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Spent the entirity (sp?) of today exercising or doing bell stuff. [Spliced rope on #4]
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It would appear that the answer to the question I posed last time - Where do I go to buy a formal shirt? is simpler than I'd expected: take the T to Central Square. The new Target there hooked me up with a reasonable shirt* and some much-needed new boxers.
Perhaps more importantly, it turns out that the thrift shop across the way is actually awesome. The clothes are actually accurately sorted by size; the staff are sarcastic hipsters who may or may not be HIV sufferers, which is a definite step up from the permanently harried/indifferent staff at my local Goodwill. Anyway, one pink shirt, one slightly oversize*** Formality-flexible shirt that I'm wearing at the moment, another pair of khakis to replace some of the ones that my job keeps eating. About half the price of my total at Target.

I still spent what I think of as Way Too Much Money, even after I (luckily) reminded the salesperson at Target that I was due a $10 discount.
I will definitely be going back, though. At least to the Thrift Shop.
Anyone want to organize an Expotishun at some point?

...I should get my lunch made. More later.

* Actually, I have no idea whether it's ACTUALLY decent or whether it will self-destruct within a year, but meh. Still cheaper than J. Press, probably not much worse than I would have found at the mall.

I was simultaneously amused, tempted, and vaguely unsettled to find it in a rack of shirt/jacket combinations that appeared to have been designed as "You too can dress like a hipster! In one easy step!" Seriously, I'm fairly sure I have seen at least one of those combos on one or other of the beardy 20-somethings who make CotA their home.**

** As opposed to the clean-shaven twenty-somethings who appear to have entered a contest for "Who can look the MOST like a Young Republican?", who can also be seen at any given service there. There's also the compromise position of guys who look like they're cosplaying someone from the '20s.
Err, 1920s, that is. We'll find out what people wear in the 2020s in a couple of years, I guess. Anything from "Total revival of the 1920s" through "Unironic post-apocalyptic grunge" to Space-Chic seems possible.

***On me, dH. I probably need to regain some weight. People are starting to comment, though my "Hungry-and-not-quite-all-there" appearance last night at church was due to the fact that my traditional practice on Good Friday involves fasting from solid food until after whatever service I'm going to...and at CotA, that's one that STARTS at 6:30. But anyway, I'm thinking malted milkshake diet after Easter.
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So last night we had some wonderful people over for dinner. They arrived late, but we forgave them, because a) their roof was leaking, and b) they then set up our wireless for us. Yay! Now I just have to keep from screwing it up, and keep Peter from messing with the wires...

So now that we have reliable internets, let me tell you...
About Choirs )
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I still think of it as Galata: the former Genoese colony to the north of the Golden Horn, crowned by a huge fourteenth-century tower. It’s at the top of a very steep hill, which we hiked up more or less by guesswork. Beyond it begins Istanbul’s main shopping street, the Iskiklal Cad, which we wandered around before hiking down, through increasingly poor neighbourhoods, to reach Christ Church )
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Being some reflections (architectural, liturgical, sociological) on Narrengottesdienst (the Fools´ Service) at St. Stefanskirche in Konstanz.
We´ll start with the building. I´d never been in for a service before, since I usually go to the Münster when the Old Catholics aren´t having a service and I want to go to church but am not in a lutheran mood. St. Stefan´s claims to be the city´s oldest parish church, which is at least arguably true. The tower´s a familiar landmark, and Margaret and Catherine may recall the statues of the church´s patron and (randomly) of John of Nepomuk outside. Inside, the Nave, with its medieval architecture, neo-gothic glass, and 16th and 19th century murals more or less works, and manages to include some renaissance monuments, modernist stations of the cross, and a rococo organ without too much difficulty. The Chancel, however, got Rococo´d at some point in its past, and while that´s unfortunate in itself, it´s pretty restrained and would be relatively attractive...if someone in the 19th century hadn´t partly re-gothicked it. As it is, the line of the original east window protrudes rather crudely through an 18th century cornice, and the bright colors of gothic revival windows clash horribly with the pastels of the celing painting. Moral of the story: if you´re going to redo a building, at least for the love of God make a thorough job of it.

Anyhoo, back to people wearing silly clothes. (And this time, it´s not just the clergy!)

Narrengottesdiest appears to be a well-established tradition (the Lutherans wera having one too), whereby people bring their costumes--and some of the atmosphere--of carnival to church, both literally and metaphorically. So the church was full of Blätzle and people in wizard costumes and camel outfits and carnival masks, we were played in with a brass band (also in wizard this a tradition, or just Potter-mania?), and the first reading was the Emperor´s New Clothes. (No, before the liturgists ask, there was no mocking of church services in general--no black puddings, or burning shoes in thurifers...) The Gospel, appropriately enough, was Mark 2:18-22: which of course has to do with fasting vs rejoicing, clothing, and wine, the themes of the week. And the sermon took this up, calling on the church to be willing to embrace the new and the strange without rejecting the old. Admittedly, some of the new things which the priest was praising were the arrival of some certain conservative politicians on the German and Catholic scene...but I´m willing to forgive him. He did the whole thing in verse.
choco_frosh: Borrowed from Sovay, who borrowed it from somewhere else... (Lord Peter)
On Josh's landlord, name NOT withheld:
My landlord is called Joe. Joe is generally a very pleasant landlord: when something goes catastrophically wrong (e.g. you lock yourself out of the apartment...) he makes sure your problem gets solved (unlike some landlords I can think of. ahem.) And when something is mildly annoying, he generally also fixes it...although it make take a few months, as in the case of a refrigerator light, or the wasps' nest in the window of the back hall. But these are trifles.
Unfortunately, the same workaholic urge to improve his property that moves him to install and revarnish wood floors in this house, and that led him to build the patio out front, is now leading him to comply with fire codes by installing a second staircase to the third floor. Site for said staircase: the space previously occupied by the closet in our front room. As an additional consequence, we had to move everything out of one side of the said room, although this DID have the salutary effect of getting me to clean out my desk MORE than 48 hrs before departing for Germany. And the apartment was filled all afternoon with large Italian guys knocking holes in the walls. They'll be back on Tuesday. They might even build that staircase.

Of course, I missed most of this, since I spent most of the afternoon at the going-away party for the revvy reverend Matt Lincoln. St John's North haven is losing him for six months, as he goes on sabbatical to Iona and various other interesting parts of the world. St John's, (though actually less so this party) contains a substantial fraction of enormous, extended North Haven Italian families, who got disaffected from the Roman Catholic Church and found a spiritual home with the local least for the purpose of getting baptised and married. (But being used thus is a hazard of life for Episcopal in the joke about the bats). But anyway. Food, folks, and silly speeches by the senior warden.

In fact, most facets of life in the New Haven area are dominated by Italians. It's not just our landlord-cum-drywall-installer: there are old Italian guys sitting outside our local grocery store talking animatedly in something that was a Sicilian dialect a century ago, and has since evolved in the classic fashion of isolated populations. The Mayor's DeStephano, the congresswoman's DeLauro, and New Haven claims to have invented pizza as we know it (and has several local restaurants who fight over who first created it, and scads whose clientele is prepared to assert that they have the best pie in town.) The culture is changing, as the Italian-speaking generation dies out and Curry places come to outnumber Pizza joints and high-end Wooster Square restaurants, but for the moment, this remains very much an Italian town.
Oh, and my sister-in-law's ex has mob connections. Distant. That's more of a West Haven thing. ;)


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