Monday, May 31, 2010


Three weeks. Three weeks. That's how long I've been waiting for my request for criminal record check to get back. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Whay? There's Nothing on it! I've not so much as been fined for littering, and it takes them three weeks to say that I've never done anything whatsoever.

And speaking of that, I hate today. This day is terrible. I hate it. You see, I had so much planned today, May 31st, the feast of the visitation. But hey, guess what!? Today is Memorial day. A National Holiday. A stupid national holiday. So the notary's office is closed, and the post office is closed,and the Health and Human Services office is closed. Basically, everything that I was going to do to finish my application by today is gone. Poof. Up in smoke. And why did the idiot at the doctor's office schedule my appointment for the 31st, when he had to have known that the 31st is a holiday, and the office would be closed? Why? Why do that to me? So I went down there for nothing. And now, I have to submit an unfinished application, thanks to the many idiots of Philadelphia. 

Thanks guys, you screwed me over.

In their defense though, I did think I had till the 2nd, so maybe I should have submitted it earlier.

At least the stupid Selective Service website finally accepted my social security number, after the umpteenth time submitting it

And you know what I expect? I expect that tomorrow morning, after they have left to present the applications, the criminal background check will come in the mail. [/Rant]

Sunday, May 30, 2010

I am required by law,

to post the following song:

The God of Abraham Praise, which survived into my parish's hymnal unadulterated, but we've never used it since I've been there. C'mon guys, use it! You know you're in love with Leoni. I already know it's exactly the kind of hymn our organist would love. (He seems to like "Sing Alleluia! Praise the Lord!", which has a similar tune.

Trinity Sunday.

The Feast of the most Blessed Trinity.

Today, after the sung mass at Lourdes (Thanks to whoever decided to schedule 'Thou, whose almighty word' One of my favourites. <3)

Then, after a short break at home, off to S.Clem's for solemn vespers and benediction. I had planned to be earlier , but SEPTA, as usual, decided that today was a fine day for my train to be late. Still, I got there in time for a short time of prayer before it started. And, it wasn't until then that I realised that I have, in the entire two or so years that I've been regularly singing lauds and vespers (at home), I've been singing two wrong notes in the vesper hymn 'O lux beata Trinitas'.Darnit, and here I have been going on not realising that I've been making a note natural where there's nothing in the Liber that says to, or that I've been starting the second strophe on the wrong note. *Sigh*

Then home, and dinner to cook. And we have Athanasian creed at Prime today. Part of me of me only wanted to recite it because someone I know hates it. They say you can read it as requiring specific doctrines to be a member of the church, or to go to heaven. Duh, man. Welcome to obviousville, here's your tax forms and avoid Ms.Lorraine. She thinks her yogurt talks to her at night. 

Anyway, I was going to post some parts of St.Athanasius' Letters to Serapion of Thmus,  but I lost the think.

*Posts the following without comment*

This and This.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Before I post part III,

I just want to say thank my new best friend, Coconut Oil. You can use it to put a finish on the leather when you're done. You can use it as your liquid when you're blind-stamping designs. You can use it as a burn ointment when you've burned and scarred your forearm with a hot paring knife, in the midst of said blind-stamping.* It seals your gold leaf and your paint, and in large quantities, makes it easy to pare down the back of your leather.

*And have thus gotten yourself three cool-looking scars on your forearm, that you can say you got in a knife fight. Which is probably a better reason than "I was tooling leather, and I went to put the knife in a vat of water to cool, but it was hot enough to burn the rag to it's surface and stick to it, so it fell off and hit the arm three times."

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Dahlia, my brother's cat, and Ginger, my cat, have been getting along better nowadays. When she was very young, Ginger hated other cats. We never had other cats in the house unless necessity forced us to. (Usually in the almost yearly case of a starving or sick cat showing up to the kitchen doorstep. Somehow, the neighborhood cats seem to know that this is a good place to crash for a few months or so.) But Ginger is 10 now, and she's more mellow.

When we first got Dahlia during the last of the three giant snowstorms we had during the winter, we kept her locked in my brother's room to keep Ginger from attacking her. She has free rein of the house now, but I still don't let her in my room. That's Ginger's inner sanctum, and she'd flip if she saw Dahlia in Her sunny windowsill, or on top of Her warm TV, or, God forbid, on Her long-held, never-given up* spot at the foot of my bed.

Ginger still wants Dahlia to give her space though. Even when they sleep near each other, like today, they must have space.Ginger sits on the dining room windowsill and Dahlia gets the floor**, about three feet away. But even then, They don't seem to mind sharing each other's food bowls***, though during feeding time, I think Ginger gets a little jealous If I don't feed her first. Usually when I feed her, she has me sit near her and pet her, but If I feed her second, she'll nip at me and growl till I leave. Weird.

*I was going to Rick-Roll you, but I didn't have the heart. But in the same vein: THIS, which is better.

**I've noticed that they, by some mysterious instinct, seem to know when to move to a different part of the house to follow the sun.I've seen them leave the dining room and beg to be let out to the enclosed porch in the late afternoon, to catch the last drops of sun from the west-facing window.

***Behind each other's backs. They're both too lazy to go up or down a floor to get water or to each any leftover bits from when I feed them in the morning,  so they eat from whoever's bowl is on the same floor as they are.

Book re-binding, part II

(My last 'beta' edition. You'll see the final edition later.)

I ended up finding a shop in Centre City that would fix my main breviary for about $60.Unlike most o their orders, mine was'nt a restoration. I just needed the covers repaired, some pages attached, and new endpapers added. Those they did well. The new leather binding was my own work. And you'll get to see it. 

I went through three 'beta' editions, to see what I wanted (The last one is pictured above.) The leather is real leather from an old, out of style jacket given to me for materials. I cut two large pieces and washed the leather. I removed the remains of the paper spine that were still attached to one of the covers, cleaned the covers, and added a piece of cardboard to serve as the backing for the new spine. (I know, I could have used a thick paper, but a good thin cardboard, besides being stronger, is less likely to warp after the glue is put on it and let to become tacky.That's what happened with my last beta edition.)I took five strips of leather from my second piece and glued them onto the cardboard , and left it to dry. 

I'll post part III (With the attaching of the leather,the tooling of the spine and the gilding) later.


I should have seen this coming. So, I call to get my selective service number, and the phone-voice tells me that the information is invalid. They transfer me to a live person who tells me that I'm not registered. I distinctly remember signing up for it in school, but they tell me I'm not, and that I can go to the SSS website to sign up for it. So, I do. And the website tells me that my social security number is invalid. Really? The number that I Know is correct? It's wrong? Really? 

So I re-submitted the application, only to be told that I had exceeded the number of applications allowed in a day.


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Allright guys, put on your Thinking Caps,

And help Joe solve his gigantic dilemma. You see, after I got back from my weekend away at the friary during the Octave of Easter, I found that besides the blessings of the Resurrection, we had received another blessing: Our/my brother's cat, Dahlia, had given birth to five kittens. Which was okay while they were small, but now, nearly two months later, they can walk, they can meow quite loudly, and today, they started eating solid food. 

Now, I can't have seven cats. It's out of the question. To tell the truth, we haven't even told my mother that there are five kittens in the house, and now they're growing up. I never planned to keep them, but now I've got to start making some sort of move.

The problem is this: The PSPCA doesn't seem to take strays, and the Morris animal shelter will 'humanely destroy'. as they put it, any cats that don't get adopted. And the animal surrender form makes you promise not to come back to get your cat. So I'm screwed there. And I don't know of any other place.

So guys, your mission is this: Help Joe to find a shelter for the kittens that will either:

A) Not kill them

B) Allow me to take them back if no one adopts them.

In the unlikely event that you find one that does both, that's even better. But yeah, please help.

Another preview.

For some reason,when I scan it, the contrast between the light and dark colors of the skin is much sharper than it is in real life. I'll have to edit the scanner settings. Other than that, I have to belnd some of the colors on the skin, color the fruits on the Tree, and do the sky and halos. Then it'll be pretty much finished, unless I fan find a way to fix Eve's right arm. (I trying to get her skin to be dark and tanned, you know, "I am black but comely, etc, etc, as a prefigurement of Mary.) The arm is the worst part of the figure, though really, If I blend it and go over it with Light Peach a few times, it ought to look good. I'm just happy that for the first time, the colors came out as bright as they really are. Usually when I color my inked worked, the lineart bleeds into whatever I'm coloring, and I get black smudges that darken my colors when I try to even it out.

More on how I fixed that later.


I was randomly looking for the propers for Ember Wednesday in the octave of Pentecost, so I went to this famous site. And what do you think I found?

"Introduction to the Breviary.........

Taken from the "Roman Breviary In English"
published by Benziger Brothers, Inc. in 195o"

Hmm...William J. where have I heard that name?Oh now I remember! He was one of the former pastors of my own parish! 

Small world. <3


Look at This, 

and then look at This.

This is about the third time that I found that the fabric of a set of vestments at my parish was also used in vestments for another rite.More specifically, the last two were Russian, and the other one Ukrainian. 

This week in stupid,


What is wrong with the hierarchy? They're done dismantling the liturgical and theological tradition of the Latin rite, so now they're moving on to dismantling  the tradition of the Eastern rites? Are these guy completely and totally BLIND? Have they NOT seen the adverse results that said liturgical 'renewal' brought on their own church? And I find it very much condescending. Even to this day, far too many Latin rite bishops are upholding the notion that Eastern Catholics need to conform themselves the Latin rite practice, that their own traditions are not worthy of being kept. Hence you see the depths of 'reform' that have overtaken Maronite and Ukrainian Catholic parishes. (Female servers and lectors,modern ICEL-style liturgy, overly casual or irreverent servers/priests, some Maronite parishes even have guitars in them.)

And I don't think that there's any evidence that the terrible Latinisations that have already been forced on the faithful of these other rites has done them or their jurisdictions any good, but just like Vatican II, the hierarchy forces them through anyway with little to no care about what the faithful want, or about respecting the tradition of the rites. 

In my opinion, what I think Eastern Catholics ought to do is the very same thing that Pope Benedict XVI is advocating for the Latin church: Return to their own tradition.Give up the modern accretions and return to their own rites, and the full rites, not abbreviated ones, or rites edited for comfortability with the modern mind.Eastern Catholics are in a kind a limbo now, because many of them have become so latinised that they only very vaguely resemble anything other than the Latin rite. They seem a bit lost, and I suppose it's because discarding those traditions was discarding a part of their very selves. A recovery of their true liturgical and theological tradition seems better in my opinion, than becoming glorified Roman Catholics. 

*Sigh* It's this blatant disregard and disrespect for tradition in deference to modern thought and modern practice that makes me so embarrassed to be called "Roman Catholic."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Melodic Deth Metal.

A friend and I had a disagreement over it. See, he says it's not Real Metal. Real Metal, or Manly Metal is thrash metal. According to him, that is. I've moved past my ninth grade obsession with thrash metal, which can be exemplified by such stellar bands as Dragonforce.* Of course, once I started getting interested in classical music theory, thrash metal no longer cut it for me. I slowly realised that if you listen quite carefully, some bands actually do use some music theory in their compositions (Think middle-late Metallica, for example, or Black Sabbath's Children of the Sea, for a more specific example.) A good melodic riff has to be carefully written, not just 'hammered in'** kind of randomly. That's probably part of the reason I never developed an interest in pop music, but secretly kinda like metal before it even developed into an actual love of it. But I expect at least someone to come and call me a typical music snob and that I don't know what I'm talking about/reference the wrong band/doesn't know anything about writing guitar music, etc. etc, etc.

*Youtube a certain interveiw of theirs for a specific example.
** or "H-H-h-hamma it it", as Dragonforce put it. You should be noticing a pattern here.

*Saws off a limb*

*Re attaches it with duct tape and Gorilla glue.*

Yours truly is working on a little project. See, I need a new prie-Dieu for my home oratory. I already have one, but it's not made for people my size. Yes, even someone short like me. You see, I got it form a local Episcopal church that was restoring their children's chapel (It was 'refurbished' in the 50's in some really gawdawful colors and furniture.) The one I got is only about two and a half feet tall, which means that If I use it,It's only waist high, and it kills my back to use it.

Anyway, I'm making my own. I already have the bare bones of it done.Unfortunately, the shelf I made to hold books, I cut too short.I have to make another trip to Lowe's to buy some moulding for it, and the actually thing that you kneel on hasn't been upholstered. And I need to find a nice dark stain to match the table and bench that I already have in there. (They're very dark cherry; almost black.) There are one or two nice little things I'd like to add to it, but you'll see it later.

Monday, May 24, 2010

And on that note,

Lauds and Vespers form the Mercedarian breviary, for the feast of  S.Peter Nolasco, founder and Patriarch of the order. I've transcribed it myself, but I think it's mostly free of major errors.

Ant 1.Redemptionem misit Dominus populo suo, quam mandavit Pe-

tro famulo suo.

Ant. 2 Ab infantia mea creavit mecum miseratio, et ex utero matris meae egressa est mecum.

Ant. 3. Pecunias .suas non dedit ad usuram, sed pro captivis ipse commutavit.

Ant 4.Magno caritatis exemplo animam suam pro fidelibus liberandis Domino consecravit.

Ant.5. Liberavit pauperem a potente et inopem , cui non erat adiutor.

Capitulum. i.Ioan.2

In hoc cognovimus cari- 
tatem Dei: quoniam ille 
animam suam pro nobis po- 
suit : et nos debemus pro 
fratribus animas ponere.

R/. Deo gratias.


Petre , qui , iussu Genitrcicis almae  
Eripis dura domitos catena,
Liberans plebem propi servientem  
Meribus atris

Hoc apis quondam docuit futurum,  
Insidens quando manibus tenellis  
Melle foecundat, puerumque sacro
Nectare complet.

Te patrem nati veneramur omnes.  
Supplices , et te precibus vocamus;  
Ut tuus nostris geminus novetur  
Cordibus ardor.

Vincla vesanae Stygis, et latentes
Daemonis technas Animis repelle,
Ne tuos caeco maculis subactos
Claucere claudant.

Qui dedit vires iter inchoandi
Adsit ingressis Pater, atque Patre
Adsit aeternam Genitus, nec absit 
Spiritus almus. Amen

V/.Ora pro nobis P. N.S. Petre. 
R/.Ut digni efficiamur promissonibus Christi. 

Ad Mag. ant.Majorem caritatem 
nemo habet,ut inimam suam ponat quis pro amicis suis.  

Ant.Redemptionem cum reliquis ut in I vesperis
Hymnus Petre, qui iussu ut in I vespers. 

V/.Ora pro nobis P. N.S. Petre. 
R/.Ut digni efficiamur promissonibus Christi. 

Ad Ben.Ant. Visitavit nos Dominus per Petrum filium suum; ut sine timore, de manu inimicorum nostrorum liberati serviamus illi.  

Ad II Vesperis

Omnia ut in I vesperis, praeter:

Ad Mag.Ant. Laudemus virum gloriosum, et parentum nostrum; ardentissimam eius caritatem imitari conemur,qui exauvdivit pauperes vinctos in medicitate et ferro. Salvavit eos de manu odientium, et redemit eos de manibus inimicorum.



I can't beleive this is actually here. I've been looking for a source for all the offices of the Order in the old breviary for years.Speaking of which, I'll have the propers for the feast of S.Peter Nolasco . Unfortunately, I won't have the proper hymns. See, my source is THIS. As you can see, it's been poorly digitized, and while I've been able to decipher most of it, the hymns are a jumble, and I can't understand them.

Hopefully, I'll be able to get down as many of the proper offices from my second source as I can. Lets just see how it goes.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

So when was the last time you.....

....Visited my deviantArt page? It's been a while since I was one (Before Easter was the last time) But all of my art is there. No one reads my journal, so I don't really update it much.

And yes, that Would be a preview of the Adam and Eve picture.It's neither inked or colored yet, but enjoy it so far.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

And now,

A musical interlude.

Well, it is officially Pentecost.

The God whom earth and sea and sky,

That's one of my favourite Marian hymns. (My other two happen to be 'Sing we of the Blessed Mother'  and 'Hail, all hail great Queen of Heaven', all of which happen to have great tunes.) But that's aside. My parish's hymnal contains that hymn, but in a horrible bastardised version that isn't the version I know. In the version I know, the first verse went "The God whom earth and sea and sky adore and laud and magnify,whose might they own,whose praise they swell,in Mary's womb vouchsafed to dwell." Whereas the one in the hymnal goes "The God whom earth and sea and sky adore and praise and magnify, whose might they claim whose love they tell, In Mary's body comes to dwell." 

That's not only it. The last verse too gets re-written. I know it as "O Lord, the Virgin-born, to thee, eternal laud and glory be, whom with the Father we adore and Holy Ghost forevermore." Whereas the hymnal puts it as "O Lord, the Virgin-born to you Eternal praise and thanks are due, Whom with the Father we adore And Spirit blest forevermore."

It gets worse though. While the hymnal puts it to the tune Eisenach, which is good, they put "Sing we of the Blessed mother" to Omne Die. Which is a nice tune, But I always knew it 'Rustington'.

That's the problem with Roman Catholic hymnals: Even when they do pick good hymns (Like my parish's hymnal does: The: majority of the hymns are also in the U.S. Hymnal 1982 and some (five or six) are from the New English Hymnal) They have to justify themselves by messing around with the words and putting it to a different tune.

Same thing they did with "By all your Saints still striving".


*Sigh* I had to take a break today. I've been over-extending myself lately, trying to take care of things at home (Spoiler: Things are not taken care of at home) While simultaneously trying to find a job (Spoiler: No one wants to hire me) and make Dad feel as comfortable as circumstances will allow (Spoiler: I haven't helped.) 

Anyway, I have a sleeping schedule that I've been on since sixth grade, that I've Never broken. Not till now, at least. On Thursday, I didn't get back home till after ten. By the time I had cooked dinner and straightened the house, and got the chants for first vespers of Pentecost ready, it was after 1:00 AM. I woke up the next day, an hour later than usual, and dragged myself out of the house to the hospital and downtown to Centre City to pay the water bill. Luckily, this being Philly, the guys at the water department did their best to make things go quickly and easily. And by that I mean that they did their utmost to drag things out to make them as excruciatingly boring and tedious as an inner-city bureaucracy can.

I got home at 3:00 PM, and decided to take a power nap. (I Never take naps) I ended up staying asleep till ten PM. I did'nt bother with cleaning, I just made an attempt at Spanish rice for dinner, and watched some episodes of the Venture Brothers* and Rocko before I went to bed. Well  past 2:30 AM. Back up by 8:30, and after a short breakfast (the remains of which were eaten by that horrible monster that I call my brother's cat) I took the day off. All I did were Lauds and the little hours of the Vigil of Pentecost. Just R&R until 4:00 PM.


If you get that reference, you saw the episode. It was the one with the pirate ship and Brock gets captured and ends up teaching Hank how to kill people but Hank doesn't like to kill them all the way so they just end up temporarily unconscious and permanently paralysed.

Ratchet and Clank.

Is t.he game I'm playing through right now. The first one, I mean.

Boy, are the later ones an improvement. The weapons don't level up, there are not many of them, and some of them are'nt very good.Of course, the RYNO is there, but yeah, really, like I could afford it. The bomb glove and mini-missile launcher are very helpful though. Both only contain a limited amount of ammo though. The Taunter was a real waste of money, as It's really only useful in two situations.

But this is only the first game though. I've played and do own all the successive games released after that, excepting the games released on the PSP.(Because I did'nt have one when they came out.) The Ratchet and Clank Future games are what I hope to play soon. Everyone is giving them rave reviews, so I have to try it out.
Now though, I'm at the last board of the first Ratchet and Clank game. Or at least, I assume it's the last one. This game has taken too much of my nowadays almost non-existent free time.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The quest is finished.

Or nearly so.Most of you already know of my blaringly obvious interest churchy-type music. Somehow, some of you don't know of my interest in my other favorite genre of music. I don't know how, Just click the tag 'musical interludes' and you'll find post after post of metal and punk music. Somehow, I think the brothers thought I was'nt serious when I told them that that's my other type of music.
Anyway, the quest to find a new bass is nearly over.Because, Sam Ash has the one I want and have wanted and have had numerous awesome musician's daydreams about, usually involving me being at a concert of a band I like and then the entire rhythm section suddenly comes down with Spanish Influenza, so my best friend and I take their place for the last song, but then I get influenza and die suddenly.[/tangent]
Now, I'm a bit afraid to start playing again. It's been, what five years since I even had a bass to practice on? And even then, I was'nt very good. But oh well, it's an investment in my music.

On a less calm note,On the fourth day, Joe discovered the band Trash Talk, and he was glad.

As far as the mass setting goes,

You're all going to want to kill me in some violent yet comedic way, but after finishing it, I've begun re-writing it again. See, I struggled with the gloria because I wanted it to be in a style that I can;t put into words. Think the kyrie from Rheinberger's 'cantus firmus' mass, with some late polyphonic influences thrown in. I decided that I wanted it to be unaccompanied, so I had to add a second tenor line, and then I realised that the theme from the agnus dei really fit what I wanted the gloria to sound like .(Slow, walking pace, constantly moving and full of dynamics.) So now I've got to do that. People are going to say that the sanctus does'nt fit the mass. For two reasons. Firstly, the USCCB outlawed polyphonic/choral sanctuses, and secondly, it's in a minor key, it's short, and it's composed of chords with no independently sung lines.
But on a better note, I do already have four masses and three mass parts based on chants written. They use the glorious new translation of the Roman missal, and I'd like to get them published, but I'm far too poor to afford it.* They're called, and based on:

Mass of Our Lady of Mercy: Litanies of the blessed virgin/Antiphon Laeva eius.
Mass of S.Peter: Missa Pater cuncta
Mass of Redemption: Missa Lux et Origo
Mass in C major: Kyrie Deus Genitor alme,Sanctus II (Cantus ad libitum), Agnus Dei II (Cantus ad libitum) all from the Liber Usualis.
Credo in C: Mode 2 tone, Liber Usualis Pg. 777
Credo in G. : Invitatory tone, Liber Usualis Pg.765
Ambrosian Gloria: Gloria 'More Ambrosiano'

These are simple, congregational chant-based masses. Hopefully, I could see how they go with my own parish. No longer having a keyboard to use means that I only get one guaranteed chance a week to write my music.

*Avoids another rant on copyrights.

The Daily office.

Even before I was Catholic, I always used some form of a daily office. (From just reciting psalms, to using medeival votive offices, or reciting the old Roman psalter in English.) I've been through more breviaries and publications in the past five years than most religious probably go through in ten years.
In the end, I always end up with the same one: the Newman House Lauds and Vespers, which is my day-to-day office book. I've always had the propers and commons of the saints printed out from a word file, so I get to use the whole of the post-Vatican II breviary in Latin.
It's my companion. I take it everywhere, even though I use the Monastic Diurnal for the little hours and compline. Because, even if I'm not saying the two hours contained therein, it's still full of scripture. It still has the psalms, and the litany, the office of the dead and that of the Blessed Virgin. Mine is chock-full of extra stuff that I've added for my own devotion( The preparation for communion from the 2002 Roman missal, votive offices of the Passion, the Crown of Thorns, the Precious Blood, the Sacred Heart, the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, the litanies of the Blessed Virgin, the Sacred Heart, and the Holy Name, for example.)

In religious life, the brothers at the friary have a name for the breviary: They call if their Wife. It seems witty at first, but it's true and very deep. Priests and religious have the duty of saying the office daily, not (Only) because it keeps them busy, but because they are called for the service of God and the service of God's people, the church. The breviary as the public prayer of the church is both a daily sacrifice of praise to God and a means or interceding for the whole of the church, and praying to God for them in their place.In a sense, the office is a visible reminder of their vocation, like the habit.

The office is spiritual food. It's a banquet that changes every day and yet stays the same. The fare is rich: Scripture and the Fathers. I've noticed on days when I miss the office for some reason, like weakness or sickness, I really notice it. Not just because I'm not familiar anymore with having this blank time doing nothing, but because the office and the mass are the ground of my day. I schedule everything around them, which seems odd considering that I'm a layperson, and I don't have any real obligation to say the office.

But even without the spiritual benefit, even the superficial beauty of the office would be enough to keep me attached to it. (And in dry periods, is often is.) Think of the Saturday office of Our lady: The sweeping prose of "Bonum est confiteri Domino" (Ps.92) and "Domine, Dominus noster" (Ps.8) The almost frightening reproach of the Saturday canticle, "Audite, caeli, quae loquor."Think of the comforting image of Mary, as mother of God, crowned and in glory (Lection, Rev.12) and the Benedictus antiphon which praises her, one aged with centuries of almost universal use, "Sancta et Immaculata Mariae virginitas". The office, from the hymn to the versicles, it's all a poem. Whether it's the prose of the psalms or the verse of the hymn, "O gloriosa Domina", The office has a poetic beauty because it consists essentially of poems.

I can't imagine going through the liturgical year without the 'Conditor alme siderum' of advent, or the 'Vexilla regis' and 'En,acetum' of Passiontide. Without the praises of O admirabile commercium' in Christmastide, or 'O rex gloriae' in Ascensiontide. Holy week would be empty without the stripped offices of the days, with their somber reminders of Christ's abandonment and sorrow in 'Dum conturbata fuerit' and 'Proprio Filio suo,' and all of creation's lament in 'Plangent eum'.
And now, only nine months into its use, my current breviary is in terrible condition. I've already explained it. Or rather, it Was in bad condition. Once I upload the photos, you'll see what $30 and some ingenuity can get you.

[Insert triumphant return]

[Insert Fanfare]
Verizon, why did you do this to me? I thought we had something special.I mean, I was so vulnerable after my relationship with Comcast, and you, you were just there for me. Things were good, until whoever it was that broke into my box and cut the phone lines got in between us. I kept calling you, but you were always busy with other customers.And you would'nt return my calls. You gave me the run around when I tried to schedule a technician to come and fix the wires. Finally, you promised to come over five times, and each time, you left me waiting and never came.

Then you come over. And you're Drunk. You didn't even used to drink,but when you come, you're drunk. And you've wet yourself. I put up with you because you do fix the box. But then, when I try to get my account back on and get things back on track between us, I see that you gave me the wrong phone number. To my own house. C'mon 'Zonnie, we can't let things go on like this.Either you're going to have better customer service or I'm going to get together with Clear. I see her all around the city, and she's always taunting me with her free MP3 players and constant chances to win a Sony Vaio. And you know that that's my favorite computer, but you've never once given me a chance to win one.

Anyway, after five weeks of getting the run around from my now no longer favoured ISP, I'm back online. And I have lots to post about. Let's see how much I can write here before you guys go into a boredom induced coma that I'm going to have to pretend I care deeply about.

Dad: Was in the hospital for a week. He gets out.Two weeks later, he passes out at works and his hospitalised.A week after he first got there, they discovered he had Pneumonia. He recovered, albeit with much difficulty. Then they realise that the pneumonia was only a side effect of the return of his Lymphoma. *Sigh* Dad goes back to the all-too-familiar seventh floor of the Ravdin building in Penn. (The Cancer unit) Fast foreward a week. Dad is on this disgusting neutropenic diet, which in a nutshell means that he's not allowed to eat anything delicious. (Pepper, spices, fresh fruit and vegetables, salads, lunchmeats, non packaged cheeses, etc. etc.) Interestingly, Dad is allowed to have baby formula. Fast foreward about a week and a half from then. Yours truly has been attempting to cook around Dad's diet, because the hospital food has all the delectibility of a sawdust and wood glue casserole, seasoned with nothing and served with a side of raw 'This tastes like cat litter.'.

Home: Is driving me ever closer and closer to carry out one those plans for running away I wrote when I was six. I knew those G.I. Joes would come in handy some day.I've become the family maid and cook. I do all the cooking, the cleanTing,* as well as the shopping and generally keeping the house in order. Which by the way, being an obsessive compulsive neat freak wouldn't normally bother me, except that everyone else has taken my need to live in a clean and ordered house as an excuse to do no cleaning and ordering of their own.Which in a nutshell means that there are no longer any days that I have free of heavy cleaning. And y'know, you can only take the time to clean and disinfect a kitchen so many times before you're content to wipe off whatever visible crud comes off with a dry rag and call it "clean". Luckily, my own rooms a paradise where the carpet is clean enough to eat off of and the books stay in alphebetical and size order.

Is closer and closer everyday. I received my application and did basically all of it in one day. There is one question I'm unsure how to answer, and I'm waiting for my physical and my exams to determine whether or not I actually have hypoglycemia or if I just get all the symptoms of hypoglycemia everytime I eat, when the conditions are being met for a hypoglycemic attack, but without actually having hypoglycemia.
And THIS guy actually showed up while I was at my aspirant's weekend last week. Totally cool. We wend to a super-rad ordination at the Cathedral of Ss. Peter and Paul with enough chant, polyphony choral music (all performed by the excellent cathedral Collegiate choir) to satisfy any trad. Only, I wish they'd dispense with the Cantrix. I loathe the sound of cantors wailing into a mic over a choir and congregation. Especially when said choir/organ/ brass sextet is ding Vaugh-Williams wonderful descant to the hymn tune Old Hundreth.
And also, we went to the graduation at S.Charles Borromeo Seminary. It was great. The seminary faculty was there along with Cardinal Rigali, and...uh...what was that bishop's name again? I forget.**
However, the main reason I was away was to see a psychologist and psychiatrist, and to take two days worth of exams. The first day was pretty short, only FIVE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-FIVE QUESTIONS. The second day was another four hundred questions, along with a psycho-sexual exam. Said exam consists of a series of rather perverted questions which seem to have been created to make the Marquis de Sade feel all the embarrassment of a teenager whose mom wants to have an in-depth conversation about his sex life. I'd give you details, but luckily, my selective amnesia had blanked out most of the details of the test. Thank you, selective amnesia.

I'm drawing Adam and Eve. And it's a really, really deep picture, man.It's filled with all sorts of rich theological concepts. Every detail means something. Some of them are rather obvious. (E.g., Eve has a black halo symbolysing the death of the soul, and around it are the words Mutans Evae nomen.Those are words from the Hymn Ave Maris Stella, from the office of the blessed virgin, pointing to the fact that Mary, by obediently accepting the vocation to be the Mother of God undid, by her obedience, Eve's disobedience. Our first mother was called 'Eva', who led us to death. Our mother in the new covenant was saluted with 'Ave', whose trust and obedience led to our life in Christ.) There's stuff like that in the whole thing. Once it's done, I'll explain the whole piece to you, with quotes from scripture and the Fathers.
Preparatory note: FULL FRONTAL NUDITY.*** Actually, that's not true, I've just always wanted an excuse to reference that. (Monty Python Fan.) There are cleverly grown tree branches to cover the right parts, but they are naked. Please don't be scandalised.

Liturgy: Duh, we had a solemn high mass in the extraordinary form, and solemn pontifical vespers in the ordinary for the following Tuesday. Boy, was that complicated. Yours truly was the crucifer for the first and the second thurifer for the second. Said job meant the main thurifer and I did the traditional 'Walk backwards and incense the blesse sacrament and try not to walk into something' incensation during the procession. Yours truly was given the parish's nicest, most expensive Heaviest thurible to use. Did I mention that it was joint-crushingly heavy?
Said thurible burns very hot and fast, and the incense was gone by the time the procession ended.
The main thurifer and I were to have incensed the blessed sacrament simultaneously during the pontifical benediction, but mine was empty. Attempts to go to the M.C. and bishop and retrieve more incense were unsuccessful. So I incensed the blessed sacrament with an empty thurible, while the main thurifer got to have glorious clouds of thick, sweet-smelling, asthma-inducing incense.
Nothing special to report, other than the fact that the pastor has asked my to fill in for Br.David, the usual M.C. at the high mass on Sundays. I've payed attention enough that I know what to do, only it involves a lot of standing. And these people, with their 'libretto by Bugnini, ceremonial by Fortescue' rule have re-introduced the osculata, which as far as I'm concerned are definitely suppressed, therefore illegal, therefore Rong. And besides, I don't like them.That's a good enough reason not to do them. But it it's the custom, it's the custom, and I'll just go along with it like a Good Catholic Boy.

And now, I'll end this wall of text.

*And If you get that reference, You Win the day.

** Explanation: A student from the college division was to have given an address, and while thanking the faculty and the bishops, forgot the name of one of the bishops and we had a lovely awkward pause.Said seminarian became the butt of Every.Single. Speaker. And seminarian.Their Jokes, I mean. For the rest of the hour and a half graduation ceremony.Poor guy. But it was funny.

*** Lets see how many hits I'll get from Google from people looking for dirty stuff.Or how many people are'nt going to realise that that's the title of something from Monty Python and not a link to something dirty. Cue Google Analytics.

[ With much applause and thanks to THIS which inspired me.]