Happy New Year's Eve! Bye, Bye '06! Don't Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out!


Written on 7:51 PM by Jack B.

I hope everyone celebrates the coming new year in style (don't drink too much though - I'll do that for both of us *Ha, Ha*) and has a wonderful 2007!
And a Happy Eid to Muslims everywhere as well.

Haiku #226


Written on 7:46 PM by Jack B.

So long December
You come and go so quickly
Come again next year

A Happy and Joyous Christmas to Everyone!


Written on 2:22 PM by Jack B.

How long has it been
Who knows the true date
When a child was born
That would change the world’s fate

No room at the inn
In old Bethlehem
For good carpenter, Joseph
And his wife, Miriyam

In a manger
Where animals once lay
Was born the babe
On that unknown day

It is said only shepherds heard
The angels thanksgiving song
And went to see the baby
Taking their flocks along

2000 years since then
Around the winter solstice
Comes a day especially chosen
And they called it Christmas

But is it really Christmas?
Or was it yesterday?
Does it really matter?
Who’s to say?
Live life to the fullest and...
Have a very Happy, Holy Day!

*please forgive my crude drawing of the Virgin with Child - obviously art was never my best subject

Haiku #225


Written on 7:39 PM by Jack B.

Over the radio
Come carols rather than rock
First sign of Christmas

O, Christmas Tree, O, Christmas Tree...


Written on 11:16 PM by Jack B.

You Are a Tree

You love every part of the holidays, down to the candy canes and stockings. And you're goofy enough to put a Christmas tree ornament on your tree!

It's not that far off, you know. Yeah I know Christmas trees are basically some pagan tradition from Germany co-opted for the holiday season but I love them anyway. Christmas isn't Christmas, if there's no tree.

Here's a picture of this year's Christmas Tree 2006 at my home:No angel at the top this year and no flashing lights nor the chirping bird noises usually put into the tree. But it's not that bad - and my sister did it anyway, so I take no responsibility. I'm too lazy to do anything but throw tinsel around. Ha, ha.

Haiku #224


Written on 10:07 PM by Jack B.

Festival of lights
Begins tonight at sundown
Happy Hanukkah!

Haiku #223 - Why I've Been Absent Lately


Written on 10:31 AM by Jack B.

Less time studying
More writing till hand falls off
That's Grad School for you

Haiku #222


Written on 11:25 AM by Jack B.

Winter has arrived
Suddenly swept into town
Bringing in the cold

Haiku #221


Written on 11:09 PM by Jack B.

Was a long weekend
Lounging, shopping, some other stuff
Back to the real world

Accent? I don't have an accent!


Written on 6:22 PM by Jack B.

What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Northeast

Judging by how you talk you are probably from north Jersey, New York City, Connecticut or Rhode Island. Chances are, if you are from New York City (and not those other places) people would probably be able to tell if they actually heard you speak.


The Inland North

The Midland

The South


The West

North Central

What American accent do you have?
Take More Quizzes

This quiz seems to be scarily accurate (in my case at least).
Hat tip to Christus Vincit for the link.

Haiku #220 - For Thanksgiving


Written on 5:38 PM by Jack B.

Past year has been filled
Losses and disappointments
Kept close to the heart

Yet still be grateful
So long as hope still remains
There is abundance

More than just turkey
Food is symbol of blessings
Happy Thanksgiving

Haiku #219


Written on 10:07 AM by Jack B.

An old axiom
What is treasure in some eyes
Just junk to others

Just upgraded to Blogger Beta and Firefox 2.0


Written on 11:09 PM by Jack B.

Firefox 2.0 seems to be basically the same things as the old Firefox now with a brand new number at the end and Blogger Beta in addition to being a little buggy is hellava annoying - I have to log in using my Gmail account everytime I want to log onto blogger instead of my old blogger account? Well, that sucks. Sometimes upgrading for the sake of upgrading is just not worth it.

It's Easy to be a Pimp in NYC


Written on 8:24 PM by Jack B.

I photographed this dude last week talking on the phone and trying to hail a cab on Broadway... and it wasn't even Halloween! One of the reasons I love living in New York - its the only place where something like this would be seen as normal.

Thoughts on the election results...


Written on 7:56 PM by Jack B.

The Republicans got wacked at the polls no big surprise... Im sure some good and decent Republicans got kicked out who didnt deserve it, buts thats politics. The people wanted a change (especially in Iraq) and voting is basically the only way most people can send a message. The Democrats didnt do anything to get elected; they were just the default position for those who wanted to kick out the GOP. Now lets see if the Democrats can do anything new (I doubt it). Do I sound disillusioned? I am. I voted but only because it was my civic duty, NYC is basically a one-party city (even our Republican mayor was a Democrat who switched parties because it was easier to get through a Republican primary) so everyone knows whos going to win here anyway.

The one thing I was upset at was the deceptive pro-cloning constitutional amendment passing in Missouri passing by under 50,000 votes. People (mostly wealthy individuals and biotech companies) outspent the anti-Amendment 2 people (which included most churches) by something like $28 million to $3 million. The bill itself was something like 30+ pages long and most people hadnt read the whole thing yet they had no problem making it part of their constitution. Oy Vey. The bill purported to ban cloning but only in the implantation in an actual womb. If someone read further down it specifically allows GOVERNMENT FUNDS for the cloning to infinity of human embryos outside the womb for medical research. In other words the creation of embryos just for the sake of destroying them for their stem cells. What ever happened to only using frozen embryos in fertility clinics since there was SO MANY of them going unused? Why do you need to clone embryos, create dozens more, all just to destroy them? Like I said deceptive.

Haiku #218


Written on 7:39 PM by Jack B.

The elections done

Goodbye campaign commercials

Bad civil discourse

Haiku #217 - For Halloween


Written on 10:22 PM by Jack B.

On All Hallows’ Eve
Freaks come out of the woodwork
Scouring the town

Dressed for a party
Dressed for havoc and mischief
Dressed to trick and treat

Goblins and sprits
Are they real or just costumes
Who can really tell

Careful with candy
Get home before the full moon
Happy Halloween!

Haiku #216


Written on 4:08 PM by Jack B.

I let myself go
Not paying close attention
Hope it's not too late

Long Time No Blog...


Written on 3:17 PM by Jack B.

I haven’t blogged in a long, long time (it seems to me, at any rate). I’ve had some personal issues to deal with that occupied my attention. At work, I’m on a deadline with a particular project to get it down before November begins. At school, I’ve got two term papers to write (and a large annotated bibliography to hand it to my professor – again at the beginning of November.

One of my term papers is on St. Elizabeth of Schonau – the choice was entirely mine to make. I could have picked a more accessible medieval writer like Chaucer or Marie de France or somebody but I chose St. Elizabeth (well, she’s never been formally canonized but they still call her that anyway). My main problems deal with the paucity of secondary sources on her – despite the revival of interest in female medieval mysticism she just hasn’t been a major topic of scholarly study.

Then there is the health issues I’ve been dealing with. Now don’t get me wrong I feel fine (mostly) but it seems years and years of putting things off is coming back to bite me. First, I’ve finally decided to get my teeth fixed – they’ve been crooked for as long as I can remember and I probably should have gotten braces when I was a teenager like everybody else does but...I put it off. Now I have finally made the decision to get them straightened there is no turning back from what’s ahead – which included the extraction of 8 teeth (four of which are impacted wisdom teeth that will require oral surgery), then the wearing of braces for 2 ½ years, then a retainer at night for the rest of my life.....nice, huh? Not to mention the nearly $6,000 its going cost me ($2,000 of that as a down payment) since my insurance doesn’t cover orthodontics. I’m on a student budget as it is, this is going to wipe out what’s left of my savings account.

Then there was the news I got yesterday during what I assumed would be a regular yearly check-up. Turns out I have hypertension (i.e. high blood pressure) and while I have been on the borderline for many years, now I have gone over it. So I have to take blood pressure pills (one a day), my gosh I feel like my mother now (her doctors keep prescribing her all kinds of pill – most of which she is dubious about needing). Hypertension is known as a “silent killer” because there are really no warning symptoms to let you know you have it other than getting your blood pressure (and blood) tested regularly. My doctor says I’m lucky because I’m young enough to halt it before I get a stroke, or heart attack or blood clot or something (trust me, the alternatives have been all I can think of since). It all depends, of course, on me changing my own behavior.

He sent me to a dietician – it seems if I want to lower my blood pressure, stop taking pills and save my life, I have to start eating healthier, cutting down on sugar and salt and carbs. Apparently eating junk food and Coca-Cola as your breakfast, lunch and dinner is NOT healthy (who knew?), in addition to the half-dozen cups of coffee/tea with at least 2 packets of sugar apiece I treat myself to at work. My lack of any exercise (I sit behind a computer all day at work, a desk all day in class, and then I just flop into bed) doesn’t help either. Of course the fact that I have gained 20 pounds in less than two years after an entire adult life of having my weight at a stable (and much, much slimmer) 143 lbs. should have been my first clue to change my habits. But that is easier said than done, isn’t it? It just takes discipline – something I’m not really experienced at. Let’s see how it goes.

Oh and did I mention I also seem to have dry eye? Looks like I’m going to have get some of those artificial tears.

I know it seems silly. Lots and lots of people are going through horrible, sad, heart-breaking times in their lives right now and I’m complaining about this (which in comparison doesn’t seem so bad). It just seems to me that all my sins are catching up to me. Sloth and Gluttony, they are more deadly than even Lust or Pride.

Yankees Collapse Again, Time For a Shake-Up


Written on 2:58 PM by Jack B.

So once again the NY Yankees get fabulously destroyed in the playoffs by a team that was considered the underdog – in this case the Detroit Tigers who just a few years ago lost more than 100 games. After a good opening Game 1 it seemed this series would be easy, after the Yankees had collected one of the greatest hitting line-ups in baseball history, right? Think again, The Tigers pitching just silenced the Yankees bats (even, to add insult to injury, by former Yankee and Yankee fan target, Kenny Rogers). At the same time the Yankee starting pitching couldn’t give away runs fast enough.

Geography Meme


Written on 11:58 PM by Jack B.

Tagged by Carmel (of course!)

1. A Place You've Visited and Your Favorite Thing there.
Hershey, Pennsylvania - I loved the the chocolate factory (duh!)

2. A Country You'd Like to Visit and Why
Italy, centuries of history just waiting to be discovered there (by me)

3. A Place From History You'd Like to Visit and Why
If we're talking the future I'd love to see NYC 200 years from now, in the past it would have to be Rome when Michaelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel, in present day I'd love to see the Scottish Highlands.

4. A Place You Know A Lot About
New York, New York. The city so nice, they named it twice. :)

5. A Place You'd Like to Learn More About
Greenland (which ain't all that green)

6. A Fictional Place You'd Like to Visit
L. Frank Baum's Oz (book version, not movie), I'd love to live in the Emerald City with Dorothy, Ozma, the Wizard, the Scarecrow and the Patchwork Girl.

Tagging whoever wants to do this, consider it coming from me.

Ironic considering I'm studying Literature for my Master's right now....


Written on 11:47 PM by Jack B.

You Should Get a PhD in Liberal Arts (like political science, literature, or philosophy)

You're a great thinker and a true philosopher.
You'd make a talented professor or writer.

Via Jamie

Not the City I Would Have Guessed....


Written on 11:47 PM by Jack B.

You Belong in Amsterdam

A little old fashioned, a little modern - you're the best of both worlds. And so is Amsterdam.
Whether you want to be a squatter graffiti artist or a great novelist, Amsterdam has all that you want in Europe (in one small city).

Haiku #215


Written on 2:54 PM by Jack B.

Others used as tools
To expend pain, destruction
The face of evil

The Major League Playoffs Start Today


Written on 2:05 PM by Jack B.

The baseball playoffs start today. Even though the Yankees basically waltzed into the post-season playing mediocre ball, they are facing a Detroit Tiger team that is inexperienced and blew a double digit lead and the Central Division title at the end of the season despite being in first place for almost the entire year. Still, Jim Leyland is a great manager and the Tigers have good young pitching. On the other side we have Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter (‘nuff said). Here’s hoping PayRod finally comes through with the season on the line. I’m crossing my finger on this one. Here’s also hoping the A’s get rid of the Twins. I know I don’t want the Yanks to face the Twin pitching in a 7 game series.

As for the Mets, with Pedro Martinez gone, its going to be a bit harder. Glavine’s going to have to step up. I have no doubts about the Met line-up versus the Dodgers. Any team from the National League West doesn’t exactly inspire fear in a New York fan. The Padres and the Cardinals should make an interesting series. Initially the Cards should be the odd-on favorite but they stumbled into the playoffs, letting Houston back into the race, while the Padres pretty much controlled their own destiny in winning the West.


I don’t understand this kind of evil...


Written on 11:50 PM by Jack B.

Simply horrifying. If even Amish children aren't safe, then no one is (as if we have to be reminded of that fact).

I think Rod Dreher put it best: "It's an old, old question, and there is no good answer for it, but it haunts me on a day like today: Why does God allow this to happen? Those little girls, in an Amish schoolhouse. All those children, seeing their classmates slaughtered like animals. Why? I know there's no answer for this. But that doesn't make the question go away."

You think you can get used to it when these sort of things happen. But I never do...and thank God for that because it lets me know I'm still capable of feeling.

Updated: Five Young Girls Dead
Sweet Jesus.

Celebrating Yom Kippur


Written on 8:50 PM by Jack B.

Since sundown has passed here in NYC, the Jewish High Holiday of Yom Kippur has passed. Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, is the holiest day on the Jewish calendar and is the one I take the most seriously (not that I come from a religious background or anything - but I at least make an effort). On this day, one prays and fasts for 24 hours, and asks forgiveness not only to God but to everyone we have harmed in the past year. The idea is that this is the day set apart in which God looks in the "Book of Life" and judges each person based on their deeds. In a sense it is a day of renewal as you clean the slate of sins from the past year and look forward to the next one. What a wonderful idea, huh?

Haiku #214


Written on 9:50 PM by Jack B.

Spreading the info
Passed my Italian test
One less thing to do

I think I've got it now...


Written on 9:47 PM by Jack B.

Haven't blogged much due to work & school commitments but also because I've been playing around with my template. I wanted to have 3 columns so I can have my blogroll all on one side and other links on the other. It was a bit difficult at first to get something that worked but I've tested this one with both Firefox and Internet Explorer and it hasn't gone screwy yet.

Celibacy, Milingo and the RCC


Written on 2:45 PM by Jack B.

Celibacy is a discipline, not a doctrine of the church. Since it's not a doctrine there is no need for a scriptual basis for it. Eastern-Rite Catholics (Ukrainians, Maronites, etc.) united to Rome have a married priesthood and the Vatican has allowed exceptions for Protestant pastors who convert to Catholicism and want to become priests to do so and remain married. However there are exceptions to both rules - if the wife dies, the husband cannot remarry, in the Eastern-rite you cannot marry AFTER being ordained a priest (only before) and married men cannot become bishops. Celibacy has a long and noble (and not so noble) history dating back to the early church but in the priesthood in the Latin Rite Church it became mandatory for clergy in the 11th Century or so in an attempot at reforn. The Pope could change it tomorrow - but he won't. Married priests are not a panacea - married men can become sexual predators as well as celibate ones and mainline Protestant clergy (Methodists, Anglicans) with married priests aren't exactly having a vocation boom.

Having said that Milingo deserves the heave-ho. These men he "ordained" are members of schismatic churches who don't recognize the Pope and have different doctrines. They are NOT Roman Catholic - and now neither is he.

Haiku #213


Written on 11:59 AM by Jack B.

Ahoy, me matey
It’s “Talk Like a Pirate Day”
Get out your best “Aaargh!”

Haiku #212


Written on 1:33 AM by Jack B.

Please excuse this blog
Template experimenting
Gonna take awhile

I Just Love My Pirate Name!


Written on 1:49 PM by Jack B.

My pirate name is:

Iron Jack Flint

A pirate's life isn't easy; it takes a tough person. That's okay with you, though, since you a tough person. Like the rock flint, you're hard and sharp. But, also like flint, you're easily chipped, and sparky. Arr!

Get your own pirate name from piratequiz.com.

part of the fidius.org network

Link courtesy of Julie the Happy Catholic

Haiku #211


Written on 3:57 PM by Jack B.

Only day later
Yet memories start to fade
Mind protects itself

9/11 Five Years Later...


Written on 12:00 AM by Jack B.

Like many, I remember where I was 5 years ago, I can recall almost all of my movements from that day. I remember getting ready for school, listening to the radio, when the announcer suddenly said a plane had crashed into one of the towers of the World Trade Center. I turned on the TV to see the news, and saw the second tower hit. “This was no accident”, the thought crossed my mind instantly, as it must have done to so many others. I still went to school, classes were cancelled (big surprise, huh?), but it’s amazing what one’s priorities are even in times of trauma. I don’t think it had all sunk in yet.

I went to my grandmother’s house and watched events unfold on TV with my cousins - watched as the towers collapsed, one right after the other, like a house of cards, into dust and debris. The two tallest structures in New York City, two of the tallest building in the world, more than 3,000 human lives and countless thousands other changed forever - and all at the hands of a literal handful of cold-blooded fanatics. Not to mention the hundreds of lives lost at the Pentagon and United 93 over Pennsylvania.

Maybe I’m naive but I don’t understand that kind of evil. I cannot fathom minds that can so cold-bloodily, so methodically kill other human beings. But such people do exist, such people continue to seek the end of civilization as we know it. For these people the event of September 11, 2001 were just the beginning but for rest of us it MUST be the end. It’s easy to forget , days, weeks can go by and I don’t think about it. Then something or another will bring me to downtown Manhattan and see the large gaping hole where Towers 1 & 2 once stood and the memories come back. Of my sisters picking up debris from the WTC miles away across the Hudson at her H.S. running track. At my father breaking down at his job because he thought my mother was in the area when it happened (she was but not that close), of the hours my family spent worrying about my uncle who worked in Tower 1 and waiting to see if he was OK (he was). Of watching the TV helplessly, knowing that just a few hours walk from where I was, thousands of my fellow New Yorkers were losing their lives.

At the time my greatest feelings were of loss, sadness and helplessness - and I wasn’t nearly as affected as others were. That’s why we can never forget 9/11, never stop commemorating its anniversary - so America never forgets. With our very lives and futures at stake, we don’t have that option.

Haiku #210


Written on 11:26 AM by Jack B.

Blogging is easy
But not when there is no time
My hours are full

5 Person Meme


Written on 5:17 PM by Jack B.

Another Meme, Via Carmel

If you could meet and have a deep conversation with any five people on earth, living or dead, from any time period, who would they be? Explaining why is optional. Name five people from each of the following categories: saints, those in the process of being canonized, heroes from your native country, authors/writers, celebrities.

1. St. Joan of Arc
2. St. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross (Edith Stein)
3. St. Jerome
4. St. Catherine of Siena
5. St. Radegund

Those in the Process of Being Canonized:
1. Kateri Tekakwitha
2. Pierre Toussaint
3. Pope John Paul II
4. Pier Giorgio Frassati
5. Margaret of Castello

Heroes From Your Native Country:
1. Abraham Lincoln
2. Teddy Roosevelt
3. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain
4. Nellie Bly
5. Jimmy Stewart (yes, the actor)

1. Jane Austen
2. William Shakespeare
3. Lewis Carroll
4. G. K. Chesterton
5. Anne Frank

1. Orson Welles
2. Pope Benedict XVI
3. Robert Bresson
4. Harry Houdini
5. Doc Holliday

I tag everybody to do this - if you don't you shall surely feel the wrath of Great Caesar's Ghost

Haiku #209


Written on 4:41 PM by Jack B.

And so it begins...
School classes started today
My brain's not ready

Haiku #208


Written on 10:43 AM by Jack B.

We age so quickly
Eighteen seems so far away
To be young again

Haiku #207


Written on 1:36 PM by Jack B.

Drilling all over
In my teeth and in the streets
Giving me headache

Haiku #206


Written on 9:06 PM by Jack B.

Vacation over
Returning to daily grind
Glad to be active

Boston Massacre Part Deux - Red Sox Swept By Yanks 5 in A Row! HAHAHAHAHAHA!


Written on 9:00 PM by Jack B.

How sweet it is! Everything is forgiven when it comes to the Yankee's inconsistent play this season with the sweep of the Blosox or Redsux (depending on how you call them) 5 straight games, outscoring Boston, outpitching Boston, outplaying Boston (led by the truly Most Valuable Player in the majors, Derek Jeter - forget the numbers, is there a player as indespendsible as him?). The Sux are now 6 1/2 games back in the East and trailing in the Wild Card, this after leading the Division for most of the season. Even Big Papi Ortiz couldn't save them this time. What's more, the series revealed how truly horrible the Boston bullpen is (at times it seemed like the Yankees were using the Boston relievers for batting practice). Also if you think about the Red Sox blew their chances to run away with the Division when they could....the Yankees have been without their starting right fielder (Sheffield), their starting left fielder (Matsui), basically 3 steady starting pictchers (Mussina, Wang and Johnson) and 2 dependable relievers (Proctor and Mo Rivera). All of that and the Sux couldn't put the Yankees away (and believe me, despite their above .500 record, the Yankees have been topsy-turvy all season). Now the Yankees are facing mostly sub-.500 teams the rest of the way and the Red Sox have to worry about catching the White Sox and Twins. Honestly, the rest of the season from now on (if the Sux don't come back that is) is pure icing on the cake..

I guess you have to be a Yankee fan to understand how big a win this was, the biggest blow-out of the Sux since 1978 (when the Yankees overtook Boston and went on to win the World Series), the first 5 game sweep of them since 1950s and the first 5 game sweep of them AT Fenway since the 1940s. More importanly, at least in my eyes, it mostly redeems the Great Yankee Choke of 2004 which enabled Boston win the W.S. No more do the Yankees seemed hexed by David Ortiz, Curt Schilling and Red Sox Nation. But you know what they say....God is a Yankee fan!

Beneath the Mushroom


Written on 2:27 PM by Jack B.

What Type Of Writer Should You Be quiz...(and I didn't cheat, I swear)


Written on 12:20 PM by Jack B.

You Should Be a Film Writer

You don't just create compelling stories, you see them as clearly as a movie in your mind.
You have a knack for details and dialogue. You can really make a character come to life.
Chances are, you enjoy creating all types of stories. The joy is in the storytelling.
And nothing would please you more than millions of people seeing your story on the big screen!
This is ironic because it just so happens that I have a B.A. in Film (with a concentration in Screenwriting)...honestly. I guess my instincts were right (though I haven't attempted any screenwriting in almost 2 years).

Personality Test (and a pretty accurate one I'd say)


Written on 11:55 AM by Jack B.

INTJ - "Mastermind". Introverted intellectual with a preference for finding certainty. A builder of systems and the applier of theoretical models. 2.1% of total population.
Free Jung Personality Test (similar to Myers-Briggs/MBTI)

Blue Ex


Written on 2:28 PM by Jack B.

Broken Heart


Written on 12:54 AM by Jack B.

Haiku #205


Written on 1:02 AM by Jack B.

Saw an orange moon
Riding along the highway
Fell in the shadows

Haiku #204


Written on 12:24 AM by Jack B.

Just got a cell phone
Who am I supposed to call?
Turning ringer off

I've Been Recovering From A Case of Self-Mutilation


Written on 8:50 PM by Jack B.

I'm a rather staid person. I don't smoke, never taken any illegal drugs and drink only on special occasions. I don't go clubbing or partying and try not to do anything that will bring attention to myself. That said, just over a week ago, I had a moment of insanity and cut my hair - cut ALL my hair. I don't know what happened, I had just finished my Italian class (so glad that's over) and was just thinking about getting some piece and quiet in the few days of my vacation left. So it was hot and I was laying down in the middle of the night and my head was itching like crazy from the prickly heat and my hair was all sticky from sweat. I just got tired of it and wondered what I would look like if I had no hair (ever since my hair started thinning this issue has obsessed me) so I went into the dresser drawer, took out some scissors and started cutting....and cutting...and cutting. Finally I looked in the mirror and found the whole front of my head hairless to the scalp - I looked hideous but it was too late to go back now. If I had to salvage the situation I would have to cut the rest of it off and make it look even. In the end I had to get it all sheared, front and back, down to the scalp. It was horrible. I felt like a freak. Now I come from a family of bald men so I should be used to the look but one of my greatest fears has been whats going to happen if/when I get that way. I don't know what came over me. I dealt with the situation by wearing a hat (AND NEVER TAKING IT OFF) for the rest of the week. It's bad enought I had to see myself like that - no one else was going to.

It's a little better now. Most of it has grown back and returned somewhat to normal. Hopefully within another week it'll be long enough to comb. But I've learned my lesson - never again...from now on I'd rather have an itchy, sweaty head than look like Uncle Fester. Let this be a lesson to all you young boys and girls - stay away from scissors. It'll save you from hours in therapy.

Haiku #203


Written on 8:40 PM by Jack B.

In this kind of heat
Douse yourself with cold water
Temporary cool

Haiku #202


Written on 8:43 AM by Jack B.

It's so very hot
Damn, it's hot. Extremely hot.
Hot hot hot hot hot

"One" Book Meme


Written on 10:26 AM by Jack B.

Tagged by Brian at Christus Vincit

1. One book that changed your life: Pocket Dictionary of Saints by John J. Delaney (I think I was 11 or 12 when my mother bought me this, it started my interest in Catholicism in particular and religion in genera, I thought the saints were so cool)

2. One book that you've read more than once: The Tin Woodman of Oz by L. Frank Baum

3. One book you'd want on a desert island: The Bible

4. One book that made you laugh: Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

5. One book that made me cry: Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc by Mark Twain (the ending is heartbreaking)

6. One book you wish had been written: Jack Bennett, Boy Genius

7. One book you wish had never been written: The Communist Manifesto by Marx and Engels

8. One book you're currently reading: Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam by Joseph Ratzinger and Marcello Pera (just got this from the library today - very interesting)

9. One book you've been meaning to read: Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

If any one else wants to do this Meme or the one right below it, you can say I tagged you (cause thats the generous person that I am)

5 by 5 Meme


Written on 10:10 AM by Jack B.

Well at least 4 by 5, tagged by Carmel

Five Things in my Freezer:
1. Box of Waffles
2. 3 boxes of Microwavable Pizza
3. A Turkey
4. Cool Whip
5. 2 Ice Racks

Five Things in my Closet:
1. Suits, shirts, sweaters on hangers
2. Collectable plates packed in styrofoam
3. Box of old school textbooks (cause I never throw anything out)
4. Super-8 Camera
5. Ties hanging on the door

Five Items in my Car:
I don't have a car, nor do I even drive so nothing to see here....move along....

Five interesting things in my Backpack:
1. Spare CD-R in case I have to save something from a computer
2. NYC Train Map
3. Schedule of Classes from my school (even if I no longer need it)
4. Extra water bottles in case it gets hot
5. A book to read in case I get bored (even at school!)

Haiku #201


Written on 7:17 AM by Jack B.

My wrist is in pain
Too much handwriting in class
Got to go soak it

5 Silly Things About Me


Written on 10:21 PM by Jack B.

1. Drink of choice: Diet Dr. Pepper with Tomato Juice (touch of Vodka optional).

2. I spend a lot of time just playing with the fonts everytime I write a document with the computer.

3. Usually, I'm the cheapest person I know, but anytime I see something on SALE (even on something I don't need/want) I usually buy it.

4. The more obscure the book or factoid - the more I remember it.

5. Favorite color for button-down shirts: PLAID.

Got this meme from Carmel, and you can consider yourself tagged by me if you want to do this and haven't done so already.

Haiku #200


Written on 10:11 PM by Jack B.

Two hundredth haiku
I really should get a life
Need more challenges

I Just Realized I Haven't Blogged In Over A Week


Written on 1:24 AM by Jack B.

This Italian translation class is driving me up a wall and sucking up all my time. I don't even have time to check e-mail let alone do my daily blog checking up. I'll spend up FOUR hours a day doing translations and yet I am still failing the class (which I'm taking to fufill the foreign language requirement my Master's degree demands). I'm just horrible with all languages other than English (and Esperanto, but thats another story). Thankfully the class ends next week and beginning in August I can get a mini-breather before I go back to my job...I was never so looking forward to going back to work.

In the mean time here's another picture of my little niece, Monica Grace:

Busy, busy....

Haiku #199


Written on 11:42 PM by Jack B.

Amen for Friday
Finally the weekend starts
Party time, people!

Haiku #198


Written on 7:20 PM by Jack B.

Reading on Thursday
Studying for those quizzes
Even though I'll fail

Haiku #197


Written on 10:30 PM by Jack B.

Wednesday is no fun
Stuck in middle of the week
Pray for some free time

I always thought I was more a Peter myself...


Written on 8:25 PM by Jack B.

You Are Bobby Brady

Ultra competitive, you will do almost anything to win. From pull ups to pool sharking, you're very talented.
And while everyone is aware of your victories, they still (affectionately) consider you to be a little brat!

I guess you never can tell...

Hat tip to Carmel for this link and also for her Yahoo avatar which gave me the idea to get my own....which is on sidebar>>>>>>>>>>>>

I Really Do Love Pumpkin Pie


Written on 8:17 PM by Jack B.

find your inner PIE @ stvlive.com

So this result didn't bother me at all.

Hat tip to The Happy Catholic

Haiku #196


Written on 8:13 PM by Jack B.

Tuesday goes by fast
At least it does in Summer
When too hot to move

Haiku #195


Written on 11:46 PM by Jack B.

Monday back to work
Even if mind's still asleep
Perk up the body

Haiku #194


Written on 4:22 PM by Jack B.

Sunday is for rest
But no rest for the wicked
I have things to do

Haiku #193


Written on 7:54 PM by Jack B.

Lazy Saturday
I'm doing what I do best
Pretty much nothing

Haiku #192


Written on 10:59 PM by Jack B.

Was a humid day
Showers falling around too
Is it sweat or rain

Haiku #191


Written on 11:55 AM by Jack B.

Talking on the train
I don't mind it as a rule
But lower your voice

Everyone Seems to Have an IPod but Me These Days...


Written on 11:41 PM by Jack B.

Though what my niece, Monica Grace, could possibly be listening to at this early point in her life, I have no idea. Really do I need an IPod? My youngest sister has a little 1GB Nano and has 200 songs on it - 2/3 of which she doesn't even listen to! What's the point....except to be cool and buy all the accessories that go with the thing?

Haiku #190 - For Independence Day 2006


Written on 4:04 PM by Jack B.

Our Founding Fathers
They put it all on the line
Small chance of success

Offering their lives
Fortunes and Sacred Honor
For their liberty

Country’s not perfect
But no where else is better
For those who can dream

The least we can do
Is love the red, white and blue
More than just a flag

U.S.A.'s birthday
A freedom celebration
Happy Fourth to all!

Haiku #189


Written on 5:43 PM by Jack B.

Go to the egress
From whence all failures have come
You will find me there

Haiku #188


Written on 11:28 PM by Jack B.

Is a quiz a test?
Or just an early warning
Fail now, fail later

Haiku #187


Written on 8:48 AM by Jack B.

Get up, lazybones
Pass or fail, no middle ground
Now pay attention

Haiku #186


Written on 5:42 PM by Jack B.

Humid day sweat drips
Burning eyes, can't see, don't rub
Quick I need water!

Haiku #185


Written on 3:59 PM by Jack B.

My brain turned to mush
Sleep, television, junk food
This is vacation?

Happy Father's Day!


Written on 3:50 PM by Jack B.

Today is Father's Day. I was going to write a haiku about it but decided three lines wouldn't be able to put my thoughts into words. Fathers are important. In our current society sometimes that fact gets overlooked. Sure, some people may be able to overcome the minority of abusive or absentee fathers out there but for many others that kind of thing can have effects that will last them throughout their lives. On the other hand, a supportive and loving father can make all the difference in the positive life choices their children make and (especially if they are males) affect how they treat the opposite sex and children of their own (if they have any) in the future. My own father and I rarely agree on anything, argue all the time and are as different as two people can be...and yet I can honestly say I'm happy to have had him in my life and he's always been there if his children need him.

Happy Fathers Day to my Dad and to all Fathers out there.

Haiku #184


Written on 11:25 AM by Jack B.

Rise from your slumber
Be a light onto the world
Up, excelsior!

Babies are Amazing Creatures


Written on 11:54 PM by Jack B.

My niece, Monica Grace, was born two weeks ago now but I didn't see her for the first time until last Friday. Until that time all I had to go on was what others had told me or pictures from the hospital and those didn't exact put her in the best light. So when I saw her for the first time with my own eyes, my heart really melted and it was then that she was really REAL to me, an individual person in her own right, the product of the same little sister who I remember (vaguely) as a baby herself. She was so small (I didn't expect that, both her parents were large babies) and so soft, everything from her skin to her hair seemed like it had just spent the day in the bath (which it hadn't).

Now to be honest, all she does now is sleep and eat and poop and she can't recognize anyone yet - all that comes with time but I just found myself watching her. She was constantly making movements even when she's sleeping, I kept asking my sister if all she does is sleep (since thats all she seemed to do when I was there) and my sister asked me what did I think the baby was supposed to do - to which I responded, "I don't know, entertain us or something". Obviously I haven't been around babies much.

I was also struck by how much she already looks like my sister...and me...when were that age. Heck, my sister and I don't even look anything alike and yet here is her little baby with the same slanted eyes that I had, the same eyes that my father's mother who died in 1961 way before I was born was said to have. Amazing stuff (to me at least).

Hard to believe that :

This Baby At 11 Weeks


This Baby At 20 Weeks

are the same as this little baby I saw Friday:

Human Life is a pretty amazing thing, isn't it?

Haiku #183


Written on 3:41 PM by Jack B.

Sun comes out to play
Summer sheds its cloak of May
O beautiful day!

My newborn niece, Monica Grace (though I refuse to call her such)


Written on 6:13 PM by Jack B.

The first (and thus far only) member of the next generation of my family. Born Monday, May 29th (she was supposed to be a June baby, but fate had other plans, I guess). I still haven't seen her yet (been working and working), though judging from the pictures she's pretty small (just over 6 pounds). She just got out of the hospital and went home today. The name, Monica, still does not trip off the tongue. She just doesn't look like a Monica to me. I've decided to call her M.G. or Mony instead in hopes one of those names stick.

What A Day!


Written on 11:49 PM by Jack B.

As I write it is 11:28 P.M. , New York City time. I just got back from my Memorial Day Weekend in Washington D.C.

It was steaming hot in that city, I and a few friends checked out of our hotel and spent the morning walking from one end of the Mall to the other...from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capital and Union Station. We also checked out the Memorial Day Parade, as a matter of fact we were walking as the back end of the parade was getting ready and who should be an honored guest at the parade but Hall of Fame pitcher and WWII vet, Bob Feller! I actually got my picture taken with him! One of the thrills of my life. Who cares about Hollywood celebrities...this is one of the greatest players in baseball history here. I shook his hand too.

After lunch was the long bus ride back...and it was only then that I realized I was burning red. I'm as pale as a ghost natuarally and the DC sun just fried me. Now my coloring is beet red and I just know it's going to hurt tommorow (and I have to go to work early in the morning too).

So just as I walk in the door and drop all my bags and cameras and such on the floor, just wanting to crawl into bed and sleep, there's a message left for me that my sister has gone into labor. According to my grandmother (the only person answering their cell), the little girl is apparently OK (and so is my sister) and they have named her Monica Grace . Horrible name, I can't see calling any niece of mine "Monica".... and then it hit me, they had actually done it, just as they had threatened, they named the baby after the MGM Hotel in Vegas where they were staying when they got married in a drive-by ceremony. Oh, Lord. MGM (the baby's last name also starts with a M). The poor kid is going to grow up knowing she was not named after a grandmother, or a family friend or a historical figure but a LAS VEGAS CASINO!

Pictures will be posted as I get them.

Miss Peggy Lee Was Born 86 Years Ago Today


Written on 10:47 PM by Jack B.

My favorite female vocalist.
Even though she passed on in 2002, her voice will live forever.

Haiku #182


Written on 12:41 PM by Jack B.

Summer vacation
It can't get here soon enough
Recharge batteries

Haiku #181


Written on 6:59 PM by Jack B.

Screaming in my ear
Can't concentrate on my work
Shut up already!

Haiku #180


Written on 12:59 PM by Jack B.

Mail boxes are full
Hundreds of nonsense to read
Stop sending me spam!

My Sucky Life


Written on 12:35 PM by Jack B.

I hardly have time to breathe these days. Sure, I know 95% of the world must have it harder than me but most days it sure doesn’t feel like it. I’m facing a deadline at work and school finals next week. Not to mention a planned trip to D.C. at the end of the month, a possible trip to North Carolina at the beginning of June, I’m getting a new therapist (who I still haven’t met) also at the beginning of June. In mid-June, my niece is due to be born and I’m taking intensive summer classes in Italian translation during the same period. There are so many things on my mind I’ve neglected my blog (I still have to re-arrange and update my links – another thing I’ve put off).

It’s a good thing I decided long ago never to grow up...because being an adult sucks.

Haiku #179


Written on 7:22 AM by Jack B.

Nightmares in my sleep
Terrifying images
Best to stay awake

Haiku #178


Written on 5:29 PM by Jack B.

The bus passed me by
Saw me standing there waiting
One rotten driver

Yankees Got Bombed by Boston Last Night


Written on 11:26 AM by Jack B.

By a score of 14-3

Damnit. Damnit. Damnit.

The worst part was Alex Rodriquez (who made errors and did nothing at the plate) saying after the game that sometimes its better to lose 14-3 than 2-1. For him and his 20+ million dollar a year salary, maybe, but for us who actually had to watch the game? Just shut up and hit, Payrod.

Damnit. Damnit. Damnit.

Haiku #177 - On The Da Vinci Code


Written on 9:20 AM by Jack B.

Didn't read the book
Won't bother seeing movie
Better things to do

Haiku #176 - On MI:3's Opening Weekend Box Office


Written on 1:39 PM by Jack B.

Cruise's film a bomb
Sabotage his own career?
Not impossible

Haiku #175


Written on 11:05 AM by Jack B.

Never enough time
To sit down and write some stuff
I'm busy, busy

Haiku #174 On Last Night's Yankee/Boston Game


Written on 8:45 AM by Jack B.

Why pitch to Ortiz?
Yanks bullpen stinks up the joint
A pox on the Sox

Note: To all Red Sox fans reading this , no offense meant, but you know that just like in Star Wars, eventually the Yankee Empire WILL strike back.

Haiku #173


Written on 10:14 AM by Jack B.

Live to the fullest
For each day could be your last
Or maybe your first?

Haiku #172


Written on 11:33 AM by Jack B.

Britney needs Nanny
Take care of herself and child
Celebrity trash

The Next Trek Film Will Hopefully NOT Be Star Trek 90210


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.

I can just picture it all now:

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?

Haiku #171


Written on 4:13 PM by Jack B.

Careful what you write
Some words are best left unsaid
Just shred everything

Haiku #170


Written on 8:56 PM by Jack B.

Spending the whole day
Attending shower parties
Of babies and rain

Quotes I Like #7


Written on 6:47 PM by Jack B.

Damn it, there's so many idiots who's asses I have to kick! I'll have to start carrying a list just to keep track of them all!
- Edward Elric, in in the anime TV show, FullMetal Alchemist, Episode 47, "Sealing the Homunculus"

Haiku #169


Written on 9:06 PM by Jack B.

Looking high and low
Slips of paper disappear
All my lost haikus

On this Easter Vigil: Two Baptisms and a Wedding


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.

Haiku #168


Written on 10:32 AM by Jack B.

Captured by the Clams
Her mind lost in Cruise control
Pray for Katie Holmes



Written on 6:37 PM by Jack B.

Resurrection of Christ and Women at the Tomb by Fra Angelico 1440-41

After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.

And behold, there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, approached, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it.

His appearance was like lightning and his clothing was white as snow.

The guards were shaken with fear of him and became like dead men.

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.
The Gospel of Matthew 28:1-8

Good Friday


Written on 6:41 PM by Jack B.

Calvary by Andrea Mantegna 1457-1460

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.

The Gospel of John 19: 16-30

Haiku #167 - One of Man's Greatest Weaknesses


Written on 3:31 PM by Jack B.

Nightmare from last night
I dreamt I lost all my hair
Awoke with a fright

Monday Night TV Viewing Habits (from 4/10)


Written on 3:26 PM by Jack B.

New mini-series on Moses: Boring

New episodes of "The Apprentice": Predictable

New episode of "24": Contrived, yet enjoyable

CMT Music Awards: Too many dudes

Haiku #166


Written on 3:51 PM by Jack B.

Snowing out today
Sunny Spring sheds winter flakes
Warmth then comes again

When You're Really Thirsty...


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.

Yankees Win!!! AKA Once Again All is Right with the World


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.

Haiku #165


Written on 10:11 AM by Jack B.

Clock hour ahead
Body stays a step behind
Time to play catch up

Haiku #164


Written on 12:31 PM by Jack B.

Impetuous youth
Full of life and full of zeal
Slow down a little

Haiku #163 - In Memory of Terri Shiavo..One Year Later


Written on 11:34 PM by Jack B.

Never forgotten
Just a year ago today
Cold-blooded murder

Value of a life
Measured by will of others
Not on inner soul

Who can really know
Inside an innocent's mind
Though we don't see it

Take words of a cheat
All that is needed to kill
While mobs urge it on

What have we come to?
Pray for who remain, Terri
Please, pray for us all

Also this is what I posted almost a year ago today on April 2, 2005 (as a matter of fact, it was one of the very first posts on this blog): Haiku #7 - For Terri Shiavo

Chance Illuminations


Written on 3:56 PM by Jack B.

A friend of mine considers himself first and foremost an “artist” (of the paint and easel kind), but while he’s getting his M.F.A. in Art, he’s taken to photography to pay the bills. Often while working he will take literally dozens of photos, click, click, click, right after the other. Most of them are beautiful since he has a fine eye for color and perspective, but he doesn’t really keep them since he thinks of the photos as part of his “job” and not part of his “art”.

So, if he doesn’t want them occasionally I’ll ask if I can have them. Especially the ones he didn’t mean to take, when the camera just keeps clicking after you’ve taken your finger off the button. Those lucky moments, taken by chance, when the light and shadows collide to create something compelling, illuminating the photo far beyond its subject matter.

Here are three of the ones I like in particular that, to me, have that kind of abstract aesthetic appeal.

When it comes to taking pictures light sometimes plays tricks on us, being exactly where we don’t want it to be at any given moment. Sometimes, however, I think it knows better than we do.

Haiku #162


Written on 12:12 PM by Jack B.

Sun shines high in sky
No signs of clouds or the chill
Spring finally here?

Haiku #161


Written on 10:09 AM by Jack B.

Beginning of Spring
Why doesn't it feel like it?
Calendars can lie

Blogging for Terri Shiavo...One Year Later


Written on 7:41 PM by Jack B.

Teri Shiavo's feeding tube was removed one year ago. The basic nutrients of life.... She was killed (yes, killed) in a way we wouldn't do to a dog. I thought cruel and inhumane treatement was illegal under the Constitution...but apparently if you're not an adulterous husband with a common-law (not legal) wife and two children who has a lawyer who's a vocal proponent of euthanasia and are being treated in a hospice with connections to said lawyer, add water, foremost of them all was removed from her. For days she basically "dehydrated" (the term the media liked to use instead of "starved", even though it basically meant the same thing) to death. Trying going without food or water for one day. Not easy, is it? Now trying to doing it for a week or more. You'd be dead. Teri (who I actually heard some supposed"doctors" on the talking head TV shows at the time say wasn't even human anymore) lasted longer than many thoughtthat to a media who was rooting for her death, politicians who were cowards and judges who were complicit and you get state-santioned killing...of an innocent person whose only crime was being mentally disabled and unable to feed herself.

One year later, I haven't forgotten. I never will. Nor will many others. The media would have us believe that Terri's supporters were all a bunch of fanatics. I don't know about that. I've never been fanatically about anything (unless you count the NY Yankees) but I do have a long memory and more importantly I vote. I'd be willing to bet many of those who were on Michael Shiavo's side (according to all those polls) are part of the disinterested majority who don' vote and have forgotten about this altogether. More fool them. One day, mosy of us be helpless and dependent on someone other than ourselves, just as we were in infancy, and then who will look at for you? The Florida courts? Not bloody likely.

For more info you can go to: BlogsforTerri and The Terri Schindler Schiavo Foundation which has continued the fight not to let this happen to somebody else.

40% Irish!


Written on 5:45 PM by Jack B.

You're 40% Irish

You're probably less Irish than you think you are...
But you're still more Irish than most.

Thanks to the Happy Catholic

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all my fellow quasi-Irish brethren


Written on 1:34 PM by Jack B.

Today is the Feast Day of St.Patrick, evangelizer and Apostle to the Irish. One of my great-grandmothers on my mother's side was reputedly of Irish origin so I unapolgetically celebrate a saint who single-handily and without violence converted most of the Emerald Isle. More on St.Patrick here

Here is St.Patrick's Lorica/Breastplate/The Deer's Cry (it has many names but is one of the greatest prayers ever written):

I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, through belief in the Threeness, through confession of the Oneness of the Creator of creation.

I arise today through the strength of Christ with his Baptism, through the strength of His Crucifixion with His Burial through the strength of His Resurrection with His Ascension, through the strength of His descent for the Judgment of Doom.

I arise today through the strength of the love of Cherubim in obedience of Angels, in the service of the Archangels, in hope of resurrection to meet with reward, in prayers of Patriarchs, in predictions of Prophets, in preachings of Apostles, in faiths of Confessors, in innocence of Holy Virgins, in deeds of righteous men.

I arise today, through the strength of Heaven; light of Sun, brilliance of Moon, splendor of Fire, speed of Lightning, swiftness of Wind, depth of Sea, stability of Earth, firmness of Rock.

I arise today, through God's strength to pilot me: God's might to uphold me, God's wisdom to guide me, God's eye to look before me, God's ear to hear me, God's word to speak for me, God's hand to guard me, God's way to lie before me, God's shield to protect me, God's host to secure me: against snares of devils, against temptations of vices, against inclinations of nature, against everyone who shall wish me ill, afar and anear, alone and in a crowd.

I summon today all these powers between me (and these evils): against every cruel and merciless power that may oppose my body and my soul, against incantations of false prophets, against black laws of heathenry, against false laws of heretics, against craft of idolatry, against spells of witches, smiths and wizards, against every knowledge that endangers man's body and soul. Christ to protect me today against poisoning, against burning, against drowning, against wounding, so that there may come abundance in reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me, Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ on my right, Christ on my left, Christ in breadth, Christ in length, Christ in height, Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me, Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me, Christ in every eye that sees me, Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity, through belief in the Threeness, through confession of the Oneness of the Creator of creation. Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of the Lord. Salvation is of Christ. May Thy Salvation, O Lord, be ever with us.

To get a real feel on the man and not just the legend behind a drinking holiday one should really read his 'Confessio' , one of the only documents known to be written by the man himself...over 1500 years ago.

After a few years I was again in Britain with my parents, and they welcomed me as a son, and asked me, in faith, that after the great tribulations I had endured I should not go an where else away from them. And, of course, there, in a vision of the night, I saw a man whose name was Victoricus coming as it from Ireland with innumerable letters, and he gave me one of them, and I read the beginning of the letter: 'The Voice of the Irish', and as I was reading the beginning of the letter I seemed at that moment to hear the voice of those who were beside the forest of Foclut which is near the western sea, and the were crying as if with one voice: 'We beg you, holy youth, that you shall come and shall walk again among us.' And I was stung intensely in my heart so that I could read no more, and thus I awoke. Thanks be to God, because after so many ears the Lord bestowed on them according to their cry.
So Happy St.Paddy's. Don't drink too much, don't over do the corned beef and cabbage and don't hit anyone with a shilleigh.

Haiku #160


Written on 11:00 AM by Jack B.

From the portico
See the dancing child on grass
Happy innocence

Haiku #159


Written on 8:33 AM by Jack B.

Stay away junk food
I'm trying to lose some pounds
Keep off calories

Some Things Are Best Left Unanswered...


Written on 11:27 PM by Jack B.

The Wheels of Life


Written on 11:21 PM by Jack B.

Quotes I Like #6


Written on 11:19 PM by Jack B.

The greatest sin today is that there is no sin.
- Pope Pius XII in 1946

Haiku #158


Written on 5:13 PM by Jack B.

Gotten in a rut
Always same old, same old stuff
Wish I could change things

Haiku #157


Written on 3:02 PM by Jack B.

Framed upon the wall
Photographic reflections
Aren't always true

R.I.P. Kirby Puckett


Written on 9:51 AM by Jack B.

As a Yankee Fan there are other teams that you are distinctively conditioned to root against (i.e. The Boston Red Sox) but one team I always found myself rooting for (except when they played the Yanks) was the Minnesota Twins. Not because of Minnesota itself (since I’ve never been there) but because growing up the Twins were personified by a class-act player by the name of Kirby Puckett. A pudgy guy who played great outfield and hit with the best of them, Puckett led his team to World Championships and success despite it being from one of the smallest markets with one of the cheapest owners. Puckett lost his eyesight due to a relatively rare condition which made him leave the game early (and probably got him elected to the Hall of Fame so quickly) and now again at such an early age (45) he has passed on. He was a man of courage and dignity and incredible skills both on and off the faith and this opposing fan tips my cap to him and sends condolences to all Twin Fans and Kirby Puckett’s friends and family.

Vue5Easel: Take A Seat


Written on 9:28 AM by Jack B.

Haiku #156 - On Last Night's Academy Awards


Written on 9:26 AM by Jack B.

Didn't watch Oscars
Hadn't seen the nominees
Could care less who won

Vue5Easel: The Great Steppes


Written on 5:19 PM by Jack B.

Haiku #155


Written on 12:32 PM by Jack B.

The day's gone away
How fast it passes us by
Hold tight to the clock

Haiku #154


Written on 10:38 AM by Jack B.

Recall in my mind
Children of night in shadow
Lost in memories

Happy Ash Wednesday All Ye Sinners


Written on 3:54 PM by Jack B.

and don't forget to wash your forehead before you go to sleep.

Haiku #153


Written on 9:06 AM by Jack B.

Weekends come and go
Yet I accomplish nothing
Time's passing me by

Vue5Easel: Port of New York at Night


Written on 7:04 AM by Jack B.

Haiku #152


Written on 12:50 AM by Jack B.

Yesterday it was
Thought I saw you standing there
A trick of the light

Apophysis: Swan


Written on 12:43 AM by Jack B.

Haiku #151


Written on 11:54 AM by Jack B.

Her moonlight night dreams
More real than living wakeness
Troubles fade away

A New Blog Banner


Written on 11:50 AM by Jack B.

For no particular reason other than I was bored.

Haiku #150


Written on 7:27 AM by Jack B.

Lies told and lies lived
Lies that lie beneath the skin
Lies truth distorted

Another Time Waster


Written on 7:10 PM by Jack B.

Dick Cheney's Texas Takedown

A Time Waster


Written on 7:09 PM by Jack B.

Keep the Ball in the Air

Iran to hang teenage girl attacked by rapists


Written on 10:07 AM by Jack B.

I know this is from last month - but I think it's still timely. I'll let the story for itself:

Tehran, Iran, Jan. 07 – An Iranian court has sentenced a teenage rape victim to death by hanging after she weepingly confessed that she had unintentionally killed a man who had tried to rape both her and her niece. The state-run daily Etemaad reported on Saturday that 18-year-old Nazanin confessed to stabbing one of three men who had attacked the pair along with their boyfriends while they were spending some time in a park west of the Iranian capital in March 2005.

Nazanin, who was 17 years old at the time of the incident, said that after the three men started to throw stones at them, the two girls’ boyfriends quickly escaped on their motorbikes leaving the pair helpless. She described how the three men pushed her and her 16-year-old niece Somayeh onto the ground and tried to rape them, and said that she took out a knife from her pocket and stabbed one of the men in the hand. As the girls tried to escape, the men once again attacked them, and at this point, Nazanin said, she stabbed one of the men in the chest. The teenage girl, however, broke down in tears in court as she explained that she had no intention of killing the man but was merely defending herself and her younger niece from rape, the report said.The court, however, issued on Tuesday a sentence for Nazanin to be hanged to death. Last week, a court in the city of Rasht, northern Iran, sentenced Delara Darabi to death by hanging charged with murder when she was 17 years old. Darabi has denied the charges.

In August 2004, Iran’s Islamic penal system sentenced a 16-year-old girl, Atefeh Rajabi, to death after a sham trial, in which she was accused of committing “acts incompatible with chastity”. The teenage victim had no access to a lawyer at any stage and efforts by her family to retain one were to no avail. Atefeh personally defended herself and told the religious judge that he should punish those who force women into adultery, not the victims. She was eventually hanged in public in the northern town of Neka.

And this of course comes from a government that is currently giving the finger to the whole world and building a nuclear bomb. Hard to believe that less than 30 years ago, Iran was considered the most "western" and "progressive" country in the Middle East. Yep, that Islamic Revolution really worked out well, didn't it?

Say what you will about the U.S. but I'm glad I live here...and not there.