boon-dog-gle: (noun) work of little or no value done merely to keep or look busy.
free: (adjective) provided without, or not subject to, a charge or payment.


stock market...

Not only is the stock market breaking records, it looks like my own fortunes are going up too--on the fantasy blog stock market, that is. I don't really have any idea what the heck this means, but there is a bizarre satisfaction to knowing that if my blog were a publicly traded entity, somebody would want to buy it. If you link to my blog, or I link to yours, then your blog is probably in there somewhere too.


Surprise random link of the week...

Here's this week's link: Have fun!


Inside the Minds of Musicians: Bono and Cash...

I've spent the last 2 Wednesday mornings helping to repaint the chapel behind our church that we are rennovating in order for it to serve as a venue for music, art, lectures, and other cultural happenings here in St. Louis. They are also putting in new bamboo flooring and there will be all new seating (it will still have the stained-glass windows and great vaulted wood ceiling and woodwork trim). It's going to be super cool. It won't be totally finished next week, but we are going to have the first such cultural happening anyway, because it's such a great opportunity that we couldn't pass it up. Read the announcement below, and please come.

Steve Turner will speak at a free public lecture at the "as-yet-unveiled/unnamed Chapel" Music & Arts Venue behind Memorial Presbyterian Church (formerly, Matthews Chapel) here in St. Louis (at the intersection of Alexander Dr. and Skinker Blvd.), next Thursday April 26 @ 7:30 pm.

About Steve Turner:

“A tough-minded poet with an ear for the psalms, an eye for the miracles in the mundane, and an understanding of how despair can break the ground for joy to take root.” Bono

“A hipsters’ eye and a parishioner’s faith.” People magazine

Steve Turner began his journalistic career as Features Editor of the British rock monthly Beat Instrumental where he interviewed many of the key figures of early 1970s rock including David Bowie, Elton John, John Lennon, Frank Zappa, Rod Stewart, Lou Reed, Alice Cooper, Tim Buckley, Cat Stevens and members of the Who, Byrds, Band, Moody Blues, Roxy Music, Black Sabbath, T. Rex and Grateful Dead.

Steve is author of numerous books about musicians, including:
The Gospel According to the Beatles
U2 Rattle & Hum: The Official Book of the U2 Movie
The Man Called CASH: The Life, Love and Faith of an American Legend
Trouble Man: The Life and Death of Marvin Gaye
A Hard Day's Write: The Stories Behind Every Beatles' Song
Hungry for Heaven: Rock and Roll and the Search for Redemption
Jack Kerouac: Angelheaded Hipster
Van Morrison: Too Late to Stop Now

He has also written on the relationship between Christianity and popular culture as well as reflections on his experiences working as a music journalist.

Steve has known U2 since 1983. Steve grew up in Northamptonshire, England, and for the past 35 years has lived in London. He is married and has a son and daughter.


Surprise random link of the week...

Here's this week's link: Have fun!



Surprise random link of the week...

Here's this week's link: Have fun!


random, unconnected thoughts...

It occurred to me the other day that one of the things that marks The Office as such an excellent show is that Karen is likable. Sure, most people want Jim and Pam to get together. But a lesser show would have portrayed Karen as a *itch. That's the kind of thing that happens in bad TV shows and movies all the time: the lead character is dating a horrible person and everybody in the world except that character can see that somebody else is better for him/her. In The Office, however, while we might really like Pam, we can like Karen too. So, it's not so easy just to root for Jim to dump Karen and go out with Pam. In that way, the show--as absurd and exaggerated as it is--is a lot more like real life. Most of the time, the bad guys aren't walking through the streets wearing black hats to make them easy to spot. We're just a bunch of flawed people trying to make the best of it.

Barabbas is my favorite of the "biblical epic" movies, by far. I watched it again (Easter) Sunday night, when they showed it on TCM. Anthony Quinn gives a powerhouse performance performance as Barabbas, even though he actually doesn't have a lot of dialogue. In movies these days, the only way a powerful performance is achieved is by some guy talking a lot with a raised voice (think of any Al Pacino movie). Quinn was able to be both subtle and grand at the same time. I'm kind of a sucker for grand, old, historical-epic type movies anyway, and I can even take a perverse enjoyment in a bad one. Even though it has some 1960's movie cheese factor, Barabbas is objectively good. Ben-Hur may be technically better, but I like Barabbas more. Several times during the movie, Barabbas cries out with anguish, anger, and confusion, "That man died in my place!" It gives me chills. We are all Barabbas.

You know what else gives me chills? The weather in St. Louis. Whatever happened to global warming? High temps the last several days: 44, 43, 38, 37, 47.

Several ideas/expressions are related to both light and intelligence. Someone who is smart can be "bright" or "brilliant," and it can be indicated that someone has an idea by either the image or expression of a "light bulb turning on." I don't know what to do with that information. It's just something I noticed.

I'm fatter than I've ever been in my life, and I can feel it. I desperately need to get back to being active this summer. I'm thinking that I need to start running again, which is a dreadful prospect to me. I used to love running. But anytime I've tried to start up again in the last several years, it just doesn't have the same feeling. You would never know by looking at me that in high school track I ran a 4:54 mile and a 10:28 two-mile. Part of my problem is, once you've done that, "jogging" around the neighborhood streets just doesn't have the same thrill. Suzanne says I need to goal to shoot for, like a 10-K or half-marathon. That's probably wise.

From Theophilus of Antioch (c. 180-85):
A fluent tongue and an elegant style afford pleasure and such praise as vainglory delights in, to wretched men who have been corrupted in mind; the lover of truth does not give heed to ornamented speeches, but examines the real matter of the speech, what it is, and what kind it is. ...You call me a Christian, as if this were a damning name to bear, I, for my part, avow that I am a Christian, and bear this name beloved of God, hoping to be serviceable to God. For it is not the case, as you suppose, that the name of God is hard to bear; but possibly you entertain this opinion of God, because you are yourself yet unserviceable to Him.


on Easter...

From a poem by the 6th-century Latin poet Venantius Honorius Clementianus Fortunatus, titled "On Easter" or "On the Resurrection":

Behold, the favour of the reviving world bears witness that all gifts have returned together with its Lord.

For in honour of Christ rising triumphant after His descent to the gloomy Tartarus, the grove on every side with its leaves expresses approval, the plants with their flowers express approval.

The light, the heaven, the fields, and the sea duly praise the God ascending above the stars, having crushed the laws of hell.

Behold, He who was crucified reigns as God over all things, and all created objects offer prayer to their Creator.

Hail, festive day, to be reverenced throughout the world, on which God has conquered hell, and gains the stars!

The changes of the year and of the months, the bounteous light of the days, the splendour of the hours, all things with voice applaud.

Hence, in honour of you, the wood with its foliage applauds; hence the vine, with its silent shoot, gives thanks.

Hence the thickets now resound with the whisper of birds; amidst these the sparrow sings with exuberant love.

O Christ, Thou Saviour of the world, merciful Creator and Redeemer, the only offspring from the Godhead of the Father, flowing in an indescribable manner from the heart of Thy Parent, Thou self-existing Word, and powerful from the mouth of Thy Father, equal to Him, of one mind with Him, is fellow, coeval with the Father, from whom at first the world derived its origin!

Thou dost suspend the firmament, Thou heapest together the soil, Thou dost pour forth the seas, by whose government all things which are fixed in their places flourish.

Who seeing that the human race was plunged in the depth of misery, that Thou mightest rescue man, didst Thyself also become man: nor wert Thou willing only to be born with a body, but Thou becamest flesh, which endured to be born and to die.

Thou dost undergo funeral obsequies, Thyself the author of life and framer of the world, Thou dost enter the path of death, in giving the aid of salvation.

The gloomy chains of the infernal law yielded, and chaos feared to be pressed by the presence of the light.

Darkness perishes, put to flight by the brightness of Christ; the thick pall of eternal night falls.

But restore the promised pledge, I pray Thee, O power benign!

The third day has returned; arise, my buried One; it is not becoming that Thy limbs should lie in the lowly sepulchre, nor that worthless stones should press that which is the ransom of the world.

It is unworthy that a stone should shut in with a confining rock, and cover Him in whose fist all things are enclosed.

Take away the linen clothes, I pray; leave the napkins in the tomb: Thou art sufficient for us, and without Thee there is nothing.

Release the chained shades of the infernal prison, and recall to the upper regions whatever sinks to the lowest depths.

Give back Thy face, that the world may see the light; give back the day which flees from us at Thy death.

But returning, O holy conqueror! Thou didst altogether fill the heaven!

Tartarus lies depressed, nor retains its rights. The ruler of the lower regions, insatiably opening his hollow jaws, who has always been a spoiler, becomes a prey to Thee.

Thou rescuest an innumerable people from the prison of death, and they follow in freedom to the place whither their leader approaches.

The fierce monster in alarm vomits forth the multitude whom he had swallowed up, and the Lamb withdraws the sheep from the jaw of the wolf.


Surprise random link of the week...

Here's this week's link: Have fun!

G.K. Chesterton...

"The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people."