7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 145)

September 30, 2011 | 65 comments

— 1 —

What do you think of the new format of the linky list at the bottom of the post? I always love the look of lists I see on other blogs that include images. Also, I’ve heard that this particular list tool is easier to use, so I thought I’d try it out here too. (If you missed my post from yesterday, I did a little Quick Takes upgrade to celebrate the three-year anniversary.)

— 2 —

I think my nextdoor neighbor and I might be soul mates. I’ve never met her in the four years that we’ve lived within 20 feet of one another, but that’s why I think we’re such a perfect match. See, I always thought that the nice man who lives in the house next to us was a bachelor. Then, a few weeks ago, he brought a plate of warm cookies to the kids when they were playing outside, explaining that they were from his wife, who works as a chef at a local restaurant.

This has happened a few times since then. The kids always look back at the house in awe, trying to see through the darkened windows to get a glimpse of their generous benefactor. I always want to call out to let her know that I am a kindred spirit, pointing back to my house and shouting,  “I’m only outside because of the kids! I hate to leave the house too!” Anyway, it’s like the introvert version of some great story of friendship. We’re like Harry Potter and Ron Weasley, Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, the only difference being that we never, ever interact with one another.

Man, being an introvert is awesome.

— 3 —

Remember when I asked about solutions for the tupperware cabinet a few weeks ago? I got some great responses. Here were a few that were particularly helpful:

Beadgirl said: My mom’s system for organizing plastic containers is to code each container and matching lid with a letter of the alphabet, in permanent marker. Finding the right lid then becomes a simple matter of finding the matching letter.

Anna Macdonald said: Keep the lids on the bowls when they are stored. If you are tempted to separate them out because you can keep more of them that way — just remember that your fridge probably doesn’t hold more space for leftovers than your tupperware shelf does, so all those extra tupperwares couldn’t be used anyway…When putting the tupperware away, you may think it’s easier to just toss the lid and bowl in separately, but that half-second of putting the lid back on saves you 5 minutes of searching for a workable combo later on.

Smoochgator said: If you can’t bear to throw away perfectly good containers…you might try repurposing these containers creatively, maybe by using them as drawer dividers in the kids’ room to hold baby socks or barrettes or other small items that tend to get lost. Or use them in the bathroom cabinets or linen closet to corral feminine hygiene products, medicine bottles, bars of soap or travel-sized bottles, etc. I also have two small plastic “to go” boxes in my entertainment center – one for new batteries, and one clearly labeled for “dead” batteries that need to be recycled.

— 4 —

I have this great new shade of eyeshadow that looks awesome, but, alas, it was won at the price of great awkwardness. My mom and I went to a makeup event at a department store the other weekend, and as I was trying some new glosses, I heard my four-year-old daughter ask, “Mommy, why is that man getting makeup on?” I looked over to see that the chair next to me was, indeed, occupied by a dude, who was having his eyes done in a charcoal shade that complemented his red lipstick. My little girl, the most fearless of all our children, walked up to him and said with a laugh, “Hey, boys don’t wear makeup!” As if maybe he’d just forgotten, and upon being reminded would say, “Hey! What? What’s going on here? I’m a boy!” and start grabbing wipes and dabbing at his face.

The way I usually handle situations like that is to pretend to choke to death and hope that everyone forgets about whatever horribly uncomfortable thing was just said. As it was, I started stammering something like, “Well, honey, we live in a city called ‘Austin, ‘ and in Austin, sometimes boys…” But then the makeup artist leaned away from his face, and I saw the stunning shading that covered his eyelids in a fabulously dramatic way. I interrupted the teaching moment with my daughter to turn to the lady behind the makeup counter and say, “I want to try the shade that gentleman over there is wearing!”

— 5 —

I’m trying to collect some lighter, more humorous quotes from the saints, like St. Thomas Aquinas’ famous remark that “sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath and a glass of wine.” Tell me your favorite quotes along those lines!

— 6 —

A while back Nancy left a comment recommending a site called Eat Your Books, where you can search for recipes within cookbooks that are already in your library. This is a great idea. I’m always looking for ways to cut down on meal planning time, so I’m definitely going to check this one out.

— 7 —

Get your weekend off to a great start by watching this amazing, touching video about a man who has sent out thousands of messages in bottles into the ocean, and has received back over 3, 100 responses from all over world, often coming in years after he first cast out the bottle. (Via New Advent, like all the interesting links I know about.)



  1. Kimberly

    Stupidity is also a gift of God, but one mustn’t misuse it.
    Pope John Paul II

    He isn’t a saint yet, but this one cracked me up.

    GREAT TIPS on the tuperware… going to have to use that when we have our own place again.

  2. Geomama

    So sorry – I accidentally copied the wrong link for the blog. Is it possible to delete the Geomama (#3) ?

  3. Nathan Kennedy

    I remember my first encounter with transvestites in Austin. It was my first month there, and some of my dorm mates decided that I needed to try Katz’s on Sixth Street–they thought I would fall for the “Heart-Attack-In-A-Glass” Cheesecake Milkshake. So we’re sitting there, I’m chowing down on a Reuben, and these two older gentlemen walked in wearing clothing most characteristic of The Golden Girls. I almost spit up my sauerkraut! Man, it’s a whole other world down there…

  4. Kara

    #4, haha!!! Kids lack filters. Mine are the same way.

    I can’t even KEEP Tupperware in my house because my husband steals them for various pets, or outside duties and I never see the lid or the container again. So I gave up and have to use ziplocks for everything.

    • Kara

      I love the new format and the template is great! Thanks!!

  5. Valerie (Momma in Progress)

    I agree that being an introvert is awesome. I have succumbed, however, and will be social tonight with Hubby (and the kids) at a Work Thing. I anticipate I will spend the entire evening trying to keep E from dominating the conversation, A from falling asleep and dooming bedtime, and J from jumping off the roof. (Yes, the general theme of said Work Thing is food on a rooftop.) Oh, and I have seen (and used) this style of Linky on other sites, and I like it. The images make it seem so much more personal, like hey! of course I want to click here and see what you have to say.

  6. Genny

    How neat – all those bottles. And I love how they called it the oldest form of social networking!

    Hope you are doing well!

  7. Leah @ Unequally Yoked

    Do you have a problem with men wearing visible make-up? There have been historical periods when that kind of thing was done by both genders, and the emo subculture definitely brought eyeliner to everyone. I’ve got no problem with people having more on their palette.

    • Melissa@Permission to Live

      Ditto. I was wondering the same thing. Also wondering what her response to her kids would have been.

  8. Jason Hall

    I love when you write about the awesomeness of being an introvert. It’s nice to be reminded that I’m not weird because I don’t always want to follow up a workday of interacting with people with an evening of interacting with even more people.

    • Wsquared

      Yeah, I’m a bit of an introvert-extrovert, with more emphasis on the introvert part. 😀

      …and one of my childhood heroes is Sherlock Holmes.

  9. Cléo

    Oh… the bottle post man made me cry :s

  10. Amy F

    I’m feeling even more homebody-ish than usual since my big kids went back to school. With only one baby/toddler at home, I can accomplish things like making appointments without anyone screaming and suddenly I’ve realized how much I need/can do during the day. Add to it the baby who fights me every time we get in the car and staying home is just easier. My husband is amazed sometimes to hear that I haven’t gone farther than the backyard in 2 days, but I’m so much less stressed out without the rushing around. Ideally, a good friend or a relative can hang out with me, but I don’t mind if it’s just the baby and I all day. Mmm…introvertedness…

  11. George @ Convert Journal

    The bottle story is a nice human interest piece. Maybe it is just me, but isn’t throwing 4,000 plastic bottles into the ocean something of a littering issue?

    Moving on, I like the new picture grid links. I had to use my generic 7QTF image because I didn’t have any pictures this week. As usual, there are several videos but they don’t show up as choices. A solution when there are videos but no pic may be to screen capture/crop/edit one and include it in the post redundantly but hidden by CSS (display: none) or temporary just for linking.

    My entry this week… Changing minds on abortion, a powerful approach. A story after judgment – all are surprised, both the damned and the saved. Celebrating World Contraception Day. MD does not mean “Medical Deity.” Electron Boy (a/k/a Erik Martin), RIP. The “understandable” effect of China’s one child policy. The mainstream media, slowly backing away…

  12. nancy

    Wow, I wasn’t expecting to see myself in one of your Quick Takes! But I really do love Eat Your Books, and I hope you do also. It’s funny how those of us who are introverts can manage virtual meetings and online socializing so well.

  13. Leila

    Of course number 2 has me giddy!! And, I want that introvert pin! You should make and sell them.

  14. Michelle

    I love the template and the link thing! Sorry for double…my first attempt didn’t work right for some reason…

    Thanks for doing these. Wow 3 years, huh? very cool

  15. Laura

    Thanks Jen, for that template. It DID make the whole process much easier! I love the tupperware suggestions.
    God Bless.

  16. Dianna

    Aww! I LOVE the quote from St Thomas Aquinas — it wraps everything up so nicely, and so appropriately for my life.

    I’ve not had to deal with explaining trannies to my children, thank goodness. Mine just act like complete wolf cubs in the Christian bookstore. Oy!

    Thanks for hosting! You are the best!

  17. Liesl

    I love the new list!

    I am also an introvert. We rock. I’ve lived in this apartment for over 2 years and still can barely smile at the neighbors in the elevator. Oh, and awkward work elevator moments… eep!

    Happy 3 year Quick Takes anniversary!

  18. Kathleen Basi

    #4 is cringeworthy…and hilarious! I dread moments like that.

  19. Anne @ Modern Mrs Darcy

    I love your takes, always. I think the format looks very nice and even though I’ve participated many a time, I tried out your template and it worked great. Thanks!

    So, which makeup counter do men frequent in Austin? I know you’re a makeup junkie, so let’s hear the specifics! What shade?

    Love the Aquinas quote. I heartily agree.

  20. Christie @ Garden of Holiness

    He’s not a saint (yet?), but I love this quote from G.K. Chesterton. “Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried.”

    • Wsquared

      Love it, Christine! …it’s from Orthodoxy, no?

      • Christie @ Garden of Holiness

        @Wsquared, I think it’s from What’s Wrong with the World, and how did you get the title in italics! You rock!

  21. Kate Wicker

    Three years of QTs? Wow! I love the images. I’ve always liked that Aquinas quote. Now I just need him to convince MY Thomas to stop waking up for the day at 3 a.m.


  22. Regina

    Humorous saints: St. Teresa of Avila said, while going through difficulties traveling, “Lord, if this is how you treat your friends, it’s no wonder you have so few!”

    And on the transvestite front: when my kids comment and loudly point at people being outrageous, I don’t correct them. I don’t encourage them. But I let it go. So when the say, “Mom, that boy has earrings all over his face!” Guess what? That boy put earrings all over his face to call attention to himself. So there you go!

  23. Theresa in Alberta

    Maybe the fellow was an actor(?) u will show us the color 😉
    St Lawrence was roasted alive on a spit told his executions that they could turn hime over as he was done on one side. (rather dark humor given the situation.)

  24. Rebecca

    When you start with a quote like that one from St. Thomas Aquinas you kinda set the bar a little high :).

    Thanks for hosting – love the new linky! Happy Quick-Takes-a-versary.

  25. Jenna@CallHerHappy

    I love the new picture format! Also, I am an introvert too! I hope we never meet 🙂


  26. Sarah B.

    St. Teresa of Avila is quoted as having this exchange with God:

    Teresa falls off horse into stream, asks why she suffers these small things.
    God replies, “That is how I treat my friends.”
    St. Teresa replies, “No wonder you have so few of them.”

    I have no idea if this is true, but a priest I used to work with would say it all the time.

    Your exchange at the makeup counter reminds me of the scene in when Harry Met Sally when Meg Ryan has her “episode” and then the woman says, “I’ll have what she’s having.” 🙂

  27. Andrea

    I’ve been reading the blog for a few months now, and I’ve never understood what a “linky list” is. Add a line of explanation?

  28. amy2boys

    I don’t have a funny saint quote, but I do have a few that I especially like from a very funny saintly person. Mother Angelica–

    “You can’t always blame things on the evil one, tempting you. Really, for most people, all he has to do is sit back and watch.”

    Mother says regarding Holy Days of Obligation that fall during the week: “You are too busy to go to church more than once a week? Humph. What will God say when you tell him you didn’t go because it was Monday?” (pause) “You won’t be too busy to die.”

    “Today we each want a god that thinks like we do. You can’t have that because you don’t think straight.”

  29. Teresa

    From my favorite saint of all time, St. Teresa of Avila, “From silly devotions and sour-faced saints, good Lord, deliver us!” Man, I would love to hang out with her 🙂

  30. Smoochagator

    Wow, thanks for the shout-out! I am honored.

    I really like the new link-up format. Being a very visual person, I’m more likely to click on a link that has a neat picture, or to read a blog post that has cool pictures in it. (I’m also one of those people who buys wine because of the pretty labels.)

  31. Emily

    I love the new links! And that recipe site seems awesome!

  32. Laura

    Maybe he was just getting ready for Halloween? (Or would that evoke more cries of “heretic! blasphemer! pagan!” if I mention that holiday?)

  33. Suzi

    Thanks for the link, I tried to use it, but I am not so sure I did it correclty. As for my kids having a filter: NONE! I can’t expect them to have something I don’t have, can I?

  34. JC

    I like the new linky format. Sorry I can’t much participate in this week’s quick takes as usual–I’m a bit swamped this week.

  35. Ann

    I heard this funny one, I think it was attributed to St. Therese of Avila (anyone feel free to correct me if I’m wrong):
    St. Therese was sitting in the outhouse, eating a muffin and reading her prayer book. The devil comes to chide her for being “sacriligious”, and her reply was, “The prayers are for God, the muffin for me, and the rest is for YOU!”

    • Jessica

      I don’t know about the quote, but the name sounds off . . . are you thinking of St. Teresa of Avila? (St. Therese of Liseux – a.k.a. The Little Flower – was extraordinarily different in personality from St. Teresa. Although both were, of course, quite devout.) 😉

      • Ann

        It must have been Teresa of Avila.

  36. Jamie @ A Rough Diamond

    I am not sure if I like the image links. I like seeing other people’s images, but not my own. LOL

    Maybe I’m an introvert, too? I’m not an introvert in real life, though. Maybe I’m an online introvert only? 🙂

  37. Jeanne G.

    I’m an introvert too. I do like to meet peopl, though… I just don’t hang out too much. I would rather already know someone than get to know them. So, maybe if I ever meet any of my online friends, I won’t be so uncomfortable since I sort of know them already.

  38. Jeanne G.

    I’m an introvert too. I do like to meet peopl, though… I just don’t hang out too much. I would rather already know someone than get to know them. So, maybe if I ever meet any of my online friends, I won’t be so uncomfortable since I sort of know them already.
    I really like the new linky list format! Yay!

  39. elizabethe

    Tupperware is the bane of my existence. We have all matching tupperware that stacks and at least once a week I reach in to get one and it all falls down on top of me because I haven’t been sufficiently carefully stacking it up.

    Don’t even get me started on mismatched tupperware and non-matching lids.

  40. Annette Heidmann

    Ok, first of all, thank you for the Introverts Unite! badge which I shall forthwith be posting on my blog as a covert signal to all my fellow undercover introverts out there. 😀 I think I like the image links, but I’m going to have to figure out how to include one that has MY image! Lovin’ your upgrades and I used the template for the first time today. Thanks for sharing the love with us all! 🙂

  41. Dwija {House Unseen}

    I love the new linky thing with the pics. So much fun! Easier to find where I left off if I’m going through the list.

    But I CANNOT let my oldest daughter watch the video about the man and the bottles because there is nothing more in this world that that child wants than to fill old plastic Aquafina bottles with notes and toss them into Lake Michigan. Hello? The police called and wanted to chat with you about a little thing called littering!!! It will just not go over well, I tell ya what.

  42. Kayla @ The Alluring World

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned St. Lawrence yet. He is the patron saint of BBQ’s because as he was being burned to death he purportedly told the executioner “Flip me over, I’m done on this side!”

  43. Katie @ Wellness Mama

    Laughed out loud on #4! Isn’t the innocence of children wonderful? Thanks for the link to eat your books… what a great idea!

  44. Laura O in AK

    I love the new photo button linky. Thanks for a great meme to both read and participate in each week.

  45. Emily J

    Another quote from Hilaire Belloc, not a saint but good for quotes, you’ve probably heard:
    Wherever the Catholic sun doth shine
    There’s always laughter and good red wine.
    At least I’ve always found it so.
    Benedicamus Domino!

  46. pedro

    re: #5, if you haven’t heard of Fr. James Martin SJ, you have to check him out; he’s a fabulous Jesuit and wrote a phenomenal book on the saints called My Life with the Saints. And he has a new one out which I haven’t read yet but it sounds like it could help your pursuit of humour oand the saints… called Between Heaven and Mirth. He’s one of the most engaging Catholic writers of our time (IMO but also in many others’!) and he has a very interesting personal story too. He started out in the corporate world: went to Wharton, worked at GE and left all of that for the priesthood. Anyway, love him and please check him out!
    Oh and the “Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything” is my favorite book by him.

  47. Liz Bartling

    I’ve always loved this quote: “Hearing nuns’ confessions is like being stoned to death with popcorn.” by Achbishop Fulton Sheen

    • Liz Bartling

      I mean “Archbishop” 😀

  48. ARM

    Maybe I shouldn’t rain on your picnic (especially since many people liked it) but I’m pretty sure St. Thomas didn’t actually say that. He did recommend five cures for sorrow: weeping, bathing, sleeping, condoling with friends, and contemplating eternal truths. Not in one nice little soundbite, though, and nothing about eating or drinking. A fellow-student of mine suggested maybe that omission was because he was afraid the other brothers would tease him.

  49. Lorraine

    Introverts Unite! We should call a meeting of all introverts–anywhere, anytime–since no one would show up anyway. Fortunately I am married to an extrovert, so he is the cookie carrier for me.

  50. Eva

    I put on lipstick this morning (rare event) and my 8 year old said ‘Mummy, you look like a GIRL!’.

    Anyway, some guys look fabulous with a little eyeshadow…..

  51. Marianna

    LOL at the “Well, Honey we live in a place called Austin…” explanation. It’s just so true! You also get the joy of explaining nose rings, bones in ears and many other quite interesting things.

  52. Marcy K.

    Great post. I almost choked reading about the grey eyeshadow. Hilarious!

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