October 31, 2009 on the ofrenda on my front lawn in Santa Ana, California.
Friday, October 29, 2010
My ofrenda from last year for Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos. Mom had died in late November in 2008, and I kept my promise to her by making he the guest of honor on the altar.
November 1, 2009 in Santa Ana, California.
For Halloween, a picture of a scary dude from my trip last November to New Orleans.
Is it time for my annual rant? I think it is.
PEOPLE, HALLOWEEN IS NOT THE DEVIL'S HOLIDAY! Halloween is a corruption of the term "Hallows E'en" which was the old way opf saying "Hallows Eve", which is the eve of All Hallows or All Saints Day. Yes, Halloween has pagan roots (as does Christmas) since the Irish monks and missionaries who brought the Church to the Emerald Isle supplanted Samhain with All Saints Day. Superstition created the idea that on the eve of All Saints Day, ghouls and goblins would be out and about, mad at the fact that they "lost" and hence the whole tie-in with witches and whatnot.
Now, do I think kids should dress up and emulate the Devil - in short, would I want my kid to look like the guy above? NO. How about a gory costume? Prefer not, but also realize that it is part of the maekup of little boys to go for the gross-out. Do my kids get well-educated about All Saints Day and All Souls Day? YES. As most of you know, I combine Halloween with the Day of the Dead, and celebrate the lives of past loved ones, while good-naturedly thumbing my nose at Death, knowing someday I'll be on the altar for Dia de los Muertos . . . but not just yet.
I know a number of Christians prefer to eschew Halloween and instead sanitize it by calling it a "Harvest Festival." Really? That actually brings it back to its pagan roots since Samhain was, in fact, the celebration of the last harvest of the year, before winter set in. So gimme some of that old-time religion, eh?
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
This is Ellen Hirota of the band, Cheap Date. Taken on October 24, 2010 at St. Joachim Church's fiesta in Costa Mesa, California.
I thought the picture suggested an old-time USO singer, what with the flag in the background and Ellen's vintage shirt. I spent some time tweaking the colors here, including using a quadtone as an overlay, to keep that nostalgic feel.
Cheap Date is a wonderful band, BTW.
Mary Hirota Walters of the band, Cheap date, rocking at the St. Joachim Church fiesta on October 24, 2010. She had grabbed her brother, Dom's, fedora.
I love watching Cheap Date perform! They are all classy folks.
I saw this dead butterfly on a tombstone at Santa Ana Cemetery in Santa Ana, California, while taking a touring on October 23, 2010.
My sister-in-law died from surgical complications last night. Beth was only 47. Remember her in your prayers, and especially her three kids. The kids are all in their young 20s now, but it is hard, very hard, for them.
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Saturday, October 23, 2010
Here, let me take a break from cemetery pictures and throw a happy one up from this past week . . .
I have a friend whom I regard as my baby brother (and, likewise, I am the big sister he never had). Every once in awhile, we do a "field trip" on a Thursday, his day off, and head out with backpacks and a sense of 3rd grade fun.
We had attended a conference in San Diego a few weeks back and decided last Thursday to go back to San Diego, via train, for the day. I knew my buddy was excited when he remarked how it has been years since he rode a train and was even more excited as soon as we got there to head over to the USS Midway, an aircraft carrier that is now a museum. Can I tell you how delighted he was to crawl into every aircraft they had there (both fixed wing and choppers on the flight deck), try out the various seats, flip the switches (now defunct, but use your imagination and you're shooting Zeros again), and poke around the machinery? It delights me to see an adult escape the drone of daily work and become a kid once again . . . thanks for a great day, Johnny!
The grave of a child, no matter how long ago his death may have occurred, is always sad.
Eternal rest grant him, oh Lord. Let perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul and all the souls of the faith departed rest in peace in the mercy of God. Amen. (+)
October 6, 2010 at St. Stanislaus RC Church in Pine Island, New York.
I am processing my cemetery pictures from my trip back East. It is the time of year to do so.
Whenever I travel back East, I can always count on my brother, Greg Martin, and his friend, Vic Sansone, to bring me to some unique place. Both guys are the types that love nothing better than to jump in their cars and hit the back roads.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Taken October 6, 2010 in Stokes Forest, which is located in Sussex County, New Jersey.
Driving through the forest, we came across two hunters. They were brothers, and explained to us that they came down from New Hampshire "'because there ain't no deer." Jersey, it seems, has such an abundance that they issued licenses to take doe, in an effort to curb the overpopulation.
I know some people will be upset by this. Get over it, really. We're part of the food chain and these guys were planning to pack the meat and bring it home. BTW, they were bowhunters, so it meant hours stalking the forest and having to be skilled enough to get close to make the kill.
Check the sky tonight - the Hunter's Moon is above.
Taken October 21, 2010 aboard the USS Midway in San Diego, California.
I don't know what kind of machinery this was, but my friend who was with me thought it pretty cool, saying it looked like the skeleton of an alien. So I took a shot and grunged it up for him.
Across from the shop, a Tea Party was in full swing. November 2nd is coming, folks!
Yesterday, I visited the Whaley House in San Diego. This residence is officially designated to be "haunted" by California authorities - don't ask me who makes that determination or how, but I suspect it is someone from the California Tourism Board.
Accompanied by a friend (who suggested to the tour guide that the only spirits at work when people report supernatural occurrences are those in a couple of double margaritas), we listened to the stories and this led me to pose the following questions to YOU:
1. Do you believe in ghosts? Why or why not?
2. Why do people want to hear ghost stories and believe them?
I will share from facebook and interesting observation by a popular Cathoblogger:
I do believe in spooks. I do. I do. I do.
If we believe in heavan and hell then we acknowledge "realms" outside our existance or understanding. I believe in angels and demons, I believe that souls of the departed and saints are active in ou...r lives whether we aware of it or not. I think many people confuse this activity as a "ghost" in general. Have you seen the purgatory museum in Rome... perfect example. If some one who didn't have a religous faith or understanding experienced this kind of contact they would not understand it's source. It's also easy to dismiss paranormal activity as noonesense when in fact demonic forces could be behind it. You know the greatest feat of the devil was to convince ppl he doesnt exists. By dismissing it or not protecting yourself you are now open to it's evil...
Your thoughts? And yes, above is a picture I took at the Whaley House yesterday.
Thursday, October 21, 2010
October 10, 2010 at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City. I did not see the signs prohibiting photography in this area of the cathedral (behind the altar) and took this shot without realizing my bad. Another handheld HDR.
This was at night and the throng of tourists was not as great, making this chapel a serene and special place.
Mary, Mother of God, ora pro nobis.
While back East recently, my cousin, Peter Koretzky, who is an EMT with FDNY, took me to vist the showroom of Orange County Chopper, in Orange County, New York. I did this handheld HDR of the bike that Pauly Sr. did for New York's Bravest.
October 11, 2010.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Monday, October 18, 2010
Loteria, for those who do not know this game, is a sort of bingo played in Mexico, only instead of letter/number combinations, a person matches pictures.
During my church's annual fiesta, the loteria room is a popular spot, as about 90% of our parish are Mexican, mostly immigrants. As you can see, they play simply. Ours is not an affluent parish.
Taken October 16, 2010 in Santa Ana, California, at St. Joseph School.