Category Archives: Food and Drink

Are Numbers Running Your Life?

Are Numbers Running Your Life?

No, I’m not talking about Vinnie the Weasel and the Numbers Game.  I’m talking about all those other numbers.   Numbers that we often use to evaluate our self-worth, to compare ourselves to others, and to determine whether or not we’re going to have a good life or even just a good day.  These can include:

  • Weight and Fitness:  personal avoirdupois, BMI, how many reps, how much weight, often we get to the gym, how many M&Ms we went through last night, dress or pants size
  • Measured Achievement:  all sorts of scores – SAT, GRE, MCAT, LSAT, Wii games (of course, only ones for “intelligent people”), GPA
  • Money: Dow Jones, amounts in IRA, 401k,emergency fund, savings, checking, wallet, giant penny jar, fluctuations in any of the above
  • Piety: Masses per week, devotions added up, size of holy card collection
  • Professional: Number of direct reports, department budget, size of choir, gigs completed, gigs booked

Especially the numbers to dread:

  • The read-out on your scale on Monday morning reflecting a great weekend
  • The numbers on the hymn board where you don’t select the music

We like numbers because they seem so concrete and factual – unemotional, in fact.  However, then we run and attach all our emotions and our happiness to them.  Ever ask someone how she is and get the response, “I gained 2 pounds and the Dow is down”? Gosh, glad I asked.  Okay, so exercise more, eat less and stop checking the market every five minutes just because you can.

In the long run, none of these matter.  I visit lots of cemeteries and have yet to see any of the first groupings on a headstone.  As for the second set, just remember what fun you had and hope for better music in the future.



Make Your Opinions Known!

I’ve been on the road quite a bit lately. When I look for places to eat, I check out the “usual suspects” – Trip Advisor, UrbanSpoon, Yelp. The range of comments on any particular restaurant is always entertaining. It’s always “love it” or “should have stayed home.” Despite the extremes, these sites do provide some insight, especially since smaller restaurants are unlikely to have websites or keep their Facebook pages up-to-date.

You, my astute readers, probably do the same. But here’s the question: Do you offer your opinion after you’ve supped, dined, or whatever-ed?
I encourage you to do so, especially if you have a great experience and the restaurant could use an endorsement. Or if all those glowing comments must have been written by the owners’ mothers.

It only takes a couple of minutes if you do it right away. And heck, it’s a big help to the rest of us. Thanks.

Lentils from Le Puy

Le Puy lentils I can't resist sharing this picture of the famous dark green lentils of Le Puy, France.  Le Puy is the town from which the Sisters of St. Joseph came to St. Augustine, Florida in 1866.  This picture is something I stumbled across in the process of researching a concert Cantorae St. Augustine will be performing in the sisters' honor in November of 2011.  You might want to circle Sunday afternoon, November 13th at 3 p.m., so you can plan to join us.

Now I'm hungry – just from looking at the picture!

A most miscellaneous weekend – and most enjoyable

This weekend started off with a brief foray to the Cathedral Parish Festival – packed with eager children and excitable adolescents. 

Menendez gala Saturday evening saw me decked out in Renaissance splendor and playing in the lobby of the Lightner Museum as guests arrived for the annual Menendez Gala.  Super place to play because it's nothing but hard surfaces with a gorgeous mosaic floor.  After the guests hustled up to the drinks and appetizers, a move to the lower level was effected and I joined James and Sylvia Kalal and Bill McCarthy for more music and to accompany the reenacting banqueters (not to be confused with the folks now eating their suppers) as they performed the Pavan.

Today it was up to Jacksonville to St. Paul's Riverside – interior designed by Hugo Olms in the early mid-20th century, followed by a fantastic lunch at 'Town – mussels in garlic and a potato, onion and boudin blanc sausage hash to die for.



Overcoming Chant Stereotypes

It is a common belief that people who sing Gregorian chant are stuffy and dull.  Fixated on ictus and trapped in arcane debates over various manuscripts, they are unable to enjoy the simple pleasures of life.  This photo from the recent Winter Chant Intensive is designed to overcome the stereotype. Wine gladdens the heart of man – and so does good music.

Chant Intensive New Orleans 3

Unfinished Business

DSCN3512 I have more than enough to blog about, but like the salade nicoise in the picture that's unfinished business right now.  I'm still thinking through my time at Solesmes, the liturgies at St. Gervais, all of the culture and beauty that I've tripped over in my before and after time in Paris. 

Promise to think on the way home, sort both the thoughts and the photos, and get something written.

In the meantime, it's my last evening here and time for a final walk.