Saturday, December 28, 2002

From the good folk (I think there's only one) at Enetation:

We have found that a the comment count settings for blogs with more than one comment may be corrupt in several users settings. We are working on a global fix but individual users can fix this themselves by updating thier comment settings themselves.
UPDATE All comment count settings have been reset however the captions that go with the comment could not be recovered. It looks like a single user has been able to apply their incorrect comment count caption to every users account.

So I fixed the comments, but now have to go back and fix my spelling. Where's my @#$% coffee?
Wow - did I get hacked? Or is Enetation having yet more glitches? Anyhow, sorry about the "poseurs" thing. I'll fix it right up. Or try.

Friday, December 27, 2002


You've been warned.
A Heartwarming Family Tradition

Well, maybe not heartwarming, but a great story, and an insight into how we form and attach ourselves to such traditions, however silly or infuriating their borning moments.
The Report Card is In

Music History I - A
Organ - B+
Chorale - A

GPA 3.77, and Dean's list. Interesting, because I thought you needed to be full time to make the Dean's list. Also pretty cool: organ grade was better than I expected.

Thursday, December 26, 2002

BTW, that link in the prior post is to a recording of my college choir singing that song. I knocked the resolution down to 64kbps, and mono, so it's only a meg or so.

Give 'er a listen, let me know what you think.

Wednesday, December 25, 2002

What's a Catholic Christmas...

...without a Song to Mary?

Hail Blessed Virgin Mary

"Hail blessed virgin Mary,"
For so when he did meet thee,
Spake mighty Gabriel,
And thus we greet thee.
Come weal, come woe, our hymn shall never vary:
"Hail blessed virgin Mary,
Hail blessed virgin Mary!"

Ave, ave Maria,
To gladden priest and people,
The Angelus shall ring
From every steeple;
To sound his virgin birth, Alleluia,
Ave, ave Maria,
Ave, ave Maria.

Archangels chant, "Osanna",
And, "Holy, holy, holy",
Before the infant born
Of thee, thou lowly;
Aye maiden child of Joachim and Anna,
Archangels chant, "Osanna,"
Archangels chant, "Osanna!"

Traditional Italian Carol, 18th century.
Performance copyright Madonna University Chorale, 2002. All rights reserved.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Thursday, December 19, 2002

Going Local

Finally, NINE years after moving to Emmett, Kim and I went to mass this past Sunday in Emmett, at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. We were trying to get to the local Christmas tree farm when it opened.

I'm not sure what I expected - I'd heard there was no music program, but also had heard a neighboring DM was trying to help juice some of the other parishes in the vicariate to improve their liturgies and music.

Here's what we found:

Missalette from "Our Daily Missal", with a lot of public domain music, a few homegrown pieces, and a few copyrighted Catholic classics.
Hardbound "Glory and Praise" hymnal, the old NALR one.
WLP's "Voices As One" was also in the pews, but we didn't use it.
A cantor with a very good voice, though I'd like to give her some "how to use your arm to invite the assembly to sing" lessons. Either do it or don't - sticking your arm out sideways doesn't cut it.
An organist with limited chops, playing very simplified arrangements.
A spoken psalm, but gospel acclamation (Walker's Celtic) was sung.
Introductory remarks to the first two readings, read by the lector.
Prayers of the faithful ended with the famous prayer to St. Michael ("...defend us in battle..."). Rousing (!!!) participation from the pews.
A spoken Sanctus, followed by sung Memorial Acc, Amen, and Lamb (Creation).
The cup was withheld.
The priest was VERY hard to understand. Homily touched on pro-life points, but difficult to make out anything coherent.
Assembly had very minimal participation on sung parts, except the Lord's Prayer.
Except for opening with "O Come O Come Emmanuel", the readings, and the priest wearing purple, the only sign that this was Advent was use of Haugen's Ps. 25, "To You, O Lord" (appointed common psalm for Advent), at second communion. A very nice touch, but organist was unprepared, and we weren't invited to sing. I did anyhow (refrain only).

We're not really "in parish", I don't think. I'm pretty sure we're in St. Nicholas parish in Capac instead (another home of lame liturgy).

Wednesday, December 18, 2002

Our Teeny Tiny Christmas Concert

Elyse, my fellow organist, and my only real school bud so far, has dubbed the chorale women "The Rhinemaidens". When there are odds-n-ends music needs, they assemble the Rhinemaidens and throw something together.

I had the honor of being invited to accompany them in their performance at the Madonna staff Christmas party. We rehearsed Monday, played Tuesday. They warned me about the state of the piano in the dorm dining room, where the party was held, so I dragged along my Kurz SP-88 and guitar amp.

It was fun! Got some free food out of it, and the ladies were very kind about my accompaniment style. Elyse was thrilled that she got to sing instead of having to play.

Here's what we sang:

Christmastime Is Here (Guaraldi) - piano solo
Deck The Halls (arr Willcocks)
Star Carol (Burt/Hutson)
What You Gonna Call Your Pretty Little Baby (arr. Willcocks)
In the Bleak Midwinter (Holst/Rossetti)
Away In a Manger (the "other" melody)
Do You Hear What I Hear (arr. Simeone)
Santa Claus is Coming to Town (our own arr. - trad version segues into the Spector version)
Linus 'n Lucy (Guaraldi) - piano solo

SP-88 didn't sound bad, nor did my cheapo little guitar amp. And the choir sounded nice. We didn't embarrass ourselves, anyhow.

Monday, December 16, 2002

Check out my pal, fellow composer and barbecue expert Bill Grabbe, at ADD in Action. He's kind enough to link me, so I thought I'd return the favor...

Friday, December 13, 2002

Elf Girl in the City swiped (from an unrevealed source, apparently) a great list about newspapers. Go read it. Fun for all guaranteed, or your monkey back...

Thursday, December 12, 2002


Last exam - Music History I - and orgellesson last night. Exam was a bit tougher (or I was a bit less well-prepared), but I think I got all the listening questions right (40%), and 75-85% of the rest, so, probably a B.

Got an A on the paper, but awash in a sea of red ink. He'd like me to tighten up my writing style - drop the conversational tone, make sentences less complex - or at least use fewer commas. He LOVED the paper though, said with fixes it was potentially publishable. I'm not sure I would - I make some assertions that are not well-substantiated, and cut a lot of corners, due to the prescribed length. It was supposed to be 15 pages, came in at 26.

Without the final (25%), I've got a solid A, so I could weather a B on the final, I think. A C would drop me, though.

Lesson was interesting, too - we tried elevating the organ bench (I'm 6'4", with 36" inseam), and a whole lot of my balance, posture, and pedaling issues resolved themselves. I'll be working on Grosser Gott over the break, though I kinda wish I'd picked a Christmas Carol or two. Absolutely no idea what the orgelgrade will be. Chorale should be an A - strictly attendance-based.

Tuesday, December 10, 2002

Would you buy a pillow with the Last Supper on it?
What if it played Hey Jude?

It's clever.
It's horrifying.
Yes but in a really clever way.
Get thee behind me, little voice on my shoulder.
You know you want it.
My strength is as the strength of ten, because my heart is pure.
That's it, I'm gone.
"Hey Jude, don't make it bad, take a sad song and make it better"
Y'know, it's only one pillow. I could leave the battery out...

Monday, December 09, 2002


REALLY stank up the place with my first organ juries. Just awful. Mittens and bozo shoes. Got better toward the end - I was so miserable I didn't care anymore, so I relaxed.

They were really nice about it, but it was WAY worse than my prof has ever heard me play these. I am so angry with myself! Another psych battle lost!
We've been linked!

at Links to St. Cecilia.

Thanks to Pat, and to Gordon, Gerard, and the rest of you who've previously linked us.

Those hits are rolling up by the dozens!

Thursday, December 05, 2002

The Madonna University Chorale... which I belong, will perform in concert this weekend at the venues below. The program will include carols by Alfred Burt, Vivaldi's Magnificat, and traditional carols arranged by Rutter and Willcocks. Director is Dr. David Wagner, organist is Elyse Penzato. $5.00 admission at the door.

I'm in the tenor section, and also in charge of recording. Sadly, my SoundRoom-matched-pair Oktava MC012s will probably not arrive in time, so I'll either be using a pair of Behringer ECM-8000s or a pair of SM-57s.

Friday, 7:30 pm, St. John's Episcopal Church, 26998 Woodward (SE corner w/ 11 Mile Rd.), Royal Oak, MI. Schantz pipe organ (43 stops?).

Sunday, 3:00 pm, St. Clement's Catholic Church, 25320 Van Dyke (N. of 10 Mile Rd, on E.), Center Line, MI Casavant pipe organ, 17 stops.

If you come, stop and say hi. I'm the tall guy with the potbelly and ponytail running back and forth between the choir and the recording console.

Wednesday, December 04, 2002

I know I say "wow" a lot. Maybe too often.

But, wow.

Tuesday, December 03, 2002

And the results are in:

Which Sesame Street Muppet's Dark Secret Are You?

brought to you by Quizilla

Y'know, I swore I'd never do these stupid polls. I give myself such very good advice...
This is just wrong. Somebody has some real issues.

Monday, December 02, 2002

Somebody keeps coming here looking for a "cubase hack". I do use Cubase, and made some crack somewhere about my "hack" playing ability.

Hacks, for the uninitiated, are methods for defeating the copy protection on software. Cubase, for the other uninitiateds, is a software music recording and sequencing program, one of four industry leaders (others are Sonar [fka Cakewalk], Logic, and ProTools).

First, that kind of hacking is theft. Buy the software. If you can't afford it, use a freebie - ProTools Free, for example.

Second, I'd be surprised if you COULD hack Cubase. Steinberg (developer) sets it up with a "dongle", a piece of hardware that plugs into your serial port or your USB port, depending on your version. That's about the most secure type of copy-protection. It's possible someone left a "back-door" for troubleshooting, but I'm guessing it's not reachable.

ANYHOW!!! This is a church music site. Thou shalt not steal. Hacker go home.
Chris Ward interviews his Thanksgiving turkey sammich. Maybe more like a dialog - but at the end, the sandwich begs to be eaten. I've had conversations like that.

I'll be lobbying for next Thanksgiving to be somewhere without our wacky relatives. I NEVER want to relive that.

Saturday, November 30, 2002

E Pleb Neesta

In one of the interfaith forums I subscribe too, we were tossing around weighty theological concepts, as we are wont to do, and some of the guys were resting very hard on single scripture passages, as THEY are oft wont to do...

...anyhow, my cyberpal, Budley, delivered this gem. I repeat it here with his permission:

I think this illustrates the perils and pitfalls of trying to extrapolate absolutes from something five thousand years removed from us.

I recently sat in on a seminary lecture about Scripture translation ... it was pointed out that both Greek-to-English and Hebrew-to-English present MANY more problems than translating either to most of the Indo-European Romance languages, because of the differences in vocabulary and conceptual idioms.

I keep coming back to this example (which I'm SURE I stole from SOMEBODY at SOME point):

We are two hundred years removed from the writing of the Constitution; it is written in English; we still speak English; yet we require a full-time court system AND a legislative body to interpret it.

Imagine, if you will, that we are two THOUSAND years removed from the writing of the Constitution (taking the parallel of the New Testament), or even FIVE thousand years removed (taking the parallel of parts of the Old Testament).

Imagine further that while it was written in English, 2000 or 5000 years later, we speak, read and write Mandarin Chinese.

Imagine further that we have no primary text ... no original manuscript, and no COPY of the original manuscript of the Constitution. Rather, the Constitution must be extrapolated from the writings of others, and from references to it in other secondary sources ... historical, literary, poetic, etc.

Yes, I know, it can be argued that the oral tradition has been proven remarkably faithful as earlier sources have been uncovered. BUT ... they are STILL *approximate*. We have NO scrolls written in the hand of Moses, Jesus, or Paul, etc.

That gives an APPROXIMATE illustration of the difficulties of Scripture translation. Literalism also runs aground on the same shoals.

He plays a mean organ, too.

Wednesday, November 27, 2002

Just in Time for Thanksgiving

Just found this today, courtesy of the Junior League of Grand Rapids, MI:

Sweet Potato St. Cecilia
4 sweet potatoes
1/2 c. butter
1/2 c. sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. orange juice
4 oranges
miniature marshmallows

Boil sweet potatoes until soft, about 30 minutes.
Cool and peel.
Mash potatoes, add butter, sugar, cinnamon, and orange juice.
Mix well.
Halve the oranges, remove the meat and juice.
Stuff each half with sweet potato mixture.
Top with marshmallow.
Bake at 350 deg. for 15-20 minutes.
Makes 8 servings.

Following up the previous post

For what it is, or isn't, worth, my (brilliant, but...) organ prof told me last night that most of his choir quit because he wouldn't play "happy clap" music. I guess some folks like dead flies?

Monday, November 25, 2002

Latin Mass Magazine, in support of traditional Roman Catholicism publishes this predictable gripe from a concert organist.

I hang with concert organists, and appreciate their perspective (in a nutshell, only art matters), but Morris, the interviewee, takes it way over the top by likening the mass to a meal, the music to dishes, and contemporary songs to "dead flies".

This kind of vitriol probably makes Latin Mass advocates nod in agreement, but for the rest of us, it's really quite an insult.

And Mr. Morris thereby shows us what he's made of. Personally, I will continue my work toward blended liturgy. Bring on the slings and arrows...

Followup - I posted this because it's been addressed around St. Blog's. Only after posting did I notice it's a 1999 article. So it's not news, obviously. And still obviously a hot-button issue for some.

Friday, November 22, 2002

Gordon posts the wonderful hymn by Dryden to St. Cecilia.

Best line: What passion cannot Music raise and quell?

Dryden knew that - it's why he repeated it.
Happy St. Cecilia's Day

Patron saint of musicians everywhere, and this blog's namesake.

One day, Lord willing and I watch my step, I will sing in her choir. See you there?

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Music History Exam Today

And I'm not ready. I keep retaking the online fake test, and coming in about 75%. There will also be 18 Renaissance pieces we're supposed to recognize - they all sound the same, except for a poorly-sung frottola and a solo harpsichord piece. There's only one English Language piece, and one German Language as well - so I should be able to get those. The rest are all motet or motet-like (to my sorry ear) arrangements for 4 voices, more or less tonal, with slightly varying amounts of musica ficta applied. I imagine I SHOULD be able to tell Palestrina from De Prez from Ockeghem - but I can't.

I smoked the last test - ancient and medieval music - highest grade in the class. I have spent more time prepping for this one, and I am just lost.

St. Cecilia, pray for me!
A St. Cecilia's Day Message from the National Association of Pastoral Musicians

Dear NPM Members,

On Friday of this week (November 22), the Church will keep the memory of St. Cecilia, long revered as the patron of musicians. Many of us will be gathering for liturgies, concerts, or other celebrations of this feast day. Even if you cannot participate in a special event, I invite you to take some time to give thanks for the gifts of music and song that reveal God¹s presence among us and give voice to our praise and prayer.

Many people have been overcome by fear, discouragement, anger or hopelessness in the face of the difficult issues facing us in the world and in the Church today. In the midst of people¹s struggles, we pastoral musicians continue to use the gift of song to draw people into songs of lament, songs of prayer ­ even songs of praise. May these songs give authentic expression to their longings, bring healing to their pain, and provide them strength to work for change.

In A Pastoral Musician¹s Book of Days (NPM Publications, 2000), Gordon Truitt included the following prayer for musicians for St. Cecilia¹s Day. This prayer is adapted from the Liturgy of Thanksgiving in the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil. We offer it as a gift to you and to the other musicians of your communities.

God the Creator, who sings all things into existence;
God the Son, who makes us one with the heavenly song of the angels and saints;
God the Holy Spirit, who sings in us with words too deep for human understanding:
We ask you to bless those who bless you,
to sanctify those who trust in you,
to save your people and bless your inheritance.

Safeguard the fullness of your church;
sanctify those who increase the beauty of your worship
and lead your people in singing your praise.

Lead all pastoral musicians to a share in your glory by your divine power
and do not forsake those who put their trust in you.

Father of Lights, from whom comes every good and perfect gift,
to you we sing glory and praise and thanksgiving and worship:
to the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
now and always and forever and ever.


J. Michael McMahon, D.Min., President
National Association of Pastoral Musicians
225 Sheridan St., N.W.
Washington, DC 20011-1452
Phone 202-723-5800
Fax 202-723-2262

Monday, November 18, 2002

November 22: A Hymn to St. Cecilia, Virgin and Martyr copyright J. Michael Thompson, 2000. All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.

6 6 6 6 888
suggested tune: RHOSYMEDRE

O God of tune and rhyme,
Whose song the world has made,
Whose Word, before all time,
The universe displayed:
We praise in song this woman's fame,
Who, in the face of death and shame,
Gave glory to her Savior's Name.

O Christ, who summoned all
To follow in Your way,
That we might bear our cross
And live in endless day:
We thank you for Cecilia's stand;
And trusting in Your loving hand,
We too will sin and death withstand.

O Spirit, Lord of life,
Whose gifts all faith maintain,
Your leading through earth's strife
Lets us Your heav'n attain.
Grant us firm faith that, as did she,
We follow You, O Wind most free,
That Christians true we e'er may be.

O Trinity, One God,
O Source of music's art,
Guide us through ways untrod
Until, within Your heart,
With all Your saints and angels' throng
We live with You; and there prolong
Our endless alleluia song.
Granddad's Cousin

Granddad never mentioned him to us, neither did my Dad, but when my bro and I were divvying up the mementos in September, our stepmom told us about Granddad's cousin, who left him a bunch of silver tableware. Apparently a well-known author and bon-vivant, lifelong bachelor because he was, um, GAY. Way before his time, apparently.

So, I guess, Granddad treated him like he didn't exist. But we looked him up in Who's Who, 1948 (which we had because Granddad, a Rear Admiral in the Navy, was listed), and there he was: Corey Ford. My first cousin, twice removed.

I got the silver, and got curious about Granddad's Cousin Corey. Today, on a whim, I bought a toon collection of his on e-bay:


He wrote the jokes, someone else did the drawings. Circa 1951.

It looks, from the cover, to be what used to pass for "grown-up humour" - bosomy babes, double entendre, heaping dose of misogyny, etc. Oh well, he's family.

I'm so proud...

Friday, November 15, 2002

In The Word From Rome, John L. Allen Jr. waxes about America this week. His missive contains this, um "gem":

The bishops clearly wanted to treat the Washington meeting as the beginning of the end of their 10-month nightmare.

So, the nightmare didn't start until they got caught? The abuse wasn't a nightmare, but the publicity was?

I think John's been hangin' with the hierarchy for too long.

Thursday, November 14, 2002

Why would God be associated with something so lame... the watered-down Catholicism we so often present? Mostly good thoughts from Zorak at E-pression, about why he she* chose Catholicism.

* - Thanks, Donna!

Wednesday, November 13, 2002

God's Little Lounge Band Followup

I forgot the worst thing they did - not only did it add to the overall cheeziness (hmm - bread, wine, cheez?), it is downright ILLEGAL - the leader played underneath the Doxology - turning the Dox into a "Deep Thoughts" moment. What a bad idea.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

St. Cecilia's Day is coming

For our parish, St. Cecilia's day was our "music ministry renewal" day. We'd have a service, anoint the musicians, give them plaques, sing a lot, and I bought them presents - some from my department budget, but lots from my own pocket. It was one of my favorite things we did. I'm guessing it'as another tradition that will fall by the wayside...
God's Little Lounge Band

This was the nickname my first parish's DM's husband gave our ensemble. Kinda funny, though not real accurate...

...but this past weekend, I heard them. Not my old choir - they're 500 miles away - but God's Little Lounge Band. They were actually named for the leader, (whom I will not name, nor the church), i.e., the John Doe Ensemble. It was awful. Just awful. Competent musicians and singers, mostly, but aagh! Outside of Mass of Creation, I only knew the first communion song. The rest were okay (some Soper lyrics were really pretty good), but they all had this lite-rock sameness to them, except for one quasi-gospel piece (also Soper). And the keyboard sounds! Eccccchhhh! Lotsa cheezy harpsichord, some cheezy vibes, some extra cheezy gospel organ. Never DID hear any piano. Sounded like a Casio. Lots of vocal solos - though we were invited before mass to join in whenever we heard a soloist, no one much did. The wall-to-wall carpet was great, too.

All the traditionalists who decry "contemporary" music a la Haas, Haugen, Hurd, and the Jesuits - if THIS is what they're hearing, I don't blame them. Bleahh.

Sunday, November 10, 2002

You Can't Go Back

It's been really hard going back to my church since I've given up the reins as music director. Ann, the new director is a good pianist and has a pretty good sense of the lturgy, but I just cringe every time she makes a change.

Here are some changes:

1 - Dropped the Haas Mass of Light Gloria for a setting by Andrews. The Haas was a giant hit with the assembly - they belted out the refrain, and sang well on the verses. We were also using one of mine for awhile - it was popular too, but I gave it up because they did so well on the Haas. Back to the Andrews - they really sound half-hearted on it - and the middle part gets no participation at all (except me - I stay with her!). This is also a change because during Ordinary Time we sang the Kyrie and spoke (or skipped - pastor's idea) the Gloria. I'm okay with THAT change, but dropping the Haas at the same time was ill-considered.

2 - Has the assembly sing the psalm refrain from the hymnals, rather than as a dialogue. A small deal, but has taken the response down a notch.

3 - Dropped our well-known Ps. 95, If Today (Haugen) for a bland new replacement. Found out later it was one of hers, so I don't have much room to talk, I guess - I saddled those guys with my responses all the time, but it was usually to achieve a different sense of the psalm - hers just swapped one lullaby for another.

4 - The worst - replaced the second communion song with a "meditation piece". Aakkk! There is no liturgical justification for this (though the practice is widespread) - but I GOT RID OF that albatross when I came in. Now it's back.

5 - Ever since 9/11/2001, we've sung God Bless America immediately after each mass. She's continued the tradition, but her arrangement is awful! Can't decide if it sounds more like a school assembly setting or a vaudeville number (oom-pah oom-pah oom-pah oom-pah...). Sheesh. Nothing like a church song.

I imagine this all sounds kind of petty. The problem for me is that it makes it so hard to worship. I'm sitting there, continually picking her stuff apart instead of worshiping. Msybe I just gotta find a new church, but the people there feel like family. I doubt I'll ever find that again until (unless?) I go back into music ministry.

Thursday, November 07, 2002

Can a man have too many blogs?

Well, there are plenty who feel that one's too many - Tim Drake, for example.

I had two, plus two shared ones - deleted a shared one (a work-related team progress site - never took off), and have now started a new one, in celebration of subscribing to BlogSpotPlus, so they're all shared here now. Found out you can move old blogs, too, so my other standalone is hosted here also.

In Big Belly Skinny Man, I keep track of my weight. I started out keeping track of my diet as well, got too busy to track and post it, so went to weekly weigh-ins. Coincidentally (or NOT!!!), I stopped losing weight when I stopped posting what I was eating. Maybe I should go back.

In Graytail Adventures, I write about the new band, first addressed here at St. Cecilia's.

There's a lot of potential common ground between Graytail Adventures and St. C's, so for now, St. C's gets church music, music college courses, Catholic issues, politics, and occasional personal and family stuff. Graytail Adventures gets band stuff, equipment, song lyrics, mp3s, and the Listening list.

I haven't added commenting, site metering, email links etc. to the other sites. Yet. Soon?
Jay's Sour Grapes

I managed to split my vote so that practically NO ONE that I voted for won: Posthumus, Marlinga, Hollowell, collective bargaining prop, tobacco prop...

OTOH, Levin won, and Cox probably did (haven't heard - too close to call yesterday), and straight party ballot and environment bonds went my way. Haven't heard about Gilbert & Hager. This week's Tri-City Times should have something.

But my glass sure feels half empty.

Tuesday, November 05, 2002

I am so jealous of these guys! Getting some together time with the kid quick before adolescentitis kicks in... great idea.

Monday, November 04, 2002

This is my new blogchalk:
United States, Michigan, Emmett, Atwell, English, Jay, Male, 46-50, church music, Roman Catholic. :)
Stuff I Iearned from my Site Meter

1) Wow! 20ish hits a day - I had no idea!
2) More people than I expected were looking for St. Cecilia info.
3) My favorite St. Cecilia search so far: St. Cecilia and why is she a saint?
4) Most disturbing St. Cecilia search so far: St. Cecilia + breasts. Probably related to the St. Agnes story, where HER breasts were cut off before she was killed.
5) Most disturbing search overall: gumdrop nipples - they're part of my song for Kim, below. Completely appropriate, I still maintain, but not sure I want THOSE kinds of hits.
6) My disturbing searcher got 153 Google hits for "gumdrop nipples".
7) No hits from St. Blog webring navigator.
8) BUNCH of hits from Catholic Page for Lovers' bloglist. Thanks, Gerard!
9) Other people use that "most recently updated" list from Blogger. Got 3 or 4 from there. I thought maybe I was the only one.
10) Variation on #1: 20ish hits a day and ALMOST NOBODY sends me mail or posts replies. And NOBODY AT ALL since the meter went up.
11) Several hits on Jennifer Granholm, too.

Oh yeah, and Don't forget to vote!

Saturday, November 02, 2002

Life Stuff

Here are some life issues that are important to me:

1) Abortion. It's an issue in Michigan, the US, and globally. We are slaughtering our children, largely because someone told us it was okay to do so, and our plans are inconvenienced by a baby now. Cold.

2) Death Penalty. A US issue, primarily, although the occasional Michigan politician comes forward to try to reinstate it. The death penalty does not protect us any longer, any better than a life sentence. I am amazed to hear death penalty advocates introduce "cost of care" as an issue. Also cold.

3) Hunger. An issue everywhere, but as a "life" issue, it's really only global. Few starve to death in the US. "Inasmuch as you have done this to the least of my brethren, so have you done it to me."

4) Access to Medical Services. Also an issue everywhere but with more "life" impact in the US. Should long life be the sole purview of the wealthy and well-insured? It's an absolute scandal that we can't (or choose not to) find a way to insure every American.

5) Euthanasia. Potential issue everywhere, though the Michigan people have spoken loudly, and it's unlikely we'll see this issue again soon. GBest quote from the campaign, raised by a disabled opponent of euthanasia - "When does the right to die become the obligation to die?"

6) War. US and global issue. There is such a thing as a "just war" - Desert Storm and Afghanistan may have been good examples. But the upcoming Iraq thing looks likea pre-emptive strike over here - and like bullying to a lot of our allies and enemies. Common wisdom on Desert Storm was that Bush the Elder ended it too fast, and we the electorate moved on to other issues, hence costing him the election. Bush the Younger seems determined to avoid that mistake by keeping the war alive. Howe many lives will his quest for reelection cost?

7) Gun Control. An issue in Michigan and the US. Sorry, NRA. You are the death people. People are dying every day because of your lobby. Find a less dangerous hobby. Speaking of cold.

8) Economics (also see Hunger and Medical Access above). Everywhere, but as a "life" issue, primarily global. Tough call, too, vis-a-vis jobs in other countries - we don't want to support slavery, sweat shops, or economic abuse, but where's the line? Insisting that foreign workers get paid near-US wages will just prevent the work from going there - which is the true goal of a lot of economic-justice-talk from Labor Dems. There's a balance to be struck - where is it?

9) Social and Political Justice. A really broad issue globally - lots of countries with death squads, police who make people disappear, etc. How do we choose our allies. How hard do we work to oppose the practuices among our allies? Among our enemies? Another murky issue.

10) Reproductive Rights (but, of course, see Abortion above). Countries (like China) with legalized abortion AND family size limits are sending millions of babies to their deaths every year. I haven't seen numbers, but am guessing (reasonably, I think) that (a) the number of deaths far outweigh the 1.2 million in the US, and (b) the number of deaths even outweigh the estimated 6 million who starve to death worldwide.

What does this mean with regard to my voting?

1) Abortion. Clear Advantage Republicans (because Bonior's out of it). Major issue.
2) Death Penalty. Nonissue.
3) Hunger. Advantage Dems. Minor issue.
4) Access to Medical Services. Advantage Dems. Issue.
5) Euthanasia. Nonissue.
6) War. Nonissue.
7) Gun Control. Clear Advantage Dems. Issue.
8) Economics. Nonissue.
9) Social and Political Justice. Nonissue.
10) Reproductive Rights. Nonissue.

1) Abortion. Clear Advantage Republicans. Major issue.
2) Death Penalty. Clear Advantage Dems. Issue.
3) Hunger. Clear Advantage Dems. Issue.
4) Access to Medical Services. Clear Advantage Dems. Issue.
5) Euthanasia. Advantage Republicans. Minor issue.
6) War. Advantage Dems. Major issue.
7) Gun Control. Clear Advantage Dems. Issue.
8) Economics. Tossup... slight advantage Republicans. Issue.
9) Social and Political Justice. Advantage Dems. Issue.
10) Reproductive Rights. Clear Advantage Republicans. Issue.

Barring individual deviations from the party line (like Bonior - sniff...), it means I'll be voting for Republican candidates for state office, and Democratic candidates for US office. I AM leaning toward Dem Butch Hollowell for Michigan Secretary of State, however, given the woefully partisan behavior of Florida's Republican election officials in 2000.

Friday, November 01, 2002

Happy All Saints Day!

As this site's patron saint is, of course, St. Cecilia - the patron saint of musicians - here's a link to the page of the guy who wrote the best saint song ever. I bet you wind up singing it today! You ARE going to mass today, aren't you? Aren't you?
Reasons why I'm Pro-Life:


My granddaughter Alyssa, now 15 months (was 10 mos. in this picture). She was the classic case of an unplanned pregnacy - her mom (my daughter) was an unmarried college student on birth control living at home. Fortunately, Jessica was staunchly pro-life. It's been a real struggle for all of us, but well, well worth it. Alyssa is an unparalleled treasure.
I Want My Spam

Of course, I hate spam. Who wouldn't? However, I have asked my ISP to turn off my spam filter - it kept blocking non-spam emails.

Final straw was when I signed up for Site Meter and the email the I had to respond to was blocked. All straightened out now, but only because I dropped the filter. I previously had a signup over at the Home Recording BBS go bad, and had to add a new ID, and friends told ne their emails were rejected. Since the ISP zaps the emails rather than storing them, chasing it down was difficult.

So the spam, the spam, the spam is back, stone cold sober as a matter of fact. Hey la hey la my spam is back. Loverly spam, wonderful spam, spam, spam, spam. I had about 15 pieces of it this morning. But maybe I'll start getting my Musician's Friend mailings again...

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Rolling Stone Review Code Words

Wonder how they'd write about me - honest yearning Dylanesque genius, apparently. But you'll have to read the list to decode...
Read this first:
Catholic social teaching divides Michigan women - 10/27/02

I'll be posting on life issues when I get a minute.

Rest In Peace, Ray Ferguson

Tuesday, October 29, 2002

Link AND Quote of the Day

Robert Spencer, in the Diocese Report, says "however important it is to be open-minded, ... this open-mindedness must not be equated with a thoroughgoing relativism that would utterly destroy one's capacity to make moral judgments"

Tough to figure where to draw the line, but this concept MUST remain in view.

Monday, October 28, 2002

St. Malachy's Post Mortem

It was great. I still disapprove, sorta, but went very well, response was excellent. Very nice to hear how my new Psalm 18 setting (written in '96, but rearranged this year) came out.

Wound up playing the Duncan mass - excellent! DM played on the 18-rank Moeller, I played on the Clavinova (123 - my favorite model!), assembly sang it well, though our folks were left in the dust on this. Still, highly recommended. Available from the Archdiocese of Detroit, I believe, though if I were a publisher, I'd pick it up!

Very nice comments afterwards, from both our folks and theirs. I'm really glad I went along with this!

Friday, October 25, 2002

Even more true now that we all have blogs:

Here's what all our esteem building has bought us. Elitism for the masses.

My Dad (gone) and his cousin (still around) were both avid Shriners. They perpetually bemoaned the difficulty of getting younger generations (like moi) to join up. I always thought we skipped it 'cos we were too busy, or too cool, but THIS might be the true reason. We're already actualized, somehow or another. Maybe actualization was the real point of joining the Loyal Order of Water Buffalo.


Thursday, October 24, 2002

Do YOU have a blogsticker?

Here's mine (only the blog's too young, and my hits are probably even lower, but you get the drift):

Here's where to get yours:
Blog Stickers
Back in the Saddle, One More Time

Our youth group is going "on the road" this weekend, and helping with a mass down at St. Malachy's in Sterling Heights, one of the parishes they went to Steubenville with. It's going to be a hey-look-what-we-did-this-summer mass, where we teach the assembly the S'ville music, the kids do a wordless skit during the homily (with Creed's "My Sacrifice" blaring in the background - not for the timid!). We're just helping - the ratio of St. Malachy's kids to ours will be about 4-1 - but apparently the kids and leaders from both churches thought that I was the guy to carry the ball on this. I'm sort of honored, but conflicted - under my directorship, I refused to do all-Steubenville masses, as they tended to leave the rest of the assembly in the dust. But, since everyone from both churches and both sets of ministries (youth and music) seems to be on the same page, I discreetly tucked away my terrorist card and went along.

Here's what we're doing:

In: Days of Elijah (Mark)
Ps: 18, I Love You, Lord (Ricketts)
GA: Agnus Dei (Smith, arr. Ricketts)
Pr: Let It Rain (Smith) / Awesome God (Mullins)
EA: Mass of the Blessed Sacrament (Duncan) OR Creation (Haugen)
AD: Mass of the Blessed Sacrament (Duncan)
C1: You Are My World (Sampson)
C2: You Are My All In All (Jernigan)
Ex: Trading My Sorrows (Evans)

I'm also excited they wanted to use my Psalm 18 - I'd recently reworked it from its former existence as a gospel-style rave-up to a more introspective, praise-n-worship ready piece. I did this for my band, but when I saw what Sunday the mass was, I asked if we could try this - they really liked it, I think.

We asked for permission to use Creation, but we'll do the Duncan mass if we have to - timing is tricky, sort of a jaunty French Renaissance style piece, with irregular measures all over. The composition is wonderful, but it sounds like it might be a disaster waiting to happen, at my hands. At least it's tonal...
Before Roe v. Wade, There Was:


Got a great letter from THE AMERICANIST summarizing the 1965 Griswold decision. He says that you can't really understand Roe v. Wade without understanding Griswold.

First, a caveat from TA: I'm not a lawyer, never practice law, have no knowledge of the law, fear lawyers, love lawyers, think lawyers ought to be exempt from gravity, and will happily agree that they are right and I am wrong whenever challenged. (uh-huh)

-------------------------------------------begin quote-------------------------------------------
Griswold is a 1965 Supreme Court decision that is the immediate important precedent for Roe v Wade. A Connecticut law forbid contraception -- 'any drug, medicinal article, or instrument' -- and extended that to include anybody who ADVISED folks about contraception. Griswold himself was the Planned Parenthood director in Connecticut, advising married people how to hav sex without pregnancy, and off they went. The Supremes threw out the Connecticut statute, and American law on sexual matters has been different ever since.

Whatever ya think of him, Justice William O. Douglas's majority opinion is a true intellectual feat. I think of it sorta like I think of calculus or trigonometry -- I know it exists, and it must work (Griswold has been Constitutional law for nearly forty years), but I have no real understanding HOW. Conservative legal scholars (and of course pro-lifers, including the Church) scoff at Griswold as well as Roe -- but almost NOBODY actually challenges Griswold, including the Church. Which piques my interest -- it's like walking the guy up first, IN ORDER to pitch to Barry Bonds.

Basically, speaking for the majority, Douglas legalized contraceptives by finding "that specific guarantees in the Bill of Rights have penumbras, formed by emanations from those guarantees that help give them life and substance." (A "penumbra" is the focus within a shadow, typically the place on the earth where a total eclipse occurs; "emanations" refers to the way scent moves out from a flower.) From that, he derived an explicit rationale for a CONSTITUTIONAL right to privacy... "lying within the zone of privacy created by several fundamental constitutional guarantees."

Douglas argued that the Fourth and Fifth amendments (against unreasonable searches and self-incrimination) provide these zones of privacy, noting an 1886 case which protected "the sanctity of a man's home and the privacies of life." Then he went on to argue: "Would we allow the police to search the sacred precincts of marital bedrooms for telltale signs of the use of contraceptives? The very idea is repulsive to the notions of privacy surrounding the marriage relationship. We deal with a right of privacy older than the [Bill of Rights]. Marriage is a coming togther for better or for worse, hopefully enduring, and intimate to the degree of being sacred... and association for as noble a purpose as any involved in our prior decisions."

Thus defending marriage itself as well as the sanctity of marital privacy, the Court legalized contraceptives in 1965. Some years later, Roe built on that right to privacy, establishing the right to an abortion.

I bring all this up on Amy's site, because I keep asking folks for a fact situation that could raise a legal principle -- ANY legal principle -- to overturn Roe without also eroding, if not erasing, Griswold. I don't think there IS any, as a matter of Constitutional law. Man, I get flamed for it.

Likewise, I've spent a lot of time (and taken enormous flack) regarding Humanae Vitae and ITS precedents, going back all the way to Augustine, which (not to put too fine a point on it) are profoundly misogynist, anti-erotic, and authoritarian, based on what I consider a more or less obvious inaccuracy: the notion that the unitive and procreative functions can NOT be morally separate. I think that happens all the time (and I have much trouble saying so in a genteel manner; use your imagination). LOL -- a very private matter.

But it is relevant, because if ya can't overturn Roe without eroding Griswold, the more widely you consider Catholic teaching on sexuality, the shakier it gets.

Anyhow, more than ya wanted to know, I'm sure. But -- now you do.
-------------------------------------------end quote-------------------------------------------

Wednesday, October 23, 2002


Heads have been rolling here at work lately, and a word that keeps coming up is "loyalty", with specific reference to the lack thereof.

It's a complicated situation here - a government project where everyone (in our shop anyhow, about 50 of us) is a contractor. We work for three different sets of companies, grouped by contract. There's a staff supplementation contract, a quality assurance contract, and a certification contract. The certification guys were given control of the project about 2 years ago.

I've been here for 5+ years, longer than anyone except a couple of programmers (we're a testing shop) who got rolled out of their shop and into ours. The company with the QA contract ran the shop prior to the certification guys coming on, and prior to them (about 4 1/2 years back) everyone was on the same contract, with a state manager who gave us carte blanche to test as we saw fit.

This is NOT a gripe about the way the contracts went. The QA vendor brought in standards where we had none, and the certification vendor really raised the bar, and put some very good practices into place.

It IS a gripe about the manager. Young, brilliant, aggressive, egotistical - he was the perfect guy to whip the org into shape. But now that he's made that happen, he's leaving a trail of bodies - anyone who's ever p'd him off. And he keeps talking about loyalty.

When he came in, he supplanted the manager from the QA vendor, and kept her on in a team lead role.

Here is a list of people, organizations, and entities to whom I might be asked to show loyalty:
1 - The current manager (personally)
2 - The position of manager (no matter who occupies it)
3 - The former manager (which would make sense if #1 were a correct answer - if the loyalty were personal, it would survive the demotion)
4 - The project
5 - My company
6 - My company's account manager
7 - My employees
8 - My friends on the project
9 - Myself
10 - My family
11 - Truth, justice, and the American way
12 - God

Given the latest flap, where another team lead got raked over the coals for failing to tell him that a friend/ team member was leaving, he's looking for some kind of wild-pack-o-dogs style loyalty, where the allegiance is to the food chain. "I'm the boss now, everyone must do everything I say". Pretty much anyone who's ever dared disagree with him has felt his wrath, moi included. Moi especialement!

So some of us have done some soul-searching, and decided that our loyalty is pretty much where it needs to be - Our families, God, Truth, and OUR company. To the extent that the other entities (project, manager, etc.) share our company's interest, they'll get what they want. Otherwise, probably not.

The castouts have, so far, landed on their feet. I think I'm the next target (not sure...), we'll see if I fare as well.

Tuesday, October 22, 2002

It's our 24th anniversary today - this one gets a little bit, um, descriptive, but it's from the heart. And there aren't enough songs out there about married love (though OUR song is Wynonna's She Is His Only Need, fat chance this'll replace THAT one).

Anyhow, skip it if this kind of thing's not your cuppatea. Otherwise...

Beautiful Still

1) Her warm wide smile, left lines where there were none,
But still gets me undone, like watching the sun or the wind.
And she won't sing for me, but she sings for her babies,
Sings of Christmas, and fairies, of cherries, and sin.

R%. And she is beautiful still
She unlocks my secret places,
Makes me cross and cry and crazy,
Then heals me with her graces.
She is beautiful,
She raises up my valleys,
She levels my hills.
She is beautiful still.
She is beautiful.

2) Her breasts, soft like peaches, with cotton candy gumdrop nipples,
Jump at the touch of my finger, the wet of my tongue.
Her alabaster belly, stretched by my children,
And the treasure it neighbors, they are calling me down.

And she is beautiful still
She unlocks my secret places,
Makes me whole and hot and hazy,
Then heals me with her graces.
She is beautiful,
She raises up my valleys,
She levels my hills.
She is beautiful still.
She is beautiful.

3) Her emerald eyes sparkle, and flash, and brim over
With tears for her children, her mother, tears for her losses,
Her back, wracked by accidents, still lovely and freckled,
She smiles through the wreckage, no matter the cost.

And she is beautiful still
She unlocks my secret places,
Makes me warm and weird and weary,
Then heals me with her graces.
She is beautiful,
She raises up my valleys,
She levels my hills.
She is beautiful still.
She is beautiful.

4) And when we have been there for twoscore and ten years
Her side by my side, through lean years and feast years, and more,
Our time-ravaged bodies will still stand together,
Through whatever, whenever, we'll weather every storm.

And she'll be beautiful still
Unlock my secret places,
Make me fear and fierce and foolish,
Then heal me with her graces.
She will be beautiful,
She will raise up my valleys,
She'll level my hills.
She will be beautiful still.
She'll be beautiful.

copyright Jay Ricketts, 2002. All rights reserved.

Monday, October 21, 2002

Trudeau Takes on...


Two situations that are scaring the heck out of me...

...and are making me doubt my faith in humanity, combine for some pretty funny stuff here: Saddam Invited To Tour Virginia Gas Stations. This is how we conquer our fears - we find a way to laugh at them.

Ha! I laugh at you!

I feel better already.

Sunday, October 20, 2002

Thanks to all who sent condolences and prayers. I pray we see our grandbabies in Heaven.

Here is an excellent piece from the Wall Street Journal's Peggy Noonan on the "new improved" Rosary. I think I'm beginning to see the point...

Friday, October 18, 2002

Well, the Vatican has spoken. THIS is pretty much what I expected.

When the Bishops proposed the new tough rules for priests and sexually predatory practices, I was reasonably certain they had done so expecting the Vatican to prevent them from implementing them. It's an old political game, they're not fools. I'm disappointed, but not surprised.
We got a call from Andy (our 18 y/o son) last night - his wife of four months, Sarah, miscarried twins. She's okay physically, but they're heartbroken. So are we.

Please pray for Andy and Sarah and their lost babies.

Followup: a friend sent me this...

Prayer for a Miscarried Child

Praise God for His gentle Love,
beyond our understanding;
For His Love that conceived you, a perfect child
beautiful, unique and whole,
For His Love that longed to share with you
the wonders of creation,
For His Love that waited-
for just the right time;
for the just the right parents,
for you.

But something happened
before you were born,
The sin in this world
attacked your small life-
Weakening, dimming
your bright little spark.

God had to decide
on the more loving course:
To heal you in this life;
and to let you be born;
Or to call you to Himself-
to hold you in His arms,
and to heal you with a kiss.

It's hard for us to understand
why God healed you the way He did.
Often we wish you were here;
that you didn't die so young.
So please ask Jesus to help us
to see you through His eyes:
Perfect, free and happy
playing by Jesus' side.

Written by Carolyn Harney and printed in "Healing the Greatest Hurt" by
Matthew Linn, Dennis Linn and
Sheila Fabricant

Thursday, October 17, 2002

Jennifer on Life

Our gal Jen has said that she believes that life begins at conception, but that it is a belief based on her religion, and she won't impose her beliefs on others.

Puh-leaze. If she TRULY believed these were human lives being slaughtered, could she really stand by and let it keep happening when she had the power to help stop it? If she could, that's even scarier, because it means she'll let Americans kill 1.2 million babies just so that she doesn't impose her beliefs on someone else. Or lose he party's backing. Her position paper at the link above doesn't mention abortion or choice, but does mention "family planning" a couple of times. It was hard enough watching Bonior keep silent on this issue, but hearing JG waffle on this is 100 times worse.

What's far more likely is that she's paying lip service to the RC line, and if she believes it at all, only believes it in some symbolic sense. It's a life, but only in a theological sense, and not in a flesh-and-blood sense? Disingenuous, at least.

Someone (more articulate than me, I hope) needs to seriously call her down on this. What do you believe, Jennifer? If these are human lives, why do you support laws that let them be killed? If they're not (in your eyes), why do you say they are? It's not a gray area, there's not one answer for religion and a different answer for the "real world". Choose one answer, very carefully, and stick to it. And we will pray for you, and for the babies, and their mothers.

Tuesday, October 15, 2002

S-C-A-R-Y Deja Vu Quote of the Day

"Of course the people don't want war. But after all, it's the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along whether it's a democracy, a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism, and exposing the country to greater danger."

-- Herman Goering at the Nuremberg trials

Monday, October 14, 2002

Speaking of recordings

Check out Bill Grabbe and the St. Philip's Choir upcoming CD, Fly By Light. Highly Recommended!

Bill's one of a small group of parish musicians who have actually used my pieces (in his case, a pop/gospel resetting of St. Theodulph's "All Glory, Laud, and Honor", which also borrows from a Leon Roberts mass). Don't hold that against him [g], he does some excellent writing on his own. Lo-fi samples of the CD are available at the link above. Let me know what you think!

Sunday, October 13, 2002

Putting the Band Back Together

Yes. I'm a pathetic caricature of a 47-year-old. In my case it's not a little red sports car, or a chickie on the side. It's me and a bunch of pot-bellied balding former local heroes getting together for one last stab at glory, even thought we know it's too late.

But we sound pretty good, IMO. And we're doing originals, which I've never done before, at least not as the main focus of a project. We've taken a few approaches - pre-arranged parts, lead sheet approach (where song is mapped out, but "parts" aren't predefined), and group-composition approach (where we jam, grab a part we like, go bakc and tweak it, play some more, tweak some more, etc.).

Stay tuned - we're pretty strong at every position, and the lead singer and drummer are both MTV-ready, even if the rest of us have faces for radio...

Friday, October 11, 2002

Courtesy of Bdgr over at the Home Recording BBS

So you want to be a keyboard player.
A few things to know....

GUITAR players have it easy. Vintage is cool for GUITAR , but except for Rhodes or Hammond, if your gear is older than your car, you have a problem. In fact, if your car is paid for, your gear should be newer. And even though Hammond and Rhodes are cool, your band will hate you for having to help move it...A Hamond weighs 600+ pounds. So be prepared to broke, or hopelessly outdated.

Everyone will do that d*mn Bill Murray routine on your keys,...You know, the Ghost busters "they hate that" thing.

If your keyboard has knobs, expect someone to screw with them if you walk away. People who never think of jacking with a guitar amps tone settings will come up and screw with your $5,000 keyboard.

Get a hard case for everything you own. Trust me.

Get used to the question "Cant you get one keyboard that does everything?...I know Casio makes this keyboard that has drums and built in speakers, why do you need more than one keyboard?"

Always set the volume control on your board to no more than 3/4 the way up during sound check. That way, when the idiot sound man turns you down where you can't hear yourself, you have a little room to move.

If you are going to use "Vintage" Keys, like a Rhodes, a Wurly, Hammond, analog synth....Learn to solder.

Get extra midi cables. You always need one more than you have.

If you get lost in a song, turn the volume off and pretend to play. Half the time nobody will notice anyway. GUITAR players cant do this without being obvious, but we can...just blame it on the sound man.

NEVER buy a Wurlitzer Electric piano that is out of tune.

Never buy a hammond with a dead key. There are thousands of wires in the keyboard of a Hammond (No, I am not exaggerating)

Learn to pronounce Moog. Its pronounced mowg, not mooooog. I dont care if you never actually even see one, if you are keyboard player, and mispronounce it, you will be shunned, and or beaten.

Don't play an outdoor gig in the rain. I actually played with a band that tried to convince me to do so.

Just because it says Hammond on it, doesn't mean it's a B3.

If you use the transpose function on your keyboard, dont forget to turn it off when the song is finished.

If your gonna play Hammond parts, make sure you have a volume pedal.

If you play a synth, for Heaven's sake program your own d*mn sounds. Nothing is more pathetic than someone with a monster synth still using the factory presets.

Listen to people like Rick Wakeman, Keith Emerson, Billy Powell, Pinetop Perkins, Booker T, and Jerry Lee Lewis...

Notice Elton John and Billy Joel weren't on that list.

Only computers and fast food depreciate faster than keyboard gear.

Only Drummers take longer to set up (and only sometimes).

Only Drummers have more stuff (and only sometimes).

Leslie Simulators don' least not well...

Turn your board off when you walk away, otherwise everyone in the room will feel the urge to come over and play whatever puke they learned in piano lessons in third grade. I actually had girl do this at a gig, during a song (it was part of the song that didnt have any keyboard parts).

Be prepared to hear GUITAR and bass players say that Keyboard players aren't real musicians, or that a synth isn't a real instrument. We are somewhere between Dj's and drummers on the scale of things (in their eyes). The only consolation is that there are practically zero keyboard player jokes, but a metric sh*tload of GUITAR, bass, and drummer jokes.

Memorize the aforementioned jokes for when you hear the aforementioned comments.

Don't play standing up... It makes those of us who use a sustain pedal, a volume pedal, and a leslie speed foot switch all the same time look lazy.

Don't wear a gold cape unless you are Rick Wakeman.

Don't throw knives at your keyboard unless you are Kieth Emerson.

Don't set your piano on fire unless you are Jerry Lee Lewis.

Wednesday, October 09, 2002

Email of the day

This may have made the rounds, but it's new to ME! Brilliant. Just brilliant. Thanks to Ching (a PYT who's a far cry from 30, much less 40) for sharing...

Subject: AAADD

I was recently diagnosed with A.A.A.D.D.--Age Activated Attention
Deficit Disorder. I want my post-40 friends to be aware of it in case
it strikes you as well. This is how it manifests:

I decided to wash my car. As I start toward the garage, I notice that
there is mail on the hall table. I decide to go through the mail before
I wash the car. I lay my car keys down on the table, put the junk mail
in the trash can under the table, and notice that the trash can is full.
So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the trash
first. But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I
take out the trash anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.

I take my checkbook out of my folder that is on the table, and see that
there is only one check left. My extra checks are in my desk in the den,
so I go to my desk where I find the bottle of soda that I had been
drinking. I'm going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the
soda aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over. I see that the
soda is getting warm, and I decide I should put it in the refrigerator
to keep it cold.

As I head toward the kitchen with the soda, a vase of flowers on the
counter catches my eye--they need to be watered. I set the soda down on
the counter, and I discover my reading glasses that I've been searching
for all morning. I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first
I'm going to water the flowers. I set the glasses back down on the
counter, fill a container with water and suddenly I spot the TV remote.
Someone left it on the kitchen table. I realize that tonight when we go
to watch TV, we will be looking for the remote, but nobody will remember
that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den
where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers. I splash some water
on the flowers, but most of it spills on the floor. So, I set the remote
back down on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill. Then I
head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day: the car isn't washed, the bills aren't paid,
there is a warm bottle of soda sitting on the counter, the flowers
aren't watered, there is still only one check in my checkbook, I can't
find the remote, I can't find my glasses, and I don't remember what I
did with the car keys. Then when I try to figure out why nothing got
done today, I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all day long,
and I'm really tired. I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try
to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail.

Do me a favor, will you? Forward this message to everyone you know,
because I don't remember to whom it has been sent.

Monday, October 07, 2002

Quote of the Day

Lifted from Gerard Sarafin's lushly illustrated and highly therapeutic blog, A Blog For Lovers, in recognition of our most recently canonized saint, Josemaria Escriva, founder of Opus Dei:

"Our Church is the Church of the saints. He who approaches her with mistrust sees nothing, but closed doors and barriers... Our Church, however, is the Church of the saints. To become a saint, what bishop would not give up his ring, his mitre; what cardinal would not give up his purple, what pontiff would not give up his white dress, his chamberlains, his Swiss guard and all his temporal possessions?

"Who would not like to have the strength to pursue this wonderful adventure? Because holiness is an adventure, and even the only adventure. He who has once understood this has entered into the heart of Catholic faith, and felt his mortal flesh shudder with a dread different from that of death, a superhuman hope. Our Church is a Church of the saints."

Georges Bernanos

Friday, October 04, 2002

How to record a choir?

Here are some suggestions.
And some more. The "Decca Tree" sounds especially promising.
Trapped in a tenor's body

Second week of chorale class, prof all of a sudden moves me to the bass section. I squawked. Loudly (and in a tenor pitch). I can't hit anything below a D below middle C consistently, basses have parts going to F in the next octave. "Well," he said, "I need basses, and you need work on your bass clef reading." Touche. Interestingly, he'd forgotten this all a few weeks later, and asked me how I liked things in the tenor section. I reminded him of our conversation, he said, "Oh yeah, that sounds familiar." Sigh.

My range is dropping a bit, though, and Bs and Cs are coming a little easier. I still feel silly, though, singing all these notes I can't hit.

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

St. Peter's, as viewed by the angels, saints, and the general airborne public.

Monday, September 30, 2002


Might post on the vacation some time - some interesting family dynamics! Short of it: Spent the first weekend with my brother, my son, his wife, his son, and my stepmom, nobody got hurt, and we spent an interesting day going through my Dad's and Granddad's mementos. Short of it part 2: Second weekend was supposed to be four days of Kim and me getting off somewhere by ourselves. Due to an ongoing sequence of medical emergencies involving her mom, who lives with us, we scaled back to 2 nights at her mom's (unoccupied) condo instead, and frequent visits to the hospital.

Interesting mass this past weekend - went to Old St. Mary's in Greektown, some serious high churchin' going on. Sang out of Worship III. Beautiful pipe organ, built by my friend Dave Wigton. Saturday mass in Greektown is apparently ALL visitors - people seemed flummoxed by the song selections (melodies included KING'S WESTON and ST COLUMBA, neither of which I've ever used) and mostly unfamiliar acclamations. I fumbled along best I could. Two serious strikes: (1) They kept their altar rail, and use it. Directly against archdiocese directives (which speak against kneeling to receive the eucharist, though maybe forgivable on the weekend St. Paul gave us " the name of Jesus every knee shall bow..."), but we were allowed to receive in hand, eucharistic ministers were used, and we were offered the precious blood. In other words, by-the-book Vatican II, except for the rail; (2) we were treated to an organ concert during communion. Partial credit, though, for the hymn of praise immediately following communion. Still puts communion on the wrong foot though. IMO.

Old St. Mary's is a beautiful old church, lots of statuary, stained glass, soaring ceilings. And the organ sounded wonderful! Felt very weird going straight from the mass to the casino, though - so we had a cooling-off time at the New Hellas Cafe first - bread, saganaki, greek salad, THEN went gambling (we cut our losses at $42), then returned to New Hellas for flaming sausage, spinach pie, dessert, and coffee.

Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Begging your indulgence

On vacation for the next couple of weeks, including travel to Sequim, WA, the most beautiful place on the planet, to help settle Dad's estate. May not be posting much, but I'll be back.

Mean time, attended a beautiful mass at Lapeer, MI's Immaculate Conception parish this weekend. Very good organist, mostly trad song selections, but Schutte's "Here I Am, Lord" was used at communion. They use the old Boston Archdiocese "Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs" - they rebound all their copies a few years ago when they couldn't find anything new they liked, but have since also purchased Gather Comprehensive. Priest's homily was about sin - didn't give us a good tie-in to the readings, though it should have been easy enough. I think he just wanted to talk about sin. So much for "opening up the Gospel".

Saturday, September 14, 2002

Quote of the Day:

"Freedom of the press belongs to him who has one!" - Steven Riddle, quoting somebody else, on the ongoing brouhaha over at Mark Shea's. See link below.

Friday, September 13, 2002

Especially those in most need of Thy mercy

Check out Mark Shea's excellent defense of the Holy Father's forgiveness of the perpetrators of the World Trade Center tragedy at Catholic and Loving It. Make sure you catch the rolling discussion in the related comments - 32 posts and growing.
Reader Alison (with one L) calls me to task on my claim below that hunger kills more kids than abortion. At first I thought she might be limiting her scope to the US, where it's certainly NOT true (few hunger deaths here), but when I set forth to gather numbers for her, I quickly found that (a) it's really hard to find world abortion statistics, and (b) the US abortion numbers are FAR higher than I had imagined.

Here's what I've found so far:
World hunger deaths: about 6 million
US abortion deaths: about 1.2 million

Given the prevalence of abortion in other countries, and comparatively small US population (about 4% of the world population), it appears Alison may be on to something.

So, apologies for overstating my case, or for stating it without corroboration. Still looking for a clear picture. And thanks again to Alison.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

A September 11th Offering

My friend and colleague, Louis Canter, composed a six-movement Gloria last year. It was still in progress in September. The fourth movement, "We Worship You", came to him shortly after the horrific events of September 11, 2001. In a December concert, Louis described his vision as (paraphrased) "...the victims of the attacks silently joining the ranks of the heavenly choir, just in time to sing this."

Here's what they sang...

When we remember that the Mass is a foretaste of heaven, and that we all aspire to be part of that choir someday, it may have been quite an accurate call on Louis' part. This movement is hauntingly beautiful, and should only take a couple of minutes out of your day. God bless you all.

BTW, the rest of the Gloria, and information about the Lapeer County Concert Choir, which Louis directs, can be found here.

Louis Canter is Director of Music at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Imlay City MI, as well as adjunct professor of music at Madonna University in Livonia MI, music teacher at Capac High School in Capac MI, and a long-time member of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM). He has also written a full mass, "Mass of the Innocents".

Monday, September 09, 2002

Check out et cetera, Victor Lams' excellent site, for a story about our gal Jennifer turning tail and running when some young female law students asked her to reconcile her Catholicism with her failure to protect the unborn. It's a tough world, this politics - all you wanna do is flap some jacks, press some flesh, and these people are in your face about murder. Maybe OJ can help her cope with the unfairness of it all...
The Stomach Flu Diet Plan

While I would never recommend it to anyone, it's an ill wind that blows no good. Despite some intense misery over the weekend, and some lingering aches now, I have survived. And lost FIFTEEN pounds in TWO days! Ten of those were pounds I had picked up over the past three weeks (went from 246 to 233 back to 243, now down to 228). It'll be interesting to see where this ends - can't eat much of anything today. Dinner with Andy and Sarah tonight should be interesting. They want to go to Chili's. Maybe I can have some Chicken Fingers or something...

Thursday, September 05, 2002


I'm really part of St. Blog's. Turns out the last time I applied, Ms. Lively checked my site, found no St. Blog's spinner, and cast my application into the fires of Gehenna, where the worm dieth not. Or something like that. I HAD posted several St. Blog links, but not the spinner in its original form. Glad that's settled.

Meantime, if you have a comment and Enetation is down again (I'm detecting a pattern here), just clieck the "send me mail" link. I'd love to hear from my readers. Both of you. Ba-dum-pum.

Wednesday, September 04, 2002

Thanks to Gordon Zaft for this link. Nice to see Cardinal Maida take this stand against abortion pandering among the clergy.

Tougher question whether it's possible for Jennifer Granholm (Dem candidate for Governor - she beat my man Dave and former governor Jim Blanchard in the primary) to be a faithful RC communicant and be "pro-choice" (it sounds SO innocuous, doesn't it? Shudder...). I'm SURE she's not alone, there in the pews. Only RCIA converts are required to subscribe to "all that the Church teaches" - I was RCIA class of 1995, St. Blase parish, Sterling Heights, MI - so where do we draw the line?

I remember Cdl. Szoka getting all kinds of flak over his attempts to hold Sr. Mary Mansour in line on abortion issues when she was head of Michigan's Department of Social Services in the '80's. Her defense, quite reasonably, was that she was bound to uphold the law. I have heard (but am not sure) that the ensuing flap contributed greatly to his "relocation" to Rome. Rightly or not. But even then, I don't believe he was pushing for excommunication, but some kind of discipline from her order. Anyone who remembers this better than I do, please email me!

Anyhow, JG's one of ours, we need to set her straight, but I don't believe her political views, even on a life-and-death issue such as abortion, warrant excommunication. I also remain concerned that abortion (and school vouchers - puh-leaze!) continue to be our ONLY issues. Hunger kills more innocent babies than abortion, the death penalty is just as callous and irreverent of life. I believe, FIRMLY, that we continually miss the boat by splitting off abortion as its own issue, or as something we must somehow handle first before we can address these other sanctity-of-life issues.

So, in the mean time, I vote for the Boniors on the rare occasion one comes along, I throw money at my church and at Catholic Relief Services, and argue with my pro-abortion relatives a lot. Please note - no Catholics among the "pro-choice" bunch. Former RCs, but all have left. One more thing to pray about.

This is about it for Enetation. I'm shopping for a new comment server.

Friday, August 30, 2002

Link of the Day

...of an accidental choir director

Doubtful he (Aristotle Esguerra) and I will ever agree on much, but he does have the good sense to post a pic of:

One interesting note - he gripes about Joncas' "The Love of the Lord", aka "Come See the Softer Side of God", but I noticed he dips his musical jug often at the Alstott well - I wonder if he ever noticed how much one of Alstott's lenten psalms (I forget which) sounds like "We Sang in the Sunshine"? BTW, the reason that we never used Joncas' "Nuptial Blessing" was that the verse sounded way too much like "Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce...".

He also has the good taste to swipe some of our old "Trash the Hymn" work from THE CLUB, though it was our pal Brian's stuff, not mine. And I know, it's not a CLUB anymore, but it was when we wrote these.

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Commenting by Enetation:

I was going to change comment servers today, as Enetation has been horribly unreliable the last week or two. It seems to be playing nicer today, though, so I'll give them another chance.
An Open Letter to Keyboard Mag

From: Jay Ricketts
To: Greg Rule
Date: 8/28/02 1:01PM
Subject: Cubase SX, Pro Tools

I'm a Cubase 5.1 user, who hasn't made the jump to SX yet. Based on your review, it sounded like a really good thing to do, except that I'd have to upgrade to XP, which would force me to upgrade my version of Encore...

...but the point is, why was this NOT a Key Buy®? Further, how the heck did ProTools HD get to be a Key Buy®, and Cubase SX got passed up? SX is one tenth the price of PTHD, has a comparable feature list, is cross-platform (the only major player who is, anymore)... but none of that's good enough to be a Key Buy®?

The only thing I can think of is that PTHD is the "sequencer to the stars" and the acknowledged industry leader, so you couldn't NOT give them the award. The analogy, back in the day, would be that the mighty Yamaha DX-1, a DX-7 with some extra bells and whistles, would be the Key Buy® rather than the DX-7, 'cos it did a little more, and was used by "the stars", notably Michael Jackson. It was also 5-6 times the price.

That line of reasoning only works when you ignore bang for the buck. Ultimately, the presence or absence of a Key Buy® banner isn't a dealmaker/breaker for me, but credit needs to go where it's due, and Cubase SX got unduly shorted. IMO.

Jay Ricketts
Emmett, MI
Back to School!

Start next week at Madonna U. Courses: Music History, Organ performance, Chorale. Only had one college class since 1984, we'll see if I can still hack it. Stay tuned...

Friday, August 23, 2002

Quote of the Day:

Courtesy of those wacky folx at lowbrow (no, I'm not posting a link),

Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

Wednesday, August 21, 2002

Link of the Day:
The Hymn Society

Very cool org, with a not-so-great website, but their mag is dynamite. I've belonged for only a few months, but lots of great info. As a hymnal collector (only collecting in earnest for the last year or two), their historical info is top-notch, and well-documented.

Lest you thought no one was writing hymns anymore...

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Quote of the Day:

"With no Osama bin Laden and no Saddam Hussein, the war on terrorism becomes a metaphorical abstraction, like the war on poverty. Clearly we ought to be rebuilding Afghanistan and securing its future. But we as a people have a short attention span and it's hard to keep a focus on nondramatic things that cost money and don't provide the immediate satisfaction you get from blowing things up."

Keith Shimko, Purdue University

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

Assembling the studio:

In anticipation of my daughter and her daughter someday moving out (insert Rosary intention here), I've been pulling together stuff for my recording studio room. Here's a list:

Recording hardware:
Roland VS-840 recorder,
Compaq P-III 833mhz 256mb PC,
MidiSport 2x2 USB,
M-Audio Quattro sound card.

Acoustic / Electro-mechanical Instruments:
Acoustic piano, spinet,
Hammond D-152 organ with solo pedal unit,
Hammond M-3 (but probably gone soon),
Fender Rhodes 73 Stage piano,
Hohner Clavinet D6;
Arp String Ensemble (needs repair),
Epiphone 335 Dot electric guitar.

Oktava MK-319,
Shure SM-57,
Shure SM-58,
Shure Green Bullet.

Alesis QS-8.1,
Novation K-Station,
Kurzweil SP-88,
Roland XP-10,
Sequential Circuits Prophet-5 (Rev 3.3, no midi),
Yamaha KX-88 (needs repair),
MidiMan Oxygen 8,
MidiTech 49-key knobby,
Yamaha P-50,
Roland P-55,
Yamaha TQ-5,
Yamaha RX-11,
Yamaha TX-7 (2 of 'em).

Key Software:
Cubase 5.1,
Acid Pro 3.0,
Reason 2.0,
Sound Forge 6.0,
Sonic Foundry Noise Reduction,
Encore 4.2,
Band-In-A-Box 8.0,
NI B-4,
NI Pro-52,
Steinberg Model E,
GigaSampler LE,
Emagic EVP-73,
plus boatloads of sample disks.

Alesis M-1s,
Samson P-60,
M-Audio SP-5Bs.

I'm sure there's a lot more I need, but right now, I just gotta learn these tools better, especially Cubase and Reason. Watch this space!
Finally, a minute to breathe...

Work has been wild - big project comes in in two weeks, resulting in tons of overtime and tons of pressure. No fun at all.

BTW, Hammond's not going over well at home - I lugged it across the state in the back of my pickup truck, loaded it in the house with the help of four buddies. Mostly good shape, but it's absolutely huge compared to my old M-3, whicxh has now been demoted to the garage.

And the hugeness is the issue. I'll have to make it up to her somehow. Ideas, anyone?

Thursday, August 08, 2002

I did! I did!


Hammond D-152, AGO-type pedalboard, built-in speakers.
It will replace my M-3, which I like well enough, but only an octave-minus-one pedalboard. Part of the church music degree I'm going for requires organ performance classes, so I needed the 32-note (AGO spec) pedalboard.
Kinda glad I didn't use e-bay's "Buy-it-now" feature - it was $1500! Picked it up for $1075.

Here's the link.
Last five minutes! I Might win this one!

Monday, August 05, 2002

Link of the day:

National Association of Pastoral Musicians, aka NPM. I've belonged since 1999. An amazing bunch of folks, predominantly Catholic, NPM has largely overcome its folk-mass origins, and is now all over the map, liturgically and theologically. Can you say "diversity"? Anyhow, they've got a great (and lively!!!) mail list too, about 250 strong, 30-60 messages per day most of the time. not for everyone, but it's been a must-read for me for the last 3 1/2 years.

Friday, August 02, 2002

More about St. Cecilia:

Posted by one of my rare visitors, but commenting the wrong entry, so I thought I'd repost for him.

My wife and I just finished reading her biography by the Abbe Gueranger.

As a matter of fact we know a great deal about her *with certainty." Cecelia did not refuse marriage, but on her wedding day after being escorted to the nuptial chamber she confided to her husband Valerian that she had vowed her virginity of Jesus. There follows the story of the conversion of Valerian and his brother Tiburtius, their trial, the conversion of the prefect's notary Maximus, the beheading of the two brothers, the thrashing to death with leaded whips of Maximus, Cecelia's trial, attempted suffocation in the steam bath of her palace, her attempted beheading.

This story was confirmed by the discovery of her incorrupt body in the catacombs of S. Callisto by Pope Paschal in 800, details of which confirm the substance of the Acts of St. Cecelia. Her body was translated to her palace- now basilica- and once more was discovered incorrupt underneath the altar by Cdl Sfondrato 800 years later. Nearby were the bones of two men of similar build who had been beheaded, and that a third not beheaded by whose skull had been fractured, presumably by the leaded whips. She was discovered in the same attitude that pascal had her in, as described in the Acts, on her side, knees slightly drawn up, head turned down... This was captured by the famous sculpture of Stephen Maderno who Sfondrato had summoned to witness the disinterment. Her garments were as described in the Acts. There are many other points of confirmation of her Acts, too numerous to mention here. It all happened. St. Cecelia, pray for us.

Vote on Aug. 6th!

I already said this somewhere else, but worth repeating:

I'll be voting for Dave Bonior in the Michigan Democratic gubernatorial primary next week. He's not the only anti-abortion candidate running, nor the "best" on the abortion issue - he picked a pro-abortion running mate - but he's the closest thing to being "truly pro-life" I've seen. Should Bonior win the primary (he's running third right now), he'll come up against a fiercely anti-abortion Republican, Dale Posthumus, in November. Anti-abortion voters will vote for Posthumus. Pro-life voters will vote for Bonior.

But I didn't mention this part:

Dave seems to be very quiet on the anti-abortion issue. It's at odds with his party's platform, and he is a party man - he'd never have been Minority Whip if he wasn't. I think he's missing a golden opportunity - not just to score an anti-abortion victory, but to carve a niche for the Dems, and give primary voters a clear alternative - since "pro-choice" (and a hell of a choice it is) voters will be split among Granholm and Blanchard, he could pull a lot of votes just by announcing his anti-abortion stand. It won't happen, though...
Link of the Day:

Chicago Trib has a real nice article on Catholic Blogs - I won't link it here, but will link the site they reference:

St. Blog's Parish

Typically, they had to quote someone who objected to these sites (and clearly "just didn't get it"), but generally a real nice article. The "parish" is a loose-knit community of bloggers who share a common interest in all things Catholic, but quite diverse points of view and areas of focus. THIS link is to the webring of the same name. Check us all out!


"livelywriter" is the owner of St. Blog's - maybe "facilitator" would be a better word, but her site is just one on the list. Webrings usually offer a list site, but apparently this one doesn't - so visit A Random St. Blog Site instead. Each click will take you somewhere new.

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

Link of the Day:

In Between Naps, Amy Welborn's commentary site on all things Catholic. She's a bit farther right on the horizontal plane than I am. Nevertheless, she is well-spoken, concise, thoughtful, and informed. Give her a visit.

Monday, July 29, 2002

Quote of the Day:

Lifted from Prairie Home Companion...

Y'know, it's 90% of lawyers that give the rest a bad name.

I never tire of lawyer jokes.
Link of the Day:

Contemporary Catholic Music - once a Yahoo Club, converted to a group earlier this year, where they lost all our photos. Two notes to the no-help-at-all desk haven't resolved that. Our discussions on music tend to be light, as does traffic, despite 250+ members. We expanded our membership early on to reach out to persons from other denominations, other countries, and at times we spend nearly as much time discussing traditional music as we do contemporary music.

So, possibly misnamed, but a friendly place. And it's nearing its 4th anniversary - ancient by WWW standards...

Friday, July 26, 2002

Questions about St. Cecilia?

Here's the primer.
Quote of the Day:

He hoped and prayed that there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn't an afterlife.- Douglas Adams

lifted from The Boar's Head Tavern
Wedding Tomorrow:
For a young lady who clearly had some serious thoughts about her wedding music. She actually asked for some very good stuff, including Twila Paris' "How Beautiful", some sacred classical pieces, and the p-n-w hit "I Could Sing of Your Love Forever", but, given our limited prep time, we couldn't accommodate her, except that she also wanted Jernigan's "My All in All". She was especially disappointed about the Paris tune (I DID play it once, about 7 years ago, but Debbie didn't know it, and I would have needed time to refamiliarize myself with it), but only got argumentative about our refusal to use Mendelssohn's Wedding March from A Midsummer's Night's Dream" as recessional - only sacred music in the mass. Although the mass is technically over before the recessional, the American perception is that it is part of the mass - I know of very few parishes that don't close the mass with a sacred song, except maybe Palm Sunday.

Here's the list:

Covenant Hymn (Cooney/Daigle)
We Are Called (Haas) - on our list as recessional, but first time chosen here...
Ave Maria (Schubert)

Trumpet Voluntaire/ Christ, Bless This Marriage (Clarke/ Ricketts) - we "converted" this secular processional into a sacred song - once everyone's in, Debbie leads it responsorially, from the ambo.

128, Blest Are Those (Haugen)

Gospel Acclamation:
Alleluia from Ps. 96, "Sing a Song to the Lord" (Lawton)

Unity Candle:
Make Us One (Cymbala)

Amazing Grace (NEW BRITAIN) - on our list as both processional and gathering, but also first time here...

Mass of Creation (Haugen)

You Are My All in All (Jernigan) - lyrics to be included in wedding program. CCLI license strikes again!

Ode to Joy (Beethoven)
Link of the Day:

Commonweal Magazine. Intelligent, skinny, genteel, Catholic, worthwhile. Not from any single perspective, and decidedly non-rabid about its issues. Give it a look, take a trial issue.

Thursday, July 25, 2002

New Feature:
Link of the Day. Now that I finally figgered out how to fit more than a couple of links on the sidebar (Duh, you use the Template rather than the Settings. NSS.), I'll be adding them, but a day at a time. Much like the less-than-aptly-named Quote of the Day, it may or may not be daily - most likely not.

Today's link: America's Best Christian, Betty Bowers, tells you why she's going to heaven and you're not. Not quite seamless (she steps out of persona when she's afraid you won't get the real point), but uproarious at its best, and still worth a chuckle when the seams are showing.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Finally, the personal stuff:

Andy's our 18 year old son. He's always been a bit, um, difficult - extremely bright, but not interested in schoolwork, or in public acceptance. And it's not that "I want to be unique, just like all my friends" stuff. He skipped the piercings and the gothness and the weird hair (I'm covering the weird hair thing for him...), he really doesn't care much what the rest of the world thinks.

He moved out after 11th grade, shortly after his 17th birthday. He dropped out of high school, and enrolled in an on-line high school, opting to get his diploma that way rather than shooting for the GED.

Two years before that, he met a girl, Sarah, over the internet. She was nearly 3 years older, but seemed nice, and he liked her a lot. She lived about 45 miles away, so we'd drive him out to meet her in Davison, about 35 miles. He only had a learner's permit then. They'd go to the movies, or dinner.

And, apparently, dessert. Shortly after the beginning of 10th grade, Andy wrote us a note telling us that Sarah was pregnant, he was the father, and he wanted to marry her after finishing high school.

Wesley, now 2, was born 6/6/2000. We saw him, once, when he came home from the hospital. Andy and Sarah were married 6/22/2002. We found about about it with a wedding announcement received through the mail. Her family knew, but apparently did not attend either - it was a private ceremony.

Kim (my wife) and Andy were very close, and the last couple of years' events have broken her heart.

Since the wedding and my original post, Sarah and Kim have made some faltering steps toward reconciliation. Kim's putting on a post-wedding shower for our side of the family, Sarah and Kim have had dinner - and Kim finally got to see some Wesley pictures.

So, there you have it. Our little soap opera. Missing a lot of the day to day agonies, thoughts, motives (both perceived and/or real), and other details that went into the decisions and reactions. But you get the drift, I think.

Back to work.