Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tomorrow's news ... today :

"Albivi blaze claims life of suspect" - Examiner, 7/31/08:
An alleged burglary ended with the death of the suspect when the premises he was believed to be robbing caught fire.

White had been attending a Saturday night party at the Clarksburg Inn on Stagecoach Road, Jones said. White allegedly got into a disagreement with someone at the party, and stole a 2001 Ford Explorer from the inn's parking lot, according to Jones.
While the boutique was damaged by smoke, the Albivi restaurant is open and serving patrons.

Monday, July 28, 2008

BHT is talking a bit about Myers.

It gets interesting here ... but don't miss any of it!
And a comment from Francis Beckwith at Dreher's blog:
P. Z. Myers performed this act either for a reason or no reason. If it's a reason, it must be more than efficient cause. He can't say, in other words, "I destroyed the Eucharist because I willed my hands to destroy the Eucharist." So, he had a reason with a particular end in mind. Thus, assuming it was not self-defense, Professor Myers was trying to communicate something. But he didn't use words; he acted. Consequently, his act was intended to symbolize something.

Yet, he bristles at the idea that he ought to respect other people's symbols, since they are, in his judgment mere superstition. But why should we honor his symbol, or even his right to announce it to others? Could it be because he is a human being who, by nature, should be permitted to voice opinions, even those that are unpopular? But why should we believe that a human being has by nature such a property? Since such properties are non-material objects that cannot be known through the five senses, why should any of us respect this "superstition"? Here's why: we will extend to Professor Myers an understanding of intrinsic human dignity for which his own understanding of the universe cannot account. Lucky for Professor Myers that Christians think more of him than he thinks of himself.

Friday, July 25, 2008

"Then you may take me to the fair
If you do all the things you promise
In fact, my heart would break
should you not take me to the fair."
- Guenevere, Camelot
Eliza: Thee go, Jess. The fair's come to have so many sideshows, freaks, dancing...

Mattie: Dancing? What does thee know about dancing?

Jess: She knows a thing or two.

Mattie: Did Mama ever dance?
- Friendly Persuasion

I was vulnerable and took the risk of letting Tim know where we'd go after the bouncing room. Head down, putting Chris's shoes on him, I looked up to find Tim gone.

Had he returned to the racing pigs pen? Had he gone deeper into the fair? Or, had he gone ahead to the next ride?

I chided Kenny for not keeping tabs on his little brother and we set out to look.

Kenny started to lead us towards the next ride, as much for his own sake as anything. But I was afraid to leave the "area last seen" in the event that Tim came back for us. It didn't take me long to invest the services of the county police.

"He's wearing a light blue shirt, Osh Kosh; seersucker, plaid blue shorts and police car, light-up sneakers from Stride Rite," I described. Would I have been able to give as detailed a description of his brothers? Did I subconsciously know I'd never have to?

Immediately, the vicinity was swarming with uniformed county police. The one who escorted me asked whether Tim had an unlimited ride wristband and whether he would go on a ride by himself. "Absolutely!" I assured him.

Within minutes, they had located him in one of those "fun houses." They said it was the light-up sneakers that tipped them off. I had him thank the policemen for reuniting us and encouraged him to stick with us. He had already been on one other ride without us.

Tim isn't the sort of kid to collapse in a heap and cry when he goes missing, that's for sure. Too bad, too, because that's the kind of behavior that attracts attention!

So, the upside, for those like me pressed to determine one, is that we got this wandering tendency behind us early in the evening, before it got dark and crowded. Tim held my hand for the rest of the night, more or less.

Hours later, Kenny's wristband broke off and we went to Guest Services for some tape. One of the policemen was in the back, regaling the ladies with his version of the search:
"The mother was absolutely frantic ... and the kid was riding rides as if nothing was wrong!"
Well, if that's how he remembers it, alright. There was one other occasion when I observed police swarming the kiddie rides area, one was escorting a searching father ... and I just knew.

Jeff said, "Yup, I know what's going through his mind - 'My wife is going to kill me.'"

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Five things I was doing TEN years ago:
1. working
2. grad. school
3. teaching rel. ed.
4. watching the Yankees sweep the World Series
5. celebrating five years of wedded bliss

Five Snacks I enjoy:
1. Jeff's caramel corn (I pronounce it "carmel")
2. Twizzler brand strawberry licorice
3. anything from Oliver's!
4. vanilla ice cream with butterscotch syrup or flaked coconut topping
5. jalapeno poppers

Five Things On My To-Do List Today:
1. laundry
2. Tim's reading class
3. Tim's lab scripts
4. buying the boys goggles
5. buying the boys NFL jerseys (not real ones)

Five things I Would Do If I Were A Billionaire:
1. stop worrying about the kids' tuition
2. help family with big expenses
3. get a live-in nanny
4. get a shore house
5. get new cars

Five Jobs I Have Had:
1. restaurant help in my father's coffee shop
2. Iroquois Job Corps (youth conservationist - one summer)
3. farm laborer, Elba muck (one summer)
4. convenience store clerk (two summers)
5. college work-study librarian's aide (four school-years)

Five of My Bad Habits:
1. napping and staying up late
2. too much caffeine
3. buying books I won't read
4. eating in the car
5. misplacing important things

Places I've Lived:
1. Upstate NY
2. Southern OH
3. Central NJ

Five Random Things (most people wouldn't know about me):
1. I'm a lefty (mostly)
2. I am very allergic to aloe
3. I take out the garbage (mostly)
4. I'd rather be ... prooftexting!
5. I found turning 40 to be a drag!

via Kim from Hiraeth
I find this picture so stunning ...

"One egg costs about $35 billion in the country's currency, the equivalent of US$1.87."

Church leaders cautiously hopeful over Zimbabwe power-sharing deal - Catholic News Service, 7/23/08.
Here's a .sig I thought cute:

There are 10 types of people in the world: those who get binary and those who don't.

Of course, I don't "get" binary but when my three-year-old asks me to double numbers beginning with 2, I'm glad I can do it without thinking too hard:

2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, 1024, 2048, 4096, 8192, usw.

"2" - It's a Magic Number.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Here's a good piece on, you know, Batman:

The soul of "The Dark Knight" - David Gibson, Pontifications blog.
Iowa woman old hand at surviving disasters and '08 flood no exception" - Catholic News Service, 7/21/08:
In 1985, a fire caused by spontaneous combustion in her attic chased her out of her house.

In 1991 and 1993, floods lapped up her basement steps and forced her to abandon her house.

Now, after the 2008 Iowa floods, Engelhardt admits they're the worst she's ever seen, but she's still coming back.
"Spontaneous combustion," not to be confused with "spontaneous human combustion" that folks of my generation grew up in fear of.

Monday, July 21, 2008

CentraState ER doctors can't detect broken bones, ya don't say?

Freehold Twp. boy breaks jaw in collision with deer - Examiner, 7/17/08:
The doctors took a CAT scan and an X-ray of the boy's jawline and told the Coughlins that a tooth was loose on Eddie's right side.

The doctors did not initially believe any bones were broken, but the next day a specialist read the films and called the Coughlins to report that Eddie's jaw was broken."
At least it was the next day rather than five days later.
Jeff sent me this interview ... it's from a few years back but still interesting.

Some points:
  • What's your New York motto?

  • New York is 45 stars and 7 million extras, but it's a different 45 every day.

    When the Korean family who runs the deli on my corner started selling pita bread, they decided to introduce it to their customers by setting it out on the counter underneath a hand-lettered sign that said "Perfect for fajitas!" *That* is New York.

  • If you could change one thing about New York, what would it be?

  • No one gets up in the morning thinking "Today, I'd like incontrovertible proof that I'm not the smartest one here, or the sexiest, or the funniest, or..." but that's just what happens, every day. You a painter? So's Chuck Close -- take a number. Got a gig at a salsa club? Tito played there. Want to be a banker? The guy at the head of the line is Henry Kravis.

    If you're exhausted by excellence, Peck is a relief because he whispers lies in your ear you really want to hear -- "A lot of those people who seem to be doing good work -- they're actually not so hot."

    So when my turn with the magic wand comes around, I'll use it to turn the snarkiness dial down, way down. Criticize, sure -- if something's bullshit, say so, and if you have an insight about how something might be better, sing it, and sing it loud. It is New York, after all. But when you feel yourself about to criticize something because you just can't stand how good it is (and you know you do this, we all do), at that moment, stop.

    Stop, because it will turn you into the kind of small-minded champion of mediocrity we all came here to escape.
These townhouses in Little Silver were in the paper for $679 ... although these particular ones are priced at mid-800's. Maybe they come furnished.

The largest is 2200 sq. feet, four-bedroom and full basement.
Oh, yeah, we're in there ...

Plentiful pay, perks on public dime" - Asbury Park Press, 7/20/08.

She gets her prescription drugs covered over the $5 co-pay.
Scout looks out for the little ones" - Examiner, 7/17/08:
He designed and built a deck on the CCD school building as part of his Eagle Scout project.
It's a trailer, temporary until the parish center gets built.

Both his parents teach ... Kenny had her this year.

The parking lot is a nightmare, especially since Fr. Mike instituted this lock-out policy for late arrivals. The dads picking up after work drive as recklessly as the moms dropping off before errands.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The first reading got by me, because it was so unfamiliar:
There is no god besides you who have the care of all,
that you need show you have not unjustly condemned.

For your might is the source of justice;
your mastery over all things makes you lenient to all.

For you show your might when the perfection of your power is disbelieved; and in those who know you, you rebuke temerity1.

But though you are master of might, you judge with clemency,
and with much lenience you govern us; for power, whenever you will, attends you.

And you taught your people, by these deeds,
that those who are just must be kind;
and you gave your children good ground for hope
that you would permit repentance for their sins.
- Wis. 12:13, 16-19
The brief note of explanation in my missal called out the reading's point:

"the lesson of the parable of the weeds among the wheat is succinctly stated in the lines from Wisdom, which speak of God as just but kind. What is particularly sriking in these verses is the balance the author achieves between God's might and God's mercy. ... God's leniency proves God's power. ... 'Your mastery over all things makes you lenient to all.'"

And after this line:
to fulfill what had been said through the prophet: I will open my mouth in parables, I will announce what has lain hidden from the foundation of the world.
I told Kenny that quote is from the psalms, not the prophets.2

The homilist began by criticizing the NAB's literal translation of agios ("holy ones"), saying that "saints" is more familiar. Yet, immediately, the homilist informed us that the Catholic concept of "saints" is not the biblical notion of "saints" which was said of living people3. Then he went on to describe a "saint" he once knew ... and all the things she did ...

Commonweal has this snippet from Benedict's sermon4 on the same reading. Naturally, there are translation issues discussed there as well!

JP has a post complaining about Catholic laxity at Sunday worship. I didn't bother with that little gesture5 and I noticed the teenager in front of me making the sign of the cross on the tip of her nose!

1 "... who has had the unmitigated temerity to feel sorry for a white woman ..." - Atticus's speech.
2 "some textual witnesses read 'Isaiah the prophet.' The quotation is actually from Psalm 78:2; the first line corresponds to the LXX text of the psalm. The psalm's title ascribes it to Asaph, the founder of one of the guilds of temple musicians. He is called 'the prophet' (NAB 'the seer') in 2 Chron 29:30 but it is doubtful that Matthew averted to that; for him, any Old Testament text that could be seen as fulfilled in Jesus was prophetic." - NAB footnote.
3 If "saints" doesn't convey to the Catholic the intent of the sacred text, then why would the homilist bother to introduce the term, only to undercut it, especially when the Catholic translators chose another word? Stick with "holy ones."
4 Paulist Press has a book of the transcripts, I guess, of the Pope's words in America. I thought it was audio but it isn't.
5 "Why do Catholics touch their face before reading the Gospel?" - Catholic Answers Forum.

Friday, July 18, 2008

An evening at Seven Presidents in Long Branch ...

Jeff and I snapped almost 200 pictures, so there are bound to be some good ones, here at Flickr.

Chris played in the surf with his brothers briefly until a wave knocked him over. He grabbed me, I helped him out and he kept his distance thereafter.

But a couple of waves reached the chairs, getting Ella once:

Can't you just hear her, "Waaaahh!"

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I'd opt for the original languages but, yeah, sounds like a good idea ...
inspired her to spend every night during the last 10 years copying the Bible by hand twice — first in Korean, then in English.
- Catholic News Service blog, 7/16/08.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

I asked whether the New American Bible's revised Old Testament would be out early next year as anticipated, and Fr. Boadt said he had every reason to think so.

He acknowledged that a few publishers are poised to produce it or related resources. The 4/15 deadline to publishers was pushed to 6/15 and, as of last week, nothing had been received. But, with only two books still being worked, he expects things to move along.

I told him that I've been looking forward to the revision for a long time.

He mentioned, yet again, the editor's1 decision to move chunks of text around in the 1970 edition, a judgment he clearly disagrees with.2 I said it's a reason for people to distrust the NAB translation altogether ... and the liturgy that uses it. He shook his head, "People think it's all connected but it isn't. Completely different committees are responsible for each piece."

1 Skehan?

2 E.g., Hosea 2:1-3 was moved to the end of chapter 3 as well as a reordering of verses in chapter 2, the latter done without explanation. I have "the red book," Textual Notes on the New American Bible, Old Testament only, but it's really terse and usually just lists where other versions were followed, LXX, V, P, etc., instead of the MT.

tags technorati :

Monday, July 14, 2008

Who knew?

In interview, Lennon called himself "one of Christ's biggest fans" - Catholic News Service, 7/14/08:
British radio has broadcast an interview with John Lennon in which the late singer-composer claimed the Beatles were a Christian band that wanted to bring people closer to God.

He said: "If the Beatles get on the side of Christ, which they always were, and let people know that, then maybe the churches won't be full, but there'll be a lot of Christians dancing in the dance halls."
Oh, it seems CT knew. I'd still like to hear it in his own words voice.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Lewd tooth-fairy?

I grabbed three singles from Jeff's wallet last night to replace Kenny's extracted eyeteeth under his pillow.

This morning, Kenny showed me the back of one of those singles and I've never seen anything like it before: a "B" handwritten before and an "R" handwritten after the "ONE." Jeff says it's a strip club single. Even so.

I simply told Kenny that it's a bad word and that I'd switch the dollar for him.

But Tim traded him for it before I could.

How do I explain all this without blowing the tooth-fairy's cover?!
Crayola Factory, Easton, PA

After a week of driving three hours a day, there's no reason that I'd want to drive three hours today to take them to the Crayola Factory. Especially when Easton was having its Heritage Day. The bad news was more cars looking for parking; the good news was more lots open. We parked at St. John's Lutheran Church1 for $5 because the Catholic lot was already full.

We did the usual things at Crayola: watched the simulated factory presentation, including wrapping a label on a freshly made red crayon, made windsocks, used our special tokens to retrieve markers from a dispenser, painted with melted wax, molded2 clay and layered some colored sand into "art." All that took two hours.

Then we "hit the store" around the corner and bought t-shirts for everyone in the family. The Heritage Day festivities were happening in Centre Square and I bought Jeff some cinnnamon cashews. We got some pizza at Gino's ... better than NJ pizza ... found the church parking lot and got out of there.

It's a simple day-trip and the kids liked it. Just next time, I'd like to make it when all of "downtown" isn't cordoned off. If you know what I mean ...

1 The sign about the graveyard being open made no sense to me.
2 Kenny has outgrown "the Factory" but, as I described the crayon-making process to Timmy, he concluded, "There's 'mold' there ... and Kenny's allergic to mold, so he can't come." Sometimes Tim really is a five-year-old.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

To kill pass time in Timmy's Saturday afternoon reading class, sponsored by the State University of New Jersey, we'll play tic-tac-toe ... with a twist: squares are earned with words that fit a pattern. Today's pattern was "-at."

When called upon, a five-year-old classmate said, "Flat," but the teacher couldn't catch it.

The girl repeated, "'Flat,' like your chest."

The teacher wrote 'Lat' on the board and gave the girl the square. Timmy spoke up boldly, "'Lat' isn't a word!" And the teacher hushed him.

I'm keeping a list of the words that the teacher misspells. So far, she has spelled 'boomerang' and 'whack',

I should have learned my lesson four summers ago when I put Kenny through this program.

I can't say that I ever really noticed the slogan on the back of Jeff's Bungie t-shirt.

I didn't know what or who Bungie was, some software company, I supposed. (Yes, we have those games.)

But Jeff said that today the kids have taken note of his t-shirt and its slogan:
Don't make us kick your ass.

They've been reading it and giggling. Yes, "ass" is printed in red letters on the shirt.
Mr. Mikulski came to the Returns desk at UB’s Music Library when I worked there my senior year. He had with him a few overdue books.

Very overdue.

Like, years overdue.

Books of musical scores.

Taking out his wallet, he appeared to brace himself for a hefty fine. However, the library was running an amnesty, so no fee would be charged. He thought, at first, that I was simply being nice on account of our personal connection. But, after pointing to the sign on display advertising the amnesty, he accepted it and left.

That was the last time I saw him, about eighteen years ago.

cf. OACS Alumni Forum,
Obit. The Buffalo News, 7/13/08.
Ken had three baby eyeteeth extracted this morning. He received N2O and then an I.V. of ethyl chloride. He was conscious for the brief procedure but heavily sedated.

As he started to come out of his stupor, his first reaction, after trying to determine his whereabouts, was sadness because he didn't remember his teeth being removed. He cried that he wanted to remember.

I told him that when he's 20 and has his wisdom teeth removed and has to drive himself home afterwards like his mother did, then he'll remember. At the time, the pharmacist took pity on me and filled my prescription immediately.

But, unlike wisdom teeth, Kenny hasn't stitches or swelling or pain. The drowsiness wore off within a few minutes of getting home. He played up his wooziness a little for Daddy's benefit. The bleeding stopped an hour or two after that. Chewing isn't a problem. Of course, neither is talking.

The hardest part for him was the drive home with his numb, limp mouth stuffed with so much gauze that he couldn't articulate anything.

Friday, July 11, 2008

He had the soft cover version of the same Bible and I cautioned him that, come Thursday, it'll be inadequate:
'Cuz we'll be into books that aren't in yours."

"Then, I'll bring a different Bible on Thursday."
He brought the King James.

Which, unlike the RSV, hasn't a "Catholic edition". In fact, according to F.F. Bruce, the King James hasn't included the OT apocrypha for more than 150 years.

I was too engrossed in Fr. Boadt's discussion of Sirach, Wisdom and Maccabees to glance his direction.

Wrapping up, I noted his Bible open but I can't say whether he followed along. I can't imagine he had anything to follow.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Grabbing a couple of texts, I sat down briefly to determine which books we'd cover. Which prophets wrote "post-exilic."

I figured Third Isaiah, Haggai, Malachi, Joel, Daniel. I didn't know enough to place Zechariah with them (Ezra 5); my short list was a "good start."

There was the typical dance of "Does the bookstore have the required text?" / "We received the book-list too late to stock it." But now as president, he's permission to bring copies for sale? It always seemed ironic to me that a NJ publishing house couldn't get their books in the campus bookstore. And except for the bother of carrying a box-load from car to class, it's the sensible solution. Besides, I appreciate the 30% discount!
He said had this book been available two years ago, he would have used it instead of Miller. Or, rather, he couldn't use Miller for this class because Miller doesn't cover the post-exilic prophets. In fact, not much attention is given to the post-exilic prophets and it's surprising to him because their theology was influential upon St. Paul, is closest to ours and modern Judaism: interior conversion is more important than exterior ritual. But, then, we get it, mediated through Paul's Letters, it seems to me.

There was the obligatory chiding to those without Bibles, less harsh than in years past. I had an extra that I shared with a lady on retreat at the college, obviously unprepared as she simply, curious, wandered in after dinner. I hope she returns again tonight ... with her reading glasses. I helped her find the books we were discussing, not only because she hadn't her glasses but also because the NAB study Bible is so top-heavy with front-matter - the sacred text doesn't appear until better than halfway through! Any reasonable student of the Bible would figure they'd be well into the Psalms by then. No, not with our study Bible.

The lady on the other side of me was uncomfortable in her own skin, shaking our table as she lounged from elbow to elbow, sighing heavily, adjusting her glasses every second. I hope she sits somewhere else tomorrow night. Fr. Boadt recognized me from previous classes but, honestly, I think he has me confused with someone else. Yet, he noted my name as Mary Ann read attendance and called me by name a couple of times and told everyone that we'd had a couple of classes together.

During a break, a lady said privately to me, "You must be impressed with him to have taken so many of his classes" and I almost choked on the Twizzler I was eating, as if my estimation of him adds anything to his renown. I could have told her more, that I drove 60 miles to be here, leaving behind four young kids with a babysitter at $20 / hour, but I didn't want to jinx it. She confessed to being "into" St. Paul at the moment, a good year to be "into" him, and I told her that even though Fr. Boadt's specialty is the Prophets, he's a Paulist Father, so he has a warmth for the Apostle. "If he ever gets 'round to talking about St. Paul, you'll see how devoted he is to him."

It could be he breaks the prophets out by period so that he can talk about Isaiah each time. Catholics at a class on prophets expect to read from the one most familiar and he meets their expectation. Besides, he really seems to like Isaiah, 'though I suspect Ezekiel is his favorite.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

"First, they say 'sisters,' then they say 'brothers.' Then they say 'fathers,' and then they say 'mothers.' And then they say 'sinners.'"

- Chris's synopsis of the lyrics of "Down In the River To Pray," YouTube and lyrics.
I couldn't get the embedded flickr slide show to work for some reason.

Hopefully this link to recent pictures works ...

Less spectacular than something embedded ...

Friday, July 04, 2008

"You take the banjo. Now, there is an instrument that stirs up a man's worst passions."

Professor Quigley, Friendly Persuasion
Outstanding ...

"The Long Road to Forgiveness", This I Believe, NPR, 6/30/08.

via Happy Catholic
Hmm, ok, do what you can ...
Just two days before the one-year anniversary of their daughter’s death, Marilyn and Terry Congdon were able to witness how her memory was benefitting orphans and street children in Kenya.
"Charity breaks ground on Kenyan school" - Catholic Courier, 7/3/08.

Last summer's post.
Greg was sporting his latest Rush concert T-shirt. The marquee at Hershey advertised a date in mid-July. I haven't kept up with their albums and tours1, but then it would seem I haven't missed much. That is, the last concert tour we saw was Test for Echo in '96.

It's a little surprising to find Peart listed second on a countdown of the 40 worst lyricists. Sting ranks number one. I don't know too many of the others, frankly.

Worst lyric:
I stand atop a spiral stair
An oracle confronts me there
He leads me on light years away
Through astral nights, galactic days
This is worse than The Moody Blues?

I expected Paul McCartney and found him. What has always saved him is his voice and the music:
Apparently born with neither self-examination nor introspection genes, McCartney is the king of cloying and superficial rock lyrics.

Less obvious while John Lennon was around to add acid edge to his mimsy musings, this became a big problem as soon as McCartney went solo—where he descended into weedhead whimsy and sentimental cotton candy like “La la la la la la lovely Linda/With the lovely flowers in her hair.”
Worst lyric:
“Ebony and ivory
Live together in perfect harmony
Side by side on my piano keyboard
Oh, Lord, why don’t we”
No argument from this huge fan over here: McCartney belongs on the list, maybe even higher up.

Anyway, I suggested to Jeff that he catch the show at PNC Bank Arts Center next Sat. if he can get a ticket. A review of the show last summer at the same venue.
1 How appropriate, nearly all my favorite bands have, well, disbanded. Makes keeping up with them easier. And unlike Peart here, they're not likely to embarrass me.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Tavern has a Catholic! W who leans traditional.!

Great minds: "TMH, I think that if Bush became a Roman Catholic, it would be evidence that truly, 'even the devils believe and tremble' (jn)."


Otherwise ...

It's open season ... because somebody cares about the status of his marriage?1 And somebody else doesn't like Vatican II?

A literal straw man and whipping boy. Haven't they Catholic relatives to annoy instead of this young, new stranger? (1 Cor. 11:22)

It's beyond me, preoccupation with an ecclesial code of law, undoubtedly man-made, that they aren't following, have no interest in following or even discussing. Hey, man, you brought it up. Just who are the legalists in this dialogue?

No wonder I learned to hate Protestants when I was in Bright's Campus Crusade. I'm doing my (re)pen(t)ance now; sin has communal consequences. I'd sooner the indifferent ones to those who love/hate.

I began with enthusiasm, moved to good humor and closed with disappointment if not outright frustration.

1 'Though he apologizes two weeks later: (PS: I’ve decided to stop blaming you personally for the edicts of canon law. You were just the first Roman Catholic who came to hand, so you got it all heaped on your head. From now on I’ll save it for when I meet the pope. (sw))

Other links:
The yellow tape around the entire two acre property fluttering in the breeze caught my eye only after I'd already noticed the garden of wildflowers missing.

I thought, "Could it be?" But drove by too quickly to be sure.

I had planned to return by another way but this being my final pass, curiosity got the better of me. I went by again and recognized the burned-out front porch from the news photographs.

Unbelievable sadness.

I always appreciated the beauty of the wildflower garden in the large side yard.

"Town of Batavia fire claims life of Oakfield-Alabama student, 17" - Rochester D&C, 5/31/08.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

A mailing came yesterday from St. Gabriel's rel. ed. department and I thought, "Well, I either owe him money or he owes me."

But, instead it was a flyer for next year's Bible study which I already shared will be on Paul's letters.

And, the wording of the flyer suggests to me that it will be Romans to Hebrews: "the writings of St. Paul and the Pauline school." There, that settles it. I'm holdin' him to it.

I also received confirmation of my registration to audit Fr. Boadt's four-night course on the post-exilic prophets. It runs all next week ... in the evenings ... and I must find a babysitter.

I can see this being the last time I go up there.
You know how it is when your memory holds an image that your vision can't spot?

I mean, my mind's eye told me exactly where my father's grave is.

Yet, I wandered through the small churchyard for fifteen minutes - as long as my three-year-old would permit - and I did not find it.

As it's been some time, I made allowances for the many additions. No doubt. Twenty years' worth of additions. I found death dates in the late 80's and early 90's, and told myself, "You're getting warmer."

I choked up at the Calla family plot. There is still something wrong with that. No less over the numerous infants, a day old, two weeks old, two months old.

I can claim that Christopher's impatience dragged me from there but, to be honest, it was heartbreak at the thought of those infants, fifty or seventy or one hundred years ago, that drove me out. Who still remembers, or feels the pain of their brief existence? Only churchyard visitors now?

How about this row of Caddys laid upon grandpa's headstone. What devotion.

It was during a social function for my in-laws at the fire hall which butts up against St. Cecilia's cemetery that I caught my eldest son, then about three, standing and staring out a back door, in the direction of the cemetery. I asked him what he was looking at and he said he saw a man right there, right there, looking at him. I saw no one. I don't think he meant his own reflection.
Looming over my mother's backyard, the village water tower is a conversation piece.

Telling stories about it is obligatory.

Like the time my brother and his friend climbed up for the phenomenal view.

And spray painted their names in huge black letters on the tank.

No authorities followed up that occasion.

The graffiti was simply painted over and the ladders made more difficult to scale.

In time, the culprits moved away for good.

My brother has since become more respectable.
Monday's Fresh Air has much to chill the soul, especially this remark, at 19:15:
Here we have a president whose ultimate goal is to completely obviate the Constitution and, if you ask me my personal opinion, this isn’t something I wrote, this is something I believe is true, it’s gonna take a lot more work, I don’t think what they’ve done in terms of diminishing oversight or making oversight less valuable, I don’t think it’s just a question of taking advantage, I don’t think it’s just a question of out-maneuvering them.

I think it’s basically, at some point after 9-11, the President and the Vice-President and some of the lawyers set out to – and the word I would use is "sabotage" - the procedure.

Not for the squeamish.
An interesting comment:
“these gifts, these offerings, these holy and undefiled sacrifices.” This is the pleonastic style of ancient pagan Roman ritual. It sounds fine in Latin but has no function in English. The 1970 translators were well aware of this, but the new translators are in the thrall of a literalistic theory of translation which they believe to be revolutionary but which was already refuted by St Jerome in the 4th century.

It is all part of the regression of the Church.

Pope Benedict’s book on Jesus, as analyzed in the current issue of Recherches de science religieuse, is in thrall to a set of misunderstandings of biblical exegesis that descend from Bossuet’s reaction to Richard Simon and the royal condemnation he got issued against Simon in 1678.

I share Cardinal Martini’s fear that the forthcoming Synod will give teeth to this obscurantism and bring to an end a golden age of Catholic biblical scholarship.
On Fr. Komonchak's post "Comparing some translations".
Hmmm ... via

"How Sally Quinn made me a better Catholic" - Slate, 6/27/08:
I'd always been squishy on who should receive Communion, and never really saw the harm in setting a few extra places at the family dinner.

But thanks to 'Sister Sal,' oh Lord, now I do.
Not on communion but on reading the catechism, I used to recommend non-Catholics with questions study it.

But their research seemed to bring them to such convoluted conclusions that I've stopped encouraging that.

Fr. Martin's post at America:
That's why the words "transubstantiation notwithstanding" are difficult to hear.

If one knows enough about Catholicism to mention 'transubstantiation' then one should also know that the word "notwithstanding" makes little sense in that context.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Don't ask me how I got on Facebook, because I don't know.

And it was a surprise!!

Correction: 28 years of coaching. His '04 team wants the all-weather, outdoor track named for him. Should be.

My memories of running are jumbled because my collegiate experience covers the same geographic territory, more or less. Especially the early years before we moved up in divisions.

I think I started running for him when I was in 8th grade, a year after he started. I played tennis that spring but never again. I didn't run my junior year at all.

My younger brother attended the retirement party also. I didn't know he would. He's training for his first-ever marathon this fall. The party could have almost been a family reunion. Goldstein mistook him for his older brother. Only five years separate us, but Greg may as well have run at a different school. He introduced me to a former teammate of his at our table and I barely knew the name. Much less the recent grads who organized this event. But I'm glad they did!

His family's table sat next to ours, with his twenty-something daughters. I remember them as preschoolers, potty-training. As he came around to our table, I hugged him and gave him my first name. He professed to remember me. I had Chris with me, and told him, "Doesn't he look like Jeff?" I gave him a small gift I'd picked up at a Judaica store in Manalapan. It was a last minute purchase and, I think now, something of an amulet.

I looked for other gray-haired folks like myself and found only a couple from my time. The old man at our table was the father of a senior who attended the dinner with the expectation of receiving an award. The event ended without an award being presented to him. He told us that the runners wear GPS watches but can only run their practice on school property. On occasion, they'll drive to a local park for practice. From time to time, someone gets left behind.

If those are the constraints that Goldstein has to operate within, I don't blame him for retiring. There was such a team culture of certain running routes: Fox Road, Fisher Road, quad, triangle, Bliss Hill. I think we did Duck Pond Road once. I remember running "a train" with the boys (?) out Route 63 once. But in general we avoided the highway.

After dinner, there was a slideshow of pictures, mostly recent. As Greg said, since the advent of digital photography. The party organizers solicited pictures but I haven't any. When you're at an important race, the last thing on your mind is, "What shall I show at coach's retirement party?!" Teens just don't have that perspective, at least I didn't.

There were two olde time pictures at the head of the slideshow from period yearbooks. The five of us in the room, including Goldstein, who knew the folks in the pictures had a fun time putting names to faces. Greg knew quite a few of them. Goldie said, "This is going to take a long time if you have more of these pictures," but they had only a couple.

The coach at SUNY Geneseo spoke about how he noticed Coach's runners, that they were decent and hard-working. So he began recruiting them. The health teacher who also coaches - Greg knew him and I did not - also talked about working with Goldstein.

Much was said about Goldstein's cheering during races, his pet expressions, like, "You gotta want it." I might have learned to cheer loud because of him. And much was said about his tendency to chew out his runners when he caught them doing something wrong. I think us girls were spared the more cruder comments. He consoled one runner who'd turned in a poor performance by telling him, "Well, Tim, you've got no balls." My assumption during my time on his teams was that, deep down, he had a good heart and soul despite his gruffness. But, now I'm willing to consider the possibility that I was mistaken.

He told us that he had planned an all-time, cross-country reunion for Columbus Day weekend. I'd like to get the whole family up there then. And see a better turnout from my time. And, yeah, he coached track, too, but everyone knows that cross-country is better.
The Time is Upon Us.