Sunday, July 30, 2006

This was going to be in my Anti-Prayer Blog

(The plot thickens.)

But it isn't any sort of prayer, cranky, blasphemous, or otherwise. Long story shortened:

Followed a link to Curt Jester through the Happy Catholic. Seems the Archdiocese of Boston was unwittingly harboring a mole: a woman who insisted she was an ordained priest.

I was quite interested in everyone's take on this, but I have finally dismissed this with my own. Follow the links back to their sources for the facts. Naturally because the Catholic Archdiocese tends to cover its functionary butt (and well they should in light of recent legal woes), the facts are not fully represented in almost any link. But I still have one question: Was the lady "ordained" by a Roman Catholic Bishop? I would bet my eyeteeth (with silver amalgam fillings) she was not.

The Curt Jester's site is informative and fun, but should not be taken too seriously. It's a blog, like this one, and full of conjecture and second-hand information. But the news is still there, the lady got everyones' alb in a twist.

Still, I cannot see how this is any different from a lot of apostasy stories. The lady considered herself a priest when she was not. She was "ordained" when she was not. Matter, manner, rite, rot or not. The lady was not ordained.

I personally believe there will come a time when women will be priests. Now is not that time. Like to see it during my lifetime, though.

If it is important to the Archdiocese that it's hirelings be orthodox, then they'd better tend their flocks a little more closely. Otherwise, the religion of their employees ought not to matter. Why shouldn't they hire a Jew or Muslim or whatever?

The bottom line: the lady was never a Roman Catholic Priest, duly ordained. She did, however, pass herself off as a Catholic in good standing in the Church. That was wrong.

If she wants to start her own religion, fine. Many have and many do, all the time. But not on our dime and our time.

Little Pond

Update: Okay, now I'm getting cranky. Why is this national news? Why didn't these ladies just go to the Episcopalian church? Rome recognizes the ordination of Episcopal priests. Perhaps being ousted by Catholiscism is getting them the publicity they crave. If the lady truly wanted to "push to boundaries" and improve her beloved religion, then she should have stayed to finish the fight. I'm staying, and I'm fighting. I want to be there for the ordination of the first female, or even the first married, priest. Nothing clandestine is going to accomplish that.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Bouquets, Buffets, and the "Best" Revenge

Best Asian Buffet expanded from Ithaca into our area this week. Opening was preceded, but not permanently marred, by vandalism that was apparently bigotry-related.

I say "apparently" because the smashed windows were punctuated by anti-Asian graffiti. Local reaction was "Huh?"

And overwhelming support and patronage these past few days of its debut. Businesses sent welcoming bouquets, as is traditional for new companies in these parts.

Best Asian offer a complete typical "Chinese" menu for takeout and a la carte, which I sampled first. The wait staff was equivocal about MSG content, saying there would be a "little bit" without seeming to know which items. The decadently sumptuous, enormously varied buffet will have to wait until I can be sure I will not be affected. This was hard, because I spent a great deal more ordering a la carte. The Weekend Buffet costs only $5.99, and was clearly all-you-can-eat. And they have tons of sushi. I can hardly wait to attack the vegetarian lovelies with all their crunchy colors.

So far no reaction, even though I am quite sensitive. My guess is that there are items that require MSG in the buffet. Two hours later I still am very happily gorged on chow mein and fried rice (with egg roll). Mosly I am filled with admiration for the obviously Asian (Hong Kong, like the photo over the buffet?) waitstaff, who remained pleasant and helpful during my visit.

They were racially attacked and their livelihoods threatened, yet they bounced back, stoically meeting the challenge. The owners simply replaced windows, repaired the damage, and opened as planned.

The place is spacious and well lit, with a pleasing decor, mixing Asian caligraphic art with photography, and simple American-style murals (obviously from its former Ponderosa Steakhouse incarnation), inside and out. My personal favorite was the painted glass around the top of the booths. There were multi-colored woodcocks, gracefully warring oxen, pandas, hummingbirds and other exotica.

And the community responded! Filled the parking lot to overflowing, clogged the Miracle Mile, patiently waiting, and fed on serving after serving of Asian and American food. I visited early Saturday, before noon, and found the parking lot already almost full.

The customers were from all walks of life: young families of every stripe, bikers, tourists, seniors, teens, black, white, and even a few Asian-looking diners (well, why not?). I saw many of our United States represented in the parking lot that was again promising to overflow when I left around1:30 PM.

And that must surely be the best revenge.

Little Pond

More photos from this visit can be found here.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Life's a bowl of chocolate drops

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the version with Gene Wilder, is one of my favorite films. So I was pleased to see that Criminal Grace posted Sweet Tooth today. I can really go to town on this one, specifically Hershey, PA.

1--I make certain to get my full daily adult requirement of sweets every day. Even when I am dieting, or maybe, especially when I am dieting.

2--Anyone who even casually knows me knows that chocolate is one of the five important food groups.

3--It's really too bad, but I am allergic to most artificial sweetners. They give me cramps. Lately, I've been using Sucralose,
but I still seem to be having problems. I hope they are in my head. It's so easy to confuse which reactions come from where, since I have so many food allergies.

4--Snort, I say. SNORT!!! There is never any question. Chocolate rules.

5--Maybe I'm missing something here: I am surrounded every day by people doing sweet things for me. It's always like that. Doors are opened, burdens assumed, chocolate shared. Isn't it like that for everyone? I see it all around me, all the time. It would be very difficult to pick one. Although, my aunt and my brother made huge sacrifices and donations just for me, in order to benefit MS research a while back. It really struck a chord. As did my coworkers. But again, that sort of thing seems to be all around, at all times.

May your every meal end with a luscious chocolate dessert and your nights be spent dreaming of Hershey, PA, with it's heavenly, scented atmosphere.

Little Pond

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Tiger's Tears

I was thinking about my friend the GolferGirl today, because we usually meet on Wednesday for coffee. During the summer this becomes a scheduling problem, because the First Tee takes up a lot of her time.

Lately we've seen a lot of bad behavior in the sports world.

Okay, that sounds downright silly. More correctly, we 've come to expect bad behavior in the sports world.

But good news in the sports world is still news. Recently, Tiger Woods (definitely my main man in Golf, followed by The Shark) won a huge victory. He celebrated by sobbing openly and dedicating the victory to his deceased Dad.

I hope every future pro golfer saw and understood: Golf is a gentleman's game. There are nine core values taught to anyone who learns golfing from a golf pro.

Tiger has taken a huge amount of flack in his career, not the least of which was for his minority heritage. I thought Tiger handled it with aplomb.

I've heard it said that a real man only cries on three occasions: when Old Yellar is shot, when Dumbo is separated from his mother, and when a man loses his own mother. These are all metaphors for one single truth: the loss of something truly worthwhile, be it personal or universal to all men, is dispensation from the "men don't cry" rule.

I saw only positive reaction from any sportscaster or columnist to Tiger's tears. We can celebrate with Tiger and we can mourn with Tiger. Earl Woods will always be a giant in the sports world; Tiger is his legacy to us. Tiger's tears belong to us.

Real gentleMEN do cry. And we cry with them.
Little Pond

Monday, July 24, 2006

Last Run, First Run

I didn't work the night they pressed the STOP button for the last time. I vaguely regret missing the end of an era, but the week had already been long, and I worked the next night to welcome in the new era.

Workmate Chuck was featured in both stories. That would be Charles Belanger of Prepress, who carried down the last negative from our department.

Chuck in the Pressroom, (we like our Chucks!) along with the rest of the Journeyman Pressworkers, spent their last night running the Goss behemoth that was our press, soon to be a relic of an ancient time. The pressmen will work the new press in Johnson City.

Our Mailroom fellow-employees, headed by my good friend Wendy will likely split, some working in JC, with others remaining and retraining for the new Printer (I guess we should call it) that will put out the inserts and glossies, here in Elmira. It will be relatively tiny, a niftly four-color toy that will fill what used to be the Mail Room.

As you go through the gallery pictures you will see our various bosses and coworkers, some retired and some now Johnson City employees. See how dirty the clothes are in the old pressroom. The new place is super-modern and quite clean. I've visited, but never seen it running.

Funny to think that the building-shaking, bell-ringing, nerve jangling startup is all in the past. Already the air was so much cleaner last night; I didn't need the albuterol inhaler. Not once. I worked the Advertising Graphics department, changing ad sizes over to comply with the new specs. We are used to being very, very busy.

Hope they don't phase us all out now.

We did an awful lot of waiting-around last night.

Little Pond

Update: This is a version of the post I saved in Notepad. Something went wrong with Blogger just as I posted. I've learned to keep Notepad up and running while blogging to save my work outside of Blogger.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


It's freaking pouring out again! Can't we send this stuff out west where they want it??

I was forced to drive through a huge puddle going across the road, like I swore I wouldn't ever again. I was surrounded by traffic, and drove slowly so as not to hydroplane. And the morons passed me at high speed!!! Apparently they don't read this blog.

Each car completely washed mine, leaving me driving totally blind. Has everyone gone insane?

I didn't want to be out, but a headlight blew, and I went to AutoZone to buy a couple. Too bad the rain won't let up long enough to let me install the darned thing.

People who work nights are literally targets for bored policemen. Been pulled over tons of times, and they don't need a reason. How about going too slow? Yep, that's a good enough excuse around here.

And I'm up to my tuchis in overtime. Yes, we need the money for MammaDog's wedding, but right now I would prefer a full night's sleep. Four hours isn't cutting it for me now. It's only a short drive home from work, but I have actually fallen asleep at the intersections. Scares the hell out of the other drivers.

It's on to a little video gaming, and then to bed for a few winks. I still need a full eight if I can get them tonight. Wedding planning excursion tomorrow, followed by a night's work. The paper launches from the new CNY site Sunday night for the Monday morning edition. So far it's been Purgatory; Sunday night we expect sheer Hell.

Little Pond

Friday, July 21, 2006

Five on Friday: Our big date?

As usual Criminal Grace dishes up a (sometimes) touchy meme. For us, anyway.

1. We are very, very married. Oh, so very married. With children. On the bright side, that doesn't mean no one ever asks. I'm looking forward to old age. My MIL was approached not long ago and the word went around that she was still a looker, and the one who hit on her was a luster from way back in high school. Tee, hee.

2. Frankly, I can't remember the last time RJ and I went on a date. Must be not in the past year or so. And thank you very much for reminding me.

3. My ideal date is a cruise to nowhere and back on a very small charter. With people waiting on us hand and foot.

4. Has dating become archaic? Snort, I say! SNORT! Couldn't happen in a million years. Even tightly regulated societies have highly ritualized dating. The reproductive impulse is THAT important and strong. Remember Amok Time?

5. Online dating services? Carefully go for it. And be prepared for a bumpy ride. People with much in common will click (literally; I couldn't resist) and those who don't won't. Same old, same old, just a different medium.

Maybe after the dust settles from the upcoming wedding, we will pretend we were the Wedding Crashers.

Or, maybe not. RJ never saw the movie.

Little Pond

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Very Sad

Have you ever said that a place that is really beat up "looks like downtown Beirut?" Well, it's a phrase I hear a lot. I myself used it, too. Until, in the last few years, the city began to recover. It's a wonderful thing to watch a city rebuild after armed conflict. Beirut has become a real showplace.

We all watched as Sarajevo was chopped up, bit by bit, during the fighting and sniping there. It too has begun a remarkable recovery. I was heartbroken when it appeared, night after night, slowly being turned into rubble. And Sarajevo was a wonderfully ornate city, a real jewel in Eastern Europe. I am heartened to watch it begin its return to glory.

Knowing this is possible gives me little hope for Beirut. The conflict has raged there for millennia, for as long as the decendants of Abraham have been battling. It doesn't look like Ishmail and Isaac are going to settle things anytime soon.

It makes me very sad. Beirut has already rebuilt into a beautiful Mediterranean city. I can't begin to express the feelings that assail my heart to watch its destruction yet again. And since I am not immortal, I grieve that I may never see its rebirth.

After a half a century of watching, I may trust it will rebuild, but I may never see it.

Little Pond

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Native-born Americans take so much for granted. This is good; we are entitled to day-to-day security. If we obey the laws, we do not fear encarceration. If we are willing to work, we can pay our bills. Even if we are not willing to work, we expect to be fed and housed, at least for a while. We are not persecuted by the government if we are law abiding, even if we loudly disagree with national policy.

We grow up with these certainties and expect them. They are our entitlement. We step outside our country and this sense of entitlement may get us embarrassed or into trouble. Even then, we can petition the local embassy, to help us out. We rarely need to feel helpless.

We know this is not true everywhere. Many who come to America are political exiles. Some live here, yet with disdain and look to trip us, even harm our way of life. Some hate and plot to kill us.

In the midst of all the smug entitlement, prim disdain, and outright fanatical hatred, there is a small group of real Americans who are not native. They love this country and aren't afraid to tell us why.

They are the ones I want next to me when I tear up during the Star Spangled Banner. We can pass around the tissues after we cheer and applaud.

Little Pond

Friday, July 14, 2006

Going on Day Twelve at the Paper

So I'm really looking forward to the weekend. We will then embark on the work-week that leads into the new CNY. Our Beloved Star-Gazette will no longer be published in Elmira, New York. Instead the pages will ship over "high-speed" telephone wires (an oxymoron!) to our multi-million dollar press in Johnson City, outside Binghamton, New York.

But if I could take a vacation, I would go swimming. Thanks to Criminal Grace for this week's Five on Friday:

1--I can swim very well because I had Swimming Lessons as a very small child. We would catch the bus early in the morning, and return home for lunch. It was part of growing up in Central Massachusetts.

2--I learned how to swim at Rotary Beach in Auburn, Massachusetts from the Red Cross instructors there. In the Baker family, everyone was required to learn. We spent a lot of time at the beach every summer. My parents now spend their summers in Kennebunkport, Maine.

3--I haven't swum in years. Here in Upstate New York, the Finger Lakes are "glacial," and yes, that does mean they are frigid. Frigid water + Multiple Sclerosis = a wonderfully funny show for everyone except the MSer. It truly defines the term "spazzing out." Thank goodness the water is there to hide the sudden incontinence.

4--Underwater swimming was always my favorite as a child, and I had the ear infections to prove it. And why would anyone swim underwater without opening their eyes? Of course now with contact lenses, I can understand, but as a child...

5--Salt water all the way: give me the ocean any day. If I ever won the Lottery, the first order of business (after paying all the bills!) would be a castle on the Atlantic Ocean. In Maine. And on St. Thomas.

Hope you get the chance to swim this weekend. Wish I did; the warmest local beach was recently closed be cause of the bacteria count. No doubt due to the recent wicked rains.

Update: Note the correction: Day Twelve. And I will work Saturday night, too. Now that I'm the mother of the bride, I am such a money-hoard... Hee, Hee.

Little Pond

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

It's so hard to clean house

In the dark! The day is totally dreary, and the rains are light and intermittent. (Never mind: we now have flash flood warnings again!) I hate using the electric lights in the daytime, especially during summer. Even with them I cannot see the dirt that I know is there. I am doing a very light cleaning of the downstairs.

Upstairs, VeggieGirl and the HuggaMutt are still asleep, due to the low light. The kitchen is bright and cheery because the VG repainted all the surfaces and repaired cat-scratched wall paper yesterday. So I will let her sleep. I'll need her energy to get me through the upcoming wedding of Mama- and PapaDog.

Update: VeggieGirl has an interview with Cingular. She loves Cingular and her phone. Guess young girls do. She really needs steady work, so I hope she interviews well. Don't much care about Cingular, myself, though.

Just three months and few thousand dollars later, we will have a welcome addition to the Little Pond. He's already here and already welcome, but it will be official. Funny to remember him riding flat on his back on a skateboard past the house, several years ago. Didn't realize then that he was looking to impress MammaDog (years before she was MammaDog...); he certainly impressed me. He saluted, as much as he could without upsetting the precarious balance of his stunt. I saluted back: our first interaction!

Soon he will be my ever-loving son in law. 'Bout time, too.

Little Pond

Saturday, July 08, 2006

After the Rainstorm.

An email from the Elmira-Chemung Transportation Council:

"The two truckers that lost their lives in this incident could see that the water was crossing in front of them a little higher than the existing pavement; however both assumed it was water crossing the road and figured they could drive through it slowly, not knowing of course that there was no road left."

Note how deep the gully is. Now imagine how the truckers saw it. Surely, it must have looked like a pool of water flowing across the lanes.

Please do not drive into a flooded roadway. Not even slowly, thinking to back out if it gets deep. You may not get the chance.

I used to attempt to cross a shallow-looking flooded highway. (Because a Tracker has lots of clearance.) Never again.

Little Pond

Thursday, July 06, 2006


BlogSister Karen has her newer, fresher site up for your approval.

A girl and her blog. It's a beautiful thing.

Little Pond

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Indoor Independence Day

Posted by Picasa
Not raining, but not inviting, either. And I have to work tonight. But I had a nice long weekend.

Little Pond

Sunday, July 02, 2006

What is the opposite of winterkill?

Not Christmas in July. Just an ailing tree. I actually wanted river shots. But it's all muddy and not particularly high. There were rumors of a doe stranded on the islet, but I never saw her either. If you're still interested, click here for a short walk through the neighborhood and bragging rights for RJ.

Little Pond Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Friendly thought for the day...#2

A friend will help you get moving.
A good friend will help you move.
But your best friend will help you move a body.

Little Pond