29 February 2012

I Know I Said I'd Be Gone a While...

...but this opportunity was too good to pass up. Take a look at this:

A name has been stricken from the photo to protect the (sort of) innocent. Does it remind you of anything? If you're a Star Trek fan, it might remind you of this:


The top photo is in fact a proposal for a baptismal font and not a crude, early prototype of the USS Defiant.

To my mind, this is further proof to back up my theory that Modern American church design is heavily influenced by Star Trek sets. I have previously given the example of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes in Spokane, WA:

You can't tell me that cathedra doesn't look like it was torn straight from the Original Series sets.

Detroit has the same problem.

(Photo by Balthazar Korab, on Archdiocese of Detroit website)

The phenomenon of the square altar is an issue as well. I don't know any priests who like square altars: even the ones who have fairly modern taste recognize that there's a much smaller percentage of useable space on a square altar.

Of course, you all remember what the Curt Jester had to say about the furniture for the Pope's 2008 visit: Pope Kirk I. The pictures aren't in his post anymore, but you could find them online if you searched for them.

I don't know when the modifications were made in Detroit and Spokane. They might have been before Star Trek appeared on the scene. Still, it's clearly the same aesthetic that spawned the original Captain Kirk's chair (not to be confused with the chair in the alternate-reality Star Trek from the latest movie, the aesthetic of which is pure Apple Store). If they're really into that, why don't they just buy a replica of Kirk's chair? I'm sure the buttons could be re-wired to work the cathedral sound system and lights, or a call button to the sacristy, and one to the choir loft, for those awkward moments when there's so much incense smoke that the organist can't see what's going on at the altar. *blinking orange light* Time to wind down the improvisation! That would be useful. The replica probably isn't more expensive than what's in the photos above, and the upholstery has the advantage of not being orange.

One more before I go. This, as you probably know, is the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland, CA:

(Photo copyright SOM LLP)

This is Starfleet Headquarters, which is supposed to be in San Francisco in 2372:

Clearly, when they build Starfleet Headquarters, the architecture will be in tribute to the style of an almost 400-year-old cathedral in the neighboring city. Or something.

27 February 2012

Just Checking In...

...to say that my blogging will be even scarcer than usual over the coming months. We are moving to Alaska! My husband will be music director at a parish in the Archdiocese of Anchorage. We're so excited!

This was the view from our hotel room when we went for his interview. The first day it snowed terribly the whole time, and I was fairly miserable. But on the second morning, when I saw the pink sky and the mountains, I suddenly felt that everything would be ok.

I'm preparing myself for some of the challenges of life there. Fortunately, the Anchorage area has a fairly mild climate, as Alaska goes, with less extreme seasonal changes in daylight and darkness than you'd get further north. I spent four winters in Spokane, which isn't actually that much better in terms of temperature and average snowfall, and a lot worse in terms of actually getting the snow off the streets and sidewalks. I think I can handle it. I'm glad we'll be moving in just as spring begins, though, and that I won't have to face my first Alaskan winter at the same time as trying to make new friends and find my way around a strange new city.

Moving is a big challenge. We've got our fingers crossed that we won't run out of money, and that the moving company estimates will be accurate. We're arriving in mid-April and we don't yet know where we're going to live. Private owners of rentals listed on Craigslist haven't always emailed or called us back. Two moving companies have promised to send people for in-home estimates and both stood us up (and only one called to give an excuse and reschedule). But we have started a novena to St. Joseph for a house, and I hope anyone who's still reading this blog will pray for us, for safe travels and an easy time settling in to a new place and new responsibilities.