Thursday, October 23, 2008

I want the shiny, red leather jacket!

I've been thinking ... about Sarah Palin and her $150,000.00 buying spree, financed by the RNC.

Since Palin's clothes are going to be donated to charities after the election, maybe she could send this red jacket my way! I might even, eventually, lose enough weight to fit into it! If not, I could simply admire it on the hanger.

Of course, some people will say I should stop whining and just buy my own jacket. So I did a little online sniffing, and though I could not find Sarah's exact jacket, I did find a similar one at Neiman Marcus. Isn't it just divine? And the best thing is the price tag.

It's only $1,395.00! I should snap it up!

Oh, but wait. I forgot I'm paying $653.40 every month for my son's health insurance. Just in case he needs another hernia repair. Or gets into an accident. I'm such a worry wart!

Maybe I could put it on layaway -- I hear that's the next big thing, since none of us has any money left. Let's see , $1,395.00 ...

That's $10.00 per month for the next 11.6 years. Or, I could just shop where I normally shop.

Old Navy.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Lament for an oak tree

I'm a tree-hugger -- I'll admit it. And when we bought our house ten years ago, one of its many selling points was the mature oak tree standing on the front lawn, along with equally lovely maples and locust trees spotted around the property. So it was with dread that I read, a few years ago, about a blight that was striking oak trees in my state.

I took a good look at my tree, and, in truth, it didn't look so well. The leaves turned brown early, but not because it was fall (it wasn't). Over the next two years, the tree looked worse and worse. I lamented -- I grieved -- and I called the department in our borough responsible for trees located within four feet from the street: the Shade Tree Commission (I kid you not). I connected with a nice man named Jim, who came by while I was at work, and reported that my tree "needed pruning," but that I would have to get in line with the 20,000 other shade trees in the borough.

Sigh. A week or two ago, I called Jim again.

"It's dead, Jim," I said, paraphrasing Dr. McCoy on Star Trek.

"No, it just needs pruning," he replied.

"Jim, it has dead branches dangling over the road," I mentioned helpfully. "They could fall on anyone's car, or child," I elaborated, hoping to instill the fear of litigation.

"We'll get to it eventually," he assured me.

Right. "It's an eyesore!" I exclaimed finally, hoping to appeal to his feeling of responsibility for falling property values. "It's dead!" I exclaimed again.

"Like every other oak in town," he replied, and I finally gave up.

Later, walking two of the dogs, I noticed that other, clearly dead, oaks on my street are marked with a red X. I assume this means they are to be cut down.

I'm off to the hardware store for red paint.

It's dead, Jim!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

This kind of says it all ...

"US Republican presidential nominee Senator John McCain (R-AZ) reacts to almost heading the wrong way off the stage after shaking hands with Democratic presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) at the conclusion of the final presidential debate at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, October 15, 2008. REUTERS/Jim Bourg."

Debate night chez Midget

As your resident political junkie, I have been glued to the TV for all the Obama/McCain debates, and for the Palin/Biden debate, which was arguably one of the great comedy shows of all time. I have not been able to get J. interested in watching, however -- he says he knows who he's voting for already. So he goes out to run 5 miles, and I snuggle down on the bed surrounded by dogs.

Last night, fortified with a glass of wine and a big bowl of popcorn, I settled in. Shadow waited patiently for an occasional piece of popcorn. Amber reclined on her back, legs in the air, in what a friend of mine calls her "slutpuppy" pose. And Max growled occasionally at John McCain. I think he just doesn't like the squeaky, whiny voice.

He didn't like Sarah Palin, either. She probably said "Doggone" one too many times for his taste.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

The ABC speaks out

I have often been critical of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, particularly in his dealings with the ECUSA and his treatment of Bishop Gene Robinson vis a vis the recent Lambeth meeting. The ABC has really nailed the financial crisis, however. He has this to say on his website. The entire piece is excellent, and details how modern people have lost sight of the fact that the global economy, and its financial products made by men, have the power to desperately hurt real human beings. The paragraph that most struck me, foe of any kind of fundamentalism that I am, was this one:

Fundamentalism is a religious word, not inappropriate to the nature of the problem. Marx long ago observed the way in which unbridled capitalism became a kind of mythology, ascribing reality, power and agency to things that had no life in themselves; he was right about that, if about little else. And ascribing independent reality to what you have in fact made yourself is a perfect definition of what the Jewish and Christian Scriptures call idolatry. What the present anxieties and disasters should be teaching us is to 'keep ourselves from idols', in the biblical phrase. The mythologies and abstractions, the pseudo-objects of much modern financial culture, are in urgent need of their own Dawkins or Hitchens. We need to be reacquainted with our own capacity to choose — which means acquiring some skills in discerning true faith from false, and re-learning some of the inescapable face-to-face dimensions of human trust.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Pet blessing service

At the Church on the Hill, pet owners got together this past Saturday afternoon to remember St. Francis, and to receive the annual blessing on our pets.

The weather was splendid, cool and crisp, as we gathered in the lower parking lot. At my former church, we did this service inside, but the Church on the Hill is barely big enough to accommodate people, much less furry creatures!

I took my three standard poodles: my geriatric Shadow, who's 12, and Max and Amber, who are 2 years old. Shadow is a little blind and a little deaf, and approached the whole thing with a zen-like resignation. Not so the youngsters! They had never before been on the split lead, so they spent a lot of time figuring out that they had to walk nicely right next to each other. It was very funny to watch!

We had about 15 dogs in attendance, and one bird. One of the dogs was a chihuahua, and totally adorable; unfortunately, Max suspected she was a rodent, and made every attempt to eat her! Her owners were very understanding, and there was no harm done; after all, her owner pointed out, poodles are hunters, and she does resemble prey!

We stood in a big circle, and after the brief service, the Rector asked us to introduce our pets as she blessed them. Each pet was blessed individually; some appreciated it, but some were wary! As the service finished and the crowd about to leave, someone recalled that we have a horse living behind the church. We looked over the fence and down the slope, and there she was, in the gully. Her owner was also there, and led her up to the fence for her blessing. He told us her name was "Georgia Peach," because that's where he bought her. Georgia Peach got a little skittish when she saw the dogs, and ran back down the slope. So she had her blessing from afar!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Heartbreaking pet story

My canine-loving heart is just breaking over this story in today's Philadelphia Inquirer.

I want to run right up there, fill my car with dogs and cats, and bring them home. The kennel operator potentially faces over a million dollars in fines -- but apparently no jail time.

I say lock 'im up and throw away the key.