03 February 2008

O bleib' bei uns, du kühner Sänger!

Posting tonight from Auburn, Alabama, home of the Saint Cecilia Schola Cantorum at Saint Michael's. This is a church that definitely knows beetle grubs from chocolate chip cookies!

The cliinician, Wilko Brouwers, was excellent. He is conductor of the Monteverdi Kammerkoor Utrecht and has a host of other credentials as well.

He was challenging in the chant repertoire because he is not a thrall of Dom Mocquereau. Well, to the folks who had been to this workshop before, that was somewhere between heresy and blasphemy, at least at first. I was fairly shocked myself, but over the course of the workshop I thought about it a bit more and realized that Solesmes doesn't necessarily have all the info just because they own most of the MSS. I mean, they're not the Chant Police.

And, to be fair, whenever I hear a recording of the "experts" singing this repertoire, it's always disappointing from the vocal standpoint. One pictures the singers with half-aprons and carrying a drinks tray with one hand and the Liber Usualis in the other. And the rules seem very limiting at times, for instance with regard to the treatment of the podatus. There are definitely times when the stylized "liquescence" on this neume gets in the way of the music; so I am going to loosen up my rules a little as well.

Ah, now I get to go back to real life . . . alas. But hey! Ash Wednesday is coming up in a couple of days, and that means lots of solemn music for the duration!

Yurodivi is not entirely displeased.

PS. Still working on the "what the heck happened?" posts. Sorry. Not like that many people are checking in here, and that's probably OK!

04 November 2007

Why rescue dogs ROCK

All you need to know, you can see right here.


All I can say is, it's a good work to rescue animals. After all, they have souls, too; and some of us are too damaged, if you will, to be happy amongst regular old human beings.


This family is obviously very glad they adopted . . .

27 October 2007

Er kehrt zurück!

long time, no post.

A lot has happened.

Starting tomorrow I will be posting updates as to what all has been going on the last two years, ever since I quit posting regularly . . . and what is going on now.

Thanks to those of you who asked after me while I was "away" all this time. You know who you are!

More soon.

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07 May 2007

How you know when you're doing the right thing

So, since I last wrote, we've been doing a lot more chant in our music program. In fact, we have done the seasonally appropriate Kyrie settings for Lent and Easter.

A couple of weeks ago, a sixty-something lady came up to me after Mass with a copy of the music handout. We had done several Fauxlk pieces that day such as One Bread, One Body or similar (all those pieces run together after a while). The lady explained that she was from Somewhere Up North (don't remember exactly where), and she was coming to thank me for doing "traditional music."

Thank you, I said, it's always good to hear that our work is appreciated.

Fortunately another thing I have learned is to give the vaguest possible thanks for a compliment. You never know what somebody's about. I soon heard more than I wanted.

We used to have a great choir at St. N., she went on, but then they got a new director and we started getting all of this kind of [expletive]. I played my poker face, and she jabbed a bony, nicotine-stained finger at the Kyrie Lux et Origo on the bulletin.

I smiled and let her go her way. But all the time I was thinking:

Get used to it.

More later on why I have not posted in, oh, a year or so. Suffice it to say, as Florence King might say, a lot has happened.

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25 September 2006

Reason number a zillion and two . . .

. . . why I'm glad to be Catholic.

The Holy Father hasn't allowed himself to be mau-maued into giving an insincere apology to the Mohammedan fanatics who (let's face it) proved Manuel II Palelogos's point by committing violence in the name of their religion.

How dare you say my religion is violent? I WEEL KEEL YOU!

Nothing more need be said. Benedict is a true blessing.

Heard at Temple

So did you hear the one about George W. Bush and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?

Ahmadinejad calls up W and says, "George, you won't believe the dream I had. I just had to call you and tell you about it."

W says, "What did you dream?"

"I dreamed I saw banners in Farsi and English all over Washington, DC and New York City, and people cheering in the streets."

"What did the banners say?"

"They said, 'United States of Iran.'"

"Well, I'm glad you called," says W, "because I had a dream about you too."

"What did you dream?"

"I dreamed I saw people dancing for joy in the streets of Teheran, and they were holding up banners and signs too."

"What did the banners say?"

"I don't know," says W. "I can't read Hebrew."

21 March 2006

Relief and Gratitude

Today Mrs. Yurodivi had an appointment with her oncologist and also had a report from the pathologist. (Aside: I never hoped to know this many '-ists' in my life.) The oncologist was encouraged, having talked with the radiologist already but having no concrete results. But the best news came later, when Mrs. Y talked with the pathologist: the results were completely clear; nothing but scar tissue and fluid.

So thank you all (I know at least one of you read this; I understand my comboxes are messed up, and I'm working on that) for your prayers. They mean a lot to both of us. And now all there is to do is to get ready for the next 10,000-mile checkup.

20 March 2006

Liveblogging the tests, secunda pars

This morning we are at another hospital (but still one with an excellent wireless access point). Mrs. Yurodivi has already been taken in the back, where they won’t let me go with her, so that she can have a biopsy and several other tests performed.

We’ve been through this before, of course, but every time she feels a lump or any other minor change, it all comes flooding back: the uncertainty, the fear, and the sense of ineluctable doom. Yes, I believe she will go to heaven if she dies, but I am not ready for her to go just yet. We are just getting started on recovery. We’re walking a good bit in preparation for a long walk we’re planning to take this Fall, and also trying to eat better. We’re not going out for lunch together any more, but taking (gag) Lean Cuisines or similar. (Yes, I know they’re bad. But they also have far fewer calories than your average restaurant lunch).

And it seems cruel that this could all be interrupted, not to say stopped, by a recurrence or a new instance of the disease. But things all happen for a reason, and usually it’s for reasons I don’t understand.

So, fellow Catholic bloggers, if you can spare a prayer for Mrs. Yurodivi today, I believe St. Agatha and the Fourteen Holy Helpers would be good people to talk to on her behalf. Our problems aren’t that bad compared to lots of things I’ve read about in St. Blog’s: we have good insurance and we’re not likely to go hungry or lose our jobs or our house or transportation. The bills have been difficult, but fortunately I can do extra gigs and make money to help cover what the insurance doesn’t.

All the same, though, I really don’t want to go through this again, especially if the outcome might be a long, slow and painful death for Mrs. Yurodivi. I can’t believe I have actually written those words, but that’s my real fear. You married ladies know that nothing frustrates a husband more than for his wife to have a problem that he can’t fix; this is like that, only more so.

Thank you all for your prayers on our behalf, and may God bless each and every one of you in your daily lives and henceforth.