another train wreck at Catholic Weekend, and a review

Check out this week’s Catholic Weekend with the usual crew of friends, minus Steve, who was out galavanting at football homecomings. You’d think he was a bandgeek or something.

So many things to talk about in this week’s show, and one of them is for my nieces and nephews — a fun animated film that had me laughing, and I’m an old curmudgeon.

Most of today’s movie-going audience is primed for the blockbuster Pixar films, but there’s a place for simple story lines and cute animated characters. A good story engages children’s imaginations, and this movie, Under Wraps, will do it. That’s why it’s my Pick of the Week.

And just in time for Halloween, too, if you’re looking for something to stick with the scary theme, but not so scary that the little ones can’t watch.

wrapsUnder Wraps tells the story of a not-too-typical family of archeologists who happen to be struggling with some very typical family drama: a teen-aged daughter too connected to her cell phone to interact with the family, and an adventurous younger son who wants very much to fit in and prove that he can contribute to the family, but falters a little because of his clumsiness.

Add an unlikely villain, an accidental Mummy’s Curse — complete with hilarious Mummy King, and some zombie parents who keep losing body parts, and you’ve got about an hour’s worth of family entertainment.

Pass the popcorn.

Check out other family-friendly fare at Arc Entertainment.

DIRECTOR Gordon Crum
CAST Brooke Shields, Drake Bell, Matthew Lillard
STUDIO 2014 Arc Entertainment

the wall


A little illustration for The Wall. Not really a big fan of Pink Floyd, but there you have it — the human condition and all that.

Part of the Weekly Photo Challenge: Cover Art.

I took this photo at the Monastery of Our Lady of the Holy Spirit in Conyers. Something about it struck me … the strength of the wall is still sustaining itself, though it’s been chipped away by time and the elements. It makes me think about the human condition — we are survivors, no?

Weekly Photo Challenge: Refraction

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Yeah. It’s a stretch to find refraction here. Maybe if you look at the pine straw. Hard. Or if you look around the edges of the pads. That’s probably more an example of surface tension than it is refraction.

What can I say? It’s a totally gratuitous shot from the tiny botanical garden in town. I’ll follow the rules better next week.


7 Quick Takes Friday: In Which I’m Never Home

Check out the collection of other 7 Quick Takes Friday posts, hosted at Jennifer Fulwiler’s blog, Conversion Diary


This week I was in the delightful little Texas border town called Harlingen. It’s right next to South Padre Island, which is apparently a destination. It’s also right next to Brownsville, which is a different kind of destination. I was hoping to eat some amazing Mexican food or maybe some Tex-Mex. Or beef.

Instead, I ate Italian. My hosts were ever so delightful and charming and hospitable. And in the course of a conversation, I discovered that the Italian place was apparently the place to take guests. Ok. I laughed a little and asked my host where she ate the best Mexican food. She said, “At home.”


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I enjoy traveling for work, and generally it is a pleasant experience. Generally. Assuming all the stars align and I can get through the airports. Alas. This was not to be. I left Atlanta after two hours of delays because of the terrible storms in the Houston area. Of course, I was headed to Houston. Apparently, the airport actually closed — and my flight, which finally left Atlanta hours after it was supposed to, ended up diverted to Kansas City, where we flew around there for a while until we ran out of fuel and decided to brave a shot at landing in Houston. We did. It was a nightmare. Suffice to say I got stranded in Houston — but not before I sat around for hours. I used my handy rosary bracelet a lot that day.

Also, you can see I’m wearing cowboy boots. Because I enjoy being a cliche that way.

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I was put up for the night in a very nice hotel. Who can be upset about room service?

And beer?

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St. Anthony’s Church was across the way from my lodgings, and every day I thought I’d try to get to daily Mass, and every day I was whisked away to work at some atrociously early time, so all I could do was wave as my driver zoomed past.


I couldn’t even grab a quick picture :-(


Pretty much, this is what my week looked like:

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I did, however, drink plenty of water.

I just happened to supplement it with quite a few other delicious things.


And finally, I’m going to use this last spot to reflect on what I learned from this week and what I might do to improve my life next week.

It was busy. So. Very. Busy. I think I spent a lot of time playing catch up. I can blame most of it on the flight delays and the problems that caused, but really, it’s also because I do this to myself. I have a lot on my plate and I need to do two things, organize that time so that I can maximize my productivity, and remember to build into that some time to take care of myself.

I’ve been pretty sporadic about walking, so I think I’ll prioritize with that — carve out some time that is intentional for a daily walk.

It’s a plan.


dreamy time


One of my favorite things to do at the beach is sit on the porch late at night and just take in the whole scene. I love the sound of waves — the breeze at night.

That breeze is the best. The combination of the ocean and the heat from the day wipe me out. I tend to just sit on the deck and zone out into a dreamy state. It’s hypnotic.

It’s kind of surreal to be awake and yet in a far off state of such relaxation and peace that things seem to be … a little off.

Like this picture. It looks like a Dr. Seuss landscape, doesn’t it? I took it with a regular little point-and-shoot. No filters, no editing.

I keep expecting Horton the Elephant.