Thursday, April 29, 2010

Two Different Days

Yesterday brought gray skies, cool winds and showers.
It was all good.

Stanley Brook flowing into Seal Harbor at low tide

Mussel shell in the sand of Seal Harbor Beach

Two Laughing Gulls and an immature Herring Gull at Seal Harbor

Today brought blue skies and blustery winds with an icy nip in them.
It was still all good.

The Bass Harbor Head Light

The Bass Harbor Head Light from its most iconic vantage point

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tide Pools

While we were over on the Schoodic Peninsula section of Acadia yesterday, we found many tide pools of various depths and sizes. We happened to be there near low tide when these exquisite worlds are revealed.

Schoodic Peninsula

One of the deeper tide pools

Practically a monoculture pool

Looking back up toward the high water line and the treeline

A very shallow and colorful pool

Close up of the plant life under the water

Close up of periwinkles under the water

Monday, April 26, 2010

I Am Not A Morning Person

I never have been a morning person. I have lots of family members who bounce out of bed at the crack of dawn and hit the ground running. I did not inherit that gene. Nor did I marry someone with that sort of nature. To the contrary, Chuck is an absolute night owl. But it turns out a lot of interesting and beautiful things happen in the wee hours of the day. I woke up at 5:00 this morning and noticed a warm glow spilling in between the drapes. Curious, I peeked out. Sunrise, I thought. I’ve heard of those. I must have been intoxicated by the salt air or hypnotized by the rosy sky, because I shrugged on a sweatshirt over my nightclothes, picked up the camera and quietly went out on the balcony. The bay was already bustling. Seagulls were flying overhead; crows were squawking. A lobster boat motored by; the men on board shouting their conversation over the pulsing diesel engine. Another hotel guest was out on her balcony, camera in hand.

I stayed outside for about a half an hour. I may have missed the big reveal of the sun climbing up over The Porcupine Islands, but I enjoyed every moment. Perhaps, after half a century, I should reevaluate the whole early morning thing...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Stalker? I Prefer The Term Groupie

When we returned to the hotel, we opened the door to the balcony. You’ll never guess who stopped by a few moments later. Yes! We were inside the room and heard a loud sound. It wasn’t like a crow cawwing. Nor was it like a gull crying. It was a sort of conversational croak. Sure enough, the gull had landed on the balcony railing and was saying hello. As soon as we appeared in the door, he stopped talking. I snapped a few photos from the doorway and decided to venture closer. I sat down in the chair and put my Carriage Road hiked-out weary feet up on the table. He stayed put. I got up from the chair and stood little more than an arm's length away, whereby he allowed me to take the two close up shots. He was so delightfully calm, that we even made two Skype calls: one to my sister Gail in Georgia and the other to our niece Carrie and her husband Al in Rhode Island. By holding the laptop up to face the gull, they were able to share the moment with “Fred” and take in the view as well.

Last One!

Today we hiked the Carriage Road in Acadia which leads to Little Harbor Brook Bridge. Chuck began “bagging” the bridges of Acadia back in 2006. His ever faithful companion - that would be yours truly - has tagged along on each outing. There are seventeen of them in the park, the construction of which was ordered and overseen by John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Today we bagged the last one! It took us about two hours and forty minutes start to finish. As we headed downhill on the way to the bridge, there was a certain amount of anticipatory bemoaning the eventual return uphill. I’m happy to report that, yes, the uphill was tough, but not as bad as I had feared. It absolutely helps to have a camera around one’s neck so that one can pause and say: “Wow, look at that rock-tree-bird-moss-lichen-flower-view-whatever...” which allows one to gracefully catch one’s breath while snapping photographs!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Fabulous Herring Gull Tour of 2010

We went puddling along the Park Loop Road in Acadia today. The weather was perfect: all bright blue skies above deep blue waters. Past Otter Cliffs and the causeway across Otter Cove is Hunter’s Head. It was here a few years ago that I introduced you to Ralph. Today he (O.K. truth be told, I have no idea of the gender!) was waiting for us in the very same spot. As we pulled up, a friend of his joined him - his name escapes me now. And the two settled in comfortably for their photo shoot. I love the polka dot effect they have on what looks like their tail feathers, but are actually their wing tips folded neatly behind them - very snazzy. While I was outside, happily snapping pics, Chuck was in the car, wrestling with an old fashioned paper map, trying to ascertain which islands we could see in the distance (most likely the Cranberry’s).

These gulls are so graceful soaring in flight. They are clever as they drop mollusks from the air onto the rocks below, to shatter the shells and dine on the morsels within. They can be raucous and nearly overwhelming when great numbers of them cry out, seeming to argue together all at once. Yet, they can also be placid, patient, companionable creatures, resting on a slab of pink granite, while that blogger lady from Massachusetts takes her fill of photographs.

Friday, April 23, 2010

We’re Not Alone

So, it’s no longer dark.
It’s the next morning.
But most of the sounds I described last night are still washing over us.
Only the loon is off somewhere else.
And the sounds of people walking, talking and breakfasting have been added to the mix.
We’re sitting out on the balcony, enjoying it all; hard pressed to find the motivation to leave and head into Acadia - when Fred joins us.
Apparently he’s part of the Welcoming Committee or maybe this is “his” balcony.
Either way, he stayed long enough for me to snap a photograph and was so calm and quiet, I had to fight the urge not to try to reach out and pet him.

A nice start to a good day...

Thursday, April 22, 2010


It’s dark.
But there is enough light from the moon to see the silhouettes of the islands in the bay.
I can hear the waves lapping gently against the shoreline.
I can hear a bell buoy ringing.
I can hear a what might be a fog horn far in the distance.
And occasionally, just often enough to lift your spirits, I can hear a loon call.

The air is cool and crisp, even this close to the water.
The temperature is in the 40sF (5C), but I can’t bear to close the door and block out the beautiful sounds.

Yes, we’re back in Maine.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

May I Direct You To...

The cutest cat pictures - ever. A complete peaceable kingdom.

A laugh out loud post on exercise meets strippers. Seriously.

Food and photos to make you, well, drool.

Have a lovely day...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

We Wrestled Another One

This afternoon we finally reviewed and edited the first drafts of our new wills and all the attendant documents. Last week it was the taxes, today the wills. This much fun might just be illegal. Tomorrow we’ll pop the envelope in the mail to our attorney. She’ll faint when she sees it in her inbox. Last time we did this - a decade or so ago - it took us years, literally, to get this far in the process. So two and a half months will leave her floored. Soon she'll make the corrections, answer our last few questions and we’ll be ready to sign.

At that point, alligators be damned!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Survey & Free Digi-Kit

Once again Jessica Sprague, digital scrapbooking teacher extraordinaire, is conducting a digital scrapbooking survey. Whether you can work in Photoshop Elements or Creative Suite with your eyes closed or you have barely put your toe in the digital scrapbooking water, Jessica wants to hear from you.

If you go and answer a 20 question survey, at the end you can download a Free Digital Scrapbooking Mini-Kit (image above). Which is definitely more substantial than the term “mini” implies!

You can click here to take the survey. Then download your kit and start having some digi-scrap fun!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Uh Oh... Nope. False Alarm.

I had a “kiss of death” moment the other day. I thought they had discontinued or (perhaps worse still) reformulated my Noxzema. I think we always had some Noxzema in the house. I remember it being scooped out of a blue jar and slathered on sunburned shoulders in the summertime. When I was a preteen or teenager I began using it as a skin cleanser and a moisturizer. I liked it. I stuck with it. So I’ve been using it in one way or another for nigh on half a century.

Hang on. That concept made me a little woozy...

O.K. Where was I? Right. Noxzema. It actually is one rare example of my trying a new version and liking it. No, really! Back in the late 1980s or early ‘90s they came out with Noxzema pump bottles. It was a more liquid version of the original in the jar. I tried it and found it was a little silkier and more easily absorbed. I didn’t like the price and tried making my own by adding water to some original from the pot. That did not work at all. So I began buying the pump and never looked back.

A few days ago, we were in a store and I headed over to the shelf where my Noxzema normally lives. It wasn’t there. Some other blue containers were there. The labels said Noxzema but they looked completely different. O.K. maybe not completely different. But at the time it felt like they were completely different. Most importantly to me (and this is all about me after all) there was no Noxzema in a pump. We quickly regrouped, went to another store where we found the exact same situation! While Chuck rummaged for some smelling salts, I tried to control the urge to scream.

But on a visit later that evening to the Noxzema website I saw the message “New Look! Same Great Products!” Phew... Of course I won’t breathe a truly deep sigh of relief until I can restock. (I wonder if I should rent a U-Haul truck?) Most importantly, the pump is still featured on the website and it actually looks remarkably unchanged. They probably have no idea how much that means to me.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Red Robin

On our trips to Washington state we discovered the Red Robin restaurants. They began in Seattle during the 1940s. The food was always good; not terribly expensive. The restaurants were clean, bright, with interesting posters, photographs and artwork on the walls. And the staff was unfailingly cheerful. I’ve mentioned in previous posts that the helpfulness of many employees in Washington state initially took us by surprise. So it was easy to assume that the positive vibe we experienced at Red Robin was simply part of the cultural fabric of the Northwest. Then Red Robin opened a restaurant in Millbury and we gave it a whirl. With the exception of the southern New England accents, we could have been back in Greater Seattle!

Last night we stopped at Red Robin on our way home from Rhode Island. Friday night found them busy and bustling. The gal at the desk told us we would have about a twenty minute wait. It turned out to be closer to twenty-five, but that was close enough. While we waited, Chuck and I entertained ourselves by watching the Red Sox game on the television sets and listening to the names of diners being called when their tables were ready. When I was a kid, my Dad always gave our last name to the host. Nowadays, folks tend to give their first name, us included. (The exception would be when we call and make a reservation or use a service like Open Table.) As the names were called out, we began pretending famous people were in the house. We would hear “Taylor, party of two.” and one of us would exclaim “Taylor Swift is here!” We kept this up with rapid conversions from ordinary people to mostly young, hip celebrities including Matt Damon, Lindsay Lohan, Kenny Chesney, Josh Beckett and so on. The one that stumped us was “Julie, party of four.” We wracked our brains for a contemporary celebrity named Julie. Chuck finally offered Julie Harris and I volunteered Julie Andrews. At that point we felt really, really old! But the time sure had flown by!

When we were comfortably seated in a booth, Chuck noticed that the staff had something embroidered on the sleeve of their polo shirts. It read “Honor, Integrity, Continually Seeking Knowledge and Having Fun”. Turns out that’s what Red Robin describes as their core values. No wonder we like Red Robin!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Triple Play

On the way to Rhode Island to see my Mom today, we stopped in Worcester. We did our usual Water Street hat trick: Weintraub’s Delicatessen for corned beef sandwiches and pickles, Widoff’s for some baked goods including a bubke (We say bubke, they say bobke) for my Mom and Tom’s International Deli, this time for cream cheese. We’ve got the Water Street hat trick, or trifecta if you prefer, down to a science. Unfortunately, Tom’s will be moving across Kelley Square next month onto Millbury Street, near the Emerald Isle. They sound very excited about the move and we’re happy for them. But we’re going to have to sharpen our skills to navigate Kelley Square multiple times and keep the one way streets of Harding, Water and Millbury sorted out!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Free Range

I need to preface this post with a disclaimer: I am not a Mom. I have nieces and nephews and love being an Auntie. But I understand clearly that Aunties and Moms are two entirely different roles in life.

O.K. That said, I found this website to be intriguing: Free Range Kids. A phrase has recently entered the lexicon “helicopter parents”. It describes parents who constantly hover around their children. Free Range Kids is a concept formed by Lenore Skenazy in response to overprotecting and over scheduling children. As Ms. Skenazy puts it: “Free-Rangers believe in helmets, car seats, seat belts — safety! We just do NOT believe that every time school age kids go outside, they need a security detail.

I grew up with pretty protective parents. I knew some kids whose parents were truly over-protective. My parents were strict enough that they came in handy if I needed to say “No I can’t go (fill in the blank for do something stupid) with you. You know my parents would kill me!” But even with them being as protective as they were, I spent a great deal of time out in the world, on my own. Before the house across the street was built, I built forts there. There was a school one street over where I sat by myself and wrote my first poem. When I was somewhere between 12 and 14 years old, Dad got me my ten speed bike and I was gone. I would ride from our home in Warwick down to East Greenwich and on to Potowomut. I would visit with friends and we’d ride all over together. But sometimes I’d be by myself. Truth be told, I would often ride my bike down to church, sit in a pew and visit with God, so I wasn’t exactly a hellion! But the point was I was out and about, on my own, with no cell phone, just some coins for a pay phone in case of emergency and a wrist watch. I had to be home on time, so the watch was part of the uniform.

I know there is a perception that the world was a whole lot safer back in the day. I often share that perception. I feel the clutch of fear whenever an Amber Alert goes out. I remember Holly Piranian and Molly Bish. Yet there is still something inside of me that is convinced that the world is, on balance, a pretty safe place. What I gained from being out and about on my own, whether it was a block or two away or several miles, was a great gift. Especially to a shy, sometimes really scared little kid who discovered she possessed more self confidence and a more adventuresome spirit than she thought she had. I wouldn’t want to take that away from any child.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Step By Step

The taxes are done and have been submitted electronically!
Checks (yes, plural) go to the Post Office tomorrow morning.
I guess it doesn’t matter if you fall down just before the finish line and crawl over it or if you fall down just after you cross the finish line. Either way, you’re finished - er... - the task is finished!

10 points to anyone who correctly names the obscure musical reference in this post!

: : Ooops! & a Correction: Chuck and I are both embarrassed. The title of the post should have been “Bit By Bit” not “Step By Step”. Morgan mentioned taxes and violets in her comment. I knew taxes weren’t mentioned in the song. But I wanted to be 100% certain about the violets. So I pulled up our iTunes and hit play. 7 minutes and 18 seconds later we picked our jaws up off the floor! I guess it’s just proof we were both crispy last night!

Monday, April 12, 2010

April 15th Looms

Paper Records. Check.
On Line Records. Check.
Calculator. Check.
Turbo Tax. Check.
Checkbook. (Sigh...) Check.
Tick, Tock, Tick Tock... Yikes!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Long Distance Calling

The highlight of my Sunday afternoon, summarized in two Tweets:

Between Massachusetts, Georgia & HP Tech Support we got my sister's new computer hooked up & running! Psyched!

I'm very happy for her! However, I am envious of her faster processor, larger active memory & One Terabyte(!) hard drive! 1T - Swoon...

There were two landlines, one cell phone, an internet connection and a very nice man named Indra in the mix. But the bottom line is Gail is happy and I had fun helping her, even though I was 1,100 miles away.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Memories & Farewell

It was back in January of 1989. I had flown out to see my sister Karen and her family in California. Our Mom was visiting at the same time. One evening, Karen arranged for all of us to go and watch a taping of the television situation comedy “Designing Women”. It was fascinating to see what goes on between takes and behind the camera. Even though the show broadcast as just a half hour, it took many hours to record. As the evening wore on, some audience members left and some of the seats around us became vacant. That was when Hal Holbrook sat down right next to me. He was married to the star of “Designing Women”, Dixie Carter. I could barely breathe. I was so excited. I stayed calm and cool and managed to exchange some pleasantries with him in between takes. No, I didn’t ask him for his autograph. I was being cool remember? At one point Dixie came up to where Hal was seated. They smiled and chatted. It struck me during that brief exchange that they were completely enchanted with each other. From start to finish it was an exciting and memorable evening.

Tonight I learned that Dixie Carter passed away earlier today. She was just 70 years old. Hal is 85. This May they would have celebrated their 26th wedding anniversary. May Dixie rest in peace. May Hal and their family find comfort and peace.


Take this branch of Forsythia, multiply it times a gabillion. Assemble the newly multiplied branches into enormous, wildly uninhibited, extravagant, exuberant bushes. Place those bushes alongside roads and in the medians of divided highways. Let the heavens open up and send down steady rain all day. Against the gray rain and brown winter landscape the Forsythia becomes luminous. That is what we saw all over Central Massachusetts today.

Can you forgive a blogger who left the house today without her camera?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

What A Difference A Day Makes

Yesterday, I felt as if the world was pressing in on me. I couldn’t define it very well. Part of it was having too long a to do list and feeling as if I was running out of time. But that didn’t explain the sadness or maybe it was anxiety. Usually, I am able to take a few moments, look inside my heart and identify what the heck it is I am feeling. Believe me, Chuck really appreciates when I can do that! It’s much better than pulling a Laura Petrie and crying “Oh Rob...” as I run out of the room! But yesterday, I just had the overpowering urge to hold my hands up, palms out, as if trying to shield myself or ward off that world which felt as if it was closing in.

By the time dinnertime rolled around, I was feeling more normal. Today, I woke feeling much better, perkier - heck, downright chipper. My to do list was still too long, the clock still running too fast, but I just didn’t feel as worried or stressed. Weird. Yesterday was summery hot. Today was pleasantly cool. Could that have been it? Maybe the heat was a factor, but it wouldn’t explain the whole thing. One niggling worry in the back of my mind is, well, er, you know “That Which Shall Not Be Named”. I’ll be turning 52 soon and I hear that emotional ups and downs are part of that whole “transition”.

Nah... I’m going with the heat.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Molto Bene

Trader Joe’s Organic Whole Wheat Penne Pasta is excellent.

It’s the only whole wheat pasta I’ve had which tastes light, flavorful and a little nutty. Most importantly, it is almost indistinguishable from regular pasta and doesn’t feel like you’re chewing roughage. I’ve cooked it several times, serving it hot with various pasta sauces. Tonight, thanks to the heat, I used some leftover to make a pasta salad. Chuck said I could make it all summer. Hot or cold it tastes great.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


Ricë, over at the Voodoo Cafe, was having a notebook giveaway. She asked people to leave a comment and tell her “something about notebooks--what you like, what you don't like, what you remember of your first notebooks, way back in The Day.” It was a nifty notebook, just not my favorite color. But it did get me thinking. I still get that excited, heady feeling when I am in possession of a brand new notebook. That moment just before pen meets paper is so full of possibilities. It never gets old.

I remember when I left parochial school and its attendant uniforms to go off to public school. I was fourteen and a freshman. I suddenly had to figure out what to wear to school - every single day. Daunting! I read magazines, watched T.V. and knew my way around the shopping malls, so I wasn’t clueless. But I was intimidated. So I began keeping a notebook where I listed my “outfits”. It was a spiral bound, single subject, lined notebook. I can’t recall the cover, but something “mod” - it was 1972 after all - would have been likely.

Each day I would carefully note what I had worn - dungarees or skirt, blouse, sweater, shoes. Before I would pick my clothes for the next day, I would look back to be sure I wasn’t repeating an outfit. Mind you, I did not have a zillion clothes. But I would be sure to mix up one sweater with a different pair of slacks and so on. I was so earnest and precise - and yes, obsessive compulsive. In hindsight, I’m certain it was a very practical way for me to gain some control over a tumultuous time; a way of keeping my anxiety under control.

Now, nearly four decades later, I have no idea how long I kept up with that notebook - one semester? two semesters? or longer? What’s particularly amusing to me from this vantage point is how much smaller my wardrobe is now. When I find something which is comfortable and fits well and works (pockets and such) then I tend to buy it in multiple colors. (My singular and snazzy fashion indulgence now is vintage purses. Almost all of which have come from eBay.)

I wish I could zip back in time to tell my fourteen year old self that it would all turn out O.K. - even if she were to wear the same exact outfit twice in the same week.

Poor thing, she just fainted dead away!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Granite State of Mind

If imitation is truly the sincerest form of flattery, then Jay-Z and Alicia Keys must be feeling honored. You probably have to live in this area in order to appreciate all the fun the Super Secret Project has packed into this video, but here goes...

This link will take you to the YouTube page where you can read the lyrics (expand them just below the video screen).

: : Update: Christian Wisecarver and Holly Winchell perform in the video. Wisecarver also wrote the lyrics.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

New Beginnings

We are tired but happy. We shared a fun Easter dinner down in Rhode Island with the family this afternoon. Driving down Route 295 we could see the Warwick Mall, thankfully no longer under water, but with an uncertain date to reopen. The sandbags piled along the sides of roadways was unsettling and a clear reminder on a gorgeous, sunny day of how much destruction had been wrought less than a week ago.

Now we are back home, watching the Boston Red Sox play the New York Yankees on opening day night at Fenway Park. Yes, I want the Red Sox to win. But mostly I am just tickled pink both teams are putting on one heck of a good show! Baseball is back in full swing (puns be damned) and that is a very good thing!

: : Update: Final Score: Red Sox 9, Yankees 7

So good, so good, so good!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

On Neighbors

Clearly, I am not cut out for condominium living.

I grew up in a household which respected and valued privacy. It was good to be neighborly, but important never to be intrusive. Neighbors who felt and behaved similarly were prized. Those operating from an opposite view of the world were to be politely but firmly discouraged. (The neighbor who waltzed in on my grandmother while she was taking a bath and sat down on the toilet seat to chat, was a favorite cautionary tale from my childhood!)

I speak with my mother nearly every day. During the majority of those phone calls, she mentions some sort of neighborly nuisance, annoyance or frustration she has experienced in her condominium. Before Chuck and I moved to our present home in rural Massachusetts, we lived in a small house in a small city. From our back door I could see fourteen other homes. Before that house, we lived in Worcester. It was a neighborhood of tree lined streets with double deckers, triple deckers and single family homes. In college I managed through four years of dormitory life.

So it is not as if I have lived as a hermit. (Question: By definition, can hermits be married?) But after many years of living in more congested neighborhoods, when we moved to this house, I was delighted to not be able to lay eyes on a single neighbor’s house. Only in winter, when the trees had thoroughly shed their leaves, would our eyes be caught by a neighbor’s lights twinkling in the distance through the bare branches. It was peaceful.

In the first year we lived here, I walked over every part of our land with our elderly Siberian Husky by my side. The only times I was ever scared were when I was all alone out in the back acreage. I sometimes cross country skied by myself. If I took a tumble over a hidden obstacle, I would feel a flash of fear that I might be injured and no one would find me. And I occasionally was lonely. But the quiet, positive, independent aspects of life in the country, far outweighed any minor drawbacks.

We also quickly came to love the field across the road from our home. We herded cows that had strayed from their proper pastures back across it. In winter, we would snowshoe and cross country ski on it. On Sunday afternoons, our neighbors from up the road would ride their horses across the snow covered field; hooves kicking up white sprays which glittered in the icy sunshine. Summer into fall, the farmer from a couple of miles away would hay the field. It was that ritual which inspired the poem I was fortunate to have published. So it came as a bit of a surprise when we learned that our elderly neighbor was dividing up his land into buildable lots and giving them to his children. The shock came when some of the children put for sale signs up on the field. We inquired, but the prices were prohibitive, especially to purchase a field we would keep as a field.

Now there is a house being built across the road from us. It’s a lovely building. Chuck met the owners shortly after the foundation was poured and the frame was erected. He found them friendly and cheerful. But they are neighbors. They are in our sightline. There is a house in that field. It did not fall from the sky like Dorothy’s after the tornado. But something is slipping away; something has already been lost.

I don’t blame the new neighbors. They fell in love with same field we did. They must appreciate this small town with its good school system and just enough amenities to make life convenient. They may not yet know that the pond down the hill has peepers that cheer us through the warming spring nights. They may not yet know that Canada Geese and crows glean the field. Next autumn, when they have been well settled in their new home, they will hear those geese honk as they lift off from the pond and practice their great V formations in the sky. Next spring, the new neighbors will hear the Phoebes call when they return and see them light on posts and branches, tails bobbing before they dive to grab an insect for a meal. Perhaps as soon as late this summer, they will watch crimson sunsets from their front porch. The same porch I think they will eventually screen when they become more familiar with how bountiful our mosquitoes are around here. They may lie in their bed, just about to drift off to sleep and suddenly hear the distinct hoot of an owl or the rising howls of coyotes - either of which can send a chill through you. If they do as we once did, they will learn that a bird feeder left up too long into spring is an attractive snack for bears with dreadful and destructive table manners. And maybe this winter, they will walk all around their new land, looking at bushes and trees; following tracks and scat in icy sunshine and get to know and love their field.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Tea Partay Redux

I first posted this video back in 2007, long before the sturm und drang of last summer’s town hall meetings and the relentless rage of the tea party-er types.

I sometimes long for such simpler, sillier days.

For the time being, this is the only Tea Partay I want to think about. Enjoy!

Tell Buffy to chirp me!


Today, Capuchin Father Raniero Cantalamessa, preacher of the Pontifical Household, delivered the homily at the celebration of the Lord's passion in St. Peter's Basilica. The liturgy was presided over by Pope Benedict XVI. In his Good Friday homily Rev. Cantalamessa discusses the priesthood in great detail. He also discusses violence in the world and makes the following statement: “I am not speaking here of violence against children, of which unfortunately also elements of the clergy are stained; of that there is sufficient talk outside of here.” O.K. He references the sexual abuse of children by priests, but chooses not to expound upon it. But at the very end of the homily, he compares the criticism of the Church about that very same sexual abuse and the decades long cover up, to anti-semitism.


The logic is unfathomable. Under this distorted logic the criminals become the victims; those who call out for justice and clarity become the oppressors. How can Rev. Cantalamessa, in the presence of Pope Benedict XVI, claim that criticism of the Church is discrimination? How can criticism of the hierarchy that moved priests, who sexually assaulted children, around from parish to parish and built a wall of secrecy; defended the indefensible, how can criticism of such shameful and illegal acts be discrimination? And how can such justifiable criticism possibly be compared to centuries of violent discrimination against the Jews?

You can read more in this Washington Post article.