Contrariwise: Flashback

Lindsay's first blog, containing entries from August 2002 through July 2006.

Sunday, July 30, 2006


Okay, everyone. I still have some things to add and some kinks to work out, but I'm ready.

Until further notice, I will be blogging at Please update your links and bookmarks.

See you on the hosted side.

11:25 PM  // 

Friday, July 21, 2006

Transition Time

Those of you who I've talked to on AIM already know that I'm back from hiatus. However, that also means I'm learning how to use WordPress to move in to my new site. As such, it'll be a while before I have everything up and running. I'm posting at the new site, but I'm also making huge changes that, unfortunately, I don't know how to test locally. I'll let you know when I'm all moved in.

In the meantime, read the posts I put up in my LJ from camp last week.

11:52 PM  // 

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Hiatus, and St. Maria Goretti

I am going on an official hiatus as of today. I'm having my computer fixed tonight, and then I won't have Internet access in the dorms on campus while I'm doing the summer program next week (Sunday through Friday), so it seems like the best thing to do. I anticipate getting a lot of pleasure reading accomplished.

I need to mention a few things before I go, though.

Today is the feast day of St. Maria Goretti. She is the patroness of the UMD court of the Catholic Daughters of the Americas. I've posted about her before, explaining her exemplary martyrdom. If you're interested in saying a few special prayers for this day, check out her official site. (Gotta love the effect of recent canonizations.)

This week's Catholic Carnival is up at CowPi. And even though it's not a Carnival entry, this post on driving rules at CowPi is worth a look.

I found a host! I'll be moving in after I get back from the program. The transition will take some time and study on my part, but I'm really excited. I'm going to be using WordPress as my blog's content management system, so I have to learn about PHP. I've gotten good enough at (X)HTML and CSS that I feel like I can take on this challenge. My hostess is not someone I already knew, which could be good or bad. I'm going to give it a shot, though. I'll never know if I don't try, right?

I have started using If you haven't heard of it, it's like a cross between a social network and remote bookmarks. Anyway, if you're interested, my is finally organized the way I want it. (Come on, you knew organization was going to be a factor.) Feel free to send me links and put me in your network and all that. You might have to identify yourself, though, if I don't recognize your username.

That's all for now. If you're so inclined, please pray for me, my co-coordinator Chaz, all the participants of the program, the professors, and everyone else working with us. We're trying something new here, and we could use all the help we can get.

St. Maria Goretti, pray for us!

12:55 PM  // 

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Publicity! Squee!

I have several things to blog about. Chief among them is the fact that Blogger is not cutting it for me anymore, so I'm thinking about switching to WordPress and have made inquiries for a host. I'm not ready for my own domain, and I'm not sure I could afford it, anyway. Someone on Blog*Spot already has Contrariwise, my title as of this year. So that leaves hosting.

I might wait a bit to move, though, because I was mentioned in a national newspaper. I realize that anyone who wanders through here after reading that article will see this post and think I'm a huge dork. But I am, so that's fine. Totus Pius posted the article from the National Catholic Register, since they were mentioned as well. Oh, my gosh. This is so exciting, and I am definitely encouraged. Thanks, Eric, for including me in your article (even if you did get my title wrong; I guess it's not as obvious as I thought), and to Julie for mentioning the Totus Pius post so I would know it existed.

And of course, thanks to the Holy Spirit, for filling my life with so many things to share and the gift to express it here.

2:11 PM  // 

Friday, June 30, 2006

In Which I Use Far Too Many Parenthetical Phrases

Friday Five: Fangirl
1.) What fandom do you center on most? Harry Potter. Someone alert the Lindsayville Department of Useless Questions!
2.) Do you contribute to it much (write fanfiction, draw fanart, participate in online communities and discussions)? I have written HP fic before. I do not write it regularly. I've never drawn fanart, though I've seen some great stuff. I used to be a huge poster on the Good Ship at the FictionAlley boards, but now I just keep the Good Ship Guidebook. I belong to a HP LJ community, but I'm on a long hiatus. I subscribe to a horrible HP Yahoo!Group as well as HP4GU. School takes up too much time for anything deeper or more frequent.
3.) Do you think that such things are good or harmful to the fandom and why? They can be good and bad. The bad consists mainly in the potential for trolling, flamewars, and legal battles—which can pop up in any fandom, not just HP. The good is that it gives a leg-up to writers and artists. When they, like me, are strapped for creativity and the time it takes to be creative, there's a huge well of inspiration in any fandom. You can learn how to characterize by learning to convincingly develop someone else's characters. You learn to draw by taking descriptions of characters and putting your spin on them. The Internet ameliorates the whole process.
4.) Do you think it's good or harmful for the original creator? Again, both. In the negative column is the tenuous line of copyright and trademark infringement we all must walk. Very few fanfic authors or fanartists seek any kind of money for their work for that very reason. In the positive column, they say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. We do love JKR so. She'd better be looking both ways before she crosses the street for the next year.
5.) Why do you like this fandom in particular? I don't even have time to get into why I love Harry Potter. That is a mini-essay for another day.

We're getting down to the wire at work. My "schedule" still bothers me, though, especially on days like today, when I got to Anne Arundel by 9:10am despite the traffic I hit and Chaz didn't show up until almost 10. It wouldn't have bothered me if we hadn't agreed via late-night text message that the "early" Traci had suggested we come in at meant 9am instead of 10 like past Fridays. We had plenty to do, though, so much so that we worked until around 3:30pm without stopping.* (For some reason, just walking around the office for that long in flip-flops left a sore on my foot. I am not pleased.) One boy was trying to decide between our program and one at Salisbury. Since he didn't reply by today (four days after the reply deadline), we assumed he chose them. Such a shame, since our program is at Maryland and free. I like working with Honors. I've gotten to know the people that work there a lot better, and Dr. Thorne is so friendly. On my way to the garage after work, I ran into Jonah, who was biking to the greenhouse his bio-something-or-other job keeps to get vegetables. It was great to see someone from campus again. I love my family, but it's not the same atmosphere. The atmosphere, the people: that is why I miss school over breaks. Studying can die.

*The non-stop nature of today's work shift includes the part where neither of us stopped for lunch. I've taken up fasting on Fridays as an act of penance. I was stunned to find out that all Fridays of the year are still penitential (I didn't find out from Moneybags, but he explains it every week, so it's faster to link to him), so I took up the practice right after Lent. I tried simply abstaining at first, but that didn't feel particularly penitential, so I went with praying the Stations. Then I started my daily Rosary again, so praying the Stations felt like overkill instead of penance. (It doesn't feel like a penitential act if I'm forcing myself through it only because I feel like I should, not because it helps me grow in faith.) I think I'm going to stick with fasting, since it's not tricky while I'm at home. The difficulty shouldn't be an issue in a Catholic family, but I'm taking that one step at a time.

I finally gave up tolerating my computer issues and contacted Dell Technical Support yesterday. Their response may be very, very good for me, but I don't want to jinx it, so I won't go into detail. But if I have to reconstruct my computer life, I will be one unhappy camper.

The CSC boys manage to keep their blog going with alums, despite the trailing-off of Catholic Girl Talk. I should talk to Mary and Lacy about that. I blog, I'm all over the CSC, I'm a girl. I meet the basic qualifications. Maybe Maura would do it with me. I mention them because they (I use the plural not as colloquial incorrect grammar, but because I don't know all their pseudonyms) made a post today that makes me exceedingly happy. Rejoice with me, my fellow opponents of debate.

The SS. Peter and Paul issue of Dappled Things is up. Dappled Things is a magazine (thus far only online) for young Catholic adult writers and artists, as the title and issue date would suggest. I haven't had much time to look into it (darn school), but there's been some beautiful poetry and artwork. This month has an essay on Measure for Measure, of which, if you heard me talk about my Shakespeare class, you will know I am particularly fond.

I stumbled across the Missionaries of the Eucharist blog sometime this past week. They are a group of college students walking from Maine back down to D.C. to raise awareness about pro-life opinion and JPII's Theology of the Body. In addition, five of them are students from Maryland, two of whom are CDA officers, including our regent! It's a good read, especially since I know so many of the walkers/bloggers personally. I might even join them for a bit when they reach D.C. next month (August 6, the Feast of the Transfiguration). That's still up in the air, though. I manage quite well by being non-confrontational.

10:52 PM  // 

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

They're Animany, Totally Insaney...

Anyone else have a secret love for Animaniacs? I think Ryan has a video upstairs of old episodes. A few weeks ago, some people on HP4GU (the "Harry Potter for Grown-ups" mailing list) were discussing the "Schnitzelbank" song. It's a German children's/drinking song of dubious origin, hence the dual usage. Anyway, it's all about rhyming and pretending you can speak German. It popped into my head tonight after I came across "schadenfreude" in the book I'm reading (a term which was also in the Simpsons quote Happy Catholic had up yesterday). So I consulted with Lord Google and YouTube came through yet again! Oh, du schöne, oh, du schöne, oh, du schöne, schnitzelbank!

Also, the Catholic Carnival for this week is at Kicking Over My Traces. Nothing particularly great this time. This suggests that I should consider writing something to include one of these weeks. I'll add it to the General Round Tuit list.

11:30 PM  // 

Monday, June 26, 2006

Lots of Reading

My away message this afternoon: Why is it that I have nowhere to go on sunny days, and have to go out when it's raining circus animals?
Jim: sheesh
Jim: you're lucky
Jim: whenever i go out it's raining rainforest animals
Jim: i mean elephants and monkeys are one thing
Jim: jaguars and tarantulas and piranhas are totally something else.

The second it starts raining spiders, I am so out of here.

Mom and I braved the torrential rain for Mass on Sunday. We got out around ten minutes of 1; I missed the part where Fr. Finamore always gives shortish homilies. We saw one of my dad's RCIA teachers on our way out. That prompted Mom to tell me that my dad has enough seniority with TSA to pick better days off. He has Mondays and Tuesdays now, but in a few weeks, he'll be switching to weekends off. That means he can go to Mass with us on Sundays! And if he goes, then maybe the whole family can go together. I only know they're going to Mass if I go with them, so this is a huge development. I've discussed with my dad about the rugrats' non-attendance, and he agrees with me: If she makes them get up and go every week, then they'll get used to it and will stop staying up until 3am on Saturday nights. If she keeps dragging them along on random weeks, well, she'll have to keep dragging them there. We're all Catholic; we should act more like it.

Mary emailed me (and Tim and Fr. Bill, among others) a Washington Post headline that made me scream. Literally. I actually yelled out loud: "Rowling to Kill Two in Final 'Potter' Book". Oh, man. That is going to be a rough weekend; I can see it now. Note to self when planning Potter Party: Tissues. Tissues and fellow readers to offer moral support when we're on the same page (again, literally).

A friend of mine told me of a recent conversation at his family's dinner table that keeps reverberating in my mind. His wife, a physician, also performs abortions. And their 9-year-old son — hearing the words and curious about its meaning — looked up from his plate and asked, "What is an abortion?" His mother tried carefully to describe it in simple terms.

"But," said her son, "that means killing the baby." The mother then explained that there are certain months during which an abortion cannot be performed, with very few exceptions. The 9-year-old shook his head. "But," he said, "it doesn't matter what month. It still means killing the babies." Hearing the story, I wished it could be repeated to the justices of the Supreme Court, in the hope that at least five of them might act on this 9-year-old's clarity of thought and vision. [read it, via Jimmy Akin]

Sometimes I think much of life really is as simple as that. I just finished reading C. S. Lewis's Mere Christianity a few days ago. (I bought it the same night I got HBP, so this completion was particularly satisfying.) The experience of reading it reminded me of "The Five Ways of Knowing God" (St. Thomas Aquinas, from Summa Theologica) in ARHU last fall. That was a great reading for two reasons: first, because I totally understood it, unlike almost everything else we ever read for ARHU, and second, because I agreed completely. I conceded, though, for St. Thomas and for Lewis, that I didn't exactly need convincing. It's much easier to prove your point to someone who already agrees with you. I found Lewis's approach particularly interesting. I believe in objective/absolute truth, and that was where he began, with moral law. If you don't believe that some things are simply wrong and some are simply right, then it'd be hard to be a Christian. It was definitely worth reading; I've seen it recommended as the #3 most important read for Catholics or seekers (right behind the Bible and Catechism). Now I really understand why. I will definitely read it again in the future, perhaps when I can discuss it, but that's one less item on the Round Tuit book list.

11:03 PM  //