Friday, January 30, 2009

England Bound?; Papa Bene and the 'Net; Missing Mass, Faith.

See? I'm keeping my promise of another post today. :D I'm sort of in an extremely giddy mood which I'm trying to contain. No one wants it to spill into the post. lol. I'm just really happy because I got to see both of my Godmothers (my Baptism Godmother and my First Communion Godmother/God sister) as well as my God brother. (ed. note: If you're not familiar with the terminology... God sister is the daughter of your Godmother, God brother is the son of your Godmother). I love them all and it's sad I only get to see them like once a year. But still, the fact that I saw them... and that they support my decision to finish my B.A. degree outside the U.S. made me even happier.

Speaking of studying outside the U.S... A few days ago I received a package from Bath Spa University in Bath, England. I had completely forgotten about that school (which I was originally going to attend almost 3 years ago) until I received the package. I guess they really want to me to attend school out there. It's now a new option for me, and it's making my decision as to where I'll transfer to a little more interesting. I honestly feel more at home out there than I do here but I've got a lot of other things to consider. I have another school (my dream school) I am applying to this coming next month. If I get accepted there... I'll be over the moon. I've been dreaming about attending this university for years now. It's in Canada, so I can always fly back home during breaks without much problem. I won't say what university it is (yet) because I'm weird like that. :D I hope that the next time I mention this school I'll have good news. If you guys can please pray that the Holy Spirit helps me figure out where I'm supposed to finish my degree, that would be awesome. As I said, I have my dream school... but if the Lord doesn't want me there, I won't go. Fingers crossed it's Up North. ;) If not, England or staying here won't be too bad. :D Ah, decisions, decisions...

One easy decision, though, is subscribing to Papa Bene's YouTube account! (P.S. I don't mean to disrespect Pope Benedict XVI by calling him Papa Bene, it's just a term of endearment I have for him... just like "JP2 We Love You"). Before I took my mini-sabbatical from the 'net (well, computer), I subscribed to his/the Vatican's channel. I think it's amazing that he's doing this. :D I kind of makes me giggle (yes, I giggle. lol) a little that this came a couple of days after I wrote my post about Catholicism and Technology. I might have to edit it (when I have time) and add all these news things. I love that Papa Bene understands that the 'net is a great way to proclaim our faith. Yes, it has its fall backs as well, but think of all the good things we can do on here. :D As he said, we can use Facebook, XT3, YouTube, GodTube (which is apparently changing its name soon), our own blogs, websites, etc. to really connect with other Catholics around the world. If you want to read Papa Bene's entire message regarding Catholicism and Technology, please click here. It's a little long but well worth it! I truly hope that he's able to do a lot of good with his new ways of communicating. There are a lot of confusions (*cough*and brainwashing*cough*) that's spread out in the World Wide Web and hopefully more and more young people return to the Church.

And, speaking of returning to the Church, I am about to return myself! I haven't gone to Mass in the past 3 weeks. I haven't even gone to confessions in over a month and a half either. The reasons why, in a nutshell, were anxiety one week, stomach issues another, and cold induced pain the last week. :( I HATE HATE HATE being away from the Church. I absolutely abhor it with every fiber of my being. And I hated that I felt myself being pulled away, as well. It's the most uncomfortable thing in the world to be in that situation -- loving the Church and knowing what is wrong and right, and being tempted to rebel against some things. I won't say that I didn't slip up a little bit, because I did. I'm not perfect but I can try to live my life as faithfully as I can, which is what I try to do. Again, we all make mistakes and I'm happy to say that I didn't (and still don't) feel good about the mistakes I made. At least that means that I didn't stray and like it. Imagine if I did... *shudders* I'm in the process of finishing both books on Blessed Pier Giorgio to hopefully get myself in the right mind frame again. They are. :D

Before I end this blog, I will now like to clarify a few things. I know some of you guys follow me on Twitter. Though I took a break from the 'net, I did update it through my iPod so that no one worries about how I'm doing. (I have amazing friends who will go nutty if I don't check in with them on an almost daily basis). A couple of updates mentioned Will, either by name or it was implied that it was him. The whole thing about him picking me up, throwing me over his shoulder, and dragging me away from a book was strictly business and for the novel. Any mentions of him from now on (though I believe there will be no more) are purely for the novel. A decision was made that having him in my life is no longer healthy for me and everything that was on twitter was just some loose ends that needed to be tied, as well as some things that needed to be done for the novel. I still love the guy for everything he did for me and I no absolutely NO ill will towards him. I just got to the point where I had to decide what was more important for me: my faith and love of God, or someone who will always be fondly thought of for everything he did for me. This will not affect anything in the novel because, remember, it's not completely autobiographical and the ending was always going to be different from the real one. This also doesn't mean Will and Lina will end up together at the end. You'll just have to wait and read. :D

Alright, I think I should give your poor eyes a break. :D I will hopefully have a busy day tomorrow, like I did today, so I should try to get as much rest as I am able to get. :D

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

Thursday, January 29, 2009

See? I'm Alive. :D

Hey guys! Sorry, it's taken me so long to update. I won't have a full update until (hopefully) tomorrow evening. I've had such a crazy hectic week, I haven't gotten on the computer in a week... and I haven't even been eating properly. Thankfully, since it's a little over a week before I have to go back to school, things will slow down for me now. :D

To give y'all a sneak peak at what I'll be writing about in the next post:
- Pope Benedict XVI and YouTube/Social Networks/technology
- Novel Update
- Someone coming into my room, throwing me over their shoulder (so you know he's strong because I'm 5'7" and at a healthy weight, lol), and dragging me away from something...
- Missed Masses and Confessions
- London calling / Possible England move this Fall?

It seems like a lot but I will try to condense that information as much as I can.

In the near future, I'll also give my review of the Twilight saga/book series. Yes, I caved and read the books. And, I read all 4 books in about a total of 4-5 days which is impressive (even for me) considering how long the books were (anywhere between 500+ and 750+ pages each). I won't even mention the day after I finished the last book which I spent completely emotionally wrecked. It'll all make sense in my review, I promise. :D I have A LOT to say about them.

Also, I went to the doctor's today (as I do every year for blood work) and everything came back normal. I'm healthy and that's just making everything that much better.

Okay, so, now you know. I will HOPEFULLY have a post tomorrow night... before 8 p.m. (PST) if I can since I might have something to do later.

Hope everyone's had a wonderful week. :D As always, thanks for reading and God Bless.

P.S. No one's even close to winning the contest... and I might be changing it a bit so hang on tight. :D

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Freedom!!!; Eve of St. Agnes and the Knowing Future; No Winner Yet!

"... but you will never take my freedom!" Alright, so I'm paraphrasing that quote but whatever. I am happy (ECSTATIC!) that I've finally been given the "okay" by my therapist to drive! You guys have NO CLUE how long I've been waiting for this moment! I know how to drive (very slowly, but still) but had to wait to get the okay to re-start the whole process to get my license. I couldn't before because the DMV had the right to refuse me a license while I had no control of how I would control my anxiety. My therapist said I'd made huge progress in the last couple of months, and a solo outing this past Tuesday pretty much sealed the deal, I was given the "okay" to go for it. *does happy dance* You don't know what a pain it is to have people drive you everywhere. Whenever I don't feel like going out, my chauffeur (aka dad) would want to go out. When I was feeling fantastic and wanted to get out, he'd refuse. Hopefully this new development will allow me to regain the independence I once had. I'm not going to go crazy, but it'll be nice to be able to get out when I'm feeling up for it. Being trapped in the house eventually makes you batty. I speak from experience. lol. And, hey, now I can go to confessions and Mass without having dad get upset with me (because he was missing a football [soccer] match). Of course, I have no idea when I'll finally get my license but the fact that I now can is super exciting. :D

Alright, so, the feast day for St. Agnes was yesterday but I still wanted to mention it because I'm very curious about something. Did any young women do the whole ritual on the eve of her feast day? I know this particular thing was famously mentioned in one of John Keats' narrative poems, so I was wondering if anyone actually did it. I was contemplating doing it, just for kicks and out of curiosity, but I didn't for two reasons. First, because it's a superstition and superstitions are frowned upon in the Church. Do I want to go to confession and admit to doing this? Not so much. Second, I got to thinking -- if it was true and it did work, WOULD I want to know who my future husband is? If I had the chance to know something about my future, would I take it? I kept thinking of that last question and applied it to everything in general. I came to the conclusions that, no, I would NOT want to know anything about the future. Maybe it's the adventurous side in me (yes, I do have one. lol) that doesn't want anything spoiled.

There's something beautiful about not knowing exactly what God has in store for you. I used to get very frustrated with not knowing what would happen. I (thankfully) outgrew that way of looking at things. I think a lot of people do have that within them though, especially with how grim everything in the world is looking. Everything happens for a reason. If you go through a tragedy or an illness, there's a reason behind it. I don't see these things as punishments for doing something wrong/bad. They're just things that happen to make you see/realize something you'd been missing. For example, me and my constant issues with anxiety. On the downside: I've missed a lot of things because of it. I graduated from high school a year and a half before I was supposed to, yet I'm not done with college yet. Upside: I've changed who I was for the better. MUCH better. There were a lot of negative aspects of myself that I had and I've been able to eliminate through the illness. I've also been able to see who my real friends were, which has my life a lot sunnier and less dramatic.

I had one "friend" resorted to bad mouthing me to anyone who would listen, a few years ago. Granted, I probably deserved a portion of what she said because part of what she said was true (see, I can own up to my part in that problem) but the lengths she went to were a bit extreme. To have someone you thought you trusted do such a thing to you, well... you can just imagine. Regardless what she did to me, I've long forgiven her for it. I'm actually extremely grateful that she did this (okay, well not EXTREMELY, but pretty close, lol) because it showed me that I was strong enough to handle something like this. I didn't know I was capable of letting things go, not holding any grudges, and having the courage to not retaliate. If this had happened a few years ago, I would've put up a fight. Oh yeah, I was that feisty/defensive. But since getting sick, I've realized that it isn't the way to go. There's so much hate and anger in this world, I don't want to contribute to that. (All of this will be in the novel, trust me.)

So, y'all see why I wouldn't want to know about what the future has in store for me? If I hadn't gone through what I went through, and if I had known what the outcome would've been... I would have NEVER really grown up and changed. (However, if you did the St. Agnes thing, please let me know. I'm curious about this. lol).

Alright, so, before I go I have to say that NO ONE HAS WON YET! No one's been able to successfully figure out. I will give ONE away because it's one of the hardest ones. Kasabian's "Club Foot" is common ground. Both Will and I love that song (basically, for the same reason/memory), and it's also a turning point for both characters in the novel. No one thinks I'd like that song... but you do now. lol. I'm also upping the "prize". The first 3 chapters of the novel for the winner. Good luck! :D

I've written a novel on here, haven't I? Well, I guess I'll shut up and stop typing now. :D Hope everyone has had a great week so far! As always, thanks for reading and God Bless!

Oh, P.S. if you're following my Twitter -- fever finally broke after 48 hours with it going up and down... and I'm feeling fantastic now. Thanks for your prayers!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

And... Break!; Atheist Buses; Novel Playlist.

While I am missing Mass for the second week in a row (haven't been feeling well for a few days now), I am going to try to distract myself, and avoid tearing up at the prospect of not being at Church, by writing a new blog post. Not thinking about not going to Mass... and not receiving Eucharist. Not thinking about how I haven't gone to confessions in 2 weeks. Not thinking about how horrible I feel when I'm not at Church. Nope, not thinking about it... *mumbles something about 'Stupid Whatever-is-Making-Me-Feel Sick' feeling*

So... I took a week to update. I've been so busy lately, I haven't even been on the computer much. I usually check my messages through my iPod touch throughout the day. Been mainly reading and writing (and distracting myself from the fact that I feel absolutely horrible -- though not because of anxiety.) I did see the thing about the Atheist (or Agnostic) bus ads that are being seen in different European cities. I first saw this on the mobile version of the Catholic News Agency. Are they serious?! Who's the Einstein who came up with these? Well, I know who but... *shakes head* What is this world coming to? I would definitely not get on a bus that had those ads... even if it was late at night... and it was pouring and freezing cold. And I was happy to hear that a Christian bus driver refused to drive one. Rock on!

I seriously don't get these people. First they criticize Catholics, Christians, and other religions groups for supporting things they believe in (such as pro-life)... supposedly "attacking" others while they (liberals) do nothing to provoke those attacks... and then they come out with these things? Hypocritical, aren't we? Before I get into a full blown rant (trust me, this isn't even close to one, lol), I will say that I hope there is some sort of protest or boycott of those things until the ads are removed. I'm well aware that Europe is increasingly apathetic when it comes to religion, but come on! (/mini rant.)

Anyway, moving away from something I will get very passionate about to another thing I'm passionate about...

Inspiration has hit me and, man, I haven't been able to stop coming up with new ideas. Not only that, I've gotten a little braver and decided to add a few more personal experiences. Luckily, the trip I mentioned in the last post is part of the research for the ending of the novel. Well, I HAVE the ending... I just need to visit this actual city so I can write it properly. You can't research the feeling of being in a particular place without having visited it. I'm sure Will and I will have a lot fun on the trip... though it's strictly business... pffft. lol. ;D

I am going to give you a guys a sneak peek of the novel... by sharing the (not even close to being complete) soundtrack. The entire thing is random because included are songs which are mentioned in the novel, songs that set the tone/mood for certain chapters, and songs that represent Lina (or are my favorites, therefore are Lina's favorites since she's based off of me) and/or Will (favorites of the real life person). Can you guess which are his and which are hers/mine?... which are common ground?

By the way, PLEASE skip over The Bravery's "Honest Mistake". It has the F word in it (but only once and it is used instead of "mess up"). Sorry but it had to be included in the playlist. I don't normally listen to songs like this but a) it's his music and I can't take away from who he is/was and b) it plays a vital part in it (the turning point for one of the characters). Not, the novel won't mention the 'F' word in the song. It'll all make sense when you're able to read it. Trust me on this. You might also not like The Fratellis' "Flathead" either. I'm just warning y'all.

Get a playlist!
Standalone player
Get Ringtones

I'll make a contest out of this. If you can correctly guess which songs belong to Lina, which belong to Will, and which are "common ground", I'll send you two chapters of the novel. I'm serious. You can either leave me a message on here or email me. :D

Alright, I think that's enough for now. Hope everyone had a great week/weekend. As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Summer, Already?; Princess Diaries series; Upcoming Plans.

It's summer! Wait... no, it's not! Well, it certainly feels like summer in Los Angeles. It's currently 81 degrees (Fahrenheit). It will be in the lower 80s, upper 70s for the next couple of days. That means I won't be indoors too much. I love this kind of weather. My ideal temperature is around 74 degrees with a slight breeze. It's a bit windy for it to be my ideal but it's not far off.

Unfortunately, this is also what we call earthquake weather. We actually already had one a few days ago. It wasn't too major (just a 5.0 on the Richter scale) but it was enough to spook people. I personally didn't feel it because I was standing at the time it happened, but I did see the chandelier in the kitchen sway. I'm so glad I didn't feel it, though I tend to feel rather brave during earthquakes. Seriously. I have a "take charge/make sure everything's in order" attitude when there's a crisis or something major going on... but not when there's nothing going on. *shrugs* I'm a weird one.

Anyway, not much going on with me the last couple of days... which is why there hasn't been an update. I've been reading, writing, watching movies, and am about to spend some time with my leading man (the one in the novel) because I only have a few more weeks left of Winter break. I should get everything sorted by the time I start the Spring semester. I don't want to go back to school without not having worked on Will because he's going to be the character that will be the most difficult to write.

And speaking of characters and books, I have FINALLY read the last book in the Princess Diaries series. Go ahead and laugh if you must. Yes, I've read (and collected) every book in the series. I started reading them when I was still a teenager and it's taken me nearly a decade to be done with them (only because the final book was just released). I started reading them when I was a teenager and finished at nearly 24 years-old. Scary! The books started off pretty tame but this last one... wow. NOT something I'd recommend my little sister to read (so please don't, Delaney!), or, really, anyone under 18. I don't even want my other younger sister, DJ, who's 19, to read them. The books got more and more adult as the series progressed. I'm sure it's no big deal to those who are liberal but to those who are conservative, or even moderate-conservative (as I am), will have issues with certain things that are brought up in the books. Catholics will DEFINITELY dislike these books for the casual mention of different types of birth control, premarital sex (and quite a bit of that), and other things. The only reasons why I continued reading the books, 'til the end, was because I'd already invested so much money and time into the books that I wanted to see how it ended. Also, I owe Meg Cabot (the author) a lot. I met her a few years ago and she was very nice. She sent me a letter a day (or two) after I met her, which really changed my confidence and outlook -- for the better. Doesn't mean I agree with what happened with the characters and with certain scenes. It's definitely not pro-abstinence, that's for sure. It also makes me sad... if it's an actual representation of how teenagers are, and what they think now-a-days. I also know what NOT to write in my novel. Not that I ever would, but now I have a better, clearer vision when it comes to what I'm writing.

Anyway, I won't keep boring you guys any longer so I have a few things to say. If things come up -- either with me or with something important that needs to be written about concerning Catholicism -- I will definitely write often. If not, the posts will be a bit irregular for the next couple of weeks. Not only am I going to working on my novel, I will also be making travel plans. Corey and Liam from the Irish Fireside are coming to Los Angeles and I've already made sure I will be able to meet up with them (by securing a ride since I don't have my license). I will also (hopefully) meet up with Rebecca from Modestia and Catholic in Film School in the next couple of weeks for a few Catholic events. Fingers crossed for that. After that, I start school... but not before I make some serious plans for traveling abroad during Spring Break. I won't say where I'm going BUT I will say that quite a number of readers are from that country. :D So, now y'all know just in case I go long periods without an update. :D

Oh, btw, a BIG thank you to God Fanboy for the sweet shout out he left me on his blog. Seriously, THANK YOU! It makes me happy to know that others actually enjoy this blog. :D

Okay, well, I guess that's it. :D I am going to enjoy the rest of the summer-like day with my British leading gentleman. What I can I say, I'm a sucker for accents. Haha! As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Don't Forget to Watch!

Just a reminder that Jonathan Stampf, who was kind enough to send me a copy of his Hear My Voice book for review (click here to read it), will be interviewed live on "This is the Day" on Catholic TV, tomorrow (Friday) morning. If your cable/satellite provider doesn't carry the channel, you can always go to the Catholic TV website to watch it. The show will start at 10:30 a.m. EST, 7:30 a.m. PST. That means I'm getting up at 7 to watch it. :D Good luck tomorrow, Jonathan!

Now, I am going to take a nap (been up since the wee hours of the morning with anxiety) and then continue my movie marathon. (Note to self: Get the Good News DVD. I love June Allyson and Peter Lawford together. :D).

God Bless!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Anxiety Update; Optimism; Saint Dreams, Part... I Lost Count Again.

Anxiety has been down for the past couple of days! Whoo! I was even able to make it to Mass on Sunday and receive the Eucharist. The only issue I had was with the cold weather and the incense inside the Church. The cold caused me a bit of pain (which is why I've had to stay indoors since Sunday afternoon) and the incense made me very lightheaded. I stuck it out, though... even when I was going to get the Eucharist and I felt like my knees were going to to give in under me (that's how lightheaded I felt). But, all is good! :D

I've been trying to stay the eternal optimist I am throughout this whole thing... and through some issues I'm having with a certain family member/the lectures I've received about donating. :D I'm not going to sit here and throw myself a pity party, complete with a solo using the world's smallest violin. I knew, in the stages of planning, that this family member would be upset with me because "we need food and money, too" (his words, not mine). I cannot NOT give, though. I know I don't have loads of money or resources, and that I want to give more than I can, which (on top of the snide remarks and lectures) causes a bit of stress and bums me out. I was trying to find a way to say how I'm placing my faith in God (knowing He will somehow help me help others), without sounding redundant, but Matt beat me to it. He wrote a great post on his Fallible Blogma site that, well, it's like he read my mind. You're not reading my mind, right, Matt? lol. Go read the article he wrote and you'll see what I mean.

If you've read my blog long enough, you know that I have saint dreams on an almost daily basis. Multiple saints, the Child Jesus, St Teresa of Avila, St Benedict (many of him), Our Lady of Lourdes, and St. Bernadette have been some of the dreams I've written about. I've had more than just these dreams. I've even dreamt about the end of the world where I go through Purgatory. Anyway, I've had a couple of good ones lately so I thought I might share. (I know a couple of the priests I personally know get a kick out of them).

A few weeks ago, I had a dream about Feast of Santa Lucia (St. Lucy). There are different European traditions/celebrations of this feast day, but I dreamt of the Swedish tradition. I ended up somewhere, in a white tent with a bunch of cute, little blond girls with wreaths on their heads, and white gowns. I remember I was the only brunette in the bunch and they were yelling at me to hurry up and get dressed because I was the one who would walk with the candle lit on my head. So I got into a white robe, my hair had two braids that resembled the breads that they prepare during this time. Then the wreath with the white candles was placed on my head. They also gave me candies to put into my pockets. As I was about to walk out of the tent, ready, I woke up. What's funny about this is that I had NO CLUE that it was a Swedish tradition. I'd heard about this before but thought it was done everywhere. Makes sense that I would dream about little blond girls dressed like St. Lucy then. lol.

I also had a chat with one of the saints who was a nun, I've forgotten who is was, in a dream. A few nights ago I dreamt of Bl. Pier Giorgio and his sister for a brief moment. I think I also had a chat with St. Raphael Archangel a few nights ago. I definitely saw him in it. I've had a few other saints appear but I've lost of track of whom. I'll have to write them down when I wake up.

I've had several dreams featuring St. Benedict, and it's usually me asking for his help because someone did witchcraft on someone else, or it's the devil's work, and I want to get rid of that. I've had quite a few of those in the past 2 weeks. The last two nights, especially last night/this morning, I've had some crazy dreams where I am fighting against the Satan himself. I think I had St. Teresa of Avila with me in last night's dream, as well as an angel -- though I am not sure if it was St. Michael Archangel. Outcome was good. Still, I have more than my fair share of dreams where I am fighting off evil with the help of a saint or two. It's not often that I wake up from a dream, to get a drink of water or something, and then go back to sleep... to continue the dream. This morning, that happened. I was fighting evil, woke up, went back to sleep, and continued it. Yesterday, it was St. Catherine of Siena who was helping me with my struggle against evil. Yeah, some pretty good saints to have with you, even if they were just dreams.

Okay, now, I've been writing long blog posts lately so I am stopping here. I probably won't write for a day or two because I've been sort of pressured/inspired by a friend to keep working on my novel (so close to being done, yet nowhere near being done, lol) so I will work on that. Hopefully next post I will share with y'all the soundtrack that goes with the novel/screenplay so that y'all can try to figure out the scenes and plot. I bet none of you will get it 100% though. :-P

As always, thanks for reading, and God Bless.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Catholicism and Technology.

I am in the middle of a panic attack (yay -- note the sarcasm) but I am still writing this entry because I need a distraction. It's part of a new resolution I forgot to mention yesterday. Anyway...

I'm a big geek (not the biggest but pretty big) and I love technology. It's a bit funny that I was the last of my friends to get a computer, or even the internet, and I'm the one that's telling them how to do certain things. lol. While we can't deny that it's a big part of our every day life, it seems that more and more people are getting so enthralled with the world wide web that they're forgetting about their prayer life. Trust me, I know first hand that this is true... says the girl who has too many tabs open on her browser. lol.

A Vatican aide, Fr. Federico Lombardi, spoke out on this topic a few weeks ago. He said, in a nutshell, that we're so wrapped up in our things -- cell phones, internet, etc. -- that we forget to take time out in our day to have silent prayer and/or meditation. This is also something Mark mentioned in the list of "Thing to Do/Not Do" when it came to anxiety. One of things he suggested was "Taking spiritual breaks and holidays, especially away from television and computer screens and other electronics. Spending time in front of the Blessed Sacrament more instead. Not watching television and films in the evening is a good one too – try reading instead." I think this is really important.

I've luckily found ways to help with this... and even merge the two. Oh yes, I have. :D First, you can always pray the Rosary. I've found this to be the easiest way to get back into prayer and silent reflection. Again, this is from my personal experience so results may very. Keep losing your Rosary beads or easily lose track of what Hail Mary you're on, and want to use technology? If you have an iPhone or iPod touch, you can download an application called "Holy Rosary" for $2.99. It's worth the money. That's what I've used on two occasions now. I prefer to use the actual beads in my hand but sometimes I can't find them or don't have them handy. That's when I've used this application. Out of the Rosary applications out there, this has been the best. It has all the prayers, as well as the readings AND pictures of that particular mystery. It also includes the Fatima prayer for those of you who say it after every decade *points to self*.

And while I'm on the topic of Catholic applications for iPod touches (and iPhones), there are a couple that I really recommend. First: the Catholic Calendar. It's free, you get the information for that day, and can even looks back (or forward) to see when holidays land and who the saint of the day is. It doesn't have saints every day, which is the only downside. But, did I mention it's free?

Second: The iBreviary. Wow, LOVE it. It's only 99 cents and it's really good. For this one, you'll need to have WiFi to download the readings and prayers for each day. If you don't, you can probably find WiFi somewhere... like your local Starbucks. I first heard of this application on Fallible Blogma a couple of weeks ago. This morning, Fr. Paolo Padrini left me a comment about advertising this application. He totally beat me to it because I'd always planned on talking about it. :D If you download this app (which I totally recommend!), you'll see that it's in Italian. Don't fear! You can change that. Just go to your Settings (for your iPhone or iPod touch), go down to the iBreviary and click it, and then click on the language to change to whatever you want yours to be. I haven't updated any of my apps because I don't have WiFi so mine has Italian, English, Spanish, French, Rite Ambrosiano, and Latin as the languages but I believe there's an update (or will be) with more languages and more options. If you want to read the message Fr. Paolo left me, click here and go to the bottom where the comments are.

I don't need to warn you from staying away from certain tv stations, do I? I don't think so. I have faith that y'all are smart enough to know what to avoid watching. If you do want to enjoy t.v. with Catholic programming, EWTN is a great place to watch shows and other Catholics things. I have the Spanish version (part of the Spanish package we have for my parents) of it because Time Warner makes us pay extra if we want the English version. Oh, if you speak Spanish AND have EWTN en Español, check out Fr. Alberto Cutié's program, called "Hablando Claro con el Padre Alberto". It's fantastic. I know Catholic TV is great as well, but it's not offered as widely at EWTN. You can look actually view those channels online as well. You just have to go to their websites. :D

A great place to find various Catholic podcasts, amongst other great things, is SQPN. I highly recommend Fr. Roderick's Daily Breakfast podcast. I've been listening to it since the end of 2007 and I love it. Catholic in a Small Town is funny too. You should go on over and check the entire site out. :D

I also recommend the XT3 website as well. There are a number of good, faithful Catholics on there. It started off as the official World Youth Day website but it's now expanded to being a place where Catholics can have great discussions and meet other like minded Catholics. If you're already on there, let me know. :D

There are plenty of Catholic website and blogs you can check out when you're on the web. I have a list on the left hand side in case you're ever in need of a particular thing. :D

I do have some things I am advising you to stay away. Stay far away from the whole Second Life thing. Please. Just say no to it. I've tried it and, while there are a surprising number of Catholics on there -- a few which get together to pray the Rosary in real time with each other, using their avatars -- and it's not to hard to avoid places which are completely disgusting, it's very easy to fall into or view things you'll end up going to confession for. You might not even look for it, but it'll come up. There a number of places which are actually quite nice -- developers have made virtual churches and spiritual places that exist in real life -- but don't get fooled by it. There's too much temptation on it. It's not worth it, especially with the weirdos on it. I downloaded it and deleted it in just a couple of hours. Stay away for this and similar things to this!

So, as you can see, there are a number of ways you can merge the two... but it's important to remember that is DOES do the mind, and soul, good to take breaks from technology. Why not go read a book on your favorite saint? Why not go take a walk and think about what great things the Lord has done for you? You can also go to a church and just sit and meditate in it. That's something I love to do. I go to my parish during the week and just sit there, by myself, in silence and pray or just reflect of things.

And with that, I will end this blog. I am going to go pray the Rosary and then try to finish one of the Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati books I bought myself for Christmas. Oh, and... hey! My anxiety's gone from when I started this blog. Isn't it great? :D

Alright, I will stop writing now. lol. I'll write about the saint dreams I've been having lately in the next post. Hope everyone had a great week! As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!; Resolutions.

Happy New Year, everyone! I hope everyone had an amazing time ringing in the new year, and that no one partied too hard. I was in my pajama pants, actually. lol. We stayed in (as did quite a number of my friends, surprisingly). The highlight of my night was when my parents decided to make a Miss C.N.W. sandwich out of me. First, my mom hugged... and then dad hugged me while my mom was hugging me, putting me in the middle. I don't think they've ever done that, so it was a lovely way to start the year. :D Oh, and it's been established that I'm the only one in the family who can actually wear the color yellow without looking sick or washed out. lol.

I went to sleep fairly early because I wanted to go to Mass this morning. I stayed up long enough to watch the beginning of the live Mass from the Vatican. How sweet was Pope Benedict XVI walking towards the altar? He would stop every time he saw a child to touch their little heads. Awww. It was so darling. :D I didn't watch the entire Mass because I didn't want to fall asleep at Mass. Unfortunately, I didn't end up making it. I woke up at 4:30 a.m. (only 3 hours of sleep) in pain, which was no picnic. Luckily, since I'd eaten before I went to bed, my stomach wasn't too empty and I was able to take medication (hooray for Advil) within a half hour and thus fall asleep an hour later. I still feel a little bit of pain but it's so much more tolerable than this morning. Don't worry about it, though. It's expected pain and I'm in a very happy, optimistic mood which isn't being spoiled. :D

Oh, and before I continue: I'd like to thank Corey and Liam from the Irish Fireside for the lovely shamrock Christmas ornament they sent me as a "thank you" for a contribution I made to their podcast. It's lovely. I got the package today, along with a note that I've officially been adopted by the Irish. Haha. Rock on! I highly recommend their podcast if you're a fan of Ireland or would like to one day visit Éire. I'm looking forward to meeting them in the very near future. :D

Anyway, since it is the New Year, I have some resolutions. Very simple resolutions. First, to learn to be more patient. I will admit I am not always the most patient person, especially when I have anxiety. I think that once I learn how to control my occasional impatience, it'll make a lot of difference in how I handle things like panic attacks. Second, I will try to exercise as often as I can. I HATE exercising. I am blessed enough to not have to exercise because of weight issues but I definitely think I need some serious exercising so that I will hopefully stop feeling so fatigued and lethargic. That and it will be good for my heart as well. :D Third, I will do my homework or work first and play (get online/watch tv/go out) later. I like to joke with my friend Dave that we're part of a Procrastination club which we will create... tomorrow. I'm a hardcore procrastinator and it's caused some stress this past semester. I wasn't always like this so, I'll have to work on getting back into my old habits of doing homework first and then treating myself to free time. That's about it. Like I said, real simple solutions.

Alright, well, I am going to rest a bit. I'm feeling a little warm and whatnot. To be fair, I'm all covered up and it's been in the 70s today in L.A. (awesome weather!) so... yeah. lol. Hope everyone had a great start to the year. And I REALLY hope that those of you who could go to Mass, actually went. It was a day of obligation!

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