Archive | August, 2011

Not-even-close-to-7-flash-takes

26 Aug

I’ve been transitioning my two nanny charges back into school this week, so pardon my scarcity.

Is scarcity a word?

I have no clue.

1. But, I’m over at Austin Catholic New Media this week writing on our relationship with priests – stop by and say hi, and while you’re at it, check out the snazzy new website design!

2. GUESS WHAT? I was nominated for a Catholic Cannonball New Kid On The Block award this year!  Head on over and check out the other nominations – I am genuinely humbled to be in such fabulous company – including everyone’s favorite barefooted and pregnant woman Calah.

[Disclaimer: before the rumors start spreading, Calah may or may not be wearing shoes at this exact moment, but if she’s pregnant she hasn’t shared it with the rest of us.]

I’m off to “relax” by babysitting two charming ten-year-olds – have a fabulous weekend!

 

Advertisements

Passive Aggressive Post: The PK edition

21 Aug

There are two ways to really send me flying past normal-everyday-irritation into the realm of livid, molten-lava rage.

1) Hurt my family.

2) Disparage Texas.

(Okay, so I’m kidding about 2. But 1? Please.)

As a pastor’s kid, #1 has presented some serious, serious issues. I realize many of my Catholic readers that don’t worship with one of the Eastern rites might not understand this, but being a kid in a ministry family is really, really hard. There are good times and there are bad times, but there are always hard times. Without going into any gory details, the last few months have presented a series of. . .erm, strategic growth opportunities for my family. Watching from hundreds of miles away and honestly not being able to do anything concrete to help has been one of the hardest things in my life. Just this morning, I called mom while I was running some errands after Mass, and sat in my car in complete and utter disbelief, with my protective-older-sister mode turned to overdrive. I would have picked up the phone and called the person in question, but out of respect for my parents and how they’re handling the situation I refrained. But since they read my blog anyway. . . [TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: YES I’M LOOKING AT YOU.]

ARE PEOPLE THAT STUPID?

ARE THERE REALLY ADULTS IN THIS DAY AND AGE WHO DON’T UNDERSTAND HOW TO BEHAVE LIKE. . .YOU KNOW. . .ADULTS? (yes, it took a little while for it to sink in that there, are in fact, overgrown 13-year-olds prancing around in the guise of Super Holy Spiritual Leaders)

I know most of you are western-rite Catholics with celibate priests. But just in case you ever find yourself caught in a church drama wherein the “offending” (and I use this term with embarrassing lightness) Priest/Pastor has a family and children, I offer you this handy dandy bit of advice to behaving like a civilized human being

Leave the children out of it.
Whatever perceived bone you have to pick with the minister in question, it ISN’T THE KIDS FAULT. Don’t you dare humiliate them, shun them, talk about them behind their and their parents back, ignore them, betray their confidence, etc. Seriously. God help you.

I don’t care if you think their parents are the worst thing that’s happened to public ministry since Jimmy Jones (or the Pope, if you’re from my home church). Dragging the kids through the dirt in an attempt to make yourself look like God’s gift to Christian subculture is the lowest, dirtiest, most inexcusable bit of bullsh*t I can think of. Particularly when the kids are, you know, LITTLE. That bit about better a millstone be tied around your neck and you be cast into the sea than that you cause one of these little ones to stumble? Yeah, that wasn’t thrown in there because there weren’t enough violent metaphors in the Bible.

I had five more paragraphs written but it had devolved into DFKGJNERDTGLKJAQKJGHNE RTO5IYHP;A OJK YNWSAZZZZZZZ and that’s not me typing in tongues. So I’m just. . .going to leave now, and do something like, go to adoration instead of driving to Texas and kicking ignorant ass.

Wherein I discover I’m not a martyr.

14 Aug

I have been babysitting since I was 10-years-old. That’s over half of my life, people. And I’m not talking, watch a kid for an hour every couple of weeks. I’m talking, if I were to sit down and calculate how many hours of my life were spent doing what, the care, keeping, and feeding of mass amounts of other peoples children would probably be second only to amount-of-time-spent-sweating-my-arse-off-in-ballet-studios.

I’ve babysat for 10+ children at a time (in the same sibling group). With rousing success. I have been peed on. Pooed on. Had my glasses smashed. But I prevail. I don’t mean to toot my own horn here, but I’m kind of skilled. I don’t even LIKE kids that much. I like my siblings. I like my lovely godsiblings. I like my two nanny charges. That’s about it.  But I have a gift.

Last night, however?

I declared defeat, for the first time in my life.

The frantic-phone-call-to-the-parents-please-come-home-now kind of defeat.

I’m one of the go-to people in an agency I work with for child care involving behavioral special needs or issues related to adoption/foster care. I was keeping for one such family that I’ve worked with multiple times last night. We have a pretty good routine worked out. The kids have pajamas on, teeth brushed, etc. just before I get there, so we read stories, sing a few songs, and then I tuck them in for the night. Once they fall asleep I just catch up with friends, read, work on homework, etc. until 1 or 2 am when the parents get home.

Last night started out no differently. The lovely Calah called, and we chatted for a bit. It was after I hung up with her that things went a little…haywire.

One of the older children had gotten up a few times, which is really uncharacteristic for him. I sat in there with him for a few minutes, and just as he started to drift back to sleep a certain PTSD trigger for him occurred down the street. He jolted awake and HE. WAS. ANGRY. I took a deep breath, tried to talk him down a little, but he started launching remote control cars at my head.

With alarming force and accuracy.

And then one of the other siblings joined in.

Adding things like shoes.

And butter knives.

And furniture to the arsenal.

And waking the baby up.

I walked in to check on the baby and shut the door behind me, taking a minute to gather myself so I didn’t start yelling profanities at the kids, picked the baby up to calm him down, and he fell right back to sleep.

Except, the other kids busted the door open and started throwing things at me again. And one kicked me in the knees, and I had to fall. Holding the baby up at a truly bizarre angle to keep him from hitting the floor.

And I crunched something in my foot in the process.

It’s now swollen and nasty and painful. But the colors are kind of cool. I could probably take a picture and sell it as abstract art.

And I woke up this morning with a fever and what felt like a baseball lodged between my brain and my sinus cavity. My voice, which isn’t the most feminine of voices in the first place, sounds like a chain-smoking whiskey-shooting woman named Leroy. I tried to get ready for mass but ended up wailing in the shower floor instead.

Oh, let me tell you. It was ATTRACTIVE.

So, I am unashamed to admit that I hobbled to the kitchen, took gratuitous amounts of hot tea and ibuprofen, and went back to bed. Yeah, on a feast day. You’re right. I shouldn’t apply for martyrdom anytime soon.

So. . .happy Sunday!

. . .and unless you’re Kimberlie I’m not available to babysit anytime soon.

7 Quick Takes – So You Think You Can Dance edition.

12 Aug

1.
It’s FRIDAY, it’s FRIDAY! My two darling charges were whisked away to their grandparents for the weekend, so I had the day off. Sleeping in, morning runs…and lunch with my lovely godmother Kimberlie!

HAPPY DANCES!

2. 
And speaking of happy dances. . .

Did you watch the finale of So You Think You Can Dance?

I have a confession. I am a dance snob. I was classically trained in the Cecchetti method of ballet, then trained in the Limon Modern technique in college. I never got really into So You Think You Can Dance because – face it. Bunheads are kind of anti-dance competitions. (That and I have to fight extreme amounts of envy over Cat Deely’s legs)

BUT THIS SEASON.

Oh, friends.

This season.

It broke my heart. And inspired a few things I can’t discuss on my blog jusssssst yet.

So this week, I present you with some of my favorite pieces from this season!

**Warning: This is dance. This is competition dance. Clothing is a little scant because seeing the form of the human body is kind of a necessity in dance. Just a heads up.

3.
Made a Fool.

Choreographed by my husband, Tyce Diorio. Yes. Husband. I had an ORU God-Told-Me-To-Marry-You moment watching this.

4. 
Skin and Bones.

The chemistry between Melanie and Marko tore.me.apart.

5.
This choreographer, Tessandra Chavez, BLEW ME AWAY. Where did she COME from??

6.
This piece danced by Caitlynn and Marko was about a woman in an oppressive relationship.

7.
I WANT THEIR DRESSES.

Visit ConversionDiary.com for more quick takes!

You are not your hymen. [Or lack thereof.]

10 Aug

Warnings:

1. If sex makes you queasy (I’m sorry), please feel free to come back tomorrow. I’ll have something less scandalous for you.
2. If you are either of my parents, you can leave, too.
3. If you are a virgin, congratulations. This doesn’t apply to you. Except for the very end.
4. If you aren’t a virgin (and you’re not married) or you’re a just-barely “technical” virgin (this isn’t the time for Clinton games), this post is for you.

/end caveats.

Dear Reader:

Cue: drum-roll. 

I am not a chaste little flower.

Exactly what I have or haven’t done when and with whom under what circumstances is between me, God, and baptism. And. . .maybe one or two confessors since then.

I’ve made my fair share of poor choices, and you know what? As much as I would like to say that I’m full of self-loathing at the very remembrance of most of them, I, uh. . .can’t.

One? Can I be honest? I thoroughly enjoyed most of them. But two?

. . .because I’m done with the whole self-loathing regret thing.

It’s a really bad look for me. (I also look really awful as a hipster, coincidentally).

There is an unhealthy obsession with holding physical virginity as some kind of status card by which the worth of women (and men) are judged. And to you, I say: You are not your hymen.

You are STILL YOU. 

Sin does not define you.

Newsflash? The waters of baptism, the redemptive power of Christ, and the continuing call to repentance are what defines you.

Choices define our situation and our situations can in turn shape who we become, but we are still – I repeat, still – the person God created.

Having intact physical virginity does not automatically grant you access to some secret higher level club in Christendom. Which is like, really good for me, because all other circumstances coming off the table, I had an extremely unfortunate freak bicycle accident when I was 9 that would have really shot me in the foot under Levitical law.

I’m not trying to excuse mortal sin or make it seem like it isn’t really that big of a deal. BECAUSE IT IS. But quite frankly, I am so. sick. and. tired. of hearing people plunge into the depths of utter despair because they think their future spouse will never love them fully after they find out that they got busy in the backseat of a car in high school – or made out in a movie theater – or held the hand of a guy they weren’t related to.

If a man doesn’t want you because you aren’t a virgin, then you have no business being with that man in the first place. Wash that dirt off your feet and MOVE ON, darling.

And readers who have maintained purity, physically and otherwise? I applaud you. But please, please be careful how you think of those of us who struggle with sex and lust and everything in between. Because fornication is mortal sin, but so is pride. We have so much we can learn from you, and I love and admire the women in my life that walked a different road than I did.

One of my favorite songs from my fundacostal days includes the line, “For a saint is just a sinner who fell down, and got up.”

You have value.

You have worth.

You have beauty.

And the absence of virginity doesn’t change that.

That’s the beauty of reconciliation and forgiveness. 

8 Ball.

7 Aug

Since my rather unceremonious plop back into the blogging world a few days ago, I’ve been pondering the direction of this blog.

I no longer have angst-ridden conversion anxiety to write about.

I’m so completely not a theologian by any stretch of the imagination. Give me wine, give me Rumi, give me the Doctor, give me. . .other things. I enjoy discussing theology. But I really don’t think I’m equipped to handle any deep theological issues on this blog. Like, really. At all.

I’m not a mom, I’m not a wife, I’m not really wanting to become either of these anytime soon. While some of my favorite blogs are by moms and wives, I really don’t have anything to bring to that end of the table. I have some pretty fabulous nanny stories to share, but I can’t because of privacy concerns. (Side note: this is why I should actually get married even though I’m kind of against the idea right now. It’d be totally okay to embarrass my OWN four-year-old).

I have so much I want to write about, and while Catholicism is a part of who I am that will never, ever leave – it’s not the only part of me. I want to share the rest with you, too. Because I think you’re wonderful, and I’m rather thankful you’ve been along on this ride with me.

I think I’m having a knee-jerk reaction against being assimilated into a group think. Yes, I’m paranoid. We’ve discussed this already. My identity was so wrapped up in my church, my praise team, my pastor’s kid status – all of it. Part of the beauty of the conversion experience has been shedding that identity, being stripped down to the core of who I am and finding the real Kassie. Not, the Kassie behind the keyboard on the platform/sitting on the front row with the rest of the family. But the Kassie that loves wine (have I mentioned that already?), wears shorts and isn’t condemned to a life of lasciviousness, accepts first-date invitations on a whim, travels and writes and is okay with not believing in One True Love, loves getting dressed up and going to early morning Mass by herself, has The Killers, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Nirvana circulating with Gregorian chant and Anglican mass settings on her iPhone, the Kassie that isn’t ready to give up on dance after all, that wants China babies and maybe not a husband to go with them.

In finding Catholicism I’ve found myself. And not just in the theology – but in the rest of my life, too. And part of me is irrationally afraid of finding myself locked into another identity again. And it would not in any way be the Church’s fault – all blame for that would land squarely on my shoulders. But I can’t shake the 13-year-old church girl that starts screaming every time people accuse me of not talking about Church enough – “There’s more to me than this, I have value outside of the praise team, I’m a pretty cool person even when the church doors are closed”. They’re issues I dealt with on the far side of the Tiber, and I’m dealing with them still.

I know there are more than a few parts of me that must be changed – I abhor the “It’s just part of who I am, deal with it.” excuse offered for completely unacceptable behaviors. But – in a completely non-conceited way – I kind of like the Kassie I’ve found over the last year.

I know this sounds crazy and touchy-feely-existential, but I hope it makes sense.

So, I’ve decided I’m just going to blog about my life. Obviously Catholicism is a central part of who I am – so don’t worry guys, this isn’t about to turn into a blog all about wine and poetry and men – but I’m facing my lingering church demons and embracing the fact that my life doesn’t have to fit into neat little compartments. There doesn’t have to be a “church” me and a “work” me and a “friend” me. Integrated and healthy and whole, I want that. You, my lovely followers, have been “safe people” for me, and I’m so grateful for each of you. I’d love it if you came along for the ride.

7 Quick Takes – The late edition.

4 Aug

1. You’ve been introduced to the bit of humble teenaged wonder that is my brother Logan. He’s a doll, really, but as his sister I’m obligated to inform any of my younger readers that he is not, in fact, allowed to date. Try again in a few years. He might be Catholic then. 😉

2. Oh yeah…hi! Logan’s post was mostly accurate if a little light-hearted. Please keep our family in your prayers. It’s been a trying summer, particularly the last few weeks. Can’t really share with the blogosphere – although my faithful twitter followers probably noticed a few outraged, profanity-laced bursts of anger in between my happy-go-lucky slightly addicted other tweets – I promise I didn’t abandon you all without a just cause.

3. I really didn’t mean to jump right into the quick takes without so much as a “ZOMG I PROMISE I’LL NEVER LEAVE YOU AGAIN WHAT WAS I THINKING AHHHHH” but really, guys – I missed y’all. Desperately.

4. My first few months as a baby Catholic have been…interesting. I can say with sad honesty that I was a better Catholic before I was Catholic than I am now that I’m officially Catholic. I think I might have a record for Neophyte With The Most Confessions Before Ordinary Time Began. I’m home. But now I have to unpack all my baggage.

5. On a lighter note…I have to relay an awkward first date experience. Through a series of events this summer, was introduced to a guy we’ll call………Rob. Since Tom is taken in the Anonymous Annals of Kassie’s Love Life. I was not remotely interested in Rob, but I was trying to be polite.
“What kind of food do you like to eat?”
Really? I’m a dancer. “Um. Sushi and Mexican.”
“We should go get Subway sometime.”

6. I was flabbergasted. But the cynical, satirical comedian in me couldn’t say no. So I went on a date. To Subway. Wherein he talked about (drumroll please) Operation Repo. Constantly.

7. My saving grace? There was a Jason Statham movie playing on the screen behind him. I’m horrible. Shhh. See number 4. I waited the obligatory hour, then dashed away. I called my sister to tell her about the fail.
“Hey Whit. What are you doing?”
“Watching Operation: Repo….”

I give up.