Thursday, July 30, 2009

imprisoned in disobedience! help, let me out! oh, okay, if that's what You want...

Here's a line from St. Paul's epistle to the Romans that jumped up at me this morning:
God has imprisoned all in disobedience that he might have mercy on all.
This rather strange comment is followed by a paean that to a lover of the Blessed Trinity explains it all:
How deep are the riches and the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How inscrutable his judgments, how unsearchable his ways! For 'who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has ever been his counselor? ... For from him and through him and for him all things are: to him be glory forever.
If you don't know or love God, this all can seem most annoying -- we are imprisoned in disobedience so God can have mercy on us? Give me a break!

But through the eyes of love it makes perfect sense.

Consider the distance between Creator and creature, a distance that He has shown over and over again that He wants to overcome in order to enter into the same kind of intimate communio with us that the Three Persons have with one another, in the inner life of the Trinity.

Disobedience humbles us, it makes us realize how weak we are on our own. We have all these longings for glory, these desires to slay dragons and rescue princesses and find treasures that we can use to make everyone around us happy for the rest of their days. But what do we get? Mean thoughts about the fools around us, inflated notions of our own innate coolness, passions for insatiable rewards.

Yeah... God needs to bridge the gap somehow. Inscrutable as the Persons of the Trinity are, the end result is endless mercy for every lasting one of us. Deo gratias! I love you, Lord, now and forever!

Blogging from Del Mar CA, the Pacific coast is beautiful!

Look at the terrific Hilton Del Mar that William Shatner found for me in Del Mar, California, for peanuts! I am in the lap of luxury, whereas two nights ago I paid about 60% of what I'm paying today, to sleep in the top bunk of a 9-woman dormitory in a hostel in downtown San Diego.

Priceline, you are my friend for life!

Last night I had dinner with Duffy Tweedy and his family: wife Mary, and sons Richard, Francis, Patrick and Joseph. Duffy is an online friend from the christifideles group; we share a love for movies. I didn't know he lived in San Diego, so it was serendipity when he read my Facebook update and discovered I was traveling in his neck of the woods. I loved meeting his four sons, each of them unique, very much a warm family together. He's the opposite side of the coin from Alan and Debbie Harbaugh, who have four lively daughters. Alan and Mary should do a "trading spouses" thing so they can each see what it's like to live in a household with folks of their own gender!

I can see why folks like Southern California. I can getting used to the weather. Sunny with blue skies! What's not to like? The Tweedy kids were asking me about what it's like to live where there is actual daily change in weather. A rainstorm? Folks here treat it like it's falling acid, Joseph said.

One more perfect day on the beach at Del Mar, then I'm heading back to LA for the Film Retreat.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Blogging from Nick Pernisco's blog workshop

I'm sitting here in a classroom in Culver City, California, watching a Common Craft video called Logs in Plain English, in a presentation given by Nick Pernisco who teaches media literacy and other such courses in the Communications Dept. of Santa Monica College. He's got a media literacy website with links to all of the presentations he is giving us today. Also he's got a link to his Understand Media Blog there.

This image I am using here? I did not buy it! I google imaged it! Not a licit way of doing so. This is what Nick calls "taking the easy way out."

Okay, okay, I guess I'll have to start using my own images or get a subscription to dreamstime or istockphoto

Ooohh, here's a free digital images website, where you can get images licitly without paying.

Oops, it's on to Podcasting. Maybe I will finally get my podcasting in gear! I've already got permission from Zoe Mulford to use her song Life Is Too Short to Fold Underwear as my podcast theme!

She's a terrific singer-songwriter, by the way. You should listen to her stuff and then buy her music!

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Bogle eBlog - yes, no, or in between?

I'm trying to learn the stock market. Don't ask me why, after all these years, I've finally taken an interest in investing when I'm approaching 60 and my best years for making money are behind me. I thought making money was unbecoming of a saint. But it turns out that the same intellect that serves me well in theology serves me pretty well learning about the ins and outs of money, its creation, saving and management.

So, I'm reading and researching. Hence my interest in John Bogle. He wrote an essay that I really liked in a book I stumbled across in my bookmobile.

So now I'm going to read John C. Bogle. If anyone can point me to other folks to read, or has anything to say about John C. Bogle, by all means let me know!

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Darwin killed the werewolf star!

Fascinating bit of academic study - a history of science prof in New Jersey argues that our fear of werewolves mutated into a fear of Big Foot after Darwinian evolution theory made human-wolf hybrids implausible.

I think I'd like a copy of that paper. I wonder if the current vogue for creating human-animal chimeras in the lab will revive interest in Island of Dr. Moreau type tales.

-tip of the hat to Mary Christine Erikson

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Planned Parenthood of Delaware -- they are now as I was once; may they be soon as I am now

At Dover I introduced myself to Emily Knearl, whose face I see every Friday when I come out to protest abortion at the Planned Parenthood clinic at 7th and Shipley in Wilmington. Ms. Knearl is Vice President for Public Affairs at Planned Parenthood of Delaware. She had come out to Dover, as I had, because of her interest in SB169, only from the other side of the fence. The bill would restrict the activity of pro-life protesters within 100 feet of "health care clinics" beyond the limits of existing law in other states or in federal law.

She gave me a somewhat chilly reception, which is what I have come to expect when I try to make nice with philosophical foes. I don't know why folks on opposite sides don't like to talk. I love discourse, especially with antagonists. I guess it is the nature of warfare, although in the movies primary foes tend to be quite loquacious with one another. Captain Kirk and Khan. Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd.

Here's a poem I wrote years ago. I call it The Abortion Poem. Somehow I was reminded of it by my encounter in Dover.

The Abortion Poem, by Rae Stabosz

or: Mother Earth Plans, Men and Women Fight, and the Wounded Fall

When I was a hippie,
we ate brown rice
and soya beans
(soy beans rice & onions
make my tongue hard still)
we were natural
oh so natural naked brown rice in the sun
but we took our Pill
oh yes we took our Pill.

Now I am a yuppie
we eat pasta
(not spaghetti, not the homemade sticks of duram
that my grandmom made)
we eat pasta
and love whales and seals and dolphins
and get mad
when polyestered men and women
speak repressive stupid slogans
"save the baby humans".
We get mad.

The tuna men
are pigs
for killing dophins
for their paychecks
but we women
soar like eagles
on the bodies of our young.

So our spirits
can soar chainless
so our lives
can whole
our bodies
build our minds
for our own betterment:
we kill.

I am woman,
(watch me sore)
I am trapped and caught
by no man
but i will not let my spirit
o'er the backs
of the unplanned dead

Unplanned and unprovided for
unwanted and unnourished,
bread that you and i could knead
if only we did not elaborate
our interest
in ecology
so poorly.

I once carried to term
a night
that was unplanned;
the lightning shook me open
rolled me badly
hurt me sore.
That night
I woke up scarred
That night
I knew how to end the hunger.
That night
I left the front lines retching.
Of the war of men and women
I will fight no more forever,
that night.
Since then
I've been living by the night
and feeding empty bellies one by one
that night, unplanned.
Unplanned is not
uncared for
unwanted not a fatal state;
the night cares for its own.
Oh. And SB169?

The legislature did not work the bill on Tuesday, and so it will be left until the next session convenes in January of 2010 for the bill to be resurrected and voted on.

If it is enacted, it will immediately be contested in court. If it reaches the Supreme Court, it will most likely be ruled unconstitutional, as the Court has previously ruled that it is unconstitutional for a state to enact laws restricting first amendment rights around a "floating buffer zone", ie. an object in transit such as a car or a person. The state of Delaware taxpayers are not going to want to pay out the tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars that will be necessary to litigate a bill that should never have been passed from the get-go, as its constitutionality is extremely suspicious. I have confidence that the people of Delaware, regardless of their stand on abortion, will not allow their legislators to pass a bill that will cause so much money to be diverted from more necessary tasks, in this time of economic recession.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

My favorite pic from Gabe's visit

Yeah, it's a little blurry, but that's because I can't figure out how to get an enlarged image to show up nicely in blogger. I don't know who took this picture of Wade, Amelia and Zeke playing in the water tower sprinkler with Moby the Great White Dog in the background, but I love everything about it. Colors, action, composition, tilt. Grandkids. Never tire of 'em.

Way down upon the time*less river, fra, fra away!

Is it true blondes have more fun? If you're old enough to remember that line, you're old enough to appreciate this pic of me & my good buddies, "The Pious Ladies." In cruising my hard drive this morning, I found the remnants of my UD website that I spent 20 years building and had to take down in one crushing moment of persecution for being "too Catholic" (this too Catholic woman has since retired, which I never would have done if my persecutors hadn't turned my once-gloriously fun job into a nightmare, and being retired is SO DANGED COOL IT ROCKS JOY TO THE MAX that I owe Nancy Nobile, Lisa Thibault and the others a debt of gratitude forever...)

So here's my long-lost explanation of Who The Pious Ladies Are. And, oh yeah, I spent my 40's as a blonde but I'm having more fun as an almost-60 brunette-over-silver than I ever had in my wild 40's, so I guess Miss Clairol was wrong...

Who are the Pious Ladies?

In 1983, Rae Stabosz was pregnant with her seventh child, Eric. An ultrasound in the seventh month of pregnancy revealed a problem with the baby -- his limbs were not developed, and he had difficulty swallowing. Her doctor told her to expect a "thalidomide-type" baby, ie. one with flippers instead of arms and legs.

Rae was devastated by that prognosis. A group of women from Rae's then-parish, Holy Angels Catholic church in Newark, Delaware, threw a birthday party for her in the hopes of cheering her up. She did not know these women well at all, and was both surprised and touched by their action. She felt at the time as if she were carrying a monster within her, not a child. These women reached out to her at a time when horror and isolation threatened to engulf her. The birthday party allowed her to experience the connection between women who were different from her and from one another in personality and background, but similar in sharing a common bond of discipleship in Christ. It was, for Rae, the Communion of Saints come to life.

.[Skip forward in time to Eric's birth and short life: As it turned out, Eric did have arms and legs, not flippers, but they were foreshortened, as is typical for a dwarf, which Eric turned out to be. He suffered from thanatophoric dwarfism, which is always fatal. He lived just 100 days. Rae has written about him elsewhere.]

That was the first Pious Ladies Meeting. Later Rae, Debora and Diane from the original group hooked up with Ellen from the parish library and began to meet once a month. Two things are always a given at a Pious Ladies meeting: food and wine. Beyond that, the evening's festivities might include praying, baring our hearts to one another, telling dirty jokes, singing, dancing or even howling at the moon as happened on one occasion. Each month the Pious Ladies meet at a different member's house, and the hostess' family clears out and leaves the whole house to the "goofy women".

The name "Pious Ladies" was coined by Rae's daughter Reetie. Reetie came home one night from wherever it was that Bill would take the kids when Rae hosted PiLadies meetings, and smelled a lingering fragrance of cologne. "What's that? Pious Ladies smell!" she said, and the name stuck

What brought us all together to begin with was that we were all "Father Goldstein groupies". Father Gershon Goldstein, of blessed memory, was an oblate of Mary Immaculate who served as Director of Religious Education at Holy Angels Parish for many years. All four of us Pious Ladies either taught or were grade level principals under Fr. Goldstein. We all loved him. He came to one Pious Ladies meeting, with Thelma Hollender. He hoped to join our group and be an honorary Pious Lady, or a Pious Man but he never passed the rigorous entrance exam.

The official roll call of Pious Ladies is as follows:
Debora Hosey
Ellen Lafferty
Diane Naylor
Rae Stabosz