Monday, December 22, 2008

That's my Papa!!

Pope puts stress on 'gay threat' from BBC News Europe
"If tropical forests deserve our protection, humankind... deserves it no less."
Pope Benedict has called for "an ecology of the human being."

Pope Benedict XVI has said that saving humanity from homosexual or transsexual behaviour is just as important as saving the rainforest from destruction.
He explained that defending God's creation is not limited to saving the environment, but also protecting man from self-destruction.
The pope was delivering his end-of-year address to senior Vatican staff.
His words, later released to the media, emphasised his total rejection of gender theory.
Pope Benedict XVI warned that gender theory blurs the distinction between male and female and could thus lead to the "self-destruction" of the human race.

Gender theory
Gender theory explores sexual orientation, the roles assigned by society to individuals according to their gender, and how people perceive their biological identity.

Gay and transsexual groups, particularly in the United States, promote it as a key to understanding and tolerance, but the pope disagreed.
When the Roman Catholic Church defends God's Creation, "it does not only defend the earth, water and the air... but (it) also protects man from his own destruction," the pope said.
"If tropical forests deserve our protection, humankind... deserves it no less," the 81-year-old pontiff said, calling for "an ecology of the human being."
It is not "outmoded metaphysics" to urge respect for the "nature of the human being as man and woman," he told scores of prelates gathered in the Vatican's sumptuous Clementine Hall.
The Catholic Church opposes gay marriage. It teaches that while homosexuality is not sinful, homosexual acts are.

'Rock festival'
The pope uses his traditional end-of-year speech to offer his Christmas greetings and say a few words about what he considers the important issues of the day.
This year, Pope Benedict also deplored the tendency to depict the Catholic church's World Youth Day, which he attended in Sydney earlier this year, as mere spectacle.
He stressed that the event should not be considered a "variant of modern youth culture, as a kind of ecclesiastical rock festival with the Pope as the star," but as the fruition of a "long exterior and interior path".

Bagel Rolls at ThaiCoon Sushi

Mmm... thought I'd post my favorite roll... Ray thinks it's funny that, given Japanese food's reputation for being healthy, that my favorite dish is deep fried. (ThaiCoon Sushi deep fries each piece, unlike in the picture.)
It is a DEElicious roll of rice and nori, of course, with salmon, cream cheese, and scallions. The frying causes the salmon to become cooked, so this might appeal to those of you who do not like raw fish.
ThaiCoon Sushi is on the corner of Clifton and Briarcliff. It's yummy!


fond of sensuous luxury or pleasure; self-indulgent

Grove Park Inn

My new indulgent pleazure...

Iron Man

Sleekly effective science-fiction tale about a devil-may-care playboy weapons manufacturer (Robert Downey Jr.) who, after being captured by an ambitious Afghanistan-based warlord (Faran Tahir) and ordered to build a replica of his most advanced product, with the help of another captive and scientist (Shaun Toub), instead constructs an impregnable suit of armor, escapes, and begins to re-evaluate his life, with the support of his loyal girl Friday (Gwyneth Paltrow) and despite the doubts of his junior partner (Jeff Bridges) and military liaison (Terrence Howard). In between the impressive special effects, executive producer-director Jon Favreau's screen adaptation of this popular comic-book series charts its main character's conversion from callous genius to dedicated defender. Nongraphic sexual activity, torture, a graphic medical procedure, sci-fi violence, occasional crude language, a brief profanity, sexual humor and innuendo. A-III -- adults. (PG-13) 2008

News a Distributionist like me appreciates reading...

Caterpillar Cuts From The Top
Ruthie Ackerman
Machinery maker will slash executive pay by up to 50%.

Caterpillar is taking the high road to cutbacks: the maker of tractors and other construction and mining equipment, said Monday it would drastically slash senior-level compensation, while making shallower cuts lower down in the ranks.

“Good companies become great companies when facing and addressing adversity, and over the decades that has been the case for Caterpillar,” said Chief Executive Jim Owens. “During these uncertain times we will position the company for long-term growth, continued industry leadership and global competitiveness.”

For 2009, the company will cut executive pay by up to 50.0%, compensation for senior managers by 5.0% to 35.0%, and other management and support staff by up to 15.0%. The company will also halt merit pay increases for management and support employees and has instituted a hiring freeze.

Caterpillar is also offering buyouts until Jan. 12 to management and support employees in the United States.

The news comes on the heels of another announcement by the company that it would lay off 814 workers at its Mossville, Ill., engine assembly.

Even as the economic downturn hit the United States, Caterpillar was able to weather the storm because of its strong international presence and the global commodities boom, which motivated its clients to continue investing in equipment. (See “Caterpillar Shifts Into Low Gear.”) But by November commodity prices were receding, and although Caterpillar hadn’t felt the pain yet, falling demand for raw materials was expected to hurt its international sales. (See “The CAT’s Meow.”) Last month, Owens said the company would lay off or transfer an unspecified number of employees at U.S. plants in Sanford, N.C., and Mossville, and in Leicester, England and Grenoble, France.

Caterpillar said its individual business units will continue to reduce costs through temporary factory shutdowns and job cuts as economic conditions call for action.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Code Pink!


Frantic confrontational comedy in which two middle-age but immature stay-at-home sons, one a would-be singer (Will Ferrell), the other an aspiring drummer (John C. Reilly), become unwilling roommates and violent rivals after their respective single parents (Mary Steenburgen and Richard Jenkins) wed, later bonding as friends based on their common hatred of the former's smarmily successful younger brother (Adam Scott). Affirmations of familial loyalty and enduring idealism lose out, in director and co-writer Adam McKay's film, to all manner of distasteful excess. Nongraphic premarital and adulterous sexual activity, frontal male nudity, pervasive sexual and scatological humor, drug and pornography references, pervasive rough and crude language, and some profanity. O -- morally offensive. (R) 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008


a person who remains aloof or independent, esp. from party politics.
• a Republican who in 1884 refused to support James G. Blaine, the Republican nominee for president.
ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from Algonquian mugquomp ‘great chief.’

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Baby Mama

Frequently funny but morally problematic romantic comedy about a hard-driving grocery chain executive (Tina Fey) who, incapable of bearing a child, hires an unpolished woman (Amy Poehler) to be a surrogate mother, subsequently becoming her roommate when the latter splits from her deadbeat common-law husband (Dax Shepard) while herself becoming attached to an ex-lawyer turned juice-bar owner (Greg Kinnear). Writer-director Michael McCullers' partially improvised feature debut, with a cast that also includes Sigourney Weaver and Steve Martin, abounds in comic energy but implicitly accepts current mores regarding fertility that are contrary to Catholic values. Acceptability of surrogate parenting and artificial insemination, implied premarital sex, some crude and crass language, sexual and scatological humor, and a drug reference. O -- morally offensive. (PG-13) 2008
----my input to come....

Monday, November 17, 2008

What I made for dinner tonight

Chicken Pesto Sandwich:
grilled chicken breast
hoagie roll
romaine lettuce
special sauce: pesto, mayo, and freshly grated Parmesan

paired with "Erika's Fries"
chopped potatoes
chopped celery
chopped carrots
chopped garlic
salt, pepper, and of course Tony Chechere's!

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Underdog Philadelphia club fighter Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) has a shot at the heavyweight championship with the help of a tough old trainer (Burgess Meredith). Director John Avildsen concentrates on the gritty, back-street quality of life in the old neighborhood and the relationship that grows between Rocky and the introverted sister (Talia Shire) of his best friend (Burt Young). The bloody brutality of the prizefight game is abundantly evident. (A-III) (PG) ( 1976 )

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mr and Mrs Josip Petrac!

In beautiful Baska! Oh, that place is lovely...

Another quote from my dear sweet hero...

"Only a Christian anthropology, enriched by the contribution of indisputable scientific data, including that of modern psychology and psychiatry, can offer a complete and thus realistic view of humans."
Pope John Paul II address to The Tribunal of the Roman Rota (1995)

Fight FOCA

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Take that!

I got this from

Dueling letters in Public Discourse


My dear Archbishop Charles,

I want to thank you publicly for your thoughtful inquiry into how best to build a culture of life in the United States in the coming years. Seeing a small snippet of a YouTube discussion of yours brought back happy memories of sharing a table with you during my deanship at CUA. You are as well spoken a defender of the faith as I remember. That said, you and I do differ on the intent of Cardinal Ratzinger’s instruction of ”proportionate reasons” and as related concepts receive elaboration in Faithful Citizenship. I am fearful that your interpretation will lead many in parishes around the country to neglect what they can do to build up the culture of life through the promotion of the social gospel in its fullest sense. You, I know, are apprehensive about emphasis upon the social gospel that neglects taking steps to align the law with the protection of life. In my judgment, there is no reason these two are in opposition even as the candidates have made them so each in their own way. This requires careful evaluation in the Conference of Bishops.


I’m grateful to Prof. Doug Kmiec as well for his letter. While we do not share a friendship and have had little contact in the past, Prof. Kmiec is right about the need for civility in public debate. Since I belong to a growing number of bishops excoriated by blogs on the cultural left–including blogs tied to otherwise respected Catholic publications and to scholars that, in the words of Prof. Kmiec, ‘’should know better”–I understand his discomfort with the tone of this election.

Nonetheless, good manners do not trump facts, and as an attorney himself, Prof. Kmiec surely knows the importance of candor. ..


Sen. Barack Obama has promised to sign a sweepingly abortion-friendly ”Freedom of Choice” Act; authorize human cloning to produce embryos for stem cell research in which they are killed; cut off funding for prolife pregnancy clinics; and nominate only ”pro-choice” judges to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Maybe all of these commitments are an elegant charade. Maybe I’ve missed a ”prolife” theme in here somewhere. But no matter. Along with many, many other Catholics and prolife citizens, I look forward eagerly to Prof. Kmiec’s vocal advocacy against these profoundly unjust policies.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Thursday, October 30, 2008

All Saints' Day 2008 at RCA

Rest In Peace, Monsignor Kenny

Monsignor Tom Kenny died peacefully in his home on October 30 at the age of 69. He was the rector of the Cathedral of Christ the King for the past eighteen years and a priest for the Archdiocese of Atlanta for forty-three years.
The Reception of the Body of Monsignor Kenny will be at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 5, with the body lying in state from 2:00-7:00 p.m. at the Cathedral of Christ the King. A Rosary will be prayed for the repose of the soul of Monsignor Kenny at 6:30 p.m. and a Vigil Service begins at 7:00 p.m. Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory will preside over the Funeral Mass on Thursday, November 6, at 10:30 a.m. at the Cathedral of Christ the King. The Rite of Committal will occur at Arlington Cemetery, Sandy Springs, immediately after the Funeral Mass.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the "Monsignor Thomas Kenny Memorial Fund" sent to the Cathedral of Christ the King, 2699 Peachtree Road NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30305.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him.

We will miss you.
For more information on services and memorials for Mnsgr Kenny, please click here.
The Prayer of Cardinal Newman
May he support us all the day long
Till the shades lengthen
And the evening comes
And the busy world is hushed
And the fever of life is over
And our work is done.
Then, in his mercy,
May he grant us a safe lodging
And a holy rest,
And peace at last.


adj; hairy

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Day After Tomorrow

Visually spectacular doomsday drama about a scientist (Dennis Quaid) trying to reunite with his son (Jake Gyllenhaal) during a worldwide environmental catastrophe triggered by global warning which, in addition to unleashing monstrous hurricanes, killer tornadoes and biblical-proportion floods, threatens to rapidly plunge Earth into a new ice age. The film is brimming with eye-popping special-effects sequences; director Roland Emmerich plays fast and loose with scientific facts to craft a high-concept rollercoaster ride full of escapist thrills but without much of a story beyond its nature-gone-mad premise. Intense scenes of natural disasters. A-II -- adults and adolescents. (PG-13) 2004

The Love Guru

Flat comedy, only fitfully enlivened by some clever gags, about a guru (Mike Myers) enlisted by the owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team (Jessica Alba) to reunite their star player (Romany Malco) with his wife (Meagan Good) who has left him for his rival (an unrecognizably hirsute Justin Timberlake), the French-Canadian goalie for the opposing team, thereby restoring the former player's prowess on the ice. Unabashedly vulgar and tasteless despite its saccharine ending and some moderately redemptive elements, the film, directed at an often tentative pace by Marco Schnabel, feels too long by half and the jibes at celebrity and bogus Indian mysticism wear thin. Much sexual and scatological humor and innuendo, some crude language, adultery and an implied premarital relationship, drug references and comic violence. O -- morally offensive. (PG-13)


Lackluster and, at times, absurdly silly action adventure about a roguish treasure hunter (Matthew McConaughey), who, along with his sidekick (Steve Zahn), help a U.N. doctor (Penelope Cruz) investigate a mysterious plague outbreak in a war-torn African nation which they think may be somehow linked to their search for a long-lost Civil War battleship. Directed by Breck Eisner and based on the novel by Clive Cussler, the humor-laced film, though intermittently entertaining as escapist fare, is weighed down by vapid performances, a mediocre script, risible dialogue and an overemphasis on tedious action sequences over character and story. Recurring action violence and minimal rude expressions. A-III -- adults. (PG-13) 2005

from ATL to A-ville

So Ray and I have been interested in moving to Asheville for a while now. It's a great compromise from Sitka, Alaska; which I loved, but it is so far away. Now that Ray is in law school, the idea of moving only 3 hours away is more realistic. And if we do, this is what I want in my back yard...

from America's Choice Now

hey, it's got my boys alan keyes and jim caviezel! well done. :)

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Blessed Teresa of Calcutta

This year Sophia will be Mother Teresa. I'm having her wear it for trick-or-treating, too, since I have to sew this costume together. I think I will also buy a dark-skinned baby for her to carry. We'll stop by her house (which is across the street from Billy's new place!) I think the sisters would get a kick out of it! :)

St. Maria Goretti

Last year, Sophia dressed up as St. Maria Goretti at her All Saint's party at school and I think she got to dress up for Mass, too. I took pictures with Ray's APS camera, but the shutter didn't work and so the film was sadly blank.
(For Halloween, the night before, she went as Tinkerbell.) Here is the official prayer of St. Maria Goretti:

Oh Saint Maria Goretti who, strengthened by God's grace, did not hesitate even at the age of twelve to shed your blood and sacrifice life itself to defend your virginal purity, look graciously on the unhappy human race which has strayed far from the path of eternal salvation. Teach us all, and especially youth,with what courage and promptitude we should flee for the love of Jesus anything that could offend Him or stain our souls with sin. Obtain for us from our Lord victory in temptation, comfort in the sorrows of life, and the grace which we earnestly beg of thee (here insert intention), and may we one day enjoy with thee the imperishable glory of Heaven. Amen.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

an unusual vp candidate photo :)

A Birthday by Christina Rossetti

My heart is like a singing bird
Whose nest is in a watered shoot;
My heart is like an apple tree
Whose boughs are bent with thickset fruit;
My heart is like a rainbow shell
That paddles in a halcyon sea;
My heart is gladder than all these
Because my love is come to me.
Raise me a dais of silk and down;
Hang it with vair and purple dyes;
Carve it in doves, and pomegranates,
And peacocks with a hundred eyes;
Work it in gold and silver grapes,
In leaves, and silver fleurs-de-lys;
Because the birthday of my life
Is come, my love is come to me.

I recited this poem in a testimony I did at Mass during Mystagogia, which is the "seeping in" period after you are baptized. I love this poem; many take her metaphors and similes to describe a consummation between her and her lover, and while this is true, she is not referring to an earthly lover. She is referring to Christ and that is exactly how I felt. I was in-love with 33 year old Jewish man who was born 1,998 years ago. My baptism was my birth and I felt like royalty surrounded by all the moving, scriptural imagery she so passionately illustrates.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

OK, sorry! One more---a telling 19 seconds!

OK, one more...

The sound on this is off a bit, but I thought it was funny since I thought THE SAME THING. Com'on, Obama! Can't say live begins at conception, can't say life begins at birth? Tangled web, baby, tangled web!


Monday, October 13, 2008

prolife button

Palin on Obama on Abortion

"For a candidate who talks so much about hope, he offers no hope at all in meeting this great challenge of the conscience of America."

Dura Realidad

Wow. I recently watched the video Dura Realidad in English and I almost threw-up on Ray's desk. It is so horrific. Can something be too horrific for viewing? While I agree with the truth being told, especially in the case of abortion, I think it is disrespectful of that actual human life, that person, that prenatal child, to display their brutally murdered remains in the general public as at ProLife marches. I want my child to participate in social action, such as vigils and marches, but viewing graphic material should be at the discretion of the parent. However, a video like Dura Realidad, is prefaced with a warning and not in the open for small children's eyes to see, so why do I still feel like there's something wrong with it? Is it just because it is so hard to believe??
It has been important for the public to see images from the Holocaust so that they can understand exactly what the prisoners went through, or to see footage from Rwanda to understand what the people had to endure-- in hopes that history will not repeat itself by urging people to compassion and action. I pray that anti-abortion videos/photographs do not fall on deaf ears or blind eyes. May I resist the temptation to despair and may I be more motivated to persist in prayer and action in support of the families that have suffered from this atrocity and for the prenatal child to be protected from it.
St. Gerard, pray for us! (the patron saint of mothers and preborn babies-- feast day this Thursday, Oct 16)


There are some absolutes in there that I would refrain from using, but dang! Newt is on fire! :) Thank you, Priscilla, for the heads up!


Sunday, October 12, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008


I just left a lengthy comment on Erika's blog, so I thought I'd post it here, too, since I love to get as much mileage out of stuff as possible!

I firmly believe in teaching children how to correctly apologize. We developed a formula for our family before they could really begin to talk. Step 1: "I'm sorry for [verb+ing]" Step 2: And here's where Ray and I differ-- Ray's:"I will not do it again." Mine: "I will try my best not to do it again." (There's a continual discussion of which is more appropriate.) Step 3: "Please forgive me." Step 4: response: "I forgive you." (VERY important here b/c we noticed that so many times when someone apologizes the other person just says "It's OK," as if to shrug off the validity or the severity of the trespass.) Step 5: Hug or physical connection.
It seems to work well. The kids need coaching sometimes, but overall they've acquired the skill of a sufficient apology. Merely saying "sorry" in my house doesn't cut it! I'm hoping this helps them when they reach the age of reason and must make a good confession.
I've always struggled with receiving the false apology, (pointing finger here at others' failures,) "I'm sorry you got upset..." Insult to injury! Now, there was one time that I thought it ROCKED. And that is when Pope Benedict XVI offered the false, but necessary, apology to the unfoundedly inflamed Muslim community about his comments at Regensburg, "I'm sorry that my comment upset you." Now that's the Holy Spirit!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

American Innovation

Ha, ha. This one is for Erika, (not me, Ahern.)

FFL on youtube

My sweet husband found this. Thank you!

In Memory of Baby Harbaugh

On the last day of September, Jenny and Mundo lost their precious preborn baby. We had been praying since they got married for conception and once Jenny got pregnant, we had prayed that the Lord sustain the baby in the womb, but the baby did not make it. My heart broke for Jenny and Mundo and at the revisiting of those feelings of loss from my own experiences. And the Lord, in his goodness, comforted me that day and seemed to express His own grief. The readings at Mass seemed to personally share with me the commiserating solemnity I carried that day:

Reading 1
Jb 3:1-3, 11-17, 20-23

Job opened his mouth and cursed his day.
Job spoke out and said:

Perish the day on which I was born,
the night when they said, “The child is a boy!”

Why did I not perish at birth,
come forth from the womb and expire?
Or why was I not buried away like an untimely birth,
like babes that have never seen the light?
Wherefore did the knees receive me?
or why did I suck at the breasts?

For then I should have lain down and been tranquil;
had I slept, I should then have been at rest
With kings and counselors of the earth
who built where now there are ruins
Or with princes who had gold
and filled their houses with silver.

There the wicked cease from troubling,
there the weary are at rest.

Why is light given to the toilers,
and life to the bitter in spirit?
They wait for death and it comes not;
they search for it rather than for hidden treasures,
Rejoice in it exultingly,
and are glad when they reach the grave:
Those whose path is hidden from them,
and whom God has hemmed in!

Responsorial Psalm
Ps 88:2-3, 4-5, 6, 7-8

R. (3) Let my prayer come before you, Lord.
O LORD, my God, by day I cry out;
at night I clamor in your presence.
Let my prayer come before you;
incline your ear to my call for help.
R. Let my prayer come before you, Lord.
For my soul is surfeited with troubles
and my life draws near to the nether world.
I am numbered with those who go down into the pit;
I am a man without strength.
R. Let my prayer come before you, Lord.
My couch is among the dead,
like the slain who lie in the grave,
Whom you remember no longer
and who are cut off from your care.
R. Let my prayer come before you, Lord.
You have plunged me into the bottom of the pit,
into the dark abyss.
Upon me your wrath lies heavy,
and with all your billows you overwhelm me.
R. Let my prayer come before you, Lord.

Lk 9:51-56

When the days for Jesus to be taken up were fulfilled,
he resolutely determined to journey to Jerusalem,
and he sent messengers ahead of him.
On the way they entered a Samaritan village
to prepare for his reception there,
but they would not welcome him
because the destination of his journey was Jerusalem.
When the disciples James and John saw this they asked,
“Lord, do you want us to call down fire from heaven
to consume them?”
Jesus turned and rebuked them,
and they journeyed to another village.

I remember that the day I lost my baby in 2006, the OT reading was also from Job. We must remember that while life is hard, God is still good.
Please keep Jenny and Mundo in your prayers as the mourn and prepare to be open to new life.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Robert Christian Hartenstein

I got Bobbino's Baptism invitation in the mail yesterday and I missed that sweet lil' boy and his Mommy and Daddy even more. I realized I had not posted a pic of him on here b/c I was waiting to put one up of me and him together, but I still have yet to transfer it to the Mac, so I thought I'd post this one that his Daddy took shortly after his birth. Say a special prayer for Bobbino on October 26, when he is joyfully initiated into the Church. Alleluia!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Mr and Mrs Vernon Olin Darley, III

I am so sad when I have to miss my friends' weddings, Danny's in Italy, Sara's in Czech, Ranjan's in South Africa, Byung's in Nevada, Michael's in Italy, Josip's in Croatia, and now Trey's in Czech! These photos are so beautiful that it is some consolation and I thought I'd share them with you.
Congratulations, Trey and Katka! Can't wait to see you stateside!

Friday, October 3, 2008

What I thought about Joe Biden...

(Photo: JP II with Joe Biden and his wife Jill in the early 80s)
Ray and I watched the VP Debate last night in the company of some Papa John's pizza. I started out feeling nervous for Sarah Palin, but in the end was glad that she was able to do the job she was hired for. I have a lot of respect for mothers, for mothers with lots of kids, for mothers with lots of kids and blossoming careers, and for mothers with lots of kids and blossoming careers and a child with special needs---and I haven't even gotten to political or religious ideology.
What interested me most about this debate is that I was able to become more familiar with Joe Biden. I knew very little about him previously, outside of knowing his dangerously precarious place in the Church and his Democratic VP Nominee acceptance speech. I was generally pleased with his performance (and his sparkling smile) and was left with a sinking sorrow for him.
For one, the accidental death of his spouse and daughter is one of the most horrifying things a person can go through and I was moved to see his emotional recollection of the loss. I also felt sorry for him that he was the VP nominee and not the actual P nominee! It seems like it would be difficult to play Number 2 to a younger, less experienced, but more media-friendly politician, especially if you had made uncomplimentary comments about him during the primaries.
But my main thought centered around this idea that Joe Biden is my brother in Christ, albeit a disobedient one. He has been marked with that indelible mark of the grace of Baptism, (just like Sarah Palin!) and I feel moved to pray for this brother to fully return home, in understanding, in trust, in obedience. I still can't vote for him, but I can pray for him.

Thursday, September 25, 2008


So I've been thinking a lot about the word "freedom." I hear it through news sources with regards to the campaigns & politics and in my religion classes when we talk about the Will. I remember being in High School and reading some work of John Paul II (the Great!) and learning that freedom is not the ability to do whatever you want, but the ability to do good. Boy, did that influence my young adult life!
[sidenote: I've gotten up 3 times just in those few sentences to referee a fight, distribute Doritos, (after having a debate as to whether or not they are kosher-- Sophia's friend is a practicing Jew), and last but not least, made cups of cranberry pomegranate juice.]
Today I came across this further idea on the nature of freedom, (and from the eighth grade's religion book no less!) that real freedom is freedom inside of reality, not freedom from reality. Hmm... If I had the book in front of me, I'd post the actual passage, (maybe I'll add that at a later date.) I thought about this as my class wrote an essay on the Sacraments of Initiation. So I thought, when abortion is promoted, freedom is not being promoted, as pro-abortionists would like to claim, because it's asking for something that is outside of reality. It's trying to deny that there is a real, live human being that also requires freedom. Denying reality doesn't make you free to decide. It makes you free to lie and be lost. Hmm...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

bumper stickers

I tried finding images on the web of these bumper stickers because I thought the visual would be funnier, but, alas, I could not find them and my time for blogging is running out. Dan and I have an affinity for good bumper stickers and these have been my favorite ones:

I love animals: They are delicious

I love my German Shepherd: Pope Benedict XVI

and, last, but not least,

Have you hugged your choice today?

Let me know if you have any good ones to share. It makes up for all those crappy ones I have to look at in traffic.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Attachment in Psychotherapy

Yes, I finally finished another book. It is hard for me to look at my nightstand or my VisualBookShelf on Facebook and see books I have yet to finish. I would love to be able to sit down and read a book cover to cover, like I was able to pre-children; I do not consider myself to have read a book unless I have read all the forewords, prologues, and endnotes. However, in this state of life, the variety of books reflects all the different needs and constraints I experience. Sometimes I need something spiritually uplifting, (which is usually, interestingly enough, very grounding,) or sometimes I need a voyeuristic look into someone's juicy vignette of experience, or just something cold and intellectual when I've been chasing young children all day. I need something I can read that is clear and succinct when I have just five minutes of respite or something that is indulgently involved when I have an unadulterated evening of quiet. (And as you might have been able to guess, the latter is quite rare...) Aaaah, books.
So, on to this notch in my bedpost: What I liked about this book is that it appealed to both the aspiring professional in me and the sometimes wary, sometimes convicted therapy patient. It is a book of both pleasure and business.
Unfortunately, as usual, I don't have time to really parse the material for the particularly powerful episodes in the writer's therapeutic experience or the solid clinical analyses that further the work of attachment theory in psychotherapy, despite every other sentence being covered in highlighter! Just know they exist!! I will end with the final paragraph of the book which sums up why this topic is even important (p 338):
"Through fostering these skills, psychotherapy when it is effective yields a new experience of security that can benefit every patient. But in relation to patients who have (or will have) children, the contribution of the therapist may well go much further, for it has the potential to break the chain of disadvantage that tends to burden each successive generation with the insecurity and trauma of the generations that have come before."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

This year's Feminine Genius

Sweet Lady Friends, let's go to this together! It's a beautiful morning at the Piedmont Driving Club. Saturday, November 15th!!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

All-American Heroes

Aunt Katydid and Uncle Duckie

Paul and Kate have been doing fabulously with their graduate work at Chicago's art institute. I'll post a photograph of them that made it into the New York Times as soon as I can get my hands on it.
Until then, you can see their work on their website.


Not bad...

Obama & Pelosi

a short news posting with Obama trying to get his foot out of his mouth and a reference to Pelosi's idiotic comment...

Monday, August 25, 2008

PS I Love You

Uneven but ultimately touching and well acted love story about a woman (Hilary Swank) who loses her Irish husband (Gerard Butler) to a brain tumor, but is guided through the stages of grief by letters he wrote for her before he died, and arranged to have periodically delivered. Writer-director Richard LaGravenese's film seems contrived at first, but slowly builds in interest as its heroine goes through her healing journey, helped by her girlfriends (Lisa Kudrow and Gina Gershon) and two men who take a romantic interest in her (Harry Connick Jr. and Jeffrey Dean Morgan). Moderate conversational expletives and crass expressions, one nonmarital and a couple of marital nongraphic bedroom scenes and casual acceptance of the former, some sexual banter and passing homosexual references, and brief rear male nudity. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is A-III -- adults. (PG-13) 2007

Definitely Maybe

Carefully wrought romantic comedy, albeit with some problematic material, in which an advertiser (Ryan Reynolds) on the verge of divorce recounts to his inquiring daughter (Abigail Breslin) how he chose her mother from among the three women (Elizabeth Banks, Rachel Weisz and Isla Fisher) he had once been dating. Writer-director Adam Brooks' generally well-written, often touching film is most suitable for mature viewers. Implied nonmarital sexual activity and cohabitation, some profanity, frank sexual talk and crass language, divorce theme, lesbian reference and political pro-choice allusion. A-III -- adults. (PG-13) 2008

Drillbit Taylor

Now that school has started, I rarely have time for movies, much less writing about them, or scoping out an adequate visual representation. Therefore, I will just list the title and the shorter version of the usccb's review. (Do I need permission to use these??)

Droll portrait of the unlikely friendship between a homeless veteran (Owen Wilson) and the three high school misfits (Nate Hartley, Troy Gentile and David Dorfman) who hire him as a bodyguard to protect them from a malevolent bully (Alex Frost) and his thuggish sidekick (Josh Peck). Director Steven Brill's film, produced by the prolific Judd Apatow, emphasizes its titular character's evolution from con man to caring mentor, and his young clients' search for courage and solidarity, but dialogue rife with vulgar terms and a problematic central love story make it appropriate fare only for the mature. Brief rear nudity, implied premarital sex, frequent crude and pervasive crass language, six uses of profanity, and drug and pornography references. A-III -- adults. (PG-13) 2008

Saturday, August 23, 2008


Taut, though rather cold, remake of the 1972 film based on Anthony Shaffer's Broadway and West End hit play about a wealthy mystery writer (Michael Caine) who engages his wife's lover (Jude Law) in a deadly game of cat and mouse. Director Kenneth Branagh expertly sustains suspense, and his leads -- Caine switching roles from the earlier film -- are superb, though playwright Harold Pinter's radical and deft reworking of the original is peppered with expletives, and has one extended sequence with a strongly homoerotic undercurrent. Much rough and crude language and some profanity, violence, torture, adultery theme, frank sexual talk and strong innuendo, some of a homosexual nature. L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. (R) 2007

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Goofy Kids

They have been loving school so far. Oliver now knows the names for squares and triangles, although he gets them mixed up. Sophia has a new fascination with badgers. I don't know where it comes from. Perhaps Sam mentioned them. I don't think there are any badgers in Georgia... I should post the picture she has me pull up on google images every night before she goes to bed. It is pretty scary!
Oliver likes for me to talk to his broccoli before he will eat it. Sophia memorized her first poem. Oliver always wants a cheese sandwich in his lunch box. Sophia prefers peanut butter and sometimes wants jam, too. Oliver calls Sophia "Sia," (and now we do.) Sophia calls Oliver "Baby." We call him that as well even though he's not quite a baby any more.
Stay tuned for more updates...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

We've reached DAY 30

and still no ice...

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

Melissa and I were finally able to spend some time together, not necessarily alone, but I guess well enough alone. I tried to plan our "date" during nap time so that the children would be "occupied." And it kinda worked... unfortunately, I was a little bit of a space case from prior incidences that morning. Sophia was "doing ballet" when she stepped on a CandyLand figure and it dug a chunk out of her heel. It is quite hard for this blood-phobic mom to deal with such injuries, but I did it while taking care of her physical and "feelings" pain. (Yes, I know I'm using quotation marks a lot...)
So Melissa arrived, we went to Blockbuster and Publix and when we returned we made a delicious lunch of Tuna Helper (now with extra cheese topping!) with peas, a meal only Melissa and I can appreciate. The kids went down for their nap. This means that Sophia sat in bed coloring, calling me intermittenly, and Oliver passed out on a pile of trains in his bed. (So I let them have toys in their bed! It's my insurance for getting a few moments for myself!)
As far as the movie goes, it was a cute young chick flick. I'll post the usccb review before my own.

Tender, if at times overly sentimental, teen drama about four lifelong friends (Alexis Bledel, Blake Lively, America Ferrera and Amber Tamblyn) who spend their first summer apart, during which they experience life-changing adolescent ordeals, but remain linked by a shared pair of magical denim jeans. Directed by Ken Kwapis from the bestseller by Ann Brashares and with spirited performances by the quartet of young actresses, the film, despite its bubblegum title and breezy Judy Blume veneer, tackles heavy issues like divorce, death and teen sexuality (which may be inappropriate for younger teens) and ultimately imparts a life-affirming message about friendship and family. An implied sexual encounter and sexual innuendo, some mature thematic elements, including one character's loss of virginity, as well as sporadic mildly crude language. A-II -- adults and adolescents. (PG) 2005

My favorite part of the movie was hanging out on the couch and eating cookies with Melissa--- but I don't know if that counts? :) As for the actual movie content, it was entertaining and engaged desires within me that have been dormant for a while... My yearning for Greece has returned. Maybe Ray and I should go back to being "vacation owners" so we can take that cruise to Greece and Turkey... I was also left with some pining for a "normal" adolescence, something Melissa and I could both relate to. The characters seem a bit caricatured with the emo-filmmaker, the jock hottie, the feisty Latina, and the modest waif, but I think their chemistry on screen did a lot to downplay that. All in all, the theme throughout the movie was sisterhood and sharing those parts of life in which we are vulnerable and need that understanding, feminine shoulder to lean on. It caused me to reflect back in gratitude to those times when Melissa was there for me in High School, comforting me after abusive interactions with [name withheld], showing up to my work with a sweet card in hopes of cheering me up, being there for me when my parents got divorced, etc. We had our own smart-white-girls-from-Riverdale-who-can-dance sisterhood. I hope we can see the sequel together.
Here are some photos I found of Melissa and I from freshmen in high school to freshmen in college. :)