Friday, October 31, 2008

All Hallows' Eve

The term Halloween is shortened from All Hallows' Even (both "even" and "eve" are abbreviations of "evening," but "Halloween" gets its "n" from "even") as it is the eve of "All Hallows' Day," which is now also known as All Saints' Day. It was a day of religious festivities in various northern European Pagan traditions, until Popes Gregory III and Gregory IV moved the old Christian feast of All Saints' Day from May 13 (which had itself been the date of a pagan holiday, the Feast of the Lemures) to November 1. In the ninth century, the Church measured the day as starting at sunset, in accordance with the Florentine calendar. Although All Saints' Day is now considered to occur one day after Halloween, the two holidays were, at that time, celebrated on the same day. Liturgically, the Church traditionally celebrated that day as the Vigil of All Saints, and, until 1970, a day of fasting as well. Like other vigils, it was celebrated on the previous day if it fell on a Sunday, although secular celebrations of the holiday remained on the 31st. The Vigil was suppressed in 1955, but was later restored in the post-Vatican II calendar.

(Yay Wikipedia!)

Ewe Arrrgh Takes the No-Prize!

(For the back story, check a few posts further down...)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

More saints per second than... Well, we're not sure actually...

In Honor of All Saints Day coming up Saturday, here's a little Gilbert and Sullivan spoof that Orin's friend David brought to our attention:

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A BLT Story

Shannon, when not Oddwalking, is also a parish youth minister.  One of his successful programs with the teens there is "Prayer, Praise, and _______" -- this is a program where they all gather for (you guessed it) prayer, singing praise, and some food item, a different one each time.

One of the teens, Kitty, shot this quick video about the making of the last meeting's food item, a BLT sandwich.  Enjoy!

Monday, October 27, 2008


Fredbird dropped by the Sts. Joachim and Anne Care Services Fundraiser, this past Saturday, October 27, 2008.  Oddwalk played at the event for a little over an hour, and in the middle of the set, Fredbird showed up to entertain the crowd and sign autographs.  In the video below, we introduce him and sing the old favorite "The Cubs Song."

Very Punny

In response to the "What's Missing?" Contest (see the post just below this one), Orin submitted the following entry:

Hey, did you hear about the young pirate sheep that’s apparently gone missing? He was well known because instead of bleating he would make pirate noises (even when it wasn’t International Talk Like a Pirate Day). In fact, he earned a nickname because of one of his more usual buccaneer outbursts.

So, anyway, there are posters all over town now, with his picture and this sad, sad phrase:

“Who’s missing? Ewe Arrrrgh!

Friday, October 24, 2008

"What's Missing" Contest

A friend of ours is having a contest over at his Youth Ministry Blog:

If you are a regular reader of the blog or a recipient of my e-newsletter earlier this month, you might remember this post that played on the whole "Ch _ _ ch: What’s missing?" devise.

If so, I am sure you will appreciate how funny I found this picture from a local booze merchant.

Which leads us to a contest….. What other two words can be used to still get the "…: what’s missing? U R" effect.

Comment away. I’ll declare a winner on Halloween morning. I’m completely unsure what the prize will be, but you should probably be in it for the honor of being the first contest award winner, anyway!

So, head over there and leave your entries in his (i.e. not our) comments!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

"Walk Away Different" Reviewed

Published just a few days ago at -

Reviewed by Sally Bolderson

Shannon Cerneka and Orin Johnson are the duo that bring to life "Oddwalk Ministries", who are represented by GIA Publications, Inc. Their purpose is "to help young and old alike embrace life as Eucharistic people through fun, upbeat and interactive music and witnessing." Rooted in the Midwest in Illinois and Missouri, you will find them leading retreats and workshops as well as entertaining at concerts and coffee houses.

On Walk Away Different, their 4th CD together, they bring to light a more intimate depth of their relationship with God. In previous projects they have leaned more to the songs that would appeal to a younger audience with fun and frivolity. On Walk Away Different I get a sense of their reaching out to a broader audience with messages that could speak to young and old. There is a great variety here with songs of hope, pleading and challenge among the 16 tracks of this record. You will find upbeat pieces that will have you tapping your toes and then in another moment, contemplating your walk of faith with a soft, meditative song that will touch your heart.

The various adaptations of popular psalms are always welcome and are represented well on this CD. As a liturgical music minister, I can appreciate having options when it comes to the sung psalms and find their renditions of six well known psalms to be very congregational friendly. I will surely use them in my own parish setting. I found the vocals to be very good and the addition of Sarah Bauer on many of the tracks is wonderful. Her sweet yet strong vocals add depth to these selections. Being a fan of harmony, I was very pleased to hear very nice harmonies throughout Walk Away Different.

As I listened to the CD I heard overtones of other very successful liturgical writers such as the St. Louis Jesuits, David Haas and Marty Haugen.

My favorites vary as much as the selection of songs on this CD. I found myself straying away a time or two from my listening through the first several tracks until I came to "Get It Together." Once I heard that song, I could feel the passion and energy that would be typical of a live performance with this duo. Unlike the first 6 songs that were nice enough, but also forgetful, "Get It Together" stood out and got my attention. Likewise was the song "I Give My Spirit" which I found to be a haunting and extremely powerful rendition of Psalm 31. The deliberate tempo and strong vocals really drew me into this song, not to mention the theme that we all encounter so often . . . our brokenness and our pleas to God for help. Of note as well, is a great Eucharistic song, entitled "Share" which would work well in any congregation for a Communion song.

Overall, I found Walk Away Different to be full of great themes of our faith, admitting our weakness, understanding God as our Savior in the Trinity, challenging us to move to the Light, move where God wants us to be. I think there is something here for everybody with direct and to the point messages. I feel that this CD will make great strides in becoming a staple in any liturgical music minister's music library. The songs are simple and would be easily worked into your choir's music repertoire. You can purchase Walk Away Different through GIA Music at

So, Apparently We're Running for President

We know, it was news to us too!

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Late Haiku Challenge Entry

A fan of the blog, Clay Imoo, Director of the Youth Ministry Office, Archdiocese of Vancouver, sent us this message today:

I was intrigued by your haiku challenge and thus wanted to send this to you. I made it with my sons a couple of years ago for a contest sponsored by the Vancouver Canucks hockey team:

Of course, he was too humble to add that they won that particular contest! Great job, guys!

Prayer Request


Please keep a friend of Orin's in prayer, Frank Quinn, OP.  Frank until recently was a prof at Aquinas Institute, and while Orin never had him formally in class, many of my friends did, and he helped a great deal on a couple projects of mine.  He was for many years a leading liturgical voice in America and the English-speaking world.

He is reportedly near death, please keep him and all who know and love him in prayer.  Thanks.

Cerneka, Party of Five

Hey Everyone,

Erin and I wanted to let you all know that we're expecting our third child around June 1st. We feel very blessed to have yet another addition to our family and ask all of you for your prayers during the pregnancy and beyond.

In case you're wondering how another Cerneka child will contribute to the greater good, consider that our other two children were born during years that the Cardinals went to the World Series. ('04, '06)

I have to say, I'm feeling pretty good about 2009!

See ya,

Thursday, October 16, 2008

NCCYM 2008 Promo Video

The NFCYM has also just posted a promotional video for the NCCYM (adult conference) this December in Cleveland.  Both members of Oddwalk (along with many of our friends of course) make brief appearances.  View the whole video at this page.

The music underscoring most of the video is a live performance at the last NCCYM by Matt Maher of "Your Grace is Enough."  In the middle of verse 1, just after "... keep us apart" we get an extreme closeup of Shannon's already slightly-larger-than-normal head.

Ironically, at "... all God's people sing along" one is able to view a brief action clip of a wigged-out Orin "Jammin' with Jesus."

Lots of other photos, clips, friends, music and such are featured in the quick video.  Check it out!

Congratulations Joia!

Oddwalk Friend Joia Farmer (wife of Brad, as in Brad and Gene of Apex Ministries) has co-written with Matt Miller the 2009 NCYC Theme Song!  Their version of Christ Reigns is featured in the 2009 NCYC promo video, posted here (sorry, we can't embed it).

Way to go!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Amazingly useful applications - free!

Because we know you just can't live without having either Oddwalk's home page or this blog open at any given instant of the day, and because you don't want to use a tab of your browser to do that, and because you're on a Mac, and because we recently discovered a pretty cool Mac app called Fluid, we've created these two applications for Macs, which when run, open the given page in a stand-alone app.  

Maybe it's worth it just to get the nifty Mac OS Oddwalk icon.

See, we told you they were amazingly useful!  Well, at least they're free.  And they are applications, so we're at least half-right.  :-)

Friday, October 10, 2008

pOddcast: Bob Evans Restaurant

Shannon's dad wrote a tribute to a favorite restaurant of his, a Bob Evans in the West County suburbs of St. Louis.  The two of them, along with Orin, spent some time today recording it (with trusty old GarageBand on Orin's Mac) and we've put it on the pOddcast for all to enjoy - check for it in the gcast window in the Oddblog sidebar or over at the main site.

What's more, here are the lyrics, so you all can sing along!

I just fell in love with a restaurant!  That sounds a little crazy,  agree.
But I just couldn't help it - let me tell you what they did to me.
First there was the hostess with the smiling face,
That waitress Patio Pelt she was a wow!
And Mr. Michael Stroble applauded all his people,
Even had them all to take a bow!

Hey ma ma!  Oo pa pa!  Let the good times ring!
Come on children, jump right in, listen to your little tummy sing!
'Cause it's apple pie and chicken fried, almost anything you want!
Awesome food and a lotta grinnin' too: Bob Evans Restaurant!

If You're ever down around Valley Park, MO., at 44 and 141,
Remember what I told ya, just like me you're gonna fall in love.
I wish that I could be there just to see your face 
when you taste that very first bite,
And when you meet those people, those sweet, warm-hearted people,
You're gonna shout the rest of your life:

Hey ma ma! Oo pa pa! Let the good times ring!
Come on children, jump right in, listen to your little tummy sing!
'Cause it's apple pie and chicken fried, almost anything you want!
Awesome food and a lotta grinnin' too: Bob Evans Restaurant!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Yogi Bear is also a friend of mine

While we're on the topic of who are friends of ours, here's Mike Patin at the Shrine Youth Day leading folks in singing about his friend Yogi Bear:

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Shrine Youth Day Pics

Here are a couple pics from the Shrine's Youth Day Celebration the end of September:

Orin, who was also singing in a choral concert Sunday, wore his tuxedo for a special performance of "Just Because You Can."

Mike Patin joins in a performance of "Jesus is My Friend" - coincidentally, our YouTube video of that song (a different performance) is now well over 5,500 views, and is being viewed more often than ever, now one view every 5.5 minutes...  Sheesh.

Orin's new favorite keytar action shot.
Notice how the pants are completely unripped.

For more photos, visit our facebook group page, where Erin B has uploaded a number of shots from the weekend.  Thanks to all Happy Shriney People for a great weekend!

A Monumental Photo

This summer, when Orin was in Washington DC with YNIA, one of the other staffers, Ralph Stewart, had Orin pose for this photo:

And again, don't forget to keep playing our Haiku Challenge V, just below!

Monday, October 6, 2008

100 years!

One of Orin's friends, Eric, lost a wager regarding the "success" of the Chicago Cubs this year in the playoffs.  (At least when Orin shaved his head, it was for a theological principle.)

In other news, don't forget to keep playing our Haiku Challenge V, just below!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Haiku Challenge V!

In honor of our "Jesus Is My Friend" cover video becoming our most watched video on YouTube, it's time for Haiku Challenge V!

We haven't done this in a while (here are rounds I, II, III , and IV)!

 The rules are simple:

A haiku is composed with three lines, of syllable-lengths 5-7-5. Add yours in the comments, below. Your haiku must begin with the last word of the one just before yours. You may play more than once, but not twice-in-a-row. Here's one to get us going.

Jesus is my friend.
He is likely your friend too.
Won't you tell us why?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The answer is: "They're both soon to be overtaken."

The question: What do this video and the Chicago Cubs have in common?

While the Cubs did indeed have the best record in the National League this year, we're all accustomed to their dramatic failings, breaking the hearts of Cubs fans around the world.  We predict this year will be no exception, even if it takes all seven games of the World Series.

This video of Shannon singing "The Cubs Song" (and Orin singing "Old Irish Blessing") has been our most viewed video on YouTube for quite some time (3,890 views as of this posting), about a year-and-a-half.  That run should come to an end sometime later today as our cover of "Jesus is My Friend" continues its startling pace of one view every six minues - and it's only been up for two weeks!

To celebrate the accomplishments of "Jesus is My Friend," visit here again tomorrow for a special Oddblog Event!

And, in honor of the playoffs beginning and such and things, here one more time is "The Cubs Song" (with "Old Irish Blessing" for dessert):

We may end up using this line

Another post thanks to Mike Patin! We had already noticed the comic strip Toothpaste for Dinner, mostly becuase of this keytar-themed panel:

Today Mike alerted us to this recent panel, below.  The band looks vaguely familiar, and we may have to start using that line at our appearances: