I Have a Date!

Thursday, April 04, 2013 10:29 AM Comments (70)

A court date, that is.  To contest a ticket.  This seemed like a much better idea six weeks ago, when I didn’t have enough cash to pay the ticket.  But now that my court date is set, I’m a little bit nervous.  What am I going to say?  It’s gotta be better than what I said to the officer who stopped me, which was the sobby version of, “I’M JUST HAVING A REALLY BAD WEEK, OKAY?”

My husband has been to court hundreds of times, as a crime reporter.  From his expertise, I’ve gleaned that it’s best not to wear sweatpants that say “TOUCHDOWN” across the hiney, not to spit at the guard or even in his general direction, and not to refer to the judge as “my honor.”  But beyond that, I guess all I...READ MORE

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The Rescue

Tuesday, April 02, 2013 8:45 AM Comments (56)

When my sister and I were little, we used to love paging through the first aid manual.  The burn illustrations were our favorite, followed closely by the drawing of the guy whose leg was so broken, the bone was sticking out.  My mother kept taking the book away from us, but we kept finding it.  Our fascination was ghoulish, but we did learn some things: how to get a fishhook out of someone's finger; how to remove a foreign object from someone's eye.  And the various grips you can use to rescue someone who's drowning.

I remembered those grips when I saw this icon of Christ going down to the underworld to find Adam and Eve:


Christ wades down into the darkness where Adam has been...READ MORE

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Good Friday

Friday, March 29, 2013 7:00 AM Comments (0)


reprinted with kind permission of the artist, Catalina Chervin

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The C&E Crowd:  How to Deal

Thursday, March 28, 2013 11:14 AM Comments (90)

Speaking of confession, here's one:  I have a really hard time dealing with the C&E Catholics -- you know, the ones who clog up the pews twice a year on the big holidays, chattering and chewing gum like they're in a football stadium,  treating the Nativity and Resurrection of our Lord into a photo op, turning what should be the most joyous holy days into an occasion of sin for faithful Catholics.

Now, some of you will be saying, "Yeah, right on!  I wish our pastor would put his foot down and flush out creeps like that once and for all.  This year, I'm bringing my BB gun -- you bet I'll get a seat.  And if your park in my spot and your car has an Obama sticker, let's just say I hope...READ MORE

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Lies, Damned Lies, and Quotations

Tuesday, March 26, 2013 8:00 AM Comments (89)

Emily Stimpson, bless her, recently swatted down a story I've heard my whole life.  Stimpson says:

[T]he election of our wonderful new Holy Father, Pope Francis, has triggered an avalanche of people talking about the first Francis and his injunction to, “Preach the Gospel always. If necessary, use words.”

But see, here’s the thing. St. Francis never said that. We don’t know who did. But it wasn’t Francis. It’s not in any of his known writings. It’s not in any of his companions’ writings. It’s not in anyone’s writings about Francis for the first 800 or so years after his death.

Someone invented the quote and put it into poor St. Francis’ mouth. And ever since then, people...READ MORE

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Peanuuuuuts to You!

Friday, March 22, 2013 10:45 AM Comments (21)

Look, I know it's a Friday in Lent, but this has been kind of a rough week for all of us,  whether we're happy about our  new pope or not -- and I predict that next week is going to be even more harrowing.  I keep having the "oh no, I forgot to write my term paper, and it's due in forty minutes!" dream, and  the "well, I guess I'll try and cram this huge, thick, scummy contact lens  into my eyeball" dream, and the "uh oh, there's a flood coming, but I bet I can drive fast enough to get ahead of -- noooooooooo, I can't!" dream.  And my eye is twitching again.

Happily, it's Chico Marx's birthday, and that's all the excuse I need to post this:


and this


and this



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Thursday, March 21, 2013 10:02 AM Comments (127)

Like many people, I was immensely moved when I saw the photos of Pope Francis washing the feet of single moms and recovering drug addicts.  

I hope I'm alone, though, when I confess that the sensation I felt was not purely salutary -- although I didn't realize it until this morning.  The first news headline I read said, "Pope Francis to Celebrate Holy Thursday Mass at Juvenile Prison


"How wonderful," I thought.  "He's really going to put his example of service right in front of our faces, over and over again until we get it."  In some dark part of my heart a tiny spark of glee crackled, and I thought, "Hoo hoo, this is going to tick off all the right people!"  I didn't really...READ MORE

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I Can't Help It

Friday, March 15, 2013 10:46 AM Comments (86)

NPR did a pretty even-handed job yesterday of discussing the complaints that Pope Francis, when he was Cardinal Bergoglio of Argentina, was somehow involved in atrocities during the Dirty War, or that he didn't  do enough.  Host Audie Cornish says (emphasis mine): 

Some human rights activists argue that his silence hurt investigations in the Dirty War's aftermath, while other accounts reveal that the Pope took major risks to save the persecuted.

A few things that NPR didn't mention:  One activist who has "argued" (not proven) that his silence hurt investigation is one Horacio Verbitsky, author of the book El Silencio.  Verbistky was a leftist guerrilla commander who shot people,...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.