Saturday, May 31, 2008
1st a full version done when she is in her late 70's maybe even 80 in 1999:
Go to YouTube and see part one of this next version, from 1970. She had to record the definitive version. And she had to sweat, cry, and cuss until she got it right. This is from a documentary called "Original Cast Recording: Company". I saw this in a film class and fell in love with Elaine, Stephen and "Company":
I am lucky enough to have seen her one woman show "At Liberty". What fun, What a Life. I was also one of the people who called to complain to CBS when they cut short her acceptance speech for this show. For gawdsakes, let the woman speak!
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Image Source: http://nymag.com/daily/fashion/2008/05/well_well_miss_tyra_threw.html
(Source: www.poptower.com) Vive le differance indeed! I've always railed against the rail thin, unhealthy, unattainable ideal set forth as the standard of feminine beauty. And I have to confess, as a man, I've never understood it, and wondered how much of it has to do our continuing evolution from a patriarchy and our culture's latent misogyny, and how much has to do with women themselves buying into it?
Sure, I know plenty of guys who go for the T&A on a pair of stilts look, but I know just as many who just don't get women's obsession with looking, smelling, and acting perfect.
In the case of my beloved, she was a size 4 to 6 when we wed 13 years ago Pentecost / June 4th, and now she's an 18/20. I'm no less awed by her beauty, and its not just that look of love in her eyes which this photo shows so well, or that she puts up with a piece of work husband like me. I love it that she's shaped differently than I am, that her body feels very different than mine.
What ever size she's been (and at times on her migraine meds, she can flux 4 sizes over the course of a month) she's always "worn it well." Her curves are always there... and that's what's so deliciously different for a rabidly heterosexual man like me.
I've been waiting for someone... say, a woman... to post on this, but none has, and since I've temporarily closed my Johari window so far as blogging goes while some chaos works its way out in my/our life (maybe I'll post on it tomorrow or Friday), I decided now was a good time to post on this. Its been a while since I've done a good feminist rant anyway.
In searching for news reports about this, the most fun one comes from Australia's National Nine News A couple of fun bits from that article...
The headline is:
"A plus-sized model has proven that you can have a "jelly botty" and still take out the crown of America's Next Top Model."
"This is what people should look like rather than skin-and-bones, which is disgusting and sends a bad message."
The decision by the American judges to give top honours to a more curvaceous woman flies in the face of recent weighty comments made by their counterparts on the Australian version of the show.
Judge Charlotte Dawson wrote to ninemsn after receiving a public roasting for telling one contestant she had a "jelly botty".
[Dawson said] "The reality is if they were at a casting, an agent would turn around and say 'your arse is too fat' or 'get that 'heffa' out of here'."
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Monday, May 26, 2008
Now the fun videos
The Rare Palmus Dumpsterus Chicagoensius (A Palm in a dumpster with my goofy voice over)
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Friday, May 23, 2008
I continued to Gino's where I ate a nice salad and heard about a friend who lost his mother. No sooner did that news break then I was asked to discuss a legal case involving someone who had been arrested a number of times on trumped up charges. My legal blood boiled and my number was given to a poor lost soul who needed better legal advice.
The night got even better at the Evil A. So much for a night out on the town. Is this the universe telling me to just stay home? I think it was the universe telling me that my problems are small and I need to be there for others.
Online Videos by Veoh.com
In other Edgewater life, and a sign of the times we live in, saw another eviction in action just south of me and Snark on Winthrop between G'ville and G'lake.
Online Videos by Veoh.com
And finally some comic relief from Hilde and Killian from the last time we were back in Indiana.
Online Videos by Veoh.com
Your inability to decide is hurting the party, and fulfilling the propagandized stereotype of wishy washy wimpiness.
Please decide shortly so we can put an end to this (I'm talking to you, Rahm Emanuel, for one) or you will never see one of my meager pennies ever directed to your campaign warchests.
Here's some list of superundecideds.
Whassamatter U? I don't even give a crap if you go batshit insane and bow to her Her Royal Maj.
Shit or get off the pot! NOW!
Thursday, May 22, 2008
He's a very vivid person, loves going on camera. I have quite a few videos of him on Youtube and posted at multiply.
This is Jerel at his best... as intense and raw and real as can be.
Consequentially, I'm obligated to note that...
This video is rated "R" due to VERY coarse language and references to sexuality and drug use. It is NOT suitable for minors or the easily offended.
Right Mike... this means you!
If those topics offend you, you're best off not watching either.
Jerel is most often to be found sleeping in the portapotty outside my building, or hoarding his finds outside Snark's.
He likes my dogs, he's nice to me, he's willing to go on camera, that's all I can ask of anyone. I've been known to bring him a hot cup of home made espresso, socks and alcohol wipes for his feet, etc. Anyone who treats my dogs well and treats me like a human gets the same back from me. I let Killian and Hilde decide who I befriend.
I am always honored when people like Jerel or Diane (who's usually down on Glenlake and also in my of my videos) chose to share their lives with me.
People is people... period... what ever their life circumstances
And now... the featured presentation. It runs a bit long, 15 minutes. I had planned to chop it up but... Tess has been even sicker than normal lately, so, I just clipped out the scenes where he showed me his prison ID card (on principle, I don't put images or video of IDs, credit cards, etc. on the web).
Online Videos by Veoh.com
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
So naturally this has me thinking about these issues, and being someone with extensive personal and professional experience in this area, its not like they're ever far from my mind anyway. (Hardly a day goes by when my dear Tess isn't in my arms weeping from the pain of her migraines.)
I posted a prayer request for Cheryl over there a little while ago. I'll post most of this there tomorrow, but I want to give time for the word to get out to the Multiply community to rally around her. (My posts here have been encores of some of the more generally relevant and interesting ones on Multiply, and this post will follow that pattern, just in reverse order.)
While death can mean the merciful end of suffering, there is no easy or good death in the absolute sense. The body was not meant to be separated from the soul, nor loved ones from each other. I've dealt with hundreds of deaths- lingering ones, fast ones, clean ones, ugly ones. In the end, I believe the pain's the same, as is the final outcome. For lingering deaths- say from degenerative neurological conditions or metastasized cancer, the grief is "front loaded" and people often feel a numbness and relief when its over. For sudden deaths (as my father's) the shock is hard and sharp. But I bet if you were to gather together and measure all the tears of the survivors in both situations, they'd come out the same.
There is no magic formula for the right way to grieve or deal with death or suffering, so long as you deal with it. Some people need to cry, some yell, some take it out physically, some go off to a lonely place, others seek solace socially. So long as you are aware of what is going on and what you're feeling, as brutal as it is to experience, you'll come through it. Its only when grief gets bottled up that problems arise. Locked away in the dark recesses of the heart, it ferments and grows. I've seen people explode with grief like a volcanic eruption years after the event.
So that's my only advice from my years as a pastor/chaplain and my extensive personal experiences (my wife's illness, preaching my father's funeral sermon, growing up in a dying family, etc.)
To those who are on the periphery though, I do have more specific and concrete advice.
- Always seek to help the person with the burdens of daily life- mowing the lawn, cooking dinner, doing the laundry or shopping, etc. What ever you can do to give the grieving parties the time and space they need is a wonderful gift and blessing.
- If you don't know what to say, then say "I don't know what to say" and then shut up. People often feel this strange compulsion to find some comforting words to say, convinced that somehow the right words will make everything better. Well, unless those words have the power to bring the dead back to life, they won't and can't. Both as a pastor and as a grieving son (I was both in that situation) I've heard well meaning loving people say some incredibly inapt and lame things...
- "I know how you are feeling,"
- "This is all part of God's plan,"
- "Be happy, they're with God now"
- (Were I to iterate what words went through my mind when I heard that sort of thing at my father's wake and funeral, it would cause the screen to burst into flames.)
- Ministry of presence and helping people with attending to their lives really is the best thing people who are friends of those who are grieving can do.
- That, and if you know them well enough to tell, watch for signs of bottling-up. Of course, "denial" is one of the classic "stages of grief" and its not uncommon for people to cycle through it. That in itself is not necessarily problemmatic- I'm talking denial which goes on weeks, months, YEARS.
Romans 8 (NIV)
18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. 20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope 21that[i] the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. 27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will.
There is so much here.
- First, that all creation feels our frustration over pain and sickness and death.
- Second, that we don't have to have the "right" words to pray- that our sighs and groans are enough.
Rev 14 (NIV)
13Then I heard a voice from heaven say, "Write: Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on."
"Yes," says the Spirit, "they will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them."
& the German LutherBible 1545
13Und ich hörte eine Stimme vom Himmel zu mir sagen: Schreibe: Selig sind die Toten, die in dem HERRN sterben von nun an. Ja, der Geist spricht, daß sie ruhen von ihrer Arbeit; denn ihre Werke folgen ihnen nach.
I quoted the German too because the great German choral composer Heinrich Schuetz did a chorale based on it which I think is the finest wedding of words to music ever- "Selig sind die Toten"
And also because the order of the words in the last phrase is just perfect: for their works follow them after. Its such beautiful imagery, having the word "after" come after "follow them"- the mind's eye sees the person going to the afterlife being veritably chased by their good works on earth. So with my father I saw giant sunflowers (he planted them everywhere) and trees (them too) and street kids (he was an inner city teacher) and bar patrons massing in pursuit of him as he traveled through the pearly gates.
So when you think of someone you love being chased down by their good works on earth, what do you see? Starting from there, you can not only grieve but also celebrate, not only mourn the loss but be thankful for the gift.
Note well, I didn't say celebrate INSTEAD of grieve, be thankful INSTEAD OF mourn... but both! The dear people in our lives are indeed gifts. Its especially wonderful when we get the chance to thank them for being so as I did with my father. I didn't know he was going to die- it was totally out of the blue- but a few weeks before he died, I told him what a wonderful and dear father he was to me. But if that opportunity isn't given, then take the opportunity to give thanks for the person or to the person... according to your own personal spiritual beliefs.
That's enough, and I hope its helpful. I'll close with the video I recorded for Cheryl and her beloved back in November. She knew he was terminal, so when she bought my rug, she asked me to say a blessing over it. So I dug out my old pastor duds (not all have gone into rugs, *grin*) and did so. I did it on video so they could share and see it and be strengthened by it, and they were kind enough to give me permission to share it with the general public. Though originally intended for them, it goes out to all who need it now... there are so many... including us. (For indeed, such pain as Tess suffers daily would be illegal were it performed as a form of interrogation or punishment.)
Online Videos by Veoh.com
Postscript- Noon Weds: Selig sind die Toten!
I just found out my friend's husband passed this morning. I'm in shock and grief, even though I knew he was terminal from the time I got to know her early in my days at 360 (where I blogged before multiply.)
Its amazing too... I've never met her, never even spoken with her, but I so feel for her. That our connection and bond is mediated by technology doesn't matter now...this is real grief, not virtual!
I guess that's a testimony to the efficacy of the medium, but right now I feel like crap. I think its time to take Killian and Hilde out for a looooooooooooooooong walk.
First the Bizarre. I'll let you add your own punch line to it.
Next the beautiful (both pictures and video)
Little Flowers- Big City: Violets growing at the base of the Red Line Viaduct in an alley
>Miracles and beauty are always to be found, you just have to be willing to look past the tip of your nose or the screen of your IPhone. This healthy stand of violets is growing right up against the Red Line viaduct below the Granville Red Line station. I took two different videos two different days in hopes of capturing both the beauty of the flowers and the context in which they are growing.
Now the videos<
Online Videos by Veoh.com
Online Videos by Veoh.com
And now my beloved... a picture of her with the pups taking care of her, and a video of her describing her latest Migraine art therapy (and thus, describing the experience of her migraines.)
Online Videos by Veoh.com
On the videos, remember if you don't have the bandwidth to watch them on Veoh, your best recourse is to download them from my Multiply video section and watch offline.They are also on Youtube... my username there is tourtruco, you can find them there.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Gay marriage does not threaten straight marriage: SELFISHNESS does- A straight ex-pastor's view in the wake of the CA Supreme court ruling
- MARRIAGE IS... A commitment between two people to each other.
- Usually innate to this commitment are exclusivity (of affection and sexual relations) which = fidelity
- There is usually also the expectation of constancy "for richer or poorer"
- There is also the expectation of mutuality (what's mine is yours, and vice versa.
- All three of these are sometimes modified by agreement of the participants, and sometimes these modifications are codified in the marriage contract, which is issue #3.
- MARRIAGE IS... A commitment between these people and their God.
- This is where the church comes in. The church can chose to give or withhold its blessing, but it has no bearing on #s 1 or 3.
- Churches marry people because
- The people seek the church's blessing
- The state gives them civil permission to do so.
- Without the couple seeking the church's blessing AND the state granting it the civil power to wed, the church is irrelevant.
- MARRIAGE IS... A civil contract mediated and recognized by the state.
- In the U.S., this means the state as in one of the 50. In other countries, it can mean this or the national government.
So lets keep some perspective regarding the California ruling. It only bears on #3- the civil contract. We have neighbors who are a same sex couple who have been together longer than most heterosexual unions last these days. They made the commitments of #1 and maybe #2, and the bond's efficacy was in no way weakened by the lack of #3.
The sky is not falling, the fabric of the universe remains intact.
And whether you favor homosexuality or not, I'd like to suggest a little humility, perspective, and knowledge would go a long way.
Heterosexual marriages do not break up because of homosexuality or homosexual unions, unless one of the partners in a heterosexual marriage is having an affair with a person of the same gender.
From my standpoint as a married man of 13 years (we just celebrated our 13th anniversary) and a former pastor, the main factor I've seen which causes the strain and break up of a relationship all start and end with uncompromising, unyielding SELFISHNESS. And since our society is indeed a very individualistic one, driven by the urgent need to satisfy all of ones desires in the shortest time possible, this is hardly surprising.
This selfishness evinces itself in all sorts of ways which the experts (see below) describe:
- Lack of respect for the other person. (I know better, what's the point in even consulting / involving him/her.)
- Lack of willingness to compromise (I say we do this THIS way- be that raise children, go to church, what ever.)
- Lack of fidelity to the expected exclusivity.
- This other "other woman / man" can be an affair
- It can also be putting work ahead of family
- It can be putting some other goal or desire ahead of the needs of your spouse.
In none of these will you find that the sexual activities of other people- be they homo or hetero sexual- factor. Heterosexual selfishness is the greatest threat to heterosexual marriage, not homosexuality or homosexual marriage!
I checked out a couple of reputable websites as to what the causes of divorce are.
causesof.org says this:
Divorce rates are higher today than compared to rates just fifteen years ago. The causes of divorce vary from couple to couple, but most commonly stem from one specific issue that is compounded by a lack of commitment to the marriage. The most common causes of divorce include money, infidelity, and career choices.
Commitment to the marriage has little bearing on certain causes, or grounds, of divorce such as infidelity, abuse, or addiction. However, other common causes of divorce such as money, career issues, lack of communication or emotional maturity, and incompatibility are often compounded by a genuine lack of concern for keeping the marriage in tact.
Marriage councilors and experts agree that various communication problems are the root causes of divorce and are just closely followed by the other issues. Though specific grounds for divorce are not required to be filed during a divorce proceeding, incompatibility covers nearly all causes of divorce.
Surprisingly, physical and emotional abuse are not as commonly reported as causes of divorce. This might be because reports are kept private or because physically and emotionally abused spouses find it more difficult to leave the marriage than those in other circumstances.
While money is reportedly the number one argument between a couple, it is unknown if this is actually the number one cause for divorce. Again, this is because the generalized incompatibility grounds would cover a reason for divorce based on money issues.
Far less likely, but reported causes of divorce include disagreement on child-rearing issues. Here again, it is difficult to determine the rate of divorce based on this issue as it is also considered incompatibility. Though incompatibility covers a wide range of domestic issues, it is safe to say that of all the possible causes of divorce, incompatibility is the number one reason people file.
Divorceinfo.com says this:
There are as many theories on this issue as there are people offering them. The usual explanations are communication, compromise, and commitment, and it’s hard to disagree with them.
Indeed, if both spouses were consistently able to communicate with each other, able and willing to compromise with each other, and 100% committed to their marriage, it’s hard to see how it could fail.
The vexing question, of course is HOW do they foster communication, compromise, and commitment? Here the explanations diverge.
For those with a fundamental faith foundation, the answer is clear. Marriages work if both spouses obey the principles of the faith. For a more prosaic explanation, check marriagebuilders.com, where therapist Willard Harley lays out a simple set of principles he says any couple can use to help their romance survive and thrive.
The principle that creates the most stir with groups I address is from Cosmopolitan magazine a few years back, namely that the most reliable indicator of the success of a marriage is the extent to which both the husband and wife had close, long-term, platonic relationships with members of the opposite sex before they met.
When you think about it, this makes sense. It’s startling to reflect on how little time husbands and wives spend in genuinely romantic interaction. They will spend most of their married life relating to each other as friends. If either or both of them lacks the essential skills or inclination to do that, the marriage is unlikely to thrive.
One thing I feel strongly about is how little impact adultery has on divorce, and I know that I'm going against the tide here. I hear constantly from all-knowing observers - many of them fundamentalist Christians - who proclaim that if you look behind most divorces, you'll find an adulterous affair somewhere. That may be partially true, because many divorces do involve adultery, but I believe adultery to be a symptom, not a cause, of most divorces. Adultery is a reaction to abuse, and it is a tool of abuse.
Adultery is the legal "gotcha," but I don't think it causes many divorces. I think the crud that drives husbands and wives apart causes divorces. And I think the crud that drives husbands and wives apart also causes adultery. That means they certainly are related, but that doesn't mean adultery causes divorce.When it comes down to it, my guess is that the main factors that make a marriage work are a combination of the three C's - communication, compromise, and commitment, with a generous sprinkling of blind luck. For those of us in stable, long-term marriages, we have to acknowledge the role that luck plays.
I could go on and site hundreds of articles and sites, but it all comes down to the basic concept of selfishness- loving yourself more than you love your partner.
Good people can disagree about the theological issues involved... and do. But I would commend, urge, and beg that this be done without the hysteria, finger pointing, and blame throwing which so often dominate this discussion.
As for my own views... they don't matter. I'm not serving as a pastor anymore, so I don't have to decide whether to bless anything or anyone. (I will say that when I was involved with weddings as a pastor, I thought they had less to do with God than with putting on a "Disney-land" like spectacle. Just because a wedding's in a church doesn't make it a religious act! This is why when we wed 13 years ago, we had none of that. We got married after the sermon, before the Lord's Supper... we kept the spectacle to ourselves on our honeymoon. *grin*)
I'm appalled by the grade school level name calling that swirls around this issue and the rampant selfishness which soaks our society. What two consenting adults decide to do sexually or emotionally is their concern, not mine.
My only concern with marriage is tending to my own. By God's grace and by Tess being such a devoted spouse- exemplary in every way- mine has lasted 13 years now. I'll continue to concern myself with it and with her, and let state legislatures and courts and consenting adults do as they will.
Friday, May 16, 2008
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
My life's been such a "Jane, stop this crazy thing... " ride I've been rather preoccupied with just living life. But I have been getting back into blogging at Multiply, so thought I'd put in a cameo here.
Lately I've given myself more over to artistic endeavors. For example, this picture comes from a post of pictures of frost on my mother's flowers I just put up at multiply. http://listig.multiply.com/journal/item/805/Frost_on_the_Flowers_pictures.
These are two videos I shot today and posted. The first is of Jerel, a homeless fellow who sleeps in the portajohn outside my building by night, then guards his stash of treasures outside Snark's dumpsters by day. The second is a video I shot down at Berger Park.
Update 5/17 - Veoh kludged the code, the videos should be viewable now.Didn't see Jerel outside Snark's this morning, so maybe he finally found "a place for his stuff."
Online Videos by Veoh.com
Online Videos by Veoh.com
This is my latest rug. Its made from a sheet I cut up while waiting for the prof to grade my final, and finished a week later.
As for me and Tess... best to just refer you to these posts over on Multiply:
I'm not sure I have anything particular to add here at the moment, nor the inner drive to find such. Life has so much innate pathos and pain that though I'm no less sardonic or verbose than ever, I'm tending to focus on matters more upbuilding and self-affirming. Tess is still wracked with daily migraine pain, politicians are still crapping out the wrong orifice... so what else is new? A sale at Payless or a striking sky over Lake Michigan get my juices flowing, but very little else does.
Hope to see ya around at the Anvil (since my classes are over for an extended period of time, maybe I can actually make it) or over at my multiply blog (since your fingers aren't broken the same holds true, *grin*)
The 2006 Roxbury Revelation Jazz Ensemble, Darmon Meader's arrangement of "I'll be seeing you" at the 2006 "Jazz Night"
Marissa Barkey, Tommy Barth, Ira Barth, Cassy Boff, Felicia Chen, Jimmy Conlan, Jackie Haggerty, Quintin Grillone, Samantha Kleinrock, Kyle Tillyer, Lauren Silber, Rebecca Schubiger, Rich Kunz, Landers Watson
Don't Know who they are but I like it!
Thursday, May 8, 2008
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
I have the 1st Volleyball scorekeeping injury ever!
Dropped the scoreboard (I was Vanna).
In setting it back up, I caught my finger in a hinge, I now have a huge blood blister. I'm suing as I know a few lawyers.
Hey! Its the "American Way"!
Maybe I can retire...