Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Pancake Tuesday!

In Ireland, today is Pancake Tuesday, similar to New Orleans' Mardi Gras. Pancake-loving kids look forward to this day because they know what they'll be getting their fave for breakfast. No, I'm not making this up. This all comes from an Irish co-worker. She suspects that the tradition began because eggs weren't eaten during Lent, so they made pancakes the day before to finish as many eggs as possible. It could just as easily be "Omelet Tuesday" or "Throw Eggs at the Neighbor You're Feuding With Tuesday."

Lent begins tomorrow with Ash Wednesday.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

40 Days of Lent Are Coming!

I've decided to post a new entry on my blog every day of Lent this year, which begins on March 1st and runs until April 8th. I know that's only 39 days rather than 40, but numbers have always been a little fudge-able in Catholicism -- consider the loaves and fishes for example. Five loaves, seven fishes, but hey, Jesus says "Everybody eats when they come to My house." Or was that Cab Calloway?

Speaking of callow ways, this won't be an exercise in taking cheap shots at religion but a way to force myself to post every day about one of my favorite topics. Some may remember that I did this several years ago on my friend Troy's website, inspired by the example of Mrs. Collins who did a drawing every day of Lent. I've been very lax lately about posting, so at least for a month it will be a new entry each day. For those of you who don't care about or actively dislike religion, sorry. For Michele, who's been patiently waiting months to hear my take on Paris, I am really sorry. But being penitant (and hopefully being forgiven) is what Lent is all about...actually, Lent is all about gearing up to crucify the Lord, but you get the idea.

In any case, see you in a week for The 40 Days of Lent.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Where I'm From (part II)

One of my favorite stories about my hometown comes from my friend BrianTurner. BrianTurner is one of those people who is invariably known by his first and last name, pronounced as if it is one word. He says that even when he was a child, adults would refer to him this way: "ask BrianTurner if he would like to stay for dinner." BrianTurner now has a radio show on WFMU, a station known for playing esoteric items such as a live recording of an opera singer having a stroke while performing an aria.

Years ago, when he still lived in Wilkes-Barre, BrianTurner was hit by a car. He was trying to cross the highway between two strip malls, and misjudged how quickly the oncoming traffic was moving. He made his way over to the sidewalk, where a prostitute told him "Son, I saw that whole thing. There was nothing you could do. That man was driving crazy and if you moved out of his way, that other car woulda hit you. Now, I called the police and told them to send an ambulance, but I can't stick around...you understand."

In the ambulance, the paramedics were asking BrianTurner the standard questions to make sure he did not have a concussion. "What's your name?" "BrianTurner." "Where do you work?" "Joe Nardone's Gallery of Sound (a local record chain)." "Oh," said the paramedic, suddenly excited. "Is the new Meatloaf record out yet?" "Yeah, it is. We got it in stock yesterday."

So that's what my hometown is like. It's a magical land where the hookers will call an ambulance for you when you need it and the paramedics test for brain injuries by asking about classic rock records.