Monday, July 25, 2005

The Coolest Thing About Toronto

I just spent 4 days in Toronto at the OCA North American Conference. It was wellll... a conference. Thank God there are people who like reports, budgets, elections and social hours if that's what it takes to run an archdiocese. I was there to get a feel for the ethos of the Archdiocese since we recently moved to the OCA to help start a Mission Church. I liked what I encountered there in spite of the machinery of administration.

Toronto is big, and maybe I just didn't see enough of it, but this was the coolest thing in the city as far as I was concerned. I want it on my front yard.

Friday, July 08, 2005


Gladsome Light of the holy glory... at the setting of the sun we praise Thee, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Home by Six

We've been working half days this past couple weeks... 12 hours, sometimes more. Getting home at ten after climbing 28 foot extention ladders painting the exterior of a house in 113 during the day... wellllll, I'm too old for that now. Anything for a buck, though, if you're self employed. I like eating too much to give it up at this late stage of my life.

Yes, we have new goldfish. Six young 'uns. Nice coloration. The sign on the tank at the pet store said they get 12 inches long. The black one with the feathery fins cost 4 bucks. The others were about 8 cents each. They hide under the rock all day so we don't see them.
Not very entertaining like our former fish who would swim up when a human shadow came across the water. What do you want for 8 cents I guess? Maybe they'll catch on.

My father in law continues to decline. He's taken to taking off his Depends in the middle of the night and peeing all over himself. He took them off in his chair yesteday and tried to get up to throw them in the trash. Tipped himself and his chair over and my wife had to get the next door neighbor to help her pick him up off the floor. She said she yelled at him. I think she felt bad because she didn't feel bad about yelling at him. She's being a saint taking care of him and being sure the burden doesn't fall on me except when absolutely necessary. I appreciate it. I know I'm sleep deprived most of the time already. I thank God for straight stretches of road and a good front end alignment on my truck. I don't know how many times I've fallen asleep at the wheel on my way home from work. I think all the saints whose icons I have on my dash don't want to be involved in a multiple car pile up on the freeway so they protect me... or at least the other commuters around me.

As much trouble as it is, we still take my father in law to Church with us and out to eat with our friends afterwards. We've gotten used to his gagging and yelling "AAARRRGGGHHHHHHH!" to clear his throat and cough up liquids he gets down his windpipe... well, not really "used to it" but at least we know what's going on. People and waiters haven't heard it before so when it happens they stop and think someone is dying (and he is, but not right then and there). We all just keep chatting, and they wonder why we aren't jumping up doing the Heimlich Maneuver on him. They kinda stare and lean over and whisper to each other. Its not exactly the kind of thing you want to hear while you are trying to eat, either. But I don't know of any restaurants that have a "gagging and no gagging" section.

I go to court next week to get my final fine for helping my friend from Church. All told its going to run me about eight thousand dollars. We're refinancing our house to pay him and the courts off and get it over with. Nuff said.

I feel kinda wierd writing about goldfish in the aftermath of a bombing of London, but I guess goldfish are as much a part of the world and people's lives as terrorists and clashing ideologies. How do we compartmentalize the "horrific" from the "ordinary"? It is ordinary, meaning, a commonplace occurrence nowadays for people to be shredded to death in the name of someone's goofy theology or political ideology. If the horrifical world was not balanced by goldfish and tomato plants and blogs and paint job deadlines, we might just hang ourselves in despair. Some people may be no damned good, but not all creation is. Its just that the simple joys and the glimpses of wonder don't make front page headlines. Probably rightfully so because they are so idiosyncratic. Who else shares my glee at seeing my goldfish dart from under a rock for a split second? Anyway... so much for philosophizing in the face of someone else's death. I'm sure a tomato turning red on my back porch won't go a long way to explaining what happened much less easing the loss.

Well. I guess I better go fix dinner. A glass of red wine and a cupboard full of spices to create something delightful to share around a common table...what else do I need to fill my house with a sense of belonging and love for a few hours while the rest of the world rages out of control? Its a small gift for a short time, but its a thin thread that keeps the fabric of our being from coming completely unravelled.