I'll tell you a tale

That week went by about as fast as any week I've ever experienced. So now I feel like discoursing on something I've had occasion to think about recently. Ever since I read The Story of the Irish Race I've felt very protective of the country whose heritage I claim. This sentiment causes extreme reactions to fake Irish accents, stereotypes, among other things. Drinking songs are one of those things about which I feel very strongly. One, once in while, I don't have a problem with. But when congregations of people who want to get together, be Catholic, and bellow out some tunes, lapse into one drinking song after another, something in me begins to smoulder. There are so many songs which are more truly Irish (all our wars are merry, and all our songs are SAD). Why would you wish to prolong the stereotype of the drunken, whiskey obsessed Irishman? Especially when it's stereotype propagated by the British to give Irish Catholics a bad name? I would instead suggest breaking out some more respectful and stirring music, a la "The Foggy Dew" or "Wearing of the Green". Just a thought.


Good Salad Day

I knew things were going well when my salad included apples, chicken, and sunflower seeds. The Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist gave a talk this evening. The sisters were so joyful and charged with positive energy, it was wonderful and inspiring. It struck me because I've talked to so many girls (recently and in the past) who want romance in their lives and someone with whom to share hopes and dreams. It can be frustrating for anyone to feel like they are the only one noticing other people; but I think it's particularly hard for girls when they don't get attention from guys. There's a sense of not being note worthy, and, above all, a desire to be the one pursued for a change. Which brought to mind these lines: "From those strong feet that followed, followed after...'Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee, Save Me, save only Me?'" We are all so desperate to be loved, wanted, needed, understood; and it's hard to for us to understand that there is a Terrible Lover pursuing each one of us drawing breath today. One who did the unthinkable to win us back, though it was our fault to begin with. You can find it in that small ache in the corner of your soul that's never really gone. An ache that sometimes expands to match your happiness because every joy you find is just another reminder of what we've all lost. Why else would the beauty of a sunset make us weep, if not for overwhelming homesickness? Augustine acknowledged this as our "restless" hearts. Hearts restless until they rest in what Yeats so appropriately named "The Threefold Terror of Love." It's something I know and try to recognize every day, but sometimes a talk from those who have found the truest romance helps a bit.


Valerie Plame - The Decemberists

No video, but nevertheless, a new Decemberists single is always cause for celebration.


The Guggenheim Grotto

Such a catchy song...I love these guys. Why are they so unknown?


men, marines, and maple syrup

I find it frustrating that the more intellectual, supposedly highbrow, of the Catholic males here tend to fit into a neat stereotype. Which is that they tend (again, emphasis on "tend". sweeping generalizations are my strong suit.) to be disappointing. Rife with non specific inclinations to Latin, inability to distinguish Old Rite from New (if it's Tridentine, it's the "Latin Mass", as if you can't say Novus Ordo in Latin), and a most singular predisposition to tobacco, alcohol, and antisemitism. And on top of all this, of course the understated attitude that women should be covered and silent in church, and probably shouldn't vacate a building unless attired in a full skirt. That last one is more of a vibe I'm getting, although it was alluded to in a passing conversation. As was a subtle but definite slight of the USMC. At which point I say: OK. I understand you think it's cool to grow beards, smoke pipes, and bellow Irish drinking songs (a whole separate issue I might address later). But that doesn't make you manly. Put simply, it's emasculate to be that nonathletic, sallow skinned, and the longish hair isn't helping either. Perhaps dreams of becoming Celtic warriors are simmering somewhere in the subconcious, but let's be honest. You wouldn't last five minutes against the Marines you feel superior to, and I'm guessing some real Celtic beserkers would take you down in roughly the same timeslot. Before you demand unequivocal femininity from all women, take a look in the mirror and ask yourself if you actually approximate any reasonable definition of manhood. Because I would much rather take a guy who's more of a Marine mindset and less of an egghead. And finally, the maple syrup here does not tast like maple syrup. I'm hard pressed to tell you what it tastes like, but maple isn't really the first thing that comes to mind. I fear to know what they make in or out of.


Oh, Wes

I always forget to mention how much I love Wes Welker. He came out of nowhere last season and became one of those staple players; not too flashy, but so dependable. All the buzz was about Randy Moss and Welker ran around in the background picking up key yardage and my vote for top ten Pats.


thing I have discovered at Hillsdale

1) Alexander is even more awesome than I thought he was 2) James Madison is brilliant 3) Honors kids are a doozy of a mixed bag 4) Don't play capture the flag with Niedfeldt 5) If there's a really long line at Saga, it's probably worth the wait 6) Always go to a free performance at the Sage 7) Get boots before you get here 8) I love George Washington. A lot. 9) If you're going into the library, take a sweatshirt with you 10) Put on sunscreen before the Football game.


Kat Dennings

Found a new blog, by Kat Dennings, who turns out to be the reclusive, literary, homeschooler type. She's also apparently an actress, and is playing Norah in that 'Nick and Norah' movie. Go figure. She's also a good writer. While you're at it, check out the Literary Voices section of the blog for super-rare audio of famous literary figures speaking, like Flannery O'Connor and G. K. Chesterton.