Amy’s Abortion

Clickbait. Sorry.

No, not me – this Amy:

Image result for veep the pledge abortion

Probably hardly any of you watch the HBO program Veep , but this plot point from this week’s episode has been nagging at me, so before I share thoughts on the Notre Dame fire, I’ll dash this one off.

Veep is the often funny  – although less so in the last two seasons – show featuring Julia Luis-Dreyfus as  power-desperate politician Selina Meyer and her mostly idiotic and equally craven entourage and sycophants. It’s very profane, and yes – everyone is terrible. 

It’s a show abouterrible, awful, despicable people exploiting us so they can run the country.

And it never pretends that they’re anything but that. I don’t think we’re even supposed to be conflicted about hating these people, as sometimes happens with television and film. They’re hilarious in their awfulness, but they’re still awful. I held back watching it for a while because I assumed it would be nothing but liberal/progressive entertainment types taking easy shots at Deplorables, but – I imagine because of its British roots and original showrunner – it hasn’t played that way at all.

However, I did think the show took a fairly precipitous dive in quality after the fourth season, when the original showrunner and creator of the British series (The Thick of It)  on which it was based  – Armando Iannucci –  departed. The insults and repartee got far more forced and it became almost unwatchable at times.

But here I was, along for the ride for this, the seventh and final season. Let’s check it out. Eh. Okay, with some welcome sharp satire of a Kamala Harris-type candidate and wealthy liberal donors calling the shots and making candidates dance (literally). That was good to see. But…

I’ll just cut to the chase.

In this week’s episode, one of the main characters – Amy Brookheimer, who has functioned in various capacities in Selina Meyer’s administrations and campaigns, has an abortion, and yes, it is played for satire and laughs.

She’s pregnant because of a one-night stand with a former lover and completely despicable human being Dan Egan, who’s also slept with Amy’s sister (and countless others). She waffled a bit about having the baby, but then, at the end of episode 2, she announced that she’d be having an abortion.

This week’s episode had, of course, several plot lines weaving in and out. This one was played as many abortion-related storylines are – that is, centered on suspense whether or not she’ll actually go through with it. I felt, in a way, that the way this one worked was a reflection of  and maybe even commentary on a similar plotline in Sex in the City in which one character sets out determined to have an abortion, the episode leads us to think she did – and we find out at the very end that she changed her mind and would be having the baby.

But not here. We have Amy entering the abortion clinic – clashing with (of course) caricatures of pro-life protesters in deeply profane ways, claiming yes, she’d even prayed about this, then she’s in the room with Dan who makes crass jokes about the vacuum aspiration machine on display (here’s a piece that lays out the dialogue, if you can stand it) – and then the other storylines take over and, of course, someone like me is sitting there hoping that she’d have changed her mind, but then – well, here’s our last scene of Amy in a hotel room, recovering, Dan with her, the two of them still making snappy jokes, naturally.

Yes, disappointing (I know…fiction) …and here are my takeaways.

  • What’s disappointing to me is not so much that this character had an abortion – she’s a fictional character, after all, and given who she is and who’s she’s been, an abortion fits, unfortunately.

No, what disappoints me – although not, I hasten to say, surprises me – are the explanations and justifications offered by those involved with the show. Not that they would treat abortion in this darkly “humorous” matter – I should remind you that in a previous episode, mass shootings were treated in a similar way – as welcome distractions from problems on the campaign trail and thoughts and prayers nothing but words. But  – no, it’s disappointing that, in their words, I pick up the typical attitude to abortion and “women’s choice” and so on – disappointing from human beings who have borne and raised children (actress Anna Chlumsky, who plays Amy, was actually pregnant during the shooting of a previous season). What am I saying? Is abortion exempt from dark, satirical humor? I don’t think so. Maybe. But it’s so very dark and so very horrible – you know, killing kids – that…maybe? For sure, be aware of the darkness as you go. And just maybe, despite their ideological rhetoric – they are?

  • For the fact, however, that those involved with the show discuss the matter the way they do indicate that deep within, they do understand that there is something at stake. In other words – removing an appendix or fixing a pinched nerve or knee replacement surgery aren’t subjects for dark, edgy humor – why? Because there’s not much at stake. It’s not just about social taboos. It’s dark and edgy because people know, whether they admit it or frame it so or not, what’s happening in an abortion – and that a human fetus is different than an appendix. Having an abortion impacts life – Life  – in a way that other “medical procedures” don’t. It wouldn’t be a subject for drama, “dark humor” or controversy if it weren’t. What does that tell us? Anything?

Finally, and despite the right-to-choose triumphalism of Veep personnel, considering the broader context of the abortion in the show’s plotlines and character development, I can’t help but wonder what the final impact on viewers will be. For consider this:

In that final scene, Amy gets a call from a character played by Patton Oswald, one involved in the presidential campaign of Jonah Ryan – it’s an offer to be Jonah’s campaign manager, which she accepts with ecstatic glee.

Image result for jonah ryan

But, let’s remember: Jonah Ryan is, like almost everyone else on Veep, terrible. Terrible and fairly stupid. Amy knows Jonah well and has spent years hating him. HatingBut now she’s leaping at the chance of managing the presidential campaign of a person who, if put in power, would be even more of a disaster for the country than almost any other candidate – and she knows it. But so what? She can put “campaign manager” on her resume. Because, as she chortles my schedule has been scraped clean! 

Having an abortion so you can personally profit from helping someone you know to be terrible gain even more power?

Why yes, I can’t disagree…that’s….




MondayLet’s start with sounds:

Listening: Did a lot of listening for notification tones as Kid #4 was traveling on American Airlines on Sunday – do a Twitter search for @AmericanAir and let the misery and anger from all over pour over you. It seems it was a combination of bad weather in Dallas on Saturday that messed up crews getting to the hub, snow in Chicago, and grounding those 737’s. Many, many flights cancelled, horrendous customer service, people stranded. Luckily, he and friends (an 18th birthday trip for all three, all reaching the milestone in April)  got where they were going – eventually – but not before having one flight cancelled for no discernible reason and then being rebooked on a flight…Monday. Which would defeat the purpose of the trip, trust me.


Now if the rain will hold off…

All is well (at least until the return trip is attempted), but after this, the debacle of last summer going to Tokyo and then problems trying to get to NYC in 2017 – all on American – I’m pretty determined to avoid American at all costs now. They just do not have it together either in terms of crisis response or simply reasonable customer service.

Also listening: I am a sucker for piano transcriptions of orchestral music, and I discovered this – of Holst’s The Planets,   for two pianos. It really does bring new life to a very familiar piece. I’ve listened several times the past couple of weeks.

Also beautiful music at our parish!

  • The Palm Sunday 8:30AM Mass will feature the Cathedral’s other choral groups, including Children’s Schola Cantorum, Men’s Schola, and Ladies Schola, singing much of the same chant repertoire as is sung at the Solemn Mass later in the morning.

  • As always, the music of our liturgies is focused on Gregorian chant, as is requested by the Second Vatican Council and is natural, since many of the chants associated with Holy Week date to the 8th Century…and earlier! Some of this chant (the Mass ordinary) is congregational in nature, some of it (the Mass’ proper antiphons) is reserved to the choir. It is all very beautiful!

  • Some Polyphonic movements of the Mass ordinary are presented on Holy Thursday (Mass for Four Voices, Byrd) and Easter Vigil and Sunday (Missa Brevis in D, KV. 194, Mozart).

  • Motets or anthems of most schools and time periods are presented throughout the week, with a special focus on Latin polyphony (again, as requested by the Second Vatican Council’s Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy, and every Roman Pontiff since Pope St. Pius X). Please check the “Orders of Worship” page for more details.

Watching: Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve done a bit of watching of Hot Shows, checking them out, trying to fill the gap until BCS returns in….wait for it…2020. Yup. (They just started filming last week).

Nothing’s grabbed me.

First I attempted the HBO show Big Little Lies.

I had read about five pages of the novel when it came out, didn’t like it, and that was that. But this series has received so much praise, I thought..well, let’s see. 

There were some things I liked about it – well, just a couple really – the performances. Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern, in particular and to a lesser extent, Nicole Kidman. There’s a scene in a therapist’s office with Kidman and her abusive husband that was one of the best scenes I’ve ever watched in a television program. It completely upends the viewer’s expectations of what’s going to happen (you think she’s going to speak about the abuse, but that’s not the way it turns out) – and her silent reaction shots as she processes what’s going on are award-worthy.

The most enjoyable performance is truly Laura Dern, who plays an over-the-top tech career-woman. It’s delicious and hilarious.


I got to about the halfway point in the series, and was irritated by enough that I didn’t want to spend any more hours with this – I suspected that if I soldiered through to the end, I might be annoyed.  I sensed some degree of manipulation beyond the normal art as manipulation level. And so I went ahead and read episode summaries of the rest and absolutely could not believe the ending. So yes, I would have been annoyed – massively. I’m glad I saw what I did, but that was enough.

And just know that domestic violence is a big theme of this series, and so if you find that disturbing or upsetting, you’ll definitely want to stay away .

Then it was on to Killing Eve, definitely the Hot Show of the Moment.  

It’s about an international serial killer, doing her thing on behest of some mysterious organization, being pursued by  MI6 (5?) personnel, centered on Sandra Oh – who is not, of course British, but whose presence and Polish name is well-explained.

My reaction?

Same as above. I watched, I think, four episodes and got impatient. There may not be a lot to like about this, but there are some things – the acting is fantastic and a pleasure to watch, from Sandra Oh, whom I really like (although I’ve never watched an episode of Grey’s and never will – not my thing), Jodie Comer as the assassin, the fantastic Fiona Shaw as an MI6 (5?) boss and a few others – as well as all the fun international settings.

But the whole thing felt too contrived. Yes, yes..all art is contrived and elevated, exaggerated, concentrated reality  – but there’s a point at which the authentic human element disappears, and it all becomes a video game. Some people like this, and there’s a place for it, but it doesn’t take much of that to bore me. Here, the contrived element has to do with the almost sexual cat-and-mouse game being played by Oh and Comer and my problem with it is not in its existence as a theme or motivator – I just don’t feel it here. I don’t know where it’s coming from on the part of Eve (the Oh character).  And also, when I stopped watching, I sensed some simplistic psychological explanations on the horizon, with, on my part, prospective eye-rolling.

So, again, I just read episode summaries and was satisfied.

Now – I may watch the first two episodes of the new season. Or at least one. Just to see.


Unfortunately, not much. I’m about halfway through To Rise Again at a Decent Hour by Joshua Ferris. I’d read his debut novel Then We Came to the End several years ago, and liked it. This one is about a New York dentist who finds his identity stolen by someone who seems to be starting a religion. I’m really  not sure what’s happening, but I’m enjoying it, even as – I admit – I’m skimming some of this new religion’s mythological excursions. I may regret it later, but we’ll see.

It’s funny and insightful:

The most unfortunate thing about being an atheist wasn’t the loss of God and all the comfort and reassurance of God — no small things — but the loss of a vital human vocabulary. Grace, charity, transcendence: I felt them as surely as any believer, even if we differed on the ultimate cause, and yet I had no right words for them. I had to borrow those words from an old dead order. And so while it was not a word I used, when I fell in love with Connie and became acquainted with the Plotzes, I felt blessed. 


This was what I had tried to impress upon Connie. She wanted kids, I didn’t. I thought I wanted them when we first started dating. Now there was something that could be everything, I thought: kids. From the moment they’re born, until the time is nigh for them to gather around you for your final word, and every milestone in between. But for them to be everything, they would also have to be everything: no more restaurants, Broadway plays, movies, museums, art galleries, or any of the other countless activities the city made possible. Not that that was an insurmountable problem for me, given how little I’d indulged in them in the past. But they lived in me as options, and options are important. With options came freedom, and having kids would nullify those options and restrict that freedom, and I wondered if I would resent them for it. I didn’t want to resent my kids for a decision entirely my own, the one I’d made to bring them into the world. Too many people already felt such a resentment. They’d bring their kids into the shop, and you could see it in their harried, hateful eyes. “Hey,” I wanted to say to them, “it wasn’t this kid’s choice to have teeth. It was yours. And now those teeth are here on earth and need to be cleaned, so how about you just resign yourself to it and hold the f***  kid’s hand?” But easy for me to say. I didn’t have kids.

So I’ll finish that, and then I think I’ll tackle – at least in small doses, with more pop reading in between – Melville’s The Confidence ManI’d never heard of it until yesterday, and now I’m intrigued. More:

Long considered Melville’s strangest novel, The Confidence-Man is a comic allegory aimed at the optimism and materialism of mid-nineteenth century America. A shape-shifting Confidence-Man approaches passengers on a Mississippi River steamboat and, winning over his not-quite-innocent victims with his charms, urges each to trust in the cosmos, in nature, and even in human nature–with predictable results.
Satiric and socially acute, The Confidence-Man represented a departure for Melville. Yet it confused and angered reviewers who preferred to pigeonhole him as an adventure writer. Some have argued the book was a joke on his readers, but if so, it backfired. Dismissed by critics as unreadable, and a financial disaster, the novel’s reception undermined Melville’s belief in his ability to make a living writing works both popular and profound and he soon gave up fiction. Twentieth century critics, however, came to praise the book’s wit, stunning modern technique, and wry view that life may be just a cosmic con game.



Writing: And look what dropped on Amazon (not on the Loyola site yet though – I’d link there first, but…)!


So if you really want…during 2020, you can meditate on things with me, not just once, but twice a day! And come to think of it…come Advent 2019…make that three if you’re really committed…more on that when it appears.

More about the book when it’s available in July, but even before then – if you are involved in a ministry in which you might want do some mass beginning-of-the-school-year or Advent/Christmas2019 gifting…consider this, please! (And no, I don’t make royalties from this one – it’s a for-hire job, already paid, so copies sold don’t impact me, personally. But it would still be great to get a lot of them out there!)

More Easter/Confirmation/First Communion gift suggestions here. 

Palm Sunday

Note: I started this early this morning, but then got massively distracted by Kid #4’s air travels up to Parts North with friends, unfortunately on American Airlines. Search Twitter for “@AmericanAir” and see what you get. What a huge mess. I couldn’t do anything, and they handled it, but I was still…mentally not here, but there, mostly in Charlotte. Thankfully, they got to their destination. Now, let’s see if they get back in a couple of days…..


Last year, we were in Mexico City on Palm Sunday. The post I wrote on that is here, but I’ll go ahead and just repost some of it here:

Our primary goal was Mass, which we hit about halfway through at a church I thought had something to do with St. Francis, but which I cannot for the life of me locate on the map right now. We’ll pass it again at some point – I want to go in and look at the décor more carefully, and take phots with my real camera. Some interesting points:

Those of you familiar with Catholicism in Latin countries probably already know this, but it was new to me. And I don’t know if this is standard practice everywhere, but at this parish in Mexico City, it was. In the US, we have our palms  given to us at the beginning of Mass. Regular old strips of palm leaves. We process, have Mass, and that’s it.

It’s different here. Outside of the church are crafters and vendors of artifacts made of palms – the intricately woven standards you might have seen, but even very elaborate figures, such as the crucifixes you see in the photo. People buy those before (and after) Mass, and bring them into church.

Now, we were not there at the beginning, so I don’t know if there was a procession, but it was the end of Mass that intrigued me.

After Mass, everyone who has something – either purchased that day or from home – brings it up to the front for a blessing (It’s like what I’ve seen at the Hispanic community’s Our Lady of Guadalupe Masses in Birmingham – everyone brings up their religious objects, no matter how big, at the end for blessing.)

What was thought-provoking to me was that while, as is normally the case, perhaps ten percent of the congregation received Communion, almost everyone had a sacramental to be blessed and take home. I need to think about it more and work it out, but the dynamic seems to be that Mass is the locus of blessing, the presence of Jesus. From the Mass, we can take the sacred back into the world, into our homes.

Those of us who are frequent Communion-receivers frame that dynamic in terms of the presence of Christ within us in Eucharist – but those who don’t receive the Eucharist frequently still find a way. A powerful way, it seems to me.

One of the reasons I want to go back to this church is to take a closer look and better photos of the medallions of the evangelists in the sanctuary – you can barely see them running across the center above. What was great about them (again, maybe this is a common motif – I’ve just never run across it before) is that each of the evangelists is, as usual, paired with his symbol – ox, eagle, man, lion – but here they are riding them. It’s fantastic.

Photos here, but they are blurry. You might get a sense – I never got back to take better photos. Also below is a photo of something that was being sold all over Puebla during Holy Week: remnants of communion wafers, sold for snacks in bags. Also a Holy Week schedule from the Cathedral in Puebla. 

Don’t forget to do the correct thing this week!


Some of you might have wondered about the banner image I’ve had throughout Lent.

Here’s the story:


In 2014, we took a trip to Mexico during spring break – here are posts related to that. (We went last year as well, which coincided with Holy Week –  posts on that here as well.) 



We were in the Yucatan, and it was great. The focus was, of course, Mayan sites, but we did get a beach day in Progreso, which was fabulous. Don’t think Mexican Riviera and environmentally disastrous over-development, inclusive resorts and walls enclosing mostly non-Mexicans. No, this was Mexicans enjoying their own beaches themselves, having a good time. Had some of the best food I’ve had on vacation in this restaurant – insanely cheap. We ate and ate excellent, super-fresh fish and other things and I’m pretty sure the bill was around $15 USD.


Anyway, the fellow above was a street vendor who walked up and down the road behind the beach with these wares. In the photo above, I just like the juxtaposition of the beach-goer and the man carrying his cross. Here’s a photo from a different angle – and I’m pretty sure it’s the same fellow, just without his jacket below –  taken with his permission, of course!



Calendar matters

We’re about to begin Holy Week…

Make sure you do the…correct thing!

"amy welborn"


Today, on the traditional calendar, it’s the commemoration of Our Lady of Sorrows. Our Cathedral rector has a blog post:

Today — Friday before Palm Sunday — is traditionally the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows in Passiontide; also known as “St. Mary in Passiontide”, “Our Lady in Passiontide”, or “Our Lady of Seven Sorrows”. This feast is found in the Extraordinary Form of the Mass and also in the Anglican Ordinariate’s Missal, Divine Worship.

In places like Spain there are great public processions with images of Our Lady of Sorrows.

Here’s some information from the 1947 7th grade religion textbook I’m always referring to:



And then Palm Sunday:


Some pages relevant to next week from books I’ve written:



Just to give you a sense on how each of the entries in the Bible Stories  book ends:




7 Quick Takes


— 1 —

Thursday evening, I dragged the boys to the Independent Presbyterian Church – wait, no, don’t worry, no budding Calvinism here – for a production featuring the choir of that church and the UA-Birmingham  music department.

It was The Three Hermits, a one-act opera by American composer Stephen Paulus, based on a Tolstoy short story. Here’s the text of the story. 

It was a nice production in such an interesting space. The event put me back in full Teachable Moment mode, in which I was able to yammer on about Tolstoy, Russian Orthodoxy, Calvinism and the Reformed tradition and even a little bit of Birmingham history – I held back on Walker Percy, though.

(His parents were founding members of this Independent Presbyterian Church, led by a minister with more interest to matters like the Social Gospel than was found among the mainstream Birmingham Presbyterians at the time. By the way – the link takes you to an article on Percy in the magazine for the wealthy neighborhood in which he grew up – Mountain Brook. It’s a recent article, and I’m glad to see it, for now I can finally identify the house in which the family was living when Walker’s father committed suicide. I had never been able to figure out which house it was. Their first home no longer exists – it was torn down as part of neighborhood-ripping road construction.)

 — 2 —


I don’t know what John Calvin would think of this church. 

The large IPC choir sang from a loft on the right, the organ was in its place in the center loft, which also functioned as the hermits’ island, the orchestra was on the ground level over to the left and the rest of the action happened in the sanctuary, with the pulpit functioning nicely as a well, the lookout pulpit on a ship. Most of the voices were quite good, with one weakness. Best were the hermits, the bishop and his mother.

Given that it’s Tolstoy, the original scenario would suggest, you know, Orthodox religious all ’round, but here they all became Roman. Which was fine – the point is still made, although productions doing Catholic Things would do well to always have an actual Catholic be a part of Tech Week to double check accuracy on that score. They did fine, with one except – at one point a non-cleric makes the sign of the cross over himself with his hand sideways, as a cleric blessing others would do.

It’s an interesting little opera – called a “church opera” in some descriptions I read. A few steps up from a “church musical,” with far finer music. The strongest elements were the choral elements and then the exchanges between the bishop and the hermits in which he is attempting to teach them how to pray the Lord’s Prayer (the point of the story being his pride and blindness to the strength of the hermits’ faith, as “simple” as it seems to him).

An hour of quality music, well done, in a lovely church, free, five minutes from home – not a bad Thursday evening! Still time to finish Calculus homework and practice Liszt, which of course is super important to everyone.

— 3 —

Weeks of insanity begin…now. 

Over the next six weeks, we have:

Eighth grade Passion Play; Eighth grade class trip to Nashville; Eighth grade research paper and oral defense; Eighth grade exams; Eighth grade appreciation dinner; Eighth grade graduation; Senior Guys Trip to (of all places) Boston; 3 AP exams; High school awards night; High school baccalaureate Mass, High school graduation; law school graduation; 3 piano competition performances; 1 piano recital; jazz piano lessons; pipe organ lessons; practice for all of those;

Right after Eighth grade graduation, former Eighth Grader immediately transitions to high school and begins with Latin, Spanish and Algebra II/Geometry tutors (that’s the trade-off when you’re going to spend part of the “school year” in places like Moab and Yosemite and Palenque and Guatemala and Thailand and Cambodia and Spain and such. Yeah, while you’re in town? You’ve got to do school, Son. )

Add several orthodontist (although one is just a retainer check now and hopefully the other will have the wires and brackets stripped soon, too) and dermatologist appointments, and really, thank God – seriously  – thank God this 58-year old single mom is fit and healthy (for the moment).


Speaking of school and such, if you didn’t read Caitlyn Flanagan’s take on the college admissions scandal – scoot over to the Atlantic and do so. I don’t agree with her final, final take – it’s too narrow – but it the sharpest writing you’ll find on the mess, penned by a person who actually worked with families like this, both as a teacher and then, yes, as a guidance counselor.

–5 —

From First Things: “Pro-Life Liturgy: How the Orthodox Tradition Teaches That Life Begins at Conception” – 


When we sing hymns of the Annunciation, when we gather for a weekday liturgy to remember Righteous Anna’s Conception of the Mother of God, when we kiss the icon of the Conception of St. John the Baptist as he stands next to his parents, and when we receive the Eucharist that was borne through the royal doors with the Annunciation icon, we experience the truth that each one of us is fully a person from conception. And we celebrate the fact that we are, as soon as we are conceived, unique, irreplaceable, and infinitely valuable.

Our liturgical experience furthers our encounter with reproductive and medical technology today. The language of bioethics is insufficient to us as Christians because it, by design, attempts to keep pace with the ever-changing scientific understanding of prenatal development. The liturgy offers another way of knowing, one that will never be subject to revision. Through the experience of worship, we embody an integrated truth: that the nature of creation is ineffable and that conception is inseparable from the advent of a new person.

Conception is akin to a sacrament of the Church. As in a sacrament, the Holy Spirit, and not just the workings of humans, is involved. And as we do not seek to explain the transformation of the bread and wine into the body and the blood in the Eucharist, we need not square current embryology with the creation of a human person. Leaving this veil on the mystery of the creation of a new person untouched does not deny the biological mechanics of the union of a sperm and an egg and the development of an embryo after fertilization. Instead, we honor the coexistent but higher reality, the more mysterious one, of the beginnings of a human person. 

— 6 —

And now for something completely different: from the NYT – an op-ed suggesting that we don’t need more tech in our cars (aka the self-driving car) – we need to be more engaged with our cars and our driving – hence, we should bring back the manual transmission. 

I mean – not that it’s gone. One of our cars is a stick and teaching my son to drive it was certainly harrowing, but I’m very glad that’s what he’s driving – for all the reasons this writer suggests and more.

But there’s one feature available on some cars today that can increase a driver’s vigilance instead of diminishing it — the manual transmission.

A car with a stick shift and clutch pedal requires the use of all four limbs, making it difficult to use a cellphone or eat while driving. Lapses in attention are therefore rare, especially in city driving where a driver might shift gears a hundred times during a trip to the grocery store….

….When I bought that first five-speed BMW, my dad cautioned me about safety, thinking that driving a stick would be more distracting and less safe. He was wrong. Though research on the safety of manual transmissions is scant, one study on the driving performance of teenage boys with A.D.H.D. revealed that cars with manual transmissions resulted in safer, more attentive driving than automatics. This suggests that the cure for our attentional voids might be less technology, not more.

I’m not gearhead, but I do think that driving a manual transmissions deepens your understanding of what is actually happening to your car while you drive it.

It also might be a theft deterrent – I read, on one of the local neighborhood discussion boards – of someone’s account of an attempted carjacking, abandoned because the car was a stick, and the would-be thief had no idea how to drive it….

Also, speaking to the cell phone issue – I have a friend here in town who has many kids. They’ve been doing new drivers pretty constantly for probably almost ten years now. She said they always have their new drivers drive a manual transmission because it makes it impossible for them to text and drive. Smart!


— 7 —

Image result for the man who killed don quixote banner


My Movie Son on:


The Thin Red Line

Why the bridge sequence in The Good, The Bad and the Ugly hurts the movie

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote




Get your gift books! Do!

First Communion




For more Quick Takes, visit This Ain’t the Lyceum!


Hanging out while my son practiced organ last night, I played with Instagram filters. 

Cathedral of St. Paul, Birmingham, AL. I like the way the watercolor filter makes the violet shrouds – pop – as they say:







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