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Friday, March 31, 2006

New Blog!

I have opened a new blogsite. For those of you interested in seeing my dreams, check out http://gettinginmymind.blogspot.com. It's also listed on the side...

Monday, March 27, 2006

Another rather busy weekend...

This weekend was quite busy, but but not in the same way as always...

On Friday, my company had it's quarterly party. Lizzie B. and Sarah H. came out for the party. I think they liked it. I guess, from their perspective, it was a little weird. I do know that the entire office thinks that Lizzie is my girlfriend, though, and what a lucky girl she is...

JUST KIDDING, GUYS!!! I'm only kidding!!!

After lunch, we explored the Spy Museum in DC. It was pretty cool. There was a lot of really fascinating stuff.

After leaving the museum, we went to Stations of the Cross, and then came back to the apartment and hung out for a bit.

Over the past couple of days, Ken has been in the process of getting his stuff out of the apartment and into a new house. On Saturday, Alex S. moved in (at least partially), and Richard S. drove Ken's stuff down to him in Front Royal.

About 4PM (or so), I drove back to campus with Michael C. We dropped his stuff off, went to Dane's, where I checked my snail mail. It looks like most of it is starting to not come to that apartment anymore. It's about time...

My starter cylinder arrived last Monday. Figures that it was the day after I could do anything about it. After picking it up, we went to the library and got to work on my car. After fiddling with it for a few minutes, we both saw that the switch had been installed in such a way that I could not get it off. Here's why:

There were two bolts that went through a small clamp around the shaft. These bolts originally had extensions on them which you could apply a wrench to and turn. These extenstions had been snapped off -- a good safety precaution, so people can't just replace your starter to steal your car, but it made it impossible for a guy like me to replace myself.

For the fun of it, I stuck the same screwdriver back into the ignition and fiddled around with it, just to see what would happen. Sure enough, it didn't budge. And just to make sure, I tried my key again...

...and I was practically sent into shock when my key actually worked...

It took a bit more force than normal, but it caught the grooves and turned. After I "broke it out" of it's original state, it became pretty smooth again.

In disbelief, I hooked my battery back up (I unhooked it the last time I worked on my car to save juice), and we tried to fire it up. It turned over slowly. As I realized that I had spent $140-some-odd dollars that I could get returned, I quickly attached my jumper cables between the Acura and the Sentra.

The Sentra started right up.

It was so nice. I let it un for a few minutes, and just to make sure again, I turned the car off, let it sit for a minute, and fired it back up again. It worked beautifully. We parked the car over at Guardian Angel, and we left for town to return the ignition switch.

After returning the part, I remembered that it was the feast of the Annunciation, and that I had been discussing having a small celebration in honor of the feast. Michael and I ordered pizza, rolled out to Martin's and picked up some desert goodness, and on the way to Sarah and Christine's house, picked up the pizza, too.

Later that night, I got a call from Emma. It turns out that it was actually Emily askign where I was going to Mass. I told her that I was going to Old St. Mary's, so she said that she wanted to go.

Bright and early on Sunday, Emily and I drove to Mass. I saw the Very Reverend (do I have the title wrong?) Michael S., back from the seminary with his cassock and biretta. He couldn't wear the biretta, because he was not in his jurisdiction, but he was carrying it with pride.

On the way back, just as we were about to pull onto Shenandoah Shores Road, we saw Ken F. pulling out. I started following him, he recognized me, and slowed waaaaaay down. I called him and asked what he was doing. He said that he was meeting up with a number of people at Jalisco's in town for lunch, so Emily and I joined him. And there was quite the crowd there...

I left Front Royal early to get home, because I was rather tired after so much excitement...

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Another busy weekend

This is getting ridiculous...

This weekend was the CD recording at Christendom. I knew the weekend would be busy, but wow...

Alaina came down on Thursday to see Ken and to be in the recording, so on Friday, she came into the office with Ken. I think she was scared of my side of the office, because I didn't see her much in there...

I left work early to rush back to the apartment, pack a few things, and then burn rubber to Front Royal to make it there in time for the 6:30 PM schola practice. I didn't get there until 7:00, but, hey, you do what you can.

Josh, Draper and Dr. P. were already practicing, but I was fairly confident in all of the pieces, so I just dealt with my lateness and sang everything else that I hadn't missed.

Bright and early, Saturday morning, we had another practice, which, in my opinion went rather well. But by the time that lunch time rolled around, my voice was in need of a break. I don't get to really sing all that often, so I'm losing a lot of the power, control, and range that I used to have. I need to find something to do to keep the ol' chords in shape than singing once a week...

Anyway, we had pizza and soda for lunch. I knew that those would not help my voice at all, so I refrained, and just waited for dinner instead.

The recording sessions in the afternoon went pretty well. There were a couple mess ups here and there, but that's what multiple takes are for. :) I hate to brag, but I think that that schola recording went over the best.

It's kind of funny: there was one chant that we split up for. Dr. Poterack and Draper have very similarly matched voices and Josh and I also emit complementary sounds. Thus, we split up like that. Dr. Poterack intoned a verse, and Draper came in to be the rest of the choir. On the alternating verse, where you would normally have the chanting sections split up between left and right, all four of us sang. The result that I was hearing from where I was singing sounded really cool. I guess I'll just have to wait and see how it actually turns out.

When the recording session ended, those of us who were left went to dinner at Dean's Steakhouse. It was fun -- we ate and chatted with each other, not mentioning singing a whole lot. After John E. had to take off, the rest of us stuck around for a little bit, but eventually the fun times ended...

Michael C. was going to spend the week at the apartment. He and I went to Holy Transfiguration for Mass. It's been too long since I've been there. I really miss that church at times...

After Mass, we just chilled for a while back at the apartment...

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Really busy weekend

Wow! I had a really busy weekend. I'll try to summarize, but it's not going to happen, just so you know.

On Thursday evening, I went to Christine's in Front Royal to practice for a wedding choir. Emma, Lizzie, Michael and I were her choir at that point. We sang a few relatively familiar pieces, but my voice isn't what it could be. Considering I don't get regular practice like everyone else does, my voice wasn't doing too well. We finished up around 11:30 at night, and I got back to the apartment at about 12:30. Too late for me... ;)

On Friday night, I was in Mike P./Colin & Nick M.'s film. I had a scene where I was a chauffeur in one scene. The scene went pretty well. I had on old pair of khakis that I wore, because they were going to get ruined. The van gets wrecked, and in the process, I get somewhat impaled. Needless to say, the makeup for that was interesting. I've never seen blood quite as realistic as what they had, aside from the real thing. I was expecting that they'd be dousing me with red sauce or something like that. This was a bit more bloodlike. I don't remember the ingredients, but I do remember that what it was first applied, it stung for a second. I don't know why. I didn't sting anyone else, but only me. Very wierd. Maybe it was so sticky that it was pulling out my leg hair...

In any case, the side of my pants were sliced open, and I was made to look like a relatively large branch had gotten wedged into my leg. It was really gross. I made some girls scream!

:)

Ok, no, I didn't, but come on: you know how I react to regular blood. This was realistic-looking (and feeling), it was kind of running down my leg, and in the light, it looked very fresh. Eeeee-yuck!!!

On a side note, I did scare a girl. Laura S. had the hiccups, and she was saying that she wished that she could get rid of them. I turned around in the driver's seat, and faced her (she was right behind me). I askd her to scoot over to the center of the van's seat. She did so, but I'm sure that she was wondering what was involved in this ritual. After she scooted, I asked her if she was comfortable. Before she had fully responded, I snapped my hand out at her, and gave a mini war cry. She jumped back in her seat, and looked at me with this accusative look on her face that seemed to say, "Why did you do that? You were supposed to help me get rid of them!" Then she realized that she didn't hiccup like she had been, and that she wasn't hiccuping at all. She sat there in disbelief saying, "I can't believe that worked. You actually scared the hiccups out of me!"

As a side note, I should say that I didn't think it would work. I've tried it in the past, but it has never worked before. In reality, I did scare her for the fun of it, but it was a nice side effect that she didn't have the hiccups anymore. Oh, yeah, I'm cool.

And, yes, I did tell her this afterwards... :)

We stayed up until 01:30 filming the movie scene. After this, I went inside Kevin's and stayed up until 4AM playing Metroid Prime: Echoes. I should have been asleep, but after about 5 hours of filming, I was rather awake and did not feel like sleeping much...

After about five hours of sleep, Saturday morning was here, and it was definitely time to get up. The first thing up was choir practice. Dr. Poterack was having practice for the CD recording, so I wanted to make sure I was there for that one. After this was Mass, and after Mass, I was going to go replace the igintion switch on my Sentra. I ordered it last week after I killed the one in my car, and I expected it to be here now, but there it hadn't arrived yet. With that in mind, I had nothing else to do on campus up until the play that night, so I went to the afternoon Shield of Roses.

Shield of Roses is the campuses active Pro-Life group. They go to an abortion clinic in D.C., and pray outside of it for a few hours every Saturday. The last two times I went, I went with the morning group. The first time, it was cold and raining, and my coat got soaked through. The second time, it was nicer weather, and the pro-death escorts were being especially rude that day. It was all I could do to stop myself from whaling on all of them (and judging by the level of shape they were in, I could have done so, quite easily). After realizing that I would be lowering myself to their standards, I decided that I was not the right person to attend Shield of Roses, and I didn't go again. But Jen P. and Joe M. told me that there were no escorts in the afternoons, so I decided to go again. It was far less infuriating.

Driving in D.C. stinks though. I hate most D.C. drivers. They don't know what they are doing, and are also incredibly rude. If I didn't have passengers in my car, I would have come a lot closer to coming to blows with one of them. He cut me off from behind when it was clear that I was coming over into his lane. Naturally, I got mad at him and we started making gestures back and forth. He was a black dude who looked to be in decent shape for being a stuck up prick, but I'd have hated to have to embarass him by taking him to school in his hometown. I smiled and waved at him, just to get him mad. It was fun. {insert evil grin here}

Standing in front of the baby death mill and seeing women go in and out, I felt very useless. It is very sad seeing anyone go into a place engineered to kill human beings. Another sad thing I noticed is that they were all African-Americans. I know that they hate it and will yell "RACISM!" when people point out the obvious (namely that abortion kills more blacks than whites), but if they hate it, why do they continue to go there to kill their babies? I just don't understand people, I guess...

That evening, I watched the Scarlet Pimpernel put on by the Christendom Players. Holy cow! It was simply amazing! The actors clearly put a lot of work into this production, and were clearly having fun with it. It really is an amazing thing to see good actors put on a good show with as few props as Christendom has. Words don't do the play justice. It was very funny, it had a score of good people in it. It was cast very well, I have to admit. The leads in the play did an extremely good job.

Two really good friends of mine were in the play: John E. and Julian A. Whenever they were on stage, I practically died laughing -- more so with John, because I've seen Julian play a foolish character before. John and Julian were both playing fops. It was really funny. They both did an incredible job. The syncronized stepping, dancing, and cane-work was simply genius. I don't know if this was all scripted, or if they came up with it, or Bree D. (the director) did, but it was very well done. Mad props to all involved!

On Sunday, there was the usual choir practice, followed by Sunday Mass and brunch. After brunch, we had choir practice for the singing of the Passion, and then a quick practice and recording for the wedding choir directed by Christine. This time, Draper had joined us. We practiced and recorded a couple things, and then I got ready to go to Old St. Mary's for the Second Sunday High Mass. Before I left, though, I sang "Rejoice, O Bethany" with Draper, Michael, Emma and Sylvia. Emma and Lizzie rode with me out to Old St. Mary's. Today was the day that the choir was going to Old St. Mary's for Sunday Mass, so I knew that they may have some extra room on the way back.

Parking was heck in D.C. We drove around for several minutes trying to get a spot relatively near the church, but with no great luck. We parked a couple blocks away and walked back. I attended schola practice, the rest of the choir showed up, Mass was as usual, and then it was time to go. The vehicles going back to campus had enough room in them, so I went straight back to the apartment.

I stopped and picked up some food at Taco Bell. As I ate it, I watched Collateral Damage, an action flick starring Arnold Schwarzenegger. Ahhh... Good old violence on TV... :)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Music!

I went to St. Andrew's today for confession. When I walked in, I heard music. My first thought was that they had a choir singing during confession times, which would be really cool! But it turns out that it was pre-recorded. It took me a minute to get used to it, but after that, I found that concentration was so much easier, focusing on my examination of conscience was easier, etc. Plus, it gave the extra benefit of helping mask any noise coming from the confessionals (and they are already quite soundproof).

I heard Improperium, the Christendom version. I forget who wrote it, but I heard it, and I couldn't help think/singing the bass line along with the music.

Anyway, that's the only significant thing that happened today. Mazeltoff!

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Read and enjoy.

My all-time favoritest wonderfulest Mommy sent me this:Cleaning Poem

I asked the Lord to tell me
Why my house is such a mess.
He asked if I'd been 'putering',
And I had to answer "yes."

He told me to get off my fanny
And tidy up the house.
And so I started cleaning up...
The smudges off my mouse.

I wiped and shined the topside.
That really did the trick...
I was just admiring my work...
I didn't mean to 'click.'

But click, I did, and oops I found
A real absorbing site
That I got SO way into...
I was into it all night. {Sigh}

Nothing's changed except my mouse
It's very, very shiny.
I guess my house will stay a mess...
While I sit here on my hiney.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Great pics of AJ and Anya

My sister sent me an e-mail with a picture of her kids in it. This picture was taken while AJ and Anya were helping me get my stuff out to the car after my last visit. The box was too big for AJ (of course), so I asked him to carry my jacket.

He grabbed my jacket and threw it over his shoulder. Mayhem ensued with the contents of my jacket pockets, and pictures as well as that New Testament in his hands were thrown clear. He picked up the Bible, and I picked up the pictures.

I was going to put the hat on Anya, but she was being shy, so we plopped it on his head. The result was pure hilarity. :)



After a bit of touching up, I think he could make a great door-to-door Catholic. Take that, Jehovah's witnesses! The cuteness level of a four-year-old whoops most righteously upon your teenagers!

Sunday, March 05, 2006

I'm sore...

Well, this weekend was a fairly busy one, and I'm rather sore.

To start things off, I got to Front Royal on Saturday morning for choir CD rehearsal. I was late, of course. I didn't mean to be, but my bed was so comfy, and my alarm was so ... not comfy...

Anyway, after that, I was going to go help Joel S. move, but he called and told me that he had enough people, so don't bother. "Are you sure?" "Yeah, man." OK, I had things to do anyway...

My Sentra was still broken (of course), so I decided that I was going to fix it. :) After all, I'm a natural -- my first-rate Father is a natural, and he taught me well. Mechanics must run in the family! Besides, I know how to replace brake pads, change oil, and replace headlights. I'm the man!!!

Well, I go to save my battery. As you may or may not know, there is a constant drain on my battery. The ignition switch doesn't lock in the off position. It just kinda sits in the not-quite-locked-so-I'll-be-annoying-and-beep-at-you position. There's one way to fix that. I'll just take my screwdriver and pop that switch back into place. That'll take care of it. :)

*CLICK*

Uh-oh...

I put the key into the ignition. It won't turn. Maybe I didn't put it in far enough. Nope, I did... The thing is completely locked. No ifs, ands, or buts. It's dead in the water. I have to replace the entire key / switch / ignition / cylinder thingy. Darn all my luck...

So, another $140 later, I am now the proud owner of a new thingy. It will be shipped to me sometime this week...

As long as I'm doing stuff, let's replace my shocks. They are in depsarate need of it anyway... $250 later, I'm the proud owner of four struts... Any my wallet is sore...

Am I sore yet? I'm getting there...

I had dinner with the girls later in the evening. Sarah, Carissa, and Christine extended their hospitality for me to come over and share in the wealth of a home-cooked meal. It was really good. :) While I was there, I played some music for them, in particular, Mitch Miller. I had so much fun with my dance interpretation to the music, and I think the girls enjoyed it.

On Sunday, after Mass, I attended brunch in the Commons and introduced the group I was sitting with to a song by Mitch Miller: the medley I've Got Sixpence/I've Been Workin' On The Railroad/That's Where My Money Goes. It was a lot of fun, for me anyway. I think that everyone liked it, until I sang the last part. The guys found it quite humorous, while a couple girls were shocked that I would sing that. Like I said, it was fun... :)

After this, I played soccer with a number of friends: John and Paul E., Breanna H., Lizzie B., Emma F., Michael C., Sylvia S., Emily G., and Jonathan D., for starters. We were soon joined by Francis, Tony, Therese, Mike P., and several others, bt I can't remember all their names... Jonathan and I played goalie in the same net (we were playing half-court because of softball practice). I played in the field for a bit, but I was really too out-of-shape for it, so I went back to goalie. It was fun, but I was sore after about an hour-and-a-half of this...

After this, Solemn Vespers were held in the Chapel before the Blessed Sacrament. They were very nice, and sung very well.

When this was over, I played Draper W. in a game of racquetball. In the first game, he squished me like a bug: 0-15. Second game: 1-15. Third game: 10-15. Fourth game: 3-15. Fifth game: 2-15. Sixth game: 1-15. Like a bug. I was now sore.

I went into town to get some food, and called home. I haven't called hom since Ash Wednesday. Things are going well. Dad is in good spirits, as is Mom. There doesn't seem to be anything wrong, except for the fact that I know that he's hooked up to an I.V. Please continue to pray for him, my family, and his recovery, but if it is not God's Will, please pray that we can all accept that. I, for one, will not be quite the same when that time will come...

I had a Spelunkers burger, onion rings, and a shake for dinner. Oh, I missed that place, and their great hamburgers. :)

I ended the day chatting with Emma. She recently discovered my weakness: blood and the internal workings of the body, so she was exploiting that. I guess I deserved it, coming to bug her at 9PM, especially after she went through all the trouble of fixing my tie...

Mike P. came back to the apartment with me. Half-way back, we stopped at the pad and picked up Ken F., who had driven Bill I.'s car back there (Bill had flown out of Dulles to purchase a new car, and asked us to move his car). We got back to the apartment about midnight, and I crashed soon after.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Hey! Whatchu doin'?


This was such an awesome picture, I had to post it as my background at work!

Well, I get a kick out if it every time I see it... :)

I got this from Cute Overload.

Check here, here (and click on the link inside there), and here for some of my favorite pictures from that website. I have a soft spot in my heart for animals. They're just too cute! :)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Mixed day...

Just a quick blurb...

Days like today make me feel like I'm not supposed to be working where I do...

I overslept this morning, so all day I had a lot of energy, the kind where I wanted to go out and run around. Needless to say, I couldn't concentrate. All day, I tried to get into a groove where I could just work. I didn't get into this kind of groove until almost 7:30 tonight. That's just ridiculous...

On the plus side, I got home this evening and I found that what I had ordered had finally arrived (I wasn't expecting it until April). I ordered some Mitch Miller CD's and a new Choir of New College Oxford CD set. They all got in today, and I can't wait to listen to them!!!

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

February 31?

Oh, for the record, I did try to create a post and date it February 31, but it registered as March 3, 2006. Oh well...

Old St. Mary's

Today, I went to Old St. Mary's with Paul and Alex for their Ash Wednesday Mass. The Mass was at 7:30 PM. It was so good to see a good number of people at that late Mass -- in a certain sense, I expected to get there and see no one, but in another sense, I expected to get there and see the place packed. But life has a way of pulling fast ones on me and giving me what I don't expect, and there was a medium number of people there. There were several Christendom alumni, of course.

Father's sermon was very good. I admire that new priest there. He's so young and so full of life. My experience with a lot of priests who say the Tridentine Latin Mass is that they are cold and solemn. Notice, I didn't say all priests who say the Tridentine -- I said a lot. I can think of several off the top of my head who are not cold or solemn, but rank right with there with this new pastor. It's very heart-warming to see good men become priests. It is always a boost to the part of me that says, "I should be a priest."

But I'm getting off into a topic that I won't discuss now...