Attn: Readers

My mother would like you all to know that we are not, in fact, hill folk. Our Christmas decorations were put away a long time ago, during a month that was definitely not April, and any indication to the contrary was merely poetic license. So. Don’t discuss us and snicker at your next family gathering.

That being said, I have nothing else to add except I think I bombed a chemistry quiz this afternoon (well, only one question, but it was worth about 45% of the quiz grade so yeah. Bombed.) and I registered! For classes! For my senior year!

Well, almost completely. I got into Renaissance art and architecture in Italy, a comp lit class about gnosticism, intro to Jewish history, the Arab/Israeli conflict, something called Moses, Jesus, and Mohammed but whatever I’d take something called Watching Me Make A Grocery List if Dr. Crain taught it, and, of course, my thesis. Which I keep forgetting about even though it’s going to be significantly more work and more nausea-inducing than the rest of them and all I can say is be thankful you don’t live with me! Because for those of you that do? Fall is going to be a bumpy couple of months.

I still need to manually add Jews in Wisconsin, because the stupid computer won’t let you do more than 18 credits. Pssh. Whatever. So far there are exactly…no people enrolled. I don’t think I should have too much trouble getting in.

So. Yes. That was my day. Fascinating, no?

It’s a little blasphemous.

My family generally likes St. Joseph. I mean, my parents are pretty convinced that he’s the only reason they got married, they only have live children because of St. Joseph’s hospital, etc. But for some reason we have not only one, but TWO beheaded St. Joseph statues at our house right now. One met with an unfortunate accident while being taken out of the nativity scene (SHUT UP I know it’s April but you know what? Until like last week we were under six feet of snow), and the other? Well, John came downstairs this morning, looked out the door and went, “Oh, my.”

Poor St. Joseph. I mean, you were the earthly father of Christ, but it was hardly an easy gig. You put up with the whole virgin birth thing, try to teach the Son of Man to use a hammer, and then aren’t even mentioned after the first few chapters of the canonical Gospels. I mean, as long as you’re messing with the story, John, why don’t you add something about Joe in there, huh?

And then we can’t even keep your head on.

St. Joseph? I thought you might like to know that Mary is watching from the other side of the porch and feels very badly for you. And she wants you to know that she’s glad you didn’t divorce her quietly. She’ll try to stop the alarmingly large hawks that come RIGHT UP TO OUR HOUSE from mistaking your head for a small furry creature and stealing it.

I am the grammar snob about whom your mother warned you.

Oh, internets. Did no one else have to diagram sentences for years on end? Or was that just me?

Oh. I think it was actually just me.


Thanks, Mom.

Anyway, I’m reading this book written by this woman whose brilliant poetry professor husband left her for some other faculty member and her subsequent almost-mental-breakdown. Just because I want a fun read, you know.

No, really it’s because she played Det. Stabler’s wife on SVU and I FREAKING LOVE SVU.

Except this woman? Can. Not. Write. Like, for shit. The prose is awkward and she misuses contractions and it’s just…bad. I make no claims about my ability to do anything remotely creative. I could not write a story. Academic paper? Sign me up. I will hit that baby out of the park. So I’m not judging her, I just feel like someone, ANYONE, any one of her friends should have attacked this manuscript with a red pen at like the very beginning of the process. Really. It’s only polite.

Because if you are going to write a scathing tell-all of how your loser husband dumped you for a freaking poetry professor who looks like Winona Ryder? You had better make your your prepositions are in the right place. He is an English professor, after all.

(Oh, and there was a story about getting a job in academia that made me want to take up drinking a permanent hobby.)

See? THIS is why you never leave a Law and Order. Bad things happen.

Thoughts During an Extra Credit Chemistry Video

Ugh. It’s 7:00. I don’t want to be here. I’m missing HIMYM for this.

There is like no one else here. How big a dork am I for showing up?

15 points. I would do anything for 15 points. Perky little TA Sandra down there could say that her boyfriend was bugging her and needed somebody to take him out and I’d be like, “Do you provide the weapons?”

Ooh, video guy says “exquisite” like Alan Rickman. *swoon*

ACK! Video guy looks nothing like Alan Rickman.

15 points. Come on. Your GPA is so worth this.

And, okay, now there are…no, there can’t be…you can’t show that in an educational video…this isn’t cable…okay, yep, there is definite nudity there. Oh, ick.

Meh. 15 points.

Come on, you’re an actual female. It’s not like you’ve never seen boobs before. Granted, these are large, saggy, native-type boobs, but the general thought is the…okay. No. This is just wrong.

15 points. 15 points. 15 points.

I had better get summa cum laude for this, so help me God.

Video Guy: “Something prophetic about that mid-summer bonfire that I will attempt to conjure in the present.” Oh, good. I was worried this would be a dull night.

15 points. 15 points. 15 points.

Video Guy: “Cold, calculating, cantankerous, prim, precise, puritanical…” Did you just learn alliteration, Jim.

Lavoisier perished in the French Revolution, like a good chunk of the entire nation.

Seriously. You have to stop saying “climax”. It’s freaking me out.

15 points.

And…now they’re explaining atomic theory with those balls you use for lawn games.

You know, this would have been a hell of a lot more fun with Simon Schama.

I’m skipping Cuba tomorrow.

And because of that, it’s going to be a good day.

Yes, I have a ton to do. Yes, I have five hundred dry Irish history pages to read because everybody bombed the last test and now Dr. Crain is convinced that we’re not reading it. Yes, I have to kill two hours after art history and there will only be a wrap place open for an hour of it. Yes, I have to stay on campus until eight for a chem extra credit thing.

But it STILL will be a fantastic day.

Because NO CUBA.

Frick yeah.

Everyone will probably remain fully clothed.

It’s been a really long week. I could have gotten together with Mary and Nick tonight, or I could have gone to the dinner dance.

Oh, the dinner dance. Last year was…well, it was amazing. But this year it’s actually at church, which will significantly cut down on the drunken reveling. I’m guessing. Wait a minute. Yeah, maybe it won’t. That parish likes to party. I saw people I’ve never seen before at Mass tonight in sequins and enough foundation to make a Boston Store makeup girl weep. They were looking for a great time.

Also, everything was like set up through the narthex and the school hallway and it’s all congested and twisty and there’s crap hanging from the ceilings and yeah, probably nobody will fall down and expose their…ahem…area to the general public.

(I still want to know what’s going through your mind when you think, “Oh, I’m going to a church function. I know! I’M NOT GOING TO WEAR PANTIES!!!” Stupid whore.)

I freaking love drunk people.

But I don’t think it would be the same, and like nobody else was going, so I’m doing the significantly more dorky but FUN way and studying Irish history notes and drinking sangria (Carlo Rossi- who I also discovered this morning provides the wine for St. Monica’s. I knew I liked that place…). It’s a good time.

Oh, I served confirmation this morning despite not actually being a server this morning and the fact that it wasn’t actually at my parish. Whatever. It was fun. But their albs were significantly more like priest’s albs and less like the loser server ones that we have and damn, I think I have figured out the real problem facing today’s clergy. It’s not celibacy or the sex abuse scandal- it’s the fact that those albs are ridiculously unflattering.

Except maybe it’s just if you’re busty. Which shouldn’t be a problem, I guess. Hmm. So maybe it’s just a problem for post-pubescent female alter servers.


Oh, internets. It is 7:26. And it is NOT a good day already. I was lazy this morning and didn’t do anything I was supposed to, opting instead to sleep until the last possible minute. So I feel like schlub. Then I get out to car and realize that I don’t have keys. No worries. The keys are probably inside.

Except wait.

The Empress may have taken them a week ago to go to work and not returned them (NOT being snarky to the Empress, I should have asked for them.)

Okay. We must have another set.

Oh. Right. With my dad. Who is in the other car (to which I am holding TWO sets of keys right now) en route to UWM.

This? Is not good.

So now I get to carpool down to my advising appointment, where I will undoubtedly be told to take summer school to finished the double major that I can’t afford and I looked online this morning and Borders didn’t even bother to deposit a check because do you know how much money I made in the last two weeks NOTHING THAT’S HOW MUCH but I love Borders and I keep hoping things are going to get better and I don’t want to quit!!!


Maybe my thesis will begin with, "So, have you seen that movie Keeping the Faith? With Edward Norton?"

It’s official. As of this afternoon, I am over methods class. Any tender feelings I may have had because of my lovely secondary sources note have disappeared and I feel that failing out and becoming a full-time gelato chef or something would be preferable to finished this paper.

No, I didn’t just write my entire analysis of the David Frost and Richard Nixon 28-hour interview based on a two-second portion of the Frost/Nixon movie trailer. Pssh. That would be irresponsible. I’m a serious academic here.

Except I totally did.

Who’s an asset to any MA program now, Dr. Austin?

Baby of the Eighties

So…I did totally post something last night, but it appears that the internets ate it. Oh well. It wasn’t very interesting. It was more academic angst, because I just realized that hey! I’ve kind of totally already completed the religious studies major! And I’m kind of totally going to graduate school for religious studies. So it kind of totally makes sense to, oh, I don’t know, declare the religious studies major. That involves like way more weird classes and summer school and oh, hey, I never applied for financial aid for summer school because I don’t take summer school and whatever, I just want a glass of wine.

The real post I was going to put up was about this absolutely amazing book I’ve been reading, Signs of the Times. I picked it up because it’s subtitled “Understanding the Church Since Vatican II” and I’m planning on spending most of next year attempting to understand the Church since Vatican II- it seemed appropriate. It’s less of a history than I would have liked, and more of a collection of theological studies by Fr. Richard Gilsdorf , who was actually from Green Bay.

In it, he describes himself as a “Vatican II liberal”, which I found really interesting because I was talking with my advisor about how way too often, particularly in the United States, the whole Vatican II thing ends up being broken up into a whole liberal/conservative thing, and that’s completely unfounded.

Like Fr. Gilsdorf points out, why do you need to be liberal or conservative? Why can’t you be “as liberal as the pope and as conservative as the pope?” Why can’t you just love the Church and want her to be the best she can be?

I really think that you can. All to often, the whole “dissenting” thing is just ridiculous. Those who dissent, such as Andrew Greeley (Gilsdorf calls him a heterodox, which makes me laugh. I’ve read Greeley, and my humble opinion? He’s just mad he can’t get laid.), don’t really understand the theology behind the issue. If they did, they would see that there is always a reason, and it’s usually a good reason, too. It’s been five hundred years since we’ve had any “because I said so” theology. The Pope does have the highest position within the church. He is the highest servant of Christ. But precisely because he is the highest servant of Christ, he is the most humble, in Christ’s own image.

Obviously, we’ve had crappy Popes. But I’m talking big picture.

And too often the whole Vatican II issue ends up being turned into a weird political thing. Like those who wanted the Church kept like she was before Vatican II are conservative (or orthodox) and those who like the changes are liberal and want to ordain women.

I was born in the late eighties. I’ve never heard Mass in Latin. I’m incredibly thankful for Vatican II. I thin it’s amazing that a council was called to make the Church better and stronger. I really like Mass in the vernacular. I really like that there are lay ministers. I like that girls are alter servers now. I like Communion in hand (although Gilsdorf, writing in 1974, kind of freaks out about that). I have never been in a traditional confessional- I’ve always gone to a reconciliation room, and rarely did I use the screen. (Also as ’70s-era Gildorf freaks out about- I don’t think the advent of the the “reconciliation room” led to any increase in rampant illicit sex. Honestly. I’ve felt uncomfortable in confession before, but never like that. Really. Grow up.)

But I’m incredibly orthodox. I will tow the party line. I believe that sex is an expression of love within marriage and this is not supposed to keep us from having fun but rather to make marriage as an institution stronger. I think marriage is for life. If I were married, I wouldn’t be using artificial birth control. It’s not that I don’t think about the teachings of the Church, but I generally agree with them.

So anyway, this was long. And it didn’t really have a point, except that oversimplification is bad.

Oh, and apparently Milwaukee under Archbishop Cousins was a crazy hotbed of weirdness? Like polka masses and stuff? Would any of my mature readers like to comment on this, because again, I’ve never seen a chapel veil.