Friday Five (Vol. 16)

— 1 —

I hope that everyone had a good Christmas. We stayed home this year for a change and it afforded me the chance to attend Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve at my home parish. The rest of my family was pretty tired so I attended solo on a beautiful starry night. I think only the Easter Vigil compares in its solemnity. I had gone to confession that morning and approached Holy Communion with a clear conscious and a cleaner soul. I don’t have words at the moment to describe it all, but if I could share it with you I surely would.

I arrived home to a sleepy house around 1:40. Santa came soon after and had a cookie or two. And yes…he did bring my daughter a new crown to replace the one her dad had sat on.

— 2 —

Apparently I’m about to lose some points on my luddite membership card. My wife did in fact order me a Kindle e-reader and it’s due to arrive today and in time for my birthday on Sunday. I’m going to write more on this later, but I am pretty jazzed about it. I considered the Nook Color or the Kindle Fire but opted for the less expensive Kindle Touch. The other two have more bells and whistles to be sure, but I am wanting a device that is strictly used for reading purposes. I already have too many ramps onto the internet, social media, and all of those distractions. I do not want yet another.

In trying to decide which book to upload first I have finally settled on The Story of a Soul by St. Thérèse of Lisieux. My wife has the paperback somewhere and it’s been a book I’ve always wanted to read. I can download it for free or for a few dollars (depending upon the edition). I have been doing some other checking: of the 144 items on my Amazon Wish List, 111 are books or sets of books. How many are available as Kindle editions I wonder?

— 3 —

A few weeks ago I decided it was beyond time that I began to simplify things in my life. Less objects, less possessions, less gadgets. More time, more relationships, more clarity. I suppose the Kindle is one of  the means to those ends. I am still considering whether to give up my Smartphone (my mobile phone contract is up for renewal) and my online presence is likely to change. I am also doing a lot of long needed decluttering around my home office and storage room. I’ve exchanged a few holiday emails with a good friend of mine who is doing the same. I suggested we print “Simplify! Testify!!” t-shirts. But then that’s just one more thing to store, ain’t it?

— 4 —

In just a few days it will be 2012. I wonder if the Mayans (or was it Aztecs?) will be proven right?

Either way: Tibi omnia bona cupio.

I wish you all good things.

— 5 —

I submit that Ennio Morricone is one of the greatest composers of the last century. Sandwiched between my parent’s Beatles, Elvis and Bill Cosby LPs was the soundtrack to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and it became one of my first favorites as a little boy. I must have worn grooves into the grooves I played it so much. While he’s scored several movies including The Untouchables, The Mission, Cinema Paradiso and Once Upon a Time in the West, my favorite remains TGTB&TU. I recently stumbled across a video from a live concert he performed in Vienna of one of my favorite pieces, The Ecstasy of Gold. It got me to thinking about writing a post of similar pieces that involve a female vocalist wailing away because there are so many that I seem to like. This particular video gives me chills. Full orchestra, choir, and that soloist in a red dress flowing in the breeze as she sings like a banshee is great stuff.

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