Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Working for contractors

The conversation was about some contractor who had had a job go bad, and how he'd taken it (badly).

J---: "You shouldn't be a general contractor if you're going to go to pieces over one bad job."

T--: "Hey, S---, you've had a bad job, haven't you?"
S---: "Yeah. Workin' for you!"

E---- and I broke out laughing. S--- has a rather acerbic delivery.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Iconography Workshop

Might this be possible?

Boston-area, August 29 through September 3: iconography workshop. It would cost $850 for retreatants, $715 for commuters. And it's not far...

A brief "Lord, have mercy" intercession would be appreciated.

Hagiographical Productivity

This morning, Virgil had to suddenly go to a Liturgy at a nursing home up in Peabody. (Suddenly, because he, unlike the person originally scheduled, was not stricken with allergies. Poor husband. He doesn't understand what it is to be utterly slain and unable to breathe due to the invisible parts of spring suddenly inhabiting (and inhibiting) your nose and breathing.)

Before he left, he was looking up the information for the service (how to get there, the reading for the day, the saints to be commemorated), and noticed that today is the feast of St. Isidore of Chios. We happen to have an icon of St. Isidore, because our koumbara is from Chios, and gave it to us when she returned from home.

Rather than waking up at the "crack of noon" as is my wont, I was up around 8:30. (Thank you, Heather, for a phrase which has not failed to amuse me for over 10 years.) After he had gone, I took a couple of pictures, uploaded them to the computer, cropped and adjusted one, uploaded it, did a little research, and typed up an article on St. Isidore. It seems as though he got the literal reaction to today's figurative reaction of finding out, in the secular world (especially of politics), that someone is a Christian and will no longer countenance ignoring that fact.

[rambly off-topic]

Recently I was disgusted at some lady on NPR who was aghast at the idea that people might have "religious reasons" for either "keeping on the shelf or rejecting" particular drugs. What, it's not "okay" with her for other people to so much as have religious reasons for things which may also be in her life, too?

She was talking about the "emergency contraceptive" called the "morning-after pill." I hate how they call it an "emergency contraceptive." Pregnancy isn't an emergency. The pill doesn't counter conception*, merely "pregnancy," which is to say that it doesn't stop the egg from being fertilized, it just stops the fertlized egg from implanting. I hate how people distance themselves from the word "baby" by using the word "fetus." FETUS MEANS "DEAR LITTLE ONE." But nobody cares about Latin any more. Yesterday I was surprised at the realization that "matrimony" means "mother-making." How much more beautiful is that word now.

*According to my undestanding of how this drug works, personal research about which was last conducted last fall.

There is too much hurt in the world. Why does it seem like nobody realizes that people don't want to hurt others, but they are hurting inside so much themselves that they can't see or think clearly? I want my sons to grow up to be strong men, ready to protect the weak, and my daughters to grow up to be strong women, ready to support their families, and all my children to struggle to keep themselves close to God. I can't imagine what horror it must be to fight against these desires and convince yourself that you don't want your children to grow up at all.

[/rambly off-topic]

Holy Martyr Isidore of Chios, intercede for us.

[Update: Oooh! Oooh! Jarlath! My favorite saint name!]

Thursday, May 12, 2005

On Baking. And Off Baking.

Note to self: Feel free to stop pre-heating the oven after you've decided, two hours ago, not to make brownies today after all.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

On Fasting

When I became Orthodox, it was difficult to fast. Doing without certain foods wasn't the problem so much as finding a replacement. I grew up in Texas, and I've always thought about meals in terms of the meat, the entree, as the main meal. Sure, you could have vegetables with it, and dessert was important, but the meal part was the meat. In our Roman Catholic household, there were meat substitutes like mac and cheese and fish sticks (and that was about it for me, the youngest and a picky eater).

Watching Virgil choose his meals in the dining hall, I was uncomfortable when he fasted. _I_ wasn't fasting. Here I was, eating all these yummy foods: chicken patties, hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza made with day-old French bread, panini sandwiches rich with provalone cheese. His tray was full of pasta (with no sauce, or with the meatless sauce), salad, fruits ... all the things my mother told me I should be eating more of.

During college, for whatever reason or reasons, I developed difficulties with eating. I don't know whether this could have been considered an eating disorder, but it was distressing. I simply would forget to eat. I stopped having my stomach growl when I was hungry. I would go through the entire day, and only around 10 or 11 at night would I reel with dizziness, and realize that I couldn't remember when I had last eaten.

Fasting makes you take a hard look at what goes into your body. It makes you pay attention to one of the first gifts God has given you, and reminds you that your job is to take care of this gift, too. If you just fast all the time, you get used to it. When you celebrate feasts, you are taken out of a familiar routine, and made to pay attention: to what is going into your body, to what day it is, to the reason you're changing your habits at all.

This has been the first fasting day after Pascha this year. It was easy enough to fast from foods (I'm still working on improving my spiritual appetite and intake) during Great Lent, and, while startling to suddenly be able to glut myself on rich foods (I learned a little from last year and took it easy), it was easy to switch to the no-fast period of Bright Week.

For me, fasting isn't about giving things up. It's about paying attention to what I'm doing, what I'm taking in, and where that's leading me. I may be a sheep, but I have a say in Whom I follow.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


Today on NPR:

Joy! Glory to God in the Highest! A child is born!

Okay, so I wasn't really paying attention to the radio on the way home. Maya was born this afternoon; my first niece!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

On Aging

Magda: "It's a big deal when you go from 9 to 10; you gain an extra digit."
Nicholas: "Yeah, and going from 15 to 16 is a big deal, too."
Virgil: "Yeah, you gain an extra digit in hexadecimal."

You can take the husband out of engineering, but you can't take the engineering out of the husband.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Um... Is that the desired effect?

This headline from AAA Horizons made me look twice: "Spring Makes Cemetary Come Alive".

Sounds like a great B-movie, though.

Thoughts on a Missing Spoon

Today my husband packed my lunch as usual: schnitzel (lovingly made on the Saturday before Pascha), hot dogs in crescent rolls, and applesauce. I got a knife and fork, too. No spoon for the applesauce.

I think it's funny that he packs utensils. I have utensils to use here at work, and a dishwasher and everything. I found it especially funny that today he didn't pack a spoon. (I haven't had applesauce in a few days.)

I thought, "Should I tell him that he forgot to pack a spoon? He'd be sorry, maybe disappointed in himself for not doing for me all the things he wants to. But it really is funny, because I have spoons here at work to use."

Then I stopped. I only thought it was funny because it didn't affect me. If I really had had to go without a spoon, and wanted to eat my applesauce, I would have had a little snit when I got home focussing on how he "didn't care enough" to foresee all of my needs, and failing to credit him for faithfully making my lunch every day, asking me whether I'd like something different, and surprising me with his thoughtfulness.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Help me to focus on the good which You bring me, especially my husband who guides me to You every day. Help me to be careful of him.

For lack of a spoon, may my willfulness be lost.


Wonderful (new-to-me) blogs: Meg and Mary Brigid

Monday, May 02, 2005

O the happiness of me!

Hristos a înviat!

I made my husband laugh. Then he searched through the Bible to have me read these verses:

"Happy the husband of a good wife,
twice-lengthened are his days;

A worthy wife brings joy to her husband;
peaceful and full is his life.

A good wife is a generous gift
bestowed upon him who fears the Lord;

Be he rich or poor, his heart is content,
and a smile is ever on his face."

--Sirach 26:1-4

It's nice to know that I can, on occasion, be as nice to him as he is, always, to me.