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What To Give Up For Lent?

People who observe Lent (either for religious reasons or because self-denial is somehow appealing) have to come up with an overall Lent strategy. Either you can give up a single item, creating a major challenge for yourself (for example, coffee, or wine, or oxygen), you can give up many small items that will collectively create a Lent-worthy amount of deprivation. I am going to latter route, since the obvious candidates in the former category are too fundamental to my sense of who I am and what is wrong with me.

Here, then, is my list of what I'm giving up for Lent:

1. Cheese, except when served on a sandwich
2. Ice cream, except when served on a sandwich
3. Angel food cake
4. Deviled eggs
5. Demon rum
6. Helium inhaled to create humorous high-pitched voice
7. Whipped cream sprayed from canister directly into gaping mouth
8. Soggy, glistening, grease-saturated, worm-like French fries that have lost all structural integrity (except when such fries are balanced out with a salad)
9. Anchovy sushi
10. Catfish roe
11. Beef tongue
12. Pig knee
13. Rooster wattle
14. Cream of hamster soup
15. Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue (Braille edition)

I'm sorry, but there is really nothing here in the "Extended Entry" section. The humor has already been exhausted. I have nothing else to say. Other than, I'm sorry.

Here, however, is a good line by Mr. Tony in his columnette today about Patrick Ramsey: "Every time he dropped back to pass and held the ball tightly, he seemed on his way to his own execution." Ramsey is indeed a class act who merely needs to learn the good habit, when going back to pass, of actually passing the ball. Because the guys on the other side are very large, fast, and mean.

By Joel Achenbach  |  March 1, 2006; 9:10 AM ET
Categories:  Attempted Humor  
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Next: "Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity"

Comments

Some of the guys on Ramsey's side aren't so sweet, either. I'm thinking of Saint Joe here, who seems to have gone out of his way to stomp Ramsey's confidence into dust. This from the man who made Mark "Leadfoot" Ripen a Superbowl MVP?

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 1, 2006 9:34 AM | Report abuse

I am also mulling the possibility of giving up "chronic indecisiveness" but I worry that it's just not achievable.

Posted by: Achenbach | March 1, 2006 9:36 AM | Report abuse

Kguy, Gibbs did more to mess with Ramsey's head than Charles Boyer did to Ingrid Bergman in "Gaslight."

Posted by: Achenbach | March 1, 2006 9:39 AM | Report abuse

In the words of Shakespeare, "Neither a borrower nor a Lenter be."

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 1, 2006 9:40 AM | Report abuse

I seem to have misspelled Mark "Flash" Rypien's last name. Perhaps it was a subconscious desire to get him out of my mind as quickly as possible.

Posted by: Kurosawaguy | March 1, 2006 9:52 AM | Report abuse

Not to be COMPLETELY off-topic (he mentioned sports, right?) opening day tickets for the Nationals go on sale in 10 minutes. It's really spring!

Posted by: jw | March 1, 2006 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | March 1, 2006 9:53 AM | Report abuse

this is messed upackack

Posted by: ack | March 1, 2006 9:54 AM | Report abuse

During my childhood, I faithfully gave up licorice for Lent every year. It never occured to me that God might know that I hate licorice.

Ahem, just for the record, I don't like this TypePad replacement because: (a) the fonts are too small for my wizened eyes; and, (b) when I tab to the Comments section, my curser is two lines down an way in toward the center of the page, forcing me to pound my Backspace key to get back to the beginning of the Comments "box," and that disrupts my chain of thought and causes me to mispell things (takes a breath).

Posted by: CowTown | March 1, 2006 9:58 AM | Report abuse

AND, instead of clicking on the Submit button, I accidently clicked on the "Subcribe to the Post" button.

Posted by: CowTown | March 1, 2006 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Hey, I got quoted in the local paper this morning:

Main Plaza ideas floated
Web Posted: 03/01/2006 12:00 AM CST
Laura E. Jesse
Express-News Staff Writer

The first of two public meetings by the city on the redevelopment of Main Plaza on Tuesday showed that while potential street closures are of great concern, residents have myriad comments about the design, safety and uses of the plaza.

The meeting also offered the first public look at simulations that show the current traffic flows with four streets open and then traffic and pedestrian movements with two and three street closures.

The conceptual plan for the redevelopment, which Mayor Phil Hardberger said was meant to be a starting point and not the actual plan, calls for Commerce, Market, Main and Soledad streets to be closed, expanding the plaza from its current size of less than 1 acre to a green space of a little more than 3 acres from the River Walk to San Fernando Cathedral.

Closing only Main and Soledad streets would have the least impact on traffic, while closing all four would have the most, said Heidi Ross of WHM, who is creating the traffic models for the central business district.

With four street closures, the average morning travel time would increase by two minutes and the average afternoon trip would increase by 30 seconds, Ross said.

The $10 million redevelopment would not only showcase the "birthplace" of the city, but it would provide an opportunity to fix flooding problems at the courthouse, upgrade the utilities in the plaza and surrounding area, and bring the plaza into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, said Larry Clark of Wells Bender Clark Design, the firm hired by the city to draw up a plan and create construction documents for the plaza.

Traffic is not the only issue.

Residents are also concerned about having public restrooms and the use of those restrooms by the homeless, keeping the park safe and well-maintained, creating a less formal landscape design and including an educational component to inform visitors of the city's history.

"It's where we need to go," resident Linda Loomis said, but she didn't feel she came away from the meeting with enough information. "From what I heard, the planning is still very fluid."

Downtown Alliance President Ben Brewer said the traffic simulations did not ease any concerns.

"When I look at the model, it doesn't look anything like what's really out there," he said. "You go out on Commerce Street any time of day and you will see at least one VIA bus. But on the simulation I occasionally saw a bus go through the intersection."

San Fernando parishioner Elizabeth Navarro said she imagines her ancestor José Maria Salinas, who served as mayor, would appreciate the plan.

"What I see I think is very well-organized and most important it is creative," Navarro said. "I'm a romantic, so I like to think of my great-great-great-grandfather looking down and saying, 'My God, you've come a long way.'"
***

My comments to the reporter got reduced to monosyllabic babbling. Have no doubt that San Antonio is a muy, muy Catholic city. Do we want a formal design for this plaza, resplendent with Spanish tile and romantic fountains that will complement the cathedral and make us look like a city deep into old Mexico? How do we integrate into the redesign of the Plaza's open space the historic red-rock city hall structure at the square's south end? Or do we want a far less formal landsape design plan for the acreage/plot, more akin to the landscape design precepts of distant relative Frederick Law Olmsted? (The Anglo history of the city was pretty much eliminated in the handout distributed to meeting-goers last night, I noted.)

Of course, we have to give up the traffic on all four surrounding streets. That's a no-brainer, in order for there to be enough dirt and space to do something worthy, something eye-pleaseing, and perhaps visually stunning. What's an extra two minutes added to the average peron's commute if this design plan is implemented? Restrooms--if this is to truly be a public space, for the public, to be enjoyed by the public--are also a no-brainer.

Of course, not mentioned was my moment of sheer conceptual and historical brilliance. Let's move the statue of Moses Austin, two blocks away, now out-of-sight and obscure behind City Hall offices and tree canopy, into the reconfigured design for the Plaza, central to the founding of San Antonio.

Of course, I have a vested interest in the Moses-statue-move, since I share the Phelps bloodline with Moses and Stephem Austin and Mary Austin Holley and John Forbes Kerry. The Austins hailed from Suffield, Conn., as did Sylvester Graham, inventor of the graham cracker. If Moses gets moved into the Plaza, then at Christmas time, the city can pass out chocolate-covered graham crackers and steaming hot chocolate to the poor and homeless.

San Antonio can then bill itself as "La Ciudad con Corazon." "The City with Heart." We need not only more compassion here in the city erected along the banks of the San Antonio River, with an old Spanish mission and a Canary Island cathedral as its wellstones, but a new marketing slogan for Alamo City as well.

The city with heart. It has a nice ring. Something the cathedral bells could proclaim.

*Shiloh, testing your premise to see of one of my long posts will fit on just one page.

Posted by: Loomis | March 1, 2006 10:00 AM | Report abuse

C-town, see my font sizing advice in last Boodle. I am never put off by starting comment in medias res. When you forget as much as I do, you're glad to have a head start on blanking out.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 1, 2006 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Joel, I note that you have given up whipped cream from a can, but you've made no mention about giving up the nitrous oxide propellant in said can. Coincidence? Hmmmmm...

Posted by: CowTown | March 1, 2006 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Well, I see everyone is back. Good morning everyone, and a good day to you. I have to admit the font is really small, and it pains me to try and read it. Congratulations Loomis, although I certainly couldn't read all of that. I'm glad you got it worked out, Joel. It's so warm here today, already in the sixties and promising high seventies. It feels like spring already. I feel pretty good today, and hope all of you do too. I love you, and wish God's blessing on all, in the Name of Jesus.

Posted by: Cassandra S | March 1, 2006 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Bummer, I went long.

Posted by: Loomis | March 1, 2006 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Is it safe?

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 1, 2006 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Oh, forgot to mention what I might give up for Lent. I really should do the sweets, I mean give them up, because I've become so bad with them. Candy, cookies, if it has sugar it's on my list. And I know it's not good for me, but regular food just doesn't get for me anymore. Just thinking about not eating the sweets gives me a bad feeling.

Posted by: Cassandra S | March 1, 2006 10:13 AM | Report abuse

i'm giving up complaining. and Wal-mart.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 1, 2006 10:13 AM | Report abuse

"doesn't get it for me anymore."

Posted by: Cassandra S | March 1, 2006 10:15 AM | Report abuse

When Lent comes around, I love being the anti-Anti.

1. More sex.
2. More chocolate.
3. More coffee.
4. Less clothing.
5. More wine.
6. More reading outside under the oak tree. Can also be combined with #4.
7. More DVD movie rentals.
8. More pink rose petals in my bath water.
9. A trip to the perfume counter at Dillards.
10. A once-a-year massage from my husband.
11. Bouquets of fresh flowers on my dining tables.
12. Whipped cream on EVERYthing.

Posted by: Loomis | March 1, 2006 10:20 AM | Report abuse

If someone were to give up Catholism for Lent, how exactly would this work...?

Posted by: Huntsman | March 1, 2006 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Yikes. When I went home last evening, everything on the boodle was running hunky-dory, and I didn't bother to check in last evening. And what do I find this morning? I haven't seen this much font panic since the good old days when I was running a production department, the new Mac 8300 series just came out (plagued as it was) and we were loading and re-loading Suitcases 4.0 every couple of hours to handle our fonts. This is all, like, SO 20th Century!

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 1, 2006 10:21 AM | Report abuse

If someone were to give up Catholism for Lent, how exactly would this work...?

Posted by: Huntsman | March 1, 2006 10:21 AM | Report abuse

13. Reread Dan Brown's "The DaVinci Code."

Posted by: Loomis | March 1, 2006 10:22 AM | Report abuse

13. Reread Dan Brown's "The DaVinci Code."

Please, no. Once is more than enough for anybody.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 1, 2006 10:30 AM | Report abuse

I'm using a Safari browser on my Mac and it blows up the type size rather nicely. I can read this from across the room.

So I'm giving up small type. For me, small type is like Byron's prisoner of Chillon. It is cast into darkness, never to be seen again. Which is fitting, since it's so hard to see in the first place.

Posted by: Bayou Self | March 1, 2006 10:33 AM | Report abuse

My favourite part of the new format?

" Category: Attempted Humor "

Pancakes are Shrove Tuesday food because in medieval times, you could not keep or use fats or eggs during lent. After careful consideration I am going to give up pancakes for lent.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 1, 2006 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Bayou, didja take a look at the new Intel MacMini announced yesterday? I'm very tempted, but by the time I have it configured it's gone from $700 to $1400. Still I'd like to know how fast it'll process a DVD, my 12" PowerBook takes all night.

Posted by: Error Flynn | March 1, 2006 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Linda, 'Angels and Demons' is far better work. Da Vinci while interesting, re-reads too much like it was written solely to be a movie.

Have you read about the British court case on this book? The gents who wrote 'Holy Blood, Holy Grail' say that the novel is a re-write of their non fiction book. It will be interesting to see what the judges say. Now if their original work had been published as fiction...

Posted by: dr | March 1, 2006 10:48 AM | Report abuse

The 10:38 was me.

I will also give up proper spelling and attempts at proper grammar for lent.

Posted by: dr | March 1, 2006 10:50 AM | Report abuse

After reading "What to Give Up For Lent," I find myself regretting the 90 seconds of my life I wasted reading it.

Posted by: MattOlga | March 1, 2006 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Lent isn't about an endurance contest. If you're going to give something up, pick something reasonable and doable. If you believe you can't go through it entirely, then don't.
Or if giving something up isn't your thing (which would be me!) do something nice or something that contributes to your spiritual growth. There are plenty of things you can do besides giving something up.

Posted by: Elisa | March 1, 2006 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Whoa, Don't press "RSS Fee," it's like a flashback.

Posted by: CowTown | March 1, 2006 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, dr, didn't care for DB's "Angels and Demons" as much as I liked "DaVinci Code." I thought As&Ds was Brown's warm-up act for DaVC. At least in his personal life, Dan Brown adhere's to Holy Grail credo. More later perhaps. Must take pooch to park.

Of course, even earlier DB works deal with cryptography/mystery.

Posted by: Loomis | March 1, 2006 10:56 AM | Report abuse

K-guy writes:
13. Reread Dan Brown's "The DaVinci Code."

Please, no. Once is more than enough for anybody.

K-guy, I did (do) it my way.

Posted by: Loomis | March 1, 2006 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Error - "Process a DVD?" You have me confused with someone who is technologically advanced. Yes, I used to be that kind of guy, but that was more than a decade ago. It wasn't but just a few months ago that I burned my first CD. It didn't catch fire or anything.

Posted by: Bayou Self | March 1, 2006 11:00 AM | Report abuse

dr,
Thanks for pointing out British court case. Saw the article at WaPo.com a day or two ago. I have both Brown and Baigent et. al. books. I don't think Baigent has a legal leg to stand on--see earlier posting way, way back in Boodle about rewrite of Margaret Mitchell's "Gone with the Wind," v. Stanford prof and lawyer Lawrence Lessig and Alice Randall's book, "The Wind Done Gone."

Posted by: Loomis | March 1, 2006 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Matt O - Look at it this way: you gave up the 90 seconds. Now you can move on, having satisfied a minimum requirement of giving up something. Of course, that's if you were in the market for giving something up, which might be indicated by your having read a story about what to give up for lent. But if not, well, disregard this post, as it will have wasted still more of your precious time.

Too late? You already read this? Sorry about that.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 1, 2006 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Back in the day, most of us Catholic school kids gave up candy and/or dessert, and were encouraged to add something, like saying the rosary once a day.

Now, no longer a follower, I think it's more important to DO something positive rather than deprive yourself in some way. Make a commitment to go visit an elderly person, volunteer at DC Central kitchen one Saturday. Adopt a homeless dog or cat. Reach out to someone. Give them all your candy.

Posted by: Pixel | March 1, 2006 11:05 AM | Report abuse

If my older sister, Claudia, and I had been twins, she’d have been the “GOOD” twin. Actually, she was PERFECT, as she and my parents oft reminded me. She never fell off the wagon during Lent, while I never made it past the first day (sneaking oreo cookies or other chocolate treat in the closet.) Every Lent the parents would ask what we daughters would be giving up. We both announced our sacrifices. Gum, candy, she’d give up a favorite treat and so would I. At the end of the 40 days, she’d open her little cedar chest and proudly display 40 pkgs of Juicy Fruit gum or 40 Hershey bars, etc. One Lent, I tried to squirrel money away so that at the end of 40 days, I’d just buy 40 candy bars, and present them in my matching little cedar chest. But when you only get 25 cents (that's 5 Hershey Bars) a week allowance, this wasn’t possible. So every Lent, I heard “For shame, look at your sister, SHE kept her Lent commitment.” Away I’d schlepp, mortified, then race to the HEB Grocery Store on Nogalitos Street, buy a Tootsie Roll, mount the red mechanical horse and dream of a land where there isn’t any Lent or perfect sisters.

Posted by: Nani | March 1, 2006 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Da Vinci Code’ Dad Named in Multimillion-Dollar Gift: Author Dan Brown and Siblings Honor Their Father

Exeter, NH (November 1, 2004)—Dan Brown, author of the acclaimed best seller The Da Vinci Code, tends to stay out of the limelight. He made an exception to that low profile on October 30, when he and his wife, Blythe, attended a black-tie gala at his high school alma mater, Phillips Exeter Academy. The event marked the start of a $305-million fund-raising campaign for the independent secondary school, the largest effort of this kind in American secondary school history.

Brown, his sister, Valerie, and brother, Gregory, used the occasion to announce a $2.2-million gift to the school in honor of their father, Richard Brown. Professor Emeritus Richard Brown taught mathematics at the Academy for 35 years, from 1962 until his retirement in 1997.

Years before Dan Brown’s novels dominated fiction lists, the author’s father wrote a best-selling series of mathematics textbooks that became the standard in classrooms around the country. Advanced Mathematics: Precalculus With Discrete Mathematics and Data Analysis is still considered a premier tool for teaching advanced mathematics. In 1989, Richard Brown was recognized for his contribution to the field of mathematics education when he was chosen by President George H.W. Bush to receive the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching. (*Rolling on the floor, laughing out loud--given George W.'s commitment to science.*)

http://www.exeter.edu/communications/pr/Dan_Brown.html

Ahem, please notice new PHELPS science center at Phillips Exeter:

The Phelps Science Center, dedicated October 27, 2001, is the brick-and-mortar embodiment of Exeter's commitment to student-centered education. Inside this dynamic new facility, students and teachers combine intensive, hands-on laboratory investigation with the principles of Harkness discussion and group learning. The result is a dynamic atmosphere of exploration, discovery and collaboration.

http://www.exeter.edu/sciencecenter/

Posted by: Loomis | March 1, 2006 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I gave up Lent for Lent.

Posted by: Phil | March 1, 2006 11:12 AM | Report abuse

No mention of not eating gophers, alligators, or cabbage palm? Joel's far from home.

Posted by: Dave | March 1, 2006 11:16 AM | Report abuse

Jeez, Nani, you can write.

I urge you to do something that I haven't yet had the guts to do -- submit yourself to the potential pain and humiliation of seeking publication. Your post about your sister is the perfect text for a children's picture book. I suggest you try submitting it to Cricket magazine, and see if you can get some traction there. Rumor has it that they are extremely selective. See if you can get through that hoop.

Posted by: StorytellerTim | March 1, 2006 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Maybe Patrick Ramsey can give up '"chronic indecisiveness" whilst in the pocket' for Lent (as a Tulane guy, I suspect he's celebrated Fat Tuesday (perhaps with fellow ex-Washington NFL Franchise QB Danny Aw-, er, Wuerffel), and has given *something* up for Lent).

Unless he played in the Arena League, though, we'd never know it.

Sounds Linda's ready to do some serious "givin' (it) up" for Lent. Good on ya, Linda, and bravo on the quote. Sounds like a lively 40 days of fun ahead at Casa Loomis.

Personally, I'm going to try to give up worrying for Lent.

I may adopt Linda's #1 as well, though I don't think anyone else will go along with it.

bc


Posted by: bc | March 1, 2006 11:23 AM | Report abuse

The honor of fasting consists not in abstinence from food, but in withdrawing from sinful practices; since he who limits his fasting only to an abstinence from meats, is one who especially disparages it. Dost thou fast? Give me proof of it by thy works! Is it said by what kind of works? If thou seest a poor man, take pity on him! If thou seest an enemy, be reconciled to him! If thou seest a friend gaining honor, envy him not! If thou seest a handsome woman, pass her by! For let not the mouth only fast, but also the eye, and ear, and the feet, and the hands, and all the members of our bodies.

Posted by: St John Chrysostom | March 1, 2006 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I'll give up medallions of ferret.

Posted by: Bayou Self | March 1, 2006 11:34 AM | Report abuse

The best thing to give up for Lent -- and for good -- is Christianity, a sado-masochistic religion only marginally nicer than Islam, based on scriptures of primitive semitic delusion and a saviour who was nothing like the one portrayed in the Gospels or in the Pauline Epistles. The earliest Christians were led by James of Jerusalem, the brother of Jesus; these people presumably knew him best. They were damned as heretics by the gentile Church and marginalized. Paul for his part never met Jesus; he just imagined him.

Is this religion not a delusion and a fraud?

Posted by: candide | March 1, 2006 11:42 AM | Report abuse

I remember reading "Advanced Mathematics: Precalculus With Discrete Mathematics and Data Analysis" many years ago. It's about the secret life of Euclid, who according to legend was celibate, but in this book he was secretly married to Hypatia of Alexandria (also a mathematician) and had a child. This horrible secret was hushed up by the mathematicians of the time (Euduxos of Cnidus, you all remember him; Pyhtagoras,Autolycus of Pitane, Anaximenes of Miletus, Polyaenus of Lampsacus, etc.) some of whom formed a secret society to protect that secret and look after Euclid's child, offspring of whom are still alive to this day. Isaac Newton developed a code to encrypt this secret. Fast forward to the modern era, where a zelous mathematician working for the secret society murders an IT programmer working for Microsoft, and Tom Hanks discovers the body in the lobby of Apple Computer, laid out in the form of a Permalink.

I think Reader's Digest did an abridged version of it.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 1, 2006 11:44 AM | Report abuse

A long time ago, I gave up cheese for Lent. And not just on non-sandwich items. It included sandwiches, pizza, macaroni and cheese (which is a big hit for a college student), most Italian foods, and some desserts. It was the longest 40 days ever. I pretty sure it might have even been longer. I am checking my desk calendar and Easter is 46 days from today. Don't they count Sundays?

My Episcopal college roommate insisted that you could indulge in whatever you gave up for Lent on Sundays. I wonder if the extra six days are the ones he gets off for. And theologically, if the Lenten abstinences are from sinful things, what's the logic of having Sundays as a free day?

The whole Easter deal gets me very suspicious of the Church's math skills. "On the third day...". Lets do the counting. Most theologians say he died about 3 pm on Friday and a lot had to be done because the Sabbath started at sundown. When the women came to the tomb Sunday morning he was already gone. Let's guess daybreak in early Spring in Judea is about 6 am. By my count, that is about 39 hours or less than even two full days.

This type of slack accuracy needs to be tightened up. It's no way to run a major world religion.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 1, 2006 11:49 AM | Report abuse

I'm giving up green beer.

Posted by: omni | March 1, 2006 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | March 1, 2006 11:54 AM | Report abuse

yellojkt: Isn't it the third day? Look, Friday was the first day. Saturday was the second day. Sunday was the third day. Where's the problem? The problem is not with the scriptures, but with people who change "the third day" to "He was in the tomb for three days," which is something else altogether.

Problems with math? Here's the big math problem, that my Muslim friends challenge me on: the doctrine of the Trinity says 1+1+1=1. I don't have an answer for that one!

Posted by: kbertocci | March 1, 2006 11:57 AM | Report abuse

I'm thinking about giving up sitting on the Metro. Now THAT'S sacrifice!

Posted by: jw | March 1, 2006 12:01 PM | Report abuse

I'm giving up the Bush Administration for Lent. I'm going to do everything in my power to ignore them for 40 days and see if my quality of life is better.

Besides, I think God may just understand it.

Posted by: amo | March 1, 2006 12:08 PM | Report abuse

The problem with ordinal and crdinal numbers. I bet the College of Cardinal has something to do with that.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 1, 2006 12:10 PM | Report abuse

1. Loomis wins.

2. Someone you know should assign you a lenten mission, you should not cherry, chocolate or licorice pick your own.

3. I have a few assignments in mind for a few boodlers.

4. There should be a penalty for not performing your mission satisfactorily.

5. Lenten missions are not limited to Catholics. Many Southern Baptists, for example, have been known to give up secret drinking of liquor during Lent, drinking openly for six weeks; some Lutherans deny themselves church suppers and can be identified as those lurking outside the festivities looking on with longing; and many of the Greek Orthodox faith give up, you guessed it, feta cheese.


Posted by: Shiloh | March 1, 2006 12:11 PM | Report abuse

SCC: "cardinal numbers"

Still no edit or preview. Just what does The Schemer do all day?

Posted by: yellojkt | March 1, 2006 12:11 PM | Report abuse

And only one post in "Attempted Humor". Boy, is that misleading.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 1, 2006 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I'll also be giving up reading several blogs I like to visit. But that won't be a real hardship because these people aren't posting anything new anyway.

Posted by: omni | March 1, 2006 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Oh, I forgot to mention that the old PHELPS homestead is on the south part of the Loomis Chaffee School. Since I didn't know it existed when I visited in 2004, I failed to see it. William and Mary Phelps were neighbors to Joseph and Mary Loomis.

William came to Dorchester, Mass., in 1630, with Rev. Mr. Warham, of whose church he, with his wife, was an original member; remained at Dorchester five years, and came in 1635 to Windsor, Conn., here he was one of the prominent and most highly respected men in the colony; he was a member of the first court held in Connecticut, 1636, also of the court in 1637, which declared war against the Pequots; a magistrate from 1638 until the close of 1642; in 1643, he was the foreman of the first grand jury; deputy in 1645, '46-'49, '51, and '57; in 1658, was again made magistrate, which office he continued to hold for four years after; he is frequently named on the petit jury, and in 1641, was appointed, in company with Mr. Welles of Hartford, a committee on *lying*; he was an excellent, pious and upright man in his public and private life, and was truly a pillar in church and state; his residence in Windsor was about 3/4 of a mile northwest of Broad St., on the road to Poquonnoc, on the place now owned by Deac. Roger Phelps (written 1859, Henry R. Stiles).

Posted by: Loomis | March 1, 2006 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I just realized giving up green beer won't be a hardship either as I can't stand it, only drank it once and it made me sick (when the bartender asked if I wanted green beer I said no, but this bartender was a moron and got me a green beer anyway, so I drank it), and since I don't go out to bars on Fridays anymore or St. Patrick's day ever (at least not since that one time), I won't even see green beer. See, it's easy once you know how.

Posted by: omni | March 1, 2006 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Ramsey is good.

Posted by: Patrick | March 1, 2006 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Storyteller Tim for such kind and surprising thoughts. I very much wanted to be a stage actress but the pain and humiliation of so many auditions cut short by a voice out in the darkened theatre,
"That's enough! Next!" wore me down.

Someone, mostlylurking I believe, mentioned that Harper Lee only wrote one book, To Kill a Mockingbird, that reminded me of a childhood experience. Has anyone here had the experience of one perfect moment when you created something so beautiful and real and it seemed to just flow out of you? One day in school, I was doodling in my Big Chief Tablet with a brown crayon. Something took over my hand and I watched in awe as it drew the perfect image of a young colt; you could almost see its legs wobbling as it stood for the first time. I've never been able to recreate that drawing or any other. Where did it come from and why? I'd never tried to draw before, just messed around in coloring books, staying in the lines, and such.

Posted by: Nani | March 1, 2006 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | March 1, 2006 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | March 1, 2006 12:28 PM | Report abuse


I've always given up coffee for Lent, so that's gotten easy. This year I'm giving up coffee and bread.

Sundays are a day of celebration where Christians celebrate the resurrection, so Lenten restrictions don't apply then.

Posted by: mary ann | March 1, 2006 12:30 PM | Report abuse

this isn't funny -- you should give up writing sucky blogs for Lent.

Posted by: john | March 1, 2006 12:31 PM | Report abuse

All this talk about food and self-denial has made me hungry. I'm gonna got get a sammich.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 1, 2006 12:32 PM | Report abuse

And then there's one of my high school boyfriends, Brock Thoene (and his wife, Bodie--grads of North [Bakersfield] High School). My lips know his lips.

They divide their time between London (where I'd love to pedal as fast as possible) and Lake Tahoe. Curiously enough, they sponsor the Shiloh Light Foundation--you can connect to it through the link I'm providing:

http://www.thoenebooks.com/about.asp

Posted by: Loomis | March 1, 2006 12:32 PM | Report abuse

>If thou seest a poor man, take pity on him!
I don't need fasting or a special time of year to do that.

Karen, tell them it's boolean algebra.
1 AND 1 = 1;
1 AND 1 AND 1 = 1;
0 AND 1 = 0;
1 OR 0 = 1;

Or just tell them there's really no logic to the whole thing, they made up stuff to fill in the cracks as people asked questions that couldn't be answered, and everyone goes along with it because it was burned into their brains as a child.

For instance, if God knows everything and is inside you at all times, why would you need to confess to a priest so God could hear it? It makes no sense to even a child. But it makes for a very powerful priesthood, as that invidual would be privy to all the dirt on everyone in town. Very usefull indeed.

Posted by: Error Flynn | March 1, 2006 12:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm new here, so sorry if I mess things up. I read this blog occasionally, as it is extremely funny and you all have very witty comments. I haven't posted before today though.
RE "candide"'s diatribe--before you condemn the religion of millions, please examine your data. While the Gospels are in fact anonymous, there is strong evidence, both internal and external from the text, to point to the identity of the authors. It is extremely likely that each author was either an eyewitness to many of the events, or was being dictated to by an eyewitness. Example, Mark was a traveling companion of Peter, one of the 12 disciples, both of which can be proven historically. Your comment that the historical Jesus was bears little resemblence to the Jesus of scripture is off the mark. History is based on eyewitness accounts and oral tradition. Did Herodotus see every event that occured in "The Histories?" Did every one of Plato's "Dialogues" really occur? Yet these secular texts are universally accepted, as history and truth-bearing. True, the Bible does not always conform to modern standards of critique, but that does not make what it says any less true. Faith is not delusion.
Sorry for the tangent. I haven't read Da Vinci code, maybe I will for Lent. Sounds like it is a good read.

Posted by: david13 | March 1, 2006 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Bodie (Turner) Thoene also worked for John Wayne’s Batjac Productions (she’s best known as author of The Fall Guy)...

which is kinda funny, since my sister, after graduating UC Irvine, worked at John Wayne's Tennis Club in Orange County.

Posted by: Loomis | March 1, 2006 12:40 PM | Report abuse

While I found your column funny, I think you forgot that making fun of religious observances isn't very cool. Lent is about improving as a person by making extra effort - whether it be giving something up or doing something good that is out of the norm for you. Its about pushing yourself to be better. If you think Lent is a stupid practice, that's fine, but please remember that a lot of people take this very seriously.

Posted by: I would never give up coffee for Lent | March 1, 2006 12:41 PM | Report abuse

While I found your column funny, I think you forgot that making fun of religious observances isn't very cool. Lent is about improving as a person by making extra effort - whether it be giving something up or doing something good that is out of the norm for you. Its about pushing yourself to be better. If you think Lent is a stupid practice, that's fine, but please remember that a lot of people take this very seriously.

Posted by: I would never give up coffee for Lent | March 1, 2006 12:41 PM | Report abuse

david13 writes:
Sorry for the tangent. I haven't read Da Vinci code, maybe I will for Lent. Sounds like it is a good read.

david13, if, after you read Dan Brown's "The DaVinci Code," you think it is *just* a mystery story, you will be sadly mistaken.

Posted by: Loomis | March 1, 2006 12:43 PM | Report abuse

I'm in Cedar Key today and having lunch at Annie's Cafe' - so I asked my friend what I should do for Lent. She said: "Get a life."

Posted by: Shiloh | March 1, 2006 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Joel, I think what they're tryin' to tell you is that if this blog was a country, and that country had an embassy, that embassy would be TOAST.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 1, 2006 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Although I don't post anymore I just *had* to test out the new interface. Doesn't seem much different from the old one.

This item caught my eye in today's boodle:

"It's where we need to go," resident Linda Loomis said, but she didn't feel she came away from the meeting with enough information. "From what I heard, the planning is still very fluid."

Linda's quote, of course, follows a paragraph about public restrooms. I can't seem to get my mind off of potty humor.

Posted by: silvertongue | March 1, 2006 12:50 PM | Report abuse

It seems we force feed Gitmo prisoners that go on hunger strikes:
www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/28/AR2006022801344.html
I have a modest proposal to the hunger strikers: Convert to Christianity and then tell the guards that you have given up food and water for Lent. They have to respect your religious observances.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 1, 2006 12:53 PM | Report abuse

LindaLoo,
Are your comments being moderated? If not what is the trick to getting hard links past The Schemer?

Posted by: yellojkt | March 1, 2006 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Error, I think you might be overlooking some human psychology in your assessment of Catholic-style Confession (and Penance) and Forgiveness.

I've had to confront and confess (not to a Priest) some mistakes I've made in my life, and had to ask for forgiveness. It's quite restorative to people and to relationships when you've exposed your worst and to be completely vulnerable, and finally forgiven.

Other christian churches utlize small groups and mentoring, etc. for such things, though there's nothing better than a good marriage for it.

Gotta run to a meeting.

bc

Posted by: bc | March 1, 2006 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Since Tai Shan and/or pandas in general are the official mascot of this here blog, I think it would be a public service to point out that the Web site of China Foto Press has more than a dozen photos at http://en.chinafotopress.com/index/topicview?tpid=1122 of 16 (count 'em!) panda cubs who were born in October that are so cute even this crusty old curmudgeon went "Awwwwwwwww." It's a pandarama.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 1, 2006 1:03 PM | Report abuse

There you go again. Pandaring to the masses.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 1, 2006 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Can't help it--used to be a cub reporter.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 1, 2006 1:16 PM | Report abuse

>Error, I think you might be overlooking some human psychology

bc, yes quite true. Very powerful to be "forgiven". Even better to not do something bad in the first place just because you have a "get out of hell free" card. If I do something I think is wrong, I have to ask forgiveness from the person themselves, or be able to provide for myself. Or just live with it.

The genius and value of all religion is they're all the beginning of societal rules, providing a reason why you shouldn't murder someone when you know you can get away with it. It puts a invisible policeman over every shoulder and does promote many positive values.

Quite an invention. Not sure if they're still working the way they were intended.

Posted by: Error Flynn | March 1, 2006 1:19 PM | Report abuse

So far haven't changed blog name. Nani, I agree: you should write. The sister piece was excellent. I've taught several kinds of writing to a bunch of age groups, grade school to college creative writing. My husband brought DaVinci Code from the library. I read about 25 pages, but it was, in style, way too pedestrian for me. Now there seems to be a lawsuit holding up the book's release.

Somebody, a while back, asked about geology, and if anyone had ever been in Wyoming or Montana. Many bunches of fossils here in Wyoming, my state; recently a rare, one of its kind feathered dinosaur was found.
Didn't someone say he/she was going to give a talk at the SMithsonian?Would like to know about that...

One final way out of the loop comment. if you are having trouble reading, get Lasik. I did in 2000, saw perfectly the next morning. We went in to Denver, to a specialist. I have glasses, too, no-lines that show, for another irregulariy. Before I had to deal with 2 sets of glasses.

Have a good day...

Posted by: thereIsaid it | March 1, 2006 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Not working in what way?

As a force for moral behavior?
As a method for religious leaders to obtain and control wealth?
As justification for hatred of rival ethnic groups?
As an opiate for the masses?

I think all of the above are humming along nicely.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 1, 2006 1:26 PM | Report abuse

So, Mudge, what are *you* giving up for Lent?

Posted by: Loomis | March 1, 2006 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Methane.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 1, 2006 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Garcon, a brace of baby pandas and a double portion of opiate for Table 4, please.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 1, 2006 1:31 PM | Report abuse

david13 - Don't apologize for a tangent. Tangents are good. We like tangents. We're about as tangential as it gets.

By the way, david13 is kind of weak as a handle around here. May I suggest the simple and memorable "Tangent?"

Posted by: Bayou Self | March 1, 2006 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Also, alien autopsies. As a rule, I don't do nearly as many as K-guy, but quite frankly the thrill and sense of wonder has gone out of them. Anyway, I open up the bodies and don't know what the heck I'm looking at. I study the pictures in Klaatu's Anatomy, but nothing seems to be where it shows in the drawings.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 1, 2006 1:33 PM | Report abuse

I think it's well and good not to believe in any religion. However, when you start trashing "organized religion" you're no better than the people who use their religion as a battering rod.

Posted by: Christ fan | March 1, 2006 1:37 PM | Report abuse

While yellojkt ponders the length of three days' time, I ponder the paradox of the whole "Christian" celebration, which combines Pagan, Jewish and Christian symbols on a day based on the lunar calendar, celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Vernal Equinox.

Pagan: The name Easter = Estrus (more or less), complete with eggs and bunnies-- not very subtle symbols of fertility.

Jewish: The sacrificial Lamb, Lamb of God, ties to Passover, which is generally around the same time as Easter

Christian: Unlike his birthday, which falls on any day of the week, Jesus only likes to rise on Sunday, thus Easter falls on a different date every year. It was this sort of thinking that got me kicked out of CCD.

Posted by: Pixel | March 1, 2006 1:37 PM | Report abuse

silvertongue writes:
This item caught my eye in today's boodle:

"It's where we need to go," resident Linda Loomis said, but she didn't feel she came away from the meeting with enough information. "From what I heard, the planning is still very fluid."

Linda's quote, of course, follows a paragraph about public restrooms. I can't seem to get my mind off of potty humor.

***I am a champion for the homeless on restrooms thanks to an angiomyolipoma in one of my kidneys. And I appreciate your homur, silvertongue.

http://www.emedicine.com/radio/topic28.htm

yellowjkt:
Hit the return key (this creating a blank line) after entering/pasting in your hard link. That ought to solve the problem.

Posted by: Loomis | March 1, 2006 1:37 PM | Report abuse

I haven't read it, but noticed that on more than a few occasions, Michael Dirda refused to discuss Da Vinci Code on his chat and I don't think he was kidding.

anyone have cataract surgery? I'm supposed to, but have been avoiding it. Fear of being put under and coming to with aphasia or worse still, not coming to at all.

Posted by: Nani | March 1, 2006 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Mudge, that book won't help you unless you have the Givinci Code (you know, grey is the new black, that sort of thing.)

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 1, 2006 1:40 PM | Report abuse

Cataract surgery, no problem. First tie the kitty to the table, then... what? Oh. Never mind.

Posted by: Emily Letella | March 1, 2006 1:44 PM | Report abuse

SCC: homur:
Bone in the leg near the meta-tarsal or a old bearded Greek poet, who liked to travel travelogues.

Yeah, Mudge, that's the thing that continues to fascinate me the most about my distant GREAT-cousin, k-guy...that alien autopsy thing that he's got going out there on the southern Nevada desert at Area 51.

Also nice to know, Mudge, that instead of passing the collection plate at Lent that you'll be passing gas.

Posted by: Loomis | March 1, 2006 1:46 PM | Report abuse

why are so many people walking around with dirt on their faces today? very strange.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 1, 2006 1:47 PM | Report abuse

think of the trinity as 1 cubed. works for me anyhow.

Posted by: omni | March 1, 2006 1:48 PM | Report abuse

k-guy writes:
Mudge, that book won't help you unless you have the Givinci Code (you know, grey is the new black, that sort of thing.)

K-guy, I can just see it now, you probably wear a pen protector in your pocket. Geek-alert! Geek-alert!

As every reasonsable person knows, Dan Brown's "The DaVinci Code" translated into French becomes "The Givenchy Code."

http://www.infomat.com/whoswho/hubertdegivenchy.html


Posted by: Loomis | March 1, 2006 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Christ fan writes:
I think it's well and good not to believe in any religion. However, when you start trashing "organized religion" you're no better than the people who use their religion as a battering rod.

Oooooohh, new weapon of mass instruction (and subjection), the battering rod. Of course, those ram's horns have points...and that could hurt.

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/lostempires/trebuchet/batteringram.html

Posted by: Loomis | March 1, 2006 1:55 PM | Report abuse

No luck. I'm still not on the approved boodler list. I post a link to a genuine WaPo article and I still get sent to the principal's office.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/27/AR2006022701585.html

See.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 1, 2006 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Wow! It worked that time. I have to sprinkle eye of newt, not Newt Ginrich's eyes.

Let's do this one more time.
The link in my last post was about Octavia Butler, who, as bc mentioned in a previous boodle, died recently. Here is my reflection on her work.

http://livebythefoma.blogspot.com/2006/03/god-is-change.html

Posted by: yellojkt | March 1, 2006 2:03 PM | Report abuse

"Where's my damn glasses?"
Achenblog fans cry in pain.
Boodlers hate tiny type!

Posted by: haiku | March 1, 2006 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Dirdra refuses to discuss The DaVinci Code because it is not an obscure 18th century Latvian detective novel.

I stopped reading his chats because I consider myself pretty well read, but 95% of the time I kept thinking, "What the hell are these people talking about?" The other 5% of the time was when he mentioned Larry McMurtry (but I believe it was on the subject of McMurty's obscure Latvian western epic).

Posted by: jw | March 1, 2006 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I could easily give up alcholic beverages since I don't drink them at all! :) A better idea is to contribute to the poor. It's rather easy. My house of worship (how's that for generic!)issues coin containers where you put your extra coins for the poor. It's suggested that you play a sin game. So if you swear a lot, like I do, you'd would heavily subsidize the poor during Lent. BTW, how many here got your forehead marked with ashes? And will you leave it on all day?! :)

Posted by: samtheoldaccordianman | March 1, 2006 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Linda, you got me. I am not now, nor have I ever been a "reasonsable" person.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 1, 2006 2:12 PM | Report abuse

>I think all of the above are humming along nicely.

yellojkt, I'm trying to be nice. Also giving the originators the benefit of the doubt. Not sure if they deserve it, but who knows?

It *was* a brilliant concept. Unintended consequences and all that. I'll also confess (see? still works!) that as an ex-Catholic I may know and/or be bothered by more of the contradictions in those teachings, whereas I'm more willing to consider other religions, for lack of a better term, just silly or even "cute" because I have no real experience in them.

Posted by: Error Flynn | March 1, 2006 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I took a class in college, Historical and Theological Introduction to the New Testament. I think that the professor kinda liked me, even though I often dozed off in class and was agnostic, because I was the only one of the 7 students who was not (a) expecting the class to be an opportunity to challenge Christian theology at every turn in comparison to something "better", nor was I (b) expecting the class to be a confirmation of whatever Christian belief I had upon entering. It was about the history of the early church (lowercase 'c', not yet an institution), and the development of its philosophical precepts. Please note that because this was an introductory undergrad class taken 23 years ago, I am not prepared to defend the fundamental scholarship underpinning the material covered in class. A few fascinating products of the class:

(1) It is widely accepted (though probably not universal) among Biblical textual scholars (that is, those who consider the text to be a fit subject for scholarly examination, rather than memorization) that the earliest of the Gospels, Mark, was written about 76 AD. This inference is based on certain factual cues indicating that its writing followed the destruction of the Temple. Thus, at its earliest, it was written about 40+ years after the deducible crucifixion date of the historical figure of Jesus.

(2) The other Gnostic Gospels, Luke and Matthew, were written by authors who were aware of the written form of Mark; or at least, they were edited by people who knew about Mark. However, there are hints of later known historical developments buried within the texts.

(3) There are many cues and literary properties that indicate that the three Gnostic Gospels were the product of recording an oral tradition. That is, they came from a synthesis of oral histories that had been passed down, handed around, embroidered and edited for tellability and focus and interest. The religious version of the telephone game.

(4) John is more like an original single-author work, and a deeply strange one, not derived from any oral tradition or established practice or philosophy.

(5) There are other Gospels, that simply didn't make it into the accepted canon. They are out there, and they are no less worthy, but they somehow didn't get adopted into the tradition. Parts of them may have been incorporated into the accepted Christian Bible.

Note that you can't get this stuff from just reading the Bible in English. The English editions available are (a) translations, which always constitute an interpretation of the original language's meaning; (b) you have to look at the textual products of independent historical traditions to see what's the same and what isn't; and (c) they are intentionally synthesized from multiple old texts in Greek, the language of the oldest recorded Christian material. Nothing older, like in Aramaic, is available for Christian texts. The English Bible is the product of committees.

Oddly, the Biblical literalists in the class (at least 3 of the 7) had no trouble with reconciling themselves to the opposed viewpoints of a literally and precisely accurate Bible, and a Bible with a history of development and change. I assume that they take it for granted that they have received God's final draft. I wonder what they think about earlier Biblical literalists, who interpreted a different text. Perhaps they assume that the actual history of the Universe is malleable.

Other interesting tidbits: there were originally no priests, the community met in something more like a minyan. Priests were adopted from Greek mystery religions, which Christianity sorta resembled, and which is part of why it caught on so big in Greece. Confession was group therapy, a community-bonding experience. The confession experience is hardly a Christian innovation, it is an adaptation of a standard (today) Jewish practice from the period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, during which you are especially enjoined to seek out those whom you have wronged and to apologize. The confession and the apology are not for the benefit of God, who already knows; they are for you and the wronged party, to grow beyond your transgression, to acknowledge your failing and to actively seek forgiveness. Also, it ain't enough just to apologize, that's only step 1; you also need to resolve to change; and you need to actually do so. Whether this was a part of Jewish practice 2000 years ago is a completely different matter, about which I don't know much, and feel certain about even less.

Posted by: Tim | March 1, 2006 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Fellow Cultural Catholics (aka, Former Catholic, Recovered Catholic, Unitarian, etc.) may appreciate a new play called "Late Night Catecism." It's mildly naughty nastalgia about Catholic grade school and the weird Catholic traditions many of us carry with us into adulthood.

Posted by: CowTown | March 1, 2006 2:16 PM | Report abuse

To ease boodler's eyes
In Internet Explorer:
View*Text_Size*Larger

Posted by: yellojkt | March 1, 2006 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the advice Bayou self...Loomis, not trying to insinuate that DaVinci Code is "just" a mystery. I can't really say anything until I read it. I know Brown has some, um, issues with Christianity. Which is why I want to read it. Christians, including myself, tend to isolate ourselves, and as a result are often perceived as irrelevant in modern culture. Dang, just made a huge generalization, which I hate doing.
omni:Trinity is one cubed, great analogy

Posted by: tangent | March 1, 2006 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Nani: I just want to say that I liked your post on acting auditions, TKAMB and your horse drawing. :) I brought up the movie TKAMB and commented that the little boy in there was supposed to be Truman Capote, who was a childhood friend of author Harper Lee. All I can say about failing auditions is to make your own movies and play cameos in them. :)

Posted by: samtheoldaccordianman | March 1, 2006 2:22 PM | Report abuse


Once in a blue moon, Mr. Dirda will get sort of low-brow. One chat was almost entirely about Steinbeck. (I'm pretty sure Sara wasn't one of the posters.)

Posted by: Nani | March 1, 2006 2:25 PM | Report abuse

I'm here to serve, your tangentness.

Hey folks, every time I click in the box to start a comment, it comes up indented way into the middle of the box. Anybody else?

Posted by: Bayou Self | March 1, 2006 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Slightly on topic: best eating whipped topping straight from the aerosol can movie scene- Donal Logue (and his dog) in the lightweight but not without merit Tao of Steve.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 1, 2006 2:25 PM | Report abuse

"Blessed are the cheesemakers!"

Posted by: Bayou Self | March 1, 2006 2:26 PM | Report abuse

yellojkt, enlarging text size in IE ain't working on my machine--at least with reference to the boodle. Usually works on other apps, but not this one. Don't know why.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 1, 2006 2:27 PM | Report abuse

It's set on "Largest"
Type still too tiny to read,
persevering, tho.

(thanks, yellojkt!)

Posted by: haiku | March 1, 2006 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Don't suppose Joel will give us Hal the Schemer's home address so we can hold a torchlight parade in front of his house. Ah well, it was just a thought.

I can see the headline now: "Mob cheers as distraught boodlers hang WaPo IT maven in effigy."

re: passing gas. Linda, you made me snort coffee out my nose.

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 1, 2006 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I saw a Baltimore production of Late Nite Catechism a few years ago. It was a hoot. It's done as a one person play with some audience participation. The information seems doctrinely correct, but treated humorously.

I've also seen Nunsense which is a broader kind of farce. The tour I saw at the National Theater had Lee Meriwether and Georgia Engel in it.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 1, 2006 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Loomis, I've not read the other book, and not sure if I will. My list of musts reads is just getting too long. The whole idea behind their court case is just odd. As novels go, 'Angels and Demons' was not even remotely in the same class as my favourite novelists in similiar genres.

Tim, I would have really enjoyed that class. I've always found the history of the book we call the 'Bible' to be a very interesting subject.

Posted by: dr | March 1, 2006 2:38 PM | Report abuse

samtheoldaccordianman, I like your name and, thank you. We don't make our own movies, but my grandyounguns and I put on variety shows and everyone performs.

Posted by: Nani | March 1, 2006 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Every year I give up heroin for Lent. This year I will give up deleting the extra spaces that appear in this box when I first click in it (like all Movable Type blogs on wapo.com).

Posted by: TBG | March 1, 2006 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Nani, go ahead and have the cataract surgery. You'll be amazed at how your life will change. Of course, you might be a little more picky about dusting around the house...

Posted by: TBG | March 1, 2006 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Due to Mardi Gras, I have (rather unwillingly) given up my speaking ability for Lent. I think this could work out for the best however....

Posted by: peanutgallerymember | March 1, 2006 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Nani... I didn't mean to go have the surgery NOW.

What happened? Am I missing something or did peanutgallerymember and I kill the boodle?

Posted by: TBG | March 1, 2006 2:55 PM | Report abuse

HEY! Just noticed... it says "Submit" not "Post."

I submit to no one. Well... apparently that's not true.

Posted by: TBG | March 1, 2006 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Nani, forgive me if I've mentioned this before, but for the Kurosawachick's 11th birthday party we just divided the kids into three groups, gave each group a box of thrift store clothing, put them in separate rooms and told them to make up a skit in 15 minutes. We then assembled on the lawn and had performances on the front porch, it being a roomy 8x35 feet. When they had all finished, we scrambled them and did it again. Those kids are now in college, but still mention that party when I see them.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 1, 2006 2:58 PM | Report abuse

TBG writes:
Nani, go ahead and have the cataract surgery. You'll be amazed at how your life will change. Of course, you might be a little more picky about dusting around the house...

So, that explains it. My hubby has had the surgery and I haven't. *w*

Posted by: Loomis | March 1, 2006 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Nani, I love the story of your sister and Lent, and like so many here, I think you really should write. I love reading your post because you tell a story and it's a story everyone can enjoy. Your stories always bring back memories.

To the person that wrote about Christianity, and all those bad things, I believe in God, and I believe that Jesus is His Son, and that Jesus died for me, and all. I wish God's goodness and mercy on all, through His Son, Jesus.

I've already had two cookies. But I did eat lunch before eating the cookies.

Posted by: Cassandra S | March 1, 2006 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Boy, you are one tough customer. I would NEVER consider giving up beef tongue!

Posted by: Tony Z | March 1, 2006 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Nani, do you have any reason to suspect you might have a bad reaction to anaesthesia? (Is that the reason for your hesitation?) If that's the case, I can tell you the docs have gotten pretty good in the last few years in dealing with that problem, and I think there are some preliminary tests they can do to see if there might be a problem.

I'd hate to see you not get the cataract surgery because of it (but I'm sympathetic to your concern: I almost lost my wife to a simple out-patient procedure about 22 years ago when she wouldn't "wake up" from the anaesthetic, etc. Turned out she was allergic to that particular one--and all codeine derivitives. Scared the you-know-what out of me.)

Posted by: Curmudgeon | March 1, 2006 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Bayou said: "Blessed are the cheesemakers!"

HAVE NO FEAR, CHEESE IS HERE

Posted by: ch | March 1, 2006 3:28 PM | Report abuse

My son had an anesthesia induced illius when he had an emergency appendectomy. Get gory details here:

http://livebythefoma.blogspot.com/2005/07/up-your-nose.html

I don't know what sort of tube Major Mengele uses on Gitmo prisoners, but if they use a naso-gastric tube, that is a procedure hard to do without the subject's cooperation. That whole article in the WaPo made my stomach cringe.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/02/28/AR2006022801344.html

I thought Joel said we were still the Good Guys. The more I hear about our little extra-legal tropical paradise, the more upset I get.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 1, 2006 3:30 PM | Report abuse

BB will give up the penultimate ecstasy of pigging out at the ladies auxiliary BEAN BREAKFAST prior to entering the bellycrawlin halls of the high megachurch hogwash cult. But not for 40 days.

Posted by: bbking | March 1, 2006 3:32 PM | Report abuse

BB: I'm gonna slap you down. Mama has a big ol flyswatter w your name on it. And you know you dig ma tatoo.

Posted by: Nachomama | March 1, 2006 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Pssst. New kit is up. Don't let the others know.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 1, 2006 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I just adore a little demon rum w/ma whipped cream; ROOSTER WATTLE cannot be served without catfish roe on the side. Could but pig knee could be supplanted by pig snout or pig feet? Mais oui oui oui

Posted by: Cheesehead | March 1, 2006 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Bayou will just have to settle for possum fricasee instead of medallion of ferret

Posted by: ch | March 1, 2006 3:42 PM | Report abuse

"BB will give up the penultimate ecstasy of pigging out at the ladies auxiliary BEAN BREAKFAST"

THAT WOULD BE A VERY DEFLATING EXPERIENCE BB

Posted by: loretta | March 1, 2006 3:45 PM | Report abuse

could but my eyes could be slightly crossed? definitely oui

Posted by: CH | March 1, 2006 3:46 PM | Report abuse

A couple new kits, one of which is expressly for the purpose of people letting dot.com know what they think about the new font size here in the Boodle. If you want, you can re-post an earlier comment from the last couple of Boodles. I'd like to have opinions on this in one spot. If you LIKE the smaller font size, please let us know that, too. We just need feedback.

Posted by: Achenbach | March 1, 2006 3:47 PM | Report abuse

kurosawaguy, charming idea. Mind if I borrow it for this weekend? The g-girls loved playing with my "jewels" (old costume jewelry I've saved from the 50s and 60s, pretty tacky stuff).

Hi Cassandra - I've been eating cookies all day! No lunch. Instead of giving something up, I'll try to do something kind or helpful for others each day for Lent.

Curmudgeon, fear the doctor or anesthesiologist will make an error rendering me incapacitated in one form or another; being vulnerable, helpless, defenseless.

Posted by: Nani | March 1, 2006 3:54 PM | Report abuse

Nani, regarding party idea- knock yourself out. Regarding surgery- do not knock yourself out, get a competent anesthesiologist to do it for you.

Posted by: kurosawaguy | March 1, 2006 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Here's something about why more and more non-Catholics observe Lent:

http://www.slate.com/id/2137092/?nav=tap3

Posted by: Achenbach | March 1, 2006 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Tim: You have retained enough information about Christianity and its origins to know for sure that Christianity is a fraud presented by knaves or fools or both. I agree totally.

Posted by: candide | March 1, 2006 5:00 PM | Report abuse

it would seem that i gave up oxygen for lent and i'm not even religious! go figure! Lindoloo - you gave me your code and i'm not at all pleased! (i freakin unded up in the hospital today not being able to breathe!)
this is my first forway into the new font/typepad (since i've been on death's doorstep for 4 days) and i'm going blind!

oh, and in response to the IN/OUT burger question in socal - i only went there once - thought it was overrated - i was a carl's junior fan (and jack in the box when i was drunk at 3 am and broke)

Posted by: mo | March 1, 2006 6:17 PM | Report abuse

candide, everyone has moved to the later Kits. But I've been struggling to clearly answer what you say here.

You misinterpret me. Just because I argue that many modern Christians are confused about the history of their religion and have chosen to trap themselves in the false security of literal interpretation doesn't mean I think the religion is intrinsically wrong or false. I think they've concocted a foolish misinterpretation of something that is good and True -- certainly, many of the earlier authorities to whom they look for guidance (Mark, Luke, Matthew, Paul) did not, themselves, view themsleves as having a grasp of the literal truth of things. Just look at the fact that the Gospels themselves disagree about numerous events in the life of Jesus and the order in which they occurred.

My complaint is with the confusion between factual accuracy and Truth -- a deeper spiritual concept. Making one of them (Truth) dependent on the other (accuracy) is stupid, because there is no experiment that can reproduce a supernatural event, and there are plenty of experiments that can disprove the pronouncements of mere human orators who try to interpret religious texts literally.

Posted by: Tim | March 1, 2006 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Holy Jumping Woofbarks! I see a lot of Catholic Church bashing and ex-Catholics trying to justify their exit. All I can say is that God has worked miracles in my life. A life without God must be a very sad life. And those who would bash God are just bitter people. Those who deny God and deny heaven and hell are in for a big surprise when they they are turned to dust. Oh yeah, I'm just an old man. And it's trendy to be anti-God. I shall pray for you!

Posted by: samtheoldaccordianman | March 1, 2006 8:31 PM | Report abuse

candide: I was really touched by what you wrote. I was almost offended, at first, but it made me think, and that's always good. It's obvious that you have given thought to what you are saying. I wanted to respond to your comment but at first I didn't know what to say. When I went for a walk at lunchtime, I thought about it. In Christian terms, I would say, I prayed about it. In born-again Christian terms, I talked to Jesus about it. And Jesus answered me, as He often does, and He said, candide knows me better than a lot of people who call themselves Christians.

I believe you can know Jesus without being a church member. When Jesus said, "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life" I believe He was actually saying that the search for Truth is the same as a search for Him. Candide, it looks to me as if you are on a search for Truth, and I have no doubt you will find it, or have found it already. I hope you will not let churchgoers put you on the defensive. You have nothing to prove to them. Live your own path.

This message has been brought to you by our sponsor, Love, aka God.

Posted by: kbertocci | March 1, 2006 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Let's take the Missionhurst route. The celbrant at Mass today at Arlington's Missionhurst community encouraged the congregation not to give up something but to take up something. Fr. Bill Quigley asked us, "Whose cross will you help carry during this season?" Answer that and do it for a real Lenten strategy.

Posted by: Tony | March 1, 2006 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Let's take the Missionhurst route. The celebrant at Mass today at Arlington's Missionhurst community encouraged the congregation not to give up something but to take up something. Fr. Bill Quigley asked us, "Whose cross will you help carry during this season?" Answer that and do it for a real Lenten strategy.

Posted by: Tony | March 1, 2006 9:06 PM | Report abuse

mo, hope you feel better soon! You know we miss you when you're not here - sorry to hear you're not feeling well.

Mudge, thanks for the "pandarama" (I never think of things like that!). I had seen it earlier on a foray into cuteness - thought I'd get booted off the boodle if I posted it.

On to complaining about the font size...

Posted by: mostlylurking | March 1, 2006 10:19 PM | Report abuse

Trinity in math terms:

1x1x1= 1

I like the classic book "Flatland:A Romance of Many Dimensions", written in 1884 by Edwin Abbot.

I think it's an good way how to visualize God as having 3 aspects while being the same thing. I would ask any muslims going off on math if they have ever read Flatland.

I can just see the "finger of G*d" being see as a fellow flatlander, while remaining connected in a way the flatlanders cannot fathom. I see G*d as the rest, and the holy spirit as G*d manipulating the plane universe, or hovering above the plane.

But then, I was always a Pythagorean at heart.


Posted by: Wilrod | March 2, 2006 11:03 AM | Report abuse

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