Monday, March 31, 2008

Welcome to Indy!

When Oddwalk checked in at NCEA last week, we (and everyone else) got a cool welcome letter in our bag.  Ours was from Adam, a second-grader at St. Patrick School in Terre Haute, IN:

Unfortunately, we never made it to the Children's Museum - sounds like a lot of fun, though!  Thanks, Adam!

Blogging Catch-up

Hi all,

Been a busy couple weeks. Here are a few pics and stories to catch us all up.

Orin's wife Erin, Easter Morning at St. Dionysius, Tyler, MN.  It was snowing that morning, as it was in St. Louis too.  This is the Church Orin went to for 18+ years growing up.

The nice basket of plants and flowers sent up by the Shrine musicians.  It was difficult for Orin to be away from the Shrine for Holy Week and Easter.  Knowing all was in good hands helped a lot.

Orin's mom's gravestone the morning after the funeral.  In an unintentional homage to his dad, Orin slipped a bit of his finger into the picture frame.

After taking that picture, Orin went to Sioux Falls, SD to hop on a plane to help out at the National Catholic Educators National Convention, this year in Indianapolis, IN.  Oddwalk helped at an opening prayer, gave a workshop on catechizing and evangelizing in an entertaining way titled "Scars and Ugly Shoes" and also helped out at the GIA booth in the exhibit hall for a few days.

We had many good conversations with Sue and David, met David Haas and Lori True officially for the first time, and learned a lot about GIA and their artists and products.

Across from us (this is where the usual "Oddwalk Experience" returns) was an interesting exhibitor, marketing mats that young folks could use to take their mid-day naps at school.  They were soft and colorful, and had a built-in pillow -- not much more a 5 or 6 year old could ask for, really.

They were given, though, what we all thought was a rather unfortunate name.  I guess the thought process was something like, "Well, what could we name these products that KIDS would use to take NAPS on... Wait!  I've got something clever!"

That's right, the Kid-Napper.  Sheesh.  Unfortunately, the picture of the guy at the booth most of the time didn't turn out too well.  He looks though,  let us assure you, just like someone you'd expect to see at the Kid-Napper booth at the National Catholic Education Association National Convention.

The end.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Just do it.

(thanks to muddys for the tip)

PS - We're back from Indy and safe and sound and stuff.  More blogging on that trip a little later.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Rest In Peace, Mom: Carrying On

The funeral yesterday was very nice. I (Orin) and my sister had the privilege of leading music. An Oddwalk song I wrote for my wedding fulfilled a new purpose, "Let us go, rejoicing" led us, on easter monday morning, to the graveside for burial.

It's now Tuesday afternoon and I'm sitting in O'Hare, typing on my treo, waiting for my connection to Indy for the National Catholic Education Ass'n convention, where Oddwalk is leading prayer, giving a workshop, and staffing the GIA booth - we just found out that last part today.

Life doesn't end, it continues, changed.

Thanks again to everyone for prayers and messages. I'll have more later on. Hope to see many of you soon.


PS - the photo was taken as we stopped this morning before leaving to the Sioux Falls airport. In honor of my dad, I unintentionally got a bit of finger in the frame. : )

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Easter

This time of sadness for the Johnsons is tempered by the joy of Easter resurrection.  Today, Orin's sister Gwynne, her daughter (and Orin's Godchild) Maddie, Orin's wife Erin and Orin dyed a few eggs.  Here's one to say Happy Easter (or, for the next few hours, Easter Vigil) from Oddwalk!

Support for Flood Victims

As many of you undoubtedly know by now, much of the midwest, including a large section of Southeastern Missouri, had been devastated by recent flooding. Many families have been forced from their homes and many businesses have been lost.

During this Easter weekend, when most of us are making plans to spend time with family and friends, we would like to ask that all of those affected by the flooding be kept in your prayers.

If it is within your means, we would also encourage you to make a donation to the American Red Cross, one of the agencies providing relief to those affected by the flooding. You can find the Red Cross here.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good Friday

"After this, aware that everything was now finished, in order that the Scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I thirst.” There was a vessel filled with common wine. So they put a sponge soaked in wine on a sprig of hyssop and put it up to his mouth. When Jesus had taken the wine, he said, “It is finished.” And bowing his head, he handed over the spirit."

-John 19:28-30

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Orin's Mom, More Info

Orin's mom Eva's obituary and arrangements can be found online here along with a guestbook to sign if you wish.  Orin mad it home safe late this afternoon and plans to stay through the funeral monday morning next week.  Thanks to everyone for continues prayers and well-wishes.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Sad News

Orin's mom, Eva Johnson, passed away this morning in Tyler, MN. She was 80 years old. Please keep everyone in prayer.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Davo and the B16

As seen on Orin's wife Erin's blog:

That's my friend David and the Pope - David is the one in white. And Black. He is trying to hide behind the candle. Valiant attempt, but you are not that skinny, my friend.

David doesn't usually glare at the Pope like that - it must be all of the papa-ratzzi. (get it - what a clever pun!) David also is usually not clean shaven - as a Puerto Rican - American he is usually not without a mustache. (MASH reference - anyone?)

I should stop before I turn into Orin.

Listen Up!

We now have audio samples ready for our newest CD, Walk Away Different. You can find them by following the Lyrics and Audio tab on the Oddwalk website, or by simply clicking here.

If you haven't done so already, you can purchase your own copy of Walk Away Different by clicking here.

Happy listening!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ethical Society, Indeed

Yesterday, Orin's wife Erin and some friends went to the Ethical Society in St. Louis to hear author Anne Lamott.

As they were leaving, they saw one car hit another unoccupied one in the parking lot then drive off.

At the Ethical Society.  True story.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

More LA Congress Photos

Hey Everyone! Here are some pictures lifted from, the official site for the L.A. Religious Ed Congress:

This picture comes from our workshop presentation at Youth Day. Apparently, Shannon is making some soul-stirring point:

These pictues come from the liturgy we helped with on Saturday evening. This liturgy featured the music of Chris De Silva and Paul Melley, two relatively new GIA artists like us.

Friday, March 7, 2008

LA Congress Concert Photos

Here are a couple photos of Oddwalk in concert with Paul Melley Sunday at LA Congress.  Thanks to new Oddwalk friend (and concert backup singer) Katie Mojica!

The whole spread.  That's Paul, left & singing, Chris de Silva at the piano, Gary Daigle behind Shannon, then Orin, next Katie (red skirt), and another backup singer who we think has a first name that begins with K (Katherine?) and we think her last last is Firestone.  Fire-something.  We should be better at this than we are.  I'm sure someone will help us out.  UPDATE - Kristin Firestone.  Got it!  Thanks, Katie.

Paul rocking the house with one of his house-rocking numbers.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Especially if Your Name is Eva Perón

Lifted from Orin's wife's blog.  Not sure where she found it.  She tends to blog more when she has more schoolwork to do.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Matilda the Gorilla - LA Congress

Last one for a while - Matilda the Gorilla!

Dance in the Sight of the Lord - LA Congress

Still snowing.  Staying in, getting a lot done.  Here's a video from our Youth Day workshops!

pOddcast - Oddwalk on the Radio

Oddwalk's new CD "Walk Away Different" was featured on KUCR (Univ. of California - Riverside) on March 1.  Several of our songs were played without interruption. Here's the host's (Teri Seipel) intro and outro to those pieces. We met her while exhibiting at the LA Congress, and she put our music right on the air!  Find the pOddcast in the usual places.

Get It Together - LA Congress

Here's the first quick video from LA Congress, the Sunday lunchtime concert in Hall B.  More to follow from both the concert and the Youth Day workshops.


In St. Louis.  This morning, just now.  Freaky.
Gracie, one of Orin's dogs, did not like it at all.
The end.

Monday, March 3, 2008

NFCYM 2006 Videos

Hi All,

I know we just got back from LA Congress, and soon we'll have videos up and more stories and stuff and things about that trip, but here are a few videos that just were posted by Oddwalk friend Gene from December 2006's Adult Youth Minister's Conference (put on by the NFCYM) in Las Vegas.  Oddwalk was a part of the comedy venue on that trip, and helped with these funny skits. Thanks Gene, and to Bob for scripting the skits and to all the folks who helped put them together and perform them.

Here's "Great Moments in Youth Ministry"

Here's "Lesson's Learned in Youth Ministry"

And here's ""

Home Safe

But tell us this: why was it snowing when we left, it's going to snow now that we're back, and why was it warmer here than it was in LA while we were there?

Sunday, March 2, 2008

LA Congress Update 3

Lots of pics -

A couple pics of how GIA is featuring us this weekend at their large display.

Guess who else is here this weekend? Mary Rice Hopkins, composer of Matilda the Gorilla! Shannon had a chance to meet her and get a CD autographed.

We sang in a choir for mass featuring the music of Chris de Silva and Paul Melley. The pic is the view of the gathering congregation just before mass.

We also got on the radio on the campus of UC-Riverside saturday morning - more on that later.

Today is or big lunchtime concert and returning home. We are tired but doing very well. See you all back home!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

LA Congress Update 2

So, I'm not sure which photo will show up where, hopefully you can tell them apart. One is Shannon showing off our booth in the exhibit hall, the other is the main arena (which seats about 8,000) from the perspective of the choir risers just before the opening prayer ceremony.

After that service, we sent a lot of time at the booth, saw some old friends, met many new, sold a few CDs, etc. We were also part of a really nice peace prayer choir with Tony Alonso and Marty Haugen.

Saturday means a lotbof time again at the booth, helping at a mass with GIA friends Gary, Chris, Paul and others, and dinner with another friend Michal.

More later!