Friday, November 30, 2012

Various and Sundry: Andrew, Advent, Aid, and Autism, among others

"I'm not barking at YOU."
Happy end of November! It's the feast of St. Andrew who, to my astonishment, I've never written about. This is especially egregious since we have a dog named Andrew who's registered name is Tollwest Quack Come and See. Did you know that according to legend, "young women should note the location of barking dogs on Saint Andrew’s Eve: their future husbands will come from that direction"? Too late now. You'll have to wait until next November 29th. I wonder if Andrew is the patron saint of single women because he was a fisher of men...

Of course the feast of St. Andrew means Advent is nigh, and I loved this collection of the 42 worst nativity sets, some of which I admit I like, and one of which I bought for my mother. It's not this one, though.

This spinach salad with warm bacon vinaigrette looks delicious, doesn't it? And it contains an actual vegetable! (And lots of bacon.)

In other food and wine news, I appreciated this post about teaching people to appreciate the pleasure in wine with flavors that sound awful: minerals, barnyard aromas. And it goes beyond that to talk about appreciating those things that challenge us -- in food, in art, in life.
[I]f we think more deeply about pleasure, we realize it isn’t always so straightforward or even comfortable. After all, why do so many of us love sad poems, disturbing horror films, or intense, subtitled psychological dramas. Why am I capable of loving Bruce Springsteen’s “Nebraska” or The Smith’s “Meat Is Murder” or Elliott Smith’s “From a Basement on the Hill” — while at the same time I can enjoy T. Pain, Taylor Swift, and dancing with my kids to Psy’s “Gangnam Style”?
Here's a really touching story from Bill Murray about Gilda Radner.

In obituary news, I have two impressive as hell women to bring to your attention. First is Vladka Meed, "who with her flawless Polish and Aryan good looks was able to smuggle pistols, gasoline for firebombs and even dynamite to the Jewish fighters inside the Warsaw Ghetto," who died this week at the age of 90.

The other is a woman named Maria Santos Gorrostieta who was found dead on November 17 at the age of 36. She "was a former mayor of the small Mexican town of Tiquicheo and became famous for her refusal to be cowed by the drug gangs battling for control of the western state of Michoacan."
A doctor and mother of three, Maria Santos Gorrostieta served as mayor from 2008 to 2011. Over that time she survived at least two assassination attempts, including one that killed her husband Jose and another that left her body peppered with bullet holes and scars.
May she rest in peace. My prayers are with her family.

You may recall that last week I posted the parody video of Radi-Aid: Africa for Norway. As a follow-up, here's a terrific interview with the people who created the project, explaining why and how they did it and what they want it to accomplish. Good stuff.

Finally, on the Confirm not Conform blog, I hope you'll check out this interview I got to do with my friend Emily LeBlanc, talking about how the church can better work with people with autism. Really helpful stuff.

Have a great weekend!

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