I believe what John Paul II taught about the Genius of Woman.  Except when they go see Twilight films. -Lino Rulli, “the Catholic Guy” on SiriusXM

I put it in italics instead of quotes because I don’t think that’s exactly what he said, but it’s close.

And it was hilarious.

It’s probably closer to reason #2 or #3.

My favorite driver, Carl Edwards, (or, if I knew all my readers were NASCAR fans, I might refer to him just as #99.  Just kidding, I wouldn’t…) recently became a new father.

[side note: we pro-lifers need to fix the lingo here.  He didn’t just become a new father.  He’s been a father for nine months.  So I should say his wife recently gave birth to a daughter.  But that would require restructuring that sentence, which I’m too lazy to do.]

Edwards may have made the news this week for other reasons (namely, intentionally wrecking a fellow driver at 180 mph), but I’m not going to focus on that in this entry. [I’d be happy to share my opinions on what happened this weekend & Carl’s subsequent punishment, but for the sake of most of my readers- who probably aren’t NASCAR fans, I’ll refrain.]

Anyway, I did want to share this snippet from an article on nascar.com about Edwards’ new role as daddy:

“I had a lot of different emotions I didn’t plan on,” Edwards said about his daughter’s birth. “I was watching them cut the cord on the baby, then I thought, ‘Wait, Kate’s over here. Is she OK?’ It was just a rush of things all at once that I wasn’t prepared for. It’s just such a miracle.”

[Jimmie] Johnson also will become a father this summer. Elliott Sadler became a dad for the first time last week, and Jeff Gordon’s wife is expecting their second child later this year.

“It makes me kind of proud,” said Mark Martin, the resident grandpa of the Cup garage at age 51. “We went a long time with not many little ones coming into the sport. It felt strange.

“Now we’ve seen a steady growth of the families. It’s good to see. It’s the best experience anyone can have in life, bar none. And, really, these guys aren’t that young. They’re having kids at a great time, after they’ve had a chance to mature themselves.”

NASCAR is prolife!! 🙂

I have a lot of work to do tonight, and as I ate dinner I was contemplating staying up until it was all finished, regardless of the time.  In college, all my best paper-writing happened at night and in the wee hours of morning.  Ask my friends — I was always writing papers when everyone was heading to bed.

Contemplating staying up late, I remembered that I needed to be at school early tomorrow.   I thought, “Oooh, I’ll pull an all-nighter!”

Um, yeah right. *yawn*

I’m old.

I thought that moving to the South would make me miss snow.  And while it has, I realized this morning I miss something more: northern drivers.

When snow or ice hits a southern city, the drivers act like maniacs.

#1 pet peeve of mine: people who don’t clear off their cars.

URRRGH!  Come on, guy-driving-down-the-road-with-only-his-front-windshield-clear!  Seriously!?  Not only can you not see out your back window, you’re also spraying snow all over the place — for the people behind you AND at your own windshield while you drive.

And the people that don’t clear off the tops of their cars.  Grr!  Lady, I know it’s hard to reach, and I know it’s a pain.  But you know what’s more of a pain?  The people behind you on the interstate getting into wrecks as they try to swerve to miss the giant sheets of icy-snow that shoot up in the air at 70 mph and land behind you in the road.  Real considerate, ma’m.

Or the punk in the pickup truck who thinks just because he’s sitting up higher than everyone, he can zoom past them on treacherous roads.  See you when you fishtail on black ice, buddy.

Can you tell I just finished driving out in the midst of craziness?

For the record, I will never criticize Southern school districts for closing before the snow even starts.  I will never laugh at schools down here who close for a mere 1/2 inch of powdery white stuff.  1) These drivers don’t know how to drive in it.  2) The cities aren’t equipped to deal with it.  It’s not this city’s fault that 7 inches of snow has crippled it for days — it just doesn’t have the plows, the salt, and the manpower to stay on top of it.  I’d much rather everyone stay off the roads for a few days — like the police told us Friday morning– to allow the city to clean up the roads.  It just makes more sense.

So all you Northerns can scoff and laugh.  But a few inches of snow down here is a lot more dangerous than it is up there.  If only because of the crazies driving out there.

I’m feeling pretty accomplished.  I made a list this morning so that I could check things off.  And I’m over halfway finished with it.

The things that I checked off have been on the list in my head for quite some time.  Wrapping presents, finishing up Christmas cards, mailing packages — it took almost all day, but now they’re all checked off my list, and I feel ready for Christmas!

This afternoon I went to the post office.  I knew it was closed, but I just needed to use the little mail-it-yourself kiosk in the corridor.  When I got there, I wasn’t surprised to see a line of several people.  I mailed my Christmas letters, then stood in the line.

Perhaps you’ve noticed something about people around this time of the year.  They aren’t happy.  They’re impatient in traffic, tired of waiting in lines, and sick of the weather.  They’re either coming down with a cold, suffering through a cold, or recuperating from a cold.  I’m sure they don’t intend to be Mr. Scrooge or the Grinch, but they are.

Today at the post office, I was expecting nothing different.  I knew there would be a line, and figured it would be full of grouchy people, angry that the post office was closed and impatient that they had to wait.

Boy, was I wrong.  There were two ladies in front of me, and while they waited they asked me a few questions.  I could mail my package like that? (I was reusing an old Amazon box.)  Were they just going to print their postage and then put it in the big bin?  What about if they were using one of the flat-rate boxes?

I answered their questions, until the lady using the machine started to leave.  Her card wasn’t working, and she had decided to abandon her quest to mail her package.  One of the ladies encouraged her to try again.  She did, reluctantly, apologizing for holding us up.

The card worked.  The woman thanked us profusely for encouraging her to persevere.  She left, wishing us all a Merry Christmas.

Now it was the questioner’s turn.  She began the process, asking questions the whole way.  The woman behind me chimed in, helping her through the process.  Then that lady began asking me questions about the flat-rate boxes.

Everyone was SO NICE.  Everyone in line was talking, sharing stories.  Two women behind me began talking about the snowstorm on the east coast.  As it turns out, they both have cousins that live in D.C., and they swapped stories.

The questioner was getting frazzled because she felt like she was taking too long.  One woman reassured her that she was fine — “We’re all human, honey.”  I’m not sure what she meant by that, but it was nice.

Everyone wished each other a Merry Christmas as we all went on our way.

As I left the post office with the cold rain chilling me to the bone, entering the crazy traffic …  the world was a little merrier.

There are two different kinds of blogs.   Okay, so there are millions.  But I’m going to divide the plethora of different kinds into two:

1) Personal

2) Anonymous

Now, we’re not so much speaking of two categories, distinctly divided, as much as two shades, if you will.  With a blog that is “anonymous,” you might know the person’s name, occupation, and even where they live.  But the blog isn’t really about their life.  They’re imparting some knowledge, sharing their opinion, etc.  The blog isn’t about them, but about something distinct from them.  Of course, since we’re human, there’s usually going to be something personal somewhere.   So the author of a cupcake recipe blog might also share that they went to their nephew’s birthday party over the weekend, or that their kitchen is being re-done, or that their husband hates almonds.  I would classify a blog like this as anonymous, even if it’s not strictly anonymous and has tints of personal, too.

In the same way, a personal blog may have tints of an anonymous blog, in that the entries might provide news stories, recipes or how-to projects, etc.

I consider my blog anonymous, even though I occasionally talk about things in my life (like the fact that the people who live above me like to stomp up the stairs every night around this time and make the picture above my fireplace shake a little).

I was reflecting on all this today as I was thinking about the direction of my blog.  I really, really miss my Rome blog.  It’s not only that I miss being in Rome, which I do.  It’s that I miss sharing the history, art, culture, and quirks of Rome with people.   I miss walking down the street and snapping a picture just for the blog.  I miss planning the next day’s adventure around something I want to feature on the blog.  I miss writing about the things I love.

I like this blog, and I like the opportunity it gives me to hone my writing style and to talk about the issues out there.  But let’s face it.  It’s not as entertaining.  I’m usually just venting about something.

There are reasons I wouldn’t make this a personal blog.  I don’t necessarily want people to know me through my blog posts, nor do I want that to be the main way people know what’s going on in my life.  Also, it’s often not as challenging to put into words the actions of your day as it is the opinions or thoughts in your mind.   But most pragmatically, I would have nothing to blog about every day! haha.  (I never had that problem in Rome!)

Anyway, I look back at my Rome blog with fondness, and realize that it was a blend of personal and anonymous that I miss.

Anyway, those are just some thoughts.  There’s actually a little YouTube clip from a panel at a recent blog conference discussing this exact issue.

My mom’s going to hate this, but…

I’m going to start praying for snow on Christmas.  “Safe snow” … three inches on the grass, with the air warm enough that it doesn’t freeze on the roads.

I was looking at the ten-day forecast and was sad to see that it’s going to be in the 50s next week.  It usually doesn’t snow when the high is 54 degrees.  Back home, though… there’s snow in the forecast a handful of times.

December just isn’t the same without snow.

At least it’s snowing on my blog.