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Sunday, October 30, 2005

Sunday events

Today, I was supposed to serve Mass at the Basilica as part of my second interview. The directions I got said it would take me about half an hour to get there. Being unfamiliar with the way that it was taking me (495 to GW Parkway), I opted to take the way I knew (I-66 straight into DC). I was running a bit late, so I figured that the straight shot would be faster. So, forgetting that it takes at least ten minutes to get to 66, I took off down 28. By the time I got there, I had 20 minutes left before I was supposed to be there (11:30). So I shot along 66 as fast as I felt like I could go. I got to 495 and past it with 10 minutes to go. With luck, I wouldn’t be anything more than 10 minutes late.

As I approached Constitution, before the bridge, traffic started really slowing down, and then came to a stop. I was practically dead in the water. Traffic crawled along at a few miles per hour. I hoped (in a wierd way) that someone has simply gotten a traffic ticket, and, human nature being what it was, everyone else in the world had to drive by slowly and peer in the car, wondering if they know that person...

You know what I'm talking about! It happens every time! In all the major cities that I've been in, if a person is caught speeding, the rest of the city slows down to look at him! "Is it someone I know? It's a Honda Accord with a lightning mural on it, black undercarriage lights, and spinners. I don't know anyone with a car like that, but, still, I can visualize someone I know diriving it. Is it someone I know???" That's one of my major pet peeves. Grrrrrrrrrrrr............

ANYhow, the jam wasn't getting any better. In fact, it was getting worse. We went from crawling to inching. Then I saw the source of the problem, or what I thought was the source. There was a large white bus (school-bus style) that looked like it had spun out of control, and it was sitting perpendicular, across the exit ramp. So, naturally, everyone had to look.

Even me.

Well, I felt kind of justified. It looked like a prison bus had crashed sideways and was completely emptied of its occupants. Next to it were a couple police officers conversing. My mind may be playing tricks on me, like it does alot, but I'm sure that I remember seeing a German Shepherd, too. My first thought was, "I wonder how many prisoners are running around DC?" But then I noticed that the bus hadn't so much "crashed" as it had "been parked".

I felt like such a fool. It looked more like they were just blocking off an exit ramp. Why would they need a large white bus there? I don't know. A police car could have done the same job just as effectively. Come to think of it, there was a police car there. It was parked in front of the bus.

It made no sense to me why they would need all that, but I didn't have time to think about it. The guy in front of me pulled ahead another five feet and came to another complete stop. My main experience driving in DC is this: if you have any space in front of you in crowded driving situations, the surrounding drivers will try to take it. I guarantee it. It must be a wonderful challenge to them. But that will lead me off to another tangent, so I'll save it for another day when I have nothing to write about it.

As I approached Constitution, the two right lanes seemed to be blocked off. This must be a really big accident. Maybe there's some blood and fire to make my wait worth it. Nope. Drat. They just have Constitution blocked off. I had to use E. I had wondered if it might be faster, but then I thought to myself, "No, it wouldn't be. I don't know E." Oddly enough, now I'm forced off to it...

So I'm driving around DC after getting onto E. I can't re-trace my route that well for you, but let's just say that it took me a while to finally work my way to K Street (I think), and then took that straight east to North Capitol Drive. I knew that N. Capitol would lead me to Michigan, which was where the Basilica was.

I got to the Basilica at 12:15, just in time for the sermon. Mass continued as usual, the choir was excellent, and at the end of Mass, I went to the offices, where I expected to see Father Fisher. The office was locked up. I walked around the Basilica looking for him, with no luck. I found a security guard and I asked him if he knew his whereabouts. The guards quickly located him, and I went in that direction. Sere enough, I caught up with him in no time flat. He invited me to have breakfast with him and several others, including the rector, a few seminarians, and a monk.

Breakfast was really fun. I got asked a few questions as regards why do I want this position, why would I be a good fit, etc., the normal things one gets asked in an interview. I answered them as fully as I could without rambling (something that needs absolutely no proof). From a more social aspect, I found out that one of the seminarians there was studying for the Dallas diocese. Guess his name? Anthony. (How'd you know?)

After breakfast, Father Fisher and I walked back to his office, where he told me that I would be talking to the Director of Music (Peter???) today, and would come back for another interview with him. No problems. Peter was a few minutes, and then he showed me the kind of work that I'd be doing for him. No problems at all. It seemed very simple and straightforward.

After he showed me my job, I felt it was necessary (actually, past so) to tell him my concerns about the job. I explained to him that in spite of my current standing, I held very traditionlist views that are not held by the Basilica. I explained to him that there are certain things which I am not only not used to seeing, but simply will not cooperate with, the biggest one of these being female altar servers. I know that in the Arlington diocese, there are none, as there were none at Christendom. I told him that in my youth, the only time I was ever given the option of serving with a girl, I walked out. On an equal note, women Eucharistic ministers were another that I would not cooperate with. Extraordinary Eucharistic ministers were, in general, something I had not had to deal with in years -- I preferred seeing ordinary ministers (priests, deacons, etc.). The choir standing behind the sanctuary was something that I had never seen, but could learn to deal with. These, among a few other things, were the things that I told him that I would have a problem dealing with in this job. I told him that I had wanted to convey this personally to Father, so that all of my cards would be on the table when they were considering candidates. After all, there was no reason to consider me if I would disqualify myself.

We chatted for a few more minutes, but Father was out for the rest of the evening, so I had to leave. Sarah and Carissa had come to the Basilica for Mass, so I went to find them. I walked all over inside, and finally went outside. I didn't see them, so I was just about to call them, when this nagging feeling told me to turn around. Sure enough...

We joined MikeE, went to dinner at Chili's, and then went to see a movie. In all, it was a good day.
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