Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Mystical Songs

I thought I would slowly upload my senior recital to the blog.

The first file I'm going to upload is my set of Vaughan Williams songs, Mystical Songs. These songs are absolutely gorgeous, and I couldn't help thinking how lucky I was to be able - to be allowed to sing them!
Mystical Songs 15MB/15"
(Right click and click on "save as" or just click it and play it.)
It's an itunes file. Sorry!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Stop and Look

This is going to be one of those corny posts, but I've been thinking about it a lot lately. Professionals, i.e. doctors, therapists, are always telling people they need to slow down. I think it's true, that slowing one's pace in life can lead to greater happiness. But how- - what do we do?

I've come to realize, especially since knowing Eikon, that you have to stretch out your life by stopping- stopping dead in your tracks. Today I was driving by a bird sanctuary near St. John's and I saw an awe inspiring blue heron swooping over the lake, only feet away from the water. I pulled over, put the car in park, and watched him. There isn't enough beauty like this in my life, and it dissapears if I don't give it the attention that it needs to thrive in my mind and personality.

Why not stop? Last night the weather was beautiful. Black clouds swirled in the air and the peach sunset was on the horizon. After our walk, I made Eikon lie down on the cement next to me and look up into the clouds. Whoever made our world, made it so gloriously perfect. We should stop, forget everything that we need to do, everything that we're late for, and absorb the perfection.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Post Pride, but still Proud.

I just thought that I should check in and say hello. Pride was a lot of fun yesterday. I'm sad I didn't "do" more of it, but we were having fun talking to our faerie friends and such, that a barely noticed time pass by.

Besides Church, I've spent most of the day milling over Catholic Rites for Weddings and for Funerals. My professor calls the "Weapons of Mass Destruction." I'm quite certain the pun intended. Anyway, it's interesting to read both rites. The Rite for Funerals is much is by far the better rite of the two. The liturgical action just seems more lush, and the rubric around it are beautifully written, giving advice and recommendations for the consoling of the family. Meanwhile the Wedding text is doctrine city. The couple must do this, the priest can't do this if the couple did this, etc etc etc.

Given that both rites are developed from non-christian culture, I think that it really shows that burial is the more richer tradition of the two. It was expected and understood, whereas marriage was sort of added in by the church later in it's life so that it could better cover the moral ground.

Anyway, marriage only causes me to hate the church, funerals cause me to love it.

And I'm stuck.


Saturday, June 24, 2006


In Minneapolis there is a giant cherry on a spoon and upon crossing the footbridge over the interstate on may reach Loring Park where for the last three decades people have been having gay pride of some sort. We left Elias in a kennel for the day and went to Pride to hang out with various and sundry Faeries.
Cicada was worn out from a night of no sleep and so wasn't about most of the day but has an exceedingly lovely home which we got to see while avoiding the first bout of rain. We found Two bears and White Ash along With Rocky and Scooter. They tied up branches with ribbons to the pavilion and Salamander. who arrived a bit after us, spent the day constructing plastic bag flowers to festoon the tent with.

Redwing arrived with prizes that we had won at the raffle during the Spirit Gathering which included a bizarre little box full of jewelry and a book of Japanese gay anime. In among the jewelry was a priceless broach.

As you can clearly see it is of a cat staring at it's reflection in a toilet bowl. Flopper was particularly excited by this and wore it for part of the day on his jeans. The weather again took a turn for the worse and the Faeries took shelter from the rain by huddling under the tent in rather close quarters.
We got tired of the rain and wanted to see the liturgy at the nearby Co Cathedral. It was lamentably bleak and so we cut out after the Liturgy of the word and went to Kramurchyk's for dinner with RedWing. I had some very yummy pirohi and borscht while Flopper got pirohi and potato leek soup. I employed some of my bastard Ukrainian and won over the waitresses but was totally out of depth when the older one started using compound sentences. I really should brush up on that language.
tomorrow I will drop Flopper off at work, get Elias, make lunch, go get Flopper, then go play DnD. Today was absolutely delightful and now I need to get to bed.


Friday, June 23, 2006

History Guidance, Farmers Market, Pride tomorrow!!!

Today I went to met with the advisor for my degree at SCSU and found it to be an all around annoying experience. Apparently professors are used to being treated with some level of deference here and the woman was already annoyed at me for haggling with her over credits earlier in the year. After me bitching a bit and she being affronted and irate we settled into getting everything worked out and came to the conclusion that yes I could get the work done for the degree in the time I wanted. I tend to dislike anyone who thinks they can lord over me.

Prior and directly after my counseling experience I went to the GLBT center on campus and met a random gay boy who was rather awkward and extremely Lutheran and a nice lesbian. Nathan (ever the politician) was chatting it up with some guy in student government. After a bit of kabitzing with the queers I went home to find the rent deposit from DC had arrived and we went to the Farmer's Market.

The Farmer's Market in Saint Joseph was all right but alas they had run out of both eggs and strawberries which did not please me in the least. I had wanted to try amazing strawberry and rhubarb pie. Maybe next week.

We are putting Elias in a kennel tomorrow ( the local "Pet Day Spa: which I find amusing) and will go to Twin Cities Pride. We'll take pictures tomorrow and I'll post Sunday after DnD.


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Liberal University

While I do not appreciate the decor of my new University I certainly appreciate the liberal bent it possesses. Right down to a GLBT office run by a faggot and not a lesbian .
The amusing thing about the liberal place is that no one really voices any real opinions so while at CUA I was constantly defending my existence in theology and philosophy classes here the act of defense appears to be viewed as tiresome.

The issue I have with all of this is that straight people never understand queerfolk and there are times I doubt the are capable of it any more than I am capable of understanding what people of color deal with. I can conjecture, hypothesize, and make a valiant effort to understand oppression directed at people outside my community(ies) but truth be told I'll never live that and so require the reminder that in Minnesota the overall high school dropout rate is 7% but the graduation rate for African Americans here is 43% one of the worst figures in the nation. But being the white boy (with some reservations for my ethnicity) I don't think of this sort of thing. Flopper brought it up today on the ride home.

In a similar manner the straight people at SCSU don't quite get it when during an exercise about stereotypes and folkways in children's literature I point out that while finding affirming female books is difficult finding affirming queer ones are damned near impossible. A dozen such books are published a year. Even in happy liberal land the happy majority needs to be aware of the minorities in their midst.


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Trip to the Dog Park

One of Elias' favorite activities is our daily trip to the Saint Cloud Dog Park. He anxiously jumps in the car the second the door is opened. The dog park runs along the Mississippi River, so the dogs can play in the river and go swimming if they like. Elias likes to bounce around along the shore, and sometimes lie down in the water, but so far we haven't seen him do any swimming. Sometimes there are only 1 or 2 dogs to play with, but boy did he have a treat today. There were almost 20 pooches of various sizes and breeds. Some gorgeous ones and some really ugly ones- young, old, etc. I suggested to Eikon that we should be careful not to let them gang up on us, lest they overthrow the pack of human owners and take over the city. He had fun humping and being humped, not to mention the petting from all of the humans. He's asleep on the floor right now. He must be tired.


Liturgical Hermeneutics

You know you have found the man of your dreams when idle conversation turns to an in depth discussion on the hermeneutics of liturgy. I tend to take a very very expansive approach to what constitues the "validity" of any given form of worship and am more willing to entertain all manner of oddity in the liturgical practices. Whereas Flopper adheres closely to a policy of only changing things for a good reason I prefer to need a good reason not to change things and do not include tradition in my list of good reasons. It is probably good that I am not employed by the Church.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Concerning the "Grasshopper Chapel" and the "Cold Spring Bakery"

Today after a sociology class where in my professor confided to us that if she is tickled long enough she farts Flopper came along with Elias to pick me up from campus. He met Nathan, a sweet queerling if ever there was one and who attends my sociology course, and we then proceeded to Cold Spring because we heard that there was a good bakery there.

Flopper had been informed of the existence of this bakery by an Episcopalian liturgy student who , if his girth was any indication, was all to familiar with the pleasures of the bakery. It was a sizable bakery in a rather small town that included all manner off Germanic yumminess. Not the least of these Aryan concoctions was a custard eclair that I consumed while waiting in line.

We then proceeded to the "Grasshopper Chapel". Apparently at somepoint in the 1860's there was a plague of locusts descending on Stearns County, Minnesota that would have wiped out the crops. Via a purported act of Divine Aptmospheric Interference a thunderstorm blew away the grasshoppers and the people rejoiced. They also built a chapel. Unfortunately that chapel was destroyed by a tornado in 1898. However in 1950 the local priest got it into his head to build a replacement. The exterior is very cute but the interior was entirely constructed of granite and is almost vault like. The rafters were Redwood and quite lovely but all in all it was to austere for my tastes.


Monday, June 19, 2006

On a happy note

Today I had my first class at the Theological College and Seminary at St. John's University. I think that I'm going to like it a lot there. In case you're not familiar with the school, it features a fascinating belltower serving as a gate to a honeycomb style church (In the picture). Eikon and I both believe that it is one of the more stunning pieces of 20th century liturgical architecture. It has a strong style that will last years, despite its modern leanings. We went to evening prayer with the monks last week. It was great to hear them sing back and forth, and to be part of the antiphonal experience. Great acoustics. Nice big organ.

Trials and tribulations at Saint Cloud State University

The financial Aid department at this university is easily the biggest nuisance I have yet to encounter in my educational process. I have revised and resent FAFSA's at least four times. What is worse I don't even have my parents sign anything that does not involve money; generally I just sign it for them as I find that it is easier than sending things to Pennsylvania. So now apparantly there is a discrepency between the number of people living at the house on one form and the number on another. This further delays the coming of college loan money which I use for all manner of things not the least of which being providing a semblance of balance in the household expenditures. I dislike when Flopper pays for everything.

It seems that our deposit from the DC house shall soon be returning if not in full then in a majority and that money will pay for the next few months rent and finally getting us a couch. In any case the Financial Aid office has promised that I will get money eventually.

Now I just need to get hold of someone at the Admissions office to see whther or not they granted me instate tuition or not. If they didn't then I will have a whole other series of problems to deal with as tuition is doubly expensive at a state school for out of state people.

In any case their recuiting propaganda leaves much to be desired. The guy in this picture looks stoned or at the very least dazed.


Sunday, June 18, 2006

Regarding Names

Hi Friends - I just wanted to explain the "name" thing. Some of you might be familiar with the Faerie movement, where gay men take up "faerie names" for whatever reason. In this case, Eikon is the Faerie name of my dear boyfriend. In my case, I am using flopper, merely because I work for an institution that would surely drop me from the payroll, would they find out everything about me (sexuality, you know). It's especially frustrating living where I am, in St. Cloud. . . Eikon and I have to be especially careful because of my "profile." These means attempting to be unsearchable on the world wide web.
I hope you understand. - Flopper

Puppy, Lake Maria State Park, and Finally Game Shop

So the puppy has been a trial and a joy. He tends to be an absolute joy when we are around but does not under any circumstances handle being alone well. Yesterday when we went to mass with Flopper's brother and his wife he managed to pull up part of the carpet in the room we were keeping him and rip a goodly chunk of it apart. Not very fun at all. We think that we will be able to hide that damage with the brass strip one put in from of carpeting in doorways. The joys of dog ownership.

We took Elias to Lake Maria State park in South Eastern Minnesota. This particular state park was one of the last remnants of Minnesota's "Big Woods" part of the Greater "Big Woods" that I read about as a child in Ingall's "Little House in the Big Woods". I had fond memories of the book and so was excited to see this park. The canopy was made up almost entirely of white oak with some ancient birch trees in the more moist areas and a sprinkling of softwoods deciduous undergrowth. It was not a dense wood at all and we could have wandered through it without taking paths but the fear of Elias attracting tick not to mention my own dread of them prevented us from straying from the path. This park is also habitat for the endangered Barding turtle. A reclusive little marsh turtle that happens to suffer from wetland development in this state. We unfortunately did not get to see one as they spend much of their time in the reeds and mud of the bogs.

On going home I had Flopper drop me off at the game shop in town. Now as many of you know I am a consummate dork. I tend to prefer table top games and fortunately for my sanity there is a game shop in down town Saint Cloud where I can socialize. This afternoon I played two games of "settlers of Cataan" which is a rather fun resource allotments game originally designed for children but probably far to complicated for them. There are a myriad of expansions to the game but I still prefer the original.

tomorrow begins week 2 of my summer courses and I would be lying were I to say they were challenging. They are however marginally interesting in that I have never had so many liberal professors. I am taking intro Politics, intro Sociology, and finally Developmental Psychology in order of least to most difficult. The things I'll do to be employed.



Hello Everyone! It's such a relief to be here, back on the World Wide Web. I'm sure that you are all just enduring excruciating angst, not knowing exactly what is going on in our lives! Well, we've moved to St. Cloud, MN, in a cute little duplex 4 blocks from the Mississippi and across the street from a cute little park.

We've also adopted an adorable 8 month old puppy. He's "mixed-breed" for insurance purposes, but between the two of us, he's German shepherd and rotwiler. He's the sweetest little dog in the world. He absolutely loves attention, and only misbehaves when we're not home (i.e. destroying the house, breaking vases, etc). We were originally going to name whatever puppy we would get Moisha, (Slavic for Moses), but on the way to the humane society shelter, I suggested Elias, (Many other languages use Elias instead of Elijah). Little Ely is a darling. Can you resist those puppy eyes? He wants a treat . . . he really wants a treat.