The Euphemist

Reflections on Jewish Studies and many other subjects big and little, by a perpetual student who sometimes searches a little too long for just the right word ...

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Location: Minnesota, United States

Christian, truth seeker, husband, son, brother & uncle, Lutheran pastor, musician (cello, etc.), Jewish Studies grad student, intellectual historian, aquarium enthusiast & pet owner, philologist, astronomer, Norwegian-American, Ford pickup driver, buffoon.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

My name is Michael, and I'm a meme-aholic

I should have known that I was only one meme-tagging away from completely losing my resolve to avoid blog posting.
Dave deliberately tempted me with this "Seven Things" meme. As usually, when I'm asked to name "one thing", mymath gets a bit fuzzy.

1. Name a book that you want to share so much that you keep giving away copies:

Well, the book I've given away the most by far is the Bible, but besides that, a couple of books I've given away & had to replace are The Hammer of God by Bo Giertz, a theological novel which is a sort of Lutheran cult classic, and Lost Moon, retitled Apollo 13 by Jim Lovell & Jeffrey Kluger, a riveting piece of scientific non-fiction storytelling which is the basis of Dave's favorite movie. Too bad I haven't given away any copies of The Discarded Image by CS Lewis, because I like it even better than either of those two.

2. Name a piece of music that changed the way you listen to music:

Being very musically motivated it's hard to narrow it down. Pride (In the Name of Love)isn't my favorite U2 song, but it unlocked U2 for me. I first heard U2 in my freshman year ofcollege, as my roommate had the October and War albums. I didn't like it. It seemed so harsh and bleak. But when The Unforgettable Fire came out, something clicked when I heard Pride, and suddenly it sounded ultra-cool, & I heard their earlier music with new ears. New Year's Day will always be for me the quintessential U2 song.

Red Rain by Peter Gabriel also has had its impact, as have the Six Suites For Unaccompanied Cello by Bach and Piano Concerto #2 by Rachmaninoff. Also, O Magnum Mysterium by Morten Lauridsen. Heart of Stone and other deep, spiritually mature songs of Annie Herring have also had their effect.

I know I've missed something, but I had better quit before this list gets too long to have any real meaning.

3. Name a film you can watch again and again without fatigue:

The Two Towers. I seem to be the only kid on the block who likes TTT the best of the three, though of course I like the others just about as much.

4. Name a performer for whom you suspend all disbelief:

Peter Falk comes to mind, but there are certainly others.

5. Name a work of art you’d like to live with:

Raphael's School of Athens. And I'll never forget a quirky piece of art called Hefty Two-Ply which I saw in Minneapolis when I was a teenager. Yes, it was an ultra-realistic white marble sculpture of a full trash bag. Alas, I don't think my wife would appreciate it in our living room.

6. Name a work of fiction which has penetrated your real life:

The Testament by John Grisham is neither a piece of great literature nor my very favorite, but I appreciate the completely non-ironically positive portrayal of a truly noble Christian character, missionary Rachel Porter.

7. Name a punch line that always makes you laugh:

I laughed out loud at the title of Lars' post Portrait of the Novelist As a Young Dork. Unfortunately I couldn't find it to link to it.

I won't obligate anyone (not that anyone's obligated just because I said so anyway), but all are welcome to give it a whirl.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

My goodness, reading your blog has been very interesting. I knew you were a person of depth and immense talent in college and I always felt quite priviledged and just a wee bit awed to call you a friend. U2 eh? They are a great group and humanitarians to boot.
Have you been to I have got to get one of their sweatshirts one of these days!
Hope you are well and warm. Here's to the 20 year reunion in October.


11:57 AM  
Blogger Michael said...

Hey, thanks, Daneen, aw, shucks! I'm speechless. The privilege is all mine. Thanks for the link. Fargo and the whole state of North Dakota remain one of my favorite places. Hope I can make it to the reunion. Just a few months ago I received a community/alumni library card & checked out actual books from the Ylvisaker Library for the first time in 19 years!

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Dave said...

I'll have to see if I can dig out another meme somewhere...

You gave me a copy of The Hammer of God - It's one of the books that made the trip across the ocean and I keep telling myself I've got to read it. I also bought The Discarded Image on your recommendation. I've started it a couple of times (including a few days ago) and though I've enjoyed what I've read, I keep getting distracted by other things. I will finish it, though. Of course I read Lost Moon ages ago. I couldn't put it down.

1:26 AM  

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