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Showing posts from November, 2007

I'd Lather Not

I'm not a big spender, really. Apart from dining out (my favorite activity) I don't really spend very much money (just look at the way I'm dressed!).

Today, however, is one of those rare days that I splurged on a purchase. In need of shaving cream and deodorant, I walked over to a local Rite Aide and picked up some toiletries. As I wandered about the store, my eyes fell upon a wondrous invention: the ConAir Gel & Lather Heating System. All you have to do is drop in your can of shaving gel/cream and, after a few minutes, it's nice and hot! With the prospect of greater shaving comfort tantalizing me for only $20.00, I surrendered to my pleasure seeking nature and bought it.

Well, let me tell you: I will shave every day now. To be sure, the set up of the apparatus tested my technical ability. But the end result was worth it - my shaving gel was WARM! Hot, really, and perhaps I'll lower the temperature for the next time.

I'm hoping that this purchase will get the …

Tin Whistle Videos

Due to a technical snafu, I have to re-load all of the "Fordham University's Introduction to the Irish Tin Whistle" videos. I hope to have this completed by next weekend.

Thanks for your patience!

Ryan

Some People Will Do Anything for a Discount

My Aunt Cheryl and Uncle Terry (O'Malley) arrived here for a visit yesterday. It's great to have guests and it's the first time that members of my family have visited Ciszek Hall.

I'm certainly proud of Fordham University and it was my great pleasure to give my aunt and uncle a tour of the campus. I rehearsed the history of some of the buildings and then, toward the end of our tour, we made the obligatory stop at the bookstore. Cheryl busied herself with shopping for sweatpants (for Sarah) and a hooded sweatshirt (for Bridgid). As anyone knows, such paraphernalia can be quite expensive.

So as we were walking to the checkout counter, I had an uneasy feeling that Cheryl was crafting an intricate plan to save money on her purchase. Would she claim that was purchasing these items for poor starving children? Would she suggest to the cashier that as the mother of two sons who graduated from a Jesuit high school or as the aunt of a Jesuit that she deserved some reduction in pri…

Traditional Irish Music Lessons

I just wanted to take a moment to plug the new website for Brian Holleran's (my soon-to-be brother-in-law) music school


Ciunas.org

Located in Cleveland, Ohio this music school promises to be a great asset to Irish culture in the area. With instruction available on tin whistle, flute, and uilleann pipes and, starting in 2008, on the fiddle, banjo, and concertina this school of traditional Irish music will help to promote Irish music and culture in Cleveland.

If you are interested in learning more, follow the link above or visit the Ciunas myspace page. As any reader of my blog knows, Irish music has been an integral part of my life's journey and I'm proud to know that a member of my family will be sharing his deep love of his culture with another generation of musicians who will, I pray, benefit as much as I have in being a part of traditional Irish music.

Soul Provider

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Several weeks ago I received a copy of Father Edward L. Beck's new book Soul Provider. Based on the dust jacket's adulations - Andrew Greeley, Diane Sawyer, and Anne Lamont - I figured it'd be at the very least an accessible book on prayer. Fortunately for me, I found it not only accessible but also deeply moving.

Structured around the Ladder of Divine Ascent written by the sixth-century monk John Climacus, Soul Provider invites the reader to embark upon a spiritual pilgrimage. The book is broken up into thirty chapters, fourteen corresponding to vices that we need to overcome (anger, malice, falsehood --- a purgative path) and sixteen virtues we ought to acquire (Simplicity, humility, discernment -- an illuminative path) culminating in a deep union with God in love.

What I found helpful was both the length of each chapter - about ten pages each, making for quick reading - and the questions at the end of each chapter. These questions helped to spur my own personal prayer as …

Hurts So Good

As many readers know, over the past few years I have gradually become more and more engaged in what is commonly known as "working out." I have come to enjoy going to the gym and now that Drew has built a good home gym in the house, I enjoy it even more (since I don't have to walk outside in the cold to get to Fordham's gym).

So this week we embarked upon a whole new workout program. And let me say this: I am in pain! My legs are killing me and, after today's chest workout, I expect that tomorrow is going going to be a painful day. The irony is that I'm actually glad to feel sore: it means that the whole program is working!

I've been meaning to post all week, but I've been extraordinarily busy. I've finished two papers this week (just two more to go - one 15-20 page, one 10-page) and I've been refining a music primer that I'm writing. I also wrote an encyclopedia entry on "Judith" from the Book of Judith (apocryphal story in the Heb…