Monday, April 30, 2007

Here it is, what everyone's been waiting for!

Press Release:
Rosary Army and SQPN Launch "That Catholic Show" Video Series
4/30/2007 – 12:00 EST

CONYERS, GA - The Internet's most popular portal for Catholic podcasts has teamed up with another apostolate known for their dedication to spreading the Catholic faith to produce "That Catholic Show," a fun and different way of looking at Catholicism.

"That Catholic Show," a different and often surprising view of Catholicism, is a 5 minute video series available for free download via the Internet.

The new series is co-produced by the Star Quest Production Network ( and Rosary Army (, an apostolate dedicated to spreading the Catholic faith.

The premiere episode debuts on the SQPN and Rosary Army websites on April 30, 2007 and asks the burning question, "Do you ever wonder why Catholics sit, stand, and kneel so much?"

Not Your Typical Boring Religious Program
"Our goal is to take away some of the mystique and misconceptions people often have with Catholicism," says Greg Willits, co-creator and director of the series. "There are so many fun and interesting things about our faith, and we wanted to present these topics in a way that even non-Christian audiences would appreciate."

Taking a cue from popular cable channels such as Food Network and HGTV, the Willits' have created a show that handles unique topics with a light touch, making them immediately accessible.

"What we hope we've accomplished is to make a show that can be used to kick off discussions for RCIA classes, for LifeTeen groups, and for general conversations about Catholicism," says Rosary Army co-founder and show host Jennifer Willits.

Catholicism Like You've Never Seen Before
"Dynamic and different Catholic content is hard to come by," says Greg Willits. "But we believe there is a need for this kind of exciting media. We heard Pope John Paul II's call for a New Evangelization, and this is how we’re trying to answer."

"That Catholic Show" is also available for free download from and Apple's iTunes Podcast Directory.

For more information and links please visit,, and

View the first episode here:

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Important baseball game today! ! !

Go Daniel !
Go Daniel !
Hit a homerun !
Go Daniel !

Good luck and have a great game, and a good time at the Marlins game.

And remember, no beer for you !

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I can't help that I'm a giant nerd. . .

. . . and that THIS ARTICLE about Stephen Hawking flying weightless captured my attention.

I don't think there's such a thing as too much Star Trek, and even though I majored in the humanities and bolted away from math and physics, I did pretty well with the other sciences, especially behavioral sciences. If Star Trek isn't an exploration of the human condition, I don't know what is, so that's my rationale for loving it in spite of not ever being able to grasp the pseudo science behind it.

That's why I think Hawking is so fascinating. I actually understood A Brief History of Time. If only I could apply the same principles to learning key signatures, I might be able to play the piano. In any event, I found this cool enough to post here.

I would soooo go into space if I had a couple of million lying around. It's awesome that he wants it to be affordable (although I noted that they waived his fee---I guess I better be famous first).

Get Well Soon! ! !

Miss Anna-Banana! ! !

Just say no to:

Broken bones and streppy throat .

Time to get you well.

No more boo-boos.

No more falls.

No more grossy germies

in your throat!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Shopping at the Piggly Wiggly

I haven't indulged my mean streak here in quite a while--a crazy thought considering that I originally started blogging to chronicle the adventures of a Cubanita in The South. Well, I won't disappoint, if only to document what I have seen this afternoon at the local grocery store.

Understand that I have shopped most of my adult life at Publix, Where Shopping is a Pleasure. Oh, I know I pay premium prices, mostly for a clean store, a variety of items, and the peace of mind that the bag boy won't assault me on the way to my car. Every once in a while, though, I feel compelled to patronize other establishments.

Walmart is always an interesting choice, especially on a weekend evening. Usually, that's when we happen to be out anyway, and John gets the wild hair to get a $400 grocery. Those trips are really classified as something other than shopping. It's more like a people watching extravaganza because over the years I have finely tuned my aversion to grocery shopping, so if the family wants to eat, they better figure out how to get the food in the pantry.

They leave me alone to wander the aisles in search of random items, and odd people. It's better than spending the afternoon in the Louvre (ok, maybe not, but in the absence of a ticket to Paris, it works for me).

Today I went to get a refill for my blood pressure medicine because I'm still eating crappy food, and the only exercise I get is wandering those Walmart aisles, and there was crowd at the pharmacy. I love my pharmacy. The pharmacist knows my name, asks about the family, jabbers on about Georgia Tech in a University of Georgia-infested region. I like to give them my business.

The locale is only marginally better than it was before. In fact, maybe not. Nevertheless, they are a breath of cleanliness in a strip mall that sports a Dollar General, a really seedy diner with pool tables, and the Piggly Wiggly.

I put in my refill and took a stroll down to the Piggly Wiggly, ostensibly in search of garbage bags. I was unsure of the availability of my brand, but hey, it's not like I'm brand loyal to garbage bags. For those of you interested, I did get my cinch bags, and for less than I pay at Publix.

Overall, it was a dingy store, with limited items, and a meat section that scared me. Really. For starters, I didn't recognize any of the meat--except the chicken. Even that wasn't very encouraging, because it was all gray. Now, I've heard that stores will use food coloring and such. Let me just say on the record that I'd like my meat to look fresh when I buy it. You don't have to kill the cow in front of me, but let me see some blood, even if it is pretend.

The real entertainment was in the check out line. I was standing in my heels, sweating in my pantyhose and trying to keep my blouse from revealing too much, when I spied the bag boy. Um. Bag man. Um. Man who might have been better off wearing a bag.

Imagine, if you will, Freddy Mercury at his cleanest cut--trimmed hair, trimmed mustache, usual overbite--and sock him into 2007. Wearing ridiculous amounts of bling. And tatoos on his neck.

This guy looked like the juxtaposition of Green Acres with Sanford and Sons. He took every negative stereotype about rural white folks and urban black folks and turned it into "his look."

I don't think he was making a social statement. No. I believe he thought he looked good.

I think I'll go back to my Publix, where I can get a free cup of coffee that I pay for at the register. Oh, and I know the bag boys. They are high school kids that call me Ms. J, not creepy middle aged men who evidently can't hold another kind of job.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Sanjaya: King of Understatement?

I don't even watch the show, but he seemed to annoy a lot of people. I found the article amusing. After all, I never want to miss an opportunity to point out how the entertainment media--news as entertainment folks create sensations out of vapid self-absorbed inarticulate teenagers.

"It was really weird."

Back in the saddle

So I finally got around to to writing another Monday Musings post. My mom thought I was fired or something.

Not quite. It was more like I took a break. We'll see what happens later. BAHAHA.

Anyway, here ya go, Mom.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

To Write Right

It's been a while since I go into some personal thoughts or observations here--mostly because I've been so busy writing. Ha! How's that for irony? I don't feel like writing because I'm writing. I've mentioned before that sometimes I feel like I have this tank of words I can use, and when I use them up, the tank is empty and it needs to recharge. I'm not sure how big or small that tank is, but I do know that it definitely exists. I can't call this a regular writer's rationalization. Instead, I need to call it this writer's realization.

I'm working on a really neat project that will be released very soon--like, at the end of the month! It's been taxing and challenging and frustrating and exhilarating and all the cool adjectives that I can use. It's also a time suck like no other. My mother has pointed out that I seem to have taken a sabbatical from a column that I was writing, and that's my own fault, which I will rectify soon, but then it will be a word-suck and I'll be back in this place of empty tanks.

To be honest, that's a good thing. The shift from technical writing to this creative/other stuff has been long overdue, and part of the risk and part of the joy lies in the actual act. I've given myself permission to suck, and with it the opportunity to learn and grow. It's all in the process, after all.

This blog, for example, has served the need to produce words, but as I find other places to put those words, the tank here goes empty for a while. And yet, it is through here and other bloggers that I have found a connection and some inspiration.

"Solitude, competitiveness and grief are the unavoidable lot of a writer only
when there is no organization or network to which he can turn." --Toni Morrison

How true! I've been lucky to have found some interesting places for support, whether it has been purely entertaining and inspirational,--check out Wil Wheaton's commentaries on writing, or spot on right about the process--check out Bonnie Gillespie's brilliant treatise on writing correctly, or just plain fun and challenges to be creative in any way that inspires at Ink 'n Doodles Creative Workshop. It's not a commercial folks; it's more like a Public Service Announcement.

Happy trails. I hope you check back in on the 30th for the world premiere of a neat little project.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Oh dear, Mr. McCain

I'm at a loss. What a great country to allow the creation and distribution of this stuff. And yet...

Happy Birt

I wasn't quite sure if I should finish the statement, after all, this guy is in the business of beginnings, and then never getting around to the business at hand.

[This is me, ducking. I know there's a little unfinished business from me, too].

Happy Birthday, Achi! ! !

You know we love you!

there's a new drum major in town

Seen her anywhere?

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Review: GaTech Concert Band

I must admit that it has been a while since I thoroughly enjoyed a band concert. Oh, I try and get away and catch a symphony here and there, but one certainly expects professionalism from...well...professionals. Unfortunately, in the realm of bands, the last couple of years of high school band were painful, not because of the musicianship--one expects a certain amount of amateurism in a HS band, but rather, the thing I just can't abide: a rude audience.

When Vicky told me the college band was performing a John Williams and Aaron Copland piece (one of each--not together--it's easier to keep writing and explaining than backspacing and rewriting that sentence) I moved around my schedule to be able to attend. The evening did not disappoint.

I have to begin with the director, who charmed me right away for two reasons. First, he reminded me of Joe Kaplan, whom I miss terribly at the oddest moments, and second, he obviously has a rapport with the audience and spoke with a real affection and admiration for the music he was introducing. I am especially grateful for his explanation of The Star Spangled Banner as a fantasia which otherwise would have resulted in the confused rising for the national anthem. Kudos to him.

The Copland piece was beautiful, and appropriate given the events of this week. How can it be Tuesday and I feel like I've lived a decade in two days?

Things got a little edgy with the next piece, something I was not familiar with, and to be honest, I'm not likely to seek out. Something with transcendental in the title and thus for me, reminiscent of having to read Jean-Paul Sartre, or worse, Albert Camus. Bah! Am I an English teacher? Perhaps I meant Emerson and Thoreua (possibly worse). It did have some redeeming qualities: the two Stargazing movements were extraordinary. I love the raw emotion of the drums and the intensity of the woodwinds. Still, not my cup of tea, but it was entertaining as hell to watch Vicky and Nigel moving among all the percussion intruments. My Baby can wield those mallets like a jousting knight.

The evening ended with the most unlikely thing: Liturgical music for band. How weird is that? What do I know of music, so maybe it's normal, but not something I can recall. I love the Masses sung by Christy and Jonathan's chorus groups--in fact, I look forward to festival because they tend to sing glorias and alleluias, but I was having a hard time wrapping my mind around brass and woodwinds producing this "liturgical music." As it happens, it was a brilliant ending for the evening.

Well, it was actually brilliant for a different reason. It may be heresy, but I thought the final piece, the alleluia part, sounded an awful lot like the style from How the West Was Won.

So sue me.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Cell Phones 37; Pop 0

So, in the world of annoyance calls my father wins the prize. Unfortunately, he wins the prize by losing the battle in figuring out to make cell phones work when they are supposed to, and remain in the off position when they are not.

I am no stranger to this phenomena. That's why I switched to flip phones a few years ago. For me, the final straw was calling my grieving friend who was on the way to bury her father. Talk about tacky timing.

Pop has called us at odd hours, startling us out of bed because he's dropped his phone on his dresser as he was turning in for the night, and accidentally called. Then of course we call back, startling him. There's no pleasure in that, it's not a crank call, and we both end up cranked for the night.

Today, he phoned again, and I cancelled the call because I happened to be in the library at the time. I stepped outside to return the call, we chattted, exchanged pleasantries and I went back into the library, and he returned to chopping down some tree in his yard. I didn't realize that I had a voice mail message until much later in the day.

Distracted, I checked the voice mail, and only heard heavy breathing. For a long time. Disgusted that I was getting porn calls, I hung up and deleted the message. It dawned on me moments later that I was not listening to some pervert's heavy breathing, it was the sound of the saw muffled through Pop's pocket.

I can call him a colorful list of things, but crank pornstar is luckily not one of them. It just better not happen again, Old Man.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

the passing of a different baton

Sometime in mid-May there should be a ceremonial passing of the baton, I mean, passing of the car keys. In a tradition started many years ago with the original I Will Fly, my mom gave her used Toyota to Vic as a transportation for her senior year. As she had no wheels, the gift was greatly appreciated, and Neep has served her needs well since then.

Sadly, Neep has had an extended rest between visits, because keeping a car on campus has been prohibitive, and Vic, independent Vicky Sola that she is, hates the idea of always depending on her friends to give her a ride. She's picked up some odd jobs for the summer, including tutoring conducting to a drum major, so she needs something a little more reliable than Neep.

Neep is fantabulous for the 7 miles roundtrip from the high school. Sixty miles in and out of Atlanta, not so good.

Thus, her father decided to help her out by looking through the used cars in the area. It turns out, that buying new was only a couple $k more than the used car we were looking at, so here she is with the as yet un-named transporatation, complete with REAL new car smell. *

*here she is

Trying to look cool. The next installment needs to be Christy salivating over the keys of Neep.

miracles DO happen

While we still don't have TV, perhaps that day will come. There are all kinds of signs happening. Witness this:

Yes, it's a coffee pot. The Coffee Pot War of 2006-2007 has ended. There was no fanfare, no confetti, no wild passionate kiss by an attractive and painfully young sailor.

No, the Coffee Pot War ended unremarkably with the statement: Hey boy, there's a coffee pot in the front seat of the truck. Go make half a pot.

That's it. I can't even comment on a truce. Life continued uninterupted. Albeit all the more delightful thanks to the caffeine.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

April 12 of 12 (2.0)

I'm sure there's a geeky place somewhere that I could use to figure out how to make the date a Star Trek stardate. Why, because looking at the title with version 2.0 somehow messes with my feng shui.

Anyway, if you're new to this whole 12 of 12 thing, you must have just emerged from a cave or something. but for the record, here's everything you need to know about it. Now go do it, or at least check out what everybody else around the world is doing today, April 12th.

Running too late to stop for a cup of java on the way to work, I opt for zapping some milk and making cafe con leche.

It's still a cup to go, but it does make the morning commute more bearable. At least this time, you see my cup holder and not the obligatory tail lights.

Somehow the desk looks the same. That's my fault, as I was far more interested in a script than in lesson plans.

An early dinner at Cracker Barrel, courtesy of a visit by the Missing One.

Here I thought she was being serious, and this is what I get. Silliness supreme.

What is that? Disapproval? Condescension? Just plain incredulity?

Next fall's housing arrangements were posted, and she ended up precisely where she didn't want to be. Time to activate the Star and fix it. Fast.

This is the bonus picture: TAG

I thought she was done with tagging her hands with reminders, but there it is.

Nigel. Smiling? Hmmm

Oh look, I DO have three chirren.

I loaded up my favorite podcasts from and...
checked in at my favorite websites before checking out for the night, pooped!

12 of 12 today

Go for it! ! !

The bonus picture for me today is TAG.

Check out the RANDOM WORD GENERATOR for yours.

Monday, April 09, 2007

The Catfish Festival

We had a delightful little fishing trip to Mexico Beach (ok, really it was St. Joe's Beach) in Florida, and hoped to have plenty of tasty fishies to bring home.

Alas, the only thing biting was the wind, and an interminable round of catfish. Just for the record, those are some nasty fish.

Anyway, the fishermen plugged on in the hopes of catching something edible. Eventually, a perch made it's way into the clutches of Ahab's rod, but it was too late, the catfish had launched their invasion and the next day just saw more of the little buggers.

Here are some pictures of the fisher king, his knave, and the two princesses who were far more interested in taking artsy fartsy pictures than anything gross involvling fish guts. Enjoy.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Keith Richards, Again

So really, I have to post this second part, because 1) so many people spoke to me personally about being disgusted by my previous Keith Richards post, and 2) how can anybody be surprised at a rebuttal against the claims that he snorted his father's ashes?

Personally, I am fascinated by the whole thing. And, for the record, I don't beleive the rebuttal for a minute. But, here you go, judge for yourselves:

"The complete story is lost in the usual slanting. The truth of the matter
is I planted a sturdy English Oak."

I see. Because that sounds like "I snorted my father's ashes." Just sayin'.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Stream of Consciousness

A well-known Irish writer, James Joyce, is known for a particular technique of writing called stream of consciousness. Essentially, it is writing the internal dialogue that we often have with ourselves.

I have a friend who utters incredibly random things because the interior monologue was somehow released into the atmosphere, and we hear the third or fourth element in something that made sense if only we had been listening to it from the beginning.

Shamefully, I find myself increasingly guilty of doing that, too.

Every once in a while, in yet another literary response, I become aware of my discourse, and laugh it up, but more often than not my brain follows a path down a very bizarre road, and I seem to be content to let it wander there.

Today's random moment was generated by watching a bunny rabbit hop across the road and hippity-hop across a neighbor's yard, into some shrubbery.

What did it make me think of? Keeping my lunch money in my shoe.

Yeah, random right? I invite you down my mind's path: Of course, the rabbit, and the fact that I responded to it as a bunny, took me to my childhood. Once there, it was a no-brainer to days of freedom and little responsibility. No carrying around briefcases filled with work, no keeping up with car keys, cell phones, and checkbooks. In fact, no checkbooks at all. The only money I had to carry was for lunch. And even that I didn't need a wallet for, I just kept it in my shoe.

See? I'm not crazy. Just ask the voices in my head.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

In other, disturbing, news...

Keith Richards claims to have snorted his father's ashes after cremation.

You have to wonder about people and sensationalism. It has not escaped me that I'm posting about it: how could I not? The whole thing is bizarre. That weird article is here, and here's a picture of him.

I've seen mummies that look younger and fresher than that. It should be a warning to everyone that snorting anything is probably not a good idea, least of all family members.


Not even close to a scoop,

but this picture has been making teh internets rounds, so I thought I'd do the blogging equivalent of forwarding yet another stupid email joke.

Maybe it's real, maybe it isn't. It doesn't matter, it's still a pretty picture, and I love the composition. I once went through a period of taking pictures of the light rays from windows, too.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

MS Vista is a P.O.S.

I just felt a need to vent along with everyone else. It is not compatible with anything else I have, and it is full of bugs.

Yeah, yeah, I know: what else is new?


That damn XP was just now working right, so they had to come out with a knock off of the dashboard. It's not even as nice to look at. And by the way, after doing everything in the world possible to get the computer running faster, now we have that stupid little delay while the graphics do a useless and not-so-entertaining little dance before fully opening up? I am not amused, or entertained. In fact, I'm angry enough to pack up the new laptop and send it back.

What those bastards at Microsoft know is that after investing a weekend into loading up the programs, I'm not going to do it. But let me tell you, that I'm not going to do it because it's my personal laptop and really all I do is email, wordprocessing and surfing. I'm not doing business with Microsoft, which is not going to affect their bottom line that much, but at the end of the year, when I have to think about switching over machines for my desktop publishing business, I'm running right back to that pretty little apple logo.

Gates won't care, or even notice, but I will.

And that's what matters to me.