Fourth Wall

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Dinner Party

Carolyn, on being a Stage Manager: He was hot. He was sizzling hot. And I got to dress him. I got to dress him. Who got to dress him backstage? I did!

Josie: The marts are against each other! A plague on both your houses!
Matt: What is going on here? Some people are talking about K-Mart, and you are on Romeo and Juliet.

Carolyn, on Titanic: It was predictable... well, obviously it was predictable...


Shoot! He wasn't supposed to be back in the country until Sunday.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006


"Let us therefore begin by setting aside all the facts, for they do not affect the question." - J.J. Rousseau, Discourse on Inequality

Perhaps I Spoke Too Soon

So much for "this should be a good quarter". I woke up this morning with an upset stomach from stress... and it's only the second day of classes. It will be a grace of God if I survive my bachelor's degree.

Fulton's class looks really interesting, but I don't think I'm going to take it. At this point, I'm much more interested in doing straight history-- something I don't really know much about-- so I'm taking Aspects of Intellectual History instead. The focus, unfortunately, is on Freud and Rousseau. As Father Pat says, "know thine enemies".

Of course, my old Euro Civ archnemesis is also registered for Intellectual History, so it should be interesting. She reminds me of Oscar Wilde. "Here she comes, large as life and not nearly so natural."

But the following segment made me laugh. From Fulton's class: imagine a woman in her late thirties, with long, brown, graying, wavy hair. Jeans, snow boots, and a general air of "ex-hippie", albeit not old enough.

Fulton: Jessica Smith?
Woman: Purple.
Fulton: Pardon me?
Woman: I go by my middle name, Purple.
Fulton: What's your program?
Woman: I'm at Meadville.

Meadville indeed. And this is just another reason why I'm glad I left the Unitarians for the Catholic Church.

Amazon sent an e-mail today; they have finally gotten around to shipping me a copy of the Compendium. I don't really have the money for it, of course. If I did have the money, I'd buy a copy for second year Stefan W, with whom I had an hour and a half long discussion about theology and apologetics this evening after the CSA board meeting. I showed up at Veronica's and had lost my voice from too much talking.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Five things I find strangely empowering:
1) Putting together my new bookshelf all by myself.
2) Doing my own taxes (all by myself, albeit with much complaining).
3) Shopping for tools at Ace Hardware.
4) Fixing it (computer, toilet, printer, window...).
5) Walking home at night in the rain.

Well, I never did get much of a vacation, although it was great to be home. Friday afternoon was spent in the suburbs with Carolyn, doing some necessary shopping (I now have a bookshelf and new everyday shoes) and getting lost in the mall.

C: There's the second Eddie Bauer... there's two of everything in this mall!
A: Carolyn, this is the way we came in.

Much time was spent with Carolyn, Danny, et al., and I got to have lunch with Geoff, which almost never happens.

This looks like a busy quarter, but I think I'll enjoy it. I'm taking four classes, all of them interesting and exciting.

Latin 103: More of the same, but with Matt Perry, favorite TA of both Herr Hiller and Mr. Beard. He's a red-headed Roman History grad student and the RH of Stony Island (and is married to my BA preceptor, I think). If he continues to call irregular grammatical forms "wacky" I just might scream, and of course he's no match for Phil's lets-match-every-example-to-Hulk-Hogan-or-the-Chicago-Bears- if-not-both dorky charm, but I'm excited about reading Cicero, especially with a historian. And he isn't she-who-will-not-be-named.

History 43501: Spiritual Exercises: Theory and Practice. That's right, it's my first graduate-level course. Professor Fulton said she'd be "disappointed" if I didn't take it. There is, of course, a boatload of reading (it is Fulton, after all), and it's Tuesday/Thursday 9:00 am. I'm excited, though, because it's Fulton's area of research, and I'll be glad to take a class from her that isn't "popular" medieval history. She's pretty much my de facto BA advisor now; I should just get up the courage to go ask her.

Classical Civ: The Ephron Seminar (Roman Egypt). Because I'm a Classics minor, and I can't go a quarter without Phil Venticinque. This class might actually have more reading than Fulton's-- he "recommended" about 200 pages for the first day. But it's Egypt, so it makes me happy.

Art History: University of Chicago Campus. I don't know how I got into this really-hard-to-get-into class, but I sure hope that I like it now that I'm in it. I know about 75 percent of the people signed up for it, including Ms Anna B.

Extra Bonus Class: 42501: European Witchcraft. This was the other class I had today. It's from 3:00-6:00, and I spent much of it writing notes to Ben Fink (we started out in the wrong room together) and wondering if he would ever give us a bathroom break. Consensus: the professor is hilarious, but we're not sure he can hold our attention for three hours of digressions and changing topics. His lapel pin and watch were both of Captain Haddock, of Tintin; he reminded me more of Professor Calculus.

Note that Geoffrey Chaucer's blog has moved. The link below has been changed accordingly. He is also selling t-shirts. It seems like every time I check, he's added a new design. I'm a particular fan of this one, although this one is pretty good too. The "how queynte!" and "bele chose" shirts are, appropriately, sold with a warning: "Do not purchase thys shirte yf yow kan nat vndirstonde middel ynglisshe!".

Seriously, don't. If you do I will point and laugh.

In other news, boys are still stupid.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Happy Annunciation!

Robert: So the plan is to eat lots and lots of cookies until we get sick.
Andrew: Yes. To the glory of God.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Geoffrey Chaucer Hath A Blog

I love it.

BSL! It semeth Maister Gower hath discovered the privitees of myne blog, and that same lewede foole hath rede of all the thynges I saie ayeinst hym. For thys morninge he sente me the followinge lettere:
Mon Cher G,
Pour me insulter sur l'internette est l'accion d'une tresdishonorable homme. Jeo vais removere tout mencion de toi de mon tresbon oeuvre la confessio d'une amante. Et nolo tecum cenare veneris die.
Notte to mencion thatte Y have alwayes been very pleasaunte unto yow and nowe you rewarde me with thys? I will staye in myne monastic celle and weepe for oure freindshippe.
-A bettere and more gentil G
Whatte a showe-offe. He kan be a drama queene in thre languages!

I'm going to adopt "Whatte the swyve?" for everyday conversation. Consider this fair warning.

Which reminds me. David reading Freud (at Veronica's insistence) at the Reg, late last Wednesday night:

"This gets a pencil-marked WTF."

"Libido. I know what that means."

"Veronica? Do I have to keep reading this?"

EDIT: Where are my manners? I should have noted that (of course) I didn't find Chaucer's blog myself. Rather, it came by way of a real Chaucerian, Carl Pyrdum, of Got Medieval.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Dan's Worried about his Stats.

A: He said he wanted something quintessentially Californian.
D: I'm pretty sure you can't box communism. Communists, however...

Someone tell me

how I get myself into these situations. More tomorrow. I point you here.

(Actually, I know how I get myself into them. I have a problem saying no. "No." I practice saying it in the bathroom mirror.* "No." But somehow "sure" is what keeps coming out.)

*Well, okay. Not really.

Dan Miller and Carolyn are both going to kill me.

Which is, if you ask me, pretty impressive.

Dinner with Dan Miller

D: If we walk, we'll have more time to talk.
A: Yes, and we can... did we forget the leftovers?
D: I lose brain cells when I'm with you.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Define "Moderation"

Sometimes I hate our society SO much.

In other news,

I'm home.

St. Patrick's day was celebrated with fish & chips & an Anchor Steam on the Embarcadero.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

It is so very the Ides of March

I don't know about you, but I have two papers that I'd like to get written tonight.

The good news is that the Campus Computer Store recovered the files from Veronica's hard drive.

The bad news is that her hard drive died this morning, and she has four papers to write.

Three of the most intimidating people I know have birthdays today.


V: (after an emergency stain-removal soak of a brand-new blouse) What does one *do* with something this wet?
A: Wring it out?
V: I don't want to wring it out! Then it gets all wringed..wrung... wrought.

A: I know what *I* would have done if my hard drive had crashed when I'd had no sleep...My laptop is small, and aerodynamic.

V: No, they definitely inserted an extra midget into the conversation.

A: Well, since I've been "of age", I've had two beers, two glasses of wine, and a gin & tonic.
J: That averages out to a glass of wine. With a standard dev of one beer.

A: (Recounting above conversation to Tom) Then I called him a dork, which was cathartic.

Think I'm procrastinating yet?

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Latin Final Monday

Ben: friends taking languages like German, their sentences are all, "She gave the fish to Pedro," but ours are like, "Caesar, while crossing the river, killed ten men."
Kate the TA: That's why classicists are heavy drinkers.

You'd Expect it at Stanford...

I hope Patrick doesn't need to deal with people like this at Berkeley.

EDIT: I know. I can't spell, but my mother says that I come by it honestly.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

In the spirit of the fast...

This is minor genius. Thank you Mr. Worthen.

Watch the video.

W: Let's go to Cambridge, Alice. We'll pursue our ds-phil and produce silly music videos
W: and then I'll convert to Catholicism and we'll wed.
W: ...
W: I bet that threw you for a loop.
A: Not really. It's the second proposal I've received this week.
W: From whom was the first?
W: Mr. William McCormick. It went like this:
W: Do I know this person?
A: I doubt it. He's classics.
W: Ah. I'll still be forced to duel him to the death.
A: ALICE: I'm listening to Mambo No. 5 right now. Maybe if I don't get frocked we can get married and hire a string band to play it at our wedding. Cordially, BILL
W: Yep. Pistols at dawn. Let him know.
A: I'll forward the message. Are you drinking or just in a silly mood?
W: Both.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Sts Perpetua and Felicity

Celebrate (in a lenten manner) accordingly.

Fordham Medieval Sourcebook: Passion of Sts Perpetua and Felicity

Monday, March 06, 2006


A: Danny! Stop encouraging Carolyn to burn her professors in effigy!

M: ...and then they'd have a fifteen minute generic conversation at the end of which they'd be calling one another 'gourds' with Canadian accents.

D Rober: (Looking through Holy Cards after explaining difference between being a Servant of God, Venerable, Blessed, or a Saint) Look! I have a Flush!

Carolyn and I were discussing the number of quotes, so I thought you'd appreciate some procrastinatory statistics. Each bit of conversation is counted as one appearance. Repeated entries are not counted, nor are some quotes-in-narrative.

Me: 58 (Well, it is my blog!)
Dan M: 18
Patrick: 12

9 entries: Dan R
8 entries: Andrew H
7 entries: Veronica
6 entries: Jared
5 entries: Miklos Abert, Anne P, Arthur, Charlotte, Dan W
4 entries: Jakob, Matt C, Mom
3 entries: Carolyn, James B, Maggie, Matt B, Sarah (Cousin), Steph H, Steph R
2 entries: Isaac Abella, David K, Emily, Ivana, Heinrich Jaeger, Jessica, Josh (Calc), Fr. Mike, Paul, Sukie, Tom, Vanessa
1 entry: Adam, Alex F, Brian, Dad, Constantin Fasolt, Gaby, Geoff, Joe T, John Kerry, Kateri, Katie L, Matt (from Breck), Matt S, Nick H, Nicole B, Jenny Sax, George Streeter, Tim H, Phil Venticinque, Christina Von Nolcken, and ten others.


for all intents and purposes. I'll probably check out the conclusion once more before printing. And no, it doesn't say "snappy conclusion goes here."

Sunday, March 05, 2006

It's the paper that WON'T END.

Saturday, March 04, 2006


D: Oh, don't feel bad.
A: I don't feel bad. I'm just depressed about the grade I'm going to get in this class.
D: That sounds like feeling bad.
C: What gave it away? The word "depressed"?

C: We're all heretics in some way or another.
D: Not Patrick. He's completely Chalcedon compliant.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

What do *you* want to know about the Saints?

I'm teaching RCIA this weekend. Suggestions welcome.

Maybe I'll have them play our brand-spankin'-new Saints Bingo game.

Ash Wednesday

One of the benefits of a late night at the Reg is running into Div School Ian, who works at the circulation desk in the wee hours of the evening.

A: I just wanted to say hello. I have two papers due Thursday, so I'll be here late.
I: Ah. How appropriate, in a season of penitence.
A: Yeah, sounds great, writing two papers on an empty stomach.
A: Okay, we're going to go get coffee.
I: Have a good evening! Enjoy life... while you can.

Final papers aside, today's first reading is my favorite of the year.

"Even now, says the LORD,
return to me with your whole heart,
with fasting, and weeping, and mourning;
Rend your hearts, not your garments,
and return to the LORD, your God.
For gracious and merciful is he,
slow to anger, rich in kindness,
and relenting in punishment.
Perhaps he will again relent
and leave behind him a blessing,
Offerings and libations
for the LORD, your God."
-Joel 2:12-14

I suppose it's pretty obvious that I'm not giving up writing disjointed blog posts. I am giving up facebook, soda, and chai, and taking on the project of revitalizing my prayer life through Evening Prayer, daily Rosary, and writing in my (private) journal.