What fresh hell?

I usually don’t like movies with subtitles. It’s not that I’m an ignorant American who doesn’t like foreign films- I do. (Life is Beautiful makes me cry every. single. time.) It’s not that I don’t like to read- I do. But trying to read and watch a screen at the same time makes me dizzy and gives me a headache.

Of movies with subtitles, I really don’t like silent movies. I hate silent movies. I took a film history class once and didn’t watch a movie for pleasure for months afterwards because they made us watch all sorts of silent movies and “worthwhile” movies and crappy Soviet Union lesbian incest love story movies (No, I’m so vehemently not kidding.) and IT WAS THE WORST EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE.

(Well. Kind of. That was the semester of Stalker Boy. BUT IT WAS UP THERE.)

(Because did you hear read that? They were sisters. They were all sleeping together. In the Polish People’s Republic in 1974.)


At least movies with subtitles are (usually) in a different language and the accents make me laugh. But silent movies you have nothing to stare at but the weirdly drawn-on lips that apparently were wicked sexy circa 1921.

But worse than all of those (Yes, including the hairy Polish lesbians. At least they were funny.) is a silent movie with subtitles in a different language.


Also known as the ugliest language written or spoken IN THE WORLD.

(My apologies to Katie.)

So. Imagine just how awesome my Jewish European class was this afternoon. We were read a silent movie. Yep. For seventy-five minutes. And sometimes the professor couldn’t read fast enough, so I’m pretty sure she just made stuff up. Because I don’t think there’s a line about, “And now…we’re all…wait…going to party,” in the 1924 antisemitism satire City Without Jews.

I’m just guessing.

Seven more weeks.


Yesterday morning I received a text from Katie that read, “Tis the season for pogroms…oh, and we sang “Were You There?” and now it’s stuck in my head.” I laughed so hard I almost choked on my oatmeal.

Because those are the two things that were (are) pretty much running through my mind. Although this time I really tried to understand how anyone could listen to the Passion and want to go out and kill somebody. And I failed. Although, we only got Luke yesterday. I’ll have to let you know if I’m whipped into a homicidal frenzy that I’ve ignored for the past twenty-one years after listening to John on Friday.

Also, Were You There? has to be my least favorite song (after Lead Me, Guide Me and anything that involves clapping) EVER and it’s played CONSTANTLY this week. *sigh*

Anyway. It’s Passover and Holy Week, blog kitties! And that means my little comparative religion major self hardly knows which way to turn and she’s just very excited, okay? I took her to Mass and Eucharistic adoration today because I feel compelled to remind her exactly which covenant she ascribes to, but she also really wants matzoh. So.

I’m very fascinated by Passover. I kind of feel disrespectful because I’m so fascinated, but I swear, I’m not being disrespectful. Just very, very interested.

My head. It’s very interesting sometimes.

Weekend Wrap-Up



Surely there was something…

…I washed my hair? A few times? That’s exciting.

I did finish my thesis, which is massively orgasmically exciting if you’re…well, me. And not so much if you’re…well, anyone else.

(Note to Mom: Sorry I said “orgasmically.” I’m pretty sure it’s not a word, but I’m guessing it will upset you.)

Stephanie went to Mass this morning. She had a good time and made a deacon laugh really hard.

Oh! Hey! So, you know what’s really stressful? When you’re reading the Passion, only the most important part of gospels, and you’re kind of new at this whole thing anyway and your microphone is dead. So…that happened. Yeah.

Okay. Well. That was pretty informative, right? I don’t know no one except my mom reads this.

Issue in historical method and pedagogy.*

So. Internets. I’m almost finished with my thesis. Well, a rough draft. Almost. Tomorrow. Probably. I just have to tie up some loose ends and throw a paragraph about Rembert Weakland in there and we’re good to go.

Except I’ve run into a few problems.

My major problem is that I’m at the final chapter where I’m talking about John Paul II and his apostolic visit to Poland in 1979. My thesis advisor? The guy who is going to be reading and grading this? Was there. Literally. In Poland, at his Mass, the whole shebang.

So how the hell do I write about that? Like I have anything to offer? I’m sure he was sitting at that Mass thinking, “Hmm. I’ll bet in eight years a girl is going to be born who can shed some light on this experience for me.”

I mean, I know that if I ever get handed a paper by some young whippersnapper who has the gall to write an analysis of something that I was a sentient adult for? I will be unable to refrain myself from scrawling “Let me tell you something about life, kid…” across the cover page.

(Warning for my future students: 9/11 is off the list of possible topics. As are any and all Presidential elections post-2000. Because I made phone calls for W in 2004. And I wore a McCain/Palin button around campus for three months. THAT’S POLITICAL INVOLVEMENT, CHILD.)

So. That’s kind of difficult.

My other problem is that I’m using a Google translation of John Paul II’s address at the synagogue in Rome.

Yes, I know that’s not exactly a perfect source. But it was only available in Italian and my grasp of Italian is…well, I know the Starbuck’s cup sizes. But I can’t exactly quote it, because while it’s a good enough translation that I can understand what it’s saying, most of the verbs are in entirely the wrong place. Which makes quoting kind of difficult.

Oh, whatever. This guy quotes Wikipedia. I think I can forgo footnotes for a few paragraphs.

*I’m not going to lie, a huge part of the reason I’m going to grad school is so that I can use the word “pedagogy” in everyday conversation.

I was a journalism major.

I was! Honest! For, like, a whole two months.

(Incidentally, this was after psychology and before kinesiology.)

(I’m kidding. I’ve never been a kinesiology major.)


(I still have two months left.)

But I totally was. I pictured myself as a much prettier Woodward or Bernstein, having all sorts of secret sources and of course several Pulitzers…and then I realized that I really didn’t enjoy writing for newspapers and did not want to do it for the rest of my life in fact I didn’t know of anything I liked enough to do for the rest of my life except read a lot about things no one cares about and then shoot off my mouth about those things…and that’s how we ended up a history and Jewish Studies major!

(My college career. In a- poorly formed- sentence.)

Whoa, whoa, whoa there missy. What’s your point? you ask.

Oh. Right. I should have one of those. My point is that I could have continued in the journalism major if I could have just been responsible for writing articles like those that fill today’s Journal-Sentinal.

Honestly. It’s like the Center for Jewish Studies threw up on the newspaper.

First of all, we have a rather large tribute to Joseph Zilber, who was an integral (okay, one sentence. But I ran out of time.) part of my final essay for Jewish Wisconsin last semseter. Bonus points for mentioning both his Russian Jewish roots and B’ne Jeshurun Emanu El, which I would totally join if I weren’t so hung up on this whole Eucharist thing.

But that’s not all! There’s also a huge part of Cue (Or Food…or whatever it is they call the not-news section on Wednesdays now that the paper basically consists of a few articles about health care and a Kohl’s ad.) devoted to Passover. After going to Target yesterday and seeing the Passover plates and cake servers*, I kind of want to have a Very Catholic Passover Seder with Katie on Tuesday. Also, I didn’t realize that Ashkenazi and Sephardic traditions differed when it came to food. See? That is something that you should be mentioning in class. I could do without the partitions of Poland for the eighth time.

Oh, and then there were a couple of articles about Israeli settlements. Which I love because I am now a Middle Eastern News Whore.**

(Yes. It is a very interesting place inside my head.)

*My mom bought a Beleek cake plate that she’s planning on using for my graduation. It’s very pretty and very Irish and has lots of handpainted shamrocks on it. I’m planning on filling it with cookies made with my awesome Star of David cookie cutter.

My mom, incidentally, is still really mad about not being able to visit the Beleek factory when she was in Ireland. She refuses to believe that it was not smart for two women to wander around Northern Ireland in May of 1981. I maintain that if Longkesh prison had had a gift shop, she would have been there.

**Not like Lara Logan.

Totally productive.

So…day one of spring break. I have major plans for this spring break. I’m going to read a lot of fun books, completely finish my thesis, and sleep longer than four hours at a stretch. Um…most of that will have to be accomplished in the next four days. That sleep thing is totally taken care of, though.

Post-conciliar Judeo-Christian relations and why the hell do I care I’m a baby of the eighties? Not so much.

I read a little, though. That was exciting.

No, today I mostly wasted time. I made a Facebook album from yesterday…I wandered around Target talking myself into and out of buying various items of clothing…laughed a little at the blatant vanity sizing because I’m sorry, no way in hell am I a size 2 but thank you, Merona, for telling me that I am…I reorganized my closet…and I watched some Brothers and Sisters. That’s pretty much it.

Oh, and I bought a bag from Vera Bradley. And then proceeded to sit at the end of the driveway like a four-year-old because I really really want it to come when is it going to come mommy I want it noooooow.


All in all, a good day.

I will finish that thesis, though. Tomorrow.

Watch as I wipe out half of my friends list.

Oh, internets. Do you remember this? And this? Yeah.


(Oh right. That just happened.)

Anyway. I opened my e-mail this morning and discovered a message from the same woman with whom I have a very complicated relationship, detailed above. And here’s what it said:

Hello Kathleen,

Just a gentle reminder. Please have UWM
submit your official bachelor’s degree-bearing transcript as soon as it is
available (which should be sometime in May). This document is to be
submitted to:


I hope all is going well with you Kathleen.

Oh. Goodness. So many thoughts.

Such as:

  • Are you kidding me?
  • “Gentle reminder”?
  • Am I a five-year-old?
  • Really? I’ll have a bachelor’s degree sometime in May? Thanks for clearing that up. I was a little bit confused.
  • Honestly. You guys suck so much.
  • You hope all is going well with me? Really? You do? You know what would have made things go better for me, Pat? BEING ACCEPTED TO MY SAFETY SCHOOL THAT’S WHAT.
  • *deep breath*
  • It’s okay. I was accepted at a better school with a better package so you know what? You can keep your ridiculous application standards.
  • Seriously. I am not the first college senior to apply to graduate school.
  • I’m sure I have more to say, but I’m so mad I can’t even think of them.
  • I’m going to go eat a shamrock cookie.

That was my thought process.

(The cookie was good, fyi.)

Dear Northwestern,

Hi. You may remember me from the return address on the obscenely large application fee I sent you when I applied to graduate school.

Yeah. Ring a bell? I thought so. Anyway, here’s the thing. You are sending me e-mails. Lots and lots of emails. And I think that’s kind of COMPLETELY OBNOXIOUS given than you DENIED ME ADMISSION.

Now. I’ve come to terms with it. You were the only school that denied me, and you know what? I’m very happy with my choice and they offered me job and whatever, my mom thinks I’m pretty.

*deep breath*

But it’s very, very hard to be zen about this when I’m getting FREAKING CONSTANT EMAILS FROM YOU.

So please cease and desist before I end up curled in the corner in a fetal position hugging a UWM sweatshirt and mumbling about how no one will ever hire me as academic faculty because when you’re a professor the only thing that can make up for having ovaries? Is a degree from somewhere like Northwestern.

That’s all.


Authority Figure

A lot of my wardrobe comes from the junior’s department. I’m not really ashamed of it, because I don’t buy stuff that looks cheap, or has any sort of saying across the chest and/or derriere, and as far as I know I have never bought anything that Avril Lavigne “designed”.

But…still. I’m 22. It’s kind of embarrassing. This afternoon, I was trying to figure out what to wear tomorrow.* I have to lead my confirmation group tomorrow during the Masses. I chose an ensemble** and then I realized…it was all from Kohl’s junior department.

And people are trusting me with their children’s spiritual growth.

So. That’s kind of funny. I don’t know if I can talk about the Holy Spirit while wearing a jacket that Hilary Duff championed. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow.