Thursday, May 27, 2010


I thought I'd check in and let you all know that I am still alive!

I've been very busy with finding a (second) job, working (and using every drop of creativity I have at work - I get to design fabric and bedrooms, it's an amazing freelance job), and catching up with friends I haven't seen since last June. I started reading the bible the other day and I'm not far enough along yet to make an actual post on that. I hopefully will be getting back into Paradise Lost sometime soon.

Don't you hate it when life gets in the way of doing what you really really want to? haha

ciao for now :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

7 Quick Takes

I'm home! Which means that I will begin to update again - soon, that is. I have to settle in and unpack 3 full suitcases of shhtufff and I have some work to do. But, I hope that by Monday things will pick back up around these parts.

I may have actually passed my math class. We will see, it's on a weird curve. I'm still waiting for all my finals to get graded. It's nerve-racking

I just read the book synopsis' for my Religion class, and they are AWESOME. I can't wait to start that class.

Checked out my Bible and all those books too - everything is in tip top shape and I'm excited. I forgot what Bible paper feels like, so that threw me for a loop haha.

Tv is killing me this week. The Supernatural finale made me cry and the Lost episode made me want to throw things. I don't know how that finale is going to play out, but you bet your life that I will watch the entire thing.

Finally was able to give my mother her Mother's Day gift :)

I love my dog.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


Not that long ago I was viewing a religion forum to gather information for another post topic (Religion and technology) when I came across an interesting thread. Among the debates about Protestantism vs. Catholicism, the rather interesting thread where Quakers answered questions about their church, and the occasional "Help, I used to be pagan, what do I do now?" posts, there was a tiny little gem stirring up so much controversy that ANOTHER thread had to be created to continue the conversation.

Well, two. The first : The earth is only 6,000 years old. The second : The Big Bang is a myth based on fallacies. We are going to be dealing with the first today; the second is just as big of a train wreck though (perhaps bigger).

Friday, May 7, 2010

7 Quick Takes

Had my first exam today. It was art history. There were two architectural slides that I had no clue about. I think I did as well as I normally do though, which is good. This weekend I have to do some major chemistry and calculus studying (I'm hoping beyond hope that I will somehow be able to pass these two classes). I'm very confident with my abilities in Geology.

Starting to pack today, too. Only 7 more days until I leave for home. I can not wait - I desperately need to get out of this place before I go crazy. I'm wondering if I should live out of a suitcase for the next week though. It seems like the practical idea. I'm having a hard time deciding on what clothes I should and should not bring back. Winter stuff - jacket and shoe wise - I know are staying. But what about long sleeve shirts? Hoodies? How many jeans? What if I pack something away only to end up needing it? Oh, decisions.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

I've always had a special place in my heart for Hispanic holidays. I have had Spanish class since kindergarten (that's 12 years of Spanish!) and every year we would celebrate Cinco de Mayo, Three Kings, Dia de los Muertos, and Marde Gras. These holidays - they're so festive and fun, with beautiful dresses and dances, costumes, and delicious food.

Cinco de Mayo is a Mexican holiday (just Puebla) which celebrates the Mexican army's amazing defeat of the French. They were huge underdogs at this battle (The battle of Puebla). First, they were outnumbered 2:1; second, they equipment they were using was subpar and could not compare to the weapons of France.  Normally Cinco de Mayo is confused with Mexican Independence Day (September 16th).

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of Mexican heritage (similar to St.Patrick's Day for the Irish) observed by all.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

God in Everyday Life

I often ask myself  "How do people find God in everyday life? Isn't it hard to keep that up all the time?"

So, I took some time to sit down and think about what makes me believe, even a tiny bit, that there is something greater out there.

I have often believed that people do not pay attention enough. We are always too wrapped up in our own thoughts and lives to notice the things around us. You know the saying, stop and smell the roses. But do people stroll leisurely through life like it's one giant garden? I wish I could do that. That's what makes me think that finding God in the beauty and simplicity of life is so hard. Maybe that's why it's so fulfilling, once you are able to do it.

I digress.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Spirituality type

Your Spirituality Type: PATH OF INTELLECT (Thomistic prayer)

About 12 percent of the population follows this path, using the syllogistic method of Saint Thomas Aquinas known as Scholastic prayer.

The main emphasis is on the orderly progression of thought from cause to effect. People of this prayer type prefer neat, orderly forms of the spiritual life, as opposed to the free-spirit, impulsive attitude of the Franciscan approach. Their spirituality is centered on the earnest pursuit of all the transcendental values: truth, goodness, beauty, unity, love, life, and spirit. Like Saint Teresa of Avila, they are willing to exert superhuman effort to achieve their goal.

Because of their disdain for second best, they seek total truth and authenticity in their lives and work hard to reach the whole truth about themselves, about God, and about sanctity. This intense pursuit of truth colors their whole spiritual life.

Books of prayer frequently call the Thomistic method of prayer 'discursive meditation.' In this type of prayer, one takes a virtue or fault or theological truth and studied it from every possible angle. Change of behavior is an essential part of this prayer--it doesn't stay at the intellectual level. There is generally a bias against this type of prayer today because it was so much in vogue before Vatican II.

wow! spot on analysis, I think. I do, as I'm sure you've noticed, study everything an excessive amount. Find your type here:

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Finals Week

This time I have been dreading has come upon me fast. Finals week is only 7 days away, which means I have to take a little break from blogging and study! I have notes and reading to catch up, not to mention the mountains of neglected calculus homework and 6 chapters of a chemistry book that I need to study intensively.

I will, no doubt, still update. Perhaps every 3 days until I am back home, settled in, and (hopefully) have a summer job. I cannot say with certainty that any of those posts will be Paradise Lost, since that poem is a bit too in depth to be reading and analyzing during finals - but I will try. I'm also going to start listening to some religious podcasts, which should be interesting. I am looking forward to it!

Now, if you will excuse me - I have a paper cut from my Calculus textbook that needs tending. Wish me luck!

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Is there a proper way to pray? Who do you pray to?

There is this girl, who I admittedly dislike a great amount, who practically sneered when discussing the topic of praying. She said that Catholics don't know how to pray correctly - they're too repetitive, saints don't exist, Mary shouldn't be worshiped (since when has that happened?), you shouldn't pray to dead people, etc etc. In fact, she didn't like anything about Catholics, from how they don't site passage or verse numbers to animosity towards the Pope, but that's an entirely different discussion.

Friday, April 30, 2010

7 Quick Takes

My first ever 7 Quick Takes. I'm not sure what the point it, to be honest, but I assume it is to look at the little things (or big ones too, I guess) that made (or unmade) your week in a positive light. Well, here it goes:

Paradise Lost - Book I

Lines 283-330

Recap: Last time Lucifer, now on land, threw around some heavy philosophy – he’d rather be king of the damned than a lowly servant, and Beelzebub once again played the role of brown-nosing second in command as he urged Lucifer to call together the rest of the fallen angels.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Church Attire

What, exactly, is proper attire for attending church?

My neighbors back home, every sunday for Mass, dress to the nines. I mean it. Hats, gloves, heels, humble dresses, no jewelry or makeup in sight; men in suits shining their shoes while they waited outside. I love it. That is how I have always envisioned you had to dress for going to church. To me, it conveys respect - not only for God, but for the church, your community, and yourself.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Paradise Lost - Book I

Lines 242-282

To recap: Lucifer and his crew have been tossed out of Heaven and into the Vulcan like fire and brimstone Hell. Chained down in the Lake of Fire as a matter of fact. Lucifer and his second in command exchange some words regarding their situation, break free of the chains and fly to dry land.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


It wasn't until I began attending college in the Midwest that I realized, Catholicism is not the most prominent branch of Christianity in the United States. In fact, earlier while I was showering I realized that there area I grew up in had a very high number of Catholics, and it probably wasn't indicative of the rest of the country - the statistics that Protestant was the most common religion popped into my head.

I have wondered why not many people I have met identified as Catholic. A quick look at some statistics gives me my answer. Turns out, Protestantism - particularly Baptist - is the most common religion where I am attending school (approx 25% are Baptist, with about 15% Catholic compared to 8% Baptist and 40% Catholic where I grew up). Protestant, of course, is a group of denominations - Lutheran, Baptist, and Pentecostal being the major ones.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Caravaggio and Saint Paul

I thought I would put my art history class to use!

One of my favorite artists is Caravaggio. His subjects are of the religious variety, from The Calling of St. Matthew to Entombment of Christ, usually commissioned by the Church or a family for the family Chapel. There is something so simple, striking, about his work that I love. It isn't over the top in its religious-ness. His use of dramatic lighting, average models, low horizon line, and the understated quality of his paintings creates an intimate religious experience for the viewer. Take Conversion of St.Paul on the Way to Damascus:

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Paradise Lost - Book I

Lines 127-241

Right now Satan is being written as the hero of the story (which, obviously, conflicts with basic theology). He’s just a basic guy rebelling for something he thinks is right. It certainly is interesting to see the Devil being written as so…well, human. There is sort of a sympathetic light being cast on Lucifer right now. We feel bad for the guy – and how can you not, he’s had his dreams and beliefs crushed right before him; he lost. He's been kept prisoner on a Lake of fiery darkness for nine day, his anger growing steadily. No one likes to lose. Especially not in a war.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

How to Read the Bible

My second major question, after where to begin reading (answer: the beginning), was "How do you read the Bible?" Well, there are two parts to this seemingly innocuous question. I bet if you asked even the most dutiful Christian it would throw them off.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Paradise Lost - Book I

For the sake of my mind, I am skipping anything entitled Introduction or The Argument. Too much reading!

I, admittedly, have been having trouble figuring out how to break this up. I took notes as I wrote, so needless to say - there's a lot. How do you make a manageable post about book that contains 800 lines of poem, without it becoming overload? Break it up into manageable chunks, that's how. Here goes nothing:

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Where to Begin

After I purchased my books I would like to say that I worked on my art history essay, however I stared at my computer screen and wondered "Where does one actually being reading the Bible?"

(I won't lie to you - I looked for quotes to put on my Facebook profile for about two hours before these questions popped into my brain.)

Is there a proper place to start? Is there a technique to it? Do I start at the beginning and then just read all the way through, or do I have to skip around?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Paradise Lost - Introduction

Paradise Lost, by John Milton, was written in 1668. It is an epic poem (Like the Iliad, Odyssey, or Beowulf) written in blank verse. Each book has a summary page at the beginning, called "The Argument".

It is comprised of 12 books, and tells the story of the Fall of Man, or simply "The Fall", and begins in medias res (in the middle of the story). The Fall is told in two story arcs - one about Satan and the other about Adam and Eve.

Milton wrote a sequel entitled Paradise Regained

I am choosing to begin reading this poem while I am still in school for several reasons, which I shall list for you below.

1. I want to read it
2. It seems like a good transitional piece into the Bible (and my summer class on Greek mythology)
3. It gives me something to blog about for the next few weeks
4. I'm avoiding studying for my chemistry exam

That is all folks. Read along if you wish.

Bible Versions

And so, my research has begun.

Last night I Googled for what seemed like hours looking for the most perfect version of the Bible. Finally I sighed, coming to the realization that there is no "one version" of the Bible that has EVERY SINGLE BOOK. I figure this is mostly because nobody can agree which books should and should not be included.