Monday, June 22, 2009


Okay, everybody, take three steps back and clear the floor, DDR Dad (that's my new name) is in da House!

For Realz, yo.

So, what was not mentioned in the last post was the my girls sang DDR songs to me as their Father's Day present, and the first one entirely in American Sign Language:


Why, why, why, I'm a little butterfly
Green, Black and Blue
Painting Colours in the sky.

Why, why, why, I'm a little butterfly,
Green, Black and Blue
Painting Colours in the sky.

Why, why, why, ... why, why, why
Where's my Samurai?

And then:

Hey, "Papa," dup-du-dup-pi-doop, yama-jama

Yes, they are seven and five year old girls, and, no: they do not the lyrics of the above "Hey, 'Papa'" song. That's why they sing dup-pi-doop, because they do not know the lyrics of the original, and no: they haven't seen the music video, either.

But that's not my point.

geophf, there's a point to this blog post?

Of course there's a point, there's always a point to every thing I say, or else why would I say it?

Um, quit giving me that look.

My point is this: I have arrived. I've gone from being merely awesome at DDR to being expert at it.

Humble about it, too, aren't you, geophf?

Yes, why do you ask?

I've started to push the 'A' graded songs to 'AA', but I've also done that to my 'B' and 'C' graded songs. No big deal.

But now I get 'A's on 10-steppers ... like Bag (the poor girl, her mom called her to supper right in the middle of the song). Now I can Ace ("Double A") songs like 30 lives and can FC ("Full Combo") songs like Dorset Perceptions and Cosmic Hammer and Feels Just Like It Should ... take away my Ace from me? Well I'll just FC the song, then!

And now I can even complete songs like Cartoon Heroes and Waka Laka ... you know, songs I couldn't even complete before? But now get 'A's on? Those songs?

Yeah. That's right. Whoz yer (DDR) daddy?


Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm off to do me some DDR UltraMix 3, please (Rock Lobster? Git me more o' dat! I have a question ... how come this particular DDR game has so many good songs, all in a row?)

Post Script

Yeah. Just aced Just Pretend. Didn't see that happening with all the quick twisting about and switching of dominant feet during a held note. Tough little song wrapped up in a "This is a simple beat" façade.

Love that song so much, even though it's so sad. Maybe because it's so sad ... it's like a story waiting to be written somewhere. It's opposite is only a few songs away on the wheel: Don't Don't Go Away, another wonderful, and wonderfully hard, song to dance to with beautiful music hiding the pain of the singer underneath.

Why do I like these kinds of songs?

But, then again, I do have Monkey Punk for my "defense."

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day

Life got in the way and Doug's 42nd birthday passed without blog mention. Oh, the missed opportunities to quote Douglas Adams! But as Doug himself would say, "So it goes."

The littles made up for it by slaving (yes, slaving!) over the annual Father's Day scrapbook, now on its second year. And because they are now big girls (little girls being 3 and 4 years old, of which they're not), there was a program filled with dancing, poetry reading, and singing (the kind where the words are made up as they go along). To the dear Papa, whose heart could be broken by a single tear rolling down a dear daughter's cheek, this was almost too much to bear! But so it goes. He is much loved, and it is Father's Day.

Enjoy the rest of your day, Papa. We're extending quiet time to 3 hours, about the length of a DDR session, right? Just for you.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Wherefore Angels?

So, last night, I told my brother Mike I have many reasons for happiness that day. The first, AOL is hiring contractors, and, with that, I can start receiving more income than sending outgo per month. That's a "plus." The second, my cara spoza doesn't have cancer; that's good, too. And, thirdly, my children are alive and not truck tire-tread road-pizza.

Like I said, a very good day.

Yeah, that last one. The setup is as follows: it was raining buckets, and I was walking my little dears to the library as my other little dear was getting her mammogram. We looked all ways, crossing that busy intersection of Burke Lake Road and Old Keene Mill Road. Surely there was traffic — there always is — but none oncoming. That is, none until we were halfway across the road, and truck the size of a Ford 150 came out of nowhere, barreling into the intersection at a speed faster than the speed limit, speeding past right-of-way traffic to make that left turn, right onto us.

I didn't even see it. And the driver didn't see us when he made the turn, but he slammed on the brakes, skidded on the rain-slicked road and did not crush EM and me and did not throw our little Iz a good distance.

I didn't think anything as this happened, anything other than getting the children safely across the street, but another driver did: she rolled down her window, shouted at the truck driver and then turned to us and apologized for his driving. I waved and stated my thanks.

But now I am thinking about it. Viscerally. I'm thinking: two little hands. One little hand in my left, Elena Marie's, that would have been crushed under the truck, and another little hand in my right, Isabel's, that may have been crushed or may have been thrown clear. But then what? She wakes up, or doesn't, in the hospital, and asks her mother: "Mama, where's Até? Where's Papa?"

And I'm thinking, how did this not happen?

As a Catholic, there's an obvious answer: guardian angels. Either the man's angel said: "Excuse me, blue jeans and sweaters on your left have people inside them …" Or our own guardian angels stopped that truck as the momentum of it and the lack of friction caused by the rain did not.

I have had discussions with other "Christians" who do not agree. They argue: what's the point to the entire set, all of them? Why have angels at all? God is sufficient unto Himself; He doesn't need angels to carry out His Work.

Why, indeed!

But that's not the real question, is it? The real question is why have us at all? I mean, it is clear that there are compelling reasons for God creating the angels, but what is not so clear is why would God even bother with us and the questions that we pose. I mean, obviously, God has more important Work to carry out that to stoop down and save two little girls that I'm rather fond of and the pater familias holding their hands, so why did He bother in this particular case, and why did He bother in the general case at all?

That's another question. And that's your homework — your essay question — "God, why did You create me?" Your life, ever second of your Now, is your answer.

But why angels? And why do angels bother with us? And why does God even bother with angels, when He can do it all Himself?

First of all, do angels exist? Answer: yes. Proof, read the Old Testament>Pentateuch/Torah, or the new Testament, or the Noble Qu'ran.

Put that one to bed. ("Oh, angels don't exist, but I believe in God and in man." Pshaw!)

Second of all, why does God even bother with them?

Now that's the real question. Because God has no need to bother with them at all, just has He has no need to bother with us at all. But He did. Why? I don't know. But I can take a guess, informed by scripture.

God thought of the angels "long" before He thought of us. Boom, He spoke, and whammo: Creation! What's the first thing out of His Mouth? The Bible doesn't put it like this, but the first thing out of His Mouth were the highest forms, Lucifer and the Seraphim. And guess what? God said, "Lucifer, how do you want to work this?" and Lucifer said, "Well, I think …"

And that was all she wrote for Lucifer. Because God was really asking: "Lucifer, you or Me? Your way or My Way?" And Lucifer lead off with the I, me, and mine, instead of the correct whatever you say, Lord, goes, or: only Thou, Lord. So, Lucifer picked up his ball, taking a third of the angels with him ("Hey, guys, b-ball at 5!") and played in his own damn court.


But here's the miracle, God asked the Seraphim the same thing, and what did they say? Kadosh, kadosh, kadosh … or ("English"): Holy, holy, holy … or (French): Saint, Saint, Saint … or (the modern translation): OMG, OMG, OMG!

The Seraphim, the most powerful angels, were so overcome with the Presence of God, that it set them on fire, and all they can do is shout: "Oh, God!" as they adure.

And so it went with all created things, the Cherubim, the Archangels, the angelic choirs … and then us.

And why do the angels bother with us? I mean, here's Gabriel, "just" an archangel, … an archangel that, with just one feather of one of his wings spans the entire Universe … "just" an archangel that with one blow on his horn calls then end of all creation, and here's Michael, "just" another archangel, that when God said, "Um, who's going to take out the trash?" St. Michael said: "Oh, God, let me get that for you, please?" and then took the rebellious angels and threw them in the incinerator … "just" an archangel that's more powerful than Lucifer, now Satan, and all his cohorts, combined.

And with all that power and majesty, they want to help us. Why?

Some more guesses here. God says, "Um, who wants to …" And He has the entire heavenly hosts just begging at His "Feet" to do something for Him. Anything! Imagine the honour! "God needed this done, and He picked me to do it for Him!"

And to be clear, God doesn't have "need" of anything, but He allows others to do things, in accordance with His Divine Will. "You know what will really perk up Mary [or whatever a particular Angel's name is, Mary may be a popular name in Heaven, but I wouldn't know]? That she helps guide Elena Marie to Heaven. I bet she'd like doing that."

But also imagine the hardship and "disgrace" that they must endure! Here's an angel, an eternal being of pure intellect, having to interact in Time and in the (Physical) World, to enact God's Plan. I mean, you can't get much farther than God, than Time (as opposed to Eternity) and the World (as opposed to Immateriality), but they do it, they beg to do it, because it pleases God.

"Hey, I need two of you to come down with me, assume temporal physical form, 'cause I gotta tell Abraham and Sarah about Isaac, you two wanna come?"

"Yes, Lord!" said tremblingly, awed that God picked them, ignoring the coming agony of assuming physical form, a form so opposite in nature to their own, even for a short "time," because they are doing His Will.

The second reason (in case you lost count, there were two reasons angels help us) is this: so they can learn from us.

Now, wait a minute, geophf, angels are eternal and pure intellect. They don't change, so what do they have to learn?
You say this so smugly, sure you've got the geophfster this time.

Yes, they don't change, do they? At the moment of Creation they picked God or they picked themselves, and now they exist, eternally, with and in that choice.

But we do change. Every second, we pick God or we pick ourselves. Every second we struggle with that choice. It gets better, doesn't it, right? Because the more we pick what we want, the harder it is to pick what God wants. But, sometimes, despite this concupiscence, we choose God.

Put yourself in the angel's place, watching this happen. Your thinking: God is God, c'mon, human, pick God, please! And the human, so stained by sin, says, ya know, I'm gonna go with God on this one.

What does the angel think, seeing this nearly lost soul reach heavenward? Maybe something like, Wow!

Why do Angels exist? No reason, as God has no need for them. But, it must be nice seeing that "little" guardian angel say wow! because it helped that soul take one more step toward God, because it helped Him in His Plan.

Why have angels? I really don't know. But today, even though I don't know, I'm grateful for their presence and their help.