Thursday, May 31, 2007

Puppy Love

Yesterday, I had the chance to catch "Year of the Dog," which stars Saturday Night Live alumna Molly Shannon as a devoted dog owner who goes over the edge. I liked it -- worth the $11.50.

Shannon (famous for her SNL persona Mary Katherine Gallagher) did a good job keeping the part humorous but believable.

Regina King (maybe best known Cuba Gooding Jr.'s wife in Jerry Maguire) also was fun to see in the friend/co-worker role.

FYI -- Manohla liked this one.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

Remembering the sacrifices of so many in the past and present.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Mighty Acts of God

Today is Pentecost Sunday, the birthday of the Church and the last day of the Easter season. It is on this day that Christians celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit.

The first reading at Mass today recalls the event as described in Acts of the Apostles Chapter 2:

When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled,
they were all in one place together.
And suddenly there came from the sky
a noise like a strong driving wind,
and it filled the entire house in which they were.
Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,
which parted and came to rest on each one of them.
And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit
and began to speak in different tongues,
as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven
staying in Jerusalem.
At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd,
but they were confused
because each one heard them speaking in his own language.
They were astounded, and in amazement they asked,
“Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans?
Then how does each of us hear them in his native language?
We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites,
inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia,
Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia,
Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene,
as well as travelers from Rome,
both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs,
yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues
of the mighty acts of God.”

Monday, May 21, 2007

Exceeding Expectations

I have Manohla Dargis to thank for my enjoying "Spiderman 3".

Dargis' bad review of the new Spidey flick in the May 4 New York Times almost convinced me to skip this latest installment. Luckily a friend wanted to go anyway.

It was certainly cheesy in places. There were too many villains. And, the black-meteorite-goo-that-brings-out-your worst-qualities storyline was far fetched -- even for a comic book story.

But, "Spiderman 3" was enjoyable and I had a good time -- even at the $12.50 you have to pay to see a movie in Manhattan these days.

My low expectations were exceeded. Tip o' the hat, Manohla.

He Fell Asleep

Yesterday was the 7th Sunday of Easter. The first reading at Mass shows us a scene from the early Church -- the stoning of St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr.

From the Acts of the Apostles Chapter 7:

Stephen, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked up intently to heaven and saw the glory of God and Jesus standing at the right hand of God, and Stephen said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

But they cried out in a loud voice, covered their ears, and rushed upon him together. They threw him out of the city, and began to stone him.

The witnesses laid down their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul.

As they were stoning Stephen, he called out,“Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

Then he fell to his knees and cried out in a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them;” and when he said this, he fell asleep.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

At Ease in Easton

Today I really am between the City and the 'Burgh. I'm in Easton, PA, at the home of my old NCSC friend Dr. Kelvin Bentley and his wife Courtney.

It's kind of nice to be back in PA for the weekend -- even if it is the opposite corner of the state. Located just over the river from New Jersey, Easton is the home of Lafayette College.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Only Room For One

Since I started my new job in the New York City area in late March, I've been mostly staying with friends in the city during the week and coming back home to my apartment in PA on many weekends. It's not a bad existence but obviously not one that can continue forever.

So, like many young professionals hunting for a pad, I've turned to Craig's List. If you're never heard of it before, check out the link.

Today, I came across the nutty but well-written ad below. I'm not going to reply to it but I thought I'd share anyway. It's an interesting slice of life although I don't think Jerry Falwell (may he rest in peace) would have approved:

$1000 Laid-back M & Crazy F seek 3rd roommate (Upper East Side)
Reply to: (removed to avoid spam)
Date: 2007-05-15, 6:24PM EDT

The apartment: Upper East side in the 80's, cross street is York. 1st floor walk-up, 24 hour laundry downstairs, near Carl Schurz park, lots of restaurants. The only drawback is the long schlep to the train, but thankfully for whomever moves in, it's summer.

The apartment is railroad-style. We share a combined living room/kitchen space. There is an island with barstools and a dishwasher. Note: There is only a tiny window in the kitchen, so there is not a lot of natural light. The rooms are furnished, but any tasteful contributions are always appreciated.

While neither one of us is a neatfreak, it is insisted upon that you not be a slob. We keep a cleaning schedule and expect that it will be reasonably followed. We all chip in for household supplies. Seems petty to put that in an ad, but you'd be surprised at how 'forgetful' people get.

The room for rent is on the small side, with an ample hallway closet. There is enough room for a queen bed and a dresser. AGAIN: this room has a tiny window with little to no natural light, so it would be ideal for a bartender or someone who works at night so the lack of light might not bother them so much. I lived in this room when I first moved in and liked it, but I am an insomniac.

About us: Greg is a 28 year old male who works in PR. He is one of the easiest roommates I have ever had. He is rarely home, usually just to sleep and keeps to himself most of the time. He runs, binge drinks on the weekend, and always keeps me in stitches with his dry sense of humor.

I am a 31 year old female and I work at NYC's biggest nightclub. I am in marketing during the day, and am a bottle host Friday and Saturday nights till 4 am. I am gone a lot, but when I am home, I do not expect any shit for my lifestyle. Put bluntly, I smoke, I drink, I have more than one boyfriend at a time, and I am not afraid to tell people what I think of them. I am a considerate person, and rarely if ever have people over during the week but on Sunday mornings I sometimes do not get home till 8 am then it's straight to bed. I get along best with gay men, and that is my preference for a roommate.

You should NOT answer this ad if: You are homophobic. You never drink or smoke, ever. You are a slob. You think doing the Times crossword puzzle is the best thing EVER. You never get laid. You are brand new to NYC. You are a student. You are a bitchy girl. (there's only room for one, and I'm it)

You SHOULD answer this ad if: You are open-minded. You are fun yet responsible. You have lived in NYC for awhile. English is your first language. You are clean.

We need someone by June 1st. $1000 security, $1000 rent. Total of $2000 to move in. We are showing the apartment this week, staring Wednesday.

No pets, sorry. We had a puppy and it didn't work out. I am still not over it.

Its Lamp was the Lamb

This past Sunday was the Sixth Sunday of Easter. The readings at Mass had a lot to say.

The second reading, from the Book of Revelation, was one I have no memory of previously reading. It's really stuck with me this week. It's John's vision of "The City of God":

The angel took me in spirit to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. It gleamed with the splendor of God. Its radiance was like that of a precious stone, like jasper, clear as crystal. It had a massive, high wall, with twelve gates where twelve angels were stationed and on which names were inscribed, the names of the twelve tribes of the Israelites. There were three gates facing east, three north, three south, and three west. The wall of the city had twelve courses of stones as its foundation, on which were inscribed the twelve names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

I saw no temple in the city for its temple is the Lord God almighty and the Lamb. The city had no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gave it light, and its lamp was the Lamb.

Sunday's Gospel showed Jesus give his disciples some idea of his coming ascension into heaven and the coming of the Holy Spirit. From John Chapter 14:

Jesus said to his disciples:

“Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; yet the word you hear is not mine but that of the Father who sent me.

“I have told you this while I am with you. The Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and remind you of all that I told you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give it to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled or afraid.

"You heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I will come back to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father; for the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it happens, so that when it happens you may believe.”

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Why I'm Supporting Mike

This coming Tuesday, May 15, is Primary Election Day in Pennsylvania. Polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

In the election, Washington County Republicans will have the opportunity to elect two nominees to represent the GOP in the race for county commissioner. There are three candidates seeking the nomination. You may vote for two.

One of my two votes is going to Mike Neville of Peters Township. Here's why:

-- Mike Neville will work tirelessly to make certain that tax dollars are spent wisely. I first met Mike in the fall of 1998 when I was a staff writer for the Observer-Reporter and Mike was a member of Peters Township Council (on which he served for more than eight years). I saw firsthand how Mike carefully scrutinized township spending and gave consideration to both the macro and micro sides of government budgeting. Mike has an M.B.A. and has spent his career in business. He knows the value of a dollar – and he knows how hard you work to earn the dollars you turn over to the government. Mike Neville would be an excellent steward of the taxpayer’s money.

-- Mike Neville will actually do the hard and real work of economic development and job creation. I am confident that Mike will push the numerous county economic development agencies to move more quickly towards meaningful job creation and economic development. Mike will work constructively with the private sector to encourage growth – while at the same time not passing out sweetheart deals that hurt the taxpayers. I believe that with Mike Neville at the helm no one would take advantage of Washington County.

-- Mike Neville actively and consistently supported my campaigns for the PA House. In 2002, 2004 and 2006, Mike spent major parts of each Election Day outside of polls asking people to consider my candidacies. He was there when I was a long-shot and less of a long-shot. He and his wife, Dr. Heidi Neville, also made financial contributions to my campaigns. In supporting my campaigns, Mike demonstrated his commitment to building up democracy and the two-party system in Washington County.

If you are not yet convinced that you should cast your vote for Mike Neville on May 15, please visit his Website. or call me for more background on his candidacy and this race. If you are a registered Democrat in Washington County, please consider typing-in “Michael Neville” as a “write-in” on your ballot.

You also could help Mike by spending time outside a poll speaking on his behalf on Election Day. To volunteer, please give Mike a call directly at (724) 413-8897.

Please remember to VOTE this Tuesday!!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Love One Another

The past Sunday was the 5th Sunday of Easter. It seems fitting that in the midst of this glorious season the Gospel at Mass asked us to recall Christ's New Commandment. From John Chapter 13:

When Judas had left them, Jesus said, “Now is the Son of Man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God is glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself, and God will glorify him at once. My children, I will be with you only a little while longer. I give you a new commandment: love one another. As I have loved you, so you also should love one another. This is how all will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

I Know Them

This past Sunday was the Fourth Sunday of Easter, what Catholics call "Good Shepherd Sunday" and the World Day of Prayer for Vocations.

The Gospel at Mass was from John Chapter 10:

Jesus said:

“My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”