7 Quick Takes Friday (The “I haven’t done this in 100 years” edition)

(For the original home of Quick Takes, check out Jen’s blog here!)

1.  Tomorrow the hubs and I are going to witness a friend’s priestly ordination! So excited…say a lot of prayers for him (his name’s Bob) – it’s such a wonderful time, but the priesthood is full of challenges, as well as joys.  🙂  Yay for more priests!

2.  Netflix Alert! Right now, today, go on Netflix Instant and find the BBC “Sherlock.”  Right now.  It’s amazing.  Right now.  So good.  It’s an updated version of Sherlock Holmes, and there’s only three episodes.  They’re filming a second season right now, which is pretty exciting.  Oh, it’s so good.  You’ll love it.  Trust me.

3.  It’s been raining pretty much  every day in Pittsburgh since the beginning of April.  It’s supposed to be nice this weekend, but in New Jersey, where we’re going, we’re…getting rain.

4.  I’m just now starting to read The Brothers Karamazov by Dostoyevsky.  It’s one of those books I’ve had forever and I tried to read a couple of times, but couldn’t get into it.  It seems to be sticking this time, though.  Have you had any books like that?

5.  Prayers are really appreciated for my mom! She had a biopsy done on a tumor she has on one of her facial nerves hat came back with inconclusive results, and now she has to have a tissue biopsy done.  Please pray it all works out for her (she is without a job & health insurance) and that we can start figuring out where to go from here! (And thanks for the prayers you’ve already said; they’ve definitely helped!)

6.  I had to:

7.  Have a great weekend! Happy Memorial Day to our soldiers and vets!

7 Quick-Takes Friday

For 7 Quick-Takes’ home-base, check out Jen’s blog here!

1.  This has been one of those weeks when I’ve been so stressed out and anxious that I forget my own name.  I’m one of those people who, even if there is very little to worry about, will go searching for things to worry about.  Horrible, right? It kinda goes like this: have you ever seen the movie “Office Space?” Remember the “Jump to Conclusions Map?”

Yeah.  I roll mine out pretty much every chance I get.  Let’s say something happens – it could be good, but it could be bad.  Either way, doesn’t matter.  I get all over it, basically looking for ways for it not to work for me.  I play out endless scenarios in my head,  start obsessing over it, and it’s all my poor husband can do to help keep me sane, all the while wondering what he ever did to deserve such a crazy wife.  I pray about it – well, mostly just pray to God to help me get out of these obsessive situations – until I’m physically and mentally exhausted and am too tired to care anymore.

Thaaaaaaaaaat was my week.  I basically got through the anxiety by praying St. Michael’s prayer a lot, listening to Nickelback (I know, I know) and the Five Blind Boys of Alabama, and finally getting myself back to yoga class (more on that later).

What are your favorite ways to relax and just get over being so crazy?

2.  But I did have a very serious thing happen, for real — my mom was diagnosed with a glandular tumor along her jawline. She’s had what she’s believed was Bell’s Palsy, which affected her facial movements, but had an MRI done two weeks ago that was confirmed yesterday that it’s not BP, but the tumor that’s resting on the facial muscles and causing her face, eye, and mouth to droop.  She’ll need to have surgery to remove the tumor, and it’ll be tested for malignancy.  It’s not the best situation, but it’s comforting to know what the real root cause of her problems have been so they can be treated.  We pray it’s not cancer, but if it is malignant, the doctor says it won’t spread much farther than the area it was already in, so that is a good thing.

3.  Back to yoga – I know there are folks out there who don’t believe Christians should do yoga because it’s of the Devil (or, at the very least, participating in another religion), but it’s not like that for me.  (I find that, as a Catholic, we’re a lot more forgiving of things like that, anyway, haha.)  It’s basically a physical thing, a way for my body to work through its anxiety issues and learn how to not breathe so shallowly and panic-like.

When I got to class this week, though, it was interesting: my instructor, a wonderful lady, told us that in certain poses, we have to “push down to go up,” so we can get grounded.  So if we’re going from a crouching position to a fully-standing one, we have to push through our feet in order to gain length.  And I just totally took that as a metaphor for my relationship with God: we have to go down to go up — humble ourselves in order to reach higher (where only He can take us).  I thought it was a neat analogy!  Plus, my body felt so good afterward…if you haven’t yet been to a hot yoga class, go — it feels amazing.

4.  My husband and I got engaged on a Friday during Lent (4 years ago, woah!), so we went to dinner at a seafood restaurant instead of the steakhouse he had originally planned to ask me to marry him in.  Today I’m making a vegetarian paella for dinner (recipe here) and hopefully having a couple of friends over.  What are your plans for dinner tonight?

(A quick aside: do you call dinner “dinner,” or do you call it “supper?”  I want to start calling “soda” “pop,” since that’s what Pittsburghers call it.  It sounds weird.  But if the “pop” thing works out, I’m totally down to start on “supper.”)

5.  Do you like punk/metal/alternative music from the 80s and 90s? If so, my friend Jay has probably photographed them in action, before they became famous.  He’s an excellent photographer, and we actually just recently got two photos (one of a pre-famous Kurt Cobain and of White Zombie) that I’m so excited to frame.  You can check out his photos here, if you’re interested in ordering a few!

6.  Time to play “Don’t Judge Me!” I may or may not have spent my evenings last week watching “Touched By an Angel” on the Hallmark Channel, only to switch over after that to HBO’s reruns of “Oz.”  I mean, you can’t have Heaven without the Hell…right? Because you can’t get more diametrically opposed than those two.



7.  Have an awesome week, guys!

7 Quick Takes (Friday)

(For the original 7 Quick Takes, check out Jen’s blog here!)

1.  So, trying to teach yourself how to sew…how can I put this?…sucks. It’s a really long and arduous process, made more difficult for me because I want to get everything 100% right the first time I do it.  I like forget that I have to do things like learn how to do things.  I don’t live in the Matrix — I can’t automatically get plugged into knowlege.  Although that’d be pretty sweet, right? I’d sit in the chair, lean back, get the plug inserted into my brain, upload “Sewing for Dummies,” and be all set.  Poof.  Scarf I tried to make DONE.

2.  A conversation at work, talking about the show “Intervention,” which my husband and I are ironically addicted to:

Kayla: I watch that show! One of the girls on it once was addicted to Prilosec.

Me: (quizzically) Prilosec? Like for heartburn?

Kayla: Yeah, it was crazy.  She couldn’t stop taking it.  Her mom was on it and would give her some, and then she got hooked, and it was just crazy.

Me: (after a few minutes) Wait.  Prilosec? Do you mean Percocet?


Kayla: Yeah! Percocet!

Intervention is the best show ever.

3.  Speaking of the best show ever, our Netflix DVD this week is the first season of The Wire. Everyone we know – and literally, everyone we know – who has seen it claims that it is the best TV series ever created, written, acted, conceived, etc.  So I’m excited about it.  Have you seen it? Good? Bad? Overhyped? Underrated? Let’s discuss.

4.  Book recommendation! The Science of Fear. Seriously – first good book I’ve read all year.  (Yeah, I know it’s February.  But it’s the end of February.)  It’s about why we fear the things we shouldn’t — and why we tend to ignore the things we should fear.  It’s a really good, easy read (no heavy scientific data-speak), and really interesting.  Check it out!

5.  So, Lent. What to give up/add to my life.  For the past few years now I’ve been praying both the morning and evening prayers in the Breviary, coupled the year before last with blogging the daily Scripture readings.  I think I’ll stick with the Breviary this year, but I’m also thinking of adding on visits to the local Adoration chapel a few times a week.  I just need more silence, I think.  I’m always surrounded by so much noise, so much distraction.  And we all know that it’s much harder to hear God when there’s too much other stuff crammed into your ears.  So we’ll see.

6.  I think if I had the choice, I’d be the patron saint of ulcers. Well, the co-patron; Job is the main man right now.  (And with good reason –  if I was a good and righteous man getting pretty much everything I love stripped from me for no discernible reason whatsoever, my stomach lining would be eating itself daily too.)  But it really sucks to have one! I was diagnosed last winter with it; and it seems to have been acting up these days.  If I was holy, it might look something like this:

But I’m not that holy, so it looks more like this:

7.  I can’t believe March is in just a few days…but that means Spring! Enjoy your week! 🙂

7 Quick Takes Friday

(For the home of 7 Quick Takes, check out Jen’s blog here! 🙂 )

7 Quick Takes Friday: The Shared-Link Edition!

(Every morning before work, I spend a half hour with my coffee and reading “my sites,” the blogs I head to for inspiration, humor, and all the good things life has to offer.  This week, I’m going to share 7 of my favorite places to be on the Internet.
Check out these sites for some great reads!)

1. Conversion Diary :  I forget how I first found Jen’s blog two years ago, but I haven’t missed a post since.  Her candid sharing of life as a convert to Catholicism (and as a mother of five children!) is inspiring, authentic, and extremely down to earth.  She covers a lot of spiritual topics, but always from a point of earnest curiosity, which is great.

2.  Enjoying the Small Things :  I first found Kelle’s blog by way of author Don Miller’s website, and was immediately drawn to her warmth, honesty, and brilliant talent as a photographer.  She fully opens her life to her readers; and as a mother to a one-year-old with Down’s Syndrome, her insights into the small joys of life are absolutely wonderful and completely heartwarming!

3.  This Recording : This is a fun, intelligent online magazine I found a while ago; and I love reading it.  The articles cover a variety of topics, ranging from art and literature to science and entertainment; and its fresh voice never fails to inspire me to learn more about the world I live in (or at least open my eyes to it a little more each day!).

4.  A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss :  Erika’s blog is nothing short of phenomenal.  Her posts on what foods are best for all of us are extremely insightful and educational.  I’ve learned more about how to avoid processed foods, what exactly make up a lot of the packaged foods we think are “good” for us, and some great recipes to help me find my way towards more “cleaner” eating.

5. Hyperbole & A Half  :  One word — hilarious.  I seriously cannot describe how funny this site is.  If you seriously need a belly laugh, look no further!

6. Ill Doctrine : Jay Smooth is one of my favorite people (even though I don’t know him personally or anything).  His video blog contains some of the most intelligent, logical, and amazing contributions to the discussions surrounding politics, hip-hop, pop-culture, and everything in between that I have ever read.  Check him out!

7.  Brazen Careerist : Brainchild of Penelope Trunk, this site is a must for folks wanting to learn how to move forward in their careers, giving good tips for how to look at work from a new perspective.

(Interestingly, five of the seven blogs were maintained and authored primarily by women.  Yay, us! We rock!)

Have a great weekend! 🙂

7 Quick Takes Friday

(For the original 7 Quick Takes, check out Jen’s blog here!)

1.   The Super Bowl is in two days! Go Steelers! We’re actually heading over to Philadelphia today (about a 5 hour drive) to visit my brother and brother-in-law and my sister-in-law; and although I love them so, so much, I would really hate for some weather-related event to keep us there until Sunday evening…because for a Pittsburgh fan, there is no worse fate (other than having to stay in Baltimore) than having to be in Philadelphia for a Steelers game.

2.  Or a hockey game, for that matter. Flyers fans are no joke, and to say they hate the Penguins fans is kind of an understatement.   I haven’t yet been, but I’ve heard that in Philly the Flyers fans throw around stuffed penguins with KNIVES in them around the arena.  Yikes.

3.  For absolutely no good reason whatsoever, I’ve been watching this on repeat before going to work every morning.  Ain’t nothing better to jam out to on the headphones at 5:45 a.m., I’m telling you.

4.  I missed yoga the last couple of weeks because I was sick, and returned to the studio on Monday.  Wow.  We could talk about being sore for a minute, but…that word won’t quite do.  But it also feels awesome, and I love it, and I’m sad that I have to wait until Monday to go again.  Although I bet there wouldn’t be any harm in executing some Warrior 2s and Upward Dogs during the Big Game; it might save me from nearly fainting from glee, the way I nearly did two years ago when we won then.

5.  I wish there were an easier way to color your own hair. I did mine this morning and I’m sure I missed whole patches again, the way I tend to do every few months.  I look like I’ve got the mange.  But it covers up the grays, so I guess it’ll do.  I just don’t want to have to pay $40 to get it done professionally.  My neighbor used to do it before she moved (my hair wasn’t why she moved), but now there’s no one around to get all up in my scalp for free.

6.  Starbucks tip of the week: Peppermint Mochas are advertised as a holiday drink, but we have them all year round, so you don’t have to ask if we still have them.  We will! 🙂

7.  I’ll be away for a few days, so have an awesome weekend! Go Steelers!

7 Quick Takes Friday

7 Quick-Takes Friday!


(For more 7 Quick Takes, check out Jen’s blog over at Conversion Diary!)

1. Today is the 25th anniversary of the Challenger explosion. I was only five years old when it happened, and I don’t remember it, yet I remember in detail the episode of Punky Brewster that discussed it. I am truly an 80’s kid.

2. Speaking of anniversaries! My parents celebrated their 32nd wedding anniversary yesterday, and when I talked to them on the phone my dad told this story I had totally forgotten about: when my brothers and I were little, we were determined to give my parents a really good anniversary, so we made them a dinner we thought “adults” ate: spaghetti, hostess cupcakes, and Jack Daniels. I folded up a towel and draped it over my one brother’s arm to make him look like a real waiter. “Yeah,” my dad said, “We ate our spaghetti and you told us to eat some cupcake too, so we did, and then to have our drink, so we’re sitting there with our spaghetti and our chocolate and our whiskey.” He laughed. “It was pretty gross, but it was great.”

3. I finished reading Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections this week, and it is a truly amazing book. I highly recommend it. It’s the story of elderly parents trying to get their three children back at home for one last Christmas, and although it’s sad, it’s also pretty humorous. His style of writing is the kind that seriously makes you sit up and take notice – it’s the kind that seriously makes you wish you could pick up detail, voice, and rhythm so easily. I’m trying to find his newest one, Freedom, at the library, but I know there’ll be at least a two-month wait.

4. Kind of random: if you had the power to choose, what song would you like to have playing at the moment of your death? I asked this of a fellow barista this week while Moby’s “Porcelain” was on the speakers, and I said that I wouldn’t mind hearing that while I was on the way out. Runners up include “Adagio For Strings” and “Ave Maria,” but bith my luck, though, I’d probably end up with “Monster Mash.”

5. Pittsburgh’s going to the Super Bowl! Still excited about that, even if I’ve known for five days now. Pittsburgh is such a football town – well, sports in general – and after that game, this is seriously how the network evening news looked like for most of the week:

  • Story on the Steelers
  • Weather report
  • Story on the injury list for the Steelers
  • Weather report
  • Story on Steelers fans living in Green Bay
  • Story on Steelers fans getting ready for the Super Bowl
  • Weather report
  • Story on the Pittsburgh Penguins captain, Sidney Crosby, still being out for a concussion he suffered three weeks ago
  • End credits

I had zero idea anything was going on in Egypt until about Wednesday.

6. I have a stack of movies about four deep that friends have lent me to watch, plus our Netflix loaning of “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” that we got in this week. I know what I’ll be doing this weekend! I hope all of you have good plans, too. 🙂

7. In case you haven’t seen it all week, I’ve been participating in Project 31, a blog series for women. For the next 31 days, we’re blogging about neat cool women stuff, and even if you are a man, I think you’ll like a read. (If nothing else, you’ll get to see the inside of a woman’s thoughts for a few weeks, not bad!) It’s based on the OT book of Proverbs and hosted by Mandy over at She Breathes Deeply. Check it out! 🙂

Have you have an awesome week!

7 Quick-Takes Friday

(For the best Quick Takes ever, check out the original ones at Jen’s blog!)

1.  This is my first 7 Quick-Takes from the new house! I’m starting up a new version of OTO here at WordPress.  I still love the Tumblr site and I’ll continue to cross-post there, but I thought I’d branch out a bit, meet some new folks, and allow for more comment space.  If you’re not familiar with OTO and just found this post by accident, check it out here!

2.  Maybe I’m alone in this, but social networking gives me a headache.  It’s really overwhelming to think of all of the work that goes into talking about yourself (especially if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like to talk about yourself that much) online.  But it is fun to get back into things like Twitter, which I’ve failed spectacularly at before but am trying up again.  If you’re on Twitter, ‘ll follow you! Check it out  here!

3.  I’m probably the only one who does this, but I spent no less than two hours last night watching Rolling Stone film critic Peter Travers interview various filmmakers and actors in his office. My two faves were Rob Zombie and Diablo Cody — two really down-to-Earth folks who are really passionate about what they do.  I also recommend the sit-downs with Eli Roth and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

4.  I am reading the best book ever right now, a book I should have read a long time ago: “The Corrections,” by Jonathan Franzen.  I can’t.  It’s too amazing.  It’s a book about a wayward family whose matriarch is trying to pull together for one last Christmas in the Midwest; and the details he uses and just his style, it’s amazing.  I’m only halfway through but I can’t recommend it enough!

5.  In two days, the Pittsburgh Steelers will meet with the New York Jets to play for the AFC Championship.  My husband and I are tremendously huge Steelers fans — watching the last game, I seriously had to take a nap afterward, I was concentrating on the screen so hard! I hope they take it home and head to another Super Bowl!

6.  I don’t know if anyone’s made any New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight or anything dealing with food, but if you have an interest in eating “clean foods,” (less processed ones), I cannot recommend Erika’s blog enough.  Her posts on how to wean off of processed foods and move towards more healthier choices are awesome, well-written, and very funny.  I’ve found a new blog to get addicted to!

7.  Well, I guess that’s it.  Keep checking back as I fill up the blog! Have an awesome week!