dancerjodi: (Geek)
This week has had its challenges, but it was better than last. I am looking forward to our pizza at home Friday night ritual, and hoping Brian and I can (gasp) watch a movie or catch up with some DVR tonight. Mina has been getting to bed later and is teething again, so we haven't had a lot of time to ourselves before retiring upstairs for the night.

I'm going for a mani-pedi tomorrow with my Mom, sister and law and good friend K. I'm not sure how it came about, but K was talking with my Mom on Xmas Eve and the two of them made plans to go and get nails done around this time at Mom's regular place in NH. The last time I did this was with the same crew minus K, and I was still nursing Mina (maybe she was 5-6 months old). Spring has indeed sprung!

My brother and his wife are hosting Easter dinner, so at some point this weekend I'll assemble a salad and cook some sweet potatoes to contribute. Brian and I have had fun collecting things for Mina's first Easter basket. We're trying to stick to durable/natural/fun/educational things for her. I figure, we are setting the standard of "normal" now, and if we don't want to get into the tradition of lots of crappy, high-fructose corn syrup food, it is up to us to make that happen. I found a nice basket in shades of green and white in our attic and we've collected durable/natural toys and art supplies that we think she'll like. Skipping the grass, what is the point? We got 6 wooden eggs and I saved a 1/2 dozen egg container to put them in, for her to use in her play kitchen. She loves balloons, so that seems to be something we'll continue. Mylar is safe, and we keep an eye on the tie so that she doesn't strangle herself with it. We had one for her birthday, ordered with a fruit basket I bought for her party. Brian picked out a huge one for Valentine's Day at the party store near his office. Today he'll pick out one there for Easter.

Musings on raising a kid: religious upbringing and childcare )

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend!
dancerjodi: (Default)
A local church had done this for years http://www.dailynewstribune.com/news/x978810935/St-Marys-reenactment-of-Good-Friday-draws-a-crowd-in-Waltham and I have yet to see it because I'm always working. They ramped up the presentation this year - if you click on the photo on the left corner of the screen there are some more photos to view.
dancerjodi: (Default)
Pagans believe that Halloween is the time of the death of the god. As such, the veil between worlds is thin. Its also a time of harvest. Its a time to reflect on what's happened, acknowledge that its going to get cold, things are going to stop growing (in the traditional way, rather than the symbolic way). Its time to hunker down for the long and cold winter but take comfort in the knowledge that we know rebirth will come in the spring. I think this is particularly significant in a place with weather as crazy as New England.

Related, there's been a lot of death around me lately. There's been the death of a friend's parent, another friend's marriage, another friends relationship. There's been the death of my Grandmother's independence and mind as she's diagnosed in the early stages of dementia and put into a nursing home. There's been the (apparent) death of my desire to do the clubbing thing on a regular basis. If you look around you you'll find a whole lot of death (literal or otherwise).

It can be tough to find value in these experiences, but I think they are what make us who we are. Its hard to embrace them, make sense of them and move on from them if they've knocked us down or if we're feeling alone. For my friends in this place right now, I'd like to share Sia's "Breathe Me" (lyrics behind cut). They've been playing it all over the radio lately and apparently it was the song played at the end of the season finale of Six Feet Under. I hadn't really caught the lyrics listening at work since there's a lot of hustle and bustle here. They are very simple, but very pretty given they simple piano based music in the background and the throaty way she sings it (and I think, appropriate for us all at this time of year). Be you the person that needs a friend right now or the one in a position to be one, please don't run from life in this time of darkness - embrace it.

Read more... )
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We went to see this last night after I made dinner and we went all over the place looking for an Ipod for me (the 5 meg ones were all sold out). We'll be heading to the Mac store this morning (that is, if either of them have one). I'm really excited about having music at the gym.

The movie (not giving out any spoilers):
-I liked this A LOT. The rawness of it reminded me a bit of Fight Club (only, with more of a political, "honor" and religions theme to it).
-I knew the thing was going to be bloody but didn't expect it to be *that* bloody. Martin Scorsese seemed to be the man for the job.
-I don't care what you people say, I still think Leo is damn sexy (and B didn't even make fun of me for commenting on it that much).

One of the more striking moments to me was when 3 different parties were praying in their different ways before a very important event. The Irish had their poor, Catholic prayers in a dirty church basement to an old medal of Saint Michael. The protestant kneeled down on a simple kneeler in his room and prayed in much the same way as the Irish (it just didn't seem as emotional, though, that could be my own Catholic upbringing bias talking too, I never thought the Protestants got the "passion" thing into their religions ritual as much as the Catholics did). And the upper class Christians (I'm not really sure what specific denomination they were supposed to be) said grace over the crystal covered dinner table with a whole host of pretty words.

B and I talked about this on the way home (its probably more alien for him to *feel*, not being raised with any kind of faith ever, and all). They were all praying to the same God. They were all praying for their God to protect them from or, help them smite ' the bad guy'. Its no new thing that over time, religion has caused such passion in people that they ignore the basic teachings of their faith of peace - just to get control over another group. When you strip down the dogma, the frouffy-crap and the stuffy traditions (mind you, I'm not saying all traditions are stuffy) I think you get the same basic spirituality. I think this is why I've had such issue committing to one tradition. There are parts of many that make sense to me (and many that I feel a part of).

Yeah, I'm one of those freakin' 'whycantwejustgetalong' hippies. I think learning about the oppression of the past can help us try and atone for it and prevent it in the future - sticking our heads in the sand just won't cut it. Which was why I didn't think this movie was a complete senseless, hollywood-made display of gore.

I'm bummed I didn't pay attention to the author on NPR who wrote about the 5-corners area in NY (and, said that "Gangs of New York" was a bit more violent than reality but in general, the movie hit the issues and feelings of the time right on the head). I've always been fascinated with the early immigrant experiences of people coming to America during the huge "send me your tired, your hungry, your poor" time period, since that's when my ancestor's emigrated here from Europe. I'd be interested in learning more about the time period, place and people of this movie; I had never thought much about the role of the Civil War *here* and the role of that the persecuted immigrant peoples that weren't black played it it (I guess in my naivete, I thought that by that point things had "gotten better").
dancerjodi: (Default)
From my sister:

"It is true - my son will start school the day after labor day. I am an old, wrinkly broad with a child in elementary school. Can you help me out with this? How the hell can this be? Where was I when this happened? STOP IT NOW!

You and B both need to by Barnyard Bingo tickets - they are $10 a piece - thats right - 2 tickets, one a piece. I want to sell 65 of them and I will need every one I know to buy one - couples do not get a discount either. Perhaps BadAndy would feel better owning one as well. The prizes go as such 1st - $5000.00, 2nd $2500.00, 3rd $500.00 4-9th $100.00. So if the cow shits on your square you get $5000.00 not too shabby. Any takers? If I see 65 my "community service" is done for the year. Dam it I am in sales so it should not be an issue - correct???

Well that is all for now. Wish me luck! "

********

My nephew just started kindergarten in a Catholic school. I don't think she wanted a Catholic education for him as much as she didn't want him going to the elementary school in their neighborhood (I don't really blame her much). Being a Catholic school, on top of tuition (which is cheap really - she's going to save around $10K that she would have spent on daycare before) she has to do so many hours of "service" which includes selling things, donating things, being a lunch mother (which wouldn't be an option for her due to work) etc.

I forgot about all the things that come along with this kind of educational experience. Before you know it he'll be having many holy days off and will be selling wrapping paper. And he'll be going to the stations of the cross each Friday in Lent . . .

I have many memories of my Catholic school experience - some good, some bad. Its too bad those buildings in Watertown have been turned into office space, the http://www.nesa.edu/ and some random space for a Head Start Program, CCD and storage though; I would have liked to show B around in the large rooms with high ceilings, stained glass, underground secret tunnels and random statuary in the hallways.

********

On a related note I heard about this on the radio this morning:
http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/234/nation/Case_of_cathedral_sex_must_wait+.shtml

I made out with my first BF in the St. Pat's Convent Yard (in the corner where all the kids used to get stoned during recess) and in the basement of the Our Lady's Church in Newton (over by Gothboy's house) with a BF that looked sort of like Dave Mustaine. I'm not really sure what I think about this particular situation. I do have to say that I did laugh quite a lot during the "Detroit Rock City" scene where the young drummer lost his virginity in a church confessional and announced it to his preaching mother out on the street while she was protesting the nearby Kiss Concert.

I think the main issue for me is that they interfered with other people's worship and made others uncomfortable. If you want to go fsck in a religions establishment and that makes you excited (in one capacity or another) go for it, just don't interfere with the people that call it their 'home'. I don't think their behavior in itself would have harmed anything - it was all in the approach.

I am curious to see what comes out of this other than (surprise, surprise) Opie and Anthony being fired again . . .

Frocked

Jan. 11th, 2002 08:20 am
dancerjodi: (Default)
They were discussing http://www.rcab.org/News/sexualAbuseStatement.html on the radio this morning. The question at hand, is the church trying to 'sweep things under the rug'. Though I only listened to the discussion on the short ride from my house to work (around 15-20 minutes) it brought back some clear memories.

I worked at the rectory at my childhood church (the one that I would eventually be confirmed and married at) answering phones and filling out mass cards for people (you could make a small donation and have a person's name mentioned specifically for prayer at a mass). I think it was one of the easiest jobs I've had in my life - sit and do homework at the kitchen table, watch TV, drink all the free soda that I wanted out of the refrigerator and answer the phone or door from time to time.

The rectory was a grand old white home (I'm guessing a couple hundred years old just like the church) with high ceilings, stained glass, comfortable furniture in multiple sitting rooms and even some hidden rooms and doorways that went to nowhere (save a 30 foot drop from the third floor down to the first in the front hallway). There was a feeling of comfort in the place, it being decorated in all deep greens and reds and surrounded by old religions statuary and paintings. It was quiet (only the sound of the TV in the kitchen could be heard) most times - every once in a while you'd hear the murmur of a priest talking to someone in the front of the house (be it a young couple planning a wedding, an old lonely woman seeking counseling or a homeless alcoholic seeking some money and a place to sleep for the night).

For such a large church we had only a handful of priests and a couple of deacons - its actually gotten worse now where there are only 2 full time priests and then others that visit to help out until they are needed more elsewhere. The priests were always very sweet but weird at the same time (kind of like my family, for those of you who have met any of them).

In a small parish in Watertown and working behind the scenes as a 9th grader I learned a few things that going to the Elementary and Junior High School never taught me:
-A couple of the priests drank A LOT - they would fill up a large glass tumbler with ice each night and retire to their rooms asking not to be disturbed unless it was an emergency. One day when poking around the confines of the house I found (da da da da) the liquor cabinet which was larger then the closet that my husband and I share at home.
-One of said priests was very touch-feely with the students that worked there. Now I wouldn't say he was a bad guy or that it was molestation/harassment . . . it was just what we DSS workers would call "inappropriate" back in my internship in college. He also had a talent of telling really dumb jokes (like, "hey - you look like a million bucks, all green and wrinkled").
-After working at the rectory for about 6 months I found out that the pastor had been sneaking around with a girlfriend. This apparently had been public knowledge for a while but they were talented in keeping these kinds of things from the kids. He wasn't de-frocked but was moved away to another parish. The damage however had been done - he had taken church money for his GF and the high school had closed. A very good principal from the elementary school was fired (rumor was because he "knew too much") and then a couple of years later the elementary school closed.

I want to say that I think the amount of people that do these kinds of things in ANY organized religion is small - I know it exists in the Catholic Church and that in the past "the church" entity has been good at sweeping things under the rug. I hope that this changes. I also hope though that people will cut the church some slack since not all affiliated are "bad" or "evil".

I'm glad this discussion was on the radio this morning - life was such a different world back then and it was nice to remember it again.

Do you have any similar stories to share? I find that when I've chatted with anyone else that worked either in a church (as an altar boy) or in a rectory there are always interesting stories to tell.

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