- The Aztecs had a rite of human sacrifice wherein a priest would excise the heart of a female victim from her body with an obsidian dagger and offer that still beating heart to the Aztec deity. We should not be astonished at the miraculous conversion to Catholic Christianity of the indigenous persons of Mexico in a little over a decade after the Apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe. If some anticlerical secularists in our culture are to be believed, we should be resentful that the indigenous religion was abandoned. Those nostalgic for the old religion are obviously in no danger of having their own hearts ripped out.
- So we have another Thanksgiving and America has an opportunity to express gratitude. How can one even begin to express gratitude in our Culture of Entitlement? Gratitude makes us uncomfortable. We do not ever want to be uncomfortable!!!! Never. Ever.
- Are you grateful for the modicum of comfort you enjoy? Why be grateful for something you are entitled to? If we remember the Pilgrims and others who celebrated Thanksgiving nearly 400 years ago, we can always dredge up every wrong committed by European immigrants subsequently from 1620 who treated others shamefully and shabbily, wrongly. That will stifle, even smother, this humbling spirit of gratitude. My experience among my fellow recovering drug addicts and alcoholics in my circle of friends is that gratitude has to be instilled among us. We feel entitled to feel good. We drunks and druggies act on our sense of entitlement by using.
- The Culture of Entitlement and Resentment is fueled by the fires of Envy. One is entitled to a free college education, free healthcare, safe neighborhoods, clean air, clean water, and somebody else, not you, has to pay for it. Those who have more than you obviously stole it, in one way or another.
- If you don’t have all that you desire, the proper attitude is covetousness directed at those who have more, not gratitude for what you do have.
- It’s a prescription for discontent. So the logical break from a day of Thanksgiving is to rush out and jump back on the acquisition merry-go-round. That these are purchases intended as gifts is merely a different salve for our egos, proving to ourselves that not only are we savvy consumers, but think of others, almost as much as we think about ourselves, but not quite.
- Gratitude. Get some.
I had a tomato caprese panini (or is that panino?, singular?) for lunch, with a bowl of minestrone. I do the abstain from meat on Friday penance most weeks. It reminds me of my childhood. I wasn’t raised Catholic but the public school I attended always had fish sticks on Fridays. They were served with boiled potatoes sprinkled with dried parsley, boiled cabbage, and corn bread. I still like fish sticks. Until now, that has been one of my darkest secrets. Now you know.
It is a quiet day on the trainspotting front. The trains have been rolling through Ashland more or less on time. Right now, I’m waiting for the Northbound Carolinian #80 to pass through. It is about 15 minutes late. The leaves are just beginning to turn, but it is hardly dramatic. Here comes #80 Northbound just as a southbound freight, hauling intermodal containers, passes on the other track. This is like having a model train layout.
Looking at the box cars covered with graffiti, I often wonder if there would be less graffiti on freight cars, if there were more funding for the arts in public schools. Or would we simply have better trained graffiti artists? As President Obama once said, “That question is a little above my pay grade.” (To answer, that is).
I had a slightly longer swim last night, 3500 meters, in a pool slightly warmer, than the temperature in my regular pool. I will be leaving in a short while to do my swim for the day.
The quiet of our home and neighbourhood during the day is most soothing. I can hear a few insects chirping and the noise of the compressor on the fridge.
MrsCorC? is working a late shift so dinner is just for me tonight. I could go buy some fish sticks. Maybe I will.
Back in May, I decided to get serious about losing weight and keeping it off. I weighed 215 lbs then. Rather than have Weight Watchers© merely draft the monthly fees out of my checking account, I thought doing what they suggested would be a smarter choice.
This afternoon I weighed in at 180 lbs., within 2lbs of my goal weight of 179, so I again have Lifetime status and I get to use the digital resources of Weight Watchers© for FREE!!!!!!
I am very happy and satisfied. I remember every lame excuse I had for not doing the Weight Watchers© Plan. I remember every lie I told myself about being OK with how I looked and what I weighed.
Weight Watchers© is a disciplined way of living, putting food and eating within a healthy context. Plus the inducement to exercise makes the Plan fun. I even get Fit Points© for housework. There is nothing to stop me from fantasizing around my cleaning chores. I am a secret “service sub”. If one keeps the blinds drawn, there is nothing to stop one from cleaning house ” nekkid,”
My planrs for the next few weeks in maintaining my weight loss involve finding new ways to prepare and cook new vegetables, like tomatillos, fennel bulb, and kohlrabi.
The most important things I’ve learned about weight loss and weight maintenance are slowly is better, don’t make weight loss harder than it has to be, and expect “bumps” along the way. I did not quit.
I got to the 31 mile mark (50Km) today. I did not want to swim. I was tired. But I went to the Y, got in the pool and began. I finished and was proud that I stuck to it. Nine miles to 40 miles. Seven days to finish.
At AA today, one of my gardener buddies was giving away squash and tomatoes. I thought a winter squash was a summer squash. Boy was that rind tough! But I managed to make a tasty dish. I managed to clean up the kitchen after dinner while I still had the energy.
Feeling the sleep coming over me.
Usually, I go to Mass (or the two of us go) on Saturday evening or Sunday morning. Then Sunday brunch, maybe a nap and a swim workout. Today Mass came after the swim at 5:00 PM. Mrs CorC? doesn’t find anything wrong with the Novus Ordo Mass. On the other hand, I find the music banal, the lyrics reduce Jesus to some sort of cure for what ails me. There is a marked lack of reverence; the congregation acts as if it is at a concert. Somebody needs to tell them they are not there to be entertained. And yet, despite this irreverent atmosphere, Jesus is present, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity in the consecrated Bread and Wine. That is why I am there.
I contrast this week’s Mass with last week’s. Last week I went to the Tridentine Mass, what is now called the Extraordinary Form. This was, until about 50 years ago, the only form of the Mass. Central to it is the Sacrifice of Our Lord. The Mass is celebrated in Latin, the Chants go back to St Gregory The Great. The music is extraordinarily beautiful, truly sacred , drawing the worshippers toward The Lord. Quite frankly, it isn’t all that hard to follow. Consider that we the Congregation are supposed to know what’s being said and what’s going on.
The takeaway today is that Mrs CorC? and I were there together. That means the world to me. I’ll even put up with an annoying tambourine to be with her.
After Mass, we went to Starbucks so Mrs CorC? could have a S’Mores Frappuccino. She is a huge fan of this concoction, I had some iced tea drink, with passion fruit, I think. It was OK..
Then we had tacos. Tacos are like pizza. It’s hard to make them bad. Watching baseball now, Cardinals at Cubs. The Yankees won already.
Hard to believe it is almost Eleven P.M. I made some decaf. I had a peach for dessert. We are having a thunderstorm outside. Summer. Moving toward August and then Autumn awaits.
I am watching a video on YouTube of a gastronome ( fancy word for Foodie), eating in a bunch of restaurants in Lisbon. I don’t need to watch this after my recent weight loss successes. If you ever doubted the accuracy of the term “food porn”, this video will dispel all scepticism. The guy doing this video is thin as a reed. He must either have a turbocharged metabolism or he vomits a lot!
I have wanted to go to Lisbon ever since I became a devotee´ of Fado, Portugal’s version of the blues. Maybe there is nothing to do in Lisbon but eat and listen to Fado. If so, you could do much, much worse.
The surprising thing about the cuisine is how much they use codfish in the dishes. Actually, not surprising, when one pauses to consider the Portuguese have fished off North America for nearly five hundred years. Cod, bacalao, is salted, then rinsed, and prepared. Also I noticed the humble garbanzo bean, chickpeas. As one of the world’s preeminent spice traders since the time of Columbus, Portuguese cuisine is anything but bland.
Lisbon, anyone? We don’t need no stinkin’ Weight Watchers! (Just kidding)
It has been a long time, a long time since I weighed under 200 pounds. At the Y, I weigh in every day I work out. I’ve shared how I have been going to Weight Watchers regularly and following their Smart Points© system. It works. It’s fun to track. Most importantly, it is an opportunity to eat some delicious food.
I wasn’t expecting to weigh under 200 so soon after I went back. The swimming helps. But following the plan is what makes the difference.
I have plans for the rest of the week. Believe it or not, I am intimidated by the Kitchen Aid stand mixer that is parked on the kitchen counter. One of my projects is to use the Kitchen Aid to make pizza dough.
I must say I am touched by the “likes” and kind wishes around my previous posts. It means a lot. I’ve grown very fond of my fellow bloggers whose posts I read and who, in turn, read my posts. Thank you. I love you all,
We have all these ideas about what that term “fully alive”means. Some associate the term with the adrenalin rush of sky diving or bungee jumping. Not being female, I can’t imagine what the experience of childbirth is like. But I suspect there is a heightened sense of what it means to be alive after the experience is over. Or maybe not.
What got me thinking about this was today. I took a car that was overheating into the shop, wondering if it would make it there, especially after it stalled out at a busy intersection. There, at the shop, serendipitously was an AA buddy who drove me home, despite that it took him out of his way.
I had one of those monster cookies at the Starbucks inside Barnes & Noble. Triple. Chocolate. Chunk. It was good, but I would rather have had a mango. Our preferences change.
And I thought about sex. Sex. The sweaty passion. And the noises. And the sacrifice of dignity as we come. And your lover knows your secrets. How you like to be touched. How you trust that lover, for at least that moment, and maybe, if you’re lucky, forever.
I swim and the cold water feels good. My muscles stretch, reach, and move me through the water. When I’m done the shower feels great and the soap smells good and I feel clean.
The night comes. I feel tired, and hurt a little. As sleep settles in, I’m euphoric. I want more. Of this day. Of the subtleties that enrich each moment of this blessing called life.
This morning began late. Well actually it began too early. I was up around three AM because Mrs CorC? had episodes of Highway Patrol playing on YouTube. Somehow Broderick Crawford barking “10-4!” and the relentless orchestration had failed to take me to Dreamland. So I was up for a while, settling my restless spirit, went back to sleep around four, waking up for good around eight AM. I had a meeting at ten and put off eating until after the meeting. I was nostalgically pulled to the quirky downtown diner I treat myself to from time to time. I went down and, perusing the menu through the Weight Watchers filter, found nothing I really wanted to spend a day’s worth of points to eat. So I had a scrambled egg, sausage and a biscuit and still used 18 Smart Points. for some reason, the ambiance was off today. Time to move on.
I’ve been having a delightful interchange with the author at Secret Life Of A Siren. It started with her referencing Canto XX. I know about “Cantos” from Ezra Pound and Siren redirected me to Dante’, as in Dante’ Alighieri, author of a classic of Western Literature, The Divine Comedy. Much to my embarassment, I admitted that I had not read The Divine Comedy, despite its significance in Western arts and letters. A quick rummaging around my quarters did not reveal the copy I know I have, sooooo, I went to the public library, (of all places!) and checked out a copy. Public Libraries are these places where you can borrow a book, read and return it and it’s free. Who Knew?
Next I went to get a haircut. I was past due for a cut. I told Brittany The Barber to use the #1 and show no mercy. She did. I feel normal again and not quite deranged, as I feel when my hair starts to look odd and sticks straight up when I run my fingers through it.
Sitting, Shaming, Swimming.
At the Weight Watchers weigh in, I did weigh in at 203 lbs. This is a big personal victory. My next weight loss goal is to weigh in under 200 lbs. But enough about weight, the real fun lies in doing the things that get me to my goal, eating well but sensibly, exercising, meaning swimming and not worrying.
Eating well today featured a bowl of pho, that great Vietnamese dish. I figured the Weight Watchers Smart Points©. I guesstimate about 11 and that didn’t sound bad. It was tasty,
“Shaming” came into my mind as I considered sitting around while D my stepmother did her exercises. I think “shaming” is more a Millenial concept, but I can’t think of a better term for my sitting around while my 91 Year Old stepmother worked out. So I swam. And fully enjoyed every minute.
My swim over, I decided going to daily Mass at 5:30 would be next. Mass was most restorative for me.
So here I am finally sitting, savoring the moment.