Friday, May 7, 2010

Quote from OSB Rule

"Therefore we must prepare our hearts and our bodies to do battle under the holy obedience of His commands; and let us ask God that He be pleased to give us the help of His grace for anything which our nature finds hardly possible."

-- St Benedict of Nursia

Xanga's Weekly Photo Challenge: Museum Pieces

Photos from the Louvre, Chateaux Versailles, Normandy, some modern museum, Rodin's house, the ceilings of the UN in Geneva, and the d'Orsay. And one lone gargolye from Notre Dame.

Uploading one collage is much better than trying to post multiples ... unlike last time
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Thursday, May 6, 2010

A Pair of Rants

I am contemplating a permanent move from my Xanga blog to here on Blogger. Xanga has begun in recent years to foster “-ish” sites like ManCouch which is often derogatory towards women and is the ole boys club; Datingish which frequently discusses what base to be on at which date or cohabitation; Revelife which is Christian, but antagonistic towards Catholics, etc. Then this week Mathematicalbagpiper, a fellow Xangan, faked a suicide note.

Not the best of reasons for why Xanga is the right community to stay in, although I have been there since 2004. I like the people I subscribe to and read on a daily basis, but between the ish sites, the boys crying ‘wolf’, and the general other kinds of trash on Xanga, there’s little to really keep me there. Why would I want to align myself with something like that?

I do not have a problem getting a job, any job, in order to earn some money. What my parents are unaware of is that I was a kettle worker/bell ringer for the Salvation Army in December for 7.5 hours per day every day for $8/hour; rain or shine. So my mother tells my dad this morning “Tell Meg to go to H&M for a job application; and tell her not to be embarrassed.” Excuse me? Embarrassed? I’m beyond embarrassment, humiliation, or anything else! In fact, I’m almost proud enough to say, “Hey, my health care social work job market is so bad, that I worked as a bell ringer for the Salvation Army to earn a little cash! Take that!”

With that being my attitude, I’m further injured by the fact I have to ask my dad for gas money. I got $20 on Monday, and again I requested gas money today. Let’s do a little math.

At $3.079/gallon, $20 gives me 6.45 gallons of gasoline.

Essentially I get 25 miles/gallon: 161.25

Each day this week I have driven up to Culver City where I take classes at West LA City College. The commute from my house to there is 23.2 miles.

I drove straight to campus and back on Monday and Wednesday:

Round Trip: 23.2 x 2 = 46.4 miles
2 Round Trips: 92.8 miles

On Tuesday I drove to campus: 23.2 miles, then the next 12.9 miles to an apartment near USC for dinner, then back down to home to sleep, another 25.6 miles.

In total, I drove 92.8 miles on Monday and Wednesday, and an additional 61.7 miles on Tuesday.

In total I drove 154.5 miles in three days; according to the ideal gas consumption I should have another 6.75 miles in my tank available to me, which I used this morning to drive to the gas station, 2.2 miles from my house.

So, why the presumption by my father that I’m wasting gas money?

Let’s not even begin to ponder the fact that I only get money for gasoline and nothing for food. That’s right, the days I leave the house without food in tow, I don’t eat. How’s this, I pulled the last $20 from my account (before the bank charges me overage), three weeks ago. I used $10 on dinner out with friends (think I’m able to afford a $5 tip?!? Hah!) and the remainder of it went towards buying beer – for beer bread that is quickly becoming popular for me to bring to potlucks. I used the last of those $20 on soup last week for dinner on Thursday evening (my parents were out of town), and $1.68 for medium fries on Monday for dinner. I had fries for dinner, until I could get home and eat something more substantial at 9:30pm.

Want to add insult to injury? My dad wants me to pay him back for every $20 I ‘borrowed’ from him to pay my cell phone, gas & food money (back when I got $ for food) in undergrad, grad school, and my current time of unemployment. I’ll save you the trouble – its more than $14,400.

And I’m supposed to pay off $50,000+ in student loans for getting a Master degree.

Don’t complain to me about money, unless you’re more broke than me.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

New Directions

I have heard it said that you either everyone or no one.  Understandably, this comes from the presupposition that once one person is told they will then proceed to blab your confided secret to anyone else who is willing to listen.

Recently a friend retrospectively told me of how he was advised to not tell anyone of his discernment of the priesthood.  I can see why he was told that, but his family was supportive, he was grounded in what had discerned, &c.  Turn this around 180 degrees, and I could see how that would drastically backfire.  I have no family support; actually, I get the third degree every Sunday over what parish I attend for Mass.  While this is nothing new to me, and I’ve been able to carry myself pretty well over the past 4 years of discernment, I’m at a new point.

As you can see in the links at the top of the page, my vocation story says I was accepted to an order, but the explanation you are missing is that I had until June 1, 2010 to take care of my loans.  If it were just finances, maybe a little elbow grease would take care of it, but since God doesn’t function on elbow grease, but prayer and contemplation, that’s where we come to the point.  The point is, I got accepted to confirm my vocation, but I have to look at different communities/convents for my acceptance.

I can either tell everyone, or no one about my next step in this vocational process.  Aw heck, truth be told, I kept my discernment secret for the first year from everybody and it was pretty lonely.  Besides, people are curious (typically) because they care.

Time to end the hemming and hawing – I’m looking at Benedictine and Carmelite monasteries, and the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy (from whence came St M. Faustina).  I cannot really visit any time soon since I’m more broke than Greece, but will gladly take suggestions and support.