Ash Wednesday coincided with Valentine’s Day this year. To me, it was appropriate. This year, Lent is the best gift of love that the Church has to give her sinful, suffering children—St. Valentine was a martyr, after all!
My husband and I went to the 7:00 p.m. mass at St. Therese’s, the first day of no more “alleluia”s at the proclamation of the gospel. No more “Gloria” at the Sunday mass, either. Purple everywhere. Ashes. Stations of the Cross on Fridays. I don’t think I’ve ever been so ready (or needful!) of this penitential season since I became a Catholic in 1990.
One of my most beloved friends gave me a book last summer. I’ve only been reading it for four nights now, but if—by the grace of God—I can stick with it for the next thirty-five days, I reckon it could change my life. Continue reading
(To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters, PBS Masterpiece Theater, 120 minutes, 2 epsisodes)
Yes, yes, yes. This is, perhaps, the best thing I have watched on television in the last ten years. To Walk Invisible is the story of the Brontë sisters and their plan to be financially independent by writing novels under masculine pen names. Continue reading
This Amazon Prime offering seemed to have a lot of promise at the outset. Canada! British protagonists! Evil oil companies! Complicated back story! The promise of “dark humor”! My husband and I settled in for several nights of what we hoped would be great viewing. And then we got to Episode 3.
I work in a library. Every few days, we get a shipment of books in from other libraries. The shipments contain:
- patron-requested books that we do not have in our collection
- patron-requested books that we have in our collection, but are currently checked out
- books that we have sent out for the patrons of other libraries that have returned.
Yesterday, I had the job of processing incoming books for our patrons. I processed five copies of 1984: three paperbacks, one hardcover and one audio book. You may be thinking, “Five? That’s not a big deal.”
As the body politic emerges from anguished stupefaction, Penguin has fired up the presses in order to churn out 75,000 new copies of 1984. I work in a library, and we cannot keep this title on the shelf. Patrons request it as a cleanse of sorts…get the Kardashians out of the house, put a ban on Fox News (yes, even Chris Wallace) or MSNBC (yes, even Rachel Maddow), finish your latest Facebook rant, ignore Instagram and Snapchat and for heaven’s sake, eschew Twitter, make a cup of Orwellian tea and begin—“It was a bright day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.”
I am bleary-eyed from watching stuff that has come, both directly and indirectly, from the minds of Joel and Ethan Coen. Happily bleary-eyed.
1. Fargo—the television series
This FX series was created by Noah Hawley and is based on the iconic Academy Award winning film, Fargo. It stars Allison Tolman, Colin Hanks, Billy Bob Thorton and Martin Freeman and does justice to its cinematic progenitor. I suppose it would have to, since the Coen Brothers signed on as executive producers for the series.