Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Sunday, August 8, 2010
My dad cannot wait for the world to end. He doesn’t really care what form it comes in: a flood, fire, earthquake. Since I can remember, he’s been impatient to see the face of God. Dad views any disaster as a sign of the upcoming Judgement. Hurricane Katrina? Sign from God. Tsunami in Thailand? Sign from God. Earthquake in Haiti? Sign from God. Y2K scare? Sign from God. Dad is positively giddy over the monsoon rains in Pakistan.
Dad is helped along with assertions that the Second Coming is near by his association with would-be visionaries and sort-of metaphysical telepaths. It seems that people who receive messages from the Virgin Mary or even Jesus himself, never have anything good to report. The Blessed Mother is almost always completely frustrated to the point where she's shedding tears of blood about the pathetic state of her Son's flock. Dad loves this stuff. Visionaries and my dad have an almost symbiotic relationship: the visionary gets a willing audience and my Dad gets more fuel for his fire (no pun intended).
At the moment, Dad's pet visionary is a woman who speaks to and sees the Virgin Mary. He is her "spiritual director." I'm sure Dad is quite excited to finally be able to officially use the certification that he earned several years ago from the Seminary. Not only does this woman see visions, but there's also the added distinction of having oil drip inexplicably from various holy pictures. The Blessed Mother also mentions my Dad in her messages, so Dad is even more impressed. (I've seen the oil; my Dad is convinced that anyone who witnesses it will be converted immediately...I don't think so). To date, there's supposedly two to three hundred pounds of oil, creating a sort of storage problem.
Since Dad is all about the oil now, it's become even more difficult to carry on a conversation with him. Today, he kept trying to inspire John to either care about the oil or ask a question about it. John, on the other hand, kept trying to distract his father-in-law with his other favorite topic (a far second), animals. Here goes their conversation:
Dad: John, you know how much oil there is now?
John: Hey Dad, have you seen any animals lately?
Dad: There is over 300 pounds. It is unbelievable!
John: You know where a lot of animals are? The nature center. I took the girls there this week.
Dad: The Baby Jesus is oozing oil, now, too.
John: We brought some apples to feed the deer. And breadcrumbs for the fish.
And so forth. Incidentally, Dad also took the occasion of the repeal of Prop 8 to reminisce to John about why he had to ask him if he's gay (see earlier post).
Friday, August 6, 2010
Thursday, August 5, 2010
This week, we hosted my nephews from northern Michigan. In a way, it was a sort of cultural exchange program. John and I were the counselors at Camp Live in the World. Some things the boys learned during their trip downstate:
§ White boys pierce their ears, too.
§ Chinese is not the same as Japanese.
§ Not everyone who lives in or visits Detroit is going to be murdered.
§ Just because the chef at the Japanese steakhouse doesn’t speak English doesn’t mean he shouldn’t work there.
§ Black people are not trying to take over the world.
§ Doors are locked for other reasons than to keep dad out.
§ Some people don’t eat meat.
§ Manual labor is not the only way to make a living.