Instagramming Across May

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When I first heard about Instagram, I thought, oh no, not another social media thingy. But once I began to use it, I really enjoyed it. Especially the way I can post directly from it to my Facebook, Tumblr, and Twitter. Because those two latter ones are more anonymous than my FB, I do need to be careful not to post any identifying information or at least to be aware of it when I do.

In getting my new smartphone, I’ve discovered that its camera is better than my camera-camera and my Kindle camera and having 4G that actually works is the bonus, so I’ve been using it more lately. I also love the way the layout on multiple pictures looks. It lets me be creative and really use my imagination.

This May has been incredibly busy as you’ve read in the posts I’ve made and in the lack of posts I haven’t made. But I have managed to make Instagram posts because they are just so easy to upload.

I wanted to share them with you.

As a writer, I hate the saying, but sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.

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Family Sunday

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Two days past Christmas and all through the house, all were stirring except for the mouse.

My husband still doesn’t understand that the Saturday night Mass and the Sunday morning Masses are the same Mass, the same obligation, and therefore I only need to attend one. I went last night, but he’s still wondering why I haven’t gone yet today. It’s long after two in the afternoon, and about halfway through listening to one of my new CDs, I was kind of hit with the beauty of what we, as a family, were all doing and that today is the Feast of the Holy Family.

Since the Second Vatican Council, the Feast of the Holy Family occurs the Sunday after Christmas or if that Sunday falls after January 1st, the Holy Family is celebrated on December 30th. This really is a big week on the Catholic calendar; a big month really, beginning with the start of the new liturgical year and Advent, going right into the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and now the Nativity, the Holy Family, and Friday brings the Solemnity of Mary, another holy day of obligation, followed soonafter by Epiphany or Three Kings Day and the Lord’s Baptism.

The calendar can feel a bit out of order sometimes. We go from the Nativity in December, the joys of a baby’s birth, and not even six months later we are observing Good Friday, a grown man’s death, murder by crucifixion and Easter, the Resurrection. I used to think, growing up that Good Friday and Easter celebrated the same day – the crucifixion. Now, I do understand the difference, and how the different days are observed: one a day of utmost sadness and one of incredible joy.

Veneration of the Holy Family was begun in the 17th century in what was known as New France by the bishop, Saint Francois de Laval. The Feast of the Holy Family, as it is known now, was instituted as a holy day and on the Catholic calendar by Pope Leo XIII in 1893. It was to be held in January and appeared on the calendar during the Octave of the Epiphany until 1969 when things changed under Vatican II.

Our family has spent today enjoying our gifts from Christmas as well as each other’s company in relative peace. My two youngest kids are showing my husband how to play Minecraft on his new tablet; the three of them are lying on the other side of the bed chattering and pointing and blowing things up to help build his world. My oldest son slept, happy not to be bothered by the usual requests of his prescence by his family for such mundanities as food and company. He is off at work at this moment and I believe he did journey out for a fire call with his station. My part in the family’s peace is to pop in my headphones and listen to my two new CDs; new ones from Adele and Mumford and Sons. I transferred them to my kindle, snuggled under my covers with my sore knee up, disappeared under the darkness of my eye mask and enjoyed the music, all the while thinking how lovely the day’s been.

I can’t think of a better way to celebrate the Holy Family than to enjoy my own.

TV Season Finales

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This week is the end. All of our favorite shows are coming to an end, going on summer hiatus. Yes, it is TV season finales time. When I was a kid, you could practically set your watch by the television schedule. Second week in September they all started. Nothing was ever switched or pre-empted except in the case of a national/international event. In June, about the third week, everything ended, justin time for the kids to finish off school and head back out into the fresh, summer sun, which did not cause cancer, and a sunburn or tan was the mark of a healthy child.

All the shows ended the same week.

Our lives revolved around our televisions. They were the center of the living room with all the chairs facing it. We could almost always see the TV from the dining room even though we rarely ate in front of the TV in those days.

I remember the old timey TV dinners, Swanson of course with the metal tins and foil over the top. No microwaves. You had to have patience for both the start of the season and your dinner. Fried chicken and corn was my favorite.

We had no VCRs. There was no ‘let’s watch it later or tomorrow.’ You missed it, you missed it. Forget about internet spoilers, it took an act of Parliament to find out what you missed on the episode that you would not be able to see until summer reruns. We wanted spoilers. Desperately.

When TIVO was first introduced, I was offended as a capitalist that you could fast-forward through commercials. Commercials were the price you paid for a good television show.

Things are a little different for my kids. We will often have dinner in front of the TV for a special viewing – a holiday special or newly watching a series on Netflix – our newest one is Heroes and we all love it.

We’re (well basically just me right now) are planning a premiere party when The Walking Dead returns in the Fall. Although now, the modern Fall season begins in October, not everything begins on the same couple of weeks, and it ends in mid-May, if you’re lucky.

My kids, especially my oldest knows what it means to jump the shark, but they are surprised that it is not a metaphorical admonishment of going too far, but that it was a literal shark and I watched it happen on live TV. Well, if not live, then on a premiere episode that everyone else was watching at the same time.

We plan meals around special episodes – Scottish fare for the most recent Doctor Who, fish fingers and custard for the last one. I traveled 500 miles for a premiere party of the Supernatural TV series. Every week, my husband and his friend and I would have chicken parm heroes with our Star Trek night. I even made gagh (a Klingon noodle dish) for one auspicious event. I even coordinated a cookbook associated with a fan-fiction of Harry Potter.

We have no real food plans but we do have finales coming this week: The Flash and Supernatural (Arrow was last week). Then we wait for Netflix to get them, and we can rewatch this season before the next one starts in October.

Not to mention, new series that begin when the regular ones end: Major Crimes (returns June 8th), Orphan Black, loads of new things on BBCAmerica and TNT and old favorites on TBS. We still call it primetime, but it is nearly all-time!

I thought I was a TV junkie as a kid, but this new schedule is an enabler with the best of them. ANd there is almost as much television off the TV as on it with online discussion groups (they’re not just for books anymore) and a variety of Wiki entries. For many, the television season doesn’t necessarily end. They have Tumblr, fan fiction, and fan art, and stores like Hot Topic and FYE with fandom merchandise to keep them going until the hiatus is over.

I’m certain (because I’ve seen many of them) that the actors associated with Firefly wish that this onset of fannishness was around when they were cancelled. They would have been switched to a web series or a podcast. As it is now, they are welcome at all manner of sci-fi conventions. We still clamor for George Takei and William Shatner.

I’ll leave you with the description of a popular image on the internet. It is a picture of an iceberg. The big, dangerous part is hidden underneath the water, and the only visible part is tiny in comparison. The visible part is the original material and the giant, well hidden but a force to be reckoned with that hits you unexpectedly is the fandom.

TV is a limited series, but fandom is forever.