Former columnist for the Los Angeles Post Examiner, the Baltimore Post Examiner, and Gatehouse News Service

Monday, August 22, 2011

Weekly Wrap-Up

As we begin a new week, let us take a glance back at the week just past, shall we?

Filed Under "Dad Only Gets to Stay Three Days, Kids" - The President is vacationing in the oh-so-tony island enclave of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, while the rest of the country is hearing more and more about the "R" word - recession - and every graph they show you on cable news looks like a really decent sledding hill in winter.  Why not Camp David, sir?  Go with the kids and wife for maybe three days, and then beg off, as every dad has had to do at one time or another, saying that you must get back to work.  Your work is getting us out of the toilet, so I would be comfortable with three days of vacation ONLY, annointed sir, and those three days only for the girls' sake.  (But while you are there, go to the Black Dog; it's an island "must.")

Filed Under "You Just Might Get What You Asked For" - Abercrombie and Fitch apparently is upset that The Jersey Shore cast wears their clothes, and reportedly paid one cast member NOT to wear their clothing (the company disputes this).  This is hysterical, people!  Have you been by an Abercrombie and Fitch lately in the mall?  Your ears pulsate with the loud, pounding rhythms as you innocently walk by, and if you enter inside, well...God help you.  The posters of half-naked kids are so blatently shouting "the dollar is our God, and we spend a lot on 'tween marketing surveys, too" that you would have to be recently lobotomized to not see that your kids are being played, and you are, too.  My kids were not allowed to shop there unless they got a gift certificate from a well-meaning relative - and then they had to wear ear muffs and eye blinders.  So...this is just hysterical to me, the Jersey Shore connection.  See, A&F, borderline porn ads don't attract just wealthy suburban kids - Jersey Shore is more your speed and taste...so, enjoy!!  Hysterical!!

And , in the "This Is Just Annoying" category - why do people pronounce the word "Pundits" as "Pundints"?  Interestingly, it's the "pundits" that mispronounce it the most, as it's not a word us regular folks need to use too much...kind of like hearing "for all intensive purposes"  (all intents and purposes) or "nucular" instead of "nuclear."  (I still love you, President Bush.)  Just random thoughts...

Have a great week!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Here I am today, writing to you from Cape Cod, Massachusetts; our 25th year in a row vacationing here. Gorgeous weather, nice surf, scenery that is more Martha's Vineyard than Cape (lots of wooden fences, beach roses)although we are on mainland, in Marston Mills.

I have had a ball with Fred's family (come on - after 25 years they are OUR family, in every way.) The beach was dicey for me this year; a seagull swooped down and ripped a turkey sandwich right out of my hand, and then I got stung by some fish or crab or monster under the water, and then we saw seals and I was worried about sharks...the list even goes on, but I'll stop there.

We are so lucky to even be away, when you think about the world today; riots in England, the dance of the stock market, the unemployment rates (the real ones.) Enjoy it while you can, prepare for the future as best you can, and try not to think about the sharks in the water too much.

We return home today, grateful and ready to begin again at home.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Who Is God?

I teach CCD ( I have the summer off, thank God - I am hoping I have a FastPass to Heaven for handling the 12 twelve-year old boys in my class, who are friends with each other) and I enjoy it, mostly because I teach with my good friend Susan, and we spend a lot of the hour laughing at the kids and their unique answers to questions.  (Ex: what is Advent?  Answer: it's a lot like Tylenol; you take it for a headache or a fever...)

Of course when we are not discussing Pee Wee hockey in CCD class,we discuss the nature of God.  If Susan and I do one thing for the boys, it is this: I hope we can leave them with a sense of not only the rules of respecting and observing God, but the adventure that is experiencing God.  I hope that they understand that when they are skating as fast as they can, or laughing until their sides hurt, or pointing their skis down a steep ski run and feeling the butterflies that come before flying, God is there, too.  And loving it for them, and with them.

There is a lot of language that comes with religion - blood of the lamb, being saved, and accepting Christ as your Savior.  These are all quite true, and familiar expressions of the experience of Christianity...but they make a lot of people itch, look at their watches and move on in conversation. 

Maybe if we started thinking about God, and introducing God by saying, particularly to kids: "You know when you saw that deer?  God was there with you."  Or, "you know when that kid on the other team got knocked down, got up, and scored the goal?  God was in that."  Many times we ditch our textbook in class, and talk this way, and it is here that we get the kids' attention (granted, not for long, but we do get it.)

I believe that God is with you in trouble, sorrow, and struggle.  But He is also just as present in excitement, adventure, and exuberance.  God is Good, in all it's forms.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Kristen Wiig - 7 Minutes in Heaven

I am a huge Kristen Wiig fan, and here she participates in "Closet Theater" with SNL writer Mike O'Brien, who asks stars into the closet for interviews and improv. Too funny!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Sheryl Crow - Now That You're Gone (Abbey Road Live 2008)

I am lovin this song by Sheryl Crow; she almost sounds like Bonnie Raitt on the chorus. Take a break, grab a beer or a glass of wine, and groove out to this for a few...