Thursday, September 25, 2008

To Bail Out or Not To Bail Out, That is the Question.

What is the answer?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Voting Catholic

While I'm still not totally convinced, Mary is whittling away at my resistance to vote this year. She writes a persuasive argument in favor of the McCain/Palin ticket. I may not be able to vote anyway this year, as we will likely relocate during the election time, and I may not be anywhere within my voting district, yet too new to another one to vote. We'll see, maybe I'm really not supposed to vote this year. Either way, those of you who will be able to vote ought to go and read what my friend, Mary, has to say. Click on the title above, it is a link.

Friday, September 19, 2008

It's International Talk Like a Pirate Day

Ahoy there Mateys, it's International Talk Like a Pirate day today and I'm a fan! I've got the dogwatch tonight at the local library, and I'm planning to frighten all the motley crew who dares to skedaddle from battle or swallow the anchor! No landlubbers allowed tonight! No quarter given to anyone who gits in the way of being ship shape and Bristol fashion. I'm settin dead lights on all crimps who set foot on me ship tonight, and will let the cat outta the bag if need be. Arr, raise the Jolly Roger and heave ho me hearties, I'm gonna run a rig and take the king's shillings tonight!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Snoopy's Happy Dance!

I'm doing a happy dance...looks like that strange interview last week MIGHT pay off for my husband. He's been asked to interview at the other company next week. Mr. Thorns is at work now, so I won't know for sure when he is going or if it is going to work out at all, but Woohoo! There's something on the horizon, let's pray this is it.

Incidentally, did I mention that Mr. Thorn's international corporation empoyer is shutting its doors? The big announcement was made when we returned from Nashville. Gee, it sounds like intuition paid off this time, for once. Please pray to St. Joseph that we find acceptable employment opportunities for dh, enough salary to keep us going for a while, and acceptable housing as well. Oh it is so complicated and stressful.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

What Did You Hear Today?

This is a really good post from the Digital Hairshirt blogspot. Take a look. Be sure to read the comments as well. Take special note of the discussion about forgiveness. I would like to thank Stephanie and the two priests who participated in the discussion, it helped. Regardless of whether or not you have 'issues' with 911, if you have any issues with forgiveness, this will be worth your time to read.

An Addendum, h/t to Thorn in the Pew. This is, I feel, pertinent to the discussion on Digital Hairshirt in that it reminds us of why we are to love, and even helps a bit with is stronger than evil. At least for me, this makes me want to strive harder to forgive and to love.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Home from Nashville

My husband and I went to Nashville, we flew out on the 11th and returned on the 12th. It was not a pleasure trip, but a fact finding mission. He had an interview out there, and being a girl from the Northeast, I was not too sure if I could survive the heat down south. IT WAS HOT! 90º on September 11th and 12th. Meanwhile in the mountains of NY it was merely in the low 60s. But, I must say, Nashville is a pleasant metropolitan area. I do not think I would mind living there at all. As far as the interview is concerned, it was rather strange. The interviewer suggested Mr. Thorns contact another company, put him in touch with a person and now we are pursuing a different direction. Boy, if everyone in Nashville is that nice, we are going for sure!

Nashville is a gorgeous city set up like a wheel with spokes on it. The road system is so well designed that you can get from one side to the other VERY quickly. Of course, I will be the first to admit that we do not have a full impression, being there only 24 hours with appointments to keep us busy for much of that time. We ate in a couple of really interesting places. Breakfast was in THE WAFFLE HOUSE which reminded me of Mel's Diner on that old television show from that television show, ALICE, from the 1970s I think. The waitresses had to stand on a mark and yell the orders to the cook, who yelled them back to confirm. The language she was speaking? Pure diner-ese, we had no idea what she was saying when she ordered. She said things like...hash browns, scattered, capped, and smothered, and this was the only thing we could remember because it made some sense. We were laughing. Add in the accent so unique to Tennesseans and so vastly different from New Yawkas and it becomes clear, we were highly entertained trying to comprehend and translate dinerese. We wanted to try the WAFFLE HOUSE because they were literally everywhere we drove around; we figured it had to be good. And, we love waffles. Surprisingly there was only one waffle selection on the menu, so how the restaurant ended up with its name remains a mystery to us. I kept waiting to hear, "Kiss my grits" which were, by the way, on the menu. It was a fun breakfast, the food was good, the bacon was piled high on our egg and cheese sandwiches. We couldn't complain.

We had dinner in the Gerst Haus, which is a German pub style restaurant. It is right across from the coliseum in Nashville. I enjoy a nice mug of dark beer. Guiness has always been a favorite of mine but can claim nothing on the Dinkelacker which I had in a fishbowl! A fishbowl is actually only a pint, and took me through my entire meal. Mr. Thorns and I shared a combination dinner of Weiner Schnitzel (pan fried and breaded veal), Stroganoff, and Sauerbraten (roasted marinated beef). For the side dishes we had hot German potato salad and spaetzle. It was quite a tasty dinner. I'm not a big fan of German dishes on the whole, but I did enjoy this meal. Or maybe I just enjoyed being out with Mr. Thorns, in a real restaurant, which we only manage to do once every 2-3 years. I would definitely recommend a visit to this place if you happen to be at the coliseum in Nashville for a game. I would go for happy hour alone, which we were there for. The aforementioned fishbowl of excellent draught beer was only $2.50 during happy hour. They also had a selection of half price appetizers but we didn't have any, we were there for dinner.

Now we shall wait and see if Nashville will be our new home. Never did this New Yawk girl ever think she'd end up there, especially since we have moved out of metropolitan areas for the quiet life in the mountains, but we shall see. An interesting note about the landscape in Nashville is the fact that you can live suburban or even rural and still be less than 30 minutes from the city. What a neat place to be, if you can take the heat!

One final comment about the south, and a striking difference from the northeast in particular, would be the manners of Southerners. They have it all over us in New York. It was a pleasant experience to see people on their best behaviors, and to find that mothers are still raising gentlemen who mind their manners, to the point of insistance. I did enjoy my visit.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Liberal pseudo-journalism stricken with auto-immune disease

Well, not quite, but it sure does seem like that when you read something like this. This feels like maybe the liberal press is attacking itself, and much like an autoimmune disease, it could weaken its very structure. Maybe we will end up with only conservatives? Nah, that would never happen in the press, and truthfully would be just as bad. Is there really such a thing as fair and impartial journalism or news broadcasting, in today's world?

Thanks to Digi for finding this!


Page Six Photo

September 8, 2008 --

THERE'S been a coup against the leftists occupying MSNBC's election anchor desk. Chris Matthews and Keith Olbermann have been bumped by the Peacock Network, beginning with the upcoming presidential debates and continuing through election night, a spokeswoman said.

David Gregory will be the new political anchor, while Matthews and Olbermann will return to their nightly shows, "Hardball" and "Countdown," respectively.

The benching of the blowhards comes amid accusations that the pair has been shilling for the Democratic ticket.

When Barack Obama accepted his party's nomination, Matthew's hard-hitting critique of the speech was that it sent a thrill up his leg.

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell recently called MSNBC "the official network of the Obama campaign."

Angry Republicans made their feelings known during Sarah Palin's vice-presidential acceptance speech. When the Alaska governor got to the media-bashing section of her speech, the GOP faithful could be heard chanting, "NBC! NBC!"

But the hatred directed toward Matthews and Olbermann by Republicans is nothing compared to the daggers they've been hurling at each other and their NBC colleagues.

During the Democratic convention, Olbermann appeared to be upset by Matthew's long-winded analysis of Hillary Rodham Clinton's speech. Olbermann made a hand-gesture imitating a flapping mouth. Matthews shot back, "I can do the same to you!" and defended his commentary, saying, "That's what I thought, all right?"

The bickering and infighting has caused embarrassment among colleagues and may have caused the ax to fall.

NBC news legend Tom Brokaw recently said, "I think Keith has gone too far. I think Chris has gone too far."

An insider told The Post that Olbermann responded by pushing to have Brokaw banned from MSNBC.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Shades of Gray
Click on the picture to see where it came from. It seemed to work so well for my topic.
I was raised by a feminist mother who never talked much about her faith or her politics. She raised us to be strong women and I believe my sisters and I are. Unlike my mother, I am NOT a feminist, but having feminism spoon fed my entire childhood and adolescence, served right up alongside Novus Ordo Catholicism, it was an angst filled road to realize I am a Traditional Catholic with traditional family values, and the polar opposite of a feminist. I'm sure my family wonders where in the world I came from.

The other day I had the pleasure of joining two of my cousins, strong women raised by the sister's of my mother, but were peers of my mother due to the age differences between the sisters, and share a lot of my mother's thoughts and perspective. I wholeheartedly enjoyed the lunch, food aside which was entirely delicious, and learned a lot about myself during this visit.

At one point in the coversation, my cousin remarked that she lives in a world of gray, but her husband is entirely black and white. She was saying that it can be frustrating for her sometimes because he is so black and white they cannot immediately see where the other is coming from on some important issues. I was thinking how I could understand it would be frustrating to live with a person who was so wholly black and white. She described her husband as being resolute on things, able to see the opposing viewpoint but not the middle ground. There are no mitigating circumstances, there is no compromise. I was thinking, this is not a pretty picture, I wouldn't want to be black and white with no gray. Then she continued to say when issues come up, she will always wonder what caused things to be as they are, why did the people involved act as they did, and she will wonder if she should alter her judgement of the actions based upon the circumstances that led to them. I was thinking, that sounds like waffling. Then she said her husband would look at the issue, see what was done and pronounce it right or wrong, agree or disagree, etc. He would not make allowances for the fact that someone made a wrong decision because he was in a situation where it was difficult to make the right one. I was appalled that I fell into this category and admitted based upon that definition, I was a black and white and not a gray. I wanted to be a gray, to have the sort of compassion that my cousin has, to be able to see all the mitigating circumstances and to allow for them. I was genuinely sad that I was not a gray. But only for a moment.

I started thinking about free will. We all have it and we can choose how we will act. We face hundreds of decisions every day from what to wear and eat, how to spend our time, whether or not to vote Republican. Some are big and some are small, but we all have choices to make each day and how we act makes us who we are. I am aware there is gray in the world, but for the most part (not entirely, thankfully) I reject the gray. I have to make an effort to see and react to the gray, for the most part I see things very cut and dry. I do not believe there are mitigating circumstances where abortion should be allowed. I do not believe in excuses. I can be convinced, with my mother's heart, that there can be reasons behind behaviors that are not immediately apparent, but they usually need to be pointed out, I need to stop and consider there is gray. I'm getting better, I want a little gray in my life, it is exhausting being so black and white. But there is a time for black and white with no compromise.

Black and white is what was causing me, for the first time in my life, to be strong enough to go against everything I was ever taught and refuse to vote this election. I talked about it in earlier posts. I cannot in all good conscience vote for either candidate. I've never been so disgusted over my choices. Sarah Palin has introduced shades of gray. I have no idea what to do now. All the reasons I did not want to vote for McCain are still there. But Sarah is gray on the Republican ticket. My first (black and white) instinct is she is not enough to sway my non-vote into a Republican vote. Christopher Ferrara in this article, and Mary Alexander (on and off the blog), and many others are trying to show me the gray. I think this election just got interesting.

Food for Thought

Here is a fluff piece, sort of, about Sarah Palin from the Brit newspaper, The Sun. I call it fluff because it talks about her the way people talk about her, and they way most people, sadly, make their voting decisions. This article talks about her bucking the system because she's not one of the big boys of Washington, she is a pro-life feminist (seems a contradiction of terms if you ask me) and she allowed (OH MY!) a pregnancy to continue when she knew the baby would bear the burden of Down's Syndrome. Imagine! A feminist who chooses life, regardless of the inconvenience! She gets points there no matter how I feel about the party ticket and American politics in general, that is to be commended.

From the article:
A child with special needs. A daughter of 17 pregnant. A constant juggle between family and career. Compared to the career politicians dominating both parties here she seemed fresh, natural — one of us and not one of them.
Okay she's fresh and natural, but is having a pregnant teenage daughter to be commended? Should she be admired for juggling family and career? Let's look at those things a little closer.

Kids are kids, no matter what values we instill in them, they grow up and make their own decisions. On bended knee parents beg God that anything they've tried to instill in their children made it through the thick skulls that God gave them for their physical protection but often times those skulls are fortified by obstinance and rebellion. One cannot blame the parent for the acts of the teenager in this case, we can question the influences in her life, but it seems we cannot blame her for her daughter's pregnancy, the daughter has free will. In my opinion, a teenage daughter's pregnancy should have no bearing on the political career of the mother, except in the mother's reaction to the daughter. Here I can find no fault. She is definitely not just talking about valuing life, she obviously does. She may not embrace the fact the daughter is pregnant, but she does embrace the daughter. She is not sending the daughter out to be alone and face her very adult circumstance of a pregnancy alone, which, again in my opinion, causes a great many abortions. When parents are mortified their daughter is pregnant, and are too ashamed to face their family, friends, peers, co-workers, subordinates, parishes or whatever, that is when they either blatently or inadvertantly through their actions, encourage teen abortion. Sarah Palin got this right, she is choosing life, both her daughter's life and her future grand child's life.

Being a working mother, I do not feel is something to advocate generally, but society is what it is. I would rather see a mother working for a cause rather than working for a hummer and a McMansion. We have many female saints in our church who have managed motherhood and career. We have many female historical figures who have done the same. There are times when a mother is called into service. This may be one of those times. I have not fully formed an opinion on this, but surprisingly to me, I am leaning toward this conclusion. I am not sure we can compare an American politician of today with any saint given the corruption which permeates today's political system, but God can and does work in strange ways sometimes.

I have another article which I plan to post later today with another look at Sarah Palin.

Monday, September 1, 2008

A Lily for my profile

Notice the lovely new Tiger Lily photograph my daughter took for me to use as a profile picture. I asked her to photograph a lily for me when she could. I think she did a fine job. I just wonder if she was trying to tell me anything when she chose a TIGER lily. Her next assignment is to photograph a 'Never Fading Wood' for my blog banner.