Seven Quick Takes: With all my crooked heart


(It won’t let me load up the image for some reason.)


This week has been an experiment to see whether two rather sedentary adults can accomplish the work of five strong men, sleeping an average of four non-consecutive hours per night, and sustained by little more than beer, deli ham, and Laffy Taffy:

(Oh, so the answer is:  “Yes, but unnnnnghhhhhhhh.”)

So here are seven things I never got around to blogging about:


Maybe someday, if we need a house, we will just print one up.  I was going to say something about how such houses would be lacking in the charm that only traditional stick-built homes can afford, but then I looked around and, yeah.  Charm.  We once hired a guy to replace our front door, because whoever designed our house graduated Magna Cum Stupido from the Dr. Suess Academy of Ridiculous Architecture.  After watching him struggle with the angles for over an hour, I apologized to him for how crookedy it all was.  “Aw, that’s okay,” he said.  “Anyone can work on a straight house!”   So, that’s why we live here.  W. H. Auden would approve.


Probably everybody’s seen this already, but my kids got a kick out of this Star Wars bloopers reel:



Here’s a thought-provoking post that uses that odious “What’s Your Excuse?” meme as a springboard for some even more interesting ideas about the “self-improvement culture” and what health really means.  Long but fascinating.



Quickie:  The reality of what food stamps cost all of us



I suppose you’ve already met the worst person in the world.  I’m happy to report that, when we went trick-or-treating last night, there was no visible judgment from anyone, even though we had three teenaged trick-or-treaters and one baby trick-or-treater.  (And yes, the candy really was for her.  Although she shared it with the dog, who has a special weakness for lollipops.)

We also saw zero (0) sexy costumes.  Probably because it was cold and rainy, but really!  Three cheers for the backlash!

Of our own costumes, we took very few non-terrible pictures, but here are a few of my kids:

Ash from Army of Darkness:

The kid who went from door to door saying “Alms for the bodiless” instead of “trick or treat”:

A puppy, who wore this beloved costume for four months nonstop last year, even through the sweltering heat, because of reasons very much like this:

Here is our weeping angel getting ready:

Her finished costume got mixed reviews, mainly because (a) it turns out it’s hard to spraypaint feathers, maybe because they are, oh yeah, designed to be moisture repellent; and (b) we spent six weeks planning and about twelve minutes actually executing.

We also had a cat fairy, River Song, and 2D from Gorillaz (because we are the family your mother warned you about).  The baby was “Baffled Two-Year Old Who Fell Asleep in the Car on the Way Home from School and Continued Sleeping Until It Was Time to Go Trick-or-treating, So We Just Put a Fluffy Scarf on Her and It Was Cute” girl.  Oh, and a princess:

Sorry the pics are so dark. We’re getting thunderstorms here, and if I delay posting this any longer (to lighten up the pics), I’m going to lose my internet.  You get the general idea.  Lotsa candy, happy night.  We’re going to watch The Birds and Signs with the older kids, as part of our prolonged weekend of spookiness.


God bless this amazing young woman protecting an apparent neo-nazi from a mob:

There were shouts of “Kill the Nazi” and the man began to run – but he was knocked to the ground. A group surrounded him, kicking him and hitting him with the wooden sticks of their placards.

Mob mentality had taken over. “It became barbaric,” says Thomas.

“When people are in a crowd they are more likely to do things they would never do as an individual. Someone had to step out of the pack and say, ‘This isn’t right.'”

So the teenager, then still at high school, threw herself on top of a man she did not know and shielded him from the blows.

“When they dropped him to the ground, it felt like two angels had lifted my body up and laid me down.”



And finally:  Hundreds of proofs of God’s non-existence and counting!

Don’t forget to check out Jennifer Fulwiler’s blog for the rest of the Seven Quick Takes.  And, because I am special, I saw the cover of Jen’s new book, and yes, it is magnificent, and perfect.

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  • MightyMighty11

    I read the article about health/what’s your excuse. Phenomenal!

    I too took issue with the word “excuse”. This helped me better clarify part of why that poster bothered me, even though I like my body and didn’t feel personally attacked. It’s annoying to have this arbitrary standard imposed on people who may very well have other, more important things to accomplish.

    I think if a Catholic were to write the same article, there would be some acknowledgment that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, and therefore not to be purposely trashed or neglected. But otherwise, the writer covered it all.

  • richard

    Yes. God bless that young woman for her very brave action.

  • Eileen

    Probably not a good idea to throw around the 20 cents figure. About half the families in our country don’t pay income taxes (many of them still pay SS, state, property taxes, etc.) but if we’re talking about the average or even the median of actual federal income tax paying households, the figure is significantly higher. Many federal income taxpayers will be supporting food stamps to the tune of hundreds, if not thousands a year.

    There’s a class warfare building in our country. I have never before seen so many otherwise charitable people so angry about folks receiving food stamps and CHiP. As unbelievable as it sounds, I know two families heavily involved in the pro-life movement who no longer speak. One of the families is providential and currently has 7 children. They’re a good family – they’ve actually safe housed pregnant women in crisis situations. Their kids are on CHiP and the family gets WIC. The other family has four kids and receives no government assistance and has an annual health insurance deductible of 10 grand. WHen the larger family had their most recent baby, the other woman approached her with some info about NFP classes. YIKES!!! Ugly things were said by both parties in anger. I was not present for the conversation but I heard about it from both sides. I’m trying to stay out of it.
    But that’s just the most glaring example I have. I have been hearing comments from people whom I never expected to be making digs against folks receiving assistance. It’s getting ugly out there. And I worry about the effect on the pro-life movement and federal entitlement policy. It would be awful and life threatening for the unborn if women in our country couldn’t afford to keep their babies.

    • Mr. X

      “Class warfare,” is nonsense. It’s more like blame the poor for the mistakes of the rich.

      Expenditures for the 2013 fiscal year Federal budget came in at a little more than $3.8 trillion. Of that, the total spent on SNAP, or food stamps, came in at $75 billion. That means we spent about 2.5 to 3 percent of the budget feeding poor people.

      Now, we are likely going to cut the SNAP budget in half during a sustained economic downturn when more people need help. Why? So people like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz can score political points and raise money for their sure to be doomed presidential campaigns. (If anyone here supports these guys, take a quiet moment. Be honest with yourself. They’re awful.) Meanwhile, families with children will go hungry so we can feel good “doing something about gummint waste.”

      Remember, when you are talking about social services that help feed, and house the poor, you are talking about pennies on the federal tax dollar.