Define "a Life"...

... still searching for a clear definition of that thing people keep telling me I need to get...

Location: Springfield, PA

Sunday, June 29, 2008

It's that other nine percent...

You are a 91% traditional Catholic!

Congratulations! You are more knowlegeable than most modern theologians! You have achieved mastery over the most important doctrines of the Catholic Faith! You should share your incredible understanding with others!

Do You Know Your Baltimore Catechism?
Make Your Own Quiz

"More knowlegeable [sic] than most modern theologians?" I doubt that. But more knowledgeable than most practicing Catholics? Quite likely.

Sometimes I think the problem is that I know too much...

"Jumbo Shrimp?"

Last night Saturday Night Live aired what I think was George Carlin's first appearance on the show. Must've been -- I think it was from 1975.

God, he looked so young.

Some classic stuff, before it was classic. A couple of bits that fell flat, too, and he handled that as deftly as anyone I've ever seen (with the exception, of course, of Johnny Carson).

Plus, one of the musical guests was Janis Ian.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Be Kind

nother great quote crossed my path last week. (Not, thankfully, Blake this time.) From Arthur "Attention must be paid" Miller:

Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets.

I know that it appears rather pessimistic at first glance; Hell, anything with the word regret in it is likely to seem somehow pessimistic; read it again.

"The right regrets." That's what got me. Regrets, I believe, are inevitable. There's no way any sane self-aware person is going to get through this life without some regrets. I ought to have done this or I shouldn't have done that or I wish I had whatever. We make mistakes. We make poor choices. We have regrets. But what sort of regrets? That's what got me thinking.

And much of what I've thought about involved identifying the wrong regrets. I know that the choices I most regret are those that were, directly or indirectly, based in fears, or motivated by a desire to maintain comfort or some sense of security, or were, simply, taking the "safest" or easiest way out. That's the wrong sort of regret. If such a choice resulted in my not doing something I later wish I had done, then whatever regret I end up feeling over having chosen as I did is very much one of the wrong regrets.

More and more in the past few years I've found myself regretting an ever-increasing number of the choices I made since, well, somewhere around the end of high school. That feeling doesn't necessarily mean that they were the wrong choices, though. Regret isn't always a logical thing. We're talking about a Hell of a lot of choices here, and a lot of them may have been made for the right reasons. Almost consistently, the choices I regret most acutely are those that I now feel I made for the wrong reasons. Worse, I may have felt at the time that I was basing my choice on the wrong reasons, yet let those reasons be the priority in choosing. Those regrets are the wrong regrets.

And that, I think, is essentially the same thing that those William Blake quotes were saying to me. When you tally up all your regrets, those you'll most regret having will be from the things you never did. Maybe all one can do is hope -- try -- to end up with the right regrets. But, really, that's not so bad a goal to strive for.

p.s. -- The title for this post comes from a snatch of lyric I can't place: "be kind to my regrets." Anybody have any idea where that's from? I'm fairly sure it's a song lyric, but my brain won't recall where it's from. Anybody?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


I finally found a quote that sums up most of my feelings about the whole "less is more" bullshit people who just don't get it tend to spout in defense of what they think of as a "minimalist" aesthetic.

Less is only more where more is no good.

-- Frank Lloyd Wright
American Architect

It doesn't surprise me at all that Wright got it; the fact is abundantly evident in his work. But what a great way of putting it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Merciful Rain

I'm just thanking God for the thunderstorm(s) tonight, which battered some of the heat out of the air. On my drive home, around 10:30, much of the asphalt in our parking lot and on the street was still lightly steaming.

Never needs to get above 78°F.  Ever.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Genuinely Creepy

I still may not be sure about the whole followed-by-Blake-quotes thing, but this Google listing, which I can across while looking for poetry search sites, is genuinely creepy:

Okay, so I'm pretty sure this is the result of the reckless use of a template of some sort. They seem to use more or less the same format for everything. It's the exclamation marks that get me.

But the funeral poem contest? That's just creepy.

Perhaps You Know His Poetry...?

I'm still being followed by William Blake.

The show we just opened at work, I Have Before Me A Remarkable Document Given To Me By A Young Lady From Rwanda, has a Blake reference in it. It's unattributed -- just a throw-away, really. Actually, I may have been the one to spot it. "England's green & pleasant land," from Blake's "Jerusalem." (Funny thing was, I could recite the entire poem but wasn't certain of the title until I looked it up.)

But that isn't the real stalking bit.

Chaz, our stage manager for this show, has a fun habit of including a relevant quote on each performance's sign-in sheet. For last season's Huck Finn play, Splittin' the Raft, we got Twain quotes. For The Glass Menagerie, snippets of Tennessee Williams. It's a little tougher with this current show: the playwright doesn't have an extensive body of work, and daily descriptions of the Rwandan genocide would get quite wearing on top of the play itself. So, never one to miss a connection or pass up a good opportunity, Chaz took to using quotes from William Blake.

Within the first three performances of the show (I can't recall exactly which), this ended up on the sign-in sheet:

He who desires, but acts not, breeds pestilence.

I can't tell whether this is inspiring or just plain creepy.