Tuesday, February 26, 2008

No Sleep, Dreams, Trips, and Santo Niño de Atocha.

I am EXHAUSTED. I've slept less than 4 hours in the past 35 hours and I don't know how I am still up. I was sure I would've been passed out by now but, for some reason, I still have enough energy to write this blog and do a few other things before bed. I would've slept well if the painters hadn't shown up, unannounced, ready to paint my bathroom. They've been saying they were going to do it for weeks now but they picked the ONE day I went to sleep at 6 a.m. (seriously, I was up until 6 a.m. this morning) to come and disturb me. The first thing that came out of my mouth after my dad woke me up was "Son of a Biscuit!" which means "Darn it!" when I say it. lol. I tried falling asleep on the couch but that didn't work. I've been up since. Oy. lol. I just yawned too. lol. Great. :D

I had a very brief dream this morning where I was chatting with St. Teresa of Avila (or at least that's what I think it was), which was awesome. I think that's because I read a bit of her biography before bed. Still, I love saint dreams. What I don't like are bummer dreams. Two nights ago I had a dream that I was wearing black because I was mourning someone's death. Unfortunately, a death has occurred in real life. This little old lady that "adopted" my mom passed away this morning. My mother works in a hospital and the lady was a patient there. She was the sweetest lady. I used to stop and chat with her when I used to go visit my mom at work. She always asked my mom how I was, too, so the news of her passing is very sad. We weren't close but still, she was sweet and she loved my mother an awful lot. *sigh* Rest in Peace, Ms. Ursula.

Trying to not think about sadness... I will be taking a trip this weekend, which is exciting and nerve-wrecking because this is my first trip out of the country since I became sick. I will be praying that everything goes well because I'm very nervous about potentially getting sick. St. Christopher is the patron saint of travelers, right? I will have to ask him to help make the trip a smooth one.

I'm about to crash (I can feel my eyelids getting droopier and droopier) so I'm going to post some of the Santo Niño de Atocha items my paternal grandmother gave me when we went to Plateros and also other things she sent afterwards.

I received this framed picture from her, which is next to her picture in my room.
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A night light she got in Plateros that was a perfect gift for me because I used to be afraid of the dark when I was younger.
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And just for kicks... a quiz I did when I was bored, earlier today.

Your Personality is Very Rare (INFP)

Your personality type is dreamy, romantic, elegant, and expressive.

Only about 5% of all people have your personality, including 6% of all women and 4% of all men

You are Introverted, Intuitive, Feeling, and Perceiving.

Alright, well, I have to go do a couple of things before I can call it a night. I have a feeling I will fall asleep the minute my head hits the pillow, which is rare for me. lol. Until next time, thanks for reading and God Bless.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Teeny Little Update

Just wanted to check it with everyone. I'm sorry I haven't written much in the last couple of days. There really hasn't been much to write about -- boredom seems to have attached itself to me. I guess I should be grateful that I don't have much going on but I'm getting way too bored.

Just to recap what's been going on: there have been a lot of changes in my house -- lots of cleaning, lots of throwing things away and a lot of changing ways. Overall, it's a stressful (and that gets boring) yet productive thing. Only highlights of my last couple of days have been the rain we've been experiencing and also the Oscars yesterday. That's about it. lol.

Mom found a framed pictured of Santo Niño de Atocha that my paternal grandmother (may God rest her soul) gave to me when I was younger. I will hopefully have a picture of it tomorrow. I also found this frame picture of Jesus Christ (holding a lamb and being followed by other lambs) knocking on a door that my oldest friend (who I've known since we were little 5 year-old munchkins) gave to me on my 18th birthday. I have completely forgotten I had it. Picture of that also coming up, hopefully tomorrow.

Alright, well, that's my update for tonight. I still have a lot of to do -- a lot to clean up, a little eating to do, and also reading a bit of St. Teresa of Avila's biography before I get to bed. Have I mentioned it's 11 p.m.? Yeah. So much to do in so little time. :D

Until next time... thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Futbol, Parrot Pranks Nuns, Saint Dream, and Vocation.

Yesterday I watched two futbol (football/soccer) games -- Celtic v. Barcelona in a Champions League match during the morning; L.A. Galaxy vs. Gamba Osaka (from Japan) at night. Both teams I was rooting for (Celtic and Galaxy) didn't win by ONE goal. Ugh. Bummer. Celtic still have a chance to go further in the CL but Galaxy was in a semi-final so they're now going to play for 3rd place, again Australia's Sydney FC, in the Pan Pacific games. That's going to air half past midnight (Pacific Standard Time) so I'll be up late at night watching the game. Hopefully they don't lose that game because it'll be a crummy way to start the season. (MLS season starts at the end of next month).

Ooh... before I forget... my mom told my dad and I the story about how when she was younger and visiting her uncle, his pet parrot pranked some nuns. Seriously. Her (my mom's) uncle had this parrot that was apparently quite the talker -- and not in the nicest way. One day, a group of nuns were walking near his house and all of a sudden the parrot yells "Go on, donkeys" (I'm paraphrasing it... and it sounds funnier in Spanish, I swear). So the nuns looks around, completely perplexed as to who would be saying that to them. So they continue on their way and the parrot, seeing them walk away, yells out the same thing again. The nuns couldn't see anything until the parrot starts cackling and they it laughing. What do the nuns do? They start cracking up that an animal would be doing such a thing. Only an animal would get away with such a thing. It's a good thing those nuns had a sense of humor too. Mom, who went to a Catholic boarding school growing up, didn't have the best experiences with nuns so it's good to hear of some that were awesome enough to laugh over a parrot's prank.

You know what else is awesome, yet kinda weird? Having a dream where two saints are fighting over you. Oh yeah! Last night I had a dream that I was looking for a necklace made out of jade (the gemstone). So, I found one that had jade beads mixed with some clear white ones. When the sales lady asked me what the necklace was for, I mentioned it was because I was starting my career. Then I saw a white candle being lit for me, and water surrounding it, and a statue of St. Barbara in front of it... but it was supposed to be a statute St. Lucy. That was odd. So then I heard a voice say "I'm her new patron" and I found out it was St. Monica sort of calling dibs on me. Then I heard another voice say "She belongs to me" and saw it was St. Lucy. That led to St. Monica saying that she was the patron of the vocation I was meant for and I basically woke up in the middle of them sort of wanting to claim me as their devotee. I believe it was a draw/tie. That was a bit odd, in a good way. When I woke up, I looked up what they are patron saints of. I knew of St. Lucy but wasn't too sure with St. Monica. St. Lucy is the patron saint of eye problems and (whoo!) authors/writers. St. Monica is the patron saint of homemakers, married women and mothers, amongst other things. So, that got me thinking... what IS my vocation?

It's kinda funny... last night, before I fell asleep, I was thinking about how I wanted to go have a chat with the young Polish priest (who is, I think, the most popular priest at my parish) about some things, including about possible vocations. I've been thinking about it because, though I love writing, I am not entirely sure I can make a lasting career out of it. I even thought that maybe I was supposed to become a nun, especially with the horrible luck I've had with ex-boyfriends. This past Sunday, while I was in Mass, I even thought to myself "What is my vocation supposed to be?" and I heard the word "Mother" in my head. The word literally popped up into my mind. So, the dream I had last night it sort of making me think about all of this. Maybe that is my answer. Maybe, through my dream and the thing during Mass, I got my answer that maybe becoming a nun isn't what I should do and that becoming a mother in the future is the best path for me. I don't know. They say we shouldn't read too much into our dreams so I'm trying not to. We'll just leave it at... I don't know but I do feel myself being drawn more to the wife/mother/writer side than the religious life/nun life. Only time will tell.

Alright, well... it's getting late, I'm exhausted for no reason (as usual) and a bit hungry so I am going to get some food in my stomach before I call it a day. Thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Lack of Updates = You Guessed It: Sick Again; Liverpool finally wins!

Okay, so I have about 7 minutes before I complete zonk out (according to reviews on iTunes). I bought this mp3 of nature sounds because I need something soothing to help me sleep (and I need help sleeping) and most people who've reviewed it say it takes about 10 minutes to get so sleep, you immediately fall asleep. I'm in another room as my bed so I will try to not fall asleep at my desk. lol.

Well, lack of updates only means one thing... I'm sick. If I had a nickel for every time I said that, I could pay for my remaining 3 years of college (that includes grad school). Oy. I'm still dizzy from the new glasses prescription, which sucks. I've also got headaches that come and go, ditto with back pain and other types of pains. I will probably be in bed until tomorrow (typical I stay there for 2-3 days) and I hope that's it because I get bored easily. Haha. It's quite sad how much I need to be entertained. I don't think I will last on one of those weekend retreats they have at my school. lol. Still, I will go on one because it'll be good for me. :D So, despite being sick and being in bed most of the day (sleeping and just sitting there, bored)... I did manage to get some things done. Whoo for me being productive for once. Haha. :D

I am so proud of myself for having the control not to flip on the TV to ESPN2 where they were showing the Liverpool FC vs Inter Milan game, which Liverpool won! I had to do an imaginary cartwheel because I couldn't do a real one. I will as soon as I'm well enough to do one though. (side note: it's almost 10 minutes since the mp3 started and I'm already pretty sleepy... very sleepy, actually). I'm so glad the Reds won, especially after losing to a lower league team in the FA Cup. Hopefully this will give them confidence to do well in the remaining Champions League games (whoever many they will get). I would like to add that as soon as I prayed a Hail Mary, Kuyt scored Liverpool's first goal. mmhmmm. I said I was going to pray while 'Pool played and I did. See? I keep what I promised I would do. Tomorrow Celtic is playing against Barcelona and I will be watching that one. I told a friend I would catch a Celtic game next time one was airing on TV and, what do you know -- it's on tomorrow. It's only airing on ESPN Deportes (the Spanish version of ESPN) but I'm fluent in Spanish so no problem. I know Dad's probably going to be rooting for Barcelona because some of his favorite players are on it, so it'll make things interesting around the house... if he's not too knocked out from the chemo (tomorrow is chemo day).

Alright, well, my eye lids are getting heavier and heavier so that must mean the mp3 is working. Man, this mountain stream thing sounds like the real thing. It totally gives me the sense that I'm really there. I love nature (though forget about camping, I don't do that, lol) so, man, this is super peaceful. Okay, I'm definitely hitting the hay in a few. lol. I had this other topic I wanted to write about but I'm so relaxed and zen that my brain isn't thinking straight anymore. My bed is looking pretty freaking awesome right about now. lol. Until next time... thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Dizziness, Sin or No Sin?, Britt Nicole; Let the Writing Begin!

For anyone who's ever gotten new glasses, you know how terrible the first couple of days are. I've worn glasses for a few years now but every time I get a new prescription, I always feel drunk for about 3 days. Oh, and I'm assuming this is how you'd feel if you were drunk. I've technically only had a sip of wine twice at Mass (you know, the blood of Christ) but that's as far as my experience with alcohol goes. lol. Anyway, oy... it stinks. Hopefully I won't be too dizzy tomorrow for Mass.

No, I would still go if I were dizzy. Hopefully I make it through the entire hour without getting sick. *crosses fingers* I believe a prayer to St. Jude will be said tonight in hopes that tomorrow morning I will be good for Mass. :D I was going to go to confessions today but then I thought about whether or not last Sunday is still considered a sin. I mean, I had every intention of attending mass and I did make it for about 2 minutes before I got sick. Is it still a sin that I didn't get to attend the entire thing? Hmm... that is something to ask one of the priests tomorrow. Another reason why no confessions today... the car is being repaired as I type this out (I would normally be at church at this time). Oh well, in the meantime, I will be listening to Britt Nicole's debut album.

Last summer, while browsing iTunes, I discovered this young lady's album which is awesome! It's not really the type of music I'd normally listen to (I'm a jazz/classical girl) but I can't help but love her album. She's a Christian artist so you can hear her talking about God in the lyrics but it's not overwhelming. That's the thing about Christian music. First off, I am not going to knock it. I do like some Christian artists but I tend to stay away from the genre in general because sometimes I'm a little overwhelmed with the music. If I listen to religious music, I stick to things like Andrea Bocelli's "Ave Maria" or Gregorian Chants. That's my thing. Anyway, back to Britt Nicole... I think her demographic might be a bit younger than I am (oh man, I just made myself feel old; I'm 22 for Pete's sake! lol) but I still connect with the lyrics. There is one particular song, "Ready", that I listened to for the first time in a couple of weeks and it really hit home. I've been in the process of letting go of all the negative experiences I had with former friends -- a lot of them extremely painful. This song is pretty much my anthem is at the moment because it describes how I feel. I'm going to put a youtube video a fan made with the lyrics to her song:

See? not my type of music but still awesome nonetheless. I just got the urge to yell "Girl Power!"... which I haven't done since I was about 11 years old and was on a Spice Girls kick. lol. Seriously, though, if you're into this kind of music, definitely check out her album. She has a great voice, sings songs that actually mean something (and aren't some bubblegum pop manufactured stinkers) and she seems like a down-to-earth person. :)

Alright, well Britt's album (along with Becoming Jane, which put my gears in motion) have been inspiring me to get to work on my novel so that is precisely what I will do until I have to eat dinner. Until next time, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Friday, February 15, 2008

Fasting, Niceness and England.

Well... I did it. I fasted longer than I did last weekend, and it ended in tears. I... am... weak! lol. I tried to hold out as long as I could but about 2 hours ago I just started crying because I was so hungry and hunger apparently makes me emotional. lol. Yeeaah. It's kinda funny. lol. I ate twice earlier today but I just ate to have food in my stomach. I didn't actually eat until I was full. It sucks that all the food in the house either a) makes me sick because I'm allergic to it or b) is meat. Actually, there's a long story there but it's kinda personal so, not going there. :D Anyway, I am going to be SO HAPPY when I get to go vegan/vegetarian shopping tomorrow -- that means I will be grocery shopping at organic stores that specialize in foods for vegans/vegetarians. ABOUT STINKIN' TIME! lol. Okay, I'm going to change topics because I still have like 10 hours before I go shopping and I am still hungry here!

Today was a lovely day and people were being super nice to me for some reason. Not just people I know... but complete strangers. I had the door opened for me by a total stranger, which was nice. What I thought was super nice was the fact that he saw me heading for the door, rushed ahead of me to open it for (he was in another section), and once I was out he went back in the direction he was originally going in. That's never happened to me before. It was very sweet. I also received a pretty out-of-the-blue gift from one of my best friends. I'm surprised it got here so soon because it usually takes a long time for things to get here from England. :D

And, speaking of England... how is it that some of the nicest people I've ever met come from that country or choose to be in that country? I'm serious. Two of my best friends are English and a few of my best American friends are there (or in Scotland) for either school or work. I was chatting with a good friend of mine a few days ago about how we both feel more at home in London, and England as a whole, than we do here in Southern California. I believe he is thinking about living out there sometime in the future. If I ever end up living there, I'd love to live in the English countryside. I'm just in love with Bath and that area. I actually almost attended Bath Spa University (and was very excited about it) but dad got sick, money issues came up and the plans were scrapped. Oh well. I don't regret it because I know I will be out there, even if it's just visiting, the first chance I get.

Just like my love of the Irish culture (which I wrote about 2 entries back), my love of England began at a young age. You can thank the literature for that. :D What I find very funny is that I've dreamt myself in certain parts of England way before I've visited them... or even known about them. In my teens, I had a dream I was vacationing in St. Ives (in Cornwall) years before I saw it on the show Passport to Europe. I remember the first time I watched the episode I went "*jaw drops* I WAS THERE IN MY DREAM!" Just as Samantha Brown was walking around the streets, talking about the town, I saw things I'd seen in my dreams. In another dream a while after my first dream, I saw another thing that was featured in the Cornwall episode of that show... St. Michael's Mount. I still remember the dream and how I was walking on the water, away from the island, and thinking to myself "This is so cool! I hope to come back and do this again someday." I was around 17 years old when I had this year and I didn't see this episode until about a year ago or two. It's very weird but it's the little things like this that make me feel that I'm somehow connected to England. It's comforting too, because I've never felt at home in my hometown so to have a feeling like that with another country is awesome. :D

Alright, well... I am going to go geek out over the music playlist I made on my facebook account. Except for the top 10 songs, I shuffled the rest so it's fun to go through all 70+ songs because I have no idea in what ordered they were shuffled in. :D 'Til next time... thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine's Day: Love, Romance, and Contradictions.

Happy Valentine's Day to everyone. I usually refer to this day as "don't fall for the commercial/materialistic part of this holiday" day because that is what it's become. It is no longer about St. Valentine or anything like that. It's awful that there is so much pressure on people to buy their significant others expensive gifts on this particular day. For me, I've never needed a day like today to express the love I feel, and not just for my significant other. Since coming out of my late teens (those horrible, horrible teen years... *shudders*), I've focused this day on my family and friends. This year, I added God, Jesus and the Virgin Mary into that equation. Honestly, Valentine's Day is no longer a day where only the romantic relationships are spotlighted... or, at least, not for me. Spending it doing whatever with my friends (Spa Day with the girls or lunch with the guys) or watching a chick flick with my mom. I hope that no one thinks I'm bashing romance and love between a boyfriend/girlfriend or anything like that. Not at all! I'm just saying, people should really focus on the love for the other people in their lives on this day.

It's sort of weird for me to say all of that because I'm somewhat of a hopeless romantic. I'm a sucker for movies with happy endings. I root for the underdog to get the girl in the end. Most of my music (especially in the jazz and jazz vocal genre) is about romance. When it comes to films, movies, songs, etc... I'm all for the romance and just letting my imagination wander off and I get swept away but it stops there. I definitely do think about all that gushy stuff but I'm still realistic when it comes to my own love life. I've learned to separate fantasy from reality. I'm just a little ball of contradictions, aren't I? lol. I could get deeper into this subject but I like to keep that part of my life as private as possible.

I will say, however, that I've officially outlasted all the female members in my family in the marriage/baby department. I was chatting with my mom earlier today and we realized that I'm the only woman in the family who's made it past the age of 19 without getting married or having a baby. YES! I have also outlasted my brothers as well since I am a few weeks away from my 23rd birthday and once I reach 23 I've done it. I'm actually very proud of that fact. :D Everyone always thought I'd marry young (well, younger) because I was always a romantic at heart, but the older I get, the longer I want to wait. There have been offers but I've declined. I'm in absolutely no rush. :) If, however, I do meet the person I will eventually marry at a young age (and by that I mean before my late 20s) than I will. Right now, I have no plan on settling down until after I've finished my Master's degree and have my career done but that could all change. I have absolutely no control over the future. If I end up getting married before that, then, it was meant to happen. Either way, I will always be happy that I've outlasted everyone (my parents included). :D *does cartwheel to celebrate* :P

Oh, yeah... and last night I had a dream I was dating the R&B singer Chris Brown. SO RANDOM! I don't even listen to his music, I don't know anything about him and I only know his name because I've heard a couple of people talking about him (and he was a presenter at the Grammys last weekend). *shrugs* I also talked to a priest in my dream, defended Eldar Djangirov -- whom I met in the dream -- because I felt he was ROBBED at the Grammys (that stems from my real life reaction; his "Re-imagination" album was brilliant!) and I was also at my mailbox waiting for mail. Crazy dream! lol. I'm used to it, though.

I will not make my blog longer tonight because I am exhausted. That is also why I didn't write one yesterday. I've been sleeping for less than 6 hours every day (4 yesterday) for the past couple of days and I am so tired. Can a girl get a break around here? lol. I am actually planning on going to sleep in a few minutes, despite it being only 8 p.m. I've been sleepy all day and if I don't get my sleep on anytime soon, it will not be pretty. lol.

Alright, well, I hope everyone had a lovely Valentine's Day... even if you don't shate the same sentiments as I do towards the holiday. :D Thanks for reading and God Bless.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Becoming Jane = Writer's Block Unblocked; Weird Dreams.

I just finished watching "Becoming Jane" on DVD. Netflix was kind enough to send it to me the day it was available (today) so I could indulge myself in a little "me time" for 2 hours. I hadn't seen it when it was out at the cinema so I was waiting for it to come out on DVD. Final verdict of the film? Loved it. I give it 2 thumbs up. I loved the acting, the scenery was beautiful, the story was well written and, for my fellow Jane Austin lovers, it did Jane justice. I love her works; grew up reading them. I remember when I was about 11 years old I read a lot of British literature... particularly the works of Jane Austin and the Bronte sisters. Yes, I was a mini-bibliophile even at that age. :D It's been years since I last read of the books (we didn't focus on them when I took English (British) Literature courses) but this movie has made me want to return to "my roots" and read them over again. Don't you just love that? That you are inspired to return to one of your first loves (literature was one of mine) because of a film? Maybe I'm the only one who feels that way. I wouldn't be surprised if I was. lol.

One thing that the film also inspired me to do... get back to my writing! Procrastination and Writer's Block, I am giving you both your packing orders. Vamoose! lol. I finally know in what sequences I will try the books (something I was struggling with). I am so read to start writing like a mad woman but, sadly, I will have to start in the morning because I have a date with TCM. They are airing "Brief Encounter" around 1 - 2 a.m. and I fully intend on staying up to watch it. It's one of my favorite films (beautifully acted) so any chance I have to watch it, I will take. :D I do have about an hour or two before the film starts but, knowing myself, I will miss it because I will get so enthralled in my writing. Once I start writing (or reading) it takes a lot for me to stop. If anyone ever wondered why I ever considered majoring in British Literature or Creative Writing, and why I almost applied to Oxford to study it there... well, hopefully you now know why. :D

I am certainly not lacking imagination, that's for sure. The dreams I've had lately have been a testament to that. For the past 2 nights, I've had pretty apocalyptic dreams... and both have featured St. Teresa of Avila and St. Therese in some way. I don't really remember yesterday's dream, all I remember is that I woke up pretty wigged out and when I brought my hand and arm from under my pillow, a holy card of St. Teresa of Avila in my hand. Wait... no... I take that back. I DO remember what the dream was about. It's all coming back to me. I remember I looked outside and saw these strange things in the sky... almost like the planets and stars have come down and where close enough to be seen without a telescope. There was something very eerie about it though. I also remember a ton of vultures all around the roof of my house... and that I knew the world would end. Then I saw that the entire building structure of my house was being engulfed in flames... yet it somehow didn't get to my room or the living room. I very felt the warmth from the fire and I remember running around, trying to get important documents (birth certificates, legal documents, etc) out of the house. I also remember everything being very white -- the walls, clothing, etc. I wouldn't allow my parents inside either... I told them to get in the car because we had to get out of there. I said something along the lines of "Our Lady was right... that apparition was true! The world is going to end..." then I woke up.

The dream I had last night was equally as dramatic but in a different way. I don't remember how it started but I do remember being in this room with a lot of people... most dressed in black. I remember there was someone who said she was St. Therese of Lisieux but I knew deep down it wasn't; that it was the devil trying to lure people away through the person. The person was harming people, and tried to harm me, but I started pouring Holy Water on the people's heads (they had been possessed). I remembered I even managed to her the Holy Water on the person's head (after some chasing) and turned that person back to good (I faintly remember her clothing turning from black to white). I believe I also put some Holy Water on myself, and prayed a Hail Mary out loud for protection. (Note: This is my second dream in a few days where I am exorcising people.) I do remember that after that something major happened that made me start thinking it was the end of the world but I honestly don't remember that part. I just remember myself waking up and saying "Ave Maria" and having the strongest urge to not be in the room by myself. Crazy dreams, eh?

I don't know what to make of those dreams except that I have an overactive imagination. I know one of you, who knows me very well, will have something to say about my logical explanation but I will just go with that. I can apply the last dream as a sort of sign that maybe I will be able to make a difference with people (through the novel I'm writing and the ones I have planned) and that I will help them not stray from the church. That's what I hope to do... and what I feel is what I am meant to do. Only time will tell though.

Alright, well, I think that's enough dramatics for tonight. I think I will go make myself a little fruit salad before "Brief Encounter" because as soon as the film is over, I'm hitting the hay. Hopefully no more apocalyptic dreams. Seriously, I don't like waking up completely freaked out. :D

Until next time... thanks for reading and God Bless.

Monday, February 11, 2008

MIA from Mass, Lent Surprises, Irish-ness and Awards Shows.

I haven't written in 5 days. Sorry. I've been so caught up with all the medical stuff (tests and news, etc) that I've been either concentrating on that or sleeping. lol. I got sick again for a couple of days (usual fatigue, lightheaded feeling, etc) so I stayed in bed most days last week. I was sick up until yesterday, too. I actually missed Mass which sucked. I was there for less than 5 minutes before I knew I wouldn't make it through the entire mass and I had to leave... of course, teary eyed and all. I HATE that I've been missing mass but it's beyond my control at this point. :( Hopefully I will get strength to make it to mass sometime this week and I will definitely try again next Sunday.

Even though I've started Lent on a bummer, I am getting little surprises here and there that totally make my day. On Ash Wednesday I received the book "The Life of Teresa of Jesus" along with 2 bookmarks with her picture on it and 2 St. Dymphna prayer cards (which I have been wanting for a while now). (ed. And I need to remember to write about my crazy dream involving St. Teresa of Avila, tomorrow.) I actually ordered these things a month ago and they were actually 2 weeks late. It was awesome that I received these things on Ash Wednesday. Totally made me feel better about not getting my ashes, even though it's obviously not the same. Ooh, and I found out a Santo Niño de Atocha website featured one of my first blogs (from December) and I had no clue about it. lol. Seriously, I have no idea people outside my group of friends would read this blog. :D Well, thanks. :D

I received these really good candies from my good friend in Germany. Of course, I don't speak or read much German so I have no idea what's in them, but they sure are good. Haha. These candies took almost 2 months to get here too. They were a Christmas gift (Christmas letter included) that I just received. Good thing the candies didn't expire or get all weird in transit. lol. And, now I have sweets to last me through Lent... and beyond. Whoo! Today was also pretty awesome because my eldest brother came to visit... and because it was a "cool" 82 degrees Fahrenheit in the city which meant that I didn't have to wear a sweater. :D

You know what I just realized? Valentine's Day is coming up in less than 3 days. You know what else? I'm looking forward to St. Patrick's Day more than V-Day. Haha. I'm serious. Though I do consider myself a hopeless romantic and a sucker for romance and mushiness, I don't make a big deal out of this particular holiday. If I do, it's usually because I've planned a Spa Day with my girl friends. Who says it has to be a day only about romantic love and not platonic or familial love? I actually have a guest blogger who will write about that in the coming days. But, for me... give me St. Patrick's Day and I will be happy.

I have always been in love with the Irish culture. I remember how happy I was when I first sang "Carrickfergus." I absolutely loved it, and I actually still do. I also remember a very young me telling my friends how I wished I was Irish to avoid getting pinched for not wearing green on St. Patrick's day. lol. I don't know why but I've found the culture fascinating and have also felt connected to it somehow. The music (both folk and contemporary), the customs, the mythology... just everything about Ireland seems beautiful to me. I was recently talking to my friend about how we both love the country so much, we're going to go have a bachelorette trip out there as soon as one of us gets engaged to be married (money's on her to get married before I do). I remember when I found out St. Dymphna (one of my patron saints) was Irish, I almost did a cartwheel. Yes, I'm that much of a dork. :D I wanted to study in Ireland for the semester abroad but, sadly, none of the schools have an agreement with my school so it's been ruled out. Well, that is, until I find a loophole which I bet I can find. :D Anyway, before I move on from this topic I have one more thing to say/post about subject...

You're 65% Irish

You're very Irish, and most likely from Ireland.
(And if you're not, you should be!)

There you have it. haha.

Well, yesterday I caught two shows in between sobs (caused by not being able to attend mass properly)... the BAFTAs and the Grammys. This is the second year I've been able to watch the BAFTAs (thank you, BBC America). "Atonement" won, which I was happy about. James McAvoy didn't win (grr!) but, to be fair, the person who did win did a stellar job on his film so I can't be too peeved about it all. lol. The Grammys were MUCH better than they have been in years. I usually just tune it to watch for certain categories but this year, I couldn't stop watching it. I liked most of the performances (including the one of Alicia Keys duetting with Frank Sinatra). A few people I wanted to win, actually won... which was awesome. And, how incredible is it that Herbie Hancock won Album of the Year? Which other jazz artist (not counting Norah Jones) has won Album of the Year in the last 3-4 decades? As a jazz junkie, I was thrilled. I was also SO happy they played "Rhapsody in Blue" by George Gershwin during the telecast. If there was ever a song that could describe me (without any lyrics), that would be the one. I cannot think of a more perfect song; totally love it.

Alright, well. I will stop boring people for now. lol. I am still planning on doing a Valentine's Day themed blog on Wednesday. I have no clue what I will write about tomorrow... but that's the fun part in writing a blog. :D Until the next time... thanks for reading and God Bless.

Quick Update

Okay, I totally stink for not blogging in a couple of days. I'm terribly sorry. I haven't been feeling well and, when I have, I've been busy. :( I promise to write an actual full length blog later tonight. I just wanted to check in so no one worries. I'm alright... just not enough hours in a day. :D I hope everyone had a great weekend. :D More later. :)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Ash Wednesday, Lent, Football Internationals and Elections.

Ash Wednesday has come and gone. I, unfortunately, didn't even make it to my local parish (which is about 2 minutes away) because I was in bed all day today. Dizzy feelings, a lot of fatigue, nausea, etc... not a pretty picture. I don't think I would've had the strength to wait in line to get my ashes if I had gone to church. :( I was looking for to it, too. So, this marks the second year in a row I haven't received ashes on Ash Wednesday and it's sad. :( Last year, my dad was really sick with his chemo so we couldn't do anything. This year I was sick, mom has another severe cold so she's been sleeping whenever she can and dad has his at-home chemo so he isn't completely able to do much either. Bah! Luckily, it isn't mandatory to have ashes but still... it doesn't make me feel right for some reason. :( Next year will (hopefully) be better because there's an actual chapel on campus and they hold masses and everything so I can just walk from my dorm room to the chapel. :D

Today, (well, technically yesterday because it's past midnight) Lent began. I tried my hardest to fast for as long as I could... which was 11 hours and 45 minutes. I tried to make it to noon but I began to feel reeeally sick and I said "Forgive me Lord, but I have to eat or else I will get even more sick." I didn't eat meat (yay!) and had to remind my mom not to even eat chicken. Technically, we're all excused from fasting (dad's over 60 and mom and I both have that thing where we have to eat every 2-3 hours or else we get sick -- it's genetic) but I tried to do a bit of it. Now, I have to eat and eat because of those hours I didn't eat. I have a busy day later today which is why I am trying to regain some of the strength I lost from the mini-fast. Blah.

Oh, and I watched my last football (soccer) matches today (err, yesterday) because I didn't give up international matches, but I will not watch ANY of the Liverpool FC matches... which is the hardest thing because they are playing Chelsea this weekend and it's going to be one of those games you can't miss. Bah! lol. Well, at least I got to see pretty good games. England beat Switzerland 2-1 (whoooo!) and Mexico and the U.S. tied. I'm neutral when it comes to those teams so I was fine with the 2-2 draw. I was excited to see Steven Gerrard as England captain because I am a sucker when it comes to him. lol. The USA-Mexico game was good because it was a lot more physically aggressive... especially when one of the Mexican players and Tim Howard (the U.S. goalkeeper) started kicking and pushing each other down. Oh man... the rivalry between these two teams is insane. Dad managed to watch most of the game (in between dosing off and trying to stay awake) just because he loves "how bad the Mexican team has gotten." Watching the game with dad was seriously the highlight of my day because he and I crack up over the dumbest things. lol.

Before I wrap up my blog for today (I am hungry and it's nearly 1 a.m.)... I would like to say that I didn't vote for their candidate that won California. That's right, I didn't vote for McCain or Clinton. Personally, I'd love to see Huckabee win the Republican nomination. For the Democratic side, Obama is (in my opinion) the better candidate. Ultimately, I would like to see Huckabee as president. I am technically registered as a Democrat but that's because when I registered at 18, I was very liberal with politics. Now that I've gotten back to everything, I'm more moderate than anything(not too liberal but not too conservative) so I'm going to be changing my political party... mostly likely to Independent. I do consider myself to be closer to the Republican party but I don't always agree with what the candidates have to offer so I'd like to be able to vote either way. If anyone wants to sway me to go completely Republican or Democrat, please be my guest... you can post a comment below. :D

Alright, well... I have to get up early tomorrow for an appointment and then run some errands so I could quit writing for tonight and get some food in my tummy before I call it a night. Thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Fat Tuesday, Back to the Hospital and Old Friends.

I have eating as much meat as I could today because tomorrow is the first day of Lent and that means no meat! My mom made these really good spicy pork chops and dad made chicken soup so... WHOO! lol. I know I'm excused from fasting because I'm sick (I made sure I knew if I was excused) but I still won't eat meat tomorrow or on Fridays. I actually am fasting for the first 12 hours of the day (I am going to be eating until 11:59 p.m. tonight) but that won't seem like a big deal because I will be sleeping for about 9 - 10 of those hours. lol. I usually don't eat much meat in the first place so abstaining for meat isn't a big deal for me. I have other things to eat. :D I bet restaurants love today because they know the day before Lent is the day everyone goes out and eats all these delicious foods we have to give up for 40 days. ;)

I didn't do much today. I went to vote for the candidate I believe would be a great president and then came home and waited 'til I had my doctor's appointment. I was surprisingly mellow today, in terms of not worrying about the appointment, but I should've probably been nervous because I found out something that made me wig out for a few minutes. I actually went in for one thing but the doctor decided to check something else while she had be there and she discovered something on my right side, which I will have to get an ultrasound for. *groans* So, it's back to the hospital to get more tests done, more blood drawn, and more stress put on me. I have a feeling one of my best friends isn't going to be too happy with this added stress I was given because he's trying to keep me relaxed. Sorry hun! While I was on the verge of tears when I first got the word, I am very calm right now. I don't know why. I mean, this thing could potentially be (God forbid) breast cancer (and, yes, it's possible even at my age) but I think I've dealt with so many of these things that I know I shouldn't jump to conclusions. I am not going to make myself more anxious by worrying about it. I'm just going to pray to God that it all come out alright and that it's nothing I can't handle. Okay, I'm a little scared and nervous but at least I'm not going crazy. At least, not yet. lol. See? I'm trying to keep my sense of humor. *sigh*

I could sit here and do the whole "Why me? Why again? Haven't I suffered enough?" bit but I don't see a point in doing it. I always say that God never gives us things we can't handle so I'm not even going to start questioning it. I'm just going to look at it as yet another thing that will keep me on track with my faith and that will make my bond with God that much stronger. I'm just going to focus on my anxiety (because THAT is the thing I am most worried about) and also focus on getting in touch with old friends.

A few nights ago I had a dream about old friends from a former school of mine. Yesterday I decided to try to get in touch with them again (by the by, they're all guys :D). These 3 guys are some of the nicest guys you'll ever meet. They'd walk me to classes (not all of them though, lol), they'd walk me to my car to help me with the creepy weirdos that used to follow me, we used to hang out when we could... these guys were/are just awesome. I missed them and this dream sort of made me realize it. Today I talked to one of them for a bit, which was awesome. He doesn't live too far so hopefully we'll get a chance to hang out before he moves away. Hopefully their girlfriends (yes, all 3 have girlfriends) don't mind me getting in contact with them again. I'm just trying to see how the guys are; I come in peace. lol. Besides, I'm not "on the market" so they have nothing to worry about. :D I love getting in touch with old friends... which is what I have been doing a lot of lately. Last year, it was childhood friends (and all boys, too, lol) who found me. This year, I'm putting the effort in touching base with some of my friends from a while back. :D All of this reminds me... I need to e-mail Mr. Navy (a friend I've known since kindergarten) about an old picture I found from when we were 5 years old. I bet he'll get a kick out of it. :D

Alright, well, it's nearly 11 p.m. so I have about an hour left to completely stuff myself before I can't eat anything anymore. lol. By the way, this 12 hour fast is something my dad told me about. They used to fast for the first 12 hours of Ash Wednesday in Mexico (at least, the part his family's from) so that is where I got the idea. I will have to talk to one of the priests about the other fasting days soon; I didn't get a chance to talk to them today.

As usual, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Monday, February 4, 2008

Transcripts, Sickness Returns, and Primary Elections

Well, I spent most of the afternoon driving around the city getting all the transcripts from my former schools to have them sent to my new school. Wow. What a headache that was. I had totally forgotten it was back-to-school for the Spring semester today at those schools so I had to deal with super long lines. I spent a good 2 hours (total) just waiting in line at all these places. It didn't help that I've been sick (you know, the fainting kind again) for the past couple of days so you can just imagine how frustrating it all was for me. Blah! At the final school, I had to make a bunch of trips to different offices just to get my transcript. GEEZ! At the other schools, I just showed up with my filled application, paid there and got them (or was told they'd be sent). And this last school, they made me wait nearly an hour to tell me that they'd send them for me. Uh, couldn't they have told me that when I paid and had everything done? They told me to wait 5-10 minutes, which lasted, what seemed like, forever... and then they told me, "Well, you wrote where you wanted them sent so we'll send them for you." Grrr! It was so unprofessional and it just sucked even more because I started getting really sick (I had to put my head down on the table and just think about not passing out) and they were like "Well, just wait a couple more minutes." Where they serious?! It takes a few seconds to say "Okay, you paid; you're done. We'll mail them for you." just like at the other schools. Grr. Of course, I was so angry that they made me go through that that I ended up saying "Are you kidding me?! They made me wait nearly an hour to get something they weren't going to give me in the first place?! I feel like I'm going to pass out!" I totally regret saying it but when I'm sick, I mean really sick, and I get irritated, it just comes out. That's something I'm going to have to work on.

As you might've guessed from the title of today's blog, I am once again really sick. I feel like I'm going to pass out at any given moment, I'm completely nauseous, I'm a thirsty throughout the day, I have to keep eating so I don't feel worse, etc. It's been like this for a couple of days now (about 3) and I HATE it. It had been quite a few weeks since I last felt like this and I was happy I was feeling better. Now... *groans*. I don't know why it came back all of a sudden either. I'm lucky I have a follow appointment with my doctor at the end of this week because I'm going to seriously need it.

I definitely need to start praying again (I haven't said the Rosary in a while) and I have a feeling that these feelings might be a sign that I need to start praying again. Like, for a while, I started slipping when it came to saying the Rosary and this is like a reminder that I need to get to where I was when I prayed the Rosary at least once a day without fail. I don't think it's punishment for not praying, God doesn't do that... I see it as a little push I'm being given to make me realize how well I was doing before everything I went through last week (when I started re-evaluating everything). Hopefully I will feel well enough to go to morning mass (or even evening mass) tomorrow because it'll be my last chance to ask the priest about fasting during Lent. Or maybe I'll call Fr. Roderick and hope he answers it on the Daily Breakfast before Lent actually starts.

And, speaking of tomorrow... tomorrow is Super Tuesday in the U.S. where 23 states (including the one I am residing it) get to vote in the primary elections. I already have my chosen candidate picked out and I am ready to vote. Hopefully the candidate I am rooting for is elected to run for president. Though I am not too into politics at the beginning of campaigns (and the Political Science course I took didn't really get me more into politics), I do catch up with everything right before elections. Hopefully other people will also make the right decision when it comes to voting for a certain candidate. I won't reveal who I voted for until we find out if he will run; and, hint, I said he so it's obviously a male.

Alright, well, it's half past midnight and I am a bit hungry (and I'm putting hunger before sleepiness at the moment), so I am going to find something to eat and then try to relax so I, hopefully, stop feeling like I'm going to pass out. Ugh. I hate asking this but if anyone who reads the blog could say a little prayer for me, I would appreciate it -- from the bottom of my heart. This is NOT the week for me to be this sick (dad has his at-home chemo this week).

Well, that is all for now. Thanks for reading and God Bless.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Incredibly Shrinking Nerd; Football (Soccer) and Faith.

I just noticed yesterday that my pants are no longer fitting me. In fact, I have to keep pulling them up because they're starting to get baggy. Grr! I am definitely not the type of person who wants to diet. In fact, I HATE diets and think they are pointless unless you have to lose weight because of health issues. I wonder what's going on with me. I bet it's because of the stress/anxiety. Grrr. I have a follow-up appointment at the doctor's this Friday (I had to go last Friday to get blood drawn) so maybe she can help me figure out what's up with my weight loss. I actually like the weight I am (or was before I started shrinking). I am going to guess I'm about a size 3-4 right now (this is U.S. Women's Sizes). I'm normally a 5-6 (7 with some jeans). Last time I lost so much weight was when I was 18 but I knew the cause for that, and, ironically it was around the time my dad was getting done with his chemo that time around. Hmm... grr. I am not a happy camper. I have a promise to myself not to drop below 120 pounds because, for my height, once I reach 118 I am considered underweight and I don't want that! Been there, hated it! I think I am going to grocery shopping in between all the errands I have in a couple of hours (it's, again, nearly midnight) and really stock up on food. Mmm... food. Which reminds me, I'm hungry. lol.

I actually took a break from writing my blog and went to make myself some instant oatmeal. It will be enough until I wake up in a few hours (early mass in the morning). It's not too heavy but have you ever tried going to sleep after eating a heavy meal? Not the best thing for your stomach. Okay, moving on from food (I have a feeling I will have a Jamie Oliver dream because of what I just wrote, haha)...

I saw something on Catholic Online that made me very happy. I read an article about how Nicola Legrottaglie, a defender on the Italian football (soccer) team Juventus, has shared how he will abstain from pre-marital sex. He said, and I am quoting the article, he is doing this... "not because I do not like women, but because I am waiting for the right woman with whom to have a family, a woman who shares the same values." All I have to say to that is ROCK ON! It takes a real man to speak up with and stand by what he believes. Though he didn't always do so, he's determine to not have sex until he gets married. I think it's awesome, and encouraging, to see someone who has strayed taking responsibility for what they've done and also show that they can get back on the right path.

Another very famous footballer (sorry to my fellow Americans but I can't bring myself to call footballers 'soccer stars') who has spoken out about how great it is to stay chaste is Brazil and AC Milan's Kaka. I have so much respect for him. He's probably the footballer I have the most respect for... and, as a Liverpool FC fan, that is saying something. lol. Although he is not Catholic, he is a very religious Christian who actually stayed a virgin until he married his wife. It would've been very easy for him to stray -- he's incredibly talented, very well known, he's very easy on the eyes (women everywhere are gaga over him) and he seems like the sweetest guy -- but he didn't cheat or do anything because of his faith. That is such a rare quality in, not only a footballer, but in a guy in today's society.

Sex is such a big deal today. Practically everyone talks about it, or thinks about it. Teens are losing their virginity younger and younger these days. It's becoming more rare and difficult to find people who are staying true to their faiths and staying pure until marriage. We don't hear many celebrities speaking out and sharing their abstinence. It's wonderful that people like Nicola and Kaka, who are part of the most famous sport in the world -- and are well known themselves, are sharing that part of their lives and showing people that, hey, it IS possible to stay a virgin until marriage. I also think it's inspiring to all their younger fans and hopefully, because of their statements, more and more people will follow in their footsteps. If you want to read the article I am talking about, click here. I think it's really worth it.

Alright, so, it's 3 minutes before midnight and I have to get up in 8 hours so I should end my blog here. As always, thanks for reading and God Bless.

The Virgin Mary; Getting Ready for Lent.

On the previous post I wrote about how I'd had a dream where my father had told me to pray to the Virgin Mary. That dream really stuck with me (not the first time I have dream about her, either). Well, today, after I went to confessions I stopped by the table where they have the bulletins and other things. I normally wouldn't do this because the church I went to confessions isn't the one I normally attend mass (I attend mass at a parish a few minutes from my home). For some reason, though, I just gravitated towards the table. Seriously, I don't even remember thinking I wanted to see the bulletins; I just walked over. When I got there, I notice this thing that looked like a booklet with the Virgin Mary's image on it. I thought it was a prayer book (I've seen everything from booklets to prayer cards out for people to take for free) and I was like "Ooh, prayer book. This would be great to take home and read." When I went to open it, I saw that it wasn't a prayer book but the story of St. Catherine Labouré and the Miraculous Medal. Not only that, there was this necklace with a medal inside of it. I looked around at looked at the people, because I thought someone must have left it accidentally, but no one said or did anything. I asked my dad if he thought it was one of the free things the parish sometimes gives away (they've been known to give things like this away) and he said that it must've been because it was amongst the fliers and other things that the parish puts out for people to take home with them. So, I brought it home with me. I'm still worried that it was someone else's and that I've just stolen something unintentionally, but dad says it wouldn't be there if it wasn't meant to be there. And, hey, I checked to see if it belonged to anyone and no one said anything. Also, there was no price on it, so it must've been put out intentionally.

The awesome part about all of that is that when I did penance and was praying the Hail Mary's in front of the tabernacle, I had an image of Mary that looked like the one on the front of the booklet with the medal. I can't even begin to describe this feeling I got when I said my last Hail Mary... it was so peaceful and, as silly as it might sound, I felt like my spirit had been lifted up by her. What I asked God when I prayed, for a sign, seems to have come in the form of me finding the medal. Or, at least that is what I think. I just think it's awesome. I'm going to dedicate a good portion of Lent to praying to Our Mother (that's what I call her) and learning more about different ways she's appeared to saints (like in the form of Our Lady of Guadalupe). I have a feeling that she will be able to help me and to shed light on some things I am worried/thinking about. I'm going to have the medal blessed, hopefully soon, and I'll definitely carry it everywhere with me.

And, with Lent starting in a few days, I've decided to give up one more thing... and for good. I am giving up my superstitions. I know we shouldn't be superstitious but I have a few things I'm careful about so I'm going to get rid of them during Lent. Whoo! And, man, I can't believe Lent is so early this year. I didn't have enough time to prepare myself but I guess I'm more ready this year than I've ever been, which is good. :D

Alright, well, it's nearly 1 in the morning and I have to get up early for mass so... 'til next time, thanks for ready and God bless. :D

Friday, February 1, 2008

Re-evaluating Everything.

It's a bit frustrating to have all my plans up in the air. I had good plans a few weeks ago, then came exciting new plans. Those new plans brought out a side of me I never thought I'd see and it made me very uncomfortable. In the end, I don't know what I am going to do after all. As posted in the previous post, I was so excited about these new plans that had re-surfaced. I had it all planned out. I had a clear vision of it in my mind and I had started to do the research. I also noticed that as soon as I had accepted the newer plans, I had started to not care about certain (important!) things anymore. Worst of all, I started getting thoughts where I started questioning certain things I believed in. Once I realized that, I was thrown into a tailspin. I've been working really hard to get rid of the liberal side of myself (which has been hard as I've grown up surrounded by extremely liberal people) and this new thing had started pulling me back into that state of mind. It's incredibly stressful. On the one hand, I know I am capable of doing the project without compromising my beliefs and actually turning it into something positive. On the other hand, my biggest worry is that I'll be way too weak to actually pull it off and that I'll also do something I will later regret.

Of course, there's more to it. There were a lot of issues that were going to be a problem (which is what I was researching). Differences were going to make things a lot harder. Everything from dating issues (such as premarital sex -- being Catholic and being opposed to it while dating an Agnostic who puts a lot of emphasis on the physical aspect of the relationship) to political/social issues (one person being moderate when it comes to a lot of issues, the other being extremely liberal)... all of that makes life difficult. I was sincerely up for the challenge until I saw that it was going to pull me away from the Church. It might have been little things but even doubting those tiny things makes me extremely nervous.

If this makes no sense, I sincerely apologize. I was talking about working on a screenplay, but the thought of getting into the business and working with people who will try to change me just isn't my cup of tea. I've known (through school and friendships) people who do it for a living and I have absolutely no desire to go through what they do. So, I've axed those "dreams" and will continue writing my novel, as planned.

I had a very strange dream last night where I was asking for the Virgin Mary's help because I'd literally become someone who I didn't recognize. I looked in the mirror and noticed I was, physically, a different person. I remember that once I started praying and kept saying "Hail Mary" over and over, I slowly began looking like myself again. I actually saw myself physically transform back to what I actually look like. Then my father said something about my grandmother and praying for her because she was about to die (in real life, she passed away 3 years ago this March). He also mentioned praying to the Virgin Mary and praying 3 Hail Marys. When I woke up, I felt like I did before all these doubting thoughts came into my mind. I asked God for a sign last night (after this rather... odd... incident I had when I was by myself) as to what to do. After the incident and the dream, I know exactly what I will be doing during Lent (I was still going back and forth between giving up football matches and the internet). So, for Lent, I will be dedicating myself to praying more than I ever have and hopefully I'll get an answer as to what exactly I'm supposed to do with everything that's going on. Not just with the project but with almost everything in my life because everything is in question at the moment.

Alright, well, I am exhausted for some reason (I feel like I haven't slept even though I have) so I will go take a nap and then get back to answer e-mails and comments on facebook. I originally had a post about football (and footballers) planned but it can wait until tomorrow. Liverpool's playing so it'll give me more to write about... especially if they don't screw it up again. lol. Bring on international break!

Anyhoo, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D