3.5 Time Outs: Feminine Genius

Thanks once again to our host Larry D. at Acts of the Apostasy, without whom Tuesdays would be so . . . different.

Not everyone's a girl-blogger. Click the photo to find out what the guys are saying.


I don’t see an official announcement yet, so I won’t spill the beans on the details, but I’ve been instructed to spend the next month or two pondering the word women.  I can’t decide if I was the intentional choice for that one, or just lucky.  There are so many seriously-girlesque-with-hearts-on-top ladies out there in the Catholic blogosphere, and here I am, feeling pretty fashionable when I’ve got on a new black t-shirt and jeans instead of an old black t-shirt and jeans.  Then again, I am not the only Catholic homeschooling mom at my parish who played rugby in college.

But anyway, it’s got me thinking about that word.  Okay I’m familiar with the biological details, but what, exactly, is it that makes girls different enough to get their own apostolic letter?


Ladies, will somebody please tell Larry the secret code for getting all those cute little post-it-notes above his frog?  DorianHallie? Fulwilinator? Anyone?  Anyone?  Please?  He’ll never even own half of Tuesday, if that frog keeps hiding away his linkfest inside the frog cave.  Maybe someone should check with Mrs. D. to confirm he’s in good standing and can be admitted to auxiliary membership.

UPDATE: Larry says you get what you pay for.  Not his fault he’d rather spend his cash on the worthy Mrs. D.  Masculine genius, right there.  I’m with it.


Internet Valentines:

At CWG, Karina Fabian applies the bacon analogy to the new non-compromise.  If you like her post, she asks you to please share it around.

Also hidden in the CWG Monday line-up (yes, I am personally responsible for the post pile-on, go ahead, flog me), Ellen Gable Hrkach tells you the cold hard truth about the work required to succeed at self-publishing.  Now you know what it is traditional publishers have been doing all these years.

And super-bonus: Today we have an actual Valentine-themed post. Ordinarily Kathryn writes on third Tuesdays, but I bumped her up a week when I saw what she had planned.

I think the similarity of color-schemes between the CWG blog and the Vatican website is coincidental.  Only Ann Lewis knows for sure.  Has anyone noticed whether she’s got the Vatican-spy secret decoder ring?

If you know someone who takes that last question seriously, you need a dose of masculine genius:

Perfect valentine for your budding junior apologist.  Nothing like a good argument with a lunatic to really make an adolescent boy enjoy religion.

Free girl-book, today only: My friend’s mom Christine Bush has her kindle romance Cowboy Boots on sale today for Valentine’s Day.  Free download.  I haven’t read it yet, but thought it was worth a look at that price.

From my inbox: The Catholic Company is offering 14% off all orders today only, use coupon code LOVE14 during checkout.  Timely if you owe your godchildren across-country some good Lenten reading.  I imagine there are other discounts to be had today, feel free to share your info in the combox.


Sursum Corda?  I saw it on a Confederate battle flag.   SC’s 7th Batallion.  The full motto is Sursum Corda – Quid Non Pro Patria? on a field of blue with a cross made of stars in the center.  It was made by the Ursuline nuns in Columbia. Very cool detail: metal sequins on the stars.

If you go [no visit to the Inferno is complete without a quick stroll right past the inner door to the State Museum and on to the end of the hall where the good exhibits hide], call ahead and arrange a tour with the curator for education, Joe Long. He isn’t Catholic, but ask him to tell you his St. Anthony story.  It’s a classic.

The only kind of water that ever, ever, touches the single malt my Valentine sent me.

3.5 Time Outs: Jesus Fairyland

Thanks once again to our host Larry D. at Acts of the Apostasy for inspiring countless countable numbers of bloggers to add structure and scandalous images to their Tuesday.  But not that scandalous — take a look at his 3.5 takes to see not see images far worse than derelict toddlers.


I won a prize!  Oh it cheers me up.  Lisa M. encouraged me to turn out for the Amazing Catechist Giveaway, which I did not want to do, because, well, I didn’t want to be commenting just to indulge my book lust.  But you know what? I didn’t have to fake it.  There’s useful information in that place, and friendly bloggers who answer combox questions, which means even more useful information.  Needless to say, I learned about a pile of new books I want to check out, and look, I won one of them:

And now it is in my hands!  I can’t wait to read it.  Yay!  Check out the Keep Infants of Down Syndrome blog, if you are like me, giving Catholics a bad name by chewing out telemarketers for major charities that seek to “prevent birth defects” by killing off the people who don’t meet spec.  Yeah, I’m cranky.  Killing innocent people makes me cranky.


Respectable Christians are sending Sarah Reinhard photos of their Advent wreaths. I don’t qualify.  Here’s the one we used to have:

That’s Santa and his reindeer, flying towards Christmas.  (Which had not arrived at photo time — observe the recycled candles.  There cannot be a single shade of purple.)

Allow me to explain: I did not donate this item because it was too tacky for me.  It was because, well, look how big it is.  You can store a lot of books in that cubic foot.  My one vice had to give way for the other. But you who own proper Advent wreaths, send in your photos.


Dear Small Children of Mine,

We have been building a model of Bethlehem in our living room every Advent since before the eldest among you was even conceived.  It pleases me greatly to combine Lego, Fischer Price, and Playmobil structures into a giant sprawling representation of the Holy Land.  I am not the least disturbed when the Seven Dwarves turn out for the census.  Presumably the Romans counted even the very short and sneezy.

But I draw the line at calling it “Jesus Fairyland”.  It is Bethlehem.  B-e-t-h-l-e-h-e-m.  Get it straight.


That Catechist Lady Who’s Supposed to be Educating You


Rapunzel, opiate of the masses. This weekend I shipped the Y chromosomes off to Hunt Camp, Eldest Daughter did homework Friday and then spent the weekend at her friend’s house, and my two listless littles watched our new library find: Tangled. Continuously.  From 9AM Friday until 3PM Sunday, with breaks only to sleep, attend church, and sometimes to eat.  I got a lot of work done.  And hey, it’s a pretty good movie.  Edifying, even. And boy am I glad my 5-year-old is still enthralled, because last night at the ER


Relax.  I will finish that story next week.   All is well here.  Offer up your suspense for the half-dozen people I’m praying for who have real problems.  One in particular needs you today, desperately.  God will know which one.  Thanks!

3.5 Time Outs: Plague Journal

Thanks to our host at Acts of the Apostasy for giving me new mid-week writing ambitions.  The 1/2 was going to kill me, until I realized how good I am at  not finishing things.


SuperHusband wants to buy a camera adapter for our microscope.  I used accounting stalling techniques to put him off.  And then I remembered that my resident photographers give me a treasure-trove of material for blog work.  Tempting.  Very tempting.  On the other hand, though he tried to lure me in with promises of breath-taking snowflake photography, mostly our microscope is used for insect post-mortems.  Half-smushed ants.  I think I might get fired from the Internet and made to sit in the back row at church, if I posted any of those.


PSA #1: Best lip balm in the universe:

PSA#2: Don’t store it in your truck.  You want to.  But don’t.


Dan Castell’s latest Marx Brother’s story is up:

I’ve been taking advantage of the plague to work through the manuscript of the magnum opus from which these are drawn.  On the one hand, the leisurely, relax-and-enjoy style of the genre is perfect for the convalescent.  On the other hand, if you aren’t supposed laugh because it makes you cough, hmnn.  The frail read at their own risk.

3 1/2

The boy just called me in excitedly, to show me the printing dots, as viewed under the microscope, of this book:

The book is great.  Super great.  Best treatment of the topic ever.  And under a low-power microscope, it looks like:


Well, that’s all for this week.  And unlike our kind host, I won’t be able to finish my half until SuperHusband talks me into the next big gear purchase, so that could be later than Volume 3.  We figured out he could use his photography/consulting money to fund his gadget habit, so there’s hope for you.  I only hope he doesn’t decide we should manage my book budget the same way.  Shhh.

The most wonderful time of the year (on the internet)

It’s the annual I Remember Mrs. Darwin birthday event.  I can remember earlier this fall composing possible entries in my head, and thinking surely Mrs. D’s birthday must be coming soon.  But I can’t remember any of those attempts now.  Luckily, this genre comes to me quite naturally, now that the boy has entered the Must Repeat Monty Python Sketches All Day Long phase of early adolescence.   Most fun I had all day.  Go join in.


In case just one fake memory is not enough, feel free to spread the fun here, there, and everywhere:

If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, even if we don’t speak often, please post a comment with a COMPLETELY MADE UP AND FICTIONAL MEMORY OF YOU AND ME.

It can be anything you want–good or bad–BUT IT HAS TO BE FAKE.

When you’re finished, post this paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people DON’T ACTUALLY remember about you.


7 Quick Takes: Reading List

Sign of the Apocalypse: I’m organized enough to come up with 7 things to say on a Friday.


A reader sends in a link to Diary of a Gold-Digger.  I liked the Morocco stories especially.  Look forward to reading more.


I keep forgetting to pass on that Dan Castell’s second installment in the Marx Brothers series is out.  Excerpted from The Marx Brothers Meet the Doctors of Death:

“I do have this.” Groucho pulls up his shirt and exposes a fine swath of swarthy tummy.
“Und what is that supposed to be?”
“It’s a rub that itches when I scratches.”
“Ach,” says Dr. Mangler, “a rub that itches when you scratches is simple schtuff. You haff the acute dermatitis.”
“Acute dermatitis!” Groucho cries. “And me…so young…so much undone…so many dames still to fun. Acute dermatitis—and I thought it was just an itch.”
“Ja,” says Dr. Mangler, “that is what I haff said. Acute dermatitis—you haff an itch.” He pulls out a prescription pad, scribbles a scrawl, and hands it to Groucho. “Here, that should help.”
“My prescription!?”
“Nein, mein bill. Fifty dollars, please.”
“I thought you said this would help.”
“Of course fifty dollars helps. You don’t think scalpels grow on trees, do you?”

My boy loves this guy.  Also available at Barnes & Noble.


Speaking of the boy, do you know why I have an inordinate fondness for the Young Chesterton series?  Because the other night I go check on the progress of homework.  Recall the child is supposed to be writing a review of Emperor of North America for his composition assignment, so he isn’t being a total slacker when I catch him with both novels open.

“What are you doing?” I ask.

“I’m looking something up.  I thought the ‘Oliver’ character might be the Oliver from Oliver Twist.  I had to check and see.”

That’s why.  Basically if it makes you think about Dickens, in a good way, I’m okay with that.


Grammar Girl is my new favorite grammar book.


I put new blogs into my feed reader all the time, and sometimes I forget where they came from.  I clicked on Servant of Truth, which had something or another about a history curriculum the author was putting together, or, oh, gosh, where did I hear about this blog from?  Who is this person?  I click through for a clue.

Oh yeah.  Kolbe.  Idiot.

Have I mentioned I would have been sunk this fall without their ready-made course plans?  You begin to see why.


Okay I am not that organized.  No apocalypse.


And anyway, my five counts as seven if you give Castell and McNichol each credit for two.

As seen at the liquor store.

My post on Pagans & Tax Collectors is almost ready to go up.  But what you really want to read is Simcha’s column at the Register.  Bet you can guess what my favorite line is. 

WordPress is misbehaving this morning so I can’t make a link directly, but try this: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/dear-greenypantses-this-is-why-no-one-likes-you C&P’d from the Register‘s special find-me magic.

Shamelessly goofing off here.  Couple links to the modern architecture humor at Unhappy Hipsters, where I found two that totally fit with the homeschooling nerd-mom theme:

This is very funny.  It could totally be me.  If I drank that much.  And this one is also funny in an eerily biographical way, but in addition, wow, what a cool invention.  Seriously.  Go look.  It’s like getting to laugh at me and visit another blog at the same time.

Under Water

Submersion continues.  But look, Brandon at Siris is writing about Usury!  Yes!  Oh I love it! And there’s more here, that I haven’t had time to read yet, but I know you will, since you are so desperately bored without me.

And many smart people (including Siris) have already posted the famous First World Problems music video, but if you resisted watching, no really, it actually is pretty funny.  A tad heavy-handed at the end, but probably if you watch TV normally you won’t notice so much.

To finish the theme, here’s a day in the life at a third-world small business.

Enjoy.  Have I mentioned I have an inordinate passion for air-conditioning this time of year?


Will there be fake news in Heaven?

The IC is having a book-release party for Felon Blames 1970s Church Architecture for Life of Sin. Go take a look.

Someone was asking me yesterday which blogs I follow, and of course I completely blanked out.  (Um, look at my sidebar?).  But I believe I’ve read every single post by the Ironic Catholic since however many years ago it was I discovered the place.   And probably on that day I scrolled through the entire archive.

Intelligent, clean-cut catholic satire that *is* funny and *is not* mean.  How many other writers could sit in the middle of that venn diagram?

My Thursday Reading.

Links Round-Up today:

John McNichol has up part 1 and part 2 of the Argument from Design for explaining God’s existence.  The man breathes apologetics for teens.  It’s as if he does this for a living or something.

Mrs. Darwin has a cautionary tale about writing. If it seems like people wrote better books in the past, it’s because you haven’t been made to read them all. I buy vintage books from thrift stores — I know.  She tells the truth.  (That said: I have found some absolute treasures in catholic non-fiction that are now out of print.  Kills me.)

–> Mrs. D goes on to share Betty Duffy’s happy news, which is why Mrs. Duffy’s writing career is apparently again on hold for procreation.  (Congratulations!).  I’m so there.  (Not pregnant, just educating people.)  Ever used the expression, “Don’t you have anything better to do?” to criticize somebody?  When I think about my vocation, that’s what I ask myself.  Is there something better I could be doing?  Well, I could put the kids in the school, any little ones in day care, and pursue a number of other more profitable and prestigious careers.  They’d be fun.  They’d be worthwhile.  They would be good work.  But none of them would be better.  I’m doing the best one.  The riskiest one, too.  But worth it.

Dorian reviews a nice Catholic music curriulum.  My two oldest did Kindermusik one year, and it was great — huge help — and so I’m with Dorian.  These things are good. But here’s what, and follows my plea: I listened to the sample tracks.  They are quite musical.  But my fifth graders would fall apart laughing if I played one of those in class.  Yes they would.

Dear Music Publishers,

Please, please, oh please record a plain, boring, musically non-descript sing-along CD for use in catholic religious ed.  Miniscule ranges.  Transparent accompaniments.  NO CHORAL VOICES.  Sung by some lady (or guy) who sounds like a fifth grade teacher, not a Famous Musician.

Thank you.


And if you haven’t bust out laughing like a 10 year old after listening the music samples (perhaps you are not a 10 year old?), read  this review of the IC’s Communion of Saints book by Allen’s Brain. It is funny.  The Communion of Saints series is even funnier.  Highly recommended.


I’m outta here. Happy Thursday.