Thursday, June 28, 2007

This tree, it turns out, does not provide wireless internet access. It does, however, offer all the texture and asperity, all the promise of growth and evidence of growth, you could hope for standing in the front lawn of Loyola House, my home for the next month.

The Alexander Hamilton Memorial Library of Waynesboro PA, on the other hand, does provide wireless internet access. And in the spirit of public libraries, it does so for free. I doubt I'll get here even once a week, but when I do you can rest assured I'll try to post a photo or two.

For now, know that I'm grateful for the good energy and prayers you kind folks are sending (or, feeling sheepish, will soon send) for the staff and retreatants both as we come together to connect with God, with Creation, and -- inextricably in those two -- with one another.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Things I'm grateful for:
  • The remarkable people gathered for the Fund for Theological Education's conference in Evanston IL last week and the beautiful (occasionally breath-taking) liturgies they rendered
  • That one of their number suggested we stop by Chicago's Pride Parade on the way to O'Hare for his plane.
  • That Minnesotans believe in air-conditioning
  • That my parents are flexible enough and my Uncle Tom is mechanic enough to get me through the two gallons of coolant Diego somehow guzzled in the last leg of my road trip to Minnesota
  • That Mookie's laptop is sufficiently better at cybersquating than mine is that I can keep up with friends' e-mails and iPhone rumors and reviews, as well as get this paltry post up online
  • That if you're persistent enough NWA will eventually give you a flight on Continental that more or less gets you in when and where their cancelled flight would have provided [A] you follow your Mom's advice and tell them what you'll be doing when you arrive at your destination and [B] you're willing to layover in Cleveland
  • That Bonita Kosciolek of Stone Pointe Shiatsu had a cancellation about the same exact time I had my first back spasm since my surgery four years ago
  • That I've successfully resisted the urge to make this a comprehensive list that tells the stories of the past few lovely days
  • That I can therefore get something approaching a good night's sleep

Things I'm not grateful for:
  • That this is the map of AT&T's cell phone coverage for Blue Ridge Summit, where I'll (otherwise happily) be spending the next 4 weeks working at a Jesuit retreat center for families.
The light color indicates 'no signal.'

So, um . . talk to you in August I guess!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

There are twenty 2007 Ministry Fellows (thank you Fund for Theological Education!) but only one of them had a birthday today: Mike Powell is not only my conference roommate, but also -- as far as any of us know -- the world's first liturgical gymnast. (Psalms 103 and 104, complete with handstands, back handspring, and a pommel horse series on the floor inspired by 'fire' and ending with 'thunder.' It was seriously cool.) We took a break from conference mode to share some Balvenie Doublewood 12 Year Scotch at a neighborhood bar with that classic conference phenomenon: the table for two dozen.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Mike and I passed most of our hours on the road with stories, or solving the world's problems, or complaining about one another's otherwise-endearing habits. But occasionally, when that happy natural silence between old friends settled in, we'd crank up one of the above (mine an almost-ancient 2002 iPod, his the Mini that somehow looks bulky in comparison to today's Nano) and listen to music or a podcasted edition of This American Life, a radio show you should go and listen to right now -- presuming that if you're reading my blog you've obviously got nothing better to do with your time.

[Confidential to Bridget O'B & David V: my iVangelization is a natural outgrowth of my idolatrous relationship with Apple Inc and I refuse to feel ashamed about it. And Mike already planned to buy the iPhone. No, iReally!]

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Greetings from "Ace-Deuce" (that's what Christa tells me the cool kids are calling Ann Arbor MI these days).

Mike and I are roadbound, but wanted to get this photo up as well as as this Google Maps overview of the journey. (Wait until you see us with our iPhones, Google Mapping on the go!)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

What you’ve done becomes the judge of what you’re going to do -- especially in other people’s minds. When you’re traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.

--William Least Heat Moon, Blue Highways

The roadtrip wisdom of Mr. Least Heat Moon has not apparently reached the kind and efficient ladies and gentlemen of the Canadian Immigration Post at the end of Interstate 91. "So one of you has a California license but sort of lives in Georgia and soon-to-be North Carolina, and the other one has a Minnesota license but lives in Massachusetts, and together you're driving a car with 36 gallons of vegetable oil in the trunk through Montréal and Toronto on your way to Chicago?" They asked what states we'd lived in -- that took a while, especially because she said other countries were fair game too. Anyway, here's a photo of Mike and I in Acadia National Park, which I like to refer to as Gravel Camp. Yes, that too is a much longer story. (One that involves car alarms, ribbed blankets, and the verb "clench.") But the hike there involved the above flowers making their impossible way out of the rocks you climb to reach "The Beehive." More from the road tomorrow or the day after . . .

Friday, June 01, 2007

Weston's graduation came and went, with wonderful music and the right blend of humility, gratitude, pomp and circumstance. Now my housemates are settling into their respective summers, including graduates Sean and Natalia (in the middle with their fancy Masters Degrees hoods).

The only photo I have of all of us hadn't yet made it to the blog -- so here it is, taken by myfriendMargaretPost after a shrimp-and-grits dinner cooked by Bethany and her boyfriend Karl (fourth from the right) in honor of our guest Professor Jim Keenan, SJ (fourth from the left) back on 6 May 07.

Of course I can't resist . . .

Here's some food porn of the accompanying Fried Green Tomato Salad . . .

. . . with homemade chow-chow.