{    Cnytr   }

{Friday, February 24, 2006  }

.:{The Rain in Spain Stays Mainly in the Plains}:.


Hasta luego! I'm off to spend my spring break in lovely Barcelona with a bunch of ballroom people. (And good luck to the Ballroom at Maryland team [BAM], the other team to which I sort of belong, leaving today to compete at Triangle Open. Though you probably won't read this, good luck, guys!)

Blogging will resume again post-March 4th.

Say a prayer for me -- I had forgotten how anxious trans-Atlantic flights make me, and every time I try to talk to myself in Spanish (to practice), it turns into very bad Italian and/or Latin. Prayers will be returned in full for Santa Maria del Mar on Sunday.

posted by Lauren, 12:06 PM | link | 3 comments

{Wednesday, February 22, 2006  }

.:{The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Tomorrow's Assigned Class Reading}:.

The Good: Two websites, one a virtual tour of St. Denis; another on Notre Dame, Amiens and Ste. Chapelle; good at explaining the architectual/historical side, not so good on the philosophy.

The Bad: St. Bernard of Clairvaux's apology to Abbot William. Ouch. I quote:

I don't know why, but the wealthier a place, the readier people are to contribute to it. Just feast their eyes on gold-covered relics and their purses will open. Just show them a beautiful picture of some saint. The brighter the colors, the saintlier he'll appear to them. Men rush to kiss and are invited to contribute. There is more admiration for beauty than veneration for sanctity. Thus churches are decorated, not simply with jeweled crowns, but with jeweled wheels illuminated as much by their precious stones as by their lamps. We see candelabra like big bronze trees, marvelously wrought, their gems glowing no less than their flames. What do you think is the purpose of such things? To gain the contrition of penitents or the admiration of spectators?

On vanity of vanities, yet no more vain than insane! The church is resplendent in her walls and wanting in her poor. She dresses her stones in gold and lets her sons go naked. The eyes of the rich are fed at the expense of the indigent. The curious find something to amuse them and the needy find nothing to sustain them... Good Lord! If we aren't embarrassed by the silliness of it all, shouldn't we at least be disgusted by the expense?

The Ugly: By far the worst description of relics I have ever read, via European Virtual School History Department. They're fired. I mean, come on --

The only way of guaranteeing yourself a widely acknowledged, 'authentic' relic was to steal one. Many of the most famous pilgrimage sites in Europe included stolen relics in their collection. The theft was easily justified. Often the idea for the theft came in the form of a dream or vision, which was widely considered to be the way God and saints communicated . Often the saint itself decided. If the saint allowed itself to be taken without punishing the thieves and if the saint continued to produce miracles, then clearly he or she was happy in their new home.

What is this, a goldfish?

By far not the worst, but one of the more weirdly-phrased examples of badness.

Though I might be lenient, given their inclusion of this humorous England-vrs.-France quote:

'Now it is true that the Cross is a very holy relic but it is holy because it came into contact with the precious blood of Christ. The holiness of the Cross derives from the blood whereas the holiness of the blood in no way derives from the Cross. It therefore follows that England, which possesses the blood of Christ, rejoices in a greater treasure than France, which has no more than the Cross.' (Sumption: 30-1)

Take that, cheese-eating surrender monkeys. No go away or we shall taunt you a second time.
posted by Lauren, 5:06 PM | link | 2 comments

{Tuesday, February 21, 2006  }

.:{Ballroom is Life}:.

...or so I would like to think. (Yes, bloggians, apologies... I was going to let you think that the reason for my lack of blogging was me being responsible and doing my homework. Not -- I've upped my dancing from 2 days a week to 5. We have a competition coming up very soon in March.)

Yet, my housemate appreciates the slogan as a metaphor. It's a wonderful post, even if I personally have a hard time seeing the metaphor part. For example:

A woman who watches her feet cannot help but battle for the lead in a desperate attempt to get the footwork down and avoid humiliation...

This is me trying to do the fan-to-hockeystick in cha-cha. Can we stay "when the heck do I step"?
posted by Lauren, 12:45 PM | link | 0 comments

.:{Saw this on the BBC last night}:.

All I have to say is, him and Dan Brown. Ala Mark Shea, whose post is the actual link; the link to the story is the title of his post.
posted by Lauren, 11:49 AM | link | 0 comments

.:{Nothing like a good Curt Jester}:.

I'll drink to that.

Ala Curt Jester
posted by Lauren, 11:46 AM | link | 0 comments

{Monday, February 20, 2006  }

.:{Sister Josephine}:.

A friend of mine recently sent me an mp3 of this song by Englishman Jake Thackray. It's the sort of (ever-so-slightly gritty) thing that made me laugh on a rough day. Enjoy. Laugh.

Oh, Sister Josephine,
What do all these policemen mean
By coming to the convent in a grim limousine
After Sister Josephine?
While you, Sister Josephine,
You sit with your boots up on the altar screen.
You smoke one last cigar.
What a funny nun you are!

The policemen say that Josephine's a burglar in disguise,
Big bad Norman - fifteen years on the run.
The sisters disbelieve it: No, that can't be Josephine;
Just think about her tenderness towards the younger nuns.

Oh, Sister Josephine,
They're searching the chapel where you've been seen,
The nooks and the crannies of the nun's canteen
After Sister Josephine.
While you, Sister Josephine,
You sip one farewell Benedictine
Before your au revoir.
A right funny nun you are!

Admittedly her hands are big and hairy
And embellished with a curious tattoo.
Admittedly her voice is on the deep side,
And she seems to shave more often than the other sisters do.

Oh, Sister Josephine,
Founder of the convent pontoon team,
They're looking through your bundles of rare magazines
After Sister Josephine.
While you, Sister Josephine,
You give a goodbye sniff of benzedrine
To the convent budgerigar.
A bloody funny nun you are!

No longer will her snores ring through the chapel during prayers,
Nor her lustful moanings fill the stilly night.
No more empty bottles of altar wine come clunking from her cell.
No longer will the cloister toilet seat stand upright.

Oh, Sister Josephine,
Slipping through their fingers like Vaseline,
Leaving them to clutch your empty crinoline
After Sister Josephine.
While you, Sister Josephine,
Sprinting through the suburbs when last seen
Dressed only in your wimple and your rosary.
A right funny nun you seem to be!
posted by Lauren, 10:23 PM | link | 2 comments

.:{Once Again, Not Studying}:.

Slowly creeping back into the blogging world, I discover many good things having been posted, um, a MONTH ago, but they bear repitition:

Abbot Suger's Theology/theory of light in connection with the birth of Gothic architecture is a topic on which I have several times tried to write, only once successfully. The concept was brought to me by Matt A of the Shrine. Fascinating stuff. Philoblog discusses this as well, hat-tip going to Siris.

Also, perhaps it's because I haven't cooked in forever, but I'm dying to cook and this recipe looks good; from "Cooking for Engineers".

And, more Siris, Descartes jokes. My favorite two:

Descartes walks into a bar, and tells the bartender, "I'm excited about the live entertainment tonight!" The bartender says, "Yeah, the trick pony is pretty cool." "The trick pony! I thought it was Karaoke Night! I was looking forward to it so much." "Well," says the bartender, "we can do that, too." So they got out their schedule and put Descartes before the horse.

("Descartes before des horse" is the name of my computer... My C: drive used to be named Augustine, and my D: drive, Aquins...)


Descartes walks into a bar, then goes out the back, circles around, and comes back in. He does this several more times, and finally the bartender says, "You're going in circles!" And Descartes says, "Thank God!"

posted by Lauren, 2:04 AM | link | 3 comments

{Tuesday, February 14, 2006  }

.:{A Valentine's Day Poem}:.

A happy St. Valentine's to all! Yes, today is indeed SAINT Valentine's day, one of the few specifically Catholic days left on the calendar -- therefore, seize it and re-baptize it -- although I admit I also used to dub this day "Singles Awareness Day". As such, I have a particular favorite Ogden Nash poem of the day; so for my Valentine out there, this one's for you.

More than a catbird hates a cat,
Or a criminal hates a clue,
Or an odalisque hates the Sultan's mates,
That's how much I love you.

I love you more than a duck can swim,
And more than a grapefruit squirts,
I love you more than commercials are a bore,
And more than a toothache hurts.

As a shipwrecked sailor hates the sea,
Or a juggler hates a shove,
As a hostess detests unexpected guests,
That's how much you I love.

I love you more than a wasp can sting,
And more than the subway jerks,
I love you truer than a toper loves a brewer,
And more than a hangnail irks.

I love you more than a bronco bucks,
Or a Yale man cheers the Blue.
Ask not what is this thing called love;
It's what I'm in with you.
posted by Lauren, 8:18 AM | link | 4 comments

{Sunday, February 12, 2006  }

.:{CUA's Saga of the Monologues}:.

Subversiveness on campus. Not that it's surprising. CUA has, as many people know, newly-banned the production of the V-Monologues. However a group of students from the drama department are nonetheless continuing with the production off-campus at a local restaurant called Colonel Brooks. The Facebook advertisement asks the event to be "word of mouth only" -- sike, as if that were possible. It has in fact made it into the campus paper.

The first article on the production was published January 20th. Registration is required (...why?), excerpts are as follows:

Univ. Cancels Student 'Vagina Monologues' Production
O'Connell: "I find the play crude, ugly, vulgar."
By: Eric B.
Issue date: 1/20/06 Section: News

University President Father David M. O'Connell cancelled a drama student production of "The Vagina Monologues," the controversial play written by Eve Ensler.


Administrators of several Catholic colleges view the play as a promotion of sexual immorality. One monologue of the play describes the rape of a 16 year-old girl by a 24 year-old lesbian. The main character views the rape as a positive sexual enlightening.

Father David M. O'Connell, President of Catholic University, commented on the issue.

"I have read the play and have actually seen it performed on a television broadcast…I find the play crude, ugly, vulgar and unworthy of staging or performing at CUA in any venue whatsoever. I believe that CUA, its excellent Drama department, and the cause of promoting the dignity of women deserve much better than this play and can find much better expression than this play presents. In addition to the affront and offense posed to Catholic teachings and values by some aspects of the play, it has become a symbol each year of the desire of some folks to push Catholic campuses over the edge of good and decent judgment. Sooner or later, someone has got to simply say 'enough.' I am saying 'enough' and I'll take whatever criticism is hurled my way as a badge of honor for CUA, its mission, its values and all that it represents. I took this position last year, this year and I'll take it again next year and every year I am here."


Erin O'Keefe, a sophomore Drama major involved with the performance of the play, commented on the message of "The Vagina Monologues." "What 'The Vagina Monologues' is really about is reconnection. Women are told who and what they are (and what they should and shouldn't be) by thousands of different sources: the media, men, other women, clothing manufacturers, etc. Because of this, we (women) have a tendency to forget who we think we are, who we know we are. And in order to remember, we should probably start with the basic part of our anatomy that no one likes to talk about: our vaginas," said O'Keefe.

[I like how femininity is entirely reduced to anatomy. Earth to everybody: gender and sexuality is more than one's genitals. ~LB]

On whether or not the play contradicts Catholic values, O'Keefe said. "It seems to me that this school does an awful lot of sacrificing of educational caliber, variety and diversity of thought, and potential growth experiences for the students of this campus in order to appease some epic ideal of what The Catholic University should be. I came to school to learn, and grow, and to more fully discover who I am. I am Catholic, but I am also an actor, an activist, and a woman with a vagina. I shouldn't feel like those things contradict each other."

[Hmm. Did you note that you attend the Catholic University of America? The "epic ideal of what The Catholic University should be" is just that -- Catholic. ~LB]

In 2001, "The Vagina Monologues" was performed at Georgetown University. Robert Swope, a columnist for The Hoya, Georgetown's campus newspaper, wrote an article criticizing the play. His column was entitled "Applauding Rape at Georgetown." Swope was fired from The Hoya for reasons he believes were linked to opposition to his column. The article was never published. In a recent interview with The Tower, Swope said, "In The Vagina Monologues, a 13 year old girl is glowingly depicted being plied with vodka then molested by a lesbian who is portrayed as that piece's unstated hero. I can't imagine any university, much less a Catholic one, wishing to condone that sort of behavior." [Editors Note: In the version of "The Vagina Monologues proposed for Catholic University, the rape victim was 16 years old.]


The University is not the first Catholic college to ban the play. Providence College in Providence, R.I. also has prevented "The Vagina Monologues" from being staged on its campus this semester. Father Brian J. Shanley, President of Providence College and former Catholic University professor of Philosophy, recently addressed his students as to why the school's administration issued the ban. "First, far from celebrating the complexity and mystery of female sexuality, "The Vagina Monologues" simplifies and demystifies it by reducing it to the vagina. In contrast, Roman Catholic teaching sees female sexuality as ordered toward a loving giving of self to another in a union of body, mind, and soul that is ordered to the procreation of new life," said Shanley.

He then proposed, as a substitute to a V-Day presentation of "The Vagina Monologues," a weeklong campaign through Project S.A.V.E. (Sexual Assault and Violence Education). "Project S.A.V.E. is a collaborative effort of many student groups to educate the campus about how to prevent violence against women and help survivors heal," said Shanley. He then addressed the fact that some will oppose the decision to ban the play. Shanley stated, "Doubtless some will reply that this is a violation of artistic freedom. But artistic freedom on a Catholic campus cannot mean the complete license to perform or display any work of art regardless of its intellectual or moral content. Any institution which sanctioned works of art that undermined its deepest values would be inauthentic, irresponsible, and ultimately self-destructive."

That is really quite intelligent of Fr. Shanley. No one, then, can accuse him of promoting violence against women or seeking to undermine groups geared towards ending the same.

A second article detailing some students' reactions to the cancelation followed, as expected, in the next issue:

Students Express Mixed Feelings Over 'Vagina Monologues' Cancelation
By: Nicole Cullis
Issue date: 2/3/06

Students have reacted both positively and negatively in response to the recent cancellation of the Drama department's production of "The Vagina Monologues," as reported in last week's Tower. The administration canceled the play citing "crude and vulgar" content that was contrary to Catholic teachings.

Among the students who were disappointed with the decision were those who were involved in the production. Senior drama major Meghan Reichelt said, "I understood the administration's point of view, but that the play changed the way I look at a lot of things and it helped me accept myself."

The general University audience, according to Reichelt, never intended the production for view. The play was planned to only be attended by close friends and family with three performances at 11p.m. "Vagina Monologues is a great solidarity piece and I am sad that we can't bring that sense of womanhood to the Catholic Community," Reichelt said.

In addition sophomore drama major Erin O'Keefe said the cancellation was due to negative publicity it might generate, "[the play] was canceled because of the reputation and appearance that allowing such a performance might give off."

One of the planned performances was inspired by senior drama major Kelsey Gouge's intended monologue inspired by her time in Bosnia working with the Global Children's Organization. This organization was dedicated to helping the many women who were raped and sexually abused during the Balkans War. "I was doing this for them," she said.

Not all students have supported the performance, however. Kristine Man, a senior elementary education major, said, "I've seen and read the Vagina Monologues and I don't see how it really has anything to do with ending violence against women. If we really care about violence against women, we should invest more into events such as 'Take Back the Night' that Amnesty [International] hosted last year which was an educational rally rather than an unrelated drama performance."

According to the proposed pyramid-diagram of article-writing, the least important part of the article (hence, the part at the end) is that anyone disagrees with the author of the piece who evidently disagrees with the administration's decision.

Oh well. If the play continues, at least it is off-campus with the administration having already done everything within reasonable limits to put a stop to it. To break up the production done off-campus, if not performed in the name of CUA, would be a bit Gestapo-ish (a complaint of mine in regards to UDallas).
posted by Lauren, 10:28 PM | link | 5 comments

{Friday, February 10, 2006  }

.:{Appropriate for the octave of one's 21st birthday....}:.

Dominicans and the New Wine of the Gospel

Hat tip: Philokalia Republic
posted by Lauren, 4:35 PM | link | 2 comments

{Tuesday, February 07, 2006  }

.:{I have nothing to leave or to give but my life...}:.

...and this I have consecrated to the Sacred Heart to be used as He wills...This is what I live for and in case of death what I die for. …Since my childhood, I have wanted to die for God and my neighbor. Shall I have this grace? I do not know, but if I go on living, I shall live for this same purpose; every action of my life here is offered to God for the spread and success of the Catholic Church in Virginia. …I shall be of more service to my diocese in Heaven than I can ever be on earth. - Servant of God, Francis J Parater.
Today marks the 86th anniversary of the death of Frank Parater. A seminarian for the diocese of Richmond (Virginia), he studied at the North American College and died of rheumatic fever in Rome. The memory of his sanctity and a devotion to him persists in the NAC and in his home diocese and the site for his cause can be found here.
- Zadok (At the request of Cnytr)
PS Chiara pays a beautiful tribute to Frank Parater on her 'blog.
posted by Zadok the Roman, 2:13 PM | link | 3 comments

.:{Rapping in Latin...}:.

"Latin is a good language to rap in actually. It has a good rhythm and can be to the point."
The linked story in the Telegraph is worth a look.
- Zadok
PS I am reliably informed that the Cnytr is still alive...
posted by Zadok the Roman, 4:21 AM | link | 4 comments

{Sunday, February 05, 2006  }

.:{Tanti Auguri, Lorenza!}:.

If today were not a Sunday, we would be celebrating the feast of St Agatha. However, Sunday or no, we are celebrating the Cnytr's birthday today. I'm not sure whether young Lauren wants me to share with you how old she is, but be assured that she's wise beyond her years. ;)
Anyway, the Atlantic ocean means that (alas!) I can't participate in the Stateside Bacchanalia which will doubtless mark this notable anniversary I'll just have to manufacture my own here in the Eternal City.
St Laurence Pray for her
St Agatha Pray for her
St Dominic Pray for her
posted by Zadok the Roman, 12:01 AM | link | 2 comments

{Friday, February 03, 2006  }

.:{A Boethius Break}:.

O Thou who dost by everlasting reason rule,
Creator of the planetss and the sky, who time
From timelessness dost bring, unchanging Mover,
No cause drove Thee to mould unstable matter, but
The form benign of highest good within Thee set.
All things Thou bringest forth from Thy high archetype:
Thou, height of beauty, in Thy mind the beauteous world
Dost bear, and in that ideal likeness shaping it,
Dost order perfect parts to a perfect whole to frame.
The elements by harmony Thou dost constrain,
That hot to cold and wet to dry are equal made,
That fire grow not too light, or earth to fraught with weight.
The bridge of threefold nature mad'st Thou soul, which spreads
Through nature's limbs harmonious and all things moves.
The soul once cut, in circles two its motion joins,
Goes round and to itself returns encircling mind,
And turns in pattern similar the firmament.
From causes like Thou bringest forth souls and lesser lives,
Which from above in chariots swift Thou dost disperse
Through sky and earth, and by Thy law benign they turn
And back to Thee they come through fire that brings them home.
Grant, Father, that our minds Thy august seat may scan,
Grant us the sight of true good's source, and grant us light
That we may fix on Thee our mind's unblinded eye.
Disperse the clouds of earthly matter's cloying weight;
Shine out in all Thy glory; for Thou art rest and peace
To those who worship Thee; to see Thee is our end,
Who art our source and maker, lord and path and goal.
~ Consolation of Philosophy book III ch IX
posted by Lauren, 1:46 PM | link | 1 comments