Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Sun's Love

I'm writing this afternoon from our pad on Pinehurst Avenue in Washington Heights / Hudson Heights. While perhaps not the most chic spot, its close proximity to the highest natural point in Manhattan proved ideal this weekend as we waited for Tropical Storm Irene to pass by.

"High and dry" would be an apt description.

While very thankful we never lost power or running water, we do now have an awful lot of non-perishables in the kitchen. (Not to mention the $13 in little candles I bought yesterday at the neighborhood pharmacy during an early afternoon rain that turned out to be regular old rain.)

The post-storm calm calls for an equally reassuring tune for this week's "YouTube clip for a peaceful weekend." I have selected Amanda McBroom's 1979-1980 song "The Rose" as heard in a 2008 episode of "Family Guy." (I saw this for the first time earlier this week -- don't know how it took me three years to catch it!)


Clips from the episode are banned on YouTube. Fortunately, the "Family Guy" lawyers have not yet discovered its Japanese counterpart:

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Earlier tonight, the steady and I watched the season finale of "The Glee Project" on Oxygen. It's cotton candy for summer Sunday nights.

For his final offering, contestant Samuel performed Dolly Parton 's 1974 hit "Jolene." While I'm not a fan of most country music, I must say this is a fine song -- it's simple but memorable and tells a story.

For this week's very late "YouTube clip for a peaceful weekend" below are two covers of "Jolene." (The first is from The White Stripes. Up second is Ellie Goulding.)


Monday, August 15, 2011


For Catholics, today (August 15) is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Out in Teaneck, New Jersey, my old college buddy Anthony Santella is doing a large scale carving of Mary out of the trunk of a dead softwood tree on the grounds of St. Anastasia Church.

Here are some images of the work in progress:

Also (via Fran on Facebook): Karl Rahner on the Assumption of Mary.

Flashbacks: Solemnities of the Assumption 2010, 2009, 2008 and Bertha.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Leads Me Into Life

This weekend, I was on retreat with Apostolist, the young adult group from the Church of Saint Paul the Apostle. We gathered at the retreat center on the grounds of St. Mary's Abbey and the Delbarton School in Morristown, New Jersey.

On Saturday night, we had a beautiful candlelight prayer service on side porch of the Kountze Mansion, also known as Delbarton's "Old Main." With the sounds of a light rain and various insects in the background, we sang three long Taizé chants.

For this week's "YouTube clip for a peaceful weekend," below is the first of those chants, "Bless the Lord, My Soul."


Tuesday, August 09, 2011

A Privilege

Quote of the day:
"Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many."

- Unknown

(I spied this on the inside label of a bottle of Honest Tea.)

Monday, August 08, 2011

Heaven Opens

I'm writing tonight from the Hyatt in Wichita, Kansas. I've been here since Friday to exhibit for my gig at the Midwest Catholic Family Conference.

It's our fifth visit to this annual event that draws moms, dads, grandparents and loads of kids and teenagers from Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.

I have been trying to think of a song related to Wichita or Kansas for this week's "YouTube clip for a peaceful weekend." Only one has come to mind -- and it's more a Hollywood creation than anything locally grown.

But, as it's already technically Monday, I better get to it. So, for this week's belated offering, below is the classic tune "Over the Rainbow."


I chose the Ella Fitzgerald version because it includes the often-overlooked first verse:

"When all the world is a hopeless jumble,
and the raindrops tumble all around,
Heaven opens a magic lane.

"When all the clouds darken up the skyway,
there's a rainbow highway to be found.

"Leading from your windowpane,
to a place behind the sun,
just a step beyond the rain ... "