Sunday, December 1, 2013

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Great Wits

... are sure to Madness near ally'd.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Some Truth

... there was, but dash'd and brew'd with Lyes ...

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sunday, October 6, 2013

But Life

... can never be sincerely blest;

Sunday, September 29, 2013

In the Hum of the Market

... there is money, but under the cherry tree ...

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Sunday, September 8, 2013

All My Own Perception

... of beauty both in majesty and simplicity is founded upon Our Lady.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

On Being Olde

The only Respighi I can listen to with equanimity—and it is more than equanimity, I am ashamed to say: it is positively pleasure—is "Ancient Airs and Dances."  The only Prokofiev I've ever truly enjoyed is the "Classical Symphony."

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Thursday, August 29, 2013

What I Was Thinking When I Should Have Been Finding You All Music

Let the record state that I appreciate that Bottom is not, himself, in favor of the Church being A-OK with same sex marriage.  To characterize what Bottom as offering as an argument in favor of same sex marriage is to oversimplify what he has written.  But what Bottom's article does do, pretty undeniably, is present a sort of case for drawing back from direct engagement in the debate.  Not because Bottom thinks the Catholic position is wrong, but because he thinks—given the current cultural situation, and the way the debate has gone so far—that it is more advisable, strategically, to draw back, regroup.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Less Than Superb

I went to see Superman a few weeks ago (with a friend—Batman III has been the only movie I watched in theaters alone, and I rather regretted that decision). It was with low expectations that I sat down, fifteen minutes late with five minutes of trailers to go. It might seem that those low expectations paid off, as they generally do; but even low expectations can be disappointed, in proof of which I submit as exhibit A my evening with Star Trek earlier this summer. (It was all downhill after the red forest with the white natives in the yellow thingamajiggers. But as usual with movie watching, the company was good.)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sunday, August 18, 2013

He That Falls

... into sin is a man; he that grieves at it is a saint ...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Saturday, August 10, 2013

The Lord Be with Each and Every One of You

I know how to respond to "The Lord be with you."  The new Mass was rough on some of us, and I'll admit to still stumbling every now and then over the Gloria or Creed; but really it wasn't that difficult to learn.  A dozen newly translated responses for a basic low Mass.  Not like Vatican II or something radical.  Not like priest holes or something scary.


You've probably all seen this already, but for the few of you who may not ...

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

For the Dog Days

I was hankering after some Sigismund Neukomm, whose two-voice Mass in C was the first polyphony my siblings and I cut our teeth on.  Unfortunately, the only version I could find on YouTube was painfully slow and over-vibratoed.  It must be the heat.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Hell is Full

... of good meanings and wishes ...

Sunday, July 28, 2013


... wants some things, luxury wants many things ...

Sunday, July 21, 2013

One Man

... may be more cunning than another ...

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Small Miracles

Paul Gallico has a book called The Small Miracle, about a boy whose beloved donkey falls ill, leading him to seek an audience with the pope, hoping for—that's right, a small miracle. Not a dramatic miracle, the kind that leads to interesting and confusing press coverage; not the sort of thing, probably, that would get anyone canonized, or beatified, or even venerabled.  In fact, the sort of miracle that probably isn't a miracle at all, even by strict Roman Catholic standards.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

If You Don't Listen to Old Radio

... on 88.5 FM Sunday nights, you really should.  Not only will you get incredibly cheesy, gritty dramas like Johnny Dollar, Dragnet, and Gunsmoke (yes, it is possible to be cheesy and gritty at the same time) interspersed with ridiculous commercials for Brill Cream (and yet more unspeakable products) but you will occasionally make amazing discoveries.

Monday, July 15, 2013

I'm Over at the Register

... again.  It's been a while, and this was a long time in coming, so it's quite the relief to finally see it in print:

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Women Have More Strength

... in their looks than we have in our laws ...

Sunday, July 7, 2013

God Loves Us

... not for what we are ...

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Good Side of the South

I'm prepping for a southern literature class this fall, and not enjoying it particularly much at the moment--unless you can use the word "enjoyment" to describe the sensation that accompanies watching a train-wreck.

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


Last night I watched a movie made in the '30s--a movie that portrayed a Tennessee chapel revival/conversion scene without irony, and without making the churchgoers into criminals or the convert into a victim.  This morning I got up to hear all about Perry and Windsor.  With all due respect to my conservative friends who want to see the decisions as examples of judicial restraint, they are really reminders of how far we have come ... in not even a century ... from ideas that we used to hold about the place of religion in our lives, and the place of certain other things that were seen as so natural as to be even more basic, if possible, than religion itself.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

True Virtue

... is a bell that rings out true at every blow ...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


... I'm on vacation right now--more or less.  Even more actually, I'm giving a talk on Shakespeare and natural law (which some time next week you will here about hear)--which makes this not really a vacation, but something rather better.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Wednesday, June 12, 2013


--a word for how I feel about what happened to classical music last week.  Well, alright, not really guilty.  But some sort of atonement is in order.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

There Is No Riches

... above a sound body, and no joy ...

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Beep Beep Beep

I don't know if this is really muse-like, but it is amusing.  And if you don't know about Beethoven's Wig, you should.  Let this be your introduction.

Monday, June 3, 2013


G.K. Chesterton is somewhat notorious, even among his fans, for producing in his novels a range of stock characters who spend most of their time arguing about the ideas they and Chesterton—and we—think important without doing a great deal in the way of development.  Change there may be, damnation or (what is more likely, since Chesterton, by temperament depressive, was by faith an optimist) conversion; but the critic will search in vain for the reasons for such change.  His search will be vain because he is looking for the wrong sort of reason: for love or hate, for rivalry over a woman or a job, for boredom or ambition or that fact that Michael Moon's mother spanked him as a child (a probability, I must say, since he was an Irishman).

Sunday, June 2, 2013

A Man

... must keep his mouth open a long, long while ...

Thursday, May 30, 2013


Ah, yes.  This must have been what my spiritual director was talking about when he wanted to know what I was doing this summer.  Somehow, that fact that I have less work means that I am more lazy ... and things like posting every Wednesday, which always seemed to happen during the mad school year, are not happening now that they are actually feasible.  Which is silly, since I actually enjoy blogging ...

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

More Fairy Tales

Continuing the operatic theme--on a cheerier note--

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Pretty Much

Not, mind you, that I'm particularly fond of Holst.

Sunday, May 5, 2013


... who are wrapped up in themselves ...

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Continuing Our Sylvan Theme

... from a couple of weeks ago.  Also our theme of children lost at the midpoint of their stories.  Also ... well, you get the picture.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Thursday, April 25, 2013

More of the Muse

I know; I know.  There was music yesterday, and it's about time I posted something with words ... but I have three papers to finish, and Google kindly just reminded me that it's Ella Fitzgerald's birthday.  Pleasure without the guilt of procrastination ... how could I say no?

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Welcome Back

We're not out of the woods yet.  But then again, neither was Oliver ...

Sunday, April 7, 2013

"Before I Can Send You Home

... you have to make a journey of a very different kind."

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Till Easter

As you can probably tell, things are heating up in school (not to mention Lent).  Now the weather, that's another matter ... Anyroad, this will be the post to hold you until the Saturday after Easter.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Saturday, March 9, 2013


I had almost forgotten about this guy; he came up some time ago in connection with Andrea Bocelli, for fairly obvious reasons.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


There’s a nice little meme that’s been playing Facebook, something along the lines of “Check out the weather, watch the sequestration go, notice how the pope resigned—YIKES!  Who’s been playing with the TARDIS?”  (No pun on “Who” intended, I’m sure.)  The meme plays off the natural human tendency to go into panic mode when events of a certain rare kind coincide.  At times like these we’re wired to suspect—or at a minimum, in this ironic age, to jest about—conspiracies as if they were real.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Thursday, February 28, 2013

I Must Have Been Picking Cherries

One would think it would be a responsibility ... a paper due, an Aristotle chapter left unread.  I'm afraid it was no such thing.  I must have been picking cherries.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Our Blunders

... mostly come from letting our wish ...

Saturday, February 23, 2013

"The Glory of the Lord"

I. You probably know the Handel chorus; it belongs in the suite from Messiah that they play—yes, even They—every year around Christmas.  It begins with the alto line, bald, plain, unpretentious, but doggedly determined, with the accent on the glory: And the glory, the glory of the LORD!  And of course, with LORD, all the voices sing together, like all the nations aftermentioned, and indeed, His glory is revealed.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Canticum Veterem

I'm not normally an enthusiastic Fauré fan, but there are a few exceptions ...

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Saturday, February 16, 2013


I sat there with my pen poised, unsure of the word I wanted.  The sonnet (Shakespeare's, not mine) stared back up at me, saucily flaunting the rather obvious pun that I had decided to annotate.  But annotate how?  One little pun didn't deserve a full-page commentary (pace Booth, whose edition I was suffering); even if it dad, I hadn't the time to rewrite Booth's commentary in the course of a single reading for a single class.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

If You Go In

You may have noticed there was no music yesterday.  That is partly because Ash Wednesday ought to be penitential, and partly because, well, I had plans for this week's piece.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Bother Eudaimonia

It is the task occasionally of the blogger devoted to the readers’ (as distinct from but hopefully not opposed to, her own) good, to remind said readers of an unpleasant fact or two.  Some like to refer to such unpleasant reminders as “public service announcements.”  I suspect that the usher who closed the Shrine half an hour early was merely giving the worshippers a public service announcement; and I am fairly certain that the advertisers who load my mailbox with circulars and my inbox with spam are performing a public service in so doing.  About the man who points out a smudge on my blouse of the woman who sees a spot on my tie I am less sure.  As for the professor who finds it a public service to announce the deadline for our twenty-page research papers, his proclamation may be public, and might even by a stretch be deemed serviceable; but the marriage of the two terms seems to be taking the compliment to his generosity too far.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Your Mid-Week Comedy

This past weekend I had the pleasure of seeing Ponnelle's Le nozze di figaro for the first time, and remembering just how much I love the opera.  Especially this part ...

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

To the Temple

By most calendars it's no longer Christmas.  My creche is still up; but that's only because I keep it up all year.  (Well, the important parts anyway—the sheep will be going back into hibernation this weekend.)

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Mere Charity

Most of the Inauguration I did not watch, but I wanted to hear the speech.  (These things can be important, as anyone who's just seen Lincoln or done an American literature survey course will tell you!)  I must confess, it was rhetorically quite good.  They (the speechwriters) struck an impressive balance between using conservative and libertarian language at the beginning and undermining that language, explicitly, a few minutes later.  I hope the good guys were taking notes.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Come the Drums

If you've ever wondered how it feels to have loads of Bakhtin, Mukarovsky, and Saussure to read (and if you have—in the memorable words of the Light Princess—"I pity you!"), listen no further.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Rain in Spain

Google has a snow plow up.  They must not be based in D.C.  In D.C. and the surrounding areas, it is raining.  It's enough to make a snow lover wish for sunny skies and southern climes ...

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Happily Unsatisfied

One of the many pleasures of having congenial roommates is that there is no need to hunt for things to do come Friday night.  For that matter, there's no need to hunt for things to do come Monday night ... or Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.  Between the washing of dishes after a decently timely meal and the going to bed at an indecently late hour, all sort of fascinating topics arise: from hats to denim skirts to the columns of Agony Aunts; from Mali's wars to the legitimacy of "qui" in Scrabble, with the occasional dip into the more lighthearted questions, such as how soon the Day of Judgement will come. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

My Brother Sings

As those of you who know my brother know, it's hardly shameless nepotism to post this—he's really quite good!  And the Cheese Lords aren't anything to sneeze at themselves ...

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Friday, January 4, 2013

I Am a Coward, Doctor

Today I tried to buy contact paper.  I am not sure why contact paper should be hard to buy; it is the sort of thing that always seemed to be around the house when I was a little girl—but then again, my mother is one of those amazing people who always seems to have one of everything.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


But it is especially appropriate right now.  Take it away, Diana.