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Showing posts from February, 2013

Corgi Feet!

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A Day at the Dog Show

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The Downton Effect

Over at the National Review Online, Jonah Goldberg was wondering of late why liberal viewers should be so engrossed by the BBC's Downton Abbey.  In his words: "The popular series...is shockingly conservative in many respects.  The aristocrats are decent, compassionate people, and the staff is, if anything, more happily class-conscious than the blue bloods. And yet, as far as I can tell, liberals love it."

I'm not quite sure why he is so surprised.  Of course liberals (including most of my friends) love Downton.  Sure, it may seem from the current political conversation that the last thing liberals (a.k.a. progressives) would like is to see aristocrats (a.k.a. the hereditary rich--"You didn't earn that") compassionately portrayed, but this is to miss the point of what it means to be a hereditary lord.  Lords are not just the ones who collect rents from their tenants and live off the earnings.  Rather, they are precisely the ones upon whom the tenants d…

The Dating Game

If a beautiful woman walks into a room, she has a reasonable expectation that a majority of the men who are there will find her attractive and want to talk with her.  Some of them may even be attracted enough to ask her out on a date or, instantly smitten by her beauty, beg her to marry them (or whatever).  Her life (as portrayed in the movies, at least) is one long series of people wanting her attention.  She is always surrounded by admirers and lovers, and she simply expects people to smile at her because they always do.

Women like me have a rather different experience in life.  Sometimes, unexpectedly, men randomly smile at us in that way, but for the most part, we are simply ignored unless we are the only one in the room.  Then we might get someone coming up to us and wanting to talk, but rarely is anyone smitten simply by being in our presence.  We learn other ways of holding their attention, but we are always on guard against expecting a favorable reaction, which, if we get it, …

Not a Good Day

My Latin, apparently, sucks.*  I used "the" too much rather than "a."  I can't tell the difference between the future and the subjunctive (even though, in form, they are exactly the same).  But even worse, I failed John.  And the Virgin.  They are, I am told, "too narrow" to appeal to a wider audience.  Even among medievalists.

I think I need to cry now.

*That is, my ability to translate incredibly technical and abstruse thirteenth-century school Latin sucks.  Like translating Ulysses.  You know.

Meditation for Ash Wednesday

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God loves me even more than I love my dog. He delights in me and thinks I am beautiful. He wants nothing more than that I should be happy. He cares for me so much that he was even willing to die for me. His love for me is all-consuming, even as it is bittersweet, because he knows that someday, I will die, too. Every minute that he is with me is precious to him, and he hates when I do not love myself as much as he loves me. My worst sin is that I do not believe he loves me this much. My second worst is that I do not see how he possibly could. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. Posted with Blogsy

Birthday Cupcakes!

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No carbs in these, right? What better way to celebrate Fat Tuesday? Posted with Blogsy

Peer Pressure

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It would be so much easier just to give in. To believe, with my husband, that Paul Krugman is always right. To believe, with Brian, that everything is hunky dorey in Western Europe. To believe, with my friends, colleagues, neighbors, mother, and fellow parishioners, that President Obama was the right choice in November. But I can't. I just can't. I suppose I'm just stubborn. Or stupid. Posted with Blogsy

The Cabbie's Question

"'You are an American, yes?'  The burly New York City cabdriver looked at me through the rearview mirror as he asked the question, his voice saturated with a heavy Eastern European accent.

"'Yes, I am,' I replied.

"'Tell me: what are you doing?'

"About a year into Barack Obama's presidency, I climbed into this man's cab for a short trip across Manhattan.  Engaging city taxi drivers can go one of two ways: it can either be an enjoyable, interesting experience or it can end in a torrent of profanity in multiple languages.  This particular cabdriver was friendly and gregarious, particularly when I asked him about the source of his accent.

"'The Bronx,' he replied.  'Oh, you mean where I am from?'  He paused for a moment and then said, 'I was born in Bulgaria.  But I am an American.'  And then this big, strapping man grew emotional as he told me his story: 'I am an American by choice.  And you'll forg…

On Fiddling While Rome Burns, or Why the Learned Life Matters for Christians

"If all the world were Christian, it might not matter if all the world were uneducated.  But, as it is, a cultural life will not exist outside the Church whether it exists inside or not.  To be ignorant and simple now--not to be able to meet the enemies on their own ground--would be to throw down our weapons, and then betray our uneducated brethren who have, under God, no defense but us against the intellectual attacks of the heathen.  Good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, because bad philosophy needs to be answered.  The cool intellect must work not only against cool intellect on the other side, but against the muddy heathen mysticisms which deny intellect altogether.

"Most of all, perhaps, we need intimate knowledge of the past.  Not that the past has any magic about it, but because we cannot study the future, and yet need something to set against the present, to remind us that periods and that much which seems certain to the uneducated is merely temporary fa…

Book Central

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Cue montage...plus another year (or three*) of brief, regular sessions.  No need to be hasty, right?

*It's the footnotes and other support materials that are going to be the real beast, once the "writing" is done.

Bear's Ferial Horarium

7:15am  Wake up.
7:20am  Take Dragon Baby out.
7:25am  Make tea.
7:30am  Kiss husband and son before they run out the door.
7:35am  Drink tea and read NRO.
8:00-8:20am  Meditate.
8:20am  Do arm weights.
8:25am  Take shower (optional).
8:35am (or thereabouts)  Make breakfast, read a little light conservative punditry.
9:00am Make coffee, light incense, get books out.
9:05-9:50am  Brief, regular session no. 1.
10:15am (or thereabouts)  Get second cup of coffee.
10:20-11:05am  Brief, regular session no. 2.
11:30am-12:30pm  Take Dragon Baby to the park.
12:45pm  Eat snack, make tea.
1:00-1:45pm  Brief, regular session no. 3.
2:00pm  Make tea.
2:15-3:00pm  Brief, regular session no. 4.
3:30pm  Stop.  Really.  NOW.  Put books away.
3:35pm  Take Dragon Baby out.
3:45-4:15pm  Eat lunch, watch Hulu.
4:30-4:55pm  Practice fiddle.
5:00-6:00pm  Read something else.
6:05pm  Take Dragon Baby out.
6:30-10:30pm  MTh  Fencing practice; W Vestry or liturgy committee; TuF Ad libitum.
10:35pm  Take Dr…

That's not a temperature...

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That's a SHOE SIZE!
Chicago, 12:26PM, just after the Dragon Baby and I came home from the park. And, no, we weren't the only ones there.   (Dragons make their own heat, of course.)