurt...

What stinks the most is that there has been a never ending trial with my newest new medicine. I have one month's supply in my fridge now, but will it take longer to get approved for it?

My work's insurance will not cover Humira. Humira is the only drug I can take now because it comes with an epi-pen like thing (it's a self injection) so that I don't have to see the needle or make the stabbing motion on my thigh. I used to do it in high school, but after a while I stopped being able to.

Well... my insurance refuses to pay for a dime. They say that there are three other medicines I can take (One of which failed me pretty badly in the past, all three are just needle and syringe), so I have to fail them before they will consider Humira. Well, I'm eligible for a patient assistance program, but they have to go through a host of crap first, and it'll take up to 2 WEEKS to process. Ugh. And then, the assistance program only extends to one year... I'm guessing that it means I'll just have to reapply every year, but that gets kinda old after a while.

I don't know why I complain. The days where I need to use my cane are few and far between. I desperately need to buy a new cane, my dear old Bartholomeu (Ya, I named my cane) is all cracked at the top from numerous droppings. I almost bought a new one but my pride doesn't want me to. I keep reminding myself that it would be good to have a spare one at work, but part of me (being the youngest full time employee) just can't stomach the idea of being the only one with a cane there.

I can't talk to James about this, and that makes me cry. He is great and wonderful if I need him to get something for me. He reminds me to put my medicine in my purse every evening (I take it twice a day). But with anything emotional... he kinda fails... miserably. I start to try and talk about how something makes me feel and he will either unintentionally change the subject, or wait through that awkward silence and say, "Oh... well if there's anything I can do..." No! I want you to comfort me, cry with me, tell me how YOU are hurting to see me hurt! Hold me! Encourage me to be strong and push my way through this! Tell me you don't know when it will get better, but you'll be there for me every step of the way!

He doesn't know how to deal with me like this because he hasn't seen me like this much (okay, he doesn't really know how to deal with emotions ever, but still). Sigh. I had a really bad outbreak of arthritis a couple of years ago, that's when I got my cane. It was one of the most humiliating things I ever did to walking around my college campus with that thing, but I made a game out of it. But then I got on Remicade. Two words: Miracle. Drug. I basically had no symptoms of arthritis for several years with that. In fact, it sent me into a medical remission. I didn't start having symptoms again until I stopped taking it for about 8 months. Why did I stop taking it? Well, I used to be on Mommy's insurance, which made it about a $35 copay per dose (every 2 months). Now I'm on craptastic stuff for the real world. Remicade is about $2500 a vial... I get three vials in one dose. Sigh, I always knew this say would come... oh the joys of turning 26 and getting booted off of mom's insurance!

The hope is that Humira will make me "normal" again. Right now I'm having the pain staved off with Prednizone (horrible drug don't ever take it unless for very short periods of time), Plaquinil (I'm convinced this does nothing), and a heeeeavy NSAID that I had to halve the dosage because it was giving me severe nosebleeds.

The two doses of Humira I have in my fridge are free samples from my doctor. My hope is that it will help me  just like the Remicade. My hope is that I wont struggle to be able to pick up the phone at work on the days I forget to bring my medicine. My hope is that I can go back to taking one pill a day instead of 8... my hope is... to be normal again. There were a few years there, where I could forget I had arthritis from time to time. I'd like that.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wedding Update

I think I'm going to regret not updating this more often about all the fun chaos that's going on this time of my life.

Hair: I found a really good woman to do my hair for me. She did my future sister in law's hair for a while and she really liked her. I can see why, the woman is very talented. I have the obnoxious problem of having waaaaay too much hair. It is getting so long that it's almost impossible to do anything with it, too. Well, I got it thinned by this woman and... wow. I lost literally a pound and a half of hair, and I still have more hair than the average female. I've decided that after the wedding I'm going to get it thinned out as thin as she reasonably thinks she can get it, but I'm just happy to be able to manage my hair again!
A pound and a half of hair, and I lost no length at all. 

Shower: I have my bridal shower this weekend!!! I'm soooo excited to get to go see my good girlfriends, but I'm not too happy about being away from James for 4 WHOLE DAYS!!!!! I'm going back to DC to have it (ya, I know most girl have the shower in the town they live in, and the wedding in the town they are from if it's different... I go against the grain I guess... or I just don't like the inconvenience...). I know almost nothing of what's happening except for when and where it is... except one of my friends asked me and James to provide a list of 5 characteristics that describe the other... let's just say James wasn't very pleased. He did it, but no doubt they're about as sarcastic as his answers could be... I'm like, "look, buddy, it's not like YOU are the one who's going to have to sit through all of it!" I mean, I trust these girls (mostly) but I'm really not too sentimental either... here's to hoping, I guess...

Gifts: I've been watching my registry like a hawk... I finally stopped looking at the specific items that have been bought when I realized that I'm going to need SOMETHING to be surprised about at the shower! I mean, I am sure some people will give me money (which I never know how to react to) and some people will buy stuff not from the registry, but it's like, "wow, this thing.... I was... hoping someone would get it for me... yay..." I also abhor opinging presents in front of people... all their expectations and such... But anyway, 22 gifts have been purchased (it was 19 this morning) out of... a lot (we're greedy). I'm kinda excited to find out what we're going to get. Fed Ex called me today and said that they'd be delivering the package around 2pm. I asked James about it and he got no package. Now either it went to his apartment (which means either his roommate picked it up or one of his neighbors will [not in the good way] because he wont be back there for several days) or they dropped off something at my parents house. I went ahead and changed the address on the registry from his apartment to my work so that we don't have to deal with that more.

Photography: We canned our photographer. James wasn't happy with them and they have been bugging me to no end about our engagement shots. Seriously, they have called me at least twice a month since we've picked them, yuck! I told them in November not to bother me until the Spring for engagement shots, but they wouldn't listen. And then the guy calls me one day and I'm being rather obviously short with him and he goes, "You're not getting stressed, are you?!?" I was literally dumbfounded. He then proceeded to tell me that most girls have their bridesmaids do all the work (ya... right). I told him that all mine were in different states and so he dropped it. I mean, seriously? Who does that? I only stressed out about this for like a day, then I found someone who seems pretty good, and you almost always can convince someone to give you a deal when you're two months out and they don't have a wedding planned (though I'd recommend against planning it that way).

Invitations: I've sent almost all of them out. There are 4 stragglers (people who I got their addys late, plus two that live in different countries (I already know one of them has his ticket and the other one isn't coming) that I'm not the most motivated to get the invitations to right away.

Nails: I decided I wanted to not go the fake nail route (sorta) for the wedding. My nails are paper thin, so they don't grow well or stay long for long, so I've decided to grow them out a little and shellac polish them. I'm excited to see what they look like. I'm doing it tomorrow (I went over budget for February... tomorrow is March!)

Ring: I got a new engagement ring. Apparently I am allergic to white gold. We had an interesting time at the store. James didn't mind me coming along to pick out the new ring, but he soon regretted it. This one was too this, that one was too that. After tons of different options, I found one. It had originally an opal in the center, which we replaced with an aquamarine. I'm fiercely opposed to the conflict/blood diamond thing, which is way closer to home than most would suspect (most diamonds come from 2nd or 3rd hand places before they get to America, so they honestly can say they didn't buy from a discredible source, and the others honestly can dehumanize people). And even if they DID come from a decent source, I don't like the idea of buying the type of rock that people have died over. For example, a new diamond mine was found in a poor town in Africa, within a few months, the government was set up to shoot anyone who tried to "steal" diamonds from it. Don't believe me? Google it.

Now you must add the obligatory "Oooo, ahhh"

Still working on figuring out wedding bands, though. His is gonna be EXPENSIVE. Oh well, we'll find a way.

That's about it for tonight. Going to head to bed soon. God bless, everyone!

Friday, February 17, 2012

It's not about freedom

You know what's driving me nuts about this whole HHS thing? Catholics that write this crap.

I hope you didn't read any more than the second sentence of that, it just hurts. It IS about contraception! It's not that the government is forcing us to do something, it's that the government is forcing us to do something WRONG! Forcing someone to violate their conscience is wrong. If the government mandated that contraception was to be taken out of all health insurance policies, would that be wrong? NO!

People, government is, by nature, a good thing. It's the abuse of government that is so cruel. I can't stand these libertarian idiots who say that freedom is more important than the good... NO. The good is more important than freedom! Not getting blown up is more important than my privacy when going on an airplane. There is no such thing as a "right" to vote. If there was, God would have instituted it and we would have had a very different Savior (perhaps it's the lack of holiness in me, but I totally would have voted for the guy that says we can do whatever we want without offending God!).

All of the papal documents that have addressed government say point blank that governmental control is a good thing. The government exists to protect the good and orderly in society. We can't go saying that just because the government did something bad that we should annihilate it (I'm talking to YOU Ron Paul!). How about... oh I don't know, FIXING the problem???

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


It's 4am, and I'm awake.

It's basically normal for me to awaken sometime during this hour. I generally need to go to the bathroom, change positions, or whatever, and then go back to sleep.

I can't.

The reason is because I'm sobbing too hard. I'm on this new medicine (a different one from my previous blog posts). This medicine is less controversial, so I'll be more frank about it. It doesn't matter what it's called, because I can't spell the darned thing anyway. The fact is that it's not working.

I was taking prednisone in addition to this new medicine (more on that later) and I was supposed to start tapering off after a couple of weeks. I decided to try yesterday, and I woke up with a huge flare up in my left elbow and a smaller one in my knee. Now, this is actually improvement to only have two problematic joints, but you must understand that that's just about as consoling as the phrase "President Mitt Romney" is to this country (ie. a heck of a lot better than where we are... but come on!). I tried once more last night not to take the prednisone, but here I am, awake and sobbing.

My elbow hurts. I just took my prednisone, but I'm running out. I only have 5 left and I'm not sure what to do. Do I give this new medicine more time to try and work?

This is an increasingly frustrating situation because:
1) There is a host of potent medications out there that I could easily afford and be able to use... that is if I wasn't Catholic and getting married. I can't use methotrexate because it's an abortifacient. I originally had qualms with using it in my early Catholic days, but my (nominally) Catholic doctor helped me realize that it's not a sin if you have no possibility of that effect.

2) I was on a good medicine, but with getting off of my parent's insurance and solely onto my work insurance, I can no longer afford it. With my typical 80/20 plan, that puts me at over $1,400 every other month (all other expenses excluded). While I'm willing to TRY to make this work if it's absolutely necessary... I honestly just don't think I can. (PS, I got off of that medicine a while ago because it was actually found more potent than necessary, so it's not strictly a cost issue, but with it not even being a real option in the future, my heart breaks a little) but my doctor also recommended against using that drug if I were ever to get pregnant.

3) I'm consistently having to take time off of work to see the doctor (I have other health issues that need to be addressed, too, you know), talk to doctors, call doctors, think abotu calling doctors... it's just too much.

One of these days I sincerely hope to make a trip to Lourdes.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

You mess with all of us...

Obama has done himself in on this one.

I'm not going to pretend you don't know about the whole disgraceful attack on conscience issue that's come up. If you don't know about it, go to Even the most liberal of Bishops are speaking out against it.

When Obama does something to get Cardinal Mahoney (the former Arch Bishop of Los Angeles that Benedict couldn't wait the normal five years to replace) to say something like "My vote on November 6 will be for the candidate for President of the United States and members of Congress who intend to recognize the full spectrum of rights under the many conscience clauses of morality and public policy. If any candidate refuses to acknowledge and to promote those rights, then that candidate will not receive my vote." on his January 20th post to his blog listed here,  you know he's gone and done it.

Not gonna lie, it freaks me out that for ONCE I agree with Mahoney, AND Diocese of Rochester, AND The National Catholic Reporter (one of the worst claiming-to-be-Catholic publications EVER) (here and here).

I did check the Women's  Ordination Conference to see if they said anything. Nadda as of yet. If THEY would have put up something on their website against this, I may have died of happiness right here and now.

Napoleon once said that he was going to try and destroy the Catholic Church. Someone responded to him with, "But the Clergy has been trying to do that for centuries!"

Never before in my short (7 year) Catholic lifespan have I ever seen so many Catholics so united. While some may see this as kind of pathetic... I'll just be happy with what we have right now.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Because I'm stupid.

So, I started getting ready to take a second nap yesterday, and grumpily told James that I was doing so and not to bother me. He comes in and asks if I'm just tired or if I'm upset. I reluctantly told him the frustrations I expressed in my last post. He goes, "Oh, what do you want me to make you?" I told him that there wasn't anything in the house that would be quick and easy enough (grumpily, of course) he looked all over and made me some canned chili that was actually rather decent. He even grated the cheese for me.

"Why can't you just tell me you're upset instead of just huffing about it?"
"I don't know... because I'm stupid."

I didn't tell him that I blogged about it first. Apparently I can tell everyone in the world before I can tell him I"m upset with him.

He was wonderful. We made a plan for Sunday meals and we're both quite happy with it.

...still working on the naping thing.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Sunday Ritual

Quick wedding update: We have officially reached the less than 3 months category. The only things we don't have right now are plans for the engagement shoot (which we want to do mid-late March anyway), flowers (ya, I'm bad), or a DJ. I'll get these taken care of... you know, at some point. And if not... oh well.

We're well beyond starting to learn the things that drive the other crazy. We both knew it would happen. I mean, I came from a politically correct Baptist upbringing (and was rather liberal growing up until high school, a couple of years before becoming Catholic), and he has always been a nerdy intellectual and coming from at least a cultural Catholic family. My family heritage/traditions can best be described as American because much of my ancestry was involved in the American Revolt in the 1770's (I'm not Americanist, can you tell?), and no one has been here less than 100 years. In other words, we're rather Protestant in upbringing and hold no cultural ties outside of America. However, if I had to point to a My family is more German in their traditions than anything else. James is Italian. Is there anything else that needs to be said?

On a typical Sunday when I was growing up, my family would go to church, come home, change out of our good clothes (it would be better if more Catholics had good clothes to change out of), and eat. We eat a rather large meal after church. Usually, my Daddy would go to the earlier service, so that dinner (the only day of the week dinner is for lunch... my family was raised in Texas) was ready when my mom and I got back from church. We would have a large meal that would almost always sit at the table for. The exceptions would be if we all sat at the TV to watch a game or just plan didn't feel up to the task of clearing off the table. This meal would be rather large. After dinner we'd do whatever we wanted, usually in seclusion. Later, we would one by one trickle off to bed for our afternoon nap. While someone else is napping, everyone else in the house talk at a whisper. The TV is down several notches, even if people are sleeping on a different floor. I don't know why this was an unspoken tradition. It just was. I rarely nap, but I do on Sundays more than any other day.  Perhaps it's because it's the whole day of rest thing.  For dinner dinner we would eat leftovers from the earlier meal if we ate at all. We'd eat separately, of course.

James and I came to my apartment after Mass today and he had told me that he was making the rest of the ravioli with sauce for dinner. I'm like, yay. I come into the kitchen to see him frying up bacon. "I thought you said we were having ravioli!" I said. "Ya, for dinner!" Ugh. So I told him I can't eat any more bacon because my stomach has been sensitive to fats lately, and he said he was making eggs, too. I don't like eggs. So I'm not eating until he makes dinner dinner. I'm rather hungry now. He says he wont start dinner until he's hungry... I'm about to die. I had nothing but carbs and fats this morning (bagel with cream cheese) and I'm dying. I explained to him that we're both going to need to give a little with this because I can't handle something like this happening every week. This is the third week in a row that something has happened like this, and I finally realized that it's because of my upbringing that I think it's INSANE to cook two meals on a Sunday. Why don't I just make myself a snack? Well, I'm trying to be more health conscious and all the snacks I could eat are empty carbs which make me feel awful later (I've also officially reached the 'overweight'category for the first time in my life and I think I'm going to die). I absolutely refuse to put the effort of cooking meat (which I really need right now), and I'm tired and grumpy at James.

Speaking of grumpy at James, he tells me that I'm not allowed to have my Sunday nap. And I'm like, say what now? I'm gonna take a nap whenever I feel like I need one which is going to be most Sundays. He says it's not leisurely enough, and I think he's full of sh*t (to those of you who are offended with VERY occasional language... you really shouldn't be reading my blog). I mean, seriously, how can you be doing LESS than when you're sleeping? I mean, duh. And today I took a nap, which he KNEW I didn't get much sleep last night, and he start yelling at his mother on the phone (he thinks that's a normal tone for phone conversations... or often in regular ones) in the other room. I'm so irritated about this. HE KNOWS I WAKE UP TO EVERYTHING! He should know that I get deeply offended when people wake me up due to lack of courtesy. I'm actually about to cry because of this. In college I would wake up sometimes by people walking down the hall outside of my room... I had to switch from a conventional alarm clock to my cell phone because everything else is too loud and shocks my nerves when it goes off (I get physically sick from that shock, btw). I told James that when he comes in my room to wake me up from a nap, he has to turn the doorknob gentler because it is loud and shocks me awake. And he thinks he can just go on shouting in the other room??? Man, he's so oblivious sometimes.

I think I'm going to try and go back to sleep because I'm tired and hungry, but too tired and hungry to make something for myself.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Pre Cana

I have just returned from our day at Pre Cana. Somehow, we survived. I was more concerned about James surviving at first (he doesn't do well with fluff), but after the second presentation, I was afraid I'd go ballistic on someone.

First session: This guy talked to us about Myers Briggs. This was basically the most enjoyable part of the day. It turns out (if his descriptions are accurate) that I am an ENFJ, and James is an ISTP... so basically we are COMPLETE opposites. I basically knew that we were rather different, but what's funny, is that in some ways I display some minor introvert tendencies... which are the tendencies in which James is not introverted. I mean, people, we are exactly opposites personality-wise. We were circling which letter best corresponded to our personalities and when it came up to thinking/feeling (T/F), he had barely gotten past what the letters stand for when we both had ours circled. Best believe that there was a lot of nudging him when the guy  said things that I've been saying to James for months. 

Second session: I have never come so close to screaming at a man in a public setting before in my life. He starts off the day with "I've been married ___ years and we have seven kids. I know that most of you are thinking, 'he's either really Catholic, or really horny...I'm not really Catholic-just kidding!" I made up my mind not to pay attention to the talk any longer. I started texting my friend Tahlia about how awful this guy was just to keep myself from making a scene (though I wonder if I should have to make a point that this shouldn't have been tolerated). If there is one thing I cannot tolerate, it's sex jokes. He made a few comments throughout the talk that were sexual in nature, one of which being that his wife said she didn't want to come to the talk because she didn't like social events. He responded, "Good, then I can talk dirty about us..." Ugh, such an ass (at some point I will explain my belief in appropriate uses of profanity)

I'm going to say this once. Sex is a wonderful and beautiful thing between spouses. I will never talk about my sex life to anyone other than my husband or a doctor (or a priest in very specific and rare settings). I don't even like the idea about hinting at it. I think it is downright horrible and nothing other than blatant sacrilege will get more of a rise out of me. My parents have a neighbor who is a complete ass about this topic, making sexual jokes frequently, ect. I don't feel it's my place to say anything. He was asking me some questions once about basically whether or not James and I have engaged in certain activities (in front of my parents, mind you). Obviously, this is a question you can't ignore or say, "it's none of your business" without people suspecting the worst, so I answered it honestly, and he makes fun of me. This was Christmas dinner. I explain that this is not an appropriate topic of conversation and he says that James thinks otherwise. This, of course made me start to yell "No, James thinks this is just as abhorrent as I do!" He yelled (as I stormed away) "Wait till you're married! Then see how much he doesn't like this!" I realized then that he had misunderstood me to say that I thought sex was abhorrent. No. I believe sex to be such a beautiful thing that it is to be kept exclusively within marriage... including (basically) talking about it. I'm not talking about  abstractly referring to the concept (as I am in this post). But talking about the specifics of marital relations (aside from certain medical situations), including joking about it includes other people into that sphere that is supposed to only involve the couple, and is downright awkward to us. So not talking about it DOES NOT EQUAL thinking it's taboo or intrinsically sinful or whatever... I just think that private things should be kept private. I strongly dislike crude speech and I believe that it especially has no place in a public setting...LET ALONE A CATHOLIC ONE. Best believe I wrote a nasty evaluation saying specifically he should be fired on the evaluation. 

Back to the day. 

The next talk was about Catholic Spirituality. This man had very good things to say but did not present it very well. I appreciated his emphasis that he had to work hard in his marriage to make it happy again. Unfortunately, he basically ended up having his talk be a narrative about his life with a little bit of theology thrown in instead of the other way around. 

The next talk was about sexuality and intimacy in marriage. 

First, I can't stand "couple talks." Usually, one person just stands there and interjects annoying personal details about leaving the toilet seat up while the other one gives the content (this was actually acknowledged by the wife in their talk.). They had a weird slide show presentation with random quotes from movies as the main content (okay, there was one from Blessed JPII, which would be hard to be a bad thing). They were basically your typical NFP/Theology of the Body couple that overemphasizes the (please change your mental voice to high pitched and overly optimistic) absolutely wonderful aspects of marriage and love and babies and love and... and MUCUS! I much prefer these people to the second presenter, however, they did start to annoy me toward the end. They clearly didn't agree with living with each other before marriage or contraception, but instead of explaining that it damages your relationship because it's a sin and sin will kill anything living with its stench, they explain the practical benefits of not. Get. Real. I'm sorry, but if we're going to go with the practical benefits alone, most people would agree that it's practically more rewarding to have sex before marriage. Now this couple obviously knows this because they admitted that they lived together before marriage and implied regretting it later. I personally don't really believe that was the best way to go about it. If you want to inspire people, prove to them that this is possible, believe in them, and don't say "it was too hard for me... but you guys can do it easily!" 

Then we had lunch. We shared a table with this fun couple that was originally from Atlanta. We all talked about the differences of our childhood locations to Cincinnati, but then I decided to be adventurous... I mean, hey I'm never going to see these people again. "So what do you think of everything today?" I asked. They gave some polite comments at first, with a few descriptions of things they would have preferred differently. I agreed and said, "But that second guy I just couldn't stand. His sense of humor was awful." I don't normally do things like that... I usually like to avoid making my strong opinions known to complete strangers, but perhaps James is rubbing off on me a bit. Luckily the girl  said that she didn't appreciate that humor either, and she had even mentioned that to her fiance at the time. I also liked them because their wedding was sooner than ours. The fact that they had Pre Cana so close implied to me that they had a short engagement, which I believe to be a good sign. With the exception of elopement, I've found that people with shorter engagements tend to better understand what commitment is truly required with marriage. I tend to have more respect for people who don't want needless delays (actually is Church teaching that it's better to get married faster) (for obvious reasons). 

We then went to what may have been the more thought provoking talk of the day: conflict resolution. There, she had us fill out a worksheet that had two boxes: one with things that help us communicate better, and another with barriers to communication. The bottom box was too small.  We realized more about how different we are in regard to communication, and it made us laugh... and have a mini fight about it right then and there. I looked down and the next question was: How long ago was your last disagreement? Ugh... 30 seconds... There was a bit of pop psychology in it, but it did give us some "conversation fodder" (quoted by friends who went to the same talk months ago). 

Finally... finances. This is a source of disagreement among James and me, though we basically agree in theory, just not always in application. I generally enjoy thinking about money and planning and such. He literally despises it. But I want to involve him in money matters so that I'm not going behind his back about things. Well he prefers I don't bother him about it but I feel like that would be dishonest for me to make money decisions without consulting him.  Well, the guy who led the talk was kind of annoying when he implied that things would be easier if we were living together now. But then, he goes, "Who is living together now, raise your hand." I wanted to throw up. I buried my head in James' arm because I couldn't look at these people and not judge them. Luckily, I only caught glimpse of one couple before I closed me eyes. 

My overall evaluation of the day:
James and I basically realized that this was not going to be something we enjoyed. We were really bothered by the lack of blatant stating of the rules. James puts it: "You should do A, and not do B. If you do B, you better enjoy burning... a lot." Admittedly I think his approach could use a bit of pastoral work, but I greatly prefer his to this "It's better for your marriage not to sleep together first, but I'm not going to point out that it's actually WRONG to do it in the first place," "you shouldn't do this because you might end in divorce (how about pointing out that divorce is NOT ALLOWED)," and "I'm so okay with the normality of people living together before marriage, I'm going to have you publicly declare it and not shame you!" 

If they catered this more toward the people who take their faith seriously, I think they'd end up with more people who take their faith seriously. James pointed out that the reason that the divorce rate is so high is because it is a generally accepted fact of society. If it was culturally unacceptable, then it wouldn't happen nearly as often. The only thing we can do to lower the divorce rate, is stress that it's not an option in the first place. 

I'm planning on writing a letter to the diocese in 17  years when I have some time...