Marching for Life 2013 (part 3)

By the time the March finished, we were ridiculously cold and hungry, so we sought out a place to meet all of our needs.  We ended up at this delightful pub in Chinatown that seemed very Hobbitish to me (no one else got that vibe, so maybe it’s just because I’m reading Lord of the Rings right now).

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Open fire was a must-have.

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Really, no one else thinks this looks like the Prancing Pony?

If he had been in the corner, I’d still be there, man.

After we thawed out with soup and Guinness (for some, not me), we headed a couple blocks over to Old St. Mary’s for a Pontifical Mass sponsored by Juventutem Michigan.

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These guys were just chilling in the narthex; I couldn’t resist getting a shot through the window.

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You can see more pictures here, and an album of just mine here.

The rest of our evening was pretty uneventful, unless you count the guy who jumped on the Metro tracks to retrieve his (totally smashed) cell phone after he dropped it.  With less than two minutes until the next train’s arrival, I just about had a heart attack.

The next morning, some of our contingent woke up bright and early to go to our Diocesan Mass at another nearby parish.  I had spent the night completely unable to get comfortable on the convent floor, and didn’t realize until morning that I had accidentally been laying on one of those plastic desk chair-rolling mats.  Thus, it wasn’t too difficult for me to linger in “bed.”

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Compared to the last time I attended this Mass (three years ago), attendance was way up.  There were groups from pretty much every Catholic college and high school in the diocese, and a couple of the servers were former residents who are now Dominicans in D.C.

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The small photo doesn’t do it justice. Click to enlarge.

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Hey to you too!

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Based on the photos I came home with, I pretty much put away my camera after that, although I’d swear that someone took a photo of me with Kermit at the Smithsonian.  Suffice it to say, we brunched here (salmon & cream cheese omelet – awesome!), walked it off by going to the Smithsonian, and then headed back to our host parish to pack up.  The return trip went off without a hitch, except for the 10 or so students that we were unable to locate by departure time.  We’re assuming that all of them either left the night before, or had cancelled at the last minute.  In any case, I didn’t get any frantic calls on my emergency phone, so I think we did the right thing by leaving.

A mere 12 bus-hours later, and we were home!  And since what I wore Sunday involved various pieces that I had been wearing for the previous four days, I didn’t want to inflict a photo on anyone.

And that, in a nutshell, was my experience of the March for Life.  Go Irish!  Save babies!


Marching for Life 2013 (Part 2)

Okay, here’s the post with photos!  As I mentioned before, we left on Thursday evening, boarding seven buses (in addition to the five that had left the night before).

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Our intrepid bus captain made sure that no one got left behind at the Ohio travel plaza.

A mere 11-ish hours later (this sleep brought to you by Advil PM), we were at our host parish in Arlington, where breakfast and the rest of our group awaited.

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The official University Mass was scheduled for that morning, but since I already had plans to go to a different Mass after the March, I struck out with a small group and saw some of the sights of D.C.

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Namely, this guy.

Despite having been to D.C. several times, I’ve never spent much time in the Natural History Museum.  This time, however, our resident Floridian wanted to see some of the creepy things, so we wandered over there.  I have pictures of jars of eels and cockroach-holding, but I think I’ll save those for a better time.  After skipping the tarantula feeding in favor of a $4 cup of Smithsonian coffee, we headed out the front door to the National Mall and joined our group.

Click any photo to enlarge.

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On our way to find them, we ran into our favorite Dominican.  We chatted for a bit, he shared his giant pretzel with us, and together we found the ND contingent.

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He’s a big Notre Dame fan, you know.

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We mostly managed to stay together, but it was hard to get a good shot of just how big the contingent was.

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Just waiting for go time!

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We fell in right behind this awesome group.

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Knights of Columbus + Notre Dame: A natural combination.

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Our group prayed a rosary in the middle of the March.

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Quote of the Day: Fragmented Days

I just read the following quote (provided by Elizabeth Foss), and it seems so fitting for just about every day lately.  I should find the context and see what else Edith Stein had to say.

“And when night comes, and you look back over the day and see how fragmentary everything has been, and how much you planned that has gone undone, and all the reasons you have to be embarrassed and ashamed: just take everything exactly as it is, put it in God’s hands and leave it with Him.” — Edith Stein

Marching for Life 2013 (part 1)


Just a quick update from northwestern Ohio, thanks to the loveliness of bus wifi (and apologies for any typos; I’m not used to blogging from an iPod). I’m on one of 12 buses taking Notre Dame students to DC for the March for Life. One of the organizers mentioned that this is one of the largest student groups ever to leave the University for one event, so my hat is off to those who have planned this trip as well as everyone who is attending. As the chaperone of record (though I have done literally none of the planning or heavy lifting), I’m expanding my horizons by making new friends (I sat next to complete stranger!) and leading the group rosary (which involved a microphone!). If you’re so inclined, join us in praying for these intentions:

1) For the unborn, especially those whose lives are threatened by abortion.
2) For all women considering abortion, that they may recognize the peace of God and the dignity of their unborn child.
3) For those who work in the abortion industry, that their hearts may be changed.
4) For the mothers and fathers of aborted children, that they may know healing and peace.
5) For judges and lawmakers, that they recognize and uphold the dignity of every life, from conception to natural death.

We’ll get to DC around 10:00 tomorrow morning, and from there I’ll update (with pictures) as I can. Right now, I’m going to make sure the ringer of my emergency phone is turned up and then find my Advil PM. Traveling in style, always.

Eddying blasts and a hobbit’s evening


After a relatively mild winter, today was our first real snowstorm to date.  I signed up to take a fitness class, and the first meeting was tonight.  I realized early in the day that I had left my gym bag at home, so I decided to try going home for it and coming back in time.  The roads were not suitable for unnecessary travel, and by the time I got home I didn’t feel like turning around and going out again.  Instead, I made dinner (this soup recipe, but without an immersion blender.  It would have been better blended.) and sat down with Lord of the Rings.  As it turned out, I was at a very fitting passage: the Fellowship’s failed crossing of the mountain.

“I don’t like this at all,” panted Sam just behind.  “Snow’s all right on a fine morning, but I like to be in bed while it’s falling.  I wish this lot would go off to Hobbiton! Folk might welcome it there.”…

The Company now gathered together as close to the cliff as they could.  It faced southwards, and near the bottom it leaned out a little, so that they hoped it would give them some protection from the northerly wind and from the falling stones.  But eddying blasts swirled round them from every side, and the snow flowed down in ever denser clouds…. If they had had no larger companions the hobbits would soon have been entirely buried.

For my part, I’m glad to be nestled inside with warm food, listening to the sounds of snowplows scraping by outside.

Stay tuned for tomorrow exciting installment: “How Much Wool Can She Wear?”

7 Quick Takes: A little photography

— 1 —

Earlier this week, I finally got around to putting up an About Me page on ye olde blog.  I’ve never done one before, so while I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, it’ll probably be in a state of constant tweaking for at least a little while.

— 2 —

The other day, I saw some really beautiful black and white photos – they were clearly very deliberately considered and just lovely. It made me realize that it’s been a long time since I took any black-and-whites, so I added it to the list of New Years resolutions that’s floating around in my head but to which I never actually formally committed. I had my nice camera at work this morning anyway, so I snapped some photos and actually spent some time on them. There’s just a difference in mindset when you approach a scene knowing that it’s going to end up grayscale, as opposed to shooting first and considering later. Without further ado, I present: BFA meets Limited Range of Scenery.

— 3 —

Okay, first a side note: I was the worst at coming up with names for my projects in college.  Other people could take a picture of a grape and call it “The Sublimity of Raw Beauty” or “Body of a Woman” or something, but I just couldn’t do it.  I was okay at BSing some kind of meaning into the work itself, but when it came to names, I would usually draw a blank and resort to the totally literal – “Photo of Shoe and Grass” – or the cop-out – “Untitled #4.”

— 4 —


— 5 —


Man, if this doesn’t inspire you to go out and buy a new camera, I don’t know what will.

— 6 —

My boss asked me to take a “management training” course this semester, and the first session was yesterday.  By the way, I feel the need to mention that this is like AP Management, not a remedial thing.  Anyway, this first session was far less of a time-waster than I expected, and I’m actually looking forward to the rest of the sessions.  This doesn’t change the fact that I hate small-group discussions, and I really hate being put on the spot.  That didn’t stop a disgustingly morning person-type from – how to put it charitably? – really getting into things (FYI, the less charitable version includes the word “brown-noser.”).  He appointed himself leader of our table and just kept calling me out to talk.  In fact, I thought it was a little weird how he kept insisting on getting my opinion while ignoring everyone else.  As the morning progressed, though, I started to wonder if he was trying to prove how non-sexist he was.

In any case, this led to an afternoon of bitter reflections about how extroverts often make introverts a “project” and try to get them to talk more.  If we flipped the situation around, it would be like the introverts telling the extroverts to just shut up for once.  Both are equally ineffective.

— 7 —

Due to a scheduling snafu, I’m going to be working all weekend.  Super excited about that.  Really, though, it’s going to be extremely quiet and I’ll probably end up getting a lot of knitting and reading done.  One of the things I didn’t finish on last year’s reading list was Lord of the Rings, so I’m actually going to do it this time.  I read it for a class sophomore year, but that was four years ago now (yikes!).  I’m really excited to get into it again.

For more Quick Takes, visit Jennifer at Conversion Diary

Happy Epiphany!

Happy belated epiphany to one and all! Johnny and I took advantage of the last free weekend before the semester starts, and partied it up for the feast. On Saturday, we went to Mass at our parish and a bottle of water to be blessed as Epiphany Water. Those are our two little bottles in the front left of the group in the photo. Looking at what everyone else brought, we felt a little inadequate. Also, do these people know something we don’t? (“In case of emergency, plan to have at least 2 oz. of holy water per person per day…”)


I didn’t wake up early enough to eat breakfast before that noon Mass, so I was really looking forward to a lickety-split low Mass followed by a trip to the grocery store. Then Father made his pre-Mass announcements: “After Mass, I’ll be doing the Epiphany Water blessing, which takes about 45 minutes…” (cue stomach collapse) “…so you can just pick up your water tomorrow morning.” And there was much rejoicing.

Of course, when we picked up our water, one of our bottles had been swiped by someone else, thus further dooming us in case of emergency. Hopefully whoever took it will put it to good use. Aided by the Blessing Book of the Future (okay, just the internet and iPad), Johnny chalked up his doorframe for the year. We used this blessing, but I think there are lots of variations out there.


Then we went out to brunch at our favorite local restaurant, where all of our wildest brunch dreams came true. We’re in agreement that it’s the best meal of the day anyway, and this ranked in the top 4 of our brunch experiences. Someday we’ll dedicate our lives to a comprehensive study.


Round 1. Clockwise from top: Burgundy rabbit, noodles, herbed veggies, sausage and peppers, and the best scone ever.

After brunch, we headed to a church about an hour away for Mass.  As soon as we walked in, I noticed a glow coming from the main church into the narthex.  It would seem that the Christmas committee had a pretty large budget this year, at least in the “Blue lights” category.  Really, the church was very festive, but it did take a little getting used to.  After Mass, we met up with some of Johnny’s college friends to go to White Castle (don’t ask…).  Luckily for you, I didn’t take pictures of that, so I’ll leave you with something a little prettier.