Play chord. Puff cigarette. Have luxurious beard. Start song.
Maybe that’s what’s been missing in my piano playing lately?

Hello there.

Remember when I used to blog? Yes, I do, too. Here is some sundry randomness to tide you over until we return to more serious topics:

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Inspirational Music from 90’s

I do not particularly care for most Pop Music. But I do love some really cheesy, inspirational/sappy songs from the 90’s. Sometimes, when I need that extra burst of motivation I’ll turn to “Reach” by Gloria Estefan – yes, ’twas the theme for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. When I want to give up, I sing along to 1990’s “Hold On” by Wilson Phillips. Who doesn’t love the New Radicals’ “You Get What You Give” from 1998? Sometimes, I need to be reminded that “we are all marching in a common band, playing songs of hope, playing songs of peace.” And, of course, Vangelis’ music for “Chariots of Fire” is an honorary mention.

These are a guilty pleasure: the lyrics are vapid and the music is insipid. You know that. I know that. But that doesn’t mean I can’t love them each in their own little way.

Don’t worry, I’ll go play some Brahms Lied and express my deep-seated angst by listening to some Mahler while reading some Kierkegaard. So, go ahead and judge me.

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Graduation

It is graduation time again and I can’t help but laugh now at the calamity that it took for me to get my diploma. Due to the fact that I could watch the entire six seasons of Lost in a few weeks during my final semester and a serious computing problem on behalf of the College, I found out mid-January that I wouldn’t have enough chapel credits to get my diploma. There had been a mistake with the computer program that registered our scans; it added several dozens of chapels to several student’s accounts – mine included. Because I never checked it more than once a year, I assumed I had more than enough and went back to sleeping in or watching that next, all-important episode of Lost. Well, it turns out that I had to go to chapel eight – yes, eight – more times for my Alma Mater to consider me to be “spiritually formed”.

At first, I was offended that they just wouldn’t comp those credits to me. I mean – come on! – I practically lived at St. J’s while I was in College. I didn’t take a cozy internship, either! I have portions of the Psalter committed to memory! But, I realized that this is what I agreed to when I decided to go to my Alma Mater. I ultimately submitted to it without much whining, went to eight (mostly) cringe-inducing Chapels where former athletes and business professionals told us about how God wants us to be successful – all while guitars gently wept in the hands of sensitive, Chaco-clad singers. Of course, they weren’t all bad, though. But – bless the Lord, O my soul – I am now (officially) “spiritually formed” in the eyes of my Alma Mater. My diploma is proudly framed and hanging on my wall, a sign of my spiritual formation, academic fortitude and, perhaps, character development.

And I never found out what the deal was with Jacob or that other guy. You know, the one in black.

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A Forthcoming Book

In these rebellious colonies, last Sunday was Mother’s Day. I thought it would be the appropriate time to announce my forthcoming book, Andy Has Two Mommies: The Good Little Anglo-Catholic’s Guide to Loving Your Mom and God’s Mom. See, in one title I can capture the interest of both the homosexual progressivists and stodgy highchurchmen: the coveted Episcopal double-whammy of marketing! Potential chapters are as follows:

“There Will Never Be A Girl Like The Girl Who Married Dear Old Dad: Why God Wants You To Be Celibate”

“Mommy’s Boy: Who Was St. Joesph and Why Nobody Cares”

“Guilt: How God’s Mom and Your Mom Show the Love Of God, for the Love of God.”

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On Our Lady, Naturally

Speaking of Our Lady – and because May is Mary’s month – I always imagine her as a very short, older and stereotypical Palestinian/Greek/Jewish/Mediterranean/Mexican mother who loads you up with food every time you come to her home. Perhaps while squeezing your cheeks, she commands you in her thick accent, “Eat! Eat! You’re skin and bones!” I always imagine her as an old woman – never, the young girl of scripture.

I can never imagine Our Lady as being from the South, either. You know, that stereotypical Southerner who wears pearls, drinks a little too much and was a Delta Delta Delta pledge her freshmen year, before dropping out to get married to her husband, Beau. She has an immaculate home and a so-perfect-it-is-obnoxious Christmas card photo with lots of argyle and, yes, pearls. But, hey, if you married a law-yuh, you’d have more money than Jesus, too.

But, more than all of that stereotype, I absolutely cannot imagine Our Lady as the modern Midwestern mother. Slightly neurotic, she passes out apples on Halloween and knows all the updated child safety seat information by heart, quoting it diligently to the grateful mothers of her monthly book club meeting. She’s not one for smalltalk, though she does enjoy Car Talk on NPR. Seemingly, she is on a perpetual diet to loose ten vanity pounds. Yes, it is always ten pounds. It was ten pounds two years ago and it will be ten pounds three decades from now. When she is surprised, she probably says, “Oh, brother!” Eschewing her own Midwestern raising, the modern Midwestern mother denies the singular joys of mayonnaise-laden and cream-of-mushroom-based casseroles to her children. Instead, she serves them things with “Whole Grain” and “Farm Raised” in the title and that have a flat, granola-flavored taste. (None of this, mind you, describes my own mother – she knows her way around a casserole, like God intended.)

I have better time imagining her as a strong, rough-and-tumble Appalachian girl who takes care of her family, knows her way around a gun and a transmission, while her deadbeat husband drinks the money away. She gets stuff done. How’s that for a stereotype?

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