Saturday, February 21, 2009

An extraordinary read...

I just finished reading "Lying Awake" by Mark Salzman (Vintage, 2001; Kindle version). It is the story of a cloistered nun who thinks that she is having visions of God, but in reality she has brain-tumor induced epilepsy. Questioning her faith and dedication to her community over the years, she felt that she had found the answer, only to learn that the ecstasies have more to do with the physical rather than the metaphysical. It is not the well-written examination of the human condition that makes this book extraordinary, but the fact that it was written by a man who considers himself an agnostic. His insight and understanding of the situation and his ability to convey the story in a such a minimalist way are brilliant. Highly - very highly - recommended.

I read this for our "Let's Talk About It" book group that our library is hosting along with another library through the sponsorship of the Maine Humanities Council. The theme is "Making a Difference: How Love and Duty Change Our Lives." This is the third book in the series. We've met to discuss Tracy Kidder's book about Paul Farmer, "Mountains Beyond Mountains." Next month is "Plainsong" by Kent Haruf. This will be followed by "Lying Awake," Ann Patchett's "Truth & Beauty," and "The Death of Vishnu" by Manil Suri. This is a very successful program.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Getting there.....

It all started with looking for a knitting pattern, which I still can't find! Grrrrr! Anyway, I started going through all of my stash of patterns, projects, and magazines. I'm organizing!!! I'm catching up!!! There is stuff all over the floor in my "craft room/office,"but it's a bit more in order. What to do with all this stuff? Get rid of it?? Mmmm, maybe. Actually I'm quite proud of myself because I am casting a critical eye toward what I should keep and what I should get rid of. Last week - embroidery hoops, kits, and patterns that made me say, "What the hell were you thinking!!!" A whole shopping bag full! Today, some magazines and another kit or two that I know I'll never get to. Good girl! Just another ton or two to go through. But, going through everything is half the fun!

Friday, February 13, 2009


Finally the Notre Dame men's basketball team is back on the winning track. They absolutely destroyed #7 Louisville tonight at home. Way to go Irish! Let's hope you've got the bugs worked out.
Even better today was an announcement that the hockey team is going to have a new home. The University announced today that it will build the Lefty Smith Arena. That's great economic stimulus news! That's simply great news for an old "Irish Icer" like me...yep, I still have my pin from my undergrad/grad days at SMC/ND. Go Irish! A fitting tibute to the coach that put ND hockey on the map and a great opportunity for the coach that's keeping us at the top.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Money money money money, money ....

We all know things are not good in the economy right now - (is that an understatement, right!?!?) and that President O'Bama is working hard to get stimulus legislation signed, but I do have some nagging questions about the whole process....

We're trying to get the banks to lend more money so that people will spend more. Well, isn't spending, based on easy access to credit, what got us in trouble in the first place? Hmmmmmm. How about something to encourage savings and then there'd be a much bigger pool of private money for the banks to lend. Let's try to find a balance we between the two....

Well, since I've found that I can no longer type, I think it's time for bed......Better luck next time, my dear righthand......

Say it ain't so, Joe.....

Uh, oh.... All this talk about bankruptcy for Sirius XM Radio has me very worried. I've been an XM subscriber since the early days of satellite radio and I've loved every minute of it. I listen in my car and at home, having had as many as four subscriptions at one time. Where else can you get a better combination of music, sports, news, and entertainment? It's all been quality plus!

For example this morning on my way to work this noon time, I flipped back and forth between Home Ice, ESPN, CNBC and a host of music stations. You know what??? I don't have to listen to bathroom humor when I'm tuned into a music station because the DJ's are few and far between. It's sweet. Yesterday morning I got to listen to "Hockey This Morning" and hear David Branch, head of the CHL, talk about the situation with my beloved Lewiston Maineiacs. Not that he really gave any answers to what their future holds for them, but it's good to keep the issue on the front burner!

These "dire straits" have me singing, "I want my Sirius XM."

Dog gone it!

Well, this cat person's once-a-year interest in dogs has come and gone. The Westminster Dog Show concluded last night with "Stump" - a Sussex Spaniel taking home the top honors. Has a name ever been more fitting for a dog????
I heard something about PETA protesting outside the show. Maybe they were protesting against those absolutely idiotic haircuts that they give Poodles. If not, they should have been. Those grooming styles are a huge turn-off, but yet they keep winning their group and have won "Best In Show" at least 8 times. Don't get me wrong, I love Poodles, having had one myself for about 17 years. They're wonderful dogs, but the dog show people have got to get rid of those "poodle cuts."

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Super Bowl Report Card - Second Half

Play - A+ What a finish! I was on the edge of my seat. (At least this time I wasn't having a heart attack like I did last year when the Giants beat the Patriots.) I think I was rooting for Arizona, but always happy to see the Steelers win. Good job in snagging #6! Uh, oh. Broadway Joe is presenting the trophy. Wonder who he's going to try and kiss this time?!?!
Commercials - F- They were horrible, absolutely horrible. I guess they were a reflection of the rotten times we're going through.

Super Bowl Report Card - Halftime

A+ The Boss rules!

Super Bowl Report Card - First Half

Here's my take on the first half of "The Big Game" -
The play - C+
The commercials - F-
This is so boring and the commercials are just dumb, plain ol' dumb. The Bud "drinkability" commercials are grating on my nerves. The only one that really caught my attention so far is the Cheetos one with the annoying cell phoner at the outdoor cafe. The Audi commercial that was one of the first was just dorky. Glad I didn't bother with the 3-d glasses.
Time to watch Bruce!

Reality is sinking in...

The rumors have been going around for weeks and last night it was confirmed. My beloved Maineiacs are leaving Lewiston to go back to Canada - more likely than not to Boisbriand. I will miss the games so very much. I have a lot to carp about regarding the move, but to me the ultimate slap in the face came with the timing of the filing of their application to make the move - just as the game started last night. I think that was definitely a cheap shot.

Fortunately there are a lot of hockey options for me. I can go to see the Portland Pirates or the UNH Wildcats. Also, there's some really good hockey even closer - the Portland Jr. Pirates in Saco. My great nephew, Connor, is playing for them. Saw the game this afternoon and it was a good one. Fast skating and some pretty good skill play - even a fair amount of chippiness. The PJP beat Walpole 3-2 with Connor scoring the winning goal. Had fun, too, with lots of family there.

Got home in time to see the finish of the Bruins game. Good thing I only saw the last period. Montreal's throwback prision uniforms were really hard to watch on TV. The stripes drove me crazy. I know it did the players, too. What were they thinking of back then??!! (i.e. 1912-1913)