Sunday, November 29, 2009

Oh my gosh! Ruth Stabosz-Danyo looks just like Reetie Stabosz!

Boy this picture makes me feel old. My granddaughter Ruthie, the little devil in this Halloween picture, looks exactly like her mom! This is the first time I've noticed.

Where does the time go??

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Interview with the only Republican rep. to vote for the Nov. 7 health care reform bill

Former Jesuit, Congressman Cao Discusses Using Ignatian Discernment to Reach Health Care Vote Decision
I found this interview quite enlightening. Whatever one thinks of the health reform bill itself, Cao's discernment process on it was more thorough than my own. Had mine been more thorough, would I have arrived at a different opinion?
Two opposing forces have marked my interior life recently: 1) a simultaneous disgust with and compulsion to imbibe the polarizing punditry of the various political voices on the Net, and 2) a drying up of my prayer life, a laziness extending to pretty much anything except intercessory prayer for those who ask.
I wonder if the two might be related rather than in opposition? Possibly the indulgence in snarky punditry leads to both a desensitization of my conscience and will to carry out my civic duty, and a spiritual acedia.
If this is the illness, what is the remedy? I probably know it but don't want to swallow the medicine.
Tip of the hat to Sherry Weddell for the Cao interview, found at Intentional Disciples: Discerning the Good in Congress

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Why the Fools are selling their shares in Starbucks (SBUX)

I started investing in the stock market this summer. So far, it's a fascinating adventure. In the past, the market bored me but I am willing to admit now that it was not so much boredom as prejudice and spiritual snobbery. I viewed it as "unworthy" a subject for study, for an aspiring saint.

That all changed when I took a Called and Gifted workshop this summer in Chicago, from the Catherine of Siena Institute. There I learned to get off my high horse and disabuse myself of the idea that money itself is the root of all evil. NO, NO, NO - it's the LOVE OF MONEY that is the root of all evil, or so the saying goes. I don't even know where the saying comes from.

Just goes to show that you CAN teach an old dog new tricks.

It turns out that I score very high in the charism of Giving, one of whose manifestations is the ability to create wealth in order to give it generously where it is needed. I've always enjoyed being generous, and I've always enjoyed hustling for money, but I never put the two together before that workshop as two sides of the same charismatic coin.

So I'm having a blast in the market.

Here is a nice analysis from the Motley Fool folks on why they are selling their Starbucks shares and advising others to do the same.

I never bought Starbucks, but I AM trying to learn how to really analyze companies and determine valuations, so I can pick stocks on my own and not other people's advice. So this is for me to print off and read, when I have time to look at Starbucks' financials. Motley Fool was bullish on Starbucks for a long time. They say that knowing when to sell is even more important than when to buy. Hence -- this is for my education!

Motley Fool Million Dollar Portfolio

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Patience - under construction...

I am giving my blog a face-lift, mainly so I can take advantage of some of the newer blogger features. Now if I can just figure out how to blend my old template into my new one, so I can show all my blog roll.

Another Sunday, a little Augustine

Michael Pacher
(b. ca. 1435, Bruneck, d. 1498, Salzburg)
Augustinus und der Teufel ("Saint Augustine and the Devil") panel of Pacher's Kirchenväteraltar ("Fathers of the Church" altarpiece, c. 1483),
Alte Pinakothek, Munich.
Tip of the hat to Idle Speculations for the image

I totally forgot my last entry-- Bored Now -- until I logged in this morning to write a new one. What a revelation to me! How thoroughly it captured my recent spate of existential angst. Last evening I confessed all to my husband - the ennui that had me in its grip. We went out to eat at Applebys - not that we had ever eaten there before, but for some inexplicable reason our insurance company gave us a gift card to Applebys when we revised our coverage a month ago or so.

Applebys was crowded; we decided what we really wanted was subs from Capriotti's. Got to Capriotti's at 8:00 pm, just as the guy was locking the door! He shrugged through the glass door, and pointed where the hours were posted. A sub shop closing at 8pm on a Saturday night in a college town. The recession is real!

So we went across the parking lot to the Vietnamese restaurant that is among our favorites. It turned out that this is where we'd really wanted to be. I tried a new dish - a cold chicken salad with cabbage and teeny tiny carrot slivers. Sounds yucky, which is why I'd never tried it before, but it was exactly what my stomach wanted! The chicken was incredibly tender. The seasoning was vinegary with a hot hot relish on the side.

Went home and watched the previous evening's episode of Monk. Fell asleep watching the new V. Had vivid dreams of literature -- a billboard size title page from some unknown Emily Bronte work in front of me, then me taking pen to paper to start writing my own short story, explaining to a dream friend how the imagination will not be denied, and literature has power to effect the saddest and most tiny shriveled closed up heart.

Woke up wonderfully refreshed!

Took up the cool book I am reading intermittently: What God Knows: Time and the Question of Divine Knowledge. Love the inquiry into time. This, from a chapter on Augustine and time:
... Augustine is ever concerned with matters of the heart. About those whose affections are set on things passing away, he says, "Their heart flutters about between the changes of past and future found in created things, and an empty heart it remains." Or again, "Who shall take hold of the human heart, to make it stand still, and see how eternity ... ordains future and past times?" (Confessions 11.11.13). Always it is the heart that matters. Whatever Augustine has to teach us about the mystery of time and eternity, it is for the purpose of pilgrimage. This is one of his great words: peregrinatio (pilgrimage). Pilgrimage is not the restless wandering of Odysseus, but a different kind of odyssey -- a journey with a telos -- with a goal toward that City with Foundations whose builder and maker is God. As St. Anselm would put it so famously, all of our thinking about God, about time and eternity, is a form of "faith seeking understanding" (fides quaerens intellectum), leading towards vision, the beatific vision St. Paul described as an intimate and perpetual knowing and seeing "face to face". (1 Corinthians 13:12).

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Bored Now

Not really as bored now as evil Willow gets, but it's been a while since I have written. The Internet is so vast, and I've been spending oodles of time working on the Pious Ladies Bookmobile, hanging out in Facebook, trying to figure out what the Twitter deal is, satisfying my television goof tooth with Television Without Pity, trying to win Swagbucks, yada yada yada ...

Okay, I'm being called off to Mass. Got a date with the Master! How Willow-ish is that? Don't know why I've got Willow on the mind, but I do. She's just about my favorite character from the Buffy the Vampire Slayer universe. Early Willow is SO COOL. Later Willow is awful, but she flows so reasonably from early Willow. That's the scary part. Maybe that's why I like her. I was a nerdy nerd too, and I could've easily grown into Evil Rae. Sort of did, but then got turned.