You are currently browsing the daily archive for September 3, 2009.

(Okay, I just couldn’t resist the possibilities.)

Comes now an article about a new “Roman Catholic” prayer to be said before sex:

The prayer, which appears in the Prayer Book for Spouses, implores God ‘to place within us love that truly gives, tenderness that truly unites, self-offering that tells the truth and does not deceive, forgiveness that truly receives, loving physical union that welcomes’.

It adds: ‘Open our hearts to you, to each other and to the goodness of your will.

‘Cover our poverty in the richness of your mercy and forgiveness. Clothe us in true dignity and take to yourself our shared aspirations, for your glory, for ever and ever.’ 

The 64-page book has been published by the London-based Catholic Truth Society.

I haven’t the faintest idea who the “Catholic Truth Society” might be, but I am certain-sure it ain’t the Vatican, so the idea that this is some kind of O-fficial Catholic Pronouncement is totally misleading.

Apart from that, I must say that I am somewhat torn about this article.

On the one hand, yes, I can fully understand the absurdity which many most people would feel in contemplating the idea of prayers before sex (as demonstrated by my failure to resist the temptation to title this post the way I did). 

On the other hand, I know exactly what this Catholic Truth Society is about in making such a suggestion.

There is a very prevalent misconception that Catholicism is somehow opposed to the idea that God might want people to have sex and actually, you know, enjoy it.   In fact, the truth is almost the inverse of this:  Holy Mother Church (and other denominations, once upon a time) recognize the physical union between a husband and wife to be not sinful or disgusting, but so wonderful and precious that it must not be frittered away in cheap sensualism or merely animal impulses, neither of which have anything to do with love as properly understood, but are simply aspects of self-indulgence.

Thus, it strikes me that the CTS folks are simply attempting to help folks remind themselves to appreciate and glory in the, ah, Truth of what they’re about.  (And if anyone drops a comment about God and threesomes, so help me I’ll hunt you down.)  

So while a lot of people will snark at both the method and the message, I guess I will only question the method, but will say that the message itself is spot-on.


Fellow port-swillers who followed the exploits of Robbo the Softball Manager this past spring will be interested, perhaps flabbergasted, to know that I volunteered to coach Fall Ball and, dumbfoundingly, was readily accepted by the League to do so.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

(Well, okay, owing to the intricacies of the league rules, we did wind up tying for second in our division, but on a losing record, I don’t really consider that to be a legitimate acccolade.)

At any rate, after a silence of several months, I was peppered today by a stream of emails from the league announcing my team roster, pestering me to commit to a practice time and field, and proclaiming various tweeks on the rules to be observed this season. 

The team is interesting.  I have three gels (including my own eldest) coming back from last spring’s Tribe.  I also have the sister of another gel from that team, plus a gel who played on the Fall Ball team I assistant-coached last year.  The rest appear to be younger stock rising from Double-A and Transitional teams and hoping to secure a spot in Triple-A come next season’s draft.

As a matter of fact, I am looking forward to this fall quite a bit.  For one thing, with a season’s experience under my belt, I have already spotted many, many things that I could do differently and better, and am eager to give the revisions a try.  For another, Fall Ball is traditionally much more laid back than the more competitive Spring season, so I can try out my (hopefully) improved managerial techniques in a much more relaxed atmosphere. 

 Thirdly, and most importantly: Friends, I can’t tell you how much I enjoy just being the manager.  It isn’t any kind of power-trip, as I think often is the case with the more aggressive types.  Rayther, it is a satisfaction that derives just from totally associating oneself with the Team. For all the logistical complications, for all the headaches of dealing with parental personalities and fretting that they’re writing snarky emails to the League about me behind my back, for all the agonies of watching games that should have been won ending in losses, for all the times when I have to hump the equipment around like a damned camel because no one else will do it, well, that is nothing compared to the joy of leaning up against fence in front of my dugout, clipboard in hand, watching and guiding my team  as they play the game.

I tell you truly, friends, it is downright intoxicating.  Manny Acta had to watch his poor Nationals humiliate themselves night after night, perhaps because of his own under-developed managerial technique, until the team finally got rid of him, but I know, I know that even in the depths of defeat, every single night – at some level – he loved just being there.

Of course, I hope that I will not produce anything like the same results as poor old Manny.  But I hope more, whatever the results, that I can capture that pure pleasure of just being with the team.

I’ll keep you posted.

Although I may very well be speaking only to my own boozy illusions, I nonetheless feel I must apologize for the way in which my port swilling has changed from a steady, slightly sodden, imbibing into sporatic binging interspersed with periods of relative abstinence.

You see, I’ve been blogging for something close to six years now.  And in that time, I have always treated the blog as a sort of sympathetic ear, like that of a good friend, to whom I could impart random observations as they occurred to me over the course of the day in rayther a stream-of-consciousness fashion.   My mind is of the cluttered, jumbled, scattershot variety, you must understand, and produces of its best – or at least its most facile – when distracted by its various cares and obligations.   As a blogger, I’ve always enjoyed posting most when I was able to slap such insights as wander out of it from time to time down on the keyboard on the half-volley, as it were.

This worked out very well for a long time.  During the course of my normal day, I always have my computer on, and it was always the work of a minute or two to flip over to the ol’ dashboard and record some thought or observation that had been fool enough to wander into my brain.  Indeed, although you may snicker to read it, I’ve long felt this creative outlet actually improved my professional efficiency by helping me to focus and relieving tension.

Anyhoo,  for the past month or two, my office system has decided it doesn’t like WordPress very much.  I can, with some patience, get on to the TPSAYE homepage, and, with even more, get into the comments to any given post.  But the dashboard? Fuggedaboudit.  Why this is, I don’t know.  But the result? No posting for you!

Thus the breakage in the pattern.   Of course, I can post perfectly well from home most of the time, but many evenings I’m simply stream-of-consciousnessed out.  I have thought that perhaps I ought to take this situation as an opportunity, an excuse to switch to more formal and polished essays drafted over the course of days.  But while I believe this probably is the next step (if you want to know, Mrs. Robbo believes I’m destined to enjoy a second career as a published author), I don’t feel that I am quite ready for it yet.  It isn’t the mental energy that would be involved, rayther it’s more a sense of the loss of the loose, off-the-cuff and spontaneous informality that I have enjoyed up to this point.  (On the other hand, who knows? I’ve long worried that my blogging is, in the end, pretty damned shallow and silly.)

At any rate, do not fear that I am thinking of throwing the whole thing over! Dum spiro, blovo, as I’m sure someone else has said already.  I just haven’t quite figured out how I can best manage it going forward, although manage it I will.  When I do, you will be the first to know.

Shirley Temple I ran off the great John Ford western Fort Apache last evening.

I haven’t much to say about the film at the moment except that though I despise her youthful tap-dancing movies, I must with all due candor say Jebus, what a cupcake Shirley Temple turned into!

I can’t remember which African country eventually landed Her Excellency Shirley Temple Black as Ambassador (Kenya, I think it was, or some place roughly equivalent), but I certainly hope they appreciate what they got!


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September 2009