Thursday, July 31, 2008

Post #200 - In Memoriam

Sadness has descended upon the Brookdwellers...

...our "otherwise feral cockatiel," Andy - named for his ability to sing the song (and only that song) when we rescued him from the bird pound in San Diego 5 years ago - has taken wing to the Mayberry of Eternity. The Beloved found him in his little house, resting gently. We buried him out back with a millet spray in a nice shoebox, just out of reach of my wonderful cat, Payton (Chicago girl that I am) who died on my 37th birthday.

Then we went inside and had chicken for dinner.

(Hey - had I known in time, we'd've ordered pizza!)

RIP, Andy. You were a funny, friendly, and all-around excellent bird.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Ten Things I'd Like to See in Action: A Meme

Courtesy of MSgt. Cavey....

1. His Excellency Erik Richtsteig, Bishop of Rochester (Sorry Tara, but don't be greedy!)

2. Digi, arguing a career-making case in the Riverside County Courthouse, taking a dramatic pause, looking Heavenward for inspiration...and cracking up because of something she sees hanging from the ceiling. (Long story...)

3. Dinnertime at Jackie's...or better yet, the Parkes home!

4. A wedding photo of Kasia & The Canuck

5. Karen, at the investiture - oops - installment of Father Joan in Rochester. ("Go ahead. Make my day!")

6. A serious, knock-down, drag-out catfight between Condi Rice and Michelle Obama. Intellectually and physically, Condi SO wins!(Vincenzo, I rely on you to make this virtually happen!)

UPDATE: The prompt, talented, and ever-intrepid Vincenzo comes through!!!

7. The Beloved, holding that long-promised 9-figure winning Powerball ticket in his hand

8. Me, looking down at my hospital wristband and the matching one on the sleeping newborn in my arms, sometime in 2009. (Prayers for that one, far, not so good!)

9. The downfall of OPEC

10. The return, open practice, and "coolness" of traditional Christian morality - and hence, the restoration of the traditional led by real, MANLY men - in American culture

AND....I have one more:

11. The return of Ma Beck to her blog! (We miss you!!!)

All are encouraged to participate, but those linked by my wretched attempts at humor, you're TAGGED!

Here we go again.

"Father" Joan, she of the Nativity scene t-shirt proclaiming "it's a girl" and the female-Corpus bearing crucifix, longtime trad-busting favorite of Bishop Clark, is making it known who's in charge at St. Anne's in Rochester:

Mark your calendar for September 14
[Read: "All Hail Father Joan!"]

On Sunday September 14, Bishop
Clark will come to our cluster to pray with
us as we move into this still-new way of
["Being" what? Schismatic? Heretical? Or just plain WRONG?]
and to install me officially as the
pastoral leader
of the cluster.
[Emphasis/inflation added, as if she needs it - and just what the hell is a "pastoral leader" anyway?]
Since January 2008-even before
we knew who our pastoral leader would be,
[oh, methinks SOMEONE knew very well...]
a joint sub-committee of our councils
already began its work. When you see
them, please say thank you to...
[names omitted - forgive them, Father, for they know not what they do.]
Father Leone [the cluster's ordained "other"/male priest, now relegated to the position of "sacramental minister"]
sat on the committee early on. Later, I replaced him.
[LOL!!! Of course you did, dear...of course you did....].
I especially love the suggestion at the end...

Your ideas for developing our parishes even more deeply as true communities are welcome! [so long as they don't conflict with your agenda, of course!]
Here's mine: why don't you cut short your ego trip and not BURY these parishes even more deeply than you already have just by showing up?
Think I'm overreacting or being mean? Read this. (H/T: Dr. K.)
The profundity of my disgust ever deepens.
Once again, Rich at Ten Reasons lifts the ROCk so we can see all the squirmy things beneath...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bella on DVD

We unwrapped the dvd and popped it in the blu-ray...and lo and behold, at the very BEGINNING, prior to the gratuitous previews, there was a disclaimer indicating something to the effect that the director/actor commentary "expresses views not shared by Lionsgate Films" I have not had a chance to watch the film with the commentary on, but I am guessing the "views" in question have something to do with the director and lead actor's Catholicity and ardently proclaimed pro-life leanings. Anyone had a chance to check this out? I'll report back over the weekend.

Monday, July 28, 2008

My Precious Pearl...

...broke his perfect Mass behavior record today. Before I knew it, he lunged from my arms to the front pew, hopped off, and stormed the dais/altar, heading straight for the new priest, brandishing a baby hairbrush that he'd swiped from the diaper bag. I was in hot pursuit, of course, but those little legs were flying.

Fr. Newbie went all pink and actually had to cover his mouth to hide his smile, and people behind us were snickering as I swooped him up, did a horrified little bow, and headed back to the 2nd row. This did not go over well with the Boy, who was quite vociferous about it, so the Beloved did the emergency narthex evac maneuver...the shouts of rage and "Mammmmaaaaaaa!!!" echoed behind them. The girls were giggling, I just closed my eyes and thanked God and all of the saints who heard my prayers and helped send him to us.

At the sign of peace, Fr. came right down to us and told us we had a beautiful family. I apologized for the near-invasion, and he laughed and said "I wish everyone was that eager to visit our Lord!" (He did not say "to visit me.")

The Tabernacle, you see, is golden, gleaming, beautifully adorned with fresh flowers, and is high up and centrally located for all to see at the good ol' Irish church we went to for the regional "Cinders" Mass this afternoon.

I'm just sayin'.

Thank you, dear Lord, thank you Holy Family, Ss. Catherine, Jude, Gerard, Therese, James & Brendan, for prayers answered in sending the Boy, his sisters, and my Beloved to be my pearls beyond price here on Earth.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Eucharistic Marginalization

"They have taken away the Lord and we do not know where they have put Him."
- St. Mary Magdalen, Easter Morning
-Parishioners entering a Catholic Church in the Diocese of Rochester on any given Sunday

Tabernacle? What tabernacle? Check out the See of Rochester, as destroyed by Bishop Clark.

(Actually, it's more of a "miasma...")

Once again, H/T to Rich at Ten Reasons - well spotted!

UPDATE: Another H/T, this time to Dr.K, for providing this link to the DOR's website. Interesting. And very telling.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A worthy cause

One of the Beloved's favorite recruits from his USMC Recruiter days (now an E-7) has a young son diagnosed with CHARGE Syndrome. Here's an informational video about CHARGE from their Foundation Website, which has pictures of their son...and a paypal button if you can spare a few bucks.


Once a Marine, always a Marine.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Sickening. Just sickening.

I don't listen to Michael Savage (real last name = Wiener), so I didn't hear him accuse autistic children of being nothing more than brats and their parents for raising them to be "putzes" and "whiners." Chances are you know or know of a family challenged by autism/Asperger's Syndrome. Like me, and my academically brilliant yet socially petrified 10-year-old. Or my friend M and her 16 year old son C, who is afflicted with CP, autism, and a metabolic disorder that requires use of a permanent feeding tube and puree-ing of any food he can ingest orally. He attends school with a 1:1 aide. C will be institutionalized when she and her husband can no longer care for him. My daughter is planning ahead, looking at college catalogues and reading science and anatomy books this summer because she wants to become a midwife so she can "help moms and snuggle newborn babies" for the rest of her life. There's an ocean-wide spectrum in between these two kids, and I thank God every day for the side we're on. I've met and communed with many parents on both legal and personal issues related to this neurological disorder, but have yet to meet a "brat" among their children. So, friends, I ask you to at least consider the following:

Please do not justify this man's commercial existence by listening to him or supporting his sponsors.

One Word Meme

Just as I'm shutting down for the night...figgered I better do this before there's no one left to tag (thanks for that, Stephanie!) ;-)

I have faithfully answered all with one word, then added the appropriate disclaimers afterwards. (!)

1. Where is your cell phone? (Dunno...) [purse or car?]

2. Your significant other? Beloved!

3. Your hair? Unkempt [it's bedtime]

4. Your mother? Maddening [among other things]

5. Your father? Saddening [it rhymed!]

6. Your favorite things? Family [not fair to say "thingS" in a one-word meme, duh!]

7. Your dream last night? Sunburn [Jack the Cat must've stepped on the electric blanket controller thingie under the bed - yuck!]

8. Your favorite drink? Yes.

9. Your dream/goal? Uberwealth

10. The room you’re in? Bed.

11. Your church? Where?!? [Still looking...]

12. Your fear? Regicide. [We are masters of our own benevolent dictatorship here, and I am the Queen. But seriously, RIP, Romanovs]

13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Home [wherever that may be]

14. Where were you last night? North [Renaissance Festival]

15. What you’re not? Satisfied

16. Muffins? Carbohydrates. [Damned diet!]

17. One of your wish list items? Villa [several potential locales...]

18. Where you grew up? Suburbs

19. The last thing you did? Ablutions

20. What are you wearing? Jammies

21. Your TV? As-yet-unmounted

22. Your pets? Numerous

23. Your computer? Annoying [laptop battery gets too hot]

24. Your life? WIP [work-in-progress]

25. Your mood? Contemplative

26. Missing someone? Depends [My late grandma, as she was until about age 85 and could still play cards for hours; dad...]

27. Your car? Volvo

28. Something you’re not wearing? Prada

29. Favorite store? Amazon [has darn near everything!]

30. Your Summer? Abbreviated [too many snow days for the kids]

31. Like (love) someone? 'Course...

32. Your favorite color? Red

33. Last time you laughed? Orthometer [I've laughed many times since then, but the best was reading of Fr.'s Exorcist ringtone today - LMAO!]

34. Last time you cried? Today [listening to 911 call by the grandma of one of little girls murdered in OK after she found them shot to death in a ditch - sheer horror]

35. Who will re-post this? Jackie [if she ever returns from Monte Carlo]

Monday, July 21, 2008

Deep thoughts from the weekend

I don't think I've ever had occasion to quote myself before, but in response to the three new priestesses from Boston, being asked if I've ever had an unholy urge to go kick someone's ass, and comforting the Princess, (who remains ostracized by her little clique of 14 year old idiot female classmates for being honest in the face of interrogation about the others bullying someone) about doing the right thing, I said almost exactly the same thing:

We are called to be instruments of the Lord. Some prefer harps. Me, I'm the sharp sword or heavy blunt object sort.
Yep, that pretty much sums it up.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Woo hoo!

'Memba the brief and hearing stress? Got word from the office workaholic (clearly not me, btw) that the decision came in the weekend mail.

We won!

Thank you to all the saints I whined to and to all of you out there for your support and encouragement.

I always say "work is a 4-letter word" - today, it's "WHEW!"

Saturday, July 19, 2008

WYD watching

Like it - or not, depending on the reader - I love watching our dear Papa in action.

I have admitted way more than once here that I am a total sap, but I must know - am I the only one who tears up watching people kneel to receive his blessing?
A young Australian nun gave an address to Papa Bene at the St. Mary's altar dedication Mass today, the ending of it in German (which he appeared to appreciate) and afterwards knelt before him. She was radiant, not weepy - I was sniffling and wiping like an idiot. I'd be a blubbering fool if I ever had the opportunity to do that in person!
I don't really have much of an opinion one way or the other about WYD, other than to say if it generates even a handful of conversions - or vocations - then I'm all for it, Woodstock-y carnival atmosphere or not.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Heroes do cool stuff... this - matching autistic kids with service dogs is "magic" - especially when you're coping with life-altering challenges yourself. Awesome.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


UPDATE - Based on the poll results as well as my own laziness (slept in after a long night with the baby), I did not go to Pittsford...we went to an arts festival in Corning instead, followed by a long afternoon drive past Mt. Saviour Monastery and on through the hills of southern Steuben/Chemung counties. Got to eat some seriously yummy Indian food (makani chicken and nan....yummy!) at the arts festival. A good day.

Should I go to Pittsford and listen to Charles Curran or not?

(Vote in poll - see sidebar!)

Monday, July 14, 2008

Another day, another outrage

More ridiculousness in the DOR. This parish is inviting a loud, proud dissenter priest, Charles Curran, to give a presentation on "social teachings." He was banned by the Vatican, courtesy of then-Cdl. Ratzinger, from teaching Catholic Theology. He was fired by Catholic University, and unsuccessfully sued the school for discrimination and wrongful termination. He has publicly stated his opinions on such things as the Real Presence being a "medieval" superstitious belief, he denies the Ascension, and supports gay marriage, abortion, and artificial birth control, among other things. He now teaches something called "Perspectives in Catholic Moral Theology" at SMU, where he is a "Professor of Human Values." He wears a suit and tie.

While it is VERY unlike me to cold-cock someone via email, I've written to the pastor, stated my concerns in that "way" I have when I'm politely annoyed, and asked him to reconsider, and got the following response:

Dear K[it],

Fr. Curran is visiting Transfiguration Parish as part of our 25th Anniversary year of celebration and at the invitation our Peace and JusticeCoordinating Committee to address the Social Teachings of our Church; this invitation was extended with my support.

As you may know Fr. Curran is recognized as one of the leading theologians in our Church relative to our Social Teachings. As you may or may not know Fr. Curran is a priest in good standing in ourUniversal Church and our local Church of Rochester.

You are correct in the fact that he, at this time, does not have theVatican permission to teach at any approved Catholic college or university.

Thank you for your interest in this matter. Enjoy life and let us continue to pray for peace in 2008!

In peace and courage,

Fr. Mike [Bausch]

Office:Church of the Transfiguration
50 West Bloomfield Road
Pittsford, NY 14534-9733

[NB: I chose red font to honor the blood of the martyred St. John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester (England) - someone has to!]

I wrote back and asked who within the Church recognizes this man as any sort of authority or "leading theologian" on "our" Social Teachings, among other things, and asked him again to reconsider exposing his parishioners, (most of whom are probably very poorly catechised and will not recognize this man's heresy for what it is), to this crap.

On the contrary, someone who purports to stand in persona Christi, yet spouts his own feel-good, culture of death-friendly views on "our" social teachings will probably receive raves from the audience. I'd imagine it'll go something like this: "Okay [this] is what the Church teaches. This is why, in our day and age, the Church is wrong." That's his "perspective" from what I have read about him and how he teaches.

So in my first email, I asked Fr. Bausch if he would have an orthodox priest give a follow-up presentation - no response - so I asked again if he would at least properly disclose Charles Curran's status as a banned "theologian" when introducing him to the parishioners. I doubt I will hear back on that point, but I'll update as warranted.

Need I say it again? Spiritually speaking, I hate it here.

H/T to Rich at Ten Reasons for bringing this mess to our attention.

P.S. I did NOT link to any Curran bio or other info because I don't want to link to a heretic from this blog - feel free to Google him, though, if you'd like to see what I'm so annoyed about.

Was There Any Doubt?

(Quiz at sidebar...I got one wrong, but hey - I grew up in the Northwest suburbs!)

RIP Olive Riley!

The world's oldest blogger has passed away at age 108.
Take a few moments to peruse her blogs about growing up in turn-of-the century Australia. What a lovely glimpse into a world that's passed us by.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Rainy Sunday Randomness

I admit it: where computers are concerned, I'm pretty much hopeless when it comes to much more than basic word processing and minor photo-fixing (red eye reduction, etc. ) despite all the easy programs for such things.

It really is a pity, as I've gotten all sorts of interesting video moments courtesy of Digi's fabulous recommendation of the Flip Mino, but because I lack talent, and as I've pledged not to put the older ones' faces on the blog (and soon will not post any more baby pics) for purposes of their privacy and safety, here's a quick look at our gorgeous local scenery, just a few minutes away from our summer retreat spot on Seneca Lake.

And a shamelessly adorable shot of the Boy enjoying the best of the lake breeze:

[removed by request of family-sorry!]

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Tony will be missed!

Tony Snow - a true class act - has passed away after a fierce battle with cancer - full story here. I've been a fan for years. Requiescat in Pace, Tony, and thanks for bringing intelligence, grace, and good humor to the political discourse.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Saying Grace

The Boy is getting too big, way too fast. He just had his first haricut. (WAAAAHHHHH!!!) All those cute little curls...gone.

This is his new "manly" look:
[pic removed by family request - sorry!]

Lest you think he is on his way to the cover of Tiger [Cub] Beat, he was really just annoyed that we wouldn't let him grab and smash Daddy's expensive digital camera into a zillion little pieces.

He still does not have much to say beyond Mamma, Dadda, babba, and Mmmmm!, but he makes a lot of interesting sounds (clicks, screeches, hoots, razzies) that definitely have individualized meanings. ("Eee! Eee!" = "cat"...or, perhaps more mercifully, "Run, Jack, run!") We think maybe he was mistakenly sent to us instead of to some indigenous or aboriginal tribe, what with his penchant for making strange noises and marked preference for nudity/streaking.

Anyway, one thing that always cracks us up is dinnertime, and saying grace. Apparently he thinks that we gather around the table each evening to adore him, because before we get to "Mmmmm!" [food], we all put our hands together for some strange reason. Which means we must all be ready to applaud him. The second we're all sitting down, he grins from ear to ear, slaps himself on the forehead [sign of the cross] and starts clapping ["AAAAyyyyyy!"] waits for us to stop saying whatever it is he thinks we're saying, slaps his head again, and we get the big finish...."AAAAAYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!" we all are cracking up and clapping by this time, and when we're done... "Mmmmmmm!!!" and the lunging toward the table begins.

I think about the next 18-plus years of doing this each night....and that it will likely end up just being the three of us once the girls are off to college and beyond (only 4 years 'til the first does that happen?). So of course I thought of this:

Despite my ongoing efforts to the contrary, I may not be able to resist the waistline in the end, but I will NEVAH give in to the snow on the roof, thanks to my trusty hairdresser and his arsenal of Redken products. And the Beloved may end up with a cane, but he has a much cuter and smaller little snout. (See Boy, above - spittin' image!)

I know I'm a sap, but I love Norman Rockwell paintings.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Imagine if your Chapter of Faults took place on national television...

BO: "'d those get in there?!?"
JJ: "Oops, must've dropped my butter knife"

(P.S. Don't worry, Fr. Erik - they had a lot of us fooled!)

Monday, July 7, 2008

WHY do our own people ...

...DO things like this?

Presumably, this young Catholic man was poorly catechized such that he did not realize the gravity of what he did, and I suppose that this incident - and all those spiritual warriors who wrote to him and even pondered the use of force - taught him in a very personal way what the Blessed Sacrament really that's good, I suppose.

But still.....

Friday, July 4, 2008

The Antidote to Liturgical Madness

If Cardinal Arinze had a fan club, I'd be a dues-paying member. Thank God for the Irish missionaries responsible for the conversion of Nigeria back in the 1800's...

"In Europe and North should not enter the liturgy at all. People who are discussing liturgical dance should spend that time praying the Rosary."

Brilliant! LOL!!!

Have a Safe & Happy 4th of July!

Whatever your favorite American pastime....

(Best fireworks ever = Disneyland) pie

Baseball - GO CUBS GO!!!

Just remember it all started with this:

And the freedom it envisioned for us has been protected, upheld, and vigorously defended by the loyalty, bravery, and sacrifice of Americans like these for 232 years.
Tun Tavern, Philadelphia, PA - Birthplace of the United States Marine Corps - 1775

U.S. Marines - 1861

U.S. Marines in WWI - 1917

Native American lady Marines - aren't they gorgeous? - Minnie Spotted Wolf (Blackfoot), Celia Mix (Potawatomi), and Viola Eastman (Chippewa). U.S. Marine Corps photograph, Camp Lejeune, October 16, 1943

S-U-R-I-B-A-C-H-I .... the Marines take Iwo Jima in WWII

"The Grunt Padre" - Ven. Fr. Vincent Capodanno, Congressional Medal Of Honor winner who sacrificed his life to comfort a dying Marine, saying Mass with the Marines in Vietnam - 1967

Our brave Marines currently serving in Iraq - 2008

A living legend: Sgt. Henry Baul, USMC - one of the very first black USMC enlistees in 1942, honored for his service in May, 2008. "There is only one color of a Marine. GREEN."

2-29-08: this young Marine, grievously injured in Iraq, models the new USMC running ("PT") suits with his fellow Marines. His expression both warms and breaks my heart.

A quote to ponder...:

The essential American soul is hard, isolate, stoic, and a killer. It has never yet melted. — D.H. Lawrence

...and a truism:

Freedom has never been "free"

Arlington National Cemetery - built adjacent to the home of Confederate General Robert E. Lee after the Civil War - and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

So please take a quiet moment away from the fun today and remember to hold our country and its freedom-keepers close in your thoughts and prayers.


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Vineferous pleasures I recommend...

...Louis Jadot Pouilly-Fuisse to calm the hearing post-mortem jitters and to start off your holiday weekend.

My first bottle was given to me by Jerry Lewis - a lifelong friend of one of my best pals in San Diego was/is his yacht captain, so it was a lovely little gift after a chance encounter at Seaport Village one gorgeous late summer day. (The yacht, incidentally, is called "Sam's Place" in honor of Sammy Davis, Jr.)

And now you know why no one will play Trivial Pursuit against me.

Anyway, the Beaujolais is also quite nice.

Another "fun" Facebook feature

Identity cloning - read the story here. Have fun explaining THAT to your boss.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Hearing

7-3-08 hearing update: I think I may have saved it. The ALJ was very good to us, made some favorable comments, was very solicitous with the client, and gave me several cues to aid my argument. Keep praying, friends!

Time to say "screw South Beach!" again and head for the wine rack...

Tomorrow morning is the hearing where I invoke the legal gods, break out the tap shoes, and hopefully find out if I have saved a disabled person's claim from the former attorney's clerical/staff mistake. I have no personal stake in it other than my bleeding heart and blistered fingertips, but it's one that's really been bothering me for the past few months. Because a client could be hurt and a highly-respected attorney hit for someone else's stupid error, I am agonizing over it.

It would be so nice if good things would happen to good people for a change...

Please keep "J." in your prayers!

St. Dymphna, please pray for J.! Ss. Thomas More, Turibius, John of Avila...all you lawyery saints...pray for me, that the Good Lord will give me strength of heart, a steady hand, and a clear voice!

If there were a Patron Saint for Insomnia, I'd invoke him/her too - no way will I be sleeping tonight. Maybe the Incorruptibles would do? (Hee!)

Oh well...I'll settle for St. Vitus for not OVERsleeping and missing the hearing, I guess.


Maybe, just maybe, legislators in the state of Vermont will pull their liberal heads out of their child predator-friendly a$$es and enact some serious sex offender statutes, a la Jessica's Law. This DEAD young girl certainly deserves justice, and of course prayers for the repose of her soul.

Add another death to the MySpace body count.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Mean wife moment

Ok, I know I'm bad...but the poor beleaguered beloved just got home from a day of security and fire training, sits down on the couch and stretches back with a huge sigh...and Jack the Cat chose that precise moment to jump into his lap for some dude time. Like a 12 lb bowling ball to the unprotected belly and manly bits. The sound of pain and all the air rushing out of his lungs - it was too much.

All three females are howling like hyenas, weak and weeping with laughter, the baby catches on and starts giggling, which makes the Beloved gather up what's left of his dignity and hobble to the kitchen for a drink, and perhaps a cold compress, grumbling about his "mean wife" and offspring. He had a little smirk going on, but still...

The cat, still not sure what our human issues are, is somewhere hiding on the third floor. ("Dude, all I wanted was a little ear and belly need to freak out on me!")

It's like any given "Funniest Home Videos" moment. What is it about seeing such things that makes us laugh like that?

(My tummy still hurts!)

Guilt by chocolate

I have sinned against South Beach. I ate part of a large Special Dark bar last night. It was good. I'd do it again. Who are we kidding...I will do it again. There's a few big squares left.

Just thought I'd share.

The info. Not the chocolate.