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Katdishionary Part 8

Ah, yes gentle reader. It is once again time for another installment of the epic and never-ending series of blog fodder known as the katdishionary. For your convenience, I have combined all previous posts in one place. (See the katdishionary tab) If there are other words you have observed me using that have yet to make it into the katdishionary, please feel free to share them in the comments section of that page. And as always, sorry/you’re welcome.

And now, on with the katdishionary:

Awesome Cat(pronounced: Ah-sum-kat)

Definition: Awesome Cat defies definition. He is awesome. The end.

Origin: My friend Shaun sent me the picture, which he found on Digg. As soon as I saw it, I knew Awesome Cat must be the unofficial mascot of the brain trust that is the Fellowship of the Traveling Smartypants.

Badgertastic – (pronounced ba-jer-ta-stik)

Definition: Very definitively and enthusiastically having to do with badgers.

Origin: Sleep Talkin’ Man Blog – a blog that chronicles the nocturnal ramblings of a seemingly mild manned English chap by day who tends to get a tad profane whist sleeping: “My badger’s gonna unleash hell on your ass. Badgertastic!” (Note: not suitable for all audiences.)

Example: Did you read SCL’s post about proposed VBS games? My favorite was Badger in a Bag. Badgertastic!

Badger in a Bag(pronounced: ba-jer-in-a-bag)

Definition: A VBS game concept described as follows: “Let’s hide pieces of caramel in a bag and then put a really angry badger in the same bag. To win, you have to successfully grab a piece of candy from the bag without losing a finger.” ~ Jon Acuff

Origin: Stuff Christians Like Post #275 – Playing Red Rover at VBS

Example: To heck with our liability insurance! Let’s bring badger in a bag back to VBS this year!

Faction(pronounced (fak-shun)

Definition: A memoir written by a relatively unknown and unpublished author with no ties to celebrities (in or out of rehab) which is rewritten as a novel in order to draw a larger audience.

Origin: Very savvy and smart publishers. (And no, I’m not being sarcastic. It’s brilliant marketing.)

Example: Snow Day by Billy Coffey. Available October 11, 2010 at bookstores everywhere. Buy one. Heck, buy 100. They make great stocking stuffers!

HRM(pronounced: H-R-M)

Definition: Acronym for Helen of Random Musings. HRM is used to differentiate Helen when she interviews herself on her blog.

Origin: “I first thought of interviewing myself when Former Governor Blagojevich was causing a media circus by going on any show that would have him claiming that he shouldn’t be impeached because he hasn’t been convicted of a crime. (And that he is innocent, and Rahm Emmanuel should be subpoenaed to testify on his behalf at his impeachment hearing, blaj blaj blaj (sic)….) His antics were driving me crazy, and it occurred to me that by using a split personality as a literary device, I’d be able to demonstrate to people reading just how crazy. My friends liked the interviews and suggested I do them more often, so I have.” – Helen (aka HRM)


Blagojevich Part I

Blagojevich Part II

How I Didn’t Become a Nun

Dancing With the Kumquats (My Supermarket Salsa Post)

About My Fortieth Birthday

My New Year’s Resolutions

Midyear New Year’s Resolution Update

Skunkalicious(pronounced: skun-ka-li-shous)

Definition: The state of not wanting to leave the house due to an excess period between root touch ups which gives me the appearance of wearing an odoriferous rodent on my head.

Origin: Genetics. Asian DNA which causes premature graying. I started going gray in my late 20’s. Sadly, the math gene was not passed on to me.

Example: Sorry. I can’t meet you for lunch today. I’m feeling a bit skunkalicious.

This concludes this edition of the katdishionary. Always a pleasure to educate the internets.

Is Religion a Crutch? (by Helen Migon)

My friend Helen sent me this post last week, and I am honored that she would ask me to post it here on my blog. Thank you, Helen.

From the movie Unstrung Heroes

Sid Lidz: Religion is a crutch. Only cripples need crutches.

Arthur Lidz: A crutch isn’t bad if you need it, Sidney.

Danny Lidz: All of us are cripples in some way.

Sid Lidz: Well, I’m not.

I cried like a child at that point in the movie. I cried because I knew that I do need to lean on God. I cried for all of humanity, who without God, is worse off than lame. I cried for the fictional character Sid Lidz, who is as needy as any other character in that movie, but fails to recognize it. He thinks he is the strong one, but he is zapping the strength from those around them who need God, and know it. He thinks he is the strong one, but he is actually the most pathetic character in the whole movie. I felt sadder for him than anyone else.

This weekend, I went to a wake for the mom of a friend of a friend. I have never met this woman before, but know of her through my friend Irma. My friend Irma has been concerned about her friend, Samantha , for quite a while. She and Samantha work together. She likes Samantha, because Samantha is a nice person, but is concerned about her, because Samantha is does not believe in God. Her excuse seems to be hypocritical Christians. I don’t know the details, so I am unprepared to say whether she is overreacting, or if if her experience was so horrible I’d like to feed a few lions myself. My heart just breaks though, that her reason for not leaning on God is that some people suck.

Anyways, I met her for the first time at her mom’s wake. I wasn’t there to witness to her or anything like that. I just thought that since I had gone through the loss of my own mom a short time ago, and still have issues of my own I am praying through (and have people praying for me as well, thank you very much if you are among them), I’d be of some use. I don’t know how to explain… I find sometimes that looking into someone’s eyes, and seeing that they too feel similar pain helps me feel at one with them. I feel more understood, and therefore comforted. I went there to offer that to her.

Now, I need to tell you before I go on, that I really do love my Momma. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her. Every day some small thing reminds me of her, and I get all choked up because I miss her, and end up calling someone or emailing them to try to feel better, and not spend another day wallowing in grief. So it surprised me deeply to look into Samantha’s eyes, and see a pain deeper than my own. Surely she couldn’t have loved her Momma more than I did mine. How is that even possible?

We talked a bit. I eavesdropped as I listened to people comfort her. Not one person spoke of hope. At my Momma’s wake, nearly everyone reminded me of mom’s love for God and others, and assured me that my family is one by one reuniting in Heaven, and praising Jesus that we will be together once more, but this time without heartache for all eternity.

People shared fond memories of her mom with Samantha, but I know myself that right now, fond memories bring an ache rather than soothe. There will never be another thing to remember on this Earth. I failed at neatly putting away every instant with her away in my mind as a treasure. One day I will find that isn’t so. I know this from the experience of losing my Dad. Wait. I don’t really mean “losing” him, but being separated from him by the chasm of death.

Samantha, on the other hand, has “lost” her mom. Or at least Samantha believes she has. I do not know if Samantha’s mom was a Christian or not. I do know that Samantha believes that all she has of her mom is in the past. Samantha had mentioned to me that she regrets being with her mom at the last. It was so hard. It gives her painful memories, when memories are all she has of her mom now.

I on the other hand, have regretted not being there when my Momma died suddenly and unexpectedly. I am slowly letting that go. Through prayer, I am slowly coming to believe that God took her when she was ready to go. Would she have been so ready and willing with my tear stained face at her side?

In my own pain and regrets, I have God to lean on. I am thankful for that. I am thankful that Momma and I share a Savior, Jesus Christ. I am not ashamed to lean on His cross. I am not ashamed to be a “cripple”. I have always needed God, and I always will. And yes, I believe that is true for everyone. My heart breaks for those who drag themselves along instead of recognizing their need and leaning on Him. It is only by leaning on Him that we can stand at all.

Proverbs 3:5
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.


To read more from Helen Migon, visit her at Random Musings and follow her on the twitter at @HelenatRandom.

Saint Helen of Chicagoland

If you read my blog yesterday, then you know that a) I am lame, and b) it was Helen’s birthday. As promised, here’s my little Ode to Helen:

No songs, no beautiful haiku’s, wonderful polka videos. Many of my bloggy gal pals paid tribute to Helen yesterday, and they did it up right. But because I want those of you who don’t know my friend Helen to see what I see in her, that’s what I will attempt to do here.

Helen has been reading Hey Look a Chicken for almost as long as I have been writing it. I believe her very first comment here was on my post, The Top Ten things your friend/significant other with ADD wants you to know but keeps forgetting to tell you:

Helen said: I happen to be cdo. That is like ocd, but in proper alphabetical order, as it ought to be!

And that, as they say, was the start of a beautiful friendship. If you follow @helenatrandom on the twitter, then you already know what a great sense of humor she has. What you probably cannot surmise on 140 characters or less is that this funny gal is also compassionate, loyal, articulate and incredibly intelligent.

Okay, so many of you might be asking yourselves, “If she’s so smart, why does she follow this blog?” Answer: Shut up, who asked you? Okay, real answer? I think we’re kindred spirits. We’ve both had obstacles to overcome. Still do. But Helen handles things with grace, humor and a heart for God.

I don’t think I could pick just one favorite post from Random Musings, but the following excerpt is from one of my favorites. It’s Helen at her transparent best:

I have especially good memories of being a child on my way to and from school, passing a house that had beautiful light up nativity in front of their house. How I loved it! I remember walking up to the baby Jesus as a kindergartner, with my mom calling after me “Helen, I taught you better than to walk on the grass. You don’t even know these people! They might be angry!”.

I remember a middle aged (probably thirty-nine like me) woman coming outside in her house dress, telling mom it was okay, not to worry about it, I have her permission to stay on the lawn as long as I like, and come as often as I like. That was so nice of her. Poor lady. I don’t think she realized that I would take that as permission to come and kneel before the Christ child every day the nativity was up, every year through eighth grade.

Actually, she never came outside when I was there again. But, God bless her, she never said “Stop it already. You are no longer small and cute when you do this! You are absolutely frightening!” I mean, think about it. I probably looked like I should be riding the short bus. And, while I could read and write well above my grade level, and could hold my own in math, I was rather slow socially. Obviously. And, of course, I thought it was every body else.

My poor mother.

I was probably in Sixth Grade the day I came home half an hour late with my knees wet from the snow. It was the first day baby Jesus was up that year, and I had a lot to say.

Mom was always a worrier, and my coming home that late (very over protective) with pants wet from the knee down pushed her to the edge. She was yelling “Where were you? What on earth could you have been doing?” etc, I’m sure you all know the drill. And I look at her like she was…..well, acting strangely and say “Mom, didn’t you know the Nativity on the next block was up today? Where else could I have been?” Of course, she tries to convince me that the permission given me was not for all eternity, but I said “Wouldn’t they just say something already if they changed their minds?” Mom was exasperated with me, so I tried to keep my time with the nativity short from then on.

On my way to school, I would wave to the Holy Family, then stop to talk to them for a moment on my way home. Yeah. I know. Short bus. I looked like a big dumb kid. But I didn’t care. I wish I cared a little less now….

By the time I entered college, the family either moved, or didn’t put the nativity out any more. Either way, by then I was too grown up by then to do childish things, and not grown up enough to do child like things.

I do still cherish these memories. Every time I see an outdoor Nativity, I reflect on how I can receive Him like a child now. I guess the answer is to just love Him without wondering how I am being perceived by others.

In case you were wondering, we do not put out an outdoor Nativity (my husband doesn’t like them, and I have submitted to him on this matter), though I have Nativity sun catchers in my window displaying the story of that glorious day. I have not seen any children gazing in wonder, but if I do, I will be sure to tell them to get as close as they like, take as long as they like, and come as often as they like.

In interest of full disclosure, the set above is not the one I remember from my youth, but it is beautiful, isn’t it?

So, that’s my friend Helen at Random Musings. Did your world just get a little brighter? I know mine did.

Happy Belated Birthday, my friend! Here’s another Nativity scene for you:

Finding my Voice (by Helen of Random Musings)

If you don’t know my friend Helen from Random Musings, all I can say is, “Sorry. It must suck being you.” She is a fantastic person and I big pink fuzzy heart her!

Hi folks. Before I get started, I need to warn you, my blog isn’t called Random Musings for nothing.

Years ago, when I was in college and dinosaurs still roamed the earth, I was very focused in my writing. I won’t go so far as to say that I was good, but I was definitely good enough. Blogging for me has never been about being good enough. I started blogging because I had a dream where my dad told me to write something. I can’t say I started writing because I believed he was speaking to me and I had to obey. It was more like I felt that it must be something I was telling myself I need to do. And hey, if I’m wrong, and daddy actually came to my dream to talk to me, it’s not like he can be mad. I listened to him, didn’t I?

I knew blogs existed because I took a technology class about a year before, and we had to keep a technology journal on a blog. I am not going to link it. No. I don’t even remember the URL. The class covered little about blogging, but a lot of other stuff. It didn’t teach me to do cool stuff like post schedule and download pictures, or anything like that. The blog’s only purpose was to allow my professor to easily read my technology journal at any time.

I never thought I would actually use that bit of information. The existence of blogger was not going to affect me professionally because there was no way I would ask students to keep a blog for class. I knew kids were finding trouble on Myspace and stuff, and I wasn’t going to help them with that. But when I had the dream where daddy told me to write, I thought to myself, an online journal sounded like just the thing. It was obvious in the dream that daddy thought the writing should be public rather than private. I kind of felt blogging would be a compromise. In all the time of that class, not one person commented on the blog, not even my professor. I am not sure he read the darn thing. It was probably just one more thing to check off of a checklist.

Anyways, blogging felt like it was right because it would be public, yet no one would read it. In February, that not only didn’t bother me, but I thought that was great! By May, I felt like I was a crazy person talking to herself, but in February, it helped to be able to put myself into my writing. For me, that seemed almost an anomaly, since I had trouble putting me into my face to face dealings with other people.

My daddy was raised in Communist Hungary. Being “transparent” is what made him have to leave his home in the middle of the night and become a refugee in Austria. I was raised to ignore my natural tendency to be open, and to try to guard my most basic thoughts. I don’t resent daddy for that. Don’t you try to protect your kids from doing things that ended up hurting you? My daddy really believed that one day I might share something the government considered a dangerous thought, and I would have to flee to Mexico (I don’t know why not Canada, since most of it speaks English) and learn a new language, culture, etc just as he did. Add to that some very negative experiences in grammar school and high school, and I turned into a very quiet person. I don’t think that is who I was created by God to be, but it is how I became formed outside the womb…

So it takes me a very long time to open up to people. In fact, most of the time it has taken years. It took about ten years to share my humor with my coworkers at my old school. Funny thing, not so much with the children (or with Bob when I met him. Either he is like a child, or I was trying to annoy him with my me-ness when we met. You’ll have to come to Random Musings to find out which it is. Hint: type “nun” in the search box) . Everyone said that it was weird that my personality with the children was open and friendly, and with adults was not. I told people I was shy. I think I myself believed that that is what it was. Yet, I tried to be friendly and welcoming to new people. My personality tried to peak through. Sometimes I just couldn’t help myself.

Blogging has been great. The anonymity I started with helped me to be open. I wasn’t really worried that the government was going to care about whether I preferred Carrie Ann to Bruno, or enjoyed Mamma Mia. Actually, I never worried about the same stuff my daddy did. I started out just trying to be guarded to please him, and then I guess it became a habit.

My first commenter never came back, but Katdish commented the very next day. It felt good to not be talking to myself anymore. I didn’t change anything to the blog on her account.. She seemed to like me and my blog as is. Even if she didn’t, well, what could I do?

Gradually I met more people through SCL, Katdish, and Sister Mary Martha (she has a Catholic blog. That’s were Pip and I met.) Sherri, with all her writing about transparency, challenged me to put the openness I was learning in the blogging community to everyday life. Some of you know how my Church’s deacon commented (at least four times! Get over it, Deacon!) how standoffish I seemed the first few times we met, yet that’s not me at all.

I found myself in situations reminding myself that Katdish, Sherri, Beth, Annie, Candy, Steph and Mary Ann like me even though they know me. And if I am not in trouble sharing with the government for sharing my thoughts on Blagojevich over the cyber waves, it’s not like telling my husband’s cousins or my Sunday School colleagues what I think is going to get me deported. And if it does, my husband has suggested we seek refuge in Belize. They speak English there, and language learning is at least half the battle for a refugee.

Katdish, I don’t find you in the least obnoxious. Because you are you, I feel more freer to be me everywhere than I ever was.

For more of my dear friend Helen’s random musings check out her blog, aptly titled: Random Musings