Seven Quick Takes No. 64



Happy Friday! This week was short, and also long. If that can happen. Monday was long because, seriously, when you can’t eat anything but jello, it’s a long day. Tuesday was short because you know, fun drugs. ūüôā


Monday was also long because of waiting for the OSU game. Normally I’m not a huge OSU fan–my parents didn’t grow up here, so we weren’t really into it–but when it’s the National Championship, you can get swept up in it. I’m glad they won. I’m not¬†glad that they scheduled their celebration for the same weekend as the NHL All Star Weekend, which is also here in Columbus.

Seriously, this is my big beef with OSU sports. It’s college sports,¬†but this town treats them like they’re the end-all and be-all of sporting events. All-Star weekend is a big deal, and we have to compete with freaking OSU again?

When my parents moved here from Pittsburgh, one of the things they didn’t understand was this OSU insanity mentality. My Dad is a Pitt alum, and the year Pitt won the National Championship, it was minor, because the city’s major league teams¬†were winning things like the World Series and the Super Bowl. He couldn’t understand how a college team could garner so much press and devotion. And honestly, I still don’t understand it. I realize it’s “all we have”–but that’s not true anymore. We have two major league sports teams. They do not get¬†nearly¬†as much love as the Jackets. It’s sad and irritating.


¬†The colonoscopy on Tuesday was OK. My doctor was sort of a jerk. He kept us waiting for over an hour and when I got into the procedure room he was playing around with his phone! Seriously? Hint to my doctor friends: don’t do that.


Here’s the wrap up of ¬†my “big six” Oscar categories from yesterday. I’m looking forward to seeing¬†American Sniper¬†this weekend.¬†Boyhood, Grand Budapest Hotel, and How to Train Your Dragon 2¬†are on DVD now, so I could catch up with those if I felt so inclined. (I probably won’t do¬†Grand Budapest. That just looks….strange.) The Best Actor race is going to be¬†insane. I think the two contenders are Keaton and Redmayne, since they won the Golden Globes in this category. I love both those actors. I’ll be happy either way, but I’d really like to see Michael Keaton win. As far as Best Actress, Julianne Moore has never won an Oscar, so this would be a first for her, and I’ve been hearing great things about her work in¬†Alice. I’d really like Felicity Jones to win, though. All the acting categories are just chock-full of great names (for the most part), although I think Meryl Streep’s was sort of a…I dunno. Not a throw-away, but something akin? I mean, she’s Meryl Streep. She’s won how many Oscars at this point.

My theater is currently showing¬†Sniper, Imitation Game, Big Hero 6,¬†and¬†Selma, so those are the ones I could see in the theaters right now. I’m hoping¬†Theory and¬†Birdman¬†will swing by.


Reading: Just finished the Big Stone Gap ¬†series, and I should finish¬†Own Your Life today. I really need to get back into¬†The Artist’s Way. I’mw wondering if I should just start over in that regard.


I have finally joined the masses and watched¬†House¬†of Cards. Wow. What a show. Now, of course, some of that stuff wouldn’t happen in “real life”, but politics is a mean business. It just is. I was talking to my brother about it, and I had the good fortune to work for/with some politicians that were truly servant minded. They wanted to be servant leaders and do the best things for both their employees and the citizens of Ohio. (This is especially true of the Senate President I worked under when I had my transplant. Such a good man.) However, they are not, sadly, all that way. I’m interested to see where season III goes, now that Frank is (SPOILER) President, and I’m interested to see if characters like Linda stick around and work for him.

And, like many others, I want Claire Underwood’s clothes. Not her haircut. I don’t look good with severely short hair. But the clothes!


Weekend plans: Spending time with a friend tonight; Mass tomorrow; American Sniper with my brother on Sunday, after I teach CCD.

Daybook No. 79

Outside my window::

Well, this



Yeah, it snowed yesterday. Heavy, wet snow, about 2-3″, depending on where you were in the city. This is the sort of snow that¬†looks¬†pretty, because it sticks to the tree branches and makes them look all magical, but it also causes power outages (because it’s so heavy, weighing on the lines), and is a real pain to get off the car.

I know. I’m a grump. Sorry. I mean, I didn’t have to go anywhere yesterday, so I didn’t mind it, and it¬†is¬†pretty. I just remembered days of having to scrape this stuff off my car, in the morning, when it’s really cold. Shiver. (This morning, the low was¬†seven, without the windchill. Yeah.)

Anyway, moving on!


Jeans, a sweatshirt, gray socks. Nothing exciting. Today’s going to be a lot of around the house stuff (see, really cold temperatures, above) so I want utilitarian clothes.

From the kitchen::

On a day like today, a lot. I’m thinking a vegetable soup for lunch or dinner, depending, and then chicken and rice for the other meal. So it might be chicken and rice for dinner, since the meat has to thaw (an adventure, today…). I might also try this chili recipe, which is super good and fast. (and warming!)

The snow threw me quickly into “winter provision” mindset–meaning making sure the freezer is stocked and I have a list of things I can make if I get snowed in. I mean, it’s not¬†The Long Winter, here, but Columbus can get very, very cold, and we do get big snow storms, as last winter attested. So it’s better to be prepared. Part of my “around the house” stuff today includes making a list of recipes I can make from mostly shelf and freezer stable items.


I just finished Traveling to Infinity, by Jane Hawking, ex-wife of Stephen Hawking. She wrote this book awhile ago, but it was re-released to coincide with the release of The Theory of Everything, the biopic about the two of them, which stars Eddie Redmayne (sigh) and Felicity Jones.

The book is very, very good. She does a wonderful job talking about the good and bad parts of their marriage–it’s not all about the ALS. It’s about his work, her work, their children, their travels…it’s well-written and she isn’t writing it heavy on the pity, like some memoirs are. It’s factual, but you can also feel Jane’s emotions as she tries to balance everything. The movie’s already opened in New York and LA, but it gets wide distribution next weekend. I’m really looking forward to seeing it.


How much money is enough money?

Recently, I’ve become a baseball fan. My parents are from Pittsburgh, so they grew up with a full complement of professional sports at hand, and us children were raised to love them. This included the Pirates. But for most of my (conscious) life, they weren’t very good. Rooting for them was sort of like rooting for the Bad News Bears. They sure tried hard. It just didn’t go anywhere.

Because of that, my experiences with pro baseball were pretty limited, and what I did know, I didn’t like: the designated hitter rule, the strike, and the fact that there wasn’t any salary cap. I thought it was ridiculous that someone was getting paid a¬†nine figure deal¬†to hit a ball.

So anyway, I started putting all this aside and realized that baseball could be exciting and a fun sport when the Pirates started winning. Not when they went to the playoffs for the first time two years ago, but a few years before that. I started to follow them and I liked what was happening.

Yesterday we lost one of our best players to another team, who are going to pay him eighty million dollars over 5 years.

Eighty freaking million dollars.

Now, that works out to about $16M a year (Canadian–it’s a Canadian team). $16M is more money than I would really know what to do with.

When is enough, enough?¬†I don’t know if he left just because of the money (he’s Canadian, he wanted to end his career in Canada, etc.). But really? A team that treated you well, a city that adored you….lost because of money? (Or at least that’s what it seems like.)

When is enough money enough money? I know how capitalism works. I know it’s “what the market will bear”, yada yada yada. But all the other pro leagues have salary caps. Why doesn’t baseball? Why is¬†money such a huge part of the baseball makeup? There’s no parity, that’s for sure. Teams like the Pirates will never make as much as the Yankees in TV deals and all that stuff. They don’t¬†have¬†$80M to throw on one player.

So the system does need fixed. But also—guys? When is enough money¬†enough money? How long would it take to spend $80 million? Think about it for a second.

I just don’t get it.

(Back to regularly scheduled programming!)

Around the house::

Dishes need washed, the first floor needs vacuumed and dusted, I¬†think¬†I’m going to bring the creche up today, sheets need changed on my bed and the furniture in my bedroom needs dusted.


My NaNo novel has sort of stalled. I don’t know why. Is it because it’s not the right time for me to write this? Because I’m dry on ideas? Or something else? Or maybe this story just won’t bear out. I’ve tried writing it in two different formats, now, and each time it hasn’t been enough to sustain my writing juices. Something to think about.

Still working on my scarf/cowl. I’ll have photos tomorrow for the yarn along.

Seven Quick Takes No. 55




Long time no Quick Takes! Wow! I know you’re all thrilled to see this back, right? ūüôā


"John the Baptist in the Prison", Juan Fernandez de Navarette

“John the Baptist in the Prison”, Juan Fernandez de Navarette

So today’s Feast in the Church Calendar is the Beheading of John the Baptist. Happy, huh? Usually the Church celebrates the day a person died, as opposed to the day a person’s born, but John the Baptist gets both. (His birthday is June 24, by the way). Only John the Baptist, Mary (September 8) and Jesus (of course) get their birthdays observed in the official calendar, as well as the day they died (or in Mary’s case, was Assumed). So while this isn’t the most, er,¬†festive feast, it’s a point of theological coolness.


¬†So that Yarn Along post I did yesterday? Yeah, I started working on the piece some more while I caught up on¬†Once Upon A Time, made big mistakes, and had to rip the whole thing out and start again. Sigh. It’s very much two steps forward, three steps back in my knitting. I was purling all wrong. So back to the book today to make sure I’m doing it¬†correctly¬†this time.


In rehab–still working on running. I’m at 58 seconds of running without stopping, which is good–gotta break that minute mark next week. I’ve also lost another pound which makes me¬†exceedingly¬†happy.


Reading: Kristin Lavransdatter Vol. I “The Wreath”;¬†The Happiness Project (again); Summa of the Summa.¬†I also have¬†The Artist’s Way¬†and the workbook, which I’m excited to start next week!


Speaking of writing–the beta readers still have the book, but I’m working on making an outline and making sure the order is what I want. I might toy with some new sections over the weekend.


You want to know how it’s fall in Ohio? (Or almost) The reappearance of all the Scarlet and Grey shirts everyone seems to have, in various incarnations. They have appeared all of a sudden, because OSU plays Navy tomorrow. So, it’s fall, for all intents and purposes, in the OH.

Seven Quick Takes No. 53




First, some links for y’all: Frozen and Catholicism; Healthy and Not; Summer in the Little Oratory Chapter 2. These are provided for your reading pleasure! ūüôā


Today begins the long slog to¬†opening night¬†of Music Man. Yes, it’s time for run throughs! Tonight we’re running Act I, and then we’re alternating acts at each rehearsal until next Saturday when….dum da-dum dum….TECH WEEK begins. We move into our theater on Sunday, which I’m really looking forward to (we’ll get to see sets!).

I realized last night that I have¬†never¬†run Act II of our show. I don’t even know what we’re supposed to¬†do¬†in Act II. So I’m gonna find out on Saturday!


So, World Cup Fever, yes? I think yesterday was the first time (and maybe the only time) that¬†every person¬†in a stadium was happy after a game. Germany won–and advances! We lose–and advance! Everyone hurrah!


Pulm Rehab part Deux starts next week so yay that. I’m looking forward to starting again and thankfully I’ve managed to get my body to accept waking up at 8:00 so we can leave the house by 9:15. Ideally I’d like to get up at 7:30, but we’re working on it. The body has been demanding more sleep the past few months, so I giveth–and now I taketh away. We’ll see how it does. Excited to begin rehab again. I may actually…..(I can’t believe I’m even typing this)……try running.

Yes. Absorb that for a moment, guys.

I’m not saying this will happen. I’m saying….it¬†could¬†happen.


As far as regular routine–there’s yoga a few times a week, and swimming. I’m also trying my best to follow my nutritionist’s “suggestions” (nice, strong suggestions) about what to eat and what not to eat. When we get to performance nights, I can have pasta again! ūüôā ūüôā


I am sorting through my books, and I am being¬†hard core on them. I feel like Anton Ego: “If I don’t love it, I don’t swallow.” If I don’t love it, it no stay!

Anton Ego


Speaking of books….I am about 75% finished with the first draft of mine. Yes. Almost there, and then it gets sent off to my lovely¬†first readers!¬† (I love you people, by the way)

Seven Quick Takes Friday No. 42



The madness has started! And I love it. Thank God Pitt won yesterday. I was a bit surprised OSU lost to Dayton but I had OSU losing in the next round anyway, so not too sad about it. ūüôā We’re Pitt peeps in my family! (Dad did his undergrad there) They play again (against Florida) on Saturday.


I watched some of the games at the home of two of my friends who, coincidentally, are married–I was friends with each of them before that, however. ūüôā They have a gorgeous little girl (she’s almost 1 1/2) and I got to read Madeline to her, which was fun. I love reading books to kids–I do voices. Some of my favorites are the¬†Llama Llama¬†books,¬†Go Dog Go!¬†and¬†Fish Out of Water (probably because my mom read the last two to my brother and me).


First week of Pulm Rehab ends today–five more weeks to go! Today I have my sessions with my PT and with nutrition. Really, the problem with nutrition is I am hungry. A lot. Sometimes all the time. That’s a med thing, and I’m not sure what we can do to fix it. But we’re gonna try! I also have a CT scan with contrast at 2:15 before my pulm rehab session at 3:00. That means–peripheral IV time! YAYYYY! ūüôā (NOT)


But before I get poked with 20 gauge needles, I’m having lunch with one of my favorite people, who is also a student at my alma mater, so I get to eat in the Main Dining Hall (MDR) again. I really loved my college years and I”m glad I live so close so I can go back and visit. ūüôā (I cannot believe my¬†ten year class reunion is this year….gulp!)


I want to see Divergent soon. Loved the first two books. The third–eh.

Also, I am not happy with¬†The Giver¬†trailer. Not at all. Ages are all wrong. Sets are wrong. Costumes are wrong. IT’S A LOT OF WRONG, peeps.


Read a great book this week:¬†Girl at the End of the World. People, you need to read this. It’s a real, honest, moving account of a woman’s escape from a fundamentalist cult founded by her grandparents.


Going to confession tomorrow. Have you been yet this Lent? Maybe you should go too? ūüôā (Friendly Catholic reminder!)

Seven Quick Takes Friday

1) YES I am seeing The Hunger Games this weekend! Probably tomorrow since I imagine tonight is well-nigh sold out. So tomorrow afternoon (it’ll be cheaper, too, ha.) I am vastly excited! Will post report when I get back tomorrow.

2) Saw a fantastic show last night—Columbus Civic’s Moby-Dick: Rehearsed. Wow. Some background: I really dislike the novel Moby-Dick. In college, I signed up for a class called 19th century American novels, because the course description listed things like Little Women.¬†So I thought I’d break out of my Anglophile-heavy load and take something new. Well….not so much.¬†

First of all, the novel is one part an awesome story and one part Whale Encyclopedia. The latter bored me to tears, and parts of the former are….not so awesome. Reading quizzes with questions like “who was in the first harpoon boat?” only furthered to kill any fire I had regarding this novel. I have tried to read it again (last year, being the most recent) and again the Whale Encyclopedia has defeated me. So I was a little hesitant about the play.¬†

The play is fantastic. Its premise is that it’s a theater troupe¬†rehearsing Moby-Dick, so things like the boats, and, of course, the Whale, are imagined, which makes for a really immersive audience experience. The cast was great and I had a fantastic time. Maybe this is how Moby-Dick should have been written—as a story about revenge and obsession, instead of whale facts!

3) Had dinner with my parents at IHOP, where, despite the fact that one was recently built near my house, I haven’t been to in 12 years. In spring of 2000, my high school upperclassmen choirs did a “Florida Tour”—singing at Disney World, and competing in a national choral competition. ¬†We drove the 23 hours from Pickerington to Orlando, and when we arrived at 7 am the next day, we went to an IHOP, with a jukebox and a very tropical vibe, thanks to the palm trees around the property. We were a bit sleep deprived and starving: those pancakes were great. Tonight I had their Maui Shrimp, which, surprisingly, was really good. I was skeptical of anything non-breakfast at a breakfast place.¬†

4) I’m watching Xavier play Baylor, and am, of course, rooting for the Ohio team. It’s close right now with 1 minute left in the half. OSU won last night, and I’m hoping that Ohio U could pull off the miracle against UNC, but I’m doubtful. Still, it would be awesome.¬†

5) Rehab is still going well…weight being lost, heart cooperating, all is well! Did a great leg circuit today—20 steps (each leg) on a step (like in stem aerobics), 20 releves (except the PT calls them “calf raises”), and 12 wall squats. Then repeat. It’s a great workout for the entire leg/bottom half of the body.¬†

6) Rehearsal for Bernarda Alba starts on Sunday! I am soooo excited! This is going to be a great, great show. I’ve always wanted to be in a drama—like a straight play drama—so this excited me greatly. I’ve met one of my castmates (she was at Moby Dick last night) and I think we’re going to have a really talented group of women.¬†

7) Just completed a big food shop at Target. I was surprised to see they have nice furniture! And COUCHES! I mean, wow! It was a fairly comfy one, too! Might be a candidate for the basement room…

Weekend Rewind

So, Friday…yeah, Friday is lost to the obliviousness of bronching. ūüôā¬†

Saturday: Sleeping. Clipping. Doing some tidying up around the house. Reading most of this blog. Picture taken for the church directory (it looks awful, sigh). Then Mass (Christ the King, last time for the old translation!), and dinner at Chinese restaurant. Back home to watch Act I of Eugene Onegin. Made Sally Lunn bread. 

Sunday: Baked the bread. Had lovely coffee while I did clips. More cleaning/organizing. Ran to Staples to make color copies. Balanced my checkbook and budget spreadsheet (go me!). Dinner (pizza) with the parents. Run to B&N w/ mom for Christmas shopping, where I picked up One Thousand Gifts and am loving it. Steelers had a bye week so no real football for me to watch. Crosby is back! (We think! We hope! We pray!)

And it’s Once Upon A Time¬†night, again.

Also watched a lot of West Side Story. Wow. Tony, Maria? Ever heard of breathing with your diaphragm? The Tonight scene makes me cringe if I’m actually watching the video.¬†