Musings of a 30ish Midwestern Catholic Improv Guy.

Friday, December 29, 2006  

Moving on over... my wife's blog. Please reset bookmarks, blogrolls, and so forth. Thanks.

posted by Dave | 9:14 AM

Wednesday, November 22, 2006  

On hiatus

This is Mrs. Dave here.

I'm letting you know that, for personal reasons, Dave is taking an extended hiatus from blogging.

We would really appreciate your prayers. We need them to get through the next few months, as we've fallen on some very hard, very severe times.

Those of you who know Dave can email me through my blog address if you have questions.

posted by Dave | 10:21 PM

Saturday, September 16, 2006  

Music Meme

Caveman tags, I reply:

Best title ever for a piece of music - "Careful With that Axe, Eugene", by Pink Floyd

Most underrated guitarist - Richard Thompson. The man is amazing.

Music that moves me to tears - I'll agree with the Caveman and go with "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring"

Most unusual lead instrument in a piece of music - Tuba in "U Make Me Sick (But I Love U)" by Billy and the Boingers

Coolest name ever for a Rock 'N Roll band - The Violent Femmes

Worst genre of music ever - The type of easy listening music which turns respectable rock 'n' roll into puerile pablum.

Best guitar jam - "Shoot Out the Lights" by Richard Thompson. Fireworks from the fretboard. And he needs only one guitar to do it.

Music that's ever scared your kid - Haven't had a chance to scare my kid yet, so I'll go with something which freaked me out when I was little. "Thus Spake Zarathustra" used to do it for me. Naturally, when they'd play it on "The Electric Company", I'd be made to watch it by my sisters. So that show was banned in our house.

National Anthem that most gets the blood pumping - "Waltzing Matilda". I know it's not the official National Anthem of Australia, but it ought to be.

Tagging my wife, Irish Elk, Dale Price, and Kathy Ward.

posted by Dave | 8:33 AM

Sunday, September 10, 2006  

9/11 In Memoriam

Steven Paul Geller 1949-2001

To say that Steven Paul Geller loved to cook might be an understatement. This was a man who would go great lengths to find the perfect green pepper, who had cookware worth more than his wife's jewelry, who shared his culinary talent with his daughter Hali.

Mr. Geller was also an institutional trader with Cantor Fitzgerald. On the morning of September 11, he called his wife, Debra, to tell her that a plane had hit the tower. "We're trapped in here, and there's a lot of smoke. I got to run," he said. Debra tried to call back, but got no answer. And then she turned on the TV...

Steven left behind a wife and daughter. May he rest in peace, and may his family find strength and healing.

Sources: Newsday,

posted by Dave | 9:13 PM

Monday, September 04, 2006  

The Battle-Axe

Amy and I went to the Scottish Highland Games last Saturday. We were watching rugby (first time for both of us) when my cell phone rang. It was my sister Diane. She and I chatted for a while, then I passed the phone to Amy. This is the important part of the conversation:

Amy: ...and Dave wants to watch the battle-axe throw...

Me (chiming in): Yeah. I want to see how far I can toss my wife.

This earned me a thump on the arm. And I thought that was the end of it.

After the rugby match, we made our way to the battle-axe throw area, which is open to anyone who wants to try it. Amy and I got our turn, and after a bit of coaching, had at it.

I got two or three on target.

Amy missed her first two. Then...







Several were dead center. All of her axes were firmly embedded into the wood. Her coach was impressed.

I may invest in a suit of armor...

posted by Dave | 7:52 AM

So Far, So Good...

Dad's bypass surgery went well. He's now in a rehab center for a week or so, then he'll be home. Please keep the prayers coming. Thanks!

posted by Dave | 7:50 AM

Monday, August 28, 2006  

Five People Meme

The Caveman tagged me, and I reply...

If you could meet and have a deep conversation with any five people on earth, living or dead, from any time period, who would they be?" (Explaining why is optional.) Name five people from each of the following categories:Saints, Those in the Process of Being Canonized, Heroes from your native country, Authors/Writers, celebrities.

Five Saints:

The Blessed Virgin Mary (like the Caveman said...just to see her...)

St. Francis of Assisi (my Confirmation namesake)

St. Maximilian Kolbe (the story of his martyrdom left a deep impression on me)

St. Thomas Aquinas (love to get into a discussion with him)

St. Simon the Apostle (no quotes, no books, only one mention per Gospel...I'd like to hear things from his viewpoint)

Being Canonized:

Ven. John Henry Newman (I'd love to see him declared a Doctor of the Church)

Ven. Solanus Casey (great humility, great holiness, and a Milwaukee connection)

Bl. Maria Virgo Stollenwerk (a cousin of mine. Her intercession brought me back from the brink of death)

Servant of God Joseph Kentenich (founder of the Schoenstatt movement)

Servant of God John Paul II (Santo subito!)


Tadeusz Ko?ciuszko (fought for both American and Polish freedom)

Louis Pasteur (brilliant scientist and truly devout Catholic)

Robin Yount (greatest Milwaukee Brewer)

Harry Truman (read his unpretentious man who became President)

Old Abe (Civil War Mascot)

Writers (this is gonna be a tough one to limit to five):

G. K. Chesterton (I've always wanted his brilliance and clarity of thought. Instead, I have his absentmindedness and the beginnings of his girth...)

C. S. Lewis (one of the best Christian apologists ever)

J. R. R. Tolkien ('nuff said)

Charles Dickens (got into reading his work at an early age)

Terry Pratchett (my favorite living fiction author)


Steve Carell (great comic actor, and versatile)

Richard Thompson (first-rate guitarist and wordsmith, and best-kept musical secret)

Stanley Kubrick (one of my favorite movie directors...I'd love to have known what made the man tick)

Colin Mochrie (brilliant improv!)

Bruce Campbell (one of these days he'll reach a wider audience)


Mark Shea

My Wife (double tag, I know...)

Dale Price


Catholic Fire

posted by Dave | 7:31 PM

Saturday, August 26, 2006  

Prayers Requested

Please remember my father, who will be undergoing quadruple-bypass surgery on Wedensday. I'd really like him to see his first grandchild in 16 years....

posted by Dave | 8:14 AM

Saturday, August 19, 2006  

My Week

Schoolwork. Got the order of books finalized for Classics. Acquired lots of supplies. Putting together lesson plans for English. Religion is cut-and-dried.

Housework. Lots of laundry done. Cleaned the kitchen and the bathroom.

Playing Civilization II. It's still the best game in the series.

Reading other blogs. Lots more time now to do so.

ComedySportz. Worked Friday night. It felt good.

Irish Fest. Amy won free tickets, so we went today. Had a cup of mead, ate a lamb sandwich, and, most importantly, figured out how to pronounce Eudail. It's A-dell. And we got a onesie and a bib for Eudail.

Baby names. We settled on Charles John for a boy, and Elizabeth Clare for a girl. Melvin Beverly and Cunegunda Hedwig are out, alas...

posted by Dave | 9:12 PM

Monday, August 14, 2006  

Plenty of time to blog now...

Friday was my last day at IBM.

I remember how it began. December 1994. Manpower called to offer me the assignment. I was to start on the 3rd. "How long will it last?" I asked. "Indefinitely," said the specialist.

It was good for a long time. The work allowed me to listen to the radio, the pay was sufficient for my needs and hobbies, and I made several good friends there. Not a bad situation for a bachelor with basic obligations...

My perspective changed when I met Amy, who decided I could do better. The job didn't offer much upward mobility, and COLAs were few and far-between. So we planned thus: collect my vacation check in January 2007 (Manpower pays ahead for vacation days), then get my resume together and go hunting for something else.

Plans accelerated on May 31, when my pay was cut for no good reason. I needed to get out now.
Amy and I put together my resume, and (Deo gratias!) Veritas Academy hired me not long after. So I gave notice, and set August 24 as my last day. I'd quietly finish my time, and leave.

But nooooo...I got jerked around on my productivity, because I wasn't consistently making the Almighty Quota. I couldn't believe the absurdity of it. In times past, anyone who was leaving would have been left alone, so long as he (or she) didn't completely slack off. What was the point of hassling someone who was staying for two more weeks?

My family's generosity enabled me to move my departure date to August 11. I let a few co-workers know, and brought items home every day. And I decided on how to leave on the blessed day...

Friday. All the important stuff was out of my desk and the break room. I had made the Almighty Quota every day (to show what could have been had they respected me and my co-workers), but I was slacking off a bit. I let others know, one by one, that I was quitting that very day...

11:15 AM. It was time. I logged out, shut down my computer one last time, and reached for my backpack. Out came a tutu, lent to me by my friends at ComedySportz. I put it on, and announced, "This is it for me. Lyle has my contact info if you want it. Thank you, and good luck to you all." And I pranced away to applause.

Of course, I had to hand in my badges to the HR person, but she was apparently too busy to see me at the moment. So I gave the badges to someone else, and sang:

So long
Auf weidershen
I quit!

I repeated the previous announcement to the other side of the office, pranced over to the timeclock, punched out, and pranced out the door. I got down to the lobby as quickly as I could and went to an Indian restaurant to celebrate...

Afterwards, I checked with a couple of my co-workers to find out what happened following my departure. The HR person was livid. "BACK TO WORK!" she roared as people talked about my exit. Then she had to clean out my desk. Apparently, I had a lot of stuff left over. Oh, well...

Now it's two weeks of working on my lesson plans, getting housework done, and occasionally taking it easy. The last week of August will be occupied with meetings and setting everything in order for the school year. Then, on September 6, I will begin to help form young minds. The pay is just a little more, but the satisfaction will be a hundredfold. And I don't think I'll be leaving in a tutu, however short or long this job might last...

posted by Dave | 7:51 AM

Saturday, August 05, 2006  

You're On Notice (educational edition)

Hat tip: Amy Welborn

Above are listed all of my educational bugbears, none of which are present at my new school, I am happy to say...

posted by Dave | 3:39 PM

Wednesday, August 02, 2006  

The Book Meme

Fr. Erik Richsteig has tagged me. I am compelled to respond...

1. One book that changed your life: Plato's Republic. It was liberating to realize that admitting one's ignorance is the beginning of acquiring real knowledge.

2. One book that you have read more than once: Many to pick from here. I'll go with the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

3. One book you'd want on a desert island: The Bible. A Catholic edition, naturally.

4. One book that made you laugh: Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. The Apocalypse has never been funnier.

5. One book that made you cry: A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck. Very sad.

6. One book you wish would have been written: The remainder of Charles Dickens' The Mystery of Edwin Drood.

7. One book you wish had never been written: Anything by Margaret Sanger.

8. One book you are currently reading: Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery. I'm working my way through my students' reading list.

9. One book you have been meaning to read: The Brothers Karamozov by Dostoevsky. I've gotten through at least half of it, but I've never finished.

10. Tag some others: My wife, Mark Shea, and Catholic Caveman.

posted by Dave | 8:48 PM

Saturday, July 22, 2006  

Eudail's First Picture

Amy and I went to the doctor's office yesterday for an early ultrasound. Both of us were nervous, as all the difficult possibilities were running through our minds. What if (God forbid) the fibroid cysts had returned? What if something else might be wrong? What if we were going to have twins (they run in both families)?

But when the picture came on over the monitor and little Eudail appeared, all I could do was stare in wonder. Here was a new life, eight weeks and one day old, created by God through the agency of Amy and myself. Here was my flesh and blood, and Amy's flesh and blood, mingled together to create a unique person.

Here was our child.


I couldn't take my eyes off the monitor. Our child. Our child. The phrase repeated itself over and over.

Then came the sound of Eudail's heartbeat, pounding away at 167 beats per minute. Our child. Our child's heartbeat. This is real. This is really happening.

The three of us left the office as happy as we had ever been in our lives. One man, who had never thought he'd ever have the opportunity to beget children. One woman, who had thought her previous history would leave her unable to have a normal pregnancy, if she could get pregnant at all. And one preborn child, healthy so far, growing and developing, preparing for a March 1 due date.

posted by Dave | 7:29 PM

Saturday, July 15, 2006  

Girl's Baby Names

Since it's just as likely we'll have a girl, I ought to also list the names selected and their significance:

Evelyn Margaret: This was Amy's first selection.

Madeline Colette: My first selection. I've always liked Madeline. And Colette was my maternal grandmother's name.

Elizabeth Claire: Elizabeth is another perennial favorite, and a popular one at the moment. Claire is after the saint, and also complements Elizabeth very nicely.

Genevieve Marie: A combination I've always liked. You may also be noticing our love for French names.

Josephine Ellen: Amy selected this one. Ellen is her mother's name.

Lillian Rose: Our literary selection. Lillian is a variation of Lily, who was Harry Potter's mother. Rose is after St. Rose of Lima and the Rose of Sharon, one of the Blessed Virgin's titles.

Again, are there any favorites or not-so-favorites, or other relevant commentary? Please let me know...

posted by Dave | 9:05 AM

Tuesday, July 11, 2006  

Boy's baby names

We have no idea of Eudail's gender, but we have a pool of names already picked out. We will select one after getting to know the youngster for a day or so.

Here are the boy's names, and the reasoning (or lack thereof) behind each:

Kenneth James: After her grandfather and my father, respectively.

Geoffrey Rhys: A cool-looking and -sounding name.

Stephen Daniel: Stephen after my late friend Steve Wiest, Daniel after the OT prophet.

Martin Richard: Another name we simply like. And Richard was Steve's middle name.

Charles John: A tribute to my grandfathers. However, I decided to use their middle names, since Thaddeus Wilbert would be cruel in this day and age.

Ronald Jack: A literary selection. Ronald is from Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter series. Jack was C. S. Lewis' preferred nickname.

Any favorites here? Any not-so-favorite? Mind you, your opinions won't necessarily influence the naming of our son (if that be Eudail's gender). But it would be nice to know anyway...

posted by Dave | 9:22 PM

Monday, July 03, 2006  

I'm a Daddy...

Amy took a pregnancy test this morning. Two, in fact.

Both came back positive.

Wow. I'm a father.

I can hardly believe this has happened.


Lord willing, a little Pawlak will be emerging sometime in February. More details to follow. Amy will publish her own take on the matter once her holiday hiatus is over.

Please remember me, Amy, and Eudail (our nickname for Spawn of Pawlak -- it's Scots Gaelic for baby) in your prayers.


posted by Dave | 7:31 AM

Tuesday, June 20, 2006  

O Give Thanks to the Lord...

I just got a call from Veritas Academy.

I've been hired as a teacher.

I'm positively bubbling over with joy right now...

posted by Dave | 5:28 PM

Tuesday, June 13, 2006  

No. Please, No.

posted by Dave | 7:57 PM

Thursday, June 08, 2006  

Job Hunt

Last week Wedensday, 2:30 pm. One hour left in the day, and I'm trying to get through till quitting time. The phone rings. It's one of the HR people. She wants me to meet her in a fifth floor conference room. I go down, puzzled by why this is happening. My productivity hasn't been the same since we changed procedures, but neither has anyone else's.

The two HR people are waiting for me. They tell me the new manager reviewed our salaries. Some of us old-timers were getting paid at a rate above the usual for our positions, since we had had additional responsibilities in the past. The new manager doesn't think we're worth it. Therefore, my pay is getting cut by nearly two dollars an hour.

After nearly five years at the same wage, I had gotten a long-overdue COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment). Now it's been wiped out, and more. I've just been told that years of dedication don't mean anything, and being productive and useful aren't rewarded. This hurts just as much as the wage cut.

I ask to leave work early, since I'm in no condition to do any more work. I come home and think about what to do next. I make a phone call to Veritas Academy, inquiring as to whether any teaching positions are open.

Amy comes home, and is surprised to see me already there. I tell her what happened. She bursts into tears, and we hold each other. We want to start a family and buy a house. Now we're not able to do so.

Amy goes from crying to angry. I tell her it may be a blessing in disguise, that maybe this is a way to finding something better.

That evening, we begin work on my resume. We send it out to various websites the following day.

The results? I've heard from two headhunters so far, and Veritas Academy is interested in interviewing me. Others have expressed their interest in helping me.

Please pray for me as I look for a new job. And if you know of any good job openings, let me know. I'd really appreciate it.

posted by Dave | 8:40 PM

Tuesday, May 30, 2006  

The Letter "C"

My wife has passed on to me an ongoing meme. The rules are this: Give ten words beginning with an assigned letter, and why they were chosen. The next person who wishes to participate leaves a comment, and is then given another letter.

Now, to begin my ten C's:

Christ -- Jesus, the center and focus of my life.

Caritas -- Agape in Greek, Charity in English, and too often loosely translated as "love". Specifically, it is the divine love, the love one has for another simply because he is God's creation. I try to love everyone in this way; however, I must admit I don't like everyone.

Clive -- the first name of C. S. Lewis, who has had a profound influence on me. His fiction stimulates my own imagination, and his apologetics are clear. His works are an antidote to the fuzziness of The Da Vinci Code, as well as the sharp starkness of practical atheism.

Chesterton -- Another great influence. I'm re-reading What's Wrong With the World, and I now understand why Mark Shea refers to him as "the Prophet Chesterton". Next will be revisits of Orthodoxy and The Everlasting Man. I do hope my wife will discover this treasure trove of common sense.

Communion -- In times past, I've abstained from the Eucharist when I knew myself to be unworthy of receiving It. Can you say spiritual starvation? Nowadays I try not to do that, because if I don't have His Life in me, his Most Precious Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity fed me under the forms of bread and wine -- then is my life really worth living?

This brings me to the next one...

Confession -- Every time I hear the words of Absolution, I can feel the weight of my sins removed from me. I may have to make restitution, and some purging is still in order; but the road to Heaven is clear for me again.

Carnivore -- Every Lent, I give up red meat, with exceptions made for Sunday bacon and Saint Patrick's Day corned beef. Then, after the Easter Vigil, I tuck into a large chunk of grilled dead ruminant. Mmmmm...

Cornflower -- As in cornflower blue. My favorite color. I think Crayola still makes it.

Covenant -- Here I'm thinking of two covenants: the New Covenant of Jesus, entered into at Baptism and sustained through the Eucharist; and the marriage covenant with Amy.


Cudahy -- Hey der dey. Town sout' o' M'waukee, on da shore o' Lake Michigan. Pickled eggs, bowling, polka...good stuff, aina?

Any takers for a letter? Please let me know.

posted by Dave | 4:51 PM

Wednesday, May 17, 2006  

A Friend Come Safely Home

I just received word that my friend Brian Ekendahl will return to Milwaukee tomorrow morning, after a year's duty in Iraq.

I've known Brian since freshman year in high school -- nearly 23 years. That's as long as my wife's been alive. We've done a lot of things together during those years: school stuff, video games and drinking parties in his parents' basement, rides to college, a few trips to Madison, watching Packer games together, heading out to dinner, and many other experiences.

And there were the times Brian would be gone, serving his country somewhere in the world.
Brian joined the Army Reserves in 1986 to pay for college. And while they held up to their end of the bargain, they also got the most out of Brian.

The first absence was Basic Training. He took a bit longer than usual to complete it, since it was interrupted by knee surgery. I saw Brian when he came home during his recuperation. And what a sight he was! He was wearing the infamous "birth control" glasses; his blonde hair was shaved off; and his frame was reduced from scrawny to skeletal. He looked like a refugee from the Minnesota Starvation Experiment.

After Basic came his Advanced Infantry Training and some schooling. Then he was home, except for monthly Reserve duty and the occasional trip to Germany or South Korea. I especially liked it when he travelled to the latter. He'd bring back soju (Korean white lightening) and some really nice silk neckties.

Then came October 1990. We had planned on celebrating our 21st birthdays with some legal debauchery (as opposed to what we'd been doing before). But Saddam Hussein spoiled those plans by invading Kuwait, and so Brian had to go deliver mail in Saudi Arabia instead. I wrote more letters during that time than I have before or since. He got home in March 1991, and picked up life where he left off.

May 1995. Some deranged officer picked Brian to go to Haiti to participate in the UN Peacekeeping Mission. By this time, Brian was living on his own, sharing a flat with his brother Bruce. I was in between places, and needed somewhere to stay. I occupied his room while he wass in Haiti. His brother and I nearly killed each other: I was a slob, and Bruce kept me awake by having friends over late at night. And it was a hot, stifling summer, spent in a room facing west with little air circulation and far from the living room air conditioner. Fortunately, Brian came back before things got too ugly.

Time passed. Brian bought a house with his brother, then bought his own after his brother got married. Life seemed to go into a regular routine for him. He worked at Fed-Ex, did his monthly weekend in the Reserves, visited his parents in the Dells, and dated with unspectacular results.

Spring 2004. Amy and I were picking our wedding parties. I couldn't decide who to select for groomsmen. I put names of high-school friends into a hat, and picked one. Brian was selected. He was the instant choice for Best Man. Of course, we knew there was just a slight chance he'd be called up for active duty. But why would they want a paper-pusher who had been overseas twice, when many others in his unit hadn't even left the USA even once? So we made plans. I'd stay with him while Amy moved into the apartment and arranged things to her liking.

April 2005. My ex-roommate, who had briefly dated Brian, called me. Brian had been chosen to go to Iraq. I immediately called his house to confirm -- it was true. He was going away again, this time for a year.

Amy and I spent as much time as we could with him before his departure. One last Brewer game, one last fancy dinner at an Asian fusion restaurant, and one last gathering with family and friends. And then he was gone again, leaving his house and cat in the care of his mother.

Brian was much busier in this tour than he ever was. All we'd get was the occasional email or phone call, one of which was especially memorable...

It was the morning of my wedding. I was staying at Brian's house (his mother had gone home for a few weeks) with one of the ushers. We had just come back from breakfast when I noticed a message on the answering machine. It was Brian, wishing us luck on our special day. Later on, when some of the wedding party returned to the house for a bathroom break and a breather, I was able to replay the message.

And now I'll be waiting for tomorrow's phone call, from his own house...

Welcome home, my friend. Thank God you got back here alive and intact.

posted by Dave | 5:17 PM

Monday, May 08, 2006  

Aslan and I have one thing in common...

...we both call all times "soon".

It's been almost two weeks since I promised more wedding pics...

...I will post some more one of these days...I promise...

posted by Dave | 8:50 PM

Wednesday, April 26, 2006  

Wedding Readings

Top Left: Jane Claas (Amy's friend) reading from the Song of Solomon.

Bottom Left: Kyle Post (my youngest nephew) reading from Revelation.

Psalm 128 and the miracle of Cana rounded out the Scripture passages.

Amy left the selection of readings to me, although I did consult her. I was resolute on one thing, however:

No 1 Corinthians 13.

It's a beautiful passage, to be sure, but it's overused; and just the mere mention of "love" does not a wedding reading make. I was also skeptical about the guideline toward having the readings and everything else geared to "service".

Instead, I thought of Christ and His Bride, the Church when I picked the readings.

The Song of Solomon is manifold. It is about the Lord and Israel, Christ and the Church, Christ and the individual soul, and man and woman. All the imagery -- even the erotic imagery -- fits each of these aspects.

And then Psalm 128. A blessing for a family, with a hard working man, a fruitful woman, and many children.

The New Testament reading was a challenge. Besides the "No 1 Corinthians" rule, I also decided against Ephesians 5. (OK, I was a wimp.) But I also liked the Wedding Feast of the Lamb, since it continued the parallel between a married couple and Christ and His Church. I was also thinking of those who had gone on before us, who (I hoped) were celebrating in Heaven with us. Most importantly, the Eucharist is a foretaste of the Great Wedding Feast. I was so happy that Amy converted, and we could receive Communion together.

The Wedding Feast of Cana was a no-brainer. Jesus performed His first miracle by turning water into wine, to keep a party going...

More photos soon...

posted by Dave | 5:01 PM

Monday, April 24, 2006  

Wedding Music

John King on guitar, singing baritone.

Corrina Lynch on viola, singing mezzo soprano/alto.

John is the musician for the 4 pm Mass at St. Bernard's in Wauwatosa. Corrina used to be his partner until she moved to Rochester, NY. However, she graciously came back for our wedding.

We hired them on after I took Amy to Mass at St. Bernard's. She said, "This is what I want for our wedding!" And so it happened...

David Gardinier, parish organist.

We were required to have him there, since the Ordinary of the Mass must be played on the organ. John and Corrina acted as cantors for those parts.

All of them did a superb job. Amy and I received many compliments for the wedding music.

I highly recommend a guitar/viola combo, if you can get it. And appropriate music, of course.

The Wedding Music

All played by John and Corrina unless otherwise indicated.


I chose mostly English and Celtic melodies: "Kingsfold", "St. Denio", and "Slane" among them. "Melita", the tune for "Eternal Father, Strong to Save", was played last as a tribute to our fathers, who both served in the Navy.

Seating of Families

"Canon in D" by Pachelbel. A traditional standby.


"Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" by JS Bach. It fit the moment perfectly.

Psalm Response

"We Praise You" by Mike Balhoff, Daryl Ducote, and Gary Daigle. Corrina sang the verses, taken from Psalm 128. This is one of the few pieces by the Dameans that I like.

Gospel Acclamation

"Celtic Alleluia" by Finian O'Carroll. Played by David Gardinier. John sang the verse, adapted for the occasion.

Unity Candle

"When Love is Found". Words by Brian Wren, set to "O Waly Waly".


"Come, My Way, My Truth, My Life". Words by George Herbert, tune by Ralph Vaughan Williams. Sung by Corrina.

Sanctus, Memorial Acclamation, Amen, and Agnus

Mass of Creation by Marty Haugen. Played by David Gardinier, cantored by John and Corrina. I chose this setting since it is commonly known.


"The King of Love My Shepherd Is". Irish melody, words by Henry W. Baker. Sung a capella by John and Corrina. This was absolutely lovely, and garnered the majority of the compliments.

Honoring the Blessed Virgin and our mothers

"Ave Maria", Schubert setting. Instrumental.


"Ode to Joy" by Ludwig von Beethoven. A fitting conclusion to a lovely wedding.

The Postlude I Wanted, But Couldn't Have, for a Variety of Reasons.

"Highway to Hell". Music and lyrics by Angus Young, Malcolm Young, and Bon Scott.

I wouldn't have done it, of course, but the look on Amy's face was worth it after I suggested it in jest...

posted by Dave | 8:31 PM

Another View of Old St. Mary's

I wish I knew how to make these pictures a bit larger, especially since I want to show you the altar painting of the Annunciation, donated by King Ludwig of Bavaria.

posted by Dave | 8:18 PM

Sunday, April 23, 2006  

I Know, It's Been Six Months...

...but we just uploaded all of our wedding pics onto the hard drive of our brand-new computer.

This pic is a nice view of the sanctuary of Old St. Mary's Church, located in downtown Milwaukee. I joined this parish in early '03, since it was handy to ComedySportz, didn't engage in liturgical fidgetry, and it's a lovely church, as you can see for yourself. Then I met Amy, and it was only natural that we would be married here.
We couldn't imagine a more appropriate setting for one of the most important days of our lives.

And now...the events of October 22, 2005 (aka Dave and Amy's Wedding, the Best Birthday Gift Ever, Hell Freezes Over), as documented and remembered by the Bride and Groom, and supplemented by many other sources...

Perhaps I ought to start with the wedding party...

Parents of the Bride: Mr. Marvin and Mrs. Ellen Seeger.

Parents of the Groom: Mr. James and Mrs. Judith Pawlak

Maid of Honor: Alisa Burdick (friend of bride)

Bridesmaids: Sherri Dahl (friend of bride)
Brianne Hammernik (cousin of bride)
Carol Kelley (friend of bride and groom)

Best Man: Lyle Sedlet (friend of groom)

Honorary Best Man: Brian Ekendahl (friend of groom -- serving his country in Iraq)

Groomsmen: Peter Seeger (brother of bride)
Eric McNew (nephew of groom)
Keith Boucher (friend of groom)

Ushers: Russell Owens (friend of bride)
Douglas Flahart (nephew of groom)
Scott Hammernik (cousin of bride)
Timothy Gename (friend of groom)

Celebrant: Fr. George Rebatzki (pastor of Old St. Mary's)

Concelebrant: Fr. Ben Benzinger, SJ (cousin of groom)

Readers: Jane Claas (friend of bride)
Kyle Post (nephew of groom)

Giftbearers: Pamela Hammernik (aunt and godmother of bride)
Diane O'Neill (sister and Confirmation sponsor of groom)

Musicians: David Gardinier (organ)
John King (singing, guitar)
Corrina Lynch (singing, viola)

Stay tuned to this blog and that of my wife's about the events of October 22, 2005. Pics, liturgy, anecdotes, and so forth.

posted by Dave | 9:45 PM

Monday, April 17, 2006  

Why Can't We?

I went with my father-in-law to Mt. Zion LCMS in Greenfield for breakfast and Divine Service.

Some things I observed:

A sense of reverence. This particular congregation is very "High-Church". The pastor wears a chasuble; the Sign of the Cross is made; the people bow when the processional cross (with corpus) passes them; and the elements are elevated during the chanted words of institution. Also, there are icons on the walls and even on the altar. And I wonder, why can't we be more like that?

Solid preaching. Pastor Koch preached a very well-put-together sermon about the truth of Christ's resurrection, beginning with a fisking of the "Gospel of Judas", complete with a citation of St. Irenaeus. Granted, I naturally won't agree with all of his content (especially stuff like this ), but it seems like your average Lutheran pastor can out-preach your average Catholic priest. And I wonder, why don't we do a better job on homiletics?

This isn't to say that we Catholics don't have our stalwart preachers. But they seem to be more the exception than the rule. Even if you're in a solidly orthodox parish, you run the risk of listening to a sermonette with little substance, or a poorly planned and poorly delivered ramble .

High-caliber music. I need not go into the condition of Catholic music; it's been gone over enough. But one still wonders, why does a Lutheran congregation of a few hundred have better music than a Catholic parish of several thousand? Mt. Zion has a choir of eight, and they did a beautiful job. The organist provided solid accompaniment, and the hymn selection was impeccable. Too often we Catholics seem satisifed with mediocrity. We refuse to challenge ourselves musically (and otherwise).

Of course, none of these things are going to make me desert the Barque of Peter. That being said, I'd love to videotape Mt. Zion's service and send it off to certain people, with a note saying, Why can't we?

posted by Dave | 9:39 PM

Saturday, April 15, 2006  

Seems like there's no good news...

In our world: Iran defies the world. More deaths in Iraq. Tension between Chad and Sudan.

In our country: Discontent with the government. High gas prices, and they'll keep getting higher. Immigration issues.

In Milwaukee: Loss of jobs. The Frank Jude trial ends with a not guilty verdict. The bodies of two boys, missing since last month, are discovered in a park lagoon.

And yet...

Think back to the events of nearly 2000 years ago. There was no Passover joy for eleven men huddled in an upper room in Jerusalem. No joy for a handful of women. No joy for one woman in particular. They had lost a teacher, a friend, an only son. And he had died in the most degrading way known in that time.

What hope did they have, this frightened band of man? One of their own had betrayed their Master. They were sure the authorities were looking for them. One was still bitterly regretting his cowardly threefold denial. Just like many other times, his words had got the best of him. But this last time was the cruelest. The others were just too afraid to do anything else but hide. Even the youngest, wise beyond his years, the only one brave enough to stand by his Master's cross, must have felt his heart quail within him.

What did the women -- Mary Magdalene, Martha, Mary mother of Cleopas, and the others -- feel? They had lost a good friend and cousin. Jesus had turned Mary Magdalene's life around. Just a few days earlier, she had shown her gratitude by anointing his feet and drying them with her hair. And now he was gone, his battered, wounded body lying in a borrowed tomb. The best she could do was to do him one last service, and anoint him again, and properly finish the job so hastily done on Friday afternoon.

What did Mary feel? I will not say she felt despair. But even so, the was just like what Simeon had predicted so many years ago. She had held him in her arms then, and she had again held him in her arms the day before. How did this all tie in with what the angel had told her? She could only wait, and hope beyond all hope.

But what happened for them the next day happened for us. When all seemed bleak and hopeless, in the shadow of the cross, the dawn brought an empty tomb, the tidings of angels, and the return to life of One who was dead.

In these seemingly bleak and hopeless times, we cling to the Cross, an instrument of shame become a symbol of triumph. In the midst of death, we look to the empty tomb. In the hearing of bad news, we also hear the Good News. And we will always have our Risen and Glorified Lord, Who is with us in the Eucharist, and Who will come back to us in glory.

A happy and blessed Easter to all of you.

posted by Dave | 8:44 AM

Monday, April 10, 2006  

What's Been Going On...

I'm writing from our new computer, which we got last Saturday. My nephew Kyle (aka the Family Tech Support) set it up for us. We took him out to breakfast, and will be treating him to Japanese food Saturday after next.

Amy had her wisdom teeth pulled today. She's miserable. I hope she'll be able to enjoy her post-Easter-Vigil ribeye steak...

I've got a lot of different topics I want to write about, but time gets in the way. Someday I'll write something with a bit more substance...but not tonight...

posted by Dave | 8:37 PM

Wednesday, April 05, 2006  

I Got My Revenge

Remember how my wife did something unspeakable to me two weeks back?

Well...I made her watch Kenny Rogers perform on American Idol.


posted by Dave | 8:20 PM

Monday, April 03, 2006  

Go Brewers!

The Brew Crew came from behind to win today's home opener, beating the Pirates 5-2. It was very nice. Solid pitching, clutch hitting (Jeff Cirillo's pinch-hit single put the Brewers ahead for good), homers by J. J. Hardy and Carlos Lee, four well-turned double plays by a young infield, and a lot of hustle from everyone...this team is exciting.

I'm not going to put my hopes up for a playoff spot just yet. But barring injuries, this ought to be a much better club than last year...

posted by Dave | 8:15 PM

Monday, March 27, 2006  

My Wife is Beautiful...

...both inside and out.

I read her blog when I came home, and saw this lovely prayer. It floored me. It really did.

Amy's always been a quick learner; and once she get the hang of something, she masters it. She's been Catholic less than a year, and she's grown in leaps and bounds. Both she and I are far from perfect, but I do believe she's passed her sluggard husband by in running the race for the Crown that matters...

posted by Dave | 4:49 PM