Lent: just past the 1/2way point. Hang in there.

Tuesday, March 17th, 2009

A new friend and I discovered that we’re both Catholics. She asked, insightfully, “are you a practicing Catholic?” I smiled as I shook my head. Occassionally attended mass at Saint Louis Cathedral in the French Quarter when I was younger. My sisters and I liked to go because of the Cafe’ du Monde coffee and beignets afterwards. Pint of chocolate milk and 3 powdered sugar, deep-fried, French pasteries for twenty five cents. LeRoy was our favorite waiter. He talked about the track alot.

From the pulpit back in the 1960s, a visiting pastor classified most Catholics as coming to church on but three occasions: to be hatched, to be matched and to be dispatched. I guess that I’m now part of that club or majority. Should this be an identifier at Linked-In? Never gave-up much for Lent. We did follow the no-meat on Fridays rule. No problem, seafood was always the better dish in New Orleans anyway. 428865460_6b2be9c1edThink about NOLA (New Orleans, LA) frequently of late. Hurricane Katrina and our absence of preparation, fumbling by the government agencies that our tax dollars funded to mind such matters and the resultant expectation that somehow the same government would make it all fine after the fact has, of course, a disappointing parallel to how one might characterize the Wall Street and Banking mess that we’re in. Who woulda thought?!

If you’re a practicing and / or good Catholic and keeping score at home, Easter is but 26 days away. I just learned from WikiAnswers that Lent is a 40 day season over a 47 day period because Sundays do not count?! So, we’re about half of the distance from Mardi Gras and another 1/2 to Easter. image1
At any rate, I just wanted a reason to show you this woman’s body-paint costume. I didn’t have the courage to show it alone. Having received the Octo-mom costume photo yesterday provides a good excuse. In addition to sharing its too often self-destructive habits and behavior, maybe the rest of us can also cultivate the New Orleans sense of humor and its fondness for the human condition and its packaging.

Pearl Harbor + 67, pt 1: all leaders one step forward

Sunday, December 7th, 2008

I watched the Army-Navy game yesterday from a pub in Chapel Hill owned by a grad of West Point. I wasn’t much of a naval officer and probably less of a mid. I wanted so much more from those situations and realize that being in the service is more about service than personal benefit which comes and has come to me much later. Ironic is that I am now the VP of the local alumni association. Enjoyed thoroughly the exaggerated behavior of the some 200 West Point and US Naval Academy fans. Even though Navy favored and proved to be too much for the cadet team, a satisfying time was had by all as we are connected by so much more than an athletic rivalry. I wonder if America at large felt this way before; we could sure benefit now from such a sense of respected connection despite our selected differences.

Curious to me that Pearl Harbor was not mentioned yesterday. Iraq, yes; the country’s injection into WW II, no. Perhaps the parade of catastrophes from 9/11 to Katrina to Iraq to the Mortagage & Banking crises have us so reeling that 67 years ago, regardless of how our reaction to that event shaped our destiny for the next 50 years, may as well be 1767. Our mettle is being tested again. I hope that many of those Academy types are available to lead the way.