Friday, May 29, 2009
My curiousity got the better of me. I searched for this woman's Facebook page.
And I found it. She has a married name. If I want to learn more I must ask to be added as a friend.
I will be the fifth starter for the Rays before that happens. I will run away like brave Sir Robin.
But now people can find me.
The next night, Friday 5/22, my infection flared up again. Saturday morning I went back into the VA hospital and didn't get out until Thursday night.
A few observations:
The VA does a good job of meeting any religious or spiritual needs you may have. If you are Catholic, someone will come around with the Eucharist. I was asked about any dietary requirements, for example, no pork if you are Jewish or Muslim.
Here's one advantage of having neuropathy. The foot doctor was looking at a broken blister on the top of my foot, right behind the big toe. He asked me if I had any feeling in my foot. I told him I had a little, and then he took out a scalpel and cut into me like Mr. Bingley cutting into a roast. Clear down to the bone. Didn't feel a thing.
I received my first CT scan. I went to the vascular clinic to measure my circulation. They even took the blood pressure of my big toe. Slapped a little cuff around it.
A lot of the medical people were carrying on about the fact that with the exception of a half cigarette when I was twelve and a cigar when I was 23, I have never used tobacco. One doctor asked me if I threw up after the cigar. I said yes, but that was probably because of the scotch. I don't know what the big deal is. I don't smoke cigarettes for the same reason I don't eat raisins - I just don't like them. I also had more money for booze.
Knowing that I would be admitted, I brought a book that my pastor gave me when he came back from here. It was a commentary on Ephesians by an evangelical named James Mongomery Boice. It didn't have too many big words in it. It even included a paragraph about the Eagles threatened move to Phoenix in the late 1980's (Pastor Boice is from Philly). This book became a conversation piece. Honest to goodness, I didn't thump my Bible once. But a few doctors, nurses and patients asked me about this book and what was in it.
I was sent home Thursday night with a PICC line. This morning a nurse is coming to my apartment to show me how to give myself IV antibiotics and to dress my wound. On Monday morning I am supposed to go to podiatry. My first day back on the job may be Tuesday.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
MIAMI (Reuters) – A popular U.S. Roman Catholic priest photographed frolicking with a woman on a Florida beach announced on Thursday he had joined the Episcopal Church to pursue the priesthood in a faith that allows married clergy.Now, I want to start here: I feel for the guy. No joke. He wants to serve God, and he feels that his vocation is marriage. He and I have that much in common. One of the things that the seminary is meant to do is to bring a man's vocation into focus. Every year plenty of seminarians realize that their call is to raise families instead of parishes, and they leave, as they ought. Sometimes there's a miss and someone is ordained, as Fr. Cutie is, or they take a lifetime vow in a lay order, and they realize along the way that God's call is to marriage. And this is what brings me to the upsetting thing about all of this.
"I've seen with my own eyes how many brothers of mine serve God as married men and with the blessing of having their own families," said Father Alberto Cutie, whose removal from his Miami Beach parish prompted public debate about the Catholic Church's celibacy requirement for priests.
The thing is, that nobody wakes up one morning with a huge lump on his head and a collar on his neck. Fr. Cutie knew going in about the discipline required of Roman Catholic priests. If he didn't, there is one last reminder at the ordination ceremony:
This is the standard. The Church gets a lot of flak for the standard, but it deals in free will, and a person understanding and freely choosing to bind oneself has the right to know what, exactly, that choice entails. It's hardly a big secret, in any case. And there is always the understanding on the Church's part of the people she shepherds and cares for. Had Fr. Cutie later realized that he had taken vows that God had not asked of him, he could go to his bishop and ask to be laicized, to be relieved of his vows and office in order to pursue his true vocation.You ought anxiously to consider again and again what sort of a burden this is which you are taking upon you of your own accord. Up to this you are free. You may still, if you choose, turn to the aims and desires of the world (licet vobis pro artitrio ad caecularia vota transire). But if you receive this order (of the subdiaconate) it will no longer be lawful to turn back from your purpose. You will be required to continue in the service of God, and with His assistance to observe chastity and to be bound for ever in the ministrations of the Altar, to serve who is to reign.By stepping forward despite this warning, when invited to do so, and by co-operating in the rest of the ordination service, the candidate is understood to bind himself equivalently by a vow of chastity. He is henceforth unable to contract a valid marriage, and any serious transgression in the matter of this vow is not only a grievous sin in itself but incurs the additional guilt of sacrilege.
Well, that's not exactly the order he went in.
He was relieved of his duties at St. Francis de Sales parish in Miami Beach earlier this month after the entertainment magazine TVnotas published photos of him in swim trunks, snuggling and kissing a woman on the sands of a beach in Florida.The apology is good - but the line about not being a man anymore? That's grade-A balderdash. Bravo Sierra, padre. The Church didn't ask him or any priest not to be a man anymore. The concept that a man is only equal to his sexual faculties is completely insulting.
Cutie later said he had fallen in love with the woman and broken his vow of celibacy. He apologized for his behavior, but told the Univision Spanish-language television network, "I didn't stop being a man just because I put on a cassock. There are trousers under this cassock."
At his news conference, Cutie described his move as "going into a new family" and said he would continue to proclaim God's word. "I will always love the Catholic Church and all its members who are committed in their faith and have
enriched my life in so many ways," he said.
So... why, then, would Fr. Cutie move to the Episcopalian church, when the Eastern rite Catholic churches permit married clergy? Of course, you'd have to married first, and as we have seen, this is not the case here; but again, there is the active ministry of the Church. There is the authority to grant dispensations at need. The saying, "Hard cases make bad law," is applicable here - the whole disicpline ought not to be overturned just for one wayward and willful man reneging on his vows, but it's possible to do something in the individual situation. That isn't possible once Fr. Cutie decides to bail.
The Spider is fond of saying that pastors are high-value targets of the evil one, and this is why. The more of them in high-profile spots that take public falls, the better his business is. It's part of the general strategy of those who oppose the Church to bring up its faults:
Some Catholics expressed sympathy for Cutie and said it was time to end the celibacy rule. Others said that, given the recent scandals involving U.S. priests sexually abusing young boys, and Irish priests raping, flogging and enslaving children in Catholic schools, they were relieved that Cutie had merely become involved with an adult woman.
Again, I'm forced to call complete BS. Who are these "some Catholics," and who are these "others?" No quote? I'm going to just come right out and say that every single one of these some and others are either theoretical, or people in the newsroom. No doubt, one could find examples of these. Fair enough. Why, then, were NO such examples found by either the two reporters or the two editors credited? They certainly found room to list up some of the more horrible sins and scandals of the recent past.
All of this could have been mitigated. I have no idea if Fr. Cutie ever did come forward to his bishop or to his confessor. It seems likely that he either didn't, or that nobody close to him was able to convince him that this was a bad idea; he went forward with this canoodling, and broke his vows. Then he held this little presser in order, not to apologize, but to justify himself by leaving the Church and putting the blame on them, instead of squarely on himself.
In the media of course he comes off like an honest fellow, caught in conflicting loyalties, and stuck with no other way out... and the media, which can't really be bothered to do even the online research I've done tonight, will gladly play this up as the acceptable storyline, with his own complicity. It's hard enough that the foes of the Church exclude any good she does or any virtue she teaches in favor of scandal and crime; worse that the good padre decided to join with those foes by blaming the Church for his own faults. It's the big danger in becoming well-known in general: it becomes more about the person and less about what they're known for. It can be politics, or music, or acting, or nearly anything else one can think of - the person stops doing their best work because they focus on themselves rather than the work. Fr. Cutie's attitude here is not that he ought to sacrifice to be a priest; in effect it's the reverse and the congregation has to sacrifice to have him - he has to be married and satisfy both his own needs and the needs of his family, first. And that's the congregation he wants to get - what of the one he's just betrayed? The priesthood is not all about him.
His words at this press conference would not be out of place coming from the mouth of any starlet going to rehab, or suspended athlete, or elected official caught cheating on their spouse. In this case, the wronged spouse is Christ Himself, which makes it doubly terrible.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
He should be back in the game in a couple of more days. In the meantime, you're stuck with me.
Friday, May 22, 2009
1) my home PC crashed and I had to reboot it to factory settings. I haven't yet restored Internet service yet because of
2) I spent Tuesday through Thursday in the VA hospital with an infection in my left foot.
I am back @ work but I have a three day pile of papers on my desk. Went I dig out I will tell the tale in full.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
(Speaking of Tracey and watching - I hear tell that the Beefy Peach won Dancing with the Stars. Congrats, Tracey!)
Adam and Kris with a K (otherwise known as Hal Sparks Jr.), all in white, like the Davids from last season's finale. Then, all the thirteen in white. Ha, even Matt's ubiquitous fedora is white. They look like Kryptonians from the opening of the first Superman movie with Brando. (Hopefully the Phantom Zone will come down and swoop off with Kara.) They all wanna start fight. I think this is a bad idea. Mike Sarver could take the other twelve by himself, I think.
NF: Who's that?
NF: Pause it. THAT guy, with the curly hair.
LB: That's the first guy sent home.
NF: Oh, yeahhhh.... Whassisface. I didn't even recognize him.
Nice to see Alexa Grace getting so much camera time, considering that she went about five weeks too early.
Hey, that was Carly Smithson? Darn. We skipped the hometown stuff on DVR because normally the hosts are completely intolerable. My bad, folks.
David Cook! My wife is quite pleased. If he formed an Idol supergroup with Bo Bice and Chris Daughtry, we'd pretty much have to follow them around on tours, like Deadheads. "Permanent," a fine song. Why can't Idol write singles like this?
Oh, the Idol Awards.... Hey, it's Pippa's little brother! Wow, some of this was so painful. I'd forgotten most of these dudes. Wild plaid jacket, dude. "American Idol - so easy, a caveman could sing it." And, the mortal lock of this segment, Nick Mitchell. Who is in the audience. Who "isn't prepared." Who immediately strips down to the Normal Gentle getup and rocks out. Actually, he's pretty funny with all of this. I didn't hate it. All is forgiven, Nick. I'm sorry I've been so horrid in the past. HAHAHAHAHA Ryan's got his red headband and giant glasses. Love it. I could totally see this as Ryan's actual sophomore year photo from gym class, in a good way.
Lil Rounds and Queen Latifah... we love the Queen around these parts. Her whole career is pretty much a "Good for her!" from the rapping to the jazz album to the acting to the Maybelline spots to being true to herself. She just seems like a decent, cool woman who just happens to be famous and talented. By the way, the Queen is demolishing Lil here. You can barely hear Lil at all when they go together - maybe she's just mouthing the words now. Poor Lil.
Kris with a K, with Keith Urban... with a K. Or something. It's good.
LB - you know, I actually would be good with either of these guys winning.
For the record - this is HUGE. My wife was a big-time Adam fan, still is, but Hal Sparks Jr. (Ladybug picked up the resemblance) opened the door just a crack... and now he's gone and kicked it down with a winning smile and open-mic vibe. And my wife has much better instincts for this sort of thing. She's always picking out Idols and Hell's Kitchen winners and Next Top Models weeks ahead of time.
Fergie comes out. She's a big girl, who doesn't cry. It's all the Black-Eyed Peas, actually. They're singing - what? Uhm... Hey, nice logo, AI. For fifteen seconds. Way too long just for a cuss word. Someone must have accidentally been flashing the goods to America or something. Or maybe it was those freaky Mummenshantz dudes in the background. They are CREEPY, people. Like the Autons or something. Fail.
Another award - Best Attitude. Alexis Cohen! "Take it! Take it! Take it! I'm going in for actressing!" They should give her this award just for last season's audition. Nope, they give it to Bikini Girl, who was frankly much more annoying than attitudinous. (It is too a word.) Gee, will she be out in a bikini? Of course! And hey, she's had some work done in a predictable place. Looks dreadful. Ladybug turns to me to ask, in horror, "Do guys really like how that looks, when they're that far apart?"
Ryan: "I was going to ask what's new, but I think I can tell." BWAHAHAHA! He is really a great host, especially for a show like this. You almost don't notice everything he brings to the table. Kara comes out to sing the song she destroyed in auditions, and rocks it completely. At least Bikini Girl's jaw is slack. Kara ends by rocking a bikini herself, which could have been a dreadful backfire, but it works. Bikini Girl is completely vanquished. Well played, Ms. dioGuardi.
Alison in a duet. Don't recognize her, missed the announcement out of the room.
LB - [incredulous] CYNDI LAUPER.
NF - oh, yeah. She acts like her, doesn't she?
Forgettable performance. We also skip most of Danny with Lionel Richie, who is dressed like an old, discount Neo. Adam fulfills his glam rock destiny by performing with both KISS and Queen on the same night. Very good, of course. Kris held his own during the Queen bit, dueting with Adam on "We Are the Champions."
Next, a comedian who loves music. No lie, I guessed Steve Martin before he came out with the banjo. One point for me. I heart Steve Martin. Hey, he wrote that song - great. Not surprising, because he is terrific and talented and his "Born Standing Up" memoir is tremendous. Again, why can't Idol have anything nearly that good as that song? "I know it's a long shot, but I hope I win," he says. Heh. I wouldn't protest.
It's Tatiana del Toro winning the last Idol Award, and doing a whole bit with eluding security and singing "Saving All My Love for You" while being chased around stage. All the most annoying people of the show are either getting a little rehab or a severe comeuppance, and I couldn't be more delighted. This is turning out to be a really solid show tonight.
One hundred million votes cast for this. Ye cats. And your American Idol is.... KRIS ALLEN! Winnah, winnah, chicken dinnah. Fireworks in Conway, Ark. They give him a fifties-style microphone trophy, which he can keep on the dashboard of his new Ford Hybrid.
LB - Hey, they gave him a trophy. Do all the other Idols get them now, too?
NF - I think they have to settle for having money, fame, and a career.
LB - You know, I'm really happy for Kris. Adam didn't really need to win Idol to have a career, he just had to do well on the show. Kris did.
That's it for the show until next January - but hopefully, you'll hear more from me here on the blog before then. Just super busy lately. But I haven't forgotten you!
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
The National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAA), a part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will pay $2.6 million in U.S. tax dollars to train Chinese prostitutes to drink responsibly on the job.
I wonder why they drink? Maybe it's because they are in a profession which is not know to build up one's self-esteem? Ya think?
What tags should I use for this post? How about these?
Monday, May 11, 2009
Crist's decision puts Republicans in strong position to hold onto the seat held by retiring Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) Crist holds high approval ratings among both Republicans and Democrats, according to statewide polling, and has forged a moderate governing style that has won him widespread support.
After patching together a budget propped up by Obamabucks Charlie is going to be long gone two years from now when the bill comes due. Charlie will be pulling a McCain, showing up on the Today Show bad mouthing his party while getting his fanny kissed by Meredith Viera.
He will be in the Senate prepping for his presidential run when the Florida budget goes to H-E-double hockey sticks. All he needs is a stooge like Huckabee to draw votes away from challengers on his right (like Huck did for McCain in 2008). Crist vs. Obama in 2012. I'm sure that thrills us all.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
TAMPA - Seven weeks ago, Richard Anthony McTear Jr. broke Jasmine Bedwell's door, hit her several times, broke items throughout her apartment, held her down, and poured household cleaner on her face and head, sheriff's deputies say.
A neighbor called deputies, and charges were filed with the state attorney's office.
Five weeks ago, McTear threatened to go to Bedwell's home and kill her infant son, according to deputies. They say he later bruised her enough for her to be taken to a hospital. More charges were filed.
Investigators say McTear followed through on his threat against her son early Tuesday by beating Bedwell, throwing the child onto a concrete floor and then kidnapping 3-month-old Emanuel Wesley Murray and throwing him out of a moving car onto Interstate 275. The infant was found dead.
McTear was arrested hours later Tuesday morning after a short chase. He is charged with first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, kidnapping, felony battery and burglary with battery.
From my home I can walk to where this poor baby lived. On my ride home from work I pass by where this monster tossed out this child onto the highway. Read this story on how the local justice system could not find a way to put this beast in a cage before he murdered the innocent.
There is no legislation, no government solution to this. Restraining order? Sure ladies, hold up that piece of paper when the crazed, coked-up ex breaks down your door and see how well it works.
If you need a restraining order, you also need a gun. If you were out in the woods being attacked by a bear or a lion you would have no issue with blowing the creature away. It is also true in the urban jungle. To save yourself and your children you must drop the beast when he gets into range.
Wednesday, May 06, 2009
Slash mentored, because it's rock week. I think it was lame that neither AI nor Slash himself mentioned that he recorded a song with Chris Daughtry for his album. (Arguably the best song on the whole LP.) I do like that the rehearsal was with Slash and his band backing the Idols in a club. Good stuff.
Adam and Allison will be one duet, Danny and Kris with a K the other. Adam will solo first. Be advised, he has something to prove tonight, and it's rock week. I don't see anybody getting too close. He's doing Led Zeppelin, "Whole Lotta Love." Uhm... wow. Lots of plain old obvious single entendres. And Adam is not exactly Mr. Subtlety. I'd have thought they would make him sing something else. It's not like he can't pull off Plant's banshee wailing, but why not "Heartbreaker" or "Immigrant Song" or "The Ocean" or, well... anything else?
Lord Emo power scream aside, it was pretty good, actually, like B+ good. He'll be fine. Kara calls him a rock god. She's dressed like she was just in a Bananarama video. She's babbling about 70's classic rock, 80's glam rock, and Nine Inch Nails. I think Trent Reznor just threw up in his mouth a little. Simon is of the opinion that this is pretty much the high point of the night.
Allison is perched under the Coke Stools, directly below the half-crumbled bit of the set. Good call, AI! Ha, she went to Adam's "hair girl" for her do this week. So many jokes here... She ruins the fun by suggesting that she wants to do Joplin's "Cry Baby" or Jefferson Airplane's "Somebody to Love." Yes to the second, a huge NO to the first. Grace Slick pronounced her words, m'dear. At all costs Allison should be distancing herself from Joplin, not inviting the comparison. And of course, being 17 and all, she went with "Cry Baby." Complete mimicry. It hurts her in comparison with the real thing, and especially following Adam. Kara thought it was a good idea, but everyone else knows better, even Paula. Randy gave her a "keeping it real" and Simon suggested she should have done Queen instead.
The first duet is Danny/Kris, doing "Renegade" by Styx. I saw this live last year at the Basie Theater, by the genuine article. This is pretty good stuff, though. The harmonies are excellent. Enjoyable.
It's the K's turn. He wanted to do "Revolution." (Funny aside - my iPod player at work drops half the songs out on certain tunes; Hendrix, the Doors, and the Beatles are the most common victims. Today I heard what Revolution would have sounded like without George Harrison. It doesn't do that with the earphones or in the car, so I think it's the docking station itself.) At the last moment he wasn't feeling it so he chose "Come Together" instead. He's hilarious during the jam with Slash, who gives him a guitar so he can play with the band. "I'm using Slash's guitar and he's playing right next to me, I almost peed my pants." Hahahaha!
Performance time. I think he's good and all, though it's clearly not his thing. The judges were a little harder on him than he deserved. (Randy liked the guitar playing.) Personally I'd put him above Allison this week - she could have and should have done much more, considering. Kris got more out of himself than she from herself, but he could be in real trouble, and that's a shame.
Danny's turn. He's singing "Dream On." Mistake. Michael Johns was actually good on this last year (though it's the week he went home, it was bogus - he really was being punished for his "Day in the Life" the week before). Plus, there's an omen in the club jam, when Danny can't get on top of that insane high falsetto at the end. Slash says that last wail at the end is super-important...
Oooh. Oh dear oh dear. This is bad. He's pitchy all over and the last wail is more of a screech. Simon calls it a "horror film scream" and that's about it. Ladybug calls it "a valiant effort." I call it the worst of the night. Simon says he thinks he's safe. Not if there's justice.
It's the second duet - Allison and Adam, performing "Slow Ride" by Foghat. (Chortle.) Seemed a lot more like tow soloists than a true duet, though they're very good rockers. Kara says they made each other better and forced each other to raise their game. I got just the opposite: there's just a difference between a duet and two people trying to outdo each other. In retrospect they were wise to avoid the Bowie/Mercury example, because it would just emphasize that difference. Those guys worked for each other, not strove against each other.
Adam calls Allison "his little sister." (Must... not make... obvious joke... must... resist...) The DVR loses Paula and Simon's comments. The crowd chants "top two" at the pair, and that's probably correct but a little misleading - it's more like a Top One and a distant two/three, with an afterthought. The trouble is, I badly fear that the K is the afterthought. Didn't go last, didn't go first, and despite the name spelling, he isn't the last girl. It's classic middle child syndrome. I really think he was the second best tonight, and has the strongest overall body of work this year outside of Adam. Danny should have cost himself the contest tonight, but Kris is in peril.
Tuesday, May 05, 2009
Kate's story, linked above, took me right back to college. I was rolling along in a campus bus, minding my own business, and there was quite a lovely lass sitting across from me. Now, understand that this is Rutgers, 40,000 or so undergrads, so there are lovely lasses wandering about everywhere - but this was quite a lovely lass. So, ever the charming goofball, I smiled. She smiled back. It was as far beyond my smile as the summer sun is beyond a match in the wind. But hey, strike another match, right? Smiled back, sort of abashed, but still smiled.
So this goes on for a minute or two, until the bus reaches her stop. She gets up, crosses over to me before getting off - leans over to whisper in my ear (!!!!)...
"Lose the hat."
Then she was gone forever.
Sunday, May 03, 2009
Yes, that is former Buc coach Jon Gruden in the center of the photo. Last fall it would have cost you $75 to see him coach football, today you can see him coach 12-year-olds for free. And he had that offense cooking. If the Bucs had scored as much as these kids did, Coach Gruden would still be working on Sundays.
Coincidentally, half our church music team is in this picture. Let's make introductions: The laundry bag with legs and the straw hat is me, male melody. The young lady next to me is Sandra, female alto harmony. BTW, Sandra is a real singer; I just pretend to be Steve Walsh. Then Coach Gruden and Tim, the guitar player who was in his own room with headphones.
The youngster in the black shirt is Christian, who played on the opposing team. Christian's mother is taking this photo. I'm sure as soon as Christian's mom sees this she will email me the name of the youngster in the green shirt.
BTW, it was May 2nd and hotter than Gehenna out there.
Saturday, May 02, 2009
The Germans spoke German with English subtitles. I could follow about half of it. One of the Germans said something that was translated by subtitle as "damn".
But it wasn't "damn". It was one of George Carlin's Seven Words, the first one on his list, if you must know. There probably aren't a whole lot of native German speakers in the local viewing area. I may have been the only one who caught it.
Don't get me wrong - I have no plans to call the FCC. I just thought it was curious.
Top Republican officials and lawmakers plan to announce on Thursday a series of town hall-style meetings about their ideas for shaping the country. With the backing of the House and Senate GOP leaders, the new group will operate outside the Republican National Committee and highlight conservative policy ideas and draw contrasts with Democratic President Barack Obama.
This "new group" is full of exciting Republicans with fresh ideas.
Like 72-year-old, just got his butt whipped by Obama John McCain.
Was Arlen Spector on the list till he jumped? Where's Christine Todd Whitman? That trailblazing rock-ribbed conservative Charlie Crist?
Wonder why I'm NPA?