Thursday, July 31, 2008

Oh, Doctor!; Priest's Satan Dream; Music = Love, Friendship.

Why must the doctors exaggerate things? Seriously, it's like their goal to freak people out -- especially when they don't explain things. I had my follow appointment (which I made 3 months ago when I was sick) yesterday with a new doctor and she right off the bat said that I needed to wear a heart monitor. Doctor says WHAT?! She said my results came back abnormal (the same results VARIOUS doctors have told me were normal) and that they needed to put a 24-hour heart monitor on me in mid-September. That was it. She didn't say what she thought was abnormal, etc etc. Now, the me from 4 months ago would've totally wigged out and my anxiety would've soared sky high. The me now is like "Pfft, whatever. I'll do it to make you guys happy." lol. I feel fine. Yes, I do get palpitations occasionally but I've had those for a while now and I was told that many women have that so not to worry. Also, the palpitations are often caused by anxiety. One of my good friends (who is like a sister to me) had the same thing done to her (only for a longer period of time) and she turned out fine. She said the same thing I've been told, about how a lot of women have that condition. So, I'm totally not gonna stress... and have been surprisingly zen about the whole thing. I think I've reached a point where I have put myself in the Lord's hands so many times that I am no longer worried about what could happen. Take that, anxiety! I am beating you like a drummer beats a drum. lol. :D

Something that was interesting (today), Fr. Roderick spoke about a dream he had about Satan on his podcast, the Daily Breakfast. It was really interesting because I haven't heard a priest I've (sort of) known who's had dreams like that... or that have shared them. You know me, when it comes to dreams about saints, Our Lord, the Blessed Virgin, I am interested. If you want to listen to the podcast please click this link (Satan's Party) so you can hear all the details for Fr. Roderick himself. I wonder if many priests have dreams like this at least once in their lifetime. I know I've only had a few where I've fought against him (yeah, I don't think I've ever blogged about those... I don't remember) but still, those are some creepy things to dream. And if any of you want to share any of your dreams with me, you can either reply to one of the dream blogs or email me at catholicnerdwriter [at] gmail [dot] com. Yes, I got an e-mail address specifically for this blog. :D Moving on...

As I've often said in previous music blogs, I LOVE music. It might even be my first love, after French fries. lol. I can go into this whole rant about how the music industry glorifies drug use, adultery, murder, people going to rehab, etc but I won't. I've already written about Contemporary Christian music so I thought I'd focus on music on a personal level. What I love about music (besides, obviously, THE music) is that it brings people together, sometimes people you wouldn't have met otherwise. I've had many beautiful friendships formed by meeting people with similar music tastes. In fact, one of best friends and I met because we both loved the same band (and, ironically, disliked the same band later on) years ago. It's amazing when I can have a certain album just bring out the best out of me... especially when that album is made by one of my best friends.

I've known this young woman for years. We met when we were teenagers when we were both starting out in our careers (although mine was different back then). She's been through some of the most difficult times with me (through both of my father's cancer battles, dealing with the most evil guy I've ever known, my own illnesses, etc.); basically this girl has been my rock through it all. About 2 years ago, she released her debut album in the U.K. (and last year in Japan) and, I have to say, I love the album and not just because she's one of my best friends. It's upbeat and positive, and it's one of those albums that you can play from start to finish. It's one of those albums that make you smile. Ever have an album that reminds you of an amazing time in your life every time you hear it? That's her album for me. She can be on tour and we'll lose contact for a few weeks, or even months, but if I'm going through something really tough I can always put the CD in and it's like she's there with me without being physically there. It's fantastic what music can, isn't it? I asked her in advance if it was okay to mention her and her album on this blog and she gave me the okay. :D Her name is Misha Williams and you can visit her site by clicking on her name/link. Don't bother asking her who writes this blog, she won't tell. :D lol.

Alright, well, it's still early in the day and I have a million and one things to do so I will stop. And, I think I wrote too much today. lol. Sorry, I'm a writer; it's a habit. :D Hope everyone's doing well. Thanks for reading and God Bless.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Earthquake Edition: Heading Straight for St. Jude Thaddeus.

We just had an earthquake in the Los Angeles area (5.8 on the Richter scale; edit: They are now saying 5.4) and, let me tell you, almost all of our neighbors ran out of their homes. We (dad and I) were one of the few people who stayed inside. At first I wasn't sure if the kids were running outside and thus making everything shake (I live upstairs). When I realized that EVERYTHING was shaking and that things were falling, I hurried (as calmly as I could) to the door frame in my room. The first thing I did was look to see if the statues of St. Jude had fallen. When the shaking got more intense and saw the oldest statue (the one we've had from before the last major earthquake) was ready to fall I let out a "Oh, St. Jude, don't you fall on me!" and grabbed it. One of the little St. Jude things I had in my room did fall but, thank goodness, it was plastic and tiny so nothing broke. If you read one of my first blogs (Puppy, Clean-a-thon and Miracles) you know of the story of this particular St. Jude statue and how it didn't fall until we were all safely under the doorway, during the 1994 Northridge Earthquake. If you'd like to read the story, please click on the link; pictures are included.

They say that during the moments of crisis, you are drawn to and think of things that you consider most important to you. My initial reaction during earthquakes and aftershocks are always go to my bedroom's door frame (which is in the sturdiest part of the house) and reach for the statue of St. Jude. The first that popped into my mind was that I hoped my mother and the patients (she works at a hospital) were okay, followed by where my father was (in the kitchen) and then asking him to grab the statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe (in his room) so that it wouldn't break. Really, I wanted to go around the house and grab all the statues and crucifixes we had so that they wouldn't break if they fell. When the shaking stopped, I reached for my cell phone and sent a message to all my friends in the L.A. area and made sure they were alright. (Cell phones were down for about an hour for all of us; Mom was worried because it took her an hour to get a hold of us.) The last reaction I had was "Oh, I'm wearing these itty bitty shorts, I should probably put on some pants in case we need to evacuate." lol. If that thought process is any indication of what I consider most important to me: my faith, my parents, my friends, others' safety, etc. I think I'm pretty good with my priorities. :D

Oh, and a little side notes from some of our neighbors: the local mall was promptly evacuated (people BOLTED out of the stores) and, closer to the epicenter, broken jars at markets were reported (from friend's text messages).

Anyway, I thought I'd give a little update. I wasn't going to, initially, because I try to write when I have something related to Catholicism and I didn't... up until the earthquake. In a way, thank goodness for it. lol. Yeah. Alright, well, I have to go put things that fell back in their place and then I have to go work on my novel and read so, busy time for the rest of the day.

As always, thank you for reading and God Bless. :D

Monday, July 28, 2008

Where Are the Morally Correct Novels/Movies?; I Dreamt What? Babies?!

My mini road trips were cut short today because the gas prices are INSANE ($4.36 per gallon... with what's left of my misc. spending money? Pfft!) but I did get the most important things done, so WHOOO! :D lol. One of my trips took me to my college, which is a few blocks from the beach. I absolutely love it out there! It felt nice to be out there... and I'm not just saying that because I'm both close to the beach and because I'll be taking courses I'm actually excited about. Actually, I am surprised that I will be able to take Religion courses because they weren't offered when I first applied, many moons ago. And, what I was surprised to see... right across the street there is a Christian Book Store. I had to do a double take. It's interesting to see the area more religious than when I remembered it. I'll have to visit that store on one of my breaks between classes. One thing that store (as well as a conversation I had with my sis) got me thinking about how you don't really hear about many morally correct novels and movies in the mainstream.

Of course, if you look and ask around, you'll find that there are some out there but they don't get much publicity and seem to be more "underground" than anything. It stinks. Sure, there are a few exceptions like the blockbuster that was The Chronicles of Narnia and indie Bella, but there aren't enough. For those reasons, I am writing the novels (well, novel and novel/screenplay) that I'm working on. So far, I've received positive feedback from those who have had a sneak preview of what I've written... which hopefully mean I am doing things correctly. One thing I don't want is the stories to be overly preachy (because I know people tend to stay away from those) but I still want the messages to come out loud and clear without being overbearing. I have yet to finish either novel but I am definitely getting more done than I expected. And, I have to admit, I definitely watch Bella when I need to stay in that particular frame of mind (though the stories are very different). I promise to post a preview of both novels as soon as I'm done with everything, including editing. :)

As for whether I will ever have the screenplay made into an actual film, I am still undecided. I will definitely option it to a certain film company (because I trust them to do the right thing with it) but it's way too early to see what happens. I'll keep y'all updated if anything happens. And, while I'm still on the topic of films, if you want to find more good Catholic/Christian films (or films reviewed from a morally correct point of view), you can check out the site Soul Food Cinema. (See, Mark, I'm giving you free publicity! lol.)

One last thing before I call it a day on today's blog... I had the weirdest dream... in a good-ish way. lol. It wasn't a saint dream but I could've sworn there was a nun in the delivery room. Yes, you read that right. I had a dream that I was not only pregnant, I even gave birth. It was the WEIRDEST thing ever. I went through the whole thing -- asking for epidural and all (which I didn't get but didn't even need because I felt NO pain). In the end, I had the most beautiful little girl (curly brown ringlets and blue eyes). She was gorgeous! Anytime I've had baby dreams (I don't have them often) the babies have always had brown hair and blue or green eyes. I think the last time (2 years ago) I had twins and I named one of them Liam. And I know these dreams weird some of my friends out (the ones who've known me long enough) because I used to say that I didn't want children... at all. This is during my time away from the Church. Now, I think that being able to have children (or adopt children if you're not able to have them biologically) has to be the most beautiful thing in the world. Of course, no plans on having any in the near future because I have yet to find a nice, Catholic man that is crazy enough to even consider marrying me. I don't think anyone's that nuts. lol. Some day. If it's not my vocation to be a wife and mother, I'll hopefully be an elementary school teacher (as a sister) so I can at least teach them well. I love children, I think they're little jewels. I don't understand how some people want to have abortions but I won't jump into that topic because I'll be here forever if I do. lol.

Alright, well, I have a lot to do today... including trying to write more in my novels and read more of St. Teresa's autobiography. Hope everyone has/had a great day. Thanks for reading and God Bless.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Mass with Mariachi; (Possible) Nun Fighting Crime.

Early blog tonight because I have movie night with my mom this evening, not to mention a zillion other things to do before my extremely hectic day tomorrow. Seriously, if I make it through the chaos that is tomorrow, I can make it through anything! :D

I don't know if I mentioned it but my plans to have dad come to Mass with me hit a snag last Sunday. He felt that we (mom and I) were pressuring him to attend Mass and he refused. Yup, I'm definitely his daughter! lol. (I also become stubborn and refuse to do things when pressured). Anyway, he attended Mass with me today (whoo!) which was awesome... even though we got there at least 5 minutes late. Hey, I was ready on time but I am not the one in this household who can drive the car (the steering wheel is impossible for someone as small as me) so I had no other choice than to wait for dad to be ready. But, the important thing is that we made it to Mass! :D Next weekend, I hope to have both of my parents there with me (mom worked today). Anyway, today's Mass was in English BUT we had a mariachi band there, which made Mass ah-mazing! I believe they are a traveling Mariachi band from Tijuana, BC, Mexico. Their outfits are awesome -- with Our Lady of Guadalupe's image sown onto their shirts. It was kind of funny, though, because it was a Mass said in English but with Spanish hymns being sung. Probably more than half of the congregation didn't sing today because not all of us were bilingual. Oh man, the laughter I had to keep in... lol. It was fantastic though. I loved it. :D I highly recommend attending a Spanish Mass at least once in your lifetime, even if you don't understand Spanish, just to see what the vibe is like. It's totally unlike the English Masses. :D

I had to ask a good friend of mine if I could share the story of a conversation we had not too long ago (he said yes). We were discussing classes (since we'll be attending the same college for the next year; we'll both be done next summer) and I said something along the lines of how it was safe to say that I was probably the only person he knew who was majoring in Religious Studies. That led to talk about how we would have interesting philosophical conversations... and how he would know a nun (I mentioned I was thinking about considering the vocation since I still don't know what my vocation is). That then led to a conversation about how he would be fighting crime, injustice, evil, etc; and how he would need me (as a nun) to help him out. We would be kind of like super heroes. lol. I don't remember specific details about the rest of the conversation but it was hilarious. I can always count on my friends to make me laugh when I need cheering up. :D So, yeah, if it's my vocation to become a sister or nun and you hear of one who fights crime with her pseudo-brother (I call him my bro sometimes :D), that might be me. Of course, I say this with respect and without offense to those who are called to the vocation of religious life. I have nothing but the utmost respect for them. :D

Alright, well, I have quite a few forms to fill out for my (more than likely) exhausting day tomorrow so I should get to that so I can enjoy the rest of my evening. :D Oh, and I have been incredibly inspired lately so I am going to knock out quite a number of pages for my novel as well. It all makes me want to make a conga line as a form of celebration. lol.

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless.

P.S. A special hello to all my friends who are happy to see the "old" me back -- the me that was "Wonder Woman" prior to my anxiety debilitating me. :D Yeah, baby! lol.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Saint Dreams: Part... Well, I Lost Count. St. Benedict of Nursia, Our Lady of Lourdes and St. Bernadette.

I had every intention to writing about a few of the saint dreams I've had lately. If you've been reading this blog long enough, you know I have these saint dreams quite often. Fr. Leo, who was the first priest I ever told my dreams to, took an interest to them because (I am guessing) they are vivid and usually have nothing to do with what I'm going through in real life. Last night, I had one of those really scary (at the time) dreams that somehow makes me a stronger person in real life.

And, a little warning: The dream of Our Lady of Lourdes deals with a sensitive subject not suitable for younger readers to please skip over the beginning and start reading halfway down the paragraph.

St. Benedict: The dream I had last night involved St. Benedict of Nursia. I've mentioned him a few times in previous blogs because he's been featured in my dreams quite often. Usually, when I pray for his intercession in my dreams it's because there's something evil and I'm praying that I be protected from it. In the dream last night, I was somewhere in Northern Europe. I was traveling by myself when I bumped into one of my best friends and her family. After getting hugs from all of them (she has a lot of sisters and a brother -- shout out to her, who will probably read this :D), I decided to go upstairs to change. I didn't know if I was to go up the dark stairs or through the lighted hallway. A group of girls (whom I know in real life, but not personally) told me I had to go up the stairs, but that I had to run quickly because there were dark spirits that would try to hurt me. So, we all run upstairs... and as we did, I felt the most excruciatingly painful pains in my stomach. They burned, that's now painful they were. When we got up to the room (the only room the stairs led to), we found out that the girls felt nothing but that I had these massive lacerations all over my stomach. But before I could do anything, we got rained on with little tiny black bugs, almost the size of lady bugs. So, there the girls were, screaming about how disgusting it all was when I started to pray. I don't know how the bugs disappeared but I know that I began praying to St. Benedict while I placed my hands over my stomach. The girls just looked at me like I was crazy. Then, every time I started a new prayer, I was able to peel the wounds off... as if they were merely stickers. I told the girls that I would make believers of them (they didn't believe that prayer would work -- especially to saints). It was so weird, though. When I peeled the last cut off my stomach, I told them that I wanted St. Benedict to help me because it was the only way I'd make them believe in not only him but God. At the end, my belly didn't have anything... it was like nothing had happened. Then I woke up. I am leaving a lot of other details but that is the gist of it.

Our Lady of Lourdes: A few weeks ago I had a dream in which Our Lady of Lourdes had a huge part in a miracle. I was at this theater watching a play when I went outside to do something (I believe it was to call my father to pick me up for the theater). When I came back in, this guy said he wanted to talk. He (whose identity I will never reveal because he's a friend of mine in real life; weird, eh?) then proceeded to try to take advantage of me. So then I tried to tell others of what happened when the play got out but they didn't take me too seriously. Story of my life. Anyway, I left, obviously upset and somehow ended up in a humongous football (American football) stadium with friends. The guy came by to where we were sitting and said something about "Too bad, so sad" which really upset me. I somehow found out that he'd done the same to another girl and that she'd disappeared. So I tried to look for her but I was warned by some guys that I'd disappear, she like she did, and that no one would care. I didn't care and continued my search for her. I ended up near these white and sandy colored rocks, which were part of a cave-like thing entrance. I had a feeling she was there, so I looked up and this kind of rock arch outside the cave and she was there for a split second but disappeared. So I dropped to my knees, in front of all these people, took a white rosary in my left hand and raised it up to the sky and started praying for the girl. I closed me eyes and when I opened them I saw other people had gathered to pray for the girl as well. I looked up and saw Our Lady of Lourdes, dressed entirely in white, and smiled because I knew she'd grant me the miracle of saving the girl. Then, I turned to my left and saw the girl next to me, smiling gratefully at me. I got up and everyone turned around and saw that she'd appeared without anyone noticing. Then I remember saying... if everyone just prayed the Rosary and didn't care what others thought of their faith and devotions to prayer, that it would make things a lot better for everyone. Then I woke up.

St. Bernadette: Now, I don't remember exactly what happened (because this specific part happened towards the end of a dream) but I do remember that I was standing next to St. Bernadette, near the grotto. I turned around for a split second and saw we were in a completely different room (though I don't know where it was). Before I had a chance to ask, St. Bernadette grabbed my hand and ran out of the room with me, saying that I was not safe (the room turned into bricks and rocks and began crumbling) and that I had to leave. She pushed me out of the way of the rubble and then I woke up.

Some times I wish there was some device that could capture dreams because I feel like I do them NO justice when describing them. The images are so vivid and fresh in my mind that it's almost like I actually lived them instead of having dreamt them.

Can you believe it took me nearly 4 HOURS to write this blog? I got distracted by other things (like some kids breaking this huge window by the mailboxes -- sounded horrible as it was breaking). Yeah.

Anyway, that is all for now. I have confessions in a little while and need to get ready for that. :D As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Friday, July 25, 2008

Miss C.N.W. Karate Chops Boredom with Prayer.

I am in the midst of summer cleaning. It's my version of spring cleaning, only I do it in the summer to fight off boredom. Okay, and I also do it so that when I start my classes I am organized and not overwhelmed. It's taken me 3 days to finish just my desk alone... because I have been plagued with this annoying boredom induced busyness that won't go away. If you didn't get that (friends often say I have my own language and way of saying things), basically, I've been busying myself with the most mundane things to fight off the boredom that has gotten a hold of me.

One thing that all of this is doing is that I get so focused on other things that I lose track of time and then by the time I'm ready to say the Rosary or something else, I'm too exhausted (sleepy) to properly pray. I just realized that it's been a good 2 weeks since I last said the Rosary and I absolutely HATE IT! It's funny (in an unfunny sort of way), I've been feeling physically well and the anxiety's gone down pretty drastically lately, but spiritually I feel horrible. I LOVE praying the Rosary (even though every Tuesday and Friday you are guaranteed tears from me) and realizing that I haven't been keeping that up is horrible! I do, throughout the day, say a little something to Our Lord but not the way I should be praying. One of the novels I'm working on is based on devotion to Our Lady of Guadalupe... and I haven't written in that for weeks (and I'm several pages behind my goal for the day). I have been trying to finish St. Teresa of Avila's autobiography for months (I haven't read anything for months, lol) and I am gonna start all over again because I've forgotten a few things that were in the book that I will want to talk about on this blog. Ugh. I am a mess when it comes to praying but I have a plan that will combat my boredom AND help me get back on track with prayer, reading St. Teresa's book, and working on my novel(s).

My plan of attack? Reading the book, writing in the novel, and praying. Sounds so simple, right? It does but actually executing the plan when you're tempted to get online and waste your time on mind numbing things like that darn Hatchling's game on facebook (man, I need to uninstall that!), it's tough. So, that is what I'm going to do. I'm going to read St. Teresa's words, write at least 5 pages from each novel, and praying for all the things I need to pray for. What better thing to do than to pray for help and comfort for those who need it, right? I'm going to keep alternating those things around (with an occasional soccer game or movie thrown in) until I get things done. When I am done with the autobiography, I'll focus on the novels and praying until I'm done. When I am done with the novels (which I am estimating to be done by late next-month, if things go according to plan), I'll keep praying, and I'll add more intentions until I go back to school. Then, it'll be coursework and prayers. Bottom line is that I am NOT going to let my praying fall behind, like I've been letting it happen, from now on. And now that I've semi-ranted about that, lol, I think I will get offline to finish cleaning and then get on to my reading, writing, and praying. And, for those of you who follow my "Currently Listening To" list (or my page)... no, that is not semi-cheesy Europop I'm listening to while I clean. That's all in your imaginations *ahem*; yes, that is Celtic music I am listening to. I can't help it, I love Celtic/Irish things. :D

Well, that's it for now. I'll try to write about my St. Bernadette dream (she saved me from danger), and my Our Lady of Lourdes dream -- both were on separate occasions -- next time. I think some people will be interested in them. :D. 'Til next time, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Classes; More Pictures from the Mission; Soccer and Catholicism.

My apologies for taking a while to write another blog. Life has been that busy for me. I've even put my writing on hold for a few weeks but I am determined to get back to it today (as well as finishing St. Teresa of Avila's autobiography -- which I still haven't finished) because I start classes in about a month and I won't have much time after that.

Oh, and about that, I really lucked out and was able to return to a school I loved to finish my first degree (which I'll be done with next summer, whoo!). Just to give you an idea of how much school is going to take up my time -- I have History of Religion, Philosophy of Religion, Images of Women in Literature, and Environmental Biology courses. Translation: I will have A LOT of reading and writing to do for 3 and a half months. All I want is to make it through the semester alive. Seriously, that's all I want. I want to be able to make it through without having major issues with my anxiety or health (this is the first time in a while that I'll have to attend my courses in classrooms) and without being completely burnt out. Prayers to St. Dymphna and St. Thomas Aquinas will be said on a nightly basis. Anywho, I am not going to stress myself out with the thought of how much I am going to suffer (haha) by changing topics into a more pleasant one.

Mom and I went back to the San Fernando Mission last Sunday. It was A LOT more crowded than expected but it was still lovely to walk around and relax. We even got to rest on a bench in the Bob Hope Memorial Garden. It was a hot day so to sit under the shade, with flowers and roses surrounding us, feeling the cool breeze come in, smelling the fragrance of the flowers as the breeze swept by... it was very lovely. I took more pictures that I wasn't able to take the previous time (because I'd run out of room on the memory card) but was able to take this time around. So, without further ado, the pictures from the latest trip to the Mission:

Picture of Pope John Paul II (obviously not taken by me) from his visit in 1987; A sign explaining the picture; A letter showing that the Pope did in fact come to L.A. when I was a baby (therefore I remember zip!).

A paint of the Madonna and Child Jesus that's inside the Convento (convent).

Angels at the beginning of a path that leads from the Convento to the side of the West Garden.

The path leads to the West Garden with a view of the Old Mission Church (tall building) and the building where workshops were set to show what life was back in the day.

Candles inside the old Mission church. You press the top button and it lights up. You can't shut it off, though. It'll do it itself. I tried. lol.

A smaller fountain hidden, near the entrance of the Bob Hope Memorial Garden.

A river/waterfall/creek thing inside the Bob Hope memorial garden. I'm a city girl, sue me. lol. It's so NICE in there.

Statue of Blessed Juniper Serra, the founder of the California Missions, with an native child; The plaque below the statue.

I hope y'all have enjoyed the pictures. Sorry, I go "tag happy" because I don't like other people taking credit (or not giving credit) when they take the pictures.

I have A LOT to do today, but before I go I just want to say how HAPPY I am to keep finding little connections between soccer and Catholicism. As I mentioned in the previous entry, I just found out (a week ago-ish) that a professional soccer player decided to quit his team to become a Catholic priest. How awesome is that?! Chase Hilgenbrinck played for the New England Revolution (and I am almost positive that I got to watch the final game he played with them) but, as stated in the Catholic News Agency website, he explained: "After years of discernment, I feel strongly that the Lord has called me to become a priest in the Catholic Church. Playing professional soccer has been my passion for a long time and I feel blessed to have successfully lived out this dream. My passion now is to do the will of God, which is wanting only what He wants for me. Though I will miss the game of soccer, I know that I am moving on to something much greater." You can read more about his story here (Soccer pro retires to pursue Catholic priesthood). Chase is truly an inspiration and I wish him nothing but the best. And all of this reminds me of Eddie Gaven, of the Columbus Crew (the other MLS team I love), and the rest of the members of Catholic Athletes for Christ. Though their vocation isn't the priesthood or other religious order, they still inspire other young, Catholic athletes not to be ashamed of their faith because, as sad as it is, it's becoming increasingly "uncool" to talk about your faith with friends as you're growing up. I say that anything negative anyone has to say about me regard my religion means bupkis to me. (And bupkis is a Yiddish term for "nothing") lol. In fact, I'm gonna be proud to say that I'm a Religious Studies major when I go back to school next month. So there. lol.

Alright, well, I've written a lot. Sorry. lol. I am going to go write, and read, and just relax and make the most of what is left of my summer vacation. Hopefully no more heavy weeks because I have a month left of freedom and I want that freedom to last me because I won't have any for months. *groan* lol.

'Til next time, thanks for reading and God Bless.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Nos Vemos En España!

Translation: I'll see you guys in Spain! Yes, the rumors were true! The next World Youth Day (2011) is taking place in Madrid, Spain! I probably scared people with how loudly I yelled when I heard. It was one of 2 other places (the others being the U.S. and Ireland) I wanted the next WYD to take place at. *happy sigh*

It's perfect because a) I don't have to learn a new language -- I grew up speaking both English and Spanish, b) I LOVE the food (yes, it all goes back to the food for me, lol), and c) I will be going to a country that I love. You just have to look at my last name to know why I'm so excited (hint: its origin is from Spain). AND, I hope that I'll be able to visit where St. Teresa of Avila grew up and lived as a nun! *squee* lol. It's 3 years away but, oh, the plans have started to come out of my little head. lol. Of course, I have to start saving up (little by little) and I have a feeling both of my parents will want to come, as well (especially my mom... if she can get over the fear of airplanes) so that's even more savings we have to make. Luckily, I'll be done with my first degree by then so I won't have to stress to much about how that's gonna affect my savings. I'm not looking forward to the heat (it gets hotter in Madrid than it does in Southern California) but that's something I'm willing to struggle with to be able to attend WYD. :D

Unfortunately, that's all I have time to write today. Still a very busy time for me. I had hoped to have more down time to write but that's not looking possible any time soon. But, it's good that I'm busy... it keeps me from over-analyzing everything, which is a sort of specialty of mine. lol. I hope to write tomorrow... I still have A LOT that I want to touch on -- especially with the news that an American soccer player chose to leave his team to become a priest. How awesome is that? God Bless him!

Alright, that's all for now. I hope everyone has a great weekend. Thanks for reading and God Bless!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I Know, I'm Sorry!; WYD2008 Opening Mass, Rumor; Miracles.

I KNOW, I KNOW... I'm SORRY! It's taken me a week to post another blog but I've been so busy with so many things. Summertime, not counting the past two summers, is normally my busy time. Summers of 2006 and 2007 weren't because I was very sick. This summer, I'm still a bit sick (but, really, it's mainly my anxiety which has been under control lately) but not enough to keep me from doing other things. Or, at least, I am not letting it keep me from having a busy schedule. I took a road trip this past Friday, which went very well. I was surprised how well it went! It's been the most successful one I've been on in years! Whoo! :D Despite the insane traffic and the heat, I actually enjoyed myself and didn't worry about getting sick. Whoo! :D I have a pretty mellow week this week (well, that I know of) so I hope to start blogging for often again. I'll admit it, I sincerely miss being able to blog every day, or every other day.

I caught the opening Mass of World Youth Day 2008 on EWTN en Español last night/this morning. I was way too excited about it. I even thought to myself, if I'm excited now that I'm watching it on T.V., I can't imagine how ecstatic I'll be at the next one (which I hope, and plan, to be at). I was blessed enough to meet some of the pilgrims that were going to Sydney before they left to fly out there and I'm so excited for them! May the Lord protect them, and may they have a safe flight back to their homes. I can't wait to hear how it went (I've already been promised pictures and videos of the trip). Anyway, back to the Mass (see how easily I can veer off-track? lol), I honestly enjoyed the entire thing... even though I had to stay up until 2 in the morning to watch it. That's what happens when you're about 17-18 hours behind them. It was completely worth it though! I understood 3 of the languages spoken (English, Spanish, and Italian) and a bit of other (French). I got a bit choked up when I saw the U.S. and Mexican flags together. Yeah, I know... I'm a big dork. lol. I loved seeing how everyone was mixed and that people didn't care whether they were near other people of their countries. I saw the Irish flag mixed with Germany, Spanish and African flags. Canadians mixed with Koreans. It was an amazing sight. I'm hoping and praying that I will be able to attend the next WYD in 2011... which is rumored to be held in Spain. Hey, I'm just repeating the rumor that's going around with the pilgrims (which I heard through EWTN en Español). I really hope it is! I would love to attend my first WYD in a country I love -- a country in which I know the language and foods. lol. :D Although, it gets VERY hot in Spain in the summer. Eh, to be able to go, I wouldn't mind the heat! :) Wherever it'll be held (we won't find out until Sunday's closing Mass), I am so there!

OH! And, before I forget, I was so overjoyed to hear that 27 Iraqis were granted visas to go to WYD! I almost cried (happy tears) when I heard that! Originally, I think they were only going to allow 10 visas because of fears that they would stay in Australia instead of going back but granted 27. It's still a VERY low number but I'm just glad that those people were able to fly to Sydney and participate. :D You can read more about this story here (pre-WYD/original news) and here (latest news).

Another miracle that has happened... I've gotten my father to attend Mass with me. Twice in less than a week. Yes, I did the impossible! WHOO! I even got to introduce him to Fr. Leo on Sunday. I was far too excited. :D It's a true miracle because I couldn't get him to Mass. I tried but he always used excuses until I finally broke him down. Or, I like to think that I broke him down. lol. We have a new priest at my parish (or new to me -- I hadn't been attending Mass for a month because of the virus that took nearly 2 months to get out of my system), so I was happy about that as well. He was awesome; very funny. :D Needless to say, I had an amazing Sunday. First time in a month I'd attended Mass... first time in MONTHS that I'd gotten my Father to go willingly... no anxiety, no stress, no illness. *content sigh* I hope to have repeat experiences from now on. :D

Okay, well, it's still early in the day and I want to do something other than sit in front of my computer. Hope everyone is enjoying/enjoyed their day! Watch the WYD celebrations if you can! They are aired on EWTN and EWTN en Español. I believe it's broadcast worldwide You can also watch it on EWTN's website (if I am not mistaken). In fact, I will post a link on the right hand panel, under the Bella link, so you can watch it live from your computer. :D.

Everyone take care, thanks for reading, and God Bless. :D

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

And I am back.

I have to make this short, though, because I'm about to go watch "The Nativity Story" which I just got from Netflix.

I am doing MUCH better. Apparently, all my trips to the hospital (3 total in a span of less than 2 weeks) were caused by an intestinal virus which led to a bit of dehydration . Needless to say, it was no picnic. But, as I said, I'm so much better now! :D

I have a lot to say... especially about how I experienced a very powerful moment on Sunday morning which made me stop and sort of make sure I'd experienced it -- which I have to speak to Fr. Leo about first to see what he says about what I heard. Also, I have old friends back in my life (friends I lost touch with but have recently gotten in contact with)... something I was doing for myself is being turned into a novel at the suggestion of my mother... I am still working on the OTHER novel... I have a roadtrip coming up this weekend... I have a movie premiere I might go to next week, etc. *phew* I have one busy couple of weeks ahead of me but will, hopefully, still find time to come and write a bit as often as I can.

By the way, do any of you go to Mass on a daily basis? I've gone the past two days in a row -- mainly because I had yesterday's Mass dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe and today's Mass dedicated to St. Jude Thaddeus (who refuses to let my prayers go unanswered. I'd hug him if I could!). I have never gone on an almost daily basis but I have to admit, I like it! Hopefully I'll be able to go more often. Oh, and DAD went to Mass with me today, which was a complete miracle! I've been praying that he goes to Mass with mom and I and he finally did. Although, I think he did today because I felt faint (blame my ongoing battle with anxiety) and he wanted to make sure I didn't get sick. We don't want a repeat of Sunday morning in which I missed Mass because I had a series of panic attacks (back to back) from around midnight to almost 9 in the morning. I went 23 hours without sleep -- but, if what I heard during one particularly bad attacks (when I was asking the Lord why I keep suffering) was a direct answer from the Lord, I am willing to endure these panic attacks. If what I heard was the answer, and if I now know the reason, I'll gladly accept it. I feel like I've said too much, though. I won't say any more about that until I've talked to Fr. Leo... or Fr. Stan.

And, speaking of priests, if you live in the Buffalo, NY area and attend Holy Angels Parish, you will be getting a priest I have a lot of respect for -- Fr. James. He used to be a priest at my parish but he got re-assigned to Holy Angels. Make sure you go and say hello to him. He's such a lovely man and I will never forget him telling me that I am too hard on myself... because I am but I didn't really recognize it until he said it. :D

Alright, well, the movie awaits. I hope everyone is well. Thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

P.S. WHOOO SPAIN WON EURO 2008!!!! Go España! Go España! :D