Mass, Cats, and Weimaraners

Do you remember Wegman’s Weimaraners, the beautiful pictures and skits of the Weimaraner dogs with human arms?  (William Wegman started all of that.  Here’s an example.)  And we hopefully all know the musical Cats.  (Look up some photos quickly, if you need a frame of reference for the picture to have in your head of the style.)

Now, today at Mass, both of these things were relevant.  My mom and I have had a somewhat silly time in Mass together the past several years, mostly due to a little book we found at, I believe, a dollar store.  (It was a book of comic-type frames, based on The Bible and Christianity, and was entitled According to the Good Book.  I can tell more about that another time, though.)  We do not actively seek out distractions, of course, but we do inform the other if ever there is something truly worth noticing.  This morning, after the priest had pointed out some facts relating to the scene choices of the stained glass windows, my mom leans over to me, and whispers that, “Baby Jesus has adult hands,” and “Saint Joseph is a lion… He was in Cats.”

Momentarily unable to comprehend, I noticed that she was looking at one of the windows.  Sure enough, she was right.  I let her know that I agreed with her, and that the baby Jesus reminded me of the Weimaraners with human arms.  We said nothing more, but both struggled to calm ourselves from the our silent, trembling laughter.

A while later, the little girl in front of us, did something wonderful.  She had already tickled us to silent chuckles earlier with an adorable, “Let us praaay,” mimicking even the tones of the priest, immediately after he had said it, as well as her unreal timing with leaning backward in her mother’s arms.  During the singing of the Amens after the whole bread and wine changing to body and bread deal, the music powerful and faith being declared strongly through song, we look up to see this little girl facing her mother, held around the waist in her mother’s arms, leaning back as far as possible, arms draped down, hanging limply behind her, and her head dropped back… at the last “Amen”, she raised her arms straight up in the air, as though praying to and praising the great Lord above.  It was truly beautiful, despite the comedy of the timing of her actions.

So now, this little girl, just as Mass is almost finished, finds the little envelopes at the end of the pew.  The envelopes are for collection (donations) to the Church for a specific cause, and the cause was labeled with a golden starburst-shaped seal on the front of each envelope.  When she finds the envelopes, she grabs them, and scoots back toward her older brother, and declares quietly, “I got invites!”  The priest says another line or two, and then we hear her say, “Should we go?”  I think my mom and I instantly began crying with laughter.

Another few moments later, we hear the brother say, “Your party lipstick,” and we see him doing her lipstick for her with a fake lipstick.  I comment to my mother that ‘I bet Cats is playing at the party.’  And we continued crying with laughter.

Now, I am aware that this is not ideal Mass behavior, as we are well taught as children.  We are nonetheless human, and so we have our little tidbits of fun at Mass here and there.  Besides, it is a beautiful art to find unsuspecting joys in unsuspecting places.  And come on, who wouldn’t agree that Saint Joseph must have been in Cats, based on that window?
The Nativity, as portrayed by today’s lovely stained glass window

The “Party Invitation”


Post-a-day 2017

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An Evening of Moon River, and more

Moon River, wider than a mile, I’m crossing you in style some day. 
Oh, dream maker, you heart breaker, 
wherever you’re going I’m going your way. 
Two drifters off to see the world. 
There’s such a lot of world to see. 
We’re after the same rainbow’s end– 
waiting ’round the bend, 
my huckleberry friend, 
Moon River and me.

© 1961 Paramount Music Corporation, ASCAP

So go the lyrics to the beautiful song that is sung by Audrey Hepburn in the film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, and which was written for the occasion.  They have been in my mind all night tonight.  I likely still will be singing them and humming the song tomorrow, and possibly the next several days or weeks, too, imagining Miss Holly Golightly sitting on her windowsill in jeans and a gray sweatshirt, strumming her small guitar, singing the song while her hair dries in a towel on her head.  That was her one genuine moment, where there were no airs put on and no facades blocking the view; dreamy longing and total honesty were there, coming to life in her music.

Why, you ask, is all of this on my mind?  Well, because of just that.  My cousin makes jewelry from guitar strings.  (I do a little, too, but not to the same degree.)  Since that particular scene had Holly being simple and honest, showing her core, she loved the scene.  Since it included Holly’s playing the guitar, it became relevant to my cousin’s jewelry.  You see, this neat art gallery in Galveston decided to do an “All About Audrey” exhibition, in which all of the selected pieces were submitted by various individuals in the community.  The only requirements were that the art be vegan and be somehow about Audrey Hepburn.  So, my cousin used guitar strings and fake pearls to construct her own version of the famous “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” necklace (with the aforementioned information taking part in creating the idea).

Tonight, the art show had its opening, and my cousin’s piece was part of the show.  So, my mom and I attended the opening.  The opening happened to be a costume party, with the theme being ‘your favorite Audrey’.  I genuinely liked the honesty moment in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, and the fact that it directly related to the reason we were going – to support my cousin’s guitar string jewelry inspired by that scene – made it an easy preference for my attire for the event.

And so, I put together the clothes, had my mom help me with a white hand towel on my head (I had to take out the seams to make it long enough to tie correctly.), and looked up “Moon River” chords.  I only have a full-sized guitar with me, so I figured my ukulele would do well for the completion of the outfit.  Since I was going to be carrying around my uke, dressed as a character who sings an incredibly famous song, I figured it only fair that I make an effort to learn to play the song myself.

And it was a good thing I did!  Not only was I requested to play, but I was asked to play three times.  The third time was the coolest, because the second time had already been a sort of sing-a-long for a lot of the people at the gallery, but the third was everyone.  I was on my way out of the gallery, heading to dinner with my family who had been in attendance, when a lady at a table complimented my outfit and asked me to play.  The man at the table asked if I could play, because, of I could play, he could sing.  And so I started up playing, singing with him, only to be joined after only a few seconds by the entire gallery.  It was so beautiful, it was almost spooky.  People had all different reasons for being there tonight, but we all shared the experience of true bliss and community as we sang together tonight.  Reasonably fitting end to the week that included International Peace Day (Thursday), I think.

There are two other fun aspects to this.  The first is that we the went to dinner, all of us dressed in our various outfits.  Most everyone looked to be in normal-ish attire for our current life and times, and it was even somewhat high on the classy side, and all black and white.  My mother, however, was in a genuine formal 60s dress that is just about the color of Tiffany’s boxes, and is floor length, polyester, and very 60s.  I was in jeans and a sweatshirt, and had a towel on my head.  Just imagine seeing our party at a casual restaurant – what on Earth would you think?

The second fun aspect is that this isn’t the first time we’ve done something like this.  For the 100th anniversary of the Titanic, we attended a tea and luncheon that was tied to the Museum of Fine Arts’ temporary exhibit on the Titanic.  The idea was to experience tea like back in the day at an actual teahouse in town, and then gonover to the exhibit.  We did exactly that, but dressed in period-appropriate attire.  Aside from the servers at the teahouse, we were the only ones dressed up.  At the museum, someone asked to sketch me (and did), people took pictures of us, and we had several inquiries about whether we weren’t part of the exhibit.  It was a grand old time, and felt somehow totally normal to me.  I guess that’s just how we roll in my family.  Cool, huh?  🙂

Post-a-day 2017

Love Notes for the World

My mom sent me an e-mail today that reminded me of one of my fun activities in college: my (love) sign.

You see, when I was in high school, I was doing partner dancing.  A guy in the dance community in Houston died at some point, and it caused people to reminisce often.  I’m not sure if I ever met the guy, because he died shortly after I began going out dancing (as opposed to just dancing at the studio and in classes), but there’s a chance our paths crossed a handful of times.  Nonetheless, I have always remembered this guy.  My friend’s dad was talking about this guy, and talked about “his signs”.  I inquired, and discovered that this guy would carry around signs – I think they were poster boards, actually – with various messages, and would use them when at the club for dance socials.  The specific example I remember was how, if two people were really flirting or kissing, he might hold up a sign that read, “Get a room.”  As this is by no means a social norm, the idea always stuck with me.

In college, for some reason, this memory arose right at the time my flatmate was in an art class and had extra art paper at home one night.  It’s the really thick, soft paper that is similar to poster board, but is used specifically for drawing or painting (or possibly both).  So, that night, I had a torn-off section of this art paper, and I decided to make my own sign.  On one side, it read, “you should, too”.  The other read, “I love you”.

I carried this poster around with me almost everywhere for the remainder of that semester.  I think I even had it while I rode my bike (actually, yes, I do remember riding my bike as I held on to it).  It was incredibly odd, but completely accepted by my college.  I was really nervous about it at first, but very quickly became comfortable with carrying around the sign.  I mean, come on… kids do all sorts of odd things in college, so this was just one more in a million odd things we would cross.

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Anyway, I loved it.  I miss it at times, even.  I don’t exactly live the same sort of lifestyle now as I did in college, however, I think I could work out something.  The thing my mom sent me was about business cards that read simply “YOU MATTER”.  And I think I want to make some more of my own things, but following this fashion of a small card that can be given to others.

When I lived in Vienna, a friend found a stash of the ‘Our Daily Bread’ cards, which is a sort of deck of little cards, where each is shaped like a bread basket and has a bible verse on it (these had German on one side and French on the other).  We handed them out to people at the train station late at night, while another friend would do his regular harp serenading for the late-night folks waiting at the station. (Yes, that is a whole other story.)

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So, I guess, my point is that I am now planning to combine these three ideas.  I don’t know exactly what I’ll put on my cards yet, but I know that I want to do them.  I can start this week, and see what comes up, see how I like them, and see what to change for the better.

 

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What I wrote with this one on Facebook, back when I originally posted it:


A girl in the WG found a bunch of little cards with Bible verses on them. One side was in German and the other side was French. I think they were made in Belgium. No one really knows whence they came, but the girl decided to start giving them out to people, specifically in the subway station when David, the harpist, would play late at nights. I am now hooked, and want always to have some on hand, that I can give out to people as food for thought – you never know what people have going on, and thus never know what might make a difference in someone’s life. So don’t let anything stop you from sharing your love and care for others. Rather, find a way to have those things that are holding you back actually Help you to accomplish that which you wish


 

Post-a-day 2017

The article my mom sent to me today

Squeaky Clean Time

I really don’t get what it is about showers, but they always get me.  Without fail, – at least, I think it is without fail – every time I shower, I end up singing.  Even in the middle of the night, as was the case just now, with people sleeping in the next room, there I am, singing.

This is not to say that I am belting a out-of-tune, almost unidentifiable, somewhat annoying tune in the middle of the night (or ever, really).  I am certainly an adequate singer for the things I end up singing in the shower, and I also keep them to a reasonably low volume, no matter the time of day or night.  But, in the middle of the night, after I catch myself for singing, and am in the middle of going through the reasoning that I need to be as quiet as possible, no matter how loud the shower may seem to me, because any extra sound means extra noise and an increase in the likelihood of disturbing the sleeping folk, I suddenly notice that I am already singing again(!).  I’m in the middle of “scolding” myself for the act, and I’ve already started it up again.  I’m like a little kid or something.  Put me in that shower, and I guess my brain gives up regular function, preferring instead a song-filled youthful path for the time being.

Anyway, I’m just sharing this, because I think it’s silly that I can’t seem to stop myself from singing in the shower, even when I actually want to be quiet (like tonight).  I truly love the whole idea of singing in the shower, and I love when people do it.  There is just something unique about showering that almost always leads to song, and I find that miraculous and beautiful.  So, embrace your singing when you shower.  And get some lessons, if you’re concerned that you don’t sing well enough.  I know that Incertsinly have done that, and I loved the lessons.

Anyway,… sing away, and stay clean!

Post-a-day 2017

The pleasurable nose blow

Think of the last time you blew your nose?  Was it one of those quiet, sneaky-type nose blows, as though you’re trying to hide the fact that you’re blowing your nose?  Or was it one of those really satisfying ones, where it isn’t exactly loud, but it is full?

I almost exclusively do the latter, and it always feels amazing.  As I blew my nose for the third time after eating this Banh Mi (Vietnamese sandwich) with some deliciously and painfully nice jalapeños sliced in it, I began considering the feeling after blowing my nose.  Do you know the one I mean?  In an almost sort of daze, I take my first breath through my freshly freed nose, and possibly share the intake of breath with my mouth, and then almost sigh the air out of me, releasing some unknown tension, somewhere in my body.  I usually end up mostly breathing out of my mouth afterward, and just allow my nose to rest – this light come from the feeling of blowing my nose when it is really stuffed up and runny, and blowing it seems only to clear out one set of mucus and snot in order to make space for the immediate arrival of another.  In those cases, the feeling and experience are almost the same.  It is a hazy happiness of release and deep breathing (usually through the mouth) that feels almost magical.  I almost even have an urge to cyclist my eyes at times, and to indulge momentarily in the after effects of the nose-blowing.

If you have no idea what I am referencing here, give it a try some time.  Blow your nose really satisfyingly hard (the emphasis of really being on satisfyingly, not hard), and take the time to pay attention to the experience immediately following.  If you still don’t get it, then oh, well… I’ll enjoy the experience enough for us both.

And then some…

Post-a-day 2017

Why you gotta be so…?

Why are we ever mean to others?  Really, truly… why?  

Can we go Taylor Swift on the situation, and have the cycle end right now?

I see potential in this, but are we brave enough?  Is bravery even what it is that we need?  Perhaps love is all we need.  And not even in the cheesy way, but truly.  Beatles it all the way, because all we need is love.

Post-a-day 2017

Late-night FaveTime

Chitter chatter, pitter patter

What’s the latest news?

I’ve got the blues, you’ve got new shoes, and Mom is delighted (not) by her latest news.

The cats are cats, packing needs to be done, and there are classes I need to take.

It’s AM here and PM there, and kind of extremely late.

So, I’ll pack my clothes for my European tour, and you can head to sleep, and dream of days that are coming soon, when I’ll be by the pool, and you’ll be there with me, too.
Post-a-day 2017