Written on 4:35 PM by Jack B.
News out of Hollywood is that with the failure of the series, Enterprise, and the lackluster box-office of the last Star Trek movie starring the Next Generation cast, that J.J. Abrams, of Lost fame, has been picked to helm Star Trek XI will be a whole new start to the franchise. The good news at least is that early reports that the film would be about a young Kirk and Spock in the Starfleet Academy have been denied by Abrams although he wouldn't rule it out entirely (that's the bad news). Let's just hope it doesn't go that way.
Kirk: Can you believe that? Uhura decided to go with Scotty to the Academy Dance.
Bones: Dammit, Jim. I’m a medical student, not a wingman.
Spock: Humans are illogical, Ensign.
Uhura: What can I say? Scotty knows how to beam a girl up...if you catch my meaning.
Scotty: It’s all in the Dilithium crystals. The girls canna resist it.
Chekov: You know we Russians invented dances.
Sulu: I heard Harry Mudd has some girls available. Tribbles too, if you’re into that.
Chapel: Why is everyone looking at me like that? That tribble thing was just a little experimentation. All academy girls do it. It doesn't mean I'm not straight...although I admit, I do find Vulcan ears very erotic. (Spock leaves the room, muttering something about catching the next flight back to Vulcan.)
Rand: Speak for yourself, Nursie...I’d love to go to the dance with you, Jim; maybe you’ll finally notice me.
Kirk: Who are you again? (Rand runs away crying)
Nameless Red Shirt: I’ve got a flying mission tomorrow, right before the dance. There’s only a .o1% chance of failure and death. I’m sure I'll be back in time for the dance, right? Right? Hey, where’s everybody going?
Lieutenant Christopher Pike: *Sigh* Kids these days.
Look, I know that because JJ Abrams is behind Lost and Alias that a lot of people have hope for a glorious new start for Star Trek. I’m not so sure. The Berman/Braga era of Trek is over but going back in time to a young Kirk and Spock reeks of something concocted in a Viacom Corporate office by suits who had never even seen most of the variations of the franchise. There are a lot of ways you could go with Starfleet, the Federation, the unexplored sectors of Space and instead of using their imagination, Paramount decides to go back to characters from the original series (which is almost 40 years old now). This could turn out to be a disaster of monumental proportions - can anyone imagine a young actor whose Kirk will not be a parody of William Shatter’s over-the-top carefully enunciated acting? Oh, boy. But then what can you expect from a Hollywood that has given us movie remakes of Starsky and Hutch, The Dukes of Hazzard and (now in-production) Dallas?
Written on 4:13 PM by Jack B.
Written on 8:56 PM by Jack B.
Written on 6:47 PM by Jack B.
Written on 9:06 PM by Jack B.
Written on 11:01 AM by Jack B.
My sisters were baptized and entered the Catholic Church this Easter Vigil. In addition the older of the two, the pregnant one, got married after Mass. Of course she was already married (since last year) but the first ceremony was (literally) a drive-by type in Las Vegas. This was the “religious” wedding.
Anyway, this Easter Vigil was a particularly long one - especially since they were getting baptized in a section of the Bronx (St. Brendan’s Parish) that I had never been in before. Took almost two hours to get up there to begin with so basically the whole preparing for the vigil thing was a day long event.
I was there, my parent were there as was my 86-year old Grandmother and my aunt (Mother’s sister), my older sister’s in-laws and some of their friends. Since my mother, grandmother and aunt are Jewish I wondered if they got bored or not and it didn’t help that it was unbearably hot inside the church. I was otherwise occupied with the little video camera trying to get footage of the baptisms, confirmations and weddding ceremony (I wasn’t that successful, I think).
It was a good turn-out, and the church was packed. St. Brendan’s is a largish modern building, built in the shape of a boat (i.e. for St. Brendan the Navigator) in a largely hispanic neighborhood although the parish itself is very integrated with large helping of Irish and Asian congregants. It’s interesting to go to a church you’ve never been in before and see what community life is like.
The service was conducted in both English and Spanish, with readings and hymns alternating in both languages. The church choir was very good. There were three priests and a deacon officiating - which in an age where priests are scarce is quite a feat. The Vigil Mass lasted over 3 hours so it took a lot of stamina, many others handled it better that I did. My sister Dee-Dee’s godparents were her in-laws, my sister Erica’s were her former boyfriend’s parents (who she has remained close to). At confirmation time (when they get their baptismal name) Erica got my father to be her sponsor (although getting him to go to church was a miracle in itself). The baptismal names they chose were Teresa (after St. Teresa of Avila) and Maria (after St. Maria Goretti). The main priest singled out two particular new Catholics - young African-American boys who attend the local Catholic school - who apparently decided on their own to convert to the Catholic Church. In a time when Cardinal Egan is preparing to close a bunch of Catholic schools, it was a good example of the evangelizing good (in addition to educational) that a Catholic education can produce. The Father also pointed out about three or four rows of young people (i.e. teenagers and 20somethings) who had been on Easter retreat the previous 3 days and would continue till Easter day itself, sleeping on the floor of the school auditorium, fasting and praying. They had apparently performed an out-door reinactment of Calvary on Good Friday as well as demonstrating (with signs) for pro-life causes (against the Iraq War, abortion, euthanasia, poverty). Got to admit I was impressed.
The wedding itself took all of 5 minutes (and another couple also said their vows). By that time everything was over it was 11:30 at night. Then we went to get pizza (hey, my sister was paying who am I to complain). No one noticed it at the time but pizza of course is made with leavened bread and this is Passover season, when leavened bread is a no-no. Oh, well there goes my fast. By the time I got home it was Easter Sunday already....and a few hours away from Easter Mass itself. Oh, well there goes my sleep.
I’m still not quite sure why my sisters converted. Neither has ever been particularly religious. My older sister married into a very Catholic Puerto Rican family that goes to Church every Sunday, and she’s expecting a baby girl, so that might have something to do with it. But the younger one converting was even more complexing to me. She actually traveled to the Bronx (where she does not live) to go to RCIA every Wednesday, which is very bizarre if you knew her and her fondness for clubbing or hanging out with her friends at pool halls and places like that. These two used to mock me unmercifully when we were younger and we first got EWTN and I would watch Mother Angelica and Father Pablo Straub (he of the giant crucifix while preaching) constantly. Not to mention my reading of the Bible, the writing of John Paul II and other Catholic books...and now...now they are more Catholics than me (i.e. I would rather watch Mass on TV than actually go to it). God truly does work in mysterious ways.
P.S. In case no one noticed the tie I was wearing in the picture above. Here's a close-up. Notice the praying hands holding a cross, surrounded by a big red heart. Yep, its a really tacky tie. I never wore it before although I've owned it literally for years. I mean, really, when would you get the opportunity to wear a tie like this? It was given to me by the younger of my sisters as either a birthday or Christmas present (I forget which). I think she meant it as a joke. The joke's on her - I finally have a reason to wear it - at her baptism. I was actually surprised by how much attention it got - the first thing my sisters said when they saw me was - "What are you wearing?"
P.S.S. Since Julie D. mentioned it in the comments, perhaps I should clarify that being raised in a mixed-religion household, my family celebrated both the Jewish and Christian/Catholic High Holy Days. So during Passover, my mother and sisters and I would try to avoid leavened bread and ate a lot of matzoh (which are really good and don't have a lot of calories). We weren't always too good at it but we tried. At the same time we went to church with my father (usually) during the Christian Holy Week. These days, I still try to observe the Passover fast but as mentioned above I'm not always successful.
Written on 10:32 AM by Jack B.
Written on 6:37 PM by Jack B.
Then the angel said to the women in reply, "Do not be afraid! I know that you are seeking Jesus the crucified.
He is not here, for he has been raised just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay.
Then go quickly and tell his disciples, 'He has been raised from the dead, and he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him.' Behold, I have told you."
Then they went away quickly from the tomb, fearful yet overjoyed, and ran to announce this to his disciples.
Written on 6:41 PM by Jack B.
Then he handed him over to them to be crucified. So they took Jesus, and carrying the cross himself he went out to what is called the Place of the Skull, in Hebrew, Golgotha.
There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus in the middle.
Pilate also had an inscription written and put on the cross. It read, "Jesus the Nazorean, the King of the Jews."
Now many of the Jews read this inscription, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, Latin, and Greek.
So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, "Do not write 'The King of the Jews,' but that he said, 'I am the King of the Jews.'"
Pilate answered, "What I have written, I have written."
When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they took his clothes and divided them into four shares, a share for each soldier. They also took his tunic, but the tunic was seamless, woven in one piece from the top down.
So they said to one another, "Let's not tear it, but cast lots for it to see whose it will be," in order that the passage of scripture might be fulfilled (that says): "They divided my garments among them, and for my vesture they cast lots." This is what the soldiers did.
Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son."
Then he said to the disciple, "Behold, your mother." And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.
After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I thirst."
There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth.
When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, "It is finished." And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit.
Written on 3:31 PM by Jack B.
Written on 3:26 PM by Jack B.
Written on 3:51 PM by Jack B.
Written on 11:42 AM by Jack B.
You begin to experiment with whatever liquids are at hand. Last night I was parched but I didn't feel like getting up for water so I finished up seperate bottles of Sprite and Lipton Brisk Iced Tea by just dumping them both (about equal amounts of each) into a glass, shake it a little (no need to stir), add some ice and suprisingly...it's pretty good.
Written on 11:14 AM by Jack B.
The NY Yankees kicked some Oakland A booty 15-2 (!) in the Opening Game on the 2006 baseball season.
A-Rod hit a grand slam. I have no doubt he’s going to have another MVP-type season this year, but the real question is whether he can get it done when the season is on the line. Until then he’s just PayRod.
Randy Johnson was great as well. Here’s a guy who’s over 40 and had an off-year last season and still had 17 wins! If Randy stays healthy I have no worries about him, ditto about the line-up and the bench, ditto about the baseball deity that is Mariano Rivera. The rest of the pitching staff however...well, that’s another story. I expect zip from Pavano and Wright (i.e. what they gave us last year) and just hope Chacon and Wang are just half as good as last season.
It’s not going to be easy; I have a feeling it’s going to be another roller-coaster ride and heartburn ahead. But at least that’s one down – now just 161 more games to go!
And oh yeah – the Mets won too. Whoop-de-doo.