A few short personal updates:
● I admitted at a recent chapter meeting, when our Chaplain read the Prodigal Son parable, that I don't like it. In fact, I think "hate" was the verb I used. Which is the opposite, I would suspect, of most people's reaction -- it's easily among the most-popular and -cited of Our Lord's parables. But my honest reaction is that the parable is incomprehensible. Mystifying. Which I realize is to some extent the point, but that doesn't make it easier to swallow. Or to "get." When asked, "what would you have done in the prodigal son's situation?" my honest answer is "probably left home the next day, wondering wtf THAT was all about." I've noted before that stuff like this I just don't *get.* The person in the Prodigal Son parable with whom I identify the most, at least in terms of psychological makeup, is the other son. Don't get me wrong -- I'm not jealous of my brother exactly. And I certainly wouldn't claim to never have strayed. But I would very much have had the brother's reaction, even as the prodigal son himself.
● After having been snubbed in the listing of manly Catholic blogs (why ... was it just because I have [censored]?) I decided I need to butch up, with sports fandom. I decided to enter my work's NCAA basketball pool and immersed myself in the tournament. I submitted two brackets -- one which I tried to pick (and when I fell into conversation with people that was "my bracket), and one where I just blindly went with the higher-seeded team. In an 80-bracket office, one finished 9th (out of the money though), the other 76th. Guess which was which. I spent the whole Friday of Day 2 of the 1st Round at one sports bar watching games. Fridays during a Lent when you've given up alcohol can make bars one of the oddest places in the world. Over the course of nine hours, I ordered all three things on the menu I could have and really felt guilty putting the poor bartender through all my 108 soda refills without bumping my bill up.
● The darkness and depression got to me a couple of times and I crashed hard after a week of daily-Mass attendance which is a common pattern, like Icharus (maybe partly because I hate the Prodigal Son parable).