Saturday, February 28, 2009

Howdy! :0)

Sorry I've been away for so long, but as I pointed out on my last post, I've been completely pre-occupied nursing my mom back to health. I'm DELIGHTED to say that she is doing much better, and according to her doctor, she no longer has pneumonia. What does lingers is a "wetness" in her lung that we still have to keep an eye on. She also has a nasty cough, but she is not coughing nearly as much as she used to. In any case, I'm making her some more chicken soup tonight and I'm going to insist that she do her lung treatment using her nebulizer. Thank you for being so kind and keeping her in your prayers. The only thing I ask is that you continue to pray for her complete recovery.


On an even more positive note, it's LENT! Nature seems poised for a glorious and unique transformation. I'm so saddened by the fact I could not post on Ash Wednesday. But considering all the things that have been transpiring, it was simply impossible to do so. To all of you and your families, I wish and pray for a reflective and prayerful Lent season. May you know and find Christ more deeply and fully.



Father,
through our observance of Lent,
help us to understand the meaning
of Your Son's death and resurrection,
and teach us to reflect it in our lives.
Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son.
who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever


Auntie A, I have not forgotten about the pictures.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Prayer Request

Dear friends, please keep my mom Isabel in your prayers. After catching my cold last week, I feared she might develop pneumonia as she once did on a previous occasion. Well, today, to the sound of her complaining and insistence that she was okay, I took her to see a doctor and guess what he said? She has pneumonia. He has put her on a strong anti-biotic for the next five days. He said this medication should do the trick (from his mouth to God's ears).

Say a prayer for her if you get a chance. Thank you and God bless you.

Addendum:
My friends, on behalf of myself and my mom, I would like to thank all of you from the bottom of my heart for your prayers and for your thoughts (especially Auntie A).

Mom ate tonight some chicken soup that I made for her and drank plenty of fluids, just as the doctor instructed. She still has the occasional shortness of breath, but I believe this is normal due to her condition. She does have an inhaler to assist her with those episodes (please tell me if I'm wrong in thinking her shortness of breath is, for now, normal). She has an appointment this Thursday with her doctor to re-evaluate her condition. Please continue to keep her in your prayers.

Again, THANK YOU for your kind gestures and for your prayers..

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Pelosi and the Pope

Whited sepulcher Nancy Palosi met with Pope Benedict today in Rome for a meeting that was unusually private. During their behind closed door conference, Pope Benedict reportedly emphasized the duty of Catholic politicians to protect and uphold the dignity of human life from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death. No photos were taken of the meeting, and the Vatican did not elaborate on other topics that may have been discussed. Pelosi's camp issued the following statement:

"In our conversation, I had the opportunity to praise the Church's leadership in fighting poverty, hunger and global warming, as well as the Holy Father's dedication to religious freedom and his upcoming trip and message to Israel. I was proud to show His Holiness a photograph of my family's papal visit in the 1950s, as well as a recent picture of our children and grandchildren."

Is that not the most adorable thing you've ever heard?? Oh, Nancy, you make me proud to be Catholic!

Now can someone please tell this insufferable Jezebel to cease and desist attempting to theologically justify the destruction of unborn human life? It's bad enough that this politically savvy charlatan secularly endorses this type of procedure, but it's inexcusable to use a tradition that stands for LIFE as an apologia for this terrible inequity.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

If you have the time

...take a listen to Part's beautiful Salve Regina (turn your volume up for this one).

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Unnerved Flier

Are any of you nervous about flying? The tragic events of Continental Airlines Flight 3407 brings this question to mind. I will admit to you that when it comes to flying, I make the Cowardly Lion look like an adrenaline junkie. And despite the fact that I've flown on many occasions, the mere sight of an airplane taking off makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Here in Las Vegas, the airport is less than one mile from the Las Vegas Strip. As a matter of fact, you can literally cross the street from the MGM Grand Hotel and stand on grounds that belong to McCarran International Airport.

I haven't flown for a while, but I can tell you that nowhere but on an airplane do I pray Rosary after Rosary until I feel the landing gears of that airplane touch the earth. And before take-off, I look out the window to make sure the flaps are down (years ago a plane crashed after take-off when the pilots failed to put the flaps down). So, when it comes to flying, are any of you as terror-stricken as I am? I almost find my condition comical. Sports commentator John Madden will not fly, and there are no "if's", "and's", or "but's" about it. The man will not set foot inside an airplane even if a game is taking place in Hawaii.

Part of what makes me nervous about flying is that I don't think many airlines take the necessary safety measures to ensure that the aircrafts they operate are optimally safe. Many use the cost-to-benefit ratio to implement safety measures recommended by the NTSB. For example, the NTSB might recommend rewiring a specific type of aircraft because it concluded - after an accident investigation - that faulty wiring contributed to a crash. The airline companies then look at the cost of rewiring their airplanes, which might be 10 million dollars per plane, and decide that it's cheaper to settle with the families of the deceased (it's usually 2 million per victim)) than to refit their entire fleet with new wires. Having said that, watching this video should put into perspective just how safe flying really is. No matter how you may dislike the process of taking to the skies, the numbers don't lie.






The Airbus 380 - Europe's most recent contribution to the fleet of commercial airliners - carries over five hundred human beings inside its fuselage. Can you imagine an accident involving something so massive? God forbid.

Yes, I'm acutely aware of the fact that when it's your time to go it's your time to go. But what a horrific way to exit.





Pray for the victims of Continental Airlines Flight 3407 and their families.

Reminder


Just eleven days away!








Disturbing

I suppose the only positive notice I can mention involving this story is that the baby was not destroyed before it was born. That would have been punishing the infant for the failure of MANY people involved - or perhaps uninvolved - in the lives of these children.

VERY disturbing.





On a more positive note, Auntie A and her lovely little four-legged companions (Elle, Sophie, Angela and Erica) sent Toby a Valentines day package with some yummy treats. I want to take a few pictures of hyper-Toby next to his treats, but I'm in the process of fighting a real nasty cold (I missed school this morning as a result). Toby is VERY difficult to photograph, as some of you might imagine, and he goes after anyone and anything that gets his attention. In a few days I should be feeling better to take on the task of photographing this little puff of smoke, after which I will post the pics. Thank Auntie A!

This is Toby's first Valentines and he's already got the girls clamoring for him. Lucky dog:0)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentines Day: The Love Songs

A list of diverse, whimsical, and serious love songs, celebrating the bliss of love as well as the pangs of love, but in no particular order. Enjoy:

1) "My Funny Valentine" - Chet Baker









My Funny Valentine (Remastered 04) (2004 Digital Remaster) - Chet Baker


2) "What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life" - Dusty Springsfield.
Originally from the 1969 film The Happy Ending, this song has been performed by countless numbers of artists around the world, some of which have managed to destroy it completely. Dusty to the rescue! Her version, and that of Alison Moyet, are the two best vocal versions I know. Pat Martino and Bill Evans - the best instrumental renditions.









What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life? - Dusty Springfield



3) No introduction needed here.





4) "I Love You" - Climax Blues Band
I love this song:0)









I Love You - Climax Blues Band



5) "She's Always a Woman" - Billy Joel
This is one of Joel's best compositions. Even my old piano teacher praised him for putting more thought (more than just three cords) into his music.





6) Many people don't like this song. But I, being a huge Bee Gees fan, think it's one of their best.









Baby As You Turn Away - Bee Gees



7) "Did You Call Me" - John Barry. This very talented composer has a knack for creating intensely melodic compositions. Listen to the sax in this song from the film The Specialist. Instead of the film it was written for, it will remind you of some romance in a film noir from the 1940's involving a shady detective wearing a fedora hat and a gray raincoat.





8) "Historia de Un Amor" - Yes, Latin romance does have a spot on this list. Eydie Gorme with Los Tres Panchos.
I love the rhythm of this song. Listen to how it changes when the chorus swings around.




9) And finally, a newbie...of a sort:
"Kissing" - Bliss
I heard this one (I think) on the radio some time last year. It's got this mellow, echoey feel to it. Unfortunately, this group, whose music I had never heard of before, was commandeered by the soundtrack of the Sex and the City chick-flick.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Sappy Post

"The dullest of us knows how memory can transfigure; how often some momentary glimpse of beauty in boyhood is a whisper which memory will warehouse as a shout." ~ C.S.Lewis

I'm not exactly sure why, but I've always regarded the nineteen sixties and seventies as simpler, happier periods than the present times in which we live. I'm completely aware of the societal and political turmoils that gripped this nation as well as the world during those times, and of the unspeakable pogroms against humanity that transpired at the hands of barbaric and dictatorial regimes. Suffice it to say, you'd have to be a fool to believe that the sixties and the seventies were Utopian times. Nevertheless, the noticeable simplicity of those decades (not everything in those days was bad) is something I find difficult to ignore. No e-mail, no September 11th terrorist attacks, no cameras watching your every move, greater accessibility to one another, and an elusive innocence that since then has dissipated. As the quote above implies, in retrospect, the most insignificant recollection of your past is amplified and idolized by memory, despite the fact that those same reminiscences may have been insignificant and mundane as you lived them.

The image below is that of famed Powell Street in San Francisco, California. Click on it (it should expand) and take note of how sunny the day is in this image and what the people in it are wearing; observe their hairstyles. Study the vehicles that clutter the streets and the building facades as they appear in the photo. For me, this image evokes that 60's/ 70's, uncomplicated way of life. Would it be naive of me to assume that crime in those days, despite the fact that it existed, was not as pervasive and as violent as it is today? I truly long for the simplicity and un-technological life of those times, despite the fact the I presently use technology to improve (and complicate) my day-to-day life.





To accentuate the nostalgic component of this post, I'm going to throw in some music from the 60's era, but not the song you might think. Instead of playing "I Left My Heart in San Francisco", I'm going to use a song by the same man who made "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" famous, but is infused with a breadth that will encompass more than just one place: "Once Upon a Time."



I'd like to know if any of you suffer from that earthly desire to go back to a period of your life that may have seem inconsequential at the time, but now long for. It doesn't have to be the sixties or seventies.

I should also mention that I was not born in the sixties but the early seventies.

Photo credit.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Picture Meme

Katie from KatieAlender.com has tagged me with the picture meme. Here are the directions sweet and simple: go to your photo files and find the fourth photo from the fourth folder and then post it. Well, I wanted to cheat a little on this meme when I thought...okay, I'll cheat a little! The fourth picture of the fourth folder in my photo files is that of the Critter, and I'd just be depressing the heck out of myself if I post it and then had to write about it (I hope this doesn't sound mean). So, in order to keep this post cheery and fun, I've decided to post a picture of my little daemon, Toby.

This little face has the trace of a smirk. This smirk - which he wears perpetually - implies he just tried doing something bad and almost got away with it. This devilish grin he wears means "I'm going to try again when your not looking."

He's a bundle of energy and we love him very much. But this puppy's got fangs (literally)!

I tag the following people/ animal lovers who are nifty with a camera:

1) Kris from Tell Her This

2) Auntie A from Adrienne's Catholic Corner

3) Shirley from Ride a Good Horse

4) Chris (who has a cute little boy and a cute little girl she always blogs about) from Chris and Co.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Naomi Wolf

Naomi Wolf is one of the most widely read feminist in America right now, and has gained notoriety overseas with her many books, the first of which was published in 1990 entitled The Beauty Myth. She has had subsequent books since then: Promiscuities (1998); Misconceptions (2001); and more recently The End of America (2007).

From what I've read, Wolf thinks of herself as a liberal feminist as apposed to the more traditional radical feminist. But whatever the difference between those two lexicons, I think it's fair to conclude that there is a misguided militancy to her political activism and as well as to her social views, which ultimately negates her message and makes her appear as a frenetic extremist. In the following short video, Wolf discusses her book The End of America, in which she compares President Bush to Hitler and Stalin, and also formulates a list of ten indications why democracy in this country is defunct.

Naomi Wolf is indeed attractive, which makes her an ironic symbol for a societal tenet that most feminists will agree with: looks do not constitute truth.

Years ago Naomi spoke about a mystical experience in which she met Jesus in the body of a little boy. But that's for another post.