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Sunday, April 25, 2010

She's an AIRHEAD

..uh, me, that is. <-- Apologies to Mr. Dolby.

Normally, I have ALWAYS kept my comment box opened and let anyone post willynilly - having had few problems with trolls. Well, late March, had problems with two jerks. (Hey, Fr. Blake, your British newspaper "reporters" aren't worth a nickle more than our so called American "reporters" who can't get squat right or attribute correctly, so gee, thanks! ;-D And BTW, I hope John Venables swings! -- okay that last bit was hyperbole. ) --

So I'd THOUGHT I'd turned on "just delay posts which are posted more than 10 days ago" thinking I could just manually nuke the two ba$$ard$ who were getting too out of line myself (i.e. still let anyone post, but just block anyone from posting to stuff that happened way in the past, as I didn't want to have to go back nearly 3 years incase one of these dorks took a shine to ruining things.]

Anyway, I've posted ALL your comments which were all delayed (which would explain a lot as to why "gee, why no comments?) And I'll go fix it now so posts aren't delayed.....unless "dorks" return, but this time I promise to always LOOK to see if anything's delayed.

Whatever. SORRY!!!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Good news re: young people and sex

Though more college students are sexually active than not -- apparently in the last few years there is a trend on that's becoming more popular for students NOT to have recreational sex, and wait for "THE one." Evidently, many youths are seeing the devasting effects of casual sex - and don't like what they see. This column is well worth a read - it starts:

"There’s a quiet revolution happening on the nation’s school and college campuses. While the students still live in a sex-saturated culture, and while researchers claim that at least 75 percent of college students are part of the “hook-up” generation, more and more students are opting out of the sex scene. It is far too early to declare a new trend, but there are encouraging signs of a new respect for abstinence and dating, instead of recreational sex.

Part of the change of attitude and behavior comes from college students seeing the consequences and repercussions of recreational sex. "

The article notes statistical details of all the fallout students are seeing from their friends who ARE sexually active and are paying for it with incressed depression, low self-esteem from giving it all away to someone who doesn't care, to the STDs students are now frightened of getting --- and the article notes many new books which preach abstinence and waiting for marriage -- with a nod to more healthy dating patterns where one doesn't feel compelled to hop in the sack with every "relationship." The article further notes new "Love and Fidelity Network" outreach programs which espouse waiting until marriage and notes chapters on many US college campuses, including some 2 dozen or so on high profile Universities such as Harvard, Princeton, Notre Dame.

Even younger teens are also starting to get the message, from some in the popular culture - American Idol Star Kelly Clarkson recent had release a song called "I don't hook up." And there are others promoting the same -- there's even a facebook page: Bring Back Dating.

Well worth a read.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Just got the thing (finally) and I'm setting it up now, so still going through the user manual. But my Skype ID name is: gemoftheocean99 [sheesh---there already WAS a GOTO! grrrr..... so remember to add the "99"]

And check out -- FREE skype #s.

[Someone remind me to kick myself up the backside for not setting this up a lot sooner. I could have saved a boat load of money over the last couple of years!]

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Everyone's Massah to this fool...

except, of course, the suffering American public. "Hey boy. Here's a quarter, geddown here and shine my shoes."

If they ever bring back Stepin' Fetchit, I have a likely candidate for the part. But of course, when he's with normal US citizens, zero always has his nose in the air, a la Mussolini.

I don't think he has a snowball's chance against a Chinaman. Was there ever ANY "president" so unversed in simple protocol? It's a wonder half the state department who deals with this sort of thing haven't committed suicide by now. "Listen, duffus. You are a head of state. Heads of state do not BOW to people. Sheesh. Moron. [How many years to retirement?]"

Sunday, April 11, 2010

China's Gendercide

Peter Hitchens, reporter, wrote this article in the Daily Mail [UK] -- the article details not only the shortage of girls in the population, due to China's "one child per family" policy, but it also goes in to detail re: China's increasing problem of child theft.

The article starts:
"In the cruel old China, baby girls were often left to die in the gutters. In the cruel modern China, they are aborted by the tens of millions, using all the latest technology.

There is an ugly new word for this mass slaughter: gendercide."

The article states that China's one-child-policy started officially in 1979.

However, I personally remember that in at least parts of China as early as 1974, the government was encouraging/enforcing this. I remember that in Fall of 1974 when I was a college Freshman, writing an essay about the policy for an English class I was taking at the time. IT was the first I'd heard of it.

Unfortunately, in large parts of India, parents are also chosing gendercide. Not through goverment threats, but of their own volition. Quite some time ago, I'd seen a TV documentary which covered the phemomenon. Sleezy abortion doctors in their Mercedes Benz cars, pulling out their scanners in poor neighborhoods for relatively quite handsome fees to tell parents what sex the baby was -- then parents aborting if it was a girl.

There is also this article which is worth a read -- it goes into more details about India and China. [And it also confirms my 1974 date as to when the use of amniocentisis began to be used for this purpose of sex selection and gendercide.]

And there is also a recent article from the Economist, which points out that often the WORST gender imblance is in the WEALTHY parts of the country.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

New Church for L'Aquila - Good Grief

Fr. Blake mentions that Fr. Z has a blog post re: a proposed new church for L'Aquila, an earthquake hit city. Fr. Blake doesn't like this building as a church, but thinks[!?] it is architecturally interesting. I think the architect is trying to "Epater le Bourgeois" myself. [Yes, I know there is supposed to be an accent over the first "E" in epater, so sue me.] Fr. Blake thinks it would be the architect's "signature piece."

Anyone who'd commission a building like this gets all the ridicule he deserves.
Los Angeles also is very earthquake prone. But here's what would happen to such a building in LA.

It's a "signature piece" all right.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter Earthquake

...always one thing or another. Was just about to post a Happy Easter blog post, then an earthquake happens. It was shaking a good 30 seconds before I thought to grab my camera and film. Big 7.2 down in Baja California. We knew it was big, *somewhere* - but just not here! [It would have felt totally different.] At first I just thought someone at the end of the banquet was being annoying and tapping their feet, and they were...and then I thought "yeah, but this thing I'm sitting on STILL shouldn't be moving this much." Then I looked up and the light fixtures were swaying and the walls and windows were definately rattling. But notice how calm everyone was, relatively speaking -- except one "drama queen" who reacted by getting up and walking slowly to be under a little more structural support. Chicken. At least no one did the tourist "dive under the table" thing.

Happy Easter to you all! AFtershocks and everything.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Good Friday

day, on Good Friday, I accompanied some friends up to the Prince of Peace Abbey in Oceanside, Ca. There are about 19 monks in all. No video allowed in the church while services are going on, but afterward I did take a few stills inside

And afterwards went outside to visit the little cemetery. The video below is a short 360 look at the area which is just to the south of the church -- at the end fo the short video that "bright area" just on the horizon is the Pacific ocean.

The Abbey, close to Camp Pendleton, is in a really dangerous area for fire, so the buildings reflect this -- cinderblock construction. The cemetery is really touching. The picture below show 1st Abbot Claude's grave. A simple wooden cross marks it, and there is no name on the cross, as there are on the ones behind his. My friend Michelle, who dearly misses him as her regular confessor, said "he probably wanted it that way." Abbot Claude was so self-effacing. He was nearly 100 when he died. You can read a little more about him here. The flowers on the grave are simple and "drought tolerant." You can see what the grave first looked like, here. Somewhat to my horror[?] and fascination, a huge black beetle like creature was moseying right on the Abbot's grave, no doubt looking for dinner.

Here below is another picture - with the Abbot's grave in the foreground and the ones of 9 monks behind it. It struck me that I'd at least seen all those monks in choir at some time or other -- and that eventually, the monks currently in choir, would one day be next to their brothers in Christ, with yet unseen monks taking their places.

The monastery was founded about in the mid-50s -- it's about as old as I am. The first time I laid eyes on it was in the Fall of 1974 -- during my first few week as a Freshman at the University of California, San Diego. I was taking an "easy" distribution requirement for me. Music History. And where does one start with the History of Western Music? The church! So off we went early one morning to hear the monks chant the office -- and we stayed for their kind hospitality of breakfast afterwards. So the public higher education system in California did more to teach me formally re: Gregorian Chant than my Catholic high school "Kumbaya - Michael Row the Boat Ashore" years did.

Over the years I've gone up during various times of my life, sometimes in crisis, often not. But their little mountain top is a testament to the balanced life they lead - Pray, work, and still take some time off for a little recreation. And I like that they all still work with their hands. The Benedictines seem to have the perfect balance.

All of God's creatures abound. I hope the little fellow below finds that Beetle and EATS it! [Lizards are GOOD!!!!] I've yet to see the snakes, but I've been assured they are "around."

And peace be unto all of you this Easter. I go up tonight again for the Easter Vigil.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Fr. Owl has especially trenchant post

...regards why the media is making a full force effort to shoot down the church. Take a look here.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Anticipation -- is makin' me Wait

Couldn't resist this "field" of Easter Lillies, lined up - waiting for THE DAY.

(Super secret undisclosed location!)

Went to Holy Thursday Mass last night with the Byzantines, didn't have time to go through the video I took -- there may be some usable bits. Just have to find some good snippets between the wailing, whining and running around by two young parishioners. The only thing their parents did right was to take their SHOES off so they couldn't kick anything without hurting their tootsies. [Father P. must have been thinking "this too, shall pass" as he chanted a long lengthy Passion reading of the Last Supper and Crucifixion.]

Off to Stations up at Prince of Peace Abbey shortly with friends. I have to say there are a few advantages to being in a county of close to 3 million souls - you do have an embarrassment of riches as far as "choice" goes. And the "sun has got his hat on" and it rained recently, so there should be a few good pics of the vista from the Abbey to the Pacific ocean.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Fashion Forward Birth Control Device

-- just in time for Easter.

I'd put the following status up on my facebook page about an hour ago:

"Karen is wearing a BIRTH CONTROL DEVICE. Relax. Reading Glasses*. I could KILL all those eye docs from age 11 to 53 who NEVER mentioned "oh, for reading get a pair of +1.5 Off the Shelf reading glasses - you, being the nearsighted bat you are, your contacts are made so you can see far and not run into traffic so the rest of us are spared." Bassids. I can see the computer screen like a fricken EAGLE now."

Then I added the comment: "It's true, guys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses. Which is why I gave them up at 17."

Within an hour, I was proven wrong.

Some nice looking guy came up and asked if he could borrow my reading glasses so he could read an official "gubbmit doc" he'd got.

"Hi, could I borrow your reading glasses. I can't read this." He puts them on and says "How do I look?"

Me: "A lot better than I probably do in them!"

He turns to me and says: "Hey, you're not so bad looking yourself!" We both laugh. He asks me to open the envelope for him as he has too short nails (no non-paraplegic male can't open up a letter.) He introduced himself as "Joel" and proffered his hand to shake, then says: "Hey, warm hands too"

Me: "They oughta be...they've been in my pocket!"

Sheesh, maybe if I'da kept the goggles I'd have 20 grandkids by now....always a bridesmaid, never a bride!

[* - 3 pairs including snazzy case for 15 bucks. CVS pharmacy. Get 'em while they're hot, hot, hot.]

Tenebrae - all that and a bag of chips

Quick note in the wee hours of Thursday - last night for the first time I attended Tenebrae. I had not heard of it as a child or in high school, but saw it in a passing reference in Brideshead Revisited. So I'd looked up the term and found it was a service that had been done in the Divine Office. I thought to myself some 35+ years ago -- well, that's something I'll probably never get to see in my lifetime.

Tenebrae was hosted by St. John the Evangelist church in San Diego. A "normal" but orthodox parish - (for the 10th year running! - and I never knew that til last year, when I couldn't go.) The Brothers of the Little Oratory, with a boost from the La Jolla Renaissance Singers Chamber Choir to add some polyphony did the honors. You can see their event link here. The candleholder in the foreground is called a "hearse." Creepy name, hun? The service is essentially 3 "nocturns" (each nocturn consisting of a combination of psalms, lessons, and an Our Father) + Lauds. There are 15 psalms in all, and towards the end of each psalm, one of the candles on the hearse is extinguished. Starting with the ones at the bottom, then working one's way up to the top candle. During the Lauds, the top candle is not extinguished, but removed and "hidden" so it's light doesn't show. Then at the end, there was a traditional banging of books to symbolize the earthquake after Christ died on the Cross. More details about the ceremony in a follow on post.

I did get a fair amount of video and I hope to upload some of it later today after I get some sleep. The service was almost 2.5 hours long, but it didn't feel that way. Event organizers were a little light on booklets to follow along, but I had my missal which had the service, and a friend had brought her Liber Usualis. Afterwards we DID end up having fish and chips.

I remarked how I'd REALLY like to grab the bunnies who'd watered down the catechism and all of the musical offerings etc. post Vatican II watered and denied us having even the option to experience a lot of Catholic heritage. Those goons didn't even TELL us about it -- and gave us junk like "Kumbaya" and "Michael, Row the Boat Ashore" instead. Well, "Quomodo sedat sola civitas plena populo"* indeed, to "YOU people."

[*I won't be a snob and not translate for those who need it: "How doth the city sit that was full of people...." - which starts the beginning of the lament from the prophet Jeremiah, which was the first lesson read. -- I can think of more than a few "kumbaya" desolate churches. And nice to see the verse I saw first quoted by Charles Ryder in context! The article I linked re: Tenebrae above notes that we know of these readings for the office in the 8th century.]
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