29 April 2014

High Noon at the Ant Rodeo

For the last couple of weeks, we've been dealing with the weirdest situation: ants in our shower.

Ants. In the shower.

Now, it should go without saying but I'll say it anyway: we don't eat in the shower, so I have no idea what is attracting them. And it's clean. It gets thoroughly cleaned a couple of times a month, including this past Friday.

I had Orkin in over a week ago. I told him, "Ants in the shower, so that's weird," and he said, "Oh, they're just scouts. When they don't find any food they'll tell their friends." And then he sprayed down the bathrooms with whatever bug-bomb chemicals and left bug traps behind the toilets. He warned me that it might be worse for a couple of days because he was luring them out so that they would bring the poison back to their anthill.

Eight days later, it's worse than ever. I thought the idea of there being some kind of ant version of Yelp! (you know, where they tell each other that the food service in my shower is lousy) sounded fishy. The bug trap behind the toilet is doing diddly-squat because they're not coming from behind the toilet. I think they're coming from the poorly caulked faucet in the tub (this is a rental, or I'd caulk it myself), but I can't be sure.

Either way, I spend my whole shower with one eye open, washing ants off the walls and the shower curtain with hands-full of water, and then dancing around like a maniac so they don't wash between my toes. It's a freak show up in here.

So I know you can use talcum powder, coffee grounds, cinnamon, cornmeal and all sorts of random powdery things to repel ants naturally, but that's going to wash away in the shower.

Anyone know of anything else?

P.S. Strangely, no sign of ants or anything else in the family room, where the carpets are full of Cheerio and/or Goldfish dust. Shhh, don't tell the ants.

28 April 2014

Must-Read Monday, Week of 28 April 2014

Throughout the course of the week, I'll curate a list of links for y'all to read (if you want! No pressure!), because I wander all over the internets and I may have found something you haven't seen.

Please, please share your must-reads in the comments!
  • I thought this was interesting: dueling posts, hours apart, about the compatibility of the terms "pro-life" and "feminist." First came this one, "Christian women: feminism is not your friend," by Matt Walsh, which argues that "pro-life" and "feminist" are mutually exclusive; and then this one (not in reply to Walsh, just by coincidence), "Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About NWF," from New Wave Feminists, which purports to explain that one can be both. [For the record, I come down on Matt Walsh's side. I believe that feminism has outlived its very limited usefulness. We have the vote, the wage-gap is the stuff of myth, and mostly what feminism has wrought is abortion-on-demand at any gestational age and for any reason (including, perversely, sex-selection abortion, which almost exclusively targets baby girls).]
  • And! Several days later, a response from the New Wave Feminists to Matt Walsh! [It's not going to convince him he's wrong, as it doesn't convince me. Walsh was not claiming that all is right in the world for women, but that the label "feminist" has been irrevocably poisoned.]
  • A large group of gay-marriage advocates published an open letter, "Freedom to Marry, Freedom to Dissent: Why We Must Have Both," over at RealClearPolitics to call for civility in the debate. While I obviously dissent against gay marriage (fundamentally, it is at best as a contradiction in terms), I appreciate the intellectual honesty of the letter; its authors acknowledge that they cannot "wish away the objections of Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faith traditions, or browbeat them into submission," and further remind their more bloody-minded allies that if uniformity of thought could be imposed on a society, they would have gotten nowhere themselves.
  • If the phrase, "Lord, please don't let me become a spiritual fruitchucker" doesn't motivate you to read this article on Catholic Answers, nothing will: Everyone's A Critic.
  • Can irony actually cause a head to explode? This article on the Daily Caller, "Good grief: Now, it's pea personhood!" discusses the fact that Switzerland has laws pertaining to the "dignity" of plants. Nowhere does its author point out that Switzerland is the home of euthanasia tourism, but I think it's fair to say that we live in the world gone mad when it is legal to assist someone with their suicide, and illegal to "decapitate" a wildflower.
  • Amy Otto writes in the Federalist: "How I Made My Peace With Princess Culture." She agrees with my assessment of Barbies (which boils down to: silly body, still just a doll) and argues that trying to shelter little girls from the Disney Princesses could conceivably result in more Lena Dunhams, the star of HBO's Girls, which is a truly insufferable mess and in which Dunham is unattractively naked. A lot.

27 April 2014

Answer Me This, Week 3.

I'm laid up in bed today because I have the sore throat of all sore throats. Yesterday the doctor confirmed it was not strep (hallelujah!), but couldn't pinpoint a source and thus prescribed me nothing except "magic mouthwash" for the pain. It is decidedly unmagical. So even though I had heaps planned for today, it's all canceled because I can't even turn my head without stabbing pain, and my glands are now visibly swollen. I probably look a little Frankensteinish but I haven't been brave enough to face the mirror. 

Anywho, onward:

Kendra at Catholic All Year is hosting a weekly linkup. She provides the questions, you provide the answers, and then you link up with everyone back on her page. It's a great way to get to know a little about your fellow bloggy travelers, as well as a chance to consider some things about yourself that you hadn't before. Join us! 

Kendra's answers, next week's questions and the linkup can be found here.

1. Do you hate happy clappy church music?
That depends what you mean by "happy clappy." My church is musically very traditional, especially since the new translation of the Mass was implemented, and I do prefer it. There is very little of what our (Anglican) back-up organist calls "Jesus lounge music." I do like the occasional 70s throwback hymn; a couple of weeks ago I sang "On Eagle's Wings" at the request of a big donor to our new organ and the congregation always sings along better.  

What I truly can't stand is Life Teen Masses with drum kits being slammed on and some teenager who thinks this is her American Idol audition. I find it to be extraordinarily distracting.

2. What is your priority: eating or sleeping?
I had to think about that harder than you'd think. And then I realized: just last week, swamped with Easter prep, I went to sing the Easter Vigil Mass without having eaten dinner. When I got home over three hours later, I was starving, but I was also exhausted. I went to sleep without eating and would do it again. So that answers that: sleeping.

3. What type of milk do you drink in your house?
We buy organic whole milk in bulk at Costco (by "in bulk," I mean that they sell it in a box of three half gallons; it's really not that bulky). The toddler drinks it whole, obviously, and I have since found that switching from 2%, our previous go-to milk, I almost never have any lactose-intolerance issues. Because it's milk sugar my body doesn't like, not milk fat (which, duh, someone who took as much science as I did should have recognized that -ose means "sugar"). 

Plus studies seem to indicate that people who drink their milk whole weigh less (although that has not come to fruition in my case; it's possible I'm doing everything else in the world wrong). Which, again, makes sense to me; dairies add more sugar to lower-fat milks to compensate for the delicious fat being taken away, and our bodies deal better with fat than sugar.

4. What is a book that changed your perspective on something?
Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy by Eric Metaxas. It's the true-life story of a German pastor who led a resistance effort against the Third Reich. SUCH a good read. 

[That link above is an Amazon Affiliate link; I'm not sure if it works but if you use that link to buy the book they'll supposedly send approximately $0.02 my way.]

5. Who is your favorite saint?
I have always been partial to St. Brigid. 

Since my parents named every one of their other six children after at least one saint, but opted to name me Colleen Erin after precisely zero saints (I mean, of course there are probably Colleens and Erins in heaven, so there are Sts. Colleen and Erin, but there are none canonized by the Church, is what I mean here), I didn't have a patron saint until I was confirmed. My confirmation saint is St. Bernadette Soubirous, but there's just something about a beautiful girl who begged God to take away her beauty so that she could marry Jesus that has always resonated with me. Of course, my own sister Bridget is a beautician, so that's just funny.

Oh, and apropos of my rip-roarin' sore throat, please play on my behalf for some intercession from St. Blaise. He's been ignoring my pleas but maybe if y'all send up a clamor he'll be just annoyed enough to put in a good word.

6. Introvert or extrovert?
I guess I'm closer on the spectrum to extroverted but I'm not truly an extrovert. I'm opinionated and can be loud and I'm usually pretty funny, and I make friends fairly easily, but I'm not good at approaching people. At. All. That is probably why I tend to make (sometimes snarky) comments under my breath and hope someone laughs. Because if you laugh at my jokes, you're in. 

So I make friends easily if someone decides to speak to me first. This is also true on the internet -- I might be a bit of a lurker. Please introduce yourself in the comments any time, because I really would love to know you!

UPDATED TO ADD: I just took an online test and it tells me I'm ESFJ, with strong E and J and slight S and F. 

25 April 2014

My inaugural 7 Quick Takes!

7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes about going to the East Coast, embarrassing myself in interviews, and losing my ability to write the letter F

My first 7 Quick Takes, hosted by the v. inspirational Jennifer at Conversion Diary. Find Jennifer's Quick Takes and the linkup here.

(1) I must have been psychic this week -- or had a tap on the shoulder from my guardian angel -- because I dressed my daughter for daycare in jeans and her St. Patrick's Day tee shirt even though it's mid-to-late April. And THANK HEAVENS because not only did I drop off chocolate cupcakes for snack (made by my delightful sister-in-law at Frosting, a Cupcakery; if you live aaaanywhere near Washington D.C. you should skip the overhyped Georgetown Cupcakes and stop by there), but they also had raspberries for lunch. Stains ahoy, and I don't have to care because it's a $5 Old Navy St. Paddy's Day tee shirt! Nonetheless I was a little dismayed to find a smashed raspberry inside her shirt.

(2) Does anyone else have to say, "Hey! Stop chewing on the furniture!" to their kid upwards of fifty times a day? Check it: we bought this piece of furniture shortly after we moved in here last June. So it is nine or ten months old.

See those scratches? Yeah, those are teeth marks. My little beaver baby stands in front this piece of furniture, and because she's been teething for seriously like a year straight without pause, she gnaws on it. Then she wanders up to me with brown stain-and-shellac bits all in and around her mouth.

This is why we can't have nice things.

(3) Spring has FINALLY sprung here in Northern Virginia. I'm sinus-ally miserable (post-nasal drip, whyyyyyyyy) but I can honestly promise you that I have never been so happy to see leaves budding. I'm usually a "Oh hey spring is fully here?" sort of non-noticer.

(4) My mailman knocked on the door the other day because my mail was overflowing the box. He gave me the stack and said, "Oh, I thought you must have been out of town, there was so much mail in there."

It was two days' worth. TWO.

So I flipped through the stack and only just controlled my impulse to run after him, because the reason there was so much mail in two days is because I had gotten two Pottery Barn catalogs, two Pottery Barn Kids catalogs, and two West Elm catalogs. I'm not sure if it's the mailman's fault for delivering multiples, but it's definitely the fault of Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, and West Elm for sending me multiple copies of their catalogs, sometimes two or three times a month. How does that even happen? Can't they ask their computer to weed out repeated addresses? And it's not like I buy from these catalogs, so this is just a colossal waste of resources.

(5) This was my morning to sleep in. My husband works from home on Fridays, so he gets the baby up, dressed, fed and takes her to daycare. This morning he had an appointment to have his car serviced, so he was on a deadline but he still remembered to give Keira her eyedrops (pinkeye is long gone but I'm still droppin'!), bring milk to daycare for her, feed her AND bring her some string cheese, and then stop off to get me a bagel before switching cars and heading off to his appointment.

(6) Have you ever had a brutal headache, gotten yourself out a pair of Tylenol tabs, put them on your desk while you did one quick thing, and then two hours later wondered why your headache was still plaguing you? And then discovered the two Tylenol tabs still sitting on your desk, NOT bringing you sweet, sweet relief?

Yeah. I did that yesterday.

(7) This weather: ❤️❤️❤️

(I don't know why the video is a guy spinning a sign. But this is my JAM on sunny spring days after the longest. winter. ever.)

24 April 2014

Parenting. It is HARD.

Daddy's back from his trip and just in time, because Schmear* was sent home early from daycare yesterday with a fever, and state law says she can't go back until she's without a fever for an unmedicated 24 hours.

Since Daddy worked extra hours while traveling, and due to some ridiculousness with government contracting, he was going to be home today anyway. He had grand plans of doing some organizing in our garage, which is exclusively for storage, but instead he's on toddler duty because Mama gots work.

So Daddy and Schmearington (yeah... I'm a nicknamer) went for a nice walk and when they came back she came to my office to say hi to me and smacked me in the face. And then the poop hit the paddles: it took an hour and a half for her to say she was sorry. For an hour and a half, she was in time out in her crib, with either Mommy or Daddy stopping in at five to ten minute intervals to ask if she was ready to say she was sorry. She kept saying, "Ohhhhtay," but she would not say the actual word "Sowwy," so there she stayed. For an hour and a half.

About twenty minutes in, I started to regret choosing this hill to die on. But if I had let her out without her having apologized, she would never apologize again. She's so smart and stubborn. She tries to buy her way out of trouble with kisses and caresses on my face, because she just chokes on that word: sorry.

And now I need a nap. We won that battle but it felt like the whole war. But I know there will be another battle tomorrow or the next day!

How do you other mommies handle discipline? We are time-out-ers, primarily, because even though I occasionally resort to a smack on the buns, I just can't see the logic of trying to teach her not to hit by hitting her back. But it's not working; the only place in our tiny apartment to put her in time out is her crib, because everything else is either escapable or full of fun things to play with. But she likes her crib, and the whole "one minute of timeout for every year of their age" thing is laughable with a kid this stubborn. A minute and a half isn't even enough time for her to be even mildly annoyed by her incarceration. An hour and a half sounds abusive, but we went in frequently and talked with her.

I just don't know what else to do!

* Lest you think this is my cutesy way of nicknaming my child to avoid using her real name on the Internet, I'll point out that a) I have already used her name, it's Keira; and b) this is a genuine nickname that everyone on our side of the family calls her on the regular (except maybe my mom).

23 April 2014

I'm never going to be the Cool Mom.

This commercial.

It made me a little mad. The moms are sitting on the bus trading "you know how I know you're not a Cool Mom?" barbs, and the kicker is:

"You don't let your 12 year old watch PG-13 movies!"

Oh, who can argue with that? That's practically child abuse!

This commercial basically seems to me to encapsulate what's wrong with modern parenting. Why are you concerned about being "cool"? You should be concerned about raising productive members of society, and that is never accomplished by ever-younger viewing of inappropriate subject matter.

Oh, and also, just because you can see the "juice" through a clear panel at the bottom of a Capri Sun does not mean that you can tell whether there's anything artificial inside. Just sayin'.

22 April 2014

Notes from our (thankfully only temporarily) single-parent household.

Oh, y'all. My wonderful husband is traveling for work. Our little girl prefers her Daddy, as do many little girls, and she really knows how to push Mommy's buttons.

Night One
She toddled up to me and reached for me, so I leaned down to pick her up and... She smacked me in the face. 

She is eighteen months old and she wanted to smack me and she knew how to get my face within her reach. I know that sounds crazy but it is 100% true. 

So she got punished, as she knew she would, and indeed as I have not had to do in a while, and she cried but she eventually apologized ("Sowwy, Mommy."), so we went on our merry way through life. 

A little while later, a little before 7pm, she started asking to go to bed -- I know, it's weird, but she does it all the time; the other night she started asking at 5:45pm! -- and since it was late enough and she was seriously under-napped today, I got her traditional cup of milk before bed and sat her on my lap to drink it. She leaned back and I felt something wet. Girlfriend was dribbling milk down the side of her face, into her hair and onto me. I said, "Hey! Drink your milk, no dribbling!" She sat up, looked me in the eye and dribbled a HUGE mouthful of milk onto my arm, my leg and the carpet. 

To bed. Right now. Good night, sweet monster.

Night Two:
Actually ALL-DARN-DAY Two, because little sweet face has pinkeye and thus stayed home with Mama all day, and Mama took a sick day from work even though she had tons and tons to do. We got up around 6:00am sometime, which is of course about an hour and a half earlier than she normally wakes up, and then a couple of hours later we went to the pediatrician because my insistence that it was pinkeye went unheeded -- and indeed, her eye looked pretty good when we got there, of course, so the nurse was almost justified in looking at me like I was a loon -- and they wouldn't call in a scrip without seeing her. (I mean, seriously, Nurse Ratched. If I had Münchausen by Proxy or something, would this be the first time in her entire eighteen months of life that I've ever come in the sick side of the office?) After the pediatrician, we went to the grocery store to pick up her drops from the pharmacy and to buy her favorite macaroni and cheese because sick kids get treats.

We spent the afternoon playing and watching Sofia the First and Frozen until I wanted to cry. One of us took a great nap (even though both of us needed one), and one of us dealt with the noisy Orkin man who didn't care that I had a baby napping.

In the evening, Daddy called us on Skype and both of our hearts broke a little when he said, "Hello!" on the computer and she gasped, jumped up and ran to where she could see the front door. She was so disappointed when she realized he wasn't actually home.

And later -- sorry, I'm going to veer a little close to TMI territory with this story -- I had to use the bathroom and couldn't wait until she was in bed, so I made sure everything dangerous or spill-y was up high and went to use the closest bathroom, keeping the door ajar. At first she came to investigate me, then she went wandering back out to where Frozen was on -- again -- and then all of a sudden I heard Sofia the First instead. Now, this isn't a matter of just changing the channel and pushing one button. She had to change the input on the receiver and the TV and turn on the cable box. We have a universal remote but it sometimes stymies ME, because you have to hold it at the proper angle for longer than you think before everything changes inputs. I came out of the bathroom to find her sitting on the couch with the remote on her lap, placidly watching Sofia. I mean... WHAT.

Night Three
Daddy comes home tomorrow, hallelujah! 

She has been in a weird mood since I picked her up from daycare. I was chatting to the nanny about the fact that she chewed through a pacifier -- more on her beaver-like tendencies in an upcoming post -- and she was alternately hugging my neck and trying to discreetly smack me in the face somehow without getting in trouble. I am really not loving this return to the face-smacking.

Then we came home and she ate dinner with singleminded focus, and then we had a bath because she was getting crusty in the hair department. Love this toddler age where they will not be fed but their self-feeding is as messy as is humanly possible. 

After the bath, we Skyped with Daddy again while she kicked me to try to keep me from putting on her diaper. 

"KEIRA! Stop kicking Mommy! Do you want a smack on your bare buns?"


UPDATED TO ADD: I don't know how any of y'all single mothers do it. 

21 April 2014

Must-Read Monday, Week of 21 April 2014

This is going to be a regular feature here on the blog. Throughout the course of the week, I'll curate a list of links for y'all to read (if you want! No pressure!), because I wander all over the internets and I may have found something you haven't seen.

Please, please share your must-reads in the comments!
  • Yale Pro-Life Group Voted Out of 'Social Justice' League - According to a student who wrote an op-ed in the school newspaper, "a group that denies reproductive rights cannot have a claim to an organization that promotes social justice," and the league agreed. At least that student didn't call it "women's health," right? [This one leaves me torn. "Social justice" is one of those terms that makes my skin crawl because it almost always means big-government progressivism; there's substantial confusion between the secular and religious-left definition of social justice and the Catholic one (for reasons that I could write a graduate-thesis-length series of posts on, but in this case as evidenced by the pro-life club's ouster). So I think that the pro-life group doesn't actually belong in Yale's "Social Justice League," but on the other hand, membership means meeting spaces and access to funds.]
  • Jesus Had a Wife, and I've Met Her - Fr. Stephen Grunow explains why everyone you've seen sharing this story about the Coptic document citing Jesus' wife ("proof" that Jesus was married) are wrong again.
  • Release the Socks of War - The reliably entertaining Jonah Goldberg at NRO will make you laugh and cry about the state of our foreign policy with respect to Ukraine.
  • Dan Joseph of the Media Research Center (MRC) interviews protestors outside the National Rifle Association in my neighborhood: Fairfax, VA. You can bet the protestors make a lot of sense.
  • Wanna cry real tears because you're so moved? A runner at the Boston Marathon this morning fell at mile 26, unable to finish the final 0.2 miles. Four of his fellow runners, heedless of their own finishing times, picked him up and carried him across the finish line. I am ACTUALLY CRYING. (Maybe I'm pregnant, hah!)
And because I thought you might be able to use a giggle:
  • Michael Bloomberg: 'I Have Earned My Place in Heaven' - "I am telling you if there is a God, when I get to heaven I'm not stopping to be interviewed. I am heading straight in. I have earned my place in heaven. It's not even close." If there's a God, he's no match for Nanny Bloomberg, nosirree.

P.S. Dan Joseph is kinda famous and one of my Twitter followers. You should be too! Find me here.

20 April 2014

"Answer Me This" Linkup, week 2.

Oh my gosh, I almost forgot my "Hallelujah, he is risen!" He is risen indeed.

Kendra at Catholic All Year is hosting a weekly linkup. She provides the questions, you provide the answers, and then you link up with everyone back on her page. It's a great way to get to know a little about your fellow bloggy travelers, as well as a chance to consider some things about yourself that you hadn't before. Join us! 

Kendra's answers, next week's questions and the linkup can be found here.

1. What did you and your family wear to Mass on Easter Sunday?
Michael looked extremely dapper in a suit and tie, even if I had to twist his arm a little to get him that fancy; I wore this dress from ModCloth; and Keira wore the sa-weetest toile dress with a French ticking sash. Girlfriend recently had her first trim, so now her bangs don't hang in her eyes when she refuses to wear any of the lovely hair implements with which I'm always trying to wrangle her locks so she doesn't look like a ragamuffin. 

And thanks very much, Kendra, for the reminder to take a family photo! I may take half a dozen pictures every time Keira watches Frozen with her mouth hanging open, but I am not good about documenting family occasions. 

Unfortunately, the reminder didn't help because even though I remembered, we didn't have time with wrangling everyone to Mass on time to do it before, and then after a very crowded, long and hot Mass Princess Fussypants was in full-on meltdown mode. She screamed all the way home and by the time we got here my hair was standing on end, I had to get lunch done for my in-laws, and she was desperately in need of a nap. So instead, here's a picture of Keira watching Frozen with her mouth hanging open:

2. Easter Bunny: thumbs up or thumbs down?
Thumbs up, I guess? I was in the mall recently with a friend and noticed the Easter Bunny, sitting where Santa used to, for overpriced portraits. "Is that something I'm supposed to do with Keira?" I asked. She, not yet having children, kind of shrugged at me.

Ultimately I decided to skip it. I don't remember ever getting my picture taken with the Easter Bunny as a child. Plus, our visit to Santa was a success (by which I mean we got an adorable photo even though she was scared), but I just think the enormous anthropomorphic bunny might be actively traumatizing. Santa may have been a stranger, but he was clearly human.

I mean... Right? Adorbs.

I'm sure when she's older than 18 months we'll tell her that the Easter Bunny brought her Easter basket, but there will be no effort to convince her that it's true (whereas I will be a Santa-invoking Mom). A bunny has nothing to do with Jesus' resurrection. (I mean, I get the baby bunny as a symbol of rebirth, I do. But the Easter Bunny is decidedly a big ol' grown RABBIT.)

[Santa may not be a Biblical part of the story of Christ's birth, either, but my sister's church, where we go to the children's Mass on Christmas Eve, always has Santa stop by before Mass. He enters in silence, walks down the aisle, kneels to pray in front of baby Jesus in the manger, and then leaves again, still in silence. 

Tell me how you're going to have a powerful moment like that with a giant rodent, and maybe I'll get more on board with the Easter Bunny. In fact, I think I just talked myself out of the Easter Bunny.]

3. Do you prefer to celebrate holidays at your own house or at someone else's house?
My mom's house is the best for holidays. She's such a good cook, and it's all very low-key except for the cousins (ranging in age from 9 down to 6 months, so far) running around shrieking their joy at being together. If I can't go to my mom's, because she lives four hours away, then I prefer to host. I'm still learning how to Martha it up when I can't devote my entire consciousness to it like I used to; a toddler pulls focus like no other! But when we're at someone else's house, I have to worry about what she'll get into, so in the balance that's why I like to host. And I even figured out how to fold napkins into bunnies, so maybe my inner Martha is coming out of hibernation at last.

4. What is your favorite kind of candy?
I have distinct moods. My favorite chocolate-based candy is probably Snickers, whereas I'd probably reach for Skittles if I wanted fruity. Peeps and candy corn are both of the devil, so it's good that they're only around once a year each. 

5. Do you like video games?
I lived for Mario on the original flavor Nintendo as a kid. I mean, not really lived for it, but I bet if you handed me the controller to an old school Nintendo console and turned on Mario Bros. or Mario 3, I would still be able to play as if I played last yesterday. Remember how the sides of your thumbs used to go numb? Good times.

I used to babysit for a couple of boys who banned me from playing their James Bond game with them because I was a spaz (on Nintendo-64, I think?); I used to get stuck in corners because I would freak out and forget to just turn my character around. 

Nowadays, I guess I like task-oriented games okay, if I'm trying to kill some time. 

6. Do you speak another language?
I speak pretty fluent Toddler. I took a whole lot of French in high school, such that I should have been close to conversational. At the time the consensus was that my accent was pretty good, but I bet it was awfully Philadelphian. In any case, 90+% of my French is long gone. 

I can pronounce anything in Latin from years of singing in it, but I don't necessarily know what most of it means. I comfort myself with the fact that no one speaks Latin; it's a dead language.

18 April 2014

Good Friday 2014: Christianity is not meant to be easy.

They don't call it "the straight and narrow" for no reason. What they don't tell you is that it's straight up a mountain and so narrow that at times you have to put one foot right in front of the other. Sometimes the path widens and it's easy to do the right thing, but mostly it's a struggle against our base instincts (for me, anyway; maybe you're better than I am!). Not everyone sees the benefit of struggling to keep our feet on that path; the wide and winding path through the Valley of Self-Indulgence is more comfortable, more fun and much much easier -- in the short term.

The constant refrain from secular society is that we as Christians (and especially, I think, as Catholics) are not tolerant enough. Making it more intense is the fact that I'm a millennial and an engineer. My generation is less religious, and my scientific cohort are even less so. Almost everyone I know is a liberal, a proud Obama voter, and a vocal proponent of the idea that I should be more tolerant (but, conveniently, only of things they approve).

Charles Cardinal Chaput, Archbishop of Philadelphia (the archdiocese where I was born, baptized, received my sacraments and got married), said something a few years back that I found particularly resonant:
We need to remember that tolerance is not a Christian virtue. Charity, justice, mercy, prudence, honest -- these are Christian virtues. And obviously, in a diverse community, tolerance is an important working principle. But it's never an end itself. In fact, tolerating grave evil within a society is itself a form of serious evil. Likewise, democratic pluralism does not mean that Catholics should be quiet in public about serious moral issues because of some misguided sense of good manners. A healthy democracy requires vigorous moral debate to survive. Real pluralism demands that people of strong beliefs will advance their convictions in the public square -- peacefully, legally and respectfully, but energetically and without embarrassment. Anything less is bad citizenship and a form of theft from the public conversation. [emphasis added]
This is important to remember. When someone throws soundbites at us: "Judge not, lest ye be judged," or "Jesus loved everyone," we need to remember that these are just soundbites. They don't say enough.

Matthew 7:1 tells us to judge not, lest we be judged, but let's be serious: of course we should judge. We judge whether it's safe to eat that mildly moldy loaf of bread, whether the stove is too hot to touch, or whether our child is safe with a particular babysitter. Our whole days consist of judging one thing after another. When we see objective evil, we are required to judge it for what it is.

What we're not to judge is the state of another man's soul. You can't know what any other person knows of God's laws, or what they believe, or whether they're struggling or whether they've repented. I have no business deciding whether any single other person is going to Heaven or Hell, and I can't even be reliably counted on to judge myself in that respect. [I suspect that, at the very least, some time in Purgatory will be in order, because I know that I have knowingly and intentionally stepped off the path.]

We're also called to love, certainly. But loving someone does not mean endorsing everything they do and say. If my child hits another child in the face, do I love her more if I say, "Well, she was born that way"? Certainly not! I'm her mother. I love her even as I'm putting her in time out. In fact, it's because I love her that I put her in time out. As my mother always said, "Kids come crooked, and it's our job as parents to straighten them out."

Time out.

Jesus loved. Jesus forgave. But what everyone always conveniently leaves out when recounting Jesus' famed forgiveness is the crucial point: "Go and sin no more." Jesus never told an unrepentant sinner to go forth and keep it up. He acknowledged their sorrow and contrition, forgave them, and then told them to go forth and live better.

To wrap up with Cardinal Chaput:
Evil talks about tolerance only when it's weak. When it gains the upper hand, its vanity requires the destruction of the good and the innocent, because the example of good and innocent lives is an ongoing witness against it. So it always has been. So it always will be.

17 April 2014

The (Probably Unintentional) Pro-Life Message of Doctor Who

I've been rewatching Doctor Who, and I've just gotten to Series 2 of the relaunch. Following the Christmas special, the first episode is called "New Earth." David Tennant's Doctor and Billie Piper's Rose Tyler are visiting a re-formed planet Earth in the year five billion and twenty-three.

(Whew. If you haven't watched Doctor Who, I imagine this is going to sound super silly. If you haven't watched it and intend to, then what are you waiting for? Spoiler alert, in that case. But I'm not going to let it stop me because this episode aired in 2006. You've had eight years.)

The Doctor and Rose visit a hospital in New New York, which is staffed by what Wikipedia describes as "humanoid feline nurses" called the Sisters of Plenitude. The Doctor is astounded by the medical advances that have been made by the Sisters, as they have cured diseases that he knows not to have been cured for a while yet.


A lot goes on, as episodes of DW tend to go a bit manic sometimes, but it is revealed that the Sisters of Plenitude have been making their medical advances by breeding humans, intentionally infecting them, and then figuring out how to cure the diseases. When the Doctor finds out, he says of the patients, "They were born sick, they're meant to be sick. They exist to be sick: lab rats. No wonder the Sisters have got a cure for everything, they've built the ultimate research laboratory, a human farm."

One of the Sisters, Novice Hame, says by way of justification, "It's for the greater cause... They're not real people, they're specially grown. They have no proper existence." Furthermore, all they are is "flesh," and thousands of people are alive thanks to the cures developed using this method.

The Doctor is not having this: "These people are alive. If [the humans outside the hospital] live because of this, then life is worthless."

Every time I've seen this episode -- which is a lot, I'm kind of a Doctor Who junkie -- it has struck me anew that whether the producers meant it or not, this is a powerfully pro-life episode. How is the crime of the Sisters of Plenitude meaningfully different from fetal stem-cell research? Human embryos are harvested for medical research, and it is justified with the argument that it's all for the greater good, and that the quality of life is improved for "real" people, at the expense of farmed flesh which isn't really a person.

But that embryo is a person.

The bred humans of New Earth are regular humans who would lead regular human lives if given the chance. So too, embryos grow into fetuses (otherwise known as "babies"), which are born and grow into toddlers, children, tweens, teens, and eventually adults. Regular human adults who live regular human lives if given the chance. At no time during the development from fertilized ovum to adult is a person anything other than a person, and people are not test subjects (unless they give informed consent, as with legitimate medical trials).

Those harvested embryos are test subjects, stripped of their humanity except for what that humanity can do for our health.

And if we live because of this, then life is worthless.

16 April 2014

Deep-ish thoughts on a missing package.

We went out of town for the weekend last weekend, and in our absence a package from Amazon was delivered. The management company has requested that the delivery companies (UPS, FedEx, LaserShip, USPS, etc.) not leave packages at people's doors, but to bring them to the office if no one answers their knock. It seems that they have chosen not to comply.

My package was not at our door when we got home on Monday, and it is not at our management office because they send an email when they're holding a package (plus the hubs called to ask them, and they don't have it). I just realized it was missing this morning.

My first instinct was to get really annoyed that someone stole my package. And, let's be honest, I'm still annoyed; but now I'm also feeling sorry for someone who would risk the state of their immortal soul to steal my pencil lead. Because that's what was in the package: 0.5 mm refill lead for my favorite mechanical pencil. And some erasers. Someone racked up a mortal sin and came away with pencil lead and erasers. I'll say a prayer for you, package thief.

Nice to have trustworthy neighbors, isn't it?

15 April 2014

Tax Day 2014

Well, ladies and gents, here it is again: tax day.

We have already filed and received our refund -- you're welcome for the interest-free loan, Uncle Sam, you wastrel -- but I still have to make note of today.

As usual, the estimable Matt Walsh has said it better than I ever could: Three things that all you serfs and peasants shouldn't say on Tax Day. I wish he'd used the word "vassals," just because I like it, and because it works.

So I'm going to use this post to point out some of the absolutely ridiculous and insulting ways the government spends our money. I suggest you drape your laptop to minimize the damage when blood shoots out of your eyes. (My source is primarily the 2013 Wastebook put out by Sen. Tom Coburn, which you can read in full here, conveniently in PDF form.)

  • The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) has doled out nearly $1 million (actually $914,000 since 2010) to The Popular Romance Project to "study" fictional romance: novels, fan fiction, self-help books, the Internet (where real romance goes to die), comics and songs. Taxpayer money to study Twilight. Oh, there goes the first splash of blood on my laptop screen.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has spent $500 million to help millionaires build mansions on the beach. In 2013, more than 100 individuals or families received loan guarantees for $500,000 or more from the USDA to buy property in Hawaii. And if these buyers default on their loans, the federal government will pay the banks 90% of the loans. Blood didn't shoot out my eyes that time because it all boiled away.
  • Tax breaks for legal brothels! $17.5 million worth! 
  • Now that we're not quite as built up in the Middle East, there's a lot of equipment there that we're not using. So rather than sell it (which I'm not sure would be the best idea; who's going to buy it that we want to have it?), or better, ship it home, the military has decided to simply destroy SEVEN BILLION DOLLARS worth of war materials. 
  • Need I even mention healthcare.gov, the most expensive website ever to not be successfully built? More than $379 million has been flushed on that one.
  • Facebook paid no taxes in 2013, and instead got a refund of $295 million. I imagine that it's a reward for recording (and probably reporting) every word we type, even if we choose not to ultimately post it
  • $1 million for a single bus stop in Arlington, VA. You do not get a gold bracelet for waiting there.
  • Housing and Urban Development (HUD) spent $1,236,500 building apartments in Tempe, AZ for deaf senior citizens, with blinking lights to indicate the doorbell ringing or to warn residents that the garbage disposal is running. That seems nice. Oh, wait. HUD threatened to pull the funding unless 75% of these apartments are given to NON-DEAF tenants.
  • HUD, a real gem, gave $65 million in relief for Hurricane Sandy. Hey, wait, you say: you live on the east coast! Shouldn't you understand the toll that Sandy took? I do. Even though our lights never so much as flickered during Sandy, a lot of people lost everything they owned and insurance companies were too backlogged to help right away. Except! This HUD money was spent not on relief to the affected, but instead on TV advertising campaigns. "New York is Open for Business!" "New Jersey: Stronger Than the Storm." Meanwhile, residents of Staten Island (for instance) didn't have power for months as we headed into winter.
  • And here's my absolute favorite: According to a study that the National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded for $325,525, during arguments, "wives should calm down." THE GOVERNMENT SPENT A THIRD OF A MILLION OF OUR DOLLARS TO SAY SOMETHING THAT EVERY HUSBAND IN THE WORLD KNOWS NEVER TO SAY.
That brings me through page 47 of a 132 page report (not counting an additional 40-odd pages of citations). I didn't cite every example in those 47 pages. I'm dying of blood loss, and so should you be. 

Happy Tax Day, fellow vassals!

14 April 2014

"Answer Me This" linkup, week 1!

Kendra at Catholic All Year is starting a regular Sunday linkup. She says: 

As I was saying, here's how it will work. Today, I will give you six questions, and tag a couple of bloggers. Next Sunday at 10am Pacific, I will answer the questions and open up a link up for everyone who would like to post. The link-up will be open through Tuesday in case you can't get to it on Sunday.
Just answer the questions and link back to Catholic All Year in your post! We'll do it for at least a couple of weeks and see if it's any fun.
Here are the questions to answer 
and link up
on Sunday, April 13th (Kendra's answers, next week questions, and the linkup can be found here).

1. What time do you prefer to go to Mass?
I'm in the choir at my church, and the choir sings at the 10:45 Sunday Mass (plus, you know, the major holy days and the whole Holy Thursday-through-Easter Sunday shebang). I also do some cantoring at non-choir Masses, so some Sundays I do the 10:45 with the choir and then the 12:30 solo. I get to compare homilies that way.

2. Would you rather be too hot or too cold?
That is nigh impossible to choose. I am a delicate flower. If I have to pick one, I guess it's hot? But when I think about being too hot I think of Clomid hot flashes, and let me tell you: if you've never had a hot flash, buckle up for menopause. It is HORRIBLE.

3. How many brothers and/or sisters do you have?
I have one brother and five sisters (plus assorted brothers- and sisters-in-law). Before you go feeling too sorry for the lone brother, I'll assure you that he was the oldest and as such he got away with murder. He was allowed to do things we weren't because he was a boy, he had distinctly fewer chores, AND he always got everyone's sympathy since he had no brothers.

4. If you were faced with a boggart, what would it turn into?
I'm a Ron Weasley, because that boggart would immediately turn into the biggest, hairiest spider in the whole entire world. I literally just shuddered while typing that.

5. Barbie: thumbs up or thumbs down?
Thumbs up, because my sister and I had an entire Barbie Village as children. We had houses, cars (all handed down from older cousins), and more Barbie clothes than you could shake a stick at. I really enjoyed dressing her up and staging elaborate trips to the beach (or, you know, the sandbox in the back yard) with my sister. My worst Barbie-related memories include my brother snapping the legs off of our only Ken doll by trying to make him breakdance, and the time my teething little sister chewed all of our Barbies' hands until they were three inches long.

Before I actually started to answer this question, I hadn't thought that I was much influenced by liberal feminism, but I seriously had to shake off my knee-jerk impulse to say "thumbs down" -- because of negative body image and the fact that Barbie didn't have many non-traditionally-female career options -- but honestly, I think that this, like most liberal feminism, is a load of crap. I played with Barbies nonstop as a kid, and because I was raised well I haven't spent tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars having plastic surgery to look like her. I went to engineering school even though Barbie never did. We have a bad habit of blaming innocuous things for societal problems that are mostly attributable to poor family lives. Barbie is just a doll, albeit one with silly body proportions.

6. If someone asked you to give them a random piece of advice, what would you say?

I would tell them that the advice that they were given on their wedding day: "Never go to bed angry," is not necessarily good for them. I must get testy around bedtime, because it is often that my husband says something that sets me off. Now... We could fight about it, but I know myself well enough to know that I'm probably overreacting, and he probably didn't mean it the way I heard it. And it is 99.999% likely that I will wake up laughing at myself. So we could have an argument when I'm already testy, or I could give myself the overnight to get over it. 

You have to know yourself, is the point. If you're going to wake up still angry, then fight it out now and make up before you go to sleep. If you're going to wake up with a new lease on life and not even a smidgen of residual anger, like I do, then maybe insist on being given some time. I guess I'd just change it to: never go to bed irreconcilably angry. Piqued or annoyed? Sleep it off.

09 April 2014

Wedding Song Dance Along!

Linking up with Grace at Camp Patton for the Wedding Song Dance Along.

Today, we're answering the question: what was your first dance at your wedding?

The hubs and I were married in 2008, which sometimes feels like a miiiillion years ago, but in reality is an eye blink.

Our first dance was "What a Wonderful World," by Louis Armstrong, and here we are dancing to it:

But! Mildly amusingly -- because let's be realistic about how amusing this story is, shall we? -- our song was supposed to be something else. Our original plan was to dance to "You and I" by Michael Bublé, because I just love the line about God making us fall in love.

However, my then-fiancé and I took dance lessons prior to the wedding because while I had substantial dance experience, he... Did not. And my husband is easily embarrassed, and he knew that if he didn't have lessons, he would freeze up on the dance floor and we would just stand there. I have a new slogan for Arthur Murray: Not Cheap, But Worth Every Penny. But even the professionals at Arthur Murray could not get my husband to dance to the tempo of "You and I." He never got the hang of the modified fox trot (they call it "foxy"!) that was necessary. So a couple of weeks before our wedding, we chose "What a Wonderful World" because we could properly fox trot to it, and really, who doesn't love it?

And then we got down with our bad selves:

(Grace, I think this was also to "Low" by Flo Rida!)

08 April 2014

"Facebook God" gives the kind of advice you'd expect, I guess.

Oh my gracious, this is SO SAD:

(Sorry about the picture quality. I took a screenshot from my phone. Click to enlarge.)

Everything about this just breaks my heart to pieces. I'm heartbroken that this girl was pressured into an abortion she didn't want. I'm heartbroken that her parents treated her so badly, instead of with love and forgiveness. I'm heartbroken that she had no one better in her life to turn to than Facebook God, who bears absolutely no resemblance to the God I know. I'm heartbroken that someone masquerading as our God and Father gave this girl such bad advice as, "Abortion is legal, therefore it can't be murder." And I'm heartbroken that over 4,600 people have "liked" this post on Facebook (at the time of this writing), and have posted many comments that if "this God" had a church, they'd be there.

So, so sad.

06 April 2014

Sunday night politics.

We live in a contraceptive culture. As I write, there is a case under consideration by the Supreme Court (Sebelius vs. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.) dealing with the question of whether an employer can be required to provide contraceptive and/or abortifacient devices and medications against his/her conscience. Proponents of the contraceptive mandate -- contained within the Affordable Care Act, colloquially known as Obamacare -- argue that contraception is a "women’s health issue"; that an employer’s refusal to provide a health insurance plan that includes free birth control is tantamount to said employer banning his employees from using birth control; that most women use contraception so everyone should just get over it.

Without going into why all of that is a load of steaming horse manure (for now), let me just say: I find it all to be somewhat of a personal insult.

I suffer from infertility. I have one child, miraculously conceived after almost five years of (never-contracepting) marriage, countless rounds of fertility medications and finally surgery to remediate endometriosis. Our daughter is delightful and we want her to have siblings. Despite the well-meaning assurances from everyone we know that after getting pregnant the first time we wouldn’t have trouble repeating the feat, my doctor has officially declared that the name of the game here is secondary infertility, and thus multiple rounds of Clomid are in my future.

I read a lot of blogs written by endlessly, effortlessly fertile Catholic women. They good-naturedly complain about the burden of a large number of children (and their laundry!), the open disbelief people display at the sight of their families, and the difficulty of enduring the abstinent periods of an NFP-charted menstrual cycle.

Meanwhile, I struggle to keep my heart and soul free of the crushing burden of bitter envy.

And let me tell you: the world does not understand a family that freely accepts children as a gift from God. I’m one of seven children myself; I heard the rude remarks that people made to my mother. But the world also does not understand the grief that comes with having a heart open to children who do not arrive.

Most of the time I’m fine, and happy, and delighted with my child and my husband and our life together. Sometimes I’m sad and fending off depression – mostly when a round of fertility medication has failed and I’m staring down the barrel of another month of hot flashes, irritability, nausea (just a delightful reminder that if I get pregnant, I'll be off food for nine months), and meticulous charting. Occasionally I’m relieved that I’m unlikely to ever find myself accidentally pregnant four months after having given birth to my sixth child.

And I often get SO MAD about the casualness with which so many contracept and abort in order to preserve their status quo. I get personally insulted when people see pregnancy as a disease to be prevented with the Pill or “cured” by abortion, and who see children as nothing more than a burden.

Some of us are filled with longing to be so burdened.

05 April 2014

Oh, what a beautiful morning...

Oh, what a beautiful day.

This morning after nap -- and some vigorous spring cleaning where Michael turned the couch on its end to vacuum underneath! -- we all hopped in the car with the intention of spending a couple of hours enjoying the sunshine. We had lunch at a Mexican restaurant:

(Sorry for the blur; she's at that age -- 17 months -- where she can't stay still for even one second, and there were tortilla chips at stake!)

And then we walked around the town center for a bit. We didn't end up staying that long because it was chillier than we had anticipated, plus the place was completely dead for some reason, but it was still a lovely way to spend an early afternoon.

Now Daddy's watching golf, Keira is boycotting her afternoon nap in her crib (which is still down-time, so there she shall stay until she freaks out and we have to rescue her), and Momma is reading, drinking her cold coffee and blogging in a leisurely way.

Who could ask for anything more?

04 April 2014

First link-up!

I'm linking up with Kendra at Catholic All Year for the Liebster award. I wasn't nominated (clearly) because my blog is three days old and Kendra doesn't know I exist -- although she did offer up her drug-free superhero labor with her youngest for my special intention -- but maybe she will now! (Hi, Kendra!)

So this Liebster thing: it's a way to get some smaller blogs out there, it seems (read about it here). So I'm going to try to overcome my natural inclination to shrink from this sort of thing and link up anyway.

1. Where do you live? And why do you live there?
I live with my husband and daughter in Northern Virginia. We live here mostly for our jobs -- my husband grew up in this area but I moved here at 22 for my first job out of college. We're getting to be less enamored of it all the time; it's crazy expensive, Virginia is rapidly purpling politically, and we're just longing to live somewhere more free (in every sense of the word). It's possible that my husband will be transferred to Texas for his job, and we're praying that it happens.

2. What's are you currently watching and/or reading?

I just started re-watching Doctor Who for the nine millionth time. I can't do Doctor Who classic, though, because I just find them to be too weird, so I'm a couple of episodes into the Christopher Eccleston series on Netflix. And, unusually for me, I'm between books at the moment. If anyone ever reads this -- hellooooo out there, screaming void of the internet! -- and has suggestions, I'm looking.

3. What kind of Catholic are you: cradle, or convert? (Or considering?)

I am a cradle Catholic. My parents did a wonderful job raising seven very theologically aware Catholics. There's always a lot more to learn, but we had a great foundation from childhood. I hope I can do the same for my daughter and any siblings who might come along.

4. Can you point to one moment or experience that made you a practicing Catholic? (Or want to be?)

This is tough... I've always been Catholic and I never really questioned it. (Which is not to say that it's always been easy; I just never had serious doubts that it was right.) I would say that in my efforts to get pregnant I really appreciated finding doctors who were Catholic and thus bothered to find out about the underlying causes of my infertility issues and helped me pursue a Catholic-friendly route to pregnancy. My experience with 100% secular doctors led me to realize that most of the women in this country are being vastly underserved by the medical community.

5. How many pairs of shoes do you own?

Entirely too many. My flip flop collection alone would boggle your mind. I thought about getting up and going to the closet to count but I decided to just leave it at, "TOOOOO MANY." 

6. Are you a good dancer?

Pretty good. I took dance lessons for eleven years as a child and teenager, which isn't any guarantee of skills, but dancing is just feeling the beat. I'm musical, I'm blessed to have control of my body. That's all there is to it. 

7. Who usually drives, you or your husband?

Usually he does, but he's about to get fired. Why are men so aggressive behind the wheel?!

8. What's your favorite holiday and how do you celebrate it?

Christmas, believe it or not. I mean, who likes Christmas? (Ha.) I adore being snuggled up warm in the house with all the lights off except for the tree and just drinking in the quiet. We are not a "no Christmas music or decorations until Christmas" family; I struggle to make it to Thanksgiving before cranking up the tunes. I would leave the tree up until March if my husband would let me. We are fake Christmas tree hoarders -- we have three trees of varying heights and widths in storage because we've moved a lot and every home has different space requirements.

Our actual celebrations include plenty of family time, plenty of Mass, and too many presents. 

9. Which is correct? Left or right?

Left. Left left left. I don't understand people who put the roll on so it pulls from underneath. What goes in your head?!

10. Do you have any scars?

I scar easily, so yes. My biggest is a four-inch-long raised keloid scar on my back from a broken-glass accident when I was fifteen. It looks like a giant caterpillar and it is gross. Actually, it's shrunk a lot over the years, and I mostly forget it's there.

11. What's the most famous thing you've ever done? 

Uhhhh... I am a nobody. I was published in a book when I was 8, but they misspelled my name. A high school choir I was in was on TV on Christmas morning when I was 17, but I didn't even see it. I got nothin'. I am not famous. 

03 April 2014

Current Events

I'm going to blurt out some quick thoughts about some things happening in the news right now. They're in order that I became aware of them over the last several days, not in order of importance.

1. The crowdsourcing campaign for the Gosnell Movie: Give to it. Kermit Gosnell has to be the worst mass murderer in United States history, and his trial was largely ignored by the media. Too many people have no idea of the scope and horror of this story, and that needs to change. Give whatever you can; no amount is too small. Even a $1 donation will be helpful and appreciated by the filmmakers.

2. Shooting at Fort Hood, TX: Yes, another one. Three people were killed and sixteen more wounded yesterday, on an Army base where soldiers are not allowed to carry guns. If anyone can explain to me why on Earth anyone thinks it's necessary or smart to disarm trained soldiers at their base of operations, I'm happy to hear it. (And then I shall refer you to psychiatric help, because that is insane.) If the SOLDIERS on the ARMY BASE had not had to call the LOCAL POLICE for help -- yes, I'm shouting in all-caps -- then the death/wounded toll would surely be lower. It's just suicidal. Furthermore, while the poor, frightened, disarmed citizens of the base at Fort Hood were still sheltering in place, there was a large outcry from opportunists calling for more gun control. They would actually disarm the military because of their personal fear of firearms. Think about that for a minute.

3. Brendan Eich ousted at Mozilla: The CEO of Mozilla, the software company who provides Firefox, a truly abysmal web browser, has been removed from his position. This move comes after the news was made public that Eich donated $1,000 to support Proposition 8 in California in 2008. So six years ago, a private citizen made a constitutionally-protected donation to support a cause, and now he has lost his job. He has been fired for supporting traditional marriage, which is surely his right. I don't care which side of the issue you come down on, this should outrage you. If you don't have the right to your opinions, if your boss can fire you because you think something different than he does, then no speech is safe. Basically, Mozilla is a real-life version of the novel 1984, and Eich has been fired for a thoughtcrime. Shame on you, Mozilla.