Friday, February 20, 2009

Quick Update from Homeworkland

Just a quick update because I am swamped with homework. Three days behind schedule will do that to you.

I've spent the past two days in bed. Well, two and a half. I even missed class on Wednesday due to my first migraine ever. The headache had been building up and not even two Advil tabs were helping. I slept most of Wednesday (due to throbbing headache that made me feel like crumbs) and maybe half of yesterday. I was up only long enough to take more Advil for pain (different sort of pain) and to watch movies with my guy. Haven't been able to eat today, I am literally forcing myself to eat, which is not good because I always feel worse when I don't eat. Ugh. I'll be fine... I'll be fine...

Anyway, due to my being bed for a few days, I am BEHIND on my homework. *groan* Luckily, if I start feeling better today, I will be able to knock out most of the work before bedtime. I'm a fast reader and an even faster writer, thank goodness for that. My goal is to finish everything in time to enjoy my road trip tomorrow, and possible trip to the CU meeting tomorrow. I hope I make it but, at this point, your guess is as good as mine as to whether I'll be able to make it.

I hope to write a blog in the near future -- when I don't have the homework monster breathing down my neck. I have something to say on the whole this with Nancy Pelosi, who apparently took NOTHING Papa Bene said to her to heart. Seriously, Pelosi, you FAIL at being a true Catholic and I don't know how you can call yourself a real one.

I also have something to say that hit closer to home -- a fellow student being called a "fascist b*****d" by a professor at a Los Angeles Community College. Why is this closer to home? Because I'm a student within the LACC right now. Granted, I'm not at the same campus where this particular situation happened, but the rules are applied to all the LACC campuses. This is going to affect me in a BIG way, as I am a Catholic who won't shy away from a "fight" with professors... especially in Philosophy courses. The outcome of this thing will either censor me or will allow me my right to the First Amendment (Freedom of Speech) without consequences. *sigh* I wish I had my acceptance/rejection letter from UBC already.

Alright, I'm going back to Homeworkland. Homeworkland, the place where a kid (or a student) can get the life sucked out of them. Yay. lol.

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

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Best Valentine's Day Ever!; Prayers for Baby John Paul.

I had the BEST Valentine's Day EVER yesterday. No, it was the BEST DAY I've had in a looong time. :D It started with me submitting my dream university application and ended up with the song "Falling in Love At a Coffee Shop" by Landon Pigg summing up my evening.

I bit the bullet and finally sent it (and paid for) the applications to my dream university. I thought it was entirely appropriate that I did on Valentine's Day, as a gift to myself. Now I just have to submit some transcripts, along with other paperwork, and hope and pray for the best. :D I am really, very excited about the whole thing. It definitely set the tone for the rest of the day, as well. :D

Originally, I was supposed to go to the Catholic Underground RED dance but had to cancel those plans on Friday because of some little problems I came across. I was also supposed to go apartment hunting with a good friend, but her roommate got in a car accident so the plans were scratched last minute. This is actually how my day started. I decided to do my applications while all of this happened, which is when things looked up for me. After my mom got out from work, we did some shopping (I really needed some things from Target).

I won't say much about the evening because I am determined to keep that as private as I can, but I will say that I truly believe the Lord had a hand in what happened. Me missing the dance, staying home, seeing someone and feeling the way I felt -- it all makes sense. And it makes me incredibly happy because not only did I fall in love BUT all of this is going to bring me closer to the Lord! :D Seriously, BEST DAY EVER! And all of this is still making me happy -- despite feeling physically crummy.

So, while I am still talking about love, let me just say that I still view Valentine's Day the same way I did prior to yesterday's events. I will share with you exactly what I wrote for my Speech class:

"It's funny that people often think it's a holiday made up by the card and chocolate industry when in fact it's originally a Christian feast day honoring the life of Saint Valentine. I won't go into a whole story on him, because as both a Catholic and Religious Studies major I could, but the gist is that when he was alive, St. Valentine would marry Christian couples... when it was against the law to do so. Ironically, it's St. Raphael Archangel, not St. Valentine, who is the patron saint of finding love. St. Valentine is the patron saint of those already married and/or have found their soul mates.

Personally, I don't buy into the whole cards-candy-flowers-hearts aspect of the day. I definitely do think the day's been exploited and used for profit, which is sad. If you truly love someone, you should be able to show it every day. If a guy, or girl, wants to show their significant other their affection in a special way, then all the power to them. I think it's sweet that they do that... especially if they're otherwise less affectionate throughout the year. If I were to choose to celebrate the day like most people (with cards and sweets), I'd probably include my family and friends as well. Who said that Valentine's Day is exclusively for lovers? Can't there be any familial and platonic love as well?"

I forgot to add that we should also thank God for bringing love in our lives. Think about it... even if you're single, you still have His love, along with your parents' and friends' love. And I would to add that I'm not as cynical as I sounded in what I wrote. Trust, I am a hopeless romantic. There was something that the professor wrote that triggered how I responded to his questions.

Oh, and here's a cute video about love and marriage... from a child's perspective.

Haha, ah, kids. :D And speaking of children...

I recently read an article about the parents of baby John Paul Hauser asking for prayers and the intercession of his namesake, the late Pope John Paul II. Baby JP was born with a rare disorder and the doctors aren't giving him a good prognostic. I urge you all to pray for this baby. I don't personally know the Hausers but I can't bear to think of a baby's life being taken from him without doing something about it. Prayer might not seem like much, but it's something we can all do for him. Please, Pope John Paul II, help baby JP beat the odds! For the prayer, please go to the article. It's located at the bottom.

Alright, that's all I have energy for at the moment. I am missing Mass (again...) because of how crummy I feel. I think I'm gonna go lie down a little and see if it doesn't help. :)

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

Friday, February 13, 2009

Another Update: Great News; Things to Come.

Another quick update because I want to get through my Speech coursework before the end of the day. It's due tomorrow but I want to turn it in tonight. :D

Great news in regards to my thyroid ultrasound reports: I am in the clear! I said a little prayer to St. Blaise while I was on the phone, hoping someone had made a cancellation, and they found an appointment the next day (yesterday). I was happy because I wouldn't have to wait longer to get my results. So, the gist of the situation is this: Apparently, the technician, or whoever decided to ask them to call me to go in sooner than later, made a big mistake. They didn't know (or just didn't bother to check my charts) that I already knew I had a slightly enlarged lymph node. For a newly diagnosed person, it usually means that they need to go in for a biopsy to make sure it isn't cancerous. I already knew this, and had had a biopsy done in November 2007. Anyway, they stressed me out over nothing. My doctor apologized for the mix-up. She said I was perfectly healthy (I had all the tests done last month) and that I didn't need to go back to see her for another 6 months to a year. WHOO! A sincere thank you to all of you who prayed for me. I'm positive that it was the prayers that kept me optimistic, sane, and (most importantly) anxiety free until I got the good news. :D

As I said, I won't be able to write a full post yet (so much homework the first week of school!), but I will soon. Some things I want to eventually get to are:
- Real Meaning of St. Valentine's Day vs Secular celebrations
- Baby in need of prayers/intercession of the late Pope John Paul II
- Christian discrimination case in England
- Twilight book saga/series review (this will probably be an entire post itself)
- Review of the biographies of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, written by his sister.
- etc.

I promise I won't overwhelm you all with all of that in a single post. These things are accumulating because of my busy week. Hopefully I'll be able to write quite a bit this weekend. The Twilight thing will have to wait until the first book is returned to me -- my bro is borrowing it. Oops, I just outed you. lol. Hey, I didn't say which of my brothers. :-P

Anyway, I hope everyone had a great week! As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Monday, February 9, 2009

Quick Update: Back to School; Scary News.

Just a quick update because I started my classes today and I have 2 online courses to get through today. Yikes.

First day of school was a success in terms of anxiety. I said a little prayer to St. Dymphna before I went to the campus and I did well. Actually, this was the most successful first day of school since I was maybe 12 years old. Haha. I'm serious. :D I had no anxiety. I think I'm going to really enjoy my courses (though I'm a little iffy on my Ethics course 'cause we won't study what I was looking forward to learning). My professors seem very cool, so far. The only two things that put a damper on the day were the rain (and snow nearby; photos coming soon) and I got a sort of scary/nerve wrecking phone call between my classes.

I got a phone call from the doctor's office that I need to go in, sooner than expected (which was April), for my thyroid ultrasound results. They told me that if something was wrong, I'd get the call... and I got the call. Unfortunately, they are all booked up so I will be calling every day to see if there's any cancellations. I won't lie, I'm really scared that it's something serious... but I'm grateful that, if it is, it was caught. I don't think it's something too bad (or so I'm telling myself) because my thyroid bloodwork came back normal. I am hoping that maybe the lymph node that was already a little big just got bigger (but not too serious) or that they just want me to get a biopsy done. That or the technician messed up and I need to get it re-done. Either way, I'm trying to stay optimistic. Still, if y'all can say a little prayer for me, I'd greatly appreciate it. Maybe to St. Blaise? I should've gotten my throat blessed last week, darn it. lol.

Alright, well I have to go check into my Philosophy of World Religions class, so gtg. Hopefully I'll be able to write tomorrow... or at least soon. :D As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Romantic Temptations; Baby!

I was thinking about something last night while I tried (unsuccessfully) to fall asleep. I came to the realization that I've had many temptations put in front of me in the past couple of weeks -- more so in the last week. I'll be completely honest -- it's taken A LOT of inner strength and will power not to fall for them. Most of them are centered around one particular subject: Love and Relationships.

In front of me has been placed a handsome young man who is successful, monetarily well off, charismatic, talented, and (on paper) is someone those close to me would like to see me end up with. If I were incredibly shallow and wrote down everything I looked for in a guy (solely based on looks) he'd probably be as close to being my "perfect guy" as anyone could get. He and I have a lot in common as well (down to our birthdays being so close, we could probably have a joint party if we wanted to). I did everything I could to not fall for his charm for the past 3-4 years but lately he's been more charming and more appealing than usual and it's gotten to me -- but not entirely. As I said, on paper he seems like the right guy but when you get past all of that, it's not so good. If I were to give into the temptation of ever having some sort of relationship with him, I would have even more temptations to deal with. To quote a Jamie Cullum song, he "can't even separate love from lust." He's very physical and I am not at all. I'm a hug machine but there's where it ends. lol. Trust me, many guys have tried to see how far they could push me and all have failed because I don't let them pressure/bully me into anything. He also has some vices that will eventually catch up with him and that's a scary thought. As much as I like his personality (his sense of humor almost mirrors mine and we have similar temperaments), I don't like the extra stuff. All of this got me thinking about something. A lot of things that aren't good for you are usually presented to you in a pretty package.

He has to be one of the most handsome men I've ever seen (so much so that I think to myself "Why on earth would he ever look at someone like me?"), but it's all a fa├žade. Underneath his good looks and his charisma is someone who is in some serious trouble. He's strayed so far, it would take a lot of get him back to where he should be. I bet many of you young women have encountered a guy like this at one point or another in your lives. It makes me sad to think about him like this, but that's the reality of it. I'm glad that I've been able to recognize all of this because it makes fighting off the temptation even easier. I still have moments where it seems so easy to stray "just a little..." but even that thought is dangerous to have. I am lucky enough to be able to snap out of it quickly. To allow yourself to "test" yourself around the temptation is dangerous (have I used that word enough?). Thankfully, I've had enough experiences with romantic temptations to know what my limits are and what to do when I am in these situations. I wonder if this is why St. Benedict of Nursia has been popping up in my dreams so often lately. After all, he's one of the patron saints against temptations.

You guys have no need to worry about me in regards to giving into these kinds of temptations. I've already resolved that if any man wants to have a relationship with me, he must have one with God first. My claddagh promise ring will stay on my ring finger until it's replaced with a ring from a guy worthy of a place in my heart. I just wanted to share this with y'all so that you guys know that you're not alone when it comes to these things. Moving on and away from such a heavy topic...

Can I say just how EXCITED I am that my friend Melissa is pregnant with her first child?! Of course, I was the last to find out because I've stunk at keeping up with everyone on Facebook lately. lol. Still, I'm so happy for her. :D She was my best friend when she still lived here in Southern California. I still remember the last time we hung out, the weekend before she got married. I miss her terribly! She's such a great girl! When my paternal grandmother passed away, she was the only one who knew and didn't tell me (at the request of my mother who wanted to be the one to break it to me). When she found out I was told, she drove to my favorite diner, bought me my favorite cookies, and brought them over with a movie and a card. I was incredibly grateful towards her for it. Another friend like her, you won't find. Anyway, congrats to her and her husband! :D

Oh, and while I'm in a celebrating mood... LIVERPOOL WON! Oh, Fernando Torres, you are a BEAUTIFUL man! lol. I think I screamed REALLY loudly when he scored the winning goal. Haha. Though I don't mention my love of Liverpool F.C. as much as I did when I first started my blog, it doesn't mean I still don't love them. :D And on that happy note, I will conclude my post. :D I am going to chat with my little sister Delaney for a little while. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless.

P.S. Yes, that was me Rebecca was talking about in her blog. I am hopeless when it comes to shopping for dresses. Haha! :D

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Contest Over!, More to Come.

Just a quick post to let everyone that the contest is over! It was HARD because some of them were opposite of what you thought... but it's over. :D And now, the answers because I'm sure some of you are interested in this. lol.

- "Rusty Halo" by the Script -- Will
- "Rhapsody in Blue" by George Gershwin -- Lina
- "Flathead" by the Fratellis -- Will & Lina
- "Cold Shoulder" by Adele -- Will (this song belongs to someone close to Will in the novel)
- "Unconditional" by the Bravery -- Will
- "Take Five" by the Dave Brubeck Quartet -- Lina
- "California" by Rufus Wainwright -- Will & Lina
- "Merry Happy" by Kate Nash -- Will & Lina
- "Empire" by Kasabian -- Will
- "Take the 'A' Train" by Duke Ellington -- Lina
- "Whatever Lola Wants" by Sarah Vaughan and the Gotan Project -- Lina
- "Medley" by the Gipsy Kings -- Lina (relates to her family in the novel)
- "Relax Max" by Dinah Washington -- Lina
- "Modern Way" by the Kaiser Chiefs -- Will
- "Club Foot" by Kasabian -- Will & Lina
- "Night in Tunisia" by the Bud Powell Trio -- Lina
- "Believe" by Britt Nicole -- Lina
- "An Honest Mistake" by the Bravery -- Will
- "Mi Confession" by Gotan Project -- Will (tricky song)
- "Diferente" by Gotan Project -- Lina
- "Painter's Song" by Norah Jones -- Will & Lina (a few of you have a copy of this scene)
- "Summertime" by Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong -- Lina
- "Chaos" by Mute Math -- Will
- "Chasing Pavements" -- Lina
- "Breakeven" by the Script -- Will
- "OK" by Mute Math -- Will

There you have it. If you go to the playlist and see additional songs, those don't count because they weren't there when I opened the contest. If you won, you already know you won. lol. If you didn't win, don't worry. Part two is coming up in the near future. Again, this is the un-edited version of the novel. I have yet to edit it before I send it to get published. :D

Oh, and for those who asked, the full names of Will and Lina in the novel are William Alden and Catalina "Lina" Zamora. And, no, MY name isn't Catalina. I might've kept Will's real first name but my name changed for the novel, as did our surnames. :D

I will also be holding DVD AND Book contests on two separate feast days for saints. These contest and the prizes will be based on the particular saint being honored. :D That's it for now. I need to go dance around the living room, like the total nerd that I am... because I need the exercise. lol.

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Spring Semester!; RED Benefit Dance for Catholic Underground

Come on, Spring semester... hurray up! I am bored and I need some mental stimulation, even if it's me trying to cram knowledge into my brain before an exam. Luckily, I go back to school next Monday. The downside is that my first class, English, starts at 7:30 a.m.... which means I have to be up at 6:30 a.m. twice a week. *groan* I am used to going to sleep at 2-3 a.m. and waking up between 9 and 11 a.m. so this is going to be a challenge for me. Today was my first attempt at sleeping and getting up early. I went to sleep at midnight and woke up at 7:10 a.m. Granted, the only reason for this was because The Secret of Roan Inish (one of my favorite movies) was aired at 8 a.m... but it's a start. :D I'm so tired right now but I am making myself skip a nap so that I am hopefully tired by 10-11 p.m. tonight. By the way, if you think a 7:30 a.m. college class is nuts, I took a 6:30 a.m. English class my entire freshman year of college. The entire school year. Yes, seriously. If you don't believe me, I think they still offer the same class at Santa Monica College (my alma mater); you can go check it for yourself. lol.

Regardless of the time issues, I am actually looking forward to this semester -- mainly because it's my last semester of lower division classes. Technically, I'm done with lower division (except for 2 classes) and have enough credits to be a junior but since I'm at a junior college at the moment (because of financial aid issues I had with the Catholic college I'm at), I can't take upper division courses. I'm taking two Philosophy courses as my electives. My Spring schedule is as follows:
- English
- Philosophy: Ethics
- Philosophy of World Religions
- Speech: Critical Thinking (Persuasion and Argumentation)

Heavy load, isn't it? Glutton for punishment, anyone? lol. (Oh, and yes, I'm aware that they are in alphabetical order. Trust me, I had no idea that was the order my classes would be in. lol.) I need English and Speech so no way out of those. Just like there was no way out of Math and Science courses I've already taken. *shudders* lol. As for the Philosophy courses, well, I AM a Religious Studies major so these are good electives to take. I'm pretty sure my Ethics course will be required at my Catholic college... if I decide to continue attending it... so I'm good there. :D I am sure I will be taking part in some debates in my Ethics course. I fully intend to quote St. Thomas Aquinas, as well as Aristotle. Good thing I'm taking the Speech class that will prepare me for that, because I dislike arguing with a passion. Seriously. If I can avoid it, I will go out of my way to make sure it doesn't happen. Oh well, we'll see how it goes. I've already met one of my classmates when I went to purchase my textbooks. Fun. :D

Something I'm looking forward to more than school (yes, I'm well aware I'm weird for that)... the RED Benefit Dance for the Catholic Underground. It's being held on Valentine's Day at St. Victor's in West Hollywood. Modestia and Catholic in Film School blogger extraordinaire, Rebecca, will be one of the people attending it. I need to go dress shopping this weekend because, just like her, my only red dress is not suited for dancing. Although I am going stag to the dance, I still intend to dance and have fun. :D If you're in Southern California, especially the L.A. area, it would be a great alternative to all those crowded meat markets (a.k.a. clubs) on Valentine's Day. Just think about it... and remember that it's for a good cause. If you go, please make sure to say hi. You know, if you know who I am. If you don't, just ask around and I'm sure you'll eventually find me. lol. If you want more information on the event, please go to Catholic Underground (L.A.)'s website.

Alrighty, well, I should probably go do something productive -- like exercise, blech -- before it gets any later. That and I want to give you guys a break from my uber long posts. lol. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Most Beautiful, and Weird, Day Ever!; Spanish Mass Conquered!

I am having, by far, the most beautiful (and super weird -- in a good way) day ever! I actually just got home from a Spanish Mass... which I went to by myself! Oh yeah... I'm getting braver! :D See, I woke up early to watch the Liverpool vs. Chelsea game (Liverpool WON! WHOO!) so that meant I could go to the English Mass without problem. Little did I know that my breakfast would get my mom and I sick. When it came time to go to the English Mass at my parish, I couldn't go. I was nauseous, my head throbbed, and I felt super fatigued. I told my dad that I would see if I felt better "in a little bit" so that I could still try to go to Mass. I ended up falling asleep and woke up an hour and a half ago. By this time, the last English Mass was half done. It would take us 15 minutes to get there so no use. I decided to give the Spanish Mass a try. I asked dad to drive me to the local parish (where I usually go to confessions) and he said alright. He didn't tell me he would just drop me off until it was too late. I got a little nervous because not only was this the first time I'd go to a Mass by myself without someone nearby in case my anxiety struck, it was the dreaded Spanish Mass which gets full beyond capacity. I called mom and let her know I would stick it out... and I DID! I was (and am) so proud of myself! :D I had virtually no anxiety; just a couple of seconds of "Can I do this?" I had this absolutely beautiful moment while I was there, too.

Since I was all the way in the back, I was the first person in line to walk up to receive communion. I had this moment where I felt like I was a bride walking up to my groom. Not only that, I felt like a blushing bride... and felt my cheeks getting warm, too. lol. I honestly, for a split second, thought "I'm going up to see my groom." It was the WEIRDEST and most beautiful feeling in the world. I had other things that happened during this time, but I want to talk to one of the priests I know first to get their take on it. Let me just say, it was an amazing and beautiful experience. So, I received Eucharist, and since I was on this beautiful high, I got the courage to try the wine. It was my first time doing that (at least since around my first communion) as well. Why I haven't had the altar wine in years... long story that includes the words "allergic reaction". What can I say... I was being brave. :D I'm not used to it so it burned my throat a little, but, man, it was so worth it. I felt complete. :D At the end of Mass, I felt happier than I've felt in a long time. *content sigh* Dad tried to make me re-think going to Mass because I was "sick" but I kept telling myself... "No, I belong in the house of the Lord. I HAVE TO be there today!" Nearly a month of missing Mass is horrible and I wasn't going to risk not going again today. I am so happy that I not only lasted throughout the entire Mass, by myself, but that I made myself stick it out. :D Si se puede, indeed!

Before all of this, I woke up from a wonderful dream. This is where all the weird parts of my day are coming forth. I dreamt I was talking to the only brother I've never met. My mother had a child over a decade before I was born. He died when he was only 11 months old. He and I have many similarities, I've always felt close to him... even though I've never met him. I've briefly mentioned some things about him in a previous post. Anyway, in the dream I had a whole conversation with him. It was weird, but very lovely. He said that he was looking out for me and that everything I did and said, he heard and saw. "After all, you're my sister" was something he said (I'm paraphrasing though). I remember I couldn't figure out whether to call him my little brother, or my big brother -- because he went to heaven as a baby, but he was born in the early 70s and I was born in the mid 80s. He seemed to think that was funny. He told me about some earthquake that would happen here "at least a 5.0" and that I should be ready for it. I have earthquake dreams often so I didn't really think twice about it. Then he said something about taking care of mom, and I decided to grab my things because of the upcoming earthquake. He showed me (I don't remember how) a holy card of St. Catherine of Sweden and said it was for mom. Then a holy card of a male saint whose name started with an R (don't remember the name, just the image on it) was left for me and it was implied that it was meant for me. Then the earthquake struck, I ran out of the house to this mini van where he apparently was waiting. Then I woke up... to the lights flickering on and off in my room. It only happened in my room, too. Mom was in another room and they didn't do that where she was. And to make sure I wasn't going crazy (haha!), we checked the digital cable box and saw that the power had indeed flickered on and off (with the To Be Announced sign on all the channel -- which happens when the power goes out). That was weird.

A little weirder still, I told my mom about the dream. We don't know much about St. Catherine of Sweden so I decided to look her up on my iPod. (Thank goodness for google search and wifi). I read my mom St. Catherine's story and my mom said "Wait... I'm 4th of 8 children too!" -- just like St. Catherine. I didn't know this! My mom was adopted as a child so I didn't know all this. Another coincidence, St. Catherine of Sweden is the patroness against miscarriages and abortions -- loss of children. So that was really weird, but cool. I put all this in the back of my mind and went to Mass, only thinking about making it through the Mass. Then Fr. Alexander starting speaking and with his homily came a name I wasn't expecting -- Moses. My brother, the one who I dreamt of last night, was named Moises (the Spanish version of the name). What weird, crazy coincidences. Nonetheless, these coincidences made me happy and made me feel like I belonged at Church today. :D

And to add to all of this: the female protagonist in my novel is named Catalina (aka Lina) which is the Spanish version of Catherine... AND Sweden is mentioned in the first paragraph of the novel. WHOO! :D

So, as you can see, I'm having a VERY weird (full of coincidences) but beautiful day. :D It's making up for yesterday when I had to miss my little adopted sister's play. :( (P.S. Trust me, De, I tried to make myself go but when it got to the point where I was literally going to faint, the plans were scrapped.)

Alright, well, I think that's enough babbling for today. :D I hope I didn't bore y'all with what's going on with me. :D I hope everyone is having (or had) a great weekend! As always, thanks for reading and God Bless. :D