July 24, 2018

Quick Takes Shaken not Stirred (or: College Light and the Mer-gods)

A Dominican in Ohio (formerly downtown at St. Patrick's) quoted St Augustine (in Latin) on the recent news:
Why is the Church black but comely? She is black by nature, but comely by grace. Why is she black by nature? Because she must needs own: "Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me." Ps. 1. 7. Why is she comely by? Sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be clean wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

Ending up buying a book containing columns of Cardinal McCarrick because it was free with amazon points. As if I’ll be able to figure anything out by it. The mystery of iniquity is definitionally mysterious.  Fr. Longenecker tweeted the truth that the biggest surprise is how McCarrick hasn’t admitted guilt and expressed public repentance. Kind of smoke of Satan-y. Also interesting to see Cardinal Farrell block his tweets and Bishop Tobin kill his Twitter account in response to story.

I’m not sure why it feels different with McCarrick other than I thought this whole issue was long past and yet McCarrick paid off people during only the past decade. Plus it rankles the sheer power he had - helping to choose a pope and influencing other papal electors.


Wondrously restorative baseball this morning. Just a couple innings (the first and ninth) of last night’s Reds. Got to listen to that tonic of broadcasters, Marty Brennaman. “Isn’t this game of baseball something?” after a Reds hitter slammed one deep, tying the game with two outs in bottom of ninth. And then a two-out rally to win - the game doesn’t get any better than that. I felt the way the late Charles Krauthammer always did before going to a baseball game - like a kid on holiday. As much as I “want” to follow other teams, mostly the Dodgers for their beautiful stadium (best in MLB according to many) and the Yanks for their astounding Aaron Judge, I keep coming home to the Reds, especially given we’ve got this generation’s Ted Williams (Joey Votto). Speaking of which, Votto was praising Williams last night and saying how Ted’s book “The Science of Hitting” was his baseball bible. He’s learned well.

Unfortunately Homer “home run” Bailey pitches tonight. Nails, meet chalk board.


Last night read more of the compelling myth-novel Circe. Finally a female novelist I can appreciate (besides O’Connor and Dinesen). I can see why it’s a best-seller for it has an otherworldly charm to it. Quotes:

They were a motley group: river-men with muscles like the trunks of trees, brine-soaked mer-gods with crabs hanging from their beards, stringy old-timers with seal meat in their teeth.

The land was drenched in boiling gouts of blood so potent that rare flowers sprang up where they fell.

The river-lords postured, faces dark with excitement. You cannot know how frightened gods are of pain. There is nothing more foreign to them, and so nothing they ache more deeply to see.

“My dear, [mortals] must always offer something, even if it is small, even if only wine poured at your spring, else they will forget to be grateful, after.”

He would bare his blue chest before them, strapped with god-muscles, and offer his hands, smooth as surf-rolled shells.

They took him to Nereus, old Titan god of the sea, who in turn introduced him to Poseidon, his new lord. Together they helped him shape his underwater palace, set with gold and wave-wrack treasures.


Visited Jazz & Rains fest this past deluge!


Read a review of a new documentary by Frederick Wiseman called Ex Libris, about the NY Public Library. The subject matter is crack-cocaine (even the title) so I looked where I could stream it, preferably for free. And low and behold via the website and app Kanopy I can view any of Wiseman’s previous documentaries for free using my Columbus library card. (Ex Libris won’t be available till the fall, after PBS airing.) I came immediately across a documentary about a Benedictine monastery titled Essene and that looks again like crack-cocaine. And one on horse racing. Always pleasing to discover a free source of infotainment. Ain’t that ‘net something.


The transom in the sunroom allows some night sky viewing and so I’ve been noticing a particularly bright star in the southern sky. I looked it up using an app: Arcturus, the fourth brightest star and far brighter than our sun.

Despite it something I’ve never noticed before or could identify, it’s been a major player for human eons. In Ancient Rome it signaled superstitious portents, for Polynesian sailors it guided them to Hawaii. In the book of Job it’s mentioned when God says to Job:

“Can thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? Or can thou guide Arcturus with his sons?”
The name comes from Greek myth based on its position so close to “the Bear”, or Ursa Major, the Big Dipper:

The traditional name Arcturus derives from Ancient Greek and means "Guardian of the Bear". ..it is a reference to its being the brightest star in the constellation next to Ursa Major, the Greater Bear.

One astronomical tradition has it based on the myth that Zeus transformed a boy into a constellation containing the star, and his mother into Ursa Major, this the boy guards his mother.
The light I see from it is about 37 years old given the distance it’s traveled, so the light was generated during my first semester of my first year at college.

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