7 Quick Takes: Bright Week Edition

7 Quick Takes

Now that Holy Week is over, I’m weighing in on the current foolishness of the occupant of the White House. If you are someone of a sensitive nature who can’t deal with criticism of him, skip the first take of this post. My blog = my politics rule here and I’m not debating this. (Y’all can believe WHATEVER you want on your own websites.)

Oh yeah… insert spiel about Amazon associate links being present because I am an Amazon associate.

— 1 —

Reopening the economy. I’m heartened by the governors who have rebelled against the temper tantrum thrown by the current occupant of the White House and who have said that *THEY* will decide when their states’ economies open. (For those of you who erroneously think the White House occupant gets to dictate this, I recommend this book to explain it to you in words you can understand. It is a *CLEAR* 10th Amendment issue.)

I also have to laugh at the fact that the White House occupant thinks he can say something one day and pretend he said something else the next day. That might work in a place like North Korea or Turkmenistan where the state controls the media, but it does *NOT* work here. People record and take screenshots of things. Nothing is forgotten on the Internet.

I’m pretty sure my governor and my state’s attorney general were laughing to the point of crying when he said that only he has the power to open the economy (WRONG!) and the next day that he would call each governor individually and give them permission to open their state’s economy (again, WRONG!). I can imagine my state’s attorney general drafting his arguments for court in his head during that first news conference. (Bob Ferguson, my state’s attorney general, has very joyfully filed suits against some of the stupider decisions of this current presidential administration… and won almost every time.)

— 2 —

Reasons why we are locked down. My county has seen an increase of 9 cases per day in the last three days. Our governor isn’t stupid, so I don’t think the restrictions are being lifted any time soon.

Trump logic.

— 3 —

Tulips. If we weren’t in an episode of “The Walking Dead” right now, the Skagit County Tulip Festival would be happening and the roads west of town would be clogged with “tulip tourists”. Because we don’t believe in sacrificing our county’s citizens for the $1 million it would bring in, all the in-person events are either cancelled or postponed. The two big tulip growers, however, are finding ways to be innovative in the midst of it. Roozengaarde is doing virtual tours, and Tulip Town has a program where a $15 donation gets a bouquet of tulips donated to a hospital or nursing home. You can also buy bulbs from both of them or merch from the main festival website.

— 4 —

Nature being cool. I mean, nature is awesome.

— 5 —

OMG! Josh Groban is singing songs in his shower on his Facebook page! Here he is doing Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” with his friend Lucia Micarelli.

— 6 —

Because Yo-Yo Ma! If I am sharing videos of musicians doing off-the-cuff music on their Facebook walls, I can’t forget Yo-Yo Ma. He has done some selections from Bach’s Cello Suites, which I am admittedly not fond of, so I’m sharing his version of Dona Nobis Pacem:

— 7 —

My church is more awesome than yours! I’ll leave you with The Episcopal Church Virtual Choir and Orchestra singing “The Strife is O’er”.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Triduum Hymn Edition

7 Quick Takes

It’s Maundy Thursday, y’all! Who’s up for a Triduum hymn singalong??? Yeah, just me? #churchmusicnerd

— 1 —

“Now We Join in Celebration”. This is my favorite ELCA Communion hymn. I mean, the tune is “Schmücke dich”. What’s not to like??? #hymntunenerd

— 2 —

“Ubi Caritas”. This was the first Taizé chant I learned, and it is still a favorite. We use it a lot when we do bilingual worship with our Spanish-speaking mission congregation.

— 3 —

“Ah, Holy Jesus”. This is my favorite Triduum hymn by far… and we never sing it at my church!

— 4 —

“O Sacred Head Now Wounded”. This is the one most people think of when it comes to Good Friday. I know I learned it from an old Amy Grant CD 25 years ago.

— 5 —

“How Deep the Father’s Love for Us”. This sounds like it is something from the mid-19th century, but it is maybe 25-30 years old at most. it was written by Stuart Townend, who is better known for more contemporary pieces.

— 6 —

“Were You There When They Crucified My Lord?” This is better known as an African-American spiritual, and it gets sung at most Protestant Good Friday services across the board.

— 7 —

“Near the Cross”. This is not one I’ve heard sung on Good Friday because most Lutheran churches favor the older hymns (and I’m with them–give me something pre-1700 any day!), but it is appropriate.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Living In The Midst of “The Walking Dead” Edition

7 Quick Takes

This blog’s official troll accused me of exaggerating and going to extremes after reading one of my posts where I called them out for some dangerous opinions they hold regarding some infectious diseases. It’s too bad that science backs me up and disproves what they have to say.

Sucks to be you, Elena.

Oh… I also cite REAL ACCURATE SOURCES WITH REAL ACCURATE NUMBERS in this post. Click on by me if you want to believe the hysteria in the media.

— 1 —

The title. Some of you know that I live in western Washington. This part of the state is where all the COVID-19 cases are. (There aren’t any west of Grant or Kittitas counties, so it is currently really just in the western 1/2-2/3 of the state.) King County is the most populous county in the state and has the largest city, Seattle. Thus, this is where the bulk of the cases are. We have the highest number of cases in the country (568) as well as the highest death toll (37). With all K-12 schools having to switch to remote learning for 6+ weeks, the colleges that are having to go to distance learning for the rest of the year, and all the restrictions on public events, it seems like we’re in the midst of an episode of “The Walking Dead” here.

— 2 —

Where to get your information. There is a lot of misinformation out there, and the president isn’t helping with this. (For those who are wondering what I’m talking about, he has made some off-the-cuff remarks that contradict what the CDC and others run by medical professionals have said about it.) Here’s a list of places to go for accurate information:

World Health Organization
CDC
-Your state’s department of health/board of health (mine)
-Your county’s board of health/department of health (mine)

All of the above have medical professionals who specialize in infectious diseases reporting on this and making recommendations.

— 3 —

The math on this. It has been reported that COVID-19 is ten times more deadly than the seasonal flu. This is correct. The seasonal flu has a fatality rate of around 0.1% (1 out of 1,000) people. COVID-19’s fatality rate is around 1% (1 in 100 people). It is skewed a little bit here in Washington state because most of the fatal cases are from nursing homes, one specific nursing home in particular.

For more data on this in a beautiful and easy-to-follow format, click here.

— 4 —

How to protect yourself. This might come as a surprise, but the easiest way to protect your self is…

WASH YOUR FREAKING HANDS.

Wash them for at least 20 seconds with soap. Wash them like you just finished eating Thai food with your hands and you need to remove your contacts. Wash them like you just shook hands with the politician you hate most. Say a Hail Mary while you wash your hands. Wash them when you get back to your house after being out in public.

If you need something to say or sing while washing them other than “Happy Birthday”, you can make your own hand-washing poster using this site. Here is one with part of “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carroll. There’s also a list of hymns you can sing.

Wash your hands Jabberwocky-style.
Praise the Lord and wash your hands.

Also, stay home if you’re sick and don’t touch your face.

— 5 —

Telecommuting. My college had to close down all sites this week for disinfection after a positive case at a nursing home where CNA students and instructors were doing clinicals. (The staff and students were on campus last week, so the school legally needed to neutralize the risk.) Cue everything including tutoring having to be switched up to remote instruction this week! I’ve been tutoring over Zoom since yesterday, and it’s kind of a cool way to do all of this. My student(s) can share their screen with me, which makes it a whole lot easier for me to point out errors and get “down and dirty” with my Accounting students who work through an online application.

Minion even decided to “help” yesterday, so I was cuddling him during my one-on-one session with a student. Silly panther!

— 6 —

Social distancing. I completely understand the need for social distancing. We stand to overwhelm our health care system unless we flatten the curve in terms of risk. Still, it’s hard to have so many things like church cancelled. Physical touch isn’t even my primary love language, and I’m missing being hugged.

Nadia Bolz-Weber had a really good take on this:

Pandemic of disappointment.

— 7 —

Faith in the time of COVID-19. If you’re like me, Sunday worship/Mass has been cancelled diocese-wide. My church is coming up with ways to livestream worship and post the basics on our website, but for the Catholics out there who are in dioceses like the Archdiocese of Seattle where everything is cancelled, here are some options courtesy of my local Blessed is She folks:

Daily TV Mass
Act of Spiritual Communion

I used to watch a lot of Heart of the Nation when we lived in Galt and going to church with Daniel was a no-go for reasons.

The archbishop of Seattle is also livestreaming Mass on Sunday at 10 a.m. PDT. Your local dioceses might have similar options.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

How I’m Feeling At the Moment

I’m actually not having a bad week, but I’ve needed to just go back to bed the last two mornings because living my life is exhausting me so much. The one-year anniversary of my grandmother’s passing was Tuesday, and I know something in my soul is feeling it even if I’m not incredibly weepy.

Sometimes, we just have to rest and let God heal things while we do so.

Why I Prefer to Sing in a Choir

I mentioned on Thursday night that I had no excuse not to sing my own piece of the Great Litany today… and I did. I also had the experience of opening my mouth and having nothing come out of it, so I asked the person beside me (who was the musician from Wednesday) if he’d sing that section with me. I got myself back together and did the rest of my share of the petitions in my very quiet and breathy head voice which doesn’t project well… but is still mine. Surprisingly, life went on and my choir director gushed later about how proud she was of me for not panicking and keeping going.

This is why I sing in a choir, y’all. The person next to me held my hand while I was singing my sections because I was completely terrified, and he hugged me when it was all over, despite the fact that we’re in Washington state and dealing with COVID-19 hysteria. This is what all of my choir members are like and why I make choir practice a priority, even when I am dead tired.

Someone (not St. Augustine) made the comment that he who sings has prayed twice. They weren’t kidding, especially with the Great Litany today! It covers every possible need… and then a few.

Still, I really prefer to sing with other people. There is something amazing about joining voices with other people that gives me a glimpse of heaven.

Saturday Music: “How Deep the Father’s Love”

When I first heard this song, I thought it was probably from the 19th century. It isn’t. It’s from the 1990’s and Stuart Townend (the composer) wrote it as a hymn, which is a style different from his normal contemporary works. (Source)

I’m sharing it because I love it and it focuses on Jesus dying on the cross, which is what saves us as Christians.