Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Twelve years ago.  My city.  Heck, it was even my damn subway stop.

And my high school. How many alums did we lose?  The parking lot of the train station down the street, filled with the cars of commuters who would never return for them.

I still can't look at pictures of the old WTC.  It's still too much.

Monday, September 09, 2013


Are you by any chance a Dame of Malta?  Or maybe a Knight of Malta?

I ask because if you are, you know that yesterday was your big party day.  The feast of St. John, the official feast day of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta.  Or the Knights of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, the group's fuller moniker.

Quick history (from the Knights of Malta website):

"The order was originally established as a community of monks responsible for looking after the sick at the Hospital of St John in Jerusalem.  They later became a military order, defending crusader territory in the Holy Lands and safeguarding the perilous routes taken by medieval pilgrims.  The Knights were drawn exclusively from noble families and the Order acquired vast wealth from those it recruited."

Today, of course, the Knights stick to doing good works.  They build hospitals and help the poor all over the world.  And they dedicate themselves to living lives of Christian virtue.  Great guys and gals.

But as far as I know that bit about being drawn from the ranks of the  loaded still holds.  Hey, it's expensive building hospitals.

Which was why I and my fellow parishioners at Our Lady of Peace Through Strength were so surprised  to see them at the 11:00 mass yesterday.

Don't get me wrong.   OLoPTS is a great parish.  Salt of the earth, OLoPTSers.  But the word "nobility" doesn't exactly spring to mind.  Neither does the phrase "vast wealth."  Heck, we switched to cheapo donuts a few weeks ago.  Hardly the after-mass treats you could offer to the nobility.

At first we assumed there  had been some kind of mistake.  Maybe the Maltese got the address wrong.  Maybe somebody took a wrong turn on the highway and the rest just followed.

But at the end of mass the pastor officially welcomed the Knights of Malta to our little church.  So however it happened, it was done on purpose.

Living life as a Catholic you get pretty used to dealing with mystery.  The KoMs showing up at OLoPTS?  Another mystery.  Why no one was willing to consider joining Desperate in hitting them up for a few bucks before they took off?  Another mystery.

Why Desperate herself will never be a Dame of Malta?

No mystery there whatsoever.

Friday, September 06, 2013

And We're Off!

I always say the school year doesn't officially get rolling until the first morning your kid wakes up with a fever.  This is always a day when you have about forty-five appointments.  All of which will have to be cancelled, or rescheduled. or better-luck-next-year-lady'd.

Of course these are the appointments you put off all summer.  "Oh, I'll do that after school starts.  I'll have more time then."

Ha ha.  Like flu season's going to wait for you to get your act together.

At least we're on the cutting edge this year.  So far I haven't heard a single report of any of the kids at school being sick.  Maybe we're starting a trend. For which I'm sure all the other moms will thank me.

But now it's time for a celebratory breaking open of the "colds and flu" box I keep in the  linen closet.  Find a digital thermometer that actually works:  check.  Supply of the kind of cold medicine you have to have a background check for before Wallgreens will let you walk out with a bottle:  one bottle left from last year.  (Note to self:  begin staggered purchases of Nyquil - the Real One- next week.)  Zyrtec:


Gotta make a drug store run.  Let's get this party started!

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

What's For Dinner?

A Great Week in the History of Entertainment

This week marks the 27th anniversary of the debut of....


September 5, 1986.  What an evening.  When my family found out the Muppets were getting a whole show to themselves we couldn't believe our luck.  We'd been fans of the Muppets since way back in the Ed Sullivan Show days.  Sure, they'd had their own TV special.  But a whole series?  Muppets every week?  Surely the gods of puppetry were smiling on us.

Here's that first opening of that first show.  Can you wonder that our hearts leaped for joy?