Kristen and I are off to Ireland for ten days. Everything on Friday went swimmingly well.
Being married rocks!
It's noon here. I'm getting married in 210 minutes. You'd think perhaps I'd have more pressing issues than writing. But the truth is, I'm bored. I'm just sitting in a hotel room waiting for the time to start getting dressed.
This is surreal. I still don't feel much in the way of nerves. I feel like I am waiting to catch a plane or something. We've been waiting so long for this day yet it still amazes me that it is finally here.
I miss my father today. Dad never gave me advice about marriage because I never asked. He respected the boundaries that his kids had on their lives, and thus only offered advice when asked for it. I picked his wonderful brain thousands of times, but we never got around to discussing marriage. I observed it though. My parents were married for almost 42 years and I was around for the last 35 of them. I learned many things about creating a loving family from my parents, and I will do my best to lead by their example in my own marriage. If I am to be a good husband and father, it will be because of what my mother and father showed and taught me.
I am not the most spiritual person. I struggle at times with the knowledge of science and the unknown of faith. I want their to be explanations for everything, so at times I find it hard to believe things are so just because they are. But as I have grown older I see examples of things happening that I believe are the result of faith. I lost my father almost three years ago. Nine months after he died, I met the love of my life, the woman that I was destined to spend eternity with. I don't believe that happened by accident. I think my father was looking out for me, and made sure he steered me in Kristen's direction.
My mother fell in love with Kristen almost as quickly as I did, and has opened her arms up to her, welcoming her into our family.
For what both my father and mother have done, I will always be grateful. I may not be able to shake Dad's hand today after my wedding, but I will surely feel him there with me, just as I have every day for almost three years.
I will dance with my mother tonight, and we will celebrate the life that she and my father gave me.
I don't have much of an opinion about the election of the new Pope. I'm a little surprised that they chose such an old man, but Joseph Ratzinger was John Paul's right hand, and the Church isn't ready to let John Paul go quite yet.
I am amused, however, at those expressing disappointment at this choice, at those who had hoped for someone more liberal. Seriously, what did these people expect? There is nothing about the Catholic church that can be considered liberal, which is one of life's great ironies, given that Jesus was probably the most liberal of people to ever walk the Earth.
I read somewhere that of the 117 cardinals in the world, John Paul appointed 115 of them. I'd think until that number turns over significantly, that there will be always be a European, ultra-conservative pope.
If I must broach the subject of religion, I'd rather call attention to this story. I've seen quite a few pictures of this supposed image of the Virgin Mary, and the only one I've seen that even comes close to resembling anything like even a person is the first one in this CNN story. Do people spend their days walking around actively looking for such things? I'd love to have been there when the first person who noticed this stain passed by.
Yes, I know, God works in mysterious ways, but underneath an expressway overpass? At least the grill cheese sandwich episode from late last year had some "feast for a rapture" quality to it.
I was told that my last answers to Patrick's Saturday Six were far too boring. So in the spirit of "Hollywood Squares" I am going to assume that I am being asked these questions while residing in the center square:
1. Where did you buy the last fast food you ate? Phil's chilli shack, where "We give you the finger every time." McDonald's I think, sometime in February. I don't do fast food much, though you'd never guess that by looking at me. Irish genetics...
2. What was the last movie you watched in a theater? "Sideways." Imagine my surprise when I found that it was not about the true adventures of what happens in the middle of the night at the city morgue.
3. When you walk into a room, what do you think people notice first about you? The fact that I have one oversized eye, centered directly on my forehead. What do you wish they'd notice first about you? My gigantic ears. (One of these is true)
4. You win a special lottery but you aren't allowed to keep any of the money. Instead, it must go to a single charitable organization. Which would you choose and why? The Republican National Committee, of course. I don't see how this fine group of people has been able to accomplish anything these last four years with virtually no monetary support from the masses. Why, the way that the GOP has been shunned and scorned by big business and religious groups makes me shake with anger!
I need to go bathe now.
5. What was the subject of the most recent E-mail you forwarded? I've never forwarded an email, no matter what those goofs at Quantico say.
6. Without looking, which of the previous five questions would you most expect to have been asked in the very first episode of the "Saturday Six?" After you answer, if you go back to the first edition, don't reveal the answer here. I don't know, and I can't think of anything pithy to say here. I just want a pop tart.
Maybe I ought to stop reading the almanac.
Every day the Chicago Tribune prints a daily almanac of historical events that occured on that specific date, and they place it smack dab in the middle of the obituaries. Recently, I've been catching names listed in obituaries and upon further review, notice that I recognize some of the newly deceased.
I'm too young to be doing this.
I've seen parents of people I went to school with, teachers, and people I know through work. I even saw my own name once. Let me tell you, if you are feeling sleepy, that seeing your name above an obituary tends to snap you to attention.
But my most recent find was the name of a woman who was a junior high classmate of mine . It had been years since I had even thought of this person, but a glance at the name along with a full read of the obituary confirmed that it was that person, that she had died.
This makes me feel particularly old. And maybe not for the reason you'd think. I always feel it weird to read an obituary; I'm alive, and I'm reading about a person who isn't. It's not pleasant, but that's not the reason this one makes me feel old.
How can I explain this without coming across as crass, or worse? I don't think I can, but I will explain it anyway. I swear that I am not a pig.
What I remember most about this person is that she was the first girl in my class to transition to womanhood, visibly, if you know what I mean. She was the lesson in the most obvious way women become different from men. This was sixth grade, and I am referencing observations only, the type you make from across a classroom or school cafeteria.
I barely knew this person, might have had one or two conversations with her back then. But, through no fault of her own, she was responsible for one of my earliest "aha!" lessons.
I can't help but think about that, knowing that she isn't alive anymore. Maybe it's the way my thought process has changed in the almost three years since my father died.
Yeah, I gotta stop reading that almanac.
Ah, self righteousness!
Recently a woman attempted to have a birth control prescription filled at a downtown Chicago drug store (one that I am VERY familiar with, by the way) but was turned away because the pharmacist on duty had a "moral objection" to birth control.
May I suggest a career change, sweetie?
I have no problem with people having strong moral beliefs. I like to think that I have a few myself. But I would think that if I had a moral objection to certain parts of my job, I'd either change my belief on that issue or I'd leave that job.
That's why mothers who concern themselves with making sure their kids have a healthy diet generally do not work at McDonald's.
And yes, I think that is the first time ever I have connected morality to McDonald's. I'm being a bit extreme. I know, shocking.
In my time as a manager for a drug retail company, one of the things that amazed me was the reverence that most customers had for pharmacists, especially among the older clientele. Pharmacists were treated like doctors. A pharmacist refusing to fill a birth control prescription based on morals could cost a lot of business.
I can only imagine dealing with a situation like this. The safe thing to do would be to defer to the higher ups and let them handle everything, but I'm sure this customer complained to management right away. I'm not sure how I would have responded.
But I know I would have rolled my eyes as soon as I was alone, and reached for the antacid.
I'm reminded of this incident by reading this. The governor of Illinois wants it to be a law that a prescription has to be filled regardless of "moral beliefs." I'm not sure I agree with that, I don't believe government needs to be involved in everything.
I'd support a law requiring that pharmacist to switch careers though.
I had my say about the Schiavo case a few days ago, and I was prepared for that to be my last words about it. But I had CNN on this morning when it was announced that she died, and I saw a few things that repulsed me.
First was Reverand Frank Pavone, a Catholic priest and "spokesperson for the Schindler's" (good Lord, how many representatives did these people need? Tell me again that this was not an overblown media event), ripping Michael Schiavo for his "continued cruelty towards Terri's parents." Hey, Rev, you're a priest right? Why don't you act like one and save the verbal smackdowns for confession? No one really cares about your opinion. I never knew that the white collar was so perfect for clipping on a microphone.
The second thing that irritated me was the inevitable statement from the President. Remember, "W" stands for "wisdom":
"Today millions of Americans are saddened by the death of Terri Schiavo. ... I urge all those who honor Terri Schiavo to continue to work to build a culture of life where all Americans are welcomed and valued and protected."
You know, I really just want to keep him out of this. I really do, but when he makes such a assinine statement like that, I can't help myself. So the President wants all Americans "valued and protected"?
Apparently he's been enlightened, because he wasn't always saying that. Another great example of how Bush jams nothing but BS down this country's collective feeding tube.
I sincerely hope y'all weren't tired of hearing about Terri Schiavo. Between the media and our politicians, she'll have a legacy the size of Elvis'.