Thursday, January 29, 2009

sunny and 75.

a great weekend ahead.

leaving at 3:45 am (yes, a-period-m-period) with Elliot, Tim, Erin Fitzpatrick, Christian Boback, and a European student, Dominica, for Vienna, where we're hopping on a bus to Prague (Czech Republic) for the weekend.  

i'll be back Sunday night...where i may or may not be able to watch the superbowl because ResLife here doesn't want to show us the game until TUESDAY. TUESDAY. 


do they realize that my homepage is  or that half of my fbook friends' status will read either "OMFG THE CARDINALZZZZ RLY?!?!?" or "i hate the steeelerrsssssss"?  

regardless, i'll see you monday. peace.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Done with my neo-romantic wanderings, here's a few aimless thoughts:

elliot's laptop was bugging out on him since he got here, but we realized that it was the converter he was using for his wall adapter. thanks to some household brother of old, we found a converter in the LOJ box and got his comp working again. so hopefully we'll get pictures up of Salzburg/Munich soon.

Why in the world did Francis Hall move the gazebo ( Watching the video brought a flood of emotion. Are they trying to cut down on the noise? That's worse than the time we tried "optional" household commitments to cut down on whining.

So get this. The owner of every student's favorite nightspot in Gaming, 'Urs', only opens his pub during our school semesters. He takes every weekend and summer off because people like me and Mike Monette stay til close. Often.

Useful hint for future travellers: Guiness in Vienna > Guiness in Salzburg.

Another useful hint: don't try dumping sunflower seeds down the sink because your room has no trash barrel and the toilet wouldn't flush them. bad things happen. ...yea.

finally got to see the infamous "devil's footprint" in the church where Benedict was ordained as Cardinal this past weekend. It's whack. I think i may have even seen a Nike swoosh somewhere in it.

The previous joke is copyright tim glemkowski, all rights reserved.

Despite the fact we're all underage Americans that are of age here in Austria, i'm pretty sure Gordo's room back on campus has more alcohol than any room here.

Comparing the beautiful churches of Europe to the CTK back on campus is like comparing a Lebron James highlight reel to an old ABA game. One leaves you breathless, the other simply reminds you of an era where short-shorts, mustaches, and AIDS reigned supreme.

If this were a Troubadour article, someone would write in a letter to the editor calling for me ex-communication one paragraph ago.

Dedham people: i've looked high and low, and i'm yet to find a back lot in Austria. Long live the back lot.

Best city i've seen in the last month? Boston.

Over and out.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

the snow-covered prophets.

...I have the ability to move those?
We walked outside onto a little loft sticking off the castle in Salzburg, unaware of the canvas waiting for our arrival. all i could muster was an "...Oh" as i stood, frozen. A particular friend with me was even moved to tears: "That was the most beautiful thing i had ever seen"
Impressive enough was the beautiful village of Salzburg spread out before us as we stood hundreds of feet above. More impressive were the dazzling, sparkling, shining, whatever-ing mountains staring back at us, standing almost as if in guard around the city.
I stood there for quite a while, saying "cliiiiiicccckkk" to myself, hoping that my mind would take a Polaroid and print it out of my mouth.
Looking back now, my original thought posted on this blog resonates loudly: there are places that are not here.
Our bus left the hostel in Salzburg around 8, bound for Munich, Germany. We rode down the highway, most of us yawning, stretching, and bending into uncomfortable shapes in an attempt to wake up while we prayed the usual morning rosary. I sat by myself, forehead glued to the window, staring out into open fields.
Minutes passed and our surroundings grew more and more extravagant. What started off as the "usual" mountain backdrop (jaded thought) quickly grew into God's victory speech: "Incase you forgot, these are Mine."
Just as my mind began to realize that the image was like nothing i had ever seen, a blaring ray of light shot across my line of vision: the morning sun, proudly and shamelessly begging for equal attention, bouncing and reflecting off of the snow-covered display before me. I would have had no problem if the bus driver just turned around then. "That's it, kids! Nothing else to see here." I was content with just that vision engrained in my memory.
And then my very own victory speech darted through my skull: the Creator, infinitely beautiful enough to raise up something so finitely beautiful, shows mercy to me.
what is it about mountains that draw our attention?
Is it that they remind us of how remarkably tiny we really are? Is it the way the snow lays upon them like a wedding dress?
Or is it, maybe, that much like the churches found throughout Europe, their sheer magnificence and height draws our attention upward towards the heavens? It's as if they're giant creatures holding signs reading: "God: ^^ this way ^^". I may have seen two overwhelmingly enjoyable cities this weekend, but nothing they contained had as much to teach me as the snow-covered prophets.
Much like God raised up the Alps over millions of years so they may one day reflect His beauty unto us, may we be given the grace to allow Him to raise us up to that same stature.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Pressing on, pressing on...

the school week is over!

celebrated Patt Gott's 21st birthday tonight down at Urs, and we're off to Salizburg/Munich tomorrow morning.

update coming Sunday/Monday.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

clocks move slower than minds.

Something that's struck me quite hard of late is how remarkably fast the human mind (well, at least my mind) moves on.

What i mean is this:  over the past 2 years of going to school, coming home, going to school, coming home, going to school, going home, austria, home, etc... i've realized that after about a week of being in a certain place, the aforementioned location immediately feels like "forever ago".

I've been in Austria for about 11 days, and Boston feels like forever ago.  I've been in Austria a mere 11 days, and my 5 days with elizabeth feels like ages ago.

It's strange.  It makes me realize that someday, college will feel like "forever ago". will feel like eternity ago.  

Live everyday to the fullest, take advantage of every opportunity, love at every chance to love, and soak in all the lessons experience can teach in the 24 hours you got until that next day feels like forever ago.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


Congrats to LOJ's newest intent, Adam Michaud.

In other news, newly inaugurated President Obama will announce today that Lion of Judah is an official province of the USA. Press conference with President J-Watt coming soon.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The beginning of being jaded.

Well, i'm officially 100% settled in. Sunday, the day after Vienna, and today, felt like normal day-to-day living. Everyone seems pretty comfortable with the new surroundings now.

Classes are interesting. Fortunately i'm only taking 12 credits, and my schedule is rather great. It looks something like this:
Monday & Wednesday: Metaphysics (08h40-10h10), Philosophy of Human Person (13h50-14h50), PBS II (15-16)
Tuesday: Christian Marriage (08h40-10h10)
Thursday: Christian Marriage, Phly of Human Person, PBS II

Classes here are way more intense and just feel more serious. So far i've been more attentive and caring than i've ever felt about schoolwork back on campus. We'll see how long this lasts.

Off to dinner. Updates soon.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

You bring the cup and i'll bring the moonshine.

Vienna + oldest irish pub in town + friendly bartender = free irish car bombs for everybody.

It was a good night.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Oh god, i have to wake up in 5 hours.

Vienna tomorrow.

leaving at 8, back at ten. i'll check back in then.

my good friends back on LOJ wing at Franciscan have started up their own blog to keep us oversea Lions updated at fun stuff.

I went down to the bar tonight with 2 fishers and 2 rando girls, and i realized that the biggest lesson i'm learning is "eff households". don't get me wrong, I LOVE MY HOUSEHOLD. but whether i care to admit it or not, i allow households to place barriers between me and other people, and those walls have crashed down hard here.

see ya when i'm back from vienna.



Done with class and heading into my first weekend of the semester.

Last night featured what had to have been the most thrilling, exciting, exhilarating, monumental moment of the semester thus far.

and it all revolved around Connor's mini basketball hoop.

Connor has this little plastic hoop hanging off his closet door, the kind every boy owned at some point or other in his childhood. Me and Tim spend about an hour each day shooting on it.
So last night we decided to attempt banking the ball off of the opposite wall and into the hoop. However the angle was so ridiculous that the ball had to be thrown literally perfectly to get into the net.

After roughly 45 minutes of Elliot, Sam, Tim, Patt Gott, and myself continuously failing to succeed, i found myself just repeatedly chucking the ball off of the wall with just Elliot and Sam watching. On what proved to be my final attempt, Sam turned off the lights as i released the ball. My initial thought was "what the HELL, Sam" (by this point, getting the ball in the hoop was less of a game and more of an obsession). Then he turned the lights backs on.

and the ball went in.

and i looked at elliot in shock.

Sam screamed.

and by screamed i mean squealed like a 13 year old scene girl at a Fall Out Boy show.

and i just collapsed on the ground while our yelps echoed throughout the creaky old megaphone that is the Kartause.

Ladies and Gentleman, your 2009 Austria class!

Thursday, January 15, 2009


why does distance repeatedly remind us of the things most important to us? why are our feelings so exponentially stronger when we're miles away from family, brothers, loved ones?

i just had a conversation with my mother and i could hear the concern and love she has for me in her voice. i skyped Elizabeth last night and excitement bled from her smile as we saw each other for the first time. a simple facebook message from a friend back home that i just last week was hanging out with daily is enough to make my heart leap.

distance is strange.

all i need is the bullet.

classes begin today. one down already, two to go.

oh god.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Chapter 1: The Outskirts of Glory

Don't let the pouring rain ruin your day by day, and don't let the bones the closet may hold get in the way. --Matt Pryor

After technical difficulties last night, i'm finally settled in and on a functioning computer.

I landed in Washington D.C. at 2:00 EST Sunday and ran into 4 other Franciscaners. Within 2 hours that number grew to around 50, and probably upwards of 80 or more by the time the flight took of at 6:30.

Some fun facts about the airplane:

1) It's uncomfortably small for an international flight. (Or, as one student said, "we were doing a bit of penance" before Austria. Gotta love franciscaners.)

2) Two words: International Waters. Three more words: First. Legal. Drink. Not much needs to be said about this one.

3) "Snake Gobbler", a rehash of the that game everyone used to have on their Nokia cell phones in middle school, is available on the plane and basically entertained me the whole second half of the trip. I'll talk more about this in a bit.

So after the initial rush of "OMG WE'RE GOING TO AUSTRIA!!@$$@!" and after a glass of wine or three (four) plus dinner, i finally got bored. It was about 4 hours into the flight and i decided i should try sleeping.

My seat was so uncomfortable i felt like a small child was prodding me in the back with both of his knees the entire time. I tried every possible position: facing left towards mike, facing right towards elliot, leaning back, sitting up. It was miserable. Then i decided to try putting my face on a pillow on top of the table in front of me. this was comfortable for about 30 seconds, and then the kid in front of me leaned his chair back, pressing down on my skull. Sleep was officially ruled out as a way of killing time.

So what did i do? I did what most 19 year old American males would do. I went straight for the video games. For the next two-plus hours, "Snake Gobbler" destroyed my life. After reaching level FORTY NINE, i decided to call it quits as the plane began to descend. For anyone going to Austria in upcoming semesters: this is an open challenge. If you can get past level 49, take a picture and post in on facebook and i will mail you ten euro. I'm convinced it can't be done.

We finally got to Vienna around 9 am Austria time (AMT? GMT? idk). After a two hour bus drive we got to campus, moved in, and had mass. After a meeting, which essentially said "please don't screw up like the kids last semester did", a bunch of us went to Urs, the local pub. It was then that it hit me that i was really in Gaming. Maybe it was the drunk men yelling in German, maybe it was the lampshades that said "Steigel" on them, maybe it was the drinks going to my head. regardless, it hit me, and i couldn't have been much happier than i was then.

today we went on a brief trip to this monastery which is now a museum and celebrated mass there. As beautiful as it was, the drive there was even moreso. A winding road took us through mile after mile of snow covered mountains and tiny little 19th century looking villages. the beautiful scenery was not enough to make my body forget about jet lag, however, and i fell asleep for much of the second half of the ride there. i'm still exhausted.

More meetings tomorrow, then classes start thursday.


today was

Saturday, January 10, 2009

And so it begins.

There are places that aren't here.

It's a simple, seemingly obvious statement. But I get so caught up in what's going on around me -- the news, sports, the drama, the 'buzz' -- and all that my mind remains focused on is the little nutshell that is Dedham, MA.

But there are places that aren't here. There are a seemingly infinite amount of little communities like Dedham. There are people who will live entire lifetimes without running into me. There are places with eons of tradition i'll never step foot in. There are experiences i've never dreamed of that i'll never learn from.

In a matter of hours, i'll be sitting (comfortably, i hope) in my room in the 'Kartause' in Gaming, Austria, a converted monastery that i will soon label as my "home" for the next four months. Yet as distant and magical a place that my imagination has drawn it up to be, i believe i will really find it too be much the same. It will look and feel 'different', but the fingerprints of a Father will be laced all throughout.

I have no clue what is to come. I have no clue what it is God plans to show me, to teach me, to reveal to me over these next four months. Am i excited? ...i think so. Nervous? nope. If anything, i'm strangely confident that these next few months will be some of the best i'll ever have.

I walk into this journey at an interesting time. Life is rolling by rather smoothly: no major problems weighing me down, a lovely girlfriend who i miss dearly, fantastic and blossoming friendships. but Christ has certainly been slowly drawing me along, waiting for me to take a step into the dark that i've been abstaining from taking for quite some time. All i can do in Austria is grow.

Stay classy, Dedham.

Adios America.