Musings of a 30ish Midwestern Catholic Improv Guy.

Monday, August 28, 2006  

Five People Meme

The Caveman tagged me, and I reply...

If you could meet and have a deep conversation with any five people on earth, living or dead, from any time period, who would they be?" (Explaining why is optional.) Name five people from each of the following categories:Saints, Those in the Process of Being Canonized, Heroes from your native country, Authors/Writers, celebrities.

Five Saints:

The Blessed Virgin Mary (like the Caveman said...just to see her...)

St. Francis of Assisi (my Confirmation namesake)

St. Maximilian Kolbe (the story of his martyrdom left a deep impression on me)

St. Thomas Aquinas (love to get into a discussion with him)

St. Simon the Apostle (no quotes, no books, only one mention per Gospel...I'd like to hear things from his viewpoint)

Being Canonized:

Ven. John Henry Newman (I'd love to see him declared a Doctor of the Church)

Ven. Solanus Casey (great humility, great holiness, and a Milwaukee connection)

Bl. Maria Virgo Stollenwerk (a cousin of mine. Her intercession brought me back from the brink of death)

Servant of God Joseph Kentenich (founder of the Schoenstatt movement)

Servant of God John Paul II (Santo subito!)


Tadeusz Ko?ciuszko (fought for both American and Polish freedom)

Louis Pasteur (brilliant scientist and truly devout Catholic)

Robin Yount (greatest Milwaukee Brewer)

Harry Truman (read his unpretentious man who became President)

Old Abe (Civil War Mascot)

Writers (this is gonna be a tough one to limit to five):

G. K. Chesterton (I've always wanted his brilliance and clarity of thought. Instead, I have his absentmindedness and the beginnings of his girth...)

C. S. Lewis (one of the best Christian apologists ever)

J. R. R. Tolkien ('nuff said)

Charles Dickens (got into reading his work at an early age)

Terry Pratchett (my favorite living fiction author)


Steve Carell (great comic actor, and versatile)

Richard Thompson (first-rate guitarist and wordsmith, and best-kept musical secret)

Stanley Kubrick (one of my favorite movie directors...I'd love to have known what made the man tick)

Colin Mochrie (brilliant improv!)

Bruce Campbell (one of these days he'll reach a wider audience)


Mark Shea

My Wife (double tag, I know...)

Dale Price


Catholic Fire

posted by Dave | 7:31 PM

Saturday, August 26, 2006  

Prayers Requested

Please remember my father, who will be undergoing quadruple-bypass surgery on Wedensday. I'd really like him to see his first grandchild in 16 years....

posted by Dave | 8:14 AM

Saturday, August 19, 2006  

My Week

Schoolwork. Got the order of books finalized for Classics. Acquired lots of supplies. Putting together lesson plans for English. Religion is cut-and-dried.

Housework. Lots of laundry done. Cleaned the kitchen and the bathroom.

Playing Civilization II. It's still the best game in the series.

Reading other blogs. Lots more time now to do so.

ComedySportz. Worked Friday night. It felt good.

Irish Fest. Amy won free tickets, so we went today. Had a cup of mead, ate a lamb sandwich, and, most importantly, figured out how to pronounce Eudail. It's A-dell. And we got a onesie and a bib for Eudail.

Baby names. We settled on Charles John for a boy, and Elizabeth Clare for a girl. Melvin Beverly and Cunegunda Hedwig are out, alas...

posted by Dave | 9:12 PM

Monday, August 14, 2006  

Plenty of time to blog now...

Friday was my last day at IBM.

I remember how it began. December 1994. Manpower called to offer me the assignment. I was to start on the 3rd. "How long will it last?" I asked. "Indefinitely," said the specialist.

It was good for a long time. The work allowed me to listen to the radio, the pay was sufficient for my needs and hobbies, and I made several good friends there. Not a bad situation for a bachelor with basic obligations...

My perspective changed when I met Amy, who decided I could do better. The job didn't offer much upward mobility, and COLAs were few and far-between. So we planned thus: collect my vacation check in January 2007 (Manpower pays ahead for vacation days), then get my resume together and go hunting for something else.

Plans accelerated on May 31, when my pay was cut for no good reason. I needed to get out now.
Amy and I put together my resume, and (Deo gratias!) Veritas Academy hired me not long after. So I gave notice, and set August 24 as my last day. I'd quietly finish my time, and leave.

But nooooo...I got jerked around on my productivity, because I wasn't consistently making the Almighty Quota. I couldn't believe the absurdity of it. In times past, anyone who was leaving would have been left alone, so long as he (or she) didn't completely slack off. What was the point of hassling someone who was staying for two more weeks?

My family's generosity enabled me to move my departure date to August 11. I let a few co-workers know, and brought items home every day. And I decided on how to leave on the blessed day...

Friday. All the important stuff was out of my desk and the break room. I had made the Almighty Quota every day (to show what could have been had they respected me and my co-workers), but I was slacking off a bit. I let others know, one by one, that I was quitting that very day...

11:15 AM. It was time. I logged out, shut down my computer one last time, and reached for my backpack. Out came a tutu, lent to me by my friends at ComedySportz. I put it on, and announced, "This is it for me. Lyle has my contact info if you want it. Thank you, and good luck to you all." And I pranced away to applause.

Of course, I had to hand in my badges to the HR person, but she was apparently too busy to see me at the moment. So I gave the badges to someone else, and sang:

So long
Auf weidershen
I quit!

I repeated the previous announcement to the other side of the office, pranced over to the timeclock, punched out, and pranced out the door. I got down to the lobby as quickly as I could and went to an Indian restaurant to celebrate...

Afterwards, I checked with a couple of my co-workers to find out what happened following my departure. The HR person was livid. "BACK TO WORK!" she roared as people talked about my exit. Then she had to clean out my desk. Apparently, I had a lot of stuff left over. Oh, well...

Now it's two weeks of working on my lesson plans, getting housework done, and occasionally taking it easy. The last week of August will be occupied with meetings and setting everything in order for the school year. Then, on September 6, I will begin to help form young minds. The pay is just a little more, but the satisfaction will be a hundredfold. And I don't think I'll be leaving in a tutu, however short or long this job might last...

posted by Dave | 7:51 AM

Saturday, August 05, 2006  

You're On Notice (educational edition)

Hat tip: Amy Welborn

Above are listed all of my educational bugbears, none of which are present at my new school, I am happy to say...

posted by Dave | 3:39 PM

Wednesday, August 02, 2006  

The Book Meme

Fr. Erik Richsteig has tagged me. I am compelled to respond...

1. One book that changed your life: Plato's Republic. It was liberating to realize that admitting one's ignorance is the beginning of acquiring real knowledge.

2. One book that you have read more than once: Many to pick from here. I'll go with the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

3. One book you'd want on a desert island: The Bible. A Catholic edition, naturally.

4. One book that made you laugh: Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. The Apocalypse has never been funnier.

5. One book that made you cry: A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck. Very sad.

6. One book you wish would have been written: The remainder of Charles Dickens' The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

7. One book you wish had never been written: Anything by Margaret Sanger.

8. One book you are currently reading: Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery. I'm working my way through my students' reading list.

9. One book you have been meaning to read: The Brothers Karamozov by Dostoevsky. I've gotten through at least half of it, but I've never finished.

10. Tag some others: My wife, Mark Shea, and Catholic Caveman.

posted by Dave | 8:48 PM