Sunday, August 4, 2013

Leonard Cohen and my last night in Rome

Ok. First of all, all the roadies for Leonard wear black fedoras. So like big guys, covered in tats, with ZZ Top beards are wearing fedoras a la Leonard when they do mic checks. I would love to be at the tour staff meeting where some road manager said, "listen guys, Leonard said we are all wearing hats now. It will be covered by ticket sales but yeah, we're all wearing hats..." And Leonard is just sitting quietly in the corner, smoking and nodding in affirmation.

 I am really terrible at doing stuff on my own. Just ask the two friends who I strong-armed into meeting me in Paris to `see Bruce Springsteen. but I knew I was going to see Leonard, solo or not. And I was very proud of myself, walking away from dinner with my boss, finding a bus headed in the right direction and sitting by myself.

 Then I leaned over to a gal in front of me and asked to see her map, because I actually had no idea where this venue was. She just said, "Are you going to the Leonard Cohen concert, too?" And there it went. My one night of traveling alone out the window. This gal and I hung out all the way up until the concert started.

After buying all my Leonard swag and taking these crappy photos, the lights dimmed and the show started. Eleventh row, BABY! By the end of the show, everyone had come down from their seats and gathered in a very holy mosh pit to sing "So Long Mary Anne", and all the great stuff.

Into his 70s and still gets down on his knees to cry out into his mic. Still uses colorful language to describe his night with Janis Joplin. Still picks out a few tunes on the guitar. And still wears that fedora like a boss.
So I set out for a solo night of sightseeing and ended up with about 1,000 close friends.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

You know you're working for the Jesuits when...

1.  Leaving the toilet seat up is standard office practice.

2.  Going out for dinner or staying home becomes a matter of "discernment."

3.  Even if aliens landed in the centre of town and started playing Born to Run with Bruce Springsteen, you know community night is community night, and they're staying home.

4.  You can make any nonsense real if you add the word "Ignatian" in front of it. Real things like Ignatian spirituality, Ignatian prayer, Ignatian exercises lead to thinks like Ignatian bacon and eggs...

5.  You can have a three-hour conversation ONLY about people who you know in common.

6.  You're never more than two degrees of separation from the Rosebud Indian Reservation.

7.  Going to Mass is part of the work day.

8.  A tweet from the Pope becomes regular coffee break chit chat.

9.  Words like "Provincial," "Tertianship," and "dessolations" slip into your everyday language.

10.  Taking a class from Roc O'Connor is – in terms of social status – on par with taking a class from The Edge.

11.  Taking a vow of poverty starts looking pretty enticing.

12.  Drinks are almost always paid for.

13.  You use every excuse in the book to tell your Jesuit boss why you have to leave early, when the truth is you just have crippling menstrual pains.

14.  Although you work for a man, the office is nearly 100% women.

15.  The Pope is pretty much the 5th Beatle.

16. Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Saint Francis Xavier and Father General Adolfo Nicolas become Iggy, Frank and Nico.

17.  A heated debate will ensue about whether a week-long Ignatian retreat counts agains allotted holidays.

18. You watch Steven Colbert, hoping Fr James Martin makes an appearance.

19.  You never mention the Franciscans, the Dominicans, the Maryknolls or any of the "non-Jesuit" orders. Episcopalians are ok, but just barely.