Thursday, October 30, 2008

St. Pancras and St. Timothy; Final Grades; Doctor Appt.; Costumes.

It took me a while but I finally have time to post a longer blog. :D

I don't know where I should start, really. Well, I should first say a thank you to St. Timothy and St. Pancras of Rome! For those of you who have read a previous post about how St. Timothy has interceded for me, no need to tell the story over again. St. Timothy is the patron saint of digestive and intestinal disorders and illnesses. For those of you who don't know who St. Timothy is, you can find out more about him at this page. St. Pancras of Rome is the patron saint against cramps, headaches, and against perjury/false witness.

On Monday morning, the morning of my English Lit midterm exam, I woke up feeling really sick. I'd actually gone to bed feeling a bit weird but woke up early with these stomach pains and cramps. I thought it was nothing so I went back to bed. when I woke up a bit later, the pains had gotten worse... and the cramps and pains had also traveled down into my legs. I took two different kinds of teas, Chamomile then Spearmint, because they usually help out my stomach but they weren't really doing much for me. So I asked St. Pancras (though I actually say his name in Italian - San Pancrazio) and St. Timothy to please help me get better because I was going to miss my midterm. I fell asleep and woke up feeling great... but too late to make it to my midterm. For me, my health is more important than my studies (plus I have an amazing professor who's letting me take the make-up next week), so I wasn't too stressed. Anyway, as a thank you to them, I promised to mention them in the next full length post I would write... and here it is. :D Remember their names when you're having pains. Trust me, they will come through for you. :D P.S. Also, thank you to St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Joseph of Cupertino during my exams and moments of academic wigging out. lol.

Oh, and before I forget, I PASSED MY OCEANOGRAPHY FINAL EXAM! I actually did 10% better on my final than on my midterm (how did THAT happen?!). I also got my final grade for the class which was... drum roll please... AN A! WHOO! Even if the professor hadn't graded on a curve, I would've gotten an A in the class because of my final exam! I was so relieved when I found out... mostly because Math and Science are usually my worst subjects. I'm more of a Philosophy/English/Music/History type of person. Now I know that all the stressing I did last week and the week before wasn't for nothing. lol.

Other good news I received... my EEG and heart monitor results came back normal! WHOO! I had my follow up appointment earlier today and all of my results came back normal. The doctor was perplexed as to why I've had to many test done at such a young age. He said I was perfectly healthy, nothing wrong with me, so he didn't understand. I had to explain that, because of my anxiety, the therapist recommended I have all the exams due to rule out everything. So, now we can safely assume that the rapid heart beat and the other symptoms are all anxiety related. I've had quite a bit of stress-related anxiety but I know it's because of how crazy the last few weeks have been. And, thankfully, it's not the intense panic and anxiety I had a few months ago. I'll be fine once this weekend is over because I'm caught up with all my work and I only have 3 classes to worry about for the next month and a half. :D Oh, that reminds me... I need a massage next week for the kinks and knots in my shoulders and back. lol.

Before I go (Philosophy assignments due tonight), I should mention that I do NOT have a Halloween costume ready for tomorrow. I originally did, and Rebecca from Modestia has first dibs on the pictures because she asked me on facebook, but I waited too long to get what I had planned. Now, I have to see what I can come up with from things I have at home. I have an idea but I won't share it because I'm going to wait and see if I can pull it off. I definitely had a hard time finding one that isn't too sexy or too revealing -- you know, like the majority of adult female costumes are. It's a problem most of us, who like to dress more modestly, encounter during times/events like these. You can also find out what Rebecca decided to wear by reading her blog on it.

Alright, well, Philosophy awaits. :D If I don't write a blog tomorrow, I hope everyone has a nice, safe Halloween. If it looks weird, don't eat/drink it! lol. :D

'Til next time, thanks for reading and God Bless! :D

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

St. Jude Thaddeus' Feast Day

Since it is St. Jude's feast day today, and since he is my main patron saint, I thought it was only appropriate to make a post today. Unfortunately, I don't have enough time to rave about all the prayers he's heard and helped me out with but I am going to share some pictures of a statue of his at my parish. St. Jude isn't the patron of the parish but there's such a huge devotion to him. So, please enjoy the pictures. Click on them to see them bigger. :D

Pictures of the St. Jude statue in the courtyard.
From Journey of a Catholic Nerd Writer
From Journey of a Catholic Nerd Writer

A picture of a smaller St. Jude statue inside the Church. The words read "St. Jude Thaddeus, (Monetary) Offerings" in Spanish.
From Journey of a Catholic Nerd Writer

Alright, I'm off to finish the Philosophy assignments that are due tonight and the rest of the English Lit assignments I have due tomorrow. :D As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Monday, October 27, 2008

Election Novena

I strongly urge everyone to start the election novena and rosary today and conclude it on election night in hopes that the right candidate is elected and that the right propositions pass.

You can also find the novena to Our Lady of Victory here at Fratres.

I will hopefully have a full blog tomorrow. Busy night tonight. :D So, 'til next time, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Midterms? Final? HELP!; I Love Saints!.

Sorry it's taken me nearly a week to post another blog. This is the hardest week I'll have this semester, hence the lack of updates. I have my Oceanography final tomorrow morning (WHOO-HOO!). The English Literature midterm is on Monday morning. History of Great World Religions' midterm starts this coming weekend (the 30th) but that's an essay so I'm not too worried about it. After that, normal work until finals week... with one less class to do. WHOO!!! I would do a cartwheel right now if I didn't have these giants, painful stress knots all over my back. But, it's just 3 more days until the work lessens. I've had my crazy schedule for 8 weeks so far, I think I can make it 3 more days. lol. Despite my knots and occasional stress (the next door neighbor thinks she's the only one who lives in the area -- such loud music), I am pretty mellow about my exams. I don't know why. Might be because I've worked hard so far (though, I'll admit, probably not as hard as I should've) and because I'm pretty confident I will (hopefully) pass. I'll hopefully get my Oceanography final grade sometime next week. Fingers crossed it's a good grade. The man's grading on a curve, so I'm a little worried. :D

Quick note: We've officially started the Christianity section of the History of Great World Religions class and both St. Thomas Aquinas AND St. Teresa of Avila are mentioned. WHOO! :D

Have I mentioned how much I LOVE saints? I truly do. Last night, I was feeling horrible -- stomach pains, feeling faint, a gross feeling; most likely because of something I ate -- so I said a little prayer, "Oh, St. Timothy, if it's something related to my stomach, please help me get over this so I can go finish my History assignments that are due tonight". A little while later, all better. :D I made it 15 minutes under the deadline. That's how close I was cutting it due to the... well, whatever it was. Also, yesterday I received the WONDERFUL news that my financial aid appeal had been approved and I will be receiving aid for my books for the rest of the year. YAY!!! :D The Novena to St. Jude totally came through for me. :D Mom seemed somewhat shocked when she told me it was very apparent that I had such a strong faith/belief in the saints and their intercessions. Not only the saints, but in prayer. I feel like this is helping me out with my ultimate mission. What my ultimate mission/goal is... you'll have to wait until my next blog because I am exhausted (5 hours of sleep), I have confessions in a little while AND I still have to plan my attack on the final exam tomorrow. Hopefully I'll be able to write either Monday afternoon or Tuesday. We'll see. :D

'Til next time... thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Hear My Voice Review; Vocation Signs?

Sorry it's taken a while to write another blog. So much classwork, so little time. :D I have a bit of time now, though, so I will get down to business. :)

I recently received a generous pre-release copy of the book Hear My Voice by Jonathan Stampf from the author himself. As I mentioned in the previous blog, I had seen the preview and liked what I saw. I was excited when I got the book and it did not disappoint one bit. The book's official title is Hear My Voice: A Children's Translation of Gospel Readings of the Catholic Mass for 2009... and that's exactly what it is! Mr. Stampf does an excellent job breaking down the Mass readings, from the First Sunday of Advent this year through The Solemnity of Our Lord Jesus Christ (the entire Liturgical Year). I know when I was growing up, they tried to explain things to me, such as how exactly the three wise men/three kings gave Jesus at His birth, but I just got more confused. "Frankincense and Myrrh"? At 5 - 7, I didn't know what that was. "Perfume" I got. The way things are translated in the book is fantastic. It doesn't take away from the readings, at all. The illustrations in the book help a child's imagination grasp the readings even more vividly so that they'll learn and remember them more easily. One thing: I feel like he didn't "dumb down" the readings or talk down to the intended readers. Sometimes authors try to write books for children and it feels like they have a "I'm a grown up so I'm more knowledgeable than you... so listen to me because you don't know anything" sort of vibe. Not at all with this book. It has a very friendly way of explaining things. Overall, I was very impressed with the book! If they gave me to me as a child, I would've probably paid closer attention and not let my mind wander off so easily. lol. Seriously, though, this is such a great book and I highly recommend it for all. And, hey, both the beginning of the new Liturgical Year AND Christmas are coming up. This would be a great opportunity to get it! Just click here to check it out for yourself (and hopefully get a copy of it). I'll also keep it under "Highly Recommended" in case anyone wants to find it at a later date. :D

I would like to thank Mr. Stampf for being kind enough to send me a copy of the book. Best of luck to you! :D

Now, I have a question for everyone... if you know what your vocation is, how did you figure out what it was? Lately, I feel like I've been getting signs as to what my vocation should be... or at least I think they're signs.

On Saturday, at church during confessions, I felt like I got three signs. First, when I got out of the car and started heading towards church, this gust of wind got me from the back and it made my oversized shirt puff up so that I looked pregnant. I even thought to myself, "I wonder if this is what I'll look like if I ever get married and have a baby." Second, the priest gave me a "prayer for vocations" prayer (written by Cardinal Roger Mahoney; who's the Archbishop of Los Angeles) and asked me to pray it at least once a day or two-three times a week. The prayer is mainly for more religious vocations, though. I've already ruled out the vocation of a nun/religious sister. I didn't know Fr. Juan would give me the prayer but he did. And third, when I came out of the church I saw this young couple who had just gotten married, getting their pictures taken, in the parking lot. The young lady looked a lot like a high school friend of mine, who has the same name I do. I even had to do a double take to make sure it wasn't her. It wasn't.

I also had a dream yesterday, in which I was a mother. I had a sleeping newborn baby boy in my arms. I felt so much love towards that baby. We were in a car so I thought, "I hope he doesn't wake up because I don't have a bottle to give him." I could tell he was hungry so I decided to sing him to him so he's stay asleep until we got home. I started singing a Spanish lullaby (which is specifically a traditional Spanish Christmas carol). The baby cracked open one eye and looked up at the ceiling. He then opened the other eye, turned his attention towards me and smiled. It was the sweetest thing in the world and I thought "He knows I'm his mom, and he's happy to see me." So then I continued singing, and he understood what I was trying to do so he covered himself back up with a makeshift blanket he was wrapped up in. Then I woke up.

I don't know if those were signs or not but it's interesting. There's a vocations thing, for young people, at the parish tonight but with the amount of homework I have, I won't be able to make it.

Alright, well, I actually still A LOT to do before tomorrow. I don't know when I'll be able to write the next blog because my week is insane. My Oceanography final is this coming weekend, I have a math assessment test on Thursday (trying to test into a specific class), my English Lit midterm is coming up and have loads of papers to re-write for it, my History of World Religions class has its midterm (a paper) due soon... AHHH! lol. I need to remember to breathe sometimes. :D

I've taken enough of your time. :D I hope everyone had a great weekend! As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Friday, October 17, 2008

Checkin' In; My Poor Hair; Check this Out!

Just checkin' in here. Sorry it's taken me a while. School's been crazy these last couple of days -- Philosophy of Logic midterm exam (passed!), Shakespeare skit for English Lit class (done!), assignments for History of World Religions, and two papers, one assignment, and one test for Oceanography for this weekend. Lots of reading and memorizing. I did get extensions on some classes because of the fires (schools were closed for two days) but I want to do everything on the original due date because I want to have a social life sooner than later. lol. :D No time for much fun at the moment.

One thing I did get a chance to do yesterday was get my hair cut. Boy, do I regret letting the new lady cut my hair. I said "No Bangs" maybe 4 times while I was there. What happened? She gave me bangs... and cut like an inch higher on one side than the other. She did not listen to anything I asked her to do. My hair looks atrocious. I'm so bummed that it looks that bad. I just have to keep reminding myself that it's just hair and that it'll grow out. For now, bobby pins and ponytails will be my best friends. *sigh* Oh well, that's what happens.

One more thing before I go (so much due this weekend!). I recently got contacted by an author about a book that's being released in the near future. I got to see previews of it and it looks really good! The book is called "Hear My Voice" (A Children's Translation of the Gospel Readings of the Catholic Mass for 2009) and you can check it out here. I will be reviewing it as soon as I get my copy of the book (which will hopefully mean around tomorrow/beginning of next week); as soon as I have free time to do so. :D

Alright, I need to go eat a little more (still hungry -- it's 9 a.m.!) and then study for all that's due tonight and Sunday. Fingers crossed I can handle all of that without anxiety. *crosses fingers*

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless!

Monday, October 13, 2008

L.A. is Burning; Confession Confessions

Ladies and gentlemen, the San Fernando Valley part of Los Angeles is burning! There was a fire to the northeast and not there's one to the north/northwest part. I was wondering what smelled funky (like burnt toast with something else) when I woke up at 5 in the morning and on the way to English Lit I saw that it was because of the fire. When I got out of class, I noticed ANOTHER fire had started north of us. I took this picture closer to my house. It's the eeriest thing to see the closer you get. Please pray that those who have their homes near the mountains are able to get out safely! And please pray for those who can't breathe due to the smoke in the air (I had issues on the way to school). Here is news on the first fire, you can see more pictures here and on the second fire which is closer to my house.

EDIT: If you live near the fires (either Lakeview Terrance or in Porter Ranch) and need to evacuated with your large animals like horses, you can take them to Pierce College in Woodland Hills. Cal State Northridge University and L.A. Mission College are closed.

Moving on...

I had a VERY interesting experience at confessions on Saturday. I was waiting for an HOUR to get confessed because there was an unusually high number of people there. I think the Lord wanted me to wait it out (I usually don't if the lines are that long) because this older woman started talking to me about her experiences. I asked her if she was in line to confess and she said she wasn't. She then told me that she'd gone in hopes to confess but since it had been several years since she last confessed. I sat in one pew and she sat behind me and we started talking about that. I tried my hardest to convince her to confess and brought up the point of how important it is because, what if you die with a mortal or venial sin? We spent maybe 20 minutes talking. She told me her story and all. Finally, when I went to the second line (the bilingual priest is faster), she got the courage to get in line with me and she confessed!! She went before me because, as she said, she didn't want to back out again. She later came by and said her goodbyes, giving me a hug and a kiss on the cheek "for everything". That made me feel happy! I'm so glad she went through it! :D Then an older man stood behind me and talked about how he hadn't been to that parish in 40 years (!!!) and we talked a bit about that and about confession. I've NEVER had that happen to me. Has any one? It was a very interesting, but very wonderful experience. :D

Alright, that's it for now. I know, so short! Go on and do a little happy dance! Haha. :D Hope everyone has a good week this week. As always, thanks for reading and God Bless.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Just For Fun.

I thought I'd share this for fun... and because I have no time to write a long blog. lol. Hey, count your blessings! I've been writing a lot lately. :D

The Road Trip of Your Life

You see companionship and loyalty as what's most important in life.

You live life at a fairly leisurely pace. You take time to enjoy the sweeter parts of life, even when you're busy.

You don't like a lot of risk or randomness in your life. You prefer to stick with what's known, even if it's a bit boring.

You are able to find a fairly healthy balance between work and play. You work when you need to, but you never let yourself burn out.

In another life, you could have been a great artist. You trust your creative instincts enough to let them lead you.

What the House Test Says About You

You are happy with who you are, and you don't have an inflated sense of self importance. You do your own thing quietly. You don't take up a lot of space.

You aren't against being community oriented, but it's not really your thing. You tend to prefer to focus on your family and not the neighborhood around you.

You are creative, expressive, and bright. You are always in the middle of some amazing project.

You take good care of your physical appearance. You dress well, stay in shape, and do your best to look great.

You are moved by romance and love. You are optimistic about people, and you love hearing about happy endings.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I'm Brave... or Insane; Darn Economy: State School vs. (Private) Catholic School

I'm either very, very brave... or I've finally lost my mind. Either way I'm good. lol. I'm (hopefully) going to audition for this huge international folk dance concert my school is holding for the holidays. Auditions are a week and a half from today. I don't know why but I just said "Oh, I want to do it!" when I heard about it a couple of days ago. They will be doing dances from: Africa, America (Hip-Hop), Arabia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Egypt, Georgia, India, Israel, Mexico, Persia, Philippines, Romania, Serbia and Sicily. Take a wild guess which one I'm doing. Seriously... guess. lol. I could've done the hip-hop but really, I'm not too comfortable with it. I decided to do the Mexican folk dance because, hello, I'm of Mexican heritage. lol. That and I learned how to do some of the dances when I was younger. I haven't done it in a long time but I remember how they go. In case you don't know what a Mexican folk dance is (also called folklorico) here's a video of what I think we'll do... since the Jarabe Tapatio is the most recognized.

It requires A LOT of rapid footwork, think like tap dancing... but not tap dancing. The dance is a cardio work out in itself so I'm going to have to start running, or at least jogging, these next couple of days to be physically ready for it. It's only a couple of minutes worth of dancing but it's exhausting if you're not used to it. But, I'm excited. Even if I don't get to be a part of it, it'll be a great experience... and another thing I've conquered. :D

Moving on...

I have a bit of a dilemma. The economy is getting worse and worse and I'm at a crossroads of what to do when it comes to my education. I'm fine at the moment because community colleges are not expensive. Next year, though, I will be done with my lower division requirements so I won't be able to attend a CC. I could get an A.A. degree but I want my B.A. degree. I COULD go to a state school (like UCLA), save money (because the state owes me -- big) and basically not pay much for tuition. Problem is, they don't have Catholic courses I'd want to take. I would have to learn about different religions. With a scholarship, I wouldn't have to pay anything. Or I could continue at the private, Catholic college where I am a student, though I'm not currently attending. Problem there is that it's $32,000+ a YEAR. I have 2 years left so that would mean that, not counting the scholarship I have there, I would have to get a loan for about $20,000 per year until I'm done. I've taken care of tuition and expenses since I started college. My mom will help me out with textbooks when my financial aid arrives late but I always pay her back. I don't know what to do for the next 2 years. I really need Fr. Leo and Fr. Stan to give me some advice. I have no idea how the economy will be in 2 years when I graduate.

It's funny. If I would've started college right after I graduated high school, and if my father would've never gotten cancer both my senior year of high school and early last year, I would've been done with my degree last year when the economy started to tumble a bit. I firmly believe that there's a reason why it's taken me this long to finish my degree. Maybe, though it's taking me (what feels like) forever, it's actually better for me in the long run. I'm not stressing over it. I know God has something in store for me, I just have to be patient and stick it out until things get resolved. Hopefully I'll figure out what to do before I have to make a firm decision as to where I'll be attending next Fall.

Alright, well, I've written a lot today so I think I should stop. I also have a History of World Religions assignment due tonight so I should probably go finish that. I did half of the work last night so now I just to have read about China and Japan's religions... do some compare and contrast and I'll be done.

Didn't I say I was going to stop? lol. Okay. I will. Thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

It's Fall? Nooo.; (Great!) Anxiety Update; Be Like a Child.

It's definitely NOT Fall in Southern California. At least not in my neck of the woods. When I was on my way home from English Lit, the sign read 99 degrees Fahrenheit. It's slightly cooler where I live (campus is in a different suburb/district) but it's still well over 90 degrees. When my group rehearsed for our upcoming Shakespeare skit, we had to seek shade after about 2 minutes in the sun... it's that unbearable. We had to look for a shade before we could continue with our plan to make the entire class laugh. :D

And while I'm on the topic of the skit... I'm SO EXCITED for it. Again, not just because we get to dress up one of the guys as a girl. (It's gonna take a lot for me not to laugh the way we have it planned. lol.) :D A few months ago I would've dreaded doing this and would've probably done all I could to get out of it. Not so much now. I truly think St. Dymphna has really interceded for me in a big way. That and the Lord showed His mercy on me, after all those times I would ask Him in mid-panic attack (while sobbing) to help me understand why I would get that sick. At the beginning of the year, until probably around mid-late July, anything would trigger a panic attack. It was very bad. I'd say it's the worst time I've had since I first started getting the symptoms (when I was 15). When I started cognitive-behavioral therapy, my anxiety actually got a bit worse before it got better, mainly because I had to talk about things that upset me and it would just make me more anxious. But I'm extremely grateful I had to do it all. I'm also blessed to have a therapist who's Catholic because when I mention things like the importance of going to Mass, or praying to St. Dymphna for her intercession, she gets it. I'm so happy that I'm able to do a lot of things, including travel, that I couldn't because of my anxiety. I'm able to stand in front of people and don't freak out. It's amazing. I've been truly blessed. I won't say more because I've already written much about it. You can read more about it and about St. Dymphna (including prayers to her) in an earlier post I wrote. For the record, I keep bringing this topic up because I know a lot of people who land on my blog do so because they're looking for information regarding Catholicism and anxiety. I hope I've helped those who come in search of answers. :D

Another way I've been able to keep myself from going nutty (so much homework, not enough time. lol) is being more child like. I'm taking St. Therese of Lisieux's advice. I'm doing these little things that I hope the Lord will appreciate. I've also reverted to my pre-anxiety self -- all silly and goofy. I've gotten to the point where I see absolutely no reason why I should stress over little things I used to wig out about. I've started singing and dancing around my room and the living room, like I used to when I was younger. It's the way I shake stress off. I'm not being childish but I'm just doing simple little things that make me happy. And from that happiness, I get more excited about praying and about my faith. It all works out. :D

Alright, well, I'm going to do precisely what I just said... I'm going to sing and dance in a completely dorky/silly way to get some of the stress out. I have a lot due today so I need to get happy before I can proceed. :D

I hope y'all are having a good week... and aren't in the same hot weather as I am. Oy. lol. As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

On the Day of Our Lady of the Rosary...

As I've often written, I am a BIG fan of the Rosary. In fact, I count Rosaries as one of the best gifts someone can give me. One of the best presents I've gotten this year? An emerald bead Rosary. :D I carry one with me wherever I go. Whenever I'm feeling overwhelmed -- emotionally or physically -- I can always count on feeling like a huge weight is lifted by simply praying the Rosary. Though I am feeling exhausted and I have a lot to do today, I'm going to take time out to pray the Rosary twice today. From this day on that will be a personal goal of mine; to pray the Rosary once in the morning and once at night every day no matter what I have going on. (side note: I sometimes pray the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy after the Rosary as well.) It will help me concentrate on my faith and take the focus off myself and my problems (it's so easy to go down the selfish, "woe is me" path when you're stressed and sick). So that is what I'm going do. I'm going to finish my email rounds, log off, pray the Rosary, and then study.

I hope everyone will take time off to pray the Rosary at least once today. :D And, if you need a Rosary, you can always make one... there's the Rosary Army website that will show you how. They also have a podcast and other things on the site. :D

But, before I go... I'd like to share this video I found on youtube of Dame Vera Lynn singing "The Rosary". I was looking for the Perry Como version of the song because it's the one I usually listen to but couldn't find it. Oh well. At least Dame Vera does a beautiful rendition of it! :D

Oh, and before I forget... in regards to yesterday's blog: I went to the optometrist and the problem has been solved! WHOO! :D

Alright, I'm off to finish emails and then spend time with one of my Rosaries. :D I hope everyone will have/has/had a great day. :D As always, thanks for reading and God Bless.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Changes on Blog; Register to Vote!

Semi-quick blog tonight because I have an appointment at the optometrist. My eyes are getting worse. I can't even see properly with either glasses or contacts anymore. I made it through an hour and about 10 minutes (leaving a bit early) of my English Lit class because my head and eyes were seriously aching. On the bright side, my group's pretty much ready for the presentation in that classes; we just have to rehearse. Is it bad that I'm looking forward to dressing up one of the guys in the group as a girl? Hey, it's Shakespeare and it's historically accurate (not to mention hilarious). Teehee. lol.

I changed the blog template as well as removed some widgets. I also added some new links and things. After 10 months of the same thing, I needed to change it a bit. I'll hopefully personalize (change) the template even more when I have time to work on it. I think the simplicity of this new one. Whoo! :D

I do not normally discuss politics because I try to avoid conflict and arguments. I will say that I am about to change my political party. I registered (on the day of my 18th birth date, no less) as a Democrat because both of my parents are Democrats. Of course, since coming back to the Church and really learning about the Dems and the Republicans, I decided I needed to change my affiliation. Man, a lot of change going on today, eh? lol. Anyway, I've decided to register as not having a political party. Yes, you can do that. Well, at least in California you can. I don't agree with much of the liberal points of the view in the Democratic party, but I also dislike some Republican points of view (especially when it comes to discrimination against illegal immigrants -- don't get me started on that topic!). Remaining neutral is best. When it comes to nominating the NEXT candidate for president in another 4 years, I might re-register if I feel strongly about a candidate.

One more thing... I stumbled on this video of Eduardo Verastegui urging voters to make the right decision this coming presidential election. It's in Spanish but it has subtitles for those of you who don't speak or understand Spanish. (Thank goodness my parents raised me bilingual!)

Makes you think, doesn't it? I'm going to get A LOT of grief from some of my friends for what I just posted but I needed to. I don't even want to think what they'd say if they knew how I was voting on the California Prop 8. If you know about the proposition, it doesn't take much to guess how I'm voting. I have some friends who aren't Catholic, or even Christian, so we don't see eye to eye on issues like these. In fact, I've lost two close friends because I'm against things (like birth control and abortion) that they are in favor of. Yes, seriously.

And... funny thing, I received this in the mail while writing the blog. (Love the coincidence.) :D
From Journey of a Catholic Nerd Writer

Alright, well I must go. Keep your fingers crossed that my eyesight won't stay this crummy... or get worse! Nope, I'm gonna be optimistic. :D As always, thanks for reading and God Bless.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Palpitations and Pains in Church; Golden Crucifix Dream.

Man, I've had one doozy of a weekend. When I went to confessions yesterday, my heart kept beating as though it was going to jump out of my chest. It calmed down when I confessed but when I went to kneel in front of the tabernacle, it started right up again. I was trying to say the Act of Contrition and then say the amount of prayers Fr. Juan had given me but I just couldn't concentrate. My heart was beating with so much force that the St. Jude medallion (which I wear on a chain) was actually bouncing off my shirt. That's never happened and it was quite scary. I closed my eyes and said "Lord, if this is the work of the enemy trying to keep me from praying, please help me." I managed to calm down and concentrated after that.

Today, I went to Mass by myself (mom's battling a painful toothache and dad simply didn't "feel like going"). I was fine until I started getting these chest pains over my heart. I ignored the first one but when the second and third came I worried and left Mass. They were about to start with the Eucharist too. :( I was seriously scared because the pains burned. I only got about 5 pains before it stopped though. Still, I got home and I cried. After the ordeal I went through last year, I've remained very nervous about my heart. I think (and hope) it was maybe some heartburn or something. I'd eaten some hot (chili) chicken in the morning and then took a nap an hour and a half later. I woke up with my stomach all acid-y so I think that that's what triggered the burning chest pains. I haven't had any pains since, thank goodness. To be honest, I think I cried mostly because I left Mass early. I was scared about the pains but didn't get a panic attack or anything like that. Hopefully I won't get a repeat of it again.

I don't know what's going on but I think I'm definitely in for a fight. I haven't been praying as much as I used to -- either I run out of time or forget. I didn't go to Mass for two weekends (I was sick in bed the first week and had that midterm last Sunday) and confession for 3 weeks. That was also a first. I usually go to confession once a week... or at least once every 2 weeks. It's been that way for nearly 2 years now. I had to leave Mass early the last time I went, and again today. My parents have started refusing to go to Church with me. Oh, I'm definitely in for a battle but I'm not going to give up on these things! At least I'm still having my wonderful dreams.

A few nights ago I had this dream that I was left at the altar, in my wedding dress, by someone I cared about in real life a while ago. Anyway, I was really upset in the dream and then I found this golden crucifix. It somehow appeared in my hand, wrapped in a silk handkerchief. I was so happy to see it that I kissed it because I knew that it was a sign of comfort... and then woke up. I told a friend of mine about this and he said, "Well, maybe the golden Crucifix means that Jesus is always there. Gold is precious, so even though things go to custard, as you could say, Jesus is still there. So Jesus is your treasure." I think he's right. Lately I've been feeling just horrible at home and the lack of communications between my friends and I is starting to take its toll on me. I think that I just have to remember that I'll always have the love of God, and our beautiful Blessed Mother; especially when I don't feel it from anyone else. The dream was definitely a reminder of that... and that's such a comforting thought to have. :D I hope everyone remembers that when they're feeling down.

Alright, well, I have to work on some schoolwork. Yeah, it's a never-ending cycle of critical analysis and research papers. lol. I hope everyone had a great weekend!

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

Saturday, October 4, 2008

I Can Finally Breathe!; Patron Saints; Bon Voyage... But Where To?

I finally feel like I can breathe after weeks of being swamped with so much homework. Whoo!! :D The heaviest parts were finished yesterday. I have to write myself a note not to overload myself like this again. I haven't had time to go get my hair cut. I haven't gone out with my friends in ages. I'm very much a homebody. I mean, I was a homebody before but now I can't even go out if I wanted to. Well, no, I CAN go out but I choose not to because that will only lead to more stress and who wants that? I'm perfectly content staying at home, studying, because I know I will get killer grades at the end of the semester if I keep it up. :) One of my courses, the dreaded Oceanography class, ends in 3 weeks (wow, so fast!) and then I have 3 classes for the remainder of the semester. Say it with me... WHOOOOOO!!! lol. I truly hope that those of you in school are doing well so far. :D

Of course, I owe a lot of my calm nerves to the patron saints of students (St. Joseph of Cupertino and St. Thomas Aquinas) and of course, St. Dymphna (patroness of anxiety). I'm happy to say that the anxiety has been practically gone in the past couple of weeks, perhaps last 2 months. I asked a friend of mine if it was possible to have too many patron saints, and he didn't know so... hmm. I'm still wondering. No one's been able to give me a straight answer yet. I can't pick a patron saint. I have three main saints: St. Jude Thaddeus, St. Dymphna, and Our Blessed Mother. How can I pick when they've done so much for me? I should probably ask one of the priests -- the priest I get -- when I go sometime soon. I still have to go and talk to one of them. I have a lot on my mind. I have so many questions and am in dire need of the kind of advice I think a priest would answer the best. Is it weird that I love having conversations with priests? Seriously, if I could on a daily basis, I would!

Oh... A few months ago, my mother surprised me by saying that as soon as my anxiety had simmered down and as soon as I could prove that I can handle traveling, she'd be willing to pay for a vacation anywhere I'd like to go. I've already gone out of the country but not too far away from home. Everyone's pretty much banking (slang word for: betting on a sure deal) on me going to England. Two years ago, England felt more like my home than my actual home here in California. I have so many wonderful memories from that time in my life. I became addicted to tea during that time; an addiction I still have. lol. I have friends in London and up in Manchester so I wouldn't be by myself while in England. Maybe I'll skip the trip and save up the money for something else in the future. With the way the economy is going, it might be wiser to just save up. We'll see.

Alright, I am going to go shut my eyes for a little while because my eyes hurt and they've gotten worse on a daily basis. I think I need new prescription for my glasses/contacts because I feel better without them on... even though I'm pretty much as blind as a bat without them. lol. I think a prayer to St. Lucy is in order.

Oh, and before I go... I still have plans on writing about St. Therese of Lisieux AND about the golden crucifix dream but I am going to wait until (hopefully) tomorrow because I want to add more to it. :D

I'm going to leave y'all with a video I came across youtube of my favorite scene of "The Bells of St. Mary's". Enjoy! As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D


Friday, October 3, 2008

Thank you St. Joseph of Cupertino and St. Thomas Aquinas!

I'm in shock, but BEYOND ecstatic! Ladies and gentlemen... I've passed my Oceanography midterm exam! Yes, seriously! I was 2 points from an A as well. I'm truly shocked! I didn't think I would pass the exam because I was so out of it and I didn't even finish the essays because I was so stressed out. But I passed. Thank you, Prof. Dewart! And, a big, huge special thank you to St. Joseph of Cupertino (patron saint of exams/test takers) and St. Thomas Aquinas (patron saint of students). I asked for their intercessions. Really, I asked for at least a low C but they completely came through for me. My confidence just shot through the roof! I was honestly dreading not passing my Oceanography class (which would be a first for me; I'm sort of a nerd, lol) because it's the most intense but I'm so confident that I'll pass it now! :D I feel like doing a cartwheel but I still kind of crummy from the second cold (yes, it's officially the second one) so I'll wait until I get better to celebrate. :D

Oh, and I wanted to share the prayers I said to both saints in case any of you want to use them in the future for your studies and exams.

St. Joseph of Cupertino
O St. Joseph of Cupertino who by your prayer obtained from God to be asked at your examination, the only preposition you knew. Grant that I may like you succeed in the (here mention the name of Examination eg. History paper I ) examination.
In return I promise to make you known and cause you to be invoked.
O St. Joseph of Cupertino pray for me
O Holy Ghost enlighten me
Our Lady of Good Studies pray for me
Sacred Head of Jesus, Seat of divine wisdom, enlighten me.

St. Thomas Aquinas
Creator of all things,
true source of light and wisdom,
origin of all being,
graciously let a ray of your light penetrate
the darkness of my understanding.
Take from me the double darkness
in which I have been born,
an obscurity of sin and ignorance.
Give me a keen understanding,
a retentive memory, and
the ability to grasp things
correctly and fundamentally.
Grant me the talent
of being exact in my explanations
and the ability to express myself
with thoroughness and charm.
Point out the beginning,
direct the progress,
and help in the completion.
I ask this through Christ our Lord.

Alright, I have a World's Great Religions assignment to finish... then finish this week's Oceanography assignment... then work on the English Lit critical analysis of "Wife of Bath" by Chaucer... etc. Yes, more school craziness for me. Hopefully next blog I'll be able to share this beautiful dream I had where that involved a golden crucifix I found. :D

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

P.S. Oh, also a big thank you to St. Therese of Lisieux as well. I had a very bad morning yesterday (health wise) and I prayed for her intercession -- ended up falling asleep and woke up so much better. Have I mentioned how much I love her and her story? That will also be coming up soon. :D

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Quick Update; Thank you St. Christopher!

Hey guys. Sorry for yet another brief message because I'm a busy little bee. I have FINALLY caught up with all my schoolwork... but I decided to do extra work (extra credit is awesome!) so back to the books for me. But just letting you, I will hopefully have a full blog tomorrow. I have a lot of exciting news that involves this blog as well as one of my little sisters' website. :D

Anyway, also wanted to give a THANK YOU to St. Christopher. Someone told me he was the patron saint of athletes/sports. I know someone else is but I forgot who so I asked St. Christopher to PLEASE help Steven Gerrard (Liverpool captain) make his 100th goal during today's game... and he did like 2 seconds after I asked. So, thank you St. Christopher! :D

Alright, I need to get back to doing my things... after a nap. I think I'm getting a cold again. Ugh! Blame the crazy Southern California weather we've been having lately. 99 degrees Fahrenheit? Seriously? eesh.

Hope everyone's well. As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D