A Glass of Chianti

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Latin in Prime Time?

I am pleased a capite ad calcem.

Jamie has the story. I'm not a Lost watcher (yes, my parents have told me how lame this makes me) but I'm happy to hear of any guest starring role of the most wonderful of languages.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A couple of finds

(both thanks to The Shrine)

The first is a PowerPoint presentation from the USCCB's Subcommitte on Music and the Liturgy setting forth their guidelines for liturgical music. It starts off pretty great with things that should guide music and song selection at the parish level:
Individual songs should be consonant with Catholic teaching and free from theological error

The repertoire of liturgical songs in any given setting should not manifest a collective bias against Catholic theological elements.
That's all good. It goes on to say in the next couple of slides something like "Guys, the songs that are in wide use kind of suck theologically" and then lays out reasons. (Paraphrased)
1. Ummmm... there are lots of titles for God that we can use that are great, but isn't it kind of, well, odd that only 10% of the songs here use "Father"?
2. What's up with not referring to the Trinity in any of these songs? Isn't that kind of a big theologically important point?*
3. Directly quoted, because it's just awesome: "Christological? Only 35% of the songs referred to Christ."

It sounds great. Really. The problem comes at the end when they say this:
Within two years, the Committee on the Liturgy shall formulate a Common Repertoire of Liturgical Songs for use in all places where the Roman Liturgy is celebrated in the Dioceses of the United States of America. This Common Repertoire will be included in all worship aides used in the dioceses of the United States of America.
I have concerns about this. While I do think having a book of common songs would foster greater singing participation (we'll talk about that in a later post, perhaps) the politics involved in what gets included in the book are going to be messy. Also, given that some of the Haugen-Haas stuff is certain to be in the book (see, above) it makes it all the harder for anyone (including priests and music ministers) to object. "It's in the approved book, so it must be OK" is just something that I don't want to hear ever. This music seal of approval could be used not only by people unfriendly to traditionalists to avoid singing lovely hymns and songs that just didn't make the cut due to a lack of a lobbying body but also to discourage new songs from being written for the Mass. ("I'm sorry, Sarah, I know that we could send your new setting of "Ave Maria" to the bishop for approval, but our policy is that we just use pieces that are the common book.") This whole thing just strikes me as a nightmare on wheels just waiting to happen.

Maybe this could all be avoided if the Committee just took this as their guide:

*Isn't that, at least, one of the things we tell the Mormons?

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I'll get you started

Number 1 is St. Andrew.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Catholic blogosphere falling down on its job

It's Flannery O'Connor's birthday and I am reminded of this not in a post at the The Shrine, but via a music blogger?

In the words of The Yankee, "Where, I ask, is Amy Welborn?"

Friday, March 24, 2006

Condi talks Brahms

Via Terry, a pretty neat Condoleezza Rice interview. They touch on some interesting points about coming back to music after temporarily giving it up, though the format is more of a "here are some pieces that mean a lot to me" kind of thing. I was very glad to hear that she, too, is a big fan of the second movement of Beethoven's Seventh. Every time I mention that as being right among the top tier of my favorite orchestral works, people roll their eyes, so I feel happy knowing that the world isn't completely full of Beethoven snobs.

But, the real reason I'm blogging about this is during my initial scan of the article, I misread the phrase "I love the give and take" as "I love the gin and tonic" which shows you, perhaps, what a long Lent it has been already. Clearly, I can't live on rieslings alone.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

This is not how I spent my day

Those kids are pretty lucky.

The Eucharistic Miracle(?) in Dallas

I was going to blog on this this morning before my lessons, but I didn't have the time. Amy blogs here and links to this TV newscast. There's some sloppy reporting going on in the article that, thankfully, didn't make it to the broadcast (it infers that one of the women they interviewed was a witness to the beginnings of the incident, when it is quite evident that she was not.)

There's a lot in this story that raises questions (they just "forgot" about this in a cabinet for a month? The newscast interview with the priest was conducted in Spanish - and I can't hear under the voiceover to do my own translation?) and I don't know what to think when there is only one source that I can track after a couple of days of being in the press and she starts with "[t]he story goes"...

Anyway, when (if?) I can sort out the reporting questions from the "burning bosom" radar questions I'll weigh in officially.

UPDATE: Matter closed. That was fast.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Beethoven would be a video game composer

Or so says Tommy Tallarico, himself a composer for video games. I think a good case could be made for Beethoven the film score composer, but I'm not on board with Mr. Tallarico. First of all, Old Ludwig wasn't really into embracing new technology - his opus list* isn't really heavy on the non-traditional instrumentation. Also, when he got it into his head to compose for things epic and grand, they tended to turn out like his Wellington's Victory, and we all know how that was, ummmmmmmm, great (though I must admit that I quite dig the cannons).

I think the most probable video game scorist of the big composers would be Mozart, Mr. Glass Armonica. We certainly know it wouldn't be Brahms (Quote: "Glauben Sie ich will fur die Schreibtischelade schreiben?").

(Via, Patty)

*See also

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Save the penguins by shooting them

The description for this game says it all:
The penguins are panicking! They heard that the hole in the ozone layer will soon melt their home.
Freeze the panicking penguins before they hurt themselves"

(Via someone who loves me enough to look for penguins in all forms...)

Then mourn the death of the antiquities theft racket

(Also useful if you want to study mummies in their natural habitat): Crypt Raider.

Does the sharp increase in posts mean that Sarah is procrastinating?
Yes, yes it does.

Friday, March 17, 2006

A game I couldn't refuse

Because everything in my life seems to revolve around either The Godfather or Super Mario Bros.*

Super Mafia Bros. (be patient with the loading time)

*What's the blogger style book entry for video game references? Would "Super Mario Bros." be more correct? It all looks wrong to me unless it's in that title screen font.

No(t much) more green here

If you missed the Great Template Experiment, you missed quite a show. It was so greeen! But now, just because I can't just take all the green away on today's feast:
You're 55% Irish

You're very Irish, and most likely from Ireland.
(And if you're not, you should be!)

(I feel pretty good being a moderate between Res Publica & C. and The Fox. 55% seems exceptionally high, to be honest, but I'll take a lovely lucky four-leaf clover any day.)

No pinching the blog

Operation Temporary Template Change is a success.

A conversation with the blog

Sarah, how have you been spending your Spring Break? You haven't really checked in lately, you know. (Well... ummmm...)

Have you been doing important things like catching up on work? (Yes, a little.)
or cleaning?
(Well, things are cleaner around here, in general.)

or deciding on dates for the wedding?
(Sort of? I have lots of papers that... ummm... Let's move on.)

OK, OK, you have me cornered, Blog! I've been splitting my time between Tex Williams listening and spending way too much time here getting my Pinky and the Brain fix. It's not a noble way to spend a Spring Break, I'll admit, but it's my own. Are you happy?

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

To the long-lost relative of his

Who was asking this very important question:
You're about a half-century behind on the family Christmas newsletter list. You should really start reading them instead of immediately throwing them into the trash.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

If you have ever wondered

About the color of penguin poop, you can find the answer here.

(No, I wasn't wondering about that...)

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Texas Republican Primary 2006

One of the things that I really love about voting in the party primary race is that there are always a few crazy platform planks that are being considered for adoption at the convention. It does, in all honesty, make me a little giddy to read some of these even if this year's (scroll down to the bottom - just like a real ballot) were mostly let-downs: Fuzzy phrases about eminent domain, a murky call for spending limits, the annual homeowner's tax bickering...

There was one that made me sit up and notice, though:
The Texas Legislature should enact legislation requiring that voters provide valid photo identification in order to cast a ballot in any and all elections conducted in the State of Texas.

Texas has a long and important history of fraudulent elections. As a conservative, I can't support this initiative. Rampant voter fraud gives a strong incentive to the electorate to keep elected officials' offices as weak as possible. I hope the good people at the Texas GOP convention this summer rethink this call for legislative action. It would be a real victory for the (small) conservative wing of this state's Republican party.

A new feature here at A Glass of Chianti

Gaile Robinson Watch:

In a December 2005 article on an exhibit at the Modern, unfortunately no longer on line (but poorly blogged about here):
"Kiefer is considered an excellent painter"*

Gaile Robinson in February 2006:
"Scully is considered one of the world's pre-eminent painters."

Good heavens! Amon Carter is rolling around in his grave.

*I wish I could find her year-end list of the top 10 arts events in Fort Worth. One of the reasons that the Kiefer survey was so important: "he is still alive." (Seriously!)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Strongbad gives a double reed shout-out

Where oboes and technology meet there (should be) Patty. (Thanks to some handsome Yankee fellow)

And more woodwind fun (via A Special Way of Being Afraid) where the band director, in particular, is frighteningly accurate.

Monday, March 06, 2006


A non-tax Libertarian movement I can get behind.

You know what is conspicuously missing on

the Pope's iPod?

My Requiem and my opera (among other worthy pieces).

Sure they're not finished, but that doesn't stop Schubert from being performed.

(Via the Master of Catholic humor)

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Thankfully, that's over

I think most of my discomfort in watching the Oscars this year is that I'm (as I am continually reminded) the only person under 30 who doesn't find Jon Stewart* that funny. I am also (as I am also continually reminded - even by Jon Stewart himself) among a very, very select group that found Death to Smoochy quite amusing.

I didn't see a great deal of the nominated movies this year (I know, I know, I squandered my Christmas holiday viewing time!) and the movies I did see and liked weren't nominated, or were nominated for fairly insubstantial awards**. What's worse is that I don't really have a list of movies that I want to see, even after I've seen peeks of them tonight and heard the lauding. I had little desire to see Crash (here and... er... I could have sworn I read something The Yankee had written on the subject) and I have even less after the gushing about how it raises "important" and "relevant" issues. I'm sure things are different out in L.A. but here in my part of Texas at least, racism doesn't sound like what the people touting that movie say it does. Racism don't sound like this. You know what real racism sounds like? It sounds like a certain type of people voting for "It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp".

In any case, my love for A History of Violence and Junebug will continue, as will the mystery of why I put myself through viewing this each year. I had an excuse when Steve Martin was hosting, but now... Guh. Perhaps it's just the hope that this year, things will be better.

*Maybe it's a Family Guy thing... I'm pretty alone in my agegroup in that distaste too.
** Grizzly Man and *ahem* The New World. The opening sequence with Wagner's French horns and all of that water is the most magical piece of film I have ever, ever seen. At least since (and this is soooooo obvious) Badlands.

All I'm saying

is that it's pretty appropriate that the presentation of the Oscar for best song was right after Robert Altman's honorary award. The acceptance speech for those musicians was Altman's next film's subject wrapped up in a pretty bow, and we all know the director has a long history of hip-hop-friendly titles.

If you ever watched

Square One as a child, there's a song that will help you figure out the trick to this.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

What makes Texas mad enough to revolt

It has sacrificed our welfare to the state of Coahuila, by which our interests have been continually depressed through a jealous and partial course of legislation, carried on at a far distant seat of government, by a hostile majority, in an unknown tongue, and this too, notwithstanding we have petitioned in the humblest terms for the establishment of a separate state government, and have, in accordance with the provisions of the national constitution, presented to the general Congress a republican constitution, which was, without just cause, contemptuously rejected.
among other things, of course.

Happy Texas Independence Day! May the state of Coahuila never depress our interests again!

Still in computer purgatory

Which is great, since I know I'll eventually make it to computer Paradise, but it's really, really painful to be without USB ports in the mean time. (And why did my new hard disk come without a jumper shunt? That is, like, the most annoying thing in the world to not have in the package when you're wanting to be able to attempt to salvage things on the old drive. I guess I could just install things... but... I'll just have to crack the thing open again when I find the twelfth of a cent replacement part.)

So, what does a young woman in 2006 do when her computer is being unfriendly? She reads! Lots of good books! If she's a woman of a certain bent, she reads Thomas Day's Why Catholics Can't Sing and a certain blogger's creatively named A Terry Teachout Reader. Once I get my computer back on track, I suspect there will be thoughts on the first, but know there will be things to say about the latter.

Anyway, I'm really just checking in to say thanks for all of the nice wishes that you have sent along to Angus and me. I know that I'm pretty incredibly happy (if not nearly close to being ready to answer any of the questions that people seem to be asking...). The only thing keeping me from floating away with all the good feelings is the fact that it's over 90 degrees outside. 94 is simply too hot to even think about going outside, let alone taking leave of the ground...

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Stepping into the Way Back Machine

Due to a harddrive failure, I am accessing the Internets from a vintage mid-line Toshiba laptop that I bought with my own babysitting money back in 1998*. Until I am able to get a new one (this evening, perhaps?), just know that:
a) the best way to get in touch with me is probably going to be by phone
b) I'll be a little slower than normal in answering my e-mail.

Also, I am incredibly glad that I kept the hard copies of the vast majorities of my compositions. That, of course, means that the Requiem is still on track for completion in 2043! I'll sleep well tonight knowing that my archiving (read: minor packrat) tendencies are vindicated.

*My fingers had first typed 1889 by mistake. That century-plus doesn't seem to be a very large difference when talking about the capabilities of this computer...