Sunday, March 30, 2008
St. Thomas: Thirteen. No, wait - we're eleven now . . .
Saturday, March 29, 2008
While staying at Chez Richer, Dante has fit in nicely with the routine I prescribe for my own wee doggie, that is, regular "walkies" in the morning and in the evening. Actually, what's pretty funny is that both My Beloved Husband and Fr. John watch "The Dog Whisperer" and go all Cesar Millan on the dogs, doing his signature hiss while the dogs regard them both with looks of abject amusement. Okay, perhaps Mark is better at it than my priest, but then, my husband will also pick up Josie by the scruff of her neck, bring her to eye level, and ask her quietly, "Do you want to die tonight?", which has a remarkable effect on her, calming her instantly.
Friday, March 28, 2008
 And because Fr. Moneypenny is safely in Italy and can't access this blog to tell me to take them down before the Bishop sees them . . .
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
At a Zen Buddhist temple in southern Japan, even the dog prays. Mimicking his master, priest Joei Yoshikuni, a 1 1/2-year-old black-and-white Chihuahua named Conan joins in the daily prayers at Naha's Shuri Kannondo temple, sitting up on his hind legs and putting his front paws together before the altar.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
Friday, March 21, 2008
Update: Patrick came up to me this morning and asked me if I wanted to see the "little Calvary" that he made. Wea re having friends and family over for Easter tomorrow, so I've set him on the task today of making an empty tomb somewhere in our backyard.
BTW, the shirt in both pictures is his "First Baptist Children's Center" shirt, because that is where he and his sister attend summer day camp. When my husband pointed this out, I said simply, "That's because Pope Patrick will be the one to reunite all the Christians under Holy Mother Church - it's an ecumenical matter, so leave it at that!"
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Monday, March 17, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Along the route, we stop four times at four altars set up by our parishioners. Here is a shot from the first altar, being incensed by Fr. John, which was built by Ruben and Rosa Mayorga, two very, very fine people from my parish whom I admire greatly. Originally from Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, their daughter is an honor student in college and their son, who was the 8th grade class president at St. Joseph School, just started high school. We've got some quality folks at our parish!
Fr. Christopher Smith, our former pastor, who started this tradition. During the 80's and 90's, he literally had children dying in his arms from gang violence, right outside the church. Fr. Chris is now Vicar of the Priests for the Diocese of Orange.
Members of our Samoan Choir, led by my dear friend, the indefatigable Nive Brown, second from the right. Talofa!
Oh no! At one moment, the sky opened and the rain came down - but more concernedly, thunder was heard and a few flashes of lightening were observed. This was indeed disconcerting as we were being led by Fr. "Bad Luck" Moneypenny, who was carrying a large metallic object aloft as we marched. Fr. John has a reputation for cheating death and some of us joked about keeping a space cleared around him, just in case . . .
Look how beautiful this woman is as she prays - there is the face of faith!
And faith is not relegated to a bunch of old ladies, as people without it think! Look again at this face - this young man and his companion were on their knees in the street, worshipping the True Presence and were not afraid to show it!
Friday, March 14, 2008
Song: Dream Operator
Artist: Talking Heads
Thursday, March 13, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Sunday, March 09, 2008
Hey, Steph, watcha doing?
Well, I figured I go get me some of that Communion they're handing out.
Why not? They're just giving it away!
That made me think, and I replied:
Sure, it's free . . . but it comes at a great price.
Judy nodded. That's true . . .
I read this story this morning and for some odd reason, it really cheered my heart. A smart entrepreneur in Orange County's Little Saigon community saw the need for simple, easy and cheap travel between the O.C. and San Jose, California, where it seems a growing community of Vietnamese are in residence.
So Linh Hoang Nguyen started Xe Do Hoang, a bus service between the two locations. Listen to this - for only $35, you get a one-way ticket, a lunch consisting of a baugette sandwich, a bottle of water, and a dessert, and during the six hour trip movies and other videos are show and, oh yes, there is free wi fi on board. In my opinion, that's a great deal . . .
But it is more than just the economics that pleases me.
Xe Do Hoang is Vanessa Le's connection to her parents.
She travels several times a month to San Jose with her 4-year-old son, Ezra, especially after her father, Long Le, became terminally ill with cancer.
"The bus is cheap, comfortable and convenient," she says.
Kim Nguyen is no stranger to the bus. She lives in San Diego, but drives all the way to Orange County just to take the xe do.
She parks her car at a friend's place in Orange County and takes the bus to see her daughter, who goes to Stanford University, and son, who lives in San Jose.
"I don't have to drive eight hours to get there," she says. "Instead, I drive for an hour and then take the bus."
She often sends books, clothes and other goodies for her children through the bus as well.
Some others on the bus like Tom Dao work in San Jose, but live in Orange County.
Tom Dao has been doing it for a year and a half now. He's going home to his wife and children who live in Huntington Beach.
Dao says he has become used to this life.
"I know pretty much everyone on the bus," he says. "It's fun chatting and joking around with people on the bus. It's a lot better than driving all alone."
It may be a short bus trip, but the reactions when Dao hugs his kids or Le sees her dad, are still powerful.
CAMP SALERNO, Afghanistan — A 19-year-old medic from Texas will become the first woman in Afghanistan and only the second female soldier since World War II to receive the Silver Star, the nation's third-highest medal for valor.
"I did not really think about anything except for getting the guys to a safer location and getting them taken care of and getting them out of there," Brown told The Associated Press on Saturday at a U.S. base in the eastern province of Khost.
Friday, March 07, 2008
Song: The Girl With the Flaxen Hair
Song: Clair de Lune
Artist: Debussey, interpreted by Tomita
Why I Like This Adaptation: Back in 1978, when I first went to college at New York University, I found myself in class with a fellow from my high school, Frank Forlini. Frank introduced me to an album called Snowflakes Are Dancing, which was a compilation of music by Debussey adapted by the Japanese electronic artist, Tomita. His work is lovely and ethereal.
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
 One of my college classmates had a grandmother who was there when they strung up Mussolini and his mistress. What impressed her the most was Clara had been shot and dragged by the mob but her nylons remained pristine - not one run on them! I want to know what brand she was wearing . . .
 Both Lenin and Mao remain This Week's Specials in the meat case of their respective mausoleums.
 That's you, Gerald! Who did you think I meant, the RINO in Sacramento?!