Friday, March 31, 2006

Weekend Assignment # 105

Weekend Assignment #105: Share a favorite poem.

Extra Credit:
Ever write poetry yourself?

I will share one of my long time favorites - Song of Myself, a piece from Leaves of Grass, as penned by Walt Whitman. For his time, Whitman was a genius - he broke all laws of poetry and spoke to men and women of every class and race. I will give you just a snippet of Song of Myself:

"I CELEBRATE myself, and sing myself,
  And what I assume you shall assume,
  For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

  I loafe and invite my soul,
  I lean and loafe at my ease observing a spear of summer grass.

  My tongue, every atom of my blood, form'd from this soil, this air,
  Born here of parents born here from parents the same, and their
     parents the same,
  I, now thirty-seven years old in perfect health begin,
  Hoping to cease not till death.

  Creeds and schools in abeyance,
  Retiring back a while sufficed at what they are, but never forgotten,
  I harbor for good or bad, I permit to speak at every hazard,
  Nature without check with original energy."

~~

If you want to read a fabulous book by a poet, read The Prophet, by Kahlil Gibran.

~~

Extra Credit: A poem I wrote, entitled, "Anger"

In hazy days I lean upon my staff,
rancid breath heavy with sweat and tensioned fury,

Red feelings behind my eyes, and I see her bloodied before me.
I see her sweet white neck, ready to break, bitten, mauled from her head.

Feel the warmness bathing me.
I slather myself in her life.
Its pulse lights up my heart.

My hands, hands grasping for her head. I will destroy it, rip it, push it, sqeeze it, eat it, feel it - her skull, break.

She is mine; eaten, she is nothing.
She lays dead even before I began.

I see the future. I know her taste. She is sweet,
like warm honey. She is my feasting blood. She heals me and setsme free.

She is anger. She is power. She is defined, precise, unleashed. She is uncontrollable rage. She beats fists of hated arms and salavates over your dread corpse.

There is no end to anger. I love it. I need it. Her breath is mine and I give her life.

 

What City do you Belong In?

From Blogthings: You Belong in Dublin

Friendly and down to earth, you want to enjoy Europe without snobbery or pretensions.
You're the perfect person to go wild on a pub crawl... or enjoy a quiet bike ride through the old part of town.

The Angelus, and MyCatholic

I know we've a number of Protestant and Born Again readers of this site, but for the Catholics in the group, here are two sites that might interest you:


The Angelus link will drive you to a page that not only provides a very brief history of the prayer, but also its mission, which is to spread the praying of the angelus among Catholic web surfers. If you wish to participate and pray the angelus (normaly now done at noon, though also at morning and night in tradition) head over to the link provided by the button. You'll find the angelus there in english and latin, and you can also find the html code to place the angelus tag on your blog or web site.

The second site is a fabulous customizable home page that gives Catholics a chance to use RSS feeds and local information to pull content in from all over the web that is meaningful to them and their faith. It's very much worth the trip if you are Catholic, and much of the news there comes from catholic news services, not traditional mainstream media.

Enjoy,

Charley

The Friday Five - Movie Mania!

The end of another month - can you believe it? I've been ignoring the double quick pace of 2006 by losing myself in fantasy. My dream of choice has been as an omnipresent and omniscient owner of a movie studio. Awesome!

I picked up the game, The Movies, produced by Lionhead Studios. It is a fabulous title, sucks you in greatly and really my only complaint is that it lacks a mini map from the direct interface. This fabulous time-waster is the inspiration for today's Friday Five. To play, answer the five questions below in your journal and link back here in the comments, OR just post your answers in the comments - either is fine. I will pimp the first to respond.

Last week's first-place prize goes to......Carly! She is the fabulously funny phenomenal writer of ellipsessuddenlycarly - please go visit her and say hello!

And now, to the questions:

1) If you were to star in a movie, who would you want to be cast as your love interest?

Angelina Jolie - we would be all Mr. and Mrs. Smith - or maybe I'd be the wounded war hero and she could nurse me back to health?

2) What genre of movie would you most like to star in?

Honestly? A Shakespearean adaptation true to the playwright's words and intent.

3) What song would you insist be on the sound track?

Nimrod with Variations, by Elgar. No other piece of music, classical or otherwise means as much to me.

4) What would you wear to the premiere of your movie?

Tux - armani. Because if you can't wear an armani tux, you shouldn't be wearing one at all.

5) Who would you thank in your Oscar acceptance speech?

My wife. Father Phil. Tom Hanks - he'd be my mentor. And whoever it was that paid off all my debt so I could produce the film in the first place :)

Enjoy!

Charley

Tag: Friday Five

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Laura, over at Adventures in Juggling (http://adventuresinjuggling.blogspot.com/2006/03/thursday-thirteen-jury-duty-list.html) hosts the Thursday Thirteen. The entire point is to spend a little time visiting other blogs that play the thirteen, and she's got quite a crowd that do!

To play you need only list thirteen something in your journal. There's no real topic!

So, for me, here are thirteen movies I wish I was watching...right now!

1. The Big Lebowski
2. The Godfather II
3. Revenge of the Sith
4. The Usual Suspects
5. Kenneth Branaugh's Hamlet
6. The Princess Bride
7. Bull Durham
8. The Sting
9. The Legend of Bagger Vance
10. Napoleon Dynamite
11. Wedding Crashers
12. Van Wilder (write that down!)
13. Syriana

Enjoy!
Charley

Tag: Thursday Thirteen

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

CarnivAOL (sweet!)

It's back.

And that's awesome.

Get on over to the CarnivAOL site, a journal carnival designed to expose the AOL J-Land community to one another. This is a great way to find new blogs, and to share your most meaningful entries. Don't miss the chance to be a part of J-Land - go now!!!

Snagged this from Blogthings:

Your Quirk Factor: 42%

You're a pretty quirky person, but you're just normal enough to hide it.
Congratulations - you've fooled other people into thinking you're just like them!

 
HA! This means if I ever knock on your door, don't open it...you never know what you're going to get!

The Tuesday Two

This meme is hosted over at Patrick's Weekender, which can be found at: http://patricksweekender.blogspot.com/2006/03/tuesday-two-episode-23.html

To play, all you have to do is pick one of the two questions, answer it, and comment in his journal.

THIS WEEK'S TOPIC: TECHNOLOGY

QUESTION A:
In general, do you think technology makes our lives easier or harder, and why?

or

QUESTION B:
What "modern marvel" could you most do without, and why?

Choose A or B, (indicate which question you're answering!) then either answer the question in a comment or answer it in your journal and include the link in a comment. (To be considered "first to play," a link must be to the specific entry in which you answered the question.)

Remember: choose one or the other...not both!

I am going to answer #2: I can, and have done without cable television for about three years now. Anything I want to watch desperately, I can find online after the fact, or even subscribe to over the internet.

I found that generally there is more garbage than not on cable TV, and frankly, there are far better things to do with my time, like read.

Tag: Tuesday Two
 

The Wednesday Reflection

Afternoon, gang,

Here's how the Wednesday Reflection works - I post something, give a little bit of a reflection, you post the SAME thing but then add your OWN reflection. Then, link back here in the comments.

Spread the word!

~~

We are so vain that we even care for the opinion of those we don't care for.
Marie Ebner von Eschenbach

This quote rings true for me, as my accursed anxiety continually drives me to be worried about, and fretting over what everyone else and their mother thinks about me just about all the time.

Strangely enough, that applies to the people in life that rub my skin just a little raw. When you call it vanity, however, the action becomes a little bit more...detestable.

Tag: Wednesday Reflection

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

The River

From today's readings (Ezekiel, 47: 1-9, 12):

"The angel brought me, Ezekiel, back to the entrance of the temple of the Lord, and I saw water flowing out from beneath the threshold of the temple toward the east, for the facade of the temple was toward the east; the water flowed down from the right side of the temple, south of the altar. He led me outside by the north gate, and around to the outer gate facing the east, where I saw water trickling from the right side. Then when he had walked off to the east with a measuring cord in his hand, he measured off a thousand cubits and had me wade through the water, which was ankle-deep. He measured off another thousand and once more had me wade through the water, which was now knee-deep. Again he measured off a thousand and had me wade; the water was up to my waist. Once more he measured off a thousand, but there was now a river through which I could not wade; for the water had risen so high it had become a river that could not be crossed except by swimming. He asked me, "Have you seen this, son of man?" Then he brought me to the bank of the river, where he had me sit. Along the bank of the river I saw very many trees on both sides. He said to me, "This water flows into the eastern district down upon the Arabah, and empties into the sea, the salt waters, which it makes fresh. Wherever the river flows, every sort of living creature that can multiply shall live, and there shall be abundant fish, for wherever this water comes the sea shall be made fresh. Along both banks of the river, fruit trees of every kind shall grow; their leaves shall not fade, nor their fruit fail. Every month they shall bear fresh fruit, for they shall be watered by the flow from the sanctuary. Their fruit shall serve for food, and their leaves for medicine."

I love this passage because it so clearly tell us what we must be for other people. We must be that life-giving river, our banks of kindness, goodness, and love overflowing. We must provide life giving water, making fresh the dead waters and dry souls that are parched.

If we loose the torrents of our affection and love we can make the world ever green, always fruitful, and full of every good thing. That image is so powerful for me, because in the days before spring we need that love and life from one another. We need it as summer comes and the heat begins to wear us down. We need it in the fall, when the leaves begin to turn reminding us of the soon to come slumber.

Our love can raise the waters of tolerance and joy and keep us always green...if we let it.

Monday, March 27, 2006

A Personal Encounter

I stumbled upon this article (http://www.ewtn.com/vnews/getstory.asp?number=66151) about having a personal encounter with Christ and felt it worth sharing.

I particularly enjoy the comment about understanding truth of life and obtaining salvation, as it's written in the fourth paragraph.

I don't know a single person that isn't struggling for truth and salvation in one form or another.

Charley

Conversion of Heart

I write on Christian topics nearly every day, and many of my readers pen their entries from the Christian perspective as well. Others come here because when I write, even about Christianity, I struggle to include rather than exclude other people.

I like the open dialogue and discourse that promotes. And from a soap box, I feel like I've seen too much hatred and intolerance in the blogosphere recently. Maybe winter got a little long, maybe tensions are rising as divisive issues like immigration, war, and abortion become more prominent in the national consciousness, maybe the planets are aligning, or maybe people just need some sun to repel this negativity.

I don't know what has us judging, and closing minds, and presuming about the behaviors of others, but I found this message (http://www.cwnews.com/news/viewstory.cfm?recnum=43205) today about love converting hearts.

Whether a fan of the Pope's or not, whether you agree with Catholicism or not, this message is central to the faith of all Christians, and true for all humanity as well. We need not be Christian to love. Check it out.

Charley

Tag: Christian, Faith

How much is your blog worth? (March update)

Well gang, our monthly tradition of estimating the value of our blogs is back. A fun little tool, I hope that we've all seen some appreciation. My post from February can be found here, and the dollar totals from previous months are listed below. You can find out the value of your own blog here. How have YOU done - let us know!

October: $34,000+
November: $47,000+
December: $31,000+
January: $31,000+
February: $46,000+
March: NO CHANGE


My blog is worth $46,856.82.
How much is your blog worth?

 

Johari Window Update

Rachael, from Rach's Daily Life (she's fabu - check her out), posted this a few weeks ago. I wanted to give an update:

Arena

(known to self and others)

clever, searching

Blind Spot
(known only to others)

accepting, brave, calm, caring, dependable, dignified, friendly, helpful, intelligent, introverted, kind, loving, mature, modest, observant, organised, reflective, religious, sentimental, trustworthy, warm, wise, witty

Fa├žade
(known only to self)

adaptable, ingenious, proud, tense

Unknown
(known to nobody)

able, bold, cheerful, complex, confident, energetic, extroverted, giving, happy, idealistic, independent, knowledgeable, logical, nervous, patient, powerful, quiet, relaxed, responsive, self-assertive, self-conscious, sensible, shy, silly, spontaneous, sympathetic

Dominant Traits

62% of people think that CDittric77 is friendly

All Percentages

able (0%) accepting (12%) adaptable (0%) bold (0%) brave (50%) calm (12%) caring (25%) cheerful (0%) clever (12%) complex (0%) confident (0%) dependable (12%) dignified (12%) energetic (0%) extroverted (0%) friendly (62%) giving (0%) happy (0%) helpful (12%) idealistic (0%) independent (0%) ingenious (0%) intelligent (25%) introverted (12%) kind (12%) knowledgeable (0%) logical (0%) loving (12%) mature (12%) modest (12%) nervous (0%) observant (12%) organised (12%) patient (0%) powerful (0%) proud (0%) quiet (0%) reflective (50%) relaxed (0%) religious (37%) responsive (0%) searching (50%) self-assertive (0%) self-conscious (0%) sensible (0%) sentimental (12%) shy (0%) silly (0%) spontaneous (0%) sympathetic (0%) tense (0%) trustworthy (12%) warm (37%) wise (12%) witty (25%)

Created by the Interactive Johari Window on 27.3.2006, using data from 8 respondents.
You can make your own Johari Window, or view CDittric77's full data.

Monday Morning Question

This comes from Of mini-paws and menopause (http://journals.aol.com/lv2trnscrb/Ofmini-pawsandmenopause/entries/361)

In "honor" of April Fool's Day coming up this week, what was the best April Fool's joke played on you or that you played on someone else?

My answer: Great question! In college there was a girl we didn't like very much who lived on our floor. So, being mean jerks we got up early and coated the toilet seat, sink handles, paper towel dispenser, toilet handle, etc., in vase.

Why, you ask? Because she always got up at the crack of dawn (in college!?!?) and made a racket in the bathroom every day. She needed a lesson to keep her from disrupting everyone else's lives. Did I mention we were jerks?

P.S. the scream she issued when her butt slid off the seat was SO worth it!

Charley

Tag: Monday Morning Question

Sunday, March 26, 2006

The Sunday Seven

Patrick, of Patrick's Weekender (http://patricksweekender.blogspot.com/2006/03/sunday-seven-episode-30.html), posted his Sunday Seven meme this afternoon. It's a great way to find good journals - check it out!

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION:
Of the Crayola color names not mentioned above, pick up to seven names you think should be scrapped in favor of better, more descriptive, or more creative alternatives. (Feel free to suggest alternatives if you like, but it's not necessary.) EDIT: For those of you that need a list, go here: http://www.crayola.com/colorcensus/bureau/overall_view_120.cfm

Here are my answers:

1. Wisteria (isn't this a book, or a movie, or something?)
2. Electric Lime - is this like a Frankenstein Fruit?
3. Bittersweet - Last time I checked this was associated with TASTE, not COLOR
4. Atomic Tangerine - I know that the scientists working in Los Alamos might use this...but the rest of us?
5. Screamin Green - because our grammar woe is great enough - why encourage idiocy?
6. Antique Brass - I know a TON of two-year old children that are familiar with the patina of antique metals
7. Neon Carrot - hanging in the windows of bars and 1-800-LOAN offices nationwide

Great meme, Patrick!

Don't Dream it's Over

Afternoon everyone,

Carly, over at Ellipsis Suddenly Carly, posted a thought-provoking and well written entry on the connection between politics, faith, and the Book of Revelation.

There is a much to be said for the questions she asks, and even if you are not a Christian you'll find what she says very approachable.

Here is the link: http://ellipsissuddenlycarly.blogspot.com/2006/03/dont-dream-its-over.html

Tag: Christianity

Saturday, March 25, 2006

I LOVE the Hunt for Red October

Just watched the HFRO again - the first time in years. MAN, do I love that movie -

"Give me a ping, Vasily, one ping only."

The Saturday Six

Greetings, gang.

Here are my answers to this week's Saturday Six (to play yourself, stop by Patrick's at http://patricksweekender.blogspot.com/2006/03/saturday-six-episode-102.html:

1. How confrontational are you in real life, and how does your real-life persona compare with your blogging persona?

I'm not nearly as confrontational in real life as I am in my blog. In fact, I wish I was less eager to gain everyone's acceptance in life. I'm too loud, as a result, and open my mouth more times than I should.

2. Other than the food itself, what makes your favorite restaurant your favorite?

I love this Italian place next to our shanty called Gina & Anthony's. I love it because the place is like a slice of Sicily in the middle of south central P.A. It's got the red velvet couch in the entryway, multiple statues of the Virgin, Padre Pio all over the place, a giant red curtain, photos of pre-WWII Italy up on the wall, and it's the kind of place you can go at 8 p.m. and stay past closing drinking Espresso. Fabulous.

3. You buy an iPod: what's the first tune you're likely to put on it?

Ohh - how about the Dukes of Hazzard theme song?

4. Take this quiz (if you haven't already!): What's the most important quality of your (ideal) significant other?

Kindness

Kindness is most important in a boyfriend/girlfriend. You want someone who will go through everything with you - the best moments and the worst, and all of those other moments in between. You love to be able to say anything to your partner, and have them say anything to you. You are able to be extremely close with your partner for that reason.


5. If you had to choose one or the other, which would you rather do: hear gossip or be the first to reveal some juicy piece of gossip?

I think I need to STOP gossiping, so let's go with hear.

6. READER'S CHOICE QUESTION #85 from Barb : If you had a magic feather (my Daddy Do carries several in his pocket) and this magic feather could make you unbelievably attractive OR unbelievably intelligent, which would you choose, and why?

I would go with intelligent. I'd rather solve problems than make more for myself :)

Tag: The Saturday Six

Friday, March 24, 2006

A series of love blogthings...

From A Fallen Angel Under a Dark Moon..via Blogthings:

Angelia posted a number of blogthings about love - I had to join in!

Your Love Life Secrets Are

Looking back on your life, you will have a few true loves.

You've been deeply wounded in the past, and you're still recovering from that hurt.

It's important to you that your lover is very attractive. You like to have someone to show off.

In fights, you love to debate and defend yourself. You logic prevails - or at least you'd like to think so.

Break-ups can be painful for you, but you never show it. You hold your head high.

Your Love Element Is Water
 In love, you connect deeply and commit totally.
For you, love is all about taking risks and moving into unknown territory.

You attract others with courage and confidence.
Your flirting style is defined by your flexibility and ability to adapt.

Nurturing and shared learning are the cornerstones of your love life.
And while you may jump in to love too quickly, you always come out the wiser for it.

You connect best with: Metal

Avoid: Earth

You And another Water element: will pull each other down into a dark place
Your Seduction Style: Ideal Lover

You seduce people by tapping into their dreams and desires.
And because of this sensitivity, you can be the ideal lover for anyone you seek.
You are a shapeshifter - bringing romance, adventure, spirituality to relationships.
It all depends on who your with, and what their vision of a perfect relationship is.
Your Blogging Type Is Thoughtful and Considerate

You're a well liked, though underrated, blogger.
You have a heart of gold, and are likely to blog for a cause.
You're a peaceful blogger - no drama for you!
A good listener and friend, you tend to leave thoughtful comments for others.

Isn't love most important?

Why do some people think they have all the answers?:

http://www.bibletruthonline.com/2006/03/truth-about-islam-part-2.html

 

I'll have a cup of Joe

Very cool little video on WebMD about the benefits of coffee (granted you may not like yellow teeth....)

http://aolsvc.health.webmd.aol.com/content/pages/25/113660.htm

Espoused

It's been a lonely week here in Gettysburg, more so because I have had to choose letting go, rather than holding on.

I had the feeling that nothing was permanent; nothing could withstand time and its inexorable march.

I found this in Hosea 2: 21-22 (I had written three, but I made a mistake - thanks, betty!):

I will espouse you to me forever: I will espouse you in right and in justice, in love and in mercy; I will espouse you in fidelity, and you shall know the Lord.

That is a message worthy of a smile, no matter how miserable the day. Whatever faults, troubles, frustrations, ro headaches that come my way, in whatever form, I have unending, unconditional, perfect love in my life. God loves me like that, and I can never be loved any less by my bridegroom.

That's a TGIF moment.

Charley

Tag: Christian

The return of CarnivAOL

Paul's back. He's so cool he has his own news service. Check out what they've said about CarnivAOL:

http://journals.aol.ca/plittle/AuroraWalkingVacation/entries/1887

Tag:

P.S. I love the journals Desktop Widget. I wish they had an html editor with it though. :)

The Friday Five

Good morning everyone. I want to get today's Friday Five up on Friday (surprising, I know, given my incredible ability to not have this up at all) so that we might all get a chance to play!

All you have to do is answer the following questions in the comments or in your own journal (leaving a link in the comments below). I'll pimp the person who plays first:).

And in true-dat pimp style, the fabulous Nat of Interface (http://journals.aol.com/lurkynat/Interface/) was our first player last week. Her journal is fun, focused, and always makes you smile.

We had a first time player last week, too. Carly, of Ellipsis...Suddenly Carly, found her way to Courage via Patrick's Weekender. Stop over and visit - she's a very dynamic blogger (http://ellipsissuddenlycarly.blogspot.com/)

Now, onto today's questions (from Livejournal):

1) Of the various cultures, ethnicities or nationalities you belong to, which most strongly do you consider yourself?

Well, I identify most with my French-Canadian heritage. When I found out, I had always assumed I was Irish, but no, I've been here on this continent long before the potato famine. That has always made me feel special. I hope my ancestors were something cool, like fur trappers :).

2) Is there a culture you cannot claim heritage from but which you feel quite close to?

Italian, actually. I live next to an Italian restaurant and the proprietors are from Sicily. I hear Italian accents and the language all the time, I admire their family values, and I love how they always, always, deal in cash :).

3) What's one language you wish you knew fluently?

Russian - I used to, but I've since lost much of it.

4) If you could move anywhere in the world and be guaranteed a job, etc., where would you go?

Moscow - no doubt about it. I love that city. I'd live out my life there.

5) If you could attend only one cultural or sporting event for the rest of your life, where would you go?

Game 7 of the World Series, in Yankee Stadium. The noise would be like choirs of angels.

Tag: The Friday Five

Here's what your tax dollars do:

Ever wonder how the power behind the throne spends your bucks?

Wonder no more - Dick Cheney's suite demands found their way to the Smoking Gun this morning:

http://www.thesmokinggun.com/archive/0322061cheney1.html

Thursday, March 23, 2006

KILL THE BUNNY

This is ridiculous. The last time I checked, bunnies had NOTHING TO DO WITH CHRISTIAN SYMBOLISM:

http://articles.news.aol.com/news/article.adp?id=20060323110709990001&ncid=NWS00010000000001

 

Friendster or MySPace?

An interesting link on the whole MySpace Friendster insanity:

http://www.danah.org/papers/FriendsterMySpaceEssay.html

 

What Brady are You?

From Blogthings:

You Are Peter Brady

You're cute, energetic, and a loyal friend to many.
And while you may not have super model hair, you hold your own in grooviness.

 
And we all knew that I'm SUPER GROOVY!

Tag: Blogthings

Thursday Thirteen

A meme from community and nursing goddess, Laura.

To play - leave a list of 13 and let her know you've done it on your journal.
~~

My Thirteen fantasy jobs
1. Major League Ball Player
2. Let's be more specific - starting pitcher for the Yankees
3. Personal shopper
4. Tour Guide of the Vatican
5. Writer for National Geographic
6. Sherpa
7. Automobile designer
8. Stunt Driver
9. Jockey
10. Chef
11. 19th Century Butler
12. Lottery winner
13. That dude who rings the bells when his teammate is on the downhill slopes

Check out her site and play along!

Tag: Thursday Thirteen

It's Done

Morning everyone,

Jillian and I have made our decision. This past Tuesday I submitted my four weeks notice. I intend to resign my position here effective April 18.

Financially, we should be o.k. for a little while, so we're not too worried.

The job hunt has begun. Prayers for both guidance and support are welcome - we don't want to end up in a cardboard box!

Charley

If today you hear his voice...

I have been wondering, more than I usually do, about why events at the College have unfolded the way they have, why I might have responded the way I did, and how I might see myself moving forward in the future.

I stumbled upon this passage this morning during prayer (Isaiah 46: 3-4):
Hear me, o house of Jacob, house of Israel, My burden since your birth, whom I have carried from your infancy. Even to your old age I am the same, even when your hair is gray I will bear you; It is I who have done this, I who will continue, and I who will carry you to safety.

When the chilled breath of a gray winter morning slows us down, blocks out the sun, and leans on our happiness, we realize that not only is winter too stubborn, but ourselves as well. We must yield ourselves to God when we stand on the brink like this; and we must trust that his hands will carry us to safety.

We cannot survive this world on our own - there are too many gray mornings - but we can sing about spring and feel its warm sun, refusing to let our pride and sadness cloud our minds and judgements. Hear his voice and be glad!

Charley

Tag: God

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

A return to the spiritual

Evening, everyone,

I know that I earned my chops by establishing a reputation as a spiritual writer - something I've been ignoring lately. My blog has become rather run-of-the-mill, and I felt a bit like I had been dishing out so much God that I was running out myself.

We all know that's nonsense, so I will be making an effort to get back in the swing of things. I am feeling a calling again (or maybe that's just my ambien talking!).

Charley

How Old are You?

I got this off of Frosty Thoughts:

You Are 30 Years Old

Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe.

13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world.

20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences.

30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more!

40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.

The Tuesdsay Two

This comes from Patrick over at Patrick's Weekender.

THIS WEEK'S TOPIC: YOUR SPACE

QUESTION A:
What room of the house do you most consider to be entirely "your space" and what makes it so uniquely yours?

or

QUESTION B:
A co-worker wants to borrow your workspace while you're out of the office. The next day, you return to find your things out of place. Will that bother you at all, and will you say anything about it, or just quietly return things to "normal?"

Choose A or B, (indicate which question you're answering!) then either answer the question in a comment or answer it in your journal and include the link in a comment. (To be considered "first to play," a link must be to the specific entry in which you answered the question.)

Remember: choose one or the other...not both!

This is a good question - I choose to answer number 2:

I would be somewhat bothered if my officere were tinkered with (not enough to say anything unless they didn something horrid like wipe boogies on my desk), but before leavng I would lock all my drawers and filing cabinets. The nature of my job means I have access to boatloads of personal and highly sensitive confidential data. No way I'm letting someone else have a chance at poking around in that!

Charley

 

Monday, March 20, 2006

I'm a Gryffindor, what are you?

I am a Harry Potter dork - 100% loving it. I'm re-reading the series again (my wife has read it far more than I have), and I had to post this story - let's go Book 5!

Filming Grawp

Sunday, March 19, 2006

The Long Awaited Update

Hi gang,

So, yes, I have been in and out over the last week and 1/2, and I know that I've been more out than in, but I have a reason.

Here's the skinny:

A number of you know that I struggle with a variety of issues, most of which I have dealt with rather well. Those aside, and even with the death of Father Phil, I've been trying to fight the good fight.

The outcome of that struggle has been my keeping my head above water - something I am happy about. However, I fully admit that the last six months or so have been troublesome at work. I am way behind my goal for the year, my program is lagging, and the pressure is mounting. If we don't meet our goal, offices on campus won't be able to spend their discretionary budget lines. That doesn't make people happy. On top of that, participation by alumni in our fund is a determining factor for the U.S. News and World Report rankings of the school - if we don't raise the dough, the ranking suffers, and the entire college suffers.

People have been watching us closely, and the tension is constantly thickening at work. A little over a week ago, we had a meeting with an outside auditor. I lost my cool. I was out of line and innapropriate; not enough to be fired, but enough to draw significant negative attention to myself. I admit that I was wrong.

Two days later (last Monday morning), I was given one of three choices as a result of my continued and exacerbated stress. Since then, Jillian and I have been looking at our budget, determining our options, and praying. Lots of praying.

I have to make a decision by Wednesday of this week on what I want to do (we have made that decision - we think, but have others to consult before revealing our thoughts), and notify folks at the college.

As you can imagine the stress has been unreal, and the tumult amazing. Jillian and I have been forced to do some real thinking! Our lives could undergo a major and difficult change, and regardless of what we do, things will be challenging.

Pray for us, if you will!

Charley

Just when you thought the world was bizarre

you realize that it's more insane than you ever thought. Thrown a sexual organ lately?

Friday, March 17, 2006

THANK YOU FOR LOVE & SUPPORT

THANK YOU FOR LOVE & SUPPORT : Barb just penned this over at HEY, LET'S TALK. She helps put into perspective what it means to be patient, loving, and forthright. Check out her entry.

Charley

How Irish are You?

I'm Catholic - if nothing else that makes me:

You're 50% Irish

You're probably less Irish than you think you are...
But you're still more Irish than most.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Procrastination - when I get around to it....

Morning all - I swear I will update you! I was mentally exhausted yesterday and had some hard-core budgteting to do, so I wasn't up for doing anything but watching The Fellowship of the Ring (part 1), Ronin, and playing The Movies - the game.

As for now, here's how I see God today:

Double Helix

 

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Getting back into the swig of things...

Hi gang,

I know I've been A.W.O.L., but forgive me. Life has thrown me a rather interesting curve ball. I will give you all a bit more detail later today, perhaps tonight, as I'm at work right now and *you never know who's watching.*

To get us back in the spirit of Courage and cheery insanity:

You Are Guinness

You know beer well, and you'll only drink the best beers in the world. Watered down beers disgust you, as do the people who drink them. When you drink, you tend to become a bit of a know it all - especially about subjects you don't know well. But your friends tolerate your drunken ways, because you introduce them to the best beers around. What's Your Beer Personality?

Wednesday, March 8, 2006

Creepy! Do YOU have fur?

This thing is creepy.

Nevermind the fact that we now just find it. What happens if some pollution or toxic waste caused this horror? :) Are we next? Don't I have ENOUGH hair?

What Do You Know?

One of the comments made about my last post asked  provocative question - what do I know abou my biological parents.

It's a bit of  funny question, really, and I'm not sure how to reply. I've always known from my earliest memories that I am adopted. I can remember my mother giving me this book titled, "Why Was I Adopted?" A few years later, I think I was 11 or 12, I asked for information about my biological parents. A sheaf of brittle, yellowed papers, buried deep in a safe box revealed most of what I know:

- Dad was tall, 6'1" if I remember rightly. He had curly hair, black, was French Canadian, loved sports and reading. He was Protestant. He had dark eyes.

- Mom was shorter, about 5'8" or so. She had straight brown hair, loved art, was Catholic, and very much enjoyed the outdoors. Her eyes were blue, I think.

I have a biological (half) brother ten years my elder.

And that's really all I knew until a few years ago. One summer, Jillian and I were i CT visiting my folks when somehow my other brought up my adoption. In that conversation she revealed for the first time (though she would never admit that - she swore she always told me), that my  mother was having an affair with my father, and thus I was a love child. They gave me up to Catholic charities to prevent difficulty. While I was at Catholic charities, my name was Henry. Thus my biological brother became a half-brother, and I became a love-child. So it goes :).

The creepy thing is: for the longest time I have wanted to name one of my male children Henry.

Depressing News - FATTY!

Are you like me - a fatty fat fatty?

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Monday Morning Question - a day late!

From over at minipawsandmenopause:

Today's Monday morning question is: What is your ancestry?

This is an easy one for me. I'm 50% French Canadian and 47 percent German. The other 3% is my scotch-irish. We don't talk about them.

Then fun thing is that as I'm adopted, I've always wondered if my biological father had Canadian citizenship (he was the full blood French Canadian).

That's a little something you guys didn't know about me :) Enjoy.

Oh! And as for the honesty quiz - a man has a past but it doesn't by need define him, does it?

what kind of soda are you?

You Are Coke

A true original and classic, you represent the best of everything you can offer.
Just the right amount of sweet, just the right amount of energy... you're the life of the party.

Your best soda match: Mountain Dew

Stay away from:Dr Pepper

Got this from our resident Bamawoman :)

Sunday, March 5, 2006

Loyalty Test!

From Blogthings!
Your Values Profile

Loyalty:

You value loyalty a fair amount.
You're loyal to your friends... to a point.
But if they cross you, you will reconsider your loyalties.
Staying true to others is important to you, but you also stay true to yourself.

Honesty:

You don't really value honesty.
You do value getting your way, no matter what.
And if a little lying is required to do that, no problem.
A few white lies never hurt anyone (at least, that's what you tell yourself!)

Generosity:

You value generosity highly.
So much so that you often put your own needs last.
There's nothing wrong with having a caring heart...
But you may want to rethink your "open wallet" policy.

Humility:

You don't really value humility.
You don't have much to be humble about!
And you might as well promote yourself, because no one else will.
You're a pretty special person, and you let everyone know it.

Tolerance:

You value tolerance highly.
Not only do you enjoy the company of those very different from you...
You do all that you can to seek it out interesting and unique friends.
You think there are many truths in life, and you're open to many of them.

Friday, March 3, 2006

The Friday Five - serious style (don't say I didn't warn you)

As always, congratulations to last week's first player: Deb, of Frosty Thoughts! Take a break from your day - read her daily entries. And if you need a temptation, she always tells you what's for dinner!

Lest you think I forgot - let's get serious:

1. When is the last time you cried - and I mean cried?

Yesterday, at Father Phil's funeral service. It was strange, because I was happy, even joyous for the first few hours of the viewing. When the music started, however, it was all over - all the way through Mass. It's a good thing I have those hankies.

2. Do you believe in an afterlife? Why/why not?

I do believe in heaven. My understanding of it is comforting - it is the chance for us to finally love as we are loved by God - perfectly. That's a groovy thing.

3. If you had the power to raise one person from the dead - would you take it? Why or why not?

I'm not sure. I think I would be most tempted to do it if a family member who I knew wasn't the nicest of people had died - and might just be taking the express elevator down.  But here's the thing: isn't that playing God? Not so sure I'd want that judgement on my conscious.

4. Do you buy into the whole, "Don't be sad at a funeral" thing?

I do and I don't - Father Phil's funeral was the first where I actually felt comforted by his passing. Happy even at times, knowing that he's passed. But at the same time, i think there is something healthy in expressing our grief and sorrow as we experience its pains.

5. Make a wish - what is it?

I wish that all mankind had patience. I've a feeling much more would be solved than not with a good dose of patience.

~~~

For the newbies, if you want to play just copy and paste the questions into your journal and link back to here in the comments. Alternatively, just answer below! First response gets a pimping!

Thursday, March 2, 2006

Weekend Assignment 101

Here's a fun and simple topic for this week's Weekend Assignment:

Weekend Assignment #101: Name a talent that you don't have that you wish you did. This can also include talents you have a little bit of, but wish you had more.

Extra credit: Do you have any completely useless talents?
~~~

Well, this is a fun one! I desperately wish I could play the piano. I need Beethoven in my life, and more than that, I need to play like the Maestro himself!

As for strange talents that I may possess (of which I plausibly deny), you might just see me wiggling my ears, passing gas on cue, or exhibiting my unbelievable knack for speaking entirely in movie quotes. I believe I could speak all day and never say anything original!

How Open Minded are You?

From Blogthings:

You Are 60% Open Minded

You are a very open minded person, but you're also well grounded.
Tolerant and flexible, you appreciate most lifestyles and viewpoints.
But you also know where you stand firm, and you can draw that line.
You're open to considering every possibility - but in the end, you stand true to yourself.

Security and Protection

Hi gang,

As promised - some good, clean fun:

I read this the other day:

Psalm 91: 1-16

You who dwell in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty, say to the Lord, "My refuge and fortress, my God in whom I trust." God will rescue you from the fowler's snare, from the destroying plague, will shelter you with pinions, spread wings that you may take refuge; God's faithfulness is a protecting shield.
You shall not fear the terror of the night nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that roams in darkness, nor the plague that ravages at noon. Though a thousand fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, near you it shall not come. You need simply watch; the punishment of the wicked you will see. You have the Lord for your refuge; you have made the Most High your stronghold. No evil shall befall you, no affliction come near your tent. For God commands the angels to guard you in all your ways. With their hands they shall support you, lest you strike your foot against a stone. You shall tread upon the asp and the viper, trample the lion and the dragon. Whoever clings to me I will deliver; whoever knows my name I will set on high. All who call upon me I will answer; I will be with them in distress; I will deliver them and give them honor. With length of days I will satisfy them and show them my saving power.

There are times in life when you doubt who you are, why you should try to persevere when struggling, and no amount of wisdom or knowledge will help you understand all the nuances and moments of life.

I feel a bit like a battered ship; an old merchant vessel trying to ride the trade wins in the middle of a dark and turbulent storm. Work is overwhelming, my family is in tatters, and my ship is draped in the black bunting of death, but somehow my ship will not sink.

I think this Psalm helps me understand why even the most furious storm will not send me to sea floor - I cannot be overcome.

I've found great strength in that, and when I feel the sea salt sting my face, and the spray soaks me to the bone, when I shiver in the sheets of rain and wild wind and I know I will face a tidal wave, a small part of my brain - or is it my soul - says, "Not yet. Not yet."

I hope it does for you, too.

Charley

P.S. Sign my map.

And if you're looking for something more....

While she's not AJo, she's quite a looker. After this I promise I'll be a good boy - no more skimpy bathing suit girls....today.  Her name is Josie Maran:

Because we haven't seen her in a while

When you're exhausted, tired, an insomniac, and about to attend the funeral of a man you loved like a father, who also happened to administer the sacraments to you, sometimes you need a little:

I don't know how - but doesn't she just make your day better?

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Deep Hate

Evening gang (or should I say early morning?)

As I flirted at before my being snatched by aliens, here is this weeks' Wednesday Reflection. It comes to us from Roman epic poet author, Lucan.

Deep-seated are the wounds dealt in civil brawls.
Lucan
Roman epic poet (39 AD - 65 AD)

For my part, I wholeheartedly agree. Civil brawls, whether of micro or macro proportion are intense - they are the most bitter and the resulting pa is often physical, emotional and mental. Those wounds are not easily healed, if at all.

Sometimes we must accept what we are from them and d the best we can with what we have!

To play, copy the quote and answer in your journal with a link back here or down in the comments, OR, simply answer below!

Have a good night everyone.

Charley

How Much is Your Blog Worth?

Well folks, it's that time of the month again - your statistical money raising geek wants to know how much is your blog worth? Back in November, she was worth $47,000+, and in October she was worth only $34,000+. Now in December and January (when I was not posting) my blog dipped to the $31,000 level, so, all in all it's good to see a net gain from our first post to today, which is $46,856.82. Not bad!

October: $34,000+
November: $47,000+
December: $31,000+
January: $31,000+
February: $46,000+


My blog is worth $46,856.82.
How much is your blog worth?

You Call THIS PR?

Queen Brit is at it again, and I find her choice of celebration somewhat interesting given the state of her marriage. Still, she's out there making a real difference, bettering lives, and doing some good....right?

Or maybe not..

 
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