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I was born, I'm currently living, and will eventually die. After that I face my judgment, and we'll talk then.


Friday, December 29, 2006

Christmas Presents

I figured that it was time for the present list, categorized, of course:

C. S. Lewis
Till We Had Faces
The Great Divorce
The Problem With Pain
Fyodor Dostoyevsky
The Idiot
Notes From Underground


Schindler's List
12 Angry Men
King Kong (the original 1933)
Apollo 13
50 horror classics (includes everything from B cheezies like The Killer Shrews, to silent classics like Metropolis, to cult classics like Night of the Living Dead, as well as really good ones like House on Haunted Hill w/ Vincent Price)
5 Science Fiction Classics on one DVD set (Including the awesome movie Tarantula)
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (the super duper 4-disc pack with the deleted scenes added in)
Hotel Rwanda

(Ok, this stuff isn't exactly comprehensive, but here's what I can think of right now)
Far Side page-a-day calender
Some clothes, like the jacket I'm wearing
Mini DV tapes
Really warm socks
Some really fun pens

I'm sure there was other stuff, but that should be enough for you guys for now

Too-da-loo, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year


Monday, December 25, 2006


I know its a little late in the day for this, but my day was packed. Maybe tomorrow I'll spill my beans on what I got.

Merry Christmas to all. May Christ's blessings and love descend upon us all.

Happy New Year! May all of our resolutions be kept, and raise us to higher levels of spiritual excellence.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

A story idea

Imagine the world in the not so distant future. Everything is at the paying customer's fingertips. Heck, (not to be crass) even sex has been thrown out for a more personal thing. The person can truly live in solitude, away from everyone if he so choses, not even rising from his super automatic comfy chair, save for one thing: welcoming the occasional poor fool who does not have the luxury of you through your door. Sure you can have the door open once you see who it is via your remote viewing security TV, but then the person must find you. That is where the E-Butler comes in. He answers the door for you, unlocking any natural lock like any normal person would, and then shows your guest to where you are located. You do not even have to control the movements of the machine, it is that advanced. Hurry and buy your advanced copy today. Its only $5000 or 500 euro. Supplies are going fast.

We follow then a salesman, selling this device to those who need it, that is, those who have not yet bought it. There is one house left near where this salesman lives, down an off-beat road, where real hicks live. They do not have those technologies we take for granted, such as instant dinners from the Comfort Chair 2323, or a super cocktail, with real liquour materialized based on the country of the drink's orgin. No, this is a place of a strange man, old and gray, who has in his house something so eccentric that the salesman nearly dies of laughter.

Books. Lots and lots of Books.

"Don't you just have the video book play for you on the screen?"

"I've seen it. It just wasn't the same."

And so a conversation begins, between a salesman and the customer; one will walk away from their encounter changed for the better, and the other will be satisfied that he made the life of another soul easier and more relaxed.

I don't know. I've been playing around with it for the last couple of days. What do you think?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Joyeux Noel (Merry Christmas)

Joyeux Noel (Merry Christmas)
The movie Joyeux Noel has in it what all war movie goers love: exciting suspenseful drama pumped alive with living characters and moving circumstances. It captures the horror of war to a degree not exactly captured before. For it shows the human struggle of conflict, plus the overall pointlessness of the slaughter that was World War I.
The movie takes place in 1914, the first year of the Great War. The opening sequence is not one of bloody combat, but rather of three children, one English, one French, and one German, in their respective countries, standing alone in front of maps of their great empires. They are reciting, from memory, a rhyme that a child might recite in front of the class. However, the poem of sorts is more of the nationalist thinking that permeated the world at that time, for each child speaks of praise for their fatherland and emphasizes the destruction of their enemy, be it England (the German child) or Germany (the English and French child). It gives a taste of the greater conflict in the movie, not just one of country versus country but one of prejudice and hatred against human, and ultimately Christian, charity.
The storyline follows three main characters into the war, one young man from Scotland, one singer from Germany (his name is Sprink), and one commander who has been in the war since the beginning. Christmas Eve is approaching, and the death count keeps rising. After being sent to perform a private concert with his love (the instance of the only sex scene in the entire movie, which could have been clipped out with no harm to the story) Sprink returns to his trench with the woman so that they may sing for his fellow soldiers. Each camp is having their respective Christmas dinners: there are Christmas trees with the Germans, as well as chocolate, champagne with the French, and bagpipes with the Scots. Suddenly across the empty stretch of land between trenches, a sound echoes, for the pipers are playing their pipes, a Scottish song of going home. As the song fades out, Sprink begins his, in German, of course. The pipers recognize the tune, and begin playing along. Soon the two sides are trying to sing along with each other, and Sprink stands from the trench with a glowing Christmas tree singing a song the pipers had just been playing, this time a Christmas one, in the one language all three sides would recognize: Latin. Soon a decision is reached, one which many of the common soldiers on both sides feel suspicious over: a cease fire for Christmas Eve. The men meet and discuss, talking with each other about home, families, wives, and everything else under the sun. The Scottish chaplain says Christmas Eve Mass for everyone (I don’t know the specifics of the Mass, like what is used for bread and wine. The movie doesn’t show it. However, it is in Latin, even if the men are responding. Maybe they were all altar servers at one point), which later in the movie he declares was the most important Mass he ever said. The night reaches its end and the sides go to their camp. However, each side’s soldiers think the same question? What will happen to them in the morning? Can they really fight each other after all that?
I won’t tell you what happens next, because its best to be on the edge of your seat during the nest half hour or so, until the end, for it also heightens the emotional impact of the movie.
I give the movie 3 ½ stars out of 4, mainly because of the pointless sexual digression, and for the liturgical historical inaccuracies. Other than that, it is an incredible movie, moving and beautiful.

In English, German, and French (watch with English subtitles on). Rated PG-13 for intense war violence and a brief scene of sexuality/nudity.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

you know its a good game when. . .

My brother was playing ADOM on my computer. I was watching, and he was kinda bored. I had mentioned that one could use anything in one's items as weapon; just wield it and watch the fun. Same thing with throwing. So my brother starts throwing clothes at people, killing a couple of them. Then he loads up with 7 bandages (he's a healer). An enemy comes and he begins throwing bandages at the thing. He killed it, which is wierd to start with, since bandages don't seem to be the most dangerous weapon to throw. However, what happened in the actual thing was wierd. The monster was injured, then sevearly injured, started bleeding, then died because of the blood and bandages.


We both laughed and laughed. Such fun, such fun.

Oh, and I got him to smite himself. He wasn't as impressed by it as I was. Oh well.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Back Again

I got to sleep until I woke up, about 14 hours after I went to bed, I got to eat food prepared by my mother for dinner, I got to walk around in shorts and a shirt, and I got to use my computer, and listen to music I had not heard for a while. I got to see the faces of my family, hug them and hold them, answer questions and ask my own.

Yep. I think I'm home again.

Let "Vacation" begin.*

*Vacation is a time of relaxation and rest before returning to working at one's job. Since my job is student life, that is, I am a student, Vacation for me would consist of relaxing from school work. I can not, however, do that, for I have two thesis/thesi/thesises to research and write before graduation in Spring of 2008. Fun stuff. Plus I have my house's weight in books to read before I die. I think my work is cut out for me.


Sunday, November 26, 2006


The time has come, to say goodbye to Rome. In less than 12 hours I will be on a plane home, back to my mother and my family, back to all the things I left when I came here. The end of the line is drawing nearer. I post now a certain song, Home by Michael Buble. It is a truly touching song, especially for our semester.

Another summer day
Is come and gone away
In Paris and Rome
But I wanna go home

Maybe surrounded by
A million people I
Still feel all alone
I just wanna go home
Oh I miss you, you know

And I’ve been keeping all the letters that I wrote to you
Each one a line or two
“I’m fine baby, how are you?”
Well I would send them but I know that it’s just not enough
My words were cold and flat
And you deserve more than that

Another aeroplane
Another sunny place
I’m lucky I know
But I wanna go home
Mmmm, I’ve got to go home

Let me go home
I’m just too far from where you are
I wanna come home

And I feel just like I’m living someone else’s life
It’s like I just stepped outside
When everything was going right
And I know just why you could not
Come along with me
But this was not your dream
But you always believe in me

Another winter day has come
And gone away
And even Paris and Rome
And I wanna go home
Let me go home

And I’m surrounded by
A million people I
Still feel alone
Oh, let go home
Oh, I miss you, you know

Let me go home
I’ve had my run
Baby, I’m done
I gotta go home
Let me go home
It will all right
I’ll be home tonight
I’m coming back home

I'll post again when I return.

God Bless

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


The word draws fear in the heart of a student. It burns a hole in the soul of everyone. It is "FINALS."

Fear not, my compatriots! It is not the end, just the severe battle you will survive sorely wounded.

Tomorrow is Italian, the test I have been dreading for the entire semester. Actually, I have been dreading it since I was accepted into the program. So this should be interestting. I know I can not pull out of the class with above a C+, and if I get a C, or even a C- I will not cry. I will in fact dance, smile, and even sing to the Lord.

God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

Tomorrow we will also be attending another Papal audience, with the intention of seeing and touching him one last time before we go home. I will be bringing all the religious things I have, but I forgot to get stuff for the cousins, aunts, and uncles.

I also need to get papal blessings for everyone.

Sounds like I've got my work cut out for me. Survival sounds like fun.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


So on the trip to Venice this past weekend, I finished something that has been in the works for a couple of years now: my Way of the Cross. The key to make this one different was that, along with having Old Testament readings followed by those from the Gospels only, I wrote my own meditations. I am currently in the process of typing them up, which I will hopefully be finished with before I leave Rome.

Stupid Classes

I would like to have the chance to submit them for an Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat so that people can use it publically and, maybe, see if it can be published. That would be so cool. I would be the first person from our class to get an Imprimatur. That and people in my parish would be able to use it during Lent.

Oh, and more on Venice later.

Sunday, October 29, 2006


I just finished my HIST 301 (that's Art and Architecture for those who are counting). It is now 3:15. I have sent the dreadful thing (it only took me all afternoon to finally get it all on digital paper) to the Bakers' wife, and now I can sleep.


Friday, October 27, 2006


If the amount of sleep you get because of juggling things, trying to fit everything into your daily life, is the measure of the effort put in, than I'm probably the most laid back person on this Rome campus. I try to get as much sleep as I can. When studying, if I start dozing off for periods of at least 10 minutes while reading my notes, which, although they are extremely boring, are rather simple and straight to the point, if you're into that thing. If you go to Christendom, you must have at least seventeen metaphors in your notes, and more on your tests. I'm kidding of course.

We are finishing up the midterm cycle (which has now taken almost a month) with an Art and Architecture paper due on Monday, and an Italian test on Tuesday. Italian is my worst subject. I think I have a C, more likely a C-. I'm just not grasping it, probably because of the whole reccommended 15 minutes a day that are reccommend for outside studying. I always forget, or at least have something that takes the time away from me. In other words, my Italian studying stinks and I'm in deep dog poop.

However, the weekend after this extravaganza of fun things is a longer one, so more rest can be enjoyed. It will be nice.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


We had four dogs in our house at once, two black labs, one Golden Retriever (thats my sister Emily's dog) and a daschund, named Luci. Luci was nearly fifteen years old (she would've reached that age on November 18th) and had been in our family for that long. Being that age, an extremly old age for a daschund, she was weak, along with natural ailements, and we knew her time to go was coming. She almost died during the summer, when my little siblings and I forgot to bring her in on a hot day, and she nearly died of heat exhaustion. We managed to revive her just in time, and she continuted going on. Well, time keeps going, and time was against Luci. She died last night, in her sleep. She was buried in our backyard, a parting for a dear member of my family.
I am relieved that I was not there for the death, because back during the summer, when she almost died, I could barely handle it. I know I wouldn't have acted like a big brother if I had been there when she actually died. So I am happy I was hear, across the ocean. And yet, I kinda wish I could've said goodbye, or something.
I know that dogs don't have souls like we do, and when they die, that's it, and all that human nature jazz, but one of the things that pets are for is to give pleasure to their owners. Yet when a pet is that close to you, you feel the loss harder, like it was a human friend. That is something even the staunchest Thomist would agree upon.

So goodbye Luci. May your memory live on in the stories we tell of you, for that indeed is your immortality.

Friday, October 13, 2006

More Pictures

Since Blogger only has so much memory per post (should've known that) I could not put all the pictures up that I wanted to. SO. . .

Here are the rest

These are the nuns we hung out with. They were nice, but they spoke Italian and no English, and we speak English and extremely little Italian, so that was interesting.


The Talk went on for a while, and we had to sit there and wait through all the languages. . .

And Wait. . .

And Wait. .

But eventually he finished and everyone was happy, for then the Pope would drive by. So we pressed ourselves against the gate, to the dismay of all the Italians behind us, and got to, at long last, touch the Holy Father. What a moment, looking at him and his hand as he drove by us. It was truly wonderful.

Sam switched Pope hats with the Pope, and Andrew gave him a can of orange soda, his favorite drink. Both of these things were searched first by the guard people, but all was well. Why would we want to kill our Pope?

So that was a fun adventure, and I hope to have more while I'm here. But I only have so much time.

I should really remember to write in my journal. Posterity needs it.

The Pope Pictures

Sorry about the rushedness of the previous posts. I have little to no time to do anything, much less keep up my blog. Here are some pictures from that epic event, that Wednesday audience when we Christendom (or Christiendom, or Christtendedum) students attendend. I am indebted to Nicole, who so kindly put her pictures on the internet for all to see/take and put on their blogs.

Here is the pope driving by us as we were going to reach out and touch him

Here is us just sitting around, doing the whole waiting thing

Here's St. John the Baptist playing Basketball with the Moon. I think it turned out really cool

Jen and Joe (Ambrose to most people) were sitting to my right, so they are the blunt of many of my pictures. I give them their well deserved love in featuring them here, in their splended "I've been up since 5 thjis morning waiting around for the pope" glory

Here is Sam talking with one of the nuns who were our sitting mates.

They also had been there for a while. They also were pushed around by the Italian women (who, when it comes to the pope, get very touchy). We were like a band of brothers. Ok, not really. . .

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


I TOUCHED THE POPE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

That's all I got to say. I can die happy.

Except I could really go for a gelato right now.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

oh gosh

so the internet is down in the residence, and we are foced to check the email here, in a lovely internet cafe. i hate this keyboard, a the shift key is so freaking small. so iàm saying hi..


tomorrow we will see the pope. . . at a papal wednesday audience. it will be dangerous, and probably blog worthy.

you will hear bout it in like a week or so. at worse, of course.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Welcome to the most freaking awesome blog in the world. It is mine, my own, my precious.

More on that as it develops.