Monday, September 22, 2008

Josh Groban at the Emmys

OH my goodness, this was hysterical. I cried I laughed so hard, I'm not sure if South Park or Fresh Prince is funnier, the whole darn thing is funny, so it's tough. The faces Josh makes are classic too, seriously I've watched this 3 times and I laugh each time I see it.

and just in case the embedding didn't work, here's the link.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Baby Hats

As I sat crocheting a hat for a preemie baby while waiting for the child I babysit to finish up with speech therapy a worker came over and asked, "what are you making?" I replied a baby hat, my friend's niece was born with anencephaly so she had made her niece hats, so we're making some for St. Joe's as they asked her too." She then asked me what stitch I was using and I gladly said "double crochet" while noticing she had precious feet on her tag. I don't know why it amused me that she would have those on at Hackensack University Medical Center, for some reason I tend to assume that those that work for "public" places don't wear their opinions on their sleeves per say. I added that if they needed hats that we would gladly donate some to them and she said, "we don't get many tiny babies here, but NICU probably needs some.

While making the hat, I looked at how tiny it was/is and wondered what child could possible be that small and then I thought of those born even earlier than I was, as I was on course to be a normal sized baby, I just wanted out 10 week early. ;) Thankfully God has blessed me with wonderful health and I've had no health issues.

I was looking on line at different groups and saw pictures of a baby tiny enough to fit the hat I was making, and it just made me more determined to make hats. As the hats are small, they are completed quickly, and well the more babies we can keep warm the better. Makes you appreciate life on a whole new level when you see how determined some of these "little ones" are, though they don't all make it to have a full life, they have all blessed someone with their presence.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Exaltation of the Cross

Today we got a homily that "11 words long." Fr. Brian came forward to give him homily and simply asked "how much does Jesus love you"... Fr. Brian walks over to the pulpit and picks up a crucifix (Fr. Brian gives him homilies from the middle of the altar) and says "Jesus loves you this much." Fr. Brian placed the crucifix on a podium-like column and says "please kneel" the entire congregation kneels while on the organ is played Were You There. After about 2.5 verses Fr. Brian stands up and continues on with Mass.

Fr. Brian placed the focus on the Cross, what more could you ask for on the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September 11th *updated*

Seeing as this day holds memories of happiness and sadness and I hope to never forget what happened, it's time for my traditional Sept. 11th blog.

This image while not the best, as I was watching the coverage of Pope Benedict at Ground Zero via the jumbo-trons in Yankee Stadium reminds us how sacred the ground at Ground Zero is. Today holds many memories, happy ones as it's my brother and sister-in-law's ninth anniversary. Smart ass that he is, my brother chose 9-1-1 so everyone would remember it, and it happened to be a Saturday, so they went with it. Little did we know what would happen. There are sad memories from the actual day in 2001 and this year the date stings a bit more.

I remembered that Bernadette would have been 6 months old on Sunday, but it bypassed me that today would be her 6 month anniversary. While Bernadette is not my niece and I know that I will never know the pain that her mother, father, sisters, aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents feel, but it still stings. I know Bernadette's family quite well and I did drop most things to go watch my friends' (Bernadette's aunt and uncle) kids so they could be with Bernadette's mom and dad, so I was there in spirit. It just doesn't seem like March was only 6 months ago. Bernadette graced us from March 7th- March 11th, and we are all better for it. Bernadette, her parents and her sister are a great story/image for the pro-life movement. Bernadette was given the gift of life by her parents because they believe that all life is sacred, even those that are supposed to only last a few hours. Bernadette had a condition called anencephaly, so her parents knew from fairly on in the pregnancy what the outcome would be. They never backed down in defending their daughter's right to life, and for that among other things, they fall into the category of "heroes" in my mind and are a great example of the Gospel of Life that JP2 called us to. Bernadette, enjoy your place in Heaven and keep praying for us.

Each year I try to write something about today and it is usually the "where was I on Sept. 11th" blog. This year will be similar, but different as each year we are removed brings something with it.

What I wrote last year via my livejournal...
"I did a google search for the "dennis mchugh run" and found this " Today, carries a special Community View, by Chloe McHugh, the daughter of FDNY member Dennis McHugh, who was killed at the World Trade Center.

Here's a section of Chloe's Community View: "My dad, Dennis McHugh of Ladder 13 was one of the 3,016 people that died on 9/11. My dad was one of those "wake-up and be happy" kind of guys, he never let anything bring him down. He loved to run and go to the library with me but he also liked to work. In the six years that he has been dead there have been a lot of changes in not only my life, but in everyone's lives. If you take a good look around you can see all the changes that have happened. Do you see what the firefighters, policemen,and policewomen have done to change this country? My dad was one of the many people who ran in at the last moment to get as many people as possible out of the falling buildings.""

Rest in peace Dennis, you have touched and saved many lives.

Every year my family goes in to "the City" for the St. Patrick's Day Parade, and I think they started the 343 flags the St. Patrick's right after the attacks, but I'm not a hundred percent sure. I remember being at the parade and watching the flags appear up on 5th Ave. when these flags pass by is the only time the crowd is ever quiet. It is an amazing site that pictures do not give or do justice. 343 brave men and women ran into those buildings are they were falling. The man mentioned above was one of those 343 taken from the FDNY, and while I may never have known him personally, our families knew each other. Dennis' father and my father either worked on the NYC buses together or are from the same county/section of Ireland or it could be both. Dennis' wake sits in my memory as something unsual, yet profound at the same time. The outpouring of love shown at that wake was unreal. I remember the line to get in wrapped around the parking lot a few times and we were early. In front of us on/in the line was a volunteer firefighter from Rockland County. I remember this because of his actions inside the funeral home and our conversation outside. We walked into the funeral home and what struck me besides the fact that there was no body, but a huge picture of Dennis in his dress FDNY uniform, were the flowers that said "Daddy you will always be our hero" and the firefighter in front of me, giving a full salute to Dennis' picture, it was the classic full attention, back straight, heels together, hat on head salute. To watch this man who might have been from the same area of Rockland County as Dennis stop and salute his fallen brother as he called him moved me to tears.

Dennis was not the only one we knew who died in the attacks. John Gallagher, who worked for Cantor Fitzgerald, lived down the street from us when we lived in the Bronx and I remember distinctly one visit I made with my brother who was in school with John to his family's house. I remember John's memorial Mass was just a big reunion of families that hadn't seen each other in years. We laughed, I heard a lot of "no, that's not 'little Mary'" as I was 12 years younger than the boys and we had been out of the Bronx for 8 years at that point. John's Mass wasn't somber, well at times it was, but it truly a Mass celebrating the life that John lived on this Earth. The picture of John holding his newborn son is what touched most people, but as the priest who said the Mass said, "John is up in Heaven laughing at the fact that he brought you all back here for a party." It truly was as we went to Mass in the church, and continued our way downstairs to the school gym. I can't tell you how many times that happened when I was a child, but it was a lot and the school gym was also where the boys would play basketball and other adventures would take place.

Both men, John and Dennis, have managed to touch many lives during their lives on Earth and are continuing to do so as they live in their Eternal resting place, as do the others who were taken with them.

I'm taking a short break to watch TV and then you'll get my account of where I was that day.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Soundtrack to my life

I was searching for the blog that had my September 11th memories on it and found the set your iPod/mp3 player on shuffle and see what happens, well this is what happened...

Opening credits:
Cats in the Cradle- Cat Stevens

Waking up:

Average day:
Slip Jigs - McKee & Bradley

First date:
Falling off a Log- Backyardigans

Falling in love:
Celtic Fire (Live Version)- Flatley's Feet of Flames

Fight scene:
The Big Reel of Ballynacally/The High Hill/Flash Away The Pressing Gang- Solas

Breaking up:
Easy Reels- Bradley Bros. (not too much of a genre shuffle here)

Getting back together:
Everywhere But Here- Nick Lachey

Secret love:
Drunken Gauger- Mark Arrington

Life's okay:

Mental breakdown:
Born to be my Baby-Bon Jovi

We Walk by Faith-Marty Haugen (LMAO)

Learning a lesson:
Much Too Young To Feel This Damn Old-Garth Brooks

Deep thought:
Long For You-Ceili Rain

Mountain Dew- The Pogues

McQueen's Lost- Cars Soundtrack

Happy dance:
Radio- Friday Mourning

Why Do I Always Want You- The Saw Doctors

Long night alone:
Jigorous-Ceili Rain

Death scene:
Jockey to the Fair- Irish Dance sets

Friday, September 5, 2008

Election '08 (pro-life)

I refused to watch the Democrats at their convention, because I know I would just get annoyed and toss out comments along of the lines of you don't care about families or the unborn so why should I listen to you.

I did watch Gov. Palin's speech and Sen. McCain's speech mainly because I wanted to see what Palin was capable of and McCain's I watched simply because well I wanted to see what happened. Palin was great, though her speech was written for her (as was Obama's Biden's, McCain's, and both Hillary and Bill Clinton's speech) her wit was great, her explanation of what she has done while is office was good. Palin impresses me because she's more than just talk, she has instilled values in her children and we can see that with the pregnancy of her eldest daughter. Bristol Palin made a mistake but she and her future husband chose to keep the baby and are getting married. She is hardly the first person to pregnant at a young age. Sarah Palin gave birth to a baby with Downs Syndrome. I think the statistic is something like 80% if not 90% of pregnancies that might have Downs result in abortion, meaning death for the baby.

My issue with Obama and Biden is that I can not wrap around my head how someone with children can support abortion. I don't understand it and I never will. I know I was given grace by God (happens when one is baptized and confirmed) probably because I was 10 weeks premature and my was an "older mom" and was baptized the day after I was born, Dec. 12 the feast of our Lady of Guadalupe who is the patroness of the unborn.

I've often wondered why I'm so adamant about the pro-life movement. I was born 10 weeks early and weighed in just shy of 4 pounds, named after the Blessed Mother, with Christine (Christ) as my middle name. My parents took no chances and baptized me right away on Dec. 12, and a priest from our parish in New York City would never allow to forgot what day I was baptized on. May God continue to bless him in his ministry as I probably would not have read the story of Juan Diego albeit via a "comic book" but I was a young child at the time. I managed to choose Anne as my Confirmation simply because I wanted a vowel in my initials. Seriously, that's why I chose Anne. I have to come to see that I have Anne, Mary and Christ in my name, and those people 3 forces to be reckoned with. My mom always made a point to talk to me about Cardinal Cooke. Cardinal Cooke died in October 1983, I was too young to remember him, but much like Archbishop Sheen, Cardinal Cooke has touched my life with out me really knowing it. Turns out that part of Cardinal Cooke's family is from the same area as my maternal grandfather, in essence "down the street" from my family. There is a tiny church in Athenry, which is where Cardinal Cooke's mother was from and where my grandfather was from. There are rumors in the family that somewhere we are related. That might explain my intense defense of the unborn.

Cardinal Cooke and his successor Cardinal O'Connor were both defenders of the unborn, as was Archbishop Sheen and I often in prayer ask the three of them to pray for us.

More to come later as I have to get ready to go to "work"

Monday, September 1, 2008

Get Behind me Satan! *updated*

So the title of this comes from the Gospel from Sunday Aug. 31st, it was the continuation of the Gospel from the week before. The idea of St. Peter being so good one day and so bad the next as always amused me, as well it really does sum up how must of us are. I was once told to read the Passion, and watch Jesus of Nazareth (the movie) during Holy Week to "make up" for what I thought was a "bad Lent" and to see whom I was most like. Sometimes I say Mary because of my name, but almost always when I think about it, I'm Peter. We all are, one day I can say OK JESUS, and the next day unfortunately deny Jesus, but when it comes down to it and it matters I say THAT'S RIGHT I'M WITH JESUS.

Interestingly the word deny comes up in the Gospel. "Deny one's self, take up your cross and follow me" are the words of Jesus we hear. Recently I've been leaning towards wishing to hear Fr. Brian's homilies, but Fr. George did a good job with this one. I laughed when the homily started because Fr. George did his typical joke to get everyone to pay attention and because I said to myself "I didn't read Fr. Jim's homily before Mass this week, must mean this one will be decent." It's usually true that if I read Fr. Jim's homily via his blog before I go to Mass that the one at St. A's is lacking. Fr. George's was decent, it didn't blow me out of the water, but honestly most don't.

Fr. George focused on the aspect of deny one's self which leads many times to taking up a cross that was expected yet unexpected and finally it all leads to following Jesus. I remember Fr. George saying that deny one's self meant we didn't need all the material possessions that we so often want and "need." He spoke about how when we deny ourselves something that we can gain from in. In denying one's self one is to cling to Jesus, hence why this line usually get quoted by people. Fr. George mentioned at one point and I remember this because I'm usually surprised when he touches upon the topic of "pro-life" activities from the pulpit. He spoke about how taking up one's cross means going against the tide in some cases and while those are not his exact words, it did make me think of the election and the "pro-life" movement. It was a basic stand up for what you believe in type homily, which I guess I need reminding of everyone once in a while.

The week before I happened to have Fr. Brian at Mass, and it tells you something that nearly 2 weeks later I still remember the homily. I happened to be sitting in the first pew, which I haven't done since my days at Seton Hall. I felt a little too close to the presider's chair, but alas that wasn't too big of a deal. The week before August 24th was the Gospel where Jesus commends Peter for knowing who He is and getting it right. Jesus does add in, this was revealed to you, which it is. Fr. Brian tied this into the apostolic succession and the succession of St. Peter to the current Pope. I remember Fr. Brian speaking about Humane Vitae and how we should read what the popes have written especially the current Holy Father and the last one. I laughed as Fr. Brian said that because I have read the writings of JP2 and I am currently reading Jesus of Nazareth by PB16 (as Fr. Brian calls him)and was reading Humane Vitae. Fr. Brian spoke of how Paul VI's document was prophetic in essence and he went on to point out 3 passages about how if artifical contraception was allowed that the country would do down hill, well as Fr. Brian put it, "I think he (Pope Pius VI) hit that one on the head.

What makes Fr. Brian's homily so interesting is that later on that night while a good friend and I were watching TV our other good friend called us to complain about the homily she got. (Side note the 3 of us earned the nickname unholy- holy trinity, as the 3 of us were RCIA sponsors and well for the most part inseparable in college) Any way my friend's homily was about how there were three major mistakes in the Church: Galileo, the Crusades, and Humane Vitae. I turned to my friend who was watching tv with me when I head her repeat what she heard and I said, oh no way, let me tell you about my homily.

At one church you have a good holy priest speaking about how Humane Vitae was a great document and that we need to read what the Popes have written and to listen to what they say, while at another you have a deacon who speaks of how the same document was a giant mistake in the Church.

This is why people don't know what to do, or what to believe. It amuses me that on on the same day these homilies were given that Nancy Pelosi was stepping in the largest pile of crap she could find. Props to the bishops who have used this as a teaching moment and those that continue to do so. It saddens me when people don't know or fully understand the Church that they were raised in, let alone ordained to a ministry in. People are confused because they can hear two different things and nothing is said as to whom is right. Thankfully the bishops came out and defended the Church and Her teachings.

May St. Peter continue to pray for us as we need it.