Adventures in Tradland

The Church is made up of all types, that much we know. It’s often possible to drop people into one of several general categories, but sometimes…sometimes people cross into a surprising combination of characteristics. This morning reminded me very much of this fact.

Mr. Wonderful and I went to Tridentine Mass in a city a little ways away from home. He had been there a few times before, and after the lowest of low Masses, the congregation (that is, 7 or 8 others) gathered in the entry, and when the two of us finished praying and came out, they all pounced on “that Notre Dame guy”. In short order, we were introduced to the music director, with whom they insisted we had to talk. To that end, we were hustled off to breakfast at the usual spot, a pancake house across town. The apparent leader of the group, self-described as “the most litigious man you’ve ever met,” let us know right up front that this was an “endowed breakfast.”

It seemed at the beginning that the group was going to be pretty typical of people who go to a 7:00 Latin Mass on a weekday – complaints about their liberal bishop, grand plots of starting a rehab facility for heretical priests, etc. Basically, my initial reaction was that this could easily be the retiree version of the students’ Saturday morning brunches. Then things got a little more complex.

The first sign was when someone else joined our table and immediately informed everyone that a certain Italian charismatic mystic priest we’ve heard about at length (whose relationship with the Vatican is of a questionable status) had recently suffered a heart attack. Obviously, that’s not good news about anyone, and I wish him a speedy recovery, but the affection with which they spoke of him indicated a more sympathetic view than I would generally take.

Then the conversation turned to Fr. Corapi (naturally), and they took a rather different view than most traditionalists I’ve heard or read on this topic. While no one knows the full situation, the view that the breakfast crowd took was that he was completely a victim of the Church – again, not something typically heard from this type of group.

Okay, so, they’re traditionalists with charismatic tendencies. We can deal with that and not offend anyone. But then, in practically the next breath, they spoke of Bp. Fellay in a…not entirely disapproving way. And our internal compass needles went spinning.

It wasn’t that they couldn’t make up their minds: there were very strong opinions on all of these things, as well as the Pope’s recent use of Twitter (against), my photography major (questionable), and Evelyn Waugh (in favor of).

Overall, they were wonderfully nice people, and very funny. They were fascinated by our Mass situation at ND, and told us earnestly and repeatedly that they hoped we would be back soon. I’m not sure how feasible that is, but it would be nice. The moral of the story? Some people just refuse to be pegged.


A time to be Anti-Social

I recently came across this application, which promises to “turn off the social parts of the internet.”  I haven’t used it (nor could I – it’s Mac-only), but I have to say, it seems like a great idea.  Occasionally during finals or another crunch time, I used to turn off my wireless card altogether, and it was amazing how much my productivity changed.  Taking away the ability to mindlessly check Facebook every ten minutes adds up to a lot of “extra” time.  Personally, if I were to use this application, I’d also have to add, and my Google Reader, at least.

Happy feast of Corpus Christi to all – may your processions be joyful, your weather bright, and your flower petal tossers surefooted.

O Food of travellers, angels’ Bread,
Manna wherewith the blest are fed,
Come nigh, and with Thy sweetness fill
The hungry hearts that seek Thee still.

And bring us to that time and place
When this Thy dear and veiled face
Blissful and glorious shall be seen –
Ah Jesus, with no veil between. 


A roommate and I went to the garage sale (or is it stadium sale?) bright and early this morning.  The line opened at 5, we got there at 6, and the actual sale started at 7.  By the time we got there, the line went 3/4 of the way around the stadium, which is itself half a mile around.  Still, we got in soon after it opened, and weren’t disappointed.  I made a beeline for the bins and managed to snag this and two of these (two drawers, that is, not two sets).  That would be $95 worth of drawers, for $5 (the price was $1/drawer).  I’m quite excited: everything looks to be in like-new shape, once it gets a good washing.  Roommate also found everything she was looking for – a desk chair, bike, and lamp, among other little things.  All in all, it was a pretty fun experience – the whole event was highly organized and streamlined, and the prices were certainly right.

7 Quick Takes

With photos this week!

1. I’ve been trying to get out of my college-induced never-read-an-entire-book phase, and somewhat unexpectedly, I have to admit that my iPad has been a great aid in that.  The local library has ebooks that can be “checked out” for the standard two weeks (though there’s no way to renew them 😦 ).  I’ve gotten a few Clancy books that I’ve read before, Pioneer Woman’s memoir, and currently have a few public domain books queued up.

2. Since I still need a dresser and desk chair, I’m planning to go to the Old2Gold sale tomorrow.  As I look at the facebook page, though, I’m increasingly realizing that there are lots of people who treat this event like the best of all Black Friday sales.  I’m not sure I prepared myself for the competition that might be necessary.  Eek.

3. One roommate brought a coffee table and end table that she’s planning to refinish. They’re an awfully cute style, and I love refinishing furniture, so I can’t wait to see what they’ll look like with a fresh coat of paint and a new color.

4. Speaking of things that roommates brought, our dish cabinet expanded from four white place settings to 16 settings in four different styles. Given that I’ve never seen more than two in use at a time, this might be excessive, but it is fun to have options. I expect my food photography to improve accordingly.

5. Unpacking.  Still.  I made a lot of progress the other day, and I think all I’m waiting for is somewhere to put all my t-shirts and socks (see #2, above).  I’m definitely seeing the advantages of wall-mounted storage, especially around my desk area.

6. It’s a good day at the post office when you have to pass up Mother Teresa and Ronald Reagan to get the stamps you really want.  I mailed a letter to Jenni solely so that she could get this stamp, so I don’t want to totally spoil the surprise.  Hopefully she’ll post on her own blog when she gets it.

7. I’ll admit it: I spent a lot of time watching this clock when I was home.  At the time, there was a screensaver, but it was only for Mac.  I went back to the site this week and discovered that there’s now a Windows version.  Oh joy!  I downloaded it and may or may not have reset my settings so that the computer goes to screensaver after three minutes.

In which I am almost underdressed….and then decidedly overdressed

As I mentioned on Friday, I went to a wedding this weekend.  There were several people there whom I hadn’t seen for a year or so, and we all ended up at the same table at the reception, which was excellent.  To back up, though, I went to a party the previous night for a friend from a different circle (this would be choral vs. newspaper, for those keeping track).  The party didn’t start till 10:00, and as I’ve been in the habit of going to bed around 10:30, I had a cup of coffee before leaving.  This was a great idea.  The bad idea was to absentmindedly have a rum and coke at the party.  Waaaay too much caffeine for 11:30pm.  I went home, totally overcaffeinated, and ended up with about 4 hours of sleep before waking up to get ready for the wedding.

The wedding was beautiful (as Basilica weddings generally are), and after the customary picture on the steps of the Dome, we went to a lunch reception on-campus.  After a leisurely lunch, we still had over three hours to kill until the actual reception, so I relaxed and tried to take a nap.  Then we headed out for the cocktail hour.

(I would recommend turning on this video and letting it play in the background as you continue reading)

The cocktail hour was in the lobby of an old theatre downtown.  We walked in to Vivaldi, and soon realized that it was being played by an actual string quartet, sitting up in a second floor balcony, silhouetted against a 20 foot window that was draped in velvet.  There were waiters walking around offering hors-d’oeuvres that were high-class enough to not be immediately identifiable (no cheese and crackers here).  I had what I think was a piece of raw salmon on pumpernickel with dill sauce.  It was fantastic, but try as I might, I never crossed paths with that particular waiter again.

After an hour of mingling, we went to the dinner portion of the evening, which was in a ballroom.  Nick would have died at the fact that the whole room was dance floor.  Instead of the standard wedding party entrance, the DJ introduced each part of the wedding party, who then stepped out onto a balcony above the guests and waved.  Very royal wedding.

Dinner was fantastic, of course, and the DJ played Sinatra for a good portion of the night.  The newlyweds and parents (whom we had never met, but who swore they had met us) circulated, greeting people and encouraging us to get our money’s worth out of the open bar.  Finally, knowing I had to sing for Mass early in the morning, we left.

Since my caffeine misjudgment had haunted me the night before, I was looking forward to getting a solid block of sleep.  That was when I realized that my zipper was stuck.  Completely.  Stuck.  It went down about four inches and then stopped, about three inches short of where I would have been able to squeeze free.  Since one does not hastily cut open an Ann Taylor dress – especially a dress belonging to one’s sister – I slept in it.  The boning in the bodice, as well as my hope that it wouldn’t get too wrinkled before Mass, did not make for a good rest.

The next morning, I discovered to my delight (well, as much as one can be delighted while positively stuck) that the fabric was seemingly wrinkle-proof.  So, the only people who knew my secret were my date from the previous night and Katie, who I told, as our relationship is based at least in part on sharing embarrassing stories with each other.

Em happened to be coming over in the afternoon, and we discovered then that one single, solitary tooth of the zipper had gone astray.  Talk about being a slave to fashion.  We managed to get it open by using the ancient seamstress trick of pulling really hard, thus avoiding scissors.

Needless to say, I slept very, very well last night.