Friday, August 31, 2007

Latest Mission(s)

I am slowly adding the blogs that I read to my Blog People listing. I am so lazy. Really. I am astounded that I read off the favorites list rather than just click over there to the right.

Big Weekend

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I'm like the old people who can't let go and bore the young whipper snappers with the same old story over and over again

It seems that Fidel Castro has weighed in on the presidential election of 2008 in an editorial this weekend, that coincidentally was published a day after another round of rumors about his death.

Why would we care?

More importantly, what does it say about the candidates? I mean, if Castro is backing Obama and Hilary, I'm thinkin...I'm not--no way.

The big question is really: Where is the old goat? I never thought I'd say it, but I'm agreeing with Perez Hilton. The only way I'm gonna believe he's still alive is if they prop him up and parade him around El Malecon for us to see. None of this old video in the tacky track suit. And please, don't insult my intelligence by suggesting an editorial written by a lackey is proof that he's alive, either.

That is all.

Do Over

Wouldn't it be awesome if life gave us do overs when we messed up? Wow, what a different-looking bank account for me, at the very least. And there's that little incident in 1982 that could have turned out differently....

Alas, it is not to be. We call those lessons experience and move forward.

It seems that Miss Carolina, though, did get a shot at answering her question a bit more articulately this week when she was invited to try again on the Today Show. Honestly, her answer was barely any better, but at least she left out references to South Africa and the Iraq.

In case you are the last person in the world to know what I am talking about, her ya go:

Monday, August 27, 2007

I should post something...

Very little, and quite a lot is going on around here.

First, I've had a bad case of hiccups for about an hour. Nothing to send me to the hospital about, and don't call Guinness yet, Charles Osborne's record is still safe, but terribly annoying nonetheless.

Delicious Quiche Lorraine is in the oven. I love it when John makes dinner.

My car has evidently imploded with something in the engine, and I get the pick up truck! No Loser Cruiser for me.

Still have hiccups.

Drinking a glass of Aussie Shiraz. Maybe that'll get rid of the hiccups.

Got some fantabulous shoutouts by the dynamic duo in today's Rosary Army Podcast. Give it a listen. You know you will because you love me, but you'll stick around cuz you're gonna love the podcast.

Currently getting whooped at scrabble by a priest and a bald guy. The indignity of it!

I'm also featured in this week's episode of Ink 'n Doodles Radio.

Man, today's post has a decidedly "it's all about me" tone, doesn't it? Good, you should buy my books!

Hey, the red wine worked! Who knew?

OK, so other cool things happening. Amazingly keeping up with the Bible and Catechism in a year project.

Doing laundry; what else is new?

Having fun with Facebook, although admit that I am clueless. Will have to check in with one of the kids to learn how to upload pictures--I am so lame.

Friday, August 24, 2007

My final word on Castro today

So here's the link to the post I was looking for earlier, the one about Castro being dead. In case you miss the joke, it's a poster of a movie called Weekend at Bernie's. The whole point of the movie is that Bernie was dead the whole time, but the guys were hauling his dead body around, propping it up and maintaining the charade.
I am of the serious opinion that Castro has been dead since last year. No kidding. Nothing you could say would convince me otherwise. It's kind of like the people who think Michael Vick is innocent. I don't care what you say, Castro is pickled and even his brother Raul isn't running the show.

Alas, here's the farked version of the movie poster. Makes me laugh every time.

update: a link to channel 7 in Miami that actually expresses quite well that we aren't really celebrating the guy's death, but the opportunity to move forward without an oppresive totalitarian regime.

Castro, finally dead?

I got the IM from my goofy brother this afternoon. The messages went something like this:

Danny: fidel is dead
Bego: liar
Danny: yeah
Bego: liar
Danny: news at 4
Bego: liar

I think I need a new word for my vocabulary. Nevertheless, just checked with a reputable source, rather than my rumormongering brother. Turns out people are being sent home from work early as the police are getting into their riot gear. This could be entertaining.

I'll check back in later.

Well, here are some previous posts on La Situacion.

"The saga continues" from February 2007

"Wishful thinking... from May 2007

"HA HA HA HA" January 2007

New Media: What's Old is New Again

I don't even know what this new media thing is. Really. But it seems we are a part of it, even us old folks that remember how liberating life was before computers.

Shall I wax nostalgic about those silly old days when people actually had real fish in their fish tanks, instead of virtual fish in a little window on Facebook? I do own a little fish, though. She's a little hyper and entertaining, and I like to think that she recognizes me. Feel free to indulge me on this point. Anyway, there is something to be said for the virtual ones. I don't have to clean the tank.

So back to new media. The aspect that had me thinking about it is how it has really returned to the "word of mouth" distribution model. Back in the day, people sent letters to communicate. Newspapers were hand-cranked and certainly not available for daily download.

Even as a child, the incredible audio-visual media resources were limited to the big three networks, and TBS if you had a decent VHF antenna. The AJC was actually two smaller papers, the Journal and the Constitution. A bluetooth technology device stuck in my ear? Nah, I had a dime in my back pocket, for emergencies. I could also bank on a public telephone on every corner, and in practically every public restroom.

Today we have so many channels, paid and public, that it's a wonder anything can really be a hit—the audience is so widely dispersed. Radio, too, has satellite distribution that reaches a much wider audience.

When I finally jumped on board and understood the potential of the internet through podcasts, videocasts, and every conceivable manifestation of self-publishing, from simple blogging to print-on-demand books, I was overwhelmed, and then…intrigued. I admit to taking baby steps and watching and learning from the younger folks for whom this media is an intuitive and natural tool. It's changed the way I view information.

My brother, Mr. Connected-to-Everything-Pop-Culture, called me on self-publishing some books. You can't get any more supportive than this goofy, really nice guy, who immediately bought a copy of everything I published. His question--why not Random House?--wasn’t intended as an insult; it was sincere.

The truth is, Random House, et al, have no interest in me. I’m not a well-known criminal, or sleeping with anybody famous, or have any other scandalous attention-getting qualities that would make me a marketable risk. Instead, I have a little dream of writing a novel, an opportunity to bundle some of my more popular columns from Rosary Army's News from Headquarters, and the task of presenting a practical guide to writing for my students.

Each of those “markets” is too small for a big publisher to make a killing on—but there is a niche for those books. I know this because they are selling, in spite of no formal marketing.

So how are people discovering these books? Well, the answer is here, the new media. We've gone back to the “word of mouth.” Let me tell you how effective that is. The big lesson I've learned is that to build readership, I have to read. I have to read other bloggers. I have to support other self-publishers. I have to leave comments, make links, send in feedback to all those folks who are interconnected in this small network that is really GIGANTIC. And the really amazing thing is that it has become an incredible tool for evangelization. It's pretty cool.

And it's humbling, too. Evidently, one does not write on one’s Wall in Facebook. Oh. Well, I’m sure it’s a faux pas in a long line to come as I learn how to maneuver this exciting community.

check out my favorite resources for really cool stuff happening out there:

Star Quest Production Network, the media portal for quality popular content with a decidedly Catholic basis (check out ALL the shows--you'll find something that you like)

That Catholic Show, a fun and funny video series that explores Catholic culture and customs

The Rosary Army Podcast, a (usually) bi-weekly peek into the lives of a young, Catholic couple raising a family, growing a ministry, and spreading the Gospel

Ink 'n Doodles Creative Workshop, a good place to whet your appetite for creative inspiration

and the myriad blogs listed on my reading list.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

More Amazingly BRILLIANT Kids! ! !

We obviously have good genes. Just giv'em their A+'s now and save time.

Have a great school year, my lovelies!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Walk with me on this journey

This post is a departure from my usual irreverent and sometimes crass look at our world, and definitely, at the insanity that comprises mine. Nevertheless, I have been known to be serious every once in a while, and so this post is in that category (of seriousness, of course, although I had to refrain from making some silly observations). Anyway, my dearest friend, whom I have protected from undue attention until now, has posted a rather intriguing challenge at her blog, which will remain linked here until she has a cow and makes me disable the link. Go read it because it explains much more clearly why I am endeavoring to read the bible and the catechism in one year.

I'm thinking, rather than deluge her blog with what could be long comments, that we just post a link to responses at our own blogs. At the very least, it'll get some blog traffic moving all over the place, and that's always a good thing. I imagine that those of you on facebook can provide links as well.

Anyway, without further adieu, here is my response to the first study assignment. Feel free to post a link to your blog, or if you are one of those folks that just likes a hit and run post, knock yourself out and leave a full comment here.

CCC 2623-2636

This section of the catechism deals with the fellowship of the Christian journey. It is a call for prayer, at one with the Church in the formal sense through the fellowship of our brothers and sisters in Christ. The exhortation is that through prayer we journey towards the fullness of the Truth.

To this end we explore three kinds of prayer: blessing and adoration, petition, and intercession. I never before saw how intertwined these prayers are. Through intercession we pray as Jesus prayed, and our petitions come through in that act, but through adoration we expose ourselves to both the trust and acceptance of God’s will, and also convey the blessing from us to adore and pay homage to our God.

Sirach 36:1-14

The title of this passage, Prayer for God’s People,” invokes in its opening, “Have mercy upon us, O God of all.” The rest follows as high praise for the powerful and mighty God that is also glorious and holy.

Ezekiel 40-41

Astonishingly detailed description of the holiest place, the altar before the Lord. On the one hand a rather drawn out and probably incredibly rich description, full of meaning totally lost on me, i.e., the numbers, and what of the palm trees? Nevertheless, the attention to detail here is meaningful to me in a different way—that great care and attention should be given to the praise and worship of the Lord.

Revelation 5

Revelations always a mystery to me clouded with symbolism that I lack the historical and theological background to decipher, is here understood to be an instance of great adoration, for the Lamb in this story is worshipped and praised to the highest level. At least this time I get the meaning of the Lamb!

Thematically, all of these references point to our need—dare I say, responsibility, for worshipping and praising God—not out of a sense of obligation or fear, but from the profound understanding and belief that He is indeed most worthy and deserving of it.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Just thought the banner was cute

The deer are back

It seems our back yard has turned into a wildlife reserve. Or the local fauna are desperately seeking refuge. I imagine the acreage behind our home was full of deer at some point, before some crazy people came and cut down all the trees and then JUST LEFT IT THERE in big giant heaps. What a waste! I'm not a crazy tree-hugger that thinks that cutting down a tree is tantamount to murder, but I do think it's wasteful to just raze a chunk of property in a residential area--for no apparent reason. Now it's for sale.

Now we have deer that come into our yard.

Now I'm sitting in my living room looking out over the back yard as I sip a cup of coffee and work on an overdue script. I'm sure I'll see Bambi soon.

Birthday Wishes

And fishing for coffee. Gotta love this kid's drive. OK, I got the hint, and I want to hear about this incredible summer, too.

In my best Ed McMahon voice, Here's Laura...

Check out her blog--she's a fantastic writer, and every once in a while has something really profound to say. Between whining about little brothers and gushing over boyfriends. We'll forgive her for going to that school in South Bend.

This blog has only one real allegiance:

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Oh hai, ur 40

I guess you need a calculator to figure that out. You ran out of fingers and toes a long time ago.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Good, the Barbie, and the Ugly

Hmmm. It looks like Fall 2007 is going to be Round 3 of the Ridiculous Roommate Wars.

Round 1 and Round 2 were tacky, but this one is definitely sinking into the abyss of downright ugly.
Evidently, Jabba the Hut has already moved in. In the spirit of the famous Cantina scene from Star Wars, I can't wait to meet the rest of the characters.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Breaking News: Sort of

Che is dead.

Obvious, you say? Maybe. If we're talking about the right Che.

Some months ago I posted about Vic's crazy roommate and the chick's infatuation with that dastardly assassin, Che Guevara. Nothing screams ignorance like thinking this sociopath is a mythic hero. There is nothing heroic about him. It's like calling Hitler a noble patron of the medical arts because he sanctioned heinous experiments on human beings.

So who is this Che I am referring to? Aha, he is a fish. Well, was a fish. Now he's fertilizer.

The story begins some weeks ago, when the Missing One decided that after two failed attempts at college roommates, that the safe route would be to have a fish.

Enter Splaish, a suave and debonair betta fish that turned out to have a bit of a domestic violence issue. Consequently, I now own his intended, Splish, who had no intention of ever being in the same tank with him.

Having thoroughly enjoyed the spectator sport of watching and "enjoying" her fish, The Brainiac decided to go to the next level and get a 10 gallon tank, filled with all kinds of lovely and colorful tropical fish. Somehow, this entailed a pilgrimage to Marietta, 20 miles away, because the local fish were apparently too redneck for her. Or sickly looking. Or some other lame ass excuse for needing to travel far and away because, well, she could.

Nevertheless, this is about the fish, so I'll stay focused.

The tank was dutifully filled with a gigantic slug-looking thing that eats the gross detritus at the bottom. Unattractive but useful. Too bad they don't package those for the home.

Then, there was an attractive shark-like thing with a red tail fin that looked like...wait for it...a shark. Then there was a lovely angel fish named Magellan, who was a beautiful golden color and looked, you guessed it, ANGELIC!

And finally, there was Flotsam and Jetsam, silly little hysterical fish that turned out to be assassins.

We woke up one morning to find Magellan drifting along the bottom of the tank. Those bastards had eaten his eyes. Oh! It's still quite disturbing. A memorial service soon followed, where Jonathan, the pallbearer, laid Magellan to rest in a shoebox that they buried. Christy delivered a moving eulogy and Vicky mourned, quite stoically. They had to move fast because things were rotting quickly in the heat wave.

Anyway, those hysterical little fish, having gotten a taste of blood, were eventually on each other and we awoke one morning to find Flotsam, or maybe it was Jetsam, half-eaten and sticking to the gaudy plastic plants in the tank. This burial was done without the fanfare, and generally there was a feeling that he had gotten his just desserts.

That left the remaining assassin, now renamed Che, after Tio Jorge's declaration that he was nothing more than an "uptight assassin." Che was a pariah, rejected by all of us. No one would be found sitting in front of the tank enjoying this murderous fish. The Missing One was even contemplating returning him to the fish store.

She couldn't reduce herself to his level and kill him, so she dutifully packed him up and moved him to his new home in the dorm room.

I received the call in the late afternoon.

"Che is dead." I suspect I heard the soft titter of a maniacal giggle. "Karma."

You have to watch out for that karma train. It'll get you every time.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Finally, the August 12 of 12 (version 2.0)

Ok folks, we all know Chad is brilliant--check out his site for the skinny on this awesome project.

Meanwhile, I'm operating on what I can only call a tape delay. Well, more accurately, a data delay, as I misplaced my memory stick.

So here goes: what I did on Sunday, August 12th

We got up early and went to church, thinking we'd go to breakfast afterward. Well, we did, only in an unexpected way. The ladies had a bake sale, so we indulged in banana bread, and inexplicably, HALF an angel food cake.

We went to the covered bridge to picnic for breakfast. You may recognize it as the location for the latest episode of That Catholic Show.

Muffins...and a not so brilliant move to have milk in the heat wave...but it was a good breakfast.

It looks like that weird Star Trek: The Next Generation oil alien that ate Tasha Yar. Only, not. It was a forest fire. Really. It was up a ways on the trail, and at first we thought it was the aftermath of some controlled burning, but we realized that it didn't have any evidence of ditches--this piece was actually moving across the trail. The black is burned up wood chips and the gray is ash. We saw flames so we did our civic duty ad contacted our friendly neighborhood fire department.

The area is like a tree cemetary.

On our way home we passed a double-wide advertising yard eggs. If anyone knows what this is, please leave a comment to enlighten me. We had to double back to get the picture, as proof.

This Georgia heat wave is just wiping out the possibility of doing anything after 10 AM, so we went home and crashed around the house. I popped in a movie and proceeded to do some filing.

And shredding. I love shredding. It soothes my aggression.

I found this playbill from a hundred years ago. My uncle Jorge, the coolest uncle in the universe, got this autograph for me when I was majoring in the ever useful and marketable medieval literature as an undergrad. He's a musician and won't bother the artists for autographs, but actually hung around the stage door for this one. I've got George Hearn from La Cage Aux Folles, too. (separate note, I could listen to that all day).

After a long afternoon of filing and pretty much blowing off any writing that I should have done, I went back to my desk to check on a couple of books I've released on for print on demand. You can find them here and here. It's been a struggle for me to figure out how to do this self-publishing, but I'm confident that I'm gaining the skills necessary to put out a composition textbook through this venue. I just finished writing it, and have to format it and stuff, and then, woohoo, I'll be using it in the classroom instead of those generic things that don't serve my student population. I can't believe I'm excited about rhetoric. LOL

And finally, Vicky descended upon us, with a cameo appearance by Meredith. We were sitting outside watching the meteors when they pulled up, hungry (I made them midnight ham sandwiches) and ready to pack for moving into the dorms today.

It was a long day. I got up at 6 am to get ready for church, and went to bed after 1 am. It turned out too be a lot less boring than I thought.

UPDATE: My editor the Big Floating Head noted that I typed too many "o's" in "to." I think he could be doing other things.

Where's my 12 of 12?

It's coming along later tonight. I had some technical difficulties with the pics not uploading and just gave up on the scene in exchange for sharing laughs with the kids and Vic's friend, Meredith.

Come back later today and it'll be ready.

In the meantime, I have a new Monday Musings up at RosaryArmy. Check it out.

And while I have your attention, did anybody check out the Perseids meteor shower? Christy and I lied down in the bed of the pick-up truck and watched for a while. We saw lots of little spurts that surprised us every time, and I saw a fantastic streak that looked like it was animated for it's size and length. Way cool!

OK, that's all.

Friday, August 10, 2007

I want to post, really

It's just too hot.

Too hot to think.

Too hot to act.

Too hot to do anything except complain about how freakin' hot it is.

Man. Did I say it's hot?

What are you doing to keep cool?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I wasted my 500th post for this?

From our local mentirologo:

Rockdale County

Heat Advisory:

Issued at: 3:04 AM EDT 8/8/07, expires at: 11:15 AM EDT 8/8/07

"Heat advisory remains in effect from 1 pm this afternoon to 8 pm edt this evening, heat advisory in effect from 1 pm to 8 pm edt Thursday. A heat advisory remains in effect from 1 pm this afternoon to 8 pm edt this evening for much of central georgia, generally west and south of a line from chatsworth to marietta to athens. A heat advisory has also been issued from 1 pm to 8 pm edt on Thursday as these dangerously hot conditions are expected to persist. High temperatures this afternoon will be in the upper 90s to near 102. Combining these temperatures with relative humidities of 35 to 45 percent will produce heat index values in the 105 to 110 degree range.

These conditions will likely persist through the late afternoon and early evening hours. A heat advisory means that a period of dangerous heat is expected. The combination of hot temperatures and high humidity will create heat index readings of at least 105 degrees and very warm overnight temperatures."

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Who put the ME in media?

David Kemper of The DIGITAL Archive gave a fantastic interpretation of what he calls the new ME-dia at his blog, and I encourage those of you interested in this phenomena to check it out.

I've had numerous conversations with Greg where I pose the same question: who are these people and why are they watching you on ustream?

I have to admit, I'm usually the first one there. That I have a vested interested in the project is obvious, but beyond that, I think I have a real fascination with the whole ustream thing. I mean, I watch this live broadcast, and at the same time, am participating in a running commentary with people who sometimes only have an anonymous number identifying them, generally have a nickname, and in a few cases, reveal their real names. It's crazy!

And engaging.

It's true that a virtual community has arisen from this, and the people are as real as me. And you.

Check it out. Once you get past asking the question, like me, it becomes really fascinating and fun.

Monday, August 06, 2007

I could work for Discovery Channel!

OK, maybe not, but tonight we had a really cool experience. We were sitting around after dinner and Jonathan went outside for a moment to check on the pool. He came back excited and told us that there were some deer outside snacking on the grass (or whatever). We all got up and ran for the big window in the living room, and sure enough, two young deer were just hanging around.

I tried to take pictures on the ancient Kodak, but my hand wasn't steady enough with the exteme zoom, and then, the picture wasn't very clear because of distortion, but this gives you an idea. We walked outside very slowly and stood at the top of the pool deck for the picture and I was able to get some video, which is a little better.

What's the name of this blog?

Check out this incredible article that says coffee is actually good for women. I am in heaven. Here's an excerpt:

They found that women who drank more than three cups of coffee per day,
orits caffeine equivalent in tea, retained more of their verbal and -- to a
lesserextent -- visual memories over four years.

These women had a 33 percent lowerodds of having verbal memory declines and
18 percent lower odds of having visualand spatial memory declines, compared to
women who drank one cup or fewer perday.

My Book Arrived! ! !

Witness the enormously cheesy look on my face. You can check it out here.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Woo-hoo, another episode

You guys enjoy the show--I'm gonna go get a glass of water.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

I'm exhausted just thinking about it

The Duggars had their 17th child. I can't even wrap my mind around that. Michelle Duggar has been pregnant for 126 months out of her life. That's 10 years.


get your fix on Monday

Friday, August 03, 2007

A little blogger goodness

Rob, the Tupelo Catholic, found me! I am so relieved to know I have a place in this great little mosaic. See below.

Go read his blog and listen to his show! He has skillz.

Twitter Mosaic is Awesome

I've been featured in this awesome mosaic. Can you find me? I can't

find me, so if you do, I'll...I'll...I'll do something really cool for you. Maybe. If I can. And it's not weird or anything.

Who is the cutest birthday girl today?

Have a great day Anna!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Web 2.0 and burgeoning communities

A couple of things happened today that really had me thinking about community, and they are connected with a pretty unusual tie-in--namely Catholicity and a coffee shop. Weird? Let me explain.

First of all, I got the news that a blogger and Rosary Army forum member passed away last night. I never met this woman, yet she has been a fixture in my life in one way or another, either by posting in a forum that I frequent, or through my occasional commentary on her blog. She had a lot of interesting things to say, and shared a bit of her life, too. It broke my heart to hear the bad news, but then again, she's really in a better place--sounds trite, but it's what we believe as Christians, no? God rest her soul.

Then there's the Kaiteur Coffee House, my most favoritest place around town. Check them out, they have a blog. If you have a keen eye and know who you're looking for, you'll catch me in a couple of the pictures posted in the Espresso Shots feature in the blog. How funny is that? I've even posted some comments over there.

So why are these two things together making me think of community? Well, the obvious one is the coffee house, because it's about real people interacting with each other in a comfortable setting. It's really about being civil and talking to human beings, instead of being a drone at a drive-thru window. Sadly, those drones really are human beings, we just tend to forget it. Sad.

The other thing is the sense of community in the various internet media--things such as blogs, facebook, myspace, forums--and other stuff like podcasts and videocasts. There's so much going on I can't wrap my mind around it. This isn't yesterday's stereotype of a creepy pervert in a chatroom [although I'm sure that still exists] but rather a fascinating way that communication is being exercised.

I am intrigued by it because it seems so fluid. It is at once anonymous and transparent.

So that's it. I probably haven't offered you anything new to think about. After all, if you're reading this you are either my mother, or somebody with a decent enough understanding of the internet to get what I'm saying. Still, I feel like there needs to be at least one moment every once in a while where we become aware of this discourse, if only to contemplate how far we've come since that first communication so many years ago, reputedly stated by Alexander Graham Bell, "Mr. Watson, come here. I want to see you."

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Blog Cross-Pollination Post

Check out the exciting news about the new Walmart line of specialty wines. I'd love to hear which one is your favorite in the comments.