24 Jul 2007

Liturgical chaos

So next year, Easter falls early. Really early—just two days after the equinox. Now, the second half of March is a comparatively active time in the liturgical calendar: the solemnity of St. Joseph is on the 19th (and is a Holy Day of Obligation in many countries, though not the US); the feast of St Patrick on the 17th, of course (an HDO only in Ireland, but well-known in North America and other English-speaking countries at least); and the solemnity of the Annunciation, on the 25th (nine months before Christmas, get it?). Obviously, these can fall on any day of the week, which is fine, but Sundays of Advent, Lent, and Easter, and all of Holy Week and Easter Week, trump the regular daily observances. Which then get transferred, if of high enough rank, to a different, nearby day.

That's where the fun starts. Most of the time, when a conflict happens, it's easy enough to just push the solemnity to the adjacent Monday and Saturday. But with Easter on the 23rd, and the blackout period extending from the 16th to the 30th, all three of these feasts fall under it. Annunciation gets moved to the 31st (as happens from time to time). The conflicts on the 17th and 19th are much rarer. The Irish bishops may have been the first to notice, and got it announced that St. Pat's would be on the 15th next year, and this has been reported in a couple places. However, St. Pat's is "only" a feast day, not normally moved, and in any case of lower liturgical rank than St. Joe's—except for that thing about being a HDO in Ireland. But St. Joe's (a solemnity) trumps St. Pat's, and so the 15th will actually be the solemnity of St. Joseph. I'm not sure what the Irish bishops are doing about all this, but some US bishops have just bumped the St. Pat's observance to the 14th. Which I suspect means that some places will celebrate it on the 14th, some on the 15th, and some (who aren't into all this liturgical calendar shuffling) on the good old 17th. Maybe we should just declare it St. Patrick's Week and be done? :)

"Is Mother Nature the fall gal for God, or simply a comfortable alias?" --Eric Zorn

Posted by blahedo at 11:58am | Comments (2)

5 Jul 2007

Party: success

One of the things I've been doing every New Year's for the past several is head on over to Zach's (formerly in Urbana, last year in Chicago) for a multi-day megaparty with one day for gaming, one for movies, and so on. Loads of fun. I've kind of wanted to try something similar, and (wanting to start small) I aimed for a two-day party this year: one a more or less traditional 4th of July barbecue, and the second a little gaming party on the 5th.

While it lacked one of the hallmarks of a good Zach party—many people staying the night and hence the feeling that the party never actually stops—I wasn't really aiming for that, yet. Since it was my first try at a multi-day party, I was really just hoping that I'd get someone here on each day! Yesterday was a success, with about a dozen people showing up at various times. For the most part, it was just a nice party, lasting through the afternoon and almost til dark, with most of us spending most of the time sitting out on the porch and enjoying the day. (The excitement of the day was when the porch swing collapsed (!), though fortunately the only casualty was a broken beer bottle.) Today, then, was a success beyond my wildest hopes: I'd figured I'd get two or three people (plus myself), and it'd last for a few hours. In fact, at the height of the party I had ten people, ranging in age from 9 to older than me, with two tables running. The party wrapped up with a four-person game of Settlers that wrapped up about an hour ago. And the best part is, that was not including a whole bunch of folks both out-of-town and local who wanted to come but had a one-time conflict; so hopefully if I repeat this next year it'll be even bigger-better. (The 4th is a Friday next year, which will help, too.) Maybe then I can think about expanding. :)

And the gaming party let me offload the most perishable of my overbought barbecue party food. Which was an unforeseen plus, but it sure worked out well. My main leftovers at this point are pasta salad, which I'll eat most of over the next few days, and some fresh cantaloupe and pineapple, not yet sliced, so I've got a week or so on that. Yay!

"FIGHTING IGNORANCE SINCE 1973 (it's taking longer than we thought)" --www.straightdope.com

Posted by blahedo at 11:30pm | Comments (1)

3 Jul 2007

Oh! Duh.

So I'm getting ready to have a few people over for a barbecue tomorrow, and with all the food I bought, my fridge is full, and I have no convenient way to cool off soda and beer and such. I didn't really want to go buy a cooler (I just bought a grill, and am trying to limit my profligate spending here), so I was racking my brains trying to think of something I could effectively press into service as a cooler.

And then I thought, oh right, I have the perfect thing that would serve as a cooler: my other refrigerator. Der.

"When network administrators fail, we suffer the inconvenience of the email being down. When farming fails on a large scale---a disaster that has periodically visited humanity since agriculture's emergence 10,000 years ago---people starve. That's why farming is fundamentally different, and why it is still deserving of some form of public support." --Tom Philpott

Posted by blahedo at 3:44pm | Comments (0)