Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Well, darling, where did you come from?

Just read this.
Some people forget that we are all the result of pregnancy.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?

Read this
My family has subscribed to the Ann Arbor News since I was a little girl. It's been shrinking over the past few months and I've listened to my mom complain about this. 
But now it's closing. What is wrong with America that we don't have print newspapers anymore? Well, it'll be twice a week but still...I'm so used to the inaccuracies of the A2 News. Who will get the Pistons' line-up wrong or put that the Detroit Red Wings are playing the Miami Heat in Phoenix at 3pm and then play the Chicago Blackhawks at home at 9pm?

The world is changing.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Book Review: Father Elijah

Well, it took me a grand total of two days to read the whole book. The book is "Father Elijah: an Apocalypse" by Michael D. O'Brien. It is a novel written by a Catholic about Catholicism.I fell in love with this book through reading it.
This book tells the story of Father Elijah, a monk at a Roman Catholic monastery in the Holy Land. One day, his prior tells him that he has been summoned to Rome for an unknown reason. It quickly becomes clear that the world is changing, rapidly heading towards darkness. The Antichrist is on the move and the Church is in grave peril. It is the story of the determination of the faithful few fighting back for Christ.
It is truly beautiful. Rarely do I read a book that both convicts me and excites me. It's a page-turner. It is well-written, insightful, very Catholic but not more Catholic than the Pope, inspiring and hopeful.
A few quotations to pique your interest.
"We are the children of God who come after the descent of the Holy Spirit."
"If I have taught you to carry the cross and die on it, then I have taught you everything. Have I taught you this?"
I give it five stars out of five.

You should read it.
Now, I need a new book to read.

Related note: I also highly recommend (for the same crowd that would enjoy this book "The Cardinal" by Henry Morton Robinson.It was written in the 1950s and is about a Roman Catholic priest from Boston. It's also beautiful.)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Book Review: The Phantom of the Opera

A little over a month ago, I was watching the movie Andrew Lloyd Weber's The Phantom of the Opera with some friends. As we watched it, a few girls were being ridiculous and I was getting a little annoyed. One of the guys, Mark, mentioned that he thought I would enjoy reading Gaston Leroux's book. And since he owned it, he decided to loan it to me. So, I borrowed it. Mark warned me that the book was different from the musical. And I'd heard from many people that it was much darker than the musical. But I decided to give it a try.
Well, it was a slow go for me. It took me over a month to read it. I was keeping it in my purse and I'd take it out and read a bit and then put it back in and forget about it for a few days and then read a bit more and then forget. Apply, rinse, repeat.
Saturday night, Mark asked me when he was going to get the book back and I (rather sheepishly) admitted that I hadn't finished it yet. So on Sunday, I sat down on my bed and decided to finish the book.
Read this extract from an email I sent Kyle the following morning to understand my final feelings on the book:
I finished reading The Phantom of the Opera last night and I need a new book to read. (I think we all know that book was freaking me out and Mark was making fun of me for not having finished it despite the fact that he loaned it to me over a month ago. So I got sixty pages from the end, then flipped to the end of the book and started reading it backwards. It's a little more confusing that way but I didn't care. The guy sleeps in a coffin, tries to get a girl to sleep in it with him, and kills people for fun. Why did Mark think I would like this book?)
In short, POTO is well written and enjoyable at times. But it is also very disturbing especially to my highly imaginative mind. It was very violent and odd. I also felt that it was far too vague as to what had happened to the Phantom-Erik. And I thought that considering that Erik was not really a fully developed character, the author was far too sympathetic to him.
I give it three stars out of five.

So, my next literary endeavour is "Father Elijah" by Michael D. O'Brien. Rather than being recommended by Mark S., this book comes with glowing recommendations from the likes of Dr. Phil Fleming (who has recommended other books to me and not let me down), his daughter Jennifer, Ben Gilbert, Mark Pressprich, Alex Kilpatrick, and Kyle Kilpatrick. I feel that these people know my literary tastes well and I should trust their recommendations.
I'll let you know if I like it or not when I'm done.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Lactose Intolerance

I'm putting this up here because I'm looking for some opinions about this. This is something that has confused me for a long time. I really do not understand this.

I am lactose intolerant. I know that's very un-American of me; I'm sorry. I've been lactose intolerant since I was 17. And it's gotten worse as I've gotten older. I can't even take lactaid anymore. I just cannot eat dairy.
This doesn't really bother me. Honestly, I've adapted to it and I eat what I can. I'm surviving just fine-thank you very much. It does get a little more complicated when I'm on retreats or visiting other communities (Montreal and Vitoria-I had minor issues on both trips but nothing major...) but in general, it is a completely survivable situation. It hasn't killed me yet and it isn't likely to kill me. In short, I miss ice cream, tiramisu, and cheesecake at times. But I'm quite fine in general.
Several months, my friend Jaci suggested to me that I get prayed over to be healed of lactose intolerance because she thought it was interfering with my life. But it isn't! I really do NOT mind being lactose intolerant. When you have migraines, knee and hip problems, allergy-induced asthma, and lactose intolerance, the lactose intolerance is the least of your problems.
And then in Montreal, Alex decided to pray over me that I would be healed of lactose intolerance. But I wasn't healed. What I felt God saying was this: "This is not what I want to heal you from right now."
Being lactose intolerant does not deter me from living for God or having a relationship with Him. If anything, He gets to hear from me even more after I've accidentally eaten the salad with the cheese or whatever.
So if being lactose intolerant does not bother me, why does it bother other people?

Thursday, March 5, 2009


I'm now back in Ann Arbor after a wonderful trip to Montreal. I'm really very glad to have gone and I look forward to returning someday soon...perhaps this summer? They tell me it's even better in the summer.
Thursday, Kyle picked me up around noon and we drove to Brighton where we joined Annie and she drove us all ten hours to Montreal. She really is amazing. Around 11:45pm we pulled up in front of the Dahans' house to see four eager faces looking out at us from a living room window. And then, three of them were running through the tempoh (tent-thing to keep the snow off the cars). It was Michel (our host), Ben, and Alex. After hugging us, they hurried us inside where we met Michel's dad. After a bit, Michel took Annie and I over to the Tabets' house where we would be sleeping and Ben and Alex showed (the very sick) Kyle to his bed.
Friday morning, Annie and I along with Berna (the Tabets' daughter who is our age) went to the Dahans' house to meet Michel and Alex and head off to Mass. We went to Holy Name of Jesus, which is one of the few English speaking parishes around.
After Mass, we came back to the Dahans' house, prayed, and then set to work planning the retreat. Around 2pm, the boys decided to make lunch for us girls. Such gentlemen...
Somewhere in here, we met Michel's youngest siblings, Patricia and Philippe. Phil is a great guy. Patricia speaks movies. She never stops quoting them. She is twelve; Phil is 15.
After lunch, we (me, Annie, Michel, Mr. Dahan, Patricia, and Philippe and Alex) took stuff over to the church where we'd be holding the retreat the next day. Then we came home and hung around before going over to dinner at the Tabets. After dinner, we hung out talking and listening to people singing the French version of the song "Cecilia." It's worse in Francais.
Saturday was the retreat. It was so good. There were only 15 or 20 people, including us leading it. But it was just so good, so holy.
From the left, we are Ben, me, Annie, Alex, and Kyle with Patricia in front of Annie and Alex.

After the retreat, we went back to the Dahans' house with Berna, Tony, and Carla to sing, dance, and laugh the night away.
During the course of the night, Alex locked Patricia in the closet. She thought it was Kyle; she was wrong. (Kyle and Alex are twins, just to clear that up.)

Sunday, we said good-bye to Ben and Alex who had to head home to go back to school. And then we went to Mass. After Mass, we had lunch at the home of the Gros family and then went off to see a bit of the city of Montreal. We went to Mont-Royal and saw the city.
Here you see me, Annie, and Kyle with Montreal behind us.

We also saw Tim Horton's on Sunday. Then we went home and watched My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Singin' in the Rain.

Monday, we began the day by waking up at 11am. Okay, Annie woke up before then and just rested for a long time. Kyle woke up around 10:30. But I got up at 11am. Then we had lunch together and then went off with Marianne and Elise to see the Oratory of St. Joseph on Mount Royal. The Oratory is amazing.

After that, we met Michel and did a bit of tourism with him. At some point at the Oratory, my bad knee started acting up and Kyle started letting me lean on him. This leaning would last for two more days. Michel's idea of helping out was to throw me over his shoulder and carry me down stairs in the Metro stations and other places. Kyle and I agreed that this was awkward. We both preferred Kyle's method of carrying me which is "Okay, wrap your arms around your neck. Now I'm going to put one arm behind your back and then use the other to left your legs. Are you okay? Now hang on."

We saw McGill University, where Michel is studying, and some of downtown Montreal that afternoon including the Underground-an underground network of shops, restaurants, and connections between the train stations and buildings. It's insanely impressive. We also visited (and attended Mass in) the Cathedral of Mary Queen of the World, which is an imitation of St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. It is lovely. But we didn't take any pictures because the camera was in my purse and I was having trouble getting around.
Then we went home and hung around.
Tuesday, we went to morning Mass at Holy Name of Jesus again and then went to see more of the city. We went to Chinatown and had lunch there. Then we saw more of downtown including St. Patrick's Basilica and Notre Dame, which is (inside) an imitation of the Notre Dame in Paris.
In the evening, Michel, Marianne (his younger sister), Kyle, Annie, and I went to dinner at the home of a family in the community. It was wonderful, lots of fun. And it provides you with a photo of us with our hosts-Michel and Marianne.

And then, yesterday, we went home. It is good to be home. But I'll miss Montreal. At times, the prevelence of French was a bit confusing but we made it work. And I hope that we will return there again soon.