Sacred Music Friday: “Recordare” from “Requiem”

W.A. Mozart “Requiem” K 626. Coro del Conservatorio di Parma, Orchestra dei Ducati. Courtesy of Jane Redmont.

yes, we experience that, no we don’t think that

cherish and release

Rosh Hashanah began today at sundown, and I wanted to take a moment to make note of the fact. You know that my first wife was Jewish, you know that we attended Friday evening services in Oklahoma City for a while, and you know that here in California we would frequently make Shabbos at home on Friday night. You know that today I am proud, happy, and delighted to be an Episcopalian, but my personal theology is much more in line with that of modern Judaism than it is Trinitarian Christianity.

I paid attention then, when Rachel Barenblat, the Velveteen Rabbi, reported on the message she sent to her congregation:

I’d like to invite each of us to cherish the memories which bring us joy, and to release the memories which bring us pain. To let go of the vision of what we imagined these holidays would be, and embrace instead whatever they actually are.

I want to bless you that you might find the connections, the insights, and the spiritual richness you need, in whatever your experience of the Days of Awe may be.

That is so meaningful and appropriate now, especially for those in the tradition. But it occurred to me that these words apply equally well to Advent. I’m going to remember them come November 27.

language curmudgeon: September edition

“Ask” as a noun. For example:

“The ask is that an engineer on your team be available to consult on this project.”

Fingernails on the chalkboard.

no asterisk

During the confession yesterday, I realized that it has no asterisks.

We have not loved you with our whole heart;
we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves*.

* neighbors that really annoy you can be exempted

It’s not there. Darn.

hello from WordPress

Welcome to my new blog home on WordPress. Please update your news feeds and bookmarks.

Why the move? I switched from Blogger to TypePad several years ago when Blogger was undergoing a lot of instability. Generally I’ve been happy with TypePad, but the owner, Six Apart, was sold some months back. I’m not terribly confident in the new owner’s commitment to the blogging part of the business. I haven’t seen any updates to the system in several months, and technical support just isn’t what it used to be. In general, it’s simply no longer worth the money I’m paying them. WordPress has its premium features, but it looks to me as if you can get by just fine with what’s free.

So I look forward to hanging out with you over here at WordPress.

Sacred Music Friday: The Beatitudes

Ecclesium singing Philip Stopford's setting of The Beatitudes, courtesy of Unapologetically Episcopalian.


eBay culture

I don't use eBay a lot, but I do some. I buy the plastic rolls for my Foodsaver there. I don't sell a lot, but every one in a while I do. With the purchase of my iPad and the accompanying Kindle app, I knew I wouldn't be using my second generation Kindle anymore. Likewise, with the purchase of my Nikon P500 I didn't need my pocket Canon any longer. I decided to sell both on eBay, thinking it would be a nice idea to generate some cash to help feed my combined iPad and Kindle addiction.

The Kindle sold to a fellow in New York who paid immediately and left feedback suggesting that he was going to really enjoy it.

The camera seems to have gone to someone in East or South Asia (even though they gave an Orange County shipping address) who took a while to pay. I expect that it will end up in the Far East somewhere.

One can't select one's buyers on eBay and one probably shouldn't care. But there's a part of me that wants those things I'm letting go of to find a "good home." Just won't happen every time.

sour restaurant staff

If you haven't seen the Seinfeld soup nazi episode you've probably heard about it. The patrons put up with the abuses of the owner because they liked his soup so much. I suspect that the episode must be based on a real restaurant in New York City. But most of us have experienced places like that.

There is a fast food Middle Eastern place near my office where I will go sometimes which sells falafel wraps. The fellow who takes your order is humorless almost (or maybe not even almost) to the point of being rude. He hates it when you order something to go and then actually insist on getting the paper cup for your drink. And, of course, you'd better pay quickly. I will go there when I actually happen to be in the office and am not up for the cafeteria. But if I have time I prefer the shop a couple of miles further away which is much more friendly and sells a proper falafel on pita bread.

There is an Indian restaurant in Morgan Hill Terry and I enjoy. They have a buffet and it works out nicely to meet her there after church for lunch. There used to be a young guy there who was very friendly. Recently it's been staffed by a middle-aged (I should talk) fellow who is not the most friendly. One Sunday we were the first to arrive and he had to turn on the lights and bring out the food so we could eat. His body language and demeanor were such that Terry whispered to me, "Well excuse us for wanting to have lunch!" At least on our last visit the cook, a very nice Sikh gentleman who has been there for a very long time, gave us a smile and thanked us as we left.

Bur really, a little friendliness couldn't hurt, could it?

iPad magazines

I subscribed to the New Yorker for a number of years, but then discontinued it a few years ago as part of an overall program of scaling back when our then CEO cut everyone's pay. Likewise, I'd been getting The Nation since the start of the Bush II administration, but discontinued it when they undercharged my credit card auto renewal and then sent me a bill for the difference.

But when there is an iPad app, it is easy to forgive all. Both The Nation and the New Yorker have iPad apps and both provide a facsimile of the print edition. The New Yorker app is especially slick and easy to navigate.

Everything's all on one device, you don't have to worry about second class mail taking its time getting to you and receiving two issues within two days of each other, and there's no paper to recycle when you're done with the issue.

Way cool.