14 February 2014

SQTF 77: February Fever

Happy feast of Sts Valentine, Cyril, and Methodius! I know there's this fad among some younger Catholics to stick their noses in the air and correct people who call today the feast of St Valentine, because the current liturgical calendar celebrates Cyril and Methodius instead, but really? February 14 belonged to Valentine for centuries before the Great Calendar Revision of the 1960s, and it doesn't hurt anyone to put a little bit of Catholicism into their celebration of National Hearts and Chocolate Day.

We are nevertheless a pair of grinchy Valentines Day-ers over here; Matt worked the early shift today and was out the door before I woke up, and he's supposed to be helping run the Catholic Student Association's screening of Mary of Nazareth tonight, so I will barely see him. I think we are having fish tacos this evening, made with the awful awful lime-crusted tilapia we were foolish enough to buy a couple weeks ago, just to get it out of my freezer, and there won't be any dessert or flowers putting in an appearance: we had our "cheat meal" with ice cream earlier this week, and I've banned cut flowers from the house because the pollen makes Matt and Little Bear both snore. But we are planning a trip to Office Max tomorrow to pick up some red office supplies for each other, if that counts. Not exactly die-hard romantics, are we?


If you're in the Fairbanks area and looking for something to do today, with friends or as a date or just to get out of the house, think about going to see Mary of Nazareth! The Catholic Student Association and St Marks are showing the film, which won't be out on DVD until October, at the theater in the Alaska Centenial Center for the Arts at Pioneer Park. Screenings are at 3:00pm and 7:00pm, and there will be refreshments and silent auction items at both showings. Tickets are $10 apiece, and all proceeds go to the CSA's fundraising efforts for World Youth Day in Krakow. I unfortunately can't go, both because of Little Bear and because my vision and big screens just don't mix.

So, February. I thought we had a great system worked out this winter: warm in the rest of the country, cold in Alaska--cold in the rest of the country, warm in Alaska. But now everyone else is having huge winter storms, and it's still below 0 here! What happened, February? Clearly you weren't paying attention at the planning meeting. We are expected to be seeing positive temperatures by tomorrow or Sunday; we'll see what happens. Little Bear and I are starting to go stir-crazy, having been stuck in the house for so long and being unable to play outside for more than five minutes at a time... What I wouldn't give for 10 degrees above 0!

Matt's first year working for the university, in the middle of his first full Alaskan winter, his boss related a pretty good rule of thumb: never make important decisions in February. Because February--I can't speak for everywhere, but certainly in Alaska--is awful. The sun is coming back and it looks warm and you want to get outside because you are so sick of the cold and dark you've been dealing with for the past several months, but then you get out the door and it's still frigid. The sun lies, y'all. It gets all bright and shiny, and casts warm-looking pink and orange light everywhere, but it isn't actually at a high enough angle to do any warming... And February likes to suddenly drop the temperature twenty degrees on you and freeze up your engine block; we always get at least one hard freeze, down to -40 or -50, in February. And in the midst of dealing with the cold and the lying not-warm sunshine, somewhere around the middle of the month it'll hit you that we still have at least two more full months of snow. That white stuff that looked so pretty when it fell in October, that you've come to like less and less as time passes, will still be sitting there on your lawn and your roof and your driveway and everywhere until at least the end of April. How can you possibly make sound decisions in the aftermath of such a depressing realization?

Using Seton, Seton Home Study School, affects you for life. This morning I was minding my own business, sitting on the kitchen floor sharing a cup of mulberry yogurt with the toddler, letting my mind wander because it wasn't really time to be awake yet... and discovered myself analyzing themes from a novel I haven't read since high school. For the record, I have no idea what I wrote my theme analysis essay on for The Scarlet Pimpernel, but I'm certain now it should have been the deadly nature of pride.

Complain and ye shall receive? We just got home from Mass, and it is beautiful outside! Bright blue sky, no clouds, blazing sun, and one whole degree above 0. Little Bear was devastated to realize that I was bringing him inside for a nap instead of staying out to play.

Hope your weekend is as lovely! Stop by Conversion Diary for more quick takes.

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