Friday, November 23, 2012

Sin isn't the end....

It really isn't.

Friday, November 16, 2012


Come on over!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Join me....

On Thursdays, at Catholic Insight.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Just Wing It

I was supposed to have a Spanish invasion over the weekend, but something urgent came up which meant he had to go to Madrid instead. Although it was, admittedly, necessary and even urgent that I be neglected this weekend - because yes, that is how I chose to view things - I didn't feel great about it.

That might be un understatement.

Late Friday evening, I knew I had to something for the weekend to shake my mood. Perhaps go somewhere?  Anywhere? I tossed around a few places, and for some reason Perpignan stuck. Possibly because I like saying it. There really is no other reason I can think of, for latching onto it as my destination.

But, I didn't decide anything conclusive, and woke up on Saturday morning in such a funk that I ate chocolate for breakfast to try and shake it off. Healthy. By the time 10 AM rolled around, I had decided that I just needed to stay home and sweep my floors. Possibly even mop them. By 10:05, I knew I would end up in the fetal position moaning if I actually did that, so I decided to make a break for it.

This left me half an hour to shower, dress, blow dry my hair, put on makeup, throw stuff into an overnight bag, book a hotel and check train transfers before my train left Couiza. I was like a chicken on crack, or something.

I did present a very well put together self, in possession of a hotel room in the "Historical District" when I arrived in Perpignan. But.......when I walked out of the train station there, I realized something important: the only thing I knew about the city was that it had a strong Catalan influence. That'

I didn't know where my hotel was. I didn't even know the address. I didn't know the major areas for sight seeing. I didn't have a laptop for access to the internet so I could figure either of these things out.

I lost my Blackberry in London a month ago, so I couldn't call the neglectful Spaniard and make him figure these things out. And so I stood there, surrounded by French and Spanish people and all I could say was....."Oh, Shit."

And then...."Oh SHIT."

I did have a scrap of paper, on which I had written the hotel's name, and three vague directions on how to walk there from the station. But I could barely read my own hurried scribbles. I had looked at a map online before bolting out the door, and I remembered the general direction of things and the major road I needed to find and turn right off of, at some point. So I just struck out. Twenty minutes later, bless the angels in heaven, I found my hotel. And you thought I was going to get murdered. Well, so did I.


Here's the fortunate thing about most European cities: they are actually quite small. Within whatever area is considered their historical district, you never usually walk for more than hour to get to anything you want to see. I might have been vastly unprepared going there, but I did know that once I found the centre of town, I would be able to see nearly everything worth seeing just by wandering around and exploring. And so that's what I did.

The centre of Perpignan is composed of very winding, narrow cobblestone streets. In some way I was reminded of a calmer version of the back streets of Naples. There are cafes everywhere, amazing shopping (not that I partook) (that's a lie) (it was amazing), and even though this sounds cliche, there is buckets of "character" everywhere. I could have walked those streets indefinitely.

Simply by walking around, I got to see Le Castillet, which entranced me for some strange reason. I found the Cathedrale de Saint Jean-Baptiste de Perpignan, which is so beautiful it made me cry. I turned a corner and found the Hotel de Ville, which was interestingly ominous and had a wedding party coming out of it. I explored the Palais des Rois de Majorque - but that is a story in and of itself. 

And so when I checked a guide book after the fact, I found that I had hit upon most of the major attractions. 

Conclusion: that's how I want to do it from now on, because it is 500 times more magical that way, I had no pre-concieved notions or expectations. I didn't know anything, so everything was a surprise. I hadn't glamourized anything, and so wasn't disappointed by the clash of imagination and reality. In short, it was perfect.

As an added bonus I got some awesome shirts and had some amazing meals. Beyond being disgustingly beautiful.....everywhere, France knows how to do clothing and food. Seriously. I am not sure it is possible to be depressed here. The shopping therapy and the food therapy is beyond excellent.

I don't know if I have a point, except this: throw out your guidebook. Stop planning. Just wing it. It's much, much better that way. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Dreams and Suicide Pills

A few months ago I started taking a supplement for sleep and relaxation. One of the side effects, apparently, is excessive dreaming. I saw that and snorted. This girl never dreams, or at the very least, never remembers them. Sure enough, the first two months passed by rather un-eventfully. No dreams. Not much more sleep than usual.

Then some sort of cumulative effect must have happened, because suddenly I would be washing dishes and a bizarre memory would pop into my head. I would wander down this memory lane thinking that it seemed SO WEIRD, but hey, everyone I know is weird. Par for the course.

I think it finally occurred to me that I was actually having dreams, when I woke up one morning and put the kettle onto boil. As I stood there waiting, like a bolt out of the blue I remembered something utterly disturbing that really had to be taken care of.

"Bastard. I totally hate him right now."

I  violently ripped open my tea bag and fumed. "What a jerk. I can't believe him. I just want to punch him." I took a sip of tea. "AGhhhhhhh. How could he DO this?!"

The problem? My boyfriend had decided to go to Miami with his two friends, in order to party with HOT GIRLS. Was I mad? You bet I was. Especially because this meant he was missing Christmas with me. I was having serious doubts about him. Beyond doubts. More like "He is dead to me. And I am going to slowly peel off his skin."

I was halfway through my tea when I remembered how terrible our argument had been about this trip. And how I didn't want my little boy - who was so utterly beautiful - to be exposed to such strife.

At which point my brain went "Wait a minute, genius. You don't have a little boy."

And then I realized that I had spent the whole morning mad...because of a dream. Whoops. 


Good thing my Blackberry was lost at that moment... or someone might have received a really nasty call. Can you imagine how confusing that would have been?


A few days after that, during a conversation in which I was barely responsive, the Spaniard finally gave up.  "Ok. You're mad. What is it this time?" (This time?!)

"Nothing. " (The first most ominous word a female can utter.)


"Whatever." (Oh dear. The second most ominous word a female can utter.)

"Maryyyy.........Tell me now."

"Fiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine." *Long Silence*


"More and more I just get the feeling that you don't really care."

*Snort. Sigh of kill. me. now'* "About you?"


"Based on............?"

"I don't know. Just things are different or something."

"Ok. Do we video chat every day? And do I email you ALL THE TIME?"

"Yeah, but they are....not the same."

"I work, remember? It's been busy. Am I coming to see you soon?"

"It's not that, it's....I don't know...." *long depressed sigh*

"I can't work with 'I don't know.' Unless you can give me specifics, there's nothing I can do."

*Gassssssp* "You know what? Be nicer."

What a prize I am.


And then it hit me. Much like the morning I spent angry at a dream, I was being bratty and REALLY annoying because of.... what?

Let's face it: a raging case of PMS and a lack of sleep is never pretty. 

In other words, I wasn't reacting to reality, I was reacting to hormones and a really, really, really....really....overactive imagination.

So now, if I haven't already flown off the handle, I have started checking myself. What am I reacting to? Is my reaction based in fact, or in a bubbling hormonal stew? (Yum!) Or fatigue? Or the fact that it's raining?

To be honest - shhhh don't tell anyone - I haven't really been that successful so far, but at least the awareness is there.


So that's cool. But now I keep wondering about this: Does the President of the United States carry around a vial of poison, which he must immediately ingest in case he gets kidnapped?

Because I woke up thinking about that the other day, and I am not sure whether this something true, or if my dreams of being the first female President and my horror of death are combining into one glutinous mass of absurdity.

I Googled "Does the President carry a suicide pill?" and nothing came up. But that's probably classified information anyway.