Month: November 2007

Just a Few Things

Hey, it’s the holiday season. Heck, it’s Black Friday. If you’re going to Amazon, please go through the link on this blog. I get a kickback. It really adds up. Last year, I was able to use my credits to buy four DVDs of midget porn.
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Looking for a simple list of Christmas song lyrics? Go here.… Read the rest

A Fine Essay

My favorite essayist, Joseph Epstein, a man whose books line my library and whose style I study (painfully realizing that my simple lack of comparable erudition makes me unable to emulate him) has written a good essay about Thanksgiving. It’s not one of his best, but everything by him is good and I like this slant:

For some time in America we have, of course, been living under Kindergarchy, or rule by children. If children do not precisely rule us, then certainly all efforts, in families where the smallish creatures still roam, are directed to relieving their boredom if not (hope against hope) actually pleasing them.

Let us be thankful that Thanksgiving has not yet fallen to the Kindergarchy, as has just about every other holiday on the calendar, with the possible exceptions of Yom Kippur and Ramadan. Thanksgiving is not about children. It remains resolutely an adult holiday about grown-up food and drink and football.

He’s right. Thanksgiving, like Halloween, is ageist (yeah, it’s a word, a stupid neologism, but still a word). Halloween is all for the kids. Thanksgiving is all for the adults. When I was a kid, I always liked Thanksgiving but never really “got it.” Now that I’m an adult, I get it. From fathers leaving their children at home to drink on Black Wednesday; to ignoring the kids during the Lions game, while cooking dinner, while sleeping … Read the rest

Happy Thanksgiving

What a good year it’s been. Plenty to be thankful for, little to be upset about. Here’s the plate of quotes I like to present every year on this day:

“Gratitude is a fruit of great cultivation; you do not find it among gross people.” Samuel Johnson

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” G.K. Chesterton

“Gratitude is characteristic only of the humble. The egotistic are so impressed by their own importance that they take everything given them as if it were their due. They have no room in their hearts for recollection of the undeserved favors they received.” Fulton Sheen

“Draft day and Thanksgiving Day are the only good days to be a Detroit Lions fan.” Eric Scheske

Pray for the atheists today, their hardest day of the year. Anonymous

“When the stomach is full, it is easy to talk of fasting.” St. Jerome

“If the only prayer you said in your whole life was, ‘thank you,’ that would suffice.” Meister Eckhart… Read the rest

Brews You Can Use: Special Edition

They’re beginning to call it “Black Wednesday,” the biggest drinking night of the year, Thanksgiving Eve. The kids are home from college, the adults have four days off work.

I’ve been celebrating it with my father for at least fifteen years, since I moved back to town in 1992. Back then, we had to get to the honky tonk by 3:30 if we wanted a table. The place isn’t quite as crowded these days, but to be safe, we get there by 4:30. For the following five hours, an assortment of friends and family come through for drinks and food. It’s one of the most pleasant evenings of the year. And with a little luck and moderation, it won’t be followed by one of the nastiest mornings of the year.
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Best-named blog I’ve ran across lately: The Thirsty Gargoyle. I can’t vouch for its content, but it looked decent.
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These guys need a Black Wednesday: Beer sales in English pubs have slumped to their lowest level since the 1930s, brewery representatives have said. Of course, they don’t have Thanksgiving Day over there, though I’ve always liked Chesterton’s comment that they should: Just as America is thankful the Puritans came to America, England is thankful they left. (Puritans were a rather difficult lot, our Rockwell vision of them notwithstanding, and it’s no coincidence that their intellectual descendants today are secularist … Read the rest

Increased Traffic

My traffic almost doubled the last two days, but I can’t figure out why: no new incoming links, the com boxes are slow, no email from someone saying he saw my blog linked at rosieodonnel.com. If you know why my traffic has jumped (besides the obvious: my good looks and the charisma that drips off the screen), please let me know.
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Two weeks ago, I said the practice of law is like having a bar with ten stools. When the ten stools are full with paying customers, you don’t want to give away drinks to a non-paying customer. Well, it’s been standing room only at my office the past two weeks, but not today. I’d say the bar is half full, and I’m itching for the four (okay, five) day weekend. Two weeks of heavy lifting is about to give way to heavy hoisting. I’m more excited than Ted Kennedy in a cat house.
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The hooking-up culture at college. This article and other things I’ve heard lead me to believe that dating is truly dead at colleges and universities. Is that really the case? I just kind of assumed that promiscuity was higher than it was in the 1970s and 1980s, but college kids still dated and often declined sexual activity until they dated someone for awhile (and a few declined activity altogether until they married). The way this article reads, every … Read the rest

Monday Miscellany

It’s been a brutal period at the office: worked until 8:00 Friday night, worked a few hours Saturday morning, brought work home with me, worked 90 minutes Sunday morning (a formerly-strict prohibition due to my desire to keep the Sabbath holy) and thirty minutes Sunday afternoon. On top of that, I had the kids all afternoon Friday and all day Saturday (my wife keeps going out of town), and I had to attend a party/meeting Saturday night. Remember Bobby Knight’s advice about what to do when rape is inevitable? Well, that’s kind of the way I felt.

So I just turned off. All the things I like to do (primarily, reading and writing) were tossed aside. And you know what? It wasn’t bad. Someone once said it adds greatly to the leisure of life not to pick up a book every time you sit down. He’s right. My ongoing study of political philosophy? Phsaw, I have to clean the house. That book about the saints? Screw it, I have to drink beer. B16’s Jesus of Nazareth? Not when the kids are sleeping: that’s my sleeping time.

Quite frankly, it was liberating. Mind damaging, yes, but liberating. I don’t know how happy I could be pursuing such a life all the time, but it makes me wonder if my time spent with books (which is seriously about 1/4th of what it used to be) is … Read the rest

Something for Sunday Morning

“Humility is the safeguard of chastity. In the matter of purity, there is no greater danger than not fearing danger. When a person puts himself in an occasion of sin, saying, “I shall not fall,” it is almost an infallible sign that he will fall, and with great injury to his soul. We must specifically and regularly pray for God’s assistance and not rely on our own strength.”

St. Philip Neri… Read the rest

Some Saturday Stuff

One of the more intriguing new blogs I’ve seen: Old World Swine by artist Timothy Jones, whose interests include Catholic faith, fine art, hiking, camping, brewing, bread and cheese, the usual dead British suspects (Chesterton, Belloc, Tolkien, Lewis), old movies, and pipe smoking. He’s also a TDE reader and one of its more clever combox users.
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Trying to do “24” in 1994. Get past the first 60 seconds, then it’s hilarious.
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A friend sent me the link to the “Paleoconservative” entry at Wikipedia. It’s pretty good. I especially liked the “Southern tradition” sub-entry. Excerpt:

The Gettysburg Address was brilliant oratory, but it was also political subterfuge. As H.L. Mencken pointed out, it was the Southerners who were fighting for the consent of the governed and it was Lincoln’s government that opposed them. They no longer consented to being governed by Washington, DC. Lincoln’s admonition that government “of the people, by the people, for the people” would perish from the earth if the right of secession were sustained was equally absurd. The United States remained a democracy, and the Confederate States of America would have been a democratic country as well. Lincoln’s notion that secession would “destroy” the government of the United States is also bizarre in light of the fact that after secession took place the US government fielded the largest and best-equipped army and navy in the history of the

Read the rest