Heading WAY Uptown

One nice thing about 9/11 was how it threw me into the company of all these wonderful people I never would have met otherwise.  I’m leaving in a few minutes to see my friend Diane Rieners ordained.  I’ve never been to an ordination ceremony before, I’m not even sure if that’s the proper way to refer to it.  It’s WAY uptown at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.  (Don’t forget camera, don’t forget camera, don’t forget camera.  I hope I can take pictures.)

Finney and Buddy giving me the looks that begin at 4:15 (I feed them dinner at 4:30).


A Sea Symphony

This is Ralph Vaughan Williams and his second wife Ursula. I did a lot of research of these two for my book. They had quite the love story!

We’re doing his Sea Symphony this spring. I believe our director John Maclay said it’s been performed in the States a total of three times? Something like that, which is insane. This piece is as enchanting as it gets. The text is from Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass, which is also as good as it gets.

Pretty much all my favorite quotes about music come from Ralph Vaughan Williams. He once said to a group of school children:

“Music will enable you to see past facts to the very essence of things in a way which science cannot do. The arts are the means by which we can look through the magic casements and see what lies beyond.”

If you buy tickets from me it’s $20, otherwise it’s $25 at the door. We’re at a different church again while Grace Church undergoes renovations:

Grace Church Choral Society
A Sea Symphony
Friday, May 6th, 8pm
Saint Thomas Church
5th Avenue at 53rd

I found the picture at Dick Harrisburg’s Symphony Blogspot.

Me and the Monks

I spent the morning yesterday trying to imagine the lives of a bunch of seminary students who lived over 400 years ago. I’ll be doing that over the next few days. Thank God for the research of others, particularly a Jesuit priest named Thomas Culley, who died two years ago (another “just missed him”).

I’m not religious, but I’ve always had a soft spot for the Jesuits, because they value education and research and thinking (mostly). My favorite, and everyone’s favorite probably, is Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (although the Jesuits weren’t too happy about him). I’ve been planning a fantasy vacation where I read whatever I want, it doesn’t have to be work related, and his books and books about him are on my fantasy list.

This is not a very flattering shot of Buddy. He’s cuter than this.


Bring it, Furballs

Don’t you love studies that report on the shockingly obvious? “It has been determined that lots of people like ice cream.” A new study found that cats attach to people, especially women, and not just for food. No offense scientists, but you have to be freaking kidding me. Actually, I should read the study, maybe there’s more that’s new in there.

I’m looking at my little manipulators right now. Dudes, I’m very stressed out. Do that “curl up/purring so that I continue feeding you” thing please.


Charlie Sheen

When this whole thing started I thought he might be punking us or something. But I caught a few minutes of his Today Show appearance and now I think mental illness is the best possible spin. I mean, it isn’t possible for him to have said anything more in order to come across as the world’s biggest douchebag. “You can’t process me with a normal brain,” etc. I also agree with the article in the Times, which made the point that he has been off the charts for a long time, assaulting women with alarming regularity, but he insults Chuck Lorre once and that’s what gets them to halt production?

Update: Someone on Echo said he’s probably bipolar. I’m sure this must have been suggested before because as soon as he said it I thought, of course.

I had a great great great day at the library. Sometimes I spend the entire day there and come up with nothing, but yesterday I came back with a stack of useful stuff THIS high (I’m holding my hand up a few inches above the desk).

Walking home from the library, before I turn the corner to my block.