[Rough Draft]

A weblog about god, doubt, insomnia, culture, baseball


show the way

it's thursday, and i should be writing a sermon; instead, i'm reflecting on seeing david wilcox @ the birchmere w/ dennis last thursday night. great concert, fantastic performer, albeit one who sometimes wanders a little afield into the realm of cheesiness. as a songwriter, he swings and misses sometimes, but when he connects, he drives the ball out of the park. for the non-baseball-minded, that translates: david's reach sometimes exceeds his grasp, but when he gets it right, he can be almost perfect. today i'm thinking about show the way (b/c my sermon text is from genesis):

you say you see no hope,
you say you see no reason we should dream
that the world would ever change
you're saying love is foolish to believe
'cause there'll always be some crazy
with an army or a knife
to wake you from your day dream,
put the fear back in your life

look, if someone wrote a play
just to glorify what's stronger than hate,
would they not arrange the stage
to look as if the hero came too late
he's almost in defeat
it's looking like the evil side will win,
so on the edge of every seat,
from the moment that the whole thing begins

it is love who makes the mortar
and it's love who stacked these stones
and it's love who made the stage here
although it looks like we're alone
in this scene set in shadows
like the night is here to stay
there is evil cast around us
but it's love that wrote the play
for in this darkness love can show the way

so now the stage is set
feel your own heart beating in your chest
this life's not over yet
so we get up on our feet and do our best
we play against the fear
we play against the reasons not to try
we're playing for the tears
burning in the happy angel's eyes


greatest walkoff?

apologies to papi, but an old friend (and a manager dennis won't speak of) did him one better last night, if only b/c of what led up to it. down 9-5 in the bottom of the 9th, the dodgers hit 4 back-to-back homers to tie. now, 4 in a row's only been done 3 other times in mlb history, but after giving up one in the top of the 10th, nomar hit a 2-run shot to stinkin' win the game and yank back 1st place in the west. there are video clips @ mlb.com, but vin scully had the call and made it sound almost boring. i heard charlie steiner's radio call this morning on mike & mike, and it gave me chills (even though i hate, hate, hate the dodgers). if anyone finds a clip of the kfwb call online, email me.

(speaking of steiner, this is always worth 46 seconds)

  • update: i just heard the call again on dan patrick's radio show, and it is awesome. i'm telling you -- go find a clip of it somewhere.


dc4free#16: alexandria festival of the arts/arts safari

we can't seem to stay away from old town alexandria for long. this news is a week old now, but renee' and i took the kiddies out to the festival of the arts last saturday (the day upon which notre dame actually won). i enjoyed watching the people way more than looking @ the art, which was from all over the u.s. but was almost uniformly boring or tastelessly kitschy (little metal sculptures of dogs peeing and the like).

we did get to stroll by the river, and the kids got balloon animals, a now expected party favor from a day in alexandria.
plus, elmo got to try out some facepainting @ the arts safari in the torpedo factory, so she had a grand old time. in sum, it was a nice day (spectacular weather), but uneventful; far from being the best of our dc4free weekends.


so, what are you going to do today?

i found this a couple days ago in an anglican breviary i was trying (unsuccessfully) to navigate:

alexander elchaninov wrote in the diary of a russian priest:

our continual mistake is that we do not concentrate upon the present day, the actual hour, of our life; we live in the past or in the future; we are continually expecting the coming of some special moment when our life will unfold itself in its full significance. and we do not notice that life is flowing like water through our fingers, sifting like precious grain from a loosely fastened bag. constantly, each day, each hour, god is sending us people, circumstances, tasks, which should mark the beginning of our renewal; yet we pay them no attention, and thus continually we resist god's will for us. indeed, how can god help us? only by sending us in our daily life certain people, and certain coincidences of circumstance. if we accepted every hour of our life as the hour of God's will for us, as the decisive, most important, unique hour of our life — what sources of joy, love, strength, as yet hidden from us, would spring from the depths of our soul! let us then be serious in our attitude towards each person we meet in our life, towards every opportunity of performing a good deed; be sure that you will then fulfill god's will for you in these very circumstances, on that very day, in that very hour.

(quoted in “the Handicapped convert” by priest joseph huneycutt)

(thanks to kevin basil whose site helped me place the quote)


dc4free#15: picnic in the park

a nice day, some sandwiches, lots o' birds (view the avian horror). for this short dc4free outing, we were in franklin square in downtown d.c., across the street from renee's office, and the scene of alexander graham bell's first wireless message.


paddy and i are watching cnn's pipeline coverage of 9/11 in realtime. surreal. same thing w/ watching united 93 the other night. makes 5 years seem like a lifetime ago, and just like yesterday. i remember so much of that day, the most momentous of my lifetime, i suppose. i remember listening to imus describe the chaos as i drove home from hebrew class, then just wanting renee' to be out of boston and @ home. i remember trying to make sense of what happened w/ jeremy and april and our youth group from fbc in marblehead, and the memorial service @ seaside park. i couldn't make sense of it then, and i struggle w/ it even now. nothing else to say today; just felt like saying something.


psu @ nd

fourteen years is a long time.

fourteen years ago penn state came to south bend to play the irish in a game billed as "the end of an era." my friend, john, and i flew up for the game, stripped to the waist in the snow and wrote "irish" on our chests (almost caught pneumonia, but got on national tv, and i've got the videotape to prove it), rushed the field after brooks' 2-point conversion catch, and i grabbed a big hunk of "god sod" to bring home and plant. the grass is now quite dead and in a photo album, but i have great memories from the game.

and i got this great t-shirt that i now wear only on special occasions, such as a 41-17 drubbing of the lions.


dc4free#14: monument-al undertaking

ok, so i'm tired and the title is too kitschy. sue me.

labor day was jon's last day in d.c., so we sent him out w/ a bang by making the rounds of several monuments on the mall and eating some seafood from the wharf. this was about my 5th tour of these monuments (wwii, lincoln, vietnam, korea, fdr, jefferson), but it was by far the most enjoyable. i think it was a combination of the weather (finally cool in d.c.) and the fact that i'm becoming so familiar w/ the sites that i'm not just overwhelmed by them anymore.

ellie, of course, was far more interested in ducks and rocks.
{scene: ellie and mama sitting on a bench outside the vietnam memorial eating patriot rocket frozen treat -- no kidding, that's what the red, white and blue sugar rush delivery devices are called --

ellie (after long period of silence): "mama, are you thinking what i'm thinking?"
mama (surprised @ the question): "i don't know honey. what are you thinking?"
ellie (after more silence): "i'm thinking i need to pick up some rocks!"}

paddy, on the other hand, had an absolute conniption over fdr's little dog. a swell time was had by all.

and i got some rocks.

dc4free#13: national cathedral

r's brother, jon, was here over the weekend, and the remnants of ernesto dropped a lot of lot of rain on us on saturday, so we needed some indoor activity.

after b'fast (if it's saturday, it must be waffles), we decided to drive around a few places in d.c. and then head over to the national cathedral. having been there a few times now for lectures or mass, i forget how stunning it is when you first see it -- it's huge, for one thing, and you catch glimpses of it through the trees on the way up mass. ave., plus the stained glass and all the chapels are really beautiful (there are behind-the-scenes and virtual tours of bethlehem chapel and some other features on their website). we made a swing through the bookstore and went up to the 7th floor to see the view of the city, but it was too cloudy to see much.

to be honest, i have some mixed feelings about the cathedral. it makes such a big deal about being "a national house of prayer for all people" that they appear ashamed to be episcopalian @ times. and the vibe i get from the place is that their "gospel" is some sort of vague interfaith celt-ish spirituality, and they may be more proud of darth vader than they are of jesus, but that's just me. still, it's a distinctly american place of worship, and if you're in d.c. it's definitely worth a few hours on a rainy afternoon. good luck parking!

dc4free#12: "the boy who ate catholic u"

i've been remiss in not posting our free-scapades in a timely fashion, so i'll do a few in quick succession to bring you up to date:

for no. 12, paddy (doesn't he look gigantic in the pic?) & i went up to catholic u to visit our friend mary, who is a graduate student there. patrick got to flirt w/ "catholic school-girls" (they were college aged, but he got the practice anyway), and i got to see the highest concentration of priests i can imagine. just about everybody but me, paddy and mary had on collars.

during our short visit we saw the crypt church, the national shrine of the immaculate conception, and a big ol' scary, very manly jesus growling down on us from the ceiling. it's a cool place to visit, although i prefer cathedrals (cathedra?) that look older and more, i don't know, rough hewn than the cu shrine. good bookstore, though; much better than vts'.

deus lux mea est.


6 days and counting down

to season 4 of the best show on tv. it's worth the time in purgatory that stealing cable will get you.
  • update: kottke agrees
  • , and the nyt says "if charles dickens were alive today, he would watch 'the wire,' unless, that is, he was already writing for it."
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