Saturday, December 01, 2007

Hi, God!

When I was a little girl in Catholic grade school, I received not catechism classes but the choreography to "If I Were a Butterfly (I'd Thank You, Lord, For Giving Me Wings)" from a record album entitled Hi God!

It's another piece of the puzzle, isn't it?

That link, incidentally, includes a brief audio sample of said butterfly ruminations, but it doesn't do justice to the hand motions, which, just as Christ instructed the Apostles, we were required to master before approaching the altar at our First Communion. This, however, comes close to replicating what I might have looked like on a riser some twenty-four years ago. They aren't exactly the same jazz hands as the ones I learned; it seems, like all great mythological traditions, the original form becomes corrupted over time. I also don't quite remember the highly liturgical Elvis-style "uh-huh-huh"s at the end of each verse, but perhaps advancing age protects us from such things.

But wait! There was also "His Banner Over Me Is Love", and I'm pleased to report that this choreography has sustained for at least two and a half decades. So Western civilization has that going for it.

In the act of viewing these videos, it has occurred to me that this is likely how I will view Jim The Small Child Nephew's First Communion in about three years: Not at all. There is no way that decidedly untall me has any chance of seeing the child betwixt the advancing forest of raised digital and Flip cameras of every classmate relative within a forty-state radius.

But in the same way, I rest comfortably in the knowledge that there is likely no surviving footage of second-grade me flapping her arms while pronouncing that if she were a robin, she'd thank You, Lord, for making her sing--nobody could afford a whole entire video camera, and the people who could were doomed to view the major moments of their children's lives with an eight hundred pound VHS shoulder outgrowth. All to preserve, for all time... Hi God!

I have also discovered that while the errors of Hi God! had spread to Hi God! 3 by the time I began high school, we are now up to Hi God! 5--and in CD form. Featured song: "Yes We Can!" we can't at:

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Around The Horn With Mom

For someone who talks a big Rosary Ranger game, it's difficult for me to actually pray the thing on my own. Put a Rosary in my hands and the attention span shortens to that of a flea that just fell into one of those person-sized Pixy Stix. It's one of maybe two activities I'm actually better at in a group setting; somebody else has to count, others are there to keep things moving, the guy next to me isn't going to let me wander out of the room, suddenly called by cookies.

The Rosary is quite nightmare exercise for the OCD patient: Did I say that "Hail Mary" right? What if I didn't? Should I go back and do it again? Decades can seem to take, quite literally, decades.

To address the issue, I tracked myself with a CD from the Notre Dame Bookstore, Praying the Rosary With Father Theodore Hesburgh. Ted was lost in my move from The Northern Swamp to The Very Northern Swamp. He's spinning somewhere over one of the Carolinas.

It's interesting, especially given my past with the Internet, that the answer would be found right here. As in, here-- It's a freeware program which includes bead count, prayers, decades, corresponding Scripture quotes, and a little Ave Maria MIDI flava thrown in. (Which is, wisely, entirely toggleable.)

Now it's not just me and Mary and my little crystal circuits. It's circuits of another kind, because this involves my computer, the very conduit of my career--and Virtual Rosary, in the oddest of ways, serves to sactify my little laptop in a "You click to your Mother with that keyboard?" sort of fashion.

In the true tradition of the Internet, Virtual Rosary enables me to pray alone without praying alone; PrayerCast (also with Full Toggle Power) slowly scrolls across the bottom of the screen, uniting my intentions with this poor mother in Texas who's always asking St. Monica to help her son find friends who aren't quite so pre-Bengal.

In the event you're not the Rosarying kind--although I highly recommend it, I just wish I could get through five decades without once thinking over-fondly of frosting--all are welcome on PrayerCast. Go ahead! Cast a Prayer! All the un pre-Bengaled kids are doing it!

gratia plenas for everybody:

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

It All Makes Sense Now

Most of you have probably seen that most requested of holiday gifts, the highly disturbing Jesus Is My Coach line of figurines. We Catholics have had a bead on this SportsCenter For Youth Jesus for at least two Popes now; I owned, in my youth, a muted pastel picture of the Messiah joyfully elbowing a second-grader out of way to get to a soccer ball. While wearing His sandals. Because He's the Son of God, and was likely never picked last when it came time to choose up teams: "I'll take Ezra, Bartholomew, Silas--oh, and the guy who can bilocate."

I'm pleased to announce the origin of Christ The Cross-Trainer:

This is an actual sign located in an actual church rec hall, and explains many, many things while raising certain other, far more disturbing questions. If leather soles aren't allowed, then I'm pretty sure Jesus and His sandals can't play, and I don't think He'd like that. But at least the faithful rests assured in the knowledge that He would never "kick balls over head."

In my parochial grade school, the principal once solemnly informed us via purple mimeographed letter and loudspeaker announcement that we were not permitted to "play throw up," with or without--again, directly quoting here--"the Nerd balls." You have to wonder how we all graduated with the athletic prowess to stride correctly through your average revolving door.

Then again, this could very well explain Notre Dame's season. Those non-throwing up kids left their Nerd balls at home for eight solid years, and now they can't block for shinola.

but the utter inability to serve a volleyball, I take total personal responsibility for that at:

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

What Are You DOING?!

Two things.

THING THE FIRST: The Cellar looks different, I know. Many have written in support of that spiffy new-old banner up there, created last year by Red Pill Junkie The Reader. (As if I could do anything remotely so competent.) For some reason just about everyone seems to prefer this banner to the one which was there before, which, as one The Reader indicated, closely resembled carbonated pee.

Mike The Longtime Reader and Amy The Reader tried their durndest, complete with attached jpgs and solar flares and very small words, to help me center the new banner. Alas, my blondeness persists, and the only way to make the banner nice and centery was to change the layout. I'm sorry. Please do try to carry on.

THING THE SECOND: If you haven't checked the Appearances and Events page recently over at, you might wanna. I will be Appearing at several Events over the next few months, including a wine tasting this Friday, November 30, at Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church in Potomac Falls, VA. Because if there is one thing we Catholics know besides beer, running hospitals, guilt, incense, fish fries, bingo, pointy hats, and making craft projects out of little scraps of construction paper, it is wine. If you can make it, please RSVP to BONUS: Josh The Pilot and his wedding ring will be there.

Also, I lied. There is a THING THE THIRD. It would have been cooler to roll this out on Cyber Monday, but I felt it was more important to stay up until two in the morning fretting over robot urination. You see that little item over to the right? No, not what was left of your human dignity before The Bachelor finale--my Amazon Associate link. That is correct: Four years after the rest of the world hopped on board the Associates program, I grab hold of the dangerously tipping sideboard. While Drink to the Lasses is still available directly from the publisher, if you choose to raft the Amazon, kindly use my skiff. Even if you're not ordering DttL (because you already have so very many copies in your possession, I'm assuming), I'd appreciate it if you'd click on that little thingy-thing there before you slap down that credit card... number. (Buying just ain't what it used to be. Remember all those outstanding "shop until the card is smooth" references? What can we say now? "I shopped until the sever timed out and my rolly chair rollers were all imprinted in the carpet! YEAH!" It's... just not the same.)

The reason why I implore this of you is that it will enable me collect a commission at absolutely no additional cost to you, and now that I've ripped away the day job net and all, my new husband I are in search of scraped-together income at every turn. For the baby, you know. (Not our baby. But somewhere, perhaps in your very own home, there's a baby, and that baby wants you to give me money.) This Amazons Associate system really works, so I'm told; once, somebody on Friendboy Andy's page clicked on his link, and browsed around for a while, then bought a ridiculously expensive digital camera, which meant that Andy got enough commission to buy, like, a whole entire candy factory. So: For me, for the baby, for the candy factory... use the banner, if you please. Many thanks.

yes I know, the most important things in life aren't things at:

Monday, November 26, 2007

Where Do We Go Now, Sweet Child O' Mine?

I saw Transfomers recently under Rifftrax duress, and we must agree that it takes some tryin' to make a movie about cars which fold into robots boring and lame. And yet.... Transformers.

I must say I didn't have a great deal invested in the travails of Prime Number and his nemesis MegaDeath, or whatever, as Transformers in its Saturday morning cartoon form was a boy show and therefore uninteresting. All I knew about it was that there was more to them, apparently, than met the eye. Move over, folding and unfolding robots, I want my high-class entertainment in the form of singing chipmunks!

But even I was highly disturbed when, a third of the way through the movie, one of the Transformers--one of the good Transformers, whom we were supposed to root for-- started peeing on a human character. I repeat: THE TRANSFORMER PEED ON SOMEBODY.

It is no longer Morning in America. Retailers realize this, and have been shoving the childhoods of Generation X back at us in hideously repackaged form for some time now, although if I have anything to say about it, Jim The Small Child Nephew and Will The Baby Nephew will never know that Cabbage Patch Kids glow in the dark.

Of course, the rampage doesn't end at the Patch.

This is Minty, everybody-- a My Little Pony circa 1983. She was one of six pastel Ponies. You can respect this Pony, as much as a person can respect a bile-green horse who looks as if she just staggered out of a campus bar in the very early hours of March the eighteenth.

But look what they've done to my herd:

Wha' happen'? Has there been some sort of natural disaster which forced the species to adapt to the color scheme of just-vomited rainbow sherbet? Back in the day, I had a couple My Little Pegasus ponies with screaming-yellow fluorescent hair, and they were way more calming than this Crayola explosion.

Then there's Strawberry Shortcake:

This was the doll I played with, complete with her chokable comb and impetigo-infected cat. I forget the cat's name. The cat is not important. What is important is that an entire generation of girls grew up surrounded by the soft, fake odor of strawberries, and accepted large, pink hats with green striped pantyhose as a laudable fashion statement. She was fully herself, Strawberry was, what with her flat feet and her extreme lack of boobage, and God bless her. She was the anti-Barbie. You could feel good around The Shortcake, because whatever the state of the Pac-Man tshirt you were wearing, you were going to look better than she did.

Strawberry Shortcake, post-New World Order:

What th-- Girlfriend is wearing PANTS. Did she have a Special Experience at summer camp? I mean, notthatthere'sanythingwrongwiththat, but when somebody says, "Meet Strawberry Shortcake!" you are not going to picture a person who looks like she just rolled out of Lilith Fair.

Oh, but you haven't seen what they've done to Holly Hobbie yet. She was a woman of mystery, the original Holly, whose eponymous hobby essentially consisted of hiding from the world beneath The Bonnet That Consumed Schenectady:

I don't know what it was with us Daughters of the '80s and our preoccupation with enormous hats. Perhaps we believed if the Russians couldn't find us, they couldn't launch their missiles and make us stand in lines to buy bread.

Well, nowadays the Russians aren't even fun to play hockey against anymore:

Holly. Put down the macramé and step away from Carrie Bradshaw's stupid newsboy cap. Find some gingham and get back on my lunchbox where you belong.

But the biggest disappointment is the reincarnation of Toss Across:

Toss Across was bascially person-sized tic-tac-toe with beanbags and three-sided plastic blocks on a huge frame. I have many fond memories of standing in the basement across from Julie The NephewsMama, perfecting my inability to hit anything, including her.

So you can imagine my shrieking when I ran across Toss Across in a toy aisle, only the happy shriek trailed off horribly: "TOSS AC--why is it really small?"

This is the approximate actual size of the current Toss Across. It's, like, Smurfified. And neon. You'd think such an obvious chroma-shoutout to the Reagan era would make me happy, but no-- I just feel sad, and kind of calcium-deficient. Man, it just makes me want to pee on a Transformer.

don't even get me started on the Care Bears at:

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Nobody Panic, Part II

There's a new title... thing up there, and I know this is all very frightening, but if we pull together, we can get through it.

And if you can tell me how to scootch it over to the
middle of the page, that would be just outstanding. Scootching is far beyond my poor blog-tampering skeelz.

needing to lie down at:

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