Friday, April 29, 2011

Read This

And you won't have to worry about having an appetite for a late-night snack tonight.

"Had I really been yet another one of those women who had given away her identity when she said "I do?" And I don't mean "I do" to marriage -- but rather "I do" to adult responsibility, jobs, children, mortgage, graduate school, paying bills. Where was the me in all of that?"

Because God forbid, you forget to put yourself first in life. Quelle tristesse!

If wife-beating husbands make all men look bad, it's women like this one who are a blot on the entire sex.

HT: Instapundit

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Christ is Risen From the Dead

A flash mob in Beirut singing the Pascha hymn in a shopping mall:

"Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life."

Advice from Lambchop

If you're not this tired at the end of your workout you didn't try hard enough.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Mount Athos

Check out this wonderful 60 Minutes story and video on Mount Athos in Greece, home of a number of ancient monasteries. Broadcast on Pascha, if you can believe it.

HT: Orthodixie.

The Best Way to Walk Home from School

Word Etymology and the Eight Year Old

The boys and I were talking on the way to taekwondo the other day and the subject veered onto the etymologies of various words. After a pause in which I reminded Two that "every word has its own story - not just what it means but where it came from" (never miss an educational opportunity, I always say) we continued on our way, and the conversation rolled along (and along and along) until it we began to discuss how we face East when we pray; we do so because the rising sun is an icon of Christ rising from the dead. Out of the blue Two interrupted and announced "well, that much be why they call it 'Easter'! It's the East where the sun rises, and if the rising sun reminds us of Jesus, then the words must come from the same place! East! Easter!"

He might not be too far wrong, apparently. Little did I know - but I can say that about a lot of things these days. One thing I do know: my mind and that eight year old's do not work in the same way. And we're all probably better off for it, I think.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Images

We spent a relaxing and food-filled day today, after a very late night last night at Pascha services. Last night's services ended at 1am, and beds were not seen (thanks to chocolate rabbits and the Whataburger drive-through) until after 2am. Today was a sleep in, cook a lot celebration of the end of the Fast and (of course) the Resurrection. Some random images:

Happy Easter. Al Maseeh Qam!

Blessed Pascha

Friday, April 22, 2011

Very Late Seven

1. Why does my reaction to this make me feel like William F. Buckley Jr., standing athwart history yelling "stop"? Blech, blech, blech. Is it blasphemy, or just brainless lack of taste? I can't decide. I do know two things: (1) it makes me happier than ever to be Orthodox, and (2) if I showed this to our archpriest, exhausted as he is from Lent and Holy Week, I think he might cry.

2. It's Earth Day! Please don't turn your significant other into fertilizer, like the day's founder did. Instead, eat at Arby's and think of the rainforest. Well, at least that's what I always do...

3. In a related note, Two came home from school yesterday and announced he knew what "The 3 R's" were: reduce, re-use and recycle. He is now being homeschooled, and is grounded until he's 30. Almost kidding.

4. Have you seen all the kerfluffle about the implosion of Three Cups of Tea writer Greg Mortenson and his Central Asia Institute? 60 Minutes ran a piece on it last week, and Jon Krakauer has written a longer article called Three Cups of Deceit, which is available on the new (and very cool) website, Apparently it boils down to this: lots of those "Pennies for Peace" you dropped in the jar at your kid's school? They went to pay for private jets and book tours, not schools. Sad - not for Mortenson, who will get what he deserve (one hopes) but for all the people who depended on him and his organization for help. But a good lesson for would-be shysters: do NOT accept $75k donations from investigative journalists and expect them to ignore any shenanigans you engage in.

5. One and I have been enjoying smoothies from recipes posted by Kristen Howerton last week. I've monkeyed with the recipes a bit (as usual), but the tropical fruit/spinach combo Green Machine smoothie is to die for. Two? He can't be persuaded to get near any of them: he has years of fruit and vegetable awareness training under his belt, and he's not going to eat anything he isn't completely certain didn't come from a plant.

6. I posted this on Facebook already, but seriously: the new "energy safe" lightbulbs shouldn't be used anywhere near people? I put one in Husband's closet over a year ago. Guilt. Sob. Guilt.

7. Simcha Fisher wrote a piece at the National Catholic Register last week about the very interesting St. Anthony "Wet House", run for alcoholics who have repeatedly failed to stop drinking. The home provides them with food and a roof over their heads, and they are allowed to drink the alcohol they provide themselves in a specific place in the house. I read the story with interest, and the comments with much more interest. They are divided pretty much between (1) God wants us to help those in need, and (2) isn't this a sin? we need to make sure it's not a sin before we help others. I definitely fall into the first camp, thinking it more compassionate to give someone a home and food rather than force them to sleep under a bridge; their own sin is between them and God. But I found it rather interesting that there was such a legalistic component to the thoughts one would have before extending a hand to the least of these.

There are no official "7 Quick Takes" this week at Jen Fulwiler's site, but check out all the goodness over there anyway, if you like.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Helping Japan

The boys' school has been making paper cranes to raise money to help victims in Japan - they started out with a goal of making 1000 and got to something like 2500 before it was all over. The 1000 have been sent to Japan with wishes for recovery and healing, and the leftovers are hanging around the school, hopefully bringing us all happiness and wishes come true.

Additionally, the Japanese families at school organized a bake sale, held today at early dismissal, to raise money for Japanese relief efforts.

I love the tee-shirts: they say "we are with you" in English and Japanese.


Seven Quick Take Questions for Friday

1. Is sugar the devil?

2. Why are eating disorders increasing among Orthodox Jewish girls in the US?

3. Is anyone else as creeped out by work avatars as I am? Apparently IBM assigns one to every employee, or so I’ve heard. If I work for them can I request that mine is a size 2?

4. Would you paint your boy’s toenails pink? How about sharing a picture of it with the world? Me, I’m just glad my boys start gagging when they see pink, so I don’t have to answer either of these thorny questions.

5. If you’re a foodie, would you have liked cooking 100 years ago as much as you do now? Megan McArdle doesn’t think so. I think this helps explain why my home, built in 1940 in pre-air-conditioned Houston, has a kitchen cut off from the rest of the house, complete with swinging door and bells to call the cook from the torture chamber kitchen. I don’t like making dinner much these days at all; the idea that it took 30 hours a week to feed your family 100 years ago? I might have run off to join the circus at a young age, that’s all I’m saying.

6. Did you know I have a sister? This is her on the left.

Isn’t she good-looking?

7. Can we please do this in Houston? Woof.

For more Quick Takes, visit Jen Fulwiler’s blog, Conversion Diary.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Lost Art

One made this "sculpture" in art class the other day - he's taking "found art" at Glassell and his projects have been mostly strange creations like this.

The best part about it? He had no idea what the canisters were for. I had to explain to him: "once upon a time, there was this substance called 'film'..." He now claims to remember film after I told him that little story, but Two? He has no recollection at all.

Cultural Confusion and the End of the World

There was a major confluence of strange cultural themes in Two's Chick-fil-A dinner two nights ago. What on earth am I talking about? His Kid's Meal bag had the words "Bad Wolf" printed on the bottom.

Seriously, it's like Doctor Who is really real. I was completely creeped out, and now that I know the universe is ending soon, my anti-wrinkle cream has completely stopped working. Before you know it, I'll look just like this:


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Put in my Place

Two asks, on the way home from school today: "Mom, what does a detonator look like?"

Me: "I don't know, sweetie."

Two: "Well, when Dad gets home I'm going to ask HIM. Do you know why? Because he is a grown-up, and also, he is a MAN, and so he will know all about this kind of stuff. Okay!?"

Me: silence .......

Back Again

Well, I took an unintended but welcome break from writing anything and now I'm back. I helped close out the fiscal year at work (and no one died while it happened, including me), worried some more about One and middle school, came to resolution on those worries, and started back trying to exercise a few times a week. And now, after all that, I give you a post that defines the words "non sequitur":

Five Favorite Smells

What are your favorite smells? I was once at a Bible study where we opened with going around the room and naming one favorite, and it was actually a very interesting conversation starter. I actually love thinking about this topic, as there are so many memories tied to smells if you just close your eyes and take a sniff. My top five? Not in any particular order:

Clean baby head
Lavender oil in a hot bath at the end of a bad day
A cool spring morning, low on the humidity
The smell that wafts over you as you wait in an old, favorite barbecue joint

How about you?