Bloggerhood Etc. 9/2/13

Redskins players dressed as the Jamaican Bobsled Team

Photo: Washington Post (via @JLeRibeus)

Best Photos. “RGIII, Redskins players in costume for ‘Island’ theme party” by Sarah Kogod in The Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog. I gave Kogod a hard time last week for a second-hand gossip piece on RGIII. She partially redeems herself by sharing great photos like the one above. No, it’s not journalism either, but at least it’s harmless fun.

Best Parenting Advice. “Teaching Kids Right From Wrong” by Dennis A. Daniel in MAN UP! A Practical Guide to Being a Dad. Maybe the most important responsibility for all parents.

Best Take on a Media Train Wreck. “Let’s not let Robin Thicke off the Hook” by Jim Higley at CNN Parents. One dad to another, summarized. “What the hell were you thinking?”

Most Touching. “School Love” by Tori at Jake’s Journey to be a Little Man. The first day of school is scary, especially for special-needs parents.

Biggest Oops. “Obama Should be Courting Congress, not U.N.” by Jonah Goldberg (his nationally syndicated column printed September 1 in the Eugene Register Guard).

(T)here is a deliberative body that has significant moral, political and legal authority when it comes to the conduct of American foreign policy. It’s called “Congress.” You could look it up.

But the president asked Congress for authorization. On August 31. You can look it up.

Most Moving. “With Parade, Newtown Reflects ‘How We’re Healing'” by Christopher Sullivan at The Associated Press (syndicated nationally). A powerful profile of a community working through unimaginable grief.

Best Schadenfreude Moment. “The Dallas Cowboys are Trying to Kill Me” by Andrew Sharp at Grantland. The grief of being a bandwagon fan when the bandwagon broke down a decade ago. Ah, sweet music!

And finally, since today is Labor Day and many kids will be returning to school tomorrow, here is the Best Back-to-School Video Ever.

“Sit up straight and pay attention! And do push ups!”

Bloggerhood Etc. 4/29/13

Schuyler Rummel-Hudson

Schuyler Rummel-Hudson (Image: Schuyler and her “Daddy-O”)

First of all, a new name for my new Best Blogs of the Week feature. I will still run it every Monday (so they will still be “Monday Blogs”) but I like having a more distinctive title that corresponds to the title of my blog.

So here are some of my favorite posts from the last week.

Best Guest Post. “The Queen of Monsters” by Schuyler Rummel-Hudson on Fighting Monsters with Rubber Swords. Every child deserves a voice. An iPad mini gives Schuyler her voice, and she expresses herself honestly and beautifully here.

Best List. “6 Secrets From a Special Needs Mom” by Suzanne Perryman on BlogHer (cross-posted at The Huffington Post). The blogosphere is overwhelmed with “5 ways to,” “10 examples of,” “101 Secrets to,” and 1,000,001 other varieties of list posts. Most are quickly slapped together with the sole purpose of gaining hits, but every so often this form gets put to good use. This is one of those times. Please read it.

Best Sociological Experiment. “Cheating to Learn: How a UCLA Professor Gamed a Game Theory Midterm” by Peter Nonacs on Which Way LA?
It’s not cheating if you don’t break the rules. You might even learn something.

Best Question.Why Is This Not A ‘Weapon Of Mass Destruction’?” by Andrew Sullivan on The Dish. Two different weapons, both can cause multiple fatalities. One is a terrorist tool, the other is sacrosanct. Why? A question that needs to be asked even if no one in power has the guts to answer it.

Best Repost. “Love as the Boundary” by Alise Wright on Alise . . . Write!
A beautiful post from a year ago about love and friendship. It also qualifies as the Best Use of a Finding Nemo Quote.

Marlin: I promised I’d never let anything happen to him!

Dory: Hmmm. That’s a funny thing to promise.

Marlin: What?

Dory: Well, you can’t never let anything happen to him. Then nothing would ever happen to him. Not much fun for little Harpo.

Most Encouraging Video. RGIII at the Redskins Draft Day Party.

And finally, moving beyond the blogosphere . . .

Best Picture with Comment.

"Taylor" truck and "Swift" truck.

Posted on Facebook by Single Dad Laughing.

Like . . . EVER!!!

Aside

This Dad Demands Action Too!

These Senators voted for special interests, not the best interests of their families.

I don’t put much political stuff up on this blog, but this has got me so angry that I can’t keep silent about it. I hope it doesn’t cost me readers, but if it does, so be it.

But to be fair, Harry Reid should be off this list since he changed his vote for procedural reasons, as explained in this Washington Post article on arcane Senate rules from February. In short, his “no” vote allows him to file a “motion to reconsider,” and give the bill another chance. Had he voted “yes,” the bill would be dead.

It makes no sense, but neither does the filibuster in its current form. Forty five votes is not a majority in a one hundred member legislature, and yet it is enough to thwart the popular will yet again.

God With Us

Four lit Advent candles

Photo: Elmar Ersch (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The seventh and final O Antiphon, which will be chanted tonight at Vespers at monasteries around the world:

O Emmanuel, our king and our lawgiver,
the hope of the nations and their Savior:
Come and save us, O Lord our God.

Emmanuel: God with us. This is the meaning of Christmas. In a cave—which is what the “stable” in Bethlehem really was—born to a poor teenaged girl: a powerless child of a powerless mother in the shadow of the most powerful empire the world had ever known.

God chose not to come in power and glory, but in humility. He chose not to stop all the suffering in the world—and we struggle to understand why—but he chose to suffer with us.

God is with us. In our joy and in our sorrow. He is with all the children who eyes will light up on Christmas morning when they see their presents wrapped and left under a tree, and he’s with the parents who children are not with them anymore: not this Christmas or any other.

And he is with those children too, for nothing can separate us from the love of God, not even death.

God is with us.

December 23

Advent calendar graphics by Oh My Gluestick. They are intended for personal use only and may not be used commercially.

A Different Kind of King

Christ the Redeemer, Rio De Janiero, Brazil

Photo: Sean Vivek Crasto

The sixth O Antiphon, which will be chanted tonight at Vespers at monasteries around the world:

O King of the nations, and their desire,
the cornerstone making both one:
Come and save the human race,
which you fashioned from clay.

All of these antiphons allude to the Messianic prophecies of Isaiah, with their promise of a coming king. But what kind of king? One that would rule by force and terror as all kings had in Isaiah’s time and throughout human history? Or did these prophecies point to a different kind of king? One that “shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks”? (Isaiah 2:4) A peaceable king for a peaceable kingdom?

O King of the nations, save us, for our desire is to be at peace:

December 22

Advent calendar graphics by Oh My Gluestick. They are intended for personal use only and may not be used commercially.

The Sun Rises and the World Goes On

Painting of sunrise over the Catskills

Thomas Cole, Sunrise in the Catskill Mountains (1826)

The fifth O Antiphon, which will be chanted tonight at Vespers at monasteries around the world:

O Rising Sun, splendour of light eternal and sun of righteousness:
Come and enlighten those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

The sun rose today, just like every other day. The world didn’t come to an end. But for twenty-six families in Connecticut, the world as they knew it ended a week ago.

And yet the sun still rose today. I’ve read that the only way to live through profound, life shattering grief is to get through each day as it comes, but I can’t imagine how people begin to do that. I can’t imagine how someone grieving that deeply can muster the act of will to take another breath.

The sun rises and the world goes on, but not for them. They are still in darkness. All I can do is pray that eventually the day will dawn once more and the morning star will rise in their hearts (2 Peter 1:19).

O Rising Sun, enlighten those who dwell in the shadow of death:

December 21

Advent calendar graphics by Oh My Gluestick. They are intended for personal use only and may not be used commercially.

Open and Shut

Illuminated letter with David and an angel.

Illumination from Master of the Ingeborg Psalter (J. Paul Getty Museum)

The fourth O Antiphon, which will be chanted tonight at Vespers at monasteries around the world:

O Key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel;
you open and no one can shut;
you shut and no one can open:
Come and lead the prisoners from the prison house,
those who dwell in darkness and the shadow of death.

My daughter will turn seven in January. She is the same age as the kids that were killed in Connecticut last week. I want to protect her and every child like her. I want to lock every door between them and any one who might possibly hurt them.

But I can’t do that.

I can take precautions: I can be sure her school is as secure as it can possibly be, and I can keep her in my sight the rest of the time. But there is no lock in this world that only I can open and shut.

There is no way to protect every child all the time, and that both worries me and breaks my heart.

O Key of David, lead us out of darkness and the shadow of death:

December 20

 Advent calendar graphics by Oh My Gluestick. They are intended for personal use only and may not be used commercially.