Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Getting the word out . . . .

OK, this is quick. I'll be out of the office for the next couple of days and I have to be out the door at 5:00 p.m. to take my cat for her annual shots.

I've been doing more thinking/exploring about marketing my music service, A Touch of Class. I'm becoming more and more convinced I need to develop a website to get the word "out there." Fortunately, Local #94 of the American Federation of Musicians (my union!) has the capacity to link websites of musical groups on its website, http://www.promusicok.org/ (click on AFM Entertainment at the top of the page, scroll down, click on "Chamber," then you'll see A Touch of Class listed). Question is how I can get a website set up for almost no money. Yahoo was suggested to me, so I checked the Yahoo website . . . certainly very reasonable, but my head is spinning at all the options available! Really, I just need a website where I can discuss my services, my qualifications and a clickable link to send e-mail. I'd like the website to show up on the major search engines, and ideally I'd like an online form where someone who's interested in a group can point & click to answer some basic questions, submit the form & I can get right back to them with a bid.

I also need to get a mailing out after the first of the year to start lining up wedding jobs . . . I'm at a loss as to how to design a flyer. Something that will grab the attention of church organists so I can be recommended to couples considering the addition of strings to their wedding music (no, I am not seeking to displace organists) and those couples getting married at non-church venues.

Any ideas, anyone?

On an unrelated note, I saw this article & it really spoke to me about the horrible events of 11/2/04:

Challenge to 'Anybody But Bush' types
Let's build a coalition based on change, not fear
by Byron Williams

Friday, November 12, 2004


Not a whole lot to report today . . . other than TGIF!

I'm glad I'll be able to sleep in tomorrow morning . . . first day in a long time that I've done that. I just hope I don't get too carried away with the vegging out, 'cause I've got a lot of housecleaning to do before my mother gets here!

I'm starting to collect names of wedding venues, bridal consultants, etc, for marketing purposes. After the first of the year I plan to start sending information out about A Touch of Class (my wedding music service) in hopes of getting more work. I'll probably do that after I contact organist/choirmasters of Episcopal churches in northeast Oklahoma, and other non-Episcopal churches that might be good targets. Thank goodness Casey will be willing to help with this.

Last weekend I played a concert with the Bartlesville Choral Society -- had a great time sitting with Nan Buhlinger, the former Executive Director of the OK Mozart Festival. She's a warm, friendly woman with a terrific sense of humor. Turns out she's a member of St. Luke's in Bartlesville -- we had quite a conversation about the untimely death of Fr. Michael Athey. The folks at St. Luke's are just devastated by the news (Michael was curate there just after he was ordained). Anyhow, I mentioned to Nan that I would be available for the January concert of the Bartlesville Symphony Orchestra -- Dale Clevenger (principal horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra) will be conducting that concert. Hopefully I'll get that gig . . .hopefully I'll get a gig with Wichita Grand Opera. Lisa's been good about helping with connections in Wichita (I couldn't do the Don Giovanni production they wanted people for last month).

Ah, the joys of driving for dollars! I have almost 75K miles on my 4-year-old car, thanks to all the trips to Arkansas and elsewhere to play symphonic music!

A bouquet of skunk cabbage (as Ann Landers would say) to the Board & management of the former Tulsa Phiharmonic, who ran the orchestra into the ground two years ago. And to the donors of Tulsa who let the orchestra die, and who refuse to put forth the money to start a new professional orchestra.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Good Things at Trinity!

Well, it’s great to see some positive things going on, for a change! (At Trinity, anyway.)

Things have definitely changed for the better in the last 1½ months or so since Casey Cantwell officially became OCM at Trinity. Things had already gotten much better since June when Tappe left, but now that Casey’s officially in the position I’m seeing an energy and optimism in the choir that I haven’t seen before. Case in point: A couple of weeks ago at our first Evensong we seemed to breeze right through the psalm (sung in Anglican chant, of course). Before we had always seemed so intimidated, so afraid we were going to make some fatal mistake. But at our last Evensong we probably sang the psalm better than we’ve sung it before. The choir is singing with more confidence and conviction these days. Casey makes efficient use of rehearsal time, and so on Sunday mornings we have been thoroughly rehearsed in that morning’s anthem(s).

We’re having fun, too! Just the fact that Eric Gibson is with us again has brought back a lot of joy. We’re not afraid to laugh & enjoy ourselves. Casey has indicated he’d like to see more informal choir get-togethers to foster the sense of community that we need. We’re getting to know one another again, which is good. Hopefully Casey will continue his New Year Day open house – he’s a wonderful cook. Another way he continues the Tom Matthews tradition – like Casey, Tom was a fantastic cook.

Most of all, it’s great to see folks returning to the choir who’ve been away. Before last night several folks had returned – and Rosie Halpin was back last night! Hooray! She was all smiles and clearly glad to be back. When folks return that’s always a morale boost.

We’ve got our scores for the Vivaldi Gloria, which we’ll be singing Christmas Eve. Plus, we’re doing Randall Thompson’s Alleluia – on All Saints Sunday, I believe. Peter Gehres, one of our high school Trinity choir members, and two girls in the St. Cecilia choir, are visiting Sunday School. classes and teaching the children about the music in our liturgy. Since we use the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, this fits in perfectly. Outside of the music department, we’ve started handing out loaves of bread to newcomers at Trinity. Connie Cronley has joined the staff as parish development coordinator, and she’s already making a huge difference – I was overjoyed to get an e-newsletter the other day!

Things are definitely looking up at Trinity!


Wednesday, September 29, 2004

It’s time I wrote something, huh . . .

Well, things have been busy at work – both day job, and in my musical world! It does not appear things will let up any time soon.

I played a concert in Fayetteville with the North Arkansas Symphony Orchestra on September 17 – this was a pops concert with Glen Campbell. Although I was never exactly a huge fan of Glen’s, it was nice to accompany him on many of the songs that were popular in my youth. He’s still in good voice, and he seems to be doing better since he’s gone into recovery for his drug dependency. His daughter, Debby, also sang a few numbers – she’s quite talented. Of course, I always enjoy my time in Fayetteville – beautiful scenery, lovely downtown area, and Fayetteville is a nice, progressive enclave with its mix of academicians (from the University of Arkansas) and artists (who come to Northwest Arkansas for the inspiration of the beautiful Ozarks).

Unfortunately, this is all I can write today. Have to get to choir practice – guess I just need to write a little bit today.

I am concerned about the elections – I hope the people of this country wake up before the Idiot Prince gets elected to a second term. I really don’t know that democracy in America will survive another four years of Dumbya. And I hope those people who are thinking of voting for Nader, or sitting out this election, because Kerry isn’t good enough for them think long and hard about whether they want to sit back & do nothing while Bush gets re-elected.

I’m doing a lot of praying . . . .

BTW, here’s a fun link:
http://www.seeyageorge.com/ -- this cheers me up!

Friday, September 10, 2004

I need some answers . . . and some resolution.

OK . . . this is what has been hurting me for almost a year now.

Let me start by stating Stephen Tappe has no concern for the emotional well being of others. He is utterly without ethics or morals or any bedrock sense of decency. Folks at St. John's Cathedral in Denver need to be aware of this, before he hurts them, too. He is arrogant and unbelievably self-absorbed. The only time he cares for others is if they can boost his ego, or if he can use them to advance to a higher position or to satisfy his selfish desires. He makes a big pretense of being a Christian, of caring for other human beings, etc. He can certainly put on a good act. But, when he's asked to deliver the goods, he won't do it. And he will hurt other people in a calculating and deliberate manner to avoid putting himself on the line.

Believe it or not, I was once on good terms with this guy. About 1½ years ago I sent him an e-mail, expressing my disappointment with his reaction to the folding of the Tulsa Philharmonic. He responded to me, verbally, that "We need to talk." I thought better of it, told him to ignore what I had said, but he kept insisting for several months that we talk. He would not let the matter rest. Finally, at his insistence, not mine, I agreed to talk. He did all the talking. He spoke about his "ministry" (he didn't mention his ministry is highly selective and that he only ministers to those person he deems worthy), "can't we be friends," yada yada yada. He certainly put on a big act. He needs to be in theatre, not church work.

Well, we had another disagreement. I will admit I pushed the envelope, finally sending him a message stating "You say we're friends" and then I got a nasty, hateful e-mail from Stephen saying "Please do not consider me to be your friend." I was in tears the rest of the day. He later "apologized" (well, he thought it was an apology, but it was probably only because the rector told him to), but he never retracted that statement. In fact, he stated in his "apology" that he wasn't required to be friends with parishioners, wasn't in his job description, blah blah blah. Well, he made it very clear he was friends with other choir members-including running off with someone else's wife (not to mention the mother of two teenage boys)! My pain and resentment only grew over the ensuing months. No matter how hard I prayed, Stephen's heart was not softened, nor did I get any answers as to why he treated me the way he did. His last Sunday I caught up with him, and, choking back tears, said sarcastically: "Sorry you had to put up with me." In a very nasty and hateful tone of voice, he responded: "Apology accepted. I suppose I had something to do with this. Oh well. These things happen."

That memory still hurts terribly, that I didn't "measure up" as a human being in this person's eyes. I'm frankly relieved he's gone to another position, and I hope if he ever pulls a stunt like that in his new position, someone fires his ass. I shudder to think what horrible things he was saying about me to other staff and clergy.

The experience I had with the Stephen Tappe has both spiritually and emotionally damaged me. I've been praying and working hard to overcome this, but it still haunts me. I am hurt and bewildered as to what I did to deserve this, especially since this person refused to show any kind of remorse or acknowledge that he was directly responsible for the fallout, much less take responsibility for his actions.

As much as I try to let this go, I just can't. I've lost sleep over this. I will only get peace when I get answers as to what happened. I'm totally bewildered and still raw with hurt. I can't understand how someone so cruel, much less someone who has robbed two teenage boys of their mother, can remain in church work and be held up as a model of Christian behavior everyone should emulate.

In the meantime, I pray . . . it hasn't done any good so far. I hope it will, eventually. I'm at my wit's end.

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Fall -- and the start of a new season

Well, fall is upon us! Tulsa Public Schools started yesterday . . . and the weather is lovely and fall-like.

Things are kicking back into gear at Trinity. Casey's already making a huge difference -- the atmosphere in choir rehearsals is quite relaxed, and it seems people are actually having fun. I'm starting to see folks drift back who had probably been alienated by Stephen Tappe. I even saw Bonnie Duncan in church Sunday, who I strongly suspect had been run off by Tappe. Wonder if she'll be coming back to the choir? I'd love to have her back -- not to mention that we could use another soprano! I'm sure Bonnie's heard the news about Casey, and knows Casey's reputation at both Trinity and Boston Avenue -- so she undoubtedly knows that Casey isn't into alienating or running of choristers. I know Casey would love to have her back.

Everyone -- everyone -- I've spoken to is thrilled that Casey got the nod. Bruce Schultz (the Philharmonic's principal hornist) even commented to me that Trinity did the right thing in choosing Casey: "Casey's truly a good person."

I agree. Casey has remarkable musical talents (both organ and choral conducting), spiritual/liturgical gifts, and the people skills needed to relate to the diverse constituency that is Trinity Parish. Casey's lately been treating us to organ improvisations for the postlude, which brings back fond memories of Tom Matthews letting loose on the organ.

Suffice it to say, I look forward to choir practice these days!

Monday, August 30, 2004

Let the Deception Begin!

OK, the Repubs are at it, shamelessly exploiting the 9/11 tragedy at their national convention in New York. Of course, Chief DINO (Democrat In Name Only) Zell Miller is featured prominently at the convention. In the meantime, Former Senator Pineapple is sniping at Senator Kerry because Kerry exercised his First Amendment Right to Free Speech over 30 years ago and criticized U.S. involvement in Viet Name, and the Idiot In Chief (who got a cushy National Guard assignment that guaranteed he wouldn’t see one day of combat, thanks to Daddy’s intervention, and then went AWOL from that) stands by and does nothing while the Swift Boat Liars continue their smear campaign. And the corporate-owned media keeps hammering away at that (just like they hammered Gore for “sighing” and his supposed “misleading comments” during the 2000 campaign, and the way they stuck it to Clinton throughout all 8 years of his candidacy), doesn’t do a damned thing about investigating Dumbya’s one-year absence from the Guard, his outright lies during his term in office, yada yada yada.

Meanwhile, American jobs keep getting shipped overseas, the deficit continues to skyrocket, the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer, and young men & women keep dying in Iraq because the Shrub had to have his war. And the media is more concerned with lies told about Kerry and making the Idiot Prince look good than they are about what’s really affecting everyday Americans.

Objective reporting? HA!

Friday, August 27, 2004

Musings Upon Return From Vacation . . .

Well, I’ve been back since Sunday night. It’s been a busy week at the office since my return. I tried to write in my blog earlier today, but then my computer (or the website, or my Internet connection) froze up on me, so I lost everything. Dadgummit!

Monday and Tuesday were very frustrating days. I left the office on August 13, confident the grant that I had been working on – the one where I spent a whole morning trying to balance the budget – would have made it through the approvals bureaucracy & be on its merry way to Washington. Wrong! I get back, and it still hasn’t left Tulsa. I am informed that after all the hair pulling, the damn budget still wasn’t right. Then one of the senior management persons decided that she wanted to make some last-minute changes. How frustrating … after all the hard work I spent over a several-week period, pushing to get things done so the grant would be done and on its way to Washington by the time I got back – then to find out upon my return that things still weren’t done the way I had hoped they would be.

Tuesday I arrived to discover a letter of intent for another grant (that I had been working on for some time) sitting on my desk – that included revisions that my boss had requested – with a rather bitchy comment to the effect that my work was substandard. I felt like walking out and never returning. Really, why bother if nothing I do is good enough? So I basically cried the whole morning. A colleague told me that this was really “constructive criticism,” and likened it to when a sports coach yells at a player who has potential and who’s trying to “motivate” the player. Well, I’m not an athlete; I don’t get motivated when I’m reamed out (it only makes me give up and figure “why bother?”), and when musicians get reamed out by conductors, they only get pissed off – and sometimes they get back at the conductor through sabotage. Suffice to say, getting yelled it will not get results from me.

Fortunately, the rest of the week has been much calmer. And the Letter of Intent that my boss reamed me out over was praised at a meeting today by a someone from the U.S. Department of Justice who’s working with us on this grant.

Wednesday night there was some wonderful news. Casey Cantwell, who has been Interim Organist/Choirmaster since Tappe’s departure in June, has been offered the position on a permanent basis. The “Interim” has been removed from Casey’s job title. Hooray! This was exactly what I hoped would happen. Shortly after Tappe announced his departure, I approached our Senior Warden and told him that I thought Casey had proven himself more than capable of handling this position during Tappe’s frequent absences. A search committee was formed, they wrote a job description, came up with a list of qualifications, and prepared an ad for publication in national church music journals – then they reported to the Rector that the person meeting all of the qualifications was none other than Casey. The Rector questioned the search committee to ascertain that they were as certain about this as possible, and then concurred with their decision. A recommendation was made to the Vestry, which approved. Fr. McKee made the announcement Wednesday night – and the cheers and applause were positively deafening! Everyone I’ve spoken to couldn’t be happier about Casey’s new status. He’s earned it.

Besides Casey’s unquestioned musical skills, he has the people skills that Tappe so obviously lacked. He’s built excellent working relationships with choristers, parents, clergy, lay staff and parishioners. I’d be shocked if anyone at Trinity didn’t like Casey. I’m hoping he’ll be on the organ bench for many years to come.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Sticking it to the poor

For the life of me, I can't understand what's so Christian about increasing money for war and making sure the wealthy have their tax cuts, tax loopholes, etc. while services to the poor keep getting cut!

Yesterday the Tulsa Housing Authority Board of Commissioners made the difficult decision to close our waiting list for Section 8 housing assistance. Section 8 is a housing assistance program where recipients can use vouchers to pay a portion of the rent to any landlord who will accept the vouchers. Right now demand is so tight that we have a waiting list of 2-5 years. The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development has been cutting funding to local housing agencies, which means we have to make the choice between number of vouchers available and amount of rent we will subsidize. Our board decided that we don't want to cut benefits to current recipients if we can at all help it. So, they voted to stop accepting new applications. Nobody wants to see someone in need denied assistance -- and we have lots of people in need, right now, who aren't getting assistance. And we may not be out of the woods yet. We have been able to stave off cuts thus far by dipping into reserve funds. But that won't be an option next year. Unless Congress votes to put more money into HUD, we may have to start cutting vouchers to current recipients next year. As our Executive Director puts it so eloquently, who do we cut? The single mother of 3 children who's managing to hold down a full time job & go to Tulsa Community College at night so she can qualify for a job that pays more than minimum wage and get off public assistance? The disabled vet who can't work because of war injuries who's receiving assistance after having been homeless? The elderly gentleman who's pension was gutted by corporate malfeasance & who has no family to help him? The teen mother who got kicked out of the house when her parents learned she was pregnant, and who's struggling to get a GED and raise her baby?

The trouble is, the folks in Washington see our residents as numbers -- or, worse yet, they subscribe to the Welfare Queen myth. Those of us working here see real people, with real needs. Most of these Real People want to get off public assistance -- but they are thwarted every step of the way by wealthy Republican politicians who are more concerned about protecting tax loopholes & tax cuts that benefit the wealthy, plus the huge contracts for their corporate buddies who are funding their campaigns, than they are about good, honest, hard-working individuals trying to make ends meet.

Then, last night, I heard on the news that Morton Health Services has suspended operations due to political infighting on the board. (They just fired the clinic's director Monday night -- after this guy got the clinic back in the black.) Now we have a bunch of uninsured persons in North and East Tulsa, as well as Nowata, who have nowhere to go for health care. What is it about that Board that's more concerned about their political turf issues than it is about maintaining services for the folks who need them?

Tell me, what's so Christian about sticking it to the poor?

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Thoughts on my hometown . . .

I never cease to wonder at how my thoughts go back to my hometown of Barrington. I've spent more than half my life in Tulsa now, yet I still yearn for my hometown. I guess part of it is the never-ceasing yearning for a quieter, simpler time. Part of it is missing some of the things that make Barrington what it is: the lovely tree-lined streets, the quiet, safe neighborhoods, the wonderful school system (Barrington High School is as good, and probably better than, the private schools around here), the beautiful century-old (and older-some dating back to the Civil War era) houses on Hough, Lake and Cook Streets, as well as Lincoln Avenue (when I was a fifth grader at what was then the brand-new Hough Street School we made up ghost stories that took place in a scary house on Lake Street), the historic St. Paul's United Church of Christ on Main Street (just across from North Avenue), the train station and the square area at the intersection of Main, Cook, Park and the Union Pacific crossing -- and the still goofy Musical Gates. (Still goofy after 35+ years!) Barrington residents/expatriates know what I'm talking about!

Of course, the aforementioned Catlow Theatre, St. Mark's -- and, as I promised, here's the Octagon House: http://www.dalejtravis.com/barn/illinois/htm/il01601.htm, located at 223 West Main Street. According to documentation on file at the National Register of Historic Places' website, the Octagon House was built by "Mr. Brown" about 1860. Mr. Brown stated he built the house in an octagon shape because "everyone else's is square." One thing I just learned about the Octagon House is that despite its shape, all the house's rooms are traditional square or rectangular-shaped rooms. Closets and other built-in storage units are used to make the rooms traditionally-shaped. Interesting. I used to pass this house every day walking to Barrington High School, but I never knew any of this until recently.

When I reminisce about my hometown, I always remind myself that if I were to move back to the Chicago area (which I hope to do someday), I might not be so appreciative of Barrington. It's an hour's train ride into Chicago, for starters, and if I were to drive into the city I'd have to put up with the traffic jams on the Northwest Tollway & Kennedy Expressway -- not to mention the hassle of trying to find a place to park, and then paying and arm and a leg to park! Evanston is so much more convenient -- not to mention much more progressive. With my unabashed liberal Democratic views, I'd be something of a fish out of water in Barrington. Although, Barrington isn't quite as white-bread conservative Republican as it was back in the 1960's-1970's: there were a group of Barrington High School Students protesting the Iraq War at the intersection of Main & Hough when the Idiot In Chief started the bombing, and Barrington High School now has a student chapter of Amnesty International. Not to mention the students elected a Latina as their Homecoming Queen last year. I'm so proud of today's Barrington Broncos!

I guess another reason I'm proud of my hometown is they've been smart enough to preserve the beautiful old homes and buildings in the business district. When tear-downs reared their ugly heads in places like Arlington Heights and Hinsdale, Barrington's village leaders put their heads together to prevent that from ruining the town's character. They enacted historic district zoning with strict mandates regarding demolition, remodeling, etc. -- all intended to preserve the unique character of these neighborhoods. For homes outside the historic district, Barrington has village ordinances to ensure the size of the house is proportional to lot size, that homes don't block the sunlight or otherwise infringe upon the rights of neighboring homeowners, etc. So, I'm pleased that the Barrington residents of today appreciate the uniqueness of their town, and will do whatever they can to preserve Barrington's charm. Barrington is a far cry from Palatine, or Arlington Heights, or even Park Ridge. I, for one, hope it stays that way.

I guess what brought on this morning's nostalgia is hearing from an old high school buddy of mine, Kent. Kent played in the orchestra with me, and was always very kind & understanding. He and his wife are now ministers in the United Church of Christ in Michigan -- but the e-mail said they're getting ready to take on a new pastorate in Minnesota. I confess I'm feeling a tinge of guilt at not having made more of an effort to keep in contact -- I'll have to write him. I'll invite him to take a look at my blog -- I wonder what his memories are like. I also owe Mike an e-mail. Mike was the person who I got into my one and only fight with back in our junior high days. He's now an emergency room physician outside Kenosha, Wisconsin, and he also does medical missions in developing countries. Interesting how we're now friends!

Well, I gotta get some work done . . . maybe I'll do a search on the Blogspot website, just to see if any other Barrington residents or expatriates are remembering our hometown!

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Some Political Links!

OK, I didn't realize that Lee's link had been discarded . . . so, crossing my fingers, here's his link -- along with some other political links:

http://homepage.mac.com/krousen/Bush%20site/index.html -- Build a Better Bush!

http://tomcoburnforsenate.com/ -- the wacko Republican running for Oklahoma's open senate seat. (Why does Oklahoma always get the bible-thumping loonies?)

http://www.bradcarson.com/ -- Brad Carson's website. He's the Democrat running. He's sane, and he stood up to Idiot Inhofe in his attempts to help the folks in Picher and Cardin who've been poisoned by Tar Creek for the past 20+ years.

http://www.dougdodd4congress.com/ -- Doug Dodd, Democrat for Congress (Oklahoma's First District). The Dodds are a wonderful family, and Doug is a big-time supporter of education, having been president of the Tulsa Board of Education. His wife, Elaine, is a retired schoolteacher, past president of the Tulsa Classroom Teacher's Association, and current chair of the Tulsa County Democratic Party. I look forward to Doug kicking John Sullivan's sorry ass out of congress!

http://www.demookie.com/forum/forum.asp?FORUM_ID=184 -- Democrats of Oklahoma forum. I have a lot of fun here! Yes, I'm a Yellow Dog Democrat. If you need a definition of Yellow Dog Democrat, let me know & I'll gladly explain.

Happy websurfing!

Hopefully this link will work:

I was attempting to post Barack Obama's website, but Lee's website kept coming up, even after numerous edits. Guess Blogspot just will not cooperate today.

So, let's try this link: http://www.obamaforillinois.com/index.asp?Type=NONE&SEC={8683FB66-C0DB-4FAB-85C7-2FBCF770436E}}

Meet the next Senator from Illinois, and see why he's creating such excitement in the Land of Lincoln. My mother tells me Obama credits the late, great Paul Simon for mentoring him.

Pretty good mentor to have, to say the least!

Trying to Post! (Hope my links work this time)

OK, it took some effort to find my blog this morning. I had previously created a blog that kept coming up -- hadn't posted to it in over a year. So, I've deleted that blog & hopefully my new bookmark will take me directly to this site!

The websites du jour: http://www.thecatlow.com This was on the old blog -- the historic Catlow Theatre in my beloved hometown of Barrington. Please take a look at this site -- the history, and take time to look at the pictures. This theatre was designed in the 1920's by Betts & Holcomb of Chicago, and is built to depict a medieval English hall. The theatre started out as a vaudeville house -- there's still a small orchestra pit & real stage, and there was a pipe organ in there when we first moved to Barrington in 1967. The organ is long gone (alas), but the casing is still there. The Catlow Theatre is still open and showing pictures for a discounted price. They sell sandwiches from the next-door deli, Baloney's (and they are mighty fine sandwiches, too -- one of my mother's former students runs the deli with her husband). And you can pick up a beer to wash down your sandwich -- so, it's truly Dinner and a Movie in Barrington. Add in the cheaper tickets and the historic setting -- and you will never want to see a movie at the suburban multiplex again. The Catlow is currently showing Fahrenheit 9/11 -- I'm thrilled! Of course, they never did shy away from controversy when I was growing up -- I remember when the showed Midnight Cowboy (which was rated "X" when it first came out -- some townsfolk were, shall we say, concerned about an X-rated movie showing in our hometown). By the time All the President's Men came to town people didn't blink an eyelash. (For the uninitiated, Barrington is -- or at least, was -- a very Republican community.)

OK, enough on the wonderful Catlow theatre! I'm definitely going to have to find some more hometown sites . . . probably the Octagon House on Main Street, Barrington High School (of course). Does anyone know any Barrington High School alumni who can give me ideas on showing off the hometown?

http://www2.obamaforillinois.com/splash.php -- the next Senator from Illinois! I heard this guy speak at the Democratic National Convention, and to say he's fantastic is the understatement of the millennium!

http://www.melissabean.com/ -- A businesswoman from my hometown is fixin' to retire (sorry, had to use an Oklahoma term here!) the sorry-ass Phil Crane. I'm thrilled she's from Barrington! And she's on the board of the Barrington Children's Choir (my mother was accompanist for them before she retired) and the Lines School PTO (where my mother taught for many years).

OK, I gotta get back to work right now. Maybe I'll get into the hardcore ranting later on . . . before I go, if you haven't seen Fahrenheit 9/11, it's a must-see. My mother took her Republican cousin & a very Republican friend -- suffice it to say, their eyes were opened about the Bush family connections to the Saudi Arabian royal family.

Confidential to Slu -- thanks for your comments! I took a look at your blog, and we're in total agreement about the terrorist threats! Keep the comments coming! Any Barrington residents reading this . . . please ring in!

Monday, August 09, 2004

OK, I'm New at This!

OK, I'm new to blogging . . . this is my first post! You can call this random thoughts of a displaced Tulsa symphonic musician. Don't really know what to rwrite right now . . . but I'll post a few neat websites:

http://http://www.beliefnet.com/boards/discussion_list.asp?boardID=3752 -- my cyberparish, so to speak. I've met some wonderful people here, and will invite them to comment. I hope things pick up soon in Common Round! (Hi, Lee, Kim & Slu!)

http://www.trinitytulsa.org -- my bricks & mortar parish

http://www.stlukesevanston.org -- St. Luke's-Evanston, IL. A wonderful parish where I became an unabshed liberal Anglo-Catholic. I was there when Rt. Rev. Tom Ray was rector -- he later became Bishop of Northern Michigan (now retired.) BTW, Richard Webster got a very raw deal, IMHO. And the widow of one Richard's most esteeemed predecessors agrees with me.

http://http://st-markschurch.org/ -- St. Mark's-Barrington Hills, IL. This was where I grew up. My mother was organist/choirmaster here from 1966-1986 (I THINK those are the correct dates). Mother & I were confirmed on the same day here (she was raised Lutheran) in March 1969.

Well, I need to get home & get some housecleaning done. Pretty pedistrian stuff for my first blog . . . I'll probably do some venting before too long. Still feeling the sting of the Please do not consider yourself to be my friend e-mail message sent by the now-former organist/choirmaster of my parish. I'm still tempted to contact the dean of the cathedral he went to to warn others not to get hurt the way I was.

Well . . . gotta run & invite others to view this blog & contribute their comments! I'll probably add some more fun websites as time goes on . . . Lee sent me something hilarious today! (Thanks, Lee!)