Wednesday, November 14, 2012

I Love...

Now and then it's good to pause and reflect on what I love.  I think it's something like what God did on the seventh day when He looked around and said, "Oh yeah! It IS good!"

I love...

  1. My puppy.
  2. Joe, Adam, and Jakob for finding my puppy.
  3. Joe for being Joe.
  4. Adam.
  5. Jakob.
  6. Baseball.
  7. One thing about all sports.
  8. Going back to school.
  9. International languages.
  10. Words.
  11. That I know how to use words.
  12. That I know my own weaknesses.
  13. That I know my own strengths.
  14. That my strengths outweigh my weaknesses.
  15. That Joe listens to what I say without words.
  16. That I am strong.
  17. Being smart.
  18. Gaining wisdom.
  19. Eating well.
  20. Vegetables.
  21. Cooking.
  22. Reading.
  23. Organizing.
  24. Being a friend.
  25. Having friends.  Many of them.
  26. My job.
  27. My second job at the piano.
  28. My third job at weddings.
  29. Vacation.
  30. Where I've been.
That's enough for now.  I feel better than I did before I sat to write.  

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

The UTTER Madness of... Technology

Oh.  Good.  Lord.

Technology is making me insane.

Things move so fast in our world that mastering any one device or application or program means one will be left in the dust TOMORROW... not next year, next month, or even next week.  Tomorrow.

Think about how long it took for humankind to develop good indoor plumbing.  There were jumps and starts, forward and backward events, and lateral moves.  I fully expect that someone will develop a method of excreting waste that is perfectly sanitary and results in ZERO impact on our time schedules and our environment -- something catheter-like, but better.

Now think about music.  When I was little, my parents were using records and 8-track tapes.  By the time I chose music, we were using cassettes, and later, cds.  Now, music is digital, and you can do so much more with it.  When WE got music, we listened to it as we received it.  Now, we can manipulate it and play with it until it is not even recognizable. 

Change happens really fast.  For those of us who are old, and who learned technology by reading manuals and books, it is happening far too fast.  For the younger generation?  Well, it seems like they don't really care about WHY things are happening the way they are or how they are.  They mostly just care that the things they get are user-friendly.


I am still stuck in the world of wanting to know how and why things work before I use them.  It's not practical or even smart, but it's how I do things. 

Where the HELL is my stuff when it is in the cloud?

Sunday, March 4, 2012

And Then the Catholics.... Ahem...

I have loved being Roman Catholic.  That is maybe not what this post is about.

What it is about is the human factor of the Church.

It seems to me that if the Church is to survive this modern world, it has to grow and change.  How it does that while maintaining its Tradition is troubling to many, I think.

This retranslation of the Mass, for example, strikes me as something ridiculous.  First, Latin was not the original language of any part of the Bible, not the Old or the New Testament.  Second, Latin is marvelously difficult to translate, and my guess is the retranslation is no better than the translation we've been using all along.  Third, much of what we actually say in church isn't from the Bible in the first place, so does it really matter is we say "and also with you" or "and with your spirit" and is it necessary to say "enter under my roof" (what does that even mean?).
Good grieviosity of God.

I have encountered some serious close-mindedness among the clergy.  I once called the Archdiocese because of the new rules about Virtuus training.  They mandated that every person coming in to volunteer needed to attend the Church's training program.  It didn't matter that all these people were volunteers with busy schedules and that some of them already had training programs (like teachers and school bus drivers, for example).  They all had to attend the Church's training program.  I kept asking about it, from one level to the next, until I talked to the Archbishop's right-hand man.  Apparently, the Church doesn't care if their policies make sense in people's lives or that they stand to lose good volunteers.  A rule is, after all, a rule.

Now I'm struggling with other issues related, I think, to my own personal grief at losing two long-time pastors at our church.

I decided that I am going to focus solely on not being annoyed at church or at Church for the rest of the year. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mi Ensayo Español Tercera: Una Naración

24 de enero de 2012

Todo lo que necesita es todo lo que tienes.

El verano pasado, terminé mi primera triatlón. En primer lugar, las competidores nadaron. La gente nada en la parte superior de los demás, por lo que fue un poco miedo. Terminé en 14 minutos. El segundo evento es en bicicleta. Yo se terminó a mitad de camino cuando un hombre me golpeó por detrás. Fue doloroso, sangriento y terrible. Cuando volví en mi bicicleta, me di cuenta de la cadena a se rompió. Entonces, yo lloraba porque yo pensaba que iba a tener que empujar el bicicleta de los últimos siete millas. Fue bueno que un hombre en una Harley se detuviera a ayudar. Estaba sangrando, pero móvil. En el centro, me encontré con la tienda de primeros auxilios. Me dieron vendas y medicamentos para que yo pudiera terminar con un 5K. Yo no podía correr todo el camino, por lo que tomó cerca de 40 minutos para terminar. Lloré de nuevo en el terminar, anque yo siempre he dicho a mis hijos, "no hay llanto en los deportes" como Tom Hanks dijo en la mejor película de béisbol de todos los tiempos, "A League of Their Own". Este año, si no hay una accidente, debe ser capaz de terminar en una hora y 15 minutos. ¿El hombre que me golpeó? Nunca se detuvo a ayudar. Entró en el tobillo y siguió la carrera. Yo tenía 48 hematomas y lesiones. Tomó mis dos mese para recuparse y volver al gimnasio. De un modo extraño, me alegro de haber tenido un accidente. Mis hijos y sus amigos piensan que soy una heroína.

I´m not going to translate this one.  It´s too much work.  HAHA.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Mi Segundo Escrito Español: El Fin de Semana Pasada

17 de enero de 2012

El fin de semana pasada viajamos a Córdoba y Úbeda, España. Disfruté las dos ciudades, pero mi favorita era Córdoba. Visitamos muchos lugares en Córdoba, incluyendo el Alcázar y sus jardines, la Judería y la Sinagoga, y la Mezquita. En cada lugar en Córdoba, entramos en un mundo diferente, porque a ciudad es una mezcla de árabes, cristianos y judíos las influencias. Me encantó la Mezquita. No importa donde miré, vi algo indescriptible. Después de visitar la Mezquita, Jennifer y yo paseamos a través de muchas calles estrechas en Córdoba. Comimos en un pequeño restaurante en las esquina y compartimos una conversación sobre muchos puntos de la gramática y aprendimos sobre nuestras familias. Jennifer tenía una buena descripción del subjuntivo para mi. Nos montamos en el autobús a Úbeda y yo cenamos en el restaurante del hotel. En la mesa contigua, un famoso cantante y sus compañeros compartimos las comidas y bebidas (y muchos brindis) antes de un concierto. Una mujer esperaba fuera del restaurante para tener una foto con el cantante. Por la mañana hemos visitado muchos edificios en Úbeda. La Capilla El Salvador era hermosa, pero yo no podía entender la guía. Es una lástima porque él parecía tan bien informado acerca de la capilla. La cena en El Restaurante La Posada de Úbeda fue fantástico. Comí muchas cosas diferentes que he visto, pero tenía miedo de intentarlo. Lamentablemente, yo comí demasiado pan para disfrutar del plato de pollo o el postre. Traté de hacer los deberes en el autobús, pero visto el campo en su lugar. Fue una tarde en la noche.

Last weekend we made a trip to Cordoba and Ubeda, Spain. I enjoyed the two cities, but my favorite was Cordoba. We visited many places in Córdoba, including the Palace and its gardens, and the Jewish Synagogue and the Mosque. In every place in Cordoba, we entered a different kind of world, because the city is a mixture of Arab, Christian and Jewish influences. I loved the Mosque. No matter where I looked, I saw something indescribable. After visiting the mosque, Jennifer and I walked through many narrow streets in Cordoba. We ate at a small restaurant on the corner and shared a conversation on many points of grammar and learned about each other´s families.  Jennifer had a good description of the subjunctive for me. We rode the bus to Ubeda and I dined at the restaurant. At the next table, a famous singer and his colleagues shared food and drink (and many toasts) before a concert. A woman waited outside the restaurant for a photo with the singer. In the morning we visited many buildings in Ubeda. The Chapel of El Salvador was beautiful, but I could not understand the guide. It's a shame because he seemed so well informed about the chapel. Dinner at Restaurant La Posada de Ubeda was fantastic. I ate many different things I've seen, but was afraid to try. Unfortunately, I ate too much bread to enjoy the chicken dish or dessert. I tried to do homework on the bus, but watched the fields pass by.  It was a late night.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mi Primer Escrito Español: Mi Casa

12 de enero de 2012

Nuestra casa está en Monticello, Minnesota, una ciudad pequeña al noroeste de San Pablo. Nuestra oficina se encuentra a cinco kilómetros de nuestra casa. Tenemos seis habitaciones en la planta baja: una cocina, una sala formal, una sala de recrea, una oficina, una sala de lavandería y un baño. En la segunda planta tenemos tres dormitorios y otro baño. Tengo dos habitaciones favoritas en mi casa. La primera es mi cocina. Me encanta cocinar para mis amigos y familia, y muchas veces tenemos invitados. Mi cocina está pintado de rojo, amarillo y verde y un lugar agradable para estar. Mi hijo menor tiene alergias a los alimentos, por lo mi cocina está llena de alimentos orgánicos y saludables. También me gusta mi sala formal. Mi piano es en esa sala, y no hay televisión ni radio. Toco el piano todos los días. El resto de mi casa es organizado, limpio y cómodo, pero no de lujo. Dos muchachos crecieron allí y jugar muchos juegos locos en el interior de la casa; ellos crearon un juego que combina todas las partes más duras de la lucha libre (wrestling), baloncesto y fútbol. ¡Se divirtieron! Y el año pasado, aprendieron a reparar las paredes y pintarlas. Mi casa es normalmente un lugar feliz.

Our house is in Monticello, Minnesota, a small city northwest of St Paul.  Our office is five kilometers from our house.  We have six rooms on the ground floor: a kitchen, formal living room, rec room, an office, a laundry room, and a bathroom.  On the second floor we have three bedrooms and another bathroom.  I have two favorite rooms in my house.  The first is my kitchen.  I love to cook for my friends and family, and we often have guests.  My kitchen is painted red, yellow, and green, and is a happy place to be.  My youngest song is allergic to many foods, so my kitchen is fully of organic and healthy foods.  I also like my formal living room.  My piano is in this room, and there is no television or radio.  I play the piano every day.  The rest of my house is organized, cleany, and comfortable, but not fancy.  Two boys grew up there, and played many crazy games inside my houseñ they created one game that is a combination of parts of wrestling, basketball, and soccer.  Very fun!  And in the last year, they learned how to repair the walls and paint them.  My house is normally a happy place.

¿Que puedo decir?  Cuando se han limitado vocabularion, usted tiene un número limitado de cosas de dcir.

What can I say?  When you have limited vocabulary, you have a limited number of things to say. 

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Lugares Para Vivir

Mis casas in Sevilla han sido precioso.

Nuestro primero apartamento está en la Calle Torneo, al cruzar la calle desde el río.  Había espacio suficiente para seis y el lugar fui muy eficiente. 

La Sala de Familia.

¡Armario de ropa! y las camas...  sí, dos camas...

¡ La cocina!

Ahora, vivo en Calle Feria 80.  Es un apartamento muy, muy pequño, per me gusta.  La ubicación es perfecta para mí.

Una sala, una mesa, una cama, una concina...  Tengo todo lo que necesitamos en este pequeño espacio.

Mi Oficina.
Hice mi armario organizado como Joe. Definitivamente necesito esta imagen para demostrar que se puede organizar.

Friday, January 6, 2012

And Now I'm Alone... Ack!

This morning began at six am.  Joe, the boys, and Mariah needed to be up getting ready for their return to the United States.  I think they're a little torn: happy to return, but wanting to experience more...

I hope this trip opened doors for them.  I hope they experience the world.  I hope they forget in a hurry how cranky I was all week.  And I hope I didn't just drag them all this way out of selfishness.
We were mostly prepared for departure last night.  I'd moved most of my stuff to my new apartment (more to come on this place!) after class while they toured their sea town.  I needed one more journey, one made by Joe, Adam, and me last night.  We finally went to bed around 0100. 

For about a half hour this morning there was "stuff" to do.  I did what I could, trying to avoid the thought that within three hours I'd be alone in a major city.  Alone in a place where not a single person cared what I did for the rest of the day or whether I made it safely home at night or whether I had toilet paper in the bathroom.  Good Lord.  What was I thinking?

Finally, they were ready.  Adam was annoyed with me - partly because he always is and partly because he stayed up way too long last night.  Jakob, I think, was tired and also nervous about me not being home this month.  Mariah was tired.  Joe.  He's tricky.  He was ready to go home, but maybe not ready to leave me.  He took care of me to the last minute, making sure I had chargers and money and maps with directions to all the good places. 

Let me play a flashback.  Last week when we arrived, I asked Jakob whether he was nervous about this upcoming month.  His response took me aback. I was wondering if he was nervous about his diet without me there, but he has a bigger worry: "I'm not sure.  You're not going to be there."  I didn't think I was abandoning anything to come here.  Of course, I applied before Jakob's diagnosis and Adam's issues. 

The dread moment arrived.  It was time for them to go.  My boys held me with love and something else, something sweet.  They want the best for me, but - I think - will miss me.  Joe held me too.  Many times.  This is so hard.  I blame it on him.  I said, "this is your fault," to which he replied with that look he gives me when I'm stupid. "Had you said 'no' I couldn't go, I wouldn't be facing being alone."  Of course his reply was classic Joe, and nonverbal.

I watched from the window as they moved to the street and then as the cab arrived.  They loaded their stuff.  I heard Mariah shout "goodbye" and Jakob gave me a last sweet wave with a grin.  They are on their way home where we all belong. 

22 days from now, I'll be there too.

I stayed in the apartment until I was done crying.  But for the rest of the day when I saw the back of the taxi, I had flashbacks to my last sight of them in Spain.