Happy Easter 2014

Mamacita says:

Happy Easter, everyone.

What? Oh, oops. . . . .

Here. This is more like it. I do love those vintage Easter postcards. I hated growing up and finding out that those baby kittens were probably going to eat those baby chicks. I would also hate to have to tell you all how old I was before I realized that the bunnies weren’t really responsible for all those eggs.  (In real life, those Disney owls would have devoured those baby birds, etc, too.  Only in a Disney film is an owl a wise mentor, not a voracious carnivore.)  But I digress.  Or did I. . . .

Ultimately, however, this is Easter to me.

And isn’t it wonderful that so many of us, with so many different beliefs, can hang out here in the Blogosphere and get along great and love each other without having to constantly proselytize and try to sway each other to our own beliefs?

Oh, sure, those people are online too, but I don’t pay much attention to them. Not here; not anywhere.  Well, maybe a little more this past week, but not usually.

It’s the people whose beliefs are quietly lived every day, the people who show me by example what their values are, who get my attention.

And who says God doesn’t have a sense of humor? If you don’t believe me, just look around for a minute or two. Think of your family.

And if you’re alone, look in the mirror.

See?

Happy Easter, dear internet people. Eat chocolate. Get together with family. Smile. Have some eggs. Rejoice over something.

It’s a good day for rejoicing. . . .

(Originally posted on Easter, 2005, but nothing’s changed since then.)

Oh, about that Easter Island head? It and its clone guard the entrance to the local city park. We carve limestone here.

Are you going to eat that Reese’s Egg?

P.S.  ”He is risen.”  Please notice the participle form of “to rise” used after the linking verb “is.” Participle forms of verbs, used without a helping verb, are adjectives.  If you want to say “He has risen,” you are using the third column past participle form of “to rise” and you are using it  with a helping verb.  Third column past participle verbs are never used without a helping verb.  By that same token, never use a helping verb with a first or second column present or past tense verb.  ”He done rose” is not acceptable.  (Future tense is an exception.)  (He WILL rise.)

P.P.S.  The above Easter grammar rant was brought to you by me, because I am forever behind a lectern, in reality and in my head, and can’t resist making a connection even if it involves bringing holy or sacred icons into the classroom.  Or the Blogosphere.  Why?  Because I am not afraid nor do I hesitate to connect pretty much anything and everything and anyone and everyone to anything and everything and anyone and everyone else. In the universe.  That is what education is.

P.P.P.S.  Easter Island heads have bodies.

 

 

Quotation Saturday: Easter

quotation saturday, mamacita's blog, jane goodwin Mamacita says: It’s Easter weekend, and Quotation Saturday begs your leave to take full advantage of said fact. Nah, I’m kidding, Quotation Saturday does what it wants; sometimes it makes itself known when it’s not even Saturday.

Easter is a wonderful, special time of year. For some, it marks the end of harsh winter and the beginning of beautiful spring; for others, it’s the holiest of holy days, and for still others, it’s a children’s holiday full of bunnies, chickies, candy, and colored eggs.

Quotation Saturday wishes to please you all.

1. We are told to let our light shine, and if it does, we won’t need to tell anybody it does. Lighthouses don’t fire cannons to call attention to their shining- they just shine. — Dwight L. Moody

2. Easter is very important to me, it’s a second chance. — Reba McEntire

empty tomb, Easter, Scheiss Weekly3. The first thing that stuck in the minds of the disciples was not the empty tomb, but rather the empty grave clothes – undisturbed in form and position. — Josh McDowell

4. I have always wanted a bunny and I’ll always have a rabbit the rest of my life. — Amy Sedaris

5. I’ve got great people who handle my schedule, and everything does revolve around the children. If there’s a parents’ night or an Easter bonnet parade or a Nativity play, whatever it might be, then I plan everything around that. — Victoria Beckham

6. I read the Scriptures at the American Cathedral on Christmas and Easter; that’s it. It’s a task I love. — Olivia De Havilland

7. Easter is reflecting upon suffering for one thing, but it also reflects upon Jesus and his non compliance in the face of great authority where he holds to his truth – so there’s two stories there. — Michael Leunig

8. Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song. — John Paul II

9. Christmas and Easter can be subjects for poetry, but Good Friday, like Auschwitz, cannot. chicks, cat, Easter, devour, Scheiss WeeklyThe reality is so horrible it is not surprising that people should have found it a stumbling block to faith. — W.H. Auden

10. If anyone or anything tries to curse or kill the Goodness at the Center of all things, it will just keep coming back to life. Forever Easter. — David Housholder

11. Easter is never deserved. — Jan Karon

12. Love paid a price so hope could become a reality. — Susan GaddisPeeps, pink, Easter, Scheiss Weekly

13. Two thousand years ago Jesus is crucified, three days later he walks out of a cave and they celebrate with chocolate bunnies and marshmallow Peeps and beautifully decorated eggs. I guess these were things Jesus loved as a child. — Billy Crystal

14. So with Easter. It was fun, as a child, to bound down the stairs to find seasonal sweet-treats under each plate, but again, with the passing of time, and the shadow of death over our broken family circle, I’ve seen Easter as highest necessity. If chocolate bunny, Easter, Scheiss Weeklyhope is to flourish, it had better be true. –Gerhard Frost

15. The joyful news that He is risen does not change the contemporary world. Still before us lie work, discipline, sacrifice. But the fact of Easter gives us the spiritual power to do the work, accept the discipline, and make the sacrifice. — Henry Knox Sherrill

16. Easter tells us that life is to be interpreted not simply in terms of things but in terms of ideals. — Charles M Crowe

17. The resurrection gives my life meaning and direction and the opportunity to start over no matter what my circumstances. — Robert Flatt

18. Let every man and woman count himself immortal. Let him catch the revelation of Jesus in his resurrection. Let him say not merely, “Christ is risen,” but “I shall rise.” — Phillips Brooks

19. You’ll wake up on Easter morning, And you’ll know that he was there, When you find those Easter lamb, Scheiss Weeklychoc’late bunnies, That he’s hiding ev’rywhere. — Gene Autry

20. The resurrection asserts a truth which is by no means always written legibly for all men on the face of nature. It tells us that the spiritual is higher than the material; that in this universe spirit counts for more than matter. — H.P. Liddon

21. The impossible often has a kind of integrity which the merely improbable lacks. — Douglas Adams

22. It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart. — Rainer Maria Rilke

23. If people did not love one another, I really don’t see what use there would be in having any spring. — Victor Hugo

24. It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want—oh, you spring flowers, Easter, Scheiss Weeklydon’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! — Mark Twain

25. Strange as it may seem, the association of eggs and bunnies at Easter time are actually connected and, to discover more, we must once again turn our attention to the Saxon fertility Goddess, Eostre. — Carole Carlton

Happy Easter, bunnies, chicks, eggs, Scheiss Weekly

Three Truths and a Lie

three truths and a lie Mamacita says: You know how the game is played. Here are four statements about me, and one of them is a lie. Which one?

Most of you know me pretty well. See if you can figure it out.

1.  I danced with Bobby Knight at a party in a trailer park.

2.  I took tickets at a drag queen beauty and talent pageant.

3.  I am a big fan of country music and reality shows.

4.  I look up most movies on “The Movie Spoiler” before watching to make sure there’s a satisfactory ending.

Go.

Noah, You’re Not the Only One Who Survived a Flood

Noah's ark, ark, flood, Scheiss Weekly Mamacita says:  First of all, please remember that the literal level is the very lowest, simplest, basic form of reading and interpretation.  Good readers and thinkers have advanced above the literal level into the inferential and figurative levels.  That being said. . . .

There’s a lot of controversy about the new “Noah” movie, but I think most of it involves people who don’t know much about the history of the planet, and who haven’t actually READ FOR THEMSELVES the segments in pretty much any religion’s holy book about the flood.

“There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.”  – Genesis 6:4

These giants, according to many and NOT according to probably just as many, were the Nephilim, sometimes regarded as fallen angels.  Not the Satanic kind; just the proud and snotty kind.  Still brothers to the Seraphim, but lacking many of their original powers because of their decision to have sex with mingle with the women of earth – the “daughters of men.”  We have no way of knowing for sure what they may have looked like.  Your guess is as good as mine.  Our guesses are as good as a screenwriter’s.  It is also a theory that the creative geniuses of our planet are descendants of the Nephilim.  I kind of like that one.

Maybe they looked like CGI rocks.  Maybe they were tall and handsome.  I wasn’t there.  Neither were you.  We don’t know.

For more information and a lot of creativity, read Madeleine L’Engle’s “Many Waters.”  It’s wonderful, if you’re not too anal and literal to appreciate some awesome liberties.

As for whether or not there really was a Great Flood, if you have any kind of literary background at all you will already know that almost every single culture on the planet has at least one story of such a flood, and while the peripherals may differ, the gist remains: the major deity became disgusted with the behavior of mortal men, and decided to wipe them out with many waters.  One family was spared, with the hope that the more positive gene pool would repopulate the planet with a better sort.  On a geological time line, these floods all pretty much coincide.  Sometimes I think writers and readers have as great a grasp of science as the actual scientists.  Of course, I also believe we are all scientists if we let ourselves be, so there.

The Greek myths of Baucis and Philemon, who showed hospitality to the gods and were thus spared from drowning, and of Deucalion and Pyrrha, who were forewarned about the destruction and who built an ark to escape it, are but two ancient flood stories.  There are dozens.  DOZENS.  All with the same theme, but with different details.

In fact, since education is all about connections, some of you probably already know that when Zeus and Hermes descended to the earth and traveled from village to village to check out the beliefs and hospitality of the people, they disguised themselves as peasants.  When the New Testament disciples Paul and Barnabas traveled from village to village spreading the brand-new Gospel, people assumed the two men were Zeus and Hermes.  That was a familiar story to them, you see.  (Yes, it’s in the Bible.)

Many theologians believe that one (of probably many) reasons Jesus turned water into wine at the Canaan wedding was because he knew the people would recognize it as a miracle because in several Greek myths a god turned water into wine.  Even the commonest of people would have been familiar with these stories, so seeing water turned into wine before their eyes was an excellent way to establish Jesus as a miracle worker.

Back to Noah.

The stories were built AROUND the flood, to explain it to somewhat primitive people who could have no way of comprehending a scientific disaster and who needed reasons provided by their (now mythical) religions to explain it.

I would also bet money, if I had any, that many of the people protesting the “non-accuracy” of the new “Noah” movie believe that there were only two of each animal on that ark, when in fact the Christian Bible itself says not, according to Genesis 7:2:

“You are to take with you seven pairs of every clean animal, a male and its mate, and two of the unclean animals, a male and its mate.”   — International Standard Version

That, my friends, is a lot of manure.  Shoveling it out must have taken the better part of each day.

As a child, I used to wonder how Noah, his wife, their three sons, and their wives, managed to Noah, ark, animals, Scheiss Weeklykeep the lions from eating the rabbits.  And where did Noah get the meat to feed all the carnivores?  Was that why he needed seven pairs of most animals?  Because you know there would be more than that by the time the whole thing was finally over.

There are theories that Noah also had several daughters whose husbands were among those who mocked Noah and his sons while they were building the ark, so Noah let them drown along with the other unholy townspeople.  I like that, too.  The screenwriters made up some characters and happenings and manipulated others, but seriously.  To take ancient word-of-mouth stories finally written down in who knows which version absolutely literally isn’t logical.  It’s the core we must look at, not the embellishments each teller of a tale added.

This is how my mind has always worked.  My poor teachers.

There were groves of cypress and other trees in some of the desert’s oases, so that one never bothered me.  ”Gopher wood” has many translations.

I think it boils down to this:  one must cultivate a willing suspension of disbelief to believe – and to enjoy – much of what makes up any culture.  Scientists understand this.  Writers do, too.  Children have it instinctively until it’s beaten out of them by prosaic parents and traditional schooling.

Common Core is doing its best to wipe out all aspects of individuality, creativity, art, music, and anything that a child might have in himself to stand out.  People were never meant to be standardized.  The very idea is horrible.  But I digress.

People who don’t “believe” in anything must lead such drab, ordinary lives.  I can’t imagine a life Magic, books, literal, creativity, Scheiss Weeklywithout imagination, artistic leanings, creativity, and the cultivating of all these things in children and each other.  You don’t believe in any kind of magic?  You poor thing.  And your even poorer children.

We don’t have to subscribe to the peripherals to believe in the core.

I plan to enjoy the new “Noah” film.  I don’t have to sit there with a Bible and a notebook and write down all the things that offend me, because the only thing that might offend me is bad acting, poor writing, and the presentation of fantasy that doesn’t engage me in the moment.  As for those pathetic people who are criticizing the film because it doesn’t conform to their particular set of beliefs:  which version of the Bible are you referring to?  Oh, that’s right.  The one you personally subscribe to.

I rest my case.

 

 

 

Ten Years Blogging. I’m Old School!

scheiss weekly, jane goodwin, woman typing, blog anniversaryMamacita says:  Ten years ago, a former student told me that I should start a blog.  ”You’ve got such a lot to say,” he said.  ”Who cares what I think about the world?” I replied. “Lots of people would,” he said.

I wondered if he was right. I guess he was, because I’ve been to conferences all over the country, and spoken to crowds of people, both individually and on panels.  People seem to recognize me even before they see my name tag.  People tell me that such-and-such a post really helped/spoke to them/influenced them, etc.  It’s really, really humbling.  And exciting.  And humbling. Who would have thought it?  Me, with a large readership and people who seemed to like me and take me seriously?  It’s like a dream.  The good kind, that comes true because you never dreamed it would be possible but it really did and you’re in shock and awe and Oz and Wonderland.  And Narnia and Hogwarts.  And the Tardis.

I’ve met so many wonderful people during this journey.  Some of them are still virtual friends, while I’ve met many face-to-face, but I’ve also learned during these ten years that online friends can be as real as face-to-face friends.  Sure, there are creeps out there, but no more so than the number of creeps at the mall.

I’ve learned not to be afraid of the world.  The world is actually pretty awesome, and it’s full of cool things and fantastic people.  Sure, there are fiery volcanic pits and treacherous waterfalls and cockroaches, but there are also rainbows and sunsets and people who are good, true friends.  The forever kind.

That I would still be here ten years after beginning this funky little blog is amazing to me, and yet, it’s also unthinkable to abandon it, as many are abandoning blogging for the shorter Twitter and Facebook.  Oh, I’m on those, too, but this blog saved my soul alive ten years ago and it’s done nothing but nourish me ever since. I am so grateful to the internet.  Really, I am.  It’s a world that was always there, but we had no way of accessing it easily.  Now, we can travel anywhere, see anything, contact anyone, and work for a business that’s a thousand miles away, in our pajamas, at midnight.

Thank you, dear readers, for making me feel special.  Ten years is as an eternity in the internet Hourglassworld, but somehow I don’t feel old when I’m here.  I’m happy when I’m on Scheiss Weekly.  I’m happy reading your comments.  I love visiting YOUR blogs. I love visiting with you on the other social media sites, too, but I don’t think anything could ever completely replace a blog.  In ten more years, I guess we’ll find out.

Also, I wonder if you really understand the title of this blog.  Scheiss Weekly.  Who speaks German? C’mon.

I was traumatized when I began it, and the title reflected that.  I’m fine now, but the title keeps me humble.  And fairly sane. Time marches on.  Time flies.  And yet, it really doesn’t.  Time stands still.  We march. With every blink of the eye, yes, and briefer even than that, our lives are moving ever swiftly towards their ends. It’s this middle that we must make the most of.  I am.  I hope you are, too.

Here’s to ten more years.  At a time, anyway.

I love you all.  Literally.

The Night I Met Mary Poppins At A Revival Meeting and She Turned Ugly On Me

crisco, anointing, revivalMamacita says:  Some of this post was written nine years ago.  It is still true.  And I am still a little bit angry.  

This post will seem possibly a mite disrespectful. That’s because it probably is. But when a person describes an event, it’s usually from that person’s point of view, so let the chips fall where they may. If I might use that analogy in this particular setting.

Remember that old boyfriend who converted from Tony Manero on the dance floor to Pat Robertson on the camp floor?  (He was so handsome until he turned. . . .)

It happened to him out of the blue. One night we were sitting in the bar at the Greystone Hotel downtown, drinking Margaritas and screwdrivers and getting up to dance every time the band played a song we could recognize, and the next night, we were on our way to a revival meeting at the Church of Disgruntled Believers Who Left Other Churches Because People Who Wore Nude Stockings Were Allowed To Enter. No booze. No tobacco. No dancing. No elbows.

preacher, revival, screamingWho made up the rules for this church? The preacher made them up.

I looked around for Kool-Aid but fortunately I did not see any.

We brought his little sister with us. She was around eleven or so.

He had told me to ‘dress accordingly.’ I did wear a skirt, but I was later told that although it was of a ‘seemly length,’ it was made of an ‘unseemly fabric’ and the uneven hem had potential to draw the eyes of even a married man to “heights.”  These people loved the word “seemly” in all its forms, especially “unseemly.”

I was also instructed not to let my elbows show if I decided to return. Elbows were a “private part,” and women should not drive the men to distraction by displaying them.

No problem there.

So, the three of us entered the church. It was absolutely jam-packed-full of people, and smelled like a concession stand that hadn’t been cleaned any time lately. We found seats about four pews from the front, and settled in. Everyone was talkative and seemed fairly normal, barring the dowdy clothes and the weird hats and umbrellas. It wasn’t raining. Everyone had umbrellas.

The old lady behind us looked exactly like Mary Poppins. She struck up a nice old-lady-to-little-girl conversation with the Boyfriend’s sister. A guy I remembered from high school was playing the Mary Poppins, umbrella, revival meeting, criscopiano. I was surprised to see him there, for as I said, I remembered him from high school. I dare say he was just as surprised to see me there.

At precisely seven o’clock, the placed hushed as though a bowl had been turned over the top of the building. Four old ladies walked down the aisle, sprinkling water from silver dishes, behind them.

The preacher (he was not a minister, sorry, but he was NOT a minister, just a preacher) stalked pompously down the aisle and took his place behind the pulpit. The four old women stood behind him.

revival meeting, crazy people, corncob, wild, chaoticThe moment he opened his mouth and spoke, the whole place exploded.

I honestly have no clue what he said that night, because I couldn’t hear him. The four women behind him raised their arms into the air and hooted like freight trains the entire time. Everyone in the church went nuts.

They were whacking their umbrellas all over the pews and the walls and each other. They were screaming and crying and singing and making freaky noises that were supposed doppler effect, revival meeting, screaming womento be ‘tongues’ but most of the time it was fairly understandable; plus, the ‘tongue’ people, while looking straight up or straight down, were flicking their eyes from side to side to make sure people were watching them.

Mary Poppins was shrieking like a banshee and hitting the Little Sister with her umbrella, so hard that she almost fell down. It was louder and crazier than many rock concerts I’d been to.

People were running around the room with cans of Crisco, smearing it on people’s foreheads. I had to knock one old man away from me with my foot! He was DETERMINED to put Crisco on my face. And one of them got the Little Sister, who began to cry in terror.

And the crowd scared me. They scared me badly. Some of them were coming after me personally, with those rolled-up umbrellas and their ‘tongues’ and their screaming and prancing and wailing and moaning and Crisco.

You read about Shakers gettin’ down. . . .Shakers had NOTHING on these people.

I looked back across the pews. People were standing on top of them and prancing. There were people dancing on top of the piano. Swinging from the rafters. It was like being at a campus rugby party.  There should have been a keg in the corner.

I was more frightened with every moment that passed by.  It was a living re-enactment of the Doppler Effect – and louder than a train.

Then I looked closely at his Little Sister. She was white-faced and shaking. That’s when I got angry. terrified child, scared little girl at revival meeting

I took her by the hand and together we braved the aisle and aimed for the door. People jumped in front of us, and tried to keep us from leaving. I elbowed them aside with my sinful sensual elbows and led her out.

In the hallway, we looked around and found the restroom. We holed up in there for the duration of the meeting. I would have just left with her, but we were too far away to walk anywhere familiar, and I didn’t have any money for a cab. She sobbed in my arms for an hour.

When things quieted down, we ventured out of the restroom and cased the joint. We found the Boyfriend standing outside in a group of cigar-smoking men (can you spell HYPOCRITE?) and he wasn’t overly pleased with my “behavior.”

All the way home, I told him exactly whose ‘behavior’ needed improvement.

I didn’t expect him to call me again, but he did. Too many times.

I never did know if he was just taking a walk on the wild side, or if he saw me as one of the sinful who needed redemption.

Either way, I was no longer interested.

I am a Christian, but I am not a bloody lunatic. And adults who look and dress like Mary Poppins should not terrorize a little girl by screaming in her face and hitting her with an umbrella and attacking her with Crisco.

How dare those people frighten a child like that. I’m still angry on her behalf.

What kind of religion behaves like that? I have laughed about this experience for many years but I have also waxed indignant over it. I do not believe these people had religion. I do not believe these people had anything remotely associated with religion.

I think these people were repressed judgemental morons who saw evil in everything, and who forced themselves to live such anal lives that the corncob could fall out only when they were going nuts in church.

I do not mean to make fun of all churches. No, no, no. I’ve met lovely people in church before. I’ve also met them outside of church.

But I AM making fun of churches that encourage behaviour like I saw that night. And I am making fun of people who behave like those people behaved.

Because, you know, if we don’t make fun of them, we might break down and cry over the complete and utter idiocy of much of the human race.

Perhaps that is why were were given a sense of humor, after all.