Virgil’s Cafe and Other Adventures

Cincinnati Beer Week! Marybeth and I managed to squeeze in a tasting on the last day, and we were very happy =)

The entrance was interesting; the exit was to the street, whereas the front door was actually in the alleyway. The dining room was lovely, and an interesting somewhere in-between casual and fine dining. Like, black linens, but white paper set at an angle over the tablecloth. Our server was very enthusiastic.

First Course: PRHBTN Lemongrass Wheat – West Sixth Brewing Company + Noodles - house made ramen noodles, pickled cabbage, charred spring onion, beef, pork, smoked chile broth, meatballs, egg
First Course: PRHBTN Lemongrass Wheat – West Sixth Brewing Company + Noodles – house made ramen noodles, pickled cabbage, charred spring onion, beef, pork, smoked chile broth, meatballs, egg
Second Course: Fallout Dust – Apocalypse Brew Works + Jerk Chicken Poutine - chicken thigh, hand cut fries, house made curds, jerk gravy
Second Course: Fallout Dust – Apocalypse Brew Works + Jerk Chicken Poutine – chicken thigh, hand cut fries, house made curds, jerk gravy
Third Course: Bourbon Barrel Warmer – Upland Brewing Company + Chocolate Cobbler - vanilla bean ice cream
Third Course: Bourbon Barrel Warmer – Upland Brewing Company + Chocolate Cobbler – vanilla bean ice cream

All three courses were excellent, each pleasantly surprising in its own way. Virgil’s Cafe is a gem, and I think we’ll want to go back sometime to check out the rest of the menu. We noted that there seemed to be a lot of small places on that particular street, and we’ve decided that we want make a point of taking a walk there sometime to check those out.

I think this week was the closest thing to a full week at school that we’ve had so far this semester. Nothing happened until Friday, when school closed at 3pm. That also means that in terms of daily Mass attendance, this was the best week for met yet this year! I remember Kuya Redd shared this on his wall a while back…

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… and I didn’t share it at the time because I wasn’t actually making it to daily Mass myself then, but it’s so true, and I’m so grateful to know it now. Lovely meditation from Papa Francis on this subject:

Paco spent Thursday with me for the first time in a long time. Mass, hanging out in TUC, a good poetry class, the lovely beer tasting, sunka with Paco and Erin, and then the SFL meeting. Before the meeting started, Paco was telling me, “Ate, your coat’s ripped,” and as soon as Marty sat down next to me and before Paco even stopped talking, Marty said, “Ate, your coat’s ripped.” Marty hadn’t been paying attention to what Paco was saying; he saw the look I gave him and asked, “Oh, is that what Paco was just saying?” “YES.” Oh, my brothers. I had to defend against both of them during our apologetics session, and that was not fun and I did not do well, but I’m so glad we’re doing it. I found this today:

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Kuya commented that this addresses the parasite argument that we had hit at the meeting, and Mum also passed on a pertinent article. As a result, I’m currently reading Do Chocolate Lovers Have Sweeter Babies? and having my mind blown with every page.

The one time that I went bowling with the XD Youth Ministry, Sylvia and I were trading Philomena off between turns, and I remember us taking a very solemn moment to [first breathe, and then] try to articulate to each other the wonder we were experiencing in holding his newborn miracle. For both of us, it mostly came out as, I can’t wait to have the privilege of being pregnant. I remember Sylvia’s face, radiant at the thought of carrying a second soul within one’s body, and I thought that my face reflected the same sense of wonder and longing. As I read this book now, that conversation comes back to me.

God gives us so many opportunities on a daily basis to rediscover how amazing He is.

High school felt strangely near this week… probably because we’d spent the weekend with Kuya Vin and Ate Candice. Yes, I’ve finally met my Godson and he is adorable! I mean, I already knew that =) but now I’ve gotten to play with him and talk to him and feed him and hug him, and I am that much happier for it. It’s hard to believe that Rain’s that little baby that I got to spend so much time with in her earlier years, that baby that fell asleep in my arms while we were practicing for worship at our first household meeting after Youth Camp. She is an excellent Ate =) and they’re expecting again!!!! God is so good!

So yes, high school. Discovering that Annie and I were moving in some of the same circles in high school, and now seeing each other at Mass and SSP stuffs, has been a part of that. She’s a sweetheart; I love her, and Andrew, and Erin, all of whom I’ve been spending significantly more time with this semester. Two Mondays ago, the four of us plus Marty were able to share Mass, Morning Prayer, and breakfast together. Minus Erin, we also all went to UDF together after Adoration on Wednesday night. I should note that Wednesday was a perfectly lovely middle-of-the-week day, starting off the day in the Lord’s House for Mass, and ending it there, too, with Adoration.

Friday began with a funeral Mass, and the first reading was what really hit me with high school, straight to my core. It was from Lamentations… specifically 3:24,

“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.”

which was the theme of my first YFC Conference in ’07. I wasn’t exactly trying to get high school out of my system, but from the mood came a Parokya cover that night…

Oh, and this popped up in my news feed this week:

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I’ve lost a great many ‘friends,’ but I’ve kept Nate and Michelle. God seemed to want to remind me of that.

Maybe it’s not just high school; maybe it’s that general 2008 to 2009 time period… When I first started college, I was up before the sun every morning, taking Winton to school, praying the Rosary with Dad on the way. I’m driving alone now, of course, but for the first time since graduating from CState, I’m back to being up at the same time every morning, earlier than the sun, taking Winton [to Mass], and praying the Rosary to keep myself awake on the way. It seems a fitting full-circle sort of thing.

All of my meditations this week have been on finding God in the ordinary, everyday tasks of ordinary, everyday life.

1888910_10152012727878952_341709163_oI’ve had my bleargh moments this week, but none of them have lingered significantly. I don’t think I’ve gotten more than very mildly, very briefly annoyed with anyone or anything.

God really is in all the little things – Mother cutting grapefruit, St. Valentine’s Day chocolates from Daddy, matching profile-pictures-with-Anton and “punch, strike down, counter, punyo, down, five, eight, six” statuses with Paco and Migi, big hugs from Yena and Nino and Marty. It’s so nice having a functional family…

We’ll be attending 9am Mass for a change tomorrow, and Paco and I will be sticking around to help Ashley make brunch for the SSP.

It promises to be another lovely week. May we strive for every moment to be properly Christ-pervaded =)

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