Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bluebeard's Castle

It was the strangest opera we've ever seen. Only two characters - Bluebeard and Judith, who, as we discover at the end, is (was) his fourth wife. Even though he was a gruesome murderer, it was hard to tell whose side the opera was on. Judith was really pretty annoying, refusing to kiss him unless he opened all the doors. The staging was amazing, though, and really kept your interest. It was a lighting designer's dream. As each of the seven doors opened, the lights suggested what was behind them: blood, a garden (drenched in blood), the treasure-chamber (covered in blood), the lake of tears, bloody corpses, etc. Spoilers alert: in Bartok's version, the father and brothers don't come to rescue her.

We decided to skip the second short opera, "Erwartung," the searing portrait of a woman's descent into atonal Freudian madness.

If you don't believe me, just visit the Seattle Opera website.

Walk #3

Our third destination: McCaw Hall, where we are going to see "Bluebeard's Castle" by Bartok, courtesy of the Kerns. Thank you, Jim and Alma!

Friday, February 27, 2009


I-Google is a new (? - you've probably all been using it for years) feature on Google. I think they got the idea from "I, Robot." It allows you to customize your Google page with all kinds of e-gadgets, like clocks, calendars, maps, joke-of-the-day, artwork, YouTube videos, news feeds, and the like. You can even set up a gadget to send posts to your blog without going to all the trouble of logging in. Since you have to log in to your I-Google screen, I'm not sure exactly what the point is, but I thought I'd try it out.

There was an interesting article about the geniuses of Google in the New York Times today. It appears that they are trying to take over the world. They have made pretty good progress so far.

Walk #2: Downtown

After Mass we decided to walk as far as we could downtown for 15 minutes, and then walk back. We barely got to 5th and Pike before we had to turn around again. The most interesting part of the walk was crossing the freeway. As Yvor Winters wrote in his poem, "Evening traffic homeward burns, / Swift and even on the turns."

The other interesting thing we saw was a new cafe/nail salon. Now, you can drink a latte while you wait to have your nails painted, allowing the fumes from the other customers to mingle with the steam of your drink. Alternately, you can sip your drink through a straw while waiting for your nails to dry.

On the way back we stopped at M Street. (When you are eating at home, you run out of groceries much more frequently.) We got some veggie-burgers that turned out to be delicious, contrary to all expectation. They were almost completely convincing. You just have to get over the fact that when they come out of the box, they are already brown.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Walk #1

After the funeral (and BLT's for lunch) we took our first walk of Lent. Seattle U - not very adventurous. We did go through the campus in a different direction than we have before. So instead of going to the Chapel first, we decided to do the Chapel last. That's where we are now. They are having a rehearsal for a big Mass. Must be the Novena of Grace.

Now it's time to head back up the hill. This afternoon I'm giving a tour of the Cathedral to a group of students from Bastyr University. Should be interesting.

An image of Lent

This morning, we walked all the way to the Cathedral through the snow. We observed the beauties of nature – like these daffodils covered in snow by the east apse of the Cathedral. If the sun keeps shining, we’ll be able to go for our Lenten walk at lunchtime.

Our blog readers will be glad to know that Father Ryan was feeling great this morning. He didn’t know whether to attribute his recovery to the medicine his doctor prescribed or to the intercession of Blessed, soon to be Saint, Damien of Molokai, or both. Probably both! He got off on his trip just a few minutes ago.

Off to the 11:00am funeral to show the readers what to do.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Taste of Lent

"Good times and bad times and all times get over," as it said on the old tombstone. After the fourth Mass, Ash Wednesday finally began to draw to a close. We went down to M Street to get a few groceries. Yes, this is the taste of Lent: a bag of spinach, some plain tortillas, and lots of herbal tea. Blech. Why does Lent have to be all about food? It makes me think about food even more than I normally do. I sit there visualizing all the delicious things I could be eating if it weren't Ash Wednesday. One feels that one's thoughts should be more serious in the season of repentance and renewal.

Maria just came up and said, "When is Ash Wednesday going to be over so we can have something to eat?" And then she added, "I want a hamburger." Which just goes to show that I am not alone in my sentiments.

Our determination to go for a walk every day will soon be tested: it is supposed to snow tomorrow. We shall see. Happy Lent, blog-readers!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

In Micropolis

Last week we were in Washington DC. This week we are in Microsoftland. Father Hyacinthe wanted to go on a tour.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

We made it

M thought we should add another message to let our blog-readers know that we made it back from Detroit. On Northwest they started this cockamamie system of boarding. First, those with no bags are allowed to get on. Then those with small bags, small enough to fit under the seat in front of them. Finally, everyone else. (I don't know if that is the correct spelling of cockamamie, or if there even is one.)