On the merits of liturgy

This was me, six weeks ago, "in which religion is a relationship too":
But ever since I came back, I've discovered that I can find God in that "religion." That I was moved to share the Eucharist, Elevation and Fraction and queueing up and all. That those creeds and sacraments move me. That they are sacraments; in them everything is brought together and I... relate.


This week in Andalusada blogging: 7/28/2012

The Andalusada Scrapbook has been quite busy this week, writing in a few things like so:
  • The first thing that merited writing about in Andalusada was prompted by my own comment, discussing the thought of regular Andalusada blogging, which mentioned that I'd derped more about the existence of Polish-Ruthenian parerga than the existance of Poland-Ruthenia itself. So, on Monday, I fixed that and introduced the most steampunk society in the verse.
  • The next post I was planning to write out was one on gun porn, but after I was finished hyperlinking the previous comments to Poland-Ruthenia, it occurred to me that I'd also mentioned "Technical Censors" before without explaining the concept further. (Which is inexcusable, because they're a critical force in Andalusada's future dieselpunk turn.) So, the next day, I explained who the Technical Censors are and why they matter.
  • I have a big blind spot concerning Andalusada's last major-power war cycle; while I know it was an epic on par with the Great Realignment, I don't know that much about how it actually played out, at least when it doesn't involve the Russian Revolution and its aftermath. So, also on the 25th, I wrote about the one war I can write about - or at least as much as I could.
  • Wednesday was a dead day on the blog, because I was so busy writing about the gun porn I mentioned earlier. On Thursday, though, I finally completed my technical derping enough to post it without needing an immediate revisit (as happened to my first post on gun porn.) Ladies and gentlemen, meet the Warsaw School.
There is some editing that's going on too:
  • By far the most significant edit was an expansion of the Russo-Japanese War. In part, this is because Meammosirsk is still getting love and attention from me, towards its posting on August 13; but another, and a bigger, part of it was actually spelling out its flow, and explicitly stating how important Japanese espionage was in the Easter Revolt.
  • The Miramoline got a bit of cleanup too; initially it was simply tagging her "gender," but when I realized that she didn't actually address gender in any way, I had to explain her significance.
  • Towards the forthcoming post on Mahdism, which has become too long to finish in the time I have today, I amended the Great Realignment to note a very, very important date in Moorish history: 1786.
Looking back on previous weeks, it occurs to me that whenever I mention things that I'm going to be posting about in the next week, it pretty much guarantees that I won't write about them. This is going to change, because most of the things that I've written about now have convenient lead-ins (or at least tie-ins.)
  • The only new stub that I have to announce is about Mahdism. It's going to be up first, because it's relevant to a lot of things later on down the line.
  • "An allohistory of vodka" is going to go up at some point after that, now that Poland-Ruthenia has been introduced. Baltic influence on New World beer styles, though, is going to take a lot more time to do, because there are a few Baltic-style republics that need writing about (at the very least, the G.P. of Mexico, G.P. *Brazil, and Hispano-Baltic Texas) - and some spelling out about what Baltic republican thought is and looks like.


My 10 faith-shaping books.

Sarah Bessey (as noted earlier) is a smarter person than I, and when I read that post in which she shared 10 books that changed her faith, I felt... kinda compelled to respond. It just took me a really, really long time to figure out what that list was, especially being distracted by being a demiurge and all. (Confession time: while I was in Niantic last week, I bought some of those books. One of them is overlapping, but one or two others were "Hey, she mentioned that! Want!" splurges.)

So here we are, with my list of 10 books that shaped my faith.

#1: Stealing Jesus: How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity, by Bruce Bawer.
I'm honestly ashamed by this one, because in a lot of ways it shaped my faith for the worse. But it was the first chronologically, and it's had the most lasting impact, so there it is at the top.

Phone troubles

My phone died while I was on vacation last week. By Sunday, the touchpad had seized up; I could no longer dial or access any of its messages, and by Tuesday we'd ordered a new one. (It was an enormous hassle.)

It arrived about this time last Thursday, at which point I promptly went to the store to activate it - and discovered that it couldn't be done, because the pricing plan had been changed during the ordering process, and they couldn't activate the phone until the new pricing plan took effect. Which it would, on August 9, after I'd been conveniently slapped with a bunch of fees for not activating within a 14-day period and suchlike.

On my way back from the store, I discovered that I could call somebody after all, with a lot of work - and so I tried calling my mom to talk this through. I got an answering machine, and left a message - and then, realizing that I couldn't hang up, pulled the battery out.

It was only then that I remembered that I couldn't actually turn the phone on either. My phone was well and truly dead - and Mom had no way to reach me.


Andalusada regular blogging

It's no secret that I write more on the Andalusada Scrapbook than I do here. (In three months, its hit count is rapidly closing with this one's in its entire existence.) Andalusada is my folly and my vanity; I can write whatever I want there, whenever I want there, however I want there, confident that pretty much nobody's going to actually read it.

It's why so much of it's so utterly irrelevant: because on a lot of days what I think is interesting to write about is stuff like, say, hats, or liturgical minutiae, or why Polish-Ruthenian zubrowka isn't considered vodka - and not bigger stuff, like, say, the existence of Poland-Ruthenia. I know a lot of broad strokes already, and it's more interesting for me to fill in the small details rather than the big ones even though the big ones would make the entire thing more accessible and complete.

So last week, somewhat grudgingly, I sat down to start writing what would eventually become my introduction of the Takasagonese people. And something occurred to me.

This week in Andalusada blogging: 7/21/2012

Well, more like this three weeks. One totally wasted week, and one week away on vacation, kinda crimps my regular writing routine, which is something I should work on more... somehow. But no more on that; this is, I think, one of my best three weeks blogging here to date.

On the one hand, it's been a really unproductive three weeks; I've got precious little to show for myself at only eight complete posts. On the other hand, it's been an enormously productive one too; the posts I've written for Andalusada are some of the consistently longest I've done to date, because they're setting in print a lot of old, established concepts and stuff that goes back months (if not years) but has never been formally set down until now.


The Lower Room daily confessional: Serapion and Taliban

III.2. When [Serapion] could not be brought to the path of correct faith... Photinus, a man of very great knowledge, happened to come along from the region of Cappadocia with the desire of seeing the brothers who resided in that desert. The blessed Paphnutius welcomed him with great rejoicing...

III.3. Then he explained... Thereupon [Serapion], moved by the many very powerful statements of that most learned man, was finally drawn to the faith of the Catholic tradition.

III.4. When he gave his unconditional assent in this regard, Abbot Paphnutius and the rest of us were filled with joy.... But the old man... suddenly broke into the bitterest tears and heavy sobbing, and, throwing himself to the ground with a loud groan, cried out: "Woe is me, wretch that I am!

III.5. "They have taken my God from me, and I have no one to lay hold of, nor do I know whom I should adore or address."
-St. John Cassian, The Conferences


On Miss Rumphius, and my backyard

Sarah Bessey is a smarter person than I, and if I don't comment there it's because I regularly find nothing that feels worth adding. On impulse today, though, I clicked over there from Slacktivist, and stumbled upon "In which I share 10 books for tinies," to which I nodded through the list until I got to the honorable mentions:
Honourable Mentions: The Hockey Sweater by Roch Carrier, Sleepy Bears by Mem Fox, Strega Nona by Tomie dePaola, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, and of course, Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney.
And I stopped nodding there, because that last title took me back.


Thank you, friends

Thankless Days, Dreamless Nights began on Journalspace in 2002, as a way for me to exorcise the demons of being a busboy. Its most lasting legacy has been its name, and the category "the daily suckage." For all intents and purposes, it was moribund as of 2004, when I got the order to withdraw from any Internet activity that could complicate my case, and decisively dead as of 2007, when I first posted here.

This last week was the first time I got any significant number of people actually responding to my writing. In particular, "On caretaking and self-neglect" drew the most response, both here and on Facebook.

I've had many causes to say this before, but never really on this blog I think, so I'm going to say it now:

Thank you, friends.

In praise of light pollution: a Spenserian sonnet

I stalked the lamplit streets the other night
Alone in silence, searching all around
For somewhere blessed with perfect-balanced light
To safely rest on clean unbroken ground
(Ideally free from automotive sound
Disrupting my most pure experience);
And there I lay my body back and drowned
My mind and soul with all-consuming sense;
And idly pondered, in that immanence
What message there could possibly have been
To see that sky; and wondered what expense
We paid to blot out all the stars therein,
That I might see as never seen before
A universe of blue and nothing more.