Another Meme

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Written on 10:44 AM by Jack B.

Tagged by the Holy Fool

The Meme: Quote the Gospel verses of your birthday

Matthew 1:13 Zerubbabel the father of Abiud. Abiud became the father of Eliakim, Eliakim the father of Azor

Mark 1:13 and he remained in the desert for forty days, tempted by Satan. He was among wild beasts, and the angels ministered to him.

Luke 1:13
But the angel said to him, "Do not be afraid, Zechariah, because your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall name him John

John 1:13 who were born not by natural generation nor by human choice nor by a man's decision but of God.

All verses courtesy of The New American Bible via the USCCB's website

Once again I tag everybody. Yes that means YOU! Now you have no excuses not to do it.

Haiku #119

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Written on 9:02 AM by Jack B.

Weatherly changes
Makes me all hot and bothered
Even though it's cold

Apophysis: Unravel II - Riding the Snake

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Written on 4:56 PM by Jack B.

Haiku #118

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Written on 6:50 AM by Jack B.

Hits like tidal waves
Drowning out all the senses
What depression does

New Top 10 Meme (Better Late than Never)

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Written on 10:12 PM by Jack B.

Tagged by Carmel at Winterr's words

The meme:
MY TOP TEN GREATEST INFLUENCES, OUTSIDE OF GOD AND MY FAMILY MEMBERS!

1. Dr. Harold Kraman - Dr. Kraman was the man who, over a quarter of a century now, literally brought me into the world and he remains my GP to this day. When I get the slightest bit sick its Dr. Kraman I go to, even if he doesn't take insurance and I know it'll cost me. But he cares. Not only about me but about all his patients. When I had an ear infection as a child, it was he who sent me to a specialist (and by doing so, saved my hearing). When I was feeling like I wanted to die and my body wouldn't do what I was telling it to, it was he who diagnosed clinical depression and got me on the road to (ongoing) recovery. Even when I had my doubts about what I wanted to do with my life, whether to go to Grad School or something else, it was Dr. Kraman who gave me advice (Mrs. Kraman too!). He's got to be in his 70s now and close to retiring but for now I'm glad to be treated by a dying breed in America (thanks to HMOs and Insurance) - the urban family doctor.

2. Jehanne la Pucelle (St. Joan of Arc) - Illiterate, impetuous, incredible. Mark Twain once wrote "she is easily and by far the most extraordinary person the human race has ever produced" and I couldn't agree with him more. The historical personage I'd love to meet most in Heaven (other than Moses and Jesus), Jehannne (as she signed herself) defies all description...and what's more her life is more well documented than either Christ or the various Caesars(what with her trial with her own testimony and the re-trial after her death with testimony by those who knew her). Saviour of her country at 17, wrongfully burned at 19 and canonized 500 years later....500 years to acknowledge what everybody already knew.

3. Jackie Robinson - When I was in 1st grade we had to pick our role models and I picked Jackie Robinson, the Brooklyn Dodger who broke the color line in baseball. This was just the beginning of the next few decades of civil rights struggle and it started here. Jackie was a great player but he wasn't the greatest player who could have been chosen, but he WAS the greatest man....and great men are few and far between - in baseball and the world.

4. Simone Weil - Sometimes when I feel like I can't express what I'm going through, she got through it first. The spiritual wasteland and doubt and need, the solidarity with the oppressed, the disillusionment in politics, the love of family and the love of scholarship. She was "waiting on God" to the end, sometimes it seems so am I.

5. Francesco Bernadone (St. Francis of Assisi) - Has anyone else truly lived the Christian life as described in the gospels as St. Francis did? As any saint inspired more over the centuries? Just imagine what the the last 1000 years in the Western World without his influence (for the better) - I certainly can't.

6. Pope John Paul II- I remember when John Paul II came to New York the last time during the lifetime of Cardinal O'Connor. He preached at Giants Stadium and in Queens and in St. Pat's and in Central Park. By that time his speech was already slowing, he needed a cane to work and the Parkinson's that later came to dominate him was evident. He was both attacked in the media and lauded and just sailed through it all - preaching the gospel of Jesus. Unwavering and unbowed, even in his slight, slumped over frame I thought he was the strongest man in the world. In his life was the history of the 20th century (both its horrors and its hope) writ small. When he died I couldn't believe because I thought he would live to 100, because he was even stronger than that. Sometimes I still can't believe he's not Pope.

7. Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta - You know why some (very few) people didn't like her? Because she was a woman who believed fully in the teaching of the Big Bad Vatican and the mean old celibate pope. What's more she put those words into action, helping the sick and the destitute, the unborn and the old and dying. She did what those criticized her did not and she did it all her life and never uttered a harsh word in return. What's even more is that thousands upon thousands flocked to her. In an age of secularism and disbelief, she was a living saint, showing that it was indeed possible to be one in this day and age. Some hated her for it but most (like myself) loved her instead.

8. Pope Benedict XVI - If JP2 was an idealistic mystic, then Joseph Ratzinger is the Christian realist. He understands that Europe will probably will never be Christendom again, he understands the weakness of choosing bad bishops and he understands those that hate the Church just because they do. I've always admired him (largely because he was constantly attacked by people who didn't know him - and I always root for the underdog). But now that I've seen him in action, on the world stage at age 78, and not shrinking back but making Christianity more relatable than ever...I'm beginning to believe in this Holy Spirit choosing the Pope thing.

9. Therese Martin (St. Therese L'Enfant Jesus, the Little Flower) - My spiritual sister if not my biological one. She was born into a deeply Catholic bourgeois family in 19th century provincial France while I was born into a non-religious family in 20th century urban New York City and yet I feel as if she speaks to me personally. If I had to pick one book (other than the Bible) I would want with me on a desert island it would be The Story of a Soul. It's spiritual food that never stops giving.

10. Vibia Perpetua (St. Perpetua of Carthage) - Thrown to the lions in the arena in Carthage in 203 AD, the Martyrdom of St. Perpetua, St. Felicitas, and their Companions is one of the most authentic first-hand account of early Christian martyrs. St. Perpetua's prison diary which ends just before her beheading by a clumsy executioner, the earliest writing by a Christian woman. Here's an excerpt:
"While I was still with my companions, and my father in his affection for me was trying to turn me from my purpose by arguments and so weaken my faith, 'Father,' said I, 'do you see this vessel, water pot or whatever it may be? . . . Can it be called by any other name than what it is?" No,' he replied. 'So also I cannot call myself by any other name than what I am, a Christian.'
And that was over 1,800+ years ago. Yet still powerful. I wish I had such faith.
This is not to mention the great professors I've had over the years like Mike Nolin, Carey Harrison, Liz Weis, and Roni Natov, all of whom have had a great deal to do with my creative and intellectual growth but none of whom I could chose over others.
As to who I'm tagging, well if you're reading this and you haven't done it yet - consider yourself tagged by me. Really. It'll give you an excuse to write.

Apophysis: Pinwheel II (aka The Alien Pods Send Out A Distress Signal)

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Written on 9:14 PM by Jack B.

Apophysis: Earth Forces Open Up a Black Hole With Gamma Waves Trapping the Alien Pods

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Written on 12:19 AM by Jack B.

Haiku #117

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Written on 4:45 PM by Jack B.

Egads, is it cold!
My ears have gotten frostbite
Should have worn a hat

Apophysis: The Final Battle

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Written on 4:41 PM by Jack B.

Haiku #116 - For Thanksgiving Day

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Written on 12:04 PM by Jack B.

Thankful for this life
We eat, drink and be merry
If just for a day
Raise up your glasses
Filled with cider and with tears
Thoughts of those not here
Let all who can come
Even with means that are few
We'll try to make do
Chairs that need filling
Widen tables of plenty
New circle of friends
More than turkey day
So celebrate the living
On this Thanksgiving
HAPPY THANKSGIVING EVERYONE!

Apophysis: Pinwheel I

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Written on 11:15 PM by Jack B.

Haiku #115

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Written on 4:04 PM by Jack B.

Chill is obvious
Yet still we lie to ourselves
Dressing for the sun

Haiku #114

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Written on 9:35 AM by Jack B.

Every season
The Jets find a way to lose
Why bother watching?

Quotes I Like #4

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Written on 3:05 PM by Jack B.

Men have a much better time of it than women. For one thing they marry later. For another thing, they die earlier.
- H.L. Menken

Apophysis: Last Earth Starfighter Escapes Alien Pods

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Written on 2:59 PM by Jack B.

Apophysis: Bunnies to Infinity

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Written on 10:51 PM by Jack B.

Apophysis Beta: Blue Jay

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Written on 10:10 AM by Jack B.

Haiku #113 - On the CMA Awards last night in NYC

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Written on 10:08 AM by Jack B.

No country music
Radio stations in town
Yet awards show here?

Apophysis Beta: The Alien Pods Now Have The Earth in the Palm of Their Hands

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Written on 10:39 AM by Jack B.

Haiku #112

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Written on 10:34 AM by Jack B.

Buses always late
Never here when supposed to
Then arrive in twos

Apophysis Beta: The Alien Invasion Begins...

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Written on 4:16 PM by Jack B.

Happy Belated Birthday to My Grandmother

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Written on 8:54 AM by Jack B.

Happy Belated Birthday to my Grandmother who turned 86 years young last Wednesday. She's still sharp, active and ever supportive (especially to me). I don't know what I'd do without her in my life.

I actually forgot all about her birthday, becauase she doesn't like to stress her birthday and she NEVER admits her real age. She thinks we (her family) don't even know how old she really is but we do. But I apologize for forgetting.

Anyway, Happy Birthday, Grandma and many more. You rock and I love you!!*


*Grandma has never actually read this blog but I wanted to say that anyway.

Haiku #111

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Written on 8:52 AM by Jack B.

Think before you speak
Jumbling of words is common
I do it all the time

I am one of the few Numenoreans left...

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Written on 8:50 AM by Jack B.

Numenorean
Numenorean


To which race of Middle Earth do you belong?
brought to you by Quizilla

Hat tip to Julie at Happy Catholic

Apophysis Beta: Alien Pod Attacks

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Written on 6:30 PM by Jack B.

More proof the FOX TV network is run by illiterate monkeys...

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Written on 6:26 PM by Jack B.


FOX (or as I call it FUX) has cancelled the only series (apart from 24) that I actually watch on that network (usually known for such schlock as Joe Millionaire and My Big Fat Obnoxious Boss), Ron Howard's Arrested Development - which is the smartest, funniest (at times sickest) and most entertaining "sitcom" on TV today. The kind of show people will be watching and laughing at 20 years from now.

In the meantime the same-old same-old mediocre trash keeps getting renewed for another season. No wonder the broadcast networks keep losing viewers - it execs are really just overgrown chimpanzees in Brooks Brothers suits.

Crying "Uncle"

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Written on 5:48 PM by Jack B.

I am gobsmacked! Stunned. Speechless. Yesterday (Saturday Night) I heard some of the most shocking news I've ever heard in my life - one of my younger sisters is expecting a baby. I am going to be an uncle!

Perhaps this may not seem like news but I come from a pretty small family and we haven't had a child born into it in well over a decade. In other words a generation has passed without a kid. And now this. The same little shrimp I used to try to boss around when we were kids until she (literally) learned how to fight (and bite) back is going to be a mother. I'm very happy for her, of course, but also a little P.Oed that she didn't bother to tell me (or anyone else apparently) for almost two months! She says this was just in case of a miscarriage or something but still...I've seen her several times in the last two months and she has said NOTHING. Nor even given a hint of it. And apparently this was a planned child to boot (something else she didn't tell anyone about). You know, my sister only got married earlier this year (in a sudden drive-by wedding in Las Vegas) and now she's expecting a child. Not only that but she's popular with lots of friends, a great (and well-paying) job she got out of college and she (like me) is also going for her Master's degree right now. Her life, unlike mine, is both busy and going pretty great.

I'm a little jealous I admit. I'm older, closing in on 30 and my life goes something like this: Work, School, Sleep, then Repeat. But I'm happy about this baby, really I am. As a matter of fact maybe some form of ESP told me this was going to happen since I wrote this little piece on the development of an unborn child on September 19th - at about the same exact same time my sister was told she was pregnant! Obviously I'm psychic and this means the child should be named after me but somehow I don't think my sis was convinced by that argument.

*Sigh* Oh well, here's a picture of my future niece or nephew. Right now he/she looks like a large black blob but I suppose over time he/she'll will grow to be better looking:

Apophysis Beta: The Alien Pod

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Written on 5:34 PM by Jack B.

Apophysis Beta: Inside An Alien Pod

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Written on 4:11 PM by Jack B.

Apophysis: Alien Pod Hideout

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Written on 10:15 PM by Jack B.

Apophysis Beta: A Fishing Boat Lets Its Nets Out

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Written on 10:09 PM by Jack B.

Quotes I Like #3

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Written on 7:42 PM by Jack B.

The French are just useless. They can't organize a piss-up in a brewery.

- Elton John

Apophysis Beta: Land Bridge

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Written on 7:25 PM by Jack B.

Note: This was created by the new Apophysis 2.03 Beta software which is so much better than the old one and yet more complicated to learn! Ai yi yi! Thanks to Trée for letting me know it was out there.

Haiku #110

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Written on 11:11 AM by Jack B.

Leaves fall on the ground
But put them in your pocket
Leaves crumble to dust

Apophysis: Morning Cup of Coffee

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Written on 11:05 AM by Jack B.

Haiku #109

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Written on 10:59 AM by Jack B.

To Nod I travel
Catching rides on fairy wings
Till the day awakes

Chaoscope: Light from the Heavens

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Written on 10:30 AM by Jack B.

Chaoscope: Blown Glass

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Written on 10:23 AM by Jack B.

Haiku #108

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Written on 10:22 AM by Jack B.

Neck sprain killing me
Pain's just a four-letter word
And not a nice one

Photoshopped Me

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Written on 4:39 PM by Jack B.

The avatar in my profile is actually that of a young Pope John Paul II. He looks very cool and that's how I wanted to remember him after his death (which happened at about the time I started this blog). I haven't bothered to change it to honor him and because the picture could be pretty much anyone (unless you look too close).

I haven't posted an actual picture of MYSELF mainly because

a) I take horrible pictures (really, I can't find one I like of me past the age of 12)

and

b) As I've mentioned I was always nervous that friends and family would actually read this blog which would make more nervous about what I might or might not write. As it turns out though, that hasn't been the case. Even family members who know I have a blog don't read it! Ah well, to heck with it then.

This picture was taken outside my college campus just a couple of months ago. Its not a great picture (like I said I don't take flattering pictures) but thanks to the wonders of Adobe Photoshop I can pretty much take out all the messy features (AKA most of my face), colorize it and make a picture I actually like. Personally, I've fallen in love with Photoshop (the expensive version with all the fancy effects). It's installed on the computer I use at work and I sometimes find myself idly manipulating photos for the heck of it. Just like THIS one.

Edited to add: Special Thanks to Trée at Decadent Tranquility for this beautiful Apophysis portrait of me or at least the Pope version of me. I blush at the honor. Or I would blush - if I wasn't so blue. Heh. Heh.

Quotes I Like #2

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Written on 3:42 PM by Jack B.

If only God would give me a clear sign! Like making a large deposit in my name in a Swiss bank.
- Woody Allen

Apophysis: Sacred Heart

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Written on 3:40 PM by Jack B.

Apophysis: Handbag

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Written on 3:39 PM by Jack B.

Apophysis: Trée

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Written on 6:09 PM by Jack B.

Haiku #107 - Soylent Green

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Written on 11:37 AM by Jack B.

Soylent Green for sale
I wonder what it's made of
Hmm...tastes like chicken

Can I have some more?
No! Don't eat that! It's people!
Soylent Green's people!

Apophysis: Soylent Green is People!

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Written on 11:36 AM by Jack B.

Haiku #106

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Written on 10:36 AM by Jack B.

I loathe cigarettes
Smoking's not good for your health
If it's in my face

Chaoscope: The Long March

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Written on 9:20 PM by Jack B.

Apophysis: Keyhole

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Written on 10:35 AM by Jack B.

Haiku #105: For All Saints Day

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Written on 1:41 PM by Jack B.

Those who've gone before
Circle of friends from beyond
Unseen by my side

Pray for me, all saints
Alive on Earth and in Heaven
God knows I need it