Saturday, December 15, 2007

Going to confession.

I need a cigarette.

I'm going to confession today. I'm very nervous about it for some reason. Well, mainly because it's hard to confess sometimes. I know we are confessing to Christ, but the priest is a guy, and he has to listen to what we have to say. Strangely enough, when you get to be my age, my sins seem more shameful. I think it is because at my age I always thought I should know better, or I should be more mature and not commit such stupid sins. What I think I'm saying is that I equate maturity with perfection - and on some level that is true - but being older doesn't guarantee maturity or perfection - as evidenced by my blogs.

The thing about sin however, especially when you get older, is that you are keenly aware of how deliberate it is. If other 'mature' men are like me, sins against chastity used to be the principal sin everyone confessed. Hence the shame and embarrassment thing was pretty much a given. But nowadays, the sins seem to be less carnal and more spiritual - therefore it's a different type of shame and guilt. (As most Catholics know, confession not only takes away the sin, but the shame, and the guilt as well.)

The awful truth.

Having said that, the spiritual combat seems much more vicious now that I'm older - and deals directly with the theological virtues, to be sure - but even more so, with the root sins that have plagued us all of our lives. (I think the psalmist referred to these when he prayed, "from my hidden sins acquit me O Lord.) Our "big" sins of intemperance, or sins against chastity, often eclipsed these deeper, darker, nasty sins of pride, envy, jealousy, rancor, lying, sloth - oh, the list goes on and on. In other words, the sins, the combat, becomes more spiritual - and therefore seems to me to be more deadly.

Which brings me back to my point. Confession seems more difficult at times because we are really laying bare our soul to its very depths, and more often than not, to a much younger man. Even the devil doesn't have access to this level of our being. Whatever. I'm going to confession. I think I need humility and deeper contrition - please pray for me.

Gosh - I could sure use a cigarette.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Hard to find toys for the kids...

These and other fine toys available exclusively at Jeron's - St. Louis. Shop Jeron's for those hard to find gifts this holiday season! Family owned and operated for 38 years!
[All toys made in China and contain lead and other toxic substances. Meth included in the Easy Bake kit. United States brand cigarettes and booze must be purchased separately for John Candy Land.]

Sometimes when I post...

The honesty is too much.
Sometimes, when I'm really tired, cranky, depressed, or I'm just up too late to write a post, the result can be inappropriate at best, or just badly written. (I know - I always post inappropriate stuff, but late at night it can be worse.) Anyway - sometimes the next morning, when I'm thinking more clearly, I'll delete the post from the previous night.
Yeah, so that's kinda what happens.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Bunny Rabbit Christmas Tree

Once Bunny Rabbit saw a Christmas tree...
This is a true story... The rabbit in my garden comes up to the top of the stairs and looks in the house through the windows of the french doors. His curiosity reminds me of The Bunny Rabbit Diaries. The following is an excerpt from The Bunny Rabbit Diaries just for Christmas, with a couple of annotations and additions by yours truly:

A few days before Christmas, Mr. Sun came up from behind the hills and shone brightly all day long. He melted the snow in the warm hollows, and softened the ice on the brooks. (I'm sorry - the text really reads, "Mr. Sun" - I thought it was stupid too.)

Bunny Rabbit and his brothers came out and hopped around to find roots to eat.

The squirrels ran up and down the trees, and all around everywhere to find hidden nuts.

All at once Bunny Rabbit heard a noise. (Bunny Rabbit is one sharp tack.)

He sat up on his hind legs and held up his long ears.

The other rabbits listened, too.

Sammy and Bobby heard the noise and scampered up into the little pine tree. (Sammy and Bobby are squirrels who just scamper about - all over. They are very annoying.)

"Bow-wow-wow!" barked Jip, as he ran through the woods.

"It's the dog!" cried Bunny. "Let's run and hide." (Dogs are so scary to squirrels and bunny rabbits! Puppies will tear them to bits and pieces,)

The little rabbits whirled around and hopped back to their house. (Their ears flopping to and fro! Giggling because they knew they were being filmed.)

Sammy and Bobby were safe in the tree, so they did not try to run away. They heard some one talking and they looked to see who it was. They saw two children and a man.

The man had an axe in his hand. (They so wanted to scream, they knew all about axe murderers - then they covered their eyes fearing what might happen to the children...)

BUT... The two children ran along the path, talking and laughing and spitting on each other.

They were looking at all the evergreen trees. (They couldn't see the forest for the trees! This is where the expression comes from!)

"This is a good one," said the little boy. (Although he knew he would be wrong - since the little girl always had to be right. The little boy vowed then and there never to get married. 'I'll be a priest!' he thought, 'and then I'll make her wear chapel veils to church and won't let her do the readings at Mass or be an altar girl and stuff.' Yes - this is how these customs got started!)

"This is a better one," said the girl, and she pointed right at the little pine tree where Sammy and Bobby were hiding. (The squirrels then realized this wasn't a crime scene after all - these people seemed to be intent upon deforestation and wiping out wildlife from the planet, in an effort to promote global warming.)

"They are going to cut down this tree," whispered Sammy. "What shall we do? What shall we do?"

But the man did not cut down the tree.

He looked at it and said, "That is too large for our Christmas tree." (Omigosh! The squirrels snickered - and they realized the intrusive humans were just looking for a Christmas tree to cut down, decorate, and then burn a few days later.)

"We must find one that is much smaller." Said the axe murderer.

So the man and the two children went along the path into the woods.

And before long the sound of the axe rang out through the stillness. (And the bone-chilling screams of the children did too! I'm just kidding.)

"I never was so frightened in my life," said Sammy. "I thought..."

"I thought so, too," said Bobby. "But I was not frightened. I could jump to that next tree. It is not very far."

"I know that," said Sammy. "But I have a store-house in this tree."

"Where is it?" asked Bobby. "I wish you would show it to me. I am as hungry as a bear."

"So am I," said Sammy. "Let's have dinner now." (As he turned to go get the good china and silver.)

"We will call it a Christmas dinner. The children said this would make a good Christmas tree," said Bobby.

"I wonder what a Christmas tree is like," said Sammy. Bobby followed Sammy and peeped into the hole where the ten acorns were hidden.

Sammy took out a nut, and Bobby took out a nut. (Just a couple of nuts - get it? This is where that expression comes from!)

They sat up on their hind legs and nibbled away happily. (They really didn't have china or silverware.)

And as they nibbled annoyingly, the man and the two children and the dog came back through the woods.

They were dragging a little tree over the snow.

The dog ran along beside them barking loudly. (So the dad shot him.)

"That must be the Christmas tree," said Bobby. "I wonder what they are going to do with it." (He wondered if it would be a theme tree, you know, very traditional, or if they would flock it and do something fabulously monochromatic with it.)

"Tweet, tweet!" sang a little sparrow. "I can tell you. I saw one last year. I peeped in at the window after the tree had been set up in the warm room. I saw many pretty things hanging on the branches. I saw the candles lighted, and Santa Claus came in to give away the toys to the happy children. Oh, it was pretty! But I like to see the tree in the woods better."

Then the little sparrow flew away, and the two squirrels ate another nut. (They looked at each other and shrugged - they couldn't understand a word of what the sparrow had just said.)

"I think this is a good Christmas tree," said Bobby. (Repeatedly over and over, really fast - he was a very fast talker.)

"Yes," said Sammy. "A tree with a hole full of nuts is better than one covered with candles and toys." (Said Sammy, repeatedly over and over, really fast - he too was a very fast talker.)

"It is better for squirrels," said Bobby - over and over. And then he took another nut. (Actually, the squirrels were nuts.)
Now this tale seems to end here - and it does in the book - but in reality, the little bunny rabbit who had been peering through my window is the very same Bunny Rabbit in this story! Isn't that wonderful? (Bunny Rabbit didn't see no damn tree.)
This story is available from Dementia Publishing, St. Paul, Minnesota 55104

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Left Behind.

What happened to santa?

"...then all of a sudden, this nice lady's Christmas tree just up and dropped out of the sky and landed on the poor old guy - this here's all that's left of him - it's like he melted or somethin'."
[Read about funny Christmas cards here.]

Monday, December 10, 2007

My first and last children's Christmas party...

Christmas memories...

That is me in the photo - I'm the one in the forefront wearing the dark suit, feigning happiness. It was an okay event. The girl next to me is Jennifer Colb, who was rather obvious in trying to seduce me. I explained to her I wanted to be a priest, so she ignored me the rest of the party. (None of us knew her very well, she was a daughter of one of my parent's bar-friends, who just happened to drop by.)

The boy next to me was my best friend Bob Cosamini... I say 'was' because we had a falling out about 10 years ago, right around Christmas. I had been helping him set up his business. One day I came into the shop and he told me his wife did not like a piece of art that I had hung. I walked out in a huff, and we have not spoken since. (Well, I wrote a letter. Never write letters when you are angry.)

I digress. Anyway, at parties such as these, Bob would use the bathroom and come back and tell us - in detail - all about it, what it looked like, the whole shebang. The girl at the back of our table next to Bob is Gloria Sword - she beat up Mary Kay Figaretto once - Mare is the dark-haired girl seated at the furthest table, across from Larry DeMarco. Larry has been in local theater for years now - and quite serious about it. Mary Kay is the one who introduced us all to Slo-Gin, with which we spiked our punch that Christmas. Most of us got sick and threw up. My parents thought it was my mom's cooking and refused to entertain ever again.

The End.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Jesse Tree

Right on, Target!

I'm not a big fan of Advent Wreaths or Jesse Trees, although if I had a Jesse Tree such as the illumination shown, I would be pleased. I think these things are great for families, especially kids, but for me, not so much. Although, I do appreciate old-world looking Advent calendars.

Speaking of Advent calendars - has anyone paid much attention to Target's Christmas ad on television? I vote it the best of the 2007 season. I love the music - sounds very Paul McCartney - and the format is nothing more than an Advent calendar. Now that is a good 'Catholic' Christmas ad if I ever saw one!

Right on, Target Corporation!