Thursday, October 25, 2007

yes, you can have my photos

So, I got a digital camera this summer ... so that I could post photos on my blog, edit them to make them look nicer, do digital storage instead of shoeboxes under my bed, and stop buying disposable cameras. I wasn't really thinking much of the sharing part ... not that I was opposed to sharing photos, I just wasn't aware what it would take.

Whenever I got photos developed before, I would get doubles and when people looked through my new photos, if they wanted one, they just took it. Done. Now that my photos exist on CDs instead of on paper, people see me taking a picture, they ask me to send it to them, and much to the surprise of oblivious little me, now I actually have to do something to make that happen. I could e-mail it to them, but I take my photos on the high-quality setting and it takes a billion years to email them. So about twenty people suggested I get a Flickr account, but it just wasn't that simple for me. As scatterbrained as I can be, I can also be pretty finicky - I wanted my photos to be just right, and I wanted them nicely organized so that family did not have to look at twenty shots of my friends before getting to the Christmas photo of my nephew, and my friends did not have to see all my family members when all they wanted to see was that one beach picture, and nobody would have to see my six dozen landscapes unless they wanted to.

So, I had all these standards for photo sharing, and thanks to Kodak picture CDs and my digital camera, I had fourteen months' worth of photos to both edit and organize. And that was a little overwhelming. (It became more overwhelming every time someone suggested Flickr.) So I decided to dedicate my October vacation to getting things organized, and I spent three days on my mom's computer, editing each and every photo and putting them all into albums on Picasaweb. I can't guarantee that I will keep up with all this, but I'll try ... but for now, for all of you who have been waiting patiently for me to share my photos, they are now ready to be shared. Enjoy!

(PS - I probably didn't have to write such a long blog post about all this, but I felt like I had to explain to you all why I took so long and why I got that look on my face whenever you said "Flickr.")


people of fun

PoP general

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

i heard it on NPR

Somewhere in Ohio, early afternoon on Saturday, as I was driving home to South Bend, I heard a set of stories about violence. The first was about a new program in Philadelphia, the second was about memorial T-shirts for victims of violence, but the third, about a personal response to violence, was the one that literally made my jaw drop. Go listen to it here. The whole set is eleven minutes long, the third story begins around the 7:30 mark. The Washington Post also covered the same story, not as well, but if you'd rather read than listen, then go here to read about it.

Monday, October 22, 2007

sprained ankle, broken heart

We had an awesome game of soccer last night! Except for the part where I was rolling around on the floor in pain. The good news is, I did not break any bones! Hooray for my 26-year "no broken bones" streak! The bad news is, I need to wear an air cast and take it easy for the next two weeks at least, so I am officially out of the 5K on Nov. 3.

I was pretty bummed this morning when I woke up and realized I probably needed to go to Med Point and that I probably would not be running my first race anytime very soon. My most recent training run, out in Pennsylvania farmland this weekend, surrounded by cornfields and mountains and a sunrise that glorified the autumn leaves, was quite inspiring and I was starting to get really excited about the Run Baby Baby Run. So at 7:00 this morning, after a sub-par night of sleep, realizing this Baby would not be Running was worthy of a few tears. But Anne helped me put things in perspective and really, things are not so bad. I'm not in much pain, I'll recover pretty soon, I may even be able to do the Turkey Trot race on Thanksgiving, and even if I'm not better in time for that, the world will not come to an end.

* But, it was still enough of an event to blog about. So you can post your sympathetic comments now. ;)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


A week and a half ago, a couple hundred people told me they would stick with me forever. Now, I was actually the one "making the covenant" (myself and six others in our branch of the People of Praise), and I did tell those hundreds of people that I would stick with them too; but the cool thing about the covenant ceremony is that the newbies and the already-covenanted members all say the covenant together. Because "together" is the point of it all.

I've delayed writing this post because I just couldn't settle on the right words, especially because some of you reading this don't exactly know what I'm talking about. For you, here's a brief explanation: the People of Praise is an ecumenical, charismatic, covenant community. It's not my church (I go to Mass at Holy Cross and try to be pretty involved there); it's a way to live with other Christians, and build God's kingdom, beyond my life in my parish. In the People of Praise I live in household, work in the Action Division (that's the group I go to Louisiana with every summer), hang out with my women's group once a week, hang out with the young adults group the rest of the time, and get together with everybody in the branch on Sunday afternoons for a prayer meeting. There's tons more to say about it, but that's a basic explanation.

(If you click on the "POP" tag at the end of this post you can take a look at all the other posts that have had something to do with my life in the People of Praise.)

So that's PoP. What's "making the covenant"? Basically it's making a formal statement that I am going to be part of the People of Praise for the rest of my life. It's a pretty big deal (my mom even came out for the covenant ceremony, thanks Mom!). But in another way it's not a big change. I made the covenant on a Sunday. Monday morning I got up and lived the same PoP life that I lived on Saturday and many days before (I've been in PoP for about seven years). Actually, the whole thing is beautifully mundane. While much of the covenant statement is eloquent, the last line is decidedly un-poetic: "... we agree that the weekly meeting of the community is primary among our commitments and that we will not be absent except for a serious reason." The end. I love that it's not poetic. Because Christian life is not about poetry - although sometimes it is quite beautiful - mostly it's about practical decisions and day-to-day details. Rolling out of bed in time to croak out a song at household morning prayer. Cutting errands short to make it to the PoP center on time for a prayer meeting. Bringing pretzels and two liters of Dr. Pepper to a women's event. These are the things I've been doing for the past sven years and I'm just going to keep on doing them.

But the part that really is awe-inspiring is the people. Apart from all the things we do - we could change it all tomorrow if the Spirit so led us - apart from all the meetings and routines, I have quite simply bonded myself to a couple hundred people in South Bend, and hundreds elsewhere, anf they have bonded themselves to me. We've promised to support each other "spiritually, materially, and financially." We will praise the Lord together, build His kingdom together, live life together, for the rest of our lives. As a covenanted friend joked last night: "We're stuck with each other."

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

i jogged a mile ...

without stopping ... it took me 14 minutes.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

slow but steady

(more info than you ever wanted on my training process)

I did not want to run with anyone this morning. Despite the fact that Kyle and I planned weeks ago to run together this morning so he could help me train for the 5K, I just did not want anyone to see me "running." Between lackluster results (couldn't run more than 2 minutes at a time) and a not-fun running experience (felt like dying about half the time I was out), it had been a discouraging week, and the last thing I wanted was to display my total incompetence in front of a real runner who clearly, despite good intentions, would clearly not be able to help such a hopeless case.

(I'd already been seen by some friends who happened to drive down Riverside the same time I was running on Wednesday. Brian told me on the phone Friday, "we saw you running ... you were gasping for breath ... looking like, 'What am I doing out here?'")

But because I didn't want to let Kyle down, I drove up to his place and we started down the street. I'd told him that in the past couple runs I actually hadn't made it past the minute mark, and he said we should try for a minute fifteen. "OK," I said doubtfully, "we can try ..." Of course he then quoted Yoda.

We ran, I asked him how long we'd been going, he wouldn't tell me, we kept running, I felt like dying, I stopped, he said it was a little over two minutes. He also told me I was running too fast.

Too fast? I'm the slowest person I know!

I ran a little slower next time and managed to go for two and a half minutes. Then Kyle told me to jog as slowly as I possibly could. I followed orders and crept along, going slower than I do walking. But I jogged, and kept jogging, and when I finally stopped, it had been six minutes! And, I didn't even feel like dying. I was pretty winded but overall I didn't feel too bad.

We ran some hills, they were pretty terrible, but when we got back onto flatland, things went better. I was getting pretty tired, though, which was silly considering how agonizingly slow I was going, but that's life. We jogged past a little old lady and her dogs, waved and said hello, and she called out to Kyle, "You might have to pick her up and carry her!" But we kept running and when we stopped, it was seven minutes and thirteen seconds.

At this point, I might actually be able to RUN the entire 5K. Hooray for friends who help me through!