Monday, October 5, 2015


If you're going to get sick for your birthday, make sure you're at your childhood home, so your mother can take care of your baby, cook all the meals, and (embarrassingly) do five loads of your laundry.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Random Assortment

~ So vaccinating your kids, not according to the schedule, is anti-vax? With no defense of "the schedule"? (Not that Slate is at all reputable source, but it annoys me: there is no proof that spacing them out helps in any way, but there's also no proof at all that it helps or that "the schedule" is some golden rule. It just corresponds with baby well-visits and is easier to keep track of. There's no particular reason that a child needs an HPV vaccine at 9, for instance, nor Hep B the day they're born, if the parents have been tested and don't have it.) What drives me nuts is the medical establishment's condescension toward ordinary people. I space out my baby's vaccinations over a couple of weeks, rather than giving them to him all at one appointment. Am I anti-vax?

~ I couldn't be happier just to have Pope Francis in America. Well, I would have been happier if I had gotten into the mass on time. But this is great:

I speak to you as the Bishop of Rome, called by God in old age, and from a land which is also American, to watch over the unity of the universal Church and to encourage in charity the journey of all the particular Churches toward ever greater knowledge, faith and love of Christ. 
Dialogue is our method, not as a shrewd strategy but out of fidelity to the One who never wearies of visiting the marketplace, even at the eleventh hour, to propose his offer of love (Mt 20:1-16).
~ On de-disabling autism. (I guess Slate isn't all bad.)

~ More Trump, although I think the hype is subsiding:

A curious feature of the mob scene that has surrounded Trump at most public events since August is that people keep handing him money to sign. ... You don’t often see politicians signing money. If asked, some will refuse — I’ve seen Hillary Clinton do this — possibly because it is technically illegal to deface currency. But it is a fitting souvenir from one of the high priests of the nation’s secular religion: aspirational consumerism. 
And yet, throughout his rise, Trump has been labeled a ‘‘populist.’’ I had always equated populism with economic uprisings by the disenfranchised against the privileged. 

Tuesday, September 29, 2015


Orange Watermelon
After some time, I finally gave in to my husband and agreed to join a CSA. My thoughts:

I guess it gets you to eat things you wouldn't eat otherwise, like kiwiberries (which I didn't previously know where a thing) and turnips (which are incredibly delicious the way that Francisco cooks them, but I don't think I'd had before--they tasted like little burnt marshmallows).

However: Boy did they send us watermelons. I love watermelons, but Francisco only takes a few bites, so after a summer of eating about six watermelons all by myself, I can't even look at one.

And what's up with the oddly colored foods? Orange watermelon? Yellow tomatoes? Purple and yellow striped green beans?! There's a reason that we call them green beans, and I don't really want to pay more for my food so that it comes in interesting colors.

Also: I just don't believe in this "Community Supported Agriculture" BS. Ours is run by a middleman who gathers the items in the share from various farms. I'm not really paying into a farm and suffering in their lack and reaping in their plenty! I'm just paying top dollar for items from lots of organic farms in Lancaster. And when it's been grey outside that week, they just get to rip me off even more. I don't believe that this middleman is out to help both the farmers and the nice people of the Main Line. The middleman is out to make money, and I'm sure they're doing it.

Monday, September 28, 2015


Guys: I can barely bring myself to write about it; the whole thing was a miserable rollercoaster ride.

We were thrilled to learn Pope Francis would be visiting Philly, and, more than that, would be celebrating a public mass. Then we learned that the public transportation near us would be shut down, so we agonized over whether or not to make the trip. Then it was announced only a month before that it would be a ticketed event. Well, not totally ticketed: no ticket necessary if you don't mind 1/2 mile back being your closest possible option. Then, 6 days before the mass my parish called and said they had tickets for me. I cried.

Since we were taking Baby Leopard along with us, we decided to aim for early, but not too early (so that we didn't have to keep the kid from running away for hours and hours. We drove into West Philly, parked our car, and walked 3 miles, arriving in the security line around 1 pm, three hours before the 4 pm mass. We proceeded to wait in the security line for more than 4 hours. When we made it in, we were one of the last people to receive communion, and the mass was over within the next ten minutes or so.

Evidently the security lines on the north side of the parkway (to which very little of the city's public transportation took people) were about 15 minutes long.

We were deeply disappointed, in addition to being totally exhausted.

There were 14 metal detectors at the only south entrance to the parkway, which served thousands and thousands of visitors (there were thousands behind us, who never made it in). In addition to going through a metal detector, you had to turn on all your electronics and show them to the agents. You also had to get rid of all apples and oranges (we mistakenly ate all of our pears, since we were told fruit was prohibited).

Francisco is firmly against the police state and he's right: this is insane. Someone could easily have set off a bomb amidst the thousands packed into a security line if they wanted to make a point. People who want to set off bombs find ways and places to do it. I'm just not sure why we think that the TSA are able to keep us safe (all the proof is against that one--it's primarily security theater that makes us feel safe), and I'm not sure why we let them keep us away from the Pope. Just imagine if there had been this security regime during Jesus' public ministry.

Sunday, September 27, 2015


(Previously here and here.)

Saturday, September 19, 2015


"But the wisdom that I declared to be the foremost is the knowledge of all things human and divine; and it includes the sociability and fellowship of the gods and men with each other. If, as is certain, that is something of the greatest importance, then necessarily the duty that is based upon sociability is also of the greatest importance."

--Cicero, On Duties

A Random Assortment

~ I must admit general ignorance about water and how it is lost and gained and how Coca-Cola is replacing the water it uses. (Where does it get this new water??)

~ On a Romanian poet.

~ I've seen the Ethical Society from the outside, but never from inside.

~ Helen Mirren:

"I worked as a postal delivery person," she told us of her early years. "I worked in the lingerie department of a department store. I worked on the fair ground, very briefly. I worked as a cleaning lady. So I've had lots of jobs. [The postal delivery] was great. I loved it. You know, you're outside. It was lovely. No, that was one of the best jobs, actually."
~ I'm obsessed with Donald Trump and the fact that he's gotten any traction at all. This article is great. And this quote

"Proverbs, the chapter 'never bend to envy,'" Trump said in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network's The Brody File on Tuesday evening in California. "I’ve had that thing all of my life where people are bending to envy." It was not clear whether Trump appreciated the passage because he had struggled with envy personally, or whether he was referring to envy he had experienced from others.

~ Jeeves.

Friday, September 18, 2015

San Francisco.2

Can you tell our hotel was near Chinatown?

We visited the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory, which lets you glance at the process of making them.

We enjoyed San Francisco's parks, where Baby Leopard engaged in his favorite activity: pushing his stroller around.

And we walked down by the water; Baby Leopard loved the boat.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

San Francisco.1

Francisco's picture.
We went to San Francisco for a conference--it was a great experience. We stayed in the city and the weather was perfect each day--highs in the 70s; lows in the 60s.

I'm proud of this one.
The conference was invigorating, as always.

Plus, I got to see Edge and MSI, such a treat.

And we even had a little time to take a couple of family walks.

Baby Leopard was a trooper--we cart that poor baby everywhere.

(I love this tunnel with a hill on top.)

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Pizza Chicken

One evening this week.

Me: How should I cook the chicken?
Francisco: Well, there's some pasta sauce in the fridge we need to use.
Me: Cool, we'll cook the chicken in tomato sauce.
Francisco: And I was thinking we could sprinkle mozzarella on top.
Me: Pizza chicken!

We ate it. I don't anticipate rushing to make it again, though.

Thursday, September 10, 2015


11 and a half months. Pointing--all the time, at everyone.

Francisco and I swear he took a step or a step and half last night. 

He stopped taking a bottle and a pacifier (after three weeks of being with his mama 24/7). This would be less of a big deal if he knew how to use a sippy cup or a straw cup. The thing he's best at is an open cup, but he's not too good. This makes me very anxious about his hydration when I leave him at daycare. I guess it solves the problem of weaning him from those things later. 

1 year. He's taking lots of steps everywhere. He loves pushing his stroller as a walker. (He just loves being vertical.) He started putting things into containers (instead of only taking them out)--we found a toy in the trash can. He gets really excited when he sees a dog, but doesn't want to pet the dog, just to point at it with eyebrows raised.

He can say lots of words: "Ba" for "ball"; "sh" for "shoe"; "hot"; "ba" for "book." And obviously "mamama" and "dat." 

He's been screaming bloody murder every night as soon as he realizes that he's being put to bed. 

He's a pro traveler at this point, but it doesn't make traveling easy: six hours on a plane with a little boy who just wants to move around is exhausting. 

He calmly ate fist-fulls of cake for his birthday (and really enjoyed it).

More Movies

Another Thin Man

I don't want to give anything away, but there's a baby! The baby's role is much like that of the dog. Also, the baby's age is not correct. He looks about 6 or 7 months and they say he's a year.

Shadow of the Thin Man

Can you tell that Francisco's on a deadline so I get to watch whatever I want? Nicky, Jr. features in this one--he's adorable. He plays a part quite similar to that of the dog--a little comic relief.

The Thin Man Goes Home

It's funny that they call these movies Thin Man movies, even though Nick isn't the thin man (at least originally)--the man he was trying to find was the thin man. Sadly, they left the kid at home for this one.

Song of the Thin Man

This is the last one--the Thin Man meets jazz and film noir. (Although, at least in the DVD that I rented, there's also one episode made for tv based on the thin man, but set in the 60s, with different actors. So there are apparently 72 episodes of that--I've still got a long way to go with the thin man.)

The Searchers

Complicated and fascinating. I don't have much to say about it; I need to watch it again. For the fact that it's a Western, and the Indians are wearing war paint and headdresses, I thought it was subtle. (Although I don't think that's the going take on the movie.)