Tuesday, December 30, 2008

What will 2009 bring?

On Christmas day in Peru, Virgen Maria and her husband Jorge (a carpenter by trade) had a baby - by cesarean section, and they decided to name him Jesus. Just in time for Christmas a prominent member of the RNC circulated a CD featuring the song Barack the Magic Negro. Israel is bombing the shit out of the Gaza strip in retaliation for the rockets that Hamas is lobbing into Isreal. What can we hope for in 2009? Have a happy new year!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas!

In a couple of days members of my family will be coming to Grafton from across Canada and the United States. Every second year we get together to celebrate Christmas and catch up as a family. This year there will be 46 of us. I hope that you and your loved ones have a safe, happy and holy Christmas holiday and I wish you the very best for the year ahead. Thank you for visiting my blog!

Monday, December 15, 2008

If I hear one more word about the economy . . .

If I had a nickel for every time someone has said, "given the economic situation", I think I could buy myself a coffee at Starbucks, but I don't drink coffee. Yes, there are some worrisome things going on in the economy - General Motors might go bankrupt and many people may lose their jobs, and yes, lest the banks should stop lending money, despite record profits, not to mention credit card interest rates that rival gangster style loan sharks, fees coming out of the ying yang, let's all worry about them as well. Enough already. Can any North American really begin to comprehend what the meaning of financial hardship is? As my young friend Sam says, "Suck it up buttercup", forget about it; this too will pass - assuming we don't create a real and truly widespread economic crisis by buying into all the negativity in the media, resulting in paralysis by fear and uncertainty and doubt (FUD factors), spread between people who have no reason to worry. This past couple of weeks, I keep hearing people say things like, "given the economic circumstances, I would expect . . . ". Well the economic circumstances have nothing to do with what people should expect. Exceeding expectations comes as a result of a passion for excellence, competition and determination to be the best of the best. Let's celebrate the incredible advantages we have as a society and as a county and continue building on our strengths and enough using the economy as an excuse to stop spending and to stop achieving great things.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Who is God?

As a Roman Catholic, I recite the Nicene Creed every Sunday; "I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible", but what does this really mean, and is there room for interpretation in this statement of faith? For some reason this, and other questions of faith and my role in the church have been nagging me lately. As I have written here before, I have for the past several years been following the homilies and the teachings of a Catholic priest, despite the fact that there are many points of Catholicism that I can't accept, and many acts that the Catholic church has committed that I condemn. A couple of months ago, as I sat in church waiting for mass to start I felt a need or a calling to become more involved with the liturgy. On my way out of mass that same day, my pastor took me aside and told me that he was planning to introduce adult servers into the liturgy and asked me if I would be interested. This co-incidence struck me pretty hard. I accepted this calling, and for the past 2 Sundays David and I have been arriving 15 minutes early so that we can don our long white albs and assist Fr. Hood celebrate the mass. While all the other servers have been assigned specific tasks that keep them quite occupied, I have been assigned the role of MC, which leaves me free to stand solemnly, observe and think. Here are my resulting musings: I can accept the facts surrounding the birth and life of Jesus Christ, his mission and the miracles attributed to him, although I tend to think that over time some stories have been embellished to serve the needs of the church. However, I have trouble with the concept of an all mighty, all powerful deity (especially an older white man in long robes perched up in the clouds - I'm sure a jet would have come across this scene by now) unless that deity is the life energy that we all come from and return to. If this energy/life force is "God", and each of us are created in the image of "God", then it makes sense to me that collectively we could accomplish amazing (all mighty) things, like moving mountains, ending world hunger, bringing peace to the world. The trick would be to get us acting as a collective towards these goals, as opposed to focusing on our individual, material corporeal needs. Now that would be a miracle!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Did someone say Perogies in Parliament?

Last week I was going through my freezer trying to think up something a little exotic to cook for dinner and I came across a box of perogies. Aside from a little freezer burn, these little fellas had some of the ingredients I was looking for, so I pulled them out. While I would normally just heat them up on a skillet with some butter, salt and pepper, the back of the box suggested baking them with some vegetables, tomato sauce and some grated cheddar cheese. I fired up the barbecue and grilled up some chicken breasts, and found myself serving a tasting meal that was just a little bit outside of my usual (and limited) culinary range. So, with all this talk up on Parliament Hill about proroguing parliament so that Stephen Harper can give himself and his fellow parliamentarians a little time to think about the consequences of his ongoing attempt to run a minority government as though he had a majority, despite the recent election results, I couldn't help but draw a comparison. Why not throw a few liberals in with a few socialists supported by a bunch of separatists? Like my mixture of perogies, veggies, tomato sauce and grated cheddar cheese, I think it might be a good thing if our elected politicians learned how to get along and manage a country - cover all the food groups in one dish, so to speak. I know there are lots of people who think that this coalition idea, especially with Stephane Dion leading the charge, is not such a good idea, and that it flies in the face of democracy, but really can it be any worse than Stephan Harper and his gang of thugs trying to force their will on the country? I say, let's give it a try - what's the worst thing that could happen?