Why The Crucifix?

  One startlingly visible aspect of the Catholic faith that engenders consternation, and even revulsion, among non-Catholics, and even some Catholics, it is the crucifix. This symbol — a cross with the figure of a tortured Christ nailed to it, often emaciated, bloody, crowned in thorns, a gash from a spear in…

Face In the wall

On Writing, Running, Shame and Authenticity

I didn’t run the 50 miler I’d signed up for in May. Life got complicated, and I re-prioritized all kinds of stuff. Running too. But in deciding not to run the race, not to keep training for the race, I got a chance to think a good deal more about…

slide

Bête noire: The detestable nom nom nom

Before proceeding a pace down this road, I should clarify that while I detest the expression nom nom nom in all of its ridiculous and cringe-inducing variations, I do not harbor any ill will towards those who use it. This caveat is especially important given the fact that almost all…

Why singing is good for you, even if you think you’re bad at it

Apologies to our neighbors, but all that singing is medicinal. I can’t begin to count the number of people over the years who’ve told me they can’t sing, or have no talent for musical instruments. Pish. It doesn’t matter whether you’re gifted. Even if you think you’re terrible at music,…

Art of German Cathedrals

A cool 3-minute video by the BBC on the art in the cathedral in Cologne (Köln); particularly interesting, the grotesques at the end. One of the most wonderful side benefits of business travel has been the opportunity to see–and go to Mass in–a variety of beautiful Gothic European churches. I was…

slide

The benefits of limits: Vine’s interesting social video idea

I heard about the new social media video app Vine last week on Slate’s Culture Gabfest’s podcast, that week’s episode titled, aptly, Six Seconds of My Life Manage to Bore Even Me Edition. Since then, it has seemed to come up everywhere. Like when you buy a car and the…

John Dies At The End

Caught John Dies at the End last night after hearing it chatted about in both horror and lit circles (podcast culture Venn diagrams), and terrific – recommend it if you are into campy, indie, artisanal horror. Caveat – not for everyone, very vulgar and not even a little bit family…

slide

Amazon/Audible’s Whispersync for Voice a Bibliophile’s Fantasy

All right, did I just call Whispersync for voice a bibliophile’s fantasy in this blog post’s title, and that only so I wouldn’t have to type that hoary cliche “a dream come true?’ Yes, a bit gushy, but it’s true. Here’s the deal. I bought a Kindle edition book by…

slide

A few passages from Ulysses

Was reminded this morning as I read how potent I find these passages from Tennyson’s Ulysses: I am a part of all that I have met; Yet all experience is an arch wherethro’ Gleams that untravell’d world whose margin fades For ever and forever when I move. Something in there…

slide

If you were queen of pleasure, and I were king of pain: Great poem by Swinburne

On a recent series of flights, between getting work done and staving off perhaps the most magnificent migraine I’ve had in years (sinus and altitude induced, who can say, but fitting for an Ash Wednesday), I dipped again into Nicholson Baker’s clever comic novel about poetry, The Anthologist, and read…