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Saturday, March 31, 2012
The spring BBQs at Black Mountain Lodge are in prime season. I had a stellar pulled pork sandwich up there today. Jenny, here, was especially fascinated by the food presentation. Hard to go wrong having BBQ on a day like this. Oh yeah, skied some great slush bumps.

No Lake Reveal Yet

Friday, March 30, 2012
No Lake Reveal just yet. I probed around and the snow was about 3' deep until I hit the "Lake Ice". No sign of water. Despite the warm weather, March is a little early for pond skimming. Had just another beautiful spring day here. Saturday looks to be another good one and there are snowflake pictures in the Sunday/Monday forecast. Lots of people, both working and playing, enjoying the nice day here.

Beyoncé Single

My niece Popcorn, who is not even two, is famous within the family for being able to sing and dance. She even has a basic grasp of pop culture.

"Popcorn," said her daytime nanny, who is a singer-dancer-actor by night, "who sings 'Billy Jean'?"

Popcorn gazed at us with huge blue eyes and smiled her gap-toothed baby grin.

"Jackson," she said.

Further questioning revealed that she associated a song of which I had not heard with Beyoncé. In related news, I just read an article about how much children are influenced by their nannies. The mystery of Popcorn's precocious musical gifts is solved.

Alisha is the only Catholic I know personally who will give a sincere and detailed defense of Michael Jackson. Apparently--I write as someone who knows almost nothing about dance and pop music--he was an incomparable innovator and an incredible dancer. Beyoncé, too, is an incredible dancer. And it occurs to me, as I copy out Alisha's aesthetic judgments, that it is an impoverishment to see pop culture always from either a consumerist's or a moralist's point of view. It is always a revelation for me to talk to Alisha about pop music and dance because she sees them as a dancer sees them.

And so it was with "All the Single Ladies." Until yesterday I had never SEEN the "All the Single Ladies" video, despite readers' repeated attempts to send me links to it. (The internet access for the Historical House is curtailed due to the fact that the Historical House is also a workplace.) So I have been unable to give my opinion of "All the Single Ladies." But I can now, and I'm glad I talked to Alisha first. Alisha tells me that the web is full of sites in which people argue whether or not it gives a positive moral message, so I realize I am coming late to the table.

Alisha tells me that the video is brilliant in its black-white-and-grey simplicity. I agree that it is astonishing how Beyoncé and the two back-up dancers, with the help of clever editing, grab hold of the viewer's attention and hang onto it for the full length of the song. I notice also that they are are all long hair, faces, hands and legs. All three are wearing dark body suits that cover their shoulders and breasts. Beyoncé's bodysuit bares one shoulder but covers the opposite arm, which ends with a metal glove. (A homage to Michael Jackson?)

The result is that the dance moves, which are certainly very body conscious, are not salacious. The long, long legs of the singer and dancer reminded me strongly of the legs of ballerinas. What is important here is line. The dancers are not sexpots; they are dancers. They are like living sculptures; to channel Camille Paglia, who channels, Nietzsche, Apollo is co-opting Dionysus.

(I can't believe I mentioned Nietzsche at 8:26 in the morning.)

So the images, for all the legginess, hark at something strict, and something that points towards perfection, as does ballet. And this suits the theme of the song, which is simply that the singer is accepting the attentions of another suitor because her boyfriend of three years won't marry her.

As a writer, I love the sound of "another brother", and as a North American I realize that this implies that Beyoncé's boyfriend and new suitor are African-Americans. So there is a social message to this song, because it touches on the uncomfortable situation in the United States about the reluctance of a large number of African-American men to marry. Of course, the song has a universal appeal, because men as a group can be foot-draggers when it comes to marriage. However, I suspect Beyoncé's song has a particular resonance for African-American women. It also suggests to women, that we too, like the strong-willed heroine of the video, should insist that "if he likes what he sees" he should "put a ring on it."

The "it" is the word that makes me uneasy. "Put a ring on it" can mean "Put a ring on my finger", and certainly Beyoncé's left hand is well-highlighted by her metal glove. "It" could also mean their relationship, the ring serving as a seal. But I also feel uneasily that "it" also means the singer herself ("If you like what you see..." or her body. This would turn the singer into an object, or reduce her to her body. However, I have to admit that the video highlights just how much in control of her body Beyoncé is. It doesn't just flop about or be acted upon some other will; Beyoncé can keep her body in line and make it do what she wants in the service of her art. She is in charge.

So I think that it is a positive song, with a good moral message, and an impressive video, especially for those who, like Alisha, know something about modern dance. But it should also be seen as a specifically American, and even more specifically African-American, cultural artifact, responding to a situation specific to the African-American community, while mirroring a more recent situation in others. One of the weirder aspects of Europe is the European appropriation of African-American art; it can go badly wrong and then be truly giggle-worthy or even completely inappropriate, disrespectful to the foreign traditions and harmful for one's own.

Here is the famous video. It occurs to me that the back-up dancers' bodysuits are similar to the leotard I wore in ballet class. Of course, I wore mine with pale pink tights and not with spike heels. I never made it to pointe shoes, but it occurs to me that the stilettos of the video provide the same function: they lengthen and refine the line of the legs.

Spring Skiing

Thursday, March 29, 2012
Again, I had another nice spring skiing afternoon yesterday. The Spine is still great although Paliwog is getting a little narrow. The Upper Mountain runs I skied, Dorsey's Downhill, West Wall, and West Gulley, were all really good early spring skiing. Dorsey's Downhill is named after 30-year Snowcat Operator Gerry Dorsey. That guy seems to make snow with his cat. I know most of you have carved many a turn enjoying his work.

Enjoy this photo of The Spine and Face sent to me by George Heron on Tuesday.

Being an Aunt is Cool

No time to blog this morning, for I am in Montreal with my niece, her brother and their nanny, the incomparable Alisha.

The advantages of aunthood are many. First, you have children in your life whom you love and who are supposed to love you, and are happy to do so, at least when they are small. Second, childcare is definitely a part-time thing. You might have (or look like you have) tons of laudable patience, but it stems from the fact that talking a toddler down from a temper tantrum is a rare treat for a usually absentee aunt, not business as usual.

When Pirate was born, I told a colleague that that was pressure off me to have kids. He looked consoling, assuming my parents were pressuring me to get married and have kids. But they certainly weren't. It was my own internal clock that was the nag. It said, "Have kids. Have kids. Have kids. Your family isn't getting any younger, you know."

But then Pirate was born, assuring the future of The Family, and now there are Peanut and Popcorn, too. And I see in all this the advantage of not thinking of yourself primarily (or exclusively) as an INDIVIDUAL but as part of something bigger than yourself, which in my case has always been The Family and also, of course, The Church.

Although I am a huge fan of romantic love, I think one of the things about marriage is that it is about bringing very cool people into your original family and then co-operating with them to bring more people into it. It's not all about you and what you want, but what (and who) will help The Family thrive.

(I recognize, of course, that some of you simply don't have sustainable biological families, and for sanity's sake have created the next best thing.)

Just enough time to pick a new swashbuckling protector for the day, and then I must wash and dress. My nephew has eyed my nightdress with disapproval and informed me that I need clothes.

Dave Is Hanging Up The Skis

Wednesday, March 28, 2012
After a full career teaching music to middle school kids and an (overlapping) 25 years with the Arpahoe Basin Ski Patrol, Dave Myers is retiring. He will be sorely missed. Dave has always been one of those strong, quiet, steady guys getting the job done every day. I always felt confident and secure when I knew Dave was taking care of the "issue du jour." I guess he will be whittlin' away in his rocker on the porch of his house near Woodland Park. Those are some big shoes to fill. The place won't quite be the same without him. Take care of yourself Dave.

And some American fame...

Whoa! Discovered by Mark Shea. How nice!

Hello, Mark Shea's minions.

Mark might be too busy to offer updates, etc., but actually I am married to a Scot. I shopped Seraphic Singles* around for a year or so, and by the time someone said "We'll take it", I had had a whirlwind romance with a Scottish recent convert who simply was (and is) The Perfect Man for Me and been married for three days.

So I am afraid I have to turn down all the marriage proposals Mark so kindly elicited. Instead I will continue to write merrily on Single issues and hand out advice to such girls as write in. Today, however, I am going to Montreal to visit my nephew Peanut and my niece Popcorn and their parents.

But I will leave you with a snippet of conversation with my nephew Pirate (age 7).

Auntie S: What would you do if an enemy invaded your island home?

Pirate: I would throw an atomic bomb at them.

Auntie: Hmm....

Pirate: And when they were dead I would build the buildings again.

Auntie: But what if the bomb poisoned all the land and the air?

Pirate: Then I would move somewhere else!

Auntie: Hmm....

*Update: The BOOK, I mean.

Reviva Weddings are featured in WeddingBells, Canada

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

 We are delighted that one of our beautiful weddings, from last year, has been featured, across the waters, in the Canadian Weddingbells Magazine so we thought we would share this moment with you! 
According to Joee Wong, the fantastic photographer that Kelly and Wil bought with them all the way from Toronto, the article looks even better in real life.
Kelly and Wil contacted us, not long before their wedding date, and needed help to finalise all the details of their wedding day and someone to style, decorate and oversee their stunning wedding at the Puente Romano Hotel.
It was a challenge, as despite booking the venue, Kelly and Wil had actually not been here, although we then found out Kelly had visited as a child and decided she wanted to get married here :)  Having been together for 7 years and saved up for this special day, we were very excited and honoured to be involved. 

Carla set to and finalised all the suppliers, arranged the last few details and organised everything so it all came together and I worked with Kelly to design and style her
wedding day.
The end result was stunning, it was a beautifully hot September day and the emotional ceremony conducted by the delightful Natasha was held on the beach at Puente Romano Hotel followed by a reception at the hotel´s Suite Del Mar. 
Kathryn Parr made everyone look gorgeous with her amazing hair and make up talents and Mark at Cake Marbella did us proud with his cupcakes (still have to have words with him about supplying extra though!)

Spring 2012 Issue Cover Sneak Peek

We are so excited to share this sneak peek of the cover of our beautiful new Spring 2012 issue!! We hope you love it as much as we do!! Look for the Spring 2012 issue on newsstands and in the hands of stylish brides everywhere April through June!

Visit the Weddings Unveiled Website
Follow us on Twitter
Find us on Facebook

Styling and photography: Brooke Thomas. Photographed on location at historic Boone Hall Plantation near Charleston, SC. Hair and makeup: Samantha A. Smith. Fashion assistants: Emily Howard, Amy Miller and Amy Black. Bouquet created by Ooh! Events. Black stretch chiffon strapless mermaid dress with micro-pleated bodice and asymmetrical sheared flange skirt, $9,900 by Vera Wang. Deco Posts earrings, $380 by Erickson Beamon, available at BHLDN. 14 karat white gold split shank style engagement ring containing a center princess cut diamond weighing 5.00 carats accented by a diamond halo, available at Diamonds Direct. Price upon request.

Dramatic Spanish Style For Weddings

As many of our clients wish to incorporate an element of Spain into their weddings here, we are constantly looking for Spanish style inspirations to add touches of Spain's wonderful and dramatic culture into our weddings and parties. 

We love this fabulous shoot featured on Wedluxe using a stunning combination of black lace, red roses and golds, it reminds me of the beautiful churches we have here adorned with gold candelabras and candles. 

We have been working very hard here this winter and many of our weddings coming up this year have some beautifully designed styling and details. 

We have one in Sevilla that is going to be stunning and we will feature sneak peeks as we build up to the big day, our gorgeous vintage fan invitations are winging their way to London as I type :) 

We have a Sevillian orange rustic style wedding, fabulous vintage style lace weddings and the rest of our designs are currently well kept secrets as we reveal some stunning new ideas throughout 2012!

tuesday shoesday

Pinned Image
...a pink tie affair.

by Chiq

[thanks to Jessica Ferraro for this Tuesday's Shoesday]

More Polish Fame

Very occasionally the hardworking assistant of a radio interviewer calls me up and I'm suddenly on the air, talking about Seraphic Singles or (if the assistant has called me from the USA) The Closet's All Mine. The last time I was actually myself in a radio studio was last October in Warsaw, and I loved it. The pretty young married lady interviewer was over THERE, and I was over HERE, and the motherly translator sat in BETWEEN, and my marketing director sat in the corner, gnawing his nails.

Okay, I made that last bit up, but he was definitely sitting in the corner, and he never left my side until Berenike turned up.

There was a radio interview about Anielskie Single broadcast last week in Kraków and here it is.

You will strain your ears for my Canadian voice in vain, for this interview is not with me but with Father Drobot, the spiritual director of this May's "Brave Women" retreat. Unlike me, Father Drobot speaks fluent Polish. He's also a priest, and although I imagine various feminist theologians turning in their graves as I type this, it's pretty cool to have a priest saying nice stuff about your book on the radio.

At least, I think he's saying nice stuff. I think I heard dobra in there. If non-Poles want to listen, listen for the word "kobieta"--it means "woman", and Fr. Drobot says it several times, with various different case endings: kobieta, kobiety, kobiecie..

This is a photo of the Homo Dei publishing staff and I in Kraków. Kraków, according to Mr Pimsleur's Lesson 24, nie jest daleko.

DIY Teal Mason Jars

Monday, March 26, 2012

Those beautiful blue/teal mason jars are so gorgeous. You can glam them up, dress them down, do whatever you want with them...if you can find them. When you do find them, they usually a little more expensive than you think. So I decided to make my own. I experimented and found a way I loved. Enjoy!

First, start with regular mason jars. I had a bunch of them from weddings, but I know you can get them on Amazon, at Walmart for little mula.
I bought some pretty teal glass paint at my craft store and mixed alot of paint, with a little bit of acrylic paint glaze. I wanted it to be a shiny and a thinner teal so I could see-through them, not matte and bold. For ratios, I would say 1/2 cup of paint and 1 teaspoon glaze. Mix it good!
I applied 2 coats to each with a foam brunch, in an up and down streak-like way. I let it dry a little for 10 minutes or so, then added another coat. Be careful around the rims, the excess paint will bubble.

I let dry over night to be 100% safe. If it is wet at all, then it will "melt" and run down the jars when baking. I laid them upside down on a pan (covered in aluminum foil just in case) at 350 degrees for 40 minutes. Be careful, they are hot!

Boy, do they look GORGEOUS! The only thing you will notice is what I said before, the excess paint bubbles around the rim, however, it seemed to go away, mostly, in a few hours and wasn't a big deal!

Don't Be a "Kind Friend"

There you are, eating your sandwich with Mary and Jane, when Jane says something about an old acquaintance of hers. This friend is called Anne. Jane does not know that you know Anne, and she has not named Anne, and Jane is telling the story only to make a point. Still, you don't think Jane should be telling this story. You think about how hurt Anne might be if she knew Jane was using her story--however anonymously Anne appears in it--to make a point.

So what do you do?

"I think Anne ought to know," you say and go out of your way to contact Anne ASAP.

Or maybe you resist the temptation and keep your mouth shut. Perhaps later you send Jane a quick email saying that you know Anne, and you know Jane would hate it if she inadvertently hurt Anne, so with all the good will in the world--for you do see the importance of the point Jane was making--you hope Jane does not mind if you suggest she be even vaguer in the example she gives! You hope Jane isn't too embarrassed by your email. Let's get together soon. Yours sincerely, You.

Alternatively, especially if you honestly don't like Jane for whatever reason, you can do and say nothing except reflect that Jane's chatter is going to get her into trouble one day.

One of the lessons age brings, my little poppets, which is why I know to tell you, is that it is never good to be the bearer of bad news.

Sometimes you have to be the teller of bad news, but almost never do you have to be the BEARER of bad news. Advice columnists all seem to be at one on the subject of "I saw my friend's husband/wife in a cocktail bar/restaurant with another woman/man. Should I tell my friend?" They all say NO. But they also say that if your heartbroken friend asks you directly, "Did you ever seen my husband/wife with another woman/man?" then you are free to say, "Yeah, I did."

It is fun to share news. I pester my husband and friends back in Edinburgh for updates. And I think a certain amount of warm-hearted gossip (e.g. Sally won the President's Medal; Hector convulsed the table with his jokes; Cyril refused to undo his tie even though the room was baking) is both inevitable and harmless. Indeed, I would go so far as to say it is a good thing.

However, it is wrong to sow discord and strife. First of all, it hurts people and second of all, it subtly changes how people feel about you. Traces of the pitch of the bad news you bear sticks to your hands.

The traditional name for a person who needs to tell Anne what Jane said about her to Mary is "tale-bearer." But another one, said with irony, is "kind friend." We don't want to be "kind friends"--we want to be kind friends. And a kind friend does not think "Gosh, that would hurt Anne if she knew" and then makes darned sure Anne finds out.

Montezuma Bowl is Closed - For Now...

Saturday, March 24, 2012
I am afraid I have to share some bad news with you. Montezuma Bowl and Lift are closed, at least for now. This season’s unseasonably warm temperatures, below average snowfall, and wind events have prompted this early closure. Based on long term weather records, April is our snowiest month and April and May have a combined snowfall average of seven feet. If the temperatures, precipitation, and Montezuma Bowl snow cover return to more normal levels, we have every intention of re-opening the Bowl. Stay tuned for updates.

I know this is disappointing, but the good news is that we are having some incredible spring skiing, albeit a little early. Come join us for some great fun on the Beach and on the front side.

No Bonus Pass Next Year

We have had several questions about the Bonus Pass. We will not be offering that for the 2012-13 Season. I know it was a great product. We will continue to be part of the Vail Resorts Pass program. Working closely with the Vail group, both staff at A-Basin and Vail thought it was in neither of our interests for us to continue to sell the Vail Resorts lift tickets as part of the Bonus Pass.

Both the A-Basin Pass and the Spring 3-Pass are outstanding products for those of you that ski primarily at A-Basin. If you want to ski more areas, Vail continues to offer a number of great products that include A-Basin. Between A-Basin and Vail Resorts I am sure you can still find your ideal pass product at a very competitive rate.

Thanks for your patience on this and please give me a shout if you have further questions.

Beach Season

Beach season was in full swing in the Early Riser Parking Lot. BBQ's and beach attire were the themes. I did a little grazing down there myself and had a bratwurst with Chris Carson and all the Team Summit folks having their annual BBQ. The afternoon, again, was fantastic spring skiing. Had several fun runs with Patio and Becs. Just another really beautiful day.

Veiled Language

"We veil that which we value," I thought. "The tabernacle, brides, little girls going to First Communion..."

I was downtown, between errands, reading the earlier comments on yesterday's post, thinking about when it is appropriate to ask a man if he looks at p*rn, i.e. almost never.

Having likened the use of internet p*rn to the use of heroin, I am thinking about when it would be appropriate to ask a man if he shoots heroin. I don't think I have ever asked my Scottish husband if he shot up heroin as a mad young thing, although that would have been a good question to ask before we got married, as heroin + Edinburgh tend to = HIV+.

HIV is the connection between heroin and sexuality, and how heroin affects spouses in their very bloodstreams, setting aside for the moment the day-to-day frustrations of being married to a strung-out junkie. Of course, it is easier to tell that a man uses heroin than that he uses internet p*rn. And fewer men use heroin than use internet p*rn.

Because a conversation about hard drugs only touches sexuality in terms of AIDS, it does not otherwise touch that which is most personal to us. And until recently, women--at very least--have veiled conversation about sexuality in code, euphemisms and judicious silence. And it wasn't just women-in-public. I don't think it was until the scandal around an American president and his young female assistant that I heard certain words said, and certain themes discussed, on the television news.

Catholics of a certain age are sometimes startled at how frank young Catholics can be about sexuality. I am myself startled by "virgin pride", and I think publicly declaring oneself either to be or not be a virgin a bad idea. (As I've said again and again, this is very personal information that no-one except a fiance and perhaps your doctor and maybe your spiritual director needs to know for your sake.) Some of us think that there is something wrong, not with the virgins or with sexuality, but with the frankness. It is the same thing we find wrong with skimpy clothes and sexual pride parades. It's the in-your-faceness about something that ought to be veiled, not because it is ugly, but because it is precious.

I was told--although to be honest, I can't find the reference--that Saint Paul asked that the women of Corinth go veiled because veiling was, in his day, a sign that a woman was the wife or daughter of a Roman Citizen and therefore worthy of complete respect. He thought--said my source--that Christian woman were precious, no matter where they were in the social pecking order, and therefore should appropriate the privileges of the matrona Romana.

I repeat, I do not know if this is true, but I have always believed it to be true, and when I put on my mantilla in the church vestibule, I do it with a sense of, "Ego sum matrona Christiana." The society in which I live believes that, although all women deserve to be treated with respect, women who wear sweatpants on the bus are somehow less worthy, and therefore I never wear sweatpants on the bus.

But that is determined by culture and is therefore relative. Is modesty of speech, I wonder, also relative to culture, or is there an absolute? I believe, for example, that there are things no husband should ever reveal about his wife and that no wife should ever reveal about her husband, but I am told that sometimes husbands and wives do reveal these things to their friends, e.g. at hen parties. I think this an absolutely horrifying betrayal.

But on Valentine's Day, there I was on the bus, and the Englishwoman in her twenties behind me told her pal everything she and her boyfriend/husband/partner had done to celebrate the day including, in her words and in the most affectionate of tones, "a little shag". And as I blinked, I thought, "HOW did we get to this point?"

I'm not advocating a return to shame, per se. I think it is terrible when men and women suffer in silence because they can't find the words or the courage to discuss a sexual problem or because they were not told what they needed to know. But quite obviously we have gone too far in the wrong direction. When we think carefully before talking about a sexual matter, and choose very carefully with whom we discuss it, and veil the subject with polite euphemisms, we are paying homage to sexuality, which touches all of us at the centre of our beings and is the source of life and--very often--creativity.


From "Hania" by Henrik Sienkiewicz (trans. H.E. Kennedy & Z. Umińska).

"To the health of women!" cried Selim.

"All right," rejoined the [atheist tutor]. "They're pleasant creatures, if only one doesn't take them seriously. To the health of woman"!"

"To Josey's health," I cried, clinking glasses with Selim.

"Wait, it's my turn now," he retorted. "To the health...the health of your Hania! One's as good as the other."

My blood boiled and sparks flew from my eyes.

"Hold your tongue, Mirza," I cried. "Don't utter that name in a low wine-shop like this!"

So saying I threw my glass to the ground, so that it broke into a thousand pieces.

"Have you gone mad?" cried [the tutor].

But I hadn't gone mad at all, only anger boiled within me and burnt like a flame. I could listen to everything that the [tutor] had said about women, I could even enjoy it, I could scorn them as others did; but I could do all that because I didn't apply the words and the quips to any of my own, because it never even entered my head that the general theory was to be applied to those dear to me. But when I heard the name of my purest of orphans uttered lightly in that wine-shop, amid smoke, dirt, empty bottles, corks, and cynical conversation, it seemed to me that I had heard such disgusting sacrilege, such a smirching of little Hania and such a wrong done to her, that I almost lost my senses with anger.

An Epidemic

Friday, March 23, 2012
"When I saw all the hair, I knew it was you," said Sister. "Come in. Are you pregnant?"

"No," I said. "Are you praying?"

"Are you praying? You should be praying to Saint Gerard. How old are you?"

I told her how old I was. There was a pregnant pause.

"Huh," she said.

For once she had minced words.

Sister stuck me in the sitting room to watch the Cardinal on TV while she changed for an appointment. The interviewer asked the Cardinal the questions viewers called in.

"They're asking him about hockey," I said when Sister came back in. "They want to know what can be done about the Leafs."

"They should be asking him about p*rn," said Sister. "They should be asking him what can be done about p*rn destroying marriages."

Sister works in the Marriage Tribunal, so I turned around and looked at her, interested.

"Is it a big problem? I've read it is a big problem---."

"Oh, Seraphic," said Sister. "It's HUGE. I get all these people in my office. It's an epidemic. And somebody should tell these people. The women. Somebody should tell the women what a big problem it is. BEFORE they get married. They should be talking about this in marriage prep."

She looked a bit abashed.

"I know you don't want to spend marriage prep talking about negative stuff, but this is a serious problem, and we have to talk about it."

"Well, I'll talk about it," I said. "I have a blog. I have a column. I can talk about it."

"These women...," said Sister. "You know in marriage you have to give your whole self to your spouse, but these women... They can't. They just can't because they're so... And you can see why. They talk to him about it, and he promises to give it up, and then they wake up in the middle of the night and there he is back on the computer with his... We have to talk about it."

"This must be a new problem," I said. "It wasn't always so easy for men to get p*rn."

"New?! It's been, what is it, twenty, twenty-five years now. And we're seeing hundreds of couples... It's an epidemic. I'm telling you, we have to talk about it."

"So how old are these guys?" I asked. "I guess they're not fifty."

"No not fifty. It's the younger ones. The younger ones are using it. They're all using it."

"And they're addicted?"

"Sure, they're addicted!"

And once again I felt that my generation got shafted, and so did yours. Although, to be fair, we can't blame Boomers for this as much as we can blame the inevitable march of technological progress. Almost as soon as photography was invented, there were dirty photographs. Almost as soon as the web was invented, there was internet p*rn. But what we didn't know then, as we know now, is that porn can be as addictive as crack cocaine, and all those taboos against children and teens seeing porn were not prudery but common sense.

Fortunately, it is still possible to choose to avoid p*rn--and will be as long as we make sure the laws protecting us from it are still in force. I am on the web every day, and I never see any. Television is more difficult, for British standards are more degraded than those in Canada and the USA. However, a gentle request to B.A. ("Change the channel!!!") clears up that problem. A more pressing problem in the McAmbrose household is the amount of food and drink we consume.

The National Health Service in Britain is obsessed with food and drink. When B.A. and I signed up at our local office, the nurse wanted immediately to know how much we drank and how much we weighed, in that order. B.A. got a lecture about how much he drank, but not much about his weight. I got a pass on how much I drank, but got stick about my weight. This is because alcohol and overeating account for most of the health problems in Scotland.

We could take a cue from the Scottish NHS. If it is true that internet p*rn accounts for serious problems in Catholic marriages, then we really do need to talk about it and warn Catholic teenagers that this is a problem that can destroy their marriages and families. We tell them how dangerous chemical stimulants are, so we should tell them how dangerous visual stimulants can be. We manage to get across the message that crack and heroin are dirty, so maybe we could once again get across that p*rn is dirty too.

As for you girls, if you're addicted to the stuff, you know you should quit because it is not harmless. It will affect your sexual mental health and therefore any future marriage. And if you are wondering if the Nice Catholic Boy you've seeing exclusively uses the stuff, you should ask him. I wouldn't make a big deal out of it, but if marriage-type stuff is being discussed, that would be one topic to raise. I think I said at some point that (among other things) our home would be a p*rn-free zone, and B.A. agreed.

Begin, they say, as you mean to go on. Don't think it isn't a problem for Catholics and others of Good Will because it is.

Blue Skies

Thursday, March 22, 2012
Can the sky be anymore blue? Absolutely incredible afternoon here. Had a couple of great slush runs on Slalom Slope and Columbine a bit ago. Dragon still had good winter snow. We are looking at one spectacular weekend. Beach season has arrived. Grab the skis and the hawaiian shirt.

Maddison Row ~ Monique Lhuillier Trunk Show

Maddison Row in Charleston, SC, is hosting a Monique Lhuillier Trunk Show March 30th-31st. Don't miss the chance to see this amazing collection!! For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit the Maddison Row website or call 843.720.7979.

Maddison Row
Monique Lhuillier Trunk Show
March 30th-31st, 2012

J. Major's ~ Augusta Jones Trunk Show

J.Major's in Charlotte, NC is hosting an Augusta Jones trunk show March 30th-31st. Don't miss the opportunity to see these gorgeous dresses!! For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit the J.Major's website or call 704.372.0082

J. Major's
Augusta Jones Trunk Show
March 30th-31st, 2012
2400 Park Rd. Suite G
Charlotte, NC 28203

White ~ Jenny Packham Trunk Show

Don't miss the Jenny Packham trunk show at White on Daniel Island near Charleston, SC, March 29th-31st. You'll have an opportunity to see the newest designs from this amazing designer! For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit the White website or call 843.471.2975.

Jenny Packham Trunk Show
March 29th-31st, 2012
259 Seven Farms Dr.
Daniel Island, SC 29492

Rachel Weeps for Her Children

There's being twenty-something and Single, and then there's being twenty-something and widowed by a Jew-hating Islamist terrorist who also kills your two sons.

I'm sorry that this is a controversial view in some circles, but it is obvious to me that Christians have a special duty of care to the Jews in the countries where we co-reside, particularly when we know perfectly well many newcomers to our countries bring virulently anti-Jewish beliefs with them.

Please pray for Eva Sandler.

$299 A-Basin Season Pass - That's Crazy

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Hard to believe, but we are selling 2012-13 season passes already. Best deal anywhere. Open October to June. No blackout days. No restrictions. Best Mountain. Best Snow. Best vibe. Best food. Best bar. Best beach. Buy now and it is good for the rest of this season and next season. ONLY $299 through closing day. ONLY $279 for people with 2011-12 A-Basin Pass, A-Basin Bonus Pass, Legend's 4-Pass, Holiday 3-Pass, and Spring 3-Pass through April 30, 2012.

How can you not buy this? For all the details and to make a purchase go to

Another Beautiful Day on the Hill

Another beautiful day on the hill. Just had some great runs on Columbine and Shining Light in Montezuma Bowl, and Slalom Slope, Lenawee Parks, Sundance and Wrangler on the Front Side. Way cool. Skied from about 1-3 PM and the conditions were perfect. Soft in Zuma and mostly winter snow on the Front Side. Looks like we are heading right into Beach Season.

Confidence and Zero Tolerance

Well, poppets, I had an interesting evening out.

To recap, I am in my native Toronto, visiting my family and my friends, old haunts and new dives. It's great to see my loved ones and to see the town from the perspective of someone who hasn't seen it in a year. I enjoy hearing people's news, and I enjoy having news for people. My literary friends are thriving: this one won a major award, that one's latest book has gone into its second edition. It's great.

Yesterday I went with a literary pal to a poetry night and met another one there. The joint, as they say, was jumping. To my surprise, the first poet to read was a former prof of mine; I hadn't seen him in almost twenty years, but I've always remembered the fascinating stories he told us in class about the Canadian poets he'd met. After he read his work, I went over to him, introduced myself and told him that I still remembered what he had said about Elizabeth Smart twenty years ago. We chatted amiably for a bit and then I went back to my friends.

What is remarkable about this is that five years ago (let alone twenty) I would have been too shy. I would have sat behind my table agonizing "Should I or shouldn't I? What if...? But on the other hand...?"

But last night I didn't feel a qualm. I didn't feel self-conscious. It just felt like the most natural thing in the world, to go up to a now-famous prof and say, "What you said then sticks with me even now." Maybe it's one of the gifts that comes with having real books with your name on them. Or maybe it's the gift that comes with age if you didn't have it young.

Other poets read. The open mic (as in microphone) performances began, and the featured speakers and their friends began to drift downstairs, out of the bar. My old prof waved to me, and I thought of my business cards in my little zippered card case. I keep all my cards in it--bank, credit, library--so I took them all out to look for the bright bit of cardboard. And the guy across the table from me, known to my friend but a stranger to me, made a sudden swooping movement with his head and plucked away my bank card.

This stranger looked in his fifties, bearded, balding, small, nondescript. He had an English accent; B.A. would have been able to peg "what" and "where" at once. He had been introduced to me, and told where I lived, and that was necessarily the extent of our conversation.

But I wasn't registering all this when he snatched away my bank card. My heart froze, and I made a lunge. He opened his eyes in playful mockery and held my bank card out of reach.

I hit him with a beer glass. No, I didn't. I gave him a look that melted his face--or certainly scared him enough to give my card back. I shoved it in my card case, shoved card case in handbag, picked up my coat and announced "I'm leaving." Then I left.

Downstairs I thought regretfully of my startled girlfriends upstairs, my beloved girlfriends whom I hadn't seen in over a year. Was I really going to walk out on them because they were sitting with the kind of man who thinks it flirty and funny to steal a stranger's bank card and hold it out of reach?

Yes, I was.

On my train, I pondered my hair-trigger reaction. Five years ago, I am reasonably certain, I would have smiled weakly and been "nice" about it. Perhaps I would have, as expected, made sad doggy eyes and mimed supplication, politely silent as the open mic poet banged on about what a rotten world it is, while my heart fluttered with panic.

But not now. Now I have zero tolerance for the inappropriate behaviour of male strangers. Just as I can approach a literary lion, I can walk away from a literary loser or any other man who evidently thinks he is being "playful" when he is simply being a drip.

Go and do likewise, my little Singles.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012
The storm didn't quite materialize the way I hoped, but we have still had very nice days up here. Attached are some photos a friend took Monday.