Monday, February 27, 2012

I Am Plagued By Liturgical Disasters

As many of you probably know, last Wednesday was the cheeriest and cleanest of all Catholic holidays, Ash Wednesday. This year's Ash Wednesday mass in Howard, however, was a bit more eventful than most, seeing as I accidentally caused one of my friends to light her hair on fire mid-mass. This minor fiasco, while funny for most people involved, reminded me of just how bad my luck is with special masses. Ever since I was a child, it seems I've been consistently caught in the middle of mildly catastrophic liturgical events. Here, I will briefly outline a few of the more hilarious occurrences.

It all started at my First Communion. Unlike everyone else in my class, I sat in the pew alone (well, aside from the future delinquent and his mother at the other end of the row), because my parents were doing the music. While this wasn't so bad in and of itself, it did set the stage for a marvelously strange First Communion. For reasons I will never fully understand, they assigned the most squirrelly kid in our class a job that required him to walk up the stairs to the altar and, as is so often the case, walk back down them later. When it came time for our young communicant to descend the stairs, he tripped epically on the top step. Now, for normal children, this would have been a problem. This kid being who he was, though, he simply flew off the top step, soared gracefully through the air, and landed, perfectly, catlike, and straight on his feet, on the bottom step. I don't recall applause breaking out at this point, but it would've been appropriate. Furthermore, my First Communion led to a small outbreak of chicken pox among my second grade class. With the end of this outbreak, so ended mass-related disaster #1 of Sarah's life. 

The next liturgical fiasco came at my confirmation. We're all sitting there with our parents and sponsors, minding our own business, when all of a sudden, Bishop Higi keels over. That's right. The bishop fainted during my confirmation. Apparently, he did this at several confirmations that season, but that fact made it no less shocking for all of us. I mean, worry not, dear readers, the strangely large collection of medical professionals in the congregation immediately ran for the altar, the Higster (as my family affectionately calls him) was shepherded to the sacristy, and he made a full recovery. ...Although he did retire very shortly afterwards. You may do with that piece of information what you will. Whether partial cause of retirement or semi-isolated, strange incident, though, the mid-confirmation bishop-y fainting spell certainly qualifies as yet another Sarah Cahalan mass disaster.

Since arriving at Notre Dame, I've generally had better luck with mass. Sure, I had a minor nervous breakdown during campus-wide Stations of the Cross last year (thank you, astronomy), but for the most part, I've managed to stay relatively disaster-free! On Wednesday, though, my lucky streak came to a fiery end. You see, the liturgical administration of Howard Hall decided it was a good idea to have our Ash Wednesday mass solely by candlelight. While this idea is cool on some level, it's extremely dangerous on another. Those of you who know me very well know that I have a terrible habit of laughing uncontrollably in inappropriate situations. This tendency + good friends who laugh at my jokes + open flame = utter disaster. After communion, my unnamed friend and I were laughing at an earlier joke of mine relating to the difficulty of taking communion with a candle in one hand (THINK ABOUT IT, PEOPLE), and things started to get a bit out of control. As is my custom, I found myself completely unable to control my cackling. In my attempt to keep my laughter silent, I let out a few truly horrible squealing noises, which I decided to "cover up" with a fake coughing fit. The aforementioned unnamed friend apparently found this coughing fit hilarious, because it was at this point that she leaned forward in her uproarious silent laughter...and landed her hair smack in the middle of her candle flame. She ran out of the chapel - in an attempt, so I thought, to forcibly bring our laughing fit to a close - and returned a few minutes later, sweatshirt gone and frantically explaining that she had burned a small chunk of her hair off. Of course, it was completely unnoticeable to anyone who didn't know about the incident, and it had no lasting effect aside from a few hours of a vague campfire scent around said friend's head. Traumatic or not-that-traumatic, though, it is most certainly the current caboose of Sarah C's mass-related-disaster train.

The moral of this story, I suppose, is that if you want to avoid fainting, tripping, or getting your hair lit on fire, you should probably avoid me at mass. To those of you in Folk Choir who are forced to share a choir loft with me every Sunday, I wish you luck. I think we've all managed to evade my mass disaster wrath so far, but when the day comes that you fall off the back of the risers and leave your shoe trapped somewhere underneath the third row (just speaking hypothetically), feel free to blame me - because it was probably the fault of yours truly and her liturgical disaster curse. 

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Domerberry Movie Review: The Vow

On Friday night, I did something really out-of-the-box and exciting. I actually left campus (!!) to go see The Vow. This was the most unrealistic and simultaneously wonderful movie I've seen in quite some time, and I felt it was only fair to write a blog post about it. Will you see more Domerberry Movie Review posts in the future? Maybe. If I can find more movies whose main selling point is "Channing Tatum is hot," then yes, I will certainly write more reviews! For now, sit back and enjoy everything you ever wanted to know about The Vow. 

I will start by stating the most obvious problem with this film: if you wake up from a coma and Channing Tatum tells you he is your husband, you do not disagree with him! No! You say, "Are you sure?" and when he says yes, you praise God for allowing all of your wildest dreams to come true! Because Rachel McAdams does not do this, I, from the start, have some trouble taking this movie seriously. 

One thing that I did like about this movie is the completely fantastic, imaginary life it created for this couple. For my readers who are not aware, The Vow is actually based on a true story. From an article I read yesterday, I learned that the real couple - whose names are Kim and Krickitt, by the way - were disappointed that the movie didn't portray the Christian narrative that permeated their actual story. I'm sorry, Kim and Krickitt, but, first of all, I can't type in your names without laughing. And second of all, I would have enjoyed this movie significantly less had the story gone, "I have amnesia and don't remember my hot husband, but we're going to persevere because we love Jesus." For one thing, in that version of the story, Channing Tatum would probably have talked a lot more and been a lot less shirtless - two giant negatives. In the version of the story that the movie told, Paige and Leo (greatly improved names) had awesome, cool lives and cool jobs and lived in a cool apartment and made me want to drop out of law school, move into the city, and take classes at the Institute. Does it matter that I'm not in law school, live nowhere near a major city, and have little to no artistic ability? NO. Thanks to The Vow, it is now what I want to do. (Return a few years from now for the addendum to this, entitled "The Domerberry Quits Her Job and Pretends to Write Novels While Really Just Being a Dirty Homeless Person"!)

The Vow taught me two other important lessons, as well. The first is that I should really write in my journal more often - because you never know when a large truck will plow into your car while you're kissing your hot husband and leave you with five years' worth of a cool hipster-y life you forgot you had. The second is that I should never cease contact with my family for any significant time. I say this not because, you know, it's wrong and you should love your family and talk to them and stuff. Nor am I motivated by the fact that, if I were to stop talking to her, my grandmother would successfully hunt me down, wherever I am in the world, making the whole point moot anyway. Nay; I say this because, if The Vow taught me anything, it's that your years-absent family can and will use your amnesia as an excuse to steal you from your hot husband and make you stop living your cool, hipster-y life. So, family, if you're reading this, worry not! I will never cease communications with you...because I suspect you'll ruin my life if I ever get amnesia.

Another thing I have to give The Vow props for is its portrayal of rich people from the Chicago suburbs. For my readers who aren't fully aware of Notre Dame demographics, approximately 95% of students here are, in fact, rich people from the Chicago suburbs. And while I'm not saying that all of you are generally horrible people, as the film would sort of want you to believe, I am saying that this movie got the dress code completely and utterly right. This being Junior Parents' Weekend, I've seen more than my fair share of people in the past few days who hail from the subset of America that inspired the "Lake Forest" contingent of characters in this film. I think the costume crew for The Vow may have actually stolen clothes from some of these people's closets. So, kudos to you, movie - you've perfectly captured pretty much everyone at Notre Dame. Furthermore, with your subtle moral message of "Don't be a stuffy lawyer/trophy wife, be a cool sculptor/musician," you've reminded us all that, here at ND, we're doing life wrong. Thanks, The Vow!

So clearly, this post has demonstrated that I'm completely incompetent at writing movie reviews. In a last-ditch effort to make this somewhat resemble an actual review, I would arbitrarily assign it a 8 out of 10 for being a harmless to good film, at times cute, at times funny, at times sad - I did almost cry on two separate occasions - and at many, many times, filled with Channing Tatum, without whom I would give the film a 5.5 out of 10. Oh, and be warned: if you think you'd like this movie, the previews will convince you of several more mushy rom-coms you simply must see. So be prepared to shell out not just the cash for this movie, but also for five or six others a few weeks from now - and, girls' dorm RAs, rest assured that the film industry is going to keep you stocked with section event ideas for many months to come.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

How to: Spend Valentine's Day Alone

Since I have now done it nineteen times, I like to think I'm a bit of an expert on how to survive Valentine's Day as a single person. And being the kind, good-hearted person that I am, I feel it's only fair for me to share my extensive knowledge with all of you! So, all you single ladies (and gents), here it is: the only guide you will ever need to spending Valentine's Day alone.

The first thing you should do is complain as much as possible. Acceptable things to say/tweet/set as your Facebook status include but are not limited to: "Ughhh I wish I had a boyfriend/girlfriend," "I seriously HATE Valentine's Day," and "Omg screw you happy people - I have The Notebook to keep me company, so there!" It doesn't matter what you say, really, as long as you're complaining. It is imperative that everyone you come in contact with knows that you are single on Valentine's Day. After all, there is no quicker way to win over a potential mate than by complaining about how you don't have one.

At this point, any people who read the above paragraph and didn't detect my raging sarcasm should, first, punch themselves, and secondly, go delete that tweet. I'm serious, go. Is it gone? Are you lying? Okay, good.

My next piece of advice - real this time - is to indulge the absolute crap out of yourself. For me, this means a plate full of sugar cookies, a three-pound bag of vaguely Valentine-themed chocolate, and watching a Law and Order: SVU marathon and writing a blog post instead of doing my homework this afternoon. I'll leave it to you to decide whether this is a special treat for myself in honor of the holiday or just what I do every Tuesday afternoon. But seriously, even people who eat healthily and consider themselves highly motivated deserve some quality time with candy and guilty-pleasure television programming if they're single on Valentine's Day. I don't care if you're content with your lack of significant other and feel no need to console yourself with gluttony - it's a good excuse to nom your way through an entire Whitman's sampler in two hours, happy or not. On a similar note, this is an excellent day to take a break from your workout/diet regimen. While I'm not saying this step is required, I am saying that if I see you out on a run today, I will body-check you into the nearest dining hall and not let you leave until you've eaten one of every dessert. You've been warned.

Another helpful tip is to channel all of your negative Valentine energy into creative outlets - specifically, creating anti-love playlists (a suggestion: "Tyrone" by Erykah Badu, the best and funniest angry-jaded-girlfriend song I've heard in years), doing third-grade level arts and crafts, and - for those of age, of course - inventing obnoxious pink cocktails, which you can later use to get completely hammered and break your promise to not call that ex-boyfriend of yours. The playlist-creating process is great because it   reminds you of all the awesome music you have on your computer and because it's a wonderful way to prove to yourself once again what a fantastic singer you are when you inevitably belt out "YOU - YOU - YOU OUGHTA KNOWWW" along with Alanis Morrissette. You're so right; he should know! The arts and crafts option is great because, first of all, arts and crafts are awesome, and secondly, because it takes you back to the good ol' days when Valentine's Day meant receiving shiny pieces of cardboard with Disney princesses (or, if you were in class with me, Harry Potter) on them from everyone in your whole class! As for the cocktail option? Well, that one should be self-explanatory. I would especially recommend this option to my old middle school "boyfriend" who I happen to know is currently single on Valentine's Day for the first time in years. Because there's nothing I want more in a man than a Purdue student who shoots squirrels recreationally!

So, ladies and gentlemen, there it is - tips and tricks for the happiest Valentine's Day you'll ever spend as a single, pathetic person. Eat those truffles, watch that horrible Channing Tatum movie, and, whatever you do, complain, complain, complain. If all else fails, remember: the saint we're supposedly celebrating today probably didn't even exist. Have fun eating alone in the dining hall tonight!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Dances Are Still Stressful

For those of you who are completely out of the loop, last night was the Howard-Fisher Mardi Gras formal. It was quite the adventure, and, as I said on my way into the Woodward, "This night says two words to me and two words only: blog post." Without further ado, then, here it is - the official blogosphere media coverage of Howard Formal 2012.

The night began, as is so often the case with dances, in the middle of the afternoon. All through the dorm, girls were rushing out to salons, to the mall, and to friends' rooms for nail appointments, brow appointments, and all sorts of varied primping rituals. Over in Fisher, the guys were probably pregaming their pregames. As for me, I'd used the late-night dance as an excuse not to put any effort into my appearance before my 10:40 class, so I spent the afternoon doing all the general getting-ready things that normal people do in the morning. My crew hit the dining hall for an early dinner, then spent a frantic two hours preparing for the dance. I straightened my hair. I curled my hair. I put my hair up. I put my hair back down. I re-curled my hair. I complained about my hair. I blasted a Top 40 Spotify playlist so I'd have any vague idea of what might be played at the dance, which drowned out the oh-my-God-does-this-dress-look-okay-how's-my-hair-ugh-my-eyeliner-looks-terrible-will-my-boobs-fall-out-of-this-dress-five-shots-from-now chorus undoubtedly echoing back through the hallway. Believe it or not, I shaved my legs. I painted my toenails. I eventually made someone else do my hair (thanx gurl). I happily discovered that my senior prom dress does, in fact, still fit. (Success!) I realized it was 8:20 and my date would be here in ten minutes. I put my shoes on - a rather more difficult endeavor than one might guess - and ran out into the hallway to join my friends.

At this point, we commenced with phase two of formal night: the in-dorm picture-fest. The dates slowly arrived, one already drunk, the rest mostly awkward. We panicked as each successive camera failed to work properly. We rejoiced as each camera started working again. Date pics, friend pics, roomie pics, group pics, and stair pics were taken by all, and before we knew it, it was on to phase three: general frivolity (and more picturez!!) in Keough. After the slowest walk to West Quad ever recorded - thank you, snow, ice, long dresses, and heels - we arrived at our first location of the night. We were joined and then abandoned by a whole other group of dance-goers and a Class of 2014 poster couple who, with no intention of going to the dance, popped by just to join in the fun, and then it was off to our 10:45 bus. Following another very treacherous walk, we arrived at the buses and realized that the bus currently boarding was the one technically labeled 10:25. We ignored this - as did everyone else - and got on the bus anyway. Gradually, the bus got fuller and fuller until there were approximately 5 people to every seat, 40 people standing in the aisle, and a grand total of seven thousand people on the bus. Once everyone possible had squeezed onto the bus, we were off - and the couple in front of us were off to make-out town. This would have been more disgusting and uncomfortable for everyone were it not so hilariously typical of the mess this night was quickly becoming. The best moment of the bus ride came when the gentleman next to the loving couple - yes, that's right, they were sharing that seat with two other people - decided to play along and just throw his arm around both of them.

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity of awkward bus times - and awkward bus pictures - we arrived at...Buffalo Wild Wings. Much to everyone's surprise, our dance venue was apparently located directly above Bdubs. So, now that the dance had been in progress for an hour, we all piled out of the bus and into the dance. The dance itself was fun, of course. There were girls throwing up, there were girls crying, word on the street is there were girls making out with other girls - so, I mean, with the exception of two out of those three groups, a great time was had by all! Beads, masks, and Mardi Gras-themed ducks abounded, our Keough boys had two more hours to show off their incredible rapping skills, and, to the surprise of absolutely no one, our RA was named queen of the ball. At the end of the night, we all headed back to the street and, in the case of half of the group waiting, got on the very-full bus and headed home. I'm hoping and assuming that, since it has been approximately 14 hours since this occurred, the rest of the crew, left standing in the middle of the street in 15-degrees-Fahrenheit downtown South Bend when our bus drove away last night, has since returned to campus. Upon reaching Howard, the fourth floor - as is our custom - collectively changed into sweatpants and congregated in our RA's room for three hours. Eventually, we called it a night, headed back to our rooms, and drifted off to dreamland.

In all, I'd say it was a pretty successful night! I still haven't bothered to put on real-people clothes or move more than eight feet from my bed all day, which is pretty much  universal code for "I had a fun night last night." Since I never took my shoes off for any part of the five hours I spent dancing and paparazzi-ing the night away last night, my feet literally grow vocal cords and scream at me whenever I try to walk. I have, however, made a new Facebook album, had an hour-long Skype session, and been in on the planning of a fourth-floor craft for this afternoon, though, so it can't be said that today has been wholly unproductive. If you haven't yet, you should definitely check out all of my Facebook pictures from the formal - because, after all, I feel no sense of validation of my life unless people Like it into oblivion! Happy Mardi Gras, dear readers, and remember: just because a dance is over, doesn't mean you're done stressing about it. Should you need to find me today, I'll be in my room, de-tagging pictures.

Monday, February 6, 2012

What I Plan to Do in London

Since most of you probably were directed here from my Facebook or Twitter, you may already know that I've been accepted to study abroad in London next spring. Anyone who's talked to me since then knows that I'm a little excited about it. (Just a little.) Obviously, in the state of London-induced euphoria in which I currently live, the only thing to blog about today is how I will make use of my time abroad! So, folks, for your reading pleasure, here it is - stuff I'm going to do while I'm in London.

My first order of business, of course, is attacking and slowly dismantling the marriage of Prince William and Kate Middleton. This needs to happen for so many reasons. Most importantly, I have been in love with Wills Never mind that I was not yet born in 1987; I've loved him for a long time, okay?! Breaking up his marriage to Kate would, first and foremost, allow him to marry me, as I know he has always subconsciously intended. William marrying me would also benefit the United Kingdom as a whole, because I would be a far more sassy and entertaining queen than any they have previously seen. I would be like the Mia Thermopolis of England. Homewrecking the royals would also be beneficial in that, the way I intend to go about it, it would win me Kate as my bestie/style advisor. You see, the best way to break them up would clearly be to gradually build up Kate's trust and best-friend-status love until she's so nuts about me, she's willing to divorce William so he can marry me. (I see nothing illogical in this plan.) Once we are best friends, I could use her as my personal shopping buddy - something that every woman in the world wants; admit it, you do, too. All around, objective #1 of my semester abroad is a win-win!

The next task I plan to pursue is finally getting my Hogwarts letter. Upon hearing this, some of you may be thinking, "But Hogwarts isn't a real place." To you I say, Shhhh. Other, more practical people may say, "But Sarah, you're significantly older than the other first years, who are all eleven." This is true. However, when it comes to my invite to Hogwarts, I'm not picky! I will accept an offer as student, professor, administrator, janitor, or magically-transfigured broom closet. There are also, of course, many other places in this vein to explore while in London. I intend to, like Harry in the summer before his third year, do all of my studying for the semester in the inn above the Leaky Cauldron, eating free sundaes from Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlor and watching young witches and wizards shop for textbooks and robes out my window. I am currently working on a way to smuggle a small owl back through customs. I also pledge to visit every public loo (see? I'm half British already!) in the city if it means finding the Ministry of Magic. [On a slightly more serious note, I know that there are approximately five bajillion Harry Potter tourist sites in London, and if you're reading this and will be in London for spring 2013, be aware that I will be dragging you to all of them.]

Third on my completely-realistic London bucket list is singing a duet with Adele. I'm thinking "(I've Had) The Time of My Life." Literally everything about this goal is realistic. I hope that, by May of next year, Adele's vocal problems will have been ameliorated. If they haven't, I probably will have killed myself, so the whole thing is moot. I like to think that our voices would sound harmonious and beautiful together. We are both divas who seem unlikely to be willing to sing anything but the melody or to sing a guy's part, so that would be sure to produce a really loud, generally obnoxious performance. She's the only famous person I can think of from whom I could borrow clothing, so that will work well. I like to imagine us in matching sequined muumuus like the one Cee-Lo wore for the Super Bowl halftime show (the only part I watched). By the end of this performance, Adele and I, too, will be best friends. Adele, Kate, and I will be meeting for tea once a week by spring break, a week during which I intend to travel to Italy and become the latest "It" model of the Milan fashion scene.

So....that's pretty much what I have planned. I mean, time and again, I suppose I'll go to class and see the sights and stuff. I have enough things to do that I don't predict I'll sleep a lot. For this reason, I intend to sleep approximately thirteen hours a night for the entirety of this semester. In all, I'm pretty sure that spring 2013 is going to be the best semester of all time. Don't be surprised if, with the exception of a brief visit to go to my sister's graduation (I figure that's pretty required), I never come home.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Is There a Football Game This Weekend?

Of all of the 300 million people in America, I am probably the most indifferent about this Sunday's Super Bowl. My only thought on the Patriots is that Tom Brady is hot when his hair isn't weird. The New York Giants are nothing to me but a funny line from Madagascar. To be completely honest, I actually had to go to to find out who was playing in the Super Bowl, because I really had no idea. Despite this indifference, I feel it would be a shirking of my patriotic duty as an American to have a blog and not talk about the Super Bowl, so Super Bowl post it is.

(In the interest of positivity, I will speak here only of the aspects of the Super Bowl that I find cool and/or enjoyable. If you want to read something that's actually about football, you may as well stop reading now. There is, buried deep down under a lot of helmets and mouth guards and scantily-clad cheerleaders, some good to be found in this game...I just find none of it related to the actual game at all.)

For one, I like that it is in Indianapolis this year. As my faithful readers know, I do love me some Indiana, so I think it's cool that my home state finally is hosting the game. It would've been nice for our Indiana home team to win, you know, any games this season, but hey, beggars can't be choosers. From the extensive Facebook stalking I've done, it looks like there's a lot of neat-o things happening in Super Bowl Village. If you went to the Pauly D "concert" and enjoyed it, there's a 90% chance you are what's wrong with America. If you waited more than an hour in line in 20-degree weather for the zipline, there's a 90% chance you should be institutionalized. Any of the festivities but those two, however, sound awesome! I will not go so far as to say I wish I were in Indy right now, but that's mostly because I despise large crowds and have found that serious NFL fans are some of the most horrifying people in the world. Also in the category of SB's Indiana connections, it is extremely legit that two of my good friends from high school will be performing in the pre-game show. (Keep an eye out for the ginger and the midget while you're watching the IU dance team!)

Like most women and gay men everywhere, I find one of the only redeeming factors to the game itself to be the ads. Companies spend enough money on these commercials that I feel I need to watch them just to make sure they're worth the twenty-five trillion dollars paid for them. However, on some level, they're still just commercial breaks. The odds are good that, left to my own devices, I would forget that the ads during the Super Bowl are actually worth watching and flip the channel to Vh1 when the game's not on, thus missing the only good thing about the game. Luckily, I already saw the Matthew Broderick Ferris Bueller revival commercial online, so I know I won't miss the best ad this year! Undoubtedly, my Facebook news feed will be stuffed full of commentary on the funny ads all night, so I'm pretty confident I can figure out the important parts without actually sitting through the game. In summation, then, the best part of the television broadcast of the Super Bowl is not bothering to turn it on, and instead watching all the best ads the next day on YouTube.

In a girls' dorm, there is exactly one thing that makes the Super Bowl important: free, delicious food. Last year, the watch party here in Howard came with a giant table full of BDubs wings and, if I remember correctly, a cake. Why we felt a cake was appropriate, I will never know, but ultimately, who cares? Free cake is free cake. I may not have any remote interest in watching the game, but I am very interested in free food, so I will most definitely be making an appearance at the SB party. Another great thing about the Super Bowl is that it'll give me a great excuse to do homework! Considering my aversion to football and nerdy love of school, it's safe to say I would rather do my homework than watch the "big game." There are many, many shows on television that would take precedence over my homework - I Love New York Season 2, for instance - but no one is going to be showing anything good at the same time as the Super Bowl, so homework it shall be. Thanks, football!

See? There is good to be found in the Super Bowl! As long as you ignore everything that makes it a sports championship and instead focus on everything that makes it the year's biggest spectacle of unbridled capitalism, you're set to go. And if you simply must pick a team to win, pick the Giants - because anyone from Indiana knows that the Patriots are evil personified, whereas anyone from the Manning family pretty much sits at the right hand of God. Right behind Tim Tebow.