Thursday, November 27, 2014

Thanskgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! Katie's family does Thanksgiving Dinner at 12 or 1, which is more like "Thanksgiving Lunch", if you ask me. Maybe someone else will invite me to dinner, and I can have two Thanksgiving meals.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Week

Mary had the week off of school this week, and it's been pretty brutal on me. Baby-sitting all day for multiple days in a row is tough. Plus, I can't do much video work when she's around.

...I have no idea what I will do when summer comes. NO IDEA AT ALL.

Today, my improved speedrun for Nancy Drew: The Deadly Device comes out on YouTube. (I don't know when it will be released on Speed Demos Archive. I think I submitted all the right information to them, so it should be out soon.)

Aside from that, the only videos that I have finished are four book reviews, for the first four books in the Hardy Boys Casefiles series, and the eleven-video walkthrough for Dark Parables: The Little Mermaid and the Purple Tide. I'm not sure which order to post them in, or how many videos to post per day. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Wedding Planning 7

I know I've been talking about the wedding for a long time now, but we're almost done! There are three more things that we're thinking of, for the wedding.

1. Nuptial Blessing. This is mandatory. It is a longish (over 400 words) prayer by the priest, which invokes God's blessing upon the couple. The community prays with the priest, and in fact, there is a short pause for silent prayer after it.

The Nuptial Blessing can take place after the "Our Father" or the general intercessions. We want to have it after the general intercessions, mainly because it will throw people off if we have it in between the "Our Father" and the "Sign of Peace".

2. Papal Blessing. I'm going to put in a request to get an official apostolic blessing, from Pope Francis. It looks something like this, and there are probably dozens of different designs.



I do not know if this gets presented during the wedding or not. I know that they do a "presenting the mandate from the Pope" thing as part of a Bishop's ordination, but that's different.

3. Flowers for the Virgin Mary. Some cultures have a tradition, where the bride leaves flowers at a picture/altar/statue of the Virgin Mary. My mother did this at her wedding. I think it'd be nice to do, but instead of making a big deal out of it, Katie will probably do it after receiving the Eucharist.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Wedding Planning 6

After the couple are married, there is the blessing and exchange of rings. The priest says, "Bless, O Lord, these rings, which we bless + in your name, so that those who wear them may remain entirely faithful to each other, abide in peace and in your will, and live always in mutual charity. Through Christ our Lord."
The community responds, "Amen."

There are options here. The priest can sprinkle the rings with holy water, or simply make the sign of the cross over them. The priest then gives the rings to the couple. The husband and wife place the rings on each other, and they have the option of saying, "[Name], receive this ring as a sign of my love and fidelity. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

Katie wants to take the option of not speaking, while exchanging the rings.

After this, there is the option of singing a song of praise. People usually pick "Ave Maria", but we want a song that can be sung by the whole community (as the rubrics recommend). I'm angling for "O God, Beyond All Praising" or "Laudate Dominum" (sung in English the first two times, with a switch to Latin the third time). Other songs I think would work are "Love Divine, All Loves Excelling" and "God, Who Created Hearts to Love", which have simpler tunes.

There is no profession of faith ("I believe in one God, the Father Almighty...") at a marriage; the mass goes directly to the general intercessions. ("We pray to the Lord / Lord, hear our prayer"). The rest of the wedding is exactly the same as a normal mass, with minor variations. For example, the married couple is mentioned in the Eucharistic prayer, and the solemn blessing mentions marriage.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Wedding Planning 5

Once the couple confirms that they are prepared to get married, the actual marriage takes place. They join their right hands and declare the marriage publicly, by saying, "I, [Name], take you, [Name] to be my [wife/husband]. I promise to be faithful to you, in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, to love you and to honor you all the days of my life."

Note that the couple bestow the sacrament on each other. It is not the priest who delivers the sacrament; the priest is there, as a symbolic witness of the Church. It is the two people who marry each other.

The marriage is accepted by the priest, who declares that "what God joins together, no one may put asunder." Then, the congregation accepts the marriage, in this format:

Priest: Let us bless the Lord.
All Respond: Thanks be to God.

Unscheduled applause usually takes place after this, because the couple is now married.

After this, the rubrics say "Another acclamation may be sung or said." I am not 100% sure what this means, since the Rite of Marriage does not give examples. I'm guessing it means you can do a short song, something like this:

Tune: Ode to Joy

God we praise you, God we thank you, in the heavens high above,

For the sacrament of marriage, symbol of your divine love.

Anything much longer than that, and you're looking a full-blown song, not an acclamation.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Wedding Planning 4

The actual marriage part of the wedding begins with the priest addressing the couple.

Priest: "Dearly beloved, you have come together into the house of the Church, so that in the presence of the Church’s minister and the community your intention to enter into Marriage may be strengthened by the Lord with a sacred seal. Christ abundantly blesses the love that binds you. Through a special Sacrament, he enriches and strengthens those he has already consecrated by Holy Baptism, that they may be faithful to each other for ever and assume all the responsibilities of married life. And so, in the presence of the Church, I ask you to state your intentions."

The priest then asks the couple a series of questions about their intentions.

1. First, he asks about the freedom of choice. In order for a marriage to take place, both parties must freely choose it. You are not free to marry, if you're married to someone else, or if you're being pressured or forced into marriage. Choosing marriage must be an act of free will. As I've said before, that is the way God operates; he never overrides free will.

Also, the priest asks about freedom of choice, because love is a choice in general. It is a conscious choice to desire the good of the other person. By choosing to love Katie and Katie alone, I am rejecting all the women who are not her.

2. Second, the priest asks the couple about their fidelity to each other. He says, "Are you prepared, as you follow the path of Marriage, to love and honor each other for as long as you both shall live?". Marriage is a life-long sacrament, and both parties must be fully committed to each other. Divorce is not possible, because the effects of marriage are permanent.

3. Third, the priest asks the couple if they are prepared to accept any children that God will give them, and raise the children as Catholics. This question is asked, because marriage is essentially life-giving. The couple must be open to life, rather than closed off by themselves.

The Catholic marriage rite mentions having children and raising children at several points, because that is one of the purposes of marriage. (The primary purpose of marriage is to grow in holiness.) Katie is partial to picking the options that mention children, because she has a daughter. There are options that do not mention having children, for the sake of older couples who are past child-bearing age.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Wedding - Litany of Saints

After the entrance procession, a Catholic wedding mass is pretty much the same as a normal Sunday mass, except there's no penitential rite.

We get to pick the readings for the mass, and I am not sure if we can pick something from anywhere in the Bible, or if we have to pick from the list of suggested readings. The rules say that at least one of the readings must mention marriage.

The marriage rite officially begins after the homily. The new edition of the Rite of Marriage, which the United States Bishops approved in 2013, gives people the option of starting with a Litany of Saints. Katie and I are definitely going to take this brand new option. I made up a list of seventy or so saints, which Katie and I worked down.

We don't know if the list will be said out loud, or if it will be sung. The ones in brackets are ones we're willing to remove from the list, if needed.

General

  • Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us.
  • Mary, Queen of All Hearts, pray for us
  • Mary, Queen of Apostles,
  • Saint Joseph, Husband of Mary,
  • [The Holy Family,]
  • Saint Michael and all angels,
  • Saints Peter and Paul,
  • Holy Apostles,
  • Saint Matthew and the Evangelists,

Martyrs

  • Catherine of Alexandria
  • Blaise, Christopher and George
  • Saint Stephen and all martyrs
Priests and Bishops
  • [Padre Pio]
  • [John Bosco]
  • John Vianney
  • Louis Marie de Monfort
  • Blessed John Henry Newman
  • Francis of Sales and all Bishops

Women Religious

  • Catherine Laboure
  • [Claire of Assisi]
  • Faustina Kowalska
  • Kateri Tekakwitha
  • Katharine Drexel
Monks

  • [Bonaventure and Francis of Assisi]
  • [John of the Cross]
  • [Vincent de Paul]
Doctors of the Church

  • Bernard of Clairvaux
  • [Robert Bellarmine]
  • Augustine [and Monica]
  • Therese of Liseux
  • Thomas Aquinas and all doctors,
Married Saints

  • Anne and Joachim
  • Blessed Louis and Zelie Martin
  • Isidore and Maria (Isidro y Maria)
  • St. Jane Chantal
  • Saints Thomas More and Philip Howard
  • St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
  • St. Juan Diego
  • St. Louis IX
  • St. Rita of Cascia

Someone has suggested is vaguely tongue-in-cheek to select Saint John Vianney, who was kicked out of the seminary during a priest shortage, like I was. Also, Katie works for the IRS, which is why Saint Matthew the Tax Collector is the only evangelist who is mentioned by name.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wedding Planning 2

The wedding begins with a procession, which is the same as a typical Sunday mass. That is, the people go down the aisle in this order:

•Altar servers
•Lectors
•Deacons
•Priests
•Bishops

With weddings, the couple to be married goes after the priest(s). They walk side by side, instead of going separately or with other people. Katie and I are both fine with this.

Katie's daughter, Mary, wants to be the flower girl. Flower girls are not an official part of Catholic weddings; they're just an optional thing that people do in the United States. But Mary will have a huge meltdown if she doesn't do it. I figure we'll have her go first in the procession. That's where flower girls usually go, right?

It is also optional to have the parents and the two witnesses (who will sign the legal document) be part of the procession, after the married couple. People usually stick the bridesmaids and groomsmen in here, even though they're not part of the wedding ceremony at all. I'm not particularly keen on this idea; I would like it better if just Katie and I went down the aisle together, instead of Katie, me, and a parade of other folks.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Wedding Planning

I'm busy planning my wedding right now, so I thought I'd write about it here on my blog this week.

A Catholic wedding begins with the priest receiving and welcoming the couple, before the wedding. The official Rite of Marriage indicates that this can happen at the church doors, the place where the couple will sit, or the place where the priest will sit. I think we'll go with the church doors, because we don't want to confuse people by having a chit-chat up by the priest's chair.

After this is the procession, where everyone comes in. We need to make a decision here. Should we have an entrance song to start the mass, like normal? Or should we have the organist play an instrumental piece, while everyone walks down the aisle?

And we also need to decide what happens in the church, before the wedding. Some people do a rosary in the fifteen minutes before the wedding. Other people have the organist play for fifteen minutes, so all the guests can have something to listen to. Katie and I will probably be greeting guests at the door, in the fifteen minutes leading up to the mass. Unless she has to disappear into the bride's room to do bride things, like put on more makeup than your average counter at Macy's.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Twitter Stuff

Lani Minella, the voice of Nancy Drew, recently posted on Twitter about the fact that she will not be doing Nancy Drew's voice after Game #31.

Someone tagged me on this, to let me know about it. So when Lani responded, I was notified. I can now pretend that Lani tweeted directly at me! (But really, she was responding to random person who tagged me on the conversation.)

This caused me to realize something odd. I've had Lani Minella as a Skype contact for the past two years. I planned on interviewing her after I interviewed Gabriel Wolf that one time. But for whatever reason (read: "because I was too scared"), I never actually sent her the message that said, "Hey, I'm a random person who wants to interview you and put it on my YouTube channel".

I tweeted this information at Lani, and now she's following me on Twitter. I really should use this opportunity to set up that interview...

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Nancy Drew Conventions

There's a group called Nancy Drew Sleuths that does a yearly Nancy Drew convention. This year, the convention was in California. And they announced the dates for the events next year!

Iowa City, Iowa - April 30 - May 3, 2015
Toledo, Ohio - May 28 - 31, 2015
Maplewood, New Jersey - June 11-14, 2015

Oh, man, east coast stuff?! I'm not on the east coast. Let me calculate the transportation costs...

Iowa - $360 by plane, $450 by train
Toledo - $837 by plane, $500 by train
Maplewood - $270 by plane, $500 by train

Toledo, WHY ARE YOU SO EXPENSIVE TO FLY TO?! Like, I could take round trips to New Jersey and Iowa, and it'd be cheaper to flying to Toledo. Dang. They must hate my local airport or something.

Well, it'd be cool to go to one of these conventions, but I am having a wedding next year, so...maybe 2016. Unless the sleuth people want to call me a special guest and pay for my fare? *grin*

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Dark Parables: The Little Mermaid

Dark Parables: The Little Mermaid came out this week. I was invited to do beta testing for this game, since I did a walkthrough for Dark Parables: The Final Cinderella. I feel kind of bad about turning down the offer.

Here is me, trying out the game.



People seem to like it, so I think I'll play the rest of the demo by myself. If it's to my liking, I'll give it a shot! Once they release the $10 version of the game, that is. I don't want to get the $20 version with bonus content that I won't look at.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Game Schedule

Here's the schedule I have, for which videogames I will play next. I've only finished one of these games before, so my Backloggery is thanking me for putting all these games on my to-do list.

  • Grim Facade: Cost of Jealousy
  • Left in the Dark: No One On Board
  • Redemption Cemetery
  • Botanica
  • Princess Isabella 2
  • Shadow Wolf 1&2
  • Mystery Case Files: Whatever The Title Is
  • Grim Legends: The Forsaken Bride
  • Unfinished Tales
  • Awakening 5-7
  • Haunted Legends 1&2
  • Spirits of Mystery: The Dark Minotaur
  • Awakening Kingdoms
  • Dark Parables
  • Twilight Phenomena 2
  • Engimatis 2
  • Otherworld 1 and 2
  • Dark Tales: Edgar Allen Poe's Masque of Red Death
  • Princess Isabella 3
  • Mystery Case Files: Madame Fate
  • Sable Maze

This list is subject to change at any point. I was thinking about splitting up some games; for example, I'd play Shadow Wolf 1 and Shadow Wolf 2 at different points, instead of back-to-back.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Majora's Mask 3DS

Nintendo announced that they're doing a remake of Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask for the 3DS. This remake is going to be a graphics upgrade; they're not changing the gameplay in any way, shape or form. Which is a shame, because I'd recommend these changes:

1. Don't be so harsh to new players. When my friend Nathaniel played the game for the first time, he got the bad ending on the third day. When that happens, the game punishes you with a "start over from the very beginning of the game". Nathaniel didn't like having an hour (or so) of progress flushed down the tubes, so he never played it again.

I agree with Nathaniel; that's one place where the game is too harsh to new players. It wouldn't be too difficult to implement a feature that says, "Oh, this is your first time playing the game! Instead of sending you back to the beginning, we'll send you back one day, so most of your progress is saved." (To prevent cheating, this auto-save system would only work on the first in-game cycle.)

2. The Anju/Kafei subplot has unnecessarily difficult triggers. It is impossible to fully complete the subplot the first time around, or the second time around. It requires three full cycles to complete. This is an oddity, since every other subplot can be done in one go. I'd recommend tweaking it, so you can completely do the subplot in one cycle.

3. The American and Japanese versions have different save systems! Specifically, America got an auto-save system, with the owls and such. It'd be nice if they kept that in the remake. But if the Wind Waker remake is any indication, they're using the Japanese version for a frame of reference.