Wednesday, January 29, 2003


Seems my blog template is messed up...

Saturday, January 25, 2003

Busy, busy, busy...

Ballet parked Thursday and Friday nights. Will be doing it again tonight. Lovely weather for it!

Tuesday, January 21, 2003

Tomorrow's Infamy

I won't be home till late tomorrow, so I'll comment on it now.

Thirty years ago came the horror of the Roe vs. Wade decision, in which six men used judicial fiat to wipe out legal protection of the unborn. God have mercy on us for what has happened since then......

Sunday, January 12, 2003

Haven't Felt Like Blogging......

Been otherwise busy, or haven't felt like staring at a screen any longer than necessary....been working on the post below for days.

On Work

Jeff Culbreath, who who will be busy training for a new line of work, wrote a wonderful essay about the nature of work, and how the contemporary consumerist society thinks in terms of "usefulness" (that is, utilitarianism), profit (abused into Mammon), and "efficiency" (slavedriving); instead of sanctification or the common good.

I work two jobs -- one to pay for food, shelter, and clothing; the other for a little extra money and a lot of fun.

My primary job is data processing for a major computer corporation. I am not an actual employee, being contracted out from another major company, a major temporary agency. I've been a "temp" for over eight years now, longer than many people spend at a "regular" job. In some ways, it's not a bad deal for me. Since I'm a bachelor with no dependents, and I'm not concerned about "career advancement" and other artificial concepts, the wage is more than adequate. I've also made some lifelong friends there, and I've been able to use my research abilities and writing skills.

But there are quite a few frustrating things at this job. We have a manager who must constantly tinker with things to justify his existence (he'd make a great liturgist, alas). He's concerned about productivity which is very important, but it seems to trump all; and other important things such as accuracy and thoroughness have suffered. And productivity is measured by standards which, if they conflict with reality (time-consuming projects, discrepencies, etc.), must be believed over reality.

And then there are the rules. Many of them make sense, of course. Others are very nitpicky, and seemingly arbitrary and unnecessary. For example, I was talked to because I clocked in at 7:27. Before this, one could clock in as early as 7:23 and it was OK. No-one knew they were breaking any rules until it was brought up.

My secondary job is at ComedySportz. I work just a few hours a week for low pay doing menial tasks, like stocking the bar, fetching ice, taking out garbage, setting up the theatre, leading people to their seats, and putting on a tutu and leading cars to their parking spaces with a comical quasi-ballet. Yet this job has come to mean a lot to me.

First of all, Dick Chudnow is a joy to work for. He may be the Founder and Grand Poobah, but he's very hands-on, and still shares in routine tasks like hosting and manning the ticket office,as well as taking his turn at playing and refereeing shows.

Coming up a close second is the joy of making people laugh. When I ballet park, I'm the first person a showgoer sees. I welcome them to CSz, tell them where they're going to park, and lead them there in a most ridiculous fashion. It's great to see them cracking up in their cars as I pirouette and plie all over the place.

Next is the menial and basic nature of the work. It can be hard work -- standing out in a parking lot in single-digit weather, ballet parking several cars at once, taking out large, smelly bags of garbage and bottles, hauling heavy buckets of ice. But I find myself liking it and looking forward to it. If I could make a living at it, I think I would.

After that is the chance to watch shows for free. When I clock out, the show is still going on. I can sneak in and watch some of the finest improv in the world, and learn from it.

Last of all are the money and the perks. The supplemental income has helped, the half-fee for workshop is a great benefit, and 50% off food is a good thing. But what I started out doing for the money has turned into a fulfilling job in all ways. .....

Joined a Parish

I haven't been that active at St. Anthony's in quite some time, since I stopped teaching Religious Education there. In fact, I seldom went to Mass there anymore, going instead to parishes within my neighborhood. And every time I endured the OCP Latest Hit, every time I had to sit through some extraneous presentation of some sort, every time I endured some sort of liturgical abuse or other things which interfered with prayer, I thought, "I gotta register somewhere, or get back to St. Anthony's."

Then, after picking up my second job, I attended the Saturday anticipation Mass at Old St. Mary's downtown, usually after working the matinee. Several things attracted me:

1) The church, built in the late 1840's, is a gem. It's very small, holding only about 350 people at most, with lovely art and woodwork.

2) The liturgy is "merely Catholic" in approach. No gimmickry of any sort.

3) It's handy to the buses -- one block away from the stop.

4) The music, while not as excellent as St. Anthony's, is OK.

So I'll be attending the Saturday 4:30 or Sunday 9 am there, and probably attend the Indult Mass at least once a month and throughout Lent and Passiontide. Also, I should pay a visit to St. George's -- it's been a long time since I've been there.

More Quizzes

This Explains a Lot...

According to the Alien Abduction Test There is a 76% chance that I've been abducted by Aliens!

Saturday, January 11, 2003


Just had a busy housecleaning morning, so I'm in the mood for something mindless......


You're wind! You are a very kind and sympathetic person. Whoever DOESN'T like you has a mental disorder, because you are a loving and caring gentle soul.

What element are you?

This fits....

Tolkienology 101: What is Your Tolkien Belief System?

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I think I've taken this one already.....

I'm completely down-to-earth!

Find your soul type


What Orlando Bloom are You?

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How Emotional Are You?

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What's YOUR Writing Style?

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Thursday, January 09, 2003

Some Things Are Just Beyond Words.....

Well, maybe not......evil would be one fit word, abomination another. And others which I'll leave unpublished.....

Thanks to Donna Marie Lewis for pointing out the article on her blog.

Last Night's Improv Workshop

My Wedensday evenings are finally complete again, as workshops started again. Big group this time -- 18 people. But we all got some stage time.

My favorite part was our practice of Pile-On Replay. Three of the best women in our class played a "neutral" scene set in a Taco Bell -- a funny enough sketch by itself (clerk takes customer's order, clerk gives unemployed person her job and leaves, customer gets sauce all over her shirt and wants more). They were then endowed with an emotion -- anger, in this case. The scene got funnier. Then as angry Italians , and their fellow workshoppers had to keep from falling off their chairs. Lastly, the scene was replayed with the ladies as angry Italians in a kabuki. ROTFLMAO.

I went out afterwards, and didn't get home till late. So much fun................

Tuesday, January 07, 2003

Been Busy on the Other Blog....

.....trying to fix up stuff on it. Any idea on why I keep "shouting" (published in big bold letters), and how I can remedy the situation? Thanks.

Sunday, January 05, 2003

The Glory Has Departed......

Old news now, but the Packers lost a playoff game at Lambeau field, in freezing weather. It wasn't even close. Nothing will be the same there again.........


"Get out of my way!"

"What about my needs?"

How many times have you heard these things nowadays? Radical autonomy, it's called. The Self is so important that no one -- not parents, not other authority figures, not even God -- can tell them what they can or cannot do, even if their behavior is harmful to themselves or others.

I had a run-in with someone like that today. I got off the bus at the corner (went downtown for Mass and breakfast), and saw someone pumping gas with his motor running. After letting the clerk know, I yelled at him to shut his engine. The clerk repeated the instructions. The man then came storming in, saying "First of all, you're more likely to do that with a cigarette. Second, nobody tells me what to do! "

I replied, "Nobody tells you not to blow up half the neighborhood? If a cop was here, he'd have ticketed you!"

"Well, let him! I have a broken starter, and if I shut off the engine, it won't start again." (I asked my engineer roomie about this, and he said while that was probably true, the man still was acting foolishly.)

"That's still endangering people."

"Listen, I make the choice. That's why you ride the bus and I drive a truck. I choose, and no one tells me what to do."

"Like breaking the law?"

"No One Tells Me What To Do. Is that clear?"

I glared at him, and turned away. No use continuing an argument like that. I had noted his license plate, in case he tried anything even more stupid, and thought about calling the police on him. But what would have been the point of that?

It was bad enough that he was pumping gas into a running vehicle. But what made it worse was that he didn't care about the consequences, because it was his choice, and anyone else be damned, no matter what risk he posed. I do wonder whar would have happened if a police officer had come along. Would he have suddenly become more conciliatory? Or would he have said the same thing he said to me?

Some people......

Saturday, January 04, 2003

What I've been up to.....

Since last year.....

December 31

--Left for the Amtrak station to greet the Rev. Michael Carter, an LCMS pastor and good frind. Mike was stopping in from St. Louis (he's a jail chaplain there) to preach at his old church, then he was going to Chicago to celebrate New Year's there. Spent about half an hour with him before I had to go find a place to grab a bite to eat.

--Went to Mass at Old St. Mary's. Surprisingly, the liturgy lasted only 35 minutes. Decent music, concise preaching, no liturgical abuses --a "merely Catholic" church.

--Ballet parked both New Year's Eve shows at ComedySportz. Clocked in at 5:30, took out cardboard to the recycling bin, got into my gear, and worked the lot for two hours. Took a 30-minute break, and was out there again, this time directing people into a second lot. So there I was, walking up and down Jefferson Street in a tutu and orange vest....made $50 in tips, though.....

--Clocked out at 11 pm after helping to restock the bar. Toasted in the New Year and went home on the bus. Lots of drunk people taking advantage of the free rides. Called my mother (a night owl), collapsed onto bed, slept soundly.

January 1

Woke up around 9 am. Took laundry over to parents' house, spent day quietly. Played several cribbage games with my father. Went home. Didn't feel like blogging.

January 2

Back to the saltmines