Monday, December 31, 2007

My last post for 2007...

Happy New Year everyone!

Photo: "Ride of my life!" The boy whose wheelchair got stuck on the front of a semi and was pushed miles down the freeway before the unsuspecting driver was flagged down. The boy never even spilled his soda.

My predictions for 2008!

Every New Year's Eve I do my psychic thing and lay out my predictions for the coming year. This is the first year I am publishing the predictions however, and I hope they get picked up by Spirit Daily and a few other webloids. My accuracy has been about 99% in the past. (Everyone around Minneapolis will remember how I accurately predicted the name of the new coadjutor archbishop to replace Harry Flynn. I also foretold how Cathy and Adoro would both find new jobs this past year. And don't overlook the fact I foretold how Our Word blogspot would makeover their website. So here goes with my forecast for 2008... drum roll please!)

1) To start, what everyone is anxious to know, Hilary Clinton will indeed be elected the first female president of the U.S. and Obama will be the first black vice-president in history.

2) Oprah will be ordained as a minister and start her own Church where everyone just loves, eats, and prays.

3) The David Letterman Show will be cancelled because it is boring.

4) Elizabeth Taylor will pass away of natural causes.

5) Jon Lovitz will make a dramatic comeback reprising Ernest Borgnine's role in the 1950's film, Marty.

6) Madonna will return to the Catholic Church after visiting Lourdes (with her daughter Lourdes) for the 150th anniversary of the apparitions.

7) Many people will die throughout the world each day during 2008 - and only those closest to them will know about it.

8) Rosie O'Donnell will split up with her partner, and one of her children will write a tell-all book, similar to Mommie Dearest, and Rosie will play herself in the film.

9) The first arrests of bloggers on the grounds they committed hate crimes with their blog-postings will take place shortly after Hilary is elected president.

10) The situation in Pakistan will worsen when an as yet unknown man, with close ties to bin Laden, takes over the government in early summer.

11) The New Madrid fault will erupt near Memphis and swallow up Elvis' Graceland.

The rest is too horrible to reveal.

Gettin' ready for New Year's Eve...

An unidentified Twin Cities blogger practicing for her New Year's party.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Why I don't go out much...

These creatures are always following me.

When your secret is all found out...

When there are no more lies they can tell...

This morning I watched Sunday Morning on CBS - along with 60 Minutes, it is my favorite news show on television. They did a 12 to 15 minute segment remembering all of the notable people who died in 2007 - it was a long list of saints and sinners.
What became apparent throughout the montage of personalities, was the fact that all of these dead people, despite wealth, fame, accomplishment and so on, left everything we esteem important behind. The jaded Queen of Mean, Leona Helmsly, and the sweet sinner-convert-holylady televangelist, Tammy Faye, disappeared into the shadows of death. Death seemed to neutralize their reputations, and I simply felt sorry for them. They left everything behind. Despite their fame, they may not even garner a memory, save as a footnote in history. The inventors and sports figures who died perhaps left a more lasting legacy, as had entertainers such as the powerful Merv Griffin, and in comparison - the lowly Charles Nelson Riley. Yet remembered after death or not, their memory is but a shadow of the illusion their lives became for us.
The saying is cliche, yet true, death is the great equalizer. Again, Sting's lyrics come to mind:
"When the doctors failed to heal you

When no medicine chest can make you well

When no counsel leads to comfort

When there are no more lies they can tell

No more useless information

And the compass spins

The compass spins between heaven and hell" - "Let Your Soul Be Your Pilot" - Sting

Taking flight...

You know - the child Jesus may have been about two years old when the Holy Family took flight to Egypt.

Saturday, December 29, 2007


I'm locked out of Abbey-Roads2 again.
This happens periodically and as usual, I'm annoyed about it. I usually do my more serious stuff for Abbey2, although I post serious things on Abbey1 as well, albeit more personal and oftentimes more silly. I don't know how long I'll keep that up however. And I may just post here exclusively. After viewing Cynthia Large's work, I want to resume painting. In addition, I'm running out of things to write about on my blogs, and I don't want to simply post news articles.
As you may have noticed, I have been reading Caryll Houselander - just bits and pieces - and I find her insights somewhat helpful - although I have some difficulty with her spirituality, which I find to be a bit feminine for my taste. Actually, a few of her thoughts reminded me of these lyrics by Sting:
When you're down and they're counting
When your secrets all found out
When your troubles take to mounting
When the map you have leads you to doubt
When there's no information
And the compass turns to nowhere that you know well... -"Let your soul be your pilot."
Houselander on psychologically expensive friends.
The expensive people are those who, because they are not simple, make complicated demands — people to whom we cannot respond spontaneously and simply, without anxiety. They need not be abnormal to exact these complicated responses; it is enough that they should be untruthful, or touchy, or hypersensitive, or that they have an exaggerated idea of their own importance, or that they have a pose — one which may have become second nature, but is not what they really are. With all such people we are bound to experience a little hitch in our response. If we are not sure that what they say is true, we are embarrassed. In time, our relationship with them becomes unreal. If we have to consider every word or act in their company in case it hurts their feelings or offends their dignity, or to act up to them in order to support their pose, we become strained by their society. They are costing us dearly in psychological energy. - Caryll Houselander
So anyway - if you have posted comments to Abbey2 and they are not up - the reason is I can't get into the site to edit or write. Usually, in a few days, I'm able to get back in. In the meantime - I am here. I'll be posting things which may seem disconnected, however, they grabbed my attention and were meaningful for me. It will all make sense in time.

The work of Cynthia Large.


I happened upon the artist, Cynthia Large while searching for an image of St. Christina the Astonishing. Her work is masterful! Please visit her website here to view her all of her work. What follows is a brief biography I took off her website:

I was born in Northern California in 1972, and raised among the redwoods. Between the ages of 15 and 17 I lived in some isolated areas of Utah and tangled with small religious movements and heresies. Curiousity has not yet killed the cat, and the study of both orthodox and heretical faiths continues to inform my work.

Theology is combined in my paintings and assemblages with ideas about music and mental illness; these themes form the (sometimes) overlapping spheres of genius, madness, and spiritual ecstasy.

In 1990 I moved to New York, received my B.F.A. from Parson's School of Design in 1994, and then spent two years in the Netherlands, examining the art and religious upheavals of the late Middle Ages. During this period I studied the techniques of the early Flemish painters, and developed a method of painting based on what I learned.

Egg tempera and oil are my primary mediums; the process is labor intensive, and each painting takes nearly two years to complete. The frames are handmade of various woods, with inlaid marquetry panels, and I often incorporate salvaged piano keys and organ pipes in my work. In 1999, I received a grant from the Money for Women / Barbara Deming Memorial Fund for my paintings of the composer and pianist Clara Schumann. My current series of paintings, "Holy Mischief", portrays the lives of the most restive and unruly figures in the history of religion.

I am a member of the Religious Society of Friends, and believe that artistic talent is a gift from God, as all gifts are. I strive, in my daily work, to honor that gift, and to remember the One who bestowed it. I currently live in New York. Cynthia Large, Quaker Artist

[Art: Julian of Norwich, Cynthia Large]

Saints who must have been nuts...

Crazy Saints.
I certainly do not think it is an exaggeration to suggest some of the saints may well have suffered from mental illness, or at least some form of neurosis, at one point or another in their lives. Yet many people tend to resist that idea because mental illness has been so misunderstood throughout history. Mrs. Parkes has an interesting post of famous people who have been diagnosed bipolar, which occasioned my reflection upon what saints may have suffered from mental illness, either episodic or long term. The following is my list of candidates of saints who may have suffered some form of mental illness in their lives.

St. Benedict Joseph Labre. Even Fr. Benedict Groeschl says that his namesake was probably psychotic. Of course, that doesn't mean he was a raving lunatic or a danger to himself or others. I suspect he was maybe a borderline personality with bipolar or something. The trials of the dark night would have cured him, I'm sure.
St. Therese of Lisieux. Something was wrong with her when she was little - so maybe she was bipolar too? A couple of her biographers suggested she may have had some early mental illness.
Christina the Astonishing. For sure! She stood in freezing cold water for hours, attached herself to a mill wheel to be repeatedly dragged under water. Astonishing, yes - normal, no way!
St. John of God. His conversion had been so intense he was confined for a time as a lunatic. With counsel, he devoted himself to caring for the poor and destitute, amongst these - prostitutes and vagabonds, whom he invited to live with him. (Imagine the Twilight Zone theme song here.) He endured great criticism and many people continued to think him insane. He went on to found a great order of hospitallers.
Camillus de Lellis. Maybe not nuts - but obsessive-compulsive - and depressive. He was quick tempered and addicted to gambling before his conversion. He also went on to found a nursing order.
Catherine of Genoa. She had to be a depressive - known to be somewhat humorless, she sought escape in the high society of Genoese social life, before entering her deepest depression, which culminated in her conversion. I don't think she was ever fun to be around however. ("Yeah! Let's call Catherine and get together for a drink!" - I don't think anyone ever said that.)
The Penitents, Thais, Mary of Egypt, and other harlots. Thais had a huge public bonfire of her clothes and jewelry before being admitted to monastic life. (Drama is a characteristic of bipolar behavior.) Mary of Egypt... just read about her - not so normal.
The Holy Fools, Basil, Xenia of Petersburg, and others. Basil went about naked in Russian winter and insulted the Tsar, Ivan IV - you know, "Ivan the Terrible". (That's normal.) Xenia was more or less like a bag lady.
Margaret of Cortona. I'm convinced that Margaret went a bit crazy after she discovered her lover's dead body, and the depression which accompanied the rejection she experienced by family and society after her conversion. I'm also of the opinion she wasn't the best mother - she definitely exhibited symptoms of borderline personality disorder in the manner she cared for her son. (I'll bet you anything she called him bastardo a few times.)
These abnormal people give me hope!
[Art: St. Christina the Astonishing, painted by, Cynthia Large]

Friday, December 28, 2007

Grateful the house-guests and relatives finally left...

God approaches gently, often secretly, always in love, never through violence and fear. He comes to us, as He Himself has told us, in those whom we know in our own lives. Very often we do not recognize Him. He comes in many people we do not like, in all who need what we can give, in all who have something to give us, and for our great Comfort. He comes in those we love, in our fathers and mothers, our brothers and sisters, our friends and our children. Because this is so, we must not be content ever to love with only natural love. We must also love everyone with a supernatural, sacramental love. We must love Christ in them with Christ's love in us. It would be well if those seeking perfection ceased trying so painstakingly to learn how not to love and learned instead how to love well. - Caryll Houselander

Thursday, December 27, 2007

More signs Christmas is over...

Pakistani former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has been assassinated in a suicide attack. - BBC

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

"I hate it that Christmas comes and goes so fast!"

Have ya got yur tree down yet?

My best friend Darold said it when I spoke with him this morning: "I hate it that Christmas comes and goes so fast!"
I said, "What do you mean? Christmas just started on Christmas Day!"
He said, "Well yeah - that's what they say - but it's really over. Some people have even taken down their tree already."

"I'm so glad it's over!"

"I'm so sick of this Christmas b--- s---!"
Yep - that was my mom around 6PM on Christmas Day, still hung over from Christmas Eve - although drinking for the cure.
Another blog was asking readers to leave comments recalling their family's Christmas traditions and customs - but I didn't think mine would fit in. (Story of my life! LOL!)
[Anyway - I could never have told my mom this, but Christmas just begins on Christmas Day. Yay!]
Photo: Movie still - party scene; "Breakfast At Tiffany's"

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Waking up to Cathy's Precious Moments Christmas...

Precious memories...

Few people realize what a huge fan of Precious Moments our blogger-buddy Cathy is. One year she even made a Christmas pilgrimage to the Precious Moments Chapel (pictured above) where she finally gave in and purchased her massive Precious Moments Nativity set, the central portion of it shown below. I ought to mention that it wasn't easy for her to give up her Hello Kitty Nativity - but that was the old Cath. (Knowing her love for the Precious Moments line of decorative figurines, we can now understand why Cath is always dressed in those billowing, chiffon, pastel-dresses at Mass.)

Wishing all of you a very happy Christmas day.

Monday, December 24, 2007

This Christmas Eve...

Santa called in sick.

The Cat Christmas Pageant...

The photo is of the kitty who played the baby Jesus in the Cat Christmas Pageant at the local shelter last night. (Which is why I didn't post on Cathy's blog BTW!)

A very handsome Jack Russell terrier played St. Joseph this year, while a lovely Siamese played Our Lady. The Pugs were so cute as angels! The Shepherds were real Border Collies and the sheep were all kittens except for a couple of rabbits.

(The three Pit Bulls who were scheduled to play the roles of the Kings had to be put down that day and couldn't be in the pageant. Sad.)

Some people do not believe in Santa.

Too bad for them.

Art: Michael Sowa

Saturday, December 22, 2007

The nun's story...

PBS has the film tonight, The Nun's Story that is - I have seen it about 10 times and maybe read the book about 5 times.

It brings back memories of finding an excuse to speak to Sr. Joseph about the film - she was the 1st grade teacher at my school when I was in 5th grade - she happened to be the young, pretty nun. Sister told me their life was nothing like what the film portrayed - she was a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet - and of course, it was around 1960. (You see, the breakdown began before the Council - Vatican II simply opened the windows.)

Anyway - the film takes me back - ah! (This season is far too nostalgic.) But I want to let you know, my dearest uncle is very ill. He had a heart attack earlier in the week, and then a stroke. He is 89 and my aunt is 82. They were both in perfect health. I'm just asking for prayers for him, my uncle's name is Arthur.

Thank you very much.

'tis the season...

Art: Michael Sowa

Friday, December 21, 2007

My visit with Santa...

What a disappointment that was.

"Yeah. So Santa, I never asked for siblings - could you take them back then?"

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Desert Father talking...

"In Egypt, once when Abba Poemen was going somewhere, he saw a woman sitting by a grave and weeping bitterly. He said, 'If all the delights of this world should come to her, they would not alleviate her sorrow. Just so should the monk always be weeping in his heart.'" - Sayings of the Desert Fathers

[I'll be off-line for a little while.]

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Mommie Dearest

Madonna cancels Christmas - LOL!

The devout Kabbalahist - new word for Grinch, or pseudo-Jew - has cancelled Christmas for her family. (Look for the remake of Mommie Dearest in about 15 to 20 years - or rather, when the kids are all grown up and damaged.) Read the entire story here if you are at all interested.

And now, another Top 10 Meme...

The Top 10 best pictures on my blog! EVER!!!!!

(In no particular order of course. My apologies for not including any Serial Mom classics.)
Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 17, 2007


I get so darn excited!

Cathy tagged me for a meme - memes are for girls - but boys play too - just to keep the girls interested. So ANYWAY - this one is about posting my top 10 best posts. Gosh! Where the hell to begin? Here I go:
10) The post I did exposing all the **** priests in the **** who were stationed at a **** ***** parish in ** **** ...
9) The post I did exposing the priest who **** a child with a ***** ***** and still works in *** ******** ....
8) The post I did revealing that a rather well-known priest does not have a **** ***...
7) The post I did revealing the hot-bed of lesbian/wiccan **** at a certain local CINO academic institution.
6) The post I did revealing that the gay association known as ***** has only about 5 to 10 active members - many on the waiting lists of memory care homes.
5) The post I did exposing female ********* students as on the make for ******** and ******** men.
4) The pictorial post I did on naked swimming at a local ******* college pool.
3) The post I did on how liberal priests are begging for the TLM to be celebrated at their parishes, but trad priests are refusing to train them.
2) My expose detailing the mark-up on religious goods at local ******* stores. And how they are in ****** ****** *** **** *** with Communist China *** ****** **** unconcerned **** lead content in their ******** products. The following quote by the buyers said it all: "We grew up chewing lead paint off our window sills and it never harmed us!"
1) My #1 best post has to be the review I did of popular ***** blogs and the utter pretentiousness of ****** *** write them. People were aghast. I had to hasten with a corrective post wherein I assured my readers ** *** all a bunch of liars or phonies about something in our lives, so don't to be too judgemental.
I tag Johnny, Ginger, Helmut, Kirsten, Poodle, Puppy, and Jen.
[UPDATE: I needed to edit this entry because I realized some people would think it was about them when it was really about someone else - and in some cases - about no one at all.]

Rockin' around...

Rockin' around the Christmas tree!
I got my tree up - the outside of the house has been decorated. I got my cards done. All I have to do is clean and grocery shop, otherwise I'm done for Christmas. So now I can go to the company Christmas party tomorrow night. I have always loved those parties, but it was tough getting away to attend!

[Oh - I guess I have to mail the cards too - I think I can handle that. Although, maybe people could just pick their card up? Nah! Then they'll want to come in.]

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Christmas story... for cats.

Now this is the role cats played in the birth of Jesus. (The story I tell my cats every Christmas after we finish the Rosary and before we venerate the Infant Jesus.)

On the first Christmas eve - that is, when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of the holy Virgin Mary - and before anyone else knew about it, even the shepherds, the stray cats of Bethlehem gathered around the stable. They were hiding in the hay and behind the sleepy ox, one kitty slept on the back of donkey because it was warm, a couple of others rubbed up against St. Joseph who seemed to be asleep - although he was really in ecstasy.

The holy Virgin was kneeling upon a fleece mat laid over the straw in a corner of the stable, protected from view by the large sleeping ox and a low wall. The Blessed Virgin was in ecstasy as well, when suddenly a great light shone, and upon the fleece was a lovely newborn Infant, glistening as if bathed in star dust. No sooner had He appeared than the Blessed Mother swiftly wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in the manger nearby. As if from nowhere, the tiniest angels appeared, about the size of bees, encircling the newborn in the manger, while strains of heavenly music could be heard, along with the gentle singing of heavenly choirs.

Joseph walked very slowly into the enclosure, his head bowed, tears streaming down a face made radiant by the light emanating from the Holy Child and his Blessed Mother. He knelt next to his wife, adoring the Holy Infant. The ox noticed and rose partially, although just enough to kneel, facing the Holy Family. The donkey did likewise. The cats, naturally shy and accustomed to being shooed away, kept their distance until they noticed all the other little animals; mice, chipmunks, rabbits, gathering in awe at the foot of the manger, completely unselfconscious of any danger.

Now, as you know, stray cats are always hungry and always looking for prey - which is why many people who dislike cats, tolerated them in the first place, since they kept their homes free of vermin. As the cats watched all the critters assembling, it seemed to them it was a living banquet being laid out before their eyes. However, the grandpa cat whispered that this was not the moment or place for feasting. He proceeded to explain to the other cats that they had all just witnessed a miracle, that God Himself, our Creator, had come down that night to live amongst men. Grandpa cat pointed to all the little animals, particularly the mice, and reminded the other cats of the scriptures which referred to the Christ when it foretold, "In that day the kitty cat will lie down with the mouse." (Grandpa cat knew the scriptures because he sneaked into Temple every Sabbath. He quickly related how the Virgin would be found with Child, that her Child is the Redeemer and Saviour, who brings peace to all the world, renewing nature itself, and so on.)

With renewed confidence all the cats crept out of their hiding places, their attention rapt upon the Divine Child. The kitties were neither distracted by the mice and other animals, nor were they a bit perturbed when the shepherd's dogs arrived... the atmosphere being so permeated with peace and joy that silent night. A few of the older cats cuddled near the Madonna and the feet of St. Joseph to warm them. As it was a very cold night that first Christmas, Our Lady picked up a very fat cat and another beautiful Siamese cat, placing them gently near the Child Jesus, to keep Him warm too. [This is when I ask my cats, "And do you know who these kitties were, so privileged to keep watch over the Holy Infant? They were your great, great, great, great, (almost too many greats to count!), great grandmothers!"]

The End.

So this is the Christmas story I tell my cats every year, and when I'm finished, they roll around for a long time afterwards, purring and stretching, as if they had nibbled upon catnip, and I always seem to be able to see a twinkle in their eyes, with a smile upon their little mouths. After some time, they then go over and adore the Bambino Jesu, sitting alongside Him into the wee hours of the morning.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Going to confession.

I need a cigarette.

I'm going to confession today. I'm very nervous about it for some reason. Well, mainly because it's hard to confess sometimes. I know we are confessing to Christ, but the priest is a guy, and he has to listen to what we have to say. Strangely enough, when you get to be my age, my sins seem more shameful. I think it is because at my age I always thought I should know better, or I should be more mature and not commit such stupid sins. What I think I'm saying is that I equate maturity with perfection - and on some level that is true - but being older doesn't guarantee maturity or perfection - as evidenced by my blogs.

The thing about sin however, especially when you get older, is that you are keenly aware of how deliberate it is. If other 'mature' men are like me, sins against chastity used to be the principal sin everyone confessed. Hence the shame and embarrassment thing was pretty much a given. But nowadays, the sins seem to be less carnal and more spiritual - therefore it's a different type of shame and guilt. (As most Catholics know, confession not only takes away the sin, but the shame, and the guilt as well.)

The awful truth.

Having said that, the spiritual combat seems much more vicious now that I'm older - and deals directly with the theological virtues, to be sure - but even more so, with the root sins that have plagued us all of our lives. (I think the psalmist referred to these when he prayed, "from my hidden sins acquit me O Lord.) Our "big" sins of intemperance, or sins against chastity, often eclipsed these deeper, darker, nasty sins of pride, envy, jealousy, rancor, lying, sloth - oh, the list goes on and on. In other words, the sins, the combat, becomes more spiritual - and therefore seems to me to be more deadly.

Which brings me back to my point. Confession seems more difficult at times because we are really laying bare our soul to its very depths, and more often than not, to a much younger man. Even the devil doesn't have access to this level of our being. Whatever. I'm going to confession. I think I need humility and deeper contrition - please pray for me.

Gosh - I could sure use a cigarette.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Hard to find toys for the kids...

These and other fine toys available exclusively at Jeron's - St. Louis. Shop Jeron's for those hard to find gifts this holiday season! Family owned and operated for 38 years!
[All toys made in China and contain lead and other toxic substances. Meth included in the Easy Bake kit. United States brand cigarettes and booze must be purchased separately for John Candy Land.]

Sometimes when I post...

The honesty is too much.
Sometimes, when I'm really tired, cranky, depressed, or I'm just up too late to write a post, the result can be inappropriate at best, or just badly written. (I know - I always post inappropriate stuff, but late at night it can be worse.) Anyway - sometimes the next morning, when I'm thinking more clearly, I'll delete the post from the previous night.
Yeah, so that's kinda what happens.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Bunny Rabbit Christmas Tree

Once Bunny Rabbit saw a Christmas tree...
This is a true story... The rabbit in my garden comes up to the top of the stairs and looks in the house through the windows of the french doors. His curiosity reminds me of The Bunny Rabbit Diaries. The following is an excerpt from The Bunny Rabbit Diaries just for Christmas, with a couple of annotations and additions by yours truly:

A few days before Christmas, Mr. Sun came up from behind the hills and shone brightly all day long. He melted the snow in the warm hollows, and softened the ice on the brooks. (I'm sorry - the text really reads, "Mr. Sun" - I thought it was stupid too.)

Bunny Rabbit and his brothers came out and hopped around to find roots to eat.

The squirrels ran up and down the trees, and all around everywhere to find hidden nuts.

All at once Bunny Rabbit heard a noise. (Bunny Rabbit is one sharp tack.)

He sat up on his hind legs and held up his long ears.

The other rabbits listened, too.

Sammy and Bobby heard the noise and scampered up into the little pine tree. (Sammy and Bobby are squirrels who just scamper about - all over. They are very annoying.)

"Bow-wow-wow!" barked Jip, as he ran through the woods.

"It's the dog!" cried Bunny. "Let's run and hide." (Dogs are so scary to squirrels and bunny rabbits! Puppies will tear them to bits and pieces,)

The little rabbits whirled around and hopped back to their house. (Their ears flopping to and fro! Giggling because they knew they were being filmed.)

Sammy and Bobby were safe in the tree, so they did not try to run away. They heard some one talking and they looked to see who it was. They saw two children and a man.

The man had an axe in his hand. (They so wanted to scream, they knew all about axe murderers - then they covered their eyes fearing what might happen to the children...)

BUT... The two children ran along the path, talking and laughing and spitting on each other.

They were looking at all the evergreen trees. (They couldn't see the forest for the trees! This is where the expression comes from!)

"This is a good one," said the little boy. (Although he knew he would be wrong - since the little girl always had to be right. The little boy vowed then and there never to get married. 'I'll be a priest!' he thought, 'and then I'll make her wear chapel veils to church and won't let her do the readings at Mass or be an altar girl and stuff.' Yes - this is how these customs got started!)

"This is a better one," said the girl, and she pointed right at the little pine tree where Sammy and Bobby were hiding. (The squirrels then realized this wasn't a crime scene after all - these people seemed to be intent upon deforestation and wiping out wildlife from the planet, in an effort to promote global warming.)

"They are going to cut down this tree," whispered Sammy. "What shall we do? What shall we do?"

But the man did not cut down the tree.

He looked at it and said, "That is too large for our Christmas tree." (Omigosh! The squirrels snickered - and they realized the intrusive humans were just looking for a Christmas tree to cut down, decorate, and then burn a few days later.)

"We must find one that is much smaller." Said the axe murderer.

So the man and the two children went along the path into the woods.

And before long the sound of the axe rang out through the stillness. (And the bone-chilling screams of the children did too! I'm just kidding.)

"I never was so frightened in my life," said Sammy. "I thought..."

"I thought so, too," said Bobby. "But I was not frightened. I could jump to that next tree. It is not very far."

"I know that," said Sammy. "But I have a store-house in this tree."

"Where is it?" asked Bobby. "I wish you would show it to me. I am as hungry as a bear."

"So am I," said Sammy. "Let's have dinner now." (As he turned to go get the good china and silver.)

"We will call it a Christmas dinner. The children said this would make a good Christmas tree," said Bobby.

"I wonder what a Christmas tree is like," said Sammy. Bobby followed Sammy and peeped into the hole where the ten acorns were hidden.

Sammy took out a nut, and Bobby took out a nut. (Just a couple of nuts - get it? This is where that expression comes from!)

They sat up on their hind legs and nibbled away happily. (They really didn't have china or silverware.)

And as they nibbled annoyingly, the man and the two children and the dog came back through the woods.

They were dragging a little tree over the snow.

The dog ran along beside them barking loudly. (So the dad shot him.)

"That must be the Christmas tree," said Bobby. "I wonder what they are going to do with it." (He wondered if it would be a theme tree, you know, very traditional, or if they would flock it and do something fabulously monochromatic with it.)

"Tweet, tweet!" sang a little sparrow. "I can tell you. I saw one last year. I peeped in at the window after the tree had been set up in the warm room. I saw many pretty things hanging on the branches. I saw the candles lighted, and Santa Claus came in to give away the toys to the happy children. Oh, it was pretty! But I like to see the tree in the woods better."

Then the little sparrow flew away, and the two squirrels ate another nut. (They looked at each other and shrugged - they couldn't understand a word of what the sparrow had just said.)

"I think this is a good Christmas tree," said Bobby. (Repeatedly over and over, really fast - he was a very fast talker.)

"Yes," said Sammy. "A tree with a hole full of nuts is better than one covered with candles and toys." (Said Sammy, repeatedly over and over, really fast - he too was a very fast talker.)

"It is better for squirrels," said Bobby - over and over. And then he took another nut. (Actually, the squirrels were nuts.)
Now this tale seems to end here - and it does in the book - but in reality, the little bunny rabbit who had been peering through my window is the very same Bunny Rabbit in this story! Isn't that wonderful? (Bunny Rabbit didn't see no damn tree.)
This story is available from Dementia Publishing, St. Paul, Minnesota 55104

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Left Behind.

What happened to santa?

"...then all of a sudden, this nice lady's Christmas tree just up and dropped out of the sky and landed on the poor old guy - this here's all that's left of him - it's like he melted or somethin'."
[Read about funny Christmas cards here.]

Monday, December 10, 2007

My first and last children's Christmas party...

Christmas memories...

That is me in the photo - I'm the one in the forefront wearing the dark suit, feigning happiness. It was an okay event. The girl next to me is Jennifer Colb, who was rather obvious in trying to seduce me. I explained to her I wanted to be a priest, so she ignored me the rest of the party. (None of us knew her very well, she was a daughter of one of my parent's bar-friends, who just happened to drop by.)

The boy next to me was my best friend Bob Cosamini... I say 'was' because we had a falling out about 10 years ago, right around Christmas. I had been helping him set up his business. One day I came into the shop and he told me his wife did not like a piece of art that I had hung. I walked out in a huff, and we have not spoken since. (Well, I wrote a letter. Never write letters when you are angry.)

I digress. Anyway, at parties such as these, Bob would use the bathroom and come back and tell us - in detail - all about it, what it looked like, the whole shebang. The girl at the back of our table next to Bob is Gloria Sword - she beat up Mary Kay Figaretto once - Mare is the dark-haired girl seated at the furthest table, across from Larry DeMarco. Larry has been in local theater for years now - and quite serious about it. Mary Kay is the one who introduced us all to Slo-Gin, with which we spiked our punch that Christmas. Most of us got sick and threw up. My parents thought it was my mom's cooking and refused to entertain ever again.

The End.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Jesse Tree

Right on, Target!

I'm not a big fan of Advent Wreaths or Jesse Trees, although if I had a Jesse Tree such as the illumination shown, I would be pleased. I think these things are great for families, especially kids, but for me, not so much. Although, I do appreciate old-world looking Advent calendars.

Speaking of Advent calendars - has anyone paid much attention to Target's Christmas ad on television? I vote it the best of the 2007 season. I love the music - sounds very Paul McCartney - and the format is nothing more than an Advent calendar. Now that is a good 'Catholic' Christmas ad if I ever saw one!

Right on, Target Corporation!

Saturday, December 08, 2007


"According to St. Thomas, simplicity is attached to the virtue of veracity, which puts truth into speech, gestures, manner of being and of living." (Three Ages of the Interior Life)

Friday, December 07, 2007

Hey - somebody! Please!

Could someone please call Tony Bennett and tell him he can't sing any more?! Sheesh!