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Archive for May, 2011

Disclaimer: If you are uncomfortable as a feature in any of the below photographs, you know how to reach me. Otherwise, consider yourselves part of the infamous club.

Hey! I’m back and ready to rumble. I don’t have anything really thought-provoking, except this old article I came across that I thought was pretty interesting. I’ve read more recent things by this blogger and I don’t always agree with him but this post was pretty compelling in terms of the power of popular discourse and propaganda. I swear I try not to be a nerd but it’s a fairly hopeless case. So, I’m embracing it instead.

Also, per my intellectual Magneto. He hopes she doesn’t (at least I think that’s what he hopes; although he could WANT her to in hopes that it mitigates some of her influence). I don’t care. I don’t dislike her and am ready to hear what she might have to say as a candidate but I’ve no plans to vote for her unless she comes up with something truly revolutionary. Although I am starting to wonder about her judgement…

Uh, yes please!!! Good Stuff Eatery is fabulous. No reason to think this will be any less delish.

Nice. If you scroll down to #7 you may as well add “Alexander” to the name Abraham de Lacy Giuseppe Casey Thomas O’Malley the Alley Cat. I mean, just look at this handsome devil:

Ali’s 2nd Dance post featuring Baryshnikov. My God, he is beautiful. Here’s my favorite of his dance numbers from film. It has everything: an angry and banned Russian singer that sounds like Tom Waits; Twyla Tharpe choreography; the Bolshoi Theater; and Helen Mirren being awesome. Love.

Pics from the beach trip and my welcome home dinner to myself. It’s my Spring pasta and is one of my favorite things to make. I can totally make it for you sometime if you let me.

I include this one to prove I was actually there. I'm the one in the broken bathing suit because waves can be powerful.

This is possibly my favorite because the fashion sense is inspiring.

Then there’s the Bay Bridge, which you have to cross to get there. Look I’ve faced my fear of heights so many times. Hell, I went up the Alps in one of these. But it never really goes away. Anyway, here’s what it looks like. My friend Austen said, when we were coming home and I managed not to freak out: “Sarah Lee, Bay Bridge survivor.” I wonder if they make t-shirts…

Also, my favorite trip songs. I couldn’t figure out why I loved the first so much until I realized it samples Modest Mouse. And the second, well, I mean c’mon man. It’s only one of the greatest songs ever written.

Thanks for the good memories friends. It meant a lot.

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Change is good

It would appear, after the mad ninja skillz he displayed by appealing to Congress instead of the White House to discuss the upcoming UN vote that would seek to create a Palestinian state, Netanyau managed to convince Obama of the folly in backing such a thing. Thank goodness too because, as I was reminded by a friend today, the model — in his opinion — for a Palestinian state would be an Hamas-like organization. And that doesn’t scream successful nation willing to play well with others. But someone should explain this to this kid, who never ceases to amaze me as a thinker and a writer. It’s as if he uses his considerable intelligence to shill for the most awful outcome. My suspicion is that he is pathologically attracted to Schadenfreude. But everyone has to have something special to survive in this business. So, rock on Mr. Beinart. I just hope it doesn’t come back to haunt you someday.

Other things, as usual:

Going to the beach for the holiday weekend Friday. Admittedly, it’s a strange time for the kid here to go but, since there’s 8,000 of us going (that’s a slight exaggeration), the cost is minimal and I really could use a few days to just get my head back on. And these folks invited me and it’s an opportunity to get to know some of them better while doing something I love more than anything in this world: staring at the ocean. So, I’m taking this book and this book (Char, I swear I’ll return it soon…) and alternating. The evenings will likely offer other diversions.

On a related note, I’ll be taking a bottle of this with me. Looking very much forward to making a Tennessee Honey Smash.

The softball team is crazy good. I have other things I could say there but I’ll refrain. In the meantime, this guy loves us. I hope it doesn’t go to our heads because that is the best way to start losing. I’ve played enough sports to know that. Also, special thanks to my friend who sat with me for a few hours after the game and reminded me that opinions are like bums (that’s the British use of the word) — everyone has one and some of em stink. I love you my friend.

A dancer friend of mine from back home has a lovely post on what it is about the pursuit that is downright religious. The piece in this video was choreographed by Cherrise Wakeham, who is, as you can see, tremendously talented as a choreographer. The writer was a member of her company in Atlanta and, as anyone who’s met her or seen her work can attest, is a huge fan for good reason. Beautiful work. Also, Ali, nice writing kid.

Of course it is. Netflix Instant is like crack cocaine to cinemaphiles. [I should clarify…if you read the post you’ll see that it’s not. I was just making a joke. Hardee har…]

Finally, if you see yourself in this song, good. Make a change.

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We’ll know tomorrow evening [or, apparently, tonight]. I’ve left extra food for Alexander so hopefully he’ll figure it out if my purity means I’m called home (why are you laughing?). He already is quite the proficient killer of birds and rats. He should be fine.

Anyway, Baby D made an end-of-humanity playlist. I love it. So I offer it to you. You have a little more than a day to enjoy it.

Rapture — Blondie
The Devil Went Down to Georgia — Charlie Daniels
Who Will Save Your Soul — Jewel
Straight to Hell — The Clash
I’m Goin’ Straight to Hell — Drivin’ n Cryin’
Sympathy for the Devil — Rolling Stones (or Jane’s Addiction)
What if God Was One of Us — Joan Osborne
The End — The Doors
The Man Comes Around — Johnny Cash
It’s the End of the World As We Know it — REM
Astro Zombies – The Misfits
Eve of Destruction — The Turtles
Don’t Fear the Reaper — Blue Oyster Cult
Enter Sandman — Metallica
Waiting for the End of the World — Elvis Costello
I Will Love You Till the End of the World – Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
The End Of The World — Skeeter Davis
Until The End Of The World – U2
Spirit in the Sky — Norman Greenbaum
The Final Countdown — Europe

Here’s something to count down the hours to, with a beer. Maybe a smoke, too. Because I mean, why not at this point right?:

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It’s Athens old-home day. I’m going to go ahead and post today because I’ll be attending the graduation of my beautiful cousin Anna from UMD tomorrow (among other scheduled plans) so I won’t be around to offer diversions. But today, I got ya.

Is our support of Israel “unshakable?” Because it’s sounding pretty shaky to me. It’s bad form to keep smacking an ally in the face for, best I can tell, no reason. Save ideological I mean…I’ll let you all decide if that’s a good enough reason.

So, from the Athens’ homies, whom I miss and love…

From Mrs. Bielli, who is also not a dumb blonde, the following:

“I’m not offended by dumb blonde jokes because I know that I’m not dumb. I also know I’m not blonde.” ~ Dolly Parton

And from Steph, who’s apparently involving herself with these ladies. The first bout. Whip it.

A friend posted this with the following statement about witnessing some “Quiet Car” antics:
“My favorite time was when two punk hipster kids were having a loud coversation, and a very large black man pointed to the sign and reminded them that they were in the Quiet Car. One of the punk kids responded with ‘Oh, I’m sorry, I thought the sign said LOUD car.’ To which the large black man responded, calmly but firmly, ‘Do you really want to make this into a problem?’ No sir, he did not.”

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Aiming higher

Because why not, right? I mean, if there was ever a time…

And bright spots keep appearing. Little, faint, far off. But they’re there. So, focusing on those and letting the peripheral stuff just do what it does. Can’t be distracted by it. Although the nagging thought does recur — why the effort to distract? But, again, everything in its time. The answer to that question is not a priority at the moment.

So, for you kids, here’s some things as always. But first, to my lovely guy friends: don’t be worried by the fact that women will sing that Carrie Underwood song “Before He Cheats” at the top of our lungs (ahem). It’s just about feeling empowered in a world that often feels overwhelming. And, admit it, you guys have your fair share of songs about letting that crazy chick who hurt you have it. (“I used to love her — oooh yeah — but I had to kill her.” Look it up.) Let us have ours.

Right, so if the world actually does end Saturday I hope I hook up with Tallahassee if I’m not chosen to depart, as it were. “This Twinkie thing — it ain’t over.” Either way, I’ll be down on Ohio Drive playing a double header with some of my favorite people in the world. And jello shots, or so I hear. Not a bad way to spend your last few hours assuming you are one of the elect.

Dig it.

I know Tina Fey takes some heat for her portrayal of Sarah Palin (or, depending on your point of view, is AWESOME for it), and personally I don’t understand why both of them aren’t respected and admired as accomplished women (looking at you Tina), but these are pretty great. Even though Liz and I were just saying how Kristin Wiig is probably funnier, Tina’s a tremendous writer. Also, Sarah Palin’s really not evil. I’m kinda tired of the line. Chris Rock is so right. “Women hate women.” This is just wonderful.

http://www.hulu.com/embed/g10iTyi2A6HX7TiRnUppPQ

Finally, again per a conversation with Liz, is anyone really shocked by this? I thought his proclivities were pretty well established. I don’t know man. I try not to judge women for sticking around. But damn, I know this is hard on Maria Shriver and the kids. That much is for sure.

UPDATE: per the lunch run, you know how there are some songs that you listen to for a while, move on to something else and then they randomly hit you again and, because they still sound marvelous and wonderful, you know it’s love? Yeah, so do I.

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Today was a hard day. I didn’t like today at all. The details aren’t really important — suffice to say that the immediate future is still fairly murky to me at the moment. I know there’s a road there somewhere, I just can’t see it. And, while I wait and work for things to clear, my own self-imposed pathology is a tendency to believe all the negative voices I’ve heard. The “not good enough”s and the “it’ll never happen”s. Forgetting all the time that, when I really take a minute and look back, the owners of those voices over the years have, in the end, been people I ended up not having much respect for. Not that they haven’t been successful by their own definition of the word — more that their version of success, to me anyway, always seemed to taste very bitter to them. In short, they threw around a lot of negatives, in action and words. I don’t think people at peace feel the need to do that so much. There is also that odd thing that happens when your chips are down and it’s more apparent to me now than it’s ever been — some folks, no matter how you may have helped them in the past, just will not return the support. Maybe they find themselves in a good place and don’t want to be reminded of when they needed help or that sometimes things can get tough. Or, maybe they’re just not capable, for whatever reason, of extending themselves to a degree where they might in any way feel inconvenienced. I don’t know. Perhaps that’s a pragmatism that the rest of the world understands. It just makes me feel disappointed.

However, the great good here — you know how I like to try to find that — is that I believe I have finally once and for all had enough of that kind of behavior. It truly is pretty worthless — in the strictest sense of the word. It literally has no value. You can’t make use of it in any way. Perhaps there’s a passive value for those seeking not to be inconvenienced in maintaining the status quo. But passivity really only lays there. Action is what garners a return.

In any event, maybe that lesson is the one that really needed learning and I can get busy going toward things that move in a charged direction. I long for that spark. I’ll find it. In the meantime, here’s a visual approximation of what I’m talking about. A few of the boys — I’m sorry. Men. That’s an important distinction and is becoming clearer to me every day — I know singing karaoke Friday night. And they’re singing BoyzIIMen. Ironic, no? But seriously. Spark.
photo credit: S. Smith

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Like minds

Here’s something that is tremendously satisfying: So, hypothetically, let’s say you have this experience you think is really weird. But, because you’re kind of the odd man out while this experience is occurring — let’s just say, hypothetically again — that you’re a newcomer to whatever this hypothetical experience is. And so, while you’re secure in your understanding of the experience, you really only have your own opinion to go by and, again, as the hypothetical newcomer, there is a sea of other opinion that is collectively and vocally opposite your own as regards this experience. And then, by hypothetical chance, someone unconnected to the original experience — and who’s not privy to your opinion because you’ve never really shared it — experiences this experience for themselves and comes back to you randomly and says, yeah, that was kinda weird. And — best for last! — this person’s opinion is generally well-regarded as rational and responsible and, most importantly, good-humored and reasonable. Man, I love when that happens. Hypothetically.

Aaaaaanywaaaay…ahem.

Stuff.

To see.

To enjoy.

To follow.

To giggle at (hipsters are funny).

To wish you had done yourself.

To be aware of.

To understand, both the issue and the method of reporting.

To finally get a grip on so you understand this is not a necessity, only a political bargaining chip.

Since I was informed here recently that these guys will be playing the 9:30 Club here in DC soon, here’s a fave of their songs. Hope your weekends are full of fun and are drama-free. I know mine will be…

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As I sit here eating one of the greatest foods ever invented (bacon, you’re still first) — that’s right, a hot dog — I’m trying to remember that we do not live in the time of Jane Austen and the antiquated ideas about dowry and connections and social mobility should be left where they lay; and further, that any small-minded dunderhead who tries to convince me these are valid concerns should be disregarded in a vehement fashion (up to and including public mocking if necessary). This is, upon reflection, one of the reasons I’m a fan of the great American experiment. We busted that kind of thinking and proved it provincial, repressive, regressive, lazy and unnecessary for prosperity. Why is it always those who insist you “think outside the box” actually have trouble doing it themselves? Digressing…

How’s that for stream-of-consciousness writing, eh?

Anyway, funny/informative stuff from friends. I have some potential good things happening. Will keep you informed because some of it could make for some interesting reading.

The Heritage Foundation has its own budget plan. I haven’t read it yet but I think I will and pitch it out somewhere. Others already have the scoop but maybe I’ll have some fresh insight…

I either want to work for them or run from them.

Our regular game update from the coach because they’re generally funny and I like to brag about how our team is competitive and always knows how to keep it in perspective. Good group of folks. Really.

A combination of Marieo’s ruthless pitching and All-Star defense made for a rough day at the plate for the Panthers.
After racking up five hits and three runs in the first inning, they only mustered ONE more hit for the rest of the game. At one point, we set down 13 in a row, and we set down 19 of the last 20 batters to end the game.
Walters had some nice running catches in the outfield, Cassidy had a Freddie Freeman-like scoop of a line drive at first — in addition to her usual picking of low throws and one-hoppers from our infield (mostly shortstop), and Scott made a nice pick-and-throw on a hard grounder to third. Austen also had a nice sliding catch in left.
In addition to our stifling defense, our bats also heated up after a slow start. After managing only four hits and one run through the first two innings, we put up 13 runs on 14 hits over the next four innings.
Will Perkins and Chris Walters both joined the homerun column, with Will whistling one down the rightfield line, and Walters hitting one into the gap, literally chasing Sarah and Longmire to the plate.
Marieo added another triple to add to his (curious) team lead, Austen had a hit from both sides of the plate, and Longmire went 3-4 with three runs scored.
Incredibly well-played game all around. Pitt is a perennially good team, and this was a good measure for our progress over the last few years. (The first time we played Pitt, they beat us 38-8. This was way better than that.)
And to top it all off, we won Last Team Standing at the bar afterward.

A friend posted this on Facebook and it is one of the great moments in Wayne’s World repertoire. Moses man.

Finally, here. Lindsey Buckingham, make no mistake about it, was and is a total babe. Just sayin’.

UPDATE: Dang. Sometimes I wish my mom wouldn’t tell me about stuff like this. This happened pretty close to where my parents live and I think mom is thinking about what she might do in a similar circumstance. It freaked her out a little I think. Don’t worry mom. You’ve got the guys there. You’re safe. The fun part is, I don’t think she tells me because she’s worried about me, either. Her father and her aunts grew up in D.C., Anacostia specifically. And my great aunt Dorothy lived in Suitland for years. No, mom’s telling me to spark discussion of gun laws. See how she rolls? And how I feel about owning a firearm. Okay then, here it is: I’m for permitted, concealed weapons. I’m 2nd amendment all the way. My father had shotguns, rifles and handguns over the years. I’m not unfamiliar with them. Do I have mixed feelings about the fact that handguns were invented with the idea of man as a target in mind? Sure. I don’t love that humanity has to protect itself from itself. But, as the story above notes, we most certainly do. As for me, Pops and I had a frank discussion of firearm ownership many years ago when I got my first apartment. I expressed interest in owning a handgun. He said, “Okay. That’s fine. Go to the shooting range, learn how to fire and care for a gun. Learn it inside and out before you bring it into your home. But most importantly, know that if you pull it, you must be right with the idea that you may very likely take a life.”

I’ve not gotten right with that. So, I have a bat — lent to me by the softball team — next to my bed. And if there’s one thing I know how to do, it’s swing a bat. And I aim for the head.

More Fleetwood Mac because it’s good music for the kind of weather outside. The first was a favorite of an ex-boyfriend. He pretty much lived his life by it. I like it, too. The second…well, it’s just a good song. One every man should hear. Love you, too Stevie.

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Hey hey. So much to do. Fascinating how that happens at times like these. The only difficulty is figuring out how to prioritize but I think — and this is a new effort I’ve not explored before — I’m going to prioritize the “thank yous.” That sounds strange I guess but it’s really about professional courtesy. Also, no attention will be paid to anything that is not immediately productive in some way, either professionally, spiritually, comically, physically, etc. At least for a little while. Up only. Not left, right, and most certainly not down. No “look at me and what I’m doing and care.” Nope. Only looking up. Because I have to, see. It’s a matter of survival. If you’re on board, we’re cool. If not, catch ya on the flipside. Maybe.

Anyway, we have a softball game tonight (physically and probably comically productive – check) and I’ve many things for your minds to glance at, dismiss, gravitate toward or ponder. Because that kind of thing makes me feel good (spiritually productive – check).

First, a plug for a friend of mine’s mama’s company. The clothes are pretty sassy I think. Perfect for summer.

Second, The Bard. Because he’s great. That is all.

Third, my adopted home state (so many loved ones have ties and/or are from there) just keeps getting hit. Prayers all around. Here’s some Sam Clemens to make you feel at least a little less done in by it all:

The Mississippi River will always have its own way; no engineering skill can persuade it to do otherwise…
– Mark Twain in Eruption

Fourth, my British friend gave me some new music to consider. I passed along some Tribe Called Quest to him and he’s given me a taste of Dizzee Rascal. I kinda dig it. Especially that you can hear his British brogue in the rap.

Fifth, this picture just makes me laugh so hard every time I look at it so, here. Enjoy. My friend making the rawk fingers next to Sanjaya is so ironic that any hipster that happens upon this will likely have an immediate aneurysm from wishing they were so awesome. You can scroll down on this page to the “After Idol” section to learn where this photo was taken. We won’t talk about how my friend got in…

Sixth, this is just so, so cool.

Finally, as the header notes, silence can be deafening. Which puts me in the mind of the great song by Simon & Garfunkel that was the most profound thing I had ever heard when I first paid attention to the song around the age of 14. The film it’s from = also great. So, have a slice of the ennui of suburban America. It’s not too late for me either Elaine.

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Happy Mother’s Day Mommy. Click the link and you’ll find many mothers honored that remind me of you. Because while I know Pops is a total nerd in his own right, I think I got the explore-every-corner-of-your-mind thing from you. Thanks for pushing me to be brave — and insisting, even (and, maybe especially) now that I continue to be brave — and never making me feel crazy or tragic or silly for just trying to figure everything out in my own time. Thank you also for serving as an example of how never to slip into egoism or extreme self-absorption or pathological selfishness when discovering you could do something well or better than most. Thanks, too, for allowing your daughters to play like boys and encouraging the freedom of mind and expression of wild women, but keeping us grounded in manners and grace and compassion and empathy. Thanks for always sharing the exploits of the family tree and passing down a side of our common history that makes the thought of visiting Prague an ever-growing desire. Thank you for the humility to recognize that true freedom of mind and heart means recognizing that there is a very strong chance and high probability that we are not alone in this universe and that is a great and wondrous thing. Finally, thanks for being strong enough to raise three headstrong girls and four brilliant and compassionate men, hold together a marriage of 50 years to a powerful and headstrong man in his own right, face your life with claws out when necessary but always with a welcoming and forgiving heart, and for being able to enjoy a good joke, a glass of wine and any attempt to make light of even the darkest time. I wish I was more like you in so many ways and I’m so proud to be able to say I’m yours and you are mine.

Also, thanks for keeping me alive as a kid. I think that one tends to go unrecognized frequently. Happy Mother’s Day. I love you so much. Here’s ya’ll’s song. I hope you dance to it in the living room. It is my favorite memory of you.

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