Why so quiet around here? Is it because I'm busy making actual money, tales of which would bore you silly? Is it because today is Ash Wednesday, and I'm busy getting my repentance on? Is it because I recently saw Babel and I'm still trying to decide what I thought of it? Yes to all three. Also: I've been unusually busy the last few weekends, and I haven't seen anything outrageous and/or frightening on the subway lately... and when I have a chunk of free time I use it to make my first attempts at scaling the wedding-planning mountain. But I am planning a cultural event or two this week, so stay tuned!
In the meantime, here's a story. A couple years ago, I went to an early Ash Wednesday Mass before reporting to my full-time job. Later that morning, a coworker saw me with my forehead smudged -- the priest who applied my ashes had made a distinct cross, rather than just the usual thumbprint -- and asked what it was for. First time that ever happened to me. I thought she was joking, but when I realized she wasn't I told her, "It's Ash Wednesday." "Oh," she said. "Is that a Catholic thing? ...I saw a bunch of people with crosses on their heads at Starbucks, but I thought it must be some kind of arts protest." And I said, Toto, I have a feeling we're not in Scranton anymore.