Sunday, August 15, 2004

Reflections on a Friend's Anecdote

I've been out and about all weekend, so I thought it was best to refrain from posting something that was worth nothing. In the wise words of the 'Unknown' Food Critic's "running partner" in a WWL-TV food critic review: "You could have the biggest pile of junk in town, but it's still just trash."

Anyway, I'd like to share something I wrote after reading a friend's latest blog post after graduating from Texas A&M with a masters, "At Last the Circle Is Complete." I wrote the poem shortly after reading his post, trying to capture some of Jacob's theme of coming full circle.

A Journey

Life is but a journey,
A journey we all are on.
We are all at different places,
but our lives continue to go on.

Life is not to be wasted,
since one day we all will be gone.
We are on a journey,
a journey that is life.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

The Curt Jester: Catholic Comedy & Commentary

The problems with the current American Catholic state of mind are ever apparent in a site I stumbled upon after an interesting AIM consersation with a Aggie Catholic friend from Friendswood, TX. The conversation, which began innocently enough on the music of the mass and our preferences, led ultimately up to the question: is Marty Haugen, the composer of so much of the "modern" Catholic church music (most often sung by many choirs in the U.S.) , Catholic? Frankly, neither of us knew at the time, so I did a little internet research (which I'm beginning to do more and more often) and found a number of web pages after doing a search on Marty Haugen, and I came up with this web page: "Marty Haugen in Concert and Workshop at Monastery," from a Catholic web site,, ran by the Sisters of St. Benedict of Ferdinand, Indiana. Turns out he's Lutheran. Figures.

Anyhow, back to the humor part of this rave post. In the meantime of doing this search on Haugen, I stumbled on a tongue-in-cheek, Catholic blog web site, The Curt Jester, with a parody on the American Catholic liturgy called "Liturgy for Ignoramuses." I highly suggest you follow their suggestions for mass next Sunday! It really hits home to my previous post on the "Life Teen Craze" that's effecting a number of parishes here around Houston and elsewhere in America.

It's also worth sharing that that Jeff Miller (of The Curt Jester), another Catholic blogger like myself, has his own rant on this 'clappy,' 'feel-good' kind of Mass popping up more and more frequently nowadays. It's nearly identical to my couple encounters with this nerve-racking, mass-killing phenomenon that is supposed to bring the youth to Catholicism. Unfortunately, if these proponents want to do that, why not act CATHOLIC?! At any rate The Curt Jester is a wonderful blog on everything Catholic, including a more traditional mass stance. Be sure to check out The Curt Jester's Rant, too.

Forgive the slight ranting tonight, but it seems necessary whenever approaching a topic such as the "modernization" of the Catholic Mass in America.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Blogs of Note: A Few Raves for Some Spiffy Blogs

Tonight's my usual night to rave. If you haven't noticed yet, the days I post I go in a sequential order for my blog. I started with a rambling one day, followed it with rant the next, and ended the cycle with a rave the following day (thus the reason behind the name of my blog: "The Ramblings, Rants, and Raves of John Book"---In that specific order!). I've now completed the cycle three times, look for yourself! So with that note, I'll continue with my rave...this time on Blogs of Note.

1. Jen Speaks ...Because I Love to Run Off My Mouth! ~ Jen (Northern Virginia)
This blog was the first I encountered and it has been a pretty memorable one so far. It provides a very intriguing view that seems to be Conservative leaning but don't confuse this for your regular political blog...there's plenty of heartwarming, personal, non-political things that will interest most anyone. I found this blog about mid-June of this year looking for the music played during former President Ronald Reagan's funeral, but stumbled on a blog post from Jen's blog on Lady Thatcher's touching eulogy (taped and then played at the National Cathedral). Her thoughts on her eulogy were well-said, I found them to be quite agreeable. So, despite being my first read, I still believe it to be the best I've seen yet...and it'll take a lot for me to change my opinion on that.

2. (-= ~ Jacob Foshee (Spring, Texas)
This is blog of a friend from Texas A&M up in College Station, TX, that was actually the kickstart for me to start this blog here, my first. So, although it's not as glitzy (as in number of posts/viewings), I think it still provides a quirky look into small snippets (episodes as the blogger calls them) of his personal life. Not that his life is any less/more interesting than another (normal) person, but it comes down to the the bit of storytelling used in the posts which I appreciate since it's already so hard to find elsewhere on the net. There's also a interesting post (and slightly more technical than his previous to date) on blog-reading programs that I find quite informative (In fact, I'm currently using his top-suggested program, Feedreader, which I highly suggest). Always a plus, Jacob's blog has a sense of humor, which is always refreshing.

So whether or not you're into blogging yourself, go ahead a give these blogs a quick read, and I'm sure you'll find them as interesting as I did.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

The Fallen Twelve: The Long-Awaited Tribute

"Softly call the Muster, let comrade answer 'Here'..."
This November 18, 2004 will mark the dedication of the Bonfire Memorial, the lasting reminder of those twelve Aggies who died in the unfortunate, untimely Bonfire collapse of 1999. May we remember all Aggies that have passed on, both now and forever. May the Aggie Spirit never falter, never fail, never be forgotten. Fail not to pass on the Aggie Spirit that makes Texas A&M University the greatest institution in the nation. Let the Bonfire Tradition renew again!

Both Dr. Robert M. Gates, president of Texas A&M University, and Jack Hildebrand, student body president, will speak at the November 18, 2004 afternoon dedication. Classes that afternoon will be cancelled so all students will be able to attend the dedication.

Learn more about Aggie Traditions at Texas A&M's web site and view the August 3, 2004 article "Bonfire Memorial Dedication Set in Stone" in The Battalion, Texas A&M's school newspaper, from the links above.

"Once an Aggie, ALWAYS an Aggie"