Thursday, January 30, 2003

Does your little third world dictatorship need sprucing up? Visit Home Despot Dot Com to turn your fixer-upper backwater country into a real showplace!

Thanks to Jerry for sharing...

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

Ship of Fools wrote back and asked for a sample report. I'll post it here when it's done - it may never see the light of day anywhere else!

Thursday, January 23, 2003

My Ship of Fools Application

As a "once and future music director", as I describe myself on my blog site, I am fascinated with the myriad of approaches to the Roman Rite that are floating around out there.

Psychology Today had an article once about the efficacy of different schools of pop psychology, measured in terms of "perception of progress" by the patients themselves. They were attempting to determine, for example, whether Transactional Analysis worked better than Est, or Primal Scream worked better than some other equally silly fad.

What they found was that there was no trend at all in terms of the approach, only that there were effective practitioners, and ineffective ones.

This fits with what I've seen at church - contemporary-style worship can uplift the spirit, or be nails on a chalkboard. Traditional worship can be ponderous and suffocating, or vibrant and inviting. Its the implementation, far moreso than the approach, that matters. I've enjoyed the visits, even to parishes where everything was awful, because it's a chance to observe and learn.

I've been finding excuses to visit other parishes in my area - there are probably 100 within 50 miles of the house. But a reason is so much better than an excuse!

Oh, and the point of the "once and future" thing is that I ran a parish music program for five years, and loved it, but felt ill-prepared to change careers without the formal education to back me up. I have returned to college for a church music degree, and plan to return to the ministry when that is completed, pethaps 5 years or so down the road.

Thanks for considering me.

Best wishes,

Jay Ricketts

Think I have a chance?

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

30 Years Worth of Dead Babies

Amy Welborn speaks on her own experiences at in between naps - and it models my own family closely.

Dad was the product of a hasty marriage, as was our daughter (mea culpa). Both our grandkids were born out of wedlock as well.

No such luck for our niece's first two (three by some family stories) kids, conceived when she was 15 and 16. Her dad insisted, they're dead, and a later miscarriage may well have been caused by the damage done by the abortions.

I didn't like Nixon, but he gave us China. I didn't like Reagan, but the Berlin Wall fell. I don't much like Bush...

...But maybe we'll finally get a Supreme Court that recognizes abortion for the evil it is, and that the "rights" demanded by the pro-choice movement are greatly outweighed by the "rights" of the unborn and the obligation we have to them, THE most helpless and horrifically abused of Americans.

After America's senses finally return, history will look on Roe v. Wade as the far crueler cousin of Dred Scott, where the rights of slaveholders were held higher than the rights of the slaves they oppressed.

Thursday, January 16, 2003

Who voted for this guy?

Dubya's a real piece of work. I shoulda known, though - it's the whiny white folks who elected him (I knowww we're the richest demographic in the world but we want MORRRE!).

Notice he makes the comment just in time for MLK day. What a crock.

I'm equally perturbed by his half-a**ed "Pro-Life Day" on the 19th. I gar-on-double-dog-tee that the rhetoric will not get past abortion. Unless he's suddenly changed his bloody stripes on the death penalty, feeding the poor, medical access, and WAR.

Yeah right.

At least we agree about abortion...

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

When Lawyers Breed

Truly a leader of tomorrow...
Uncle Yahoo is watching you

Yahoo is using Web Beacons to track user preferences, but it also appears to be gathering some additional info. Anyhow, they've provided a pretty good explanation, and offer you the chance to "opt out" once you've read the bit.

I opted out. You might want to consider it too...

Monday, January 13, 2003

Boy, do I know this feeling.

"It was alarming and concerning and expensive for us, but the man's conduct didn't warrant any criminal charges," Deputy Police Chief Dave Hayes said.

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

My Successor - Vindicated (more or less)

Some of my earlier concerns about what Ann was up to at St. C's were laid to rest this weekend.

My earlier gripe that she had dropped the Haas Gloria (well known and loved by the parish) for the Andrews (unknown and difficult) turned out to be a move away from a Kyrie "setting" to a "little" Gloria in OT, cointrasting against a more festive Gloria for feasts and seasons. We sang the Haas Sunday. Her version is a bit slower, but that's partly cos she plays ALL the notes in the (very busy) accompaniment. She played it very well.

She also returned the Mass of Creation Lamb, but uses the alternate acclamations - sort of necessary due to the new rules on preparing the table (only the priest may pour the wine).

I'm having a little trouble judging the success of her repertoire moves, because we usually bring my granddaughter, and sit in the cry room. So I can't tell the level of participation. We also usually get there late, and wind up missing whatever teaching she does - I'm half tempted to start going by myself so I can get there on time. When I WAS there for one, she taught from the back and didn't get much in return. I always went up front - it seemed to help.

She DOES seem to be dropping a lot of new tunes on them, including missalette stuff. Also lots of P&W, now that we have the Troubador books.

Her uptempo accompaniment style still is not working at all (oom pah oom pah oom pah...) - nails on a chalkboard - but it seems like she's laying a foundation for a decent approach to liturgy. It's just HER approach, and involves undoing some of what I established. Time will tell, but I think she'll be okay.

Monday, January 06, 2003

Here's the List for Winter 2003

Couperin: Mass of the Parishes / Mass of the Convents,
Peeters: 30 Choral Preludes (well, not ALL of 'em),
Rowley: Benedictus, and
something by Arthur Foote - prof will provide that.
We'll probably finish Bach's Little P&F in Gm too, and Grosser Gott.

Sounds like a lot when you look at it all together!

Friday, January 03, 2003

Strike Three, Dummy!

I missed mass on Wednesday (Mary, Mother of God). Apparently our parish, with its published holy day mass times of 9am and 7pm (and no vigil ever), skips the 7pm. We showed up at 6:55 to an empty parking lot. So we went to dinner...

...But we also missed Christmas mass. Dragged our butts Christmas morning, snow was too bad to make our church on time (an 18 mile drive), started calling around... no one had their Christrmas mass times on their recordings. So we let it slide. We've already talked about it - family gathering or no, we will be going to midnight mass from now on...

...But I also missed All Saints Day mass. I was running late from the office, couldn't make our parish in time (107 mile commute. Each way. Not a typo. One hundred seven.), so I tried to go in Davison instead - turns out their holy day pm masses are at 6pm.

So maybe the real reason I need to stay in music ministry is just so I got my sorry tail to church on holy days?

Wednesday, January 01, 2003

In Honor of Mary, Mother of God

Here's a recording of our choir singing the final movement from Vivaldi's Magnificat, Mary's great hymn of praise.

We'll be attending 7pm mass today. 9 am came a bit early after last night's festivities:

Wine Punch St. Cecilia
1 bottle Andrè pink champagne
1 bottle Riunite Lambrusco
12 oz. Vernor's ginger ale
4 clementine oranges
peels from 3 clementine oranges

section oranges, then halve each section
rip peels into 1-2 square inch pieces
Online places I call home:
1. NpmUsers
2. Home Recording dot com BBS
3. ContemporaryCatholicMusic
4. TechRepublic
5. eBay - The World's Online Marketplace

Happy New Year, and Happy "Mary, Mother of God" Day!