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I’ve decided that we need to come up with a drinking game for Pope Francis and the mainstream media.  At first it was funny how, every time the man opened his mouth, they fell all over themselves to breathlessly report standard Catholic stuff (the exact same stuff you’d read if you ever cracked a copy of the Catechism) as if it were revolutionary, ground-breaking innovations.  It was less amusing when they topped this with screaming headlines about radical liberal change that was supposedly taking place.  It was even less amusing when actual Catholics, usually of the more conservative bent, took the headlines at their word and began mindlessly reacting as if the Pope were actually doing the stuff that the media headlines were shouting.  It is understandable that the mainstream press has no knowledge of actual Catholic teaching, (we’re used to reporters talking out of their nether regions), but when you present yourself as a practicing Catholic, you ought to hold to a higher standard.  Like, you know, having some knowledge of Catholic Church teaching beyond the fact that we like Mary.

Anyway, the longer this little game goes on, the less amusing it gets.  So I propose we put together a drinking game to help get through with our tempers intact.  It would start like this – every time Pope Francis says something awesome, drink a toast to his health, because we would like to have him hale and hearty and with us a long time.  Every time something he says is misinterpreted by the media, take a drink.  If it is greeted as something completely new, innovative, revolutionary, whatever, take another drink.  If it is a totally standard Catholic teaching that is taught in every Catholic Religion 101 class/Catholicism For Dummies book or equivalent, take another drink.  If you can find the exact same idea in the Catechism (bonus points if it was a direct quote, extra bonus points if you didn’t have to use the Index) take a drink.  If the media outlet twists Pope Francis’ words around to imply the exact opposite as what he actually said, take two drinks.  If it was a major media outlet (international preferred, national network acceptable), take three drinks.  If the major media outlet proclaims that Pope Francis has just gone completely contrary to a long established, bedrock Catholic teaching, empty the bottle.  For more on this, see here and here.)

On second thought, maybe this isn’t a good idea.  We’d be drunk all the time, and a Church of alcoholics probably wouldn’t be all that good at preaching the Gospel.

Anyway, these days when I haven’t been being alternately thrilled with Pope Francis (how I love that man!), and disgusted at the general media coverage of his words, I’ve been either trying hard to not be sick, or sewing.  Sometimes all of that at once.  What can I say?  I’m female.  I multitask.  There have been a series of colds, that have seamlessly blended with worse than usual seasonal allergies to make me pretty much continually congested at the best of times, and going through heaps of tissues doing my best not to be a snot fountain at the worst.  To make things more complicated, the last time I visited the doctor, we discovered that the decongestants that had become a regular part of my diet were driving my blood pressure up.  Since I’d really rather not have a repeat of my hospital visit last winter (aka that one time I played Spoons and ended up in the hospital), we can’t have that.  Dealing with a cold/allergies the old fashioned way (mostly lots of hot, steamy drinks and mountains of tissues) is not fun.

Then, just when I was starting to feel better, I made a tragic misstep.  I had been researching natural ways to deal with allergies, and came across some information on using bee pollen to gradually desensitize yourself to the allergens.  This seemed like a promising idea, so when I was at the Farmers Market on Saturday, I bought myself a jar.  The information I read said that you should start with one pellet, gradually working your way up to a spoonful a day.  So that night, when I was fixing myself something hot to drink, I opened up the bottle, and tried to take out just one tiny pellet.  I came up with three, and thought that since they were small, I’d just put all three in my drink.  Oh, that was a mistake.  I hadn’t drunk more than half my drink before suddenly I was sneezing my head off, and my nose was going harder than ever.  It was days before things settled down again.  At least this time I know for sure that it really is just allergies, not a cold.

Thankfully the sewing has been going rather better.  A while back I read a tutorial for a dress made from two rectangles of cloth.  I was utterly blown away by the genius simplicity of the design.  So elegant!  So clean!  So cute!  I raved about it, and inflicted hand drawn diagrams demonstrating its effortless construction on more than one acquaintance.  The only thing left was to actually make it myself.  So I did.  And it turned out pretty darn cute.

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I know the picture isn’t great, but when it’s 1am on a Sunday night, your picture taking options are limited.  The fabric is some I got on super sale from Fabric Mart for either $1.99 or $.99/yard.  I had six yards hanging around, and now I’ve got four and a dress.  The listing said it was stretch cotton, but it feels like there’s some poly in there too.  It has quite a lovely drape to it, and I love the way the large scale print works with the super simple pattern.

Magic Rectangle Dress - side view

The pattern was ridiculously easy, so easy that I thought I’d share my illustration of it:

Magic Rectangle Dress Tutorial

You can download a better quality pdf here: Magic Rectangle Dress Tutorial

Or you could just visit the original here.

Enjoy!

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