November 19th, 2003



After Quasimodo's death, the bishop of the Cathedral of Notre Dame sent out word through the streets of Paris that he needed a new bell ringer. He chose to audition applicants for the job himself, and climbed up into the belfry tower with the first handful that applied. Having heard and dismissed each of them, he was about to call it a day when an armless man came dashing up the stairs and exclaimed, "Our Grace, please allow me to audition as your bell ringer!"

The Bishop was stunned. "But, my good man, you have no arms."

"No matter," the man said, "Observe!" as he rushed to the carillon and started striking the bells with his face. He played beautifully, stepping quickly from one bell to another when he suddenly tripped over something and fell out of the tower to his death on the street below.

The bishop rushed downstairs, and the cluster of people parted to let him reach the dead man's side. As the bishop bent over his crumpled body to bless it, an onlooker asked, "Bishop, who is this dead man?"

"I don't know his name," he said sadly, "But his face rings a bell."

The next day, the bishop resumed his auditioning of bell ringers, and the first applicant said, "Your Grace, I am the twin brother of the poor, armless wretch who fell from your belfry to his death yesterday. I would be honored to be your bell ringer in his memory."
The bishop welcomed him to audition, and the twin went over to pick up the mallet used to strike the bells. As he bent over, he groaned suddenly, clutched his chest, and fell to the floor dead. The monks below heard the bishop's cry of grief and rushed up to the belfry, bursting upon the tragic scene. One of them asked, "Your Grace, who is this dead man?"

"I don't know his name," the bishop said sadly, "But he's a dead ringer for his brother."
  • Current Music
    REM—Near Wild Heaven


Raindrops keep falling on my head! But that doesn't mean my eyes will soon be turning red, crying's not for me, oh, I'm never gonna stop the rain by complaining...

The rain may fall mainly on the plain in Spain, but here in Lund, it falls EVERYWHERE. And lots of it. It's been pouring since I got to work and no signs of it letting up, according to the solid wall of white above us.

I got the news a couple of days ago that my great-aunt Flossie passed away on Sunday evening. She was 98 years old and apparently had her relatives in stitches until practically the very end. One cousin, while visiting in the hospital earlier that day complimented her on her hairdo, and she replied, "Work of art!" She was a fun lady, always joking and laughing, one of the partying Pangborns. My grandfather had 1 brother and 7 sisters and consequently my extended family on my mother's side is large and spread out over all of America. However, they are, for the most part, still in fairly close contact, and I feel as if I belong to a TIGHT family and a fun one.

Aging reminds me a large conveyor belt. It's only a matter of time for all of us before we reach the drop off.

Goodness, rain makes me morbid.

Anyway, what I wanted to say was that I hope when I go, as I inevitably will some day, I hope it's like Aunt Flossie, surrounded by loved ones, and yukking it up 'til the end.

Rain rain go away, come again some other day...
  • Current Music
    Loey Nelson—Railroad Track