Measured Extravagance

2001-01-08 - 2:18 a.m.

I'm carless at present (as the Beautiful Young Man took our lone four-wheeler with him up to The Big Auto Show), so I stayed home this morning, sipped cocoa, and read zen guitar by Philip Toshio Sudo. A quote:

While it's true that in some schools a student formally graduates from one belt level to the next, in the Zen Guitar Dojo there is no such graduation. Students here receive one belt only: the white belt. Those who put in the time, training, and effort will find their belt getting so soiled that eventually it turns black of its own accord. Only then will they have achieved black-belt status.

And, look what the surf brought in:

A Guest Entry by the Lord, in The Book of Rob. What hooked me in was the quote featured on Parietal Pericardium: "I always get a kick out of giving beautiful babies to ugly guys. It keeps you guessing."

I also rediscovered the pleasure of reading the Ship of Fools' Mystery Worshipper reports. We'll note that at least one of the Mystery Worshippers is an ordained priest - point being that most of them aren't out to "get" the churches they review, but just to comment on each church's strengths and weaknesses. I've made a mental note to check the index when I plan my next trip to England, just as a cross-check. (I don't regret my visit to St. George's Bloomsbury last February, but I will note that it was the second-coldest service I've ever endured. The building - and parish - have seen better days. Excellent sermon, sparse crowd. Do go, but dress for warmth.) Also, I just enjoy the candor:

How would you describe the after-service coffee?
None of that foolishness either. The service ended at about seven in the evening, so the coffee was not missed. Most, I think, had stronger stuff in mind. - from Orestes' report of Christmas Eve Eucharist at St Martin's Houston.

And speaking of visiting churches, I also savored The Mighty Kymm's story about her experience with Good Friday mass this past year, which I found via Blueberry Hill. I know I keep mentioning this journal - it's because I'm still delving through it bit by bit. The author and I are both members of LordPeter, an eGroup devoted to the novels of Dorothy L. Sayers, which is how I recognized her name over on I peeked in because I was curious and bookmarked it because I was entertained: her writing brims with intelligence and personality. The entry on The Zen of Hallmark is a classic. (Me, I admit I write the BYM's cards, but I also just sent him an email saying "Found the fattest, furriest mouse I've ever seen in my entire life in the bag of cat food (*). When you get back, get rid of it, please." I know I'm being a girly girl, but that's the gist of the deal and I like it that way.)

On the CD player:

The Songs of Solomon performed by the New York Baroque - "Jewish Sacred Music from Seventeenth Century Italy" by Salamone Rossi. Ravishing a capella harmonies. (My introduction to the gorgeousness of Rossi was singing his "Kaddish" in a madrigal group.)

Both Sides of the Sea performed by Noa, an Israeli-American pop singer. I especially like "Nisayon," and it helps that she sings in Hebrew - because the English lyrics in the liner notes are really insipid. Since I don't understand Hebrew, I just sunnily bop around to the melody and all is well.

Israel In Egypt by Handel, performed by King's College Choir and the Brandenburg Consort.

Let's Face It by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones.

Big Night Without You by Emmet Swimming. Jangly but tuneful mainstream "alternative" - as in, lead singer sounds like typical twentysomething sensitive baritone GenXer influenced by both Husker Du and the Police. As in, what I'm trying to say is that they sound like many of the other bands I've heard on 89X-Windsor, but of course I can't remember any of their names right now. A little more upbeat than Eddie Vedder - I've got it! Counting Crows. If you like those guys, you'll probably enjoy Big Night Without You, at least aurally. (Counting Crows has stronger lyrics, but the ones on ES are serviceable.) Another review I read compared them to the Gin Blossoms, which is apt. The tracks that made the most impression on me were "Turnstile" and "Stealing from the Joneses" - "Turnstile" has a well-crafted chorus, and "Stealing from the Joneses" opens with a crisp little two-note hook that pulled me right in.

Martha Argerich's Debut Recital - Lizst's b minor piano sonata is rippling through my speakers as I type.

An epigraph from Zen Guitar:

You can build a wall to stop people, but eventually, the music, it'll cross that wall. That's the beautiful thing about music -- there's no defense against it. I mean, look at Joshua and fuckin' Jericho -- made mincemeat of that joint. A few trumpets, you know? - Keith Richards


(*) Wait! you exclaim - shouldn't The Cat be dealing with the mouse? ::sigh:: The Cat is a most excellent kitty in most respects - she is very demonstratively affectionate, yet mellow - and my friends are often openly envious of this - but I've never denied that she has the survival instincts of a doormat. This was confirmed when the BYM once offered her a shred of warm roasted chicken and she walked past him to her bowl of Iams.

Thus, tonight's sequence of events went something like this: heard strange rustling noises. First thought they were coming from the basement and considered grabbing the fireplace poker. Then realized noises were sounding from the bathroom. Then realized they were emanating from the cat food bag. Thought, must be one hell of a roach, cat's too large to fit in bag. Opened bag gingerly. Saw the mouse. Shrieked, ran out, grabbed cat, threw her in bathroom. Cat looked confused. Mouse bolted past cat. Cat still clueless. ::sigh::

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