Monday, December 20, 2004

I can't believe I didn't think of this years ago

Lazy Chicken

3 chicken breasts
dash of pepper
Italian seasoning
1/3 jar Prego spaghetti sauce, flavor of choice
3 oz. pseudo-mozzarella cheese, shredded

Turn oven to 350 F. Put chicken in glass dish; sprinkle with pepper and Italian seasoning. Dump Prego over top. Sprinkle with pseudo-mozzarella. Cook until chicken is done (about 30 min.). Reheat leftovers for lunch the next day.

Seriously, this is like my new favorite food. Two seconds of assembly, three meals. Woohoo!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

The yearly rankings

I'm filling out my calendar for next year, which mostly entails writing in birthdays and other dates to be remembered, along with the few events I already have planned for next year.

I love writing in names on my new calendars. It's always an interesting experience, because more than just a reminder that I need to send a card or buy a gift, it's an evaluation of my relationships. Have I remained in contact with him? When was the last time I did anything with her? Oh, we've gotten to be good friends. March 23, add her, April 27, delete him.

I wonder if it's somewhat cavalier to end friendships this way, downgrading them to acquaintances by simple expedient of not writing a name in a numbered box. It's a little sad, unless something has happened to make me bitter toward the person, and then it's sad and schadenfreude at the same time (like the person cares that they're not on my calendar anymore). Mostly I think it's a way of identifying what my friendships are. Sometimes it's a reminder that I need to get in touch with someone (April 1) or find out when someone's birthday is (December...11? Crap. Missed that one.).

This year my calendar has three additions and three deletions (one schadenfreude, two normal). It's been a balanced year. In addition to my parents' wedding anniversary (June 21), I'm adding my brother's wedding day (May 27). I've noted a concert I'd like to go to in February and the dates of my brother's visit in January, and I'm done.

The new year is already underway.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Let's face it: I've never been rock 'n' roll

So I took my eyebrow ring out last night.

At the moment I did, I just wanted to see if I could; in the three years that I've had it, I've never taken it out or even tried to. I liked the ring that I had, a little silver hoop with a ball. I didn't want anything gaudier or more noticeable. I just wanted my little reminder that I can be even mildly edgy.

Lately, however, I'd been thinking of taking out the ring and letting the holes grow closed. Several things prompted this: first and foremost, my kitten keeps trying to get her teeth in the ring and pull it out of my face when I'm sleeping. Second, possible graduate school visits and interviews are coming up, and it's not the most professional thing in the world, even if most people (somehow) never notice it's there. And finally, it's always annoyed me a little that the ring wasn't exactly on my eyebrow; it was a couple of millimeters below. This is what you get when you go to a piercing parlor in Prague on a whim; it's a fun story and a great memory, but the actual result is a little questionable.

I took it out, feeling a little uncertain as I pulled the ball from the tension of the ring, but God gave me an immediate sign that it was time for the eyebrow ring to go: the ball fell out of the tweezers and down the drain. It's in the U-bend of my sink pipe now, ne'er to return.

So it's gone, and I'm coming to grips. Of course, the holes haven't closed themselves overnight; I could still go out and get a replacement ring if I wanted to save it. But I think I won't; nobody seems to have noticed that it's gone, and I'm sort of enjoying the reverse edgyness of it (whatever that means). Maybe I'll get it re-done after I get into graduate school, maybe not. For now, though, I can stop worrying about waking up with blood in my eye and a smug cat on my chest.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Because I've written this, I'll be going to Third Hell

What is up with church names in Texas, y'all? I'm Catholic, so maybe I'm not getting it, but is there some sort of prize for creative/bizarre names for your church? I mean, I attended St. Mary's Catholic Church and St. Patrick Catholic Church for my entire growing up, plus I'm from Nebraska where everything is sensible and cornfed. We do not, as a rule, name our churches after anything other than saints or members of the Holy Trinity. "Sacred Heart" is a break-out where I'm from.

Churches down south here are evidently having some sort of Bizzaro Name Contest in which the Catholics were not invited to participate. Sometimes it's just excessive wordiness: Fellowship Bible Church North (in Plano). Presumably there are Fellowship Bible Churches in all directions that necessitated this one putting "North" on the end, but frankly, this is why we have addresses, people. If this goes any farther, we're going to have "Fellowship Bible Church North-Northeast, But Mostly North" in a few years. Another entrant in the locational-church names category: Houston's "City on a Hill Bible Church." I don't know what city they're referring to, because by and large, Houston is flah-at.

Another thing I find weird is numbered churches. Catholics don't do this, either. Right down the street from me is the Third Baptist Church. Third? Did they lose a race? It's not in the Third Ward, so I don't think it's locational. They're just third. Personally, I would develop some sort of a complex. "Well, I'm Third Baptist. Too sinful to be second Baptist and too poor to be First Baptist. I'll be going to Third Heaven." And by the same token, how come someone gets to be the First Baptist Church? I'm almost certain that the Baptist faith wasn't founded here in Houston. Like, 99.9% sure. How come you get to be first, Fancypants? Isn't that a little egotistical? I'm pretty sure Jesus said "The first shall be last and the last shall be first." I couldn't tell you where, though, because I'm Catholic and we don't read the Bible. In any case, third heaven for you, too.

Last weekend, though, I found the total and absolute winner for Weird Church Names of the South. Ladies and gentlemen, from Tyler, Texas, I present: Church on the Move.

This is not, as you might reasonably suspect, a church in an RV or some sort of travelling church visiting shut-ins across East Texas. No, it appears to be a typically affixed church of unspecified denomination. I like to think that they're required to dance for the entire service on Sunday mornings, and that perhaps the altar is on some sort of Lazy Susan that moves. Either that or they get a new building every year like a college student.

So yeah. I'm sure there are churches with weirder names out there (because the internet told me so, Driven Life Church of Canton, Texas), but these are ones that I've seen personally, for the most part. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a mass to attend at Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church.