Thursday, December 3


Weirdness Magnet

I was worried, very much so, that on leaving New York, I would be moving away from the usual weirdness-attracting vortex that has defined much of my life from high school to the present day. (Okay, even before that. There was a brief period in the late 1990 or early 2000s when a tape of a high school quiz bowl competition I had been instrumental in winning was syndicated, quite inexplicably, on local public-access television. And then there was the incident involving the early Fauvists and the scary bald kid.) I'm not saying I'm weird, by any means, just that weirdness tends to follow me around. Much to my delight, it has not abated. Some instances from the past six months:

- Helping a contemplative monk buy booze (for the best of reasons).

- Singing in a choir that, with no rehearsal, is about to do the entire Latin Requiem from scratch.

- Being asked to help (while desperately trying not to be asked to do so) bridesmaids pick out their hairdos (and then hiding in an overheated car to avoid the inevitable crying).

- Attending a Latin mass in a 14th century chapel in the middle of the Midwest. (Really).

- Getting lost in Milwaukee at 12 in the morning, and orienting oneself after stumbling across an Easter egg-shaped Greek Orthodox Church designed by Frank Lloyd Wright.

- Exploring church crypts in Chicago.

- Also randomly coming across the Serbian Orthodox Cathedral, though not at midnight.

- Using an antique shower that had about 6 different shower-heads.

- Offroading in an all-terrain vehicle with a monastic novice.

- Singing a Palestrina motet.

- Offering home repair tips to a knight of Malta.

- Being offered the opportunity to spend a night sleeping in Loome's Theological Books (I decided against it).

- Doubling the number of speaking engagements I have in my curriculum vitae.

- Dining with a French canon (and spending the first fifteen minutes of it discussing football).

- Being asked to design a tattoo. Twice. By two different people.

- Venerating a relic of the True Cross.

-Eating tacos prepared by Cistercian nuns.

-Having lunch with an old gentleman who once went to the movies with the exiled King Constantine of Greece.

-Being introduced to people as "Mr. Alderman." (It's nice, at long last, to be an adult.)

The strange thing is that weirdness is pretty much now standard operating procedure for me these days.

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