Easter 2024

29 September 2004
Angels - St. Michael and All his sexy Latin

Earlier this evening I was privileged to attend a Latin Mass at Holy Rosary Catholic Church in Indianapolis, Indiana.

I have to confess that when I first heard about the possibility of attending such a Mass, I assumed it would be conducted by Antonio Banderas and that Ricky Martin would provide the music. It turns out this was not the case.

It also turns out that that some people think that Latin is the way to go.

Accompanied gloriously on a 1925 George Kilgen & Son pipe organ, this Mass reminded me to be thankful that the worship of God takes many different forms.

I was also reminded that "Christ the Fair Glory" is, like, totally my favorite hymn ever. Did you hear the cover Enrique Iglesias did?

Christ, the fair glory of the holy angels,
Maker of all things, ruler of all nations,
Grant of thy mercy unto us thy servants
Steps up to heaven

Send thine archangel Michael to our succor;
Peace maker blessed, may he banish from us
Striving and hatred, so that for the peaceful
All things may prosper

Send thine archangel Gabriel, the mighty;
Herald of heaven, may he, from us mortals
Drive every evil, watching over the temples
Where thou art worshiped.

Send from the heavens Raphael thine archangel,
Health bringer blessed, aiding every sufferer,
That, in thy service, he may wisely guide us,
Health and blessing.

May the blest Mother of our God and Savior,
May the celestial company of angels,
May the assembly of the saints in heaven,
Help us to praise thee.

Father Almighty, Son, and Holy Spirit,
God ever blessed, hear our thankful praises:
Thine is the glory which from all creation
Ever ascendeth.

Words: Latin, 9th century, translated by Athelstan Riley
Music: Caelites plaudant, melody from Antiphoner, and harmonized by Ralph Vaughan Williams


28 September 2004
Iraq - a textual trope of a New York Times article regarding truckers in

Here is an excerpt from a New York Times article about truckers in Iraq with my ridiculous comments in brackets:

Like many of the drivers here, Mr. Gay served in the military, an experience he and others say often helps them cope with being shot at, shelled and bombed on a regular basis. The job also tends to bring with it a sense they are still serving their country [because they're still being shot at?]. But who sticks it out and who decides to "demobe" - [rather uninspired] slang for demobilize or, more simply, go home - is unpredictable, the drivers say.

"You would think the macho, tough-guy, biker [i.e., trucker] types would be the best," said Beryl Hudson, a trucker [i.e., biker] from Rathdrum, Idaho, who has been driving for nearly 30 years. "But some of them just buckle [up for safety]."

24 September 2004
Organ - relation to leather furniture

Cowboy Comfort SofaYou might call John Brombaugh if you needed a fine pipe organ.

But who would you call if you need fine cowboy-style leather furniture?

17 September 2004
Nickel - Redesign of the

Despite their only being worth five cents each, we at the U.S. Mint have redesigned the nickel, again.

Tommy Jefferson, right side, sans pony tailWhen we wanted to tweak the quarter, we weren't content with just one design so we came up with 50, one for each state. The Mint felt that there is no need for this many designs for the nickel. The big shots at the Mint, however, rejected my proposal that the backs of the new nickels be designed not by U.S. States, but by its territories (American Somoa, Micronesia, Guam, Midway Islands, Puerto Rico, and Iraq).

So, naturally any opinion I offer about the new "Westward Journey" coins here is severely biased. Nevertheless, I feel it is my duty to offer a concise currency critique:

What was wrong with Jefferson's left side anyway? And I will never understand John Ashcroft's obsession with hiding Tom's pony tail. He was really upset when we released the first two redesigns without making the changes he suggested. His argument didn't make any sense. Even if it did make Jefferson look like an "effeminate Loyalist" a five cent coin doesn't exactly demand the strength of Arnold Schwartzenegger (another rejected proposal).

BuffaloThen Bush sent Cheney over to the drawing room and we all had a huge fight about how Jefferson had spent time in France, and how the current administration really can't stand the place and yada yada yada. Cheney wanted us to print "FREEDOM" on the coin in capital letters, but we talked him into "Liberty." We had to explain, no, it wasn't just a French statue.

I have to say, the buffalo back looks pretty sharp. We pretty much did what we want with this one because no one in the White House has ever seen a buffalo.

I see the seaIt became pretty clear early on that there was going to be some sort of aquatic dictum on this. And it also made sense that a really long hike across the great plains in 1804 would be boring and could potentially make one very thirsty. It would be exciting to find such a large body of water (even if it's not potable). Anyway, when we discovered Lewis wasn't really much of a poet, and spelled it "Ocian," not "Ocean," we began looking for alternatives.

Being a big Vaughan Williams fan, I suggested the opening of the Sea Symphony:

Behold, the sea itself,
And on its limitless, heaving breast, the ships;
See, where their white sails, bellying in the wind, speckle the green and blue,
See, the steamers coming and going, steaming in or out of port,
See, dusky and undulating, the long pennants of smoke.

We had our artistic differences in the past, so it wasn't much of a surprise when those in charge at the Mint told me to hold out for the Lewis and Clark silver dollar.

Besides, what is Tony Blair going to put on his new coins?

Tangent: Lewis and Clark: What Else Happened

Tangent: The financial cost of the Iraq war is estimated at about 135 billion dollars at the time of this writing. That works out to about $460.60 per American citizen. The 2000 Census reported an average U.S. income of $42,000. This means that a little more than a cent of every dollar earned by an American goes to fund the Iraq war. Maybe the coin with Iraq on the back should be the penny.

12 September 2004
Jesus - Indiana

That pesky question, "What would Jesus Drive?" was finally answered on Saturday afternoon in Bloomington, Indiana.

You'll never guess who I saw at the DMV todayThe thing is, Jesus isn't trying to hide what he is driving. In fact, his license plate has his name right on it, which if you ask me is a pretty good plan because that way people will know right where he is. It probably prevents him from getting cut off on the road, too.

Anyway, so there I was at Big K-Mart and there was Jesus' car right there in the parking lot. It seems he had loaned it to a middle aged woman with white hair, which is nice and just like something Jesus would do.

Jesus drives a dark blue Buick Century.

08 September 2004
Organ - Fibonacci

FibonacciFew people are aware that in addition to coming up with mathematical sequences, Fibonacci was also an organ builder. Here is a specification for a large Fibonacci Italian organ.

Rumore del vento0'
Ottavino Secondario1'
Due Piedi2'
Più Grande Nasard5'
Principale Fibonacci8'
Quasi Bordone21'
Aumentato Contra il Bordone34'

06 September 2004
Baker, Nicholson - Checkpoint

I am going to assassinate the president.

JAY: It's helpful to have a hobby. I have a hobby, too.

BEN: Jay, assassinating the president isn't a hobby.

When Nicholson Baker publishes something, I read it. After finishing A Box of Matches this weekend (okay, it took me a while to read that one), I was eager to get my hands on the recently published book. It is stunning.

Rather than summarize or review the book here (neither of which I am articulate enough to do), let me just recommend it and make two observations:

From the point of view of the publisher, it would be incredibly gratuitous if George W. Bush is assassinated. Surely Baker's name would come to the forefront of the media coverage and copies of the book would fly off the shelves. Although I doubt his intention was to put himself in a place to profit from "George W. Tumblewad's" untimely death, that is exactly what he has done.

In the more likely event that "W" is not assassinated, however, I am worried that the book's subject matter will date it very quickly. The writing is fantastic (as always), and the book is extremely culturally relevant at the moment. After Shrub (not Baker's term) is no longer in power, either in January 2005 or 2009, I believe this book will be much less readable. I would assume that Baker felt personally compelled to publish this "current event fiction," and I am glad he did.

For more info and reviews of the book see: Nicholson Baker Fan Page: Checkpoint

03 September 2004
Lutherans - Attack of the Killer
Luther gets all preachy again

Ahoy there, ye swarthy Protestants!

Recently I was faced with a tough decision between two churches at which to play the organ. Really it wasn't so much of a decision as a concession to the lesser of two evils since both churches were of the Lutheran persuasion.

I am not really sure why I don't like Lutherans or, more accurately, why they don't like me but I am sure it has something to do with Mormons.

I mean, Bach was Lutheran, but that's really more intimidating than it is an incentive. If Catholics pray to Mary, then certainly it wouldn't be unheard of for Lutherans to pray to Bach, at least, in theory (terribly awful musical pun intended).

How should a recently confirmed Episcopalian be received by Lutherans, anyway? I know we have a "concordant," whatever that means, but part of me is worried that one of King Henry VIII's wives was Lutheran, or at least she liked Jello-salad.

das lächerliche Buch der Mormone: und es soll kommen zu überschreiten, jedermann?World history has shown me that our fears exist out of ignorance. So, in a blitzkrieg effort of Lutheranization, the two pastors at the church where I now work have put me on a steady diet of worms.

They have also demanded that I translate the Book of Mormon into German. I had just started the first few chapters (I made significant progress after learning how to translate "behold" and "it shall come to pass") when I saw an apparition that looked like Joseph Smith. He was mocking Lutherans so I threw an ink bottle at him. He threw it back and it got all over the computer monitor. At this point, I wondered why I even had a bottle of ink since I had chosen to type Das Buch der letzten Tagesheiliger on the computer. And then it hit me:

Isn't that what Lutheranism is all about?


News - Sindens in the, photograph security

Lt. Rob SindenThis just in from Channel 3000 (which I tried to watch, but I can't find a TV that goes that high):

Lt. Rob Sinden is with the Police Department in Reedsburg, Wisconsin, a perennial target for photo-terrorists.

He can take photographs wherever he wants, absolutely," said Lt. Sinden. "But whenever it occurs when it's not a natural place to take photographs we're likely going to get a call on it."

But of course there are two sides to every story (sometimes as many as 3000 sides):

"It leaves me feeling kind of uneasy, OK," said Neubauer. "I second guess when something's reported now, how much is factual and how much is a bit of paranoia."

Tangent: from "Reedsburg is located only minutes away from the most exciting attractions in the nation, such as Wisconsin Dells, Circus World Museum, Devil's Lake, the House on the Rock and the American Players Theatre."


01 September 2004
Greece - Development of Cassock and Cotta in Ancient

Look, clearly this kithara player is wearing an early version of the modern day Cassock and Cotta. The robe is called a chiton and the outer piece is a himation.

Any discussion of Greek musical clothing naturally leads one to reflect on the Greek influence in the architecture of Washington, D. C. And as a side note, I would add that the Greeks believed that music was a powerful thing because it was able to shape human character and behavior.

This leads us to the marble halls of the Justice Department in Washington, from whence we can consider the "music" of the Justice Department, by which, of course, I mean "Let the Eagle Soar" by Attorney General John Ashcroft.

The Greeks also undertood the politically subversive power of music and tried to use this to some degree.

The Greeks, unlike Ashcroft, were comfortable with nude statues. But I don't think Ashcroft would want to clothe the "Spirit of Justice" statue with a chiton.

Rather, he has chosen to clothe himself with another item in the Greek wardrobe: humiliation.


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The author of this website is an organist whom the New York Times calls “repeatedly, insisting that he pay for his subscription”. He likes to read parking meters, music, Indianapolis Monthly, and weather forecasts in Celsius, particularly whilst wearing cassock and surplice. He serves lasagna, overhand, as an example to many, and on ecclesiastical juries. He mixes salads, drinks, and metaphors. He takes photos, lots of dinner mints, and a little bit of time to get to know.




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