Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I defy even Ted Blurn to produce such a musical duo.




Your Morning Cup of Awesome: The Louvin Brothers. I'd give just about anything to hear the Avetts cover some of these fellows' tunes (especially "The Kneeling Drunkard's Plea" or "Wreck on the Highway"). I stumbled across these guys on YouTube (while sampling The Faith Tones). The Louvin Brothers' music is beyond awesome, but their album covers are also epic.


"Evangelization" 
I don't think that word means what you think it means.




Of course I would not leave you hanging without posting a sample of their music. 

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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I think I've found Mr. P's Father's Day gift


Sorry, honey, I couldn't resist. You know I love you.


"Help us to begin this day joyfully in your name"



It's a lot easier to do so when you pray regularly. And it's a lot easier to pray regularly when it's all there, just laid out for you. DivineOffice.org.

Lovely Saskatchewan photography found at prairiegirlwonders.com.
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Friday, June 12, 2015

I was on the Albert Einstein Diet but I've switched to a new one.




Is anyone else on this diet? I suspect many of us are. I guess you could also call it the Insanity Diet. This post is pursuant to this one, in which I (happily) announced that I AM NO LONGER OVERWEIGHT. Well, one comment on that post (Mrs. Sockey, I'm looking at you) hit the nail on the head: Christmas is a tough time to 'maintain'. She wasn't whistling Dixie.

My daughter is going that extra mile to help me gain sanctity.



Miss P. #5 (though still in high school) is an aspiring pastry chef, and the other day she made baklava (something that I've never attempted). It's to die for--just as good, if not better--than any I've had in a restaurant (and much better than Costco's). Seriously difficult to pass by every 15 minutes. I've managed to limit myself to one piece per day. (Praise the Lord.)
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Do not fold or bend


Cuz someone might wanna frame* that Royal Conservatory certificate, for which they paid over $100 for the exam, and thousands upon thousands for years and years of piano and vocal lessons.


Thanks, Canada Post! 


*just kidding. The kids never frame their music certificates, be they exam, festival, or scholarship.  [HUMBLEBRAG ALERT] I wouldn't have the wall space.

2015 Music Festival haul.
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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Irony

...or not.

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Good-bye, fake Zero; hello actual zero.

Have I ever mentioned how much I like this stuff? Some time back, a friend posted a link on Facebook to an article describing how horrible soda pop is for you. I probably don't have to provide the link (a month of scrolling on FB wouldn't help me find it anyway), since you can google such research for yourself. Old-school pop has like a zillion teaspoons of sugar, and diet pop has artificial sweeteners that probably cause things like depression and brain cancer (and don't even help you lose weight, and I can think of no other reason to drink something that tastes like dishwater).

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Let me adjust that column on Victorian novel leading men for you...


An amusing take on who would constitute the ideal mate for modern girls (sexy monster vs wet toff, LOL) --presuming, of course, that modern girls all want the same thing, which we clearly do not. However, the winner (in Ms Freeman's opinion) is Canadian literary hero Gilbert Blythe. Well sure, maybe (as much as I am fond of Canadian men), but *cough* Gilbert is only, like, 12 when the novel begins. Yes, he grows into a man, but I sort of like hunky fictional types who are already men to begin with. But then, I'm not 14 anymore.

And come on, really? She mentions Will Ladislaw (honestly, ladies, how many of you have taken the time to read, or happen to have seen the 1994 film version of Middlemarch), but NOT the widely --and wildly-- adored John Thornton?!

Defies categorization: 
Gaskell calls him a "True Man" 

Further, Ms Freeman says:
It is often noted how little attention is given to female characters in pop culture aimed at men (which is to say, most pop culture). But the same can be said in reverse, including of literature that is largely read by girls and women. Austen never seemed very interested in her male characters beyond what financial security they could provide for her heroines, while the Brontës were incapable of writing male characters who were much more than overheated adolescent fantasies.

Quite possibly she has not read North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. Mr Thornton's character is deep and developed indeed--in fact one of the main themes is that you cannot judge a book by its cover (which the snobbish Margaret initially does, despising Mr Thornton merely for hailing from the wrong part of England, and being a manufacturer). For those who have only seen the BBC miniseries: there is no beating-the-worker scene in the book; the producers evidently thought contemporary viewers wouldn't understand the subtleties of Victorian class distinction, and thus gave us a metaphorical beating as well. It is perhaps the most unforgivable part of the adaptation, in my view. But I digress.

Ms Freeman does raise some interesting points. Had I done my Master's degree, as planned (but I took up full-time, stay-home mothering instead--You're welcome, kids!!) I've always thought it would have made a good thesis to juxtapose the treatment/development of male characters by female authors, and female characters by male authors in Regency/Victorian/19thC. novels. (Thomas Hardy's female characters? Yikes.)

It begs the question of whether or not we are really capable of getting under the skin of the opposite sex and fully and fairly portraying their characters and personalities. Could I, as a woman, ever really "write" a good (realistic) male character? Or is it all either blaming, wishful thinking, or projecting? Food for thought, especially now with the increasing prominence of "gender dysphoria," and the hilariously contradictory claims of some feminists that--on the one hand, biology is completely irrelevant, yet on the other--men and women can never fully comprehend each other, and it constitutes "gender appropriation" to try and 'write' the opposite sex. (At least for men; it's OK for women to do this, because somehow it addresses historical oppression, or something. Plus women are naturally more wise and intuitive, as everyone knows. Which isn't sexist at all.)
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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Free advice for Tim Hortons

"Drive Thru" 
for bicycles and horses and buggies only...no, wait. 

Who is advising you guys? An operative from Starbucks? Second Cup? McDonald's? As Napoleon Dynamite would say, "Idiot!" Timmy's, you've already shot yourself in both feet. Don't aim for your knees now. Time to extract the bullets and bind up the wounds, if you want to survive amongst working class Canadians. Do not cave to the enviro-nazis who hate Ethical Oil (Canadian energy) but don't mind doing business with misogynistic OPEC dictators.

However, if you want to be trampled under by Starbucks, go ahead; assisted suicide is now legal in Canada. If you're gonna stiff blue collar Canadians (and your own energy sector--what powers your coffeemakers--wind turbines?) then I can forego your frosty chocolate thingy, no matter how tasty it looks.
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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Are you ready for the new religion?


The French Revolution with their goofy re-invented Republican Calendar and attempted abolition of Catholicism had nothing on this. Who needs goddesses of Reason and Liberty when you can have a coy, 65-year-old airbrushed goddess-man wearing a push-up bra? The scary thing is how seriously the talking heads are taking this. (And I guess we MUST take it seriously, because it's the new theocracy.)

Following are comments from the Prophet Brendan O'Neill (he really is). I wonder how long it'll be before they stone him to death for not scraping to the new deity (aka a certain photoshopped Vanity Fair covergrrrrl, and all he/she/it stands for):

It’s iconic in the traditional sense, too, in that it’s being venerated as an actual icon, a devotional image of an apparently holy human. It’s an image we’re all expected to bow down to, whose essential truth we must imbibe; an image you question or ridicule at your peril, with those who refuse to genuflect before it facing excommunication from polite society. Yesterday’s Jennermania confirms how weirdly authoritarian, even idolatrous, trans politics has become.
Thomas L. McDonald at patheos goes one further:
I have a more serious reason for resisting it. Normalization of transsexualism is not just the trailing edge of the gay rights movement: it’s the leading edge of the transhumanism movement. It’s a deeply gnostic sense of the body that is at cross-purposes with a healthy understanding of the individual. It’s also driven by the idea that we can redefine fundamental issues of humanity by mere acts of will. It is the Nietzschean will to power applied, forcefully, to the body and sexuality itself.It’s bad enough when this will to power warps instruments of civilization such as the family and marriage, but in transhumanism it seeks to bend the meaning of our embodied being. Nothing good can come of this.


He points out that science is no longer based on truth (biology, emperical evidence, and so forth) but is "merely a matter of assuaging hurt feelings." It stands to reason that politics, religion, education, economics, and the rule of law must therefore follow.
Well, if you can't beat em, join em. To hell with 2015! Let this be Year 1, BC, of our Brave New World (the BC, of course, stands for "Bruce-Caitlyn".) And let's rename North America too, while we're at it. Maybe we can call it Trans-ill-vain-ia or something.

Oh, and in future, being cast out of polite society will surely be the least of our worries. Reign of terror? You ain't seen nothin yet. There are guys roaming the planet who don't give a tinker's dam about hurt feelings (except their own). There won't be any Bruce-Caitlyn debate with these monsters.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015

"Full and clear ring out thy chanting"

Lex orandi, lex credendi (as we pray, so we believe). When our language --and poetry and song--are  dumbed down, so is our faith. (Thanks, Carey Haugenhaaschutte.) I came upon the following hymn by way of Morning Prayer (Divine Office.org). I like listening to/praying with the podcast sometimes, and thus have I discovered no end of sublimely beautiful hymns (which, I shamefully admit, I sometimes skip when reading the Office). This hymn is by St. Thomas Aquinas, and I invite you to take the time not only to read it, but meditate upon it. Not only is it exquisite poetry, but it is also a profound catechesis on the Eucharist. (You know, just like Thank You, God, For Giving Us Us--not.) The podcast's sung version, by the Choir of Christ's College, is done in chant and well worth a listen.  It's not a tune you'd whistle around the campfire; it's meant to usher your soul into the presence of the Almighty. Mission accomplished, and that's not bad for a Tuesday morning. Enjoy.


Laud, O Sion thy salvation

Laud, O Sion thy salvation, laud with hymns of exultation, Christ thy king and shepherd true. 
Spend thyself, his honour raising, who surpasseth all thy praising; never canst thou reach his due.

Sing to-day, the mystery showing of the living, life-bestowing Bread from heaven before thee set
Even the same of old provided, where the Twelve, divinely guided, at the holy table met.

Full and clear ring out thy chanting, joy not sweetest grace be wanting to thy heart and soul to-day.
When we gather up the measure of that supper and its treasure, keeping feast in glad array.

Lo, the new king’s table gracing, this new Passover of blessing hath fulfilled the elder rite. 
Now the new the old effaceth, truth revealed the shadow chaseth, day is breaking on the night.

What he did at Supper seated, Christ ordained to be repeated, his memorial ne’er to cease. 
And, his word for guidance taking, bread and wine we hallow, making thus our Sacrifice of peace.

This the truth to Christians given; bread becomes his flesh from heaven, wine becomes his holy Blood. Doth it pass thy comprehending? Yet by faith, thy sight transcending, wondrous things are understood.

Yea, beneath these signs are hidden glorious things to sight forbidden; look not on the outward sign.
Wine is food and bread is broken; but in either sacred token Christ is here by power divine.

Whoso of this food partaketh, Christ divideth not nor breaketh; He is whole to all that taste. 
Wherefore upon this day receiveth, for the thousands will believeth, one’s real food that cannot waste.

Good and evil men are sharing one repast, a death preparing varied as the heart of men; 
Yet fore death shall be awarded, as their days shall be recorded which from their beginning ran.

When the sacrament is broken, doubt not in each severed token, hallowed by the word once spoken, resteth all the true content; 
Nought the precious gift divideth, breaking but the sign betideth, he himself the same abideth, nothing of his fullness spent.

Lo! the Angels’ food is given to the pilgrim who hath striven; see the children’s bread from heaven, which to dogs may not be cast; 
Truth the ancient types fulfilling, Isaac bound, a victim willing, paschal lamb, its life-blood spilling, manna sent in ages past.

O to Bread, good Shepherd, tend us, Jesu, of thy love befriend us, thou refresh us, thou defend us, thine eternal goodness send us in the land of life to see;
Thou who all things canst and knowest, who on earth such food bestowest, grant us with thy Saints, though lowest, where the heavenly feast thou showest, fellow-heirs and guests to be. 

Amen. Alleluia.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Trinity Sunday


I have such good childhood memories of the parish in our small home town. I can still remember how packed the church was, pretty much EVERY Sunday. And I remember all the men coming in suits and ties, and parking their Frank Sinatra hats at the back, and the entire congregation singing hymns--yes, real hymns. (I especially remember my dad's booming joyful voice singing these hymns.)

But of course it wasn't about us. In those days we still thought church had something to do with worshipping God. It's a great comfort to hear these hymns after all these years of "Peace is Flowing Like a River," and "Thank You, God, For Giving Us Us," and "Break Not the Circle of Enabling Love" (honest, I didn't make that last one up; it's real).

"O God Almighty Father" (sung by regular folk, but lovely):



And... "Holy! Holy! Holy!" (King's College Choir):

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Friday, May 29, 2015

This makes me want to start collecting stamps.

The U.S. Postal Service is issuing a stamp in honour (or perhaps I'd better say "honor") of Flannery O'Connor. Good on ya, USA! Just lovely.


Very much thanks to Mrs. S. for alerting me to this on Facebook.