I was home for Easter last week; I’ve got a valid excuse for not writing. Celebrating the Risen Lord can certainly take the stuffing out of you.
Instead of attending Mass on Easter morning, my family and I went to the Easter Vigil on Saturday evening, which features, among many fine attributes:
-Seven different Old Testament readings, registering at varying degrees of grimness on the Old Testament Grim O’Meter™
My brothers went out to obtain pizza to snack on pre-Vigil, during the Butler/Michigan State game. When they returned, and we began eating silly things at a very great rate–things like pepperoni-stuffed breadsticks–my mother said:
MY MOTHER: Boys, why did you get TWO large pizzas?
MY BROTHER BEN: The tomb is empty, Mom.
The next evening, “The Sound of Music” was on the T.V, and I am obliged to watch “The Sound of Music” if it is playing within sight or sound of my person. My mother joined me, and after a time, my father. Neither of them–to my very great astonishment–had ever seen the movie. They had only seen “The Sound of Music” on the stage, when my high school performed it my freshman year, and I played the Reverend Mother. Hahahahahahahahaha!
Anywho, I hadn’t seen the movie in some time, and my mother and I giggled over the Baroness Schräder’s dramatic and thinly-veiled ill will, Maria-ward. She was forever giving Captain Von Trapp or Maria the eyeball for being secretly in love with each other and stuff.
Then there was the scene with the puppetry.
MY MOTHER: This is weird.
On Sunday, my roommate and I decided to go to St. Hyacinth’s Basilica, which is basically the lodestone for Catholic Polish Chicagoans, and light a candle for Poland, and for everyone who died, and their families, and so on, and so forth.
It is a beautiful church.
We arrived right after a Mass had ended, and people were flooding out onto the sidewalk; everyone was dressed as though they had just attended a funeral. The men wore suits and smoked. Later I would see a woman dressed all in red, with a white jacket, for Poland.
We made our way inside. The church has several side alcoves. In one of them, a baby was being baptized, in Polish.
When we finally seated ourselves in a front pew, and after we prayed, we looked around. People sat in the pews, talking softly, and so did we. We decided that we did not know what we would feel, were we the people of Poland. The closest I can imagine is how I felt after 9/11, the hot-edged this is the most terrible; but that is different.
In front of us, an elderly gentleman hung matted drawings of John Paul II on the wall. This is true.
Outside, news crews were filming. People were singing, but I don’t know what. The Polish national anthem?
The Polish national anthem, for the record, is entitled: “Poland Is Not Yet Lost”.
Around the block from the church is a Polish bar. They had the door propped open, and many voices floated out onto the street. “Dancing Queen” was playing.
JESSICA AND I: Everyone grieves differently!
We decided that JPII was waiting for the Polish delegation to arrive at the gates of heaven.
JPII: Comrades! Come and drink a cup of grog with me!
J/K, he would never call them comrades! He defeated Communism!
So! Science, right?
1. They’ve gone and discovered a new element! It doesn’t have a name yet, but it’s being called “ununseptium” until they do, which is, quoth the NYT, “a very unwhimsical Latinate placeholder that refers to the element’s atomic number, 117.”
ME: You’re nothing but an unwhimsical Latinate placeholder.
They discovered it by smashing calcium isotopes and the element berkelium together.
2. Need I say it?
The Large Hadron Collider is finally, sort of officially and at half-speed, up and running.
This week has been a real whopper already. A whirl-i-gig. A fiddle-stick.
YOU: A whoop-te-doozle?
Fountains, for instance,
have a periphery
at some distance
from the spray.
On nice days
idle people circle
all the way around
the central spout.
They do not get wet.
They do not get hot.