Thursday, December 20, 2007

flu-like symptoms

At noon today they told the distressing news that Rudy Giuliani was hospitalized overnight with "flu-like symptoms". Now, this blows my mind. Since when did flu-like symptoms become a hospitalize-able situation? Here's the criteria for that- if you are rich and/or famous, you are entitled to a night in the hospital for things like being nauseous, or if you are suffering from "exhaustion". I wonder how many single, working mothers are suffering from exhaustion right now? If we opened the doors of our hospitals to everyone who had the flu, of course they'd be over-run immediately. So we reserve these beds for those who get news coverage for whatever minor "illness" they have. What really irks me about this is, this in particular is a man to whom the country might soon look to when it comes to health care decisions that will effect every citizen. Does he even remember a time when having "flu-like symptoms" meant calling in sick, curling up on the couch, and throwing up in a bucket? I doubt it. And I can't help but wonder how his personal experience of health care might effect his vision of health care for the country.
I'm just sayin'.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


a few "before" pictures- not much on the ground.

This odd mulch is sunflower seed shells, from where some jerk squirrel or mouse ate his way through our bag of birdseed in the hall entryway.

It started to pile up right away- we've gotten an average of 1.5 inches per hour since it started.

So much for our Summer scene!

Our only Christmas decoration so far, decorated by GE and Mother Nature!

the storm before the storm

I heard big snow was coming, so I thought I'd better go shopping this morning. W!O!W! I have never seen anything like the scene at Market Basket today!!! My first clue should have been the fact that there were no carts. NO carts!! I waited by the door until a guy came in with a handful of carts, and he didn't even get to park them- a bunch of us took them right from him at the door.
I wore my ipod and I think this is what miraculously saved my mood. I was listening to NPR's Pop Culture podcast, but I could still hear the Christmas music over the loudspeakers. I could also hear the pleas for patience by the store staff, and observe three different sub-classes of shoppers. Here's what I saw:
OLD WOMEN are seemingly oblivious to their surroundings. They stop and stand in the middle of the aisle and stare at the shelves, trying to locate their items or compare prices, I don't know... At one point, I pulled over to review my list, and I was sideswiped (my cart, really- I escaped unharmed) by a woman. She swiped the length of my cart and then kept on going.
OLD MEN are the worst!!! They are frustrated and grumpy, and try to speed through any empty space they find themselves in. Even if, say, that empty space is only about the length of a shopping cart. At one point I attempted to enter the baking aisle, but couldn't. It was full, so I settled in to wait for my chance. A man came to the end of the aisle, which abutted the space where people were in line for the registers. No one could move. He said out loud, to no one in particular, "why isn't anyone MOVING?" I said to him "there's just nowhere to go". He leaned forward, way over his cart to see around the end of the aisle, and yelled "GET MOVING!! NOBODY CAN MOVE OVER HERE!!!" No one even bothered to look back at him.
EVERYONE ELSE can be divided still into three sub-sub-groups: the angry, the bewildered, and the patient. I was, by the luck of the ipod, one of the patient ones today. And now that we're home, snuggled up with a chicken baking in the oven, we can watch the news storm reports and know our chores are done, everyone's safe, and our cupboards are full.


I was listening to NPR today and they featured a story by Robert Krulwich- he's fast becoming my favorite guy on NPR, and is part of the team that does Radio Lab, the podcast which I've glowed about here before. Today he was talking with a scientist about a new study on fetal cells (wow stuff- you can listen to the story at the Bryant Park Project page- just click on Listen Now)
and mentioned that scientists have this term: the Too Dangerously Beautiful Idea. The gist of it is, if it's too good, incredibly good news, reflects the beauty we all wish to believe exists in the world, you'd better take a closer look at it. Scientists don't want humanity's need for beauty to exist, to cloud their judgment.
As much as Catholic theology confounds me (it's okay to admit that, right?) I am glad that being part of a faith tradition means that I don't have to dis-believe something because it's too good to be true.

where have all the convents gone?

The convent at my parish is being knocked down soon- it's a beautiful old stone building that is not so beautiful on the inside. You can see my pictures from a last walk-through here. Many of the pictures were taken in complete darkness, so some are pretty blurry. But still, pretty cool!

Monday, December 10, 2007

In lieu of Actual Posting

Here's some shots from around the manse:
Our brussels sprout crop. What will we do with all these???

Our pumpkins, ready in wait for next year's growing season.

Could it be? Fairy God Bunny was here!!!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

There's a new sheriff in town.

So the news is finally out (how many of us have been keeping this secret, I wonder?) that what used to be the OYM has a new director. He's a priest (shocker!) and from a high-profile parish, THE poster parish for LifeTeen in the Archdiocese. It's an interesting choice, and says a lot about how Youth Ministry is viewed in the RCAB.
The choice of a priest (in my humble opinion) is more a nod toward clericalism than just a convenience (you know, it's handy if your YM director can say Mass at camp and whatnot). The new director is ordained 5 years, as I said in a parish with a vibrant Youth Ministry- but this Archdiocese is full of qualified professionals with more than 10-15 years of experience. Many of the veteran youth ministers in this AD have been cut off from the OYM for one reason or another, however, and it would take some serious crow-eating for them to approach any of them (us) to consider this job.
I am curious to see how this new "Office of New Evangelization...something something...youth and young adults" will play out. Will burnt bridges be mended? Will professional YM's be supported? What I've seen so far (a few pages of a handout from the office) mentioned, priests and vocations repeatedly- it's the language of the RCAB lately, and looks to be the direction of its ministry offices.
Youth Ministers could have been consulted in this decision... was there an interview process? Was there an open application period? Was the job posted... anywhere? I wonder if the YM community has been invited to meet with him, or will be? Maybe I just missed it all.
Technically, you know, I'm not a Youth Minister... so I'll be watching from the sidelines- and praying for the best.