A Confession Story

(Note: all these conversations were in Spanish as everyone involved is from a predominantly Hispanic parish)

A few weeks ago I went to confession in a parish that wasn’t my regular church. The priest wasn’t there, but a veiled señora tidying up the pews said to me “He just did a quinceañera! He’ll be back soon!” so I stayed put and waited…and waited…and waited! Now I’ve been to this church before and normally there is a sizable line so I kept checking the bulletin the same way hungry kids check the fridge hoping for better choices, all for naught.

After about 20 minutes I  wandered into the parking lot and spotted a man looking under the hood of his car and asked him if he could point me to the rectory.
“Oh that building is storage for the school, it’s that one over there” and he went right back to his tinkering. I then asked him if he knew if the priest was in the rectory. “Oh  most definitely not! Why? What do you need to see a priest for?” “Oh just a confession” “Do you go to Mass here?” “No I go to Our La…” (Cutting me off) “Maybe you should go here”.
I raised an eyebrow and continued, “Well my priest is on vacation and there’s usually a line at the Catheder…” and he cut me off yet again!

“I’ll tell you what, give me a few minutes to finish up here and I’ll hear your confession if you celebrate Mass with us soon”.
The light bulb went on in my head and I sputtered out an apology “oh father I’m so sorry!” as he grinned and closed the car hood.
Like Luke finding out that the little green guy was in fact the legendary Jedi Yoda, I felt foolish and embarrassed.

We walked to the church and into the confessional.  As he heard my confession the power went out, plunging us into total darkness.  The priest carried on as though everything were perfectly normal and then as he gave me my penance, the lights came on.

Sometimes we can’t see what is actually right in front of our eyes, “Rabboni, I want to regain my sight!”

Posted in Culture, faith, Religion

First Look: Scott Walker and Sunn O)))

News of Seattle drone band Sunn O)))’s collaboration with Scott Walker baffled the easily confused metal community  and dismayed many in the public sector employee union racket.

“I’ve never heard SunnOf but I do know Walker is a son of a *****!”Sputtered SEIU spokesman Ralphie Pastrama. “Isn’t it enough that he absolutely demoralized us in 2011?!  When will our suffering end?!” Pastrama then promptly collapsed onto a chair into  immediate slumber, snores rumbling from  underneath his safety hat.

Interviewed in the basement of his parent’s home, 25 year old man-child and metal enthusiast Davyd Williams shrugged his shoulders at the collaboration. “Yeah they’re ok I guess. Nah, I don’t know who that dude is but hmm, hey could you move so I can see my screen? I  don’t want to get fragg- ahh man never mind”.

Whispering into a megaphone, behind a closed door, in the bowels of their Everett WA recording studio, wearing robes in the summer,  the duo behind Sunn O))) chimed in, ”From the beginning we have always been about convincing morons, half-wits, dolts, dunces,dullards and dumbbells, that the  sound of air conditioners through a distortion pedal is legitimate music. This is why, while may not agree with Scott Walker 100% politically, our dedication to bilking music fans of their money mirrors his dedication to eviscerating his political opponents. Simply put, it was a match made in Wisconsin!”

Scott Walker was unavailable for comment, but was last seen sitting on a throne of skulls, biding his time.

Scott Walker + Sunn O)))

Posted in Music, Politics, Satire, Uncategorized

Descendents – Cool To Be You

I found this CD and have been listening to it a lot lately. It isn’t my favorite Descendents offering because it seems overall more cynical than their other works but it still has some fantastic songs on it. The title track is one of them, and though some of my Christian friends might raise an eyebrow, viewed through the lens of compassion, this song is actually a cry for understanding, discernment and acceptance.

Some random thoughts!

  • The sin of envy is tempered with vocalist Milo Aukerman’s immediate admission that “I know this bitter jealousy is wrong”.  I’m not sure if Milo was raised Catholic or not though he does say “I was raised in a church and I was taught to believe” but nothing specific.
  • Having been both the outsider and the hmm bully I suppose, I can empathize 100% with the line |
    “but it must be pretty cool to be you
    with your brothers at your back, protecting you.
    it must be pretty cool to know you belong”
  • This is a catchy song but  other standout on this CD is Dry Spell, which has the best chorus of any Descendents song and can hold its own against anything from the I Don’t Want To Grow Up era.
  • Click here for a terrific podcast/interview with Descendents guitarist Stephen Egerton.

At one point all of us feel uncool, so if you have ever felt so inclined, enjoy this song but don’t dwell in envy!
PS Keep this band in your intentions! 

I don’t believe in unity
it’s just one more abandoned dream
once the people get together it’s easy to see
it’s just a matter of time til they come after me

but it must be pretty cool to be you
with your brothers at your back, protecting you
it must be pretty cool to know you belong
isolated my whole life counting scars in the land of the smiling knives
yes I’m envious it’s true, but it must be cool to be you

You’ve got a loving family to give you everything you need
my family loves each other so much
we live a thousand miles away and never stay in touch

but it must be pretty cool to be you
with a home and a family to go home to
must be pretty cool to know you belong
isolated my whole life counting scars in the land of the smiling knives
yes I’m envious it’s true but it must be cool to be you

What can I do? I know this bitter jealousy is wrong
maybe I’ll move, and find a brand new place I don’t belong
some friends  I’ll never know (I’ll never know)
New places I can’t go (I can’t go)
Cause everywhere I’ve been
Is on the outside lookin in…

You got a deep sustaining faith,
a lord who listens when you pray
I was raised in a church and I was taught to believe
I wonder if God believes in me…

It must be pretty cool to be you
with your holy faith sustaining you
must be pretty cool to know you belong
isolated my whole life counting scars in the land of the smiling knives
yes I’m envious it’s true but it must be cool to be you

Must be cool to be you

Must be cool……………….

Posted in Culture, Music, Religion

ALL and Alfredo’s

Driving to work today my commute was fueled by the punchy fun of ALL’s “Allroy Sez”. ALL (for those that don’t know) are basically the legendary punk band the Descendents sans their singer Milo Aukerman. In this iteration of ALL, Dave Smalley of DYS provided vocals for songs running the gamut of themes from anti-drug abuse, love, idealism to the subject of this post, Mexican food! The song Alfredos is an ode to their favorite hole in the wall Mexican restaurant, peppered with praise for delicious menu items and punctuated with (TRIGGER WARNING) simulated Mexican accents and  cultural appropriation.

I was curious to see if the restaurant still existed and lo and behold, it does! They have a website (www.alfredosrestaurant.com) have detractors and fans on Yelp and best of all, a mention of this very song in the LA Times! The LAT article is something I never would have found back then as I obviously didn’t have the internet and I was and am a NorCal resident.
Sadly, for us vegans and vegetarians, the non-lard offerings are few, though the folks that run the site are friendly and responded promptly when I sent them a query regarding their veg options.

Jose,

Thanks for contacting us.  Our steamed white rice is vegetarian as our our black beans.  You can specifically request these instead of Mexican rice and refried beans (which are not vegetarian). 

Let me know if you need any other vegetarian suggestions.

Regards,
Charles Dominick
Owner

Thanks for joining me on this short trip into pop-punk nostalgia! Join me next week when we find out via google maps just how hard the streets at 7th and A are as immortalized in the Judge song “New York Crew”.

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Posted in Music, vegan

Rag Men – Obstacles

I’ve made it a habit of listening to old CDs of mine on my commute and this morning I picked up Rag-Men’s self titled and was blown away at how heavy these tunes are and how well they’ve held up. This came out in 2004 and for those that don’t know, was a NYHC band that featured Jorge from Merauder as well as Ian “Bulldog” Edwards from Earth Crisis.
I’d forgotten how awesome this song was. Enjoy it and share it with someone that needs it.

I’m tired of running away from obstacles in my way.
breaking me, making me fall, am I weak have I lost control?
making my goals seem so distant, making destiny out to be a dream.
I feel like i’m losing this battle, becoming a slave of my own sorrow.
oh Lord help me.
It’s not easy being.
Lord give me a new life, new reason for living.
as I crawl on my hands and my knees, isn’t this so pathetic of me?
so many think my life is sweet, but it’s been sour grapes to me.
I wish others could walk in my shoes, and realize what i’ve been through.
next time you see a smile on my face,
look deep in my eyes and witness my pain.
oh Lord help me.
It’s not easy being.
Lord give me a new life, new reason for living.
as I walk with my head down in shame to realize
and cannot continue this way.
Must be bold, must be strong and be true,
cause this world is nothing but straight up cruel.
so I look at myself and I say,
I won’t slip through cracks and I won’t decay.
my faith has got to change, open my soul before all fades away.
oh Lord help me.
it’s not easy being.
lord give me a new life, new reason for living…

Posted in faith, Music, You're Moshing

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