Wednesday, February 28, 2007

So... we had a dusting of snow this morning. When I was leaving for the rink (5:15 a.m) it was snowing pretty hard, but there wasn't much of an accumulation so I assume it had just started. It snowed about halfway to Sherwood and then it turned to rain. By the time I was coming back to Beaverton (7:30ish) there was just drizzle and some snow on the sides of the road. Still, not bad for the end of February.
Another one bites the dust... the Diocese of San Diego is filing for bankruptcy. Based on what I've read so far, it sounds like my hometown diocese of Tucson handled theirs better than anybody. A small point of pride in an otherwise horrible situation.

Monday, February 26, 2007

An interesting article about the development of McDonald's Filet-o-Fish sandwich. Apparently 23% of them are sold during Lent!

Thanks to Eric Ewanco for the link.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Happy Ash Wednesday!

I know, it seems a bit strange to wish you a "happy" Ash Wednesday. If I'd said "Holy Ash Wednesday" you'd have wanted to add ", Batman!", wouldn't you?!

I've decided for Lent I'm going to give up snacking at work. I've been doing waaaay too much of that and it's part of the reason I've gained back 15 lbs. since I moved to Oregon. Sheesh. So in the future, I'll have OJ and oatmeal in the morning, a relatively healthy lunch, and one small snack (like, an apple) in the afternoon. That should help, I hope.

Tonight our choir is singing for 6 p.m. Mass. Should be good!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Saturday Marie and I took a drive down to Mt. Angel Abbey. It's a very rustic and beautiful environment. We checked out the bookstore (managed to withstand temptation!), the museum, and the church. Unfortunately we didn't make it to the library before it closed. All in all it was a nice little excursion (it's a bit over 40 miles from Beaverton). It would be a great place to make a retreat, and apparently they have a Bach festival every summer that would be fun to attend.

Saturday evening Marie and I attended a Valentine's Day dance at our parish. It wasn't well attended, unfortunately, but we had a pretty nice time.

A Year In P ortland, Part 2


There are a number of choirs in the Portland area, but most of them rehearse and perform in Portland itself. Since I’ve decided that the commute into the city is something I want to avoid whenever possible, I decided to join the Oregon Chorale (, a group that was identified for me by one of my former choir directors for Collegium Musicum back in Tucson. I auditioned for them in March 2006 and it went reasonably well. The audition included the opportunity to sit in on a rehearsal, which was really nice and gave me a good feel for the group dynamic. The director (Bernd Kuehn) warned me at the time that they didn’t have any current openings but that he’d keep me on his list.

In mid-September I got an email from Bernd offering me a spot in the Chorale, and I’ve been singing with them since. It really is a good group, and a lot of fun. Rehearsals are Monday nights at Century High School in Hillsboro (the CHS choir director is a member, and Bernd used to teach there anyway). Since it’s close to work I just work late, grab some dinner and then go to rehearsal. Our first concert was in December, a performance of the C.P.E. Bach Magnificat with the Pacific University choir. We did a performance at Pacific (it’s in Forest Grove) and another performance in Hillsboro. A week later we had another concert at The Grotto, a Marian shrine in Portland that has a huge Christmas festival every year. From what I can tell, practically every choir in the area performs at the Grotto during Advent. That concert was a bunch of Christmas music (some of which we performed along with the Magnificat, and some of which was new to me but not new to most of the group), and my Aunt Nancy and cousin Robin came, which was pretty neat.

The Chorale is going on tour to Scotland and Ireland next year, and our upcoming concert in March will be all Scottish and Irish music. It’s pretty neat.

Besides the Chorale, I joined the 10:45 a.m. choir at my parish (St. Cecilia in Beaverton). It’s a small group (usually about 14), but we do some good music. Unlike the Schola that I sang in at Ss. Peter and Paul in Tucson, this group does mostly contemporary music although there is some older stuff too (Mendelssohn, etc.). I’d not sung in a “regular” church choir for a long time (Schola only sang once a month) and it is a little bit of a grind at times, but it’s also nice to be part of a dedicated and vibrant group that works hard and has a lot of fun too. We sang a concert for Epiphany that was very well-received and a nice way to end the Christmas season.

Unlike Tucson, I’m not doing any “extra” singing at the parish. At SSPP I sang a lot of stuff like cantoring for the penance services, Thanksgiving, and during the summer. St. Cecilia has a cantor that sings with the choir (she has a beautiful voice) and other than filling in once when both of the cantors were sick/unavailable I’ve not been asked to fill that role. That’s fine with me, though, as I have plenty of other things to do!

Thursday, February 08, 2007

I'm somewhat amused (and somewhat aghast) at the latest hoo-hah over the two anti-Catholic bloggers that John Edwards hired for his campaign. Revolution 21 calls it pretty accurately -- if they'd said this kind of stuff about any other group (blacks, Jews, gays) they'd have been fired in a nanosecond. Instead, even after the Catholic League went after them, Edwards gets an apology out of them and says he'll give them a "fair shake". A shake by the scruff of the neck would be more apropos, methinks.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Fighting fire with ... nothing: Horowitz off the mark, but so is GPSC - Opinions

Apparently while I've been busy with my nose to the grindstone, there's been a minor dustup at The University of Arizona® about an article by David Horowitz ("Abusive Academics") criticizing UA professors for imposing liberal political views on their students. Apparently the GPSC passed a resolution that the Wildcat found fault with --
Fighting fire with ... nothing: Horowitz off the mark, but so is GPSC - Opinions.

It's certainly true in my (limited) experience that many UA profs felt free to voice their political opinions, but so long as they don't penalize students for holding opposite opinions I don't see what the issue really is.

Friday, February 02, 2007

I couldn't resist...

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Very Lord Gordon the Infinite of Much Moulding upon Carpet
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title
Marie and I attended a very cool class that's starting at our parish on John Paul II's Theology of the Body. It's a video series by Christopher West, with small group discussions afterward. I was expecting 20 people or so, but instead there were more like 60 or 70! It meets for 8 consecutive Thursdays. Good stuff.

In other news, the weather has been really, really nice lately. Like, the sun has been shining all week! It's put me in an outrageously good mood, for the most part. Tomorrow Marie and I are supposed to go to the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newburg. It should be a lot of fun.

Finally, a cool discussion on Amy Welborn's blog on why Catholics "revert" to the Church after being away. Check it out, it's very inspiring.