7 quick takes: Choo-choo boo-boo boo-hoo

— 1 —

Very rough week on the transit front. For those of you who don’t know, I travel into Chicago from the burbs to get to my day job, going about an hour and a half each way. Last Friday, I was on a train whose door control cables broke, leaving the doors unable to close and thus disabling the train, unless you wanted to travel to Chicago at 80 mph with an open train door you could easily fall out. Then Monday, on my commute home, the train line developed a switching problem, delaying all trains; I got home an hour later than usual. Then Tuesday, there were switching problems outside Union Station, causing my train to be combined with another train and adding a chunk of time and a lot more discomfort to my commute. (This all was so bad, the suburban rail chief actually issued an apology.) Wednesday, I worked from home. But Thursday, I went back into the office, thinking of this:

I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.

Finally, for the first time in nearly a week, I had a normal commute. I can live with that.

— 2 —

That having been said, because of the weather forecast for today, I’m working from home again. The weather forecast was for as much as 6 inches of snow, plus a coating of ice. Now, I prewrote this, of course, so we’ll see later on whether the weather delivered on expectations.

— 3 —

I’m only playing one Mass this weekend, in accord with my new policy of not tiring myself out at least one weekend. Last weekend, I played five Masses, including one where the cantor didn’t show and I had to place a mike in front of myself at the piano and just sing for myself.

Like this. I don’t know how Alicia and all the others do it. Well, they look better at doing it than I do.

Even though they’re not supposed to, though, the congregation clapped for me after I finished the last hymn. Which, actually, I appreciated, norms be darned. But when I got home, I was basically spent for the rest of the day.

— 4 —

OK, complaining over. Let’s talk exciting stuff. I’m totally looking forward to Palm Sunday (um, maybe I should rephrase that) and Easter (I think we’re OK on this one). My plans are to do everything a cappella at my main parish after the homily. If we’re really lucky, we’ll do everything in SATB (four-part harmony), too. The Mass parts are already a cappella, so I’m off to a good start. And Easter is going to be great. I’m planning a Regina Caeli, segueing into “O Filii et Filiae” (in English), all in a cappella . And for the topper, I’m planning on Luke Mayernik’s “A Call to Blessing.” I’ve become a big fan of Mayernik’s work — I think this is the third blog post I’ve mentioned him in, and he actually hasn’t done that much yet. Keep it up, Luke.

— 5 —

I added “House of Cards” and “Downton Abbey” to my Netflix queue, along with “Sleepwalk with Me,” the “This American Life”-funded movie. With any luck, I’ll be able to make some time to watch them soon. As for “This American Life,” I’m interested to see how Part 2 of this episode, about a high school in Chicago that continually experiences the effects of violence outside the school (though, thankfully, rarely at or around the school), comes out. Part 1 wasn’t bad, but you could tell they were building to something. I have a feeling Part 2 will be very, very dramatic, and I’m looking forward to it.

— 6 —

I just want to plug watching the old BBC show “Keeping Up Appearances.” There are more layers to this 20-year-old Britcom than you might think, and it’s a shame the show didn’t go longer (star Patricia Routledge is said to have chosen to end it). There are some pretty good theological lessons to eventually pick up from it, too: Hyacinth, an insufferable social climber, continually focuses on the wrong things and is never happy with the good things she has — which includes the downmarket family members she is ashamed of but for whom she nonetheless goes to bat. The whole show is available on both YouTube and Netflix (may I suggest Netflix), but to get a taste of what the show is like, here’s my favorite episode.

— 7 —

This, from Lamebook, made my week:

Related note: you can follow me on Twitter.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

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