The Pilgrimage of Dorian Gray: My First Ash Wednesday

Following the Arizona Cardinals can feel like an endless meditation on the vanity of human desire. Still, it amazes me that Super Bowl XLIII, where Pittsburgh snatched the cup from our hands in the game’s final minute, had the roundabout effect of screwing me tighter into my faith. The Paraclete’s proxy in this case was [Read More...]

Confessions of a Lowbrow

Frank Sinatra made a more convincing priest than Bing Crosby ever did. Call it blasphemy — with my eyes fixed on heaven, I’ll mount the scaffold confessing it. Fr. Paul, the character Sinatra plays in Miracle of the Bells, is no wise-cracker, and amazingly, no singer; instead, he’s a straight-faced, rather aescetic-looking pastor who executes [Read More...]

“She Made Opera out of Oprah”

When I was an undergrad, I sometimes chanced to meet up in the Student Recreation Complex weight room with a kid named Raul. Raul suffered from what I now realize was Tourette’s syndrome, snorting and jerking his head in mid-sentence before going on to complete his thoughts. Spotting him on the bench or military press [Read More...]


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