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Archive for April, 2009

Hysteria …

maskhysteria-x

Do you have it? Has it hit your city yet? Have you purchased your masks and sanitary handwash? Are you avoiding public places and sitting at home wondering WTF???

Over the past few days I have listened to many people talk about this outbreak of H1N1 (swine flu). I am following the news as it comes and I had posted some reports by the CBC but as this crisis grew I decided not to post any more updates because what do we really know?

People are getting sick in Canada and preparations for pandemic have been begun – after the SARS issue some years ago Canada has been planning for this type of medical event. And it looks like things are moving in that direction.

The other night, I listened to Coast to Coast, as we do every night. And the conspiracy theories are just crazy. Last week, it was reported on late night radio that some vials of contaminant were missing from an inventory in a U.S. base. Then it was posited that someone intentionally released this flu virus to cull the population (if you are a One World Government proponent).

The starting point, so it is said, was a US owned Pork Farm in Mexico. There is much speculation about if this was an intentional release or if it was a fluke that a virus incubated by swine jumped the human barrier to infect humans. Pigs are great incubators. And it has been reported that the virus cannot be spread through the food chain. Be that as it may, we have wiped pork off the menu here at home for the time being.

I have read recently the differences in reporting styles on this possible pandemic depending on where you are and where you live. The media spin is different depending upon which border you live within. With not knowing who has the correct information and up to the minute news it is hard to make heads or tails of this onslaught of pandemic fear and hysteria.

People are dying from this and the death toll it is said, is sure to rise over the coming days and weeks. This is where common sense would dictate what we should do next. LET US NOT PANIC…. not just yet.

I am leary of going back to school next week, as many Concordian’s enjoy their Mexican vacations in great numbers. Although Montreal has only had three possible diagnoses on the West Island last week. Even so, I am staying away from hospitals and clinics. With a compromised immune system myself I must be a little more careful – that’s all I need – to get sick now!!!

So watch the news, but be critical of what you are hearing. Take everything in and then judge for yourself what you think is the best course of action for you and your family.

Ok, enough Hysteria for now…

It has been a quiet week here in the hood. A few more days of serenity before I go back to the grind. I will be taking special topics this summer. Topic One is a Theology class on the Trinity on Mon and Wed from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. This course runs first session summer. Topic Two is Biblical Greek which is all summer is on Tues – Thurs from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.

I was incredibly excited today because I made a few phone calls to bookstores at McGill and Paragraph books. It seems that Paragraph books has ordered a handful of copies of the text and I got my name on the special order list. So I don’t have to order it from online. I am hoping the book comes in the next week. I have had nightmares of sitting in class and falling miserably behind and the coursework being a total nightmare.

The weather has been beautiful here in the city. And it seems every day that I look outside the trees are getting greener and greener. The Cabot Square trees have a lot of green on them, as do the trees downstairs on Tupper.

Tomorrow will be a busy day. Our financial aide checks will be ready to pick up on campus and then we have to do some shopping and take care of things around here that have been put on hold until this happens.

So that’s the latest update here from Montreal.

Be smart, and be careful. Follow the directions given to you by Health Canada and by your own health administrations whereever you are. Wash your hands, caugh into your sleeve or a tissue, if you feel sick stay away from population and seek medical care from your physician. Take care of yourselves and be safe.

Make wise decisions, Don’t Panic, Be critical but not ignorant.


Swine flu likely to worsen in Canada, says top health official

Report Via: CBC.CA Online

Canadians should expect to see more severe cases of swine flu — including some deaths from the virus — as the outbreak spreads, the country’s chief public health officer warned Monday.

“Simply because we are seeing mild cases so far does not mean we can take this for granted,” said Dr. David Butler-Jones during a news conference in Ottawa with federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq.

“We will likely see more cases, we will likely see more severe illnesses and we will likely, unfortunately, see some deaths as well. We hope not, but it is a normal part of an influenza outbreak.”

There have been six confirmed cases of swine flu in Canada since the outbreak was first reported in Mexico. All six people — four in Nova Scotia and two in B.C. — had a mild form of the illness and have recovered, Butler-Jones said.

Along with the cases in N.S. and B.C., medical authorities in Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec and Saskatchewan are investigating cases of suspected swine flu.

Canada has heightened its surveillance system to more closely monitor the spread of the disease and will focus on rigorous infection control, he said.

The government is also considering advising travellers against all non-essential travel to Mexico, said Aglukkaq.

Provinces test for swine flu

Ontario deputy premier George Smitherman told reporters on Monday that about 10 to 12 potential cases of swine flu in the province are being checked.

“We first of all want to identify, we want to contain, we want to control any possible infectious outbreaks,” Smitherman said.

Dr. Donald Low, medical director of Ontario’s public health laboratories and chief microbiologist at Toronto’s Mount Sinai Hospital, told CBC News he suspects the cases will be identified in the next 24 to 48 hours.

“We’re in a unique opportunity in history that we’re watching, I think, a pandemic unfold,” said Low, who provided regular updates to the public during the SARS crisis six years ago.

“I don’t think anybody’s thinking that this is not across Canada.”

In P.E.I., the province’s chief health officer Dr. Heather Morrison said Monday eight people who recently returned from Mexico are being tested for human swine flu and have been asked to isolate themselves.

In Saskatchewan, the province’s chief medical health officer Dr. Moira McKinnon said eight people who showed flu symptoms had been tested. The results for five came back negative and the other three have been asked to stay home and have been prescribed the anti-viral medication Tamiflu.

Public health officials in Sherbrooke, Que., are following one suspected case of swine flu in a local resident who returned from a trip to Mexico with flu symptoms.

Canadians should take precautions

Aglukkaq has urged Canadians to take precautions to prevent the human-to-human transmission of this strain of swine flu by washing their hands with hot water and soap, as well as covering up their mouth and nose when sneezing.

She also advised people to stay home and contact their family physicians if ill, particularly if they’ve recently visited Mexico and have flu-like symptoms.

Aglukkaq said she is in regular contact with officials at the WHO, as well as her counterparts in the U.S. and Mexico. The government is also working “very closely” with the provinces and territories, she said.

“Canada is well-positioned to deal with the issue,” she said during question period in the House of Commons on Monday. “We have a national plan to deal with disease outbreaks.”

The federal government also said Monday it does not plan to ban seasonal workers from Mexico from entering Canada, but will require they have enhanced medical checkups before leaving Mexico.


Last Cake Standing …

james-rosselle

Last night at 7 p.m. eastern here in Montreal, was the second episode of Last Cake Standing where our competitors had to put a cake together for a couple on the fly. Competitors were asked to take a limo ride with their prospective clients and when each team thought they had enough information from them, the limo would stop and they would get out and find their way back to the studios to begin working on their cakes.

Last night’s winner was Courtney. James successfully put together a great cake, and he is still in the running for the $50,000. This was the second of 4 competitions for Last Cake Standing…

The episodes are airing here in Montreal at 7 p.m. on Sunday nights with a repeat of the last episode on Saturday night ‘prior.’ That would mean that on Saturday night the last episode which aired last night will be shown again, and the third installment of the Last Cake Standing will air next Sunday at 7 p.m. on May the 3rd.


Montreal Update

the-net

It is Sunday night and all is well here. There has been talk as of late of persons diagnosed with this swine flu and for what I can gather from the news that three suspected cases on the West Island have all been cleared. There are quarantine measures that will be put in place should we get a confirmed outbreak here in Montreal. Let us cross our fingers.

As of the 9 p.m. news several cases have been diagnosed on the west coast in BC and also on the far east coast of Nova Scotia. Canada is closely watching this medical issue – and we are being told to be vigilant and not to panic. I won’t be going near any hospital any time soon. There is too much possibility that a sick and infected person will go to a hospital and an outbreak occur. Our hospitals here in the city are not the bastions of cleanliness and safety.

We are monitoring this situation by the hour and I am keeping an eye on just where this virus is spreading. With all the travelers going to Mexico and the Mayan Riviera you never know how many of these travelers now on their trips might just bring something back with them.

Other than this outbreak of illness world wide, all is quiet on the home front. I have stayed indoors and this week is my last week of down time before the Summer sessions begin. So that’s all I have for you tonight.

This from the CBC tonight:

Health officials confirm 6 cases of swine flu in Canada via CBC.ca

Federal health officials have confirmed six cases of human swine influenza in British Columbia and Nova Scotia and are warning more cases are likely in the near future, as medical personnel around the world test for the virus linked to a serious outbreak in Mexico.

Federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said at a news conference in Ottawa on Sunday that two people from B.C. and four from Nova Scotia had “relatively mild” symptoms of H1N1 swine flu and have since recovered.

“But these cases are likely not the last we’ll see in Canada,” she said.

Aglukkaq urged Canadians to take precautions to prevent the human-to-human transmission of this strain of swine flu by washing their hands with hot water and soap, covering up their mouth and nose when sneezing, and staying home and contacting their family physicians if ill, particularly those who recently visited Mexico and have flu-like symptoms.

Health officials also advised Canadians to get flu shots as well as visit www.fightflu.ca and www.voyage.gc.ca for more information.

Aglukkaq said she is in regular contact with her provincial counterparts as well as the World Health Organization, and has ordered the Public Health Agency of Canada to alert border authorities, quarantine officers and other officials.

“To have our first confirmed cases is of course troubling,” said David Butler-Jones, chief public health officer of the Public Health Agency of Canada. “However, as the minister has said, we needed to be ready for this and we are.”

The agency is talking with drug manufacturers about a vaccine for this swine flu and is preparing information sheets that will be available at airports this week for people travelling to Mexico, Butler-Jones said.

To provide some perspective on this particular flu virus, health officials said that flu viruses in general kill about 4,000 people a year in the country.

4 in Nova Scotia are students

Earlier, Nova Scotia’s chief public health officer, Dr. Robert Strang, said the National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg confirmed late Saturday that four young people in the province are recovering from “relatively mild” cases of the swine influenza H1N1 virus.

Strang said the four are between the ages of 12 and 18 and all attend King’s-Edgehill School in Windsor, N.S. However, only one of those students had been on a recent school trip to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, headmaster Joe Seagram later told reporters.

“I am very pleased to report that all four of those students are feeling very well and much better,” Seagram said. “In fact all of the students who have been sick over the last few days are recovering nicely or have recovered completely.”

Seagram said the private school has a separate medical facility and students who are ill with the flu will be asked to go into isolation for seven days. Classes will continue as usual, but for now community activities on campus, as well as off-campus sports and field trips, will be curtailed, he said.

Also, B.C.’s Centre for Disease Control confirmed cases of swine flu involving two people from the province who recently returned from Mexico.

The centre’s Dr. Danuta Skowronski said these are two separate and mild cases, both involving young men from the Lower Mainland.

U.S. confirms 20 cases of swine flu

In the United States, health officials declared a public health emergency on Sunday as they confirmed 20 cases of swine flu in the country and said they expected to see more as scientists probe the outbreak. The declaration was a “standard operating procedure” that allows the federal and state governments to provide for easier access to flu tests and medications, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said.

In New York City, Mayor Michael Bloomberg confirmed Sunday that eight students attending St. Frances Preparatory School in Queens have swine flu. Tests returning positive results were carried out by the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Ga.

More than 100 students at the private high school have been suffering from fever, sore throat and muscle ache since Thursday. The mayor stressed that their symptoms of influenza were “mild.”

Some of the students had recently travelled to Mexico, the New York Times and New York Post reported.

There have been 12 confirmed cases elsewhere in the United States this month: seven in California, two in Kansas, two in Texas and one in Ohio.

All of these infections have been relatively mild, with only one person staying in hospital for a brief time, said Dr. Keiji Fukuda, the World Health Organization’s director-general for health security and environment.

Swine flu originated in Mexico

In Mexico, 86 people were suspected to have died from the new strain of swine flu virus since April 13. Twenty-two of those victims are now confirmed to have died from the virus and more than 1,300 others have become ill with suspected cases of the infection.

President Felipe Calderon on Saturday invoked special powers that authorize his government to run tests on sick people and order them isolated, a day after all public events in Mexico City were ordered suspended until further notice.

The World Bank said Sunday it will give Mexico an immediate loan of $25 million US and $180 million in long-term assistance to address the outbreak, along with advice on how other nations have dealt with similar crises.

In Mexico City, church services were cancelled on Sunday. Mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral was broadcast over the radio.

The latest measures come one day after experts advising the WHO on the outbreak met at its headquarters in Geneva. The UN health agency declared the epidemic “a public health emergency of international concern.”

The panel will convene on Tuesday to advise the WHO whether to raise the global pandemic alert level. The current alert level is three on a scale of one (low risk of human cases) to six (efficient, sustained transmission between humans).

Swine flu is suspected in New Zealand, France and Spain

New Zealand Health Minister Tony Ryall confirmed on Sunday a group of Auckland college students who returned from a three-week visit to Mexico on Saturday “likely” have swine flu.

“Ten of the 13 students who had flu-like symptoms have proven positive for influenza A and the swine flu is a subset of influenza A,” he said. “So we’re going to send the swabs to Melbourne for further analysis. We should have that information in a matter of days, but our officials here think it’s highly likely they have.”

French Health Ministry officials said four possible cases of swine flu are under investigation, including a family of three in the Nord region and a woman in the Paris region. The four recently returned from Mexico.

Spain’s Health Ministry said three people who just returned from Mexico were under observation in hospitals in the northern Basque region, in southeastern Albacete and the Mediterranean port city of Valencia.

‘The makings of a pandemic’

Dr. Donald Low, the chief microbiologist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto who played a key role in battling the SARS crisis in 2003, said earlier that it was probably just a matter of time before cases appeared in Canada.

“Considering that we see about 600,000 people travel from Mexico to Canada each year and that we’ve just come through the March break period, it wouldn’t be surprising at all for us to recognize cases in Canada, and we’re preparing for that, as we have been preparing for a pandemic in the last five years,” he told CBC News.

“What you’re seeing here is the makings of a pandemic,” Low said. “You’re seeing a new virus that we have no natural immunity to. You’re seeing a virus that can cause disease, and in causing disease, can transmit from person to person.

“All it needs to complete that equation is the recognition that it’s spreading over a wide geographical area. And I think that’s what we’re hearing this weekend, that it’s actually happening,” he said.


‘Golden Girls’ star Bea Arthur dies at 86

LOS ANGELES – Beatrice Arthur, the tall, deep-voiced actress whose razor-sharp delivery of comedy lines made her a TV star in the hit shows “Maude” and “The Golden Girls” and who won a Tony Award for the musical “Mame,” died Saturday. She was 86.

Arthur died peacefully at her Los Angeles home with her family at her side, family spokesman Dan Watt said. She had cancer, Watt said, declining to give further details.

“She was a brilliant and witty woman,” said Watt, who was Arthur’s personal assistant for six years. “Bea will always have a special place in my heart.”

Arthur first appeared in the landmark comedy series “All in the Family” as Edith Bunker‘s loudly outspoken, liberal cousin, Maude Finley. She proved a perfect foil for blue-collar bigot Archie Bunker (Carroll O’Connor), and their blistering exchanges were so entertaining that producer Norman Lear fashioned Arthur’s own series.

In a 2008 interview with The Associated Press, Arthur said she was lucky to be discovered by TV after a long stage career, recalling with bemusement CBS executives asking about the new “girl.”

“I was already 50 years old. I had done so much off-Broadway, on Broadway, but they said, `Who is that girl? Let’s give her her own series,'” Arthur said.

“Maude” scored with television viewers immediately on its CBS debut in September 1972, and Arthur won an Emmy Award for the role in 1977.

The comedy flowed from Maude’s efforts to cast off the traditional restraints that women faced, but the series often had a serious base. Her husband Walter (Bill Macy) became an alcoholic, and she underwent an abortion, which drew a torrent of viewer protests. Maude became a standard bearer for the growing feminist movement in America.

The ratings of “Maude” in the early years approached those of its parent, “All in the Family,” but by 1977 the audience started to dwindle. A major format change was planned, but in early 1978 Arthur announced she was quitting the show.

“It’s been absolutely glorious; I’ve loved every minute of it,” she said. “But it’s been six years, and I think it’s time to leave.”

Golden Girls” (1985-1992) was another groundbreaking comedy, finding surprising success in a television market increasingly skewed toward a younger, product-buying audience.

The series concerned three retirees — Arthur, Betty White and Rue McClanahan — and the mother of Arthur’s character, Estelle Getty, who lived together in a Miami apartment. In contrast to the violent “Miami Vice,” the comedy was nicknamed “Miami Nice.”

As Dorothy Zbornak, Arthur seemed as caustic and domineering as Maude. She was unconcerned about the similarity of the two roles. “Look — I’m 5-feet-9, I have a deep voice and I have a way with a line,” she told an interviewer. “What can I do about it? I can’t stay home waiting for something different. I think it’s a total waste of energy worrying about typecasting.”

The interplay among the four women and their relations with men fueled the comedy, and the show amassed a big audience and 10 Emmys, including two as best comedy series and individual awards for each of the stars.

In 1992, Arthur announced she was leaving “Golden Girls.” The three other stars returned in “The Golden Palace,” but it lasted only one season.

Arthur was born Bernice Frankel in New York City in 1922. When she was 11, her family moved to Cambridge, Md., where her father opened a clothing store. At 12 she had grown to full height, and she dreamed of being a petite blond movie star like June Allyson. There was one advantage of being tall and deep-voiced: She was chosen for the male roles in school plays.

Bernice — she hated the name and adopted her mother’s nickname of Bea — overcame shyness about her size by winning over her classmates with wisecracks. She was elected the wittiest girl in her class. After two years at a junior college in Virginia, she earned a degree as a medical lab technician, but she “loathed” doing lab work at a hospital.

Acting held more appeal, and she enrolled in a drama course at the New School of Social Research in New York City. To support herself, she sang in a night spot that required her to push drinks on customers.

During this time she had a brief marriage that provided her stage name of Beatrice Arthur. In 1950, she married again, to Broadway actor and future Tony-winning director Gene Saks.

After a few years in off-Broadway and stock company plays and television dramas, Arthur’s career gathered momentum with her role as Lucy Brown in the 1955 production of “The Threepenny Opera.”

In 2008, when Arthur was inducted in the TV Academy Hall of Fame, Arthur pointed to the role as the highlight of her long career.

“A lot of that had to do with the fact that I felt, `Ah, yes, I belong here,'” Arthur said.

More plays and musicals followed, and she also sang in nightclubs and played small roles in TV comedy shows.

Then, in 1964, Harold Prince cast her as Yente the Matchmaker in the original company of “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Arthur’s biggest Broadway triumph came in 1966 as Vera Charles, Angela Lansbury‘s acerbic friend in the musical “Mame,” directed by Saks. Richard Watts of the New York Post called her performance “a portrait in acid of a savagely witty, cynical and serpent-tongued woman.”

She won the Tony as best supporting actress and repeated the role in the unsuccessful film version that also was directed by Saks, starring Lucille Ball as Mame. Arthur would play a variation of Vera Charles in “Maude” and “The Golden Girls.”

In 1983, Arthur attempted another series, “Amanda’s,” an Americanized version of John Cleese‘s hilarious “Fawlty Towers.” She was cast as owner of a small seaside hotel with a staff of eccentrics. It lasted a mere nine episodes.

Between series, Arthur remained active in films and theater. Among the movies: “That Kind of Woman” (1959), “Lovers and Other Strangers” (1970), Mel Brooks‘ “The History of the World: Part I” (1981), “For Better or Worse” (1995).

The plays included Woody Allen‘s “The Floating Light Bulb” and “The Bermuda Avenue Triangle,” written by and costarring Renee Taylor and Joseph Bologna. During 2001 and 2002 she toured the country in a one-woman show of songs and stories, “… And Then There’s Bea.”

Arthur and Saks divorced in 1978 after 28 years. They had two sons, Matthew and Daniel. In his long career, Saks won Tonys for “I Love My Wife,” “Brighton Beach Memoirs” and “Biloxi Blues.” One of his Tony nominations was for “Mame.”

In 1999, Arthur told an interviewer of the three influences in her career: “Sid Caesar taught me the outrageous; (method acting guru) Lee Strasberg taught me what I call reality; and (‘Threepenny Opera’ star) Lotte Lenya, whom I adored, taught me economy.”

In recent years, Arthur made guest appearances on shows including “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Malcolm in the Middle.” She was chairwoman of the Art Attack Foundation, a non-profit performing arts scholarship organization.

Arthur is survived by her sons and two granddaughters. No funeral services are planned.

___

Associated Press writer Bob Thomas contributed to this report.


'Golden Girls' star Bea Arthur dies at 86

LOS ANGELES – Beatrice Arthur, the tall, deep-voiced actress whose razor-sharp delivery of comedy lines made her a TV star in the hit shows “Maude” and “The Golden Girls” and who won a Tony Award for the musical “Mame,” died Saturday. She was 86.

Arthur died peacefully at her Los Angeles home with her family at her side, family spokesman Dan Watt said. She had cancer, Watt said, declining to give further details.

“She was a brilliant and witty woman,” said Watt, who was Arthur’s personal assistant for six years. “Bea will always have a special place in my heart.”

Arthur first appeared in the landmark comedy series “All in the Family” as Edith Bunker‘s loudly outspoken, liberal cousin, Maude Finley. She proved a perfect foil for blue-collar bigot Archie Bunker (Carroll O’Connor), and their blistering exchanges were so entertaining that producer Norman Lear fashioned Arthur’s own series.

In a 2008 interview with The Associated Press, Arthur said she was lucky to be discovered by TV after a long stage career, recalling with bemusement CBS executives asking about the new “girl.”

“I was already 50 years old. I had done so much off-Broadway, on Broadway, but they said, `Who is that girl? Let’s give her her own series,'” Arthur said.

“Maude” scored with television viewers immediately on its CBS debut in September 1972, and Arthur won an Emmy Award for the role in 1977.

The comedy flowed from Maude’s efforts to cast off the traditional restraints that women faced, but the series often had a serious base. Her husband Walter (Bill Macy) became an alcoholic, and she underwent an abortion, which drew a torrent of viewer protests. Maude became a standard bearer for the growing feminist movement in America.

The ratings of “Maude” in the early years approached those of its parent, “All in the Family,” but by 1977 the audience started to dwindle. A major format change was planned, but in early 1978 Arthur announced she was quitting the show.

“It’s been absolutely glorious; I’ve loved every minute of it,” she said. “But it’s been six years, and I think it’s time to leave.”

Golden Girls” (1985-1992) was another groundbreaking comedy, finding surprising success in a television market increasingly skewed toward a younger, product-buying audience.

The series concerned three retirees — Arthur, Betty White and Rue McClanahan — and the mother of Arthur’s character, Estelle Getty, who lived together in a Miami apartment. In contrast to the violent “Miami Vice,” the comedy was nicknamed “Miami Nice.”

As Dorothy Zbornak, Arthur seemed as caustic and domineering as Maude. She was unconcerned about the similarity of the two roles. “Look — I’m 5-feet-9, I have a deep voice and I have a way with a line,” she told an interviewer. “What can I do about it? I can’t stay home waiting for something different. I think it’s a total waste of energy worrying about typecasting.”

The interplay among the four women and their relations with men fueled the comedy, and the show amassed a big audience and 10 Emmys, including two as best comedy series and individual awards for each of the stars.

In 1992, Arthur announced she was leaving “Golden Girls.” The three other stars returned in “The Golden Palace,” but it lasted only one season.

Arthur was born Bernice Frankel in New York City in 1922. When she was 11, her family moved to Cambridge, Md., where her father opened a clothing store. At 12 she had grown to full height, and she dreamed of being a petite blond movie star like June Allyson. There was one advantage of being tall and deep-voiced: She was chosen for the male roles in school plays.

Bernice — she hated the name and adopted her mother’s nickname of Bea — overcame shyness about her size by winning over her classmates with wisecracks. She was elected the wittiest girl in her class. After two years at a junior college in Virginia, she earned a degree as a medical lab technician, but she “loathed” doing lab work at a hospital.

Acting held more appeal, and she enrolled in a drama course at the New School of Social Research in New York City. To support herself, she sang in a night spot that required her to push drinks on customers.

During this time she had a brief marriage that provided her stage name of Beatrice Arthur. In 1950, she married again, to Broadway actor and future Tony-winning director Gene Saks.

After a few years in off-Broadway and stock company plays and television dramas, Arthur’s career gathered momentum with her role as Lucy Brown in the 1955 production of “The Threepenny Opera.”

In 2008, when Arthur was inducted in the TV Academy Hall of Fame, Arthur pointed to the role as the highlight of her long career.

“A lot of that had to do with the fact that I felt, `Ah, yes, I belong here,'” Arthur said.

More plays and musicals followed, and she also sang in nightclubs and played small roles in TV comedy shows.

Then, in 1964, Harold Prince cast her as Yente the Matchmaker in the original company of “Fiddler on the Roof.”

Arthur’s biggest Broadway triumph came in 1966 as Vera Charles, Angela Lansbury‘s acerbic friend in the musical “Mame,” directed by Saks. Richard Watts of the New York Post called her performance “a portrait in acid of a savagely witty, cynical and serpent-tongued woman.”

She won the Tony as best supporting actress and repeated the role in the unsuccessful film version that also was directed by Saks, starring Lucille Ball as Mame. Arthur would play a variation of Vera Charles in “Maude” and “The Golden Girls.”

In 1983, Arthur attempted another series, “Amanda’s,” an Americanized version of John Cleese‘s hilarious “Fawlty Towers.” She was cast as owner of a small seaside hotel with a staff of eccentrics. It lasted a mere nine episodes.

Between series, Arthur remained active in films and theater. Among the movies: “That Kind of Woman” (1959), “Lovers and Other Strangers” (1970), Mel Brooks‘ “The History of the World: Part I” (1981), “For Better or Worse” (1995).

The plays included Woody Allen‘s “The Floating Light Bulb” and “The Bermuda Avenue Triangle,” written by and costarring Renee Taylor and Joseph Bologna. During 2001 and 2002 she toured the country in a one-woman show of songs and stories, “… And Then There’s Bea.”

Arthur and Saks divorced in 1978 after 28 years. They had two sons, Matthew and Daniel. In his long career, Saks won Tonys for “I Love My Wife,” “Brighton Beach Memoirs” and “Biloxi Blues.” One of his Tony nominations was for “Mame.”

In 1999, Arthur told an interviewer of the three influences in her career: “Sid Caesar taught me the outrageous; (method acting guru) Lee Strasberg taught me what I call reality; and (‘Threepenny Opera’ star) Lotte Lenya, whom I adored, taught me economy.”

In recent years, Arthur made guest appearances on shows including “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and “Malcolm in the Middle.” She was chairwoman of the Art Attack Foundation, a non-profit performing arts scholarship organization.

Arthur is survived by her sons and two granddaughters. No funeral services are planned.

___

Associated Press writer Bob Thomas contributed to this report.


Pastoral Ministry…

Do you believe in Love

At some point in the game, ones education finally pays off…

In my best suit and tie, polished and clean, today I met with the Monsignor for my final oral portion exam for my Pastoral Ministry 404 class. I got to see what my classmates turned in for their projects and I was totally taken aback by the fantastic work that Saul had done. It seemed to me that my little 40 page paper was nothing compared to what I was seeing in front of me.

We sat down and the interview began. The monsignor had five questions for me but that did not stop the conversation about gay spirituality, the church and what ministry meant to me. At one point I said to him that

“If people read their bibles, and maybe 1 tenth of those people got up and did what their bibles said, we could start a movement. And in the same thought if people read their bibles and did not act upon that – then why bother reading your bible?”

We talked alot about community and how one would reach out to community and he had pulled some quotes from my paper which were the basis for some of his questions. I did not let off not did I balk at answering him frankly and honestly. I explained a lot of where I come from and how I got here and that seemed to please him.We talked about the fractured gay community here and where I fit into the grand scheme of things. I have specific insight to gay community as it is at large. The difference between the sick gay and the well gay, the difference between well straight community and sick gay community and the inherent problems within communities that live in the myths that have been perpetuated over the last 20 years.

We explored scripture a bit and I said something about High Christology and that people who had low understanding of High Christology bible passages did not do well together. So he asked me to explain the two Christologies in the Gospel of John, which I slammed out of the park. He was quite pleased that I could sit down and explain the Son of God and the Son of Man Christologies so well. I noted that that same question appeared twice as exam questions for Gospel and Acts and New Testament Studies.

The discussion went so fast I forgot to take more mental notes of the proceedings. What did get my attention at the end of the interview was his comment that I would get my paper back in a few weeks and that he was seriously contemplating allowing ME to present that paper.

The deal had been that if I decided to write this paper that he would deliver its contents to a clergy/seminarian Seminar in the Spring. He told me that he saw that I was written all over the paper and that he appreciated the paper very much. The monsignor isn’t afraid to talk openly with me on any topic.

All was well, I was very pleased with my performance as was he. Now we wait to see just what he plans for my future. I am hoping that he means to allow me the opportunity to present that paper in my own words in front of an audience of clergy in the future. Let us pray…

more to come … stay tuned…


In the Light …

jc

John 3:16-21

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God.”

After being down yesterday and last night, I rested all day today. I don’t know what is causing the insane nausea but the thought of food just made me want to hurl. I was able to eat a little food late last night and I went to bed early as well which was good. I slept all day today and had a few intersting dreams.

It was a beautiful day in the neighborhood and to night we had a pink sunset over the city, it was quite beautiful. Tomorrow I have my final oral exam on my Pastoral Ministry paper that I wrote for the Monsignor this term. Let us Pray. I’m sure I will get high marks on my presentation.

That’s all from here tonight.

More to come, stay tuned…


Teaching on the Gospel of John…

john-icon
Jesus Teaches Nicodemus – Jn. 3:1-8

Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs you are doing if God were not with him.”

In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again.”

“How can a man be born when he is old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely he cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb to be born!”

Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”

**********

In the Gospel of John, there is no mention of miracles, as in the other Gospels. Miracles in John are called “signs” and we can see here in this reading from today that John is telling a story of Jesus evident here is the High Christology of John. No one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit. Jesus is talking about things above, not things of the earth.

The narrator gives an explanation of ambiguous statements. There are literal and non-literal understandings, and also spiritual meanings. In John 3:1-3, we have the statement being born from above or born again, this is a spiritual or celestial birth. Nicodemus misunderstands Jesus, and the author of the Gospel plays on this passage.In this discourse between Jesus and Nicodemus (1:21) (3:28-30, 36) the information is not adequately integrated. (11-13 – 31-36) there is an opposition between earth and heaven.

Let us look further into the Gospel of John:

There is a difference between John and the synoptic Gospels.

  • John the Baptist’s witness of Jesus (1:19-34)  John the Baptist is never named “The Baptist” in John
  • Jesus’ purification of the Temple (2:12-22) this is placed at the beginning of John, but is found further on in the synoptics
  • The feeding of the 5,000 (6:1-13)
  • Jesus walks on water (6:16-21)
  • Peter’s confession of Jesus (6:66-71)
  • Mary’s anointing of Jesus at Bethany (12:1-8)
  • Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem (12:12-19)
  • Jesus’ last supper (13:1-30) Jesus washes feet
  • Passion and Resurrection Narratives (Jn 18-20)  The discussion between Pilate and Jesus’ crucifixion scene

Miracles in the fourth Gospel:

Only 2 of the 29 synoptic miracles are found in John. The feeding of the 5000 and Jesus walking on water. Five other “signs” are absent in the synoptics

  1. Water into wine (2:1-11) Mary is named Mother of Jesus
  2. Healing of the Royal Officers son (4:46-54) maybe (Mt 8:5-10)
  3. Healing of the man at Bethzada (5:1-9) on the sabbath
  4. Healing of the blind man (9:1-7)
  5. Resurrection of Lazarus (11:33-44) This action seals the death of Jesus

Chronology of the Fourth Gospel:

There is one journey to Jerusalem in the synoptics (1 year) yet John mentions 3 passover feasts (approximately 3 years) John (2:13, 5:1, 6:4, 7:10, 10:22-23,11:55 and 12:1-12)

  • Jn 2:13 – The Purification of the Temple  in Jerusalem
  • Jn 5:1 – The festival of the Jews – Jerusalem visit once again
  • Jn 6:4 – Passover mentioned – Jesus feeds the 5000
  • Jn 7: 2-11 – Jesus goes to Jerusalem
  • Jn 10:22-23 – Feast of Dedication (In the Temple) Jerusalem
  • Jn 11:55 – Passover
  • Jn 12:1-12 – Jesus is going to come to Jerusalem

John has access to other materials. There are tensions in John (problems) it’s not about chronology but Theology in John.

Johannine Double Christology: everything that pertains to the identity of Jesus Christ. Christology much more present, not so much ethics of the kingdom of God, focuses more on faith, the only prerequisite for eternal life.

John 20:30-31

Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

This you see the Subjunctive aorist – “That you may come to believe”
Here you see the Subjunctive present – “These are written so that you will continue to believe”

There is something more in John about Jesus. (Jn:1-18) refers to Jesus divine origin – this inclusion refers to Jesus having a divine origin with God which comes back at the end of the Gospel, on the part of the doubter (20:28) “My Lord and My God.”

**********

The Gospel of John was written in stages or redacted in stages.

  1. Pre-Johnannine (John) traditions were independent traditions from the synoptics (record of sayings and deeds)
  2. Kernel of the Johannine traditions basically is or represents expansion of stage 1. They added Joahnnine theology also from the people who were preaching at that time.
  3. The actual redaction of the Gospel – the writing
  4. A second edition of the Gospel
  5. And we end up with the final edition of the Gospel (chapter 21)

From a Source perspective John was not a one shot writing. The prologue in John is the interpretive key to John. There is the community of the Beloved Disciple.

AUTHOR – is not necessarily the writer (21:24) from whom received the tradition – the message giver.
EVANGELIST – The writer composes the work elements of tradition recording of the author and put tradition in narrative form this adds theological flair.
REDACTOR – is the one who completed the editing work of the evangelist, there may be more redactors.

The authorship of the Gospel of John: Was the Gospel of John written by the Disciple whom Jesus Loved?

Jn 13:23 – Only the Beloved Disciple knows who will betray Jesus
19: 26-27 – He was at the foot of the cross
20:2 – At the Tomb
21:7 – Redactional chapter – fishing with Peter
21:20-24 – Testimony of this person – person who wrote the Gospel received testimony from the Beloved Disciple.

The Disciple whom Jesus Loved:

13:23 The Beloved Disciple
19:26-27 – Beloved Disciple identified with Mother
Jn. 20:22-23 The Outpouring of Spirit – Johannine Pentecost, the result will be the mission.
Jn. 19:30 – Jesus Giving up his Spirit – the Gospel is written for “insiders”

The Mother of Jesus and the Beloved Disciple are representative of the Johannine community. The symbols of water and the symbols of the spirit (Jn. 7/ 20:20-23) When Jesus dies – he gives up his spirit. Everything happens at the Cross – The cross is the moment where Jesus dies and returns to the Father. When the Son of Man will be lifted up (on the cross) The Christology of the Son of Man ( refers to Daniel chapter 7 ).

Christology of the Son of God

Jesus is more than the Messiah, carries attributes that traditional Jews would have given to the Messiah. The Son of God carries glory and power of the Father and the only begotten son.

Johannine Christology of the “agent of the Father” Judicial clauses – Jesus is the plenipenitentiary – the mediator. Someone sent with the power of the one who sent him.

Jewish law elaborated a Charter of Rights, responsibility of the one who was sent. Responsibility clauses are discernable (sender and agent) the relationship between Jesus and the Father – Judicial Christology.

Mandate Clause:
The existence of the mission. Choose the right representative – the son or elder son. The person invested with full rights and the same authority of the sender, the Father in John is the sender – Jesus is the one who is sent. (Jn. 3:31-34, Jn. 5:21-23, Jn. 6:39, Jn. 13:3, Jn. 17:10)

The Judicial Equality Clause: (Jn. 10:30,38, 12:45)
There is a judicial equality between the sender and the agent this explains a series of passages – (Jn. 5:23, 12:44, 13:20, 15:23 ) There is an equality between Jesus and the Father. (Jn. 13:16, 15:20, 14:28)

We would never know the Father except through Jesus

The Obedience of the Agent Clause:
The agent had to be faithful and obedient. (4:34, 6:38) “I come to do the will of him who sent me” (7: 16-18, 18:28-38, 12:49-50, 14:24, 5:43) Jesus only teaches what he receives from the Father.

The Return and Reckoning Clause:
Mandate – equality – responsibility – return with an account. This is the theme of the return of Jesus to the Father. (13 – 17) (13:3) In John 17:1-4 Jesus knows his work is done, Jn. 17:6 it is made known to the Father.

Why is Jesus the Plenipenitentiary – to introduce the Father

Prologue 1:1-2 and the word was turned to God (in the Greek) There is an auto revelation of God – seen through the prophets of the Old Testament. This word will become incarnate. Jesus will be the one to incarnate the word – the culminating point – that Jesus comes from the Father. The word (Divine Autorevelation) Christology of the Son of Man.

The Son of Man differs from the Son of God

Daniel 7:13 apocalyptic literature. Designates Jesus as eschatalogical judge – (Synoptics – Divine Heavenly Being)

John – Son of Man titled 1:50-51 The ladder of Jacob in Genesis – the some of man is associated to heaven, ascending and descending. (3:11-15) Son of Man related to heaven because he is descended a heavenly being.

Numbers 21:4-9 – The Son of Man will be lifted up, believe in him (the Son of Man) elevation of the Son of Man. The source for eternal life. John 3:11-15 (Born from above) (2Cor 5:17, Gal 5:6) Being someone new. John 6:61-62 Ascending to where he was before. The elevation of man has to be seen, taken note of. John 12:20-36 The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

John 12:31-33 Eschatalogical judgment coming. The Prince of the earth (the devil) will be debunked.

We have here the double existence of lifting up the Son of Man. Lifted up on the cross – The cross as way to return, to ascend – everything happens at the crossas supreme king. (the crucifixion and elevation)

This is a realized eschatology – In John the eschatological moment comes at the cross. The elevation is the death. Why does the writer need a second Christology?

The cross is a shame ( Deuteronomy 21:22-23)

Various Laws

If a man guilty of a capital offense is put to death and his body is hung on a tree, you must not leave his body on the tree overnight. Be sure to bury him that same day, because anyone who is hung on a tree is under God’s curse. You must not desecrate the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance.

Cursed be the one who is hung on wood.

Here the cross becomes a participant – not a scandal for the Son of Man. The two Christologies integrate the cross, the Son of Man is returning to God to give a report. For the Son of God – the cross is a problem.

Jesus is in total control of his destiny. John 13:27 …

We find a lower Christology in the Synoptic Gospels Mt, Mk, Lk – The Son of God is linked to the Messiahship. in John Jesus is the plenipenitentiary of the Father. Jesus the Son of Man is lifted up – The death of Jesus with his elevation is Glorification encapsulated in the Crucifixion scene. It is a relaized eschatology – at the cross.


Fat …

jc

“God doesnt seem to call the qualified, but rather to qualify the called.”

Christians are called to be FAT: Faithful, Available and Teachable…

The Rev. Wilma Jakobsen – All Saints Church Pasadena, Good Friday Service.


Judgment Day…

kings1-copy_0

Ethan Shepherd, David’s brother is on trial for treason against the crown, and King Silas has the ability to make judgment upon him. This episode finds David fighting for his brother and the King finds himself in tough territory.

Judgment day finds ten cases that are chosen by a committee to be heard directly by the king and adjudicated by him. We also find that Jack is having issues with obscurity and jealousy. The infighting of the siblings is of great importance for this episode. Jack does not want to find himself being pushed into obscurity by a possible marriage between the princess and David. It seem that Jack has a serious case of “what about me?”

Jack tells his sister, “What good is power if one doesn’t use it?”

kingsreviewimg9

At eight bells, Judgment day commences. One of the cases up for review is the case of the doctor who treated Silas’s secret son, and his mistress gets up as a character for the defense. As we know, Silas has to turn his face from his relationship with his mistress [in the last episode] and King Silas judges the doctor [ who has had a hit and run drunk driving case with fatality] and sentences him to serve his full prison term, even if the doctor has saved the king’s son over the past little while. The king has turned his face from people who have been instrumental in saving a son’s life. And he has turned from his mistress who appears openly in this episode. The king’s double life is exposed in open court here.

David finds himself at odds with the princess, and is told by Jack’s office that if he wants to save his brother he has to denounce the king and say that he doesn’t have faith in him and that the king has led people astray. And we know that David is not going to speak out against his king, though try as he might, David keeps making the case for his brother, even if the king has bestowed upon his the medal for Valor.

jack

Jack is in rare form in fighting to make sure that Ethan is made an example of and he has an agenda to push forwards. In a brief encounter Jack comes home and his personal guard speaks about watching Jack all day and jack responds with this quip “well you don’t have to stop now” as they face each other in the street. Jack goes on the say that “he has someone that he can trust on his side.” Is there more to read into this brief discussion between men?

jack-2-kings

As the episode comes to an end the king has made some movement on the case of Ethan Shepherd who has been sentanced to death on the following morning for his crimes against the crown. The episode comes to a head when David stands with Silas and is told that his brother has been moved and will serve a six month sentence and if he learns from his mistakes and keeps his mouth shut he will be ok.

david-and-the-king

David is moved beyond words and hugs the king who does not return the embrace. All of Jack manipulation has failed in the end, David wins a lighter sentence and saves his brother’s life and the king has made another judgment and saves Ethan from death.

The closing portion of the episode finds the princess facing David at his home where she tells him that He is in her heart but that nothing further can happen which leads David to ask her if she felt the same way about him as he feels about her. Obviously there is chemistry between them, and Jack sees this and the princess states quite painfully that she can’t continue this dalliance with David because she is promised to someone else.

Fade to black…

What do we have here:

  • King Silas has made several judgments on the cases chosen.
  • David has won his brother’s life in the end
  • Jack is terribly jealous that he will be forgotten or overlooked in the future
  • There is a double standard being exercised in the lives of the King’s extramarital affairs with the doctor and his mistress
  • The Princess still pines over David, yet she is promised to someone else
  • And there is a possibility that Jack is having extra curricular activities with his staff – one can never second guess him, he is always scheming and playing around in the dark on the down low.
  • David cannot bring himself to speak against the king and that loyalty has paid off the David in the end
  • We also saw the return of the Kings nephew Andrew [played by Macaulay Culkin] who is seen having a conversation with the King at table when they talk about Andrew’s banishment from the kingdom, I guess they are adding guest stars to the series now
  • There is a relationship moving between the King and David in their discussion about God. David admits during the episode that he might not know about god or believe, until the king spares his brother Ethan, and David says to the king, “I wasn’t sure how God works, but God works through you [King Silas]
  • The well written script is delivered quite well by the actors and brings an air of proper erudition on the part of David and King Silas. Ian McShane is in rare form as King Silas.

What happens next?
Stay tuned to Kings on NBC next Saturday night at 8 p.m.


April 17 – Day of Silence

day-of-silence

April 17th, I will be joining GLBT bloggers across the nation for a tremendous cause, the National Day of Silence which is aimed at preventing anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools.

Instead of blogging on April 17th there will be a single post on this blog and many others with resources and information about this great cause and why instead of blogging, we will unite with our GLBT youth and their allies and be SILENT!


I’m hunting wabbits …

shhhcopy1

Leave it to Quebec City to incite terror in the hearts of student’s financial accounts. I got an email today with a new calculation and the really screwed me over big time. So I had to go to the school and sit with a financial aide officer who figured out what they did and she went into my file and she fixed it.

But alas, in the end, we are going to have to file a tuition deferral which means that when I get my new calculation – they are going to take all the money I owe to the university at that moment, which will leave me very little money for next month !!!! UGH !!!

While I was at financial aide I spoke to the lady there and we figured out that I can take Biblical Greek AND AHSC 232 Working in Task Groups over the summer as well, which clears my required courses for my Certificate which means I will graduate in the fall with my Certificate in Pastoral Ministry.

Now I have to apply for the MA in Theology in the coming months…

I think I need a meeting: So I called my sponsor in Florida and we had a great conversation. I’ve reached the other side of the whole drama of my home group. I have worked through my seventh step and prayed my way through a spiritual experience I think I’ve had.

I worked Owain in and out, backwards and forwards and I keep coming back to love, and that is progress. I have cleared away the wreckage and now I am left with my side of the street cleaned. Louise said that I sounded really good and I feel really good about it all.

I know where I fell short and I know that I learned a lesson because I wrote about it for my final exam in AHSC. I know that my conflict management skills are very weak and I don’t like conflict which is why I reacted the way I did, when I did. And now I have reached the other side.

I told Louise that I wanted to return to my home group and she was just elated with joy. I think I am ready to humbly make my way back knowing what I know now. I had a dream the other night about it and I had had an entire conversation with Owain and I explained to him what I learned and how I came to believe that God knows what is right and I just walked the path and waited because I was sure God would move for me and he did.

This is the process of recovery. It doesn’t come overnight and it doesn’t come for those who take life for granted – The steps work themselves out over time and it, for me, was an unconscious movement forward. I was open to the spirit and the spirit moved. And I am happy with that.

Joyce told me last week when I saw her that “God calls you ‘Jeremy’ and you ignore him, so he calls again, ‘Jeremy’ and you still ignore him and finally God gets up and he screams ‘JEREMY!!!’ Do I have your attention now? Louise and I both laughed at this because we are both very alike in our relationship with God.

The weather is beautful outside. The sun is shining and I think I am going to take down the plastic on the windows soon, since it has been over (10c) for the last few days, I don’t think we are going to have any major temperature drops from here on out, so I think Spring is finally on its way.

So that was my day …

More to come, stay tuned…


I'm hunting wabbits …

shhhcopy1

Leave it to Quebec City to incite terror in the hearts of student’s financial accounts. I got an email today with a new calculation and the really screwed me over big time. So I had to go to the school and sit with a financial aide officer who figured out what they did and she went into my file and she fixed it.

But alas, in the end, we are going to have to file a tuition deferral which means that when I get my new calculation – they are going to take all the money I owe to the university at that moment, which will leave me very little money for next month !!!! UGH !!!

While I was at financial aide I spoke to the lady there and we figured out that I can take Biblical Greek AND AHSC 232 Working in Task Groups over the summer as well, which clears my required courses for my Certificate which means I will graduate in the fall with my Certificate in Pastoral Ministry.

Now I have to apply for the MA in Theology in the coming months…

I think I need a meeting: So I called my sponsor in Florida and we had a great conversation. I’ve reached the other side of the whole drama of my home group. I have worked through my seventh step and prayed my way through a spiritual experience I think I’ve had.

I worked Owain in and out, backwards and forwards and I keep coming back to love, and that is progress. I have cleared away the wreckage and now I am left with my side of the street cleaned. Louise said that I sounded really good and I feel really good about it all.

I know where I fell short and I know that I learned a lesson because I wrote about it for my final exam in AHSC. I know that my conflict management skills are very weak and I don’t like conflict which is why I reacted the way I did, when I did. And now I have reached the other side.

I told Louise that I wanted to return to my home group and she was just elated with joy. I think I am ready to humbly make my way back knowing what I know now. I had a dream the other night about it and I had had an entire conversation with Owain and I explained to him what I learned and how I came to believe that God knows what is right and I just walked the path and waited because I was sure God would move for me and he did.

This is the process of recovery. It doesn’t come overnight and it doesn’t come for those who take life for granted – The steps work themselves out over time and it, for me, was an unconscious movement forward. I was open to the spirit and the spirit moved. And I am happy with that.

Joyce told me last week when I saw her that “God calls you ‘Jeremy’ and you ignore him, so he calls again, ‘Jeremy’ and you still ignore him and finally God gets up and he screams ‘JEREMY!!!’ Do I have your attention now? Louise and I both laughed at this because we are both very alike in our relationship with God.

The weather is beautful outside. The sun is shining and I think I am going to take down the plastic on the windows soon, since it has been over (10c) for the last few days, I don’t think we are going to have any major temperature drops from here on out, so I think Spring is finally on its way.

So that was my day …

More to come, stay tuned…


The Good News

the-net

I have always wanted a tattoo, as a sign of marking time living with HIV. I have yet to get that tattoo. It has been fifteen years since I was diagnosed and I have learned much about myself, my disease and the spiritual axioms that keep me faithful to God. My recovery from drugs and alcohol and my body’s ability to produce t-cell numbers in the thousands, consecutively, over years, has only kept me coming back for more.

On the anniversary of my first year of sobriety, in 2002, I got a piercing. To remind me of the spiritual path I am on and to also reinforce just how blessed I am to be sober now 7 years later. Living with AIDS is a process that takes a lifetime to understand. It doesn’t come over night, and it doesn’t come for those who take life for granted. Just because you have been diagnosed does not give one the right to throw away their existence. Living with AIDS for me has been a process in self discovery.

I have written over the years that in the past when we read from the holy texts of the men who went before us, that not many people went to church, for some, the mere mention of God would cause one to convulse. Some of those men had a sense of spirituality if you read between the lines. I believe the one thing that saved me was my sense of faith in a God of my understanding. I had a number of men of faith in my corner that encouraged me to come to church and to participate in my faith community.

Over the last fifteen years, I got clean and sober. I went back to University at age 34 and graduated with a B.A. Degree in Religious Studies and I got married to a wonderful man and now I am working on a Certificate in Pastoral Ministry which I complete this fall.

Here in Montreal, I am part of a treatment clinic and for the last six years I have been testing medications for the general public. I am amazed at the availability of services open to you there in Denver, so you are all blessed to be able to tap resources that many people do not have access to. We do not have this kind of comprehensive coverage here in our city.

This is a huge part of living with AIDS, that you find a community to belong to, that you take root, and you prosper. Recovery is a huge part of my survival plan. Faith is the backbone from which everything else stems. I encourage you to find a path that works for you where you are loved, respected and made to feel worthy of the life you inhabit. Everyone on the path has a story. Every story is important, because we are here and that we matter to God. And that is the good news.

I wrote this essay for my friend ROD, you can read his blog HERE and also you can visit ON the TEN, The Treatment and Education Network Denver.