July 28, 2015

The confusion of Pope Francis

Will Pope Francis say something positive about gay and transgender people when he visits the United States this Fall? In a country newly accepting of gay marriage, a place where transgender people are finally getting just a bit of respect, will the Pope applaud these changes? Will he call for an end to the firing of gay teachers at Catholic schools, and the denial of communion to married gays? The world wants to know.

At the NYT today, as the writers try to read the tea leaves, they note that despite the general media impression that this pope is less hateful toward gays than his predecessors, Pope Francis' remarks on sex and gender have been all over the lot.
But he has shown no indication that he intends to lead the church toward changing its teaching that gay people are “called to chastity” and marriage is only for a man and a woman.

On a visit to the Philippines in January, Pope Francis said in a speech that “the family is threatened by growing efforts” to “redefine the very institution of marriage.” He also criticized wealthy Western countries for imposing their ideas about gender on developing countries, calling it “ideological colonization.”

A month later, he was quoted in a book saying that “gender theory,” which holds that gender is a social construct, is one of the great modern dangers to humanity, like nuclear weapons.
Nuclear weapons? Isn't that sweet? As readers of this blog know, I don't think there's reason to hope. This pope will do what all the other popes have done: he will cast aside gay and transgender people. The church is the church. It never changes.

July 19, 2015

Bruni's take on Trump

You must read Frank Bruni's column about Donald Trump. It's quintessential Bruni -- and Trump would hate it. Right there, you've got a good reason to read it. G'wan. Click that link right this instant.

July 15, 2015

Your daily typo

Two headlines from today's online NY Daily News:

"Hacker gets 13 yeas for selling 200M Americans' data". 

Yea! But why put only one typo online when you can put two? I also found this:

"Man accused of killing fiance to death held without bail".

You know, it's not that hard to find someone to proof your headlines before they go live. Truly.

July 13, 2015

The pope's upcoming anti-gay visit to the United States

In case you had any doubt about the pope's bad intentions, note that Francis is holding his "family" gathering in Philadelphia with this piece of work.
Philadelphia's archbishop says Roman Catholic school leaders who fired a married gay religion teacher showed "character and common sense."

Archbishop Charles Chaput says the Sisters of Mercy and board members who run Waldron Mercy Academy are simply being "honest" about the church's teaching. The church opposes gay marriage.
Nice, huh? Chaput is one of the most evil U.S. archbishops. He looks gayer than god and takes every opportunity to lash out at gay people. Closet cases are the worst; it's always been this way.

But this is what provides a strong hint that Pope Francis won't try to make nice with gay marriage during his US tour. The fact that he's holding his family meeting in conjunction with the monstrous Chaput tells us everything we need to know.

(Except why the church is so gung-ho on demonizing gay people. That is the zillion-dollar question.)

July 11, 2015

I don't need no damn bed

My move to a new apartment is happening, albeit slowly. Some pieces of furniture were moved to the new place today, so it's finally begun. It will still be a long, slow slog because we're doing it ourselves and we don't have a huge truck. So we're bringing stuff there in dribbles. It will happen, but like progress, it'll take some time.

[When I say "we", I mean my sister's family and me. We live in adjoining houses and that won't change at the new location. We're stuck like glue, my sister and I. It's a good thing. But it means we're moving two houses full of stuff.]

The new place is a one-bedroom apartment. But I don't have room for all my stuff there, so I'm cancelling the bedroom concept. I won't have a bed, nor will I have a dresser and side table, as is traditional. Instead, I'm making the "bedroom" into an office. I have two desks, a great computer and a trillion notebooks. They need a home and frankly, I don't need a bed.

I'm bringing a thin pad on which I'll sleep. Yes, on the floor. The pad folds, so I can stick it in a closet during the day. Very Japanese, no? The thing is, I don't like soft beds because they're, you know, soft. Gimme a floor any day. It'll be kind of like a platform bed without the platform.

The living room is, in today's terminology, "open concept" with the kitchen. There is no dining room, but I don't have people over for food. Heaven forfend. I do give guests an occasional slice of pizza or a sandwich, but I haven't eaten at a table in decades. Chairs are just fine, thanks. So the open area will be for cooking and watching baseball games. I also plan to get a bunch of plants. I haven't done that in years, what with living in the dark and all. But if I sleep in the office and stay in there at my computer all day, that can be the dark room. This way my plants will get all the sun they want during the day. And then I'll move into that room at dusk. See how nicely that works?

The kitchen has tons of cabinets, more than I've ever seen in an apartment. So I'm going to use a few of them to house clothes. Everyone puts clothes in their kitchen cabinets, right? And the kitchen has lots of glass-fronted cabinets. Using HGTV as my guide, it would seem that I'm supposed to "show off" lovely white dishes in them. But I don't even have two matching dishes. (Actually, a friend brings me beautiful, random dishes that she finds at flea markets. I've got some cool ones. But none match.) So I'm thinking of putting fun stuff in the visible shelves. For instance, my leather top hats might look nice there. And I can set up pyramids of espresso coffee in one and nicotine lozenges in another. It will be so welcoming!

I'm really looking forward to this. A fresh, new start sounds like a great idea. Okay, I have to get back to packing now. See you next time.

July 8, 2015

iPhone is hermit's best friend

I never wanted an iPhone. Not for one second. I'm a hermit; we don't want to "stay in touch". In fact, we like to be way, way out of touch. Plus, I hardly ever leave my house. So why would I want an iPhone? Subject closed -- or so I thought.

But then my sister bought one for me. I wasn't happy. I thought "oh, good, something to put on a shelf and forget." But I was wrong. iPhones are great! They let you stay out of touch much better than land lines. I cancelled my land line the second I grokked this.

There's this thing (you probably know this, but I didn't) called "Do Not Disturb". I love those words. Turns out, you can limit phone calls to only those people listed in your contacts. That is so cool! No more marketers, no more old friends calling to relive old times. I love it.

And an even better thing is that you can limit this further, so only your "favorite" contacts can get through. And if you only list your own contact information as a favorite, which is how I've set it up, no one can call you at all! Huzzah! I adore this.

Additionally, I shut off Facetime and Messages. No one in the world can get through to me now. I think I may be in heaven. Let's hear it for iPhones! Yaaaay!

The ever-present, disgusting ingredient

I'm busy packing, rather than blogging. I'm moving in the next few weeks, so it's time. Oy, the dust and the boxes and the cans of garbage! And surely the most oppressive thing is that you're still expected to tend to your normal life. That seems so unfair. Surely someone should do my chores for me as I pack. Surely.

Anyway, I had to stop packing to visit the grocery store yesterday. That's another in a list of moving travesties: it seems I'm expected to eat and cook as I do all this work! What can you do? Those are the rules.

I bought three loaves of "potato bread" while there, because I couldn't find my usual bread. And then last night, I happened to eat a plain slice of the bread...and it was sickeningly sweet! Yuck. When I read the ingredients, I found that it was suffused with high fructose corn syrup. In bread! I threw all three loaves in the garbage this morning, and then figured I might as well check the other loaves in my freezer. Yup, they had high fructose corn syrup in them. And we're talking about whole wheat bread. Isn't this supposed to be a healthy choice? I was utterly disgusted. So I cleared out all the bread in my freezer today and tossed it in the garbage, which is where anything that contains HFCS should go.

High fructose corn syrup is in everything. Americans are growing fatter and fatter and stupider and stupider -- and everything at the supermarket has this unhealthy, extremely fattening and heart-unhealthy ingredient in it. (I also believe it makes people stupid. Just looking around tells the tale. They added it to our food supply and the entire country got fat and stupid. There is a causative relationship here.)

From now on, I'm reading the ingredients on every food item before I purchase it. My only fear, going into this regimen, is that every item at the food store has HFCS in it. What has gone wrong with our food supply? Yuck again.

July 6, 2015

And this pope is just warming up

A hint of things to come?
In his homily Monday, Francis said he hoped the second meeting of bishops on family life, scheduled for October, would come up with “concrete solutions to the many difficult and significant challenges facing families in our time.”

“I ask you to pray fervently for this intention, so that Christ can take even what might seem to us impure, scandalous or threatening, and turn it … into a miracle.”
Gee, I wonder what he's referring to. Oh, wait. Let's see what the Vatican's main bigot has to say.
The Vatican spokesman, the incredibly bigoted Rev. Federico Lombardi, said Francis wasn’t referring to the gay or divorce issue specifically but was making a more general reference that he hoped the bishops would “help the church chart this path of leaving a situation of sin to one of grace.”
Well, that's reassuring. Thanks, Federico. You're a beacon of light in a dark and dingy world. (Hahaha, just kidding. You're a pig.)

July 2, 2015


I keep returning to YouTube to watch this video, after first seeing it on Jerry Coyne's web site. This is Sinatra at his best. He did the recording of "It Was a Very Good Year" in one take. This is it. Amazing.

July 1, 2015

It's all about them

Gays cannot experience persecution. Only Christians can. In case you haven't noticed this trend in the comments of Christian loons, I give you the Roman Catholic church: (Bolding is mine.)
The U.S. bishops are facing an even greater challenge within, even as they move forward as the leading religious voice advocating for legal protections for those who object to gay marriage.
In the Roman Catholic Diocese of Arlington, Va., Bishop Paul Loverde held a Mass and organized a lecture for the U.S. bishops' annual religious freedom commemoration, called "Religious Liberty For How Long? How to Prepare Spiritually for the Coming Persecution."
Only they can experience persecution. Got it? Good. And what is the nature of this persecution? Why, the fact that they can't persecute gays with all the vitriol and hatred they used to direct at them. It's downright unfair! Oh, the poor dears. It really makes you feel for them, doesn't it? If only they could go back to the good old days of hating gays, openly and freely, as god wants them to.

Persecution. It's only for Christians these days. Hahahaha. Torquemada, anyone? Now, those were the good old days.

UPDATE: TBogg did this much better than I did. Go read it