Removing one’s dirty diaper without removing or unbuttoning one’s romper.
I’ve been looking for a kettle that has only metal parts, i.e. no plastic handle or whistle. Its an ongoing search, since last fall when my mom’s kettle caught fire, and last night I finally found one. And it’s the same funky green color as my mixer.
So now they both live here, green and exciting (both look a little less yellow than this picture would have you believe…) and ready to make stuff. It’s raining here today, so I really ought to make bread. I really ought.
We watched “The Fighter” last night.
Don’t get me wrong. It was a good film, powerfully made, excellently acted, and all the rest. I “liked” it, as far as feeling like it was worth the time I spent. It deserved the awards it got. It wasn’t a waste of a movie.
But holy cow, the people, the story, the language, the whole thing…and that family. It’s like everything that I can’t stand about sports shoved together, shaken down, rolled up, magnified by ten, and packaged for all the world to see. Whole families going insane, using one another and anything else in reach to claw their way to the top of…a stinkin’ sport. Two guys, standing on an elevated mattress, using padded mittens to hit each other in the head.
I was going to answer Leila in a comment, and then I just went on and on and on and on. So I made it a whole new post. Make sure you read “Ha, Vindication!” before this.
Oh, yes yes you can certainly agree with both! In fact, probably Mr. Nadal is more correct than I, if anything. His statistics are frightening, his points about the progressive decline of morality in society are completely valid. I've just been surrounded by bishop-trashing people since I went to Christendom. They are well meaning Catholics, I know, and they've been burned on stuff by liberal or lazy bishops in the past (nothing to do with the sex scandal, either, just "stuff" in general). So, these people absolutely refuse to give the bishops any credit for anything they do.
Thus is begotten firestorms like the one over John Corapi, where people rejoice in a man's leaving the priesthood because it will "stick it to the bishop" and hopefully "set a new precedent for priests who are unjustly treated by bishops and the flawed Canon Law process." What?? Since when is the Magisterium and hierarchy of the Church so worthless that we place a lone priest above it in our opinion? Oh, I know. Since the American Church started disintegrating in the wake of gross abuses following Vatican II. Perhaps I could refresh people’s memory on….say, the Arian heresy? Jansenism? Avignon? Times of distress in the Church are never times to abandon the bishops and say, “Puh, you hypocritical old sinners. Where have YOU been for the last 40 years?” Times of distress are times to search diligently for the faithful priests, to support them, to spread their words, to share with our tired brothers and sisters the news of a good bishop here, or a fantastic diocese there. We should give one another hope.
I don't blame people for being jaded, tried, irritated, or even for blaming the bishops, saying either they are hypocritical or else just clueless until too late. I don't blame them--you could ask Joseph how many times over the last year I've thrown up my hands and said, "Argh! Look at this mess! Why even bother being Catholic any more??"
But the minute we sit back and dismiss active good being done by bishops, we're nailing our own coffin. Remember, these are men, who need to be supported with both heart and voice. Praying for bishops and priests is the first duty of the laity in this regard, but they also need to see and hear that we support their message of Truth, whenever and wherever we find it! For 40 years, we’ve been letting marriage slip through our cultural fingers, with contraception, divorce, abortion, etc. True. America is in a mell of a hess. But when was the last time you actually heard a priest come out and say contraception was right? How many bishops advertise “free, easy, Catholic divorce” in their dioceses? The Church has stood strong on the rightness or wrongness of these basic issues, and it would be unfair to deny that fact. If somewhere, somehow, priests and bishops weren’t preaching the sanctity of life, then people wouldn’t be leaving the Church because of that preaching. Am I making sense?
I live in a pretty tight community, generally conservative, and I can easily say that half the people I meet “grew up Catholic” and are no longer practicing. Most of them are divorced. (Another 25% of people are still Catholic. That leaves a mere 25% of people in the armed forces who are not Catholic, nor have they ever been. This saturation of Catholics in the military, by the way, makes it just loud and clear to me that the Church very obviously does not teach that war/warmaking/national defense is wrong. I mean, can you imagine if a quarter of the abortion providers in the country were practicing Catholics? Yet people insist to me that the church says all war is wrong. Bah.) These people are out of the Church, no longer attending Mass, because they didn’t like the message they were given. They didn’t want to amend or adjust their lifestyle, so they left. If priests and bishops weren’t preaching the Truth, why would they leave? I think there’s a disconnect somewhere, and priests and bishops are being given the short end of the stick.
Buuut. All that said, I think Nadal has good points. I just feel like the tendency in general is to not give credit. Lots of people I know will read his article, hear only the “bishops are either hypocritical or are doing too little, too late” and then just ignore the rest. They want ammunition to tear down the bishops, plain and simple. Ah well. Enough for now.
‘Scuse my Spanish.
So, in this article, we find that even the secular secularists think that Catholic colleges are too secular. It’s like, totally, duh, man. This is a legal question, about whether labor unions can have a place at secular universities. I find it fascinating that the original intent of the 1979 lawsuit was to keep unions out of Catholic schools, because it made the institution subject to a third-party authority (thereby undermining the religious integrity of the school). In the last 15 years or so, Catholic schools have been worshipping at the altar of the federal government, seeking accolades such as “National School of Excellence”, in order to boost both their enrollment power as well as the ol’ changepurse. Bah. Now we’ve come full circle—unions are disrupting the ol’ changepurse, but the Church can’t keep them out because their institutions simply aren’t Catholic enough. It’s biting them in the behind. I TOLD you there were serious issues with these colleges, and that Peter Kreeft is a little on the wonky side.
On the brighter side of ecclesial life this weekend, we see the New York bishops firing max charges in the general direction of the [majority-Republican, spineless, gutless, money mongering] New York state legislature. (Just in case you’re wondering, there wasn’t any ambiguity about their statement, as a local, secular news source proves.) In Archbishop Timothy Dolan’s statement, he clearly states:
We strongly uphold the Catholic Church’s clear teaching that we always treat our homosexual brothers and sisters with respect, dignity and love. But we just as strongly affirm that marriage is the joining of one man and one woman in a lifelong, loving union that is open to children, ordered for the good of those children and the spouses themselves. This definition cannot change…
Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio went so far as to say that in legalizing same-sex marriage, Gov. Cuomo and the state legislature have "deconstructed the single most important institution in human history." Needless to say, all manner of rhetoric and defamation is being hurled at the bishops now. That comes as no surprise, and expectation of such is even part of Dolan’s text. But where I’m feeling disappointed is in Catholics themselves. Why is this not a MAJOR news story right now? Here we have a chance to see bishops in action, doing something positive, showing real fortitude and manliness and unapologetic strength for the faith…and this was on New Advent for two days, and that’s it. I know people who are probably sitting around going, “Meh. It’s their job anyway. If the bishops weren’t such losers, this wouldn’t even have been news at all.”
Come on, people! Support your bishops when they’re right! No wonder catechists quit, priests get burned out, bishops fail in their duties. You have to get fired up about supporting priests when they are in the right, applauding them for going above and beyond what society has come to expect. It’s counter-productive (and lazy) to sit there and grunt noncommittally, thinking “that’s their job anyway.” That’s like grunting noncommittally every time the fire department puts out a fire. “Meh. It’s their job anyway.”
ONE *+* Back home! What a trip…much fun, much happiness. Like I mentioned last week, we most certainly did meet up with the Accepting Abundance gang. Check out the pictures she posted! :) Coming from the deep South, it’s nice to see Catholics wherever one finds them, especially really cool blogger Catholics that one feels like one already “knows.” Now, if we could just find a good reason to drive to Arizona…
TWO *+* Taking a 20-month-old to see a movie is not a reliably good idea.
THREE *+* The nice theater guy who watched me walk up and down the hall during 65 of the 93 minutes of movie ensured some return business by giving me a refund. Chivalry is not dead.
FOUR *+* I registered for “The Civil War: Seminal Event in American History” this morning. The reading list is short, which makes me nervous. That means lots of online articles and snippets to page through in AdobeBookview. Yucky. On the plus side, there are billions of ebooks on the Civil War, for freeeeeee, and I can read those on my phone. Which is good, because it feels like playing with a toy instead of reading a book.
FIVE *+* Forest fire!
SIX *+* Angry Birds continues to be the death of me.
SEVEN *+* I’ve decided that society’s insistence that kids simply won’t control themselves in regard to sex, thus we must just prepare them as best as possible to battle disease, is both a crock and an insult to young people. “Here, you’re never going to be responsible, so here’s some protection.” That’s like saying to the dog, “Here’s some grass, because you’re never going to learn to pee in the toilet.” Two problems with that. First, I’m sure the animal people are going to jump all over me and say that dogs can be trained to flush. But that’s not the important problem, that’s the idiotic problem that arose when I tried to come up with an analogy for an idiotic train of thought.
The real problem is that people aren’t animals, they’re people, with rationality and free will and the ability to make choices for themselves. Who gives their kids $500,000, and says, “Here, you’re never going to go to class (or study) or go to bed at a decent hour, so here’s some cash to make sure you can afford quality beer, because I don’t want any kid of mind drinking that cheap American stuff.” Nope. Doesn’t happen. We expect our kids to success, to rise above, to beat peer pressure, etc etc etc. When they fail, we love them, we shake our heads at the culture that makes success for them so heartbreakingly difficult, and we withhold whatever kind of ammunition they want that would allow them to further fall into the pit. Right? Bah. Liberalism is bull.
Viewing Plymouth Rock…we were singularly underwhelmed.
Aboard the USS Constitution
Breakdancing at Papa Gino’s
In the restaurant “Top of the Hub” in the penthouse of the Prudential Center
St Joseph’s Abbey, Spencer (where our Fr Logan is from)
The Old North Bridge (i.e. Lexington and Concorde)
Feeding ducks at the Boston Public Garden
Make Way for Ducklings!
Viewing the graves of Paul Revere, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock
We stopped off in Arlington last night, to see my father-in-law before heading home for real (in mere moments, hooray). Last night, all three of the men in the family spoke with one voice. They were of one accord. Peace reigned, there was comfort, there was restful tranquility.
Papa Andy: “Schchchchchchchchchrrrrrrg---psssssssssssssssssssss. Schchchchchchchchchrrrrrrg---psssssssssssssssssssss. Schchchchchchchchchrrrrrrg---psssssssssssssssssssss.”
Joseph: “Chrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrch—ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff. Chrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrch—ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff. Chrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrch—ffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff.”
V: “Pspspspspspspspspspspsps—hooooooooooooooooooooo. Pspspspspspspspspspspsps—hooooooooooooooooooooo. Pspspspspspspspspspspsps—hooooooooooooooooooooo.”
Three years ago (give or take a couple hours) I got married! It was a crazy day…the flowers came late, the sacristan put them in the wrong place, the priest who said our wedding (who was at that time in very poor health and quite old. He’s still old, but his health is much better these days) had fallen in his apartment the night before and pulled a bookshelf down upon himself in his effort to regain his balance and gotten pretty badly hurt, but he didn’t tell anyone until after the wedding.
But I got married! <3 I love my husband, too. Last year on our anniversary, we sat at home and ate pizza and watched Start Trek: The Next Generation on DVD. With V. And it was a blast. The year before that, Joseph took me out to Cheesecake Factory in Oklahoma City. :) It was fun…I bought a sexy pregnant lady dress for the occasion, and was rockin’ a pair of bright teal ballet flats. As many of you know, once you get to where you can wear maternity clothes (i.e. once you become pregnant), you discover that all kinds of cute clothes are out there, that you never saw before, because you weren’t knocked up. And the once you aren’t pregnant any more, you go shopping and find cute things, and 9 times out of 10 you have to say, “Ohhhh, man! This is a maternity dress! I can’t wear this! Darn!”
So then you wish you were pregnant again so that you can wear all the cute clothes that are stuck in a box in the attic. And then you’re like, “Seriously? But you’ll gain 50 lbs and have to drink a gallon of water a day or else get varicose veins!” And you look back at the dress and go, “Yup. Totally worth it.”
“Also, you get a baby at the end.”
Happy anniversary, Joseph! Thanks for marrying me! These have been the greatest three years, and I’m looking forward to all the rest. (In or out of maternity clothes, too, which are on my mind because I’ve been window shopping all these high-brow stores for two weeks in the Deep North, and I swear all of the cute stuff is maternity. It’s not fair! But I don’t need cute maternity clothes to be happy I’m married.) Sorry for the stream-of-consciousness post on what should have been a thoughtful and meditative day…I realized that this is my first skinny anniversary ever, and that got me thinking about how much harder it is to get a cute skinny anniversary outfit that it was when I was pregnant (or last year, when I was just plain fat). Laughing. Out. Loud. This is the goofiest post ever. It’s going to seem even goofier when it posts, since I’m writing it a little beforehand (won’t say how many days) since we’ll be traveling on “the day.” Oh well. The many sides of me.
And now for Something Completely Different! Yet still troubling.
This is a quote from the info page for Boston College's chapter of Law Students for Reproductive Justice:
The Students for Reproductive Justice (LSRJ) at Boston College Law School promotes discussion, education, and advocacy on issues of reproductive freedom. LSRJ works on reproductive health and choice issues such as global family planning, comprehensive sex education, contraceptive equity and birth control options, safe, legal and accessible abortion, privacy regarding sexuality, and medical care for healthy pregnancies, among others.
We believe that individuals, not governments, have the right to make decisions about their reproductive health. Every person, regardless of gender, race, class or ethnicity has the right to choose whether or not to have sex, use contraception or have a child. LSRF, a chapter of the national organization Law Student for Reproductive Justice, is committed to educating, organizing and supporting pro-choice law students to ensure that a new generation of lawyers will be prepared to successfully defend and expand reproductive rights.
Like our dear Anthony said yesterday, “Hmmmm…. ‘Boston College: A Catholic Institution.’ An interesting place! Not really in Boston, not actually a college, and definitely not even a little bit Catholic!” He was right. I expected BC to be liberal, and I’m not one of those wackos who toss an institution out on its ear just because they happen to teach “women’s studies” or something like that. Peter Kreeft, in fact, teaches at BC, and said in an interview that, “When people ask me the question about how Catholic BC is, I like to say that it's Catholic enough to feel like my home but at the same time pagan enough to feel like a mission field.” (I recommend the whole article. I’m not sure I agree with everything this guy says, but whatever.") He makes some valid points. I used to get annoyed in high school (and at Christendom) in my history classes, because the pro-Catholic bias was just a leeetle too much. Basically, if a Catholic didn’t do it, it wasn’t covered. Huge swaths of Eastern history (and African as well) were just skipped in favor of focusing on Catholic history. That bugged me. We can learn about everything else, people! Cool stuff was done/found/invented/lost/broken/discovered/conquered by people other than the Holy Roman Empire! Also, for those who hold fast to the faith, a secular institution is more likely to give you a fair shake on your devout Catholicism than is a liberal “Catholic” college or university. Just sayin’.
Anyhow. We expected it to be a liberal place, but the Bumpkin Mazzaras were utterly shocked to find poster after poster, project after project, signboard after signboard totally wrapped up in preaching the need to be accepting and tolerant and approving of homosexuality, homosexual behavior, homosexual marriage, and the whole fam damily of associated topics. Wow! Gasp! We really were shocked. BC Law is a bastion of militant pro-gay sentiment! As Joseph said, “How have they not had the title ‘Catholic’ taken away from them?”
Kreeft says that a University in the modern era must necessarily “be pluralistic.” ‘Scuse me? Last time I checked, there was Truth, and then there was bat-stuff crazy (I have fallen in love with this phrase. Did anyone notice?). Pluralism demands that we set aside Truth as the only thing worth searching for, and demands that we dabble in all manner of bat-stuff just to check it out and see what might be interesting. I suppose that a well-grounded person can safely browse the Index as Kreeft suggests, and not be in any immediately grave danger. But what we saw on the walls of the law building was far and beyond dabbling in “what everyone else has to say.” Besides, your average American college student is utterly and completely NOT EVEN REMOTELY “well-grounded” or in possession of a solid philosophical background. Gad. What a mess.
So we were treated firsthand to a view of modern society bashing away at the foundations of the Church. Like they say (where did I read this?? I can’t remember!), it is not enough for Catholics to tolerate, or even stand in silent disapproval and inaction. We. Must. Condone. We. Must. Celebrate. Homosexuality. This is not pluralism. This is the point-blank, unapologetic rejection of basic tenants of the Faith.
BC gets an “F” in Catholicism, Dr. Kreeft. I think you might have been dabbling a little bit too long.
In his excellent and gracious comments, Father Z asks that we quit writing to him about John Corapi, and quit speculating/arguing/commenting/discussion/dissing/supporting/defending/harassing (or any other gerund) with regard to the subject. He’s very right. The discussion is precisely what Satan has in mind, the bickering and vitriol is part of his brilliant plan. He’s out to get us all. As Father Z said, “The Devil hates priests and bishops.”
On his blog, my husband posted this very funny video about the ruckus. It’s pretty much just quotes from Corapi’s own video, with some mildly snarky comments from a second character interspersed. It’s hilarious. It just makes the whole situation look like exactly what it is—a silly, silly, baffling mess. Father Z would probably not approve, as it does poke fun at John Corapi. I think it’s a great way to stick it to the Devil. Make the whole situation appear as dumb as possible, in an effort to get people to quit taking it all so seriously and just move on.
But it’s interesting nonetheless, and it’s on my mind. Joseph was so right to point out the prudence of a wonderful order of priests we both know. One of their number was on the Catholic conference speaking circuit for a while, and gave phenomenal talks. He really did. He was popular, he was well known, and then he suddenly stopped doing conferences. A family friend of ours got to talk to him some time later, and she asked why we never saw him giving any talks any more. With grace and humility, he told her that he had been getting too big for his britches. That his superiors thought it prudent to nip in the bud any “cult of personality” and keep both the priest from danger of ego and potential followers from the danger of “losing sight of the Creator as they focus on his creation.” That his place was as a priest of God, bringing Truth—not his great wit and snappy speaking style—to all hearers.
What a powerful witness! And that example is so perfect! Many of us now know the story and admire the priest for it all the more—but what one of us among his “fans” would reveal his identity, or set up the very cult that he and his superiors strove to avoid? By his example of humility, this wonderful and inspiring priest both preserved his own ego (meaning, preserved it in humility), protected well-meaning laypeople from misplacing their admiration, and at the same time gained a silent and powerful following of those whose actions remain cloaked in humility. For we strive to be like Christ, who spoke no word, and opened not his mouth.
Please pray for John Corapi, for he truly must be a troubled man. Go to Joseph!
Yes, I changed my blog layout again. I’m done. I promise not to change it again for at least a week. I really liked the template immediately previous, actually. I like the colors and the feel of it, but when I was writing posts in LiveWriter (don’t get me started) I was typing directly onto the pressed-flowers background, and it was virtually impossible to read.
Which was annoying.
Annoying enough to make me change the blog. But but but! I saw a really neat button over on shabbyblogs.com that was a radio, and it says “thanks for tuning in.” So I want to get in on that action. Maybe I’ll eventually be able to tie in that radio theme thing after all. Just…gimme a minute.
So, poor Pony Boy (the dog) is out on the porch, asking to be let in. Evidently, a family of 11 eventually gets so busy being a family that the pup must wait his turn to be loved on. :)
Here we are, then, visiting the great Anthony in New England. It’s a lovely thing to spend time with a big, bustling, happy family (and their pup). V has enjoyed himself right into the pool already, which in Massachusetts in the face of a cold front might not be the best idea he’s had all day.
And so. Having drunk an entire glass of wine (don’t do that often!) and eaten my yummy curry-chicken-salad-sandwich dinner, I’m off to bed. The gang has V in hand and Joe is playing chess with Anthony. My work here is done.
A worried woman went to her gynecologist and said:
'Doctor, I have a serious problem and desperately need your help! My baby is not even 1 year old and I'm pregnant again. I don't want kids so close together.
So the doctor said: 'Ok and what do you want me to do?'
She said: 'I want you to end my pregnancy, and I'm counting on your help with this.
The doctor thought for a little, and after some silence he said to the lady: 'I think I have a better solution for your problem. It's less dangerous for you too.'
She smiled, thinking that the doctor was going to accept her request.
Then he continued: 'You see, in order for you not to have to take care of two babies at the same time, let's kill the one in your arms. This way, you could rest some before the other one is born. If we're going to kill one of them, it doesn't matter which one it is. There would be no risk for your body if you chose the one in your arms.
The lady was horrified and said: 'No doctor! How terrible! It's a crime to kill a child!
'I agree', the doctor replied. 'But you seemed to be OK with it, so I thought maybe that was the best solution.'
Windows Live Mail on my laptop has decided that the “deleted items” folder is corrupt and unreadable, therefore I cannot delete any items. This is bogus. If I put things into the spam folder, empty it (into deleted items) and then empty the “deleted items” folder, it all deletes. One day, William Gates, you’re going to push me too far.
We had a great weekend up in Raleigh with the cousins and assorted adult figures. Two baseball and one T-ball game—and I loved every minute. I’m sure after an entire season the waiting and watching would get onerous, but this was just hysterical. The little 5-year-olds running around doing their thing, or not doing it, cracked me up. I got there a little late (had to pick up donuts) and by the time I got to the field the kids were out there in a line, “listening” to their coach talk. It was like a cartoon.
One was facing the wrong direction (i.e. backwards), one had his hat on backwards and was breathing through his glove like Darth Vader, two were conversing, the set of twin sisters were each fiddling with their shoelaces (at opposite ends of the line), and then two were actually facing the coach as he gave his spiel. I laughed a lot.
I’d go insane, trying to herd that bunch.
Still irritated no end by this hard return = double space thing. I just can’t get past it.
I have a migraine this morning. I’ve never had one before. It’s kind of an unpleasant experience, much akin to a toothache. There’s nothing to be gained from the pain, no reward at the end, no reasonable way to predict when it will go away. It just hurts, until, suddenly, it doesn’t any more.
We had corn on the cob while all the family was here over the holiday. There’s been leftover corn all week, and corn on the cob is V’s favorite food. I (and the diaper pail) will be sooooo glad when all the corn is gone.
My smallest niece turns three today, which is fun to remember because she was born just a couple weeks before our wedding. She came to the wedding, teeny, tiny, cute, and angry and having been stuffed in the car for three hours. Our first trip after the wedding was up to PA for her baptism. :) Sweet little girl. I made her something pink, purple, and with butterflies.
I’m running out of things already! In addition to The Office, which I mentioned on here a few weeks ago, I also watch the A&E series “Hoarders.” I know, I know, a bunch of you people are just grossed out by that show. I think it’s fascinating, a totally foreign environment and situation than I have ever experience in my own life. Sort of like “Hookers for Jesus” (a real show, I promise, set in Las Vegas) only with junky houses and dirty stoves.
I bought Joseph some ties and a box for his cufflinks as sort of homecoming/father’s day gifts. Today we’re going out to get him some shirts. Should be fun…not.
Cinnamon rolls for breakfast! It’s nice to have my husband home.
Meh. I listen to Dave Ramsey on the local FM station in the evenings, usually when I’m home and doing the chores. Certain times of day the little kitchen radio gets a decent signal—one of those times is 7-10EDT, so Dave and I chill together.
I’m not his biggest fan, and I don’t agree with everything he says. For example, we have sharply different opinions about the value of education and the inherent differences between a state school and a private one (he says there aren’t any). But nevertheless, I like him. He’s good medicine for a mind that wants to spend just for the sake of spending.
He’s giving away $1000 a day during the month of June, at his website www.daveramsey.com. Not hard. Name, email, and accept the terms and conditions. Just thought everyone might like a little dough in hand. You never know who might win…