Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas: The Eucatastrophe of Human History


You might recall from my Lord of the Rings post last month that I really like a literary device Tolkien uses, which he calls "eucatastrophe." I'd like to use this post to explore that concept a bit more, and tie it together with the meaning of Christmas.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Rebellions are Built on Hope: A Rogue One Review

To a lot of Star Wars fans, any detail about a new movie constitutes a spoiler, so I'm not even going to try to make this review spoiler free. If you have not seen Rogue One yet, stop reading and go see it. Then come back and read this. Last warning. Okay, here we go...

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Dear Lucy: A Letter to My Daughter in Heaven


Dear Lucy,

Happy Feast Day. I wish you were here to celebrate with us.

Sometimes, when I visit your grave, I try talking to you. But it's always been a bit weird. Maybe it's because your grave isn't really where you are. Somehow, writing a letter feels more natural to me.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

My Zombie Pirates Can Totally Beat Your Dinosaur Ninjas

http://amzn.to/2gJmgyl

Reading the title of this blog post, you might be thinking, "What on earth does that mean? I must click through to find out!" Well, maybe the first half. What I'm talking about is the board game (technically card game) Smash Up, which describes itself as "the shufflebuilding game of total awesomeness!"

Friday, December 2, 2016

A Letter from Loss Dad to Loss Dad

The following is a letter I wrote to all fathers who have suffered a loss. It appears in a new book, From Father to Father: Letters from Loss Dad to Loss Dad, by Emily R. Long, which was just released on Monday. In honor of the book's release, I would like to share this letter with all of you, and encourage you to pick up the book to read the rest of the letters.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Adventures in Tabletop Gaming

When people ask what kinds of things I do for fun, I usually include "board games" in my list of hobbies. But then I worry that they don't know what I mean by "board games." Because, let's be honest. If I asked you if you wanted to play a board game with me, and you assumed I was talking about Monopoly or Risk, you'd probably picture a multiple hour experience, which starts out fun, but devolves into one person slowly winning while everyone else excruciatingly approaches defeat. But, as I learned several years ago, the tabletop gaming is so much bigger and better than Snakes and Ladders, Candyland, Monopoly, and Risk.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Advent: The Fast Before the Feast


When I was at Mass yesterday evening, the priest gave us all an important reminder: it's not Christmas yet. It may look, sound, and feel like Christmas, with all the Christmas decorations and Christmas music. We may be tempted to treat this next month as an extended Christmas season. But it's not Christmas yet. It's Advent, which is a season of preparation for celebrating Christ's birth.

Friday, November 18, 2016

Expecting a Child When You Have Children in Heaven




Those of you who have read my first blog post, or the "About the Blog" page, know that my wife and I have lost two babies - Lucy and Elliot - to miscarriage. You may also know that we are now expecting our fourth child (due at the end of January). So with everything we've gone through, and are going through now, there are a lot of thoughts - hopes, fears, frustrations - going through my head.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Of Hobbits, Elves, and Magic Rings


My favorite books of all time are J.R.R. Tolkien's books about Middle-earth. I'm referring not only to The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, but also to The Silmarillion, and Tolkien's earlier writings about Middle-earth, collected in Unfinished Tales and The History of Middle-earth. Tolkien created more than just a story, or a collection of stories, or even a mythology. In his works, he created an entire world, with its own history, geography, cultures, and languages.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Praying with the Church

I wasn't initially sure how I would approach the following post. I knew I wanted to write about Liturgy of the Hours, but what should I write? A full account of its history? Well, I don't really know all that, and I don't know how interesting that would be. A full, step-by-step description of how to pray it? Again, I'm no expert, and that isn't really what this blog is about.

So I'll just tell you about how I came to learn about the Liturgy of the Hours. I'll probably sprinkle in some tidbits about the history of the prayer and how it is prayed, for those who are curious.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

BeneDoctor CumberStrange


Jess and I went to see Doctor Strange on Friday, and I absolutely loved it. Sitting in the theater while the credits were rolling, I felt like I had to write about it. Since it just came out this weekend (in the States, at least), I don't want to spoil the movie for anyone. So I'll keep things spoiler free in my main review, and put anything spoiler-ific at the end (with a warning).

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Timothy's Story (or How I Became a Dad)

Father and son, making faces
When Jess and I were engaged, we had several discussions about how many kids we wanted. Ultimately, we settled on at least three, and at most twelve. Really, we just wanted to have as many kids as God would send us.

After we got married, we started trying to get pregnant right away. But month after month, we were unsuccessful. Jess had been told previously by a doctor that she probably had endometriosis, and might have trouble getting pregnant. So she asked her OB at the time about it. But everyone she talked to said that we would have to try for about 2 years - or 1 year at the very least - before they would even start investigating any possible causes of infertility. Meanwhile, the endometriosis was also causing Jess to have very painful periods once a month, but her doctors refused to look into it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

My Star Wars Fandom

For my first post-prologue blog post, I figured I'd dive into one of the things I geek out about: Star Wars. I'll talk a bit about how I got into it, how my life impacted my fandom, and how my fandom impacted my life.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Prologue


Hello, world.

My name is Matt Marks, and this is my blog. If I had to sum myself up, I suppose I would have to consider the ways I spend my time outside of work. I watch Star Wars, read Tolkien, and play hobby board games like Carcassonne, Legendary, and Pathfinder. I try to live out the Gospel by going to Mass, helping out with the RCIA program at my parish, and learning more about my faith. And, of course, I do my best to be a good husband to my wife, and a good father to my son, Timothy. So I guess I would say I am a Geeky Catholic Dad (thus the title of this blog).