Mar 30, 2009

Best Game Ever - The Wikipedia Game

Sit down with someone you know fairly well.

Take out your computers.

Go to Wikipedia.

Pick a destination Wikipedia article (eg. didgeridoo, Arnold Schwarzeneggar, candle).

Hit "Random Article."

Whoever gets to the destination article first by clicking only the links on the page wins (For example. Your random article is "Denali National Park." On the page, you could click on "Alaska," "mountain," "road," etc.).


Mar 27, 2009

In Which the Author Recounts a Tale He Was Told

Though it was rainy and ice-stormy the whole time I was home, I still had a wonderful time. My nephew and I got to play a lot and he's getting to the age where he's fun. You don't realize how boring newborns and babies are until they grow up.

Anyways, my nephew and I had a few conversations. One of them went like this:
Me: "Eli, what did you do this morning"
Eli: "No, No" (It's the name of one of his favorite books)
Me: "You read 'No,No'?"
Eli: "Mm hmm! Uh huh!"
Me: "What else did you do?"
Eli: "Gumma (Grandma - my mom). Hit."
Me: "Grandma hit something?!"
Eli: "Mm hmm! Uh huh! Gumma. Hit. Uncle!"
Me: "No, Grandma didn't hit Uncle. Grandma loves Uncle!"
Eli: "Gumma. Hit. Nate" (Nate is his stuffed animal. He chose the name himself.)

It was at this point that he began launching into a tale of how my mom had evidently bloodied all of his stuffed animals. It was also at this point that I was amazed that two years ago this little guy was not even born.

Mar 24, 2009

It's A Simple Equation, Really

Eric Whitacre times the quantity of the sum of Orchestra Hall, St. Olaf Choir, and VocalEssence plus the sum of Good Friends and Good Seats is greater than or equal to the best of concerts I've ever been to.

Wow. I think I just successfully turned an interesting topic into a dull one. Sorry about that. I'll explain the equation. I went to a concert on Sunday at Orchestra Hall and saw Eric Whitacre directing the St. Olaf choir and VocalEssence. It was the best concert I've ever been to. Easily. Maybe not the most moving (NWC Choir still has the award for most moving concerts), but definitely the best musically and it's up there in emotionality as well.

My favorite pieces were "Cloudburst" (no surprise there. It's amazing. The choir simulates a thunderstorm on stage and mixed with the coolest chords, it's sweet) and "When David Heard." Big surprise there. I've listened to this on a CD before, but never understanding the meaning of the song.

It is a 14 minute version of the verse "When David heard Absalom was slain, he went into his chamber above the gate and wept, saying, "My son, would that I had died instead." For 13 minutes of the piece, the choir is repeating "My son, Absalom" in extremely sorrowful chords.

OK, I know this post is getting long, but I just have one more thing to mention (apart from the fact that I got to meet Eric Whitacre). St. Olaf Choir's sound is . . . perfect. Can I say that? It's about as close as unglorified humans can get. The blend, the tone, the pitch, the phrasing, the dynamics, the overall intensity all make St. Olaf choir fantastic.

Mar 23, 2009

Five Postcards from the Drive North

1. Pine trees in knife-sharp detail
A single birch amid their green.

2. Four hawks.
Three herons.
A flock of swans.
A murder of crows.
A crow's murder.

3. I love driving with the
Windshield wipers on high.
When I stop, water makes
Veins across the glass.

4. Memories of a Cloud:
Going in.
Coming out.
In between is a little foggy.

5. Bow your head
As you enter the
Cathedral of pines.
Their Gothic boughs
Grow just before Sturgeon Lake.

Mar 21, 2009

Surprise! I'm more than a river in Egypt!

The Northwestern College Choir concert was last night. It was . . . so good.

For those of you unfamiliar with the choir, at the end of every concert they sing "Jesus, I Adore Thee." It's the 'family song' of the College Choir.

All through the concert, I was able to keep from missing the college choir too much (not the people, but the choir thing. I definitely miss the people in college choir a LOT!). There were a few points that were particularly beautiful, sorrowful, or joyful.

And then the women started singing "Jesus, I adore Thee, Word of truth and grace . . ."

It hit me then. And I realized how easy it is to believe that you don't really miss a thing. But you do.

Mar 19, 2009

Someone you know has an interview next week to be working at camp this summer. That person took these pictures. That person has access to this blog. Three guesses who it is.

Mar 15, 2009

Beware the Ides of March . . . and maybe the days around it as well

I just wanted to point out that three of my favorite days ever fall in a 4 day period. Coincidence? I don't think so!
March 14: Pi Day (3.1415926...You get the picture)
March 15: Anniversary of the death of Julius Caesar ("Et tu, Brute?")
March 17: St. Patrick's Day (Top o' ta marnin' to ya - and a good evenin' ta boot!)

(Disclaimer: The information contained in this post may or may not be true. Which may or may not make this post completely and utterly useless and dishonest.)

Mar 14, 2009

Thank God for South-Facing Windows

Sitting in gold light
Soaking in yellowed warmth beams
Drifting off to dream

Mar 3, 2009

Atticus is the Best

Atticus Finch may be my favorite character from any work of fiction that I've read. He has wisdom, compassion, integrity, and self-sacrifice in abundance.

And I love that his kids think that he's boring and old.

If you haven't read To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee, I would suggest that you bring it to the front of your reading list (The only other books that I would allow before it are 1. the Bible, 2. books for classes, 3. it would tie with Uncle Tom's Cabin for when it should be read).

Question of the Day: What work of fiction or fictional characters have impacted you on a profound level?