Posts Tagged ‘St. Francis of Assisi

19
Sep
13

9.19.13 … “Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures. You called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on the land. You inspired St. Francis to call all of them his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless this pet. By the power of your love, enable it to live according to your plan. May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation. Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures! Amen.” …

Blessing of pets and the animals, St. Francis of Assisi, churches, modern society: I am not sure about a church’s hosting a blessings of the pets.  I realize this has become common in Episcopal churches. My brother’s family took their pets years ago, and one of their dogs died inexplicably four days later. I now see it creeping into Presbyterian churches.

Who are we doing this for? The children of the congregation?

Has your church offered this service?

As I said, I am just not sure about the blessing of the pets. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge pet fan. I adore my beasts. I feel blessed to have them. And i also believe they are blessed to call my home their home.

But aren’t there some people we should invite into our church for a blessing who take priority?

Some excerpts from my FB conversation …

Our church does this . . . Two thoughts on it. I have friends whose pets are their children, and they feel a blessing is a good thing for them. As for the kids, I do think it is important to remind them that God loves them, God loves their pets and that can all take place in the context of the church. That being said, none of our pets have been blessed at our church. For some reason, I was more willing to wrestle and wrangle my four children to church every Sunday to show off that dog and pony show, but not going to do that for my dog. My poorly behaved dog (sweet though she may be) is where I draw the line in public humiliation! I say “bless her” plenty for me!

 Its origins come from the ministry of St. Francis of Assisi and it a way of honoring his commitment to all of God’s creation. It does appeal to kids, but also to the many folks in the congregation and the community who have a strong bond with their animals and for whom such a service has deep meaning. I’ve done it in Methodist churches, as well. I find it to be personally significant and a good outreach to the community as well. I don’t think it precludes also offering other services to bless God’s human creatures as well, such as healing services.

All creatures, great and small!

We go to St Francis in the Fields in Louisville. And am a huge St Francis devotee. The Blessing of the Pets is very sweet….however the reality is St Francis was primarily committed to preaching the Gospel… Not playing with animals. Francis gave his clothes to lepers, denounced his materialistic family, fasted frequently, went to the Middle East to preach the gospel, rebuilt crumbling churches, and founded the Franciscan Order that walked barefoot all over Mexico preaching the Gospel and building dozens of mission churches from San Francisco to Texas to Central America. We err when we soften and sanitize him. Love my 4 dogs but would never want to compromise the reality of St Francis and the blazing Spirit Filled life he lead and legacy he left for the Church.

It’s a fun thing we do an North Avenue – not much theology and I agree that it’s something that reflects our relationship to God’s creation. I love reading an account of how Dietrich Bonhoeffer put this in some perspective when he was talking with a 10 year boy who had just lost his beloved pet “Herr Wolf.” … So here is the account of Bonhoeffer talking with the 10 year old boy: “Today I encountered a completely unique case in my pastoral counseling, which I’d like to recount to you briefly and which despite its simplicity really made me think. At 11:00 a.m. there was a knock at my door and a ten-year-old boy came into my room with something I had requested from his parents. I noticed that something was amiss with the boy, who is usually cheerfulness personified. And soon it came out: he broke down in tears, completely beside himself, and I could hear only the words: “Herr Wolf ist tod” [Mr. Wolf is dead.], and then he cried and cried.

“But who is Herr Wolf?” As it turns out it is a young German shepherd dog that was sick for eight days and had just died a half-hour ago. So the boy, inconsolable, sat down on my knee and could hardly regain his composure; he told me how the dog had died and how everything is lost now. He played only with the dog, each morning the dog came to the boy’s bed and awakened him—and now the dog was dead. What could I say? So he talked to me about it for quite a while.

Then suddenly his wrenching crying became very quiet and he said: “But I know he’s not dead at all.” “What do you mean?” “His spirit is now in heaven, where it is happy. Once in a class a boy asked the religion teacher what heaven was like, and she said she had not been there yet; but tell me now, will I see Herr Wolf again? He’s certainly in heaven.”

So there I stood and was supposed to answer him yes or no. If I said, “no, we don’t know” that would have meant, “no.”…So I quickly made up my mind and said to him: “Look, God created human beings and also animals, and I’m sure he also loves animals. And I believe that with God it is such that all who loved each other on earth—genuinely loved each other—will remain together with God, for to love is part of God. Just how that happens though we admittedly don’t know.”

You should have seen the happy face on this boy; he had completely stopped crying. “So then I’ll see Herr Wolf again when I am dead; then we can play together again”—in a word he was ecstatic. I repeated to him a couple of times that we don’t really know how this happens. He however knew, and knew it definitely in thought. After a few minutes he said: “Today I really scolded Adam and Eve; if they had not eaten the apple, Herr Wolf would not have died.”

This whole affair was as important to the young boy as things are for us when something really bad happens. But I am almost surprised—moved by the naïveté of the piety that awakens at such a moment in an otherwise completely wild young boy who is thinking of nothing. And there I stood—I who was supposed to “know the answer”—feeling quite small next to him; and I cannot forget the confident expression he had on his face when he left.” (from the book “Bonhoeffer Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy)

I hate it.

So I drove by another church offering blessing of the animals, Holy Covenant UCC » Blessing of the Animals … so is there a set date for this? Is  this done in the Catholic churches? Will Pope Francis offer such a service?

As autumn arrives, people in various places may notice something odd.

A procession of animals, everything from dogs and cats to hamsters and even horses, is led to churches for a special ceremony called the Blessing of Pets.

This custom is conducted in remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi’s love for all creatures.

Francis, whose feast day is October 4th, loved the larks flying about his hilltop town. He and his early brothers, staying in a small hovel, allowed themselves to be displaced by a donkey.

Francis wrote a Canticle of the Creatures, an ode to God’s living things. “All praise to you, Oh Lord, for all these brother and sister creatures.” And there was testimony in the cause for St. Clare of Assisi’s canonization that referred to her little cat!

At Franciscan churches, a friar with brown robe and white cord often welcomes each animal with a special prayer. The Blessing of Pets usually goes like this:

“Blessed are you, Lord God, maker of all living creatures. You called forth fish in the sea, birds in the air and animals on the land. You inspired St. Francis to call all of them his brothers and sisters. We ask you to bless this pet. By the power of your love, enable it to live according to your plan. May we always praise you for all your beauty in creation. Blessed are you, Lord our God, in all your creatures! Amen.”

via Blessing of pets and the animals – St. Francis of Assisi.

15
Apr
13

4.15.13 … without words … “As all our eyes turn to Boston, as our prayers surround the people there, may we be ever reminded of the stillness we are called to, and the presence the God of us all offers.”

I am not a wordsmith, and so I am often at a loss for words. Following, the “terrorist attack” at the 26 miles mark of today’s Boston Marathon, there have been many opportunities for many to speak. I was most impressed, moved, and comforted by these. I’ll start with one that quotes my favorite Psalm.

Psalm 46 closes with this:

“He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow, and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. ‘Be still, and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth.’ The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge.”

As all our eyes turn to Boston, as our prayers surround the people there, may we be ever reminded of the stillness we are called to, and the presence the God of us all offers.

Boston, you are in our prayers. We will continue to follow this unfolding story, reminded that the world is hurting. While it would be easy to explain this away, I think the best we can offer is that the presence of God follows us all the day long of our transient life. In these moments of fear, that presence reminds us to be still, and remember that our refuge and our strength has been there and will continue to be there in the days ahead.

“Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid.”

via Rob Lee: Psalm 46 and the Boston Marathon.

A collection of comforting words from the Episcopal Church:

Unapologetically Episcopalian

~ PRAYERS FOLLOWING EXPLOSIONS AT BOSTON MARATHON

This afternoon, Patriots’ Day in Massachusetts, officials reported that at least two bombs exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. In the midst of the chaos and as reports continue to come in concerning those who were injured, discovery of additional explosive devices, and the potential for further threats, let us pray.

• Prayer for Victims of Terrorism

Loving God, Welcome into your arms the victims of violence and terrorism. Comfort their families and all who grieve for them. Help us in our fear and uncertainty, And bless us with the knowledge that we are secure in your love. Strengthen all those who work for peace, And may the peace the world cannot give reign in our hearts. Amen.

• A Prayer for First Responders

Blessed are you, Lord, God of mercy, who through your Son gave us a marvelous example of charity and the great commandment of love for one another. Send down your blessings on these your servants, who so generously devote themselves to helping others. Grant them courage when they are afraid, wisdom when they must make quick decisions, strength when they are weary, and compassion in all their work. When the alarm sounds and they are called to aid both friend and stranger, let them faithfully serve you in their neighbor. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

– adapted from the Book of Blessings, #587, by Diana Macalintal

• For the President of the United States and all in Civil Authority

O Lord our Governor, whose glory is in all the world: We commend this nation to your merciful care, that, being guided by your Providence, we may dwell secure in your peace. Grant to the President of the United States, the Governor of Massachusetts, and to all in authority, wisdom and strength to know and to do your will. Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness, and make them ever mindful of their calling to serve this people in your fear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

• For Peace

Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

• A Prayer Attributed to St. Francis

Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.

• A Hymn

The Choir of King’s College, Cambridge, singing “O God, Our Help in Ages Past”

via ~ PRAYERS FOLLOWING….

And as is often quoted, but worthy of quoting, Mr. Rogers:

Our thoughts are with those affected by the explosions at the Boston Marathon today and the people of Boston. As with many tragedies that are covered extensively in the media, children who hear about them may be confused or scared. Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood once shared a thoughtful approach for comforting children and instilling a sense of hope in them in the face of tragic events:

“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of “disaster,” I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” — Fred Rogers

I first saw this in a post by Rev. Mary Katherine Robinson. From St. Francis of Assisi:

Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen – St. Francis of Assisi

From my favorite politician, Edward Lindsey:

Today as one people we should be concerned for the injured and dead in Boston, show thanks to the rescue workers who are bravely responding, binding their wounds and comforting the victims and their families, and pray for all who have been touched by the tragedy in Boston.

And my home church, Fpc Charlotte:

From “A Declaration of Faith”

Death often seems to prove that life is not worth living,

that our best efforts and deepest affections go for nothing.

We do not yet see the end of death.

But Christ has been raised from the dead,

transformed and yet the same person.

In his resurrection is the promise of ours.

We are convinced that the life God wills for each of us

is stronger than the death that destroys us.

In the face of death we grieve.

Yet in hope we celebrate life.

No life ends so tragically

that its meaning and value are destroyed.

Nothing, not even death, can separate us

from the love of God in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayer: O Lord, hear our prayer for those who suffer in Boston. And speak tenderly to those who cry out “why?” in the face of this cruel and senseless act of violence. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Liked by a friend on FB:

Gregory Wolfe: My rule of thumb: you grieve before you blame.

Another from FB:

Momastery:

When the world seems loud, we must be quiet. When the world seems evil, we must be good. When the world seems terrifying, we must comfort each other.

Sending quiet, good, and comfort to all of you, and to all of Boston.

From the Washington Post:

We have gone from knowing nothing to … knowing practically nothing. Along the way we learned a New York Post report about a Saudi suspect in custody had no basis in fact. We learned that no, a John F. Kennedy Presidential Library fire was unrelated. We shouldn’t write before we know, but the urge to describe, define and understand is so strong any rumor or gossip is seized upon.

I broke my own admonition on Twitter today, using poor phrasing to convey my dismay with outfits like the New York Post racing to be first (and wrong as it turned out) before they knew the extent of the attack. But that sort of observation should wait.

What do we know? First responders behaved heroically. The president was exactly on the mark, admonishing us not to speculate but assuring the country that an investigation was underway. He refrained from using the term “terrorism,” which at this point is appropriate. His job, before there are concrete answers, is to exude calm. He did that. Speaker of the House John Boehner, after speaking with the president, put out a statement calling for unity, also a restrained and appropriate comment. (“Words cannot begin to express our sorrow for the families who are grieving so suddenly right now. The House of Representatives offers its prayers to the victims and the city of Boston.) As after the Arizona shooting, both leaders were at their best.

We’ll find the culprit, in all likelihood. We will be reminded that we live in a dangerous world and the greatest threats are not from improbable government conspiracies but from those domestic and foreign who seek to do us harm. Looking for answers to evil, however, we have learned, is generally fruitless. We should be comforted by the bravery of those responders, the calmness of local and federal officials (a vast improvement from the Christmas Day bomber fiasco) and the knowledge that, tragically, our law enforcement and national security forces have gotten very good at their jobs. God bless, Boston.

via Boston bombing.

11
Feb
13

2.11.13 … What does a Pope do in retirement? …

Pope Benedict XVI , Bishop of Rome Emeritus, retirement, legal issues, papal enclave, twitter:  I don’t think anyone was expecting this … I woke up early today and was immediately hit with the news that the Pope was going to retire effective 2.28.13.  And i immediate wondered out loud on FB, “So the Pope is going to resign. What does a Pope do in retirement?”  Noting that, according to BR:

“The last pope to resign was Gregory XII, who left the papacy in 1415 to end what was known as the Western Schism among numerous competitors for the papacy.”

My pundit friends went into action …

BT: Invite him to bingo

MP: Retired Popes fly around in their cool hats with their flying nuns.

 And then the twitters started tow tweet …

Nate Silver
@fivethirtyeight
No pope has resigned since 1415, which is also the last time the Pittsburgh Pirates had a winning record.

Conan O’Brien Presents: Team Coco

The Pope resigned earlier today & Dan Brown has already written two thrillers about it.

via The Pope resigned….

Team Coco ‏@TeamCoco

Strange but true: for over 2000 years, Cardinals have picked the new Pope via rock/paper/scissors.

But my favorite was the husband of a friend …

David McDaniel ‏@DMcDaniel

Poor Notre Dame. They lose the BCS championship, then the Manti Te’o thing. Now they face the 2013 season with a rookie pope.

And the political cartoons … field day …

.

via The Platzner Post

But there are lots of interesting issues given that the last pope to retire was Gregory XII, who left the papacy in 1415 …

Q: How does one refer to a retired pope?

Benedict XVI would technically retain the title, Bishop of Rome Emeritus. “I doubt he would use the papal titles, but that’s something to be decided on,” said Father Kaslyn.

via A Legal Guide To Papal Resignation – Law Blog – WSJ.

And the consensus is … all bets are off.

The papal conclave—the secretive meeting of Roman Catholic cardinals to elect a new pope—is expected to start shortly after the end of February, when Pope Benedict XVI, at 85 years old, said Monday he would step down.

The more than 120 voting cardinals will likely debate whether to select a low-key gradualist or someone who is going to govern with grand gestures, such as Pope Benedict’s predecessor John Paul II. In recent conclaves, cardinals have been split between those who take a more conservative approach to the church’s teaching and those open to changing some of the age-old tenets of Catholicism.

There is a saying among Vatican watchers that cardinals who are tipped as popes before the conclave begins rarely actually get the job. “The race is really wide open,” said Giuseppe Di Leo, a longtime Vatican journalist for Italian radio Radio Radicale.

The voting by cardinals to elect the next pope takes place behind the locked doors of the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel. Under highly detailed procedures, only cardinals under the age of 80 can vote in the conclave, and secret ballots can be cast once on the first day, then twice during each subsequent morning and evening session.

Cardinals must have a two-thirds majority to elect a new pope; a runoff may be held between the top two candidates if the voting goes as far as 34 rounds. Except for periodic pauses, the voting continues until a new pontiff is elected.

When a successor is elected, the ballots are burned dry to produce the white smoke that signals the church has a new pope.

via Contenders in Line to be Pope – WSJ.com.

And I also did a quick review of popes … List of popes – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

“Solvitur Ambulando”  – It is solved by walking, labyrinth walks, Avondale Presbyterian Church, Lenten practices: 

I took a nighttime walk on February 11. It is 62° in Charlotte and so warm that I am walking in shoes flats with no socks like it’s summertime. I am wearing only a sweater, too.
The walk was quite nice, my first nighttime walk on the Avondale labyrinth. It is not well lighted, so I am making my way partly from limited visibility and partly from memory. Their are branches from the recent storms on the labyrinth.
I can’t wait to start my Lenten practice of walking a labyrinth  “almost daily”. Forty two days of walking and solving, I am very very excited.

IMG_5524 IMG_5517 IMG_5521 IMG_5522 IMG_5516

Marthame Sanders, Sermon: Changing God,  i feast therefore i am, Transfiguration Sunday: As I mentioned yesterday, I loved my own pastor’s sermon yesterday, but since I follow Mathame, I really enjoyed his as well … and they are very different.

When it comes to the church, I think we can fear change because we think we are messing with something that is eternal and unchanging. In other words, rather than asking God to change us, we worry that are trying to change God (or, at least, repackage God) in order to please people. I also think that this fear comes from a good place. Is the change we implement a cop out? When we do things like broaden our styles of music, or project worship information on a screen or a wall, are we dumbing down faith, cheapening it? Or are we using current technology in the way that Martin Luther utilized the new-fangled printing press to spread the word of God? Or, perhaps, is there something else altogether at stake?

And that is the challenge of Transfiguration, of trusting in a God who changes us more than we could ever change God. You see, the temptation of that moment on the mountain top is to stay there. Peter wants to build shrines, to preserve the spectacle in a way that it would last. The truth is that these moments are often fleeting. We get glimpses of heaven here. You know what I’m talking about. It’s the celebratory feeling of a full Sanctuary on Christmas Eve; or the intimate power of footwashing on Maundy Thursday; or the intellectual and spiritual challenge of Bible study; or the blessed gift of serving in the Food Pantry or Habitat or Journey or the Bargain Shop. There are moments in our life as a church that we are tempted to think, “If only it could be like this all of the time!” If only we could enshrine these moments and live within them now and forever. If only…

But that’s the thing: the purpose of these moments is not the possibility of their permanence. Their very power is in the fact that they are fleeting. The question is whether we are open to allowing them to change us…now and forever.

What is that moment today? Where is your glimpse of the kingdom going to be? Will you recognize it when you see it? Will you make room for it to change you?

via Changing God « i feast therefore i am.

Jerry Sandusky, faith, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, CNN Belief Blog: Although I did not attend this session, my cohort in crime did … And I came away wondering what was Sandusky’s faith and how had his faith home responded to the Sandusky’s crimes.  Did St. Paul’s United Methodist Church exhibit “moral courage?”

Ethical Action and the Penn State Scandal: Lessons for Lawyers

Kimberly J. Strom-Gottfried, Smith P. Theimann Distinguished Professor for Ethics and Professional Practice, UNC School of Social Work

this session will explore ethical issues raised by the Penn State football scandal, most particularly, the ethical dilemmas raised by actions by Jerry Sandusky in connection with the campus football program and Sandusky’s Second Mile charity developed to help disadvantaged young people.

Ed Zeiders, the senior pastor at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, did not shy away from addressing the conviction of his congregant and friend on child sex abuse charges, asking his congregation to “pray for all of those who are victims and for all of those who are predators.”

Zeiders began his sermon with a question.

“In light of the misery, sorrow and suffering we see, affecting every aspect of our life, within us, in the midst of us, and around us – what are we to do,” he asked. “The world needs an answer, our community deserves an answer, and we need to answer together what is the most efficacious way to move forward from here.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: the faith angles behind the big stories

Saying that the eyes of the nation are fixed on the State College community and, to some degree, on the community of St Paul’s, Zeiders said that “in the midst of the raging storms around us” the church had an opportunity.

“If ever a local congregation has been given a moment to…..reveal what it means to be Christian,” Zeiders said, “this is that congregation in this moment in history.”

Zeiders spoke to what he said was the transformative power and saving grace of God, making a connection between faith and ethical behavior. “If we are to claim Jesus as savior,” he said, “we must, without fail, come face-to-face with our own morality.”

via Sandusky’s pastor addresses conviction from pulpit – CNN Belief Blog – CNN.com Blogs.

Rep. Rick Nolan (MN -D), Constitutional Amendment, Citizens United: This will be interesting to watch.

A Democratic Minnesota congressman is introducing a constitutional amendment designed to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision in the Citizens United case that lifted many restrictions on corporate spending in political elections.

Rep. Rick Nolan unveiled the proposal on Monday along with members of Move to Amend, a grassroots coalition that has been seeking support on the local level in communities for the amendment. They say political campaign spending should not be a form of speech protected under the First Amendment.

The 2010 Citizens United ruling paved the way for a flood of campaign cash from corporations, unions and wealthy interests.

Any effort to amend the U.S. Constitution faces daunting hurdles.

Supporters of the Citizens United decision say it upholds the First Amendment guarantee of free speech.

via Rick Nolan, Minnesota Democrat, Unveils Constitutional Amendment To Overturn Citizens United.

Pioneers! O Space Pioneers!, Walt Whitman, NASA,  mashup, Brain Pickings:

“Conquering, holding, daring, venturing as we go the unknown ways, Pioneers! O pioneers!”

On the heels of yesterday’s animated adaptation of Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot and Ray Bradbury’s passionate case for space exploration earlier this week comes a dynamic mashup of Walt Whitman’s poem “Pioneers! O Pioneers!” and awe-inspiring footage of mankind’s cosmic triumphs. Conceived before Neil Armstrong’s passing but released this past Labor Day, the video pays homage to the beloved pioneer and casts a hopeful eye towards the future of space exploration.

via Pioneers! O Space Pioneers! A Walt Whitman + NASA Mashup | Brain Pickings.

Chicago, bars,  best bar in the world,  Roger Ebert, Roger Ebert’s Journal, The Canterbury Tales, Chaucer, The Host, The Geriatric Genius: I just like this Ebert post. 🙂

Bea’s gift inspired Bruce’s blog, The Geriatric Genius, in which Elliott shows himself in the direct line of descent from the Host in the 15th century The Canterbury Tales. Chaucer’s character is the central figure and narrator of the Tales, the one who knows all the others and is their common bond, yet rarely takes an active role during their pilgrimage. It is he who names them, convenes their nightly meetings, observes what they do, hears their secrets, and tells of their weaknesses.

And briefly, when the sun had gone to rest,

So had I spoken with them, every one,

That I was of their fellowship anon,

And made agreement that we’d early rise

To take the road, as you I will apprise.

But none the less, whilst I have time and space,

Before yet farther in this tale I pace,

It seems to me accordant with reason

To inform you of the state of every one

Of all of these, as it appeared to me,

And who they were, and what was their degree,

And even how arrayed there at the inn.

The Host relates the stories of such as the Wife of Bath, the Nun’s Priest, the Three Rioters and Old John the Carpenter, “who foolishly marries a lively young girl.” Bruce’s blog follows the nightly adventures of such regulars as Street Jimmy, Bruce Faggypants, Ruben Nine Toes, D Train, Porn Star, the Cougar, Buzzkill, Larry Asshole, Connie the Crack Whore, Craig the Drunk, Fatal Attraction, Sleepy John, Johnny Ale, and the Counselor, waging their battles against reality. Many people without code names also come in, including talent from Second City across the street and Zanie’s comedy club around the corner, and yuppies, cops, robbers and respectable yuppies–whose tales don’t interest Bruce. Yuppies visited the bar twice in the recent indie movie “Other Children,” which completely failed to capture its character.

via The best bar in the world that I know about – Roger Ebert’s Journal.

Commencement Speeches, lists, Conan O’Brien, failure, Brain Pickings:  I think my favorite is Conan’s …

For decades, in show business, the ultimate goal of every comedian was to host The Tonight Show. It was the Holy Grail, and like many people I thought that achieving that goal would define me as successful. But that is not true. No specific job or career goal defines me, and it should not define you. In 2000 — in 2000 — I told graduates to not be afraid to fail, and I still believe that. But today I tell you that whether you fear it or not, disappointment will come. The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality.

via 5½ Timeless Commencement Speeches to Teach You to Define Your Own Success | Brain Pickings.

St. Francis of Assisi, quotes, art, Rawforbeauty:

via Rawforbeauty.

Apple, Curved-Glass Smart Watch, Dick Tracy, Inspector Gadget , James Bond, NYTimes.com: Dick Tracy … Inspector Gadget  … James Bond … me 🙂

Dick Tracy and James Bond had watches that served as computers. Tim Cook of Apple wears a Nike FuelBand, which tracks his physical activity.

Dick Tracy had one. As did Inspector Gadget and James Bond. A watch that doubled as a computer, two-way radio, mapping device or television.

Though such a device has been lost to science fiction comics and spy movies of the era before smartphones, the smart watch might soon become a reality, in the form of a curved glass device made by Apple.

via Disruptions: Apple Is Said to Be Developing a Curved-Glass Smart Watch – NYTimes.com.

Les Miserables, Victor Hugo, civil war, Civil War, random, NYTimes.com: Random, but a very interesting tie-in …

Victor Hugo’s “Les Miserables” was published in 1862 and English translations of the five parts that constitute the novel began to appear in America by year’s end. Hugo had begun the sprawling novel in the 1840s, put it aside, and come back to complete it between 1860 and 1862. He was an opponent of slavery, and in 1859 defended John Brown. “Insurrection,” he said, was a “sacred duty.” In the novel, Hugo name-checked Brown in a list of celebrated revolutionaries that included Washington, Bolivar and Garibaldi. Hugo’s focus was the July Revolution of 1830, but it is possible he had the American conflict in mind when he wrote, “Civil war … What did the words mean? Was there any such thing as ‘foreign war?’ Was not all warfare between men warfare between brothers?”

via In Camp, Reading ‘Les Miserables’ – NYTimes.com

Jazzy Vegetarian, Public Television, Blog Talk Radio: I think I will have to record this … Jazzy Vegetarian, Season 2 on Public Television 02/06 by The Jazzy Vegetarian | Blog Talk Radio.

2013 snow storm,  NYC, Bloomberg:  6 more inches to NYC!

A fast-moving storm is expected to drop new snow from the mid-Atlantic area to southern New England, including New York City and Long Island, the day after tomorrow, according to Brian Edwards at AccuWeather Inc.

A “narrow band of nuisance snow” will spread from the Ohio River Valley into Washington, Baltimore and Philadelphia during the day Feb. 13, and snow may start in New York, Long Island and southern New England after dark, said Edwards, based in State College, Pennsylvania.

via Fast-Moving Storm May Bring 6 More Inches of Snow to NYC – Bloomberg.

Downton Abbey, #DowntonPBS, Twitter:  A few of my favorites from last night:

VANITY FAIR (@VanityFair)

2/10/13, 9:30 PM

Edith, post-Edwardian Gail Collins, hums “Stronger” while marching out of the newspaper offices. #DowntonPBS

2/10/13, 9:35 PM

Enrollment in the Downton Malfeasance Society now open to new members. Bring your brooms. #DowntonPBS

Laurel Ann Nattress (@Austenprose)

2/10/13, 9:47 PM

Mrs. Hughes now the new philosophical wit at Downton. #DowntonPBS

Laurel Ann Nattress (@Austenprose)

2/10/13, 10:01 PM

RT @EmmaDVelez: RT @theLadyGrantham: Well, that is an easy caveat to accept, because I am never wrong. #DowntonPBS




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