GUEST POST: Burial of the Mice

January 30, 2012 § 1 Comment

Genevieve is back with another guest post!  (To read her other posts, simply click on the tag ‘Genevieve’s Guest Posts’ at the top of this entry.)

Burial of the Mice

I and my brother, Pete, loomed over the two dead mice. They were small, fluffy and cute, but dead. Pete felt no need to bury them, but to pick them up with gloves, and put them in a bag. I felt differently, I spoke in a harsh tone to him, “Get a shovel and we’ll pick them up and bury them.” He looked at me and finally agreed. He grabbed the shovel and picked one up and carried it to the far backside of our backyard and dug a hole. As I picked a dandelion for their burial, Pete put the mouse in the hole.

I dropped the dandelion in with the mouse, and silently said words in obligation. Pete and I went to get the other one, after he dug another hole. I did the same thing, dandelion and obligation words. I noticed an old brick sitting by the porch; it was small, old and basically the same size of the mouse. I picked it up and put it as a tombstone. I was sad at the death of creatures of this world, and for my love of mice and rats-domesticated-. I silently said these words “You foraged for life and food; you are honored by my heart and love. May you rest in peace.

For more stories about honored animals, may they rest in peace, call the Babetski household.

 

(Rose’s Note: This is a true story.)

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GUEST POST: Rose and Crash’s Relationship

January 26, 2012 § 3 Comments

Quick Note of Introduction!  My little brother Pete is going to join Gen in the ranks of guest bloggers!  Pete has a great imagination and quite a unique writing voice.  He recently turned 13 and loves hockey, football, video games, french fries, and pretending to drink beer with our big brother Dan.  He is a fellow Pittsburgh Penguins fan and is currently winning our fantasy hockey league, where he also enjoys making ridiculous trade offers and smack-talking everyone else’s teams.  Pete has a very dry sense of humor and I look forward to more of his writing.  Especially the posts where he chooses NOT to make fun of me.  Enjoy! 

 Rose and Crash’s Relationship

by Peter Babetski

So, like any other night, I was sitting on a chair, watching a movie.   Only tonight, Rose asked me to “set her up with Crash.”  I proceeded to plug my playstation2 in, and let her play Crash Bandicoot.  You’d think that she’d be good at the game by now, after playing it since (I don’t know).  She just continues to die, and lose all of my lives.  Then, she yells “CRASH!!! WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO ME CRASH!!!?” 

Then I proceed to say “Rose, just because you aren’t good at the game, doesn’t mean you have to criticize Crash.”  She stares at me, giving me an ashamed look (Though, she’s probably ashamed of her doing so badly).  I never get a moments peace when she plays Crash.  I’ll take you back to this one Sunday morning, when the family was getting ready for church.

“Rose…you need to put Crash away, and finished up your make-up for church.” My mother says. 

Rose grins and says “Hold on, let me just get one more gem,” then proceeds to say “Dang it!  One more jump and I would’ve won!”

I was sitting there, looking at the way she was failing to get the gem.  Eventually she got it…but that was only after church.  I have a funny feeling that she needs to sit down for a couple of hours and read a whole book.  When she reads a book, me and Gen joke by saying “ROSE, FIRE!!!”  She doesn’t even pay attention. 

So I don’t know what to do, I guess we’re all going to have to endure more Crash yelling.

Pro-Life Youth Inspirational; Media Laughable

January 24, 2012 § 2 Comments

Media Checklist for Coverage of the March For Life 2012:
1. Completely underestimate the amount of pro-life people there.  In a feat of mathematical wizardry, turn “hundreds of thousands” into “thousands.”
2.  Make it seem as if there were an equal amount of pro-abortion people there.  (There were not.  There were about 7.)
3.  Do NOT take any wide-angle camera shots.
4.  Rationalize away the incredibly strong presence of youth.
5.  Make the March for Life into something that’s about “religious ideologies” rather than the basic fact of human life.
6.  Again, don’t forget the “under”s:  Under-report it.  Underestimate it.  Under-photograph it.  Undermine it.

Well, the checklist is out in full force again this year, as I read the online news about the March For Life, the annual grassroots pro-life march that commemorates the tragic day when the Supreme Court legalized abortion.  It took place yesterday in Washington, DC, and I was able to attend with my church youth group.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to form all my thoughts into a coherent whole, but I wanted to at least jot my observations down before they faded.   Here are my thoughts, as I remember having them:

12:00 PM:  We arrive at the Mall where the annual pro-life rally is being held.  My first thought:  WOW.  There is an INCREDIBLE amount of people here.  And more than three-quarters of them are young adults.  Second thought: Darn it, it’s way colder than I anticipated and the rain has already soaked my gloves!  Fie.  Also, I end up with a “Personhood: No Matter How Small” sign and a “Defend Life” sign.  We are all standing in the muddy lawn of the Mall, listening to the speakers, but we’re a little too far away to hear them clearly.  Kate Walters runs up to me at this point and I am overjoyed to see her!  I am so impressed by the amount of people still filling up the area.  The freezing rain doesn’t deter pro-life activists much!  People are handing out Rick Santorum stickers, and I’ve seen a few Ron Paul signs as well.  I don’t really like the idea of political candidates being touted here at the March, although I understand why it’s happening, since this is an election year.  But being pro-life isn’t about Republicans or Democrats.  It’s about the sanctity of human life, from conception to natural death.  The absolute bedrock of our nation’s rights is that of life.       

1:30:   We begin to file into the street for the actual marching part of the day.  There are so many banners from different schools and churches.  St. Cecelia’s Parish.  St. Gregory’s Academy.  St. Anthony of Padua Church.  The Sisters of Life.  Benedictine College.  Ave Maria University.  Their names shine jewel-bright against the gunmetal sky.  I see the Franciscan friars, recognizable in their long gray robes.  There are people holding Papal flags right next to me.  I get excited, because that’s the bumper sticker on the back of my car!  There are a few Methodists for Life signs, and a bunch of Orthodox Jewish signs too.  I see Lutherans for Life a few minutes later.  My favorite sign said: “Mother and child.  Love them both.”

2:15:  Our group decides to say a Chaplet of Divine Mercy as we march.  People join in as they walk with us.  Some groups have their own prayers, others are chanting.  A few are even singing.  I hear drums and trumpets from a group ahead of us.  Though all these sounds might clash, the sense of unity is overwhelming.  We walk past the EWTN cameras.  I wave in the hopes that my family will see me.  No luck, it turns out. 

2:45:  My hands and feet are FREEZING.  Enough to keep me from taking as many pictures as I wanted to.  But we are still marching, moving in a massive line up Constitution Ave.  Near the top of the hill, I turn around and see the March snaking its way behind us.  I can’t see the end.  People just keep coming around the corner of the block, far down the hill from us.  It’s honestly insane how many people are here in the freezing rain and cold.   

3:00:  We are stopped in front of the Supreme Court building.  For the first time, I spot some pro-abortion protestors.  They have a little area right in front of the Court.  There are about 7 of them.  It is not a very comparable showing at all.  We keep on walking. 

3:45:  The March is almost at an end.  My Defend Life sign performed valiantly, but is finally giving up the ghost.  The paper is soggy from the rain and there are muddy smears on the wood.  Clumps of people wander past us as we pause in front of the Library of Congress.  The March is slow to dissipate.  It’s hard to let go of all that energy and emotion in an instant.  I am always left with a feeling of wanting to do a little more.  Take another extra block for the babies who’ve been aborted since Roe V. Wade was passed.  Or pray another Rosary.  Join my voice with the hundreds of thousands of other young adults who’ve spent the day in protest of the killing of our generation.

4:00:  Shannon and I arrive back at the bus, ahead of everyone else because we’re awesome like that.  I sink into my seat with an air of relief as my hands finally start to unthaw.  Was it worth it though?  Yes, it was.

A last reflection:  The kids.  The kids there!  It was insane, inspiring, amazing, moving to tears, the amount of kids there who looked to be in the 14-21 age range.  The pro-life movement is only growing younger, stronger, and bigger, folks.  We aren’t going anywhere any time soon!  🙂         

The crowd going all the way up Constitution Ave ahead of us.

 

The crowd stretching all the way down Constitution Ave behind us.

 
And these are just 2 shoddy pictures taken on my cell phone.  I can’t wait to see some real photography or video footage.  Insane.  But AWESOME.

2001: A Writer’s Block Odyssey

January 19, 2012 § 3 Comments

Pied Beauty

January 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

Pied Beauty
(Gerard Manly Hopkins.  1918.)
 
 
Glory be to God for dappled things –
   For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
      For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
   Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
      And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.
 
All things counter, original, spare, strange;
   Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
      With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
                                Praise him.
 

New York, New York!

January 12, 2012 § 2 Comments

I spent last weekend in New York City with Danny.  His Christmas present to me was: 2 tickets to see the show Billy Elliot on Broadway.  He knows me so well.  Dancing and music and Broadway, doesn’t get much better than that.  Also he got me this coat for Christmas:

That’s why I date him, you know.  The fur coats and theater tickets and wining and dining.  Speaking of those last two things, we went to dinner in NYC on Friday night at a little sushi place, called Sushi Sen-Nin.  I think it was on 32nd Street.  I could be wrong.  Here’s a picture of our sushi plate.  This doesn’t do it justice, because it’s dark, but the sushi was really delicious. 

Here is a picture of the “wining” part of the weekend.  I had the French martini, and Danny was drinking Lagavulin.

Other dining moments that were not photographed… Hmmm.  We ate lunch from a Mexican food stand at Madison Square Park.  I had a taco and Danny had a burrito.  We split chips and salsa.  It was like $8 total, and it was delicious.  Saturday dinner before the show, we popped into a little pizza place not too far from the theater and Times Square.  It was one of those tiny city restaurants where you are bumping elbows with the other tables, but it was worth it.  We split a pizza with mushrooms and sliced meatballs on top.  They also added big basil leaves and the cheese was nice and gooey.  It wasn’t Old Forge, but it was good! 

I don’t have any pictures from the show, obviously, because you aren’t allowed to take them.  Suffice it to say, the play was magical.  It was the second-to-last time that Billy Elliot would run on Broadway, so it had almost a bittersweet feeling throughout. 

We did plenty of walking around and shopping.  We went to Uniqlo and I found EXACTLY what I was looking for in a pair of pants.  They’re hard to describe, they’re like leggings/pants.  They are skinny-fit and made out of legging material, but they look more like pants and aren’t quite as tight as leggings.  I love them.  Uniqlo had great prices and a large selection of my favorite things: sweaters, polos, pants, leggings, skirts, and more sweaters.   I highly recommend it if you are like me and think that you can never, ever possibly own enough sweaters.  Contrary to my own belief, I did NOT purchase any shoes in the city.  I’m rather proud of that.

I went to Confession at St. Patrick’s Cathedral!  The Cathedral is such a stunning church. 

Here’s a picture of me standing outside the door. 

Look who I found there!!  I feel like I’ve been to her shrine before or something….  (actually it was the Shrine for the North American martyrs in that post, but I HAVE been to her shrine as well.)  It’s St. Kateri Tekakwitha!

AND St. Elizabeth Ann Seton!  I’ve been to her shrine in Emmitsburg, Maryland, as well!  

We ended up staying on Saturday night because Danny’s friend was gracious enough to lend us his apartment (he was out of town.)  This is the view from his windows:

And then we came home early Sunday, so that Danny could be home in time to watch the Giants’ game.  New York City was wonderful, Danny is wonderful, the food was wonderful,  I bought some wonderful leggings/pants, and the only non-wonderful part was that Danny and I didn’t get a single picture together.  You’d think he planned it like that or something…

 

PS- And because I know you’re all secretly longing for another picture of my pet rats, here’s one of Mervy in bliss as he munches on a honey-roasted peanut.  He always gets a squinty-eyed look when he’s happy.

NHL Action on New Year’s Eve

January 5, 2012 § 5 Comments

 

I must confess, when my father emailed me to see if I wanted 4 tickets to the Penguins/Devils game in New Jersey on the 31st, my reaction was less than intelligent.  I typed out “YYYYYEEEEEESSSSSSSSSS fij4th349hfwiancakcn!!!!!!!!!!!”

Don’t worry.  I deleted all that and emailed him back with a “YES PLEASE” response that was (more or less) in English. 

So there we were: me, my little brother Pete, my mother, and our friend Renata, driving through the bowels of Newark on New Year’s Eve afternoon.  We had arrived about a half hour before warms-ups, because we wanted to allow time in case we hit traffic.  I snapped a picture of Pete outside the Prudential Center and then we made our way inside.  The afternoon sun streamed through the windows and highlighted all the Devils-jersey-wearing fans.  There were a lot of those, but I was pleasantly surprised by the number of Penguins fans I saw in attendance as well.  Maybe I wouldn’t get beaten up when I cheered!  Pete and I high-fived each other upon reaching our seats in the 7th row by the Devil’s offensive zone goal.  We raced down to the glass and took a few more pictures, which all came out lopsided because I was so excited (and Pete is short and I’m tall, so you know, it’s not that easy!).  

Renata on the left, my mother on the right. (Renata was sporting the old-school Pittsburgh jersey!)

When the game began, it became apparent to me that Pete was not about to sit quietly by and let all the Devils fans intimidate him.  He matched them yell for yell.  In fact, I had to keep yanking on his jacket because every time the Penguins did anything exciting, he jumped up out of his seat.  The two (very nice) gentlemen behind us chuckled over his eagerness.  The experience of Pete’s first NHL game was heightened by getting to witness a penalty shot in the 1st period.  Brooks Orpik of the Pens was whistled for closing his hand over the puck in the crease (I thought it was a questionable call, myself.)   Unfortunately for us journeyers, Ilya Kovalchuk scored to make it 1-0 and then the Devils scored again on a power-play near the end of the first.  Marty Brodeur was making some amazing saves for the Devils, as well, and I thought that even though he was making them on my team, it was still pretty amazing to see a Hall of Fame goalie like that in action.  Stacking the pads, flashing his glove… Actually, he and Fleury were battling it out with tremendous saves.   Too bad the Pens didn’t have an answer for Brodeur’s wall.  I was growing rather frustrated and kept having to restrain myself from yelling as I would normally do at the WBS Penguins games.  Pete did not share my restraint.  13 year old boys at sporting events are loud.

Lots of special teams in this game and there were a few more questionable calls (unlike John Tortorella, I do NOT coach in the NHL and am therefore allowed to insult the refs without fear of reprimands or a $30K fine.)  In the end, the Devils prevailed over the Penguins with a 3-1 victory, including an empty net goal.  Even though we lost, it was so awesome to be able to see an NHL game again.  Everything is just that much faster and smoother than our AHL games.  The Devils had a great fireworks display going on after the game in the parking lot, to celebrate New Year’s Eve.  Watching the lights explode and sparkle over our heads was the perfect way to end this road trip!

(Mom drove the whole way home.  Pete and I slept.  Score!) 

Blurry, cut-off pic of me and Pete.

Oh look! Another picture of me and Pete that is blurry and off-center. You're welcome.

 Click the pictures to enlarge:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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