Monday, February 27, 2006

Yates Redux

I will have a lot to say about Andrea Yates as she is being re-tried for the deaths of her children.

Let me fire across the bow by asking if it is possible for Rusty Yates to be busted, cuffed, and called Shirley and tried as a co-defendant.

If anyone needs to do jail time for the deaths of those children, it's Rusty Yates.


Yates with a "Y".

Andrea needs help. Rusty needs a kick to the crotch.

I'll pay my own way to Houston to administer said kick.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Finally, a Regular Gig

One of the “reforms” our new priest has instituted is improving the liturgical music for Mass.  To that end, he has hired a Music Director, Paul by name, who has a Master’s Degree in Vocal Performance and whose “real job” is music teacher at a Catholic School.  Paul knows his liturgy, and for the first time in a real long time, our parish utilizes seasonal Mass Parts with regard to music.

In many parishes, Mass Parts such as the Kyrie, Gloria (G-L-O-R-I-A), Sanctus, and the Amen are either spoken or sung to the same melody week after week.  I think the reason for this is because it’s just easier to use the same melody instead of taking a few minutes for the parish to learn a different melody every 12 weeks or so. Our new practice of paying heed to the changes in the Mass Parts makes for a richer, more meaningful Mass; and the it the whole point of attending, right?

Being a former professional-musician wannabe myself, I would look over to the choir section of our church longingly, wondering if there was any place for my formerly-somewhat-formidable skills.  I felt some resistance from my wife, who would prefer that we all sit together in Mass as a family (and this is a valid point).  I kept my ambitions and desires in check, because, after all, I am Catholic.

In the course of practicing and practicing (or, as we former professional-musician wannabes call it, “rehearsing”) for a CD I am working on, I have all of my instruments on display in our office/den located off the living room.  On one of his “priestly visits” to watch a football game this fall, Father Tim noticed the three guitars, violin case, Honolulu Guitar Harp, etc and asked me why I wasn’t in the choir.  I deflected and parried, and pretty much just said that I wasn’t ready to do that just yet.

Last week, Paul, the Music Director, cornered my wife and told her that he heard that I played guitar, and really wanted to add a guitar to the 10:30 Mass.  Jill made some sort of excuse about me thinking that I wasn’t good enough to play (we will seek marriage counseling because of this comment – I may or may not be good enough to play, but I would never THINK I wasn’t good enough), but said if I were interested, I would talk to him.

So the following Sunday, Paul waved me over to confirm that I played guitar.  We had a five-minute discussion about my ability, and we both believed I could handle the music.  I gave him a brief verbal resume, (violin at 10, switched to tuba at 14 when we moved to a school district that did not have strings-thanks, Dad - guitar from 14-26 to either cope with adolescent loneliness or avoid college studying- sporadic playing since then, etc).  Paul is a great vocal teacher, and he says he can allay any concerns I have about my singing with some training and practice (rehearsal).

I attended my first choir practice (rehearsal) last night and was very happy.  I’ll practice (rehearse) my ass off for the next 3 days to get caught up, but come Sunday morning, I’ll play in front of a real live audience for the first time in 20 years.  For the longest time, I’ve been searching for an outlet, and now I’m getting plugged in!

Friday, February 10, 2006