Scat Free

04/26/2013 Comments (76)

Yesterday was the birthday of the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald.  I Googled "queen of jazz" to see if that's really how she's known; but I already knew that that's what she was.  My sister and I grew up wearing grooves in our LPs of Ella Fitzgerald singing the Gershwin Songbook. Such earthy elegance -- such a stunning combination of warmth and poise, passion and control.

 

 

 

I once told a jazz-savvy guy how much I loved Ella Fitzgerald, except for the songs with scat singing.  He laughed, and laughed, and laughed, and laughed, and laughed.  Somewhat offended, I asked why.  It turns out that Ella Fitzgerald is especially known for her scatting -- that she's also, in fact, known...READ MORE

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Ten Things to Do Instead of Wallowing

04/25/2013 Comments (42)

As Catholics and as citizens, we have a responsibility to be well-informed about the news, because we have a responsibility to do the right things:  write to our congressmen, elect the right (or the least disastrous) candidates, make the right choices for our kids' education, maybe boycott or support the right corporations, and of course pray for the right things.  But keeping up with the news most certainly falls under the law of diminishing returns.  After a while, reading the headlines stops informing you and starts deflating you.  You think you're filling your brain with information so you can be spurred to action, but you're really just filling your heart with despair until you feel...READ MORE

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The Theology of the Bathroom

04/23/2013 Comments (87)

Not wanting to be one of those overbearing feminist types who always doubts the words of men who are wiser far than I, let me demurely defer to the great scholar of gender studies, Dave Barry.  I can't find the exact quotation, but the basic idea is this:  if you are cleaning a bathroom and are wondering, for the eight thousandth time, why men pee on the seats, then wonder no more.  The answer is that men are jerks.

It's been strangely healing for me to remember this wisdom today.  We've had several parties at our house lately, and usually that means that the bathroom gets cleaned regularly, if with more screaming and recriminations than are usually associated with peaceful...READ MORE

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So Long, and Thanks for All the Intersex Fish

04/18/2013 Comments (114)

Do a few stretches, and then wrap your brain around these three facts:

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Who Is to Blame for Kermit Gosnell?

04/16/2013 Comments (113)

Maybe you've heard:  what Kermit Gosnell did?  It's pro-lifers' fault.


Jezebel says

 "[Gosnell's] business was able to thrive because of limited access to reproductive choice, not because of reproductive choice itself." 

XOJane says

These patients had nowhere else to go for safe, compassionate, responsible abortion care, turning to Gosnell as a last resort.  [T]his clinic existed in the first place because of restrictions on abortion access, not because of the supposed inherent evils of abortion. If Gosnell’s patients had been given another choice, they would have taken it ...This situation happened because of a failure of the regulatory system. Not because abortion is...READ MORE

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Interfaith Couples:  How Does It Work?

04/12/2013 Comments (109)

NPR's call-in show, Talk of the Nation, covered interfaith marriages the other day.  There were some interesting statistics, and I was pleased that the first caller (an atheist who married a Catholic) thought the required Pre-Cana classes he attended were thorough and useful.  The guest, Naomi Schaefer Riler, author of Til Faith Do Us Part, also said that the Church's marriage preparation courses are often used as a model for anyone preparing a couple of any faith for marriage.  Apparently only about half of interfaith couples actually discuss, before they are  married, how they will raise children!  Can you imagine?

The guest did say that the Church has recently changed its rules, and...READ MORE

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A Little Divisiveness, Please

04/11/2013 Comments (302)

Back in 2010, I grumbled to a traditionalist Catholic friend:


Every time some violent Muslim blows something up, all the peaceful Muslims complain about how unfair it is that everyone thinks all Muslims are like that, and they protest about it.  And I'm thinking, Why aren't you guys protesting against the violent Muslims?  Two birds with one stone.  You make the world less violent, and you get a better reputation as a group.

The reason I was grumbling to him was because the complaints of the peaceful Muslims reminded me an awful lot of the complaints of the perfectly nice traditionalists.  Every time some radiical traditionalist does or says something hideous, I hear a lot...READ MORE

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I Didn't Do Anything

04/09/2013 Comments (65)

With a gasp and a lurch, I centered my spine on the x-ray table.  The imaging tech clucked in sympathy.  "What did you do to your back, hon?" she asked.  And I had to admit,  I didn't do anything.  And yet here I was, hardly able to move.  All day and all night, I found myself in an invisible "cell of Little Ease," with no way of resting, because every position brought a different kind of pain.  I couldn't sleep, but I couldn't get out of bed without screaming.  Standing up straight was an act of courage.  The only time my leg wasn't burning was when it was numb.  And yet I hadn't done anything.

Which, it turn out, was the problem.  I didn't exercise, I didn't bother sit or stand up...READ MORE

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About Simcha Fisher

Simcha Fisher
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Simcha Fisher, author of The Sinner's Guide to Natural Family Planning writes for several publications and blogs at I Have to Sit Down. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and nine children. Without supernatural aid, she would hardly be a human being.