Blogging from a Studio 15

Being stuck on the couch for four days with a cold isn't much fun. No, that's not exactly right: Having a cold is not much fun. Being stuck on the couch for four days can be downright enjoyable. Especially when your new computer arrives right in the middle of that stretch of time.

Lou drove home from work specially to bring me this beautiful thing, all packaged up in its Dell box, and I have now spent the rest of yesterday and almost all of today playing with it. I love it already. It allows me to sign in with a fingerprint scan. It lets me curl up on the couch with it and wrestle with my thoughts; it has a calendar, a clock and a notepad; its mouse isn't all jumpy like the one on Lou's computer, and it came with some neat sample pictures. Not as neat as the unicorn wallpaper I downloaded, but a girl can't ask for everything.

It might be heresy to say so, but I like Windows Vista. At least, so far. Of course, I have 4G RAM on this, so Vista isn't slowing me down all that much.

Finally: this machine is gray and pink. How cool can you get?



There's nothing particularly milestone-like about a thirty-first birthday. It's just another in the string of no-longer-twenties. I have begun to see my age—in my hands, my skin in certain places, and in my face when I get tired or don't wear makeup. I find that strange, even though I shouldn't.

As a child, I don't think I ever thought about being over thirty. It seemed so old. I did think about being in my early twenties, and am now at least closer to what I'd planned for then. Which makes me one of the lucky ones from the girls in my generation.

Now the early twenties even seem young. Not extremely so, but still—at that age I thought of life as being mostly in front of me. At this age, I think of myself in the middle of life, with every day being precious.

The middle of life doesn't feel old exactly; rather, there's a staying consciousness of age and mortality that has only come to me, gradually, in the last few years. It still feels a little new and weird to me. But I can still layer on the eye-shadow and look in the mirror and see a girl's face. And as much as my habits and introversion may try to make an old soul out of me early, I plan to hang onto the childlike part of myself and anything else that might keep me from becoming a bitter old soul. We've all known those. I don't wish to be one.

My beloved husband has made a point out of making me feel loved today. He's going to take me to dinner and then I think we'll rent Ghost Town (I hear it's funny) and crash on the couch where we can be comfortable. I have a cold, so that sounds even more splendid than usual.



Sometime in fifth grade, I started my first journal in a little blue-and-pink book. I wrote in pencil and addressed each entry "Dear Diary". "Diary" became the only long-lasting "pretend friend" I ever had; once, I even imagined her coming to school with me. A year or two later, I got the quirky notion that pretend friends might be a little too close to familiar spirits, so I gave over writing to Diary and began a more narrative form of journaling.

It's hilarious and rather embarrassing to go back and read that first journal now; much more amusing than my high school journals, which ought to be burnt. I did stay an avid journaler, and probably have over a thousand pages logged in various notebooks and folders, but in the past few years that has tapered off into nothingness. Part of that is that love worth writing about has been more interesting to live and less needful of endless speculation. The rest has more to do with the fact that computers have spoiled me for writing with pens and pencils; I can keep up with my thoughts so much better with a keyboard, and I don't have to scratch things out and redo them in the margins.

For better or for worse, this blog has become the closest thing I have to a regular journal. It needs to be much more regular, of course, to fill that role, and--being public--can't quite be as sensational, and hopefully not as absurd, as the notebooks in my closet. But it's likely that the posts will become more thoughts and less commentary; I've decided that I'm a journaler, not a journalist.

Here's today's entry, then.

* * *


The sky is blue today. After growing up in Big Sky country, I think often about how much I miss the sky and the sun, and it's a huge relief whenever I actually get to see it.

The bright light coming through the stained glass windows at church made my eyes ache, but I didn't care. Mass takes on a special joy when the sun comes in; it feels a little like the difference between believing and seeing.

Lou and I took a long walk downtown after church. He bought me a coffee at Starbucks and we sat out in the sun and were quiet together. I probably didn't need to go for a grande caramel macchiato--it's made me a little jittery--but it tasted good, and the hot drink made sitting in the cold more comfortable.

It felt wonderful to get some vitamin D the natural way. Right now I'm taking a crazy amount of vitamins, trying to normalize my nonsensical overwrought body. But sunshine makes everything seem better.


Not being a very patient person, I don't like waiting very much. Especially not uncertain waiting. I told myself I wouldn't cry this month, but why break an unbroken tradition? It feels silly for me to want something so much, when my life is so blessed and happy in almost every way, but I don't know what to do with the desire. It's instinctive, animalian. Feminine. And it's all so out of my control. The routine goes unchanged: pray, offer it up, and put my mind on something more likely to make me cheerful.


If I had to describe it in one word, I'd have to say "propaganda". But I suppose that isn't fair. Lou didn't get that feeling, at least not as strongly as I did. Maybe I've gotten a little over-cynical about anything that looks even remotely like an agenda from the left. Walking past one of those hideous sixties-style murals today, I saw the word "Excitement" and read it as "Excrement". Bah.

Admittedly, Wall-E succeeded remarkably for a movie with so little dialogue. It was quite creative, and Wall-E's pet cockroach made me laugh.

* * *

The sun is still out ... and up for just a few more minutes. Lou and I are going for another walk.


New Things

Like my new template? :)

I found it on www.btemplates.com and couldn't resist. After all, the old one had been in place since I began blogging almost three years ago. This one could hardly be more me. It's amazing how open the internet is to personalization. Maybe too much so--it can become a rather narcissistic pastime.

But I like my new blog template. Unfortunately, I individually customized every one of the previous 175 posts with font-color, meaning that if I don't want them green I now have to go back and un-set that one at a time. That might take awhile.

* * *

Maybe I can do it when I get my new computer. After several years of resisting the laptop trend, I've finally decided I want one. It's just too cold in our little study room, and the last thing I want to do at the end of a workday is sit at a desk. A laptop can come on the couch with me. Since it was time to upgrade anyway, and my birthday is coming up, Lou and I picked out a beautiful little Dell the other day and hopefully I'll have it before long.

* * *

My most recent Silhouette article, Same Old Story, made it into the online journal Curator Magazine last week--and, shame on me, I'm only just now getting around to posting about that fact. As I hadn't heard of the magazine, I went and looked around their site and it's good work. I felt quite honored to be published on their page.

* * *

Lou and I are taking another Auntie-C suggestion and spending the weekend at home, relaxing together. (He's nearby doing his Office of Readings, in Latin.) Auntie-C said she and her husband do this once every month--get housework and shopping and everything else done in advance, and spend a whole weekend just being home together doing the kind of things we like to do. Smart lady. Being introverts, Lou and I had no trouble seeing the value of that plan.

On account of which, I am now going to get up and serve the corned beef and cabbage that's been in the crock-pot. Then, I think we're going to watch Wall-E. It's a good day.


Rest in Peace, Father Neuhaus

I only discovered your writing in the past year or so, but had already grown used to swiping my husband's First Things to read the Public Square. You never failed to offer something that reminded me why I believe, that encouraged me to keep fighting.

You are off to glory, off to Jesus. We who are still in the battle will miss you.

* * *

For 'we who are still in the battle', Fr. Neuhaus wrote a beautiful article in reflection on his own first brush with death some years ago. Read it here.

Thanks to Amy Welborn for the link.