Square Zero

Archive for February, 2006

Sunday of Cheesefare

Posted by Eric (February 28, 2006 at 7:01 pm)

Jesus PrayerYou’ve got to love a religion that has a feast called the “Sunday of Cheesefare.” Cheesefare Sunday—so called because it is the last day to eat cheese and other dairy products before the beginning of Great Lent—was the day before yesterday for most Eastern Catholics in the U.S. Other Eastern Catholics will celebrate Cheesefare Sunday next week, along with the Orthodox.

For Cheesfare Sunday I baked some four-cheese vegetarian calzones (no meat; we ate the last of that a week ago on Meatfare Sunday). The four cheeses were ricotta, parmasan, mozarella and pecorino, the last three of which I picked up at Trader Joe’s on Saturday. It was a mournful moment there in the dairy aisle, bidding farewell to my cheesy friends.


Posted in Byzantine, Catholicism, Faith | 10 Comments »

Insect Photos

Posted by Eric (February 24, 2006 at 12:24 pm)

Rob over at Cockeyed.com has posted some great high-res, close-up insect photos. I thought I’d post some of mine (click on a thumbnail for a high-res version).

The first of these was shot with a Canon Powershot S300. The others were shot with a Canon Digital Rebel XT. And yes, I know spiders aren’t insects. But they are bugs.

Posted in Photos & Art | 3 Comments »

I Don’t Watch TV . . .

Posted by Eric (February 23, 2006 at 12:45 pm)

24. . . but I do watch TV shows*. That is to say, I watch a few shows on DVD. At the risk of scandalizing more pious readers, I’ll admit that two of our favorite shows are The Sopranos and Curb Your Enthusiasm. We checked out Six Feet Under, but found it tedious. Last Fall we got into Lost. Our latest discovery is 24.

Before I go on, a warning. First, don’t follow any of the links above if you haven’t already seen all the episodes of any of those show and there’s any chance you’ll want to watch them. Network sites abound with spoilers. Second, spoilers on 24 will follow. (more…)

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Sudoku and Revelation

Posted by Eric (February 22, 2006 at 5:02 pm)

Su Doku CrossI am (or was) an English major, which means I can take any two subjects, however remote they may appear to be, and weave them together into some kind of coherent thesis—or at least a thesis that will seem reasonably coherent for as long as it takes a graduate assistant to grade my paper. So today I’m going to link up those little Sudoku puzzles with divine revelation.

If the connection between the two is not already obvious to you—in other words, if you are not an English major—allow me to explain. (more…)

Posted in Catholicism, Faith | 6 Comments »

Vain Pursuits

Posted by Eric (February 20, 2006 at 5:00 pm)

St Isaac of SyriaYesterday I bought a small icon of St. Isaac of Syria. I didn’t know anything about St. Isaac, but I was impressed by the words on the scroll to which he was pointing:

This life has been given to you for repentance. Do not waste it in vain pursuits.

Could there possibly be a sentiment more out of step with our times? It must have been a challenging statement in the seventh century as well, when St. Isaac lived, or he wouldn’t have bothered to say it.

We didn’t invent vain pursuits, but we’re the only culture since the late Roman Empire—which by Isaac’s time had passed away—to so devote our culture to them.

But I didn’t buy this icon in protest of contemporary culture, nor did I decide to write about it here to offer a social commentary. If such were my purpose, I would be missing St. Isaac’s point entirely; that would indeed be a vain pursuit. (more…)

Posted in Byzantine, Faith | 3 Comments »