Me, yesterday, enjoying the unseasonably warm weather while deep in thought… and snapping a selfie.
Long time, no write. I hope all has been well with you, Dear Readers. I’ve been doing alright. Staying busy. Despite- or actually because- Zoe being more independent than ever (potty trained and all!), I have far less “free” time on my hands. Starting around July, I began doing a bit of homeschool for Zoe. A bit because I don’t have a strict curriculum, and I don’t write lesson plans (outside of notes in an agenda planner). I use free resources available online, and follow Zoe’s natural curiousity (she asks “Why?” at least fifteen hundred times a day, give or take a hundred). We go to the library regularly, as well as the park and a local Anglican church. We’ve gone to a farmer’s market a couple of times and a watercolor show at the nearby university. And of course, these trips are either low- or no- cost.
A book borrowed from the library as part of our “Day & Night” theme.
Zoe’s first Venn Diagram, a part of our “Day & Night” theme.
All smiles at the watercolor show.
Exploring an English style garden.
A kangaroo mommy and baby on a toilet paper roll as part of our “Family” theme.
Even though it’s a very informal style of teaching, it still is teaching, and requires a bit of research and reading for arts and crafts how-to’s, recommended books and lesson time. I string together videos from Youtube, PBS, Nick Jr. among other sites, and use stories from ppreviously purchased books and the kids section of the library. Once upon a time, I was an Early Childhood major, and this experience is a reminder of how much I love the little “light bulb” moments of little minds learning. It’s also a reminder, though, that I probably would have made a rather poor teacher. I’m not very creative (just because I enjoy painting and drawing as a hobby doesn’t make me creative), and I’m rather lazy and disorganized. Just being honest. Still, Zoe isn’t enrolled in a daycare or preschool, and I fully intend for her to begin formal school in another year at, or above, the expected knowledge level.
When Alvaro Soares moved to the Boston area from Brazil in 1999, he found himself invited to a “Life in the Spirit” seminar at a local Catholic church — a meeting for prayer, worship, and discussion that promised to renew his faith.
A priest divided everyone into small groups. Four other believers laid their hands on Mr. Soares and prayed that he would receive “Baptism in the Holy Spirit.” He looked around and saw that “other people were having strong reactions — my wife and daughter were,” he said. “At first, I didn’t feel a thing. And then I suddenly felt peace. I began to speak in tongues later.”
What had just happened? Most people — including many Catholics — associate Catholic worship with staid hymns and a strict liturgy led by a priest. Sure, Catholics believe in miracles, but praying for divine healing, trembling in the aisles, or shouting streams of nonsense words at the whim of the Holy Spirit — isn’t that stuff that only boisterous Pentecostals do?
The answer is no: some Catholics have been praying this way since the charismatic renewal movement began almost 50 years ago (charisma is Greek for “gift of grace”). At a time when the Church is in the international spotlight and many wonder how Rome will weather the challenges of secular modernity and internal scandal, charismatic Catholicism has emerged as one of the most vibrant subcultures in the global faith.
Charismatic renewal began among American Protestants in the late 1950s, when a handful of Lutherans in Minnesota and Episcopalians in California felt pushed by the Holy Spirit to speak in tongues (according to the Book of Acts, the Holy Spirit bestowed the gift of foreign languages upon the Apostles at Pentecost — but most modern-day disciples pray and shout in meaningless speech-like sounds). The revival spread to Catholicism in 1967, when students and faculty at Duquesne University, a Catholic school in Pittsburgh, announced that they, too, had been “baptized in the Spirit.”
The charismatic renewal movement became the most formidable religious revival of the 20th century: a global phenomenon that had left almost no Christian community untouched by the time it began to taper off in the mid-1970s. Protestants and Catholics who had always preferred calm and “respectable” worship, who viewed Pentecostals as their embarrassing cousins, suddenly embraced Pentecostal practices like praying in tongues, divine healing, and surrendering physical control of their bodies to the Holy Spirit.
Read the rest here. Changing subjects from praiseworthy to cringe-inducing, did you hear Fox News host Eric Bolling’s truly revolting “boobs on the ground” comment a few days ago? Here’s the story from The Washington Post:
Yes, women pilots have boobs — and Fox News hosts found it funny. The object of the “boobs on the ground” comment was Maj. Mariam Al Mansouri, reportedly the first female pilot in the United Arab Emirates Air Force.
Mansouri, 35, is from Abu Dhabi. She graduated from college with a degree in English literature and completed flight school in 2007, the Deraa Al Watan magazine reported.
On Monday night, she led airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria. But on Fox just two days later, she became a laughing matter when “The Five” co-hosts Greg Gutfeld and Eric Bolling cracked a couple of sexist jokes.
The segment started with co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle’s introduction:
Hey ISIS, you were bombed by a woman. Oh yeah, hell came down on ISIS in Syria because — guess what — the first female pilot, piloting for the U.A.E. … leading the strikes, dropped the bombs on ISIS on Monday night. … I’ll take a woman doing this any day to them. I hope that hurt extra bad from you because in some Arab countries, women can’t even drive. Her nickname per [Fox News correspondent] Jennifer Griffin? Lady Liberty.
Almost immediately, Gutfeld interjected:
Problem is, after she bombed it, she couldn’t park it.
Then came Bolling:
Would that be considered boobs on the ground or no?
The wise cracks ignited a firestorm on social media.
“boobs on the ground” how stupid can you be?
— Teresa B (@skeetmoses) September 25, 2014
Eric Bolling’s tasteless “boobs on the ground” joke doesn’t even make sense. She’s a pilot; she’s not on the ground.
— Josh Barro (@jbarro) September 26, 2014
Fox News commentator Greta Van Susteren called them out as well.
“Ouch!” she said Wednesday night. “Oh, man, do you think the gents on ‘The Five’ … should get a do-over on that one?”
On Thursday, Bolling apologized on-air for joking about boobs.
“I made a joke and when I got home, I got the look,” he said, referring to the response from his female colleagues. “I said sorry to my wife and I apologize to you all and want to make that very clear.”
Guilfoyle had put her head into her hand and responded, “Why did they ruin my thing?”
Ruin your speech? Nearly ruined my breakfast when I heard about it on The Daily Show later (I watch the “late” shows the following morning over coffee on my iPad before I get pulled into the day by Z). Here’s Jon Stewart’s clip.
Sometimes I forget just how incredibly sexist some peedople are, even today. But of course, the real boobs of Fox News can always be trusted to remind me.
Although it’s not just Fox that has a lock on stupid reporting; The New York Times published a story on TV superproducer Shonda Rhimes and award winning actress Viola Davis that many feel was not fit to print. From The Root:
During a Thursday appearance on The View, Viola Davis fired back at the New York Times writer who recently said she was “less classically beautiful.” Last week, in an article that received plenty of backlash, Times writer Alessandra Stanley not only critiqued Davis’ looks but also referred to Shonda Rhimes as an angry black woman.
In response to that article, the Times’ public editor, Margaret Sullivan, said it was “astonishingly tone-deaf and out of touch.” Sullivan also noted, “The readers and commentators are correct to protest this story.” She continued, “Intended to be in praise of Ms. Rhimes, it delivered that message in a condescending way.”
Davis, who didn’t publicly address the comments until yesterday, explained on the show how she felt about them and what made her take on the role in Rhimes’ How to Get Away With Murder:
“I’m glad that Shonda Rhimes saw me and said “Why not?” That’s what makes her a visionary. That’s what makes her iconic. I think that beauty is subjective. I’ve heard that statement [less classically beautiful] my entire life. Being a dark-skinned black woman, you heard it from the womb. And “classically not beautiful” is a fancy term for saying ugly. And denouncing you. And erasing you. Now … it worked when I was younger. It no longer works for me now. It’s about teaching a culture how to treat you. Because at the end of the day, you define you.
As Davis so eloquently put it, dark-skinned women have been described as less classically beautiful forever. But just as she doesn’t let the comment define her, neither should other women. Davis is not only a beautiful woman; her grace and intelligence also shine through everything she’s a part of.
Classy response, Ms. Davis. I think she’s beautiful, classically. Let’s end this post with a little Lenny Kravitz. Here’s “She’s a Beast” from his new album, “Strut”. Have a great weekend.