We Have Some Snow Here!

December 28, 2010 at 1:25 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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Well, we ran off Thursday to have Christmas with the two younger grandkids, Wylliam, 5 and Nora, 3, who live with their parents out in western Massachusetts, near Sturbridge. The big hit was, I’m somewhat embarrassed to admit, the WII that we gave them. As I said to Wyll’s mother, it must be some help that she’ll know exactly where to find him for the next month or so. Can somebody explain to me how a five-year old manages to score four strikes in a row playing WII bowling, thus beating his father by 50 points?  And then, is there something on YouTube to show a three-year old girl how to force her big brother to give her a turn? Ah, well, I comfort myself that at least they’re jumping around in front of the tv instead of sitting on their butts staring at it.

Our plan was to drive home Sunday morning, ostensibly getting the drop on all the people who would be driving back Sunday afternoon. Until we heard the weather report, that is. After they upped the forecast for Sunday from six inches to twelve we threw our stuff into the trunk and blew out of there. I felt, as I often do, that I was being pretty neurotic wanting to leave before dinner, but Sunday afternoon when the snow was howling around Ditmas Park, I decided maybe I hadn’t been as neurotic as all that. Now I am listening to wailing and lamentation on the radio from people stranded at Penn Station or  JFK. One woman had brought her grandson into the city with her on the Long Island Railroad after the snow had actually started Sunday afternoon to attend a World Wrestling Federation event and is now annoyed because they had to sit all night on a heated train that can’t get through the snow drifts out on Long Island. Now that’s neurotic.

And now they’re announcing on NPR that we actually got 20 inches. Sweet Jesus. Our Corolla has completely disappeared, not that we would be so silly as to drive it even if we could reach it. The cars of people who tried doing so throughout the storm are stranded out in the middle of the streets, and even where they aren’t, the snow plows are stuck in the snow. Luckily, the Roku box is working, and we got in lots of snacks and Barefoot wine before the snow started. Things could be a lot worse.

So happy holidays, you all! And for those who are puzzled by my chatting about new computers and grandkids, bide your time. I’ve got some things to say about “death panels” very soon– back to my usual cheerful self.

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Another Take on “Dagger John”

December 17, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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A while back the new president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York, published an article in America, the Jesuit magazine, about Catholic schools. It was called “The Catholic Schools We Need.” I agreed with some of it. However, in his enthusiasm for his nineteenth-century predecessor, Archbishop “Dagger John” Hughes, Archbishop Dolan left out a few details that seemed pertinent to me.  And the article appeared right around the time that PBS made “Dagger John” the Catholic hero of its series, God in America.

All this put me in kind of a bad mood, so I wrote a piece about these attempts to resurrect “Dagger John” which was published on Religion Dispatches a while back. It perhaps tells you more about me than you want to know that I didn’t realize until today that it had appeared. I need a secretary. (See previous post.)


Checking Back In

December 17, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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So here’s why you haven’t heard from me in a while: my PC crashed.

I have had a personal computer of some kind since 1984 when I got a Kaypro. Most people have never heard of a Kaypro. It was a little desktop whose keyboard strapped right onto the screen on the front of the engine. I was in love with it from the day I brought it home. This was so, in large part, because in the Philadelphia Catholic high schools of the 1960s, you either had to take secretarial or academic courses, as if, somehow, those of us going to college weren’t going to need to type. Our secretaries would do it for us, maybe? Actually, they just had too many girls and not enough nuns, so we had to choose. And clearly, I didn’t have the temperament to be anybody’s secretary. As a result, for many years everything I typed looked like hell, not to put too fine a point on it. I would never have graduated from college except for erasable paper.

Until Kaypro, and, in particular, its spellcheck program came along. The rest was history. But then I bought a PC with Windows Vista on it three years or so ago, when history slowed down considerably, and  finally ground to a halt. The dreadful thing started crashing. You could start it up again, but then twenty minutes later it would shut down all over. Black screen. Very bad.

Except it really wasn’t bad, it was wonderful, because I was so thoroughly annoyed with Microsoft that I went and bought an Apple Imac. [You may be quite sure they aren’t paying me to write this; more’s the pity.] My eighty-nine year old friend Mary Louise had raved to me about her Imac, and she was right: it’s about the most wonderful thing I’ve ever encountered, excepting my husband, who was lovely enough to encourage me to spend  TWICE AS MUCH MONEY as I did on the PC and just get it and stop cursing.  I also bought the One to One package, which means, amazingly enough, that for a year I can go get an unlimited number of free private fifty-minute lesson on how to use my lovely new prize. At the Apple Store on Fifth Avenue you can get lessons 24 hours a day, though I must say, my husband is less unenthusiastic about my going at 3 AM, when the largest number of slots are available, than he was about my buying the Imac in the first place.

But this trading up has been taking some time, as you can well imagine, so you haven’t heard much from me. But you’re going to now, I promise you. Because I am writing up a storm on my gorgeous new computer.

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